Namesake

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

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FAN FICTION DISCLAIMER
I personally think that Justice League Unlimited was cut from cartoon network way too soon and believe that there was potential in continuing the stories. So, this is it, right here, the Justice League Unlimited series continued from where they left off.

(By continuing the series, I will open the door to using more of the DC Universe characters, including but not limited to: Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Global Guardians, and other such less known teams, heroes, and villains.)

Nuru grunted as Freedom Beast walked by, and he made it a point for it to be noticed.
"Listen kid," Freedom Beast began. "I’m sorry that I called you that. It was the first thing to pop into my head. It really doesn’t mean anything. I was trying to calm down your classmates. They were afraid, and I thought a heroic name would ease the tension."
Nuru’s eyes went taut. "The first thing to pop into your head is the name of an evil god of Gambia, whom held dominion over power and death. A god whose sign were meteors, giant rocks that fall from space and level everything in their path. That’s what popped into your head? That’s how you intended to ease tension and fear of my fellow classmates? How was that name heroic?"
Freedom Beast hunched his shoulders, "you used fire to dispatch those alien attackers?"
"BUT GURUHI IS AN EVIL GOD!" Nuru’s chest rose and dropped heavily, his breathing erratic. "Several of my classmates knew the god you were referencing. They still don’t talk to me."
Freedom Beast remained quiet. It was beyond obvious that he had little experience with teenage heroes. "I’m sorry Nuru. Truly sorry."
What else could the superhero say?
Nuru knew that it was not fair for him to lash out at Freedom Beast like he had, but he was a proud teen. "Hmph! Fine, apology accepted." Nuru then suddenly beamed with dignity, excitement, and joy. "Well, what you called me really doesn’t matter anymore, because I got me a new name. It’s something I picked out after hours and hours of thinking on it, and the Global Guardians agree it fits."
Nuru waited to see if Freedom Beast would become as excited as he was. Sadly, but mildly anticipated, he didn’t. "In my transformed state, you can refer to me as Schango!"
"The god of thunder, storm, war, and magick, whom wielded the double-headed axe, from the Yoruba of Nigeria?"
Wow, Nuru thought, this guy knows his African Gods. He didn’t want Freedom Beast to know he was impressed, "the one in the same. That’s me!"
Freedom Beast smiled, "I can see that. Very well, Schango it is."
Nuru was surprised that the superhero accepted the alias so quickly. He was stunned. "Um, so, I have to get back to training." Nuru turned and ran toward the training room. He had the name of a god and the respect of an awesome superhero. Things were looking up.

* * *

Weeks ago, when the aliens attempted invasion, Arjana had not minded that Freedom Beast called her Ruhanga. It was a compliment if anything. But honestly, deep down inside, she felt the name did her too much justice.
Ruhanga was the name of a great god for the people of Banyoro. The god held dominion over fertility, abundance, children, animals, harvest, health, sickness, death, judgment, and rebirth. Right away Arjana knew that Freedom Beast must had been thinking of the dominion over animals, and maybe death or judgment even. But she could never live up to all the characteristics. Nor would she want to. Goddess of abundance, fertility, children? No way! It was wrong to accept the name. Arjana would need a new name, something that felt her own. She would enter the training room with that name ready to slip from her tongue.
It should be an easy task to select an alias.
Arjana was at a loss for words while standing amongst the other recent recruits for the Global Guardians. When asked, all the other young-hero-wannabes belted their aliases loudly, and proudly. Even Nuru had finally chosen a name after hours of racking his brain. She chuckled a little when he shouted the name of a war god. He had really liked the idea of being named after a god. And it definitely made sense for him.
Most people looked at his transformed state, and use of dark magic, as demonic. Flipping that sort of coin, and inheriting the name of a benevolent lesser god, meant people would see his powers not as evil, but rather, as otherworldly or supernatural. Maybe they would even think of him as being divinely cursed. For Arjana, it had not been so easy.
She did not want to use the name of a god. She cared nothing for blasphemy, but worried more about responsibility of living up to such a title. She wanted a simple straight-forward name that allowed people to know what she could do. She longed for an alias that would allow for even the most simpleminded criminal to fear her ability. She didn’t want anything boring or corny, like Animal Teen or Animal Girl. Nor did she think misleading folks would be a good idea; so, that meant no Beast-Girl. Even though she was in-tune with the wild animal kingdom, she was a fairly reserved and quiet, dare someone say tame, teenage girl. Wild Spirit was out.
Why was this so hard? Why did she even care about an alias? Maybe she should just say what Freedom Beast did. Maybe she should just accept whatever the trainer wanted. It made no sense to Arjana that this one, petty, insignificant detail lingered over her like a boulder that has been cast as mistletoe. Her turn was coming up soon and she had nothing.
"And you young lady," the trainer began, "what have you chosen?"
Arjana’s turn came far sooner than she wanted. Her mind was blank; she felt like she crammed all night for a test, but only to forget everything she had ever learned in her whole life when the test papers were presented before her. She looked around as all eyes were on her. She was the focus of the entire room. She almost uttered Control, but that sounded supercilious and dumb.
Arjana looked at her friend Nuru, who seemed to be more anxious than she was, waiting for her to say something. He wanted her to join so bad, begging her when the invitations arrived to their complex. She accepted to make him happy, even though her parents were less-than-thrilled. It was her life after all, and she did enjoy beating down all those aliens. Maybe accepting her superpowers and being a superhero was what she was meant to be.
"Young miss, your alias please?" the trainer said again.
Arjana could stay with the god-motif, to solidify her partnership with Nuru. She could select Katondar, Kagingo, or Lugaba: the god of help, judgment, aid when the odds are against you, control over spirits, divination, and oracles. It was a god of the Ganda people in East Africa.
Maybe she should use Kwoth: a Great Spirit god of the Nuer of South Sudan which yielded command over nature, help, compassion, and judgment.
Better yet even, the chameleon goddess of the Dahomey which provided protection and divination; she could be called Leza.
For giggles, she could pick Ison or Ibibio: the Tortoise-shelled Goddess of West Africa. It sucked that she was the goddess of the fertility of the Earth, but Arjana could easily say that all she was focused on was the tortoise shell, and hope she hid the grin every time she made the claim.
Whatever she chose had to be fascinating, riveting, fun, and unforgettable. Most importantly, it had to scream her. After all, this would be an alias that she would have to own up to for the rest of her life. Arjana had made the decision to use her superpowers, in the open, revealing her deepest secret, in order to bash some alien heads. In that very instant she had reluctantly became a rock star with her classmates. So, choosing her superhero alias was too vital to allow foolishness to rush a haphazard decision. It had to feel right, to her; no one else’s opinion mattered, not even her closest friend.
Arjana looked over to Nuru, who smiled back at her. Even if she did not choose a god of Africa, Nuru would be elated if only because she was taking it serious and was there with him. They had been friends forever, and he always had her back. Now it was time to have his.
In her mind, she knew that she would still be the brains of their partnership, the leader. That’s when it hit her. So obvious, and so right-there-in-her-face the whole time. It was a name that Nuru claimed she deserved and earned because of her abilities. When she had first called herself it, she was joking. But it did fit. It definitely screamed her. And it would most definitely be something a criminal would learn to fear. Simple, straight-forward, strong, memorable, and just a bit conceited, but wholeheartedly true.
Arjana looked back to the trainer and smiled. "Alpha!"

* * *

"That alias is awesome!" Nuru was all grins and excitement as he sat down, his food tray consisting of akara, benechin, and tapalapa.
Arjana looked at his plate and gasped, "I can’t believe you’re going to eat all that!" She sat down with her tray holding a modest helping of domada.
"I burn a lot of calories when I do what I do." He took a swig of Boabab juice and wiped away the residue from his lips using his sleeve. "Besides, these are all my favorites. The Global Guardians really know how to treat their people." He slopped a large portion of fish into his mouth, juice dripping back to the tray.
Arjana was visibly disgusted by the lack of manners and decent eating etiquette. Even after all the years she had known him, she has never been able to get used to him eating. It was like something out of a National Geographic reel of Neanderthal man or something. "You’re still so gross when you eat," she chuckled.
He slurped up some more juice, while pieces of rice stuck to his lips. "Sorry I can’t be all proper like you," he teased.
"Maybe you should finally learn how to eat with some kind of decency, seeing as you’re named after a god of storms and all," she smirked.
Nuru stopped chewing, his mouth overfull, and looked at his friend. A thought of being fancy and proper crossed his mind a moment, but then he laughed. "Whatever! You’re just jealous because my name is better than yours."
"How did you come up with that anyhow? Who helped you?"
Nuru choked down a gulp, "no one helped me. I found the name all my own. This place has endless resources when it comes to needing to research stuff."
"Didn’t mean to offend you man. Relax." Arjana looked into her friend’s eyes, seeing the endless pain that dwelled there. "Well, we should hurry and eat. We have training soon, and I think we need to show the other recruits what a god & alpha can really do."


Submitted: September 01, 2022

© Copyright 2022 CENTAURI ADAMS. All rights reserved.

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