Elf: part 2.
The Search for Allies.
Again, sorry for any mistakes whatever and I hope you enjoy.
Sunset. Gotham City. A tired group of refugees stumbled up to a large pair of gates. They were wearing the one set of street clothes each that Raven and Starfire had brought for them. They had been
travelling all day and the outfits were definitely worse for wear.
“Hey kids, this is it. Stately Wayne Manor. We made it!” Freya smiled down at the children she was caring for. She squeezed Lupa’s hand and ruffled Spirit’s hair.
“Do you really think he’ll help us?” asked Cam, sleepily, rubbing her eyes.
“Well, he has a reputation as a philanthropist. I hope it’s not exaggerated.” She shrugged. “We’ll just have to wait and see. But don’t worry, if we can’t get help here, we’ll figure something else
out.” She stepped forward and pressed the intercom beside the gate. “Hello? May I speak to Mister Wayne?”
“Hallo?” A voice replied. “Who is this?”
“My name is… Freya. I’m here with my kids. We’ve heard about Mister Wayne. That he helps people… people like us. My kids need help.”
“What do you mean ‘People like you’?” asked the voice.
“We are… different. Like the ones you call meta-humans. We, we didn’t know where else to go. We heard that he, Mister Wayne, helps people like us. A hero called Robin told us. He said Mister Wayne
had set up a school and orphanage for these meta-humans. My kids need somewhere safe to go.”
“I suppose you’d better all come inside.” Alfred told them. For it was he, Bruce Wayne’s Butler and confidant. A buzzer sounded and the gates swung ponderously open.
The small ragtag group stumbled slowly up the long drive. Freya scooped Lupa into her arms and settled Spirit onto her back. They were the youngest of the group and were very tired. They trudged up
to the door. A man stood in the open doorway. Alfred. He was a true stereotype, a Jeeves in living colour. He stepped out to meet them on the porch of the enormous manor.
“My name is Alfred.” He told them. “I am Mister Wayne’s butler. Please follow me into the parlour.” Gaining an audience had been easier then Freya had expected. This put her on her guard instantly.
She signalled the children with a small hand gesture from a language they’d developed together in the lab. She felt them tense up and felt bad for making them uneasy, but better overprotective then
dead. Alfred’s eyes softened as he surveyed the scared children, but otherwise his staunch demeanour remained unchanged. He felt sympathy and pity as he watched them stare at the finery around
“Can I offer you some refreshment?” Alfred asked with a smile. “Mister Wayne shouldn’t be long.” The children looked up to the teenager they’d made their surrogate mother for guidance. She inclined
her head slightly.
“Yes please.” Leo barely whispered. “We’re so very thirsty.” Alfred left them there, standing in a huddle at the centre of the parlour to fetch the drinks and snacks. You had to hand it to him;
Alfred was really taking the appearance of several mutant children in his stride. Soon after, he returned with a tray and was followed in by a tall, strong-looking man with dark hair.
“Master Bruce, these are the children I spoke of.” Alfred set the tray on the small coffee table as Bruce sat down in a small armchair. The children looked to Freya again for guidance. She
hesitated before picking a glass of juice for herself. The children followed suit, gulping down the sweet liquid.
“Please, make yourselves at home.” Bruce told them. Freya sat bolt upright on the age of the small sofa opposite, hands clasped primly in her lap. Her children huddled close, Lupa climbing up onto
“Mister Wayne.” Elf began. “My name is Freya. We’ve come here for your help. My kids have lived their entire lives in a mad scientist’s lab. Yes, I know how it sounds. Far fetched, but please
listen. Hear me out. He created them. He was a terrible man. I was only there for about a year, but I know that. We got loose a couple of days ago with the help of a team of heroes called the Teen
Titans. They saved us. For myself I ask nothing, but these children need somewhere safe to grow up. I might not be able to care for them forever. I can take care of myself. I have work to do. But
they need someone to raise them.”
“You want me to…” Bruce looked taken aback.
“No! No. I meant that… Robin told us that you’d set up this place, part school, part orphanage, for meta-humans. I know that we don’t exactly qualify, but they need somewhere safe to go.” She
squeezed Lupa who was nodding off on her knee.
“Is that all?” Bruce smiled. “Of course! That is easily sorted. The children shall be given places at the school immediately. As for tonight, you shall stay here.”Freya stared. Was this too easy?
But the children were tired and needed hope. So she pasted on a big smile and went with the flow.
“Thank you!”She exclaimed.The children echoed the sentiment, except for Lupa who was well and truly asleep.
Alfred showed them upstairs. There was plenty of room for them all. Freya tucked in the kids, kissing each one goodnight. She made a good little mother.
“Freya?” Hawk asked as she pulled his covers up over him.
“We’re safe here right?”
“You’re always safe with me and Mr Wayne seems to be on the level. I’m not going to let anything hurt you guys ever again.” He smiled and reached up to hug her. He always tried to be so strong and
hard. It was good to see him be a kid.
The room Freya was given had some old clothes and things in it.
“This was Master Dick’s room.” Alfred explained. “He’s away at the moment.” He left her there to get ready for bed. Shed found a familiar bird-a-rang in the bedside chest of drawers. Her surprise
was comical, but then she had a theory. And she smiled. Then she got changed into her super-suit, complete with mask, and headed downstairs. She needed to talk to her hosts.
Bruce and Alfred were deep in hushed conversation when she walked into the main parlour. They both went quiet to stare at her.
“Sirs, I need contact the Batman. I’m going to go out and find him. I need his help.” She told them.She smiled at the looks exchanged by the two men.
“Why do you need to find the Batman?” Bruce asked eventually. Freya considered, and then decided that if her theory was right, then she needed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
“I need to find allies. There is something, a dark creature, evil. It is coming and I am the only one who can stop it. But I need lots of help. I can draw power from my allies when I need to. But
before I can do that, I need to find these allies to help me; I need to…register them.” She smiled, knowing that this couldn’t make much sense to the two men. “I have to do this; I’m the only one
“Okay,” Bruce smiled. He watched the girl swing open the window, scorning the door.
“I shall wait up for you, Mistress Freya.” Alfred told her.
“Call me Elf.” She replied as she climbed up onto the window sill and out into the night.
She had been searching the city for about half an hour, following alarms and sirens. She had gotten lost almost instantly. It had been a while since she’d been in Gotham. It was getting late and
she couldn’t find him. Maybe she was wrong in her suspicions. Maybe the Bat had decided to take a night off. Then she saw the light shining in the sky, a bat outlined on a searchlight. She flew,
literally, towards it as fast as she could. Then she looked down and saw a bank being robbed below her, the alarms blaring. This must be where the commissioner wanted Batman to go. There were
unconscious cops outside. She flew down to get a better look. A strange little man in a top hat with a long pointed nose was down there directing birds flying in and out of the vault.They were
carrying the money out in bags and loading it into a penguin car. She had to laugh. He looked up as he heard her. And actually quacked.
“Okaaaaay. Seriously? Trained birds?” she asked.
“Who the hell are you?” Penguin said, pointing at her with his umbrella.
“She’s with me.” A smooth voice came from the shadows and a costumed man materialised from the darkness.
“Ah, Batsy,” Penguin cried. “Training up a new sidekick?” Together Batman and Elf swooped down on the bird crime lord. They fought fast and hard, the two heroes working completely in tandem. He was
down and the money restored to its rightful owner in a matter of minutes. The police members were awake, dazed but healthy. They arrested the Penguin and had him safely on his way back to Arkham
“I hear you’ve been looking for me.” Batman said as they watched the blue and white cars receding into the distance.
“Yeah, is there somewhere we can go to talk?”He led her to a church rooftop and they perched among the Gargoyles. Elf took a deep breath and launched into her story.
“….so, I need to find as many allies as possible I can and as soon as I can.”She finished.
“Well, you’re on the right track. Robin sent you to me and I can send you on to my other allies and they can call in theirs and so on.”
“So, you’ll help?”
“Of course!” Batman looked at her incredulously as though the idea of not helping her had never occurred to him. Just then, there was a beeping from the vicinity of Batman’s utility belt. He
checked a device labelled ‘Police Communication Radio’. It had a flashing red light on it. He pressed a button.
“Batman, come in.” a static filled voice came through.
“Batman, its Commissioner Gordon. There’s been a breakout from Arkham. It’s the Joker.
“Don’t worry, Commissioner, I’m on my way. Batman out.”
“Need some help?” Elf asked with a grin.
“No, I can deal with the Joker. Anyway, you must be tired. Why don’t you head back to where you’re staying? I’ll call some friends and get a message to you tomorrow.”
“Okay. But… where exactly is Wayne Manor from here?” she replied sheepishly.
Morning. The sun rose bright, banishing darkness and bringing hope.When Elf awoke, she found a fresh, clean, new outfit on the end of her bed. The kids found outfits likewise. Freya pulled on black
jeans, a dark green t-shirt, green vine decorated converses and a short, black leather jacket. She pulled her hair back into an efficient pony tail, high on her head, and headed down into the main
house. She met the kids down in the dining room. They were all dressed in their new outfits and smiles shone from their faces. Well, nearly all of them…
“Alright, who’s the wise guy?” the green skinned youngster stormed into the room looking murderous.
“Cammy, you look very pretty, sweetheart.”Freya smiled at the girl.
“But Freya, its pink!” she said pulling on the pale knee length dress.
“I know. And it suits you. I suggest that you thank the nice gentleman for giving you such a generous gift.” Her voice contained steel. The gentleman in question was Alfred. He was in the room
putting breakfast things down on the large table.
“Thank you, Mister Alfred.” Cammy said sullenly.
“Thank you, Mister Alfred.” The others echoed, more sincerely, except Lupa (of course) who ran over and hugged the kindly butler.
“You’re very welcome, I’m sure.” He replied, stroking Lupa’s downy hair. Bruce came in, smiling at the scene before him.
“Batman asked me to pass on a message to you. The Flash, Superman, Green Lantern and the Man-hunter from Mars are all on their way. They will meet you at Police Headquarters later this afternoon.
Static, Green Arrow, Hawk-man and a few others will be here tomorrow.” He said.
“They’re all coming here? Cool! I thought I’d have to go halfway around the known world, tracking them all down.”
“In the meantime, let’s see to the kids.” Silence greeted this statement for several moments, then Elf pasted a brave smile across her face.
“Of course. We need to get them somewhere safe.” She smiled.
“Freya,” Leo spoke up. “We’ve been talking and…”
“We don’t want to go!” Hawk continued.
“Don’t make us.” Angel spoke up. Soon they were all clamouring, begging to stay with the woman they’d made their mother. Lupa wrapped herself around Freya and Spirit clutched at her hand.
“Look kids, I know it’s scary, but it’s the best thing for you.” Freya replied.
“It’s not that!” Angel interrupted.
“Yeah, we’re not scared!” Cam added scornfully.
“Well, what’s up then?” Freya asked.
“We don’t want to be left behind.” Spirit said quietly.
“We can help. Don’t leave us.” Leo added. Freya felt like her heart was breaking. She loved her kids, she really did, and she was trying to keep them safe and give them the kind of childhood they
deserved, but they felt abandoned. How could she make them happy and keep them safe? She sat down on a nearby dining chair.
“I get that, really. But if you guys are along, and I’m fighting? I’m just going to be worrying about you. Do you think I want to leave you? Do you? It would be selfish of me to keep you kids with
me when you have a chance at a better life. When being with me could get you killed?” “The kids shook their heads sadly. “And there’ll be there, kids like you and grownups who will take good care
of you. It’s not like its forever. We’ll see each other again.” She pulled Lupa and Spirit onto her lap and soon they were all hugging Freya tightly.
“It’s a good place, I make sure of that.” Bruce said. “And if you really hate it then we’ll find somewhere else.”
The orphanage / school was better then most. It was a large building, several stories tall. It was clean, well furbished, not overly crowded. Donations from the Wayne Foundation saw to that.It was
also well staffed and Bruce wasn’t above giving surprise inspections and removing anyone or thing that didn’t meet his high standards. The children were immediately given places. There were several
orphaned mutants living there, not to mention the many meta-human children who were live in students at the school. The bottom 3 floors of the building were classrooms, the fourth was devoted to
fun and games and there was a large outdoor area for sports and a play park. The remaining floors were living areas; dormitories, bathrooms, study rooms, and eating rooms.There were many tears. The
children didn’t want to be left behind, but they understood. And the school was fancy, comfortable. They didn’t feel unusual there. There were loads of kids like them, in all shapes, sizes and
ages. It was hard for Freya to let go. She kept hugging them and touching their hair. She kept squeezing the children’s hands. They were all she had. They only ones she really felt close to.
Then she had to leave them. Bruce stayed behind with Alfred to make sure the children got the best care and to talk to the staff about funding. She changed discreetly into her super-suit and flew
out towards Police Headquarters. She wiped the tears from her eyes as she flew. She knew it was for the best, at least, her head knew, but her heart found it hard to let go. And what if they didn’t
like it there? What if the other kids were mean to them? What if she never saw them again? She flew faster and faster, relishing the cool air on her skin, her hair flying around her face in a blond
halo. The sky was a pure, pale blue, with a few white, cotton-candy clouds speckling the horizon. Elf closed her eyes and went inside herself. Her kids were safe, that’s all that mattered. She
relaxed, and felt truly at peace, more calm than she had felt in a long time. She didn’t have to worry about her children, she had allies and was on the way to get more, and she actually felt as
though she had a real chance at beating Him. The darkness in the void. On such a beautiful day, what could go wrong?
She was only a 6 or 7 blocks short of the rendezvous point when they appeared. She had only seen them briefly before, in the Void. They were His minions, creatures of metal and fire. Slaves of the
evil she had sworn to fight. There were three of them, two in front on either side and one approaching from behind. They could have beaten her easily if they’d all attacked at once in a
co-ordinated attack, pressing their advantage. Instead, the one to the left attacked with a blow to her face whilst the others stood by. She managed to block the punch and then slammed a spinning
kick into its head. It faltered and fell back. Elf spun to face the other two, as she turned, they both charged and she let loose with a jet of water from each palm as they both sent white hot
bolts of metal at her head. She dodged. The water cools them, putting out their fire, cooling their metal.The one on her right aimed a backhand smack to her face. She narrowly avoided it but the
one on the right came back with a savage kick to her stomach. Then suddenly, when she was winded, they all moved in together. The two before her grabbed her by her forearms, their arms turning to
manacles. She struggled, kicking her legs up and calling on the elements, dowsing them, burning them, but they were unmoving. Then, there was the cold touch of metal at her throat. She’d forgotten
about the third minion. She went still as the metal reshaped itself to her neck. Her eyes go wide and she panics, thrashing widely, but their hold is too strong. She can’t break free. The one on
her right arm, uses it’s other arm to grip her left arm as well, just above the others hand. This one (leftie) releases her arm, leaving that to the other and drops down to grasp her about both
ankles, locking them in place. She looks down. They are so high.
“P-p-p-please! Please, you don’t have to do this. Just, just let me go.” She begs. If they just dropped her she could fly free. She looks down again. Hope strikes her. A red and yellow blur is
approaching from the way she’d been heading. It rushes down the street towards them, far below.
“HELP!” she screams, and amazingly, the blur stopped, just past them. It backs up till it’s directly below her and it halts, resolving itself into a man, dressed in red with a yellow thunderbolt
across his chest. He stared up at her and her captors, a look of worry and shock on his face. The minion behind here raised its left hand, its right still firmly around her throat, and reshaped it
into a shining blade, the end of it shining with some kind of black venom. It pierced her shoulder, sending tendrils of fire through her.
“AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!” She screamed and then fell into a dead faint. The minions released her and she fell through the air, faster and faster, hurtling towards the ground
below. The Flash (for he was the blur below) gasped, but didn’t freeze. He charged in a fast circle, around and around, creating a tornado effect. It pulled her down to him. He kept going until she
landed, safe, in his waiting arms. She let out a small moan as he jostled her injury and then went quiet. He looked up at the minions, fearing an attack, but they vanished, returning, their mission
accomplished, to the void. Blood poured, slick on his hands, fresh from her wound, staining the costume. He looked down at her mask covered face, and smiled. The little of her face he could see was
already pale from blood loss. He was torn. Should he tell the other heroes that their rendezvous would have to be delayed or should he just run straight to the hospital with the girl? She moved
slightly in his arms and he decided to dash and tell them before he took her to the hospital. He didn’t want Superman running all over town looking for both him and the girl they were supposed to
He dashed to the meeting point.
“Guys!” he yelled as he approached. He was beside his fellow heroes in an instant.
“What happened?” Green Lantern asked, surprised.
“She was attacked. That was why she was late meeting us. There were these metal things. Three of them.” Flash told them “I’m getting her to the hospital. Call Bats.” And with that he was off and
running in the other direction.
“What hospital?” Superman called after him.
“St Mary’s!” Flashes voice came back.
Bruce and Alfred had headed back to the Manor, shortly after Freya had left. The kids were settling in nicely at the school. They were around people like them. They were safe and didn’t feel like
they were freaks. There were kids from all different walks of life and social statuses. Spirit and Lupa wouldn’t release each others hands. They were shy. Cam had already got into a fight with the
school bully over a green, well-muscled girl wearing a frilly pink dress. Leo
had found a cut part tiger girl to pal around with and Hawk and Angel had shown off their wing span with a display of aerial acrobatics. And they’d only been there slightly over an hour! The adults
were all understanding and very kind. Keenan was their floor boss. He was in charge of the dormitories on the 7th floor which is where they had been given beds. He was 15 and he could stretch and
shape his body. He was a nice guy, getting them all beds on his floor, the girls together in one half and the boys together in the other. Spirit had explained Lupa’s inability to speak and Keenan
had made it so they were in the same lessons and chore sections. He had put aside time the next day to personally take them shopping, with an adult chaperone, for clothes, toiletries and everything
else that they could need. He was a good guy, Keenan. So, when he called them all into the small, single room he got as floor boss, they were happy to go.
“I just got a call,” he told them as he swung the door closed. “It was from Bruce Wayne. Maybe you should sit down,” he motioned to the bed. “The young woman who came in with you, Freya?” He
“What about her?” Cam asked in her trademark blunt way.
“She’s been injured and rushed to hospital.”
The Flash burst into the lobby at St Mary’s Hospital, Elf still cradled protectively in his arms. She was burning up and shivering violently.
“Uh…little help here?” Flash asked, typically laconic. He was immediately surrounded by several doctors and nurses. An orderly wheeled up a gurney. Many patients and visitors had whipped out their
cell phones and had begun to film. (They shouldn’t even have had them on in the hospital). Flash surrendered his bleeding burden onto the stretcher but refused to leave her side, following them
into recuss. One nurse cut away the shoulder of the super-suit to reveal the injury below. It was still flowing sluggishly and dark red striations radiated away from it. The other nurses fired
questions at him: how old was she? How was she injured? What was the weapon? Did he know what poison the blade was dipped in?
“P-poison?” Flash was taken aback. “No I ….” A nurse started to remove the elaborate masquerade mask the girl was wearing. “Stop! The mask stays on!” his tone was so fierce that the nurse
immediately dropped the straps and backed away.
“If we don’t know what she was poisoned with then we don’t know how to treat her. We’re limited in what we can do.” A doctor told him.
“What are you saying?”
“That it’s up to her. If we can’t find the right antidote then… there is a good chance she’ll die. She has to fight.
Will Freya survive? Will her quest for allies be in vain? Will the evil in the dark be freed forever? Tune in for ‘part three: into the darkness’ to find out!
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