Redbird’s arms folded across her chest. “We really don’t have time for this. We need to find out what happened to the League. There are probably about a thousand emergencies going on right now that we need to be handling and you all are sight seeing?”
“Probably?” Artemis was halfway through the trophy room when she looked back over her shoulder.”That’s a safe bet. But there’s no sense in going in half cocked.” She looked up at the pedestal bearing a glass case full of old skeleton keys. “We’re not going to solve this with half a quiver and belt of batarangs.”
“Yeah, cause Captain Cold’s gun is going to be so much more help.” Redbird grumbled. The Scarlet Squire wound through the collected trophies. “We don’t even know who else is out there.”
Aftemis stepped back from the display. “Don’t take Cold’s tools for granted,” she said slowly making her way across the room. “They don’t take on the League because they’re stupid.” She let a little laugh fall. “Well…”
It was impossible not to be impressed by the majesty of it all. It was more than that, though. She stopped, staring at the cold, lifeless pieces of Amazo. The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end as she was reminded of how daunting it would be to tackle any one of these.
“And that’s just the thing,” Redbird said as she walked around a hologram of the original League fighting Starro, “we need to get organized. We don’t know who else was taken. We don’t know if it covered heroes and villains.”
“Well, we know cops were taken too remember?” Artemis cocked her head to the side.
“True. So if it took heroes, all heroes,” Redbird picked up the Key’s Neural Shock Rifle, “Then why not us?”
The Archer shrugged her slender shoulders. “Not the time to look that gift horse in the mouth.” She pressed herself on, finding the doorway to the armory already open. “We’re here, we step up to the plate till we’re not.”
“Not saying we don’t,” Redbird walked past Artemis and into the armory, “What I’m saying is, maybe we should put feelers out see if anyone else is out there. Try to start figuring out what happened and how we can reverse it.”
“We’re on the same page for once, Red.” Artemis scanned the shelves ahead, “Trust me-“
She cut her self short, noticing the quiet, eerily devoid of a certain charmingly smart mouth. She turned aroun. “Where is the boy? Goddamnit…” She cupped her mouth. “GARRETT?”
“POLO!” The girls could hear the annoying playful grin in his voice.
A sigh filtered through tightly clamped jaws. “You want to drag your pajama’d ass over here?” She paused a moment before adding with a mutter, “before you break something…”
“That is an awful foul word for such a pretty mouth!” His voice was coming from a definite left-ward location. ‘”I’ve found something far more interesting than a ray gun or a bat-a-thingie!”
“Dumbass prolly found some sort of giant world ending weapon and is about to press the button.”She rolled her eyes as she grabbed Artemis by the wrist. “You have the super hearing lead us to him before he makes things worse.”
“Yeah, yeah…” Artemis headed back into the trophy room, not sure which of the two she was going to strangle first.
They ducked /from aisle to aisle looking for the blue tipped boy. “There he is.” Or at least half of him. Garrett Daniels was hunched over one of the trophy platforms, obscured by a large replica of Darkseid that bore a helm that was far from faux. With that standing there she worried just what he had gotten his hands on.
Garrett’s body disappeared and a very familiar red robotic head popped up over the shoulder of the monster, worn on the boy’s hand like a very detailed hand puppet. His voice was distorted in a high pitched mockery of a children’s show character. “Pay no mind to the man behind the Darksied!”
Artemis palmed her face. “God, kill me now.”
“What the hell is the matter with you?” Redbird growled through gritted teeth. “The whole world is in danger and you are playing with dolls?”
The head bobbled as the boy spoke as if the words were coming from the puppet.. “Is she serious? Does she not know what I am? I am the great and powerful Oz… I mean Red Tornado!”
“Seriously, Daniels.” She stepped to the side and looked up at him. “Get down or I will turn you into from a real boy into a puppet.”
“So both of you want a heart hmn?” His flipflops hit the hard floor, his hands carefully holding his puppet. “Maybe brains, I thought you both would be pleased to see what I have here.”
He held the head up and talked with his puppet voice again. “Hi, my name is Red Tornado, I am the closest thing to an adult hero you guys have right about now and the mechanical genius can bring me back to Kansas.”
The teen huntress stepped close, her white eyes narrowing sharply. “Red Tornado is not a toy…”
“No,” He dropped his playful voice and looked at the girls with surprise that they weren’t making the connection. ‘”He is a machine I can fix and h e l p u s.” He said the last two words slowly as if he were trying to speak to someone with limited understanding of English. “Catch my drift, Christmas chicks?”
Redbird’s hand jerked down toward her tonfa holster. Her eyes narrowed for a moment and then she spoke. “You can fix him for sure?”
“Yes. I can fix anything.” His easy playful nature returned. “From a remote control to-“
“The element of air breathed into a living machine,” she said taking the head from Garret. She looked down at Red Tornado’s head, her thumb gently brushing along the a scorch mark in his crimson skull. “He’s not a toy,” she repeated, with less ice this time. Her eyes rose, and she held the skull against the young man’s chest as she looked him straight on. “He fell saving the world. Treat him with respect.”
He smiled down at the little archer, a bit more genuine than they were used to from him in their short time together. “I built a transporter and made it here without any horrific accident. I promise, I will figure him out. We need him. The world needs him right now.” His ‘we’ told the girls that he was in it for more than his own ends.
His hands closed on either side of the head, taking the heavy metal weight from her and looked between the two. “I’ll give him the care he deserves.”
Redbird eyed the boy and then turned to Artemis. “If he could get him to work, Tornado might actually be able to help us.”
She nodded. “And we need all the help we can-“
Artemis was cut short as the lights above them flashed red. The Watchtower’s address system sounded with a priority alert. All three heads rose, as if the flashing lights would tell them something. All it told her was they needed to get back to the monitor womb.
“You were saying?” The boy was wearing that confident smirk that was becoming rather familiar.
The archer looked to Redbird. “That mean’s somebody’s out there.”
The blonde nodded at the archer then turned to Rett, “You get him working if you can.” She turned back to Artemis. “Come on, we need to get some answers.”