“Jeez, that took longer than I thought it’d take,” Flash says as he stretches. He thinks that he might have frostbite on his chin, but he refrains from saying anything because his chin. Also because he’s surrounded by Earth’s mightiest superheroes and complaining about frostbite just doesn’t seem like a manly thing to do. Instead, he says; “time to get back to the kids.”
From the corner of his eyes, he sees Green Arrow give a long suffering sigh. Whatever that’s been going on between him and Speedy had just boiled over metaphorically today and everyone knows it. It might even be in the papers.
“Since when did you have kids?” Green Lantern—John Stewart—asks, his tone light and teasing. “Tell me they’re not all like you.”
“Ha, ha,” Flash says. “Wally’s at the Hall, along with the rest of the boys.”
“Uh, the rest of who?”
Flash looks over at the other Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. He’s at the Watchtower’s command center with one of the security screens blown up for everyone to see. It’s the Hall of Justice, all it’s rooms and even the janitor’s closet on the screen and it’s devoid of any teenaged superheroes.
“What?” Batman growls, appearing out of nowhere.
“They wouldn’t just leave!” Flash says and sends Green Arrow a guilty look, which the archer returns with a tight smile. He switches his com-link on to connect with the subchannel that the kids were on. There’s no response; in fact, there isn’t even static, meaning that they’re out of range.
“Beam us down,” Aquaman says, getting onto the telepad. He has a pinched look on his face, making him look like he’s eating something sour. Flash wisely doesn’t comment and joins him and Batman on the pad.
There’s a flash of light and they’re back at the Hall. True enough, there’s no one around to be seen and the sun has nearly set, thanks to their collaborative efforts to not let the villains blot out the sun. Flash zips through every room in the Hall, including ones that he knows the kids don’t have access to, but like the security cameras had confirmed, they weren’t there. They weren’t anywhere. He tries the com-link again, just to be sure, but again, no response. Just the dead silence that comes from being out of range.
When he returns, Batman’s glaring so hard at the computer that his eyes are just slits through the cowl.
“What’s up?” Flash asks just as several other members of the League pops through the teleporter.
“Is everything alright?” Superman asks, stepping forward in all his blue and red glory. Flash looks around discreetly, hoping the appearance of the one and only Superman would bring the kids out of hiding, but of course, they don’t show up.
Batman doesn’t even spare them a glance as he begins to type rapidly on the computer. Several windows pop up all with the heading CADMUS ALR on them, and Flash raises an eyebrow. “Wait, isn’t that what Superman called about before the sun thing?”
A little Robin face pops up on the computer, laughing maniacally on loop.
Batman deletes it. No one makes a comment about it.
“Isn’t Cadmus just a lab?” Aquaman asks, eyes narrow in suspicious as he looks at Batman. Flash is staring at Batman too, because there’s something the Dark Knight isn’t telling them about Cadmus. The kids may not be older and wiser like their mentors, but they’re not incompetent either. Putting out a fire shouldn’t take so long.
“You guys gave them the com-links, right?” Green Arrow asks. “Can’t you just, you know, track them?”
Batman touches his com-link. “J’onn,” he practically grounds out. “I need you to get a read on the new com-links.”
There’s static and a pause as the Martian’s deep voice speaks into all their ears. “Negative, Batman. I can give you the location they were last active.”
“Do it,” Batman snaps and a new window shows up on the computer.
“So they’re at Cadmus,” Superman says, looking at the map. “Maybe they switched off their com-links. They’re still young and if it were me, I wouldn’t be sitting around doing nothing while everyone else went to save the world. I don’t understand why you’re so worried.”
“Cadmus is doing something; they’ve been disposing more chemical wastes than a lab like theirs is able to produce. And there’s rumors about it having an underground,” Batman pauses. “Our com-links don’t work underground after a certain distance.”
“Oh,” Flash says as the implication dawns on him. “Oh. That’s not good, is it?”
Batman heaves an almost imperceptible sigh and the lines around his mouth tightens. “Supposing they left the same time we did, it’s been over four hours. They’re either trying to get out or they can’t get out.”
Someone laughs and Flash looks up to see Hawkman and Hawkwoman flutter in the air. “They must be the luckiest boys on Earth to have us as back-up,” Hawkwoman says, a wry grin on her face. “Come on, let’s go already. Daylight’s wasting.”
Flash scans the room and realizes most of the League is there, watching the drama unfold. Busybodies, the lot of them. He rolls his eyes and turns to Batman, who’s taken charge of the situation. “We need people that can get into the lower floors quickly,” he says, voice serious. “Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash are our priorities. There may be retaliation. J’onn, I want you to come with us.”
The Martian appears almost instantaneously and joins the rest of the League in the Hall. If there’s one person in the League that can probably find the kids fastest, it’s J’onn.
“Right,” Superman says. “Let’s go.”
Before anyone says anything, he’s flying out of the Hall.
Flash is about to follow when he feels the ground beneath him move and he, Aquaman, and Batman are being lifted into the air by John’s ring. Green Arrow and Black Canary both hop on for a ride. “What,” Batman grounds out, his com-link open for all to hear. “Do you think you’re all doing?”
“And miss seeing you guys try to be dads around the kids?” Wonder Woman laughs. “No way.”