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Open Arms

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"Ah haha!" Diana laughed as she dodged around Metropolis' skyscrapers on the back of a giant bright green flying stingray that was intent on devouring the planet atop the Daily Planet. There were over a dozen of these giant aliens criss-crossing through the city. The slightly smaller rays,which glowed deep purple, were fascinated by the dome of City Hall.

Diana pulled up on the left wing and helped the creature miss one of the pointier architectural pieces of a passing skyscraper. Even though it was an alien destroy the city, she did not want the creature impaled. The stingray let out a deep moan.

"You should learn not to fly so close to a city if you don't want to be manhandled!" she shouted.

It moaned again in protest and rolled. Diana tumbled through the air and took a moment to right herself before she gave chase after the creature. She grabbed its long barbed tail and pulled. The stingray's color rippled and changed to a bright orange, but it refused to give in. It dragged Diana through the air, and when she finally gained purchase on the next low roof top they began a tug of war for dominance. She pulled and pulled and finally, after a long struggle, flipped the moaning giant over her head. It landed with a huge crash on the roof behind her.

"Now," she panted. "I tried to be polite. But," and she stepped on the ray's underbelly to keep it from rising up again, "you insisted on doing this the hard way. I would much prefer to negotiate. Do you have a reason for invading this world?" The alien wiggled and moaned under Diana's foot but stayed put. " that two for yes and one for no?"

Batman flew by in his jet, dragging a part of the City Hall Dome behind him. The other dozen rays followed in hot pursuit. Diana glared.

"Show off," she muttered.


"It would have been much quicker--"


"Bruce, I wish you would at least think about it," Clark started again.

"No," Bruce repeated.

"I beat you here," Clark teased. He smiled at Bruce's back. Even the Batman's cape seemed to twitch in annoyance as he ascended the steps leading into one of the many open air buildings on Themyscira. "Bruce, you really are--" Clark bumped into Bruce's back. The caped crusader had stopped at the top of the steps very suddenly. "--what--?"

Diana sat in an immense submerged pool with several other Amazons. They were all laughing and talking, enjoying the heat of the water. One Amazon pulled herself out of the pool, did a little shimmy, and jumped in again, sending water everywhere. Clark focused on water now lapping at his boots.

When she finally noticed the new arrivals, Diana's smile brightened. "Kal! Bruce!" She rose partially out of the water, absently tying her long mane of wet hair into a knot on the back of her head.

Clark turned scarlet. Bruce kept his eyes directed at the back wall.

"What are you doing here?" Diana asked. She waded her way across the pool toward them, the other Amazons slipping away, almost out of earshot. "Is there some sort of emergency? Why didn't you--" she was already pulling herself out of the water.


"Please!" Both Clark and Bruce shouted at once.

Diana blinked and submerged back down to her chin. The other warriors openly laughed at the two men's discomfort. "Really, gentlemen. This is too much." Diana smirked and then began a back stroke to the other side of the pool. The Amazons began to laugh even louder. She turned her back and walked out of the shallow end.

"Diana..." Bruce started.

"This is my culture. We are comfortable with ourselves." One of the others brought Diana her robe which she slipped on without a fuss. "Now, to what do I owe this pleasant visit?"

"Do you remember the ray aliens that crash landed near Metropolis last month...?" Clark began.

"Since we helped their confused people return home without harm, they want to create diplomatic relations," Bruce finished.

They discussed the new mission that the aliens had requested Diana specifically for: meeting their ambassador the following week out beyond the Moon in what was perceived as neutral territory to discuss a hopeful alliance. Something that they hoped included someone that could speak English.

"She did that on purpose," Bruce told him as the descended the stairs back toward the Batplane.

Clark only continued to look sheepish, even after he had taken off and put several hundred miles between himself and Themyscira.



Diana squinted. "It is... very pink."

The giant space stingray (Mantas, as the global governments were calling them) floated gracefully through space toward the League's space station platform. It was also very, very bright pink.

"I feel like I've downed a whole bottle of pepto just looking at the thing," Guy Gardner muttered.

"Behave," Bruce told him under his breath.

When the Manta flew closer to the platform, a yellow globe that sat in the center of its forehead glowed in a flash of multiple colors. The globe appeared to be its translator. "We greet you with wings open in kindness and trust." The Manta did a flip in space, sending the platform back slightly with a brush of its tail.

Diana steadied herself and then opened her arms wide. "And we greet you with arms open in friendship. The people of Earth thank you for this--whoa!"

The Manta dived at the platform with its mouth wide open. It struck with its tail, battering about the station like a cat toy.

Batman remained at the controls, keeping the station pressurized, and the other three heroes tumbled out the airlock to engage. Superman grabbed the tail, the Green Lantern created a field between the Manta and the station, and Diana flew directly at the still glowing globe.

"Why did you make offers of friendship only to attack us?!"

"You will come," the creature intoned as flashes of green and blue light swirled across the globe.. The Manta itself started to change color, rippling into a swirl of blue starting from the tail.

"Come where? Stop trying to--"

The Manta lunged and swallowed Diana whole.

"Diana!" Clark let of the tail and flew at the creature's face. He landed punch after punch, sending the Manta flying through space. He could hear Bruce shouting at him in his ear, but he didn't care. "Diana!"

"You will come!" The Manta kept shouting through its translator.

"Release her!" Clark shouted and threw himself like a bullet against Manta's center. Its gaping maw was finally thrown open, and he could see Batman flying at full sped into the creature's mouth. He didn't hesitate: he flew in after them both.

And was stopped instantly by Diana throwing her arms around him. "Kal! It is a misunderstanding!"



Diana stood on the back of the great Manta that had flown them across space to the alien's homeworld. It was a heavily oxygen-rich world orbiting a yellow star, like Earth, but the chemical make up of the atmosphere caused the world to have a orange tint. The great Manta was flying her through the thick cloud cover, diving and swooping fast enough to even make her stomach roll. It was glorious.

"But why not explain yourself at first? I still don't understand," Diana asked yet again. "We would have come with you willingly, if you had asked. There was no need to take us against our will."

"We have. We will." The Manta told her again.

"If you weren't telepathic and I hadn't seen what you were trying to do, Kal could have--"

"He would not. He did not. He shall not."

The only conclusion they had reached was these aliens did not exist in time as they did. They saw in their future that Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman came to their world. So, they heroes would come to their world. There was no need to explain.

"But I still don't understand why we had to come here. I wish you would--"


The Manta broke through the cloud cover. Below them, floating atop an indigo sea against a sky slowly turning red with twilight, was the Manta's great city. It was a shimmering thing of curves, ovals, and colors. They did not believe in angles just as they did not believe that any thing should stay one color.

"Diana!" Clark flew by and Diana leapt off the Manta's wing to join him. They chased each other through the clouds and circled back down to the city.

"Ah, as it should," the Manta intoned.