Cyber Joke 40-1:Speculation and Explanation Picture

After dealing with the Shadow Puppet, Bruce made sure everything was back on track with the hydroplant. They did a cursory search and came up empty. Bruce contacted Jason and told him to do a more thorough search when he arrived and let him know if there are any anomalies.

That finished, Batman, J'onn, Zatanna and Arrow made their way back to the entrance of the plant They were greeted by Canary once they got outside. Vic and his mechanized avatar were left behind on standby, because they didn't want to alarm the workers.

Sara asked, “What happened? I lost my connection for a few minutes.”

Batman ignored her, moving at a determined and quick pace while deep in thought. Sara huffed a bit, but Oliver gave her a reply.

“I'll fill you in as we get back to the jet.”

“Okay. Whoa, what happened to your arm?” She asked noticing the blackened and frost bitten skin on his forearm.

“I'll be alright, it's all part of the story. I think Bats will fill us all in on board. For now, though, don't be surprised if I literally jump at my own shadow.”

Sara gave him an odd look, but kept silent as they made their way out and towards the waiting plane.

They boarded and took off immediately. Five in the back plus Vic's armored suit. J'onn was along for the ride this time until a destination was revealed. After reaching altitude, Bruce came through the cockpit door and removed his Bat Helmet, for lack of a better word. He no longer cared that Vic knew who he was.

“Okay. We have forty five minutes to our destination and the jet's on autopilot. I want Zatanna to start this off and explain again what that creature was.”

“Creature!” Sara and Vic exclaimed simultaneously. Then Vic let is jaw drop and spoke up. “Hey! Your Bruce wayne!”

“Yup! Now ya know. Let's move on. Zatanna?”

Vic noticed that no one else was surprised so he sat in silence. Zatanna took it from there. “Yes. It seems the “person” who has been Lavinia Bryce's liaison between Bruce's company and any other dealings has been a Shadow Puppet. This means that this being and its controller has been behind some of this for at least...what, Bruce? Say two and a half years?”

“Close enough.” Bruce agreed.

“In short, a Shadow Puppet is essentially a wraith under the control of another. At least a wizard or sorcerer and usually used by more powerful beings such as underworld gods that are part of the so called Greek pantheon that is associated with Diana's Amazons.”

“A wraith?” Sara chimed in.

“Yes.” Zatanna answered. “A wraith is a soul, spirit or energy, depending on your religious or philosophical viewpoint, of someone or something dead. A wraith by our magician's definition is inherently evil and is attracted to and yet, hates the living. The lords of the Underworld, such as Hades, keeps such things in check, but also uses them as spies and servants. Wraiths are not the only tool used by such powers. There are numerous nasties out there to choose from.”

Vic spoke up, looking healthier as his skin was noticeably getting darker. “Really? Hades, the underworld? That stuff is just old myth and fantasy.”

“As are wizards, sorcerers, talking robots, cyborgs and green men from Mars, yet here sit three of what I just mentioned.” Bruce cut in.

Vic backed down and made a face of acceptance. “Point taken.”

Zatanna continued. “You don't have to view Hell or Hades or any place of mythology like our ancient ancestors did. These are places where alien beings and powers live that are places or dimensions outside of our own time and reality. They are all connected and rely on that connection to exist, but it's not like they are places underground or high in the sky on mountaintops. Mostly.”

J'onn added in. “Time and space are malleable as are the walls that divide our time and space with those of these other universal dimensions. Thus the stories of heroes journeys to the underworld that return and prophets meeting with the spirits in timeless lands.”

“What do they want here? With us?” Oliver asked.

“One never knows.” Zatanna said. “Our basic understanding is that beings such as the so called Greek Gods need the life energies of this side of the veil to be able to exist. In ages past, they wielded more power and influence here on Earth when they had many worshipers. Something about that adds to their power. But that can't be their only source of power or they would be gone from this part of the Universe. We all know, as Vic said, no one believes in the Greek gods or any type of ancient mythological being anymore.

It is likely that elsewhere in the Universe in other galaxies, they may wield more power and that is enough to allow them to still interact with humans here. Only recently as modern science advances alongside the hidden and arcane arts I practice, has more understanding developed.”

“I'm sorry, but you're losing me a bit here.” Sara said. “What does this have to do with what's happening now?”

Bruce took up the explanation. “We just fought one of those wraiths and J'onn was able to look back and see it's master's face. From J'onn's description and knowing Diana, it sounds like Hades is helping Dr. Cyber aka Scorn.”

“Okay. I'll accept that at face value and ask why?” Vic said.

Zatanna said, “Good question.” And turned back to Bruce. “But I believe our fearless leader has some idea.”

Bruce sat silent for a moment staring at the floor before speaking. “There's not enough information to know for sure what Cyber's plans are, but the manacles are a big clue. For now, it seems Cyber needs to keep Diana's spirit intact so that she can access Diana's powers. But over time that will no longer be necessary as Diana grows weaker and her self fades away. Or is that how it will happen?”

“We don't really know. Nothing like this has ever happened before.” Zatanna said.

“Exactly. Julia knows that the dominant personality will win over the lesser one in a normal human, but they never really got to experiment in such a way on an Amazon, let alone someone like Diana whose mother is an Amazon and father is one of the so called gods, Zeus in this case.”

“Hmm. True, but where are you going with this?” Zatanna pressed.

“Scorn or Cyber, whatever you want to call her, is wearing a head device that was created by science, yet contains magic, to suppress Diana's spirit, yet allow access to that which makes Diana who she is. I don't think she can ever get rid of Diana's spirit if she wants to keep her powers unless one of those so called divine beings intervenes.”

Hades.” Zatanna said. “Hades is Diana's uncle in a sense, since he is considered a brother of Zeus along with Poseidon. So you think he can grant Scorn, Diana's powers? Why would he do that and what about the Manacles of Hephaestus you mentioned.”

“Scorn needs an army before she can make her machine army that Julia alluded to. She is making some kind of deal with Hades to make this happen.”

“C'mon Bruce!” Zatanna exclaimed. “Spit it out. You have an idea, let's hear it. Ludicrous is not a word used around here. Look at us.” She said as she swept her hand around the cargo bay.


Some characters owned by DC Comics. Original story arc by me.

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