Dave Rogers took a brief respite from hacking away at the overgrown Vietnamese understory to swat away yet another annoying mosquito which had decided the tired archaeologist would make a tempting lunch. Stopping to catch his breath, he reached round into his back and pulled out a crumpled yellowing piece of paper, his ‘treasure’ map. Of course it wasn’t the original, which had been carved on the wall of a small temple he’d excavated in Cambodia back in the late 70s, but if he’d finally managed to get the translations right it could lead him to the payday he’d been looking for to finally claw his way out of this dreary career he’d managed to fall into.
It was night time when he finally reached his destination. He had been about to give up hope and set up a camp for the night when the dense tangle of bushes had finally opened out into something he could only describe as a clearing, although the dense jungle canopy above the temple before him only allowed the minimum of light through. Dave felt slightly more vindicated in his decision to cut his way across country, he wouldn’t have been able to fly or drive in even if could afford it. Besides, forgoing as local guide meant more money for him when he finally claimed his prize.
His exhaustion was forgotten as a wave of adrenaline flowed through him at the thought of being so close to his goal. He shook his heavy pack off of his back and quickly grabbed the essentials he needed and left the remnants of his kit hidden in the shade of a nearby tree as he ran towards the great stone building, taking the steps up to its entrance two at a time.
The inside of the temple was incredibly dark. Dave stood there for a moment waiting for his eyes to adjust, but the already gloomy exterior meant there was little to no natural light entering through the door. He pulled out his flashlight and with a click turned it on and managed to wave the pale beam around the corridor once before it flickered out. Cursing his luck he quickly changed the batteries for spares, but every set he tried gave him the same results. Cursing the humidity which had clearly sapped all of the charge from his batteries he ventured back outside, and gathered up a hefty looking branch. Taking some lighter fluid out of his pack and ripping a strip of the blanket he’d brought with him and hastily constructed a makeshift torch, before venturing back inside.
The dull orange flickering light barely gave him enough light to see by but he pressed on regardless eager to claim the treasure that he had now decided was rightfully his. Carefully, he followed his set of written instructions for navigating labyrinth of passage ways which comprised the temple, his greed tempered by his sense of self preservation. It had taken Dave years to decipher all the writing, symbols and pictograms he’d found with the map and many of the images had depicted the terrible fates that could befall him should he stray onto the wrong path.
Eventually the maze of corridors opened up into a wide antechamber at, what he assumed was, the heart of the temple. The walls of the room where adorned with the same manner of text he’d found in the Cambodian temple, but he paid them no heed. Archaeological significance of the site be damned, he was here for one thing and one thing only. Pacing into the centre of the room he discovered what he had assumed to be three large columns supporting the ceiling were in fact just a series of giant thin pillars. As he continued to search the he began to realise something was wrong. The Cambodian writings had promised there would be a series of twenty five golden rings, each larger in size than the last, but as far as he could tell the was nothing of the sort here. Dave cursed his luck. It was just typical that someone would have gotten here before him and looted the rings at their leisure, breaking them down for money or selling the smaller items to collectors exactly as he planned to do.
Despondently, he picked a piece of loose masonry and hurled it down the one of the many corridors which branched off from the room. It was a surprisingly long time, possibly five seconds, before he heard the stone land with an uncharacteristic <i>plink</i>. Hurrying over to investigate this, he discovered the stone had landed in one of the temples booby-traps, albeit one that had already been sprung. Looking over the edge of the pit trap he couldn’t help but wince in sympathy at the poor desiccated soul who lay impaled on the spike lining the bottom. He was about to turn to leave when something gleamed and caught his eye. It was one of the rings. The dead man must have been carrying it when he sprung the trap. Carefully, he lowered himself down into the pit doing his best to avoid the same fate that had befallen his unexpected benefactor and hastily grabbed the ring before making his way back to the relative safety of the antechamber.
Sitting down with his back to one of the pillars he gave the ring a quick once over. It was defiantly gold and looked not unlike a doughnut or wedding ring, one with a hole in the middle the size of one of his records back home, and edged in a similar style of pictogram to those which adorned the temple. Idly he noticed the hole was roughly the same as the pillar he lent against. On a whim, he tossed the ring like Frisbee over the top of one of the columns. Due to more luck then skill it went on this first attempt and once it finished its gradual rattling descent to the bottom of the pillar an eerie glow began to emanate from the base, spreading across the chamber floor and lighting up certain letters. As Dave swiftly decoded the writing with practiced eyes and, as their meaning became apparent, he began to chuckle. Perhaps the trip hadn’t been a complete waste after all... .
Focusing the sound waves, not sure if she had the infrared sense that Conner and Kara had, he whispered a message to her.
"Roof of the Star Labs annex in Bakerline at four thirty. I'd like to catch up."
Owen returned to the meeting place. He'd dug up a few personal effects from his old man's caches. A hair-brush with strands that didn't match Digger's, a piece of ribbon, a greeting card written in some weird language he couldn't place. Everything else had been the normal stuff. Cash, ID packets, weapons, clothes, and the like.
Time to see if Flash kept up his end.
Maybe it was all just a dream, anyway.
He gets slips Backpack over his shoulder and heads out the door to go to Sidekick Elementary.
At least she isn't alone -- the filthy water makes it hard to see well, but she's pretty sure that's Garth treading water up at the surface. Tula glances around again and shudders, then takes off swimming. It's a literal grave yard down here. Some of these rusting cars were definitely occupied when they sank.
It feels like she popped up through an oil-slick when she breaks the surface, and the air quality isn't much better than the water. She wipes at her eyes and blinks at the semi-familiar skyline at the water's edge.
"...When did Gotham get this bad?"
"Giganta here, Oracle," she says, punching the button to acknowledge the incoming message. "What's the haps?"
Tim Drake's face flickers on screen. He looks exhausted, and he's wearing his eye patch instead of one of his glass eyes.
"Get the Titans on the T-jet, Cassie," he says. "I know you're on bed-rest and all, but Vic found a problem that we need you guys on ASAP."
"I'm fine, Tim," Cassie reassures him as she punches a few more buttons to get the rest of the Titans moving while she gets the information out of her friend. He's having a hard enough time, with Bart getting totally wrapped up in being the new Flash and Batman going completely 'round the twist on them after Nightwing and the first Oracle's deaths. He doesn't need his other best friend losing it too. "My grip on reality is right where it needs to be, don't worry."
Tim doesn't even crack a smile. "Good, because we're going to need you and your magic lasso front and center on this one. I don't know how, but it looks like 'Superboy' is back from the dead."
Cassie's blood goes cold in her veins. "Send the rest of the information to the T-jet, you can tell me the rest of it en route."
And now they're back in the Batcave. Dripping on the floor, Eddie wraps his arms around himself and manages a small smile.
"That w-was a lot of fun until we went swimming."
From the interior of the truck came soft spoken words. "Well I think this will help, but you need to get into the shelter on a permanent basis as soon as you can, for the baby. I'll pull some strings and see if I can't have a room for you by tomorrow night." Sasha accepted the hug the grateful teen gave her and before the girl could leave she had a package of food and a warm coat.
She'd been doing this since the ring found her, using these powers in small ways to help where she could. She didn't know the extent of what she could do and sure there was a galaxy out there...but all those other lanterns.They were on that...she saw the need here so close to home, and that need had to be tended.
So the truck began making rounds, part mobile soup kitchen, part clothing drive, part free mental health screenings. she looked different in the indigo garb that came with the powers, she felt different. Sasha felt like she was making a real difference for the people who mattered, finally. So word of her work started to spread, donations filtered in here and there and now she was able to help more substantially, she hoped to set up a number of shelters aside from her other work, to tend people in need with no means to get help otherwise.
"Hey Harvey," Sasha greeted a regular, his face was deeply craged and he looked as though life had used him hard and spit him out, But Sasha welcomed him, sat with him, talked with him, ensured he had a good meal and a caring human connection. She might not have realized that her acts had saved his life, she wasn't out here for the praise. But already Indigo made itself known, perhaps the most subtle of all the spectrum it worked on a deeply personal level, and that suited Sasha just fine.
That came a bit latter on when she checked the clock. It wouldn't be that much longer until it was the end of the day. She just had to last another half an hour or so of waiting and then she could go. She would be meeting Mica'kel after she got off of work and then they'd head over to her place for a movie marathon.
She looked up from the work she was filing and blinked because she had been just a little distracted. Now she's blushing and can't help it either. "Sorry Boss. I was like... a million miles away, what was that you said?"