Joe Wilson sat by the bedside of Kole Weathers. Although the lovely, vulnerable redhead was healing slowly from her ordeal in the Crisis, she had been waking more frequently, and he’d started falling for her even more. As he slowly used sign language, she smiled as she began to recognize his gestures.
“Yes, I am eager to get out,” she laughed. “Hospital food is a big letdown after all those Olympian meals.”
Suddenly, a figure materialized within the room. It was Lilith Clay. She wore a very short tunic and silver sandals, but otherwise looked the same as she had before discovering that her mother was Thia, a Titan of myth bent on conquest. It was Thia who had imprisoned Kole for two years, forcing her to use her crystal-spinning powers in her service. Kole thus still felt a bit uneasy around the sensitive psychic.
“Kole, I come here to seek your aid, along with yours, Joseph,” began Lilith. “I need the Teen Titans to help me stop the Children of the Sun — my siblings — from restoring our mad mother to life!”
Joe blinked in surprise; the girl wasted no time on deeper explanations. Then again, throughout all her young life she had merely appeared or disappeared as her needs drove her to do. After a moment he indicated with a nod that he would help.
Lilith bent low over Kole, and a bright light covered the girl, who gasped.
“You healed me!” cried Kole as she rose from her hospital bed, now fully recovered.
Tossing back her red hair, Lilith said, “My birthright as a daughter of Olympus allows me to use the sun to heal, as well as to trace my siblings. I am still getting accustomed to my new role as a demigoddess.”
Joe nodded and hoped the woman before him knew exactly what she was doing. She was so painfully sensitive to all around her, and yet at other times she could be almost single-minded in her wishes.
“Take us where you will,” said Kole. “I’m eager to see more of the world.”
Lilith smiled. “Then take my hand, and we shall locate our other allies.”
Elsewhere, Doctor Light found himself in a large complex on a Grecian isle. He had been rescued — or abducted, rather — by the very group that Lilith sought to stop. The so-called Children of the Sun had acquired the services and rare energy-regenerating metal called promethium from Mento, alias Steve Dayton, and the two made strange allies.
“I can recreate my early light-generation inventions, but I’ll need an amazingly powerful source of constantly renewing energy,” Light explained as he tried to recall the nuances of the alien science he had stolen long before.
“Bah!” said Dayton. “The promethium is ever self-sustaining. It can power your devices till doomsday.”
A woman in black smiled. Her calculations were accurate as always. With the resources assembled, they would soon restore their lost mother Thia, and then a world would be theirs for the taking.
The Flash had managed to track the fading energy trail across the waters to an island near Greece, where he discovered a large complex with the logo of a man in a chariot. Phaeton Industries was the name around the logo.
Phaeton, the mythical son of Apollo, he mused. All these light and sun images fit our enemies. Although I’m wondering if maybe I couldn’t rescue ol’ Arty Light on my own.
But before he could do anything more, he was struck down from behind by a solid light construct. With his last gasp he whirled around, even as he found himself unable to breathe any air. He fell to the ground, unconscious, and was carried inside by more guards.
“This costumed hero spied more than was healthy for him,” said one.
“Do not fear. When they finish with him, he won’t be a problem,” replied his partner.
Back on the T-Jet, Donna Troy was watching a flashing signal. “We’ve seen Wally’s signal stop,” she said. “He’s at the apparent end of the energy source, which looks to be in Greece.”
Aqualad agreed. “It is. I’ve been in those very waters. A trendy place for the wealthy and those who can buy their privacy.”
“Great,” said Hawk. “Now let’s go break some heads.”
Nearby, Roy Harper gently bounced his baby daughter Lian on his knee. He had begun to enjoy the new sensations of fatherhood even before he’d fully grasped all of its implications. Some part of him even felt sorry for Jade, who had given him the location in which Lian was cared for when she realized her future looked grim. Wally had recovered the girl easily, yet so much had happened so fast that Roy Harper was uncertain what to do next.
“Look,” said Robin, “a news bulletin from Cat Grant says the government’s formed a new team of rehabilitated villains to serve the nation under the leadership of Captain Comet. It says he and this team, the Rehab Squad, saved Superman recently from some plot!” (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Captain Comet’s Rehab Squad: Suicide Mission.]
Hawk snickered and said, “So why’d Faraday drag us in if this new group already works for the government?”
Donna had listened to the news. “I applaud any addition to defenders of justice. Wally knows Comet, in fact.”
“You know, that Dolphin is quite a looker,” said Arsenal, and Garth nodded in agreement, intrigued by what he heard as they flew onward.
Stepping out of the shower, Changeling yelped as Lilith suddenly appeared before him. “Yikes! Let a guy find a towel,” he sputtered as the beautiful goddess materialized.
Cyborg shouted from the hallway, “You got company in there, Logan?”
Lilith smiled and said, “Hello, Victor, Gar. I need your help in stopping the Children of Thia. I–” Suddenly she dropped to her knees and placed her fingers over her strained forehead.
“What’s wrong? Are you having a vision?” asked Kole as she and Jericho stepped forward.
“What does she do now? Run a bus service?” snapped Gar as he saw his friends also appear in their midst.
“Yes, Kole — I see images… distorted images of monsters… Gar, at the center of all, I see Mento.” Lilith smoothed down her tunic and stood up.
“Mento?” said Vic, rolling in on a wheelchair. He looked very rough after the beating Steve Dayton had given him, and although most of his cybernetic parts had been rebuilt, his organic body was still recovering from multiple injuries. “We were about to head for Greece to find him.”
“That is well,” said Lilith. “Greece is where my siblings plan their newest evil. I fear from the nightmares and visions of late that Steve Dayton is deeply mixed up with them.”
“Then let’s go,” said a grim Gar.
Jericho signed, “I think we’d better hurry.”
Lilith nodded. “Yes, but we will need to be at full strength before we go. Victor, will you take my hand?” she asked, extending her own toward him from several feet away.
Cyborg looked up at her from a bruised face quizzically. “I’d love to, red, but this chair ain’t exactly a fashion statement.”
The newly healed Kole stepped into view. “Don’t worry, Vic. She did wonders for me, so I’m sure she can help you, too.”
“Well, I guess it can’t hurt… much,” replied Cyborg, rising painfully from his chair. With Gar’s help, he took a few slow steps toward Lilith, his pain lessening with each step. By the time he took her hand, he had been healed. “Wow, lady! I should’ve known you were a miracle worker. I feel great!”
“Is there any way you could work your hoodoo on my stepdad, too?” asked Changeling.
“Perhaps,” offered the lovely Lilith. “Gar, if I am able to, I will restore peace to Dayton’s madness-darkened mind.”
Gar smiled weakly. “Thanks. Nice outfit, by the way; where’d you get it? Fredericks of Olympus?”
Cyborg chuckled as they vanished with Lilith and the other Titans.
Upon reaching Greece, the T-Jet made a brief stop in Athens to drop off Lian before the Titans continued following Wally West’s signal.
Shortly after, however, an incoming message came in from the Flash: “Speedy, I’m going to check things out here solo. I’ll call you fellows if I need help.”
Donna frowned as the message abruptly ended. “That certainly looked and sounded like Wally, but why’d he call you Speedy?” she asked. “Force of habit?”
“Habit — or something else?” replied Roy. “I can guess what you’re thinking — that was a faked hologram. After all, ol’ Doc Light could easily whip something like that up. Maybe the goons saw me back when they grabbed Light and obviously didn’t know, as Wally does, that I changed names just a short while ago.”
Aqualad nodded. “Yes. Good thing you just happened to have an old flame in Athens who agreed to babysit Lian for a while. Only you would be that lucky.”
“I get around,” Arsenal said with a shrug. “Trina is a good kid; she’ll treat Lian great. I feel like a creep dumping the kid on her so fast after seeing her again for the first time in a long while, but we can’t bring her into a fire-zone.”
“That’s the first reasonable thing I’ve heard all day,” said Hawk. “Never bring an innocent into a fight. People can die all too easily.”
Donna touched his arm. “Hank, Don died saving such an innocent. Don’t forget that.” Hawk remained silent as they zoomed down.
“We’d better go in fast,” said Donna.
“With so many Gotham criminals still loose, I need to get back home, too,” said Robin. “The Outsiders aren’t always easy to get ahold of, and Batman can’t fight the whole group of crooks alone.”
“Thanks, Robin,” said Donna. “You’ve helped us a lot. We won’t forget that. I’m sure that if he were here, Nightwing would appreciate it, too.”