|Young, Just Us?|
|What: Superboy and Impulse hatch a plan to form their own teenage superhero team.|
Superboy has very few friends in the world, so he makes a point of meeting up with them whenever he can. Impulse is one such friend, so a quick phone call sees the Metropolis Kid sitting on one of the glittering rooftops of Metropolis' Hypersector with his legs dangling over the edge. In each hand he holds a corndog, one half-eaten and the other pristine and untouched.
Bart was laying on his bed in Manchester, Alabama playing Blast-O-Matic 2000 when the phone rang. At the invitation, he quickly finished the level, changed into his costume, and only minutes later comes zwipping up the side of the building, leaving a trail of faint golden energy arcs and after-images behind him. He slides to a stop, sitting along the way, so he actually just scoots right up beside Superboy, sitting on the edge of the roof. Flashing his trademark goofy grin, he says, "Hey! What's up, SB?"
When Bart arrives, Superboy promptly holds out the uneaten corndog for him as a friendly gesture. He shrugs his shoulders with typical teenage apathy, "Nothing, just wanted to see what's up. Felt like a corndog. Have you ever had one of these before? They're amazing. It's like you think you're eating one thing, but then you're eating something else!" The aforementioned apathy fades quickly at the discussion of food.
"Corndogs are awesome," Bart concurs, accepting it readily and then taking a large bite of the greasy treat. He chews and swallows the bite, then agrees, "Yeah! It's like a surprise! And sometimes they put other stuff in 'em, like cheese, and then it's all fried and awesome and totally bad for you I guess but who cares because it's so GOOD?" He takes another cheerful bite.
"Right?" Superboy says with a grin, finishing off the last of his own cordog and tucking the stick away in his pocket so that he can throw it away later - no littering. He leans back a moment as he watches Bart enjoy the snack, finally speaking up with a little more seriousness, "I spoke to Wonder Girl. She asked me to join that group they formed. The one they built the headquarters out on Delaware Bay for - the Titans. Superman asked me to, as well."
Impulse pauses, thoughtfully finishing off his second bite of corndog before answering. (Though with the bites he's taking, he's probably only got one left.) After he's swallowed it, he asks thoughtfully, "Aren't they a government team? My unc--er, my mentor, Max Mercury, said I should be careful of trusting the government. He gave a really long speech about it, but I didn't really listen much."
"Yeah, they are," Superboy admits, leaning back on his hands, "I mean, if Superman says they're okay then they probably are but the place that made me ... " he pauses, as though this information isn't something he's meant to give out. All the same, he already told Bart all this. " ... they had ties to the government. I want to help people, but I don't really want someone to be in charge of me."
Frowning, Impulse finishes off the corndog, chewing and swallowing it in an eyeblink, and points the stick at Superboy. "Wait. You're saying that the government is the one that experimented and made you and did all Frankensteiny stuff and now they want you on their team? That sounds like ENTRAPMENT or something! Or maybe exploitation? One of those e-words."
"Not them exactly," Superboy admits, not wanting to set Bart off on an anarchist warpath, "But they did some work for the government. I'm not exactly sure /why/ they made me, but if the government trusted them to do something for them at some point then that doesn't seem like something I want to work for. I mean, Superman is strong - nobody is ever going to make him do something bad that he doesn't want to do. But I need to be a little more careful."
Impose nods, but then he immediately shakes his head. "No way. You've gotta be your own you! You're not some government clone -- well not like that anyway -- you're SUPERBOY! You don't have to do what they say. You can make your own rules and be a hero for yourself. Superman's got your back! Plus I do too!" He holds out a fist for bump-age. "We can make our own team!" he declares.
"Yeah!" Superboy agrees enthusiastically, putting his hand out to fist-bump with Bart (he's learned a few things since they first met, it seems), "You know, you might be on to something there. We /should/ make our own team. No government or anything telling us who we should help. We'll just wait around and if there's a problem we'll go and fix it. Who's going to argue?"
The fist bumped, Impulse pumps it into the air. "Yeah! Exactly, it'll just be us, doing our thing. And we can let other cool young heroes join, and it'll be totally AWESOME!" He adds, hopping to his feet, "And we can eat pizza and corndogs and whatever because the government won't be there to boss us around! It's totally the American dream! We learned about that in school."
"That sounds good," Superboy agrees, though he looks a little puzzled at the idea of the American Dream, "You know, I should probably go to school. I feel like there is a bunch of stuff I should know that I don't." As for their hero group idea, he seems quite psyched up about it, "Exactly! We'll get a headquarters. Maybe I can talk to Cassie. She might want to join after she realizes that a government team sucks."
Impulse rubs his chin then begins speed-pacing back and forth behind Superboy. "We'll have to get a really good one. The Titans have a tower, so we need something... I dunno. Tall. Maybe we can build it on top of a skyscraper! I wonder if anyone would notice? Too bad we don't have a stealth field generator. That would be sweet."
"Maybe we can find someone who can build one?" Superboy asks, looking quite thoughtful himself, "Somewhere tall? What about on top of a mountain or something. What's the tallest mountain?" A little tidbit of knowledge that he wasn't endowed with.
"Uh," Impulse says uncertainly, "I think the tallest mountain is far away. Across the ocean somewhere. It's got snow. I went there once but I don't really remember where it was. I'd have to Google it." He reaches absently for the pocket where his phone would be, but of course he doesn't have pockets in his costume. "Oh yeah. I guess I'll have to look later."
"Well, we don't want to be far away," Superboy concedes, looking thoughtful, "Because I'm not as fast as you and I don't want to have to fly for hours to get somewhere." He thinks about it, tapping his chin, "What about something that flew around? Like a plane?"
Grinning, Impulse slams a fist down into his open palm. "Yeah! We just need a whole bunch of anti-gravity pods, and we could have a FLYING HEADQUARTERS, just like -- who are those guys that have that flying base? I think I saw it on a cartoon once."
"I'm not sure," Superboy admits, looking up at the sky, "Do you have any anti-gravity pods we can use?" What? Just because he hasn't heard of them doesn't mean they don't exist. Maybe Bart has a ton of them.
"Man I wish! If I did, I could build a giant floating sled and then I could carry people ANYWHERE," Impulse answers with mild dismay. "Plus, I don't know if they've been invented yet. And I think planes use a lot of fuel, so that might not work."
"Well, okay, so we can't have a flying base," Superboy sighs, moving back to more mundane ideas, "What about if we go the /other way/ with it? Like, instead of being up high we go down really low. Like ... under the ocean!"
Impulse plops down to sit again, folding his legs under him, and plants his chin on one palm, elbow pressed to his knee. "That would be COOL, but how do we build it? When we tried to put the roof on all the water would rush in."
"We could, like," Superboy begins, holding out his hands to try and describe his vision, "Build it under the ground but then dig all the ground away once it's built so then it'll be under water and all sealed up."
Impulse thinks about that. Then he scoots around to face another direction and thinks some more. Finally, he says, "Maybe. We'd need a lot of shovels, though. And I dunno how we'd get electricity. We definitely need electricity."
"Yeah," Superboy nods once again, looking up into the sky, "You know, the more I think about it the more I think we're going to have to start off somewhere small and get a better headquarters later."
Flopping backward onto the ground, Impulse admits, "Yeah." Then he pops back up to a sitting position. "Ooh! What about a secret abandoned warehouse? Those are kind of cool and have lots of room. Or an old subway station! The subway goes everywhere! Well, in New York. Maybe there's an old abandoned monorail station."
"I like the idea of an old subway station," Superboy agrees, grinning broadly, "I'm sure we could find one. You could run around down there and I could use my x-ray vision to find one. That sounds like a great idea!"
Grinning bigger, Impulse says, "Okay! I like it. That's a pretty cool spot, and it has ways in and out, and it's definitely secret and all." He hops to his feet and resumes his speedy pacing. "And we might find old subway cars we could use as rooms and have secret entrances all over the place!"
"I could dig some extra tunnels if we need them," Superboy suggests, dedicating his power to the good of awesome, "This is going to be great! Who else do you think we could ask to join?"
"Um," Impulse says, tapping his chin. "Well, Wonder Girl! And isn't there a guy like us in Gotham City? Oh, and there's that wizard guy, Wiccan. I bet he'd know more people who'd want to join up."
"I don't go to Gotham City," Superboy says, not explainign why but making it clear in his body language that he has a good reason, "Okay, how about you talk to Wizard Guy and the Gotham Dude and I'll talk to Cassie?"
Impulse grins and claps his fist down into his palm again. "Right! I'll find 'em and talk to 'em! And if I find anyone else who'd make a good member, I'll tell them too!" He looks down at the corndog stick, still clutched in his fist. "Hmm. We're gonna need some kind of way to communicate, huh?"
"What about your cell phone?" Superboy asks, looking thoughtful, "I mean, you could get one of those headsets so you didn't have to carry it in your hand."
Nodding, Impulse says, "Well it works for me! But do you have a phone? I didn't know you had a phone. How'd you call me anyway?" He scratches his head, realizing he has no idea how that worked out.
"I bought a phone," Superboy answers, holding up a cheap cell that was being held in his jeans, "It was pretty cheap. That's how I called you. I was just going to come and get you but I didn't know where you live."
"Oh, neat!" Impulse declares. "I'll add your number to my phone. And, oh, I live in Alabama actually, so it's kind of a long way off. It's easier just to call me and tell me where I need to be." Alabama, yep. Random, perhaps, but there it is.
"Alright," Superboy agrees, reciting his number for Bart to put in his phone, "I suppose cell phones will do for now. Later we can see about getting something else for communicating that doesn't require a contract."
Grinning, Impulse says, "We need cool communicators! Maybe ones with holograms and neat code thingies and secret passwordy key-things to let us into our hideout."
Superboy nods with enthusiasm, "Yeah, we'll have to find someone who can build stuff like that. I mean, they looked like they had that kind of stuff at the Justice League's headquarters. Maybe there's someone who can build it for us?"
"I'll put it on our list," Impulse decides. "We should have a LIST of stuff we need. So, super-secret cool hidden base, cool tech like communicators and stuff, maybe some smart people who know how to build sciencey stuff." He ticks off each item on the fingers of one hand, tapping them with the corndog stick.
"A TV," Superboy adds, making sure they don't forget the most important thing, "A big TV so we can know whenever there's something we have to stop ... and we can watch stuff on it, too."
Nodding, Impulse says, "And we can play video games on it! Definitely a big TV, probably a computer so we can use the Internet and stuff." He waves the stick in the air slightly and adds, "Oh, and we gotta have a kitchen! With a whole team people are gonna get hungry!"
"Good idea," Superboy nods once more, rubbing his hands together, "Now we just need to decide one more thing. What do we call it?"
Impulse pauses mid-pace, one foot in the air, and chews slightly on the stick in his hand. "Well, I dunno. It doesn't need MUCH of a name, I guess. I mean we're pretty casual! We're young, just us..." he stops, shrugs.
"Young Justice?" Superboy answers, mishearing Bart ... quite the feat for someone with super-hearing. He pauses a moment, considering the notion before nodding his head, "Yeah. That works for me. Young Justice."
Impulse tilts his head a bit, almost protests that he didn't say that, and then shrugs again. "Yeah! That works. Young Justice. It's simple and easy to remember and no one will confuse us with anything." He grins, "My best idea otherwise was 'Super Heroes In Training,' but... nah!"
"S-H-I ... " Superboy shakes his head, waving a hand through the air, "Nah, too many letters to abbreviate. Let's stick with Young Justice." He claps his hands together, grinning, "This is great!"
Nodding, Impulse agrees, "Definitely better! And we've got a plan and everything! Max is gonna be proud of me. He says I never plan anything!" He strikes a heroic pose, pointing the little corndog stick up at the sky dramatically. "Look out evil! Young Justice is here!"
Superboy grins, climbing up to his feet and throwing off a salute to Bart, "Alright, fellow Young Justice-er. Let's go and find some other people to join the team!"
Impulse returns the salute, declares, "All right!" And then, just like that, he's gone in a *ZWIP* of crackling energy, apparently off to track down unsuspecting teen heroes and try to draft them into their cause.