I flopped down on the kitanda in the lounge. I had been pacing across the room for the past forty-eight minutes, waiting for the Team to get back. I stretched my legs out, propping them up on the table, bored out of my mind. How much longer would they be? It was almost midnight, 11:52 to be exact, and they had been gone since 9:30. Even though it had only been about two hours, which was on the shorter end, mission-wise, it felt like days. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have the power to gauge time, it only made everything seem longer.
This happened a lot. Ever since the Team had so grudgingly accepted me as a new member, I was deemed to weak and inexperienced to jiunge them on important missions. I resented them for it, hated it with all my heart, but there was nothing I could do. Only train, and hope that things would take a better turn. I didn’t even know where they had gone; Batman hadn’t let me into the Main Room while he was giving the others their mission. Hopefully they would be back soon. Then it struck me. What if they weren’t coming back?
As I was pondering this, a blaze of white light came from behind me. Recognized. Infinity. B08 alisema the computerized woman’s voice, as Infinity stepped out of the zeta tube. I was flooded with relief. They were back.
Infinity walked towards me slowly, the heels of her tall boots clicking on the floor, her dhahabu mini dress sparkling and glinting in the light. I stood up to greet her, and, smiling and laughing, she locked me in a tight embrace. Even wearing heels, she was at least a head shorter than me, and certainly much smaller, despite the fact that she was thirteen years old and I was only eleven. She was strong though, and her grip was tight.“Hey...Infinity,” I wheezed, slightly embarrassed that her hug knocked the breath out of me. She just smiled. “Please,” she said, still beaming. “Just call me Fin.” I nodded silently.
“Where are the others?” I asked, when I had regained my composure. She tossed her head slightly so that her jet-black bangs were crossing her face in a sweeping arc, covering the left side just the way she liked it, and absentmindedly twirled the ends with one finger.
“Oh,” she shrugged. “They should be coming.” She flopped down on the kitanda inayofuata to me, still twirling her hair. "They're a little...slow." She laughed, but I stayed silent. As much as I liked her, it was hard not to succumb to the wingu of burning jealousy that seemed to radiate around her petite form. The girl could do everything, for God's sake, from flying, to controlling fire, to telepathy, to absorbing the powers of anyone standing in a 20-foot radius of her. It took all my willpower not to hate her for that. It was hard for me, the weakling, the newbie, to be Marafiki with Infinity--even her name made me jealous--and not feel like I'm merely following her shadow as it trails ten feet behind her.
For lack of anything better to do, I took my hair out of its messy ponytail, letting the dark waves cascade around my shoulders. I pulled it into my fist, trying to tie it up again, even though I knew it was pointless, it never stayed neat for very long. Fin's voice broke my thoughts.
"You should wear it down zaidi often...your hair, I mean. It looks really pretty that way."
I shrugged, muttered "thanks", and resumed tying. The truth was, I wasn't really accustomed to compliments, considering I was usually treated like dirt. It actually felt kind of nice.
Recognized. Kid Flash. B03.
"There they are," Fin said, heading into the kitchen.
Wally walked--or rather, skipped--into the lounge. "Hey Aisling," he grinned in that good-natured way of his. "What's new with you?"
I shrugged. "Nothing much," I mumbled, leaning a little farther back into my seat.
His smile never wavered, even though I must have come off as cold and unfriendly. "Cool. Me neither. Man, I'm starving!" He followed Fin into the kitchen, and Miss Martian, who must have come in without me noticing, floated close behind.
Soon the rest of the Team had entered the Cave, except for one person: Robin. Fin had returned from the kitchen, holding a large bag of chips, and sat back down on the couch. "Where's your brother?" I asked her. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but Fin is Robin's twin sister. They had been separated after some incident in their past, one which Batman refused to disclose, and where Robin had ended up with Batman, Fin had been taken into the care of our enemy, Slade. He had aliyopewa her most of her powers, and it had been in one of the Team's missions to fight Slade, a few months before I joined the Team, that Fin was discovered.
Fin shrugged, like it was no big deal. "Oh, I'm sure he's just hung up on something. He'll be here soon."
I stuck my hand into the bag of chips, which Fin had set on the table, and pulled out a handful. "How was the mission?"
Fin frowned. "Not much of a mission, really. The disturbance we were investigating turned out to be a simple fire, nothing sinister there. I put it out in no time. Pretty pointless, in my opinion."
I nodded my head in assent, even though inside, a million alarms were going off. A simple fire? Batman being wrong? This didn't quite add up. I didn't say anything though.
Recognized: Batman. 02.
All heads turned as Batman's grim figure walked through the room, practically radiating authority. He spoke, his voice void of emotion. "I'm sorry that wewe didn't have very much time to rest after your last mission, but we need wewe to go back out again. Robin is missing."