Mindstorm, part 14

by Chicago

Disclaimers and other information in "part 0"

It took a world wide disaster to open views in every possible monitor in Oracle's war room. They were all open now, but Barbara Gordon felt like she was still missing things.

The comlines were all buzzing, but no one had called her since Batman had signed off. No one wanted a run down of the big picture. They could see enough of it from where they were - enough to know that they could only keep doing what they were already doing. Protect the innocent. Save lives. Fight the bad guys - if you could.

Of 3,127 formally recognized superheroes world wide, 2,943 had responded to the growing crisis. Of those, less than 20 had a chance of succeeding in taking down the cabal of Mordru, Obsidian, and Eclipso, and even those top level metas and magicians would need to work in concert.

Sentinel was already among the missing.

So was Captain Marvel.

Mordru had taken over Dr. Fate's body.

Superman was a mindsnap away from berserker rage on the moon, and the Martian Manhunter was holding him prisoner.

Green Lantern was in India, and no matter what fail-safes the ring had, no one wanted it anywhere near a battle where Eclipso could potentially sense it.

The djinn was lost to the battle when Jakeem's vocal cords were sliced.

The heroes still fighting that had the power to do anything were scattered, and there was no secure way to plan a coordinated assault through her network. Barbara Gordon, like the rest of the world, had to pray that the black shadow that seemed to have swallowed New York City and most of the JSA was hiding a battle against Mordru that would end in his defeat.

Oracle, on the other hand...

Her eyes scanned her monitors, tracking the signals of hundreds of heroes, some already down, possibly dead, others moving from disaster to disaster as quickly as they could. Electronic filtering software kept a steady feed of the most pertinent communiqué between comlinks chattering over her speakers, reports of where hospital units had been set up by UN and NATO support forces, reports of situations controlled and others exploding out of control, reports of increasing seismic activity as the natural forces of gravity and tectonic action fought to assert themselves against magical control.

She tapped open a channel. "Lantern."

"Oracle," he answered, sounding winded.

"You saw the moon." He would know what she meant. He'd had to hold the earth together before.

"Yeah. Need me?"

"Be ready," she advised, glancing at a feed from STAR Labs.

"Getting clear," he replied. "Lantern out."

Barbara leaned back, trying to anticipate trouble spots. Back when the quake had happened in Gotham, there had been - she closed her eyes. If anyone survived...

No, assuming failure meant lack of preparedness for all the potential degrees of success. She needed to focus on what disasters she could avert or control so the whole world wasn't a No Man's Land, caught between roving gangs control by... costumed freaks and -

Her fingers snapped to the keyboard, her heart in her throat. STAR Labs had already indicated polar earthquakes. What if-?

She felt herself release a held breath as a peaceful scene of the Antarctic desert replaced the chaos on one monitor. The Slab was still intact, still standing and - she frowned a little and opened a new comlink.

"Plasticman?"

"Heya, Oracle. New orders, or just checking in?"

Orders? Batman, she realized, wondering when he had sent Plas to the south pole. "Checking in,"

"Rest of the world's still standing then," he chirped. "Me and Mr. Miracle were wondering. Worrying, actually, because we're working on our three card monty and-"

"All is under control?" she interrupted.

"If the earth starts shakin', I've got the foundations while he puts the whole facility out of phase. Nifty trick that whole Black Mass mess left this place with. Tell Bats we say hi."

She closed her eyes for a second, relieved. "Oracle out," she whispered, knowing her software would pick up the sound and amplify it to normal tones. Eel would feel appropriately dissed by the uberserious Bat affiliates.

A klaxon sounded and she snapped to attention, reaching for her keyboard to signal Green Lantern as the first of the real tremors began. She would contact Wonder Woman next to go to Tokyo, and then -

A squeal of feedback sounded, sending her reeling back in her chair, hand clapped to her ear. The lights flickered, sputtering before the back up generator kicked in. She ripped her earpiece out and rubbed at her ear, pushing herself back to her keyboards as the monitors around her slowly rebooted.

Every one of them came up blank.

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