Chapter 2 - Lantern For The Prosecution
BJ looked at his first witness.
"Your name is Samantha Kent Stephens, aka Captain Marvel, and once known as Supergirl. Is that correct?"
Sam contemplated burning Green Lantern's moustache off with her heat vision, but a look from her brother stopped that.
"That is correct, Mister Persecutor."
"That's Prosecutor. Don't get cute."
"Can't be helped. It runs in the family. So do we, when we can't fly. I almost beat Wally, once."
The third Flash bristled.
"She did not none neither."
Batman, the Judge, banged his gavel.
"Order In The Court! Order In The Court!"
Despite himself and his situation, Superman quipped as always.
"Ham On Rye--With Mayo."
Wonder Woman, his wife and attorney, glared at him. He shrugged.
"Hawkeye--you are on trial for your life, here. At least the life you've known. Can't you stop, just this once? You can't keep annoying BJ like that."
Hawkeye Kent's face became a great deal more somber.
"Margaret, if I take this thing seriously, I'll go bonkers. For you, I'll stop. But as to annoying BJ--I'm beginning to think he was born annoyed."
The Amazon Princess Bride was hard pressed to argue that point. Before the Newsome incident emerged, it had seemed as though BJ had finally lost the nerves he had shown as a new member. He no longer jumped on whoever mentioned Trapper Hal Jordan.
Long after calm had been restored, Frank Burns continued to bang his gavel.
"Order In The Court! Order In The Court!"
Having had enough, Senior Flash Sherman T. Garrick darted forward and grabbed Batman's hand. He then took his noisemaker, and crumpled it to powder.
Garrick returned to his place at the table, shaking his head and mumbling.
"Idjit. Freud was wrong. Sometimes its not just a cigar."
Burns stared at the powder-pile.
"He smashed my gavel."
BJ resumed his questioning.
"Samantha--how were you born?"
This hit a nerve, as Hunnicutt knew it would.
"I--was an accident. The gestation chamber sent from Krypton was damaged by WarDay's attack. As a result, a second set of genes--many of which had been excluded from Kal's matrix--were grown to viability. I am Kara Don-El, although in reality I have no Kryptonian name. I wasn't supposed to be born. But I'm glad I was. Daniel and Martha were the best parents we could have hoped for. And I love my twin brother."
"One might even say--you were devoted to him. Feel--inferior to--"
"Objection, Your Honor! Prosecutor is pursuing an irrelevant line of questioning."
Burns was so very casual about that, two annoyed Flashes raced up, and stripped him down to his skivvies. Batman just stared dumbly at his state of undress.
"I--have to withdraw--to chambers. Cheez!"
Actually grateful the makeshift judge was gone, BJ kept on, albeit more tactfully.
"Sam--has your brother killed in the past?"
"We all have. Its not a happy part of the job. But there are times when an enemy won't stop---won't allow you another choice."
"Would you name the opponents Superman has been forced to kill?"
"Certainly. There's WarDay, to be sure. Darkseid--although I'd like to see if he stays dead. Then--there are the three Phantom Zone Villains, Zod, Faora, and Quex-Ul. But they had made a credible threat against our world. They had already murdered an alternate Earth, and its Superboy. I think we all agreed later on that they offered him no choice."
His trap sprung, BJ moved in to deliver a mercy killing.
"So you, a person born beside Superman and devoted to Superman, recognize that he will kill when an enemy can be stopped in no other way, and presents a clear and present danger of repeating their capital crimes ad infinitum?"
"Yes. I freely concede that fact."
Green Lantern shook a finger.
"What about when he is angry, or outraged? What about a pedophilic killer like Winslow Newsome, who would likely escape to do it again--and again? Could such a person cloud Superman's judgement--enough to make him cross the line into cold-blooded murder?"
"No, of course---"
"Did he ever threaten to kill Winslow Newsome, aka The Toyman?"
"He was upset, Adam Grant had just been---"
"Yes or No?"
The Woman Of Steel looked over at Hawkeye, and his eyes told her what they always had, in these circumstances.
"Just tell the truth, Sam."
"Yes. Hawkeye threatened to kill Winslow Newsome. Carlye and I had to talk him down. Cassandra 'Cat' Grant was hunting Newsome, and Kal was unsure as to whether he should stop or help her avenge her adopted son."
"No further questions. Prosecution rests, but reserves the right to cross-examine and re-emerge, if need be. Also suggest that defendant remain on the Satellite, under House Arrest."
Superman stood up.
"Agreed to. But you've got Metropolis, Mr. Starr Chamber."
"Don't bring politics into this."
"I wasn't comparing you to Kenneth Starr. I was comparing you to Ringo Starr. You know which one Ringo was, don't you?"
BJ left, angrier than ever. But Hawkeye's patience was also running thin.
"Well, Detective, my daughter is still withdrawn, after the kidnapping. But if you believe she'll talk to you, I'll allow it. Just don't upset her."
The man thanked Peg Hunnicutt, and walked into Erin's room.
"Erin--my name is Nick Knight. I'm a detective. I'd like you to help Superman out of a tight jam. Would you like to help him?"
"Uh-huh. But I can't."
"Because Superman told me not to tell anyone what happened. Ever."
Assuming the dread form of The Spectre, Knight entered Erin's young soul.
"I am sorry, Child. But from God's Avenger--no truth may be kept hidden."