Samantha Kent Stephens was the first to respond to her friend's raised voice. The woman now known as Captain Marvel winced.


"Hi, Sam. Wanna go flying? Its my treat."

Papers in hand, Cha'arls and Hawkeye emerged.

"We've the most remarkable news."

"Yeah, and guess what? Peg here, is the source of Erin's....."

The Martian and The Kryptonian took in the sights before them.

"We are, it seems, a trifle behind the curve."

"Only by about a parsec. Sherm, you know DNA. You wanna take over?"

The Flash whipped the papers and disks away from his younger comrades. In 17 seconds, he had his analysis ready, but shot a glare at Wally O'Reilly, lest he ride him for being so slow.

"Peg, these two dunderheads forgot to cross about a dozen I's and dot about two dozen T's. But their basic work is co-rrect. What's more, its got me on a theory. Now, while we make more tests----"

Garrick pointed to Green Lantern and Superman.

"You and you---start talking it out. This thing has gone on quite long enough, thank you very much."

Peg smiled at the charming older man as she was led away to learn her origins--not to mention the origins of two others, who thought certain they knew it all.

The hero spoke.

"So, do you hate me?"

The other hero responded.

"Well, I did cross you off my Christmas list for a while, but I knew why you were doing what you did, even then. A Superman who kills when he has another choice is not someone I want to be around."

BJ shook his head.

"It wasn't that. Ever since I joined this team, I've been shocked to find out how much you all really are just people. Then, this happened. You wanted to hush it up so badly, I felt like the Gods were corrupt. I'm sorry---but that's how I felt. Two questions--and I'd like answers to both, if you don't mind."

"Sure. Shoot."

"First--how dare you subject my little girl to such an unreliable thing as instant hypnotism? Hawkeye, you could've scarred a little girl you obviously care about almost as much as Peg and I do."

"The answer, Beej? As my sister will tell you, I'm often The Man Of Presumption. Margaret will learn that, in time. When someone who has my heart is threatened, I react with a knee, a jerk, and a stupidity. I'm sorry. All I can say is, I meant well. Now what's the second question?"

Now quite comfortable with his peers as people, Green Lantern let loose with the far tougher question.

"Were you actually willing to possibly let the world be deprived of Superman, all to protect one small child from a disturbing truth, however much you love her?"

Superman closed both his hawk-eyes.

"Yes. I was, and I am. Because when we forget about the importance of that one small child, then we really are nothing more than corrupt gods, waiting to be toppled, and what's more, deserving to be brought down. On that day, we aren't The Justice League Of America. On that day when we permit ourselves to forget--we are all nothing--less than nothing."

BJ felt a shiver, and again wondered how he could ever question this man's commitment to life. He extended his hand.


Hawkeye took that hand, and they shook.

"I'm sorry if I ever gave you reason to doubt it."

"You didn't. You never really could. After all, you're Superman."

The hero spoke.

"Do you hate them?"

Peg stared again at the results of the tests, and responded to Margaret's query.

"No. At least I know now why they always had so many secrets. My only worry is how Hawkeye and Sam will take it. This is a very sore subject with both of them."

Wonder Woman smiled.

"You want sore? My mother destroys her TV every time Dad uses his ID of Kevin Sorbo to play himself on TV."

"Because he forced himself on her, under Hera's influence?"

"No. She's a huge history buff, and having King Arthur and Charlemagne in the same episode just eats her alive."

Peg nodded.


The hero spoke.

"You gonna be all right, Peg? I can tell them, for ya."

"No, Sherman. Its on me, and what's more, I want to do it."

Of all the team, only Batman was absent, having been the most vociferous in demanding BJ's ouster. Peg addressed them all.

"First off, thank you all for bringing Erin home. That creates both a bond and a debt, in my mind. Second, I now know the origins of my and Erin's abilities. My father, Floyd Hayden, was in actuality, Alan Scott, Earth's first Green Lantern. My mother was the woman once known as The Black Canary. Sherm had samples of their DNA, dating back from the War, and I am a match for them both."

Hawkeye nodded.

"Welcome to the J-Family, Peg. Its good to have some roots in all this concrete."

Samantha smiled, too.

"They were great heroes, and from what you've told me, great parents, Peg. Say, didn't they just vanish on you, kind of like Daniel and Martha did on us?"

Margaret Prince-Kent braced herself, as she knew her family would take this hard.

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