Our heroes found themselves in a strange land, its sky illuminated by a dim, unseen source. Hope projected her memory of the death of “Static” Annie Wagner, and revealed that she had learned that her father might, in fact, have been trying to save her life through his attempts to take her from Gotham.
“Tina…” Hope began, sounding choked up and exhausted, “I think we got this wrong… I think we got it all wrong.”
Tommy’s X-Ray vision detected grotesque, semi-biological vehicles approaching from the west, against the skyline of a city which resembled Gotham, though darker in tone than even America’s darkest city.
One of the vehicles carried the apparent armored form of Iron Man. As it neared, however, this was clearly something else.
Tina engaged in combat with the mock Iron Man, who believed her to be his daughter and tried to convince her to end things peacefully. Tina pressed her attack, and the Flesh Man realized this was not his daughter, but “the other one”.
In a pitched and brutal fight, Hope was forced into her human form and executed. Tina vanished during her fight with the Flesh Man, leaving only Helena and Tommy stranded in the vast desert, bereft of supplies and low on ammunition.
Tommy was able to detect “sink holes” in the desert, which held water… salt water. Helena and Tommy decided their only option for survival must lie in the dark streets of this mirror image of Gotham.
The pair sought out the counterparts to familiar neighborhoods in their own city, finding twisted reflections of things they knew. Leslie Thompkins’ shelter was, in this city, a torture chamber. Noonan’s bar was a barracks for special troops in the dark armies of this city. They took refuge in a building which had a duplicate of Helena’s cousin Temperance. Temperance seemed only vaguely aware of their presence, but did not seem aggravated by having them around.
Sleeping in spurts, Tommy’s telepathy read thoughts without bodies. He knew from experience some of the minds: Zatanna, Nakota, and Pamela. Another mind was involved, which Tommy could not identify. He tried to convey his location, but was unable to get it across before the thoughts faded.
The duo investigated the location corresponding to the destroyed Club Arkham, where Tommy read the mind of a supernatural creature and learned that Tina was still alive, kept in “Arkham Academy”. Helena took this to mean the mirror of Gotham High.
The heroes’ allies in the normal world managed to make contact again, and said they would be able to open a portal in Gotham High at four in the AM.
Arkham Academy proved to be a highly active, insidious center for training and research. The heroes infiltrated and avoided detection for some time. However, when they WERE detected, the result was a battle which destroyed an entire building. Tina was rescued unharmed, though without her armor. Tommy was able to detect it using Tina’s JARVIS communicator, in a location corresponding to her home in Gotham.
The exhausted and injured heroes were returned to Earth by Morgan L’Fay, as well as a few of their friends. L’Fay screamed at Tina, seeming to only have executed her rescue in hopes of saving Tina’s Iron Girl armor.
It was days of recovery before the heroes felt able to take action again. They held meetings with one another, learning from a friend of Nakota’s named Lilith Drake a few things about the place they’d just escaped from, and that Lilith had the ability to travel back and forth from that realm.
The heroes decided to try to recapture Tina’s armor from the Nightlands. Inadvertently, Tina passed that information along to Morgan L’Fay, who clearly intended to retrieve the armor herself.
Tina’s home in the Nightlands was protected by JARDIS, a massive horror created by powerful alchemy. The crucified corpse of Superman hung on a wall as a decoration, near Tina’s armor, itself covered in clay plates covered in strange markings.
Proving barely able to stay ahead of the house’s defenses, the heroes bargained with L’Fay to escape to Earth, carrying with them Superman’s remains…