Gotham High

The Story so Far 3
Things in the shadows

After Dark Day, things did not improve. Gotham High was shut down for more than a month as the Earth collectively tried to repair what was now being called a massive attack by superhuman beings.

Hope began clinging to Tina like a lost puppy, spending nearly every waking moment with her. Tina, trying to keep ahead of the memory of Dark Day, worked to make sure her classmates could defend themselves. She took extra time to help construct a mobility suit for Nora Fields, as well as body armor for nearly every one of the Alternate Curriculum Class.

Collectively, the students formed Club Arkham out of Ozzie Cobblepot’s old theater building. They seemed to have agreed that things were changing in the world, and would require them to be as covert as their enemies.

When Tina spoke to her father, his behavior was abnormal. What’s more, he’d come out as an avid supporter of Lex Luthor’s Preserver Party. Superman was also reputed to be a supporter, having given a statement to the press that superhumans had no business interfering in the lives of normal humanity, and declaring his withdrawal from the “illegal business of costumed interventionalism.”

School still being closed following Dark Day, Tina was awakened in the middle of the night by a call from Temple Fugit, the fussiest busybody in Gotham. He told her he’d been expecting a call from Vicki Vale, along with Selina Kyle and Victor Fries. Tina groggily headed over to Club Arkham, where Barbara was exhaustively researching the activities of the now destroyed Alchemax Corporation.

Barbara seemed shocked that Tina was out of the loop with regard to their classmates’ activities. They’d been planning a break in to Star Labs Gotham for over a week, and Tina was supposed to have been told.

Barbara began contacting the members of Club Gotham who were answering their phones, but was unable to reach anyone on the Star Labs break in. Tina headed out on her motorcycle.

Outside Star Labs, Vicki managed to get Tina’s attention with an infrared laser. She showed Tina her phone, which appeared to have been deliberately sabotaged. Selina, Fries, and an old acquaintance of Selina’s named Felicia Hardy were stuck in the labs basement, trapped by a security team sweeping the first floor.

Donning her Iron Girl armor, Tina managed to hack Star Labs’ security system and activated an alarm on the building’s top floor. As the security force reacted, Tina met up with her classmates in the basement. There they were ambushed by a newly chemically enhanced Julio Bain.

As Felicia began successfully clawing chemical tubes out of Bain’s neck, Fries shot her with his newly completed Freeze Ray. She fell shrieking to the ground. Fries and Bain argued, apparently having made some arrangement beforehand. Bain betrayed Fries, and continued to fight.

Tina managed to destroy Bain’s Bio-computer drug supply and would have let him live, But Fries was not so forgiving. He killed the unconscious Bain by freezing his entire body. Bruce Wayne arrived outside with his car, and ushered Selina, Vicki, and Fries to safety.

Tina rushed Felicia to Club Arkham, managing against all odds to save the young thief’s leg from needing to be amputated. She rejected Harley and Jay’s offer to assist in surgery.

Selina demanded that Fries be banned from Club Arkham, and Vicki agreed. Temple Fugit began recording decisions about how the club would funtion in the future. To accept a new member or kick out an existing member, three-fourths of members had to agree to it.

Tina managed to swing the vote in Fries’ favor by manipulating some of the more easily influenced Club members. Even so, the meeting didn’t end until midmorning.

Hope was contacted by her father Lex, who told her she needed to be taken out of public school now that he was becoming involved in politics. Bolstered by her friendship with Tina, Hope was able to stand up to her father and refuse his demands.

Tina made an effort to stay close to Hope in the following days. School was nearly set to resume… the Sunday prior to going back to class, Joseph Wilson was killed.

Hope saw the young man come in to Club Arkham, and their eyes locked. Somehow, they knew they had a connection. Startled, Joseph retreated to the streets, and Hope followed. She came out from the club just in time to see the young man die. A silver blur struck him, his head spun more than a hundred eighty degrees, and his lifeless body collapsed.

Hope shrieked, and Tina began communicating with Barbara to figure out what had happened. Barbara identified the assailant and the direction he’d gone.

In full view of everyone, Hope transformed into her supernatural form and pursued the attacker. Tina donned her armor and followed, engaging in combat with a group of teenage mutants. Hope and Tina easily defeated the enemy, killing one of them before allowing two of the survivors to leave. One mutant was left unconscious to be apprehended by police.

Barbara was able to identify the assassin as Pietro Maximoff, a mutant affiliated with the mutant terrorist called Magneto and the terror cell The Brotherhood of Mutants. Tina took the time to make contact with Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where she learned of nearly half the student body being killed on Dark Day.

National news was reporting mutant terrorist attacks across the country, and implicated Hope as a possible member until Barbara released photographic proof of the actual murderer to news agencies.

When school started the next day, many of the students in the Alternate Curriculum Classroom were flat out exhausted. They met their new teacher, Ms. Morgan L’Fay. After class, Ms. L’Fay asked Tina to stay after.

As Ms. L’Fay spoke, Tina started to feel a more than natural influence in her words.

“I want you to know you can trust me,” Ms. L’Fay was saying, her voice feeling like velvet caressing Tina’s mind. “You can tell me anything… and it will make you feel good to tell me everything you know about your old friend Victor Von Doom.”

“Well,” Tina started, almost entranced, “There’s only so much…”

“How’d you get that scar?” Came the voice of Vic Zsasz.

Ms. L’Fay’s hand shot to the nearly invisible scar on her left cheek. The influence, whatever it had been, was disrupted.

After a short meeting with the friends who had waited after class for her, Tina returned to Club Arkham to modify her armor.

As she was working, Tina received a phone call from Alfred Pennyworth, who asked her to go immediately to Gotham Central Park where Young Master Bruce needed help immediately.

Unable to get her Iron Girl suit in working order on such short notice, Tina took Hope with her to the park, where they found Vic and Bruce back to back, squaring off against two supernatural creatures, while three normal looking teenagers stood nearby. Bruce and Vic were obviously badly hurt, but were able to continue defending one another against the attack.
Hope transformed and charged into the attacking creatures, easily knocking them around. Tina sneaked around behind the normal-types who were watching, and fractured the skull of one and smashed in the face of another before they were able to escape by teleportation.

Hope healed Vic and Bruce’s injuries easily, and seemed flush with victory. Zsasz collapsed all the same, and revealed that he had come to the park to prevent the attackers, called the Lilin, from attacking Tina. He was still haunted by the “voices calling to him from the darkness” that he’d failed to rescue on Dark Day, and was nearly broken by the memory. Tina and Hope held him as he sobbed.

Bruce, meanwhile, stood by awkwardly. He didn’t explain how he’d come to Vic’s rescue, but nobody was clear minded enough to ask.

Again operating on nearly zero sleep, class the next day was thankfully uneventful. Ms. L’Fay tried to speak to Tina again, but Tina slipped out while staying in view of her fellow students.

Selina Kyle was trapped in a tree, surrounded by attack dogs. Terry McGinnis managed to get her down safely.

Barbara Gordon detected Derek Powers’ phone in an old Alchemax building following several unsuccessful attempts to call him. Terry and Tina went uptown to check out the situation, only to discover it was a trap set by Anthony Herod. Terry died in the explosion.

The members of Club Arkham managed to save those who had been injured in the explosion. News coverage that evening focused, rather than on the attack, on the return of World War II’s living legend Steve Rogers. Lexcorp had found his remains frozen in ice and successfully resuscitated him.

Jay shut down Gotham High with a bomb threat (and a planted bomb), to allow for Club Arkham time to track down Derek. Tina led a successful raid, accompanied by prospective Club member Oliver Queen. Oliver had some of his friends shadow him on the mission, which was both helpful and a breach of security at the same time.

Anthony Herod had transformed Derek into a living nuclear reactor, as well as damaging his mind in an effort to make Club Arkham members kill each other. Leslie Willis, at great risk to her own life, grabbed Derek and teleported with him to a large body of water until he cooled down.

The Story so Far 2
Dark Day

Mister Blood’s head shot up to alert, as though he’d just heard an explosion. Then, the sun went out. It was a day as dark as cloudy night.

“NO ONE leave this classroom!” Mister Blood barked. He touched the floor, and a glowing line crossed the doors and windows. Before any student could react, Mister Blood was already racing down the corridor. His voice was the last thing they heard, echoing back with some kind of rhyme.

“Well, I suppose I can’t go tanning today,” Jay giggled as he peered out the window. “Oh hell, Hopeless is dying.”

Hope Luthor was doubled over in pain, moaning that she felt sick. Tina tried to get Leslie to use her teleportation power to transport Hope to a hospital, but Hope was terrified of being teleported and darted away every time Leslie tried to touch her.

As the students tried to simultaneously calm Hope down and figure out what was wrong with her, Vic Zsasz arrived outside the classroom. He was wearing only his boxer shorts, and hash marked scars latticed his body. Seemingly unable to pass the beam of light, Vic taunted students to come out to meet him.

Screams began to reach the classroom, all from distant sources. Many of the students in the Alternate Curriculum classroom began to panic.

Hope shrieked at the top of her lungs as her body was bathed in an intense light. She expanded and transformed, leaving behind the weak and frail human facade to become a new creature. Hope appeared as a massive, beautiful statue of a sphinx accentuated with robotic parts and holding a lance in one of the human arms extending off her centauroid female form.
With an instinctual reaction, Hope attacked and destroyed Vic… his body discorporating into a black mist.

“Hopeless!” Jay squealed with delight, “This is the most… scratch that, the ONLY interesting thing you’ve ever done!”

Hope turned to Jay without any trace of amusement.

“You laugh at me all the time,” she said, and lifted her lance to Jay’s face. “Laugh now. I dare you!”

Jay squeaked.

“Laugh now,” Hope snarled at him.

Tina stepped in to distract Hope, eventually calming the transformed girl enough to stop her from threatening her former bully.

“Is this happening everywhere?” Barbara asked no one in particular.

“Oh yes,” Jonathan Crane answered.

“Harvey!” Tina yelped suddenly. “And Vic!”

“They’re in the hospital,” Bruce intoned grimly. “Out there.”

Leslie teleported Bruce and Tina to Gotham General, where they first found Harvey before arriving at Vic’s room, where a near-panic Vic had just killed a duplicate of Tina that was dissolving into black mist.

As the teens began to make their way back to Gotham high, they caught sight of strange, monstrous things moving in the darkness. Then power went out completely, leaving Tina in her Iron Girl suit the only one of the heroes who could see.

Livewire remained at the hospital, powering its electrical grid with her own energy. Victor Zsasz, unable to stand by as people called out for help, abandoned the group to face Dark Day alone.

Just when the school came into view, so did the monstrous image of Felix Faust.

In a frozen state of panic, Tina could only tremble as she watched Faust try to take control of her armor as he had on their first meeting.

As Faust tried to take command of the armor, JARVIS’ automated voice bellowed out:
“Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
“As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

Faust faltered, then whispered: “Doom?”

Tina shrieked, broken out of her paralysis. She slammed into Faust full tilt, then pummeled his supernatural body until it was shattered. Felix Faust was dead.

The students holed up in the apparently protected classroom. As the Dark Day continued, and no one could say when (or if) it would ever end, Tina started making supply runs for food and water.

Late into the night (or early into the morning) Tina was flying a patrol around the area outside the school, when she could have sworn she saw Jonathan Crane standing on a building, warning her about Bain’s dreams being cruel.

Though not entirely sure what she’d just seen, Tina flew back to the classroom at maximum speed. She arrived in time to stop Bain from murdering Barbara Gordon. Bain fled into the darkness.

At the end of a full twenty four hours of darkness, the sun returned. The nightmare appeared to be over. Rescue efforts still needed to be carried out for the wounded or trapped, but whatever had appeared the previous day was no longer active.

Zsasz had been critically injured and lay among the many who wouldn’t survive the morning. Tina sat by his side, accompanied by Hope.

“He never called me Hopeless,” Hope reflected. “He was nice to me.”

Almost without thought, Hope transformed and laid her massive biomechanical hands on Vic’s body. She seemed to absorb his wounds into herself… healing the young man and causing abject panic in the hospital.

Anti-superbeing sentiments abounded after Dark Day, with media reports ranging from asking where were Earth’s heroes during their time of need, to outright blaming metahumans for Dark Day altogether.

One of the chief voices in this movement was Lex Luthor, Hope’s billionaire father and longtime enemy of Superman. In the coming weeks, Luthor would see his supporters form into a new political party; the Preserver Party.

“Preserving America for Humanity.”

The Story so Far
School Daze... covering missed entries

When Tina Stark got the news that she was going to attend Gotham High, she was pissed off. Even more when she found out she was being put in what the school called its “Alternate Curriculum Class”, which she knew was code for “Problem Kids”. The class was kept in its own separate building from the rest of Gotham High, like teachers expected there might be some kind of disease that could infect the “Normal” classes. The building was all the way across the campus from the parking lot where Tina’s motorcycle (and concealed Iron Girl Suit) were.
Two desks were open as Tina entered her classroom for the first time. Tina sat in the one closest to the door, and the eyes of all her classmates seemed to stick on her. No big deal. Tina was used to being stared at… she was the daughter of Tony Stark, after all.

Barely a half hour into class, the teacher just up and walked out. Jason Blood was a no-nonsense kind of guy, and even the students who knew him better than Tina didn’t know what to make of that. A weird kid named Jay with dyed-green hair stood up and started an improvised rap performance in the back of the class, nearly starting a fight with a huge scaly-skinned football player type named Waylon.

“Hey, there are cops outside!” Jay broke off, and hopped up into the window of the classroom. Almost immediately, the entire class had their faces pressed up against the glass. Sure enough, SWAT officers were sweeping the campus in pairs.

“They aren’t cops,” A young man named Bruce Wayne said. He was a quiet guy in class, but he seemed athletic and really smart.

“How do you know?” Tina asked.

“Their weapons are manufactured by Alchemax,” Bruce answered without hesitation. “The GCPD SWAT teams have their armaments provided by Lexcorp. And look, their uniforms still have creases… they’re brand new. And the patches have just been sewn on. You’d never see that in an actual, operating SWAT unit.”

The momentary silence following Bruce’s statement was broken by Harvey Dent.

“Jeez,” Harvey said. “Way to go, Sherlock Holmes.”

“Uh,” Bruce seemed a little nervous, for some reason. “I mean, it’s obvious, isn’t it?”

The students murmured about what they thought could be happening. Pamela took out her cell phone to make a call, and found the signal jammed. All anyone’s cell phone would do was play a recording: "So he made rebellion ’gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
“Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

“That’s Kipling,” Barbara Gordon said aloud. "A poem called “cold iron”."

Tina attempted to call her suit to her remotely. Again, the attempt was blocked, but Tina triggered a new recording: “Take up the White man’s burden -
Send forth the best ye breed -

Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;”

“Kipling again,” piped up Eddie Nigma, eager to show up his rival in academia, Barbara. “You know, this has to be a puzzle! It’s… clues, supposed to be given to a target that could understand them! If I was trying to give clues, I’d DEFINITELY tailor-make them to the recipient!”

The students tried to figure out a possible meaning, but Tina felt time was pressing. She asked if anyone would assist her in getting to the parking lot. Vic Zsasz stepped up.

Tina and Vic managed to avoid any of the false police officers until they reached the parking lot. A massive truck which Tina immediately identified as the source of the jamming signal had two “police” standing outside it. Vic crept some ways away and let himself be seen to try and lure the “officers” away.

Instead, the officers tried to shoot Vic on the spot. However, as soon as they attempted to fire their weapons, their radios screeched and another recording filled their ears: “When you’re wounded on Afghanistan’s plains, and the women come out to cut up your remains, just roll on your rifle and blow out your brains- and go to your God like a soldier.”

Both their weapons misfired. As Tina raced to her armor, Vic grappled with the enemy.

In the course of the fight, Tina recognized that an explosive with a timer had been activated in the jamming truck. Easily restraining the false police with the power of her Iron Girl suit, Tina turned her attention to the truck. She lifted it and flew it far from an inhabited area to allow it to detonate safely.

Real police were now swarming Gotham High, phone and radio signals no longer being blocked. Tina felt that she couldn’t return to the campus, but noticed as she flew overhead that the men she had restrained before were… dissolved. They melted, just like ice cream in the sun.

Programmed cell death, Tina thought right away. And she was right.

Tina scanned the crowd which had formed outside the blockaded school. She identified a Gotham High senior named Felix Faust standing calmly observant of the activities going on… if he’d been outside, why hadn’t he tried to get away? Why wasn’t he freaked the hell out like everyone else?

Tina called her classmates and asked arranged a meeting after police began allowing students to leave.

In an unlucky array of bad timing, both Tina’s parents called as she was allowing the likes of Selina Kyle, Waylon Jones, Jay and Harley, and the rest of the motley crew into her apartment. It proved to make for an awkward conversation.

Many of the sharper students in class put their heads together and shared their insights. Eddie Nigma in particular had concluded that the Rudyard Kipling poems, as well as the sabotage of the false police weapons and radios must have come from a captive being forced to work for his kidnappers. Other detectives speculated that this might be Victor Von Doom, a European refugee who attended Gotham High for a year before disappearing. Most students assumed he’d been expelled.

By using JARVIS’ vast databanks, Tina was able to scan Alchemax Company holdings and cross-reference them with the name Kipling. She discovered Kipling Cold Storage in downtown Gotham.

Tina was about to notify the police, when Bruce suggested that involving police might result in Alchemax killing their captive… after all, they had been willing to blow up a truck in a high school just to cover their tracks.

Not every student was on board with the plan. Vicki Vale and Barbara Gordon in particular felt like not calling the police was reckless and stupid. However, with some convincing (and the promise that no one would get “too involved”), they agreed to wait a night before calling any cops, even Barbara’s dad.

Tina surreptitiously left for Kipling Cold Storage, bringing Vic, Bruce, Selina, Zatana, and Harvey with her.

Only one elderly security guard was visible on the perimeter, and he was asleep. Bruce and Selina crept around to the back of the building to look for easy ways in.

As Selina shimmied up to the roof, Tina witnessed the elderly security guard burst out of his skin to reveal a hideous robot, and one with Selina in its sights. With no time for secrecy, Tina donned her Iron Girl suit and saved Selina from the monstrous defense drone.

Gathering at a predesignated rendezvous point, Tina took roll call. Bruce was missing. He also wasn’t answering his phone.

Vic was convinced that Bruce must have been dragged inside the Cold Storage building by some unseen defense, and insisted on going in after him. Harvey and Tina refused to let Vic go alone, and the trio collectively broke through the front door.

With a little coordination from Selina, Tina was able to find a heavily armored basement. She was able to use her suit to hack the electronic locks as well as an automated armed turret.

What Tina found down there resembled something out of a Nazi horror story. The missing student, Victor Von Doom, appeared to have been tortured and surgically experimented on, only alive by mechanical life support. Two other rooms were prepped for subjects who had never arrived… one labeled Tina, the other Zatana.

Tina was able to remove Doom from life support by encasing him in her own, life support capable armor. She got a call from Bruce, who apologized for abandoning everyone. He said he’d just gotten scared and had to run away. Tina wasn’t sure she believed him.

News reports began covering a fire originating at Kipling Cold Storage even before Tina managed to get back to her apartment… it seemed that Alchemax was covering its tracks. Doom, in and out of consciousness, talked about Alchemax needing people with certain abilities. Their genetics, he said, were necessary if the company was to help in a coming invasion. Although Doom was able to force himself to stay conscious longer than anybody could reasonably be expected to do in his condition, much of what he said didn’t tie together… at least, not as far as Tina could tell. Tina got him out of her suit and onto life support in the illegal lab attached to her place.

Class still carried on the next day… Gotham isn’t a city that shuts down every time some horrific even happens. The students who’d helped in the “Kipling Raid” the night previous were all exhausted. Even so, after class they all came together with the rest of their fellow Alternate Curriculum pupils, and made the (not unanimous) decision to keep things amongst themselves. Tina also asked Zatana to bring her family to stay at Tina’s place… it seemed safer.

Tina returned to her apartment nearly dead from exhaustion, only to find Doom somehow lurching around her lab. She tried to get him to relax for his own safety, but Doom refused and said time was of the essence. Too tired to argue, Tina let him work on the equipment, and (as Doom’s Request) allowed him access to her Iron Girl suit.

When Tina woke up the next morning, it seemed as though the badly injured Victor Von Doom had worked all through the night. Tina made him stop working and go to sleep.

Class was uneventful. At the end of the day, before anyone went home, Leslie Willis stood up and called for everyone’s attention.

“Hey bitches!” Leslie called out, taking fliers out of her backpack. "Look, I know we got TONS of freaky stuff going on, but hey, we live in Gotham right? We keep our lives going!
“Anyway, good ol’ Ozzie…” she gestured to Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot in the front row. Ozzie waved to everyone. “…managed to get his parents to agree to let us use one of his family’s old unused theater buildings for a show this Saturday!”

Leslie started handing out the fliers as she talked, which had pictures of DJ Freeze and a few other student performers on it.

“You can bring your ARTIFICIAL chemicals…” Leslie handed a flier to Julio Bain, “…you can bring your NATURAL chemicals…” she handed a flier to Pamela Isely, “…you can bring your FRIENDS…” she handed a flier to Hope Luthor, then added in a low voice “…if you GOT any.”

Leslie dropped a stack of fliers on Tina’s desk. “C’mon,” she said. “Be cool, give some of these to some rich record producer or something. And NOBODY tell their parents about any of this!” Leslie shouted to everyone.

As Tina was getting ready to leave, Vic asked her if she wanted to go “…y’know, together.”

As Tina was considering it, Waylon had a sudden and pretty aggressive response. He sat behind Tina and seemed to think that he should have first dibs on asking Tina out, if anyone was going to. Tina managed to distract Waylon long enough to avoid a fight.

In the days leading up to the event, Tina became very involved in planning the theater show. She and Zatana worked out stage effects for a magic act, she and Victor Fries collaborated on amping up his speaker setup, and she enlisted the help of some guys from the A/V club to help improve the old Cobblepot Theater’s setup. Those guys were Arnold Wesker, Jervis Tech, and Garfield Lyons. All of them seemed to have a knack for machine work.

It seemed like Saturday arrived in a flash. The old Cobblepot Theater looked almost brand new, thanks to the efforts of the Gotham High students. Leslie was taking a cover charge from all students from other schools, and it seemed like the evening was moving on as a huge success.

“Hey, she needs help,” Selina said to Tina as she nearly carried Zatana, semi-conscious, through the theater.

“I feel sick,” Zatana moaned.

Tina brought her motorcycle-concealed Iron Girl suit around back of the theater and used the medical systems inside to counteract the drugs in Zatana’s system. Zatana insisted that Bain had tried to dope her. Tina wasn’t sure why, but figured the danger was past now, whatever it had been.

Right in the middle of Zatana’s stage performance, a signal broke through on Tina’s phone. It was a staticky, nearly incoherent picture message from someone in a green hooded sweatshirt. As Tina went outside the theater to hear better, she recognized the person as Victor Von Doom, apparently outside of her lab and away from life support.

(SSKKRRRZZ)…attacked…(KKKXXXXTTTT)…took Zat(SSSKKKRRRRNK)…parents…"

“You okay?” Vic Zsasz asked, having noticed Tina leaving in a hurry.

Tina told him there was something happening at her house.

“We better get there,” Bruce said, having somehow approached without being noticed.

“Hey,” Leslie snapped, as Harvey Dent now also came outside to see what was happening. “Can all you DICKWEEDS please stop disrupting my event by running out in the middle?!”

Tina hurriedly explained what she’d seen. The students already outside headed to Tina’s place. Vic and Tina on her motorcycle, the rest in Bruce’s car.

The apartment was a wreck. JARVIS was down, dead bodies were strewn throughout, and Zatana’s parents were gone. Tina got another call from Doom, much stronger this time. He was able to tell Tina that he was tracking the vehicle which held Zatana’s parents, and once Tina reset JARVIS, he was able to patch it through to Tina’s phone. Tina sent the information out to everyone in her class.

“I killed all but one of them,” Doom said before shutting down his signal. “The survivor is Felix Faust.”

Bruce took out his own phone and entered a code. Nobody paid too much attention to it.

Again with Vic, Tina took off on her motorcycle. Traffic was suddenly backed up right along the path of the truck which was attempting escape… it seemed that the traffic lights were malfunctioning. Tina’s motorcycle weaved through it easily.

As soon as the fleeing vehicle came in sight, Tina donned her Iron Girl armor and saw no one in the cab. The rear of the vehicle was windowless, like an armored truck, but no match for the strength of Tina’s exoskeleton. She peeled the doors off the back like skin off an orange.

Then froze.

Tina’s armor was totally immobile, and she was confronted with a human-like thing with a mechanical screen where its face would have been. The thing taunted Tina, threatening her with rape and torture. Then Victor Zsasz slammed into it and knocked it out of the truck.

The thing was only surprised by Vic’s attack, and took the time to slowly tear skin off his body as Tina could only watch.

Waylon Jones, Jay, Bruce, Harvey, and Leslie all arrived in time to see Vic pass out on the street. Jay hopped into the truck cab and reversed, slamming into the monster and (momentarily) breaking its concentration enough to return Iron Girl’s control. She ejected from her armor and commanded it to return to base.

Even as a team, the teenagers were no match for Felix Faust. He badly injured Waylon and grabbed Harvey before rejoining Tina in the back of the truck.

“Now then, pretty little thing…”

“Oh thanks,” Jay giggled, aiming a gun through a hole in the vehicle at chemical containers. "I try to look my best!

And with that, Jay fired into the volatile containers. Tina was able to grab Harvey and bail from the truck, but couldn’t save Zatana’s parents, who were unconscious inside. Chemical toxins released from the truck burned Harvey over 50% of his body, and also triggered latent mutant genes in Leslie.

Shocked and horrified at her transformation into a semi-electric creature, Leslie began teleporting uncontrollably. Tina recalled her armor and used it to transport Vic to her lab in an effort to save his life. Bruce, Waylon, and others who were still healthy enough began evacuating people from the danger zone of the chemicals. Felix Faust seemed to have escaped.

It was a long night, especially for Vic and Harvey, both of whom were taken to Gotham General Hospital before the night was over.

Victor Von Doom suffered a stroke. He died while making modifications to Tina’s Iron Girl suit.

The fight took its toll on Tina mentally. The helplessness she felt as well as the injuries done to her classmates drove her into her lab, distracting herself with work. She contacted her father about the strange activities from the Alchemax Corporation.


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