I slowly opened my eyes. I was laying flat on my back, in a room shrouded in mist. Above me, two eyes, glowing bright white, bore into mine. The face that contained them was a waxy green hue, dusted with a few freckles. It was the Martian girl. Another enemy. She seemed startled that I had awoken. All the better.
I sprung forward, thrashing violently, trying to attack. She held her hands up slowly, and I was dropped back onto the surface on which I was laying, and sank back into oblivion.
When I awoke again, it was in a different room. The surface I was on was soft. The room was bathed in harsh artificial light. As my eyes came into focus, I realized I was in what seemed like a hospital. My बिस्तर was surrounded द्वारा them, the enemies. The Martian girl from earlier was there, as were all her other friends, and as I slowly sat up, they smiled and cheered. I narrowed my eyes. They were to be eliminated.
A girl with long, jet-black hair stepped forward. Her eyes were covered with dark sunglasses. Her face lit up when she saw me. I did not reflect these emotions; she was the enemy, after all. She leaned forward, as if to hug me. I brushed her off. “Aisling!” she cried.
I realized the others were saying it too, the word bouncing out of their mouths and echoing around the walls. Another realization came, that that was my name. Aisling. I let the word roll around on my tongue.
Suddenly a redhead darted forward, trying to मेहराब, तिजोरी, कोष्ठ onto the edge of my bed. Another boy, with a strong, wide, frame and a chiseled face, pulled him back. “No, Wally,” he कहा firmly. “She might still attack.” The redhead, Wally, gave a feisty grin, a wild glint in his green eyes, and pushed आगे anyways. “Aisling! So glad you’re better!”
I glared at him, and he seemed taken aback, because he backed up until he fell right off the edge of the bed. I gave a dry laugh. The others didn’t follow suit.
“Megan?” asked the dark-haired boy, whose eyes were also obscured द्वारा thick shades. “Um, I thought आप कहा आप fixed her...”
The Martian, whose name appeared to be Megan, frowned. “I did. Well, I fixed the memories. Any thoughts she still had I couldn’t get to. It’ll just take a little getting used to.”
The girl with sunglasses was slowly edging her way towards my bed. “Aisling?” she asked softly. I didn’t reply. She was on the बिस्तर now, sitting as close to the edge as she could, presumably so she could make a quick getaway if I attacked. “It’s me, Fin. Remember me? We were...” she faltered slightly, as if she had trouble saying the words. “We were friends.”
Friends. The word felt so foreign to me. Friends? But they spurned me, I thought desperately. They rejected me, they...I stopped. No. That wasn’t right. She was the one who was right. The memories were flooding in now. Everything we had done together, every time she had stuck up for me, and me for her. We were. We were friends. I sat up slowly, and a smile began to creep over my face. Without warning, I lunged forward, and Fin instinctively jumped backward, but instead of attacking, I locked her into an embrace. The others began cheering, Fin’s eyes were beginning to water, possibly from the emotion of the situation, या possibly because I was practically squeezing the breath out of her. Either way, I loosened my grasp.
“Aisling!” Fin squealed, when she regained her breath. “You’re better!”
I nodded. She grinned. We stared at each other, not sure what to say, when Aqualad broke in. “How do we know for sure?” he asked suspiciously, turning towards Megan. “This could all be an act.”
Fin shook her head vigorously. “I just know. Look, her eyes are blue again.”
Aqualad nodded reluctantly, but I still didn’t understand. “My eyes?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Fin said. “When आप were hacked--that’s what they did to you, hacked your memories--, they were red.”
That I understood, but there were still some pieces that weren’t quite fitting together. “But that can’t be right!” I burst out, and the others turned to face me. I continued. “When Robin was hacked, his eyes were blue. How is that possible?”
The Team was speechless. Robin was chuckling, then, without warning, he burst out laughing. His loud cackle filled the entire room, as he slapped his knees, oblivious to the strange looks that we were giving him. When he had regained his breath, he straightened up, clutching his side, and began to talk. “The reason my eyes weren’t red,” he croaked, pausing to chuckle some more. “Was because I wasn’t hacked. I was pretending.” He bust up laughing again.
We stared, incredulously. We couldn’t believe our ears, and I still couldn’t quite get a grasp on what was funny about that. Artemis was glaring, Wally was giggling, Aqualad and Superboy were expressionless, and Fin looked as if she was getting ready to slap him senseless.
“But why?” Wally asked, and the others murmured in assent.
“Yeah,” Fin snapped, her voice filled with venom. “You almost killed me!”
Robin shook his head, gradually regaining his composure. “I was never going to kill you. I’ll tell आप what happened.”
“I’d be honored,” Fin snarled, dripping with sarcasm. “Do continue.”
“They did try to hack me. They almost got to me, but I resisted. I managed to prevent them from getting to me, from corrupting and stealing my memories, without them knowing. I had to pretend they got to me, though. I knew they were watching, and if they knew I had resisted, they would’ve killed me. आप see, when I did it, I turned it around, in a way. Got some information from them.”
Fin was looking slightly less angry, although she was still glaring, and the others were nodding in agreement. “What did आप find?” asked Artemis.
“Well, the organization is named Kaos, and they have four main leaders. I think they’re a fairly new organization, and an independant one as well, which would explain why we’ve never heard of them. I didn’t get all the leader’s names, but I do know that the one who hacked me was named Chardys, and the one who hacked Aisling was Axxis. I couldn’t figure out their ultimate goal, but the memories they targeted, at least on myself, were those of my past. They aimed to actually remove those, steal them, और like; and they were going to corrupt the rest, make it so that I would be on their side. I’m assuming that’s what happened to Aisling too.”
He trailed off, and we all stood in silence, absorbing what he had said. My thoughts were whirling, and I sat up. “So this means...”
“Well, can आप remember anything?” Robin asked. I closed my eyes, trying to bring to mind the memories. None came. My parents’ names, where I lived, how I got my powers, nothing. After a few moments, I shook my head.
The mood in the room had suddenly gotten solemn, and आप could taste the tension woven between us. “So they’ll be back,” Fin कहा grimly. “This isn’t the last time we’ll be meeting Kaos.”
We nodded. Wally had stepped forward, and a smile began to creep onto his face. “C’mon guys,” he कहा perkily. “She’s awake and better! We should be celebrating!” Fin’s face brightened, and soon, even Superboy was looking happy. Artemis came up to my bed.
“Hey Aisling?” she asked, and for once, she wasn’t glaring at me. “I just wanted to say, I’m really glad that you’re not trying to kill us anymore.” Coming from her, this was like the compliment of the century. I smiled.
Wally jumped up onto the bed, inching आगे until we were practically rubbing up against each other. He had his hand in my hair, which I was itching to tie back up into its usual ponytail, and he was leaning in uncomfortably close.
“Um, Wally?” I asked, unhappy that my personal अंतरिक्ष was being so awkwardly invaded. “Could I have a little, um, space?”
“Of course,” he said, turning a little red. “You just...” He trailed off, going bright pink.
Was he flirting with me? It sure seemed like it. I didn’t know how to feel about him. Luckily, the moment was spared द्वारा Batman, who had appeared out of nowhere and was slowly walking towards us. Wally, whose face was identical to a ripe tomato, fell off the बिस्तर for the सेकंड time that दिन and lay sprawled in a heap on the floor.
“Another mission?” asked Aqualad, and the Team let out a collective groan. We were exhausted, या at least I was. बैटमैन shook his head, and I gave a sigh of relief.
“I was just going to say, this was quite an interesting mission. आप showed great teamwork and leadership, yet this entire battle was completely preventable. If आप had done a proper job on your first mission, and investigated the स्रोत of the आग as आप were told to do, Aisling might not have been hacked. With that being said, आप did handle the situation skillfully, and I applaud आप on that. However, this mission is not over. Whoever hacked her--”
“Kaos,” Robin informed him.
“--then Kaos, will be back for more. We don’t know when, या what they have in store, but we do know that they didn’t take Aisling’s past for no reason. We just have to be on guard. In the meantime, let’s get out of this hospital.”
He nodded, and I slowly stood up. My legs still felt a little shaky, but otherwise I was fine. A nurse waddled in at that moment, a पार करना, क्रॉस expression on her face, and, seeing me out of bed, was about to admonish me when she saw Batman’s dark figure. She squealed and hurried out the door.
“Let’s get going then,” बैटमैन said, and motioned for the Team to follow. We left the hospital and set off for the streets of Gotham city.
It was just after nightfall, around 6 o’clock, and the evening hustle and bustle had begun. बैटमैन had slunk off somewhere, so we were left on our own. As we slid into the alley with the telephone booth, I looked at the others. They were, I realized, the best फ्रेंड्स I could ever have.