The home of adventurer Cyril “Speed” Saunders:
It had been two weeks now since Hector Hall showed up on his doorstep. Speed didn’t ask what was wrong but merely invited the young man in. Hector would talk to him when he was ready. Only weeks earlier, his granddaughter Kendra had come to live with him, carrying a secret of her own. Speed smiled slightly and wondered what act of fate had brought these two lost souls here.
A few days after Hector’s arrival, Speed’s cousin Shiera, Hector’s mother, called. She was relieved to hear that Hector was there. In fact, it was the first place she called. Hector had loved spending time at his Uncle Speed’s place during the summer. It made sense that he would go there. Hector refused to speak with his parents, and Speed didn’t press the issue, even when Lyta Trevor called. He told them that Hector needed some time to heal from his ordeal.
Out on the back porch, Hector was staring up at the stars. So much had happened over the last month. He had become a thing of pure evil. Was that truly his destiny? Could it happen again? His mind reeled at the thought. Not if he could help it.
Just then, his cousin Kendra joined him on the porch. She handed him a mug with steaming coffee to help take the chill off.
“Penny for your thoughts?”
“Hey, I’ll tell you my secrets if you tell me yours.”
“Touché. You know, you’re not so bad for a spoiled little rich boy, Hall. How long are you staying?”
“I don’t know. A while, I suppose. I’m not in a hurry. For the first time in a long time, I feel like my fate is in my own hands instead of someone else’s.”
Carter and Shiera Hall were supervising the rebuilding of Hall Manor. Construction was in full swing, thanks to some help from Green Lantern and the Flash. It helped them to take their minds off Hector, if only for a little while.
They had both decided, after talking with Dr. Charles McNider, that it would be best for Hector to come to them. But waiting would not be easy.
“Both pregnant? Aphrodite help me. I need to sit down.”
Queen Hippolyta sat back on her throne as her daughter Diana, alias Wonder Woman, and her granddaughter Lyta brought her the joyous news. Lyta’s smile, though, hid the pain of separation from Hector. She tried calling, but he didn’t want to see her.
That’s fine, she thought. I have a whole island of family to help me raise my child.
Inside Fate’s Tower, three voices could be heard speaking.
“You have changed destiny, Fate. Surely you understood the consequences.”
“We did, but no man’s fate is certain,” said Dr. Kent Nelson.
“We had to help,” added Inza Nelson, the other half of Doctor Fate. “Hector Hall is the child of old and dear friends. There was no choice.”
“I was not speaking of his altered destiny, Fate, but yours and mine. The future is now uncertain.”
“Has it not always been that way, Lord Morpheus?” said Kent.
Back at his desk at Stellar Studios, Sylvester Pemberton was updating his computer database.
Yolanda Montez has returned home from Gotham, now calling herself the new Catwoman, since Ted Grant will be active for a long time to come as Wildcat, but she’s been coy about becoming an official member so far. Aquaman finally showed up again. Jesse and Ray are settling in well with the team. Jennie-Lynn and Todd have decided to spent some time with the JSA Reserves, at least for now, but I have a feeling we’ll need Jade’s help with Solomon Grundy very soon. Both Hector and Lyta are on leave, and Heaven only knows if Hec will ever come back after this. Norda’s decided to stick around for a while. Maybe he’s not as sure of Hector as he said he was. Johnny and Libby have hightailed it out of here, even though I’d hoped they’d stay to help train the new members. Maybe they can get it back together. That’d be nice. Now, what else?
The Patriot swiveled in his chair and was stunned to see who had walked into his office. “Ted?”
The man in Ted Knight’s outfit laughed for a moment. “No, Sylvester, it’s me, David — David Knight. I was wondering if there was room on your team for the new Starman.”
In a hotel room not far from Stellar Studios, a small man sat in shadows as a woman entered the room.
“Well, Harlot-quin? Did you get it?”
Letting the illusions caused by her stolen Harlequin glasses go, Marcie Cooper stood revealed and handed the small man an envelope.
“No, but I found this. I thought you’d find it interesting.”
He took the open envelope from her hand and took out the letter from inside, tossing the envelope. It had been addressed to Henry King, Junior and Sylvester Pemberton.
“Well, can you use it?” Marcie asked.
“Use it? Of course. What do you think I am, some kind of Dummy? Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”