The Justice Academy

After the justice league discovers that villains have their own schools for creating villains, they decide to start their own school for heroes. This year, one Barbara Gordon is forced to enrol by her father and she really, really doesn’t want to be there.

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16. Chapter Sixteen

Green Arrow and Green Lantern stood at the entrance to the tropical jungle that stood where the gym once had and Barbara almost missed them, their outfits helping them blend in to the green around them.
Third years and first years piled in around them and the first years gaped, whilst the third years just rolled their eyes and waited for the two leaguers to stop showing off.
“I’m sure you’ve all been told about the upcoming holiday-” whoops from third and first years alike “-and the upcoming exams.”
The third years just huffed, clearly used to the way it worked by now but the first years grumbled and moaned like first years did. Barbara wanted to know what the test would be for them, was desperate to know what they had to start training for.
“Third years you know your exam, so I’ll just be explaining the first year exam.” Green Lantern told them, he stood like a military man.
Tall, shoulders back, arms straight down on either side and with purpose.
“You will be assigned into teams. One fifth year will lead you with a fourth year on a league set mission. This mission will take place in the school, and the five highest scoring first years at the end of the year will be allowed out on a real mission.”
Barbara straightened, that was it. That was her goal. If she could go out and prove that she was truly part of the league, then the whispers about her file would stop. Cheshire and Aisha would leave her alone, and she could be a good guy.
Just like Pops wants.
“For today’s session we have a scenario for you all.” Green Arrow took over “You’re out on a mission alone and you’re waiting for backup, however your being pursued by an unknown amount of enemies in an unfamiliar landscape, you’ve got two team mates and ten minutes.”
“Survival.” One of the first years called and out Green Arrow snapped his fingers at them.
“Bingo.”
“Now normally we let you pick your team but the league doesn’t work like that so we’ll be choosing today. First years will be in groups of three, the third years will be the assailants. Don’t kill each other.”
Barbara was teamed with a girl called Jenny and a guy called Drake, she could vanish and he could punch through walls.
“Alright, off you go!”
They ran into the jungle and two minutes in found places to hide. Barbara kept cover in a tree, Jenny created false tracks and vanished and Drake camouflaged. A trick Barbara discovered he was quite adept as.
Hal passed by, and then another third year until seven minutes in, Barbara’s target arrived.
Barbara checked down to ensure Drake and Jenny were still hidden before she moved to another tree, creating just enough noise to let Aisha know she was there.
But Aisha didn’t take the bait, she looked up and their eyes met, but she squinted and walked away.
I am really starting to hate her.
“She’s no fun.”
Twisting around Barbara swiped, her hand meeting empty air as she leapt blindly backwards and almost missed the next branch, people were calling below her. The third years had heard her jump.
Cheshire was wearing the same porcelain mask as always, her gear a deeper green than Barbara remembered but that just helped her blend into the greenery better.
“I think she’s annoyed you aren’t wearing it.” Cheshire told her conversationally “She picked it out herself.”
“I’m surprised she found the time, we get a hell of a lot of homework.” Barbara responded.
She could already feel her heart pumping in her chest, the adrenaline pumping and her blood roaring in her ears. Fighting Cheshire always brought this fear, always brought this excitement.
The first time Barbara had seen Cheshire she’d been out on one of her rounds, they’d both picked the same house. Barbara for the silver, Cheshire for murder. It had been a terrifying experience.
“I remember, Bats was always a stickler for it.”
There was movement below, something was happening but she didn’t really care. Neither of them cared, they were too engrossed with each other.
“Give me a clue Cheshire, one or two?” Barbara asked her, they were both moving slowly from branch to branch, making their ways towards each other.
When Cheshire spoke, Barbara could practically see her smile.
“Three.”
Then Cheshire moved, she darted across the tree and the silver flashed and suddenly Barbara was falling. The blood was hot on her chest, but the pain more than bearable so she twisted and grabbed the nearest branch and her arm jerked with the impact. Her arm hurt more than her chest, the wound was shallow.
A warning.
“Gordon!”
Green enveloped her and she was lowered, arrows flashed above her and Cheshire was leaping into the undergrowth.
They need to shut down the jungle program.
Green Lantern lowered her down and she stood, her legs were strong, but she could feel her hands shaking. Lantern had her arm, Arrow was already running off towards Cheshire, arrows flying as he did so. Roy looked tempted to go with him but he caught sight of the blood and stayed. Barbara secretly liked that he did.
“Everyone out.” Lantern called over the din and students were herded out of the gym and towards the cafeteria.
“Gordon, I don’t want you to go anywhere alone. You stay with at least two friends at all times. More if possible, understood?”
“Affirmative.” She told him and he released her arm to call a medic for her chest, she hoped they looked at her shoulder.
Kara and Roy were with her, Kaldur and Hal soon joined. Aisha was out of sight, but nowhere near out of mind.
“Who was that?” Hal asked when they approached.
“An assassin named Cheshire, she’s got it out for Barbs.” Roy muttered lowly, other students were keeping a wide berth from them.
No, Barbara realised from me.
“What did GL have to say?” Kara asked her and she sighed.
“I’ve got to keep in a group, he doesn’t want me left alone no matter what.”
Kaldur’ahm frowned at her, not understanding her reluctance.
“You would rather endanger your life than stay with friends?” He asked her and she shook her head.
“I’d rather find out what they want with me truth be told, and you four pretty much make up my entire friend group.”
“There’s always Aisha.” Kara pointed out and Barbara had to fight the scowl.
“Hang on, the leagues here.” Hal muttered and they turned.
Not just the league, the entire student body was being brought into the cafeteria. Barbara slunk away to the edges of the hall with her four friends in tow, she didn’t think she’d be able to handle being trapped amongst so many people knowing eyes would be on her.
The students all muttered and whispered, thousands of rumours spreading in seconds, each one more incredulous than the next. Fifth and fourth years were the only ones not whispering, they’d been trained to think rationally and to listen to the facts.
“Thank you everybody!” Wonderwoman called over them, her wrist was wrapped in a bandage, Barbara wondered what she’d done.
“The school is unfortunately going into lockdown,” mutters from everyone “this means that your upcoming holiday is cancelled for security reasons.”
Well, that was odd.
“Why would they keep us here when there’s been a security breach?” Roy asked, voicing Barbara’s thoughts.
“If we get to leave,” Hal explained “then the school has to be opened up and the warps activated, there would be thousands of ways for Cheshire to escape.”
“They’d rather wait for her to attack Barbs again?” Kara asked, mortified.
Hal shrugged his shoulders and Wonderwoman continued.
“There will be no classes during the holiday week and we urge you to travel in groups, if you see any suspicious activity report it immediately, do not involve yourselves. Your safety is our priority, if you cannot find a member of the league or a tutor please find a fifth year student as they will know what to do.”
After that everyone was rounded up and sent back to their dorms, and something dawned on Barbara quite suddenly.
There was no sign that Cheshire had broken in, no security breaches, nothing. Aisha did not arrive with other students, she and Wonderwoman came together from Themascara which meant that Cheshire had not arrived with her.
Which meant Cheshire had been telling the truth earlier.
Aisha wasn’t the only traitor in the Academy.

 

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