He was glad that they went to talk to Dr. Lindsey; it gave him a new idea as what to put Tabitha through for her therapy. J’onn and Bruce came up with a theory that the new DNA strand had an effect on her adrenaline; it was triggered when she fought and fueled her rage blackout. The Martian needed to test this theory out under a controlled environment; he could not risk her going into a fit of rage out in the open.
Superman and he were in the room that housed the simulation program; many members used it for training, honing their skills. J’onn and Bruce were responsible for creating the program, making sure that a member could select any possible program to their liking. They could adjust the program by strength level (ranging from 0 to 20; only he and Superman were able to withstand the program at level 20), environment and time.
J’onn had plotted out a simple ten minute program for Tabitha as Superman looked on.
“You don’t think it’s too early for her?” he asked.
“I believe she can handle her own, according to Bruce. Besides, this is the only way to safely test out our theories. She needs a villain to fight.” he told him. J’onn sighed a little as Superman continued to look at him, “I will put it on a moderate level…” he changed the strength level from 12 to 6. He looked at the monitor of Tabitha in the adjoined room. Without the program running, it looked like a room of various wires, “Tabitha, we’re going to test your abilities.” he announced to her. She looked around the room a bit before nodding.
“Don’t hold anything back.” J’onn ordered and began the program. She slightly jumped as the room immediately transformed into the rugged streets of Gotham. When she turned around, she was met by a swift kick from Joker. Back in the control room, Superman and J’onn watched as she easily threw the mad man around. The program also monitored the person’s vitals; J’onn saw that she was nowhere near going through one of her rages and secretly increased the difficulty up to 12. No sooner had he did, the two noticed that her demeanor had changed. The more Joker taunted her, the more her mind started to leave her.
Superman quickly turned his attention back to the Martian.
“Keeping it on level six is really pointless; it’s not even a workout for Bruce…” he said, matter-of-factly; not that he thought that Bruce was weak: he knew that the caped crusader was one of three members without any mutant abilities.
“Something about Joker that she doesn’t like… besides the annoying taunting?”
“Bruce said that he’s actually her ‘favorite’. The taunting may be a trigger as well… let’s try a different villain…” J’onn decided. A few quick strokes on the keyboard made Joker run away from Tabitha and another villain appeared in front of her. She was taken aback at first at what towered in front of her; a massive yellow beast with red eyes wearing a light purple suit. Superman raised an eyebrow at J’onn.
“Of all the villains, you pick Mongul?” he wondered. The Martian ignored the look the Kryptonian was giving him and focused on the new battle. When Mongul approached her, she naturally defended herself. She saw that he would not back down and she immediately went on the attack. The two Justice League members watched in shocked silence as the life in her eyes faded and she fought him with all of her might. What surprised both of them was that she was having no problems with Mongul; he was far too heavy for her to pick up and throw so she combined her lightning with every punch and kick, knocking him into several buildings.
Her heart rate monitor beeping quickly made the two decide that they had seen enough. J’onn shut down the program instead of waiting out the two minutes for it to end itself. Superman went into the other room to help the woman who had fallen down on her knees, breathing hard. When she felt someone touch her, she let her lightning loose and turned to attack whoever was trying to sneak up on her. Seeing who was trying to help her made her eyes slowly come back to focus.
“Su… Superman…?” she finally looked around; the room was back to when she first went inside. She slowly realized what happened and shakily ran her hands through her damp hair, “It… it happened again… didn’t it?” her eyes filled with tears. Superman returned to her side.
“It’s okay…” was the only thing he could think of telling her.
After the display she had given in the simulation room, J’onn refrained from putting her through that again although it did prove that the adrenaline fueled the rage inside of her. He had to figure out how to approach her therapy using that information. The first option was to not let her fight. He didn’t approve of that; he really wanted her a part of the Justice League (raged or not, she had handled the program easily on level 12; she had a lot of potential): unfortunately, fighting was a part of that.
Another option was for him to use one of his abilities and erase a part of her mind; if she didn’t have knowledge of her powers, she wouldn’t rage. J’onn immediately saw the major flaw in that idea: while he could erase any memory that he wanted, he couldn’t take away the powers. She would still have her lightning ability and they would come out whenever she got emotional. For the moment, he would stick with what they were doing before.
He wanted to know more about when she stayed in New York; whenever they talked, she wouldn’t mention any more other than what she already told him. He liked the fact that she had become smart enough to not think about it; she knew very well that he could go through her mind. However, he knew who would be able to give him the information that he needed.
Dr. Lindsey reconfirmed everything that Tabitha had told J’onn during their sessions as well as (as he had figured) things that she had left out. While Tabitha was in Gotham, she used Jamila as her contact with Peter; what she didn’t know was that the two talked a lot about her… and Peter told her everything that happened the last time she had seen Alpha.
“I hope this helps out in her treatment.”
“It will; thank you, Dr. Lindsey. Would you like to speak with her before leaving?”
“Yes.” she smiled and nodded. J’onn led her out the room and to Tabitha’s. When she heard the knock on the door, Tabitha looked at the time and shrugged; she was finished with her treatment for the day and wondered who it would be. When she let the door slide open, her eyes widened and she gave Jamila a huge hug.
“Tabs…” the professor smiled.
“I’ll leave you two to talk. Tabitha will let me know when you’re ready to leave, Dr. Lindsey.” J’onn said and left. She pulled her best friend in the room.
“Oh, my God; what are you doing here? Wait… how did you get here?!”
“J’onn invited me. Oh… my God; he is fucking sexy as…” she was about to comment but Tabitha immediately covered her mouth.
“W-what; he can hear me?!”
“Pretty sure of it but he can most definitely read minds!”
“Oh, fuck my life; that was all I was thinking about! That damn chest… and those abs… I wonder how he hides all that…”
“Don’t tell me you ain’t thought it; as tall as he is, he has to have a d…”
“AHH!!” Tabitha covered her best friend’s mouth yet again, “What part of ‘he reads minds’ did you not get?!”
“Shit; if he’s been in it ‘bout ten minutes ago, what I was thinking about now was G-rated!”
“Oh, dear Lord!” she sat down on her bed and slightly laughed, “Why are you even having those thoughts?!”
“Well, if he wasn’t half damn naked, I wouldn’t… wait; he’s sexy; yeah, I would!”
“I don’t discriminate…” the comment made both women laugh. Jamila sat down beside her friend, “Green men can get it, too!”
“Aren’t you married?!?!”
“Oh, I can talk and think and look all I want! As long as I don’t touch…”
“You’re killing me! He could be right outside that door, listening to you and your perverted thoughts!”
“Which would make him the bigger perv if he’s still out there listening!” the professor laughed, “Okay; I’m done! How you been feeling?” she calmed down. Tabitha shrugged.
“Okay, I guess.”
“Think you’re learning how to control your anger?”
“I don’t know. It’s so frustrating… and embarrassing. Bad enough I gotta learn how to control these powers; I gotta control my anger, too?” she looked away. Jamila sighed.
“I know it ain’t easy. That strand doesn’t want it to be easy for you. But… I know you can whip this.”
“… By opening up. The next time J’onn talks to you… tell him everything. It might unblock things for you…” she suggested. Tabitha looked down at the ground. It would definitely open up old wounds for sure, she thought. Maybe the doctor was right. Maybe it was what she needed.