The group took refuge at an old high school, Hamilton Hill High, where Virgil took the liberty of removing the black jumpsuits off the Lindsey triplets and handcuffed them to three chairs.
“Did you have to make us naked…?” Jamil asked. Tabitha wanted to snicker; his attitude hadn’t changed a bit.
“One, you’re not naked. Two, shut up before you get electrocuted!” the new Batman threatened. Someone approaching made Tabitha swing around and start charging up. When she saw that it was an old man, cane and all, she immediately stopped and looked at him. Her eyes widened.
“Holy… shit… Bruce?!” she switched glances between the young and old Bruce. The older one stared at her and a slow smile finally appeared.
“Tabitha…” he studied the others for a moment and approached his younger self. The younger Bruce could do nothing but look at him in awe, making the old man chuckle a bit, “Surprised to see me?”
“A little. I’m more surprised I lived so long!” the younger Bruce smirked. As Tabitha debated on who to talk to first, John approached the hawk man.
“You called me dad… who are you?”
“Obviously your son…” Tabitha mumbled, causing snickers from the women. John glared at her.
“I don’t think you’re in any authority to joke right about now…” he glanced at the Martian and then looked back at his own son.
“Rex Stewart, better known as Warhawk.”
“Who’s your mother?”
“Really?! You have no idea who his mom is?!” Tabitha couldn’t help herself, motioning at Rex’s retractable wings.
“I would say the same to you but I think it’s very obvious who his father is…” John nodded towards the Martian. Tabitha became flustered as the Martian approached her.
“What are you doing here?” his voice was a bit lighter than J’onn’s but she knew that he could very well change that as needed… just like his father.
“We followed a time-traveling thief here; David Clinton.” younger Bruce explained for Tabitha.
“Oh, you mean Lord Chronos. It makes sense, now. If you haven’t noticed, everything is jacked up around here because of him.” Virgil informed them.
“How far in the future have we traveled?” Diana asked. The older Bruce walked up to Tabitha and examined her.
“How long have you been in the League?” he asked her. She slightly shrugged.
“A couple of years…”
“Then, you’ve traveled about fifty years, give or take a year.” he told her. She stared at Virgil in shock.
“You’re looking damn good for a sixty year old, then! You all do…” she eyed the Lindsey triplets.
“The miracle of modern medicine; sixty-five is the new thirty.” Virgil acknowledged. He turned to face the group, “Unfortunately… this is all that’s left of the Justice League. Warhawk, Terry; the new Batman and Martian Lyght.” he formally introduced.
“Wait… what do you mean, ‘this is all that’s left’? You saying…” it actually saddened Tabitha at the thought. Rex slowly nodded.
“When Lord Chronos took over, he launched a full-scale attack on the Justice League. There wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. A handful simply… left… but it was a very small handful that survived.”
“And those three didn’t help matters much…” Virgil piped in, pointing to the Lindsey triplets. Tabitha swung around and eyed them in half disgust/half amusement.
“What?! But… they don’t even have powers!” she noted. Virgil threw one of the jumpsuits to her.
“Technology’s changed a lot in fifty years, too. With enough money, you can buy super powers…” Solonia explained as Tabitha examined the suit. Very unnoticeable, there were wires running throughout the entire suit. Tabitha had a feeling that it was capable of giving the wearer any power they desired. Slightly angered, she approached the three.
“Why would you do this? Where’s your mom and dad? Do they know what you’ve been doing?!” she scolded. A.C. shot an evil look towards the remaining Justice League members.
“Ask them what happened to our parents!” he spat out. She looked at the others with a confused look.
“What…? What happened to…”
“They killed them! And, no one did a damn thing to stop it! Why should we ‘play nice’ to them when they took the most important people in our lives?!” Jamil angrily yelled out. Tears formed in her eyes as Tabitha continued to eye the future members.
“N-No. Tell me you didn’t…” she tried. Her son approached her and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder.
“They’re not willing to listen to us, especially not after the incident. The Justice League didn’t kill Aunt Doc and Uncle Albert…” a part of her wanted to giggle at his words.
“Don’t call them that; you have no fucking right to call them ‘aunt’ and ‘uncle’!! Everyone had a hand in it; even that damn uncle of ours!!” Jamil raged.
“Tell me that he was one of the handful that…”
“Unfortunately; the coward left after everything went down…” Solonia huffed.
“… Take me to him…”
“Tabitha, we don’t have time for…” the younger Bruce tried.
“You guys do what you need to do; this is kinda important…” she freed the triplets and looked at them, “Take me to see Ramil.”
“I’m going with you, then.” her son volunteered. She looked up at him, the spitting image of his father except without the protruding beetle brow and the eyes; he had her whiskey brown eyes.
“Okay. I got some questions for you, too. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” she looked at the original Justice League members. She put her attention back to her son, “Pretty sure you can do Lightning Cloud…”
“Of course.” he assured as he grabbed the Lindsey men. Tabitha grabbed Solonia and the five left via Lightning Cloud. Within seconds, they were in the old Financial District, which almost laid in ruins. Tabitha shook her head at the sight of it all.
“Don’t let the looks fool you; it’s actually the safest place in Gotham, now.” A.C. explained. The five walked along the street, the Lindsey triplets leading the way. Tabitha looked up at her son.
“… What’s your name?”
“T’ony J’onzz. I only use Lyght as my alias.” he told her. It was almost enough to make her stop walking.
“… I named you…”
“Yes; I was told after an old friend of yours. Father never minded it; he was satisfied that you gave him children.”
“C-Children…? As in plural…? As in… I have more kids?!?!” she stopped dead in her tracks. T’ony laughed slightly.
“Only my sister.” he smiled down at her, “I take it that you came from a time in the past where father and you are not together?”
“We… just started dating…” she looked back at her son and suddenly smiled, “You look so much like J’onn…”
“On the contrary. It’s my sister that favors father the most. While I can shape shift to look exactly like him, she doesn’t have to so much…”
“I just bet! So… you two can do everything that he can…”
“Just about.” he answered. She didn’t know what else to say or even think. When she realized this, her eyes widened and she shot him a look.
“Seeing that I’m still your mother, whether I’m from the past or not, don’t you dare go through my mind!” she warned. It made the Martian laugh and look down at her.
“I won’t! It felt really good hearing that once more…” he smiled sadly. She took notice and looked straight ahead.
“This ain’t messing up any time space continuum thingy, is it?”
“No. Time travel is so fluent now. The only thing that disrupts it is bringing artifacts back from the past or future that don’t belong here… like Lord Chronos is doing.”
“Things that alter the time line…”
“Exactly.” T’ony agreed. The five stopped in front of a familiar building.
“Hey… this is my old apartment building. Is this where Ramil and Ashley live?”
“Yeah. They’ve lived here for as long as we can remember…” Jamil trailed off. As they went inside, Tabitha took a deep breath. Sure enough, they stopped in front of her actual old apartment. After T’ony knocked on the door, a much older Ramil opened it. His hair was still kept short however it was fully grey along with his facial hair. His once lean frame was almost frail. His eyes immediately glistened when they fell on the triplets but then widened as he looked at Tabitha.
“… Ta-Tabitha? Is that really you…?”
“Ramil…” she smiled. She wasn’t expecting a hug but he gave her one anyway. The move told her everything that she didn’t want to know; she was dead.
“You brought the triplets with you. How… are you here?”
“Long story…” she fought tears.
“Come in, come in! Ashley; we have company!” Ramil called behind him. As the five went inside the apartment, they were greeted by Ashley who came from the kitchen. Her once dark brown hair was fully grey however still had its length. She looked at the five in their living room and immediately covered her mouth.
“Tabitha? Triplets? Oh…” she couldn’t contain her tears as she rushed over and hugged the four, holding on tightly to Tabitha. She finally released her and set her moist eyes on T’ony, “Oh, my. T’ony J’onzz. I haven’t seen you since you were little!”
“It’s nice to see you two, again. I would visit more often but under the current circumstances…”
“We understand.” Ramil confirmed. He looked at everyone as he sat down, “It’s really nice to see you guys…” he eyed the triplets. Solonia huffed but a warning glare from Tabitha made her simply turn her head. Tabitha simply looked at the elderly couple.
“So, um, back to that long story; I was pretty much warped from my present to now. We were chasing Dav… Lord Chronos…”
“Oh… him. Figured he had something to do with this.” Ashley slowly sat down. Her wrinkled hands carefully made the hot tea from the teapot pour into her cup.
“We don’t have much time but my mother wanted to know what happened to Aunt…” T’ony glanced over at the triplets, “… to Jamila and Albert.”
“They pretty much said that the Justice League killed them; that they had a hand in it. Tell me that ain’t true…” Tabitha pried. The two looked at Tabitha strangely.
“How far in the past are you from…?” Ramil asked.
“Fifty years… give or take.”
“Oh… so the civil war hasn’t happened yet.”
“Civil?” Tabitha switched glances from Ramil to Ashley, “As in…”
“Between the Justice League. It divided the entire nation, actually. There was a huge argument between J’onn and Clark; no one really knew what it was about. But, it was made public and quite a few people took advantage of that.” Ashley started.
“People who agreed with J’onn joined him and another league was formed.”
“Did you two…?”
“Yes. We didn’t know what the argument was about but… for you to have asked us personally to join… we couldn’t say no. One of the people who took advantage of this was Amanda Waller.” Ramil continued. Tabitha gave the two a confused look, “You haven’t met her yet in your time period?” he slightly widened his eyes. She slowly shook her head, “Just be cautious of her when you do. Anyway; she sponsored the Justice League of America and made J’onn the leader…”
“Just in case Superman went rogue…” T’ony finished for him. Tabitha looked at him and raised an eyebrow.
“… J’onn can match up to Clark?!”
“And then some. And if he couldn’t… Waller made sure that she had convinced the people on Earth that he could.” Ashley finished. Tabitha looked down at her hands.
“You said several people; who were the others?”
“Only one other: Ares, the god of war. He saw the distrust between the two and convinced someone on the Justice League to unleash his robot of war against everyone. It was called the Annihilator. It had been kept locked up for years on Watchtower. We didn’t know that he had a hand in this at the time; we blamed the Justice League and we attacked them. The fighting… went out into the streets… getting the civilians involved.”
“The Annihilator was activated by rage, hate and war. No one knew this except for J’onn, Diana and two others. When it came to life… that was when J’onn’s eyes were opened. He tried to calm everyone down, to get the civilians out of harm’s way… but everything had turned chaotic by then…” Ashley slowly explained. Everyone listened closely and Tabitha wondered what it had to do with her best friend and her husband. When she finally realized it, she put her head in her hands and fought tears.
“No… doc and Albert were there…”
“We had heard J’onn’s orders and started trying to help calm everyone down. By the time I found them, Albert was… dead…” a couple of tears made their way down Ramil’s cheek. He looked over at the triplets, “It was no one’s fault, really; he had been trampled to death. But your mother… she couldn’t be reasoned with. She went on a rampage; against the Justice League, against… us… before we could do anything to calm her down… the Annihilator got a hold of her…” his words were shaky. Ashley grabbed his hand and looked at everyone.
“There wasn’t anything anyone could do; attacking meant the robot would only rage more. By the time anyone would’ve reacted… she was already dead; it happened that quickly.” she finished explaining. The triplets who were reluctant at first were now looking at the couple, all three clearly shaken.
“We… always thought that it was blatant. That… the Justice League just… stood there and watched them die, not doing nothing…” A.C. choked out. Ramil slowly shook his head.
“No matter if it was the Justice League or JLA… they would never do anything like that. You three… actually believed that of all people, we wouldn’t have done anything if we could’ve? … I would’ve given my life for my sister to stay alive…”
“… So would I… why didn’t I…?” Tabitha wiped at her tears.
“You were pregnant; J’onn was not having you out in the field.” Ashley explained. She nodded solemnly. She turned to her son and saw that he was on his communicator; she wondered how old he was when the civil war had broken out… or if she was pregnant with him when it happened. He looked at her with a dry smile.
“I’m sorry, mom; we have to go…” it felt weird for her to hear someone call her that, let alone someone who was nearly a copy of J’onn, “The team has found something out. We have to cut this short.” he stood.
“If you don’t mind… we want to stay here for a while…” Jamil said almost lowly. Tabitha looked at the three and smiled, along with Ramil and Ashley.
“We don’t mind. I can start cooking, now.” Ashley said, getting up. Tabitha and T’ony hugged everyone and left. Leaving the building, she took in everything that she learned and realized that there were still a few things that she wanted answers to. Seeing that it wasn’t going to hurt the time space continuum, she looked at her son.
“I take it that… me and J’onn are dead…” she quietly asked. T’ony stopped walking and looked at her.
“… Yes. Father was one of the first killed during Lord Chronos’ initial attack.”
“… When did I die…?”
“… Last week…” it saddened both of them. Tabitha sighed and tried not to fully think about it. She badly wanted to think about other things. Her mind went to how the small group encountered the future League members… and what her son was capable of.
“T’ony… you have my powers. How…?” she decided to ask. He smiled a little.
“… I was born with them…” he left it at that. Once the two exited the building, they both noticed the change of scenery around them. There were buildings that she knew that had no business being there… the Eiffel Tower being one of them. Looking more closely, they also saw a white wave of energy taking over the night sky in the distance.
“Whoa… what the hell…”
“This isn’t good. Let’s go…”
- Dialogue taken from Justice League Unlimited episode: "The Once and Future Thing Part II