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A New Beginning

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Seven years, 3 months, 1 week, 6 days, 13 hours.

Seven years, 3 months, 1 week, 6 days, 13 hours since he saw the sky that he didn’t remember.

Seven years, 3 months, 1 week, 6 days, 13 hours since he saw any other color than white, silver, green, and red – if, in fact, there were colors other than white, silver, green, and red.

Seven years, 3 months, 1 week, 6 days, 13 hours since he was captured by the Ghost Investigation Ward – also known as the GIW.

It smelled. Sitting in the same room for the last seven years, 3 months, 1 week, 6 days, 13 – wait, 14 hours, there was bound to be a stench.

The metallic rotting smell of dried blood and ectoplasm.

The smell of still wet blood and ectoplasm that seeped through his shirt and pooled on the floor.

Maybe if he hugged his knees close enough to his bleeding chest the liquid will stop.

Aqualad led his team into the compound. Batman had gathered enough information to know that the recently disbanded government group did illegal experiments on a meta-human. The Young Justice League was supposed to rescue the meta-human while Batman, Flash, and Superman fought the so-called “agents.”

Once they were sure the hallway was cleared, Superboy, Robin, and Aqualad started to search for the cell, while M’gann, Artemis, and Kid Flash kept watch at the ends of the hall. There was a single cell in the entire facility, it’s door stood out among the constant white theme with it’s strange splashes of color and silver gray background. As they approached, they realized the metal door was covered in blood and a green substance that none of them recognized. Robin immediately went to work on the locks.

After ten minutes, the sound of multiple gears shifted and locks unlocked, they all straightened. Superboy stepped forward and carefully opened the door.

It was dark inside the room. The only light was what leaked from the hall. All three of them had to take a step back at the stench that attacked their senses, making their eyes water. Robin was the first to recover and step into the room. The walls, the ceiling, and the floor were covered in the same mixture that the door was covered in. In the far corner, barely inside of the light’s range, was a young boy. He was no older than eleven, huddled, hugging his knees, and staring blankly at the wall across from him. He had dull green eyes, and his hair was so covered in dirt and blood that the original color was lost. He was wearing gray sweatpants that were one size too big, and a stained-with-blood, not-so-white-anymore t-shirt. He had a silver collar around his throat and cuffs around his wrists, and ankles that were chained to the cement ground, all of which were glowing slightly red. He didn’t so much as flinch when the door was opened. The younger boy just continued to stare lifelessly ahead, hugging his knees close to his chest and rocking back and forth ever so slightly in a mockery of self-induced comfort. Robin carefully walked inside, closer to the boy. Batman’s sidekick crouched in front of him and looked him in the eyes, but the boy didn’t look at him, only through him.

“Hey there,” his voice was even and soft, tone sympathetic but not pitying and the volume was just above a whisper, “my friends and I are going to free you, okay? I’m going to get these chains off.” The Boy Wonder carefully took the boy’s arm, unlatching his iron grasp on his leg and worked on unlocking the cuffs, trying to ignore the scars and bruising that was revealed on the irritated skin underneath.

When he finally got the cuffs off his limbs, he went to work on the collar. He had to work around the boy, seeing as he hadn’t acknowledged the group of older teens, instead resuming his original position every time Batman’s protege had let go. The collar took longer to remove, but it eventually gave. And just in time, seeing as he heard a few stray agents that had gotten past the senior heroes and were fighting the teens at the end of the hall. Robin glanced back at the door, he saw how Kaldur went to assist in the fighting and Conner stayed, ready to defend in case they got past. Robin heard distant shouts and insults that were thrown to the heroes. A faint whimper reached his ears, and his attention went back to the figure next to him. His green eyes were more focused, and they were focused on him. The boy tried to gain distance by backing up, only to find out that there was a wall. He got into a more defensive position.

“No, no. You're okay, my team and I are going to get you out of here. Can you stand up?” As if responding to the question, the boy had started to loosen his defensive huddle and his eyes started to droop. He fell only for Robin to catch him. The Boy Wonder looked at the floor and saw the fresh blood, realizing that he probably passed out due to blood loss, which also meant that they had to get out of there and get help. Now.