"In Brightest Day..."

by 'rith



Archive: Ask first, please.
Fandom: DC, modern comicverse. A month or two after the "Mageddon" storyline, preceding "Tower of Babel." Also takes place after the JSA "Darkness Falls" storyline. Immediately follows Part 1 (story and picture here: http://www.offpanel.net/kerithwyn/stories/Brightest1.html). See endnotes for more.
Disclaimer: All characters property of DC Comics, no infringement intended or money made by use.

Part the Second. (Conversations.)

Act VI. Ground Rules.

It wasn't just a matter of picking up the ring, of course.

As the meeting drew to a close, Barbara needed to make sure they understood that. So when Superman asked if there was any other business, she said,

"I want to thank you all for accepting me as Green Lantern. I'm very much aware of how much catching up I'll need to do, as quickly as possible. I'd like to call on you, all of you, for help training. Team tactics. I know the theory and I've memorized all the case files, but putting that into practice is different."

Superman nodded. "Yes, of course. ...did you say *memorized* the files?!"

"Eidetic memory." She smiled. "Made being Oracle just a little bit easier."

The Batman spoke for the first time since their "discussion" about his city. "Barbara's work as Oracle has been invaluable to me in Gotham. And not simply because of her memory."

The testimonial surprised her and the others looked impressed, but she had to make one other thing clear before she was done.

"There's something else," she said, keeping her voice very steady. "You'll have to understand that if the ring is disabled--as has happened many times before by many different means, according to my files--so am I. Not helpless, because I can still *think.* But I can't..." she smiled wryly, "run away. I understand that fact makes me a liability. I'm going to do everything I can to avoid that."

Some of them looked a little shocked, perhaps by her bluntness. In some ways she held an advantage here because she knew them all already, while some of them hadn't even known her when she was Batgirl. Oracle was just a voice and mask at the end of a comm signal.

But for all that, she wasn't going to pretend to practical experience she didn't have, or hide her physical limitations from them.

"We all have weaknesses," Wonder Woman said firmly, "which is, in part, the point of a league of heroes to begin with. To support each other, and trust that between us we can keep those weaknesses from being exploited by our enemies."

"Diana's right," Arthur said with his customary gruffness, "and if you want to talk 'liability,' you don't have to look too hard to see mine. I don't see how this makes you any more vulnerable than the rest of us."

She looked at him for a moment, then nodded. "Okay. I just wanted you all to know."

Superman cleared his throat. "We, uh, appreciate your honesty. You can coordinate with J'onn about training and so on, and whatever you intend to do about the Oracle situation--as before, I don't think it's necessary that everyone knows who it is, as long as you vouch for your replacement. And--if there's no more new business? Meeting adjourned."

Batman brushed by her on his way out. "Talk later?"

For a wonder, it was a question. "Of course."

Superman walked around to her side of the table and smiled. "I hate all that bureaucratic business. Makes me sound so officious. Anyway. I just wanted to say welcome, again. I hope--I hope this is really what you want."

His concern might only be Kansas courtesy, but it touched her nonetheless. "It absolutely is."

"I'm glad. I'd, ah, stay and chat, but I really do need to get going--"

"Oh, sure, there'll be time later." And then quietly, because she couldn't resist, "My regards to Lois."

Superman stared at her for a moment, then laughed suddenly. "Well, right. Because 'the Oracle knows.'" He shook his head, chuckling. "You'll have to meet her. I'm sure you two will get along."

Barbara grinned. "I'd like that."

"She'll probably demand the first interview, you know."

"Oh!" Barbara considered a moment. "Let me think about that. I'm not going public with my identity, like Wally. My dad...."

"Sure, I understand. She will too. You can imagine." He winked.

"Kal, if I can interrupt a moment...."

"Sure, Diana, I was just leaving." Superman smiled at her again and vanished in a blue-red streak toward the transporter tubes. Barbara shook her head a little.

"Talk about a megawatt smile...."

"He has tremendous force of personality," Wonder Woman agreed, "and thankfully, somewhat less...uncompromising than some of the rest of us. Including myself, of course." She smiled. "Would it be too terribly predictable if I said I was pleased to see another woman in the League?"

Barbara laughed. "It wasn't a 'boy's club' on purpose."

"No. Still, appearances being what they are...I'm glad to see you here." She paused. "I don't mean to sound dismissive of Kyle's service. I enjoyed watching him grow into the role. And I never would have wished...." Diana shook her head. "It's always difficult when a warrior falls and another has to take his position. But I'm sure you'll find your own place here soon enough."

"I hope so."

"You will," Arthur said brusquely from behind her, "you didn't have any trouble facing *me* down. And I'm told I'm not the easiest person to get along with. Imagine that. Besides, even Batman listens to the Oracle's advice. A considerable accomplishment."

"Orin," Diana said mock-severely before Barbara could respond, "we were *talking* here. Privately."

He snorted. "Your pardon, Princess, I've got a *kingdom* to get back to." He stuck out a hand--the real one--toward Barbara. "Looking forward to working with you, Green Lantern."

She shook it, bemused. "You too, Aquaman."

"Huh. Wait a month and say that again." He grinned suddenly. "It'd be a first."

Barbara watched him go. "He's a lot more...welcoming than I expected."

Diana's expression held more than a touch of a smirk. "I'd say something about Arthur always being welcoming to women...but that would be unprofessional of me. And you impressed him, I think."

"Wait a month and say that again," Barbara said in deliberate imitation, "I haven't proved anything at all to you, yet."

"Perhaps not. But I suspect you will, in short order." Diana smiled wryly. "I'm certain we're due for the crisis-of-the-month any moment now. Not," she said quickly, glancing skyward, "that I'm in any hurry...."

"Me either! I *really* do need some practical experience in combat situations, and hopefully before the next incarnation of the Injustice League shows up."

"The simulations room should be of some help in that regard. I'd be happy to assist." Diana stood. "But this has been a busy night for you already, and I have the sense there's somewhere else you'd rather be."

Barbara "stood" too, in her green aura. "There's...someone else I want to see tonight."

"Good night, then." With complete disregard for even the Watchtower's artificial gravity, Wonder Woman rose into the air and headed out the opposite door.

Cowl pushed off his face, Wally stuck his head back into the room. "Good, you're still here."

"Uh, just leaving, actually--"

"Oh, no problem. Race you to the transporter?" he said, then held up a hand. "Joking, joking. The sonic booms disrupt the electronics. And--man, Barbara. I wish I could be there when Robbie sees you!"

She couldn't stop the smile--or the accompanying blush--that broke across her face. "I think that needs to be a private conversation."

He blinked at her for a second, then grinned broadly. "Well, hot damn. About time."

"Wally--"

He waved a hand. "Never mind, just go *tell* him before he hears it from someone else!" He paused, then said, "Listen, Barbara--I wasn't expecting anyone to be using that ring again so fast. But I also sort of promised myself that I'd do whatever I could to help the next GL. 'Cause I wasn't very good at that with, with Kyle--"

"Wally," she said softly, "it wasn't your fault."

"No. I know that." He gave her a lopsided smile. "Still. Besides, there's this whole GL-and-Flash team-up tradition to uphold! ... Anyway, you need anything, just give me a call."

They rounded a corner and nearly ran into a wall of something red that stretched across the corridor.

Wally groaned. "Oh, that's subtle."

"My middle name," the wall said, twisting itself into humanoid form, "along with 'Eel' and 'that sexy plastic guy.'"

"In your dreams," Wally muttered, and Barbara laughed.

Plastic Man grinned at her. "So, how about a tour? I mean, you know the layout, 'course you do, you're *Oracle,* but you haven't seen the Watchtower in person, and anyway, I know where J'onn hides his Oreos!"

She felt herself flush again. "That's, um, tempting. But I've got a date with a certain boy in blue."

"Oh." His face fell...literally. "Sure, some other time."

"Absolutely." She smiled at him, but her thoughts were already drifting down to Earth, to the northeastern coast of the United States, to a particularly unpleasant city there...and to someone who would probably just be beginning his nightly patrol.

***

Plas whistled after her as she left. "Lucky guy...."

"Indeed." The Manhunter loomed behind him, having approached silently. "Now, what was that about MY Oreos...?"



Act VII. First and Last.

Night patrol, in some ways his favorite part of his daily routine. High above 'Haven's filthy streets, *flying* on his jumplines. Looking out for whatever needed to be done, searching out evil deeds in darkness to foil....

~ Melodramatic much? ~ Dick Grayson laughed to himself, and cast another line.

"Hey, Nightwing."

The voice came from *above* him, and it sounded like Babs, but that couldn't be right.

Before he could even glance up, he was caught fast in green, glowing bands. Instantly training took over, analyzing: ~ Green Lantern energy, but-- ~ and then he saw her.

He stared, unbelieving. "B-Barbara?!"

***

"You like?" She turned in midair, posing. Perversely loving the shock on his face.

"What the..."

"Short version: J'onn brought me the ring. I accepted. You're looking at the new Green Lantern, Former Boy Wonder."

"Wow." He stared at her for a long minute. "Babs, that's-- this is--"

"I know," she grinned. "I *know!*" In sheer exhilaration she flew higher, pulling him behind her on a ribbon of green. Far above the city she turned and looked at him again, suddenly serious. "I didn't make this decision lightly, Dick. It all happened fast, but I know what this means. It's more than just having my movement back, though that's a big part of it...."

He nodded soberly. "I could see that."

"...but I also know what being Green Lantern lets me in for. I've forgotten what it's like to be on the front lines, as opposed to playing back-up. And you don't get much more front-line than the JLA." She stared down at her hands for a few seconds. "I've got a lot to learn. Re-learn."

He'd heard the unspoken question. "You know I'll help however I can."

"I know." She smiled again. "This is...it changes so much. I've barely even really thought about what it'll mean--but I do know this." And she pulled the energy to her, drawing him close, and kissed him.

Right, like it always was, like it was meant to be. Until Dick pulled away and said, "Wait."

"Wha--you, I..." and there really wasn't anything to feel but total stunned surprise, because she'd been thinking about what had happened between them during No Man's Land, in her apartment before Pettit and the Huntress crashed in, which she'd assumed meant...but maybe he'd, oh, God, he'd changed his mind--

He read her face like the detective he was. "No, it's okay, I didn't mean--Barbara, just listen a second." He touched her cheek lightly. "You said yourself, you're just starting to get used to this. Maybe it'd be better if we waited a while, thought it through--"

She laughed, just a little. "Oh, lord. As if I hadn't been thinking about it for years now, Grayson." She ignored his blush and went on. "Okay, maybe this is a little sudden. But Dick--" dammit, there was something pleading in her voice, where had that come from--"isn't that always the way it works, with us? I mean, all this time it's been me pushing you away because, because of the chair and that's *not an issue* any more, so why...." She swallowed hard, feeling the stubborn pride she'd faced the world with like a lump in her throat. "It's always been the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong circumstances with us. But now it's right, it could all be right...." and she hadn't meant to cry, meant to be strong, but she felt the sting of tears prick at the corners of her eyes.

He reached out and held her as she shook.

"T-thanks. I don't know why..."

"Reaction, that's all. A little bit of shock. This is as big a change in your life as--well, as anything."

"I want it to be right," she whispered, knowing that he would understand.

"And it could still be right in a week, or a month, or whenever you're really settled with this. I'm not in any hurry, Babs. But hey...how about Friday night, dinner?"

"A...date?"

"Sure, why not?"

"That's so normal. I don't know if we could handle it."

He laughed. "I have faith in you."

"You always did," she said quietly, remembering. How he'd welcomed her as Batgirl, arguing with Bruce that she could do the job after he'd seen her in action. How he'd accepted her decision to quit after the case with Cormorant. How, even after she refused to see him after she'd been shot, he'd sent cards and flowers and all the encouragement he could from the distance Barbara had imposed. How impressed he'd been with her assumption of the Oracle's role....

How easily, and with total unquestioning confidence, he believed she could weather this new responsibility. "...thank you, Dick."

"De nada." He looked at her for a long moment. "Hey, Babs?"

"Yeah?"

He smiled. "Green really is your color."



Act VIII. Dynamics

It was late when she returned to the Clocktower, but she'd known even before *feeling* the presence there that her day wasn't over yet.

What *did* surprise her, though, was the tone of his voice as he spoke from the concealing shadows.

"I knew what J'onn was going to do. He was right. And I was ashamed...that I didn't think of it first."

"Batman...." she stared at him, wishing things could be easier between them. Too much alike, Alfred would say. Too much history in common for comfort. "It doesn't matter now. I'm tired of dwelling on the past. Can't we start over, with this?"

He took a step toward her, cape flaring. "...you've told Nightwing?"

"Mm-hmm," she said, unable to keep from smiling.

"Good," was his only comment, but there was the barest curl of smile under that cowl, too. It disappeared as he said, "Barbara, there's something else I wanted to say. Jordan ran off of that famous fearlessness and he used the ring like a battering ram. Kyle used it...creatively...because he had an artist's perspective. You have the knowledge of how your predecessors worked--and the truth is, you're much smarter than either of them."

She started, caught flat-footed by the compliment. But before she could reply, he'd gone on: "You've been handed an immense temptation. I don't have to remind you about what happened to Hal. And as you yourself pointed out, the ring's power has been neutralized in any number of ways."

"I'm not likely to forget it. Listen, Batman--I know you don't approve of 'artificial' powers, or metahumans in general. But I know what this ring can do, and what it can't. I'm *acutely* aware of that." She paused for a moment. "And I'm not Hal."

Which wasn't fair to Jordan's memory, but Batman hadn't been fair about that whole incident either. "Unforgiving" didn't even begin to cover it. And he'd refused to help the new GL when Kyle went to Gotham seeking him for advice, as Robin told her later.

"No. I know." Another minute pause. "Barbara...."

She waited.

"If I'm hard on you, on all of you...it's only because...."

"I know, Bruce," she said quietly, "we love you too."

She waited until he was gone before adding, still under her breath because you never could be sure, "...you big jerk."

But she smiled when she said it.



Act IX. Her Father's Daughter.

The more she thought about it, the more she realized there really wasn't any reason *not* to tell him. The only secret she was hiding any more was her own; and after everything they'd been through together, didn't he deserve to know?

Since Sarah's death, Barbara and Jim Gordon been more careful about seeing each other on a regular basis, both of them needing the comfort of family. She'd thought, very briefly, on how things might have been different if she'd had the ring before the Joker made his final, fatal strike during No Man's Land...and then firmly put the thought out of mind. *That* way led the tragedy of Coast City, and Parallax.

But Jim was her father in every way that mattered. Oracle she had kept from him out of a long habit of secrecy, but this was just too...big to keep hidden. And the older excuse of Batgirl's connection to Batman and his identity no longer applied.

There was, she thought wryly, a certain irony in the fact that the new Batgirl couldn't tell even if she'd wanted to.

But with Cassandra safely out patrolling, she could pretend, for a little while, that everything was normal. She and Jim had eaten dinner in a companionable silence, and after they discussed the usual range of subjects: Jim's work, her public work, the reconstruction of Gotham. Until he'd fixed her with that look in his eyes that she could never evade, worse than Bruce's even, and growled, "Spit it out."

She managed a startled "Huh?"

Jim sighed. "I know you have something to tell me, you've been fidgeting all evening."

"Uh... yeah." No backing out now. "Dad...I have a new job."

He leaned back on the couch, smiling. "That's great, Barb, what is it?"

"Um. It's easier to show you than tell you." She let the ring become visible on her finger and manifested the costume, leaving her wheelchair behind.

Jim blinked, blinked again.

She floated a bit above the floor and said, "I wanted you to know. I didn't want to hide this from you."

"Green. You're. Green Lantern."

"Yes, dad."

He blinked once more as if he was trying to focus. "Green Lantern died a few weeks ago."

Barbara said gently, "The man who had this ring before me was killed in action. The JLA offered me the chance to become the new Lantern, and I said yes."

"*Why,* Barbara?"

That wasn't quite the question she was expecting. "Why did they ask me? Why did I accept? Same reason for both: I can do a job that needs to be done."

"I need to sit down." He was already sitting. "Can I ask you a question, and don't take this the wrong way--is this just a way to escape from that chair? Obviously you don't need it if you can do that!"

She thought about how to answer that for a moment. "It's a reason. It's not THE reason. *The* reason is--well, the same reason you became a cop. 'To protect and to serve.'"

"I-- you-- I thought this was over. I thought..." he sighed. "I thought I wouldn't have to be frightened for you anymore."

"You know I used to be--"

"I know." His voice was quick and clipped. "I was scared then, too."

"Daddy..." she stared at him, hoping he could understand. "I had to do this. And I want you to be proud of me."

"I am, Barbara, don't you know I always have been? You don't have to be a superhero for that." He took a deep breath. "But if this is what you want, honey, then I'm happy for you."

"Oh, yeah, there's something else...you'll like this one." She waited a beat. "I'm dating Dick Grayson."

Jim just smiled. "About damn time."

"Dad!" she giggled despite herself.

"Give me a break, Barb, you and he have been dancing around each other since...for years." He shrugged a little. "I'm just sorry it took this long. I like him, if you needed my blessing. Which you don't."

"I'm glad to have it, though," she said softly.

He grinned. "Just to keep him on his toes, you should invite him over sometime so I can interrogate him properly. Make sure he's good enough for my little girl."

She giggled. "That'll be fun." She drifted down to sit next to him on the couch, resting her head on his shoulder. "Love you, dad."

"Love you too, honey. Be careful, okay?"

"Always," she replied, and hugged him hard.



Act X. Partners.

One more person to tell, and in some ways the hardest. As Oracle, she'd been working with the Black Canary for a while now...and still, she'd never revealed her ID to Dinah. Now she'd be forced to it by circumstance, and that wasn't the way she'd wanted to handle it at all. But Dinah deserved to know.

She hit Dinah's number on the speed dial and immediately got Dinah's cheerful, "Yo!"

"Dinah...I've got something to tell you. And I'd rather do it in person."

Dinah's voice came back full of amusement. "So I finally get to peek behind the curtain, huh? The great-and-powerful Oracle. Should I look for a green castle?"

Barbara almost choked. "A tower, anyway. The Gotham Clocktower. Top floor."

"...Right in my own backyard. Huh. Be right over." Canary hung up before Barbara could reply.

She was almost more nervous waiting for Dinah's arrival than she'd been facing the JLA, or telling Jim. She and Dinah had become friends...of a sort...through their partnership. It had been Barbara's need for security and secrecy that had kept her from giving Dinah her identity, not any lack of trust. Now that working partnership was probably over, for all intents and purposes. She didn't want to lose that tentative friendship.

The knock came. She checked the video camera to see Dinah looking impatiently at the door. Barbara signaled the electronic lock and spoke through the intercom. "C'mon in. I'm in back, Dinah."

She saw Dinah take it all in: the multiple monitors, the computer banks, the wheelchair. "Hi. I'm Barbara Gordon."

"Hi." Dinah grinned a little. "Well. Okay, it's a little weird being face-to-face rather than hearing you as a voice in my ear...." she walked over and held out a hand. "Nice to meet you."

Barbara shook it, bemused. "Um, well... this isn't the first time we've met."

Dinah frowned. "What's THAT mean?"

"We worked together years ago, Dinah."

Dinah cocked her head. "Really? Soooo...why don't I remember?"

"Your father disappeared while on a case and you had some help finding him...."

"No WAY. Well, that explains a lot. Once a Batgirl, always a Bat-girl...and hey! It was Nightwing who answered the phone that time. Am I right? So, he's around here a lot, huh?"

"Dinah...."

Dinah grinned down at her, obviously delighted. "You're *blushing*, Barbara! The great Oracle, embarrassed like a little schoolgirl!"

She was, too. It was awful.

Dinah just smirked. "So what's the occasion? "

"Well...that's the thing." Barbara coughed to clear her throat. "I'm not going to be Oracle any more."

The other woman stared at her. "What? Why?"

"Because of this." She manifested the ring and costume, like she'd done for Jim. "I got a job offer."

"Whoa." Dinah sat down hard, the range of emotions on her face too tangled for Barbara to decipher.

"Dinah...?" she asked softly.

"Yeah-- I just--" Dinah looked up at her, blue-gray eyes intense. "*God,* Barbara. I mean, we all heard about Kyle Rayner and I guess I thought...I don't know what I thought. There has to be a Green Lantern, right?"

"That was J'onn's thought," Barbara said cautiously. "You...don't agree?"

"Oh." Dinah blinked, then smiled shakily and nodded. "Of course I do. I was just surprised. J'onn, huh? That makes sense...." she trailed off, eyes going faraway, obviously lost in thought. After a moment she said, "J'onn was there too."

"Hm?"

"At the beginning," Dinah said, eyes still looking past Barbara. "J'onn and Barry and Hal and Arthur and me. And no one remembers...." She shook her head, focusing again. "That's not fair. But that ring, when people see it...they remember what happened later. They don't think about Hal, before everything went wrong."

"Kyle did. He did everything he could to live up to Hal's example." Barbara floated down and offered Dinah a hand. "I won't forget either."

Dinah let herself be pulled to her feet and her eyes caught Barbara's. "We were friends first, you know. Hal and me. Before Ollie came along. He was so...*proud* of his power, everything he could do, and so determined to do everything right. I just... seeing you floating there, it was like seeing him again. Not," she added hastily, "all the bad parts. Just that feeling...that you know what you can do with that ring. All of it."

"Trust me," Barbara said quietly, "I know very well. And I've already gotten the 'temptation' speech from Batman."

Dinah grimaced. "Yeah. I can imagine. I didn't mean-- You just really surprised me, you know? I didn't mean to imply that you'd try to take over the world or anything."

"Not this week, anyway." It wasn't half the joke it should have been, but Dinah took it in stride.

"So. Wow." Dinah grinned shakily. "Have you been practicing? Can you make a cheesecake with that thing?"

Barbara chuckled. "I'm sure it could. No guarantees on how it would taste, though."

"How about a good man? Can you whip me up one of those?"

Barbara laughed out loud. "What about the new Dr. Mid-Nite, hmm? I hear you've been getting awfully cozy since he showed up." She raised an eyebrow at the blonde, enjoying the blush that spread through Dinah's cheeks.

Dinah gasped. "You have *spies!* I KNEW this whole Oracle thing was just a cover to set you up as Superhero Gossip Central. Who is it? Ted? Alan? I bet it's Alan." She grinned. "Besides. We haven't even had a first date yet. We're still at the 'flirting over the table at meetings' stage. So c'mon, see if you can get it to make Antonio Banderas."

"Dinah! No!"

"Spoilsport."

"I think that falls under the 'temptation' category," Barbara said dryly. "But speaking of Alan...."

"Yeah?"

"I was thinking of calling him. You know, getting his perspective on being Green Lantern."

"Couldn't hurt." Dinah shrugged. "He could probably use the distraction, after the whole thing with Obsidian."

Barbara regarded her with a smirk. "And he's pretty hot for an old guy."

Dinah's eyes widened. "Barbara! And here I thought you liked them young! I'm the one who likes older men. Besides, he's not just old, he's like my mom's friend kinda old."

Babs laughed a little. "I know, I know," she assured Dinah. "And he's married, too. But c'mon. For an old guy? He looks good."

Dinah looked thoughtful. "That he does," she agreed. "That he does. But Barbara...if you're not Oracle anymore...well, I guess you'll be busy with the JLA, right?" Barbara nodded. "Damn. I was getting used to working with you. I'm really gonna miss that all-knowing voice in my ear."

She'd said it casually, but Barbara could hear the hurt underneath. "That's the other thing I wanted to tell you. There *will* be an Oracle-- I've got someone in mind."

Dinah raised an eyebrow at her. "So I'm just supposed to go on like nothing's changed? 'Oracle say, Canary do'? I thought-- I mean, I *trusted* you. I'm not gonna--"

"Dinah," Babs interrupted, "I know. I'm not asking you to trust someone you don't know, okay? Let me get it set up and you can decide for yourself. But aside from that... I was hoping..." she flushed and looked down at her hands. "I've gotten used to talking to you too."

"Aww. Hey. I'm not going anywhere. Especially now that I know who you *are.*" She looked up to see Dinah smiling with mischief. "Besides, now you can tell me all the stuff that goes on up at the Watchtower. The primo gossip. Like, if there's ever a day when Wonder Woman shows up *not* looking perfect. Or if Bats ever cracks a smile."

Barbara laughed. "Right."

"You know. The important stuff. Hey, you wanna get out of here for awhile? Get some fresh air, you can see my apartment, maybe some Szechuan for dinner...."

"You cook?"

Dinah grinned. "Nope. But I've got Chinese on the speed-dial."

"I *knew* your technophobia was only cover." Barbara let the costume vanish back into her street clothes and grabbed her jacket. She glanced at the wheelchair, then turned away from it on an invisible aura. "Let's go...partner."



{end Part II}



More continuity notes: Near as I can tell, the "Mageddon" storyline occurs after No Man's Land ends, and before Batgirl #4 (when Cassandra got her brain rewired for speech). It also took place before "The Hunt for Oracle" -- chronologically by issue dates, anyway. It's way beyond me to try to figure out any other method of tracking DCU events. Anyway, that's why Dinah didn't know who Oracle was at that point. Liberal bits of dialogue in that segment cribbed from BoP #28, where Oracle and Canary met face-to-face for the first time in canon. Other parts of that same segment cribbed from a bit of speculative Smitty-fic, and thanks for the use, darlin'!

NEXT: An unexpected visitor! The identity of the new Oracle! Barbara's first mission with the JLA, and more! (Hopefully, in somewhat better time. :P)




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