Disclaimer: I do not own Power Rangers, they belong to Disney. I do not own the JLA, they belong to DC. Namor belongs to Marvel Comics, if you like him you are better off not reading this. This fanfic was originally written by Carl Turner and was reworked by me as part of a team up project.
Author's note: I don't hate Aquaman, Namor or any other comic character. I don't have a season of Power Rangers I truly despised, but admit there are a few times I have thought to myself: what would happen if they'd done this? The result is that this story is not an attempt to bash Aquaman. I do consider his version of the Justice League to be a mistake, however there was an underlying reason as Dove attempts to reveal. Nor is this an attempt to compare Aquaman to Namor or to lynch Namor for that matter; the latter's character is a cross between the character's portrayal in Marvel, his revision in the Marvel Mangaverse and my attempt to place Namor and Aquaman in the same universe. Should he ever resurface it will be clear that this Namor is not the same man. Note: This story takes place after Warrior Rangers
When Heroes Fall
Trini Kwan felt a sense of longing as Dove took both her and Jason Lee Scott on a tour of the JLA's Hall of Heroes. It was a museum built by the League to pay homage to those members that had either retired from active duty or chosen to work outside of the group. Longing, because she wished she could have been a part of those cases. The weeks that she and the other Rangers had spent in the League seemed insignificant given its long history and roster.
Jason was soon standing in front of a portrait of an earlier team; each incarnation had its own portrait, some had smaller pictures from periods when a member had joined, but the team had not changed enough to warrant a new picture.
"Wow they're all here," he whispered, awed at the number of heroes present. "How was it back then I wonder, back when the original Flash and Green Lantern were more ... human?"
"John and Wally are just as human as the rest of us," Dove told him, "having super powers doesn't make them less than human."
"I know," Jason said, "I meant they were more vulnerable, I suppose."
"Powers have a way of evolving," Trini said as she stopped to look at one particular picture. The plague underneath told her this incarnation had been led by Aquaman with J'Onn as his second. Other members had included Zatanna, the Elongated Man, Vixen, Gypsy, Vibe and Steel. The portrait was not in the same condition as the others and she had heard very few stories from this incarnation. "What happened to these guys?" she asked curiously.
Dove looked sad. "There are some wounds that don't heal, some decisions that will always have us questioning why we didn't do something to avoid it. That picture is a reminder of what happens when communications break down.
Aquaman was a difficult member to deal with, being a king in his own right made him stubborn and difficult to get along with. He was also dedicated, more so in his opinion than some of the other members of the League. There was an emergency and very few members turned up, they were all so caught up in their own problems they didn't see the bigger picture. So Aquaman decided to disband the League and assemble a new organisation."
"I've never heard of half these guys," Jason admitted.
"Very few people had," Dove told him. "That's why Aquaman chose them: they were young, eager and dedicated if inexperienced. They messed up more often than the previous members and some people thought they were a joke, mostly because they appeared to be just powers and attitude; some went so far as to blame Aquaman, but I think he was only doing what he thought needed to be done."
"So what happened?"
"His League wasn't up to the job and eventually disbanded. Aquaman decided to go back to his kingdom where he was needed and another League was formed, this time under Batman's guidance."
"Has he ever returned?" Trini asked.
"Once or twice," Dove answered. "That was when I got to meet him and heard his story. A criminal from his kingdom called Namor, blamed the entire surface world for disasters affecting the kingdom. While Aquaman tried to find peaceful solutions, Namor tried to raise an army against the surface world.
The thing is, while Aquaman and Batman might disagree on things, and I know he and Flash have had many heated arguments, Aquaman always cared about his people. Namor only cared about power and invading the surface. He thought Aquaman was weak for siding with humans and his actions soon reflected his murderous attitude when he started attacking the city and blaming it on the surface world. He even tried to have Aquaman imprisoned for treason."
"Did the rest of you get involved?"
"We had to," Dove explained. "When Namor went after waterfront cities and destroying lives it was our job to intervene. And when he initiated an assault on an underwater farming project, something Aquaman had helped to set up in the first place, his army rebelled against him and freed their king. Sadly we couldn't get to him before he destroyed ten years of work which would have helped ease world hunger. He also crippled and nearly killed some of the personnel assigned to the project."
"Man that's bad," Trini said finally.
"It was," Dove agreed. "Trouble is we never caught Namor, and Aquaman was too busy rebuilding his kingdom to track him down. Every now and then Namor appears again with a new attack and each time he seems to get worse. In fact, just one month before you and the other Rangers joined, he used his powers to demolish the waterfront district of Gateway City, and would have tried to trash the entire city, if Wonder Woman wasn't there. I'm happy to say that she stopped his rampage although I think she was fighting a losing battle once he took the fight underwater again. And as hard as she fought, he was still able to escape."
"Is there any chance he is under a spell or something?"
"I don't think so Trini, I really wish he was. Aquaman once told me that Namor had been found in the city when he was a child and had been allowed to stay there. His villainous side didn't show itself until his late teens and by then he had already set himself on the path he now follows. I don't think Namor's ever shown any sign that he wants to reform."
At that moment their signal devices went off. The Flash, who was the communication officer of the day, was clearly disgusted as he spoke. "We have a Code Nineteen people. Namor's been sighted and... it's not pretty. He's done it folks, take down is authorised; he's gone beyond the point of no return."
"Understood," Batman could be heard answering, his voice emotionless as it was, helped to calm the situation. "Assemble at the Watchtower."
It was a rare occurrence for the entire JLA to gather. Since the Rangers had been members there had been few occasions when the entire roster was present and a meeting that included former members was almost unheard of; mostly because such meetings led to personality clashes that nobody wanted to deal with. This was an emergency though, a threat so great that it warranted calling in as many heroes as they could find. For the Rangers it was a chance to meet the likes of Black Canary and Sentinel, heroes who under normal circumstances kept their distance. And then there was the last and most controversial arrival: Aquaman.
Batman was even grimmer than usual as he addressed the assembled council. "We don't do this often and we all know why. The government is already twitchy about this large an assembly taking place without a representative on hand. Oracle?"
Barbara Gordon, formerly Batgirl and now known as Oracle following an incident that had left her paralysed, wheeled forward.
"Namor has been sighted heading along the California coastline. Based on his more volatile behaviour recently and his attack on the Gateway project, we believe that he intends to destroy Angel Grove and all of its population. There have been no ransom demands, all attempts at negotiation have failed. Intelligence reports he had a meeting with Rita Repulsa two days ago and that she offered him something that led to this action."
"Once he does away with Angel Grove, he'll probably go after the rest of the continent," John Stewart, Earth's official Green Lantern surmised.
"Probably," Barbara agreed. "Rita was seen to give an object, possibly a book of spells that he can use."
"Can he use magic?" Hawkgirl asked.
"If the book is charged with magic and he just needs to say the words then yes he can use them," Barbara answered.
"Oh, man, it sounds like Namor was enough of a problem without help," Zack said.
"We should contact Zordon, he knows more about Rita's magic and could probably tell us what spells he could use," Billy said.
"Agreed," Batman said. "In the meantime we have to be ready to put him down if necessary. Remember only Arthur can match him in the water, so we need to keep him out of the water. John, Wally, let's get things organised."
The hours passed as the various heroes organised themselves into teams. Some had broken out their full arsenal while Batman went over a more in depth plan with Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Steel, the only heroes truly capable of standing up to Namor should he escape into the sea.
"Guys, we have a problem," Kimberly announced as she teleported in. "I just asked Zordon about the book, he checked his satellite network and managed to find the footage. Um, this is like totally freaky guys, the book Namor was given was created for warlock in the H-20 Galaxy just before it was destroyed. It contains the means to give Namor an army of sea monsters and enhance his physical powers."
The alarm sounded, Hawk listened to a report as it came in, his face darkening in anger. "That's done it, I'm gonna cream the little punk!" he snarled.
"Are you gonna share with the rest of us or just stand there threatening revenge?" Dove asked. He had seen his brother angry often enough that the sight no longer phased him like it had when they were children.
"Namor just attack the Angel Grove docks," Hawk announced. "Thirty are missing, two injured and five were killed; reports say he killed one man with his bare hands."
"That's it then," Wonder Woman announced. "He's actually committed murder, not manslaughter or accidental killing, but cold blooded murder."
"The question is whether we go for Maximum Takedown or Maximum Capture," John Stewart announced, the no nonsense approach that had gotten him through life showing through again.
"Maximum Takedown," Guy Gardner, formerly a Green Lantern now named Warrior called, officially proposing the harshest sanction available, an option that was one step short of kill on sight.
"Seconded," Hawkgirl agreed, "this guy has been allowed to run free for too long. If we can't contain him, we must stop him."
"Is there any objection?"
"We don't have a choice in the matter," Dove said, "he's killed for the sake of killing and shows no sign of stopping. He's proven he won't come peacefully and we have the lives of the citizens of Angel Grove to consider. I don't want to do this, but if we can't talk him down..."
"What the squirt is trying to say," Hawk interrupted before his brother could force himself to continue, "is that if he won't surrender, we have to put him down."
Had anybody else said it the confirmations would have continued. Maximum Takedown was a no holds barred approach to an enemy that while allowing for mercy upon surrender, authorised members to kill if needed. It was an approach the League rarely used. When the order had been confirmed by Dove, the most pacifistic member of the JLA though, it was clear that Namor was dangerous enough to warrant such an approach.
It was unanimous if reluctant.
"Approved, Maximum Takedown is authorised for this operation. You will stop if Namor surrenders. This is not a vendetta people." Steel looked at Batman as he said that. Like Dove, he was strongly opposed to killing.
"Are you guys okay with this?" Zack asked his fellow Rangers. "We took an oath when we defeated Rita and decided to pursue other criminals, never to take a life."
"No man, I'm not," Jason admitted. "When we go out there, I want you guys to do everything possible to take this guy down short of killing him. If somebody's life is in danger that's your call, but right now we treat this guy like he's Goldar."
"You guys really think you can take him in, there isn't a prison that can hold him?"
"I don't know," Jason admitted, "but if we have a chance to take him in then that's what we'll do. And if we have to find a way to imprison him afterwards, we'll find a way."
"Enough talk," Hawk said, "We need to get to Angel Grove now or there won't be anything left to save."
"Okay, let's do it," John Stewart yelled. "Move out!"
Angel Grove had been flooded. It wasn't covered by water, but the six-inch river that now covered the city's streets allowed all manner of sea monsters to make their way through the city, causing pandemonium. People ran in blind panic as law enforcement tried to keep the invading creatures at bay. And in some parts the waters had turned red with blood.
"Spread out and try to keep those things from advancing further," John ordered, sending the majority of the JLA's reserves into battle. "Rangers, get your Megazord into position and try to keep those bigger ones from moving beyond the docks."
"I'll see if I can do something about the water," Steel offered, already planning how to create a channel to drain off some of the water. He had just the invention for the job.
"I'll help," Wonder Woman offered.
"As soon as you're done, get back here," John told them, "we'll need all the help we can get if Namor shows up. Arthur... where is he?"
"Old fish breath went that way," Flash said, pointing to where the King of the Seas was battling a giant serpent.
John was about to reply when he noticed that Batman was attacking the same creature. Between them they had managed to restrain the massive beast before moving on to the next.
"Hawkgirl, get airborne and shout if you see Namor. The rest of us need to start shifting civilians away from here. J'Onn, can you teleport them?"
The Martian Manhunter, still on board the Watchtower, answered affirmatively.
"Shift them to the mountains outside the city," Hawkgirl cried from her position above them. "They should be safe there as long as Steel completes his trench."
"Twenty miles inland, any direction," John ordered instead. "It doesn't pay to gamble on what might stop the next wave."
At the Angel Grove Docks, while the various heroes fought his little pets, Namor was working on summoning new and more powerful creatures to devastate the city. The Rangers' Megazord had already taken out his giant eel, but his dark squid was proving a more formidable foe.
"I'll take that!" Flash called out as he raced by, grabbing the spell book as he did so.
Namor, much fast than the red suited hero when in water gave chase, not realising that he was being led to where Steel and Wonder Woman were waiting. The JLA's current membership and the villain that had caused them so much trouble clashed, the latter proving that he had already used some of Rita's spells to increase his resistance. He was a slippery fighter, difficult to hold long enough to hit and strong enough to throw all but the strongest members of the team around.
In the end it was Aquaman who managed to land the blow while Batman had distracted him. Striking the criminal in the back had not worried the King of the Seas, although he had made certain that the blow wouldn't prove fatal unless left untreated.
Namor was not about to stay down though, shaking off his opponents he raised his arms over his head and cried out for Rita to help him.
"Oh no," Trini gasped, realising what was about to happen. "If he grows, we might not be able to stop him."
"I have an idea," Zack said even as they heard the sound of Rita's wand descending. "We need some of those lamp posts we knock over earlier and some cable."
"You are not thinking what I think you're thinking," Kimberly protested as the wand connected, causing Namor to grow and mutate into a large green creature with pronounced amphibian features.
"We don't have time for this," Jason interrupted, "Zack, what do we do?"
"Join the cables to the posts and load the posts into the Thunder Cannons," Zack told him, referring to the two large cannons on the back of the Megazord.
Catching on to what the Rangers were doing, the other members of the JLA joined in; while most kept the now giant Namor busy, Batman and Aquaman attached the other end of the cable to one of the creatures they had defeated.
"Fire!" Jason ordered.
The two posts were launched at the monstrous villain, both managing to pierce his skin.
"Steel, Wonder Woman, you're on!" John told them as the pair twisted the posts where they emerged from the other side of Namor's body and wielded them together.
"Bring me on board," Aquaman ordered. The Rangers quickly complied as he directed them to seat the Megazord on the sea monster's back. "Hawkgirl, get it moving!"
The winged detective was quick to respond, striking the sea monster with her mace, forcing it to move out to sea in a bid to escape the pain. As it did so it dragged Namor behind it. The villain cried out as the Megazord used its strength to guide the sea monster through the ocean, dragging Namor out to sea.
"Now dive!" Aquaman ordered.
The Rangers obeyed and the Megazord forced the creature down into the depths of the ocean, the cockpit straining under the pressure as they dragged the villain lower and lower until they were below the point where Aquaman believed he could not ascend under his own power. The Megazord was on the point of collapsing by now, but they dove deeper, looking for a place where they could trap Namor.
"This will do," Aquaman said at last. after the monster had been driven into a cave.
"Power Sword!" the Rangers called.
A quick swing and the cave collapsed on the villain, trapping him under the sea. As the Rangers teleported away, knowing that while helpless their foe would at least survive in his new prison, they couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief at not having to kill him.
Had they won or had they lost? The jury was still out on that one. The combined might of the JLA and the Power Rangers had ended the threat of Namor for the time being, but there were many that thought the Rangers should have put an end to the villain while they had the chance. Even inside the League there was some discussion about whether or not they should have dealt the killing blow.
Batman had taken the Rangers aside after the team had returned to the JLA's headquarters. He and the rest of the League's senior members at least agreed with their decision and had only expressed a small amount of surprise to learn that Aquaman had gone along with the plan.
"What if he comes back?" they had heard Hawk complain half-heartedly. Even a volatile person like Hank could agree that while he wanted to slap Namor around a bit, he didn't want to take a life.
"Then we'll deal with him just as we did today," Dove told him.
The repairs to Angel Grove were underway, the government had offered tax exemption for businesses helping in the recovery efforts; the Wayne Foundation had made a generous payment to the city to issue emergency help. The teens had joined the clean up crews while several other heroes had made special guest appearances to help in the repairs; Flash racing from street to street with a mop was a common sight for the next day or so.
The funerals for those that had died were held the following week. For the Rangers it was a reminder that not everybody survived a monster attack. It also served to show the citizens of Earth that sometimes the greatest threats did not come from space or another dimension, but rather from their own planet.
And on the Moon a celebration was in progress. Rita hadn't won this round, but she hadn't lost either. Angel Grove had come close to destruction and the next time her plan would be perfect. She just needed more time. The problem was that for Rita, time was running out.