2. Look at my new journal layout! (Thank you Slod and Lyra! *double the smooches)
3. Here is some Nifra Sue:
“Do you see the ship anywhere?” Batman asked, glowering out the window of the submersible.
Superman shook his head. “No, but I think I see – no, I can’t possibly have actually seen that. It was way too weird.”
Batman eyed Superman, but went back to glowering at the dark water before him.
“You know,” Superman said, using his x-ray vision to look out the side of the submersible, “this kind of reminds me of Krypton.”
“You’ve never been to Krypton,” Batman snapped.
Superman blinked. “Well, not as such, no. But – it’s kind of how I picture it. With more water, and less red light or light of any kind and a total lack of civilization, but – similar. You know.”
“Thank God, no I don’t,” Batman muttered, and Superman glared at his cowl.
From behind them, there was a stir, and lurch. Batman’s head shot up and he and Superman exchanged a look.
“Could something be attacking us?”
Superman blinked. “It’s possible, I guess.”
“*IS* there something attacking us?” Batman asked, exasperated.
Superman flipped on his x-ray vision, and scanned the back of the submersible, only to see the skeleton of a woman curled up in one of the boxes of gear behind them.
“Nifra?” he said, disbelieving, and Batman’s eyes widened.
“No,” he breathed in shock, as Nifra’s head popped out of a cardboard crate.
She waved her fingers and smiled sheepishly. “Uhm. Hi!”
“Send her back,” Batman growled. “If we have any teleportation devices whatsoever on this submersible send her back, or I’ll kill her.”
“What are you doing here?” Superman asked.
Nifra tried to untangle herself from the nets and ropes, and failed spectacularly, spilling out onto the floor in a tangle of legs and arms. “Oh, I – shit! – you know – goddamnit, get off my foot! – was kind of – “
“This is because of that thing you watched, isn’t it?” Superman asked, arms crossed as he watched her try to extricate herself.
“No!” Nifra protested, eyes wide. “It was – an accident. I may have…been resting. In that container. For a while. And I maybe…fell asleep. Yes. That’s what I did.”
“Drug her, gag her, and send her out into the ocean,” Batman said.
Nifra turned to him. “And hi to you too, Captain Cranky Cowl.”
“Superman, believe me when I tell you that I’m not kidding. I will kill her.” Batman turned to Nifra, and said very earnestly, “I have thirty two deadly weapons on my body, and I can reach any of them at any time. Keep that in mind.”
She rolled her eyes. “So being miles away from the light of the sun doesn’t, in fact, improve your disposition.”
“We’re miles away from the sun on the Watchtower and he’s always like this,” Superman said with a sigh.
“There have been enormous medical advancements in the field of proctology lately,” Nifra told Batman sweetly. “Consider getting the stick in your ass looked at.”
Superman frowned at Batman. “There isn’t anything in his –“
Nifra slapped his arm, hard, and then hid behind him as Batman lunged for her.
“Oh, right, yeah, okay, uhm, yes,” Superman laughed nervously and patted Nifra’s head. “Well then. That’s very – “
“Out of the way, alien,” Batman growled.
Nifra poked her head over Superman’s shoulder and said, “I was only kidding!”
“I wasn’t,” Batman said flatly.
“Oh, yes you were,” Superman said loudly, still chuckling nervously. “And so was she! We’re all kidding! Lots of kidders! That’s us! And not one of us is going to hurt another one of us because it’s just us in the bottom of the ocean and now is really not the time for violence!”
Superman put a hand on Batman’s chest, and gently pushed him to the other side of the submarine, and Nifra cautiously came out from behind him.
“What are you doing here, anyway?” Batman asked her, still glaring.
“I wanted to see it,” Nifra blurted out, eyes huge. “It’s – this is – are we in the dark zone yet?”
“No, there’s still a little light,” Superman told her.
Nifra turned to Batman. “Do you know what *lives* here!?!? Do you have *any* idea?”
“She saw a special on the Discovery Channel,” Superman muttered to Batman. “She’s talked about it non-stop since.”
“There are fish that SPIT OUT FIRECRACKERS!” Nifra squeaked excitedly. “And – and – there are laser beams that come out of their EYES!”
Batman eyed her. “You’re making this up.”
Superman put his face in his hands. “Oh, God, here we go.”
“OMIGOD I COULD NOT MAKE THIS UP IF I TRIED!!” Nifra shrieked, gesticulating wildly. “There are things down here – there are two hundred year old tube worms! Two hundred years old! Worms! Tell me they’re not sentient!!”
“I really doubt they’re sentient,” Superman mumbled.
Nifra ignored him. “These things – these things out there – they exist on OUR planet, Batman. And we don’t know anything about them! They could be planning a coup! We have to know!”
“Are you afraid of fish with laser beams coming out of their eyes storming out of the sea and taking over?” Batman asked, dryly.
Nifra nodded, very slowly. “Think about it.”
“I would really, really, rather not,” Superman pleaded. “The gorillas –“
“Were nothing compared to these mutated alien monster fish!” Nifra said, poking her finger hard against the porthole. “THEY BIOLUMINESCE! Like glow sticks!”
“Glow sticks aren’t alive, so they can’t bioluminesce,” Batman pointed out, turning back to the window.
“Oh, whatever, they’re not alive, but these things ARE! That’s my POINT! They could be MASSING FORCES IN THE MARIANAS TRENCH AND NO ONE WOULD KNOW!” Nifra squealed.
Batman clapped hands over his head, and muttered, “There are hundreds and hundreds of pounds of pressure on us right now. Maybe she’ll implode.”
“You two are supposed to, like, care about the world,” Nifra said crossing her arms and glaring at the pair of them. “You’re taking this really too lightly. By far.”
“I think we’re taking it just lightly enough,” Superman shot back.
Batman leaned his head against the metal and sighed heavily. “How many hours does it take for us to get back up to surface waters?”
“Three and a half!” Nifra said. “And I’ll tell you what else –“
“Please, please, don’t tell me anything else,” Batman growled.
“Knowledge is power,” Nifra said sweetly, drawing a deep breath to continue.
Batman clapped a rubber-gloved hand over her mouth. “So is brute strength.”
Nifra turned pleading eyes on Superman, who tried to avoid her gaze and couldn’t. “Let her go,” he said glumly.
“I have absolutely no intention of doing that,” Batman said cheerfully, pulling her beside him where he could comfortable keep one hand over her mouth at all times as he cuffed her to the submersible.
Superman tried again as Batman tied a bandana around Nifra’s head, covering her mouth.
“You know what she’s like,” he said raising his voice over her muffled outraged shrieks. “If you don’t take that off her, she’ll ---“
“Non-dairy creamer is your problem,” Batman said sounding freakishly chipper.
“And yours is her putting sugar in the motor of the Batmobile,” Superman pointed out.
Batman froze. “She wouldn’t.”
Nifra nodded her head emphatically, glaring furiously at Batman. “Mou mbet Ah woul!” she screamed.
“I think she just said –“ Superman said, and Batman cut him off.
“She would, wouldn’t she?”
Nifra nodded again, and Batman sighed.
“I knew it was too good to last,” he said as he untied her, and released the cuffs.
“I hate you,” Nifra said promptly as the gag was removed. “I hate you so much that sometimes I’m surprised that I don’t explode from hating you.”
“Please,” Batman said, “be my guest.”
Nifra’s eyes narrowed. “Seriously, I see why you do this dark and tortured silent bad boy thing with everyone else in the world. Because if anyone actually knew you? They’d –“
“—have me in Arkahm,” Batman recited by rote.
“Yeah, they would, and what’s more – “ Nifra began heatedly.
“Hey, guys,” Superman called weakly.
“What’s more is that you’re a ridiculous human being who has no function except to make my life more difficult,” Batman interjected.
“Your life? More difficult? I’m surprised you don’t want to pay me extra, you passive aggressive, martyr freak!” Nifra shot back.
“GUYS!” Superman yelled, as Batman opened his mouth to retort.
“What?” Nifra and Batman replied in unison, turning toward him.
Superman was glowing.
“I, uh,” Superman gestured at his body. “I think we reached the dark zone.”
Nifra blinked. “You can *bioluminesce*?”
Superman laughed a little. “That or I’m a glow stick.”
“This,” Nifra said happily, “is so cool. Do you think there’s a dark zone on your planet? What do you think is in it? Did Krypton have whales? Where they like, indestructible wales? And –“
Batman began to beat his head against the side of the submersible, and kept doing it for a very long time.