M A R T I A N M A N H U N T E R
Bare, concrete walls pushed in on empty hallways. Dim red lighting seemed to pulse to the beat of blaring klaxons that would never die. Their wails echoed through the vacuous corridors, screaming to warn those who could no longer heed the call. Every path through the expansive complex blurred together in monotonous fashion; each hallway passed through revealed only more of the same. Nothing of any notable substance.
A blue cloak rippled through the air behind the stark white alien's form. M'gann M'orzz slowly levitated along each corridor she came across, her powers of telekinesis effortlessly lifting and carrying her wherever she saw fit. Eyes swept across every inch of concrete walls, exposed metal pipes, and anything else she came across. Nothing escaped the Martian Manhunter's gaze, regardless of seeming insignificance.
Something had happened here, that much was certain. A dangerous presence lurked within, and with no way of knowing how long she and the rest of her assorted group were stuck in this place, that danger needed to be discovered, evaluated, and, if need be, eliminated.
Years of extensive training and practical experience patrolling the greater galaxy, hunting down insidious criminals, and uncovering grand conspiracies had drilled upon her the importance of understanding what one was up against. Being forced to travel with a handful of strangers, some of whom could well be threats on their own, was uncomfortable enough of a situation for the martian. She didn't want to add to that with additional unknown potential threats.
M'gann drifted to the right side of the long, drab corridor. Her body continued floating up to and through the solid wall, entering the room on the opposite side. A few dozen seconds later, she reentered the hallway before repeating her ghost-like trick with the left wall. Each room that M'gann slipped into was little different from the next. Dissimilar purposes, of course, from offices to break rooms to storage closets, yet all revealed the same minimal levels of information.
She continually drifted through the hallways, phasing into each room she came across, carefully observing and analyzing as she went along. The monotony of it all was broken several minutes later as M'gann's senses picked up something from a distance.
A voice called out to her, muted, though not courtesy of the incessant alarms. It was Barry Allen. The version she had found herself an outcast with. The man was speaking to her, or at least he was trying to. Without a mental link established between the two of them, the thoughts sent her way came across as if they were underwater. M'gann could feel
that Barry was projecting his thoughts out toward her, and she could certainly detect his psionic presence, even pinpoint his exact location if need be, but attempting to understand the context of those thoughts was nearly impossible.
She supposed it was only natural for this Flash to try and contact her mentally. M'gann had mentioned briefly on the previous world that she had the ability to sense and reach out to the minds of others. What she had failed to explain at the time, however, was that martian psionic communication required a pre-established link from one mind to another. In her culture, it was something usually reserved for family, close friends, or mates. Even as a Manhunter it was uncommon for psionic connections to be formed among units during missions unless close bonds already existed. It was an intimate act as a shared link meant that all of one's most treasured thoughts and memories could be handed over to another with little effort.
A frown flickered across her features for a second. She hadn't considered the notion until just then, but M'gann began to ponder on the potential necessity of a link between the five of them. If they were forced to continue hopping from one reality to another, with no guarantee of finding their respective home dimensions anytime soon, and every world they arrive at possibly being rife with danger, the ability for discrete, long-distance communication might be crucial. She would need to work on a solution for that, the martian realized.
More important matters were at hand at the moment, however. If Barry was attempting to reach out to her it was likely he had discovered something of consequence, be it answers as to what had occurred in this mysterious bunker complex or perhaps even with the device that had brought them all here from their former prison world.
M'gann turned around in mid-air and began floating back down the long corridor. She had made it less than a hundred feet before her senses once more picked up on something.
Her head snapped to the left, though there was nothing there of course aside from the concrete wall. Nor was there anything immediately beyond that wall, she knew, because just minutes ago she had stepped through it to the cluttered custodian closet beyond. But beyond that
there was... something. A presence. Maybe five hundred feet in that direction; multiple corridors, and walls between her and whatever it was.
Her frown returned, brow narrowing intensely. It was a life form. One of those she had sensed earlier upon the group's arrival, though much closer than before. Too
close. The Manhunter should have been able to sense it nearing much sooner. M'gann's sensory range easily covered the entire complex, and although she hadn't been actively focusing on tracking everything within up until that point, a sentient lifeform, as she knew it must be, should have alerted her long ago before coming so close. What was more, there was something familiar
about the presence, though it was difficult to place at the moment.
She barely had time to consider this before her senses flared again. Another one, though this time further away, pinged within her mental radar. More than two thousand feet in the direction she had originally traveled from.
The direction she had left the others. The realization hit her quickly.
Barry's attempted message. A warning? A cry for help?
M'gann let her psionic power envelop her completely, the telekinetic force that had kept her suspended and lightly floating forward now propelled her like a rocket down the corridor. As she raced down the hallways, passing freely and haphazardly through any wall in her path, her senses picked up another presence. Then another, and another. Each of these three new lifeforms arose closer to the second she had detected, all within the same direction she was now headed. All within several hundred feet of the rest of her party, who she now could sense gathering together in one location.
The child called Six had been right earlier. There was
a predator lurking within. The boy's intuition hadn't been entirely correct, however, as it became blatantly clear to M'gann that there wasn't just one.
It would become clear to Six and the others as well very shortly as four of the unknown predatory lifeforms converged on their position.