"Say, usually you're the most punctual of us all, Charlie," Johnny Thunder pointed out. "What happened?"
"I noticed a jewelry store robbery in progress, on my way here," Dr. Mid-Nite explained. "Naturally, I intervened."
"Jewelry store, eh?" Hourman asked. "Costume or common?"
"Costume, but a new one," Mid-Nite replied. "At least, one I'd never met before. Called himself the Black Nemesis."
"Black Nemesis?" Green Lantern repeated. "New one on me, too."
"What was he like?" Atom asked.
"Wore some kind of armored costume," Mid-Nite answered. "It gave him flight and enhanced strength; likely other abilities, too. Some hidden weapons as well."
"You caught him, didn't you?" Wildcat asked. "I mean, they'll pick his suit apart at Police--"
"Actually, he escaped," Mid-Nite admitted. "When I made my move, he blinded me with a sudden magnesium flare."
"Blinded? You?" Johnny Thunder said, incredulously. "I didn't think that was possible!"
"Charles sees in daylight with his infra-red goggles," Flash reminded, "which use heat, rather than light, to perceive images. And a magnesium flare, besides being bright, is very hot."
"Exactly," Mid-Nite said, pouring himself a cup of coffee before taking his seat at the meeting table. "All I could see for a few seconds was a huge blotch. I threw down a blackout bomb, to enable my night-vision to take over; but Black Nemesis had made his escape by then." Mid-Nite took a sip of his coffee, and frowned. "It was as if he knew just how to disable my abilities, and came prepared."
"Well, these days, anyone who reads the news magazines would know that," Hourman offered. "We're hardly the 'mystery-men' we once were."
"I know," Mid-Nite agreed. "But still, it was a clever application."
"Ahh, don't let a sucker punch get you down, Chuck," Wildcat offered. Ted Grant was perhaps the only man Charles McNider would allow to call him 'Chuck'; perhaps the good doctor felt that he had earned it. "We'll get him next time. The kid got in a lucky shot, k.o.ed a champ; he'll be cocky now, too sure of himself. Set up for a fall."
Mid-Nite smiled. "Thank you, Ted. I appreciate the wisdom."
"We were discussing the Sunset Killer," Wonder Woman said to her longtime friend. The Princess of Paradise Island felt a special bond with Dr. Mid-Nite; during her earliest years in Man's World, the JSA had been her home and its members her family. In those years the roster changed often, members coming and going frequently, and Dr. Mid-Nite had been one of the few anchors. "He's apparently struck again."
"Indeed?" Mid-Nite asked. "Who was his victim this time?"
"My old enemy, the Fool," Green Lantern said. "Turns out he'd been a frequent diner at a soup kitchen in New York; the Sunset Killer, assuming it was the same person, found him and shot him there."
"Not too much of a leap of faith that it was the same guy," Atom said. "Same M.O., same kind of victim. Not much chance it's two different people."
"Perhaps not," Huntress offered, "but my father taught me, never rule anything out, until you've ruled it out."
"Indeed he did," a new voice came from the doorway, causing all heads to turn, and Huntress to utter a short gasp. There wasn't much that startled The Batman's daughter, but this was sufficient.