Victory Garden – A Justice Society of America Story

Courtney Whitmore was pouting just a little bit on the rooftop of the headquarters of the Justice Society of America. She was tired of being inside and completely restless. She wanted to be out with her friends or even on patrol. She and her stepfather, Pat Dugan, had just finished a patrol when the Stay at home order was announced. There was a deadly virus and the short term solution was to shelter in place and wait it out. Courtney had wanted to at least go home but Pat had insisted that the responsible thing to do was stay at headquarters in case they had already been exposed during their patrol.

Besides, they might be needed if the emergency got worse. There were others also at headquarters. Doctor Mid-Nite was locked in his lab and communicating with leading medical scientists and doctors from around the world. Mr. Terrific, Power Girl, and Wildcat were also present and accounted for. The Marvel Family was sticking around but they were immune to the virus as long as they stayed in their superpowered forms. It had been weeks since they had gone out in costume.

In the meantime, Courtney was hanging out as Pat tended a small but growing garden. The sun was shining and it was good weather for it. However, Courtney looked restless.

“We should go on patrol,” Courtney said. “There could be danger out there. How would we know?”

“We have a computer attached to police scanners and news feeds,” Pat said. “If we’re needed, we’ll be there. It’s safer to stay here.”

“Your STRIPES armor probably keeps the virus out,” Courtney said. “You’d be perfectly safe.”

“Maybe,” Pat said, grunting as he dug another hole. “But it’s actually pretty peaceful out there. Even the criminals are scared of this thing. Why are you pushing this so hard, Courtney?”

“I just need to be Stargirl,” Courtney said, wrapping her arms around herself.

“Why do you think that is?” Pat asked.

“I don’t know,” Courtney said, looking away.

“Maybe because being superheroes has become normal for us?” Pat asked. “Maybe you think it will feel normal to put on the costume again?”

“Maybe,” Courtney said. “Is that bad?”

Pat stopped what he was doing and looked up at her, having to shade his eyes a bit. “Not at all,” he said. “Being Stargirl and STRIPES is important to the world and it’s important to us. It brought us closer at a time where we were still figuring out how to be family.”

Courtney thought about that shared history. She had been pissed when Pat had married her mother. A resentful and sullen Courtney had chosen to act out instead of make peace. She discovered Sylvester Pemberton’s old Star-Spangled Kid costume and had run around town to piss off Pat. Pat had been Pemberton’s sidekick Stripey back during World War 2. Circumstances caused by time travel had ended with Pat being much younger than he should have been in the present day. Pat had eventually designed and donned the STRIPES armor to accompany his stepdaughter as she fought crime. Eventually, Courtney saw Pat as a mentor instead of an obstacle. Courtney earned the respect of her stepfather but also her peers when she accepted Ted Knight’s old cosmic rod.

“Yeah,” Courtney said. “That’s true.”

“But this is what’s important right now,” Pat said.

“Why?” Courtney asked. “Why are we even doing this? It’s not like we need the vegetables, the grocery stores are still open.”

“Because this is a little thing we can do in case things get worse,” Pat said. “If these vegetables grow that leaves more in the stores for other people. Back when I was running around with your predecessor, we called these ‘victory gardens’. People did them to help the war effort.”

“Stopping the Nazis, huh?” Courtney asked.

“Yeah,” Pat said. “That was the idea. I trust Doctor Mid-Nite and the gang to find a cure but if this helps just a little bit, it’s something I can do. We can’t patrol but we also can’t just watch television and work out all the time. Some sunshine and a little hard work could help us stay sane.”

Courtney sighed. “Hand me a shovel,” she said. “I’ll help you out.”

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2 Responses to “Victory Garden – A Justice Society of America Story”

  1. shirleyjdietz Says:

    Victory garden is certainly on everyone’s mind this year, along with virus and ventilator. Enjoyed your post. From A to Z http://www.shirleyjdietz.com

    Like

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