by Smitty

It was dark when Al Rothstein slipped away. The tiny brownstone housing Black Adam's band was possibly a quarter of the size of the JSA headquarters and crowded with those who shared their ideology. It was a place of passion and intensity and it was not infrequent that tempers flared. As one of the first recruits, Al was afforded a modicum of privacy and more respect than he probably deserved, but Black Adam rarely slept, pacing the halls at night and appearing at odd hours with a bit of advice or an observation.

It wasn't that what he was doing was prohibited or even frowned upon, but it was something to be shared with family and they were not. It was private, not in ceremony, but because it brought upon him doubt and a sense of ignominy. He thought of Courtney and wondered what she would say to him if he ever saw her again. Then he would remind himself of her youth and naivety and pity her innocent ideals.

Innocent those ideals might be, but his heart ached for them, just a little, as he pulled his tiny menorah from its hiding place and began lighting the blue candles.

Author's Notes Al Rothstein, aka Atom-Smasher, joined his former rival Black Adam in forming a harsher, more Machiavellen splinter of JSA. They believe in execution of criminals and have demonstrated this belief more than once. Presumably the showdown between teams will happen in next month's "Black Reign" crossover.

Jack Knight: Christmas Wrapping

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