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The "Ultimate DC" RPG


Dark Lord of the RPG's
Aug 4, 2005
Reaction score
Ultimate DC Text from http://galactus.genesismuds.com
Header made by Twy


Master Bruce & The Question


.assistant gamemaster.
Green Lantern


- - -

.about the ultimate dc rpg.

This game is similar to The "World Of Heroes" DC RPG,

however this one follows a different, non-established 'Ultimate' continuity, similar to Marvel's Ultimate series.

- - -

. the 'Ultimate' World: History and Parameters of the Ultimate DC Universe.

The following posts contain, the parameters and history of this universe.
Use these as a starting point, to get to know this world.
What you do in it and how your character reacts in it is entirely up to you.
Good luck!

.post one.

.post two.

- - -

  • Players can choose any DC Comic character they wish, and ''Ultimize'' them. Since there is no established Ultimate continuity for DC, some liberties can be taken. However, We ask that you at least try and stay true to the character's basics. (IE: Superman's an alien, Batman's a mortal, Wonder Woman's an Amazonian warrior, ect.) Don't make him or her completely 100% different from his/her's Regular DC counterpart.
  • This is in an Ultimate DC continuity. Meaning, this does not tie into the continuity of DC Comics. (IE: Superman never died, Batman was never broken by Bane, ect.) So don't play as if any of that has already happen. This is a NEW universe.
  • No Killing. Unnamed faceless NPC's (*Non Player Characters) are okay, but not comic characters. Someone else may want to take up the character, or they may be imporant to another story.
  • You can go anywhere on earth, or travel off planet, but do so within your character's means.
  • Only one character per person. First come, first serve. (Aside From Reserved)
  • You are your character, so act like it. Talk like them, use their dialogue. Do not exaggerate their powers or abilities, or pop-up here and there without explaination.
  • Several stories can be going at once, and you have the freedom to interact with other characters.
  • No Time Travel. (Unless someone wants to play an Ultimate Booster Gold, where the character needs that.)
  • You must post every two weeks, though it is preferred that you post more. If you go two weeks without a post without prior notice, your character is be up for grabs.
  • All regular Hype rules also apply.
  • Have fun.
- - -


. a hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

King Of The sea

The Atom*

Master Bruce

Black Canary


Captain Marvel*

Purple Man


The Flash
Green Lantern

Green Arrow

(Green Lantern (Hal Jordan))

Guy Gardner


The BatDude

Martian Manhunter
Johnny Blaze


[Conner Kent]

The Question

.walking the line.


.there are heroes in evil as well as in good.
François de La Rochefoucauld


General Zod*

(The Joker)

Lex Luthor


Mirror Master

Mr. Freeze
MST3K 4ever

Byrd Man


Weather Wizard*

( ) = Reserved Characters.

* = Characters On Notice


- - -

'ULTIMATE DC' RPG Application


Character You Would Like To Play:

Basic History Of The Character:

Three Reasons Why You Have Chosen That Character:




What Do You Plan On Doing With This Character As A Person:

Two Complete Sentances In Proper English Explaining What You Can Bring To This RPG (As A Player):

Do You Know How To Post Pictures On The Hype?:

- - -
Four months ago:

Not fast enough. Too slow.

These words echoed in Barry Allen’s head. In high school he had been the star athlete for his school. A wide receiver with enough speed to burn down a barn, the track sprinter who broke state records. Then his senior year, his luck had run out. He tore his ACL while playing football, and sat out his senior track season. No scholarship offers for either sport had come in, but luckily he was also academically gifted, and got a full ride to his home town school, Keystone State University; in both the physics and the chemistry departments. His determination and reputation in football had earned him a walk-on spot on the KSU football team, but his injury had slowed him significantly. He had been riding the bench for the last three years. He worked his ass off in practice only to ride the pine in games. He had just been called into the coach’s office.

“Barry, I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to have to cut you from the team. You just are not fast enough, son. We need to clear up a roster spot for this new kid, he’s a transfer from GSU, his name’s Johnny Kwiken, got the nickname Johnny Quick in Gotham. Now, before you get too down on yourself, I’m giving you one last opportunity, you and Murcry are going to have to prove to me which one of you is more valuable to the team. You guys will have until the last two-a-days. Sorry, Barry, this team could use your determination and your work ethic, but right now you’re too slow for us.”

The words stung. He’d worked so hard to get this far, but now he had to prove himself yet again.

“Uh thanks coach, I’ll do my best to prove my worth…”

Barry got up and walked out the door, tears starting to come to his eyes. He wiped them away. Outside the door was another student on a bench. Edward Thawne; his best friend and lab partner.

“So, how’d it go Barry? Got a new *******?”

“Worse, Ed, I have to compete with Max just to stay on the team. So on top of having our serum project due soon, I’m gonna have to work even harder in practice. There goes sleep for the next month… I’m gonna need our alertness drug before too long.”

“That sucks dude, I’ll understand if you need to take the night off from our research.”

“No, we need to get this done Ed, ready to hit the lab?”

“Yeah, lets go. Say, you get the new JSA yet? They got Perez doing the covers. God they need to get him on a monthly again!”

“Yeah, of course I did, I get anything with Jay in it. Duh man.”
Two Shots.

That's all that it took for me to realise my parents were dead.

The Gunman raised his pistol, which reeked of gunpowder now, and aimed it at my face. Of course, I didn't care. My whole world had just been shattered infront of me, and I still couldn't contemplate it. My parents were DEAD. The two people closest to me were laying at my feet, with blood soaking the pavement beneath them. My life, regardless of whether I lived or died, would never be the same, and even at my young age... I knew the harsh reality of it.

As the gunman rested his finger on the trigger, ready to do away with me like he did my mother and father, another shot rang out. At first, I thought he had shot me. But when I realised I wasn't in any physical pain, and I was, infact, still alive... I looked up, to see blood pouring from the gunman's chest. As he fell, right below the feet of his victims and the two people that gave me life, I watched as an african american police officer stood behind where the gunman was, holding a smoking gun of his own.

But I didn't even care about that. All I knew was that I was now an orphan. My parents... the two people in life that I loved the most... the people who taught me to be the boy I was up until that moment... they were gone. Silenced by piercing bullets and screaming barrels. I dropped to my knees, and did the only thing that seemed rational. I cried my eyes out. The cop, who had thrown his weapon back onto the ground behind him, walked over to me, and hugged me.

"It's okay, son. He's not going to hurt you. He'll never hurt anyone... It's okay...", trying to sound as comforting as possible. I looked up at him, and his badge that read 'Gordon', before digging myself into his arm. As I clutched to his arm tighter, still crying as if I were an infant, only one thought passed through my mind.

It wasn't okay. That shouldn't have happened. My parents never should've been dead. It wasn't fair, nor was it right.

It wasn't right...

I remember all of this in a dream, as I wake up. I'm no longer in the body of an eight year old boy who watched his parents die infront of him. No, that boy is long gone. Now, I'm in the body of a lightly battered twenty one year old, who had witnessed more than his fair share of tragedies. Losing my parents was simply the first.

My name is Bruce. I was born into a grand utopia, once known as the greatest city in the world. Gotham City. My family, The Wayne's, were considered the first family of the city. We were treated as if we were royalty. Infact, we were probably the closest thing to it, back in those days. My father was one of the country's most famous and respected medical surgeons. My mother graduated from Harvard before she had even aqquired her driver's liscence. They both represented the best qualities in human beings that I had ever known. Both loving. Both caring. Both strong, intelligent, and pure in almost everything they did. They were more than parents to me. They were heroes.

The night their lives came to an abrupt end was the night that the 'grand utopia' ceased to exist. Gotham City fell into hard times, once my parents were gone. Good people... Decent people, even, were left without jobs, forcing many to poverty. People who my father had combatted and debated against in order to determine what was truly right for the citizens of Gotham now lead it. Evil people. People who were more concerned with money and power than what was truly the best for the people of Gotham. Even more concerned with money and power to honor the spirit of two deceased billionaires who did nothing but do what was right for Gotham, and never themselves.

Ever since, the city has fallen into poverty and corruption. I've watched it over the past few weeks. Cops take from the poor while abusing their authority. Criminals walk the streets freely, regardless of whether they're known for commiting crimes of which any other city would have them prosecuted or not. Even the goverment, from what I've seen, are under the influence of corrupted officials and misguided politics.

It pains me. It always has. Even when I was eight years old, I could see the very beginning of this clearly. And now, even though I've taken my father's company and inherited fortune back from those who rely on greed, I know it's not enough. I, myself, am secure. But it's not my own benefits that I am worried about. I want my city back. I want Gotham back, for the good people that my parents fought for. I want it all back. So I'm taking it back myself.

When my parents died, I made a promise to them. A silent vow, that only I could hear. Or whatever part of them that could still be alive. I promised, on the grave of my parents, that I would rid Gotham of evil. Not just the evil that took their lives... But in all forms. It is a promise that I've kept to this very day. The promise has been my primary focus from the moment I made it, into my teen years, even to now, as I stand, a grown adult male. Some have commented that I'm crazy for being this determined. But if I am, It is my choice. For my parents... For Gotham... I have to make a stand.

In order to keep this promise, I have gone through many trials to test my endurance, skill, and cerebral functions. While at the same time, I have been, seperately, building a false persona of myself in the public, to better aid my mission. It began when my butler, and the closest thing to a father I've had since my parent's passing, Alfred Pennyworth, suggested that I socialise with the 'upper class' of Gotham City. When I threw myself into the social circle, I quickly learned my anti-social ways and habits that I had adopted through the years was not going to be acceptable. I couldn't be myself... Especially if I had alternative motives that I was planning to explore as I learned more about them. So, watching others around me, and taking acting lessons from Alfred, who... coeincidentally, had training in theater... I adopted a new persona. One of a carefree, arrogant playboy, flaunting his wealth around for his own benefit.

I don't enjoy it. If it didn't provide a nessacary cover for my truer intentions, I wouldn't even think about keeping it up. My parents would've never deserved a son like the one I have been portraying for the past few weeks. They're better people, than that. I'm better than that. But as I continue this... A question arises...
What, exactly, am I trying to hide?

I've been searching for that answer for over half of my life. I've searched everywhere. From the deepest, darkest corners of Gotham, to the far East of the world, to places many people wouldn't know existed. Something has been building inside of me... Something I've been trying to deduce. It's driven me to this point... When I returned, to claim back what was rightfully mine. Maybe that's why I grew increasingly anti-social from my teen years, onward... Because I was always trying to find that answer. I could've had friends. Ones willing to share my intrests and hobbies, aswell as making me feel less isolated than I really was. Sure, I could've dated girls. I had the money to impress them... and even a little bit of my father's looks to swoon them. Sure... I could've had a life. Instead, What did I do?


I stepped back, taking in the pressure from the punch. I was fifteen years old... And I had just been punched in the face by one of the best Heavy Weight Boxing champions in the world. Ted Grant. They called him The WildCat. I called him... many things, in my head. "Bastard", comes to mind. Of course, I had just been hit in the face by the man... I wasn't in the best state of mind. Looking back, Grant really was one of the best people I had ever met. Of course, if I were told that back THEN...

Ted looked down at me, obviously dwarfing me in size. He chuckled to himself, as I rubbed my... well, swollen eye. It was if as he enjoyed watching my pain.

"Kid, I've told you hundreds of times. You got spirit. You got guts. You got determination. And yeah, those are nice things to have... But when it comes down to it, you, quite frankly, suck when it comes to skill.", He said, helping me up. My angry fifteen year old self yanked the arm away, looking at him.

"That's why I'm here!", I yelled. He didn't seem phased by it. Instead, he simply looked me in the eye. "And you haven't learned one damned thing since. Have you, Bruce?", He asked, with a smirk.

I couldn't believe this man. He had just punched me in the eye... And he was blaming ME for it? It made me angry. Well, angrier. So angry, that I flew at him with an arched fist. He easily grabbed it, and flipped me over, making me land, back first, on the boxing ring's mat. I looked at him, from the ground. Obviously what I had just done was a very idiotic move, on my part. Grant looked back down at me.

"Anger will get you nowhere. Anger only makes you lose control... It messes you up. If you don't learn to repress it... Someday, you're gonna end up doing something you'll regret. Understand?" He asked, completely serious.

I didn't know why, at the time... But this seemed to stand out to me. Over the next few months, I began improving... And within a year, I had mastered everything Ted had taught me, up to that point. Whether it was because I had been focused... Or because I learned to repress my anger... I had become a something of a warrior at the mere age of sixteen.

I have yet to thank Grant... But maybe, someday, I will. Someday, I'll thank The WildCat... The man who turned me from a kid who lost his parents, to a warrior, willing to do something about it. However... There was still an answer I needed. I didn't know what it was... But when I eventually left Ted's teachings... I felt somewhat... Incomplete, not knowing it.

And to this day, I still do. I spent years trying to fill that void... And so far, I've yet to become sucessful. It's that one thing that I'm missing. Maybe that's why I accepted an offer, a few years later, at a charity event. An offer from, who I would learn to be, one of the greatest detectives the world had ever known...
Two weeks later…
They’d been working non –stop on this serum for the first two weeks of the summer, and still had nothing to show for it. The goal was to make a drug that enhanced reaction time and upped alertness factors, but so far none of the samples had worked. To make matters worse, Barry was losing badly to Max in practices, and it showed in his attitude off the field. Even Ed would admit that his best friend had become an intolerable ass as of late.

“Hey, Ed, toss me the Phosphorus Trichloride, I have an idea.”

“Sure thing Barry, dang sounds like this storm is picking up out there huh?”

“Cut the small talk, Ed, we need to get this done.”

“Jeez Barry, calm down. I know you’ve had a rough month, but man you’re gonna alienate ALL your friends, even the few you still have right now.”

Lightning crackled outside the lab’s window, and Barry looked up.

“Sorry, Ed, this thing with Max just pisses me off. I need this.”

As he apologized to Ed, a blast of lightning shattered the window, and Barry’s skeleton became visible as the electricity hit him, still holding the sample. The beaker shattered as Barry fell to the lab floor. Thawne rushed over to his friend felt the weak pulse on his neck and ran to the phone to dial 911.

Three weeks later:

Barry had been in a coma for the past three weeks, with no sign of waking up. His girlfriend, Iris had been in his room whenever she had had a moment to spare.

“This is just like you, Barry. Always sleeping late.”

Suddenly, Barry sat up. “Iris? That you? Where am I? What happened? Is there anything to eat?”

“BARRY! Whoa, slow down! You got struck by lightning in the lab. You’ve been in a coma the last three weeks. Ed feels horrible.”

“I’ve been what?!? For how long? F**K! This probably means Max got the spot doesn’t it?”

”That’s not important right now Barry, the only thing that matters is that you’re alive.”

“Yeah, I guess so; anyway can you get a doctor? I want out of here.”

She left the room to get a doctor, and Barry got out of the bed, disconnected his IV and got dressed. To anyone else’s eyes he would have been a blur, but to him he was moving at normal speed. In less than a minute Iris came back in with a doctor.

“What’s going on here, kid? You’re in no shape to be up and moving around, you’ve been comatose for almost a month!”

“I feel fine Doc, I want to go home.”

“Well, you seem to be doing better, but I should still run some tests.”

“Can I come back in the morning? I’m really hungry, and want real food.”

“Well, I suppose.”

“Thanks doc.”

The doctor left the room to get discharge papers and Iris stormed over to Barry.

“What the hell is going on?!? This brash of rashness is extremely unlike you Barry!”

“Maybe its time to start.”

The doctor came back in, and handed Barry the paper. “Sign here, and for the record I’m still against this, but I doubt you’ll take no for an answer.”

“Nope. Sure won’t.”

Iris and Barry left the hospital, “I’m parked this way Barry.”

“Actually I think I’m gonna run home Iris, I’m still going to try to beat Max out.”

She got into her car and started the engine. “Suit yourself Barry, I’ll see you later tonight.”

She drove off, and Barry watched her.

I can’t believe I was in a coma… and that Max took advantage of it. That bastard.

He started jogging as he got mad thinking about it. As buildings blurred past him, he didn’t seem to notice how fast he was going. His first indication was after a loud boom echoed in his ears. He screeched to a stop after that.

What the hell was that?

He looked up and was staring into a tourism sign. Welcome to Metropolis. The City of Tomorrow.

What is this, some kind of joke? Metropolis? That’s over two thousand miles from Keystone!

In the distance he could see the famous globe of the Daily Planet building.

What the hell is going on here? What happened to me?

He turned around, and started running again, this time paying attention as buildings blurred around him. This time it was obvious what the loud boom was. He had broken the sound barrier. He stopped again and he was standing right in front of the dorms that he lived in.

Too slow? I’ll show them too slow.

Barry grinned as he realized that his accident had had an unusual side effect.

“Barry?!? That you man? Nice fashion statement.”

Barry looked up to see Ed, and then looked down. It seemed that his ‘jog’ home wasn’t good for his clothes. His jeans and tshirt were barely still attached to his body.

“Uh Ed, can you come up to my room? Some thing weird is goin on…”

They went up to Barry’s room and he explained the fact that he ran from Keystone to Metropolis and back in a matter of seconds.

“Bar, you know what this means? We’re gonna be RICH!”

“Well, lets wait on that, we don’t know if there are any adverse side effects or if its even reproducible.”

“Not that numbnuts! You! Think about it! You’ll be a starter on the team within a week! First round pick in the spring for sure! And then the endorsements!”

Hmm, he does make a bit of a point… I am definitely not ‘too slow’ anymore.

“Alright, but we can’t make it too obvious.”

The next day:

Barry was once more in the coach’s office.

“Coach, its not my fault I was in a coma, you have to give me one more shot, I’m determined to play this year, I swear.”

“Tell you what Barry, I like ya. You have tenacity, and that’s good for a team, tomorrow, you and Max will go head to head in practice, half at wide and half at safety, and we’ll see which of you we’ll keep, alright?”

“Fair enough coach, thanks”
The next day, at practice:

Barry started on offense. He would have been worried a month ago. He never could get open against Max. He had been too slow. Now, he had a trick up his sleeve.

The ball was snapped, and Barry was careful to not run too fast, but much faster than his normal speed. He caught Max off guard and was left wide open in the endzone. In the last two days, he had learned that when he sped up, that it seemed the rest of the world slowed down. The ball seemed to be floating towards him as if in a slow motion replay. He caught it easily. He did this several more times, and coach looked thoroughly impressed. He pulled Max off the defense and put in their best safety. The results weren’t any different.

Then came Barry’s turn on defense. It didn’t matter if the ball were thrown to the other side of the field, somehow Barry got in between it and the receiver.

“Barry, that shock you got musta done one hell of a lot, consider yourself a starter on both sides of the ball, kid. Sorry Max, but Barry won out.”
Two days ago, opening game of the season, University of Metropolis Lions at Keystone State Thunderbolts:

His adrenaline flowed as Barry lined up against the corner for the Lions. All the sports magazines had been hyping him up, calling him the next Jerry Rice, saying that he’s a lock for the Heisman.

The ball was snapped, and with his pulse racing, Barry couldn’t slow himself down. Barry disappeared, as two small trails of flame were left on the grass.

Barry realized what happened, and stopped dead in his tracks. He was looking at a Chinese restaurant. With the sign written in Chinese.

Oh s**t… guess that’s about it for my football career, I doubt the NCAA or NFL will let me play now… damn.

Barry turned around, and sped back to the stadium, when he reappeared at mid field the crowd erupted, though Barry was nearly naked from the speeds. He walked to the sidelines.


“Uh… yeah coach, uh that accident, kinda made me super fast… I thought I could control it, but I couldn’t.”

Keystone had started the season ranked number one, but got massacred by Metropolis 35-10, without Allen on the field. At the post game conference, Barry made an announcement.

“I realize now that I can’t use the abilities my accident granted me for football. It’s not fair to other people, and could potentially hurt them very badly. I’m hereby quitting the team. I’m sorry to my teammates who were depending on me.”

“Mr. Allen, Linda Park, Channel 9 news. What are your plans now? You can’t not use something like that.”

“You’re right Linda, just keep an eye out. You’ll be seeing me, I promise.”
One day ago:

“You sure about this man? Its really sweet, but you could get killed…”

“Yeah, why not? Jay’s my favorite comic character, I think its fate that I got these powers. I have to use them for good. You got that speed suit we’ve been making?”

“Yeah, complete with the lightning bolt you wanted on the chest. You gonna call yourself something or just gonna be Barry?”

“Well, although the cat’s out of the bag about me…there’s really only one option…”


“Flash. I’m gonna be the Flash. The fastest man alive.”

He put on the suit that Ed had designed and had made for him, a suit that would be resistant to the high speeds it’d be traveling. The main suit was a dark crimson, with yellow gloves and boots. The gloves had electric blue lightning bolts for the fringe, and a large lightning bolt of the same color adorned his chest, much like that of his idol in the JSA comic books, Jay Garrick. The mask covered his whole face to streamline the uniform and reduce drag. Goggles protected his eyes, and were the same color as the lightning on the rest of the costume. Matching the goggles were two lightning shaped ear pieces, meant to prevent the ringing sonic booms caused in his ears. He was no longer just an average college student hoping to move onto working in a lab at a police station. He was now a bonafide super-hero.

(IC: Superman)



Awoken by the alarm, the man slowly raises his hand and turns off the alarm clock.

Damn, only half an hour of sleep last night, he thinks.

He pulls himself out of bed, walks over to the window, and opens the curtains, letting the sun's rays fall upon him. Feeling slightly rejuvinated, he heads into the bathroom, showers, shaves, and heads back into his bedroom to get dressed. He pulls out a dark blue suit (which is slightly too large for him) with a red tie, and puts them on. He takes out a pair of glasses, looks at himself in the mirror, and gently fixes it upon his face. He grabs his breifcase and a snikers bar for his breakfast, and heads dowstairs to hail a cap.

His name is Clark Kent, and it his first day at work.

He gets down to the street, hails a cab, and gets in.

"Where to?"

"The Daily Planet building. 42....."

"I know where the Planet is, buddy. I live in Metropolis. That'd be like living in New York and not knowing how to get to the ****ing empire state building."


The cab drives off. Looking out the window of the cab, it's easy to see why the call Metropolis the city of tomorrow. All the buildings are sleek and metalic. There are holographic displays outside of stores. Kids are riding around on floating skateboards. There are computer terminals on every street corner. Cell phones are tiny earpeices. The very cab Clark's riding in is a hydrogen fueled electric hybrid car. It's like I stepped onto the set of 'Back to the Future II', Clark thinks to himself. Definately a change of pace for a Kansas farmboy who spend the last four months in a mud hut in Africa.

Eventually, the cab pulls up in fronmt of the Daily Planet building. A large golden globe rests above the doorway, as busy people walk in and out. Clark steps out, pays the cabbie, and walks inside. Finishing his candy bar, he throws out the wrapper as he enters an elevator.

Clark reatches for the buttons, and then realizes that he doesn't know what floor he's going to. He turns to the person next to him.

"Excuse me. Do you know what floor the news room is on?"

Standing next to Clark is a young, redheaded boy, no older than fifteen, holding a container of four cups of coffee on his arms.

"The 50th. But I'm already headed up there."

"Oh. Okay."

They stand in silence for a few moments. Then, Clark turns back to the boy.

"I'm Clark, by the way."

"Hi. I'm Jimmy. An intern. You here for the job?"


"The job. The open job. The one we've got free ever since Sage left for that TV job back in his hometown."

"Yes. I'm here for the job."

"Alright. Just watch yourself up there. You're gonna be facing a pretty tough customer."

"You mean Mr. White?"

"The Chief? Hell no. He's a great guy. Funny too. No...."

The elevator stops, and th door opens to reveal the newsroom. It's large, with people walking back and forth, typing at computers and answering telephones. Over near the Editor in Chief's office, a tall, fairly atractive bruenette is standing, talking on the phone. Suddenly, she puts down the phone, looks up, and yells.


Jimmy turns to Clark.

"I'm talking about Lois."

Jimmy turns back towards the woman.

"Coming, Miss Lane!"

Jimmy hurries over to Lois. Clark walks into the newsroom, and walks over towards the Editor in Chief's office. As he passes them, he can hear Lois speaking with Jimmy.

"Jimmy, how many times have I told you. I NEED my coffee in the morning. I CANNOT deal with my sources if I don't have at least half a pint of caffine in me."

"Sorry. The line at Starbucks was alot longer than usual. It's probably all the tourists..."

"Fine. Whatever. Just hand it over."

Clark hurries past them, and walks into the Editor in Chief's office. Inside, a middle aged man, probably around 40, sits in a leather armchair, listening to "Burning Love" by Elvis.

"Mr. White?"

The man turns off the music, and turns his chair around. He stands up and greets Clark.

"Kent! Come in! Sit down!"

Clark takes in a seat in one of the chairs right in front of Mr. White's desk.

"So, you're here for the job, right?"

"Yes. I..."

"You know, when Vic moved back to Hub (worst town you could ever go to, by the way), I was worried we wouldn't be able to find someone to fill his shoes. But after I read your essay on the effects of the slave trade on world culture, well, I knew I had my guy. You, Mr. Kent, are one HELL of a writer."

"Thank you, sir."

"Quite it with the 'sir' crap. You're making me feel old. Call me Perry."

"Alright, Perry."

"Anyway, you're hired."

"I am? But I haven't...."

"Like I said, I like your work. But...."


"But, you don't have enough experiance with a city beat. You can handle the world events better than anybody I've met, besides maybe Lois Lane, but you don't have any experiance with covering city events. And that's what I need from all of my reporters. So, you're going to be working with Lane until you get your bearings around here."

"A partner? But Perry...."

"Don't worry. Lois can be a little rough around the edges, but she's a great girl. Now, her desk is right outside. Get out there and get yourself aquainted."


Clark stands up, and walks outside. He walks over to Lois, who's sipping her coffee and looking over some papers.

"Miss Lane?"

She looks up.

"You're Kent, right?"

"Yes. I...."

"You're my new 'partner'. Yeah. I heard the news a few days ago."

Lois stands up, and looks at Clark.

"You're not into poetry, are you?"


"Sage, the guy you're replacing, he was into poetry. Wrote these weird zen poems. Guy creeped the hell out of me. Good reporter, but damn was he one creepy bastard."

"Well, I'm not any more into poetry than the next guy, I guess."

"That's good. Now listen. I'm not here to be your babysitter. I'm a proffesional. So you better learn the ropes quick and start pulling your own weight. Got it?"

"Uhhh, yes."

"Then, we have no problems. For now. Meet me tomorrow outside of City Hall. I've got a story to work on, and you can be of some help."


"See you then, Kent."

She walks off towards the elevators, and disapears behind the closing doors.

"Yeah. This is certainly going to be a fun araingement."

Clark sits down at his desk, turns on the computer, and begins looking through information on the city.


Later, that night, in Clark's apartment. Clark is on the phone with his mother, Martha.

"So Clark, how was your first day?"

"Fine. I didn't have much to do. I'm still getting used to things. I met my partner. It's Lois Lane, the reporter who won that pulitzer last year."

"Oh. Is she good looking?"


"I'm sorry. But I worry about you. You really need to find yourself a girlfriend."


"Oh. Oh God, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have....."

"It's okay. That was four years ago. It's in the past. I've got to move on."

"You're right. So, you remembered to pack the suit I hope."

"Of course I remembered the suit."

"I know. I just worry. I'm a mom. I'm allowed to."

"I know. So, how's Pa?"

"You know your father. He's going to tend that feild until he dies or until the sun explodes, whichever comes first. Pete's helping him harvest the corn right now."

"How's Pete doing?"

"Oh, just fine. He's going to be running for mayor next month."

"Really? Good for him."

"He'd be the youngest mayor in town history."

"Listen, Ma, I've got to get going. Talk to you later."

"By Clark. Love you."

"Love you too, Ma."

Clark hangs up the phone. He stands there, looking out the window at the night's stars for a moment. Then, he walks over to the bag on his bed. He opens it, reaches inside, and takes it out.

The suit.

Clark takes off his clothes, and puts it on.

The neck, somehow, streatches out, and he steps inside. The suit molds to the shape of his body suprisingly comfortably. He makes sure the cape is fascened securely. The then takes off his glasses, sets them on the bedside table, and walks over to the window. He opens the window, steps out of it, and jumps out. He stops midair, and then slowly rises toards the sky.


"Here goes nothing."
A corn field streches across many miles of land a child sits at the edge of it. A wooden cross is sitting in the middle of the field with a figure strap to it. The ropes break and make a loud snap the child stands up and looks out to the field. The figure goes limp and falls to the ground. It rises and spots the child and makes his way toward him. His head and some of his body parts seem to been twitching uncontrollable. The child can not move and just stands there watching the thing move. Fear fills the child his whole body goes numb and he begins to cry. He hears the creature's feet dragging along the ground and his heart begins. The thing moves out of the corn field and it reveals itself a scarecrow....

The noose drops and the man starts to gasp for air. The child is now thriteen. The man takes his final gasp and falls limp. His father body swings in and is reflects in the his glasses. There is a tapping at the window and the child turns his head. The Scarecrow is there tapping at the glass smiling.

He is now twenty two and graduate first in his class. He sees his aunt and uncle clapping and feels a hand land on his shoulder. He turns and it is the Scarecrow.

He is now 33 head doctor at Arkham the youngest yet but bad things have happen. He is now pretty wealty and has a high social standing. He has written two books one on fear and one on the criminal mind. He puts his head down on his desk and dreams. Dreams of his father, the abuse, and how his final scream filled him with something that he could not fathom. He dreamed of the Scarecrow and what fear it brought. He didn't want them to scream but Scarecrow made it happen. It was the scream that woke him. The scream that echoed through his house. He opened one of his desk drawer and pulled out a burlap sack and placed it over his head. He had two eye holes cut open and a mouth part that was stitched shut. He opened a door and turned on a light and went downstairs. On a table a newspaper sat reading two more people missing. A woman was tied up on another table with her head shaved and a dotted line going across. He takes a bone saw and begins to cut. The fear comes and he enjoys every moment.

"Dr. Crane?" somebody was shaking him. "Dr. Crane wake up". He wakes up he is 36 that was three years ago.

"Uh...wha? Oh Jessica I must have dosed off". He is sitting in his office with a newspaper on his desk reading "Bat-Man?" in the corner it read "Gotham Boogeyman return? Missing People".

"Dr. Crane your shaking"

"Jessica can you leave me for a moment". She leaves the room and he took out a thing of pills and stuck two in his mouth. He put his hands over his head and he can hear the scream which make him simle. Jessica comes back into the room holding a clipboard.

"Dr. Crane you have that charity dinner coming and..."

"Jessica could you stay after hours with me here tonight I need you to help me with some things"
Three months.

That's how long it took before I figured out his first name. I think that was the test... The 'initiation' of becoming his pupil. Before that, he had only given me one name. "Ducard". The only way I found out the part was because of a tatoo he had kept on the back of his neck. At first, it meant nothing to me. I saw it as nothing more than a tatoo. But then, Ducard taught me something... an old saying he had given to me..."As with everything, the answer lies somewhere in the details". The tatoo read "IRNEH". A month later, I realised what that spelled, backwards. "HENRI". His name was Henri Ducard.

When I revealed that to him, He began to teach me various skills... skills he had withheld, until I had figured that out... Which is why I considered it an initiation. Ducard was a detective... Very skilled in the forms of forensics and tracking. Not only that, but he taught me a very unique skill... The art of mastering disguise. He had used it for undercover work... And it was very useful.

So, It's safe to say I learned alot. Within two years, I had learned and mastered how to inspect a crime scene, match fingerprints, analyse tissue samples, blood samples... Stool samples...(I never said I enjoyed all of it, did I?)...And, more importantly, I had began thinking differently. While before I met Ducard, I would usually go into a situation without thought... I began analysing everything around me. I was thinking like a detective, in every day life. It had not only made me wiser in the fields of forensics and investigating... It aided me in combat, aswell. I had truly become the student to my master.

And then it was over. Just like that, Ducard set me free of his teachings. He knew I had much more to learn... For what, even I didn't know at the time. But He saw potential in me. Whether as a detective... or something else, entirely... He was proud of who I had become, as opposed to who I almost became. To this day, I owe Ducard, much like Grant, a debt of gratitude that I may never be able to repay.

Over the next few years... I had done some travelling. Brazil, Africa, Austrailia, South America, England... I had spent time in most, if not all parts of the world, accumilating skills from the world's very best.
The assassain, David Cain, had taught me how to use various custom made weaponry. From cattle boas, to grapnel lines... He had a hell of an arsenal. However... He was also ruthless. He didn't care about human life. That, and among his arsenal was the one weapon I never picked up... Guns. The memory of my parents' murder was too far deep to allow me to take up what I had deemed as 'a coward's weapon'. I think that, ultimately, is why I left Cain's teachings.

After Cain, I went to a magician. Sure, that sounds silly... Going to a person whose main purpose was to entertain children at birthday parties... But this wasn't the standard magician that served no purpose. This was Zatarra... The legend, in his craft. I came to him because I wanted to master the escape arts. I stayed, after learning to make myself disappear, without the need for flashy tricks or gimmicks... Something I'm sure no other magician could give me. I left Zatarra with the knowledge and a mastering of both.

Yet, I still didn't have an answer. Just more questions. Why did I want to learn those things? What purpose could they possibly give me? They were theatrics... And maybe they would help me in besting the evil of Gotham City... But, under what circumstances was I going to use them? Was I just going to become a detective? A cop, maybe? Or was there something more? Perhaps this tied into the answer I had been seeking, and still am. Perhaps not. Only time will tell.

However, I knew one thing, even then. I wasn't finished.

That's when I met, probably, the teacher with the most impact on my life. My final sensi, of sorts. His prescence was feared by many. Even his name made people nervous. Roughly, it translated into 'The Demon's Head'. But he preferred to be called...

Ra's Al Ghul.

The legends had taken a toll on my mind. He was somewhat of an urban myth... I had never taken any attention to him. But when he eventually came to me, both confirming his existance and offering me skills of which I couldn't have even dreamed... I was quite shocked. His primary teachings were that of ninjitsu... an art of, as luck would have it, theatricality. It seemed perfect for what I had already learned, and what I wanted to know at the same time... So I accepted.

I was brought into a world of ninjas and warriors. It was a world I had not expected... but at the same time... a world where I seemed to belong. Under Ra's teachings, I perfected every ability I knew, while adding other... more effective ones, to my 'collection'. For awhile, that was all that I was concerned with... getting more skills and perfecting them to my benefit...

However, That changed when I met... Talia.

Ra's daughter, Talia was, and still is...actually, the most beautiful woman I had ever met. She was loyal to her father... However, she began to notice me, among his many pupils. I noticed her aswell. It was a feeling I had been missing for years... But it was a feeling that I had also remembered, when our lips eventually made contact, privately, after one of Ra's teachings...


I loved her. The only other woman I had ever loved was my mother... And she was dead, along with my father. But with Talia, this was different. I wanted to be with her day and night... to kiss her... to hold her... it was all a feeling I had never had the time for. And I could tell... It was a feeling she herself was not familiar with. But as time passed... We grew closer. Suddenly, the memory of my pain... my determination... Everything, faded, with her. It was the best feeling I had ever had. I knew I wanted her in my life.

So when Talia told me about Ra's greater goals of finding an apprentice worthy of her hand in marraige... I had found a purpose greater than originally thought. I was going to become that apprentice. I was going to marry Talia... And we would be together under the proud smile of a legendary warrior.

However, that was where I was wrong. When I went to Ra's, privately, to try and see what he felt about my wanting to be his apprentice, and his the husband to his daughter... I uncovered certain information.

Ra's true goals were much different from the ones Talia and myself had been lead to believe, in actuality. He was a terrorist... A WANTED terrorist, who had used various aliases and techniques to avoid trial for his crimes. His school... His taking in pupils for training... to 'give us purpose'... It wasn't what I or probably anyone else had had in mind. It was to make us like him... terrorists, under a madman whose goals were that of mass genocide, at BEST. Not only that, but he had killed many people in a small town not far from our training camp.

This WASN'T a man I wanted as a father in law. And I was certain that he also wasn't a man that Talia wanted as a father. She had been a victim to his lies and deception aswell. But when I went to tell her... There was an attack.

That town that Ra's had covered in blood, so to speak, was now attacking us in full force. Ra's, still unaware that I had learned any of his true motives, ordered us to fight back. I wanted to defy him... But... I couldn't. I loved Talia too much to do that. After all, He was still her father. So we fought back. Our skills besting most of the townspeople, at first, I was fully intent on ending this soon after, and then revealing Ra's as the liar that he was.

And then... It happened. Something of which I will never forget. Talia, while fighting back to protect to so called 'honor' of her father, was stabbed, by one of the attacking townspeople. I remember the feeling of vertigo I felt when I saw her body fall to the ground, with blood pouring out. The world seemed to stop, around me, as I came to her. She looked up at me... with tears flowing out of her breathtaking eyes as she forced a smile, putting a hand on my face. As the tears rolled out of my eyes... Her eyes shut. Her last words to me were, as follows...

"Goodbye, my beloved"

And then, she fell limp. The third person of which I had truly, deeply loved was dead. I couldn't take it. Everything... My rational thought, my morals, my values... my tears... Everything was lost in a primal scream of agony, stopping everyone in their tracks as I attacked them all. Taking most of them on, I did something I will regret for the rest of my life. I killed them. I took their lives, through my hands, as their blood stained the camp. While most fled the area, scared of my rage, the ones who attacked were unsuccessful. Though I had never made a real vow... I had made it a point, at least, to never take a life. But I didn't care. I just wanted Talia... My love... My everything, it seemed, at the time... back in my arms. But now, she would never look at me again. I would never feel her again. I feared, as I tore into them like a savage beast... That I would never feel LOVE again.

By the time I eventually came to my senses, I had murdered many of them. Too many. All in cold blood. When I realised what I had done... I was completely devastated. I had, in effect, become the very thing I was trying to fight against. And for what purpose? Their deaths would never bring Talia back to me. So, after a makeshift ritual... the closest thing to a 'funeral' for Talia that Ra's could offer... I left, mortified at what I had become, in that moment of rage.

And worse... I had actually let Ra's Al Ghul live. The one person who SHOULD'VE died, that night, for all that he had done, was still alive. And is, for that matter. If I ever see him again... I'll personally express my 'gratitude' for taking the only woman I had ever loved away from me, by misleading her and sending her into combat when she shouldn't have. But I won't take his life. No... My days of murder ended as soon as they began. When I left the school... I made another vow. I would never take another life, for as long as I lived. What I did to those people was unfair, regardless of the fact that they had killed Talia. So I'm never going to do it again.

After I left Ra's teachings, and all of the love I had aqquried for Talia, behind me... I wandered the world, in search of that all too important answer that I had never gained. Even after all that I had gone through, I still felt incompletion.

A year later, I returned to the city of which I had sworn to protect, those many years ago...
Today, Keystone State University track:

"Alright Barry, lets give this a shot. I patched the reciever in your right ear piece into the police scanner so you know where to go to help, and the one in your left into long distance two way walkie talkie, so that we can keep contact. I also sewed the mouth piece into the mask, so that you can talk to me too."

Barry was in his new costume, with the mask pulled down, standing on the track, beside him was Ed, and on the other side was Iris.

"Barry, be careful, please? I don't want to call home and tell her my boyfriend got himself killed by some mugger."

"Pfft. A mugger's got nothin on me."

"Still, be careful, alright?" She grabbed him, and they kissed.

"Will do, sweetie, now lets see what I can do."

He pulled on the mask, and immediately got something over the police scanner.

"....ft bank robbery in progress, 1st National Bank on the corner of Fox and Infantino. Suspect armed and dangerous. Caucasian male, blonde hair, wearing striped yellow and black body suit. Repeat armed and dangerous..."

"Well that's my cue. Wish me luck."

Ed looked up, "Your cue for what?" But Barry was already gone in a blur of red, yellow and blue.



The glass windows of the bank shattered as Barry found himself in the bank.

"Hey, don't ya know that Halloween's still a couple months away?"

"Nobody told you either, eh freak? I dunno who you are, but you're a f**king deadman."

The robber turned and fired six shots at Barry's head. Barry instantly sped his body up, and to him the bullets were barely moving. In a blur he pulled them out of the air and zipped back to where he had been standing

Holy crap! That's freaking AWESOME! I can stop bullets.

"You'll have to do better than that pal, you good at dancing?"

Barry chucked the bullets back at the gunman, propelling them at superspeed. One hit the gunman in the foot, exploding with blood and dropping the man to his knees. The other four buried themselves deep in the cement floor under the carpet.

"Guess I won't be pitching for the Tornadoes any time soon, my aim's a bit lousy."

As the police burst into the lobby of the bank questions started flying. "Who the hell are you?" seemed to be the prevalent one, along with "What happened here?"

"I'm a friend. Watch the news tonight if you want to know more."

The speedster was off in another blur, back towards the school.



"Jesus man, slow down! We can't understand a word you're saying. Your pulse is off the hook, you're gonna give yourself a heart attack."

"Sorry, I'm just freaking pumped. Thats the biggest rush I've ever gotten, and I don't think I'll ever stop now. Iris, honey, do you have the phone number of that reporter friend of yours?"

"Linda? Yeah, hold on a second." She dug in her purse and pulled out her cell phone. She scrolled for a number and handed it to Barry.

"Linda Park? This is Barry Allen. Yeah the fast guy. How'd you like an exclusive interview? When? How bout in ten minutes, I want it to be on the five o'clock news."


15 Minutes Later, the newsroom:

Barry was seated, in his costume, but maskless across from Linda Park at a coffee table used by one of those daytime talk shows.

"Ladies and gentlemen; it is without further ado that I introduce you to Mr. Barry Allen. He has decided to bless this newsstation with his first exclusive interview. Mr. Allen, what is it you came here to tell us?"

"Call me Barry, please. Mr. Allen makes me sound old. Well most of you probably saw me make an ass of myself on national TV last night, using great gifts for personal gains. Well rather than be selfish like that, I've decided to give back. Today, I started a new endeaver as a costumed crime fighter. I'd like this to be known to the public, that I'm here to help, and not to hinder the police force. In fact, I'm a college student at KSU, and had been planning on becoming a forensic scientest for the KPD after I graduate this spring. I've already gone through the academy's program, and would be honored if the KPD would endorse my efforts to protect the city."

"Well, Barry, your efforts at the bank today certainly reinforce that idea. Thanks to you, James Jesse is now in prison, and his string of bank robberies ended with his thirteenth attempt in Keystone today. But I have to ask, what's with the suit? Why not just wear street clothes, or a police man's uniform? You look like something out of a comic book."

"Well, actually Linda, thats kind of the idea. See I grew up reading the Justice Society comics. Oddly enough, my favorite hero in them was a guy who had super speed. His name was Jay Garrick, and he went by the name of the Flash. I'm going to call myself the Flash in honor of my misspent youth too. The other reason for the suit... thats a little more embarassing. You see, normal cloth can't hold up to the speeds I run at, but this stuff can. You all saw what was left of my jersey last night, it was shredded. Plus, the mask is a good idea so I don't swallow any bugs while running at Mach 3."

"Well Barry, thats all the time I have today, and I think I can speak for the rest of Keystone, when I say I'm glad to have you on our streets."


"I trust you've been well, Master Bruce?", He asked, as I placed a hand on his shoulder, looking at the large building behind him. Wayne Manor. My home, as a child. I had always thought of it as my father's house... Nothing more. But now, it was mine.

...I still refer to it as my father's house. But I stay in it nonetheless, because I have a legacy to honor, now.

I looked over at Alfred, with somewhat of a smile... trying to hide the pain I had been given throughout my years abroad.

"As well as one can be, under my circumstances." I simply replied, as we began moving my things into the Manor.

Soon after that, I told Alfred everything. From my years with Ducard, to Cain, to Zatarra, To Ra's... To Talia... Everything that I could remember. Alfred made the amusing comment that my autobiography would be a best seller in the New York Times... But he was mostly uninterested, for the most part. Even when I revealed I had taken lives... He was, more than anything else, glad that I was alright, and that I had for the most part treated myself well.

We would spend the next few days discussing his love affairs, experiences, and tidying of Wayne Manor, over the years. Seems there was more to Alfred's life in my abscence than I had realised. Particularly with a woman named Leslie...

But overall, We were both happy to have made it through those years. But now, there were things to be done. A future to plan. A company to take back. A life to make.

And an answer to find...

Now, I stand in the study of Wayne Manor, watching the full moon. I am now CEO and President of Wayne Enterprises... Something of which my father never really persued. He was a doctor, not a buisnessman. I'm also a wealthy man. A very... Very wealthy man. Infact, I was estimated as the second richest man in the United States, next to a fellow named Alexander 'Lex' Luthor, from Metropolis...

Yet, with all of my experiences and accomplishments... I don't have that answer I was hoping for. All of this around me almost means nothing, with a void still needed to be filled.

What is it? What could it possibly be? Why do I need it?

I've waited for so long... And I need the answer now, more than ever. What do I need?

I remembered the night before... And how I never wanted to remember it again...

I had spent weeks preparing myself for this moment. Now, It was time to put all of my teachings to the ultimate test. I had made myself visible at the same hotel as a visiting actress, before leaving it, undiscovered by the paparrazzi. That would generate the sufficiant rumors, giving me the perfect albi. Bruce Wayne was going to be in the tabloids the next day... But, it was for a good cause. To hide what I was truly doing...

I slipped the mask over my face. When I was under Ducard's teachings, I had learned that if I kept my identity hidden, I would not only protect myself from harm, but everyone I loved aswell. With Alfred entering this... world, aswell... It seemed nessacary to protect us both. The mask was one I had gotten from my teachings under Ra's... a ninja mask, covering the majority of my head, keeping my features hidden. The rest of my disguise was, more or less, older dark clothes that I had purchased from a local store. Steel toed black boots and knuckleless biker gloves, aswell as a military belt... a 'utlility belt', of sorts, completed my outfit. That, along with various custom made weapons I had spent the past few weeks ordering from around the world (This included shurikens, grapnel hooks and lines, aswell as flash bombs and smoke screens), completed my 'vigilante' look.

The laws that held Gotham City defenseless could not be followed in order for me to freely go about my mission. At least, not fully. Which is why I couldn't become a police officer. I had to resort to vigilantism... It was the only possible way.

I felt stupid, at first, running around the rooftops of Gotham City in a mask and gear... But the more I engaged in it... The more I became used to it. My physical form and skills in gymnastics that I had been given while training to fight under Ted Grant were useful in my 'rooftop hop', as I searched for any sign of wrong doing whatsoever. A mugger, a rapist, a looter, terrorist... It didn't matter to me. It was all the same, in my eyes. Crime was crime. That was what I was fighting. Crime... Evil, basically. The same evil that robbed me of my parents and even Talia. Evil, in all it's forms, had to be stopped.

Suddenly, I heard a scream. It actually spooked me, for a second. But for some reason... Apart of me felt like I had to get used to that. I admit... During all of this, My state of mind could've been brought into question several times. I ran around the rooftops, looking down at the alleyways beneath me, before eventually finding one.

Two thugs. They were robbing a woman at the back of an abandoned alleyway. One with a knife, The other unarmed. But the unarmed one was bigger... So it probably meant he brought brawn into this. He would be trouble, for sure. The other one, I wasn't nessacarily worried about. I thought to myself, 'I could disarm him with no problem'. This would be my first victory. Or, I thought, at least. But I didn't leave room in my mind for the possibility of failure. I think dressing up like that might've actually affected my state of mind aswell... Because at that point, I thought I was invincible.

It began simply enough. I took out one of my shurikens, aimed it, and threw it at the knife wielder's hand. He screamed in agony as he dropped the weapon. Part of me enjoyed that scream... Leading to my, rather... dramatic, entrance. I flipped into the air, from the rooftop, and ended up doing three loops, before landing on the ground, infront of them, growling. I expected the two to... well, crap themselves. I expected for them to be afraid of me, knowing I could easily beat them. Instead... I got laughter. The two thugs, seeing me, began laughing aloud. Behind them, the woman ran for her life. Well, at least someone was afraid, here...

I didn't understand, really. I had just disarmed them. They were completely and utterly defenseless against me, someone who was well armed. I had the advantage. I was going to make them pay for their laughter.

...Then, I felt the nice big jab in the back of my neck.

I fell to the ground, clutching the back of my head. I had just been hit by something. HARD. I looked up... Seeing something I actually hadn't counted on. Others. There were MORE of them, coming from around the alleyway. What I had found wasn't a random mugging. It was a GANG. And I had just put myself onto their territory. They all circled me, like a group of venomous birds, ready to lash out at me at any time. Many comments were thrown my way...

"Hahahahaha! Check out the freak!"

"Halloween's a couple months away, kid."

"Are you serious? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh man, the mask! The belt... HAHAHA... That's priceless!"

"Isn't it past your bedtime, freak?"



I stood up, rubbing the back of my neck. I didn't have the advantage anymore. I was outnumbered, I lacked intimidation... And, worse... I realised, when I was hit on the back of the head... I was unprotected. Of ALL things to not pay attention to... It was an idiotic move, on my part. I looked around, as the various armed thugs kept circling me. I looked at all of their faces, once, before picking one out. If I was to make it out of this alive, I had to have a strategy...

Standing still for a moment, I finally dove onto the one I had picked out, and slammed my fist into his nose. The shock of his nose breaking would keep him from fighting back, at least. I spun around, slamming my foot into one of the other one's jaw. The thugs looked down at their fallen companions, before looking back at me. I assumed a martial arts stance.

"You like to call me a freak, huh? Well, then..."

I motioned for them to come forward, with my index and middle finger. I was getting arrogant, with this. Only now do I see the error of that...

"Let's get freaky.", I said, adopting somewhat of a... well... smirk, on my face. Having the freedom to hide behind a mask had changed me. And it WASN'T for the better, as I would learn. Not only was it completely unlike me... But... 'Let's great freaky?'. I want to hit myself now for saying that.

The fight started as I had predicted. I was winning. By a vast degree. They were trained, of course. Mostly in street hand-to-hand combat. I knew that too. But I knew a few OTHER things, aswell. At the same time, I had to watch them. They were armed... and I, being the idiot that I was, on that night... was unprotected. Which made it even more agonising when one of them jammed a knife into my leg. I grunted, a little, still fighting. Truthfully, I had felt worse pains. But it was enough. Enough to slow me down... and enough to give them just what they needed.

I don't know whether it was a dogpile... Or a ganging up... but either way, I found myself on the ground, being crushed by them. What came next was easily one of the most brutal beatings of my life. A punch here, a kick there... They were relentless, keeping it up, smashing me to pieces as they laughed and taunted my defeated form. By the time they were done... I had been broken and cut up in alot of places. They stood over me, ready and willing to end my life right then and there. It was only until a police siren passed the area that they stopped.

"Oh, ****, Man! The cops!"

"Run for it!"

As they ran, I crawled upwards. The police. I had to get away from the area as soon as possible. If I was caught... It would all be over. Sure, I wouldn't spend much time in jail... seeing as how bail was little of an issue to a man with a mutli-billion dollar fortune. But I would be exposed. I could never hide what I was doing again. So, I crawled. I was bleeding... I was broken... But I just kept crawling, regardless. Out of the alleyway, into another alleyway, and even past that. I managed to pick myself up, for a second... But I only ended up crashing to the ground. I had to contact Alfred... He could help me out of this. But... I quickly realised that I couldn't. The ONE time I actually need a cell phone, and... I forgot it. 'IDIOT', I thought to myself, as I continued crawling. And I could call Alfred by a payphone, either, because... as luck would have it... I wasn't carrying any change, either.

Looking back, I was so obsessed with the disguise and testing my skills that I hadn't thought everything through. The entire reason I was doing this was even lost in my scrambling for self glorifying. I didn't take on that gang because I wanted to help people... I took them on because I enjoyed the THRILL. And that scared me, as I crawled my way to an abandoned parking lot, behind a warehouse. There was no way I could crawl the rest of the way back to Wayne Manor... I would loose far too much blood, by the time I got there. So, I had to take the easy way out...

I was going to steal a car. Stumbling upwards... with blood pouring out of my legs, nose, and mouth... I managed to break the glass of a Mazda, with one of my shurikens, before opening the door. I would buy the owner a new car, of course... But for the time being, it seemed I needed it more than the owner did. After hotwiring it (One of the more... crude, lessons I took from Cain.), I drove away, nearly passing out on the steering wheel as I pulled my mask off.

I failed. And for good reason... I hadn't put the proper amount of thought into it all. I was so consumed with power... with the notion that I, being able to be someone else aside from Bruce Wayne, could be invincible. But I quickly realised it took more than a mask to win my battles. And it took more than skill, obviously, too. There had to be a way... I had to beat them... somehow. Whatever it took... I had to do it. For my parents. For Gotham.


...For my dentist, at least.

Failure could not be something I needed to get used to. If I go out there, and fail all the time... One day, I won't be able to come back, and have Alfred tend to my wounds, while giving me a lecture about how I 'should've been more careful'. I think the most painful part of sitting though that lecture for me is the fact that he's right. I should've been careful. But moreso... I should've thought clearly. But how can I do that without worrying about their attacks? HOW? There just has to be a way...

As I stand here, thinking about this... I realise something is fluttering, in the window. I look up. I can't tell what it is... But it's struggling. I think it may be caught on something. Maybe if I open the window...


My eyes widen as a large Bat flies into the study, screaming with a shriek that could wake the dead. I flinch, holding my wounds, as the creature flies into the study, and then back out, into the night sky. The scenerio only lasted mere seconds... But I find that my pulse had raised, even so. I look out into the full moon, taking in it's beauty as it's eclipsed by the sillouette of the fearsome animal I just encountered. A Bat. Just like the others...

No. I didn't need to be reminded of that... Of when I was a boy... before my parents were slain...


I had been chasing an animal. A rabbit, a gopher... maybe even a snake. But that didn't matter. Because at that moment, I was face to face with an entirely different kind of animal...

The Bats flew around me, as terrified as I was, swarming above my head. I didn't know how I had gotten to that point... But I was in a cave, now. And the Bats were blocking my only way of escape. I felt, as I fell into a fetal position, covering my ears from the loud flapping and the screeches... That I was in hell. At any moment, I expected a horned figure with a pitchfork to step out of the shadows, laughing, grab me, and throw me into a firey pit.

Of course, since, I've learned that it was nothing more than a Bat cave... But I was too afraid to consider rationality, at that point.

...Wait. I was... afraid. That's rarely happened to me. Even now, moments ago... That Bat made me afraid. And why wouldn't it? It was big... terrifying... Almost as if it were a flying demon...


A flying demon... fear... THAT'S what I lacked, last night. Intimidation. They WEREN'T afraid of me... They laughed and mocked me, instead. But they wouldn't have laughed at that Bat, would they? They'd be afraid. If I could be like that Bat... I could beat them. I could finally have an advantage. That's it. I have to become a demon. Something more terrible than death. I have to make myself something that isn't human... But do so within my means. I have to make them afraid... make them all afraid... by becoming a demon. By becoming...a Bat.

...I have to become a Bat...

(IC: Superman)

Metropolis. City Hall. Noon.

Lois Lane stands outside, looking around impatiently. Suddenly, Clark walks up behind her.

"Hi Lois."

"There you are. You're late."

"Actually, you never said when we'd be meeting. I called you're apartment, and your sister told me when you left."

"Yeah, well.....how the hell'd you get my phone number?!"

"I asked Perry."

"Oh. Right."

"So, why are we here?"

"Journalism, Clark. Journalism."

"Care yo share any of the specifics?"

"You know who Lex Luthor is, right?"

"The richest man in America, and quite arguably the smartest. He's responsible for...."

"For most of the technological advancements of the last ten years. Yeah. We've all heard Lexcorp's PR release. Anyway, I don't trust him."

"Why not? He's donated more money to charity than anyone...."

"My dad always had a saying. 'No one makes that much money without stepping on a few people to get it'. In my experiance, that tends to be true."

"Come on. He build his fortune on his intelect. I hardly think he'd have to resort to illigitimate means."

"Have you ever met him?"


"I have. Some big charity event at his mansion. It's the way he looked at me, Clark. The way he looked at everyone. Most people didn't notice, but I did. It was like we weren't people to him. Just things. Obects. Possesions to be had and toyed with. Like we were all beneath him. People who see other people like that, they're almost never clean."

"I'll have to take your word for it. So, what does Lex Luthor have to do with us being here?"

"One of my sources, a guy who works in city hall, he says he's got some information on Luthor."

"So, when is he getting here."

"That's what I was wondering."

The two of them stand in silence for a few minutes. Suddenly, Clark turns to Lois.

"So, what music do you like?"


"What music do you like? Pop. Hip hop? Classic rock? Jazz? What? What are your favorite bands? Who's your favorite singer?"

"Why the hell do you want to know?"

"It's called smalltalk. Where one speaks of trivial, every day things to help kick off a conversation. It's really quite usefull when meeting new people."


"So. What music do you like?"

"I'm not getting into this."

"Why not?"

"I'm not talking about my personal musical tastes."

"Again: Why not?"

"It's none of your damn buisness."

"Are you embarrased?"

"What? No!"

"I don't think people should be embarrased by what they enjoy doing. If people look down on you for it, that's there problem."

"I am NOT embarrased."

"Then why not tell me?"

Lois gives Clark a stern look. She turns away from him, and looks over at city hall. Clark gives a sort of half smile. They stand there, silently, for a few moments."


"Excuse me?"

Lois turns back towards Clark."

"I really like showtunes. Gilbert and Sullivan. Grease. Hair. If it's in a musical, I probably have it."

"See? Was that so bad?"

"Now it's your turn. What music do you like?"

"Oh, all kinds. But I'm mostly into classic rock and folk music at the moment. I've got a personal liking towards Lynyrd Skynyrd."

"Sweet home Alabama?"

"Where the skys are so blue."

"Not suprised, myself. You being from the south and all."



"Kansas is in the midwest. People make that mistake all the time, since Kansas had slavery before the civil war."

"Oh. Well....look, there's my source."

A tall, balding man in a suit walks over to Lois and Clark.

"Clark, this is Robert Manson. Robert, this is Clark Kent."


"A pleasure."

"What've you got, Rob?"

"Well, about four months back, Lex Luthor bought some land right outside of the city. I know. I saw all of the paperwork."

"So, what's the problem?"

"About a week ago, I was looking though the files. And the paperwork wasn't there. It's ass if the land never existed. I asked about it, and then said the deal never happened. That I must have goten confused. But I kno Luthor bought that land. My memory has never failed me before."

Clark turns to Lois.

"Doesn't sound like much."

"It's enough for me. Thanks, Rob."

"Any time, Lois."

Robert walks off. Lois turns to Clark.

"Looks like we've got to mae a quick stop downtown."


After a short cab ride, Lois and Clark fin themselves at a construction site, in the middle of builsing an office building for, you guessed it, Lexcorp. Lois walks over to the foreman in charge of the site, Thomas Rosenbaum.

"Hiya Tom."

"Oh. Miss Lane. Hi."

Clark steps forward and extends his hand to Thomas.

"Hello. I'm Clark Kent."

Thomas shakes Clark's hand.

"Nice to meet you. Lois, what do you want?"

"You're one of the major contractors for Lexcorp, right?"

"Yes. What....."

"So, you'd know about anything the company is building, right?"

"More likely than not. Why....."

"One of my sources tells me that Lexcorp bought some land not too far from the city that, technically, doesn't exist. You wouldn't happen to know anything about that, would you."

A look of shock spreads across Tom's face.

"Follow me."

Thomas quickly leads Lois and Clark to the side of a truck on the site.

"Are you trying to get me fired?!"


"Listen, I can't tell you anything. Luthor himself told me to keep quiet."

"Tom. You've always been a good source of information. I've never seen you so scared like this. What's wrong?"

"Luthor's a powerful guy. You don't want to piss someone like that off."

"You'd remain completely anonimous. You know that."

".....alright. The land you're talking about, it exists. I've been there. He had us build, well, I guess they were bunkers."


"Yeah. Like...like bomb shelters. Underground. Big metal rooms and the like."

"That's it?"


"Why would Luthor want to keep something like that a secret?"

"I don't know. All I know is, his people that talked to us made it VERY clear they didn't want anyone to know."

"Well, thanks for the information, Tom. Take care."

"Will do."

Lois and Clark walk off the site.

"That was odd."

"No, really?"

"Why would Luthor want to keep bomb shelters a secret?"

"That's what I want t....."

Suddenly, there's a loud booming sound, as explosions errupt from the site behind them, and flames engulf everything in site. Lois and Clark turn around in shock.

"oh my god...."

"I'll go call 911."

Clark runs off towards a payphone. When he's sure Lois has lost sight of him, he ducks into an alley to change into his 'working clothes'.

Back at the site, Lois snappes out of her moment of shock when she realizes that people are still amid the blaze. Not thinking clearly, she runs towards the chaos to try and help. She stumbles through the rubble, dizzy from the heat. Suddenly, a huge chunk of concrete falls and traps her leg.

"Oh yeah, Lois. This was smart. SOMEBODY! HELP!"

Suddenly, Lois feels a huge gust of wind. Some of the flames around her go out. She then feels the weight on her leg lift off of her. She turns around. Through the smoke, she can see a man. He's takk and muscular, wearing all blue and a red cape. And he's holding the chunk of concrete as if it were weightless. A mere moment after Lois turns to look at her saviour, he rises obove the ground and shoots off. In a daze, Lois gets up. She sees that the flames have subsided. All the people on the site who didn't die in the initial explosion are standing in the street, being helped by EMTs and firefighters. Lois limps towards the side walk. An EMT tries to help her, but she pushes him away.

"I'm FINE! My leg's not even broken. Just sore."

Clark rushes over to Lois.

"Lois! Are you alright?"

"I'm fine."

"What happened?"

"I got stupid and tried to play 'hero'. Not that it did much good."

"Well, you're lucky to be alive."


Lois looks towards the site, with a look of confusion on her face.


Clark looks down at Lois, and does his best to hold back a smirk.
Four Weeks.

A month of waiting.

That's how long it took me to prepare for tonight. After my encounter with the gang on my first outing as a vigilante, my body was left beaten and broken, aswell as my pride. However, I finally had something that not even they could break. I had found my answer... The one I had been searching for all of these years. It had always been there. I had spent years around criminality, and it wasn't until I faced my own fear that I realised something about the criminal element.

They're cowards. Superstitious, cowardly men who fear symbols and myths, due to the stress of them breaking the laws of society. It was most apparent before I met Ra's Al Ghul... Who, at the time, was believed to be an urban myth by everyone, Including myself. His status as a mythic figure had given him fear, which was obviously why he was able to kill the people in that town, those years ago. It was because he was feared.
I too, in order to best the evil of which I promised to abolish from Gotham City, must become a feared mythological figure. Which is why I'm here tonight. My wounds are healed... And my shadow casts that of a fearsome myth. Tonight, I am not Bruce Wayne. I'm something much, much more fearsome. Something... mythical.

The costume took up most of that four weeks. While I stayed out of action, from the streets, letting my bones mend themselves back together, I used my wealth in creating the, what I consider, ultimate in theatrical illusion.

Wayne Enterprises, as I found out, had been working with the military in development of newer weapons. This included combat gear. The most sophisticated of the entire abandoned project was a strengthened layered combat bodysuit. This would be the starting point. The bodysuit was made out of an outer layer of spider silk, and padded with a nomex and kevlar bi-weave, with it's thickness varying in different parts of the suit, providing both vital protection, and nessacary allowance of free movement. The chest plate and attached hood have the thickest part of this bi-weave, due to the head and chest being the most vital areas to need protection in combat. It was perfect for my means... So I bought several. After all, I wasn't about to go back out onto the streets without some form of protection.

From there, I took control of the entire construction, for the rest of the costume. A bodysuit wouldn't be enough. I still needed the element of fear to be embodied into it. So, next came the mask... Or, rather... the cowl. As a base, I used the same ninja mask I wore the night that I was beaten. From there, I improved upon it. Cutting away the part of the mask that covered my mouth (to allow me to speak and breathe freely, when nessacary), I placed and mended a helmet like cowl ontop of that. It hid my features well, actually. But it still wasn't fearful. So, I began thinking about what made that Bat so terrifying... Which lead to the addition of two things. One, Lexcorp designed infared starlite nightvision lenses. This would both allow me to see at night, and give off a haunting glow within the cowl's eyeholes, completely hiding my pupils, further adding to the protection of my identity. The second, A chin guard... With attached makeshift titanium 'Bat ears', which held a microphone system inside... To call Alfred, if nessacary. (I was determined to conquer all of my mistakes the night of my failure, obviously)

Putting it all together, I created one object... which was useful, considering I couldn't possibly both to put the nessacary pieces together in the case of an emergency every night. With the cowl finished, it was... easier, from there. Since I saw no reason to take away the military 'utility' belt, I kept it and added it to the suit. To my surprise, it actually looked and worked better with it than my former vigilante gear. Turning to the Bat for inspiration once again, I began thinking of ways to mimic it's wings. At first, the logical answer seemed to be some sort of a hang glider.

However, it was impractical. I needed something easier to move with. So... I turned to the next best thing. Buying more spider silk, and weaving it to a large mass of nylon, I constructed a large, Bat-wing cloak. A cape, actually. And with it's creation came an entirely new purpose. I found that, due to the fabric's capability, It could stretch out to an almost identical point to that of a glider. In a way, I had both a glider and a cape... with praticality... Which is what I wanted in the first place. Lining it with an experimental fireproof application, I also weighted the tiny, Bat-like scallops on the bottom of the cape, making it into a weapon to add to my ever growing arsenal. (A 'whipping weapon', as Alfred put it.)

But I found that I needed a way to attach the cape to the suit. I couldn't simply strap it on with velcro, after all. So, I created a clasp that attached to the chest plate, and hooked into the back of the helmet. With a quick hit to the back of the head, I could loosen it, allowing me to take the cape off. However, due to it's design, it couldn't be loosened by accident. Only if I wanted it to... Which, needless to say, pleased me. During the creation of the clasp, I felt that it needed to be hided by something. Drawing up numerous designs, I finally came up with the perfect cover... A metalic, Bat-Like symbol, to be melded ontop of the clasp, making it virtually invisible, aswell as not interfering with it's function.

Realising that in order to protect my identity, I couldn't allow myself to be identified by fingerprints, I purchased a set of leather gloves. Sewing in a layer of the reinforced spider silk, to protect my forearms aswell as making it fit better to the overall suit, I added ceramic studs to the knuckles... giving me an added advantage, aswell as a much more powerful punch. Lastly was the boots. At first, they had no real function. But I couldn't just wear sneakers with this thing. So, I purchased a pair of leather boots, pretty much identical to the leather gloves. Creating 'socks' with the reinforced spider silk, I added them to the boots, aswell as ceramics to the toe area, improving the impact of a kick.

It was a grueling process. I worked, day and night, thinking up every pratical use for a costume like this, and then trying to figure out how to make it work. But finally, after a month of work and healing... I was ready to venture back out into the concrete jungle known as Gotham City.

So, here I am, standing ontop of a gargoyle. The shape of the cloak actually blends me into the alignment of gargoyles nicely. Thunder howls above me, providing for a nessacary mood. Tonight... I'm going to try it again. I'm going to try and take on this mission. But, with different means. Much different means.

I stand, with my eyes closed, taking in the sounds of the city with a calmness. Then, it rings out. Another scream.


A young woman. Judging from the tone, She's older than I am... but not by much. 25, perhaps. I turn towards the origin of the scream... And jump. Grabbing the ends of the cape, I feel the air pass my body as I begin to actually glide across the rooftops, for the first time. It's actually... thrilling, truth be told. Were I any other man, I'd pay more attention to the thrill of this. But, of course... I'm not.

I pass the area of which the woman is being chased, before landing on the shadowy ledge of a nearby building. I turn, surveying the situation. It's actually not that much different from when I did this a month ago. Two thugs, chasing a woman. One is armed, the other isn't. The only difference is... The thug isn't holding a knife. He's holding a gun. I clench my fists. The thug is a coward, using a gun to overpower the girl. But... If he's a coward... That should prove to be... beneficial, to my needs. I watch as the bigger thug grabs the stuggling woman, holding her in place. The armed thug holds the gun forward.

"Now, little lady... How's bout that fine purse you got dere?"

The woman hugs the purse, protecting it.

"It was my mother's!"

...The honoring of a parent's possession. Something I can relate to. The thug, however, doesn't seem as taken with it.

"An' this is your life, we're talkin about, sweetie. Now hand it over!"


"Fine! Have it your way!"

"Please... Please don't..."

The thug pulls the trigger. I wasn't planning on doing it this fast, but... screw it. NOW'S the time to act.

As the thug pulls, Something whistles through the air, striking the gun and the gunman's hand, forcing them apart. The thug screams as the object flies, sticking into a wall behind them. I know what the object is... considering I was the one who threw it. A shuriken... modified into the shape of a Bat. The Batarang, as Alfred called it. (Alfred, in case it wasn't apparent before... Had alot to say about this. Unfortunatley.)

I contemplate my next move, before I finally act.

"What the hell was that?!"

And then, I open my eyes. The lenses activate, sending a glow through the darkness. The thug looks up at it. His jaw nearly drops. It's showtime.
With a push off of the building, I leap out of the shadows, cape spread, casting a fearsome silluoette over the terrified thug.

"HOLY ****!"

I land between him, and the woman being held by the bigger thug. The thug stares at me, for a moment, before screaming at the top of his lungs, and running away. I hear the woman be thrown aside, behind me, by the bigger thug. I grit my teeth, before spinning, and sending a nice, swift drop kick to the thug's jaw. Due to the ceramic lining in my boot, it knocks him back quite a distance. I turn to the woman... Who seems as terrified of me as the thug was. I point to an exit to the alleyway.


Even though she's scared of me, She complies, nodding slowly. I turn to the direction of the running thug. I cannot allow him to escape... Especially considering he's something I've been waiting to face. A mugger. With a gun.

I throw a grapnel line out to the rooftops above us, before swinging up to them. With the thug, He won't get far, due to him having to jump over trash cans and climb wire fences. With me, I only have the rooftops. So, I run, with my cape flapping behind me. It creates a very... haunting effect, that I only catch a glimpse of in the shadows below me. Truly, I've become more than a man. I've become a creature of the night.

Jumping down from the rooftops, I spread my cape, and slam my feet into the thug's chest, knocking him back. As he struggles to get up, I throw out another grapnel line, wrapping it around his legs. I pull, sending him back to the ground. Pulling him towards me, I find it difficult, at first, due to his struggling. He claws at the ground, whimpering, doing anything in his power to get away. Why, I believe the man's terrified of something...
I grab him, and hoist him up, with one arm. His whimpers become louder, looking at me with glassy eyes of awe and fear. He won't have to see me for much longer... Considering I plan on dropping him and his pal infront of the Gotham City Police Department. (Unnoticed, of course) However, I'm sure I'm something he won't forget, anytime soon. I sneer at him, as he begins to speak.

"Wh... Wha... What in god's name... ARE you?!"

I pull him closer, angrily. I need a name. Something that the criminals will whisper in fear, and something that the citizens of Gotham will turn to for hope.


I stop. My real voice... It doesn't match the persona I've taken on. It's deep... But not nearly as inhuman as I'd like. I go to a deep, dark corner of my vocal cords... somewhere I've never dared tread before... and unleash it, onto the souls of Gotham. Thunder cracks behind me, as the rasped words escape my lips. I've sucessfully adoped a person that has become more than a simple man. This persona is a mythic creature of the night. Not unlike Bruce Wayne, whose purpose has now become that of a shell and a mask for my true self. This is my true self. I live, on this night. We all live. Bruce Wayne, my true self, and the other. Who is the other? The superstitious will come to know the name well.

"I'm Batman."


The bar was a dingy, brutal mess. The owner had had to refurnish the entire building six times in as many days due to his biggest customer. He'd complain, of course, but the lug's creds were good and who in their right mind would tick him off? Well, the guys with a death wish, thought the owner grimly as his main customer walked in.

He was over seven feet tall, with eyes as red as murder. He wore a very worn leather jacket that barely covered his broad back and it had the left sleeve torn off, revealing his marble white skin. Black markings on his face framed his murderous eyes, and two smaller markings under his nose gave the impression of a mustache. He had long, unkempt black hair that looked like he hadn't washed it in years, if he ever had. Wrapped around his left arm was a thick, dirty metal chain that ended in a hook. That hook had killed more beings than most space armadas could dream about.

"Yo, 'keep, gimme some o' th' good stuff 'n keep it comin'," said Lobo as he took a seat at the bar. The barkeep, a Virullian in his late 450's bent underneath the bar to grab his best ale. At the start of the week, he'd had five years' worth of Corvexian Dream Lager, strongest known drink in the entire universe. Lobo had gone though nearly all of it in a week.

Moments later, another being entered the bar. He looked for all the world like an immense, well-muscled black human, with straight shoulder length black hair that was neatly trimmed. He wore what looked to be an extremely expensive business suit, topped off by jey black shoes that made an odd sound as he walked up to the bar and took a seat. Lobo, heedless of the newcomer, chugged down his first glass of Dream Lager.
"You are the mercenary known as Lobo, are you not?" said the newcomer.
Lobo wiped the froth from the ale off of his mouth, and belched loudly. He then looked at the newcomer, his eyes searching. "Figger I am. An' what're you supposed ta be, fragwit?"
"I am... a representative of someone who wishes to hire you, Lobo."
"Dark an' mysterious ain't th' way ta play it with me, jack. Get ta what I'm supposed ta do fer yer boss."
"Very well. I assume you know of the planet Earth?"
"Mudball backwater waste o' space? Yeah, I heard o' it."
"Well, it has come to the attentions of your employer that a new race is emerging on that world, and he wants it crushed. Killed. Scattered to the wind, not even ashes to remain of them."
"Standard kill fee is twenty thousand creds per vic. How many dead yokels're we talkin'?"
Lobo whistled, a low, deep sound.
"There is one specific victim my employer wants killed," said the man as he reached into his jacket and produced a small holographic device. On it was displayed an oddly-dressed human male, wearing a stylized S on his chest. "This man is to be killed no matter the cost. Do you understand?"
"I get ya loud an' clear. Now 'ere's the bit where you tell me why this is worth my time. I'm one o' th' most in-demand hitmen in this galaxy, an' yer gonna have ta offer me somethin' more 'n creds if ya want me ta do the job."
The man sighed. "Very well. My employer knows that you have sought, for many years, one goal. You want to commit an act of genocide. He knows this, and has relayed it to me. This man is that oppurtunity, Lobo. He is the last Kryptonian, and if you kill him you will be destroying the last remnant of that race."
Lobo scratched his chin thoughtfully. "So, just ta get this straight. You an' yer boss want me, the Main Man himself, ta go all the fraggin' way to Earth ta kill hundreds o' humans and one Kryptonian?"
"An' I assume you geekwads're smart enough ta know what happens ta people that don't pay up, right?"
"Of Course."
"Haw. A'right then, ya got yerself the man fer the job." Lobo stuck out his hand, the other man shook it.
"Now, how's about we celebrate this new deal wi' a drink! 'Keep, two more o' da Dream Lager, an' keep 'em comin'!"
The barkeep looked very nervous as he began to speak. "Um, Lobo, you drank my entire stock. I don't have any more."
Lobo's formerly jovial face took on a sudden seriousness, then he smiled again. "Aw, that's a'right clyde. Me an th' partner here'll just go ta some other dive. Walk with me, partner."
Together, the two imposing beings strode out of the bar. Lobo's hearing could pick up the barkeep's sight of relief. "Apologize f'r lyin' like that to ya, but I got some unfinished business I gotta take care of. You tell yer boss that ya hired me?"
"Yes, and here," said the man as he offered a rectangular white card to the mercenary. "My card. If you need me, it will know." The man smiled darkly, and then vanished from sight.
Lobo grunted as he held the card. On it was inscribed the letter K. "Weird. Ah, frag it, ain't nothin' I ain't seen before."

Lobo strode over to his bike, a sleek metal death machine unmatched in the universe. He hopped on, and the throttle gave a roar as the bike's systems identified him as the bike's owner. Lobo began to take off, the environmental bubble sealing around him, when he turned his bike toward the bar he'd just been in. His nosie still picked up the pungent aroma of the Dream Lager, and his hearing picked up the sound of the Virullian owner chugging the last glass he had down. "Stiff me out o' a drink, will ya?"

Moments later, two massive rockets flew from Lobo's bike and impacted the bar. In a flash, the bar and the surrounding city were reduced to ash by the thermonuclear missile. Lobo laughed all the way in to the upper atmosphere.
"Perry, I KNOW what I saw!"

Back at the newsroom of the Daily Planet. Lois and Clark are in Perry White's office. Lois, as you can see, is a tad flustered.

"Lois, I don't doubt that you saw what you saw. But a flying man? That's hard to believe, and I've seen alot."

Clark steps forward.

"Lois, you were in a very stressful situation. Maybe...."

Lois turns to Clark.

"Maybe? Maybey what? Maybe I just imagined it all?! I did NOT imagine ANYTHING! A guy in a blue suit and a red cape lifted a chunk of rock off of me like it was a peice of paper, and then flew off."

She turns to Perry.

"I talked to other people at the site. Some of them say they saw something like what I described too!"



"Fine. I agree that you MIGHT have seen SOMETHING. But as of right now we have nothing but the eywitness testimonies of a few people who were in severe shock at the time. I do NOT want this paper to start looking like the goddamned tabloids. If something more comes of this, we'll look into it. But as of right now, we're going to forget about it. Got it?"


"Good. Now....."

Suddenly, Jimmy Olsen rushes into Pery's office.


"What is it, Olsen? And for the last time, quit calling me Chief!"

"Right. Sorry. Listen, there's a big shoot out in Suicide Slum! A bunch of guys have hostages in an old abandoned building."

"Perry, I....."

Clark quickly interjects.

"I'll cover it. Lois, you need to go home and rest."

"I do NOT need...."

"Lois. He's right. Go home."

"Fine. (Mom)."

Clark dashes out of the office, and runs down the stairs so fast one would barely be able to see him. He hits the street, slowing down for obvious reasons, and ducks into the nearest alleyway. He quickly changes into his 'work clothes' and shoots up into the skies. Next stop, suicide slum....

Suicide Slum. The worst section of Metropolis. The only real remnant of the poverty striken era of Metropolis that was known as the 80s. Such an environment breeds criminal behaivior. Such as a group or armed gunman holding a group of college students hostage in an abandoned building. Their demands? 12 million dollars, amnesty for any and all illegal acitivity, and their own private jet fueled and ready on the tarmac.

This, normally would not end well.

The leader of the group shift impatiently in his seat. He looks over at his cohorts, who are making sure the hostages remain calm. Suddenly, he hears a low wooshing noise.

"What the **** is that?"

The door bursts open. In floats (yes, I said floats) Clark, in his suit, his eyes glowing red. With a glance, he heats the guns in their hands until they can no longer hold them. Then, so quickly he apears to be no more than a purple streak, he bends metal lamps and shairs around the captors, effectively incopasitating them. He then grabs the gunmen, carries them downstairs, and throws them out to the police. He takes off into the sky and flies away at blinding speed. The hostages slowly stand, only having barely registered what's happened.

In the skies above, Clark shoots up above the clouds, and looks down upon the city of Metropolis.

"I think I'm going to like this town."

He shoots back towards the ground, back to the alley where he left his clothes.
“’scuse me.”

A tiny figure weaseled her way through the packed streets of Gotham City. Her short black hair swung and brushed against her lower jawline. Her outfit, consisting of tight jean’s, a short little top and a sporty tweed jacket, looked stylish and hip as she straightened the bag that hung around her shoulder.
She was jostled a little.
“Ex-cuse me!” she repeated louder as she popped out into an area of the sidewalk which was devoid of the movement of human traffic.

“Hey Dinah!”

She smiled at the man behind the newstand, the booth was painted vibrant shades of purple, orange, teal and red. The new’spapers dirty print anf fuzzy pictures looking grubby in comparison.

“Ah, Tony.” Dinah flung her arms out dramatically.
“The one piece of brightness in the drudgery of Gotham City!” She said smiling, picking up a paper and laying down the money.

She quickly flipped past the human interest stories to the police reports tucked away in the last few pages. Reaching into her bag she brought out a sticky bun and unwrapped it, taking a bite while she studied the writing.

“Anything interesting?” Tony asked, leaning over, his large middle inhibiting his movement, his large jolly face interested in if favorite customers words.

Dinah shook her head, her short black hair bobing.
“Nothing of interest, per-say. Minor domestic squabbles, ‘papers don’t print the large stuff.” She said a twinkle in her eye.

“Like that Batman stuff?” He asked.

Dinah nodded and cast her eye on the nearby Tabloid stand in the corner of Tony’s booth. Big bold letters graced the front of it.

A woman tells her startling story pg.5


Tony handed a paper to another customer who’d walked up, nhe glanced sideway’s at her.

“He’s real?”

Dinah folded the newspaper and shoved it in her bag, taking the last few bites of her sticky bun.

“My sources at GCPD say something is real.” She winked and waved before heading towards the main part of the sidewalk again.

“Hey! Babe, your roots are showing.” Tony called.

Dinah reached into her bag and pulled out a worn fedora and placed it on her head.

“Better?”[ She called back.

Tony gives her a thumbs up and she waves before blending back into the seething corwds of Gotham’s early morning rush to work. She wover her way in and out of the crowd before coming to the building she wanted, deep in Gotham’s old Art Deco part of town. It was a part of town that was quickly being revialized with historic and hip resturants, shops and a few scattered nightclubs. The building’s side was plastered with brass plaques indicating dental offices, law offices and one lone detective agency. She pushed open the big glass and brass doors and entered into the small lobby, before jogging up the newly carpeted stairs. She took the hallway and walked down the large corridor, waving at Melody, a dental receptionist as she opened the dental office.

“ ‘Morning Mel!”

The red haired oung woman waved back.

“Morning Dinah.”

Dinsh stopped infront of a wooden door with a frosted glass panel in the front, the words on the door read:
Lance Investigations
in a large sweeping arc. Dinah quickly unlocked it and opened the door shivering a little in the cold room. She bumped the thermostate up and pulled open the drapes for the large ribbed and frosted windows on either side of the door, allowing the natural light from the windows on each end of the corridor to filter in. She walked behind the desk and pressed the message machine.
As she unlocked the door behind the desk into the personal office the oputer door opened and Dinah turned smiling at the older woman who walked in.

“Good morning Milly.” She said at the same time the answering machine spoke, it’s synthetic female voice devoid of emotion:
“You have no unheard messages.”

The 50 something woman sake into the desk chair as Dinah popped open her office door.

“How suprising.” She sighed, taking off her large wool coat and the tiny little hat she had nestled in her silver grey hair.

Dinah walked into her office and dropped her bag on her desk, a long old fashioned wooden desk, covered in scrapes and coffee cup rings. It’s rich patina shining in the light that came through the window. Dinah took off her jacket and tossed it ontop of the empty desk that was pushed against her own, before walking back into the receptionist area.

“Now Milly, don’t get discouraged. Business will pick up.” Dinah said, leaning on the side of Milly’s desk.

Milly raised her eyebrows at Dinah’s outfit and turned on her bulky computer, inputting the commands on the black screen. The computer spluttered for a moment before the screen flicked off.
Milly said a word most women her age wouldn’t even know and gave the computer a tap on the side before the monitor screen spluttered back to life. Milly gave Dinah a knowing look as Dinah straightened up, a worried look crossing her face for a moment.

“Look, it’s only our 4th week, things will pick up. I just know it.” Dinah turned and punched her fist into her open palm.


Dinah moved swiftly for the phone, picking up the handset for the rotary phone before Milly had moved her hand an inch.

“Lance Investigations, Dinah Lance speaking, how may I help you?”


Dinah sighes and flops down on one of the large club chairs.

“Oh, hey Mom, What’s up?”

“Don’t sound so disappointed Dinah. I just wanted to ask if you’d pick up whipped cream on your way home tonight. Remember, Josh and Howard are coming over…”

“..and so is Josh’s girlfriend…” Dinah cut in. “Yes Mom, I know I’ll pick up the whipped cream.”

There was silence on the other end and Dinah felt bad for her tone of voice.

“Okay, thank you. I love you.”

“Love you to Mom. Bye.” Dinah hung up and placed the phone back on the desk.

Milly looks up fromm the computer.

“Is Josh still dating that Bertinelli girl?”

Dinah nods and turns, leaning against the desk with her thighs. She crosses her arms across her bare stomach.

“Helena? Yeah, he’s still dating her.”

Milly looks at Dinah’s backside.

“Jealous are we?”

Dinah turns quickly and smiles at Milly.
“Me? Jealous? Over what? I could break her like a twig.” Dinah said with much more spirit than she felt.

Dinah walked towards her office door and rested her hand on itshe turned her head and looked at Milly.
“I’ll be in my office.” She pushed the door open and closed it quietly behind her with a ‘click’ before walking over and sitting in the office chair. Leaning back she put her feet up on the desk, crossed at the ankles and pulled a picture towards her. It’s frame was antique and the picture within was greyed with age.

Dinah touched the face behind the glass, caressing it with slender fingers.

“Hey Dad, nothings happening. Like the hair? Yeah, changed it for an undercover job. It should keep for a few more weeks. The pay was great, it’ll keep the office open for a few more weeks.” Dinah kissed cheeck of the man in the picture and placed it back on the desk before sighing and leaning back.

She stared at the white painted tin ceiling, the intricate designs in it making scrolls and flowers. She was the youngest Private Investigator in Gotham and despite her lineage and inborn talent she was the most overlooked. After all what could a ‘female’ girl do? Dinah made a face mouthing the words silently. Expecially one who wasn’t even drinking age yet. Dinah rolled her eyes, sometimes she just wanted to yell at them who she was, but it would have inevitably ended in buildings crumbling and people getting busted ear drums.

“The world crumbles at your voice, Dinah.” Howards voice rang in her ear. It had been so many years ago…she’d wanted to join a school musical and her parents had refused to let her.

Just like she’d wanted to carry on her mother’s name.

Black Canary.
Dinah swivelled in the chair and looked at the poster on the wall, the Justice Society members stood there, grouped together, her father in the middle with the Black Canary leaning on his shoulder, the poster was autographed by each member. Starman, Hour-Man, Wildcat and Dr. Fate. Her mother’s own loopy signature, far from her everyday one read “Much love, Black Canary (Chirp)”.

She remembered when her father had hung it. She’d been sitting on this very desk, her leg’s swinging over the side.

“Daddy, why haven’t you hung it before?” She’d asked, her speak slightly slurred without her two front teeth.

“Well pretty bird, it adds a bit of ‘respectability’ to the place, not that it needs it. But people will be more likely to use a P.I. who’s worked a big or important case.”

“That’s what I need….a big case…” She pulled her bag to her an pulled out a water bottle, the newspaper slipping out. The sight of it reminding her of her conversation with Tony only an hour ago, and the tabloid headline.

She smiled.

“A big case…”

It was the most dangerous part of space for his kind. UFP central. Oan space. The Green Lantern Corps, badge-wearing authority abusing geekwads of the highest order in Lobo's mind, were thick in the space around this world.

He wouldn't have it any other way.

Lanterns were a tough kill, but he'd devised a way to do it. For whatever reason, the color yellow disrupted the green energy that the rings produced. Only the best Lanterns could resist a yellow bullet.

He'd discovered the weakness when he'd been assigned to kill a Lantern. It'd taken him days, but he'd finally done it when he clubbed the small, furry lantern to death with a steel pole he'd found. Unfortunately for the deceased Lantern, that pole was yellow. Word about him had spread quickly after that, and many was the underworld crime lord that had called upon him to safeguard things against the Green Lantern Corps.

Now, by his own count, he'd killed at least thirty Lanterns. The warrants out for his arrest dwarfed those of any other being in the galaxy, a feat he boasted about when particularly drunk. His mere presence in the Oan system was a challenge to Lantern authority. Little did Lobo know, this time the Corps would send their very best...

The bike was a red blur in the blackness of space, a cold steel engine of destruction at the hands of a madman. inside Lobo's environmental bubble was silence. The Main Man was contemplating the job, when he saw a green blur beside his bike. A Lantern. Finally.


Lobo laughed, his reply to the Lantern a fist with a raised middle finger. "Stop this, ya law-abidin' bastich!"

A lance of green energy shot out from the blur and hit his bike. Lobo struggled to maintain control of his bike as it careened through space. Lobo quickly scanned the dizzying array of buttons that comprised his instrument panel.


Lobo, however, was too intent upon his instrument panel to pay much attention to the Green Lantern that was assaulting him. "Frag 'em.. no, not yet. Frag 'em harder, maybe in a bit. Thruster blowback... nah. Ah, there the fraggin' thing is. Gyroscopic restabilization!" he yelled with enthusiasm as he smashed the green button. Instantaneously, the bikerighted itself. The Lantern, his face an indistinct blur through the glow of the emerald energy, but Lobo could make out the Lantern's frustration. No matter how he used the ring, the internal gyroscope installed in his bike would keep resistance to the absolute minimum. Another button press, and two large chainguns emerged from the underside of Lobo's bike. A toggled switch, and the ammunition changed. A joystick emerged from the control panel, and a small holographic HUD emerged with it. One hand on the throttle, the other on the stick, Lobo unleashed a massive torrent of yellow bullets at the Green Lantern.

The move caught the Lantern by surprise, and the hail of yellow fire knocked the Lantern tumbling away from Lobo's bike.

31, Lobo mentally counted off.
I’m seating in a boardroom right now, listening to some ingrate trying to convince me to not liquidate his branch of LexCorp. He shows me more charts and continues to utter in vain.

“As you can see Mr. Luthor we have been able to boost profits 15 % this year.”

I raise my hand and stop his excuses. I can see the fear in his eyes, the sweat dripping down his forehead. I get up from my seat without saying a word and stride over to the window. I stretch my hands out onto the ledge.

“Do you know what the secret to living happily ever after is...?” I pause for a moment waiting for the grunt to tell me his name.

“Steven Sir.”

“Power! Money...and power. Since when you have those two things, you can secure everything else. And keep it that way.”

“What, what are you saying?”

“Your branch is underperforming and I don’t tolerate weakness Steven. I’ll let you have the honors of dismissing your employees.”

“What, but don’t you care? They have families. We have improved by 15%.”

“Your failure would spread like cancer, and I can’t allow that. Now get out of my sight.” I turn my head and look him straight in the eye. My eyes tighten. He takes his boards and leaves the room. I think he got the hint.
(IC: Bruce Wayne)

I wake up in a haze. I can barely breathe, at first... My head is killing me... My arms are stiff... my muscles ache... But, I'm still alive. I sit up, from bed, and look at my arms. A few bruises... But... Overall, they're not in terrible shape. I expected much worse, considering my bones were still healing from a month ago. Well... That, and I got carried away. I think I interfered in at least twenty differnet activities, truthfully...

Alfred stands in the corner, watching me. I turn to him.

"What time is it?"

"Two, actually. You came home at around six-thirty."

My eyes widen. Two? In the afternoon? I'm late for work... Well... No, I'm past that point, actually. As I scramble to get up, Alfred stops me.

"I called the office, and told them you wouldn't be in today."


"After a night like that, sir... I would assume you would need your rest.", He says, handing me a newspaper. I take it from him. It's the Gotham Examiner... A tabloid, as I learned the hard way. I unfold it and look at the headline...

A woman tells her startling story pg.5

I read a few bits and pieces of it, before handing it back to Alfred.

"Seems I made an impression.", I say, getting up.

Alfred stares at me. I notice it for a few minutes... Before finally getting annoyed with the tension, and looking at him.


"Sir, don't take this the wrong way... But you could've been killed last night."

"Yet I wasn't."

"You didn't nessacarily come out of it unharmed, either.", He says, indicating my bruises. I shrug.

"Nobody said this was going to be easy."

"Do you intend to spend every night getting more and more of those?" ,He asks, as I walk over to the closet, and pull out my robe.

"If I have to."

"Haven't you taken into consideration that bruises like that could, infact, damage any hope of you leading a double life?", Alfred asks. I stop, and look back at him.

Truth be told...

"...No. I guess I didn't."

"You have to have a social life, Sir. Wealthy young men such as yourself don't typically do what you did last night for a living."

"I do have a social life. What do you think I've been doing in my spare time for the past few weeks?"

"Maybe so. But that was before this.", He says, holding up the newspaper, and pointing to the word 'BATMAN' in the headline.

"Last night... From what I've read... this wasn't you, Master Bruce. It was something else. Quite different from who I'm looking at right now. If you allow it to take over every night you live, The person infront of me will... cease to exist. And I will not allow that to happen." , He says.

I look back at him. He's genuinely concerned. Truth be told... I had never considered what I'd do, after this began. I just assumed that I would spend every night as Batman, I guess. By day, I would be Bruce Wayne, by night I would be Batman... It seemed simple enough.

But Alfred does raise an interesting point... Especially since Bats aren't the only creatures of the night in Gotham. There are also playboys, and celebrities that like to go... what's the word?... 'clubbing'.

If I'm to continue being Batman without bringing attention to myself... Perhaps I should start planning out just how much the public sees Bruce Wayne... and how much they hear about The Batman.

I finally sit back on the bed, and drink a glass of orange juice that Alfred hands me. As I finish it, I look up at him.

"So what do you suggest I do?"

Alfred smirks, somehwhat.

"Well... I did have something in mind, actually. You've had some... interesting calls, recently...", Handing me something else. I look down, seeing a note, with various names written on it. With numbers, under the names. What's even more interesting is that the names are those of women.

"Vesper", "Silver", "Rachel", "Andrea", "Shondra", "Chase", "Susan", "Julie", "Diana", "Bambi"... The names go on and on.

I look up at Alfred.

"Alfred... Remind me to stop giving out my phone number to women I don't know.", I say.

Not that I'm not flattered... But I don't exactly have time to call any of these women back... I have work to do. Both in an office... and on the streets. I need to prepare for my next outing...

"Sir... This was what I was referring to. I know you want to live your life as two people... But why should both of them be alone?", Alfred asks.

I consider this. A relationship ... even simply having a girlfriend... it's filled with complications, from what I've heard. Of course, the only complication I had when I was with Talia was... well... death.


No. I can't. I'd only be putting those women in danger... especially now, that I'm going to be making enemies. But... at the same time, I have to admit... I do need to get to know some people around here...

"I don't know..."

"I'm not forcing you. You're now old enough to where you can make your own decisions. However... I think you at least know where I stand, on this."

I think about it. Would it really be that bad? Am I just too scared to commit? It's been awhile since Talia... Maybe I need to try and move on. I can't keep going on without one forever, after all...

I finally speak.

"Where would you start?", I say, holding up the note.

"Well... While I am fond of the name 'Bambi'... There was one who called that wasn't looking for a date.", Alfred says.

"So what did she want?"

"An interview."

...A what? An interview? Is he... joking? I can't give an interview. I can barely stand socialisation as is...

"Alfred, I don't think-"

"What better test to put your playboy persona to the test, at the very least?"

I stop. He makes a point. I'm beginning to hate that.

An interview could probably give me, at the least, a cover for what I'm really doing at night, now. If I'm to convince everyone Bruce Wayne and Batman are two different people... I need to make them stark opposites. This means, where Batman should be as discreet as possible... Bruce Wayne should, unfortunatley... be as public as possible.

I look at Alfred. He seems to be enjoying the possibility of it. Even if the interview goes horribly wrong... It could get him off my back...

"What's her name?"

"Vale, Master Bruce. A miss Vicki Vale."

Vicki Vale? I've heard of her. Well, a little. She's a reporter for the Globe. Apparentally, she's relentless, cunning, beautiful, and fiesty. Sounds familar... Wasn't there one of those in Metropolis? Except... to more of a degree?


I guess it would be better than getting the one from Metropolis.

"If I do this, Will you-"

"Yes, Sir. I will try and stay out of what you do with your life from here on out."

I sigh, to myself. This is going to be a challenge. Probably even more than late's night's little venture. And I was slashed with a knife, at least once. But this... This is going to take alot of my cunning.

No... All of my cunning.
Labcoats are beautiful things. Simple. Elegant. Practical. Reiana Noelle Palmer had been wearing them pretty regularly since the age of 13. Walking down the halls of Lexcorp labs, her modest heels clicking softly beneath her khaki dress slacks and white blouse. Her name tag swung from her shoulders. "Raye Palmer: R&D Coordinator."

She stepped into the elevator and looked at the mirror, smiling at her position. She took off her glasses for a moment and cleaned them. She shook her head from side to side making sure her long dark brown ponytail was suitably restrained. The elevator opened into the sprawling Third Sublevel of Lexcorp labs. A big giant pot of innovative gin and juice. Raye took a deep breath and started down the stairs to the testing level, where her day's work would begin.

Standing there, in a larger, dingier, older labcoat was "R&D Director" Albert Pratt. He wrote half of the books in Raye's library, and she adored him for it.

"Morning Al. How are Grant and A.J.?" Raye cheerfully greeted her only supervisor, holding her clipboard close and observing, casually the goings on of testing in progress.

Al smiled as he looked over her mentee, professional as ever. "Well as they can. Grant's growing up like a weed and Al, well, he's discovered girls..." Al Sr. grinned a bit. "Which reminds me, I haven't heard about this Gene character in a while..."

"Ugh." Raye's stomach churned as her face twitched out a grimace. "I haven't heard anything about him either. I'm starting to think he's more trouble than he's worth." Raye turned towards the experimentation going on in the background. "So... where are we with the zero point projectile experiments?"

Al eyed Raye suspiciously but then smiled as he turned towards the adjoining lowered testing ground and a mechanical device 50 feet from a 3 foot thick metal wall. "Our budget will allow us to do at least a few tests with the Luthonium you helped develop last year.'

Raye shook her head with a laugh of irony. "Your boss is the most arrogant man I've ever even heard of."

Al nodded, solemn. "With the most reason to be so." He looked to her jokingly. "Now shut up, or else I'll retire and he'll be YOUR boss."

Raye rolled her eyes as the men below hollered "CLEAR!" On a metallic plate was a paperclip. "FIRE!" Electric pylons on either side of the glass plate glowed and then. WHOOOSH. The paper clip launched across the room. The Luthonium wall cracked in half. Raye's eyes lit up.

"Wait... that's OUR Luthonium. Elemet 222?" Raye looked up at Al, a bit alarmed.

"No, no of course not, this belongs to Jim Luthor in the next building over..." Al cleaned his glasses. "The boys found the stabilized ionic form you theorized last quarter. Paperwork's on your desk." Al turned and walked away. "Going for my breakfast break. Make it happen, Raye."

Raye yelled "Alright boys! Egg cracked, let's make an omelette! Get me those numbers within the hour! Blue Team. Red Team. Prep the next Luthonium wall!"
“Long Ago. Just like the hearse you die to in again…..”

Conner stirred a little in his bed. Even in his deep sleep, his ring tone was able reach some still active part of Conner’s conscious. His foot twitched, but nothing else moved.

“…We. Are. So. Far. From you….”

Conner was more or less awake but his body was now too tired to actually get up and answer the incoming cell phone call. Entertainment Weekly had thrown its annual “Young Hollywood” party, and despite the fact that he hadn’t really done much in his short film career, Luthor still wanted Conner to attend. Conner hadn’t necessarily planned on going, but who turns down a free private plane ride to L.A. by one of the world’s richest men? Lex had allowed him to stay the whole weekend, but Mr. and Mrs. Jones (who hadn’t come with him) insisted that he return Sunday night, so that he wouldn’t miss class. Unfortunately, the jet lag from such an in and out trip had taken its toll on Conner.

“Burning On! Just like the match you strike to incinerate!”

Only Chloe would be calling Conner at this hour. She hated taking the bus to school, and always she asked Conner for a ride, despite the fact that she was his only real friend. She was his friend when he was just a sickly, skinny kid and she was still the same ol’ Chloe after he had received Luthor Corp’s treatments. When he discovered he had telekinetic powers, she never made a big deal, and when Luthor Corp began training him in the use of his powers, she helped research new uses for them
She was the ultimate best friend and Conner was willing to fight off his jet lag to answer the phone. With a flick of his wrist, the talk button on his phone was pressed and the cell phone gracefully glide to his hand.

“Hello?” Conner slurred.
“What’s up, Conner? You picking me up as usual?”
“Don’t I always? Seriously when was the last time I said no to you?”

Breezing past the question, Chloe kept talking as if Conner hadn’t just arrived from a long plane ride.

“So do you have any plans for after school today?”
“Not at this point, but Lex has been having me do a lot of training lately, so don’t be surprised if he calls me for some more exercises today out of the blue.”

At this point Conner was now drifting around his house, completing small tasks such as brushing his teeth and getting dressed. Talking to Chloe in the mornings always gave him a little more energy than normal. He gave his mother a small kiss on the cheek and nodded towards his father as he left out the door. The sun was shining clearly in a clear blue sky.
“So, see you in five?”

Conner chucked his book bag into his Porsche and started up the engine. While shuffling things in the back seat, Conner used his TK powers to activate the garage door remote.

“Yeah, give me a sec, Chloe. I got to make room in all this junk for you. I might be a little late.”
(IC: Deathstroke)

"This better not be the colossal waste of time I think it's going to be, rodgers."

"Trust me, sir, you won't be disappointed."

"I won't be or it'll be your ass."
The two men walk into an observation booth where two scientist are waiting.

"Hello, sir."

"Let's just get this over with." The General puts a cigarette in his mouth and lights it. "How old is the boy?"

"Thirteen, sir."

"How long have you been training training him."

"Well, he enrolled in our program about a year and a half ago. He's only been training like this for about six weeks. We started around his birthday."

"And you think that after six weeks this boy deserves my attention?"

"Yes, sir."

"What's his name again?"

"Slade Wilson, sir"

The lights turn on in the room below them. The cameras come on, showing a young man with a muscular build, tall for his age, six feet. Both eyes looking straight foward, in a determined stare, covered slightly by his white hair.

"So, what is he going up against, bb's of paintballs?"

"Six soldiers with fully automatic weapons with live ammuntion."
The General looks at Rodgers surprised.

"Watch the screens, Sir, and don't blink."

They given me all the information I need. Six men and that the room I'm in is 20 x 20. They put up walls, giving this room a maze-like structure, meant to confuse me. It doesn't. I look directly into the camera staring down at me.

"Alright Slade, begin in three, two, one."

I run up to the first wall and see the first soldier. He aims his gun and fires. I dodge the first bullet, then duck. I get up close and punch him in the throat. I pick up his gun and the rest falls into place. The last of them drops seconds later.

"Time: 53 seconds."

The General's cigarette falls to the ground. He lights another as they walk down to the training area.

"Hello Sla--" The General watches as his cigarette falls to the ground of the second time this day.

"Smoking is a bad habit, sir." I say from behind The General.

Flustered The General speaks, " So, Wilson, do you want to continue your military training?"
(IC: Bruce Wayne)

The Twilight Gala. A charity event sponsoring education in science, particularly regarding space and planetary study. The college dean that brought it to attention believes that children deserve to know the full fundamentals of what reaches far beyond the limits of earth... Even though some of his claims are more myth than fact.

My being here tonight was for two reasons. One, to donate to the charity, given that, if nothing else, it'll get more children interested in proper education (Something I lacked as a child, because of my travels). And two... It would provide for the perfect setting in regards to my interview with Vicki Vale.

Speaking of which...

I turn, from greeting various socialite members that I recognised. Not that I was ever apart of their circle. The same people just usually attend high profile galas, such as these. Entrapenuers, buisnessmen, elderly billionaires... The types of people that come here never change. It's this, along with many other reasons, that make me want to be out there, rather than in here.

When I turn, from meeting with them, I notice a... well, actually... very attractive blonde, in a red dress, walking toward me. Usually, I'd think it were the usual supermodels who want to get my phone number. However... That's when I noticed the camera strap around her upper body.

The womnan infront of me is, infact, Vicki Vale, obviously. I did my research on her before coming here. She's not only a reporter, but a photographer aswell... Which would explain the camera. She used to work for The Daily Planet as their star reporter... Up until Lois Lane came in. The two have been rivals ever since, apparentally. Vale graduated from Yale (...I'm not joking, with that.) University with honors, before entering her field of work. Her resume is... impressive, to say the least.

...It doesn't make me feel any better about this. But any positivity will make it bearable, at the very least. She walks up to me, immediatley.

"Bruce Wayne?", She asks.

I nod.

"You must be my interviewer... Miss...?" , I say, pretending I forgot her name.

"I'm Vicki Vale. From the Globe.", She says, extending a hand. I put on a grin, and shake it.

"Ah, yes... The Globe. I believe I own a subscription."

"Then you know what type of stories and articles we tend to write?"

"Yes. And don't worry. I know you're not the Examiner. I mean... a 'Batman'? Really, what's next... Aliens from another planet?", I say, chuckling.

She smiles.

"Then I don't have to explain the credibility we like to bring to our readers?", She asks, with a somewhat... relieved, tone.

"Certainly not. Why? Has your reputation been suffering, as of late?"

"Well, let's just say... Not everyone takes us seriously."

I smile.

"Well, don't worry. I'm not one of those people.", I say, guiding her through the crowd.

"What kind of person are you then?", She asks, digging for a tape recorder in her purse. I stop, and smile at her.

"Perhaps we should have the interview take place somewhere more... private.", I say. She stops, embarrassed.

"Sorry. I tend to get carried away, sometimes.", She says, with a sheepish smile. Funny... I can relate to that. Getting carried away, I mean...

"It's no problem. I mean... after all. You're the first person who's going to be interviewing me since I returned to Gotham."

We stop walking. Her eyes widen, for a moment. I don't think she knew that she was getting an exclusive. She looks at me.

"And you chose me to be that person?"

"Of course. Your reputation is quite impressive, Ms. Va-"

"Vicki. And thank you, Mr. Way-"

"Bruce, Vicki. You can call me Bruce.", I say, with another smile directed towards her.

I hate smiling. In this manner, mostly. However, it's common courtesy. I may be trying to make them believe me to be a carefree playboy... But that doesn't mean I can't be a gentlemen, at least.

Vicki smiles again, blushing, somewhat. So far, so good. I turn to one of the owner's of the building. I believe he owes me a favor...

* * *

We sit across from eachother, in a private balcony room, by candlelight dinner. Some of the best wine in the country sits in our glasses. Her beauty is radiant. The view of the city is breathtaking. We're completely alone, for as long as we'd like. The best money can buy surrounds us.

Yet... I still would rather be on the streets. That's insanity. I'm basically saying that I would rather be adding more bruises to my collection than sit in the company of a beautiful reporter who I'm actually growing fond of, by the minute. Well... It makes me insane, or a machonist.

Vicki takes a small bite of her food, as I'm thinking.

"This is exquisite.", She says, breaking me from thought. I look at her.

"I'm sorry?"

"The food. It's fantastic."

"Oh, that. Yes, it's quite good."

"You haven't touched it."

I look down, noticing she's right. I look back up at her, with a look of "Oh. Right". She smirks.

"Something on your mind?"

...Okay, first act of diversion. I can't tell her what I was really thinking of, after all.

"Well... Yes, actually. I was just noticing how beautiful you look. I didn't expect it, to go along with your expertise writing.", I say, smiling.

She holds her fork, mid-bite, looking at me... speechless. I think I might of overdid it. She immediatley blushes, again.

"You're... quite the chamer."

"I hope I'm not doing it too much."

"Well... it is nice."

I smile. Genuinely, that time. I actually found that funny.

"Well, I'll remember to keep doing so, then."

...Okay, Bruce... keep it up... don't focus on other things...

She stops eating, looking at her watch. We've stayed too long already, it seems. Just getting these things prepared took time out of our evening.

"Oh, god... It's later than I thought."

She sets her fork down, grabbing her purse and camera. She looks at me, sadly.

"Guess we won't get to do that interview after all. I'm so sorry that I wasted your time."

"Nonsense. I actually enjoyed spending the time with you.", I say, standing up as she does.

She smiles yet again.

"You can stop charming me, now. You're off the hook."

"Actually, I was being serious. Infact, I think we should have that interview. Maybe... over dinner?"

She freezes, before looking at me.

"...Dinner? With...me?"

"Yes. If you'd like, that is."

"Would this be anything like... a date?"

"Or an interview. But you can consider it a date. That is, if you want to..."

"... If I want to? How could I say no?", She says, actually...excited. I'm used to that. My status as a billionaire has an interesting effect on people.

"Great, then. I'll have my assitant pick you up... Does Friday sound good?"

"Friday is perfect."

"Friday it is, then.", I say. She nods.

"Okay. And this is a date, right?"

I laugh.

"...Yes. It's a date."

I believe she's trying her best to hide a giddiness. However, she does it eloquently. She nods, again.

"And you have my phone number."

"Of course."

"So... See you Friday, then?"

I nod.

"It was a pleasure, Vicki."

She gives me one last smile. There seems to be alot of those, in this exchange. But... They don't annoy me, as much, for some reason.

"Likewise, Bruce. Well... Goodnight.", She says, looking back at me, for one last time.


And then, she leaves. I sit back in my chair, contemplating what to do next. If I hurry... I can make it home, suit up, and be out on the streets within an hour. The fact that I'm having a date doesn't really phase me until a moment later. I think I'm actually looking forward to it.

I can already see the smug look on Alfred's face. He'll be pleased with this... I'm sure...

I clear my head. That was then. This is now. And now... It's time to go back to work. Time for The Batman to make his second appearance on the streets of Gotham.

I can almost wait to see what the tabloids will post about it...
My name is Barry Allen. I'm the Flash, I'm the fastest man alive, and you can read all about me on...


Barry was holding three tabloids. Two of them had grotesque renderings of something inhuman, and batlike.

The Gotham Examiner - Who Is Batman?

The National Inquisitor - Man Bat Hybrid Stalks the Streets Of Gotham! Bugmen in Hub City! Bird Demons in Louisiana! Read More Inside!

The last of the tabloids had a man as big as the Hulk, in a bright blue suit with a red S on his chest.

The Metropolis Tattler - The New Breed of Nazi Superman? Only Time Will Tell: Eyewitness account inside.

The first mention of a certain Scarlet Speedster in any of these was page ten of the Inquisitor. He had been pushed to page 13 in the Tattler and all the way to 29 in the Examiner.

"Hey, Barry cheer up. You know those rags like to report the gossip over the truth any time. Check these out."

Ed tossed him a pile of official newspapers. Barry was on the front page of all of them both in and out of costume.

The Daily Planet - Scarlet Speedster foils tricky Bank Heist; The Gotham Gazzette - Barry Allen: Another reason to eat your Wheaties kids!; The Keystone Herald - City's own Flash goes public. World's first REAL Superhero; USA Today - Fast as Lightning: The man behind the Flash's Mask.

"I guess thats better, but still..."

"Maybe this will pick up your mood, the calls have been coming in off the hook. Seems everyone wants a piece of you, Nike and Adidas are ready to go into an all out bidding war for you to endorse them, and both will pay ANYTHING for the specs of your suit. The list doesn't stop, Gatorade and Powerade both want you, Wheaties wants you on the box, Hollywood directers want to see if you can act... Barry you're the hottest thing since sliced bread, maybe hotter. Oh, and the best news of all of it... The Keystone Police Department called. They want to make you an official member of the force, so you can arrest the perps and so you aren't a wanted vigilante. I took the liberty of telling them that you accept."

"Hey, thanks Ed, you're a great bud. I appreciate it all, keep manning the fort, I'm late for a date with Iris."

In a blur Barry was gone. Seconds later he sat down in a booth across from Iris.

"You can move as fast as light, and you're still late? You amaze me Barry. Simply amaze me."

The Metropolis Tattler - The New Breed of Nazi Superman? Only Time Will Tell: Eyewitness account inside.

"That deadbeat!" Chloe yelled as Conner pulled up to the Sullivan residence.

"Something wrong, m'lady?" Conner said sarcastically.
"It's him again Conner! That Lucas Finn of the Metropolis Tattler stole my story angle! I totally thought of this one!" she whined as she climbed inside Conner's Porsche.

All week Chloe had been working on some new editorial for the Torch. She double checked all of her sources, and she even went as far as visiting the library just to gather some information on the Nazi. So important was this project,that she even felt the need to call Conner twice during his weekend trip;much to the dismay of him and Paris Hilton.
Her only problem was getting her work done without Lucas Finn knowing. Ever since he had scored a job at a real tabloid, he had started stealing poor Chloe's news stories. This "Nazi Supermen" angle was just one theft in a string of news story ideas that somehow made it from Metropolis High to the Tattler's news rooms.

" Do you think we could press for a lawsuit now, Conner?"

"Naah, we couldn't prove that Lucas actually stole them, and besides, don't you steal have Arkham's patient cruelty story to work on?"

"Well, yeah...but who would trust the ravings of a nurse? A still hired one at that."

"But you'd believe that Nazi Super-people are invading Earth?"

"Did you get those Paris Hilton pics I asked for? With Lucas on the loose, its not safe for me to bring any real articles for the paper to use. I actually snuck into the editing room last night just to avoid having him see my headline!"

Conner smiled as an envelope full of trashy Paris Hilton pics fell into Chloe's lap. She put her seatbelt on and Conner left as fast as he had came. On the highway Conner could feel the breeze blow his short hair around, and for a moment he felt as if he was flying again. He wished Lex would let him fly more often. Just the feeling of moving at such a fast speed was able to undo any of the intoxicating effects of his jet lag. Popping his Fallout Boy cd into the CD player, Conner patted Chloe's shoulder.

"I have a feeling today will be a great day."
"G'night, Dr. Palmer." The tech lead hung up his labcoat before stepping on the elevator.

"'Nite Brian..." Raye sighed as she pored over her notes. The zero point magnetic projectile launching system was up to snuff, as was the luthonium element, though very expensive, with untested deterioration side effects, it would still stand up to any tank shell. Raye's work was getting more and more complicated. She came to Lexcorp to work with Zero point and solve the energy crisis. Instead she was solving the overpopulation problem the messy way. Raye frowned as she got up from her desk rubbing her eyes.

It had been a long day. Steven Shiffman's branch had been closed today. 500 people had been fired. No questions asked. The corporate realtors had already been showing off their lab, north of town for a STAR Labs branch before most people had cleaned out their offices. Raye thought about the 750-some people employed down here in sub-level 3 of Lexcorp towers. She sighed, walking down the hallway.

At 7pm, most of the techies were done for the day, just a skeleton graveyard shift for the scientists who just HAD to do an experiment immediately. The scientists themselves tended to work like hospital staff and firefighters. Four Days on, Three days off. This was Raye's first night on.

Heading to one of the upper decks, Raye flipped on her compression experiment. It was her baby, the grounds for her doctorate dissertation, a machine that, based on the theory of relativity, could accelerate matter on a cellular level to simply take up space. Usually this would result in spontaneous combustion, but with perfectly distributed acceleration, the matter accelerated fast enough to take up less space. The cells moved so fast that they there were simply more than one in a single place at a time. How this particular miracle is possible was more than enough grounds for a short and spectacular doctoral dissertation. Raye actually theorized a fourth, invisible and unexplored dimension of reality which was being filled.

"Authorization Alpha. Raye Palmer."


There were only three people with the necessary voiceprint to activate this particular machine. Raye. Al Pratt, and per company policy, Alexander Luthor. Raye placed an apple, a peice of organic matter, on a metal plate between two glowing walls of wires, webbing and control strips. Walking to the control panel, Raye flicked a few buttons.

The apple dissappeared. She walked around to stare at the space between the two orange glowing walls. The head on the focusing bars gave them an odd haze and Raye's recombed hair and reserved posture made her look a lot more in control of the situation than she was. She tossed her clipboard. It shrunk out of sight. So many times she had contemplated just walking forward. Theoretically there should be NO effects on human beings. The ambient oxygen and atmosphere would be shrunken and breathable as well, and gravity's pull would not affect fourth dimensional matter. But it would be weeks before they could do animal testing.

"This is how you spend your Dinner Break?" Albert Pratt stepped up behind Raye.

Raye spun. "Dangit, Al... make more noise." She smirked as she looked over the Daily Planet. "Hey... who is that?"

Al smiled as he handed her the paper. "It's one of those... I think CNN is calling them 'metahumans.' "

Raye raised an eyebrow. "Because 'persons of mass destruction' was taken?"

Al nodded. "Right. Turns out this guy's body works like a hummingbirds, except much, much faster. Foiling a bank robbery with his bare hands. Only cameras that catch him are the ones he's posing for..." Al turned off the 'Palmerizer,' and suddenly, on the main platform appeared a clipboard and an apple. Got a costume, a codename... it's like a damn comic book... He meditatively looked over the results.

Raye nodded as she sped-read the article. "The Flash..." she smiled. "Nice lookin guy too. I wonder how his arteries cope with the increased blood flow. Has he always been like this or are the impulses in his brain being routed faster somehow?"

Al shook his head. "She analyze a wooden nickel if she had the chance..."

One of the graveyard techies came up to Dr. Palmer. "Dr. Palmer. We've got a wall of Luthonium that isn't breaking down one's it's, uh... broken."

Raye spun. She reached out her hand and was given a chunk of grey metal, relatively small but relatively heavy. Raye glanced at her compression machine. "Al... I have an idea..."
(IC: Batman)

The heavens shower a blanket of rain and thunder upon Gotham City. Most people have taken cover from the storm. Of course, complete inactivity in a city this large is impossible. And they're aware of that.

Unfortunatley for them... So am I.

* * *

A couple walks down the street, holding an umbrella to shield them from the rain. Deciding to take a shortcut through a dark alleway, they are started when they're confronted by a man from the shadows... With a gun. It's all too familiar.

The man demands their valubles. The terrified couple oblige, and the man flees into the night. The man smiles to himself, visibly. He probably thinks that he did it. He probably thinks he suceeded in robbing that couple without concequence nor remorse for the couple's innocence. He probably thinks that... Right before he meets me.

* * *

After disposing of the thug by hanging him upside down from a statue in Gotham Square, and returning the valubles to their owners (Which, in doing so, I got stares, as you could imagine.), I watch as the storm begins to clear.

The city is usually quiet. I wait for a few minutes, surveying the rooftops below me for any sign of criminal activity. I get absolutely nothing. Perhaps that tabloid article has created more of a stir than I thought.

I sit down on the building's ledge, crouching, as my cape unfolds across the side of it. I have to stay focused... Be ready, for anything, at any given moment. If I can maintain my patience... Something will turn up, eventually. It's not as if I want something to turn up... Infact, that's the whole point behind my mission. I just know something is gong to, eventually.

I keep my mind on the city. I'm becoming tempted to reflect upon the current ordeals in my personal life. And in this line of work... I'm becoming convinced that there isn't going to be any room for that.

So, as one can imagine, I feel a warped sense of relief and alert when I hear the sound of glass being broken, followed by an alarm. I look up, and spot the area below me. A jewelry store is being robbed. A likely target, in this part of the area. I see the men... Three of them, two armed, leaving the building. The third is bigger, leading me to believe that he doesn't need a weapon. Looks like someone hasn't been reading the tabloids...

I leap from the building. This is exactly why I couldn't have left focus...

* * *

I land ontop of a building, above where the thugs are running. Doesn't anyone use cars, these days? Or have they become obsolete in a modern world, such as this, aswell?

I realise I'm bringing my work at Wayne Enterprises into my work here, so I immediatley cease those thoughts. I look back down at the thugs. They've got to cross into another part of the alleyway, before hopping a chain fence, leading to their escape. And naturally, I can't let that happen...

I leap down, cape spread, landing between them and the fence with an animalistic growl. They all freeze, seeing me.

"Oh my god! It.. It's real!"

"Waste it! I'm not about to be turned in by some giant rat!"

...Rat? It's Bat. Completely different species of animal. And people wonder why I donate to educational charities...

Immediatley, the two armed ones open fire on me. I spin, taking out and unleashing eight Batarangs at them.

Two batarangs disarm them. Two stick into their hands, to send a blinding amount of pain into their hands, for distraction. Two knock them in the foreheads. And, finally, two stick them into the walls of the alleyway, via their jackets.

Since they're knocked out, the only purpose of sticking them to the wall is to leave them for a police, who I alerted on my way here, via the communication unit in my cowl. I credited myself as anonymus, of course.

I turn, seeing the bigger man lunge at me, with a bag of what I assume to be the intake from their robbery. Except now he's using it as a weapon. I duck the attack, and immediatley send two jabs into his abdomen, before sending an upward palm attack to his jaw. He steps back, dropping the bag. However... He doesn't seem too affected by the attack.

Of course... I'm not done. I leap over his head, mounting my leap with his shoulders, throwing myself into a flip. As he turns, to face me, I spin, sending a flying kick across his face. Before he can recover from that, I land, grab his arm, pull him towards me, and outstretch my leg, making him trip over it and fall flat on the concrete, head first. He's out, as the crash indicated.

Just as I assume it's over, I turn, seeing one of the other thugs, holding a gun up, towards my direction. Not only did he recover from the batarang attack... But he managed to slip out of his jacket, which I notice still hangining behind him. Before I can attack, He... shoots me. Twice, even. The first bullet riocheting off of my shoulder, and the second hitting me directly in the chest emblem (Which, I admit, was part of it's function in the first place). Due to the kevlar/nomex bi-weave... I'm not harmed from it... But it does knock me back.

Then, something triggers in the back of my mind. The thug shot me, twice. Two shots... just like...

Two Shots. Two shots that it took for me to realise that my parents were dead.

I grit my teeth, with that memory being brought back to me. The thug drops his gun in astonishment, realising I'm still alive.

"Y... You ain't human!"

I tackle him, sending us both back onto the ground, with me ontop of him. I send a right hook to his face, with my ceramic knuckles. Then, I give him another one... To give him 'Two Shots' of my own. The thug's head drops back, out cold. I look down over his unconcious head.

"Yes. I am human. Sometimes I just wish I weren't."

I get up, off of him, realising what just happened. I did exactly what I told myself not to do. I let my personal life interfere with my work. Idiot...

As I look around, to see the damage I've caused, before hearing the sirens, behind me. I take out a grapple line, and use it to swing up to the buildings, as the police officers get to the area. They don't notice me... However, they notice my handiwork.

Before I leave the area, I notice one of the officers. An african american male... Probably in his late fourties... or early fifties, helping with the arrest. His face... It's familiar to me. Could it be... the same one, from that night? The one that saved me from my parent's killer?

...No. That's impossible. Why would someone stay in a city like Gotham for that long? If he truly were the man, He'd have been a Gotham City cop ever since I was a boy. And I cannot imagine anyone being able to endure the evils of this city for that long. Even I didn't have to do that.

I turn away from the scene, before looking back, for a second. Could I be wrong? I shake my head. It doesn't matter. All that matters is the current situation of things... not the past. And right now... the current situation of things needs my undivided attention...

* * *

I watch the sunrise, for a minute, as I finish with my night's work. I've never seen it, strangely. It's... well, actually... kind of nice. Like a shining light of hope, beaconing into an otherwise dark world. Or city, rather. There should be something like that for when it's nighttime claims the city...


After all, There isn't enough hope, in this day and age.

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