The "World of Heroes" DC RPG Season III

And i'm done.

I finnish hammering the last nail.

'Closed Until Further Notice' reads the board over 'Warriors' front door.

I pick up the duffle bag thats on the floor, and reach for my cell phone, while dropping the hammer on the ground.

"Hello. Yeah, i'd like a ticket for the 21:30 to London."

I wait while they check my card details.

"Ok, thanks."

I drop the phone onto the pavement, and stamp on it.

I need to be alone for a while. Too many people know that number. Too many people can trace it. One of which annoys the crap out of me.

Bruce would be loving this. Guy Gardner, the redundant Super Hero.

I smirk at the memory of Hal decking him in one.

That was sweet.

I hail a cab, and climb in.

"JFK please,"


The cab ride isn't too bad.

It's not like flying in a Justice League jet, but it does the job.

I walk up to the front desk and claim my ticket.

I wait in the departure lounge for a couple of hours.

It's only hours since the Unity got beat down by a coalition of heroes. Hours, and now the city is back to normal. I know, New York wasn't as badly hit as else where, but still.

It's amazing how humans go on.

Of all the cultures in the universe i've met, I think it's humanity that is the most unique.

"Everyone is someone's alien."

Killowog was right. But Humanity can be it's own alien sometime... so much diversity.

I hear my flight get announced over the p.a., and I walk aboard the plane.

Ten minutes later and i'm flying.

Not the way I was born to fly, but i'm flying.

And the life I knew is gone...
The dirty shell of a man waddled through the muck of the subway like the rat he had become. He hole riddled boots splashed in the filthy puddles. He scurried though the darkness clutching the garbage bag tight to his chest. The corpse of Jonathan Winter lay inside it.

The shell of a man was the one who should have been in the garbage bag. He was closer to trash than Jonathan was. Jonathan was a good man. He loved his wife; he had two beautiful and smart daughters who were nearly off to college. On top of that, he was a pastor at a local church. He offered spent his days and nights assisting the poor and homeless at his church. In fact, when the shell of a man got him, he had been approaching to offer him some help. The shell was lying sleeping on a park bench. He looked as if he needed, and after the Unity crisis, who wouldn’t be? Who knows what the zombies or that fearsome alien could have done to reduce this man to a poor bum resting on a bench? But before he could even speak, the shell had begun attacking him.

The shell of a man was once called Eddie Campbell. Eddie was a sad, lonely man. He was thirty and had no real family. He never had a girlfriend and he never finished high school. He was still working at the same supermarket he got a job at when he was fifth teen. But at least he was still a man. But now he only knew himself as a slave. A slave to the Beauty. But the Beauty was so perfect, so wonderful, that it didn’t matter to him what he was. The Beauty lurked under the subway, and it said it loved him. And the Beauty never lied! But with its love came responsibility. The Beauty needed to eat. And it could not hunt for itself. Years ago some evil force had trapped it down beneath the earth. The Beauty never liked to speak of what it exactly it was, but the shell believed that it was probably one of the Gods, or the “super heroes” as they like to call themselves these days. It needed its lover to bring it its food. The beauty has kept his mind safe from Unity so that he could bring it its food. Loving it and feeding it was all he could do to express his gratitude!

Soon the shell arrived at the wall. Everyone else thought that it
was just a cold, lifeless slab of concrete. But the shell knew better. He said the magic words and it opened. He entered and laid down the body as the wall closed behind him.

The Beauty’s tentacles wrapped around the body and pulled it into the darkness.

“Good boy, I thank you…but we must be more careful in future. Try not to be so messy next time. It leaves behind too many clues for the heroes and the police. They were distracted by Unity for such a long time, but now that the creature is defeated, we must be more careful. We cannot allow them to find us! Now go and rest. I’ll see you back here tomorrow night.”

The shell kissed one of the Beauty’s tentacles and its chamber. Soon he would lie to rest in a garbage can somewhere, and allow dreams of the Beauty’s love to fill his head.


Before I go to hail a taxi I grab a quick cup of coffee. I stop at a newsstand. The papers catch my eye. Stories about how my colleagues have defeated Unity. I pluck down my seventy five cents and grab a copy.

I hail a cab and give them the address of the meeting. As we drive I thumb through my purchase, reading about the exploits of the other supers. It’s funny, I’m getting more information from reading the papers than I got from speaking to the Question, and he was actually there! I guess that’s why they didn’t name him “The Answer!” I think and chuckle to myself. Lame joke, but after what the world’s been through, we all need a little laugh. The cabbie looks at me slightly funny and returns to his driving.

It’s amazing. Two hours ago the world was coming to an end, and already we’ve got taxis back! Either this guy is getting a horrible salary, or people are actually getting used to the world nearly being destroyed every other week. I shrug; at least I’ve got someone to drive me. That’s all that matter right now.

Later on in the paper in a small and short piece I read that there’s been some serial killing going on. Looks like the last victim was a pastor named Jonathan Winter. I guess Blue Beetle will have to look into this one after the meeting. Maybe I’ll even ask Bruce if he or one of his brat-pack can help me out after it finishes. That is of course, if Batman’s not too busy to show up.
The wind whipped the snow around the street, making the snow that was falling dance. It flitted across the grey sky in swirls and twirls, before resting on the dirty ground below, or catching itself on a passerby. Bright signs on windows proclaim “Christmas EVE! Last Day to shop!” The streaming computerized sign on the bank flashes the temperature and the date Dec. 24th in large green letters.

A song filtered through the cold air over the bustle of cars, the movement of feet and the voices of people. It’s sweet soft sound brought to mind the 50’s, a rich voice sung it out as if it was velvet.

When you said that yesterday
That it's nearly Christmas
What did I want
And I thought
Just love me, love me, love me
That's what I want for Christmas

A woman stopped.
A black figure clad in black she sharply contrasted the rest of the bright colors people wore.
The river of humanity continued to flow around her, a seemingly never ending river.
She tilted her head towards the music as it flowed from a nearby music store.

When I walk through a room
Let them see you need me
Walk through a room
Let them see you love me, love me, love me
That's what I want for Christmas

A gust of wind sent snow dancing into the dark hair that hung down her back. It speckled it before melting and turning into tiny water diamonds.

She lifted her gaze to the gray clouds. The tones of grey tumbled upon one another, streetlights adorned with evergreen and red ribbon stood out from the gray backdrop of the sky.
She breathed, her breath hanging in the air like a cloud before quickly dissipating.

She jostled forward as someone bumped her, bringing her out of her reverie. Her head turned, her eyes piercing, to the human that had bumped her. She found herself looking at a teenage girl, her hair in disarray, and her jacket tattered. The girls gaze was intent on the window of a nearby store, ignorant to her action of disturbing the dark figure. The woman watched her for a minute, the girls head was bare of any covering, her blonde hair tinted with white snowflakes.
The noises of humanity and its machines throbbed against the woman’s ears.
A new strain of music began.

“I hope it snow this week,
A snow flake on your cheek
Would make this Christmas so Beautiful”​

It was a simple tune, one without the many layers most music had and the woman continued to listen. The snow flakes falling around her.

But that would just bring the pain
Cause things can’t stay the same
These Holidays won’t be wonderful​

She turned smoothly and walked away, the crowds of Gotham City swallowing her in their midst.

I look under the tree
But there’s nothing to see
Cause it’s a broken heart that you’re giving me

I can’t figure it out
Is this what Christmas is all about
Rudy's gone, left to end the Unity's existence. I wish him well.

I sigh, looking around at the destruction of my home, my fortress. I can rebuild it of course, once I help the rest of the world rebuild. I can only imagine the chaos wrought by the thwarting of the Unity's power.

I exit the tesseract, and gaze across the snowfilled tundra. It's snowing again, as it often does up here. But this time there's something special about it, something magical, like the Christmas's I remember growing up in Kansas. It's the snow of innocence. The snow of purity. The snow of wonder.

I wonder myself, what happened to Lois? What will happen once the Parasite destroys the Unity? A chill runs down my spine as I think of the possibilities.


The start of all this was her death.

Let's hope this doesn't end with her dying again.

I take to the sky and head towards Metropolis.

To my wife.

"Honey, I'm coming home."
<Booster Gold>
The 24th Century:

I sneak through the corridors this museum. There is so much stuff here.

I feel guilty. It is Christmas, and if I do what I'm planninh, i'm like the Anti-Santa.

I look at all the exobitions.

Superman's Cape from the last battle he was seen in... the final confrontation with Captain Marvel.

A batarang - near mint, used twice... thats the one that he used on the Joker in their final fight.

Aquaman's javelin hand... he replaced that years before he finally lost in combat.

I know these people. Thats the thing that gets me.

I know legends.

And I also know that because of me, there's a good chance none of this will ever happen.

Time is fluid, and a little disturbance means anything can happen.

I think of all the times i've helped them.

And one of MY league needs my help now.

I run into the display known as "Friends Through the Ages"

There's a cosmic treadmil, a bag of trick arrows. So much stuff. It's for Hal, Ollie and Barry.

Green Lantern, Green Arrow and The Flash.

But there's a sub section.

"Other Heroes Who Held Their Names"

It's in here that his statue should be.

Guy Gardner.

A pig headed, overbearing S.O.B.

But a friend. To me and to Ted.

All of us from the JLI were friends. I think more so than the big seven.

I look at the central display;

A bow that Ollie used.

A suit worn by the Flash during his final crisis.

And a ring.

THE ring.

Powered down of course. Not that it means much.

Even at full power, the way these suckers used energy... it was impossible for normal people to use.

But then the Green Lanterns were a special brand.

All of them: Hal, Kyle, Guy or John... They all were the best humanity could offer.

The Guardians let us keep the ring once Hal died. It was powered down anyway. They saw no harm in us keeping something to remember him by.

Now i'm taking it. I'm giving it to Guy.

I blast at the energy field around it. It's a century older than my tech, so I break through easy enough.

I pull the ring out of the display case.

"Skeets, transport ring and container to pre-destined co-ordinates."

Skeets bleeps in recognition.

And in a flash of light, the ring heads back to it's new owner....
He flew through the chill night air. Faster. Faster. He heard the sonic boom he made as he crashed through the sound barrier. He had to know. All of this, this horrible, ungodly mess that he'd made, all of it was for her.

His one, true love.


In minutes, he was above Metropolis, through the clouds that covered it. He looked down. People stumbled about, lost in a daze. His fault, he knew. He opened up his ears, taking in the sounds of Metropolis. He heard wailing, and crying. Curses against God, prayers for him to return His rapture. He heard the soft, pleading cry of a tired man who'd experienced paradise and lost it. His fault. In the distance, he found what he was looking for. Her heartbeat and... something else. Something he couldn't quite make out.

He followed the noise. It grew stronger as he neared the source, but he stopped short, hovering in midair. The Daily Planet. The enormous building, topped by that magnificent golden globe. He never could explain why, but the sight of it always took his breath away.

He soared, up and up, finding her in the newsroom. Before she could spot him, he flew to the globe, entering through the secret entrance he'd found so many years ago. There, waiting for him, were the clothes of Clark Kent. He gripped the familiar blue jacket and white shirt.

Clark Kent. Not Superman, or Man of Steel. Just... a man. Not a savior, a reporter from Kansas. Not the last son of Krypton, but the first son of the Kents. Maybe...

Banishing the troubling thoughts from his mind, he put the clothes on hurriedly, and rushed down the stairs. Lucky for him, the building was empty. He moved so quickly he was little more than a blur, before reaching the seventy third floor. He flung the door open with a crash, entering the expansive newsroom of the Daily Planet.

There she was. At her desk. Working away, like nothing had changed. Like the Lois he knew so well.

"Lois..." he called out to her. She didn't respond, but began pounding on the keyboard of her computer, each tap of the key resulting in an audible clack he didn't need superhearing to hear.

He walked towards her, striding to her desk. He could see what she was working on. It was a story, a story about Unity, about what went on. The kind of story she was amazing at. He crossed the floor in seconds, walking around her desk to face her.

It was then he saw it, noticed it for the first time. Lois was... crying. Had been, for a while. Her face was covered in her tears.

He grimaced. What could he say? Emotions battled within him with such ferocity that normal thought did not enter his mind. She knew. She knew what he'd done. What he'd done for her.

"Lois, I.. I don't know what to say."
"Then don't say anything, Clark. Just... Just don't speak." The words were choked out of her throat, her voice a hoarse whisper of its usual passion and strength.
"I have to talk, Lois. I have to tell you. We're reporters, right? The whole story. The truth. We're always looking for the truth." He felt anger and resentment well up within him. "The who, what, where, when, and why, right? Well I've got them! Who: Superman!" He banged on her desk, his anger driving him. "What: betrayed humanity! Where: Metropolis! When: this month! Why! Why..."
Clark Kent sank to his knees, overwhelmed by grief and sadness. "Why, all for you, Lois Lane." He held his head in his hands, and began quietly sobbing. "God in Heaven, Lois, what have I done?" he cried.
He didn't see it, but for the first time she looked down on him, kneeling there by her side. She saw him like no one else in the world saw him. Not as an unstoppable force for good and righteousness, benevolent savior to the oppressed. She saw him like he was, a man just trying to help. Every man has their their breaking point, even a man made of steel, even a Superman. Her hands, almost reluctantly, left the keyboard. She knelt down with her husband, her one true love, and hugged him. Hugged him as fierce as she could, holding on to him tightly.
"You did what you thought you had to do, Clark. You're not God, you're not perfect. For all the power you have, you're not infallible. You're just a man, and every man makes mistakes. But you're such a big man, with such great importance to everyone, to this entire planet, that when you make a mistake, it affects everyone."
"So, what do we do now? Where do we go from here?"
"I don't know Clark... I just don't know."

The two sat there, in each other's embrace; silent, wondering. Outside, sirens wailed in the night.
It's...over...? Just like that. The world is free, everyone is leaving the Fortress, and Parasite is apparently going to destroy Unity.'s almost...anitclimatic?

And if Unity is going to be destroyed...I'll have to modify my plans. It's a potentially major inconvenience. But I won't be detered. And if I'm going to continue to be a hero, I can't take the time to worry about what won't happen.

I need to focus on the now, on helping to bring order to a world that is sure to be facing chaos. And so, I leave the Kryptonian's fortress. I go out amongst the world, finding problems large and small, bringing order to everyone.

And they are thanking me. Me!

The people of this world, who apparently touched perfect order, are thanking me for returning some semblance of it to the chaos they now experience. I'm beginning to build a small following.

I think I could get used to this...
Rudy watched as Slade Wilson and the tiny tot known as Red X continued about their business. He had told Slade that the Unity was finished and he meant every word of it. Rudy couldn&#8217;t afford anyone else to be sided with &#8216;U&#8217; for his plan to succeed.

The Parasite straightened his back and squared his shoulders. This might be his last few moments of life and he wanted to go out like a man. He knew that while he possessed Jay Garrick&#8217;s connection to the Speed Force that the Unity couldn&#8217;t read his thoughts unless he let it back into his head. Keeping this in mind, he attempted to maintain his focus and only let the Unity read a single thought from his brain.

&#8216;Unity. I need to get out of here.&#8217;

With that, the Parasite was enveloped in a bright blue haze, taking him away from the cold icy planes, leaving the earth behind.

He rematerialized inside of the familiar white void of the Unity&#8217;s ship. The endless space around him always caused a brief bout of nausea before he adjusted his senses to his surroundings, or lack thereof. Before him, barely ten feet in front of him, floated the glowing blue orb of the Unity. The power core of the entire ship and also the entity&#8217;s connection to this dimension.

Raymond Jones. I must admit that you have a surprising abundance of courage to return here. Judging by your previous attitude and personality traits, I had calculated that you would surely have stolen Jason Garrick&#8217;s body to feed upon regularly in order to avoid my wrath. This, however, does beg the question: Why have you volunteered to return?

Rudy thought about a possible response for what seemed like an eternity. To be honest, he wasn&#8217;t entirely sure why he had come back. Unity had a point; he should have cut his losses and fled until one of the superdweebs found a way to beat this thing, but deep down he knew that he had to be the one to do this. He had been the Unity&#8217;s puppet for too long. Ever since the Injustice Society disbanded, the Unity had been screwing with his mind and body.

He had mysteriously lost complete control of his abilities and had felt the irresistible urge to travel north.

The Unity was there.

He had been recruited into Deadshot&#8217;s rogue faction of the Suicide Squad and took out the Cyborg for his interdimensional knowledge of the coming events.

The Unity was there.

He infiltrated a network of controls and communications to destroy any orbital satellite installations that could possibly detect an impending alien invasion, including the second Justice League Watchtower.

The Unity was there.

He had assumed the form and identity of Lex Luthor to take control of the world&#8217;s economy and then sabotage the entire power base of LexCorp to create a new and more terrible depression than the world had ever known, all while turning the public against the very heroes who had made it their responsibility to protect them.

The Unity was there.

And now here they were. Rudy surprised himself as he felt the corners his mouth curve ever so slightly into a small smile. &#8220;I came back because you need to learn and I&#8217;m the one person alive who can teach you.&#8221;

The Unity paused, as if to consider what his first and last remaining soldier was saying to him.

What exactly can you possibly teach me, Raymond Jones? I have intimate knowledge reaching the far ends of cosmos, unrivaled power to wield, and worlds who worship the very thought of me for the bliss that I have brought to them.

You, however, are merely a thug. A high school dropout whose advanced intelligence relies on no more than stealing what other people have learnt through hard work and study. Even now, you are only alive because I allow it. You are my soldier, now and forever; a slave to do my bidding.

Now, I ask you again; what can I conceivably learn from you of all people?

The Parasite gently placed his heavy hand onto the glass-like orb that contained the Unity&#8217;s essence, almost caressing it affectionately. &#8220;I&#8217;ll tell you what you can learn, Unity.&#8221;

Parasite&#8217;s gentle hands suddenly grabbed onto the glass of the containment orb with as much strength as he could muster, barely cracking the sphere as his fingers dug in.

&#8220;You can learn that not everyone likes your brand of peace! You can learn that there are heroes who will stand against you! But most of all&#8230;&#8221;

The Parasite&#8217;s fingers cracked the container even further, crushing and slicing several of the bones in his hands from the pressure he was exerting on them and the razor edges of the shattering globe.

&#8220;I want you to know that for the first time in my life, Unity, my eyes are open. And I&#8217;m nobody&#8217;s slave.&#8221;

As Raymond Maxwell Jones&#8217; hands finally shattered the sphere that contained the Unity, the energy that flowed around him and through his body and mind silenced his screams. There was no more pain in him. Only life.

The explosion rocked every corner of the earth as an orbital web that covered the entire planet suddenly decloaked and became visible to every living soul who looked up in the sky. With the web&#8217;s center located above the North Pole, the fiery detonations spread outward from it as if it were a ripple in the water, giving people all over the world a break from their despair as the beautiful fireworks seemed to chase the darkness away from their lives for a brief moment of their torturous existence.

It&#8217;s over.
The sky lit up like the Fourth of July. Light shone through the massive windows of the newsroom, illuminating it like it was mid-day. Lois observed it with the clinical eyes of a reporter, while Clark frowned. Rudy, did you do it? Are you still alive?

The last life he was responsible for. Sometime enemy, one time friend. Rudy Jones, the Parasite.

"It's... beautiful." Lois looked over to her computer, and smiled. "Clark, do you know what day it is?"
He looked to her, his inhumanly blue eyes showing some confusion. "I sort of... lost track of time. What day is it?"
She stood him up, and passionatley kissed him. "Merry Christmas, lover."

He smiled, for what seemed like the first time in years, and hugged her tightly. Thank you, Rudy, wherever you are. You have given me the perfect gift. My life back.
I flew out of the fortress with the Legion ring (I'm surprised they haven't asked for it back. Flying would do wonders with the "demon" myth about me...). Only the thought of the thought of the word "faster" causes me to increase in speed. The North Pole becomes the Artic Ocean which becomes Canada which becomes the New Englands which finally falls to Gotham City.

I fly all the way back to Wayne Manor and the cave that lies below it. It's only half finished and is dirty as hell, but it'll be home soon enough. I go to the computer and start the first part of my business.

I take all the records of Luthor's dirty dealings and e-mailed them to every big newspaper in the country. By this morning, everyone will know about his dirty dealings. After that, I get to work...


The next day. It feels good to be right.

I take a bus (no cars in either the Manor or at Tower) to Metropolis and by 2 PM I'm at LexCorp Towers.

I walk into the board members meeting, each of them sweating bullets from their predictament. First they find out that a energy-sucking monster took the place of their CEO for at least several weeks and then news leaks out of thier real boss' skeletons.

"Good afternoon, gentlemen," I say to them, "I heard LexCorp is in quite a pickle." I put my briefcase on the table, open it, take out a nicely thick document and slide it over to the members.

"Might I be of help?"


Two hours later, Wayne Enterprises signed back to me.

My work hours start immietely. Because of the events that lead to Unity, the world is suffering through the biggest depression since the Great one during the 20s.

I just helped save the world as one part of me, no reason why the other can't help with the aftermath.
Haven't been to church in a long time. Feels weird. I have Carol and her belly on my right, and Pie and his family on his left. Christmas Eve service, followed by the candle service. Feels different.

I'm not quite sure. Is a situation, a dillema such as the one we have all just experienced strengthen faith, or destroy it? Does the fact that we almost lost our God-given free will lessen His hold, or tighten it? Feels dilluted.

I got them back after the Unity left in a flash of light. Zeta transport dropped them back here, just in time for Christmas. Feels coincedental. Meh. Who cares.

I saw the aisle and the stained glass and the pastor making his speech. I'm here for Carol and the kid. I figure it might make it easier on the kid to believe in something bigger. Then again, hope he, or she, looks up to their old man, like I did. Maybe that makes the difference.

I was never a religious man, and even less so after meeting Him. Funny how that works out. I light my candle and Carol's and we pray to God. And then as I snuff out the light, my vision turns green. Feels familiar.


Instead of seeing my best friend Pie on my left, I find Kilowog, my other best friend. Well, 'tis the season, I guess. In front of me stand the Guardians.

"Hello, Green Lantern of Sector 2814," said Ganthet.

"Hello Ganthet. What's the predicament?" I asked. The Council stood before me, still.

"Hello Hal," said Kilowog. I nodded, standing forward at attention, as he was.

"Green Lantern of Sector 2814, we have noticed the threat of the Unity," they spoke, together as one. Only now they notice? "And we regard your defeat of the Unity of the highest caliber. In that case, we choose to reinstate the Corps to an order of 7200 with you, Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Sector 2814, as the Senior Trainer next to Kilowog, Supreme Trainer. An attempt to relocate as soon as possible would be necessary as would a complete shift of jurisdiction of Earth to that of Kyle Rayner."

I did nothing to stop the Unity. They know that. I know that. They want me off of Earth. Why, I wonder. Feels fishy.

"I have a wife, and a child on the way," I say.

"They cannot relocate with you. It is not to be permitted."

"It is against the rules then? For me to have a wife and child. Am I a monk?" I ask.

"It IS a rule, Hal," Kilowog muttered. "At least, now it is. For the new trainees."

Wonderful. A corps of monks. And I am to train them.

"One week, Green Lantern. Then relocation. Good day," said the Council.

I look to Kilowog, but I see Pie. I turn to Carol as we head out the church. This Council has more of a grasp on me than God.

"Three months, Hal," Carol reminded.

"I know, honey. I'll be here."

I feel like ****.
The Red X said:
Before landing on the ground, X fired his grapple gun. Slade dodged it easily, by only lifting his arm. The grapple gun’s blade deflected off the rocks behind Deathstroke shooting back towards X. X grabbed the blade pulling Slade toward him with the cable. He then kicked him against the mountains sharp rocks.

Deathstroke cringed as his back was slammed against the mountain terrain. He used his clear size advantage to grab Red X and bear hug him as tight as possible. Spinning both of them around quickly, he slammed Red X against the ground and got on top of him.

Wilson used all of his weight to pin down X's arms and began throwing a frenzy of combination punches at his face.
Red X coughed up blood inside his mask. “That the best you got…old man?” said X goading Deathstroke.
"Ahhhhhh, It's that magical time of year."

It was Christmas Day, and The Joker was having Christmas dinner. He was sat at the head of the table, with Harley Quinn perched on a seat at the other end.

"I think it's a great shame we live in such cynical times," The Joker said through a mouthful of turkey and stuffing, "All people seem to do nowadays is complain about how much everything costs or how commercialised it's all become. But I'm an optimist. I think that, yes, there is still some of the ol' Christmas magic in the world."

The Joker finished off the food on his plate, patting his belly to show his approval of the meal. He picked up his glass of wine, giving it a gentle swirl before taking a sip. He sat the glass back down on the table.

"I mean, look at the world today," he continued, "The Unity was close to taking over the world. But, it's gone. It's a Christmas miracle! HA HA!"

The Joker grinned happily, taking another drink of wine. Yes, he was indeed full of the Christmas spirit.

"Iiiiiiiiiiii'm dreaming, of a whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiite Christmas! Just like the oooooones I uuuuuuuuuuused to know! HA HA! Nothing like a Christmas sing-song!"

"You got that right, puddin'" replied Harley Quinn.

"And what about you?" asked The Joker, "You've all been awful quiet. And you've barely touched your food."

The Joker was talking to a man, a woman, and a child. The Potter family. This was their house, and much like Santa Claus, The Joker had crept into their house to give them a wonderful little surprise on Christmas morning.

"Please don't kill us," Mrs. Potter whimpered.

"I know what will make you feel better," replied The Joker, appearing not to notice Mrs. Potter's plea, "Why don't we sing a song? How about 'Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town'?"
"Ooooooooooooooooh, I love that song!" chirped Harley, clapping her hands with glee.

"Oh God, please just let us go!" begged Mr. Potter.

The Joker picked up his gun, pointing it at Mr. Potter's head. He stood up, his shadow looming over the captive family. His wide grin remained, but his eyes narrowed, and his voice darkened.

"Why don't...we sing...a song?" The Joker snarled, before his eyes brightened again and he began to sing, "You better watch out, you better not cry..."

"...Better not pout I'm tellin' you why..." sang Harley, joining The Joker.

"...Santa Claus is comin' to town..." sang the family, meaning that everyone at the table was singing.

"He's making a list, He's checking it twice,
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice!
Santa Claus is comin' to town!"

The Joker paced around the table, leaning over the family and whispering menacingly to him.

[COLOR="darkorchid[I]"]"He know's when you've been sleeping, he knows when you're awake,
He knows when you're alive or dead, so be dead for goodness sake!"[/I][/COLOR]

The Joker put a bullet in the back of Mr. Potter's head, laughing with twisted glee as the blood and brain matter sprayed over the table. Mrs. Potter began screaming, clutching her son close to her chest.

"Hang on, is that how the lyrics go? I always get that bit mixed up! HA HA! Oh now now, you've stopped singing, Mrs. Potter. We can't have that now, can we?"

The Joker pulled her son out of her hands, taking him back to the other side of the table while keeping his gun trained on Mrs. Potter. Smiling maliciously, The Joker knelt down next to the boy.

"What's your name again, kiddo?"

"Andrew," the boy choked out.

"Mrs. Potter, continue singing, or you'll get to see what Andrew's internal organs look like. Now, where were we? Ah yes, You better watch out..."

Mrs. Potter was silent for a moment, the fear and desperation clear in her eyes. She was aware she was going to die anyway. But what else could she do? fresh tears streamed down her face.

" not cry..."

The Joker shot her straight through the heart, killing her instantly.

"That's for not following your own advice, you hypocrite! HA HA!"

Little Andrew didn't scream or cry. He was in shock. All he did was mouth a silent "No!", his mouth slowly curling around the word as his terrified eyes widened with unspeakable horror.

"Bravo! Bravo!" shouted Harley Quinn, giving a hearty applause, "But what about the kid?"

"Oh, I'm not going to kill you Andy," chuckled The Joker, "Can I call you Andy?"

The boy nodded absently, barely even aware of what he was being asked.

"Christmas is all about giving. They say it's better to give than to receive, you know. I always thought that was a load of nonsense, but now I'm beginning to realise it's true. So, Andy, I'm giving you this special Christmas gift. The gift of life, you could say. And when you have met The Joker, living to tell the tale is a rare gift indeed."

"" whimpered Andrew, "...My Mom and Dad..."

"So what, they're dead. Boo hoo!" cackled The Joker spitefully, "If you hate me for killing your folks, that's understandable. Here's a bit of insider info - Batman himself began his career after his career after his parents were killed before his eyes. So there you go, I could have turned you into a superhero! Send me a thank you card later."

The Joker patted Andrew on the head, then linked arms with Harley Quinn. They walked towards the front door, but before they left, The Joker turned back, looking back into Andrew's eyes.


With that, The Joker and Harley Quinn walked out of the house. The Joker gave Harley a wink, smacking her backside as they made their way through the streets of the quiet Gotham suburb.

The Joker was not concerned in the slightest about being spotted by any passers-by. If there were any, he'd kill them with no hesitation. But there wasn't any. Everyone was at home, spending time with those closest to them, blissfully unaware of just how easily the joke that was their lives could come to a punchline. Outside, the streets were empty. It never ceased to amaze The Joker how quiet Gotham City was on Christmas Day. Any other time of the year, the city was bustling, full of insignificant, pointless life. But on this day, the streets belonged to The Clown Prince Of Crime.

Yes, it was that magical time of year...
Weeks ago.

There was nobody outside. Children could usually be seen playing in the snow this time of year, but when the former self-proclaimed king of Metropolis looked out from the dilapidated warehouse overlooking Hob's Bay, he was as close to frightened as he could get. The roads and streets hadn't been plowed free of the snow, which was now piled as high as five feet tall in some areas. There weren't even footprints in the white fluff. It was as if the entire city of tomorrow had been reduced to a ghost town.

The bald man shivered and slumped back inside of the warehouse to see if he could find a blanket or some such item to keep himself warm with. His memory was still incredibly groggy, reduced to mere flashes of explosions, monsters, heroes, and more, flying through his brilliant mind, forcing him to steady himself against a support beam. When he caught his breath and regained his composure, he noticed the standard emergency locker nearby that held fire blankets, flares, and a fire extinguisher inside of it. He immediately wrapped the blanket around himself and proceeded to explore the grungy building. He noticed several puddles of vomit and wondered for a moment if they were his. He found a janitor's closet with a crampingly small pair of boots inside and a set of overalls. Eventually, he found a hospital-issue bed with straps on it that had teeth marks through them. It was then that he remembered waking up in that bed and struggling for hours to get free from his bindings. He had been drugged! But when? Who? The last thing he remembered before waking up in this s**thole was running for re-election. He had held a press conference to promote his campaign when suddenly things went blank. Someone had slipped him something. They had then transported his unconscious body here and had apparently abandoned this facility, leaving him without his regularly scheduled sedative. Whoever it was who had done this to him would pay dearly.

All in good time.

It was then that the man noticed that, in his anger, he had been holding his breath for over a minute. As he exhaled, he heard a disturbing noise. It almost sounded like a soft thunder in the distance, but it continued, steadily growing louder. The man rushed to a small dirty window and brushed it clean enough to see what was happening outside. What he saw defied all reason. Several costumed freaks were surrounding a giant purple monster. The Parasite. Then he looked passed the monster, to see the source of the noise: Marching to a position behind his old colleague were thousands and thousands of Metropolis' citizens, lining up behind the Parasite, crowding throughout the snowy streets of the city as far back as the eye could see. They were all smiling, but with blank and glossy expressions in the eyes.

The man in the warehouse stood looking out the window for a while, ignoring the superfolk, and preferring to pay attention to his own species. But, needless to say, the sonic boom startled him as it shattered the window infront of his face, forcing him to shield himself. When he looked past his arms, he saw a rather peculiar display: The Parasite was being pummeled by a yellow and red blur who was swinging around what appeared to be the unconscious form of Wonder Woman. While this was happening, another surprising sight came before him: Superman. Only this time, he was wearing a new uniform- black and white. The alien engaged his fellow heroes with shocking ferocity. It truly was a sight to behold; perhaps for the entertainment value, or perhaps simply for the pleasure of seeing the alien as the true hypocrite that he had always been.

The battle raged on for some time before both parties retreated out of sight and the man in the warehouse backed away from the broken window and sat down on the unkempt floor. His people were reduced to mindless slaves and he was forced to witness the results.

As night fell, the lone man set up a makeshift shelter for the evening inside of the building, using his old bed and a few rags stitched together. He started a small, contained fire with one of the flares and contemplated his next move. He would head out tomorrow morning to search for anyone at all who wasn’t enslaved and brain-dead. The man stared deeply into the fire as his eyelids grew heavy.

"It's a new day."
The Red X said:
Red X coughed up blood inside his mask. “That the best you got…old man?” said X goading Deathstroke.

Deathstroke was infuriated. He continued pummeling Red X in the face letting out all of his frustrations and anguish on the kid. He eased up for half of a second and grabbed Red X by his arm, swinging him around with ease. Deathstroke sent Red X flying, smashing his back into the icy wall behind them.
Later that night...

Clark Kent and Lois Lane sat in their apartments. Unsurprisingly, everything on TV was reruns. Doubtless, many of the people that would normally run the stations were busy dealing with personal problems of their own.

Lois was flipping through the channels, the flicker of the television lighting up her face. The glow reflected off of his glasses, obscuring his eyes. Gradually, Lois' face became a mask of concern. He looked to her, his eyes falling upon her disheveled hair and tired, concerned eyes.
"Lois, what's wrong?"
"Clark..." she whispered. She was hiding something from him.
"Lois, if you can't tell me what's wrong, then you can't tell anyobdy." He leaned in, lightly kissing her on the cheek. "What's got you so worried tonight?"
Tears began falling down her cheeks, the light reflecting off of them like twinkling stars. "The.. the story I was working on. The one about Unity, about what's happened. I shouldn't file it."
"Oh." He sat back on their leather couch. "And why shouldn't you file it? I thought it was pretty good."
She turned to him, and saw his face. He looked sad, as if the weight of the world had been on his shoulders and he just now realized how heavy it was. "Clark, if I file that story, it will destroy you. The public will know that Superman is the one responsible for all of this terrible mess. The depression, the global sadness, they'll know and they'll focus their rage on you, Clark."
He nodded. "I know, Lois."
She gasped, choking back a sob. "I can't file that story, Clark. I can't, because I know you did it all for me. The public can go on thinking it was all a dream, and you can still be their Superman. You can still be my Superman."
He turned to her, and smiled. "Lois, I love you for so very many reasons. Your passion, your dedication to your work, is greater than anyone else I've ever met. You hunt for the truth, seeking it and finding it. You're the greatest reporter on the planet, and you always tell the truth. You have to tell it now, too. Everyone has to know. For their sake, and mine."
She looked up at him, then rested her head on his shoulder. He rested his hand on her shoulder, and stared at the television, a stare that saw past everything. "There is a difference between right and wrong, Lois. I used to think that distinction was not difficult to make. I was wrong." He was talking to himself now, as much as he was talking to her. "I can see to the farthest galaxies, and even a little bit beyond that. I can fly almost as fast as light itself. Steel melts under my gaze. I can move small planets with my hands. Not even a nuclear bomb can hurt me. With all of this power I have, I can't shirk off my mistakes. I have a responsibility, a duty, to every living thing on this planet. I work so hard to protect them all, to bring truth and justice to places that have never seen it before. When I make a mistake, when I falter for even a moment, everyone deserves to know." He hugged his wife to his side. "Pa always told me that a man has got to stand for something. I stand for truth, justice, and the American Way, and I can't ignore any of them and remain true to that. You've got to file that report, Lois. If Superman is going to have any future at all, I can't sacrifice what I stand for when it's convenient." He turned his gaze back to her, and her understanding eyes.
"Clark, they'll crucify you for this."
"I know."
"Nothing I say is going to change your mind, will it?"
He smiled. "Probably not."
"I love being married to you, Clark. I love you. I'm one of the only people that ever get to be with the real Superman. Not the guy out there with the cape and his underpants outside of his pants, the one who can move planets and stop evil. He's just a mask for the real you. Clark Kent is my Superman." She broke free of his grasp, and stood. She smiled, then leapt onto him and kissed him.
"So you'll file it, Lois?"
"For you, Superman, anything."
rex26 said:
Deathstroke was infuriated. He continued pummeling Red X in the face letting out all of his frustrations and anguish on the kid. He eased up for half of a second and grabbed Red X by his arm, swinging him around with ease. Deathstroke sent Red X flying, smashing his back into the icy wall behind them.

The jagged ice slashed Red X’s face through his mask. Blood dripped down the mask through the thin cuts on it. X reached to his belt, ready to release an onslaught of X-blades. His hand felt around his belt, he was out of weapons and out of choices. His hand grabbed a buckle on his belt and he smiled under his mask. Exhausted and in excruciating pain he put his two fists out forward. “That…that all you got, I haven’t even broken a sweat!”
Weeks ago.

The man had been hiking through the snow drifts for almost four hours now, having luckily found a plaid jacket with its stuffing poking out of the patchwork to compliment his too-small boots and dirty overalls.

He had grown up in this area of Hob's Bay, which was commonly referred to as the Slums. The Suicide Slums to be more precise. He knew his way around here like the back of his hand, despite his efforts to forget his childhood. He exerted great effort to avoid the streets and regions where the zombies had gathered during the previous day's event, as he had no intentions of falling victim to whatever plague they had succumb to. He felt confident that he could defend himself if ten or less of them attacked him thanks to his field training, but any more attackers than that and he might have a problem on his hands.

He was shocked out of his revery by the sound of nearby gunfire. He instantly reached the natural conclusion that the peaceful looking zombies he had seen yesterday wouldn't use guns, leading him to believe that it must be some sort of resistance who were baring firearms.

The man broke into a run, crashing through the snow banks, finally turning a corner at Shuster Avenue and seeing several guntoting men and women exiting a supermarket and firing at a large group of unarmed civilians who were advancing on them and showing no signs of fear or pain from their bullet wounds. Once the last of the group fell to the ground into a pool of their own blood, the man made himself known to the gunmen by raising his hands to show he was unarmed.

"Good day, ladies and gentlemen. I come in peace."

The armed people instinctively pointed their weapons at him, whispering uncertainties to each other. As the man continued to walk towards them, it became obvious that they recognized him as relief spread across their faces.

"Is it really you?" one of them asked with sudden cheer. "You not one of them?" The words spoken as more of a statement than a question.

"So it would seem," the man replied as the ragtag soldiers lowered their weapons. "Would someone please be so kind as to explain to me exactly what has been happening here?"

The woman who appeared to be the leader of the group let her rifle dangle from its shoulder strap and walked towards the newcomer. "I'm Laura. Come with us back to our base camp and we'll fill you in on everything, sir."


The man was granted a glock .45 for his own defense and carried a share of the canned foods that the soldiers had gathered from the supermarket. They explained a great deal of the past events to him as he followed his new companions to S.T.A.R. Labs, which now had broken windows on all of the upper floors where machine gun turrets had been clearly set up to defend the headquarters.

"So how many people do you have sheltered here?"

Laura turned back to him, smiling warmly. "We have around 70, maybe 80 people holed up here, all doing their best to make things cozy for us all."

"How quaint."

One of the other soldiers, a surprisingly large individual looked back at the man as they walked up the steps to the front doors of the facility. "You can help us, can't you?" The soldier asked with desperation in his eyes. "We don't have enough ammo or food to keep going on like this for much longer. Them freaks keep swarming on us at any time 'a day, and their numbers aren't exactly getting any smaller with each assault."

The man smiled to the soldier, the gears obviously turning in his bald head. "I think we can work something out."
Hunter? Imra asked as she stood in Zoom&#8217;s mind.

Imra studied the man before her he was wearing the clothing of Zoom.

How do you know my name?

I know lots of things. she was deep inside his mind and she felt no malice from him. She held her hand out.
I can help you.

I don't need therapy, especially from some pre-teen wannabe superhero. he stepped back and became defensive. Imra could feel him harding towards her and quickly calmed him.

I&#8217;m not here to give you therepy. I&#8217;m here to help you become the man you want to be.

You know nothing about me.

Maybe you could tell me.
She sat down, her legs primly at her side.

She watched as he shifted and started pacing.

I was a good man once.
He stopped and glanced at her.

Imra nodded.
I know, do you miss it?

Yes. he paused before continuing.

Yes. I tried to make it right. I tried to make everything the way it was before. But Flash wouldn&#8217;t let me. His voice hardened and he began to vibrate.

I had the life, a job I loved and a wife who loved me! Till a clown shot me, and caused the death of Ashley&#8217;s father. Ashley left me after that. She left me and after everything I&#8217;d done the F.B.I fired me.

Images like pictures stared to swirl around them, Imra studied them as they played through his memories from his perspective. She bite her lip as pain and anger bombarded her mind. She reached her hand out and touched a memory, his father being shot by the police. Pain flooded though her and she withdrew herself from it, reaching her hand out to the picture of a lovely woman, love and then anguish came with that one.
Zoom continued with his talking, paying no heed to her as he paced, his form blurry from the vibrations.

I joined the police force in Keystone and met Wally. I didn&#8217;t know he was the one who could fix things and I didn&#8217;t think I needed it to be fixed, even after Ashley left me&#8230;
Gorilla Grodd attacked me, and left me crippled. Crippled! I couldn&#8217;t move I was useless and I didn&#8217;t have Ashley. I begged Flash, I begged him! I lowered myself like a dog before him.

Zoom&#8217;s speaking became rapid and his anger heightened.

Imra slowed him down enough for her to be able to understand him.


Anger crackled around him and Imra reached her mind out to calm him.

I tormented Linda, I tormented Wally. Till I finally realized that to be totally free I had to kill everything of my past life. I stopped being Huneter Zolomon long ago so why should I keep things that belong to Hunter In this world?

He clenched his fists.

I killed Ashley. She didn't deserve to live, she wasn't part of my life anymore she...

His vibration slowed and then stopped before he fell to his knees.

Look what I&#8217;ve done! An image of a crucified Ashley glowed over him.

I killed her, hoping to forget the past. To heal me. His shoulders slumped.

I can&#8217;t heal you, you have to do that yourself.

How? I don&#8217;t deserve peace and redemption.

Do you want it?


She was silent.

I don&#8217;t want this anymore. Yes, YES! I WANT IT! I WANT TO BE FREE OF THIS! He lifted his head and spread his arms out as if to welcome the redemption.

Imra felt something crack in him mentally.
Or was it that he was coming together agian from being so mentally broken?

Two lights pierced his hands and Imra felt his scream out in pain as the light seemed to penetrate his entire body, flowing like water down his arms and over the rest of him.
Yellow seemed to stream behind him as if a high wind was blowing him. Slowly it shaped itself into the figure of Zoom. Its arms still attached to Hunter the figure loomed, empty and eerie. It&#8217;s eyes black voids and a scream emitted from it&#8217;s unnaturally gaping mouth joining Hunters own screams of anguish.
Imra felt pain rip through her as images of his life flashed in her mind.
His wedding, his father&#8217;s death, His father-in-laws death, the pain of being crippled, Ashley&#8217;s smile, Ashley&#8217;s death.

The light passed through Hunter tearing the last connection between Hunter and Zoom away. The light pinned the limp costume of Zoom against the far wall. It hung for a second, speared through the hands with spikes of light, before the bright white wall swallowed it.

Imra caught the slumping form of Hunter who was now in civilian clothes.

I&#8217;m free.
He whispered before closing his eyes.

Yes&#8230; Let&#8217;s go&#8230;

She closed her eyes and holding his limp form in her arms she flew up to the surface of his mind and removed herself from his mind.

Imra opened her eyes, her hands flew away from his head and she stumbled back. Her arms instantly going for her side.

&#8220;AH!&#8221; She cried out.

***Garth...I'm here...***
Imra automatically set up a link to act as a beacon for him to find her. Years of training, the action came automatically.
She felt herself blacking out from exertion and pain and her mind reached out and felt it for the first time. The lack of mental humming.

&#8220;The people aren&#8217;t unified anymore.&#8221; She smiled faintly as her vision blurred, she felt farther.

&#8220;The Unity is gone&#8230;totally gone..&#8221; She reached out as far as she could past the deadness of Bludhaven, and culled mental strength from a multitude of people. She felt herself reviving a little before she fell, physically weakened. Imra felt strong arms catch her.


&#8220;No, Hunter.&#8221;

She looked up into Hunter Zolomon&#8217;s face, he&#8217;d removed his mask and it hung baggy around the back of his neck.
She smiled up at Hunter as he lifted her up in his arms and stood up, smiling back.
The smell of aftershave fills my nostrils as I enter the meeting room. The tidy and powerful looking middle-aged men look at me humorlessly as I take a seat beside Bruce. The room is as clean as the costume I wear while crime fighting is blue. A large American flag hangs behind Bruce Wayne. It reminds me a little of the Justice League meetings. I shake a few hands and crack a few jokes to lighten the mood. I take a seat beside Bruce. He&#8217;s never exactly been the most sociable guy on the planet but I smile at him anyway.

&#8220;Hey bud.&#8221;

I look up at a pudgy little man with a round face circular glasses and a beak like nose. He arises and begins to speak.
I'm in the middle of my crowd. And yet, I'm not.

I reconize most of these men through my playboy persona. Generally, I hate to associate with these monotone Flying Dutchmen in grey suits that are mostly as bad as the criminals I face every night, some even worse.

But this time, I don't care. This time, we have all collaminated together in order to curve a large crisis. Since Unity struck, we've hit the worst economical depression on record.

Amonst the crowd, I notice one man in particular. A blue, pin-striped suit among all of the greys and blacks, sticking out like a sore thumb. Ted Kord. The Blue Beetle. He was a team-mate back when the Justice League was under UN sanction. He tries too hard to be funny, and though he was no Gardner, he could annoy the piss out of me, but I can trust him. I wouldn't have put his company under my own if I didn't.

He sticks close to me, his nerveousness practically hanging above him in fifty-foot tall neon letters. He sits down next to me as the meeting gets under way. Someone starts walking to a podeum. He's a short, fat little thing with a large top-hat and wearing a too-nice white tuxedo.

Oswald Cobblepott. The Penguin.

"What the hell is he doing here?" I ask myself. "Better yet, how is he going to get himself above the podeum to speak?"
It was all over so suddenly.

Kyle stared at the crackling fire as a heavy snow fell outsife of the cabin he had rented for the holidays. He always hated L.A. at Christmas time. No snow, no cold, and very little cheer.

He looked around at his cozy little quarters. Maybe he would buy this place. He always loved the outdoors. And the seclusion. Lonliness was something he was becoming more and more accustomed to. Floating around in the far reaches of space for so long, all he had to keep him company was the lonliness. And now it followed him here to Earth. The League was gone, his friends had moved on and become virtual strangers, and the other Lanterns seemed to be doing just fine. Kyle Rayner's triumphant return had been spent watching a big raisin run on a Kryptonian Nordi-Track.

Buy he had memories, which is what filled his mind right now as he looked at a picture of him and Alex, so long ago. Happy times, before the power ring. the Corps, the endless pathway of space. Fast times, endless beaches, lots of alcohol, and his girl by his side.

Memories kept him going.

"Merry Christmas, kid," he said to the picture, leaning back and falling into a deep, peaceful sleep.
The winter wind stung Garth's eyes as he hastily entered Bludhaven, tracking device in hand, following the trail to Imra's flight ring. Looking at the sights below him, Garth had to keep himself from throwing up. He has seen a lot in his time with the Legion, but the piles of the dead bodies on the streets below him, all with a grotesque smile forever plastered on their face, was something Garth could not handle at this time. Especially with his head still not completely right from his ordeal with the Unity earlier. And the stink of the place was down right nauseating.
Despite the horrific sights, Garth pressed on. He was getting close. Another minute and he'd be---

***Garth...I'm here...***

"Imra", was all Garth could say as the words entered his mind. Without hesitation, Garth flew with all the speed he could muster from his flight ring, and darted towards Imra's location.

Not slowing down at all, Garth dove down towards the building's front doors and blasted them open with a carefully placed blast of electricity.
Entering the building, Garth immediately saw Saturn Girl being held by who must be her captor.
"Get away from her!" shouted Garth as he caught the surprised Zoom with a blast of lightning, being careful not to hit Imra, and sending him flying backwards.

After the blast connected, Garth flew to Saturn Girl.
Holding her in his arms, Garth did his best to keep his eyes from watering in seeing the woman he loves no longer stuck in a coma-like state.
", are you all right? Are you hurt?"
Johnny Blaze said:
The winter wind stung Garth's eyes as he hastily entered Bludhaven, tracking device in hand, following the trail to Imra's flight ring. Looking at the sights below him, Garth had to keep himself from throwing up. He has seen a lot in his time with the Legion, but the piles of the dead bodies on the streets below him, all with a grotesque smile forever plastered on their face, was something Garth could not handle at this time. Especially with his head still not completely right from his ordeal with the Unity earlier. And the stink of the place was down right nauseating.
Despite the horrific sights, Garth pressed on. He was getting close. Another minute and he'd be---

***Garth...I'm here...***

"Imra", was all Garth could say as the words entered his mind. Without hesitation, Garth flew with all the speed he could muster from his flight ring, and darted towards Imra's location.

Not slowing down at all, Garth dove down towards the building's front doors and blasted them open with a carefully placed blast of electricity.
Entering the building, Garth immediately saw Saturn Girl being held by who must be her captor.
"Get away from her!" shouted Garth as he caught the surprised Zoom with a blast of lightning, being careful not to hit Imra, and sending him flying backwards.

After the blast connected, Garth flew to Saturn Girl.
Holding her in his arms, Garth did his best to keep his eyes from watering in seeing the woman he loves no longer stuck in a coma-like state.
", are you all right? Are you hurt?"

Hunter rose to his feet. Almost as if Imra hadn't just freed his mind a moment earlier, it had seemed that Zoom had been reawakened within him. Scowling at Garth as he put his mask back in place, he arose and rushed toward the young hero. Instead of attacking him head on, he ran circles around him in an attempt to confuse him. Looking around the room, Zoom noticed the many scattered corpses, each of them with frozen smiles on their faces. Running to one corner of the room, he grabbed one of the corpses by its ankle and ran back toward Garth. He swung with all of his might and struck Garth's head with the smiling corpse, knocking him to the floor. He then stood over Garth with his arms overhead, clutching the corpse's ankle, the body slung behind him. He was ready to beat Garth to death with the corpse.

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