Discussion in 'RPG Archives' started by BnKRPG, Jan 9, 2006.
EDIT: Double Post
Nightwing watched as Roy headed out of town, and out of sight. For a moment, he stood there, unsure of what to say. But surely, and easily enough…
“...Is he actually aware of what he wore, back then?”
Turning around, Nightwing began walking back into the ruins of Bludhaven.
God, I need rest. God, I need to eat.
Nightwing paused, realizing how whiney he sounded, even in his own subconscious.
…God, I need to get laid, first. Now I’m starting to see where Speedy is getting his material…
* * *
The phone rang, ceasing Dick’s pattern of deep snores as he woke up, raising his head from the scattered blankets he was sprawled in. He had set the alarm to wake him up just before sunset, so he could get an early start on his version of ‘catching up’ with the underworld of the city. But now, someone was calling him. As he reached for the phone, He wondered who. Bruce usually contacted him either in person, or through the communicator. Babs was a tech-fiend, so if she had returned, she wouldn’t resort to using a common regular phone. And Kory… probably wasn’t even on this planet. So who could it be?
“You sound tired. Another rough night, as usual, Grayson?”
Dick immediately sat up, eyes widened, hearing the voice on the other end of the line.
“Rohrback? That you?”
Sargent Amy Rohrback. His superior officer on the Bludhaven Police Squad. She had both hired him and fired him off of the force, due to many unexplained abscences on his resume. Needless to say, she was the last person that he expected to call.
“So you still have a good ear, it seems.”
“Well, you gotta admit. This is sort of …not something I would expect.”
“It’s not something I ever expected either. Believe me. But listen closely… and I know that’s something you are capable of. Ever since Darren died in that explosion that destroyed the city a few months back, none of the other officers have been necessarily optimistic about doing their jobs. The ones that are usually quit, and the ones that aren’t unfortunately stay.”
“Sounds like my kinda crowd.” , Dick responded, with a smirk.
“I sure as hell hope not. Because if you still have the same bad habits as before, you may not get an offer like this again. And for your sake… I hope you’ve changed.”
“Wait… So, you’re offering me my job back?”
“IF, and only if, you’re willing to be more dedicated to it than you were… Because we don’t employ slackers, here, Grayson.”
“Could’a fooled me.”
“Watch the tongue. Or do you not want a spot back on the force or not?” , Rohrback responded, sternly.
Dick now had a difficult decision to make. He could either tell this woman, who had forced him out of a job, to shove it where it counted… Or, he could simply accept, and start getting payed again. God knows he needed the extra cash, now that he was going to be spending a lot more time here. A grin came to Dick’s face, as he thought of a response.
“Depends. Do I get an advance on my salary?”
“Don’t push it.” , Rohrback responded, without missing a beat.
“I had a feeling you’d say that.”
“You still haven’t answered my question.”
Dick thought about it. What did he have to lose? He could use the cash… The leads would be beneficial to taking down this new drug ring…
“When would you need me?”
“Tonight. There’s a raid being mapped out for the east end. Seems Tad Ryerstad is moving up in the world… managed to score it big with one of the local drug rings.”
Dick paused. A drug ring? The drug ring? The one he was determined to end? Dick thought about it even further. Hell, why go back to the force? If they were out there, He could easily take them down as Nightwing. And after all… All work and no play makes Dicky a dull boy…
“Hmm… I’ll have to think about it. Maybe I’ll drop by tomorrow.”
“TONIGHT, or never again.”
“So, Seven sound good?”
“I had a feeling you’d say that.”
Dick could tell she had mimicked him, with that last part.
“Be here at eight. And get some sleep between now and then, too. You sound like you need it.”
Yeah, for once, I do, don’t I?
* * *
A lone figure flew through the night, into the air above Bludhaven. The air where he belonged. Ever since he was a kid, it was where he belonged… Now, and forever in the spotlight. Landing on a rooftop below, He surveyed the beginnings of an active night in the fallen city.
Good. He was ready for it… because he was back. For good, this time. Bludhaven, even to this day, was still hopelessly lost in corruption and criminality. It had been deemed beyond hope… beyond saving.
Nightwing smirked to himself, ready to take on the world. Or at least, the one city that the world had forgotten.
“Huh. So that’s why I still like it, here.”
It took me nearly an hour to rebuild the peak of the mountain sheered of in the fight. Collecting the rubble and refusing it to the rock was time consuming. It took even more time to return it to the way it used to look. While not perfect, it ws whole again.
As long as it took to rebuild the mountain, I only needed minutes to fill the crater in with the mass I had collected during the fight, returning the land to how it was, almost. At the spot where...it...happened stands a simple boulder carved from a piece of the mountain. On a smoothly carved face of the boulder read the words:
"Here, the greatest hero fell for us all..."
It was the least I could do for him.
Phone. Damn it. I stand up from my desk (must have fallen asleep working) and pick up the phone.
"Vic Sage, vastly superior to you in every way."
"You're wit never ceaces to amuse, Charlie."
"Hey, Tot. This a social call? I know you've been aching for inteligent conversation since I moved out."
"Hardly. John stopped by. Told me to pass along a message because he lost your phone number. Said he wanted you to meet him at the diner on Elm Street."
"Wonderful. I SO needed to deal with him at this hour."
"It's one PM."
"Exactly. Such ungodly hours. I better get going then."
I hang up the phone, grab my coat, and head out the door. I'll shave later.
A few minutes later, and I'm at the diner. I step inside, and am greated by this:
John Constantine. Paranormal investigator. Sorcerer. Complete *******. Pretty okay guy, all things considered.
"Afternoon, No Face. Have a seat."
I sit down at the counter and order a plate of scrambled eggs.
"Just wanted to tell you. Apreciate you setting me up with a place to stay after the **** in Keystone, but I think it's time I hit the road again."
"Didn't you just get back from a trip down south last month?"
"I mean on the road home. I miss England. The States are fun, but they're not home. Besides, the music over here is ****. And I'm getting tired of substituting for you as this town's resident grim avenger of melodrama when you'r on holiday."
"When are you leaving?"
"Tomorrow, probably. Maybe the next day. Depends when I can get a ticket. I'll probably travel by boat. Bit more interesting."
"Well, good luck then."
"Was a pleasure knowing, No Face. Not very often I meet I guy with problems as bad as mine. Just remember, if you're ever in a fix involving any kind of Twlilight Zone ****, call me. I'd be insulted if you left me out."
He walks out the door right before I get my eggs.
God, that guy is a dick.
I open the door to my apartment. Better get back to work on this whole "Project B" thing. Maybe I can hack into the DEO's....
He steps towards me. He looks like Batman. Stupid costume and everything. But from the part of his face that isn't covered, I see that his skin is a sickly white, and his eyes are blood red.
He reaches for his belt. I duck just as two of those shuriken/boomerang things of his imbed themselves in the wall behind me. I duck into the kitchen.
"A fighter. How wonderful."
I open the medicine cabinet and search through. C'mon....
He walks into the kitchen. I turn around, holding an arisol spray can and a cigaret lighter.
I think you can guess what happens next.
This Batman-ish thing stumbles into the living room, quite surprised that he's now on fire. I bet that suit of his is resistent to burning, so that probably won't doo much damage.
However, this next bit will.
I pick up my two 45.s and shoot him four times in the torso. I kick him through the door to the fire escape and keep shooting. He tumbles over the side into the street below.
That was nuts.
I pick up the phone and call Constantine.
"Listen. John. I think you better postpone your trip home."
"Twilight Zone ****."
"Can I get ya a refill, mack?"
Bibbo Bibbowski stood behind the bar, drying a glass mug as he spoke to the last customer of the night in what was left of the Ace O' Clubs. The customer in question was a large man, hunched over the bar, holding his head in his hand with a lit cigarette held between his index and middle finger. A half-empty glass of beer was off to his side.
Bibbo placed the mug back onto the rack behind him and sighed heavily. "Supes' dyin' prob'ly is the worst thing that can happen to a burg like this, but trust me, I know from experience;" the former prize fighter turned to face the man, "We gotta keep ourselves going."
It's not that easy.
The man lifted his head up and put his cigarette between gritted teeth. His eyes were red from tears, but his expression was riddled with hate.
Hate for himself and the world he had to live in.
He left a large pile of bills on the bar before standing up and walking out. When he had first began doing the Unity's dirty work, the boss had set up a bank account with unlimited funds, to be used if and when money would be necessary. That account was still active today, and would have probably come in handy to him, if he had chosen to use it after today. Before walking away, he grabbed his glass of beer resting on the bar and raised it towards the poster of Superman displayed on Bibbo's wall.
Cheers Clark. I hope you found the peace in death that I could never find in life.
He downed the drink and set the glass down. He nodded a silent 'thank you' to the bartender before walking out. Stepping outside, Rudy Jones could see rescue crews trying to find their way through the smoldering remnants of the jungle that the Suicide Slum had become hours before. It actually was a miracle that the Ace O' Clubs was even standing. All three walls of it, that is. Could it actually have been God trying to give him a small sanctuary?
Rudy breathed smoke a final time and then put the butt out underneath of his boot. He rooted his hand through his jacket pocket for a moment, making certain that he still carried the instrument for which he had come to the Slum in the first place for. Satisfied, he began his long march into the burning field.
Almost thirty minutes later, Jones stopped walking and looked around him. Several emergency helicopters were in the air, fire trucks were littered in the distance, but he was alone enough for his needs. He had always been alone.
"I set out to kill what was left of my greatest enemy, and I thought I finally did it," he again searched his pocket, "but I was wrong. I'm still here." He pulled the gun from his jacket and looked down at it. Shining and black, it was heavier than he thought it should be. He wasn't sure if he'd actually die today. In human form, his abilities were greatly diminished, hopefully enough. He knew that nobody would recognize the body that he was now assuming the likeness of, and nobody would ever miss Raymond Maxwell Jones.
My path of death and hate ends here. With me.
Rudy raised the weapon into his open mouth.
I guess today really was the first day of the rest of my life.
When the lone gunshot echoed through the Suicide Slum, nobody cared.
Stick a fork in me, ladies. I'm done.
Lex looks at Ras and begins to smirk then suddenly a look of disgust crosses his face.
Lex stands up and walks to the window. He looks out the and says, "Ras at first I feared you coming here. Then I welcomed it I looked forward to another confrontation, but now. I truly loathe you. I never thought that I could loate anyone more than Superman but you proved me wrong."
He turns back to Ras and says, "All the time it's another virus. You are so d*** predictable. No wonder Batman thwarts you at every turn. You are almost as dull as the Rogues."
He continues to look at Ras and says, "I don't care if you find this insulting or not. Because..."
Lex takes out a picture of Lena and shows to Ras. He then says, "I have nothing to lose anymore. She was the one thing that kept me grounded. Not money, power, world domination none of that crap. IT WAS HER."
He puts the picture away and scowls at Ras. He says, "YOU WANT TO KILL ME? FEEL FREE TO TRY!!!! I just have one thing to say...Barry Bonds eats strawberries at LAX with Peyton Manning."
Ras gives Lex a puzzled look and then Lex says, "Top of the world ma!"
A computer voice chimes in saying, "Auto Destruct sequence activated...60, 59, 58, 57..."
As the countdown begins Lex says (understandably)hurried, "That absurd sentence armed the program the last sentence activated it. There will be a metal shield encasing the building keeping damage to a almost nil. A few shockwaves but that is all. I suggest you find a way out of here within the next 35 seconds."
With that Lex shrugs his shoulders and his business suit falls off revealing his battle suit.
Lex activates the jet boots and flies out the window.
He watches the metal shields encase the building and then hears a terrible rumble with in the metal.
Shockwaves begin to ripple throughout Metropolis.
I wonder if Ras made it out...who cares? I don't.
Just then Mercy calls on his wrist communicator. She says, "I just got the final readings the Lexcorp towers are down the metal casings will open up within the next couple of hours once the explosions have settled."
Lex replies, "Good meet me at the White House. I have a speech to give that will change history."
Lex begins flying to Washington DC.
(OOC: Okay I realize I am doing back to back posts, but since this is my last post for the season and everyone is looking forward to season 5 I figure I'll help that process along)
Lex sits at the Oval Office desk looking at his notes one last time.
An aide brings him a glass of water and says, "Two minutes Mr. President."
He looks up and replies, "Thank you Donna."
She walks away and Lex downs the water.
The floor manager shouts, "Clear the room we're on in 90! Remember this is being broadcast world-wide first person to screw up is fired on the spot no questions asked."
Lex looks over at Mercy who bows her head to him. Lex smiles and takes a deep breath as Mercy leaves with the rest of the crew leaving Lex and one camera-operator.
Now the crushing blow that will change history.
The Camera-operator cues Lex.
Lex looks into the camera and says, "Good evening my fellow americans and other citizens of our planet. Tonight I am more than pleased to report that the situation in Metropolis has been contained thanks to members of the Super-Hero community, and while we give them much deserved thanks and praise their are several matters to be addressed."
Lex takes a deep breath and says, "First, Ras-Al-Goul was behind this scheme using a virus stolen from Lexlabs that was being developed for a bio-weapon for the Pentagon. The directors of the C-I-A, F-B-I, N-S-A and Homeland security have verified this. Now there will be rumors and postings on the internet claiming a Government conspiracy. Those reports are false and I have already contacted the Senate-Oversight committee. They do not see a need at this time for any hearings, but let me say for the record if these hearings should ever come to pass I welcome them. I have already with their assitance prepared a report on this matter."
He pulls out a binder and lays it on the desk.
Lex says, "There it is in black and white. I have nothing to hide."
He puts the binder away and says, "Secondly the reconstruction of Metropolis will begin without haste. Now I realize the Lexcorp towers have been destroyed but there are thousands of Lexcorp offices throughout Metropolis and the world that will assist in this effort. In fact Lexcorp is something I have worked very hard to build into the global power that it is, but even though I turn it over to others while being the President it still weighs on my mind. I feel I can't be an effective President while I am still tied to Lexcorp. Therefore..."
He pulls out one single sheet of paper and says," I have agreed to sell Lexcorp to...Bruce Wayne. Bruce if you're watching Lexcorp is yours for the sum of one dollar. Every desk and phone all of it is yours I will sever all ties to Lexcorp if you agree to this thus taking away my power-base in Metropolis so I can focus on serving this country and humanity at large."
Lex puts the paper down and says, "Lastly a rather distressing matter. For years we have marveled at the heroic deeds of those who protect us in our world and in many cases the universe. They have great power and many of them use their powers in the cause of justice and hope. However there is a rather large question to be asked...who watches the watchers? Who are they accountable to?"
Lex rolls the tape of the mind-wipe. Once the tape is done Lex says, "The tape you have just watched is authentic. It as been verified by the FBI, CIA, Microsoft and the Secret Service it is not a forgery or a CGI fabircation. My mind was wiped clean by Dr. Fate under the orders of the Green Lantern as Superman and Batman looked on. I have since recovered but there are gaps in mind that nothing will ever be able to fill in. I see videos of my late daughter's first birthday. I am there but I don't remember it. I see videos of her taking her first step...I look on but I don't remember it. I hit a home-run off of Roger Clemons at the Lexcorp charity soft-ball game. I don't remember it. I see videos and pictures like that and it's like watching someone else's life."
He takes a deep breath and wipes a tear away. Lex then says, "I realize that at times I was shrewd in the business community and I have committed my share of sins, but I don't think I ever did anything to warrant that penalty. to have my life taken away in that matter. I shudder to think that others may suffer that fate as well."
Lex then rolls another tape of Superman in his office. It shows Superamn breaking into the office and making accusations and threatening Lex.
Once the tape is done Lex says, "Again that tape and the next one are authentic and have been verified as such. I'll admit Sueprman and I don't always see eye to eye, but I was hoping that going against Ras Al Goul we might've been able to put aside our differences and work together."
Lex rolls the video of him standing on the Lexcorp tower spray-painting a a giant red "S" and waiting for Superman.
Lex says after the tape is done, "I am not advocating the outlawing of any super-heroes they serve a useful purpose in our world and the universe. However there must be accountability. If those like the Riddler, Parasite or Cheetah or accountable then those who bring them in must be as well. Otherwise we don't we just slap a cape and or a mask on every law enforcement offical and be done with it. Therefore I am resubmitting the Super-Hero registration act. Senator Howard of North Carolina has agreed to chair the committee. He has no feelings one way or another towards the Super-Hero community. The time has come for those who call themselves Super-Heroes to be held accountable. No one is above the law and they need to realize that as well. That the laws they advocate apply to them as well."
Lex takes a pause and says, "I leave you all with this Superman claims to be for Truth, Justice and the American Way...well it's time to put up or put away the capes. Now let us all move forward as a nation and world-wide community and let the debates begin. Good night and God Bless us all."
As the camera pulls away the mind-wipe tale is shown once again.
And so a new chapter in our war begins....I say bring it on.
(OOC see you all in season 5!)
Far away, in the arctic north, the Fortress of Solitude was changing. Sheets of crystalline ice, but made of an unearthly material that would defy categorization for even the most intelligent scientists, sealed off the majority of the Fortress, leaving only one massive room accessible: the central lobby. The body of Krypton's last son laid in state on an altar, in front of the massive statues that dominated the room: those of Jor-El and Lara, holding up a massive granite representation of Krypton itself. Small holographic screens blinked into existance, each depicting the Man of Steel's greatest victories. Directly above Superman's body, the roof opened up, revealing a large glass (or so it appeared to be) version of Superman's S-sheild. A porthole opened in the top of the Krypton statue, and from it emerged a massive beam of light that shone through the glass, projecting Superman's symbol high into Earth's atmosphere. Twelve Superman robots, each in formal Kryptonian funeral garb, stood silent guard over the room, hovering above the incredible scene.
These were not the most dramatic changes. Slowly, the gigantic doors to the Fortress swung open. Ice melted in an almost mechanical pathway, the ground itself heating up. Massive chunks of ice simply vanished from the frigid arctic north as a small, heated dirt pathway to the final resting place of Superman was created. Three Superman robots installed large holographic displays along the cavernous, icy walls of the parthway. When activated, each projector shone out a golden S-shield and they served to light the way towards the Fortress. Finally, a last respect shone to Kal-El of Krypton, the fortress repaired the costume that his Earth mother had given him so long ago, restoring it and Superman's body to perfect condition with Kryptonian technology. Finally, their tasks completed, each robot in the fortress deactivated itself, save for the twelve silent guardians of Superman's tomb.
Six Hours Earlier
He was in a place not quite a place, standing above himself. He looked down, and saw that he was wearing the grey suit jacket withg the leather patches that Ma had sewn in. A white shirt with that red and blue stripe pattern that Lois hated, but Pa liked. A white shirt, and long grey slacks that Lois had bought him. At his feet, was the bloody, battered body of Superman, the blue of the costume ripped and covered in his own blood. But he was still, unquestionably, there.
"What's going on here?"
"Oooh, this is going to be a rough one to explain, kiddo."
He turned, and saw a strange woman standing before him. Her skin was marble white, but her black hair unkempt and a black dress blew against her legs.
"And who are you supposed to be?"
"Well, first off, I need to know something. What do you prefer to be called? Kal-El, Superman, or Clark Kent?"
"Clark works for me."
"Oh, cool. So you're not like the last one."
He looked up and saw the golden figure of Sinestro, carrying thousands of tons of debris in a shimmering shield of will. Sinestro was visibly shaken as he looked on Superman's body. The Parasite fell to his knees. No one saw him. He grew frustrated, and confused at his current situation. "Could you please tell me what in the name of God is going on? Why am I here and lying there?"
The strange woman's face grew concerned, her eyebrows (is that what they really were?) scrunching together. "Oh, wow. You haven't figured it out yet. That I really didn't count on."
"Figured what out, exactly?"
"Well, Clark, you're dead."
"Yeah. Really, truly dead this time, not that limbo thing that happened last time."
"This can't be happening. I mean I'm-"
"That last syllable there would be the one to think about, Clark. Super MAN. Sure, you can move mountains and touch the sky, but for all your godly powers you're still a man. And men die every day. I should know."
"So, what am I supposed to do?"
"Man, this is always the hardest part when dealing with you spandex types. Especially you." She sighed, and put a hand on his shoulder.
"I could tell you to kick back and wait for the inevitable and miraculous return to life, but I don't know if you will. My older brother does, but he's not very forthcoming."
Clark heard a boom behind the pair, and saw a massive tunnel of light. "What's that?"
"A cliche, but one that works pretty well for guys like you."
He stared at the woman with wonder. "Is this really a time to joke around?" The Parasite flew away, a blur of purple, but Clark Kent barely noticed his passing.
She smiled a soft smile, one that just barely brought the corners of her mouth up. "If you can't take things lightly when everything's over, then when can you?"
Clark chuckled. "You make a good point." He stared at the tunnel. The light seemed so... warm. So welcoming. When he looked at it, he felt something he couldn't really describe. It pained him to do so, but he looked away from it and at the woman. "What will happen now that I'm gone? Can you tell me? What happens to Lois? My Ma and Pa?"
She sighed quietly. "Better questions for my brother, but one thing I can definitely tell you is that, sooner or later, you'll be with them again. Trust me, family makes eternity that much more bearable. Now get going, you big lug."
Clark Kent spared one last glance at his bruised and broken body. "You're Death, aren't you?"
"I... I don't think I expected you to be so... chipper."
"I find this works better than the whole scythe and reaping thing. What can I say? I've got a good bedside manner."
He looked up at her, and smiled. "Thank you."
"Everyone needs a friend, Clark. One last reminder that even here, at the end, you don't go alone."
He turned again towards the light, and this time walked into it.
He was surrounded by a force that he would never be able to describe. A warmth filled every part of his being, and when he opened his eyes, he found himself in a vast cornfield. Stalks reached up to his shoulders, like on the farm back home. Above him the sky was a clear blue. He floated into the air, and realized that now he was dressed like he was when he was a boy. The red plaid shirt Ma had given him when he was fifteen, and the dusty overalls that felt as comfortable to him as anything else in the world. He was no longer wearing glasses. As he rose higher and higher into the sky, he saw a shimmering city of gold in the distance. He flew to it, the crisp air blowing against his face as he crossed the endless field. In what felt like moments, he was flying amidst the city. Around him, he could see lines of black-garbed Kryptonians, and with a start he realized where he was. The city of Kandor, or at least how it looked on Krypton. He looked around , and suddenly the Kryptonians burst into applause. He felt his own face grow red at the sound. He heard the ruffle of clothes behind him, and turned.
In front of himw ere the faces of people he'd seen in holograms and projections. Faces and forms that he knew, but had never touched. The woman, her headdress shining in the afternoon sun, took one of his hands and pressed it to her chest. The male, his surplice a shimmering green, took his other hand and did the same. He spoke, and Clark Kent heard a voice he'd heard, but never really heard, before.
"Welcome home, Kal-El. Welcome, my son," said Jor-El, in a voice filled with pride. Jor-El and Lara embraced their son, and Clark Kent began crying tears of joy. Wetly they slipped down his face, arcing around a broad smile that no force in heaven or Earth could take away.
It had cost him everything, even his life. But now, he knew in his very marrow, now he was no longer alone. Krypton's last son had finally come home.
Far off in the distance, two figures in familiar costumes floated. They had escaped Superman's detection, but both of them knew that wouldn't last for long. One of them wore a bright blue costume, and emblazoned int he center of his chest was a shield containing a stylized S. Next to him was a girl with long blonde hair, restrained only by a red sweatband. Her eyes were a clear, unearthly blue, and her outfit similar to the man floating next to her.
"You'll have to talk to him eventually, Kal. After all, he's you isn't he?"
"He's not me, Kara. He's capable of killing, and look at the reception he gets."
"To be fair to him, cousin, he didn't have your luck. He never really knew his parents, and look at the odds he had to deal with."
The man sighed, and tugged on a spitcurl that hung down his forehead. When he let go, it snapped back into a familiar S shape. "I know that too. I just wish we could meet under different circumstances. He doesn't need me coming down on him, not now. His family and friends are still alive, and he'll realize that soon enough."
"You've got to talk to him, Kal! He's got to remember us, right? Can you make him remember what happened? Will he remember the Crisis?"
"Maybe not. But what I can do, I hope, is make him a better hero."