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The "World of Heroes" DC RPG Season VI

"Yes, Canary." I say in an apologetic voice. "I know what I did. I killed a man. A man who...really didn't deserve death." I let out a heavy sigh, my expression showing remorse and sadness. "I did a lot of horrible things. Unforgivable things. But...that's changing. I've changed." I look up, staring her in the face again. "You've got to trust me, Canary, I have changed. I don't want to be evil anymore. I don't want to hurt people or tear down Gotham. I don't want to be the problem."

"I want to be the solution."

As he spoke Dinah shook her head and looked away, a sarcastic smile on her lips.

She turned back to him, her voice quivering with anger.
"You don't get it. You don't get it."

She dropped him and stepped away.
"You, have single-handedly made this mess for yourself." Turning her back to him she bit her lip. Her entire structure had fallen apart, it wasn't just about Ricky. Bruce...Bruce was dead. When he had been absent, Gotham had been her ward. Now he wasn't just absent, he was gone. The reality hit her hard, Gotham was no longer under her control, it had reverted to it's chaotic state.

She swung around, that was still no excuse for his 'noble' behavior.
"Who do you think controlled the mob? Who do you think put it together and was watching it? The Penguin?"


Two Face


I laugh, amused by her question. "The Penguin?" I say with a smile. "He's not fit to run his own operation." I stand up, leaning against the wall behind me. To the left of my body is the window, only inches away. If I need it, I have an escape.

"I know I control the mob, Canary." I tell her with a grin. "And that's all that matters. In my hands...In my hands they will crumble, and turn back into dust." This power I originally didn't want, now...now I think I could use it?

No, I hear him speak, breaking his silence. No, no you can't use the mob. Not with her around. Come on, Harvey. Shoot her. Just whip out the gun and put two hot pieces of smooth metal right between her eyes.

I'm not going to kill her, you monster. I don't even need to flip to know that.

Oh, we'll see. When she lunges at you again, her intent won't be battery. It'll be murder. So go ahead, Harv, be noble. Be this...hero, you so want to be. But don't be stupid. Don't blind yourself. The heroes are just as bad as these criminals who deserve justice. Think about it, what could stop her from snapping your neck right now?

Her morals, I tell him in a stern tone.

NO, you idiot. A bullet. Two of them. They move faster than she can, and if it's either you or her...well...

I sneer, trying to ignore him. Even if he supports my new standards, he's still trying to corrupt me. Turn me into him. I'm not so naive. I'm not so stupid.

I turn back to Black Canary, watching as she stares at me in frustration and anger. I must not have answered her question. I still must not get the point. "Alright, Canary," I start, staring into her deep blue eyes. "Tell me, what's the point?"
 
Teen Titans
Table for Two Part I

In a lavish restaraunt located in Gotham City, two heroes come to relax and have a quiet dinner. One of them, Zach, seems perfectly at home, yet Rose feels decidedly uncomfortable. The pair are escorted to their seats by an eager young waiter. As they reach their table, situated at the far back of the establishment, Zach immediately rushes over to Rose's side of the table and pulls her chair out for her.

"It's nice seeing you when you're not bleeding and/or killing something Rose. You look nice." Zach says, as he makes his way to his own seat.

Rose gives Zach a masked smile, her smirk intimidating yet somehow comforting. She brushes her hair, which, for a change, flows freely down her back, from her face. "Really? Some guys are into that." She muses.

"If anyone were to turn me into a swordplay fetishist, it'd be you, Rose. And besides, I don't take a girl out to save the world until at LEAST the fourth date, so we're making progress already."
Zach immediately counters.

"But you'd have her on her back on the first."Rose subtly grins as she leans forward, putting her chin on top of her hand."You're a complicated man."

"Oh, you have no idea." He smirks as he motions to the waiter, the young man eagerly waiting on the sidelines to be called in.Rose picks up the menu and begins looking through the long list of entrées. As she browses, she lets out a heavy sigh. Slowly, she puts the menu down on the table, and looks up to the waiter.

"Just start me off with some wine. " She looks at Zach, giving him a competitive grin."The best red wine you have."

"Oh, that's how we're doing it, is it? " Zach's smile widens as he looks up at the waiter. "You heard the lady, my good man. The best you have."

"I'll bring you your usual, Mr. Zatara." The waiter states with a court nod before leaving the two. Zach's eyes widen in horror as he turns to Rose, afraid of what her reaction might be.

"Your usual? I assume you come here often." She says in a dull voice, giving Zach an unamused expression.

[FONT=&quot]"Nooo, not at all. In fact, this is my first time here. Nice place." Zach says, idiotically looking around as if he's never seen the place. His eyes finally slowly go back to Rose, as he hesitantly asks. "Not buying it?"[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Rose shakes her head slowly.

"Well, if it's any consolation, I've never brought a girl I cared about here before." H[/FONT]e smiles naively.

"I thought co-workers, especially superheroes, weren't supposed to...get involved." She asks in a derogitory tone. "After all, you heroes have such a good code of ethics." She grins maliciously, thinking back to moments from her past. "And, it's no secret heroes often have...tragic love lives."

[FONT=&quot]"Then I suppose it's a good thing neither of us is a hero, isn't it?" [/FONT]Zach counters with a playful grin."We're just two awfully handsome people, a magician and a killer, having dinner on a friday night"

"Mercenary," Rose corrects. "I don't kill without a reason." She winks at Zach in a seductive manner, giving him her usual confusing smile.

[FONT=&quot]"Sorry about that. Guess you'll have to punish me later." [/FONT]Zach says and smiles.

Rose smiles at Zach, leaning forward again to him in an appealing manor. She looks deep into his eyes, her expression seemingly calm and pleasent."Oh, Zach," she expresses in an intising voice."You don't want that." She states in a blunt tone, leaning back in her chair. "Trust me."

Zach isn't sure if he should laugh or not, so he opts for an awkward chuckle, just as the waiter comes back with a large bottle of wine and two glasses. Setting the objects down on the table, he nods.

"There you go, Mr. Zatara and his lovely acquaintance." He says, as he turns to leave. "....Acquaintance of the week, more like it." Rose and Zach hear the waiter mutter to himself as he leaves.

[FONT=&quot]"Wow. That guy is REALLY not getting a tip." [/FONT]Zach says awkwardly, putting his head in his hands.

"It's okay, Zach," Rose says, taking a glass and pouring it full with wine. "Most girls would be upset with that, but not me."She smiles as she takes a sip from her glass, slowly consuming the red liquid. She moves the glass away from her mouth, and gently places it back on the table."Besides, you can rest assured that however many ****s you've slept with," she pauses, giving him her competitive grin once more. "I've had more."
Zach stares at Rose, his eyes wide and his jaw on the floor.

[FONT=&quot]"You know, Rose...I think I like you." [/FONT]he says, as he begins to laugh."I think I like you quite a lot."

"Well, I guess that works out."She says, moving closer to him."Cause I like you a bit too."

[FONT=&quot]"I'm an easy guy to like." [/FONT]Zach says, his smile wide, as he slowly leans forward, moving closer to Rose, until their lips meet in a soft yet passionate kiss

As the two share their long awaited kiss, a thought in the back of Rose's mind suddenly becomes bigger. As she continues to kiss Zach, a face comes to her mind. A man. But, to her surprise, it isn't Zach.

Robin? She thinks. Why would I think of him? As the thought grows, she pulls away from Zach, moving back slowly. She opens her eyes, and stares at Zach.

The young magician sighs joyfully. "I have been waiting a LONG time for that. That was totally worth almost getting killed by Doomsday."

"Heh, yeah."Rose laughs uncomfortably. "Hh... totally." Rose leans back in the chair and begins thinking to herself, trying to rationalize the sudden idea. Robin? Come on, he's a hardass. He treats me like I'm a kid. Like I'm his daughter. Rose thinks, trying to rationalize her thoughts. I mean, how many times has he corrected me...or given me buisness about something? But Zach, he's been there for me. He comforted me, amused me, hell, he even sacraficed himself for me. Rose suddenly sighs, her mind desperately trying to think things through. Damn, I hate when things get complicated. Rose nervously taps the fork in front of her on the table, holding it tightly between her fingers and hitting it on the table top.

"So...where's the waiter?" She asks impatiently.

"I told him we wouldn't be eating here. I figured we'd be drunk by now and back at my place." Zach chuckles, but notices Rose's expression. "Swing and a miss, huh? He should be here any minute." he says. A moment of silence comes between the two, as Zach takes note of how quickly Rose's mood seemed to change.

"You know, I've been on a few dates and...usually when the girl does what you're doing[FONT=&quot] it's not going so well. Or she's a lesbian. And I'm pretty sure you wouldn't go out on a date with Wonder Girl..." [/FONT]Zach continues, noting to himself that he just found his next sex fantasy."...so what's on your mind?"

Rose continues tapping the fork, her banging slowly increasing in power and sound. She looks up at Zach as tries to distract herself, trying to push her confusing thoughts out of her mind."Oh, you know...nothing." She says dismissively."Just trying to wrap my head around everything. I mean, it's not everyday the world nearly comes to an end at the hands of madmen."She pauses, thinking about what she just said, the sound of the fork against the table begining to annoy her more than soothing her. "And where is that DAMN waiter..."

"Are you ready to order?" The waiter pops up as if from nowhere, placing a bottle of wine on the table, followed by two finely made glasses. Zach motions to Rose.[FONT=&quot] "As if by magic," h[/FONT]e says smiling

"You won't be doing those puns all night, right?"She asks, slowly slipping back to her sanity.

[FONT=&quot]"Only if you ask nicely." [/FONT]Zach says with a charming smile.

[FONT=&quot]Rose looks up to the waiter with a pleasent smile, trying to keep her thoughts and feelings in order."I'll have..." Rose quickly picks up the menu, opening it to entrees and browsing it hastily, searching for the first thing that stands out. "The chicken parm," she says, folding the menu and handing it to the waiter[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]"With soup or salad?" The waiter asks dryly[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]"Salad." She retorts quickly. [/FONT]

"As for you, sir?" The waiter asks Zach, holding his pen over his pad patiently.

"I'll have the steak, medium well." Zach says, turning back to Rose.

"Baked potato or-"

"You should know what I get now." Zach says, cutting off the waiter.

"Very good, sir." The waiter takes their menus, and heads off to the back of the room. Rose and Zach stare at eachother in silence for a moment, both of them thinking their own separate thoughts.

As a moment passes, Zach lets out an uncomfortable sigh, and leans forward. "At least the wine is here, huh?" He grabs the bottle, and takes the two glasses in his other hand. Carefully, he fills the glasses to the top. As he finishes, he places the bottle down on the table, and hands Rose her glass. "To the Titans?" He asks, proposing a toast.

"Right," Rose says, her mind clearly preoccupied. "Right."
 
Two Face


I laugh, amused by her question. "The Penguin?" I say with a smile. "He's not fit to run his own operation." I stand up, leaning against the wall behind me. To the left of my body is the window, only inches away. If I need it, I have an escape.

"I know I control the mob, Canary." I tell her with a grin. "And that's all that matters. In my hands...In my hands they will crumble, and turn back into dust." This power I originally didn't want, now...now I think I could use it?

No, I hear him speak, breaking his silence. No, no you can't use the mob. Not with her around. Come on, Harvey. Shoot her. Just whip out the gun and put two hot pieces of smooth metal right between her eyes.

I'm not going to kill her, you monster. I don't even need to flip to know that.

Oh, we'll see. When she lunges at you again, her intent won't be battery. It'll be murder. So go ahead, Harv, be noble. Be this...hero, you so want to be. But don't be stupid. Don't blind yourself. The heroes are just as bad as these criminals who deserve justice. Think about it, what could stop her from snapping your neck right now?

Her morals, I tell him in a stern tone.

NO, you idiot. A bullet. Two of them. They move faster than she can, and if it's either you or her...well...

I sneer, trying to ignore him. Even if he supports my new standards, he's still trying to corrupt me. Turn me into him. I'm not so naive. I'm not so stupid.

I turn back to Black Canary, watching as she stares at me in frustration and anger. I must not have answered her question. I still must not get the point. "Alright, Canary," I start, staring into her deep blue eyes. "Tell me, what's the point?"

Dinah stared at him, her face belaying a bit of the shock she was feeling. Bruce never told anyone much about his enemies, and she was beginning to see why.

Putting her hands on her hips she stared at him.
"My point?" She shook her head in disbelief.

"My point is that I ran the mobs, nothing came in or out of Gotham without me knowing, and if you check the crime count for the last year, it's been absurdly low. Also, take a peek into one of the warehouses you've 'inherited' and tell me what you see."

She walked towards him and put her index finger on his chest.
"My point is, you're misguided in believing you can do even half as good as Bats did. And you're a fool to think you're able to protect this city like it deserves. Because half the time, it's people like you who ruin it."

Dinah took a step back.
"I also know that, there's a little voice in your head pulling against every humane instinct you've ever had, and while it might have been that voice who killed Ricky, your the one who's going to answer for it."
 
Dinah stared at him, her face belaying a bit of the shock she was feeling. Bruce never told anyone much about his enemies, and she was beginning to see why.

Putting her hands on her hips she stared at him.
"My point?" She shook her head in disbelief.

"My point is that I ran the mobs, nothing came in or out of Gotham without me knowing, and if you check the crime count for the last year, it's been absurdly low. Also, take a peek into one of the warehouses you've 'inherited' and tell me what you see."

She walked towards him and put her index finger on his chest.
"My point is, you're misguided in the belief you can do even half as good as Bats did. And you're a fool to think you're able to protect this city like it deserves. Because half the time, it's people like you who ruin it."

Dinah took a step back.
"I also know that, there's a little voice in your head pulling against every humane instinct you have, and while it might have been that person who killed Ricky, your the one who's going to answer for it."

Two Face

See? See! She's going to make you pay! Make you suffer for what we did! It wasn't murder. It wasn't even me who pulled that trigger. We did it, together! We did what fate told us to, and now, she's going to kill you for it! Do it, Harv. Shoot her down. It's only self defense. Do it. Shoot her.

NO! I shout back at him, my temper rising as he continues to corrupt my mind. I won't kill her. We took a life! We killed a man!

Oh, like this is new? He questions, his reflection still everywhere I look in the room. I see his sneer on the picture frame, the mirror in the bathroom, even the puddle in the corner. We've taken hundreds of lives. Thousands! All because we had fate decide. Fate killed Ricky, Harvey. We were just the tool he used to finish it.

Fate told us too...I say to myself, trying to make sense of what I've done. Fate killed everyone we ever convicted. We...we just did what we were told.

Yes, Harvey. Yes. Can't you see? Fate is our master. He tells us what is right and wrong. He decides who lives and who dies! Choose now! Choose to kill Canary! It's what fate wants!

I stare at him, watching him coax me. He's right. Fate chose everything we've done. I have no regrets from that. I only did what I was told. But I won't kill Canary. Not without a flip. I'm not going to do it, I start, gritting my teeth in pain as I struggle with myself. I'm not going to pull the trigger.

Fine! I'll do it myself! Suddenly, I loose control. I feel my consciousness step back, and I feel him take control. He laughs as he pulls the guns out of my pockets. Sorry, Harvey, he says to me as I watch from the reflection. I just can't stand to watch this trainwreck.

"Ahhh..." he says in a soothing sigh. He cracks his neck, jerking it violently from side to side, releasing a loud popping sound. He grins widely, and raises the guns, aiming them at Canary. "It's so good to be back."

What are you doing?! I shout. You can't do this!

Can, and will, Harv. I'm the one who saved your ass every single time. I'm the one who took the beatings from dad so you wouldn't have to suffer. I'm the one who took the stress, the anger, all the things that would've caused your puny psychy to snap. I took control then to help you, Harv. I'm doing it now. Doing what you won't.

I watch as he lines up the sights, pointing the guns toward Canary's neck and chest. He smiles maliciously as his fingers begin to pull back on the triggers, his mind made up on his choice.​

"Sorry, toots," he tells her with ease. "Just protecting Harvey." He pulls the triggers, and suddenly, I feel it. I breach.​

The bullets miss Canary by a mile, his arms now aimed at the ceiling. "What!?" He shouts in confusion, surprised by his foul aim. "How could I miss? How?!"

"You didn't." I say, taking control of my body once more. "I stopped you." We struggle within, my consciousness against him. As the two of us clash inside, our body falls to its knees. We keep the fight, me taking over as I slowly push him back.​

You need me Harvey! I'm your will to act! I do what you won't! I am what you fear to face!

I'm not scared anymore, Two Face. I tell him in an angry rage. I don't need your help anymore. I'm taking control.

Suddenly, I feel him slip back. I feel my body, my fingers and hands. Everything. He gave up. I won. I shake my head, trying to get control of my body as my heart beats wildly. As I rise to my feet, I look up, and see Canary staring at me. I feel the gun in my hand, and I let it go. I let it drop, sending it to the floor.​

"I'm sorry, Canary." I say, closing my eyes in remorse. "I have control. But it doesn't matter. No one will believe me. No one trusts Harvey Dent."
 
Aquamanbanner2.gif

Aquaman, Mera, Vulko, Garth, Dolphin, and Cerdian approach the masses at the balcony of the Royal Throne room. The last time Orin had done such a similiar thing, was several months ago when he re-united the other cities of Atlantis to form one massive army to counter Darkseid's own. While it was soon found out that Darkseid had come alone, the effort was not wasted. Too long the Atlantean people had drifted apart. These past few months have kept them strong and together.

"My people...amongst ourselves you can find such diversity that for all Atlanteans to be gathered here today warms my heart. These past few months have been a struggling one for us in Poseidonis after the seige on the city. Some of you have called to me, to rebuild the Great Dome. It is my apologies, that I did not answer to your call."

"You fear yourselves open and unshielded, but that does not have to be the case. Whom do you fear most to enter out realm? Surface-dwellers? Is this why the Council has pressed onto me so strongly to rebuild the Great Dome? I have found, but a better solution to your feeling of insecurity."

"Atlantis has been a member of the United Nations for several years now...but only so few times had it been an active member. We must embrace our ties with the rest of the world, so that any disputes can be settled not by the sword, but through arguments and debate. The time of answering our feuds with a sword...is over."

"And...the time of the Crown is over too."


Commotion erupts from the crowd of Atlanteans. They all bicker amongst one another as one favors the words King Orin has said thus so far, while the other distastes them. The Marine Marvel looks down amongst his people, scanning the perimeter of the area. A large sum of the group are infuriated; as he had suspected.

With the lift of but his hand, the people soon cease to speak.

"Make no mistake. In throwing out a Monarchy form of Government Poseidonis shall embrace another. The ways of Old are over. Poseidonis...nor Atlantis herself, can survive unless changes are made. Other countries do not respond well, or feel secure theirselves when dealing with a nation that is held firm by one man or woman's grip. And being your leader...I have failed you."

"Ever since Poseidonis was attacked, the Great Dome shattered, and the city brought to near ruin...we have limped on, struggling to reinstate the life we once had. Our exports have finally started to slowly rise, but not enough to accomodate for the amount of imports we have had to receive to help stabilize the economy and state. For Atlantis as a whole to truly prosper and get back on her feet...outside help is required."


Calls echo the waters, awaiting King Orin's answer for the new form of Government that is to be established within Poseidonis. He does not hesitate to answer those calls.

"To replace the Atlantean Crown, shall be a Constitutional Republic under the United States of America but similiar to that of a Constitutional monarch as well. Poseidonis...is to become a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States. In that, Poseidonis would be subject to U.S. jurisdiction and sovereignty."

Immediately, he can hear their hatred for him. The very thought of Poseidonis joining in Union with the Surface-Dwellers is what continues to heat the flame most. The roars are endless. Orin, is unphased. He knows what is right. Changes must be made. Poseidonis must become more modernized. Its technological advancements and medicines advance that of any nation, sure...but its governmental infrastructure is lacking.

It is not Orin who breaks the silence this time, but rather Garth. His wife and child beside him, his words come from the heart.

"People of Atlantis! You have not thought through what you are feeling now. The United States government's alliance with Poseidonis is the best thing that could happen! You wanted better security? With our diplomatic ties, no other country would dare strike us! For if they do, they will have to answer to one of the most powerful World Powers! Such is the benefit, of their jurisdiction."

Vulko steps forth, showing his support for the Aquatic Ace as well.

"And with our union, sharing our secrets and technologies will benefit both nations! For years one of our worst enemies has been pollution. But with this union pollution will become just a child's bedtime story! Aiding the Americans in the technological and medical field will allow a much more firm circulation of all of those factories who do not wish to dispose of their waste properly!"

Taking her husband's hand, Mera continues where Vulko had stopped.

"Aside from just security, and environmental safety of the seas we all love so much...is the fulfillment of the Reconstruction of Atlantis. We have all done our share to restore what was once Poseidonis--the Jewel of the Ocean--and we couldn't ask more from our people. But with this union with the United States government, rebuilding what we lost shall be that much easier. Once this is established, Poseidonis shall become to primary trade partner with the U.S. for several of our exports."

"The Golden Age...the True Golden Age of Atlantis...is upon us. But that is only if you wish it be bestowed upon you. These drastic changes, these measures that tiredlessly been fought within the rooms of the Council are for Poseidonis. As I state, the time of the Crown is over. What decisions I make now, are for the people in which I directly govern. Tritonis, Thierna Na Oge, Basilia, Cerdia, and Hy-Brasil...are wish to do as you please. But I humbly ask that you take part in our offer to join us. Poseidonis' fortune can be shared with all of Atlantis."

The first Orin sees to swim away, are the submarines of Cerdia. It had not surprised Orin. The people of that nation were not natives of Atlantis. They possibly saw this as an opportunity to govern themselves once more. And it was something Orin had expected with all of the territories to be honest. No longer governed by his crown could easily sway the leaders of the cities to do as they wish.

To his surprise though, the residents of the Floating City of Basilia who had inhabitant it after Orin recovered the thought lost city...are the second to go. He surely hadn't expected that. One by one, more and more people swim out of the city. It wasn't just people of the other civilizations, but some Poseidonians as well.

The last to leave, are the Atlanteans of Hy-Brasil. Given how they had been secluded in some of the deepest and darkest parts of the ocean, Orin had mixed ideas about what they would do. Part of him thought that they would relish in this opportunity, so that they too could prosper. But they were also the most creature-like of the Atlanteans, so part of him knew they would not take kindly to the idea of cooperating with surface-men directly.

All that remains are the people of Tritonis and Thierna Na Oge, along with residents of Poseidonis. Orin looks down upon them with a smile on his face.

"The other cities, they'll...they shall see the error of their ways. Once they witness the success of Poseidonis, Tritonis, and Thiera Na Oge...they will change their mind."

"Dolphin's right, Orin. This plan has really got me psyched. I mean, you did it. You really, truly, finally did it. You've ensured a Great Future for our people."

"And you will maintain that Future for our people, Garth."

"What?"

Mera and Vulko nearly blush, whereas Garth and Dolphin are confused. Orin takes his crown off of his head, and swims over to Garth. It was something Garth had always wished for as a child and young man. He had the ambition and determination to do it nearly all of his life. So many times, Orin would leave things for Vulko to maintain and look after when he knew he would be away for quite some time. But today is the start of a new Age and era in Atlantean history.

"All hail, King Garth. Lord and Servant of Poseidonis, Tritonis, and Thiera Na Oge."
 
"Well, aside from the obvious, nothing's really wrong, exactly. But you and I both know what being here means. For all of us, but for you in particular."

It's not something he wants to hear, I can tell. But it's the very thing he's spent his whole life preparing to hear.

"With Batman gone, there are going to be a lot of people trying to take his place, either by wearing his symbol or just trying to take up the cause. The same thing happened when I went down, and it ended in disaster. Everyone here, everyone who's ever put on a costume, knows there's only one person who was meant to pick up where Bruce left off.
"I'm not saying you have to put on the cape and cowl--I know you and Bruce never saw eye-to-eye on that. But Gotham is going to need someone who be what Batman was: a leader. I've seen you with the Titans and the Outsiders. You're more than ready for this.
"The world isn't going to need another Batman...it's going to need you."

I look him dead in the eye, and extend my hand. In it is Batman's Justice League communicator.

My breathes are heavy as I look from Clark down to the communicator.

"Like I told Wally, there will only be one Batman."

I hold out my hand.

"But you're right, Bruce's fight won't end with his death. I won't let it."
 
Two Face

See? See! She's going to make you pay! Make you suffer for what we did! It wasn't murder. It wasn't even me who pulled that trigger. We did it, together! We did what fate told us to, and now, she's going to kill you for it! Do it, Harv. Shoot her down. It's only self defense. Do it. Shoot her.

NO! I shout back at him, my temper rising as he continues to corrupt my mind. I won't kill her. We took a life! We killed a man!

Oh, like this is new? He questions, his reflection still everywhere I look in the room. I see his sneer on the picture frame, the mirror in the bathroom, even the puddle in the corner. We've taken hundreds of lives. Thousands! All because we had fate decide. Fate killed Ricky, Harvey. We were just the tool he used to finish it.

Fate told us too...I say to myself, trying to make sense of what I've done. Fate killed everyone we ever convicted. We...we just did what we were told.

Yes, Harvey. Yes. Can't you see? Fate is our master. He tells us what is right and wrong. He decides who lives and who dies! Choose now! Choose to kill Canary! It's what fate wants!

I stare at him, watching him coax me. He's right. Fate chose everything we've done. I have no regrets from that. I only did what I was told. But I won't kill Canary. Not without a flip. I'm not going to do it, I start, gritting my teeth in pain as I struggle with myself. I'm not going to pull the trigger.

Fine! I'll do it myself! Suddenly, I loose control. I feel my consciousness step back, and I feel him take control. He laughs as he pulls the guns out of my pockets. Sorry, Harvey, he says to me as I watch from the reflection. I just can't stand to watch this trainwreck.

"Ahhh..." he says in a soothing sigh. He cracks his neck, jerking it violently from side to side, releasing a loud popping sound. He grins widely, and raises the guns, aiming them at Canary. "It's so good to be back."

What are you doing?! I shout. You can't do this!

Can, and will, Harv. I'm the one who saved your ass every single time. I'm the one who took the beatings from dad so you wouldn't have to suffer. I'm the one who took the stress, the anger, all the things that would've caused your puny psychy to snap. I took control then to help you, Harv. I'm doing it now. Doing what you won't.

I watch as he lines up the sights, pointing the guns toward Canary's neck and chest. He smiles maliciously as his fingers begin to pull back on the triggers, his mind made up on his choice.​

"Sorry, toots," he tells her with ease. "Just protecting Harvey." He pulls the triggers, and suddenly, I feel it. I breach.​

The bullets miss Canary by a mile, his arms now aimed at the ceiling. "What!?" He shouts in confusion, surprised by his foul aim. "How could I miss? How?!"

"You didn't." I say, taking control of my body once more. "I stopped you." We struggle within, my consciousness against him. As the two of us clash inside, our body falls to its knees. We keep the fight, me taking over as I slowly push him back.​

You need me Harvey! I'm your will to act! I do what you won't! I am what you fear to face!

I'm not scared anymore, Two Face. I tell him in an angry rage. I don't need your help anymore. I'm taking control.

Suddenly, I feel him slip back. I feel my body, my fingers and hands. Everything. He gave up. I won. I shake my head, trying to get control of my body as my heart beats wildly. As I rise to my feet, I look up, and see Canary staring at me. I feel the gun in my hand, and I let it go. I let it drop, sending it to the floor.​

"I'm sorry, Canary." I say, closing my eyes in remorse. "I have control. But it doesn't matter. No one will believe me. No one trusts Harvey Dent."


"No, they don't."

She studied him for a moment, there was no pardoning by her of the crimes he'd committed, and yet, she'd walked the line herself in setting up Gotham, who was she to judge? Dinah looked away, her hair covering her face from him, remembering going through some files with Babs. It had been during a time of mo uprising in Gotham, and Babs had pulled her in off of international missions to help Bruce.
There'd been a line in his file...at the bottom of it in small font;
"There is a good man inside of Harvey Dent, and his problem isn't his dissociative disorder--but his obsession with fate."

There is a good man...

Dinah looked back at him.
"Make them believe." She made eye contact, and as hard as it was to focus on his left eye she did.
" But if you think for a moment, you can earn that trust going down the road Batman did, you're wrong. Gotham never trusted him."

She held out her hand, every bone in her body wanting rest. She wanted to cry, to forget the last few months. But she couldn't, she was stuck here, cleaning up a mess she'd created herself. Taking ownership of her actions, and she knew, he had to as well.
"Let's go Harvey. To gain trust, you have to give them something to trust."
 
"No, they don't."

She studied him for a moment, there was no pardoning by her of the crimes he'd committed, and yet, she'd walked the line herself in setting up Gotham, who was she to judge? Dinah looked away, her hair covering her face from him, remembering going through some files with Babs. It had been during a time of mo uprising in Gotham, and Babs had pulled her in off of international missions to help Bruce.
There'd been a line in his file...at the bottom of it in small font;
"There is a good man inside of Harvey Dent, and his problem isn't his dissociative disorder--but his obsession with fate."

There is a good man...

Dinah looked back at him.
"Make them believe." She made eye contact, and as hard as it was to focus on his left eye she did.
" But if you think for a moment, you can earn that trust going down the road Batman did, you're wrong. Gotham never trusted him."

She held out her hand, every bone in her body wanting rest. She wanted to cry, to forget the last few months. But she couldn't, she was stuck here, cleaning up a mess she'd created herself. Taking ownership of her actions, and she knew, he had to as well.
"Let's go Harvey. To gain trust, you have to give them something to trust."

Two Face

"Go?" I ask her, rising to my feet slowly. "I'm not "going" anywhere." I step backward toward the wall, slowly making my way to get away from her. "I'm not going to jail. I'm not going to Arkham. I have a job to do. Gotham needs me!"

As I make another step back, I feel my gun, underneath my shoe. I smile and let out a quick sigh of relief. Gotta play this up. I fake a trip, falling to my knees and letting out a quick yell in pain. As I fall, I throw back my arm, and grab hold of the gun with my hand. "Ah...damn," I moan as my fingers wrap around the handle. I watch as she steps toward me, and I frown.

"I won't go back!" I shout, pulling my arm forward. I point the gun toward her, aiming for her center. I pull back the hammer, and put the sight to her chest. I didn't want to do this, but I'll do what I must. Gotham needs her protector.

As my hand shakes and my body shivers, I hear him laughing at me. Thought you didn't want to shoot her? He says in a smug voice.

Shut up! I shout at him, my whole body filling with aggression. This time...I have a reason.
 
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My breathes are heavy as I look from Clark down to the communicator.

"Like I told Wally, there will only be one Batman."

I hold out my hand.

"But you're right, Bruce's fight won't end with his death. I won't let it."

"Glad to hear it, Dick," I say as I hand him the communicator. "I know you'll do him proud. Welcome to the League."

I shake his hand, and give my regards to Robin and the others, before turning back to Commissioner Gordon.

"Are you ready to go?"
 
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"Glad to hear it, Dick," I say as I hand him the communicator. "I know you'll do him proud. Welcome to the League."

I shake his hand, and give my regards to Robin and the others, before turning back to Commissioner Gordon.

"Are you ready to go?"

Gordon nods, and forces a smile as he responds to Superman.

"Yeah, if you could just take me back to the GCPD roof, that'd be great. Thanks."
 
Nightwing-1.jpg

"Glad to hear it, Dick," I say as I hand him the communicator. "I know you'll do him proud. Welcome to the League."

I feel a sense of pride welling up in me as Clark shakes my hand and looks me in the eye.

Next to Bruce, Clark was always the one other person I looked up to when I was Robin. Now, he's standing here calling me his equal.

"Thank you, Clark. I promise I won't let you down."

I stay quiet as I watch him take Commissioner back to Gotham.

"Dick, are you okay?" Tim asks as I just stand still with a small smile on my face.

"I'm fine. I think I'll go out and patrol the city."

"Right now? Right after, you know."

I turn to Tim and smile.

"Look me in the eye and honestly tell me that crying over him is what Bruce would want us doing right now?"
 
Two Face

"Go?" I ask her, rising to my feet slowly. "I'm not "going" anywhere." I step backward toward the wall, slowly making my way to get away from her. "I'm not going to jail. I'm not going to Arkham. I have a job to do. Gotham needs me!"

As I make another step back, I feel my gun, underneath my shoe. I smile and let out a quick sigh of relief. Gotta play this up. I fake a trip, falling to my knees and letting out a quick yell in pain. As I fall, I throw back my arm, and grab hold of the gun with my hand. "Ah...damn," I moan as my fingers wrap around the handle. I watch as she steps toward me, and I frown.

"I won't go back!" I shout, pulling my arm forward. I point the gun toward her, aiming for her center. I pull back the hammer, and put the sight to her chest. I didn't want to do this, but I'll do what I must. Gotham needs her protector.

As my hand shakes and my body shivers, I hear him laughing at me. Thought you didn't want to shoot her? He says in a smug voice.

Shut up! I shout at him, my whole body filling with aggression. This time...I have a reason.

From where she stood there were 10 different ways to disarm him, ranging from limited pain, to most painful. Picking quickly she went for the path of most pain inflicted on him. Ducking she spun and flipped coming up in front of him. Grabbing the gun hand she thrust her elbow back into his nose.

"Give up." Applying her finger on a pressure point his hand opened dropping the gun, as she spun around and punched him.
 
From where she stood there were 10 different ways to disarm him, ranging from limited pain, to most painful. Picking quickly she went for the path of most pain inflicted on him. Ducking she spun and flipped coming up in front of him. Grabbing the gun hand she thrust her elbow back into his nose.

"Give up." Applying her finger on a pressure point his hand opened dropping the gun, as she spun around and punched him.
Two Face

I feel the pain in my face as my nose throbs. The cartilage is twisted, broken. It's alright, though. My face has always been broken. I'm always in agony. This is nothing.

As I drop the gun to the floor, Canary continues to put pressure on my hand. I can feel the joints moving apart, knowing if I don't act soon, she'll soon break the fingers. "Give up." She tells me.

"Surrender?" I ask her, trying to think fast. I feel her hot breath on my neck, and my mind thinks fast. "I'll die first!" Thinking quickly, I thrust my head back. I feel Canary's face on the back of my skull, and I smile. She moans, her grip on my hand releasing. I pull out my arm, and jump backward.

I turn and see her letting out heavy breaths, her hands glued to her face. I didn't hit her too hard, but hard enough. She may be bleeding, it may just hurt like hell. Either way, I have seconds before she gets furious.

Nice work, Harv. I hear him say, congratulating me. You pissed the ***** off. Now what? Look at her. She's growling now, steaming like a bull at his rodeo clown. Now you're stuck with her. So, what now, Harvey? A nice hard right hook to your fragile chin? Or a swift kick to your groin?

I turn around, looking for anyway out. My heart races and I feel panic fill my body. I turn and see Canary rising, pulling a hand away from her face. ****. As I spin around, I see it. My escape. The window.

"Thanks for the advice, Canary." I tell her as I run for the window. "Tell Nightwing I said 'Hi'." I throw myself as hard as I can into the glass, and crash through the it. I feel the fragments cutting my skin, leaving slight scratches and laceration.

As I go through the building, I feel the cool air of the city touch my skin. A strong wind blows outside, and its wind blows the hair on my head wildly. I begin to drop to the ground, and I question my action.

Before I can take a breath, my legs crash onto the fire escape. Thank God it's here. Thank God. I feel a stinging pain in my legs; it moves like a shockwave through my bones and joints. I ignore the pain, and move. I run down the metal stairs, moving faster than I ever thought I could.

Run, Harvey, I hear him laugh. Run faster! Faster, Harvey, faster!

Shut up! I shout to him. Shut up!

Look, there she is! She's right behind you!

His words frighten me, making me move to the ledge of the fire-escape. I jump without thought, falling two stories to the ground. Again, the shockwave runs up my legs, and sends a stinging pain through my bone. I grunt in pain, stiffling my scream. I get my bearings quickly, and duck into the dark alley, disapearing into the dark city night.

Wow, Harvey. I didn't think you'd jump. That was really stupid.

Shut up, Two Face. I tell him sternly, biting my lip as I force away the pain as I walk. I'm not in the mood.
 
OOC: A little reminder, of where this story last left off at can be found in this link.

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Epilogue:

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In the water, large flashes of light blink on and off. But of course, if one were to swim towards the light, they would find a waterway into an underwater grotto. And if they were to enter that underwater grotto and swim up to the surface where the cave forms, they would find the source of the blinking light: Ocean Master.

"Aquaman...Aquaman..."

Light emanates from his hands as they surge into power, swirling around his enclosed fists. He harnesses the power, jerking his body and throwing the magical energy at the wall of the grotto.

"AQUAMAN!"

"Stop it, you idiot! You'll cause a cave in."

A woman gets out of the water with an aid of a manta ray, keeping her up. Using it as a stair step she walks up to the edge of the rock and walks over to Orm Marius: The Ocean Master. She can see his anger and frustration is becoming sperattic and uncontrollable. She takes his hands, calming him down as he breathes heavily.

"Shh...hush love. No need to breathe so loud...so deep. Just...relax."

"YARRGH!!"

Orm pulls his hands away from the woman, and walks to one of the cave walls. He leans against it, the magical energy summoning to his hands as he tries to close his eyes and think about something other than Aquaman.

"When will you fix my...memories. It is all still a jumble. All I ever see when I close my eyes now...are him."

Orm opens his eyes, turning around.

"WHEN, witch!"

"Shhh...shhhh. Calm down now, my sweet. I've been doing all that I can to help you. You just must understand that these sort of things takes time."

She walks over to Orm, and he starts to calm down once more. He doesn't know it, but she enters his mind, soothing his head to keep him at peace. There are many things he doesn't know she is doing with his head in fact.

"There is but one thing that may help us make haste. But it will not be easy and will require much."

"Anything...everything...just as long as I can be at peace."

"One of my little spies has brought something new and useful to my attention; it concerns your half-brother Orin. It appears that Atlantis, or rather a portion of Atlantis, is going to be joining the United States government in union as an unincorporated territory. Meaning, if we do anything to Atlantis...we will have to answer to American jurisdiction. I do not think that our passing through or by Atlantis without answering any questions we do not wish to answer will go well with the combined forces of the Atlantean and American Government."

"And?"

"And...the item I need lies is somewhere within the city limits of the three Atlantean cities that have made the agreement."

"What item is this?"

"It is an ancient, old, artifact of evil. A thorned crown I pursued long ago before my plans were foiled by Aquaman and The Flash. A magical Babylonian Crown which contains immense power. The thing is, an evil spirit rests dormant in it: Enlil. Should anyone wear the crown, they will become consumed and possessed by Enlil's spirit. But should a magic-user such as yourself claim the crown...perhaps you will be able to fight off Enlil's control with a spell."

"Then...you can rid me of this madness?"

"After you have laid down a spell to keep Enlil's control off, I can then wear the crown, and with our combined power repair your memories. The thing is, by the time I had awoken from unconsciousness, the crown had floated away. I know not yet where it dwells in the waters of Atlantis."

Ocean Master begins to smile. Of course, that smile soon fades away as he wears a mask of confusion to what the woman told him previously.

"But...you said we dare not do anything such as steal the Crown whereever it lies in the realm of Atlantis' waters. Not so long as part of Atlantis is in union with the United States Government. How will we do it?"

The woman smirks, and leans up against the wall.

"It will take intricate planning and time. So we must be patient. I shall find something...you shall see. Just leave that up to me, love. All in due time. For now, leave all that up to..."

marinemarauder1.jpg

"...The Marine Marauder."
 
Two Face

On the outskirts of the city, Gotham's dead are layed to rest. I stand amongst their pillars, the headstones over their bodies as a beacon, showing history they are not lost.

The crowd is gone by now, me the only one walking through the grassy cemetary. I hear the clouds above me quake and roar, shooting bolts through the sky and illuminating the shadows. Even the heavens mourn the soul Gotham has lost.

As I make it to the top of the hill, I pull the black trenchcoat over me, covering my torn and battered clothes. On top of my head is a baseball cap, a simple cover to keep my face as hidden as I can. With all that's happened, I'll need to lie low for a few weeks.

I soon find myself at the top of the small hump in the Earth. Rain begins to spit downward, hitting my coat and hat and rolling off to the ground. I stare at the headstone, reading the epitaph scribed in the stone. "Here lies Bruce Wayne: Gotham's White Knight."

"White Knight," I scoff, shaking my head. "We knew better. Didn't we? We all know what...who, you really were, Bruce." I stick my hands in my pockets, and let out a heavy sigh. The rain begins to intensify, but I ignore it. This is my chance to make my peace. I won't cut it short.

"Bruce, over the years you and I were at ends." Hell of a way to start, but hey, it's my eulogy. "Me, breaking the laws I swore to up hold, and you...you always trying to bring me back. You had a rule, Bruce. A rule I can never have. You're rule was second chances. Never ending, always limitless. You never stopped believing in me. You always tried to bring me back, hoping the real me was still inside."

I close my eyes tightly, and think back. I remember the old times, the days and weeks after the accident. Even after what I did, he still came to me. He still tried to pull me back. "That's the kinda guy you were, Bruce. You saw the good, knowing everyone could change." I pause, my hands tightly clasped in fists. "I'm...just sorry it took this long to bring me back."

I place my hand on the headstone, and I open my eyes. I stare into the etched name, Bruce Wayne. "I was always leading toward this. You knew it. You knew I'd come back to the right side. I have, Bruce. I finally have." I begin patting the stone, my mind maybe thinking of it as a connection to my old friend. "I'm going to continue what you started. I'll rid this city of it's crime and corruption. It's my promise to you, Bruce." I say, taking a long pause as I breath sparingly. "You have my word."

As the rain continues to pour, I continue to stare aimlessly at the headstone. I still can't believe it, really. Still can't believe he's gone. They say you go through stages of coping with death. I'm fading from denial into anger. I can feel it burning, the fire growing inside me.

What? I ask, suddenly realizing how quiet it's been. Nothing to say? No final words to give to a dead man?

What's there to say. I hear him respond to me, a bitterness in his voice. With him dead, we've got nothing to fear.

How can you say that? I ask him, snapping back. You can't deny the good he did. All he accomplished.

You're right, he says, his voice perking up. I want to know what he's doing with all that money.

I sneer as I hear him speak, his voice disgusting me with his selfishness and greed. "I'm sorry, Bruce." I say, trying to ignore his lingering laugh. "I'm in control now. I'll do my best to make you proud." I slip my hand off the headstone, and step back aways. "You made a promise once, Bruce. Now I've made a promise to you."
 
Dinah leaned against the doorway, her head down as she rubbed her head. Not the way she'd intended on it going, but it wasn't anything she could let worry her now. Gotham wasn't her responsibility anymore. No, it passed on to Dick and Tim, the ones who'd been trained in it. She looked up at the back of a red head of hair as Babs scanned radio's and image feeds. Various images of Gotham were all over the screen, Oracle was back in Gotham, for good. Dinah smiled weakly to herself as something akin to 'normal' seemed to wash over her.

Babs turned around and looked at her.
"Doesn't look like it turned out so well."

Dinah smiled lightly, still holding her throbbing head. Darn, he hit hard, she winced.
"You could say that. Motrin?"

Babs pointed to a nearby box before spinning back around. Dinah rummaged through the box pulling out the bottle. It had been a long last few days. Two memorials down, and one more left. The worst one was tomorrow, while Bruce's had been the hardest, tomorrow's required her to see the pain of people she hadn't contacted in years.

"So, I was thinking...maybe getting BoP up and running again." Dinah spun around from her seat on the ground and looked at Babs.
"We never stopped." Babs nodded and pushed her glasses up. "I know, I know. But..well.." she flicked gently at the Batgirl plushie on her desk. "I think, I need to be more serious about it."

Dinah snorted and flopped on the floor playfully, her blonde hair spreading out around her head.
"When are you not?" She teased. The drapes in the window moved slightly and Dinah tilted her head to see the dark figure there of Batgirl.
"Hello Canary." She nodded and then walked to Babs handing her a disk and leaving the way she came. Dinah closed her right eye and laughed, of course. Babs was going to be the local den mother or..cave mother as it were.

Flipping over on her stomach she propped herself up on elbows and watched Babs work. Feeling a slight pull on her neck she looked down to see her blue ring dangling from it's necklace, outside of her neckline. She sighed, yes, this was.....like old times, and it made it easier to forget the past few years of darkness.
"Thinking of calling Helena up." Dinah raised her eyebrow at the statement, it gave away Babs' feelings of loosing another friend without telling them how she felt. "Hmmm..I hear she's doing good now." "I heard that too." Babs hit a key and spun her chair around, smiling at Dinah as she stood. Her eyes were red from both work, and tears Dinah surmised given how hard Bruce's death had hit her. Having lost one of her own mentors the previous year she knew how her friend felt. She pushed back the thought of Ted quickly. "Chocolate?" Dinah pushed herself up and nodded, following Babs to the kitchen, only to find her frozen, deep in thought, in front of the refrigerator, her hand on the freezer handle. Putting her arm around her friend she smiled and gave her a squeeze as Bab's eyes went red. Babs released the handle and slide into the chair, burying her head in her hands. Grasping Bab's hand she squeezed it before pulling out the ice cream container and two spoons. Setting the container in the middle of the table she held the spoons up as if showing off the latest tech from WayneTech as the red-head looked back up again, scarlet rimming her eyes. reaching over Dinah handed a spoon to Babs. "What did you tell me when Ted died?" Babs shook her head and took a scoop of Ice Cream. "Friends are always there for you?" she guessed generically. Dinah rolled her eyes a large spoon of ice cream in her mouth, she shook her head. "'We do it together this time.'"

Babs stared off into space, her face blank. Dinah watched her carefully as she took another spoon of Ice Cream, she ran through her previous plans, moving to Star City with Ollie wasn't going to happen now, not with Bruce dead, not when Babs needed her. A magazine lay on the table face down, the back an ad to visit 'Scenic Star City.'
"Together." Dinah looked up from where she'd been studying the image of the fictionalized image of the beach, and smiled. "Together."

"Right, if you two are done with the sentimental stuff...." Dinah turned to see Zinda in the doorway. She walked over to the table and plopped down a bottle of whiskey and three shot glasses on the table. She winked, "I've never been to a more boring memorial. Not a drink in sight. He deserved more. Even if he did wear a funny suit." pouring them each a shot she held hers up above her head.
"To the Batman." Dinah exchanged a look with Babs. "Well, after tonight, I could use a drink. To Bruce." Bab's fingered the shot glass before following suit. "To Bruce."
 
Two Face

On the outskirts of the city, Gotham's dead are layed to rest. I stand amongst their pillars, the headstones over their bodies as a beacon, showing history they are not lost.

The crowd is gone by now, me the only one walking through the grassy cemetary. I hear the clouds above me quake and roar, shooting bolts through the sky and illuminating the shadows. Even the heavens mourn the soul Gotham has lost.

As I make it to the top of the hill, I pull the black trenchcoat over me, covering my torn and battered clothes. On top of my head is a baseball cap, a simple cover to keep my face as hidden as I can. With all that's happened, I'll need to lie low for a few weeks.

I soon find myself at the top of the small hump in the Earth. Rain begins to spit downward, hitting my coat and hat and rolling off to the ground. I stare at the headstone, reading the epitaph scribed in the stone. "Here lies Bruce Wayne: Gotham's White Knight."

"White Knight," I scoff, shaking my head. "We knew better. Didn't we? We all know what...who, you really were, Bruce." I stick my hands in my pockets, and let out a heavy sigh. The rain begins to intensify, but I ignore it. This is my chance to make my peace. I won't cut it short.

"Bruce, over the years you and I were at ends." Hell of a way to start, but hey, it's my eulogy. "Me, breaking the laws I swore to up hold, and you...you always trying to bring me back. You had a rule, Bruce. A rule I can never have. You're rule was second chances. Never ending, always limitless. You never stopped believing in me. You always tried to bring me back, hoping the real me was still inside."

I close my eyes tightly, and think back. I remember the old times, the days and weeks after the accident. Even after what I did, he still came to me. He still tried to pull me back. "That's the kinda guy you were, Bruce. You saw the good, knowing everyone could change." I pause, my hands tightly clasped in fists. "I'm...just sorry it took this long to bring me back."

I place my hand on the headstone, and I open my eyes. I stare into the etched name, Bruce Wayne. "I was always leading toward this. You knew it. You knew I'd come back to the right side. I have, Bruce. I finally have." I begin patting the stone, my mind maybe thinking of it as a connection to my old friend. "I'm going to continue what you started. I'll rid this city of it's crime and corruption. It's my promise to you, Bruce." I say, taking a long pause as I breath sparingly. "You have my word."

As the rain continues to pour, I continue to stare aimlessly at the headstone. I still can't believe it, really. Still can't believe he's gone. They say you go through stages of coping with death. I'm fading from denial into anger. I can feel it burning, the fire growing inside me.

What? I ask, suddenly realizing how quiet it's been. Nothing to say? No final words to give to a dead man?

What's there to say. I hear him respond to me, a bitterness in his voice. With him dead, we've got nothing to fear.

How can you say that? I ask him, snapping back. You can't deny the good he did. All he accomplished.

You're right, he says, his voice perking up. I want to know what he's doing with all that money.

I sneer as I hear him speak, his voice disgusting me with his selfishness and greed. "I'm sorry, Bruce." I say, trying to ignore his lingering laugh. "I'm in control now. I'll do my best to make you proud." I slip my hand off the headstone, and step back aways. "You made a promise once, Bruce. Now I've made a promise to you."

Leaning against a nearby tree, unseen, a figure lit a cigarette. The small orange ember of light created did little to reveal the shadowy silhouette. And so he had to announce his presence with a familiar voice.

"Making promises is easy, Harvey."

Gordon stepped forward out of the shadows, approaching Two-Face.

"The hard part is keeping them."
 
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After dropping Commissioner Gordon off at Gotham Central, I came up here to think for a bit.

At Clark's apartment, I can be more down-to-Earth, and the woman I love is there to support me when things get tough.

Back in Smallville, Ma and Pa are there to set me straight, to remind me of why I put on the cape in the first place.

At the Fortress, Kelex and the simulation of Jor-El are there to remind me of my heritage, and help me work out the mysteries of the universe.

But here...

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...up here, I can step back and take it all in.

Everything that's happened lately...it was horrible. It could have been a lot worse if we weren't there, but still....

There's a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as the 'monkey-sphere.' Named after a series of experiments on primate brains, it refers to the amount of other life forms a mind is even capable of registering as fellow creatures. It's the number of things in this world a person can actually care about.

The average human brain has a limit of around 150, and everyone after that is just an 'extra' in their head. It explains so much as to why they fight each other, kill without thinking, take advantage of each other without caring--because they're physically incapable of caring about that many people. Only 150. Even a super-genius like Lex Luthor would top out around 300, if he cared about anyone at all.

STAR Labs once ran a few tests on me to see the psychological differences between humans and Kryptonians. And the estimated size of my 'monkey sphere?'

Roughly the entire population of Earth.

All species of life included.

Twelve hundred times over.

Jeremy Carlisle was going to meet up with his father for the first time in almost five years. Karen Lewis was taking a break from writing her senior practicum. Ahmoud Rasheed was getting his cart ready for the lunch rush, since everyone knew he made the best pretzels in Metropolis. Joseph Russell and Kelly Hunt were having a picnic, Kelly unaware that her boyfriend was carrying an engagement ring in his back pocket. Philip, Stephen, and Wally Bloom were playing with their new dog, after their kindergarten class had let out an hour before.

All of them were in Centennial Park when the bomb went off.

I can lift mountains and punch out gods themselves. I can outrace the wind and see into the unfathomable depths of the universe. But I can't bring them back. Their parts in the world have ended before their time, and mine goes on. Every time our world intersects with theirs, they suffer for it. And I remember each and every person I've let down.

I can't bring them back...can I?

When Metron saved me, he mentioned another Kryptonian, just beyond the Source Wall. One who was calling me by name. If Kara can come back...then maybe I can hope to undo some of what the Dark Alliance had done.

The light of the yellow sun peers out from behind the Earth. It's the start of a brand new day.

------------------

A few hours later, the chaotic newsroom of the Daily Planet comes to a screeching halt when they see who's stepped out of the elevator.

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"...what? You've never seen me come back from the dead before?"

Behind my glasses, I can't help but smile.

It's a brand new day, indeed.
 
IC: Jimmy Olsen

"So, yeah," said Jimmy, bracing the phone against his ear with his shoulder while putting film in his camera. "We should go on Thursday. I'll bring snacks. It'll be a good time."

Around him, everything stopped. All work suddenly ceased and everyone turned their attention to the door. Jimmy looked to either side, slightly confused, but didn't turn around until he heard a voice he hadn't heard in a while.

"...what? You've never seen me come back from the dead before?"

"Lois..." he whispered.

He faintly heard Lucy saying "What?" on the other end of the line as he ran towards Lois and embraced her.

"LOIS!"

"Hi Jimmy..."

"Where have you been?"

"I have a feeling I'm going to be answering that question a lot today."

Jimmy remembered the phone in his hand and quickly put it to his ear.

"Luce, you're sister wants to talk to you."

He handed the phone to Lois, who was then deafened by her sister's high pitched squeals of joy. Jimmy looked over to Clark.

"CK, how...when did...wah?"
 
Leaning against a nearby tree, unseen, a figure lit a cigarette. The small orange ember of light created did little to reveal the shadowy silhouette. And so he had to announce his presence with a familiar voice.

"Making promises is easy, Harvey."

Gordon stepped forward out of the shadows, approaching Two-Face.

"The hard part is keeping them."

"Gordon," I say, my head turning only slightly to see him as he comes up beside me. "How are the kids?"
 
Things are hard right now. Their tough, and ugly. For some time I went out on my own. Freelance, just prowling the streets of whatever city I was in. Took some personal time; time I could think and find myself. But, with me, my time is never personal. It's always buisness.

I drop down into a street, leaping off the side of a building. The wire attached to my belt keeps me from smashing down into the hard concrete below. Just before I hit, my line pulls me back, violently. It'll leave a mark, but it's better than the alternative.

In front of me stands a man with a knife, his back turned to me. He holds a young woman in his grasp, his hands tightly wrapped around her arms. He laughs in an evil way, a way that makes my skin crawl. I hear her shriek, and my patience disapears.

"Hey ugly," I start, grabbing the crossbow from my belt. The bow on it extends, and I grab an arrow from my thigh. I slip the arrow into the bow, and pull it back quickly.

As the man turns, he sees me standing there, holding an arrow aimed for his head. He suddenly stops laughing, and shudders in fear. "You should let her go." I say in an angered tone. "NOW!"

He throws the woman to the ground, using her like a shield. He runs in haste down the alley, huffing and puffing as he moves. I sneer as I watch him scurry away, hoping to escape and hide like the rat he is.

I take aim, lining the arrow to the tip of his spine. I pull back on the trigger, and watch as the arrow cuts through the air, and flies straight on its course. The man yelps in pain as the arrow lodges itself into the soft tissue of his neck, and he drops down. Paralyzed. Temporarily, anyway.

I holster the crossbow, and move to the side of the woman. She shakes, cowering in fear. I'm not meant to be seen as a comforting omen, so right now, I'm sure I'm making her situation worse. But...it doesn't matter. Not to me.

"You'll be fine." I tell her coldly, trying to show a sense of sympathy. "Just go to the police." I look over to the man's body, watching as he twitches and convulses uncontrolably. "He's not going anywhere." I smile, enjoying my work a little too much.

Quickly, I take off down the alleyway, and disapear into the darkness. My work is done here, for now. But this city is dying. I've been away for only months, and I return to this.

It's depressing. Sickening to see what these people have let it come to. But this city isn't dead yet. Gotham needs it's heroes. Sadly, all I can offer is myself. That'll just have to do.
 
"Gordon," I say, my head turning only slightly to see him as he comes up beside me. "How are the kids?"

Gordon ignores the question, and continues on with the point he was making.

"It's one thing to stand here and make promises. But this...this man did great things for our city. He sacrificed so much, and in the end he sacrificed his life. He was a hero. He was our hero."

Puffing on his cigarette, Gordon looked up at the night sky, hands stuffed in his pockets.

"If you take the law into your own hands, become judge, jury and executioner... I will hunt you down, Harvey. Just the same as if you were killing innocents. I don't care if you murder in Bruce's name, it's still murder. No, sctatch that, I do care. I'll come down on you even harder if you murder in Bruce's name, because that's an insult to the man's memory, and all he stood for."

Gordon stubbed out the cigarette, then picked up the stub and put it in his pocket. He didn't want to disrespect the gravesite.

"Look, if you feel the need to atone for your sins, and fight the good fight, I understand that. I might even tolerate it. But I want to make one thing clear..."

And finally, Gordon turned to face Two-Face directly, putting a hand on Dent's shoulder and forcing him to look at him eye-to-eye.

"No more bodies, Harvey. No more bodies from you. No more killing."
 
Nightwing-1.jpg



It's night time here in Gotham. A slow drizzle has set in for the night.

From the safety of a fire escape I listen to the sounds of the night.

While I'm used to the usual sounds of hearing lover's spats and dogs barking over wailing sirens and a hundred different other noises. I don't hear them.

Something I've rarely seen has griped this city.

Gotham is silent.

I'm not sure if it's the city recovering from Brainiac's rampage or if it's in mourning for it's lost hero. Whatever it is, I know one thing:

It's temporary.

With Batman gone, Gotham is going to find it self in a whirlwind of would be conquers along with the usual freaks and villians that plague this city.

"Doing some late night work there, Man Wonder?" Babs buzzes in my ear.

"I don't know, Babs. You doing some late night stalking?"

I chuckle as I dive off the fire escape and somersault into the alleyway below.

"So, are you moving back to Gotham now?"

"Yep. I'm going back to New York tomorrow and handing in my badge."

"That's a shame, you looked sexy in blue."

I run down the alley and fire a grapnel line into the air.

My body jerks forward as the grapnel catches and swings me into the air.

"It feels weird. Sitting here without seeing his commlink online."

"I know what you mean. I grew up on these streets, but it doesn't feel the same knowing he's not out there." I say as I land hard on the gravel of a rooftop.

"As you acrobats would say, you lost your safety net."

"Well, as you computer geeks would say, I've lost my backup drives."

"Touche, Twentysomething Wonder."

"Barbara...."

"Yeah, Dick?"

"I'm scared. For the first time in a long time, I'm afraid of what the future brings. I don't know if I can do it without Bruce. As much as I tried to be my own man, I always had Bruce to fall back on. I'm really up here now without a net."

Barbara's silent for a long time, she's unsure of what to say.

"Dick, you can do this. I know you're scared of doing it by yourself, but you're more than ready. Superman wouldn't have offered you membership into the Leauge unless he was positive you've made it."

"Wait. How did you know that? I hadn't told anyone."

"I'm psychic...oh, and he told me so I can switch over Batman's voice authorization codes to your voice."

"That explains the call. And here I was thinking you only wanted me for my body."

"No. I'm just after your money, Mister Moneybags."

"Ahh, the plot thins."

Barbara and I are silent as I continue to move from rooftop to rooftop.

"Still there?"

"Yep."

"If you're not doing anything tomorrow, how about you and I go out?"

"Be still my beating heart."

"I take that as a yes?"

"It's a maybe. Don't push your luck, shortpants."

"Hey! Only Roy gets to call me shortpants."

I hear the click of the commlink as Barbara disconnects.

I stand on the edge of a rooftop and watch as the sun starts to slowly come over the horizon.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring. But I know one thing:

I'll be ready.​
 

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