The "World of Heroes" DC RPG Season VII

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The early rays of the morning creep into the house. From both bedrooms come the sounds of sleeping, and I soak those sounds in as I stand in the kitchen, mug in hand.

The faint yellow and red light suddenly takes on a pale green tint. And the green glow grows stronger and stronger. I enjoy another sip and patiently wait for his arrival. But I am surprised.

A trio of...what resemble Green Lanterns land in the backyard. They point their rings at the glass door, but I calmly slide it open. No need for Mary to deal with any damage. I'm not going to put up a fight.

"Sinestro of Korugar. You are under arrest and hereby summoned to stand trial before the Guardians of the Universe. Surrender your ring and prepare for immediate transport."

"Have any of you ever been to Earth before?" I ask nonchalantly. "They have this drink called coffee. Vile stuff. I prefer this...cocoa myself." I give them a nod as I take a long sip.

"Surrender your ring immediately or face the repercussions."


"I was just trying to make conversation while we wait. Where is Jordan?"

"Green Lantern 2184.1 is not required for transportation. Surrender your ring."

"I was planning to surrender to Jordan-"

They point their rings at me again, and I hear the distinct hum of charging energy. "No Lantern escapes the Alpha Lanterns."

"So, you're saying I am a Lantern?" I take another sip and smile. Despite their cold emotionless voices, I detect a note of annoyance. I enjoy the moment all that I can. If I'm going to be sentenced to death, I might as well have a little fun before the end. And I should be allowed the dignity of choosing who I surrender to. "I am not trying to escape. I am just waiting-"

"Surrender. You will receive no more warnings."


"I will surrender. To Hal Jordan. And only Hal Jordan."

"Subject resists. Prepare for extermination."


Ah, so Lantern policies have changed a little more than I expected. This is not going well...

“What the hell is this!?”

I touch down to the arranged meeting point, to find Sinestro being confronted by the Alpha Lanterns. The Guardians’ latest great idea – if we’re the cops of the universe, then the Alphas are Internal Affairs. And now they’re here, apparently getting ready to execute Sinestro on the spot.

“Lantern Jordan,” said Boodikka, apparent leader of the Alpha Lanterns, curtly, “Sinestro of Korugar is resisting arrest. We are to bring him to Oa by any means necessary.”

“Under whose authority?”

“The Guardians of the Universe.”

I should have known...

“I cleared this with the Guardians! I was to be the arresting officer...”

“The Guardians decided you were ill-equipped to handle this highly important prisoner transfer. After all, you have proven so easily manipulated by Sinestro in the past...”

Despite the fact that her voice was cold, utterly stripped of all emotion, there was a hint of contempt in Boodikka’s voice. She had still not forgiven me for what I had done to her Parallax, cutting off her ring-bearing hand and leaving her to die in the blackness of space.

“I’m not getting into this again, Boodikka. The Guardians don’t trust me, and they want you to escort us to Oa? That’s fine. But I’m not handing Sinestro over to you. I’m bringing him to his trial, unless you want to arrest me.”

The Alpha Lanterns exchanged glances that suggested they were tempted to do just that. But then, Boodikka stood back from Sinestro, and the others followed suit.

“Very well. Secure the prisoner, Lantern Jordan.”

I turn to Sinestro, flashing a weak smile as I extend my hand.

“I’m sorry, Sinestro. But now you really do need to hand over that ring. Once we’re done here and you’ve been granted a full pardon, you might just find yourself with a green one to replace it.”
 
“But quid pro quo, Batso, how does it feel knowing that I beat you, that I killed you, but it’s me you have to thank for bringing you back? And here you are, back from the dead. Can you remember the moment when you died, Batman? Was their a white light, were your parents waiting there for you? You were gone, and now you’re here, and the dance begins anew. I’ve told you before.... we’re destined to do this forever. Even death cannot stop us.”

"You haven't beaten me, you only think you have. You bringing me back didn't prove anything other than the fact that your obsession of me is as strong as ever."

Despite what I say....I'm not quite sure I believe it. After all the destruction and mayhem Joker has caused in my life, he is responsible for breaking Talia's spell and bringing me back. If I happen to believe in fate, I would say that Fate does have an ironic sense of humor.

"As for what you say, about being destined to be locked in combat forever? I am almost inclined to believe that. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.....if we are being so honest with each other, let me ask you this...why? Why me? I know the reasons you've given in the past, but why have I done to garner your affections?"
 
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“What the hell is this!?”

I touch down to the arranged meeting point, to find Sinestro being confronted by the Alpha Lanterns. The Guardians’ latest great idea – if we’re the cops of the universe, then the Alphas are Internal Affairs. And now they’re here, apparently getting ready to execute Sinestro on the spot.

“Lantern Jordan,” said Boodikka, apparent leader of the Alpha Lanterns, curtly, “Sinestro of Korugar is resisting arrest. We are to bring him to Oa by any means necessary.”

“Under whose authority?”

“The Guardians of the Universe.”

I should have known...

“I cleared this with the Guardians! I was to be the arresting officer...”

“The Guardians decided you were ill-equipped to handle this highly important prisoner transfer. After all, you have proven so easily manipulated by Sinestro in the past...”

Despite the fact that her voice was cold, utterly stripped of all emotion, there was a hint of contempt in Boodikka’s voice. She had still not forgiven me for what I had done to her Parallax, cutting off her ring-bearing hand and leaving her to die in the blackness of space.

“I’m not getting into this again, Boodikka. The Guardians don’t trust me, and they want you to escort us to Oa? That’s fine. But I’m not handing Sinestro over to you. I’m bringing him to his trial, unless you want to arrest me.”

The Alpha Lanterns exchanged glances that suggested they were tempted to do just that. But then, Boodikka stood back from Sinestro, and the others followed suit.

“Very well. Secure the prisoner, Lantern Jordan.”

I turn to Sinestro, flashing a weak smile as I extend my hand.

“I’m sorry, Sinestro. But now you really do need to hand over that ring. Once we’re done here and you’ve been granted a full pardon, you might just find yourself with a green one to replace it.”

"Now, was that so hard?" The Alpha Lanterns glare at me, and for a brief moment, I think they may go back on their word. Let them try. I am doing this on my terms, not there's.

But they do nothing beyond glaring. I look down at my hand hld my ring in my fingertips, rotating it on my finger for a few moments. I almost do not want to do this. But I have no choice.

I glance inside the house and Mary is standing inside the door, wrapped in a blanket. The look on her face...

I suddenly find a new strength inside me. Giving Mary a confident smile, I pull my ring off and offer it to Jordan.

"I request that those who wish to testify on my behalf be transported to the trial as well."

The one called Boodikka speaks. "That task will be assigned to Green Lantern 2814.2. Witnesses will not be allowed to speak with the prisoner."

"...Very well. I hereby surrender to the Green Lantern Corps."
 
"That is where the journal of Jonah Hex ends." Desaad tossed the back aside, The Black Hand stood over his shoulder.

"Yes what was the point of that you, twit."

"Quite simply our master has been hard at work. After what happened his soul was scatter across infinite universes with his essence falling through universe after universe and crashing on this very Earth."

"Making this Earth the center, the cornerstone to the entire multiverse. Krona the mad created it from here as we lived"


"Right now objects scattered across time and space are drifting toward this and they are getting larger and larger. Soon there will be all universe will be compressed into one Earth. One Earth, one way. All shaped by the dark one.
I've been preparing for this. Shaping the world for our master. Ruining the pure of heart. How goes your little little science experiments."

"Hardly little. I have perverted human evolution. I have transformed him into the new man."

"I am walking anti-life. I am nemesis to those who bear the light. The master told me I must eliminate those who wear their emotion on their sleeve. Teach them the one truth of the universe. His corps will snuff out the light forever."

"Yes, then we may proceed."

******
Gotham City Graveyard,

This was home for William Hand. Not single emotion everything was a peace. Peace is anti-life, emotion is anti-life, he make the equation whole for the master. The group continue to the deep end of the graveyard. Black Hand started to cough. He coughed up a thick band ooze into his hand. He wiped it along the grave of Thomas and Martha Wayne. They continued to walk for a few more minutes when they reached an unmarked grave.

"Here," Mokkari said, "start digging." Two men started to dig until they reached the casket. Opening up was nothing but bones. "The skull! Give me the skull!" Mokkari's goons tossed him the skull.

"What is the purpose of this?"


"Shut up! The skull of Aurakles."


"Impossible, Aurakles is chained at the beginning of the time."

"I said shut up! You still think that all your little plans are yours. No, our master whispers his plans into our ears. The skull of the first superhero is now ours. Take it." He hands it to Black Hand. Black ooze

"The power...it's incredible!"

"A generator for our power now. Use it against our enemies. Entrap them in Anti-Life, he hands him something else, "when everything is ready press this button. The other one will bring you to where ever you would like to go. Soon the sacrifice will be ready until then you will not see us." The group stepped into the shadows,there was a loud sound like an explosion, and they were gone.
 
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All eyes fall on the King of Atlantica as he travels alone towards the center of the city. What awaits him is his family, along with the Altantean Council, Nuidis Vulko, and Thierna Na Oge & Poseidonis' most talented sorcerers. The Aquatic Ace spots Tempest coming through the city, and looks at his wife Mera who holds their daughter Kym. Today marks a great change in Atlantean history. Sure there is no telling how often the death penalty will have to be used, and for all Orin knows it will not have to be used after this day.

But as he looks at Kym, he cannot help but think about the future: the future he desired for her. The future he wants for all of his people. The main reason he made the changes he made and the reason he put Garth in power.

Then he recalls the irony of the day. Soon he will be escorted to bear witness a trial where there shouldn't have to be one for the man in question has more than redeemed himself and as he does he will be leaving a public execution where a trial should've taken place instead. Various officials make an appearance this day, men and women Orin hand-picked himself. Still it surprises him that they went along with such an idea. As he remains present for not much longer, they do not even look Aquaman in the eye as he is present. They know his standing on the significance of today; everyone does. But Garth is the King. Long live the King.

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The mystics are gathered, and it is just about time to begin. They all wait, though, for out of respect Garth has decreed they would not carry through with the execution until Aquaman's departure. Two guards bring the shackled villain Hagen now through the city steps into the center. The moment he is in the vicinity of the other mystics, a spell is cast to shield the innocent bystanders present for the public execution.

The mystical Hagen crosses paths with the Marine Marvel and their eyes briefly meets as the guards continue to pass them along. As Orin looks into the villain's eyes, there is a great deal of worry and shock. Perhaps shock that Aquaman would somehow allow this to happen. And all it does is make this feeling in the pit of Orin's stomach that much worse. But of course, the hero would not be aware of the mere show Hagen puts on for not just him but for the entire Council of Atlantis and present company.

There is a green glow glimmering in the distance, which draws all attention from the gathered crowd. A green lantern swims through the city and quickened speed, stopping several feet from the floor below.

"Time to get going, Arthur."


"Sure thing, John."

Orin swims over to Mera and kisses her softly on her cheek. He then looks over at Kym who lies in her arms and smiles as she giggles back at him. Taking a quick glance at Garth who does not look back at Aquaman, rather remaining in a stern composure as the time has come, Orin just nods and ascends towards John Stewart.

"I'm ready."

After Green Lantern opens up a worm-hole with his oan power ring, Orin enters and the two vanish from Atlantean waters. There is a moment of silence in the water, and all look towards King Garth who simply nods. The guards that escorted Hagen step back, and Hagen is left at the center of it all. Tempest looks around at his family, but they do not eye him back. Even Nuidis Vulko, who supported Garth, seems to somewhat regret it all as the actual action is about to take place.

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[YT]pAIKznMPXUk[/YT]

SMASH

Three masked robbers burst out of the main doors of the bank, machine guns held up in the air. Bags stuffed full of money were strapped to their backs, spilling a few notes as they sprinted towards a black van.

"The bank-heist? Really? That's your grand plan?"

Spoiler landed on the street, adjusting her hood slightly. Without looking, the men began to open fire, walking sideways towards the van as they shot. The purple clad heroine threw two batarangs into the front and back wheels, letting the air down.

She leapt towards the men, dropping the first man onto the ground, knocking his head hard against the concrete. Spinning on the spot, she forced the machine gun into the face of the second man, before punching him twice in the gut and kicking him into the van. There was a click as a pistol was cocked and pressed against her head.

"Oh fantastic,"

A batarang hit the crooks hand, with a thud, knocking the gun onto the ground. This was followed up by a black boot crunching into the side of his head as a red figure came flying into view.

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"Hi,"

"Robin?"

"Almost," Tim said, smiling "Red Robin,"

"But you're still...you?"

"Yeah. I haven't seen you around for a while," he said, with something approaching concern.

"That's because you haven't been in Gotham for quite a while," Stephanie said, raising an eyebrow under her hood.

"I plan to rectify that,"

"Oh do you?" Spoiler asked, taking a step closer.

"Be seeing you," Tim said, smirking.

He fired off a grapnel into the night's sky and disappeared from sight.

"I'm sure you will do,"
 
"Really, it's not your fault", Savitar stated as he slowly stalked forward. His boot heels crunching on broken glass, the Lord of Speed stepped over the shattered remains of what was once a large table.

"There's no way you could've expected this."

Savitar stopped as a static buzzing sound cut through the deathly silence.

"Bart. Bart, come in. It's Jay and Wally. We need to talk with you, it's an emergency."

"Yes, he is quite aware of the emergency, Mr. Garrick", Savitar chuckles as his foot comes down on top of the communicator, smashing it apart.

Savitar walked up to the bloody and beaten body of Bart Allen as the young hero lays surrounded by a pool of blood amid a old bathtub that's been bent and mangled to form around his broken body.

"What's wrong, Bart", Savitar smirked as he knelt down in front of the hero.
"Nothing to say now? No quips? No smart ass remarks?"

"I must say, I am thoroughly disappointed"
, Savitar sneers as he strikes Bart across his face with hard slap.

"Why...how are...", Bart struggled to speak, but each word spoken sent agonizing fire coursing through his body.
He was not used to this. Even his near death encounter with the Dark Alliance those years ago wasn't this bad.

"Hard to heal with no speed, isn't it?"

"You're a pretender, Bart Allen. Nothing more"
, Savitar stated as he stood up again, and planted his boot squarely into Bart's face, sending a spray of blood splattering across the bathroom.

"They see you as an heir to the Flash legacy, but you aren't worthy enough for the Lord's blessing."

"Don't worry though"
, Savitar laughs as he grasps Bart by his throat and hoists him up off of his feet.
"You won't die...yet. I need to send an example, and you're going to help me..."

With a single punch, Savitar knocked Bart out cold and slung the hero over his shoulder. And then, in the blink of an eye, they were gone...
 
"You haven't beaten me, you only think you have. You bringing me back didn't prove anything other than the fact that your obsession of me is as strong as ever."

Despite what I say....I'm not quite sure I believe it. After all the destruction and mayhem Joker has caused in my life, he is responsible for breaking Talia's spell and bringing me back. If I happen to believe in fate, I would say that Fate does have an ironic sense of humor.

"As for what you say, about being destined to be locked in combat forever? I am almost inclined to believe that. The unstoppable force meets the immovable object.....if we are being so honest with each other, let me ask you this...why? Why me? I know the reasons you've given in the past, but why have I done to garner your affections?"

"What have you done?"

The Joker just smiled.

"You've.... been you, silly. That's all you've ever needed to do. You're you, and I'm me, neither of us truly complete without the other. I need you because you're the only one to challenge me, the only one to truly understand me. You're the only one who gets the joke, Batman."

Leaning back in his chair, The Joker chuckled at this private joke they shared.

"And you... you need me to externalise all that madness and raging id within yourself. You need the constant terror of wondering when I'll break out of here next, and the constant guilt of not being able to kill me. You need to face that temptation with every life I take - deaths you are responsible for, for letting me live - and still hate yourself for overcoming it and sticking to your precious code. Why? Because you hate yourself, because you need to be in pain and miserable. So your Mommy and Daddy got shot. With all your money and all your resources, you could have devoted all your energy to children's charities and urban renewal projects, instead of splashing out on Batmobiles and citywide surveillance systems. You could have made a real difference in Gotham, instead of being a lone vigilante cleaning up the city one bludgeoned crook at a time. Instead of working to truly make Gotham better, you declared a war you knew you could never win, set yourself an impossible task and a life of agony, loss, and desolation. Because you need pain. You need misery. And so, because I can give you it better than any other.... you need me."
 
"What have you done?"

The Joker just smiled.

"You've.... been you, silly. That's all you've ever needed to do. You're you, and I'm me, neither of us truly complete without the other. I need you because you're the only one to challenge me, the only one to truly understand me. You're the only one who gets the joke, Batman."

Leaning back in his chair, The Joker chuckled at this private joke they shared.

"And you... you need me to externalise all that madness and raging id within yourself. You need the constant terror of wondering when I'll break out of here next, and the constant guilt of not being able to kill me. You need to face that temptation with every life I take - deaths you are responsible for, for letting me live - and still hate yourself for overcoming it and sticking to your precious code. Why? Because you hate yourself, because you need to be in pain and miserable. So your Mommy and Daddy got shot. With all your money and all your resources, you could have devoted all your energy to children's charities and urban renewal projects, instead of splashing out on Batmobiles and citywide surveillance systems. You could have made a real difference in Gotham, instead of being a lone vigilante cleaning up the city one bludgeoned crook at a time. Instead of working to truly make Gotham better, you declared a war you knew you could never win, set yourself an impossible task and a life of agony, loss, and desolation. Because you need pain. You need misery. And so, because I can give you it better than any other.... you need me."

I stand up, pushing the chair away. I want to hit him.

I want to hit him because I know he's right. Everything he said, that's what I'm been contemplating all night.

"I don't need you, Joker. All night long I've been deciding to quit this, giving up my costume. If I do that, you not only lose your rock, but all your efforts to bring me back to Gotham are wasted. You'll lose."
 
I stand up, pushing the chair away. I want to hit him.

I want to hit him because I know he's right. Everything he said, that's what I'm been contemplating all night.

"I don't need you, Joker. All night long I've been deciding to quit this, giving up my costume. If I do that, you not only lose your rock, but all your efforts to bring me back to Gotham are wasted. You'll lose."

The Joker's smile faded, and his eyes momentarily widened with fear.

"You can't. You wouldn't...."

And then he realized. He couldn't. He wouldn't.

"Okay, you do that, Brucie. You just try and retire. Hang up the tights and forget this life, devote your time to being a businessman and a billionaire playboy. Find a wife, have some kids - real kids, I mean, not orphans you adopt then deliberately put in harm's way so you can torture yourself when they inevitably die. Stop being Batman, and start being Bruce Wayne for the first time since that night in Crime Alley. Be.... happy. I give you one week, tops."

Now Joker leaned forward in his chair, pointing up at Batman and flashing a conspiring wink.

"I'll tell you what, though. It's not Bruce Wayne I'm interested in. It's Batman. So Alfred, Tim, Barbara and DICK! DICK! DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICK! are all safe, and you know I won't come after you until you have your mask on again. You have my word.... if the word of an insane compulsive liar is worth anything, I don't know. HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Leaning back on the chair and putting his feet up on the table, The Joker closed his eyes, and let out a contented sigh.

"Be seeing you, Batman."
 
My jaw tightens. I picture grabbing Joker and pounding his face into the floor until there's nothing left but blood and shards of skull.

Instead, I silently walk out of the cell and let this sad, crazy little man get his "victory" over me.

He'll be out of here soon. And I'll be waiting.
 
I flex my fingers to try and keep the circulation moving. The green shackles of the Alpha Lanterns are just a little too tight for comfort. Purposely so, I have no doubt. Of course, the chains that bind my arms and legs are completely unnecessary. Since I have no ring, escaping from the bubble that contains me would be suicidal. And I'm still hoping to avoid a death sentence.

One Alpha Lantern, Boodikka, leads our group through hyperspace. The other two bring up the rear, as if I might somehow try to break free. And beside me, my ring securely contained in a small chamber he's constructed, flies Jordan.

"I suppose we have one more thing in common now, Jordan." He gives me a quizzical expression. "The fight for redemption."

"Tell me...what was it like? Being Parallax."
 
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Zipping across every inch of Keystone and Central City as speedster-ly possible, I grunt as my search for Bart reaps no results... He's nowhere to be found.

I already stopped by Titans Tower, The Museum, The Hall (where everyone was assembled to hear whatever news Sinestro had... Whatever it is, it seemed serious, but it'll have to wait till I've stopped Savitar...) and everywhere in the Twin cities and Bart is nowhere to be found. All this in the matter of a few short minutes.

Seeing no other options, I stopped in front of the Museum and pulled out my commlink, switching it to the Titans frequency.

"Bart... Bart it's me, Wally! Bart, where are you? Please respond... Bart? Bart!"

Nothing... Just static.

Imeediately I switched to the JLA reserves channel. Jay was right. I need some help if I'm going to find Bart... and Savitar.

"Hunter? Hunter are you there? It's me, Wally. I need you to meet me back at the Flash Museum ASAP. I need your help..."

Letting go of the switch, I waited.

C'mon, Hunter. Please answer...
 
"I don't know who you are but I'm going to ask you to leave."

"Who the **** think you are? Ask me to leave? You killed our god now I'm going to return the favor."

"Your god?" The man in the cape threw a punch but I caught it effortlessly. It wasn't like the rest of the people I've encounter. He's much stronger but his rage blinds him. He's going to make stupid mistakes, I can use that. I throw him into the transporter's wreckage.

"Adam, who is that?"

"That's Ultraman. He keep here some time ago with Last Son. He has the same powers of Superman."

"Who?"

"Never mind but you kind of remind me of him. Listen Ultraman is very dangerous." Ultraman rose from the wreckage on fire.

"You got that right spaceboy. I'm going to enjoy tearing you limb from limb from limb...Grrk." I tackled him and landed a punched to his throat figuring that could buy Adam some time.

"I don't think so, Ultraman. Adam run!"

"But what about Ultrman?"

"Leave Ultraman to me. You make sure everybody is safe." Ultraman sends me flying into the air. Both of his fist are digging into my chest as his eyes are glowing red.

"You can't take me old man! I'm a a god damn superhero!"

"You're not a superhero!" I send both of my fist down. Ultraman goes down. My eyes are hot not. Red beams erupted from both my eyes sending Ultraman back to the ground creating a large crater.

"You're nothing more than a bully."
******
Unknown to the rest a figure of the night watches on. He is perched on a clff overlooking the battle. He is holding a rifle in his hand focusing on Ultraman's attacker.

"Ah, Ultraman you idiot. Always so gung ho. Looks like I have to bail you out again. This thing could kill ten of you, Ultraman. You just hope I feeling merciful today and don't point it at you." His attacker is now hovering over the crater.

"Bye, bye." He fires the bullet and he can make out through the scope that the attack has caught the bullet between his fingers.

"Damn," He looks up from the scope and there I am standing in front of him, "it." I take the gun from him and snap it two throwing the pieces miles away. He begins to frantically grabbed at broken pieces all over his body.

"Wait? What happened to my weapons?!"

"You blinked, I broke them." He answered with a smile.

"Ah, well good thing Owlman always thinks ahead. Did you hear that? Of course you do, you can probably see that. Yes that missle heading for Rann's last stronghold. But that's not all my little sidekick is holding Strange's wife and daughter and once that missile goes boom well you get the picture." He starts to laugh.

"You think this is a joke?"

"No but I know someone who would. Anyway clock's ticking. What are you going to d..." He's old cold and I'm a mile away with a second. The area is vast they could be anywhere. Suddenly a boy carrying a rifle pointing it at a woman and a girl. The boy has the same bird theme going that must be them.

"Alright once I get the signal...." The ceiling breaks apart.

"What the *****!"

"Language." I crush the gun in his hands.

"Hey what gives?" I stare at him and he runs into the other room.

"Are you Alanna? I know somebody who has been looking for you two."

"Adam? He's safe?"

"Yes but we have to act quick. Are you going to be safe for the moment." Talon was back carrying a knife. He leaped at Aleea but was met to a steel beam to the face. Alanna placed it to Talon's throat.

"I think we can make due." Without saying a word I'm back into the air. The missile is heading straight for the fortress but I think I can catch it. It out of reach. I send a volley of the eye beams at it. Deflected? Someone is in the sky. He has a green ring and it sends out a boxing glove that hits me and sends me down.

"Crap, I pissed him off. I'm getting out of here." He flies off and it's too late. I've failed.

The missile is inches away from the building when suddenly it freezes. A group of costumed people materialzed in front of it.

"Hourman please get rid of that it." The hooded one holds a hand up and the missile seems to evaporate.

"Reality banishment completed. Time paralysis phase ended. Welcome to the 21st century."

*Hello there* A voice in my head? *Yes in your head. Please listen to me. I shouldn't use 4-D thought speak on on lifeforms of this time so if you could get closer. Please, we mean no harm. We have litte time and we must talk of the great crisis that is threatening all of time and reality. I am Superman and this is the Justice Legion. We've come to help prevent reality death and save the omniverse*

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I flex my fingers to try and keep the circulation moving. The green shackles of the Alpha Lanterns are just a little too tight for comfort. Purposely so, I have no doubt. Of course, the chains that bind my arms and legs are completely unnecessary. Since I have no ring, escaping from the bubble that contains me would be suicidal. And I'm still hoping to avoid a death sentence.

One Alpha Lantern, Boodikka, leads our group through hyperspace. The other two bring up the rear, as if I might somehow try to break free. And beside me, my ring securely contained in a small chamber he's constructed, flies Jordan.

"I suppose we have one more thing in common now, Jordan." He gives me a quizzical expression. "The fight for redemption."

"Tell me...what was it like? Being Parallax."

The question stings. After all, before his path to redemption began, it was Sinestro who subjected me to Parallax in the first place.

"I....I could tell you that it was like being trapped. Like I was a helpless observer imprisoned within my own mind, forced to watch as this hideous monster acted with my hand, and spoke with my voice. That's what it was like near the end, once I knew what Parallax was and it couldn't hide itself. I wish I could tell you it was always like that..."

I trail off after that, and for a while, we travel in silence.

"In truth, from the time it first wormed into my mind, right up to my... well, death... it wasn't like that at all. I wasn't a prisoner, I wasn't trapped, I wasn't a passive observer. Worse, I was... me. I thought I was in complete control. The way Parallax wormed its way into my mind, it was able to speak to me in my own voice, telling me that these... horrible, unspeakable things I did were perfectly rational course of action, that they were the right thing to do. That's the worst thing about Parallax. It turns you into a monster, then makes you think the monster is who you are, who you've always been."
 
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I have been standing here now for 18 hours. Here is the cave, debating my future. Dick gives me space, and Tim briefly mentions we need to talk as he goes upstairs. I have not even ventured into the rebuilt mansion, the house I once considered to be my father's house. Now, it belongs to Dick and Tim.

"Master Bruce," Alfred's voice echoes off the cave walls.

"Are you alright?"

"For the first time in many years, Alfred, I'm unsure of what to do now."

"What do you mean?"

"Moving forward. Last night, I contemplated giving up Batman. I decided to keep going, but five minutes with Joker undid everything I had decided."

"With all due respect, sir. The Joker is hardly a leading expert on sanity."

"I suppose you're right. It still doesn't change what I've done. Dick, Tim, Jason, and Barbara. Tim and Dick will never be normal, Jason is in an asylum, and Barbara was crippled."

"I believe Masters Dick and Tim never wished to 'normal', as you call it. Jason, as young as he was at the time of his death, was a troubled boy you tried to help."

"By using him as cannon fodder?"

"And with Barbara," Alfred continues on. "Her life has been turned around and the only one still dwelling on her...incident, is you."

"Maybe so."

I remove my mask and slump into the chair facing the computer.

"In this business, risk and danger is everywhere. I am frankly surprised you went as long as you did before a fatality. And, as much as I silently wish all of you would give this dreadful business up, it does not work like that. I believe that everyone man has but one destiny. As cruel as it may be to say it, the murder of your parents was yours. No matter where you go, you end back here as Batman."

"I don't believe in destiny."

"But yet, over a year after your death, here you sit, still in that costume."

I look at him and he arches his eyebrow slightly.

"It doesn't matter if you wish to accept it or not, Gotham needs you still. The events of this past year have proven that. No matter what Joker may say, this is not about you. This is about them. Your parents, your....Batman-Family, and the people of Gotham. Without you, this house of cards topple."

Alfred places a tray of food before me and turns to leave.

"I just hope you consider all that before you make a decision."

After Alfred's departure, I spend what feels like hours in the chair, deciding my next move. I'm not giving it up. Not to prove anything to myself, or my parents...but for Gotham. This city, my city. It's true what Alfred says, Tim and Dick are my sons, Cassandra and Barbara like my daughters. Even Huntress seems like a rebellious niece. But right now, my family is incomplete.

"Alfred," I say as I punch a button on the computer console.

"Yes, Master Bruce?"

"Where are Tim and Dick?"

"I believe Tim is in his room, and Master Dick is with Barbara at her clocktower."

"Can you please call Tim down here?"

"Right away."

Tim walks down the cave steps groggy and half-asleep. I hit another button on the console.

"Oracle, are you online?"

"I'm like a bad penny, always turning up."

"Dick with you?"

"That's personal....but, yes. He's right here."

"Tell him to meet me and Tim in the cave in thirty minutes."

I disconnect and turn to Tim.

"Prep the batwing and get it ready for takeoff. Change into your Robin suit so we're both ready to go when Dick arrives."

"I need to talk to you about that....Umm, where are we going?"

"Asia. I'm going to get my son back."



One Month Later

Talia Al Ghul was a woman scorned.

Her beloved was gone, taken by the old man and that ghastly clown. Her happiness with her one true love and their son was so peaceful for a little while, but the interlopers had broken the peace.

On top of that, the man and the two bastards he had adopted as sons had came here, and had taken Damian. In Talia's life, she had only loved three men, and her beloved had taken her youngest love.

Now, here she stood, in her room. The rest of the League of Assassins were recuperating from the attack her beloved and the sons had committed.

Talia felt like crying, like giving up and making it all go away. She could be happy in the afterlife, with the one man she knew would not disappoint her.

Although, this was not to be. The doors to her room swung widely, taking the woman by surprise. The shadowy figure walked through the room with careful steps.

"Rest easy. You need not dwell on the unhappiness so close to the fact."

She looked on in awe as the figure appeared in the light.

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"Revenge against the Detective and all that he loves will come soon, my daughter. The rivers of Gotham City will run red with his blood, and my grandson will be back in your bosom. I know he is your beloved, but will you assist me in this task to retrieve your son?"

Wiping the tears from her eyes, Talia shook her head and hugged her father.

Talia Al Ghul was a woman scorned. And hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
 
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The question stings. After all, before his path to redemption began, it was Sinestro who subjected me to Parallax in the first place.

"I....I could tell you that it was like being trapped. Like I was a helpless observer imprisoned within my own mind, forced to watch as this hideous monster acted with my hand, and spoke with my voice. That's what it was like near the end, once I knew what Parallax was and it couldn't hide itself. I wish I could tell you it was always like that..."

I trail off after that, and for a while, we travel in silence.

"In truth, from the time it first wormed into my mind, right up to my... well, death... it wasn't like that at all. I wasn't a prisoner, I wasn't trapped, I wasn't a passive observer. Worse, I was... me. I thought I was in complete control. The way Parallax wormed its way into my mind, it was able to speak to me in my own voice, telling me that these... horrible, unspeakable things I did were perfectly rational course of action, that they were the right thing to do. That's the worst thing about Parallax. It turns you into a monster, then makes you think the monster is who you are, who you've always been."


"I remember you when you killed me," I say, lost in my own thoughts. "I was actually proud of you. You did what needed to be done."

"How did you come back? Why did the Guardians take you back?"
 
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Poseidonis, Atlantica
Center of the City


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The incantation for the spell begins. It is a tricky thing, really. For Garth knows the risks if he simply struck Hagen down with an axe to the head or a sword to the heart. It would not guarantee the mage to be deceased for there are many tricks in the art of magick; especially in the olde and dark magick which Hagen is notorious for wielding. Should Hagen's body be slained there is no knowing what shall becoming of his spirit; his essence. So it is a delicate procedure Tempest must take in the execution of one of the most powerful sorcerers of Atlantis. A most delicate procedure that can be without failure and must fully execute with extreme perfection. There is much pressure on the Crown of Atlantica at this very moment. His concentration at this point is key: he must destroy both Hagen's body and astral spirit with this spell.


Sector 0, Oa
Homeworld to the Green Lantern Corps

Aquaman walks through the planet of Oa as he and John Stewart make their briefly landing. After John had picked up Orin, they traveled to the JLA Arctic Base to retrieve the others. With them are Wonder Woman, Booster Gold, & Black Canary of the Justice League; those who were able to make it to Sinestro's trial.

This makes Orin's second trip to Oa in a very short time. Last time he was in the presence of the Guardians of the Universe, and this time they shall be present as well. Several Green Lanterns of different sectors eye the superhero clad group as they are escorted to the courtroom by Green Lantern John Stewart.

"It would appear that Sinestro gains no sympathy from the rest of the Corps."


"Well, he was a long-time foe of the Corps. A lot of these lanterns lost loved ones and partners to Sinestro's past crimes."


"There's no worry that when Sinestro finally arrives, that there will be an outbreak? Because just our very presence here, meaning we are here in Sinestro's defense, makes me tense. I do not wish for this visit to be anything more than simply to bear witness to the trial."

"This is the Green Lantern Corps, Arthur. These are soldiers. No matter what they feel, they have to abide by what the Guardians decree."


"Which is exactly my fear, John...should the Guardians decree Sinestro be executed...then what? The Justice League is to simply stand down as one of their own is killed?"


John is silent for a moment, as though caught between his words. He himself is a reserve for the JLA, but also a member of the Green Lantern Corps. The Marine Marvel can tell that the Green Lantern hopes that Sinestro goes free to avoid any sort of a scenario.

"...The Guardians know what is best. You, or I, may not like it...but the JLA have no sort of jurisdiction here on Oa anyway."


Poseidonis, Atlantica
The Royal Dungeon

"Guards! Guards! Why have I not been scheduled for today's main event! I am offended! Tis the God of the Sea not worthy of being personally slained by the King of Atlantica?!"

"Shut up, Triton. Your time will come, that I promise you. Oh when it does...I will be sure to be present, and not here in the dungeon watching over the rotting prisoners."

"Ha! So you feel a vendetta against me? During my atrocious cascade through the city, did I perhaps kill one of your loved ones?"


One of the guards stops the other as he is about to approach Triton's cell, whispering to him that it isn't worth it and that Triton will soon face for his crimes in due time. Triton smirks a devilish smile and continues to taunt the insulted guard.

"Perhaps King Garth has chosen not to slay me, for he knows he cannot! That puny excuse for a King knows not how to kill a God! He lacks the backbone and the power to slay one as powerful as Triton, son of Poseidon!"

"Just shut up, Triton!"

Breaking loose of his fellow guards grip, the offended guard now stands before Triton's cell, with his javelin spear soaring with hot fire. The Godling mocks the guard's threat with a chuckle under his breath, and stands close to the magically laced bars which are the only thing between him and his freedom.

"Perhaps you would like to save the King the worry and stress of figuring out how to slay me, welp! Tell me, was it a mother you lost? A son? Oh! Perhaps I slit the throat of your dear, dear sister."

Taking aim with his javelin, the maroon-armored clad guard strikes the cell of Triton between the bars, and Triton grabs hold of the energy searing weapon. Struggling to pull the weapon back from the Godling's tight grip, the guard is unable to do so. Triton merely smirks and forces the guard to strike the magical bars instead. The combination of the energy heated weapon and the magical bars makes an explosion within the cells. The smoke clears, and through the murky dark waters comes Triton's arm, now gripped around the guard's neck.

"To be honest...I know not who I killed that was dear to you. For you are all insignificant. To a God, you are no more than mere krill."


Clenching his hand, the villain breaks the guards neck and drops the body. The other guards of the royal dungeon rush towards the godling to stop him, and Triton chuckles as he counters their attacks.
 
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The first thing that hits us when John lowers the bubble is the sheer sound of the event. Thousands of Lanterns have gathered to be an audience to the trial. I vaguely wonder if the entire Corps is here, although I hope it isn't. I'd think they'd have more important concerns than Sinestro's fate.

Although,
I think as we finally step inside, maybe not.

The sounds only grow louder, and now we're assaulted on all senses. There are thousands of aliens scurrying around the huge hall, each representing unique species. The smells, are overwhelming. In a second we wade through scents ranging from a lilac/cinnamon mix to, well, lets say if I got some on my boots, I'd just burn them and be done with it.

As we keep walking, John and Arthur talk, but soon their conversation ends as we literally have to start shouldering our way through the mass of bodies. Apparently, not everyone is going to make it inside to see the proceedings, but they're all going to try. Luckily, we get a pass.

John shouts orders, trying to get us a clear path, but to no avail. His voice is just lost in a crowd. "Can you create a construct?" Captain Marvel shouts, his voice somehow carrying above the rest.

John shakes his head. "Last thing I want to do is start a shoving match with power rings. I'll call in some support." Stewart lifts his ring and two images appear. "Guy, Kyle, you out there somewhere? I could use a hand getting the League inside."
 
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Oa

As the thousands of Green Lanterns jockey for position, a gigantic emerald partition pushes lanterns aside.

"Get the **** outta the way. We got witnesses comin'!"

With a riot shield construct on my arm, I muscle another lantern aside and appear before John and the league.

"The Justice League! Well, welcome to my humble abode. Black Canary, you still looking hot, baby."

"...Good to see you too, Guy," she says as she rolls her eyes.

"Still with Green Arrow? You know that old liberal pansy can't keep up with a real man."

"This isn't the dating game, Guy."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. C'mon, folks. Let's get you to the court."

The riot shield disappears, and I form a green cowboy sitting on top of a mustang.

"Get them little doggies moving, rancher!"

The cowboy clears a path for me and the rest of the league as we walk past the other lanterns.


 
Oa

As the thousands of Green Lanterns jockey for position, a gigantic emerald partition pushes lanterns aside.

"Get the **** outta the way. We got witnesses comin'!"

With a riot shield construct on my arm, I muscle another lantern aside and appear before John and the league.

"The Justice League! Well, welcome to my humble abode. Black Canary, you still looking hot, baby."

"...Good to see you too, Guy," she says as she rolls her eyes.

"Still with Green Arrow? You know that old liberal pansy can't keep up with a real man."

"This isn't the dating game, Guy."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. C'mon, folks. Let's get you to the court."

The riot shield disappears, and I form a green cowboy sitting on top of a mustang.

"Get them little doggies moving, rancher!"

The cowboy clears a path for me and the rest of the league as we walk past the other lanterns.

I fly over to Guy and his construct, with John and the League following on behind him.

"Hey John, everybody here?"

"Kyle," John nods to me as I stand beside him. "Hal and the Alpha's are taking Sinestro here."

"Well, this sure should be interesting..."
 
A trio stroll across an empty graveyard. There were two slightly falling behind. The first figure, the Black Hand, seem very eager to be here. The two the back had shovels while Hand holds a sledge hammer in his gloved hand while his other hand grasped the skull.

"Here," he dropped the hammer and sat cross legged across from the headstone, "hello Mr. Jordan, lovely evening we are having." He looks at the two guys carrying shovels.

"Start digging. What? Yes I suppose they do look like the guys from Kill Bill. Hm? Why am I doing this? True, I should be focusing on bigger things but the master isn't here yet, I still have human thoughts and feelings. Don't I hate Hal Jordan. Ha, this might be because I was picked on high school too much but I've changed Mr. Jordan. This isn't about me getting teased. I've already took care of that when I was younger. I believe they are still looking for the bodies. Yes, it was easy when your father has a crematory on the house grounds. I remember the mothers pointing the fingers and yelling at me. My parents had to know that I did it but they wouldn't say anything. The police didn't believe that weak little William Hand did anything. He was just the weird kid. The kid that just hanged out with the rest of the kids dressed in black, listening to the Cure all day. No this is something greater." The two men had already pulled the casket out and threw it to the side. They opened the remains of Martin Jordan. The Black Hand crept up the the body. The skull he was holding ooze some sort of black substance that seemed alive. It slither its way into the skull of Martin Jordan.

"This is cosmic. Can't you hear it. The shouts and screams of Arlington of the soldiers from war. A great war is coming Mr. Jordan and your son is going to die in it. I will see to that. A war of light and emotion that will be snuffed out forever. Replaced with one ideal, one concept. All infinite realities replaced with signular thought. All brought under the hammer of the new God." The black pulled the skull off the body and Hand caught it. Sirens could be heard. Men and flashlight could be seen.

"No I'm not done here," He placed the skull on the headstone and swung. It smashed the gravestone with pieces of stone and the skull went flying. He placed finger prints all over the stone. He placed a hand print on the skull. The police had gotten closer readying their guns.

"Cheap gimmicky villian? Outcast child? Smut dealer? Human thought and labels. I am anti-life!" He pressed the button.

BOOM

A portal had appeared. He rose his diving rod and fired. The blast tore apart the casket. He stepped through leaving the two men behind to be caught by the police.
 
"I'm sorry 'Superman' was it? This is hard for me to take it all at once. I can't even remember who I am..." The horned one take out an orb made out of light blue energy. Hovering in the middle of it was red dust.

"I had my suspicions. Travelling between your psuedoreality and into the next one by sheer force may have some harmful effects on the mind."

"Batman is that? Did you take a part of..."

"I asked first. J'onn was more than willing to help. Now just breath in." The orb disappeared and the rest of the dust moved forward.

"Don't worry he's an old friend." The red moved up the my nostrils straight to my mind then everything went black.
******
A green man who was wearing a red robe stood before me. Surrounding as was all white. Suddenly the landscape change.

"Don't be afraid I am merely repairing your memory." The white was replace with every color of the spectrum. A spacious green field, a large lush forest, a great waterfall, and off to the distance was giant golden palace.

"I think I should make you remember who I am." A slight headache later.

"...J'onn...old friend. It has been far too long." J'onn though seemed distant.

"The palace," he pointed, "something is happening."

"Yes, Clark and Alex were there. Alex had been working on something...it was..."

That was the night Alex said we could go home.

That was the night when the skies went red.

That was the last time I saw them.

Lois....

"Are you saying that I can go home? Back to my Earth?"

"All of us can. There was a massive burst of energy similar to what created the universe. It has effect the entire time stream retroactively creating the multiverse. Contact though will only be made post creation."

"Wait until I tell Kal!"

"Now the machine still needs tweeking but I think I can let my powers do most of the work. Where is Kal?"

"He out with Lois."

The two were dancing over the waterfall. Just like the first time they met when she got the story of the "Flying Man of Metropolis". Their evening was cut short.

"Clark, the sky." The sky was filled with black clouds. Thunder and lightning broke free. A blood red tint engulfed the sky.

"I think we should get going."

"What's happening?"

"I don't know but I think we should tell Alex." The two flew back. Alex was whiter than a ghost.

"Alex what's happening out there?"

"I don't Clark...I don't know. Something has found us and I don't think they come in peace."

"Alex, where's Clark?"

Ships emerged from the clouds. Pods were ejected and fell to the ground releasing the hordes of Parademons. A platform lower with a man and his guards in a flamboyant costume with fire orange hair. Clark flew in front of it.

"Greetings child for once I don't fell like speaking. I am Godfrey the voice of the gods and I offer you this one chance of diplomacy. Give us the machine and Luthor and we will leave. Otherwise you forefit yourself."

"No."

"This isn't up for..." Red beams destroyed Godfrey's head. Clark punched the platform sending the body and the guards below. Parademons flew toward him. He ripped them into pieces.

"We are so close. I will not let you take that away." Up in the largest ship two looked on.

"Master the child could be useful. Let Granny have him! Send him to the orphanage so he could be broken down into one of us." His master nodded.

"Clark what did you do?" Kal had appeared. He looked horrified over the dead bodies that littered the ground around him.

"I took action. We are close don't you understand?! I am going home and I am not letting anyone stop us! You left them alone didn't you?!"

"I came looking for you."

"You left it alone!" Clark flew back toward home while he was trampled by Parademons. Clark crashed through the roof. Parademons scatter holding Lois and Alex. A rather large man was looking over the machine.

"Father wants the man and the machine. Do as you wish to the woman."

"No!" Clark punched Kalibak in the face sending him flying. "Let them go. NOW!" Kalibak smashed him over the head with his club.

"You made short work of the Godfrey but now you face the prince of all Apokolips." He smashed Clark's face into the ground.

"Kalibak will have much fun with you child!" Parademons had lifted all three away. Clark tackled Kalibak through the building and into the ground. The two fought going deeper and deeper. Granny and her Furies had arrived. They were horrified to see Kalibak's head fly through the air. The last thing they saw were those terrible red eyes.

Back at the other side Kal was fighting off Parademons and the huntsman of the gods, Devilance. The Parademons had arrived with their cargo. Kal tried to fly toward them but Devilance grabbed his cape and threw him through the moutain side. Another man in a purple robe had appeared so did Clark. He made a beeline for the Desaad put he picked up Lois and placed a knife to her throat.

"Enough! Make one more move and I slash her throat!" The CSA had showed up surrounding them. A massive dark figured appeared at the top of the mountain. Clark smirked.

"You!" He pointed to the dark one, "you're in charge here. I'm going to kill you now!" He flew toward him. Red light glared in the darkness.

"Son, don't he's too powerful."

"Shut it, old man!" Desaad raised the knife.

"NO!" Kal flew toward him but it was too late. His robe was covered in blood. He raised his arms in the air but two beams shot through his face. He went forward to the darkness, an evil smile cross his face. Two beams shot out from the darkness cris-crossing and finally hitting Clark. He disappeared.

"Clark!" Ultraman smashed into Kal. He landed another punch.

"You're ours now. You belong to Darkseid."

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"Darkseid." He said it with such disgust. He could see it from here. A sick and dying god. He was near death. He flew toward him at incredible speeds dodging the beams. He picked him and flew toward the sky.

"You're dying Darkseid. A sick soul hanging on to this rotten corpse with ever bit of power." They were going through various reality. Kal could see a great war of the gods. Father and son nearly destroyed each other and now they are holding on with all of their might.

"You killed my wife, Darkseid. I'm here to return the favor." There was a sound of glass breaking and then there was nothing.
*******
"I'm sorry Clark. We are both cut from the same cloth. We both have experience ultimate lost. I wish our reuinion was better. I have to return you out of this dreamscape."

"Yes I understand but before you go." Clark pulled something from behind him. J'onn smiled.

"My favorite, thank you." He ate one of the cookies, "I haven't had one of these in thousands of years even if it is only in the thoughtsphere. Don't fret friend we will meet again." The landscape started to disappeared.

"Goodbye, J'onn."
******
Back on Rann. Clark/Kal was kneeling in front of the Justice Legion. Superman placed a hand on his shoulder.

"It is a great honor to meet you and I am sorry for your loss. A great crisis is at hand and we need your help more than ever."

"Yes I understand."

"Here I thought you might like this." A costume appears in Hourman's hands. He give it to him

"We must go now. This crisis is effecting all of time and space. Even anti-life has invade our time. Do not worry about Rann we have uploaded our technology that will keep them safe. Find Earth, find the heroes, that is your only hope." The group had disappeared. He put the costume on and flew into the sky toward the forcefield.

A great crisis that effects all of time and space.

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"I remember you when you killed me," I say, lost in my own thoughts. "I was actually proud of you. You did what needed to be done."

"How did you come back? Why did the Guardians take you back?"

Before I could answer, I see Oa up ahead. We'd be arriving soon.

"I guess you can ask them that yourself."
 
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