World Of Legends: The New DC RPG -- Season I

Discussion in 'RPG Archives' started by BnKRPG, May 21, 2015.

  1. BnKRPG

    BnKRPG Dark Lord of the RPG's

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    World of Legends: The New DC RPG

    One year ago, the timeline diverged. Barry Allen screwed up everything. One timeline became dark, a world of no joy, no happiness. The other continued as it was. Bruce Wayne had returned to the cowl and started Batman Inc, leaving Dick Grayson in the cowl as Gotham's protector. The Justice League has been disbanded, it's members preoccupied with their own problems. Clark Kent is happily married to Lois Lane, though they have just once more lost their adopted son to the Phantom Zone after the war with New Krypton.

    How to Play:

    In this game a year has passed since the events that led to Flashpoint and the New 52 Universe. The Pre-Flashpoint Universe has continued on in it's own unmolested timeline, blissfully ignorant of the changes that could have taken hold. Players can take any character that existed in the old DC Universe, and fill in that missing year how they want through flashbacks. Please note this game does NOT share continuity with the old World of Heroes game. We start fresh from the point that old universe stopped existing!

    To apply for a character, fill out the application below. Applications will be reviewed by the GM and either Approved or Denied after 24 hours, to allow for competing Apps. If your application is Denied, fear not! You can re-write and revise your application based on the GM's and other players' feedback; however, if multiple people are vying for the same character and someone else gets it, you'll have to apply for a different character. All players are welcome, regardless of membership status or post-count.

     
  2. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    One Year Ago:

    Rao.This year can suck it. In the span of one year, I got three people back that I thought were gone, only to lose them all again. My father, killed by Reactron. My mother, killed by General Lane by way of Reactron. And my best friend, Thara, who sacrificed herself to save the few of us that remained after Lane blew up our planet. Again. I’m 18 years old and have witnessed my planet explode twice. That does things to a girl. And now this year seeks to punch me in the gut again.

    Kara Zor-El hovers in space, having flown to the location her people used to occupy on the other side of the sun. She floats in front of its life giving energies, lost deep in her own thoughts, barely noticing as her tears freeze instantly to her face and then are immediately sublimated by the shear heat of Sol.

    She reflects on the events of the past year, and just how often she has come to this spot. She did it first out of a need for privacy when she mourned her father. Privacy is something that’s hard to come by when you live on a planet filled with people who can see through walls and hear conversations from miles away. She needed privacy because she needed to look strong, and she still does. She was the daughter of the leaders of New Krypton. The cousin of Earth’s protector. Neither world could see her mourn. She has come here once more to escape her thoughts.

    [​IMG]

    I know why she won’t. She’s told me as much, when we dealt with the infestation the Insect Queen beset upon her. She believes I have to separate my family life from being Supergirl. That the world is more important than one person. And while I know she’s right, sometimes I feel that the world isn’t worth saving if not for those few people that make it that way. I’m not Kal, and I have no way of knowing this for sure, but my heart tells me he’d let thousands die to save Lois, or would have done the same had it meant saving Pa. No. No, I know he wouldn’t. That’s what makes him… well HIM. And that’s who I want to be. Lana’s right. Besides, I’ve also learned that there are some problems that can’t be punched into submission. Like cancer. I learned that the hard way, when I promised a dying child I’d save him, and then failed miserably. That’s one of the mistakes Cat Grant won’t let me live down. All I can do now is hope to be there for Lana like she’s been for me. 



    Now:

    “LANG!!!!!!!! Confound it, where is that blasted girl?!”

    I can hear Perry from blocks away. He’ll find out soon enough why I’m not there.

    “Chief, phone call on line one. MetGen. It’s urgent.”

    “Olsen! For the last time, don’t call me Chief! Perry White speaking”

    “Perry, it’s Linda. Linda Lang. Your intern. I… I… Oh god, I’m sorry. Aunt Lana passed away today, Perry. I won’t be in.”
     
  3. Batman

    Batman Dramatic Example

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    [​IMG]

    . . .

    Everything feels the same. Everything's telling me that it isn't.

    And as strange as it seems, it's an oddly comforting sign, because the last few months have taught me that there's absolutely nothing I can trust anymore. Nothing exists to be taken for granted. Predictable patterns and years of solidarity in events have somehow faded away in the grand scheme of my life, replaced with an unpredictable cloud hanging over me - plagued with variables, telling me that danger lurks at every corner. Even now, as I lock position on the Batplane's altitude and prepare for ejection thirty feet above skyline level over Gotham, there's a sense of unease that's giving me pause. And God help me, I'm starting to prefer that feeling compared to how it used to be.

    The scenario seems all too familiar. The Batsignal shooting out over the clouds above GCPD Headquarters. The familiar thermal image of Jim just a few feet below me. He's alone, no gun drawn, waiting for me to arrive. And yet if I stop for even a moment to pay attention to the details, I know that I'll start to notice irregularities. He's not smoking anymore. There's no relaxation in his posture. And even if he appears alone, I know enough to see past the charade. The sensors may tell me otherwise, but before the night's over...

    I'm in for a fight.

    "Autopilot. Engage spectator mode."

    My hands clasp the ejection bars above the cockpit, and I brace myself for the fall. I feel as though I should wait, and at least record something. A last will and testament, if you will. Right now, I'd settle for anything to help me explain to them how sorry I truly am for how far this has gone. But I've tried to plead my case too many times at this point for it to matter. Whether it's Dick, or Tim, or Barbara, or even Clark, Diana, or any of the others, they've made it clear that they have no interest in my motives. They don't want to hear what drove me to the point of this... percieved madness. All that matters to them is what I've done, and if any of them had their way, I'd be turning myself in willingly right now.

    They'll be disappointed. I pull to drop.

    [​IMG]

    The descent is faster than anticipated. Takes me a few good seconds to get my bearings, but by the time the new cape automatically conforms to a rigid contortion, it's a straight drop. No flair for the dramatic, no sense of stealth, no attempt to conceal myself. No point anymore. I don't even remember how the next few moments go by, but before I know it, I'm merely a foot off of the ground of the GCPD's rooftop.

    Then I land, the bright light of the signal nearly blinding me as it cocks itself my way. Jim takes a step back, partly caught off guard by my lack of subtlety. He expected me to walk in unaware. Like the others, he's began to underestimate me. That, or underestimate just how different everything's become.

    "Batman."

    A tense acknowledgement. I remain silent.

    "You know why I've called you."

    He takes a step forward. The look on his face a mix of dread and uncertainty.

    "I'm giving you this one chance to make everything right. One last chance to prove you're worthy of my trust. Just tell me the truth."

    Still, I remain silent, allowing the cowl to complete an environmental scan for potential threats. I know he's got a squad waiting for me, but they're well hidden. Probably a SWAT team. Helicopter units. If he's got snipers, they could strike me down at a moment's notice. All of it goes away if I just comply with him. But we both know what doing that means for Gotham. And I made a promise - nothing stands in the way of that.

    "What have you done with The Joker?"

    He reaches into his jacket. Readying himself. He thinks now is the time I'll make for an escape.

    "What I had to."

    A pause. He relents, giving me a look colder than the grave.

    "Is that what you think? Christ. What the hell have you been telling yourself when it comes to all this? That it's, what... justified? That the old ways just aren't going to work for you anymore?"

    I close my eyes, hoping for a moment that I know what I'm doing. There's not much to tell me I do, but everything's been building to this. I'm not ready to back down.

    "I didn't tell myself anything. They weren't working anymore."

    "And the alternative is?!"

    He nearly loses all composure there. I can hear his voice trembling.

    "Look around you! If this is what you wanted, congratulations! You've finally gotten your damn wish! Everyone in the city's finally afraid of you, and I don't blame a single one of them! You've chosen the easy way out and crossed the line, and they all know it... We all know it."

    I throw a scowl his way.

    "It had to end, Jim. We weren't getting through to him. The system..."

    He points towards me, practically livid.

    "Don't you tell me about the system! You don't get to preach to me about how the system failed his victims when you've never written a single condolence letter to the families of the men and women he's taken,", he replies, his spirits dampening with every word. "You know that I never lost faith whenever he paralyzed my daughter... not even when he murdered Sarah. I never used it as an excuse to turn a blind eye to everything I believed in. You know that!"

    "That isn't what this is about."

    "Oh?", He interjects. "Don't think I haven't tried to rationalize this. I've considered even the outlandish theories. That someone got in your head the way that we all refuse to acknowledge is possible. That someone like Tetch, or Crane, or even one of those... things from outer space that you and your other team have fought before. You were my friend, and after everything, I had to give you the benefit of the doubt. That maybe, just maybe you were acting completely out of your mind because of an outside influence."

    Then he stares me down in a way I've never seen before. It's almost enough to weigh me down. But I try and save face - for the sake of what I know to be right, and for what he doesn't know about the situation.

    "But at the end of the day, I was wrong. What are you if not someone who's went above the law since the beginning? For all I know, this may have been inevitable. And I tolerated it for as long as I could. I made that mistake. For my daughter's sake, I even allowed you to continue this insanity. But after you scrape away the lies, the posturing... the idea of a Batman who fought the good fight you supposedly took up in the name of justice, you're nothing more than another man out for personal vengeance. Fragile and flawed, incapable of taking the high road when it really mattered. No better than the rest of them."

    My teeth grind together in a vain attempt to make my anger known, but it can't compare with his.

    "You're wrong. This isn't personal. It might have been in the beginning when it came to him, but I've moved beyond that. And it isn't about loss. He's taken no more from me than anyone else. Certainly not you."

    Takes him less than a second to produce his revolver. He doesn't aim it. Not for the moment, anyway.

    "Then tell me why."

    "I..."

    The world slows to a crawl. The sensors in the cowl finally spotted something. Chopper's heading in from the East, at least twenty heavily armed men aboard. Jim turns to them, hearing the engine of the helicopter upon approach. Clearly they jumped the gun, because he looks less than relieved to see them. He'd hoped to have his chance to talk some sense into me, but it's too late. For either of us.

    "It doesn't matter."

    Finally, he aims the gun directly at my face.

    "You've been given your warning! They've been given a kill order if you don't stand down! I can't help you anymore, and god help me, I won't! You've got fifteen seconds to drop to your knees and put your hands behind your head..."

    I stare blankly at the weapon. A vivid memory of the first time a weapon was held up to my face flashes across my mind, and I wonder now - years later - whether it was all truly worth it.

    "Jim."

    "Ten seconds!"

    All the people I've lost. All the battles I've won. Every sustainable injury, physical or otherwise. The enemies I've made. The monsters I've created. The allies I've forged, and the friendships I've broken. The family I've abandoned. The crusade that I'm just now realizing is at an end.

    "Five seconds, Batman! Make your choice!"

    The scales have never been more clearly misaligned.

    "I'm sorry."

    Alfred, forgive me. It's the only choice I have left.

    I attack.
     
    #3 Batman, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  4. Byrd Man

    Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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    [​IMG]


    Part I
    The Octopus


    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
    -- John F. Kennedy​


    City Hall
    Star City, CA


    The thick, wooden doors leading into the city council chamber burst open and out rushed Oliver Queen. He wore a dark suit with white shirt and emerald tie, his usual council attire. He kept his hands in his pocket as he stalked through the halls back towards his office.

    Star City's rebuilding process had been a hard one, but it was finally starting to get back on its feet after the Blackest Night fiasco. The situation was fragile and threatened to implode if it wasn't handled right. That was why Ollie ran for city council in the months following the disaster. As a former mayor, he won his seat easily and now fought just as hard in meetings as he did on the streets.

    "Councilman Queen!"

    He stopped and turned, seeing a small group of reporters chasing after him. A few newspaper men, the lady from Channel 6 with a camera hoisted on her shoulder, and a radio reporter. Ollie brushed his lapels and took a deep breath as they swooped in on him.

    One of the newspaper men spoke first. "We saw you leaving the chamber in a huff. You don't agree with the majority decision."

    "Considering I voted against it, Mike, that'd be a no." He winked at the reporter before flashing a grin. "Regular Bob Woodward you are."

    A titter went through the group. Now that he had made them laugh, Ollie went on the offensive.

    "The franchise tax was one of my key legislative goals when I ran for office, guys. Of course I'm going to be a little sore when I get voted down by short-sighted people who are just worried about reelection. This tax was a step towards the big companies that are slowly working their hooks into Star City"

    The radio reporter said, "What do you say to Councilman Conklin's arguments that those companies are the ones that helped rebuild Star City?"

    "They were an asset in our time of peril, but the time of crisis has passed. We must let regulation and government lead the way. First and foremost, we have to get our police force back."

    The TV reporter asked, "Based on the past six months, Thornguard Security has been more effective than Star City PD ever was. There's even been a drop off of Green Arrow sightings."

    "Six months is just six months, Gina. Comparing that time period with years of SCPD statistics is unfair. And to answer your Green Arrow question, with the brutality and excessive violence complaints Thornguard has been getting, Green Arrow might now be on their payroll."

    Another laugh from the reporters gave Ollie a chance to wrap up the questions.

    "Thornguard is just one of four of the companies that are dangerously close to running the day to day affairs of this city. We have to scale back their control and influence and make sure its the voice of the people, not the voice of profit, are in control of our local government. That's all for now, folks. Thanks."

    He held his hands up and backed away from the reporters before turning around and heading up two flights to his office on the third floor. The small space wasn't much to look at it, barely larger than a cubicle and with no window. It was identical to all the council offices. All six of them shared office space on the third floor as well as Doris, a collective secretary. The job was only part-time anyway. Ollie never hung around the place much if there was no need for it, he preferred to be at the mission or on the streets.

    Sitting down behind his desk, Ollie kicked his feet up and looked at the wall. Everyone called it his conspiracy board, but it helped him keep track of things. He had the names of all four major companies and what they did for Star City listed with interconnecting lines running between the four companies where their duties may overlap. There was:

    Hephaestus: Building and road construction
    El Dorado Power & Water: Utilities
    Thornguard Security: Police and fire services
    California Transportation Trust: Transportation


    It was a libertarian's wet dream, a city where private companies provided the lion's share of services with minimal oversight by the municipal government. In theory, the government would get the best services for the cheapest cost. But so far that wasn't panning out. The city went with the four companies because they were the only ones who ever placed bids. Anybody who did place a bid ended up pulling out suddenly and one of four got the job. So far, Ollie was the only person on the council trying to raise awareness. Everyone else wanted to stick their heads in the sand.

    CTT supplied Thornguard with police cars, El Dorado with power trucks. Hephaestus maintained the roads and rails CTT's buses and trains operated on. Like a net, the four companies begin to settle over the city and tighten until everyone was so used to their work and rates of pay nobody would argue. Ollie knew it was wrong on the surface, but something in his gut told him it went deeper. This combination, as shady as it was, had something darker lurking beneath the surface.

    He rubbed his head and sighed. Ollie had a plan, more like the makings of a plan, but it was being blocked by the mayor and the rest of the city council. e was just one man against six others. He'd be checked and outvoted every time. He stood and headed out of his office before the rest of the councilmen got back from the meeting. The powers that be were blocking him, but they sure as hell hadn't counted on the Green Arrow looking into the matter.
     
    #4 Byrd Man, May 21, 2015
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  5. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    [​IMG]

    Six months ago:

    “Linda, have you done what I asked?”

    “Yes, Lana. I’m not sure if I’m ready though.”

    “You’re ready. And more, you’ll get in wherever you want. Oracle did great with your identity, and with a first job of interning for the Daily Planet? Not a school in the country would deny you entrance.”

    “Yeah, I know, I’m not ready to leave you though, Lana. I’ve lost so much this year, I’m not prepared to lose you too.”

    “Unfortunately, that’s not something even you can stop, Linda. You can’t punch cancer into oblivion. You can’t kill it with heat vision. You can’t make it all better with your powers. You need to live your life, and not let me losing mine prevent you from that. I don’t want that. Clark wouldn’t want that.”

    Now:

    Turns out the timing was pretty damned on the nose. I got my acceptance letter last week, four days before Lana died. It’s like Lana was just waiting for that to come so she’d know I’d move on. I still don’t know if I’m ready. But I know I can’t stay here. Not in the apartment we shared, can’t stay at the Planet without her there, and truly, I don’t want to even stay in Metropolis without her. Really, I’m not even needed here. Kal doesn’t need my help. And I know what he’d say: “The biggest risk is never taking any.”

    Hours later, and the apartment that she had shared with Lana Lang was empty. It’s contents conveniently transported via the Justice League’s transporters. 

Linda sat in the empty apartment and cried. So much loss in such a short time, but continuing to mourn would do nobody any good. And there’s a planet out there that needs her to be strong, whether she’s ready to or not. She wipes the tears from her face and opens the window, taking off into the clear skies of Metropolis, heading west towards Kansas.

    One more change I need to make before I start fresh. And only Ma can help me with this.
     
  6. Batman

    Batman Dramatic Example

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    [​IMG]

    "Bruce? It's Barbara. We're ready for you."

    [​IMG]

    Today would have been his birthday.

    It was always a hectic time of year, but I'd never forgotten the date, no matter how bleak things had become for us. I'd usually have a box of ginger briskets that he adored flown to the Manor from Spain, just the way he'd make them for me as a boy. As the years went by, less words were spoken between us. We knew eachother too well for that. But I could always tell he appreciated the gesture. There were multiple times where I wasn't able to be there to celebrate with him - and to be honest, we were never the celebratory types. I indulged him when necessary, but there were few actual events I took to heart. The anniversary of my parents, any of the boys' curricular achievements, Jim's promotions up until he became Commissioner. Anything I felt truly mattered.

    But I never wanted him to be forgotten. Never wanted a year to pass without reminding him just how important he was to me, even if only once. He needed to know how vital an instrument he was in carrying on all of this, and pushing us all forward when we needed it. Most of all, I just wanted to remind him that I still cared. That no matter how far into the darkness I'd been dragged, no matter how much I felt the weight of everything bogging me down, he was never far from my thoughts. That no matter what, I'd always consider him a valued friend, an incomparable ally, and the only parent that I ever truly got to know.

    How many years has it been, old friend? I've been asking myself that question more than frequently these last few months. For me, it felt like a lifetime had passed me by since we began the real work ahead, but I never imagined how it must've felt for you. There was alot about your life that I'd never taken into account. Did you ever regret the way you raised me? Was there anything you felt you could've done to sway me from my path? Were you proud of me, or were you just putting up a front for my benefit? I wish I knew the answers to that and more, but the truth is... I never will. It's never been easy for me to accept loss. To embrace pain. But with you, there's apart of me that's gone. And I'm never getting it back.

    "Bruce?"

    Oracle snaps me out of the trance I've been finding more unavoidable to slip into, lately. She's been on standby for the last five minutes. Never going to get anywhere if you're this lost in thought, Bruce. Activating my earpiece, I secure the encryption between the Manor and the Clocktower. With any luck, everyone should be within the vicinity of the docks by now. Should this night be any sort of success, it should bring an end to a potential gang war on Gotham's streets and put Two-Face back into police custody. There's no time left to keep dwelling on Alfred.

    "I'm here, Oracle. Go ahead and open all channels."

    There's a pause in there that I can only assume is being reserved for an apology for keeping her waiting, but the moment passes and she complies. Truth be told, Barbara and the others have been more than a little understanding of my current predicament. I should try and be more courteous in the future.

    [​IMG]

    "Channels are open. Everyone's on radar within a one block radius."

    But nevermind that. There's work to be done, and each individual member of Batman, Incorporated have their orders.

    "If you can hear this, this is Batman. Oracle's just informed me that you should all be in your designated areas. There are precisely seven possible routes that Harvey and any of his men can use to escape the area, and you're not going to let them. When I call your name, you're to report in."

    Oracle gives me direct access to the security cameras in the immediate area. As I list them off, their position is made visible to me just long enough to know that they're where I need them.

    "Black Bat."

    [​IMG]

    "Reporting in. No activity on East Entrance."

    Cassandra was the obvious choice for recon whenever Tim came across the lead we had on Harvey's whereabouts. Her eye for detail has made her the prime candidate for all of these tactical raids. She was particularly instrumental in the capture of Lazlo Valentin - Professor Pyg, an enemy Dick and Damian made during my year away - this past month. She's fought hard to earn her place at the top of this team, and so far, she's yet to disappoint.

    "Batgirl."

    [​IMG]

    "Reporting in, and no, there's nothing on the West Entrance either. Unless I missed something, but I doubt it. Totally freezing up here, by the way!"

    If I had to describe Stephanie Brown before these last two years, I wouldn't have been able to bring myself to say anything noteworthy - nor particularly flattering. Her tenacity for getting herself into tight situations was troublesome to me, and I still had reservations from her time as Spoiler and her even more disastrous time as Robin. But Tim and Barbara's shared belief in her ultimately brought her far, and she stepped up in a way I wouldn't have been able to imagine to earn my respect. She's still got some work ahead of her, to be sure, but she's honored the Batgirl name.

    "Batwoman."

    [​IMG]

    "Standard ops procedure, right? No, there's nothing going on on the outside. My guess is that if they're here, they're operating underneath the docks."

    Kate Kane is the wildcard of the group. So far, she's the one I can put the least amount of trust in by proxy. We've had limited interaction since I returned from the Omega incident, but her frequent terminology and her penchant for hard-hitting combat maneuvers initially struck me as ex-military. In the year we've been working together, I've realized that she's anything but. If anything, Kane is too much of a soldier. I don't necessarily know if I agree with her methods all of the time, but that's always been negotiable. What matters is that like any good soldier, she follows through. And for that, she's essential.

    "Red Robin."

    Whenever I go to Tim's camera feed, I stop. The rooftop he's supposed to be on is empty. He's not in position. Frustrated, I masage the bridge of my nose and let out a sigh. Don't tell me he's veered off of the plan again.

    "...Red Robin, report."

    [​IMG]

    "I'm on my way!"

    I don't know where to start with Tim. As a warrior, a crimefighter, a detective... he's still as impeccable as ever. Perhaps even moreso than he was when he fought at my side directly. Whenever I returned to active duty and formed Batman, Incorporated, it was never a surprise to me that he'd moved away from the Robin identity to become his own man like Dick before him. But ever since we lost Alfred, and I chose to monitor these missions rather than take an active part, there's been an unspoken rift between us. I've yet to discern exactly why, but I think I can guess.

    He's angry with me because he feels that I shut him out. It wasn't long ago that I adopted him as my son, but ever since Damian entered our lives, he became less of an immediate priority to me. And now that he's become more independent, even less so. And I regret that. I should've taken the time to make sure our relationship didn't suffer under the strain of all these changes. But to let it continue to affect his performance in the field is, as he knows, entirely unacceptable.

    "You were supposed to be monitoring the Northern..."

    "Yeah, I know. I got it. But there was a burglar who'd outran a couple of cops in between Nicieza Street and Yost. He'd nearly made it to the Monorail. Couldn't ignore it."

    For the sake of staving off an argument, given I know that he actually took out three muggers, two carjackers and a burglar beforehand, I decide to move past it and let him get to where he needs to be. He can't afford to stop for every incident he comes across, not when time is of the essence and Two-Face is about to make his move. Nine times out of ten, the police are more than capable of handling the minor offenses. He should know that by now.

    "I'm in position now. No sign of activity, like the rest. What's the play?"

    I place my hands together as the command prompt loads the technical schematics from Lucius at home base. Everything's set on his end, and the pieces are falling in place for the strike to commence.

    "Once we've confirmed that Two-Face is in one of the buildings, you're all going to serve strictly as lookouts for the first wave of the attack. The Bat-Sentries are primed and ready to deploy, and they can handle the brunt of the opposition. We don't know what kind of technology that they've managed to secure, but if the intel proved to be correct, it's Lexcorp weaponry. Which means it's highly unpredictable."

    Oracle interjects, feeding the necessary information into their mask and cowl-coms.

    "And given that Luthor's assets were frozen after his disappearance last year, someone had to go to alot of trouble to get that kind of weaponry onto the black market. Word is that Dent paid a small fortune to have the shipment moved into Gotham sight unseen, so he's being extra cautious. Which, as you may have guessed, isn't good for us."

    "Uh, when is a whackjob getting his hands on alot of weapons good for us?"

    "When it makes them easier to trace."

    "Focus, you two. I'm speaking from experience when I say that Two-Face isn't to be underestimated. The man gave me my first concussion."

    I give Lucius the go-ahead to begin launch of The Bat-Sentries through an automated chat window.

    "Red Robin's right. For the past few months, Two-Face been relying less on his usual M.O. to ensure anonymity. His usual accounts are active, but their names were changed to avoid inflection of double meanings. He's hired an entirely new crew and abandoned old hideaways. For him, he's being more careful than usual. Worse, he's being smart."

    I stare back at the screen with intent, completely focusing on the scene ahead. Wherever you are, Harvey, I hope you're ready for what's coming. Because if you're going down without a fight, I really am going to start worrying about you.

    "Do not engage until I give the order. Do I make myself clear?"

    "Yes."

    "Got it!"

    "Affirmative."

    "We know what we're doing."

    I hope that's the case, Tim. But it's not any of you that I'm bracing myself for.

    "Activate your palm-scanners. I need to create a thermal grid for us to work off of. My satellites will be able to tell us of any activity within the area."

    One by one, we get a ping, and Barbara's able to create exactly what she needs to get a better look at the entire area. It was a clever device that Ted Kord once suggested to me during our time in The League. Miniaturized 3D imaging with a single circuit relay. It's moments like this where I start to realize how many others we've lost over the years. Then again, there was a time when I thought we'd lost Clark, Hal, and Oliver, too.

    Even I've been given a 'resurrection', so to speak.

    Bit of an odd thought.

    "Your hunch was right, Batwoman. I'm getting a ton of activity from underneath Warehouse 39. Used to be one of the Janus Cosmetics manufacturing plants."

    Black Mask's old company. Maybe you weren't as cautious as I thought, Harvey.

    "Standby for deployment. The Bat-Sentries are heading your way."

    And like that, it begins again.
     
  7. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    Three Months Ago:

    Lana’s not getting better. Even with the best scientists and doctors in the world, she’s getting progressively worse. She quit her job at the Planet, to focus on her medical needs, or at least she tried to. Perry wouldn’t accept her resignation. He’s still paying her salary, even though she can’t work. Stand up guy.

    Linda had spent as much time at her ‘aunt’s’ bedside as she could, and being Kryptonian that was whenever she wasn’t at work or needed as Supergirl. Still, to her it didn’t seem like enough. She knew that her time with the human who had made a life for her was running short, and it terrified her.

    Now:

    The flight to Smallville took longer than it should have, with Linda taking a leisurely pace and getting lost in thought more often than she thought she would. Also stopping to race a flock of geese slowed her down some. She landed at the Kent farm a few hours after leaving Metropolis.

    “Aunt Martha!” she yelled as the elderly woman came running out of the farmhouse and embraced the younger woman in a great hug. “Oh honey, I’m so sorry about Lana. Clark called and said he thought you’d be coming this way.”

    I didn’t tell Clark I was coming this way… He must have gotten the hint from the teleporter use. 



    “Yeah, I kind of need your expertise Martha. Can we talk inside?”

    “Why of course dear.” With that, the two women walked into the farmhouse. “Now what do you need?”

    “Well, I’m getting a fresh start, a clean break from Metropolis. And with that, I think it’s time for a new costume. This one was great and all, but for one, it’s a bit dated now, and for two, I want something a little more mature now… Think you can help?”
     
  8. Hound55

    Hound55 Byfar The Most Evil Thing

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    Maybe it began in a bar. Or maybe it was even before that. I 'ad a wedge of something down the markets that day, maybe they slipped me a bit of the ol' Welsh rarebit.

    Or maybe that's just a myth in and of itself. Not always easy to tell in my line of business.

    It's easy to see how beginnings and ends can be blurred for a man who's been in and out of Hell so much he's had the back of his hand stamped by the First of the Fallen.

    'Cos wouldn't it be a tragedy if I couldn't find my way back in there.


    [​IMG]

    * * * * *​


    So, I'd had a pint or twelve down the Lux and staggered home for what remained of the night. My house being just as orderly as I like to keep me life, I had tripped on a stack of newspapers and fell flat on my face on the hardwood floor. Not wanting to waste the convenience of this chain of events, I chose to not waste the opportunity I'd bought myself and rested up there instead.

    Or I passed out drunk on the floor and was in no condition to drag myself to bed, whichever way you want to look at it.

    So, I'm asleep on the floor and - as you do - I started to dream.

    Now let's take another pause here, mate. See, I say the word "dream" and that brings about certain connotations. You ask the man on the street what he dreams of, maybe he dreams of getting with that fit bird up the street, maybe he dreams of heading in the matchwinner at Wembley.

    Yours truly, I have three types of dreams. The very, very good. The very, very bad. And the ones that happen.

    See, once upon a time I helped the Lord of Dreams get some of his kit back, basically helped him take back his proper place as said Lord of Dreams. He cleared up some nightmares I'd been having and did what he could to ensure that the time I'm asleep would be a fair bit better for me.

    Least he could do.

    The very, very bad? Well, he cleared up the nightmares I'd been having. Came up a treat, in fact. But that doesn't stop other powerful, demonic elements occasionally finding the means to terrify your truly on occasion.

    Now I could go chase up Dream again, raise my concerns, have him sort it out. But first; far be it from John Constantine to be a complainer... and second; it doesn't do for a man of my standing to go chasing favours from entities and the Endless. Not without a plan. That kind of thing doesn't tend to end well for he who does it.

    Besides, the thing about attacking me in me dreams... I wake up, it's over. Game, set, match John Constantine.

    Then there's the third kind. The premonitions...

    So where was I... oh yeah, that's right. Passed out on the floor, drool flowing between the cracks in the floorboards.

    I'm standing in a field, looking every bit the charmer I generally do. There's a strange, almost ethereal music playing that I can't really make out at first, but gets louder and clearer as the dream goes on.

    On the horizon I see a man in a trenchcoat - Not actually remarkable, you'd be surprised how many people I know with trenchcoats - but I can't see his face.

    Then I started to actually recognize the music. That old Pink Floyd song. And I know it's in the dream itself and not something from the real world seeping in, because the radio by my bed is on a Punk station and hasn't played the Floyd ever and never will. Course this is broken logic, because as we know I'm lying on the floor, but we don't always think straight in our dreams, right?

    Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
    Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
    Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
    Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

    Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
    You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
    And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
    No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

    So I start chasing after the figure in the trenchcoat on the horizon, with the tension rising, I don't know if it's the music or the sensation from the running but it feels like this is important. Something big is coming.

    So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
    Racing around to come up behind you again.
    The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
    Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

    Every year is getting shorter; never seem to find the time.
    Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
    Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over, Thought I'd something more to say.


    I'm closer now. I can make out the dark blue trenchcoat and hat, but still no face. The Phantom Stranger? I call out, but no sound comes. The dream is making me get closer.

    Home, Home again
    I like to be here, When I can

    I'm close enough now to talk, but tired. I'm panting with my hands on my knees, as I suck in air. I hold up a finger to get the figure to wait before speaking, while I find a way to breath again. My left hand drops to my heart and I pull a sneaky Silk Cut bifter out along with my lighter. My head instantly clears and I gulp the first puff in like a man drowning at sea, first hitting the open air.

    When I come home cold and tired
    It's good to warm my bones beside the fire

    This man has been the whole purpose for this dream. That much I know. Symbolism? I finally look the figure up and down and its at this point I notice two things. It's not a man, but a ghost. And secondly, I realise he still has no face. I walk around him and nothing changes. No matter the angle, no face. No face.

    This is who they talked about at Nanda Parbat... The first Question. Who was he again..?

    "Vic Sage?"

    My words echo through the dreamscape in the same instant that I think I had thought them. But who could tell? A curious paradox.

    Far away, Across the field,
    Tolling on the iron bell
    Calls the faithful to their knees
    To hear the softly spoken magic spell

    I see myself, surrounded by a circle of others doing something important. A future version of myself? This man holds importance. Something is coming. Something big. What the types of people in these circles call "Crisis Big". This man can find the answer, a solution.

    This Vic Sage is the only one who could solve the riddle that would end the world, all worlds, Heaven and Hell and everything beyond...

    The circle gathers. I see a faceless woman there. We're looking to bring him back. I puff out the smoke of my Silk Cut, and wait in anticipation to see if we succeed.

    But the smoke obscures the scene, I wave a hand through. But we've disappeared. I step back in shock.

    The smoke has coalesced into a question mark.

    And that was when I woke up.

    I roll onto my back on the hardwood floor. My hand falls to my heart. I pull out a sneaky bifter.

    "Bloody hell. That wasn't you, was it tall, dark and pasty?" I called out to Dream, on the off chance that life might be easy for me for once.

    "Bollocks."


    * Songwriters: DAVID GILMOUR, NICHOLAS MASON, ROGER WATERS, RICK WRIGHT
    Time lyrics © T.R.O. INC.​
     
    #8 Hound55, May 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  9. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    [​IMG]

    Smallville, KS

    For a time, I struggled to understand why this place was always so important to Clark. Maybe I just couldn't wrap my head around it because I never really had a childhood home. After all, I was born in a tube. My earliest memories are of a laboratory. While I feel a great many things when I think about Project Cadmus, I wouldn't say nostalgia is one of them. Besides, Clark had a home in the world's biggest and brightest cities: Metropolis. So why was Kansas so near and dear to his heart? Well, I've come to realize that when you live our kind of lifestyle, it helps to take time to appreciate the more... mundane pleasures in life.

    Like the freedom that comes with the completion of another school day.

    "I'm telling you, Conner: if I can just figure out a way to reduce the ionization, we could be talking about meteorological control down to the hundredth of a degree!"

    Simon Valentine. My one "normal" friend, and I'm using that word loosely. He's a scientific genius and just as eccentric as that usually entails. In an alternate future, he grows up to be a ruthless warlord known as the Prime-Hunter. Normally, that's the kind of thing that steers you away from a friendship, but I've been mind-controlled by Lex Luthor, so I know a thing or two about dark destinies. Simon isn't a bad kid. He's... odd. And lonely. But he isn't evil. I choose to believe in the good I see in him.

    If only I had that much assurance in myself.

    "I don't know, Simon," I begin uncertainly. "Controlling the weather? Probably not a great idea. To me, this sounds like the self-replicating chicken incident all over again."

    Simon shakes his head. "Oh no, my friend. This time there won't be any careless miscalculations on my part. Speaking of which, do you need any more chicken pot pies? I've still got about fifty left in my freezer." He cracks a smile, and I laugh.

    Simon and I continue walking down Main Street, debating the technical and ethical concerns involved with meteorological manipulation and complaining about our upcoming Contemporary English Literature book reports. As we walk, we pass by Nell's Flower Shop. Our classmate, Lori, is standing outside, putting on a green apron as she begins her shift. As she begins to water the hanging flower baskets, she sees us and smiles.

    "Flowers look great, Lor!" Simon calls out.

    "Thanks, Simon," she answers. Before turning her attention back to the flowers, she meets my eyes and holds her gaze for a moment. When she finally looks away, I lower my head a bit and stuff my hands into my pockets. There's been a connection between Lori and I since we first met, when I caught her vandalizing a doctor's office. Of course, that was before I knew her family name.

    Luthor.

    Yep, that's just my luck. I'm classmates with the niece of Lex Luthor. Needless to say, I've tried to keep my distance since that discovery, and I know Lori's noticed. There's no good way for me to explain myself, so I've resorted to silence where possible. An awkward solution, but it's the best I've got. It's not that I don't trust her or anything. But getting involved with her in any way could be... messy. It's better for both of us this way.

    As Simon and I come down the dirt road towards the Kent farm, I hear something. The rippling of a cape in the wind. I turn my head, expecting to see Clark, but instead it's Kara - or Linda, as I remind myself of her new secret identity. She passes by through the air, no doubt on her way to the farm. Meanwhile, Simon - having noticed my gaze - turns his head quick enough to catch a glance, too.

    "Was that... ?" he asks me, arching an eyebrow. Simon's been keeping my secret almost since my first day in Smallville. It wasn't my choice to tell him, but in the end I'm glad I did. Sometimes, it's nice to confide in an outsider, for lack of a better term. Plus, it's certainly handy having someone to cover for me whenever I need to duck out of class or miss a local event or something. He's even getting better at telling convincing cover stories. "You know, we've got that Calculus test next week, so if you want me to come over and run you through the basics..."

    Of course, sometimes his covers are more obvious than others.

    "Not this time, Simon," I smirk.

    He pouts. "Oh, come on. It would be rude not to introduce me," he insists. He holds up a hand. "Five minutes."

    I begin to walk away, smiling as I shake my head. "I don't think so, buddy."

    He drops all but his index finger. "Just one minute!"

    I turn around and begin walking backwards. "Go home, Simon," I laugh. I do have to admire his persistence.

    "You are no fun," he scowls. Slumping defeatedly, he grabs onto the straps of his backpack and kicks dirt at me half-heartedly. "You know, I thought being friends with Superboy would have better perks than this." He shakes his head and walks away, throwing up a one-handed wave. "See you tomorrow, Con."

    Unlike most days, Krypto isn't waiting on the porch for me to come home. I drop my backpack at the door and take off my glasses. After running my hands through my neatly-styled hair, I feel like myself again. Having a disguise isn't as hard as I'd thought it would be, but I still don't understand how Clark does it so effortlessly. It's always such a relief when I can just be me. I step into the house and expect to see my genetic half-cousin.

    "Hello? Anyone home?"
     
  10. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    Linda's ears perk up at the sound of her younger cousin's voice. "CONNER!" In the blink of an eye, she has her arms wrapped around him and had left Krypto confused and looking for more pets.

    "You never come visit, you bum!"
     
  11. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    Kara collides with me so rapidly that even I'm knocked back a step. I feel myself laughing as she wraps her arms around me, and I return the embrace with equal fervor. "I know, I know," I answer sheepishly as I give her one last squeeze. We pull apart, and I rub the back of my head. "When I'm not here helping around the farm or going to school, I'm off somewhere with the Titans. You remember how it is."

    Finally, Krypto wanders over and licks my hand. I glance down at him and smile.

    "So, to what pleasure do we owe this visit?" I ask as I look up at Kara once more. "Unless you're just dropping by for some of Ma Kent's famous pork chops?"
     
  12. sabetoonth

    sabetoonth Where You Get Those Eyes?

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    [​IMG]
    Space. The final frontier. One of the few places within reach where I can still get some semblance of privacy from the rest of the world. There are about 2,271 satellites in orbit around Earth right now. Of those 1,324 are Russian. The Russians have more satellites in orbit than any one organization does. Be they governments or private companies, or secret societies, no one else has as many near Earth orbital craft. It bothers me sometime, but then again I remember the Cold War and the other satellites placed by any nation's military bug me too. Most of these satellites are harmless anyway and some don’t even work properly to begin with. It's a wonder they’re even still in orbit.

    But even with all these man-made satellites, it’s kind of quiet up here in orbit. Its private. I don’t even have to go all the way to the moon for that. Here I can think and the voices of the world are like a murmur. My eyes drift closed as my breathing crawls to a near halt. I just stop for a moment. Even up here though, if I focus just a little, I can hear two heartbeats in one person. That’s real magic. A miracle even. My lips curl into a smile. Serendipity gets it in one word. Lois would just use the one word. She liked to win at scrabble in as few turns as possible too. I let her win sometimes. She’s wise to me though, but I say nothing, just smile. As I float in orbit, the sounds of the world’s crisis drift up to me, even so distant I can hear the fighting in the middle east. A troop of soldiers pinned down with reinforcements close. Closer to home, in New York there’s a car bomb. And then a strange sound, a humming, faint now but growing closer. I want to go to each crisis and save everybody but I can’t be in two places at once.

    So lets start with the bomb.



    NEW YORK, NEW YORK


    Noah Winters had come out of a meeting with his board of directors when his car pulled up. His valet opened the back door and the business man slipped inside. “Take me home, I’ve had enough business for one day, Jackie.” he commanded as he was undoing his tie. As the engine of the car started Noah’s ears picked up the whirring of a servo before something exploded beneath him. He thought he was already in hell when a great wind picked up and then someone was carrying him. Noah couldn’t see through the flames in front of his face and when he’d been carried out he was half dead anyway. He heard a voice, it had power and presence. He didn’t fear it, he felt comforted somewhat.

    “Hello? Sir?“He hadn’t been set down yet, he knew he was no longer in the fire but he knew little else.

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

    I arrived on the scene moments after the explosion and moments after someone else had already rescued a man from the explosion. The stranger was tall and blue, they had no hair that I could see, and dressed strangely. New extraterrestrial hero in town? Well he was on the scene and rescued someone before I was. It seemed like it could be suspicious, but I wasn’t going to start anything without real proof. I landed nearby, scanning the inferno that had once been an expensive car, maybe a BMW 640i, the driver was dead, his aura, some visible sign of life that I can see, is gone, all I saw of it was his burning body. A sick feeling spreads through my gut every time I see that colorful shining light fade into darkness. He was not lucky enough to survive the explosion, but somehow this other man did and it would seem that the blue man was why.

    “Is everyone else alright?“ I could hear that someone had called for an ambulance already and the sirens were coming. Good, this man needed medical attention. I can hear the blue man across the street talk to the survivor.

    “Be still, Noah. You are not dying. Though recovery will be long.” How did he knew his name? He floated over carefully, seeing as the man had burns covering at least 70% of his body.

    “The ambulance is on its way. They know the situation. Our friend is right, you’ll be fine.” I reassure him before turning to the new guy. “Hi, I’m --”

    “Superman. I know.” He gives a polite smile. “My people have received radio wave transmissions detailing your adventures.” I’m a little shocked, don’t recall the last time I had an alien be so polite when they already knew me by name.

    The ambulance arrived with sirens and flashing red and blue lights. Mister Winters was loaded into the wagon before it went back off to get him to Metropolis General. Myself and the Blue Alien had stayed behind.

    “You know my name, I’m not sure I know yours.” I know it looks like I could be interrogating the friendly alien who just saved a man’s life, but I’m not familiar with him, not even his race. He’s a mystery. Mysteries don’t always turn out for the better.

    “I am Ansgar of the Verlox. My people have traveled a great distance to Earth because of you. Superman.”

    “So, where are your people?” The humming is getting closer and Ansgar just looks up in the sky, I follow his line of sight and the humming is right over us, and it's as loud as a freight train in my ear.
     
    #12 sabetoonth, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  13. Batman

    Batman Dramatic Example

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    [​IMG]

    "Standby for deployment. The Bat-Sentries are heading your way."

    [​IMG]

    Call it pessimism, but I'm really starting to hate the sound of those words.

    Activating my wrist-mounted hologrid CPU, I link myself up to the Bat-Sentries' mainframe and gain access to the server Lucius is currently running on them to perform the most basic hardware analysis imaginable. It isn't that I don't trust Lucius or Waynetech's capabilities - far from it, actually. But double-checking the thing that's gonna provide your team with initial cover from an untold amount of gunfire, high-density laser blasts, and whatever other kind of ammunition that Two-Face intends to throw at us never hurt anyone, right? I'd think Bruce would agree, even if he doesn't already know I'm doing this. If anyone wrote the book on overcautious to the point of extreme paranoia, well... he'd probably write the better version of that book.

    It's been eight months since our team started making the rounds without a Caped Crusader in sight. I'd say we have a backup Batman ready to help us out, but Dick's got his own problems to worry about, and I don't envy him in the slightest. What I do start to wonder is just how long we can keep up this damn charade. Barbara and I have had this talk alot of times since it started, and neither one of us really know what to do. He won't leave the mansion, won't respond to any of our calls outside of our assigned missions, and won't bother to react to much of anything we do or say - but he also won't accept our help whenever we come and visit, refuses to accept anything he deems as charity, or even listen to us whenever we try and coax him into something as simple as getting a little sunlight. He lives off of scraps of food that Alfred put into storage over a year ago. I was amazed to see that he even shaved, the last time I went over there with Cass. And for her sake, I chose not to engage him in some choice words.

    The harsh truth of it is, though, is that despite how angry I really am... I'm really just worried about him. Being Batman wasn't just a job to him, it was the dominant part of his entire existence. And I can understand a reprieve after losing Alfred, but he refuses to even acknowledge that he's not acting like himself. He uses his self-appointed position as our field coordinator to justify pretending that everything's fine. And he's yet to explain why, after all this time, he's still allowing the costume to collect dust down in the cave. I don't even think he's been down there since Alfred died, and that place used to be considered more of a home to him than the Manor.

    There's always that popular debate amongst the "in the know" crowd, the guys that are aware of his dual identity - whether it's Bruce Wayne or Batman that's really the man behind it all - but my idea of it is that without one, I genuinely don't think the other can function. And what really scares me is that he's proven me right.

    The moment he gave up Batman, well... he just gave up.

    "According to radar, the Sentries are about a block away from you guys now. I'd brace yourselves. Harvey's about to have some serious company."

    From my vantage point, I can see Cassandra, Stephanie, and Batwoman all look towards the skies as the familiar hum of jet propulsion begins to grow louder as the machines approach. Even I have to take a glance upward, because it really does get you every time. The visual of it, that feeling of surreal awe coupled with a tinge of excitement, and maybe even a little dread. The feeling I'd imagine a General having every time that he sent his troops into battle, because as strange as it seems to say after all these years...

    [​IMG]

    We have ourselves an army.

    As instructed, the four of us hang back and allow the machines to form a triangle-shaped assembly upon touchdown, starting with one in the lead and stretching out to the back. There are twelve robots in total, each operating off of the same set of basic AI commands. It's Lucius' job to make sure that they're all working in tandem and prioritizing potential threats, with a little help from Oracle in the process, but the strategy always seems be able to get them to cooperate a hell of alot better than any group of giant crime-smashing Bat-bots conceivably should. Even I can't imagine how Bruce and the team at Wayne Enterprises managed to pull it off, but I gotta say, I'm always left pretty thoroughly impressed.

    "Tim. What's their status?"

    I watch as the Bat-Sentries begin a march on the warehouse, eating through the rims of the metal doors with carefully tuned automated industrial torches and ripping it away just as quickly.

    "Hell, they're doing just fine to me."

    Utilizing my CPU, I hack into the HUD of the lead Sentry and watch the assault from their own POV.

    "How's it look inside? I'm too busy rerouting their directives to get a look at their onboard cameras."

    From what I can tell, the scans that Barb had us take earlier were on the up-and-up, not that I had any real doubt of that. There's nobody inside the main warehouse, and everything that's possibly taking place here is happening somewhere underground. The Bat-Sentries turn their head downwards, likely pinpointing the source of any disruption that wouldn't be caused by ordinary underground interference.

    "Empty, but it looks like the Sentries are about to assume attack formation. I'd say they're clear to engage."

    I can hear an all-too familiar hint of frustration behind her voice as she replies.

    "I'll pass that information along to Bruce. Not that I imagine he'll have much to say on the matter."

    I know, Barbara. Just hang in there. Like Steph told me earlier, we need to remember where our heads are at. There'll be time for drama after we've confiscated the source of Two-Face's arsenal and sent him off for the due process brigaide. Which should be arriving within the next twenty minutes, give or take,if Gordon's managed to stall his men long enough to keep them out of harm's way for what's about to come.

    KKK-KLIK!

    Wait. What in god's name...

    "Turn around or get turned 'ta mulch."

    Freezing in place, eyes widened, I leap to my feet and produce my bo-staff as a natural defensive reflex. For a second, I think that some lucky goon has managed to spot me and that all I'll need to do is take out the minor annoyance. But whenever I get a look at the number of armed men that are standing right there, guns raised, I nearly do a double-take. What the hell?!

    "Tim? What was that sound? Tim?!"'

    "The boss has some got plans for you, birdy boy. He never said you'd have to be alive for 'em."

    I scowl at the group in their entirety.

    "Yeah, I'm afraid your boss is gonna have to settle for some unconscious losers."

    There's a tense silence between the seconds that pass afterward, but I don't have time to react otherwise. Because before I can even flinch, they've each turned the safeties off and locked their fingers around the triggers. Were it not for my reflexes, I'd almost worry that I'd legitimately stand a chance of being dead in the next few moments. But true to form, I manage to dodge the first round of gunfire before it can hit the ground where I was standing.

    BUDA-BUDA-BUDA-BUDA-BUDA-BUDA!

    Immediately, I strike out at the first one with a spinning kick to the jaw and take another one down with the staff in one twist. The others try and spin to fire another round at me, but I've already got the smoke pellets ready in my hand before they can see me reach into my belt. In seconds, the goons - who I'm just noticing are all covered in some sort of weird head-to-toe tactical gear, all brandishing the Lexcorp logo - instantaneously find themselves coated in a thick cloud of tear gas. Idiots should've outfitted themselves with some rebreathers to go along with their fancy new Lex Luthor pattoned equipment.

    Knowing a fight that I can't win when I see one, I immediately perform a forward roll and dive off of my rooftop, firing a grapnel as I glide over the docks, barely managing to dodge a few stray bullets. There were just too many of them. Had to abandon my post, position's been compromised. A million thoughts are racing through my mind. Firstly, what just happened up there should have been impossible. Oracle's satellites should have detected those men the minute we activated our palm-scanners. Even if they somehow managed to bypass the thermal imaging, there should've been a trace of something within the immediate viscinity. We were all trained by Batman, for god's sake. You can't just sneak up on people like us.

    Secondly, how the hell did Harvey manage to get that many thugs under his employ? He's been cut off from his usual contacts for months. We've hit his frequented hotspots over a dozen times ever since it became apparent that he was running lose, and always turned up with nothing. Even Cobblepot didn't lend him a helping hand, and The Penguin would give sanctuary to pack of dogs riddled with rabies for the right price. It makes absolutely no sense, given the amount of activity we got from below that's likely to be the men he hired to handle the shipments of his weaponry. He'd have to have a small militia to spare, or something.

    Thirdly...

    "Guys! Need... ugh, a little help! Got ambushed! There are too many of---ARGH!"

    Stephanie?!

    Upon landing on the nearest warehouse roof, I make a beeline dash directly for Stephanie's last known position. There must've been a second unit somewhere. Figures, when you think about it, given the way Two-Face's warped psyche works. I swear to God, if any of these clowns have hurt her, I'll rip out Dent's...

    KA-CHNK!
    KA-CHNK-CHNK-CHNK! KA-CHNK!

    Stopping dead in my tracks, fearing that the Bat-Sentry attack has already started too early, I turn to see whatever the hell that noise was. But I'm immediately greeted with a far more horrifying sight instead: From here, I can see Batwoman just barely holding her own against a similar group of outfitted jackboot morons. Just beyond her position, there's the faint outline of Cassandra being attacked by another group. Four groups?! All them waiting for us and prepared for our arrival?! This isn't possible!

    "Oracle! It's Red Robin, we've got an immediate situation! I don't know how, but we're being attacked! All of us are being attacked at the same time! I managed to get to safety, but the others... I can't help all three of them! You have to reroute the Bat-Sentries! They're our only chance of defusing this!"

    "Hold your position, I'll see what I can do! Give me a second, I'm hacking into..."

    There's dead silence on the other end of the line.

    "Oracle?!"

    "Th-They're offline! All twelve of them are offline!"

    My jaw drops as I turn to the warehouse that we were about to lay waste to in order to drag Dent out, kicking and screaming. What I can see from the inside is a pile of immobile Bat-Sentries, somehow having been de-activated from an outside source. That's what that sound was. They weren't being attacked and they weren't attacking. They were falling over like a stack of cards. The glow radiating off of their chest insignias are completely gone, indicating system failure. Or much worse - a complete and total blackout of their systems. But that'd require a...

    "Tim. Talk to me. What's happening?"

    I'm too left in shock to say anything for the first couple of seconds.

    "I... I have absolutely no idea."

    Looking over at my teammates, I try and gauge which one I can go to help first.

    But all three of them are in dire straights right now.

    If I go to help one, I risk losing the other two.

    "But Bruce, we've already lost the Bat-Sentries. And we're losing."

    [​IMG]

    "We're losing badly."

    I have no idea what to do...
     
  14. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    She smiles.

    "I do remember. Between the Titans and the Justice League, I hadn't had a moment to myself in like a year. Soon you'll have even less of an excuse not to visit me, though."

    She sniffs the air as Martha Kent rounds the corner from the craft room.

    "As for why I'm here, it was not in fact for the porkchops, but I do believe I'll stay, as Aunt Martha's porkchops are the best thing I've eaten on Earth. No, I needed some help with something that she's amazing at."

    "You're too kind, Linda. But speaking of, I do believe it's ready."

    A few minutes later, Linda stepped back into the kitchen.

    [​IMG]

    "Well?"
     
  15. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    "Stunning," I smile. Then, in a lower voice, I add, "Don't tell Clark I said this, but I think you wear the cape better than he does."

    Krypto gives a bark of agreement.

    I turn my attention to Ma. "You've outdone yourself again, Ma. Another member of the House of El dressed to the nines."

    Ma laughs. "You're too kind, Conner." As she looks at me, her face scrunches up, and she puts a hand to her chin. "You know," she begins, "it might be high past time I designed something for you..."

    I wave her off with a chuckle. "Oh no. I've had bad experiences with costumes. What I've got suits me just fine, thank you!" I turn to Kara again and say, "Well, how about we take that new outfit for a quick spin before dinner, and you can catch me up on what's been going on with you." I nod towards the back door.
     
  16. Byrd Man

    Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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    [​IMG]

    Prologue:
    Snowbound


    "You don't start over. That's what it's about. Every step you take is forever. You can't make it go away. None of it."
    -- Cormac McCarthy



    Colorado Territory
    January, 1873



    The four riders kept their horses in a straight line up the Rockies' mountain pass. They kept their nags at a steady and brisk pace in order to cover as much ground as possible before it was too late. Although it was just after three in the afternoon gray clouds hung heavy in the sky, obscuring the sun behind them and making the chilly afternoon dip even lower. The clouds were snow clouds. A blizzard was on its way and they had to get to their destination

    Riding at the head of the four-man convoy was John Karnow. That wasn't his real name, just the name he was using in Colorado. Karnow and his gang were headed for a cabin near the mountain top. It wasn't stocked with much which was why their saddlebags were loaded down with provisions to make it through until the spring. Karnow's saddle bags had more than canned food and salted pork in it. In two bags on both sides of the horse and one wrapped around the horn of his saddle were gold and greenbacks, the gang's hard-earned spoils after a robbery spree through Nebraska and Wyoming in the fall.

    "We're almost there!" Karnow shouted back to his men. "Keep movin'! We gotta get there before the snow does!"

    As if on cue, the first flurries of snow began to fall from the sky. Within a few minutes, a steady snowfall began to cover the ground. Karnow cursed and spurred his horse onwards up the pass.

    "How much further?!" Joe McGruder yelled up at Karnow. "I can barely see in front of my face, Jimmy!"

    "Just a bit further, dammit!" said Karnow. "Get yet goddamn horse movin' and we'll be there!"

    While the band of outlaws continued their rapidly slowing journey through the pass, a voyeur watched from above. He was nestled in a hiding spot of foliage and snow scarcely a hundred yards away from Karnow and his gang. The watcher had been here for twelve hours, toughing out the cold and waiting for his quarry to arrive. For five months now the watcher traveled in the wake of Karnow's gang. He tracked them across Nebraska and Southern Wyoming. As the days grew shorter and the cold started coming in, the watcher made a gamble and headed to Colorado while the gang was still around Cheyenne.

    A man from Louisiana, a Cajun who knew Karnow as one John David Ferguson, told the watcher about the cabin in the Rockies. It was where he and Ferguson and three others went back in '69 after dynamiting a mail train in Utah, and then in '71 when they went on a spree through New Mexico and killed a half dozen souls. Anytime it got cold, Ferguson headed there to wait out the winter and hibernate. The Cajun told the watcher all this with tears in his eyes just before a Nebraska hangman tied the noose around his neck. He begged for clemency and promised he would show the watcher where the cabin was if he could be set free. The watcher's scarred face was as hard as stone as he shook his head and condemned the man to whatever waited for him in the next life.

    From his hiding perch, the watcher clung tightly to the Spencer rifle in his glove-covered hands. Richard Adams, the slow-witted Arkansan with a penchant for raping female bank tellers, had trouble keeping up with the pack thanks to the increasing snowfall and a stubborn horse. The watcher had his first target.

    The rifle cracked once. Adams' horse raised up and threw him to the ground. Adams coughed blood and held hard to the gaping wound in his chest while the panicked animal took off down the mountain in a frenzy. The three others looked around in confusion as the watcher worked the Spencer's action and loaded another round. Another rifle shot went into the side of Joe McGruder's head and exited out the other side, taking what little brains he had with it. He was dead before his carcass landed in the snow.

    By now, Ferguson and his one remaining man had their guns out and were looking for the watcher. The heavy snow made it almost impossible for them to see his hunter's blind. The Spencer kicked as the watcher blew Chris McCall off his horse. The horses of the two dead men were panicking and Ferguson could barely control his own nag.

    "WHOEVER YOU ARE, YOU GODDAMN BUSHWACKER, YOU COME OUT AND FACE ME RIGHT NOW!"

    With the confusion and violence of the last few seconds, Ferguson had lost where he was on the mountain. At the start of the ambush, the watcher was a hundred yards away. Now Ferguson was on top of him, far too close for the Spencer, but close enough for the big gun.

    "Where are you?!"

    "Right here, Ferguson."


    [​IMG]

    "Draw, you bastard!"

    The watcher rose from his hidden vantage point, snow and leaves falling off of him as he came out with the revolver aimed squarely at Ferguson's heart. He needed to keep the face intact. He was worth the same amount dead as alive, but that wouldn't be worth much if the watcher turned Ferguson's face into pulp.

    Ferguson let out a surpised gasp at the sight of his face, a gasp that became a gurgle as the watcher put three shots into his chest, a tight grouping that made Ferguson's heart explode and killed him before he could raise his gun.

    Slumping off his spooked horse, John Ferguson sprawled on the snowy ground and breathed his last breath as Jonah Hex stomped away to finally take the piss he had been holding in for hours.



    Last Killer Standing
    A Jonah Hex Yarn
     
    #16 Byrd Man, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  17. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    As Krypto barks, Linda grabs him and hoists him up, allowing him to lick her nose. "But you wear it better than both of us, don't you?"

    She looked over to Martha.

    "How long do we have til dinner?"

    "If you're not back in 45 minutes, I'll feed it to the dog!" She tells them with a smile.

    "You're on Conner!"

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    Moments later, we're streaking through the blue Kansas skies, the fields below turning into a blur of yellows and greens. I allow myself to fly a little lower so that I can reach down and brush my fingertips against the grains of wheat beneath us. When I get my head back up, I see that I'm on a collision course with a flock of geese. I swerve quickly to the right, and the air racing off me scatters the confused birds. They honk angrily at me, and Kara laughs.

    Not long after, we're flying higher, drifting between the clouds. I'm catching Kara up on everything the Titans have been up to, as well as giving her the one story everyone's always dying to know: what happened between Cassie and I.

    "I don't know. Leading the team... it put a lot of pressure on her. It seemed like everything I said or did was wrong. I didn't blame her, I just... couldn't be her boyfriend and work for her, you know?" I conclude, giving a soft sigh. Though our breakup was almost a year ago now, I still can't help but wonder if I should've handled things differently. But the past is the past.

    I look at Kara and smile. "But enough about my problems. We came up here so I could catch up with you. So, c'mon, tell me everything."
     
  19. Byrd Man

    Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

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    [​IMG]


    Last Killer Standing
    Part I:
    Missoura


    "An aged man is but a paltry thing.
    --W.B. Yeats



    Missouri
    March, 1873



    Wilbur Helms gasped for air. He was running as fast as he could through the thickets and underbrush around him. A painful stitch in his right side felt like a knife to the ribs every time he moved. He was too old and too fat to keep running like this, but it was a matter of life and death that he get as far away as possible.

    They came for him in the middle of the night, knocking in the rickety door of his small house. A wayward shot clipped Wilbur's ear and took a chunk of it off. He went for the derringer under his pillow and took enough potshots at his assailant to send them back out the door. Wilbur grabbed his bigger Colt, along with the scrap of paper he always had with him, and managed to slip out the back door and into the woods behind the house.

    He tried to slow down his breathing. His rampant wheezing could be easily heard out here, making him an easy target for the man after him. Wilbur reached into his shirt and held the scrap of paper in his pudgy hands. The paper was why they were after him. For nearly ten years Wilbur had been living his life in fear of this moment, and now it was here. Based on his own estimates he had another quarter of a mile to get to the river that ran through his property. If he could ford it and get to the Samuelson's farm house a few miles after the river, then he could be safe. He just had to make himself move.

    With a deep breath, Wilbur broke out of the underbrush and straight into the double barrel of a shotgun. He let out a small sound of surprise as the shotgun disintegrated his face and his dead body flopped to the ground. Spitting a wad of tobacco at his feet, the killer rifled trough the dead man's clothes until he pulled the scrap of paper from Wilbur's shirt. Tucking it into his own pocket, the killer stepped over Wilbur's dead body and whistled under his breath as he headed back to the house.




    Central City, Missouri
    April, 1873



    Max Steiss snarled and raged against the bars of his jail cell. He cursed and spat through the bars at the two men impassively watching him from ten feet away. Jonah Hex had a smoldering cigar clamped between his teeth and a mocking smirk on his face. Beside him, US Marshal Jason Garrick shouted Steiss down with promises of violence upon his person. Steiss fumed and collapsed on the cell's small cot, his back to the two men.

    "Thank you for bringing him in, Mr. Hex," said Garrick.

    "Don't thank me, just pay me."

    "You'll have to see the US Attorney about that. The bounty on Steiss is what? Five thousand? An amount of money that size, I can't pay out for."

    Hex looked at the marshal and sized him up. He was at least ten years older than Garrick. He knew the reason why a man as young as Garrick was the head marshal for this part of Missouri. He had the job forced upon him after a bushwhacker killed Garrick's boss six months earlier. Hex was in on chasing after the man for the bounty, but Garrick beat him to the draw and came back to Central City with the murderer tied to the back of his horse. It pissed Hex off something fierce to be denied that bounty, but he was okay with it in the end. Justice was something that Garrick needed to get for the dead marshal and the town and for himself. Hex never brought justice into his dealings. No, death and violence were enough for him.

    "How far a ride is it to Jefferson City from here, a few days right?

    "Jeff City? Two days ride if you push it, why?"

    Without a word, Hex ambled over to the office's far wall. Hanging on the wall were wanted posters of Missouri's and the country's most wanted. Hex dug through the different pictures until he found the one he wanted. It was a yellowing piece of paper that curled on the corners. It showed a drawing of a fat man with a double chin and a hook nose. Underneath the photo was the name Wilbur Helms and a price of two thousand dollars.

    "Helms here was part of a gang of rough boys that operated out of Kansas. He and four other men have been on the lam for at least five years now. A federal judge in Lawrence is willing to pay full price on Helms and the rest of them. Only problem is I found Helms dead a week ago in Independence, least I think it was Helms. Shotgun blast to the face ruined what looks he had."

    Reaching into his jacket, Hex produced wanted posters of two other men with black x's drawn across their faces with charcoal.

    "Two other members of his gang I tracked last year in Kansas were both dead, both of them murdered by persons unknown."

    Garrick let out a low whistle and walked to his desk. He leaned against it and looked at the scarred bounty hunter.

    "Someone scooping you on the haul?"

    "No. Whoever's killing 'em is leaving 'em behind. Can't claim a bounty without a body. The next member in their gang that's on my list is supposed to hang around Jeff City."

    "Well, I'd hurry the hell up if I was you," Garrick said with a wink. "Get to Jeff City before you miss out on another payday."
     
  20. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    Has it already been a year since they broke up? Rao. I'm glad neither of them asked me to pick a side. One's my best friend here on Earth, and the other is family...

    "Well, I'm kind of in the doldrums myself. Did you know I almost quit being Supergirl last year?"

    She tells him about how she nearly hung up her cape after the destruction of New Krypton, and consequential deaths of her mother and best friend. How she feels horrible that she hasn't been as active as she probably could be because she's spent every waking hour with Lana instead of dealing with things save major emergencies...

    "But you know what the best thing is for kicking a funk? Change. So that's what I'm going for now. The new costume is just the beginning."

    She smiles and looks to the west.
     
  21. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    As I listen to Kara tell her story, I'm sharply reminded that I'm not the only one in this family to have experienced anguish, pain, and loss. Hell, even Clark - for all his overflowing optimism - had to handle the burden of being an outsider to this planet, of never knowing his home, of feeling alone in the universe. Sometimes, I get so fixated on this perception of myself as the "black sheep" of the House of El that I can't see past my own problems.

    And while it certainly saddens me to hear the pain in Kara's voice, there's also a comfort in knowing that I am not alone with my problems.

    "I'm no stranger to new beginnings," I smile.

    When we reach the state line, I pull up and pass through a puffy, white cloud. As I emerge, I turn towards the setting sun and feel its yellow energy permeating my cells. And to think - I'm only half a Kryptonian, so I can only imagine how this feels for Clark and Kara.

    "We better start heading back in we want to eat," I tell Kara. "Ma's not kidding about feeding it to Krypto. She's done it before."
     
  22. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    "You know what I didn't get a good look at on this costume? The soles of the boots. Tell me how they look, will ya?"

    And before Conner could muster a smart response, his ears rang with the sound of Linda breaking the sound barrier. Moments later she landed with a dust cloud in the field right behind the house.

    "New suit works great Aunt Martha, it's perfect."
     
  23. Eddie Brock

    Eddie Brock Golden Domer

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    A few seconds later, I land a few feet from Kara. "For the record," I begin, "You only won because I stopped to help Mr. Morris with a flat tire." She shoots me a glance as if to say, "Mhm, I'm not buying it," but at least I said my piece.

    And I did stop to help Mr. Morris.

    "Well, come on inside. I'm sure you both worked up an appetite."

    I follow Kara inside through the back door. Krypto waits for me to pass before getting up and following us all back to the kitchen. Ma has laid out dinner on the table, and the smell is positively intoxicating. Kara and I share an eager look before taking our seats.
     
  24. Supergirl

    Supergirl The Maid of Might

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    They tuck into the meal and continue a little small talk through the fantastic pork chops. Martha either doesn't notice or doesn't say something when Kon slips Krypto a slab of the pork chop.

    "So Kon, you'll have no excuse to at least say hi at least once a weekend, now that I'm moving to Oakland, will you?" She winks at him.

    "Speaking of, I have an early interview tomorrow at the Oakland Tribune. They're willing to hire me even though I'm just starting my course load next month at Berkeley. Amazing what having an internship at the Planet and having Lois Lane and Clark Kent as professional references can do for your resume, huh?"
     
  25. Hound55

    Hound55 Byfar The Most Evil Thing

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    A black cab door opens. A cigarette butt bounces off the curb. Two well-worn black shoes hit the footpath. Pleasantries and pounds exchanged, the cab pulls away.

    John Constantine cups a hand to light his next cig to protect it from the dry wind that makes his tan trenchcoat billow. He looks through the glass doors at the pandemonium that is Heathrow Airport, and thinks about what he’s about to put himself through again.

    “Sod it.”He says, with his final fag finished, and crushes it beneath the toe of one of those well-worn wingtips and forges on inside.

    After interminable minutes that feel like hours he finally gets to the front of the queue.

    “One for Gotham.”

    “Baggage, sir.”

    “Only what you see in front of ya.” He said stepping back with his hands out.

    “No baggage…” the worker says, wearied behind the masking polite smile, as she tapped on the keys of her computer.

    “If you say so, luv…”

    * * * * *

    The Great Gig In The Sky

    * * * * *

    John wandered to the Duty Free section, pulled a small bottle of scotch and a travel flask from the shelves before walking to the cashier.

    “That and a carton of Silk Cuts, mate.”The carton of 200 being the total duty free exemption for the United States; a law that John happened to be VERY familiar with from past travels.

    “Purple?”

    “Yeah, mucker.”

    The cashier turned and reached for a carton of purples standing on the shelf behind him, just to be stopped from the man in tan behind him.

    “Nah mate, could I have the next box over?”

    The cashier reached for the next box over and laid it out on the countertop, telling him the total in the process. John forked over the readies, but could see there was still something on the cashier’s mind.

    [​IMG]

    “Sorry to intrude, but I’ve got to ask… why did it have to be THAT particular box.”

    John reached into his pocket and pulled out a small roll of stickers with his name on them. He slapped one on the bottle, one on the flask and then carefully put the final “John Constantine” tag over the word “Smoking” on his carton of cigarettes. Then he pocketed the lot; somehow the whole carton fitting into the folds within his trenchcoat.

    “That’s easy, mate. Saves me havin’ to warn ‘em myself.” Then, with a wink and a nod, he was gone.

    * * * * *

    John sat himself in his aisle seat of the central row. It’d be an 8 hour flight to Gotham and the last decent opportunity to sleep, but after last night’s fare he just couldn’t see it happening. It wasn't the bayou down Louisiana, where he'd generally meet ol' Sprigs'n'twigs himself, but Gotham was a swamp of its own kind.

    [​IMG]
     
    #25 Hound55, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015

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