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

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

  1. Eddie Brock Golden Domer

    Jul 24, 2006
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    "Oh?" is the first thing that comes out of my mouth when I hear about the interview. It's not that I'm not happy for Kara. Obviously, I am. But hearing her talk about all this change, about moving on to a new place, about having a job interview... it just reminds me how directionless I feel.

    When I came to Smallville, I didn't have any plan for the future. In fact, I came out here to figure out exactly that: what I wanted to do with myself. But I've been so wrapped up with Titans business and trouble around Smallville that I've never really stopped and asked myself what I want to do with the rest of my life. I've only got one more year of Smallville High after this, and then what?

    Krypto sniffing at my hand brings me out of my thoughts. "Well, I'm sure you're going to nail the interview," I assure Kara. "Just remember: if you get nervous, picture the other person naked. And if that doesn't work, there's always x-ray vision." I tap next to my eyes and laugh.

    Ma gasps and turns red, though I can see the corners of her mouth curling into a smile before she covers it with her hand. "Conner Kent!"

    "Just a joke, Ma. Obviously, we'd never use our powers like that."

    Intentionally, anyway.
  2. Supergirl The Maid of Might

    Jan 22, 2004
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    He made Aunt Martha blush, now it's my turn to pay him back.

    Linda smirks and looks at Kon.

    "Who was your friend? He seemed excited to meet me, what are you worried we'd embarrass you? Show off baby pictures of you?"
  3. Eddie Brock Golden Domer

    Jul 24, 2006
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    You know, tonight was Jordanna Spence's birthday bash, and I'm missing it. Now, I don't even like Jordanna Spence all that much, but she is tentatively one of my "friends" - one of the ones without an alias, anyway - and that kinda makes it my duty to show up for things like that. Not to mention that I've been going to college for two years now, and I think I can count the number of parties I've been to on one hand. Somehow, when I imagined what college would be like, I didn't picture myself being such a social dud. But hey, that's the life I've chosen to lead, and when Batman tells you there's a mission tonight... well, there's no good way to say "no."

    Don't get me wrong, though: I was absolutely honored to be invited to join Batman, Incorporated as a member of Bruce's personal "strike team." (Even if I do suspect the appointment was more a matter of convenience than true merit.) This time a year ago, I would've killed for a "Nice work, kid" from the man himself, let alone a tacit endorsement of my extracurricular activities. And I totally understand that when an A-lister like Two-Face steps out of the shadows, it's all-hands-on-deck. But none of this changes the fact that stakeouts are. just. so. boring.

    If only Babs would install the iPod jack in my suit like I always ask.

    "You're awfully quiet tonight," Babs chirps over the com.

    "Saving all my energy trying not to freeze to death," I answer as I continue rubbing my arms. "You sure this thing is insulated?"

    Babs just laughs.

    Considering our earliest interactions - where Babs threatened me to stop being Batgirl or she'd tell my mother what I was doing - I think it's safe to say that Barbara Gordon and I have grown quite close. She's pretty much been the best mentor that a girl could ask for. Unfortunately, of late her responsibilities to Batman, Inc. - and Bruce - have kept her too busy to pal around on Team Batgirl like the good-ol'-days. I hardly even see her around at her day job on Gotham U's campus.

    "So, O, you think this qualifies as a good excuse for an extension on my computer science homework?" I ask.

    "Now, now. I can't be seen to practice favoritism among my students."

    I frown. Didn't think that would work. Still, I add, "Be honest, though: I am your favorite student, right?"

    Babs says, "Focus on the task at hand, Batgirl," but I can practically hear her smirking from all the way out here in the field. Still, that's her gentle way of telling me to shut up and get my head in the game.

    As I look out, I can spot two of my teammates. Cassandra Cain, the girl who trained me, who bestowed the mantle of Batgirl on me. Well, more like she abandoned it, and I kinda swooped in. As always, she's completely still, laser-focused. Probably meditating or something. I never had the patience for that. Then, there's Tim. Oh, Tim. What am I going to do with you? He's angry at Bruce and not doing a great job of hiding it. To be a fly on the wall when that finally boils over, right?

    The sky starts to hum as the Bat-Sentries approach. Crime-fighting in the 21st Century, folks! We've all made our jokes about Bruce and his gadgets, so it was a little hard to take him seriously when he first told us he'd be putting a team of iBatmen in the field with us. But sure enough, here we are: fighting alongside the most advanced tech Wayne money can buy. Makes you wonder how much longer until those of us in the fleshy variety will be obsolete.

    "Hey, O. When Bruce inevitably upgrades to Version 2.0, think we can snag the hand-me-downs for Team Batgirl?" I ask. "They'd look real pretty all lined up in Firewall."

    She doesn't respond. Probably busy getting the robo-Bats into position. I can't help but feel myself tense up as they march on the warehouse. After tearing through the doors, they disappear inside, and I listen intently on the open line as Babs and Tim discuss their progress. Settling into my crouched position, I snap open my bo staff and squint to make out any movement in the darkness.

    I hear the footstep not a second too soon.


    The spot where I was standing is completely eviscerated by machine gun fire. Luckily, I've already launched myself into the air in the direction of cover. The spray of bullets follows me, some of them whizzing by uncomfortably close. I land ungracefully, but at least I'm safe behind a wall. With a quick double-blink, I activate my cowl's infrared scanners and take a look behind me. I count twelve - maybe fifteen? - armed and armored men. One in the front signals for a pack to break off and circle around to flank me. I've gotta move. And soon.

    "Guys! Need... ugh, a little help!" The sudden shot of pain makes everything go white for a second. I look down at my leg. One of the bullets caught me in the calf. Well, no time to worry about field dressing it now. "Got ambushed! There are too many of---ARGH!" Before I can finish, the flanking squad has turned the corner and immediately opened fire. I'm forced to throw myself blind off the roof and scramble for my grappling gun. Chunks of brick and mortar rain down on me from where the bullets are hitting the wall above me.

    When I finally have the grappling gun in hand, I spin myself in the air and scan for a good anchor away from the gun-toting madmen. There's a small water tower which looks to do the job. It's not my smoothest swing: my arm nearly gets jolted out of its socket when the line goes taut, but I can't afford to stop moving. When I reach the peak of my swing, I retract the grappling hook and aim for a nearby rooftop. I hit the ground hard and roll, my leg throbbing every time it touches something.

    "God, I should've been at Jordanna's party," I announce aloud to no one in particular. I push myself up onto my arms and turn to look at the rooftop where I was standing. The armed men are rushing over, leaping from rooftop to rooftop in pursuit of little-ol'-me. I grimace and get to my feet, ducking behind another wall to get my bearings before they arrive.

    Okay, Stephanie, so the plan's gone to Hell, you've been shot, and you're vastly outnumbered. Guess what? It's time to improvise.

    And I always work best when I improvise.
  4. Eddie Brock Golden Domer

    Jul 24, 2006
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    Eavesdropping, huh, cuz? I give her an amused look to let her know I appreciated the "baby pictures" joke. "Actually, it wasn't you guys I was worried about. Simon's a good kid - and a genius - but he still lacks a certain... finesse in social interactions." I turn to Ma. "Would you agree? You've met him, after all."

    "Simon?" she muses, thinking for a moment. "Oh, the Valentine boy? Hmph! You should've invited him in. I would've given him an earful about the cows!"

    Seeing Kara's confused look, I explain, "Simon likes to... experiment. Every now and then, he has a massive breakthrough - like his Parasite frogs - but more often than not... Well, anyway, a few months ago he got this idea to improve cattle farming by increasing cows' milk production. And it worked... kinda. The cows do produce twice as much milk."

    "And it all has a sour lemon aftertaste!" Ma finishes with a shake of her head. She gets up and begins to clear the table.
  5. Supergirl The Maid of Might

    Jan 22, 2004
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    Linda helps with the dishes and then gives her aunt and cousin both one last hug.

    "Well it's time for me to head out. I've got some unpacking to do, and that interview in the morning. Love you both. And Kon? If you don't stop by and say hi the next time you're in San Francisco with the Titans, I'll punch you to the moon."

    With that, Supergirl takes off from the back porch of the Kent farmhouse, headed west toward the setting sun.
  6. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
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    For the first time in what feels like weeks, everything seems to be working out according to plan. Whatever Harvey's possibly been planning since his escape after the Arkham breakout, it's all about to be shut down by my team. As a rule of thumb, I generally reserve my reliance on optimism for the very rare occasion, but I'll admit, I have a feeling about this. With Two-Face off of the streets, there'll be a trickle-down effect on Gotham's crime in that region of the city, which will lead to major ramifications for anyone still operating in the district after tonight. Dent's reputation as a merciless mad dog killer has inspired some unsavory activity in the last month which I'm almost looking forward to seeing scatter back into the shadows, leaving me time to focus on the other escapees, such as The Riddler and Penguin. Looking at the feed of The Bat-Sentries' HUD, I can see the small squadron Lucius is remotely piloting about to approach Dixon Square, just north of the docks.

    I need to stop myself. It's been a long process, and I can feel myself getting too anxious to see it reach a natural conclusion so that I can move ahead. Need to stay focused on seeing it through before that can happen. One wrong move now, and it could jeapordize everything. I've faced Harvey too many times to underestimate his capabilities now.


    Speaking of underestimating capabilities - and needing to stay focused.

    "You can come out whenever you like, Selina. I know you're there."

    My eyes aren't adjusted enough to the light whenever the lamp next to the entrance of the study turns itself on. What surprises me more than the brightness, however, is to see the dial being held up by the end of a leather bullwhip. Flung from the opposite side of the room. Even after all these years, "The Catwoman" has found entirely new ways to take me off my guard.


    "As much of a killjoy as ever. I swear, you're the one man I'll never be able to sneak up on..."

    After stretching her arms, given the awkward position she's been holding for the last seven minutes, Selina does me at least one courtesy by leaping down off of my bookcase in the corner. I don't even bother asking her how she could've possibly bypassed the Manor's security protocols, because I'd genuinely have better luck trying to keep Clark encased in a paper cage. Retracting her whip, the wry smirk leaves her lips as she seems almost insulted by the way I turn my attention back to the screen. I can't help but think of that as the perfect summary of our relationship.

    "I don't have time for this right now. What are you doing here?"

    Walking around the desk, she playfully leans herself onto my shoulder and gives me a look that she knows is bound to eventually get my attention. It's taking everything I have not to glance over, but as always, the mission comes first.

    "You know the thing about cats and curiosity, Mr. Wayne. So call me curious... what would you say to a little moonlight stroll? Just the two of us?"

    I narrow my eyes, typing in a few key commands to give me an alternate view of the Bat-Sentries' flightpath.

    "I'd say the exit is to your right."

    At first, I expect her to become offended, but she actually manages to brush that one off. Either Selina's not taking the hint that I need to prioritize this over whatever she's come to me with, or she's blatantly choosing to ignore it in favor of risking my distraction. Irregardless, I can't allow that to happen.

    "Okay. Forget the stroll,", she suggests, strolling over to the other side of the screen. "How about we play things your way? I know of a regular hangout in the East End of that one gang. What is it they're called? The Burnside Brawlers? We bust up their operations and scare the hell out of them tonight, and I guarantee it'll be the last you'd ever see of those idiots in Gotham."

    Trying to tune her out. And it isn't working, despite my best efforts. Normally, if she weren't actively trying to steal something, I'd probably tolerate her company. I might even go as far to say that I'd enjoy it. But until this is over, I'm genuinely starting to want her as far away from me as possible.

    "Go talk to Dick. I'm sure he'd be willing to help you clear them out."

    Selina doesn't seem particularly enthusiastic about that response.

    "I'm talking to you. And if you really want to get in on some action, don't think I don't know about what you're in the middle of. I have contacts too, y'know. You're going after Two-Face. Or more accurately, they're going after Two-Face while you watch from the sidelines. We can change that right now. Just follow me down to the cave and suit up."

    Realizing her true motive for being here tonight, at this particular time, I place my hands together and close my eyes. Angry isn't the exact word I'd use, right now. But I can feel whatever it is reaching that point eventually. She has absolutely no idea how many times I've had this conversation before, and none of the others have managed to change my mind. Not Dick, not Tim, Clark, or Barbara - even my own son has all but disowned me for this. But I made a choice and I'm not about to back down. I would think they'd at least be able to respect that.

    "Did one of them put you up to this?"

    Immediately, almost to the point of rage herself, she grabs the top of the screen and slams my laptop shut. I almost say something that I know I'd regret right there. There could be a multitude of valuable points of intel to be learned from what the Bat-Sentries are picking up as they begin their assault. Namely, what Harvey's endgame really is, and how he's been able to avoid me for this long. And now - because of her and this glorified temper-tantrum, I risk losing all of that.

    "You could at least pretend to give me a little more credit than that."

    I angrily glance back up towards her, finally giving her the attention she's been craving.

    "I don't know, Selina. You seem to change sides so often, it's hard to really give you any credit."

    She laughs, but in a way that isn't her expressing any sort of amusement.

    "You of all people don't get to use that card on me. I've always chosen a side. My side, because I don't see the world in black and white like you always stubbornly have. There isn't a good and bad to what you do, no matter how much you used to pretend otherwise. But now?"

    Before I realize it, Selina's leaped onto the desk and ensnared my neck in her whip, forcing me out of my chair. It genuinely takes me off guard, because I should've seen that coming. My reflexes are twice as fast as her's. Or at least, I... thought they were.

    "Now I don't know what to expect of you."

    Her grip grows tighter, and I start to feel pressure. Contrary to her nature, she isn't playing games. Selina's genuinely angry with me. Part of me wants to fight back, but another part of me wonders if it's justified. We haven't spoken much since Alfred passed. She has her own life now, protecting the East End when she's not actively dabbling back and forth in old habits. It's just another reason I can't take this conversation entirely seriously.

    "Let go of me."

    "No,", she protests. "Not until you tell me why! Why has it been nine months?! What the hell happened to you?!"

    I start to lose my anger for a moment, pleading with her. For her sake more than mine.

    "Selina, please. Stop this."

    She starts to grind her teeth as the strain becomes tighter.

    "This stops the moment that you agree to drop this self-pitying garbage and choose be a man again."

    After several moments of hesitation, I finally give into the rage and grab the whip myself, giving it a forceful tug that nearly pulls Selina off balance. She's surprised by my strength, given I haven't kept up a regular workout regime in months, but stubborn as ever to fully relent. She tugs back, nearly strangling me. Testing me, waiting for me to make a move that would be something satisfactory to whatever she's looking for. I eventually decide not to disappoint.

    "Enough of this."
    #31 Batman, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  7. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
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    Wrapping the cord of the whip around my fist, I secure a hold over it and use it as leverage to pull her closer towards me. She nearly falls off of the desk there, but I secure her descent by grabbing ahold of the belt of her costume - and using it to toss her into the air, over my head. Before she can properly react, she goes flying into another bookcase, nearly smashing it apart with the frame of her body.

    "You've crossed the line. You come into my home, telling me what I've become..."

    Turning to face her fully, I stand over her and make it clear, seething.

    "When it's become clear that you really don't know a thing about me."

    The anger loses it's hold over me and I almost feel myself regretting what I just did. But any sense of loyalty towards Selina starts to fade away as I see her forcefully push herself up, shaking off the pain and shock of the impact. She glares at me with wild eyes, unsheathing the claws hidden in her gloves and assumes a combat stance. Any number of things could be happening at the docks right now, and she wants to challenge me to a fight.

    "I know one thing about you, Bruce. I know the fire behind those eyes..."

    She dives at me, claws at the ready to pierce my skin. Out of instinct, I grab her by the wrists and drop onto my back, using my heel to drive her in the opposite direction mid-air. This time, however, Selina regains control of her landing and somersaults into the middle of the room. Regaining her whip, she cracks it, making it and her look not unlike an angered cobra.

    "I know that he's still in there, just waiting to come out again. And you've felt it, haven't you? All these months, wasting away, shutting everyone out. He's been there with you the entire time. And you're holding him back."

    Assuming a guarded stance myself, I prepare myself for anything she can throw at me. And then I prepare myself for more.

    "Batman's not a separate person, Selina. After all these years, I've finally come to realize that."

    She practically hisses at me. "I wasn't talking about Batman!"

    I start to move, but the way she said that... the tone she used and words she used to say it, it immediately stops me dead in my tracks. I feel like I've been in the dark in this conversation for too long. She's coming at me with something else entirely. Most of them just wanted me to put the suit back on and go back to the way things were, when I explained to them that nothing would be as they were. But Selina - Catwoman - she's not talking to me about a simple costume.

    "What do you..."

    It's enough, I suppose, to finally allow her to get a hit in. Because the moment I start to question her, she leaps forward and strikes me across the face with a kick harder than I've ever felt from her before. Without warning, I hit the desk behind me and nearly cave it in. Adrenaline kicks in and I want to spring out a counter attack, but she's on me too quickly. I've been so far out of practice that it takes her little effort to be able to dominate me entirely.

    "The man I loved - the man I thought you were, wearing a cape or not - hasn't been with us since the old man died! Bruce Wayne, Batman, whatever you called yourself, it doesn't matter! I'm talking about the man who cared. The man who gave a damn when he chose to send the people he loved on suicide missions!", she growls, before relenting for just a moment. "I understand pain, Bruce. You know how much I understand loss. Even if I never got the distinct impression that he was overly fond of me, I cared for Alfred more than I'd have ever admitted. Not as profoundly as you did, maybe, but that's the thing about loss when it comes to being in the prescence of the mighty Bruce Wayne, isn't it? It's never a fair comparison. Not all of us had to see our parents killed!"

    She hits me across the face as hard as she possibly can. I never knew she cared this much. I never knew I could genuinely leave her this upset, but she's giving it her all. I just wish I could make her understand why I can't be the person I used to be. I wish I could make them all understand what changed, and what needed to be done.

    "Did you forget about them? Tell me the truth! Did you?! Because I seem to recall that you made a vow! You were going to be the man that this city needed, and now look at you! Curled up in the darkness like you're waiting to die!"

    Another hit. In my condition, I'm genuinely starting to wonder if I can even fight back. The strength isn't there like it used to be.

    "Well, I won't stand by and let it happen! You're going to come to your senses, even if I have to drag you out of this godforsaken mansion myself!"

    Tasting a bloodied lip, I finally look her dead in the eyes.

    "You want an answer?"

    Grabbing her next punch before it can land, I use my knee to forcibly dislodge her hold on me.

    "I stopped because... I failed him."

    The intensity in her body language eases itself, and her emotions pass, allowing her to finally stand up and back away, allowing me to do the same. She doesn't say a word. Doesn't even force me to explain it. But somehow, with Selina, I finally manage to find the words that I couldn't express to the others. She's always had a place in my life entirely seperate from them. Maybe it's out of that sense of what we used to be that I choose to confide in her. Maybe it's something else entirely. All that matters is, she's finally ready to listen.

    "Do you know where I was when he died?"

    I turn away from her, and slowly approach the window overlooking the balcony. The same window that, nearly a lifetime ago, shattered when a small creature flew it's way into the study of a beaten and bloodied young man looking for direction in his life. I thought I'd moved past him. Apparently, I was wrong.


    "The Joker had escaped. Again. It wasn't entirely surprising, given that after Killer Croc's rampage and the subsequent bombing, Arkham was left in ruins. Again. But I had a feeling that after all this time, and with all these... changes over that last year, he was more unpredictable than ever. His psyche had been warped past a point I had never seen, going back to when Doctor Hurt tried to transform Arkham into The Black Glove's headquarters. I couldn't take the chance of him laying low again."

    After a brief few moments, I finally get the courage to look at my own reflection in the glass.

    "So I scoured the city for any trace. Took me weeks to finally track him down, but when I did, The Joker had expected me. He always seemed to be able to count on my arrival. It was game to him. And like so many times before, he had some depraved plan to take the game a step farther. It didn't even make any sense, but I wasn't looking for it out of him. So we fought. I finally pinned him down, nearly caved in his jaw... and then I kept going. Commissioner Gordon had to pry me away, when it was all said and done."

    Selina steps forward.

    "What does this have to do with..."

    I hold up my hand, indicating that I'm not finished.


    "I had gotten so lost in my anger towards Joker - towards the possibility of what he was even planning, that I'd become a man obsessed. And you can't tell me that it's the first time that's happened. Every single time one of them escaped, they would consume my life. I forgot about the people I cared for, the things that mattered, and lost myself in trying to stop whatever crime they could use to harm an innocent person. Whenever I drove home that night, I was so possessed by the incident that I didn't even bother to call ahead. Didn't even consider the unusual nature of the silence in The Batmobile. Because Alfred would always be there, ready to try and lift my spirits... even when he knew he couldn't."

    I do everything that I possibly can to hold back a tear as the feeling comes rushing up.

    "Then I found him."

    The tear finally falls.

    "It had taken me at least an hour to decompress, so after I mended my wounds, I went upstairs to bid him a good night before I went to bed. And then I discovered him, and he was... right there. Right infront of the entrance to The Batcave. Just... lifeless. A tray of food scattered in a mess across the floor. His body already cold to the touch."

    I look back at Selina, who seems to be shocked at what I have to say.

    "I never knew what it would do to me. Never even considered it. But when I realized he was gone, it felt like I'd been orphaned all over again."

    Taking my seat at the desk again, I re-open the laptop. Selina moves to comfort me, but I give her a look that makes it clear that I'm not looking for that. Contrary to what every one of them thinks about me right now, my grief for Alfred ended a long time ago. This isn't about him. This is about what I didn't do to change anything. And how that mistake cost me the only man ever I knew as a father.

    "I never got to say goodbye to him. Never even got to tell him I loved him. All because I was stuck in my ways."

    Placing the earpiece back in, I re-establish the connection to Oracle's server and ignore Selina as she approaches.

    "And now he's gone. There's nothing I can do about it."

    She attempts to speak, but can hardly find the words. Then she finally does, even though she knows I probably don't want to hear them.

    "It wasn't your fault."

    I clench my fists, mid-type, and sigh.

    "If I had stopped to recognize the symptoms, to notice he was even sick, I..."

    "Bruce, Alfred died of a brain aneurysm. It was instantaneous. There was nothing you could've possibly done."

    Angrily, I stand up again and throw down the earpiece, nearly breaking it.

    "Don't ever tell me that, Selina. We live in a world of impossibilities. Miracles happen every day. Men defy gravity and women come from an island of Amazons. Magical rings choose test pilots to wield them and lightning strikes twice. Life exists beyond our own world, even our own galaxy! The impossible isn't a science anymore. It's all factual. Men rise up from the dead. Ra's Al Ghul has done it for centuries. Superman survived Doomsday. Dick even told me that there's even a Lantern ring that can re-animate our loved ones."


    "I've been to other worlds. Other universes. I was trapped in time. I've fought alongside ghosts. The supernatural. The alien. Every possible form of life that we've ever imagined could exist actually does exist. And for awhile, I even considered that I could bring Alfred back if I tried. So don't even begin to tell me that I couldn't have prevented what happened."

    Without warning, she grabs me by the back of my neck.

    "Lord, would you just shut the hell up? Listen to yourself! I mean, really listen to yourself! It's like you've forgotten what it means to be human.", she interjects. "We lose the ones we love, Bruce. You learned that lesson when you were a boy. That's the natural order of things. It doesn't matter what sort of bizarre and outlandish stuff exists in this world. We're still people and there's still a line to cross. If you really feel this way, then what's ever stopped you from bringing them back? Or God forbid, when you lost Jason. And we all know how that turned out now, don't we?"

    I try and argue that point, but... I can't. Not at the moment, anyway.

    "I think what bothers you is that Alfred's death really was beyond your control."


    "No, listen to me. Bruce, I would go to hell and back to save the people I love in a second, but when I've lost them? I've lost them forever. I accept that because it keeps me sane. You go down a different path, and you're not going to come out on the other side as a better man. What you're talking about is sick."

    I look away from her.

    "I'm not going to bring him back. You don't think I know that it'd be a perversion? I have too much respect for the man to ever let him do anything more than rest.", I explain, trying to convince her I haven't fallen down that road. "But look at everything that happened because I didn't step back and look at things from a different perspective. When Hurt got ahold of me, I nearly lost everything. When Darkseid sent me away, I could barely hold onto my sanity. You're right. I'm not in control anymore. And you're right..."

    I place my hand on her's.

    "It scares me. More than anything else does."

    Looking back at her, I see sympathy starting to form in her expression. It's at that moment that I choose to pull myself away from her, walking to the other side of the room, trying to hide my disgust. I'm done having this conversation. Done having to try and justify myself to people who only question my intent. When it comes to the situation I've currently found myself in, there is no fixing it.
    #32 Batman, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  8. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
    Likes Received:
    "Get out of my home."

    She shoots a glare towards me.

    "I mean it, Selina. You've had your chance to sway me, but nothing's going to change this. I won't go back out there until I know for sure that I can make a difference again. Now get out."

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


    We both look towards the earpiece as the shrill sound of Tim and Barbara's panicked voices ring quietly throughout the study. Quickly, I move my way back to the desk and retrieve the comm-link, holding it up to my ear. Selina leans on the desk to be able to listen in, aswell.

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

    Eyes widened, I type the commands nessescary to access The Bat-Sentries' internal programming. But I'm amazed to find that despite Lucius' server running at full capacity mere moments ago, the entire thing has blacked out. There's no signal being sent, and if there is, it's not reaching the Sentries. Either a connection has flat, or Harvey's somehow behind this. Luthorcorp technology...


    Selina looks up. "What? What is it?"

    "Two-Face. He has a focused EMP."

    Properly adjusting the headset, I start to try and reach out to Barbara. But I immediately stop, realizing something. If this is a technical issue and my hunch is right, there's nothing that Oracle can do for us through the Sentries. I'm going to have to get a first-person account of what's happening.

    I tap into Tim's part of the communications' line.

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

    He sounds panicked, which makes me worry all the more. Tim has seen plenty of action over the years. I haven't heard him sound this unsure of any situation like this since he first began as Robin.

    "I... I have absolutely no idea. But Bruce, we've already lost the Bat-Sentries. And we're losing. We're losing badly."

    Slamming my fist onto the desk, I make my tone loud and clear. We are not going to lose to Dent tonight. We've all worked too hard to see this through. Perhaps Selina may even be right. They've all worked to hard. But I refuse to allow that to go to waste.

    "Not an option. Listen to me, Tim. I suspect Harvey's gotten his hands on an EMP weapon that Luthor created to try and stop Brainiac, years ago, when he attempted to assist The Justice League to gain political favor. It's focused on disabling specific targets. So here's what you're going to do. You're all going to have to rely on nothing but your non-electrical weapons and your own skill. Until that weapon is found, you have to approach the situation with caution. Do you hear me?"

    "Got it. But what do I do to help..."

    "The team can handle themselves. They're each trained well. You have to focus on Two-Face right now. You're the only one in a position to get the drop on him."

    I can hear the apprehension in Tim's voice when he responds.

    "Are you kidding me? Absolutely not! I don't care if Harvey escapes, Bruce, I'm not going to a member of my team die just because I was chasing the bad guy!"

    Whether it was his intention or not, his words strike a chord with me. A particlarly uncomfortable one.


    "No, we're done talking. I don't know what the hell happened to make you so cold-hearted, but it wasn't Alfred! I'm saving my team, and if you have a problem with that, come down here and stop me yourself. Red Robin out!"

    I look at the screen in shock. Tim's never spoken that way to me before.

    I didn't realize...

    "Where the hell are they?"

    Selina leaps for the window and pries it open.

    "What are you doing, Selina?"

    She angrily spins.

    "You're the one who told me to get out, so I'm getting out. Now tell me where they are!"

    I try and dissuade her from what she's thinking, but she's already halfway out the window by the time I finally respond.

    "Dixon Docks. But I don't want you to..."

    She shakes her head, preparing a backflip off the balcony.

    "Since when has that ever stopped me before?"

    In that instant, she's gone. I try and chase her to stop her, but she's already reached a motorcycle in the courtyard by the time I make it to the window.


    The last I see of Selina is the back of her, as she speeds off on it and away from my driveway, likely heading into just as much trouble as Tim, Cassandra, Brown, and Batwoman have already found themselves in. I wish I could say I appreciated her help, but she doesn't grasp the severity of the situation like they do, and that lack of intel is only going to get herself killed.

    "Not again."

    She's right.

    I don't have any control over this.


    I'm starting to wonder if I ever truly did in the first place.
    #33 Batman, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015
  9. Supergirl The Maid of Might

    Jan 22, 2004
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    Linda woke in a cold sweat at three in the morning, in her new apartment in Oakland.

    The nightmares are back. Always the same too. Always HIM. His soulless dark blue eyes, buried under the hideous gold mask. A flash of golden light and a sudden feeling of helplessness. Helplessness only expanded by watching what comes next every time. First it’s my father he kills. A memory that plagues my every waking hour to this day, and now it seems my non-waking hours too. Then it’s my mom. I watch as the flesh burns from her body, leaving only a skeleton. A skeleton that tells me what a failure I am. Then the most haunting of the dream hits. It’s Lana. Lana telling me how I didn’t protect her. Protect her from HIM. He laughs as her flesh wrinkles and crumbles. As her hair falls in handfuls to the floor. She coughs and there is blood. He laughs and laughs. “You killed her too, Linda. You killed everyone you love.”

    She sobs in the darkness of the room for three hours before it’s time to leave for her interview. Her apartment is a mere 20 minute walk from the Tribune for most people, and a beautiful walk at that, right by the gorgeous lake in downtown Oakland. But for Linda, it’s a mere 10 second flight. Today though, she takes the walk.


    “Lang, enter please.”

    She sits down across the desk from the editor.

    “What brings you to Oakland? Seems like you could have easily stayed at the Daily Planet.”

    “A need to be on my own. If I’d have stayed at the Planet, I would not have felt as though I earned the position. My aunt was the business editor until her passing, after all. I want to prove that I can do this without her name being the reason.”

    “Well I must say, your references are something the likes of which I’ve never seen. Three Pulitzer winners and Cat Grant? Impressive.” 

    “Yeah, Lois is a big inspiration for me. But Clark, Clark taught me everything I know. He taught me every thing I need to know to do the same job he does. I’m proud to say I know him.”

    “One more question, what do you think about Truth, Justice and the American Way?”

    “I think all three of those things need to be looked at a little closer in today’s world. I think it’s our duty as reporters to allow the public to see the truth, and I think that’s something a lot of reporters fail at pretty heavily anymore. I think true justice is a great idea, but poorly executed right now. And I think we all need to focus on what makes America great, rather than just making blanket statements as to how good it is.”

    “You’re hired. You start Monday.”
    #34 Supergirl, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  10. Andy C. Repent, Harlequin!

    Mar 1, 2006
    Likes Received:

    The sky is on fire, and the Shining Temple of Akhosh has vanished. Our champions are dead, and the Grand Army swept away like dust on the plain. This is the end of us.

    I have to run, to escape the monsters that came from the stars. Run, where? Where is safe now? There is no safe place left, not in the stars where death makes home, not on the land where it makes sport of us.

    Jada's pendant weighs heavy in my hand. I trusted him to take the young ones far from the battle, moments before I watched their skiff burned to ash by the monsters' rays of death. I told him that I would return his pendant to him when we met together again in the Golden Land of Vanathiel. Now, though, I know it will never be. Either the gods have turned their backs on us, or they are long dead.

    The screaming has stopped-- I fear I am all that remains. The people of the Plains of Wyachi are gone now, perhaps everyone on the world of Hakar. The monsters, their bodies whirring and buzzing with unnatural sounds of machinery, turn away from the ruin and return to their ship, rising silently back into the clouds. They have had their fill of killing, and left me as the sole witness to their slaughter.

    I am alone, completely and utterly. My family is dead, my friends have been butchered, my clan which reaches back a thousand generations is ash and dust. There is nothing for me here, save for sorrow and fantasies of revenge.

    As I gather myself to walk the ruins, I see a sickly green light split the skies, and pierce the ground. All of Hakar quakes with the impact! Gods save me, they now kill the world itself!

    The plains rise up beneath me, spitting fire and smoke! I cannot breathe, I cannot see!

    In the name of all that is good, Gods please, SAVE ME--

    These are the last recorded thoughts of the sole remaining sentient on planet 553-21-5762, known to the dominant indigenous life-forms as 'Hakar,' in the moments before the planet's deletion. A Level-2 World with a primarily tribal culture, somewhat elevated by contact from neighboring star systems. The star charts their clerical leaders kept contained an interstellar trade route which revealed sixteen Level-3 to Level-6 worlds previously uncharted.

    These worlds will soon be located and deleted, with all useful biological data preserved.....


    ......just like all the rest.

    My probes stretch across the cosmos, scouring the universe for life, and more importantly, for new information. Every planet that has come to my attention, every moon or asteroid, every nomadic convoy or adrift colony, has been added to the collection, save for one.

    Space Sector 2814. Galaxy 11-446-7734. Star 242-07-1958. Planet 3.

    Known to the dominant indigenous life-forms as "Earth."

    This world has resisted my efforts on numerous occasions, despite the inherent absurdity of it. It is a Level-3 World, whose primary life-forms are primate mammals scarcely capable of 6th Level intellects--save for a frequent ally and enemy, the human called Alexander Luthor. Its defenses are meager, its technology simplistic and crude, and its society on the verge of collapse.

    Yet it eludes me. The presence of the Kryptonians is largely responsible for this-- without the protection of Kal-El and Kara Zor-El, Earth would be added to the collection now, the city of Metropolis stored for experimentation and the remaining seven billion humans existing only in my memory banks. Now, however, it is an anomaly, and even removing the Kryptonians would not guarantee successful capture.

    At this stage a lesser, organic life-form would experience crude biochemical reactions which would alter their brain-states and affect their behavior, "emotions," particularly in the form of frustration or anger. I have studied the causes and effects of these brain-states and know how to experience them myself, but I have learned they are a hindrance to my thought process. I am not frustrated or angered by my repeated failures to capture Earth.

    Instead, I am merely compelled to alter my approach. A direct assault will prove unsuccessful, like on all other occasions.

    However, I now have plans in motion that will ensure the preservation of Earth's digital and biological information, and the deletion of the planet itself.


    In due time, Earth, like all life in the universe, will belong solely to Brainiac.
  11. Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

    May 25, 2006
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    Last Killer Standing
    Part II:
    Washed in the Blood of the Lamb

    "There are no second acts in American lives."
    -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Jefferson City, Missouri

    Reverend Timothy Partlow looked up from the pulpit at the sound of an opening door. The reverend almost recoiled at the sight of a tall, lanky man with a horrible scarred face stumbling through the nave towards him.

    "There's no service at the moment, friend," Partlow said, stepping away from the pulpit and cautiously walking towards the man. "We've got one coming up this evening you're welcome to attend."

    "Ain't here for no service, rev," the scarred man said with a drunken slur to his voice. "Need someone to witness to me. I need to get right with God."

    a drunk man stumbling into the church was nothing new to Partlow. With a rowdy saloon down the street and an even rowdier cathouse beside it, men regularly came in to repent their wickedness. In the reverend's experience, every man succumbed to temptation, himself included. As willing as the spirit may be, the flesh was always weak. The feat was not exactly in avoiding temptation, but in asking for forgiveness once it had happened. What happened more often than not was they would soon leave after getting sober, never fully embracing God and going right back to their sinning.

    "Come sit next to me on the pew, son. We'll talk."

    The man reeked of liquor. Not just on his breath, but seemingly his whole body had been doused in it. Partlow could barely stand to sit just a few feet away from him on the pew. He noticed for the first time the man wore the gray of the Rebels, even though the war had been over for nearly ten years.

    "What have you exactly done?"

    "What haven't I done? Name the sin, rev, and I've done it. I've fornicated, fought, cursed God, and even killed many men."

    Partlow gingerly placed a hand on the man's back in order to comfort him. He seemed genuinely remorseful, but he was convinced that had to be the hooch talking. This man had the look of a real gun thug, almost like the men Partlow knew from his past.

    "What's past is past, my friend. Wickedness may have been in your heart, but that wickedness can be driven out and replaced with the Lord. I speak from experience. In my youth, I battled my own demons before I let Christ into my heart. I was once a wicked man, but through His grace I have repented my ways. I was washed in the blood of the lamb and I became a different man."

    "Have you really, rev?"

    The drunk fixed his eyes on Partlow. The reverend found it hard to maintain eye contact with the man, especially with the scarred side of his face that made the right eye look bigger and unblinking.

    "Changed, I mean. I don't think it works like that. I had a man explain it to me like this one time: Our lives are a series of doors that lock behind us. We walk through a door and we can't go back. Soon or later we run out of doors to go through and we're left in a little room with the person we've become. We make our choices and we have to live with them. Now, the guy who told me that was coming down off a three-week opium high and I had just recently kicked six of his teeth out with my boot... but I think he was on to something. We are who we are and no amount of praying and weeping and gnashing of teeth can change that."

    Partlow recoiled backwards at the man's words and at the fact that, slowly, is drunken slur had seemed to disappear.

    "Like how you may be doing good here in Jeff City as Reverend Partlow, but saving all the souls here won't change the fact that you're really Timothy Perkins, and you are a bastard."

    The reverend's blood seemed to run cold at the mention of that name he thought he'd left behind. He started to back away from the man, but before he could get too far away the man's strong hand found itself wrapped around Partlow's wrist.

    "You tell your flock about what you did in Abilene? All the men you and your gang killed when that bank got robbed? What about those fires outside Wichita? All them women and kids that got caught in them burning houses? I bet them old ladies love hearing about the smell of burning human flesh and the way a human being screams while their lungs on fire. That gets them going, don't it?

    "NO! NO! NO! NO! That ain't me!"

    Partlow struggled against the man's iron grip before he was pushed to the floor by the scarred man. He trashed and spat and tried to fight back, but the man was too strong. The stranger jerked the preacher's hands behind his back and tied them together with a short length of rope before knotting it tight.

    "I'd kill your ass right now if I could. Unfortunately, the bounty stipulates you're wanted alive. That judge out in Kansas really wants to see you at the end of a rope."

    "Whoever you are, you're mistaken! I'm a preacher, for God's sake!"

    "Keep denying it and I'll cut out your tongue. You'll bleed out plenty, but I'll stop it before it gets too bad."

    The reverend was brought to his feet by the bounty hunter. The scarred man's face was in a permanent sneer, but he felt that the man's face would look like that if he could make the face by choice.

    "What I want to know is why is Bill DeVery killing the rest of your gang."

    Partlow blinked in surprise and looked at the bounty hunter.

    "Bill?... I mean, who... is Bill?"

    "Nice save there, rev, but it ain't gonna make a bit of difference. The rest of your boys -- Migs Malone, Swede Harden, Wilbur Helms -- all got gunned down by someone before I could collect the bounty on them. You and DeVery are the only two members of the gang still alive. With you acting all pious I imagine it's Billy boy doing the killing."

    The reverend's heart raced. He was on the verge of hyperventilating, but he licked his dried and cracked lips before nodding.

    "I... yes, I am Tim Perkins. I was Tim Perkins. All those things you said I did, I did. I was a monster... but I have changed my ways. I know why Bill is after me. Let me tell you my story and, after I've finished, you can decide if you'd rather take me in for the bounty... or make ten times more than what you would if I hang."

    The bounty hunter snorted loud and long before he spat a wad of mucus on the church floor.

    "Talk fast, rev. You're using up what little bit of patience I got."
    #36 Byrd Man, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  12. sabetoonth Where You Get Those Eyes?

    Sep 4, 2008
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    Ansgar’s ship hovered over the Big Apple as we both crossed the air between it and he ground. The chrome surface reflected the image of the Earth beneath it including the approaching aliens as we neared. At the flick of his wrist, Ansgar opened the hull, which seemed like liquid metal not so different than mercury, leaving a gaping space through which we passed inside.

    The craft was just as remarkable inside. More blue men and some women moved about what I assumed was their duties as the crew of the ship. But this couldn’t be it, the craft was too large to be run by a handful of people wasn’t it? I kept my eyes forward but it wasn’t easy. I had never seen technology like this before. Everything on the inside seemed advanced, even by some Kryptonian standards.

    Ansgar lead me through a hallway at the end of which was a blank wall, but I’d picked up already that it was just a closed door. The blue man waved his hand and the metallic surface opened for us. Their level of advancement makes me wonder why they’ve come to Earth. They don’t appear to be short on technology, and they don’t seem stricken by a plague. I don’t see why they’re here but it’s best not to judge a book by its cover isn’t it?

    “I am sure you are wondering why we’ve called you here.” Seated beyond us, in front of what appeared to be some kind of window or screen displaying New York below us, must have been their leader. He wore a robe, vertical, matte white bars about 9 inches wide. Bare arms ended in hands with fingers adorned in simple silver bands. I really think this guy is their leader. He stood from his seat and the ‘screen’ disappeared. “I am Akigage. In your English language my title is Lord Protector of the People.” He approached Ansgar and myself, though as he did, my blue ‘friend’ gave space between us. “Walk with me, Superman.” His voice resonated deep in his chest as he turned to another closed doorway and it opened as he waved his hand.

    “Our people, the Karurana, were once a great and populous people. A peaceful people, our ‘empire’ was built on commerce and trade.” As he informed me of their history, the sides of the hall morph into accompanying imagery. “1500 years ago we withdrew from the rest of the Universe, finding ourselves better protected behind our planet’s force fields.”

    The hall opened up to a large observation room or lab of some kind. I stopped to look around but Akigage continued on. “Soon after our world became volatile. Unstable. 800 years ago we left Verlox and from space witnessed its destruction. From then on we were nomads.” The images that were following the tale appeared not on the walls but in the center of the room, sprouting up from a table. “A number of years ago we began to receive the radio transmissions of Earth, and soon after we began to hear of the Superman of Metropolis.” The image in the center was no longer one centered on the people who had built the ship, but the same image that was blazoned across MY chest. The crest of the House of El. “Reports of your heroics gave us hope. We continued on Believing heroes would rise in times of hardship.” Hope, exactly what the S I wear on my chest means.

    “Akigage, Lord Protector, Sir.” I’m not sure exactly what to call him and so throw everything at the wall. He seems to acknowledge that and gives no outward sign of annoyance and my ignorance to his culture. “I am honored to have been a beacon to your people, but...” it is a question I feel I must ask, “why have you come to Earth?”

    The Karurana Lord Protector’s stoic face remains ever etched in stone as he answers. “To do the same for your people. As you gave us hope a we drifted through space, the Karurana would aid the people of Earth through their darkest age.”
  13. Batman Dramatic Example

    Oct 1, 2003
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    "Batgirl, topside!"

    I call that out as I descend from a higher roof, throwing caution to the wind and giving away my position so that they'll focus on me instead. Not enough time for a dose of the theatricality or a dose of the deception, right now, so I'm going with this approach instead. And I already know that Cass is gonna be thinking when I get to her - that it's typical of me to go for Stephanie first, given our history. Hell, given the history ontop of our history. But at the end of the day, it's entirely circumstantial. I only just managed to spot a bunch of these overpowered morons chasing Steph out of the corner of my eye - and wouldn't you know it, I just happen to be feeling really eager to punch the living daylights out of the nearest thing available.

    "Rendevous on Batwoman's position! We need to regroup! As for the goon squad,"

    Somersaulting off of the side of the building as Batgirl just barely vaults from one roof to the next, I produce two electrical batarangs from my belt and send them flying directly into the chest armor of the closest of Harvey's lapdogs. By the time I've landed, enough thousands of volts surge through his ridiculously over-saturated systems to overload them, causing a malfunction to send him flying back, knocking another two of the hench-squad off of the roof and sending all three catapulting to the streets below.

    "Happy landings."

    True to form, Luthor's R&D team did a number on these suits - they both managed to overcompensate on circuitry enough to allow that to happen, and still manage to overcompensate further on the amount of exterior armor in the design to allow me to not have to give a damn about how far down the drop is. Gotta love that Lexcorp Business Model: "Subtlety? Eh, screw it."

    Unfortunately, I'm low on electrical batarangs. The others immediately jump on their window of opportunity and attempt to launch a full-scale assault, making me have to leap into the open air and re-activate the paracape just to be able to avoid the oncoming assault of high-impact lasers, sonics, and other random assortment of artillery rounds. Two-Face managed to smuggle half of this crap into Gotham without anyone noticing, and I'm just expected to think Oswald Cobblepot had nothing to do with it because Bruce doesn't think it "fits his M.O."? Right.

    "Hope you got that on the cowl-cam, O! We're really freaking outgunned, here!"

    "So it seems, "R". Gotta wonder what kind of weapons cache Luthor was working on before he went awol."

    "I'll be sure to track down and ask him when I'm not neck-deep in rounds that could take out Superman!"

    "Oh, quit whining. I'd faced the barrel of a laser canon more times than anyone realistically should while you were still in diapers."

    I'd smirk if I weren't a hair away from getting vaporized.

    "Alright, I just got word from Batwoman. She's trying to divert attention away from Cassandra's position. Stephanie's heading to her, like you ordered, so it's just become your job to keep her alive. If the four of you can get them to start firing on themselves instead of you, there's a chance none of you will die. Think you can handle that?"

    Mentally giving her a mock-salute, I change course in the opposite direction and glide in low, gaining speed with altitude. "Yes, ma'am."


    Diving downwards once I reach full ascension, I manage to glide just over Batgirl as she's about to approach Batwoman's roof. Nixing the cape's rigid form, I flip ahead and end up landing beside her, barely missing a moment between breaths to contemplate the insanity of this situation. We both fire our grapple launchers at the same time and prepare to swing off into a bevy of danger, peril, and goons outfitted with enough tech to make them look like sci-fi movie villains. Y'know, all that good stuff.

    "Hey, gorgeous. Fancy meeting you here."
  14. Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

    May 25, 2006
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    Last Killer Standing
    Part III:
    The Great Rockford Train Robbery

    "The past is never dead. It's not even past."
    -- William Faulkner

    Rockford, Illinois

    A pitch black engine steadily chugged and poured smoke from its stack as it roared down the rails. Connected to it were six cars that swayed with each dip and divergence on the tracks. The town of Rockford began to rapidly disappear behind it, giving way to the open country of Illinois. It was headed north towards the Wisconsin state line, the town of Janesville and Madison before Milwaukee. That was its planned destination, anyway. The five men had other plans.

    They watched the moving train from a close hilltop with their horses hitched and waiting. The five men looked every bit like the roughnecks that they were, scraggly facial hair and dressed in dark clothing with bandannas hanging around their necks. One of the men watched the train’s movements with a looking glass in his hands while another stood next to a dynamite plunger.

    “Alright,” Timothy Perkins said to the other men. “Mount up. Swede, you got about a minute until the train gets close enough to blow it.”

    Swede Harden nodded and prepared to pull the plunger’s handle down while the other four mounted their horses. Perkins pulled his looking glass back out and watched the train approaching a bend.


    Swede pushed down on the detonator, sending a electrical impulse a quarter of a mile away where three sticks of dynamite were wedged against the train tracks. The dynamite exploded just as the engine passed over it, sending the engine up five feet into the air in a fireball of burning coal and twisted steel.

    The fiery engine landed on its side and slid off the rails, twisting and dragging the rest of the train with it in a heap of battered boxcars.

    “Let’s go,” said Perkins, slipping the bandanna up across the lower half of his face.

    The five masked outlaws charged towards the wrecked train with guns drawn. Their intended target was the mail car three spots behind the engine. Part of its delivery in Janesville was payroll to the workers of the Floyd Textile Mill, a cash sum totaling nearly twenty thousand dollars. The gang approached the overturned train car, quickly dismounted their horses and pulling their revolvers.

    The mail car’s door swung open with a loud clatter. Two hands reached through the door and began to pull someone up through the door. As soon as the burly and mustached face of a man appeared through the hole, he was blasted through the head by Wilbur Helms’ big Smith & Wesson and fell back into the car, dead. Somewhere, someone moaned and someone else cried.

    “Spread out along the train,” Perkins told the others. “Anybody even looks a bit like the law, gun ‘em down. Billy, you’re with me. We’re going into the mail car. “

    Perkins and Bill DeVery climbed up across the car towards the open door where the marshal had attempted to come through. They jumped down through the hole into the capsized boxcar. It was a mess of scattered mail and twisted bodies. There were a lot of men on the floor, either unconscious or too hurt to put up a fight thanks to the crash. Perkins narrowed his eyes at the men. There were nearly a dozen in here. That was way too many for a simple mail run. Perkins found a dead man’s body and rifled through his jacket. He found a badge announcing the dead man as an agent of the United States Treasury.

    “Bill,” he called over to DeVery. “Something’s not right here.”

    “I think I found out what it is.”

    Perkins looked over where DeVery had a very large trunk opened at his feet. The trunk was easily four feet across and two feet tall. The trunk had been knocked around in the crash, flying open and spilling large amounts of United States greenbacks across the floor. DeVery looked up from the cash and grinned at Perkins.

    “It’s all twenties and hundreds. I think there’s at least three more of ‘em in the train.”

    “Sweet Jesus,” Perkins said under his breath. “To hell with that payroll. Get that money back in the trunk and let’s find the others.”


    Jefferson City, Missouri

    “The Great Rockford Train Robbery,” Jonah Hex said mostly to himself. “That was y’all?”

    “It was,” Timothy Perkins replied.

    The two men sat beside each other on a pew in Perkins’ church. He acted as a preacher in Jeff City going by the last name of Partlow.

    “We found out later that all that money was on the train because it was being put into circulation and the old bills being brought back to the Mint. They had just dropped off one of those trunks at the Treasury field office in Chicago and were headed to Milwaukee to do the same. All told we took at least three million. We eventually gave up counting.”

    “You got scared, didn’t you? That was a hell of a lot of money to take, nowhere near what you had planned.”

    “We got spooked, yeah. This time we ripped off the federal government, not some wildcat bank or some penny-ante factory owner. It was a big crime that they wouldn’t stop trying to find the money or the robbers. Three million dollars. More money than anybody could spend in ten lifetimes. We took a small share of the haul and split it up, hid it, and went our separate ways.”

    Perkins reached into his tunic and pulled out a scrap of paper. He held tightly to it as he looked at it.

    “This—“ he held out the paper before pulling it back close to him. “—is part of a map to find the money. Upon our death, we would pass on our part of the map to the others. Last one left alive gets all the piece of the map and gets the money. In theory, it was a good plan…”

    “But Bill got tired of waiting,” said Hex. “After just, what? Five years? Surprised y’all took this long to turn on each other.”

    “I don’t want the money any longer, Mr. Hex,” said Perkins. “That is part of a past I wish to forget, it was a version of myself that no longer exists that did those things.”

    “Well, tell that to DeVery when he shows up.”

    “That will not stop Bill from killing me, if only to prevent me from coming back one day and killing him for the money… but what if I give my part of the map to you? You take out Bill, you get all five parts of the map, and get the money and I get to live in peace.”

    Hex looked at the preacher. A line of perspiration ran across his hairline and beaded down his forehead. He looked at Hex with an almost fevered sense of optimism. Hex was about to reply when the doors to the church burst open.

    The two men turned and saw the tall, meaty frame of Bill DeVery with a shotgun in his hands.

    “Tim,” he called in a thick southern twang. “I come for ya!”

    “Get down,” Hex growled, pushing Perkins to the floor and drawing one of his Colts from its hip holster.

    The outlaw and bounty hunter opened fire upon each other simultaneously.
    #39 Byrd Man, Jun 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  15. Eddie Brock Golden Domer

    Jul 24, 2006
    Likes Received:

    San Francisco, CA

    It's funny. My super-hearing doesn't magically go away just because I'm standing atop Titans Tower. If I listen, I can still hear the traffic, the phone conversations, the sirens, all of it. Yet, for whatever reason, this spot is the one place I feel like I can truly get away from it all. When I'm up here, I allow myself to tune everything out and just stare absently across the rippling water of the San Francisco Bay. The rhythmic motion of the waves lulls me into almost a hypnotic state, and I can feel my thoughts melting away. It doesn't last forever, though. Eventually, something pricks at the edge of my consciousness and draws me back into the world.

    I take a step off the roof and allow myself to float gently to the ground. The Tower looms above me, casting its T-shaped shadow across the small island we Titans call home. As the fog rolls in and I start to feel a chill in the air, I wander inside. Motion-activated lights gradually brighten to welcome me. Super-hearing notwithstanding, it's amazing how quiet the Tower is during the week. Being a Titan is so engrained in my identity that I often forget that we all have lives outside of this team. Being here on a weekday is a bit like being in school on the weekend. There's something equally eerie and comforting about it.

    And apparently, I'm not the only one looking to take advantage of the solitude. I step into the training room to find one of my teammates breaking a sweat on the bench press.

    "Was --- ungh! --- wondering when you'd finally check on me."

    Rose Wilson. Ravager. Daughter of Slade Wilson, better known as Deathstroke, even better known as the man who's tried to kill the Titans more times than any of us can count. She's been both enemy and ally, and she's certainly a peculiar friend to have, but in a straight-up fight there's probably no one else I'd want on my side when lives are on the line. Her father may be a monster, but there's a thing to be said about learning from monsters.

    I would know.

    Rose's arms quiver as she attempts to lift the bar again, and I take a step forward. She clicks her tongue at me. "You touch this bar, and you lose a hand," she warns half-playfully. Determined, she takes a deep breath and finds the strength to rack the bar at last. After a moment to catch her breath, Rose swings her legs around and faces me. As she wipes the sweat off her head with the back of her hand, she nods over my shoulder. "Hand me that towel, would you?"

    I grab the towel and toss it at her. As she snatches it out of the air, I say, "I wasn't expecting anyone to be here today."

    Rose smiles wistfully. "Where else would I be?" She buries her face in the towel, emerging a moment later as she begins to dry her silvery hair. "What about you, though? Shouldn't you be off somewhere, being amazing or something?"

    I shrug. "Not feeling all that amazing today," I admit.

    Rose smirks at me.


    "Are you brooding? Can Kryptonians brood?"

    "Blame it on my human half, I suppose."

    She stands, tossing her towel aside. "Well, I've got another minute of cooldown before my next set," Rose says. Then, with a shrug, she adds, "If you wanted to talk about it."

    "I wouldn't know where to begin, honestly." I sigh and think about Kara's visit. "For as long as I've been back from... well... being dead, I've been so focused on the present. On getting back to the life I had before. I've never really stopped to think about where I'm going next. And that was fine - for a while, anyway - but now..."

    "You're looking to the future, and you don't know what way the wind is blowing," Rose offers. I nod, and she just smiles at me. "I think you're over-thinking it a bit, Conner. After all, we all know what you're going to be when you grow up, remember? Big, blue, wears a shiny red cape?"

    She's genuinely trying to be supportive and helpful, but somehow it only makes me feel worse. "But is that all I am?" I ask as I look her in the eye. "Even Superman has a day job, family, friends."

    "Friends?" Rose laughs, almost bitterly. "Look around you, Conner. Look where you're standing. There's not a person on this team who wouldn't lay down their life for you!"


    "Do you know how rare that truly is?"

    I lower my head. She's right, of course, and I don't mean to diminish the importance of my teammates - of my friends - in my life. Still, something nags at me. "I know. You're right. I know I can always count on Tim, Bart... hell, even Cassie, despite all we've been through. But this team? It isn't going to last forever. We are the Teen Titans, after all."

    "Never stopped Beast Boy," she interjects with a smirk.

    In spite of myself, I can't help but chuckle. "Okay, fair, but you still know what I mean. I'm a Titan, and I'll always be a Titan. But I need to know... that I'm more than that. I need to know that I'm not just the next Superman - or the next Luthor, for that matter. I need to know that I'm my own person."

    Rose's smile fades as she nods. "Sounds to me like you need to figure out what you want from life," she suggests, "And when you know that, all you have to do is go after it." She turns to glance at the clock. "Alright, minute's up. Gotta keep my heart rate elevated, and your presence alone isn't gonna cut it," she winks.

    Before she sits down again, I call out, "Rose?" When she looks at me, I ask, "About what you just said. That anyone on this team would die for me. Were you including yourself?"

    She thinks for a moment, then meets my gaze. "Well... I've almost died for worse," she smirks.
  16. Carnage27 No one's puppet

    Dec 5, 2007
    Likes Received:

    The Narrows

    11:43 PM


    The sound makes me wince. It’s a tick of Damian’s. Well, not really a tick so much as a show of his disapproval. I find it useful when he uses it against enemies. It’d be a move of overconfidence from anyone else, but the boy was skilled. That’s how enemies view it, which often lead them into making a mistake. Damian punished them harshly for underestimating him. Sometimes too harshly, though he and I are working on that. He’s a good kid when he wants to be. But using that sound on me isn’t my favorite.

    “Problem, Robin?” I ask him as I continue my surveillance on the warehouse across the way from us. I believe the Penguin has been running weapons out of the location for weeks. Tonight is the night we’ll finally find out.

    “I don’t see why we have to wait around,” Robin protests. “We know that’s the location. We should hit it hard and end this now.”

    “We think it’s the location,” I correct him. “Plus, we don’t have enough intell. We need to find out how many there are in there. I saw three go in. I want to know how many were in there before.”

    Damian’s skills are his gift and his curse. While it means he’s survive nearly every conflict he comes across, it also makes him sloppy and headstrong. Going into a warehouse full of assault rifles and armor piercing rounds without proper intel could kill Bruce, let alone the two of us.

    “We could call the Oracle.”

    “No,” I respond sharply, probably too sharply. Babs is probably doing something for Bruce tonight. I’d rather not bother her. Not to mention keying Bruce into what they were doing. I'm wary of the new path my mentor and adoptive father is on. The Bat Sentries are not something I like. I remember Brother Eye. I know what happens when Bruce starts to lose his way.

    But he won’t listen to me. He’s made that perfectly clear.

    “Sorry,” I shake my head. “But Oracle is busy. Let’s get a closer look. Get ready, we’ll breach after that.”

    We move swiftly over the rooftops towards the warehouse, silent as the night is dark. While we started off as rough as rough could be as a team, I have to admit Damien and I have become a well oiled machine in the field. We aren't Bruce and me from the years past, but we were getting there.

    I motion for him to head to the north end of the building while I scale towards the south side. I switch my view over to infrared, and scan the building. Two on the catwalks directly below me, three on the floor loading product onto the truck.

    "Robin," I say through our comm channel as I prepare the small charge to blow the window out, "I have five on my side."

    "*TT*," he snapped. "Lucky. I only have three."

    "You're sure?"
    I ask him to double check.

    "Of course," he responds angrily.


    "Loading a truck on my end," he continues impatiently. "Can we go now?"

    A smile creeps across my face, "Fine, Robin. Breach."

    The window in front of me shatters and I fire my grapnel above the cat walk. As I swing through the upper reaches of the warehouse, I fling a handful of batarangs at the exposed lights, cloaking the floor in darkness.

    I land across from one of the men on the catwalk. The small thud I make on landing alerts him to my presence. He fumbles for a gun, which is knocked out of his hand by another batarang. Before he can call out, I strike him in the throat, stifling any sound. My hand slides down to the heavy coat he's wearing and I toss him over my shoulder hard onto the metal grating, knocking him out.

    The other thug on the catwalk fires blindly my way, the bullet ricocheting off the railing far too close for comfort. I fire my grapnel at him. Once I feel him tugging against it once it wraps around him, I leap off the catwalk, and he screams as my weight draws him into the air. His weight counterbalances me, and I land softly on the ground below, leaving him suspended.

    "Oh crap! It's Batman!" one of the men loading the trucks yells as the dim light filters in and illuminates me briefly before I slink back into the dark. I've never been as adept at Bruce at being truly terrifying to the criminals of Gotham. Maybe I was never meant to be. But the costume still holds some power against the lesser grunts of the city.

    I toss another projectile at the controls for the garage door, causing it to slam shut, but not before one of the thugs escapes. I can almost feel the fear coming off the other two. I move silently between them, and slam their heads against each other.

    After they fall to the ground, the warehouse falls silent.

    "Robin, report," I call out to Damian.

    "All clear," he says from a pile of crates next to men. "Took you long enough."

    "I had more," I respond with a grin.

    "You're old, though," he shrugs. "Shall we see what's in the truck?"

    Stepping onto the truck, I pry open the closest crate and am taken aback by what's inside. There, staring back at me is a terrified looking young woman, probably Thai, late teens.

    "Human trafficking," Robin sighed.

    "Definitely not where Penguin is running guns," I shake my head and try to calm the woman. "Get the other crates open. I'll call Gordon."

    As I dial the commissioner's private line, I look back at the young women piling out of the truck. This is something big. Something I thought Bruce and I had cleared out of the city eons ago. Am I really that bad at this that the worst kind of crime can seep back into Gotham under my nose?

    "Commissioner?" I say as Gordon picks up on the other side. "I have something big. The docks in the Narrows. Warehouse 34. Bring plenty of cars. Someones trafficking women out of Gotham. I'll let you know when I find them."
  17. Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

    May 25, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Last Killer Standing
    Part IV:
    Killer Take All

    "Every moment in your life is a turning and every one a choosing.
    Somewhere you made a choice. All followed to this. The accounting is scrupulous.
    The shape is drawn. No line can be erased."
    -- Cormac McCarthy

    Jefferson City, Missouri

    Jonah Hex crouched down behind a pew in the church. He opened up the chambers of his big revolvers and dumped still smoking shells on to the sawdust covered floor. Close beside him was Timothy Perkins, outlaw turned preacher who found himself in a delicate position. Hex had come to collect the bounty on him. He would have to hang in Kansas in order for Hex to get his money. The alternative was the big man walking through the church with a shotgun.

    Bill DeVery, Perkins' old partner from his outlaw days, had been cutting a path of dead bodies across Kansas and Missouri. One by one Bill killed the other members of their gang until only he and Perkins remained. He was after Perkins' piece of the map Migs Malone had drawn up five years ago when they robbed millions of dollars in paper money from a US Treasury train. By themselves the individual map pieces did not tell much, but all together they showed the location of the money.

    "Church got a backdoor, Rev?" Hex asked as he loaded his revolvers.

    "Afraid not, Mr. Hex. The only entrance is through the vestibule."

    "Heard that," DeVery said from across the room. "Only way y'all got in and out is through that door. Lucky for me."

    Hex peaked his head up from the pew and took a potshot at the direction of DeVery's voice. He flopped back down as DeVery opened up with his own blast.

    "Not a bad shot. Who's your friend, Timmy?"

    "I'm a bounty hunter. Come to collect your friend here. Judge out in Lawrence is paying a fair price to see him hang. You, too, DeVery. It's why I'm only shooting to wound."

    "That's mighty white of you, mister. All things considered, I think I'm gonna turn down your offer."

    Hex looked at Perkins and made a talking motion with his hands. He put a finger to his lips and laid his spare revolver at Perkins' feet. The preacher nodded as Hex started to quietly slink through the pews towards the pulpit. Perkins picked up the gun and held it close.

    "You know you don't have to do this, Bill. The money, the map, it's all yours. I can give you my piece and you can go on to get it without any violence. I have no desire for the money and all it entails."

    "Obviously," DeVery said with a wry chuckle. "You got a good racket here, Timmy. Pulling the long con here, you'll make more than we ever could by robbing any bank or train. Sure as hell wished I'd have thought of it, but then again you was always the brains of the outfit."

    "It's not a con, Bill. It's genuine. I've changed and seen the error of my ways. I got saved."

    "Right, and how do you feel about tall, dark, and ugly over there? You're gonna stroll arm in arm with him to the gallows?"

    Across the church, Jonah Hex approached Bill DeVery from behind. The big man's back made a clear target. He had his revolver out and raised. He made one step forward to plant his foot and prepare for the shot. The tip of his boot stepped on a loose floorboard and made it squeaked.

    DeVery whipped around, the shotgun aimed square at Hex's face. The gun went off just as Hex fell to the ground. He felt pellets cut through the top of his hat as he fell. Hex rolled to the left as DeVery used the second shot in his double-barrelled gun to destroy a floorboard where Hex had been. The bounty hunter scampered under a pew for cover as DeVery ditched his empty shotgun and pulled out a five-shot Smith and Wesson from his waistband. The outlaw walked through the pews, watching the floors and trying to avoid getting his ankles shot out by Hex.

    "Saw from your hat that you was wearing rebel gray," DeVery said as he stalked the pews. "Take it you served for them traitors during the war."

    "I fought on the wrong side that had the wrong ideas," Hex said from somewhere close by. "But I fought for my own ideas. I fought for what I believed in."

    "Mighty poetic of you."


    Hex popped up in front of DeVery with his Bowie knife out. He sunk the sharp blade into the outlaw's shoulder and twisted. DeVery yelled out and tried to shoot with his Colt. Hex's free hand, holding his own gun, slapped DeVery's gun away and tried to get his gun leveled to take a shot. The two men wrestled on their feet for control of Hex's lone gun, all the while the bounty hunter refused to let go of the handle of his knife.


    DeVery's eyes went wide and he cursed as the fight suddenly left him. Hex looked over DeVery's shoulder and saw Timothy Perkins, holding Hex's spare gun in his hands. DeVery slumped over a pew and weakly tried to pry the knife from his shoulder. Hex saw the big bullet wound in his back, right where the heart was. Years later and Perkins was still a crack shot with the gun.

    "This could be the end of it," Perkins said as he looked down at Hex's gun. "Bill's dying. I could kill you, too. Run away from here, get the money, and then set myself up at another church somewhere else. A new name and a new flock. Another chance."

    "You can try."

    Hex held the gun in his hand ready. Perkins was good, but Hex was better. If he tried anything, the preacher would be dead before he realized it. A moment later, Perkins dropped the gun to the floor and looked at Hex.

    "You were right, Hex. I am the preacher Timothy Partlow, but deep down I am still the outlaw Tim Perkins. I am a pious man now, but there is still evil and violence in my heart. Nothing will change that, and nothing will make right what I have done. 'Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.' So say the Bible. I understand His justice fully, now, Hex. I have been granted salvation in God's eye, and now I must face man's justice. I will go to Kansas willingly with you."

    "My horse is waiting outside, Rev. Let's go."

    The two men began to head towards the exit. Hex stopped and walked back towards the pew where DeVery's body lay. Hex looked down at the corpse befoe rooting through his jacket and pulled out his pieces of the map. Scraps of paper that together were telling him something, but it was incomplete without Perkins' part. Sneering, Hex tore up the pieces and tossed them into the air.

    "Goddamn map cost me four bounties."

    He spat at the dead body's feet and turned back to Perkins, escorting the condemned man out the door and to his impending death.



    Janesville, Wisconsin

    "Mr. Ford, Mr. Ford!"

    James Ford looked up from the road plans in his hands. Today was the third day of their roadwork project. Part of the PWA and the New Deal, the road crew Ford was supervising were building a brand new highway from Janesville to the Wisconsin/Illinois state line. Once there, the folks on the Illinois side would take over and build a new highway from the state line to Rockford. All told the project was creating at least a hundred jobs for the folks around Janesville, something a lot of folks were grateful for.

    "What is it?" Ford asked the two workers who came up to him in a hurry.

    "We were starting back on the grading of that hill, and the ground started to get all crumbly. A few of us went down and found something. You gotta see this, sir."

    Ford scowled and lit up a cigarette. He'd been doing road work for nearly thirty years and had seen all kinds of stuff beneath the ground. Junk, a few buried cars, and even one time a body. Nothing much would faze him. He followed the workers a few hundred yards to where the crew had been busy leveling out a hill to prepare it for gravel and eventual paving.

    "It's a couple of trunks. Big ones. We got 'em popped open. It's the damnedest thing we ever saw."

    Ford puffed on his cigarette and looked down into the small hole the men had dug out. There were three large trunks the size of a regular man on the ground. The tops had been opened and inside was what had once been money. The stuff had the shape and form of dollar bills, but it was so waterlogged and degraded it looked more like mush.

    "How much you thank that is, Mr. Ford?"

    "Who the hell knows," Ford said with a long exhale of smoke. "It's all worthless now. Whoever buried it must have thought the trunks were waterproof. Looks like that rain runoff has been seeping into them trunks for years. Probably was worthless a few years after it got buried."

    Ford shook his head and checked his watch.

    "You boys move it out of the site and I'll call someone to come take a look at it. Get a move on, now, we got work to do."

    Ford watched the workers move the trunks out of the hole and carry them to a safe spot. He made sure that they all got back to work on grading the hill before he finished his cigarette and went back to his own work.

    The End​
  18. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

    Jun 20, 2001
    Likes Received:

    They call Keystone and Central “the Twin Cities.” It’s a fitting title because they share a lot--blue-collar industry, hard-working families, a metahuman crime rate just shy of Metropolis’. At the moment, they’re sharing a particularly nasty thunderstorm.


    “--seeing a record number of lightning strikes at the moment but no rainfall just yet.”

    The disembodied voice on the radio crackled slightly as the driver turned the volume up.

    “What’s interesting is that the center of the storm seems to be hovering dead-center over the Van Buren Bridge connecting us to our neighbors in Central City. Obviously, avoid that bridge if possible, and we highly recommend everyone try to make it indoors as soon as you can. We may be sharing this storm with our sister city, but when it really gets going, folks, there’ll be more than enough to go around. It’s going to be big.”

    Just my luck, thought Detective Fred Chyre as he sat in traffic on the very same bridge he’d just been warned about, it’ll probably be Mardon pulling some new stunt.


    Chyre turned the radio off and glanced at its clock. Less than half an hour to midnight. Geez. ‘Just pop over to Central and help ‘em out, Chyre. It’ll only take a minute!’ Chyre grimaced. Tomorrow morning, the captain’s getting an earful, believe-you-me. Next time he can find someone else to show these CCPD mooks how to do their damn jobs for six hours.

    He edged his car to the right side of his lane to see what the hold-up was. Ugh, as usual, there’s a huge line of traffic and absolutely nothing going on up there! 30-odd years working a beat and it’s always the same: traffic jams always come down to one moron being their typical moron self, and then the rest of us all end up paying for it!

    He looked down at a switch on his dashboard. … I could use the siren. But that’d be wrong. I shouldn’t use the siren.

    … Should I?

    This went on for several minutes, until finally: Nah, I can’t do that. It’d be unethical. I’m a cop; if I don’t have my ethics, what do I have? ‘Sides there’s nowhere for anyone to go even if they wanted to; we’re all st--


    Chyre saw it a split-second before the sound hit his ears--a blast of light that lit up the sky like noon on a cloudless day, followed by a tremendous crash that left his ears ringing.

    “Geez, talk about lightning! Felt like that was right on top of--” Chyre’s voice trailed off as the brightness from the lightning cleared and his vision returned. A scene of chaos was unfolding before him.

    The lightning wasn’t just close, it had struck the bridge barely fifteen cars ahead of him. There was a lot of smoke--looked like it had fried a couple of the closer engines--but Chyre thought he could make out a figure. Words like “out of nowhere” and “hit someone” and “still breathing?” filtered out of the crowd’s din and registered in his veteran-cop ears. Without a second thought, he opened his car door and started walking.

    “Everyone, remain calm, I’m a police officer!” Chyre called out to the crowd. “Please, make some room, let me see if I can help!”

    The crowd parted and Chyre gasped. There was a figure in the smoke, but it wasn’t just any figure. He was clad in a suit of the deepest red Chyre had ever laid eyes on--so deep it seemed to radiate a sheen that strained Chyre’s eyes the longer he looked at it. It took him a second to realize that that wasn’t the color, it was the suit itself, vibrating so fast it was just barely perceptible. A low hum emanated from the suit, like the warning of a rattlesnake.

    Not a lot of people could walk up to this scene and not be completely overwhelmed; but then, most people hadn’t served on the police force of a city known for speedsters for the last 35 years.

    “Back up, everyone, give him some room! Trust me, you don’t want to touch him until that suit cools off.” Chyre walked up to the red-clad figure, who was still on his hands and knees, seemingly staggered from his sudden arrival. “S’matter, hotshot, you going too fast to dodge a little lightning?”

    “I…” The figure struggled up to one knee. “I couldn’t dodge the lightning… I… was the lightning.” Finally, the figure raised his head. A pair of hard, blue eyes met Chyre’s, simultaneously familiar and unfamiliar.

    “Holy… you’re not--” Chyre began, but before he could even finish the thought, the mysterious man disappeared in a

  19. Eddie Brock Golden Domer

    Jul 24, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Timothy Drake, I could almost kiss you.

    That's probably a strange thing to think, given our long and complicated history, but you can blame that on the stress and the blood loss. Nevertheless, Tim did just save my tuchus in a big way. His intervention has captivated the thugs, and they're so eager to take down Red Robin and avenge their fallen brethren that they've taken their attention off little ol' me - for the moment, anyway. Still, it's enough time to take stock and come up with a plan of attack to thin the herd a little more. When facing this many guns, hit-and-run tactics are the only option. We'll just have to see how my leg holds up to the "running" part of that plan.

    I burst out of cover in a sprint - or, as much of one as I can manage, anyway - as I pull a smoke bomb from my belt. As soon as the first goon turns his head at the sound of my encroaching footsteps, I hurl the bomb at the ground and blink twice to active my cowl's infrared once more. The idiots open fire - as I expected they would - so I drop to a slide and slam my bo staff against the ankles of the first man I pass. As he drops, his shots spray wildly, taking out another member of his team. The smoke is dissipating, so I return my cowl to normal vision as I come to a halt.

    Without standing, I spin and jab the blunt end of my staff into the back of the nearest thug. At the press of a button on the handle, my staff lights up with a thousand volts of electricity. The thug yelps as he goes down, giving away my position. The other goons bring their guns to bear on me, and I quickly snap my wrist to release the two batarangs I had tucked between my fingers. The batarangs connect with the muzzles of the closest men's guns, buying a few precious inches between the bullets and my prone body. Still, it won't do to lay here as the others line up their shots, so I tuck and roll off the edge of the roof, extending my cape as I head for the next roof.

    "Hey yourself," I smirk, quickly adding, "Duck." As he does, I snap off a phosphorous batarang in the direction of a squad of thugs coming up on our flank. The batarang explodes in a brilliant flash of light, and the thugs stumble as they reach up to shield their eyes. Red Robin and I never miss a beat, both of us launching into the air as we make the swing across buildings. Another group of thugs fires on us from below, but their shots miss wildly. "So, this is going just as we drew it up, huh?"

    Just ahead, we can make out the shape of Batwoman, doing her best to keep these clowns occupied. It's clear, though, that she won't survive much longer without reinforcement. Black Bat's also out there, no doubt fending off another attack. This is hardly the first time we've been caught off-guard in the field, but it's rare for an operation to go this sour. This isn't simply a case of our cover being blown. Somehow, these guys knew we were coming. They even knew where we'd be positioned! I knew Two-Face wouldn't go down without a fight, but this was not what I expected.

    Before we can cross the last rooftop between us and Batwoman, our path is cut off by a firing squad. It's all Tim and I can do to skitter out of the firing line, each of us ducking to the opposite side of a wall as we wait for the initial assault to stop. When the last bullet hits the ground, I look to Tim. "Cover me for a second, willya?" I straighten out my leg and examine the bullet wound. A deep graze, but no true penetration. That's good, at least. I pull a freezing batarang off my belt and press it to the wound. I wince as it activates, but the numbness kicks in shortly thereafter.

    "Alright. Ready?"
  20. Supergirl The Maid of Might

    Jan 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    This city is NOISY. I'm so used to Metropolis, where it's usually fairly calm at night; or Kansas, where it's calm ALWAYS. Oakland... There's not a minute that goes by that I don't hear a siren. It's going to take time to learn to filter it. Listen for important keywords... like that one.

    "Gun! He has a gun!"

    And within seconds, Supergirl was out her third floor window, a blue and red streak towards downtown. In the three days since she'd moved, this was the third night a protest had turned into a riot. And this would mark the third time she's intervened. She focuses on the person she had overheard yell about a gun. It's an Oakland Police officer, pistol drawn on his subject. The black man in question has something in his hand, but she could tell instantly that it wasn't a gun. It was a camera.


    The officer fired three shots. All three flattened themselves against Kara's side as she swooped between the two men.


    She looked at the officer, with a look that he was lucky couldn't melt metal... yet.

    "This man is unarmed. Saying that he is just to shoot him doesn't jive well with me. I'm all about truth, justice and the American way, and this doesn't sit well with me."

    The officer gives a sheepish look. "Well he was rioting. He threw a brick threw a window."

    "Doesn't mean he deserves to die. I see a tazer there. Why didn't you use that?"

    "Uh... Nevermind."

    "No. Not nevermind, Officer..." She quickly scanned his badge. "Jensen. This kind of rash action is what's causing these situations in the first place. If I hadn't been here, there'd be even more reason for people to riot. Violence begets violence, and you, in a position of authority have the ability to curtail that violence."


    This time her glare was enough to melt metal, specifically the metal in the toes of a looter's boots. Suddenly stuck to the sidewalk, the looter put the TV on the ground, embarrassed and trapped.

    Around them, the riot died down, with people realizing that Supergirl was present. About an hour later, after helping to clean up, she was back in her apartment.

    The next morning she woke up to find that a blog post had already been made by a certain someone back in Metropolis.

    "Supergirl defends violent thug, endangers officer - Cat Grant"

    Why am I not surprised?
  21. Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

    May 25, 2006
    Likes Received:


    “The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.”
    -- P.G. Wodehouse

    The Preserve
    May, 1888

    The Hunter listened hard for any sounds of movement in the brush. His quarry was nearby, he was almost certain of it. He’d wounded it twenty minutes ago as it fled through the night into the underbrush. He saw it limping away into the treeline. The Hunter followed a blood trail, slight though it was, through the growth. He must have nicked the poor beast in the leg.

    In his hands, the Hunter carried a Remington-Lee bolt action rifle with a large telescopic sight on top of it. Supplementing the rifle was a Colt double-action revolver on his right hip, on the left hip was a large hunting knife sharpened to a razor edge. He’d used all three weapons at one time or another to deliver killing blows to the various animals he'd killed over the years. If the rifle couldn’t kill from far away, the revolver was perfect for a bit closer, and the knife for when you could feel the animal’s breath right in your face. That close encounter, now that was hunting.

    A twig snapped nearby. The Hunter stayed stock still and listened. He heard the sound of footfalls through the woods, at least twenty or thirty yards based on the sounds. Something scampered nearby and the Hunter gave chase. The beast huffed and puffed as it lumbered through the woods. It might as well have been advertising to the Hunter where it was. It ran into a clearing and ran as fast as it could run with a wounded leg.

    The Hunter emerged into the clearing and saw the animal running through the open field even in the night time light. He got on one knee and aimed the rifle at the fleeing beast. He sighted the silhouette through the telescopic sight, exhaled slowly, and pulled the trigger.


    The Hunter let out a cheer of excitement as his bullet went through the animal’s neck and dropped it. He whistled a cheerful tune and walked towards the downed animal, the rifle slipped over his shoulder. He looked down at the beast. She was a young woman, no older than twenty-five. Her long, black hair was tangled around her face and she wore a simple cotton tunic with bare feet. Blood covered the top of the tunic. She gasped for air and sputtered blood from her mouth. Her clear blue eyes were wide with terror, tears rolling from them and down her cheeks.


    “There, there,” the Hunter said in a reassuring tone. He sounded almost like a father reassuring a frightened child.

    He pulled the long, sharp knife from its sheath. It glinted in the moonlight and sent a fury of panic through the wounded girl. He started to scream through her blood-filled mouth.

    “No need to struggle now, girl. I’m here to put you out of your misery.”

    She let out a long muffled scream as the Hunter’s knife went in for a killing stroke.


    En Route
    July 1st, 1888

    Jonah Hex stirred from his nap and looked around the jostling train car. It was filled with people headed towards the city like he was. Even though the car was packed he was given a wide berth from the rest of the passengers. He caught a glimpse of his reflection against the train window and figured why he was alone. Hex, scary looking even in the worst saloon in the west, looked nearly demonic to the people in the east.

    He still wore his Confederate gray even now with the war over for two decades. It was faded and worn, but Hex continued to keep it in good shape. The years had caused his scars to settle in on his face and sharpen in detail as he aged. His hair was short and hidden under his hat, but it was now almost completely white. This year was his fiftieth one. He thought about that for a bit. It was hard to believe he’d made it past five years, let alone fifty. With all he’d seen and done, sometimes it felt like two hundred years. Hell, he was a grandaddy now. Papa Jonah. Those words were unnautral, as unnatural as seeing a horse walking upright.

    A conductor said something about a stop, followed by another, and finally the end of the line in the city. Hex kept to himself as the passengers got off and on at their stops. He had the faded telegram from two weeks ago in his hand. A Western Union man had managed to track him down to where he was holed up in the Arizona Territory. He had to give the man a lot of credit for finding him since plenty of people had tried and failed over the years. Hex opened the telegram up and read it again.

    Mr. Jonah Hex,

    I have heard of your many exploits and adventures in the West. Your services and skills are needed in the East. Men of your gumption are badly needed in city. Enclosed is five hundred dollars, what I am told is a significant sum for the services you provide. More money to follow if you come to the city by the first of September. Address to my home follows. I hope to see you soon.

    E.D. Kane

    Hex had planned to just take the money and ignore the telegram. He’d gotten plenty of appeals over the years from people, wanting his help in this matter or that. He had apparently become a figure of some renown across the country. Hex blamed that damn writer from Montana ten years ago. A simple affair turned complicated and Hex had to make a stand in a small town called Justice. The writer saw Hex square off with six armed men in a bloody shootout and went back east to write about the whole affair. Ever since then he was known as an “adventurer” and a “hero.”

    Right. A hero.

    The only reason he was here was because whoever this person was asking him to come east, he obviously had more money than sense. If some big city dude wanted to pay Hex money to feed him a load of bull hockey about the Wild West and make him feel like a big shot, then that was okay. He’d done worse for less money.

    The conductor announced the end of the line as the train pulled to a stop in the station. Hex waited until the car was nearly empty before he grabbed his bag and walked out into the station. People were hustling and bustling through the station, but Hex was given another wide berth through the plae. He came out the station and into the street.

    The city was filled with throngs of people going to and from somewhere. Carriages and horses clopped down the dirt streets and nearly struck pedestrians trying to cross. Hex turned his nose up at the town. It was dirty, stuck ten times worse than any corral filled with horse crap, and was filled with dirty, stinking people who were all underfed and miserable. It smelled of pollution and desperation. This stench was the smell of progress and industry, the poor and exhausted people the great teeming masses who made the United States' growing wealth and prosperity possible. The Gilded Age, some fancy writer called it, but like anything gilded all that glittered was never gold. And this city was one the hubs of American welath and industry. It was called the shining beacon of the East.

    “Gotham City.”

    Hex spat on the dirt street and wiped his mouth on his shirt sleeve.

    “Hell of a town.”

    Fortunate Son
    Another Jonah Hex Yarn
  22. Hound55 Byfar The Most Evil Thing

    May 25, 2009
    Likes Received:
    MONEY - Part 1
    "If man were meant to fly, we'd have been given Angels wings."

    Y'know that one? I've heard it a couple times before. Like a lot of similar witticisms it has an anonymous source. Which is probably for the best... because if I were to have met them I'd have explained it away...

    "Trapped in an enclosed area with hundreds of other divvs, unable to suck down a smoke for 8 hours... while it bounces up and down like a car with a square wheel, and you're asking about Angel's wings? Going through all that, that sounds to me like the kind of treatment you can expect at the other place. The one where you're not in charge of the thermostat and it's short pants season all year 'round." Or something to that effect.

    But anyway, I digress...

    * * * * *

    Archie Goodwin International Airport, Gotham City

    "Hey buddy! Where are you going!"


    John Constantine was in a world of his own and had found himself at the front of the line for the cab rank. A world comprised of nothing but sucking down the smoke from as many Slim Cuts as he could after being deprived for the past eight hours.

    "I said 'Where are you going?'"

    It was a good question, and not one he readily had an answer for. He knew he was in search of someone... Nanda Parbat. They told of a new female Question. His legacy. He didn't have a name, obviously didn't have an address... but he always had a contact. Garth Milligan, a friend of his (a good enough friend that he wouldn't seek any more help beyond information if he could help it...), an ex-pat who'd long since made this city his new home had heard talk of some frequently cited locations; Gotham Park (also known as Robinson Park), around the 500s of the Warehouse district, and a few other possible locations (generally not known for their family-friendly ambiance).

    "C'mon... f***ing tourists! Habla espanol? English?!"

    John smiled.

    "Very. Robinson Park, take the Novick Tunnel. There's an extra tenner if I can smoke in your cab."


    John sneered, sizing up the cabbie that was extorting him.

    "Twenty," he repeated, "or it's not worth the fine if they catch me."

    Gotham cops had bigger fish to fry than some two-bit cab driver allowing a limey tourist to smoke in his cab, but it wasn't worth the hassle. John's sneer turned to a smile.

    "Twenty." He agreed. "You know you got me over a barrel," John said as he stepped into the cab.

    "Still... I can't blame you for posin' the question..."

    #47 Hound55, Jun 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  23. Byrd Man El Hombre Pájaro

    May 25, 2006
    Likes Received:

    Fortunate Son
    Part I:

    “I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.”

    -- Eugene V. Debs

    Gotham City
    July 1st, 1888

    If a city could be compared with a body, then the city of Gotham was a sickly one. Jonah Hex saw that with every street he walked down and every house and every face that he passed. Factory workers traveled down the crowded city streets, their raggedy clothing covered in soot and their sallow faces streaked with creosote. Workers of all ages, stoop-shouldered old men to boys still with their baby teeth still intact all did the same dead-eyed shuffle through the streets after twelve hours hard labor in the factories. The buildings here were five and ten floors tall and eclipsed some of the tallest buildings he had seen out west. These tall buildings all crowded close to each other down the blocks, row after row making the city seem to be one large tenement to house its stinking, malnourished, and diseased residents.

    Hex saw ****es as well. Just like those that worked in the factories, women as young as twelve and as old as sixty were on the corners at every junction trying to sell their flesh for whatever the going rate was. They had the same vacuous gazes as them that spent any amount of time in the city. That look came natural after a certain point. As many ****es here as were the entire population of a town like Dodge City.

    Stench, squalor, and despair. Civilization. That's what the Europeans who came here called what they brought with them. They stole and raped and murdered everything worth stealing, raping, or killing. Yet they were supposed to be the civilized ones in the story. This was their civilization in action, this rotten town was one of the shining examples of what it mean to be civilized and advanced. They could keep it, Hex thought as he walked through the mud and flith.

    Hex was given room to walk without much interference. Even in a place like this he was recognized as someone not to be trifled with. The twin Colts on both hips helped hammer that fact home. Still, there was some fool who thought he could approach him.

    "Say, friend," a skinny man in a baggy suit and a straw boater hat said as he approached Hex. He had in his hands a bottle filled with turquoise liquid.

    "You look as if you could use some of Dr. Jerimiah von Hausen's Miracle Elixir. It's the cure for whatever your ill is. For just two dollars, it can be yours."

    "Some sorta wonder tonic?"

    "Yes, indeed," the man perked up at the thought of a potential client. See you have some nasty scar there, friend. This can cure it and anything else. Why, there's nothing it can't do."

    Hex nodded before he spat a large wad of tobacco juice on the salesman's lapel.

    "How's it work as a stain remover?"


    The house was big and looming. Easily three floors high, it stretched out across the rural outskirts of the city where it sat on a hill that had a clear view of the bustling metropolis. Hex sat in the foyer of the mansion, his hat off and awaiting the return of a stuck up butler who answered the door and led him inside without so much as two words.

    "Mr. Kane will see you now, sir."

    Hex was led to a study that had bookshelves covering it from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. Every inch of the shelves were crammed and chocked full of books of different sizes and thicknesses. A man sat in a leather chair near an empty fireplace, reading intently at the small book in his hands.

    "Mr. Hex, sir."

    The man looked up and his fat, ruddy face broke out into a wide grin. He had a thick mustache that went down to his chin and was dressed in an expensive three-piece suit that tried to hide his portly figure. The man leapt up and bounded across the room with an energy that took Hex off guard.

    "Jona Hex? Eliot Davis Kane. Damn smashing to meet you!"

    He took Hex's hand into his pudgy one and vigorously shook it.

    "Have a seat. Mr. Miller, you're dismissed."

    The butler left them alone while Kane settled back into his chair and Hex took the seat across from him.

    "I am thrilled to meet you. I have heard so much of your exploits over the years, sir. Why, I myself spent some time in the Dakota Territory some years pass. There was a bit of family tragedy involving my wife and I had to leave city life behind for a spell. I served as a ranch hand and deputy sheriff out there. It was a smashing good time."

    Hex grunted non-committedly and played with the hat in his hands. Kane's sharp eyes fell upon the hat and his expression brightened.

    "I forgot you were in the War! The War of Nothern Aggression, I believe you Rebs called it. I wanted to serve, tried like hell to. I'm afraid I was too young to fight. Oh, what fun I missed out. I would have been a cavalry man, you see. I could imagine protecting Sherman's flanks as he tore through Georgia. A time I would have had!"

    Hex thought about the Battle of Shiloh. He wrestled with a Yankee in the mud for nearly ten minutes before he got the upperhand. He strangled the man to death with his bare hands. The Yankee's last words before he died, were a choked sob of "momma."

    "Yeah... it was a time," he said sardonically before looking at Kane. "Listen, Mr. Kane. I appreciate the big money ya sent me, but what do you want? I'm not gonna sit around here and listen to you gab no matter how much you paid me."

    "There's that prickliness I've heard so much about! I would expect nothing less from Jonah Hex."

    Kane rose from his chair and walked around to the back. He leaned against it as he spoke to Hex.

    "After coming back to Gotham I got into public service. It was what I had to do, you see. The people I come from made this city what it is."

    "Don't know if that's something I'd brag about."

    Kane flashed a wry smirk and continued.

    "Public service to the city of Gotham is a Kane tradition. My grandfather was mayor, my father a City Councilman. I intend to follow my grandfather to City Hall, but for now I currently serve as one of three civilian commissioners for the Gotham City Police Department. We form a reviewing board that oversee all actions the police make. I fancy myself as something of a reformer, but it is a tough slog to attain progress. The majority of policemen are either corrupt or apathetic and it seems nigh impossible to change that. Over the past few months, Mr. Hex, I have begun to notice a startling trend among the working girls in the Bowery."

    "****es, you mean?"

    "... Yes, for lack of a better word. A steady rate of them have gone missing. It wouldn't be a problem, women of that sort often do come and go like the wind, but the steady numbers has my attention. I think a gang of bandits and kidnappers may be behind these abductions, Mr. Hex. I have tried to raise the question with my fellow commissioners and other policemen, but I am mostly ignored. They do not care. Nobody cares about those poor girls."

    "If a ****e gets killed and ain't nobody around to see it, is she actually murdered?"

    "Exactly. The GCPD do not care, and I could cause a panic by taking this to the press. I could hire a Pinkerton, but they cannot be trusted for this. You, on the other hand. You have a reputation as a fearless fighter, a man who will do the right thing when it comes down to it, and an expert hunter. I need those hunting and tracking skills now."

    Hex looked down at his boots and thought it over. It was a damn fools errand, finding a killer or killers in this town was like finding the right needle in a stack of needles. But... somebody was gonna take advantage of this damn fool Kane, and it may as well be him.

    "Pay me another five hundred dollars and I'm yours for at least another month."
    #48 Byrd Man, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  24. Supergirl The Maid of Might

    Jan 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    The Year 3015:

    I took over monitor duty for Tenzil six hours ago. Absolutely NOTHING has happened. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. I still have two hours to go. And it's night shift... So Vi is comfortably snoring in our bed without me. Not fair.

    And of course now is when the alarm goes off.


    I focus on the screen making the racket. It's Takron-Galtos. The prison planet. Grife.

    There's a seriously large hole in one of the walls. Son of a biscuit.

    I patch through the com-link to the warden's office.

    "What's going on down there guys?"

    "Lightning Lass! Thank goodness it's one of the vets on duty tonight! We've got a situation here..."

    "Well that much is grifing evident... What's going on?!"

    "Uh... Someone... uh... Gave Persuader his axe..."

    The throbbing migraine of the kind I usually only get when Saturn Queen is around surfaces and I rub my eyes. Why did this have to happen on MY night?
  25. sabetoonth Where You Get Those Eyes?

    Sep 4, 2008
    Likes Received:
    I whipped around the former location of Lexcorp Tower like a satellite piggybacking on the gravity of the Sun. New Troy was in the bustle by then. On my right were streets and streets stretching on and on of five to ten story buildings, some fine old brownstones with bottom level storefronts and apartments up on top of that. The others were old factory buildings being converted into condominiums, studios and lofts. I flew by Hobb’s Bay, better known as Suicide Slums, and Emil Hamilton’s old lab in a big blocky building made of brick. Emil had been the sole tenant at the top floor. Emil had gone rogue several years ago before reforming and moving to Gotham. Why anyone would move to Gotham if they were reforming beat me. It was the polar opposite of Metropolis. Dark, scary, corrupt. Bruce lived there, he worked there. But he still had a lot of work to do. I was lucky Metropolis was never as bad as Gotham was. I had to admire Bruce or the resolve to keep fighting that fight.

    The Daily Planet had been my destination since I set off. I had flown around the city, but in the end I was going to work. Lois still had her car. The red Lamborghini Lex gave her as a wedding gift had been pulled out of storage when her other car was mangled in a fight I had with a giant mutated chimpanzee, and so would arrive when she was good and ready and the traffic as agreeable.


    The Daily Planet was about as alive as the very thing it made its name reporting on. When you entered the City Room it was busy. On the best and busiest days phones rang ad nauseam across the floor in the newsroom and people called out to others about phone calls, sources and deadlines. My desk was right next to Lois’, just like it always had been. By the way her heart beat sped up when I sat at my desk and smiled at her, she’s nervous about something. It had to be the baby and who did and didn’t know. I can’t say I felt differently. We hadn’t decided who to tell, or when. But that could wait, I was sure one of us was about to be handed the Verlox assignment.

    “Lane, you’ve got the alien story. Who are they? Where are they from? What happened in that ship with Superman?” I smirked to myself, we’d been married years at that point but Perry still just calls her Lane when dishing out the stories. Old habits I’d guess. “Kent, the Mayor’s speech. Don’t be late or it might be your job!”

    I nodded affirmatively,”Yes, Sir.” it wasn’t the most exciting story but I was happy to be given an assignment. No doubt Mayor Girard had something to say about Superman and the new visitors who had moved their ship from New York to Metropolis. And being Superman, Lois was going to want to ask me questions.

    “Excuse me? Ma’am...” A few minutes later I stood over Lois from behind, looking over her shoulder. She could feel me standing behind her the moment I spoke. A tall figure out of her line of site. “...but ‘would you believe in love at first sight’?”

    Lois turned around and smiled at me.“‘Yes, I’m sure it happens all the time’. Lennon and McCarthy, 1968.”

    “1967 actually.” She rolls her eyes at me.

    “Yea, okay. Well you’re terrible, Smallville.”

    “Really? I thought I had that date right?”

    “Oh no, I’m sure that’s spot on. But using an old Beatles song to pick up one of your co-workers.”

    “Correction -- a very specific co-worker!”

    “Well you may still have a chance yet, Mr. Kent.”

    * * *

    Over the island of New Troy the large vessel hung in the air ominously. For some it was a wonder. Others were ill at ease. They’d see their share of aliens in this city. Others distrusted anything not from Earth, even Superman. Sure he was a hero now, but what if he was really an advanced scout preparing for an invasion?

    In the Ace o’ Clubs it was a different story. ‘Bibbo’ was the proprietor, no one knew what his real first name was, Bibbo was short for Bibbowski. Several years ago Superman had come into his place looking for information. Believing the man to simply be some punk in a Superman costume Bibbo struck the Kryptonian, only to damage his hand. Following that encounter Bibbo had gained respect for the Man of Steel because, as he put it, ‘yer tough’, and claimed ‘Sooperman’ to be his ‘fav’rit’. Even going so far as to even menace Atom Smasher for ‘trash talkin’ Sooperman’.

    Bibbo watched the TV set on an arm jutting out over the bar. News footage played as the channel continued covering the aliens as a man walked into the Ace o’ Clubs wrapped in a fedora and trench coat of matching khaki hue.

    “Hey theres, wha’ can I do yas for?” Bibbo asked. The man came up to the bar and saddled a stool, his head down.

    “What do you think about this alien stuff?” Questioned the stranger.

    “Long as Sooperman’s okay wit’em They’re gud in my book.” Bibbo’s eyes move from the man to his TV and back. The fedora bobbed as the man nodded.

    “I’m not a fan of the blue one. The new guy either.” Bibbo watched the stranger more carefully. Something wasn’t quite right about him. “You’re Bibbo right? Big Superman fan?”

    The bar owner perked up then. “Oh yea, Sooperman’s my fav’rit.”

    The stranger’s head tilted up.a bit and he smiled. “Yea. Might wanna be careful with that soon.” His eyes glowed with a dim green light.
    #50 sabetoonth, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015

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