Takes place in the same continuity as my fics “The Bat” and “Superman: The Man of Steel”. Part 3 of the same storyline. When the threat of the universes greatest conqueror looms over the Earth, it’s greatest heroes band together to combat the threat. they become the Justice League.

I dnt own anything. Kinda sucks….!!! Enjoy

 

Bruce Wayne sat on the couch on his private jet, sipping a diet coke from a pint glass. The flight was due to land in Metropolis within the next twenty minutes, so Bruce just had to wait. He’d left Dick Grayson, the young man Bruce was the legal guardian of, back in Gotham City. Still, Bruce knew Dick would be fine for a couple of days, while Bruce went to deal with some business.

On paper, Bruce’s visit to Metropolis was to negotiate a contract over satellite use with Luthorcorp. In reality, however, Bruce had no intention of letting Lex Luthor anywhere near his satellites. Lex was a rich enough guys, he could put his own up in space if he wanted to invade people’s privacy, Bruce just wanted to get a look in on Lex’s books.

On top of that, he had another meeting to attend when he landed, before the night was out. However, he had to attend that meeting not a Bruce Wayne, but as Batman. Apparently, there was something that some people wanted Bruce’s opinion on. Something to do with some kind of ‘Apokolips’.

Bruce had looked into the term, and found one or two leads. The big one had come from an old journal from the psychiatric interviews conducted by Doctor Jonathan Crane AKA the Scarecrow, with one of his patients in Arkham Asylum. The patient, a man named Zsasz, had mentioned the coming of an Apokolips, with that exact spelling, something he had learned from the owner of club DeSaad in Metropolis. That was Bruce’s first port of call when he landed.

Master Bruce, we’ll be touching down in ten minutes, if you’d like to return to your seat and fasten your seatbelt?” The voice of the aircraft pilot and Bruce’s butler, Alfred, came through the speakers in the passenger area, interrupting the music that was playing momentarily.

Bruce went to reach behind him to grab the seatbelt behind him before pausing. He stood up, moving to the intercom by the exit as he looked at the night sky outside.

“Thanks for the lift, Alfred.” Bruce said “Make sure the costume and the car are ready for when we land. I’m going to go and deal with some business when we land.”

Of course, sir.” Alfred’s voice came through again “The prototype of your new uniform and the Batmobile is in the cargo hold.”

“Thanks Alfred.” Bruce replied “Don’t wait up.”

Bruce released the control as he finished speaking before moving to the lift at the back of the cabin, stepping inside and pressing the control to be taken to the cargo hold, watching the doors close in front of him. He wanted to follow up on his main lead before his meeting with Kent and the others.

Marcus DeSaad sat in his club, a glass of scotch in his hand. It was a relatively dull night; there were a few senators in the club, a couple of business men; he knew that Lex Luthor was apparently present, but he had yet to see the billionaire anywhere. As he wondered why the businessman hadn’t come to pay him a visit, he ran his left hand through his short, jet black hair before looking at himself in the mirror across the V.I.P. lounge from him, admiring his black silk suit and black silk shirt.

Only the finest for a man of his stature.

After a moment, he stood, taking his scotch with him as he walked across to the window, looking out into the night’s sky. As always, the Metropolis night was totally free of clouds, giving what some would call a beautiful view of the night’s sky. To DeSaad, it was just sickening.

As he looked, he smirked at what he saw; a faint green glow in the distance, streaking through the city at high speeds. Apparently, one of the so called ‘super heroes’ was hard at work. It was good to know how much the people of the world seemed to enjoy keeping the apparent heroes busy.

However, his smirk faded as the glass of the window shattered, a figure coming flying into the room, tackling DeSaad to the floor. The club owner looked up at his attacker.

The man was wearing a grey suit of body armour, with a black area around the crotch resembling briefs, a yellow metallic belt with several pouches and ball bearings in the buckle on the man’s waist, as well as black boots adorning his feet and black, scalloped gauntlets on his hands and forearms. On the man’s head and neck was a black cowl with large points on top, resembling bat’s ears and leaving only the bottom half of the man’s face visible, his eyes covered by mirrored lenses. Attached the man’s shoulders and the bottom of the cowl was a long, flowing black scalloped cape. Finally, in the centre of the man’s upper torso, was a large bat emblem, covering the man’s entire breast area.

“DeSaad,” The man said, his voice rough and gravelly “We need to talk.”

“A little out of your comfort area, aren’t you, Batman?” DeSaad virtually spat “I mean, I thought you preferred to be in the shadows, in Gotham. Not that you can tell where they are in that cess pit you call a city.”

“Talk, DeSaad. Now!” Batman said, his tone more aggressive as he picked DeSaad up from the floor by the scruff of his collar, lifting him into the air “Tell me everything you know about Apokolips!”

“Ahh, yes, Apokolips.” DeSaad said “It’s a beautiful place, covered in eternal darkness, and controlled by the universe’s rightful ruler.”

“So, it’s a place.” Batman said “Who is this ruler you’re talking about?”

“Why keep it from you, you’ll be bowing before him soon enough, we all will.” DeSaad said “Soon, all will bow before Darkseid!”

Batman stood there for a moment, still holding DeSaad in the air. After a second, he tossed the man aside and walked to the window, turning back to face DeSaad.

“Whoever, or whatever Darkseid is, we’ll stop him.” Batman said “And then, I’ll be coming back to take you down too.”

“You’ll need an army for that.” DeSaad said “Do you really have those kind of resources?”

Batman said nothing, instead turning and jumping out of the window, leaving DeSaad alone.

Clark Kent stood atop the STAR labs science tower, the cape of his Superman costume billowing in the breeze. Impulse was stood beside him in his red body suit with a yellow lightning bolt in a circle on the chest with cream gloves and boots, the outfit finished with silver goggles with yellow lenses over his eyes and a yellow belt, once again featuring the lightning bolt in a circle emblem, his short, spiked red hair moving slightly in the breeze.

Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Martian Manhunter had all contacted Clark and told him that they were running late, dealing with something. That left them waiting only for Black Canary and the final person Clark had called in; the Batman.

As Clark wondered where the last two were, he heard the roof access door opening, turning to see a blonde woman walking out of the access door. She wore a black domino mask, with points at the top edges, with black leather motorcycle trousers and boots, a black tank top and a black leather jacket, finishing the ensemble with a pair of black leather gloves.

“Well, we don’t need to ask what she gets off on.” Impulse said, laughing to himself and getting a raised eyebrow from Clark “Oh, come on Supes, you have to find the humour in that.”

“It’s your funeral if you tick her off.” Clark replied, before addressing Canary “We’re just waiting on one more man. Hawkman, Lantern and J’onn are all running late.”

“Who are we waiting on then?” She asked him “I mean, this is the first man to stand me up in a long time.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” Came a rough, gravelly voice from behind Clark, causing him to turn around, facing Batman in what was apparently a new costume “I was busy following up on some leads.”

Clark stared down the man for a minute, trying to decide if he should try to x-ray underneath Batman’s cowl or not. He wouldn’t normally even consider doing something like that, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t curious about what sort of man would dress as a giant bat.

“Don’t even think about it, boy scout.” Batman said, as if reading his mind “So, do you want to know what I got or not?”

“Go on then.” Clark said “What is ‘Apokolips?'”

“A planet.” Batman said “What we need to worry about is the ruler of it, an apparent would-be ruler of the universe.”

“Whose that then, Bats?” Impulse asked, super speeding next to Batman, having the arm he placed on Batman’s shoulder shrugged off.

“He calls himself Darkseid.” Batman replied “Personally, I think DeSaad was just trying to put fear in me.”

“DeSaad?” Canary asked “As in the nightclub owner?”

“Nightclub owner, gang boss, metahuman, you name it, DeSaad is it.” Batman replied “Apparently, he’s working for this ‘Darkseid.'”

Clark stood there for a moment. He could understand Batman’s scepticism over how powerful Darkseid had apparently been made out to be, if it weren’t for his own origins. Clark was long past scepticism.

“Well then, you can look into Darkseid.” Clark said “We’ll try digging up our own leads if we can, but we’re not all the World’s greatest detective.”

“I’m going to be busy.” Batman replied, turning and beginning to walk to the edge of the roof, Clark super speeding in front of him to cut him off “Out of the way boy scout, I’ve got places to be.”

“Like where?” Clark asked “Listen, if this thing is as big as we think, then we all need to work together.”

“I choose my partners, they don’t choose me.” Batman said “Besides, DeSaad said we’d need an army to fight this thing.”

“So, what, you’ve got one on tap?” Impulse asked “That’s pretty awesome.”

“I don’t.” Batman said “But I know someone who does.”

Batman didn’t say anymore before jumping off the roof. Clark looked down, seeing Batman spread his arms, his cape catching a breeze as he glided down to a long, sleek, black car with fins at the back end of it in the streets below, before speeding off into the night.

Bruce sat in the Batmobile, driving through the streets of Metropolis. As he did, he pressed the control to contact the cave. There was a momentary delay before the image of Dick appeared on the right hand side of the windscreen.

“Hey Bruce, how’s it going?” Dick asked, grinning “You find what you wanted to? I hope so, because the sooner you get back, the sooner I can be rid of this babysitter you hired me.”

“Barbara’s not a babysitter, she’s there to help you study to help get you into college.” Bruce replied, smirking “Besides, I thought you had a thing for her?”

“That was before she nearly stumbled into the cave five times in the last day.” Dick replied “Seriously, she’s going to think I’m retarded with how much help I’ve been asking for to keep her away from it.”

“Your lowest grade was a B-, there’s no way you could be called retarded.” Bruce replied “Anyway, any calls for me in the last day?”

“Well, there was Vicki, she said you were meant to have dinner with her tonight, I told her some business came up.” Dick said “Oh, and some eastern European chick called. Said she was an old friend of yours.”

“Did she leave a name?” Bruce asked, hoping he was right on who it was.

“Yeah, she said her name was Talia, uh, something.” Dick replied “She really an old friend or…”

“You could say that.” Bruce replied “Call her back, tell her to get her father into Metropolis for a meeting in my penthouse at midnight tomorrow night.”

Bruce said nothing else before cutting the line. Talia Al Ghul, that was the name of the woman who’d called, and Dick’s apparent hunch about her past with Bruce was more or less on the money. Still, it was her father Bruce needed to see. He needed his old mentor’s help.

Hal Jordan flew through the space between Earth and the nearest inhabited world within his sector. There had been a disturbance on the planet, so Hal had had to leave Earth, despite what was currently going on there. However, he had been able to check with the natives what they knew of ‘Apokolips.’ Their reactions had not been promising.

He’d been told of a large, volcanic world, ruled over by a being who was described as ‘the new god of darkness,’ or ‘Darkseid,’ who would sadistically torture his enemies, making them beg him to kill them before he’d even consider doing so. The being was said to be the strongest in the universe, with near limitless power at his disposal, and an army numbering in the millions.

It had made Hal wonder if even Superman would stand a chance against Darkseid. After all, in Hal’s experience as Green Lantern over the last three years, the people of the world he had just visited had never exaggerated anything to him. There was absolutely no reason they would start now.

As he continued thinking of the matter while flying through space, he felt a blast of concussive force hit him, knocking him spinning off course. As he re-composed himself, stopping the spin he’d been sent into, he faced the origin of the blast.

It was a large, extremely muscular being, around seven and a half feet tall, with his left hand outstretched and glowing. He had skin that was grey and cracked, with glowing red eyes. On his body, was a black bodysuit, covering the entirety of his legs and torso, leaving his arms exposed, with matching black boots and fingerless gloves, glowing red omega symbols on the backs of the gloves. Finally, on his head, was what looked like a large, open, stone helmet, and a locked shackle around his neck.

“You are the Green Lantern for this sector.” The figure spoke, his voice extremely deep “I expected a superior being than a Human.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” Hal replied, raising his right hand, his ring glowing with energy, and pointing it at the figure “Darkseid, I presume?”

“Indeed, Human.” Darkseid replied, flying rapidly to Hal’s position and grabbing him by the throat, squeezing tightly “You will tell me of your world, now. Is it true?”

“Is what true?” Hal replied, feeling Darkseid constricting the airflow that Hal’s ring was providing him with “You’ll really have to be more specific.”

“The Kryptonian.” Darkseid said “Is he on your world?”

“Kryptonian?” Hal said, smirking “Never heard of him.”

“You’re useless to me.” Darkseid said “However, I believe I’ll keep you. I require a means to entertain myself over the remaining day required to reach your world. And destroy it.”

That was the last thing Hal heard before Darkseid punched him in the face, hard, knocking him out with the single blow.

Bruce sat in his penthouse, working on some design drawings. Sure, they weren’t as good as what an actual designer would come up with, but Bruce’s mind was inventive, and he needed to kill time. He’d had five minutes until Ra’s Al Ghul was meant to be arriving for his meeting with Bruce when he’d started the designs.

That had been an hour ago.

Bruce finally stopped, looking at his work. The design was feasible, even if it would cost him a few hundred million. Then there’d be the cost of putting it in orbit…

As Bruce pondered on that, he heard the faint sound of a window being opened and closed elsewhere in the penthouse. He opened his desk drawer, pulling a batarang out and flicking it open before standing up and moving in the direction the sound had came from, ascending the stairs.

As he reached the top, there was another sound, the sound of boots on the wooden flooring in the bedroom, followed by what sounded like a leather jacket being tossed on the floor. As he slowly walked towards the bedroom, he heard what sounded like more clothes being tossed onto the flooring.

Finally, he reached the door, opening it and stepping inside, the batarang ready to throw. After taking a second to look at the person lying under the silk sheets in the bed, he flipped the batarang closed, deciding the woman who looked to be in her mid-twenties with a tanned complexion, dark eyes and long, dark brown hair, who was apparently laying naked in his bed, couldn’t be any real threat to him.

“Wise choice, beloved.” She said, cocking an eyebrow “I trust you remember what happened the last time we were in this position?”

“How could I forget, Talia.” Bruce said, trying to hide the smirk he could feel forming, before saying in an authoritative tone “Where’s Ra’s?”

“My father couldn’t make it.” She said, sitting round and wrapping the sheet round her as she walked over to him “So he sent me. Personally, I’m very grateful that he did that.”

As Talia reached him, Bruce felt her arms slowly beginning to curl themselves round his neck. After a half seconds pause, his own arms snapped up, his hands grabbing her wrists, stopping her from trying to get them any further around him before bringing them back into a position in front of him. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust her, he just felt more comfortable having her hands where she could see them.

“So, what, you’re supposed to seduce me?” He asked “Tell Ra’s he needs to do better than that, I don’t fall for the same trick twice.”

Bruce didn’t let her respond, instead moving over to Talia’s crumpled outfit on the floor, picking them up and tossing them to her before turning and facing away from her.

“Oh please, beloved, we both know it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.” Talia said, her smirk evident in her tone.

“You’ve got 30 seconds, then I expect you to be gone.” Bruce said “And tell Ra’s, unless he comes himself, every other one of his lackeys he sends will be coming back to him with half the bones in their bodies pulverised.”

“Very well, beloved.” Talia said “I can’t promise your request won’t fall on deaf ears.”

“You’ve got my number if it does.” Bruce replied “And tell Ra’s that if it does, I’ll be coming to him, and he’ll be going along with my request, or I’ll be picking his league of assassins, piece by piece.”

Bruce didn’t hear any response, instead hearing the sound of the window opening quietly and someone slipping out. He turned around, seeing a note left on the table. He picked it up, skim reading it before folding it neatly and tucking it in his shirt breast pocket. After a moment, he closed the window, locking it before returning to the desk with the design drawings.

Bruce walked through the large, metallic silver double doors, the large, clear glass windows with a stylised ‘L’ prominent in the centre of the doors . He wasn’t a fan of this meeting; hell, he wasn’t a fan of Lex Luthor, but he had appointments to keep. Besides, bats were nocturnal, so it would be silly for him to be out as Batman anyway.

As he walked through the lobby of the Luthorcorp building, signing in at the desk before walking towards the silver coloured elevator doors, there was the sound of a large amount of commotion behind him, causing him to turn on his heel, looking at the sight in front of him.

There was a young woman, in her mid twenties, with long, dark brown hair tied up into a bun, the blonde highlights visible. She was in a navy blue suit and white blouse with a short skirt of the same colour that was cut just above the knee, black high heels on her feet, putting her at maybe five foot 11, rather than around five-nine, five-ten.

Stood beside her, apparently embarrassed by her ranting and raving, was a main in a grey suit with a blue shirt and red tie. He was tall, around six-three, with black hair in a neat, if not at all styled, look. He wore dark framed glasses on his face. Bruce didn’t need to ask who that was; all his background checks told him that; Clark Kent. As for the woman, he knew her from a few years back, in his college years.

“It’s alright.” Bruce said, moving back over to the reception desk “They’re with me, I was running late so said they could conduct their interview with me en route. Isn’t that right, Lois?”

“Yes, it is.” Lois replied, cottoning on to what he was up to “Now, if you’ll excuse me, Miss. Over-bearing-receptionist, we’ve got a job to do. Right this way, Mr. Wayne.”

Lois began to lead the way to the elevator, waiting until they were inside before finally speaking up.

“Don’t think that stunt got you out of never calling, Bruce.” She said, her tone aggressive “I mean, honestly, would a call, or even a text, have hurt?”

“I lost your number.” Bruce replied, nonchalantly.

Clark stood, watching the exchange. There was clear history there. Then again, Bruce and Lois did have history; they’d dated in college. Bruce was the first to admit, he had promised to call her. Then, he had, as he had just told her, lost her number. With all of Lois’ bitching at Bruce, he was almost thankful when the elevator suddenly screeched to a halt, the lights cutting out.

“Great.” Lois said sarcastically “The power goes out and I’m stuck alone in the dark with the biggest womaniser Metropolis University ever had and the most bumbling partner I’ve ever had.”

“Thanks Lois, you’re all heart.” Bruce said, grinning in the darkness, before adding barely audibly “Kent, corner, now.”

Clark stood there, not responding. How had Bruce known he’d hear that? Did he know that Clark would hear that or did he just speak more quietly than he’d meant to?

“Kent, now, before Apokolips gets here.” Bruce said quietly “Yes, I know all about it and will be more than happy to fill you in after you get into that red and blue costume of yours and fly us out of here.”

“But Lois…” Clark began, realising she was stood there and could hear him, causing him to catch himself, pushing his glasses up his nose and saying “Uh, surely Mr. Wayne can’t be that bad.”

“Men.” Lois murmured before the red emergency lighting flickered on “Thank god, I was getting worried there.”

“Simple EMP, caused by the planet hitting the atmosphere.” Bruce muttered, Lois turning to him “I mean, it was probably just one of Lex’s EMP experiments gone wrong.”

“Right…” Lois said, before beginning to take her heels off and handing them to Clark “Well, you two can hang around here, but I’m getting out of here. Bruce, give me a boost up to that emergency hatch in the elevator ceiling.”

“But Lois-” Clark began, being cut off by Bruce glaring at him as Lois was boosted to the ceiling and disappeared through the hatch “Okay Mr. Wayne, we need to talk.”

“Not now boy scout, for now, I need you to use that super strength of yours to push the elevator to the bottom of the shaft, we can get out via the basement. Yes, I know you’re Superman, there’s no time for discussion now, only for you to get us down.” Bruce said, putting two fingers to his left ear “Alfred, meet me at the basement vehicle access to the tower. Bring my other suit.”

Clark looked at Bruce, cocking an eyebrow. So, he knew, but what else did he know? And just who was this Mr. Wayne, really? All the possibilities shot through Clark’s mind, but he kept coming back to one question; could he trust the man?

“Okay, Lois is gone.” Clark said, removing his glasses “Just who the hell are you?”

“Don’t you recognise me?” Bruce said, his voice a low, gravelly growl, one that was all too familiar “Or do I need to be wearing a cape and cowl?”

“It’s you…” Clark said, before smirking “Basement, coming up.”

Clark put his hands to the floor, beginning to push. There was a feeling of rapid acceleration as the elevator was pushed to the bottom of the shaft. As they reached the bottom, Clark stopped pushing, letting the emergency brakes bring them to a halt. As the elevator finally stopped, Clark ripped open his shirt, revealing the symbol on his costume, before spinning on the spot at super speed, changing fully as he did, before punching through the elevator door and gesturing to the hole where the door had been.

“After you.” He said, Bruce stepping through and beginning to walk towards the exit, Clark following “So, were you planning on telling me?”

“No.” Bruce said simply, his voice somewhere between the voice he’d used while talking with Lois and the deep, gravelly tone he used as Batman.

“Great, there’s trust for you.” Clark said sarcastically, being shot a scowl by Bruce.

“You’re sounding like my 18 year old partner.” Bruce said coldly “I expect that from Allen, but not from you, Kent!”

“Thanks…” Clark said, rolling his eyes “So, what’s the plan?”

“How fast can you scan the skyline?” Bruce asked as they walked into a car park where a large black stretch hummer with blacked out windows was waiting, with Bruce stepping inside and closing the door behind him, the window open just a crack so he could hear Clark.

“Around thirty seconds, why?” Clark asked, unsure where Bruce was going.

“I want you to get to that. I’m getting the rest of the team together.” Bruce said from inside the car “Damn… Jordan’s out of contact, and right as an EMP hits the city. I think it’s safe to assume Apokolips is here. Kent, get out there and see if the planet can be seen. If it is, I expect co-ordinates.”

“And how am I supposed to provide them? I’m a Kryptonian super hero, not a sat nav.” Clark said, as Bruce stepped out of the car, dressed in his Batman costume “You know, you’ll stick out a bit, wearing that.”

“Shut up and go.” Bruce said, pressing a few controls on his gauntlet “I’ll send a sound burst at a resonance only you can hear when I’ve got everyone together.”

“And then what?” Clark asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“And then, Superman, I get my army and we will be going to war with Apokolips.” Bruce said, his voice sombre “I won’t lie to you, a lot of people could get hurt here. Our job is to keep that from happening as much as we can, and to stop anyone from being killed.”

Clark looked at Bruce, gobsmacked. For a guy who was just an ordinary man in a suit, he was being surprisingly direct, up front and, frankly, demanding, of Clark. He was well aware of what Clark could do to him if he wanted to, and if Clark said he wasn’t tempted to floor Bruce then, he’d be lying. Unfortunately, he needed Bruce on his side, especially since he didn’t know what Bruce’s army was.

“Fine, I’ll go.” Clark finally conceded, turning and beginning to walk away, tossing back “I’ll see you soon.”

Before Bruce could respond, Clark ran out of the car park at super speed, before crouching to the ground, momentum gathering below him before he shot up vertically and began to streak across the sky in a red and blue blur.

Twenty minutes later, Bruce stood atop the Metropolis PD building. He had hoped for somewhere more discreet, but J’onn had needed it to be there so he could claim he was just going out for a cigarette. After a moment, Bruce heard a sound of something rapidly decelerating.

“I expected you to be early, Allen.” He said, not bothering to turn around “The Martian’s on his way up, Hall is flying in and Superman is picking up Canary. Apparently, he bike’s having engine problems.”

“You know, I could go pick her up if she’s running-” Bart began before Bruce picked him up by the throat, holding him in the air, choking out “Or, you know, I could wait here.”

“That’s what I thought.” Bruce said, smirking as he lowered Bart “Now, will they just hurry up. I want to get this over with.”

“Not much or a people person, huh, Bats?” Bart said, being shot a glare by Bruce “Okay, okay, I’ll keep quiet, just don’t, you know, throttle me again.”

“I didn’t throttle you, I picked you up.” Bruce corrected, before looking over Bart’s shoulder and seeing J’onn walking over, in his Human disguise “Nice of you to join us.”

J’onn looked at Bruce for a moment, his face blank. Bruce might have been the world greatest detective, but he couldn’t fathom from the Martian’s expressionless face what he was thinking.

“Problem, Batman?” J’onn asked in his typical cool, collected tone.

“No.” Bruce replied “Not yet.”

Before J’onn could say anymore, there was the sound of wings flapping before a large, winged figure descended on the roof. The man stood around six foot five, taller than Bruce, or even Kent, for that matter, with an extra few inches given by the wing-like protrusions that were swept back and up on the bronze coloured helmet the man wore on his head, covering the same kind of area as Bruce’s cowl covered on his own head, albeit the man’s helmet left his ears and sea green eyes visible.

To go with the helmet, the man wore a chest plate that was the same colour as the helmet, with brown leather straps forming an ‘X’ across the chest, a gold coloured circle with a hawk head symbol in the centre of it. On the man’s legs, were a pair of tight, brown leather trousers, with black combat boots. He also had a Silver coloured mace attached to his black belt with gold buckle, via a brown leather strap. The outfit’s hawk motif was completed by the large, white wings that were protruding from the gap in the back of the man’s armour.

“Hawkman, I’m glad you could make it.” J’onn said, watching as Bruce and Hawkman, or Carter Hall, as he was otherwise known, apparently sized each other up “You haven’t met Batman before, have you?”

“Once.” Bruce replied, smirking for once “A long time ago.”

“You two know each other?” Bart said, looking between the two men who looked like they were about to try to kill each other “How the hell did that happen.”

“It’s a long story and we don’t have time for it.” Hall said, looking at Bart and narrowing his eyes before turning back to Bruce “What do we know so far.”

“We’ll wait for Superman and Canary before we get into that.” Bruce replied.

“Then you won’t be waiting anymore, Batman.” Kent said from behind Bruce, slowly lowering to the rooftop, setting down the woman he was carrying.

She was wearing a black tank top with black leggings and leather, thigh high boots. Along with that, she wore a black leather jacket, as well as a black domino mask over her grey-blue eyes. Her long, wavy blonde hair fell just barely below her waistline.

“Nice of you two to join us.” Bruce said, narrowing his eyes under his cowl “Kent, what did you find?”

“Apokolips is here.” Kent replied “It’s hovering over an uncharted island in the Atlantic. Looks like just J’onn, Hawkman and I will be going.”

“Wrong.” Bruce said, pressing a control on his belt “Impulse, you can run there. Canary, you’re with me, I’ve got my own ride.”

“Hate to burst your bubble, bats, but you’re just a guy in a cape.” Bart said, smirking before putting both hands up as Bruce turned to him, scowling “Okay, jeez, I was just kidding.”

“Worse than Robin…” Bruce murmured, before turning so he was facing all of them “So, you’re all going now. J’onn, Superman, once we’ve dealt with any ground forces, I want you two to try and push that planet out of the atmosphere. We don’t want any more EMP’s caused by it’s presence in our atmosphere. While you’re doing that, Impulse and I will take my ride from the island to the planet, so keep it in our atmosphere long enough for me to get there. Once we’re there, we’ll find Jordan. Canary, Hawkman, you’re going to be hanging back here on Earth to make sure no one takes advantage of the situation. No need to worry about Gotham, my usual partner has it covered. Just make sure that no one acts up.”

“You keep talking about this ride, but I don’t see anything.” Impulse said, before there was a sound of a rapidly approaching jet engine, stopping above them.

They looked up. The small, black jet was hovering there, its body shape matching the one that they had seen previously on reports about the signal that was used to call Batman in Gotham. On each of the wings four tips, was a small jet engine, keeping the jet hovering. On the back end of the jet was a large, rocket booster. After a second, a line with a handle on the end of it dropped down, which Bruce grabbed hold of.

“You coming?” He said to Canary, who paused before grabbing the other half of the handle, which pulled the pair rapidly up into the jet, Bruce pressing a few controls and grimacing at what he read, before pressing a control, his voice broadcasting through speakers on the outside of the jet “Superman, lead the way.”

Diana sat on the beach, the golden bird on her red top glinting in the sun while her glittery navy blue leggings sparkled in the sun, a golden coloured rope attached to her silver belt, her red and white boots stood next to her, her gold tiara with a red star on it in front of the boots. The young woman sometimes tired of this life, if only for a moment; Themyscira may be the kind of place that could be called ‘paradise island’ but it was also incredibly boring.

She sighed, brushing her long black hair out of her face, being careful not to catch any of it in the large silver bracelet on her wrist. As she began to lay back in the summer sun, she felt a dark shadow fall over her. She looked up, gasping at the sight; it looked like a gigantic, molten orb. Some kind of meteor or…planet. As she looked up at it, a large number of angular objects began to rain down from the orb.

A moment later, a sound began coming from the village; the battle signal. They were under attack. She reached down, pulling on her boots before putting her tiara on. She hesitated for a second before crouching down and then springing up, taking flight.

As she flew through the skies, one of the objects sprung up in front of her. Diana put her arms out in front of her, drilling through the object, a number of small cuts and bruises appearing on her arms, face and shoulders as she did. A second later, one of the object flew straight into her, knocking her to the ground.

She began to try and pick herself up, looking around. The others, the other Amazons of the island, they were all dead or dying. There were humanoid creatures, looking like some kind of demons. She looked up, seeing a single, large, muscular figure, his skin grey and cracked, his eyes glowing bright red.

The figure slowly descended towards her, then turned and moved along, reaching a point above a black haired woman in golden armour. Diana’s mother, Hippolyta. The figure descended, reaching down and grabbing Hippolyta by the throat and raising her in the air, the figure’s eyes beginning to surge with energy.

“You will be an example to them.” The figure said, it’s deep, strong voice totally void of emotion before a sadistic grin formed on the cracked, grey face “An example of the power of the Omega Sanction.”

Before he got a response, a pair of beams fired from the figure’s eyes. They hit Hippolyta square in the chest, eviscerating her. Diana screamed out in horror, causing the figure to look at her, the grin still present. Slowly, it raised an arm and pointed at Diana.

“Bring her to me!” The figure said, a pair of the demonic looking beings, apparently foot soldiers, picking Diana up roughly and dragging her to the figure “Do my actions cause you pain? Does it hurt, knowing you’re helpless, and that no one is going to save you?”

Before Diana could reply, a red and blue streak slammed into the figure, the figure hurtling on it. As it did, a pair of black balls with spikes fell, attaching to the foot soldiers holding her and exploding, knocking them down.

She looked up, shocked at the sight; a gigantic, metal bat. As she looked, the bottom of it opened, a line coming down, with a blonde woman in a leather jacket, a leotard, thigh high boots and fishnet tights descending down it. A second later, from above it, came a large bat like figure, landing with an almost dancer-like grace before raising, revealing a tall, man in a grey, armoured suit with a bat emblem on the centre of his chest, black boots and scalloped gloves, a yellow belt with a number of pouches, with cape and a mask with points on top, giving him the appearance of a giant bat.

“Canary, keep get these people out of here. Superman can deal with their leader.” The man said in a rough, gravelly voice “Where’s everyone else?”

“Hold on.” The woman said, pressing two fingers to her ear, revealing an ear piece “Hawkman says look up.”

The man in the bat suit looked up, leading Diana to as well. Above them was a man wearing a helmet with a beak and wings like a bird, a bronze breast plate, a pair of gauntlets, brown leather leggings and boots, a silver mace in his hand. On the man’s back were a large pair of wings, like some kind of angel… an angry angel.

The man with the wings swooped down, slamming his mace into one of the foot soldiers as he landed, turning to face them.

“Sorry I’m late, I got distracted.” He said, a smirk on his face “Class to teach and all that. You understand, Batman.”

“Talk later, Hawkman.” Batman said, pulling a small metal bat shaped object, throwing it and hitting one of the soldiers coming from behind him in the face, watching as the object hit another in the chest, an electric surge visible on it’s body “Fight now!”

“Now you’re talking my language.” Hawkman replied, swinging his mace and barely avoiding taking Diana’s head off as he swung at a soldier that was about to attack her “Canary, I thought Batman told you to get her out of here!”

As if in response, a red and yellow streak came at them rapidly, stopping just short of hitting them. The figure was a young man wearing a red bodysuit, with a yellow outlined white circle, a yellow lightning bolt in the middle, with a yellow lightning belt shaped belt on. He had a red mask on with a yellow lightning bolt over each ear, his mouth the only things that were visible, his yellow boots and gloves featuring similar lightning bolts. A second later, a purple clad figure with a blue, flared collared cape, blue gloves and boots, a red harness on his chest, with a red belt on his waist, touched down, turning to reveal a bald, green head and red eyes.

“Sorry we’re late, Impulse decided now was a good time to get changed.” The green figure said “Batman, Impulse and I can evacuate the populous here. we simply require you to keep them off our backs, as the Human expression goes.”

“I told you, it’s the Flash!” The young man said “And I’m going to find Lantern!”

“Wrong.” Batman said, continuing to knock back foot soldiers as they came at the group, pressing a button on his belt “We’re going to find Lantern. Canary, Hawkman, Martian, keep these people safe.”

Before another word was said, the plane from earlier flew back into view. Batman grabbed onto the line as it came down from the plane. As he finished climbing up, Flash climbed up it at high speed before the plane began speeding off towards the planet above.

Clark flew at high speeds, throwing blow after blow at Darkseid. The being continued to try and hit Clark back, but had each blow blocked. As Clark looped back towards the island, he hurled Darkseid down, watching as the Apokoliptian warlord hit the ground, a dust cloud coming up from the crater that was formed. Clark began to slowly descend, landing beside Hawkman as Canary screeched at the foot soldiers, sending them hurtling back.

Clark began to blast the soldiers with his heat vision, eviscerating the aliens. Normally, he avoided deadly force, but with the sheer numbers, there was no time to be careful. As he punched one of the soldiers that got through flying into another advancing group, Hawkman was struck by a bright red blast before disappearing. Clark looked at the source, seeing Darkseid advancing.

“The Omega Sanction. The most deadly force in the universe.” Darkseid said, firing blasts from his eyes at a number of the Amazons that were being escorted away before turning to Diana “Now, you will die.”

As he fired the blast, there was a deafening crash before a massive explosion rocked the entire island. When the smoke cleared, Clark stood at the centre of the crater, his tattered cape billowing in the breeze, a number of cuts and bruises visible on his face and through tears in his suit, all rapidly healing.

“Kryptonian cells.” Clark said, slowly advancing “While under a yellow sun, denser than any other matter in the universe.”

“Impressive, Kryptonian.” Darkseid said, beginning to walk towards Clark before a device on his gauntlet beeped, Darkseid looking at it and beginning to hover “I’ll deal with you after I’ve dealt with the pest control problem in my home.”

Clark watched from where he was as Darkseid disappeared from sight. He turned to J’onn, Dinah and the Amazon.

“Dinah, J’onn, you help our friend here take care of matters on the ground. I’m going up there.” He said, beginning to hover “Do not follow me. Even Superman can’t protect everyone.”

“Wait.” the Amazon replied “I’m coming too.”

“No, you’re not.” Clark replied, staring down at her “I can’t guarantee your safety up there.”

“I don’t need any man to protect me, nor do I take orders from any man. I am Diana, princess of the Amazons,” the woman retorted, beginning to hover herself “and that monster killed my mother.”

Without another word, she took off into the sky, Clark sighing before following her. She was worse than Lois.

Two Minutes Earlier

Bruce and Allen walked through the corridor on Apokolips. They’d found what looked like a prison; lots of jagged rocks, energy fields over doors, and a large number of devices that looked like they belonged in a saw movie. It was a prison and a torture chamber rolled into one.

They turned a corner, looking around the cells. After a second, they found a badly beaten Jordan chained to the wall inside a cell, his ring and power battery both on the table mere meters away from him. He slowly looked up at them.

“Took your time.” He said, his tone one of morbid sarcasm “You two want to get me out of here?”

“You’re welcome.”Bruce said, pulling a lock pick from his belt and beginning to work on the binds on Jordan “That ring of yours got enough juice left in it to get the two of you down to island, help finish the clean up?”

“I think so.” Jordan said as he was freed, falling to the floor and being handed his ring by Allen “But what about you?”

“Someone has to take this place out.” Bruce said, calmly “I’m the only one whose likely to be able to do that. Unless you know how to hack into almost any computer?”

“The ring could probably do it, but it’s too low on power to do that and protect me from the blast.” Jordan said, taking the power battery from Allen and touching his ring against it, before the battery seemed to vanish inside the ring “Even with the full charge, it’s doubtful I could do both.”

“Hey, bats, didn’t you say that he’s suppose to have no fear?” Allen quipped, smirking at Jordan “Sounds pretty scared to me.”

Bruce said nothing, just scowling at Allen before moving to a terminal on the wall. He pulled a small handheld from his belt, pressing a control and triggering a blue holographic touch screen to appear, about twice the size of the handheld. He began tapping away at the screen before it turned green, observing two signals being sent, one to the island below and one… North, somewhere. There was no time to dwell on that.

A second later, there was a dull roar as the ground beneath them began to shake. Bruce pressed another control on the handheld, causing the screen to disappear before a small circular object was ejected into Bruce’s hand, being stuck to the underside of the terminal as a large figure joined them in the room.

“Apokolips is leaving.” Bruce said, suppressing a grin as he added to the new arrival in the room “You lose, Darkseid.”

Darkseid stood in the room, a quiet rage building within him. This pathetic creature, this human, had dared to interfere with his plans? His fists clenched tightly, a dark purple, almost black, blood oozing out of wounds his fingers were causing in his own palms.

“You alright over there, stone face?” The figure in red and yellow said, his voice slightly high and extremely irritating “You look a little ticked.”

“Quiet, Flash.” The man in the cape said in a deep, gravelly voice, subtly reaching to his belt and removing something “Darkseid, you’re done here. You can surrender or we can finish this.”

“I am Darkseid, a new god. I shall not surrender to the likes of a mere mortal.”

“What about me then?” The Green Lantern said, stepping forward, raising his ring “Think you can take me, tough guy?”

Darkseid said nothing, charging at the three figures with immense speed, Flash blurring to a position behind him, only to be swatted away like an insect. He turned on the figure in the cape, attempting to hit him, but having his blow flipped over, feeling a small tingling sensation on his shoulder as the man made contact with it. He turned his attention to the Green Lantern, whose ring was still trained on Darkseid, pulsating with energy as he muttered something. Darkseid grabbed the Lantern by the throat, lifting the man above his head, his eyes pulsating with red energy.

“Any last words, Lantern?” He asked, a sadistic smile on his face.

“Yeah, how about these. In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power.” The Lantern said, before ramming his fist with the ring on into Darkseid’s gut, firing a blast that released him from Darkseid’s grip and sent the new god flying into the wall, a large amount of rubble coming down from the ceiling from the force of the impact “Green Lantern’s light!”

Darkseid picked himself up, barely fazed by the attack. After a moment’s pause, he began laughing.

“Impressive. Perhaps I misjudged you, Human. However, it is not you I wish to fight.” He said, before turning and pointing at the figure in the cape “It’s you.”

The figure in the cape said nothing, instead pulling several small, sharp objects from his belt and hurling them at Darkseid, who caught them without effort. The man in the cape smirked.

“Exactly to plan.” He said, pressing a button on his belt, causing the devices to detonate “You can’t win this, Darkseid. You may have all the power, but I have something you don’t.”

“What’s that?” Darkseid asked angrily, charging the man and picking him up in the same way he had the Green Lantern.

“I have Superman.” The man said with a smirk, as Darkseid was hit with a powerful blow to the back of the head.

The lord of Apokolips turned to face his assailant; stood in front of him was Superman and the Amazon. Superman took a step forward.

“It’s over, Darkseid.” Superman said, his eyes glowing with red energy “Give up now.”

“Why? You can hurt me no more than I can hurt you. We’re perfectly balanced, Kryptonian.” Darkseid said, smirking as he pressed a control on his left hand “Until I do this.”

As Darkseid pressed a second control, the room began to buzz, as systems came online. A second later, green lights came on, taking Superman to the floor. Darkseid began to advance on the Kryptonian.

“You see, I knew of your people. I studied them. After all, I was allied with one of them; I had to know how to control him.” Darkseid said, pulling a small tube from the back of his belt, from which a long, glowing green blade extended “You know how annoying Generals can be.”

“Hey, ugly!” Flash yelled, charging into Darkseid and taking him to the floor, going down himself “Bats, if you’ve got a plan, I’d love to hear it.”

Batman said nothing, instead reaching down to his belt. As he did, the Amazon pulled what looked like a large rope from her waist, tying the end into a lasso and throwing it around Darkseid, flying into the air and picking up the new god.

“You killed my mother!” She yelled, pulling hard and tightening her rope “Give me one good reason why I should let you live!”

Before Darkseid got a response out, a black metal object impacted the Amazon, exploding on impact and taking her to the floor. She looked angrily at it’s source; Batman.

“What are you doing?!” She yelled at him, angrily “He killed my mother, I will have revenge!”

“Revenge doesn’t do anything for you, believe me.” He said, walking towards her slowly “All it does is take you over, consume you, until you wake up one day and realise that your quest for vengeance has taken your life over. Is that what you want?”

“What would you know?” She asked, as Lantern projected a bubble around them, expanding it and taking out the Kryptonite lamps “You’ve not lost anyone to a monster!”

“Yes, I have.” Batman replied coldly “My parents were murdered in front of me when I was eight years old!”

“You still can’t understand this!” She spat at him “If you’re not with me, you’re against me.”

“I’ll do what I have to, Princess.” He replied, sardonically.

The Amazon charged at Batman, before impacting a hard, solid object and bouncing to the floor just before she’d reach him; Superman. He held out a hand to help her up, but she refused, just standing and brushing herself down. Darkseid couldn’t help but be amused; they expected to defeat him, they couldn’t even defeat personal issues between themselves!

He didn’t hesitate; his eyes began to glow red again. He couldn’t use his omega beams on the Kryptonian, he’d already seen how little of an effect they had on him. But what about his friends. He looked around for a moment, before firing the red beams from his eyes at the Amazon.

Bruce stood there, staring down the Amazon. As he did, he could hear Kent trying to reason with the both of them, but something was off. Darkseid hadn’t made a move; everything else they’d seen had shown Darkseid to be at least a competent tactician, so why was he being so quiet? As he turned to look at the villain, he saw a pair of red beams hurtling towards the Amazon.

He quickly dived forwards, tackling her to the floor. She looked up at him, looking slightly flustered, before half smirking.

“Thank you, although I usually prefer men buy me dinner before getting me into this position.” She said, before rolling them over just before the beam hit them, the beams bouncing off the floor “This one, dinner and a show.”

“Not now!” Bruce replied aggressively, flipping the both of them out of the way of the beams for a third time, before the green and black clad figure of Jordan blocked the beams with his own body, letting out a scream as he was eviscerated.

“You shouldn’t have done that.” Kent said to Darkseid, his eyes glowing red before he fired several blasts of heat at Darkseid from his eyes in quick succession “How does it feel? To be taking on the full force of the sun?!”

“If it were the full force of the sun, I’d be dead, Kryptonian.” Darkseid said, slowly advancing towards Kent, before punching him hard enough to embed him in the wall “But I am not facing that, am I?”

Bruce watched as the two figures engaged in battle. If they were mere mortals, the sheer force of their blows would be ripping through one another. And yet, they continued, as if nothing was happening. Then it hit him.

The sun.

“Flash, Princess, get out of here.” He said, turning to face Allen and the Amazon.

“What about you?” Allen asked, cocking an eyebrow with a wry grin “What are you planning, Bats?”

“Just go!” Bruce yelled, before quieting down “Please, Bart.”

Allen looked at him for a moment before his expression finally became serious. He turned to the Amazon, grabbing her by the arm and beginning to try and drag her out before giving up on the idea, picking her up and running out of the room full speed. Bruce moved back to the console, pulling out his hacking tool once again. He began to work quickly, having the device calculate trajectories and vectors before finally inputting the command to lock the course in.

He turned to where Kent and Darkseid continued fighting; both had taken quite a beating, small cuts and bruises all over the visible portions of their skin. Bruce paused for a second, before reaching into his belt and pulling out a small, glowing rock from his belt. As he did, Kent stopped in his tracks, panting as he fell to the floor. Darkseid smirked, turning to Bruce.

“I see you have a death wish, Human.” He said, slowly advancing on Bruce “After all, why else would you disable the only being capable of protecting you?”

“So he can’t stop me.” Bruce said, pulling a number of small explosives from his belt, hurling them at Darkseid, disorienting the giant as Bruce pulled a metal pole from the wall, ripping it from it’s mooring as he charged Darkseid, ramming the pole through Darkseid and into the wall behind him “That was for Carter Hall and Hal Jordan. And all the other innocent people you killed.”

Bruce said nothing else, hearing Darkseid screaming at him as he picked Kent up, depositing the Kryptonite back in his belt as he began to make his way back to where the Batwing was.

Bart sat in the cockpit of the fighter him and the Amazon had stolen, looking up from the beach. J’onn and Canary were both outside the ship, with the Amazon, all of them waiting to see if Batman and Superman had escaped Apokolips; the planet had stopped being visible over five minutes ago, and the fighter’s scanners couldn’t pick it up anymore, either.

Bart sighed, standing up. If Batman and Superman had got off the planet, they would’ve got back down by now. They hadn’t. They had to be gone.

After a moment, there was a blinding flash of light from the sun, as if it had suddenly gained more fuel, dazzling the heroes on the beach, who covered their eyes. As Bart slowly uncovered his, he saw it. A silhouette.

A silhouette of a bat.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Bart said, jumping up with a laugh “Knew tall, dark and brooding wasn’t going to let us down on bringing back the boy scout!”

“Until five seconds ago, you were thinking he was dead.” J’onn corrected “I decided it was best not to tell you otherwise while you thought about someone else for a change. Without being ran by your hormones.”

“Gee, thanks.” Bart said, rolling his eyes as the silhouette of Batman’s plane flew closer “I do think about other people sometimes. It’s why I wear this costume.”

“Yes, I know.” J’onn replied “Frankly, I was hoping for your -”

“Yeah, well, he’s gone.” Bart quickly cut him off, the jet landing about a hundred meters down the beach from them, the cockpit opening, before the red and blue figure of Superman slowly raised up into the air from it, the motionless figure of Batman in his arms “Oh god…”

Superman said nothing, his expression sombre as he floated towards the group, setting the armour clad figure down on the sand. The four of them looked at J’onn.

“I have been struggling to pick up any kind of mental activity from him at all before now.” J’onn said “Apparently, he’s very good at keeping his secrets.”

“Not always.” Superman said, grabbing Batman’s cowl with both hands before ripping it apart, revealing the visage of a good looking man in his early to mid twenties “Come on, you’re too stubborn to have let that shockwave kill you…”

“Maybe not.” The Amazon spoke up as she stood, walking over to them “However, I may have something that could help.”

“What are you going to do, spin the Earth backwards?” Superman asked “I considered it. It doesn’t work.”

“No.” She replied simply, subtly smirking as she picked up Batman’s body “But a woman has her ways to wake a man.”

She didn’t say any more, instead leading them towards the temple in the distance.

Bruce stood in what looked to be the Bat-cave, only… different, somehow. It was brighter, filled with an ethereal light. The platform where the Batwing was usually landed was empty, as was the turntable that usually held the Batmobile, and the one beside it which was always used to hold Dick’s bike, the Redbird. He moved to the edge of the platform he was stood on, looking down; the Batboat was absent too. Even the computer was missing.

The only thing that was present, in fact, was the storage cases at the back. Seven of them. The first four contained his four different bat suits, while the three costumes Dick had used as Robin stood beside them. He looked down; he was wearing black suit trousers with a white, half unbuttoned shirt.

“Expecting one of your suits?” Came a voice from behind him “You always did like to choose your own clothes.”

Bruce span on his heel, his eyes widening at the sight in front of him; stood there, was Thomas Wayne. His father.

“Dad?” He asked, hesitating for a moment as his father opened his arms in a welcoming gesture, before sprinting towards him, hugging his father “Dad! I thought you were… I mean, I saw…”

“I know, son.” Thomas replied “I know.”

“Wait, does that mean that I’m…” Bruce began, unsure how to phrase it, before releasing his father from the embrace, standing up straight as he asked “Am I dead?”

“In a manner of speaking.” Thomas replied, placing a hand on Bruce’s shoulder “Not for long, but, I just wanted to tell you, while I could, that I’m proud of you, son. Both me and your mother are.”

“Where is she?” Bruce asked “Why is it just you?”

“There’s a long explanation for that.” Thomas replied “The short answer is, it’s against the rules for us both to be here.”

“Where is here?” Bruce said, realising he was sounding more and more like Batman as time went on.

“The place between life and death.” Thomas replied, moving over to the case holding Bruce’s current Batsuit, opening it and removing the suit “The place you don’t belong yet.”

“What do you mean, don’t belong yet?” Bruce asked “I don’t understand.”

“It’s not your time, Bruce. This place isn’t your destiny yet.” Thomas replied, handing Bruce the suit “This suit is.”

Bruce looked down at the suit for a moment, before it faded, seconds before the suit appeared on him. He stood up straight for a moment, before reaching behind his head, pulling the cowl down over his face, as a bright white light enveloped the cave.

Bruce shot up where he was laid, in a pool of warm, green liquid. He looked around frantically; the filters of the cowl’s lenses were off, and he couldn’t feel the pressure on his head; the mask was off. He was in what looked like some kind of Greek bath chamber. Flash, Canary, the Martian and the Amazon were all stood at the edge of the bath. It was then that he became aware of the strong force holding him in place; Kent.

“Let me go.” Bruce growled, Kent complying, causing Bruce to fall forward, face first into the liquid, Bruce standing up and beginning to walk out, grumbling “Could’ve left the mask on…”

“You’re welcome.” The Amazon replied, sarcastically “What you’ve all just seen are the regenerative effects of a-”

“Lazarus pit.” Bruce cut her off “I’ve met someone who used them before. A word to the wise; don’t use them for prolonged periods. They can have some negative psychological effects.”

“I’ll remember that.” She said, as Bruce and Kent both walked over to the other three remaining members of their team “In any case, welcome, all of you, to Themyscira. I would offer you our hospitality in thanks for your aid, however, we must engage in rebuilding.”

“We can help with that” Flash cut in quickly with a smirk “Anything for a damsel in distress.”

“Allen, shut up.” Bruce growled “You’ll regret it otherwise.”

“C’mon, Bruce, we just helped save her butt.” Flash replied, half mocking Bruce “She’s not going to do anything bad to me for being friendly.”

“I don’t think he was talking about her…” Canary said, watching as Bruce narrowed his eyes at Flash “Anyway, I’ll be outside if anyone needs me.”

“I’ll join you.” Flash said “Before Bats kills me…”

“If you need help, I’ll be with them.” Manhunter said, placing a hand on Bruce’s shoulder before he followed the other two out.

Bruce began to slowly pace the room. This place would be an architect’s dream. That is, if it wasn’t for the massive chemical bath in the centre of it. He looked at the green liquid for a moment, his memories flashing up images of another green liquid, and the results of that; Joker.

He quickly turned and began to walk out of the chamber, stopping for a moment by the door.

“Something bothering you?” Kent’s voice came from behind him.

“It’s nothing.” Bruce lied, Kent slapping him on the shoulder lightly as he walked out, Bruce turning to face the Amazon “I’m sorry… For your mother. No one deserved that.”

“No, they didn’t.” She replied “I’m sorry about your friends.”

“You and me both.” Bruce said, leaning against the wall “If my partner were here, he’d probably be making some quip right now. He does that.”

“Kind of like your friend in the red?” She teased, chuckling as she added “No, I imagine no one could be quite that bad.”

“He can be worse, at times.” Bruce said, almost cracking a smile, before he stood up straight, beginning to walk out.”

“Bruce,” She called after him “whenever someone uses the pit, they usually have some kind of vision. My people believe it’s of the afterlife. What did you see?”

“My father.” Bruce admitted, turning back to face her “And my destiny.”

“And that was?” She asked, walking towards him slowly “I promise, I won’t tell them.”

“Batman.” Bruce replied simply before turning and walking out.

… 6 Months Later …

Lois stood in the crowd outside the UN building. A press conference had been called, regarding the events six months ago, with the planetary attack that had occurred. Jimmy was stood beside her, while Clark had disappeared off, something about needing to use the bathroom. He had the worst timing of anyone she had ever met; every time anything interesting happened, like Superman showing up, or the like, Clark had to disappear off for one reason or another. In fact, she couldn’t remember ever seeing the two of them in the same place together…

She was snapped out of the thought as the UN delegate stepped forward to the podium, tapping the microphone to make sure it was on.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the press, members of the public, may I have your attention please?” He said, speaking in a British accent “We are all here today because we were attacked, and a group stepped forward. A group of extraordinary people, with extraordinary abilities. I won’t bore you with introductions. Instead, without further ado, I humbly present to you all, the Justice League.”

There was applause as Superman, Batman, the Amazon known as Wonder Woman, Black Canary, the Martian Manhunter and the Flash all stepped out onto the stage. Lois quickly noted one big change about the ensemble; Superman’s costume. He’d altered the belt, it now, while maintaining the yellow colouring, now featured his shield on the buckle, with red lines providing the detailing. Along with this, the red trunks were gone from the ensemble, making it a solid blue mass, barring the red and yellow shield on his chest and the red cape on his back.

“Thank you, Mr. Delegate.” Superman spoke as he stepped up to the podium, shaking the delegate’s hand as he did “We don’t deserve any thanks for what we did that day. In fact, we just did what we had to, not out of need for praise, but out of duty. We deserve thanks no more than someone who helps an elderly woman across the street, or a boy helping out on his family’s farm.”

Lois froze as she heard the reference. Why would Superman refer to it as no different to a young man working on his family’s farm. She quickly pulled out her phone, taking a photo of the man of steel, before opening the photo editing app she had. She quickly drew a few lines, then looked at the edited image; Clark Kent, glasses and all, in a Superman uniform. His uniform.

“So, in summary, we would just like to say, thank you all for your praise, but it is entirely unnecessary.” Superman concluded, snapping her back to reality “Thank you.”

The Justice League all stepped down off the podium, Batman and Superman talking to one another in extremely hushed tones about something as they did, before Superman tapped the Manhunter on the shoulder and began whispering to him.

Bruce and Clark walked through the crowd. They were hoping that Lois’ irritation at Clark and Bruce talking would be enough to distract her from what was going on, but only time would tell.

“Lois, how are you.” Bruce called with a large grin as she came into view “How long’s it been, six months?”

“You know it has, Bruce.” She replied coldly as Bruce and Clark reached her “Smallville, can I have a word?”

“Come on, Lois, I’m sure you can say whatever you want to say to him while I’m here.” Bruce said, still grinning, Clark shifting slightly awkwardly.

“I don’t know if he’d want me to.” Lois said “Unless you want him knowing your secret, Smallville?”

“Secret?” Clark said, pushing his glasses up his nose “Lois, I don’t have any secret.”

“Yes you do.” She replied, sighing as she said “I know you’re Superman, I used photoshop to draw some glasses on him just now. You’re him.”

“What?” Clark said, laughing “I’m not Superman, I can barely lift a couple of pickets for a fence, much less a jumbo jet.”

“Drop the act, Smallville.” Lois said “The jig’s up.”

“Look, I know how we can settle this.” Bruce said “Clark, hit me. Hard as you like.”

“But, Mr. Wayne, I’m not sure I feel comfortable-” Clark began.

“It’s fine, go on.” Bruce said, before looking up “Or, we could just ask him.”

Lois and Clark both looked up; hovering there, above them, was Superman. He slowly lowered to the ground as he looked around the three of them.

“Sorry about my intrusion, I overheard your conversation and decided to clear up the misunderstanding.” He said, smiling slightly “You see, as you know, I’m not from this world. When I arrived on Earth, I imprinted Clark Kent’s image upon my own to allow myself to better fit in. That’s why we look alike.”

“But…” She began “I was sure of it…”

“It’s fine, Miss. Lane. Anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do.” Superman said, crouching slightly before shooting off into the sky.

“Told you.” Clark said, before he and Bruce began walking off, Clark asking in a hushed tone “Think she bought it?”

“She doesn’t know all of your abilities, does she?” Bruce asked “So long as that’s the case, you’ll be fine. Just… Watch your step around her from now on.”

“Got it.” Clark said, stopping for a second, listening “Fire, STAR labs.”

“Get on it.” Bruce said, before holding out a hand to Clark “Good luck. Clark.”

“Thanks.” Clark said, shaking Bruce’s hand before jogging off into the crowd, slowly loosening his tie as he did.

The Fortress of Solitude was dark, powered down. Slowly, there was a whirring as all the systems came to life, a bright light filling the Kryptonian structure. The lights began flickering erratically, green lights coming on and off with them.

“System infection detected.” The voice of Jor-El said “Attempting to erase… Attempt failed. Secondary precautions… Failed. Stasis mode activating in five, four, three-”

“Stasis activation aborted.” Said a second, mechanically resonating version of Jor-El’s voice “BRAIN InterActive Construct online. This fortress is now controlled by BRAINIAC.”

TO BE CONTINUED….. in The FLASH: Fastest Man Alive, VOL 1: Reverse

The 6 part series has come to a mid season finale if you will call it. The next part comes very soon.

 

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