Second volume of my Superman fic. Follows on from Justice League united Vol. 1. and The Bats Vol 2: Limitless.

More than a year after the attack on Earth by Darkseid, Clark Kent is considered a hero as Superman. But when he finds himself facing enemies that can match him with ease, can the Man of Steel defeat them alone? Or will he be crushed under foot?

I own nothing. Hope you all like it!!!

 

Clark sat on his bed, his macbook on his lap. His parents had bought it for him at Christmas, in spite of his protests that it was too expensive. In actuality, it was less about the cost; it was one of the bottom price point macbooks available, he was more concerned that, barring media editing, it was basically useless for anything else. He was able to write on it, but seriously preferred a PC.

As he finished the paragraph he was working on for his article on Bruce Wayne’s latest business venture into Metropolis, he heard a crash outside his bedroom door. He looked towards the door, lowering his glasses slightly down the bridge of his nose and using his x-ray vision; Jimmy Olsen, his roommate and co-worker, was throwing a party, as was normal for early twenty-something’s on a Saturday night, and someone had just broke a lamp.

Clark quickly scanned the crowd; there were about two dozen people he didn’t recognize, and three or four he did, including one; a girl in her very early twenties with shoulder length dyed red hair, in a blue tube top and denim mini-skirt; Lucy Lane. Unfortunately, if she was there, then her sister, the reporter Clark was usually partnered with, Lois, couldn’t be too far behind. And when she saw the drunk guy currently pawing all over her sister, there would be hell to pay. Probably in blood.

He saved the file he was working on, shutting down the machine before standing up, dropping it lightly on his bed, walking to his bedroom door and stepping outside. He quickly grabbed one of the beers from the table, drinking half of it, glad that the alcohol couldn’t affect him even if he wanted it to, before grabbing the ketchup and squirting a tiny bit on his finger. He sighed as he walked over to Lucy and the drunk guy.

“Hey Lucy, how’s it going?” He said with a feigned drunken slur as he reached them.

“Back off, four-eyes,” The drunk guy said, pushing Clark slightly “I saw her first.”

“Four-eyes?” Clark said, cocking an eyebrow “That some kind of a joke, buddy?”

“Nope, but this is!” The guy said, before swinging for Clark, the blow barely connecting as Clark rolled with the punch, going to the floor, before the guy pulled his hand back in pain “Jesus, you got a metal plate in your jaw? Freak.”

“Clark?” Lucy said, panicked “Clark, are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” Clark said, getting up and putting his finger to his mouth, quickly applying some of the ketchup to his lip “Great, I’m bleeding.”

“Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.” Lucy said, grabbing him by the hand “Where’s the bathroom?”

“Lucy, it’s fine.” Clark said as she began to pull him towards one of the doors “Honestly, I’m fine.”

“No, you’re not, that guy floored you,” She said “you’ve probably got… A concussion or something.”

“Lucy, he’s fine.” Came an all too familiar voice from behind them, sounding very annoyed “At least, until I get my hands on him.”

Clark spun on his heel, facing Lois. He had to tread carefully here; she’d already questioned him on whether or not he was Superman recently, if anything looked too suspicious, she might realize that, since J’onn could shapeshift and had similar basic powers to Clark, he could’ve easily been the one impersonating Superman at the conference.

“Uhm, Lois, it’s not what it looks like…” Clark said, looking for an exit.

“Oh, so you’re not being dragged off to a bathroom by my little sister?” Lois asked “I thought you Kansas boys had all those ‘home-grown values’ and crap like that.”

“Lo, it’s fine, there was an ass hitting on me, Clark stepped in and he got punched for it.” Lucy said “We were just going to clean him up.”

“Really?” Lois said, crossing her arms over her chest “So Smallville actually had a fight?”

“No, he got punched.” Lucy said, before Clark could get a word in “Can you just admit you got something wrong for once?”

“Not in front of him.” Lois hissed “I’ll never live it down at work.”

Clark had to suppress a chuckle. Lois knew she was wrong. She just wanted to save face in front of Clark for the sake of work. He paused for a second before his phone started ringing. He pulled the iPhone 3GS from his pocket, not really looking as he answered.

“Hello?” He said as he put the phone to his ear.

“Hello, is that Clark Kent?” Came the voice of a woman from the other end of the phone.

“Yes, it is.” Clark said “May I ask to whom I’m speaking?”

“This is Chloe Sullivan over at Smallville General Hospital.” The woman replied “Mr. Kent, it’s your father. I’m afraid there’s been an accident. He’s in a coma.”

“Dad…” Clark said to himself quietly, before saying “I’ll be right there.”

He didn’t wait for a reply before hanging up the phone, putting it in his pocket as he began making his way to the door, only for Lois to bar it.

“Hold it, Smallville.” Lois said, looking slightly awkward “Look, I, uhm…”

“Not now, Lois.” Clark said, seeing she was about to make a comment “Please. I’ve got to go.”

“Okay.” Lois said, hesitating before saying “Are you okay, Smallville?”

“No, but it’s fine.” Clark said, side-stepping her and making for the door “I know you don’t like listening to people’s problems when there isn’t a story.”

He didn’t give her a chance to answer before opening the door and stepping outside. He paused for a moment, before super speeding downstairs, not noticing Lois open the door behind him as he did.

Lex Luthor sat in his office, a young, slim man with sandy blonde hair in a black blazer, black jeans and an unironed blue shirt stood in front of him. The man was there to be interviewed for a position and, simply put, had currently failed to impress. His resume was bog standard at best, and Lex preferred all Luthorcorp employees to be the best.

“So, Mr…” Lex said, looking at the resume in front of him “Mr. Jones, what do you feel you can bring to Luthorcorp?”

“Honestly?” Jones replied, his voice exhibiting an accent akin to what you’d expect from New York’s Bronx “I know I’m not the best, Mr. Luthor, not like the rest of your employees, but I’m eager to learn. I’ve been to college, I studied chemistry, if you give me a chance, maybe I could help you in that area?”

“Hmm…” Lex said “Chemistry… How are you with pharmacology?”

“Pharmacology?” Jones asked “I’ve done some studying, not a lot…”

“Well, I’m willing to give you a chance, Mr. Jones.” Lex replied “You start Monday.”

“Really?” Jones said, standing up as Lex did, shaking his hand enthusiastically “Thank you, Mr. Luthor, I promise, you won’t regret this!”

“I’m sure I won’t, Mr. Jones.” Lex said, a small smile forming on his face “I’d appreciate it if you could send my assistant in on your way out.”

“Of course, thank you.” Jones said rapidly, quickly walking out, before a young woman in her mid-twenties with a tanned complexion and short, brown hair in a grey business suit and white blouse with black heels and tights walked into the office.

“You wanted to see me, Lex?” His assistant asked him, putting her hands behind her back, emphasising her figure.

“Yes, Mercy.” Lex said “Have Mr. Jones, the man who just left, put on the Sierra project.”

“Of course.” Mercy said “Is that all?”

“No.” Lex said “I think the safety precautions on Sierra are too intense. Have them relaxed a little.”

“How much is a little?” Mercy asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Enough that we get to those human trials that seem to be so difficult to have approved under guidelines.” Lex said with a grin “I want to see what these energy absorbing chemicals do when introduced to a Human being.”

Clark walked into the hospital room he’d been directed to upon arrival. His mother was asleep in the chair beside the bed. In the bed, hooked up to several machines, tubes sticking out left, right and centre, was the unconscious form of his father.

Clark picked up the chart at the end of the bed, flipping through it. According to what he was reading, the coma occurred following a work unit collapsing on him. There were also notes of maintaining his heart medication. Clark was shocked; his parents hadn’t mentioned anything about the medication to him. Probably trying to avoid worrying him. They seemed to forget he quite literally had had the weight of a world on his shoulders recently. Or maybe that was exactly why they didn’t want to worry him.

He put the clipboard back, before sitting in the other chair in the room. He pulled his glasses off, rubbing his eyes. He was slightly tired, he could admit that; following the incident with Darkseid, he’d been pushing himself harder than usual, and had pushed himself even harder in an attempt to get back to Smallville quicker. It was taking it’s toll on him.

He quickly put his glasses back on as he heard the latch on the door, a second before the door opened, Clark’s mother walking in followed by a man around Clark’s age, with short, dirty blonde hair and a goatee, a pair of wire frame glasses perched on his nose. The man was wearing a blue suit with a white shirt and a black tie, a U.S. flag pin on his lapel.

“What’s the Kansas state senator doing here?” Clark asked, standing up and shaking the man’s hand “It’s been a long time, Pete.”

“Yes it has, Clark.” Pete replied, releasing Clark’s hand and grabbing his own wrist, rolling it slightly “Still got a grip like a vice then. I saw your work in Metropolis. Flying now, are we?”

“Yeah, that one’s still fairly new.” Clark replied, turning to his mother “How’s dad?”

“The Doctor’s are fighting over what’s the best course of action.” She replied “With his heart, and the cancer, they-”

“Cancer?” Clark interjected, shocked “No one told me about any cancer.”

“Lung cancer. I wanted to tell you, but he didn’t want to worry you. He thought you had enough on your plate.” Martha said, pulling Clark into a tight embrace “You might be a man of steel, but in his eyes, you’re still our little boy.”

Clark turned to look at the unconscious form of his father, a distressed look appearing on his face. He had all that technology up in the Fortress. If he hadn’t been so busy flying around as Superman, maybe he could’ve caught this before, done something about it.

As he stood thinking about it, one of the machines began beeping rapidly. Jonathan’s unconscious body began convulsing. Clark quickly moved to the bed, beginning to hold Jonathan still. He quickly ran his x-ray vision over his father; his heart was beating rapidly. A number of nurses and a pair of doctors rushed into the room, the nurses ushering Clark, Martha and Pete out of the room. Clark began to look through the closed curtains using his x-ray vision, listening to the events in the room.

“He’s going into cardiac arrest. Get me the defibrillator!” One of the doctors said, the device being wheeled over, the man picking up the paddles “Charging to 200. Clear!”

Jonathan’s body jolted as the paddles were put to his chest, the electric current applied. Clark used his x-ray vision, looking at his father’s heart; it had stopped. He watched as the doctor tried the defibrillator a few more times.

“I’m calling it.” The doctor said “Time of death, 8: 28 PM.”

Clark stopped looking through the wall immediately, clamping his eyes shut as he felt a surge of emotions crash over him; anger, despair, sadness, rage and a whole other list of emotions he didn’t care to think about. He didn’t even listen as the doctor came out and told him and Martha about his father. Didn’t pay attention to what was going on.

It was only when he felt someone place a hand on his shoulder and he shrugged it off, hard, that he came back to reality. He turned, seeing Pete slumped against the wall, looking up at Clark, a look of shock on his face. There was something else there, though. Something Clark had only seen once before on his friend’s face. Fear. Pete was afraid of him. Afraid like he had been the day he’d found out what Clark could do, when Clark had caught that car that was flying through the air at him.

“Pete, I’m sorry.” Clark said, looking between Pete and his mother, hoping they’d say something, both of them just looking at him shocked “I’m sorry.”

With that, he ran out at super speed. As he reached the outside of the hospital, he leapt up into the air, taking flight. He had to get away. Somewhere he couldn’t hurt anyone.

Clark touched down in the Fortress of Solitude; it was darker than usual. After a moment, it lit up it’s usual white before beginning to flash red.

“Danger… Corrupted… Withdraw… Fortress…” Came the voice of Jor-El, before going silent, the fortress turning black again.

“Re-initialising.” Came a different voice, calm and mechanical, totally without feeling, the Fortress lighting up first an eerie green and then it’s usual brilliant white light “Back up systems online.”

“Who is this?” Clark asked “Who am I talking to?”

“I am the Fortress’ back up AI, the Brain InterActive Construct.” Came the voice “You may call me BrainIAC.”

“What happened to Jor-El?” Clark asked “Why has the Fortress been inactive for the last six months?”

“Darkseid uploaded a virus.” BrainIAC replied “It erased your father’s consciousness, Kal-El. I have been attempting to repair the damage.”

“Can you answer the same questions as Jor-El?” Clark said “Can you give me the same answers?”

“I am programmed with the sum knowledge of the 27 known galaxies. In short, my knowledge exceeds that of the Jor-El construct.” BrainIAC said “What is it you require, Kal-El?”

“My powers.” Clark said “I need a way to curb them, to help me keep them under control while distressed.”

“Such a device exists within my database.” BrainIAC said “However, I cannot construct it in this form.”

“What do you mean?” Clark asked “Is there another form of the Fortress?”

“No, Kal-El.” BrainIAC said “However, I have drone bodies I can use to complete the work. With your permission?”

“Of course.” Clark replied, watching as a crystalline structure came out of the floor.

The front of the structure opened, revealing a mechanoid about Clark’s height. It’s body was primarily purple, with what looked like silver gauntlets and boots, sharp claw like appendages on the feet, spike like objects on each forearm. Over the entire body were glowing white circles. The head and neck of the figure were one continuous mass, beginning in the same silver as the gauntlets, with an appearance like a neck guard, a green, skull like head on top. The eyes glowed red, with three glowing white circles in an upside down triangle formation on the forehead, black lines joining the two top circles to the bottom one.

“Transfer complete.” The mech said “I shall begin work immediately. Please, retire to your quarters, Kal-El. I shall alert you when I am done.”

“Okay…” Clark said, slightly unsure, before turning and walking out of the command chamber, leaving BrainIAC to begin it’s work.

Rudy Jones stood in the lab he’d been assigned to, running inventory. He was grateful to Mr. Luthor for giving him the opportunity to take the job; most people wouldn’t give an ex-con a shot with any job that actually had some kind of prospects. This was an opportunity to make something of himself, and to prove to his ex-wife and his kids he wasn’t just some bum. That he was better than her new husband, Raymond Jensen. Then he’d win her back.

He opened one of the containers, taking note of the purple fluid inside, before closing the lid again. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t been given a hazmat suit, since all the material was marked bio-hazard. Still, Luthorcorp was a massive conglomerate, no doubt they had countless safeguards in place on the project to ensure nothing bad happened to him.

He opened the next container, noting the same liquid. As he did, he dropped his pen, the metal object falling to the floor. He bent down to pick it up, not noticing how close his foot was to the container, until his foot hit the metal container, knocking it over, the fluid pouring out all over Rudy, before he blacked out.

Clark walked into the central chamber of the fortress, wearing a black version of his usual costume, his symbol being cast on the chest in a dull grey, the cape missing from the ensemble; it was a traditional Kryptonian outfit that his people had worn as the base layer of their uniforms, under the uniform of their profession they were assigned. Clark was the last son of Krypton, rocketed away as a baby; he had no chosen profession. He’d updated his costume to the red and blue version of this uniform he wore as his costume to honour his people, but he wasn’t going to wear the scientist’s uniform of his father, or the militia uniform of his mother. As far as the fortress was concerned, he was Kal-El, but as far as he was concerned, he was Clark Kent. Superman was just the happy middle ground.

“Work is complete.” BrainIAC said as Clark approached the podium the mech stood on, the mech holding out what looked like a silver ring with a red band made of crystal around it “This ring is powered by red Kryptonite. It will decrease your powers but not remove them.”

“A Kryptonite ring?” Clark asked “This isn’t going to kill me?”

“No, that is the effect of green Kryptonite.” BrainIAC replied “There are many varieties, but the only ones that will effect you are green, red and gold.”

“Gold?” Clark asked “What does gold do?”

“Removes your abilities.” BrainIAC said “Permanently.”

“So, stay away from gold K, got it.” Clark said, taking the ring from BrainIAC “Here goes.”

Clark slipped the ring on, the veins in his hand flashing red momentarily, the energy going up his arm and through his body. He looked at BrainIAC cocking an eyebrow.

“I don’t feel any different.” Clark said.

“You will.” BrainIAC replied “Give it time.”

“It had better work.” Clark said, scowling “Or I’ll dismantle you for scrap.”

Clark turned and walked away, unsure where his comment had come from. He wasn’t one for threats; he was the guy who avoided conflict, who tried to protect things, all things. Even if BrainIAC was an AI, he was sentient, and Clark had just threatened to take him apart. Clark shrugged it off; it had been a long day, stress was probably just getting to him. As he reached his room, his Justice League comm. device beeped.

“What’s up?” Clark asked.

“There’s a problem in Star City.” Came the voice of Bart Allen AKA the Flash “We need you down there. Something about a giant talking monkey?”

“On it.” Clark said, spinning on the spot and changing into his costume “Give me five minutes to get there.”

“Okay, see you there.” Bart replied “Diana’s en route as well.”

Clark didn’t bother replying, instead shooting into the sky, taking out part of the top of the fortress, the crystals beginning the slow process of reforming themselves.

Oliver Queen stood on top of one of the apartment blocks he owned, looking down on the street below. A giant ape was running amok, carrying some form of ray gun and blasting people. Ollie couldn’t say he was used to such things, but hey, this was a day and age where Metropolis had a man of steel and Gotham had a man dressed as a giant bat fighting killer clowns.

Ollie pushed his green domino mask onto his face, pulling up his green hood from the skin tight green leather vest top. The green and black leather leggings with black combat boots he wore helped him maintain his stability in the breeze, while the black gloves he wore protected him from inadvertently hurting himself with one of his own arrows he carried on his back.

Ollie pulled an arrow from his quiver with a line attached to it, firing down at the ape below. He put his bow onto the line, using the wheels on it to absail down, kicking the ape in the chest, being grabbed and thrown back towards the building in response. As he prepared to hit the wall, instead he felt himself rapidly decelerate. He looked up, seeing he’d been caught by a woman in a red and black suit with silver wrist guards, a gold tiara and a golden eagle motif. Wonder Woman.

“Where have you been all my life?” Ollie quipped, Wonder Woman dropping him in response “Was it something I said.”

“Back off, rookie.” Said a man in a red and yellow costume with several lightning bolts on it, the Flash, as he sped up next to Ollie and Wonder Woman “Let the pros handle this.”

Ollie watched as the Flash sped up to the ape, throwing several punches at high speed before blurring back before the ape had a chance to hit back. A second later, Wonder Woman threw her lasso at the ape, tying it up before it grabbed the lasso, yanking it from her grip.

“Pathetic Humans.” The ape spoke in a deep, gravelly voice “You will all bow before Grodd!”

In response to Grodd’s comment, he was hit square in the chest by a red and blue blur flying at high speed. Ollie looked at the ape’s assailant; Superman.

“Stand down!” Clark yelled, seeing both Wonder Woman and Flash getting ready to back him up “This monkey’s mine!”

Clark flew at the ape at super speed again, slamming into it again, this time seizing it’s blaster from it, crushing the device in his hand. The ape grabbed Clark by the throat, lifting him up in the air before tossing him back, sending him flying through three buildings. Clark flew back into the fight, firing a barrage of heat vision in front of him, setting the ground leading up to the ape ablaze, before setting the ape itself ablaze, the creature screaming in agony.

“Miserable creature!” The ape yelled “You’ll pay for that.”

“No.” Clark said “You will.”

Clark flew up to the ape, grabbing it by the throat before shooting up into the sky, through the upper atmosphere and into orbit. He looked into the apes eyes and smirked menacingly before hurling it back down with all his might, watching the creature burn as it passed through the atmosphere.

Clark slowly descended, landing between Wonder Woman and the Flash, who both looked at him, shocked.

“It’s dealt with.” Clark said “Next time you call, make sure it’s something big. Metropolis is my priority. Not this shit hole.”

Before they could respond, he shot into the air, beginning to fly back to the fortress, stopping just above it and letting himself fall. Something was seriously wrong with him.

Rudy slowly came too in the lab. He looked around; everything had small auras around it, like he was seeing some kind of radiation around it. He looked in the mirror; his clothes were shredded, his hair was gone. His eyes were a deep, sickening yellow while his skin was the same purple as the liquid. His teeth were all razor sharp, like a leeches. He looked at his hands; they were clawed now, with suckers on the palms, each sucker having tiny teeth like a leeches all around it.

He didn’t know what had happened to him. He just knew it was terrifying, and that he felt something.

Hunger.

Clark stormed into the fortress’ main chamber, smashing crystals left, right and centre as he walked through. When he reached BrainIAC, he lifted the mech by the throat, being greeted by a glow of green energy from it, feeling himself weaken as he collapsed to the ground.

“What the hell is happening to me?” Clark asked “Why did I do that to that ape?”

“You’re maturing, Kal-El.” BrainIAC replied “It seems you are to be a warrior, hence your aggression. You require the tutelage of another Kryptonian warrior to help you learn to control it.”

“Shame they’re all dead!” Clark yelled.

“Not all. A small group of them took refuge in the prison known as the Phantom Zone, to escape the cataclysm on Krypton.” BrainIAC said “Give me a week, and you will be able to bring one out via a Phantom Zone projector. A great leader. In the meantime, remove your ring. It appears to be accelerating the process.”

“Fine.” Clark said, removing the ring and crushing it in his hand, feeling the anger subsiding “So, who is this great leader?”

“He was a friend of Jor-El’s.” BrainIAC said “His name is General Zod.”

Rudy walked through the streets of Metropolis. He’d put on a long black coat with a hood, a pair of black leather gloves, and was wearing a scarf around the bottom half of his face, a pair of sunglasses covering his now yellow eyes. He was lucky it was winter, so no one paid him any heed.

That was the last thing he’d need in this day and age. An age where there were men of steel, dark knights and women who gave new meaning to the term ‘screamer.’

He turned the corner into an alley, keeping his head down. As he did, he failed to notice a pair of men in hoodies follow him. He continued down the alley, before another man came out from behind a dumpster, a switchblade in hand.

“Hey, freakazoid, gimme your wallet.” The man with the knife said.

“Phone too.” One of the men behind Rudy said, causing him to turn.

“P…Please, I don’t want an… Any trouble.” Rudy said, his voice sounding deeper, with a slight hiss to it as he struggled to form words, rummaging around his pockets for his wallet, tossing it at one of the men “Th… There’s not much.”

“Too bad for you.” The man with the knife said, grabbing Rudy by the shoulder, turning him around and stabbing him in the throat, watching as a yellow liquid oozed from Rudy’s neck, sizzling as it began to dissolve the coat “What the hell…”

Rudy gurgled as he tried to speak, the man grabbing Rudy’s scarf and pulling it off him, revealing the purple face with the leech like mouth. Rudy looked up at the man, apparently helpless, before a sick grin formed on his face as he leapt at the man, biting into him, eliciting a scream. As Rudy fed, his wounds slowly closed. He finished with the man, then turned to the other two assailants.

“Who’s next?” He asked “I’m sorry, but I’m just so hungry…”

Clark walked into the Daily Planet office. He’d left BrainIAC making the calculations to restore Zod from his refuge in the Phantom Zone. In the meantime, he’d decided to go about life as normal, without the red Kryptonite ring. He’d managed to get through to Pete on the phone, and apologise profusely for the incident at the hospital. His friend had been very forgiving, given the circumstances. However, Clark couldn’t help but worry about if his strength got that out of hand again.

He sat down at his desk, noting Lois’ absence. It was unusual; he had never seen her take a lunch break in the year and a half he’d been at the Daily Planet, and she was very pointed in making sure everyone was abuzz about her going to chase a lead, so that wasn’t an option.

As he thought about it, he looked at his computer, logging in and pulling up the article he’d been working on. A group of gangsters, Intergang, had been apprehended by the GCPD last week, with evidence linking them to nightclub owner Oswald Cobblepot, or as Clark knew him from the files Bruce kept in his cave lair, The Penguin. He’d reached out to the GCPD for comment but got no response initially… Until the Commissioner had ordered the detective on the case, Bullock, to talk to Clark, based on the request from a ‘silent partner.’

He logged into the e-mail account on the computer, pulling up his correspondence with Bullock, quickly typing in a thank you and saying he’d send the detective a copy of the article. He knew Bullock wouldn’t want it, and part of him just wanted to wind with bulky detective up. Bruce had spoke about Bullock on more than one occasion, describing him as ‘a good cop but not a people person.’ Clark couldn’t help but laugh when Bruce had described someone as not a people person, apparently not the first time the billionaire vigilante had got that reaction.

He finished typing, adding the quote from the e-mail to the article before saving it to a PDF file and sending it on to Perry for editing and print. Well, for print; he’d never had to be edited, he never made a spelling or grammatical error, he always formatted it correctly, he was shocked no one had accused him of being too accurate. Well, except Lois, she said it every time, but Clark assumed it was due to her continually being flagged up on spelling, grammar and formatting.

He stood, moving over to the water cooler and getting a plastic cup full, taking a swig before a blue envelope was shoved in front of his face. He turned around, seeing it was Lois holding it.

“Not a word.” She said, grimacing slightly “Just take the card, say thank you and never speak of it again.”

“O…Kay?” Clark said, taking the card and opening it, seeing it was a condolence card “Oh. Thanks.”

“Listen, Smallville, I…” She began, hesitating before saying “I’ve never been close with my dad, and my mom died when I was a kid, but… If you need to talk… Well, I’m here and can listen.”

“And it won’t show up in an article the next day?” Clark quipped, cocking an eyebrow “Thanks, Lois. It’s appreciated.”

“Guys, guys, you’ve got to-” Came the voice of Jimmy, who ran over, stopping in his tracks as he saw Lois and Clark stood there, the card in Clark’s hand “Am I interrupting something? Again?”

“That was an undercover investigation.” Lois said, as both her and Clark turned shades of beetroot, recalling an incident when Jimmy had walked into a honeymoon suite only to find the two of them in a hot tub with a blonde, who’d turned out to be the girlfriend of an Intergang mob boss “What is it, Jimmy?”

“There’s been a murder.” Jimmy said “Reports claim to have seen a monster fleeing the scene in tattered clothes less than two minutes ago.”

“Sounds like a story.” Lois said “Come on, Smallville.”

Lois began to lead Clark and Jimmy out of the office. As she did, Clark snapped his fingers.

“Oh, shoot, I forgot something.” He said “I’ll catch you up!”

Lois shook her head, irritated at Clark’s apparent constant forgetfulness whilst Jimmy just laughed at it. Clark waited for the elevator doors to close before heading for the stairwell to the roof, beginning to run up it as he pulled off his glasses and ripped open his shirt.

Detective Dan Turpin walked down the alley, his messy brown hair covered in a thin sheen of sweat, his gun in hand. He’d been covertly following the creature that had devoured the three street hoods. Coroners had radioed in that they were part of a gang traced back to Gotham, the Red Hoods. If he didn’t get this guy caught, there was a strong chance that the gang might show up in Metropolis, looking for revenge. Especially if the rumours of who their new leader was were true. Gotham and it’s stinking clowns…

He watched as the creature turned a corner, raising his gun as he turned it himself. As he did, the creature smacked the gun out of Turpin’s hand and tackled him to the floor.

“You’ve been following me!” The creature shrieked “You want to kill me! Well, you can’t. I’ll-”

Before the creature could finish it’s threat, it was struck by a red and blue blur, being flung into the wall as Superman slowly lowered himself to the ground. Turpin quickly grabbed his gun, aiming at the creature.

“Stand down, Detective.” Superman said, his eyes glowing red as they often did “I can handle him. Get back to the precinct.”

“No can do, Superman.” Turpin said, aiming and firing at the creature several times, Superman moving quickly and catching all but one of the bullets, which embedded itself in the creature, who gave a primal scream.

“You tried to kill me!” The creature yelled, clutching the wound on it’s stomach as more of it’s clothes were slowly burned away by the yellow liquid oozing from it’s wound “No I kill you!”

The creature charged Turpin, Superman intercepting, the creature grabbing at Superman’s costume, clawing at it, leaving small tears in it. Superman looked shocked, like that shouldn’t happen. As the creature continued to attack, it clutched Superman’s hands, before biting down into his neck, apparently beginning to feed.

As it did, Turpin saw Superman’s eyes slowly lose their glow, and the creature’s slowly gain the same glow. The creature stopped feeding, tossing Superman to the floor, apparently unconscious, before beginning to slowly advance on Turpin, quickly accelerating to a blur.

“This is amazing…” The creature said, picking Turpin up and hurling him into the dumpster before crushing the lid down around the edges “There’s enough of an air hole there for you to be retrieved, if they’re quick. Have a nice day.”

Turpin heard a noise, like something taking off into the sky, waiting a moment before he heard someone slowly shuffling towards him, the sound of metal being forced, slowly but surely, audible before the top was opened, Turpin standing up to see Superman stood there, part of his cape torn off and made into a makeshift bandage on his neck.

Turpin got out, catching Superman as the alien collapsed. He pulled out his radio, pressing the button on top.

“Dispatch, this is Turpin. I need an ambulance to the alley just off of third.” He said, pausing, before saying “Superman is down. Breathing’s shallow, injuries severe. I need an Ambulance and Police escort, now!”

Rudy flew over the city, looking over it. The hunger had actually stopped. Feeding on Superman had satiated it. However, he could feel something in the back of his mind. Like the hunger was slowly clawing it’s way back.

He made an attempt to set down in an alley, instead dive bombing into it, hitting the pavement hard. He barely felt a thing, but noted the yellow blood oozing onto the pavement. Whatever power he’d got from Superman was fading, but he needed more.

“You’re on our turf, freak!” Came a voice from behind him, Rudy turning to see a group of four men, all in tattered suits with red masks, one of them, who Rudy assumed was the same guy, continuing “Get the hell out, or we take you to our boss!”

“Please… I’m so hungry…” Rudy said, feeling his energy slipping away faster and faster “I just need to eat…”

“Oh, well I’m never one to turn away a good monster!” Came a voice from behind a dumpster, a main with bleached skin and green hair, his face in a grin with lines cut further out from the edge of the mouth “Come on boys, clean him up. Harley will give him a good meal and then, well, maybe he can help us with our little pest preparation problem.”

“You heard the boss.” One of the men said, walking towards Rudy and putting a hand on him to hoist him up, less than comfortably, before Rudy put his hand on the man’s, the man shrieking in pain before falling to the floor, dead.

As before, Rudy felt his wounds heal, before turning on the other men, charging two of them and beginning to feed. As he did, he felt gunshots impact him, turning and growling at the final man in the red hood, growling before tackling the man, the gun clattering away. As he finished feeding, he looked up at the clown, his look one of an animal that didn’t want it’s meal to end.

“Run, clown.” Rudy hissed “Or I’ll kill you too!”

“Run? Why would I run?” The man laughed “You know who I am? C’mon, I know my work at that circus three years ago was on TV, you must’ve seen me. Unless you’re another monster man who lives in the sewers?”

“Joker…” Rudy said “Why aren’t you afraid?”

“Oh please, once you’ve faced the Batman, someone like you isn’t even intimidating!” Joker replied, laughing “I might, however, have a little suggestion. Something to our mutual interests.”

“Go on…” Rudy said “I’m listening…”

“You get all the food you want. I’ll take you somewhere for an all you can eat buffet.” Joker said “Imagine the chaos!”

“And what do you get in return?” Rudy asked, tilting his head.

“It’ll draw out Superman.” Joker said “And when he goes down-”

“Superman’s already dead.” Rudy said, looking away with a slight hint of shame with what little Humanity he had left “I killed him…”

“Wowy, then you are good, Leechey!” Joker cackled “That means the next part’s already coming. We’re going to take this city, and when he arrives, we are going to kill the Batman.”

Lois sat in the hospital room. When word had came in that Superman was in the hospital, she’d volunteered to go down immediately. It was funny; somehow, she’d been shocked when she saw him lying there without his shirt. She didn’t know what she’d expected to see, but the appearance of another man wasn’t on the list.

It was times like this she could forget he was an alien. Then he’d take to the sky, fire in his eyes, quite literally, and wipe out a group of killer robots or something like that with extreme prejudice.

Of course, there was talk of there having been a talking Gorilla he killed earlier in the day, but she knew better. He wouldn’t do that. And if he did, he’d had good reason. He was Superman. He stood for truth, justice, all that other crap.

If she was honest, the only other guy who came close to as virtuous was Clark. There’d been a point where she’d thought Clark Kent and Superman were one and the same. Seeing them together had set that theory straight. Though the explanation of Superman having imprinted on Clark’s appearance sounded like something from a bad sci-fi fan fiction, given his nature, she was willing to buy it.

There was a cold breeze behind her. She turned, seeing the window open. She moved to it, closing it. She could’ve sworn it was closed five minutes ago. She turned back to his bedside and almost screamed in shock.

Stood there, black cape trailing along the floor, gunmetal grey armour shining slightly in places, with what looked like mechanical segments on the gauntlets, the long pointed ears on top of his black cowl bringing his height to somewhere between six and a half and seven feet, was Batman.

“Jesus Christ, what are you doing here?” She asked, Batman ignoring her “I’m talking to you, tall dark and brooding!”

“And I’m ignoring you, short, irritating and rooty!” Batman growled back in retort, before elaborating “Call your hairdresser. Your roots are showing. Badly.”

“I know. I called him this morning.” She said “I’m going to ask again, what are you doing here?”

“Checking in on a friend.” He said, turning to her and growling “Leave.”

“You going to make me?” She asked, narrowing her eyes “I’m a black belt, you know. And an army brat! Easily enough to take on some guy in a Halloween costume.”

“Cute.” He replied with a smirk, before grabbing her by the arm and escorting her to the door “Give us five minutes.”

Before she could reply, he slammed the door in her face and locked it. She stood there annoyed for a moment before an idea dawned on her. She smirked before beginning to wander down the hall to the roof access.

Bruce stood over Clark’s bed. He’d forgotten what it was like to see the Kryptonian so weak. The last, and so far only, other time it had happened was on Apokolips over a year ago.

He picked up the chart at the end of the bed, quickly skim reading it before putting it back down. The condition Clark was in was stable, though had some irregularities; he displayed lowered blood sugar and salt levels, dehydration and a complete lack of iron in his blood, though that final point may have been down to his physiology lacking it in the first place, Bruce had never really thought about that before.

Maybe he’d look into the physiological strengths and weaknesses of the other members of the Justice League later, make sure he had notes on how to counter those weaknesses. Or exploit them if need be; always better to be too prepared than not prepared enough.

“You know, it’s rude to sneak up on people.” Bruce heard from the bed, looking down to see Clark smiling weakly at him “You didn’t need to come all the way from Gotham just to check I was feeling okay. Chocolates would’ve been fine.”

“I didn’t.” Bruce said “I was already in the neighbourhood. Have been for the last week.”

“You’ve been in town for a week?” Clark asked “Why?”

“I was tracking someone.” Bruce replied simply, pressing a control on his gauntlet, causing the blades to slide into a position so they were flush against his forearms and his cape slid up into the back panel of his suit “I heard the news over the Watchtower comm. link. Rayner was going to come down, but I told him not to bother.”

“You’re too harsh on Kyle. Cut the newbie some slack.” Clark said with a small grin “Who were you tracking? Big creepy pink guy?”

“No.” Bruce growled “Skinny psychotic clown in a purple suit.”

“Oh.” Clark said quietly as he stood up, picking up the top half of his costume, putting it on “Him.”

“Yeah, him.” Bruce said “He wanted something here in Metropolis. Joker’s smart, he wouldn’t have come here without cause.”

“Maybe he wanted to meet the guy who attacked me.” Clark questioned “God, it was like I was being drained by some kind of Parasite…”

“It wasn’t that. He only showed up today.” Bruce said “I had Robin check the feeds in Metropolis for symptoms like yours. There were three in Luthorcorp earlier on today, followed swiftly by attempts to help them before they died.”

Clark grimaced. Bruce didn’t need to be a psychic like J’onn was to see what the Kryptonian was thinking. It was doubtful that Luthorcorp’s owner, Lex Luthor, would’ve actually tried to help those people. Hell, after his Metallo experiment a couple of years ago, the result of which was now in the Watchtower Prisoner Facility, and the transmission they’d traced from Darkseid to him during the Apokolips invasion, Bruce wouldn’t be surprised if he’d orchestrated this Parasite. After all, he’d never liked people upstaging him, and Superman certainly did that on a regular basis.

“You think Lex is responsible.” Clark said finally.

It was a statement, not a question. Bruce and Lex had history. Their Father’s had been friends, and Lionel Luthor had visited Bruce the night he’d died to congratulate him on his graduation. That night, his jet had gone down, with the pilot having bailed out, only to have had his chute cut. Bruce had tried investigating years later, in his early days as Batman, and all roads led to Lex. There’d never been enough hard evidence for him to act though. Bruce took that as a personal matter, someone having possibly outwitted him. Hell, in a lot of ways, Bruce and Lex were alike, most notably; they were obsessive. However, whilst Lex was obsessed with power, Bruce was obsessed with justice. He saw the fact that Lex hadn’t been brought to justice as a personal affront.

“So what’s the plan?” Clark asked “You’re the one who always has one. Except on Apokolips, I think your plan there was not to come back.”

“I’ll tell you my plan there when we have time.” Bruce said, picking up a surgical tray “First, I want you to hit this. Don’t worry about pulling the punch, my suit has shock absorbers that should counter it enough.”

“Okay, one second.” Clark said, pulling out the drip on his hand and wincing “Guess that hurts, super or not.”

Clark spun quicker than Bruce could see but slower than normal, before punching the tray. A small dent was formed, as Clark gripped his hand in pain.

“I told you not to pull your punch!” Bruce growled.

“I didn’t.” Clark said “And I was slower than normal. My powers aren’t working, not properly.”

“Must be a side effect of Parasite’s feeding…” Bruce said, moving to the window “Come on.”

“What?” Clark asked “Bruce, if I can’t even do any real damage to a tin tray. What if I can’t fly?”

“Clark, who said anything about you flying?” Bruce said, pressing a control on his belt, a line lowering down “I brought a ride.”

“I hate you sometimes, Wayne.” Clark said, rolling his eyes.

“I know, Kent.” Bruce replied with a smirk.

Clark grimaced. He hated Bruce’s Batwing. It was so cramped.

He sighed before grabbing one side of the bar at the end of the line, Bruce pressing a control, both of them being pulled upwards.

As they went out, Lois came in, the glass she’d been using to listen through the door still in her hand. Her face was an expression of shock.

“Oh my god.” She said quietly to herself in shock “I’ve been drooling over Clark Kent and used to date Batman…”

Clark stood in the middle of the warehouse. Bruce was opposite him, the cowl having been removed from his costume. Bruce slowly walked around the room.

“Your powers aren’t working, Clark, so we need to find another way for you to be useful.” He said “Other than bait for Parasite, I can’t think of any way you can help at the moment. I want you to come at me with everything you’ve got.”

“You sure?” Clark asked “I’m still a bit stronger and faster than any Human.”

“Trust me.” Bruce said, a small smirk on his face, Clark charging him, Bruce sidestepping before elbowing Clark in the back of the neck, taking him to the ground “Sloppy. Again!”

“Is this what you put Robin through?” Clark asked, chagrining Bruce again, once again having his strike countered, tasting blood in his mouth “You should be arrested for child cruelty.”

“He’s 19.” Bruce retorted “Again!”

The pair continued the exercise for the next half an hour, each time having similar results, each time Clark getting a little more injured and each time Bruce remaining untouched.

However, each time, Bruce appeared to be moving marginally slower. Finally, Clark charged Bruce, Bruce hardly moving as Clark came running at him. As Clark reached him, he grabbed Bruce by the arm and flipped him to the floor.

“Okay, so your speed’s picking up.” Bruce said as Clark helped him up, Bruce pressing a control on his gauntlet, causing a large punching bag to be lowered “Hit it, hard as you can.”

Clark complied. He swung for the punch bag, hard as he could, sending it flying, embedding itself in the wall. As he hit it, Clark doubled over, clutching his hand in pain. He looked down, seeing it bloodied and mangled. Bruce quickly escorted him over to a table with a series of medical instruments, putting a silver and black device over the hand.

“Your strength and speed might be back, but you’re still as vulnerable as the rest of us.” Bruce said, observing the x-ray being displayed on his monitor “You’ve broken every bone in your hand. Now, it’s already started to heal, but it’s not set properly. I’m sorry about this.”

“About what?” Clark asked as Bruce removed Clark’s hand from the machine before slamming his fist down on it, Clark yelling out in pain.

Jack Marshall sat at his desk in Metropolis National Bank. It was the tail end of a very long day, and he couldn’t wait to get home. He sipped his coffee as he reviewed the work he’d done for the day; a dozen low interest loans, a few mortgages and one high interest loan. All in all, a nice commission coming his way come bonus time.

He closed down his computer, standing up and putting on his jacket. His wife would probably be debating whether or not to call him to complain about his working late right about now, and he was determined not to give her one more reason for the affair they both knew she was having with her yoga instructor. He’d probably be angrier about that. Except her yoga instructor was a 24 year old blonde named Marie who reminded him of his niece.

He began to walk out, being struck in the face by the doors to the bank as he went to reach for them, falling to the floor. He looked up in time to see the man in the purple suit with a yellow shirt and green bowtie with bleach white skin, green hair and a smile cut into his face walk in, smile broadly at him and then shoot him in the face.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a good old fashioned stick up!” Joker said as he walked in, shooting one of the tellers in the chest “Woops, butter fingers! Now, someone please hit that lovely silent alarm. I have a friend who’s hungry for a situation.”

Joker gestured behind him with a maniacal laugh to the figure in the brown trenchcoat that had walked in with him. The figure shrugged off the coat, revealing Parasite, gasps of shock and horror coming from various people.

“Now, here’s what we want…” Joker began as he shot one more teller “I hope someone’s taking notes…”

Clark sped to the Metropolis National Bank, Bruce flying over in the Batwing. Bruce’s computer system had alerted him to a silent alarm at the bank, though all the CCTV cameras were totalled, and the network had been disconnected, preventing them from seeing exactly what was happening. Based on the MO, Bruce was convinced it was Joker.

Clark stopped round the corner, checking his hand. It was healed, Bruce having set it with a series of splints. Clark quickly removed them all. The last thing he needed people knowing was that he was vulnerable at the moment. They had to think he was fully recovered from his trip to hospital.

He sped off, reaching the front of the Bank moments before Bruce touched down. The police officer on duty looked between them, apparently surprised at Bruce’s presence.

“I thought you were nocturnal?” He asked “And in Gotham.”

“Is it Joker?” Bruce growled, observing the surprise on the Officer’s face “That’s what I thought.”

Bruce began to advance towards the bank, Clark flanking him. As they reached the doors, there was a crash of glass breaking. Clark quickly zipped across, moving Bruce aside, the bullet that had been fired out impacting a police car behind them.

“Thanks.” Bruce said gruffly “I made a rookie mistake there.”

“Which was?” Clark asked.

“It’s Joker.” Bruce growled “Expect the unexpected.”

“How do I even do that?” Clark asked, Bruce not answering as he moved to the edge of the door “I can get in and take him out in a second.”

“Do it.” Bruce said, watching Clark speed in, before watching him getting thrown out “Now that was unexpected…”

Bruce looked inside, seeing Joker stood there, Parasite beside him. Parasite tossed the man he’d been holding to the floor, the man’s body withered as if it had been drained.

“Give yourselves up.” Bruce yelled at the two men, Parasite charging up to him and lifting him in the air, Bruce pressing a control on his belt, a clear black mouthpiece sliding up to cover the exposed area of his face “Sorry, I’d rather not be dinner.”

Bruce kneed Parasite in the crotch, the creature dropping him to the ground. Parasite was going through the same thing as Clark in reverse; the powers he’d sapped from the Kryptonian were fading with every moment, and Clark’s were increasing with every moment.

Unfortunately, Bruce had just tipped Parasite off to that. He watched as Parasite sped out, pursuing Clark. Bruce disengaged the mouthpiece, scowling at Joker.

“It’s just you and me.” He said aggressively.

“No, Bats.” Joker said, aiming the flower on his lapel at one of the hostages around him, firing a green liquid at their chest which began to emit smoke from it “It’s just you. You should know by now, I have a rather acidic way about me.”

Joker ran out the back laughing as Bruce moved over to the hostage, yanking their jacket and shirt off in one swift movement before pressing a control on his belt, ejecting the now contaminated gauntlets, leaving his hands covered by the gunmetal grey fabric attached to his suit as he began to press controls on his belt.

“I’m synthesising a neutralizer for Joker’s acid.” He said into his comm. system “Superman, how’re you doing out there?”

“Just peachy.” Clark quipped as he dodged a strike from Parasite “Kind of missing flying right now…”

You can try, but it might not work.” Bruce’s reply came “Get him up high. You can’t fly, but neither can he or he would’ve flown after you.”

“Got it.” Clark said, speeding off, checking behind him to see Parasite in pursuit “That’s it, ugly, keep coming…”

Clark led him up the STAR labs science spire. It was the tallest building in Metropolis, and Clark could feel himself being dragged down by gravity as his speed was slowly reduced by the wind resistance and gravity. He looked behind him. The gap had closed slightly between him and Parasite, but the creature appeared to be tiring.

Clark reached the top, breathing in as much as possible. He just hoped his idea would work.

He waited for Parasite to reach the top before releasing the breath he’d taken, watching the creature struggle against the force of the wind coming from his mouth. As he finished exhaling, he charged at the creature, shoving him hard, watching as the purple creature plummeted to the ground. As the creature was about to impact the ground, a red streak caught it before speeding off into the distance.

“You called Barry?” Clark asked Bruce over the comm. line “Nice move…”

I figured you killed one of his bad guys, he should get to save one of yours.” Bruce’s reply came “The Gorilla was one of his…”

“Speaking of bad guys, you get yours?” Clark asked, the line going silent “Bruce?”

No. He got away.” Came the cold response from Bruce “I’ll let you deal with the clean up, I want to see if I can find Joker.”

The line went dead. Clark sped down the building, looking at the form of Parasite on the ground. There was a large, yellow bruise on the side of his face; apparently, Barry had taken one or more hits to make sure he’d stay down.

Clark moved closer to the building, picking up an empty dumpster and moving it towards Parasite, before picking the figure up and depositing him in the dumpster at super speed. He focussed in on the seam, small beams of red energy coming from his eyes, flickering then stopping. He clenched his fists, getting annoyed, before trying again, this time getting sustained beams of heat, welding the dumpster shut.

“Let’s see if this’ll work…” He said to himself, crouching down, inertia building around him “Up, up and away…”

He hurtled skyward, pulling a U-turn in the air, coming close to the dumpster so as to pick it up before flying straight up. He had a deposit to make at the bank of Watchtower.

Lex sat in his office at Luthorcorp. He could see his private elevator was on it’s way up from the car park. When he knew who was paying him a visit, he’d ordered all security cameras put on a loop of empty corridors and staff at their posts. He laid a hand on the briefcase in front of him. He knew what his guest was coming for; what they’d been promised.

The doors opened, Joker stepping out, his usual manic grin on his face. He moved to the mini bar at the side of the room, pouring himself a scotch. He moved over to the seat opposite Lex, sitting down before putting his feet up on the desk.

“You know, Lexy, when you first contacted me, I was going to tell you to stick your offer.” Joker said, laughing as he added “That’s why I came to see you that day. To tell you I don’t work for chumps anymore. And to give you a face full of acid.”

“Well, I’m glad you reconsidered.” Lex said with a small smirk “After all, I needed a way to test the efficacy of whomever ended up being exposed to the formula that made the Parasite.”

“You’re just lucky you have good scotch.” Joker said with a laugh, nodding to the briefcase “That for me?”

“Yes.” Lex said, sliding the case over to Joker “Two million in unmarked, non-sequential bills, as requested. Why’d you ask for such a specific number?”

“I’ve been thinking of investing in a warehouse for me and some new tools for a young friend of mine.” Joker said with a small laugh “Maybe a crowbar…”

Clark walked into the warehouse Bruce had been using. Bruce had shut off most of the equipment, barring the computer. His suit was in a metal case with a glass front, Bruce stood there looking at the cowl before inserting it into the case as well, closing it before pressing a control, causing it to lower into the floor.

“Thanks for your help.” Clark said “Though I’ll admit the term is one that only applies loosely.”

“Any time.” Bruce replied “I figure it helps to have Superman owe you a favour.”

“I can understand that.” Clark said with a smirk “You know, I probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with Joker and Parasite.”

“I’m not so sure about that.” Bruce said with a wry grin “You asked me what my plan was on Apokolips. Still want to know?”

“Yeah.” Clark said, crossing his arms as he leant against a table “You said you’d tell me.”

“My plan was you.” Bruce said “Or more specifically, Superman. I knew your compulsion to try to save everyone would ensure you saved me.”

“You couldn’t know that.” Clark said “Not even I knew that.”

“Yes I could.” Bruce said “Because I would’ve done the same if the roles were reversed.”

“Says the guy who killed Darkseid.” Clark said with a chuckle, seeing a grimace on Bruce’s face “Something the matter?”

“Yeah.” Bruce said, pressing a control on the computer, bringing up a file marked ‘Apokolips’ “I was tracking the transmission Darkseid had sent, and-”

Before he could finish what he was saying, both Bruce and Clark’s phones beeped, the two of them checking them.

“Well that’s timing for you.” Clark said, spinning on the spot and changing into his civilian clothes “I’ve been told to come to the Planet, got to help with something.”

“I need to go and check something at Wayne Enterprises.” Bruce said “Apparently, I need to sign off on a time sensitive project.”

“Walk you out?” Clark said with a grin as they walked to the elevator to the exit “So, what were you saying?”

“I tracked the location to the transmission, and it came from-” Bruce began, before saying in shock at what was waiting for them at the exit to the building “Lois. What are you doing here?”

“Better question is what’re you doing here?” Lois said with a smirk “According to the call I made to your office, you’re at home working on the Wayne Enterprises charity gala.”

“I had to check on some business.” Bruce replied.

“That involved Clark Kent?” She asked “In a warehouse?”

“Best place for private meetings?” Clark said, shrugging his shoulders.

Lois looked between them before barging through, pressing the control. As she did, her body started convulsing as a large electric current ran through her body. Clark quickly sped over, removing her from the control. She looked at him with a smirk, before removing the top layer of skin from her hand.

“Latex.” She said with a smirk “Immune to electrical charges. Like the ones Batman uses as a security measure on his car.”

Bruce and Clark looked between each other, their expressions worried. Then, without warning, they walked towards her, picking her up and moving to the elevator, Bruce holding his finger on the button as it read the fingerprint before the doors opened.

“Hey, this is kidnapping!” She said as they put her down “I know I found out your little secrets, but-”

“Lois, shut up!” Bruce growled “How did you find out?”

“I was listening to your conversation at the hospital, that was my first hint.” She said with an indignant expression “Then the faint tingling I felt on my finger just then and Smallville here super speeding to get me away from it kind of confirmed things. Especially after Batman and Superman were both seen downtown at the Metropolis National Bank earlier.”

“You didn’t have that conversation knowing she could be right outside, did you?” Clark asked Bruce, who looked away sheepishly, Clark rolling his eyes as he said “World’s Greatest Detective outsmarted by World’s Best Reporter…”

“Aww, you think I’m the World’s Best Reporter?” Lois said, punching Clark playfully in the arm then shaking her hand in pain “Ouch.”

“Man of Steel.” Clark quipped, before turning his head towards the exit “Sirens up town.”

“Go!” Bruce and Lois both said in unison, the two of them looking at each other awkwardly before Bruce continued “I’ll deal with this.”

Clark nodded as the two of them exited the elevator, removing his glasses before tearing open his shirt as the doors closed.

“That is nice.” Lois said, Bruce half smirking at her “What are you looking at? I’m still pissed at you for not calling!”

“Of course you are.” Bruce said, rolling his eyes as he pressed some commands on the computer “Just be aware of this, Lois. I’m going to let you walk out of there. But anything you say, any story that even hints at who me and Kent are will not be published and you will be summarily fired, with zero chance of ever getting a job as a reporter anywhere else, or even as a girl flipping burgers at McDonalds.”

“You’re powerful, Bruce, but you’re not that powerful.” Lois said with a smirk, her face falling as she saw what was on the monitor “You can’t be serious…”

“I can.” Bruce said with a smirk “I just bought the Daily Planet.”

“Asshole…” Lois grumbled to herself as Bruce gestured to the elevator, escorting her out.

Clark walked up to the front door of the house, straightening his tie as he did. He had someone he had to see, to talk to. He paused for a moment before knocking on the door. There was a brief wait before the door opened, revealing a young woman around Clark’s age with red hair, holding her bathrobe shut.

“Lana?” He asked “I’m sorry, I thought this was Pete’s house?”

“Uhm, it is.” She said, pulling a stray strand of hair behind her ear “Actually, it’s our house.”

“Excuse me?” Clark said, surprised.

“Pete, maybe you should come get this one.” Lana said, before gesturing for Clark to come in “You want some coffee?”

“Uh, sure.” Clark said, pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose “Milk instead of cream if you’ve got it.”

“Coming down now.” Pete’s voice came from upstairs, him quickly hiding the tin of squirty cream in his hand behind his back “Clark, what are you doing here?”

“I just flew in.” Clark said with a small smirk on his face, quickly checking through the wall to make sure Lana was away from where they were “You and Lana, huh?”

“Yeah, listen, Clark, I’m sorry, I should’ve spoke to you, I mean, I know how-” Pete began.

“Forget it.” Clark said, slapping a hand on Pete’s shoulder “The split was mutual. She couldn’t deal with my job so we decided to call it.”

“But you’re just a reporter…” Pete began, before a knowing look appeared on his face “Oh. That job.”

Clark walked through to the oak and leather furnished living room, before turning back to Pete.

“So how long have you two been…” He began “You know.”

“About a year.” Pete replied “It started six months after you and her split. I got a call saying she was in town and didn’t know anyone, so we went for dinner and stuff happened.”

“Fair enough.” Clark said with a smile “I’m happy for you, really, I am.”

“Wow, you are such a boy scout!” Pete said with a laugh as the two of them sat down in arm chairs across from each other “So, why’d you fly in?”

“I came to apologise, for at the hospital.” Clark said, taking the coffee from Lana as she walked in and handed it to him “Thanks.”

“Why don’t you go get a shower.” Pete said to Lana with a smile “I think me and Clark need some guy time.”

“Got it.” She said with a knowing grin “Nice seeing you, Clark.”

“You too.” Clark said, waiting for her to be out of earshot before continuing “I know it was an accident, but I acted without thinking, I-”

“Clark, your Dad had just died.” Pete said with a smile “You had every right to act without thinking.”

“No, I didn’t.” Clark replied “With what I can do, with the damage I could cause, I never do.”

“You didn’t seem to think so with that Gorilla on the news.” Pete said, smirking as he said “I’m glad you’d cleaned up your act by yesterday afternoon.”

“Yeah, the Gorilla thing was… Complicated.” Clark said “That’s no excuse, but-”

“Clark, let me ask you something.” Pete said “What do you call yourself when you’re flying around?”

“Superman.” Clark said “Everyone knows that.”

“Exactly. Super man.” Pete said with a small smile “You may have god like powers, but you’re still just a man, Clark, capable of making all the same mistakes.”

Clark smiled slightly. Pete always had been good at cheering him up. When he wasn’t freaking out over Clark catching cars like basketballs. He sipped his drink as Pete began to speak.

“So, what’re you doing after this?” Pete asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Go to work.” Clark said with a smile “I’ve been out sick from the Planet for a couple of days. I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Just need to contact a friend about something first.”

Clark walked into the bullpen at the Daily Planet. He had a pen drive in his hand as he walked through to Perry’s office, putting it on the desk in front of him.

“Kent?” Perry asked “Lois said you were still sick?”

“Lois said what?” Clark asked, pausing “Must’ve been crossed wires.”

“Must’ve been.” Perry said, nodding to the pen drive “What’s that?”

“Something I was working on.” Clark said with a small smile “There are reports on attendance and contributions to support the article, along with a telephone interview I conducted with Bruce Wayne this afternoon, regarding the Wayne Enterprises charity gala he’s hosting. I thought a Human interest piece was a good way to keep myself busy whilst I was out sick.”

“Nice move, Kent.” Perry said with a smirk “I’ll flip it through later, see if I can get you in somewhere on the late edition. You’re still not getting the front page, though.”

“Let me guess.” Clark said “Superman?”

“Batman and Superman.” Perry corrected him, pulling a mock up off of his desk and handing it to Clark “What do you think of the headline?”

Clark picked it up, looking at the headline. There was a picture of him and Bruce stood by a police car in their costumes, apparently when they’d been discussing their plan for dealing with Joker and Parasite. The headline read ‘World’s Finest.’

“I like it.” Clark said with a smirk “It works.”

“Glad you approve, Kent.” Perry said sarcastically “Now get to work!”

“Yes, chief.” Clark said with a smile before walking out of the office and moving to his desk.

“I thought you were sick, Smallville.” Came the voice of Lois from behind him, making him spin in his chair, seeing her stood there with a small smirk “At least, that’s what you told me on the phone yesterday.”

“That was yesterday, Lois.” Clark replied “Today, I feel pretty… Super.”

They both smiled at the joke. After a moment, Jimmy came running in.

“There’s a bank robbery in progress. They’re armed with some kind of… Minigun.” Jimmy said “Sounds like a story to me, Lois.”

“Okay, Jimmy.” Lois said, getting up “You coming, Smallville?”

“Uh, sure.” Clark said, the three of them beginning to walk to the elevator, before both he and Lois said “Hold on, I forgot-”

“Wow, you’re both clutses today.” Jimmy said, rolling his eyes.

“I forgot my purse.” Lois said “Clark, can you run back and get it?”

“Sure, I need my pen anyway.” Clark replied, smirking as the doors closed before he moved back to the desk, collecting the purse and checking his pen was in his pocket before walking into the storage room, opening the window and ripping his shirt open.

Lex sat at his desk, glossing over the reports his people had covertly collected on Parasite. It looked promising. Definitely something he could refine and sell as a weapon. It was going to make him rich. Or at least, even more so.

He tossed down the latest folder, before there was a beeping from one of the computer terminals in front of him. He observed which one, his expression souring. He pressed a control under his desk, his door locking as the windows tinted. As they did, he pressed another button, the green and purple mechanical form of BRAINIAC appearing as a holographic image.

“Your project failed, Luthor.” BRAINIAC said, his tone displaying more disdain than the mechanical voice affected when dealing with Kal-El “Kal-El did not free General Zod as planned!”

“You know, machine, I think maybe you’re forgetting the terms of our agreement.” Lex said with a small smirk “I agreed to help you ensure your General was freed from his, what did you call it, Phantom Zone? In exchange, I want Superman given to me. You’ve made no attempt to provide me with this, why would I attempt to provide you with what you want?”

“Because if you don’t,” BRAINIAC said, his image shimmering and shifting to a duplicate of Lex “I can do it for you. You are not indispensible, Luthor. You would do well to remember your place.”

“And you would do well to remember yours, machine.” Lex said, standing up “I doubt Superman would take too kindly to knowing you’d hi-jacked his little get away.”

“Kal-El is a temporary measure.” BRAINIAC said “Once Zod is freed, you can have him to do with as you please. On one condition.”

“What’s that?” Lex asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Well, that’s simple. Make Kal-El’s death slow and painful.” BRAINIAC said, smirking “Just make sure you give him a threat he’ll want Zod’s help with.”

“I may have a thought on that.” Lex said with a small smile “Leave it with me. It may take some time, but I’ll contact you when it’s ready.”

Without any more to say, BRAINIAC’s hologram disappeared. Lex pressed a control on his desk.

“Mercy, contact the lab.” Lex said “Tell them to start the next stage of Project Doomsday. Call the prototype, I don’t know, something that sounds like a prototype.”

“Understood, Mr. Luthor.” Came Mercy’s voice “I’ll have them start on subject B-0 immediately.”

BRAINIAC moved to the console in the fortress. He moved a pair of crystals to different places, a shadowy projection appearing on screen of a man wearing tattered robes, the outline of a scar over his eye and a goatee on his face visible.

“Why do you contact me, BRAINIAC?” The figure asked, it’s accent similar to that of Jor-El’s.

“I have spoken to the Human.” BRAINIAC said “He assures me that, in time, he will have-”

Enough time has passed already, machine!” The figure spat “When it is done, I expect to be freed immediately. Am I clear?”

“As glass, General.” BRAINIAC said, nodding his head “You shall be freed soon enough, and then you shall crush Kal-El and his adopted world under your boot.”

“Excellent.” The figure spoke, the outline of a smile visible in the shadows “Soon, the Earth and the son of Jor-El will kneel before Zod…”

Luthor sat in his office. He was awaiting an important business call. After his visit from Batman last week, he’d decided to step up plans. Project Doomsday was to go live within the year. Of course, first, the initial test subject had to be deployed.

He’d tested the effects of the Lazarus concoction on Human cells, but today they were exposing it to the Kryptonian cells of subject B-0. He’d only seen the clone once. So similar to Superman, yet some subtle differences. The figure had been given a costume similar to the Man of steel’s, but with a darker colour pallet and an inverted symbol. Something to differentiate him from Superman, to tell the world that this was something else.

Something better.

As he leant back in his chair, there was a tremor. Then another. And another. After a moment, Lex saw something in the distance. Smoke, coming from the direction of the underground Cadmus lab he’d appropriated for the use in project Doomsday. It could never be traced back to him, but it could cause unforeseen complications.

“Mercy,” He said as he picked up the phone “bring the car round. I want to get to the bunker immediately.”

Sure thing, Lex.” Came the voice of his assistant.

Lex sighed. It looked like the wish of his partner to get an adversary for Superman was going to come to fruition sooner than planned.

Clark stepped out onto the roof of the Daily Planet. After the tremor a short time ago, he’d made an excuse about going to the bathroom. He ripped open his shirt, revealing the symbol underneath, before spinning on the spot, changing into his uniform.

He crouched down, before shooting up into the air. He began scanning the skyline, looking for some sign of things. After a second, he spotted smoke coming from down by the docks. He angled himself and shot down towards it, faster than a speeding bullet.

As he got within range, an object struck him at high speed, sending him hurtling into the STAR Labs building. Clark shook his head, slightly dazed; whatever had hit him had hit hard. He looked up at his attacker and gasped.

It was like looking at a distorted image of himself. It wore a navy and crimson version of his suit, the ‘S’ shield inverted. The figure’s skin was white and cracked, as if made of stone. The figure roared before charging Clark, this time having it’s attack deflected as Clark threw it up into the sky, charging after it and smacking it back down to Earth.

“Stand down!” Clark said, his eyes glowing red as he descended to the level of the figure, which was shaking off his attack like it was a bee sting “If I wanted it, you’d be dead already.”

“B-0 like big man.” The figure said, it’s voice deep “B-0 keep you alive!”

“Well, that’s nice, all things considered, but-” Clark began, before the figure, B-0, flew at him faster than a speeding bullet, smacking him into the ground, before firing blue beams at Clark’s chest, ice quickly forming on it “What the-”

B-0 threw him across the city before Clark could finish his sentence, tackling him down into the heart of the city. B-0 spat flame at Clark, Clark taking the brunt of the attack. It was easily as hot as his heat vision, possibly hotter. He stood there, facing down the figure

Kent,” Came a voice over the Justice League communications earpiece Clark had inside his ear “you’ve got incoming. ETA now.”

Clark looked around, before seeing a red and yellow streak hitting B-0, followed by another beige and red streak impacting the figure. The two streaks slowed, revealing Barry Allen and his new partner, Jesse Chambers, or Impulse as they were calling her. Clark was glad to see they’d taken his advice on using the last Impulse suit seen as opposed to the costume design she’d come up with, which had been much closed to Wonder Woman’s; it had sacrificed practicality for style, something which Clark had done himself in the past.

“Thought you could use help.” Barry said with a grin “Impulse, get the civilians out of here.”

“You all the back up that’s coming?” Clark asked, before a pair of glowing green bird shaped shuriken impacted B-0, glancing off him “Guess not.”

“You’re welcome.” Dick Grayson said as he glided down, his cape retracting back into the back plate of his suit “Batman’s on his way, and so’s Supergirl.”

“Good to know.” Clark said, looking at B-0 “What’s he doing?”

“I don’t know, but he should be on the floor in agony by now.” Dick said “Better stay back. That green glow? It’s not aesthetic.”

“Kryptonite.” Clark said “What’s he doing?”

B-0 took the objects, picking them up. As he did, their green glow dissipated, his eyes glowing bright green. A second later, he fired a massive blast of his cold vision at the group, Barry grabbing Dick up and sweeping him away whilst Clark was sent flying. Clark picked himself up just in time to see Kara descending, firing her heat vision at B-0

“Kara, be careful!” Clark called, not before Kara was knocked back by B-0, Jesse making an attempt to catch her only to be sent flying back with her “Damn it! Any other ideas?”

I have one, Kal-El.” Came a voice over the comm. link, this one belonging to his Fortress’ AI, BRAINIAC “Bring him to the Fortress. The Phantom Zone will contain the creature.”

“Got it.” Clark said “Kara, give me a hand!”

“With what?” Kara asked as she came up beside him, her suit showing as much damage as the rest of them.

“We need to get him north.” Clark said “Let’s go!”

Clark charged B-0, tackling him and beginning the flight north. Every time he lost grip, Kara took over, the pair of them juggling B-0 all the way up to the North Pole and the Fortress.

Bruce sat in the Batwing. He’d just left Jason behind at Wayne Manor in Alfred’s care; Barbara was downstairs, she’d keep him there. However, right now, he wasn’t too worried about Jason.

He was concerned about what he was seeing on the display in front of him. That and the comm. line he’d been monitoring. The backup AI from the Fortress had conveniently known what to do to get rid of this Bizarro Superman, after Kryptonite had failed. He had a bad feeling

“Barbara, send me the communications frequency used by Apokolips, and match it against the one used by BRAINIAC.” Bruce said, not taking his hands away from the controls “I’ve got a bad feeling…”

You never talk about what happened that day.” Barbara’s reply came through “Why is that?”

“It was a bad day.” Bruce grimaced “What have you got?”

It’s a match.” Barbara said, her tone sombre “One hundred percent. BRAINIAC is not a part of the Fortress by design.”

“Then I don’t have a choice.” Bruce said, cutting her off before connecting to the Watchtower “J’onn, get down to Earth. Bring the new prisoner, we could use her help.”

You do not have sole authority to have prisoners released, Batman.” Came J’onn’s response “It requires authorisation from at least one other League member.”

“Damn it, J’onn, sometimes you need to break the rules!” Bruce yelled “Computer, activate Watchtower emergency security protocols. Authorisation Batman 1939.”

Authorisation accepted.” Came a computerised voice similar to Bruce’s “Watchtower now under the control of programme Brother Eye.”

“Release Donna Troi. J’onn, you and I can discuss this later, but right now, we need you and Wonder Girl down here.” Bruce said “I hope I don’t regret this…”

Clark threw B-0 down into the Fortress, shattering several of the crystals. As he did, he and Kara shot downwards, landing hard. Several feet away, BRAINIAC’s avatar was working the controls.

“Opening Phantom Zone.” It said, Kara looking at it, her expression one of shock “Kara Zor-El, please remain calm.”

“BRAINIAC?” She said “Kal, do you know what this is?”

“The Fortress’ back up AI.” Clark said, stopping Kara as she tried to charge the avatar, watching as B-0 was sucked into the zone “Okay, BRAINIAC, shut it down.”

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Kal-El.” BRAINIAC said “My master isn’t here.”

“Your master?” Clark asked, suddenly having a bad feeling “What’s going on?”

“Engaging restraint protocols.” BRAINIAC said, crystalline arms descending from the corners of the Fortress and gripping Clark and Kara, bringing them high into the air, holding them in place whilst they began to glow blue “Power inhibitors online.”

Clark struggled, but it was no good. He turned to Kara.

“What’s going on here?” He asked, turning back to BRAINIAC “What’s happening?!”

“Krypton’s reformation.” BRAINIAC said as a figure began to slowly approach in the distance of the Phantom Zone “He is here.”

The figure finally emerged. It was a man, in his late thirties to early forties, wearing tattered robes and a black bodysuit similar to Clark’s, a stylised ‘Z’ on it. The man had a goatee and a scar over his right eye. Slowly, he levitated himself into the air, the blue glow around Clark’s wrist disappearing as he approached Clark, gripping him by the throat.

“Son of Jor-El,” The man said, his tone calm and soft “your time and that of the Earth is over. Now, you and it’s inhabitants shall kneel before Zod.”

Zod backhanded Clark for the umpteenth time. He’d been taking great pleasure in humiliating his former friend’s heir since his arrival, while letting Ursa and Faora play with the so called ‘Supergirl’. There were several of Zod’s followers dotted around the fortress, with more of them flying out of the roof of the structure to begin their mission of subjugating the planet in Zod’s name.

“General, we have incoming.” BRAINIAC spoke “I’m detecting three figures flying in, and an aircraft. An object is approaching at high speed on the ground. Shall I engage defences.”

“No.” Zod said, smiling sadistically at Clark “Let’s show your friends what my rule entails.”

Bruce sat in the cockpit of the Batwing, Dinah in the rear passenger seat. Donna, Diana and J’onn were flying alongside, whilst Barry was advancing from the ground. There were a number of figures flying out of the top of the Fortress of Solitude.

“Clark you idiot…” He muttered to himself “Okay, There are no civilians this far north. We can fight without restraint. The battle plan is-”

Before he could continue, a red beam lanced through one of the Batwing’s wings, the craft going into a dive bomb. Seconds before it hit the ground, it slowed to a halt, Diana setting it down.

“Thanks.” Bruce said as the cockpit opened and he rose “Dinah, I need you to give us a wall of sound. Kryptonians have heightened hearing, it should cripple them. Not as effectively as Kryptonite, but we want something Superman can block out.”

“And Kara?” Donna said as she set down “She’s not as experienced as Superman, she’ll be as vulnerable as them!”

“Acceptable losses.” Diana replied “We need to accept casualties as a possibility.”

“No we don’t.” Barry said as he skidded to a halt beside them “I can speed in, get Kara, and get out.”

“You’re not that much faster than them.” J’onn observed “You run the risk of getting caught.”

“Fastest man alive, remember?” Barry said with a smirk before speeding off.

“Okay then, ladies and gentlemen.” Bruce said, pressing a control, causing a black mouthpiece to slide into place over the bottom of his cowl, his cape retracting into his back plate and his emblem lighting up red “Let’s get this done.”

“Your friends are impertinent, aren’t they, Kal-El?” Zod asked with a small grin “It will certainly make my conquest of this world sweeter.”

“You’ll never win.” Clark spat “As long as any of us are still breathing, you’ll-”

“You presume you’ll still be breathing!” Zod yelled “You are alive merely to witness my triumph, then rest assured, you’ll die with the rest. Starting with those you care about.”

“What are you talking about?” Clark said, as holographic images appeared all around them “Shit…”

The images were people. Pete and Lana at their house in Washington. Jimmy perched on top of a crane taking a photo. Perry on the phone yelling at someone. His mother at the farm, a cup of coffee in her hand. Lois, clearly trying very hard to get past a police road block.

“I have monitored you on the General’s behalf for a long time, Kal-El.” Came BRAINIAC’s voice as he moved into view “We know your every weakness, Kal-El.”

“However, we have a choice for you.” Zod said with a small grin as BRAINIAC presented him with a small box “You can oppose us, and watch them suffer. Or you can wear this.”

Clark looked down as Zod opened the box, revealing it’s contents. An injector with a blue crystal around the end of it.

“Blue Kryptonite. Suppresses a Kryptonian’s abilities.” Zod noted “Makes giving you this… Inoculation, easier.”

“Inoculation?” Clark questioned as Zod put the injector to Clark’s neck and pressed the control on the end, causing the clear liquid inside to be injected into Clark “For what?”

“Your free will, of course.” Zod said as the restraints holding Clark released “Now, son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod.”

Barry sped into the Fortress, running up the wall and bouncing off of it. He reached the main chamber, seeing Clark stood in the middle of it. He skidded to a halt in front of Clark, looking him up and down.

“Great, you’re okay.” He said, pausing “Where’s Kara? And where’s Zod?”

“Up here!” Came a yell from above, Barry looking up to see Kara, suspended from a number of mechanical appendages “Get out of here! And stay away from him, he’s-”

Before she could finish, Clark grabbed Barry by the throat, lifting him in the air. Clark pulled Barry closer to him, a small smirk on his face.

“Look who needs rescuing now.” Clark said, before tossing Barry across the room, sending him hurtling through a number of crystals, as Clark super sped behind him “Too slow, Flash.”

Clark slammed down on Barry, taking him to the floor again before he could regain his composure. He picked Barry up, holding him tightly by the arms.

“I’d say I’m sorry about this,” Clark said, before smirking “but it’s kind of fun.”

He hurled Barry across the room. Barry managed to make contact with the floor, picking up speed, avoiding Clark’s next attack before speeding up the wall, jumping from it to grab Kara and speeding out of the Fortress.

Ursa led the charge of a half dozen Kryptonian soldiers at the Humans. Behind her, the gigantic figure of Non was preparing his attack, his eyes glowing red. He’d began the attack by firing on the aircraft that was advancing, and now, was preparing to crush the creatures that dared oppose them.

“Let’s introduce them to the new order of things.” Ursa said with a smirk, beginning to descend, clocking a red object streaking away “Someone deal with that…”

One of their number broke off, beginning to pursue the streak. As he did, there was a shriek, causing all of them to fall to the ground, clutching their ears in pain. They looked up, seeing the Humans stood in front of them, one of them screaming at the Kryptonians.

Ursa’s eyes glowed red, beams of heat firing from them, barely being blocked by the gauntlets of another one of the Humans. As it was blocked, the glow of the Kryptonians eyes faded.

“Red solar lamp.” Came a mechanically modulated voice, Ursa looking up to see a figure in a large, black suit stood there “Negates your powers.”

“Maybe it negates ours.” Ursa said, smirking as the man picked her up by the scruff of her neck “What about the rest?”

“Rest?” The man asked, looking towards the Fortress, where a man in a red suit was speeding towards them, holding Kara “Where’s Superman.”

“Superman’s gone rogue.” The man in red said “I barely got out of there.”

“Zod used a blue Kryptonite device.” Kara said “Then, he injected Kal with a nano virus designed by BRAINIAC. The blue Kryptonite made him susceptible to it, and the nano virus made him susceptible to Zod’s commands.”

“Damn.” The man in black said, tightening his grip on Ursa “How can we stop him?!”

“Your choice, Human.” She said “Attempt to stop us, and perish, or kneel before Zod and pray he’s merciful.”

“There’s an option C.” The man said, punching Ursa in the side of the head before discarding her unconscious form before pressing two fingers to his ears “Oracle, I need options.”

“Run away.” Barbara said from her seat in the batcave as she stood up, moving to the armoury “I can be there within the hour, we can-”

No!” Bruce replied “Stay with Robin. Me and the League can handle this.”

“And Donna?” Barbara questioned “I know you don’t trust her, Bruce, but you brought her out.”

We needed someone tough enough for a Superman clone.” Bruce said, the scowl in his voice obvious as he asked “I want you to access a file in the auxiliary mainframe. It’s biometrically encrypted to a handful of people, including you.”

“What’s in it?” Barbara asked.

There was a pause.

A way to defeat Superman.”

Barbara walked into the room containing the auxiliary mainframe of the Bat Computer. She moved to the control panel at the centre of the room, placing her hand on the biometric scanner. The room lit up blue as several touch screen interfaces throughout the room came online. She moved to the primary one, pressing a few controls.

Please present voice print for authentication.” Came a mechanical voice.

“Barbara Gordon.” Barbara said “Authorisation: Bird of Prey.”

Voice authorisation accepted.” The mechanical voice said “Welcome, Miss Gordon.”

Barbara pressed several commands on the screen, before a pedestal came out of the floor. After a moment, it opened, revealing a metal box. Barbara picked it up, looking inside to find a metal bangle with a glowing blue rock set into it around the object. As she picked it up, the image of Bruce came up on the monitor.

Emergency protocol one. Subject: Clark Kent. Known aliases: Superman, Kal-El.” Bruce began the presentation with “Clark is arguably the most Human of the League. However, this perception makes it easy to forget he is possibly the most powerful man on the planet. After much research, I managed to find a variation on Kryptonite that only dulls his abilities, with greater efficacy than a red solar projector. Without them, dealing with Superman becomes as easy as dealing with a street brawler. If this option fails, emergency protocol one A is to be enacted. Green Kryptonite will potentially kill Superman, which is why it’s use to restrain him until Gold Kryptonite can be used to remove his abilities. Permanently.”

Barbara looked at the screen, pressing another control. Once again, Bruce came up on the monitor with another pedestal rising from the floor, as Bruce came up on the monitor once again.

Emergency protocol two. Subject: Diana of Themiscyra. Known aliases: Wonder Woman, Diana Prince.” Bruce began once more “Diana is as deadly as she is beautiful. Her abilities, coupled with her fierce determination, makes her an enemy who may even be able to defeat Superman. However, this determination could be her downfall. A specially modified version of Jonathan Crane’s fear toxin is in this gas grenade, which will cause her to hallucinate an enemy that is a perfect match for her. It will last until she is rendered unconscious. Caution should be taken to ensure she is not a threat to those around her when this protocol is used.”

“Bruce, what are you thinking…” Barbara said to herself as she turned and walked out “Shut down mainframe access. Authorisation: Bird of Prey.”

The room darkened back to it’s initial red lighting as she moved to the door. As she got into the main chamber, the batwing came flying in, Bruce exiting the craft as it landed.

“Did you get it?” Bruce asked, his cape retracting into the back plate of his suit as he moved down the steps, before noting the container in her hands “Thank you.”

“Don’t mention it.” Barbara said, handing him the container “Why do you have plans for beating the Justice League?”

“You can never be too prepared. I began working on Clark’s when Superman first appeared, and went from there.” He replied “After the Power Girl incident, and today’s events, I think my actions are justified.”

“I wonder if they’d feel that way.” Barbara pondered, Bruce glowering in response “Relax, I’m not going to tell them. Can you quit the whole Bat glare please?”

“Sorry.” Bruce said, moving back to the batwing as he pressed two fingers to his ear “Batman to Justice League. Begin the operation. I want Superman and the Kryptonians in Metropolis within the hour. Get me Commissioner Gordon on the line.”

Lois slowly backed into the corner of the alleyway in Metropolis. Overhead, a number of figures were flying. She’d had Jimmy hide but, simply put, to do so herself wasn’t in her nature. She was the girl who’d gone out to explore the various military bases her Father had been assigned to in her childhood.

Right now, however, she regretted it, as the red haired Kryptonian woman advanced on her, her eyes glowing red.

“I am Astra, loyal follower of General Zod.” The woman said “I wish to see what I am capable of here, and you will help me.”

The woman’s eyes got brighter for a moment before she screamed in pain. Sticking out of her chest was a glowing green arrowhead. After a moment, a man in a green leather suit with a bow in hand descended from the rooftop above. He moved over to the woman’s body, pulling the arrow out.

“Kryptonite arrow. A literal Green Arrow.” He quipped “Are you alright, Miss Lane?”

“You killed her…” Lois replied “Why would you do that?”

“Sucker for a damsel in distress.” He quipped again, pausing “Fine, Batman sent me.”

“Bruce?” She asked “Did he say anything about Clark?”

“Who’s Clark?” The man asked, before his eyes widened “Wait, Bruce? Wayne? Seriously? That’s tall, dark and brooding?”

“…I didn’t say that.” Lois said, before pointing behind Green Arrow “Behind you!”

He turned round, ducking and rolling just in time to avoid a punch thrown by a large behemoth of a man. The man groaned in pain, eying up the arrow before his eyes glowed red, the green arrowhead shattering into several charred pieces.

“Got another one of those?” Lois asked.

“Nope, one shot wonder.” He replied “Miss Lane, I suggest you run.”

Lois began to object before a figure descended from the roof, wearing a black bodysuit, a glowing red bird on his chest. He pulled a pair of sticks from his back, striking the large man over and over again.

“I’ve got it from here, Ollie.” He said with a grin, the large man swinging and hitting him flying into a wall “Okay, that one hurt… He’s tough even without super powers…”

“Nightwing, heads up!” Green Arrow said, firing an arrow with three prongs on it, each sparking with electricity, embedding itself in the large man and shocking him, taking him to the floor “Two down.”

“Only half a dozen more to go… And Batman’s the only other person with Kryptonite weapons.” Nightwing said “You must be Lois. Nightwing, I’m a friend of Batman’s.”

“He has friends?” She quipped, Nightwing stifling a laugh “Wow, you’ve got a sense of humour. You sure you know him?”

Nightwing grinned before putting two fingers to his ear.

“Yeah, I’ve got Lois. She’s fine.” He said “I’ll have Ollie take her to the secure bunker.”

“Secure bunker?” Lois asked “What’s that?”

“Something for code red situations.” Green Arrow said “You know the situation?”

“Not to be discussed in front of her.” Nightwing said, nodding at Lois “Sorry.”

“So Clark’s involved?” She asked, cocking an eyebrow as she folded her arms over her chest “What’s happened to him?”

“He’s rogue.” Nightwing replied “Batman has a plan, and that’s all I can say. Don’t know who’s listening.”

Before Lois could question him further, Nightwing pulled a grapnel from his belt, firing it and propelling himself to the rooftop above. Lois looked at Green Arrow.

“Come on.” He said “Let’s get you off the streets.”

Bruce flew over Metropolis in the Batwing. He had a plan, but it would need some work. He pressed the control on his console to put it in hover mode, before ejecting out of the jet. He glided to the Metropolis PD building below, Lieutenant Turpin waiting on the roof for him.

“Gordon called.” Turpin said “Said to co-operate anyway we can with you. After Parasite and Joker last year, I figure we might as well.”

“Thanks.” Batman said, moving over to a floodlight “May I?”

“Be my guest.” Turpin said, Bruce editing the angle of the light before powering it on “I see what you did there…”

The light beam went up into the sky, hitting the Batwing and creating a silhouette in the sky of a bat.

“Now what?” Turpin asked.

“Now we wait.” Bruce growled.

“For what?” Turpin said.

“Superman.” Bruce said coolly.

Clark flew over Metropolis. He could see the bait; Bruce had left his jet parked exactly where he needed to in order to create a bat signal. He was calling Clark his way. Bruce had always been reckless, but Clark had never realised he was stupid too.

As he neared the Metropolis PD building, a wall of green line separated Clark from the Kryptonians behind him. Clark looked up, Kyle hovering above him, projecting a forcefield, all around the Kryptonians.

“Sorry, Kyle.” Clark said, his eyes glowing red “But I have my orders.”

“And I have mine.” Kyle replied, pressing two fingers to his ear “J’onn, now!”

Clark looked around for a moment, before J’onn flew into him at high speeds, taking Clark to the rooftop of the Metropolis PD building, before speeding off, phasing through the forcefield.

“Superman!” Clark heard yelled, looking up to see Bruce stood there, the bat emblem on his chest glowing red, his cape retracted into his back plate and a black mouthpiece over the bottom half of his face “Surrender, let us help you!”

“I don’t need your help, Batman.”Clark said with a smirk, firing a blast of heat vision at Bruce’s chest, destroying the red solar generator “Whoops, I broke your toy.”

“Break this one.” Bruce said, dropping a smoke bomb, Clark speeding through it to be greeted by a blue glow, Bruce’s armour in it’s standard configuration “Blue Kryptonite. Disables a Kryptonians powers. With this, you’re just a man.”

Bruce slapped a metal bangle on Clark’s wrist, a mechanical lock being heard clicking into place. As it did, Clark swung for Bruce, who caught his attack, grabbing Clark’s arm and throwing him across the rooftop.

“We’ve done this before!” Bruce said “You can’t beat me without your powers!”

“I can try!” Clark said, picking himself up and charging at Bruce.

Diana grappled with a large Kryptonian man, hurling her through a building before flying after her. Above, Donna was waiting to smack the woman back down to Earth. As she did, there was a pair of red beams colliding above her, Kara and a brown haired Kryptonian woman both firing their heat vision at one another.

Below them, Cyborg was firing his sonic cannon to disorient one of the Kryptonians, while Dick charged the man, his chest emblem glowing red as he struck the man with his escrima sticks. As he did, a trio of Kryptonians were sucked into and pulled down by a red and yellow cyclone. After a moment, Barry and Jesse slowed to a stop, facing down the Kryptonians.

“Hit them hard, hit them fast.” Barry said with a small smirk.

“Try to keep up.” Jesse quipped back, speeding towards the Kryptonians, hitting them with a barrage of punches.

Jesse sped around the Kryptonians, hitting them in sequence. As she did, one lashed out, sending her flying into a wall, knocked out. Barry sped in, creating a vortex. As he did, he dropped an object he’d borrowed from Bruce; Kryptonite.

“Let’s see how you like this without your powers.” He said, speeding up, before slowing down and beginning to fight all three, hitting them faster than they could follow, knocking them out in quick succession “How’s everyone else doing?”

In response to his question, the large Kryptonian was slammed into the ground by Diana, whilst the one Dick and Cyborg were working on got tossed on top by J’onn. Dick looked at Diana’s opponent.

“Hopefully he stays down this time.” He quipped “Me and Oliver kind of already fought him once…”

“He’ll stay down.” Donna assured him “We need to get Jesse out of here for medical attention.”

As she spoke, a large dust cloud hit, the group looking over to see Kara being choked from behind by the woman she was battling. The woman looked up and smirked at the group.

“Surrender or she dies!” The woman yelled, Barry going to make a move “Are you fast enough to reach me before I can break her neck?”

Barry stood, frozen in place. The woman pressed a control on her wrist with one finger.

“This is Faora.” She said “I’ve dealt with the problem and have Kara Zor-El. What should I do with her?”

Execute her.” Came the voice of a man “She has no further use for us.”

“Very well.” Faora said, moments before a large green object impacted her, separating her and Kara as Kyle descended, the large green refrigerator he’d created disappearing.

“Women and refrigerators don’t mix.” He quipped, before creating a large baseball bat “Batter up!”

The bat swung at Faora, sending her flying. As she landed, Diana’s golden lasso was wrapped around her, holding her in place. Dick pressed two fingers to his ear.

“Bruce, we’ve dealt with them.” He said “How’re things going up there?”

“Superman’s putting up a fight.” Bruce replied, as Clark dashed him, taking him nearly to the edge of the building “I’m hitting the trigger.”

He pressed a control on his belt. As he did, he removed the belt, throwing it on the floor before a wave of electricity firing out from it, taking both men to the floor and disabling the lit up sections of Bruce’s suit. After a moment, they both stood up.

“Bruce?” Clark asked “What’s going on? Where am I?”

“Metropolis.” Bruce relied “Damn, this thing’s heavy without the mechanical assisters. That heat blast you gave me hasn’t helped.”

“What?” Clark asked as Bruce picked his belt back up, pressing a control on it, the device on Clark’s wrist detaching, Bruce taking it and putting it back in the compartment on his belt it had came from “Bruce, what happened?”

“Zod and BRAINIAC dosed you with a nano-tech solution, made you loyal to Zod. To be honest, I wasn’t sure the EMP would destroy it.” Bruce said pausing “But that gives me an idea to deal with BRAINIAC…”

“Which is?” Clark asked.

“It worked on his nanobots, if I can get close enough to his primary avatar,” Bruce began “it might work on his program, allow Oracle to upload a virus to wipe him out.”

“And then we can deal with Zod.” Clark said “It’s time to end this.”

Clark set down in the Fortress, carrying the limp form of Bruce. The batsuit was damaged in places, the cowl half cracked off. He set Bruce down on the floor of the Fortress.

“I brought their leader!” Clark called “General Zod, I have won you this war!”

“Have you?” Zod said coolly as he slowly lowered down from his secluded location in the rafters, flanked by BRAINIAC “Because it looks to me like you’ve brought me a man in a costume. BRAINIAC, examine him. Find out what’s so special about him.”

BRAINIAC moved over to Bruce’s unconscious form, his hand shifting into a long, sharp appendage as he did. He moved his arm towards Bruce, slowly bringing the blade closer and closer to Bruce’s skull. Before it made contact, Bruce’s finger moved to his belt, pressing a control. As he did, the Fortress’ lights went dark, BRAINIAC falling apart into a series of nanites.

“What?!” Zod yelled “Kal-El, what is the meaning of this?”

“You made a miscalculation, Zod.” Clark replied, smirking as he said “You didn’t account for the Justice League.”

“Seriously?” Bruce said as he stood up “That’s not your best comment, Kent.”

“I’m sorry, do you want to try something else?” Clark asked “My bad guy, my quips.”

“Just keep him off of me.” Bruce said, making for the console, a beam of heat blocking his path “Kent!”

“On it!” Clark said, speeding up to Zod and tackling the Kryptonian General up through the roof of the Fortress “You’ve threatened my friends, my family, what gives you the right?”

“What gave Jor-El the right to imprison me?” Zod retorted, slamming his fists down on Clark’s head, sending him hurtling to the ground “I was like a brother to him, and he betrayed me!”

“You destroyed Krypton!” Clark spat “I won’t let you do the same here!”

“I saved Krypton!” Zod responded as he sped up to Clark, kicking him through the wall back into the Fortress “It’s council had become corrupt, the bloodlines running it polluted!”

Clark stood up, wiping blood from his lip. It was an odd feeling, fighting someone as strong as he was. He was taking damage the same way any man would fighting another man. That gave him an edge though.

Zod would have the same weakness.

Clark sped up to Zod, ducking under the Kryptonian General’s attempted strike and launching them both up. He had an idea. He just had to hope it would work.

Bruce worked the controls in the Fortress. The EMP from his belt had fried just about every circuit, but he’d done some studying on the Kryptonian technology of the Fortress. Not enough to make him anywhere near an expert, but enough to know there were redundancies. He just had to essentially run a system restore, similar to what he’d had to do when Dick had downloaded a couple of videos to the bat computer a few years back.

Of course, the text on that computer had been in English, rather than the alien symbols appearing on the crystalline interface of the Fortress. He pressed two fingers to his ear while entering the code for who he wanted to contact on his gauntlet.

“Supergirl,” He said “I need you at the Fortress. Now.”

Kara flew towards the Fortress at high speeds, flanked by Diana, J’onn, and Barry on the ground. Behind them, Kyle was fighting a pair of Kryptonians with Donna, whilst Dick had pulled out a variant of his escrima sticks, tipped with Kryptonite.

As she entered the airspace above the Fortress, a large mass impacted her, taking her to the ground. She stood up, facing down one of Zod’s troops. She pressed two fingers to her ear.

“Supergirl to Batman,” She said “I think I’m going to be a while.”

“What’s going on?” Bruce asked “Supergirl, I can use the technology, but I can’t read the interface!”

I’ll be there as soon as I can.” Kara’s response came, followed by the line going static.

“Supergirl?” Bruce asked “Report!”

Not everyone’s a soldier, Batman.” Barry’s response came through “I’ll help out here with the others so Kara can get in.”

“Barry, stand down!” Bruce growled into the communicator “You can’t fight a Kryptonian!”

I can try.” Barry replied, the hint of a chuckle being audible as he added “I’m the fastest man alive.”

The line cut off as Kara came hurtling into the Fortress, touching down beside him. Bruce made for the exit, Kara catching his arm.

“They’ve got it out there.” She said to him.

“They need my help.” He replied “I’ve got the Kryptonite, I can-”

“You can help them by helping me in here.” She cut him off “I can read it, you can hack it. You go out there, against an army of super powered Kryptonians, you’re a liability.”

“You don’t know a damned thing about me!” Bruce yelled “I’m-”

“You’re Batman, we know.” She said sarcastically “But what is Batman? Just a man in a costume! You need to admit that to yourself sometime. Now, you asked me to come help, so let’s do this.”

Bruce growled slightly under his breath before finally nodding, Kara releasing his arm. He moved over to the console.

“Let’s get started.”

Clark exchanged blows with Zod furiously, neither of the two men letting up as cuts and bruises formed on their faces. Zod grabbed Clark by the S-shield on his chest, punching Clark away while holding on to the fabric, the symbol being ripped from Clark as he hurtled towards the ground, impacting it hard.

“You’ve lost, Kal-El.” Zod said “Surrender to me now, kneel before Zod, and I may spare this world.”

“Like you spared Krypton?” Clark panted as he stood back up “Come on then, Zod. Let’s end this.”

Clark charged Zod, tackling the older Kryptonian and pulling him skyward. As they reached the atmosphere, a red aura of heat began to form around them. Clark continued to pull skyward, taking Zod out of the atmosphere and to the moon. He slammed Zod down into the ground, grabbing the General by the head and dragging him around at high speed until they reached the dark side of the planet.

He knew how this would work. He just had to keep Zod fighting at full power here. The more energy Zod used, the faster he would fatigue, the faster the yellow solar energy that saturated his cells would drain. It was something Clark had an edge on.

He’d been on Earth for decades. There was a lot more energy for him to burn.

Zod swung for Clark, his blow being blocked, sending a shockwave hurtling outwards from them, cracking the ground beneath them. Now it was a battle of attrition.

Bruce continued to manipulate the console. Meanwhile, Kara was above him, exchanging blows with another Kryptonian. He was thankful Kara had found a way to convert the interface into English. Now, he was working on the only logical course. Unfortunately, the system was fighting him every step of the way.

BRAINIAC’s avatar was gone, but his presence in the system was still very much there. He made the next move, finding his access denied. He pressed two fingers to his ear.

“Batman to Batgirl,” He began “Do you still have the Oracle virus on system?”

Yeah, but why would you want that?” Barbara asked “It’s not going to help in a fight.”

“It will in this one.” Bruce replied, beginning to tap commands into the computer on his gauntlet “Upload it to me now.”

There was a pause before the file showed up. Bruce pressed a few commands, interfacing with the Fortress computer system and beginning a file transfer. It was a crude attack but effective; BRAINIAC could outmanoeuvre him because it was a machine against a man. When it became a machine against a man and a machine, a whole other ball game began.

After a moment, the Fortress went dark. A second later, it was bathed in a red glow, Kara and the Kryptonian she was fighting falling. Bruce turned just in time to see Dick come swinging in on a grapple, catching Kara mid fall. The other Kryptonian wasn’t as lucky, their blood slowly running along the floor.

“The death of any sentient is regrettable.” Came a voice as a holographic avatar of a man with grey hair and a beard appeared “However, in this instance, an exception may be made.”

“Uncle Jor-El?” Kara asked as Dick set her down “I thought BRAINIAC erased him.”

“BRAINIAC erased my primary program, yes.” Jor-El replied “However, I am, as the Humans would say, ‘hard wired into the system.’ If I am ever erased, restoring the Fortress to it’s base settings will restore me also.”

“You factory reset.” Dick said with a smirk “Bruce, you old dog.”

“Less of the Bruce.” Bruce replied, narrowing his eyes “I’d like to keep my identity secret from some people.”

“Sorry.” Dick replied sheepishly “What now?”

“I can return any prisoners within the atmosphere to the Phantom Zone.” Jor-El replied “However, I cannot detect one escapee.”

“Who?” Bruce asked.

There was a pause.

“General Zod.”

Zod gripped Clark by the throat as he dragged him back to the light side of the moon. He’d been smart, taking the battle there, but he’d also made a fatal error; he’d assumed Zod wouldn’t see through the ploy.

Clark looked towards Zod as he saw the glimmer of yellow sunlight begin to appear over them. He could feel his own strength returning, so knew Zod was feeling the same now. As they reached the light side of the moon, Zod hurled Clark away from him, towards the Earth. Without gravity inhibiting him, Clark hurtled through the void at a greater speed than he had before, hitting the atmosphere hard. As he did, he heard something in his earpiece.

-him into the atmosphere… can do the rest.” Came the voice of Bruce through the earpiece.

“Come again?” Clark said weakly “Bruce, you’re breaking up…”

Static. The line was dead. Clark plummeted down, hitting an ice cap and shattering it as he went under the icy depths. As he came back up, he saw Zod slowly descending.

“You have lost, Kal-El.” Zod said, smiling wickedly “Now, kneel before Zod!”

“I kneel before no one…” Clark said “Not you, not BRAINIAC, no one.”

“Then you will die.” Zod said, his eyes beginning to glow red before he doubled over in pain “What is this?”

Zod screamed in agony as he was seemingly ripped across the sky in the direction of the Fortress at lightning speeds. Clark sped after him, attempting to see what was happening. As he reached the Fortress and set down, he could see; the Phantom Zone projector was engaged at full power.

“You pulled him back…” He said to Bruce “You son of a bitch, you actually did it.”

“It wasn’t me.” Bruce said, adding quietly “And call my mother that again, I will end you.”

“I don’t doubt it.” Clark smirked “If it wasn’t you, then who?”

“It was I, Kal-El.” Came the voice of Jor-El as his avatar appeared “When an entity spends prolonged periods in the Phantom Zone, they gather a degree of background radiation. This radiation can be recalled, along with the entity, at any time. It is a design flaw we were never able to correct…”

“Prisoner recall.” Dick said, smirking “Sounds like a good flaw to me.”

“Indeed.” Jor-El said, pausing “Now, may I have a moment with my son?”

There was a pause before Bruce, Dick and Kara walked out of the Fortress. After a moment, Jor-El spoke again.

“Kal-El, today you have faced a truly dark part of Krypton’s past. I am proud of you for overcoming it.” He began “However, this incident has revealed that the Fortress of Solitude contains a vast amount of dangerous technology. It is for this reason that I must shutdown this structure. Indefinitely.”

“What?!” Clark said “Jor-El… Father, I’ve lost one Father recently. I don’t want to lose another!”

“My son, you shall never lose me.” Jor-El said, his avatar moving to Clark and placing a hand on his chest “I live on always, in you. You have seen my life through your eyes, as yours will always be seen through mine. You shall be able to access my counsel, should you require it, through the command crystal from the Fortress when placed in the ship you came to Earth in. However, the Fortress itself must be destroyed in order to prevent anyone else from misusing it’s power.”

Before Clark could reply, the Fortress began flashing red as it rumbled.

“The self-destruct has begun.” Jor-El said, a crystal removing itself from the central console “Take the command crystal and go.”

Clark paused for a moment. After a breath, he embraced the hologram, his arms passing through it. It was a silly gesture; he knew there was no touch. However, he needed it. He needed the closure.

He pulled the crystal from the console before speeding out of the Fortress as it began to collapse.

…2 Weeks Later…

Clark walked into the bullpen of the Daily Planet. The building had taken quite a beating during the Kryptonian invasion. However, the place had been restored well, not that Clark had seen the restoration. Not that most of them knew, anyway.

Superman had been needed more than ever during the restoration of half the planet, so Clark had been away, under the guise of arranging funerals for two uncles, Joe and Jerry. It had given good enough excuses for him being away, and with Bruce owning the Daily Planet, it wasn’t questioned in a big way.

He moved to his desk in the office he and Lois shared, sitting down. Lois was absent, probably out on some lead. He pulled up a black document and began typing the story Perry had asked him to look into via e-mail. After a few minutes of typing, he looked up, seeing Lois sat on the desk opposite him, a coy grin on her face.

“Morning, Smallville.” She said “Where’ve you been?”

“You know where I’ve been, Lois.” Clark said with the same grin “What’s up?”

“Not much. Just I’ve been thinking.” She replied, standing and moving round to his desk, leaning on it “When the Kryptonians attacked, I was stuck in a lift for three hours. With Snapper.”

“I’m sorry.” Clark genuinely empathised.

Snapper Wilson was a known bigot and misogynist, with little interest in women past what they could do for him. There were rumours about some of his out of work activities, but none were substantiated, and all of them seemed like things that belonged more in the rumours section fo Cat Grant’s gossip column than actual discussion.

“It’s fine, but it got me thinking.” Lois said “When I was stuck in that lift with him, I wasn’t thinking about the innuendos he was making, or the attack outside. I was thinking about something else.”

“What’s that?” Clark asked, pushing his glassed up the Bridge of his nose.

“Screw it.” Lois said, grabbing Clark and kissing him “I don’t do talking about emotion well. More of a do it now or forever hold your peace kind of girl.”

“Good to know.” Clark said, straightening his tie “Is that all?”

“No. I was going to ask if you wanted to have dinner this evening?” Lois asked, smirking “If you tell anyone I asked you, I’ll deny it, of course.”

“Of course.” Clark said with a smirk “Go on then.”

Lois leaned in to kiss him again. As she did, the police scanner in the corner of the room went off.

Armed robbery of First National bank in progress.” Came the voice on the scanner.

“I’ve got to go.” Clark said with a small smirk, standing up and removing his glasses “I’ll see you later, Lois.”

Before she could reply, he disappeared out of the window in a red and blue blur, flying up, up and away.

 

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THE END………..

I might come up with another part of Justice League: United but as of now, the story ends here. Hope you have enjoyed all the parts.

There is will be 2 more posts regarding this storyline. But they wont be any new story. A more redux version of the origin stories in this saga. The redux origins are intended to tie up few side plots within the main stories. ‘The Bats Vol 1: Origin Redux’ and ‘Superman, Man of Steel Vol 1: Origin Redux’ are the titles.

The Story Arc in a chronological order:

  1. Superman: Man of Steel, Vol 1: Origins
  2. The Bats: Vol 1- Origins
  3. Justice League United: VOL 1, Apokolips
  4. The Flash: Fastest Man Alive, VOL 1: Reverse
  5. The Bats VOL 2: Limitless
  6. Titans Together Vol 1: Checkmate
  7. Superman, Man of Steel Vol 2: Revelations
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