Sounds like a plan…
“Screw that,” Guy retorted. “Bein’ a red-headed herring’s one thing, but I didn’t sign on just to get benched now!” He scrambled out of the construct hammock, and went to assist Superman, whether Clark needed it or not.
There’s something buried in Clark’s heart, something which never fights to surface except on this wretched planet, that can’t deny how good it feels to slam fist-first into Darkseid’s face once more.
“How— many— times?” he roars, punctuating each word with a shattering blow of his fist to the despot’s chest, chin, cheek. Darkseid stumbles under the attack, the force of it enough to rattle even Clark’s bones, his ears pounding with the crush of his fists on rocky flesh. Superman’s eyes light with the fire of his rage as he soars a foot above his enemy, the smoldering glow focusing into beams that shoot down at the top of Darkseid’s head. “How many times do you need me to stomp you into the ground of your own planet before you get the message?”
Clark already knows the answer: always once more, as long as both of them remain alive.
Then end this, that something inside whispers— but fortunately, Guy and Kyle’s presence are enough to remind Clark to silence that treacherous impulse. He has to see them, and J’onn and Jason Blood, and Billy home safely. That’s his priority. Not revenge, not revenge.
“Guy, don’t,” Clark insists, holding Guy back as he charges toward the fray, but he understands that it’s personal to Guy, too. “At least let me weaken him first. Find the others. I’ll keep him busy,” he murmurs to both Lanterns as he circles around them in the air before returning to Darkseid. Superman lowers to the ground again and beckons him closer with a wave of his hand. “You wanted a fight, tough guy? Here I am. Let’s go.”
There are few beings in the known universe that can catch Darkseid by surprise, fewer still that can actually hurt him. The stench of Kal-El was unmistakable and immediately recognizable. He had laid out a perfect plan to capture the last living Martian. But some foul creature had shown up and aided his escape. And now he was dealing with two Green Lanterns and the powerful last son of a dead planet.
This was becoming slightly more complicated than he anticipated.
But Darkseid was nothing if not… adaptable. ”Kryptonian” he growled. ”You dare come to my world? You dare threaten me?” The Lord of Apokolips stood tall, his red eyes burning bright. ”Congratulations. You got your shots in. But now, it’s my turn ‘tough guy’.”
Darkseid was a powerful being. His blows could move mountains. Civilizations have been crushed under his heel. But his most deadly weapon existed in his eyes. The omega beams could hue, destroy, kill. They could end the existence of any organic material they touched. Or, if Darkseid preferred, they could inflict pain - horrible, horrible pain.
The twin omega beams burst forth from his eyes and rocketed toward Superman. They took a jagged path, but advanced quickly towards their goal. The Man of Steel braced himself for contact, but the beams took a turn around him.
The Lord of Apokolips could control the path of the omega beams. And their flight towards the Kryptonian was a feint. Turning in front of him, the omega beams shot towards their true target: the red headed Green Lantern.
Gardner raised his shield in time, but the power of the omega beams shattered them. They struck Guy with the force of a thousand sledgehammers. His screams of pain once again filled this room and painted these walls. But the beams did not stop. They flew through him and turned, coming back for more.
As Darkseid walked towards the exit of his throne room, he smiled. ”Come Kal-El. Come with me into the next room. Have your revenge on me. Let your friend die here and we will complete our dance of death, our final battle. Follow me and I promise that only one of us will leave here alive. Or, stay here and save the pathetic Earth Lantern. Your choice.”
Darkseid, the Prophet of Anti-Life and enemy of the Justice League left his throne room. He knew when to beat a strategic defeat. But he was willing to keep his promise. If Kal-El wanted death, he would grant it to him.
“I am sorry” J’onn whispered. “I am so, so sorry.” As his failure bore down on him, the Martian Manhunter made his peace with himself and his ancestors. He prepared himself to meet H’ronmeer.
The amalgamated creature bellowed in anger as it ran towards J’onn. It shared one thought within itself: “Kill the one who abandoned us!”
J’onn looked up from his knees and faced the monstrosity. “I am sorry” he whispered.
The stone wall behind the Martian turned red and began to soften. With a tremendous blow, the wall burst showering heavy rocks at the creature and driving it back. Standing in the rubble where the wall once stood, Etrigan, demonic wings spread wide behind him, opened his mouth wide.
The Demon let loose a torrent of hellfire, burning the combined Martian creature. The fire caused the creature to scream in pain and fall back. “J’onzz!” Etrigan yelled. “Let’s move!”
The Martian Manhunter looked back at Etrigan as Darkseid’s creature began to fall apart into five distinct entities. “I am so sorry” he said.
“Sorry for what?” Etrigan asked before blowing another blast of hellfire in the direction of the murderous Martians. “We’ve got to get out of here!”
J’onn shook his head clear, then leapt to his feet. “Yes!” he said. “Of course! But… how did you survive the -”
“Never mind how, Martian!” Etrigan snapped. “Just move!”
“Desaad!” Darkseid growled. “Open this now!”
“Of course, Master!” Desaad answered. He scrambled to the nearby terminal and began punching in codes. The electrified glass ceiling below began to open - but too slowly.
The separated creature burned. The Martian and the Demon escaped through the hole in the wall. His plan was falling apart. “Shut down all known boom tube transports!” he ordered. “Send a swarm after them! Bring me their heads!”
The parademons watching the show below all took to the air in pursuit. The Lord of Apokolips shot omega beams from his eyes after the fleeing Leaguers. But they hit on stone instead. He seethed in anger at this escape. Darkseid’s fury blinded him to the light and deafened him to the sound of an unknown boom tube opening behind him…
Scanning the area with his eyes and with his mind, J’onn felt it was safe to proceed. He flew silently across the room and carefully landed in front of the mentawave helmet. Nothing was protecting it. It was not under lock and key. It was just… there, unguarded. The Martian was seasoned enough to recognize a trap when he saw one, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. It may cost him his freedom, it may cost him his life, but destroying this piece of evil equipment would prevent it from being used on his friends again. And that was a price he was willing to pay.
J’onn could hear the sounds from the battle begin to slow and fade. This was his chance. Before anyone returned, before he was discovered, he would end this threat. The Martian Manhunter picked up the helmet, held it between his two hands and began to crush, when…
Desaad burst into Darkseid’s throne room, breathing heavily. He had run from the battle. He was a schemer, a planner, a torturer even. But he was not a soldier.
He slammed shut the door behind him and steadied himself on a nearby wall. That was when he saw the Martian, and saw what the Martian held.
“Noooooooooo!” Desaad screamed.
“Good” Darkseid said, walking out from the recessed shadows. He had been able to avoid detection and watch J’onn since the Manhunter had entered. The Martian was powerful, but Darkseid was a New God. And Apokolips was his home.
“Good…” he repeated. “Destroy the device. It is of no use to me now. Desaad has failed me. You will serve me now. You will take his place at my side.”
“What, Master?” Desaad asked, standing straighter.
“You have failed me one too many times, lowly worm” Darkseid said. “You were to gain control of the Martian and use him to gain control of the Justice League. Does it look like you control the Martian?”
“I have never been controlled by any being, Darkseid” J’onn said. “And I shall not begin with you.” J’onn crushed Desaad’s mentawave helmet with his strong hands and blasted it with his eye beams at the same time. The sparks and smoke filled the room.
“No!” Desaad yelled again.
“Yes” Darkseid smiled. “My plan to draw you here worked. I knew your pride and honor would drive you here to right what you felt was a wrong. And now you have done so. Bravo, Martian.” The Lord of Apokolips’ eyes blazed red as twin omega beams shot forth.
The beams stopped short of J’onn and spread around him to form a solid red capsule of deadly energy. The Martian was trapped; escape was impossible. The trap was sprung.
“Great Darkseid!” Desaad said. “We have captured your prize! You have outwitted the Justice League again! We can now -”
*SMACK* Darkseid sent Desaad flying with a powerful backhand. “I will hear no more from you” he said. “Go out and report back to me on the progress of the battle outside with that creature. My new right hand and I have much to discuss.”
Desaad scrambled to his feet and scuttled out the door.
“We gotta go after them!” Guy shouted, but it was too late. The boom tube closed as quickly as it had opened. It took J’onn, Etrigan, and the only functioning boom tube generator, squashing any present hope of following after them.
Zauriel drew his still flaming sword. “No!” he shouted to the Lanterns. “These are soul flames from heaven. No power in the universe could extinguish it! We must-” *poof* The fire went out leaving only his sword in the Angel’s hand.
“Never mind, I guess” he said as he re-sheathed it and looked up at the two Green Lanterns. “So… What do we do now?”
“He is here, my Lord” Desaad reported. “And scanners reveal that he is not alone.”
“Good” the Dark Lord of Apokolips replied. “More souls for me to crush or more servants for me use to my will. Send a squadron of parademons to greet them. Let’s welcome them to Apokolips the proper way…”
J’onn stood tall in his quarters. His eyes burned red with anger and with determination as he used the newly discovered connection to send a message back to whoever was listening on the other end.
“I know what you have done” he warned. “And I. Am. Coming.”
“He knows!” Desaad cried out, removing the mentawave helmet he had been using to connect to the Martian’s sleeping mind. He had received J’onn’s messag loud and clear. “The Martian has discovered us!”
“Good…” Darkseid replied from his throne. “Then he will come to us soon. Your weak plan has failed Desaad. All you managed to do was embarrass a few heroes and excite a few ice birds.” He rose from his seat as the Master Torturer of Apokolips cowered in his Lord’s shadow. “The Martian will now be my true prize. Prepare for his arrival, maggot. The bait is in place. The trap is ready. Now we need only wait for my dark will to be done…”
“As you command, my Lord” Desaad said, bowing and backing out of the room.
“You think to baffle me, you with your pale faces all in a row, like sheep in a butcher’s. You shall be sorry yet, each one of you! You think you have left me without a place to rest, but I have more. My revenge is just begun! I spread it over centuries, and time is on my side. Your girls that you all love are mine already. And through them you and others shall yet be mine, my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!”
Bram Stoker, Dracula 1897
My plans have gone well as of late. My enemies enjoy their “victories” and rest on their laurels. But they do not know the extent of my machinations.
My seeds are planted. My roots grow deep and unnoticed. My pieces are in place. It’s almost time to make my next move. I have been playing this game much longer than my opponents. I know that sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war.
Hmm… What’s next?
bleedredrose said: You should call yourself Roller Dweeby. And NO I’m not joining your roller skate club.
I can sign you up for some quilting club or something this summer instead? It’s either roller skating and punching people in the face, or quilting.
What the fuck is quilting and why would I care about it?
If I get to skate and punch people, then fine. I like punching people.
I also like punching people. Why am I not allowed to do this “roller derby” activity you speak of?
Mia is so mean to me!
Roller Derby sounds like tons of fun! Where can I sign up to do this with you?