Justice League Fanfiction! Chapter 1: The Red Star
The memoirs of Bruce Wayne are regarded as one of the best accounts of the day the gods themselves banded together to combat an apocalyptic evil. 150 years from the day they were written, and a young man uncovers all but one of the journals secrets! The story begins with the tragic origin of the Manhunter from Mars!
"Every day, I would rise from bed with to find breakfast prepared on my nightstand, the sun would peer through the small openings in between the rungs of the curtains, just before my father would part them. The sunlight illuminated the room so brilliantly. My mother would enter, kissing me on the forehead so tenderly.
"Will that be all for you, sir?", our butler and family friend would inquire of my father. His kindness and true care for me and my family's well-being was impressed upon me as a man I could respect as equally as I did my father.
"That will be all, Alfred.", my father would answer, with an inflection that rivaled my admiration of the older confidant I grew up with, and was soon to be raised by. I shall miss him dearly, as I have missed my parents.
Their deaths spurred me to become the man I am today. That night my soul was stained with blood just as my fathers suit, and my mothers coat. The street light above me flickered synchronously with the pulsating ring of the gunfire in my ear. I was transformed into something I didn't want to be. The happiness of my childhood up until that point was purged as if it never existed, nor would continue to exist as my fathers body collapsed onto the cold, wet asphalt alley way.
Their murderer fled with such cowardice. His shadow on the brick wall of the left-hand side of the alley stood tall at a couple dozen feet, but as he made his way to the farther street corner, his shadow shrunk, smaller, and smaller it followed him until it caught up to him in size. That is when I realized he was just a man. No different from anyone else.
It seemed as though hours had passed before I heard the whirring of police sirens. What little comfort it gave me. I was approached by two officers. One of them was particularly nice, while the other was no more than procedural.
At the station, it took no longer than ten minutes before Alfred had shown up. His eyes reddened by the shedding of tears. The consolation his embrace gave me was the only thing that kept me from losing my grip on reality that cold winters night. He was constantly ripped from me, to be questioned by police regarding various legal matters concerning what will happen to me, Wayne Manor, and my fathers company, Wayne Enterprises in accordance with my parents last will and testament.
I felt nothing shortly after returning to the manor. I felt no exhaustion, no hunger, no happiness. The next morning, Alfred entered my doorway, startled to find I had not slept, but sat up in my bed the entire night. The same restlessness that was on my face, was on his. I recalled vividly replaying the memory of one particular morning, in which I awoke to a deathly squealing above me--"
A classroom of young adults, all of sophmoric age, stifled with disregard flared their eyes towards their teacher, attempting to show some signs she had their undivided attention. The teacher adjusts to the next page of the book she is reading. The binding is ruffled, and the pages are yellowed.
"Now we have some pages missing, but forensic records show that the pages were torn from the book not days after they were written. So we are to continue ahead, and try and pick up on the pieces. Afterwards, I would like each of you to give me a summation of what you think the missing pages were about.", the teacher explained to the class.
Their enthusiasm was spent, save for one young man in particular.
"--father's life was always about the challenge of doing right, even when the line between right and wrong was blurred beyond differentiation.
I suppose that notion alone is what has reigned in all those feelings of anger and frustration that have, and still do plague me to this day. To exact revenge would be to tarnish the symbol my father was for this city. I had to raise myself above my petty thirst for vengance. Little did I know it would be the driving force that would lead to the salvation of humankind.
When the war broke out between gods, I knew my entire life was leading up to that day.
The sky cracked open, and hell was unleashed upon us. Those who fought back were the true heroes that day. The fathers that guarded their families from the evil raiding each and every household are the heroes. Each citizen that stood up to our oppressors, at the cost of their lives, are heroes.
Gods themselves fought back, desperately protecting our world from the evil that encroached upon it. They fought back against the harbinger of evil itself. Many of them gave their lives. Their sacrifice will be forever remembered. I shall certainly never forget it. Mankind owes its existence to them. And I was there to witness it all, for I was just a man among gods that day.
This account does not, however, begin with mankind.
Chapter One - The Red Star
Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in all of the solar system, erupted violently. The ground shook, while plooms of fire, and jets of lava set the nitrogen-rich atmosphere ablaze, encompassing the globe.
Nomadic like structures made of a white, porous stone, were scorched black as flames showered from the darkened skies above. The scene was one of horror. Martian beings fled their homes, in an attempt to escape the ravaging fire.
The Martians' appearance was very human like for beings from another planet. With a human like anatomical structure, though the resemblence ended there.
Their olive green skin glowed in the night as the fire rained down upon them. Adults cradled their young tightly into their long and spindly limbs. Large foot-prints scattered through the red sandy dunes, but extended no further then a dozen yards past the collection of dwellings before the trail ended with the charred remains of Martian corpses. Screams and bellows sprang forth from the mouths of the young huddled into their homes still, as tears were shed from their glossy red eyes. Tall shadows of the Martian's elongated heads were cast upon the dome dwellings from the few that remained in the open to defend their homes and families.
Globally, the red planets atmosphere burned like the wick of a candle. The fire hailed down to the surface, enveloping what it may. Any and all vegetation was engulfed into the violent twists and turns of each flame. The sparse pools of water within each community began to boil away as the temperature of the planet ascended to just short of unbearable.
After a time, the down pour of fire ceased, and a loud roar oscillated before every community in the upper hemisphere. One such community, guarded by every male Martian available, prepared for a looming onslaught.
"H'ronmeer has awoken. We are doomed.", one Martian determined telepathically to his comrades, with an ominous assertion.
There were seven of them, all struck with the realization of an impending death before them.
One of the tall Martians was ornamented with a bold red harness, criss-crossing his chest in an "X" like pattern. Nothing more was adorned upon him or his brethren. They each carried no weapons to speak of, clearly prepared for something far more brutal in nature.
The blaze evaporated from the skies leaving nothing but inconsequential fires that quickly burned up what little vegetation was left. The starlight above twinkled in the blood red eyes of the embellished Martian. Before long, clouds of soot once again obstructed the night sky, and the stargazing aliens attention was again focused on the oncoming threat that was making its way atop the ridge that encompassed their collected dwellings.
"J'onn, your sentiment is misplaced.", one of his companions pointed out mentally, refering to the harness wearing Martian.
The Martian known as J'onn gave no afterthought to the comment as he stood guard in front of his own personal dwelling, wife and daughter inside and out of sight.
Both his wife and child were dressed in a dark gown, most assuredly used during the day to collect as much warmth from the sun as possible. Tucked away beneath a stone ledge inside their simplistically arranged home, they prayed for the protection of their husband and father outside.
"Do not cry, my daughter.", J'onn's wife explained, as her daughter sobbed in her arms.
Violent screeches and roars reverberated across the mountainous ranges that secluded this particular set of dwellings. This community was possibly one of the last on the planet itself. The atmospheric fires had no doubt decimated most of the green Martian population.
In the distance, the silhouettes of large beasts could be made out just above the ridge. White as snow, and as feriocious in appearance as a wild animal. They were relatively large creatures, five feet taller in height than the green Martians themselves. Hunched over, they still stood above any Martian. A leathery white epidermis concealed their true skin, like a layer of protection. An oblong skull, with many protruding ridges down the center of its forehead joined to a large spinal column, with every vertebrae down its back noticeably jetting outwards. At the back-bone, a wide tail swung down around their heels. Standing on their three hoof like toes, both legs from there assembled a digitigrade stance. Each white Martian's musculatory system was not unlike the green Martian's, or human's for that matter, of course excluding legs and tail. The white Martian's physical prowess was plain to see in their brawny physique. One white Martian in particular held a burning torch in his brutish arm, with razor tipped fingers clinging around the soft wood handle, a material that is rare and prized upon Mars. The burning of the wooden torch displayed that in light, a white Martian's skin is glossy, with a translucent property that unveils it's internal structure and circulatory system. The vicious looking Martian opened its jaw revealing razor sharp teeth as it belted out a bloodcurdling battle-cry. Dozens of white Martians raced past the torchbearer, ready to further decimate the green Martians in a civil war on Mars.
The skies, fully concealed by the clouds of soot, began to rain down ashes over the planet. J'onn stared upwards as the sight was reminiscent of a snowfall, something mentioned ambigously by Martian ancestors long gone. He placed his hand outward, trying to catch the falling ash between his long, slender fingers. As the rapacious white beasts approached, J'onn and his fellow green Martians rushed towards them.
One green skinned Martian engaged his brutal adversary by leaping onto its upper body. His arms became intangible as he clasped his hands together inside the large beasts skull. He soon removed his nearly invisible arms, and they regained their tangibility. The white Martian fell to the soot covered dunes, in a catatonic state of mind. It was essentially incapacitated as the blankets of ash collected onto his brain-dead corpse. J'onn displayed similar instances of unique ability as many white Martians fell to the six green warriors of Mars. These exemplary bouts did not continue, however. The white Martians' numbers soon doubled, and before long, tripled. The beasts raged closer every second to the homes of the green men, and their loved ones inside. Many pale beasts attempted to lunge their way over the brigade of green Martians. A seventh Martian hung back from the battle to properly guard the dwellings. In his panic, he lept behind a dome dwelling, leaning up against it in cowardice. Assuming a virtually invisible guise to conceal his prescence, the green Martian showed no symptoms of the same unwavering bravery his companions demonstrated.
Visible on the horizon, more white Martians stampeded over an adjacent gully in the east, between the mountain sides. J'onn and his five companions felt the brunt of the white Martians' violatile force. One particular green warrior had tried to remain intangible for most of the brutal confrontation. He showed signs of extreme physical and mental fatigue, soon losing all focus to maintain his advantage over the pale beasts, he collapsed. In his last moments, his eyes lit up a tantalizing red. J'onn and his companions all experienced a flush of emotion as the dying Martians memories were transferred to them. The white Martians then swarmed the green warriors all but unconscious comrade. Ear-piercing shrieks of pain rang out from the Martian as the colorless beasts frenzied around him. He was torn limb from limb, dying a horrific death, though his companions had hardly the time to even acknowledge his demise amidst the raging battle.
J'onn grappled with multiple white Martians. He shape-shifted his left arm, wrapping it tightly around the throats of two beast simultaneously. The beasts swung their arms, brazenly repelling J'onn, but no sooner did the white Martians fall over dead from asphyxiation. Several more pale brutes collided with the harness wearing green warrior. J'onn's red eyes glowed brilliantly as the three other beasts dropped dead from an apparent psionic assault. An ability the other green Martians clearly lacked, or at least weren't trained to use in such a way.
The warring raged on. Before long, the strain of defending the white Martians became too much for the green Martians, save for J'onn and one other. Weak from the constant back and forth, two of them succumbed to the ghastly beasts and were devoured in moments. A third green Martian used the last bit of his physical abilities to stop a white Martian who began to leap towards the dwellings not fifteen yards away. Changing his form into that of a gruesome figure, he latched onto the white Martian in the middle of the stagnant, ash filled air. With no more than a jerk of his vice like grip, the white Martian was split in two as orchid colored blood stained the soot laden ground. Extremely weary from taking on such a drastic, gruesome form, white Martians coverged on him at such an opportunity. He befell their cruel intentions while he slowly reverted back into his true form. Defying each white Martians bloodthirsty assaults for a time, he could hold them off no further. Before long, only three green Martian defenders were left.
The rampaging white Martians from the eastern mountain ranges were nearly upon green skinned Martian's settlement. The two green warriors were intently embroiled in the heat of the battle, and completely unaware of the second group of ferocious beasts approaching. One white Martian in particular raced towards the dwellings from the side, far ahead of any of the other murdering monstrosities. The trembling green Martian cowering behind the dome shaped dwellings dripped sweat as he struggled to retain some semblance of invisibility, despite the crippling mental strain. Several white Martians encompassed the community of homes. One such beast, in close proximity to the disguised Martian, began to breathe heavily through its small nostrils. It tasted the sweat in the air, soon hunching over the hidden Martian who was leaning against a dwelling. The white Martian dwarfed the cowardly soul. Stricken with fear, the green Martian could not hold his imperceptible guise any longer. His leathery green skin came into view in a mere second, though the white Martian showed no air of surprise, knowing of his concealed presence as soon as he picked up on his scent. Instantly, the white Martian's large hand gripped the face of his fearful prey, crushing his skull under the tremendous force. Blood dripped from the green Martian's mouth as he was tossed to the side.
J'onn meanwhile, fought with an intensity unmatched by his adversaries or his comrade. As soon as two or three crowded around him, he knocked them back several feet with superhuman swings of his fists. In frustration, one white Martian charged towards him. J'onn quickly evaded to the side, grappling the beasts large forearm, and slinging him into the cluster of white Martians edging closer around him. One such pale beast lunged swiftly above the blockade J'onn and his comrade. J'onn instantly lept in above the meet the massive creature, appearing to levitate as he gripped the reptilian like tale, as he slung the beast downward at a deathly velocity. The air flow from his plummit sent ash flying in the air, obstructing the vision of the white Martians temporarly. The other green Martian attempted to fly upwards also, but he encountered much greater difficulty as he lifted twenty feet from the plooms of ash in the air. His hands and legs shaking from the clear mental focus such a feat required. As if the white Martians picked up on the novice warriors uncertainty, a ravaging beast vaulted from the dust clouds below. With its mouth open, it sunk its razor sharp teeth into the leg of the startled green Martian. J'onn could only watch, before soon re-engaging his attention to the oncoming white Martians as the ash began to settle once more. The white Martian snatched the green warrior from the air, as he no longer had the concentration to remain floating above the brutal creatures. His death was no less gruesome than those of his other fallen friends.
By this time, the encroaching white Martians from the east began to invade the green Martians' homes. Frightened gasps could be made out as the women and children inside were soon the next victims of the merciless white Martians. Screams echoed from within the dwellings. J'onn turned in horror to see the white monsters pillaging his and others' homes. The advancing white Martians capitalize on J'onns momentary paralysis. They charge him from behind, knocking him to the ground, as a multitude of white Martians pile onto him. Many claw, and bite at him as he struggles for freedom.
"My'riah!", J'onn yelled out, to the top of his lungs.
With an abundant amount of weight atop him, he still managed to fly upwards, unimagineably enraged. Many colorless beasts lose their grip and fall back to the dusty surface, while others still cling to his legs and sides. J'onn places his middle and index fingers against his temples, as he focuses with unbelievable intensity. The mental stress was clear when his eyes began to glow a blindingly bright red. Veins popped from his head and neck, muscles tightened and flexed. In a matter of seconds a mental shockwave blasts from around him. The white Martians still holding onto him fall to their deaths from the lethal mental discharge. Various thuds occur rapidly as the pale beasts below die from the psionic attack. All across the planet, white Martians are killed, victims of J'onn's mental retaliation. J'onn slowly descends, before passing out and falling to the ground, unconscious from the intense cerebrial assault. His red eyes leaked blood from them, as well as his eardrums and nose, staining the ground around him.
The ash continually falls, covering the scene a quarter inch every half hour.
Half of the planet was veiled in the grey ash clouds. Over a foot of ash had collected since the intial eruption of Olympus Mons.
J'onn awoken, dazed and confused. Almost six inches of ash fell from him as he lifted himself up, intially stumbling as he tried to stand. He coughed violently for a few moments, evacuating the acrid soot from his lungs. Slowly regaining his mental faculties, he raced for his home not twenty-five feet away. Inside he found a couple dead white Martians. Fearfully, racing for the sleeping chamber, he spotted the bloodied bodies of his wife and daughter, both murdered by the white Martians. He screamed out loud enough to echo past the nearby mountain ranges. Falling to his knees, he grasped their bodies, hugging them tightly as tears wash away the blood stains from his cheecks. Their bodies were noticeably cold, having been deceased for some hours at this point.
An hour or so later, he emerged from his dwelling, and mentally read out for any survivors, not just in his local settlement, but across Mars itself. He got no reply.
Every Martian upon the face of Mars was dead, except for J'onn J'onzz. He is the last of his kind.
Three months earlier
Dozens of green Martians gathered around one another, each adorned with pale blue robes. They uttered vocally with an air of reverency that placed them above other Martians. Inside a massive stone structure, they were positioned around a circular table, one made of a regal wood. No chairs were placed around it, however.
Their gathering seemed anything but leisurely.
"What are we to do?!", a Martian asked with fear in his voice.
"The prophecy speaks of H'ronmeers annihilation on the eve of Mars' end."
"Tremors, however infrequent, have been occuring in these past few seasons."
"Quiet!", one Martian requests of the group, further stating, "There is no true proof that the white Martians will attempt such a brazen assault."
"'The white devils will usurp the land, killing all in their path. H'ronmeer shall quake and gush forth a mighty veil. The skies will blacken, and the waters will boil. Fire will consume what the white devils fail to destroy. Mars' one true race shall perish', hasn't the prophecy already proven itself?", a slender green Martian quoted.
"Our scrupulousness shall be our doom! Not some superstitious heresy!", another Martian declared of the prophecy.
"Manhunter J'onn J'onzz, what are your feelings?", the apparent group conductor inquired.
"What are we to lose from airing on the side of caution?", J'onn stated rhetorically, "However, what are to do in preventing the prophecy, if it be true?", he continued, addressing their true obstacle.
Silence filled the room as the assemblies members looked at one another.
"My brother is correct. Our decisions are irrelevant, what shall be, shall be. We can do no more to prevent such a disaster than we could cause the skies to rain down water!"
"Both J'onn and Ma'ale'fek present a good argument."
"Then it is decided. We will not be reconvening until after the fall harvests. I hope to see you all once more.", the Martian leader declared.
A robotic humanoid stood guard at the circular rooms exit. As the Martians departed this chamber of discussion, they positioned their robes into the arms of the ten foot robot. Assembled with materials not unlike titanium, the android seemed well built. A noticeable trait of the robot was its glowing blue eyes. There were hardly seems in the metal covering him, yet his movements were smooth, and flowed with an articulation as if it were alive.
"My creation is truly a marvel, is it not, brother?", the bulky green Martian known as Ma'ale'fek proposed.
"Its construction was not exclusive to you.", J'onn replied, removing his robe, revealing his red harness underneath.
"No, it was a group effort by the science guild, through the stern dedication of myself, and others. Tor has uses far beyond our imagination.", Ma'ale'fek responded pridefully.
"I would hope.", stated J'onn as he glanced back at Tor, the robotic Martian holding the ceremonial robes.
"You doubt me, brother? Tor is indestructible! Made from the precious Martian elements from beneath the sediments of our past, he shall exist after our descendants are long gone.", the enigmatic brother of J'onn J'onzz described.
"You, my brother, are a novelty. The one Martian in existence to be absent the mental root of telepathy, and it seems as though that if I could probe your mind, my confusion would still have no resolve.", J'onn determined boldly, but with an inflection of jest in his voice.
Ma'ale'fek was dismayed by the remark relating to his mental inadequacies, rebuttaling ambiguously, "Brother, you cannot begin to truly understand me. What is considered a malformity among our race, is alternatively a blessing in disguise."
J'onn J'onzz began his journey home, back into rural mountains in the west. Ma'ale'fek on the other hand, stood between the stone pillars at the assembly buildings exit. All other Martians had long departed, leaving Ma'alefek to stew on the conflict previously discussed.
Many hours had passed. Ma'ale'fek's attention was directed just above the large round table. The air felt heavy, as rays of light peering in from dilapidated ceiling twisted and distorted. Suddenly thunderous rumbling echoed throughout the structure. The stone roof began to further crumble, as large chunks fell down upon the sacred table. One large boulder in particular cracks the solemn wood at the tables center. A dark portal ripped open above the table, wrapped in a pulsating white light. Ma'ale'fek expressed no surprise, or fear. Instead, only a smile graced his face.
A hulking figure forges out of the portal. Stepping onto the prized ceremonial table, the sound of his footsteps reverberated throughout the chamber.
Sturdily built, his appearance was incredibly powerful. His arms were thick and strong, with an upper body to match. His skin was like that of a rough stone, with various cracks and dimples. Around his head a helmet securely conformed, covering all but his face. A sleeveless garment wrapped around his powerful abdomen. Further down, a thick silver belt fixed around his waist attached to his front and back, a loincloth between his legs that extended down just above his knees. Underneath the cloth he wore thin black armor, fitted tightly around his legs. Gloves made of a peculiar material, akin to an animals hide masked his hands, part way up his forearms. Thick and durable boots fit uniformly up to his knees. As the light from the portal dissipated, the dark blue color of his attire became apparent.
His eyes illuminated red, while embers escaped over his strong brow.
The sound of stones grating against one another emanated from the intimidating figure as he inquired of the green Martian, "Have you located what I had requested, Ma'ale'fek?", his voice boomed.
"Yes, my ruler! H'ronmeer is soon to decimate the land. The white Martians will attack when it does! This is the Anti-Life Equation!", Ma'ale'fek answered, with misplaced pride.
The menacing being snarled his upper lip, "You pathetic waste of flesh. You misunderstand the brilliance of Anti-Life. Only by bringing a worlds population to its knees, will the Anti-Life Equation reveal itself." he spoke, incredulous at the green Martians ignorance. "Now that the events are set in motion, I no longer require your services.", he continued.
Ma'ale'fek had a cold sweat come over him. Before he could even plea for mercy, the ruthless figure's eyes burn from a bright red, to a searing white before red hot beams shoot from them. Ma'ale'fek turns, attempting escape. The beams bend in mid air, twisting and turning as they reached the frantic Martian just before the exit. They incinerate his midsection, as he falls to the ground gasping for air. He dies a moment later, as blood pools from his abdomen, and around the titanium feet of the android, Tor.
The portal above the table re-opens with a thunderous roar, and the malevolent being leaves the same way he came.
At J'onn's home, in the western valley, his senses became overwhelmed. His mind was flooded with the memories and hopes of Ma'ale'fek, his brother. At that moment, he realized his brother's true nature and the grim motions he had set into place. He knew that his brother was now dead.
1951, Boulder, Colorado
"Let us commend Laura Kay Erdel to the mercy of God. For she lived a happy life, joyous and loving. As a wife and daughter, she will be missed dearly as she enters into the gates of Heaven.", a fervent Catholic Priest declared solemnly, Bible in hand, at the head of a casket covered in a few bushel of flowers. To the Priests right, and left were only a handful of people. One man in particular grieved with the intensity to make known how great his loss was. Joining him was an elderly couple. They three were undoubtedly the husband, and parents of the deceased woman. Surrounding them were only a few other relatives and friends.
It was a cloudy, cold morning as the casket and the passed loved one inside was lowered into her final resting place. Tears drained from the eyes of her husband, while others could only offer their deepest sympathies to him.
"We therefore commit Laura's body to the ground, Earth to Earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.", the saddened Priest proclaimed.
As the burial concluded, the few friends and family offered Saul their deepest condolences.
Returning home, Saul felt the overwhelming fear of isolation, as the house was dark and quiet. The silence, the abscence of his wifes cheerful greetings on his return home from work consumed him to the point of a near mental breakdown.
That night, he laid down in his bed, all to himself. He wept for many more hours until the soothing summer rainfall lulled him to sleep.
The Earth fractures. Cracks seep globally, west to east, pole to pole until a dense quaking rattles humanity to the breaking point. Saul makes a mad dash down his neighborhood street, living no more than a quater mile from the heart of the city. The sun parts the clouds, shining blood red rays down upon the world. The sky surrounding turns as dark as an abyss. The stars above blinked their last comfort of light as even the reddened sun is overwhelmed by the darkness. Saul, frightened beyond belief, glances in every direction at the incredible sight. Visibility was next to none before the sky lit up once more by an ominous white hue that swirled like the veil of a curtain twisting in a near circulation formation. Before he can even begin to fathom what is happening, he is startled by the presence of someone in front of him. Bypassing the intial shock, he recognizes who it is.
"Saul, I'm so sorry.", Laura, his deceased wife says to him.
Befuddled by her presence, he stumbles with his words and emotions as he attempts to grasp her around his arms with joy and confusion. He never seems to have the will to move a muscle. Standing there, tears trickle down both of their faces.
"W-What is happening?", he asks in a curiously calm tone.
"You have to build it, Saul.", replys Laura, coldly.
"Build? Build what?", he pondered with emotion, as the sky cracked and rumbled violently.
"Build it with your heart, my love.", his wife responds with a dose of overwhelming sadness.
"I don't understand--", Saul begins, as the quaking above nearly drowns him out.
"I love you.", she states sweetly as she is nearly inaudible by the thundering roars.
Saul runs towards her, arms spread as she shatters before his eyes, like a window pane when a rock flies through it. So unnerved by this, he drops to the ground in such emotional pain that the noise around him seems to stop. Time itself stands still. The buildings flashfoward and crumble around him, the asphalt roads bubble and melt away. The planets vegetation is a set ablaze. Truly, it is hell on Earth.
Saul Erdel raises his head to see two red suns boiling the Earth to a barren wasteland.
Lunging outward, he stumbled in darkness. A feeling of pure detatchement set in. Crippled by fear, he could bearly move. Minutes passed before he saw the innocent, pale moonlight from a window. He had fallen out of his bed from the apparent night terror. Drenched in sweat, he breathed heavy sighs of comfort and thanksgiving as he stood, looking out from his window beside his bed. He soon noticed the whole time, he had his wifes Bible from her nightstand clutched tightly in his hand.
Dr. Saul Erdel, an astrophysicist, a man of great knowledge began work on a vacuum chamber he had constructed from almost scratch. By ionizing particles with gamma radiation he had built what the rest of the universe is now aware of to be Zeta Beam technology. Dr. Erdel is a man of science. In his tireless work, and needless perfection of his studies, has grown to be quite a lonesome person. Avoiding human interaction as much as possible, he is the epitome of self-isolation. On-lookers would almost ponder that it is more of his preference to be alone. Dr. Erdel is misunderstood in a sense. At least he feels that way.
Saul Erdel was of short stature, and in his sixties. And he was going to soon have some unexpected company.
His laboratory was lit by fluorescent lightbulbs, which gave the room a dull and depressing glow of yellow, accentuated by the blank white walls surrounding Dr. Erdel. Such an enviroment does not lend itself to a proper outward appearance, but more that of a prisoner in a chamber. Dr. Erdel seemed quite comfortable in such a place, though.
He connected the last of the cables to a circuit board that housed one single switch. A switch that will activate all of his efforts for the past four years. He pauses for a brief moment to take in the gravitas of his next move, and flipped the switch. The vacuum, seven feet wide, twelve feet tall, and of a round circumference is suddenly jolted by multiple bolts of electricity spreading around the tube faster than that of cracking glass. The electricity emitted a ambianced hue of blue and curious sparks of green and red throughout his laboratory. Such things might frighten the average person, but not a scientist, not one as passionate and devoted as Saul Erdel. His eyes widened in amazement and bewilderment. He was obviously not expecting such a light show. A surge of electricity, like a bolt of lighting, blasts through the glass door of the vacuum chamber. Dr. Erdel can feel the pressure from the vacuum release around him. Suddenly, the electrical pulses almost appeared to crawl out of the vacuum and whip out around his laboratory. One bolt thrashed towards him, striking instead the circuit board in front of him, essentially destroying it and preventing him from shutting off his dangerous machine.
Dr. Erdel shows a visible paleness of fear, that clearly has him in its thrall. The vacuum chamber seems erratic and unstoppable. The ionizing tubes at the top of the vacuum appear to leak smoke or some cloudy vapor that rippled down to the floor, billowing around the room and rising. From the inner top of the vacuum, to its base, a blinding white supercharged beam pulsated causing intense vibrations and shaking in the lab. A chalk board falls, along with various scientific equipment placed upon adjacent counter-tops. The lights flickered briefly, and then go out altogether, with only the electrical pulses illuminating the room.
Schematics pinned to a bulletin board show in the glowing irredescence of the electricity, that this vacuum tubes intended use is actually a teleportation chamber with a coordinance set on Mars.
The beam in the vacuum tube revealed cracks in the white of a shadowy nature and are soon outlined in an obvious figure of something that shattered all of Dr. Saul Erdel's preconcieved notions of humanity and its singular place in the universe. Dr. Erdel huddled down behind the desk that once held the working circuit board.
A nine and a half foot figure steps out of the tube. Its cranium is like that of a humans, exaggerated and elongated, similar to the ancient Incas, who would reshape they're offsprings skull to give an exaggerated cone effect. In Dr. Saul Erdels quick glance at this creature, he particularly noticed it's protruding forhead, almost giving it the appearance of horns. It's blood red eyes lend only further to its sinister appearance.
Dr. Erdel heard it speak, "You have done well, Er'del.", it uttered in a deep reverberating tone, that seemed to have no point of origin, but rather it was coming from everywhere at once.
The scientist felt a faintness overpowering him. He clutched his chest, noticing a numbing sensation and a constant tightening and loosening of his muscles. He tasted almost a tinge of copper in the air. He was having a heart-attack. As Dr. Erdel began to fall over onto the dark, cold concrete floor, the creature which Dr. Erdel assumed, and correctly, to be of Martian origin lunged towards him. It lowered him softly to the ground, as if to prevent injury from his intial fall. The Martian gave an air of concern for Dr. Erdel, but this did little to comfort Saul at this point. He was becoming weak, and was dying. The Martian seemed aware of this.
"L-La--", Saul attempted to say.
The Martian spoke again, "I am sorry, Saul Er'del.", but this only frightened Dr. Erdel more, until finally, he became still and passed.
The Martian rose, after gently laying Dr. Saul Erdel to the floor, and conveyed a sense of remorsefulness by hanging his head low at his nearly ten foot height.
With the laboratory vacant off all Earthly life, the Martian made it his mission to become accustom to this new world. Upon leaving the science facility where Dr. Erdel performed his astounding experiments, the Martian became bewildered by the snow on the ground, and its subsequent free-fall from the clouds above. The being steps underneath a street light, and his full appearance is revealed.
He had a humanoid figure, and his skin was a olive green color, textured similarly to leather with many protrusions parallel to his hip joints and extending protuberances along the elbow and shoulder joints. Situated around his shoulders and sides is a red harness. It is J'onn, the last son of Mars.
He raised his hand to catch the falling snow flakes, as many slip through his four long, slender fingers that had swollen looking bends. A sight he was familiar with. One snowflake begins to melt in his hand, and he sees something he hasn't seen in a very long time; water. Cars began to drive down the road parallel to the science facility, so J'onn took on the form of Dr. Saul Erdel quickly.
He walked down the side of the road for over a half an hour, before a passing motorist pulled to the side.
"Need a ride?", the courteous man asked, after having rolled down the passenger side window of his 1944 pickup truck.
"Yes.", J'onn stated blankly in the guise of Dr. Saul Erdel.
"What are ya doing out here?", the hospitable man wondered as Erdel got in the passenger side seat of the truck.
"My automobile broke down, and I needed to get home.", Erdel spoke plainly.
"And where is home?", the motorist inquired as he pulled back onto the darkened road.
"Far from here.", J'onn, in the form of Dr. Erdel, answered with wistful sentiment.
Several months later
The resounding burst of a gunshot rung out in a poorly lit storage facility.
The room was quite expansive, but it felt very enclosed as crates and boxes were littered about with almost no organization. Lamps dangled from the sixteen foot ceiling at sparse intervals.
"Did you get a look at em', John?", a man dressed in a trench coat and fedora, with a fine suit underneath, asked of another outfitted similarly.
"No. I can hardly see a thing in here.", John explained.
The other man reached under his trench coat for a Colt Official Pistol from his holster. Inside his coat, a detectives badge gleamed in what little light the room had.
"John, the chief will have your head on a silver platter for not carrying your gun with ya.", the anonymous Detective whispered of his partner.
"You would like that wouldn't you, Richard? Besides, I don't need one.", John humored, just before both Detectives jerked into the direction of a quick passing shadow.
"So I've heard.", Richard replied. "You flank to the right, and I'll corner h--", he continued, stopping mid sentence at the sight of John darting off into the darkness in wild pursuit of the perpetrator. "John!", he whispered with exclaimation.
John saw the silhouette running from him, and had enough time to notice his tall stature, as he could see him above the various stacks of boxes and furniture, twisting and turning down the different cramped aisles. Before long, the maverick detective realized he was losing ground on the perpetrator. Stopping in his tracks to watch as the shadow squirmed down tight passageways near the southwest corner of the facility. Like a ghost, John ran through a considerable amount of stacked boxes. Vanishing through one side, and coming out the other, he soon cornered the panicked trespasser, and tackled him to the ground. During the scuffle, the intruders weapon had been dislodged from his grasp and tossed across the room. The trespasser jerked around on the floor before his gaze was frantically set upon the eyes of John as they turned red as blood. Richard arrived just in time to see his bold partners apprehension of the armed crook.
"This the burglar?", Richard inquired of the criminal.
"The pockets full of stolen personal affects from the boxes in here seem to point to that.", John determined, pulling small trinkets and jewelry of varying value from the perpetrators pockets, while his eyes transitioned back to a normal brown color.
Terror stricken, the gun toting delinquent stammered out nothing more than syllables after looking into the scarlet red eyes of his captor. John handcuffed him, as he and Richard lifted him up from the ground.
Stepping out of the storage facility, perpetrator handcuffed, the two detectives placed him in the back of their undercover Hudson Pacemaker police vehicle. John was awestruck by the clear night sky above. His attention was specifically directed at the red glow of a star in the south. With his back turned toward his partner, John stifled a sob as his eyes turned blood red for a moment.
Richard took notice of his stargazing, and commented, "Man, that star is red!"
John's eyes returned to a normal brown color before responding, "It is not a star. It's Mars."
"Really?", Richard questioned rhetorically. "John Jones, you're just full of surprises.", he jested.
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