BATMAN VS SUPERMAN - Fan Fic BY: Anil Rickly (Part 1): Brothers at Arms

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN - Fan Fic BY: Anil Rickly (Part 1): Brothers at Arms

The Dark Knight vs The Man of Steel...
Part 1 of the legendary battle that has sparked debates for decades...WHO WILL WIN? This sets us up for a finale...that no one will see coming!!! No one!! One will rise...One will Fall!!!

FAN-FIC: By Anil Rickly

Luthorcorp Headquarters – Campaign Central
Thursday 4th March 2010
9 am
“Today Ladies and Gents, I am in awe…and honoured to be cast as the new Secretary of Defence, not only will I be more hands-on, proactive, and practical, but my pragmatism is there, boasted of…learnt from…sullied and tweaked…by my horrendous past. But over the past few years, my work, my missions, worldwide – the UN, Interpol, right here in USA…capturing criminals I once worked with…building the SUPERMAX prison…as a dominant fortress of fear, not solitude for all these heinous fiends and criminals of society…shelving these deviants…and housing those captured by our human arms of the law…all this has proven to be my jaunting calling in this life, it is my purpose, I am reformed, reborn, I am there to seek Justice. The likes of Metallo, Toyman, Joker, Bane, Freeze, Dr. Light, Grodd, Shade, Mad Hatter, Parasite and so many more…all arrested and sent to SUPERMAX…for LIFE! Truth, Justice, Freedom – the AMERICAN WAYYYY! These criminal masterminds were apprehended not by these so called Gods…these Martians, vigilantes, masked crusader who dare not register nor sign up with us the legal way…these higher than authority super-powered heroes…they were not taken by the Justice League…but by Lex Luthor…and the CRISIS taskforce…our arms and protectors here in America!”

Superman’s Fortress - *
Clark Kent was as angry as he could get. He and Lois Lane lay wrapped in each other’s arms in his Fortress…till Clark ignored her advice. He left her on the frozen bed…under the yellow ray heaters that made it just comfortable for them to rest after their rendezvous, and he stepped out the confine…and switched on KAL-L’s monitor, the main Display Unit, here at his Fortress…where the cold was null…as Clark grew heated with this speech on screen…and what grew from anger to irate…to pure rage…was caused by the thousands and thousands flocking to the streets of Metropolis, cheering on and supporting the man, the wicked mind whom just over 4 years ago escaped life imprisonment, and used his pardon not only as a means of charity, humanitarianism, but also an entrepreneur, and master of the universe…and took these means…and to all doubt, Luthor did good…he actually did good on his promise…to be a better human being…and help the poor and downtrodden of this world prosper. Clark felt angry with himself for hating a man who did good…but he knew deep down, Lex would never change…or could he? The JLA was more or less relegated, so to speak, to cosmic, galactic duties…after Watchtower went online a few years ago, they did all the work of wrapping criminals to prison…but since Lex signed up and enlisted with the US Defence Force, they were all mystified at how efficient Lex was at sending his former allies, escapees and those on the run, to the slammer. Clark was sure Luthor betrayed his fellow criminals…but he couldn’t lie…Clark admitted…the entire JLA…even the man in the cowl…that Lex would soon be responsible for ridding Earth of a large majority of villains. His CRISIS taskforce was the Earth-home version of the JLA, with soldiers and trained specialists around the world, engaged in combat, they even defeated super-powered villains, as Lex trained and equipped them properly. Some of the JLA even grew envious. But the JLA remained…and now Clark saw the inevitable – the new Secretary of Defence, Lex Luthor. He stood smiling with his pearly whites, grinning, fixing his red and blue tie in a taunting manner. The people had not turned on the JLA, but they accepted Lex…and Clark could not admit which hurt more. He’d rather them turn on him than love/adore Luthor. Lois was worried, as she hugged him from the back, not for too long as he was radiating heat, for she knew that which lay below the steel surface – Clark was jealous – Lex was doing the JLA’s work…and the acclaim followed.

Gotham City, Wayne Manor – the Batcave*
Bruce Wayne, the Batman, sat in his chair, in disapproval…but as usual, his demeanour was quiet, calm…cool even. But his silence was deafening and spoke infinite volumes. Alfred was polishing the cave displays – where we saw the young Jason Todd suit, Dick’s old Robin garb…and the old Bat-girl setup…and Alfred viewed them with a twinkle in his eye. But his adoration was broken with the simultaneous sound of Wayne’s fist pounding his control board…and the rip-roar of Metropolis.
“It’s a public holiday Alfred…that isn’t even Metropolis…. that’s Americans from all walks of life…coming to hail this madman!” he scowled.
“Well Master, he reaps what he sows, Sir.”
“Till he uses his forks and hoes and tractors…and his workforce…to the point where they run dry, bloodied…and when he gets all that he could out of the land, then it’s time to move onto other glories Alfred.”
“Ever the cynical, Master Bruce”
“No, Alfred. Ever the wary!!!” he replied in a grim manner as his unmasked face showed stubble and a wear that echoed his disapproval of this media circus on-screen.
Suddenly, he jumped to his feet…
“Mercy Graves here…. on KYX-9…huge explosions have rocked different areas and points of Luthorcorp complex…the meeting is under attack…there’s smoke…rubble…bodies…blood…..”
“Bogeys coming in – Look Alfred…They are under threat…quick…gear the Tumbler-Jet…en route to Metropolis…and throw the Ritalin in case company gets outta hand…”
“Right Away, Sir!”
Batman slapped his belt on…and swiftly entered his jet…as Alfred tossed him an extra utility pouch…and he manned the controls, and with Alfred looking on, the jet shot out the runway…Destination: Luthorcorp.

Clark was frozen as Lois tugged at him. He was in shock as he saw soldiers descending and attacking CRISIS. Lex was running for cover…
“The innocents Clark!”
His hesitation stunned them both…as Lois yelled pointing to the explosions and firing and loss of life staining the Metropolis area. Luthor’s men were overcome by the surprise attacks…
Before she could raise her hand to slap him, he was gone…and the ultra-sonic whoosh ruffled her hair…and she thanked God.

Lex and his bodyguards were scrambling as they entered the protective halls of Luthorcorp. Suddenly, the leader of this attack unit descends via jet-pack…and neutralizes Lex’s entourage…and fires shots which Lex evades…but his female bodyguard takes the brunt chest-on.
Shots and fires, explosions and bullets are raining…as Batman fires his missiles at the 2 submarines that have docked at the Bay, where the attackers seemed to be coming in from. But the enemy jets quickly followed suit, and Batman realised that he needed to put the subs down…so he quickly set the self-destruct button, and shot the jet at the subs, and upon splitting in 2…the jet blew the subs to oblivion…and Batman was pissed…the lives lost…even the attackers…were something he wanted to avoid…but it was clear…these men were gunning…hard…for Lex…and any thoughts Bruce had that Lex was goading Superman, were erasing. But he had not breathing time, for as the smoke cleared…the remaining jets targeted Batman…and within a blink, they were split open and the villains ejecting to the Bay. All that Batman saw was a red-blue blur flashing through the city and neutralizing the enemy. Superman suddenly sped into Batman’s view,
“Sorry for taking so long but there were jets and subs en route…but they’re all down…mashed apart…and tied up…loose ends!”
“Well we gotta find Lex!”
“See to the remaining soldiers and enemies out here…I’ll find Luthor!”
And before Batman could finish, Superman sped away like a bullet…and Bruce saw attackers still on the streets trying to rally the troops…and he knew that there was work to be done…Batman’s work.

As Lex lay crying, bloody…holding the dead Tessmacher…his lover…his friend…his protector…the Leader approached him…and placed the gun to Lex’s temple.
“She was the only one who never lost faith in me! You killed her…you beast. You filthy dog…murdered her as if she meant nothing to the universe…as if her soul would evaporate into a petty cloud!”
Before Lex could continue his tirade, Leader shot him in the arm…
“Luthor, we are simply repaying you for all your past crimes, all your past sins…as it was in the past, so shall it be done in the future Luthor. Know this…We are Fury.”
“You ar-a-are..nuh..nuh..nothing,” Lex stuttered as shock kicked in seemingly. Lex roundhoused the Leader but he dodged, then shot a fist to Lex’s stomach, and a gun-butt to Luthor’s temple…and brought Lex right down to his initial knees.
“We are legion…for We are many!” as Leader aimed at his temple.
But Leader could not breathe nor whisper as he saw Superman in front Lex…holding the gun from his hand.
“That’s not how we do things around here,” Superman softly treaded.
He looked at Lex who coughed up blood.
“Why are you saving him Superman? He killed thousands with his machinations, his duplicity, his grand schemes!”
“And he went to trial…and served his time!”
“Then you are no better…you are a traitor…you deserve 31 pieces…of silver…for yours is more severe…with no kiss…but with a fallen, coward fist!”
And with those words, Leader slammed his fist into Superman’s chest repeatedly. Superman was shocked as these blows landed hard…and then the face-punch slapped Superman across the room into the hall, then a kick launched him through a wall. Superman couldn’t even blink when a flurry of fast-paced punches reined down on his head…this guy was super-fast…Superman was shocked…but before Leader could drop another blow…
Superman’s right hand went to his stomach…and straight through, revealing circuitry…Leader was a cybernetic organism. An android? A cyborg? Superman got smacked with a ray from Leader’s shoulder…and he fell to one knee.
“What are you?”
“I am the product of Lex’s old experiment. A failed one…which has come back to haunt him…you think John Corben was the first he built? He built more beforehand, all failures…but he didn’t think I would escape…he didn’t think I’d make a life…pass off as one of these humans…and assimilate a team…for revenge…WHILE YOU HEROES PLAY GOD AND WATCH LEX’S ANT-FARM…WE WERE THE ONLY ONES…LEGION ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO HAD THE GALL TO DO SOMETHING…WE WILL CHANGE THIS WORLD WITH ONE BULLET…THROUGH LEX’S TEMPLE…”
“Not as long as I am here!”
“Fool…extra-terrestrial buffoon…you think Lex has ended…stopped waging war on you…his greatest enemy…fool…you should be thanking me Superman…for what I know…makes me the knight of this chessboard…” as Leader opened his palm to display a holographic video…
Superman was in disbelief…what he saw shocked him…he viewed Luthor’s lab…a lab…filled with weapons…kryptonian powered guns, swords, bullets…rays…missiles, knives…a vast array of Kryptonian weapons, and the only reason could be…to kill Superman. An arsenal meant to kill the last son of Krypton.
“It can’t be…”
“You gave him benefit of the doubt…asinine…he plots for you Alien!
“It’s beneath us…the lab!”
“I ascertain you x-rayed the base of this complex…and you would find the entire sub-ground level…lined with lead…the armoury of these weapons…right beneath our noses all the time…and you could not even find them. You owe me gratitude!”
“No…we can’t…killing him is not…it’s never the answer…he must face justice…trial…”
“FOOOOLLL…and history will repeat itself. It is bunk and the autobiography of madmen. Rich get richer, poor gets killed…do you not see…we must purge this world of him…Lex must die…we cannot bury him, for evil men always find shovels to dig with…he must burn in hell!”
BOOOMMMM! Superman was stunned in the explosion.
Superman blew away the smoke as he fell to the ground, and his eyes opened to see the incinerated remains of Leader…he was reduced to ashes…as Lex stood behind him with a laser cannon…and a wry smile…of pure intent…and evil…a grin that begged to the Devil himself.
Before Lex moved an inch, Superman had him jacked off the ground…by his throat was he collared, and he gagged…whilst laughing…spit foaming out his side-mouth. He was gurgling…so Superman loosened his grip.
“It’s over!” Superman grinded as he pounded his fist through the foundation of the floor…and dragged Lex down with him into the last level…underground…but when they sank, the room was large…and empty.

“Where is the arsenal?” WHERE LUTHOR?” Superman yelled as his patience grew thin.
He dropped Luthor to the floor…and Lex cunningly chuckled.
“So it seems…my p-p-plan comes to no fruition…or is this it…coming…full…perfect…circle…HAHAHA…an elliptical orbit perhaps Superman. Our tango continues! You really think you could anticipate my moves…my deviations…my schemes…on this chessboard, you are all pawns, I am King. That assassin who tried to shoot me…is a mere rook…look around…I am always 3 steps ahead of you Superman…you can’t even find my arsenal…not on your best day. You think I am that naïve to leave my glorified hilt…my means to eliminate you…here? Please, give me credit, glory I deserve, that which was once here…is tucked safely away Alien…tucked away for a rainy day. On that day, I will gut you, your family…and all other aliens on Earth…just as your planet, just as your people…was gutted…into obscurity and oblivion…the loins of despair…and cast you into the empty, vast nothingness…of time…of space…of reality!”
Superman flinched…
“Argghhhhh….” Lex curdled as he was off-ground by the throat again. He saw rage, fury, fire…in Superman’s eyes…he saw DEATH… “You’ve never been able to do what’s right fool…same mistake that clown made with the Joker…yo-yuh…could never ki-killl me-mah-meee, could yah Superr-man?”
And with that, Lex’s tie sprayed a red mist…into Superman’s face.
“An ole trick learnt from Joker”
Superman stumbled back and back, fell to his knees...and coughed…sneezed…his eyes watered…
“That’s acid mist…burning into your skin…through it…it’s concentrated in dosage…it’ll burn and enter your bloodstream…my version of the Red-K Ebola Virus…it’ll penetrate your nasal passage, your eyes, your ears, your throat, your inhalations of every drawn breath cancelling in your sycophantic lungs…your blood is now red…red with kryptonite…. I’ve infected you…this Red Kryptonite is in your blood now…this concentration is too high…so that should give us a few seconds again…Lights, cameras, action…show us all what you really are Alien!”

Lex took off sprinting…with a slight hobble.
“Run…he’s turned…everyone take cover!” he yelled to his guards who came to his aid, but now were in a quandary as they saw Superman slowly stomping to their direction. His eyes were bloodshot and his fists clenched. The soldiers do not stand down…as they try to give Lex cover and ample time to run, but Superman uses everything…cold-breath, heat vision…and speed…to nullify them all. The squadron leader tries to use grenades but Superman tosses him through a wall, and smirks. The grenades go off…and Superman is slightly distracted by the fire he sees, but his super-hearing tells him of Lex’s footsteps…and his x-ray makes Lex a running target as this crow flew. All soldiers are damaged and Superman quickly grabs Lex to harm him, by the waist, and as he lifts Lex…he snaps his arm with his index and thumb…
Lex screams in agony and torture….
Superman has him as a ragged doll and throws him through a pillar, and rubble falls onto Lex. He is bloodied, battered, bruised and wounded badly. Superman scoffs. The scene is grimy as Lex is limp, broken-handed…but still whispers as he knows Superman will hear…
“Cameras…set you…up…footage…show…you…killing me…tricked…you…when you...k-kill…me…I…die…m-mah…martyr…but you…become…tha-tha…the…villain”
Superman growled as he put his hands together to form a fist-hammer…
“I don’t care…as long as you die LEXXX!”
But before his hands crashed and crushed Lex’s skull; Batman shot his batarangs to Superman’s head…they exploded and sent Superman about 20 feet away in a cloud of smoke. Superman is livid…and shoots eye lasers which Batman slithers away from every time...

“Do not rob me of his death!” and he runs to swing at Batman, who barely ducks the punch…and Batman uses his super-taser…and shocks Superman, who stumbles…and Batman, knows his kicks and punches are no good against steel, thus uses his weapons and grenades to pummel Clark. But Superman is resilient, grabs and bear-hugs Batman…crushing him…stifling his rib-cage…suffocating…and then drops Bruce on his back-side before flinging him into the ground. As soon as Batman drops, Superman’s hand is at his throat…red-hot and burning…choking Batman…
“You protect him? He wants to make me a scapegoat…he wants to frame, to alienate me…and you fight for him? My laser eyes will burn your skull!”
“…urkk…I fight for justice…”
“You take leave now Batman!” Superman eerily whispered.

And Bruce dropped a capsule on the ground, which sprayed tear gas…
Superman never let his grip go, but as his eyes watered…and blinked…he felt a pierce into his right shoulder. He was stabbed…and he dropped Batman…stumbled back a few paces…and fell to his knees…
Bruce had stuck the weapon Alfred gave him in the cave…a Kryptonite syringe hidden in the lead fragment of his cowl…into the shoulder…a rare item that would pierce Clark’s skin…and liquid kryptonite…green…flowed through the bloodstream…Bruce wondered if this untested dosage would be enough…to quell and subdue him…or would it kill him? Then Bruce saw the unfamiliar red in his eyes disappearing…and surmised that Superman may have been influenced by something else, Red Kryptonite perhaps? But it was all in thought, as Bruce watched Superman pass out…unconscious…and he saw Luthor a few feet away…eyes closed…with a smirk on his face. A solemn lullabye it seemed, fitted to the fallen Man of Steel.

Luthorcorp HQs
Friday 5th March 2010
7:19 am
“And here we are today folks, it seems that special motions have been approved by Congress and the Senate have unanimously made it clear that Superman will go on trial within the next few days for the attempted assassination of Lex Luthor, whom he tried to kill yesterday, after many assumed he was part of the efforts to thwart the attacks by what is now being labelled, the Liberation Front of America, or Legion as their soldiers believe. The LFA terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 139 people yesterday, bystanders included…and with the innocent count and civilian casualties quickly determined since yesterday outside here of Luthorcorp – where Metropolis PD and CRISIS are worked hand-in-hand to alleviate the damage since mid-day yesterday, and as we can see Luthor also used his tech and influence…along with aid of the US ARMY to clean up here!” Mercy Graves fluently and eloquently perpetuated on the TV. Propaganda had been spread. Superman was going to be charged with the attempted murder of Lex Luthor and as a co-conspirator with the LFA.

Watchtower, orbiting Earth – *
“We can’t crack it, the footage is doctored or un-doctored to perfection, it seems he set his cameras to follow Superman’s heat signal…they locked onto him…and him alone…so they showed all his actions,” Oracle retorted over the screen. Batman was on his Cave PC along with J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, and they were fervently trying to ascertain the damage done. Batman was furious, and not to mention wounded, with his lower body wrapped tightly. His breathing was laboured, as he grew frustrated.
“It seems that maybe, just maybe, Lex has gained the utmost upper-hand in this one Batman.”
A young Asian lass, slim, draped in black and white, appeared in Watchtower as the control room door slid open,
“It seems that we are at a dead-end! We cannot prove that Superman was infected with Red Kryptonite. The room underground, we tested it, and there are no remnants…not a single trace of Red K, and the samples Superman agreed to let us and the ARMY docs at STAR LABS draw…they showed no signs of any Kryptonite…none at all.”
“Dammit…Ray’s work was right!” Bruce yelled
“Calm down Batman,” J’onn pleaded over the airwave.
“Well, as Atom’s work revealed…and as you I am sure knew Batman, if there were any Red K absorbed in Superman’s bloodstream…when you injected him with the calming syringe of Green K, that more or less filtered throughout his entire system, and the Green particles counteracted and completely…sorry to say…neutralised any Red in his system.”
“Dialysis huh Hoshi?” Batman whispered, “and the fact that he recovered so quickly shows that he had Red K in his system. Cuz if he didn’t, that would leave a high concentration of Green K in his blood, which would have still kept him sedated even as we speak…may have even killed him…but because the Green K was busy battling the Red K…they counteracted each other…and all the Kryptonite in his system…both colours…were used up…null and void…hence why he’s pacing up and down in his cell!”
“We know what happened Batman…we assume we know, but we can’t prove it…and if we can’t use Science to prove it…what are we gonna…use magic?” Oracle chimed in.
“Well…we couldn’t if we wanted to…neither science nor magic…we’re in trouble here…and we don’t even have the Justice League to help!” Batman gritted.

The footage was shown worldwide, looping repeatedly, and it all but showed Superman guilty…
Oracle and Dr. Light realised that once Superman rage builds, his heart-rate beats so fast, that his molecules reverberate much faster, on the same level as Flash, and the kinetic energy given off is immense. His blood circulates throughout his body at 10 million times the normal human rate. Hence, he seems hotter when vexed. Lex latched onto this theory and via infrared and high temp UV cameras; as soon as Superman’s rage level fuelled…the Luthorcorp cameras, hidden it seems, captured him in motion…after his exposure…and Lex running for his life…with Superman assaulting everyone…from the guards to Luthor…to Batman. This was proof…and it seemed Superman’s past was forgotten…no matter how many times he saved the day, now, he was guilty till proven innocent. Oracle could not crack the footage as she realised it wasn’t doctored but the cameras were set to follow Superman after his rage turned red…it was the perfect set-up. Even so, some of his fellow heroes and allies secretly wondered if he had really snapped…and needed no red meteor to trip and crush Lex.

“I cannot locate them still Batman,” said J’onn, as he and Oracle tried and tried via the control keys. Black Lightning was also on hand, as well as JSA’s Mr. Terrific…
Batman was in contact with his many allies, and realised time was running out.
“J’onn…how is it that now…at this time…the JLA is trapped a million light years away from Earth…and we can’t bring em’ back!” Batman wondered aloud.
“That’s not all Batman…we are losing contact with affiliates from the JSA and the Teen Titans…Terrific here came up with Hoshi…but communications…our satellite com between teams is iffy at best…we can locate a few individuals…right now, we are mainly running on cell phones and word of mouth…not too reliable, when you’re a cape!” Oracle input.
“How the hell are we bringing the JLA back…can we?” asked Black Lightning.
The predicament was enormous…and severely grave. Harsh times rolled. The JLA, on the behest of Adam Strange and Hal Jordan, were contacted…with Hawkman and Hawkgirl realising the danger at hand. It seemed that Rann and Thanagar, planets with a dreary history, were about to go to war…and with this erupting, the universe would be in danger. Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern Corps intergalactic leader, led his corps to the zone…as they would have to ensure this war did not spread to other borders…but that meant that they may have to get involved as well…something they all wanted to avoid…and both races would fall under jurisdiction of the corps…leading to a possible 3 way battle. Adam Strange decided to gather a diplomatic team, with ambassadors from New Genesis and Earth’s JLA, heading to the planets to brace the war. The ambassadors boasted Orion, High Father, Scott Free and Barda, of New Genesis. Adam Strange saw the Earth team boast Kyle Rayner, new Lantern of sector 2814; Lantern John Stewart, who was training in space with Hal while Kyle watched over Earth, Barry ‘Flash’ Allen, Wonder Woman, Ray ‘Atom’ Palmer, Supergirl, Aquaman…and last but not least, Thanagar’s Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The war was averted on the advice of the peace contingent…but Hal and John stayed with the corps to monitor the cease-fire so to speak…and police the zone till all was well. But the JLA was yet to return, which was alarming, as the New Genesis body, reached their home, and contacted Watchtower; but this contact didn’t last long – all that was gotten before transmission broke down was that New Genesis folks reached their home. But to all shock, there was no word as to why the JLA couldn’t return to Watchtower. Kyle and his unit were not home…and when J’onn tried to contact them, even via boosted telepathy, he got nothing but psi-interference. There was not even an Earth lantern to reach them…and Watchtower never regained contact with New Genesis also. There was no means of sending any signals to nearby systems or sectors…to relay to the stranded JLA. All com was literally cut-off. The JLA could not be reached to be alerted of Superman’s plight. Why could they not use their boom-tubes to return? What was even more off-setting was, along with the broken com between their New Genesis and other counterparts, there was no signal generated so that J’onn and his men could boom-tube to their mates. There was no way in, or off, the Watchtower via boom-tube, but the teleporter within Earth seemed fine and well. Things were suspicious indeed. J’onn and team thought this was a minor glitch they would have repaired by now, but it seemed coincidence was illusion, and they kept it secret, as this was a sign of weakness or possible infiltration, but Batman, he knew something was sitting not too right.
“Oracle, cut all ties to Watchtower…we got a bigger problem than we thought…and I haven’t the slightest clue what’s going on!” Bruce secretly messaged.r

Luthorcorp - *
“Hahaha!” Lex laughed over the inter-com, as Superman sat in his cell. The bars were lined with electric fields generated from Green K…he couldn’t break through…or else he’d be mortally wounded. Such was the high voltage. He knew this…for he saw this design already…Lex tried to use it on him, years ago, and it worked…he remembers the pain. Superman knew that this new prison was fortified and stronger, and Lex was pulling no punches. In fact, Lex wanted him to go through the field, so he could fry him…and kill him trying to escape. Lex would be doubly the hero. Superman was there and he had nowhere to go…he was trapped.
“Laugh Lex, but know this, if anyone can stop you, it’s the JLA…and if they fail, one guy won’t - Batman!”
“So it seemed…in the past…but the JLA is a non-factor…and ummm…I think in an hour or so…Batman is going to come here to…collect…the mayor’s Key to Metropolis…ironic isn’t it…he gets the key to this city…for bringing down it’s Son and Saviour. Of course, when you’re found guilty, I want the Batman to bear firsthand as witness your fate - Hahahahhaha!” screamed the megalomaniac as Superman sat down and pressed his forehead on his fists…praying.

The Daily Planet - *
Lois, Jimmy, Ma Kent…Perry are all at the Planet. Ma informs Perry that Clark is still stuck on the farm ill…but Perry could care less. He’s dismayed. He doesn’t even wonder of his headlines. Lois has never seen him like this, and Ma Kent is supporting her also. Jimmy is a mess…they are all in tatters…, as it doesn’t look good for Superman. As they all catch the lunch headlines on CNN,
“Superman…branded psycho…war-monger…major threat! Terrorist & Murderer!”
They are all flabbergasted as the news reveals that the CRISIS soldier leading the charge to protect Lex, the one with the grenades, died, after the fall from Superman’s throw, caused his grenades to explode near him. Multiple lacerations, burns…plus 3 others died from shrapnel evolved. The footage of this was shown also, 4 deaths, confirmed visually. Several others were injured…badly.
Lana Lang and her husband, Pete Ross, 2 childhood friends from Smallville, who knew Clark was Superman, sat at their Smallville home, holding a candle-light vigil for Superman…with the entire town in full support. Worldwide however, everyone was divided. Down the middle. The eyes believe what they see. Superman was guilty. He was innocent. He tore the planet in two.
Lois hugged Ma Kent as she boarded the bus back to Smallville, for she wanted to be near Jonathan’s grave…and promised her to bring Clark back. But as soon as she re-entered the Daily Planet, she hid in the janitor’s room…and cried herself dry.

Luthorcorp – 1pm*
“This evidence will not deny me my victory Superman. You will be found guilty. I have the sympathy of the world…they are labelling you an alien threat; your presence is that of a terrorist…hell…a murderer! Your time is over!” Luthor’s voice crackled over the intercom. As I head to this presentation, to show the world what you have done to me…I want you to view me on the screen on the wall…showing the world your rage, your lack of mercy…your monstrosity…”

As Luthor came out to the crowd’s cheers, the crowd was a clear anti-Superman one, with placards ‘No more aliens’; ‘Monster go home’; ‘Man of Shame’ ‘Last Sin of Krypton’ etc…all along the streets. This was ground zero, but Luthor wanted the ceremony right there, at the scene of the crime, to show his stance is non-faltering, to show he isn’t backing down…and the crowd was shocked when they saw him for the first time since the incident. His first foray into public view. He was in an automatic wheelchair…neck-brace wrapped tightly, his arm in cast, his eyes in dark circles…he looked a volatile mess. He was battered and damaged; but as his long silent breath drew, he pumped his fist and left the right hand in the air…
“Justice, thy will be done!” he screamed.
And we saw the images of all those fallen at the hands of the LFA and at the hands of Superman. It was a memorial ceremony. And the cries of ‘Justice, Liberty and Freedom for All’ rang out through the streets! Lex was a hero…
“And I am here, wounded, but not fallen, and the mayor has allowed me to present…Batman…with the Key to our City…for saving my life…and more importantly, for coming to the aid of our City, when our own son turned against us…”
Atop the Daily Planet, Batman stood. He was under the globe…and with his bag in hand…he grimaced…he was sick at what he was seeing. Metropolis had turned on its own son.
As Superman watched in disbelief, the crowds cheered and cheered…but Batman never showed.
Luthor was already back in his office, unperturbed by Batman’s no-show, and over the intercom, taunting Superman. The mayor was leading the procession on the outskirts; while Lex in his wheelchair laboured for breath. He was broken inside, but he felt great indeed.

Bruce Wayne emerges from the Daily Planet front door, with a false press pass ‘Matches Malone’; and he quickly descends the revolving door onto the steps. He has an earpiece intact…
“Kay’…remember we do this old school, no teleporting…no high tech stuff…old school!” he whispered as he walked down the street amongst the crowd.
“Roger that. Oracle still working on the bank files, and Interpol records. Luthorcorp files are encrypted strongly…and I still haven’t had access to em’ all…he’s hiding a lot…I’ve grabbed almost all his Senate and Congress files though…me and Alfred are going through them now…but we know his dirty files are under lock and key…under his nose,” Barbara replied.
“Nightwing here. Robin and I are on-site. We’ve followed the trail but it’s getting colder”
“We need more crumbs Oracle,” said Tim.
“Working on it Robin!” Oracle replied.
“Good then…we hafta act fast. Oracle, you and Alfred, crack everything you have so far. I’m going to get us the dirty files we need! Our signals may be the only clean ones left on this planet,” Wayne ended the transmission.
He took out his cellphone and read an incoming text as it vibrated – “READY SECRET SANTA?”
“READY! WILL BE AT LUTHORCORP IN 10” he texted back.
“LOVELY. HOPE YOU ENJOY THE GIFTS!” he received as he slipped the cell back in his pocket.

As Superman looked worriedly at the ground, the door hissed open and Lex wheeled to the cell. The chair was anti-gravity, floating, and moved smoothly…and Lex could not hide his pleasure.
“You killed 4 men. Guilty as charged. And that, I didn’t even have to set up – twas all you! The tape doesn’t lie…the Red-K alibi is moot…tests show no traces…thanks to Bats…of course I had my own Green-K injection/bullets hidden waiting for you…looks like Batman did my dirty work…all the better for me!”
“Leave me be!” Superman responded.
“Well, I am going to…sure enough…but not before your dreams, friends, your world is crushed. I will inflict so much pain on you that you will beg for death.”
“Luthorrrrr,” Superman growled.
“Hahahaha. You have no idea what fate awaits you don’t you. You see fool…this is not where the villain rants and raves and reveals his plan…so that you can escape to stop it. Remember Ozzy in Watchmen, all the wheels are turning, everything is in motion already…you couldn’t stop me if you tried…”
“What are you talking about?”
“You will be found guilty Alien.”
“No…Justice isn’t…”
“Shadup! Now! You will be found guilty I tell you. I know this as a fact. Earth has turned on you. I HAVE WON”
Superman stood up…silent.
“And all the heroes will perish…all...while their only hope, YOU, are banished…far from here!”
“What…in Rao’s name are you talking about? There’s no place you’ll send me that I can’t return from to stop you…”
“Fool…from the remaining Brainiac tech I salvaged after you two last battled …I have created a weapon Brainiac started to work on…to send you to YOUR HELL. Superman, when you are found guilty, WHEN…you will be sent to the PHANTOM ZONE. Hahahaha!”
“What? Nooooooo. NOOOOO!” as Superman grabbed the cell bars…only to be shocked by the kryptonite fields…and he fell to the ground with bloodied hands. Smoking in pain.
“Your screams are pitiful…and you know not the half of it! I have waited years upon years…for this moment. For this opportune time. For this revenge. I have set up surveillance since your Watchtower’s inception Superman…and for years now, I’ve waited to strike. When you started using the boom-tubes to go off-world, I knew that it could be the downfall of you all. And then you used the boom-tech to create the teleporters so that the JLA could patrol all of Earth, and even expand its membership. Huh? Seems that the Flashes were a thing of the past. Speed wasn’t enough huh you bullet? You fools love the teleport don’t you? And there in lies the catch! I wiretapped and bugged you idiots in orbit, and when the JLA was needed to go to Rann and Thanagar…you sent your minions, and YOU…Superman wanted to remain here…why? Because you were depressed….sad that Lex was the golden boy. I had to take advantage of that…I played you like a fiddle…I knew you’d remain cuz you would hope I could slip up and you could catch me…and jail me for ole times’ sake…and you were happy the JLA went off-planet, cuz then you’d have noone to act as your conscious…you would do whatever you pleased…to bring me down. But you didn’t count on Batman staying…hell neither did I…but maybe he stayed to babysit you? Babysit me? After all, I was rapidly climbing America’s ladder. Hahahaha. But you are so predictable that when you and Batman stayed…it presented me with the best, ideal opportunity. You see…I constructed my own base, not here…but in the good ole Russia, where satellite tech and its studies knows no bounds, where scientists work with no conscious, where our evils come alive…and I had my team there…non-Americans…rig satellites and hack into the USSR and American ones in orbit…to control the frequency of the boom-tube signals…took years…but we basically were able to monitor and control where you JLA landed…and where and when you could return. So when you asses jumped to Rann-Thanagar, I blocked your return frequency…Boom tubes depend on point-to-point travel…so basically I am blocking the return point to Earth. I am also blocking any jumps from Watchtower. The mother box the JLA uses is made of an X-element, and I have cracked the threshold frequency of this element, so I can break or build the bridge between the 2 points. Using my satellites, I can block you all from going or returning. The trick was to let JLA go to Rann so that no suspicions would arise, and similarly I did not hack your teleporter to Earth…that would have given away my infiltration. You see, if problems arose with booming to other planetary zones, that would be acceptable as that is far more an in-depth complex, calculated science that even Ray Palmer is still studying, but if teleportation along Earth was affected, I’d have you crawling up my ass. So when you shot the best and biggies of JLA to Rann, I was giddy. Cuz I knew they’d have no way back…unless I said so…and the amazing thing is…using the control I have…if the Green Lantern Corps decided to swing through when things got weird, then maybe…just maybe…I’d open up a tube…and suck them straight in to hell…but again…I am all for subtlety. Cuz right now, the corps are so into their peacekeeping, that the JLA’s stranded asses are thinking it’s a glitch that’ll be fixed soon. Anyhow, they can’t come back…HAHAHAHA…but I don’t leave these things to chance…cuz I am about to open the channels to let the JLA bring them back in due time…well not to Earth, at least HAHAHA. No one can monitor us here Superman…this room is free of all ears…cept ours…and no one can read my minds…I have psi-blocks…so let’s spill secrets. See…when the JLA think they are taking that boom-tube here to Earth…it’s gonna be wild when they all land in the Phantom Zone. HAHAHAHA…and imagine their shock, when you are flung there as well. The entire JLA marooned there. And I will send you after them, cuz I don’t want you waiting on em’ to warn em or try to go through the tube when they arrive to TRY AND JUMP to the otherside…and go back to Rann or Thanagar. C’mon…I’m smart! I boom them there, then you…see I will use the device from Brainiac…my perfected weapon…which has the co-ordinates of the Phantom Zone…and when the JLA tries to return, they’ll have the wrong destination co-ordinates input. And later, I exile you there with them…and I do so in front the WORLD!”
“I won’t let you!”
“Eat this!” as Lex amped up the field and shocked Superman till he could barely breathe or move, “Don’t interrupt a criminal mastermind, have you no manners?”
“Ughhhhhh,” cried the fallen hero.
“You see Superman, this is my world…when you are all banished…no doubt the remaining heroes will gather at Watchtower to perhaps form a new league, and try to find out what happened to the JLA…and that’s where they fall…for at that same base…I have developed boom-rockets…which cannot be intercepted…and using the boom-tube tech…they’d teleport just outside the Watchtower…and hit! You folks wouldn’t see em’ coming…HAHAHAHA…I’m using your own boom-tubes against you…no one…not even Batman can stop this! And he won’t be around…you think I’d forget him? Your punishment is banishment…but on one condition…Batman…is there as witness. If he refuses, we drown your blood with Green K and kill you – whether the world wants it or not…you are in my hands to do as I see fit – even if they lock me up after, I’ll rest in peace knowing you ARE DEAD. But Batman would have to say yes, for he wouldn’t want to be responsible for your death, wouldn’t he? He’d rather save you and send you in the Phantom Zone, with hope that you’d one day return. Of course, he wouldn’t know the other JLA members are there…cuz you’ll be sedated on Green K…silent and almost asleep HAHAHA. Of course, when you are banished, why not have a freak accident occur, and send Batman with you?…Hmmm….Oops I guess! IT IS ALL A WIN-WIN FOR ME…THAT IS THE ONLY KIND OF SITUATION A LUTHOR SETS UP!!!”
“N-noo..oo,” Superman muttered.
“Hell even if Batman survives, he can’t rally anything…I’d already have the big guns outta the way…leaving this planet ripe for the taking…for dominating….USA…then the world!!!! See idiot, you think I was imprisoning my men in SUPERMAX, nope – I was storing em’ there…so that when I got rid of you…of all of you…my Injustice Gang…Syndicate of Crime…would be reborn…I’d grow to President and then, the day will arise…when the villains win…there would be opposing heroes…but no heavy hitters…and they wouldn’t be a match for us! Once you all are gone, my team, my villains will rise up and take this planet by the neck! WE WILL RULE ALL! I WILL RULE THEM ALL!”
“The beginning of the end,” coughed Superman.
“Exactly!” laughed Lex.

Lex’s office –
“You getting all this Oracle. We are cloaked, all signals are safe…so take it all.”
“Getting them Batman! The surveillance feed outside his office is on loop still. No one knows you’re there.”
The room guards were all waiting outside the Superman cell as Bruce hacked Lex’s private PC and transferred all files to Oracle. Lex had slipped up, but he felt invincible. Plus he knew his office was under private camera surveillance. Little did he know, Oracle was already inside that system.
“Luthor’s with Superman, we can’t hear em’ but you can see them there. So now’s our only shot. Break into everything. Nightwing and Robin are waiting en route. They need your guidance. These are all…everything we need on Lex!”
“Got em’ all Bats. Get outta there!”
As he put his phone away, he saw on Lex’s monitors that Lex was outside in the elevator. The only way out was through the main door. He manoeuvred his way in as it was unguarded, but if he were to slither out, Lex would come out the elevator at the same time, and catch Wayne leaving his office. His cover would be blown and Lex would know he was infiltrated.
“Oracle ---cut power now!”
“Are you su…”
“Now!” he whispered.
The elevator stuck.
Lex and his men looked at each other with amazement…but within 10 seconds, the backup power seemingly kicked in…and they exited and entered the office.
“Neat…spick and span…my domain…” Lex uttered as he headed to his main desk and saw it exactly same as he left it.
Bruce was already on the streets of the City.
“Power and surveillance restored to Luthorcorp control!”
“Good work Oracle!”

Suddenly, there’s a loud crash…and we see Bruce looking overhead as a steel cage, a prison cell, is flung through Luthorcorp onto the next building.
“Oh damn…the power outage…”
But before Oracle could finish, “The shortage gave Superman the chance he needed…crap…he’s gonna escape!” Bruce yelled as he ran off.

Superman stood over Lex, who was shaking. Lex was scared. Superman was staring him down…and there was no rage this time…just a look…of vengeance. But before he can act, Luthor’s CRISIS intervenes. This time Superman is ready and deals with them without death. Hundreds of soldiers with special weapons attack…while Lex uses his chair and slips away. Superman turns to go after Lex but is taken aback when CRISIS attacks with Kryptonite weapons…he is hurt…so he flees out of there. CRISIS pursues and Superman uses his speed to lure them to a construction site. CRISIS arrives but finds Superman with lead-covered hands, he bent a lead post, and made them as he waited. Superman begs,
“I won’t hurt you all…but I must do what is right!”
Within a minute, all the 100 plus CRISIS agents are wrapped up, all are safe, but Superman knows that the US army is coming. He is a fugitive. WANTED! He looks to the sky and flies away. He has heard a familiar voice.

Superman speeds to Lois, atop the planet, and he is glad she knew to meet him here.
“You called?”
She hugged him tightly and with tears in her eyes, she cried, “God…why couldn’t you re-dress as Clark and take the bus back to me?”
“Statistically speaking, Flying is still the safest way to travel Missy!”
She coughed as she hugged him tighter.
“It’s here where we first kissed,” she silently retorted
He smiled and kissed her, as if for the last time…then shot her a determined look, that which she knew all too well.
“NO. Leave. Head to the fortress. It’s cloaked…we can sort this out later…”
“No, Lois…I must do what is right. I killed those men by accident…but this blood is on my hands nonetheless…Lex must be stopped…for us all…for our good!”
Superman left her and shot back to Luthorcorp…and as he embarked…he saw jetpacks in the air, could hear jets and choppers coming from afar, and saw CRISIS agents rummaging and setting up all over Metropolis…
“Dammit Lex!”
Superman was even more worried now…he saw these teams, they were all equipped with heavy artillery, kryptonite powered weapons…and as he took a deep breath…a fist rammed into his face and sent him crashing into the Met-Port by the sea.
Superman stumbled to his feet.
“I’ve transmitted signals around me…echoes…like bats…so you can’t recognize me moving through sound molecules…”
“So I can’t hear you coming beforehand…hmmm…you took away my spider-sense!”
“Listen…the teams…CRISIS…they’re coming for you…I’ve bought you time…go!”
“You…can’t expect me to do that!”
Superman threw a punch…and Batman ducked it…he was in an exo-suit…it made him double the size of Superman…and hissed from hydraulic pressure. Superman was shocked how fast it moved.
“Hmmm…lined with lead…no wonder I can’t see you inside! That means you have green K don’t you…lots of it…that’s why you’re shielding yourself!!!”
“Well…when you go beserk…”
Before Batman could finish, Superman launched his offensive…and smacked the suit around, right hand, before crashing both feet onto the skull.
“Listen Bruce…I am holding back…last time…I nearly killed you…I lost it…but this time…I know to hold back…but you are in my way…and I have to put you down.”
“You go after Lex…you hurt…kill him…and you give him an excuse to come after us all!”
“Well you know all about running don’t you…like you do with Joker…heck, that worked out well…why don’t we ask Jason Todd?”
“Bitch!” as Batman shocked Superman with Green K-lasers…and the suit lit up green…
“Kryptonite reinforcements applied. Online and able!”
Batman had applied a kryptonite atmosphere to the suit…and powered it…similar to Metallo…so that Superman’s punches would have to be toned down, else he’d hurt himself…Batman was levelling the field…and as Superman stood dazed, Bruce grabbed him, and applied electric shocks, powered from the meteor battery, just like Lex’s prison cell, and then slammed his head in.
“CRISIS WAIT! This is too good to be true!” Luthor ordered as he ordered all cameras on the battle…Batman was beating Superman to a pulp.
“Oracle, Dick, Tim…keep going…Hurry!” Bruce yelled.
Superman blocked a punch, then kicked Batman, grabbed both his feet and flung the armour through a ship. As Superman charged in, Batman shot out the ship at full speed, and this jet-impact caused a sonic boom that sent shockwaves in the nearby vicinity. Batman rose and came down on Superman’s back, but as he leapt again, Superman caught him, and suplexed him into the steel ground frame. Superman reigned blow after blow, his hands bloodied…mouth bleeding…the battle was taking its toll on him…and Bruce knew this. He shocked Clark again and kicked him off. Superman was feeling the effects. He was in pain. As was Bruce. But before Clark could stand up, Batman fired 2 mini-missiles into his chest, Kryptonite explosions rained, and Clark fell to the ground, he couldn’t breathe.
Batman stood over him, his suit damaged, pieces exposed…
“It’s over Clark…don’t make me..”
“What? Kill me? You did that or tried that last time, didn’t you?…with the syringe? I remember Bruce. When I go red, I can’t stop or control my actions, but I remember. You think I didn’t know you never trusted me…ever since we first met in Gotham…with J’onn and his invader enemies…you think I’d never notice that you had lead-concealed pieces of your suit…huh? K-blades, syringes…whatever artillery that floats yah boat…the thing is Bruce…when you injected me…did you know I had red in me? I remember Ray making a hypothesis…that the green and red cancel…but when it comes to the K, that’s all they are…hypotheses, cuz we can’t actually test em’…now can we? When I was choking you, you didn’t know I was on the Red K…I saw it in your eyes…so when you stabbed me, for all you know, that injection coulda killed me…ironically it must have been the red in my system that saved me huh?”
“I see you were listening to the Luthorcorp and STAR LAB doctors!”
“Doesn’t take a genius to realise that you wanted to keep tabs on me, on a leash!”
“Stay down Clark…and listen!”

“Hell Wayne…dontcha get it…I killed those poor innocent men, I am guilty…see the thing is…the red brings out what’s deep down in me…huh…I do want to kill Lex…now!”
“No…you don’t…else you’d have done it by now…”
“You don’t get it do ya Bruce? Lex confessed to me…he set everything up from the start…he’s stranded the JLA, he hijacked our Watchtower boom-controls, he friggin set me up to kill him, I killed innocents along the way…and he’s setting you up to gun me down…even as we speak…”
“No one’s setting me up Clark…”
“Dammit…he’s gonna maroon the JLA…and me…to the Phantom Zone Bruce…and then he’s gonna…damn…he’s get missiles locked in…”
“To shoot down Watchtower…I know…everything you told me…we just cracked it all. Oracle and I have been working together. I suspected Watchtower was infiltrated so I kept J’onn out of the loop…till now…I deliberately let Oracle and Alfred run the show, cuz Lex could never infiltrate them, not my people. So now listen up…we need one thing…one thing that Lex didn’t list…not in any of his files…the base of his operations…the secret ops? We gotta find…”
“Russia! He slipped up!”
“Oracle, it’s in Russia…use all resources…find out where Luthor has holdings there undercover…”
“Check unidentified satellite research in Russia and concerning Russian scientists,” Clark interjected.
“Got it! Quickly, head to these co-ordinates now!” Oracle chimed in.
Bruce shut off power to the armour and slowly crawled out, his ribs bruised…mouth bleeding…eye swollen…
“You ready Boy-scout?”
“Just don’t stab me in the back this time!”
Superman grabbed Bruce and sped over the ocean.
Lex was fidgeting…calculating…and twiddling his thumbs,
“CRISIS…go to code red now! Prepare for full-scale attack…by Batman and/or Superman. Full strength defence initiative. Ensure our attack is massive please! Prep now and wait for them to return. Checkmate starts now!”

Russia – 5:40 pm
Lex’s Hidden Base: Moskva
As Superman and Batman, now out of suit, as he didn’t want to inflict further damage on Clark, entered the building…they were in disgust. An old optometrist’s training centre, Brother Eye, purchased from Maxwell Lord a few years ago. Lord hasn’t been seen in quite a few years, and Lex has acquired all his holdings, funds and properties – a buy out so to say. This is what made it hard for them to find this base under Lex’s name…for twas still under Lord’s. They had to act swiftly,
“He’d know we’re here already…Oracle is jamming the signals of the satellites…so he can’t track us…J’onn is still trying his ignorant best up there so hopefully that’ll throw Luthor off a bit also, but I think we’ll only get a few minutes or so…then he’d find us here!” Bruce indicated.
Superman surveyed the place as Bruce began hacking and allowed Oracle access also, but Clark grew sick when his x-ray vision showed him dead bodies in the basement…the scientists whom Lex employed to carry out his dirty work away from the US; the LFA attackers that were supposedly held in SUPERMAX were also slaughtered here. Superman told Bruce but Bruce had to concentrate. No time to waste crying for the dead.
“He’s gotten rid of the links to him…killed all associated with here…and it is still tied to Lord so while we can link here as under Luthor’s name, he can always pin blame on Lord…after all, no one knows where Max is. Luthor’s covering his angles. From the moment he’s linked, he’s gonna dump it all on Lord…and it’ll seem as if Lord is on the run,” Superman heard Oracle comment.
“He ain’t on the run anymore Batman!” Superman overheard on Bruce’s earpiece…
“We found him…Lord- comatose…in Detroit…under heavy sedation indeed,” Tim added.
Dick chimed in, “and we found Leader here too, well his operating system at least, in the same building, an old comics store, KNEEL B4 JOHNS…turns out Leader was programmed from here…he was under orders…a set logarithm to go after, but NOT TO KILL LUTHOR, it was all a set-up…Luthor set this all up. He sacrificed Tessmacher, Luthor was fronting and backing and funding LFA! These files are meant for you Oracle but it’s all here! Encoded as usual. High stuff too. Sending the initial keys now…”
Within 2 minutes, Oracle was juggling helping the hack with Bruce, and the hack of the data from Detroit…and as she multi-tasked,
“Verified. Lex was behind his own attack…from the start,” Oracle confirmed.
Superman surveyed the dead and then turned to Bruce, “Should’ve remembered from the start…the Leader…called me fool…Alien…made chess references…just like Lex…subtle hints I couldn’t pick up on…blinded by my rage…”
“Boys head back home. Transfer all data to Oracle and get Lord out of there…” Batman yelled as he couldn’t find a response to Clark.
The line went silent…
“Nightwing, Robin…come in!!!”
A minute’s pause…pure silence!!!

“We’re okay…we got out!” coughed Robin.
“Close one,” added Dick.
Oracle injected, “Got all the data from Detroit! Safe and sound.”
“And Lord…?”
“Couldn’t get him out Batman!” Dick replied.
“Jeez….!!!” Batman sighed, “Nice work guys. Await…” Bruce stopped short as he saw Clark swaying.
Superman was starting to feel woozy…dizzy…light-headed!
“Final code added and cracked Batman!”
“Done. Good work Oracle!” Bruce shouted, “We did it Superman, the locks on the satellites in outer-space are broken, all Luthor’s fingering in Watchtower is dead…we cleaned it out with a virus…the missiles have been disarmed also…Watchtower is safe again! This base is empty. Inform and update J’onn…he’s been out of the loop for a while…tell him to prep!”
“And what of the JLA…when can they co-coome ho-home?”
“We gotta wait 50 minutes before the virus cleans the main Watchtower mother-box, that’ll allow J’onn to bring em’ home…Superman…what’s wrong?”
Superman fainted but Bruce held him up, but a familiar shadowy voice chimed in over the building com!
“Fools. You dare hide and lock me out of my own system!” Luthor roared over the intercom, “you haven’t won anything…nor have you saved the day…there’s a reason I let you know my base was in Russia, Superman…so in case, my plans in USA were thrown off…in case you escaped…in case I couldn’t trap you in the Phantom Zone, I had a back-up plan…see, if you escaped, if the Dark Knight escaped my clutches also…even if I sent the JLA to the Zone, you’d bring em’ back…you and Batman…so once you got away, I allowed you to go to Russia…to save Watchtower, to bring the JLA home…it is my contingency plan…and maybe better than my Plan A. Hahahahaha,” he cackled.
“My head’s spinning…”
“Of course it is…I doused the vents with minute traces of Green K – mixed with strong sedatives…to throw off your senses…of course, that’s partially thanks to the ass-kicking Batman handed you…but plans shifted when you criminals escaped me in Metropolis…things changed WHEN SOMEHOW YOU HACKED MY PRIVATE PC AND GOT FILES THAT NO EYES WERE SUPPOSED TO SEE…but alas, plans changed quickly and I calculate the next move oh so swiftly, don’t I…gentlemen, I wanted you to succeed…and bring the JLA back…”
“Damn…my game was off…I was so concentrated on cracking the computers. I didn’t trace for aerial compounds…” Bruce whispered.
“Shut it Batman…and know…that I am the reason you saved the day…I wanted you to bring the JLA back…cuz if Superman wasn’t going to the Phantom Zone, then I wanted them back on Earth…to face him…to die at his hands…I want the chaos and murderous Superman to kill all of the heroes alive, especially the JLA!”
And with that Superman grabbed Batman by the cape. He glimpsed up at the roof, at he couldn’t see through…lead roofing! He immediately heard a silent beep.
There was a huge explosion. A gigantic red explosion…and there was nothing except falling rubble.

Luthor set off a Red-K bomb.

Batman surfaced at the mouth of the river 300 metres away…he was soaking and choked. He looked over in the distance and saw the destruction.
“Come in Batman…”
“I’m here Oracle.”
Superman barely had enough energy to fling him out the building but couldn’t save himself…Batman knew that Luthor wouldn’t apply a dosage that was potentially harmful…this was probably diluted…and Bruce couldn’t take the chance. He knew what Lex wanted…Bloodshed galore!!!
“Quickly Oracle, Initiate Project: RED SON! There are contacts to be made now…use the Watchtower system also; the lines are clean and clear now. Ensure all is made well and ready, I’ve made the necessary personnel adjustment…if we can’t get certain heroes in on this…the program automatically delegates substitutes. Link with Watchtower transport as well!”
“Starting already Batman!”
“J’onn…beam me up and send me to Gotham now…we gotta move briskly…we have a lot of people to teleport into positions in a very short space of time!!!”
As Batman teleported out, his eyes fell on the background of the fallen building; the time was 6:05 pm…the sun was setting. Time ticked slowly, Lex looked out his window with a sly smile and bruised lips…cut, bleeding cheeks…and an inflated ego.
And as we know, the sun fades…from yellow…to an orange hue…tonight…the setting sun…seemed RED!
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