This is not the next chapter of my previous Injustice series, instead its a self contained story, that I wrote since I will no longer finish the old fanfic. This is likely the last time I will write something set in this Universe.Hope you like it. Warning Character death and a very violent scene during the finale.
New York, it felt strange seeing so many Superhumans gathering in a city that used to have almost no Metahuman activity compared to Metropolis or Gotham. Yet now, with the former lying in ashes it had become the best place to move the bit of equipment which Lex Luthor, once the Man of Tomorrows best friend, had been able to save after the Jokers attack.
Damian, finally more or less rehabilited after the incident at Arkham Asylum watched the steel gray clouds while Alfred drove him from the hotel to the Lextower, were the Insurgency was going to meet to discuss a bold new plan to take down the would be ruler of earth, Superman.
The thirteenyear old boy cringed, having been half asleep before he heard something crashing on the roof of the black limousine.
„Please ignore this, Master Wayne. Just some punks expressing their anger at the one percent. Thats all that is left of Crime here in New York, with the exception of our brilliant host and your fathers other allies, maybe“, the butler urged, fearing that they could be late for the meeting.
„Tt, no chance, Alfred. This is just what I needed. Pull the car over...if you don´t mind.“, the boy answered, trying his best not to treat the old Butler as harshly as he used to, back when Richard was still with them and their family hadn´t broken apart.
Damian changed into his costume in an Alleyway, and then went into the direction of the dark figure he was seeing in the corner of his eye. With the use of his grabbling hook he quickly got on higher ground, which made it more easier for him to find his target. Little did he know that the person who had attacked him and Alfred was a cat burglar he only knew too well, despite not being able to claim that he liked her. It was Catwoman, Selina Kyle, who was determined to teach Damian a lesson, to punish him for the accident that had lead to Nightwings death and deeply hurt his father.
„Ah, I see I´ve got your attention. I was hoping I might get the chance to talk to you before this meeting“, Selina said in a sarcastically sweet voice. Just when Damian was about to land after a particulary deep drop she threw a bola at him., causing him to fall and hit the ground hard.
„Hng, what are you doing, Catwoman? This is about Nightwing isn´t it?“, Damian said, trying to get up which was rather difficult, since he could no longer move his arms due to the Bola.
„How did you guess, brat? I`ve been waiting for an opportunity like this since Arkham. Have you any idea what you´ve done to your father? How much you have hurt him... and he still forgave you, alltough you clearly do not deserve forgiveness!“, she shouted and lashed her whip across Damians face, hard enough to make him scream
„I don´t have to justify myself for that towards you... it only concerns the Wayne family, which you are not part of!“, the thirteen year old replied defiantly and spat out some of the blood that was dripping over his face. But before Catwoman could strike him once more, which she now wanted more than ever, he had cut through the rope tied around his arms with a small knife he and Bruce kept for exactly this kind of situation. Just when he attempted to take revenge on the cat burglar he was grabbed by an object, faster than a speeding bullet.The only thing Catwoman was able to see was a red and blue blur. „Shit“, she cursed and activated her communicator,“ Batman... they have kidnapped Robin....“
Superman and Damian had quite a journey ahead of them. When they arrived a the Fortress of Solitude the young boy Clark had carried was exhausted and needed rest badly, which Superman provided inside his personal base before takig him to his arsenal. Damian was obviously nervous, but at the same time he was aware of the fact that Superman wouldn´t just kill him, despite the feud between him and the teenagers father. While walking trough the corridors they came across a blue shuttle of some sort bearing the famous S insignia.
„A supermobile? The Batmobile is already pretty hard to take seriously, the arrowmobile was ridiclious... but this, this is downright pathetic“, Damian said sceptically. „It was a science project... proved pretty useful while fighting AMAZO, believe it or not. Now come, I want to show you something special that I´ve prepared just for you“, Superman replied frowning.
Damian was surprised to see a Nightwing costume in one of the displays. But different from Dick Grayson version of the costume it had a red isignia. The boy lowered his head and clenched his fists. So many unpleasant memories were going through his head at that moment. He wanted to yell at Superman for awaking these feelings in him, but managed to control himself somehow.
„Its for you... Damian“, the Man of Steel said and looked at the boy concerned. „You have become an outcast to the people you fought alongside for most of your life. This will help you to start over again and become the hero you were always meant to be“, he said,“ Do you know the legend of the original Nightwing? The Kryptonian one?“
„Yes, you told it to Grayson once. He was a abandoned by his family before becoming a hero. Similar to me you could claim. Look, I don´t deserve this... just shut up and take me home already!“, Damian demanded.
„You don´t have a home any longer“, Superman replied, somewhat coldly. His look was stern now, almost frightening.
„Don´t stare at me like that! If you wanted to snap my neck you would have already!“, Damian snapped at the Man of Steel.
„Well, I´ll give you as much time as you need to think this through. But I am not going to let you go back to your father, for obvious reasons. He has been influencing you in the wrong ways for far too long“, Superman responded unimpressed.
„Are you implying that Ra´s al Ghul was right about everything? Like I needed further proof that you have completly lost your mind!“, the boy said haughtily.
„Believe it or not, but its not that far from the truth. Your fathers ideals are noble... but also extremely misguided. With our power we could have changed the world for the better a long time ago. Why did we never grasp this opportunity? Was it just the fear that the world will fight back when we take control over their lives? Thats seems to be a small price to pay for the change we are capable of.“, Superman told Damian. He hadn´t lost the charisma that had made him so popular before the Joker incident, alltough the boy he was trying to convince was still sceptical.
They didn´t get a chance to finish their discussion, though.... „The Phantom Zone Projecto, how?!“, Superman shouted, seeing that one of the Kryptonian artifacts on display was missing. A quick use of his microscopic vision revealed tiny traces of the mysterious burglar, which helped the unstable Kryptonian to calm down a little.
„Must have been, Catwoman. She finds a way to get into any place, except maybe the Batcave“, Damian said and shrugged. Clark commanded him to go back to the quarters he had provided for the boy. The teenager relucantly obeyed. „You need to tell me what you know about this operation. All our fates depend on it!“, Superman told Damian, his eyes now gleaming like that of a dangerous madman.
„I don´t know anything about this... its not like they trust me after the battle at the Asylum.“, Damian pointed out.„Well see about that when the rest of us arrive her. Diana will use her lasso on you. Who knows, it might finally lead to you starting to understand who is right in this conflict.“
Meanwhile chosen members of the Insurgency had gathered at the Lextower in New York. Aside from Catwoman, Batman and Lex Luthor there were Harley Quinn, Captain Atom and the Martian Manhunter, all gathered around the object that the team had stolen from Supermans Fortress.
„We need to relocate your equipment fast, Luthor. If the Regime has captured Damian its only a matter of time until they will destroy the Tower and everything in it“, Batman said. He felt extremely uncomfortable in their current situation despite being around Heroes as powerful as Captain Atom and J'onn J'onzz.
„Just give me half a minute. I wouldn´t risk us being discovered unless I was absolutely certain that our Secret Weapon will be ready....“, Lex argued before noticing Catwoman glaring at him.
„I still don´t like it. Freeing the Titans from the Phantom Zone was worth the risk of sneaking into Supermans Fortress since we had Dr. Palmers shrinking tech... but I know what you really want Luthor. You are after Superboys DNA. You want another shot at cloning Superman.“, she said frowning.
„Its not going to be a Bizarro this time...“, the bald scientist replied, but sounded unsure,“ And remember, I am not one of the villains. All my cloning experiments were conducted with the approval of Clark, back when he was still sane. We foresaw the possibilty that one day we might need a replacement for him after the Doomsday Crisis. The result of my efforts was Conner. I am sure that since they were the first to witness the true extent of Supermans madness I´ll be able to convince these young heroes to cooperate. After all, you can see the necessity of this,too. Can´t you?“
„No, quite frankly I can´t. This is getting sick... I would have hoped you had the courtesy to leave me out of this!“, Selina declared while going to the exit. But before she could leave a giant green fist crashed through the wall. Realizing that it was a Green Lantern construct she tried to dogde... but even with her reflexes she was knocked out fast and hard. The chances that she would be able to continue her Cat Burgler career after this takedwon were slim. Soon after Superman, Wonder Woman, GL, Raven, Flash and Cyborg reached the lab. All the leaders of the Insurgency were caught in one room.
Sighting Damian slumped to the ground near the diplay of the Supermobile in the Fortress of Solitude. Wonder Woman had made him talk, like she had power over every man. What was a mere boy supposed to do against the Lasso of Truth? While she had insisted to personally take care of his injuries while the rest of the Regime was discussing their next action he nonetheless felt abandoned. If only he had been able to tell Raven and Cyborg why Superman needed the projector so badly. It might have changed the entire situation. But now had doomed the Insurgency, just as it was his fault that Dick Grayson had died. It took him a bit time to regain his resolve. Perhaps if he found something that could take him back to New York he could delay the confronatation between the two forces and thus give his father time to flee? Turning around he looked at the weird, silly aircraft that Superman had build back when he was still in his boy scout phase. It was worth shot. He had fixed the Batmobile countless times...why not try his luck with something Superman had build?
This was his chance to escape!
The Battle inside of Lex Tower was fast but brutal. Its owner was the first casuality of the fight. Faced with an angry Superman he tried his buy himself a little more time by reasoning with the Dictator. But he achieved nothing. Soon Luthors lifeless body lay bleeding on the towers floor. His head had almost completly been splattered across the wall by a single shot of Clarks heat vision. Only a bit of his jaw remained attached to the rest of the corpse, giving it a grotesque and nauseating appearance. „Traitor...“, Clark mumbled, his eyes glowing crimson red while he was looking for another victim which he found in Martian Manhunter. Cyborg subdued Harley Quinn with a blast of his sonic gun, while Flash attempted to knock out Batman, who seemingly didn´t even try to fight back. Wonder Woman managed to catch Captain Atom off guard and sliced open his armored skin. Raven quickly managed to teleport him away before anyone could be hurt by the Nuclear Explosion that followed.
After this carnage the dictator hesitated for a moment.“Is one of those guys still alive?“, asked Cyborg worringly until Harley Quinn moved. „Here Tin Man! Watcha gonna do when good old Harley....“, the former Psychiatrist screeched but in a matter of seconds she ended up with a bloodied and possibly broken nose by courtesy of Cyborgs Titanium fist.
„Shut up, Harleen.“, he said annoyed and the women obeyed relucantly.
„Why don´t you come over here... Clark.“, Batman said, rubbing his chin. His cowl was armored well enough to enable him to take a strike or two from a Speedster. Immediately Superman was in front of him. His hand clutched Bruce throat as he raised him into the air.
„Where did you take the Phantom Zone Projector... Answer me!!“, he shouted.
„Oh Clark, you and Flash gave me just enough time to destroy it. Kryptonian technology is so awfully fragile. I am not surprised you never made the attempt to share it with the world.“
„Why?! Do you know what you just did?“, Superman said dumbfounded.
„Yes and I think your comrades would like to know for why you so desperately wanted the Projector back“, Bruce said, he would have smiled if he wasn´t wearing the Cape and the Cowl.
„What does he mean? Superman... have you withheld information from us?“, Raven asked in a sharp tone.
„Shut up... or I´ll pulverize every Bone in your body, Bruce!“, Clark shouted.
„Don´t be ridiclious, we both now you always pull your punches when it comes to me. Me on the other hand... I can´t allow myself to be reckless like that.“, Bruce growled. A few moments later Clarks hand lost its grasp on Bruce and Clarks lifleless body dropped to the ground. „Idiot... allowing me to get this close...“, Bruce said and revealed the Kryponite Knife he had plunged in the insane Aliens heart. „It is done...“, he murmured, with little satisfaction.
A cry of anguish could be heard and then Wonder Woman swung her sword, ready to behead Batman on the spot. It was Flash who kept her from it. „ Please stop Diana...“, he urged,“ Don´t you see... he is already dead. Once he vowed never to take a life, but now he has understood how this only caused more death in the long run.“
Right in that moment Damian finally arrived at the tower in the silly, red, yellow and blue flying craft he had found in the Fortress. With the first step he took out of the vehicle he landed in the pool of blood left from the largest part of what used to be Lex Luthors head. His green boots were soaked once he had approached the people responsible for this massacre. With horror the boy realized how much the scene resembled the Shakespeare and Marlowe plays he had read. And while he enjoyed them due to the amount gore he now felt sickened by the reeking smell of the two dead bodies in the room.
„You again...“, Wonder Woman said surprised when she saw the boy,“I thought we told you to stay behind.“ „Diana, please listen to me... use your lasso on my father. Maybe then you will understand why he had to kill Clark“, Damian pleaded desperately. In that moment Wonder Woman felt pity for him, so she fulfilled his request. The answer she got did not please her. „You see, Diana I was right. Clark just was too out of control. He would have become worse than Joker or any criminal he ever faced..“, Bruce said, not without a hint of arrogance,“If there is anyone in this room who should recognize a psychopath its me.“
The Dark Knight did not feel any remorse for Diana, even though she had to be in unbearable emotional agony. After all it had been her lasso which had forced him to answer so bluntly. „The only way to free you of his control was to get rid of him“, he insisted.
„What are you going to do now that your leader is dead?“, Damian asked,“ Will you still try to rule this world with an iron fist like Superman wanted you or try a different approach?“
„It might be best to go sepperate ways for a while...“, Flash suggested;“ But first we take Batman to someplace secure. Its not going to be a prison like Arkham, but he will nonetheless suffer consequences for this murder. Damian... with whom do you want to be? You need a better home than your father could provide you.“
„I suppose I could go back to Wayne Manor... but there seems to be a person who needs me much more than Alfred right now. He´ll be fine as long as he learns that my father is still alive.“, Damian said and glanced over to Diana. With the exception of the old Butler (and Dick of course) she was the only person who ever had treated him well in his opinion.
Five years past quickly and under Wonder Womans guidance a new team was assembled. Like Supermans group they showed zero tolerance towards metahuman crime, yet also respected the rights of the innocent. Soon the team was joined by a new Nightwing. He helped Cyborg and Raven in their efforts to repair the Phantom Zone projector and free the Teen Titans from their prison. While the rest of kidnapped heroes where reunited with those who had joined Superman Nightwing and Red Robin went on a patrol through Gotham at the first opportunity.
„You´ve been so quiet, Timothy. Don´t you like this new world we´ve been building? Do you still think the ideals we once had were worth something?“, the now eighteen year old Damian asked with a grin. „I am still not comfortable with you wearing his costume... but I guess its what he would have wanted.“, Tim answered and shrugged,„ I am still waited for an even worse crisis to occur. Everything might seem peaceful, Damian, but I swear. Should you become like Superman I´ll hunt you down.“ Nightwing laughed hearing that, but it was not a bitter scornful laugh. „Tt, after all this I almost feel like I missed you.“, he retorded smiling.
"You may have invented being Robin , but I perfected it ." - Damian Wayne