Near the secret exit to the cave, Jesse moved in a super-fast blur, determined to get out. Suddenly a shadow crossed over him, and then he was tackled by Tommy! The two smashed into the ground.
"Uh… good timing, Tom." Jesse smiled innocently. "Look, dude, about trying to sacrifice you to the parademons back there-"
"Shut up!" Tommy punched Jesse in the nose, drawing blood.
"What the hell?" Jesse clenched his bleeding nose. "Dude I know you're pissed but-" Tommy punched him in the jaw this time.
"My knife! Give me my damn knife!" Tommy demanded.
"Alright, alright, here! Geez!" Jesse handed Tommy the blade. "I thought I'd sell it on the streets, you know? Make a quick buck. Then I'd steal it back later and sell it again. It's a cash cow if you-"
"I said shut – up!" Tommy clenched his fist.
"Ok, shutting up now."
Suddenly a javelin stuck into the wall next to Tommy's head!
"You didn't kill the parademons?" Jesse looked shocked.
"No! Because you took my knife and bailed on me!"
"Oh, so now I'm the bad guy here?" Jesse looked offended.
Parademons began to surround them. Some started to come in through Jesse's secret entrance.
"How did they find us here?" Jesse yelled.
Tommy noticed something blinking on Jesse's back. "Jesse, where'd you get that jacket?"
"Stole it this morning. Why?"
"There's a tracking device on it dumb ass!"
"Oh, oops." Jesse glanced at Tommy nervously. "I guess I screwed up, huh?"
"I can't say I'm surprised."
"You know, that's why I tried to sacrifice you! You're just plain mean!"
Jesse ducked to avoid a blast, and soon all of the parademons were attacking. Tommy took the battle pole in one hand, and the knife in the other. "Jesse, you take my battle pole and-" He realized Jesse was no longer next to him. "And you bailed on me again."
He began attacking the horde of parademons viciously, using every fighting technique Black Canary had ever taught him. He mowed down about thirty of them before a laser burned into his shoulder. "Damn it!" He screamed, dropping the pole. He spun around and plunged the knife into the shooter's head.
More and more parademons were spilling into the room by the second. He was getting nowhere. Then there was a thundering noise, like thousands of engines starting at once. And then machine gun fire ripped out into the horde of parademons!
The parademons began dropping like flies, being pulverized by bullets. Hundreds of sleek black robots descended into the parademon army, all modeled after Batman! They started annihilating the parademons.
"Where did they come from?" Tommy muttered.
"You didn't really think I ditched you again, did you bro?" Jesse's voice said. Suddenly Jesse was right behind Tommy again.
"You have to stop calling me that. I'm not your 'bro,' alright? I don't even like you."
"I thought you didn't like anybody?"
"I don't really, but you're the worst."
"Good to know. Now come on, I'm getting us out of here."
Jesse took off, running only slightly above human speed so that Tommy could follow behind him.
"What were those Batman robots?"
"During the invasion, Batman created them to combat Darkseid's armies, but only he knew the activation code, and he was killed in battle before he could activate them."
"So how did you get the code?"
"Many, many years of guessing at it."
Soon they reached a gate that lead into the Gotham sewer system.
"Seriously? We're escaping through the sewers?"
"You got a better idea?"
"Guess not." The two pried open the gate together and then sprinted into the old sewer system, immediately greeted by the stench. Once they had made it far enough that the battle could no longer be heard behind them, Tommy asked, "So where are we going?"
"I was hoping you had an idea." Jesse shrugged.
"Hmm. Could this sewer system take us to Mt. Justice?"
"That's pretty far away dude. But it could definitely get us close. Out of the city, for sure. We'll be safer once we're away from the city."
"Lets get moving then. You know the way?"
"Please, I know these sewers like the back of my hand."
They walked a bit further before coming to a huge drop off. The smell of oil lingered into Tommy's nose. "Oil?"
"Yeah, we're below the old gasworks now. A lot of the pipes from there ran along the sewers, and now they've completely rusted away, spilled like a thousand gallons of oil into the sewer water down there."
"Yeah, why do you say that like it's a bad thing?"
"Jesse, the gasworks on the north end of Gotham! Mt. Justice is south of Gotham!"
"Really? Are you sure?"
"Yes! I used to get bored in the Justice Cave and look at old maps. We've been going the completely wrong way, you idiot!" Tommy looked at Jesse with murder in his eyes.
"Ooh… you know now that you mention it, I think you're right." Jesse started liking around. "Yeah, I must have been picturing a different mountain."
"Oh my God! Can't you do anything right?"
"Calm down. I know a shortcut."
"If it's your shortcut, we'll probably wind up in China!"
"You are mean to me, you know that Gray?"
Suddenly heavy footsteps could be heard down the hall, and three looming parademon shadows became visible.
"Why not?" Tommy grumbled. He looked up at some old pipes on the ceiling, and immediately climbed up on to them, climbing as high as he could get. He would be out of eyesight from the Parademons.
"What are you hiding for Tommy? There are only three of them, we can take them!"
"This water is filled with oil. They have lasers. You do the math."
"Oh… I see you're point." Jesse nodded. "We don't want lasers and oil mixing." He climbed up after Tommy.
Soon the parademons were in the area, looking around for Tommy and Jesse, who were hanging off the ceiling.
Tommy looked over and saw that Jesse's nose was beginning to bleed again!
"Oh no…" Jesse muttered, doing his best to not let the blood drip.
"Great. First you get us lost, now you're going to get us killed!" Tommy whispered angrily.
"Well I wouldn't be bleeding if you hadn't punched me!"
"I wouldn't have punched you if you hadn't been such a stupid ass!"
Jesse couldn't stop it any longer, and a glob of blood dripped down, landing right on a parademon's nose. He looked up, and was immediately kicked in the face by a falling Tommy! Jesse came down behind the other two kicked out their legs.
"Go! Go! Go!" Tommy ordered, and they began sprinting. More parademons arrived, drawn by the commotion.
Then, on the other end of the tunnel, four Batman robots appeared! They automatically began firing their machine guns at the parademons, who responded by firing their lasers. And Tommy and Jesse were right in the middle of it.
Tommy shot a grapple upward and pulled himself out of the gunfight, with Jesse dangling off of his legs. "Stop it!" He was screaming to the Batman drones, but the gunfire continued.
Then a parademon's javelin soared through and sliced Tommy's grapple line. Instantly, Tommy and Jesse began to plummet back into the line of fire.
And as they fell, something finally sparked the oil in the water. There was a massive explosion, and a raging fire engulfed the tunnel…
ALL CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS ARE PROPERTY OF DC COMICS
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Earth In Chains - Part 9