Disclaimer: I do not own any DC characters or locations. All rights belong to DC Comics. I do, however, retain the rights to all characters and locations of my own creation, which include: Rebecca Chavez, Holly Sanders, Jeremiah Belmont, Michael Kubrick, Zaria (as well as her Celarian race), Shao Shen, Police Chief Gerald Palmer, Officer Stevens, Officer Harrow, Emilia Marconi, Francis Baldoni, Arnold Pavoni, Senator Thomas Greene, Agent Croft, as well as Silverstone City and all its interior locations of my own creation.
Note: The exciting conclusion of the No More Heroes crossover!
Side Note: Whew, so the event finally finishes. It's been a long three weeks that it took me to write this, but I think it was worth it. I'm certainly hoping the conclusion will be mostly satisfying for what was (I hope) an enjoyable story line. I say mostly satisfying, because there are a couple parts that might leave a poor taste in your mouth, but I urge you to never fear, because things are never as they seem. As always, I invite anyone who reads it to comment (please, please comment if you actually read it. I always get like 100 views but only maybe 2 people comment :( it's very discouraging)
Int. Starr Enterprises – Night
Becky takes in a sharp breath, as Rose presses the warm, damp cloth against the cut on her forehead. It isn't too deep, but the bleeding does need to be stopped. Fortunately, her injuries aren't been any worse than that, especially considering she'd been shoved by someone with high levels of super strength. Even after crashing through a table, the cut and a sore knee is the worst of it. Leaning back slightly on the bed, she releases a heavy breath, closing her eyes.
Becky: So, that was Wonder Girl, huh?
Becky: Well, she's certainly... aggressive.
Rose: I prefer the term 'b*tchy', but maybe that's just me.
A small smirk snakes its way across Becky's face.
Becky: That actually does sound better. You two don't really get along, though, do you?
Rose: Never have, even before I got Kid Flash killed. I mean, she'd always been pretty cold towards me, and I was always looking for a reason to make her mad. So yeah, that was a match made in hell right from the start.
Chuckling slightly, Becky gives her girlfriend another smile, then reaches up and pushes the wet cloth away.
Becky: Hey, enough with tending to me. What about you? She clocked your jaw pretty good.
Rose: I wouldn't worry about it, I'm used to taking hits like that. Besides, she held back. If she didn't, I wouldn't have a jaw left. I guess even as much as she hates me, she doesn't actually want to kill me.
Becky: Well, I still say you should get looked at.
Rose: Is that right?
Becky: Come on, lie down.
Putting up no real resistance, Rose moves forward to the bed and obeys, pulling off her shirt and pants, then lying down on the mattress, front side down. She utters a cool breath, eyes closing slightly as Becky gets into position atop her, hands coming down to begin massaging her shoulders.
Becky: See, doesn't that feel better?
Rose: Mmm... maybe.
A calm, gentle silence descends over the two for a few moments, as Becky's hands slowly work their way downward. It's a silence that they both enjoy, taking peace in each other's loving company. In the time that they've been involved with each other, they've grown a close bond, a bond that often times, like now, needs no words. Of course, the silence can last only so long, as a new subject needs discussing.
Becky: This may not be the best time to discuss it, but... our next mission is the big one, right? We'll be trying to bring down the VRA at the source.
Breathing in deeply, Rose opens her eyes and stares forward. She doesn't answer at first, simply enjoying the feel of Becky's hands massaging her lower back, but she does eventually bring herself to answer.
Rose: Yeah. We'll hit them hard, and we'll find Slade. We'll beat him, we'll capture him, and we will find out everything he knows, one way or another. Whatever he's planning, whoever is giving him orders, it all has to end.
Becky: Si... and even though he's your dad, you'll be able to...
Rose: To what? Fight him? Hurt him? I told you everything about him, Beck, you know what kind of man he is. I disowned him a long time ago. When I face him, he's not my father; he's just another killer.
Becky's hands stop, a small sigh exiting her lips. Moving off of of Rose, she lies down next to her and holds an arm around her shoulders, head resting on the pillow.
Becky: I'm sorry for what he did to you, Rose. You deserve so much better than what he put you through.
Rose: You're sweet, you know that?
Becky: Well, I do try.
Smiling, Rose lifts a hand and reaches over to take Becky's holding it tightly and interlocking their fingers.
Rose: You're forgetting, though. I already do have better. I have you.
Becky: Now who's being sweet, ah?
Rose: That's not all I can be.
Becky: Hmm, that so?
Her mouth forms into a wide grin, as she leans forward and gives Becky a deep kiss, while rolling on top of her in the process.
Rose: How about I show you?
Int. Starr Enterprises – Day
With the addition of the Teen Titans, their numbers have doubled, meaning they're essentially twice as effective and twice as dangerous as before. Unfortunately, the VRA still has them all vastly outnumbered with the amount of heroes under control of neural stems. They're not just going to need a lot of determination and power to succeed this time around, but a lot of luck, too. The serious nature of their mission hangs heavy in the air, as the team gathers in the main lounge the next day to go over the plan.
Power Girl: So, we all know the main purpose of this assault. To break into VRA headquarters, shut the place down, and capture Slade Wilson for interrogation. In order put an end this, we have to figure out who he's working for.
Red Robin: I'd suggest breaking into two separate teams, in the event that we run into heavy resistance. We'll need a distraction team to draw a majority of the fire, and an infiltration team to get inside and go after Slade.
Power Girl: Good idea. In that case, the distraction team will consist of myself, Wonder Girl, Superboy, Flash, Bombshell, and Static.
Leaning forward one the couch, Bombshell gives a small grin.
Bombshell: And the objective for that team is to cause as much mayhem as possible, right? Now that I can do.
Power Girl: Which leaves Red Robin, Red Arrow, Ravager, Beast Boy, Raven and Rebecca for the infiltration team.
Beast Boy: What about Vic?
Cyborg: I'll be back here, working on a way to remotely shut down those stems.
Superboy: But you already managed to disable ours, didn't you?
Cyborg: When I could get up close and had time to interact with them directly, sure. But that isn't going to be much help against someone attacking you. If I can figure out a way to disable them from a distance, though, then we'd have a distinct advantage against the VRA controlled heroes.
At this information, Red Arrow folds his arms and shifts his weight slightly.
Red Arrow: I guess I'll be the one to ask it: why aren't we waiting until you do figure that out to attack? Seems like it would make things a whole lot easier.
Cyborg: Because, there's no guarantee I'll be able to, at least not in the near future. The longer we sit around waiting for me to come up with a solution, the worse things get out there, and the more time the VRA will have to prepare for us.
Ravager: I have to agree on that one... giving Slade a significant amount of time to prepare against anything is not a good idea.
Power Girl: Right, we want to hit them while they're still vulnerable.
Static: I just hope this works and we get the information we're looking for, because we are attacking a government building. In the middle of D.C. If this goes south, it's not going to end well for us.
Power Girl: If we fail, I doubt it will end well for anyone.
A dead silence descends upon the group momentarily. They give each other careful glances, nerves beginning to run high. No matter what happens, they can't fail. Becky then stands up from her seat, planting one end of her staff firmly against the ground and giving Power Girl an affirmative nod.
Becky: Let's do this.
Ext. VRA Headquarters – Day
Out in front of the VRA building, a large garrison has been set up to protect against any incoming attacks. Most of the men are directly employed by the VRA itself, but it also includes a collection of local police, as well as military troops. They're taking no chances. The only problem with this, of course, is the cost to not just gather them, but also keep them all stationed there, waiting for a threat they aren't sure is coming.
But Slade is sure. He's always sure. As he stands there behind a wall of large army jeeps, hands clasped behind his back, he carefully observes the setup. These men likely won't be able to hold the line very long against the kind of power on its way, but they don't really need to, either. They're simply present in order to slow the threat down, not take it out. He has other individuals more capable of that standing by for when they're needed.
Croft: Are you sure they're coming? We have no intel to indicate an imminent attack.
Slade casually glances at the man beside him, his stolid expression unchanging.
Slade: I suppose the previous attacks on our other facilities have escaped your memory?
Croft: Well, no...
Slade: They'll be here, and soon. To be honest, I'm surprised they haven't arrived already; perhaps even superheroes need a breather. The point is to be prepared, so when they get here, we can put them down.
Agent Croft utters a cool breath, turning his gaze back towards the garrison in front of them. Most of the men are just sitting around eating lunch, or reading a paper. They certainly don't look like a very prepared bunch.
Croft: Somehow, they're not inspiring me with a lot of confidence.
Slade: Just have a little faith. Pawns go first for a reason. Now, stay here and coordinate the defense. I'll be in my office.
Once Slade disappears back inside the building, Croft mumbles out a curse under his breath and folds his arms.
Croft: Stay here and coordinate... right. We'll be out here for hours before-
VRA Guard: There they are!
Suddenly, the whole mass of troops begins scrambling into defensive formations, taking position and readying themselves against the incoming superbeings. Power Girl is the first to arrive, swooping in and crashing down in front of the main line. Wonder Girl and Superboy fly down next to her, followed by Static and Bombshell. Flash appears a second later, running up behind the group and standing with his arms crossed over his chest.
Immediately, Croft runs forward with a bullhorn in hand.
Croft: Attention, superheroes! Surrender at once, or we will open fire. In light of your recent crimes against the VRA and the government as a whole, lethal force has been authorized! This is the only warning you get!
Eyes narrowing, Power Girl takes a few steps forward. The men at the front of the line instantly tense up, raising their weapons at her.
Power Girl: And here's my counter. You stand aside and let us by peacefully, and none of you need to get hurt. This is your only warning.
Croft: Not going to happen, Power Girl. You're not heroes anymore, you're the country's most wanted criminals. You don't stand down, and we will take you out!
Power Girl: You're welcome to try.
Not hesitating another moment, her eyes suddenly glow bright red, followed by a thick wave of heat vision that slices forward across the ground in front of them. A tall cloud of dust and debris kicks up into the air, blocking the heroes from sight. The front line begins open firing, some with standard assault rifles, others with the VRA's more sophisticated energy weapons that shoot out powerful orbs of electricity.
Of course, none of them even come close to hitting their mark before Power Girl's team is on them, bursting through the dust cloud and throwing themselves straight into the enemy force. Several men run in a panic, while others still try to subdue their targets. It's rather futile, though, as their weapons have very little effect against the largely invulnerable heroes.
While the more destructive members of the team go around simply destroying vehicles and causing as much chaos as possible, Flash and Static work on disarming everyone the can. Floating up high into the air on his levitating trashcan lid, Static ends out a field of electricity to magnetize and pull away their weapons. Flash, on the other hand, simply runs at super speeds in between all of them and physically pulls their weapons out of their hands. Within a minute, more than two thirds of the entire garrison is unarmed and helpless.
With an angry shout, Bombshell flies forward towards the back of the enemy troops and rips straight through a military jeep, splitting it in half and causing it to explode in a rather impressive fireball. Fortunately, the surrounding men have ample time to get out of the way of any airborne metal pieces. Turning around, she gives them a cross glare, as bullets bounce off her Dilustel skin.
Bombshell: Come on! That the best you got? You're all pathetic!
Charging her fist up with atomic energy, she punches the ground squarely in front of her, causing a violent eruption of earth, stone, and concrete. This time, however, the flying debris explodes in a much wider radius, threatening to crush some of the nearby guards. Fortunately, a red and yellow blur zips around and pulls everyone out of the way.
Flash: Calm down, Bombshell! We're not trying to hurt anyone!
Bombshell: If they didn't want to get hurt, they should have just surrendered!
As she goes to turn her attacks elsewhere, however, a sonic blast explodes across her backside, launching her forward and straight through another jeep. Flying into view, Blue Beetle raises his arm cannon for a follow up attack.
Blue Beetle: Could say the same to you, chica!
And suddenly an entire enemy team of supers arrive, including Black Canary, Stargirl, Argent, Hawkman, Jay Garrick, Terra, and Cyclone. For a brief moment, both teams of heroes just stand still, staring each other down. The other troops meanwhile take this opportunity to get the hell out of there, desperately retreating from the inevitable destruction about to take place.
Blue Beetle: One last chance to surrender before we take you out.
Before anyone can answer, however, the fallen Bombshell rockets up from the ground and crashes into Blue Beetle midair, unleashing a power explosion of energy that sends him hurtling into one of the windows of the building behind him. A moment later, he flies back outside, relatively unharmed, and takes aim with his sonic cannon again.
Blue Beetle: I'll take that as a no. Attack!
Bombshell: You wanna go, blue boy? Let's go!
And then the two sides clash. As Bombshell and Blue Beetle go at it in the air, Jay Garrick, the original Flash, races across the ground straight at the current Flash and lunges at him in a supersonic tackle. The two crash into another building across the street, partially caving one of the walls. After sliding a ways across the ground, Flash springs back up to his feet and begins racing back at the older man.
Flash: Don't make me do this, Jay!
Jay: You brought it on yourself, kid! You're a criminal now!
Back in front of the VRA building, Stargirl flies in with her cosmic staff at the ready, heading straight at Wonder Girl. While forming a defensive force field around herself, she holds the staff forward and fires off a sparkling and powerful cosmic blast. Wonder Girl stands her ground, holding her arms up in front of herself and taking the hit. She manages to endure for several moments, before the blast sends her airborne.
Stargirl: Don't think that just because you wear that W on your chest, I'm a pushover!
After stabilizing herself in the air, Wonder Girl jets forward at Stargirl. When the next blast of energy comes in, she dodges out of the way and moves in quick, delivering a thunderous punch that smashes against the force field and launches Stargirl into a jeep down below. Unfortunately, the force field holds, negating any damage the attack might have caused.
As Hawkman lunges in with a vicious swing from his mace, Static ducks out of the way, floating backwards and firing an electrical blast. Unfortunately, Hawkman holds his mace forward, which ends up drawing the entirety of the blast into it like a lightning rod and dispersing it. Eyes going wide, Static floats higher, trying to keep his distance.
Static: Okay, that shouldn't happen.
Hawkman: You've never seen Nth metal before have you?
Static: Doesn't sound familiar, no.
Flying after the young hero, Hawkman quickens his pace and takes another swing.
Hawkman: Then have a closer look!
Superboy jumps backwards, narrowly avoiding a giant silver plasma construct in the shape of a wrecking ball. However, the construct suddenly changes shape, shifting into dozens of long, flexible tendrils that lash out and chase after him. While he manages to evade them for a while, they continue splitting into more and more, until eventually a number of them wrap around his legs and swing him through the air, crashing him into the side of the building.
Argent: Not so super now, are you?
Her comment is answered by a very angry Superboy flying out from the rubble and blitzing straight at her. Eyes going wide, she forms up a silver construct in front of her in the shape of a shield, taking the brunt of the resulting impact. The force of the blow still sends her crashing back to the ground, though, and she is slow to recover. But as Superboy moves in to put her down for good, a loud, shrill scream of incredible power rips through the air and hits him full force, throwing him backwards and forcing him to cover his ears.
Black Canary: Sorry, Superboy, but she isn't the only one you have to deal with.
The team's final member, Power Girl, weaves her way in between several massive chunks of earth, as she heads towards Terra. This girl may be her best friend, but she can't let that throw her off. Terra is controlled just like all the others, who can and will kill the uncontrolled heroes if given the opportunity. She needs to end this battle quickly, or at least drag it out long enough for the infiltration team to get to Slade.
Power Girl: I'm sorry I have to do this again, Atlee! I don't have a choice!
Terra: There's always a choice, Peej! You just made the wrong one!
As Power Girl closes the distance, a massive wind gust suddenly ripples through the air. At first, it's just a mild breeze, in comparison to her resilience, but soon picks up into near hurricane force, sending her spinning violently back through the air.
Cyclone: You didn't forget about me, did you, Kara?
Another one of Power Girl's friends from the JSA, Maxine Hunkel, possesses complete control over air currents, and even sound waves, as of recently. This combination could be trouble. By the time Power Girl manages to stabilize herself again in the air, a pair of enormous boulders come in from both sides and squash her between them. Letting out a frustrated grunt, she pushes them back apart with minimal effort, only to take another flying boulder to the face, one that sends her crashing into a nearby building.
Cyclone: You should have just surrendered, Kara! Now we have to hurt you!
Ext. VRA Headquarters – Day
Across the street from the battle, poised on a rooftop, the infiltration team watches carefully as their friends fight desperately against the VRA controlled heroes. While the distraction team does seem to be holding their own for now, they're still outnumbered, and a their opponents aren't exactly pushovers to begin with. Becky leans forward over the parapet, her gaze unable to break away from the scene.
Becky: Dios, they're in trouble... you think they can hold out?
Ravager: They're gonna have to; that's their job. Our job, on the other hand, is to take advantage of this. We need to get in there and find Slade.
Red Arrow: Well, I'm ready you guys are. I'd say those guys are plenty distracted now.
Red Robin: I agree. Now's the time to go.
Beast Boy: Take us away, Raven.
Raising her arms, Raven projects her soul-self once again, engulfing them all.
Raven: Yes... let us go.
Int. VRA Headquarters – Day
Raven takes them to the second floor lobby of the VRA building. As they materialize out of her dark soul-self, the receptionist behind the counter utters a terrified shriek, having not really been expecting to see something like that right in front of her. Instantly, the woman ducks down below her desk out of the way, slowly peering up over the top to check on what exactly was going on.
Red Robin: Alright, now the question is, where's Slade?
Beast Boy: Well, there can't be that many places for him to hide. There's only five floors.
Looking to her left, Ravager spots the receptionist and starts waling over to her.
Ravager: Hey, you. What floor is Slade on?
The frightened woman lets out a small yelp, tumbling back behind her chair and springing up to her feet.
Receptionist: P-please, don't hurt me!
Ravager: Lady, we're not gonna hurt you. Just tell us where Slade is.
Receptionist: S-slade? Oh, you mean Director Wilson, r-right. He's on the fifth floor in his office.
Red Arrow: Huh, never thought just asking would have worked.
Ravager: Well you heard her, fifth floor. Let's get moving.
Blinking a couple times in surprise, the receptionist gives the group careful glances, as she moves back to her desk.
Receptionist: You're... really not going to hurt me?
Ravager: You don't plan on attacking us, do you?
Receptionist: W-what? No! Of course not!
Ravager: Then yeah, you're safe. Now come on, we're wasting time.
Raven: I will have us there... shortly.
Once again, she extends her soul-self outward in order to teleport them up to the fifth floor. However, before she can complete the task, a painful eruption of electricity explodes across her backside. Her eyes go wide, mouth gaping open and a horrific scream emerging from her throat. She falls forward, collapsing to the floor and twitching in pain, her entire body numb. Jutting into her back, right between her shoulder blades, is a small bat-shaped shuriken, with a blinking blue light on it
Becky: Look out!
A second electrically charged batarang comes slicing through the air, but Becky intercepts it, swatting it out of the air with her staff. A second later, a dark figure swoops in from around one of the lobby pillars, landing a kick on Becky's face and sending her reeling backwards. When the figure lands, she throws out another couple of batarangs, but Red Robin promptly knocks them both out of the air with two of his own razor discs.
Red Robin: Cassandra?
The attacker is Cassandra Cain, otherwise known as Black Bat, and she's just as under the VRA's control as the rest of them.
Black Bat: If you want Slade, you'll have to get by me first.
Pushing past the others, Ravager comes forward and cracks her knuckles, a partial smirk on her face.
Ravager: You're kidding, right? You're a bit outnumbered, Bat B*tch, but hey, I won't complain. Gives us a chance to finally settle things.
Kubrick: She didn't come alone!
The werewolf Michael Kubrick suddenly comes bolting through the lobby, lips curled back and fangs bared. He makes a wild lunge at the person closest to him: Red Robin. With a deft maneuver, Red Robin rolls out of the way, while brandishing his extendable bo staff and moving into a defensive position. Then, the rest of the enemy team shows up, including a few familiar faces. The shark-alien woman Zaria, already transformed in all her monstrous glory, dives in from the ceiling, making a swipe at Red Arrow, who narrowly manages to dive out of the way.
When Beast Boy transforms into a tiger to help, the potted plants around them in the lobby suddenly come to life, rapidly growing and extending outward to take hold of him in the grasp of thick vines. The green skinned Poison Ivy slowly struts around the side of one of the pillars, the vines lifting herself upwards into the air as well, with a pleased grin on her face.
Poison Ivy: Don't struggle too much; my babies are still growing.
Becky, meanwhile, holds a hand to her head and shakes off the last blow, while looking around at the melee. Before she can take very long to comprehend the situation, though, she's under attack from her own enemy, a blonde haired woman in a black and purple batsuit, carrying a bo staff in similar style to the one Red Robin uses.
Batgirl: Looks like you're all mine!
Leaping out of the way of a vicious swing, Becky spins her own staff around and hits her opponent's weapon away, then thrusts the end forward. But Batgirl is quick, leaning to the side to avoid the strike and then countering with a palm thrust that catches Becky square in the jaw. While recoiling from the blow, Becky feels another hit carom off her stomach, and then a third drill into the side of her knee. Fortunately, the armored body suit she wears disperses most of the force, resulting in very little actual damage.
After taking a second to briefly shake away the partial daze she's in, Becky swiftly dodges two more attacks, then ducks low and counters with an upwards swing from her staff. The end catches Batgirl across the bottom of the jaw and literally lifts her up several feet as a result of the impact, the resulting shock wave knocking the woman out cold instantly. Blinking a few times in surprise, she glances down at the staff and smiles a little.
Becky: I really do love this thing.
Ravager takes a small step to the side, watching as Black Bat carefully examines every motion she makes. That's how Cassandra gains such an edge in hand to hand, reading her opponent's movements to such a degree that she can determine exactly how and where a person will attack. Likewise, Ravager possesses her precog, enabling her to see attacks before they happen. Both women have highly effective methods of defending themselves in hand to hand combat, and both are highly trained and experienced. It's what makes them such a perfect match for each other.
Black Bat: I do recall you saying you wanted to smack me around sometime. Well here's your chance; if you think you can.
Ravager: I wouldn't waste my time if I didn't know I could.
Black Bat: That's interesting, because the last time we fought to a finish, I left you bleeding from a cut throat.
Ravager: This isn't like when when we fought before; I'm not some rookie looking for daddy's approval anymore.
Black Bat: Then what are you waiting for?
Narrowing her gaze, Ravager lifts her hands, getting into an offensive stance and then lunging in for an attack. She's faster than when they last fought. She's stronger than when they last fought. And she's a hell of a lot more skilled, too. But Cassandra still predicts the location of the punch and manages to deflect it off to the side. The countering backhand strikes air, as Ravager's precog alerts her to it before it happens, allowing her to duck out of the way, and in the process raise her leg in a high kick that narrowly misses the woman's chin.
After a brief pause, both combatants staring each other down, they charge in. No more testing, no more messing around; now it's on. For the most part, they both have an extreme difficulty hitting the other, with most attacks either being blocked, deflected, or outright avoided. But some attacks do land, and for a short moment they even exchange several blows in succession, though nothing of particular significance. A split lip here, a jab to the ribs there, the damage is marginal. And neither is backing down any time soon.
Black Bat: I will admit, you've gotten better.
Ravager: So have you; but not as much.
Black Bat: You're so sure?
Ravager: Of course I am. You used to be leagues ahead of me, even with my abilities. But look at us now, almost even. That tells me you've either been slacking off, or somewhere along the way you just reached a point where you couldn’t improve anymore.
Black Bat: You mean my peak.
Ravager: Yeah, your peak. And guess what? I think my peak is higher.
Black Bat: Well let's find out.
They rush each other again, this time determined to find out which of them is the better. While Ravager has her swords and Black Bat has her gadgets, neither set of equipment comes into play. This match up is personal to the both of them, even if Cassandra is being controlled by one of the neural stems. They go hand to hand, and only hand to hand... in a sense. As they reach each other, Ravager poises herself and waits for an attack. When the punch comes, she turns herself to the side and wraps her own arms around Black Bat's, then works herself into a position to grab hold of the woman's midsection and under her armpit.
Ravager: Don't bother struggling.
Her grip comes down like a vice, unyielding no matter how hard Cassandra tries to break free. Their skill might be on par with each other, but there are some things that Ravager has to her advantage. Enhanced speed and strength are a couple of those, the latter of which is the deciding factor here. Pushing forward, she forces Black Bat face first into the pillar in front of them, then pulls back and swings her to the floor. Throughout the entire assault, she never once loosens her grip.
Ravager: A little advice-
Kneeling atop her opponent now, Ravager pins both of Cassandra's arms in an awkward position behind her back, then slams her face hard against the tile floor.
Ravager: -when you're fighting someone who can see your attacks before you make them-
Black Bat begins to fight back, twisting her body to the side and using her legs push off from the ground and attempt to break free. But Ravager doesn't let her, go instead twisting one of her arms even harder, and then lunging her knee forward straight into her jaw.
Ravager: -you have to take that ability out of the equation. If there's nowhere for you to go-
With another desperate lurch Black Bat starts to wriggle free, sliding out from beneath Ravager and nearly getting away. But Ravager is quick to grab hold again, still not letting go, in spite of a hard palm thrust that whips her head backwards. Instead, she pulls Cassandra up with her and lurches her head forward, viciously headbutting the woman square in the face.
Ravager: -then you can't get away.
One final elbow strike to the back of the skull puts Cassandra down for good. As she goes limp, slumping the the floor in unconsciousness, Ravager utters a small groan and holds a hand to her head. Those last couple shots to the head made everything start to spin around her.
Poison Ivy: It doesn't matter what you transform into! My lovelies will rip you apart!
Currently in the form of a hummingbird, Beast Boy zips around wildly, darting out of the way of monstrous, man eating plants. Fortunately, his speed and unpredictability in this form is keeping him alive right now. He would just transform into something much larger, but if he goes too big, he might end up crashing straight through the floor, which likely isn't reinforced enough to hold something like a mammoth or a T-Rex.
Instead, he darts out of the way of a few more lunging plant mouths and then quickly morphs into a gorilla, getting close enough to make a leaping dive in order to get to Poison Ivy directly. However, a massive plant stem suddenly shoots up through the floor straight in front of him, causing him to very nearly run straight into it. Fortunately, he manages to change directions avoid collision at the last moment. However, it also leaves him vulnerable to the man eating plants, which all begin to converge on him at once. Going on the defensive again, he transforms back into hummingbird form, ready to keep dodging.
But the need never arises, as suddenly a large ball of flame erupts at the base of one of the plants. Instantly, Poison Ivy lets out a horrified shriek of agony, eyes going wide and arms reaching out to the burning plant.
Poison Ivy: No! What have you done?! They're in pain! They're dying!
A brief second later, Red Robin appears behind her and delivers a hard strike with his staff to the base of her skull, knocking her out cold. Morphing back into human form, Beast Boy glances back over at the cause of the fire.
Beast Boy: Thanks.
Red Arrow: Fire arrow; primitive, but effective.
Red Robin: Not really primitive when you're using kerosene as a base.
Red Arrow: Well... true.
Ravager then stumbles into view, moving around the withering and dying plant life. Holding a hand to the back of her head, she glances around at the others for a moment, confused.
Ravager: Where's Becky?
Red Arrow: Uh, not sure exactly. She helped us take down ugly and uglier over there, then I think she ran off.
A sudden sinking feeling drops into her gut.
Ravager: Oh, Becky no... tell me you didn't go after him by yourself!
And then she's off and running, sprinting towards the stairs. The elevator will be far too slow, and she needs to get there now!
Red Robin: Damn it! Roy, BB, take care of Raven! I'm going after them!
The door to Slade's office bursts inwards, tearing straight off its hinges with splinters and shards of glass spraying in all directions. Holding her staff at the ready, Becky steps inside and takes a defensive stance, staring at the man in front of her. Slade is standing there, fully dressed in his armored costume, except for the mask. A broadsword adorns his back, while multiple guns hang off his waist and legs. He's quite prepared to defend himself.
Becky: Slade! You're coming with us!
Not answering right away, he pulls on his mask finally and straightens it, the Deathstroke persona taking over now.
Deathstroke: Rebecca, isn't it? Shame... I was hoping for Rose.
Becky: Well you got me! And the others are on their way soon, so do the smart thing and come quietly.
Deathstroke: You're my daughter's... lover, right?
Becky's eyes narrow at the comment.
Becky: Girlfriend, get it right.
Deathstroke: Of course... and she's happy with you, isn't she?
Becky: The hell do you care? As far as I'm concerned, that's none of your business!
Deathstroke: I'm her father; her happiness is certainly my business.
Becky: Right, and that's why you drugged her, manipulated her, and made her kill for you? You're a regular father of the year.
Deathstroke: Don't presume you know anything about it; even she doesn't know the whole story, not really.
Becky: And I'm sure we'd all love to hear it; you can tell it to us from behind bars!
Taking a couple steps forward, Deathstroke clasps his hands behind his back.
Deathstroke: Don't be stupid, girl. You're in over your head.
Becky: Well, we'll see about that, won't we? For everything you've done with the VRA, everything you've done to hurt these people, and everything you've ever done to Rose, I'm taking you down.
He pauses momentarily, reaching back behind himself and drawing his sword. Then, he takes a small step forward and lifts the blade above his head, waiting.
Deathstroke: I'll tell you right now, I don't want to fight you, Rebecca. But if you make the first move, do not expect me to hold back.
Becky's gaze goes narrow again, hands gripping her staff with both hands. As determined and eager as she is to make the first move, a part of her feels the pangs of hesitation. Something about this man is frightening. But she fights those feelings away, instead raising her weapon and rushing across the office.
Becky: Let's go!
Int. VRA Headquarters – Day
Deathstroke stumbles backwards, catching his balance against the desk and then pushing himself forward. When he and Becky engage again, the exchange is brief but telling. When the butt of the staff juts against his ribs, he feels a thunderous force erupt, a small shock wave ripping into his armor and knocking him airborne. He does, however, manage to flip himself around in midair and land back on his feet, though he staggers momentarily.
Deathstroke: Not bad. I might even go so far as to say pretty good. That suit is impressive.
Swallowing, Becky takes in a deep breath and stumbles, dropping to one knee and wincing.
Deathstroke: The staff, too, a fine piece of weaponry. But it doesn't matter how strong or fast you are; I still got you.
A small grunt emerges from Becky's lips, as she glances down to see a clean cut through her power suit, slicing along her upper arm and shoulder. It stings... it really stings.
Becky: Rose told me you were dangerous; guess she was right.
Deathstroke: Do the smart thing and stand down, Rebecca. I don't want to hurt you more.
Becky: Sorry, but we have a job to do. No more messing around!
She briefly pauses, clicking a switch on the center of the staff. A low pitched humming noise begins to fill the room, as the weapon powers up to maximum capacity. Deathstroke lifts an eyebrow in curiosity, then prepares himself against the charging woman. As the staff swings in, he goes to deflect the blow with his sword, but the massive shock wave that erupts sends the blade spinning through the air and knocks him off balance, hands shaking and numb.
Deathstroke: What the-
When the staff hits his gut this time, he almost mistakes the impact for a speeding train. Instantly, he lifts up through the air and flies backwards towards the window behind him. Not only does he go through the window, but he takes half the wall with him, plummeting through the air from five stories up. Realizing exactly what she's done now, Becky's eyes goes wide as she runs over to the hole in the wall, terrified that she actually went and killed the man.
Becky: Oh mierda!
Ext. VRA Headquarters – Day
The roof of an attaching section of the building breaks his fall before he can plummet the entire distance, crashing against the hard surface about twenty feet down. He lies there for several moments, groaning quietly to himself, then starts to sit up and shake off the daze.
Deathstroke: Okay, a very fine piece of weaponry.
A short moment later, another figure lands on the roof in front of him, cracking the flat surface upon impact. Becky's suit absorbs the shock of the fall, allowing her to instantly recover and prepare herself for another attack. Rising back to his feet, Deathstroke holds a hand to his chest briefly, then takes a fighting stance.
Becky: I'd stay down, if I were you.
Deathstroke: Girl, you really don't know what you're up against, do you?
Becky: I know I just knocked you out a window. Want to make it off a roof, too?
Deathstroke: I didn't want to have to do this...
He suddenly sprints forward, the fall apparently having very little effect on his ability to continue fighting. Becky readies herself, spinning her staff and delivering a vicious swing at his legs. But she strikes only air, as somehow Deathstroke manages to leap over the attack in time and lunge at her with an explosive elbow that catches the side of her head. She staggers slightly, though the blow doesn't stun her for too long... but then the follow up blows come.
Becky barely even knows where the attacks are coming from, they're hitting her so fast. And they hurt, too. Even with the armor that her suit provides, she feels the impact right through it. By the time the onslaught is finished, her entire body is throbbing and numb.
Am I on my back? I am... what the hell happened?
Everything appears to be spinning when she looks up at the sky, and for a moment she feels nauseous. Eventually, Deathstroke appears above in her vision, standing over her. She tries to get back up to keep fighting, but her insides suddenly twist, causing her to roll over and vomit, coughing and sputtering.
Deathstroke: I told you, you're in over your head.
Becky: I'm not... done yet...
Deathstroke: Yes, you are.
Lifting a fist meant to put her down for good, an angry voice suddenly interrupts him.
He glances up just in time to see a figure dive bombing him from up above like a missile, feet first. Boots squarely striking him in the chest, he tumbles head over heels until popping back up to his feet and hunching over slightly. His gaze narrows, focusing on his daughter.
Deathstroke: Rose... good of you to join us.
Ravager: Your fight is with me, dad! Leave her out of it!
Deathstroke: Her own fault; I did warn her about getting involved.
Becky: Oy, I had him...
Ravager: Becky, what the hell were you thinking? You shouldn't have gone after him alone!
Becky: I just... wanted to do something good for you.
Ravager: Well, you’ve done enough for now. Take a breather, I'll handle him.
A moment later, another figure swings down into view. Red Robin lands nimbly next to Ravager, then retracting his grapple line and tucking it away.
Red Robin: You don't have to handle him alone.
Ravager: I don't need your help, Tim. Or want it. This one's personal.
Red Robin: You know I'm not just gonna stand here and watch you fight him alone.
Becky: Yeah, what he said.
A small groan finds its way out of Becky's throat, as she starts to push her way back to her feet.
Becky: Think I'm starting to feel a bit better here.
And just like that, Deathstroke is facing a three on one disadvantage. He could take any one of them just fine, he knows that. But all three... that could pose a problem.
Deathstroke: Well... isn't this interesting?
Drawing her swords, Ravager leads the charge, sprinting straight at her father.
Ravager: Take him down!
Int. Unknown Location – Day
Deep within a dark bunker somewhere, location unspecified, a man sits at a large computer console, more like a small command center than anything else. This equipment far surpasses the stuff he's been using in the past, and with it he can do just about anything imaginable with a computer. Right now, his 'eye in the sky' is paying careful attention to everything going on in Washington D.C., specifically the attack on the VRA headquarters. Even more specifically, he's watching an aerial view of the rooftop on which Deathstroke is fighting against three opponents. The man seems to be putting up a decent enough fight, but he's still outmatched.
Calculator: Well, it seems you've bitten off a little more than you can chew, Slade... can't say I'm surprised.
As he continues watching, the phone next to his station begins to ring. It rings three times, then stops. After a long pause, it starts ringing again. It's at this point he reaches over to grab it, knowing exactly who it is.
Calculator: I was wondering when you were going to call.
Voice/Phone: Are you watching?
Calculator: Live satellite feed is crystal clear. I can see it all.
Voice/Phone: And how does it look?
Calculator: Not good for the VRA.
Clicking a button on the keyboard in front of him, he pulls up another screen. It shows an overhead view of the front of the VRA building. Most of the combatants are down and out at the moment, but Power Girl, Superboy, and Static are still in the game, fighting against Terra, Stargirl, and Argent. Pressing a second button, he zooms in just in time to see Static deliver a particularly devastating blast to Terra, who goes down in a smoking heap.
Calculator: The main defense squad is almost out. I give them five more minutes, tops.
Voice/Phone: And Slade?
Voice/Phone: I see... Unfortunate. You know what to do in that case?
Calculator: Of course.
Voice/Phone: Slade may have failed, but as long as they don't get any information out of him, then the game continues.
Calculator: Trust me, when I'm done here, there won't be anything left of him to get information from.
Voice/Calculator: Good. Once you've done that, I'll take care of the rest of them.
The phone clicks off a second later. Calmly hanging it up, Calculator pulls himself closer to the keyboard and cracks his knuckles. With a few short button presses, he pulls up the VRA building's security systems, particularly the little fail safe that was installed for an event like this. Glancing back up at the screen, he watches as Deathstroke continues to fight the other three. Knowing the locations of each charge, Calculator waits...
Calculator: Just a little closer, Slade. You're almost on it.
Ext. VRA Headquarters – Day
Becky: Rose, look out!
Lunging forward, Becky pushes her out of the way of Deathstroke's attack, a brutal kick aimed at a downed Ravager, who had just been tripped up before that. Instead, the kick strikes Becky's arm. With a hard glare, she grabs onto the man's shin and yanks him forward, throwing herself at him. The two go down, rolling several times before coming to a stop. Deathstroke ends up on top of her, delivering a couple of hard strikes to face and midsection.
But suddenly, the claw of Red Robin's grapnel gun clamps around his left wrist and pulls his arm back, throwing him off balance. Then, Ravager is on him, leaping onto his back and wrapping her arm around his neck, choking and restraining him.
Ravager: It's over, Slade! You're coming with-
Their entire world is engulfed in destruction, as the rooftop around them quite literally explodes, several various detonations going off and causing showers of debris to rocket into the air. In particular, one of the charges detonates right below where Becky, Deathstroke, and Ravager are positioned. Within moments, they're falling through empty space, as the roof collapses around them. Half the building goes with them, but only the rear attachment. The main building appears untouched.
Ravager lands with a thud, the back of her head smacking against a thick chunk of concrete. A dark rain of dust, rubble, and broken furniture crashes down over her a second later, everything going black. For the longest time, she can't even figure out which ways is up and which is down. A heavy pain rips across her left arm, too, probably broken. It takes every ounce of effort she has in order to just move beneath the chunks of ruined building, but eventually she manages to dig her way out, even with just a single good arm.
Tearing the cracked helmet and dented faceplate off her head, she throws it to the ground and tumbles down a pile of rubble, grunting in pain when she lands on her bad arm. A brief, hacking cough grates her throat, as she expels the concrete dust from her lungs. For good measure, she spits several times on the ground next to her, just to get the taste out.
What... the hell... just happened?
Gritting her teeth, she sits up and looks around, seeing nothing but piles of debris around her.
Rose: Rebecca? Tim? Are you there?
No answer. Wincing slightly, she forces her way up to her feet and staggers momentarily. When she finally stabilizes herself, she sucks in a deep breath and starts walking, though it's more of a limp, really. That's when she hears a weak voice, a voice that barely comes out in more than a whisper.
Rose's heart skips a beat, gaze snapping in the direction of Becky's voice. Suddenly, all pain, all exhaustion is gone, as she rushes over to the woman's side. Through all of the rubble pinning her to the ground, Becky is barely even noticeable, only her head and one arm poking through the piles of concrete, steel, and brick. Half in panic, Rose throws herself at the debris pile, digging furiously with her one good arm.
Becky: I can't... feel anything.
Rose: Just hold on, I'm getting you out. You'll be fine.
She has to be fine!
When she finally manages to loosen things enough, Rose takes hold of Becky and pulls the woman free. Even now that her body is no longer pinned beneath such heavy weight, Becky continues to lie there. Not a single muscle moves for the longest time, until finally a few of her fingers start to absently twitch.
Becky: I think... I think I was right on top of it.
And so she was. One of stronger explosive charges went off right beneath the spot where Becky had been lying on the roof. Most of her current condition is a result of that, with being buried by rubble just adding insult to injury.
Rose: It's alright, you're okay. Just keep looking at me, Beck. Stay with me.
Becky's eyes weakly flicker upward, her breath stuttering and followed by a hacking cough that sprays out a thick mist of blood.
Becky: How... how bad is it?
Hesitating slightly, Rose then reaches down and removes the front plate of Becky's armored suit, which at this point is mostly destroyed. When the top of her chest is exposed to open air, the massive bruising beneath is revealed. Internal bleeding, broken ribs, probably a collapsed lung somewhere in there. Rose's stomach lurches at the sight, a numb sensation building into her throat.
Rose: It... it's not that bad. Really. We'll just... we'll get you to a doctor and you'll be fine. You'll be... fine.
Becky swallows a hard lump in her throat, then coughs again. This time, not just a spray of blood comes out, but a thick glob that dribbles down her lips. Rose clenches her jaw tightly, then tenderly wipes the crimson from Becky's mouth.
Becky: Hey... I did good... ah?
It's everything Rose can do to keep from breaking down into a helpless pile of tears. The numbness in her throat grows stronger, as she looks down into Becky's eyes... her fading eyes. She forces herself to smile, though the wetness in her own eyes betrays any sense of confidence she tries to instill. All it does is make her heart sink rapidly in her chest.
Rose: Yeah... yeah you did good. You did great.
Becky's arm suddenly begins to move, though very slowly and very weakly. She's trying to bring her hand up, but it just doesn't want to go anywhere, at least not until Rose reaches down and helps it move, bringing it up to her cheek and holding it there.
Becky: Dios... you really are beautiful.
And then her arm goes limp.
Rose: Becky? Becky?!
But there is no answer. Becky's eyes are closed now, her breathing ceasing and body motionless. For a few moments, Rose just sits there, staring in disbelief. A part of her brain doesn't want to believe it, doesn't want to acknowledge what just happened.
Rose: No... no no no no no...
As she continues staring, however, it eventually clicks in her head. Her heart explodes, a sudden rush of negative emotions flooding through her, anger and grief being the two most prominent. Dropping her forehead down to Becky's, she closes her eyes and tries to keep the tears back, but it's useless; they come anyway. It's only a natural response to having her entire world ripped away in front of her very eyes. The cry that erupts from her throat barely sounds human, a sickening combination of sorrow, shock, horror, and pure, heartbreaking agony.
Ext. VRA Headquarters (Rear) – Day
Slade hears it before he sees it. The sound of his daughter's distraught voice screeching through the air, a sound of pain and sorrow. At first, he wonders what could have caused her to scream like that, but as he tumbles down over a pile of rubble, his armor shredded from the blast and mask gone, his gaze falls on the sight. Rose kneels next to the limp, motionless Rebecca Chavez; her girlfriend, her love. Slade can't remember a time when his daughter ever looked so utterly broken, even after as much as he had put her through.
And it sickens him.
It sickens him to know that he had a part in causing this. Things were never supposed to go this far. Rose was never supposed to be hurt, not like this. His legs buckle as he walks towards the scene, body weakened from the explosion. He tries to look at his daughter, but he can't bring himself to, eyes shifting away in shame. Had he really gone and destroyed her life all over again? The only reason he became involved in all of this was to do something good for Rose for once; she might not have seen it at first, but when the dust settled she would have. Instead, he accomplished the complete opposite.
He pauses, unsure of what to say. All he can do is bow his head and continue looking away. In response, Rose's head slowly lifts away from her dead girlfriend's, all that grief and sorrow suddenly shifting into pure, unbridled rage.
Suddenly, she's on him. Before he even notices her rise from the ground, she springs up and lunges forward with a brutal punch. Her knuckles carom strongly off his jaw, whipping his head to the side and pushing him back a step. He can taste blood in his mouth, feels a tooth loose.
Rose: She's dead because you!
A hard knee to the chest now. Slade staggers, holding a hand to the point of impact and grunting. Rose isn't holding back, putting everything she has into her attacks. He doesn't know whether his body is just too sore to react in time, or if he mentally won't allow himself to defend against her. Either way, she gets free shots at him.
Rose: All you do is take! That's all you've ever done!
A kick to the head and Slade falls back to one knee. He isn't there for very long, as a backhand sends him to the ground. Then, she's on top of him, taking repeated swings with her one good arm and clubbing him across the face.
Rose: First it was my mother! Then my life! Then my sanity! And now Becky!
Slade squints his eyes, a steady flow of blood beginning to drip down from an open gash on his forehead.
Rose: For once since you came into my life, I had something good! But you had to destroy it! Why?! Why do you always do this to me?!
By the time Rose's fist stops, Slade's arms are limp, the world spinning around him in a daze. It takes a long moment before things finally start to focus again, and that's when he sees his daughter sitting over him with one of the guns from his holsters pointed straight at his face.
Rose: Don't you dare say anything! I don't want to hear anymore of your delusional excuses! You're a b**stard, do you hear me?! That's all you'll ever be!
Her thumb reaches up and pulls the hammer back on the revolver. Cocked and fully loaded, the only thing standing between Slade and a swift death now is Rose's trigger finger.
Rose: Now you pay for everything you've ever done! To me, to others, everyone!
A second goes by, then another. Rose's hand starts to shake, her finger quivering against the trigger. She glares down at him with an odd mixture of hate and grief, sticky remnants of tears streaked down her cheeks.
Rose: I'm going to kill you! I have to kill you! That's the only way... the only way you'll stop hurting people...
Slade can only stare up at his daughter, a look of shame in his eyes that only a terrible father, one who realizes just how terrible of a father he's been, could have. Rose's hand shakes harder, as renewed tears start to leak from her eyes again, until finally she lowers the gun and drops it off to the side. She then holds her hand up to her forehead and squints her eyes closed, trying her hardest to stifle back her sobs; she fails miserably.
Rose: Why... why can't I do it?
As her sobs grow heavier, Slade forces himself to sit up, fighting the pounding headache and pain wracking his body. For a brief moment, he just stares at his daughter, then gently reaches forward and pulls her into a comforting embrace.
Slade: I'm... so sorry, Rose. I never meant... for any of this to happen.
Ext. VRA Headquarters (Front) – Day
Argent lands hard on the ground, consciousness leaving her in an instant. That last hit from Power Girl really packed a punch. For a brief moment, everything is quiet. No more fighting, no more explosions, no more destruction. The battle is over... for now. Nearly everyone who started the fight is down and out by now, with only Power Girl and Superboy still standing.
Superboy: That was... annoying.
Uttering a long, exhausted breath, Power Girl sits drops down to sit against an upturned piece of pavement.
Power Girl: You're telling me... I just hope that was a big enough distraction.
A familiar voice answers her from behind.
Red Arrow: I hope so, too.
Turning around, she sees Red Arrow and Beast Boy standing there.
Power Girl: What are you two doing here? Where are the others?
Superboy: Did you catch Slade?
Red Arrow: Not exactly...
Beast Boy: We... ran into some complications.
Red Arrow: They took down Raven first, but she's alright; she teleported back to base to recover. But the others ran on ahead without us.
Beast Boy: When we finally got a chance to go check out Slade's office, everyone was gone. Heck, the whole other half of the building was gone, completely demolished.
Narrowing her eyes, Power Girl slowly looks back over at the VRA building.
Power Girl: So that's what that explosion was... Slade must have triggered something. Let's see if we can find anyone in the wreckage.
Beast Boy: On it.
In an instant, he's transformed into a small hummingbird again, prepared to go inspect the ruins of the building. However, before he even makes a move in the proper direction, a sudden blue and red blur flies in from out of nowhere, smashing straight into Power Girl and driving her through a nearby jeep, causing it to erupt in a hot fireball.
Beast Boy: Uh... what I miss?
A second later, Power Girl reappears, this time flying back the way she came and crashing into a telephone pole, completely taking it out. Staggering back up to her feet, she holds a hand to her head and looks up in time to see the blur racing back at her again. This time, though, she's ready for it, and greets it a thunderous punch that launches the figure backwards into the wall of a nearby building.
Power Girl: I so do not need this right now!
The attacker calmly walks back out of the hole in the building, brushing off her costume and staring at Power Girl.
Supergirl: Maybe you should have thought about that before you attacked the VRA. Now I have to take you down.
Power Girl: You're like the third person to say that to me today. And everyone else who did is unconscious!
Supergirl: Sorry, Kara, but you won't have the same luck here. It's about time I show you what you really are... a cheap imitation of me!
The two Kryptonians collide again, throwing a double punch that connects at the same time, either woman battering their knuckles against the other's jaw. The resulting shock wave shatters the glass of every building and every car in a five block radius, as both Power Girl and Supergirl rocket backwards away from each other, crashing violently through several consecutive buildings. Meanwhile, Superboy, Red Arrow, and Beast Boy slowly return to their feet, after having been blown to the ground as a result the impact.
Beast Boy: Whoa...
Red Arrow: I'm gonna take a wild guess and say they're not holding back.
Superboy: I'd say you're right. But I'm not worried about that very much.
Beast Boy: Why?
Superboy: Because, I'm more worried about them.
Looking over to where he's pointing, both Beast Boy's and Red Arrow's eyes go wide, jaws suddenly dropping opening. Standing in front of them are the other members of the Justice League: Donna Troy, Batman, Jesse Quick, Green Arrow, and Jade.
Beast Boy: Oh come on! How is this fair?
Quickly drawing a his bow, Red Arrow takes aim. Just as fast, Green Arrow does the same.
Red Arrow: It's not meant to be...
Ext. VRA Headquarters (Rear) – Day
Though Rose wants nothing more than to pull away and smash this man across the face again, something prevents her. Maybe it's the fact that she's too stricken by her grief to mount another attack, or maybe she just needs the comfort, the feel of caring arms wrapped around her, telling her everything will be alright. Or, perhaps, it's because for the first time, Slade is actually acting like the father he always should have been, but never was.
She hates that. She absolutely hates it. In spite of everything he's done to her, every despicable way he's acted, he actually cares. He actually loves her, in his own twisted, delusional way. That's why she couldn't pull the trigger... and that's why she lets him comfort her, why she doesn't break his nose and kick him while he's down. That's why she doesn't kill him.
Rose: I still hate you... I always will
Slade: I know... as well you should.
Rose: Why... why did you do it?
Slade: I didn't... I never wanted to actually hurt her. To hurt you. Whoever set those charges... it wasn't me.
Rose: No, I know. You... couldn't have. Even you wouldn't blow yourself up like that... I meant, why did you do all of this? The VRA, controlling heroes, kidnapping, falsely imprisoning people, killing... everything.
Slade: I can't tell you... I'm sorry, I wish I could, but I can't. Maybe in the future, but not right now. Just know that I never meant for things to go this far. I never meant...
His gaze slowly turns to the fallen Becky, her body lying limply against the hard ground. She looks peaceful, almost as though she's sleeping... but of course she isn't sleeping. She won't ever be waking up again.
Slade: ...for any of this.
A long silence passes between them. Slowly, Rose lifts her gaze and stares at her father. She wants to be angry again, but the grief won't go away.
Rose: I loved her. I... I really loved her.
Slade: I know. And that's why I'm going to help you.
Rose: What are you talking about? How can you possibly help me after everything you've done?
Slade: Because I know who's behind all of this, who put this entire plan into motion.
Rose: Who's behind it... you mean the person who started the VRA. The person who...
She looks briefly over at Becky, feeling her heart clench up in agony. A second later, she tears her gaze away, eyes narrowing and jaw clenching.
Rose: The person responsible for Becky's death. The person I'm going to kill.
Slade: I can take you to him.
Rose: You'll do more than that. You'll help me take his goddamn head.
Standing up to his feet, Slade reaches down, offering a hand for his daughter to take.
Slade: I'd like nothing more.
She stares at his hand momentarily, as if pondering whether or not she should actually take it. Eventually, though, she grabs hold and pulls herself back up to her feet as well.
Rose: What's his name?
Slade hesitates briefly, taking in a deep breath and staring back at her. Then, he breathes out his response.
Slade: His name...
Ext. VRA Headquarters (Front) – Day
Jade: I'd stop struggling, if I were you. Even if you break free, we're only going to beat you again.
Battered and bloodied, Superboy lies limply in the green construct that wraps around him. Normally, he could probably break out no problem, but after taking a serious beating at the hands of Donna, Jesse, and Jade herself, he doesn't have a whole lot of strength left. Red Arrow and Beast Boy are already down, sprawled out on the ground nearby and at least unconscious. Either way, things aren't looking so good.
Suddenly, an incoming white and red figure crashes into the ground nearby. When the dust clears, Power Girl slowly staggers back to her feet, leaving Supergirl behind in the small crater they just landed in. Stumbling against the front half of a jeep, she holds herself up and groans. Her costume is practically shredded, exposing a very bruised and scraped up body beneath. A short moment later, Supergirl also returns to her feet, in a very similar condition. She stands still for a second before falling against a newspaper dispenser next to her, grabbing onto it tightly to keep from hitting the ground again.
Power Girl: A cheap... imitation, huh?
Supergirl: You're just... lucky.
Unfortunately for Power Girl, as evenly matched as she is with Supergirl, the rest of the Justice League is standing right next to her and already beginning to make a move to take her down. All she can do when she sees this is drop down to her behind on the ground and utter a desperate breath.
Power Girl: Well... we tried.
As the League begins to make their attack, however, a high pitched sonic frequency splits the air. Though only beings with super hearing, like Power Girl, can actually detect it, that doesn't stop it from affecting the neural stems lodged into the brains of the Justice League members. Instantly, they drop to their knees in pain, screaming and grabbing their skulls. Within a short few seconds, though, the pain disappears completely, as does any hold the stems had over them.
Power Girl: What the...
Cyborg: You look like you could use a hand.
Turning her head, Power Girl notices Cyborg standing nearby, holding up a sound emitter attached to one of his mechanical arms. Standing next to him is Raven, who had no doubt been the one to bring him here so quickly.
Power Girl: Cutting that a little close, don't you think?
Cyborg: Hey, I did just finish this thing about thirty seconds ago. I wasn't even sure it was going to work.
Power Girl: You weren't sure if... ugh.
Falling back against the ground, she utters a long breath and just stares up at the sky for the time being. She could really use a nap right now. The Justice League, meanwhile, is finally starting to come around.
Batman: What... what happened?
Cyborg: I disabled the devices controlling you, that's what happened.
Donna: Vic? You...you fixed us.
Jesse: Oh god, it's still in there.
Reaching up behind her left ear, Jesse tentatively fingers the round end of the stem sticking out of her flesh.
Jesse: I can feel it in my brain... oh I'm gonna puke.
Cyborg: Everyone regroup, we still have a job to do. We still need to find Slade.
Ext. VRA Headquarters (rear) – Day
When the group of heroes arrives in the back of the building, the section that was utterly decimated in the explosion, Rose and Slade are both long gone. Red Robin is there, however, sitting weakly against a large pile of crumbled bricks. When they see just what he's looking at, though, shock and panic sets in.
Batman: Oh my god...
Breaking away from the others, he rushes over to the body, kneeling down and removing one of his gloves so he can feel for a pulse. Seeing this, Red Robin lets out a sigh and bows his head.
Red Robin: Don't bother... I already checked. She's gone.
Clenching his jaw, Batman lowers his gaze and shuts his eyes tightly.
A heavy silence descends upon the group. Though not everyone knows who this woman is that died in the assault, it's enough that she was fighting for a good cause. They feel the loss, as though she'd been a comrade that they'd known forever. For the ones that do know her, however, the sight holds a bit more impact. Batman continues to kneel there, a hand coming to his head in despair, while Power Girl slowly comes forward, fighting through the limp in her walk.
Power Girl: I... I gave her the suit. I'm the one that pushed her to go with us...
Eventually, Batman returns to his feet, taking in a deep breath as he stares down at the motionless Rebecca. Despite the tragedy of her loss, they still have a job to do.
Batman: Come on... we need to find Slade. And Rose. They can't have made it very far.
Ext. White House – Day
The level of security at the White House is, as expected, pretty heavy, with swarms of Secret Service Agents doing everything they can to protect the President from attack. Unfortunately, they haven't exactly been trained to deal with something like this. The front lawn is currently littered with bodies, though whether they're dead or just unconscious is a mystery.
The two attackers move through their ranks like demons, never standing in the same place for more than a second, it seems. The Secret Service, in turn, cannot get a clean shot on them, and even though both of the assailants look pretty beat up, the woman even with one of her arms already dead, there is no stopping them. The remaining squad pulls back inside the White House, trying to bar the doors, but it's futile. The larger man barrels into the entrance, almost ripping the doors off the hinges.
Int. White House – Day
Rose: Please, at least try not to kill them! They're not the ones we're after!
Slade: Not quite my style-
Leaping forward into the entrance hall, he ducks below an incoming shot and kicks out the legs of the nearest agent, then finishes the man off with a punch to the side of the head. As another couple agents attempt to subdue him, Slade spins out of the way, lunges forward, and takes them both out with hard, crippling shots. Surprisingly, they're still alive.
Slade: -but even I can make an effort.
Rose joins the fray now, easily evading any shots fired her way and ripping through the lines of Secret Service with her blade. Even with only one good arm and a single sword, it's no challenge taking down these goons. They might be bleeding and they might not be walking or using their hands again for a while, but they'll live. Right now, she's saving all her rage for the mastermind behind all these events, the man who nearly crippled the superhero community, and the man who caused Rebecca's death. When they find him, then she can start the killing.
Slade: The West Wing, that's where he'll be!
After pummeling another nearby Secret Service Agent, Slade starts moving down the West Wing of the White House, with Rose in hot pursuit. Several more teams of the Secret Service meet them along the way, but these agents fall just as quickly as the others. Finally, they make it to their destination, where they can put a stop to this nightmare once and for all. With an angry shout, Rose kicks in the door to the Oval Office and walks inside, blade at the ready. Her father stands beside her, prepared to do everything in his power to back her up.
Rose: Show yourself!
The leather chair behind the Resolute Desk is facing away from them, blocking from view the man sitting in it. A short moment later, however, the chair begins to turn, until it finally reveals the person they're looking for.
President: Rose, it's been a while. And Slade... how very disappointing to see you here.
Rose: Cut the bullsh*t facade already! You're not the president!
President: Oh, aren't I?
When Rose doesn't back down, a vicious sneer snakes its way across his face.
President: Very well, if this form doesn't suit you...
And then, his face begins to quiver. The skin on his body morphs, rippling as though made of a thick liquid, and reshapes itself into its true appearance, a much more familiar sight to Rose. Grip tightening around the handle of her sword, her jaw clenches, as the fury within her body ignites to new levels. She almost hadn't believed it when her father told her, but now that she sees it with her own eyes... there is no mistaking that face.
It belongs to Jeremiah Belmont.
Jerry: There, is that better?
Rose You were dead... they found your body.
Jerry: No, they found a body. It just happened to look like me.
Rose: And it was you... everything. It was all you.
Jerry: Yes... so it was. Sorry to hear about Rebecca, by the way. She wasn't the intended target, you know. Very unfortunate.
Body quivering with rage, Rose takes a step forward, eyes burning a hole straight through the man's face.
Rose: Don't you ever say her name! You don't deserve to!
Jerry: Hmm, have I hit a sore spot?
Rose: What the hell were you trying to accomplish with all of this? What was the purpose?!
Still smirking, Jerry slowly walks out from behind the desk, hands clasped behind his back.
Jerry: If you must ask the question, then you aren't as smart as I presumed. Why else would a government want complete control over its nation's superheroes? Certainly not for safety or public interest.
Rose realizes the reason shortly, but she isn't the one who responds. Slade figures it out long before she does.
Slade: You wanted an army. An entire country of supers under your control.
Jerry: Correct. You see, metahuman warfare is the next stage in the evolution of war. What's the purpose of having even nuclear weapons when there exist multiple individuals who can swat them away like flies? When it comes to a country's military power, I think you'll agree that you superheroes make for a far more efficient defense.
Rose: What, and you just took it upon yourself to turn us all into your private soldiers, huh?
Jerry: But of course. You don't think it would have happened any other way, do you? There are certain... civil liberties and freedoms that get in the way.
Rose: So you went and got yourself some of those stems, took the president's place, and decided to take over. Sounds to me like you just wanted power, no better than any other two-bit villain out there.
Jerry: Think what you will, Rose, but in the end I brought the superhero community to its knees. I gained control.
Rose: Well congratu-f*cking-lations. Just one problem: you failed. You got that? It's over.
Breathing in deeply, Jerry brings his hands around the front of himself, holding his palms together and raising his fingers up to his chin, staring back at them.
Jerry: Not yet, Rose. How many others did you two tell about me before you came charging in here to take me down yourselves? I'm guessing no one, isn't that right? Yes... you ran off to take my head as soon as your precious Rebecca died, didn't you?
That's the last straw in Rose's unstable mind. Letting out a rabid shout of fury, she raises her blade and charges him.
Rose: I told you to never say her name!
Jerry merely watches her as she comes in, making no sudden or desperate moves. Instead, a fraction of a second before she cuts him clean in half, he steps casually to the side, evading the strike. Rose blinks in confusion, taking a step back before suddenly being clubbed by Jerry's fist, which had somehow grown much larger than it had been. With a surprised groan, she flies back through the air and crash lands against the wall.
Jerry: You see, all I have to do is kill the two of you, and then all the proof leading back to me disappears.
Rose: What... the hell?
Jerry: Oh, this?
Taking a few steps forward, both his arms suddenly morph into the shape of two long, razor sharp blades. Slade draws one of his automatic pistols and steps between his daughter and Jerry. Without hesitating, he opens fire, pumping out an entire clip. The bullets don't even faze the man, as he simply stands there and takes them, his flesh rippling like putty with each impact. A short moment later, his body pushes the bullets back out, and with a rapid series of metallic clinking, they clatter to the floor. To finish the sequence, the bullet holes left behind in Jerry's body close back up again, perfectly healed.
Jerry: The result of that little crime spree I put you on last year. It's amazing what the combination of a little mutated clay and nano-technology can accomplish.
Narrowing his eye slightly, Slade steps backwards.
Slade: So bullets aren't going to work.
Rose: I'm willing to bet taking his head off will shut him up!
Pushing her way back up to her feet, Rose grabs her blade again and holds it at the ready.
Rose: Take my other sword; I only have one arm right now.
Slade complies, moving back and drawing Rose's second blade from the scabbard strapped to her backside.
Slade: Ready when you are.
Of course, Rose has been ready since she kicked that door down. She needs no invitation to begin her charge again, this time fully prepared for whatever Jerry can throw at them.
Rose: Take him out!
The three combatants engage in a swift series of blows. As enhanced as Rose and her father are, Jerry manages to keep up with every attack they throw at him, using his elongated arm-blades to deflect and parry, as well as counter with precise strikes of his own. Rose's reflexes and precognition are really put to the test, especially given how badly beat up she already is. Having only one usable arm doesn't help much, either. Even Slade is being pushed to his limits, though he, too, isn't fighting at a hundred percent capacity with his previously inflicted injuries.
Jerry exploits these facts to his advantage, constantly keeping the two on the defensive. Though they had begun as the attackers, now they are the ones being assaulted. After deflecting a particularly brutal blow, Rose stumbles off balance only to be suddenly grabbed by Jerry's extending arm, which wraps around her neck and waist like some kind of demonic tendril. While simultaneously combating Slade with his other arm, he swings her violently through the air and smashes her through the Resolute Desk, breaking it to pieces.
Ducking beneath a quick slash, Slade throws himself forward and flips over to the other side of his opponent. With a single motion, he cleaves the man's arm off, causing the whip-like limb to lose its grip on Rose and release her. He then hurries over to his daughter's side and helps her back to her feet. Groaning, she rolls over onto her back and slowly pushes herself upward.
Slade: Are you alright?
Meanwhile, Jerry casually walks over to his severed limb, now having reverted back to its normal shape and size, and reaches down to pick it up. It takes only a brief moment for him to reattach it to his shoulder, flesh rippling like liquid yet again before healing.
Rose: You're picking now to get sentimental? Just take his damn head off!
Pushing Slade away, she lurches the rest of her way to her feet and then charges the man again. She makes several vicious slashes, all aimed for Jerry's throat, but he easily deflects the attacks away, harmlessly. Then, one of his arms morphs into a large spiked mace, one that hits a lot harder than it should have. Even though Rose manages to put her sword up in front of the incoming attack, the force shatters the blade into multiple pieces, then sends her shooting through the air yet again. She lands with a thud against one of the walls and makes no immediate move to get back up.
Jerry: You don't understand, Rose. I can become anything I want. I am a weapon. This isn't like the last time we met; this time, you can't beat me.
Slade: But I can.
In an instant, Slade is on the man again, his attacks much more ferocious and purposeful this time around. He's fighting through his pain and injuries, pulling out all the stops. Jerry is forced on a heavy defensive, not quite able to keep up as well this time around. He may have acquired impressive meta powers, but the lack of fighting experience soon begins to make itself apparent. Slade gains an edge, takes the advantage, and never gives it back up.
Jerry makes a desperate counter move, expelling several razor sharp spikes from his body in attempts to impale Slade when he gets too close. But Slade is too fast, twisting his body and weaving between the spikes as he drives his blade forward with lethal accuracy. The point skewers through the center of Jerry's chest, driving straight out the other side.
Slade: Got you.
For a brief moment, Jerry's eyes go wide, as if in pain and surprise. However, his expression soon relaxes again, returning to an eery calm.
Jerry: You should have listened to your daughter, Slade.
Suddenly, Slade's own eyes go wide, a hot pain flaring through his stomach. Slowly, he glances downward to see another spike extending from Jerry's body. This one, he did not avoid, as it instead pierces straight through his armor and his body, spilling out warm, sticky streams of crimson.
Jerry: You should have taken my head.
The spike then abruptly withdraws, causing Slade to crumple to the floor.
She finds it strange that she would react this way to the sight of her father being so viciously impaled, seemingly on the edge of death himself. As much she hates him, as much as she always wished he would die... he's still her father, and seeing him lying motionless on the floor in a growing pool of blood sends her heart into a panic. Struggling through her pain, she staggers back to her feet and swallows a hard lump in her throat.
This isn't happening... this whole day isn't... it can't be real. It can't be.
But it is real, she knows it is. This isn't a dream she's just going to suddenly wake up from, and there is more riding on her success than just her own life.
Jerry: A pity... I had such high hopes for him. In the end, he proves to be just another disappointment.
Rose: That's it...
Curling her hand into a tight fist, she slowly lifts her gaze, hard eyes glaring with focused anger.
Rose: You've screwed with my life for the last time.
She begins her march towards him, not running or hurrying in any way, simply walking purposefully in his direction. Jerry smirks, morphing his arms into multi-bladed monstrosities. Gradually, Rose picks up her pace, his poorly concealed attempts at compensating not deterring her in the slightest.
Rose: Because of you, I lost the the most important person in my life. Now, you pay for it.
She's sprinting now, coming straight at him. He takes a wild swing with both his arms, but she ducks beneath them. She slides across the floor, grabbing Slade's fallen sword on the way by and going straight between Jerry's legs behind him.
Rose: I told you before that you weren't worth killing. Well, guess what?!
As she springs back to her feet, a precognitive flash rips through her head. She spins in response, evading the incoming spike that shoots out towards her. In the same motion, she whirls her arm around, whipping the blade with lethal precision. The razor edge cleaves cleanly through Jerry's neck, dislodging his head from his shoulders and sending it bouncing across the floor.
Rose: I lied.
The headless body stands there for a moment, unmoving. Before long, however, it crumples into a motionless heap. Moving her gaze, she catches sight of Jerry's severed head propped against the wall, lifeless eyes staring wide and unblinking.
Rose: That was for Becky, you miserable son of a b*itch.
Taking in a deep breath, she throws her sword away and then collapses to the floor, sitting with arms resting against her raised knees. Bowing her head, she squints her eyes shut and lets everything out. First, she lets loose an incoherent scream that echoes loudly inside the oval room, pouring all her anger, grief, and distress into it. Once her voice cuts out, the tears follow. Rose has never been one to cry very often, hardly ever in fact, but there's no stopping it right now. She's been hurt far too deep this time.
A hand on her shoulder calls her away from her sorrow. Blinking a couple of times, she turns her head and looks up to see Slade standing there, a hand pressed against the hole in his gut.
Slade: You did good, Rose.
Rose: You... you're not dead.
Slade: I've always healed fast, same as you. I'll be fine.
Eyes shifting away, she bows her head again and stares at the ground.
Rose: Figures you'd be the one to survive.
Slade pulls his hand back, a heavy sigh emerging from his throat.
Slade: I am sorry, Rose... you may not believe me, but I do want to see you happy. Rebecca never should have died.
Rose: No, she shouldn't have. But there's nothing I can do about it now, is there?
A long pause descends over them, with Slade just standing there, staring at his heartbroken daughter. There's that feeling again, the sickening sensation deep in his stomach. Why is he so terrible when it comes to family?
Rose: Just... go. I know you don't want to stick around when the cops show up.
Slade: You're right... I should go. I still have work to do, anyway.
He moves past her, heading for the exit, but her voice stops him momentarily.
Rose: And Dad... this time, stay out of my life for good. Every time you come back into it, you break something. I'm just... tired of being broken.
His gaze lowers, while his shame grows. For a long moment, he just stands there, motionless. It's not until he hears the faintest sounds of approaching sirens that he finally tears himself away and keeps going.
Slade: Goodbye, Rose.
Int. White House – Day
The team of D.C. police officers hurries into the main entrance of the White House. For a brief moment, they stop to look around at the bodies of the Secret Service strewn about, some bleeding and others not moving at all. The officer in charge, Officer Harrow, moves forward with his mouth slightly agape.
Harrow: What the- damn it, don't just stand around people, check on them!
Immediately, the other officers approach the fallen agents and inspect them, looking for signs of life. As badly as the Secret Service has been beaten, none of them are dead. Sure, some are unconscious or have their ligaments severed, but there are no fatal injuries.
Officer #1: Looks like they're all still alive, sir. Nothing too bad, either.
Harrow: Well what the hell happened in here?
His question is answered by a small cough. Turning to his left he notices a still conscious Secret Service Agent slumped against the wall and bleeding from the wrists.
S.S. Agent: It was the VRA Director, Slade Wilson. Him and some b*tch stormed the place. We tried to hold them off, but they got through. They went after the President... Oval Office.
Harrow: Sh*t, everyone move! I want men in that office five minutes ago!
The swarm of police officers continues towards the West Wing, guns already drawn and at the ready. Harrow is the first to snake his way around the corner of the open doorway, pointing his weapon forward and prepared for anything. The first thing he sees is the Resolute Desk in pieces, having been broken apart by some phenomenal force. His gaze next finds the headless body of the President lying in the middle of the floor. A sickening knot twists his way into his stomach at the side.
Harrow: My god...
His thoughts are interrupted by another one of the officers moving into the office, gun pointed forward.
Officer #1: Hands on your head, now!
That's when Harrow sees the white haired woman sitting against a wall, one of her arms hanging limply at the side, outfit torn up, and her body scuffed and bleeding. She stares directly back at them, her expression unchanging from a distant, almost forlorn look of calm. Slowly, she moves one of her hands up and places it on the back of her head.
Rose: I'd raise the other one, too, but... yeah. It's not doing so well.
Walking cautiously across the floor, Harrow holds an arm in front of the other advancing officer.
Harrow: Careful with her, keep your distance for now. We don't know what she can do.
Rose: Oh, would you relax? I'm too exhausted to fight back. If you're going to arrest me, just do it already.
It's at that moment that another officer inspecting the severed head on the other side of the room furrows his brow in confusion, then glances back.
Officer #2: Uh, sir? This isn't the President.
Harrow: What the hell are you talking about? Of course it's the-
His voice cuts out suddenly, as his eyes fall on the head leaning up against the far wall. That face is... not the President at all. It's someone else he doesn't recognize.
Harrow: What in the name of...
Rose: His name was Jeremiah Belmont, in case you're wondering. A sort of... shape shifter, I guess. As far as I know, he took the place of the real President ages ago, then started to control congress and other forms of the government.
Harrow: Then the real President...
Rose: Probably been dead a while. Jerry here was the one behind the creation of EPRA law and the VRA. Every superhero that went to register was implanted with a neural device that gave him complete control over their actions.
Harrow: This is insane.
Rose: Yeah, welcome to my world.
Releasing a small breath, Harrow tears his gaze away from the severed head and looks back at Rose.
Harrow: And you just killed him?
Rose: I let him live once before; then all of this happened. Wasn't making the same mistake twice.
Harrow stares at her a moment longer, then raises a hand to his head and looks at the severed head again.
Ext. White House – Day
Rose grunts in slight discomfort, as her limp arm is forced behind her back to be cuffed with her other arm. For the most part, she can't feel anything in that arm, but it's plainly clear that several bones are broken and crushed, along with some torn or sprained tendons. She probably won't be moving it again for a while. Officer Harrow leads her towards the nearest squad car, one hand on her shoulder, the other on the back of her head.
Rose: You know, it's been a while since I've been in one of these. I almost miss it.
Harrow: I'm honestly not sure how to take that comment.
Rose: Take it whatever way you like; doesn't make a difference.
Before he can lead her into the vehicle, though, a surprising sight pulls their attention away. Coming through the front gates of the White House grounds, some flying and others walking, is just about every hero that had been involved in the D.C. battle against the VRA, all of them freed from control by Cyborg's specially modified sonic device.
Pausing in front of the squad car, they both stare at the approaching heroes in stunned silence. It isn't everyday you see this many super powered individuals all gathered in one place.
Batman: Officer, what's going on here?
Harrow: Clean up, that's what's going on. Your friend here made a mess of things inside.
Eyes slowly narrowing, Batman's gaze comes to rest on Rose.
Batman: What did you do?
Rose: Saved everyone's asses.
Harrow: She stopped the guy behind this whole VRA sh*tstorm, from what I understand. Some kind of... shape shifting guy or something posing as the President. I don't know, I'm not used to dealing with this stuff.
This information causes Batman to pause, arms folding across his chest.
Batman: How did you know who it was?
Rose: I didn't. But Slade did. We took him down together.
Batman: And where is Slade now?
Rose: Hell if I know. Gone, and good riddance.
Batman's arms come down again, his expression suddenly growing cross.
Batman: You let him go? After everything he's done?
Rose: I wasn't exactly in a position to stop him, in case you haven't noticed.
As Batman goes to make a counter point, Officer Harrow actually steps in to her defense.
Harrow: It's alright, Batman. We got the real culprit, that's good enough for now.
Batman: Hold on, if you're defending her, then why are you arresting her?
Harrow: Because she still killed the guy. Like it or not, murder is a crime no matter who commits it for no matter what reason. If a jury decides to find her not guilty, then so be it. But I still have to take her in.
Another long pause passes between them. Batman utters a heavy breath, bringing a hand up to rub his eyes tiredly.
Batman: Alright... understood.
Rose: Don't worry, really. I could use the isolation... it'll give me time to think.
Eyes softening, Batman raises a hand and places it on her shoulder.
Batman: I... we found Becky. I'm sorry.
Rose: If it's all the same to you, I'd rather not talk about it right now.
Batman: Right... of course. I'll see you later.
Harrow: Alright, come on now.
On that note, Harrow gently leads Rose into the back of the squad car, then closes the door and heads around to the driver's side. A short moment later, he drives off towards the local station, leaving the other police officers behind to help clean up the mess and secure the area. Once Rose is gone, Power Girl walks up next to Batman and holds her arms around herself.
Power Girl: Do you think she'll be okay?
Batman: I really can't say. She's always been strong before, but this... I'm afraid it might be one heartbreak too many.
Nearby, Red Arrow lets out a tired, pained breath, while holding a hand to the back of his head.
Red Arrow: So, I guess this whole VRA thing is finished, then, huh?
Cyborg: Looks like it, soon as Raven helps identify which members of congress and the like are still under stem control. Then I can help return them to normal.
Red Arrow: That's good, I suppose. Doesn't help the fact that the government still has a list of all our identities now, though.
At this comment, a small smile forms across Cyborg's face.
Cyborg: Oh, I wouldn't worry much about that. I already nabbed the hard copies back at the VRA building. As for the digital copies... well, I have a couple friends working on it right now.
Int. Unknown Location – Day
Holding a hand to his chin, Calculator stares back at the screen of his computer console, which shows a progress bar of data he's currently download. Currently, it's at sixty-seven percent. While throwing all his chips in with that Jeremiah guy seems to have been a bad investment, he isn't out of ideas yet. Even with the VRA sunk, he still has access to all their data, which will soon be copied to his hard drive. After that, he can sell the identities of any superhero he wants to the highest bidders. He'll end up richer than Lex Luthor.
Calculator: Come on... just a little bit more.
The progress bar hits ninety percent, then ninety-five, and then... it freezes. Narrowing his eyes he leans forward and glares at the screen. When still nothing happens, his fingers start flying over the keyboard.
Calculator: What the hell is- why isn't it responding? What's going on?!
And then, the screen shuts off, becoming completely dark. A second later, it flicks back on, this time showing a glowing green face on it, an overly familiar avatar belonging to the last person he wants to see right now.
Oracle: Hey there, Calculator. Remember us?
A second avatar appears on the screen, this one red.
Proxy: You didn't think you were getting away this time, did you?
Slamming his fists down on the table, Calculator stares madly at the two faces in front of him.
Calculator: You can't be here!
Proxy: And yet we are.
Oracle: We were busy wiping the VRA's database, when lo and behold we detected an outgoing signal transferring the data. Imagine our surprise when it led right back to you.
Proxy: But that's not all we found. We also traced the signal used to set off the explosives back at the VRA building, the explosives that killed one Rebecca Chavez.
Oracle: The police should be there right about...
The door behind him suddenly crashes inward. Spinning around, Calculator comes face to face with a team of no less than five police officers, all pointing guns at him. For a moment, he just blinks stupidly, until finally he raises his hands.
Oracle: -now. Hope you enjoy your ten to twenty.
Ext. VRA Headquarters – Day
Back at the wreckage of the VRA building, only two people remain behind. Wonder Girl sits on a large chunk of concrete, leaning forward with her arms resting on her knees and gaze locked on the body of Rebecca Chavez just three feet in front of her. The sight knots up her stomach, and yet she cannot look away. Standing next her and leaning on his bo staff for support, Red Robin slowly glances over at her.
Red Robin: You've been staring at her for ten minutes now.
Wonder Girl: I... can't help it. She shouldn't have died.
Red Robin: Probably not. But she did.
Wonder Girl: Were she and Rose just... I mean, did they... did Rose love her?
Red Robin: As far as I know. Everything I heard was secondhand from Dick, but... yeah, it was serious.
Releasing a tired sigh, Wonder Girl brings her head down into her hands.
Wonder Girl: You know, I honestly thought I'd be happy if Rose ever had to feel this kind of pain... now I realize it just makes me sick. No one should have to lose the one they love... not even her.
Red Robin says nothing, instead turning his gaze back to Becky, as well. He can hear the ambulances approaching now. They'll be here to pick up the body soon.
Wonder Girl: She actually seemed excited to meet us, you know? Hell, she even knew who I was. And what did I do? Punched her girlfriend and shoved her through a table.
Red Robin: There's nothing you can do about it now.
Wonder Girl: If you see Rose again... tell I'm sorry, alright? For everything.
Slowly, Red Robin turns to look at her again.
Red Robin: That's something you should do yourself.
Wonder Girl: Right, because that would go over well. I'm the last person she wants to see right now.
Red Robin: Can you really blame her?
Wonder Girl: Yeah, well... whatever. I need to... I need to think, clear my head. I'll see you later.
With that, she flies up into the air and leaves him behind.
Int. Police Station – Night
Rose lies on the bench quietly, head resting against her hands. Iron bars stand tall in front of her, plain stone walls on her other sides. It's been about six hours now since they took down the VRA. That's six hours since she killed Jeremiah Belmont. Six hours since...
Forcing her eyes shut, Rose lifts a hand to her face and presses her fingers to them. She sucks in a deep breath, slowly letting it out and trying to remain calm. It's hard, of course. Becky was the only person she had ever loved that way, the only person she'd ever opened up to completely. And it hadn't just been a crazy fling that just seemed exciting at the time, or anything like that. It had been love, she knew it deep in her heart. She could have seen herself spending the rest of her life with Becky, and nothing would have made her happier. But now... well, none of that will be happening.
The sound of the door at the end of the hallway opening causes Rose to lift her head and open her eyes again. She blinks a couple of times curiously, then sits up on the bench as an officer approaches the door to the cell. The cop already has his keys at the ready, slipping one of them into the lock and then sliding the door open.
Officer: Alright, let's go.
Rose: What's going on?
Officer: Someone posted your bail.
That's when she notices the man walking into view next to the officer. He gives her a small wave, as the cop leaves them to return to his desk.
Rose: Well, that was thoughtful.
Dick: Couldn’t just leave you in here.
Rose: You should have. I honestly don't think I would have minded that much.
Giving her a sympathetic look, Dick walks forward and hands her a folder with several papers inside it.
Confused, she takes the folder from him and starts flipping through them.
Rose: What's this?
Dick: Your court dates.
Rose: Oh... joy.
Dick: Don't worry about it too much. Considering the situation, the judge might just throw out the case. I've seen stranger things happen.
Rose: Yeah, whatever. Let's just go. I should probably get this arm looked at.
Dick: Before we do, I brought someone with me to see you.
Following after him down the hall, she gives him a narrow glance.
Rose: Who? Because right now, there aren't a whole lot of people I'd want to see.
Dick: Trust me, this is one of the exceptions.
When they make it through the doorway leading into the main part of the station, Rose suddenly catches sight of the small blonde girl running towards her.
Eyes going wide in surprise, Rose leans down to give the girl a warm, one-armed hug, holding on tightly. In seconds, they're both forcing back tears.
Rose: Holly... oh I missed you.
Sniffling, the girl holds her arms tighter around Rose, then gives her a sad look. She can barely get through her words, stumbling through sobs.
Holly: I'm... sorry about Becky...
Taking in a deep breath through her nose, Rose brings her chin forward and rests it on Holly's shoulder, eyes closing and heavy heart sinking a little further in her chest.
Rose: I know, Holly... I know.
Int. City Morgue – Night
Michael Kubrick rubs the back of his head tenderly, as he pushes through the cold chamber door. Zaria is with him, both having managed to escape the scene at the VRA building before the cops showed up. After things went south, it only made sense to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. But while they should be five hundred miles from here by now, instead they'd been contacted. By who... well, they don't know.
The call had been from an unknown number, claiming that they still had work to do. He didn't want to trust it, of course, but Zaria insisted that if this was supposed to be some kind of set up, they could always just eat whoever this guy was. That idea actually intrigued him enough to go along with this stupid meeting.
When they enter the cold chamber, a bald man in a white lab coat and glasses is standing there, waiting for them. For a brief moment, he simply stares at them, until waving for them to come in.
Kubrick: So who the hell are you, huh?
Strange: The name is Professor Hugo Strange. I don't believe we've met, have we?
Kubrick: No, we haven't. So why the hell did you call us?
Zaria: Yes... and how did you get our numbers for that matter?
Strange: Oh, I'm not the one who called you, no. However, I was sent ahead to greet you both.
Kubrick: Uh huh. So then where is the guy who called us?
Strange: He'll be here shortly. In he meantime, we're to make preparations.
Squinting her eyes at him, Zaria cocks her head to the side slightly, then brushes back her hair.
Zaria: Preparations for what?
Strange: You'll see.
Moving away from them, Strange makes his way over to the wall of storage drawers. He counts them off, then stops in front of a specific one and pulls the chilled compartment open, revealing a naked, bruised corpse within. Recognizing who it is, Kubrick crosses his arms and lets out a scoff.
Kubrick: Hmph, Chavez. She always was biting off more than she could chew.
Zaria: Explain to me why exactly we're in a morgue looking at a dead body. I still haven't quite grasped the purpose.
Without answering her question, Strange looks over to Kubrick and motions for him to assist.
Strange: Help me move her to one of the tables.
Kubrick: There had better be a good reason for this...
Walking forward, Kubrick aids Strange in lifting the corpse off the sliding drawer and then carrying her over to one of the flat metal tables nearby, setting her down. Then, Strange heads over a locker on the other side of the room and opens it, causing another limp, ghostly body to crumple out to the floor. This one belongs to the mortician on duty, a young blonde woman.
Strange: Now, help me get her on the other table.
Narrowing his eyes slightly, Kubrick walks over to offer his assistance again.
Kubrick: Looks like she died not too long ago.
Strange: Well, I would imagine so. I injected her with a lethal dose of sodium penathol a mere hour ago.
After dropping the dead mortician on the second table, Kubrick walks back to Zaria's side and folds his arms again.
Zaria: Now, are you going to explain what we're doing? Who called us here?
Man: I did.
Turning suddenly, they notice a man standing in the doorway, a man dressed in a dark suit, longcoat, fedora hat, and black rimmed glasses. Walking forward, he flips his hat off and rests it on the table next to Rebecca's corpse.
Man: I have to admit, I'm surprised you two actually showed up. But I'm glad you did.
Kubrick: Who the hell are you?
Man: I'm who you've been working for this entire time. What's the problem? Don't recognize your boss?
Zaria: Hun, I've never seen you before in my life.
Man: Ah, of course, you don't know me in this form. Where are my manners?
In an instant, his face reforms itself, morphing into a spitting image of the President of the United States. Both Zaria and Kubrick's eyes begin to widen in surprise and confusion, as the man's face then returns to normal.
Man: Is that better?
Kubrick: Who the hell are you?
Jerry: The name is Jeremiah Belmont. And my friends... we have work to do.
Ext. Whitmore Cemetery – Day
It's raining. Of course it's raining, why not? It was the only thing that could have made this day more miserable, after all, so might as well throw it in. Rose stands amongst the others gathered next to the grave, her left arm in a sling and eyes locked on the casket in front of her. The church service had been hard enough to get through, but now the committal... it feels like someone's reaching into her chest and unceremoniously squeezing her heart.
The grip on her hand suddenly tightens. Looking down, she sees Holly standing there with red, puffy eyes. No tears, though; she'd long since run out of them, now only the dry, sticky remains left behind on her cheeks. The rain works to quickly wash them away. Taking in another breath, Rose lifts her gaze back to the casket, as it begins to lower into the grave. The priest raises his hands and lifts his head, speaking to all those gathered.
Priest: And so, we therefore commit her body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life. May Rebecca Anne Chavez forever rest in peace.
As the officiants begin to fill the grave, the mourners slowly take their leave, one by one. Rose, however, lingers for a while, watching the process. With each shovelful of dirt that falls into the grave, Becky's passing feels just a little more final, and Rose's heart a little heavier. Holly stays, too, leaning against her and holding an arm around her.
Something out of the corner of her eye pulls her attention, however. When she sees who's standing there, she feels sick. Rebecca's parents, Jorge and Emma Chavez, walk by, shooting a hateful glare in her direction. She says nothing, instead averting her eyes and staring at the ground, even as they speak.
Jorge: Stay away from our family from now on, do you hear me?
Emma: If she hadn't met you... our baby would still be alive.
Two quick statements that cut like daggers. When they finally leave, Rose sucks in a deep breath and looks up at the sky, rainwater stinging her eyes. Another figure holding an umbrella walks up beside her, voice solemn and calm.
Circe: They really don't like you.
Rose: Not that surprising, is it? I'm the one who told them their daughter was dead, I'm the one that put her in that position... that and they didn't know about Becky's lifestyle before.
Circe: Until you spoke at the service.
Rose: She always did say her parents would never approve. It's no wonder they hate me... too many reasons.
A quiet pause descends over them. By now, the grave is fully filled in, the funeral over. The complete finality of it all begins to sink it. Sniffling a little, Holly looks up sadly at Rose.
Holly: Can I... go wait in the car?
Nodding, Rose gives her a gentle pat on the shoulder.
Rose: Yeah, of course.
Circe: You can go to my car, if you like. Lyta's there.
Breathing out a heavy sigh, the young girl marches away from the grave to the line of cars nearby. Another pause goes by, before Circe breaks the silence again, lifting her umbrella higher.
Circe: You know, I... haven't really ever been the sentimental type.
Rose: You don't say.
Circe: And I know I've been a bit rough around the edges since we met, and I never really gave you or Rebecca the thanks you deserved. Just the lingering mentality of being an all powerful sorceress, I suppose.
Snorting out a small scoff, Rose blinks down at the grave again and stuffs her hand in her pocket.
Rose: Yeah, I guess that could have something to do with it.
Circe: As I've spent time you, though, as a mortal and as a mother caring for her daughter... I'm starting to see the world in a different light. It's... hard to describe, really, but I want to thank you for it. That's twice now you've saved my daughter, helped me when you didn't have to.
Rose: That's what friends do.
Circe: I realize that now. You have been a friend to me, a good friend, and I wish to offer my condolences to you. Rebecca, too, was a good friend.
Rose: A great friend.
Circe: Yes... a great one.
The two remain standing there for a few moments longer, until Circe finally takes her leave. Rose stays, though, still unable to pull herself away. For several minutes longer, she stands in silence, just watching, waiting. Half of her hopes that maybe she'll suddenly wake from this nightmare, that she'll open her eyes, roll over in bed, and have Becky there to tell her it was all just a bad dream. The other half tells her that it's wishful thinking, obviously. This is reality, and she has to accept it.
Another voice calls out to her, this one belonging to a familiar man, voice deep and heavy.
Lifting her gaze, she turns around suddenly to see not only Dick standing there, but also Tim Drake, Roy Harper, Karen Starr aka Power Girl, Cassandra Cain, Wally West, and Cyborg.
Rose: What are you all doing here?
Tim: Just wanted to offer our support.
Wally: Yeah, you helped us all in a big way, you know. Heck, you helped save my family. The least we can do is express our sympathies.
Moving forward, Roy holds a hand to her shoulder and gives a strong nod.
Roy: She seemed like a wonderful person.
Rose: She was.
Her gaze then moves to Cassandra, giving the woman a slightly bemused look.
Rose: Even you showed up?
Cassandra: In spite of our rivalry, Rose, I do not hate you. In fact, I consider you a friend.
She holds her hand forward, offering it to shake. For a brief moment, Rose stares at it, until finally grabbing hold and shaking.
Cassandra: Though, we will have to have another rematch sometime.
A very small smile begins to form on Rose's face.
Rose: Any time you want.
A quieter voice draws her attention this time. Karen approaches, rubbing one of her arms nervously and bowing her head.
Karen: Rose, I... I'm sorry. For giving Becky that suit, for sending her out with us, I... it's my fault.
Rose: Maybe... but blaming you won't bring her back. I know what you meant by it, and I know you weren't trying to get her killed.
Karen: Still... I am sorry. I didn't know her for very long, but I could tell what a great person she was, and how much you cared for each other.
Exhaling, Rose nods absently.
Rose: Yeah, I know.
A short pause passes, until Cyborg takes a couple steps forward and folds his arms.
Cyborg: You're not alone in this, you know.
Dick: He's right; you still have friends, friends who care about you. If you ever need anything, if you ever want to talk, we're here.
Rose: Thank you... all of you. I, uh... I just need to get going now, I...
Sucking in a large breath, she lifts a hand to her eyes and quickly wipes them dry. Swallowing, she gives them an affirmative nod and then starts moving past them.
Rose: I have to get Holly home, and... need to reopen my studio... I'll see you all later.
She doesn't look back as she leaves, instead keeping her head pointed forward and gaze lowered to the wet ground. She doesn't even so much as try to move around the puddles, walking straight through them on the way back to the car. Before she gets there, however, one more voice reaches her ears, this one not nearly as welcomed as the others.
Freezing in place, she slowly turns her head to see Cassandra Sandsmark standing there behind a tree and holding an umbrella. Moving from the tree, Cassie hurries towards her.
Cassie: I... I'm glad I caught you, I didn't know if-
Rose: What the hell are you doing here?
Hesitating briefly, Cassie blinks and stiffens up. The amount of burning ire pouring out of Rose is enough to put even Wonder Girl on edge.
Cassie: I was just... I wanted to pay my respects.
Rose: What on earth for?
Cassie: Because... because I'm sorry about Rebecca. I... know you really loved her.
Rose: What the hell do you care? You didn't even know her. All you did was put her through a damn table.
Cassie: I'm sorry-
Rose: No, don't you dare apologize to me. After everything you've said to me, after every horrible interaction we've ever had, and how you left things between us last time, don't you even think about suddenly 'seeing the light' and trying to make up for it.
Cassie: Rose, I-
Rose: I'm not finished yet. You want to know something? It's a damn shame you didn't know Becky, because she was a great person. She was kind, and funny, and caring, and always willing to put others ahead of herself. She wasn't selfish, she wasn't cruel, and she never held a grudge. She even gave her life for something she believed in, fighting for you and everyone else. She's a better person than you will ever be. You want to apologize to someone? Apologize to her. Now do me a favor and stay the hell away from me.
And with that, Rose turns and storms off, not giving so much as a quick glance back. Cassie stands there for the longest time, lowering her umbrella and blinking in stunned silence as the rain begins to soak her.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suit – Night
Rose leans against the counter with her good arm, staring at the microwave as the timer ticks down. She's in a sort of surreal daze at the moment, vision even going blurry while she waits. It isn't until the microwave beeps that she finally comes to her senses and reaches forward to open it. If she had been thinking straight, she probably would have realized not to go and grab the open end of the popcorn bag, instantly scalding her palm on the hot air seeping out.
She makes no move to go run her hand under cold water, though, simply squeezing it into a fist for several moments and trying to push the pain away. Eventually, she reaches for the bag again, and this time pulls it out more carefully. After opening it with her hand and her teeth, she dumps the contents out into a previously prepared bowl, then grabs a salt shaker and lightly salts the kernels. When she's done, she carries the bowl into the living room, where Holly sits quietly on the couch, waiting.
Rose: Here, I, uh... I made some popcorn for the movie. I know you don't like it buttered so I just... added some salt. Want some?
An answer doesn't come at first, as Rose moves around the couch and sits next to the girl. Eventually, Holly leans to the side and rests her head against Rose's shoulder.
Holly: I'm not really hungry...
Breathing outwardly, Rose's expression sinks slightly in sad understanding. Placing the bowl of popcorn in front of her on the coffee table, she then holds her arm around Holly and rubs the girl's shoulder.
Rose: Yeah... me neither.
Holly: I'm really gonna miss her.
Rose: So am I, Holly... so am I.
Swallowing back a lump in her throat, Rose shuts her eyes and takes in another deep breath. The movie that they had been planning to watch suddenly disappears from their thoughts, and instead the two remain like that, comforting each other over the loss of Rebecca. Through all of this, at least Rose can be happy knowing that Holly is safe.
That's right... I still have Holly, and she needs me to be strong... we need each other more than ever now.
Rose: Hey, Holly?
Blinking back a few tears, the girl raises her gaze and sniffles.
Rose: I, uh... I was thinking about something. I mean... I don't know if you'd even want to, but... I mean, when you were taken away, I... well, I don't want that to happen again. I... I don't want to lose you, too. So, I thought that maybe I could get some, uh... some adoption forms, and fill those out. You know... I mean if you wanted.
And suddenly, Holly is sitting upright with wide eyes, blinking several times and wiping her eyes. All she manages to do is spread her tears around, but she doesn't care.
Holly: You mean, you... you want to adopt me?
Rose: Well... yeah. I mean, sure I'm your legal guardian, and sure I look after you, but... I want to make it official.
Sniffling again, Holly forces a smile to show through her grief, then lunges forward and throws her arms around Rose in a warm hug.
Holly: That would be... great. Really great. I... thank you, Rose. Thank you.
Pressing her head gently against Holly's, Rose's arm comes around her and rubs her shoulder again.
Rose: You're welcome, Holly. I love you, girl... always will.
Holly: I love you, too, Rose. Er... wait, does this mean I should call you mom?
And for the first time in a long time, Rose utters a small laugh. Leaning back a bit, she gently kisses the girl's forehead and smiles at her.
Rose: Only if you want to. Now come on... let's get you to bed.
Once Holly is in bed, Rose returns to the kitchen. She stares at the bowl of popcorn for a minute, then dumps it in the trash. A moment later, she reaches up to the top shelves and pulls out the alcohol. She doesn't have to be up in the morning for anything, so she might as well drown herself in a drunken stupor before crashing in bed.
And yet, as she pours a shot, she abruptly loses the will to drink it. She takes a long look at the glass, then dumps its contents into the sink, and when that's done she moves on to the entire bottle, pouring it all down the drain. Releasing a long sigh, she leans forward against the counter and holds her head in her hand. Eventually, she returns to the living room and collapses on the couch, staring up at the ceiling.
Rose: Becky... if you're watching, I just... I love you. I'll always love you, no matter where you are.
Lowering her gaze again, she stares off aimlessly in front of her, eyes drooping in sorrow.
Rose: And... and I'm sorry. We were supposed to watch each other's backs and I let you down. I should have seen it coming...
She swallows now, a hard knot twisting its way into her throat. Holding her hand up to the side of her head, she closes her eyes and sucks in a deep breath.
Rose: I'm gonna miss you, Beck... I'm really gonna miss you.