Why I Despise Injustice's Wonder Woman

What to Say

Two years ago, I became a fan of Wonder Woman after I had an idea for a story that I wanted to write. I asked a friend, who I saw as quite the expert on the Amazon Princess, about Diana to learn more about the character. I don’t remember the question I asked, nor do I know if I ever did anything with the idea that I had. What I do know is that after that moment in time, Wonder Woman became a favorite character of mine. I started buying books about her, I did all kinds of research, and I asked more questions. In the two years that I have read about Wonder Woman, I have developed my own interpretation of Princess Diana of Themyscira.

My view of Wonder Woman is that, like Superman, she places a very high value on life, yet unlike the Kryptonian, she stands apart in her personality. Diana is a strong woman who asserts her authority and presence, but not so much that she attempts to take over others. I understand that Diana will kill if the situation calls for it, as she did with Max Lord. If taking one life will save hundreds, then Diana would be the first of the entire league to step over that line. I believe she is that way because of her Amazonian upbringing, but that upbringing has never seemed to have over-ridden her value for life, and free will.

What Injustice: Gods Among Us has done is they have turned her into a figure that cares more about asserting her authority on the world than concern for free will and life. I first became disgruntled with her character in issue #6 of “Injustice: Gods Among Us”. In that issue, Wonder Woman approaches Superman after her liberates a Bialya from its dictator, and says after she agrees to call a press conference at the UN for him: “I will hear the words I’ve always wanted to hear you say since we first met.” This line alone shows that Diana had ulterior motives all along and that she wanted to assert her authority over the people of the world from the very begining. In the most recent issue (#10) of Injustice, after a foolhardy Atlantean soldier shoots Diana, her wrathful reply as she strikes Aquaman is “I am sick of words.” The outburst shows that her talks of peace are lies, because just before this happens she was talking to Aquaman, and attempting to convince him to have words of peace with the Japanese wailers.

Taking her Place

Ares provides us with a sort of insight to this Wonder Woman in issue #9, when he confronts her in Qurac. Ares asks her if she will “take her place in his bed” referring to the loss of Lois. Diana does not deny this accusation yet confirms it by saying “I will be what he needs me to be”. She then goes to call the grieving Superman who has turned on his own values: “the greatest man she’s ever known.” The Diana that I’ve come to know and love would never say this, nor would she “share Superman’s bed” to get him to do what he needs to do. Ares provides further insight to this new Wonder Woman during his inner monologue after she defeats him in a humiliating manner. Ares states that he fears her union with Superman because she does not share Superman’s restraint, and that she is attempting to take away the restraint that Superman has.

No restraint

I understand that in the game story that this Wonder Woman is not supposed to be the Wonder Woman that we all have become fans of. I understand that she is designed to be unlikable, and we are supposed to detest her actions. That being said it gives me the sensation of as if the Injustice Wonder Woman is an impostor. The Injustice comics I have read are decently written, and this Wonder Woman is portrayed in such a way that the so called desire for peace she speaks of is an obvious lie. This Wonder Woman has shown herself to be a violent warmonger who desires power, and other than her ferocity there is little to connect her to the Wonder Woman that I’ve come to call a favorite character. I can appreciate the intention of the crusade of bringing about peace, but I think we all know how this enforced ceasefire will turn out. When the time comes this will be a Wonder Woman that I will be more than happy to see lying on the ground defeated.

Revels in War
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Alan Moore, Idea Space, and Shadow X

Inspired Shadow X

During my last visit to the Deep (my local comic shop), I came across a copy of Previews (a catalog released by Diamond Distributors that have solicits of comics to be release two months ahead of time), and on that copy was an image of the Dark Horse Character X. My following comment was overheard by one of the clerks: “I had an idea a long time ago of a character that I wanted to create that looked exactly like this guy. It’s funny how every time I come up with something, there is already something out there just like it.” The clerk responded how that character had been around for nearly twenty years. I said how my character was slightly different, and that I had come up with him back when I was in middle school and I told him a little bit about my character: Shadow X.

Shadow X, was a demon hunter that I had created and messed around with late in middle school and early high school years. I still remember the first scene today, about where Shadow X, a batman-esque character, descends from the rooftops into a dark alleyway where some demons had cornered a defenseless woman. I wrote about how he moved like a ninja slicing the imp like demons with blades that protruded from a contraption he wore around his forearms. I would later develop mystical powers for him, and a suit of demonic armor that was symbiotically fused to him. It was a character that I had a great deal of fun with, and the character is still special to me because he was my first original character.

Sora from Dot Hack

In truth, the only similarities that my Shadow X had Dark Horse’s X, was the costume design. Other elements of the character were inspired by the likes of Batman, Spawn, Static, Naruto, and a character from Dot Hack Sign, known as Sora.

Coming back around to the clerk I was talking with, he told me about something Alan Moore had conceptualized. It was a space were all ideas existed in a sort of pre-existing forms, and that how all humans have access to it. Alan Moore sort of talks about how the human consciousness has mental houses in this idea space, but all ideas belong to everyone and as such they exist outside of our own mental consciousness (or houses). The ideas that we have for writing are often pulled from this “Idea Space” as Alan Moore dubbed it.

Image that inspired Xyber

It was a confusing concept that I still have not entirely wrapped my head around, but it was a rather interesting thing to hear about. It may just be simpler to sum this up as “There are no more original ideas.” Still in spite of this what sort of ideas have any of you visited the “Idea Space” and brought back with you into your “mental house” or even into our own material realm? Have any of you ever had an idea that you thought was really cool only to turn on the television or open a book to see your idea exist before you though it wasn’t you who realized the idea? I have had this happen several times. As a matter of fact, it happened again just recently. I wrote a story that I posted here on comic vine about an outcast named Xyber from a clan of nomadic space conquers called Xandarians. Xyber had a living suit of armor that adapted to his situation, and gave him strength to fight against powerful enemies. Like so many others, I’ve been watching Young Justice on Cartoon Network, and I’ve recently realized how similar my character Xyber is to Blue Beetle, and how the Xandarians are similar to The Reach.

This realization was a bit disturbing and disheartening, but regardless it still struck me as interesting to realize that another idea of mine had been already realized, but in a slightly different manner after learning of Alan Moore’s “Idea Space”. Though, I have no inclination to believe that the “Idea Space” is real it is still an interesting concept, and it makes me want to ask, have any of you had an idea that you thought was really cool, only to turn around and see your idea already exist on screen or on a page?

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DC Mayhem Presents: Tis the Season (Sensation Comics 1 - 4)

As per Mayhem decree, I have collected the finished story of Tis the Season (Sensation Comics 1-4) into a single, easily accessible post. This story belongs to the DC Mayhem continuity.

Disclaimer: I do not own any DC Characters or locations. All rights belong to DC Comics. I do, however, retain all rights to original characters, organizations, and locations

Rated: T+/M for strong language, violence, suggestive themes, some disturbing scenes, and a brief mention of nudity.

Sensation Comics #1

Tis the Season: Part One

Dec 18, 2012 1:09 AM

Jim was used to working late nights. It came with the territory of being Gotham City's Police Commissioner. Nights like tonight though made him want to go home, lie in bed, and cling tight to his wife. His office was dark, and the blinds closed shut. The only form of illumination came from a small desk lamp that had been at the Gotham City Police Department almost as long as he had. It had been a while since his detective Harvey Bullock had come in saying he was calling it a night. Most of the others were either gone or busy out running their beats, so he knew he wouldn't be disturbed.

He reached down and opened the bottom right drawer, and pulled out a small glass and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label. He poured his self a small amount into the glass, but left the bottle open on top of the desk. He left the glass sitting there for a moment as he lit a cigarette and drew it to his lips and inhaled before removing it to blow out a long steady stream of smoke. Then with the same hand that held the cigarette he took the glass and downed the potent whiskey in a single gulp. The burn made his eyes water, but after a few moments the burn subsided, and was replaced with a slight oncoming sense of relaxation. It didn't help.

On his desk, illuminated by the desk lamp, was a case file with photos from a crime scene he had left just a few hours ago. The case file was small, but it was marked with a name Jim was all too familiar with: FALCONE. The Falcone family had once been a very powerful crime syndicate that ran its operations in Gotham City. Drugs, Guns, Extortion, you name it. The Falcone's had their hands in all of it. They even had the courts and police wrapped up in their corrupt little game. That was till the Batman showed up.

Within a month the Batman had destroyed what had took the Falcone Family generations to build, but the real fall came with the murder of Harvey Dent and the Holiday killings. Members of the Falcone Crime gang began to die one after another, and finally it all came crashing down when a new villain named Two Face, the deranged and deformed remnants what was once Harvey Dent, murdered the head of the Falcone Family: Carmine "The Roman" Falcone. All that was left after that was Carmine's children: Sofia, Alberto, and Mario. Alberto was killed by Sofia who was murdered moments later by Two-Face. The Batman tried to stop him, but it was too late.

All that was left was Mario Falcone, a man who had wanted to redeem the Falcone name, but business deals went south all because no one trusted Falcone. Mario was left a broken man, but apparently that wasn't enough. Tonight someone had broken into the Falcone estate and murdered Mario Falcone and all of his staff, but that wasn't what was keeping Jim up on this dark starless night. Jim looked down at the photo one last time, and once again felt his stomach turn. The picture was of a twelve year old girl with five gunshot wounds in the back, and a final shot placed right in the middle of her forehead. The little girl had been wearing a once white dress that had now been stained crimson. Her brown hair had been soaked from the blood that poured from the missing part of her scalp from where the bullet had entered her skull from an angle. Blood poured from the corners of the small pale lips and her blue eyes had still been wide open as she had looked into the face of her murderer.

One would think that this is Gotham City, and that for the police to see dead little girls was not that big of a deal. Sure that was what the common heartless bastard thought. They all thought that for you to live in Gotham City you had to have a heart of stone and that nothing could affect you. Sure try doing that when it's your daughter. When she's lying there helpless and bleeding and you can do nothing about it as she cries out for help. No, not Jim Gordon. Jim couldn't stomach it. He had felt it when he looked in the eyes of that little girl tonight. He had felt the horror she felt. He felt the anger. He felt the emptiness. It was enough to make any man want to put a gun to his head and pull the trigger.

No, not Jim Gordon. Gotham still needed him, and he was going to do everything he could to see that the creature that had done this was brought to justice. Justice. What a funny word. What passed for justice in Gotham was joke, but Jim knew that if he didn't do what was right then who else would?

That question was answered by the cold draft that was now blowing in through the window that had been closed just moments earlier. Jim didn't even have to look up to know what it meant.

"I'm surprised you didn't get here sooner." Jim said not even looking up from the case documents. Out of the darkness stepped a tall dark and looming figure known only as The Batman. On his head was a cowl with two pointed ears, a long dark cape draped down past his boots, and on his chest was a symbol in the shape of a large bat that was as dark as the night itself.

"Any leads?" The Batman asked in a gruff voice that was as rough as sand paper.

"None," Jim replied, "The whole house was swept clean. No security footage, no witnesses, heck there weren't even any damn bullet casings."

"Do we have a list of all those who we believe were on Falcone's payroll?"

"Yeah, archives is going over it right now, and cross referencing it with possible motives, so we can compile a suspect list."

"We won't find the murderer that way."

"Unless you have something I don't then I already know that!" Jim spat, not really shouting, but with enough emphasis that he might as well have been scolding a child. Batman only stood there in silence narrowing his eyes as he looked down at Jim. "I just don't understand. A twelve year old girl who had no connection with any of family's business dealings. You should have seen the room Batman. Blue ribbons from honor roll and spelling bees. More stuffed animals than I've ever seen. All of it belonged to a little girl that meant no harm to the world. Now all of it is dripping with her blood."

Jim paused once more pouring himself another shot of whiskey and downed it before continuing, "Every time I see something like this I think of Barbara, and how it could have been her. Damn this city, and all its monsters."

"Jim." The Batman said in what passed as a comforting tone for him, "We'll find who did this. Just keep looking. I'm going back to the house to see if I can find anything that can help."

"Yeah, you do that Batman." Jim said, but his statement was only answered by sound of the blinds that covered the window as they crashed up against the window frame where the Batman had gone out. Jim sat there in silence for a few moments longer. Trying in vain attempt to clear his head, when suddenly there was a knock at the door. Jim moving as quickly as he could muster put away the bottle and glass before answering.

"What is it?" The door cracked open slightly, and a uniformed officer stuck his head in.

"She's here sir." The mas said. Jim took a deep breath, and stood up from his seat.

"I'll be out there in a minute." Jim said rubbing his hand across the top of his head. The officer nodded and closed the door behind him, leaving Jim alone in the darkness once again.

Jim didn't know if he was ready for this one. He had to deliver bad news all the time, but experience in this matter did not make such a thing any easier. Jim grabbed his coat hanging on the rack at the door as he exited his office, and walked out onto the main floor of the GCPD. Out there waiting in a chair was another young girl, but this one was not like the innocent one whose dead eyes he had been starring into for the past several hours.

Sitting in one of the chairs outside his office was a sixteen year old girl with reddish-brown hair and green eyes. She was dressed casually in blue jeans, tennis shoes; a t-shit with a band logo on the front, and in her arms was a rather oversized coat that had been used to help block the cold of winter in Gotham. All the clothing was disheveled, and her hair was tangled as if she had left home in a hurry. Her eyes were red and her make up showed signs of running which was smeared in some places from where she had furiously tried to wipe the signs of tears away. Her face did not show signs of sadness though. Instead her face was stoic, but Jim could see it in her eyes. He could see the angry fire that often inhibited the eyes of those whom had a loved one taken from them.

"Kitrina Falcone?" Jim asked the girl hoping she would respond to him. The girl's eyes turned sharply to him, and almost seemed to glare right through him.

"Commissioner," Kitrina started to reply, her voice cracking as she said the following words, "I'm going to ask you this once and only once." Katrina paused once again taking another breath. Jim saw the girl hesitate to speak, almost too distraught to speak. He had seen most people like this break, but Kitrina still did not cry when she finally asked him: "Do you know who killed my cousin?"

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dec. 21 2012 4:29 PM

It was Christmas time in Gotham City, though for Kitrina it didn’t feel quite so festive. She had arrived back in town only a few days ago after having spent the last several months as a student at Aldridge Prep, an all-girls private school in North Carolina. Now she was set up in a modest hotel room near Gotham’s commercial district. Her cousin and Uncle’s funeral had been held just a few hours ago, and it seemed so strange to her that now she was watching the Gotham City Christmas Parade as it passed on the street below her window. It felt so strange that the entire world around her seemed happy and cheerful, but she herself could only feel sorrow and anger.

Luckily she had not needed to handle the funeral arrangements herself, and had managed to call in a few favors, and not just those that involved picking out caskets and flowers, but assistance in her true mission: finding the bastard that had killed her twelve year old cousin, Ana. The funeral itself went about as well as any funeral. It had been a traditional catholic funeral, but few people had shown up. Mario did not have that many friends, and even fewer had known Ana. Kitrina had wanted to cry, but she had forgotten how. As last member of the main branch of the Falcone family she had to appear strong otherwise the others might try to come after her. She was sure eventually someone would, but right now none of that was her concern. All she could think about was Ana.

Kitrina had loved that little girl, and had often babysat her during the time that she lived under her Uncle Mario’s roof. She could have cared less about her uncle’s death, and honestly she felt like he deserved it. Ana though had been the closest thing Kitrina had ever had to a little sister. In truth she was the closest thing she had left to family. Mario had not been much of a legal guardian, and her mother barely had made time for her even before her death. The only other person in Kitrina’s life that had ever shown her the slightest recognition was her grandfather, Carmine Falcone, whom Kitrina had seen murdered right before her eyes on a Halloween Night six years ago. The memory of her grandfather’s funeral still affected her till this day, and now having to see that little girl being lowered into the ground was like pouring salt into a wound.

Upon returning from the funeral she had changed out of the traditional black dress and veil, and into more comfortable clothing, pink pajama pants and a white tank top, so she could finally get to work. Though she had not been sure at first it turned out that the Falcone Family still had allies. This time it had been a man named Sammy Finch, a bistro owner on the south side of town who worked as a sort of banker for the family. Kitrina had put in a call to him and now she had a whole file of paperwork including invoices and a whole ledger on business dealings over the past four months. She had also been given a name: Dr. Loeb. Sam had pointed the name out to her, and had said that he only met the man once, and he gave him the creeps. Sam had said it was just a hunch, but it may have been a place to start.

As Kitrina sat down at the table she went over the records given to her by Sam once more. In the past few months her uncle Mario had made several contributions to Doctor Loeb’s clinic, but suddenly two months ago the payments had stopped without any indication as to why. There was another problem though that puzzled Kitrina, and that was that nobody had ever heard of Doctor Loeb. There was no number in the phone book, no address, and in truth there wasn’t even any record of him in any licensed department of medicine. So it would have appeared that Mario had been frequenting a black market doctor for some reason, but for what, and what did all this have to do with Ana?

There had to be something she was missing though. She began to flip through the ledger, and that was when she spotted it: the missing piece to the puzzle. It was an entry penciled in for a container rental at the Gotham Docks. Normally it wouldn’t be that big of a deal for the Falcone to have dealings with the docks because Falcone often deal with import export businesses, but this was a for a holding fee, and it continued for the next several months alongside the same contributions that were given to Doctor Loeb. If she was lucky perhaps she could still get a hold of the container number. She grabbed the phone book out of the bedside table drawer and flipped the pages till she found the number for the Docks. As soon as she found it she wasted no time grabbing the hotel phone and started dialing.

The space between rings felt like ages to Kitrina, and she was crossing her fingers hoping for some kind of lead. When the phone finally picked up and the person on the other end said hello Kitrina almost stumbled into an answer.

“Ah…Yes, my name is Kitrina Falcone, and my uncle passed away a few days ago. I’ve been left in charge of settling all of his accounts. I’ve been going over his records and it says he’s rented a cargo container there, and has been paying holding fees. I was wondering on what container that would be.” Kitrina asked trying to sound innocent yet somewhat sad, hoping to pass for what she hoped as a niece saddened over her uncle’s death and was now reluctant to have to close out his business. If she was lucky the person on the other end of the phone would not care if she were a Falcone or not. She crossed her fingers and hoped for the best.

“Just one second ma’am” the voice on the other end of the line when silent for a few moments that might has well have been an eternity, “Yes, ma’am that container’s number is A00035691.” Kitrina nearly dropped the phone as she grabbed the nearest pen and began scribbling the number down on a piece of paper. “Would you like to close out the container?”

“No not today, I’ll be coming down there later today to inspect its contents. If any of my uncle’s things in there I’ll have to know what it is so I can disperse it to the proper people.”

“I understand ma’am. Also I am very sorry for you loss. Have a good day.”

“Thank you and you too.” Kitrina replied just before hanging up the line. Kitrina took a deep breath and stretched before standing up and heading over to the window once more. Down below Santa Claus was being pulled through on a float as the parade was finishing up its route. She still did not quite feel the whole festive spirit, but she smiled at the pure irony of it, because it was like Santa had brought her a gift. She finally had a lead, and maybe whatever it was that was in that container would have some clue that would lead her to her cousin’s killer.

Kitrina walked over to her bed where she had laid out a leather jumpsuit accented with pink stripes, a pair of black boots, and a set of infrared goggles. She felt a sense of deviltry creep up in her as she ran her hands over the fabric, and then she felt a sense of pride rise up in her as she pulled out the final article to the costume she was assembling. In a way it looked silly to her, but at the same time she could feel power and liberation in the leather cap with flaps that in a way looked similar to the ears of cat.

Sensation Comics #2

Tis the Season: Part Two

December 22, 2012 12:22 AM

The world had not ended, and it was snowing. So the Mayans were wrong, and maybe that meant that Gotham was in for a white Christmas. These were the thoughts that were going through the minds of the common populace living in Gotham City; however, there was one particular young woman in Gotham City who did not have time for such thoughts. Kitrina Falcone was on a mission, a mission to find the person who had murdered her twelve year old cousin.

If Kitrina did give way to one thought that was not about her mission it was the fact that leather was not so great about blocking out the cold. This wasn’t really her first time wearing a strange outfit as she ran across the rooftops and jumped from building to building using the terrain to help propel her along. Still this was the first time she had worn this costume, and though she felt it looked kind of stylish she probably should have considered practicality a little more than she did. She had it tailored to fit to her form without necessarily hindering her mobility and it was a special blend of leather and Kevlar so it would protect her to an extent, but she knew it was probably best if she avoided any sort of skirmishes wherever possible. It was a good outfit for what she needed, but when she had it built she had a fit of nostalgia to where she had felt the need to customize the outfit, and that’s where all the pink accents came from.

“Stupid ass, should have added in a thermal layer, or at least have worn thermals Way to go Kat. Great job not thinking that it gets below freezing in the winter.”She thought to herself as she felt her skin starting to go numb underneath the leather. “Oh well, at least this time I went with boots and pockets instead of high heels and a studded belt.” She was of course referring to the fact that not only did the boots make it easier to run, but also made it easier to handle the terrain without heavily bruising an ankle. As for the belt, she still felt it had been cute and “her”, but the small pockets that lined her costume held a variety of tools that could help her break in and otherwise sabotage if needed. On her head was a set of custom infrared goggles that she had procured some time ago, and they were worth more than a neurosurgeon could make in a month, but they were by far one of her most useful devices. Then the cap with the cat ears was more of a sort of call back to an old life, but she felt it to be fitting, and at the very least the cap kept her ears warm.

The only part of her outfit which was not standard just so happened to be the large set of bolt cutters she had tied to her back. It offset her weight a little bit, but shipping containers were known to have heavy locks, and they just might come in handy.

When she had finally reached the docks her heart was racing from all the running, and though she could feel her skin freezing it felt like her insides were boiling. Across the street from the rooftop she had stopped on were the Gotham City docks, which was one of the city’s largest districts. The docks were huge, stretching for miles down the waterfront, and her first objective would be to find out where the container she was looking for was out of the thousands that were stored there. It would be a simple enough job, break into the offices, boot up a computer, and look up the location. If she was lucky she wouldn’t have to travel too far from the offices, or even worse have to use a crane to get to the container, but in her experience luck was not usually her ally.

As she stood on the roof attempting to catch her breath she reached up and pulled the infrared goggles down over her eyes, and turned them on. What had been darkness suddenly light up in a blue color, but with a slight red hue which covered most of the landscape. Outside of that the goggles could pick up on heat signatures, particularly those belonging to human beings. Out on the yard of the docks from where she was standing she could make out at least three guards patrolling, One guard at the gate she was closest too, and another outside the office complex who appeared to be on a smoke break.

“They’re understaffed. They must have let most of the staff off for Christmas or something. That would explain the skeleton crew.” she muttered to herself, as she attempted to look closer she noticed that it looked as if the guard at the gate was asleep, “No wonder the family liked to do a lot of business here, there’s no regard for security at all.” When she felt she had finally got a good lay of the docks from her position she moved to the edge of the roof, and grabbed a hold of gutter and used that to help her climb down to the ground.

The best way in would be through the front gates, but she would have to be quick and be very quiet at the same time. The guard was asleep, but there were security cameras around the gate, and the gate was mechanized. The Cameras were stationary though, and Katrina could see a blind spot on the side of the guard shack facing away from the gate.

“So I just need to sneak up to the booth incapacitate the guard, and open the gates…easy enough.” She thought to herself. When she finally felt like she was ready she darted across the street, and dropped down into a slide as she got near the booth. She lifted her goggles and eased up to the window of the booth, so she could get a good look inside. What she saw there made her stop. It was just an old man. He was passed out, and snoring. He even had hearing aids that appeared to be switched into the off position. One side of her felt like this was lazy security, but the other side of her really did not want to have to hurt this old man if she didn’t have to. She could see the panel that controlled the gate right in front of the old man, so moving very carefully she eased the window open, reached across the old man, and turned the switch to open the gate.

The gate clang and screeched causing Kitrina to wince. She had not considered that the gate opening might cause a lot of noise. She had closed her eyes in fear that she had awakened the old security guard, but when she slowly opened them she stopped. The man had not even moved. As a matter of a fact it didn’t even look like he was breathing. Kitrina reached for the man’s neck to check for a pulse.

Suddenly the man snored loudly causing Kitrina to jump in surprise! It took everything in her power not to scream. She even sat back down outside the booth and clamped both hands over her mouth to be sure she hadn’t.

“STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!” She mentally cursed herself, “Jesus Christ! No more caring about the well-being of old dudes.” When she calmed down a little and finally caught her breath she got up and sprinted as fast as she could through the gate, and finally stopped running when she reached a set of containers. Now all that was left was to find out where the container was, and hopefully that would go off without a hitch.

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30 Minutes Later…

Things had not gone quite as well as Kitrina had hoped. She had been forced to knock out the guard that was patrolling the offices, and there just so happened to be another one inside that she had not spotted earlier when looking across the docks from the outside. When she finally made it to a computer and found out where the container she was looking for was located it just so happened to be in warehouse K -2910 which just so happened to be with the set of warehouses that were the farthest from the offices. After a mad dash across the dock yard, a few close calls with some gaurds, and judging by how her ring finger on her right hand was throbbing she had probably cracked a nail after nearly missing a jump between two containers stacked up on the docks.

By the time she had reached the warehouse, she had already torn her jumpsuit on the backside of her left thigh, and she was sweating profusely underneath the jumpsuit, and with it being below freezing outside that made her feel even colder. When she walked up to the door of the warehouse her feet were numb and she was shaking and her teeth were chattering from the cold.

The side door was shut with a standard padlock. Mustering what strength she had she pulled the bolt cutters from her back and cut the padlock loose. Kitrina dropped the bolt cutters, letting them clang against ground feeling too tired to sustain their weight. She removed the broken lock and eased open the door, before slipping inside.

It was pitch black inside the ware house, but on an improved note at least it was not as cold in the warehouse since it was sort of protected from the chilling wind outside. Kitrina rubbed her hands together to try and get some warmth and feeling back into them before she reached up and pulled her goggles back down over her eyes. The goggles illuminated the warehouse, but what Kitrina saw there surprised her. In the center of the warehouse was a single container, and the rest of the warehouse was completely bare. She looked down and saw mud in the shape of tire marks all leading up to the container, and judging from the quantity it looked as if this container was visited several times.

Kitrina walked up to the container and sure enough she found the number: A00035691 printed on the side. This was definitely her container, but she was shocked to see the doors were slightly open and light was pouring out from where it was cracked. She lifted up her goggles, and snuck quietly up to the door. She couldn’t really hear anything inside other than a small humming sound, but whatever it was that was inside that container gave her a really bad feeling. There could be someone on the other side of that door just waiting to attack her. She peered in through the crack and didn’t see anything, so finally after taking a deep breath she eased the door open and stepped in.

What she found was beyond perplexing, and truthfully the last thing she would have expected her Uncle Mario to have stored. Inside the container illuminated by a utility light was an operating table draped over with a blood stained sheet. With a bit of hesitation in her step she walked up closer to the table, and felt her stomach lurch slightly at the fact that the sheet was still slightly wet and covered with bits of gray hair. Next to the table she spotted a small tray with surgical tools: clamps, scalpels, and scissors, all stained with blood and what looked like small bits of flesh. Lying on the floor next to the table was a heap of dirty bandages that smelt foul, and was beginning to draw flies. Near the bandages, she spotted something small and metal, and whatever it was it didn’t look like any surgical tool that she knew of, so she knelt down and picked it up.

It was a money clip made of pure silver, and etched on the side was the name: Mario Falcone.

“This must have been where Doctor Loeb did whatever it was Mario wanted him to.” Kitrina thought as she looked from the surgical tools and then back at the money clip, “And I suppose since this was here that Mario must have sit in on Loeb’s work. So just what is this place, A torture chamber of some kind? What the hell were you in to Mario?”

Suddenly Kitrina felt her goggles slip over and off her head, and her eyes went wide. Someone had snuck in behind her! Reacting Kitrina spun around, launching a spinning kick at the intruder hoping to catch them off-guard, but instead her kick was block throwing her off-balance. The something hit her other leg, and before she knew it she flipped over onto the ground and hit her head against the floor of the container. It blurred her vision for a second, and she instinctively grabbed the back of her head as it reeled. She was vulnerable now, and was open to attack, but strangely the attack never came.

“Well, what do we have here?” A sultry voice purred, “It looks like our little long lost kitten has come back home.” It was a voice Kitrina knew all too well.

“What the hell!? Selina?” Kitrina looked up and the black clad Catwoman with her high heels and unzipped top standing over her.

“In the flesh.” Selina quipped while making presenting gesture with her right hand, in which she held Kitrina’s goggles. “You know I looked for these for the longest after you skipped town, and after all we’ve been through. I really can’t believe, Kitrina, that you actually would have had the nerve to steal from me.” Selina wagged her finger. “tsk, tsk. Shame on you little girl. Mama’s gonna have to spank.”

Kitrina slowly pushed herself up off the ground and glared at the woman.

“First off, you weren’t going to do anything with them, but sell them. You wouldn’t have made as much on them as you would have with any other heist you normally run, and I felt I could have put them to better use. Secondly, I didn’t skip town, you, the Bat, and Night-Jerk, told me to leave, and finally! What are you doing here?”

“I was just in the neighborhood.” Selina teased pacing slightly back and forth in front of Kitrina, “I saw a bit of commotion going on at the docks, so I decided to check it out. Then lo and behold, I find my long lost protégé. “

“I’m not your proto…whatever! Now will you please give me the goggles back? I’ve got more important things to do.” Kitrina spat.

“My, My, what’s the rush?”

“You wouldn’t understand.”

“It’s about your cousin isn’t it.” Selina perused. Kitrina gritted her teeth at the invasive comment and looked away. The last thing she wanted to do right now was have a heart to heart with the Catwoman, “Look, Kitrina,” Selina continued, “I’m not heartless you know. You talked about that little girl all the time, so I know how much she meant to you.”

“YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ANA MEANT TO ME!” Kitrina shouted. She had been unable to control the outburst. She could feel the tears welling up in her eyes, but she still did not cry. Selina only glared back at the girl, appearing unfazed by the outburst.

“Kitrina, if you need help. Don’t hesitate to…”

“I will never need help from someone like you!”

“Well I’m sorry you feel that way.” Selina looked away and walked over to the operating table, and Kitrina saw something she thought she would have never seen Catwoman do. Catwoman actually froze, and her eyes went wide. She reached down and picked up one of scalpels, and then dropped it back on the tray as soon as she had picked it up. Almost as if the blade had been red hot in her hands

“Kid, I think this is over your head.” Selina said in a serious tone that Kitrina was not used to. “Judging by the look of this set up, it looks like it was used recently, and whoever it was that used it was in a hurry, so that probably means they haven’t gone far.”

“Wait, you know something about this don’t you?” Kitrina asked.

“I’m not sure, but you need to get out of here?”

“No!” Kitrina spat, “You’re going to tell me what you know or I’ll…” Suddenly her head quickly snapped to the side as Selina slapped her across the face.

“You’re not going to do anything! This is bigger than you, and you’re going to need help. I know I’m not going to like it, but I’m going to get you help. I just need you to trust me this once.”

“I don’t trust you with damn thing.” Kitrina growled. Selina sighed, before reaching into the inside of her belt and pulling out what looked like white pouches. She put the pouches with the goggles and held them out to Kitrina who furiously swiped them from her grasp.

“Heating pads?” Kitrina said as she held them in her hand.

“Yep, judging from how you were shivering a little while ago I guess you hadn’t figured on the cold. There are three of them. Put two of them in each of your boots to keep your feet warm, as for the other…” Selina smiled devilishly, “Well I think you know where to put that one.”

Kitrina blushed brightly and glared at Catwoman.

“Why you!”

"You can call me names later. Just do what I said, and get the hell out of here.” Selina ran for the door, but looked back and started to say something, but instead she just decided to smile before disappearing out the door of the container.

A few moments later Kitrina had put the heating pads in her boots and the other she stuffed in the appropriate place. She could feel the warmth surging through her body, and she was more than thankful for it. She looked back at the operating table one last time hoping to spot maybe another clue that might lead her to Doctor Loeb, but when she spotted nothing she sighed and turned to leave only to find darkness behind a pair of piercing blue eyes.

Sensation Comics #3

Tis the Season: Part Three

December 22, 2012 3:01 AM

Christmas time. A time of joy, laughter, and family. A time of giving gifts and carolers in the snow. The time of the cold chill. Cold like steel. Cold like death.

It wasn’t the pain that caused Kitrina to wake from her slumber, but instead it was the bitter cold air that had thrust her back into the world of the living. She couldn’t feel her hands or her feet. The taste of the rag in her mouth was foul, and it was almost impossible not to gag, so she tried to focus on breathing through her nose. Her vision was blurry, but she could see small strands of dim light coming through the gaps in what appeared to be some kind of wall. She could hear the sounds of water below her, splashing as it washed up near her.

Taking all of this in she gathered that she must still be at the Gotham Docks, but something had happened. The only thing she could really feel was her mid-section which throbbed with a dull ache, and she could feel something warm and wet running down her left side, which she could only assume was blood. Other than that she felt a sharp pain around her wrists and ankles, as she attempted to move she winced as she felt hard steel of her bindings cut into her skin. She looked up and could make out in the dim light what looked like her hands as the laid about around a large chain. She concentrated and noted with some relieve that she could still move them. She moved her hands to grab ahold of the chain, and attempted to pull up on the chain, but when she did the pain in her mid-section flared. The pain was so intense it made her eyes water, and she moaned in agony as the pain became too much.

Her hands let go of the chain, desperate for some relief, but that only caused her to drop, resulting sudden jerk from the small lift she had managed, and that only caused the chains around her wrists to cut even deeper her flesh. Her breathing briefly intensified, as she attempted to regain some sort of mental control over herself. The pain began to slowly subside, and she began wonder just how she had ended up bound, gagged, and bleeding like a stuck pig over the Gotham River.

She strained to remember, but it was a little fuzzy. The last thing she could remember was as she was trying to leave Doctor Loeb’s shipping container that had the operating table. She had turned around and came face to face with the old security guard from the gates she had come in. The same old dude who she had been so careful not to wake up. At one point she had even wondered if he was alive, before being nearly scared to death by his snoring when she tried to check his pulse.

At the container, when she had turned and seen him, her initial reaction was pure shock, and she had instantly wondered how he had managed to sneak up on her. She had wondered how he got past Selina, but much worse she had worried about hurting the old man, because she would have had to knock him out. That was she would have, had he actually had moved like an old man. All she could remember after that was the old man’s cold stare, the flash of a knife, and then total darkness.

Suddenly, Kitrina could hear the sounds of approaching footsteps, clopping against the wood as they approached closer and closer. Kitrina had heard that sound before.

“Water, wood, and a wall with gaps? A boathouse?” Kitrina wondered as she attempted to figure out her location. Next she heard the creaking of wooden door on iron hinges, and the loud clang it made as it slammed against the wooden wall. The door opening let in cold draft that chilled Kitrina even more, but at least it let in enough light to where she could make things out a little more. Now she could see the walkways, and could even make out a few boats. She felt a small sense of satisfaction that her assumption about being in boathouse had been right, now if only she could find some way to escape.

The footsteps she had heard earlier were now right next to her walking past. The dim light that was shining through the doorway allowed Kitrina to make out the gray hair of the old man and the word security stenciled across his the back of his coat with reflective letters. The man pulled matches out of his pocket, which with a quick snap of his wrist, had lit them and dropped them down into a large metal drum which violently erupted into flame. The sudden invasive presence of the light was somewhat blinding, but from where she hanged she could feel the warmth from it. Despite her predicament the flame was not entirely unwelcome.

Unfortunately, it also illuminated certain things that Kitrina had formally been oblivious to. Draped over the man’s arm was a leather jumpsuit with pink accents. Looking down Kitrina’s worst fears were realized. She had been stripped completely bare, and now was hanging in front of this old perve like some sort of demented pin up. The man took the jumpsuit and threw it into the flames followed by Selina’s infrared goggles, and then the leather cap.

“Freak,” Kitrina thought, “I’m going to get out of this and I’m going to make you…” Kitrina’s thoughts were suddenly brought to a complete halt. Because what she saw next chilled her to the bone, as the man reached up, grabbed hold of his scalp, and pulled the mask that had been concealing the man’s true identity. Only it wasn’t a mask. Kitrina could make out in the firelight, the precise cuts at the back of the head, around the eyes, mouth, and nostrils. Then even worse she could see small droplets blood coming from the edge of the mask. Only that was no mask this man was holding. It was someone else’s face, a face that had been removed, most likely through some sort of sick type of surgery. That’s when it all came flooding back.

The operating table covered with the bloody sheet, the surgical tools that had bits of flesh and hair on them, and then Selina’s reaction to them, and what she had said about them appearing to be recently used.

“This psycho has to be Doctor Loeb.” Kitrina surmised. “There’s no way it could be anyone else.” It was the only thing that really made sense to her. A man is precise enough to skin another man’s face and wear it as a mask, has to have some kind of surgical skill. Then there was the fact that this guy had showed up, stabbed her, and then knocked her out. Who else would have a reason to come back to that container other than the only person with something to hide? Then there was what Selina had said about the tools looking like they had been recently used. That was what troubled her.

“Until now, I thought this psycho was some harmless old man, and now I find out the whole thing was just a ruse. So in the booth at the gate...” Kitrina paused, and the epiphany hit her, “He was waiting for me. Loeb knew I was coming. He set a trap to make sure my guard was down, but that would mean…He knew I was coming.”

Kitrina couldn’t wrap her head around it. She needed time to clear her head, and sort things out. There was no way she was going to be able to do that though while hanging naked from some godforsaken boathouse ceiling.

The man took the old man’s face and threw it into the flames first, and within a few seconds the air stank of melting skin. Next when her jumpsuit, underwear, boots, and the leather cap. Kitrina glared at the man. Now she was definitely pissed off, and began thinking of ways to try and escape her bindings. She was going to kill this man. That was for certain. That was until the man started talk.

“I’m going to say this only once.” He said in a voice Kitrina found oddly familiar. She had heard this voice before, but she couldn’t quite place her finger on it. “I’m going to ask you some questions. You nod for yes shake your head for no. Pretty simple I think, now for the first question. Do you know who I am?”

The man turned around, and Kitrina’s eyes went wide. If she had been able to her jaw would have hit the floor. Things just got extremely freaky, really fast, too fast. The man looking back at her was a man she had only seen on television. The man looking back at her, with a prideful malice in his eyes, was Bruce Wayne. She was so in shock by what she saw that she did not realize she had not answered his question. It was a mistake she wish she had not made as Wayne jabbed one of his fingers deep into the open wound on Kitrina’s side.

The pain was unbearable, and Kitrina let out a scream that almost seemed to pierce the cloth blocking her mouth. He pulled the finger back out of the wound. The wound hurt like hell, and the intense pain had sapped her strength as she fell and hung limply.

“That was me being nice.” Wayne said, “Next time, you might not live. Now I won’t ask again. Do you know who I am?” Kitrina slowly looked up and glared at the man with as much hatred as she could muster, and then slowly nodded her head.

“Am I Bruce Wayne?”

“What the hell? Why would he ask that?” Kitrina thought before she nodded once more, already sick of Wayne’s twisted game. Wayne grinned at her.

“You are Kitrina Falcone.” It was more of a statement than a question. Kitrina could see it in Wayne’s eyes.

“He knows who I am!” Kitrina realized. It was suddenly hard to breathe, and she didn’t know what to do. Her eyes began darting from left to right as she began looking all over for some means of escape. “I have to get out of here! I have to get away!” She saw from Wayne’s look that he was getting impatient, “Keep it together, girl. Be patient” Kitrina thought before nodding furiously.

“Last question, Is Mario Falcone dead?” Kitrina glared this time right into Wayne’s eyes, and then slowly nodded. Wayne was still smiling, that was until Kitrina planted her left foot up side his head. Wayne had been so preoccupied with tormenting the girl that he had not paid attention to her movements. She supposed he had heard the splash as the chains around her ankles slipped off and fell into the water, but by then it was too late. Using all the strength she could muster she delivered a kick to Wayne’s face. She noted with some satisfaction when she heard the sickening pop of his jaw dislocating.

Her wrists had bled just enough to give her some movement room, and with one last tug Kitrina did the first thing of the night she knew she was going to regret latter. Kitrina had escaped chains, safes, and otherwise before. She was good at getting out of situations, but she was weak and bleeding. Had that not been an issue she could have landed on the wooden floor of the boathouse, but this time there was no way she could avoid plunging into the dark water of Gotham’s river.

Every year in Gotham there is over three-hundred cases of Hypothermia, and every year sixty nine percent of those treated either die or receive permanent physical trauma. It was good odds, but it hurt like hell. As she felt herself fall under the water it felt like her skin was on fire, ironically enough. The first thing to go was her breath, as it felt like something had punched her in the gut. Earlier when she had at least been able to feel the pain from her wounds that went next. Her eyes burned, and her arms flailed about aimlessly in the water. Though she could barely see she could make out the floor of the boathouse and threw herself up against it.

She could feel nothing. In truth she wasn't even sure if she was holding onto the dock. Her vision was blurry, and she couldn’t make out the smell of the wood, due to all the river water that had went up her nose. It was either this, or dive back into the water, and there she knew she would die.

“I have to stand here, and fight this bastard. At least this way…I’m going to die,” Kitrina thought, “I have no chance…No! I’m going to die!” All she wanted to do was give up. Lay there and die. It was so cold. She couldn’t breathe, her heart felt like it was about to jump out of her chest, and she was shaking violently. There was no way she could fight. What chance did she have?

She could still hear Wayne in the room as he roared in pain over his broken jaw. His speech was unclear, but Kitrina could still make out the sound of a pistol as it was being drawn.

I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die.” repeated though Kitrina’s head, “I have to take that gun from him.” Kitrina picked herself up off the ground, and then half ran, half stumbled, toward Wayne.

She heard one shot fire, and she saw the splash of blood as she tackled the man, and brought him to the ground.

“I have to live! I’m going to die!” was the thought that drove Kitrina on. She scratched at Wayne’s face leaving long marks in pretty boy’s face. She slammed her fists into his face over and over and felt his nose break. She could barely make out the blood on her hands. She could barely make anything out, like the fact that Wayne still had fight in him, and that she had just really pissed him off. She wasn’t prepared when his fist slammed into the side of her head and knocked her off him.

Kitrina lay there, shivering; all the fight was gone out of her. She had tried hard, and she had lost. Wayne was still alive, and he was roaring out curses as he came up and over to her. Her vision cleared one last time as she saw into the dark abyss of the gun barrel. She waited for the end to come, but it never did. The last thing she saw was two figures come crashing through the doorway. One of them was completely clad in black. It lunged at Wayne seeming almost as if the very night itself was assaulting her would be murderer.

The other came over to her, lifted her up and started running. She could barely make out a hint of blue in the darkness, and a rather handsome face. Of course, she was bleeding, freezing, and about to die, so probably anything looked handsome to her right about now. Kitrina couldn't tell how much time past when they finally stopped. Everything was swirling around her, and her vision had finally gone. She could barely make out the sounds. At least she started to feel a little warm, but it wasn't like normal warmth. The last time she felt this warmth was when she was a little girl being hugged by her grandfather. She thought she could hear someone talking to her, but it sounded like the voice was coming from the far end of a long hallway.

“Come on, Kid!” the voice echoed. She had heard the voice before. The last time she had heard it was the night before the last time she left Gotham.

“Night-jerk?” Kitrina wondered, “So I get to die in the arms of a cute guy. That’s not so bad.” She felt the rag that had been used to gag her, finally be removed, and then she felt something heavy pressing down on her chest.

“Don’t you die on me!” Nightwing said.

“Kitrina, come on baby wake up.” It was another voice. A womanly voice. Sultry yet sweet. Perhaps a little bit of worry in there somewhere.

“Selina? She’s here too? Damn it all, I guess I really am going to hell.” Suddenly a sharp pain jabbed through her chest, and Kitrina began to cough violently shaking her entire body. She could breathe again, and that brought the cold back. She lay there shivering, but could see the faces of both Nightwing and Selina clearly now. Their faces had a mix of both worry and relief etched into them.

“Dick go” Selina said turning to Nightwing, “Bruce needs your help. I’ve got her.”

“Don’t worry kid. It’s going to be all-right now. I’ll be back soon” Nightwing, or Dick said.

“So his name is Dick?” Kitrina absent mindedly wondered. There was also something about him. She could see his eyes through the lens of the mask: Pretty blue eyes. Then there was what he said. Something about how he had said “It’s going to be all-right” felt familiar, but Kitrina couldn’t quite place it. She felt woozy, and when he finally stood up and ran off to fight, she didn’t feel have bad being left with Selina, of all people.

Selina had produced a large tarp from somewhere, and wrapped her up in it drying her off as best as she could with it. She felt pressure being put on the wound at her side, and the tarp was wrapped around her. Selina picked her up, and held her closely too her. Being pressed up against Selina was the last place she wanted to be, but at least it was warm.

In the background Kitrina could hear police sirens, and for once, it was the most beautiful sound she had ever heard.

Sensation Comics #4

Tis the Season: Part Four

Dec. 24, 2012 3:29 PM

Kitrina was never the biggest fan of hospital food. She held up the cardboard like Salisbury, eying it with disgust, and made a sort of grunting noise before setting it back down on the plate.

“You know, sometimes I think I would have preferred freezing to death over having to eat this crap.” She said to the woman sitting across from her, sitting up wearing a leopard print long sleeve blouse, and leather pants.

Selina had never been the type to dress casual for her daytime outings. Kitrina had learned from her short time period as her working partner. Selina had a sort of appreciation for the finer things in life, and she would sometime wear the things she stole from the higher echelon of Gotham as a sort of trophy or statement. What she didn’t keep for herself was normally sold to fences, and the cash from that was used to buy even more nice things. This outfit Selina was wearing today was one of those stolen items she had decided to keep. Kitrina knew because she had seen Selina steal the outfit on their first outing together, when Kitrina was just starting to learn the ropes in the “Catwoman School of Burglary”.

“Don’t complain. At least you’re getting the chance to live another day. It’s already a miracle that you managed to get away from Doctor Elliot. The guy cut out my heart once, literally, but you managed claw up his ugly mug after turning yourself into a walking Popsicle.”

Selina was right. She really shouldn’t be causing a fuss. The truth was that Kitrina had barely escaped with her life a few nights ago. She had sustained not only lacerated liver, bruised ribs, a sprained ankle, and several cuts and bruises all over both wrists; she had also developed critical hypothermia. Her body temperature had dropped below eighty degrees Fahrenheit, and Selina had told her that when they rescued her she resembled a corpse. Kitrina had been very lucky though. None of her limbs had turned black, or had to be removed. For the first day she had been in intense pain, as feeling slowly come back, but today things were a little easier. She had been sewn and bandaged up, the pins and needles feeling she had felt when recovering from being numb was gone, and now she was receiving blood to replace what she had lost during her tangle with Hush.

Kitrina had really been lucky, because the thing about Dr. Thomas Elliot is that he was much more than just a typical psychopath. Doctor Thomos Elliot, also known as Hush in the criminal underworld of Gotham, had once been a great surgeon, but at some point he had gone off the deep end, cut up his own face to resemble that of Bruce Wayne in some strange attempt to get back at him, or at least that was what Selina had explained to her. Selina had also explained to Kitrina that she had suspected that Hush might be involved when she saw the operating table in the container back at the docks. She had wanted Kitrina to get away before Hush got to her, but she had no idea that he was already there, waiting for her. The only way that Batman, Nightwing, and she had found Kitrina was because of a lone bat-tracker that Selina had placed on Kitrina’s uniform.

“I suppose I should say, thank you.”

“There’s no need to thank me. I said I would help you, and I meant it, but you’re welcome anyway.”

“What happened to Hush anyway?”

“After you were taken care of, Nightwing went to help Batman. The two of them took him down pretty quickly, and took him to Arkham. When he wakes up, Batman and the Commissioner are supposed to question him.”

“So that was his equipment in that cargo container.”

“It seems that way. You never quite explained to me what you were looking for there anyway. I figured it had to do with your cousin, but I didn’t want to interfere because, I know very well what it’s like to want to settle a personal score, and the need to settle it on your own terms.” Selina’s words resonated with Kitrina, at least a little bit anyway. She highly respected her former mentor, but after what she did there was very little connection left between the two of them. At one point, Kitrina had hoped to never see her feline-loving mentor ever again, but after all that had happened, she could appreciate that Selina was at least trying to repair what damage had been done. It was more than her Uncle Mario had ever done.

“I suppose I do owe you a little bit of an explanation.”

“A little?” Selina mocked

“Don’t push it.” Kitrina retorted, “After Ana’s funeral, I got a hold of an old family friend, named Samuel Finch. He gave me some financial records of my Uncle Mario’s business dealings over the past few months. He also pointed out a name to me, a Doctor Loeb. Payments made to the docks, plus the connection Uncle Mario, and Doctor Loeb had to the records is what led me there. I was hoping I could find another lead that would lead me to Ana’s killer, and I suppose in a way it did. I figured out pretty quick that Hush had to be Doctor Loeb. It was only thing that made sense.” Kitrina sighed, “Do you think Hush, killed Ana?”

“I don’t know, but if he did there’s no way you could get to him now.” Selina replied. Kitrina looked down, and clenched the bed sheets in her palms. She felt defeated, but more than that she was angry. She was so close to getting the answers she needed, and possibly even to avenging her cousin. Now, thanks to the Bat, her one solid lead was locked behind bars, and in her current condition, she was in no shape to go trouncing into Arkham, just so she could bloody or kill the once great surgeon.

“What am I going to do, Selina?” Kitrina asked. Now that her lead was gone, she would have to start all over, and this time without a name. Perhaps she could salvage something, but it seemed almost impossible at this point. “I can’t let whoever killed Ana get away with this.”

What happened next was the last thing Kitrina expected. Selina reached up and took Kitrina’s hand, and actually smiled what actually seemed a genuine smile, and was that actually a look of sympathy coming from the Catwoman of all people?

“I know it’s hard, kiddo, and I’m not the best when it comes to doing something like this, as you probably well know, but sometimes the best way to get our vengeance on those who hurt us, is to keep moving on. I know it sucks, and it hurts like hell, but sometimes the biggest kick these assholes get out of hurting others, is seeing them hurt. When you show them that they can’t hurt you anymore, it’s like you’re spitting in their face, and I think, right now, that maybe trying to keep moving forward would help you more than anything.” After Selina finished a long silence passed between them, until Kitrina finally spoke up.

“Okay, so when did you become Granny Fortune Cookie?” Kitrina started to laugh before clutching her side, and wincing in pain. Selina drew her hand back and scrunched her face up at Kitrina.

“That’s what you get, you smart-mouth brat!” Selina spat. Kitrina was still chuckling slightly while trying to bear the pain, but despite the pain. It was the best she had felt since coming back to Gotham.

“So what have you been up too, you know before, you were pulling my frozen ass out of the river, and all?” Kitrina said still smiling.

“The usual mostly, a couple heists here, and there to get the blood pumping, taking in a stray clown, who just so happens to be just about as good as you are about giving me a heart-attack, and I almost caught myself on fire, while fighting a couple wacko’s in record store that just so happened to be ablaze.” Selina rambled causing Kitrina to stare at her in almost disbelief, much to her misfortune though Selina saw this, and grinned devilishly as she said, “I think I also managed a one-night stand with Batman somewhere in between as well.”

“EWW!!!” Kitrina wailed, “I swear Selina, sometimes you are a total Sl…” Kitrina didn’t get to finish her sentence when Selina reached up and put a finger over her mouth startling the girl.

“Na-ah! Nobody uses the S word with me. Not even you darling. Besides, you’re one to talk; you never could keep your eyes off Nightwing’s ass.” Selina teased taking her hand down from Kitrina’s face ,that just so happened to be blushing brighter than any Christmas tree in all of Gotham at that time.

“I HAVE NEVER LOOKED AT HIS ASS!” She wailed.

“Oh really, I seem to recall that one time in particular, when you said, and I quote: ‘Ugh, I hate to admit it, but Night-Jerk sure does have a cute butt.” Selina teased while mockingly imitating Kitrina’s voice.

“You’re lying, I never said that!”

“Whatever, honey, deny it all you want, but this woman knows when her Kittens see something they like.” Selina playfully stuck her tongue out at her ex-protégé who just glared at her with as much contempt as she could muster. The argument about might have continued had it not been for a knock that suddenly came at the door to Kitrina’s room. The girls suddenly straightened their demeanor as a middle aged looking gentleman with black hair showing tips of grey on the edges stuck his head in the door. He was a bit stocky, but not overweight. He wore khaki slacks, and a white sweater with a black blazer worn over it.

“Hello, I sure hope, I’m not interrupting.” He said with a thick Sicilian accent. Kitrina smiled at the man and waved, but Selina stood up and walked over to the man, a slight look of disapproval hinting at the edges of her face.

“Can I help you, sir?” Selina asked, with a slight defensive tone in her voice.

“Uh, yes ma’am, I’m just here to pick Lady Kitrina.” The man replied.

“Relax Selina,” Kitrina cut in, “This is Samuel Finch, the guy I told you about. I called him a little earlier today, and he’s going to take me back to his place where I can rest up.”

“What!?” Selina cried, “You’re in no shape to go anywhere.”

“Please, Selina, there is no way in hell I’m staying here another moment. Believe it or not, the Falcone name still has a little weight behind it, even if it is just me.” Kitrina said as Sam walked over to her bedside, “You see, Sam has been a long-time friend of my grandfather, and he even watches over my own trust fund. Even during that time I was at Ambridge, he still looked after my money, and didn’t even let Mario near it even after he tried to convince Sam that I was dead.”

“Your friend is right though, Lady Kitrina. You look like you were badly injured. Perhaps you should stay longer, and let the doctors have a closer look at you. I’m not so sure recovering in one of my guest rooms, at the bistro, is such a good idea.”

“I’m leaving this hospital Sam, and there’s nothing either of you can say that will convince me otherwise.” Kitrina said while pointing at both Selina and Sam. “Besides, the doctor’s told me that I should be cleared to go home this evening, after I finish getting the blood I need.”

Sure enough, it was as Kitrina had said, and she was taken off the blood transfusion after a short while. During the time that the blood had finished Sam and Selina talked a little more, and they seemed to be getting along fairly well. Kitrina was happy about that, Selina was a bit over protective at times, but she meant well. Sam had always been a very good friend. She never kept in contact with him due to the possibility that Mario might find out where she was. She remembered the first time she met Sam, when as a little girl she had walked in on a meeting between Sam, Mario, and her Grandfather. Mario had tried to shoo her away, but she remembered her grandfather calling her over, and setting her on his knee anyway. She also remembered how Sam had smiled at her warmly, as he had reached in his pocket and pulled out a piece of bubble-gum to give her, after asking her grandfather’s permission. Ever since that day Kitrina had loved Sam like a beloved Uncle. In truth, Sam had been more of an Uncle to her than Mario ever had.

When the minimal amount of time had passed to see if there were going to be any adverse reactions to the blood transfusion, Kitrina called for a wheelchair to be sent up to her room. As Sam was getting ready to leave to bring the car around, he turned and shook Selina’s hand one last.

“I have to admit Mr. Finch, I had you pegged wrong at first, but I suppose you seem like a pretty nice guy. Normally, I’m pretty good about reading people, but maybe she’ll be in alright hands with you.” Selina said while shaking the man’s hand.

“Thank you, ma’am, I appreciate it. I promise you she’s in safe hands with me.” Sam took his hand away then pulled out a small card from his jacket, “Take my card. It’s got the address to the Bistro on it. Feel free to stop by and visit Kitrina, anytime you would like, and if you’re feeling up to it I can cook you one of the best meals you’ve ever had.”

“I may take you up on that offer.” Selina replied with a formality that Kitrina had rarely seen. Sam said his final good-byes as he headed out to the car. A few moments laderthe nurse came in and detached all the hospital equipment from Kitrina, then stepped out while Selina stayed behind to help Kitrina into the loose fitting sweater and sweat pants that Sam had brought with him for her to change into.

The process was a little more difficult that she thought it would be. Her wounds throbbed a little, but she gritted her teeth and bared the pain.

“Kitrina, I want you to know that you don’t have to be a stranger, okay?” Selina said softly to the girl as she helped pull the sweater over the girl’s head, “I know some people who can get you set up in a nice place of your own, here in Gotham, away from all these dealings with the old crime families. You can start a whole new life again, you know?”

“Thanks for the offer Selina, really.” Kitrina replied, “I think though it time I quit running away from my past. It caught up to me the last time, I tried to live a normal life, so I think maybe it’s best if I just deal with it.”

“I suppose, I can appreciate that.” Selina sighed. Kitrina was finally dressed, and Selina helped to ease her down into the well chair. “Take care of yourself, okay. If you need anything you have my number.”

“I may just take you up on that offer about a that place you were talking about.” Kitrina smiled at her ex-mentor, and Selina smiled back. The nurse came in and got behind Kitrina, and asked her if she was ready to leave. When Kitrina acknowledged that she was ready, she looked back at her mentor, one last time.

“Merry Christmas, Selina.” Kitrina said.

“Merry Christmas, Kitrina.” Selina replied, and with that the nurse rolled Kitrina out into, and down the hallway. As she was leaving she looked back and saw a rather cute looking young guy, with dark hair, and a nice ass, approach Selina with a bouquet of flowers stuffed into a vase. She saw a few words being exchanged between the two of them, but if it was one thing she was never quite good at it was reading lips. Still despite that Kitrina could have sworn that from what little experience she did have reading lips, Selina referred to the guy as “boy wonder”.

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Oct 31, 2004

She was here again. Eight years old in the long hallway. The big white door. Her grandfather’s office. Tabacco smell. Her grandfather lying down in a pool of blood. The man with two faces standing above her.

“Adios Kid,” he said as he brought up the still smoking gun.

A crash. A bat. Gunfire. The boy that pulled her away. She looked back. Her grandfather’s eyes still starring at her, saying “I love you” over and over again.

“Grandpa!” She cried. As she was swept up into the air. She cried, and cried, and cried. The boy wearing bright clothes of red, and green, and yellow, hugged her tight as she cried.

“That’s enough, Kid. It’s going to be alright.”

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Dec 25, 2012 5:05 AM

The nightmare had plagued Kitrina’s dreams for years. She used to wake up in tears from it, but now she just slowly opened her eyes, set up on the bed, and ran on hand through her hair while taking a deep breath. She wasn’t used to it. What girl could get used to seeing their grandfather murdered over and over again. The truth was that she had accepted it. Grandpa was dead, and there was nothing she could do about it. Those were the good days of her life in the Falcone family. The days of warm hugs by grandpa, the smell of sweet tobacco on his clothes, and then there were the presents. Her grandfather had always showered her with gifts, on her Birthday and Christmas day.

It wasn’t about the gifts though, it was about her grandpa. She knew the truth. Grandpa had once been the most ruthless mobster in Gotham. Her grandpa killed, smuggled, and stole and often from those who had nothing to give. She knew the truth, but she still clung tightly to the memories. Her grandfather was not Carmine Falcone, the man who robbed Gotham, he was her Grandpa, the man who had always took her up and gave her these great big hugs. She missed him.

That was her childhood though, and that was gone now. Grandpa was never coming back, and neither was Ana. Kitrina was finally starting to accept it, and it amazed her just how much easier it was becoming. She had not even cried at Ana’s funeral, and Ana had been the one thing left from the Falcone family that she treasured. To have something that precious ripped away from you was just indescribable. It was easier to accept, because of the one useful thing her Uncle Mario had told her, on the Christmas Eve after her Grandfather and her Mother had been killed. Kitrina remembered how alone she had felt, and how Mario had come to her one Christmas Eve night.

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Dec 24, 2004 8:49 PM

“Hey doll, why you cryin’? It’s Christmas Eve. A pretty doll like you should be happy.” Uncle Mario said, as tears streamed down the little girl’s cheek. Mario had come into the room after he had heard the little girl crying.

“I had a bad dream.” She blubbered.

“Oh, what about?” Mario asked

“About grandpa. I miss him.”

“Yeah, I know doll. I do too. He left Uncle with lot things to take care off. I could really use his help right now.”

“Really?”

“Yep, even a little girl who cries about bad dreams.” Mario whispered. Kitrina stopped crying and gasped for air, “You see doll, one day you’re going to grow up to be a strong young lady of the Falcone family. Grandpa would be very mad to see you cryin’ like you are. You don’t want to let Grandpa down do you?” Kitrina reached up, and wiped the tears away as fast as she could, and shook her head. Her lip was still quivering, so she bit it to make sure she could hide all signs of crying. Mario smiled at her and patted her on the head.

“That’s a good doll.”

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Dec 25, 2012 5:10 AM

Till this day, even though Mario was now worm food, Kitrina hated the word: doll, but despite Mario’s cruel words to the little girl she had once been, she did grow up to be a strong lady of the Falcone family, and she was sure she had not let her grandfather down. She was just glad Mario was no longer around, and she could only imagine what hell Ana had to put up with when her father had been around. At least now, he would never have the chance to hurt Ana, and neither could he hurt her.

“Ugh, why the hell am I thinking about this crap again!?” Kitrina thought to herself, as she eased herself out of the bed. She winced in pain as both sock-covered feet hit the floor. The shift in pressure, and tensing of muscles caused her injuries to flare slightly. At least she was warm, thanks to the sweatpants, and long sleeved shirt she had worn to bed. She could hear a bit of commotion going on outside her door, and a dim light was shining through the cracks. She took small easy steps toward the door, being sure the grab a hold of what she could to help as a brace.

She eased open the door to Samuel Finch’s studio apartment, which was set up above his popular Italian bistro. It was a rather modest setting, but it was large enough to accommodate a small family. Kitrina briefly wondered why Sam had never married. He was getting up in age now, but Kitrina had always known him as a very nice man. Had he wanted to, he should have had no problem catching him a nice girl to settle down with, but he never did, and Kitrina supposed that his reasons were his own, so she did not entertain the thought a second longer.

The light was coming from the bottom of the stairs, and Kitrina could make out now the various sounds of a cook at work. Grabbing hold of the rail, and taking the venture one step at a time Kitrina eased herself down the stairs. After stopping to catch her breath a few times, she finally made it near the bottom. The kitchen was lit up, and Sam was at one of the stoves cooking up a storm. The smell of crispy bacon and fresh eggs filled her senses, and suddenly she heard her stomach start to growl, and apparently so did Sam, when he turned and smiled at her.

“Good morning Lady Kitrina, I hope you slept well.”

“Good morning Sam, and I suppose I’ve had worse nights.” She replied.

“Seeing as what you’ve been through, I would agree.” Sam said before pausing a moment to turn back to his cooking. “I had intended to fix you breakfast in bed, but I supposed you couldn’t wait. Are you hungry?”

“Starving actually,” Kitrina replied. Sam reached and grabbed a plate, and set two fresh eggs cooked over easy, and three slices of bacon on it before setting it down on one of the tables in the kitchen. He then quickly went out to the dining area, and came back with a chair for her to sit in. He even took the gentlemanly demeanor a step further, as he helped Kitrina into her chair.

Kitrina wasn’t really used to the hospitality, but she welcomed it. She had never had Sam’s cooking before, but had heard that he was quite the cook, and truth be told it wasn’t that bad. Of course, after all you’ve had in the past several days is hospital food, and river water, almost anything would taste good. Sam stood there and watched her eat for a few seconds, before he held up his hand and said,

“Hold on a second, I have something I want to give you.” He said, before he ran upstairs. Kitrina could hear a bit of rustling going on up there, but a short while later he came back down. In his hand was clutched a small red box wrapped with a green ribbon.

“I got this for you.” Sam said as he held the box out to her.

“Aw, thank you, Sam” She said taking it from him. She was a little excited to be honest, because she had truthfully not received an actual present from anyone in quite some time.

“I was going to give it too you a little later, but I figured what the heck ya know.” Sam said as Kitrina undid the ribbon, and removed the lid. What was inside was something she never thought she would have ever seen again. Inside was a large silver ring adorned with a red stone with a line of diamonds encircling it, and in the middle of the red stone there was a tiny golden “F” engraved into the surface. The ring was covered in scratches, the bottom of the ring was bent, and some of the diamonds were missing.

“It was your grandfather’s. The entire male heads of the Falcone family would wear a ring just like that. Your grandfather was the only one who had two. One he wore for special occasions, and another that he wore to business. The nicer one was buried with him, but the other was left with me, and it’s been in my possession for a while, but I think he would have wanted you to have it.” Sam said.

Kitrina knew the ring very well. She had toyed with it several times while sitting on her grandfather’s lap as a child. She wanted to say thank you, but she was at a complete loss for words as she cupped the tiny piece of jewelry in her hands and ran her finger around the rim. It was mostly worn away, but she could still partially make out the name: “Carmine Falcone” engraved on the inside of the ring. For a brief moment in time, everything seemed perfect in Kitrina’s little world.

“Merry Christmas, doll.” Sam said to her with a smile.

Kitrina froze. For a second she was not sure she had heard Sam right, but there was no mistaking what he had called her.

As she slowly looked up at Sam, a barrage of thoughts flooded her mind. Sam had been the first and only person she went to for help, when she had decided she was going to track down Ana’s killer. It had also been Sam who had first mentioned the name Doctor Loeb. Doctor Loeb, who just so happened to be the psychotic ex-surgeon known as Hush, had been waiting for her, and the way he had trapped her had been meticulously prepared, almost as if he had known she was going to be there. If Sam had volunteered that information to Hush, then that would also explain how Hush knew who she was, but that wasn’t what disturbed Kitrina the most. Hush had also asked her on that cold morning: “Is Mario Falcone dead?”

At the time, Kitrina had feared for her life, so any thought as to why Hush would ask such a thing had slipped her mind. Now she had a sinking feeling in her gut. A feeling that she knew why Hush had asked her that question. She just needed to know for sure.

“Um…Thanks Sam,” Kitrina stammered, “Merry Christmas to you too.”

“Don’t mention it.” Sam said. He took a rag out of his back pocket and began wiping his hands, and threw it over his shoulder as he turned to go and start cleaning up the kitchen. When he turned Kitrina got the answer she was looking for. At the base of Sam’s neck was a fresh scar. A single line running from the base of his neck that disappeared into the hair line, but Kitrina was pretty sure it went up into his scalp. On each side of that scar were other smaller scars, dots that were evenly spaced on each side of the fading line.

Kitrina had seen similar scars on herself whenever she had to get pretty extensive stitching done. When she got stitching done it was normally to take care of a nasty cut, but judging by what she was seeing on Sam, it looked as if Sam had recently had a lot of work done. The type of work that a psychotic ex-surgeon who had changed his own face, would probably be more than happy to do for someone willing to pay the right price.

Kitrina slowly got up from her place at the table, doing her best not to make as little sound as possible as she did. On a nearby countertop, a mallet, designed to tenderize various meats, was laid out, waiting for the rotisseur to come in the next morning. Kitrina picked it up, as she slowly walked by. The weight of the jagged hammer was a little too much for her, as she felt her wounds protest in pain against her current movements, but instead she bit her lip and bared it.

She was standing close behind Sam when she finally stopped, and glared at the back of his head. Her hand tensed around the mallet’s handle.

“Why?” She asked.

“Hm?” Sam piqued up and looked over his shoulder only to find Kitrina glaring into his eyes with something deeper than hatred. “What do you mean, Lady Kitrina?”

“You know, my Uncle Mario used to call me doll. With Mario it was a habit, but there has been nothing else in this world, that I have hated more, than to hear myself being referred to as a doll.”

“I see.” Sam said looking confused and a bit insulted at Kitrina’s forwardness, “I’m sorry if I have offended you.”

“Did you kill her?”

“Excuse me?”

“Don’t play with me, Mario.” Kitrina glared into her Uncle’s eyes. It was a different face, but Kitrina knew for certain that she was talking to none other than, her dead Uncle. For a second, a silence passed between them, and finally Mario smiled.

“You know, I always said you were always too smart for your own good.” He spat. Kitrina roared as she pulled the meat tenderizer out from behind her back, and swung it in a wide arc toward Mario’s head. She didn't care that every bone in her body was screaming at her. Mario grabbed hold of her arm stopping the swing, but Kitrina mind was ablaze with a fury that she had never felt before. She kicked Mario in the groin with such force she felt him lift slightly off the ground. He lost his balance, and fell to his knees. In his pain he had loosen his grip on Kitrina’s arm. Kitrina swung the hammer down on Mario with as much force as she could muster.

The first thing that went was his jaw, then his collar bone, and finally Kitrina brought the hammer down on Mario’s hand crushing the bones connecting the fingers to the wrist. Mario lay at Kitrina’s feet withering in pain. Kitrina stood above him, eyes wide and breathing heavily. She was beginning to see black spots in her vision, as the pain from over-exerting herself was starting to take its toll.

“This is your last chance!” She screamed, “Did you kill, Ana?”

“Yes! I killed the little shit! Are you happy now?!” He roared. The truth shook Kitrina, she had not wanted to believe it. She had asked simply on a gut feeling. Part of her wished, Mario had denied it, but instead the truth was out now, and a fury like she had never felt before was coursing through her hotter than any fire of hell could hope to achieve.

“She was your daughter!”

“What do you want from me you little brat!? You wonderin’ how I could do such a thing! For your information, thanks to Pop getting two bullets through his skull, it was left to me to take care of this family. The Falcone name turned out to be a lost cause, and the only way to fix it, was to start over! Ana had to go!”

“She was twelve, she was my cousin, and you killed her!”

“You think I wanted to kill my little girl. I much rather it be me in that body bag, but I had to fix what Pop left behind. I couldn’t do that with Ana around. The Falcone name would still be out there ruining any future we had! I had to fix it! What can’t I get you to understand about that! I had to fix it! I have to fix it! I was fixing it, and then you had to come back! You know what you little shit, I wish Dent had put those two bullets in your skull instead of Pop’s!”

“Go to hell!” Kitrina roared as she raised the mallet above her head, and brought it crashing down onto Mario’s skull. She heard the sickening crunch as the blow shattered the skull, but even when Mario fell to the floor, Kitrina did not stop. She raised the mallet again and brought it crashing back down: again, again, and again.

By the time it was over, she couldn't feel her arm any more. The pain had become too much, now and her body was no longer cooperating. Kitrina felt lost. She could not make out the sound of the police sirens outside, nor the sound of the commissioner’s voice as it was amplified by the megaphone in his hand. She did not realize it when two men clad in black came crashing in through the back door. She just floated in a sea of nothing, and it wasn't until one of the black clad men, the one known as Nightwing, walked up, and took hold of her. The touch startled Kitrina, and she looked up into blue eyes that were all too familiar. She knew now where she had seen those eyes before. It had been eight years, but she knew.

Kitrina had done it. She had avenged her cousin’s death, she had killed her uncle, and she was still alive…still alive, A Falcone woman, and still alive. Grandfather would be proud.

“Kitrina,” Nightwing whispered to her as he eased the bloodied mallet from her grasp, “It’s going be alright now, okay.” Then for the first time in nearly eight years, Kitrina cried.

The End

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What Ever Happened to The Green Lantern? (Part One)

Authors Note:This is a part tie in part sequel to my initial series: Wonder Woman: The Man From Outer Space (Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter III), though you do not have to read it, because I intend to write this to stand on it's own. Anyway, onto the story.

Chapter I

Was this a dream? No it couldn’t be. This wasn’t the type of stuff that Kyle Rayner, a struggling artist from Brooklyn, would dream about. There had suddenly been a bright flash of green light then suddenly he was covered from head to toe in black and green garb. As the light had swallowed him whole he heard a voice speaking to him.

“You are a Green Lantern…A protector of the galaxy…The ring is your weapon against the might of evil…use it well.”

When Kyle’s head finally cleared he took a moment to look over what he had become. He had seen this on television. The Green Lantern was a member of the Justice League. He had seen him on the news with the likes of Superman. Kyle couldn’t help but wonder, if he’s the Green Lantern now, what happened to the other guy. What was he supposed to do? Could he fly? There were just so many questions. However, there was only one question that could escape his lips:

“What the hell?”

***

Approximately a Month Later…

Those first few days of having the ring had been strange for Kyle, but eventually he took to it like a fish took to water. He had spent the time not knowing how to use the ring researching the Green Lantern that he had seen on the television and all over the internet. When he learned just how much good the Green Lantern had done on earth with the Justice League he figured he too could do some good. About a month ago he took to the streets. Well, the skies around Brooklyn and Manhattan. Here and there he picked off a mugging, a night time robbery, and even had a couple drug busts. He felt really proud of himself, and felt like he was doing some good.

He knew though that things, as good as they were, couldn’t last. Surely the Justice League had noticed him by now. They would want to know where their Green Lantern had gone, and what was he doing wearing his get up. Kyle wished he knew that himself, because if and when that moment finally came he would be able to tell them something. Right now, all he had was: “I was stumbling out of a bar into an alley way when suddenly this ring pops up out of nowhere and says ‘Hey! You’re a Green Lantern! Good luck buddy!” As true as the story was it was still ridiculous, and there was no way anyone would believe it. Heck even he didn’t believe it.

As these thoughts ran through Kyle’s mind he had almost completely forgotten about the vibrating phone in his pocket. He reached in, and pressed the answer button?

“Hello?”

“Hey Kyle, I was just calling to check in.” It was Kyle’s girlfriend Alex.

“Hey babe, you have no idea how good it is to hear your voice right now.” Kyle sighed, and Alex started to laugh.

“You say that like you haven’t seen me in months. I was just over at your place last night.”

“Well when you left, the night just seemed to drag. Hey have you gave any thought yet to what I asked?” There was a sigh on the other end of the line.

“Uh…I don’t know if I’m ready for that yet Kyle. I mean yeah we’ve been seeing each other for a while now, and I really do love you, but it’s just…I don’t know, can we talk about this some other time?”

“I’m just asking you to move in, it’s not like I’m asking you to marry me or anything.”

“It’s still a big step Kyle.”

“And I think we’re ready to make that step.”

“Ugh, you are not going to let this rest are you?”

“Nope.” Kyle said smirking as he did. She heard as laugh and then a sigh.

“I’ll tell you what. Just give me a couple more days to think about it, and maybe by then I’ll have an answer for you. Until then you don’t say a word understand?”

“I read you loud and clear.”

“You promise?” Alex said, and Kyle laughed.

“Scouts honor.”

“You’re not a scout.” God Kyle loved this woman.

“Alright, I promise.”

“Hey Alex! You coming or what?” Kyle heard over the phone. It was from Alex’s side of the line. “Oh shoot that’s Jennie. We’re supposed to eat lunch together today. See you after work?”

“You can count on it.”

“Great, I love you.”

“I love you too.” With their goodbyes exchanged Kyle hung up the phone. From there he brought up the gallery, and pulled up a picture. In the picture was Alex, a beautiful red haired green eyed twenty two year old woman. Kyle had met her while touring an art gallery that a friend of his had been putting on. Their first conversation had been about the sophistication of one particular piece, then shifted to their favorite classical pieces, then to about Kyle’s work, then about Bugs Bunny, and from that point on it was click after click, with each moment punctuated with both a laugh and a smile.

Kyle had only been joking earlier about the marriage bit, just to sort of help ease Alex’s mind. Why he thought a joke about marriage would help he would never know, but still right now, if there was one woman in the entire galaxy that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with? It was definitely Alexandra DeWitt.

Kyle put his phone away, and stood to his feet looking off of the roof of the Empire State building across the vastness of Manhatten Island. He had almost forgotten that he had flown up here earlier. Normally Kyle had been sticking to night time heroics, but every once in a while it felt good to fly in the warmth of the sun. As he lifted off the top of the building Kyle couldn’t help, but feel that his life was awesome.

WHAM! KA-POW! SLAM! KA-BOOM!

Kyle had only seen the flash of green for a second before he felt himself getting pummeled. First in the gut, then two strikes to each side of his face. The sound of shattering glass, and then finally climaxing in having the breath knocked from his lungs as he was slammed to the ground. He could hear screaming, and the sound of chairs overturning. He must have been thrown through an office window. He went to get up, but something wrapped itself around his neck choking him. Then his limbs were pinned to the floor, and a sharp pain shot up from in between his legs. A pain that no man likes to feel, and all he could do was whimper.

His eyesight started to focus, and on top of him was what looked like a young woman with short blonde hair, but this was no ordinary woman. First off she wasn’t human. Her ears were pointed and se wore a uniform: white and green, with the same insignia on her chest that Kyle wore on his. Not to mention an emerald ring on her finger that seemed to have chain like structures extending from it that were also holding Kyle to the ground. Whoever this woman was, she was a Green Lantern too.

The woman released the emerald binding that were holding Kyle’s neck, and he started to cough while sucking in deep breaths of air. The woman grabbed him by the hair on his head, and glared right at him while gritting her teeth.

“I’m only going to ask this once, and you better give me a good answer.” The woman growled, “What have you done with, Hal?” As Kyle lay there resisting he couldn’t help, but wonder who Hal was, and what he had to do with him.

“Look lady, I don’t know any Hal, but whoever he is I have nothing to do with him!” Kyle yelled at her. The woman planted a right hook on the side of his face.

“LIAR!” She exclaimed. Kyle gritted his teeth in anger. He wasn’t about to be man-handled by this broad any longer. Within an instant he had already willed into existence a hammer wielding Viking warrior that hit her so hard with the emerald warhammer he was wielding that he sent the woman that had attacked him flying out the office window. Kyle stood to his feet for a moment to catch his breath, because he knew any moment she would be back.

He gathered his bearings quickly, and flew out of the office building trying to draw the fight away from civilians. When he came out though, the woman who had attacked him was nowhere to be found. He held up his ring to try and get a read on her, and that was when she decided to reappear. From her own ring flew out six strands of green light. Kyle took off as fast as he could trying to dodge them, but the woman had set them to home in on him.

“Dammit all.” Kyle thought, “I really don’t have time for this.” He turned to face the beams while in mid-flight and this time formed a shield to block the blows. The woman’s blasts hit the shield head on shattering and blasting Kyle back in the air a little bit, but not enough to make him loose his balance. It was a time to put this to an end. If this woman, whoever she was kept at it, she was going to not only hurt him, but possibly someone else. Holding his ring before him and concentrating, pushing his very will to its limit, he created a new construct. The largest one he had ever made.

When he was a child he had always been a fan of giant robot cartoons. It had been his love for such things that made him persue a career in being a graphic artist. Now it was assisting him during the fight of his life. His childhood stood before him in the form of a giant emerald colored mechanical titan. The woman had stopped now faced with the emerald guardian. Kyle caught her look for a single moment, seeing her shock. This wouldn’t kill her, but she didn’t know that. Kyle gave a quick smirk and a mocking salute before the giant emerald machine raised both of its arms each holding humongous green gattling guns. The woman brought up her shield, but the barrage that followed, no one could have expected.

RATT-TATATATATATAT!!! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! KRAKOOM!!!

When the barrage was finished the woman’s shield had faltered, and the emerald light that kept her afloat disappeared causing her to start falling toward the Earth bellow. Kyle wanted her to feel the pain of a rough landing considering what she had given him earlier, but when you’ve just been shot up by a giant green robot, that was enough for anyone to have to deal with in one day. Kyle flew down forming a construct in the form of a catcher’s mitt, and halted her decent. As soon as he was able he flew to a clearing away from the city and set her down. He had her leaning up against a tree tied up when he finally had his ring identify her.

“Lantern Arisia Rrab of Sector 2815 from the Planet Graxos IV.” Kyle’s ring relayed back to him. He was just getting the hang of the whole identification application. He never really had a use for it in the past. Though truthfully he had just not thought to really use it. He had only figured that maybe since this girl was also a Green Lantern it might be able to tell him something.

“Okay then, she was looking for a Hal?” Kyle mumbled to himself. “Does this Arisia have any relation to someone named Hal?”

“Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Sector 2814, is her mentor assigned by the Guardians of Oa”

“Guardians of Oa?” Kyle mumbled to himself, wondering just what that was.

“What do I have to do with Hal Jordan? This girl attacked me asking me what I had done with Hal.” Kyle said allowed hoping the ring would have another answer for him.

“You are Hal Jordan.” The ring replied shocking Kyle. The question had been rhetorical, and he hadn’t really expected an answer, but it was the answer that shocked him more than anything.

“Wait! What!? I’m not Hal Jordan! My name is Kyle Rayner!”

“Negative, Ring is registered to Hal Jordan of Sector 2814, and this ring has identified you as Hal Jordan.”

“But I’m not Hal Jordan! My name is Kyle Rayner!”

“Would you like to request a name change to your Lantern registration Lantern Jordan?” The ring asked. Kyle was starting to get very irritated.

“Augh, what the hell sure. Re-register me as Kyle Rayner. Stupid ring.”

“Processing…error…corruption detected…please contact the Guardian’s for further assistance.”

“What the heck is this, a cable TV service!” Kyle exclaimed. He scratched his head in agitation. He heard the woman named Arisia begin to stir. Perhaps he could get some answers out of her. He really didn’t want to harm her though, but he had blasted her to kingdom come, and then tied her to a tree. She wasn’t going to be very happen when she woke up. He only hoped he could calm her down. Kyle waited a few moments, until she finally opened her eyes and began to pulled against the roped he had constructed.

“Let me…mmmmhhhmmm!!!” Arisia had just had a Duct Tape construct slapped across her mouth, when Kyle got down to eye level with her. He took hold of her chin to make sure she wouldn’t look away, and had even removed her ring for some extra insurance.

“I want you to calm down for a moment and listen to me very carefully. I really don’t want to hurt you. I’m sorry about that mess that happened back in Manhattan, but you attacked me first. Now I know you’re looking for Hal Jordan, and for some reason my ring seems to think I’m him, and so do you. I’m going to take the tape off, and when I do you got to promise not to yell or scream. I just want you to tell me why you came here and why you attacked me. Do you understand?” Kyle held her head still for a moment and the woman had tried to look away, but after a moment Kyle saw her take a deep breath, and then nod.

Then as he promised, Kyle removed the tape from Arisia’s mouth where she could speak.

“So,” Kyle started, “Why did you attack me?”

“I was looking for Hal.” The woman started. “He’s been missing for about one of your months now. He hasn’t reported back or anything since he left Oa on an investigation. We tracked him down to Earth, and we figured he had just came straight back home. So we were dispatched to get his report. Then we come here and we found you wearing Hal’s ring.”

“He disappeared about a month ago.” Kyle muttered to himself. “That’s about the time I got my ring. Why would I have his ring though?” Then something suddenly dawned on Kyle. “Wait a minute. Why do you keep saying ‘we’?” Kyle had not noticed the large shadow that now enveloped him.

“That’s because she’s with me Poozer.” Kyle didn’t even have time to react before something very large and hard slammed into the back of his head. He never even felt himself hit the ground.

***

“About time you got here.” Arisia said, rubbing her wrists as her bindings disappeared. The hulking alien before her reached down and helped her to her feet, and then handed her ring back to her. The alien’s name was Kilowog. He was not only her drill sargent, but also her mentor’s best friend.

“I got here as soon as I could. You took off in quite a hurry.” Kilowog replied, Then he got down right in her face and started jabbing her with his finger. “Don’t do it again Poozer! Stuff like that doesn’t fly in my corp!”

Arisia rubbed the spot where Kilowog had just poked her. She felt really ashamed all of a sudden. She had flown away immediately from Oa without any backup, or any authorization to do so. She had just been so worried about Hal she had not really given any thought to her actions. As a result she ended up getting her ass handed to her by some imposter wearing Hal’s ring.

“So who’s this guy?” Kilowog asked, crouching down over the unconscious human.

“I don’t know.” Arisia said, “But he’s wearing Hal’s ring.” Kilowog used his own ring to scan the ring on the human’s finger, and growled before slipping the ring off the unconscious human’s finger. He then picked the guy up and slung him over his shoulder.

“Come on Poozer.” Kilowog said has the green aura enveloped him lifting him up, “Let’s get this guy back to the Guardians. They’ll be able to sort this out.” Arisia did the same, and followed Kilowog up out of the atmosphere. As they were leaving Arisia couldn’t help but ask:

“Kilowog, do you think Hal is alright?” A long silence passed, before Kilowog looked back at her.

“I hope so, but there’s something you need to know Poozer.” Kilowog started. “Hal’s tough, but let me tell you something someone once told me. You might not understand now, but if you’re around, and still ring slinging several years from now, you will. Growing old in our corp, is a privilege.”

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Wonder Woman: The Man From Outer Space (Part 3)

Authors Note: This is the final installment to the introduction of Xyber and the Xandarians. As with the previous chapter I had wanted to re-write this one, but my want to move onto other pursuits leaves me little time to do it, so instead I have decided to go ahead and share my work. If you haven't been reading this series you might want to first catch up on Chapter I and then Chapter II. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the final installment of WW: The Man from Outer Space.

Chapter III

“Absolutely Not!” Batman said coldly. His voice echoed out through the main chamber of the Watchtower. Diana sat across from the round table taking the brunt of Batman’s harsh tone. She had just opened up to the league about what had happened on Themyscira. The report she delivered contained details on the ship, the monster that had attacked them, and the alien being named Xyber. She relayed the information that Xyber had confessed to her the night prior, and his desires to become a new citizen of Earth. She had suggested to the league that his skills could be of use to them, if he were allowed to work with the Justice League while remaining under close supervision. Judging by the looks Diana was receiving from around the room, the majority was not in her favor.

“Don’t take this the wrong way Diana.” Superman added, “We understand that this Xandarian saved your life, and that you wish to repay him, but you said yourself in your report that he admits to being a fugitive.”

“He was arrested for writing a false report Kal, and his own people tried to execute him for it. Does that not seem unfair to you?” Diana asked

“Diana, you know very well that not every culture throughout the galaxy sees things as we do.”

“That’s right, and if he disregards the laws of his own world, who’s to say he would be willing to obey ours.” Hawkman said sitting to the right of Diana in between Black Canary and Aquaman. He had his arms crossed as he glared at Diana. The two of them had rarely ever agreed on anything.

“I’ve encountered Xandarian’s before.” Hal Jordan pitched in. “They are extremely dangerous, territorial, and hostile to anyone that threatens them. I saw one take down three Green Lantern’s single handedly once; however, they place do place a very high value on honor. A liar is looked down upon within the clans, so it makes since that Xyber was given a death sentence for Libel, especially if it was against one of their leaders. Leadership within the Xandarians is only given to those who is considered to be the most honorable amongst the clans. I don’t know about Xyber though.”

“He has been on Themyscira for the past week, and he has done no harm to my sisters.”

“I understand that Diana, and I’m sure that to you he is a really swell guy, but you’re asking us to just open our arms to one of the most dangerous soldiers in the entire galaxy. You should also know princess that the Xandarians are a very strict people. What they say they do. There is a saying amongst them that says: Once honor is lost it cannot be regained.”

“Bullshit!” Barda spat as slammed her fist onto the table, “If that were true Lantern then I would have no place at this table!”

“Relax Barda. No one is questioning your honor here.” Aquaman said, and motioned his hand for Barda to sit back and calm herself. “I do agree with Barda though. I understand our caution in this matter, but as Wonder Woman has said he’s been on our planet for a week already. In that time he has saved the Amazons from a rampaging monster, and lived amongst them in peace when he could have attacked them at any time he wished. Perhaps we should give him a chance.”

“I second that notion.” Black Canary added. Diana smiled and nodded at both of them.

“Zatanna, J’onn. Do either of you have anything to say on this?” Superman said turning to face the Martian Manhunter and the Mistress of Magic who sat to his left.

“I…I think maybe we should give him a chance. I mean it’s like Aquaman said. He could have turned on Diana at any time, yet he didn’t. I think he deserves the second chance that the Xandarians could not give him.” Zatanna added. Zatanna was the newest member of the League. Her father had died not too long ago right before her eyes, and it had been left to her to take over her father’s position in the League. Diana was grateful to have the young girl’s support. In the meantime the Martian Manhunter sat silent, touching his index and middle finger to his temple. He always did this when he was trying to reach out telepathically.

“J’onn?” Superman said trying to reach out to the Manhunter in an attempt to get anything from him. After a moment the Martian Manhunter looked up.

“I tried to reach out and touch his mind.” The Manhunter said, “I am unable to read his mind though. There seems to be some resistance there. It would seem Xyber possesses some telepathic abilities of his own. To what extent though I am uncertain, just as I am uncertain of his intentions. It is the first time I have ever encountered a being such as he.”

“It would make sense that he could have telepathic abilities.” Diana piqued in, “The first time we met, I had visions after touching him.”

“A telepathic imprint. I am sorry Diana, I understand your desire to help him, but please understand there many uncertainties surrounding him. I don’t think it would be wise to allow him into the League or access to any of our information databases. I also believe we should observe him for some time, until we are certain that his intentions are pure.”

“That’s your solution J’onn. To treat him as a prisoner!” Diana growled, “I figured with what you went through with the US government, that sort of scrutiny would be the last thing you would ever suggest.”

“Enough!” Batman butted in. “It seems we are split on the matter.

“I agree with J’onn Diana. We should keep a close eye on him, and limit what access he has to Earth. Our job first and foremost as members of the Justice League is to protect the citizens of Earth.” Superman added

“Clark, you of all people should know that I know that. If I felt Xyber was any harm to the citizens of earth do you think I would have even brought this up?” Diana replied. Superman could only look away, unable to answer.

“We will put it to a vote then.” Batman declared, “Those against Xyber joining the league.” Batman, Hawkman, Hal Jordan, Big Barda, Superman, and Martian Manhunter, raised their hands. Diana was stunned.

“Barda, I thought you were with me on this?” Diana asked.

“I simply disagreed with the Xandarian’s statement about honor. This Xyber though is a potential threat to myself and the league. I would consider myself a fool if I ignored that fact.” Barda said as he glared at Diana for having dared question her.

“So that how it is then.” Diana said, “I thought better of the League than this, and thought my word meant something within this circle. I will accept your judgment though. Xyber will remain on Themyscira until further notice.” Diana stood from her seat, and prepared to leave.

“Ah hell,” Hal Jordan groaned, “I change my vote.”

“And why do you do that Green Lantern?” Batman asked.

“Well since you asked so nicely bats I’ll tell you. First off, I don’t like having a woman pissed off at me, and Diana is one of the last women I want to piss off. Secondly, the fact is that he did go out of his way to save Diana’s life when he could have just continued to play dead by that ship. If we keep a close eye on him, and limit his access to League resources then I see no reason why we shouldn’t give him a chance.” Diana raised an eyebrow, and scrunched her face. She was slightly annoyed by Hal Jordan’s reasons, but never the less thankful for his support.

“Thank you, Green Lantern.”

“Oh don’t thank me just yet sister.” Hal interrupted, “I’m going to the Xandarian Aristocracy as soon as I get a chance to find out more about this guy. If I find anything that suggests he’s a threat to Earth, you can bet I’ll hand him back over to the Xandarians in a heartbeat.”

“That makes us dead even.” Batman informed, “One of us is going to have to make a decision.”

“I will” Superman said, “I change my vote as well. I agree with Hal that if we take the proper precautions then we should be safe. If everything works out, we may have found ourselves a powerful new ally.”

“Then it’s decided.” Said Batman, “Xyber is granted Honorary League status.”

***

Diana waited for Xyber at the base of the staircase that lead up to the roof of the Themyscirian embassy. They had spent yesterday, preparing to move him to his more permanent residence at the embassy. It took longer than expected, because a few of her sisters were sad to see him go. Some of the younger girls had become entranced by the mystique surrounding Xyber, and were upset that they might never get to learn anything about the Alien Warrior who had killed the evil monster. Also apparently the Amazons that had been guarding him took to him for after Diana had left to have her meet with the League; Xyber had come out of his room to speak with them. Diana had enquired him of what they had talked about, but Xyber said that actually the girls had done most of the talking. When she asked the girls they simply said he was a very good listener, and very kind.

Kindness, another thing that Diana had not expected out of a warrior of his description. According to everything she had heard since Xyber arrived was that Xandarian’s were supposed to be ruthless warmongers. With each passing day though, Xyber seemed more and more like a pacifist than a warrior.

Finally, Diana saw him coming up the hallway towards her. His synthetic body armor had once again taken on the shape it did on the night they had spoken about his conviction. It was a rather elegant thing to wear for such an unofficial meeting. Diana herself had only donned her uniform. It was sort of customary for her to wear the uniform while at the embassy anyway.

“Good Afternoon, Xyber.”

“Good Afternoon, your grace. Oh and if you would like to know I have come up with an earthly pseudonym. I believe it rolls off the Earthling tongue a little better.”

“Oh, well what is it.”

“Zander Kaine.”

“Zander Kaine? Where did you come up with that?”

“Actually I made it up your grace.”

“Oh, so you’re the creative type. Perhaps you might be able to put that creativity to good use someday.”

“I would sure hope so Princess. Oh, and once again. Thank you for doing this for me.”

“Don’t mention it. It was the least I could do. Now come along, the League wants to meet you.” Diana said as she turned and started up the staircase, and Xyber followed close behind.

“I hope you don’t plan to wear your armor like that during missions. Either you’ll draw too much attention to us, or you’ll make me look like I don’t know how to put on a show.” Diana said with a jesting tone.

“Oh.” Xyber paused, somewhat taken aback, “I didn’t mean any offense. Like said the armor adapts the situation at hand. This time it senses a matter of importance and discussion that needs to be dealt with.” That last remark piqued Diana’s interest.

“It senses? You mean the armor has a mind of its own?” Diana asked.

“Well sort of. It’s more like a secondary databank neurally connected to my brain. While higher brain function, and complex thought is left up to me, the armor access the instinctual part of my mind, and thus acts accordingly; however, if you would like I could pursued it to take a different appearance.”

“No you don’t have to do that, and I was only joking earlier about you making me look bad. I was just trying to make small talk.”

“Ah I see.” Xyber replied, and the two continued up the stairs. When they exited out onto the roof Superman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Big Barda, and Green Lantern were all waiting for them. Diana stepped forward greeting them.

“Hello everyone,” Diana said, and then waved Xyber forward. “This is Xyber.”

“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you all.”

“The pleasure is ours.” Superman said holding out his arms in a gesture of greeting, “Sadly we all couldn’t make it here. Batman is preoccupied elsewhere, and Hawkman…well, he just decided not to come along.”

“You’ll meet them soon enough.” Diana said, “Trust me, you’ll have a lot of fun with them.” Diana placed a great deal of emphasis on “a lot”. She had hoped Xyber had caught her sarcasm. It would prepare him for what was to come in working with the league.

“Anyway, you’ll be working with the League from now on. You come highly recommended by Diana, but being a new recruit you’re access to League resources will be limited, and on missions you are to be accompanied at all times.”

“I understand.” Xyber answered. At that Green Lantern stepped forward, and up to Xyber where they were standing face to face. “Ah, a Green Lantern. I have heard stories of your people amongst my clan. They say you are an honorable group, if only a bit weak…” Xyber stopped suddenly realizing what he was saying. Barda and Zatanna had suddenly taken to laughing. Even Diana let go a quick snort. Hal however, was not amused. “I am so terribly sorry that was extremely rude of me wasn’t it?”

“Whatever kid.” Hal snapped, “Just stay still.” Hal held up his arm and a bright green light erupted from the ring on his finger. The light scanned across Xyber’s body, and then suddenly vanished. “The ring has registered you vital stats. It will come in handy when I do my investigation while visiting your clan.”

“I would not advise that Green Lantern. My people are in a very dark place right now.” Xyber said, “I am dead them anyway. It would be best if I remained so.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know about your whole trial and stuff. I’m just going to see how much trouble you might be to Earth, because for your information I take her safety very seriously.” Hal spat, and backed away. “Now if you all will excuse me I have work to do.” The green light covered Hal’s body and he began to lift up into the air. “Adios” he said before shooting off into the atmosphere and out of sight.

“Well that went well.” Aquaman said, looking up at Hal’s trajectory as he walked toward Xyber. “It’s good to have you with us.” Aquaman stretched his hand forward for Xyber to shake. Xyber paused for a second not quite familiar with the custom, but eventually he grasped Aquaman’s hand and shook. “I hope we get to work together sometime soon, but in the meantime I must return to Atlantis.”

“It is good Aquaman, I look forward to working with you as well.” Xyber replied. Aquaman smiled and said his farewells before leaping away, and towards the ocean. One by one the others came up, greeted him, and flew away. Superman had been very sincere, while J’onn and Barda only greeted him with the most common of courtesy they could muster. Zatanna, had been a little more excited with her greeting, and actually stayed to speak with Xyber a little while.

As Diana looked on she could not help, but smile. She had succeed, and managed to give a friend the second chance that he so desired. It felt good to be able to help a friend and need.

Eventually, Zatanna said her goodbyes as well and disappeared with the phrase: “Emoh”. The stars had begun to break through the skyline, making their first shine of the evening. Diana started to leave, but she noticed something that was different about Xyber. He remained glued to the spot, and was staring up at the sky. It took her a while to realize it, but he was starring in the direction that Hal had left earlier. His face was grim and his eyes squinted as if he were trying to see something far off.

Suddenly there was a loud growl and Diana saw Xyber’s synthetic armor shift for the first time. The cape retracted, and his helmet grew from his shoulders to encase his head. The chest grew broader, and developed pauldrons that covered his shoulders. The armbands grew into gauntlets, covering his hands and sharpening his fingertips into razor sharp points. His legs became encased in greaves, and knee high boots. Diana was shocked. This version of his armor was not like the light plated stuff she had first seen him in on the beach, but what he wore now was something frightening to behold. It was like something an Amazonian would wear when she was going to war.

“Zander?” Diana said trying to use his self-given name to reach out to him. “What happened to your armor is something wrong?” Xyber’s concentration broke and he shook his head to loosen the tenseness in his body. He looked down and his hands, and inspected them.

“I am sorry Princess. I didn’t mean to frighten you. As I said my armor acts on instinct. I must be honest though and saying that I fear for the Green Lantern. In my dealings with my clan leadership it has made me…resentful.” Xyber said.

“Don’t worry too much about Hal. He says he’s dealt with Xandarian’s before, and that there is treaty between the Guardians of the Universe and your people.” Diana said trying to reassure him. To be honest though, Xyber’s reaction had worried her. She felt like she should inform Hal of this development as soon as possible. She also began to worry a little about Xyber. What if Batman and the other leaguers had been right. What if he was dangerous?

Diana saw Xyber’s chest move has he took a deep breath, and his muscles relax. Then as if it was nothing the armor retracted returning to the form it had only been in moments ago.

“Princess, if you can please tell your Green Lantern friend to be careful.” Xyber said with the most serious look Diana had ever seen the man muster, “Even though, I was convicted of treason for lying about my commander, I still do believe my claims to be of the most absolute truth. Also if I know my commander, he will not take to kindly to learning that I am still alive. I fear for your friend.” Xyber reached up and touched Diana on the shoulder, and gripped. For some reason she remembered doing a similar motion when she had attempted to reassure her one of her sisters who had lost morale and became too terrified to move during a battle. A moment later, Xyber let her shoulder go, walked away, and began descending the staircase back into the embassy. Once before where Diana had felt hope, she now felt fear and dread. She took one last look up at the sky where Hal had disappeared earlier. In that moment she decided to follow Xyber’s advice, and began praying that her newfound friend was wrong.

***

Somewhere in Sector 2568, Weeks Later…

Hal Jordan had been flying through space for quite some time. He had found out on Oa that Xyber was from the Undal Clan, a Nomadic tribe of Xandarians that lived in a large warship surrounded by an even larger and vast fleet. Several hundred years ago The Green Lantern Corps had went to war with the Xandarians several centuries ago. A lot of lives were lost, but when the Planet Mogo emerged as a Green Lantern the tides were turned in the Lantern’s favor. The Xandarians surrendered and a treaty was established. The Undal Clan was the descendants of those who had not participated in the forefront of the war; however, they were still responsible for the deaths of many Lanterns.

As Hal approached the Alare-Rael, the flagship of the Undal Clan Fleet, he began making the appropriate precautions. First and for most, the charge on his ring: 93% good. Then he began to attempt to make contact with the bridge. He held up his ring and a construct began to form on the left side of his head in the shape of a headset.

“Alare-Rael, this is Green Lantern Hal Jordan of sector 2814. I request permission to board your vessel.” He waited for a time, but eventually someone did respond.

“You are out of your sector Green Lantern. What business do you have with Clan Undal?”

“I wish to speak with you Clan Leader: Agar Xumac. I have come to discuss matters involving a former prisoner of yours. A Xandarian. Goes by the name of Xyber.” Once again there was a long pause over the line. Suddenly the bay doors of the Alare-Rael, and a deep gruff voice responded over the line.

“You may board my vessel Green Lantern. I will meet with you shortly.” The voice said. Hal assumed that must have been the Undal Leader Agar Xumac that he heard over the line. Hal took off for the opening that had begun to appear on the bottom the Alare-Rael. Hal had to admit the ship was pretty impressive. It had to be at least five miles long. Hal felt tiny near most ships, but right now he felt microscopic, and the firepower they were carrying? One blast from those Yuatta XX Disparator cannons could decimate an entire city. No wonder the Lantern corps had such difficulty dealing with them all those years ago. When Hal entered the ship he was once again marveled by how impressive the Alare-Rael was. This was just a hangar bay, and you could fit the Empire State building in here and still have room. The Xandarians themselves worked around their fighters and other equipment. Each wearing the synthetic armor that Xandarians were known for. None even bothered to look at him. Xandarians did not see Green Lanterns as a threat, they only feared Mogo. Mogo had wiped out so many of them that the Xandarians for a time disappeared from the universe.

A large figure started to approach. Xandarians typically were on average the same size as humans, but this guy had to be at least eight foot tall.

“You must be Agar Xumac?” Hal asked.

“I am,” Xumac replied growling, “What information do you possess about the traitor?”

“The prison ship that you sent flying towards our sun had an accident and ended up crashing on my home planet. Xyber was the only survivor.”

“He is a liar, and attempted to overthrow my command. He caused dissention amongst my people! You should have killed him Lantern.” Xumac growled.

“It doesn’t work that way. Besides he’s gained the favor of one of my friends back home.”

“Then your friend is a fool to believe his claims.”

“Look I would like to take your word for it, and honestly I’m about ready to. Still it would be best if I had a look at anything you have on the guy. “

“Of course, Right the way Lantern.” Xumac stood aside, and motioned Hal to walk with him. They exited the hangar, and entered into a long corridor. After a quick lift ride, and a couple turns down some hallways they came to a large door. When they walked through Hal could tell that they had entered some sort of archive. There were consoles everywhere each displaying different times of Xandarian history.

A young Xandarian woman approached them

“Go fetch the Lantern the information you have on Ka Xyber Ze Undal.” The woman nodded and disappeared as soon as she had come, never once saying a single word.

“She not speak much?” Hal asked.

“Ada, Is amongst the brightest of the Undal. She only speaks when she needs to.” Ada returned shortly with a bright glowing cube that levitated in between her palms.

“Touch the Data core. You will find the answers you seek.” For some reason Hal wasn’t too sure. More often than not small packages were more trouble than they were worth. Still it was just information what harm could it be. Hal touched the sides of the Data core, and that’s when he saw it.

Agar Xumac was meeting with another Xandarian. Packages were being exchanged. Xandarians stripped of their armor were being carried away in chains. Data streams of the phrase “Corruption in the Aristocracy” appeared Xyber was confronting Agar Xumac in his chambers. Words were exchanged. Agar Xumac grabbed his weapon, a large spear, and cast the first blow. Xyber fought. He was defeated, and placed in chains. His armor stripped from him. There was a young Xandarian woman brought before him. She was threatened and beaten. Xyber pleaded guilty to treason. He was carried away, and loaded on the execution ship.

Suddenly Hal’s vision cleared, and he knew immediately that he was in grave danger, but it was already too late. He had not even felt it as the dagger pierced his chest. He started to grow cold, and he tasted blood in his mouth.

He looked down, to see the Xandarian girl holding the dagger, her armor fully engaged.

“You bitch.” Hal coughed, blood pouring from his lips.

“You die now, Lantern.” She declared softly and raised the dagger once again to strike. Hal reacted quickly and used an energy blast from his ring to send her flying across the room.

Hal could still sense that Agar Xumac was still behind him. He turned to blast him as well, but before he could Xumac caught his ring arm in mid thrust. His armor shifted around his hand and within an instant all the bones in Hal’s and were crushed.

Hal screamed. The pain was immense, and he fell to his knees. He needed to contact Oa.

“Help, SOS, Lanter….AAAUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!” Xumac had taken his ring directly from his hand, removing Hal’s finger in the process. Xumac held the ring in his hand. The ring was trying desperately to escape and return to its bearer, but the Xandarians grip was far too strong, and the ring bounced harmlessly in his palm.

Hal was crumpled to the ground while holding the bleeding wound. His Green Lantern uniform began to slowly disappear.

“You bastard.” Hal coughed, blood dripping from his lips, “Xyber was telling the truth.”

“Yes he was, Lantern. He retained his honor. He sacrificed himself for his people and his bride. Sacrifice gets you nowhere though Lantern, only progress brings success.”

“By selling your own people! Your people have always frowned on slavery, if they were aware of this!”

“They are.” Xumac interrupted.

“It might have been I that suggested it too them, but it was they who agreed.”

“But…But why?”

“That, Green Lantern, I am afraid you will never know.” Xumac nodded, and suddenly there was a sharp quick pain at the center of his neck. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t speak. Things began to grow dark, and suddenly there was nothing.

***

Ada walked up to her father. The corpse of the dead Lantern lay at their feet. His blood staining the floor.

“The weapon you gave me worked well father.”

“Yes Ada, I see that.”

“What of the ring father. Will you destroy it?”

“No, if I destroy it other Lanterns will come running. The must never know that one of their own died here.” Xumac held the hand which contained the ring up to his mouth and let loose a guttural sound that Ada had never heard from her father’s lips before. There was a bright glow within his hand. Xumac pulled his hand away and opened it. The ring floated there not daring to fight back.

“Separated from Ring Host… Searching…located…Sector 2814…Location: Earth” The ring flew off down out of the archives and down the halls of the Alare-Rael. Within a few short seconds the ring had already disappeared into deep space.

“What did you do father?”

“I overrode the ring’s memory. It does not believe it’s bearer to be deceased. It will search out a new host as the ring does when it’s bearer as killed, but that bearer will appear as this Lantern to the ring.” Xumac motioned towards the corpse, “By the time the Guardian’s know what is happening they will be slaves under my boot, and we will have had our vengeance.”

“And all the glory will be yours father.” Ada said, Xumac nodded and turned to leave.

“Dispose of the body, and clean up the mess.”

“Of course father, but if you would permit me one question?” Ada asked, Xumac stopped and turned facing his daughter.

“What is it?”

“What of the traitor? He is still alive.”

“He will be dealt with in time. I do not let those who stand against me live. As your bitch of a mother found out, so too will Xyber.” Xumac spat. Ada glared at her father. She knew her father had seen it, and he grinned. In their family hate was good.

“May you reign forever father.” Ada spoke softly and bowed. With that Agar Xumac left Ada behind, the bloody corpse of one of the greatest Lanterns that had ever lived lying at her feet.

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Wonder Woman: The Man from Outer Space (Part 2)

It's been awhile since I have posted anything on this story, but this is the follow up of the initial chapter which I had published a couple months back. Originally I had decided to re-write this due to some "issues" I had, but I see now that it's probably not going to get done, and I'm going to go ahead and put this out here. If you haven't read it you can catch up on what happened previously here: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/wonder-woman-the-man-from-space-part-one/682332/ or here: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8348588/1/Wonder-Woman-The-Man-From-Outer-Space. Now onto the story.

Chapter II

The swelling had finally started to go down, and her jaw only retained a fraction of its soreness. The alien being known as Xyber had returned with them to the city and for a time remained in the temple where he was kept under guard by order of Diana’s mother, the Queen. Since then Diana had managed to acquire a room for their guest.

After her first contact with Xyber she was curious to learn more about him, but she had been unable to speak with him. When she had seen the visions a part of her own psyche had rubbed off on him, allowing him to speak some conversational English. After the battle, and a short period of rest Diana was called away by Batman to join with the Justice League on a mission. Everyone in the league was curious about what had happened to her face, and Diana was reluctant to tell the story. Not because she wished to keep information about Xyber hidden, but because for an Amazon being dealt such an insulting lingering injury such as a black eye was a bit embarrassing. It gave the bad guys – and some of the good – too much to talk about in her opinion.

She had only told one leaguer about Xyber. Superman, being a kryptonian, was the only one she really trusted to help her deal with the situation. She could have asked Hal, but something didn’t bode well with her about that. He was a good man, but he tended to jump into action a little faster than anyone else. Kal might be able to advise her a little better, and perhaps even help her if things with Xyber got out of hand.

Now Diana had returned to her home on Themyscira, and took a long soak in her bath to relax. She was to meet with Xyber soon, so she dressed in more casual attire than her usual battle cuirass. She wore a casual Amazonian designed white dress that she loved to wear during her times of reprieve, and held her hair back with one of her favorite clips. During her absence those who had been guarding his room said that he had not bothered anyone during her absence, and he only had left his room to visit the library a couple of times, each time returning with a large stack of books. Diana was curious as to what he had been doing, but she also wanted to ask him about the visions she had. Why had he been in shackles?

When she finished fixing her herself up and felt that she was presentable, she stood from her vanity and left her room. It was later at night, and the long corridor was lit by a by torches and the moonlight that shined in through the large windows built into the side of the structure.

She reached the room that Xyber rested in. It was flanked by two guards.

“Good evening, Princess. Can we assist you?” One of the guards said.

“I would like to speak with our guest alone.”

“Of course Princess Diana.” The guard opened the door, and Diana entered. It was a standard guest room with a simple bed and a bath. There was also a balcony that looked out across Themyscira. Xyber was seated at a small table that had been piled high with books.

“Hello Princess Diana.” Xyber said not looking up from his book, “To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit.”

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to you since that day on the beach.” Diana said as she took a seat on the edge of the bed, “I had a few questions for you if you don’t mind answering.”

“Sure.” Xyber replied, but he did not turn around. Diana was a little annoyed by this and preferred looking in the eyes of those she was speaking too, and not their backs.

“Would you mind turning around so I can see you face. It’s rude to have your back to someone when you're speaking with them.” Diana said matter of factly. Xyber closed his book, and stood from his chair. When he turned to face her she finally got a good look at the man who had saved her life on the beach. He was handsome at least by her standards. Fair features, His hair was somewhat tangled and knotted, and it was long enough that it fell at the base of his neck. His glowing violet eyes though spoke of intimidation. Not of him, but for whoever looked into them. Diana thought that if he cleaned up a little he could be a very handsome man, yet his facial expression spoke of weariness and trepidation.

Diana noticed as well that his armor had changed. Though still elegant in appearance, some parts of it were missing. The hands and biceps were exposed as well as part of the thigh on both legs. A translucent cape had extended from the armor shoulders and draped across Xyber’s back. It was so clear that Diana questioned if it was really there.

“I see you’ve changed your armor. Are you able to retract it?”

“Yes.” Xyber answered looking her straight in the eye, “The…armor, you speak of is actually a…synthetic…I think that’s the right word, covering that adapts to our situation. What you see now is a state of dress that one would take in the presence of a leader. My armor seems to have recognized your position of royalty.”

“Are you able to completely remove it? Like retract it completely?” Diana asked. She had not given any real thought of what she was asking.

“That…that would be ill advised. I have read many of your books. Are you saying you wish to mate with me?” Diana suddenly turned a bright red. She had underestimated just how much Xyber had learned in his absence.

“No! No! I’m not saying that at all. As a matter of fact let’s change the subject.”

“Of course, I’m sorry if I have caused you some sort of distress.”

“It’s not your fault. Just sometimes I speak before I think when I’m curious about something.”

“I understand, besides I could not mate with you anyway. You see, I am promised to another, and it is a bond that I will honor for as long as I remain alive.” For a split second Diana caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a smile or at least a flicker in Xyber’s stern expression. She could tell that whoever it was, he was deeply in love with them.

“They sound lucky to have such affection from you. Anyway, getting around to what I was going to ask. When I touched you on the beach I had visions. I think they were of you. You were in shackles, and surrounded by a crowd chanting something. Did you commit some sort of crime?”

“Execute him.” Xyber said. Diana did not think his expression could grow any grimmer, but as soon as those words escaped his lips she seen just how wrong such thoughts were. “They were calling for my execution. The ship that you found me in was a prisoner execution vessel. We were heading for your systems sun where we would have been consumed.” Diana was a little shocked to hear this, and suddenly was a bit on her guard. She didn’t like the idea of being unarmed while near a prisoner, regardless if he was an earthling or not.

“What…what were they executing you for?” Diana asked afraid of what the answer might be.

“After reading your books, I have learned many curious things. You earthlings have many words that carry the same meaning. I suppose you humans would call my ever so treasonous act: libel.”

“Libel!?” Diana was once again shocked. She had never heard of such a harsh punishment for the crime about lying in print. It was so ridiculous that it couldn’t be true. “If you expect me to believe they were trying to execute you for libel, you must think me a fool.”

“Do not assume you know what is common in Xandarian culture.”

“Xandarian Culture?” Diana paused, figuring that had something to do with where he was from. “What is that?”

“I come from the planet Xandar, or at least that’s where I was born. The Xandarian have colonized on many worlds. We are a warrior race much like you and your Amazons; however, I envy your…dedication to peace. To a Xandarian to die young on the battlefield is the greatest of honor, but back to the matter of my verdict being execution for the treasonous crime of libel. Rarely does one speak out against what a commander does, and I had done just that. I accused a general of sabotaging the equipment of the soldiers under his command for currency and other lavish luxuries, and for trading our own men and women into slavery. I accused him of selling them straight from their beds in the med camps and we were all meant to believe they had simply perished in the night. I called him out for this, but I had no proof. I was seen as a joke, and immediately dealt with. They accused me of treason, and I had nothing to give credit to my name.”

“Did you lie about your commander?” Diana asked. Xyber paused for a moment then he let go of a small sigh.

“I did not like the General, and my information came from a source that I had believed to be valid. It would seem I was wrong. When the verdict was given, the sentence was to have my flesh melted from my very bones by the burning flames of a star, I was a broken man. I had no reason left to fight. So I accepted my fate.”

“And then you crashed here.” Diana said, bringing Xyber's story into full circle. Xyber simply nodded in reply.

“So what now?”

“Remember how I said for a Xandarian to die young on the battlefield was a great honor?” Xyber asked, and Diana nodded. “I never…” Xyber paused, once again seeming to be searching for his words, “believed that. I had been given such a lowly ranking of Chronicler, and since it is only my duty to report on the facts and statistics of our battles I ran into very little resistance in the way of combat. A Chronicler is the one service that has the longest life expectancy. As a result any chronicler is looked down upon, their service being considered by most to be a mark of shame. Most despise the position. I embraced it, and fought against the idea. I discovered in time that life brought knowledge and experiences than cannot be appreciated by the short lived. I discovered that in death, there is only death. So as you can imagine, I never had much flair for the valiant death. Until I ended up here in the pleasure of your company, I knew my life was over. I see this as a second chance at life, and I intend to take full advantage of it.”

Diana smiled. Xyber was clearly to her an individual who deserved what he desired most. A second chance at life, for when he saved her from the monster on the beach, he had given her a second chance.

“Listen, I have some connections, and I might be able to find you a place here. Maybe not on Themyscira, but most definitely somewhere on Earth.” Diana offered.

“I would highly appreciate that princess.” Xyber replied not hesitating for a single moment.

“Great, I’ll find out something as soon as I can. Also, it’s getting late and I’m sure you’re tired. Perhaps we can talk again sometime soon?”

“I would like that.” He replied with the first smile that she had ever seen escape from the alien man’s lips. Diana smiled back and stood to leave. As she was walking out the door a thought occurred to her.

“Oh Xyber,” Diana called to him, and the alien man turned to face her, “You said you were promised to another. Do you think you would ever get to see her again?” Xyber’s face suddenly shifted to a frown.

“My Xal, or fiancé as you would say, is a true Xandarian. Since her promised one was convicted of treason against his clan protocol would dictate that she be executed as well.” Xandar’s answer had stunned Diana. She didn’t have a clue what to say. There was nothing she could say to comfort such a wound.

“Xyber, I…I am so sorry.”

“Do not worry, Princess Diana. My Xal was a true Xandarian. She would not have gone down without a fight. In dying young she will be honored amongst those in her clan.” Xyber spoke with a solemn tone. Diana could easily tell that he had struggled to say those last few words. His culture would not allow him to feel loss. Diana couldn’t help, but feel the deepest sorrow. “Forgive me Princess, but as you said I am tired, and I would like to rest.”

“Of course.” Diana said softly, “Goodnight.”

“Goodnight Princess, your company is appreciated.” Xyber said. Diana gave a small smile and exited the room. As she walked back to her room, she could not help feeling overcome with dread. Even the moonlight, which was normally beautiful in the way it shined against Amazonian architecture, gave her no since of peace. Her sprit was troubled for Xyber, who she knew she would never be able to truly repay for saving her life that day on the beach. Xyber would forever be at war in his mind and heart. She would never be able to bring him peace.

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Star Wars: The Dark Lord and The Goddess Ch. 1

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Chapter I

As the vastness of space stretched out before him, Lord Vader could only think of the coming mission. A few days ago, someone had attempted to take his master’s, the Emperor’s, life. It was a plan by a petty band of rebels led by one surviving Jedi named Barrak Soran. The rebel’s plan had failed, and their forces on Corusant were wiped out, but Soran had managed to escape much to the emperor’s displeasure. The Emperor had contacted Vader wanting him to do what he did best, eliminate the foes of the Empire. As per his master’s request Vader tracked Soran across the galaxy, and took his flagship, The Executor, to the planet of Xophobos IV, where below one of the last remaining knights of the Jedi order awaited with nowhere further left to run.

As he stared down at the green planet though, something felt strange. Vader had not become the master he was, without utilizing the power of the force to its full potential. There was something on Xophobos IV, and it wasn’t just a lone Jedi. Vader reached out with the force, but could not sense his quarry. Instead he felt overcome with something much stronger. It was if the planet itself was speaking to him, telling him to stay away, warning him not to set foot on the planet should he meet his doom. It was as if the very planet was alive.

A powerful force user can be intune with the forces of nature. They can hear the rocks speaking, and fell the life pulse of any planet if only the reach out with the force to touch it. For Vader, as a Sith Lord, he commanded the force, and bent it to his will. This gave him more power than any Jedi could have ever possibly imagined. Even Obi-Wan who had bested him in their last encounter, could in no way rival the power that he now possessed. His rage fueled him, and the pain he felt in every waking moment only served to further amplify his power. Despite this power though, he had a hard time pushing back the power he felt emanating from Xophobos IV

“Lord Vader,” A man wearing an Imperial uniform had approached Vader, disrupting him from his meditation. The man short, and his thin frame would have suggested the man a weakling, and unfit for the Empire, but the markings of the man’s uniform signified the ranking of Fleet Admiral. In the Empire, appearances can be deceiving. Even a feeble looking old man can be even more dangerous that the highest trained soldier.

“What is it Fleet Admiral.” Vader said not hiding the scorn in his voice.

“It’s the information we have on Xophobos IV, and the traitor Barrak Soran.” The Fleet Admiral held out a datapad to the Dark Lord, which he only glanced down at, and then back out the viewing window of the Executor’s bridge.

“I am already aware of anything you might possess on the traitor.” Vader said coldly, “Tell me what information you have on this planet though.”

The Admiral nodded, “Xophobos IV is an anomaly in this system sir. Considering the distance from this systems star Xophobos IV should be covered in ice like it’s sister planet Xophobos III, but for some reason the planet has been able to maintain an atmosphere, and largely the planet is teeming with organic life, thus it being identified as a forest world. A century ago settlers had attempted to colonize the world, and harvest its resources for the old republic, but the republic lost contact with the settlers a short time after. It was believed that due to the planet being so close to the outer rim of republic space at the time that the settlers were simply wiped out by pirates or slavers.”

Vader did not respond to the Fleet Admiral’s last comment, but something was telling him that pirates or slavers had not wiped out those settlers, but that was of little consequence. The past mistakes of a few hapless colonists would not happen to him. The Empire had a vision that needed to be realized, and so long as there is a single Jedi left standing to threaten that vision Vader would be there to see the threat squashed beneath his heel, despite the dangers he might face.

“We tracked the traitors shuttle, and we believe he has landed somewhere in this area” The admiral said pulling out a holodisc which showed a miniscule holographic model of the planet below. A small section of the planet model was blinking signifying the sector in which they believe Soran to be.

“Blockade the planet admiral, be sure nothing leaves. Send down the droids first, they will give us an idea of where we will find the Jedi.” Vader commanded, but the Admiral seemed unconvinced that Vader’s command was the best choice of action. Vader could sense his doubt. “You do not agree, Admiral?”

Suddenly the Admiral looked fearful, and a sweat began to break out across his brow. The tales of Vader’s wrath were numerous throughout the Empire, “It’s just that…Lord Vader would it perhaps be better if we just bombard the planet? We have the traitor cornered; surely he could not escape our cannons?”

“Understand this Admiral, we are dealing with a Jedi, and the powers of your petty machinations are insignificant compared to the power of the force. This foe is not to be underestimated.”

“Understood, Lord Vader.”

“Good, and Admiral, do not question my orders again. The next time I will not be as forgiving.”

“Yes, my Lord.” The Admiral bowed and backed away from the Dark Lord as quickly as he could, and began barking out orders to have the scouting droids get ready to be sent down to the Planet. Vader turned back to the planet, and reached out with the force again. Sure enough the planet was still pulsating with force energy. He could not sense Soran, but he could feel small pockets of energy seemingly all feeding into one great source and then feeding that energy back out again in an endless cycle. Perhaps one of these pockets of energy was the rouge Jedi Soran.

Vader was almost certain that the droids would not find Soran, but perhaps if the Jedi had allies down on the planet, one would slip up and be spotted by the droid. Vader was certain that he would have to eventually descend down to Xophobos IV. He wanted to discover for himself what mysteries of the Force the planet possessed.

***

High above her the Goddess Ivy could sense the coming darkness. The forest of her home spoke to her, frightened like little children.

“Goddess, please protect us. We are so scared.” Ivy heard them whisper. From her seat atop a fallen log, which had been fashioned into a comfortable throne, Ivy held out her hand as a nearby vine seemed to reach out to her, and wrapped itself gently around her palm, caressing her emerald skin.

“Do not worry my babies.” She cooed, “I will not let anyone harm you.”

“What of the lost ones, Goddess?”

“Now my children, you know that they pose us no threat.” The Goddess let a wry grin show, “The Master Jedi Soran has promised to respect our wishes.”

“Indeed, I have.” The voice came from the entrance of the grove in which the Goddess had taken up residence. The Goddess looked sharply in the direction of the intruding voice to see the Jedi she was just speaking of.

Soran, a human, stood tall, a rugged scruff adorning his chin, and sunk in eyes suggesting a lack of sleep. His robes were ripped and scorched in several places, and yet his slicked back dark hair always seemed to have sustained the least damage, despite the fact that rest of him looked as if it had dealt with one of Ivy’s more dangerous children.

“My, My, Barrak, you look as though you have been through it. What brings you within my domain? I thought we had concluded all our…” Ivy paused searching for the appropriate word, “negotiations.”

“Yes well.”Barrak coughed, “I assume that you have sensed the coming dark presence?”

“I have.” The Goddess replied, wanting him to get to the point.

“A very dangerous adversary is coming to this planet, in search of me. I’m needing all the help I can get. I know within your grove there is a cave containing several crystals. I brought my apprentice, Sha Kaffan, her to ask your permission to enter this cave so he can construct his lightsaber and officially join the Jedi order to help prepare him against this coming darkness.”

Ivy noticed by the man’s side stood a young boy. He could be no older than maybe fifteen years. His yellowed skin and facial tattoos marked him as a miralan.

“You want me, to allow another one of your burning swords of light to be forged?” Ivy snorted crossing her arms, “You ask much, Jedi?”

“Then perhaps you can help us fight?” the apprentice blurted out, “Master says you are very powerful in the force, and I can sense it too. You could be of great…” The Jedi master smacked his apprentice in the back of the head, letting the apprentice know his master’s displeasure. The Goddess Ivy began to laugh.

“I like this one, Barrak Soran.” Ivy stepped down from her throne and over to the Miralantian boy, where she took hold of his chin gently. “You are quite the outspoken little one aren’t you?” Ivy smiled, before the lovely face transformed into a scowl when she suddenly tightened her grip, and her red nails tore into the apprentice’s cheek causing him to wince in pain as blood began to seep from the scratches. “Know this before you speak again Sha Kaffan, I do not fight your battles. Now you will not speak to me again unless I permit it understand.”

Sha Kaffan nodded, barely managing to do so.

“Good.” The goddess said before letting him go, and then landing a backhand across his left cheek and causing him to tumble to the ground. She turned back to Barrak, “I will permit him to build his so called instrument of initiation, you just be sure to keep to our agreement Barrak.”

“As you wish Goddess, you have my word that no plant life will be harmed.”

“Now I want to hear it from him.” Ivy motioned toward the boy still on his knees cradling his wounded cheek. The boy breathed heavy, anger in his eyes, but more so from fear of the being who had just humiliated him. He kept quiet not wanting to say anything.

“Go on boy.” Barrak said to his apprentice.

“I swear no plant life shall be harmed.” Sha Kaffan muttered. Ivy nodded in approval, and with a wave of her hand the vines and leaves in the grove began to move revealing nearby an entrance to the cave that Barrak and Kaffan had come in search of.

“Now go,” Ivy said, “I am sick of the sight of both of you.” Barrak took up his apprentice and the two of them headed for the cave entrance. As Barrak passed the Goddess, a fleeting glance was shared between them, and when he finally disappeared with his apprentice into the darkness of the cave she smiled, hardly noticing how a small vine began to slide its way up her arm to her palm where it bloomed into a beautiful violet flower. She observed the delicate flower twisting it this way and that before finally placing it behind her ear where is accented her red hair, and returned to her throne where she began to rest her mind preparing it for whatever the future might hold.

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I Can Relate: Suffocated Intelligence (BW: Ozymandias #1)

Sometimes in life society (people) will try and hold a person back. There are all sorts of different reasons why this could happen. It could be skin color, gender, or even sexual preference. In my opinion one of the worst things that society can sometimes hold back, is intelligence. Intelligence can be held back for a number of reasons such as jealousy or fear. Sometimes it’s held back because of uniformity, a disbelief in the existence of intelligence. Such as what happened to Adrian Veidt in Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1.

In this issue we see a young Adrian who is a child genius in every meaning of the word. By the time he was four, he had read all twenty-four volumes of his father’s encyclopedias. Then when he entered into the public school system he scored so high on the aptitude test that his parents were called. It wasn’t because Adrian was a genius though. The principal believed he had cheated, and said his scores were impossible. His father persuaded the principal that his son’s score was a fluke, and wouldn’t happen again. Later that night Adrian’s father approaches him, and tells him that he needs to hide his intelligence because he doesn’t need to be thought of as a freak. Adrian’s response is “It’s not fair. Why must I have my light under a bushel?” His father’s answer is: “Life isn’t fair, and all we can do is hope to survive it.”

It’s very true that life isn’t fair. On many things this is true, and what happened to Adrian can happen in real life. Signs of intelligence can be squandered and suffocated. For example, A child loves to read and shows that he can read faster than the other students in his class, he understands what he reads, and his pronunciation is superb. Yet when he finishes a book and stands to go and get another his teacher stops him, and says that he has to slow down and stay with the other students. If he doesn’t he will be sent to the principal’s office, and sent home with a disciplinary notice about how he disobeyed the teacher. Another example could be that another child loves to read, yet her father forces her to sit and watch television because she has to do what the family is doing. The girl sits with the family, but continues to read, so the father rips the book from her hand and throws it in the kitchen trash where the pages are soaked with the residue of rotting scraps.

So how is this handled? Well I think Ozymandias has the best resolution: patience. The pain is insurmountable for anyone going through that situation, but there is always a way to deal with those who try to suffocate an intelligent mind. Those who try to suffocate are bullies, and a bully can come in many forms. It doesn’t always have to be the stereotypical brute. A bully can be an authoritative figure like a teacher, or even a relative. A bully works by putting fear in a person and the one being bullied must face up to that fear, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do it alone. Having a friend can make things easier, but ultimately the only way to stop the suffocation of intelligence is to stop who or whatever is doing the suffocating.

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Delphic's New (Old) Merchandise Report

It’s been over two years ago now since I started collecting comics. I still remember that day. I was at a Books-A-Million, and I had just picked up a hardcover of Titans: Old Friends. Now I had read comics in the past, but this was something sort of new to me at the time. When I read through that book I was mesmerized and instantly hooked. I had to have more, so I bought more books like: Gotham City Sirens: Origins and Battle For the Cowl, and then before I knew it I had expanded into single issues. Ever since that day comic collecting has become a huge hobby for me that I just can’t get enough of. Eventually my love for comics spread into comic memorabilia such as figures, and novels. I still have the first figure I bought (a Mini Lead statue of Power Girl), and since that first figure I have been collecting, but I’ve never really shared my collection or what I have thought about it.

In this blog I want to sort of show and tell (and maybe review a little) about the newest merchandise that has crossed my desk.

DC Armory: Power Girl as Nightwing

I am a huge Power Girl fan so there really is nothing that needs to be explained as to why I bought this figure. So far this happens to be the best Power Girl figure I have bought. I love the amount of detail that has been but into the figure, and it makes for a really gorgeous display piece. Out of the package the Nightwing helmet is on the figure, but that can be removed and replaced with Kara’s actual head, which is what I did immediately. The wings attach to the back of the figure, and just so happen to be one of the things I don’t like about this figure. The wings are very difficult about staying on, and you have to be very careful about placing them how you want, because go too far and the wings snap out forcing you to start all over again. Also for my particular figure I noticed a certain amount of looseness in the joints. Also the wings sort of make her back heavy, so I would recommend using the stand that comes with. The stand helps the figure to stand up right decently enough, but I have considered using superglue at times to make sure I don’t come in from work to find the figure has fallen over. Luckily though this figures attention to detail was so good that I just had to go out and get it’s Supergirl counterpart which leads me into the next portion.

DC Armory: Supergirl as Flamebird

Though at first glance I wasn’t very impressed, as soon as this Supergirl came out of the package is when it really began to shine, literally, there’s a good deal of gold paint on this figure. If I wasn’t such a Power girl fan I would say that I like this figure better. Supergirl is a little more colorful that her counterpart, and there is more attention to detail in this one. There seems to be a little more articulation because I was able to position the figure just so to where I could make it look like she was holding her helmet under her arm. The most frustrating thing about this figure though is the wings. They are huge, and heavy too. My figure, I’m not sure about all, has a harder time keeping the wings in the sockets located in the back of the figure. It’s worse than the Power Girl figure about this. Also this figure does have sturdier joints than the Power Girl figure, but the wings make it so back heavy it will want to fall backwards without the stand. This is another figure which I’ve considered using superglue on. With luck though, maybe I won’t have too.

Marvel Select: Black Cat

Now on the Marvel side of things, I am a huge Black Cat fan, but I was a little cautious about this figure at first. The biggest reason was because it seemed from the package that there was less attention to artistic detail, and more attention to the appeal. The first thing anyone will notice about this figure is the excessive cleavage the figure displays. As I was looking the figure over I noticed that the eyes looked a little strange. Looking at the figure inside the package it looked like one pupil was bigger than the other, giving Black Cat a cross-eyed look. I gave the figure a few days before I actually bought it, and when I took it out of the package it was then that I noticed that it was the angle of the plastic packaged that had caused her to look that way. Taking it out though unveiled some new issues that, I don’t entirely like. It’s a magnificent piece with a lot of attention to detail, especially the Spider-man looking through the window which in my opinion has more detail than the main figure. Now this may be central to my figure, and not all, but I noticed a lot of flaws on the Black Cat figure. It looked as if the paint had faded in some spots, and in others like the mask the paint wasn’t completely filled in. The figure is not really posable, and even though there are a few points of articulation there are so trivial, and take away from the figure that you’ll wonder why they didn’t just leave the whole things stationary. The movable parts feel extremely fragile, as if they could break off at the slightest increase of pressure, and they also appear to be of a lesser quality plastic than the rest of the figure. There is nothing in terms of support for this figure. You can set up an interesting display thanks to the base, but the positioning of the Black Cat relies on the base to prop it up. To an extent it will stand on its own, but I can’t express enough that you DON’T TOUCH after you’ve set it up. It might look good, but honestly I wouldn’t recommend that you buy this figure unless you really want too.

Wayne of Gotham Hardcover Novel by Tracy Hickman

Now I know this is not a figure, but it still fits in the comic book memorabilia category. I haven’t had a chance to read this novel yet, and I probably will not for quite some time, because of a large stack of other things I have to read. The interesting thing about this though is that I first saw this in a Previews Catalog back before Christmas, and that was when I ordered it. Usually Previews only displays upcoming merchandise that is three months away from hitting the shelves. This book though, displayed back before Christmas, did not come out until July 4 of this year. I had almost forgotten about it by then, so you can imagine my surprise when the clerk at the store handed this too me. This is really just more of a showcase rather than a review, but the pictures below will show you what it looks like. It just sort of grinds my gears that I ordered this book before Christmas and it didn’t come in till now.

Now I’m always getting in new stuff, so you’ll probably get to see another one of these “New Merchandise Reports”. As a matter of fact you’ll probably see one soon, as just yesterday I won a Jason Todd Batman figure from the Batman Reborn series in an auction. With any luck that report will be smaller than this one. Now if only the Batman Reborn Series Batgirl figure wasn’t $125.

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The Corporate Rape of Power Girl

Ummm.....
WOW !?!

With the rise of new 52, female sexuality has become more expressive in DC comics than it has in the past. This first became evident in early issues of Catwoman and Red Hood and the Outlaws. Readers were surprised to see Catwoman having sex with Batman on a rooftop in such graphic detail, while fans saw Starfire seemingly becoming a creature of sexual promiscuity that had no real care of who she slept with, or recollection afterwards. Thankfully for Starfire things were explored within deeper detail, and we came to see that Starfire was much more than what we originally were presented with so the shock value was initially forgiven. With Catwoman though, it sort of faded from the minds and forum posts of readers as time passed.

The Worlds' Finest

DC Comics seeming need to express more sexuality in comics has not ceased though even in the newest waves of new 52 that have come out. In Worlds’ Finest we see Helena Wayne (Huntress) and Kara Zor-L (Power Girl) strives to find a way back to their home of Earth 2. Many things about this comic have had fans torn. You have fans upset that Huntress is now Helena Wayne instead of the now gone Helena Bertinelli, and on the other side you have fans that are upset about Power Girl’s change in costume. That is not all that has changed though.

He thought it was funny

Longtime fans of Power Girl will notice that much has changed with the beloved character. Before we talk about what has changed we need to first mention what fans came to love about the character, or acknowledge the character as being. Since she was created Power Girl has been exploited, and been a sort of running joke for writers and artists at DC. The largest source of the joke lies with Power Girl’s original costume, which contained a circular hole in the chest of the costume that exposed much of Power Girl’s excessive cleavage. At the time of her creation there was a rumor going around that her creator Wally Wood was intentionally changing the size of her breasts as sort of a running gag to see if the fans would notice.

New Begining, Amazing Run

Since then the joke continued, and in the 2009 run of Power Girl the sexual nature of the joke became integrated into Power Girl’s character making for an aloof character that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously and often times was even a little funny. In doing that Power Girl became loved by even more as more readers flocked to her book. Even when the book changed creative hands, and took on a more serious tone fans still enjoyed the new Power Girl and loved how she had developed.

Miss Star in all her...ummm...Glory

With the new 52 though, a sort of exchange happened in most books where sex was only just mentioned was actually pushed to the forefront of a character. With Power Girl it was as if a direct exchange was made. The “Boob Window” was done away with and replaced with a full body suit, and her breast sized was reduced, so far so good right? Wrong. Instead of a running gag, the sex became a serious part of the character. In Worlds’ Finest Kara has been represented as beyond promiscuous in her attitude. At times she is even comes across as slutty, and I really hate using that word, so that’s saying something. Since her arrival in the New 52 she has slept with Michael Holt (which was fine, and was actually even an interesting development in the relationship of two character that have been associated with one another), and several other un-named persons as suggest by Kara herself in issue #3 of Worlds’ Finest.

So what is DC’s game plan with all of this? It would seem to me that DC is stick to the old “Sex Sells” approach. Now in my opinion I think there is nothing wrong with sex in a story, but it can be overdone, and DC in my opinion has definitely been over doing it. When sex intrudes on a character, and overrides the very fabric that has long been associated with that character the fan base will shift, ultimately leaving that character with fewer fans than it initially had. In the case of Power Girl it’s still early in the game for Worlds’ Finest, so hopefully things can pick back up by taking the focus of the promiscuity of Kara Zor-L, and judging by the actions of the creators with other books that probably will happen, but the question remains: will it develop into a mediocre book, or something that is actually decent? Most likely, but for fans of Kara Zor-L this will remain one of the less than stellar moments in the history of Power Girl.

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