feebadger's forum posts

#1 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

6. A Good Plan...

“What was that all about?”

Montez was sat in the lower level of The World; as good a name as any. Karrisa sat down next to Montez on the ledge, their feet dangling above the underground water system which rushed far below them.

“Nothing.” Montez replied, quietly, “Just me and my big mouth again.”

“You know, you shouldn't be so hard on yourself.” Karissa had taken it upon herself to be Montez' watcher, if not his friend ever since they had met. She was just about to turn eighteen, a full two years older than Montez and believed that if she had ever had a kid brother, she would have liked it to have been him. “There are plenty of people here more than happy to do it for you.”

Montez said nothing, just stared down into the canyon below. Karissa peered upwards at the shadows that moved; scurried and squeaked above them. Occasionally a bat would break free and fall from the shadows, correcting itself and returning to the safety of the pack.

“What do you think it was like?” Karissa asked absently, her gaze still skyward.

“What are you talking about?” Grunted Montez, lost in himself.

“When they were all still alive. The heroes. They would have been here, would have met in the cave... Batman. Superman. The Flash... my Mum and Dad. They would have all been here at some point. Don't you think that's amazing?”

“Bunch of losers, if you ask me.” Montez was angry and bitter, Karissa knew this. He kept it pretty well under control most of the time, but in these moments she knew what he could be like.

“You don't mean that.” Karissa said, suddenly feeling very tired.

“And what if I do!” Montez stood up now, his anger sparking his power, flickers of electricity escaping from his eyes. “I mean, what did they really achieve, huh? For all their grandstanding, for all their powers, they failed in the end, didn't they? I mean, look at us! Hiding in a cave from the big, bad boogeyman out there! What use were they!?”

Montez mother had died when he was just an infant and his father had raised him alone. A good, kind and loving father, Montez worshipped him... until Eclipso's black sands swept across the skies, turning Montez' father into a black shadow of his former self. Montez had barely escaped with his life when his beloved father turned on him, only truly saved, like the rest of them, by Mister E's magics. Karissa knew all of this, knew of the pain that Montez carried around within him.

“Montez, please...” She stood now, placing a hand softly on each side of his face. “We have all lost so much. My parents, they fell in the battle too... so many did. You're not alone here.”

Montez pulled away from Karissa.

“We're all alone.” He seethed, “I won't spend the rest of my life hiding in this place.”

“And what are you going to do about it? What can we do?”

“I'm going to stop him.” Montez said, the iron in his voice unsettling Karissa. “I'm going to put an end to this.”

“Oh, well that sounds like a good, well thought out plan.” Karissa didn't mean to antagonise him, but he was scaring her.

“Any plan is a good plan when you've got nothing else.” Montez said, calm but firm and he walked away.

“Montez...” Karissa said softly, watching him walk in to the shadows. “Montez?”

#2 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

5. A Dark Prince.

“Batman had locked himself away within the Batcave when Eclipso had first struck, desperately trying to devise a way to stop the Dark Gods plans. Yet, when the news came to him of what had happened to Superman, he came immediately. I was bloodied and broken, barely able to breathe when I saw him land in his Batwing. Saw him stride out from it's shadows as he always had; calm, confident, like a commander entering a battlefield he had already won. He didn't say a word, simply strode past me, directly to Superman until they were face to face. Superman, wild and dark, was stunned that anyone would dare, never mind a weak and powerless human to approach him in such a way. But this was Batman and deep in Superman somewhere, fear must have stirred. I remember hearing it, the one word that Bruce... that Batman spoke. It was almost a whisper, a plead that most didn't hear but me.

“Clark?”

“There was nothing for a moment, no trace of acknowledgement, then a flash of anger from the dark Kryptonian and knowing that there was no way to reach him, Batman moved. I saw his arm fly and stretch out before him, just as I saw the flash of green upon his ring finger; the Kryptonite ring. Batman had always kept it as a fail safe, a weapon to bring Superman down if ever such a situation had arisen.

“What I did not know until later though, was that Batman had taken even greater precautions after the appearance of Eclipso. Knowing the nature of the Dark Ones power, Batman had Green Lantern forge him a ring of his own, grafting the emerald band to the Kryptonian ring so that whatever the ring made would be forged in Kryptonite itself. So it was that Batman unleashed his considerable will through the ring, blasting Superman with a light so great that it blinded me a moment and all I could hear were Clark's screams. I almost pitied him and when my eyes cleared I could see Batman standing over him, the ring having forged a Kryptonian box around Superman, the Man Of Steel's skin burnt and torn from the blast. Yet,though he was shaken and hurt, Superman still stood and though no one else might have noticed it, my years of experience working with Batman had taught me to recognise when he was troubled. He looked at Superman, unsure as to how or why he was still standing after such a blast and before he could react, Superman broke free of his prison and his hand was at Batman's throat.

“The darkness. That which had been Batman's ally his whole life had betrayed him. Of course, it now lived within Superman, coating not only his soul, but his flesh too and it was this impenetrable darkness, the stuff of magic, which now made him immune to the full effect of Kryptonite. Batman may have suspected such a thing, we will never know as the next moment, the unthinkable happened. The two locked eyes a moment, Superman's face twisted into rage and torment by the shadows and Batman... he smiled a moment at his old friend.

“Then Superman burnt him.”

“With no pause, no hesitation, his heat vision flared and he burnt Batman to ash. Bruce... Bruce never made a sound and when Superman scraped the last of the ash from his hands it was as if that silence was still there, Batman's unspoken judgement hounding Superman... surrounding us all. In the confusion that followed I made my escape, knowing any stand at that time would achieve nothing and I ran to the underground as hero and villain alike fell before Eclipso's ambition. That was twelve years ago, twelve years of hell... of fighting. Twelve years since the League fell and now... now we are all that are left.

“Thanks to the good graces of Mister E, we have all been spared the effects of Eclipso's crystal... but there is no spell he can cast to save us from the crystal's effect on the world around us. So we hide here, where once Batman spearheaded justice... a place which the young amongst you have rechristened, 'The World.'

“Here is where you decide for yourselves what the word 'hero' means to you. I cannot define it for you. You need to define yourselves first, then perhaps you will know what it means. But know this... what was done for you... for us all, was not done in vain. You are HERE. You are ALIVE...

“The rest is up to you.”

With that, Diana lowered her gaze from all in the room and rose into the air, disappearing into the darkness beyond without a word.

#3 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm gonna take a wild guess here, @dewboy01, and say that you are one HUGE sci-fi fan? :)

#4 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

4. The Day The Heroes Died

Diana paused a moment, trying to fight back the tears that welled in her eyes.

“Diana... “ Grayson was by her side now, reaching out to her tentatively, “you don't have to...”

“No!” She snapped, pulling herself together as she had so many times before and refusing Grayson's kindness, “It must be told. These children must be reminded of the truth!” As her words echoed around the chamber, the others, hidden amongst the shadows until now began to move forward, compelled by the Princesses words, by a story they had heard before, in splinters and shards, but never from the mouth of one who had been there, who had witnessed it herself. They were young, for the most part, teens, scattered amongst the tattered remnants of heroes gone by, some dressed in the garb of those who went before, but all frightened, all bowed by their present circumstance.

“We... the Justice League fought, as we always had. But never before had we had to fight against those we had sworn to protect. So many... so full of hate and it was through them we had to go to get to Eclipso. Innocence fell before us, innocent souls sacrificed so that we could get to the cause of all this evil. I was, am a warrior, my heart was girded for such acts. It is always the duty of the warrior to take upon themselves the hardest of decisions. But Superman... he was the truest of us all, his heart could not be fettered, numbed in such a way and facing the base inhumanity of man like that... he faltered and it was in that moment that Eclipso struck. He drove a great sliver of the Black Diamond into Superman's back, drove it straight through into his heart and Superman... Superman fell.

For all our hardships, heroes have a charmed life in many ways and often we have known champions to rise after we were sure all was at an end. And so it was that Superman too rose that day, but not in any way we would have wanted. For with the Crystal stuck within his very heart, Superman had become darkness, his soul turned into shadow; Superman had risen as the Prince of Eclipso's whim. None could stop him and he hurled himself at us with the ferocity of an animal. He snapped the spine of the Flash, blinded Green Lantern and left him to the masses. He skewered Aquaman upon his very own royal trident and burned J'onn in the very fires of our own Watchtower. I held against him as long as the strength ran within me, but never before had I faced a Superman unrestrained; the full force of his power unleashed by the black rage which now coursed within him. So too would I have shared in the fate of the League if fortune, if you can call it, had not shined on me.

“Batman...”

#5 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry, i've never entered one of these before, what are we meant to do?

#6 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

3. What Went Before.

Diana took a breath to speak, one tinged with fire and passion and Montez winced, not sure what she was going to bellow at him. Then... She stopped. Her body sagged and she let Montez go, turning away from him and looking back to Grayson, who could not meet her gaze as sadness overtook him.

“Eclipso...” The word barely made it past her lips; such a broken and humbled whisper that it was barely audible, as if Diana could barely bring herself to say it. “...the devil. It is all because of him...”

“Cast as the Almighty's original hand of retribution, Eclipso had oftimes tried to cast the world in his own dark image, having been imprisoned in a obsidian prison, a crystal of rare power from which Eclipso could leap forth and claim whoever made contact with the precious jewel. In time, the jewel was sheared, cut into a multitude of fragments allowing Eclipso free reign throughout the world, multiplying his chances of manifestation and rule. So it was, for year upon year that the chances of Eclipso appearing again became greater and greater until he finally did...in the form of William Magus.

“William Magus was an inventor of genius proportion, but cunning and devious were the machinations of the dark one and he willed one shard, one aspect of himself into the hands of Magus and the die was cast. It was the good Doctor's finest creations, his Metal Men whom Eclipso warped first, like a form of alchemy transforming them from their original elements now into things formed in the pits of hell; five sentient automations made of the same substance as that dark crystal. Their very touch would turn those who opposed them into puppets of Eclipso himself, thrusting a piece of his putrid soul into theirs.

“Yet that was only the start of his plans... Next he used Magus' genius to synthesise the crystals essence into a fine powder form and began dispensing it into the water supply. None could have known that as they sat in their very houses, they were letting the devil enter into their bodies. But the worst of it was when the sands came...

“Having gained so much power from the hate emanating from his new followers, Eclipso launched his attack against his most despised of foes... The Spectre, he who had supplanted him as God's agent. With such hate turned to power at his disposal, The Spectre was powerless to turn the mad god back and Eclipso stole the life essence from the mighty spirit, rendering him inert before turning his body into the black sands of Eclipso's soul and casting them about the world. Any who breathed them in, any grains that entered the skin, the eyes or the mouth would be consumed by his essence and turn to his hatred. It swept the world like a disease, blackening the skies like a plague that your religious books are so fond of preaching upon.

“But this still was not the worst of it... the worst... was yet to come.”

#7 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

2. Tomb Of Heroes

Grayson stood at the control desk, as usual, his fingers a blur of activity across the keys, belying the age held within them. No one knew how to work that computer system like he did and not without good reason.

“You're late.” Grayson barked, not turning from the screen, a lifetime of living in the shadows keeping his senses keen.

“Sorry.” Montez said, barely containing his attitude, “Something came up.”

Montez walked into the great cavern with Mister E at his side, it's great arcing roof somewhere high above them, draped in the darkness of the bats wings that surely still nested up there. They were deep underground, in the bowels of the earth and, so far, it had proven to be the safest place.

“Something always comes up.” Grayson said, pausing a moment and placing his hand to his temple, allowing a moment of exhaustion to sweep over him. “Part of the job.”

“And what job is that?” Sneered Montez as he walked past the giant penny and the lifesize dinosaur, sure it was going to move as he felt every time he passed it, “Creeper kebab? What kind of a job is that?”

“A hero.” Said a voice from the darkness above, “He's talking about being a hero.”

From the miazma above, a lone figure gently lowered down to the platform upon which Grayson now sat, the tiredness running through his bones, his hand absently running along the arm of the chair he sat in... that Bruce once sat in.

“Thank you, Diana.” Sighed Grayson, as Diana placed her hand upon his shoulder.

“As heroes we must always be vigilant, always engaged in the world around us.” She continued, moving from Grayson now to stand before Montez. He remembered seeing photos of her from years gone, how her hair seemed blacker than night and how the power that defied the supple grace of her curves shone off the page. Age had dimmed none of this as she stood before him, still very much a Wonder Woman, “For if we aren't ready, always ready to stop those who would hurt others, then who will?”

Montez shifted in his shoes, always uncomfortable around someone who could so easily trigger his teen hormones, “I don't know.” He mumbled, “Someone else... It's not like you 'heroes' have done much good at saving us all, anyway.”

As soon as he said it he regretted it, just as he knew it was too late to take it back. Montez felt Diana change before him, her muscles tense with anger as that power he had seen in the photos manifested, her eyes ablaze with anger.

“You dare...” She seethed, “You dare speak ill of those who went before? Those who sacrificed so much... who lost so much...”

“Diana... don't.” Grayson's weak attempt at halting Diana's rage was brushed away as she stepped toward Montez, Montez suddenly wishing that he were back outside with the Creepers.

“You don't believe in heroes, do you boy?” She spat, grabbing him by the front of his shirt, “Well let me tell you about heroes... Let me tell you exactly how hell came to this place!”

#8 Edited by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

1. Beginnings.

The Gods are dead.

Get up off your knees and look at the world around you. There is no one left to pray to here. While they lived they span dreams into gold, punctured the heavens with their power and rained their light down on us all. That’s what had been written, long ago, when people still wrote of such things. There was a word for them then, a word long since trodden into the dirt of this world.

Heroes.

That’s what they called them.

Bright and beautiful they were, draped in capes and colour, streaming across the sky or flashing across the ground at super speed.

They called them heroes.

Montez calls them Gods.

They were powerful. They fought evil. They protected the innocent.

But now they are dead.

* * *

As Montez ran beneath the moon across the hot desert sands, his heart screaming into his throat, his lungs fit to burst, he missed them more than most. Creepers. A dozen or more, diving and stuttering behind him in the shadows, faster than jackals and more terrifying than nightmare. They were faster in the murk of darkness, the sun burning their skins, or at least, whatever was held within them. As he heard them laughing, all high pitched and manic, Montez ran harder, tripping and dragging his trembling legs back under himself, back to the only place he could call home in the ruins of this world.

The World, they had dubbed it now, though it once had another, more fabled name. Yet it was too far, too hard and as he felt the yellowed claws of a Creeper brush his back, Alex Montez was sure he would never feel anything ever again.

“Light.”

One word.

One word to bring a blaze worthy of God. It seared out of the darkness, like a divine wind and scalded the skins of the Creepers. They bellowed, a deep, guttural howl that filled the night sky as they ran from its touch, their yellowed, blistering skin slowly disappearing back into the darkness that had spawned them. Alex fell to the ground, his chest on fire from the exertion, his lips trembling, fighting the sob of tears that were threatening to stain the coarse sand beneath his face. He sobbed and spluttered for air while the light ebbed and dimmed around him. The cool blue of the moon returned to the landscape as a voice, worn but soft, came from where the light once burned.

“Alex?” It said, “Alex, are you alright?”

Alex seethed air in through his teeth and pulled himself to his feet. He wiped the tears away from his eyes and spoke in a cold hard voice, more a man than that of a fifteen year old boy.

“I’m fine, Mister E.” He finally growled, “It’s the end of the world and I feel fine.”

To Be Continued...

#9 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

In other words... BUMP!

#10 Posted by feebadger (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, i kind of agree that i was worried about them turning Cyclops into a hand wringing, uber-villain too, but i think that the creators have handled it quite nicely. It's nice to have a figure who is really only 'bad' because of his political beliefs essentially. He's a very interesting counter point to a lot of the heroes view points and adds a great sense of dynamics to the Marvel universe.