Sandstorm: The Saviour Agenda (3/5)

Sandstorm: The Saviour Agenda (3/5)

====LoA Computer Database====

"Perimeter breach. Perimeter breach," the alarm blared again and again. Brainiac’s ship had done it’s work. It’d broken through the shields, and blasted a hole into the side of Ra’s fortress. Now hundreds of Bane’s puppets were running inside, killing everyone they could find.
That meant, Cypher thought, he had to act fast.

He was well aware of what the Misfits thought of him now. A traitor, a backstabbing bastard who’d thrown away everything to help a genocidal tyrant. They… They were wrong.
When he’d returned to the Demon’s Head the day after Butchinsky’s funeral, and briefed him on Walker’s failure, *he* was the one that had fought for him. He’d told Ra’s how he’d used the last of the Lazarus Water on Pike, knowing full well it’d be a death sentence for him and his family. That that, was true honour. It even seemed like Ra’s agreed, that he’d be lenient towards Walker and his brood.
No. Instead, he had Ubu cut off his hands with a blunt sword. He’d lost his tongue long ago, but now he couldn’t even sign, Cypher lamented. These cybernetics couldn’t possibly do the same job. So when he pulled the Wasp away from that Earthquake machine, when he mouthed "Sorry," he truly meant it.

As gunfire rained down the hallways, as his brothers and his sisters in the League of Assassins were being torn apart, he knew, this was it. But, as he typed on the console, he hoped that just maybe this would atone for his mistakes. Maybe…

"Not one for words," he began. "Prefer actions. The Society have breached Nanda Parbat. Threat imminent. Mistakes made. Alliances broken. Follow co-ordinates. Help. Please. For Butchinsky. For-"

The door slams open. Voices filling the room. Six of them by his estimate. "- told me that they kept it in a chamber down that passage, sure to be heavily guarded," the first, an old, gruff man says.

A second voice, Spanish, continues. "Good. Faust, go with Orm and collect it, would you? General, Slade, with us."

"Oh, I thought you’d never ask. Come along, Prince," a third voice says, as another, a faint fourth one hisses "King."

"Come on, tech lab’s this way, just need to- "

BANG.

Cypher falls to the ground, his mask rolling to a stop at Slade’s feet. He holsters his gun, and takes a step over the body. As the light leaves his eyes, Kuttler pauses.
Bane, noticing this, looks down, and then back at Noah. "Who was he?" he asks.
Kuttler looks at the body on the ground and straightens his glasses. "I have no idea"

===The Courtyard===

"God," Needham murmured, a slight look of disgust plastered on his face, as he stares at a purple and yellow clad supervillain flying around in the distance. "They let *Fish* in?"

"I hear he’s pretty good," explains Rigger, surveying the battle, before a set of three League Assassins pull Bragg to the ground and start beating him with truncheons. "Slipknot was a fucking liar…" he gasps in shock. Beside them, Chuck and Chancer grab their weapons off the fallen ninja, while Gar sits on the ground, watching Shrike’s body burn, the fabrics slowly melting and sticking to his flesh, his screams barely audible above the crackling flames.
Volcana, looks down at him curiously. "Gar, you don’t look pleased to see me. What’s wrong? Did you not get that last check or-"
Gar pauses, the images from the village burnt into his mind. Women, children… All burned to ash. "I saw… The village, Clair, tell me you didn’t do it."

She sighs, murmuring half heartedly. "Fine, I didn’t do it."

Gar nods softly, before clearing his throat. "Now tell me the truth."

She snorts in derision. "Oh, Gar, please."

"Clair!"

She raises her hands out, irritated. "Christ almighty, I didn’t do it, Effigy did."

Gar pauses. There was a name he’d not heard in a while… "Effigy-?"

"Well, Human Flame tried, but his nipple nozzles backfired, poor thing."

"Guy really should invest in a proper flamethrower," Gar smiles weakly, as she hands him back his helmet. "So, we good?"

Clair runs her hand through her red hair, smirking. As Shrike attempts to get up, she kicks him in the face. "Oh, sure. Just one thing," she begins, her eyes glowing red. Gar takes a step back. Chuck’s jaw clenches.

"Did you get a sitter for Josie?"

Gar cocks his head to one side, in shock. "Y-yeah, I got Creegan to babysit."

"Well, there’s a small mercy. Oh, there’s blood on my sleeve, could you wipe it off?"

====LoA Computer Database====

‘You’re a figurehead who built his reputation off of my back. You’re nothing to them.’

Lies, I am Bane.

‘You think that gives you leverage on Sinestro? Grodd? Ocean Master? They’ll abandon you just like they did Luthor.’

‘You’re nothing. You’re nothing. You’re nothing.’

Batman’s words echoed in Bane’s head. Months had passed since Arkham City, and in that time he’d done so much, yet here, on the eve of his greatest triumph… He felt empty.
He looked out the window. Below, the battle continued. The Fisherman fires a hook into Red Hood’s shoulder, and reels him in along the ground. Nightwing throws an ecrisma stick at his head, knocking him unconscious, as he rips the hook out of Jason’s arm.
Beside them, the Matter Master turns a Talon to coal, while an enormous woman, Giganta, crushes several beneath her feet.
As a dozen more ninja leap into action, a blue man, Typhoon generates a whirlwind, drenching them all with water. Livewire proceeds to electrify the liquid, frying everyone nearby.
As Hawkgirl swoops in, in an attempt to keep them all from killing one another, she’s hit by a solid rainbow, atop it, Roy G. Bivalo, and a hoarde of others. He can just faintly hear one murmur "I’ll never live this down."

"Funny, isn’t it? This was once a place of healing, many men and women came here to find guidance, and themselves. Until the League of Assassins claimed it as their own," a voice called out, a wry smile on Felix Faust’s face.

"Is that it-?" Bane asks, transfixed by the golden orb in Faust’s hands.

"Yes. The Heart of Nanda Parbat… There are stories, legends about it. It’s said that its’ host to the souls of the Nanda Parbat monks- the guardians of this temple long before the League. Hundreds of them, their very essence, are held within. It could power entire cities for a millennia. Or destroy them. What’s wrong?" he adds, noticing the creases of a frown beneath Bane’s mask.

"Nothing," he replies, though his tone suggested otherwise. "Any sign of the Batman?"

"On the front lines, I’d have thought-?"

Bane stiffens up. "Just place the orb in Kuttler’s machine. That, will be all."

====The LoA Archives====

Ra’s rips the harpoon from his hand, greyish blood trickling onto the floor, a gaping hole through his palm. It… should have healed. Gaige fires again, but this time, he catches it with his free hand. ‘A poisoned tip,’ he reasons.

"You know what I had to pay to get that?" Gaige snarls, as he picks a large battle-ax from off the wall, "I thought it was too much at first, but now? Reckon it was worth every penny," he chuckles mirthlessly "To see that look of pain on your face. The poison attacks healthy cells, rips them apart piece by little piece. Takes a good few hours, that. But for a *freak* like you, with a healing factor, it becomes locked in a frenetic battle. It can’t kill you, but it *can* cut you off from your little… augmentations. In short-" he says, stabbing a knife into his shoulder. "Feel that?"

"Guards!" Ra’s screams. "Talia!"

"No one’s coming, and you wanna know why? Because you’ve not cheated death, you never had… You only slowed it- no. No, truth is, you’ve perverted it. Look at yourself, running on fumes."

"Perhaps, Gaige," Ra’s wheezes, as he slides a knife from out of his boot. "But perhaps that’s enough."

====LoA Computer Database====

"Now… for the moment of truth," Kuttler smiles, as he checks his monitors. "Flash Museum online. Atlantean Throne Room online. Oan Science Cells online. Gorilla City Council online. S.T.A.R. Labs online. The Themysciran Embassy online. The Atlantean Embassy online. Ferris Airfield online. The Hall of Justice online. And, finally… The Batcave is… Online. He did it," he grins to his partners; Slade leaning against the wall, and Zod, welding their device together with heat vision.

"He actually came through-?" Deathstroke asks, an air of skepticism in his voice. "Huh."

"Seems so," Kuttler replies. "Revenge, is a hell of a motivator," he looks over his shoulder, and grabs his mug of coffee. "Get out there, Slade. You know you want to. We can take it from here."

Slade perks up. "You sure?"

"Course, now it’s just simple programming. I’ll be fine. Honest."

"You know me so well," Slade replies, as he picks his mask up, and runs outside.

===Darhk’s Laboratory===

As Drury and Norbert made their way through the laboratory, past the remains of long dead test subjects and torture devices, Norbert clears his throat, and reaches out a dark hand to his brother. Drury looks like he might take it for a second, but instead, turns around and continues to walk. "Drury, I’m sorry. She seemed like a good woman."

‘Course she was’ Drury thinks to himself. ‘She was perfect.’ He stops, turning around, he says bitterly "People always tell me how sorry they are. But they’re never sorry enough to actually do something."

Norbert nods. He knew deep down he wouldn’t be able to get through to him, not really. Even when they were kids, he would bottle up his emotions and keep to himself, whenever he’d gotten in trouble with their mother. Sometimes, Norbert dreamt they could’ve had a childhood, a true childhood, without their father’s amoral attempts to get into the Injustice Society. A childhood where he’d never given him over to the Thinker and the Ultra Humanite.
Hell, maybe they could’ve emerged fully functional adults. Wouldn’t that be nice, he mused. "Drury-?" he begins

"Yeah, Norbert?" his brother replies, a note of irritation in his voice.

"I liked the purple mask."

Drury spun around to look at him, the small corners of a smile emerging on his face. "What can I say, times change."

"The green… It’s special. It’s what I started out in, it’s the one I wore when I formed the Misfits, and it’s…" he trails off, tears forming in his eyes. "It’s what I wore when I met her. I thought maybe… Maybe it’d be like a part of her’s still with me. Stupid."

"No," Norbert says, comforting him. "She still is," he whispers, placing his hand on Drury’s chest. "That’s why we still fight."

A slight smile emerges on Drury’s face. "When did you get all sentimental?"

"When you freed me from a life of agony," Norbert smiles back. "Sorry. Bad joke," he mutters, and they turn their attention back to the lab. "What is all this, do you think?" he asks, as he glares at a shelf filled with grey and green vials. Drury’s eyes light up, recognising them almost immediately.
"Dionesium… I were to take a guess, he’s trying to purify it into Lazarus Water."

"Those chemicals could heal so many…" Norbert utters.

"Yeah, or just one," Drury scowls, as he rips a lead pipe from out of the wall, and smashes the cabinet, vial upon vial crashing to the ground, their elilxirs seeping into the floor. "No more last minute saves," he whispers to himself.

====LoA Fortress====

"This is Superman. I’m in," Clark says quietly, as he floats along the hallways, dead ninja and supervillain alike strewn across the floor.

"Good. Polaris has been taking that scrap metal for a reason, Clark. Whatever it is, it’s not good," Bruce’s voice replies on the other end.

"Understood. I’m picking up some radiation spikes, so I imagine it’s…" Clark trails off, as he looks at the familiar console in the center of the room. "Close," he finishes, as places a hand on the console, and a holographic display bursts into life. "It can’t be."

"Clark, what is it? Clark!"

"Go on, tell them," Zod murmurs, as he floats to the ground. Clark puts his hand to his ear, his eyes trained on the General, and at his side, The Calculator.

"It’s… a Phantom Drive. It’s a massive phantom Drive, it’s a Kryptonian device, like an upscaled Phantom Zone Projector, it’s what the council used to banish criminals-"

"Not criminals, Kal-El," Zod says, resting his hand on the device. "Freedom fighters. Revolutionaries. Those who saw the rot and decay behind the "bureaucracy" of the High Council, and those whose ideas were deemed too radical to be allowed to walk free."

"Your ‘freedom fighters’ led a coup that killed dozens," Clark glares.

"For Krypton," Zod barks back.

Clark stares at him. ‘So Bane had you build this, that’s he needed you, I get that…’ he thinks, ‘But why do you need *them?* What could The Society offer-?’

"Where’s your family, Zod?" he asks.

~

"Get down!" Hawkman yells, as he shoves Bruce to the ground, a blast of yellow energy scorching the top of his wings. Beside them, the remaining Leaguers all huddled together in a makeshift trench. The Lanterns were constructing a shield around them, but it wasn’t going to be enough.

"We lost contact with Clark," Bruce reports to the others. "Chances are he’s engaged Zod, but without any visuals, we can’t confirm anything."

"I’ve attempted to form a psychic link with Superman and Aquaman, but there is too much mental interference," J’onn adds. "I fear Gorilla Grodd is transmitting a psionic dampener… I don’t know if I will be of much use."

"It’s all right, J’onn, you’ve done enough," Diana says, as she rests a hand on his shoulder. "Their ship is the key. If we can disable that, the Society is effectively blind."

"We’ve tried!" Hawkgirl yells back. "But there’s nothing big enough to penetrate it, and even if there was, we can’t even get near enough."

"Y’know, this is really touching guys, but I don’t know how long I can keep this shield up," Hal grunts, as the Lanterns strain to keep it together against the barrage of attacks. Above them, Sinestro floats down, Adam at his side, and begins to gloat.

"Justice League. You have fought well. You have fought valiantly. But your time is up, surrender now, and your deaths will be… *Moderately* less painful."

"Always had a way with words, Adolf!" a voice calls out.

"Was that Gardner?" Disaster yells faintly. "God, I hate that guy."

Sinestro’s smile vanishes. "Amusing, as ever. But your shields can’t hold you forever, that, I have no doubt."

In the courtyard, the Misfits can just make out the Justice League, pinned down by the Society, no hope of escaping. As much as they didn’t want to admit it, they couldn’t just stand by. "They need our help," Gar mutters, as he tries to walk out, but before he can, a hand pulls him back. "Stay here. Don’t be an idiot," Clair growls, as Sinestro continues his speech.
"Your spaceships are scrap, your army dust. You have nothing. There *is* nothing. Except for the Society. It’s over."

"No’ quite paw," a voice bellows. ‘What now,’ Sinestro thinks to himself. Thunder clouds grow above them, lightning strikes the Society’s ship, and emerging from the frozen lake, a dozen more supervillains. Silken Spider and Dragonfly draw their swords, Catwoman cracks her whip. Beside them, The Cavalier lets out a hearty laugh, while Fiasco pumps his shotgun. Next, Paul Dekker lowers his goggles, Mitchel Mayo loads his rifle with another helping of spicy mustard and Philip Reardon readies his pistol. One of the last to emerge, Otis Flannegan raises a box above his head, emptying hundreds of rats into the sandy ground and raising a middle finger to Sinestro; at his side, Anatoli Knyazev screws a grenade launcher to his arm, Floyd Lawton adjusts his laser sight and The Snowman pulls his hair back. And lastly, leading the charge, Axel and Kitten Walker stand together, united.
Standing proudly among his cohorts, McCulloch whispers smugly to Mick and Mardon. "Mirra’ mirra’ on tha wa,’ whose tha fairest o’ them aw?"

Looking over at the Misfits’ reinforcements, The Injustice League turn to Disaster for guidance. "Do… Do *we* have any back-up?" Tockman asks, stunned

Brooker turns around, sweat on his brow "I… called Scarlet Skier."

“Oh good. We’re going to die.”

Posted by Duncan C. Young on 2020-06-30 00:08:38

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