Sandstorm: Throw It All Away (4/5)

Sandstorm: Throw It All Away (4/5)

===LoA Computer Database===

Clark falls at Kuttler’s feet, bruised and bloody, as Zod landed, he grabbed him by the throat and held tight. "Kuttler-" he gasped. "The JLA teleporters… They-"

Kuttler smiles as he places his hand over Clark’s face. Super indeed. "-Leave behind a residual trace, yes. Think of it as a genetic imprint. With this device, Superman, we’ll be able to latch on to each and every one of those teleporters, tap into their data-banks, that is to say, everyone who has ever used them, and form a link with the Phantom Zone that will drag every single member of the Justice League, the Titans and all your other fanclubs, through the wormhole, with no hope of escape. Poetic justice, no? How many times have you banished one of *us* in the Phantom Zone, or the Source Wall, or in a whole other universe."

"Not- what I was going to say-" Clark groans, as Zod’s grip around his throat tightens.

"Let him go," Kuttler sighs. "If he tries anything, well, *then* you can kill him," he mutters to Zod. The General nods, and marches out of the room.

"Go on."

"Noah, I saw it’s inner workings. It won’t do what you think it will. It will pull in *anyone,* hero or villain! Zod doesn’t want us *in,* he wants his family out, and he’s going to do it by overloading the system," Superman explains.

"Check it, if you don’t believe me."

Kuttler looks at Superman suspiciously, and walks over to the console, looking over the schematics. Putting his phone to his ear, he calls Bane. "That’s not right… The schematics are all wrong… Bane, this is Noah, I-"

A blast of heat vision shoots the phone out of his hand. Zod, had returned.

====Nanda Parbat====

Arthur reaches his hand out to his brother, standing mere inches away from him. "Orm-!" he pleaded, as a gloved hand forced his head into the sand. "How does it feel, murderer?" Manta growled, digging the trident, *his* trident, deeper into his side. "That’s how my father felt."

Orm watched with bated breath. He had no lost love for his brother. The pacifist bastard could’ve taken the surface world any time he wanted, but instead, he begged for peace. Peace! And yet, this… this barbarity wasn’t conquest, but torture, plain and simple.

"You lost my sympathy when you murdered my son. When does it end, Manta?" Aquaman gasped, as he coughed up a mix of sand and blood. Manta knelt beside him, his eyes glowing.
"With you, strung up like those birds."

~

A terrible rumble echoed through the valley. A strike from Mardon’s weather wand had critically damaged the Skull Ship, and as it crashed to the ground, sand flew through the air, knocking back everyone in its’ path, Grodd burst out from the cockpit, his face filled with animalistic rage. Tearing his smouldering cape off, he turned to face McCulloch and Rory, their guns aimed at him. "Rogues…." he snarls, as he pounds his chest, and leaps into the air. As the battle raged on, reignited by the arrival of the Misfits’ allies, the Injustice League ran for cover behind a feeble stack of rocks. Tremors from the crash landing had separated them from their camera crew, and they were terrified. "For god’s sake, we’re pinned down in here, tell me someone’s coming!" Tockman screamed, no longer concerned that his fellow Green Arrow villains might recognise him. Scarlet Skier had flown in five minutes ago, and left just as quickly.
“Big Sir texted G’Nort!” Disaster replied feverishly, narrowing dodging a bright pink arrow fired by an even brighter, rainbow coloured archer.

"How the hell did Big Sir text?" Tockman yelled back, leaping out of the way of falling debris.

"Text to speech mostly," Brown murmured, the only one with any sort of composure.

Removing his clock face, Tockman sighed, exasperated. "You know my next question, Arthur."

"Wait, wait. I found it!" Multi Man cries out in delight, as he goes through Sir’s phone. "Dear Doggie, need help from… dessert man," he finished, his face dropping.

"Dessert… You know, I really could go for a sundae right now…" Tockman said, as he unclasped his cape, and dapped his brow, his stomach now rumbling. “The last time I had a sundae was four months, two weeks, four days, and twenty seconds ago.”

“What? Can’t a man enjoy a banana split?” he added, as his teammates turned to face him, their brief moment of silence shattered with a blur of yellow and black flying above them, and quickly being dispatched by a figure just out of their eyesight.

"Sinestro!" Disaster cried out. "Who the hell took out Sinestro?!"

His question was answered moments later, as a shabby haired, foul smelling man jumped above them, a rusty old lantern in hand.
Ratcatcher looked down at the horrified group,
and, grinning perversely, turns to Cluemaster. "Hello Artie, how’s the stump?"

Arthur looks at Ratcatcher, and as he turns to run, trips and falls on his face. "It’s him!" he yells out, the memory of his disarmament years ago fresh in his mind. "Kill him, kill him now!"
As Otis approaches, giggling to himself, Disaster makes sure to pull himself, Tockman and Pramble out of harm’s way. Whatever history Artie had with him wasn’t worth getting killed over. Now mere inches from his face, Artie began praying softly to himself. He’d already survived a plane crash, this was not how he’d die. And, as Otis drew a blunt knife from his belt…
Pow. Big Sir punches him in the face, knocking him out cold, and reaches out an oversized hand to Cluemaster. "I’m not thanking you, you tub of lard," Brown muttered, as he walked off.

~

Rigger looked out towards the desert, just below them, a ninja, about twenty years old, was thrown to the ground by a mass of fur and teeth- Cheetah. Her claws ripping out his throat, Joey watched helplessly as she began lapping up his blood. King Shark, smelling the still warm corpse, marched over, and dug into the boy’s leg.
Chuck’s hand on his shoulder snapped Joey out of his trance. "It’s ok to be scared, Rig."

Rigger bowed his head. "Scared? Heh. Nah, scary is knowing that every day of my life I could get pulled over, or stopped in the street. And because I have a criminal record, no one would even think twice about it. Knowing that you’ve served your country, but your family’s deaths are written off as cold cases because they ain’t top priority. Or maybe because the building contractors paid off a couple unsympathetic cops. Couple a ninjas? Army of supervillains? Easy peasy!"

Chuck smirked. "Good. Because we’re gonna need you, buddy."

~

As Drury climbed up to the surface, he was met with anarchy. Bodies strewn across the desert, buildings on fire, supervillains indiscriminately killing whoever they could find. ‘This,’ he murmured, ‘Was no place for a child.’ Yet, defying his orders as usual, were his children.
"Hi Dad!" Axel shouts, as he flies past him, a metal crown, Grodd’s, atop his head.

"A-Axel?" he called out, turning to an equally bemused Norbert. "You brought your kids-?" he asked, a note of concern in his voice.

"No," Drury began. "I-"

"Daddy!" Kitten squeals, as she embraces him in a bear hug. Drury turns to the green and orange figure now following after them, a goofy smile on their face.
"Kitten-? McCulloch! Did you bring my kids to a warzone?!"

"Ach, the wee ones insisted," he smirked toothlessly, as he gives Axel a proud high five. "Grand job wi’ tha monkey wee man. Could’ne ha’ doon it without ye."

"Ah, well I owed him, didn’t I?" Axel smiles, gesturing to his metal arm, him and his sister’s attention now turning to the black figure behind their dad.

"Oh, uh, kids. This is your uncle Norbert," Drury mutters, still a little off balance.

"Awesome," Axel grins, but as he sees the look in his dad’s eyes, it fades, as he walks past the group in silence, and enters the palace.

~

Staggering through the desert, and relying on sound alone, Ten’s attention was brought to a familiar snapping of a camera. Watching the carnage unfold, and taking pictures, was Mr Camera. "Simms, you bastard!" he bellowed.

"Take it easy with the language, choir boy, I-" Simms calls out, his words muffled as Reardon tackles him to the ground, and smashes his glass lens. Pressing the button on the side of his mask, Camera activates his flash mode. "Smile!" he laughs, as he fires a series of bright flashes Reardon’s way, before realising his fatal error: Philip Reardon, was blind. "Oh," he gasps, as he’s swiftly knocked out.

====Ra’s’ Palace====

"Justice League. Can you hear me?" a deep voice calls out telepathically.

"Loud and clear, J’onn, good to have you back with us," Clark replies. "I’m engaging Zod, trying to draw him away from the control room. The device they’re building is a Phantom Drive, which, if it reaches full power, can and will generate a wormhole that will suck everyone into the Phantom Zone."

"Understood," Cyborg replied. "Me and Miracle are heading to the server room now, see if we can’t disable it."

"I’ll help draw Zod away," Diana adds, as she soars into the air. "Bruce?"

"I’ve got to find Ra’s," Batman said, as he attaches a sword to his belt. "He’s the only person who might stop this madness."

"You sure, Bats?" Barry asks, as he steals The Fiddler’s violin. "I reckon Bane’s the closest thing we have to a lynchpin."

"Positive."

"Oh for- This isn’t about Walker, is it?" Hal calls out, as he forms a green proton pack with his ring, and sucks up Gentleman Ghost.

"Keep this channel open, I’ll let you know if the situation changes," Bruce murmurs, as he walks up a set of stone steps, opens a door, and is pulled through a wall by a large hand.

"We’ve come full circle, have we not?" Bane snarls, as he turns a dial on his wrist. "You, me, and a choice. Do you stop Ra’s? Or do you stop the Society? Last time you couldn’t do either."
He rips a chunk out of the wall, and hurls it at Bruce, who slides under it.

"Tell me. Was it compassion, Batman? Guilt? I bet it was. You can’t help but take in strays, to fuel your self destructive quest, and here you are, about to implode," Bane gloats, as he throws several fast, hard punches.

"What are you talking about?" Batman snaps back.

"There aren’t many who can freely walk into your Batcave, now are there?" Bane smirks, as he picks Bruce up, and throws him against a wall. He reaches for the venom tube on the back of his neck, but is thrown backwards before he can cut it. "You know I planned to kill the Misfits," he continues. "Keep them distracted at a bare minimum, torment them, anything to avoid their interference… And then, an invisible assailant- invisible! lay siege to your very own GCPD. Imagine my surprise when Tetch told me that that man… was none other than Drury Walker?"

"You’re lying!" Batman retorts, as his slams a batarang into Bane’s arm.

"No! When I heard the news, I called him, told him of my plan, that only one thing remained, to tune the Batcave’s teleporter to Kuttler’s network. And he agreed. All it took… was the right persuasion."

"Ra’s… You offered him Ra’s," Bruce gasped, as he swung his body around Bane’s arm, and kicked him in the face, turning to the stairwell.
In turn, Bane grabbed his right leg, and tugged him backwards.

"Goddammit!" he yells, as he punches Bane’s arm. "Ra’s will kill him!"

"Let him! Forget about Walker. Forget about Ra’s. And face *me,*" Bane exclaimed angrily, as Batman finally freed himself from his grip. Panting for breath, he reaches for his grapnel gun, and aims it at the balcony above. "Do you know what you are, Bane? You’re a college football star, you never grew up, you never changed. You’re just stuck reliving that one match you won. The one goal you scored. The one time you broke me. And you’re not worth it," he sighed, as he scaled the stairwell.

"Face me!" Bane screamed back.

"No," Batman muttered, as he approached the League of Assassins’ Archives.
Bane paused, lost for a second, and then he yelled back "I sent Tommy Elliot, Batman! I sent Hush after Selina Kyle! Now fight me!"

As Bruce places his hand on the doorknob, he turns around. "No. You didn’t."

"Was it worth it, Ra’s?" Bruce calls out. Gaige lies sprawled on the floor, blood dribbling from his mouth, his body slowly rising and falling from each slow breath he takes.

"Yes," he said. "After all, Detective, it brought me you. "Don’t you see, the world is changing, it’s finally moving forward, and I want you by my side, by my daughter’s side when it does." He turned around, and Batman could finally see the damage Gaige had wrought. His face was scarred with three deep marks, like a tiger’s claw. His right arm hung loosely, barely in its’ socket, and his left eye was white. Colourless.
"This was all for you, Detective. All so that you might follow my example, and finally, finally take command of the League of Assassins."

"You maniac," Batman muttered, aghast. "You genocidal, tyrannical maniac. Look at the bloodshed, look at the people, your people, that have died today, because of Arkham City."

"Progress always has a cost, Detective," Ra’s mused. "The offer stands. Bane could never lead, he’s but a thug. Brutal. Inelegant. My daughters, alone, are unsuitable. But with you- The perfect heir. The perfect specimen. Think of the difference we could make… All that’s left, is to-" he trails off, as he looks at the open doorway. Standing, gun in hand, is Drury Walker.

"Drury? What are you-" Batman begins, but he’s cut off as a stream of webbing sticks him and Ra’s to the ground.

"So I fixed the cocoon gun. Thought you’d like to know," Walker murmurs, as he walks towards Ra’s, and kneels softly beside him.

"Don’t do this-" Bruce urges, as he takes a knife from his belt, and begins whittling away the netting.

"No!" Moth yells back. "I’m done playing second fiddle to you and "your" rogues. This is my story, Bats, mine! And you aren’t taking that from me. Miranda’s dead, her death won’t just be a footnote in the story of the Batman," he says coldly, as he places a cold hand on Ra’s face.

"You ever heard of Quakemaster? How about Geomancer? Nah, I wouldn’t expect you to. But when it comes to C-Listers I’m something of a expert," Drury says, as he reaches into his bag, and lifts out a pair of gloves taken from the GCPD. "I want you to feel the pain, all the pain of everyone you hurt… Everyone you *killed* when you dropped a city on them. Their bones breaking, fracturing, twisting out their skin. Their ribcages collapsing, the dust suffocating, clogging up their lungs. Course, I don’t have the time to mine under *your* city. To build my *own* bomb… Good thing, I don’t need to."

Just as Batman frees himself from the cocoon, a harpoon flies through the air, and lodges itself in his knee, a barely conscious Gaige nodding to Walker. The look he gives says everything he needed to hear. ‘For her,’
Drury places the gloves on Ra’s chest, he can’t move, he can’t fight back, the cocoon gun has make sure of that, and pushes down, vibrations shaking through his body, his bone’s crushed, he struggles to speak. And when he thinks he’s suffered enough, Drury picks up a blade, Ra’s sword- and rams it through his chest. Just like he did her.

Posted by Duncan C. Young on 2020-07-04 13:16:11

Tagged: