Note: Hello and thank you for giving my first fanfiction story a click!
This story is based on a storyline from the popular MMORPG DC Universe Online which in turn was based on a storyline in the comics called "Amazons Attack". I play DCUO quite regularly and got this idea for the story while playing through this portion of the game. This story is essentially an alternate universe of the one in the game, so an extensive background to the games story will not be necessary! (Though it is a free-to-play game, so feel free to try it out if you've got the time or interest!) This 3 part prologue will work to set up all background info for the main story that you'd need to know.
However, you will want to watch this before starting the prologue: youtube.. watch?v=H7Nf-m6WGl4
It's the game's opening cinematic/trailer and leads right in to where this story picks up. Lex, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman's conversation here is meant to be the one at the end of the video. It's a pretty snazzy little mini-movie, so I think you'll enjoy it. And I hope you enjoy my story! Thanks again for checking it out!
Disclaimer: I do not own DC Comics, its characters, locations, continuity, etc. This work of fiction is not for profit and does not seek to infringe on any copyrights. I believe it falls under fair use, but if not, I would be happy to make changes or remove the story.
"Brainiac had returned…"
The muscles in Bruce's cheeks tightened and burned as they threatened to twitch underneath his skin. The Dark Knight had to set his jaw to prevent this from visually registering on his face. Interrogations often tended to have this effect on him, but even more so in this case. He was staring at the half charred face of the most hated man in the world, after all. A future version of him, at least.
"…with you three dead, Brainiac quickly eliminated the remaining heroes. The lucky ones… died fighting…" Luthor continued with seemingly genuine conviction and emotion in his voice.
Admittedly, his story partially checked out.
Clark checked and verified that the Brainiac tech attached to Future Luthor's armor was indeed authentic. The scarring on his face and the readout of his vitals confirmed that his body had sustained considerable damage over an extended period of time and that he was significantly older than the Lex Luthor of today's world.
Still, that all too familiar feeling that something was wrong ate away at the furthest corners of Bruce's mind. And all he could do for the moment was glare and listen warily.
And then it happened.
Something registered on the heads up display inside of Batman's mask's lenses. Movement on the interior of Luthor's suit. An object of an undeterminable size, mass, and content had appeared… seemingly out of nowhere. It was now making its way towards Luthor's right hand through internal channels within the future villain's tattered armor.
Bruce reacted immediately. He quietly triggered something using one of the fins of his wrist gauntlet. Luthor was still delivering his impassioned monologue as though nothing was out of the ordinary. Silently standing in place, Bruce made no visible movement other than the subtle flick of his thumb to trigger the signal. All he could do now was clench his teeth and pray that he was paying attention to his pager…
"…and it would mean the end of humanity, so together we must-"
Luthor was suddenly cut off by a deafening whoosh of wind and the force of being knocked onto his back. The motion tracking in Bruce's HUD caught the tail end of the motion of the sizable metallic canister that had triggered the initial alert in his mask now rising in the air after leaving Luthor's clutches.
A hand dressed in a red glove caught the canister mid-ascension and held it at arm's length. A gold boot gave Luthor's Brainiac shoulder armor attachment a restrained yet solid kick before coming to rest on top of it as the red-clad figure wearing it leaned over the fallen supervillain.
"Nice going, butterfingers," the man's voice crooned derisively, "you could have cracked a window if I hadn't been here to catch this thing after your little tumble."
Wally West, the third man to carry the mantle of the Flash, raised the canister to eye level and stared at it curiously through glossy green eyes before adjusting his glance toward the Trinity who stood on edge as they watched the whole exchange.
"Then again, probably not, right? With the magic of the WT's smudge and damage-proof future glass! The glass of the future!" he crowed through a smug smirk.
"I thought this meeting was declared a private one," Future Luthor growled vehemently – now recovered from his mild head trauma from the blow.
"Yeah, well, I tend to find myself in a lot of places that I'm not 'posed to be", Wally said with shrug before tossing the canister to Batman.
"You shouldn't have tried to play snake, Luthor," the Bat warned in a low voice as he began to examine the canister upon close. "Your present day self uses the same tricks."
"With the same level of success too," Wally added affirmatively. "And the same tendency to pull these shenanigans at the worst possible moments, by the way. Linda is gonna gut me like a fish for responding to a League alert when I promised her I wouldn't. It's the twins' birthday! We were cooking out!"
"Thank you Wally, we appreciate your selfless assistance" Diana said assuringly.
"Ruining a perfectly good barbecue," Wally grumbled halfway under his breath. "I was elbows deep in some pretty wild mac salad-"
"We're done here, West. You're dismissed now," Batman growled as he propped Luthor up against the base of a monitor. Superman had moved in to help restrain him with Diana's lasso.
Flash muttered something else under his breath and disappeared from the room – leaving the trio alone with the defeated super genius once more.
"What is this, and why was it so important that we didn't know about it?" Bruce demanded as he stepped in front of Luthor.
"It's… rather was… your salvation," Luthor retorted as he shifted to find a comfortable position and failed to locate it. "Your only option to evade the coming massacre."
"Somehow, I can't help but doubt that, Lex," Superman said.
"Your arrogance continues to accompany you at this stage in the timeline, I see," Luthor observed bitterly, "Though my method of offering aid may have been ill-advised, my intentions remain genuine regardless of your unwillingness to consider this fact. I have no reason to not want to help you fight this off. This is, after all, my future in question too."
The trio of heroes remained silent because they knew that he what he said was true. However, they still didn't have an inkling of what the metal container was or what was inside of it.
"The gift of a fighting chance to stop the rapidly approaching disaster," Luthor continued after a brief coughing fit, "in the form of a means for combating the bastard's invading forces before they even arrive. That canister contains hundreds of millions of microbots called exobytes that contain the bio-information of Earth's heroes and villains."
"I don't follow," Diana interjected, "These 'exobytes' have the ability to fight Brainiac using our powers?"
"Not directly, no," Luthor elaborated, "they would attach themselves to common people across the Earth and infuse their bodies with genetic modifications, magical influence, and technological enhancements that would empower them to use the metahuman, magical, and technological abilities of the members of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom."
"So we'd be looking at an army of artificial metahumans?" Superman asked.
"Precisely," Luthor said through gritted teeth.
"What a horribly irresponsible plan," Bruce said flatly. The three other inhabitants of the room all looked at him at once. "You were going to release these nanobots onto the population of the world and create mass chaos and confusion on every street in every country on planet Earth. Millions of untrained civilians who are suddenly and without warning handed the godlike powers of our metahumans and magic wielders with no instruction or guidance? And you expect them to organize themselves enough to bring the fight to a near-omnipotent alien intelligence with legions of foot soldiers of his own? That's quite uninspired and reckless even for the likes of you, Luthor."
"I was prepared to explain myself before you sic'ed your hyperactive red buffoon on me!" Luthor roared. "Those exobytes would grant only limited access to the essential functions of key figure's superpowers in order to allow for the self-defense of Earth's people," he explained. "The speed of the Flash. The invulnerability of Superman. The arcane knowledge of Doctor Fate or Zatanna. The weapon wielding prowess of Deathstroke. These abilities, while not trivial to gain a complete mastery of, are certainly manageable enough to stave off the initial assault and could be guided through the mentorship of the likes of you, your Justice League, and my Legion of Doom."
"The Legion? Allowing the lives of innocents to fall under the command of you and your assembly of monsters and mad men? Absolutely not," Diana said firmly, tightening the binds of her lasso around Luthor's wrists and torso.
"Believe me! Your League will not be enough to withstand this trial alone!" Luthor cried, a hint of desperation edging onto his voice. "The exobytes MUST be released! I must be released! This Brainiac is not like the one you've encountered before. It's not simply a being of flesh or a total machine. It's something far more complex. It's-"
The crackle of the League's communicators lodged in the ears of each of the three heroes sounded simultaneously.
"Martian Manhunter to Justice League. This is an urgent League-wide notification," the deep, reverberating voice on the other end called.
"We read you, J'onn," Superman said nervously as he cast a glance towards the downed future Lex Luthor.
"We have detected some troubling energy readings coming through our sensors…" the Martian began. Another voice butted in as the alien's trailed off.
"I've analyzed the data with my ring first hand," Hal Jordan announced through the same communication link. "It's definitely a problem and definitely planetside. I've sent Stewart and Rayner to investigate more closely, but it's an identical match to the energy exhaust that we encountered during the Crisis…"
"The crisis?" Superman echoed, "Like the Anti-Monitor?"
"Exactly like the Anti-Monitor," Hal said in an uncharacteristically grim tone.
Diana locked eyes with Bruce for a moment in an attempt to get a read on how he was processing all of this and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing but stone cold stoicism without a hint of an emotional reaction.
"We do not have a clear picture as of this moment," J'onn began again, "but we can say for sure that the disturbance created a minor rift in spacetime and began approximately at the center of the Earth's North Pole. From there, after the initial burst, the readings dropped significantly then began to crescendo once more as the source appeared to move down the coast of Greenland and towards North America where it diminished once more and disappeared altogether."
"Yeah, there's no way whatever caused that was just passing through," Hal commented. "Something just entered our dimension, and it doesn't appear to be wandering idly. It's purposely heading for the States."
"Thank you for bring it to our attention," Superman said, rising slightly off of the ground in preparation to move. "I'll join the two of you in the Monitor Womb in a moment."
Batman was already busy tinkering with Luthor's armor to disable it. He discovered that a number of life support systems were running on it that made it impossible to completely shut down without killing the man inside, so he opted for an external means of restraining the villain.
"Bruce, we should table this discussion with our old friend here until the three of us can meet on this again," Clark said as he began drifting in the direction of the Watchtower's central hub. Diana took flight to join him and continued past at a slightly quicker rate. "I assume you've got him under control?"
"Do you really need to ask?" Bruce spat in a clearly irritated tone.
"This isn't going to wait!" Luthor demanded, "you're not going to get this under control by throwing punches at it! If you won't hear me out regarding the exobytes, then at least-"
He was interrupted once again by a different alarm. An automated message recited over the intercom that an unidentified individual was requesting access to the Watchtower's main teleporter.
"J'onn?" Batman asked into his cowl's communicator.
"I am tracking it," the Martian assured him. A few moments of silence passed before the alarm sounded again and the same message played over. Finally, the communicator clicked alive again. "This is very peculiar, but it appears that someone is using an old Justice League authorization credential to request entry into the Watchtower…"
"How old are we talking, J'onn?" Bruce asked.
"I cannot say for sure, but it is at least two or three versions out of date," J'onn said.
A different sound began echoing throughout the satellite station as the main teleporter began activating on its own. From the intensity of the noise, Bruce could tell that there were multiple targets coming aboard simultaneously.
The security mechs had just arrived to escort future Luthor to his confinement. Bruce decided to head towards the teleporter – prepared to face whatever was stepping through.
Upon arrival, he was stunned by what he found. It wasn't an assembly of Brainiac drones. It wasn't the Anti-Monitor.
It was the Flash.
…And a second Flash.
"Barry?" Bruce asked half audibly.
"Batman," the second Flash said stumbling forward. He was wearing the same classic costume that he was the day that the disappeared into the blinding light of the Anti-Monitor's exploding anti matter weapon. It was torn to shreds and caked in blood and burns. Barry seemed to be barely standing.
Wally was at his side and now in civilian clothing. His usual jovial expression was now one of panicked confusion. He helped his uncle steady himself with one hand while pocketing his up-to-date League authorization card with the other. Barry's old and half melted one was already sticking out of the back pocket of Wally's shorts.
"Bruce, I," Barry continued with a struggling voice, "I- I'm not sure how to tell you this, but…" His voice caught as he winced at a sudden pain. Batman and the rest of the gathered League members only just now noticed that the air around the wounded speedster's body seemed to be quivering. His body was subtly glowing as though it were irradiated and the occasional spark of Speed Force energy would shoot off of him at irregular intervals.
"We need to evacuate Gotham city. Immediately!"
Part 2 and 3 of the prologue should be along shortly and the main story will begin right after. I'd love to hear your feedback about my formatting, dialogue, method of storytelling, etc. if you want to shoot me a PM or leave a comment/review. If you've read this far, thanks so much and I look forward to developing this further.