Disclaimer - I do not own DCUO, Marvel Comics, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor any of the characters from those settings. I simply play in the sandbox of imagination and pray no one buries me. I'm making no money off of this story so please, don't sue me.
Prolog - Desperate Times
Lex reached back grabbing one of the brainiac drones that had managed to breach the perimeter by its head. With a frustrated growl, he twisted and threw it's mechanical body into a nearby wall. It had been nearly two hours since the battle had begun and they - he - was still no closer to a solution.
"Damn it, Superman, if your incompetence continues to cost us time we will all end up lost," Lex raged as he turned back to his machines.
Superman gave the man that had sworn himself to be his enemy a momentary glare before turning back to the battle at hand. He and several other heroes, and even villains had gathered to defend the growing portal that led to... well they were not sure where it led. The only thing that they knew was it was growing faster every minute it was opening and if Luthor's calculations were correct it would eventually swallow the Earth itself. Matters were only made worse when Brainiac detected the aperture and decided he wanted to explore it. The last thing anyone wanted was for the mechanized insanity, that was Brainiac, to gain access to an unknown dimension. Particularly one that appeared to be so steeped in magical power from what their mages and tech-minded people could tell them.
"Ignore him, Kal-El," a slender petite woman said laying a hand on his shoulder for a moment. "He's as worried as anyone and lashing out."
Superman let a blast of his heat vision loose on another of brainiacs drones as Batman flipped it into the air for him.
"I know Annalyse, he just..." The Man of Steel sighed.
"I know, just... trust me, his methods are wrong, I know that. But his intentions, his dreams... my Father wants to be the hero so badly and doesn't know how to."
Superman just nodded. He had a hard time understanding how this young woman could be so compassionate towards Lex Luthor of all people. She called him Father, but was he really? How could a man be a Father to a half-Kryptonian half human genetic clone? Particularly this genetic clone who had gone on to become the first Kryptonian member of the Star Sapphires. It made little sense to him, or even the majority of the Justice League. Most of the original members still had troubles trusting the young woman, yet she had never once complained.
Annalyse returned the nod and dove down to land next to her Father. "I'll keep you shielded, Father. Do your calculations and let's get this hole corked so we can go shopping like you promised," she said as she erected a barrier between them and the ceaseless battle around them.
"Appreciated, I am almost done. Ingrates, if they had allowed me to begin as soon as I arrived instead of bickering like children," he began complaining as his hands danced across the holographic interface of his portable computer.
"I know, and I've told all of them I intend to file a complaint. Still, if you had not tried to kill nearly all of them in the past..." Annalyse left the rest hanging as she gave her Father a look that crossed a grin and a glare together.
Luthor muttered under his breath. Annalyse was not his biologically, but still, he had claimed her as his own child years prior after discovering the unauthorized experiments being performed. True he had tried cloning his own Kryptonian in the past, but he had authorized that. Experiments run by his people that he did not know about, even unofficially, he frowned on. As Annalyse would say, he was a control freak. Truthfully he knew this about himself all too well.
What had baffled his allies was when his daughter had appeared as a caped and masked hero working against them. She had sided and joined with the members of the Justice League. Yet though she continued to discredit and denounce much of his own work and methods, she always spoke of her love for her Father and how his goals and ambitions were ultimately altruistic, if misguided.
"Either I'm growing senile in my old age, or soft because sometimes I'm starting to believe her claims." he thought to himself. Even when he did that stint in prison, she never stopped visiting him, and being his loving dutiful daughter.
Finally, the computer beeped in his ear and the calculations were complete. He had the correct harmonic resonance to close the portal down and hopefully end this madness. Still he grimaced. According to his calculations, he couldn't close it from this side.
"Annalyse, I'm going to have to go through to close it. The time variation is too unstable to close the portal from this side."
His daughter tilted her head then started to shake it, "No, oh no you don't. They NEED you here Father. Who else is going to ensure the boy scout will do what is necessary to end this? The Bat?"
Annalyse's own derision of her 'cousin' and his friend still amazed Luthor. She had sided with them, but she knew well how to end a threat permanently as well. And she was right, of those that led the JLA only Diana was truly capable of making such a decision, and even that was questionable after such a long period of relative peace. "Then who would you suggest? You know none of them would risk their lives based on my calculations. And I wouldn't trust any of my people that are intelligent enough to do what needs to be done."
He was right of course. He could send Sinestro, though the foolish alien would likely refuse. Circe likely could do it with her magics if she could manage to pull her arrogance out of her own ass long enough to do so, once she got on the other side. Black Adam he didn't trust enough and his powers did not lend themselves to do what needed to be done. He had others in his employment that could perform the needed task, but none that were here now.
"Give me the frequency. I'll close the portal."
Luthor opened his eyes in shock. He should have expected it, she was willing to sacrifice anything, everything, even herself to achieve her goals in the past. It was a trait she had picked up from him he supposed. Still, he couldn't help but shake his head.
"No, you are needed here to fight," he said flatly.
"Yea right," she snorted in response. "Sorry Father, but of all the capes here I'm the most junior. I'm still learning how to use my power ring, I'm not nearly as powerful as Kal or Kara since I'm only half-Kryptonian, and don't even get me started on the reviews I've gotten as a squad leader. You, though, you can lead if you pull that stick outta your ass about the boy scout long enough to focus on the real threat. I know you, and I know you can help end this madness. Me, I'm just a soldier, you're a General."
Luthor closed his eyes then nodded slowly. A few taps on the holographic keypad and a small pad ejected from his armor. He held it out to his daughter still tightly pressing his eyes shut. "The frequency is on there. Attune your ring to the proper range and it should seal the rift entirely."
He felt Annalyse press a kiss to his cheek as she took the pad from him, "I know we didn't always agree, but thank you for raising me, Father. I love you and do believe in you," she whispered in his ear before turning and flying into the portal.
Only moments later it shut behind her, sealing the one person he had cared for more than himself behind it. All around him the sounds of battle slowly receded until only a dim echo of the furious conflict remained. They had succeeded in keeping Brainiac contained to their reality. The loss in life numbered only one. 'Not dead,' Luthor thought, 'but surely lost.'
Superman landed next to him and was quickly joined by Batman and Wonder Woman. Slowly Luthor took several breaths before he began to take a step away from the three would be saviors of mankind.
"Where are you going Luthor, you're still wanted on several charges," Superman said as he grabbed the other man by the shoulder.
Luthor froze and didn't move. Several more breaths came slowly before he opened his eyes for the first time since Annalyse took the pad from him. "Superman, I just sent my daughter on a one-way mission to save this planet. I just lost the only person who ever looked at me with nothing but love. And even though we came down on opposite sides in our little feud, do you know what her last words were to me? That she believed in me. So I would kindly ask you to remove your hand from my armor. I have a war to plan against Brainiac."
His voice never rose above a whisper but all three heard the emotions buried beneath it. Slowly Superman lifted his hand and let Luthor step away. He didn't know, couldn't know if it was the right choice in the long run, but for today it was the only choice. To accept the last words of one of their own to their enemy. Her last words to her Father.