The New God of Earth

Chapter One – Becoming a better me
I was thankful for the helmet that I wore, as it kept my nervousness hidden from view. Focusing on my breathing, I tried to keep it as steady as possible, blinking the rivers of sweat from my eyes as I fell back on nearly two decades of experience in private security. It worked (somewhat), but the fact that my nervousness could give the game away before it had even really started, a game that I had been setting up from the day that I was (re)born no less…

Well, let's just say that it didn't do my nerves any good. Hell, you'd be shaking in your boots as well if you were about to double-cross the most dangerous man on the planet.

Especially if said man had considered you his closest friend ever since the two of you were kids, growing up together in the same manor.

Peering up, I look at the man as he gestures me and my team forwards, before motioning us to a stop with an obnoxious little smirk, causing us to halt the gurney with the bodybag on it. Straightening up, I watch with an impassive face as Lex Luthor steps forwards and unzips the bag, showing the corpse of General Zod.

"Mike, if you could… uhhhh…. Give me the- uhm, the Kryptonite scalpel? Please?"

"Sure thing Lex."

"The rest of you. Leave."

And as I turn to the duffelbag that Luthor brought with him, I hear the other guys from his security detail (men who I had hand-picked and trained) turn on their heel, leaving me alone with the psychopath and the body of one of the most powerful beings in the universe.

When I had woken up as a baby in an orphanage of Metropolis I had been (rather understandably) shocked to my core. It took me quite a while to come to terms with the fact that I had been reincarnated into a new (and as far as I knew, fictional) universe.

Thankfully, baby's are supposed to cry, so the caretakers at the orphanage had simply dismissed my meltdowns as regular kid stuff.

However, after my mind had gotten (somewhat) used to my new situation, I realized that I needed a plan. True, there were worse fictional universes to be reborn into (Warhammer, for instance, would've probably meant I'd be dead within the week), but that didn't mean that I could feel comfortable being merely human.

Not when aliens, (demi)gods and vigilantes walking the Earth.

I needed to become stronger. Stronger, tougher, meaner than anyone else.

My plan had seemed so simple at the time: find Lex Luthor when he was young, befriend him, and stick by his side until he unlocks the Kryptonian ship and birthing chamber using Zod's fingerprints and his own ridiculous intellect.

And it was ridiculous.

I must have seen dozens of film-essays back on my version of Earth where people tore his plan in BvS to shreds, citing that it was convoluted, needlessly complicated and relying on knowledge that Lex realistically couldn't have known (or if he had known, really should've handled differently).

The thing was (as I had found out as his right-hand enforcer) that Lex… didn't have a plan.

Lex didn't think like normal humans did. He wasn't a chessmaster, trying to see five steps ahead of everyone else. He was a complete madman and utter genius, who was playing with ten different chess sets simultaneously, in three dimensions, with Uno-cards. There were no logical steps to follow, instead there were multiple factors that he manipulated and directed without apparent rhyme or reason, simply waiting for the consequences of their actions to become apparent and then react with blinding speed.

I can't remember the amount of times when I had been ordered (usually in the middle of the night), to track down a random person in some backwards little village in the middle of nowhere, to shoot someone on the other end of the planet, to frame a corporate business man in canned goods or something equally mundane and then a few weeks later, Lexcorp would somehow gain a favorable deal with competitors of the Department of Defense or whatever else Lex had set his mind on.

The first few times, it had terrified me when I saw his mad genius at work. I was convinced that he had figured out my own plan, and his role in it. I was sure that somewhere down the line, when I would least expect it, a sniper would put a round through my head on orders of my only friend in the world, simply because the color of the sky set off another set of plans in his scrambled mind.

But overtime, that constant fear of his insanity and the dangers it posed to me began to wear off, bit by bit. I became… numb. As I stacked the bodies higher and higher and dug myself deeper and deeper into a criminal lifestyle, all to appease Lex's latest schemes in order to keep myself from the chopping block, I realized that Lex genuinely thought he and I were friends. This was probably aided by the fact that, when we were kids, I tried to stand between him and his old man (my oldest scars still throb whenever I think of that smug bastard) which must have made me seem like a guardian angel in his eyes.

Maybe that feeling would've faded over time, but since the fact that caring for the ball of insanity that was Lex was a full-time job, I didn't really have much of a personal life whatsoever, meaning that in a twisted way, he was my only friend as well, something that he doubtlessly knew.

Which was why this next part of my plan was so surprisingly hard.

I knew that Lex was a monster, even as I tried to convince myself that I wasn't as bad as him. I have done things for the man-child that would've made Amanda Waller puke. I have spent countless nights in bed, covered either in blood (after a "mission") or cold sweat (after a nightmare) due to his messed up way of dealing with the world. So many years of my life, spent terrified out of my mind that his mecurial mind would suddenly turn on me, and I'd end up in the same ditches that I left my own targets in.

But I also spent countless nights sitting on the floor, my back (often still bruised) against the door of his bedroom, standing guard as he fitfully slept after yet another outburst from Luthor Sr. I was there when he went to college at the mere age of 14 and he couldn't sleep so he called me in the dead of night and demanded that he could listen to my breathing.

I was there when he opened the door of his manor for me, crying and covered in blood.

I was there when I helped him bury the body of his father in the backyard.

I had just turned eighteen. He was only sixteen.

Now we were in our mid-thirties. Well over twenty years of me looking out for him, and him making an concentrated effort to be more sane whenever he was around me. And all that was about to come to an end, right here and now, simply because he had given me all that I needed.

In the end, the thing that I had feared the most had come to pass.

Except I was doing the betraying.

If he's a monster, what the hell does that make me then?

Even as Lex speaks to the computer about raising Zod from the dead, I unclip the Ruger LC9 from my side, the sound catching his attention.

"Mike, what…" he starts, turning to face me, his eyes widening and his mouth falling open as he looks up at the barrel that's aimed straight at his forehead.

"What… w-w-what are you doing…?" he asks in a shocked voice, his troubled mind clearly struggling with the apparent fact that his guardian angel is suddenly betraying him at his moment of glory.

"… I am sorry, Lex. As much as I hate to admit it. I hope you find some sort of peace in death."

"Mike wait-!" he tries, surging towards me, the viscous orange liquid splashing up against his gangly limbs, but he's far too slow.

A squeeze of my finger and a thunderous noise and suddenly Lex's forehead sports a neat little hole in the middle of his forehead. Even as a drop of blood starts to leak out, slowly rolling down to his nose, Lex keeps looking at me with shock clearly written on his face. He slowly tips over backwards but I am able to catch him by the lapels of his long jacket, hauling him out of the birthing puddle.

Unable to look at his dismayed and betrayed expression, frozen in death, I ease him down on his stomach, all the while trying to convince myself that it's sweat covering my cheeks instead of tears.

A monster like Lex (like me) doesn't deserve tears, I keep telling myself as I take a deep breath, before taking off my full-face helmet. All in all, my appearance is rather unassuming (which has helped me out quite a few times during the more covert "missions") though it probably won't be for much longer.

"Kryptonian Service Androids of Scout Ship 0344."

"Yes, sir?"

"Are there any methods that you know off that can be carried out with the equipment present on this planet to have my mind transferred to Zod's body?"

"A transplant of your brain and the essential parts of your nervous system is possible, though the surgery on the General's body would require tools capable of piercing a yellow sun-enhanced Kryptonian's skin and musculature."

"I have tools with Kryptonite blades. A material that can negate the benefits a Kryptonian gains from a yellow sun."

"That would make the surgery possible, yes, but the General's body would still have the original trauma which lead to his death. In order to insert your own mind into a living body, you would need to repair-"

"I know that can be done, droid."

"… it is forbidden."

"By whom?"

"It was decreed by the Council of Krypton-"

"And where is this Council?"

"Destroyed, sir."

"Then proceed."

"… very well, sir."

And as the Kryptionian robots took out the Kryptonite tools out of the duffelbag and started cutting open Zod's corpse, I stripped down as well, trying my best to squash any misgivings that lingered in my mind. As a needle containing a strong sedative slipped between the vertebrae of my neck, I realized that there was no sense in worrying anymore: it was too late to turn back now.

As unconsciousness took me, the last I saw was that I was being lowered into the birthing pool right next to Zod's body, while one of the droids came closer, a scalpel with a growing green blade in one of its tentacles.

And then I knew nothing anymore.

Waking up was an odd experience. At first, I was simply floating in an endless void, no sense of space and time whatsoever. And then I'm suddenly bombarded by light and senses and noise and my surroundings are too tight, I need to get out, I need to get out, out out OUT!

And with a roar, I rip apart my confinements, which give way with wet, tearing sounds. As I stand in what appears to be a pool, blinking sticky liquid from my eyes, I try to remember what the hell happened to me, which turned out to be rather complicated due to the avalanche of noise continuously hammering in my ears.

As I clasped my hands over my ears, and sunk to a knee, I squinted my eyes shut. With the sounds somewhat diminished, and my sight no longer fucked up (I was able to see through the floor!) I slowly try to retrace my steps in order to determine what the actual fuck was going on.

I had been baiting my time, until Lex opened the Genesis Chamber and overrode the central computer, using Zod's prints and Master Key. Then, he turned to me and I shot him in the head. And then-

My eyes fly open as the last few minutes before I went under come back to me.

I had asked for my mind to be placed in Zod's body, which would be repaired to the point that it would be alive again. Slowly removing my hands from the side of my head, I shakily hold them up in front of me.

A sigh explodes from me as I see that the skin is still (fairly) pink, instead of the dull-grey of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-reject that Warner Bros. dared to pass off as a Doomsday. However, they don't look like my old hands, appearing wholly unfamiliar to me. Looking further down at my (naked) body, I am confronted with seeing a body which is definitely not mine.

The problem is that it doesn't look like Zod's either.

It's larger and more massive than a human, I can tell that with just a glance, though thankfully not to the extent of the original Doomsday. The skin appears to be course, and is definitely paler than normal for a human, but still within the realms of normal-ishness. Moving out of the birthing pool (the movements surprisingly smooth and even a bit familiar) I estimate that I must be at least seven feet tall, probably somewhere around seven and a half.

Feeling something cold go from my scalp all the way down the small of my back, I run a hand over my head. The first thing I notice is that I'm bald. Either the droids shaved Zod's scalp for the procedure, or it fell out during the transformation. It's probably the former, since I still have Zod's goatee. The second thing I notice is the metal plates that are imbedded in my flesh.

Trying to keep my voice even, I call out to the droids, the sound coming from my mouth sounding almost like someone took Michael Shannon's voice and ran it through a voice modulator, tuning it a few octaves lower than usual, the slightest hint of a robotic twang audible to my new ears.

"Kryptonian Service Androids."

"Yes, sir?"

"What has happened to me?"

"Explanation: after removing the central nervous system and primary cortex from Zod's body, extensive repairs were made using both mechanical means and the forbidden gene modifications, with your original body providing the biological donor material. Once repairs had started, your nervous system and cortex were placed inside Zod's body. Your differing systems were linked as much as possible: any further connections would be formed by the transformation process. The open wounds were closed and sealed using mechanical means."

I swallow, before calling out again.

"Let me see."

Immediately, a holographic screen appears in front of me. It's a live feed of my back and it's… somewhat difficult to watch. Back in my old world, there used to be this toy line called Action Man, and I used to own a few action-figures. I barely even remember the name of the villain, but I can recall his design perfectly: he was a cyborg, with one robotic arm and metal plating across his bald skull.

Now, I represent him somewhat. The plating keeping my flesh together, hiding the cut where the droids ripped out Zod's brain and spine and replaced them with my own(oh my fucking God, I'm gonna be sick), continues down the nape of my neck, all the way down to the small of my back, small interlocking plates and hydraulics moving smoothly with my every move.

I struggle to keep my breathing even, clenching and unclenching my fists, trying to get my mind back on track. It's time to see if this was all worth it, after all.

"Android. Continue. What are the capabilities of this body?"

"Unknown at this point, sir. You are unique: the first Kryptionian-human hybrid. There are no records of what happens when another lifeform implants their mind into a Kryptionian body-"

"Just… just give me estimations."

"Estimation: current body should possess physical strength roughly equal to a regular Kryptonian. It likely does not possess the immortal nature of the desecration without name. It likely does not possess the capability of flight. Senses should be on par with a regular Kryptonian. Due to retaining much of Zod's original nervous system, parts of his ingrained muscle-memory should still be present, meaning at your current stage, you possess combat capabilities surpassing 86% of all recorded Kryptonians. Current body is less susceptible to the negative effects of Kryptonite, but it is still deadly. Current body dimensions: height: 235,32 centimeters. Weight: 286 kilograms. Muscle to Fat Ratio-"

"Alright, that's enough. Thank you."

Without a sound, the android drifts further away from me, awaiting further orders as my eyes remain transfixed on my mechanical spine. It sucks that I don't have Adaptive Regeneration (arguably one of the most broken superpowers ever, the very thing that made Doomsday such a huge threat) or flight, but given the sheer power I can feel coursing through this body, I think the trade-off is more than fair.

Wanting to test something, I walk over to the nearest wall, pull back my fist and without feeling any noteworthy resistance, slam it through the metallic wall of the Genesis Chamber. I watch in awe as my arm shows no sign of having obliterated multiple inches of alien-grade steel as if it was nothing, and I find that I can move it to the sides or up (digging deep furrows in the wall as the sound of tearing metal screeches throughout the room) as easily as one would wave their arm through the air.

Pulling back my arm, I allow a grin to stretch across my face as I turn to face the droid who didn't react to my act of vandalism.

"Droid. Synthesize a suit for me."

"Acknowledged, sir."

After all, I wasn't going to safeguard my plan for survival in the nude, now was I?

While my new clothes were being fabricated (a job which should take a little under ten minutes) I ordered one of the other drones to update me on the current situation outside of the ship. In the original timeline, Lex (I briefly wince when I think of his cooling corpse that's currently being disposed off by the ships recycling systems) would've started the birthing process of Doomsday and then go and kidnap Lois.

He already had Martha kidnapped and holed up with Anatoli Knyazev (I should know, I coordinated that operation), and the pictures sent to him (which were now in my hands).

After getting his hands on Lois, he'd throw her off a building, causing Superman to fly in and rescue her, which would allow Lex to confront Supes and blackmail him into fighting Batman by threatening Martha.

Of course, while Batman was (probably) still rearing for a fight with (basically) a god, the whole "blackmailing Superman" thing hadn't happened. So what had been going on while I was being transformed into a superbeing?

As it turned out, Batman had still challenged Superman by lighting his signal in the sky. Superman… stood him up.

Apparently, Clark had heard his mother's breathing or heartbeat or whatever, and deduced a couple of lowlifes had kidnapped her.

There was a giant sinkhole where the warehouse once used to be.

Afterwards, Clark had either flown his mother to her home in Kansas, or to his and Lois' apartment and was still with her. Batsy had noticed Clark's little temper-tantrum of course, and had left his stage as well, probably trying to track down Superman.

Which brings us to the here and now, right as I finish putting on the suit that the droids had just finished manufacturing for me (a matte, steel-grey without any insignia). Because Bruce has just found Clark, if the various feeds that the droids have hijacked are anything to go by.

I watch on the holographic screen as the Batwing races away from Metropolis at top speed, a small shape flitting through the sky behind it, Superman in hot pursuit. Apparently, Bruce disturbed some mother-son bonding time, and the resident alien isn't all too happy about it.

Clark is hanging back a bit though, probably worried about cracking every single window in his wake if he goes too fast. However, after only a few moments, they clear the edges of the city and he accelerates towards the Batwing with a sonic boom. Right as he's about to grab the back of the flying vehicle, a small pallet flies directly in his face from some hidden compartment, and his head is briefly surrounded by a sickly green smoke.

Clark immediately starts to plummet and fall behind, though given how little he had actually breathed in, he won't be weakened for too long. Bruce takes advantage of this and floors it, the Batwing continuing its mad dash towards the part of Gotham that I recognize as the place that the two of them fought in in the movie.

Seems like I needed to get a move on. I start walking towards the exit of the ship, calling over my shoulder as I slowly pick up speed.

"Droids. Get this ship as close to working order as you can. Await my return. Do not accept any order other than from me."

"Acknowledged, sir."

And by then I'm off. The walls should be blurring with the speeds that I'm reaching (definitely above highway speeds now, I should be in supercar or motorsport ranges) but everything is in crystal clear clarity, as I make impossibly sharp turns. If I had flight I would've blasted my way out of here already and been halfway to Gotham, but you can't have everything I suppose.

Sometimes in life, you just have to settle for being a superhuman being capable of running several hundred miles an hour, lift hundreds of tons without strain and clear skyscrapers in a single bound.

That first jump was… exhilarating. I had just ran out of the ship's main entrance, my feet slamming into the concrete of the surrounding plaza. Without halting my step, I bent at the knees, gathered my strength, and pushed. For the first few moments, as the ground erupted in an explosion in the wake of my take-off and I slammed through the soundbarrier, I thought that I actually did have flight, before I reached the top of my arc. After several long moments of weightlessness (during which I crossed an entire city-block), I descended again.

The moment I impacted the ground, causing a shockwave and an eruption of gravel, I pushed off again, ruining the ground beneath my feet even further.

Hauling ass like I did, I left the outskirts of Metropolis within moments, reaching the edge where the city meets the Hob's River, the divide between the City of Tomorrow and Gotham. With a final mighty jump, I leap into the nightsky, my eyes fixed on the cesspool at the other end of the bay.

As I start to descend (around the middle of the bay) I angle my body downwards, and in a picture-perfect dive, cut through the surface of the body of water. Almost reaching the bottom, I angle my body upwards again, and start swimming at top speed, doing a fairly accurate impression of Aquaman. However, where he and other Atlanteans leave neat torpedo-like trails in the water, I leave an enormous wake in my… well, wake.

Within moments, I'm approaching the docks of Gotham, and with a firm stroke of my arms and legs, I burst out of the water, ascending high into the sky in a gentle arc, before I slam down onto a deserted road. The sound of battle quickly reaches my ears, and I doesn't take me long to zoom in on the two greatest heroes of the DC Universe duking it out.

Peering through the walls of several warehouses, I see that they are on the third floor. I watch as Bruce once again detonates one of his Kryptonite-smoke bombs in his enemies' face. Clark, looking rather worse for wear, seems to have wizened up though, as he claps his hands together, dispersing the deadly cloud. That doesn't save him from an armored boot to the face though, the Kryptonite gas seeming to weaken him just through skin-contact as well.

Still, Clark is a Kryptonian, and weakened or not, he's still very dangerous as Bruce finds out when Superman surges forwards and tackles him over the balustrade, the two of them falling all the way down to the ground floor.

Even as they're falling I'm already running forwards, my feet cracking the pavement. My eyes are locked onto the struggling forms of Batman and Superman, to the point that I hardly even notice as I run through the surrounding buildings in a straight line to the two superheroes.

Batman has disentangled himself and has managed to get his hands on the Kryptonite spear, but Superman isn't bothering with holding his punches this time. His eyes glow red, and two beams of light slam into Batman's chest, lifting the man clear off his feet and sending him flying for several feet.

Despite being severely weakened, Clark's beams are still powerful enough to leave glowing marks on Bruce's armor. The man is made out of sterner stuff than most mortals, as he powers through the pain and works himself back to his feet. Clark is still struggling to move, but his eyes glow red again as he snarls at Batman.

Bruce proves to be a fast learner and throws himself in a roll, the red beams ending up tearing two large holes in his cape. The roll brings him closer to Clark's prone form, and he raises his spear, his entire form lunging forwards, gleaming green tip first.

He's halted by Clarks' hand shooting up and clasping firmly around the shaft, keeping the Bat in place with herculean effort. The two lock eyes and bare their teeth at each other, glowing white eyes versus glowing red eyes.

I could just let this play out and pick off whoever was left standing of course (assuming there was someone left standing). However, since one word was enough to make them go from mortal enemies to buddies, I'm not taking any chances.

Due to Lex's death (my chest tightens involuntarily) Lois hasn't been kidnapped and so should be still chasing down leads on the LexCorp bullet that killed Jimmy Olsen, but you never know with that woman-shaped Plot Device.

Better to be safe than sorry.

These two superheroes would never approve of what I had done to myself, and they would oppose me in the future. They would have to go.

Brickwork explodes into dust as I slam into the warehouse, making a beeline for where Batman is standing above Superman. To their credit, the both of them are already reacting to me before the dust even has a chance to settle, but one is far too weakened to act in time, while the other is simply far too human.

Within the span of a second, I've crossed the entirety of the open warehouse, deep craters in my wake. Bruce has almost turned to look over his shoulder, giving Clark the chance to start moving the spear away, but then I slam into Batman's back, my arms coming up and taking hold of the spear.

I can already feel myself getting sick (it's somewhat comparable to combining every single instance of motion-sickness you've ever experienced in your entire life, simultaneously, times a hundred), but I keep moving and the gleaming tip buries itself deep into Clark's chest.

Despite having a cyborg human-Kryption hybrid slam into his back, Bruce is already moving, his hand flashing towards a grenade hanging from one of his belts.

I'm faster.

A backhand sends him flying, but before he can impact the wall I've shot forwards. I hook my fingers behind the belt holding the smoke grenades and I come to a sudden halt. Batman keeps moving and the belt gives way with a dry snap. His armored form slams into the brickwork, before the superhero falls to the ground with a pained groan.

Taking no chances, I active all the grenades before throwing the belt to Superman's still body, causing it to be enveloped in a cloud of green gas. I quickly refocus on Batman, who has worked himself to his knees. He moves to take something from his back, but I don't want to give him any opportunity to counter-attack.

I shoot forwards, time seeming to slow down to a crawl as Batman almost appears to move in slow-motion. Getting through the armor might just hold me up long enough for him to pull some bullshit Kryptonian countermeasure out of his ass.

So I go for the one part that Batman (almost) never covers.

My hand shoots into his mouth.

I slam through his teeth, and probably give him scars somewhat similar to his greatest nemesis. Then my fingers dig down through his tongue into the tissue below and I rip out Bruce Wayne's jaw straight from his head.

He gurgles as he slides down the wall, and knowing the type of man I'm dealing with, I don't stand around to watch him die up close. Instead, I run to the other end of the warehouse, and just in time as well.

In a great ball of fire, which is slightly colored green at the edges, Batman's body explodes, sending Kryptonite shrapnel flying. Thankfully, my paranoia meant that I remained out of the reach of the explosion, and I'm still fine.

Figures that Bats would rather suicide-bomb his opponent than give up.

I peer through the fire at the remains of his suit, just to make certain that he hasn't escaped at the very last second (as ridiculous as it sounds, this is Batman. He has survived worse). I nod in satisfaction when I see the armor slumped forwards, the hole where Bruce's jaw used to be showing that he had perished inside, instead of leaving the armor as a decoy or something.

Now, for the other man who has a penchant to ignore death.

Considering that I don't want a post-credit scene with dirt ominously rising from his coffin, I decide I require something a bit more… permanent, than a neat little stabwound in the chest. By now, the gas has dissipated (though I still feel sick when I approach the body) and Clark still hasn't moved, his expression frozen in one of shock (reminding me uncomfortably of Lex).

I power through the feeling of my stomach fighting its way up past my esophagus, while my limbs feel as if they're made of match sticks, and rip the spear from his chest. I critically look at the gaping wound, and when it doesn't miraculously start to close up, I stab him in the forehead just to be certain.

Then I cut off his head.

It's as bloody and as messy as it sounds, and the whole time I'm nearly passing out due to being so close to the Kryptonite.

Still, between the remainder of my strength and the same weakening effect applying to Clark's corpse, I'm done with my grisly task within moments. The moment his head comes loose, I dash away from the Kryptonite spear as fast as possible, sliding down against the far wall as I take in deep, steadying breaths.

As I sit there, with the world's greatest hero's decapitated head clenched inbetween my bloodied hands, a thought suddenly comes to me.

Now what?

Batman's body is unsalvageable, and even if it had been, it was unlikely he had anything on him that the computers back at the Kryptonian Scout Ship didn't have as well, if not something even better. But Superman... within his body lies the Codex, the genetic databank of all Kryptonians. Zod had believed that with the Codex in hand, and a planet terraformed to suitable conditions, he could ressurect his race.

I don't particularly feel like raising a race of alien gods from the dead right now, though the option might become interesting once I've found a way to have complete control over the newborn Kryptonians.

An army of Supermen at my beck and call... building myself a body from the greatest specimens the Kryptonians have ever known... tempting, not gonna lie.

For now though? All I'm interested in is that Plot doesn't find some ridiculous way to raise Clark from the dead (for instance, through getting together a certain speedster and a certain MotherBox and some flimsy explanation to justify his bullshit resurrection).

That means, getting rid of the head.

For a moment, I think of the best way to go about this, before I grab the head in my hand and run away from the warehouse heading straight for the waterline. I wind up my arm, and in a great discus-throw, I shoot Clark's head over the horizon.

It'll land somewhere downriver, and be carried off with the stream. Maybe it'll be carried out all the way to sea, or it'll decompose or get eaten up or something. If it somehow remains whole, then it'll wait for me at the bottom of the sea, just in case I might end up needing it down the line for whatever reason. All I know is that Superman won't miraculously return from the dead in order for a bout of good ol' fisticuffs with me.

I remain standing in thought on Gotham's docks, watching as the sun slowly starts to rise, filling me with new energy and the realization that I am now the most powerful being on the planet.

And all it took, was letting myself be corrupted and twisted by one of the most vile men on the planet for the past twenty years, betray him even though I was probably the only person he has ever trusted, and order alien drones to rip my brain form my body and implant it into a corpse.

And I can't stop now.

As much as I want to run off to Superman's Fortress of Solitude and just... relax for the coming hundred years or so, I know that I cannot rest. There are still too many loose ends for me to let my guard down and enjoy my newfound power and pseudo-immortality.

Alfred, as much as it saddens me, would have to go. Bruce was like a son to him, and he probably knows by now that he's dead. He might even know it was me if there had been a feed from the armor to the Batcave.

With the weaponry at his disposal, not to mention any possible leftover Kryptonite, Alfred might actually become a threat to me.

Thankfully, Bruce didn't have anyone else, so there was no further... clean-up, required on his end. Clark though...

I had no trouble killing off Lois. I never liked her, not in any of her appearances in shows, movies or comics. Of course, dislike is a petty and evil reason to just off someone, but I am-... I was Lex Luthor's closest friend.

Pettiness and evil have been a part of my life ever since I knocked on the Luthor Residence's door.

Still, there's some justification for getting her out of my way: she's a reporter. Meaning she'd investigate Clark's death, and might even end up tracing it back to me somehow. More importantly than that, was that Lois Lane was a living Plot Device. I was utterly convinced that if she remained alive, she would cause trouble for me somewhere down the line in some fashion.

Hell, she just might birth Clark's kid, who'll grow up to hate me, train with some far off, ancient master, knock on my door and say: "Hello. My name is Jonathan Bruce Kent. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

Which of course would mean I'd have to kill the kid and I don't really want to do that.

So yeah, bye Lois. You'll be missed (by someone at least, I presume).

Martha... her name alone had been enough to change the events of history and to unite the greatest heroes this planet had ever seen. Could I just let her live, allow the poor woman to deal with her grief in peace?


Was I going to take that chance?

... No. No I wasn't. The woman was innocent, but as long as she lived, she might end up involved in Clark's ressurection somehow, and I cannot allow that.

She had to go as well.

The Daily Planet... I would keep an eye on. Should they start digging into the deaths of their top reporters and get anywhere near an approximation of the truth, I'd simply buy the company and fire them all.

Being Lex's guardian angel comes with a hefty paycheck, I have found, especially when you barely touch it.

As I check off the depressing list, the sun keeps charging me, and paradoxally, as dark as my thoughts are, I have physically never felt better.

Some people say that they feel they can take on the whole world as a metaphor for how they feel.

If I said it, it wouldn't be a metaphor.

Who else was there? Who would need to go in order for me to live a long life of peace?

Wonder Woman came to mind.

In the original timeline, the destruction of Doomsday rampaging through Metropolis brought her back. Now, it was very likely that she was still on her plane. However, she had held some sort of fondness for Bruce or something, so if she found out that I had killed him...

Besides, she was the most powerful of the Amazons. With the waves I was probably going to make in the normal world, they might deem me a threat and send her after me anyways.

Since she has ties to magic (a weakness to Kryptonians) she might end up being a credible threat to me.

She too would have to go.

Barry Allen? An impressionable kid, who doesn't have the sheer physical damage to hurt me personally, though his speed might end up interfering with my future operations. Still, he's young and easily swayed. I'd prefer talking to him instead of killing him.

Arthur Curry? Is perfectly fine living his life on his own terms, helping out fishermen where he goes, drinking with whoever he likes and generally just having a good time. He'd probably dislike me just due to our personalities not meshing, but I don't see him raising up arms against me without provocation.

Speaking about provocation, Orm and the Atlanteans. If I could track down his mother and the Trident of Atlantis, he'll probably end up following me. Peace between the land and the sea could be established, incidentally averting the event that could possibly bring Arthur into conflict with me as well.

Viktor Stone? A kid with severe self-image issues and a language stuck in his head only I can help him understand. Still, the modifications I had done to myself might end up helping him get over his own issues, or make him dislike me, so I'd have to take care with how I approach that one. Still, as one of the few that can fully interface with the Motherboxes, he'd be useful to keep alive.

Then there was the Joker. He'd probably go nuts over the fact that someone killed his BFF, and since he has Plot Armor as a superpower, he'll eventually figure out it was me and come at me armed to the teeth with a stash of Kryptonite he pulled out of his ass.

The most dangerous thing about the madman is time (rather ironically, the same could be said for Bruce before he blew himself to bits). Give him enough time to prep and he could spell some real trouble for me down the line. Now, however, he was still unaware of Bruce's death and my existance, so I should track him down as soon as possible, and squash his head like a grape.

Kill Harley as well, as she'll probably be at his side and freak out over his death. Sure, she's hot and if I was twenty years younger and still ruled by my hormones I'd be salivating to have her on my team, but I held on fast to one of the most important rules a man could ever learn: NEVER stick your Flügelschlagen in crazy.

Other than her hotness, she had no real value to me, so there was nothing lost with killing her off. The rest of the Suicide Squad... Deadshot might be handy to recruit, if only to avoid him being hired by someone to shoot me in the head with a Kryptonite bullet they pulled out of their ass (seriously, I already know that I can spend the next fifty years tracking down every last gram of the stuff, and it'll still show up at the most inopportune moment possible somehow).

Same reasoning applies to Deathstroke.

Both of 'em work for money, and I got plenty to spare. If they become more trouble than they're worth, dealing with them would be the work of a mere moment.

Most of the other members of the Suicide Squad weren't even worth considering, with a few exceptions.

Katana, if only out of academic curiosity at how her sword was capable of containing a soul, and whether or not the process could be repeated with a more... suitable container.

El Diablo, due to his sheer power.

And the Enchantress, though again, keeping the Flügelschlagen-rule in mind. Sure, she was crazier than a bag filled with cats high on Joker Venom, but she was also undeniably powerful. If she could be controlled, she could prove herself to be an asset.

Especially if she can teach me Magic.

And after all that... after I had killed off or manipulated anyone who could ever be a threat to me... I'd finally be done. I'd have achieved my dream of having become a god-like being, who would never have to fear for his life ever again.

Who could walk this Earth in peace, and maybe even unite and rule it as a God-King if it just so happened to catch my fancy.

And should anyone come knocking on my door, be they some mad dog like Steppenwolf, or a credible threat like Darkseid? Then I'll teach them to leave my planet the fuck alone for the rest of eternity.

Easy, right?

I crack my neck as I let out a deep sigh, the sun shining on my face and empowering me. I have a lot of work to do before I can enjoy being semi-immortal, but there's no time like the present. I turn towards the ruined warehouse, still housing Clark's corpse and the valuable genetic information locked inside.

Time to start the clean-up.

And after that... I'm going clown-hunting.

Fun Fact: Batman v Superman was originally pitched in 2001 by writer Akiva Goldman. For whatever reason, the project ended up being dropped and was instead replaced by Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Goldman, when he wrote and produced I am Legend (2007) snuck his original pitch into the movie: there's a poster for a Batman vs. Superman movie on one of the buildings.

AN: So yeah, this is another one of my plotbunnies. I will publish the others first, and then either return to 12 Steps, or one of my older stories. As for the plotbunnies avalanche, I feel that this one is the most manageable. It should take Mike Masters (the SI) just another four or five chapters before reaching Physical God-status (I won't be going for the same level of omnipotence as in 12 Steps because the DCEU hasn't shown anything on the level of the Infinity Stones so far). Also, I've been trying to find pictures of Dr. X (the Action Man villain), and I can't find the name of the version that I had as a kid, but apparently, Dr. X usually didn't have the metal plating on his head. Oh well. The more you know.

Tremendous shout-out to my beloved Patrons: Miu, Justlovereadin, Daniel Dorfman, Carn Krauss, Samuel Carson, Thordur Hrafn and ReaperScythe! Your continued support means a lot to me, thank you so much!