*Crashes from the window before standing up nonchalantly.*
Hey guys, I'm back. It's been a while since I've posted anything. About two months to be exact. My seasonal job had me working full-time and I had to put off my writing for a bit. Now, however, I'm officially free and currently writing as of Oct 3. My job had ended for the season and until I find another, I am now able to continue again.
And if you guys ever need to contact me, feel free to do so. I also have a discord account so check there as well.
Ignore the (-) key and you're good to message me. Oh, and a reminder to anyone on discord: Do NOT accept any friend requests that go by the name Qwot#6035. They will hack into your account and your friends' as well and will DDoS them. You have been warned.
Anyways, while I am back and putting quite a bit of focus on my stories (most especially my most popular fic: DOOM: End Times, which is nearing 1k followers to which I hurriedly want to post the next chapter to celebrate its peak), I have gone back to working on this story. It has been on the backburner for some time due to writer's block and having no idea on how to approach the interrogation. Recently, however, I had come in contact with Manwithaplan113 (writer of Death Korps Quest) and we've co-written this piece together for the past three days. Without him, this story would've been collecting dust for a long, long time.
My man, if you're reading this, thank you so much. I can't express how much joy it was to write this piece save for a big shoutout. Everyone, please check out Death Korps Quest and give him a follow.
Moving on, it is with great shame to tell you that this is a non-action and a full-recap of the 2016 storyline. It was actually inspired by the ME crossover, Slayer Effect, though rather than through sign language, I opted for pen and board. Why? Because I'd rather not get in trouble.
Justice League Watchtower
Superman walked into the room behind the one-way mirror. Batman was there staring at the strange man sitting arms crossed in his seat. He hadn't been the most cooperative individual ever since he had been transferred on the ship. It did not help much when Batman was the first to question him. Instantly, everyone on the other side took notice of the atmosphere getting cold as hostility grew. The other leaguers made a unanimous decision to remove Batman from interrogation.
Still, Batman had detailed the event as very unexpecting. He had come out of the blue and showed instant hostility. The medical reports on one of the smugglers were rather graphic. Injuries to the jaw and hand were beyond mangled to the point he was taken to the ICU for an emergency.
There were also Batman's injuries, though, his were relatively minor in comparison. He was patched up of course but hid his emotions quite well. But the fact remained: this stranger was unknown and proved to be potentially dangerous if let loose.
"Anything on our new friend?" Superman started.
"No." Replied Batman. "At least not a lot. He can still communicate but only through body language and the pen and whiteboard we gave him. Straight-forward but not much to tell us."
"I'm not surprised." Superman frowned. "Not the first we had to deal with a difficult suspect. Who's asking the questions this time?"
Batman continued to stay silent, not answering the other man and causing him to frown.
"Alright, keep your secrets then." Superman said while folding his arms, causing Batman to grunt. The caped crusader almost seemed annoyed as he glanced at the grinning kryptonian.
"Right now we have Canary in there trying to talk to him…her and Captain Marvel." Batman responded, causing Superman to nod appreciatively.
Right before he blinked in slight confusion, turning back to Batman with a curled lip.
"What's Shazam doing in there?" he asked, a slight tinge of worry in his voice as he turned to look back in the room.
True to the other hero's words, Black Canary seemed to be trying to communicate with the mysterious stranger, along with a fidgeting Captain Marvel sitting next to them.
Batman didn't respond, instead simply staring at the undergoing interrogation silently and still like the gargoyles in Gotham. Superman felt exasperated as he sighed, turning back to gaze at what was going on.
"Why were you in the area?" Canary asked sternly, clutching her clipboard and staring at Doom Guy with a suspicious but calm gaze.
She was a staunch contrast to Captain Marvel nearby who looked like he was torn between waiting patiently for a response and blurting out the next question, obviously impatient. The hero was practically bouncing on his seat while Doom Guy simply sat silently.
He pondered on what to say and how to go about it.
Doom Slayer began to write down the next words on his board. Canary eyed the man cautiously but kept her gaze focused as he scribbled down. He turned the board over.
Not by choice. Thrown over to Earth.
"Earth?" She asked, curious of what he meant. "You were elsewhere? From where?"
Doom Slayer pulled away the board and erased, scribbling again.
Before Canary could ask, Shazam jumped in and asked away, "Mars? You were on Mars? Were there aliens? Was the Covenant there? Are they invading Earth? What was it like fighting them?!"
Both Canary and Slayer looked at him with wide-eyed expressions. Canary's face was clear while Doom Slayer was taken aback through body language. Behind the window, Superman placated a hand over his face in exasperation while Batman remained stoic as usual.
The Slayer went back to his board. This time, he responded with sardonic humour.
Not from Halo, idiot.
Shazam sat back in his seat after reading that, both embarrassed and disappointed by the answer. Canary shook her dismissively but continued her interrogation.
"Apologies for my colleague, he can be rather...impulsive." She started. "However, that does lead to an interesting question, why were you on Mars?"
Stop invasion. He wrote.
"An invasion?" Canary asked, now invested by it. "By who?"
All the JL members within that interrogation were now fully invested. Neither of them had heard of an invasion coming from the Martians. So to hear this suddenly had fully put them on high alert. If that indeed was the case, then the Justice League would put a stop to it.
The answer he had written, however, sent an unearthly chill down their spines.
In full upper-case, he had written a word in four simple letters.
"Hell?" Captain Marvel blurted out in disbelief, "You f-fought demons? Like actual demons?"
Black Canary shot her colleague a sharp if halfhearted glare, one that had the embarrassed hero sit back sheepishly.
"When you refer to hell…do you truly mean hell?" Canary asked, turning to face him with an expression of curiosity.
The two stepped back for a moment in disbelief, with Captain Marvel looking pale and Black Canary confused.
"But wait how? Did you fight like just demons or big demons o-"
"Shazam." Canary sighed, causing the hero to once again sheepishly rub his head.
Canary gave him a sympathetic look but went back to the task at hand.
"Can you verify that you fought Hell? To our knowledge, there's nothing like a demonic invasion happening at Mars at this moment." Canary asked in concern, dreading what Doom Slayer would respond.
It felt surreal. How could someone fight Hell? And on Mars of all places as well. There was nothing like that going on currently!
Behind the window, Superman and Batman glanced at each other.
"I have a really bad feeling about this." Clarke muttered.
Batman responded, "We'll get around to that."
As the Leaguers were reeling back, Canary's question actually brought up something. Doom Slayer realized he still had a backup of VEGA in his personal storage.
Doom Slayer took his eyes off of the two heroes and went through his belongings. Their stupor was broken as soon as he pulled out the backup drive.
"Is that...?" Asked Canary, to which Doom Slayer nodded.
As soon as Canary reached out for it, however, the marine pulled it away before she could take it. This raised some confusion before Doom Slayer wrote again.
One condition: everyone watches
Everyone?" she murmured, now even more concerned.
Batman and Superman in the back were similarly worried, both of them looking agitated and worried respectively. Canary seemed to glance back at them, staring at the blank window. A beat of silence where Captain Marvel whistled awkwardly as they waited for a response.
"Bats?" Superman asked. The Caped Crusader pondered silently until he spoke.
"Gather everyone into the Main Hall."
Doom Slayer placed his back on a wall as he waited for every single member within the Watchtower to meet in the hall. It had taken only ten minutes before Batman reappeared. His eyes scrutinized his appearance, suspicion and skepticism crawling in the latter's head. Doom Slayer silently scoffed at the detective but said nothing of it.
"It's time." Batman stated. Doom Slayer pulled himself up and followed the man. The main doors to the hall opened, revealing several superheroes turning as both men entered. Superman, Black Canary and Shazam were here as well, standing not far from the two stoic men were approaching. Every other superhero turned and looked in surprise as they saw the marine walking past them. Whispers and murmurs followed, many of them speaking of caution and paranoia as they noted his walking pattern and presence. Not that it mattered to the Slayer. No, what mattered to him the most was the outlandish and oft-garish costumes they had. Besides that, some of them didn't look at all human, passing by a green-skinned alien.
One instance made her presence known in the form of Wonder Woman. Doom Slayer was exasperated by the dress code in this group, with her just wearing a tiara, some sort of swimsuit and a pair of thigh-high boots, hiding little of her curves. Before, there was Black Canary with only a leather jacket and fishnets to her. How many more women dressed up like this? He thought.
"Batman? What's this all about? Something to do with our new friend?"
The Amazonian looked more than just concerned. She looked ready for battle, eyeing the Doomslayer with a critical look. She was unnerved by the sheer aura that he excluded and she could practically smell the gore and blood wafting from him.
Whoever this man was, he has killed many people. Or many things.
"It is." Batman said gruffly, "This is the Doom Slayer, as he calls himself."
The leaguers were all silent, an awkward moment where everyone glanced at each other. Green Arrow stifled a chuckle but a swift glare from Batman and the archer was back to sitting at attention.
But he wasn't the only one. Doom Slayer was a peculiar name.
Batman stayed silent, his face ss still as stone however as everyone continued to murmur.
The Doom Slayer meanwhile simply stood just as silently, crossing his arms and impervious to all the stares he was getting. There was more than one parallel made to the two silent brooding men, but nobody dared to comment on it.
"On March 10th, at the Gotham City Docks, Robin and I were in the midst of breaking up an arms deal trying to supply Bialya when we were intercepted by Deathstroke." Batman stated, causing everyone to quiet down and listen.
"Robin was incapacitated." His tone became as cold as ice, making those listening shiver slightly.
"Deathstroke and I fought hand-to-hand combat when we were interrupted by our anomaly, the Doom Slayer."
They all turned to the marine in question.
"Heavily armed, armored, and with no qualms of using excessive violence at all."
The Justice League were at full alert now. To have such a violent individual be in the midst of this meeting - both unrestrained and possibly fully-armed - had put the entire league in danger.
"And you're letting him free? Without handcuffs?!" Flash brought up, exasperated by Batman's decision. The others were in agreement. Though, some waited for Batman's explanation.
Superman came forward calmed the crowd.
"We understand your concerns, Flash. The same goes for all of you." He assured. "However, we have discovered recent evidence that may show a different perspective."
More murmurs followed. There was doubt on their minds. Doom Slayer
"We have reviewed his behaviour and are willing to present such evidence." He said. A sense of unease followed. "Though, I should warn you: it's not pretty."
With Superman done, Doom Slayer was cued in and presented the hard drive. The drive was unlike anything Batman had seen it was The main computer laid in front of him. The marine placed the hard drive in, the screen now turning on. Not long after, the file began to be uploaded.
Everyone leaned forward to watch a mixture of curiosity and dread coming to mind. Doom Guy simply waited for the file to load, already anticipating their reactions.
The screen showed the simple bar filling up as the drive uploaded itself into the Watchtower's systems. Much later, a loading symbol was on display followed by more files being downloaded. Finally came a voice that only Doom Slayer found relief in.
"Greetings. I am VEGA. Sentient Intelligence assigned to the Union Aerospace Corporations - or UAC as abbreviated- on Mars. Running on diagnostics, it appears that I've been transferred to an entirely different system. Though, while I have yet familiarized with the systems nor capable of assisting due to compatibility issues, much of it however is sufficient and I can run through the servers with relatively minor issues."
Many leaguers were surprised by the voice, noting how user-friendly its tone was. The marine, though, felt a wave of relief to see VEGA alive and well. A beeping noise followed as VEGA turned his attention to a familiar face in the room.
"Greetings, Doom Slayer. Designation: DM1-5 on UAC records. How may I be of assistance?"
Doom Slayer smiled under his helmet, seeing the AI fully functioning again. Batman, however, cut off and interrupted the short reunion.
"VEGA. I need archival footage of the Mars invasion." He said, cutting away and going straight to the point. Doom Slayer bristled at the tone Batman was giving. A fist balled up and the air had gotten rather intense. The League seemed to have noticed and were immediately on high alert. The Green Lanterns', Jon Stewart and Hal Jordan, had their rings activated in case a fight ensued. A pause followed after as VEGA identified the Caped Crusader.
"Identified: Batman. Designation: 02 on Justice League archives. Permission granted."
The AI uploaded soon uploaded and replayed footage of the Mars Invasion. Everyone watched as soon as the video begins. It starts mundane and innocent, with no signs of any demonic presence. Many within the League were suspicious of the innocuous scene. And only then were they proven right as a few seconds pass did the carnage erupt.
The calm was a deception. One that lulled them into a false sense of peace. In moments it was anything but that as demons suddenly flooded into existence.
Horrific creatures born for wickedness and malevolence. They had no love in their hearts, no empathy, no understanding for anything but bloodshed.
The various demon breeds massacred the inhabitants in but mere moments. Gone were curious stares or uneasy looks of concern.
Now everyone had a mirrored look of disgust and horror as they watched the slaughter.
They watched as imps tore screaming scientists one limb at a time until they were disembodied torsos. Others were disembowelled by the bigger breeds of demons or incinerated by hellrazers.
The soldiers guarding the facility were slaughtered, having not been trained adequately enough to deal with a situation such as this. Some however began to go even beyond that, twisting and molding into horrific amalgamations of metal and flesh.
They became possessed, joining in on the slaughter as their weapons and armor fused with their bodies and they became enslaved.
Captain Marvel and Canary seemed sickened while Batman's expression became even more grave. Superman stood to the side looking on with faint unease. Behind them, the rest had varying degrees of horror. Wonder Woman had seen plenty of horrific acts committed by Man in her longevity but nothing so depraved as to what happened to these people. Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart had that same opinion, having served as a combat pilot and marine respectively and seeing the dark side of humanity. Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Arrow, Aquaman and many others watched it all in dread and disgust.
"I-I think I'm gonna..." Shazam slurred before fainting. This drew his colleagues' attention away from the video.
"VEGA. End the video!" Batman ordered.
"Affirmative." The AI stopped immediately while the leaguers attended to their friend. Doom Slayer simply scoffed beneath his helmet.
Pussy, he thought. Batman spared a glance back at the others.
"Someone get a chair! And grab some water!" Canary called out.
"On it! Be in a flash!" Said Flash, running out and back in the Hall at high speeds. The others were deeply concerned for the hero save for a few others watching the screen.
"W-What the hell happened?" Wonder Woman asked, still reeling from horror.
"Identified: Wonder Woman. Designation: 03. The footage you are seeing takes place in the UAC Lazarus Facility. In context, a demonic invasion had occurred within the facility. All of its staff members were slaughtered within. And then on, so were the other facilities. Much of the footage was recorded prior to the containment."
"H-Hold up a moment!" Flash interrupted. "Demonic invasion? You're telling me demons were involved?! As in demons from literal Hell?! Like in the Holy Bible?!"
"Identified: The Flash. Designation: 04. That is correct, despite disputes of its authenticity within the UAC's scientific community." VEGA answered. Most of the heroes watching were in a complete uproar as the existence of Hell became known. Superman, Canary, Red Tornado and Martian Manhunter tried to calm the rest in vain. Only Batman and Doom Slayer kept quiet during the commotion. The former keeping his nerves in check despite the atrocities he had just witnessed, the latter having grown accustomed to the sheer magnitude of violence but also sympathetic for these superheroes.
Batman finally decided enough was enough and cleared his voice.
"Everyone. Stand. Down." He ordered. The rest instantly shut up and backed down. Doom Slayer blinked in surprise, now knowing who had the most authority within the group. He made a mental note of that for future references. The scowling superhero quickly turned to a more calm voice.
"I understand that this is a lot to take in. I really do." Batman reassured. "But with the evidence now shown, we may be able to use it for future encounters. And this is used to prove our current anomaly's position in all of this. If anyone would like to leave, then by all means. You have every right to do so."
The entire Hall deafened with deathly silence. Not one hero argued, bickered, let alone grumbled as they listened to the grim knight. Only the sound of Shazam groaning as he reawakened from his faint did the others help him up.
"W-Wha...what happened...?" Shazam mumbled.
"Captain Marvel." Batman called to him. "Do you wish to remain here and watch the rest of the footage? Or would you rather leave? No one is stopping you."
The rather dim hero looked up at saw his friends surrounding him. Gone was the innocence and optimism in his eyes. Now, only despair and fear replaced them.
"I...I can't stomach this." Shazam admitted. No one, not even Batman, refused his decision.
"Very well, Shazam. You may go." Batman calmly said. The League allowed the lightning-costumed hero to go on his own, making his way out. The doors closed as he exited, leaving the rest to now continue assessing the footage.
"VEGA." Batman stated. "Give me a full report on the casualties. Any signs of direct sabotage?"
"Affirmative. 61,337 UAC members deceased within twenty-four hours. Sixty-four percent of which transformed into the possessed as a result of a hellwave activated from within the facility. The rest were killed by the demons released from their holding cells by Olivia Pierce."
Audible gasps and frantic whispers within the League were heard as they digested the horrific aftermath.
"Oh God..." Jon murmured in horror. "So many souls. Gone. Just like that?"
"Unfortunately. Yes." VEGA answered. The clinical, clear-cut mechanical voice had a tinge of genuine apology in it as he spoke. "However, with the combined intervention of both Dr. Samuel Hayden, Doom Slayer and myself, we were able to properly contain the Hell invasion on Mars."
"Okay, you're just throwing names like we're supposed to know them!" Flash roared. Batman stepped in and hushed him.
"Flash. Stand. Down." He stated. The red-suited hero instantly shut up and stood quiet. Batman looked up at the screen.
"VEGA. Do you have any footage on the Slayer's entrance to this event when all of this happened?"
"Affirmative. Uploading now."
VEGA then switched footage into a rather dark room.
The camera was of poor quality, warped in the corner and full of static. But as the video went on, the image got clearer. That's when the leaguers got to see the Slayer before he woke up.
Many of them began murmuring as the feed showed the dark, desolate chamber that was housing the naked Slayer.
The man was shackled to a table, one that seemed ornate and almost sacrificial. A slab of some sort of stone in a dark, unsettling environment.
He was without his armor… yet he did not look any less deadly.
Despite his face being obscured at a different angle, his muscles were absolutely massive, bulging with strength and vigor even as he was seemingly asleep. The shackles were wrapped tight and massive, but they seemed puny to the man.
There then came a sudden flash and shudder, the camera blacking out momentarily before turning on again.
The leaguers watched on anxiously and with disgust as they now saw the various possessed shambling around. Moaning, twisted, wretched beings of corruption and mindless hunger. They were all drawn towards the only living, pure being left.
The Doom Slayer. Who was naked and shackled to the table. But to their astonishment, they watched as he woke up and without any hesitation, began to growl angrily like an animal.
With titanic effort, he tore his shackles free, grabbed a nearby possessed's head, and crushed it against the slab he laid upon.
The feed was grainy but there was no mistaking the brutal act. Flash and Green Arrow alike had green faces and made gagging noises while the rest had expressions of utter disgust.
They then witnessed Doom Slayer pulling the other chain off, jumping off the slab and grabbing an energy pistol. Each shot found their way burrowed into the possessed within that room with precision. The speed at which it happened could have been less than five seconds.
With the threats dealt with, they then saw the marine looking at the pistol with an analytical eye. Besides that, he looked around and saw a panel to another room.
Pressing on the screen, something happened. A hologram appeared around the slab the marine was prior, showing UAC staff members kneeling and chanting something inaudible, with one walking in the room, circling the tomb.
Doom Slayer recognized her as Olivia Pierce. Though dead, he held nothing but disgust for that woman, second only to Hayden, even after putting a BFG round to the face.
"We have to contain this..." She said in the video, hologram shutting before any of the leaguers could ask. The scene was then cut to Doom Slayer heading to the other room, where the JL recognized its formidable appearance.
The Praetor Suit.
Grabbing onto it, the camera feed then went out before any of them could glimpse the suit-up. Moments later, the feed returned. Doom Slayer was now decked out in his armour and looked at his helm, gently swiping a thumb over on that red mark of his before putting it on. The camera now transferred itself within his helm, giving a full first-person view from his viewpoint. They see him at another panel displaying "DEMONIC INVASION IN PROGRESS" in all upper case. That was ignored as he clicked on "Status Report", only to show an error with only one satellite down at the time. It directly pinpointed him to a power node, however, citing the issue from there.
A notification suddenly came up on screen and only then was Dr. Hayden properly introduced.
"Welcome. I'm Dr. Samuel Hayden. I'm the head of this facility. I think we can work together and resolve this problem in a way that benefits us both."
The voice was distinctly cold and almost robotic as Hayden spoke, so it's no surprise that the panel was thrown and smashed against a wall, audibly breaking.
"Not a big fan, I take it?" Canary remarked, prompting Doom Slayer to scribble his answer.
The leaguers were intrigued by that. The Doomslayer only scribbled one word but his fury was palpable. His body hummed and shook with anger at the name.
"What exactly did he do to make your day?" Flash asked the marine, slightly nervous.
A quick scribble.
As the leaguers sat back, Batman frowned as he stared at what the Slayer had written down. This seemed to be a touchy subject for him and the caped crusader was determined to figure out what it was.
The man was the strangest anomaly that he has ever seen and with all his equipment and technology, not to mention his armaments, he was a dangerous adversary. One that absolutely must be watched.
The rest of the leaguers continued to watch the replay, this time from the helmet feed of the Doomslayer as VEGA switched it to the marine. Having a first-person view of all the carnage was…sobering to the heroes.
Wonder Woman had fought and killed before, but the other leaguers… they were queasy. None of them looked comfortable with the amount of killing that the Doom Slayer was doing when he awoke.
Nor how enthusiastic he was about it as well when he started going for glory kills, slaying demons in over extravagant ways.
The closest person she could think of was perhaps Artemis back in Themyscira. But even she was nowhere near the bloodthirsty Slayer's body count and hatred for these monsters.
They watched Doom Slayer pick up another weapon, the Combat Shotgun, from a corpse. Any other instance would've brought disapproval over his head but the League understood the necessity given what happened.
Footage followed him rampage his way through the facility he was currently escaping, greeted by demonic grunts known only as imps, before stopping at perhaps the most disgusting thing they saw.
In the centre of one big room, surrounded by possessed, was an effigy made of flesh, glowing with demonic energy.
"What the hell is that?" Green Arrow asked with a mortified look, Flash even sharing that reaction after.
"Identified: Green Arrow. Designation: 08. That is a Gore Nest. It is a demonic beacon that transfers other demonic creatures, acting as a gateway for them. Be advised, however, to stay away from them for it will alert other demons to it should it be endangered."
As if to go the opposite direction, they then watch the Slayer pull out an organ out of that thing, much to their disgust.
"With exceptions present."
Following this, they saw the Slayer hop around and glory killing the bastards like some horror film slasher.
The whole thing ended rather quickly unsurprisingly and saw another hologram of the woman before. It almost made the Flash jump in surprise, causing a bit of snicker from the others despite the grim footage shown.
"He cannot be allowed to leave this place. He would ruin everything."
The way Olivia said those words brought plenty of red flags from the League, but kept quiet until they understood the context more.
Doom Slayer headed to the elevator, pressing the touchpad to leave. This time, Hayden reappeared in the telecom.
"I am willing to take full responsibilities for the horrible events of the last twenty-four hours... but you must understand. Our interest in their world was purely for the betterment of mankind."
As Hayden continued, the League could see from the Slayer's perspective glancing at a corpse beneath the touchpad. Everyone now understood the Slayer's animosity for the doctor. Hayden continued monologuing more about his reasons, with Doom Slayer cracking his knuckles with the gloves still on, getting angrier with each word coming from Hayden.
"Everything clearly has gotten out of hand now, yes... but it was worth the risk. I assure you."
The touchpad was then smashed instantly by Doom Slayer with such anger in that force directed into it.
The League was a bit unnerved by his attitude and strength. Many of them felt like he was a moment away from going berserk, but when they turned to look at Doom Slayer in question, he was deathly still.
Not even a twitch of the muscle.
Somehow it was even more unnerving as they watched the contrast between the one before them and the one they were looking through the eyes of. The rest of his journey wasn't much better, being fraught with further bloodshed and mayhem.
Still, as a bit of a reprieve from it all, Wonder Woman spoke up.
"So... you were definitely telling the truth. Hell, the demons, and the invasion of Mars. All of it."
A sombre look was etched on the proud Amazonian. Many of them sharing the same look as her. Doom Slayer's only answer was a simple nod.
"It appears to be the case." Superman spoke up having kept to himself as he watched the slaughter with utmost apprehension by the senseless gore displayed on the screen. "What we are seeing now proves the existence of Hell and the invasion that followed. One that has yet been set in stone."
"But we still don't know who's who and what their M.O.s were." Hal voiced his opinion. "We've got names and footage but that's about it."
"VEGA." Batman added. "What can you tell us about the suspects we have just witnessed? Both Dr. Hayden and the woman?"
"Affirmative. Uploading data now."
Instantly, images flashed on the screen, providing reports and biographies of the two. Batman observed and memorized every single word that was filled in. The rest of the League, meanwhile, stared blankly as they simply saw scribbles and notes with a couple of images thrown in. What really stood out, however, was that Hayden was a ten-foot-tall cyclopean cyborg but said nothing of it.
"I have collected the data as per request, Batman."
"VEGA. What can you tell us about them?"
"Dr. Samuel Hayden was the Chairman of the UAC and Head Researcher of its Mars Division. Prior to the invasion, he had spearheaded many of the Corporation's many innovations during its colonization of Mars. The most famous of which was the discovery of Argent Energy in 2095."
"2095? Argent Energy?" Asked Superman, surprised by the year gap it took for Earth to colonize the red planet.
"A type of renewable energy found during the event known as the 'Argent Fracture', during a geological survey mission in the Promethei Terra Region of Mars, somewhere in a narrow trench. From then on, it was discovered to have valuable resources needed on Earth. Primarily for medicine, fuel, technology and other necessities after oil, nuclear and solar energies were deemed obsolete. From then on, Dr. Hayden would create the 'Argent Tower', a monument that capitalized on the UAC's crowning success and primarily used to harness Argent Plasma into usable energy. During this time, however, Dr. Hayden was diagnosed with Stage Four Incurable Brain Cancer, with only six months to live. Fortunately, the doctor had worked around this grave health matter by investing in 'cybernetic transference'. With what little time he had left, Dr. Hayden was able to transfer what was left of his brain, cancer-free, and into the cybernetic framework he had personally designed, becoming the first cyborg in Earth's history."
The AI again showed the image of the doctor in his titanic, cybernetic form proudly stand amongst possibly high-profile scientists. Many of the heroes within were impressed by the technological feat. The Flash whistled in admiration of the doctor's bonafide cybernetic body replacement.
"Wow, that is impressive." Flash complimented. "But...what does this have to do with the invasion?"
"Correction. It has everything to do with the Hell Invasion."VEGA corrected, causing much of the League to froze and anticipate a dark revelation. "After the successful transplant, he would be appointed Project Director of the Argent Facility for the next two decades, revolutionizing human society as it met the requirements needed to thrive during an energy crisis. During that time, however, it was discovered that the source of this energy was found in another dimension known ubiquitously as 'Hell'."
The mere mention of Hell caused an uproar within the League. Even more so than before, quickly devolving into outrage and disgust. Doom Slayer couldn't fault the reactions, understanding how bad of an idea the UAC decided on to begin.
"You knew about the existence of Hell on Mars and knowingly mined it for resources?! What the hell?!" Cried Hal, infuriated by the incompetent decision.
"All those people died because of your greed!" Roared Flash. "And you let them continue despite the dangers of it!"
"Blasphemy! You are dabbling in powers that are beyond your abilities!" Zatara yelled in anger. Some members like Superman, Canary, Jon and Martian Manhunter, however, remained calm and collected made the best out of the situation. VEGA, meanwhile, continued.
"It is understandable how upsetting this matter is. However, under strict protocols and conditions mandated by Dr. Hayden, regulations on Argent Energy were kept a secret due to the necessities needed for Earth to survive. All other natural resources have been depleted and expired, leaving much of Earth's governments deprived of valuable energy."
"And the good doctor decided this was a good option?" Wonder Woman growled in an accusative tone. Doom Slayer was instinctively ready to start a throwdown with the amazon. Even if VEGA had been a part of the UAC since his creation, he was merely a program and had no say in it. And the marine would protect him.
Batman noted the hostility in the Slayer by Wonder Woman's tone but saw that he was protecting the AI. He kept quiet and focused on what VEGA had to say.
"Unfortunately, yes. Given the circumstances, Dr. Hayden had no other choice but to continue the production of Argent Energy. Even if it meant endangering his staff at the time. Both during incidents and several other projects."
Disapproval and disgust were written all over the League. Even Superman could not help but feel disappointed in the clairvoyance. Batman began to speak up once again.
"While I and many of my colleagues do not approve of the blatant disregard for human safety condone by the UAC, there is still a matter of how this invasion had occurred. And that leads us to person B: Olivia Pierce."
VEGA beeped before registering the Caped Crusader's analysis. Images of Dr. Hayden were now replaced with images of an elderly woman in critical health. Doom Slayer snorted in disgust as he saw the one directly responsible for the invasion.
"You are correct, Batman. The one responsible for the invasion was Olivia Pierce. Dr. Pierce was the Head of Biochemical Research at the Argent Facility and was a former protege of Dr. Samuel Hayden for the Lazarus Project, sponsoring her as received high honors in Biomechanics and Genetics at the top of her class at Strasbourg. A few months after arriving, Dr. Pierce was diagnosed with acute idiopathic scoliosis but had undergone experimental cybernetic augmentation. Several months in seclusion after, she returned fully augmented with an exoskeleton grafted into her spinal column, and continued her research within the UAC Mars Division. However, sometime in the late years since her induction, it became clear that Dr. Pierce was growing unstable and lead to some rather horrific behaviours such as a cult of personality, human sacrifices and illegal experiments within the UAC staff."
The AI immediately pulled up images of some horrific projects within the Lazarus Facility. One instance was the Revenant Project. A video detailed a man undergoing the process, specifically having his flesh removed and organs exposed. All while screaming presumably without anesthesia. This was enough to have most of the heroes running out of the Hall, screaming and vomiting ceaselessly from watching. Few even fainted from the shocking footage. Batman, in a rare moment of shock, broke his composure and panicked.
"VEGA! Turn it off! NOW!" Batman yelled. The video immediately closed and the rest gathered their bearings. Many had grown sickened by the UAC's immoral and depraved projects and wished to leave. The Slayer understood how disgusted and traumatized they were from watching it. Even he can't help but pity their reactions. Yet, it was quite clear from said reactions that they were not wholly prepared for such an existential threat. Even the one called Batman broke fast watching the footage.
The Dark Knight quickly regained his senses albeit troubled from the videos.
"Recess." Batman said quietly. None of the heroes hesitated and quickly removed themselves from the entire hall. Only Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Doom Slayer remained.
"This is much more dire than we thought."
"Dire?!" Wonder Woman retorted. "We just saw an entire facility get massacred on tape! Thousands of lives were slaughtered senselessly by those demons! We need to take action!"
"Diana. Please." Superman stepped in. "I am just as shocked as you are. Horrified even. But if VEGA's words are to go by, the crisis had been averted."
"For now." Batman added. "Which brings us to another topic at hand..."
All three instinctively turned to the other person in the room. Doom Slayer had stared back at them as he listened to them. His visor was shrouded in darkness, causing great disturbance and unsettling shivers on the three.
I can hear you. He wrote. This greatly distressed the three as they read that scribble. Superman was the one to approach.
"I don't know who you exactly are, save for the videos..." He started, uneased after witnessing the Slayer's brutal methods. "But the Justice League and I are grateful for your actions."
What he received was a shrug from the marine. There was a sense of indifference vibing off of him, causing raised eyebrows from the rest.
"Not a people-person." Superman said audibly. "Got it."
"No surprises there." Wonder Woman remarked. "He's a soldier. Complimenting unphases him. I've met warriors like him who care about what happens in the moment of battle than it is in peaceful times."
"Which still makes him a suspect." Batman grimaced, causing the other three to look back. This time, Batman braced his nerves as he faced the Slayer.
"There is still much to be reviewed. And until then, you are under surveillance."
Both of his colleagues were mortified at the statement he had given out. Slayer, on the other hand, scribbled.
Don't care. Stay out of my way.
Batman narrowed his eyes in kind. The animosity was beginning to grow between the two. Superman stepped forward, breaking tensions.
"Oookay, let's keep it down." Superman cooly said. "Let's just wait this out until everyone is back and ready. Mostly."
Before any could respond, Doom Slayer approached the main computer and tapped onto the keyboard. VEGA was immediately transferred back into his hard drive.
"What do you think you're doing?!" Batman questioned. Another scribble came.
VEGA'S safe with me. Don't trust you.
The three were stunned by the distrust directed at them.
"Woah, let's be friends here." Superman reassured. "No one here is harming you."
Instead of another scribble, the Slayer simply pointed directly at Batman. Both of the latter's colleagues saw what he meant but completely understand why. Batman bristled inward but kept a stoic face.
"You are withholding evidence from us."
For now. The Slayer wrote. Before Batman could respond, Superman quickly interjected.
"Alright, you can keep the drive. But once everyone's back, you will have to share again. Deal?" Superman proposed. Doom Slayer nodded in agreement. After which, Wonder Woman walked him to his cell, while the other two continued back and forth.
"You should've taken that hard drive from him." Batman growled. Superman shook his head in disapproval.
"He seemed trustworthy enough. Antagonizing him would be breaking his trust."
"He is a violent individual!"
"And seems to know how to work around a computer." Superman responded. "For now, let's just take a break. As you've said, recess."
The Dark Knight simply glowered as his thoughts were now occupied with the potential threat walking among them.
Deathstroke was not someone to be called "nervous". Calling him that would have you be buried more than six feet under if he catches it in the wind. He was far more removed from that kind of feeling. Even when he's now under scrutiny by seven obscured faces behind equally numbered big TV screens.
"Well Deathstroke, what do you have to say for yourself." spoke the distorted voice of one of the seven.
"What do you want me to say?" one of the deadliest men on the planet retorted snappily, "Facing a hulking man armed and armoured with heavy ordinance was not something foreseeable."
"You are the best of the best, aren't you? This man directly impacted my shipment of arms. This is a travesty!" another voice said in anger, causing Deathstroke to sigh inwardly.
Another voice however spoke up, cold and calculating.
"Tell me Deathstroke, who was this adversary of yours?"
The man in question simply folded his arms, shrugging them slightly.
"He was strong, armed to the teeth with numerous cutting edge weaponry I have never send before. His armor was nigh impregnable, my weapons barely got through to him." Deathstroke reported, though he took out a broken sword, still stained with blood.
"Though I have something that might interest everyone back home." the man said sardonically.
"And what is this you bring on the table?" A fourth voice entered, intrigued and slightly amused.
"The blood of the man responsible for the damage in the fight. As I've said, his armor was impregnable. His flesh, however, did not reflected it seemed.
"Yet he still lives." The second voice added, anger barely constrained under that feminine voice. A mirth chuckle escaped the mercenary's voice.
"Even I agree with the frustration. Aimed for his neck, even. And yet... not even that could put him down."
An eerie silence deafened the room. Deathstroke could tell that there were questions floating around in their heads. Understandable given the current situation.
The third voice erupted, "Do we have any other information on this particular anomaly? Sources?"
"Try the news channels." Deathstroke sardonically replied. He had half-expected to be lectured but thankfully they went through his suggestions.
Instantly, the TV channels were flooded with images of the event not long ago. News reporters swarmed in on the scene in the docking bay area. Many waited until a figure appeared. It was not a member of the Justice League that appeared... but the man held responsible for the destruction of the cargo. His suit of armor and intimidating figure practically attracted the reporters like fish bait as he was they got up-close and personal.
Several of the Light's members drop whatever disappointment they had for Deathstroke as all were intrigued of this new entity.
Well, almost everyone save for one individual.
The sudden screaming from one of the Light caught the rest by surprise and disoriented them briefly before his channel turned static.
"What. Was. That?" One of them asked.
"I believe L7 has decided to take... immediate leave... from our current meeting. Shall we retrieve him?"
"I think it's best we just let him leave to his own devices. Let him have a breather." The fourth answered, having an ever so calming voice to hide that slimy personality of his to alleviate tensions. "However, it appears Deathstroke was right about his new playmate. Seems we have a wild card among us."
"And a face I'll remember to burn!" The second snapped.
"We will settle that dispute for another time, L4." One of them replied. "L1, do you have any course of action regarding this man?"
"..." There was only a lengthy dead silence from the third voice. For many of the Light, this seemed rather uncharacteristic of L1 to go silent. Which drew a lot of suspicion on him.
"L1, I ask what is the next step in countering this individual?"
There was a beat of silence as everyone stopped to ponder on his vague orders. There was a range of confusion, but before they can continue, L1 elaborated.
"We will do strictly nothing at this point, is that understood?" the voice said, "Nothing will be done without my say-so. This is a delicate situation that needs to be handled with utmost expertise."
There was some bickering and grumbling but none of them seemed intent on antagonizing their fellow. Instead, they watched as his silhouette seemed to struggle with himself.
"Deathstroke, bring me this blade immediately. I shall consider the job partially completed and you will get half your pay. Nothing more, nothing less." L1 stated finally, returning back to his calm manner.
Deathstroke bristled at the implied insult but did stay stoic outwardly. Instead, he sheathed his broken blade and grumbled as the rest of the Light began bickering all over again. The council's arguments eventually subsided to other plans and schemes before ending without much fanfare. Besides L7's disappearance, the meeting was anti-climatic at best for the assassin.
The mercenary's burner phone went off as he exited the building. He pulled out the handheld device and read the text. A simple address and time displayed on-screen. Sighing, he readied his bike and drove off. With all said and done, there was one constant thing that kept him up.
A new target. Heavily armed to the teeth and full of killing intent, the new player was a beast on the field. And the mercenary would need all the resources that money could buy.
Deathstroke smirked to finally have found a worthy opponent. At least that was something to anticipate.
And that is the end... of part one. To give some context, this was supposed to be a lot than it originally was. So much that I've decided to simply break it into two chapters. Another one will come but for now, just leave a review and I hope you enjoyed it.
And to change the subject, let's talk about the last time I've posted for this story. A lot of you had quite a bit of... passion... and I don't fault you for that. Namely, I have made a couple of oopsies in regards to Doom Slayer's power level and supposed weakness. Especially regarding the fact Batman pulled his gun away and Deathstroke making him bleed. While I admit I can see why considering he's quite powerful, I had simply wrote what I thought would bring interesting story threads on the table. That said, I will avoid making that fumble and write him just as awesome as usual.
With that said, it's good to finally write again. I don't know how long I'll have until my next job hiring but until then, it is good to be back in business. I hope to post more in the near. And hopefully no one thinks I'm dead (I'm looking at you, Oboi). Anyways, see ya next time! Peace!