Batman/Command & Conquer: Red Gotham
By Christopher W. Blaine
DISCLAIMER: Batman and related characters and situations are ©2003 by DC Comics Inc./Yuri and related characters and situations are ©2003 by Westwood Games. All are used here without permission for fan-related entertainment purposes only. All original content is ©2003 by Christopher W. Blaine.
There were no words to describe the pain in the heart of Batgirl as she watched her former lover slowly comes towards her with murder in his eyes. Too many friends were dead, to many innocents taken from the world before their time. The Atom. Green Arrow. Black Canary. Huntress. Batman.
Yuri laughed and stepped out of the doorway, slowly making his way to the right. Batgirl could not get to him without confronting Robin. "You must excuse me, Batgirl, but I am afraid I have an appointment with destiny. With the last vestiges of the American Justice League destroyed, President Luthor has nothing to stop me!" His laughter trailed behind him as he took off in a run.
Robin leapt at Batgirl, his hands spread wide in the hopes of wrapping them around her neck. She easily dodged but did not strike at his exposed back as he passed her. He stopped, snarled and turned around and made the same attack again. His movements were not fluid like the man she knew and she wondered how badly he had been hurt when the Batwing had gone down.
Again she dodged and held off and again he whipped around and tried again. This time she kicked him in the knee, a simple strike he should have been able to block easily, but her foot connected and there was a resounding crack. As he fell she sensed someone coming up behind her and she saw it was the Crazy Ivan she had disabled earlier. This time two hand grenades replaced the spoon and squirrel. "Come here!" he ordered.
Batgirl had no time to do anything except back flip and catch the Russian on the chin with her boot tip. She landed on her hands and sprung away as the two grenades fell and rolled towards her. She should have landed next to Robin, but he had been crawling towards her to get another shot at her and so he encountered one of the grenades as it exploded. His body absorbed the blast, being torn to many pieces that scattered all over the immediate area. Batgirl cried out loud, a moan of pure pain and desperation that was drowned out by the second grenade exploding.
The Commander and Smith sped through the streets of Gotham, passing stray troops from both sides as they tried to get north where the nuclear missile solo was preparing to launch. As they turned a corner, the Lieutenant popped up on the command screen. "Commander, we have problems. Satellite recon indicates three Libyan demolition trucks heading for the manor!"
"Damn it!" the Commander said. He tried to send orders to his troops to get out of the way and to have the last Harrier drop some laser-guided bombs on one of them. The Libyans were known to employ suicide bombers in specially designed trucks that carried small tactical nukes. Three trucks would take out the entire manor complex. His signal was being jammed, he found out and all he could do was watch.
The satellite zoomed in on the trucks as the ran the forward guard points, knocking soldiers aside and even taking out an Allied perimeter dog that made a brave attempt to stop them. One of the remaining IFV's, a missile-carrier, pulled up and started firing at the trucks. The weapons for that vehicle, however, were designed mostly for anti-aircraft operations, which meant the small projectiles were meant to distribute small packets of metal into the intakes of airplanes. The small warheads barely dented the heavily armored Libyan trucks.
When the trucks made it to within fifty feet of Wayne Manor, they split up. The IFV continued to assault the last truck, which moved towards a set of power generation plants. Ten seconds later, all three vehicles exploded and the entire base and Wayne Manor disappeared under three green mushroom clouds. The satellite feed cut out then, as the radar station could no longer function after being so badly damaged.
"We can't let that happen to Gotham City," the Commander told the Lieutenant. He leaned down and stuck his head into the main compartment of the IFV. "Step on it, Petty Officer," he called out.
"I'm giving her all she's got, Commander," Smith replied. "You better be putting together the C-4 charges we're going to use to blow up the silo."
"No time to take out the silo; we'll have to take down the control room instead," he replied. Smith gulped because the control room was normally very well guarded, much more than the heavily reinforced silo itself. The normal procedure for taking out a Soviet missile silo was to attack it from the air, but there was no time for that today.
"Yes, sir," Smith said as he gunned the engine just a little more.
Batgirl rolled over onto her back and looked up to see the smiling and bearded face of Captain Marvel. "What a pretty little thing I have found," he said in a fake Russian accent.
The Dark Knight Damsel kicked out and it felt like she had kit pure steel. The explosion of pain raced up her leg and into her hip and she cried out. She had not expected him to be so strong. He said nothing else but reached down and grabbed a handful of her long dark hair. She tried and upper strike to snap his arm and was rewarded with twice the pain that was in her leg.
Dragged to kneeling position, she understood that the end was near. She could not fight the World's Mightiest Mortal and he seemed to sense her resignation. He pulled his other hand back, making a killing fist and was ready to end her suffering when a shadow passed overhead. He looked up to see the belly of a Justice League cargo jet, hovering thanks to several vertical jets along the hull. A small hatch opened in the bottom and Katana jumped out.
She landed on top of Captain Marvel and he fell over, surprised that anyone would be foolish enough to strike him in such a manner. Batgirl fell back even as Katana rolled and came up, her long blade held in front of her. Captain Marvel was up as well and he smiled wide. "Two little things to crush," he said from behind perfect teeth.
Katana laughed, turned and started to run. Captain Marvel, eager for a chase, half-heartedly chased after her, not using any of his super powers. Katana ran straight towards a group of engineers that had just finished putting a Tesla generator back on line. Two quick moves of her blade took two of them down, the rest scattered screaming. One didn't get very far, taken down by a British sniper. Captain Marvel jogged up and stopped a few feet away from Katana.
She could feel the electric charge in the air as the generator came on line and she back up slowly. Her adversary took a single step forward and then pulled the speed of Mercury to himself. She had expected it and was able to just get out of the way as he blew past her and crashed into the generator.
Anyone who had access to the Justice League secret files knew that Billy Batson was able to transform into Captain Marvel whenever he spoke the word "Shazam". The transformation resulted from Billy's body being struck by a bolt of magic lightning. Normal lightning could not cause the change, but there was a theory, one put forth by the Batman, that exposure to sufficient electrical energy could temporarily weaken his powers. The Tesla generator, at full capacity, was a possible solution.
Katana jumped into the wrecked shell of the building and found Captain Marvel lying on the floor, small little lightning bolts racing over his body. He pushed up and shook his head and Katana drove her blade, a special weapon made especially for her by Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, before he died, into his back. It was supposed to be sharp enough to cut even Superman, but Katana had doubted that. It was strong enough to pierce Captain Marvel's torso and she grunted as she forced it deep enough so that it entered the concrete below him.
He screamed. "Shazam!" he called out, calling the magic lightning to him in the vain hope it would strike her or somehow rescue him. Katana jumped away even as he started to speak and hurried out the hole she had come through. The lightning bolt crashed through the top of the generator building and struck the sword sticking out of Captain Marvel's back.
The explosion tossed Katana twenty feet into the air and only by sheer luck did she land in a garbage heap that cushioned her fall. There was a snap as she landed and she knew her arm was broken, but she didn't dare cry out. Any Soviet stragglers that had not boarded one of the transports she had see from the air probably had orders to kill anyone without vodka on their breath.
After a few moments, when the Tesla generator had finished falling in on itself, she slowly raised her head up to see Batgirl struggling to keep her balance as she came towards her. It was obvious that she was completely out of it and Katana grunted and stood up as quickly as she could. She looked at the flaming wreckage of Captain Marvel's tomb and spit. It had cost her a good sword, a damn fine blade that had been her companion for many years, but she was assured it had died a glorious and honorable death by taking down so powerful an enemy.
There would be time to mourn her lost blade later. She looked around and was surprised to see hardly any more activity, but then she noted all of the destruction. What had been an active base forty-five minutes before was now nothing more than flaming ruins and piles of dead bodies. She was a warrior, a warrior trained in the way of bushido and she understood the necessity of combat. But all of this was nothing but pure slaughter. There was no honor here and she felt old and tired.
Batgirl shuffled up to her. "Thank you," she said, nearly falling over. She was exhausted. "We must get out of here…find Yuri…"
Katana shook her head and looked up at the hovering Justice League plane. She waved her good arm in the air and a basket was lowered from the cargo hold. "We've intercepted some transmissions from the local Allied commander. Yuri is planning on detonating a nuclear device on top of Gotham City." The basket landed next to them and the two heroes climbed into it moments before it started to rise up. "We've been asked to try and get there, do something to prevent the missile from launching."
Batgirl said nothing, but instead cast her dark eyes towards the steaming pile of goo that had been her boyfriend. Then she turned her head to the rooftop where the body of the Batman lay, growing cold. She saw Tanya there, waving at her. "Wait, we have to pick her up," Batgirl said before fainting.
A few minutes later she was awakened by Oracle who had grabbed some smelling salts from the medical kit. Batgirl turned her head and saw six SEAL's applying first aid to Katana and Tanya. "We picked up the boys before we evacuated Wayne Manor," Oracle explained.
From behind the redhead a voice with a distinctive German accent began shouting. "Mein Gott! We must flee! The nuclear weapon!"
Oracle rolled her eyes. "Dr. Einstein, we will get going as soon as our pilot is ready to go," she said. She leaned down and whispered into Batgirl's ear. "I swear that man is getting on my nerves."
"Batman…" Batgirl started to say.
Oracle's face darkened. "We know. The Commander gave the order to take him down. Batman was too important to allow to go over to the other side. Besides, if we can get Dr. Einstein's time machine working, we can stop all of this from happening!"
Batgirl's puzzled look told Oracle that the younger woman did not completely understand. Oracle patted her head. "Rest. Hopefully, we won't need you anymore."
The Commander checked his ammo and realized that they were never going to get to the missile controls they needed to take out. They had run afoul of four Apocalypse tanks that had never shown up on the radar. It had been a perfect trap and had he not been so upset about the sudden turn of events, he never would have been caught in so simple a trap.
"Our front armor is shredded, sir," Smith called out as another near hit blasted them with debris. The massive tanks were toying with them, they both knew. "We have to pull out," he cried in desperation.
The Commander did not want to retreat, but he had no choice. Gotham was lost unless there was a last minute miracle. "Okay, Smith, let's get out of here," the Commander said with resignation. There was an explosion from the front of the vehicle and his friend and bodyguard gave a final scream. Smoke and the smell of charred flesh floated into the turret and the Commander had no choice but to pop the hatch.
He struggled to clamber out and he could see through the black smoke the missile silo that was in the distance. Alarms were going off in the immediate area, warning personnel that the missile was about to launch. "Damn it," the Commander whispered as three conscripts started clambering over the broken hull of the IFV. The Commander pulled out his service pistol and fired, taking two of them down. The last one was quick on the draw and fired a burst with his AK-47. The Commander's body was riddled with bullets and fell back, his eyes staring into the sky as Yuri's missile lifted off.
"We have a missile launch!" one of the SEALs cried out from the radar station. Katana cursed and moved to the pilot's seat and deactivated the autopilot.
"We have to get away from the blast zone or we'll be cooked!" she called out. In the back of the spacious plane, Dr. Einstein and Oracle, rolling around in her wheelchair, were trying to shutdown the time machine that the German scientist had been running through a warm-up cycle.
"Vee must hurry!" Einstein cried.
"We are" Oracle snapped back. It had been fairly easy to convince him to help them reverse his actions of the past, but it was more difficult to get him to be quiet. Einstein had expressed true sorrow that his rash decision to save six million fellow Jews had resulted in two world wars that had killed nearly one billion.
The missile exploded a hundred feet above the Gotham Municipal Building. The blast wave radiated out instantly, the radiation following close behind. Then came the heat. In less than fifteen seconds, the city that the Batman had fought so hard to save, the city he essentially had died for, was no more. What man had created, Yuri had taken away with a single weapon, a weapon that had been created through the science of a man who had gone through time to prevent war.
The Justice League jet under the command of Katana bucked and bounced as the air blast struck it and tossed it around like a toy. In the back, the SEALs, Oracle, Batgirl, Tanya and Dr. Einstein cried out and moaned as they were thrown against the bulkheads and tied down crates.
Oracle fell out her chair and watched as it tumbled across the cargo area and smash into the small Tesla generator used to power the time machine. There was a spark and then a hum and the next thing they knew, the world was twisting and turning before their eyes.
Katana pulled and pushed on the controls, trying to keep the jet on a path towards a horizon that kept getting farther and farther away.
When everything became normal again, Katana was surprised to be looking out into a blue sky. In the back, she heard several of the passengers grumbling, some moaning and at least two were deathly silent. She was about to activate the autopilot when she noted that they were flying over a prairie that had signs of recent battle damage.
Following the destruction, she started to see wreckage of tanks and other armored vehicles, all burned so badly that she could not identify which side they belonged to. She lowered her speed and dropped down, using a set of tracks from what seemed to be a hundred vehicles to guide her. Tanya hopped into the co-pilot's chair, her arm in a sling. "Two of the SEAL's are dead, their necks were broken," she said as she looked down at the ground.
"Sorry, but I'm not used to flying through nuclear blasts," Katana replied.
"What are you doing?" Tanya asked. "How far from Gotham are we?"
"I can't get a proper GPS fix. The computer keeps requesting information, but the response it gets doesn't make sense. It keeps asking for an EVA identification number," Katana explained as she nodded towards the center console.
"I don't have one."
"Neither do I, but that doesn't matter. This jet runs off of a Justice League satellite, not a military one, but the signal indicates that it is part of some network belonging to the Global Defense Initiative."
Tanya shrugged and looked down to see several dune buggies streaking across the prairie, displaying flags with flat cornered triangles with a scorpion's tail in the center. "Where the hell are we?" she asked and Katana had no answer as they flew over a battle composed of thousands of troops and vehicles.
This isn't the end! Watch for the next installment of the DC Comics/Westwood crossover, "Birds of Prey/Command & Conquer: Tiberian Gotham" coming in a few short months!