Note: I have no idea how the WildStorm universe handled the World Trade Centre attack. This is just my idea of how it would affect Jack Hawksmoor, both physically and emotionally.

When a city cries...

New York City

The pain ripped through him like a knife to the heart, tearing at his very soul. He could hear the city cry out in pain as it was assaulted by something it had no defence against. The shear overwhelming force of the pain forced him to find a rooftop to rest on; somewhere he could collect his thought and work out what to do.

The eyes of the city, her innumerable windows, showed him what had happened: huge plums of thick black smoke billowed from her crowing glory. Fire-fights, police and paramedics, her guardians, raced to the scene.

He held his head, trying to contain the pain and shock of an entire city. His fingers clawed at the concrete rooftop, digging deep groves in its surface. The city, HIS city, had no comprehension of what had just happened, why someone would do such a thing, and was turning to the only person who could help.

Jack Hawksmoor, the God of Cities, the post-human surgically altered to live symbiotically with urban environments, and leader of The Authority.

But the pain and confusion was unlike anything Hawksmoor had ever encountered before: the mind-numbing fear of a city under siege by those who had no respect for it. He could feel other cities around the world respond to New York's cries of distress and pain: from Boston to Budapest, from Seattle to Sydney, the sentient minds of the cities called to him, their champion, to help New York.

He couldn't even use his radio-telepathy to call for the others: the pain had overloaded the nano-bots, rendering them useless. He couldn't help but wonder where the hell they where: something like this should have gotten their attention big time. He looked up, hoping to see Shen or Apollo in the sky, but they where nowhere to be seen.

Paralyzed by fear and pain, he sat helplessly as first one tower fell, followed by the other. Part of him registered a similar distress message from Washington D.C., but he couldn't do anything about that.

The city finally calmed down enough to release its grip on him, going into a kind of shock: the collective minds of its inhabitants feeding into its own. Stumbling to his feet, Hawksmoor called for a door and returned to The Carrier.

It was two days before he even acknowledged anyone, let alone spoke to them without mumbling. They tried to explain that they'd been dealing with an emergency with another reality and had been unable to contact him, but he didn't want to listen.

It was Shen who finally got through to him: she found him curled up in the observation bay, several empty bottles of Jack Daniels scattered across the crystal-clear floor. Tears were streaming down his face as he relived the pain New York had felt.

Not saying a word, Shen sat down next to him and held him while he grieved.

The End