The Evil Long Forgotten

Epilogue

By Christopher W. Blaine

e-mail: All of the characters and situations contained in this story are ©2004 by DC Comics Inc. and are used without permission for non-profit, fan related entertainment purposes only. This original work of fiction is ©2004 by Christopher W. Blaine and may not be reproduced in any manner, in part or as a whole, without the express permission of the author.

It was a cold wind that blew across the face of the visitor, but he paid it no mind. He had been raised in a climate much harsher, both physically and intellectually. He was accustomed to many disturbing things and he knew that during his second lease on life, he would have to grow used to even more.

Yet staring at the monument erected in honor of Donna Troy, the Titan that had fallen in battle with a crazed Superman robot, he found himself unable to summon the faculties needed to adapt to the emotions he was feeling. Sadness, burning deep inside his soul, threatened to force tears out of his eyes, but it was his sheer will that kept them at bay. She would not have wanted him to cry; in fact, she probably would not have wanted him there to begin with.

How many months had it been since that fateful day in Germany, when he had revealed his true self to her, hoping against hope that she would see that he had only the best interests of the human race at heart? He was no longer a simple goose-stepper, a lackey for Hitler and his mad henchmen. Now he was a soldier in a quest to purify the world not solely based upon race, but by other factors as well. Why had she not seen that in the new order that Ra's al Ghul envisioned that the Amazons would have had a place? They would bare the children of tomorrow, good and strong children, right in moral sense and character.

They really could have been happy, or was that simply wishful thinking? She saw him only as a Nazi and decades of American war dramas had convinced every soul on Earth that anyone who bore the swastika on their arm was a baby killer.

But he had killed babies, hadn't he?

Was he really the monster that she had imagined when she gazed upon his golden armor? Was he so horrible to look at?

"I should kill you," Wonder Woman said from behind him.

To his credit, he did not flinch, but instead a small smile crept onto his face. He continued to stare at the grave marker of the Amazon's twin. "But you won't, will you? You have put aside your Amazonian heritage to become subservient to Superman and his League of Liberals."

"I don't think anyone has ever called Batman a liberal," she said.

He nodded, remembering the cut from the batarang that gave him his new scar. "Regardless, you will not kill me. You will do nothing except allow me to pay my respects."

Wonder Woman laid a hand on her lasso. "Didn't you think for a moment that the League would have cameras all over this place? Do you believe that we would not protect our dead, Henry?"

"You may call me Baron…I believe I have earned it, Princess," he said, still not bothering to turn around.

"You've earned a trip to Hades if I have anything to say about it. You do know that you can still be tried for war crimes in Israel," she reminded him and she was brought a small measure of satisfaction when she saw him straighten. "Their lawyers have argued that your murder of the Seraph was simply a continuation of the Holocaust. In fact, Mossad agents are scouring the globe looking for you."

"I know, I've killed eight of them in the last six months. And their families." He finally turned around. "With the exception of their children, which I am holding hostage to ensure that I walk away from here."

"I don't negotiate with terrorists…"

"Do not confuse me with some over-zealous religious crusaders that think flying airplanes into buildings is suddenly going to change the balance of power in the world. I am the scalpel that the surgeon wields to cut out the cancer that is plaguing mankind," the Baron told her, thrusting his hands into his pockets. She stood in her costume, a modest affair, yet she showed no signs of even feeling the cold. Like her deceased sister, she was a magnificent specimen of human development.

In Wonder Woman's face he saw Donna and it made him weak in the stomach. He poured hate into it like a cement. "My cousin is watching us at this very moment. If you attempt to apprehend me, he will strangle a seven year old girl in his custody."

"And what happens if I let you walk?" she asked.

"Then the child grows to become somebody, just not somebody who is free."

Wonder Woman shook her head. "That is not an option."

The Baron shook his own head and pulled out a hand to wave a finger at her. "No, it is an option, just not a pleasant one." He laughed. "You know I am not lying; no man can lie to you it is said."

Wonder Woman considered the threat and the consequences and decided that it was better to save the fight for another day. She had not informed the rest of the League that she had detected the presence of someone at Donna's grave and any move she made to use her JLA transmitter would result in the death of the child.

She briefly considered using a telepathic call to J'onn J'onzz, but decided to wait. Given Ra's al Ghul's vast resources and the Baron's tactical mind, she was sure that they had a metahuman somewhere nearby that could also pick up on that. "Why are you here?" she finally asked.

"I came to say good-bye. I do not think it would have been prudent for me to show up at the funeral, especially with so many of her past lovers present." He put his hand back in his pocket to shelter it from the cold. "She was a great woman."

"Yes, she was, and she was someone who was deeply hurt by what transpired between the two of you," the Amazon confessed. "You are truly a cold-hearted creature for having had hidden your identity so. You used us to find your cousin and you have unleashed a great danger onto this world."

"I did no more for my family than you would have done for yours. Tell me you would not have moved mountains to save your sister," he retorted, knowing he had hit a sore spot. "I love my cousin as much as you loved Donna, perhaps more so since I actually spent time with him." Again his verbal thrust struck deep. His master's extensive files on the entire Justice League, lifted from the database of the Batman himself, detailed how Donna and Diana had been separated as children.

Wonder Woman was too strong both in prowess and character to be shaken badly by the exchange and she kept her head held high. "I would not hurt innocent people by playing with their hearts. You presented to Donna exactly what it was she was looking for. You manipulated her…"

"I did no such thing," the Baron snapped. "My feelings for her were just as real as the ones she felt for me! Do not blame me because you and your sister are more like me than you want to admit. You are members of a superior race and that breeds a certain amount of arrogance."

"We Amazons do not lead children to slaughter…"

"So, in the entire history of your people, you have never murdered innocents?" He saw her start to speak but then she halted. There were some questionable actions taken by the Amazons in the distant past. "I thought so," he said, satisfaction in his voice.

"So, where does that leave us, Baron?" she asked. "If you truly had feelings for my sister, you would surrender now to face the justice she sought to uphold."

"Justice? I'm afraid that is a foreign concept to me. Where was your precious justice when Germany was being raped by the allies after 1918?" He shivered in the cold and pulled his collar up. It was unseasonably cold in this part of the country this year, but he felt that maybe it had more to do with all of the death around him. "I am tired of this debate, Princess. Nothing either one of us says here will change the other's mind, so why do we not call a truce?"

"There is the matter of the child," she reminded him.

He chuckled. "In honor of your sister, I will tell my cousin to free her. We will drop her at your embassy, so long as I am not harassed."

Wonder Woman straightened. A deal with the devil was sometimes a deal worth making. "This is not over between us," she warned him.

"It seems my destiny is forever tied to your family, Princess, but I assure you that my feelings for your sister will not keep me from continuing my master's mission." He then moved and walked by her. He had gotten several feet away when Wonder Woman called after him.

"She was falling in love with you," she said. She saw his shoulders stiffen and a smile crossed her face. As a warrior born, she could also take pleasure in a deep cut. "She spent her last months trying to sort out what it was about you that she admired so and I now realize what it was, Baron."

He stopped, refusing to turn around, letting his silence beckon her to continue speaking. "It was because she knew that for some reason, you were falling in love with her as well. I don't doubt your feelings for her; I never did. What hurt her the most was that she never knew how far it would go, she was afraid of what she would do for real love after being let down so many times. After you, she never even bothered to try again."

The Baron did not move for a moment and then one hand moved up to his face, but what he was doing was impossible to see. Then he began to move forward and Wonder Woman watched him, in the shadow of the monument to her sister, until he faded from sight.