The entire Justice League wore the same look of pure terror as they backed away cautiously from the Lex android, even as it turned to face Superman.
"Now what is it they always say about you? Oh yes… faster than a speeding bullet…" Luthor flew forward in a grey blur, impacting into Superman with enough force to send the both of them hurtling out of the building at speeds sufficient enough to shatter the glass of the room's huge windows, uplifting equipment and tools in their wake. The two flew straight through the building across from the Lexcorp towers and through the building on the other side of that, before impacting into the side of yet another.
"… more powerful than a locomotive." Luthor jeered as he forced his new super strong fingers around Superman's throat.
Back in the Lexcorp towers, the League struggled to re-gather themselves.
"Quick, everyone fall back. Superman and I will handle this." Batman shouted to the others.
"No way, we're not just going to leave you two alone against that." Flash argued.
"No, he's right. We've been through this before. The only thing the rest of us are going to do is make Lex even stronger. Fall back. We'll regroup later." Green Lantern ordered. The other Leaguer's turned to each other hesitantly, before, reluctantly, taking flight. "Good luck."
With that, Batman found himself alone to chase after Lex and Superman, and now left with the burning question of what to do next.
"Oh I've waited far too long for this." Lex's smug smile never faded as his fingers continued to restrict Superman's breathing.
"Likewise." Heat vision burnt the inside of Lex's metal mouth, causing the android to retreat its attack in fear of permanent damage. As Lex's grip loosened, Superman forced his super strong fists into the android's gut, then into his chest and finally his face in super speed succession.
As the android flew back into the air from the force of the blows, a red and blue blur drove straight into it, forcing it hurtling towards the streets below.
The force of their impact blew chunks of heavy concrete and debris up into the air as if they weighed little more than spare ounces. The resulting crater was large enough to jam up the entire street and even the sidewalk, though no one had actually been below them at the time of the impact.
For a minute, nothing within the crater stirred, even as Batman landed down beside it. However, as soon as he attempted to look down into the abyss, he recognized the form of Superman sent flying up into the air; limp, with the android Luthor flying after of its own power.
This wasn't going as well as Lex had planned. He now had the same power as Superman, but not the same experience with it. He needed another edge. Fortunately, that was well within his ability to arrange. Scanning the city with his new x-ray and telescopic vision, he attempted to locate other members of the League, no doubt trying to protect themselves from his infamous gaze. It was a vain attempt. After all, why else would he have chosen Superman's powers first?
The Flash had only been running for about thirty seconds. Still more than far enough in his mind. He knew that Batman was right, that was what he was famous for after all, but if there was even a chance that he might be needed, he would be ready.
"The fastest man alive." Lex's voice carried the cold echo of death itself, even as the Flash turned to see two glowing eyes scanning him, signaling the processing of data and modifications being made within the android based on those very scans. "Not anymore."
Super fast fists flew out, but the Lex android managed to dodge every one of them with the exact same speed. Luthor soon turned his defense into a counter offensive as a super fast, super strong arm shot out, slapping the Flash to the side like a rag doll.
The Flash struggled to bring himself to his feet, even as he looked up to see the hulking grey figure approaching him. However, a sigh of relief went through his body as a familiar emerald energy shot down from the sky, blasting Luthor straight down through the concrete street beneath his own feet and out of sight and mind.
"Thought I said to get clear." Green Lantern's tone was firm and unattached.
"No, really, I'm fine. Thanks for worrying." Flash sounded unconvincing in his assurances of well-being as he tried to rub the ache out of his muscles.
However, before GL could say another word, the Luthor android came crashing up through the city streets, right behind Jon Stewart. In the flash of an eye, Lex's arms wrapped around Green Lantern's upper frame, threatening to crush the very life out of him.
"Yes, this is how I imagined it would be. Crushing the life out of each and every one of you with my own fingers." Lex's voice echoed into Lantern's ears, as the emerald clad hero struggled to maintain his field enough to keep his ribs from snapping like mere twigs beneath the godly strain placed upon them.
The Flash rushed to action with a series of super fast blows, yet the Lex android seemed to take no notice of this attack. Instead, his grip continued to tighten with unyielding relentlessness.
Sensing the failing strength of his own defenses, Jon Stewart dug deep within himself, summoning all his willpower, harnessing it through his ring, for one last desperate effort. From all around his entire body, emerald energy radiated outward, filling the entire area with an almost serene green glow, as it emitted pure force from his body, causing the very concrete beneath his feet to fly up like mere sand in a storm as he let out an almost inhuman roar, knocking Luthor back and through the front wall of a nearby grocery store.
Jon took a moment longer to cry out in his own furry, desperate for breath, before nearly collapsing to the ground, only just being caught by the Flash before having to suffer the taste of concrete.
"Easy there buddy. Hey, shouldn't your hair be glowing yellow or something after that?"
The Flash's reference and humor went unappreciated as a super speedy Lex android tore into the wounded pair, sending the both of them flying off in separate directions, only to land painfully, unconscious on the cold ground beneath them.
Lex's scanners turned to Jon Stewart and his emerald ring. Once again, his eyes glowed white with the promise of new powers.
Hawkgirl swooped overhead, her spirits much lower than her actual altitude. She had left Wonder Woman behind to come back, convinced she could do more good than harm given her limited super human abilities. Without her mace, her only other power was flight and Luthor would already have access to that within his arsenal. Yet if there was even a chance she could make a difference…
It had been very disturbing to her that she should now be trying to find her fellow teammates by following a path of destruction across the city; a path that ended with a very unpleasant discovery.
"Superman! Batman!" The Thanagarian female's voice sounded concern for her fellow Leaguers as she saw them lying unconscious on the street below. In a second, she was beside them, lifting Superman's head for closer inspection.
He was alive. They both were. That meant one thing.
But before Hawkgirl could react, an emerald dome came down around her, trapping her on the spot.
"How disappointing. I was hoping to ensnare the Martian with that trap." Lex floated down before her, his glowing white eyes scanning her yet again. The data had been processed as evidence by a large mace, glowing with electrical energy, virtually identical to her own, that appeared from within his metallic hulking form.
Hawkgirl let out a fierce war cry as she smashed away at the green prison with her mace. The emerald energies quickly dissolved away into nothingness, leaving her unrestrained to fly outward straight for Luthor.
Just as Hawkgirl threatened to bring her mace down right on top of Luthor's head, her target quickly vanished from her in a puff of super speed, only to reappear behind her, thirty feet away. She charged him again, only to have him once again retreat and reappear thirty feet away from her all over again.
"Come now. At least try to make this difficult for me." Luthor motioned invitingly with his palms, all the while his smirk betraying his own amusement. Hawkgirl tried to charge him again, only to be knocked out of the air by twin heat beams than burned the edges of her wings near the back.
The pain was unbearable as Hawkgirl fell to the ground, smoke rising from her backside as Lex slowly walked up to her.
"You know, I had thought about tearing your wings off, but that seemed inhuman, and quite indignant. No, I think I'll settle for just ripping your heart right out." Luthor paused as he looked down upon the alien beauty, almost expecting one of her team mates to show up and save her.
No. Not yet. There was still too much to do to allow himself to indulge in such simple pleasures. He wouldn't allow his plan to destroy the Justice League be sidetracked by petty murder.
The Martian Manhunter moved through the crowd, his form now that of a middle aged business man, desperate to blend in with a group of like dressed individuals walking down the street. He knew that there could be little escape from Luthor's speed or new x-ray vision, and had telepathically sensed his different teammates as they each tried and failed to stop Luthor.
Yet he was determined not to make things any worse than they already were. He hated the idea, as much as any of his other teammates, of just sitting back and hiding all over again, as he had been forced to due throughout most of the battle with the original Amazo. Yet his intervention would now only truly make things go from bad to worst.
"Impressive. I really was expecting you to charge in headlong just like all the others." J'onn looked up to see the grey android floating above, his eyes glowing bright white, the sight of which sent the small group of people J'onn had been attempting to blend with scattering for their own safety while he himself remained perfectly still, even as the android came down to land directly before him.
"Do you know I couldn't even find you with Superman's x-ray vision? I knew you had to be close by, since I couldn't spot you flying over head; I just had no idea how to find you. Fortunately, this little beauty apparently has a million different user friendly functions." Luthor indicated to a glowing band around his right middle finger.
"You are unworthy of the powers you now posses." J'onn's 'disguise' melted away to reveal his natural green form in costume.
"Unworthy? What could you know of worth? You were born with your gifts. You came into this world of men as a god. You have no idea what its like to earn power. To spend an entire lifetime acquiring more and more, and at the peak of that lifetime, learn that there are beings with powers that defy human imagination, and before them, you are nothing but a speck." Luthor's calm and smug demeanor was replaced by a righteous rage.
"You have earned nothing, Luthor. You have cheated and lied and hurt every one who ever stood in your way to get where you are now. And even that was not enough for you. You not a man Luthor, you are merely hunger, raw hunger that would consume this entire planet and countless others to satisfy your own selfish desires."
For a moment, Luthor wore only a scowl on his face as the two figures remained perfectly still before one another.
"Wonder Woman to Watch Tower, come in."
On the other side of the communication channel, the sound of a familiar, if fatigued voice came in clear over the line.
"This is Steel, Wonder Woman. I hope you guys have good news."
"I'm afraid not, now listen carefully. The entire Watchtower is to be emptied. I want every member and associate to head down to earth and to stay hidden until further notice. I repeat, all members and associates to go underground until further notice or instruction." The Amazon warrior spoke in forceful, unquestionable authority.
"That's going to be a problem Diana. The Ultimen wrecked every Javelin in the landing bay, and the teleporters…"
"… are still down. They hardly seem worth the trouble sometimes." Wonder Woman mused as she finished the report on her own, her voice sinking uncomfortably as her mind pondered a series of unpleasant scenarios.
Wonder Woman never had the chance to issue further instructions. On the other side of the communicator, Steel's voice and requests for additional orders went unheeded. Wonder Woman went cold with fear as a set of mechanical eyes performed their final scan.
"Now, I have the entire set." The new god formerly known as Lex Luthor announced proudly, floating in the air before the immortal warrior.