Beyond the 52 Chapter 1 "Origin"

By Christopher W. Blaine

DISCLAIMER: This work of fiction contains characters and situations that are ©2008 by DC Comics Inc. and Christopher W. Blaine. DC Comics has not given permission for the use of their characters or situations. This work is done for fan entertainment only. This original story is ©2008 by Christopher W. Blaine.

The story thus far…

Years ago, the time-traveling villain known as the Time-Guardian enlisted the aid of Extant in order to try and recreate the Crisis event. It was revealed that the Time-Guardian was actually the Roy Harper of Earth-2, a world that had existed before the Crisis. Blaming God for his situation and the loss of his world, Harper used his magically-based powers, which he inherited by accident, to travel through Hypertime where he murdered his duplicates.

Finally, he gathered together villains from the pre-Crisis universe, using his powers to pluck them from the time stream, and with this army he assaulted the true Roy Harper and killed him. By killing Harper before he was destined to die, the Time-Guardian managed to exploit the hole caused in the space-time continuum and he pulled the Crisis wave through.

A new universe was created, but while trying to make his own order, the Time-Guardian had managed to also build some chaos. In the non-dimension of Limbo, Abel, keeper of the House of Secrets, jumbled together a group heroes that should had never existed. He put them on the Time-Guardian's world, hoping they would be able to set things correct. Led by the Kryptonian super-hero Nightwing, this group, called the Time-Wardens, destroyed the Time-Guardian's Crisis engine, which should have restored the universe.

It did, but not without a wrinkle.

The Time-Trapper, a villain from the 3oth century, wanted to see how the scenario would play out and created a pocket dimension to hold the Time-Guardian's universe. While life went on there, a hole in Limbo was allowing criminals from various ages and realities to spill out into the real world. The Justice League found itself leading a fight against a more powerful enemy.

War was breaking out in all dimensions but the cause of good was not without its champions.

At a critical juncture, the original Superman arrived with Alexander Luthor in tow. They aided the Time-Wardens in defeating the Time-Guardian and sent him to the Speed Force where he would do no more harm. The universe was set right and the pocket dimension continued to exist. Superman and Luthor returned to their banishment outside of time, with nobody realizing the consequences of all of these actions.

Nobody could have guessed the eventual harm that would arise from this event of heroism.

On Earth-T, the name given to the world in the pocket universe, the newly-christened Wardens did their best to serve the cause of justice. Their membership fluctuated slightly as they continued to protect the innocent from the Legion of Doom, led by Dominus, an alternate version of Lex Luthor. Adventure after adventure molded them into first a team, then a fighting force and finally a family.

Inside the Speed Force, the Time-Guardian could tell something was happening, but he was not sure what. He tried to use his powers to see the future, but it was not possible. Instead, he could sense the fabric of magic being altered. Unknown to him at the time, Alexander Luthor had instigated the Infinite Crisis, his mind warped by the dreams of power that had first gripped him when he had confronted the Time-Guardian.

Superboy-Prime, Luthor's main accomplice, was sent to be imprisoned in the Speed Force by the Flash and Kid Flash. The young powerhouse would eventually prove to be more than what the Speed Force could handle and the Time-Guardian was able to escape. His imprisonment, however, had given the villain a long time to consider things and he emerged a very different person.

Luthor's base of operations, the Arctic, Earth

"You stole my ideas," the Time-Guardian said as he slowly approached Luthor. Both were clad in armor, Luthor's golden while the former Speedy's was crimson. "But you didn't learn my lessons."

Luthor did not turn around; he considered the Time-Guardian nothing more than a nuisance, a man of limited vision and ability. Had he truly been worthy of ruling the universe then he would have won when he tried. "Is there something that you wanted before I destroyed your little pocket universe?"

"If you can, you mean," was the quick, smirking response. "I don't think you'll win."

"You won't know because you will be dead, or I should say, wiped from existence as you should have been from the beginning. Your powers will soon fade because this age of magic, the age that granted you your abilities…"

The Time-Guardian cut him off. "I am fully aware of your manipulations of the Spectre. That would have been more impressive had he been grafted to a living host." The supposed angel of holy vengeance had been running amok during the Infinite Crisis, crushing sources of magic. Free magic was going to power Luthor's machine for creating a new universe. "It still won't help."

"Did you know you weren't the only one to survive the Crisis from your world? Power Girl is here," Luthor said, pointing up. A tower, constructed from the remains of the Anti-Monitor, stood before them. Several beings were strapped to the tower, like captive ornaments on a Christmas tree of death. One was an attractive, buxom blond in a white costume.

The woman was Kara Zor-L, the cousin of the Superman of Earth-2, who had been the man who had helped stop the Time-Guardian. In another time and place, he and her would have been good friends, maybe even teammates in the Justice Society. "You could have taken her as a mate."

"I got the hint that you were the one with a thing for her," he told him.

Luthor shrugged. "I have little time to think about sex, but if I were inclined to participate in it…"

"She would most likely kill you," The Time-Guardian laughed. "You are a Luthor, not a Superman. You lack the…"

Luthor whirled around, hatred in his eyes. "You insect! You would dare mock me? I am a god compared to you!"

"I don't think so," the Time-Guardian said cryptically, his eyes flashing with small, blue electrical discharges. They were signs of the magical energies that flowed through him. "I redesigned reality once while you are still trying. That's because despite your intelligence, you have no imagination! You never lived in the real world, Alex; you don't have a clue what good and evil are."

Alex turned back around and stuck his hands into a holographic projection of multiple earths. He grabbed two of them and smashed them together, merging the realities into one.

New Earth-342

Sister Helena Joan Bertinelli jumped high and to the left as another vampire hissed and clawed at the spot she had been standing in. Behind her, Green Lantern used his power ring to shove back three werewolves that were attacking with equal ferocity. The Justice League had found this nest of the monsters quite by accident; they had been on the trail of the Scarecrow, a priest of a pagan religion that had been committing several human sacrifices in Metropolis.

"Hal, watch your back!" Green Arrow called out, letting loose with a wooden arrow. The shaft pierced the heart of the vampire that had been attacking Helena, even as she landed and rolled away. She came up face to face with another vampire. The creature screamed and bared bloody fangs at her. She hesitated for a moment; she did not want to kill the creature.

But, she had been trained to do so by the Vatican and despite the fact that she felt great sympathy for the monster, she was not about to let it kill her. In one movement she threw back her purple cloak to reveal her golden crucifix. The vampire immediately shied away even as twin beams of crimson burned their way through its skull, boiling the ichor within and causing it to explode.

Super-Woman landed and fired off another blast of heat vision at a vampire that was armed with a golden sword. The sword was meant for the preoccupied Green Lantern, but by the time it reached his back, it was nothing but yellow steam. "Thanks, Karen," Green Lantern grinned as he turned to face his foe. "I think I can handle it from here!"

Green Arrow, from his relatively safe spot on top of some crates, fired two more times before calling out that he was out of ammo. "We've hit the mother load here!"

Helena shook her head. "This isn't right, there are too many of them here! They were waiting for us!"

"Watch and learn," Luthor commanded as he reached for another world. His machine, which allowed him to pull realities out of the nothingness, was also giving him the ability to merge them.

Behind him, the Time-Guardian said nothing, but crept slowly towards his foe.

New Earth-1232A

Super-Woman looked up and wiped a small trace of blood from her broken lip. Above her, three hundred and fifty pounds of flesh, stuffed into an entirely too small red and gold swimsuit, stood at the ready. In Wonder Woman's hand was a blueberry fruit pie, which had contributed to the cyan hue of her tongue. "So skinny, baby needs to eat," the obese Amazon said, waggling her tongue as she looked underneath Super-Woman's miniskirt.

"Burn," Super-Woman said as she fired off a lethal blast of her heat vision. Too many members of the Justice League had succumbed to the lure of the dessert treats. Wonder Woman and Black Canary had been the first to fall and Super-Woman was sure that the Legion of Doom was behind the plot. The sugars that the women had consumed had destroyed their bodies, ruined their teeth and had rotted their brains.

The beams of light struck Wonder Woman in one of her fleshy chins and the smell of burning fruit filled the air. Liquid fat boiled and rolled down the front of her gargantuan breasts as she screamed in pain and fell back. Vampires, weak from the battle with the other heroes, fell upon her and sunk their teeth into her ample flesh.

Hawkgirl spit on the floor and threw her mace in frustration from her perch on top of some crates. "Nobody will come up here to fight me!" she said with anger.

Green Lantern laughed and used his power ring to create a giant fist that punched through a nearby wall. As it crumbled, he picked up the sight of their quarry. "Got the Scarecrow, who wants him?"

Helena jumped past him, her crossbow in her hand. "Hawkgirl is with me!"

"You're building Fat Chick World! So what?" the Time-Guardian taunted.

"I'm not trying to recreate this reality," Luthor answered him. "I'm going to horribly distort yours and then destroy it with a squeeze of my fist!"

Three more blue globes were pulled out of the stew and slapped into the one he had already created. Like a stark raving mad chef, he tossed ingredients into the pot with no regard for measurement, taste or consistency.

New Earth 3458Q

"It's over Scarecrow," Batwoman said. Behind her the extended "Bat Family" stood ready to leap to her aid. Next to them stood the members of the Justice Guild of America. The Scarecrow and his allies in the Crime Syndicate had gone too far this time. Hundreds of innocent people had been infected with a lycanthropy virus that had turned them all into Man-Bats. The ensuring chaos had allowed the free members of the Syndicate to stage a jail break from the maximum security facility called the Watchtower. "Surrender now and tell us where the rest of your friends are at?"

The Scarecrow cackled. "Even if I knew, I wouldn't tell you because now all of you will have to look over your shoulders, wondering where we will strike next!"

Super-Woman folded her arms across her chest. "We're not afraid, Dr. Crane."

"You will be!"

Luthor's base of operations, the Arctic, Earth

"Now, your world dies and its pocket dimension dissolve away," Luthor threatened.

"No, it doesn't," the Time-Guardian responded. In an instant, he turned his powers inward, enveloping his body in magical energies. He flashed into pure magical energy as he surrendered his body to the cosmos. This had been his plan all along.

Once he realized what Luthor had been doing, that he was making the same attempts to recreate reality as he had, the Time-Guardian had put his own plans into motion. His incarceration had given him time to think about his crimes and his reasons. Somehow, he had let himself go astray, but that had really been putting it mildly. He had become everything he had been raised to fight.

He didn't want to die that way.

So, he reasoned the one thing he could do to try and make up for the billions of murders he had committed was to save the universe that he had helped bring into existence. To protect it from what Luthor had planned, he needed a magic shield. The problem was that the Spectre was going around destroying all of the magic.

The only thing he had left was himself.

A flash of blue lightning struck Luthor's hand and he dropped the created world back into the maelstrom that was before him. The lightning did not burn him, but it startled him and he jumped back, cursing. He looked into the mass of earths, trying to find the one he had been looking for, but then he realized there was no time. "Fine, let it reside in its own little closet. After I am successful in this venture, I will come back and deal with that detail."

Luthor turned away for a moment to check on his tower. Ha he remained at his console, he would have witnessed a startling site as blue magical energy jumped from world to world, causing them to split and merge, spin and leap. Some worlds exploded, others sped off into the hidden corners of the view screen, unable to be seen.

And briefly, there seemed to be the sound of a young boy laughing with joy.

'I'm coming home, Ollie! I'm coming home!"