Author's Notes: This story has taken over my life since January of this year. And, learning the lesson from AB Type, I completed it before posting it, which means I'll be posting every week like clockwork. I have to say I am deliriously happy with this fic. I've been carrying the basic plot idea since I was sixteen and first picked up the comic Kingdom Come. Since then, it has changed a lot. You'll find some nods to the comic, but it's not necessary to have read it to enjoy this fic.
Thank you to my wonderful betas Coshie and Elihu who walked through this with me.
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to the Teen Titans. No money is being made off this work. The song lyrics found at the top of chapters 1-10 are from Muse, titled "Take a Bow".
Maybe this world is another planet's hell.
Tiny beads of blood seeped through the thin line on her upper arm.
A twin line cut across the first.
The single-edged razor carved a third line between the two before.
One more and she would have a scarlet star crowning her upper arm.
The question wasn't who would die next because of her.
The question was when.
A hand poised gracefully in the air just above the base's surface. The fine blonde hairs rose on end.
A shadow of a power not of this time still lingered. It was faint, but just perceptible.
Behind the base, a small dark stain remained. Blood. Someone hurt had fallen here. Moving forward, she found one of the cave's smaller tunnels blocked by a rock fall. Inspecting the cracks on the ceiling, she found none to follow the natural fault line. The collapse was manmade. Holding her hand above the rock, she sensed decaying organic matter within, too deep and too far to make digging it out feasible.
Robin had been here.
She had been genetically modified to fight. Increased speed, greater strength, inhuman endurance, a cool intelligence, an analytic mathematic mind.
It was too bad full immunity to radiation had been overlooked.
Phantasma surveyed the wreckage. Roughly, half of Gotham City was leveled; the other half was beyond repair.
Of the city's approximate twelve million inhabitants, eight million had been killed by the either the explosion or the nuclear fallout. The other four million had been exposed and would probably die within weeks or months. On a wall, Phantasma could see the shadows of some of the bomb's victims burned into it. A skirted silhouette held a young child in its arms; it had been caught in the movement of turning around, shielding the baby.
Kronos smiled at her. "Here," he whispered with difficulty. He closed her hand around a softly glowing hard object. "Mar'i—" His voice broke. A bubble of blood grew at the corner of his lips, burst.
His hazel eyes dulled.
"The vigilante known as Robin has been classified as armed and dangerous. She is charged with the first-degree murder of Superboy and the deaths of eight million people in the Gotham City nuclear bombing. The public is warned to maintain distance and…"
Robin checked the blow so close her hair ruffled slightly in the breeze.
"Why? Why kill?" he snarled.
"Because I couldn't save them," she whispered.
...Remove the mask...