Batman/Star Wars: Dark Side 3 - Invasion
By Christopher W. Blaine ()
DISCLAIMER: All characters contained in this story are copyright 2009 by their respective license holders. They are used her for fan-related entertainment purposes only. This original story is copyright 2009 by Christopher W, Blaine.
Beyond the 52: The multiverse is vast and always growing. The 52 is the home of the DC Universe you read about in comics, but there are many other areas where possibilities lie. The Time Enforcement Agency patrols the Temporal Domain, which contains Earth-149 through Earth-191.
These are their stories.
Earth-170, the Temporal Domain
The Crisis the Batman had created resulted in his death. To those who had allied with him and survived, the reasons for his secretive mission were still applicable. Brother Eye was gone. The Justice League was splintered. Worst of all, the Empire was still out there.
All of these points were at the front of Dick Grayon's mind as he reviewed his costume. His mentor's death at the hands of the government-backed Captain Atom had not stopped the crusade. Not only was Grayson continuing Batman's plan to protect the world, but he had also taken up his mantle.
With the armor of the Dark Knight also came a family. Despite the fact Batman had worked hard to be a loner, he had attracted to him the heroes of the world that had no place else to go. Or, Dick thought, they had no place else they wanted to go.
Captain Atom had not only killed Batman, but many members of his family. Huntress. Batgirl. Metamorpho. Katana. Red Arrow. So many friends lost because Batman wanted to prevent Emperor Palpatine from overrunning the galaxy.
Across the work table, his closest friends worked on their weapons and costumes. They had, in the past year, gone from crimefighters to soldiers in a secret war. His adoptive brother, Tim, was putting the final touches on his Red Robin gear. He had been the third Robin, but when Batman died, he had struggled with what his purpose was. Tim had no firsthand knowledge of the threat posed by Palpatine's New Order. He, like many of the people who had followed Batman, believed more in the Caped Crusader's fear of what was coming than what they had experienced.
Kathy Kane was a woman of such natural beauty, it was hard not to stare at her. As Batwoman, she had worked alone trying to fill the void Batman's death had left in Gotham City. The fiery redhead never realized that by trying to honor the World's Greatest Detective, she had also attached his stigma to her.
No good deed goes unpunished, Dick thought. He pulled on the weighted cape and cowl, transforming himself into the Batman. Through the protective lenses of the cowl, he looked down at the youngest member of the foursome. Clad in the costume of Robin, the Boy Wonder, Damian Wayne verified the sharpness of the edge on his batarang. The natural son of Bruce Wayne and the criminal Talia, he was a youth full of rage. Missing the presence of a father he never knew, he had made the choice to vent his frustrations on anyone foolish enough to cross him.
Dick wanted to say something, but he was having a difficult time playing the father figure. He remembered the rage he had felt after his own parents had been murdered. It was only now, many years later, that he understood how difficult it must have been for Bruce Wayne to take him in.
Batman moved away and exited the small work area. Robin was behind him, silently becoming his shadow. They were in Batcave 2, a secondary base of operations built outside Metropolis. A few years back, Gotham City had suffered a massive earthquake. To ensure his "war on crime" continued no matter the disaster, Bruce Wayne had commissioned the building of Batcaves all around the world.
From the walkway that marked the boundary of the second level, Batman looked down at the rest of his Outsiders. The name had not been chosen randomly; it was the name of the team Batman, the first one, had formed when the Justice League had refused to assist him on a kidnapping case that had political ramifications.
Working on a battle van was the Question, female crime fighter who was also a former GCPD detective. Next to a bank of super-computers was an attractive redhead in a wheelchair and a tall, metallic red android. The woman, Barbara Gordon, was one of the many lost loves of Dick Grayson. The Red Tornado was a sentient being who was trapped in an artificial body.
The final members of the team were not present. Raven and Mary Batson were performing the all-important task of grocery shopping.
Batman planned to gather the team and tell them the next moves. With Brother Eye destroyed, the Earth was essentially blind to inter-dimensional forays. Not only would Brother Eye have detected an invasion by the Empire, but it could have also warned about rifts in space-time, the presence of Sinestro Corps or even a Boom Tube opening from Apokolips.
Stepping onto the bottom level, Batman decided to check with Barbara Gordon. After the incident that had crippled her, she had become the information dealer for the super-hero community, code-named Oracle. "Babs," Batman started as he approached, referring to her by a friendly nickname, "any word on the League?"
It was ironic that both Batman and Oracle were former members of the Justice League, as was the Red Tornado. She nodded and pushed her glasses up on her pretty nose. "You were right about Superman acting as peacemaker. He wants to meet with you."
Batman accepted the news without comment. Superman had been very upset with the lethal force that had eventually been used against the Batman and his allies. "How about the League membership?"
" I hacked into their e-mail server; Black Canary is calling a meeting of the team for a priority session," she reported. "You know she went against Bruce during the civil war."
"Yeah, I know," Batman said, a sadness in the response. Dinah Lance had not only been a trusted ally of the Batman family, but she had also been Barbara's best friend.
Bruce Wayne's perceived betrayal of the hero community by having Brother Eye monitor them had caused a civil war. When Black Canary had sided with the government, it had severed deep ties. "Do you know why?"
Barbara shrugged. "Reddy and I were discussing the possibilities."
Red Tornado joined the conversation. "I suspect the Black Canary, as the current League chair, is considering surrendering complete control of the League to the United States government."
Batman shook his head at the idea. "The senate tried that crap in 1951 with the Justice Society. Didn't work then and it won't work now."
"Why don't we put a virus on their server?" Robin asked. "It'll screw up their meeting."
The trio of heroes ignored the teen, knowing he was simply adding a voice to the disgust he felt over what he saw as the betrayal of his father. "Let's get the team together to discuss the next op," Batman told them. "We need to get into STAR Labs and find out how to contact Adam Strange."
"We used your toll-free number to report it," the uniformed Star City police officer said. He addressed four of the most influential members of the League. Though Star City was the home of some super-heroes, the local beat cops were not used to delivering reports to the "top cops" of super-heroes.
A blond-haired woman in a revealing blue and block outfit, complete with 3-inch heels and fishnet stockings, stood at the front. Her slender arms were crossed over her chest. It was obvious from her expression she was extremely upset. "Are you sure it's him?" she asked.
Behind her stood the familiar forms of Superman, the Flash and Aquaman. Superman, who had already used his vast vision powers to verify the victim, put a hand on her shoulder. For a moment, she seemed to stiffen, as if his touch were not welcome. He assumed she was too involved in the situation and that he had simply startled her.
On the ground before them was the twisted and bloodied body of a muscular man in his mid-forties. He was clothed in a Robin Hood type of costume, or at least the top half of his body was. Naked from the waist down, Green Arrow's death would forever be marked not as the end of a career of unselfish giving to others, but merely as an illicit sexual liaison gone wrong.
"We, of course, need to run an autopsy," the police officer told them, turning his head away. It was well-known in Star City that Green Arrow and Black Canary were an item. Unknown to the populace at large, they were actually married.
Wally West, also known as the Flash, moved in to mediate as Black Canary seemed frozen in place. Red Arrow, the adoptive son of the fallen hero, had been killed standing with the Batman. Too many tragedies were taking their toll on the Blond Bombshell. "Officer," the Flash began, true respect for the cop in his voice, "you can understand the Justice League's concern here. If this is the real Green Arrow, then we have an obligation to protect his secret identity."
"Who cares about that? What gives you super-heroes the right to be treated differently?" a plainclothes detective said, approaching the group.
"Detective," Superman began, holding out his hand in greeting.
The cop ignored it and instead barked an order to the uniformed officer to get the scene properly secured. Satisfied he had put the fear of God into the rookie, he turned his attention to the heroes. "You make one step towards interfering with my investigation and I'll have you all up on charges of obstruction, tampering with evidence and generally pissing me off."
Finally, Black Canary spoke. Her voice was even and calm. "The Justice League takes care of its own; we're taking the body."
"Canary," Aquaman started, uncomfortable with the idea of going up against lawful authority.
"Be quiet, Arthur," she snapped. "Green Arrow saved the world more than once. He deserves more than this."
The detective pointed a finger at her. "It's that self-serving attitude that forced Batman to watch out for you guys. It seems to me he deserved better, too!"
Superman, as a founding member of the League, decided to use his political clout to try and diffuse the situation. Since Batman's death, many police departments had refused to cooperate with the League. Even though Batman had been guilty of committing offenses such as burglary, he had become a martyr for the cause of the non-metahuman crime fighter. "Perhaps we should switch to Plan B," he interjected.
Without local cooperation, Black Canary would have to work with the newly established Office of Metahuman Activity Control, or OMAC, to get the body. OMAC was created after Captain Atom killed Batman and his allies after the so-called Civil Crisis. Black Canary herself had testified before congress about the need to share information between heroes and the government.
"Fine," she said, casting one more look at the body of her husband. She then looked sternly at the detective. "We won't forget this."
The cop shrugged, unimpressed by the threat. "I'll be sure to let you know if we find out what quiver he was sticking his arrow in!"
Raucous laughter serenaded the League members as they teleported away.