Justice League Next Generation 'Dark Days'
Chapter 1 (Death where is your Sting?)
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55
(Gotham Cemetery – six and a half years after the fall of Dark Justice)
A being shrouded in the darkness slowly walks toward a simple grave. Although its face can't be seen a familiar looking ring rests upon its finger. The ring looks similar to those wore by the Green Lanterns, but this one is black. The being almost chuckles as a casket bursts from the ground. The lid opens to reveal a rotting corpse of a man who had died to protect an immortal princess. Inside of the casket beside him is his fencing sword and a few odds and ins.
"Rise." The being says before a black ring graphs itself to the finger of the corpse.
Dead eyes open to see the world once more. Inside there is a need, a hunger for fear, hate, anger, and every dark emotion across the board. Yet the seemingly good nature of the host attempts to control his thoughts. He tries to remember who he is, where he is, and what he is. He stands and the one before him stretches out his hand.
The ring on the newly revived corpse's hand forces him to kneel before the being which has revived him.
"You are close to one of those who would provide a way to stop us. She must be converted." The being says.
The newly revived corpse's mouth opens and even though he doesn't wish to say it words come out.
"Of course she will join us or she will die." He says as he reaches into the casket and pulls the fencing sword.
Dark energy moves around the sword morphing it and converting it. No longer is it a simple sword used for sport, but instead it is a rapier. The sword is as black as the darkest night like the ring now adorns the finger of the corpse.
"Go forth and do our will." The being says as the corpse disappears.
(Metropolis – Near Luthor towers)
A cloaked being steps near where one had given their lives to save his beloved. It stretches out its hand and a form appears. The form slowly becomes solid and falls to the ground. It looks to be long dead. It's eyes have long since turned to dust leaving mummified skin over bone. A single black ring slides onto the reformed corpse's hand. It stirs and through almost mystical means it sees the cloaked figure before it.
"There is much work to do." The cloaked figure says.
"Mary…" The reformed being says as it looks at the ring and attempts to remove it.
"No, you are part of us. You are one of the dead and the dead have come to reclaim what is theirs." The cloaked figure says.
"Mary…" The reformed being again says as it tries to leave.
"You have a will of your own. You will obey us." The cloaked figure says before pain unknown to the reformed being shoots through him knocking him to his knees.
"You have been chosen Johnny West. You will reclaim what is ours." The cloaked figure says as it removes the hood to reveal the mask of Scarecrow under it.
The reformed Johnny West tries to break loose, but suddenly his arms go to his side and the pain becomes even greater. He screams in agony before finally he grows still.
"Do you understand?" Scarecrow asked as the horrid eyes of the mask looks at Johnny.
"Yes… I understand." Johnny says silently.
(Wayne Manor – Garage)
Hippolyta looked at the old truck she was working on. Jackie's parents had wanted her to keep the truck since he had done nothing but talk about her. She had grieved with them and even though she never married their son they had welcomed her into their family. That had been six years ago and she still talked to them to this day. Janet, Jackie's mother, had sent her a birthday card a couple of months ago, and to her surprise it was decked out in Dungeons and Dragons designs. Hippolyta's mind went back to the old ford as fit the head back on and began putting the tapit cover back in place. No sooner had she finished then the truck engine began to turn over and it started. She jumped back and looked in the driver's seat to see Jackie sitting there.
"Hey pretty lady." He said as he left the truck running and stepped out.
"You've kept it running good. It sounds like nothing has happened at all to it." Jackie said as he walked near her.
"J… Jackie?" Hippolyta asked as she watched him near her.
No! Don't get near me! Jackie screamed in his mind as his body moved toward the girl he loved.
"It's me… Sorry that I don't look to good, but then beggars can't be choosers." Jackie said as he began moving toward her.
Hippolyta felt tears stirring and she caught him into a fierce hug. She held him tightly refusing to let him go since she now had him. She felt his arms move around her. His gentle touch reminding her of everything she had lost. He kissed her shoulder and she let a small moan of happiness escape her. She was back with him again.
"Do you want me to stay with you?" Jackie asked.
"Forever and ever." Hippolyta answered.
"Then you have to join me. You have to become one of us. The dead can't exist with the living my love. You must join us in what we now are." Jackie says as he steps back.
"Join you? Jackie…" Hippolyta starts to say as Jackie leans forward and bites her shoulder.
Hippolyta yelps at the action and covers the wound as Jackie stands before her. Suddenly his face becomes very solemn.
"I'm so sorry… Hippolyta I'm so sorry for what I've just done." Jackie said as he fell to the floor.
Hippolyta watched as his pink skin began to turn gray. His hair thinned showing places where decay revealed bits of skull. He raised again his lips drawn from his teeth due to the time spent underground. Hippolyta watched as he became a haggard form of his self.
Jackie almost appeared to say something when his mouth snapped shut and his eyes became vacant and lost. Slowly his eyes moved to her and the look in them was not the boy she had loved. Instead there was a cruelty and desire for destruction. He reached behind him and pulled the weapon he had brought with him. His eyes looked toward the direction of the manor and Hippolyta watched as he raised off of the floor and began to fly toward the door leading into the manor.
"No!" She shouted as he flew past her.
Hippolyta felt pain coming from her shoulder and looked at the place where Jackie had bitten her. Small lines of black began to spread out toward her veins. She didn't know what was going to happen, but she had no choice but to go in and face down Jackie. She couldn't let him harm her family.
(Jameston New York – Grayson house)
Galatea smiled at her granddaughter. Little Hope was helping clear the dishes and singing as Galatea stood at the sink. Suddenly Hope stopped and looked toward the door. Galatea looked as she heard a sound as well and she moved outside to see Mary looking at a being dressed in her dead son in laws speedster costume.
"Johnny? Oh God Johnny!" Mary shouted as she moved toward him.
"No… Mary… Don't…" Johnny said before his mouth snapped shut. His eyes which had returned to him grew empty. Suddenly he took Mary into his arms.
Mary started to say something when she felt Johnny's teeth attempting to touch her skin. He would have succeeded if not for a blast of heat vision knocking him back. Galatea moved toward the revived corpse of her son in law and held her red glowing eyes on him.
"Get out of here right now whatever you are." Galatea said as she studied the corpse.
Johnny stood and the hole in Johnny's stomach caused by Galatea's heat vision rapidly healed before them. He looked at Galatea and began moving faster than she could watch toward her. Galatea tried to catch him but she felt several hard punches in her stomach and then something grabbed her hair and flung her into the wall of her house.
"This is between my wife and I." Johnny said as he turned toward Mary.
(Star City – Canary Cage Gym)
Olivia walked toward the locker room. The councilor she had been seeing the last few weeks had really been helping her deal with everything that had happened. She still had the nightmares, and still had the fears there, but she was learning to cope with it. She pulled the gym shorts and sports bra off she had used to train in and walked to the shower. The feeling of the hot water made her pores sing as she began washing herself clean. The sound of an evil chuckle erupted her calming shower. She looked around and didn't see anyone.
"The Gym is closed. If you want to sign up for fall defensive training then come back tomorrow." She shouted out into the empty locker room.
"I'm not here for defensive training… I've come to see how my patient has done with taming her fears." A sickening voice said.
Olivia felt a clammy chill cover her as she heard his voice. It had been weeks since she had heard him or seen him in a vision. She closed her eyes tight and tried to breath like her councilor had taught her.
"Oh no, no, no child this isn't a dream." The voice said as he moved closer.
Olivia opened her eyes and looked into the mask of the Scarecrow. She moved back away from him as he laughed at her.
"I made the mistake of thinking that you obeyed rules girl. I won't make the same mistake twice." He said as he stretched out his hand and a black gas shot her in the face.
She choked and tried to crawl away from him. The entire room began to change on her. Each shower seemed to turn on and sprayed her, but instead of water it was blood. Black, old, blood drenched every pore of her body.
"NO! YOU'RE DEAD! I KILLED YOU YOU BASTARD!" She screamed as she crawled away from him.
"Yes you did, and I've come to repay you in full." Scarecrow said as he stalked toward her laughing insanely.
(Wayne Manor – Sparring Room)
Hippolyta ran into the room to find Jackie already knocked back against the wall. He stood slowly and gripped his jaw which had been knocked loose. She watched as he readjusted it and looked at the woman who had sent him spiraling into the wall.
"Whatever you are I know that you are not the one my little star cared for." Diana said as she studied the being before her.
The corpse once again attempted to attack her but something yelled from behind it and a strong glowing lasso wrapped around its arms dragging the corpse to the floor. It turned to look the former Wonder Girl for Dark Justice. The ring dislodged itself from his finger and the corpse returned to its original state.
The ring flew from the manor toward Gotham Cemetery. It headed toward a grave which would allow it to get close and cause the Princess to drop her guard. It hit the grave and bounced off of it. The ring once again attempted and it bounced off. Another ring joined it and soon all of the rings attempting to gain access to the resting place of the person of interest left. One singular thought going through the collective minds of the rings.
Alfred Pennyworth at peace. Their collective minds stated as the rings left the grave.