Twisted Souls Endgames
A Few Words From the Author
Hello, everyone. It is with a deep sigh of relief that I present to you all, in tentative quotations, the "end" of Twisted Souls. I am sure many of you are unhappy to hear that I am not continuing the story in chapter format, but let us be reasonable in our recollections that, due to events beyond my control, there is no way that I could have seamlessly finished writing the fanfiction without jarring us all.
But the storyteller within me was not content to just leave Twisted Souls unfinished as it was. Therefore I am here to summarize for you all where the plot was going, and I shall present to you the endings for the different characters involved, with the exception of those whose endings occur in my companion fanfic to this one, Cry Wolf. (There have been necessary complete omissions to the work, particularly where certain characters were involved, and for that, I apologize, but otherwise you are finally getting the end to the story.)
The Plot Summary
Following the events of chapter 14, Batman and Batgirl confer with Incubus and Lady Templar, seeking to find a plan of action concerning the mass breakout from Arkham, and Batgirl and Lady Templar head to the asylum in search of more clues. While there, they discover the alliance between Strange and Ra's, but on heading back to warn Batman, they don't get away unscathed, thanks to Gawain. In the meantime, Joker finally catches up with the main congregation at Pendragon Manor, where he exposes Penguin, Xack and Fantasia for following him. A good deal of mayhem follows, thanks to confusion, anxiety, and overall annoyance on the part of everyone, until a phone call from the mansion's rightful owner, Guen's older brother Lance, sobers everyone up. Lance places this call to announce that he is coming home with his new girlfriend, Jeanette Harker, and a mad scramble follows to try to vacate the manor, during which Joker and Xack vanish.
Around this same time, Ra's Al Ghul and Professor Strange put their plan of action into motion, using sorcery to create ripples in space, which are portals for foul netherworld monsters to enter Gotham, and sending the Society of Shadows to throw the city into a total lockdown, causing chaos and panic throughout Gothamites. When neighboring city Metropolis tries unsuccessfully to send help to the barricaded Gotham, news spreads faster than wildfire, and the group of escapees learns of what's occurring. From within the safety of a makeshift hideout, (courtesy of the Riddler, who's broken out of Arkham for his own reasons and met up with them,) the group maps out Gotham, dividing the city into different "zones" based on where the ripples occur and how far monsters stray from their origin point to a certain radius. They split up into different groups to tackle different zones and take down the monsters. (After all, no monsters have the right to take over their city.)
While these plans are being drawn up, Wraith and Riddler's secret attraction to one another is made obvious to everyone, (much to the irritation of Milo,) and during a private conversation, Neil learns that Wraith is not the "angel of death" he believes her to be and starts to plot vengeance for her lies. The gang then leaves to tackle their different zones, and Fantasia meets up with Spellbinder and Hex along the way. He begins resisting Spellbinder's orders, largely in part thanks to Hex, who finally reveals her feelings for him. Spellbinder becomes infuriated at his sudden lack of control over Fantasia, and seethes with jealousy from the shadows as he watches his protégé win over the young mage. Several other [very short] instances occur simultaneously involving romantic drama, until Jervis and Erin report to be the first to encounter monsters.
Batman and the rapidly-expanding Bat-family have finally managed to successfully interrogate a member of the Society of Shadows at this point, and head to Arkham Asylum again, with the intent of putting a stop to Ra's and Strange's plans. Unfortunately, they do not arrive in time to prevent Ra's from casting his summoning spell, and the largest ripple occurs, through which the eldritch demon-god Laeklaklith emerges, called to purge the city of its human filth. Much to the utter surprise of everyone present, Laeklaklith's physical form cannot withstand the strain the human plane puts on him, and he possess Gawain's body, fleeing the scene before anyone can stop him.
The rest of the gang fights an ever-increasing number of monsters, their strength beginning to dwindle until Batman and Bat-family make an appearance on the scene, the rest of the more dangerous Arkhamites in tow, thanks to a desperate gamble on Batman's part. While the inmates fight alongside Batgirl, Incubus, and Lady Templar, Batman seeks to find a way to release Gawain from Laeklaklith's control, as it seems the demon-god can project most of its spirit outside of Gawain's body while simply using him as a material anchor. But before he can do so, he goes to the aid of detectives Ellen Yin and Cash Tankenson, (who aren't about to let a fight pass up without their help,) and catches sight of a familiar, yet unexpected figure going to the child's aid…
Endgames: (Neil Davis) and Curiosity
This was it, the perfect opportunity. He had waited for this as patiently as his temper would allow, and now he had to take his chance before the window of opportunity snapped shut. He gingerly made his way closer and closer to the ring of girls, all meeting quickly to discuss their game plan for tackling the next wave of demons. He almost snorted in derision; the irony of their little game! Truly they had no concept of what they were doing, the innocent ones, aiding the demon that called itself an angel. But then again, that's what they had been, and that's what they still did, didn't they? The fallen angels that owed their allegiance to Satan, they still plagued humans by sweetly and covertly pretending to be the beings of light they once were.
Neil smiled grimly, eyes flashing as they lit upon Sadie among the rest of the group. He would show her the truth of the matter, where she had been so reluctant to believe him before. And the rest…they would fall prostrate at his feet, begging forgiveness for their ignorance once they realized he had saved their souls from utter damnation at the hands of the false angel. Taking a deep, slow breath to steel his nerves, he withdrew the bloodstained, scored knife from within its hiding spot in his boot, dug his heels into the soft earth, and after a heartbeat, he sprang forward in a charge, aiming for the soft spot on Guen's back between the folds of her wings.
But then something happened that Neil did not expect.
Sadie's shout of warning mixed with Guen's yelp of suprise as the green-haired girl tackled her to the ground, and Neil tripped, momentum flinging him forward through the group of girls, who barely ducked out of the way. Flipping head over heels, Neil squeezed himself into a compact ball and hit the ground at a roll, uncurling only to slow to a stop. The scrapes from the asphalt began to bleed and sting, but he shook it off, locking physical discomfort away as his mind remained in the void that had him running on autopilot.
"Neil, what the hell?" Came the rough shout, Guen's voice switching from its normal melodius gentle nature to that of her more dangerous personality. Not that it mattered whether she shifted between her forms of "defender" or "warrior"; a false angel was still a false angel, and that meant she was no better than the demon filth that infested the city.
She would die slowly and suffer from the burning holy fires of his righteousness.
"Dude, chill out!" Banshee said, hand slowly drifting to one of the uzis at her hip. Neil's eyes flicked to her only briefly, then locked back onto Wraith. What he didn't notice was Sadie's gaze slip past him and widen in terror.
"Oh...holy...shit," she murmured, "Neil?"
"Don't try to stop me, Sadie," he hissed, his voice coming out as a scratchy growl, "I'm purging us all of a soul-staining shadow, and if I have to go through you as well, I shall."
"Neil..." Sadie shook her head, eyes going wider and wider. "Neil, behind you..."
"Ha! Do you think I'm going to-"
Pain unlike anything he had ever felt in his life, broke through the shield of his voidlike trance, as several sharp things broke through the skin of his leg and something crushed the muscle underneath with a wet crunch. A yell of agony and surprise tore itself from him, and he swung around, to stare in shock at the last thing he had expected to happen.
Something huge and snake-like with eight flashing eyes and the jaws of a crocodile had bitten down on his leg and was slowly dragging him backward. Long, ropy tentacles of sinewy muscles ending in barbs dripping with venom sprang from its back, and whipped at the air around him. With a snarl of defiance, Neil kicked out with his free foot, slamming the heel of his boot into the demon-beast's teeth repeatedly.
"NEIL!" One of the girls screamed, and the monster released him...for a second.
This time the powerful jaws came down on his midsection, puncturing through the flesh of his stomach, and he screamed in unbridled pain, blood leaving his body in burning, crimson geysers. He opened his eyes briefly, saw the false angel and her lackeys staring in astonishment...and beyond them, backing away, was Sadie. Slowly a smile spread over her face, and her fang-like teeth glinted in a grin, one that said she found this end fitting.
Neil let out one final wordless cry as the demon-beast tossed him into the air. And then the world vanished in a black void of tormented agony.
Endgames: Wraith and Riddler
One by one, they fell beneath the swings of her scythe, the darkness leaving their bodies in clouds that she danced in. She reveled in it, and more than ever she felt the part of the angel of death, the role she had assumed to placate Neil.
Finally the demon-beasts began to vanish in wisps of curling smoke and she came to a halt, opening her eyes fully to see the Riddler watching her, a smile slowly forming on his black lips.
"You're absolutely stunning when you're like this." He said, and she grinned back at him.
"Being a twisted thing isn't anything too stunning." She replied, lowering and collapsing the scythe back into its compact form.
"That's not my point, and you know it." He responded.
"Got a riddle for you, Eddy."
"Yes." she murmured, closing the distance between them and wrapping her arms around his neck, pressing her lips to his.
"And that would be?" He asked once they broke the contact.
"What's it going to take for me to get you to ask me out on a date already?"
Endgames: Jervis and Erin
They were surrounded. The monsters were on all sides, fangs dripping with venom, claws ringing with a sound like knives being sharpened, eyes burning with the low intelligence of hunting animals. Erin swallowed hard, taking a step back, her hand tightening where it was on Jervis's sleeve, heart beginning to pound on her ribcage. She wasn't used to being frightened; she was just as tough as Wraith and the other girls at heart. But she wasn't a fighter, and she was no match for these monsters physically.
"What are we going to do?" She murmured. "We can't get away. Is this...is this the end of the dance...?"
But the Mad Hatter clearly had something else in mind. Slowly, he pulled the top hat from his head, face dark with fury, and he stared down the monsters.
"You're late for tea, boys," he murmured, "And the queen says it's off with your heads."
The monsters snarled, surging forward, and with a flick of his wrist, Jervis flung the hat, letting it spin through the air like a frisbee. Blades popped out of the hat's brim, so thin and sharp Erin couldn't believe for a moment they were real. Several of the monsters in the hat's path recoiled, shrieking in pain as they came into contact with the spinning blades, and the unfortunate beast into whom's face the hat finally connected, received the most unpleasant shock of all.
The hat exploded, flaming napalm spitting in all directions at the monsters, and Jervis led her away as fast as he could, to avoid them being hit by his own weapon. He withdrew more of the ten-six cards from within the folds of his threadbare suit and flung them behind him. More explosions followed, and Erin's heart pounded in her chest, fear battling enraptured exhilaration.
"Never fret, my queen," Jervis murmured in his silky voice as he swept her into his arms and ran at top speed, "Those brutish bandersnatches won't lay a finger on you. Not as long as the Mad Hatter continues to draw breath."
Endgames: Magpie, Banshee, and Incubus
"Mags, Xena kick-wheel!"
Magpie reached for Banshee's hands as she jumped. They locked their grips on each other's wrists as Banshee picked up on her momentum, and began to spin in a circle, unleashing a blood-curdling screech as Magpie ran parallel above the ground, kicking out with the modified spike-shoes. Without fail, each kicking step connected with another of the shadow monsters, and they fell back, roaring in pain. But Banshee's hold on her began to slip, and suddenly Magpie was flying through the air, screaming for dear life.
She was caught roughly by Incubus as he came out of a frenzy of fighting, and clung to him like a life ring.
"Nice move, ladies!" He said with one of his roguish grins. "We make a good team, don't you think?"
"Eh, I can dig a man with a good right hook." Banshee chuckled, Uzis back in her hands once more as she trotted to them, firing almost casually, unloading full clips into the monsters.
"Flirt later!" Magpie gasped as she jumped out of Incubus's arms, reaching for one of the discarded pipes and bashing another beast's skull in. Incubus spun around and resumed beating things in the face with his pimp cane, seemingly tireless.
And then, just as suddenly as they had appeared, the shadow-men simply vanished into thin air with despairing wails, and several of them were sucked back into the ripple in the air, which closed with a sucking sound like a plunger being pulled out of a sink.
"What, that's it?" Incubus said after a moment's pause.
"Oh, thank God!" Magpie exhaled, sinking to the ground and sitting on her knees to catch her breath.
"What are you talking about?" Banshee whined. "I was having fun!"
Endgames: Milo and Lady Templar
Milo sat back, leaning against the wall, finally taking a moment to relax. It was done, then. The ripples in the atmosphere were diminishing everywhere, if not stopping altogether. His limbs felt weak and weary, and the stench of the blood that soaked his lab coat and scalpel were starting to make him somewhat dizzy. Slowly, he let out a shaking laugh, feeling strangely triumphant. They had succeeded.
And now Guenhivyre would see that he was the only man for her.
Without warning, something struck him in the sternum, knocking the breath from him, and he gasped in pain as a fist gloved in chainmail slammed into him, gripping his shirt collar and lifting him off the ground.
"Bitch!" He rasped, glaring at his attacker. "What the hell are you doing?"
He broke out in a cold sweat as he stared into the masked face of Lady Templar, her mouth set in a grim line of hatred. He reached up, trying to pry her fist from him, but it was to no avail, and the best he could hope for was to draw as many ragged half-breaths as he could.
"I'm doin' what I do best," she answered in an icy voice, "Tyin' up a loose end."
"Stupid bitch," he spat, "Did you forget that I helped kill some of those damned monsters?"
"Oh, I didn't forget, bowlcut."
She brought him close to her face, and he swallowed hard, terror twisting his chest in knots.
"I also didn't forget about what you did to that girl."
His eyes went wide as he felt the onset of panic.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
She flung her wrist with ease, her strength astonishing him, and slammed him against the brick wall hard enough he was sure something in his spinal cord fractured.
"The hell you don't." She snorted.
"You don't know a damned thing about my relationship with Miss Pendragon." He shot back between gasps.
"I know enough." She answered, bringing him close again, and this time she withdrew something from the folds of her white-and-crimson tunic. His eyes caught the glint of metal winking in the streetlight.
"Whatcha think you're going to do, vigilante?" He laughed. "Kill me?"
"Oh, I ain't that depraved, boy. Even I got standards." She answered. "This is your ticket to the funhouse."
"You can't put me in Arkham, idiot," he laughed, rolling his eyes, "Anyone can see I'm perfectly sane."
"Really?" She challenged, adjusting the position of the object in her hand. And then he recognized what she held.
A syringe, stolen from his lab, full the orange hallucinogen he'd developed weeks ago.
"No." He gasped. "No. No no no no, you can't do this to me!"
A wonderfully evil grin twisted her face.
"Watch me." She answered, plunging the needle into the side of his neck before he could twitch a muscle.
Endgames: Batman, Batgirl, and Commissioner Gordon
"So that's the end of it." Gordon exhaled, lowering his automatic, finally allowing himself to relax a bit. His hands were shaking violently, despite the calm tone in his voice. Batman glanced down at Batgirl, seeing the worry on her face as she watched her father, helpless to comfort him.
"I don't think this is entirely over, Commissioner." Batman murmured, glancing around to survey the scene, still holding the batarang openly in his hand. "The ones behind this are still out there."
"You want me to arrest someone for suspected demon-summoning?" Gordon asked incredulously. "Not to step on anyone's toes, Batman, but I'm not sure those are charges that would fly well in a courtroom."
Batman looked him in the eye, never missing a beat.
"What if I told you that one of the men behind this was also responsible for all the sudden escape of those patients from Arkham?"
Gordon's eyebrows shot up, but he never missed a beat either. "Now that's something we could get an arrest warrant for. If you've got proof to back it up."
For a moment, Batman was at a loss to respond, but a rustling next to him caught the attention of both men as Batgirl held up a pocket tape recorder.
"Say no more, boys." She declared triumphantly before throwing Batman a smug look. "Really, you've got no faith in me."
Endgames: Gawain, Clayface, Ra's, and Strange
Gawain steadied himself, leaning against the wall. His head was still buzzing loudly, and felt like his arms were full of pudding and his legs were made of wet noodles, but he was alive, and that...thing wasn't in his brain any more. His green eyes opened slowly, and he looked up into a different set of green eyes, set in a misshapen, inhuman face.
"You okay, kid?" Clayface asked in his rattling, gurgling voice. With a bit of an effort and a sudden pounding in his temple, Gawain nodded.
"W-why'd you save me?" He demanded, glaring at Clayface in open suspicion. He was, after all, one of Hugo Strange's patients, and very few of them liked the psychiatrist. It made no sense why Clayface would save him, the doctor's son.
The shoulders of rippling white clay shrugged, then solidified as the shapeshifter molded himself into a more human appearance. He looked vaguely familiar, the mocha-skinned man who now stood before the boy, but Gawain couldn't place his finger on why.
"Guess I can't forget who I really am." Clayface replied in a steady, rich voice before turning and walking away. Gawain watched him go, confused, as his dad and Ra's approached from behind.
"Gawain? Gawain?" His dad's voice sounded strange, with the buzzing in his head. "Are you alright?"
He nodded once, then put a hand to his temple. "Dizzy, that's all." He answered.
"And...Laeklaklith?" Ra's asked.
"I don't know what happened." Gawain murmured. "One second I heard his voice in my head, and then...Clayface..."
"Clayface?" Strange prompted, a note of interest in his voice.
"Yeah, he showed up and trapped me somehow...like I was in a big ball...and Laeklaklith freaked out. Next thing I knew, I felt like somebody was ripping something out of me with a bunch of hooks, and Clayface and I were falling, and Laeklaklith was gone." He murmured.
"Then...where is Clayface, Gawain?" Strange asked while Ra's cursed under his breath at the loss of the demon-god. Gawain turned, ready to point.
The street stood empty apart from the dissipating mist.
Endgames: Fantasia, Hex, Spellbinder, Cash and Ellen
More of the monsters slammed into Fantasia's shield, exploding with howls of pain. Hex clung to him, shivering and whimpering. Never before had he wanted to protect something so badly in his entire life. And so he poured more and more of his energy into maintaining the deadly energy shield, sweat forming on his brow as he strained with concentration.
"I'm so sorry, Fanty..." she whispered. "If I wasn't spent..."
"Donna worry, milove." He murmured back, squeezing her in his arms. "We'll weather this together."
"What about Spellbinder?"
Chills rushed through Fantasia's body as the scene flashed before his eyes once again. Spellbinder had never been his favorite person in the world, particularly due to the life debt he owed the mystic, but to the shock of them all, Spellbinder had pushed both he and Hex aside, allowing the shadow-monster to take him as its prey. He could still feel those dark eyes burning into his as the words echoed in his ears.
"I'll be back to see the debt repaid."
He shuddered. The binding force of the magic behind the life debt had doubled on the mystic's debt.
Fantasia owed him twice now.
And since Spellbinder hadn't lived to see even the first life debt repaid...
He shook his head, concentrating again on the shield. He didn't want to think about what was going to happen.
He cradled Hex in his arms long after the demon-beasts disappeared, and the only difference that occurred then was the sudden vigor with which she began to kiss him.
But unbeknowst to them, Spellbinder was watching. He wasn't sure how he could still see them. After all, hadn't he died? He was quite certain he had. And yet, he could still feel the pull of his debt with Fantasia, and the mindlink with Hex.
He had unfinished business to attend to.
His essence strayed from them as he wandered away, seeking a pliable host vessel.
His hazy wandering through the gray mists of limbo landed him near the police force, where a wounded Cash Tankenson and Ellen Yin were limping to rejoin Commissioner Gordon and Batman. Some strange energy flared in the misty, gray void, and it enticed him. Yin? No, not her...not quite.
But it was a ripe opportunity, and he wasn't about to pass it up.
He had found his host vessel, and luckily enough, before it had formed its own soul.
He would be back before long. But until then, he would sleep in his new body, awaiting his reawakening...