Title: Mars: An Elseworlds Story (Revised)
Summary: Mars will burn, that is what the visions tell Malefic. Bruce Wayne, One of Earth will bring destruction and death to all. It is a comforting thought to him, but not to Bruce, who swears to be more. How can he though, when his soul has been damned ever since That Night?
Disclaimer: Do I really need to even say it? Fine. I am not nearly awesome enough to own Batman or any other DC characters.
Author Notes: So yeah. I was reading over my old Elseworlds series and my mind kept asking so many questions, pointing out so many plot holes that in order to shut it up (and lower some of my embarrassment at having such a story on the web where everyone could see it) I decided to rewrite it. Completely. Not a slight rewrite, no, a complete overhaul. As in, discard everything you've read up until this point. Cool for new readers, right?
For as long as Malefic could remember, he has hated his own kin. All of them, from the moment he was born and felt silence in his mind and saw the disgust in their eyes – he hated the Martian race. Always looking down on him as if they were so much better – so what if they couldn't get their disgusting slimy little thoughts inside his mind?
Why ever would he want them to? But then word had gotten out and he'd been taken. Taken and held captive, often restrained to a metal slab in a large room with several other children, most of them alien. In the beginning he'd been the same, sobbing and begging to be set free but as the sols passed it became numbingly clear that no one would be rescuing him or anyone else. Ever.
Instead they were treated like lab rats, divided into groups based on what glowing drugs were being forced into them. Malefic's group, their drug glowed purple and burned through their veins when injected. Some sols he would shake so bad, colors and sounds screaming in his senses as the visions, sick and twisted, would rip through his mind. Images and the smell of burnt flesh – fire, everything on Malecandra was burning to ashes, buildings tumbling down and bodies piled high in the streets – and the screams...
The first time he saw it, he'd been unable to speak for two whole sols, horrified into silence. What was it that he'd seen? Hallucinations or visions? If those were images of what was to come then that meant his planet didn't have a future. They were all dead. DeaddeadeadeadeadeadeadeadDy ingInTheStreetsFireSoHighItB urnsOhH'ronmeerItBurns-
They gave him a few sols break from experiments, and during the time away from his slab he managed to make a sort of friend in his group. A young girl with wings, from Thanagar. He was just starting to care for the girl when the next dose ended up killing her. The agonized screams and tearful begging haunted Malefic's mind for a long time after that. In the end, as dark hatred boiled deep in his gut, the young Martian decided he's glad that his people, this rotten planet didn't have a future.
Let it all BURN.
"What do you see in Malacandra's future?"
It was visions, it turned out, that Malefic and everyone else in his group was seeing. Visions of worlds so far away, in the midst of a war that was steadily moving closer. So much destruction and bloodshed- senseless killing and the experiments were the keys to making it stop. Part of a prophesy, something they'd discovered in the far depths of Malacandra. Something that should have remained hidden! It would lead to death – had already unleashed a virus upon the surface that was slowly spreading, killing...
It was out, killing others –had to make it stop – but how? They took the unwanted, damaged children and did that to them! Malefic hated the visions, hated knowing what was going on – what would happen to them, who would die– but luckily it was only while the drug was in his veins.
The moment it left his system, the visions would stop and he'd be left in the silence of his own mind again. Of course, the images were forever burned into his memory but at least it didn't hurt so much, like he was burning alive each time. It seemed either the dose worked without any side effects or it didn't and slowly killed the body from the inside. As the body-counts of the children rose, so did his disdain for his people.
So when he was tied down again to his slab and forced another injection, as his body and those around him began to write in agony ... As that vile woman asked what he saw in the future- the future of a planet with people who'd stood there and laughed while Iazik started to suffocate (LookAtItsFaceHowItChangesCol ors) -
"DEATH!" Malefic choked out, enjoying the flinches as he added, "FIRE! Everything BURNS."
Every last one of Them should die.
Test-subjects were often limited to one glowing drug at a time, so as to keep side effects (that most common being death) to a minimum. Malefic didn't understand anything about the other colors but he knew purple. Even if each time the drug was injected it burned and threatened to turn him mad, he at least knew what to expect after a year of the same treatment. But then they tried to introduce him to something else.
The second Malefic saw the syringe he screamed and began to thrash about violently in his restraints, wild images wracking his mind of what it would do. Didn't know what it was called or where it came from, only that it glowed with black energy and whispered things to him. Horrible things, and Purple seemed to be screeching loudly inside his head, NononononoNotHimNotYouNotYou HeWillDestroyYou-
In desperation he shouted, "IT CANNOT BE GIVEN TO ME! IT CANNOT BE GIVEN TO ANYONE HERE! ALL WILL DIE! ALL WILL DIE!"
Given his history of almost always being right, the syringe was put away and not brought out again for a long time.
Visions of death were nice but one day it dawned on Malefic that perhaps he needed to help things along. So during the next 'session', in the midst of screaming profanities and writhing in pain, he managed to focus on a question. Just one.
How do I help?
A young boy appeared in answer and he was an odd one. Dark, tainted yet not. From the far tomorrows of the future, a planet that had one. Earth, their neighbor, a place with so many different types of land – and weather! And the most beautiful blue sky he's ever seen before. Malefic tried to hide him but others in his group saw the Boy as well and told. Brats – how could they tell?!
Soon the Boy would be in Their hands and as visions showed him what was to come, showing what his people, the Noble Race of Malacandra did – would do –
"Death," he whispered to himself in a form of reassurance. "They will all burn one day."
It was something to look forward to.
For those who are confused and/or don't know who Malefic is, its a prettier spelling of Ma'alefa'ak, who is J'onn's twin brother. He's legit, from the comics. The only Martian to not have telepathy or the fear of fire.