WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised! Chapter is extremely bloody and violent and contains a lot of torture and death!
Wondering Snow's request for Alfred being awesome. (Hope you like it because this is probably not what you had in mind.)
Chapter 122: Immortals
"So, have you heard anything from the Justice League?" Jonathan Kent asked as I poured him a cup of tea.
I replied, "I'm afraid not, Mast-"
"Alfred, please stop with that sir and master stuff. It makes me feel old. We're the same age after all. Jonathan. Please call me Jonathan. We've known each other far too long."
"Very well… How is Mrs. Kent?"
"Martha's doin fine… Matter of factly, she's the reason I'm here. We were wantin to know if you'd heard anything about the Justice League?"
"I'm afraid I haven't heard anything. After all, the League is somewhere in space without communication. The Titans are on a mission with Young Justice and I believe the Outsiders are on a mission as well. Your Christopher is actually with the Outsiders," I sighed.
"Don't think anything less of me, Alfred, but it scares me. I'm so afraid of losing my son or my grandchildren. I lost Chris once before and I couldn't bear to lose him again. I don't think I could handle losing any member of my family."
"I truly know how you feel… I do hope they all return safe and sound soon," I replied only as the Batcave alarm went off.
"What in the devil was that?" he asked in alarm.
"Do not worry. It was only the alarm for the cave that allows me to know if someone has entered," I replied as he followed me over to the hidden elevator within the kitchen.
"So the entrance is in here?" he asked in surprise.
"Actually, there are three entrances; the study, the kitchen, and the library."
"And you're going to allow me to see it?"
"You are on Master Bruce's approval listing."
"Can't wait till I tell Martha!" he exclaimed.
He whistled as we entered the cave. "Wow. And I thought Clark's telephone booth was impressive," he muttered as I led him over to the Zeta Tube.
Alan Scott, Ted Grant, and Giovani "John" Zatara stood in the Batcave arguing with each other.
"This is not Manhattan! I told you we were going to the wrong place!" John hissed as Ted merely shrugged.
"It's not like we can't fix it later!" he snapped.
"Gentlemen, please. Calm down," I spoke up, walking over to them.
"Oh… We're in the Batcave," Alan muttered.
"Can I be of some service to the three of you?" I asked.
"No thank you. Forgive the intrusion, today is where we normally have our Justice Society meeting and someone entered the wrong coordinates!" Alan growled as he glared at Ted.
Ted hissed, "Do ya know how many of those damn numbers ya havta remember! It can be confusing!"
"Hey Alfred! I think somethin's wrong with this here fancy computer! It's glowing!" Jonathan shouted as he pointed at the Batcomputer.
"I'm sure it's fine, Jonathan."
"Where's Jay and Dan?" John asked as Alan turned to him.
Alan yelled, "I already told you that they aren't coming today! Jay's wife is sick and Dan is off with his boy at a conference!"
"Would anyone care for some tea?" I spoke up as they all turned to me.
Half an hour later everyone was seated at the conference table in the cave. Tea and cookies were passed out as they continued with their meeting. They were interrupted as a video alarm sounded.
"What was that?" Jonathan asked as I stood.
"It is merely a video message," I replied before crossing the room to answer the message.
I could feel the others breathing down my neck as I accepted the message. Out of curiosity, I was surrounded by the other four men in the room.
The message opened. Five completely naked young men with their arms bound behind their backs and hoods over their heads were revealed. I gasped as I recognized the body of the boy in the middle. Scars nearly coated every inch of his muscled body.
A masked man clad in black suddenly appeared behind the hostages. He ripped the hoods off of the first two. Christopher Kent and Zachary Zatara were revealed as Jonathan's face fell and John muttered a string of curses. The hoods were removed from the last two to reveal Kyle Rayner and Thomas Bronson.
"Tommy," Ted whispered as Alan remained silent.
The middle boy's hood was removed, which revealed my second eldest grandchild without a mask exposing his identity along with the other boys. Tape covered their mouths and collars ensnared three out of five of the boy's throats. Nightbird's collar glowed green. Zatara's collar glowed blue, while Tomcat's collar glowed gold. Neither Red Hood nor Green Lantern wore collars.
"Justice League, by now I have your attention. You may refer to me as Chaos. As you can see, I have something you want and you have something I want. Object 6609 is to be brought to Pompeii if you ever want to see your Outsiders again. You have precisely twelve hours to deliver the object or they will die and their identities will be revealed to the world," he snarled before grabbing Jason by his hair and yanking his head back. "For every hour that I have to wait, one of them will be tortured."
No! I watched helplessly as the blade of a dagger traced over his throat before the knife was embedded into the child's left arm and twisted as the message ended leaving the five of us in silence.
"That sick bastard has my boy!" Ted snarled, finally breaking the silence.
John growled, "And my nephew."
"And my daughter's boyfriend... Which could be worse," Alan shrugged.
"And my grandbaby. I've already lost him once. I-I can't lose him again," Jonathan murmured.
And my Jason. My second eldest grandchild… My favorite grandchild. (I'm 99.99% sure that Alfred's favorite is Jason. Don't even try to argue with me on this unless you have a good reason for thinking otherwise.)
"We have to contact the League!" John ordered as Alan shook his head.
"We can't! They cannot be reached!"
"They're away along with Young Justice."
"What the heck is Object 6609?"
"Object 6609 is an artifact that could possibly be transportation to the underworld," I replied as the four of them stared at me.
"And how do you know that?" Alan asked.
I huffed, "I'm Batman's butler. I know everything."
"Then how do we get it?" John asked.
"We don't. The artifact was accidently destroyed by Superman," I replied as the others gave Jonathan deadly glares.
"But, what about our boys?" Ted asked.
"We get them back… To us, those boys are our grandchildren, children, and nephews. And their lives are being threatened by some bloody villain known as Chaos. The Justice League and the Titans are out of the question. There is nothing they can do… But, we can," I replied as I crossed over to wall towards the back of the cave.
"I'm going with ya, Alfred," Jonathan stated as the other three just stared at us.
"You two are civilians. You have no training. There is no way you can accompany-" John began before I laid my hand against a hidden scanner and waited until the wall slid back and revealed my personal hidden armory and uniforms.
"The four of you gentlemen are looking at a former MI6 operative," I declared.
Jonathan added, "I was in the Army during Nam."
I began gathering my gear before responding, "Besides, I am the only one who knows where they are being held. The four of you gentlemen have two options; you may either accompany me or stay the bloody hell out of my way. Either way, I am going to bring my grandchild and his friends home."
"Wait a damn minute! Howda ya know where they're bein held?" Ted asked.
"Master Jason told me," I calmly replied as I prayed my old uniform would still fit.
Alan asked, "But how?"
"Simple. He used Morse Code by blinking," I replied as they just stared at me before Jonathan stepped forward.
"Alfred do you have an extra rifle and uniform?" Jonathan asked.
I grunted as the tape was ripped from my mouth before I was forcefully thrown into the wall. My hands were raised above my head and handcuffed to the wall as I was forced onto my knees and my ankles were shackled as well.
I wasn't alone for very long before Kyle and Tom were chained to the wall to the right of me, while Zach and Chris were bound to the wall to the left of me. The door to our prison was locked and the five of us were left alone.
"Hood, you okay?" Kyle asked, looking at the trail of blood dripped down my arm.
"I've had worse… There's no point in using code names either. They know who we are," I muttered as I noticed Zach eyeing my body. "Find something you like, Zachary?"
"You have a lot of scars... I didn't know it was that bad," he muttered before averting his gaze to the floor.
I shrugged. "Chicks dig scars."
Kyle nervously asked, "What do you think they'll do to us?"
I replied, "We'll be fine. Just don't let them break you. The League will be here soon. We just have to hold out until then."
"Don't worry. I'm sure all of your daddies will come shortly," an unseen voice sang.
"Everyone heard that right?" Kyle asked as everyone looked around.
Moments later, a red skinned demon appeared before Zack. The creature had long horns, fangs, wings, a forked tail and tongue with an aura of blazing heat around him. Zack just swallowed nervously as the thing reached out and tucked a loose piece of hair behind Zack's ear with long and sharp claws.
"Miss me, Baby?"
"Baby!" Kyle, Tom, Chris, and I exclaimed.
Zach swallowed hard as the demon raised an eyebrow. "Eddie, please just get us out of here and-"
"You ashamed of me? That why you didn't tell your friends about your boyfriend?" the demon apparently named Eddie asked.
"Dude, why didn't you tell us you were gay?" Tom asked.
Zack shot Tom a murderous glare before muttering something about being bisexual.
"Zack, you know none of us care if you're gay, straight, or bi. We'll still be a team," I replied.
Eddie clicked his forked tongue in disapproval before saying, "What if I told you he cross-dresses?"
Zack yelled, "That was only one time! You promised you'd never say anything!"
"I lied," Zack's demonic boyfriend replied.
Eddie then grabbed Zack's hips making him scream in pain. As Kid Devil took his hands away, two scorch marks in the shape of handprints were left on Zack's hips. Specks of charred flesh floated to the floor as tears dripped down Zack's face.
"You put your hands on him again and you go back to Hell. Permanently," I threatened.
Eddie asked, "You mean like this?" before laying his hands on Zack's thighs.
"Hey! Leave him alone!" Kyle and Chris yelled while Tom growled and hissed at the demon.
The demon flicked his forked tail across Zack's chest and burned the word "Fag" into his skin. Zack didn't do anything but cry and ask why.
"Because I never really loved you. You're so easy to manipulate, Zachary. All I had to do was find you and convince you to help me contact Hell and you did. I'm a demon because of you and your spell. I got what I wanted and now I have no further use for you. Besides, you mean nothing to anyone. No one would morn if I killed you right now, except for your parents and that's only because you'd join them in Hell."
The final thing the demon did was slip his tail between Zack's legs for a brief moment. Zack's head slumped against his chest in semiunconsciousness as the demon through his head back and laughed before disappearing into a cloud of black smoke and flames.
Chris asked, "You okay, Zach?"
"Please just leave me alone," Zack whispered as he kept his eyes on the ground while tears rolled down his face.
I remained stoic at the controls of the Batplane, Jonathan prayed for the boys in the seat beside me, while Ted and Alan tried to direct their attention anywhere other than the monitor. John merely stood directly in front of the video screen. His knuckles had turned pure white from his death grip on the edge of the table in front of him. The poor man looked as if he could vomit at any moment. He kept his eyes locked on his nephew.
Alan laid a hand on his shoulder before asking, "Did you know?"
"No… I never knew."
"What will you do?"
"Send that demon back to Hell."
It felt like hours had passed as the five of us sat chained down in silence while we inhaled the scent of Zach's burnt flesh. At least he'd finally stopped crying not that any of us had even blamed him for doing so. No one had spoken a single word. All we could do was to sit and wait for a rescue from our parents or for someone to appear to torture us.
Out of nowhere, Tom asked, "Hey Zach? I know you're emotional and all but I just gotta know… How'd you hook up with a demon?"
The rest of us glared at the werepanther while Zach merely lowered his head in shame. Kyle gently told him he didn't have to answer if he didn't want to.
"His name is Eddie Bloomberg. We became friends shortly after I went to live with my uncle. He used to be human but he used me. He tricked me into opening a portal to Hell. Eddie made a deal with Neron for power. He used me," Zach answered sadly.
"Never trust a demon," Chaos exclaimed as he burst through the door with a couple of guards.
Zach was the asshole's first stop. He paused to pat Zach on the head and mock him about getting third degree burn from not using proper protection against demons before adding, "And I do hope one of the other League members will take pity on you. Your best bet will be Batman. He's always in the mood to adopt orphans with black hair and blue eyes. After all, I doubt your uncle will want the burden of continuing to raise his gay nephew. We both know you never told him because he'd never approve or accept you for what you truly are."
Zach cast his eyes to the floor as he tried to hold back the tears while the monster turned back to us. He gazed at each of us before pointing at Tom. Tom hissed at the guards while they unchained him before dragging him from the room.
"Where are you taking him!" Chris demanded to know.
"Aren't you getting brave considering your past with your mother in the Phantom Zone?"
Chris' eyes grew wide at the man's comment. You could see him shaking if you looked closely. We couldn't blame him either especially after what he endured in the Phantom Zone.
"Just remember all those fun times you had there whilst I attend to your friend. The pussycat is in dire need of a bath."
Ted screamed, "He can't swim! He's afraid of the damn water!"
We could only watch in silence as the lad has held under the water at random increments of time by someone resembling Ted. The poor child and his poor father. Ted mumbled profane death threats as he pounded his fist against the wall of the ship. Alan eventually placed his hand on his friend's shoulder and told him to remain calm.
"Calm! I ain't got time for calm! My boy's bein tortured by some sonofabitch that looks like me!"
"Alas, the fiend is using the person they trust most to completely destroy them on the inside. Although, it is only a clever ruse, the aftermath will be far greater on the mental effect of our boys." I sighed.
We could only sit and watch helplessly while Chris was chosen next.
Tom was dragged back to us completely soaked with glassy eyes and a blue tint to his skin and lips. Tom couldn't seem to stop shaking as he was chained. He didn't a say a single word. At that point, he didn't even seem to be with us.
"You sick bastard! What did you do to him!" I yelled.
"I told you he was in dire need of a bath," Chaos replied.
Chris was chosen next. Memories of what happened to him in the Phantom Zone flooded his mind as he fought against the captors dragging him away. I couldn't get his screams out of my head as Kyle and I looked at each other in panic.
Kyle asked, "Jason, what are we going to do?"
Glancing over at Zack and Tom who were both frozen in fear, I merely shook my head. "Just hold on. We'll be fine… We'll be fine."
That was before we heard Chris screaming.
"Oh God!" Jonathan called out.
Jonathan's first grandson was in pain. We watched as an image of his biological mother repeatedly whipped and tortured the child before images of his biological father as well as his adoptive parents appeared. What they did next to the boy was unimaginable.
Tiny spikes of broken fragments of kryptonite flogged Christopher's back as scarlet seeped from the places where he'd been struck while both sets of parents took turns holding him down and having their way with the poor child. Jonathan was inconsolable as he wept angry tears. With a silent look shared between the two of us we both knew there would be no prisoners taken.
Chris was dragged back to us bloody and broken. He wouldn't stop crying and screaming as he was chained back to the wall. Kyle and I swapped worried glances.
"Why are you doing this?" Kyle asked.
Chaos looked down at us before answering, "The Justice League took something from me and I want it back."
"What did they take?" I asked.
"I'd be more concerned with worrying about myself if I were you. Now, do I want to play with the baby of the bunch or shall I take the leader? Hmmm... Decisions, decisions."
Kyle replied, "Or you can let us all go and turn yourself in now."
We both looked at Kyle. I resisted an eye roll at his statement. The man patted Kyle's cheek before cooing at his innocence.
"You are so sweet and innocent aren't you?" Chaos cooed before adding, "And now I must break that."
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Chaos prick Kyle's skin with something so small Kyle didn't even feel anything. His two goons dragged him out while Chaos bent down in front of me.
"And then there was one."
Narrowing my eyes, I replied, "You're not going to get away with this."
"Tsk. Tsk. I thought you would have a better comeback. Not that it matters. You're the last one. And you never want to be the last one alive when I'm around… The last one alive ends up dead."
Alan did not have an established relationship with his charge unlike the rest of ours. However, he never wanted to see the boy tortured. None of us wanted any of them hurt.
We all watched as a Yellow Lantern of Hal Jordan appeared and ordered the boy to give into his fear. Vines made of yellow energy shot out from Jordan's ring and covered the struggling lad from head to toe. Some of the vines forced Kyle's mouth open and pushed themselves down the boy's throat. His attempts at struggling grew weaker as the gurgling and gasping sounds grew stronger before he fell completely silent and still.
The boy's unconscious form was lugged back to his cell. I saw Master Jason swallow the lump in his throat as the realization sank in. He was next.
"We found it!" Jonathan announced as all of us crowded around to see the massive airship in front of us.
As one of the leaders of the Justice Society, Alan announced, "Alright. Everyone follow my lead. Prepare to board."
Chaos stated, "It's funny when the one you expect to be the weakest turns out to be the strongest."
I glared over at the asshole petting Kyle's hair.
"Just because he's the youngest doesn't mean he's the weakest."
He crouched down in front of me before pricking my skin with a tiny needle. I immediately asked what he did to me.
He smirked, "You'll find out. I just hope you're stronger than your friends."
Alan held up his hand as Jonathan and I prepared to follow in behind him. We paused as he explained that we needed to stay on the ship since we were civilians. They would recover our boys without us. The three of them quickly departed. We waited a few minutes before also departing.
"Let's go get our grandsons," Jonathan announced.
We quickly boarded the enemy ship. Our first sighting was a couple of guards lying face down in unconsciousness. We traveled in the opposite direction.
We made our way directly into the control room. The moment I opened the door, a man whirled around in his chair and opened his mouth to scream Jonathan silenced him with a knife to his throat.
I huffed, "Did you need to dismember him so quickly? We could have used him to give us the location of our boys."
"He would've given us away. Besides, we have all this fancy equipment for that."
The two of us sat down and tried to gain a heading on our whereabouts. A few minutes later, I could use the equipment perfectly. The location of the holding cell was quickly revealed. Through the use of the monitor we honed in on the lads minus one.
"Those poor kids. We have to get down there," Jonathan mumbled.
I nodded in agreement before checking the other monitors. We both groaned as we found our companions in battle with dozens of guards. I checked the other monitor to find my dear grandchild alone with that psychopath. My poor Jason was bound on the cold concrete with that maniac dressed as the Joker leering over the boy with a crowbar in hand. What made it worse was that a fake Batman was there to help.
"Alfred, how could he know all of this?" Jonathan asked.
"I don't know and it doesn't matter now. Jonathan, can you get yourself to the others and get the boys out within five minutes?"
"Five minutes is all we have," I explained before pulling a bomb from my knapsack and wiring it into the frame. "Get them out in five. I'm going after my grandchild. If we're not back on the Batplane during that time leave without us."
"You're not real. You're not real," I murmured.
I couldn't help but close my eyes. This isn't real. This can't be real. None of this can be real. Hal wouldn't do that to Kyle. Clark wouldn't rape Chris. Ted wouldn't drown Tom. And Zach's boyfriend probably wouldn't do that.
"Get the hell away from me!" I yelled.
The fake Joker just laughed while the fake Batman kept telling me that I wasn't good enough. I tried to mentally block them out while they raised their crowbars up into the air.
"Get the bloody hell away from my grandson!"
My eye widened as my mouth fell open. Alfred! What the crap is going on? I basically just laid there like a good little hostage while Alfred shot the fake Joker in the head. I think I went into shock while I stared at the hole where that guy's head used to be. The fake Batman wrapped an arm around my neck and jerked me back as a human shield.
"Who the hell are you!" the guy yelled.
"I'm Batman's butler also known as Batman's Batman," Alfred calmly replied.
I dropped back down to my knees as Alfred shot the man holding me with such accuracy I instantly awed over his marksmanship. I stared at him shock as he pulled me to my feet and untied me. He patted my cheek and told me everything was going to be alright before asking me if I could run.
"I-" I croaked before losing the ability to speak.
He wrapped an arm around me before saying, "Don't worry, Master Jason, we still have two minutes before the bomb goes off and kills us all."
The second we arrived at the Wachtower, we were all shocked to find a video of some psychopath holding our children hostage. Another video showed Alan Scott telling us that everything was alright and everyone was perfectly safe in the Batcave.
The second video hadn't even ended before Clark, Hal, Zatanna, and I were in the zeta tube. The four of us stepped out to find all five boys safe with their respective families with them.
Leslie and Alfred were busy attending to their patients. Dick, Tim, and Damian hovered over Jason while Giovanni sat on the edge of his nephew's bed and rubbed some type of salve onto some very serious burn marks. A young man with long hair sat near them. Martha, Lois, Kara, Conner, and Jon crowded around Chris. Ted was busy telling his boy about some fight while Yolanda carefully tucked several blankets around her brother on the other side of the room. Alan Scott sat quietly in a chair near Kyle's cot. He left the unconscious boy alone before approaching us.
Alan explained, "They've all been badly hurt and exploited in the past several hours. They need you. Don't question them until they're ready to tell you."
Hal immediately went for Kyle while Zatanna went straight for her cousin. Alan stopped Clark and me to explain that we should be very proud of our fathers. But, there was also one problem. No one knew what happened to Chaos.
All the members of the Justice Society, the Justice League, the Teen Titans, the Outsiders, and Young Justice along with their families all stood in the Hall of Justice. We all watched proudly as the members of the Justice Society stood up along with Alfred and Jonathan.
"Today we are here to honor Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth and Jonathan Joseph Kent. Two civilians who showed great honor and bravery during a time of crisis. For their acts of bravery and leadership, I, Jason Peter Garrick award the two with honorary memberships to The Justice Society of America," Jay stated as everyone clapped.
Jonathan and Alfred were given medals as everyone cheered.
And people wonder where I get my badassery from.