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Opinionated nerd for hire.

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Once again, I feel a million pins and needles sticking into my body as my muscles spasm from the Batman's taser. My jaw clenches so hard I feel like my teeth are going to break, and my back arches back so far I can feel my vertebrae pop. The air around me smells of ozone, before it's mixed with the odor of smoke as my t-shirt starts to singe.

"Y-.....---you're---.....--you're th--" I try to speak, the words getting caught up and stopped by the intense electrical shock. With as much willpower I can manage, I uncurl one of my fists just long enough to grab the prongs from the taser, rip them out, and toss them aside with more than a little contempt.

Sparks fly as the electrical cables dance across the ground, and I take in a deep breath before glaring at my opponent.

"As I was saying," I say between breaths, "You're the third person today who's tried to electrocute me."

Stalking towards him, I can start to feel my arms grow heavy, my head swimming. That taser was minor compared to what the self-proclaimed 'Electrocutioner' was carrying, and nothing at all compared to what Livewire can do, but with so little power left in the tank, it still did its damage.

But Batman doesn't need to know that. So I do what I always do when I'm hit with something that hurts like hell and leaves me sapped of my strength: I square up my shoulders, puff out my chest, and I keep moving forward. Most of the time, the difference between being tough and being 'invincible' is keeping up appearances.

"I don't know how you've gotten wrapped up in the Toyman's plot," I say, lunging towards him and giving him a shove that sends him sprawling back. "And right now, I don't really give a damn. I've let you go unchecked for too long, let you snap limbs, put police officers in the hospital, attempt to assassinate a district attorney."

I rush him again, grabbing him by the front of his costume, clenching the bat-symbol in my fist and feeling it tear free. The part of me that's seeing red right now wants to really unload on this lunatic, show him the same kind of brutality he's inflicted upon this city. Another part of me is holding my fist back, pleading that maybe there's more to this than it seems, that I'm missing something.

I won't hurt him, if I can avoid it. But I will stop him, here and now.

"You've turned the people of this city into a cowardly, superstitious lot," I say, hoisting him up off the ground, "convinced them that you're a monster, a bogeyman, something to be feared. But I'm not afraid of you, Batman. I'm not going to fall for your tricks, or buy into your illusions. You're not some creature of the night. You're a sick man who needs help before he hurts anyone else."

With that, I toss him up and back, not with the intent to do damage, but to get the message across that he's not going to win this.

"I'm only going to tell you once," I tell him. "Stand down, or I put you down."


The world around me is a blur, thanks in part to the haze in my mind that’s been irritating me ever since regaining consciousness, but mostly due to the sheer speed as I tear through the sky across the Bay.

Thoughts are still scrambled, memories not piecing together the way they should, but the fog is starting to lift a little. There’s a country-wide crisis going on, maybe a worldwide crisis, across multiple cities. Jimmy mentioned Central City-- could mean the Flash is in the same sort of situation. New York has a few heroes as well, who might be targets. God only knows who else is in the line of fire right now. And I’m already running on fumes.

All of that is just so much background noise, however, things I’ll have to deal with later, as I see twinkling lights of Gotham City on the horizon, growing larger with every second as I close in. Right now, there’s only one thing keeping me going as my body begs to give out, one person for whom, even as drained and worn-down as I am now, I’d gladly charge the gates of Hell and fight the Devil himself.

Lois.

Since our meeting in Nairomi where she gave me the idea of going public with my abilities, since she pulled strings to get me an interview with Perry White, since she coined the name ‘Superman,’ she’s been at the heart of what I do and how I do it. We watch each other’s backs, we keep each other’s deepest secrets, we trust each other to the ends of the earth. But the exact nature of our relationship has always been….cloudy, at best. The complications of me being who I am would make it difficult to be with anyone. I assumed that I’d never truly be able to connect with someone, to consign those thoughts to daydreams and what-ifs, my desires and common sense colliding to leave me a stammering mess when the subject comes up.

But even as my thoughts are a haze, one thought pierces through like a beacon: I’d move Heaven and Earth for Lois Lane. And if she’s in danger, God Himself won’t be able to help whoever’s responsible.

I see pillars of smoke rising above the skyline, hear the pop of gunfire. Whatever the larger crisis at hand is, it’s reached Gotham City. And if I were a betting man, I’d put good money on Lois being in the thick of it. Straining hard to keep myself airborne, I push myself that much harder to speed towards the chaos.

Touching down, there are overturned cars, a blazing wreck that looks like the aftermath of a bomb going off, and a flight of drones whizzing through the air firing at someone obscured by smoke.

“Toyman,” I scowl as I see the drones, painted and dressed up like old-timey toy airplanes. I didn’t think he’d launch an attack outside of Metropolis. Nevertheless, I need to shut this down as quickly as I can.

Normally, I’d just blast them with Heat Vision, but I don’t have enough energy in the tank for that. Still, I can’t have them gunning down innocent people.

“HEY! Over here!” I shout out to try and get their attention, turn their guns on me instead of their current target. Sure enough, one of them swoops towards me, painting my chest with a red laser dot.



KA-BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

High-caliber armor-piercing rounds slam against my chest, each one connecting with a hard thump that makes me have to plant my feet to avoid staggering back. They sting like crazy, but I hold my ground.

“You’re gonna have to do better than that, Toyman!” I shout to the killer drone as it pulls up and away, two more of them swooping down behind it to continue the attack. This time, rather than just take the gunfire, I go on the offensive. Ripping the door off one of the wrecked cars, I fling it through the air like a frisbee, smashing into the two drones before they can break away.

Charging forward, I single out a fourth drone and leap into the air, winding back my fist as I reach the crest of my arc and smashing the flying robot with a wide right hook. Unable to generate enough of a gravitational field to stop the arc of my jump, I strike the side of a building, my face taking out chunks of concrete as I glance off of it and tumble back down into the street.

“Three down,” I say to myself as I pick myself up, “two to go.”

The first drone has looped back around and begins to pepper the pavement with gunfire. I shrug off the bullets that smack against me, and grab hold of a parking meter, uprooting it from the ground. As the drone dives for another strafing run, I charge towards it, swinging the metal parking meter like a baseball bat. Several million dollars’ worth of high-end military hardware bursts into a shower of sparks and shrapnel upon contact.

As the last drone banks away to try to escape, I take my makeshift weapon and hurl it like a spear, which arcs gracefully through the air before smashing into the drone and sending its debris to the ground.

Now that the immediate crisis is at hand, some more of the fog in my brain starts to lift as I begin to search the area for people in danger.

“Is everyone all right?” I call out into the turmoil of the park. “Does anyone need-”

That’s when I see him, lying in a heap beside a tree.

Doctor John Henry Irons.

Dammit, Clark, he was the Toyman’s target. Of course. Lois said she was going to talk to him, about an old associate, a Winslow Schott. Somehow, Schott must have gotten word, targeted Irons and--

Oh, God.

“LOIS!”

She’s unconscious. A trickle of blood seeps from her head. Every thought in my mind falls away. The fog in my head that was starting to lift becomes a storm. Everything goes red.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see movement. A figure in black.

Him.

The one I was hunting. The Batman.

Before I even know what I’m doing, I rush towards the cloaked figure, and feel my hand at his throat.



You, I growl as I hoist him off the ground. “What was your part in this? What did you do?!


Everything is black and cold, body and mind numb.

Slowly, though, I start to feel patches of sensation again. Half-remembered bursts of pain. An angry, agonizing buzzing all around. A desperate dive into the water to drown the lightning in my head. A descent into darkness, consciousness slipping away.

I feel an icy wave slap across my face, and I realize I'm not dead.



I'm floating on my back in the Hob's River, drifting out towards the ocean. Memory's still hazy, but I remember bits and pieces. Livewire attacked the city, trying to pick a fight with me. She tried to fry my brain from inside, and I countered by shorting her out in the river. She must have....dissipated after that. Given that her physical body is made of non-solid electrical plasma, I doubt she's actually dead, but it's going to be a while before her consciousness has gathered enough charge for her to be a real threat again. Something I'll have to deal with in time.

For now, I'll settle for just getting back to shore.

Normally I'd just pop up and fly my way back, but warping my gravitational field enough to fly requires a level of mental concentration I just can't seem to work up at the moment. I keep getting flashes of scrambled memories, flares of remembered pain, my attention drifting every time I try to focus on lifting myself out of the water. More than anything, though, there's a dull, heavy anger that sits like a thousand-ton weight on my mind, poisoning my thoughts. The more I try to concentrate, the more I feel my teeth clench, my hands ball into fists so hard they start to tremble. When I let it go, it persists, all of my thoughts cast in a thick red haze.

Unable to fly, I start to swim towards the shore instead. It's not as fast, but I can displace a hell of a lot of water with each stroke of my arms, so even as far out from land as I am, I'm able to cover the distance in maybe a minute. It feels like an eternity, though, and by the time I reach land, washing up near the Queensland Boardwalk, my arms and legs are screaming, my muscles cramping and my pulse pounding. I sit in the sand for a while, breathing in ragged gasps, trying to shake off the low rumble of an anger I can't place.

...bzzzzz--....zzzzzz.....ZZZZZZZZZZ--

My eyes snap open, a heat that can cut through steel building up as the same damned buzzing I'd felt in my head returns. Livewire.....is she still--?

No.

A small flying object, a little smaller than a dinner plate, whizzes above my head, and I realize the buzzing isn't in my head at all. It's a remote-control drone, and going by the Daily Planet sticker on its underside, it belongs to--

"Superman! Holy crap, you're okay!"

Jimmy Olsen. Running up the beach, my roommate and co-worker follows after his trusty camera drone, nearly tripping over himself as he hits the sand.

"Jimmy, right?" I greet him, trying not to let slip that I've been splitting rent with the guy for about seven months now. "How'd you find me?"

"This guy right here," he points to his drone as it circles around him. "I was able to pick you up on camera when you started swimming-- you kicked up enough of a wake that it was pretty hard to miss. Are you....are you all right?"

He glances down at my hands, and I realize they're clenched into fists again. It takes some concentration to let them loosen.

"I'll be all right," I say, avoiding eye contact. "I guess Livewire really did a number on me."

"You're not kidding, Big Guy," Jimmy laughs uneasily. "When you went down into the river, people were starting to think you'd died. Not me, though. I know it's gonna take more than a living joy-buzzer to keep you down, heh."

"Thanks," I nod. "How's the city? Is everyone okay?"

Jimmy winces.

"It's pretty rough in Hob's Bay," he says. "They're saying at least twenty dead, another hundred or so injured. But it's not just Metropolis, Superman. Something major's going down. Perry's saying there have been other attacks happening all at once! There's an attack in New York, in Central City, in Gotham--"

"Gotham," I interrupt, and I start seeing red again.

Gotham. I was just in Gotham, what was it......I was looking for someone......

.....there was another emergency......

.....I left Lois in the city.......

.....the Batman, that was it.....I was hunting the Batman......

I start to feel my fingernails digging into my palms. All of my thoughts start to blur.

Lois.

Gotham.

Danger.

Batman.

"Ummm, Superman?" Jimmy says, his voice starting to fade. "I'm starting to think you should take it easy. I mean, I've heard electricity does all kinds of bad things to the mind. You don't look like yourself...."

Rather than squash out my focus, that dull and heavy anger is now a conductor, channeling all the focus I need.

I rip through the air, only vaguely aware that I sent poor Jimmy and his drone tumbling into the sand in my wake.



"Gotham," I hear myself snarl through gritted teeth. "Lois. Batman. I'm coming for you."
<Snipped quote by some news website>

Read- a bunch of DC folks wanna write an erotic fan fiction and put it into actual publication.


I mean, really the only logical next step is to just go full-on Rule34. Hope you're ready to see all of your favorite characters engaging in some bizarre and disturbingly specific fetishes, kids!
So apparently DC's new 'Black Label' imprint is kicking off with a story where you see Batman's wang.

I assume we won't be seeing MB all that much for the next couple of days.
<Snipped quote by AndyC>

He didn't finish it though, Live wire did.


Well, I mean, Supes was the one who decided to dunk-tank both of them. Though admittedly that might not have come off as clearly as I'd like-- it's hard to write first-person narration when the narrator is supposed to be getting electrocuted through the brain.
All y'all finishing your fights like "Yeah, I'm Pumped. It's Surfer time!"

Iris be all like "PlzNoImHurt"


Technically Superman finished his fight like "Gurgle gurgle glub glub" as he sank into the river.
I personally am of the opinion that the most important addition to the Season 2 banner should be the characters who speak only in hidden text. #MxyForBanner
<Snipped quote by Retired>

... shit. I better Google "how to snap a pool cue over your knee three ways."


I heard three-way. I am here to apply.


SOMETIMES I THINK IT'S PRETTY APPROPRIATE THAT OUR BOY CURRENTLY SINKING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER WAS RAISED BY A FARMER. AND I DON'T MEAN BECAUSE IT GIVES HIM THAT PLUCKY, NORMAN ROCKWELL, SALT-OF-THE-EARTH, CAN-DO AMERICAN SPIRIT. I MEAN BECAUSE IT'S PRETTY INDICATIVE OF WHAT HE DOES TO YOU.

SEE, THE EXTERNAL INTELLIGENCES, THE THOUGHT-FORMS AND ANIMATE CONCEPTS YOU CALL 'GODS' AND 'DEMONS' AND WHATNOT, THEY ONLY HAVE A COUPLE OF REASONS TO LOWER THEMSELVES BY COMING TO THESE MOTES OF DUST POPULATED BY SHAMBLING MEAT-THINGS. THERE ARE THINGS THAT PREY DIRECTLY ON THE PSYCHIC ECHOES GENERATED BY SUFFICIENTLY SENTIENT BIO-MASS-- THAT'D BE YOUR 'SOUL' IF YOU'RE THE RELIGIOUS TYPE-- AND THEY FIND WAYS TO WRENCH THEM OUT OF YOU. TYPICALLY PAIN OR VICE ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS, BUT YEAH, IF YOUR SOUL IS A RICH GOLDEN STALK OF WHEAT, THEN YOUR AVERAGE GOAT-HORNED IMP OR NAMELESS HORROR WITH MORE TENTACLES THAN BRAINS ARE THE MURDER OF CROWS CIRCLING AROUND TO PECK AT IT.

ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU'VE GOT YOUR GUARDIAN ANGELS, YOUR DEVAS AND SPIRIT GUIDES, THE BENEVOLENT POWERS-ON-HIGH THAT KEEP THE THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT AT BAY. THEY PROTECT YOU, AND ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS, AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IN RETURN IS FOLLOW THE RULES THEY HAND YOU IN A LITTLE BLACK BOOK. WHY DO YOU THINK THEY DO THIS? DOES THE FARMER SCARE AWAY THE CROWS AND GAS THE INSECTS AND SHOOT AT RABBITS WITH A SHOTGUN BECAUSE HE LOVES HIS WHEAT FIELDS? YOU THINK HE WANTS TO HAVE A DEEP, PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS CORN AND HIS CARROTS? YOU THINK HE HAS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR HIS POTATOES BEYOND 'GROW AND EAT THEM?'

GOD DOESN'T LOVE YOU, YOU CHUMPS. GOD FARMS YOU.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO OUR LITTLE BOY BLUE, AND ALL OF THE JOHNNY-COME-LATELYS THAT SPRUNG UP IN HIS WAKE. EVERY SO OFTEN I SEE YOU NERDS GO ON ABOUT HOW THEY'RE THE NEW 'PANTHEON,' THE GODS AND MONSTERS OF MYTH FOR THE MODERN TIMES, SYMBOLS OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE AND HOPE AND FREEDOM AND YADDA-YADDA-YADDA. IT'S SUCH EASY RELIGION, TOO. NO COMMANDMENTS, NO DOGMA, NOBODY GETTING NAILED TO ANYTHING OR BLOWING EACH OTHER UP OVER A THEOLOGICAL DETAIL, THE ONLY SECTS BEING DERIVED FROM BRAND LOYALTY. AND THE ONLY PRAYER THEY HAVE TO ANSWER IS THAT THEIR STORIES ENTERTAIN YOU AND GIVE YOU ALL-THE-FEELS.

EVEN THEN, THE SUPER-FOLKS ARE FARMING YOU. THEY TAKE FROM YOU YOUR TIME AND THOUGHT, FUNNEL YOUR CREATIVITY INTO A STAGNANT AND FORMULAIC GENRE. THEY TAKE YOUR MONEY AS TITHES, WHETHER IT'S FIVE BUCKS FOR A FEW SHEETS OF PAPER--HALF OF WHICH END UP BEING ADS-- OR A FEW MORE FOR A TICKET TO WATCH A SOULLESS BILLION-DOLLAR CORPORATION TELL THE SAME STORY FOR THE TWENTIETH TIME IN A ROW. AND THAT'S NOT GOING INTO THE ACTORS AND DIRECTORS WHOSE CAREERS ARE SACRIFICED ON THE ALTAR OF SPANDEX, TO BE KNOWN FOREVER FOR THEIR TIME RUNNING AROUND IN THEIR PAJAMAS. IT MAY LOOK LIKE THEIR MOUNTAINS OF TECHNICOLOR MERCHANDISE FORM A MONUMENT TO THE GREATER GOD OF COMMERCE, BUT THAT DOESN'T ACCOUNT FOR THE LOSERS AND FREAKS WHO TOIL AWAY MAKING THIS STUFF FOR FREE. JUST BY READING THESE WORDS, YOU'RE EKING OUT A FEW DROPS OF THAT SWEET IDEA-JUICE INTO THEIR BUCKETS. AND LIKE ANY THOUGHT-FORM ADOPTED BY THE MASSES, THEY WILL LIVE ON FOR GENERATIONS, HARVESTING THE CROPS THEY'VE SOWN IN THE MINDS OF CHILDREN.....AND OF FAT PATHETIC MAN-CHILDREN WHO THINK THEY'RE BEING MORE CLEVER THAN THEY REALLY ARE.

ANYWAY, POINT BEING: SUPERMAN IS A FARMER. AND YOUR BRAINS ARE HIS CROPS.

SPEAKING OF BRAINS, DID YOU KNOW THAT NEW STUDIES CLAIM THAT ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY CAN CAUSE SEVERE CASES OF MEMORY LOSS, CONFUSION, AND HEIGHTENED STATES OF AGGRESSION? AND THE BOY SCOUT JUST TOOK A FEW MILLION VOLTS RIGHT ACROSS THE FRONTAL LOBE. LEMME TELL YA, HE IS GONNA BE PIIIIIIISSSED WHEN HE WAKES UP, AND HE'S NOT GONNA KNOW WHY.

OH HEY, LOOKS LIKE HE'S COMING UP TO THE SURFACE. I'D BETTER DUCK OUT BEFORE HE SPOTS ME-- YOU NEVER KNOW JUST HOW MUCH OF THE SPECTRUM THAT X-RAY VISION OF HIS CAN ACTUALLY SEE, AFTER ALL.
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