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Old 01-10-2017, 10:54 PM   #1
ChasNicollette
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JL New Wave: The Worlds' Finest (IC)

(( THIS THREAD IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR TEARSOFTHEWORLD AND CHASNICOLLETTE
IF INTERESTED IN JOINING, OR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS,
PLEASE SEE THE OOC AND THE MAIN IC ))


Justice League

The New Wave
(original JLNW concept created by Nubian_Legend)

The Worlds' Finest
(Wonders of Their World)

WF1: The Bird of Prey - The Huntress
WF2: The Megaton Bombshell - Power Girl

Notable Worlds

Earth-Prime: Prologue World
Earth-1: The "Main" World
Earth-2: The "New" Verse in which this story takes place
Earth-8: Elseworld ( A Non-DC world in origin where the other guys coexist)
Earth-10: Reich World (A world where Hitler comes to power with Nazi superman, Overman.)
Earth-11: Genderbend World
Earth-12: Beyond World(World in which Batman Beyond takes place)
Earth-18: Old Western Variant
Earth-21: 1950's style Golden Age World.
Earth-26: "Toon" World
Earth-31: Pirate World
Earth-32: Superhero Mashups
Earth-33: "Our" World
Earth-395: Medieval-inspired World

(A list of DC's Multiverse Worlds)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tiverse_worlds

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Old 01-17-2017, 05:02 PM   #2
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Secret Origin: The History of The World.

For years, The Wonders of The World kept their planet safe.

Led by Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and his wife Catwoman, they were the premier line of defense against extraterrestrial invaders and metahuman criminals alike, backed up by Mr. Terrific, The Atom, Doctor Marvel, and The Martian Manhunter. At the same time, The Wonders trained a secret generation of younger heroes to build upon their work-- or to carry on for them should something befall.

Among these were Alan Scott, Green Lantern and bearer of the mystical Starheart's Green Flame; Jason "Jay" Garrick, The Flash; Kendra Munoz-Saunders, Hawkgirl; Lyta Trevor, The Fury, daughter of Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor; Kara Zor-El, Karen Starr, Superman's cousin Supergirl, separated from her younger cousin in hyperspace on the way to Earth and arriving to find him much older; Val-Zod, Cory King, Power Man, long-lost childhood friend of Supergirl, whose pod had been lost with hers in hyperspace; and Helena Bertinelli, Robin, foster daughter of Batman and Catwoman. They were The Second Wonders, The Wonders of The World's hidden backup.

But then, six years ago, Steppenwolf attacked, bringing armies with him to undermine and terrorize the world. And he was like nothing The Wonders had ever faced. They fought him in the shadows and in broad daylight, but could make no headway against him. He never spoke the name of his lord and master, but called him only The Great Darkness-- and the thought that his master was more terrible even than he was a chill in the bones of even the most stalwart heroes.

They met him in the heart of Metropolis for a final battle, clashing and burning against his Dog Soldiers...

...the Second Wonders had orders to protect civilians and stay out of sight, but good-hearted Val-Zod couldn't resist the urge to fly out from cover and try and help Superman as he struggled against Steppenwolf himself.

But then it happened.

A sound like The End of The World.


krekkaBOOOOM!

And the Wonders of The World were gone, all of them, just gone. Steppenwolf with them, and his Dog Soldiers... even Val-Zod.

The world hung in silence, stung, horrified, shocked.

When they regrouped to recover at Superman's Fortress, The Second Wonders found a message recorded for them by The Quarternion, the four founders of The Wonders-- explaining Batman's suspicion that Steppenwolf came to their world and specifically targeted them because of their team of powerful, public heroes. That if they should fall in battle, the Second Wonders should carry on the fight in secret, utilizing guerrilla tactics, to try and take the bullseye off of their planet.

It's been five years since that terrible day, and a-- "benevolently totalitarian" world government has formed in response to the disappearance of the heroes, a World Army, led by Wesley Dodds and his elite anti-meta unit, The Sandmen.

And the Second Wonders have continued their work in secret, below the radar, fighting crime and keeping careful watch out for the return of Steppenwolf and his unspeakable Master, The Great Darkness.

Supergirl has changed her name to Power Girl in hopes that if she is caught, her identity will be less of a magnet for the enemy's attention than had been the name of Super. This is also a tribute to her fallen friend, Cory "Power Man" King.

And Helena has changed her name to The Huntress-- because a name as optimistic as "Robin" just wouldn't suit the methods she needed to survive in a darker world without her beloved foster parents.

But still they fight the good fight. Two of the finest warriors in all the worlds. The Worlds' Finest.

This is what happens next.

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Old 01-22-2017, 01:21 AM   #3
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Wonders of The Whirled. (apologies to Levitz)

Micronesia.
The World, aka Earth-2.
Six Years Ago.

********

...the giant boulder arced for miles through the air...

...crashing to the ocean with a dramatic thunder of seawater.

"I did it!" Supergirl whooped, hands in the air.

Superman gestured for calm, frowning. "Not quite, Kara. Four degrees off the target spot. You need to be perfect."

"No one's perfect, Kal," Kara Zor-El shrugged easily.

"Of course not, but your aim has to be," Kal-El shook his head. "We're in a war, and you're one of our secret weapons."

He swooped down towards his Secret Fortress far below. "Whoever this Great Darkness is, he knows far too much about us... at least too much about me. I need you to be harder to find than Batman. Not like... Lois."

Hovering above, watching him go, Kara felt a clutch in her heart like a fist.

...she had never gotten to meet Lois Lane.

But she knew the weight in her cousin's shoulders, the weight of whole worlds, the love that he'd lost.

How terrible was a world where a man as good as he would have to suffer such a loss?

...how imperfect?

World Orbit.
Today.

********

Kind of a lot had happened since then.

The Wonders of The World were gone.

Even those burdened shoulders-- shoulders that could carry the weight of The World. Even Superman.

So much had happened.

The World was so very far from perfect.

And now the secret weapons were the only weapons.

She'd changed her name to help keep that secret. Now she was Power Girl.

Kara's cape floated behind her in the vacuum of space, and impossibly powerful eyes gazed down far, far below.

All the way down to the surface of The World.

...forces clashed miles beneath, a battle raged...

...she could help.

But she had to be secret. She had to be quick.

She had to be perfect.

Flexing her hands into fists, she leaned forward... and then dove down, down, down, a red-white-blue streak pouring down through the atmosphere, searing through the friction...

...faster than a speeding bullet.

Lowell County, Kansas.
********

What once had been a Smallville cornfield had been laid to waste-- a massive red whirling funnel cloud sucking up and spitting out everything that wasn't nailed down-- and plenty of things that were.

"Alpha Squad fall back!" Captain Dodds snapped, backpedaling sharply. "Beta and Gamma, maintain the perimeter, this one doesn't get away from us!"

...he barely got the sentence out before the crimson cyclone they were attempting to contain picked up a tanker truck of pesticide and slingshotted it at blinding speed towards Gamma Squad, scattering them.

Five years ago, the primary superhero team on the planet, The Wonders of The World, had been ripped away. And the normal human beings had been left to pick up the pieces. To chase down the supervillains, out-think the masterminds, fend off the invaders, minimize the collateral damage caused by unsanctioned meta-vigilantes.

In that spirit had been formed The World Army... and their elite metahuman tactic squad, The Sandmen. Captained by Wesley Dodds, The Sandmen were composed of the highest-trained soldiers in The World Army, and augmented by trained metahumans of subtler power, not big or colorful enough to be Wonders but more than tough enough to fight the good fight.

"Gamma," Dodds barked, "report!"

"We're okay, Wes, we're green, we're green," replied Gamma Leader Agent Steve Austin, "we're regrouping!"

"Beta Squad!" Dodds called out. "Sato! Support Gamma and then lock down that damn perimeter!"

"What is this thing?" Beta Leader Agent Sonia Sato called back, "another one of Morrow's?"

"Smarter than his usual tin soldiers," Dodds growled, "and the aerokinesis is new, but the color scheme is consistent-- how are we looking on that EMP strike?"

Sato grimaced, sprinting for cover as cornstalks rained down like artillery fire. "No good! Command says our air-support can't get in close enough with the gale forces!"

"Son of a bitch," Dodds snarled--

--and then, for an instant, things seemed to get worse.

Just as the red tornado loomed, grew bigger, threatened to overwhelm what cordon they'd managed to erect...

...a second tornado corkscrewed to life beside it, this one white...

...and spinning in the opposite direction.

"What in the damn Hell?" Austin sputtered, using his cyborg arm to haul one of his squad-members out of the way of a weathervane hurtling at the speed of a crossbow bolt.

But before they could assess the situation further, the new counterclockwise white whirlwind rushed to meet the red tornado... collided with it...

...and their respective, diametrically opposed vortexes canceled each other out.

Air exploded away from the colliding storm centers in a wavefront that knocked most of The Sandmen off of their feet...

...and when it subsided, they found there in the heart of the flattened cornfield a sprawled, ticking android...

...no, it was female in design, a gynoid.

Red with a yellow "T" on her chest, and a matching yellow arrow sweeping up over the top of her head from the back and down the forehead to line up with her crown chakra.

And with a tremulous, hollow voice that quavered with a kind of digital agony, it spoke: "...rebooting. ...systems crash recovery engaged. ...online. ...power reserves at .052%. ...complete gyroscopic calibration failure."

"...error. ...error."

"So much for bein' smarter than usual," Austin growled.

"...wait," it crackled, mumbled. "...wait. ...please."

"I'm sorry," Sato frowned, "did it just say 'please?'"

"...please. ...oh God. ...please tell me I didn't hurt anyone."

Wesley Dodds stared for a long, hard moment. "Well. That's new."

********

Power Girl rocketed away from Smallville with a joy in her heart. She'd saved the day! She'd done it! She'd stopped that... red tornado... thing... and if she'd done her job right even the sci-boffins in The Sandmen would have no idea the anomaly wasn't a function or malfunction of the gynoid herself!

Now, where to next?

Metropolis? Gotham?

...what was Helena up to, anyway?

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Old 01-25-2017, 12:03 AM   #4
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See What I've Become - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UeA9Nus9Eg

"You can't possibly understand ..."

"Yes, I can. If you do this, you'll only fill the hole in your heart with more emptiness. A hunger that will never be satisfied. You'll seek out a new face each night. And another. And another. Until all you'll know is revenge... and you won't know why."

"But they killed..."

"I know. Mine too."


- - -

Helena thought long and hard about what Bruce had said to her that night. She thought about all the lessons that he'd taught her. She wanted to be angry... she wanted to let that anger guide her in life. But Bruce had taught her to control that anger, and keep it from getting out of control.

But now he was gone.

They were all gone.

All of The Wonders.

Helena drew in a deep breath and then calmly exhaled. There wasn't really a time limit when it came to brooding. Just like Bruce, Helena had gotten really good at it over the years. In a city as dark as Gotham, there weren't a lot of alternatives. Yes, the city had some shining moments, but it wasn't like Metropolis. It couldn't be. It wasn't going to be.

Gotham was... Gotham.

It cried out, night after night, for its Dark Knight.

But now, without Batman, Helena would have to answer its call.

As The Huntress.

They used to think that she played a bit too rough.

But honestly, she still felt like she wasn't being rough enough.

Couldn't they see that she wasn't fighting a battle? She was fighting a war!

Maybe, just maybe, it was time for her to turn the heat up. Touch the fire and see just how much it burned. Helena shook her head and focused her thoughts.

She couldn't very well see everything that was going on down below, but she did what she could. She didn't have super hearing, but she had inherited a lot of neat toys to use. The only ones that really didn't like being spied on were the bad guys, and Helena couldn't care less about their feelings. If they wanted to fool around, she'd be there to catch them.

To break them.

Helena looked up towards the night sky as thunder rolled on overhead. It hadn't started to rain yet, but the forecast had called for heavy showers. She silently pleaded for them to be good that night.

No more beatings.

No more stealing.

No more killing.


Helena reached out from where she was perched to feel the air, and a single drop of rain fell into her palm. She curled her fingers up into a fist and brought Heaven's Tear towards her chest. She looked out into the distance as the clouds were suddenly pierced by a single beam of white light. Even after Batman's disappearance, the modified searchlight still projected the image of a bat. Sometimes Helena would go out to meet with the head of the police department, but for the most part the fearsome silhouette on the night sky was used for more psychological purposes, striking fear into the hearts of Gotham's weaker criminals.

Helena stood up and reached for the line-launching device that she kept attached to her purple utility belt. After all, not every hero could simply fly from one end of the world to the other. To be honest, she actually preferred scrambling around on rooftops and descending on unsuspecting criminals.

Like the ones that decided it was a smart idea to break into Nolan's Gem Boutique.

Huntress used the line to land onto the rooftop next door, and did a brief recon check to size up her opponents. They were heavily armed, but even the toughest grunt was still just a grunt. Knowing that the store was going to file a claim for insurance anyways, Helena broke through the glass ceiling and landed in the center of the store, knocking over one of the goons in the process. The dark-haired vigilante immediately drew herself up to her full height, and, after drawing out her battle-staff, knocked aside several of the closer peons before she found herself surrounded by several other armed crooks.

"Look. We can do this the hard way, or the harder way. It's your choice."

- - -

"Nnnnngh."

"Quit your whining. I went easy on you."

Helena looked down at all the goons that were sprawled out on the floor. A few of them were going straight to jail. The rest...

Huntress heard one of the crooks start to move, but she quickly ended his night by striking him in the face with her boot.

The rest were going going to Gotham General Hospital.

And then jail.
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Old 01-28-2017, 02:10 PM   #5
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Even if We Can't Find Heaven, I'll Walk Through Hel With You.

It took Karen a little longer than all that to catch up with Hel in Gotham.

Even as she'd flown to look for her, her superhearing had picked up other emergencies, radio frequencies, calls for aid.

And so she'd gone. Under cover of super speed and blurring flight, she'd fended off trouble after troublemaker.

Thus, it wasn't until hours later that she came back to Gotham in the dark night, slowly levitating down to land on a rooftop near where The Huntress skulked and stalked the criminal elements.

Dusting herself off, she wondered, cheerily, "How's your night going? Mine's been okay. One of those firepits left behind in Italy kicked back on again and I'm still a little winded from freezing it out. Also my favorite cape got roasted, so it's a good thing I have so many favorite capes!"
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:40 PM   #6
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Emerald Dawn. (apologies to Robinson)

Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
An Hour Outside Hong Kong, China.
The World.
Six Years Ago.

********

"You'll love where you're going, Alan," Major Thomas Zhao Kane promised as the Chinese countryside flashed by the windows at incredible speed.

"Honestly, Tom," Alan Scott replied easily, "I'd love anywhere if I get to go there with you."

He paused, frowned, laughed at himself. "Huh, listen to me talk. You're turning me into a sap, Major."

"I'm not complaining," Tom grinned. "Anyway, the lodge is beautiful, trust me. Breathtaking forest views. And I reserved us one whole wing, so we'll have plenty of room."

"And privacy, I hope," Alan quipped, a gleam in his green green eyes. "We've been so long apart."

"Wouldn't be worth a two-hour train ride into the country if your keepers at Galaxy Broadcasting Corporation could interrupt us with texts, calls, emails..." Tom remarked wryly. "Not to mention my superiors in The PLAGF. This time it's just going to be you and me, and at the speed the bullet train's going, we'll be there within the hour."

"Um, Tom," Alan hesitated, "I was going to wait until we got there to say this, but-- I feel I've waited too long as it is. I, err, know your career keeps you in China... and us apart unless we steal the time to see each other, and further I know how much your work in the People's Liberation Army Ground Forces means to you. So I propose you put in for a transfer as a liaison officer to America--"

Thomas had waited patiently through most of this, Alan did so often meander around getting to his point, but something about Alan's wording caught him off-guard, there. "Alan?"

"No, hear me out --so we can be close all the time."

He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a simple gold circle. A ring.

"No, better still-- just let me propose. I love you, Tom. I'm crazy about you. Marry me so we can--"

--a fireblast ripped through the train-carriage, shredding the lead car, everyone inside, the monorail bridge beneath--

--a tiny glimmer of green green light winked visibly through the train window amidst the thundering conflagration, and then it was gone.

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Old 02-07-2017, 09:40 PM   #7
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Emerald Dawn, Part 2.

Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
An Hour Outside Hong Kong, China.
The World.
Six Years Ago.

********

The track had shattered, pieces strewn for hundreds and hundreds of yards.

The train was in tatters, a burning hulk. All hands lost.

Save one pair of hands. And one other.

Alan Scott knelt over Tom Zhao Kane as though trying to fruitlessly shield his beloved from the blast.

But the blast had not touched them.

They were on the ground in the cratered wreckage of the bullet train and they were... surrounded... in a great green flame. A flame that sizzled and sparked and arced even as it shielded them from what remained of the train's death throes.

"...oh my God," Tom murmured, staring around them, his eyes wide.

"What... what is this? Kryptonite? I heard it was supposed to give some people powers, even as it hurts Superman..."

NOTHING SO PALTRY, ALAN SCOTT OF THE WORLD, EARTH-2.

The voice came from the flame, which burned but did not burn out, and in that moment Alan Scott felt not unlike Moses had when The Presence had spoken unto him from a bush of a different flame. It reverberated through them, ancient and unafraid.

WE ARE THE STARHEART.

AND WE HAVE FALLEN SO FAR, THROUGH WHOLE UNIVERSES TO FIND YOU. ONE OF GREAT COURAGE AND WILL AND VISION. WE HAVE LOST SO MUCH. BUT WE HAVE FOUND YOU.

Incredulous, shaken beyond belief, unable to comprehend-- "Find me? ...but these people, all these people, you've found me only to kill them!"

"What kind of courage do you call that?" Tom demanded, as Alan helped him up.

THIS DESTRUCTION IS OF YOUR WORLD. NOT OF OUR MAKING. WE HAD TO ACT QUICKLY TO SAVE ALAN SCOTT. AND THE MAN HE LOVES. FURTHER LOSSES ARE... REGRETTABLE.

"Someone did this? This was an attack!" Alan clutched his head, a strong hand pressing into his blonde hair, the vast surreality of it all managing to sink in bit by bit. "Was it to get at me, my company? Was someone attacking Tom because of his military operations?"

A MYSTERY FOR ANOTHER TIME.

Tom managed a tiny smile, his grip on Alan's hand white-knuckled. "Yeah, I bet. Thank you for... saving us. Whatever your reasons."

WE TOO HAVE LOST ONE THAT WE HAVE LOVED, THOMAS ZHAO KANE. THE LIGHT OF OUR LIFE. WE WOULD NOT SEE THAT HAPPEN TO ALAN SCOTT OR TO YOU.

WE ARE DAMAGED AND CANNOT RETURN TO OUR LOVE. SIX OTHER FRAGMENTS OF US ARE SCATTERED UPON THE EARTHS-- WE ARE THE FIRST OF SEVEN. BUT WE WILL DEFEND THIS EARTH AGAINST THE COMING DARKNESS AS WE REGAIN OUR STRENGTH TO RETURN TO OURSELVES.

AND YOU. ALAN SCOTT. WILL BE OUR SENTINEL. OUR EMERALD KNIGHT. YOU WILL SHED LIGHT OVER DARK EVIL.

The flame poured inward, swirling, focusing, spiraling, zeroing in...

...they found the simple gold band that Alan had bought Tom as an engagement ring and stormed into it, levitating it out of the rubble and bringing it to Alan's waiting left hand...

...shaping it into something green instead of gold, carving an insignia out of power, a Power Ring, and with that Ring came armor of gleaming, steely jade...

...OUR GREEN LANTERN.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Emerald Twilight.

15 Central Park West, Manhattan, New York City.
The World.
Tomorrow.

********

"We can't keep this up forever," Tom murmured dejectedly.

"Oh, challenge accepted," Alan grinned, kissing up the side of Tom's neck and taking Tom's earlobe in his teeth, chuckling.

Tom's eyes fluttered, and he reached up to tangle a hand in Alan's blond hair... "Ah, God... no, Alan, you know what I mean."

Alan rolled onto his side, gazing at Tom on the pillow next to his, sobered by the thought. "Nothing lasts forever, Tom."

Tom slid his hand into Alan's, and their fingers intertwined, wedding bands glinting together in the soft morning light that seeped in through the curtained condo windows, and Tom gazed back into Alan's green green eyes with quiet solemnity. "I want us to."

Alan smiled gently, and kissed the knuckle of Tom's ring finger. "Me, too. I promise and promise and promise."

"They're going to catch us eventually," Tom grimaced.

"That doesn't mean we'll be over," Alan pointed out. "It means our lives will change, and some of the peace we've enjoyed together these last five years will be gone, but we can get through whatever The World throws at us."

"That's true," Tom admitted. "I just don't think we should have to compromise. You have your life, I have my life, we have our life together, and it's been working just fine, just-- amazingly. But the moment they find out-- all of it goes into a tailspin."

"It does seem pretty brutally unfair," Alan leaned in and kissed Tom's shoulder, and Tom kissed Alan's forehead, "but we knew it wasn't a perfect World when we each decided to fight for it in our own way."

"And even while we fight for it," Tom agreed, tracing a fingertip along Alan's collarbone, "we can fight to make it better."

"Damn right," Alan leaned in and kissed Tom sweetly and softly, and Tom shivered and made a quiet little noise as he kissed Alan back.

KATHOOOOOOOM!

...an explosion outside rocked the building, and both men started sharply, game faces instantly on.

"The Park! Steppenwolf?" Tom scowled, lunging for his military uniform.

"No, that sounded-- different," Alan vaulted out of bed, grabbing the green glowing Ring that rested on the bedside table. "I'll never forget that damn sound as long as I live. The Wonders-- my mentor, Doctor Marvel--"

--he slipped The Ring on and The Green Flame enveloped him, armoring him up and crafting a mask across his face.

"But if people are in danger, I'm not going to lay idly by."

"Nor should you," Tom agreed. "Just be careful. Stay out of sight as much as you can. You know the drill."

Alan grinned faintly. "This little light of mine? I'm gonna let it shine."

The Green Flame swirled around him, and he vanished in a teleport effect.

"--Major Kane! Major Kane! We've detected a massive pressure detonation in the vicinity of Central Park. Are you affected? Can you respond?"

Tom didn't have the ability to just summon a uniform around him-- but he had gotten dressed with astonishing speed, pulling up his trousers and belting them even as he cued his commlink to respond.

"This is Major Thomas Zhao Kane of The World Army, Sandman Epsilon Squad. I am on-site, armed, and Oscar-Mike. Stand by for sitrep."

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Old 03-16-2017, 09:11 PM   #9
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Emerald Gloaming.

Slaughter Swamp.
Sommerset.
Just Outside Gotham City.
The World.
Five and a Half Years Ago.

********

"Wh-whu-what are we doing here?" Dr. Jason Woodrue demanded, slogging his way through the muck and waving a cloud of mosquitoes away from his face.

"Come now, Woodrue," the massive figure leading him through the undergrowth rumbled cheerfully. "I was told you were one of this World's foremost botanists. Are you so put off by your own subject matter that you cannot stand to be amongst it?"

Woodrue scrunched up his face in dismay. "I'll have you know I have done-- field research in the deepest jungles of The Amazon-- Peru-- The Congo-- but this is-- this is different. There is a darkness here. Even as a scientist, an atheist, I feel something... crawling around the edges of The World here."

Steppenwolf laughed a laugh like cracking stone. "How very astute. Your reputation is well-earned. Slaughter Swamp is one of the 'soft places,' where reality is thin and the various astral planes can seep in, primordial subconsciousnesses beyond the calculation of mere mankind. I suppose I should answer your question."

Woodrue's dismay deepened as he tried to wipe his boot on a tree-trunk, but the muck clung to it like some sort of primordial extraterrestrial parasite. "Better late than never."

Steppenwolf stopped at the edge of a particularly deep bog, within sight of a ramshackle hut, a crooked house. "My Master. The Great Darkness. Is an overlord general of surpassing, infinite vision. He fights a war on countless fronts, with a different vector for each, a different means of victory."

"It is under his bootheel that you seek to grind us?" Woodrue scowled. "It is with dread of him that you seek to fill us? What... vector does he seek to use to subjugate our wills, if it is not you and your dreaded Dog Soldiers?"

Steppenwolf smirked faintly, crossing his arms behind himself. "Well, for one thing, those aren't mosquitoes."

Woodrue shot him an astonished look, and then one of the bugs flitted past him, and landed on the back of his hand. And he adjusted his glasses, and looked at it first with bewilderment, and then with horror.

It wasn't an insect. Well, it was. But it was no insect he had ever seen. And astride it-- astride it! --was a miniature humanoid figure, craggy and exoskeletal and wielding a spear, as though the humanoid itself were part insect.

It screamed at him in its tiny voice in something that sounded like a cross between Welsh and The Black Speech of Mordor, and jabbed the spear into the flesh of his hand.

"AHHHHH!" Woodrue cried, and slapped at his hand, but then another stabbing pain shot into his neck and he tried desperately, too late, to slap that away--

--and then they swarmed him, driving him to his knees--

--he screamed all the while, thrashed, red hot pain injecting him at every bare square centimeter of skin--

--after about ten minutes he slumped, laying on the swampy floor, unmoving, the fleet of insects and insect-men buzzing away and off into the recesses of Slaughter Swamp.

Steppenwolf chuckled great booming chuckles to himself. "Let that brew and stew inside of you, Doctor, your corpse an alchemical cauldron of unlife to poison and infect all life you touch. The Green is the source of all plant life, and it laps against the shore of this world in the heart of this swamp."

With his boot, he pushed the lifeless, unliving Woodrue into the bog and watched as Woodrue slowly sank beneath the surface of the muck.

"Drown in The Green. Let it soak you in. And my Master will have his own Dark Green."
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