DC: Age of Villains

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TommytheHitman

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(The following is a story I wrote awhile ago as an idea for a DC group. Never did anything with it, but it seemed a waste to leave it in the void of the PMs).

The first day of the age of villains began like any other.

At 8:30 in the morning most of America's population began to wake up. The country's richest man Lex Luthor was among these yet even he was not aware of what was already beginning to happen. He began the day as he normally did, sitting down in his office that overlooked the Metropolis skyline and keeping updated with current events via the numerous TV screens lining his walls.

It was all bad news as per usual. Race riots in Detroit had broken out. An oil rig had been boarded by an Atlantean Extremist group inadvertently causing the vessel's cargo to spill into the Pacific, and (the one that caught Lex's attention the most) the world famous superhero and escape artist Mister Miracle had missed his first live performance in 15 years disappointing thousands of fans.

Lex drank heavily from his glass. It contained an imported Khandaqi wine that had cost more than some buildings yet he drank it like mere ginger ale all the same. Mister Miracle was a New God, one of the few that lived on Earth and Lex had often viewed the escape artist's performances in the hopes of learning something new about the godly race's power levels. The news broadcaster was a lovely woman named Tilda Swann who Lex had been interviewed by several times before, she revealed that Scott Free (Miracle's alter ego) and his wife Big Barda had been unavailable for comment, the two having seemingly vanished.

Yet before Lex could learn more the broadcast switched stories.

The words 'BREAKING NEWS' appeared in the corner of the TV as the channel cut to a live view of the Metropolis division of the Wayne Enterprises building. There were many police cars parked around the building's exterior and every one at the scene - even the Science Police - looked nervous.

'We're receiving reports that armed members of the Black Zero terrorist group have stormed the building and taken hostages.' Tilda clarified, reading from notes handed over by her producer. 'Though they have yet to make demands the Science Police have negotiators on the scene and... I'm sorry.' A smile broke out across Tilda's face. Lex knew what she was about to say and that made him want to punch her. He wanted to hurt her very much. 'I'm told that Superman is on his way!'

Lex took another swig of his drink and tried not to think about how far he'd fallen. Nowadays even the mere mention of the Man of Steel's name was enough to put him into a violent rage, and after so many years of conflict it was fairly justified. With his eyes becoming empty Lex stared at the screen waiting to see how the situation developed. He knew that at any moment the Man of Steel would smash through the building's wall and save the day.

He stared at the screen for a good while, yet surprisingly that moment never came.

Instead there came the sounds of screaming from the TV set. From the Wayne building's windows came the flashes of white gunfire and all that anyone could do, Lex included was watch in totally baffled shock as the employees and workers were shot to death.

After a moment of terrible, silent shock the news rattled on. Tilda explained the situation with tears in her eyes while in the background the Science Police laid siege to the building. She explained that while negotiators had been on the scene they hadn't been utilized once Superman had been alerted.

Everyone had been expecting him to show up on time.

Lex looked to the wine glass in his hand and tossed it away in a sudden fit of disgust, not at the glass but at himself. For the first time in a long time something felt wrong in his bones and his soul and as he stood up from his seat that overlooked Metropolis, Lex Luthor knew that today was the start of something very strange.

_______________________

A few hundred miles away Selina Kyle cooked eggs.

It was the morning after the best night of her life and rather than sneaking away in the aftermath like she often did a strange feeling called 'gratitude' had filled her chest and she'd decided to stay put.

They'd met last night under the stars and above the rooftops. It hadn't been a planned meeting, they had simply come across each other for the first time in months and had practically fallen into one another's arms. They were the Bat and the Cat, both creatures of the night yet as different as they could possibly be.

So now Selina was stood in her tiny apartment's tiny kitchen using an oven she hadn't switched on since she bought it. Asleep in the next room was the love of her life. She'd finally decided that was how she felt about him and as she carefully slid a well done egg onto a relatively full plate she smiled to herself, the warm smell of bacon, eggs and sausages filling her nose.

She was in love. It had taken a long time but she could finally admit it, though nobody besides herself would ever truly know.

A white cat was sat cleaning itself in the kitchen doorway so Selina made it shift by kicking at it with her bare feet.

'Beat it Schrodinger!' She hissed before stepping into the bedroom. White light streamed in through the widow as a new day dawned in Gotham and Selina smiled at the comfy looking mound lying underneath the bed's covers.

She loved him. Yes, finally she knew it. Perhaps when she was alone she would finally say it out loud, but she would never say it in front of anyone. Her reputation simply couldn't afford it, and if anyone knew that Gotham City's infamous Catwoman had fallen in love with the big bad Batman she'd never hear the end of it.

Cautiously she approached the bed. 'Bruce...' She said, gently placing the cooked breakfast on the bed's edge. The lump in the bed didn't shift even slightly causing the young woman to frown. 'Bruce!' Selina said more forcefully. Nothing. Beginning to get nervous Selina placed a hand where Bruce's shoulder was supposed to be and shook it. The sheets collapsed under her hand's weight and Selina's heart jumped as she realized that there was nothing there.

Panicking now she ripped the cover off the bed scattering her well made breakfast onto the floor where it was quickly surrounded by a swarm of cats, she didn't care. All she found were the wrinkled bed sheets where her lover had been sleeping, and at this sight she let out an ear shattering cry.

Not knowing what had actually happened Selina grit her teeth and pulled on her thieves outfit, her fists were trembling the whole time and it would have been abundantly clear to anyone in the room that the Catwoman was out for blood.

__________________

In the Amazon rainforest Barbara Minerva finally felt alive. She whipped through trees like a bolt of striped lightning, her claws and teeth were bared like the animal she was named after and in her heart Barabra felt complete.

Wonder Woman had entered her jungle the previous evening. Her sword and shield had been at the ready but she hadn't been prepared, not truly. Barabra had watched her prey from the shadows for many, many hours waiting for doubt to strike her foe, and when it had Barbara had done the same. She'd dashed out from the trees letting loose her battle cry before slashing the Amazon across the back and rolling into the underbrush. Wonder Woman had reacted of course but she was just too slow, and the Cheetah's claws had torn through her skin many times that night.

Barbara's plan had actually been quite genius. She'd gone in the dead of night to a local village and taken a brother and sister while they were lying in their crib. When a guard had tried to stop her she'd left her claws marked upon his chest and fled into the jungle with her captives. She had known Wonder Woman would come, and she had been right.

Now Barabra sat in the cave she had made her home, captive children sleeping cozily in her lap. The Cheetah's paws were slick with the Amazon's blood and as soon as she arrived at the cave Barbara had decided she would end it.

She sat still for the longest time, until the sun rose in the distance and its light hit her fur. The children dozed without a care and finally Barbara sensed something was amiss in the jungle. Her black nose rose up and sniffed the air searching for the Amazon's scent.

Somehow she didn't find it.

___________________

At 2:00 in the afternoon Michael Carter awoke in bed.

It wasn't his bed, rather it belonged to the woman he was sleeping with. Her name was Daisy or Daphne or... something else that started with a D and an A mashed together. The uncomfortable Afternoon sun was streaming through the curtains and as its light struck Michael's forehead a sickly feeling filled his throat.

'Oh man...' He groaned before leaping naked in the assumed direction of the bathroom. He bent over the toilet and heaved his guts out for a good five minutes until the seemingly endless stream of vomit finally stopped.

Still feeling queasy Michael shakily got back to his feet. He wiped his mouth and stepped out the room like a man reborn. To his surprise Danielle (?) was still asleep, but the TV was blaring. They must have left it on when they'd been... canoodling.

Michael found the remote lying underneath his costume and picked it up while pulling the suit on. See, Michael was a superhero. A somewhat famous one that went by Booster Gold. The name hadn't been his choice. Booster was a time traveler and had been through a lot over his less than stellar career. He'd been a millionaire with a fortune, lost it, joined the Justice League, been fired, lost a friend, lost his integrity and was now an on again off again protector of the time stream.

It paid the bills.

Yet as Booster pulled on his colorful costume he couldn't help but feel that something was wrong. His eyes flickered to the TV screen as he was about to switch it off and caught sight of the News headline.

It read: 'Earth's greatest heroes missing! Where did they go?'

Booster's mouth hung open and a strange, pale shock passed over him.

'But... I'm still here.' He realized, saying his thoughts aloud. 'Holy Moley!' He tapped a button on his wrist that summoned his mechanical ally Skeets to his side. 'It's probably just the Justice League.' He decided with very little evidence.

Booster sat down on the edge of the bed and waited for an hour.

It took him that long to realize that Skeets had vanished too.