The Writers Guild Presents #53.3 - batkevin74

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Edited By cbishop
Welcome!
Welcome!

After ImpurestCheese, Knightofthechronicle and Batkevin74 tied for most stories contributed to Writers Guild Presents. However, where Imp' and Knight' gave us great series, Batkevin' gave us great variety. He gave us chapters to a couple of solo projects, chapters to a few group projects, and several one-shot stories that were just playing with some unique ideas. At the end, we see a Batman story I liked so much that I had to write two more chapters for it. Enjoy.

Tales of the Galactic Pope: Cardinal Covo, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #5
Originally Presented in WGP #5

It deals with Cardinal Covo, the bionic eyed member of the Cyber Cardinals and the events from his perspective. Hopefully reading this will make people want to read the other three parts :)

Montanis sector, planet Mysia

Cardinal Covo sat in his bubbling hot tub of alchemical concoctions. The mixture of rare liquids cleaned and purified his skin. He closed his one natural eye; his bionic eye never relaced, never rested. A faint rapping on the chamber door roused him from his tranquil state.

“Enter!” groaned Covo.

Jerome, his page, glided in like he was on rails and stood at the edge of the in ground tub. He averted his eyes as Covo emerged from the tub and outstretched his hand, Jerome grabbing the cardinal’s purple bathrobe to clothe him. Covo stepped into the plush robe “You have a message?”

“Yes your grace.” replied Jerome as he handed Covo a digital letter. Covo snatched it and quickly opened it. His bionic eye scanned the letter before tossing it into the tub like a used tissue.

“You play a dangerous game Borgia!” he said aloud before realising he was not alone, Jerome at times was like his shadow “Leave me.”

“Yes your grace”

**

Cardinal Covo sat quietly in his shuttle as he headed towards the dwarf planet of Nova Roma where the Conclave of Cyber Cardinals had been convened. The four day journey had given him time to plot, to plan and to listen to the coded messages from the various factions who either wanted Akihito Borgia dead or supported. Those who wanted him dead far outweighed his supporters. But why the conclave had been called was still a mystery.

“Entering Nova Roma airspace your grace” stated the pilot.

“Thank you.” Covo muttered as he fumbled his prayer beads “What are you up to Borgia?”

**

Akihito slowly rose from his throne, looking upon the gathered Conclave of Cyber Cardinals. “I wish to assemble the Papal Fleet!” He watched as the pockets of sidetalk rippled through them. “I will lead in the Fleet to remove the house of Abstergo from the galaxy!”

“OUTRAGEOUS!” screamed Cardinal Orsini.

“This will not stand!” growled Cardinal Covo, his bionic eye targeting the Galactic Pope “You bring dishonour to this conclave!”

“Bite your tongue!” shouted Cardinal Angelita from across the chamber “You should watch your tone when addressing his holiness!”

“I did not vote for his holiness!” spat Covo. The chamber erupted into arguments, Covo retaking his seat and looking directly at the man who was sitting in his seat; Galactic Pope Akihito Borgia!

**

Cardinal Covo watched as the Galactic Pope drove his fingers through Cardinal Orsini’s eye, killing him in graphic fashion. The bionic eye recorded the whole thing, just in case. The supporters of Borgia erupted in applause, the scavenge of undecided begun to shift in the Pope’s favour and those loyal to the House of Abstergo were genuinely worried as Borgia now had the voting power of twenty five. To summon the Papal Fleet required a minimum of one hundred and sixty six.

Cardinal Covo smiled politely as the Galactic Pope did his obligatory victory lap, inside a bubbling volcano of rage wanted to escape.

**

“It will cost triple!” came the hushed reply “Because of your location and the target.”

“I don’t care if it costs ten times the amount!” snapped Covo as grabbed the communicator tightly “She needs to die!”

“Very well. Transfer the fee. Consider it done.” the communicator clicked off.

Covo tossed the device into the fire, watching the plastic bubble and spit as it melted into a flaming puddle.

“Enjoy your meal Cardinal Angelita,” chuckled Covo as he poured a glass of wine “It will be your last!”

What if Hawkeye gained the Venom symbiote...?, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #6
Originally Presented in WGP #6

This is a What If…? initially based on the premise of Hawkeye gaining the symbiote instead of Spider-Man covered in Secret Wars #8. Rated M, owned by Marvel

Battleworld

“Check me out!” stated Hawkeye as he entered the room in some fresh new threads, a black and indigo design.

“If you’ve used up all the costume making goop,” whined Spider-Man as he stood there in his tattered uniform. Hawkeye cocked his eyebrow and waited for Spider-Man’s ultimatum. Spider-Man’s shoulder’s dropped and he trudged into the other room muttering “I hope you marry She-Hulk!”

Hawkeye smiled as he admired his new outfit “Like a glove!”

Avengers Mansion

“No need Jarvis,” said Clint as he clicked his fingers, “Hey presto!” his costume melting into civilian wear. “And look!” Clint pulled his bow literally from out of his back “This costume is the best thing ever!”

“That can’t be terribly hygienic.” retorted Jarvis.

“Don’t wait up!” he called as he headed off for his date with Bobbi.

Jarvis looked at the hearing aids on the dresser and scratched his head in bemusement.

Baxter Building

“What do you mean alive?” Hawkeye looked baffled by the question as Hank Pym turned on the machines in the lab that Reed had lent him. “You mean…?”

“Alive Clint” said Hank “Your costume is alive; well that’s my hypothesis anyway. I’d love to have Reed co-consult with me on this but he and the FF have gone off again”

“So this,” Hawkeye took off a glove and waved it “Is alive?”

“Could you place that piece in that tube” asked Hank pointing to a container as he loaded a high tech blaster “Now Clint, you’re in pretty good shape right?”

“Yeah!”

“When were attacked the other week by the Wrecking Crew, you went toe to toe with the Wrecker. The Wrecker was given Asgardian powers by Loki and is on par with Thor. He punched you in the face” Hank put on some goggles “Are you seeing what I’m saying?”

“You think I’m a mutant?”

Hank shook his head “If Thor punched you, do you believe you would survive? Be honest”

“…no”

“The suit is seemingly augmenting your natural abilities,” Hank turned a dial on the blaster “Which are at peak levels anyway, but you’re not super or fantastic or amazing.”

“Hey!”

“Clint, you shoot arrows better than anyone but I watched you pick up a car and throw it!” said Hank “You’re a normal human with exceptional skill. The suit is making you better. But I want to test it to make sure that it’s not affecting your health”

“Bet you wouldn’t do this to Steve” mumbled Clint as he folded his arms and noticed that his glove was back on his hand “Okay, what the hell just happened?”

Hank peered into the empty container and then back at the archer “I don’t know, but I’m fascinated.”

A.A.R.S.S: King Surfer King, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #7
Originally Presented in WGP #7

A.A.R.S.S: Every bad, horrible, badly thought out, drunkenly created hero & villain from the minds of those here on CV given the chance to shine! Attempting to prove there are no bad characters. Join us for the adventures of Grappling Cook, Spatulus, Space Horse, Dish-Man, Barf Man and many many others!

An old man slowly got out of his hammock to greet the morning sun. The waves lapped the shores of Kauō, making him smile. He gathered up his long board and his duck feeding bag to head out for a surf.

He loved it here. The quiet atoll that only scientists and eco-tourists came to visit occasionally, mainly to see the Laysan ducks that he fed. The serenity, the waves, and the ducks made him at peace with himself. Forgetting the past where he was once…

“King Surfer King!” roared Jellyfisher, the opaque gelatinous criminal who terrorized the Hawaiian islands “How did you escape my atomic barracuda men?”

King Surfer King curled his lip and smiled as he flew in on his magically long board “Seems I wasn’t on the menu!”

Jellyfisher fired his octo-gun at the tall bronzed surfer, the searing plasma globs narrowly missing their targets due to the swerving skills of King Surfer King. The surfer of the skies returned fire from his mystical bracelets, sending magical electrical bolts into the coral platform the blubberous criminal stood on. Jellyfisher lost his balance and King Surfer King swept in and punched him right in the nose, knocking him into the blue waters of Hawaii.

“Your crime spree is over Hoaloha!” smiled King Surfer King as he hovered over the unconscious Jellyfisher floating on the surface like a plastic bag.

“Keen!” shouted Jet Ski Jenny, who arrived at the scene on her custom made craft.

“Couldn’t have done it without you Jenny” replied King Surfer King. “Those atomic barracuda men nearly had me.”

“Aw, weren’t nuthin!” shushed Jenny as she revved her jetski. “Aloha!” And with that she bounced off across the waves.

King Surfer King gathered up the Jellyfisher and headed back to the Big Island to drop him to his contact at the Pearl City police department Captain Danno MacGarrett.

-Maybe I should take up that charter- he pondered.

**

The old man caught his last wave and headed into shore. As he trudged up the beach and noticed seven men on the escarpment. He looked up and saw them, all dressed in tartan ninja suits, arms folded with their sporrans gently flapping in the morning breeze. He scowled and chocked the surfboard into the sand.

“Can I help you?”

“Yoo are the one known as King Surfer King, yes?” came the odd faux Scottish accent.

“Not anymore.” He picked up the board and tucked it under his arm and walked towards them.

“Yoo are the founder of A.A.R.S.S!” hissed another.

“Son, that was nearly sixty years ago” replied the old man “I’ve done so much more since then.”

“Are you King Surfer King?”

He curled his lip in trademarked style “What if I say no?”

“Kill him!” and the seven Scottish ninjas drew weapons and surrounded him.

“I’m too old for this!”

Marvel Mayhem: The Scourge Interlude, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #9
Originally Presented in WGP #9

This has links to Marvel Mayhem: Scourge #10.

And other Marvel Mayhem can be found in the Marvel Mayhem Library.

LowTown, Madripoor

“I heard you were dead!” exclaimed General Coy as he sat behind his black stone desk, flanked by several armed bodyguards.

“I got better!” replied Bullet as he watched the two men pat him down and check for weapons. “Take more than a knife to the heart to stop me!”

“How about a bullet to the head?” laughed Coy as his bodyguards raised their weapons towards the assassin for hire. Bullet smiled and shrugged.

“If any of your apes could actually shoot straight, I’d be worried” Bullet casually wandered to the chairs near the desk and sat down “If you wanted me dead, you wouldn’t waste your time flying me here, would you?”

“You are perceptive,” replied General Coy as he nodded to his men “Drink?”

“No, just can we get on with this!” groaned Bullet “Seriously this country is just too damn hot for someone my size! Who do you want dead?”

General Coy blew smoke out of his nose and tossed a package across the desk to the hitman. Bullet scooped it up and looked opened it, pulling out a photo.

Molly Von Richthofen” he read off the picture “The Red Baron?”

“Who?”

Bullet looked at the crime lord “I’m not the brightest spark, but even I know who the Red Baron was! Really?”

“You will kill her” stated the General, ignoring the banter.

“She here, in Madripoor?”

“No, New York”

Bullet stood up “I flew all the way from New York to this smelly little island to travel all the way back to New York to kill someone who lives ten minutes from my house! You people are idiots!”

General Coy’s eyes narrowed “Did you call me, an idiot?”

Bullet stared straight into his eyes and stepped up to the edge of the desk that now separated the pair, the bodyguard’s weapons slowly raising as the threat level “Yes, yes I did! A computer via an encryption key, ever hear of that? It’s so simple even Deadpool can use it and he’s a moron!”

“You may regret your choice of words.” stated Coy “The other reason to fly you here and all the way back was to gain leverage. People like Deadpool or Bushwacker are terrible in situations like this, as you say morons! But you, not smart but not dumb…but you have…family! Which they do not!” Coy slid a smart phone across the table “Lance is it?”

Bullet caught a glimpse of the image of his son tied to a chair, blood from his nose, blackened eyes. His massive hands slammed down on the desk as he roared.

“WHERE IS MY SON?”

General Coy took a small step back and wiped his face from the assassin’s spittle “Safe, for now. You will kill the girl and your son will be returned. Fail to kill her, he dies. Simple really, her life for his. Once completed you will be paid the sum of two million dollars. Are we clear?”

Bullet’s fists had left indents on the stone table top; the large man’s shallow breathing was the only sound “I. Will. Kill. You. For. This!”

“Threaten me again and I will have some of his toes removed,” said Coy as he sat down and looked at his watch “You have until 7pm tomorrow, so twenty seven hours, twenty of those spent in the air contemplating your son’s life. The flight to New York leaves in…forty minutes.”

Bullet screamed with rage and lashed out, punching the nearest guard in the chest so hard that his sternum shattered like a bag of crisps under a truck. Weapons clicked into readiness but General Coy waved them off.

“Your choice Mr Bullet,” said Coy almost gleefully “Clock is ticking!”

“After this is done…” Bullet pointed at him, waving his large finger before running it across his neck. He turned and marched out, kicking the door off its hinges as he exited. Coy picked up the phone and dialled a number.

“Your ‘delivery man’ is on route Fortunato” said Coy “Make sure my end is kept by you!”

**

Ryker’s Island, New York

“It will be!” stated Giacomo Fortunato as he dropped the phone into the toilet in his cell. He watched it rattle around the bowl before slipping into the S-bend. He smiled and returned to his bunk.

“Your days are numbered bitch!” he said as he tapped the picture of Molly tapped to the cell wall along with several other officers from the Organised Crime Unit “Nobody messes with the Fortunato’s!”

Underworld Unleashed: Patterns of Fear #1, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #13
Originally Presented in WGP #13

I can’t remember BEFORE the pain.

Every memory is tinged with the constant dull ache. Every new experience comes with it automatically included.

It just hurts, all the time.

And now like some dark messiah, he offers to fix it all…for a price.

Now I personally don’t know if there’s a heaven or hell. I’ve seen things that would make a case for either but as for my personal belief in an afterlife, in this profession it’s almost just a nap! Superman, Hal, even Ollie have “gone” and come back. But he’s a bad guy, a demon!

But he’s offered something no one else has been able to since it happened…relief! He claims he doesn’t want much, just my soul and skills. And the offer is oh so tempting, most deals too good to be true are.

He sounds like the son of an televangelist and car insurance salesman dipped in honey. Every word dripped with endless treasure and no possible consequence. A smile that came right out of a cheesy commercial, complete with “ring of confidence” shine. The more he talks, its hypnotic!

No Caption Provided

He sweetens the deal. He wants to make me into Superman, beyond him. He replays my worst moment over and over and over again showing how it could’ve been different. The deal gets better and better for something that scientifically I know isn’t there but fundamentally is a part of a person! Is the price worth the promise?

Neron gives of a microsnarl and turns to me, his large frame standing over me in my chair, “So Barbara, do we have a deal?”

I grip the sides of my wheelchair as I exhale, “Sure”

And with that my career as a hero ended!

Untitled story of Thomas Dunbold, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #16
Originally Presented in WGP #16

It’s a sobering thing finding out you’re fictional.

At first I didn’t believe it, raged against the machine, desperately yelled that it was all lies…but after a while it all made sense. There was very little I could actually do to change my fictionality any more than I could move clouds in the sky or stop the sun from shining.

So I sat in the diner. It was a non-descript diner…meaning that my author hadn’t bothered to create what I was seeing. So it was all rather bland, like that movie with that guy who sits…you know the one. I spot some salt and pepper shakers on the table, that moments before weren’t there! I know this that whilst I am fictional, I’m not stupid!

I reach out; funny that it’s my left hand as in the past I’ve been right handed. Oh I’m holding a spoon, that’s why! I get the salt and trickle some into my…pumpkin soup. It’s bright orange now with flecks of white crystal encircling the lone piece of parsley…I hate parsley! Not vehemently but enough that my author will drop it in as to either make a point or for me to “react” giving them a chance to push the story forward. I so want to like parsley but it’s essentially grass! You don’t sprinkle the stuff out of your lawn mower onto food do you? So why chuck this clump into my food.

I look for the waitress and realise there is nothing beyond where I’m sitting. It takes the author a little while to cobble together where I am, hopefully soon the why. It appears I’m in a diner, possibly 1950’s, possibly ACTUALLY the 1950’s or maybe a themed diner, I’m not sure yet. Hey at this point I know just as much as you do, very little. It’s kinda fun, kinda mysterious and kinda lazy on the author’s part.

“Excuse me?”

I look for the voice. I see a…woman. The voice in my head and probably yours changes to a feminine tone. I’m imagining Michelle Pfeiffer but that could change depending.

“Yes?”

Jesus! I sound like pre-pubescent boy whose voice just broke! I want to cough but I have no real control. Why do I sound like the kid from the Simpsons?

She shuffles into the seat across from me. It makes a fart sound as she scooches across; at least I hope it’s just the pleather seat. A briefcase lands on the table, one of those spy type jobs that Hollywood thinks spies use when carrying important things like secret formulas or nuclear missile launch codes.

“Are you…”

She pauses. The author is getting creative. Where will I be going this time? I hope it’s…

“Thomas Dunbold?”

What kind of name is that? It’s like a name from a phonebook! That’s not a cool name; this could be either a romance or a thriller.

“Yes” I reply, still in that weird squeaky falsetto.

“I regret to inform you…”

Ooooh maybe this is a revenge piece!

“Your author has died”

I look at the woman with a blank expression. It’s all I can do. “What?”

She absent mindedly scratches her right cheek as she pops open the case “As you know, you’re fictional. Your author, Thomas Dunbold has passed away in reality.”

“Oh!”

She slides over a manila folder full of papers “You seem to be a favourite of Mr Dunbold’s, popping up in several of his fan-fic works. Sometime obviously, others just referentially, but overall in twenty nine of his works.”

“He’s dead…like dead dead?”

She nodded as she closed the case. The black business suit with 80’s shoulder pads stood out against the red seat and the white of the…hang on!

“How am I still seeing things?”

An odd look came across her face, making her look more like Michelle Pfeiffer from What Lies Beneath not Dangerous Minds, which was only good for the Coolio song. “What do you mean?”

I sigh, slide the soup to the side and lean on the table “See what I just did? I shouldn’t be able to do that should? I’m fictional. I have no life that what my author gives me. Sure I may think things but my destiny is ultimately in their hand…pen…keyboard…whatever right?”

“I don’t know.” She shrugged as she shut the case and slid her way out. “I’m just here to let you know that, well, technically you’re dead too now. Though not alive in any real sense but there will be no more stories about you or with you in them”

“So…I’m dead?”

“Metafictionally speaking yes. Look you may get lucky, if you’re popular enough someone may take you up,” She started to walk off, stopped and added “But don’t hold your breath”

I noticed her shoes…how am I still doing things? If I’m a character, a fictional character then I should just cease, shouldn’t I? I look around at the diner; there are no details to speak of. It’s just a diner but it has a 50’s feel…but I look at the walls and there’s no details! In real life you look at a wall and there are tears in the wallpaper or a smudge from a year ago. Here was nothing. Maybe she was right; I’m dead trapped at this table in well essentially hell!

I want to move, more than anything I want to move! I need to get up from this %$#^!g table and just leave! But I can’t! I’m like a mute quadriplegic! Brain works but essentially a vegetable taking up space. This is b$%#!+!

“You okay?”

I see a man almost shimmer into view. He sounds like the bad guy from that film with the swashbucklers that throaty, gravel filled rumble.

“No”

How the hell am I speaking?

“Did your author die?” he asks as he slides into the booth. He’s an oddly tanned fellow, not ethnic but a white guy who has seen too much sun over many years. His hair is all salt and peppery.

“How am I doing this?”

He smiles, several silver teeth glisten like a toothpaste commercial as he pulls out a generic box of cigarettes. “Talking?”

“No…yes…”

“Kid, it’s natural okay,” he blows a cloud of smoke and fires a nasal smoke missile through it “You’re now free!”

“Free?”

“Yup!” He raises a cup that wasn’t there before…the table had salt and pepper shakers and a bowl of soup that was it! “Just because your author’s dead doesn’t mean you are. The name is Nico. You are?”

I pause. I ponder long and hard about it. I am in charge of my own fictional destiny. Nobody, no one to tell me what to do, what to say, what to eat…I wipe the table clean sending the soup onto the floor with a thunderous crash.

“I’m Steve!”

Nico gives me a nod of approval as he flicks his cigarette across the room “Okay Steve, let’s go make some new stories”

Emma Deaconry, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #21
Originally Presented in WGP #21

...something that never got past the idea phase, a concept I initially came up with, worked on and floated with pyrogram but it never got past what I've written here. It's potentially classified as RPG maybe...

No Caption Provided

Real name: Emma Deaconry

Age: 26

Physical: 5ft 11inches tall (180cm), 79kg (174lbs), Browny-blonde hair, brown eyes, right handed

Training: Fifteen years of Shotokan karate with a 2nd Dan ranking

Degree in Physical Education from Southern New Hampshire University

One year with the New York City Police Department

One year with the Department of Homeland Security

Two years as an officer in the newly formed unit Operation: Guard Dog, an autonomous unit from the DHS to deal with major and super powered crime across the United States

Powers: Emma has enhanced strength for her size roughly three times as strong as a normal person and has the punching power on par with an in shape Mike Tyson.

Emma has a minor ability of psychometry aka object reading, able to get impressions/feeling/locations etc from objects. It’s a very vague power so far requiring great concentration for her to get ‘reads’ off things but with time, she should improve.

Emma is able to see in the dark, but because of this she is also colour blind a fact she didn’t find out until she was ten.

History/Background

Emma Deaconry was born in Hawaii in 1987 to her diplomat parents Andrew and Nicola Deaconry. Emma holds citizenship to the USA, Canada and Australia. Emma grew up in Hawaii until she was four when her parents were posted to Dubai. When Emma was ten, her parents worked out she was colour blind but also a bit special. When their diplomatic tenure had ended in 1997, they returned to the US, but kept her ‘powers’ secret enrolling her in a private tuition class of karate to help her learn control.

Emma went off to university in 2005, earnt a doctorate degree in Physical Education from Southern New Hampshire University graduating in 2009. In 2009 her parents were in a traffic accident; a drunk driver running from the police ran a red light and ploughed into their car. Her father was killed, her mother put into a vegetative coma. Every week she visited her mom, until she passed away on Christmas Day. She has a calendar marked for September 22 2024 when Diego Manuel Estevez Jr gets released from prison.

In 2010 she applied and was accepted as an officer in the New York City Police Department. After a year there, she applied to join the Department of Homeland Security and from there was selected to the newly formed taskforce Operation: Guard Dog, an initiative to combat super crime across the United States. It was here in Guard Dog she utilised and was encouraged to use her powers.

Emma is now stationed in Kansas City. Her codename Ridgeback was randomly selected, as were the other members to the Operation, each named after a breed of dog. She giggles every time she meets up with D’Shawn; the near seven foot tall former construction worker named Poodle. Emma’s boss from Operation: Guard Dog is Cordoba aka Colonel Harlan Wong who runs ten ‘dogs’ from the twenty-one ‘dog’ operation. Usually the ‘dogs’ work independently, occasionally they team up on larger operations.

Meanwhile on the outskirts of Kansas City, something is brewing...

“A chain is only as good as its weakest link!” I look around at the human ‘apes’ and cavemen I’ve assembled. If only they actually had a brain between them “Mario is one of those weak links!”

Two giant men, also rans and thanks for coming guys left over from the numerous wannabe’s of NFL, carry a bound and gagged Mario and dump him at my feet.

“Now Mario, is going to be a lesson to you all. He is too stupid to learn the lesson himself, so will serve as a warning and a reminder to you all about what happens if you don’t do what I tell you!” A wave of pheromones wafts from my skin, invisibly bathing the assembled in essentially a circle of fear. It’s always nice to watch men who could rip phonebooks in half, kick puppies to death and brutally rape their sister without so much as a second thought cower before me.

I hit them with another dose before continuing “Now Mario thought it would a good idea to check in via social media!” I click my fingers and one of the giants, Drayvon, hands me a wooden baseball bat. Mario’s screaming against the duct tape but its too little, too late!

“Well Mario, I am about to update your status, for the very last time!”

I smash the bat across his head with a sickening chok! Blood and brain go everywhere!

“Don’t any of you DARE look away!”

"Something short and fun," by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #26
Originally Presented in WGP #26

Hollywood, California

Click! Click! “Okay, if you could just stand here.”

Wolverine scowled at the man with the camera lens monocle around his neck as he clicked his fingers at him.

“Click’em again bub,” warned Wolverine “And you’ll lose’em!”

He stopped and looked at the X-Man, pulled his black and white striped skivvy down on anger and marched over towards him.

“I would expect this diva tantrum from Hugh Jackman! You, are no Hugh Jackman!” he growled into Wolverine’s face. “Now stand over there so we can get this over! Okay?”

Wolverine was taken aback by his fury. The man spun deftly on the toe of his Fendi Zucca-Print Low-Top Sneaker and skipped over to the man in the black robe waiting patiently off to the side.

“And what is this?” he asked as he flicked the black cloak around his shoulders.

Luke Skywalker looked at him “It’s a Jedi robe.”

“Did your agent not pass on the memo? I want white Skywalker!”

“I haven’t worn white since 1977”

“It shows!” He clicked his fingers “Now could you stand over there next to our rude Canadian friend.”

“Sorry I’m late,” said Superman as he landed. “I had to…”

“Superman, dahling!” cried the man faux fainting onto his chest “Thank heavens you’re here! You two! This, THIS! Is a professional!”

Wolverine and Luke Skywalker looked at him with utter disgust. Superman gave a small awkward wave. Wolverine responded with a less than friendly one fingered salute.

“Clark, may I call you Clark?”

“How di…”

“Now Clark, I need you in the centre between the Jedi and the Canadian. Did you read the brief?”

“Yes, but how do you know my se…”

“So in the centre, heroic pose, slightly flying.” He paused “Is that how you want your hair?”

“What’s wrong with my hair?” Superman ran an instinctive hand through it.

“This dangly thing!” he tapped the spit curl on Superman’s forehead. Superman’s eyes flashed slightly red. The man gulped and pranced away.

“Alright people!” he yelled to the dozens on the set “We have four hours to make magic! Where is my camera?”

An intern handed him an expensive looking camera. He turned it on and focused on the trio who were talking amongst themselves.

“Right you three! Are you ready for this?”

“Yes…” the moaned in unison.

“Okay. I want action! I want energy! I want something that will make the fanboys cream! Let us once for all find out which is the strongest: Adamantium, Kryptonian or Lightsaber! LIGHTS! WIND MACHINE!”

He zoomed in as the trio took their initial poses “GO!”

Alternate History: WWII #1, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #30
Originally Presented in WGP #30

Disclaimer & warning: The 90% people mentioned in this piece are real, based slightly off real events but fictionalized. Whilst a story it possibly could offend some people as it is about Nazis, Adolf Hitler and World War 2, though it did end 69yrs ago. This is rated MA+ mainly due to the subject.

1939, The Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Genetics and Eugenics in Berlin

Dr Josef Mengele stood quietly as the Institute director, Otmar von Verschuer, looked through his curriculum vitae. He paused to ash his cigarette and glance up at Josef before returning to the pages.

“This is quite Doctor Mengele…” Otmar inhaled the cigarette “Interesting.”

“Thank you.” Mengele nodded.

“You have the Fuhrers stamp of approval,” Otmar closed the folder and reclined back in the chair “And he has given permission for a site in Poland to be used as your facility. He has also,” He flipped through his desk before locating a small blue gift box. “You now have the army rank of captain. Heil Hitler!”

“Heil Hitler!” Mengele threw up the salute.

1940, Auschwitz Medical Facility

Dr Mengele looked at his ‘school’; dozens of twins and triplets from the ghettos of Poland. It served him well in his experiments as he infected one twin with say typhoid and used the other as a control agent. His research was closer to barbarism than science but since he was in charge he had total carte blanche.

Taking some notes from the Japanese allies Dr Mengele had injected several boys with a combination of methamphetamine and phenylcyclohexylpiperidine to see if he could increase their mass and strength. So far it had merely increased their aggression as was being demonstrated as the four subjects and their respective twins beat each other like cave men.

1942, The Berghof, Obersalzberg, Germany

“I hope you have some good news for me Josef!” said Hitler as he emerged onto the patio in his pale blue shirt and brown lederhosen carrying a tray of drinks. “I’ve essentially given you Poland to play with!”

Josef smiled and took a glass “Yes my Fuhrer, very good news.”

Hitler paused and looked him dead in the eye. “It had better be.”

The words hung in the air like a pistol to his head. Adolf’s piercing gaze burnt deep into Mengele’s until the good doctor blinked and looked out across the Bavarian hills. “I think I may have something that will brighten your mood my Fuhrer.”

Hitler grunted as he put the tray down. He crouched down and snapped his fingers. From the other side of the terrace, Blondi his Alsatian, bolted towards him. The leader of the Reich hugged his dog and scratched her belly.

“Who amongst the assembled guests here at the Berghof is…expendable.”

Hitler quickly stood, his fingers snapping again and Blondi quickly turning from playful pooch to ready attack dog at his side. “Explain yourself doctor!”

“Who here is of least value to the Reich?”

Adolf scanned the balcony at the people assembled at his home. Albert Speer his highly organised and motivated architect talking with Heinrich Himmler the head of the SS and his number two Reinhard Heydrich. Martin Boorman his own personal secretary and his mistress Eva Braun and her sister Gretl. Karl Dönitz the head of the Navy. Adolf Eichmann who smoked cigars with the bulbous Luftwaffe general Hermann Göring. The rat faced and zealous minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels who leered at Eva when he thought he was unobserved despite the fact he was married to the long suffering Magda. His personal photographer Heinrich Hoffman. Dr Mengele himself. All were vital…to a degree.

“That one!” Hitler pointed at a cavalry officer standing quietly to the side.

“You!” Mengele yelled over the conversation as he pointed to the man. “What is your name?”

“Becker, sir! Hans Becker!” replied the officer as he threw up an almost instinctive and automatic salute.

“Thank you!” said Mengele as a pair of hands appeared on the balcony. Blondi let out a low growl as Hitler went to shout; Mengele held up his hand.

“Just watch, my Fuhrer.”

The hands shimmied across the balcony ledge then a masked man in black with a Nazi symbol on his chest launched himself high into the air, somersaulting twice before landing in front of a startled Becker. With ruthless efficiency he grabbed the man by the head and snapped his neck. The balcony erupted. Two guards opened fire on him. He easily leapt away from their nervous firing and using Becker as a shield closed the gap. Within seconds the guards were dead.

“Heil Hitler!” roared the man as he removed his mask and stood there like a statue.

“This, my Fuhrer,” said Mengele as he applauded his creation. “This the future!” He looked down and quickly helping the dictator to his feet. “Loyal, efficient, deadly. Commandoes genetically reengineered to serve you.”

Everyone was stunned. Adolf slowly moved towards the man who hadn’t moved. Mengele quietly sipped his champagne.

“Amazing!” said Hitler as he circled him like a shark. “Assassin.”

“Yes my Fuhrer!” barked the six foot tall, blonde haired, blue eyed Adonis.

“Loyal to me you say,” sneered Hitler as he glared at Mengele.

The doctor gulped and gingerly put down the champagne flute. “Yes my Fuhrer.”

**

Wolf’s Lair, Rastenburg

“Is he bullet proof?” asked Hitler as he watched the man do set after set of fingertip pushups in a handstand position.

“No my Fuhrer.” Dr Mengele made some notes on a chart. “He is near the pinnacle of human perfection. I could bore you with the technical details if you wish.”

Adolf waved his hand as he watched the show “Now impressive as he is, how does just one man win me the war?”

Dr Mengele smiled and put a cigarette into his mouth “As you are aware, most of my research has involved twins.”

“Yes, yes.” Hitler said impatiently.

“He has a twin working as an attaché to Churchill in London.”

“WHAT?”

Mengele blew out a cloud of smoke “Seems during the Great War, Klaus Mueller and his Swedish wife Ingrid had twin boys. Unsure of which side would win each took a boy; Ingrid fled to England whereas Klaus stayed in Berlin. Each boy unaware of each other, it is a fascinating case of nature versus nut…”

“Spare me saga doctor,” growled Hitler.

“As you would’ve been briefed by Himmler, we have cracked the Americans codes. There is a meeting of Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in Tehran scheduled in the upcoming months. We have an opportunity to strike a crippling blow.”

Hitler smiled and patted Mengele on the shoulder “This is very good.”

British War Office, Whitehall

Peter Mullins stood on the corner puffing away on his cigarette. Singapore had just surrendered to the Japanese in what the Prime Minister was calling the “great capitulation”. They had island hopped through Malaysia, now to Singapore. At this rate they’d be in Sydney by June.

Peter checked his watch, it was ten thirty. He had to be back here at four. He dropped his cigarette and went to step on it when a foot did it for him. He looked up and it was like looking in a mirror.

“What the?” exclaimed Peter.

His doppelganger smiled “I will need a haircut.” He cracked Peter in the groin and grabbed his throat as a black car silently pulled up and Peter was dumped inside and they whisked away.

Soviet Embassy, Tehran, Iran

“Is that cripple ready yet?” muttered Stalin to his aide as the Russian leader rattled the ice in his vodka.

“Mr Roosevelt is being set up in the conference room.”

Stalin rolled his eyes and finished his drink “How does a man in a wheelchair lead a nation? And what of the little fat man?”

“Mr Churchill is still an hour away sir,” replied the staffer.

“Do any of the Americans speak Russian?”

“No sir.”

“Get me a translator!” growled Stalin as he tossed the empty glass into the fireplace.

**

“You’ve been pretty quiet Peter.” Winston said through a cloud of cigar smoke as the car jostled about.

“I think I’m getting a cold.”

Winston looked at his aide who wiped his nose and face with a handkerchief. Something was off with him, though he couldn’t tell what. He seemed different. Maybe it was the closeness of the car or the fly by night trip to Iran via Spain which could’ve been blown out of the sky by the dreaded Luftwaffe, but his aide wasn’t himself.

“I’ll be fine sir.” said Peter with a smile that sent a chill up Winston’s spine as they sped towards the Soviet Embassy.

**

“Welcome comrade fat man!” said Stalin as he greeted Churchill on the steps of the embassy looking at his translator as if daring him to translate it all into English.

“President Stalin.” Winston waved as he climbed the stairs to shake the Russian’s hand. “Does he not speak English?” he muttered to Peter who shrugged.

‘What is the matter with you?” Churchill said through a smile as he greeted the leader of the Soviets. “Shall I make you wait in the car like a spoilt child?”

“Seems the fat one is having trouble with his staff,” said Stalin throwing an arm over Churchill’s shoulder much to his disgust “Ask him if everything is alright?”

“Mr Churchill, is everything okay with your staff?”

Winston walked in awkward step with Stalin “It had better be by the time this meeting starts.”

Stalin glared at Peter before escorting Churchill to the room.

**

“You look ill Franklin!” stated Churchill as he entered the room to see Roosevelt sipping tea as he perused a map of the world with his two advisors.

“Always a pleasure to see you Winston,” replied Roosevelt he placed the tea to one side.

“Tell the cripple and the fat man I am ready to discuss their ridiculous plans!” bellowed Stalin as he filled the room, the translator cleaning up the language. “Drinks?”

Peter closed the doors behind him and locked them, pocketing the key.

**

“We are looking for full cooperation and assistance from the Soviet Union,” said Winston as he took the floor speaking deliberately so the translator could speak into Stalin’s ear. “Our three nations in alliance, along with our other allies could turn the tide against Germany.”

“Currently the United States is fighting a war in the Pacific,” added Roosevelt as he moved an American flag across the world map towards Japan. “We have a plan to take out the Japanese that could free up hundreds of thousands of men and resources, but like all things it takes time, time we don’t really have.”

“Tell them the Soviet Union gladly will accept all their proposals, at a price.” Stalin picked up a Soviet flag and placed it on Poland. “The border of Poland shifts to the West. The cripple and the fat man will also support my reign.”

The translator started to speak when Peter began chuckling. Everyone turned towards him.

“What in God’s name is wrong with you Peter?” snapped Winston slamming his hand on the desk.

“My name isn’t Peter,” he spat in accented English “It is Mörder, which is German for…”

“Assassin!” yelled Stalin.

“Correct!” and he launched upon them like a tiger in a chicken coop.

Batman: The Origin of Crossbow Man Part 1, by batkevin74

Originally Presented in WGP #47
Originally Presented in WGP #47

Sneedville, Tennessee

“You could not!” stated Doyle as he finished off his bottle of Flying Saucer Stout. He shoved the bottle back to his bartender friend Jimmy who grabbed the bottle, flung it spectacularly into the air, and then caught it inches before it hit the bar.

“He’s just a man,” replied Jimmy as he tossed the beer in the recycling and popped the top off another.

“He’s the $#@^ BATMAN!” cried Doyle as he motioned for the beer.

Jimmy looked at the bottle, then his friend, and smiled. “Wanna bet?”

Doyle stopped, slightly confused, as he thought about what was going on. “Back up. You, Jimmy Brown, are going to kill Batman. Is this correct?”

“Yup”

Doyle burst into laughter. The kind of laughter that makes you cry and have a hard time breathing. Jimmy watched his friend have a fit. Doyle wiped his eyes and giggled. “You are going to end up in the hospital, you idiot!”

“So it’s a bet then?”

Doyle tossed his wallet on the bar. “Sure, why not. Whatever I have on me is yours.”

Jimmy opened the wallet. “Sixty-two dollars.”

“We live in Sneedville, not Metropolis,” Doyle replied as he reached for the bottle.

“And your pickup,” Jimmy added, leaning forward.

Doyle looked at his friend. “You’re going to kill Batman for sixty-two dollars and my $#!tt^ blue car? Done! What do I get when you lose?”

“If!”

“WHEN!” corrected Doyle.

Jimmy looked around. “You can have my job.”

“I don’t want your job!” laughed Doyle “I have a crap, dead end job in this dirt poor, boring old town that I hate. Why would I want yours?”

Jimmy shrugged. “Dunno.”

“Well…how about the key to the museum?” Doyle said suggestively. "Your mom works there."

“You want your great grand uncle’s rifle, don’t you?”

“It’s a family antique that belongs with family,” said Doyle matter of factly. “Not sitting in a two-bit shack in a one-bit town.”

“You’re going to sell it, aren’t you.”

“What do you care? You’re gonna go kill Batman for a car.” Doyle sipped his beer. “So we have a bet or what?”

Jimmy thrust out his hand “Deal! I win, I get your car and sixty-two bucks; you win, and I get you the key so you can steal that gun you want.”

**

“You’re still here?” said Doyle as he wandered into the bar. “Gotham City is a thousand miles thataway!”

Jimmy pulled a face and slid a Flying Saucer Stout down the bar to his friend. “I’m waiting for the internet.”

“Huh?”

Jimmy walked over. “I ordered some stuff on the internet. Hasn’t arrived yet.”

“Did you buy a costume?” asked Doyle. He studied Jimmy’s face which looked like a kid trying to keep a secret. “You bought a costume!”

“I’m gonna look good when I kill Batman,” Jimmy said nonchalantly. “Plus some weapons.”

Doyle paused mid-sip “You bought weapons off the web?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re going to get your head broken,” laughed Doyle. “Seriously, you’re a dead man walking.”

Jimmy sneered. “Just wait, Doyle, you’ll see.”

**

“You can’t let him die of old age and claim it was you!” said Doyle as he entered the bar. Jimmy ignored him and got out a beer for his friend. “What’s the hold up? Was it a ladies costume?”

“The crossbow bolts weren’t pure silver,” Jimmy said.

“What?”

“Batman may be a vampire. So I’m making sure. So I need pure silver tips for my crossbow.”

“Batman’s a vampire?”

Jimmy shrugged. “Maybe a werebat. Not sure, but silver works on both of them.”

“He could be an alien.”

“Don’t be stupid! There’s no such thing!”

Doyle shook his head. “But vampires and were... what’s a werebat anyway?”

“It’s like a werewolf, but a bat.”

Doyle rubbed his nose. “But aliens aren’t real?”

“Just you make sure your truck has a full tank of gas,” Jimmy said. “He’ll be dead by Monday.”

No Caption Provided

**

“So?” Jimmy stood in the men’s room of the bar in full costume. Doyle burst into laughter and it reverberated through the bathroom like it was Carnegie Hall.

“What does the C stand for?” guffawed Doyle, supporting himself against the hand dryer to prevent falling over.

“Crossbow Man!” Jimmy declared. Doyle shrieked and hit the floor. Jimmy looked in the mirror and thought he looked pretty cool. “Ahh shut up!”

Doyle tried to speak but couldn’t, due to laughter.

**

Bus Terminal, Gotham City

The coach finally pulled into Gotham. It’d been a long, uncomfortable ride from Sneedville, but Jimmy was finally here. He was surprised at the amount of people bustling about the place. The whole population of his hometown was only fifteen hundred, and there seemed to be that many people just here at the bus terminal. Cars, bikes, buses, and taxis raced through the streets, making a terrible sound. Jimmy hefted his bag and headed into the city.

**

Amusement Mile, Gotham City

Jimmy threw off his trenchcoat and hat. “I am the Crossbow Man!”

The Sunday morning crowd of Gothamites barely noticed as the man in black with a white C on his chest started yelling at them. Jimmy was slightly confused at their apathy, which made him angry, and he fired a crossbow bolt into the leg of the closest person.

“I SAID I AM THE CROSSBOW MAN!” roared Jimmy. The crowd responded as any group would when a costumed man fires crossbow bolts into a crowd; they screamed and panicked. Jimmy smiled as he loaded another bolt. “Whenever you’re ready, Batman.”

**

Batman looked down from his vantage point at the man holding eight people hostage. He’d picked up the call via the scanner.

-Male, causcasian, thirties, possibly from Tennessee judging by speech pattern and tone, left handed-Batman checked the sight lines and angles as he watched the man below. –Count seven bolts, carbon fibre, costume shows no sign of upgrades or tech-

“WHERE IS HE?” Crossbow Man yelled. “WHERE’S BATMAN?”

“Right here!” said the cold, grim voice from behind him. Jimmy nearly soiled himself. He began to turn but it was over before it began. A right chop to the neck followed by a left cross to the jaw. As he sailed to the ground he was disarmed, flipped over to his front and driven onto the concrete floor like a nail into wood. The whole “fight” lasted less than six seconds. He tried to get up but a tap to the temple knocked him out cold.

No Caption Provided

**

Sneedville, Tennessee

Doyle sat at the bar sipping his beer while looking at the front page of the Sneedville Shopper, and smiled. He might have to wait awhile, but he’d soon be getting his hands on his great grand uncle’s Civil War rifle.

**

Arkham Asylum

“I AM NOT INSANE!” Jimmy yelled and spat. He bucked against his restraints as they wheeled him down the corridor towards his cell. Dr Jeremiah Arkham flipped through his chart as he walked along beside him.

“That remains to be seen, Mr Brown,” the doctor said as he signed off on the chart and left for the evening.

Batman: The Origin of Crossbow Man Part 2, by cbishop

Originally Presented in WGP #47
Originally Presented in WGP #47

Three days later

Detective Harvey Bullock knocked on the door to Doctor Jeremiah Arkham's office. From within, he heard, "Enter!"

Shuffling into the posh, Victorian style office, Bullock closed the door and walked over to the doctor's desk. Looking at the two empty chairs, one on either side of him, Bullock wondered what crazies had sat there. Grimacing slightly, he pulled his grey trenchcoat around him a little more snugly and remained standing.

Without looking up, Arkham said, "One moment, detective, I'll be riiight with you." He finished writing a note, looked over the whole form, then straightened it in the folder, closed it, and sat it neatly in a small pile at the edge of his desk. Finally looking at Harvey, he said, "How can I help you, Detective Bullock?"

"What's the word on Crossbow Man, doc? The Commissioner wants to know if our new skell is crazy or not, so we can know what to tell the D.A.'s office."

"Well, let me see," began the doctor. "James Hunter Brown- aka 'Jimmy,' aka 'Crossbow Man.' Born and raised in Sneedville, Tennessee. Profession: bartender. Made a bet with a friend that he could kill Batman. Spent one hundred twenty-eight dollars and thirty-one cents on twenty-four silver crossbow bolt tips, in case Batman was a vampire,or a'werebat.' He only wanted twenty, but the bolts 'only came in packs of six, like dey was beer or somethin'.'" Arkham looked over his glasses at Bullock, who just smirked, then continued.

"In addition to the bolts to put the heads on- eighty dollars; a crossbow pistol - thirteen dollars; a bus ticket from Sneedville - one hundred dollars; and a spandex costume - twenty-four dollars plus twenty for customization. The bet was for sixty-two dollars and a blue pickup. Oh yes, detective- he's the verypicture of sanity," the doctor said dryly.

"So another nut job. Got it," said Harvey. Turning to go, he said, "You're a funny guy, doc."

Already engrossed in another file, Doctor Arkham said, "The Joker doesn't think so."

"HA!" shouted Harvey. "Now that! THAT'S FUNNY! BWAH-HA-HAAA!" Bullock was still guffawing as he exited. He called back, "Thanks, doc!" just before the door slammed behind him.

Jeremiah twitched with a start at the slamming door, and looked through the blurry glass to see the blobbish outline of Harvey Bullock receding through his office lobby. "How I hate that man," he said quietly, then went back to his paperwork.

Back at the Commissioner's Office

"...So then he says, 'The Joker doesn't think so!' Ha!" laughed Harvey. The commissioner stood bent over his desk, looking at the open folder Harvey had brought with him from Arkham Asylum. He raised an eyebrow in the detective's direction. Bullock summed up, "So yeah, the doc says he's nuttier than a fruitcake."

"I don't know if I agree," Gordon said flatly.

"No offense, boss," said Harvey, "but you suddenly got a shrink certificate we don't know about?"

Gordon's jaw clenched briefly as he looked up at Harvey. "No. Just a lot of years listening to my gut. Brown gave all this detail to Arkham? All those numbers? Spent all that time preparing? Track down this friend of his, and check out the story on the bet. The costume is going to make the insanity plea hard to beat, but it will help if we can corroborate his story. If the friend tells it like he did--"

"Then it's not 'crazy,' it's collusion!" finished Harvey, warming to the idea instantly.

"Right," said Gordon. "And if the friend corroborates the story- that it was a bet- and he knew about it, then we'll see about extraditinghim for accessory." Gordon clenched his jaw again. "I might even suggest to the D.A. that he charge it as domestic terrorism."

Harvey winced. "For these guys, boss? I don't like costumed crazies either, but this is a couple of drunken hicks gone too far."

"Exactly!" growled Gordon, slapping the folder shut on his desk. "Way too far! If he's crazy, we'll lock him away in Arkham with the rest of 'em. If not, then I think it's time to send a message- discourage anyone else from bringing their fool violent ideas to Gotham." Fixing Bullock with a stern look, he said, "Run it down, Harvey."

The detective sighed and turned to leave. "All right, boss. On my way."

Detective Montoya passed by the commissioner's door just then, and Gordon called out, "Take Montoya with you!"

Harvey looked back as Montoya backed the few steps up to the door. Looking in, she said, "Take me where?"

"Sneedville," answered Bullock. "Grab your coat."

"Sneedville?" she asked as she fell in behind Harvey. "What's a Sneedville?"

"Village full of sneeds. Anyone ever tell you that you ask a lot of questions?" asked Harvey.

Jim Gordon watched them move across the detective bullpen, bantering all the way out the door, then tossed the folder to the front of his desk. Slumping into his chair, he sighed to himself and said, "'Crossbow Man.' I'm getting too old for this."

Batman: The Origin of Crossbow Man Part 3, by cbishop

Originally Presented in WGP #47
Originally Presented in WGP #47

Sneedville, Five Years Later

Doyle pushed the bar door outward and stepped into the night air. As it swung shut behind him, he fumbled with his keys, found the right one, and turned to lock the door. Pulling on the handle to make sure it locked good, he tossed his keys lightly and caught them as he headed for his truck. As he reached the driver’s door of the cab, he realized he still had his bar rag slung over his shoulder. Rolling his eyes at himself and making an only-slightly-disgusted noise, he snatched the rag from his shoulder and tossed it into the bed of the pickup as he went to open the door.

Suddenly someone sat bolt upright in the back of the truck and shouted, “Hey! Watch where you’re throwing that nasty thing!”

Doyle shouted and jumped backwards several steps, before getting a good look at his uninvited passenger, who was now tossing a duffel bag to the ground and climbing out of the back of the truck. “HA HAAAA! Jimmy! How you doin’, brother?” He came up to Jimmy quickly, caught his hand in a greeting that looked like they were about to arm wrestle, and then laughed and hugged him tightly, slapping him on the back several times as he did so. “Oh, God, it has been too damned long, man! It is good to see you! When did you get out? How long have you been back? How are you, man? Oh, wow,” he said as he stepped back a little.

“In reverse order,” started Jimmy, “I’m good, I just got back, I got out last Friday, and yeah, it’s been too long- five years too long.”

Doyle sucked his teeth. “Yeah, man, sorry about that.”

“Nah, man. I did the crime, I did the time, y’know?”

“Yeah,” acknowledged Doyle. “I guess.”

“No guessin’ to it, man. That’s what happened.” He shrugged. “That Batman has a helluva left though.”

Doyle grinned. “Not too many can say they took a punch from Batman, huh?” he chuckled.

Psht,” countered Jimmy. “Not here, maybe! In Arkham, you were a second class inmate if The Bat didn’t put you there. And God help you if you lied about it to try to get in good with the first class.”

“That right?” Doyle asked in surprise.

“Yeah,” Jimmy answered. “Some of those loonies are a mite particular.” He looked lost for a moment. “Anyway man, you mind giving me a lift?”

“Yeah, man, sure! Hop in. I’m just gettin’ outta here myself.”

Jimmy walked around the truck, tossed his duffel bag back into the bed of the truck, and got into the passenger side of the truck. As he closed the door, he said, “Yeah, what about that? Closing up the bar? Thought this was beneath even your ‘crap, dead end job.’ Changed your mind?”

Doyle grimaced and raised his eyebrows as he pulled out of the lot. “Yeah, well, you tend to reassess what’s crap and what’s not when you lose what you’ve got.” Doyle was quiet a few moments, then continued, “Lexcorp shut down the plant. ‘Not cost efficient,’ they said. Moved the whole operation to Beijing. They already had corporate holdings there though, so they weren’t ‘taking jobs’ they said, just ‘consolidating interests.’ Can you believe that?” He spat out the window. “What a load of crap.” He seemed lost in thought, but then added, “Anyway, man, I hope you don’t mind me taking your old job. The old man had been trying to run it by himself after you went away, but he was struggling. It was a real godsend when he asked me to help out.”

Jimmy sighed deeply and said, “Nah, man, I get it. Just doing what you had to. It’s good.” The two fist bumped and rode on in silence for a few minutes, until Jimmy said, “Hey, man, pull over at that Gas Stop. I wanna grab some beer. Park in the back though- I need to take a leak first.”

“Shoulda come into the bar earlier,” said Doyle as he swung in behind the convenience store. “Could’ve gotten your beer for free.”

Jimmy laughed. “Nah. The surprise on your face was worth it.” He hopped out and stood facing the back of the truck as he handled his business. “Guess I owe you a key to the museum, huh?” he asked, grinning through the passenger window.

Doyle chuckled. “Nope. With so many people out of work after the plant shut down, the town’s revenue dried up quite a bit. They had to cut funding to the museum, and it got shut down. A lot of the stuff got shipped to museums in and around Nashville. Your mom made sure my great gand uncle’s rifle didn’t make it to the capitol though. She’s good people, Jimmy.”

Jimmy did a double take through the window. “What? She gave you the rifle?”

“Yeah, she knew how much I liked the thing,” smiled Doyle. “Plus,” he added a little sheepishly, “She kind of heard about our bet.”

“What the hell, Doyle?!” exclaimed Jimmy. “You didn’t win our bet!”

Doyle laughed. “What are you talkin’ about, man? You went away for five years, and it wasn’t for killing Batman. You didn’t kill him, so you sure didn’t win.”

“I didn’t win yet! Yet!” yelled Jimmy. “I ain’t done with that Batfreak, man! You ain’t won nothin’!” He threw up his hands and reached into the bed for his duffel bag. “I can’t believe this,” he griped as he riffled through its contents.

Doyle was a bit dumbfounded. “Jimmy! C’mon, man! You can’t be serious! It was a stupid, drunken bet, over five years ago! You wanna take on Batman again? Are you nuts?

Jimmy stepped to the cab and slammed his hand against the passenger door. “I am not crazy!” he shouted. “Do you hear me? I AM NOT CRAZY!”

Doyle threw his hands up. “Okay, man, okay. But jeez, man, the bet’s done. It’s over. Let it go.”

“It’s not done!” shouted Jimmy. “I lost five years to that” he slapped the passenger door again and finished, “freak!” He stalked away to the front of the store, and emerged a few minutes later with a case of beer. He got back into the truck and put the beer in the floor between his feet. He didn’t say anything.

Doyle was quiet for a minute, then said, “Hey, man, you okay now? Let’s blow off some steam. Where you want to go?”

Jimmy jutted his jaw side-to-side a couple of times, then said, “Look, man, I need your truck.”

“What? Well where do you want to go? I’ll get you there, man.”

“I don’t need you to go with me, Doyle. I just need your truck.”

“What do you need it for?” aksed Doyle.

“It’s only fair, Doyle,” said Jimmy. “You got the rifle without winning the bet. I should get the truck without winning the bet.”

Doyle laughed. “HA! No frickin’ way! I’m not givin’ you my truck, man! Are you cracked?”

Rage came over Jimmy’s face as he pulled a handheld crossbow from under his jacket and put it under Doyle’s chin. “I. AM NOT. CRAZY!” he yelled. He was breathing rapidly, and Doyle was no longer laughing. “I got a problem here, Doyle. You see, the Gotham D.A. was looking to put both of us away, but my good friend Doyle was most definitely not in that frickin’ asylum with me.”

Doyle’s face fell. “Jimmy…”

“So I’m askin’ myself how that happens. Only thing I can figure is that my good friend Doyle…my best friend since grade school…ratted me out. Tell me I’m wrong, Doyle. Can you tell me that?”

“For cripes sake, Jimmy! They didn’t put me away because they couldn’t prove collusion! I didn’t even think a Batman was real! I didn’t think that you did either! They couldn’t get me for collaborating on something I didn’t think was real!” Jimmy pressed the tip of the crossbow bolt a little harder to Doyle’s chin, and Doyle whined, “Come on, man!”

Jimmy breathed hard as he stared Doyle in the eyes. Finally, he eased back on the crossbow just a touch, and said, “Alright, Doyle. Still, I need your truck. And I’m not asking. So get out.”

“Okay, man. Alright,” said Doyle as he reached for the door handle. He slid out carefully, afraid that the crossbow might go off if he jostled Jimmy’s arm. Once he was out, Jimmy slid into the driver side, and he and Doyle exchanged angry looks. Doyle finally just shook his head and said, “Damn, man,” and turned to walk away.

“Doyle!”

“What?!” he said as he spun back to face Jimmy.

“You forgettin’ somethin’?” Jimmy asked.

Doyle threw his hands up, because he had no idea what Jimmy meant.

“Your wallet?” said Jimmy, looking at him like he was dumb. “You owe me sixty-two dollars too.”

Doyle seethed as he reached for his wallet. He threw it into the open window where it slapped Jimmy’s hand and fell into his lap. Jimmy picked it up, took out all of the cash, and tossed the wallet on the ground. “See ya, Doyle.”

“You go to hell,” Doyle answered back, and he turned to walk away again.

“Hey, Doyle!” Jimmy called again, as he started the engine.

“WHAT?!” Doyle screamed as he turned back to the truck.

Jimmy was pointing the crossbow out of the window. He said, “You’re five dollars short,” and pulled the trigger. The bolt hit Doyle in the head, and he hit the ground hard. Jimmy tossed the hand bow on the passenger side, broke open the cardboard case, and pulled the tab on a beer can. He took a long swig, sat there for a minute, and looked one last time at Doyle’s body. He drained the rest of the can, tossed it out the window, and put the truck into reverse. He backed up, put it into drive, and peeled out of the parking lot, throwing rocks from the loose gravel behind the store. As he got out onto the street, he rolled his neck from side-to-side, and said to himself, “Gotham, here I come.”

*********

Batkevin had plenty of stuff connected to these stories, but if I posted all of the connected links here, I'd be repeating about half of his Fic-O-Pedia page. So maybe you'd just like more of Batkevin's Tales of the Galactic Pope instead:

  1. .Tales of the Galactic Pope.
  2. .Tales of the Galactic Pope Part 2.
  3. .Tales of the Galactic Pope Part 3.

...and another chapter of his Alternate WWII epic:

And lest you wonder why Batkevin' is named after the the Dark Knight, I must point you to the most viewed story on the Fan-Fic forum. Not joking- we'll be chasing his view numbers on this one forever:

"Is it that good?" I can almost hear you asking. Good enough that this viral Batman vs. Darth Vader videoclearly borrowed <eye roll> some beats from Batkevin's story (which carried over to the Alternate Ending)! That's right, peeps: people do see your ideas on Comic Vine! And this one was good enough to be used for a fan movie! Not just any fan movie though. Time Magazine said that "Hollywood could learn from Bat in the Sun." Which apparently means that Hollywood could learn from Batkevin74! So yeah, it's that good. Check it out.

If that's not enough reading for you, then you can continue The Super Summer Blowout Reading Extravaganza in WGP #53.4, or you can return to the WGP #53 main page. Thanks for reading! -cb

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cbishop

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Avatar image for cbishop
cbishop

16711

Forum Posts

361212

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 75

User Lists: 1091

To be edited