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*waves* Yeah, that is referencing Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. I had to watch two movie adaptations of it for class this week. *sighs, then waves again*

I've been back for a few months, but I've been working to settle some things before getting back into everything here. That, and the 2k+ deviations on my watch list alone demanded my attention. (I got through about half of them at this point. And journals are going even slower.)

I have gotten back into writing, although it has been going slowly. I've set up the basic goal of at least 100 words a day to one story or another. Right now the focus is finishing off Dying Lullaby before the year ends. And it might actually be feasible if I stick with the goal. That being said, we all know how good I am at this... ^^;

Abroad was rather amazing. I went to Scotland out of a recommendation and a desire to not be in London. Which is funny, really; I used to believe that I would go to London up until it came time to actually consider applying. Then I actually realized how easily I get sick of the urban setting. So that went out of the window rather quickly. Then someone said Scotland, and I was like, "Well, that sounds fun."

Scotland itself was very interesting. I picked up some of the dialect for my speech patterns, and got to see some amazing sights. And became appreciative of kilts. Because really, those things are really cool. And bagpipes, which is a bit of a cliché, but there was a guy on the corner of the street playing Star Wars with bagpipes at one point of my life, and I've memorized it. Seriously. It was amazing. Stirling Castle was probably my favorite place; it's pretty preserved and lacks the massive amounts of tourists that Edinburgh Castle has. (I really wanted to like that castle, but way too many people visiting it at one time.)

(And in a different story, when I returned here, I was hanging out with two friends at a book sale. I grabbed a CD of bagpipes because I need to make up for the lack of it in my life.

One friend said, "I heard the best bagpipe music in an anime."

First thing I snapped back was, "Dude, I was in Scotland. I think I win."

"But this anime was good!"

"But Scotland. You haven't even heard anything from Scotland, have you?"

"But no, seriously-"

"But Scotland.")

So yeah. Miss me?
  • Mood: Delighted


October 15, 2:16 PM
Remains of Gotham

Dear Cassandra,

I wish that this letter could be without these final instructions. But I am afraid.

There are moments, even now, where I doubt myself and what I am about to do. I do honestly believe that I would have made these same exact choices had I survived that night. I would not have allowed the Justice League to get away with killing my family. But I am certain that part of this rage is not my own. I fear that the soul fragments have affected us more than we thought.

As of this moment, the soul fragments are keeping us alive and giving us our powers. Gotham had said herself that she believes the fragments have very little of her personality. Our wills should have naturally overpowered any of their influences.

I think this used to be the case before we had died. Our deaths triggered something, so that they no longer were simply a source of power, but also an influencer of our anger. We are no longer the only master of our actions. I am not using this as an excuse. However, we may have been encouraged.

I talked with Tim on this matter, and he agrees that a weak mind can also be susceptible to the influence. This is now my leading theory about the Joker’s insanity. This indicates that the living can be affected too.

I believe that, whatever turmoil you may face, you will be stronger than the fragment within you. I am honestly not concerned about you, Cassandra. You have always been one of the strongest.

These instructions are not meant for your demise.

Cassandra folded the letter, her eyes catching sight of the paragraph written on the back of the last page. She looked back up at the ruins of the city.

Gotham had collapsed upon itself; it had lost its foundation and brought down buildings and people with it. The landscape had grown harsh. Towers had been utterly destroyed or remained crooked and overbearing on the rubble below. Streets were drowned in debris. She could hear the screams of the dying still. There were trucks trying to enter the city in order to help, but the bridges had fallen as well.

She looked at the end of the letter.

You have made me incredibly proud. You have overcome all of the obstacles in your life and became a beautiful young woman. Thank you for everything you have done for us. I am sorry for leaving you with the aftermath.

You are my daughter, and I am so proud of you.

Love, Bruce


October 16, 10:07 AM
Washington DC

Clark rolled his head to the side, blinking against the harsh red light that was shining down on him. He closed his eyes, trying to recall what had happened.

(Paula Bruce Gotham)

He pushed himself up immediately. His head protested and a headache engulfed him. There was a metal collar around his neck, the weight heavy and cold. His right shoulder screamed in pain, almost forcing him back down onto the bed.

(what happened?)

Clark tilted his head and opened his eyes again. He was on a bed in a room drenched in red light. There was a glass wall separating him from what appeared to be a hallway.

“Hello?” he called out. There was something wrong with his voice; it was hoarse, as if he had been yelling for days. Still he persisted. “Hello?”

“The patient seems to be awake.” A man walked into view. He was wearing a white lab coat and was carrying a clipboard. A large chain was attached to the clipboard with a chunk of Kryptonite swinging from the other end.

“Who are you?” Clark tried to get up again, but only managed to put himself in more pain. “Sir?”

The man looked up. “You don’t remember?”


(I killed them again)

The man was scribbling down notes at a furious pace. “Subject shows no recollection of what had happened. We must see if this has occurred at any other time since his infection.”

“My- my what?”

“You, Mister… well, Superman,” the man said uncomfortably, “have been infected for the past five years- probably more, but we can’t be exactly sure- with some sort of delirium.”


“At least that is the current hypothesis. There are some in the community that believe that your mind must have simply snapped from being under so much pressure. Although having multiple people believe in the same illusion seems like a rather unlikely thing to happen.”

“What are you talking about? What illusion?” Clark’s memories started to overwhelm him with curiosity. “What about Gotham? And Metropolis? Bruce had- Batman had them destroyed and-“

“You really don’t remember, do you?” The man stopped writing. He stepped back to the end of the hallway from where he came. “I… I shouldn’t… I…”

“Please, tell me!”

(this has to be a mix up misunderstanding what happened?)

The glass suddenly turned into a screen. It was a blown up picture of a news channel, the two reporters looking grave.

“-been reported that the contaminated members of the Justice League have been taken into custody in the aftermath of the destruction of Gotham. Current analysts believe that the infected heroes destroyed the network of caverns beneath the city. This led to the collapse of the land itself and the end of Gotham City.”


“This is just days after Superman had gone on a rampage and leveled out most of Metropolis. Evacuation and recovery in both of those areas is looking grim.”


The anchor beside the first one placed her hand towards her ear. “This just in, folks. The body that Superman was found with is believed to be Batman. Yes, Batman, the protector of Gotham. The body has shown years of decay, but there is still evidence of him being burned to death. It is believed that this could have been caused by Superman.”

(this can’t be this isn’t what happened)

“I think we may now have the final answer of what happened to the Dark Knight. If these reports turn out to be true, it can be guessed that Superman had killed Batman when Batman approached him. More news in a minute.”


October 16, 10:29 AM
New York City

Jimmy Olsen woke up with a start, rattled out of some indescribable nightmare. He instantly reached towards the bedside table for a bottle. It took a few tries before he was able to grasp one. He tipped the end into his mouth only to find it empty.

(screams yells Superman Superman)

Jimmy threw the bottle at the poster on the opposing wall. It shattered, much like the other bottles had. He kept telling himself that he would throw out the stuff soon. It was just hard to let go of his collection. He had amassed it over the years in honor of the hero and friend he had in Superman. Lois had always made fun of him. Clark would chuckle nervously when the topic was brought up. But Superman would always sign that new poster or-

(Superman Superman)

He moaned, and got up on the other side of the bed. He hoped that he still have a bottle or two left somewhere around his apartment. He wasn’t ready to take down the posters yet. But until then, he needed something to help him get through the day.


October 16, 6:35 PM
Washington DC

 “That’s not what happened!” Red Arrow shouted. “You got it all wrong!”

The woman before him remained stoic, even as she stopped writing on her clipboard. “You continue to tell me that Batman and his sidekicks came to life and were killing people.”

He let out a frustrated growl, and pounded his fist on the clear wall between them. When he had first woken up, he had thought it was glass and had tried to break it. It was only after he almost broke his hand that Red Arrow realized that the wall was made of tougher material.

“That’s what I’m telling you!”

“While your delusions are of interest-“

“They are not delusions!”

“-I am only trying to help you recover.” She tapped the pen against the edge of the clipboard. “And so far, what you are telling me does not line up with the facts.”

“What facts?!”

She didn’t flinch. “Batman’s body was decayed from time. All of the burn marks on it were old. But you tell me that Superman burned him that day, correct?”

(they’re lying somehow they got to them)

“That is what happened.”

The woman looked down at her notes again. “You also say that the people the Justice League snatched off the streets were the civilian identities of Bruce Wayne and his family?”

“They were Batman and his family,” Red Arrow argued. He found no point in pretending that Batman and Bruce Wayne were two different people. “We picked them up because they had to be stopped. They just-“

“Kept escaping. You mentioned.” She began to write again. “I am sorry to be the one who will have to tell you this, but there were video recordings of some of these ‘captures.’ Each time, they were really ordinary civilians.”

“Bullshit!” His head dropped in despair. No one had believed them.

“Ordinary civilians who we can find no trace of in your base of operations.” Her frown grew as she spoke. “But if it was anything like that poor girl-”

Red Arrow’s head snapped up. “What poor girl?”


October 17, 8:02 AM
Washington DC

Selina looked over at the beds to the left of hers. The elder man was the closest, only one other bed between him and the door. She could see the bruises on his arms and the tell-tale signs of physical exhaustion. The doctors told her that he was covered with minor injuries, but it was all things that he would heal from. There probably wouldn’t even be a scar.

(not drugs coursing through eating up who he was)

She bit her tongue, squashing her bitterness. Black Canary had told her what had happened to Zatara. The man was threatened with his daughter’s life if he did not comply with the Justice League’s demands. It was a different kind of torture; while Barbara had used her temporarily, the Justice League had used him for years. At the very least, Selina was not at all aware of the horrors that went on around her.

In the bed closest to the door was his daughter. The girl was pale and bony, patches of hair missing and markings of horror on her face. There were no bruises, but sometimes Selina wondered if she had any blood left in her at all.

Neither had woken up yet, despite all of care that had been taken.

(would they want to? after everything?)

Selina turned towards the window. Gotham was gone, and she had nowhere to go. Her body was close to recovering enough that the doctors would finally release her. It had been years since Barbara Gordon had taken control of Selina and fed the woman a whole library of drugs to keep her complacent. Years since Selina had been able to do anything more than sit in a hospital bed, constantly on the verge of slipping back into a coma.

And now that she was recovering, there was nothing to return to. They had left nothing.

(a good revenge for them maybe)


October 17, 12:27 PM
Washington DC

 “Zatanna?” Oliver asked. His emotions were swelling up again. Something had happened, something that changed everyone’s memories of what had happened and had made them the bad guys.

(we are the good guys always aren’t we?)

“I… Superman said we had to hold her accountable for what she did,” he continued. He struggled to remember the exact words. Superman had gathered them in the conference room, introducing Dr. Fate as a permanent member. Someone had asked about Zatanna, and all Superman had said was that she had helped Artemis escaped and therefore had to be sent elsewhere.

(but he never said where to)

“I… I thought…”

Alice Waller frowned. “If what you are saying is in fact true, then Superman willingly played an active role in keeping this girl in total isolation. She was given nothing but the bare essentials of nutrition and hadn’t seen the light of day for years. We were only lucky to find her, and that was because she had crawled out of the rubble of the Hall of Justice that you all created.”

“That… that isn’t what happened. They were after us!” he protested.

“The dead corpse that reanimated itself and somehow left no trace behind on cameras? Are you going to tell me that Batman was a vampire?” The woman scoffed. “There is something wrong with the lot of you. Two large cities are gone and millions are dead. And we want answers.”

(did we really do this?)

“I’m telling you, it wasn’t us!”

“Well, I’m not inclined to believe that you were just listening to your imaginary friends. We are prepared to keep you for as long as necessary. We’ve already lost too many lives because we let you all run free.”

He ran up to the wall, pounding against the glass. “But-“

Waller was already leaving,

Oliver slammed his fist against the wall one last time. He didn’t want to believe that they had been wrong. That everything that happened for the past six years had all been an illusion. There was an explanation behind it all.

(there has to be there is

isn’t there?)


October 19, 1:26 PM
Themyscira, coordinates unknown

Diana sat by Hippolyta’s throne, silent as the competitors lined up before them. It was a bitter thing to watch another Amazon be crowned Ambassador to man’s world.

(but maybe it’ll hurt less)

Her mother cast a worried look at her direction before standing up to speak. Diana had not wanted to tell her everything that had happened with the Justice League, and her silence on the issue only increased her mother’s worry. It got worse when Hippolyta saw the scars. Still, Diana remained quiet. She finally broke down, however, when Black Canary came with news of the destruction of Metropolis and Gotham.

Diana knew the truth. It wasn’t illusions that destroyed the two cities and left scars on her body. But Dinah convinced her to remain quiet. Bruce and his family were already gone, leaving behind corpses that told different stories that what they knew. The truth had gotten Superman and the others locked up. The whole world was shaken and the other heroes were not prepared to deal with even more chaos. Diana had to agree that the truth, at this point, was useless.

(and don’t we deserve this?)

“Are you okay, my daughter?” Diana looked at Hippolyta. The queen’s face was pale with dark circles under her eyes. Diana suddenly hated herself.

“I’m… I will be fine.”

Diana sometimes liked to tell herself that her mother took the position of Wonder Woman away from her. That motherly concern overruled every other bit of logic.

But that was an obvious lie. She wanted to let go of the position as much as her mother wanted her to.

(man’s world is a cruel one)

As the competitors began to organize themselves for the first task, Diana wondered what to bring to Hades’s temple later that night. A memory welled up; it was from years ago, where she was beside Bruce’s bed while he was recovering in the Watchtower. She had brought him a basket of fruits and scripts from the Amazons’ library to stop him from trying to get up. Despite his grumblings, Bruce had smiled at her.

She turned her attention back to the competition. Later, she would bring a basket of fruits to the temple and cry alone in the shadows.


October 19, 3:18 PM
Washington DC

The Atlantean on the other side of the cell wall looked uncomfortable. From what Orin had managed to get out of the woman, the Atlantis kingdom had obtained special permission to have someone speak to their former king. It was a nicety that neither side was really expecting to be granted. But someone had said yes, and that was all that mattered.

“Mera is recovering? From what?”

The woman trembled slightly at the question. “I… I thought you had heard the report before you disappeared. She had been injured by the traitor Garth.”

(Garth was never the traitor isn’t that what you said Kaldur’ahm?)

“Where is he? There should be a trial to determine what had happened! I cannot believe-“

“He is dead, my- sir. Tula happened to be in the medical bay when he was trying to escape. She died defending us.”

(but he had to be innocent)

“What about his belongings? Was there really anything to implicate him?”

“After… after a thorough search, we found communicators and recorders that were meant to be given to Black Manta.” She bowed her head. “Kaldur’ahm had reported-“

“Where is he?”

The woman flinched. “Kaldur’ahm, sir?”

“Yes. Where is he? Did he run off to cause more havoc-“

“We found his body in what the land dwellers call ‘Gotham Harbor.’ We believe that he was trying to discover another link from Blank Manta’s operations. And then…” She looked away.

(and then we supposedly destroyed it)

“What about our contacts from the Justice League? Have they responded to our-“ He paused. “Have they responded to the kingdom’s request for aid?”

“The Justice League has been disbanded,” she said. “The government of this land would like to reform them so that such an incident…” She trailed off.

“I see.”

(what have you done to us Bruce?)

“I… I should leave, sir. I wish you a speedy recovery,” the woman said before fleeing down the hallway.

Orin sighed. If he was lucky, there would be more visits. But it was clear that he no longer had a say in their world. He was as removed from it as land dwellers were.

(have I been reduced to this?)


October 20, 4:30 PM
Washington DC

There were a few mercies in the aftermath. Dinah had to count on them, or else she would be driven insane.

“There were notes found in the remains of Batman’s cave,” Dinah said. She wondered how she managed to keep her voice steady. “They don’t go into much, but they list reasons why Batman believed the others were going insane.”

She looked at the heroes gathered around. All of them, sometime in the last five years, had dropped out of the Justice League. The government had looked down on them. No one was willing to tell the government that Batman had come back to life after a betrayal. Some of the heroes never even saw the specters and weren’t sure what exactly happened.

Now they were being asked to return to their positions. It was not without its fill of paranoia from civilians and government officials alike-

(they don’t trust us after cities millions)

-but there was enough fear for public safety to override the immediate worry.

Captain Marvel-

(just a kid just like no stop it don’t think about it now not now)

-frowned.  “I don’t get it. The news keeps saying things but I just…”

Dinah nodded. The government had kept their understanding of the tale in closed off labs. She had kept what she knew of the actual truth close to her heart.

“Bruce… No. Batman wrote in his notes about a magic that they had come across in the battle from October.” There was no need to mention which specific part of October or even the year; they all knew the case too well at this point. “He said that there was a spell cast, but no one showed any reactions. He had returned to Gotham and began to hypothesize what it may have done.”

The lie was too easy. But it was what Bruce had left behind, and she would honor it.

“It’s believed that he called Superman to talk, possibly to confront him. Superman is susceptible to magic and was already trapped in a possible illusion. The burn marks-“

Dinah choked on the words. She had seen the body that the government workers had brought in. Waller had specifically picked Dinah to identify it, hoping that the hero would not get overly emotional and therefore distracted from the bigger issues they had to face. Dinah had lived up to her reputation; she did not puke nor cried until she was alone.

“The burn marks indicate that Superman quickly killed him. He also may have gone around and helped orchestrate the deaths of the others,” Dinah said. “Afterwards, when the other League members fell under the presumed spell, they took it upon themselves to kill the Gotham criminal population. They also went after civilians, but they may have felt justified at the time.”

Hal spoke up. “But we saw Bats tear up the city. We helped stop him!”

Dinah shook her head. “From what video footage that could be salvaged, it looks like we were fighting air. It’s believed that J’onn projected the images into our minds.”

John crossed his arms and frowned. “I don’t like this.”

“It gets worse. We found out why Zatara was willing to take on the Helm.” She took in a deep breath. Zatara had been found on the edge of Gotham and rushed into private care. Only a select few knew he was even alive. “They were holding Zatanna hostage.”

There were gasps of shock all around. Dinah heard someone mutter, “That can’t be right.”

“Zatanna was found at the entrance of the Hall. It seems that she was finally able to escape after their episode destroyed most of the building.”

(remain strong for all of them)

“She was able to get to the door, but not further. She was malnourished, dehydrated, and her magic was dying. It’s a wonder that she was even alive at all.” Dinah shook her head.

(if I had stayed could I have saved her?)

“At this point, if we are to remain as a team, we will need to work with the government. There are a lot of different theories bouncing around about why the others snapped. Some don’t think that it’s magic. Some do. Either way, they want to keep a close eye on us for the foreseeable future.”

“Why should we allow them to do that?” Sheyera asked.

Dinah looked at each of the heroes in turn. “Because we have a job to do. We’re all that’s left of the world’s defenses.”

(may God help us)


October 29, 7:36 PM
Washington DC

J’onn turned back to his bed. The last psychologist for the day had finished up, leaving him alone for the night. It would be hours before the pattern started again; J’onn would see different scientists come and go. Sometimes they stopped and asked him questions. A few were even sympathetic and would talk to him about mundane things. And then he would be left alone at night.


He crawled back into bed. He had been kept in a drug-induced haze the longest out of those who were taken. Their captors were worried about his powers the most, not knowing how to combat his mental fields properly. A new suppression cuff had to be designed for his containment.

They had shown him the news reports and pictures of the damage. There were a lot of psychologists to test his mind, while medical doctors tested his blood. J’onn remained nonaggressive. He wasn’t thinking of ever leaving.

“TV, on.” They had allowed him a few channels from the outside world. Some of the psychologists thought that a return to reality from a safe distance would be good for him. They asked him questions about how seeing the world made him feel. J’onn would answer back patiently, unsure if he could ever properly explain how he missed burnt cookies.

He kept one truth to himself: he was not so easily affected by illusions as his teammates were. Only an abnormally strong one-

(like Paula like M’gann)

-could trick him.

The television lights flickered at him, and the sounds filled the room. There was almost always news on the excavation of what was left of Gotham and Metropolis. Many were still looking for loved ones in the rubble. The channel that filled his screen was dedicated to showing things found with the dead, in hopes of reuniting some. There would always be someone in the background talking about the recovery efforts and news of the new League of Heroes.

It was the only thing J’onn would ever watch. The pictures were familiar, with new photos of items added daily. Ruined wallets. Clothing and jewelry. Photos of friends and family.

Still, he heard nothing about anyone finding an unusual skeleton. Nor was there news of crushed, unidentifiable goo discovered in the ruins that would remind J’onn of Martian physiology. He watched for anything that told the world that there was once a Martian there. A White Martian, but a Martian nonetheless.


After a few hours, J’onn fell asleep. The television remained on.


3 years later
July 3, 5:12 PM
Washington DC

Zatanna let out a frustrated growl and slammed her fists into the table. She was no closer to a solution than she had been months ago. The man had gotten even better at hiding.

Dinah rubbed her shoulder. “Maybe you should take a break.”

“No,” Zatanna growled. “We have to stop him this time.”

“I understand, but you’re overexerting yourself. If you keep this up-“

“I know.” Zatanna shook her head, and closed the book that was before her. Softly, she repeated, “I know.”

She had gone through every spell that she could find. All of her efforts were meticulously blocked, however, and no amount of magical maneuvering could get around the barriers. How the man was able to do such a feat worried her.

“How could he hide from magic?” she mumbled. “How?”

“Let it go for now,” Dinah said, taking the book off of the table. “Your father is probably worried over you.”


“Alright.” Zatanna got up, careful not to move too fast. She had yet to fully recover after being held captive for years. While her magic had steadily improved, it still remained a disconnected entity from her. Zatara feared that Dr. Fate had done away with the natural link between her and her magic. Neither of the two knew if it was a permanent condition.

She gave Dinah a wave before going towards the teleporters. After the destruction of the Justice League and the containment of most of their key members, the remaining heroes were forced to rebuild and regroup. The government provided the group of heroes a new outpost, although Dinah had to argue hard to keep them from interfering too much in the heroes’ affairs.

In seconds, Zatanna was teleported into a telephone booth tucked away in a street alley.

It took her several minutes to walk home. People who passed her on the street looked at her before turning away. There were still physical markings on her face resulted from being a prisoner to Superman. Most people stayed away from her after getting a glimpse of them.

The apartment where she and her father lived was upscale and in a moderately sized building. The doorman offered her a smile and a polite nod as he held the door open for her. He never once forced her to make awkward conversation. Sometimes, Zatanna wondered if her father had interfered. Still she nodded back.

The elevator ride was short and devoid of other people. She left out a small sigh as it brought her several floors up. The doors opened in a fluid motion, and only a few steps later and she was in front of their apartment door. She muttered a spell and, after a moment, the lock made a loud clicking noise.

“Dad? I’m home!” she said as she entered.

“Zatanna!” The man, sitting on the couch with books scattered around him, smiled at her. “I’ll have dinner ready in an hour.”

“You didn’t have to,” she said, although she could not stop her own smile from appearing. His physical recovery did not take long, although Zatanna suspected that Dr. Fate had maintained his host’s body rather well. It was the mental prison that left the most scars.

(and we’re never fully free)

“What are you looking for?” she asked. The tomes were ancient, and some seemed to be written in a different language.

Zatara’s smile dimmed. “I may have found how you’re friend-“

“Dad, he’s not my friend.”

(not anymore)

Zatara stifled. “I’m sorry, dear. Well, I believe I may have found how he created the last storm. It looked familiar, so I started looking into some older texts.”

The woman tried not to shudder. The artificially produced storm had killed hundreds. Most of the casualties were indirect; power outages and surges of tornado-like winds had gotten to the civilians before the League had. More importantly, however, was the fact that at the center of the storm the man known as Count Vertigo was struck by lightning over ten times.

It took longer for her to make the connection.

“No,” she muttered. “He’s… he’s… He hated magic! He couldn’t have gotten that power so fast! He…”

“There are some ways to obtain power at that speed,” Zatara said. “I thought you should be the first to know.”

Zatanna collapsed onto the couch. Overwhelmed with emotion, she screamed.


July 4, 1:27 AM
Remains of Gotham

Nabu could feel a hand grasp the half of the Helm that he was contained in. He had not been hopeful that either halves should be retrieved, but with luck-

(with fate I shall be revived)

-both halves shall be placed back together. He had not exerted any power, so what he did have stored should be enough to reunite the two pieces.

But the hand brought the piece to the face of his savior. If he had to control the human to fix things, then so be it-

(“Hello Doctor Fate.”)

Nabu was slightly startled. He remembered the boy, now a man. He was a man of the realm of science, a natural speedster-

(“My name is Wally. I thought you would have remembered.”)

Fate bristled.

(“You have allowed the destruction by that-“

“Gotham is dead. She had herself killed.”)

Some unidentified feeling welled up in Fate. He had believed that the Lady who had once served as his teacher had no hope left within her; she had gone the route of Chaos and had shown no remorse. But this was proof that he was right. She must have realized and-

(“Can it. She allowed it because she was tired. Batman had it done because he didn’t want more blood.”

“We must return the world to Order, then. She has left much destruction in her wake. We must-“

We are not going to do anything. You already caused a lot of damage yourself. I heard about Krypton.”)

The hand holding the half of the Helm twitched, and Fate could feel the human smiling.

(“I am a Lord of Order!”

“You are a monster. You used people as pawns and killed without thinking. Kent Nelson was stuck with you because he was scared of what you were going to do.”

“I had to do what was right for this world.”

“You still haven’t learned, have you? Well, I never did hold out much hope.”)

The fingers started to grasp the Helm a little too hard. Nabu felt rage being directed at him. Wallace still did not understand what Onyx’s crimes were. But he would teach the man. Science was not a hard thing to cast out, and it wouldn’t be long before-

Then the Helm began to crack.

(“What are you doing?”

“I’m doing what we should have done a long time ago. I am done playing revenge plans. I’m going to prevent this from happening again.”)

Nabu reached out for what magic he did have in that part of the Helm. But nothing responded; it was as if there was nothing in there but his own spirit.

(“I’m not an idiot. I stole the rest of your magic while you were talking.”

“How could you-“

“Easily. I looked, I learned, and now I’m conquering and stealing. Sucks, doesn’t it?”)

The fingers came together, crushing the remains of the Helm. And with it, Nabu was no more.


July 4, 3:15 PM
Central City

Barry opened his eyes slowly. Everything about him felt sluggish, as if the world had fallen around him and he was just waking up for the aftermath. He wasn’t in pain but there was a stiffness in his joints. He flexed his fingers a few times.

“Good, you are awake.” He turned his head and saw Cassandra Cain standing by his bed. There were dark circles under her eyes, but otherwise she looked as he had remembered her.

Memories slammed back into place. “What- what-“

“Shh.” She poured a glass of water, pressed a button to tilt his bed up, and brought it to his lips. He accepted it greedily. “You’ve been… asleep. Asleep for a long time.”

“A…” It took Barry a second to understand what she was trying to imply. “A coma? Was I in a coma?” His voice was incredibly weak, and for a second he was fearful that none of his words were properly formed.

But Cassandra seemed to have understood. “Yes. You had to recover.”

“Recover from what?”

“From Martian Manhunter. He was… leaking illusions. Showing you lies.”

“What? I- I don’t-“

(but I’m responsible I helped hurt them)

Cassandra gave him a patient smile. “I should show you something.” She placed the glass of water down, and turned on the television. A DVD began to play. “I will get the doctor.”

It was three hours before he saw her again. The DVD was a documentary that played for only half of that time. It went into detail of the supposed mental degrading of the Justice League. How scientists weren’t sure of what had captured some of the most important members and twisted their thoughts. How they had all believed that something was happening. How Superman had killed Batman early on in the process before the infection took hold of the others. How two cities were completely destroyed because of it.

There was a doctor that came, although he did not disturb Barry as he watched. Barry was grateful and at the same time mortified that they would allow such a shock to come to him after just waking up.

When Cassandra returned, she was carrying a tray with food.

“This… This can’t be true!” he protested as she put the tray down. “It can’t!”

Cassandra nodded. “But if it wasn’t true, then they would… lock you up. Take you away like the others.”

Barry shook his head. “This… This can’t be right. I saw them. I watched them kill so many people-“

“Did you?” The young woman cocked her head.

“I… Didn’t I?”

“They were careful.” She began to set out the food on the swinging table of his bed. A sandwich. An apple. A cup of pudding. A carton of chocolate milk. “This was their final revenge.”

“They… This was all for revenge? They killed- And the others! They-“

Cassandra shushed him. “We can’t reverse it. But something has happened.”

“Did they come back? Did they-“

She shook her head. From her back pocket, she pulled out a few pieces of folded paper. “I need to tell you this.”

“What is it?”

“Instructions from… from Batman. Wally… has become too dangerous. He has killed many people.”


His heart began to beat faster. After she read the letter for him, the heart monitor mistook his rushing heartbeat as a flat line.


1 year 3 months later
October 31, 6:16 PM
Remains of Gotham

Wally had cleaned the gun carefully. It was the same one that Pyroead had given him years ago. The speedster made sure that it was kept in perfect working condition and only used it for special kills. He wasn’t ready to lose it yet. Not after everyone was tricked into believing that there was no such thing as Pyroead and Sylph.

(that we just lied and lied and lied and)

He sighed. He had trouble sometimes keeping those thoughts quiet.

Wally turned back to the clone on the ground. Red Arrow was pinned down by his own arrows, the same ones that Wally had stolen from him years before. He was covered in his own blood, although he continued to glare at the speedster.

It had been pathetically easy to take all of the League members out of their prison cells and bring them to Gotham. Wally had been careful when building the prisons out of the ruins. He didn’t want to give them the change to escape after all of those years. It took time for him to weave the magic-

(Fate’s powers so limitless)

-but he had to make sure that they were perfect.

Wally pointed the gun at the clone. “I was thinking of letting you bleed out with the arrows. But then I realized that, unless I take the arrows out, it would take a really really long time. So I thought I would speed it up just a little.”

He pulled the trigger. Whatever remained of Red Arrow’s mind gave way to a primal scream.

“There. Now it won’t take nearly so long. But should be long enough for you to consider what you’ve done.” Wally turned to see his other prisoners. “I really don’t care who’s next. I just had to make him shut up. Have you ever heard someone just go on and on about how you’re the villain? I mean, surely you must have at this point!”

Oliver growled at him. The rest remained silent.

“You can all talk, you know. It’s not like I stole your voices or anything.” He lifted up his free hand, and a disc of energy appeared above it. “I was really stupid to think that magic wasn’t a thing. Because, really, it’s a great manipulation of energy. People need their rituals in order to control it better. Fate used it to kill people.

“You know what I’ve been using it for? I’ve been cleaning the earth. Everywhere there are people who are about to sacrifice their friends. Kill the innocent. All because they think they know what justice is. But this magic stuff really has a way with fixing it all. Someone should have thought of this sooner.”

A crash came from the entrance to the cave the speedster made to hide in the ruins. Wally had been careful to conceal the doorway with rubble, although he knew that it wouldn’t be enough.

(I should have expected them sooner)

“Looks like we don’t have the time to enjoy your death, Red Arrow.” The energy disc dissolved into the air. Wally pointed at the clone and raised his hand up. The clone was enveloped in a golden glow, and his body floated up like a rag doll. “Enjoy hell.”

With a flick of his wrist, Wally tossed the body up one more time before clenching his hand into a fist. Red Arrow was tossed and then crushed. The sounds of his bones snapping and organs squishing filled the cave.

“Now should I kill the rest of you, or use you as hostages?” He pointed his gun at each of former heroes in turn. “Maybe a Kryptonite bullet for-“



Wally turned and looked at the duo that was entering the cave. Cassandra and Barry looked unharmed from any of his traps.

The redhead’s shoulders slumped. “Figures, Cass. First time we’ve met in years, and it’s you trying to stop me.”

She nodded. “You’ve killed a lot of people.”

“I had to. I wasn’t going to let history repeat itself.” The magic in him was reacting to his emotions; the walls around them were trembling. “You should understand.”

“You have become… bloodthirsty.” She frowned at him. “We were supposed to meet for dinner.”

“We were, weren’t we? Sorry about that.” He looked over his shoulder and watched as the emotions swirled on his hostages’ faces. “It’s been ten years since they let Fate do the curse.”

“Wally…” Barry stepped closer.

“Stop it, Uncle Barry.” He aimed the gun at Superman. He was sure that the two understood that he was using Kryptonite bullets. “You’ve been trying to stop me for at least a year. Don’t you know that I always escape?”

“You can’t kill them, Wally.”

“And why not? They killed Batman and his family. You helped.” He shook his head. The walls were shaking again. “Really, you would think that someone would have learned.”


“I may as well finish this now.” He took careful aim-

“I’m afraid for Wally.”

He turned back. When he wasn’t looking, Cassandra had managed to take out a bunch of worn papers from a hidden pocket.

“Wally has to be stopped if he goes down this path. I’m trusting you to stop him, Cassandra,” she read. “Bruce wrote me this letter. He was… worried.”

“It’s nice that Bruce cared. But really. He should understand what is going on.” He gave her a half shrug. “Aren’t I continuing his work? Making sure that families don’t get torn apart because of other people’s agendas?”

“You are tearing apart your own. How about… how about Lian?”

(remember her?)

His shoulder went slack, and he had to force himself to remain steady. “I… I’ve seen her.”

“You just killed her father.”

“He- he doesn’t deserve-“

“But she deserves her own answers.”

“She’s- she’s better off-“

“Is she?” Cassandra handed the letter to Barry, who cradled the paper as if it were sacred. “And who are you to decide this?”

(who is anyone to decide this?)

He dropped the gun. He should have known better than to talk to Cassandra. “It still hurts. I can hear the lullaby when I sleep.”

“I know.” She walked towards him. “I can hear it too.”

“When? How? You’re- you’re-“

(empty of hate)

Cassandra picked up the gun. “Gotham gave me a piece too.”

He took the gun from her. The metal felt heavy for the first time in years. “I was celebrating the anniversary.”

“I know.”

Barry looked on in horror. “Cassandra, what-“

But it was too late; the two were leaning into each other, their heads meeting together at their right temples. The barrel of the gun was aimed at the speedster’s left temple. He forced his magic to remain calm.

(death quiet finally)

Wally hugged her-

(I just want it to end)

-and pulled the trigger.

10 Years ago
October 30, 9:59 PM

“There has to be another way!” Barry argued.

Fate shook his head. The magician was floating at the center of the table arrangement. His hands, bathed in a golden light, had been held up since he had started the spell. “I can guarantee you that there is no other way of stopping this corruption.”

“There has to be!”

“Are you sure that this is the only way?” Orin asked. He was leaning back into his chair with his arms crossed. “I have studied the general effects of magic. Very few works cannot be reversed.”

“This has gone unattended for too long. If we allow it to continue, your world shall end,” Fate said. “It is already too late to reverse the sacrifices.”

“You didn’t mention anyone being sacrificed,” Oliver growled. “You only mentioned your spell and that you had to ‘cleanse Gotham.’”

“I did not want to burden you with the emotional choice. You do not fully understand the cost of what would happen without intervention.”

Clark frowned. He had been sitting at the head of the table, listening to the argument since it began.

(since Barbara called)

“If you had told us-“

“The emotional damage upon yourselves would be too high,” Fate said calmly. “I have already seen a world destroyed by Chaos. I will not allow for another to fall.”

Clark tried not to show any other emotion.

(fear hatred annoyance sorrow)

“There was no other way?” he finally asked.


“And you can’t reverse the spell?”


Clark wanted to hate himself. But he knew that this was the best that they could do.

(Bruce would understand why wouldn’t he?)

The Krpytonian turned to J’onn. “Shut down the communication lines to Gotham.”

The faces around the table collectively dropped. Barry seemed the most furious of them all. “How could you do that-“

“It’s for the greater good. If the world really is on the edge of collapsing with no other way of combatting it…” Clark said, trying to keep his voice from failing him. “Bruce would understand.”

“Well let’s go ask him-“

“No. Fate is right. This is the better way.” Clark turned to J’onn again. The Martian frowned and projected some of his sorrow. Still, he pulled up the required programs on the hologram before him.

“We’ll stay here until the spell is finished,” Clark said, looking at each of the members in turn. “We have to guard Fate.”


“It’s for the greater good,” he said, his resolve setting in.

(sorry Bruce) 

Dying Lullaby Chapter 15: Ghosts
It's done. Holy shit.

Four years, several writing classes, and a lot of learning later, and I have the end of Dying Lullaby. I will say that this story was supposed to end very differently; Batman and the rest of the family were going to be reborn into new lives and just continue tormenting the Justice League with their presence (that no one else could see). But it didn't fit, and it took me at least a year to realize that. The main problem was that they would remain as villains, and they are already very self aware that they are villains. They recognize that something is wrong. I doubt they would be able to live long after accomplishing their goals. This ending is much more suitable to them as characters.

(I also need to bitch because stupid OneDrive (Window's Cloud) somehow made three different versions of this file so I was editing an older version, posted it, realized that it didn't have all my edits, and made me cry. Seriously, what the actual hell.)

But yeah. Four years.

I can also tease that I have an upcoming project. It'll be way more lighthearted than this story, so stay tuned!

Young Justice, Batman (c) -> DC Comics
182 deviations


Human Textbook of Randomness/Starie
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
Hello everyone! I'm Starie, living in my mind, which currently occupies the universe. I'm mostly a writer, although I do draw once in a while.

I update somewhat irregularly, just to warn you all.

I'm an odd chick who knows a lot of different genres, including those I don't write about. I play some video games, read, and a whole bunch of things.

So look around. :D

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KorneliaSus Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Thank you for the watch :)
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:love: Thank you for the favorites, it really means bunches to me that you enjoy my artwork! I invite you to add me to your watch so that you can see all the future beaded and stitched pieces I have planned!
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