DC One Million: "End Times" #3

Written by Shadowstar, Edited by Marvelite
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in

Characters are the properties of DC Comics
Click here for black&white text version (good for printing!)

DC One Million:


(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: Here's the story so far - the year is 85,273, approximately one million months after the first appearance of Superman Prime in the 20th Century. Superman Prime, Wonder Woman and the spirit of Maleca'andra J'onn J'onzz have been absorbed by the wizard Faust and the mysterious being named Apoch.)

(Meanwhile, Aquaman has been destroyed by magic and Batman eliminated from time by means of magic. The current Superman has deduced an outside force is eliminating the Justice Legion A one by one and has gone to the prison planet of Pluto.)

(And now for the legal stuff. DC One Million and all characters within were created by Grant Morrison during his run on the JLA title and all are copyright to DC Comics and are used in this story without profit, but totally for fun!)


"What Dreams May Come"

Justice Legion A Roll Call:

 Superman Prime = Superman One Million = Batman =  The Flash

Aquaman = Wonder Woman = Owlwoman = The Atom

Continued from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2

The Atom casually gazes over to the Batman, his fellow Justice Legion A comrade who was supposedly wiped from history, hence their memories by, well . . . magic. Surely they are allies and fight for the one cause, but trusting him isn't as simple as Superman Dynasty told him. Talking to Batman he finds him to be rather, grouchy and grim and instead prefers the silence, despite its awkwardness.

He wishes that Superman didn't have to leave as suddenly. Certainly, Metropolis is under attack and needs his immediate attention, but his departure forced him to spend time with the Dark Knight alone. He dreads every single moment, and searches frantically about his laboratory and stations for something new to keep him preoccupied and away from his team-mates brooding.

There he is, staring into Aquaman's liquid tank, keeping a close eye on his rate of recovery. It seems a bother to have to go over and nudge him out of the way as to observe himself, as the Batman would seem somewhat offended by his intrusion. But it has to be done, whether either of them likes it or not.

"I can't believe this is happening," he ponders out loud. "The Justice Legion A, being taken down one by one, as if by magic."

"Is that really so preposterous?" His deep, dark, gravelly tone sends chills along his spine. He just had to walk, no, creep in and overhear his spoken thoughts. "It is believed by theologians of many philosophies, as well as some scientists who've dared to explore the notion that there is an underlying force which connects each and every molecule of existence. Whether it is God, or karma, nobody can be certain."

"Oh, please," retorts the Atom, trying vainly to remain objective through his current social predicament. "My work, and my beliefs are based on facts proven through knowledge and exploration. The most evidence presented toward your theorem are light particles mimicking each other from vast distances, and already you go on about an 'underlying force to all things'."

Batman squints, giving much thought to his words. Atom simply stood, and reminded himself that his current line of thought is a rather silly one, and that Batman will not attack after making sudden movements. "My work, too, is based on evidence proven through knowledge and exploration, as well as my own experience. I find it hard to imagine a universe created by a chance explosion, and not a higher power with some sort of plan for the universe. Personally, I would have thought it common sense."

That's it. He's gone too far. He can try work with him, be friends and comrades with him, surely. But when a mysterious figure enters the Justice Legion A Headquarters and challenges him scientifically, then he must debate for many, many cycles on end until such time as he has disproved the other. It was a private pleasure, even though it was an annoyance to those he attended university with.

The bellow of an opening Boom Tube resounding through the halls interrupts them, and draws them into another room where Superman Dynasty, grief-stricken, is cradling a golden and crimson clad figure, kicking about, screaming and blurting out bits and pieces of comprehensible words.

"We're all that's left," he announces sadly. "They've taken the Flash as well."

Welcome to Mercury, the first planet of Sol System under the great Super-Sun. Here is a world where hundreds of thousands of sentient stellar computers* are created and run from day to day, and all of the information passing through the great Galactic Macronet is processed.

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: A stellar computer is an intelligent system which when processing information generate vast amounts of heat, and need to be supported by equipment capable of supporting a miniature sun. The first of these was the tyrant Solaris, who went back in time and created himself in the 20th Century.)

If there were any place that would be considered a 'slum' in Sol System, Mercury would be it. Because of its high temperatures it still remains densely unpopulated, and only the working class are required to live there. The standards of living aren't very high, and unfortunately the people cannot easily afford to rise above it. Some turn to crime, dealing in illegal icons - badges which allow the wearer to temporarily gain the powers of one of many legendary heroes.

Everything works at the speed of light here, and branches out to the rest of the cosmos. It's only fitting that it should be protected by the latest in the long-standing legacy of the Flash.

His image is known nearly as widely as Superman's is. All know of the golden-clad hero boasting the crimson red lighting bolt off his shoulder and down across his costume. He is masked, unnecessarily though, as he is also publicly known as John Fox, his previous identity. It reaches up from the neck of his suit and over his eyes, leaving his jet-black hair and grey fringe outstanding. Then, floating off his ears, shoulders and hips are pairs of triangular disks, each glowing in full Technicolor.

A lot of it is show, but that doesn't matter. All that counts is that he looks, and feels like, a hero - there for anyone who might need him.

However, today seems to be the exception, as all his worst fears have come to life, and once again he is forced into running. For so long he has been forced to flee from his problems, sometimes at the speed of light after he gained his super-speed. He remembers back to his home timeframe in the 27th Century, where he was curator of the Flash museum. One fateful day a beast rose up to destroy his city, and he fled back in time to find a hero to aid him in its defeat. That was the first time.

Upon returning he found he had gained incredible speed and a link with the enigmatic 'Speed Force', which then turned him into the Flash of that era. He was a hero, but only celebrated for a short while until time-travel was banned, and eventually enforced by machines known as 'Speed Metals*'. Being guilty of time jumping, John was declared an outlaw, and was forced to run for the second time.

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: Time-travel is banned in the 27th Century, so to put a stop to any chronal jumping the Speed Metals were developed. These super-speed robots were fitted with time machines and are programmed to seize anyone operating through the timestream illegally.)

Now, after running from time to time for so long as a wanted man, where his 'crimes' are not an uncommon occurrence he has made his home on the planet Mercury as the new Flash in the 853rd Century, and eventually joined the Justice Legion A. Unfortunately, it would appear his time has run out and that for the third time in his life he must run to save himself.

Flash is extremely nervous as he passes through the streets of his industrial neighborhood. Absolutely every single person, animal and machine in frozen in time. It's as if he's passing through a still-life painting. Perhaps this is what they mean by life imitating art? Either way, it has him completely spooked.

There is a foreign presence . . . somewhere. He can't pinpoint it's exact location, only a general direction. He's also smart enough to realize it's in his best interests to keep as far away from it as possible. Not needing to remind himself twice he searches frantically for some kind of shelter while bolting across town upon a crooked path of lightning.

His thoughts stop, followed by his feet and his heartbeat. There it is in the distance, coming for him. It's song whistles in the wind harmoniously, yet hideously, as if almost beckoning him.

In a flash he's behind the bar of a familiar drinking establishment, cowering down in terror of the approaching force. He tries desperately not to hyperventilate at light-speed, and gradually slows his breath. His eyes wander to a nearby bottle of Nephilim scotch, to which his fingers reach out and flirt with grabbing.

"Now is a perfect time to take up drinking, John," he curses himself sarcastically. Surely death might seem more pleasant if his senses were numbed and he were to be falling about in a drunken stupor, but there is still that idealistic corner of his mind telling him that there is a window of escape.

Like mist a pair of black hands pass through the walls seeking to embrace his soul. Realizing their closeness so suddenly the Flash jumps to his feet and speeds out of the bar, his very momentum tearing the old-style swinging doors off of their hinges and into the street.

For the first time in so long he closes his eyes and prays - begging the powers that be that he should gain the strength and stamina to live and fight another day. If not for his own sake, then for the sake of the world he swore to protect. Either way, he does not want to die.

Temptation grips his curiosity, pleading with him to look back to his mysterious persuer. It gets the best of him, and he pauses to glance briefly at what would be a most horrendous sight. There, on his tail, was a being garbed like the Flash, though black, shrouded in darkness and moving like the living dead.

Death has many forms - for speedsters, its name is the Black Flash.

With every moment his desperation grows and he fights harder and harder to escape. Hyper-light gels form on the world around as he draws toward the Speed Field. The frictionless energies gradually increase his mass toward infinity, slowly breaking his connection with the physical plane.

Though death is only a few steps behind, still gaining velocity and slowly growing closer. Its bony arms extend toward him with the promise of silent death. He can't do it - not now. This is not how it's meant to end, damn it!

His feet press harder with the ground below, propelling him further. He begins to chant, "I think I can. I think I can." Now, not only is he John Fox, the Flash, but also the little speedster that could.

Stop distracting yourself, John, he curses himself. How have others escaped the Black Flash? Wally West of the 20th Century did it, Brandon West of the 45th Century did it as well as the great Jordan West of the 302nd Century. He'd learned about them when doing research for a new Flash museum, and suddenly has realized the solution to his current predicament.

The only way to escape death's touch is to enter a place where death has no meaning. To survive John Fox must enter the Speed Field, and risk never being able to return to Sol System.

Foot after foot pounds down until he rises off the surface and is riding on the particles in the air around at terminal velocity. His body is a blur, slowly being broken down into pure light information before his very eyes - he is almost physically getting ahead of himself. He looks back to death, who is still lunging to him.

"Catch me if you can," he smiles playfully, still dashing for speed Heaven.

A shockwave blasts out in all directions as John breaks through a new barrier. Suddenly it's as if all of his weight has been lifted away, and he flails his about without gravity or anything to hold them back. He sweats, and almost trips as his haze sends him clumsily stumbling for a few steps.

It's good he quickly regained his composure. A fall at this velocity could leave him to burn up after breaking out of the speed force, possibly even breaking his neck, but worst of all submitting to the Black Flash's will and becoming its latest victim.

Death's desperate breathing can be heard as it struggles to gain distance with Mercury's hero. Though now it's beginning to sound like more of a ghostly grunt or growl. Perhaps it is more than a soulless specter . . .

With an echoing cry it takes a leap forward, then overshadowing the frantic speedster. It falls, blanketing him in darkness only seen in the spirit realm. The Flash screams as eternal night falls, and his life is ended. If only he'd made it a little further . . . the light is so close! But, alas, he's failed, and now has paid the price with his very soul.

"Damn you," growls the scratched voice of the spirit-collector. He opens his eyes. I'm not dead, he laughs in private rejoice. Has he made it into the speed field? There, before him is the Black Flash, and here he stands immune to his touch. "Damn you, John Fox!"

"Oh. My. God," he gasps as he watches the darkness melt away from his foe and into the light cast out from the heart of the Speed Field. Underneath is a white haired man in golden armor. This is the face of a villain - this is the face of "Savitar!"

The rogue snarls hideously, focused on John Fox with wide-eyes showcasing only a part of his raging psychosis. His teeth gnash on each other, grinding together in anger and extreme frustration. How could this renegade turn would-be superhero outrace him? "None have found out my new identity and lived to tell about it . . ."

"Until now," smirks the Flash, still barely able to see the streets of Mercury through a foggy dimension vortex in the far, far distance. Savitar spits on his boots, much to the Flash's discomfort. "Now that was just uncalled for, not to mention gross."

"Screw you," he hisses through his stained yellow teeth. The shades of light shift for a brief moment, and both their attentions are called toward the heart of the Speed Force. There, looking down on both of them are a gang of new spirits - namely Wally West and Jay Garrick, lead by the great Barry Allen. "This is all your fault!"

He bolts toward the former Flashes with murderous intent, his hands outstretched as so to wring their throats all the sooner. Though he never makes it that far . . .

"Where do you think you're going?" John, at his new heights of swiftness manages to stop him dead in his tracks by placing his hand hard on his shoulder. There's a swift snap and Savitar flies about, totally limp, then landing in an extremely awkward position. The Flash gasps in panic, "WhathaveIdone!?"

"You've killed him, John." The three Flashes appear behind him, each looking down upon him with stern looks. Wally West, though, twitches uncomfortably, holding back some sort of distorted hatred.

"He was coming to kill you all," he begs in his own defense.

"He couldn't have done that," continues Barry. "We're already dead. In the Speed Field there is no pain, no conflict, no fear."

"Then Savitar is not dead?" He hopes so much for a 'no', in fact even gets as hopeful as to naively anticipate one after a minute of deathly quiet. They consult amongst themselves secretly. "Why is it I feel the impending sense of doom?"

"Because you've stolen a life," snaps Wally. "Savitar was still in his physical body when he entered the Speed Force, thus, he never died, until now . . ."

"But, I didn't know!"

"Ignorance is no excuse," states the golden age Flash coldly. "You've committed a crime, and you must be punished or else justice is not done."

Wally steps forward and black mists form around him, converting him from a man into the vicious specter that was pursuing him. There is a new Black Flash, one of greater power and John Fox's days as the Flash has ended.

"I'msorrry," he blurts out not realizing he's back in Justice Legion A Headquarters on the planet Jupiter. There he can see the Atom tending to Aquaman isolated in a liquid chamber and a dark figure brooding in the corner. He seems somewhat familiar, but can't remember his name.

"Are you alright, Flash?" The black stranger who seems a little too much like death for his own comfort races to his side and checks the readings on the monitors and such around.

"Er . . . yeah, I guess so." He's a little more than bewildered to say the least.

"My name is Batman," he sighs in annoyance resting his face in his hand. "We know each other very well, though right now I doubt you'd remember."

"Okay," he mutters a little confused. "Well, thanks anyway, Batman. I feel fine. I just had a bad dream is all." He takes a single step from his sickbed, when suddenly he turns white. "Oh, crap."

"What is it?"  

The Flash takes a few carefully concentrated steps, then turns to his teammates with a look of worry. "It's my powers," he says. "I've been cut off from the Speed Force."

The bleak white scene of the Phantom Zone reaches endlessly across limbo, totally devoid of any life, death, form or structure. It is simply an empty dimension, which exists and only in use a few times by more 'advanced' species as a form of spatial container of sorts. Now, it is the prison of three of Sol System's more prominent figures . . .

Wonder Woman's eyes slowly open to limbo, not fully comprehending what is going on or where she is. Though there is nothing to comprehend, as there is nothing around - not time, not appearance or even oxygen to breathe. Anywhere else and this may have been a problem, but not here.

Her eyes wander, barely being able to process the lack of images being fed through her mind, which in this state is functioning on a level next to sludge. She does however manage to grasp the shapes of a figure carved in red stone, looking strangely like her former JLA teammate known as the Martian Manhunter.

Beside him, also lost in a sleep-like trance is the man who has fed her dreams for nearly 833 centuries - Superman Prime. Despite his obvious power he now looks weak, even powerless. She cries just wanting to protect and strengthen him with her love and to break them away from this prison universe.

They fade away into obscurity, as if they'd ventured off into the heart of a silent blizzard and are now entrenched by snow. She reaches out, calling for them both not to leave her alone and sends herself plunging in a different direction aimlessly, maybe forever.

She looks down on her own body, and watches as it too is devoured by white. She feels no pain, nor anything else. All she can do is continue to scream silently, as she becomes non-existent like everything else around her.

Suddenly, a piercing shriek from her own lungs fills the air as she collapses on a hard surface. She's surprised by the sensation of wet dew on the grass against her fleshy hand, and the cold chill off the breeze playing upon her bare back. Her eyes open and she takes in a new scenery, one of incredible beauty and familiarity.

It's as if the sky, the sea and the wide, open field had painted themselves within a moment's notice. She knows this place, and doesn't need to be fully awake to know that for some reason or another she is now standing on one of the outer islands of Paradise Island, also known as Thymescaria - home to the Amazons*.

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: The Amazons, which now reside on the entirely female or gender neutral populated planet of Venus, had formerly made their home on the mystical island of Thymescaria on Earth under the gods of New Olympus. It wasn't until the 800th Century when Mercury constructed a space ark and led the Amazons across the cosmos to their new home.)

"Hello, Diana," speaks a soft, strong voice from behind. She is glad Superman Prime had survived the Phantom Zone, but was shocked to see him in more of a human form and clad in the legendary red and blue costume he bore in the 20th Century.

"What's happened?" He looks almost perplexed by the question, as if he does not understand what she is talking about. But something strange has happened. There is no way she can grasp the concept of jumping back to the 20th Century, back to her previous form - is there?

As improbable as the idea may sound she is beginning to wonder whether or not the past 833 centuries were nothing but a dream . . .

The world shifts once more, changing the role of the figures below once again. Even though her memory remains, Diana isn't even slightly disturbed by the unusual switch occurring before her very own eyes. Perhaps it has something to do with the fogginess of her thoughts?

Suddenly she finds two small crowds standing before her. On one side is the JLA. She recognizes them all - Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, the Martian Manhunter, the Atom, Plastic Man, and even the Batman much to her bewilderment!

On the other is her Amazon sisters. Some are crying, though in joyfulness and not grief. The rest smile merrily, wishing that Hera might bestow her blessings upon her in the times to come. Artemis, her ally and sometimes rival is seated up front and like the others is beaming happily and celebrating Diana's union with . . .

"By Hera," she gasps. Down the aisle separating the two factions is a set of columns with vines growing off them. Standing there, above all the others is Hyppolitta, immortal queen of the Amazons, and to her left the 20th Century Superman Prime in all of his glory.

"Sisters and brothers," begins Hyppolitta. "We are gathered here today to witness the coming together of Princess Diana, my own beloved daughter and ambassador for Thymescaria and Kal-El, the champion of man's world. Together they share a bond, of love and companionship, forged by the trials and tribulations of years of service together . . ."

She doesn't hear the rest - rather she sheds tears of unbridled joy as her dreams become reality before her. It seems almost too good to be true. In fact, it is. What of Lois Lane - Clark's dear wife in Metropolis? She knows in her heart that this is not right, no matter how much she wants it.

"I do," says Superman. He makes his vows of never-ending devotion to Diana and she breaks from her deeper level of dreaming and consideration.

"And do you, Diana, take Kal-El to . . ."

"No," she interrupts. The crowd breaks out into conversation, whispering remarks of 'what is she thinking?' and most probably constructing a solution from idle gossip. She bows her head painfully and holds her heart. "I just can't . . ."

"Oh, please," hisses a demonic voice. "You are so stupid! You had him there, right for the taking! Why couldn't you go through with it? Then you and Superman would be happy for all eternity."

She looks down upon herself to see that once more she is made from living marble. How shocked she is to know that the blessed union with her true love couldn't happen, not even in a dream. She fumes as Neron the Demon takes shape only a fair distance away. "His heart belongs to another. I cannot take her place."

"You would be referring to his darling Lois?" The demon has a plan, and all is in place. All he needs now is what he's come for - the very soul of Wonder Woman. "I can take her away and make Superman Prime forget all about her . . . for a price . . ."

"No, demon," she rebukes regaining her willpower. "It's not right for me, nor her, but especially for Kal."

The sky turns grey, the grass withers and curls up in a deathly shape of brown as the violent ocean begins to toss about angrily. "Does it really matter what the right thing is? If you turn down my offer you will have done the right thing, but you will still be alone for all of time. Is that really what you want?"

Wonder Woman's head begins to swim. The hypnotic effects of the Phantom Zone are beginning to pull her back into a world of sleep. His offer is tempting, and she has only moments to make a decision.

"I accept," she blurts and the fantasy disappears . . . 

The demon Neron descends once more to the seventh layer of Hell, where he gathers his minions to march forth and claim a new soul. "I thought you might," laughs the demon as the dream figures take their true, dark forms.

Pain. Exhaustion. Frustration. Three concepts which Superman Dynasty has achieved new levels of understanding for within the last few minutes. The worst part of it is that his current predicament seems far from being resolved.

"I'll admit, you're tough," he states angrily. He rotates his arms and leaves himself a moment to let his recuperative abilities take effect. "I must inform you though, that I have abilities even surpassing a Kryptonian."

Tar-Ul, Kan-Ja and Tor-Vel don't look even slightly intimidated. They are supermen and they are fighting for their cause. There is no way they are going to let an impure metahuman like Superman Dynasty stand in their way of achieving racial purity.

He frowns, and wishes the Flash hadn't fallen from action when he did.

The city's hero looks around at the carnage inflicted upon his home. It eats away at his heart that the Metropolis Tesseract, which he has been sworn to protect since the day of his birth has now been so ravaged by activists from New Krypton, the very people from which Kal-El's legacy was born.

The sleek white buildings crumble and burn. The air around is tainted by the smell of thick smoke. The clear blue sky is drowned it with dark clouds of carbon rising from the raging infernos. He can hear the screams of the city's inhabitants and they flee for their very lives. It's times like this he wish he didn't have super-enhanced hearing.

His 'forefathers', dare he call them that, have reduced paradise to rubble, and thusly must be brought to justice.

Before being able to place to them another warning he is struck down from behind by a wave of untamed energies. He rolls about uncomfortably in the smoldering crater he is currently embedded in and looks up to see a strange character bearing the infamous 'S' logo. His suit is designed similar to that of the past Superman Prime, but with trims of black along the side. By the looks of the stranger, his block military haircut and the menacing grimace chiseled into his firm square jaw he is more soldier than hero.

The fact is this is no carrier of the Superman legacy, but instead it's destroyer. New Krypton has created a brand new Eradicator*.

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: The Eradicator is a Kryptonian machine bonded with a biological host, capable of generating and projecting mass energies in an offensive fashion. It's sole purpose is to ensure that the Kryptonian bloodline remains pure from becoming tainted by others of foreign species.)

He begins to generate another blast and seethes with hatred at the very sight of the Superman squirming underneath. His arms extend to either side as he prepares to fling a blast of power into the heart of Metropolis. "Let's see you intercept these, freak," he spits.

Faster than a speeding bullet Superman Dynasty is there to catch the monorail as it supports collapse under the force of the Eradicator's blast. He glides down slowly, being careful not to break the vehicle in half or leaving it to crash into the ground.

As soon as the people are safe and ensured to receive no more than a sudden shock he is off to defeat the Kryptonians laying havoc to his fair town. Tough he never made it that far, as when he made it to the open sky he found himself dodging blasts from the deadly machine so bent on his demise.

"Alright," says Superman, focusing on the new target. "If you want to play first, then we shall."

The Eradicator smiles in a moment of morbid humor only one of his programming could find amusing. Finally, he has the chance to prove himself against the 'hero' who disgraced Krypton's reputation after it was long thought dead. His dark brown eyes burning with tempered rage practically beg for him to attack.

Simultaneously the two powerhouses snap in action and like blurs they propel toward each other, soon colliding in a barrage of punches, kicks and blocks faster than eyes can follow, even those of regular Kryptonians. It would seem that in combat the two are evenly matched, but the fact remains that the Eradicator still maintains the upper hand. The longer they are distracted, the longer the Kryptonian activists have to 'advertise their beliefs'.

He needs to take the violent protesters out of the equation, and in a moment Superman Dynasty calculates hundreds of probable (as well as thousands of improbable) solutions. At random an immediate course of action is chosen, and the Man of Steel executes it before he has time for a second thought.

"You could use some time to cool off," he remarks at the hotheaded machine before blowing super-compressed air particles stored in his lungs upon him. Icy shapes begin to form and chill over the top half of the Eradicator, leaving him veritably frozen in mid-air. Superman raises his arms and brings his fists down upon him, sending the body hurtling to the ground with great force.

He grants himself only a moment to take a breath and recompose himself. To win he has to break their rhythm, make them play his way. Though he has no chance, and as soon as the Eradicator is out he is under full assault.

A pair of blaring red lasers blasts by him like continuous lances of fire. A second and third set follows, forcing him to contort between them as if they were knives rushing by him. His cape and tatters of his costume are sliced open by the Kryptonian's laser vision and force him to retreat in order to avert the dangerous angles of the rays.

Racing behind the buildings, he bounces over all areas of the town in an attempt to confuse his opponent's super-senses. By their puzzled looks he'd say that it's working. So he swoops down to the ground behind them and makes a deathly sharp turn only a Superman could survive and attacking his bewildered enemies from below.

They are hardly a match. In this battle they seem reliant on the strength and abilities granted to them under the great Super-Sun, but no experience or knowledge on how to use them to their full capacity. It takes only a few brief blows to disable them.

It's true they are no Superman Prime. Even though his 20th Century counterpart was nowhere close to as developed as he, he still managed to put up a descent fight when confronted.*

(*ORACLE FACT-FILE: The 20th Century Superman Prime fought the latest in the 853rd Century Superman Dynasty when the Justice Legion A and the Justice League of America switched places in time, just prior to the destruction of Solaris.)

A great shock from the Eradicator interrupts his onslaught, forcing him to turn back his attention and allow for the Kryptonians to soar away. They are in pain, but are still well enough to go on. He hopes, though in vain, that they'd made their point and would decide to flee . . . at least for now.

The Eradicator, the supposed 'genetic liberator of Krypton' extends his arms once more, this time preparing a maelstrom of power enough to wipe out his foe on a molecular level. Knowing this, Superman races up and holds Eradicator's arms to the Heavens, pointing them away from his beloved home.

"You! Can't! Beat! Me!" His harsh electronic voice begins to crackle under the force of their titanic grapples. Superman doesn't respond, at least in words. He can only prove himself through his actions, fuelled by his immense frustration. He is Superman, the guardian of Earth and the greatest hero of all time! There is no way he will allow his legacy to be so disappointed . . .

A roar echoes through the streets. It does not sound like a man, even a savage like the Eradicator. No, it's an animal of some sort, hungry for blood. Though he cannot look - his gaze is locked with that of his nemesis, and has to prove to him that he is not the weaker and that above everything else good will prevail over the twisted reality the Eradicator is fighting to promote.

His attention wavers for a second and Superman Prime has the advantage, at least in the intensity department. He uses his sensory abilities to examine his opponent's physiology. And your bio-mechanical regenerative cortex should be right about . . . "There!"

His fist plummets into the center of the Eradicator's chest, tearing through the circuits and various mechanical workings until he's removed what he's aiming for. He grips onto part of his metallic insides, then pulling a round silver ball from his heart. The villain's body grows heavy, and he falls to the hard ground at terminal velocity.

"If I'm not mistaken," ponders Superman Dynasty examining the object in his hand, "this little device is what generates and regulates your power, allowing you to throw bolts of energy and fly via manipulation of gravity fields. It should take your system a good while to reform it, and keep you out of mischief in the meantime."

The sounds of slaughter call him back into battle, and like a shot he is away to confront the suspected evil knocking back Kryptonians with much ease. He almost dreads having to go ahead. By the way he envisions whatever it is it may be as powerful, even more so than he.

He lands in the open street before the invader's vessel where the sounds of death ring out like church bells for all to hear. This line of violence is untolerated in his city, let alone all of Sol System. Maybe he should make his presence known. "Ahem!"

His blood turns to ice as from the shadows of the craft floating above a burly creature steps out. It is made of shards of stone, with talons and thick flesh impervious to any kind of attack. This is the ultimate killing machine, and it has returned to end the Superman legacy once and for all.  

Before him is Doomsday - the 20th Century murderer of Superman Prime . . .

NEXT ISSUE: Superman Dynasty's worst nightmare has come true - Doomsday, the beast who killed Superman Prime in the 20th Century, has come for him. It's time for the Man of Steel to step up to the plate, while the Atom struggles to keep the team together. Read it now in Chapter 4, "Apocalypse" . . .

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