DC One Million: "End Times" Epilogue

Written by Shadowstar, Edited by Marvelite
Published by the Cosmic Powers Fan Fiction Group in
THE COSMIC POWERS UNLIMITED FANZINE ISSUE #47

Characters are the properties of DC Comics

DC One Million:

"END TIMES"

(*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!)


EPILOGUE  

Continued from Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, and Chapter 6.


" . . . I'm sorry," cries Wonder Woman, barely able to look into Superman Prime's eyes. "I thought it was just a dream. I mean, if I knew he'd do this I never would have even dreamed of . . ."

"It's okay, Diana," he says back, trying to sound sympathetic instead of enraged. Though he does not blame her, he blames the sadistic demon that played off of her feelings, then scarring them both so deeply.

They stand together - Superman Prime, Wonder Woman, Zauriel and Dr. Fate on the surface of Maleca'andra J'onn J'onzz just 2 cycles, 35 minutes and 17.45 seconds after the battle for all of creation. They all stand around, realizing that it is not yet over and listened to Wonder Woman as she forcibly revealed her secret desires to the group.

Something so cruel could only be played out by a Hell-spawn. How dare he promise her the heart of Superman Prime? Was his love worth her soul? And most importantly to Kal-El, was it worth the life of his darling Lois . . .

"We should be going now, Superman," says Dr. Fate as he once more dons the mantle of the Nabu. With a wave of his hand space ripples, followed by a blast of fire leading into the seventh layer of Hell. "No doubt Neron will be pleased to see us."

"He won't be once I'm through with him," proclaims Superman Prime as he marches through the vortex angrily. "Not if he's hurt Lois in any way he won't."

His golden physique blasts through time and space, to the dimension where the dark things in hide, to the lands where the angel dare not tread - to the black underworld of the Shadowlords. He rockets through the darkness and to the throne of Neron where the demonic prince is seated, illuminated in a sickly light.

"Where is she?" Superman grabs Neron's throat, holding him off the ground. The imps and demons around hiss and back away, afraid that the New God of Sol System may very well destroy their 'great leader'. "Tell me, or I swear I'll . . ."

"And what makes you think I'll tell you where the little bitch is?" he spits defiantly.

"Because, Neron," he says through clenched teeth as his eyes glow preparing to blast him into oblivion, "it only takes a single ray of light to send the darkness fleeing. I can, and will destroy you - no matter what power you think you have. That is, unless you . . ."

"Take her!" He digs his claws into the Man of Steel's chest, only being able to push himself away with all of this brute strength. He may have spiritual power and influence, but that would seem to be nothing against Superman Prime. "She's chained up behind the throne."

Out of the shadows she crawls - the wife of the great Kal-El, Lois Lane. Her sleek, silver body which was cloned for her only a year ago is tattered and bruised and only barely resemble it's once majestic visage. Again Superman Prime is enraged - he cannot possibly believe that there would be any creature alive able to conflict this sort of cruelty.

He grabs hold of the chains, tearing them apart with his bear hands. She shakes off the chains and takes refuge in his mighty arms, holding onto him for dear life. Superman stares over her shoulder and to the demon lord.

Dr. Fate's portal still remains open, and he anxiously steps out to leave with his wife in his loving embrace. He turns back to make a last proclamation - "If you ever step foot in Sol System again, the Superman Dynasty and the Justice Legion A will be there to stop you. That's a promise."


The Tesseract city of the 853rd century Metropolis has been partying for days on end. Once again the Justice Legion A have triumphed and the universe will be able to see many more tomorrows. Bright lights and loud music are all that Sol System can see as the endless cycles of celebrations continue.  

Though on one quiet skyscraper balcony the mood is not as pleasant. Wonder Woman peers out over the city below and sighs. She is a hero, yes, and she had a hand in saving the universe - but it still does not fill the gaping whole left open in her heart for nearly her entire lifetime. She wonders, is there no end to the loneliness?

"Might I join you?" The voice is familiar, though she pretends to have not heard it. Superman Dynasty throws back his flowing crimson cape and wanders placidly to the railing beside her. "Is there . . . something on your mind, Diana?"

"Yes," she says, unable to lie. There are moments when being the New Olympian goddess of truth has its disadvantages. This is one of them.

"Is this about your confrontation with Superman Prime?"

"It is," she sighs sadly. "Kal-El and I have a complicated history . . ."

"I'd imagine it would be hard to live up to his expectations." Now he's relating back to personal experience. All of his life he's shared the name of the Sol System's greatest icon - how could he not understand?

"You of all people should know," she says while hiding a smile. Perhaps it's not so bad after all. She does have friends in the Justice Legion A who will be there for her no matter what, who know just as well as her the trials and tribulations that go with being a hero.

He rests his hand on her shoulder - she does not resist it, much to his relief. "Diana, I just want you to know that . . ."

"Yes?" She gives him a playful glance, enticing him to come closer. Partly she's covering her sorrow, partly she's hoping for something more.

He smiles back, somewhat relieved. He finishes by saying, "I'll be here for you. Always."

"I know," she says, moving into his arms for a comforting hug. No matter, what she knows that the Justice Legion A will be there for each other - after 833 centuries it's a certain fact.

They watch the fireworks explode in the star-studded night sky in a shower of rainbow colors as far as the eye can see. Should either of them dare to take another step? Neither of them is sure of what the other is feeling, so like always anything between them remains . . . unrequited.

No one notices on the slanted roof above them, the mysterious Owlwoman looking out and admiring the same view. This is her first ever visit to Earth - breathing it's crisp night air is more than she'd ever imagined. It does well to comfort her in such traumatic times.

"If you have something to say, then just come out and say it," she says to what very well may be the thin air. "Or leave without a word. It's your choice. I'd expect nothing less of you."

"How can I refuse such a courteous invitation?" Batman steps out of the dark and to the rooftop beside Owlwoman. He sits next to her, watching her snicker at his less than grim arrival. "She laughs."

"I might be your evil doppleganger," she informs the Dark Knight, "but that's not to say I have to share your depressing disposition."

"You're not evil," he tells her matter-of-factly. "You gave up that life. You came to us, and since then you've been one of the good guys."

"Maybe so. But I'll be paying for those crimes for the rest of my life. And now, I've paid with my soul . . ."

"Otherwise, you're doing well."

"Why shouldn't I be?" She snaps back, warning him to back off and not to talk about it. Though the Batman has always been daring to pry - even in the business of his own teammates. "It's really none of your concern, Batman."

"You're a part of the team now, Owlwoman," he states plainly. "As far as I'm concerned your well-being is very much a part of my priorities."

"Well how am I meant to trust you if you're holding secrets over me?"  She turns away, disgusted by the sight of him. "We fight side by side each and every day and am forced to trust you, yet I know nothing about who you really are."

"The same goes for you too, Owlwoman," he retorts angrily. Who is she to accuse him of such things - to accuse the Batman of being unjust? "Though, the truth of the matter is that I know as much about your personal life as you know of mine."

"You could probably find out if you began to look," she reminds him. "I wouldn't doubt you're capable of it . . ."

"I am capable - yes. Though I would not do something like that unless I'd really need to." His words are of little comfort, sounding more like threats than anything else. "Very well then. If it's trust you want, then you shall have it."

"Pardon me?" Owlwoman is stunned by the sudden proposition put forward to her. Batman - revealing personal secrets of any kind to her?

"Once upon a time, before the Pluto Massacre, my name was Todd." With a push of his button the black mask melts away from his face, reveal his round face, his shaved head and the emerald eyes burning with the passion that keeps the Dark Knight going. "If I had any life apart from this one, I guess that would be my name again."

She falls back laughing, unable to believe what she has just learned. Though she cannot help but wonder, does Superman or any other of the Justice Legion A know this? "Alright, then," she says pulling away her own cowl, letting her own wavy cherry blonde hair to fall out. "Once upon a time, my name was Vicki. I guess for the time being, that's my name again."

They smile to each other knowingly, and together they silently celebrate their victory over the forces of evil along with the rest of Sol System.


Felix Faust rests peacefully in eternal slumber, his body drifting aimlessly through a dimension devoid of any kind of form. Though in his own mind he is still waging a war against the forces of order and light in hopes of accomplishing his own twisted goals. Though it is all a dream - he cannot possibly be of any harm to anyone.  

Kent Nelson dons the mantle of the Nabu once more, transforming himself from a mortal man into the mystical Dr. Fate. It is his duty that whether in fantasy or reality, he will protect all life and keep the forces of chaos at bay.

At least he doesn't have to do it alone, as the Justice Society of America are there for him . . .


It's a warm sunny day in Smallville, Kansas. The sky is clear and blue, without a cloud in the sky. The warm summer wind blows by, shaking the fields of crops about. In the center of it all just off a dusty country road is an old farmhouse, complete with tractors, barnyards and other farm tools and implements of an era long gone by.

Truly a rare sight - though far more common if you were to live in the year 2001.

An elderly couple sit on their wooden front porch, just relaxing and enjoying the serene surroundings of their home. Truly over their lives they have been blessed in many ways - a lot of which are less conventional than others. Another one of these blessings is about to occur . . .

The angel Zauriel stands in the cornfields, invisible to the human eye. All he knows at this point in time that a landmark event is about to take place in the lives of Superman's adoptive parents - Jonathan and Martha Kent.

"Hello," says another angel appearing beside Zauriel.

He is somewhat surprised to see him there. "By heavens, it's . . ."

" . . . Yes. I am you. At least, you from the 853rd century. Am I all that you hoped to be?" Together they laugh, though the younger version is a little overwhelmed by meeting his body double. "Don't be put off," he assures himself. "I remember my own discomfort when meeting myself."

The 21st century Zauriel smiles politely. "So what brings you here?"

"The same thing that has brought you here," he says, smiling at him knowingly. "You are about to witness history in the making."

The timestream rips open, and through the barriers of Hypertime emerges the Superman Prime and Lois Lane of the future, accompanied by a pair of strange beings dressed in Kryptonian robes. The younger angel is a little confused by what is happening, as he can hardly recognize the figures that have passed through.

"Lois? Clark?" Martha Kent gets up from her chair, then nudging her dumbstruck husband Jonathan to greet the strange visitors. "Clark, is that you, honey?"

"Mom. Dad." He runs to them, throwing his arms around his loving family. It was like Heaven to finally be able to see them and talk to them again. "I'm so glad to see you both!"

"Clark, what's happened to you and Lois?" Jonathan is more than a little perplexed by their arrival, especially when in such a foreign state. "And who are these people with you?"

"Mr. Kent," speaks the male Kryptonian with a polite smile offering his hand. "My name is Jor-El, and this is my wife, Lara. We are Kal-El's biological parents."

They shake hands, and for the first and most probably last time Superman's family have been brought together. Only a few would ever be honored to see, even know of this incident - fortunately for Zauriel he is one of them.

He turns to his younger self and lets out a joyous, contented laugh. "You know, it's far more amazing to watch the second time around."

And with a wink to himself and a bright flashing light he disappears . . .

THE END


A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR

I hope you enjoyed DC One Million: "End Times" as much as I did. I'd like to dedicate this tale to Grant Morrison (my favorite writer in comicdom for his recent run on JLA) as without him DC One Million would never have existed, and I'd have nothing to do on boring Tuesday afternoons. If you have any feedback (which I always love getting) please either send it to me at shadowstar@start.com.au or to Cosmic Powers Unlimited at cpufeedback@yahoo.com.


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DC One Million: "End Times" #6

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