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Crisis on Infinite Earths-Red Circle: Take 2

Unfinished fan fiction. Works in progress.

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the story was originally going to be a stand alone Red Circle character story but I decided upon reading COIE that there were some things I saw that I would like to incorporate. I changed the whole way I'm writing it, more like a novel I guess. PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. I have lots of interesting things I want to do. Lots of DC characters will be popping up. I also want to use Pariah in a different way. Who says he went right from Earth 3 to earth 1 or 2 in COIE 1? His appearances in my opinion can be much less "linear" and I'm going to explore that. I'm also going to try to tie it into the original COIE, kind of a secondary story. The monitor has a great deal of interest in this earth and even though it didn't play into his final plans in COIE that doesn't mean it couldn't be part of a contingincy plan he might have had. for pure simplicity the monitor will refer to this earth as earth "r"....Anyway here we go:


Our story starts at the beginning of COIE number 1 just as Earth 3 is coming to an end.

How many times have I been forced to witness this? Hundreds? Thousands? I’ve lost count. I’ve seen some of the most powerful beings in a universe surrender to the anti matter. I’ve seen the most strong willed hero’s will broken by the impending doom. No matter what the universe, no matter how great the power of the beings within the universe the outcome is always the same. Doom.
I am known as Pariah. I have been cursed to witness the final moments of universe after universe. As part of my curse when I appear I know the history of a universe, I know it’s hero’s, I know it’s villains. I don’t understand why or how I know this but I do. Perhaps it is meant as torture, in the beginning I would be hopeful when I appeared if there were enough hero’s left I would think the universe had a chance. Now I have learned that there is no chance.
This universe I thought would be different if only for a second. This universe was known by the ones who knew of the multiverse as earth 3. The powers of the inhabitants were the same as many I have seen before. What made it unique was that it was almost a mirror image of many of the universes I’ve seen in the past. The most powerful beings on this earth embraced evil…..for a second I thought that perhaps this would be the variable that would allow this universe to survive. Perhaps evil could defeat evil? It did not. Seconds before I faded away I watched the last remaining villain meet his final fate. Power ring fought valiantly to defend the planet he once sought to rule over but in the end he met the fate of so many millions before him.
I can feel myself fading away as earth 3 experiences it’s last moments. The horror is still too much; I cover my head with my hood so I don’t have to actually see the end of each universe. As I fade away I am reminded of the horror by the sound of the screams as the last living beings in that universe fade away as if they never existed. And then the horror starts anew.
I appear in the new universe and I know what to expect: horror, shock, screaming, and bedlam. I can feel myself phasing into the new reality and I cringe as I wait for the still shocking sounds of a world about to……die?

For the first time in years pariah does not see destruction when he takes off his hood. He is in the middle of a busy sidewalk in what looks to be New York. “I don’t understand” is all he can think to say. One of the passersby actually bumps into him who is totally not effected by his sudden and unusual appearance. Pariah turns and for the first time he does not see destruction, he sees a world ALIVE. He does not feel the pull of a new crisis beginning. Could this be the end? “What earth is this”? Is all he can think. “I can feel that there are heroes on this world but that is all…..how many are there? I don’t know.” Soon his mind is racing, could this finally be the end of the curse? He stops for a second to collect himself. Just then he feels it….not as strong as it has been in the past but he can feel it. He is not being forcefully tugged towards a new disaster but he is being slowly pulled towards one. He floats up as the onlookers gasp, finally acknowledging his existence, turns and floats away from the city.

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Leaning against a building as this whole scenario played out is a young slender brown haired man. Jordan Harolds has never been the kind of guy to let an opportunity pass him by and while he was intrigued he chose not to say or do anything when he saw the mysterious figure just appear. He did notice that when the guy with the cloak was bumped into he dropped something: it looked like a green gem or something. No one else seemed to notice it. As he slowly and carefully walks over to pick it up he can tell it’s a green ring with a strange insignia on it, like 2 crossed swords he almost thinks he hears a voice say “Volthoom thanks you, Volthoom is now YOU’RE servent”. He picks up the ring and is compelled to put it on his finger. Instantly a wave of power and something else overtakes him as he begins to feel faint he can hear the voice say “all you’ve ever wanted can be yours with just a thought”. He is then transported to his motel room; it’s very small and is a mess. No personal belongings are really noticeable. Suddenly the ring begins to glow and a small green mist begins to emerge from it. Slowly the mist begins to take shape and soon a small green monk like man is standing in front of him. “I am the spirit of Valthoom and you now posses the ring of power. ANYTHING you want can be yours with just a thought. You must recharge the ring every 24 hours with this” and slowly a small lantern appears on the table of the room. “I don’t understand” is all Harolds can say. “There is nothing to understand. You are now “power ring” and the world is yours for the taking” is the ghostly constructs final words before he returns to his mist like form and is drawn back into the ring. Once inside Harolds begins to glow with green power. And suddenly his clothes transform into a costume exactly like the one that the earth 3 power ring wore prior to the crisis. “great….what the hell do I do first” is all Jordan can think as he stares down at the now brightly glowing ring on his finger. Behind him through the window there is a sudden flash of thunder which is odd since there really isn’t a cloud in the sky.

The Monitor looks on in his satellite high above earth R. “What an interesting and unexpected development”. The ring must have latched onto Pariah as he phased out of Earth 3, truly a miraculous development.” “Our enemy has chosen to ignore this earth so far and if things go according to plan this may truly turn out to be our ace in the hole”. “The hero’s on this planet lack the pure power of some of the other earths it has many intangibles that our enemy has not taken into account”. “With the addition of earth 3’s power ring the potential of this earth has just increased exponentially.” Lyla asks “should we bring him to the satellite”? “No, not yet. Let’s see what he decides to do with his power before we take matters into our own hands”

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“are all of our pieces in place”? the monitor asks. “yes they are sir” is lyla’s reply. The monitor goes onto explain that he is interested in this world because he doesn’t believe his adversary considers it worth his time to destroy it. To put it in layman’s terms the anti monitor has bigger fish to fry. Of the remaining earths this one is by far the one with the least powerful hero’s-or at least that’s what the anti monitor thinks. The monitor also explains that no matter what happens she must never reveal the existence of earth R. it is not part of the grand plan but it is part of a contingency plan he has in place. Lyla agrees and points out to the monitor that one of the scenarios they have worked to put in place is about to play itself out.

Black Adam has never considered himself an mercenary. He is far above that. Adam is possibly the most powerful being on earth S. if it was not for the damn Marvel family he would have been ruler of that damn planet years ago. When the stranger approached him with the offer of the tools he would need to defeat the marvels it intriqued him. The task is simple, maybe too simple. Deliver Rueben Rueben-which Adam thinks is a idiotic name to his mysterious benefactor. The fact that this person lives in a castle is even more ridicules especially since it is on the outskirts of a small poor town. Adam decides to take the direct approach and slams through the roof of the castle through the second floor and lands in the middle of the main floor where a young red haired boy sits completely terrified by the events he has just witnessed. “I take it you are Rueben Rueben” is the only thing Black Adam says as he approaches the boy. “y-yes…who are you? What do you want? H-h-how did you do that”? Adam does not respond to the question. “Someone wants you boy and it is my job to deliver you”. “Set him down Black Adam” is a response that comes weakly from behind where Adam is standing. Adam is stunned….and he does in fact release the boy as he turns. He is on a different earth who could possibly know who he is. As he turns he faces a very old, very frail man. “Yes I know who you are “black Adam, I know why you are here”. “You get your powers from the ancient Egyptian gods from your earth. I used to get my powers from my ancestors who many considered gods when they were alive”. “I have not used my powers in years but I WILL NOT let you threaten my world or my family”. The little boy has been watching the entire exchange totally shocked by the words coming from the old mans mouth, with each word the old man seems to be becoming stronger and stronger. The conviction in his voice is something the boy has never heard coming from his grandfather. Slowly the boy notices that he has levitated off the floor and is being moved away from black Adam, he wonders how this is happening and turns around to see a ghostly figure carrying him away from the exchange.
The old man continues to talk to the still slighty stunned black Adam. “if it’s a fight you want Adam, it’s a fight you will get but if you lose you must leave this universe forever”. Adam agrees and the old man moves towards him “then I guess it is time” he looks to the sky. Adam notices that a light breeze has started in the room they are standing in. At first it is barely noticeable but it is building at an alarming rate. As the old man looks towards the sky the breeze is strong enough to begin blowing books off of tables. “HEY RUBE” is the phrase the old man says and for a second the room is like a full blown tornado. Things are flying everywhere; Adam has lost sight of his adversary. When the winds finally die down Adam looks up to see a red haired young man dressed all in red with a blue cape and for a second he is stunned.

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A few moments later Black Adam finds himself in a position he never would have imagined in a thousand years. Standing front of him is a man who a moment ago was old and frail but is now as strong and powerful looking as Captain Marvel himself. Adam is being held in place by 2 ghostly figures that seem oddly stronger than he is. “Adam, you are in my house. My magic is strongest here. You were either a fool or very misinformed to think that you could come here and just take my grandson from me. I don’t know what you expected to gain by coming here. Who even remembers the Red Rube? I almost forgot how it felt to be the Red Rube myself. I stopped saying the words decades ago. The world didn’t seem to need a Red Rube…..”red rube”…as the years went by I began to think what a corny name that is. Maybe if I return to active duty ever I’ll change it to something a bit more modern. Maybe “the red tornado?” That’s neither here nor there as far as we are concerned. We knew you were coming Adam. Some of my ancestors can see the future, they told me you were coming weeks ago but they couldn’t tell me why you were coming and strangely they can’t seem to tell me what happens after our confrontation. All they see is white. That’s never happened before. I assume you have something to do with it. Perhaps you will win this confrontation? The ghosts of my ancestors are powerful enough within this castle to hold you here forever. Perhaps if you tell me why you are here I will advise them to let you go and you can leave this universe in peace or if it’s a fight you do want after you tell me why you are here we can do battle and see which one of us truly is more powerful, the choice is yours.”
Adams initial surprise has now turned into pure rage. “you will get nothing from me fool.” Just then he manages to shrug off the ghostly figures holding him in place and launches skyward through the hole same hole he made entering the castle. Rube turns and with speed that would rival Captain Marvel pursues him skyward.
“Very good lyla. Lets continue to observe this confrontation. I assume we have our other players in position?” The shadowy monitor asks his young assistant. “Yes sir. Everything is in place.” “Good. Even with our enemy distracted we have much work to do in a relatively short period of time. We basically have to jump start the hero’s of this planet. If all of the hero’s are as easy to entice back into their past heroic lives as the Red Rube was this earth may truly turn out to be a diamond in the rough.”

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As Rube approaches Black Adam he states "did you really think it would be that easy to get away Adam?" and just as he is about to catch up to Adam and grab his ankle, Adam side steps him just enough so Rube passes him by, as he does Adam grabs Rubes cape and swings him around and sends him flying towards the small town. Rube crashes through a building and hits the pavement sliding a good 30 yards before he eventually comes to a stop leaving a huge gash in the street where his body was in contact with it. He is not harmed and begins to get up but before he can get his footing Adam is already on top of him and hits him again with force enough to send him hurtling into the trailer of a semi truck. Rube hits it and the force knocks the trailer over. For a second Adam looses site of him and says "I was not fleeing fool. I wanted to face you on even ground." Adam lowers himself to the street and begins to walk towards the knocked over semi truck. Having not seen or heard of Rube since he was knocked into it he assumes his foe is unconcious. just as he is about to let his guard down just a little 2 hands reach out from underneath him, through the pavement and grasp his ankles pulling adam to the depths under the street.

As adam turns to face his opponent Rube says "you picked a great place for us to fight. this town has been abandoned for years. Once the steel mills shut down everyone moved away." just then he manages to hit adam with an upper cut that sends him hurtling skyward up through the pavement he was just pulled through.

"this battle is more even than I expected" is what Adam thinks aloud as he regains his composure.

**more tomorrow**

PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK, IF THIS IS LAME OR IF IT IS INTERESTING. I'M TRYING TO INTRODUCE THE WORLD AND GIVE AN IDEA OF WHO THE HERO'S ARE SINCE ALOT OF THEM ARE PRETTY OBSCURE.

PLEASE!

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Rube is already airborne and rocketing towards Black Adam, I need to put a stop to this farce and Adam hits him with a blow that this earth has not felt in years. Rube crashes to the ground below right in what would have been the town square. Rube is pretty much out cold at this point. Adam lands close by and walk over to his fallen foe. As he stands over him he reaches down and grabs his shirt pulling him up off the ground. “no one said I had to deliver you alive.”

“Hey black lightning!” Adam hears from behind “Who dares?” He swings his head around and is taken back by what he sees. A large blond man is standing behind him leaning against the side of an abandoned car, he’s dressed in tennis shoes, shorts and a very loud Hawaiian shirt. The man is wearing sun glasses and is actually eating an apple. “why don’t you try picking on someone who hasn’t been retired for a few decades?” “What’s up with the ears by the way? Are you a Vulcan or just a freak?” Adam is enraged “no one speaks to Black Adam like that gnat.” He drops Rube and approaches the man who looking like he doesn’t have a care in the world simply tosses his half eaten apple aside. Adam draws his fist back with every intention of knocking this clown out of existence but with incredible speed the blond man hits Adam with a blow that rivals the one Adam just knocked Rube out with. The remaining windows in the area shatter, the pure force of the blow actually causes a nearby building to collapse. When the smoke clears Adam merely stands there with a smirk on his face and a few seconds later begins to fall over. Just before he hits the ground he fazes out of earth R’s reality.
“hey ruben, can you say the phrase?” Red Rube is hardly conscious but manages to say “HEY RUBE” and again the incredible winds engulf the area. In the Red Rube’s place now lays a man who looks to be in his early 20’s instead of the old man who originally said the word. He is completely unharmed from the confrontation with Black Adam. “Thanks John. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have some back up in place. I just wish you would have taken a second and dressed for the battle.” “why bother? I figured if I was gonna surprise him I might as well really surprise him.” Rueben goes on to explain that one of the reasons he stopped being the Red Rube was because each time he says the phrase to return to normal he never knows what age he will be. This time he got lucky and he’s young….he just has to figure out how to explain this to his grandson…plus the fact that his grandson knows there are ghosts in the castle…”it’s gonna be a long night” is all he can say as John and Rueben begin to walk back towards the castle.

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“Lyla get me all of my files on earth r, ALL of them” there is a general sound of confusion and concern in the monitor’s voice that lyla has never really heard before. “I don’t understand what is going on. Steel Sterling even at his peak should never have been able to even phase Black Adam let alone knock him unconscious.” “This is beginning to get disturbing; there are too many things out of alignment already. First the power ring shows up on earth R now this? I don’t’ know what exactly is going on here but I intend to find out.”

Joe Higgins has a nice life. He doesn’t like every aspect of it but life has been kind to him. Once The Crusaders decided to put the group on hold the government stepped in. The Crusaders HQ was moved to a huge military base in the desert of Arizona. Joe moved with it. His job is simple these days. Keep up the equipment and monitor things. Should something come up The Crusaders can be back up and running within a few hours. As the symbol for America he is sometimes called upon to put on his old costume and make a speech or an appearance but aside from that he hasn’t played the role of “The Shield” for years. Right now he’s working on a new cruiser the government has “leant” the crusaders As he lifts one of the gigantic components up to move it to his work area ( he always tweaks what the government gives him as he is has become a master mechanic in his time off). He hears from behind him: “You are the one I seek.” Higgins turns his head to see an oddly dressed man in a green hood and cloak. “Your universe is in terrible danger; you have to listen to me. I am Pariah, I am drawn to universes that are about to die. I am here to warn you. You have some time, more time than any universe I have been to but you have to prepare.” The Shield is shocked by what he is seeing and hearing. “Let me get the rest of the crusaders together, I’m sure together we can stop anything that threatens our world.” “I don’t know how long I have, I can feel the pull to another universe beginning.” And with that Pariah begins to tell the greatest hero of earth R his story and explains the fate that is in store for earth r.

In another time and another place we see lyla go through her original transformation to Harbinger. Now in COIE 1 we saw Harbinger split into various different forms and go through time and space to gather the hero’s that would eventually appear on the monitor’s satellite at the end of COIE 1. Not all of them did that. One of the Harbingers went back only a few months prior to the start of the crisis on earth’s 1 and 2. Hal Jordan at this time has just given up his power ring and is beginning to get used to the idea of no longer being a Green lantern. The last thing he ever expected to hear was “Hal Jordan: you are needed.” As the hand of a beautiful blond woman reaches out to take his she simply states. “A universe is in peril and you are needed to help save that universe.” “I’m not a green Lantern anymore; I don’t have a power ring. What can I do?” “Take my hand Hal Jordan, it’s not your power ring that is needed it is you” and Hal Jordan takes her hand and with a flash of light he is gone.

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We then cut to an alley way of a very large city-perhaps Chicago. 3 thugs are running down the alley, the first one is holding a purse which is obviously stolen. The alley is a mess; over flowing dumpsters, old fire escapes, trash litters the alley. Fire escapes are on all sides. Finally the three stop, they are slightly winded but they are pretty sure they are free and clear at this point. It’s almost dark anyway and no one in their right mind would come down this alley unless they had a death wish. This is THEIR alley….well in reality the other more powerful thugs in the city don’t care enough about this alley so it’s theirs by default.
“Count it up man, count It up” is what one of the thugs says as the other rifles through the purse. Just then a rope shoots out of the shadows with the end fashioned into a noose and wraps around the neck of the thug holding the purse and yanks him back into the shadows. The other 2 are totally stunned and just stare at each other slack jawed as they hear their friend getting beaten to a pulp. From above the 2 thugs hear “see this is what happens when super hero’s run out of things to do do. We wait for punks like you and then we beat the living daylights out of them.” They look up and see the hero Blackjack crouched down on the edge of a fire escape. With an incredible display of athleticism he jumps down doing all types of flips and twists and turns before landing about a foot away from the two thugs facing them. “Are you guys gonna give up or are we gonna have some fun?” he asks but the thugs are to shocked to answer. “Good. It’s playtime” and he begins to pummel both of them, not badly but enough to hopefully teach them a lesson. A short time later we see the hangman and blackjack standing by the now unconscious evil doers. “Too easy” is all Blackjack can say. “Sometimes I wish we ran into someone who actually knew how to fight.” And almost as if that was a request a hangmans noose comes down and grabs the hangman and begins to pull him up. “Careful what you wish for bud.” Is what blackjack and the hangman hear as blackjack looks up to see a costumed person holding a rope that is now chocking the life out of his friend. As Blackjack leaps up and begins to make his way to the guy holding the rope he says “as ironic as it is you hanging the hangman and all you know I can’t let that happen.” He’s now about 6 feet away from his new adversary as he leaps from dumpster to fire escape. “you don’t really have a choice in the matter.” Is the last thing blackjack hears as he is hit right in the back by an energy blast. He hits the ground hard but luckily he is only a bit dazed and not unconscious. He looks in the direction he thinks the blast came from and over him stands a man he has never seen before but somehow he knows who he is, he’s not sure how he knows or why he would even know he just knows that he is looking at one of the deadliest men he has ever seen. Deathstroke the Terminator is standing about 15 feet away from him with his energy staff still smoking from the blast that just struck him in the back. Blackjack looks up and see’s his friend The Hangman still struggling to get out of the noose that is being held by…….again he doesn’t know how but BJ knows that the guys name is slipknot. “I’ve got a BAD feeling about this.” Is all he can think.

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BJ still a little groggy from the blast to his back gets up and takes a second to shake out the cobwebs he has in his head. He glances up and sees that The Hangman is still dangling, his first reaction is to help his friend but he has a feeling that’s going to be a lot harder to do than it should be. Deathstroke comes at him almost casually, so much so that for a second BJ thinks Deathstroke must think he is in worse shape than he is. With that thought bj unleashes a flurry of kicks and punches all of which are easily avoided by Deathstroke. “He’s so damn fast.” Is all he can think as he continues to press his attack.
Meanwhile The Hangman is thinking that HIS attacker has seriously underestimated him. He pulls out a small laser cutter he’s been using over the last few years to cut the ropes he himself uses. “It isn’t going to be that easy m ‘man.” Is all Hangman hears as he looks up to see slipknot coming at him, swinging from another rope with his feet extended slipknot manages to hit Hangman right in the sternum. The impact not only knocks the laser cutter out of his hand but knocks the wind out of hangman. He’s in serious trouble here, he’s beginning to see stars, and his ears are ringing.

Bj is very concerned now, he saw what just happened and he has no way of helping his friend. Deathstroke is making him look like a fool. “Some of your moves remind me of a guy I’ve beaten up a few times from my earth except Nightwing is just way out of your league.” With that Deathstroke delivers a shot to BJ’s jaw that is only glancing but has enough power to knock him down and almost out. If he would have hit him full on and connected fully it might have broken bj’s jaw.
“That’ll be enough of that!” is all a groggy BJ can hear as he sees a red streak flash behind Deathstroke. Deathstroke winced in pain for a second and when the streak stops moving BJ can tell that it’s his old teammate The Jaguar. Over the last few years Jaguar has learned to fully control his animalistic powers. “he probably just hit him with the strength of an elephant at the speed of a jaguar” BJ thinks as he looks up to see another flash in the sky, this time it’s an energy blast cutting right through the rope that was holding up the Hangman. Looks like the cavalry has arrived in the form of The Comet and The jaguar and not a moment to soon.

Jaguar looks over at blackjack and hangman “it’s a good thing the shield sent us to pick you 2 clowns up.” He switches his gaze over to Deathstroke. “Why don’t we find out just how tough you are?” as the 2 begin to square off. The comet now hovers between slipknot and our 2 fallen heroes. “You really need to think about this buddy, you take one more step at my friends and I’ll fry you where you stand.” Slipknot responds with a cocky “kid, you just signed up for a major league ass whopping.”

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Cut back to the battle on Earth R. Blackjack can only watch the fight between Deathstroke and The Jaguar with amazement. The speed the 2 are moving at is incredible, the only way BJ can describe it is by using the term “brutal poetry”. Every movement seems to have a purpose, every action a reaction but it’s all happening so fast he can’t believe it. He glances up and a second battle has developed that he has totally overlooked. The Comet is probably one of the most powerful men on the planet but as hard as he is trying he cannot get one of his energy blasts to hit its target. His frustration is growing and the madder he is getting the sloppier he seems to be getting. He’s playing right into this slipknot’s hands. “Maybe I can get the drop on Slipknot, there is no way he can see me coming while he’s dodging all of those energy blasts.” Is the last thing he thinks before jaguar goes flying by him, it seems that Deathstroke finally got him and got him good…..or has he? As jaguar fly’s backwards past bj he twists and turns his body so he lands on his feet like a cat would. In the second between his landing and then his lunging forward towards Deathstroke BJ could see a cocky grin on jaguars face, almost like he meant to get hit, he meant to get knocked backwards. As fast as jaguar’s lung forward is Deathstroke is even faster, he falls backwards just as Jaguar is about to strike him and maneuvers the sword he is carrying so it impales the Jaguars shoulder. BJ’s had enough at this point and before he even realizes what he is doing he has managed to get himself between the 2 combatants. He’s now throwing another flurry of punches and kicks at Deathstroke and he’s actually connecting. Jaguar took his cue and has fallen back. The sword struck him in the shoulder but it didn’t hit any bone and actually just tore some of the flesh away, he was more shocked by Deathstrokes speed and precision than anything else.
This is not going well for the hero’s at all. It’s almost as if they are fighting on a level so far below the newcomers of their earth that it is frightening. Deathstroke has dispatched of BJ, to his credit Blackjack actually lasted a bit longer than Deathstroke anticipated. Jaguar is crouched down, ready to engage his opponent again. Slipknot is still bouncing around like a rubber ball, he’s just a hair faster than Comet’s energy blast. “I’m getting closer buddy, once I close the gap you’re finished. You probably hit like a girl anyways.” Is what the cocky Slipknot says before he receives the shock of his lifetime. Before he even realizes it slipknot has a noose around his neck. Everyone forgot about The Hangman and before he can even react Hangman is on top of slipknot and as fast as the encounter began it’s over.
Deathstroke isn’t very happy. He told his mysterious benefactor that Slipknot was a hack. He fought Firestorm once and got the drop on him. Big deal. Now because of slipknot’s cockiness Deathstroke has 4 very angry superhero’s he knows next to nothing about staring him down. He’s pretty sure could handle 3 of them at once if he had to but all 4 might be a problem.
Right then as the 4 hero’s are about to engage him Deathstroke feels a familiar sensation. “You chumps just got really lucky” is all he says as he slowly phases out of earth R’s reality.
Up at the Monitor’s satellite the screen the monitor has been watching switches off. Perhaps I over estimated the hero’s on this world. Is all the shadowy Monitor mutters as he turns to another video screen.


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