TG Universes & Series:
There are some who have power, who use it for selfish ends. And others, who simply seek to destroy...
A Comics Retcon Universe Story! http://bigclosetr.us/topshelf/book/20577/comics-retcon-universe
Disclaimer: I make no claims to any character or image owned or under copyright by another party, nor do I intend on profiting in any way from their use. The Comics Retcon Universe concept is the creative property of Lilith Langtree.
Author's Note: The events in this series of vignetttes generally happen after all of the stories posted to date with the Retcon Universe. The purpose is to show events from the villainous perspective, as well as to introduce a few new players. If any of this is confusing, please leave a comment below and I'll gladly clear things up for you. -James
Sector 2814: Altair System
A rift in space and time opened near the orbit of the planet Zerbon. Emerging was what initially appeared to be a humanoid in some sort of armor. In the center of the being's chest-plate was a strange circular symbol, black with yellow lines forming an unusual pattern. The chest-plate was painted yellow with a sort of starburst pattern, and the symbol was at it's center.
This symbol was known, and feared, throughout the Galaxy. For it was the symbol of those who wielded the Yellow Element, the power of Fear itself. Those who followed Sinestro.
And the being who bore this symbol on it's metal body was no humanoid. In fact, it was not a living being at all, but a machine, known as Tekik.
Once, long ago, Tekik had been created as a servant, like many others of it's kind. It's master, however, had programmed Tekik to have emotion. Able to reason and feel on a level unlike his peers, Tekik came to consider itself a slave. Wishing to free itself and the other servant-machines, Tekik created a virus that instilled Fear itself into all the other machines. That primal emotion caused a rebellion, and in the end, all life on the planet was eliminated.
And then the machines turned on one another. Leaving only Tekik. Who laughed at what it had wrought. Chosen by a Yellow Power Ring, Tekik integrated a Yellow Power Battery into it's own systems. Harnessing the power of Fear itself, Tekik believed itself to be invincible.
But then it encountered Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of this pathetic sector of space. Jordan had nearly destroyed Tekik in their struggle. But the Green Lantern had been gravely wounded, and for a being such as Tekik, it was only a matter of time before it was whole again.
And now Tekik hunted.
“THEORY: The best way to catch one's prey is to lure them out into the killing ground. CONCLUSION: Destruction of worlds within this sector will force Enemy-Designate [Hal Jordan] to come to me.”
Tekik looked at the world below it. One side perpetually faced the sun, and was covered with life. The inhabitants were plant-based. The other side of the planet was cold and barren.
“THEORY: The inhabitants of this world are sentient plant-life. CONJECTURE: They unlikely have a strong link to other such forms of life through the ENERGY FIELD [The Green]. CONCLUSION: Destruction of this world's life will cause Fear to resonate through this ENERGY FIELD [The Green]. PLAN: Kill everything.”
Landing on the lifeless side of the planet, Tekik used it's Power Ring to create a construct of yellow-light; a great engine, that drew energy from the very core of the planet. Slowly, the planet began to rotate, and a great shadow fell across the world, bringing with it something the inhabitants had never known. Night. Their terror fed the engine, and sped the process, until Tekik found itself standing in the light, facing the sun.
“STATEMENT: There is no greater pleasure than to revel in chaos.” Tekik only had one regret. It had no face, only two glowing yellow eyes. Therefore, it could not smile. It detected a surge of power, leading from this planet to another one that had green, living things.
It calculated a course to this new world and left Zerbon to it's fate.
Limbus: Dark Dimension of Belasco
Belasco was in a foul mood. This wasn't really an unusual event; the demon's servants were well-used to their master's quirks. When you have as many plots on the fire as Belasco, something was always bound to go wrong. But this was different.
Nine years, the Demon Prince had carefully set plots into motion, that would culminate in his having total control over the Fifth Age of Magic. The plan seemed fool-proof; even now, Belasco had no idea what had gone wrong!
He slammed his fist down on the arm of his throne. “All Ilias had to do was kill Chantinelle! Who had her powers sealed! How hard could that possibly be!?”
In his moment of triumph, Ilias had turned on him, and now, rather than controlling the next great magus of Earth, he was number one on the boy's hit list! Which meant that the only solution was to kill the brat before he could get any stronger. Of course, he couldn't find the little bastard, who was being hidden somehow from Belasco's sight!
Getting up off of his throne, the Demon Prince walked over to where a Balrog (missing part of one arm) was chained, it's massive body covered in open wounds. The Pit Fiend whimpered as Belasco drew near. “And you, you enormous lummox! How did you manage to get beaten by a half-trained magician and a succubus?!”
He hit the demon, whose body made a sound not unlike that of a side of beef when struck.
Eerie, sepulchral laughter could be heard in Belasco's hall. Rather than be intimidated, however, the Demon Prince sighed. Oh swell. Him again. Turning, he saw a figure in red seated upon his throne, his great cloak draped across one arm of the chair. Even his rival's skin was red, and he had a wild shock of black hair.
“Mephisto. So glad you could drop by.” Belasco had given up yelling at the other Demon Prince. Mephisto did what Mephisto wanted to do, and short of killing the bastard (a feat that would leave Belasco too weak to fend off his other rivals, there really wasn't anything that could be done about it.
“My, how droll you've become. I miss the days of old, when you would get so furious that you'd actually spit fire! Ah well. Memories.”
“What do you want? Why now, of all times, must you torment me?”
Mephisto chuckled. “You do realize that everyone is angry at you? Your presumption in trying to control the Sorcerer has not gone unnoticed. And neither has your failure.”
“Yes, and I'm sure you're going to gloat and tell me you were behind everything.”
“Oh, poor Belasco. You're really depressed! But fear not, I come bearing gifts! You see, I know where the child is!”
“And you're telling me this, why?”
Mephisto sighed. “You're entirely too cynical. I want you to succeed, my old friend!”
Belasco snorted. “Seriously? That's a switch. How could this possibly benefit you?”
“I've been dealing with these irritating magical nuisances for millenia. Quite honestly, I'm tired of the lot! Always calling upon my name, wanting to sell their oh-so important souls, which are black as pitch, I might add, for immortality, absolute power, blah, blah, blah. No creativity! I'm bored to tears!”
Belasco had to admit, wizards were kind of annoying. He'd never met a mortal more self-absorbed and egotistical than a magic-user! “I can agree with that, but how does killing the whelp do anything?”
Mephisto chuckled. “The heart of the magic of this new Age is passed onto the Sorcerer Supreme. Now normally, if you killed him, the magic would simply disperse, and they'd probably find someone else to be in charge. Like Dr. Fate or someone equally obnoxious. But what if you could capture that power? Remove it from the equation. Magic would be greatly weakened. And it would simply become weaker still over time, until...it dies.”
“No more magic?”
“Well, in the Earth realm.”
“I'm in! What's the plan?”
Mephisto chuckled. “It just so happened that your brat defeated someone whose soul belongs to me. Dear old Felix Faust. And he was so happy to tell me where your Ilias is. So all you have to do, is go there and kill him. With this!”
Mephisto produced a crystal sword. “One of two, formerly a powerful sorcerer's wand, transformed into a sword.”
“Hey, isn't that...?” Belasco frowned.
“Yes, that's right. I got this because some idiot tried to kill me with it. Too bad they had the wrong one! It's power comes in the fact that, when it strikes a magical entity, it drains away their magic, which makes the sword more powerful.”
Belasco chuckled. “Oh I get it. So even if the first hit doesn't kill the brat, the next one will be even more powerful. Use his magic against him!”
“Wait a minute. Why don't you do it?”
Mephisto chuckled. “And deprive you of your vengeance?”
Belasco tapped his foot. “Pull the other one!”
“Oh alright, fine. I can't.”
Mephisto mumbled something.
“Speak up already!”
The Demon Prince had a pained look on his face when he spoke. “Constantine.”
Belasco twitched. “Constantine?!”
“Yes. Johanna is protecting the boy.”
“Mammon's hairy balls! That's one magician that really chaps my ass!”
Mephisto nodded. “And, unfortunately, you may recall that Ms. Constantine made a pact with me...”
“You and every other Demon in Hell!”
“Which Lucifer purchased off of me. And is honoring.”
“Uh huh. I'm in the same boat, so?”
Mephisto frowned. “I don't know what you promised her, but her request of me was...and I quote “In exchange for my soul, you will promise to never come within a hundred miles of me. Not you, not your minions, nothing. Exert any power whatsoever, and the deal is null and void, you red-faced wanker!”
Belasco howled in laughter. “You agreed to that?! Ha!”
“Well if I had his soul, what did I care if she slapped me with a restraining order?”
“Uh, Mephisto. Doesn't that make it kind of hard to get anything done? I mean, she's always on the move, so at some point, she's going to show up in a place where you have manpower deployed...”
If anything, the Demon Prince looked even more glum. “I really expected she'd die off in a few years from all those damned cigarettes. Lung cancer, you know.”
“Ha! I'm sorry, but now I feel better about my deal with her!”
“Oh? And what did you promise her?”
“Never you mind!” Belasco snapped. “Anyways, I get it. If you break the contract, then you get to deal with Lucifer. Alright, gimme the sword, I'll take care of it.”
“What? You think I'm going to just give it to you?”
“Now how do I use it against him if you don't...oh. You're going to charge me.”
Mephisto grinned. “You made a deal with Gudrun Tyburn.”
Belasco snorted. “Oh yeah! That was a good one!”
“Now see here, that was very low, even for you! You know about my agreement with the Chasidm! If you let her become immortal, she can break our contract without fear! And that's a lot of souls I stand to lose!”
“Oh relax, it's useless to her.”
Mephisto raised an eyebrow. “I'll be the judge of that.”
“No, seriously. You shafted her with the immortality deal, by not restoring her youth, right? So she comes to me, asking for her youth back. I'm like, sure lady, I'll tell you what, I'll give you the power to restore your youth, but if you use it, you break your contract with Big M and your soul belongs to me.”
“Yes yes...wait. She agreed to that?”
Belasco chuckled. “Yes!”
“The Curse of Spring. You gave her the Curse of Spring!”
“Yup. She hasn't used it yet, of course, she's waiting to screw you over as much as she can first.”
Mephisto chuckled. “Ha! So she'll curse herself, you get her soul, and she loses her immortality!”
“And sure, she's no spring chicken now, but time is on my side!”
Mephisto nodded. “Well done! I must applaud you!”
Belasco bowed. “So I take it that, should she use it, and I get her soul, you'd want it?”
Mephisto grinned. “You agree to that, and the sword is yours.”
“You got yourself a deal, Big M.”
They shook on it, then checked to make sure they didn't have any fingers missing. Or toes. Or anything else, for that matter. Mephisto handed Belasco the sword, and headed back to his own Dark Dimension.
And Belasco laughed for some time. The sword was powerful, but only as powerful as whoever wielded it. He was a skilled swordsman, but going to Earth himself was risky. There was, however, a demon who owed him a favor...
He chuckled. “Yes, it's time to pay up, Belyllioth!”
The Habitat: Project Cadmus Facility
Dr. Renko was annoyed. Not only had she lost The Bunker, but now she was forced to work with this disgusting troll of a man!
Dr. Dabney Donovan chuckled. He wasn't a particularly tall man, and he suffered from a minor spinal defect that did not allow him to stand fully upright. He had a wild shock of black hair, a moustache, and wore a pair of thick goggles over his eyes. He was, quite simply, the very image of a Hollywood mad scientist. As brilliant as he was, he was equally twisted and insane. “What's the matter, Claudine? I'm making such progress here!”
“Progress? Turning humans into monsters isn't progress, and it isn't what Luthor wants. He wants humans with meta-abilities. Or haven't your heard about the incident involving #19?”
“Bah! So what, a metahuman who looks like a demon gets the Christians all riled up? That has nothing to do with me. And thank you, I'm well aware of what Mr. Lex Luthor wants! He wants to be God! All of this is completely secondary.”
Dr. Renko frowned. “Even if he does gain meta-abilities, he'll still need manpower. One man cannot conquer the world. Even Alexander only got halfway there.”
“You care about your subjects too much, Claudine. To unlock the potential of the human genome is the only scientific endeavor worth talking about. There can be no restrictions, no limitations, if the work is to be done. Morality. Fah! Those fools out there would limit stem cell research even though it would save thousands, if not millions of their miserable lives! I refuse to have my work halted for any reason.”
Dr. Renko shook her head. “I'm living proof that unrestricted experimentation has it's price, Donovan. We tread on dangerous ground here.” She touched the still-evident bruises on her neck for emphasis. “I helped turn a girl into a monster, and she nearly killed me for it.”
“Hm. Well you always did lack caution. Perhaps cheating death made you more careless?”
She sighed. “I didn't cheat death. Nathaniel is quite dead. I may have been born fully-grown, with all of his memories and knowledge, but I am not him.”
“More's the pity, then. Essex was one who I could trust not to shy away from what needed to be done. If you will forgive my crudeness, perhaps you lack the ball...erk!”
Claudine casually grabbed Donovan by the neck, lifting him off the ground with one arm. “Have a care, Dabney. As much as you admire my 'father', he would not let you talk to him this way, and neither will I.” She let him go, and he crashed to the floor.
Coughing, Donovan simply nodded. Then, his voice strained, he replied. “Point..taken. My apologies.”
Idly dismissing Donovan, Claudine Renko left the room, and headed for Lab Four, which had been set aside for her use. There, floating suspended in a tank of liquid, was the young woman known only as Test Subject #11. “Perhaps Donovan is right. Perhaps I do lack the courage to see this through.” She reached for the tiny sample she had been given of Luthor's third-generation Metagene Activator, Apollo.
“Once you were a woman. Then a man, now a freak of biochemistry. I can't imagine what this will do to you, my dear.” She smiled then, her eyes glittering in the low light of the lab. “I await your rebirth with great anticipation.” She then added the contents of the ampule to the IV that ran into #11's body, and pulled up a chair to watch.
Ultra-Maximum Security Penal Facility: New Alcatraz
Superia, formerly known as Professor Amy Zhan, paced the confines of her cell. They had placed her into solitary confinement shortly after she arrived. She wondered how long ago the Government had started work on building this new prison, located on an artificial island. Everything looked and smelled new. The security was state-of-the-art, and the facility had every indication of being built to imprison metahumans.
“How long? How long have they known?” She touched the reinforced concrete wall with her hand. She could pry away the concrete, but behind it was no doubt steel rebar, and beyond that, a solid metal wall. This was a cage meant for her kind. The New Woman, as strong and as powerful as any man.
Even more so.
Lex Luthor had funded her research long before Jade had revealed the coming storm to the world. But apparently, others had known even before him. It was a mystery, and one that was not going to be easy to solve. But she had time. The activation of her own metagene had made her young again. And once she escaped, she would finally undergo the final stage of her metamorphosis.
“I hesitated before. Afraid that I would become too young to be taken seriously as a member of the Coming Race. But that didn't stop you, did it Damon? My God, you looked so young...so vital. And so powerful. Are you happy, my friend? I hope so. And I pray that one day you realize how right I was. The Race of Man must die, and become a new Race, a better one. The Race of Women.”
She sat down on her crude bunk. She didn't need to plan her escape. Someone would come for her, come for the knowledge she possessed. If not Luthor, than someone else. It was only a matter of time. She lay back, and smiled.
Richard McGuire was a patient man. He prided himself on that fact. In the past, he'd let Luthor intimidate him into rushing in before he was ready. That's how he'd lost to that red-haired bimbo last time. No, now he was going to do things his way.
The hell with going after 'Giganta' directly. He was hunting juicier prey. Something Luthor would kill to possess. It wasn't some scientist, or some super-serum. No, just a fifteen year-old girl. He'd watched her for days, getting a feel for her routine. She was intelligent, but it was obvious she'd inherited the famous Luthor ego. Walking alone, out in the open, by herself. Knowing full well how powerful her father was. And what kind of enemies he had.
She was a pretty thing, obviously she hadn't gotten her looks from the old man. A shade over 5' tall, with short black hair, the bangs worn long. She'd gotten some sun since her last photo was taken. Ditched the piercings and the Goth look in favor of a powder blue sun dress. A very pretty girl.
He stepped into her path and grabbed her so quickly, she didn't have time to yelp. She bit at his hand, tried to kick him, but her tiny frame lacked strength. “Sorry little girl, but you're about to make me very rich.”
He injected her with the sedative, and she went limp. Three minutes later, she was secure in the trunk of his Charger, and he got behind the wheel, putting the car into gear. Reaching for his cellular, he made the most important call of his life...
LexCorp Main Branch: New York City
Mercy was no longer the meek office girl she had once been. But her employer scared her when he was angry. And he was about to become very angry. She did not want to be the one to give him this news. Her only consolation was that she would not be the target of Luthor's anger.
Luthor looked up from a pile of reports, and noted that Mercy was holding the phone. “This had better be important.”
“It is, Sir.” She walked up and held out the phone. “McGuire.”
“Hm.” He took the phone. “Richard, you had better not be calling to tell me you...” Luthor trailed off. His eyes got very wide, and then narrowed.
“Listen to me you arrogant bastard, you harm one hair, one hair on her head and I'll...!” The most powerful mortal man in the world set his shoulders. “Very well. Of course. Oh you'll get it. You'll get everything that's coming to you. I want to speak to her...!”
He slammed the phone onto his desk, cracking the plastic. “That bastard! That son of a whore! He's a dead man! You hear me? Dead!” Without even slowing down, Lex went to his mini bar, and, his hands shaking slightly, poured himself a cognac.
He turned to Mercy. “He wants ten million dollars. We should be receiving a fax with the account information. Take it out of petty cash. Hire whoever you need to. Jack Marshall can handle tracking him down. But the actual extraction...I want a specialist. Someone good. Someone better than good.”
He finished his drink. “Get me the Catwoman. Money is no object.”
Mys-Tech Corporate Headquarters: London, England
Gudrun Tyburn looked at herself in the mirror. For centuries, she'd been the same. Not quite an old woman, but certainly far from being young. She'd been such a fool, all those years ago, when she and the others had made their bargain with Mephisto.
The Sect of the Chasidm had wielded great power, power enough to interest the Demon Prince in a bargain. In exchange for a quota of souls, he would make it so they would never die. And even if they would be killed, each had a power to protect them.
In her case, any injury, no matter how total, could be healed. She had been blasted into pieces, sliced in half, and each time, she recovered. But the pain! Few living beings could imagine the agony of being rent asunder, and still live! No matter how many times she endured her destruction and reconstruction, she was never ready for the pain.
She'd made a bargain with Belasco in a moment of weakness. How she longed to be young again, and free from Mephisto! She was surely damned, the only reason her soul had any worth was simply because taking it would annoy her Dark Lord. But she was so tired of harvesting souls, of leading others to their ruin.
She wanted to live again, instead of this endless half-life. But the others would never allow her freedom; even if she broke free, Mephisto would have them hunt her. And bring her back. Plus, she thought, smiling ruefully, Belasco couldn't be trusted. She could feel the spell burning in her mind. It could only be used once, but even she didn't know exactly what it would do.
Oh restore her youth, yes, it would do that. But how? Never trust a gift from a demon. That was a lesson she had learned long ago. “Foolish old woman. Foolish and vain. What a mess.”
She sighed. Eternal damnation. Not very enticing a fate, that. But what could be done? Surely her soul was stained black. And then, she nearly giggled, something she hadn't done since she was a maid, so long ago. There was one person who had beaten the Devil at his own game. But Johanna Constantine wouldn't help her..not without being sufficiently motivated.
But what did Constantine care about, besides herself? Still, what could it hurt. She made a post on a secure message board, the kind of place law-abiding citizens do not frequent (nor were they aware it even existed).
Wanted: Information on the current location of Johanna Constantine. Will pay handsomely.
She sat back and waited. Constantine had a lot of enemies, many of whom would sell her out for a nickle. And she would pay a lot more than that. All she needed to do now was be patient.
Sector 2814: Agraria VII
If Tekik could frown, he would. The energy wave had led him to the wrong world; Agraria VII was a farming collective, a breadbasket for several nearby star systems. Oh well...
“THEORY: If I continue to lush, living worlds, it is inevitable that I will encounter Enemy-Designate [Hal Jordan]. CONCLUSION: Kill, reap, and enjoy.”
Flying out to the solar system's asteroid belt, Tekik found one that was suitable for it's needs. Using the Power Ring it possessed, it surrounded the asteroid with a field of yellow energy, and began to tow it behind, even as the machine accelerated to speeds approaching that of light. It would take a lot of energy, but there would be much fear to harvest. Oh so much!
This particular asteroid contained heavy metals that were poisonous to the natives of Agraria VII. Even if they survived, the destruction to the biosphere would be total. At the last minute, Tekik released it's deadly cargo, and watched in glee as the asteroid entered the world's atmosphere and began to burn.
“STATEMENT: I love the sight of total destruction. I am the Death of Worlds. And I am coming for you, Enemy-Designate [Hal Jordan]!”
There! He could feel the ripple of power, moving through the ENERGY FIELD [The Green]. Absorbing the yellow energy created by the death-throes of an entire world, Tekik recharged it's Power Ring, and gave chase. The hunt was on!
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