Prince of Gotham
Disclaimer: This is my perspective on characters that belong to DC comics.
So all rights and stuff go to them except for the character(s) that I make
"You must know where it is." Manticore asked.
"Look, I told ya, I don't know where it is." Harley said, "Shouldn't you be happy, your plan is working down to a tee."
"I am." Manticore said quickly, "Harley...are you sure..."
"I don't know." Harley said, "And neither does Mistah J...I think."
"You think?" Manticore asked.
"We're not speakin." Harley said.
"Oh. Sorry." Manticore said.
"You're sorry? Ya goin soft?" Harley asked.
Manticore said nothing, he just turned and swept out of the dingy little motel room.
Chapter 20: Crawling out of the World
"Dad, I've just got to go." I said, packing a bag. Dad stood at the door, shocked at my now apparent and sudden plan to leave Gotham. He couldn't understand what would make me leave so quickly and I wasn't sure I should tell him that I put on a cape, little less followed in his footsteps. I had played both sides against the middle, something that rarely worked and I was no exception. My plan was backfiring. It was fool-proof. My original plan was really working but that was a bad thing. As a supervillain, I was unstoppable. As a hero, I was a dud.
"Is this about your hero days?" Dad asked.
I looked back at him, "No. This is...I just have to get out of this town for a while." I said.
"How long?" Dad asked.
"Forever." I said.
"What? What's going on?" Dad asked.
"Dad, just drop it!" I said angrily.
The doorbell rang and Dad nodded, "We're going to talk about this more." He said, leaving to go to the door.
"I'll see what I can do." Dick's voice came down the hall as I finished packing my suitcase, "I see you're actually leaving."
I grabbed my backpack, "He runs this town, he wants me out." I said.
"You know, you could stay and undo what you've created." Dick said.
"Don't you think I've been trying? My plan worked too perfectly." I said.
"Why did you become Manticore?" Dick asked.
"Why did you become Nightwing?" I asked.
Dick sighed and flopped down on my bed.
"It doesn't matter." I said, "You need to stop it."
Dick chuckled, "You did all this and it's up to us to undo it. You're pathetic." He said.
My face must have been readable as I grabbed my luggage.
"I'm sorry." Dick said, "Bruce wants to see you."
"Yeah, right." I said.
"He wants to talk about it." Dick said.
"Me talking is what got us into this mess in the first place." I said, "I'm done with the talking thing."
Dick moved behind me and for a second, I thought he was about to kiss my neck or something, but I felt a prick, and then darkness.
I awoke to find myself inside a large room, surrounded by heroes. On the far left side of the room, the founders of the Justice League sat. There was a crowd stand and gigantic televisions (My guess would be for the heroes who hadn't gotten seats.). I was sitting at a table by myself, looking around and trying to find familiar faces. All the faces looked at me with frowns. I could feel their frowns.
"Phoenix Fox, you've been accused of committing high treason." Superman's voice came from what looked to be the judge's pulpit, "How do you plead."
I lost all my air. How could I possibly breathe, let alone talk.
"He has nothing to say?" Wonder Woman asked.
"I did a bad thing." I said.
There was a burst of people whispering and nodding in agreement.
"But there's no going back." I said, "I can't change things. Would if I could, but I can't."
"How can you say it so blatantly?" Wonder Woman asked.
"It's the truth." I said sadly, "Bru...Batman...You can ask me why, how and when, but it doesn't make what I did go away! I set something in motion that I've tried to undo. It's coming! This evil, bad thing is coming and we're smack-dab in the middle of it."
"He is right." Superman said, "What was your ultimate plan, Manticore?"
"I'm not Manticore! Don't you ever call me that!" I shouted.
The whole room looked around, gasps coming from every mouth.
"I may not be a hero, but I'm not a supervillain!" I frowned, "I'm not a bad person."
"You just wanted to be noticed." Batman said.
"No." I said quickly, "Yes. I wanted to be noticed. There was a guy, there's always a guy, and he knew I existed. He knew everything about me, but I wanted..." I stopped.
"Continue." Superman said.
"I wanted everybody to know that I'm not fragile." I said looking at the floor, "And I've showed people the exact opposite."
Superman studied me, his perfect face staring down at me. He looked through me and I knew it.
"So, you endangered the world for a boy?" John Jones asked.
"I can relate." Supergirl said.
The room looked at her.
"It doesn't matter." I said, "I'm leaving, for good."
"You're going to leave us to clean up your mess?" The Flash asked.
"What do you want from me?" I asked.
"Go to jail." Batman said.
"Sorry, but no." I said.
"You don't have a choice." Wonder Woman said.
I leaned forward against the table, "Best case scenario, I go to jail, angry, and decide to help the criminals. This way, I get lost in the shuffle. These bombs are going to blow Gotham sky high and I want to be away from here." I said.
"You help us and you can get lost." Batman said.
I thought about it.
"The best offer you're going to get." Green Lantern said.
I nodded, "You'll look for me." I said.
"Yes." Wonder Woman said.
"You won't find me." I smirked.
I stood in front of the trophies in the trophy rooms, trying to understand all of this. Everything was gray until I went to the future and now they're black and white. What I did was bad. What I would do is good. No neutral. I would be the hero, to die for a noble cause. I would never be a hero, though. I'd just be another villain with a heart of gold, a misguided magic user. I wondered what life on the other side would be like and how it would feel when I die. I wondered if past me would still go back in time, if I had changed the future in any significant way. The trophies and accolades in the cases only drove my mind to the same point: I'd never be the hero.
"Everybody loves a hero." Red Arrow said behind me.
I didn't turn, I just stared at the trophies.
"I actually said words." Arrow said.
"I know." I said sadly, "Heroes...good...got it."
"Are you okay?" Arrow asked, "Why did you..."
"Don't ask that question!" I said angrily, "You think I haven't asked myself that same question?"
"You can still be a hero." Arrow said.
"I'll never be a hero." I said quickly.
Arrow put his hand on my shoulder, "Not a lot of people can be heroes, but you, you've got what it takes." He said.
"Don't you get it?" I asked, finally turning to him, "I'm Manticore, the opposite of a hero! I came up with a brilliant machine that's going to stop the world! I came up with a plan that can't be figured out because at the very base of the plan is no plan! And the only person I have to blame is me."
Arrow took a few steps back.
"Roy, I'm evil. I'm evil and I don't know how to undo all of this." I said, "I'm only human."
"You want to talk about human? I used to be an addict and I had a child by a villain named Cheshire." Red Arrow said, "We're all just human...except for the aliens, but they're humanish."
"Humanoid." I said.
"Right, humanoid." Arrow said.
"I have to disappear." I said.
"What?" Arrow asked.
"Afterward." I said, "Jail isn't a good fit for me."
"Why aren't you sneering at me and commenting on how bad a job I'm doing?" I asked.
"As taking over the city goes, you're doing a good job." Arrow said, "So, what was the real plan?"
"Take over Gotham, se..." I said, remembering, "Holy crap! I forgot."
"What?" Arrow asked.
"The criminals in Arkham just got set free." I said.
"We need to alert the team." Arrow said.
"You go ahead. There's stuff I need to do." I said, heading to the Monitor Womb. I snuck past the two heroes that guarded it, but was stopped as Martian Manhunter walked through the sealed doors.
"You are not permitted in this area." Manhunter said.
"Point noted." I said, backhanding him. Manhunter stood and I went to hit him again, but my hand went right through him. I felt a scream inside my mind as my nose began to bleed! I bent the scream and twisted it back at him, causing him to fall to his knees. I brought my foot into the air and down against his face. I sighed to myself and walked to the door. I extended myself, thinking of myself as the door. I am the door! I pushed myself, opened myself and the door slid open. I felt an intense pain in my head and noticed that my nose was still bleeding. I ignored the technology and walked over to the transporter pad labeled "Gotham" and stepped on it, pushing the button that would send me home.
"The future was bleak, just as it had always been. The world had been divided and it always would be. Things never changed because to change, one side has to lose for good, but no side ever wins for good. Not good. Not evil. No one's ever won, not fully. Not until now." I said, dressed in my long leather coat, tight black latex catsuit, and thigh high boots (Not high heels).
"K." Leon said, "You want me to do what, exactly?"
"You're a metahuman, right?" I asked.
Leon looked down.
"I need your help." I said, "Look outside your window."
Leon walked over and looked out, "Holy bejeezus." He said, "What in the hell is going on?"
"I'm a super villain." I said, "I caused this."
"But I need your help in undoing it." I said.
He took another look outside, "How can I help?" he asked.
"Where is he?" Poision Ivy asked, "My stockings are riding."
"Should we try it without him?" Harley asked.
"Of course, you nitwit!" Joker growled.
The villains had assembled on the highest point in Gotham and the machine was ready. The villains had waited a long time for this plan to pan out and some were more eager than others. Joker had a better grasp on his love for chaos than most of the other villains.
"Can we hurry this up?!" Two-face sneered, flipping his coin.
"I agree." Bane said, "The sooner we do this, the sooner Gotham is ours."
"Think again." Superman said, flying right into him!
"Harley, the device!" Joker barked, gaining a right hook from Batman.
Below, the crowd had taken note of the superheroes flying towards the building and the police had shown up, keeping the people back. Lois Lane, who was in town for a meeting swore and cursed her partner, Clark Kent. I watched as the Flash was lifted into the air and thrown off the side of the building by one of the villains and I looked at him, focusing myself on him and threw my hand up, causing a major pain in my head! I gently and slowly lifted him back to the top of the building and he looked down and I could swear he saw me before speeding back into play. I took this time to go to the yellow tape.
"You can't get in here." The officer said.
"Sleep." I said, causing him to fall to the ground. My nose began to bleed, but I wiped it and walked to the building. A gun cocked and I stopped.
"Stop!" The other officer said, aiming at me.
I held my hands out to my side, lifting myself up the side of the building until I was close enough to see Wonder Woman wrestling Killer Croc! I landed on the ledge, walking into the actions.
"You!" Two-Face said, aiming his gun at me.
I was frozen to there, staring at him when suddenly a batarang flew from nowhere and clipped the gun, knocking it out of his hand! I looked over to see Batman, who nodded. The fighting stopped as a burst of light shone across the top of the building and everyone looked. The villains immediately began fighting again.
"Why aren't they trying to get out of here?" Green Lantern asked, encasing Solomon Grundy in a green box, "This'll kill them too!"
"No." I said, "They were injected with a temporary serum that will allow them to sustain the energy."
"Good work." Hawkgirl said, landing next to us.
"How do we stop it?" Batman asked.
"That's the fun part," I said, "Someone has to shut it down manually."
"You have the shot, don't you?" Superman asked.
"No." I said, "Bad guy stuff."
"Then...I'll do it." Superman said.
"You're affected by magic." I said, "There's enough energy there to shut you down."
"Then what are we going to do?" Hawkgirl asked.
The machine began to glow and convulse, sending a shiver down the back of my neck. I began to walk towards the machine and Batman reached out to me.
"Get everyone off of here, the explosion will kill us all." I said.
"Batman, what's he doing?" Nightwing asked, joining them, "Bruce!"
He tried to move past them, but Hawkgirl hit him and threw him over her shoulder. Behind me, I heard Superman screaming to evacuate! As I walked to the machine, I wondered how it would feel. I wondered how I would be remembered. I had to save this place, it's my kingdom. I walked to the machine, feeling its power. As I got closer, I started to feel as if I couldn't go on! I felt like I was seconds away from dying, from leaving my body!
"Manticore!" Batman shouted, "Rainer, there's got to be another way!"
I looked back him, my eyes gone completely black and telekinetically pushed him back through the door to the exit of the roof so that he fell down the stairs to the lower level, where he would be save. I panted quickly, trying to catch my breath and I finally touched the machine feeling intensely...powerful. I grabbed it, feeling the energy surge through me, "Holy..." I said as the machine blew up, causing a ripple across the sky of Gotham.
Nigthwing stood atop the highest point in Gotham, staring at the spot where his true love had died. It was strange. He was just here, alive. Now he was gone. He died doing what was best for the world, selfish bastard. Nightwing wondered did he even care that the people he left behind were going to be devastated. His father had gone, left the city, just as he had. Things hadn't been so nice since the explosion. The one thing that did come from the explosion was that the Justice League honored Phoenix's memory.
"You know, I'm gone." Phoenix said.
Nightwing looked over his shoulder, his eyes teared up, "How..."
"I don't have much time." Phoenix said, "You have to be alright with this."
"Why?" Nightwing asked, "How..."
"Because I am...I'm happy now." Phoenix said.
"I'm at peace." Phoenix said, "And it's staying that way." He turned to leave.
"Wait, will I ever see you again?" Nightwing asked.
"In your dreams, lover boy." Phoenix smiled, walking to the door to the exit from the roof.
Nightwing ran to the door and wrenched it open, wiping his eyes.
"I need you to do something for me." I said.
"Name it." Leon said.
"You're a shape-shifter, right?" I asked. He nodded, "I need you to be me."
"What?" Leon asked.
"I need you to go to Nightwing after I die, tell him it was worth it. To let me go." I said.
Leon looked at me, concerned.
"I don't want his last memory of me to be...this." I said.
"Last...memory, what's going on?" Leon asked.
"I have to be a hero." I said, a small smile on my face.
Leon nodded slowly, "What should I say?" he asked.
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I would like to thank firstname.lastname@example.org. He inspired me to write this chapter with his enthusiasm for the story. Thank you.