This is Goldeath, and I'm making my debut into the YJ arena. I've been putting this off for God knows how long, so I'm just gonna say fuck it and jump right into this. So y'all just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
For this is only the beginning.
Versus: Young Justice Unlimited vs. Shadow Force
Arkham Asylum, Gotham City 11:15
1 year ago
The cell door opened with a dull clang, and a guard stepped into my cell. He took out a small, silver key and unlocked the 13 manacles that my straitjacket together. A moment later, he unlocked the numerous chains that held me suspended in the air, binding me to the ceiling, walls, and floor. I dropped to the ground without a sound, unconsciously letting out a huge breath. It took those damned bureaucrats three weeks to figure out that I was innocent, three weeks in Arkham Asylum with a charge of solitary confinement. It nearly made me go crazy.
Nearly, but not quite.
"It seems as though you're free to go, Blackjack," the guard said. He sounded smug and arrogant, like he knew something that I didn't, even though that was highly unlikely.
"Yessir," I said, faking a somber look. "May I go now?"
The guard didn't respond for a while, seemingly debating the question in his mind. His hand beat a tattoo on the gauss rifle on his hip. My hope was that this would go smoothly, without any trouble. But with me, not everything goes as planned.
"Naw, I don't think so," he said slowly, pulling out his firearm. Crap. "No matter what all of Gotham says, you're still guilty to me." He pointed the rifle at my head, a mad glint in his eye. "You killed my brother!"
Aw, for shit's sake.
"I did not!" I exclaimed, indignant. He was about to pull the trigger when I leaped towards him. My bones twisted and swiveled as I slipped through the narrow bars, slamming my open hand into his sternum. I loved the look on his face when he flew into the wall, the gun clattering to the floor. It seems that being a circus freak has its perks.
Bones popping back into place, I rose from my crouch, light seemingly being absorbed into the black mask piece that covered the bottom half of my face. My black irises were as hard as a viper getting ready to strike. However, black fangs smiled back at the guard, who was slumped on the ground.
"Next time," I said, pulling him up to eye level. "Don't aim a gun at me. 'Cause next time, I will kill you."
With that, I dropped him, but not before relieving him of the M1 Garand strapped to his back. It was a pretty old and rare rifle, telling me that he was supposed to be on perimeter duty, not releasing me. I briefly wondered where the actual release officer was.
Five minutes later, I was strolling out of Arkham Asylum dressed in my customary black cargo pants and black leather jacket. The t-shirt under it was black with a white Rorschach skull splattered onto it, and the image was constantly changing.
I suddenly stopped right outside the entrance, my eyes flitting left and right. The Garand hung from my left finger as I looked around, searching for the thing that piqued my interest. Then it hit me.
I looked up. "Bats? Is that you?"
Up above, a dark figure moved. I smiled as it leaped off of the roof of the asylum and glided down to my level.
"The question 'Is the cape really necessary?' is still up for debate," I stated, grinning.
Batman cracked a very small smile, which was rare. "It's good to see you out and about," he said, his voice little more than a raspy whisper. He started to walk towards the Batmobile, which was just outside the asylum's gates, and I followed. "Are you going back to work soon?"
"Of course," I said, sighing. "Someone has to protect this damn city when you're sleeping, right?"
"I don't go to sleep."
I smirked. "I beg to differ."
There was a brief silence as we stared at each other. The Bat was creepy, I'll give him that, but contrary to popular belief, he wasn't intimidating. At least, not to me.
After we reached the Batmobile, I popped the question. "Why did you come for me?" I asked bluntly.
Batman paused at that, obviously not expecting the question. He didn't answer for a good 10 seconds, which made me think that he wasn't going to answer. Not surprising.
"Because you're family," he said. My eyes widened slightly at that, and I looked up to see him smiling. "Just like Alfred and Richard, you're one of the people I would risk my life to help." He shook his head slightly. "Not that you would need it of course."
I laughed a genuine laugh, the first one in three weeks. Black energy coalesced around my hand, and I walked forward slowly with my hand trailing in the air, the dark energy outlining a car. The ethereal shape manifested into an onyx-black Lamborghini with tinted windows.
"Thanks, Bruce," I said, hopping into the car. Revving it up, I rolled down the opaque window. "But as for family, you forgot to mention Diana." I smirked at his raised eyebrow (how he pulled that off with the cowl on, I will never know). "I hope dinner with her goes smoothly." I laughed again, more maniacally this time, as I drove away towards Gotham.
I was doing about 70 mph as I crossed the bridge into Gotham. My driving would have probably landed me in jail (again), but hey- it's not like I gave a shit.
Surprisingly, no one apprehended me, and I had just entered Central Gotham when the sounds of fighting entered the periphery of my hearing. It was about to go ignored until a torrent of fire incinerated the asphalt in front of me. I swerved to avoid the blood-red flames, and my car skidded to a stop next to the sidewalk. My hand was on the door handle when I saw him.
He was about 7 feet tall and heavily muscled, veins slightly bulging. His hair was scarlet, and the majority of his eyes were a deep crimson, save for his pupil, which was black. Actually, it seemed as if everything on him was red, from his ripped red hoodie to his red Nike's. It was a bit nauseating.
As he walked into my field of view, I noticed he was carrying someone on his shoulder. My eyes widened as I caught sight of the person's costume. Swearing, I reached under my seat and pulled out a black Colt revolver and a box of .32 caliber FRZ bullets. Slotting six of them into place, I clicked the barrel back in and pulled back the hammer.
Considering my current track record, who knew I would have to save someone today?
The car door opened slowly as I slinked out into the dark street. Thankfully, the the whole block was barren due to construction, which eliminated the chance of anyone finding us. My hand kept steady, the revolver light in my hand, but my heart beat erratically in anticipation.
There was one lampost working on the block, its light yellow and dim. The guy stepped into its waning glow, and the person he was carrying twitched and opened her eyes. They were the clearest, yet stormiest of grays, and they locked onto mine, peering into my soul, even though I was hidden in the darkness of the night.
The guy stopped and looked around, still keeping a vice grip on the girl, who was now writhing to get free.
"I know you're out there!" the brute of a guy yelled, his voice echoing in the darkness. He was standing in the only light in a dark void- nothing aside from his own hulking form was visible. I could use that to my advantage.
"Who are you?" I asked, my voice barely making an echo. I inched closer, leveling the gun at his calf.
The guy laughed. "What do I look like? The name's Blaze." He looked straight at me, his scarlet eyes flaring, and a ball of fire appeared behind his white fangs. "Though I doubt you'll remember it, anyway."
A torrent of flame rushed into the darkness, and I leaped out of the way to avoid being scorched. I rolled to my feet and shot at Blaze's thigh, the gun barely kicking as the round exited the chamber.
The next few moments were a blur. Blaze screamed as the FRZ round penetrated his thigh and froze it solid. I had to thank Wisel for that. Before he could react and defrost his leg, I grabbed him by his hoodie and flung him as far as I could down the street. His body bounced and rolled, cracking pavement as he paved a path of destruction. By the time he hit the sixth lamppost, my gun was cocked and aimed at him, ready for another shot.
I backed up so I could have her and Blaze in my field of view at the same time. "Are you alright?" I asked the girl, who had slipped out of Blaze's grip just before I launched him. She was battered and bruised, and her costume was singed. I was surprised she wasn't incinerated.
"Yeah, I think so." She staggered to her feet and looked around. "Hey, where's my bow?"
I raised a questioning eyebrow. "You mean that thing over there?" My finger pointed to a pile of charred metal and ash. I chuckled as she started to flip out. "Don't worry, I'll get you another one."
I walked over to my car, keeping the semi-conscious form of Blaze in my sight the whole time, and after a brief hesitation, she followed. Popping the trunk, I took out a briefcase and laid it on the ground.
"Do you mind if it's gold?" I opened the case to reveal a white and gold bow, compete with a quiver full of arrows. A swift, feminine hand plucked an arrow from the quiver and jammed it into the ground. Cracks appeared in the asphalt radiating from the slit the arrow made.
"Damn," she said, her eyes wide. She pulled it out with relative ease and handed it back to me. I placed in the quiver like nothing happened. "Why the hell are you driving around with this in your trunk" She scowled slightly, glaring at me. "And why the hell are you driving anyway?"
I chuckled, holding my hands up in surrender. "Hold up, cher. One problem at a time. The driving part is going unanswered, but as for having it in my trunk, I'm delivering it to a friend. Well... I was, actually, but that was before I was arrested by Fite n' Maad and placed in Arkham Asylum until the bureaucrats sorted the damn mess out."
The archer frowned, confused. "Who're Fite and Maad?"
"They're from the All-Purpose Enforcement Squad, and those two have more clearance than God. Trust me, they're people you do not want tracking you down if you commit a crime."
"Because they'll find you, let's leave it at that. But enough of this. It's time we face our opponent." My eyes darted over to Blaze's body. During our conversation, he had already staggered to one foot, his red eyes blazing with hatred and the promise of death. Not like I cared. "What's your name?" I asked.
The girl hesitated again, still wary of my actions. "Artemis," she finally answered.
Odd name, more so than mine. "Alright, Arty." I chuckled as her eyebrow twitched in barely controlled anger. "There are thirty arrows in this quiver, so use 'em wisely." My now-present drawling, southern accent made her frown in confusion for a split-second, then nod in acknowledgement. I handed her the bow and let her test the weight. After she nodded yet again, I handed her the arrows.
Blaze roared in anger as his body was consumed by fire. The color flickered from red, to orange, then finally blue. His eyes seemed to have disappeared replaced by empty sockets filled with red flame. His clothes weren't affected by the intense heat, so I assumed they were fireproof.
Our enemy raised a burning hand, the flames surrounding it snapping eagerly. Artemis and I dove out of the way as a massive fireball sprang into existence and hurtled towards us.
We hit the ground rolling. My black skin glowed for a split second as my hands were covered in black energy. I pushed my hands forward, and Blaze flew down the street again, but with much more force. He simply flipped to his feet, but I bought Arty a few precious seconds to get her attack lined up.
During my diversion, Artemis took cover behind a car, readied an arrow, and fired it at the mass of fire that was now Blaze- all in less than 3 seconds. Due to the fire-resistance of the arrow, it was barely affected by the intense heat Blaze radiated, and it embedded itself deep in his left bicep.
He pulled it out without so much as a whimper. Wincing slightly from the pain (or was that a scowl? It's hard to tell), he threw it back at Artemis with startling speed. Her eyes widened, waiting for the pain that would never come.
I barely felt the pain as I tugged the arrow from between my ribs. Crimson spilled from the wound, which had already started to close up under my jacket.
"Are you ready?" I asked her, my mind already forming the words to my spell as I spoke.
"Yes." I was surprised at the coldness of her voice. She loaded an arrow and aimed at Blaze's stomach, pulling back the bowstring as far as it could go. "I'm ready."
I finished the spell just as the magic-enhanced projectile whistled past my ear, and Blaze had no time to move before it pierced his burning armor and impaled him in the gut. It went all the way through, finally coming to a stop in the asphalt behind him.
Blood pooled on the street. Blaze's body shook violently as he retched soot and scarlet liquid,the vomit sizzling as it hit the ground, his body reverting to how it was before. The flames around him flickered and died as he fell to his knees. "Fuck..." he groaned. With that, he fell forward, his shallow breathing being the only audible sound.
I stood up straight, breathing a sigh of relief. The recoil of that powerful shot had drove Artemis to the ground, and I walked over to her. "Thanks for that," I said, hovering over her.
She scoffed. "I should be saying that to you. You saved my life." She laughed, and it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard. "I really owe ya one."
"You don't owe me shit," I said, holding my hand out to help her up.
She took my hand and got up. "Oh, but I want to. You look like you'll need it. Besides, you'd do the same for me, right?"
She trusted me. Not like those posers who pretend to be your friend just to feed off of your fame, but simple trust. It's amazing what a life threatening experience can do to people. "Right," I answered, grinning. "Though I believe you're the one who's gonna be needing the help. That or you'll just get captured again and again."
She grinned back. "So... mind helping me out then?"
I bowed mockingly. "It would be my pleasure, Ms. Arrowslinger." I started to walk away, back in the direction of my car. It was untouched, and I damn near broke down screaming 'hallelujah' right then and there. "I'll be seeing ya."
But I didn't get far before she grabbed my arm. "Hey, it's a bit rude to not tell your partner your name, you know." I heard the smile rather than saw it.
Now it was my turn to hesitate. "Blackjack," I finally answered. "But Marshall is fine." I paused before leaving her there, standing in the middle of the abandoned street.
"Yes..." I murmured. "Marshall is just fine."