Earth-23 #3

By Calvin Burrell


Earth 63

Gothamopolis

A dark green helicopter buzzed along quickly in the night sky. On the side, a logo was printed in white. An 'L' shape with 'LexisCorp' printed beneath it. In the helicopter, Alexis Luthor sat clutching a briefcase tightly while yelling at her blond pilot.

"Faster Marcus, she's gaining on us!" Lexis yelled as she looked out the window. As she did, she saw a flying vehicle in hot pursuit of them. It flew overhead, creating a bat shaped silhouette against the moon.

"I can't shake her!" Marcus yelled back, gripping the controls. "The Batjet is too fast!"

"Must I do everything myself, Mr. Graves!?" Lexis sneered. She dropped the case in her seat and got up, turning to the back of the helicopter.

"Good thing I always come prepared..." Lexis muttered. The helicopter, though on the outside meant for business, had a hidden cache of weapons inside. With the press of a secret button, a panel opened on the rear wall, revealing a rack of guns with the LexisCorp logo on them. Lexis passed over them in favour of a highly advanced homing missile launcher. She grabbed the weapon and slid open the side doors of the helicopter.

"Keep us steady!" Lexis had to shout to be heard. Marcus steadied the flight to give her a shot. Lexis locked on target and with a smirk, she fired. Inside the Batjet, a woman in a grey and black outfit with a cape and cowl piloted: the watchful protector of Gothamopolis, Batwoman. A screen in front of her flashed a bright red warning about the incoming missile.

"Damn," was all the woman said just before impact. The blast took out her engines and the Batjet started to fall. Unfortunately for Lexis and Marcus, it was over the helicopter when it did. The Batjet slammed off the top of the helicopter, severely damaging the rotors and sending both vehicles down towards the Gothamopolis Bay. As the Batjet veered off, Batwoman entered a self destruct code into the sparking console. She was ejected out as the Batjet exploded and was instantly consumed with flame. She had eliminated any possible way to trace the Batjet back to WayneTech or to Brenda Wayne, but that still left her with the problem of falling from the sky. Though, she had a solution for that too: a bright blue blur that caught her out of the air.

"I thought bats could fly," said the figure that caught Batwoman in her arms. She wore a blue costume and her short black hair and red cape blew in the wind.

"Never heard that one before, Superwoman," Batwoman said sarcastically.

"You didn't have to destroy your plane, you know. I would have caught it too," Superwoman looked over Batwoman with X-Ray vision as she spoke. There were many past injuries visible, but nothing she hadn't seen in detail before.

"I'll keep that in mind. Maybe my next crash will be less expensive. Incidentally, speaking of crashes..." Batwoman nodded towards the falling helicopter. "Go grab the thing that doesn't have a glider cape,"

"Meet you by the docks, B," Superwoman said before dropping her partner. Batwoman flipped casually, having done this hundreds of times. She spread her arms out and the cape expanded like bat wings. As the dark knight glided down, the woman of steel flew over to the falling helicopter. Marcus tried to keep it in the air while Lexis screamed in his ear.

"Fly up! You fool! Up!" The bald businesswoman screeched as the ground got closer.

"I'm trying! Maybe we should've packed parachutes instead of guns!" Marcus said back.

Before Lexis could reprimand his insubordination, the helicopter rocked suddenly. With one arm holding onto her seat and the other clutching the briefcase, Lexis looked out the front to see what happened. Outside, Superwoman had dug her fingers into the metal frame of the helicopter as she caught it out of midair.

"You! Stop touching my property!" Lexis yelled. Superwoman ignored her as she pushed back against the path of the helicopters crash. With great strength she slowed it to a stop, and then floated down where she deposited it on the ground, near one of the piers. Batwoman emerged from the shadows just as Lexis and Marcus stumbled out. Superwoman hovered over to the shadowy woman's side.

"What are you even doing here, alien freak!?" Lexis demanded. Marcus, meanwhile, was urgently trying to pull her away from the helicopter as the flames spread. "Mrs. Freeze was supposed to stop you. You should be an ice cube by now!"

"She couldn't take the heat," Superwoman jested.

"Never mind that. Where's the briefcase, Luthor?," Batwoman interjected.

"Briefcase?" Lexis said, putting on an exaggerated innocent act as she moved away from the burning helicopter.

"Yes. The one with the evidence of your illegal weapons sales, including Victoria Fries' new suit," Batwoman growled. The briefcase contained documents and data storage devices showing the trail of what Lexis had been up to while posing as a legitimate businesswoman. Lexis' agents managed to steal the evidence before it reached the Gothamopolis Police Department and the city's protectors intended to get it back.

"Oh that?" Lexis said, now looking smug. "Seems I left it in my helicopter. And with the way it's burning, I'd say it's going to go up in three...two..."

There was a loud boom as the weapons cache inside the helicopter exploded. Lexis and Marcus ducked while Batwoman shielded herself with her cape. Just before the explosion, she felt a sudden gust of wind beside her and as she lowered the cape, she saw the burning metal wreck and Lexis standing triumphantly.

"So much for your so-called evidence," Lexis sneered. "Now it's long gone,"

"Actually..." Superwoman said as she held up the very same briefcase, looking like she hadn't moved at all. "It's right here,"

"But...how!?" Lexis sputtered.

"I've got great reflexes," Superwoman answered with a grin. "I think the GPD might want a look at this,"

"Damn you!" Lexis yelled as she flew into a rage. "I'll get you both for this! You can't keep Lexis Luthor locked up! And when I get out, I'm going t-!"

Lexis' rant was cut off by the sudden throw of a bat-shaped tranquilizer dart into her neck. Lexis groaned then fell unconscious. Marcus sighed with relief and Superwoman gave Batwoman a chiding look.

"She was done," Batwoman said flatly. Superwoman smirked and scooped the caped crusader up in her arms again. The two flew off as a squad of GPD cars arrived on scene.

Batcave of Solitude

Later that night, the two women stood before a large screen located in an underground cavern. Superwoman had her arms crossed as Batwoman typed something into a holographic keyboard.

"We can trust Jane Gordon with the evidence," Batwoman said, removing her mask. "She'll make sure Luthor faces justice,"

"And Freeze is already on her way to Arkham," Superwoman added, relaxing her arms. "Looks like we might actually have a quiet night to ourselves for once,"

"Doubtful," Batwoman said. "We shouldn't let our guard down,"

"Maybe..." Superwoman said as a sly smirk appeared on her face. In a blur, Batwoman found herself held in Superwoman's arms again. Not being carried, but just held.

"Dammit, Clara!" Batwoman said as her face flushed red. "Why do you keep doing that?"

"I thought you liked it..." Superwoman said, the smile fading. "You don't like it?"

"I do. I just...I'd appreciate a little warning,"

"Oh?" Superwoman said, and the smile came right back. "Here's your warning. Guess what I'm about to do next?"

Superwoman lifted Batwoman a little higher, bringing their faces closer together. As their eyes met, the woman clad in armour knew exactly what her alien lover had in mind. Batwoman's arms wrapped around Superwoman's neck as she leaned up. Their lips got closer and closer together...and right then, an alarm sounded and the massive screen flashed red.

"Of course..." Superwoman sighed, settling for a quick kiss on Batwoman's cheek as she let go. Batwoman squeezed the Kryptonian's hand before pulling the mask back on and checking for what made the alert go off. She pressed a button and the face of a woman with greying hair and a terrified expression appeared on screen.

"Alice! What's going on?" Batwoman asked upon seeing the fear in her faithful butler's eyes.

"Miss Brenda, Miss Clara, I need you upstairs immediately!" Alice Pennyworth yelled. "Something just appeared in the sky. I...I don't know what it is. Some kind of craft. A mechanical army just dropped from it. They're storming the grounds!"

"We're coming!" Superwoman responded. She was about to grab Batwoman when the other heroine protested.

"Go slow them down. I need a moment to change into something more suitable,"

"The new suit? But you haven't tested...Fine," Superwoman flew upwards, out the secret cave entrance and through the Wayne Manor. At her speed, Alice seemed like a statue standing still, but otherwise unharmed. Superwoman landed on the manor grounds, facing an army of red coloured robots.

"No Superman escapes the Supermanhunters!" the robots chanted in expressionless unison.

"Super...man?" Superwoman muttered with a questioning look. "I think your heads need a little recalibrating. Allow me,"

Superwoman accelerated forward and punched one of the robots, leaving a fist shaped dent in its' chest as it bowled over the others behind it. One leapt up, preparing to bring both its fists down on her. Superwoman jumped up, meeting it in the air with an uppercut. She spun to her left as it fell, kicking another robot down. Superwoman planted her feet on the ground and burst forward, ploughing through the Supermanhunters like a powerful locomotive. Once there, she inhaled then blew out freezing air. The robots in front of her began to slow as they frosted over. One stopped just inches away from her, covered in a layer of ice. Superwoman flicked it with a single finger, causing it to shatter.

"No Superman escapes the Supermanhunters!" the drones chanted again as they all pulled out energy staffs. Rapid laser blasts started firing at Superwoman from all directions. They pelted her as she tried to evade them. Distracted by the incoming fire, she got tackled by a robot. She tried to stand but another and another piled on top of her. Weakened by the blasts, Superwoman could only look up as the robots that weren't pinning her down aimed in unison. Then, there was a rumble underground. A fountain on the lawn slid backwards and a platform rose out. On it was an 11 foot tall, black and grey robot with large metal fists, pointy ears and a 'V' shaped visor that glowed red.

"Get the hell off my girlfriend," Batwoman said, her voice deep and rumbling as it came out the Batmech. Missile pods emerged from the broad shoulders of the machine. Superwoman grinned as the demolition started. As the Batmech blew the Supermanhunters to smithereens, a massive ship suddenly appeared over them and a caped man in red flew out...


Earth 23

Washington D.C.

"I'm just saying, you should consider my proposal. Especially now," Doctor John Henry Irons implored.

"I have considered it," U.S. President Calvin Ellis replied. "And I've given you my answer,"

"Meta-terrorism is becoming a larger threat. You just had supervillains on the White House lawn. The country needs the Steel Service. An entire army of artificially intelligent androids, capable of round-the-clock surveillance that will never need to sleep or eat,"

"I've heard the pitch and seen the designs before, but I'm not comfortable with trusting our nation's security to unmanned drones. The Justice League is more than enough,"

"You and I both know that the League can be beaten. Today of all days should be a reminder,"

President Ellis frowned at Dr. Irons' last statement as he glanced out a window at the morning sun that filled the Oval Office with light. It cut especially deep given what happened a year ago on this day. Several buildings in Dakota damaged and the superhero Icon being killed by a kryptonite powered enemy meant for Superman. His intercom then chirped, to the surprise of both of them.

"Yes, Courtney?" President Ellis said, as he pressed a button on the device and addressed his personal assistant on the other side of the call.

"The newest member of your security team just arrived, Mr. President," Courtney said. "I'd like you to meet him, if you have a minute,"

"Send him in," Calvin answered. Dr. Irons gave him a quizzical look that the president could only respond to with a half shrug. Apparently, he didn't know anything about this either. Courtney entered the office, wearing a purple blouse with a black skirt. With her was a man in a grey suit with dark sunglasses over his eyes. Calvin got up to meet the man and Dr. Irons was right behind him.

"Given the recent situation, I thought it would be a good idea to have someone with metahuman expertise on your security detail," Courtney explained, already knowing what was on the President's mind. "Mr. Slows here is a specialist in the field. Not to mention a combat expert,"

"You sound like you know a thing or two about taking necessary precautions," Dr. Irons said to Courtney, hoping Calvin would get the point.

"It's nice to meet you, Mr...Slows, was it?" President Ellis said, knowing full well what the doctor was up to.

"Call me Daniel," the man said, in a gruff but polite voice. "You're in good hands, Mr. President,"

"I feel safer already," Calvin said as he shook Daniel's hand.


Earth 63

Gothamopolis

The entire legion of Supermanhunters had been defeated, but the battle raged on. Batwoman wrestled with the controls of her Batmech as a telekinetic force sent it skidding along the ground, tearing up grass and dirt. It came to a stop and sparked from the left side, where the arm was missing. She tried to reboot the failing machine as the unconscious form of Superwoman was lifted in the air by the telekinetic man who introduced himself as Übermensch. With a grunt, Batwoman kicked off the damaged metal plating on the front of the Batmech and scrambled out. She took the grapple gun from her belt and fired upwards but Übermensch and Superwoman were already out of range.

"Nooo!" Batwoman screamed in frustration and anger as she fell to her knees. Superwoman was carried into the ship and sealed inside. A red portal large enough to fit the massive vehicle opened in front of it and before the dark knight could stop it, the ship flew through and disappeared. Batwoman was left on her own amongst the wreckage of the robotic army she and Superwoman had decimated. Alice came out of the manor, walking around the debris to reach her. For a moment, nothing was said. Then another portal appeared. This one was much smaller than the last, as was the ship that came out of it. Batwoman stood, tightly clenching her gloved fists. The ship touched down amid the robot parts and a door opened. Batwoman stormed forward as two men came out. One seemed to be an archer, the other wore armour.

"Where is she?" Batwoman demanded with anger simmering in her tone.

"She? Oh, right, of course. Alternate universe. It's entirely possible fo-" the armoured back began to talk but Batwoman had her hand about his throat in what seemed like a blink.

"Tell me," Batwoman said. "Now!"

"Hm. An entirely different world, with yet another woman dressed as a bat," the archer commented with a somewhat amused expression.

"If you'd just let me explain...My name is Jor-El and this is Dokuya. We know what happened here," Jor-El tried to speak with the armoured glove on his neck. Batwoman slowly let go, but didn't back off.

"Thanks," Jor-El said as he inhaled. "This is going to be hard to believe but, we're from alternate versions of your world. Different Earths that- "

"I'm aware of the concept," Batwoman said impatiently. "But that doesn't answer my question,"

"Well, I'm guessing you met Übermensch. He's been bouncing across Earths, kidnapping the same person, but in alternate realities. I've been trying to stop him but so far I've always been two steps behind. Actually, we could probably use your help. If you're willing to join us,"

Batwoman glared at them both, but could tell Jor-El was speaking the truth. Even if he wasn't, his ship was the only thing she knew of that was capable of opening that portal again.

"Then we shouldn't waste anymore time," She said and pushed past both of them and walked up the ramp with her cape about herself. Dokuya and Jor-El followed her in and the ship door closed behind them. The ship hummed to life and took off, blowing bits and pieces of robots even further around the manor grounds. Alice looked on as it flew through a portal, both worried for the woman she had helped raise and irritated about the mess she left behind.


Earth 63

Fort Superman

The pod that had crash landed in Metropolis still sat in the fortress. It had seemed dormant from the outside, but the inside was another story. A young woman lay in there and her eyelids began to twitch. The pod let off a hissing sound and the front began to slide back. The young woman opened her eyes and the first thing her blurry vision saw was a bright light above her, then the tall muscular form of Nubia that stood beside her.

"Relax, you're safe," Nubia said as the woman tried to sit up and gently put a hand on her shoulder. "My name is Nubia. What is yours?"

"It...it's Kiera," the young woman said, as though struggling to remember. "My name is Kiera..."


TBC...