Title: A Matter of Conscience...

Author: laysean87

Fandom: Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, DC Animated Universe

Characters: Clark Kent/Lord Superman (Justice Lords Universe), Wally West/Flash

Summary: "Humanity had to be saved from itself. They may hate them for it, but they would learn to appreciate what they did someday.

It was for their own good."

Notes: A brief short one-shot describing Lord Superman's mindset. For context, this is during the climax of his fight with Justice League member Flash – the moment where he briefly hesitates finishing off Flash.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

"Can't do it, can you?"

Something in Flash's words caused Superman to falter. After an intense fight with the Fastest Man Alive inside Stryker's Island, the powerful leader of the Justice Lords had the speedster of Central City right where he wanted him; inside a dimly lit room of the head prison guard; his giant left hand clutching the chest of the hero's red colored costume; his right hand balled into a fist and drawn back; ready to deliver the final blow.

Even if it was against this world's Flash, and not his Flash.

He was killed, thanks to then US President Lex Luthor... a long time ago.

That's when Superman and his teammates decided to take action. It wasn't enough to put the crooks behind bars. It was no longer enough to just do a glorified cleanup job or citizen's arrest. Evil would no longer be tolerated anymore. Nor would a bad attitude about the laws they would enforce. They would have to eliminate it... for good. By any means necessary and whatever means possible.

Do what was needed to be done. Take over.

It began when Superman assassinated Lex Luthor, and it didn't stop there. For the Justice Lords, it couldn't stop there. No crime, however big or small, would ever be committed under their watch. In order to get rid of evil for good, to ensure the safety of the humans on Earth, to make a world free of crime, free of tyranny, so that no one would ever have to endure trauma or pain ever again, they had to take the next step.

This Flash and his counterparts in the Justice League could never understand that. They couldn't understand that they didn't mean to trap the League, and lock them up. The were trying to help this alternate world by getting rid of the evil and tyranny the same way they did in their own world. To be rid of all crime in their world so that everyone was safe. And in order to make a utopian world of this magnitude, they had to grab power. The ends always justifies the means.

But, no. They'd rather fight him and the Justice Lords. To continue this never ending dance of putting the criminals behind bars until the next time they escaped. And the song-and-dance routine would start all over again.

And where would the battle against all evil end, though? When would it all end?

Superman knew the answer: It would never end. As long as evil would still be free to do whatever they want on Earth, there could be no peace, no order, no security.

Humanity had to be saved from itself. They may hate them for it, but they would learn to appreciate what they did someday.

It was for their own good.

So why the pause?

"I'm the last piece of your conscience, and this is the one thing you'll never do."

Trying to appeal to the good in him, to his conscience, his ideals. Those words would've been true in another lifetime. In fact, they were true... before everything changed.

In another lifetime, Superman wouldn't have even dreamed that one day, he would end up killing the Flash. From another universe, but still the Flash, all the same. But the fact was he was beyond that now. He was beyond any kind of restraint. He was determined to have a world free of crime, where the humans on this planet would be safe... at any cost. If that meant stripping them of their freedoms, enforcing his and his teammates' will on this or any other alternate universe, even killing the Justice League from this and any other universe or dimension to do it...

...then so be it.

His jaw stiffened, his eyebrows narrowed as he stared past the mask concealing Flash's eyes. "I've done a lot of things I thought I'd never do these last two years. One more won't hurt."

Additional Note: This was an attempt to write an inner dialogue, using the mindset of Lord Superman from the JL episode 'A Better World.' If there's anything in this short story that could be edited, inserted or taken out, let me know and I'll try to deliver.

Also, yeah, I could've just said Lord Superman, but I didn't want it to sound too redundant. And again, I was trying to write this from his perspective, and as far as he and the Justice Lords goes, in their universe, he is Superman.