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The Curse of Dark Mountain (Complete Story)

I awoke to the sound of my alarm blaring like an annoying siren, I slapped the snooze button to shut it up. I had always slept in since being made redundant from my job a few years ago which eventually resulted in losing my house and the marriage.
The sky was still dark blue outside from what I could tell by the small gap in my curtain, so it didn’t hurt to get a few more hours of shut eye. As I tried to drift off to sleep again the buzzing of my phone forced my eyes wide open. I let out a groan of discomfort as I slid my hand under the pillow to grab it. I wondered who could be calling me at this time since no one rarely did anymore.
Jenny’s name popped up on the caller ID. Why would she be calling me at this time? She had never once called me since we signed the papers to call it quits on our marriage.
‘Hello?’ I called out holding the cool metal surface to my ear.
‘It’s me Jenny,’ she answered in a sombre tone, ‘Brian… It’s Ellie, she’s gone missing.’
‘What?’ I sat up fully awake, ‘How?’
‘A few days ago, she went hiking with her friends and never returned.’ She whimpered.
‘What! And you never thought about telling me this sooner. Have you called the police?’ I questioned her; it was as if she didn’t even care enough to tell me all this when it happened.
‘Yes, they’ve been searching everywhere. They asked me to call anyone who might have taken her in if she ran away from home.’
‘I’ve not seen her. You should have told me this earlier. Did she say where they were going?’
‘I wanted to tell you this but I know how much you really hated that place. They went hiking in the woods near your father’s old house.’
As soon as she mentioned that house, my heart sank like a rock in the ocean. The hairs on my neck erected and a cold shiver trembled throughout my body. ‘Fuck!’ I finished before putting slamming the phone down.
Harrison Manor, my families ancestral home since the founding of the gold mine on Dark Mountain. From what little I could remember my grandfather Jeremy passed away when it was passed down to my father, Thomas. I fucking hated the place. The creaky door’s, rumbling floorboards and that weird aura surrounding the place just stank of death. My mother had died in that damn place. From what few accounts I could find she had apparently fell off the bedroom balcony straight on to the hard-concrete floor underneath. A tragic accident they called it, but I knew exactly what went on in there. The footsteps you would hear at night pacing through the hallways and the creepy whispering from the corner of the room. That place sent shivers down my spine!
It took my mother’s death at the hands of that cursed house for my father to realize we needed to high tail the fuck out of there. I still vividly remember my father trying to shove me awake.
‘Brian! Brian! Get up now. We need to get out of here.’ My father shouted whilst continually yanking me backwards and forwards.
A strange woman’s voice maliciously laughed in the hallway jolting me awake as soon as I realized it was my mother’s voice. But how could that be? I asked myself, we had just buried her two months earlier.
The next thing I remembered was my father’s tight grip around my petite arms before he tossed me on to his shoulder covering my face with a towel before sprinting faster than an athlete down the curved wooden stairs to the ground floor. As he made his way down the bed-sheet had fallen just seconds before he got through the front door of the house, enough time to see the silhouette of a woman. I still have nightmares to this day about them gleaming crimson eyes that peered deep into my soul.
All these years I have kept my distance from that damned atrocity of a house but now the time had come for me to face my fears. I had no choice but to go back there, my daughter’s life depended on it. I picked my phone up and scrolled through my list of contacts, I pressed the screen on my father’s number and called him. The call went straight to the payment service, I had missed my payment. I hung up the phone before jumping out of bed and made my way to the restroom.
I rushed to get changed into warm clothing, the mountain had always been a cold and damp place regardless of the season. I left the apartment on an empty stomach ignoring the piles of final notice letters and unlocked my old beater of a car before twisting the key to start her up. The fuel light lit up and flashed.
After topping her tank up with the last ten dollar left in my wallet I set off towards my ancestral home. The tip of the mountain peaked above the heads of the nearby tree’s, getting bigger as I neared the demented clutches of its grasp.
I arrived at the dilapidated dirt path that lead towards the old town. It had been abandoned for more than half a century since the eventual demise of that cursed mine. My feet dug through the layers of decomposed leaves which had almost turned to soil. It had once been neatly kept by Mr Wilson, the caretaker. I remember my father had once told me the story of how he lost his eye in a mining accident. The pick-axe had slipped out of his hand and ended up bouncing off the wall so hard it landed in his eye socket leaving him blinded for the remainder of his life. I had only seen him a couple of times as a child, his tall slender body, wrinkly skin and that intimidating leather eye patch he always wore. My grandfather Thomas felt sorry for the man and gave him the job of taking care of the manor. When the other miners abandoned the village after the mine ran dry of precious ore he stayed behind and worked without pay, owing him a lifetime of servitude.
The unnatural fog that had always surrounded this damned mountain began to surround me as I neared the heart of the lonely village. It became so dense I couldn’t see further than a few meters.
‘Ellie!’ I called out at the top of my voice, only to hear the echo bounce back.
‘Ellie!’ I shouted once more, there was still no response. I turned to shout once more when I noticed the small silhouette of a child. I ran towards it but It disappeared before I could catch it. ‘Hello!’ I called out, ‘you can come out. I’m not here to hurt you. I’m just looking for my daughter, Ellie…, hello!’ Damn it.
I noticed a small pathway in the ground, I followed it until I reached a set of old rusted gates which lead me into the graveyard next to the old church. The graves of my ancestors and deceased townsfolk were scattered around me. I reached the thick wooden doors of the monastery which had been left open. Once abandoned the town had been subjected to the occasional looting by lowlifes. Nature had crawled inside through all the nook’s and cranny’s to reclaim the land which it had once ruled. Nothing but a cold darkness blanketed the once warm interior of the chapel, I grabbed my lighter and lit one of the old lanterns and checked to see if it would still ignite. Luckily there was enough fumes in the relic to give me a viable light source.
In the far corner of the nave a child’s figure hid behind the alter. ‘Hello!’ I called out.
The child peeked from the side, watching me as I approached.
‘It’s alright, I won’t hurt you.’ I softly said in the nicest tone I could muster. ‘What’s your name?’
The child moved away from the alter until there was enough light for me to see. It was a young boy younger than ten years of age by the looks of him.
‘I thought you was the one-eyed man.’ He whimpered.
He couldn’t have meant the caretaker; it must have been decades since his death. He was a wrinkly old man when I was a little boy in the 1960’s. ‘No. Why would you say that? He’s been dead for years. Come here young man.’
The boy moved closer, once in the light of the lantern I noticed his cold blue skin. ‘What are you doing here? Where are your parents?’ I asked determined to know what this little boy was doing out here in the middle of nowhere.
‘My names Timothy,’ He said looking down before I noticed a tear roll down his cheek, ‘My mother was killed by the one-eyed man, he’s been trying to get me ever since.’
Everyone knew the mines had been abandoned due to the fact they had been ran dry and not a soul had called this town their home in over forty years. Something was off about this whole situation. ‘You keep mentioning this one-eyed man. I’ve told you he’s been dead for many years now. There’s no way he could still be alive after all these years.’
‘Your wrong, I saw him the other day. He was carrying a girl on his shoulder back to Lord Harrison's house.’
‘What? Did you see what the girl looked like. My daughter went missing around here a few day’s ago. What did the girl look like?’ I asked dropping down to my knee’s to grab the boy’s arms. A cold dreadful feeling erupted in my hands as a cold energy froze the tips of my fingers to a point where I thought they would fall off. I winched them back before I noticed the boy had vanished. I looked around to try and find him to no avail. ‘Hello?’ I called out. ‘Where have you gone?’ The words echoed a few times until noting but a deafening silence filled my ears. What on earth just happened?
The path lead me back to town where I followed the old cobblestone road to the great wooden doors of my ancestral home. I pushed to open them but they were welded shut, without the key I needed to find another way in. Luckily the time I spent here as a child did not go without adventure. The nostalgic rush of running around in the garden brought a tear to my eye. I had ran in to the shed whilst my father was building a new fence for mothers flower garden, he had needed to go in to the basement to gather some of the tools, hiding the spare basement key behind a pile of old cobblestone which had gathered nearly a century of dust.
I pulled the stone’s apart causing some to hit the moldy floor, a dark metallic texture dotted with spots of rust greeted my eyes, Hopefully this works. Whilst in the shed I found a small container of kerosene; I filled the lantern I had found earlier and made my way to the rotten doors of the basement. The doors opened their arms, creaking and crashing to the ground as I let go of their grasp. The thick fog flowed into its dark depths as I ignited my lantern and stomped down the sandstone stairs.
I had never been in the basement; my father had always told me to wait in the garden whenever he had gone inside. ‘There’s decades of dust and mold down there… and spiders as big as your hands.’ His voice echoed in my head.
I hated spiders with a passion as a kid, this house was always so full of them. Crawling up the wall’s, hanging from the ceiling and leaving cobweb’s as big a person in their wake. The basement was full to the brim with their dead carcasses along with webs that were so old they were covered in thick dust like every other square inch of this damn place. The dull light of the lamp illuminated the area enough so that I could see rows of junk and cardboard box’s full of old family heirlooms. An old bookcase full of leather journals caught my attention near the stairs leading up to the ground floor.
I randomly selected one of the books and wiped the dust off with my hand. It was an aged journal belonging to the man that had built this house, Jonathan Harrison, the man who discovered gold in the mountain and founded my family’s reputation. I stuffed it into my jacket’s pocket to read once I had found better lighting conditions. I stomped up the stairs leading up and kicked the door wide open, snapping the rusted iron lock in half.
‘Ellie!’ I called out. The only replies I could hear were the echoes of my voice bouncing off the damp surface of the crumbling walls. I pushed the lantern ahead and marched into the main hall before looking up the stairs where they became engulfed in darkness.
A set of heavy footsteps erupted above my head. I ran up as fast as I could nearly stumbling over in the process frantically calling Ellie’s name. Most of the door’s in the hallway were closed shut except the door to my old bedroom, my father must’ve left it open when we escaped all those years ago. It was open enough to allow what a little big of light to pour through the edges somewhat lighting my path. I took in a deep breath and swung it open.
It had been left untouched, exactly how I remembered it the night my father had taken me away. My small beg stood in front of the large single glazed window where the curtains were left half open. I pulled them apart to allow more light to flow in. My toys littered the floor as they always did. A light mist grew in my eyes as my mothers image burned in the dark corners of my mind, years of torment, drug use and counseling had caused me to forget her face. But her love for me and the things she did for me had never ceased to exist. She would always tell me off for leaving such a huge mess in the room and clean it up everyday just for me to do the same the next day.
I sighed before grabbing the journal from the depths of my pocket before setting my eyes on the ancient paper. The ink had faded to the point where some of the words had become incomprehensible and brown stains that looks like tea had scarred the paper.
Jonathan Harrison, my ancestor, had traveled west with his fellow soldiers after their victory the Mexican-American war. The US government had given them mineral rights to the Colorado mountain range for their efforts in the war. With the Californian gold rush in full effect, they set out with their pickaxes, weapons and supplies to scour the new lands for gold. As a Captain in the military, Jonathon had naturally been given command of the band of prospectors. After nearly a year of no success they stumbled upon a tribe on a mountain know by the natives as Dark Mountain. The Tse'khene, the people of the rocks.
According to these people it was their mission to guard the spirits that roamed the caverns of the mountain. Occasionally they had traded with the Spanish for over a hundred years in fur’s, food and weapons. Some of the restless prospectors fueled by a never-ending greed had noticed some of the natives wearing golden trinkets and began harassing them to trade and allow them to mine the mountain. Outraged by this the elder asked them all to leave their lands.
Angered by this some of the men’s aimed their revolvers at the natives which led to a large confrontation. Before the situation could be contained bullets and arrows flew across both sides injuring and killing many, their blood seeping through the pours of the dirt and into the belly of the mountain. Only Jonathon and a handful of his men survived the ordeal, they stared at the chief who coughed a lungful of blood before laughing and speaking words in his native tongue.
I stopped reading the journal disgusted at the horrible events depicted in the journal. My families legacy was based on the bloodshed of the natives at the hands of stupid greed. No wonder karma had come back to bite the family in the ass. No wonder I had never had any luck with money or with anyone to be fair. I had met my wife Jenny whilst studying at college before we knew it, we had both falling in the deep ditches of each other’s hearts. Before we knew it, we were married with a child on the way. I was working at a local part-time job at an accounting firm when depression struck me harder than lightening. I lost my job, the wife and my life.
I gasped a deep breath before letting loose a deep sigh. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed down the hallway before a door creaked open and shortly slammed shut. I stumbled out of the bedroom and darted down the hallway opening door’s and searching all the rooms one by one. They were all void of anyone or anything. Who could that have been? I even checked the closet’s.
‘Hey! Is anyone there? I know you’re here somewhere. I just heard you run down the hall.’ I called out in a raised tone. What the hell was up with this place? There was no sign of anyone.
The evening began to set with the slight dimming of the sky, I didn’t feel like staying here any longer so I made my way back down into the basement. As I neared the entrance, I noticed it was now shut. I had never closed it. I pushed with all my strength but couldn’t get it to budge even an inch, it was as if something heavy had been placed over it. I sighed and made my way back into the main hall. I remembered my father had always kept a spare key for the main door in his office which was just down the hall.
I swung the door open which revealed many bookcases filled with a century worth of reading material. Piles of paperwork sat on his desk in the far corner of the room. Whilst prowling through the small cabinet I noticed a dark iron key around a key-chain which held another key which read “Mines”. I don’t know why the key for the mine was attacked to the house key, I didn’t really care as long as I could open the front door and get out. The last thing I wanted was to sleep the night here. As I went for the door a loud scream emerged from outside, I darted for entrance and twisted the key with all my strength. The lock had nearly completely seized but I managed to prop it open slamming the door on the wooden frame that surrounded it. I ran outside but the darkness of the evening made it harder to see anything in the dense fog which had become thicker.
Another scream erupted, I turned towards the path which lead to the old mines where a large shadowy figure held what looked like a woman before the fog obscured my vision.
I ran along the old cobbled path towards the mine. The figure had disappeared as if it was just my mind playing tricks on me. The blanket of evening loomed as I sighed at the disappearance of the man before approaching the entrance of the mine. The entrance had been left wide open to greet me with its open arms as if someone had rushed into the mine not to even bother closing the doors. Whoever that was must have gone in there.
Before entering I lit the lantern that I had found in the church. I could see just enough so I didn’t stumble over my own footing as I edged closer to the heart of the tomb which had once held a great many riches for those who came before me.
The sound of water drops echoed down the surface of the cold and damp walls as I reached the ancient wooden elevator that lead deeper into the bowels of this cursed mountain, it had been lowered all the way down. There was a door near it which read “Office”, I tried to open it, twisting the handle a few times to no result. I took the key which I had found earlier in my father’s office and lined it up against the wall, it was a perfect fit.
Once the room was illuminated with the dim yellow flame of the lantern, I noticed another desk where piles of rotten paperwork, a ledger and a small journal rested neatly upon it’s surface. A silver-plated pick-axe rested in place on a plaque behind the desk. I picked the journal up reading the name on the front. It belonged to an Oliver Harrison, if my memory serves me right that was the name of my great grandfather. Curious to know more I opened it and read.
He had taken over the mine after his father had mysteriously died whilst conducting a survey of the lower levels. He had spent many day’s lamenting over the demise of his father before taking the mantle of running the mine. This was around the time when the output of the mine had begun to deteriorate to the point where many miners had left on their own accord to find better work elsewhere. He had received reports that described strange noises and shadowy figures roaming the deep caverns below. Annoyed by these reports he ventured down, only to return a few day’s later with no recollection of what had transpired, he only brought one thing out with him and that was a large nugget of silver which had been scraped against a rock to hold a sharp edge. After this point the words in the journal became unintelligible.
From what I could discern from the journal my great grandfather had created a weapon from silver, he must have discovered a weakness to the evil that lurked deep within. I turned around and grabbed the silver-plated pick-axe which held the initials “O.H. 999Ag” engraved upon the wooden handle. He must have made this to fight the shadow people, if there was any chance of me getting out of this alive it would be with this pick-axe.
With the generator out of order and no fuel to even get it started there would be no way I could pull the elevator back up. I doubted it would have even held my weight without snapping after all these years. Opposite the office door I noticed a path that the miners would have used before it’s installation.
At the bottom I found the remains of the lift, broken pieces and shards of wood littered the floor like a shattered pane of glass. Large amounts of water seeping into the mine had caused it to flood the lower levels, red rusty water reached all the way up to my ankles. My socks were soaked and my feet were saturated to the bone as I kicked my way through the grimy water.
I froze like a statue as I heard the splashing of footsteps in the distance. I aimed the light of the lantern ahead only for the hairs on the back of my neck to become erect and a strange feeling of uneasiness to tingle throughout my whole body. The shadowy figure of a man stopped in it’s tracks and turned to face me. What in the hell is this?
Upon examining me for a moment it lunged towards me with that opaque dark body of its, I managed to raise the pick-axe in front of me enough to stop it in it’s tracks. It just stared at me with it’s featureless face obviously frightened to go anywhere near the silver.
I wasn’t going to wait any longer just staring at it, I raised the pick-axe once more and with all my might I pushed the sharp end of it towards the face of the angry spirit. It’s body dissipated into the surrounding air. Feeling a lot safer now that it had been dealt with, I moved forward.
Up ahead I noticed movement, so I slowed down and hid behind a mining crate. From what I could tell it was the man from before who was carrying the body of that woman. It was too foggy for me to notice if it was Ellie or not but regardless of finding my daughter there was someone that needed my help. The figure stopped what it was doing before turning around to stare in my general vicinity. It must have sensed me somehow. I removed myself from cover to confront this maniac, once in the light of the lantern I noticed the black eye patch around it’s eye. It was the caretaker but his dark blue skin and gleaming yellow eye made me rethink this whole situation. The caretaker had been dead for decades, there was absolutely no way he could have survived that long here all alone. It could be an evil spirit that has taken control of his deceased body.
The caretaker raised his pick-axe and let out a deep demented growl almost making me wet my pants as I readied my silver weapon to defend myself.
The caretaker charged towards me with a relentless blow, I managed to dodge to the side and avoid his attack. Splashes of water had dispersed in every direction, some even landing on my face. Adrenaline raced throughout my body like a powerful bolt of lightning, I nearly dropped my only source of light in the process. I held on to it’s rusted handle tightly as it’s rough surface pricked my hand like a cactus.
The enraged warden had lost his balance as the sharp claw of his weapon splashed in the water most likely ripping a chunk of the floor apart. He swiftly turned and like a raged bull came at me once again but I managed to dodge in the nick of time as he charged into the uneven spine of the tunnel. Taking my opportunity, I whacked him in the head lodging the silver-plated pick-axe deep into the mess of brains that remained. The shock of the blow still reverberated throughout my arm; it would have rendered any normal person obsolete but this creature just shrugged it off. I just stood there frozen like a statue.
Before I could react, the creature had barged into me with its shoulder knocking me down into murky water ass first. My clothes became saturated and the final embers of the lantern breathed their last breath before dying out. ‘Damn it!’ I shouted. I was now truly fucked.
The caretakers feet splashed in the water as he made his way towards me in the pitch-black tunnel. I tried to stay as still as possible, even going as far as holding my breath just to survive a little bit longer but it was no use the bastard just kept on coming towards me. I closed my eyes as the failures of my life flashed before my eyes. I wasn’t proud of some of the decisions I made in life but I would never trade it if it meant saving my daughter from the clutches of this tyrannical place. I clenched the wooden handle of my weapon with a vice like grip seconds before my demise.
Suddenly the creature stopped in it’s tracks as the sounds of Native American war cry’s erupted like a swarm of bats all around me. I opened my eyes to the sight of total shock, the hairs on the back of my neck became elongated and a terror gushed into my body as the gleaming bodies of spectral figures swung their weapons at the caretaker. What remained of his lifeless body laid almost fully submerged face-face in the water.
There was enough light from the ghostly figures to illuminate the dark body of the cave. They all stood around me in a circle before one stepped forward, ‘You are not Oliver Harrison, why do you wield his weapon?’
I peered deep in to
I looked in its translucent eyes with fear coursing through my veins. Could this be real? Or did that abomination kill me and this is the afterlife. I gasped in a breath and sighed, ‘My name is Brian Harrison, Oliver was my great-grandfather. This thing,’ I pointed at the dead body, ‘took my daughter. I don’t know where she is. Can you please help me?’ I cried dropping a few tears in my plea.
The figure turned and looked deeper into the cave, ‘I’m afraid you’re too late. He must have taken here to the other side.’
‘The other side?’ I asked.
‘Beyond the water lies a gate. Once passed will take you to the lair of the demon that chokes us all with a curse.’
‘So, you’re also afflicted with the same curse as my damn family.’ I sighed.
‘My people the Tse’khene died protecting this mountain from the greed of your family. The silver ore that once filled this mountain protected us all from the whims of the Nun’Tuni’Wi. Oliver understood this and tried to stop the mining operation but it was too late. It’s reach is now greater than the mountain itself.’ The specter explained.
Now I understood why he kept this silver pick-axe in the office, for someone like me to figure all this out. If anyone’s going to defeat that demon it has to be me. ‘How do I lift the curse and get my daughter back? I will do anything just to hold her in my arms again. Even if it’s the death of me.’
‘The curse can’t be lifted; the demon is too powerful for even us. You don’t even stand a chance. I had believed Oliver to be the person to lift the curse but even he failed. When he returned from the battle there was a part of his soul missing. Only with the death of the demon who is now many times more powerful than it was then will the curse be lifted.’ He looked at his warriors and continued, ‘Your cause is just, we will not stop you. We will journey with you through the gate. The demons magic is too powerful for us to take this form.’
‘Then how will you accompany me there?’
Their ghostly aura dissipated into the air around me and gushing into the core of my weapon like water being funneled down a drain. Their presence illuminated the silver with enough light radiating from it to illuminate my dark path.
The water began to rise and reached almost to my neck but the spirit kept guiding me further. I had become completely submerged in the water and could just about make my way along. Panic began to set in as the deep breath I took earlier began to run out. My brain was becoming hungry for oxygen as starvation began to take hold. My eyesight began to fade and that was when I knew I had just made the worst mistake of my life.
Mere seconds before I passed out my head peaked above the water and I grasped the most desperate breath of air I had ever taken in my life. My sight slowly returned to me and that was when I noticed the gleaming crimson surface of the cave as if it had been covered in large rubies. An unnatural heat hugged me as I walked further and the water went back down. I used the glow of the pick-axe to ignite my path as I navigated the endless caverns.
A vast chamber presented itself to me where rows of torches lit the demons lair. The blood-filled rubies sparkled in the flickering of the flames surrounded by giant claw’s which held the remains of the creatures victims. I noticed the tormented expressions on their blackened faces as I tried to imagine the suffering they must have gone through.
Across from me in the far end one of the bodies stood out from the others, it was that of a young girl. I ran towards her as fast as I could. ‘Ellie!’ I shouted to no response. There was enough space between the fingers of the unnatural hand that held her for me to check her pulse. She was still alive. I furiously shook her with all I had in an attempt to wake her.
Ellie’s eye’s snapped open and she began to scream as if she had just awoken from a nightmare. If only she realized that It was me who had come to save her.
‘Ellie, It’s me. Calm down before it realizes, I’m here.’ I tried to persuade to no avail. She just carried on in her frenzy. All my efforts to calm her down were futile as I slowly realized she was stuck in some kind of trance the demon had put her in.
A deep menacing growl erupted in the distance when the large figure of the creature unveiled itself from the corner of my eye. I turned to face it’s gigantic body, a hunk of green scaly meat over eight feet in tall and as broad as three men. Two horns protruded from it’s head and curved around like they did on a goats head. It growled once again at the sight of me revealing razor sharp teeth that could have ripped me in half if given the chance. It moved fast considering it’s size and nearly caught me off guard as I dodged the charge. What on earth did I just get myself in to here? One measly hit from this thing would most definitely mean the end of me. I did the only thing I could and that was to run to the other end of the chamber from where I came.
I raised the pick-axe and whispered into it, ‘How the fuck am I going to even kill that thing?’ hoping that the Native American warriors that had hitchhiked with me to this dark and forsaken place could lend me some of their valuable knowledge in my time of need.
‘The Nun’Tuni’Wi’s source of power comes from the victims it has tortured. The people whose souls are trapped in the hellish hands of this creatures grasp must be released from their torment. Only then you may face it on equal terms.’
Moments before the creature closed in on me, the thought clicked in my head. I jogged to the nearest body and swung the axe in to it’s head. A gassy white aura emerged from the body before I moved on to the next one. Before long I had managed to outrun the demon and release half a dozen souls from their misery. But my success had come to an end when it had finally caught me by surprise with a powerful thump. I was launched to the other side of the chamber landing face first into the stench of a decaying corpse. It wouldn’t have taken a doctor tell me that I had multiple broken ribs and a collapsed lung as every breath I took vomited streams of blood. I coughed, splattering blood everywhere. I was done for; it would only be another minute or so until my eventual death. I dropped my head in a shameful defeat when suddenly the corpse kicked me with its bony feet.
‘What the fuck?’ I wheezed as more blood spewed out from my mouth lifting my head to take a look at the corpse.
It’s body began to regenerate the more of my blood it sucked in like a vacuum. ‘I can help you.’ The corpse mumbled as it’s nearly ripped off jaw pulled it self-back together.
I groaned in pain as I felt the trembling of the ground beneath me as the demon stomped closer.
‘Give me you arm.’ It pleaded now in more precise words as it regained its ability to speak.
With mere seconds left to decide I didn’t know what to do. I was as good as dead anyway especially like this. It was worth a try even if it gave me the slightest chance at saving Ellie. I had failed her as a father but I will not fail her by letting her be a subjected to that fucking demon. I let loose a weak sigh and pushed my arm towards it’s mouth with all the energy I could muster. It’s sharp fangs punctured my skin and from what I could feel injected a thick liquid into me. A strange tingle rushed around me before it began to sting more and more as if I had been exposed to the strongest venom that could possibly exist. I screamed in agony when suddenly I heard my ribs snap back into place. My wounds slowly regenerated and I now had the energy to dodge the charge of the demon.
I stood away few meters away from it astonished at the feat I had just achieved. My body had naturally moved out of the way in what a biologist would call a reflex action. I clenched my fist and could instantly feel raw power coursing through my veins. It came for me once more but the speed of my actions were so fast, I had unknowingly punched it in the face, causing it to lose balance. Whilst the beast was stunned, I grabbed the pick-axe and held it above my head, clenching it so tight my fingers had squashed the wooden handle like a sponge. With all my newfound strength I went for the head.
A thick dark green liquid oozed out from it’s head when the spirits of the native’s finally had their chance to escape. They jumped the demon with a flurry of attacks until it no longer twitched. The giant claws released their hold on the prisoners in the chamber before the bodies of their victims hit the cold damp floor. The chamber shifted and morphed back to what the normal caves in the mountain would have looked like. Everything vanished before my eyes except my daughter’s body. I ran towards her and checked her once again before lifting her up.
When I turned around to make my way out of the cave the spirits of my ancestors stood behind me together with happiness on their faces. One of them picked the silver-plated pick-axe off the ground before everything went dark. I had done it. I had saved Ellie and freed my ancestors from the tight noose of that creature. The Harrison's were finally free from this damn curse.
My eye’s adjusted to the pitch black and for some strange reason I could see through the darkness. I made my way back from where I came. The flooding that once filled the entrance was now gone and once, I was back outside I noticed the fog had also ceased to exist as the ray’s of the morning sun rose from the horizon. I raced back to the car and tossed Ellie in the back seat before hitting the gas towards the nearest hospital I could think of.
I glanced back at the old road that lead to the dilapidated building when I noticed the body of a man staring back at me with gleaming red eye’s. It resembled the creature that had bitten me in the caves. I knew that would not be the last time I see him but my main concern at that moment was to get Ellie the care she needed.
submitted by Aqibali1993 to DrCreepensVault

6

The Rise of Superman

“Dad? I just got your message, and I’m on my way home. But something else is going to get there before me, and you need to be ready for it.
These past few weeks, I’ve dealt with your old “pal” Mongul’s attempts to take over Space Sector 2814 in the absence of the Green Lanterns. During the mission, he used a mindless biological monstrosity known as “Doomsday” to attack me. I was able to drive off the creature and bring Mongul to justice, but not before he was able to upgrade the creature with my Kryptonian DNA and send it towards Earth.
“I’m on my way back to Earth as fast as I can, but Doomsday has a head start on me. You’ll have to try to deal with it first. This monster has strength on our level, and is practically invulnerable. And it’s going to be even more powerful with Kryptonian powers. You need to do everything you can to stop it…”
DC Next presents an epic, world-shifting saga on its first anniversary...

THE RISE OF SUPERMAN

By u/VengeanceKnight
Story By VengeanceKnight and u/JPM11S
Edited by u/AdamantAce, u/PatrollintheMojave, JPM11S, and u/ElusiveMonty
LAST | [NEXT]

CHAPTER 1

The alarms blared through Metropolis as they had done in other great times of crisis. Alien invasions, nigh-omnipotent mad sorcerers, gangs of enhanced beings— the City of Tomorrow had been through it all. Thanks to Superman and his allies, the city had barely been affected by events that would have fatally affected any other city in the world.
So when Superman had notified Chief Turpin of a coming alien attack that could possibly rival Coast City in terms of the destruction it could cause, the citizens of Metropolis didn’t panic or feel particularly afraid, even as they evacuated the city. Superman would set things right, just the way he always did.
Superman himself did not share their optimism.
Superman flew through Metropolis using his X-ray vision, checking for any stragglers. He had already delivered a few outside the city limits, and was getting reports from his allies that they were doing the same. Superman didn’t know when the monster was going to arrive, but he wasn’t about to take risks.
As he scanned, Superman couldn’t see anyone left in the city, except for police officers, emergency responders, his Metropolis-based superhero allies, some stragglers at Cadmus (which even under Director Olsen, tended to do what it wanted to in terms of cooperating with public orders), and…
“Lois!” snapped Clark, as he flew to the balcony of their apartment. “The evacuation order applies to you too, you know!”
Lois was sitting in a chair on the balcony with a foldaway table in front of her, and a laptop on top of that table.
“Sorry, Clark. If this is something with the potential to be as big as Coast City, I am not missing out. This story demands to be covered.”
Clark rolled his eyes, feeling a mix of annoyance and love: after all, this fearlessness had been a major part of what had attracted him to Lois in the first place. But still…
“This is dangerous, Lois, even by our standards. You’ll be able to get eyewitness accounts from many of the people on the ground. Come on, I’ll take you outs—”
Clark, no. It’s not just my duty as a reporter. I heard the message, too. Jon’s coming back, and I’m going to be here when he arrives.”
Clark opened his mouth to argue further, but closed it after a moment of silence. There really was no argument he could make.
Just then, Clark heard Steel call out to him. “Lobo’s sighted the ship. It’s on course to hit East Metropolis in about ten minutes.”
Clark sighed and turned to Lois.
“Just… try to stay out of danger.”
“I always do. I’m just not the best at it. Now, go get ‘em, Superman!”
Superman couldn’t help but grin as he flew away. He was a lucky man. As he thought on that, his smile faded a bit. For nearly a year now, his days had been numbered. He didn’t know how long it was going to be before the energy in his cells was fully depleted.
And worse, ever since the Steppenwolf incursion, his powers had been fizzling out even more. They would disappear for minutes, and then come back in full force. Before he had attacked Apokolips, they had only acted up for a couple seconds at most. Now, something as powerful as he was, if not more so, was about to attack his city. What would happen if his powers faded in the midst of this crisis?
Superman pondered this even as he lined up with his fellow Metropolis heroes. John Henry Irons, or Steel, with his highly powerful and advanced suit of armor and hammer made from nearly indestructible Kryptonian metals; Maxima, former tyrant of Almeracia and current protector of the Suicide Slums; Lobo, intergalactic biker, repentant mercenary, and Maxima’s on-again-off-again boyfriend; and Kon-El, the second Guardian, keeper of Jim Harper’s legacy, biologically Clark’s clone, and the brother he’d never had.
As the five heroes stood on the roof of the Daily Planet, waiting for the ship to crash, Clark observed them all standing together, waiting to face whatever came out of the wreckage.
It was Conner who saw it first. “Cadmus! It’s going to hit Cadmus!”
And indeed, a bulky, bullet-shaped rocket was hurtling toward Earth, straight for the Cadmus complex.
The Metropolis heroes immediately sprang into action. Superman, Maxima, and Steel flew toward the crash, while Lobo leaping on his beloved Spacehog and kicking it into gear, with Conner grabbing onto the side.
When they arrived at Cadmus, the building had suffered massive damages as the rocket had smashed through the roof. Conner winced at seeing his old home reduced to so much rubble. The heroes quickly located the crashed ship, which still hadn’t opened to reveal its cargo. Lobo leapt off his cycle and rushed forward, but Steel blocked the Czarnian’s charge with his hammer.
“Easy, Lobo. We need to exercise caution.”
“Ain’t exactly my strong suit, Tin-man…” Lobo pointed out.
“I agree,” Maxima snarled. “I say we attack this mindless beast before it has a chance to attack us!
“Everyone, quiet!” Superman said, observing the downed rocket. “I can’t see through the material, so it might be a trap. We need to wait for it to come out.”
Just as Superman finished speaking, the rocket began to hiss, as the material it was made from began to dissolve. The floor began to melt away around it, causing the heroes to all take a step backwards.
“Good call, Blue.” Lobo admitted as he observed the acidic sludge that was forming from the rocket’s hull. Steel shook his head.
As the rocket melted away, its cargo became more and more visible: a massive, vaguely human-shaped mass covered in bony spikes. When the rocket finished melting, the mass’ eyes snapped open and he seemed to break out of a deep slumber. He stepped forward in a sort of robotic fashion and roared, causing all the heroes to take a step back, except Lobo, who grinned in an almost psychotic way.
“Cute. But I know the difference between the roar of a warrior, and the roar of a mindless beast. You’re definitely the beast-y kind.” Lobo whipped out his garrote, and flung it forward. The hook wrapped around Doomsday’s neck and shattered like a cheap toy when Lobo yanked it towards him. Before Lobo had time to react with anything except shock, he had been uppercutted about a hundred feet in the air.
Maxima instinctively flew up to catch Lobo, while Superman, Guardian, and Steel charged forward. Guardian tackled the beast, Steel swinging down his hammer, and Superman blasting it with his heat vision. None of this registered with the beast, who grabbed Conner and threw him at Steel, then charged Superman with a punch from its bony claw. Superman caught the punch and held it as the beast ran forward, pushing Superman through several walls and out onto the streets of Metropolis.
Superman grunted as the beast swung its other fist and connected with him, knocking him back a dozen feet. Superman glanced back toward Cadmus and saw his allies charging out after himself and Doomsday.
The fight was on.

CHAPTER 2

Jon Kent steered his ship through the vastness of space, feeling that Earth, that growing blip in the front viewport of his ship, couldn’t get closer fast enough. For on his home planet, Mongul’s mindless living weapon Doomsday was wreaking havoc on his homeworld. A world that no longer had a Justice League to protect it. A world that had already suffered a massive crisis that had left millions dead, and could very well be suffering another one.
Jon could only pray to whatever gods he could think of — some real, some imagined, some Earthly, some Kryptonian — that he could get back home in time to stop the worst of it.
Superman measured the minutes in blows, as he did everything he could to block the berserker strikes of Doomsday. Despite Superman being far more calm and collected than the mindless beast, every attack sent him flying away, barely able to recover from the last strike.
Every now and then, one of his allies would make a move against the monster, to little avail. Lobo had already broken his beloved garrote weapon on its neck, Steel’s hammer had clanged uselessly against its back, Maxima had been decked to the ground in one savage right hook, and Conner had been repeatedly swatted to the side despite getting up and coming back for more each time.
But for all its strength, nothing Doomsday could do could truly hurt Superman. Every attack from the beast bounced off the Man of Steel, causing him only minor pain. Years upon years of taking hits, some from beings nearly as strong as Doomsday, had toughened Superman even beyond what the power of Earth’s sun had given him.
Conversely, nothing Superman could do could even scratch Doomsday. The DNA of hundreds of alien beings had strengthened its flesh to the point where even if the creature was sentient enough to be capable of understanding the concept of pain, it would not be able to feel it. As a result, Superman’s punches seemed to cause his knuckles more distress than the monster.
Superman decided that hand-to-hand combat was a bad approach. It was going nowhere, and Doomsday seemed to have the edge anyway. Superman dodged the next punch and leapt into the air, hovering out of Doomsday’s reach.
To Superman's horror, the creature turned out to be capable of the same.
Superman’s priorities immediately shifted to returning the fight to the ground: if Doomsday was able to fly away from the evacuated Metropolis and escape to a more populated area, the death toll could exceed Coast City. Superman could not have that on his conscience.
Superman tackled the monster in mid-air, sending it hurtling toward the ground. Luckily, the attack seemed to stun the monster enough for Superman to grab the creature and fling him into a nearby building that Superman vaguely recognized as an old Lexcorp warehouse.
As Doomsday struggled to regain its bearings, Superman pressed the advantage and began to bear down, striking it into the ground. Despite Superman pressing his advantage, Doomsday was slowly recovering.
Out the corner of his eye, Superman saw Conner running towards the fight yet again. Superman opened his mouth to tell Conner to back down, but he immediately tasted a punch from Doomsday that sent him reeling backwards.
Conner dashed towards Doomsday, tucking and rolling under a right hook from the creature to end up directly behind him. He wrapped his arms around Doomsday’s chest, furrowing his brow and concentrating.
Suddenly, Doomsday froze up, unable to move. Superman, recovering from Doomsday’s jaw shot, understood immediately. Conner was using his tactile telekinesis on Doomsday to freeze him in place.
Superman tried a new approach, and grabbed the creature’s face, digging his thumbs into its eyes. Once again his attacks did nothing. Superman then tried to attack the creature’s brain by focusing his heat vision through its eyes. Again, nothing happened. His attack couldn’t even scratch it.
At this point, it was clear that causing the creature pain was impossible. Jon’s message had mentioned that the creature was a “biological monstrosity,” and he was beginning to understand why. It was less of a living thing than it was a robot, carrying out its programmed orders in a cold, efficient manner. Superman couldn’t help but take a moment to breathe in relief that no one else was present.
All of a sudden, Doomsday broke free of Conner’s grip, lashing out with its arms and whacking him with great force. Conner was thrown back against the wall of the warehouse, crumpling to the ground in a heap.
For the first time since Coast City, Superman began to feel panic.The creature had just incapacitated the last of his allies, and only Superman was left to prevent the monster from leaving Metropolis and wreaking havoc on the world at large. And he couldn’t do it alone. It was impossible for him to destroy or contain the monster by himself.
As the creature began to charge toward him, Superman resolved himself. He had to defeat this beast, without regards to what was possible.
The entire fight, Superman had been fighting as he always had: holding back for the sake of anyone caught in the middle of his fights. Now, not even his allies still stood to be hurt by the side effects of his full strength. In this moment… he had to be done holding back.
Superman caught the creature’s lunging strike in his left hand and retaliated with a devastating right uppercut. The monster staggered back from the force, clearly damaged, but that didn’t compare to what Superman was feeling. Superman roared in pain as the bones in his hand shattered, causing him to fall to his knees in pain. The creature pressed its advantage and backhanded Superman out of the building and into the street again.
Superman’s body collided with the pavement and he heard another sickening crunch. He looked at his left leg, and felt a numb surprise at how it was twisted at a sickening angle.
Doomsday leapt down into the street, eyeing its prey, evaluating whether or not the man could pose any threat to it. The monster walked slowly toward the prone form of Superman, who struggled to get back up, pulling himself into a standing position, wincing at the pain in his ankle. He put up his hands, ready to block the monster’s next attack. The monster responded by blasting him full force with heat vision.
Superman was thrown away, impacting the pavement yet again. And again, he pulled himself into a standing position. The monster responded with another blast.
Superman stood up. Doomsday blasted him down.
Superman stood again. Doomsday blasted him again.
Superman stood. Doomsday blasted him.
Again, and again. Until at last, the monster walked toward him, and began to beat him into the ground. Only stopping when it was clear that Superman was not moving. It turned around and walked away, until it heard a cough come from the figure.
Superman pulled himself to his feet again, and raised his hands, and spoke.
“As long as you’re fighting me… you’re not hurting anyone else. And I will not let that happen.You’re going to have to kill me before you do anything else.”
Doomsday seemed to agree with Superman’s logic, and he walked back toward the Man of Steel, preparing to perform something more final. It grabbed Superman’s neck, and pulled back its fist, winding up for one last, devastating punch. Superman refused to close his eyes, glaring daggers at the weapon that had beaten his body to a pulp, and was about to end his life. Then he heard a scream.
“DAD!”
Superman felt the hand loosen from his neck to deal with this new threat. The creature wasn’t fast enough to stop the new challenger from grabbing it by the legs, and throwing it through about five different buildings.
Jon Kent took the moment of respite offered by his latest attack and held out his hand.
“Dad, I’m sorry I didn’t get here sooner. And I can see you’re hurt. But I can’t handle this monster alone. Please… please get up so we can take it together.”
Clark reached out and grasped his son’s hand as he felt his bones begin to heal from the stored-up solar energy in his body.
“I’m… I’m all right. All… all of that… was just a warm-up.” A grin flitted across the older Kryptonian’s face as he pulled himself up again. “Let’s show this animal how the Kents keep their home safe.”

CHAPTER 3

Doomsday could barely process what was happening to it. Before, one exceptionally powerful being had been resisting its directive to exterminate all living things. Now there were two, and they were doing their level best to confuse its perception and prevent it from functioning.
Two red-blue blurs were laying into the monster with all they could muster, working in tandem to wear down its defenses and prevent its rampage. Clark flew in circles around the monster, firing his heat vision in bursts to confuse it. Jon was hitting it up close, aiming for its joints and already-compromised parts to injure it.
The creature, after several minutes of trying to handle both attackers at once suddenly began to lash out, leaping up off the ground and firing heat blasts everywhere. Clark, already flying, tackled it and threw it to the ground, where Jon raced forward, leapt onto its chest, and forced its mouth open with his hands. Jon proceeded to cut loose with his heat vision directly into the monster’s mouth. If it could feel pain, it would have been writhing in it.
Alas, Doomsday could not process pain, and took advantage of Jon’s momentary focus to swat him away and begin to strike again. Calculating that the best recourse was to attack the already-weakened one, he lunged toward Clark with a threatening roar.
Clark grabbed Doomsday in a judo move, and threw him into the air. Jon punched the creature, sending it flying several blocks before crashing into the ground a few streets down. He addressed his father with unease.
“We can keep this up all day, but that thing isn’t taking any damage. I don’t think either of us have the power to hurt it!”
Clark grimaced. “I know. I’m trying to think of how we could damage it. My first instinct was to try to throw it into the sun, but since it has Kryptonian DNA, that would only make it stronger.”
“I don’t want to think about what that would be like.” Jon shuddered. “Are there any weapons in the Fortress that could hurt it?”
“I’m not sure. Wait…” Clark turned toward his son. “How did you beat it the first time?”
“Chucked it into space. It didn’t have Kryptonian powers then, though.” Jon sighed as the beast began to get back up from their last attack. “I don’t think we’re strong enough to hurt it.”
“Perhaps we can help with that, my friends.”
Clark and Jon turned around to see J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, hovering behind them, along with a gaggle of super-heroic reinforcements. Ray Terrill, publicly known as the Ray, carried Anissa Pierce, AKA Thunder, down to Earth behind J’onn. Barry Allen, the new Flash, zipped in, ready to help in any way he could. A massive boom sound was heard as Scott Free emerged from a portal followed by Cassandra Sandsmark, known as Olympos, Booster Gold, and Ted Kord in a colossal bug-shaped ship. A roaring sound was heard above as three figures leapt from a bat-shaped plane: Jason Todd, Kate Kane, and Helena Wayne, known professionally as Robin, Batwoman, and the Huntress, respectively.
Ted’s voice boomed over his ship’s speaker systems. “I saw what was happening on the news and thought this might be a situation that could put the new ‘Justice Legion’ protocols to the test. And also this new spaceship I’ve been working on.”
Jon’s eyes seemed to pop out as he surveyed the new arrivals. “Great Caesar’s Ghost! What happened while I was gone? Who are all the new guys?” He paused. “Except you guys, Jason, Uncle J’onn, Uncle Max. I know you.”
Jason rolled his eyes. “Show some professionalism, pal. It’s ‘Robin’ in public like this.”
Jon shuffled sheepishly. “Right, OK, who here can punch really hard?” Only J’onn and Cassie raised their hands.
“Um, OK. Who here can—”
“Jon, if I may.” Superman stepped forward. “Our first priority is making sure this beast doesn’t escape the city and hurt anyone else. Flash—” he motioned to Barry— “I need you to search the city, check for any stragglers who didn’t follow the evacuation orders.” Barry nodded and dashed off while Clark continued to give orders. “Bats,” Clark said to Helena, Jason, and Kate, “Use those smoke bombs of yours to confuse the monster and prevent it from recovering. Cassandra, Thunder, I’ll need you to contain the monster, while the rest of us have energy attacks of various types that we can use to keep the monster down. J’onn, maybe you can try to phase through it and destroy it from within.”
As Superman spoke, the beast had recovered from its latest stunning and was flying toward the group of heroes with deadly purpose. Superman glanced toward it, and motioned for Jon to go after it while he finished his impromptu briefing. Jon obliged, and wrestled it to the ground again while Superman wrapped up his words to the Legion.
“Everyone, remember: this beast isn’t intelligent, and almost entirely invulnerable. Whatever you do, don’t hold back. There are lives at stake. Now’s not the time to fear your own strength.
“I’ve met every one of you here, and I know you’re all heroes. I know in my heart that each of you would stand in my place in a heartbeat if I were not here. I also know that all of you have strength that you can’t even begin to comprehend. I’ve seen it all before… and I know I’ll see it today. Now follow me, and we can save the world together!”
And with that, Superman about-faced and shot toward the beast, which had nearly overpowered Jon. He pushed the beast back several yards, staggering it just a bit. The other heroes charged behind Superman, every one of them fully ready to follow the world’s greatest hero against the seemingly all-powerful monster that threatened his city.
The Gotham Knights swung around on all sides of it, throwing smoke pellets that surrounded the creature in a massive black fog. Clark and Jon swished out of the fog, allowing Anissa and Cassie to grab at the creature’s limbs, forcing them together despite their thrashing about.
The other heroes followed with their various attacks: Ted with the gigantic electric gun attached to the hull of the Bug, Booster with his suit’s wrist blasters, Scott with pings of light from his Motherbox, and the Kryptonians with their heat blasts.
Meanwhile, J’onn flew up towards Doomsday and attempted to phase through its spiky hide. At first, J’onn had minor trouble as he attempted to shift his molecules to fit inside the beast’s unique genetic structure. However, as his molecules began to go deeper, he felt the beast’s flesh react strangely…
Brace yourselves! bellowed J’onn, lurching back as a massive sphere of energy erupted from the creature. Everyone in the vicinity was knocked back away from the monster except Jon and Clark, who resisted the blast with their flying abilities.
The Bug began to spin in midair as Ted tried to steer it. J’onn, shaking off the explosion, dashed towards the ship and caught it. Cassie yanked the stunned Thunder away from the creature as it clawed at them violently.
While Jon began to grapple with the monster again, Superman froze. The monster’s last attack… reminded him of an option that he had not considered. As the implications of what he was thinking raved through his mind, a grim determination set it. He turned to J’onn, inviting him to read his mind.
J’onn’s eyes widened as he saw exactly what Clark was thinking… and then they narrowed. J’on nodded, and sent out a mental signal to the other heroes as Superman flew off.
Superman says we need to stall the beast for a few minutes more. And just as importantly, we need to survive.
Jon stared at his father as he flew off, confused by his father’s abrupt departure. “What are you up to, Dad? How in the world are we going to beat this thing?”

CHAPTER 4

Jor-El completed his message to his son and uploaded it into the rocket’s databanks. He began the ignition sequence and stepped back, clinging to Lara. Tears streamed down both their faces as the rocket began to leave.
Lara spoke for both of them. “I wish we could see what man he will become. I wish we could be sure… that he can live a long, happy life without us.”
Jor-El sighed. “I too wish we could do more to ensure our son’s fate. But… we can go no farther. We can only hope that he can find his way to survive in the universe without us.” He chuckled bitterly. “I suppose that is the fate of all parents: to hope.”
Jonathan Kent lay weakly in the hospital bed, holding his son’s hand as the last of his strength expired. He could see in Clark’s eyes that the man was barely holding together.
Jonathan wished he could tell Clark that everything was going to be alright, that Clark could continue to thrive without his guidance. But he was too weak to say anything.
As he slipped away, he thought about Clark’s unborn baby. He wondered what Clark and Lois would name the child and hoped Clark had the strength to find his way as a father without him. In the end, he mused as he breathed his last, * that is the fate of all parents: to hope.*
Clark Kent flew toward his apartment balcony, where his wife was furiously typing away on her computer, describing the events that had unfolded over the last few hours. He took a deep breath as she turned in her seat to face him.
“Lois, I need to tell you–”
“No, you don’t.” she interrupted him with a dissonant warmth. “I already know.” She smiled as tears began to form. “I can read your mind. And I think you can read mine too.”
Clark was silent for a moment as he studied her face. Those fiery green eyes, that long black hair, and that smile. That smile communicated so many things. Her confidence. Her compassion. Her dedication. Her strength. Her sorrow.
In a way, after knowing her for so long… he could read her mind.
Whatever happened next, he would treasure this moment forever. And he could tell as Lois stared at him, that she would treasure it forever as well.
As he flew off, he looked back and asked aloud something he had wondered for decades.
“What did I ever do to deserve you, Lois Lane?”
The heroes had Doomsday contained, but they could not hurt it. As Jon continued to bombard the monster with red heat, he hoped that his father’s plan could work, whatever it was.
Doomsday was flying around in midair, attempting to bring down Ted’s ship. Scott flew towards the creature on his hoverdiscs, carrying Helena who fired a taser-line from her grappling hook at the creature’s neck, distracting it while Thunder leapt to strike it in the neck. Doomsday fought off the new attackers, firing a heat blast while spinning around. Helena, Scott, and Anissa dodged, but Scott’s dodge caused him to lose control of the hoverdiscs.
Doomsday, seeing the opportunity, charged the wavering heroes with a fearsome roar, but tripped as a massive chain wrapped around his legs.
Lobo snarled as he yanked what remained of his beloved Garrote tighter around the beast’s legs. Behind him, Maxima was carrying a significantly bruised Conner while Steel flew using only half of his rockets. Barry rushed past them, holding Steel’s hammer in his hands.
“Look who I found while looking for stragglers!” he shouted as he swung the hammer at the beast struggling to free itself from Lobo’s chain. The beast grabbed the chain and began to shake it violently, throwing Lobo off of it and into Barry, who was unprepared for the lumbering Czarnian to bowl him over.
All over the street where the fight was taking place, heroes were taking cover, regrouping, and forming new plans of attack. But nothing they did hurt it. Every attempt to attack the creature resulted in them being pushed back.
Jon Kent charged toward Doomsday again, but suddenly felt something grab him from behind and pull him up, up, and away from all the action. He realized immediately that it was his father. “Dad? What is it? How are you going to…?”
He interrupted with a calm, but desperate voice. “Jon. I need you to hover here for a moment.”
“Sure, but what…?” Jon trailed off as he got a good look at his father.
His skin was glowing with the light of the solar energy that had been stored within him throughout the years. There was a look of grim determination on his face. It took a moment for Jon to register what his father was doing… and what it meant.
“Dad… DAD, ARE YOU INSANE? I got the message you sent; y-you can’t absorb sunlight anymore! If you expend it all like this—”
“Then the energy I release might give you the power to defeat Doomsday once and for all. This is what needs to be done.
“All I can do now is give you my strength. You are the one who had to use it.
Jon stared at his father for a moment as the plan became clear. Before he could beg his father not to go through with it, he was momentarily blinded by a flash of light as all the solar energy erupted from his body.
J’onn flew over and caught Clark as he limply fell from the air. He looked up at Jon, who found himself feeling stronger than he ever had before. This was because he was: almost all of Superman’s expended solar energy had been absorbed by him.
“Jon. Act quickly, or what your father just did will be in vain. Now’s not the time to hold back! GO!”
At J’onn’s urging, without even thinking further, Jon streaked down from the sky toward Doomsday.
The gathered heroes looked up in awe at the several sonic booms that erupted as Jon shot down toward the unstoppable beast, winding up the mother of all haymakers. With the loudest yell he had ever let loose, he barraged Doomsday’s spiked face. A colossal shockwave came from the punch, creating a wind that could be felt for miles. Doomsday’s head turned 180 degrees, and its body fell limp immediately..
Jon stood in front of the inert beast and turned on his X-Ray vision, wary of any signs of life.
Silence.
Jon heard a rustling as J’onn flew down, carrying Clark’s limp body. Jon walked toward him slowly, his x-ray vision registering the faintest traces of leftover solar energy in his father’s body. He heard a cough as Clark stirred, motioning for J’onn to set him down. J’onn took a step back, a look of sorrow on his face. Jon bent down towards his father.
Clark spoke. “Doomsday. Is he—”
“Yes.” Jon interrupted, desperate to assure his father that they had won.
Clark grinned weakly. “Good job. I’m so— cough so proud… of you.”
“CLARK!” Jon turned to see Conner, Lobo, Maxima, and Irons dashing toward himself and Clark. Clark looked around at his friends.
“All of you. So proud of all of you.”
Jon was beginning to cry profusely. “Dad, please, just hang on! Please, please, hang on! The world still needs Superman! They still need you! I…
“I still need you.”
Clark shook his head. “I can’t go any farther, son. But… I don’t think I need to. I’m leaving capable people behind. This city, this planet… it’s in good hands. And Superman… the idea… the dream my parents and I came up with so many years ago on that farm in Smallville… it’s in your hands now.”
Jon stopped crying, and stopped breathing as well. “Me? But…”
Clark grasped his hand. “Jon. I’ve taught you what I believe. What I see... in this amazing, incredible world. I’ve taught you that violence is not strength. That good is the preservation of life, knowledge, and freedom for everyone. That a hero is measured by how he stands up for what he believes is right. That everyone is capable of being a hero if they choose… if… if they believe.
“I’ve experienced so much with you. I’ve flown through space alongside you, told you stories of the strange things I’ve seen over the years, and shared incredible adventures with you. I’ve taught you to walk, run, and fly, gone camping with you, helped you with your homework. And I wouldn’t trade it… cough wouldn’t trade it for anything. Wherever I go after this… I will treasure what I’ve done with you.
“Everything I believe... everything I am... I pass to you, to do with it as you see fit. And I know you’re more than worthy of it. I know… cough you’re going to do great things. I know you want to. I know you have the strength to. You have to accomplish… cough you have to accomplish them on your own terms. Whatever you do with your gifts… with everything I’ve passed to you, cough I know you’ll be amazing.
“And so the son becomes the father… and the father… the… son…”
With those words, the Last Son of Krypton pointed to the crest on Jon’s chest, and closed his eyes for the last time.
Jon began to cry loudly, holding his father’s lifeless corpse, as the other heroes gathered around to mourn the greatest of them all.
He first becomes aware of light surrounding him. Then he becomes aware of four figures standing before him. Then, he hears one word come from all of them at once.
“Son.”
The figures of Jor-El, Lara Lor-Van, Martha Kent, and Jonathan Kent approach him. Jor-El is the first to speak.
“We are more proud of you than we can say.”
Martha speaks next. “You grew into such a good man.”
“Everything we sacrificed was worth it in the end,” Lara says.
“And son…” Jonathan speaks reassuringly, like he had when the Kents had first come up with the idea of Superman. “You can move on now. We can be together again. You’ve earned it.
“You’ve done so many good, great things… now it’s time for you to rest.”
And so he rests.

The Beginning...

submitted by VengeanceKnight to DCNext