[FFML] [DC] Destruction and Rebirth

Aaron Nowack anowack at mimiru.net
Sun Aug 3 22:51:54 PDT 2008


This is not the horrible DC fanfic idea I alluded to in my overlong
introduction to "A Legend of the First Bloodline."  This is a different
DC fanfic idea.  No guarantees on it not also being horrible, though.

This story will make the most sense if you're familiar with the Linda
Danvers Supergirl from the late 90s/early 2000s and with the
Cataclysm/No Man's Land event from the Batman books.  I tried to make it
comprehensible with only basic DC knowledge, though.  We'll see how well
I did.

As ever, any C&C is welcomed.

Destruction and Rebirth
A DC Universe Fanfic
By: Aaron Nowack

***********************************************************************
Disclaimer: The universe and its characters belong to DC Comics.  Only
the words are mine.
Special Disclaimer: The timeline of the canon DC universe would not
allow this story to be a possibility.  So I altered the timeline.  If
that bothers you, pretend that Superboy Prime punched this version of
time a little bit harder.
***********************************************************************

        I can't move my legs.
        I can fly, but I can't move my legs.
        I can fly?  Where did that come from?  I've never... people
don't... do I?  I can fly, I can't move my legs, and I can't remember
why.
        I have a photographic memory, and I can't remember why I can't
move my legs.  Why I'm certain that I can fly.  I have a photographic
memory, and I can't remember my name.  About the only thing I can
remember at the moment is that my memory is perfect.
        I must be insane.  Lock me up in Arkham with all the psychotics
Bruce...
        I can't remember my name, but I know that Bruce Wayne is the
Batman.  Tim Drake is Robin.  Dick Grayson was Robin, but is now
Nightwing.  Clark Kent is Superman.  I know all these secrets - and that
they are secrets - but I don't know who I am.  Where I am.
        Besides lying on a hard, cold concrete floor.  A wet concrete
floor.  Not water.  Something thicker, redder.  Blood?  My blood?  I
hurt - every part of me.  Useless foot to my head of filthy, matted red
hair.  I need a shower.
        In front of me is a broken pair of glasses.  My glasses.  But my
sight isn't blurry, and I remember having perfect - better than perfect
- vision.  Did I just wear them as a... fashion statement?  That doesn't
sound like me.
        Who am I kidding?  I don't know who I am, much less my taste in
accessories.  And I still don't know where I am.  Maybe I should look.
Maybe I should have looked earlier, instead of pondering why I wore
glasses.  I am an intelligent woman, after all.  I think.
        I lift my head, and I see a shattered room.  Rubble is
everywhere.  Directly in front of me are computers - my computers - not
a one of which is working.  Some of the monitors are broken, the rest
display only static.  There's still power, but something must have
damaged the actual computers.
        "Something," I mutter to myself in a voice that is at once both
familiar and strange.  "It looks like a bomb went off in here."  Perhaps
it was a bomb, intended to... what?  I feel like I should know why
someone would want to bomb my... office?  But of course I can't
remember.  Thoughts spin through my head, chasing the shadows of
memories that should be there as I take in each familiar, ruined object
before me.
        I turn my head to look behind me, and the first thing I see is
the wheelchair, flattened by a fallen wall.  I swallow dryly.  My
wheelchair.  The wall that could have - did? - flatten me.  My head
spins again.
        Then I notice the cloth lying on my back.  I reach to feel it
with one hand, an alien yet familiar texture.  Soft, but I instinctively
know that it is strong, strong enough to survive the strains I... put
it... through?  My head pounds as I lift the crimson cloth, trying to
get a good look at it.
        The golden, stylized S I recognize in an instant.  Superman.
This is his cape?  Then I see the rest of the costume, the red skirt and
the high boots, and I correct myself.  Supergirl.
        Facts and figures swarm in my mind, things that no ordinary
person should know.  Called Matrix, or "Mae."  Not Krytponian, despite
the name Supergirl.  A shapeshifter and telekinetic, besides the usual
strength, speed, and flight.  No precise origin I know - a fact that
sends a spike of frustration and annoyance through me, even as I start
to remember something about alternate worlds, a "protoplasmic matrix,"
and Lex Luthor.
        Supergirl.  The word explodes in my head, and I... I remember.
        I remember sitting in my wheelchair, discussing the usual
criminal matters with Bruce.
        I remember flying over Gotham, on my way back to Metropolis.
        I remember losing the connection to the Cave, frowning in
annoyance a moment before the everything starts to shake.
        I remember watching the building below tremble, hearing the
sudden screams of thousands calling for aid.
        I remember something hitting me from behind, pain leading to
blackness.
        I remember saving a man, a police officer, I don't recognize -
my father.
        I remember waking, barely able to move, pinned beneath the
fallen wall.
        I remember nodding when my father asks me to find myself.
        I remember pulling myself free of the rubble, trying to ignore
the pain and the blood.
        I remember swooping into the room, seeing myself dying on the
floor.  Stupidly, I ask if I'm alright,
        I remember a weak laugh that turns into a fit of coughing.  I
tell myself to take my costume, hidden in a box in the closet, to my
father, and that he will understand.
        I remember hesitation, and then embracing myself.
        I remember pain and blackness.
        I remember my name.  I remember who I am.
        I am Barbara Gordon, once Batgirl, now Oracle.  I am Matrix,
Mae, Supergirl.
        I took my name for myself, lost it, and created a new one.  I
was given my name, and have never been worthy of it.
        I cannot move my legs.  I can fly.
        The conflicting thoughts and memories war in my head.  Who -
which am I?  What did I/Supergirl do to me/Barbara?
        There is a rumble, and everything shakes.  Aftershocks.  More
damage.  More deaths.  More injuries.  There are people who need saving.
Who need me.  Who need Supergirl.
        And then I am in motion, donning Supergirl's... my costume
faster than the eye can see with practiced ease, even as I know that I
cannot accomplish such a thing.  I am out the window I came though in
the space of a breath, and the restored feeling in my legs seems
perfectly normal and miraculous at the same time.
        Familiar, alien blonde hair flies out of my face as I speed
through the skies of Gotham City, arresting the fall of a massive chunk
of a building and hurling it into the bay with one smooth motion.
Below, a man struggles to escape a car, wedged into a crack in the road.
It takes mere seconds to free him, depositing him safely on the
sidewalk.
        In a minute, I have saved six more people, but I cannot save
them all.  There is too much destruction, too many lives in danger.  Too
much for one person, even Supergirl, to deal with.  A cold, calculating
part of me, that I never knew I had, that is all I've been for years,
tells me that I'm wasting myself.  That I need to be solving the worst
problems, not just attacking the ones in front of me.
        Before I can second-guess myself further, I find Jim Gordon -
saving another three people on the way.  He's outside the police
headquarters, in an improvised command post, and he starts as I come in
for a landing in front of him.
        "Barbara?" he asks, his voice strained.  "Is she -"
        "I - she's fine," I say, forcing back the vertigo of conflicting
thoughts my father's presence brings.  "What's the situation?  Where can
I be the most help?"
        Gordon breathes a sigh of relief, and then he is all business.
"The fires are the worst," he says.  "I don't suppose you have some sort
of super-ice breath to put them out with?"
        It takes a moment to remember whether I can, but then I shake my
head.
        My father nods sadly.  "There's pocket we can't get to,
surrounded by fire.  We're attacking it from the outside, but that might
not be enough.  If you can get those people out, Supergirl -"
        "On it," I say, and I take to air once more.
        It takes less than ten minutes to evacuate almost a hundred
people, get them to relative safety outside the walls of flame.  I'm not
certain whether that's fast or slow for me.  By now, the others should
be arriving, from Metropolis, from Keystone City and even farther away.
I think I see a blur of red and blue in the distance, Superman or
Superboy, but I shy away from it.
        I make another pass over the rapidly dwindling pocket, making
sure I got everyone out.  I don't see anyone, and then a sudden, almost
panicked urge makes me keep going, instead of heading back to my father.
I don't stop until I reach the ruins I know are the Wayne Manor, even
though I've never been there, because I've been there a thousand times.
One thousand, two hundred and twelve, to be exact.
        My head pounds, and once more I struggle to avoid the
contradiction.  I land outside what would have been the main entrance.
Unlike every other Wayne-owned building, the manor itself was never
reinforced to withstand earthquakes.  No doubt to protect the secrets
buried underneath.  The secrets I know, even though Clark never shared
them with me, because I figured them out myself years before I came to
this world.  What -
        No.  There's no time for that.  I call out loudly, straining my
hearing for any response.  My senses are enhanced, though not as much as
Clark's, but I hear nothing.  I take to the air again, passing low over
the rubble and searching for any sign that anyone's down there, alive or
dead.  I find nothing.
        They must be below, I decide, and I swerve for the nearest
hidden entrance that I couldn't know was there.  Debris blocks it, but
it's a matter of seconds to clear it, and then I'm flying down the
winding path to the Cave.
        One survivor, that I recognize though I've never seen him
before.  Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler.  "The way out is clear," I tell
him, forcing myself to sound like there's nothing odd about Supergirl
finding the cave.  "Where's Batman?"
        He gestures helplessly to a hole the earthquake had opened in
the cave floor.  Water pours down into it.  "He tried to search down
there for an exit, ma'am.  Right before the aftershock hit."  Almost a
half hour ago.
        "How long's his air supply good for?" I ask, even as I remember
the answer.  Not nearly that long.  "Go, get to safety," I tell Alfred.
"I'll go after him."  Without waiting for a response, I plunge into the
depths.
        The force of the currents is nothing compared to the strength of
my inhuman muscles, but I follow them anyway.  Bruce was fit - beyond
fit, near the height of human perfection - but not strong enough to swim
against this rapid flow.  The way is blocked by more rubble, and I push
through, barely slowing.  Moments later, I find him, trapped in a pocket
of air, conserving his air supply.
        I swim up beside him, and he tries not to let his shock show.
"I've cleared the way back to the Cave," I say, not giving him a chance
to speak.  "Do you have enough air?"
        He doesn't answer for several seconds.  "If you help," he says
finally.
        "Then let's move," I tell him, and we do.  Less than a minute
later, we're back in the Cave.  Alfred hasn't left, of course, and he
helps Batman to his feet.
        "How did you know where to find me?" he growls at me, but I'm
not intimidated by his anger.  I haven't been for years, even though
I've never been comfortable around the Batman.
        "I... Barbara Gordon told me," I answer.  It's the truth, in a
way, and I'm not sure I want to try and explain what I'm not certain of
myself.  Definitely not now, not to him.
        Batman snarls, and Alfred lays a hand on his shoulder.  "I... I
suppose you can be trusted," he admits after a moment.  "Though I will
have to have words with Ms. Gordon when all this is finished."
        Anger explodes in me, and before I can realize that it's a bad
idea, I'm in the man's face.  "I - she saved your life!  If she hadn't
told me, you'd still be trapped down there!"  I force myself to calm
down, and take a step back.  "There's other people in danger.  I need to
go."  I turn around, and try not to listen in as Alfred whispers to
Bruce.
        I stop, surprised, when Batman speaks.  "Thank you," he said
grudgingly.
        I turn my head back to him.  "You're welcome," is all I say in
response, and then I take to air again, speeding back up the secret
passageway and out onto the Wayne Manor grounds.
        Who - what - am I?  Supergirl?  Why do I have Barbara Gordon's -
Oracle's - memories?  I was... trying to save her.  Tried to share my
healing abilities with her.  Something I'd never attempted before.
        Did we... merge, somehow?  Or did I consume her, like the alien,
unnatural monster I am in my nightmares?
        I can't answer those questions now.  I have to just be
Supergirl.  Until the crisis passes.  When there's time to think - time
to shapeshift back to Barbara Gordon's form and see what effect that
has, the clinical part of me I'm beginning to understand is Oracle's
interjects - then I can figure it out.  On my own, or with help if
needed.
        If I... we... are a merger, then I will figure out what to do
about this change to my, our lives.  If I am the monster, then... I will
tell Clark.  And he will do what he needs to do.  If he won't, Bruce
will.
        But, until then, there are people that need saving.  And neither
part of me intends to let them down.

***********************************************************************

Author's Random Rambling

        So, yeah, I recently read the Peter David Supergirl stuff.  And
all through it, I kept on pondering other characters that Matrix could
have merged with besides Linda Danvers.  Because I'm a fanfic writer,
and that's the kind of thing we do.
        Despite not working out at all timeline-wise, this idea stuck in
my head.  Because the only thing better than Supergirl or Batgirl is
Super-Batgirl, right?  (I did ponder using the _other_ Batgirl, but this
idea came together more interestingly.)
        I actually see a fair bit of potential for future stories taking
off from this concept, through No Man's Land and beyond.  Whether any of
those stories will get written is, as always, dependent on free time and
cooperative muses.

-- 
           Aaron Nowack
"Never let reality get in the way of a good hypothesis."
http://www.mimiru.net/


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