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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
quote:

Bard's gone George RR Martin on us.


Not yet, just life and migraines just getting in the way.


Green Chili Tiger
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
quote:

Not yet, just life and migraines just getting in the way.




I'm just fricking with you.

Hope you feel better.


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
"Mister... uh... Superman, sir?"

As eye-witness accounts of his "super-human" feats had spread from battlefield to battlefield over the last couple of weeks, the soldiers had begun referring to him as a "super man" or "Superman". He neither loved nor loathed the name but he thought it sounded a lot better than "The Amazing Clark". He also understood that word would eventually get back to the States, even to Smallville. His parents were never ones for fame, they were quiet, honest folks and he would do his best to honor that.

He had been going from battle to battle over the last two weeks with very little rest, helping the Allies push against the Western Front. He had just landed under a tree and closed his eyes for a quick nap. While the individual battles weren't difficult, there were just so many and he constantly had to remind himself to pull his punches. It was one thing for the soldiers to kill, they were facing equals across the battlefield. Any one of them could die at any moment. There was nothing out there that could even scratch Clark so it went against his sense of justice to kill when he truly didn't need to.

Clark opened one eye. The soldier speaking to him was nervously twisting a grey woolen hat, something that looked like what some German infantrymen wore. "The captain says word just came in about the French trying to oust the Germans off of Vimy Ridge but they are taking a heavy beating. Sounds like they could really use you, sir."

Clark rose to his feet, "I'll need a look at a map."

Minutes later Clark was flying southeast. He stopped 15 miles out to check his direction but quickly realized he hadn't needed to, the near-constant explosions acted as a beacon. Clark could see the battlefield laid out before him, he could see the German lines and the French opposing them. He landed with a tremendous force just in front of the German line. Quite by accident he had found that the initial shock and awe of landing hard enough to create a crater would stun the enemy into ceasing their assault momentarily then focus their fire on him. The trick was finding a landing spot that didn't put Allied lives behind him in any more jeopardy than they already were.

This was a large battle so he made a large crater. He wanted as much focus on himself and as little on the troops behind him as possible. As the dust cleared he stared at the German lines, waiting for the onslaught to begin.

And waited.

Finally a murmuring chant from behind the lines came to his ears, "Hel-mut! Hel-mut! Hel-mut!". The chant was in time with a deep, pounding reverberation coming through the earth. As the chant speeded up and increased in volume so too did the pounding. At the crescendo a massive figure leaped from a German trench to land before Clark.

This giant of a man was a good head taller than Clark and about twice as wide, all of it solid muscle. His bodily proportions were far larger than natural, his could easily hold Clark's head within a single hand. The behemoth was clad in some sort of deep crimson armor on his chest and legs with his arms only covered by a couple of bands. His headgear looked more like someone had made a bubble from the metal then cut it in half and placed it on the man's head. His face was visible through the cut-out of a large Iron Cross. He looked to be of the same age as Clark.

"I understand you are the Ubermensch, this 'super man',
" the man said with his heavy German accent. "You have created many victories for the enemies of my people, that ends today! You may be the 'super man' but I... I am Helmut Gruler! I am THE JUGGERNAUT!"

Clark had torn apart trees, buildings, armored vehicles... why he had even stood up to bombs dropped from the skies by German forces. This may might be physically large, but he was still just a man. Clark swung, but he hit him just hard enough to knock the man out. Just a tap.

The man laughed. Loudly. Clark was still trying to process how his opponent wasn't even the least bit phased when one of those gigantic fists connected with his face in a tremendous uppercut. Unlike Clark, this... Juggernaut... did not hold back.

Clark wasn't sure how much time had passed by the time he woke up. By the positioning of the sun it wasn't long, but it was long enough for the battle to start back up again... Clark realized the sound of war was quite distant. Apparently this Juggernaut had knocked him at least a good mile away! He grimaced has he pulled himself from the crater he had made. He quickly rose above the treetops, confirmed he hadn't hurt anyone with his unintentional landing then sped back to the battle.

Juggernaut was still there, he had made his way to the French line and was wreaking havoc! Clark quickly that he and Gruler did not follow the same moral compass. Juggernaut had no hesitation in using his incredible strength and size to maim and kill. For Clark, defeating this man now became a moral imperative.

Juggernaut had a French soldier trapped against the wall of a trench, he was just seconds from bringing his fist down on him in a blow that was sure to kill the man. Clark tried to knock Helmut away by slamming into him but he had seen Clark coming and was ready for him.

Instead of punching Clark, Helmut had reached out and simply caught him by the head as he would a baseball. Helmut laughed as Clark struggled to pry those giant fingers from his head. He then held Clark up in the air as easily as one would a pair of pants then began beating him like an old rug.

Clark struggled. He didn't know who or what Helmut Gruler was or how he had become this Juggernaut but what he did know was that this man had the power to hurt him, maybe even kill him. He began to panic, he opened his eyes to look around, to see through Gruler and hopefully find something he could use to free himself and the awful beating he was taking. As he shifted his vision, he felt something... it was almost like another way of focusing except that instead of using his eyes to take in information, it was like he could push some sort of energy out of them.

He focused on that, he felt his eyes grow warm and then suddenly he was free and Juggernaut was screaming in pain. He drifted up 20 feet into the air then looked down on Helmut as cradled his hand. Smoke rose from his hand and when Clark looked closer he could see it came from what looked like two holes that had somehow been burned through his hand, holes that were about where Clark's eyes had been.

Clark also noticed that the holes were starting to heal.


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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Helmut sought to catch Clark unawares once again and leapt at him. Clark was learning from his mistakes and was ready for some sort of attack. He quickly moved just enough to be missed by Gruler's grasping hand. As Juggernaut passed him, Clark followed him back down. This time he was the one to catch the other by surprise as he used his flight to increase his momentum to bring him directly behind Gruler as they neared the ground. At the last moment he gripped the back of Juggernauts armored collar with both hands, slamming him face first into the ground.

Clark’s advantage didn’t last long as Juggernaut twisted and spun to free himself. As the two wrestled, Helmut quickly gained the upper hand and eventually had Clark pinned beneath him. He then began raining down terrible, punishing blows on Clark. The ground shook for hundreds of feet around them with each hit. Dust and dirt flew into the air. Clark's right eye began to swell shut. Clark had never been hit so hard by anyone or anything else. On and on those armored fist came and no matter how he twisted or turned he could not escape them. He apparently didn't possess the wrestling ability to squirm out from under him, he couldn't simply sink away from the blows so he decided to go in the only other direction left to him: up.

He had noticed earlier that for all his power and might the Juggernaut could not fly so he forced them both up, up into the afternoon sky. Clark realized his hunch was right when, in order to keep his hold on Clark, Helmut had to stop punching. Being in the air was apparently a different kind of grappling and Clark was good enough at it to be able to manipulate their positioning until he was once again behind Gruler, this time him aloft from his grip on Juggernaut’s armored back pieces. Being so musclebound, Gruler could do nothing but flail away uselessly at the air around him.

Clark brought them up over a thousand feet into the air then simply let go of the Juggernaut. Clark had learned the hard way that to win this fight he would have to be relentless so once again he found himself closely following behind Gruler as they plummeted earthward. As they hit the ground Clark unleashed a devastating punch to the back of Gruler's head, denting the helmet. Almost immediately the helmet began mending itself so Clark repeated the maneuver. Up they went again and down they crashed. And again. And again, each time Clark took him a little higher and they hit the ground a little harder.

Gruler was dazed now so before he could recover, Clark yanked him back into the air again one last time. This one was different though, this time before dropping him he ripped the helmet off Juggernaut’s head. This time when he had a fist full of Helmut’s black hair as he slammed him face-first into the center of the deep crater they had created. It didn’t stop there as Clark began raining blows down on the back of Gruler’s head.

Gruler teetered on unconsciousness by now, his movements had grown feeble. Clark rolled him over then pulled him up by the collar of is armor. “This ends now,” Clark demanded as his eyes began to glow red. Even dazed as he was, Gruler understood he was defeated. In Gruler’s world the defeated were killed, often painfully. He began to fear this would be his fate.

Clark exuded anger and power outwardly, but internally he was in turmoil. No power on Earth could hold the Juggernaut in check except Clark. He could not let him go but he also couldn’t spend the rest of his life being Gruler’s nursemaid. Clark was not one to take killing lightly but he didn’t see what other choice he had.



Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Bright lights suddenly appeared from behind Clark, even Juggernaut noticed through his haze. It seemed to heighten his fear. Clark turned Juggernaut over then drifted up with his opponent held out in front of him. He wasn’t going to be sucker-punched by this man again. Above the crater Clark was confronted by three men, equally spaced in front of him. Auras of light and power surrounded them.

The man to the left was clad in blue cloth trimmed in gold with a long, flowing gold cape and a gold helm which had only eye slits. Clark was struck by the sense of benevolence the cape seemed to engender in him. To Clark’s right was an older black man in white robes. His long white hair and beard bespoke of great age while the staff he held crackled with power. In front of Clark, the slim and elderly man in the center was Asian with a sort of well-maintained goatee.

The man in the center spoke, “Greetings and peace, son of Krypton.” Clark was taken aback by the title, only he and his parents knew the truth about his planet of birth. “I am known simply as The Ancient One and I have taught and practiced magicks for centuries. To my right is Doctor Fate, the representative of Nabu of the Lords of Order. To my left is the wizard Mamragan, also known as Shazam, the last of the Keepers of the Rock of Eternity. We are members of a magical society which seeks to limit and restrain harmful magicks, especially those from outside our dimension.”

“The man you have before you has been empowered by a being from the Crimson Cosmos named Cyttorak as part of his plan to return to this plane of existence. Nabu’s previous champion and Shazam’s fellow Keepers sacrificed themselves millennia ago to banish Cyttorak and thus end his tyranny. We are here now to insure he stays banished.”

Clark could feel the power exuding from them and while he was skeptical of them, they were talking instead of attacking. He also didn’t see any other options. “How can I help?”

In a voice sounding as if many people were speaking at once, the man on the left, Doctor Fate, spoke loudly and clearly. “You have done well thus far. Cyttorak’s bond with his champion is absolute as long as Cyttorak is pleased with him. Cyttorak despises weakness in his champions and he sees fear as a grave weakness. Your defeat of this man and his belief that you will kill him has inspired enough fear that Cyttorak’s favor begins to wane. This gives us a chance we otherwise would not have.”

To his right the wizard Shazam brandishes his staff out in front of him as the other two began making elaborate gestures. “Hold him steady, do not let him go,” he said in a voice deeply graveled by age.
Juggernaut struggled in Clark’s grasp but he had no leverage. Light encompassed the three mages then shot out to encompass Clark’s captive. Clark could feel their magicks pulling something from the man, or at least trying to. He was fighting it but he was losing. Suddenly he jerked stiff as a board and a deep and resonating voice came from him. “YOU HAVE WON THIS DAY, LITTLE MAGI, BUT YOUR SOCIETY IS IN SHAMBLES AND YOUR LORDS HAVE ALL BUT ABANDONED YOU. WE. WILL. RETURN.”

Suddenly Helmut Grule was a foot shorter and far less muscular. Instead of armor Clark was holding him up by a normal shirt which then ripped, sending Grule tumbling into the crater. A large, ruby-like gem floated where Helmut had been, it pulsed with power once then disappeared.

Again, the wizard Shazam spoke, “Our task is done here, I return to the Rock of Eternity to contemplate other matters.” With a brilliant flash of lightning, he disappeared. Clark marveled that he was able to feel a slight burn from such power.

The Ancient One nodded toward Doctor Fate and then to Clark. “I too must return to my home. Students left too long to their own devices can cause much trouble.” And with that, he too was gone.

As his cape flowed gently in the wind behind him Doctor Fate responded in that strange, too-many-voices sort of way, “I shall remain.”

He turned to Clark. “For millennia the Elder Gods warred over this plane. Beings known collectively as The Lords of Chaos, beings such as Cyttorak, Trigon, Dormammu and others, sought this realm for the power of faith that comes from those they can force to believe in them. Nabu, the Vishanit and other Lords of Order stood in opposition of them and eventually won out. This was but one battlefront in a far larger war. For one to turn their eyes back to a long-lost land after so long is cause for concern.”

“I have become aware of others like yourself, beings on this planet of considerable power and prowess, beings we will need as the influences of Chaos grow. Fare well, Superman. I feel we will meet again.”

Doctor Fate made a symbol with his fingers, spun his hands in an oval manner and a circle of light opened beside him. Clark nodded to him as Doctor Fate floated through the circle and disappeared, his cape was the last to go.

Staring at the spot Doctor Fate had disappeared into Clark mumbled to himself, “I need one of those.”


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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
I
am
LOVING
this!


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Thanks :) I'm trying to get my notes together and flesh out the next story, which will be Namor/Aquaman.


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
The Atlantean Angle

Alanna Fen had been gone from Atlantis and the intrigues of court for four years now. Her brother, King Orvax Fen II, would be annoyed with her for being absent for so long but she knew his irritation would be short-lived. They had always had that rare sibling closeness, one where they rarely fought and always stood behind the decision of the other.

After their father, King Orvax Fen I, had passed and her brother had assumed the throne she had thought their relationship might change, that it might become more formal. That he would take over not just the throne from their father but also the role of disapproving of a high-ranking member the royal family and her continuing to leave behind station and responsibility for what the aristocracy considered "the banality of wilderness adventure".

True to form, he did not change. Upon hearing that she was leaving on another trek he had her exclaim it in court where he hugged her and publicly (and loudly) wished her well! She still giggled to herself at how many of the courtesans present tried their best to hide their appall.

The only thing that had changed with her brother was his attitude toward Vulko, that prim and preening, stuffy old barnacle of a teacher their father had put them under when they were young. Orvax had made Vulko his advisor. His. Advisor! That decision still boggled her mind but it meant he was present when she left. His reaction still nagged at her, he had looked almost relieved. She nor Orvax had been the best of students but she still couldn't reconcile his reaction to her leaving. She wondered what his reaction would be, what all their reactions would be, when she told them her news.

Suddenly a voice shouted from behind her! "HALT! STAY WHERE YOU ARE AND IDENTIFY YOURSELF IN THE NAME OF REGENT-KING ORUS OF ATLANTIS!" She turned to find a trio of spearmen clad in the uniforms of Atlantean guards but with instead of the Trident Crest the House of Fen had used throughout the recorded history of Atlantis and their rule of it, there was now a helmet imposed over a trident.

She stopped as the words and the symbol struck her. Before wisdom could change her words she admitted truthfully, "I am Alanna Fen, Second in the House of Fen, Princess of Atlantis and sister to King Orvax Fen the Second".

For what seemed a quiet eternity the trio looked at her and she looked at them, nothing passed between she and the guards but gentle currents and stunned silence. Finally one of the guards spoke up, "you will accompany us to the court of the Regent-King, your Highness. Now." The second guard followed his lead but the third guard hung back briefly. His reluctance caught her eye for a moment and in that split-second she saw the a pleading in his eyes along with a subtle shake of his head.

Her response was a purposely meek "of course" as the guards closed in on her to begin the escort.

It was not lost on her that despite how far away she had travelled in search of adventure, the most dangerous adventure of her life may be in her going home.
This post was edited on 9/27 at 4:30 pm


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Instead of being taken to the throne room where those of court could see her, Alanna was brought to the private chambers of the king. She knew the area well, she had grown up in them. Now they seemed strange, slightly off, like someone's poor impression of her descriptions. The furniture and decorations looked the same but now felt alien to her.

The doors opened and in walked the most... unremarkable... man she had ever seen. He was of average height, hair normally dark, his skin was neither too pale nor too dark (and certainly was not the blue of the Lemurians), he was not unattractive but he would also never be known for one to have woman fawning over him and of a build that was neither large nor small. He was -in every way she could tell- average.

He was accompanied by two women in the flowing, scaled robes of the Xebellian Silent School. High Magisters, if she was reading their ranking stripes correctly.

"Princess Alanna Fen, I am Orus Rath," a deep, smooth voice called out. "We thought you long since perished or simply lost to us forever in the wild lands of the greater ocean." For all of his unimpressive traits, his voice was definitely not one of them. It was a deep, rich baritone with an underlying sense of genuine concern and tinged with the certainty of one who is used to giving commands. The two Magisters moved to the sides of the door but stayed near the wall as the Regent-King... "imposter king," she mentally berated herself, came to stand before her.

"While you have been away, many great and wonderful things have happened, please sit while I tell you all that has transpired in your absence." Her initial reaction was to balk, to assert her station, to call in the guards and demand to see her brother. She hesitated. His request for talk seemed reasonable and it may give her answers she needed to act on instead of acting out of ignorance. She followed him as he sat, putting her back to the Magisters.

"While you were away Atlantis and Xebel entered into a most wonderful alliance," behind her she noted the rustling of a cloak, she turned to see the Magisters still standing in the same places but were moving their arms in slow motions. Their hands were hidden by the large robes but nothing seemed amiss.

And why would she care? The Silent School was a place of learning and of magic. Something about that nagged at her briefly, then was gone.

"As I was saying," the Regent-King said, drawing her attention back to him. If he said anything after that she did not remember it. As he spoke her mind wandered and as it wandered she forgot who she was talking to, where she was or even that her mind was wandering. She simply was and that was all that mattered.

The days passed. Or was it weeks? The two lady Magisters became her friends and constant companions, but she could never remember their names nor their faces.

The last thing she thought might be a memory was of Vulko. That old seabag of hot water. He had given her something to drink, something secret... shhhh, musn't tell... and then she slipped back into her stupor. From then on time had little meaning.

In a very detached way she understood that she had married Orus, that he had come to her on their wedding night and they had produced a child. His name was... Namor? Yes, that was it. And later there was... Orin? No, that was to have been for another. Orm? Yes, Orm.

And Vulko. He was with her now, holding her hand while discussing how Namor was taking to his lessons, especially those on how a ruler should carry themselves, but that he could have a terrible temper. As he talked, the haze in her mind was slowly lifting. She began to look around the room but her attention was pulled back to Vulko as he squeezed her hand.

He was now speaking of Orm, such a precocious child. Vulko's eyes were a mix of pleading and warning as he relaxed his grip once again. "Guard," he began as he turned toward the guard stationed at the door, "might we have some time that I can speak to her openly of things known only within the royal family?"

Alanna kept her face still, betraying nothing as the guard looked at her, nodded to Vulko then left the room.

Vulko turned back to Alanna, his face returning to the old lecturer she knew well. "We don't have much time. It's taken much time but I've been able to gain enough trust from those newer members of the royal staff to secure my old teaching position and to begin seeing you. Within minutes the guard will return and I'll have to go back to pleasantries so listen closely..."

Alanna couldn't wait, "how long?"

"Alanna, we don't have ti-"

This time more sternly, "How. Long."

Vulko's expression fell a bit, making him look old and tired. "It's been seven years since you walked in from the wilderness, it's been three months since I was able to begin seeing you regularly."

Alanna was stupified. Seven years had passed. While she was not as sharp yet as she had been, her mind was still dulled enough that she couldn't quite reach the justifiable rage she knew she should have. All she could must was, "how?"

In a flash Vulko switched back to the old lecturer she remembered. "At first they used two Magisters from the Silent School to muzzle your thoughts. They made you compliant enough that you wed Orus. They lessened their magicks once you were with child then increased them again once the child was born. Both Namor and Orm are being raised to believe that their mother is the victim of a stupor caused by her travels among the surface world.

The Silent School tired of having two full Magisters stationed here and eventually refined their mind-numbing magicks so that only a mere Adept is needed to come by once a week to refresh it. This allowed me time to test various methods of countering their spells until I found an alchemical compound that is proving successful.

In order to quell descension and confusion your continued absence has created Orus has begun using his fable surrounding your muddled mind to garner power in the form of support against the surface world. Rumor has it that he is conferring with his brother Callum, the Xebel king, on plans to attack the drylanders."

Before Vulko could continue the guard returned. Alanna didn't need to fake her look of placid confusion, going over Vulko's revelations was doing that on its own.

Vulko's expressioned had softened again to what it had been earlier. "It seems I've overtaxed you with my prattling, dear. I'll be off to let you rest. I'll return tomorrow once you've had your weekly visit with your Adept friend." Sly Vulko, finishing off their conversation in such a way as to keep the guard unaware of their deception.

As Vulko left Alanna laid her head back down, she had much to think on.


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Whatever Vulko's trick had been, it was still working.

True to his word the Adept had come the next day and Vulko had followed not long after he left. Vulko had been able to talk privately with her again, detailing more of what had been going on in her... absence. The more she thought about what had been done to her, the angrier she got. Soon, she realized, she would no longer be able to hide her resistance to the mind-numbing spells. She would need to act now.

Under Vulko's careful manipulations the guards had begun stationing outside Alanna's room at night, "so as to be less likely to disturb her much-needed rest," he had explained. Once the guard left the room, Alanna made her move.

When they were growing up she and Orvax had spent many a day playing throughout the royal chambers. The castle itself had been one of the first buildings built after The Cataclysm, and as such had undergone many expansions and renovations over the millennia.

What many outside the royal family and servants did not realize was that there were hidden passages connecting every room, these had been built early on for the servants to get around more easily and without disturbing the royal family. Few servants who new of these passages remained, Orvus had been slowly weeding out Fen loyalists. Alanna knew the tunnels well for while she enjoyed the adventure of sneaking through them, Orvax felt them beneath their royal station.

Her lone wanderings through them had long ago caused her to stumble onto something lost to time and now known only to her. There were other tunnels, secret tunnels that attached only to the servant tunnels but had hidden entrances that could take her to places within the city and even one place well outside.

Alanna silently slipped from her dresser and drifted to her oversized armoire. She opened the armoire, climbed in, then closed the doors behind her. In the dark she felt for what would look to be an ordinary decorative ring. She pushed the center of that ring and the back of the armoire quietly opened before her.

She felt certain none of the current servants were using the tunnels but she still stayed vigilant as she crept through. It took time but she finally found the place she was looking for, an unassuming nook with some decorative shells built onto the walls. Touching the shells in the correct pattern caused a section of floor to unseal. She slipped below it and closed the opening after.

Alanna felt her way along the old, familiar passage. It had never had the benefit of light but there had also never been any obstacles for her to worry over. There would be plenty of light from the lichen at the end of the tunnel and just outside of it. Part of the tunnel's camouflage was that the exit was nestled into the end of a small, natural cave. The other part of the tunnel's camouflage was that the exit within the cave was covered by rocks which seemed large and heavy but were actually light and flattened to fit together over the opening.

The rocks covering the tunnel opening were covered by the same glowing lichen as just inside it. The light helped her with removing then replacing the rocks although she really didn't need it. She had long ago memorized their pattern and could put them back in the exact same places even in her sleep.

She was pleased with herself as she looked at her finished work.

A voice grumbled to her from behind, "Halt and identify yourself in the name of King Orus!" She had thought the danger of discovery lie in the tunnels, that the opening was too far outside the city to be of concern and that the shallow cave would further hide her activities. She had let her guard down while she focused on precisely replacing the rocks covering the tunnel opening. Foolish Alanna!

She turned slowly to face the speaker and his two companions. Her spirits fell upon first hearing those words, knowing she had been caught and her efforts had been in vain. They fell even deeper when she saw the trio.

She could see the two in front the clearest as they were covered in the soft glow. The nearest to her, the speaker, seemed to be no different from the many guards she had seen over her life but his nearest companion was a different story. He was build was that of a racer, his muscles were the tight, sleek variety which spoke of shocking speed. His quick but subtle movements were fluid enough for Alanna to realize she would never outpace him.

If she did manage to somehow slip by these two there was still the third one who waited just outside the glow of the lichen. She could see his frame outlined against the lighter water outside the cave and he was a behemoth. Where the other two could float almost beside one another within the cave's walls, the third guard was much too broad for that.

The last time she had been in this situation she had gone along with feigned meekness then ended up put into a mental fog for close to a decade. That would not happen again, she decided, so she took a different route.

"I am Alanna Fen Rath, Queen of Atlantis! Who are you to question me!"

The two guards nearest her shifted uncomfortably, the giant behind them made no discernable movements. "You should return to the castle with us," the lead guard finally responded. "His Highness has made no mention of your being allowed outside the city."

Allowed?!? Alanna seethed.

Again the lead guard spoke, "I'm afraid we must insist" meanwhile the guard behind locked his eyes on her as he slightly lowered his spear. She had seen his type before, he had killed before and found he liked it. He would not hesitate to kill her if his orders allowed it.

She saw she had no other choice but to go with them. Again.


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Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Before Alanna could make a move the two guards suddenly jerked toward each other with their heads violently slamming together! The impact was loud and jarring, both helmets were so dented she fleetingly wondered how the guards would ever get them off. Her focus on the helmets caused her attention to drift to another anomaly about them; the two helmets being held together were bracketed by hands. Very large hands.

During the confrontation with the front two guards she had not noticed the third one, the giant, moving in closer behind his companions. She certainly noticed him now as his hands, almost reluctantly, left the heads of the other two guards. Those two drifted briefly, making neither their own movements nor sounds until they were dragged away from Alanna and out of the tunnel by the massive, remaining guard. Hesitant but unsure of what else to do, Alanna followed. At a distance.

Outside the cave she found the remaining guard fashioning some kelp into bindings.

"I do not mean to seem ungrateful, but why did you do that," Alanna asked from what she felt, hoped, was a safe distance.

"I did what needed doing," he answered in his gravely voice while continuing his work. Without looking at her he asked, "are you really Queen Alanna?"

"I am."

"You trying to escape?"

She hesitated, but only for a second. "I am."

"Vulko?"

She did not answer.

She didn't know if it was because he was through with his work on the bindings or if he just wanted to look at her but he stopped his work and that point then turned to her and bowed slightly. "Your highness, my name is Murk. I was a castle guard under your brother's reign and under your father's before him." He took a step toward Alanna, she impressed herself by not backing away involuntarily. "I've been loyal to the line of Fen for longer than you've drawn water through your gills. I wasn't here to stop what Rath did to your brother, but by the green and scaly balls of Poseidon himself I'll do what I can and when I can to bring him down." He looked at the two guards floating behind him, still motionless, then looked back to her, "no matter what it takes."

Her initial assessment of him had been correct, he was indeed a behemoth. He was easily taller, wider and more muscular than any other person she had ever met. His movements hinted at a deceptive speed while his attitude spoke plainly of years of training. He had a wild, untamed quality about him but the sincerity in his words was undeniable. This was an Atlantean in mind, spirit and heart, he could prove to be an invaluable ally but she needed to be sure. "You asked me to verify myself but you had already acted against your companions. Why did you not wait before rendering them unconscious?"

Murk was taken aback by her question. "Unconscious? My lady they are dead." He gestured to the dead guards still floating behind him. "The skinny one? That's Vyren, he liked to fancy himself an assassin, called himself 'Slither' like it was s'posed to be impressive. He had an... attention... for small children. S'best I know those were the only things he killed." This last sentence was framed with obvious disgust. Alanna got the distinct feeling Vyren had been destined to die today regardless of her presence.

"And the other?"

"Xem. He was even worse."

"How?"

"He knew what Vyren was about, he just didn't care. Xem came over from Xebel with your 'husband'," Murk's tone conveyed an understanding of some sort. How much could a guard know? "Xem was one of his people he put among the guards to weed out loyalists like myself."

Alanna's mind was whirling with ideas. "I see. So how did you manage to avoid detection?"

"That's part of the tragedy, my lady. I come from an area far to the south and west of here and had gone back to visit my kin after being gone for decades. It was while I was gone that Rath betrayed the king."

This post was edited on 10/1 at 2:23 pm


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Alanna had never been able to get an answer from Vulko about what had happened to her brother and how Rath had come to power. She realized this was the time and place for her to get answers. She took a step toward Murk. She was within arm's reach now, having to float above the ground to look him eye-to-eye while he remained flat-footed and firmly grounded.

"Loyal Murk, your queen asks you know for something else." Her voice was pleading now, it should have been full of command. She knew it. She didn't care. "Tell me what happened. What happened with my brother?"

Murk stared for a moment, squinted at her as he studied her. "You really were kept mind-addled, weren't you?"

When put that way, so simply blunt, she felt ashamed. That didn't stop her though, "I was."

Murk nodded. "There are still a few of us in the castle who are loyal to Fen and Atlantis. Vulko was one of us but as he wormed his way into the new regime's graces he had to cut ties to us. It's been years since I've more than seen him from across a street. I figured if it was really you out and about, he had some sort of hand in it.

Not long after you left on your last trip, Xebel sent a diplomatic mission to Atlantis. I'm not privy to what went on with them but it went on well enough that Callum Rath, king of Xebel sent his brother Orus to Atlantis as his ambassador.

Within another year Xebel had an embassy here and Orus had dislodged Vulko as Orvax's chief advisor in all but name. Trade was strong and people were happy.

Looking back it seems ominous, but at the time there were no warning signs. Atlantis and Xebel had had problems over the centuries but little actual violence toward one another. It was under this climate that I took my leave of the guard for a period to return home.

From what I have pieced together it seems Xebel's king requested some sort of emergency meeting with King Orvax at somewhere along the Trench. Callum and Orus said loathsome beasts from the Trench came up unexpectedly and swarmed them. That Orvax and his guards held the line while they escaped to make Atlantis and Xebel ready to meet these creatures in battle.

With no other member of House Fen to assume the throne, Orus used the public's temporary sentiment to be placed on it as Regent to organize the resistance and to head up finding a suitable heir.

He spread his message of fear far and wide, it was a persuasive enough message that it allowed him to 'enhance' the guards of Atlantis and the castle with his own guards from Xebel.

It had been a year since the event, people were starting to tire of being constantly on guard and afraid, his power was beginning to wane and questions were starting to be asked as to why he wasn't doing more to find the nearest heir to the throne."

Alanna could see where this was going. "And that's when I reappeared." Murk's nod was all the confirmation she needed. She could now see the full picture.

Callum and Orus had lulled Orvex into a false solidarity somehow. When the time was right they had lured him out and killed him so Orus could assume the throne. The only flaw was that Atlanteans strongly tied rule of Atlantis to the House of Fen. The Raths had miscalculated this, without some tie to the throne the Atlanteans would eventually reject them.

She had unwittingly delivered to Orus a solid attachment to the throne of Atlantis right when he needed it the most. He began using Silent School sorcery on her mind the moment they first met. He had made her completely subservient. She had gone through with the marriage and had borne him two children with none of it being through her own free will. Orus had seen his attempt to gain power by setting the Trench as the enemy eventually fail. Alanna's arrival allowed him to craft a new enemy: the air-breathers. The watered regions had been wary of dry-landers since the Cataclysm, often using them as old wives tales to frighten children. She couldn't have made it any more perfect for him.

"My lady, there's more," Murk said through clenched teeth. "Had I not left, I would have been there with them. I could have saved your brother. My king." Murk all but shook with frustration and anger, this was as difficult a topic for him to tell as it was for her to hear.

She knew they were both heaping immense blame on themselves for what had happened. She also understood the futility in it. Beating themselves up over the machinations of others was neither healthy nor productive. Nothing positive would ever come of it and that played only into the hands of the Raths. That was something she would not do.

"Murk, I think I have an idea of how we can both make some sort of amends, if you're willing."


txbd
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Man this is so good. You have a real talent. I am enjoying this immensely.


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Kvothe
Member since Sep 2016
1392 posts

re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Count me on the list of people enjoying the hell out of this and regularly checking for your updates. TYFYS Mr. Bard.


Bard
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Thanks for reading and especially for the compliments, all! I've got tons more to come!


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Bard
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Member since Oct 2008
38782 posts

re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Young Arthur Curry looked up from his book with yet another question. "So was King Arthur real or not?"

His father, Tom Curry, answered without looking up from his cooking, "That answer is lost to history, son. The better question may be 'do you want him to have been real?'"

Tom Curry had always been a simple man. He had never needed a big home nor a grand carriage to feel good about himself. He was a carpenter by trade but Tom's real love was the constant discovery he experienced from reading books of knowledge. Even now, Tom considered the book he had just finished, a book on tides, currents and their impacts on life in the oceans. Life in the oceans... Tom arrested those thoughts, there was no reason in going back there but sometimes the memories came unbidden on their own.

Like now.

It had been almost a decade since Alanna had left he and Arthur. He long ago decided that her not returning meant she was dead but that didn't dull the pain, even after all these years.

He had found her washed up on the rocks of his small, lighthouse island during a brutal storm. It had been pure luck he had been outside lashing down his supplies and looking her way when the raging seas spat her out like a soured grape. He thought surely she must be dead as there were no ships around for her to have come from and she landed head-first onto a large rock then lay there motionless.

Tom had thrown all caution to the wind as he scrambled down to her. He paid the blowing wind and stinging rain only enough attention to make sure he could make it to her without taking too much damage himself. He had found her then, lying on her stomach, facing away from him. Her shoulder-length black hair had washed around her face, some sticking to her strange, scale-clad garments. He rolled her over then felt a sense of growing urgency as he noticed the large and growing bruise on her forehead. He had seen the impact of her head against rock and was certain that no one could have survived that (even if she had somehow managed to survive adrift at sea in this storm). She had though, he smiled at that thought, at his naivete.

He had taken her back to the lighthouse then proceeded to watch over her until she woke a day later. In those early days she was often dizzy and apt to vomit when she rose from more than a seated position. Tom cared for her as she slowly mended. Being the only two on the island they had plenty of time to talk. As she mended, they grew ever closer.

This was the part Tom liked to remember, the days and weeks and months of their bonding, the day the priest came out from Boston and married them, the months of her pregnancy, the birth of Arthur, the few years they had together as a family. It had felt truly magical.

She had long since told him of her lineage. He hadn't believed it at first even though she had proven to be far stronger than he. It wasn't until that late spring afternoon when she submerged herself near the dock for an hour until he began to believe her tale as being more than just fanciful teasings. It was true, she really could breathe underwater and really did come from a realm beneath the waves called Atlantis!

He had been only slightly worried when she left. She had wanted to return home briefly, to contact her family and let them know she not only still lived but had now started a family with "the most wonderful man of the surface". He still remembered holding Arthur in his arms as they waved to her well after she had sunk beneath the ocean's surface.

"I think I want him to have been real," Arthur decided aloud and with a nod of his head. Arthur's words brought Tom back from the past, he found himself thankful for it but also a little sad. It was at that point Tom realized he had been thinking about Alanna more often lately and, more pointedly, about her Atlantean heritage as Arthur had recently begun showing those same abilities.

The boy was already as strong as a blacksmith and could stay above and below the waters as long as he liked with not a single ill effect. Tom had schooled Arthur to silence on letting others see what he could do. The witch trials in Salem had been long ago but people in these parts were still quick to label things they didn't understand as "witchcraft".

A knock at the door startled both Tom and Arthur. Visitors rarely came during the day and it was now after sunset. So new and uncommon was this event that neither did more than stare at one another with matching quizzical looks, almost as if each blamed the other for the sound.

"I'm looking for Tom and Arthur Curry," a voice called through the heavy door. It was a woman's voice, it was soft, it was timid and -even with the muffling of the heavy wooden door- Tom recognized it as the same voice he heard with both his head and his heart in every night's dream.

It was Alanna.


Ace Midnight
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re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
quote:

Bard's Poor Attempt


We need to get you into a marketing class, stat.


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Bard
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Member since Oct 2008
38782 posts

re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Life suddenly became a battle of dichotomies for Tom Curry. His mind was moving so fast he couldn't sort his own thoughts yet time seemed to stand perfectly still. His movements were too quick, giving him only a jerky form of control, yet he felt as if he were moving through thick syrup on a cold day. He was sure she had died, yet she was alive. He had just heard her voice! He was confused as to what he would say yet he was certain he would say it. So many thoughts and emotions raging and warring -and at such blinding speed- it seemed that with every step he was being swallowed more and more by the chaos of wild, unrestrained, unfocused emotions he would not, could not stop taking those steps.

"Dad?" Arthur was in the same position, holding his book and still with that questioning look on his face. At that moment all the clash and clamor in Tom's head and heart stopped, almost as if it had never happened.

Had he imagined it? Would she really be there if he opened the door? What if she wasn't? If it wasn't her but someone washed onto the island by luck? The chaos from a moment ago threatened to return.

He reached out his hand, undid the bolt and swung the door open and...

...there she stood. Alanna Fen, his lady of the ocean, his beautiful princess, his wife.

He was still processing that she was there, that she was really there when she crushed herself into him. He folded onto her instantly, not caring she was still soaking wet and shivering in the cold October night. A warmth appeared on his shoulder, this was quickly followed with the spams of sobbing as she gripped him tighter. Soon after, he was crying with her.

"Dad??" The call was distant, he almost didn't recognize it. He had long ago given up the foolish dream of seeing his beloved Alanna again, he had learned to live with the pain. He had learned to quickly forget the dreams of her which came in the night, to put them aside as the sun rose. Now she was here, in his arms and the world had been shut out for just the two of them to have this moment he thought lost to him forever. For a moment he didn't want to hear that call.

The moment passed.

He pulled back slightly from Alanna, she pushed in farther. She didn't want to leave that moment either. His heart ached to rejoin her but that part of their moment was over. He put his hands on either side of her face and gently turned her up to face him. Tears continued to stream down her face. She struggled to get the words out.

"I... I'm so sorry." Tom instantly knew what she meant. She was sorry she had not been able to come home sooner. She loved and had missed him every bit as much as he loved and had missed her and she felt a crushing guilt over it. He could see she was on the verge of another bout of crying, she was barely holding herself together.

He leaned in. "I know," then, gently, kissed her.

That kiss seemed to defuse her somehow, as if she had been a boiler of pent up anguish ready to blow. She returned the kiss, tentative at first and then growing in intensity. He matched her. He could feel...

"Dad!"

Tom turned to the shout of alarm.

Arthur had come from his chair in the kitchen and was now standing there, aghast, having watched his father kissing his mo... no. Arthur had been but three when Alanna had left. He didn't remember her and he too thought she was long dead. Tom knew Arthur would sneak out at night sometimes and swim for hours, he often wondered if he was looking for some possible trace of his mother.

Looking around Tom's shoulder, Alanna said, "is that... Arthur?" She said his name with what sounded almost like reverence. What could have kept her from her husband and son for nearly a decade? What must that have been like for her?

Tom, a smile breaking out on his face, took a step towards his son and held he hand out to him. "Come here, son. I have someone you need to meet... again."

Hesitantly Arthur came forward. He did not take his father's hand (he wasn't a baby, after all!). He was nervous and unsure of what was going on but he stood within arm's reach of this strange woman. His father would protect him and he would protect his father, as always.

"Arthur, by some incredible miracle, this is your mother." He didn't know what he had expected to hear from his father, but it certainly wasn't that!

Arthur stuffed down his initial urge to rush to her and hug her, much as his father did. One of them had to keep their emotions in check, this could be some evil witch or something. He appraised her with as much emotional distance as he could muster. She seemed sincere, his father had always been a good judge of character, but still...

"Arthur! At least say something, son."

Without looking at his father, Arthur bowed his head to his mother. "It is a pleasure to meet you, please come in and join us for supper." Arthur then turned, walked back to his chair, picked up his book and began reading it again.


Bard
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Tigerdroppings Platinum Member
Member since Oct 2008
38782 posts

re: Bard's Poor Attempt at a Combined Marvel/DC Universe (an ongoing project)
Alanna had been a nervous wreck on the entire trek across the ocean. Although she had been nervous when fleeing Atlantis, she had known she had no other choice. To her it seemed fate had been a straight line.

Orus and Callum had sought to consolidate their power by attacking the air-breathers in her name. She could not allow that but she could not just walk out of her room and begin tossing accusations and denials. She knew not which guards she could trust and she knew not what Orus would do with Namor and Orm. He may kill them to stop her, he may kill her.

So her first step had been to flee her chambers, then to flee the castle, then to flee Atlantis. Her step after that had been to go to Tom and Arthur, but now as that seemed less a fevered dream of a desperate wife and mother and more like a certainty, she found herself not quite so resolute.

What if Tom and Arthur had died? What if they moved away? What if they had forgotten about her? What if some surface woman had taken her place?
And been a better wife.
A better mother.
One who didn't leave.

No matter how long nor how fast she swam these doubts and condemnations kept apace with her.

Prior to leaving Atlantis she hadn't had enough time to think on this part deeply enough. Some of it could be blamed on the magicks, she knew, but not all of it. Much of it could be blamed on the hectic pace and pressure she had put on herself to stop a war, but that wasn't all of it.

Deep down, once she had learned of how long she had been away she shied away from dwelling on it. There had been other things to do, other things to figure out and she had been secretly glad for it. Once away from Atlantis though, she had nearly one thousand leagues of travel ahead of her with little to occupy her attention but continuing her forward movement.

She hadn't dared to dream they would still be there and accept her back. What kept her going was that damned straight line. What she needed to accomplish ran straight to the lighthouse, to Tom, to Arthur, to her lost love. To pain.

Arthur's reaction was difficult. Even believing she deserved it, it still hurt. She realized then she had held out a small hope that at least Arthur would accept her, she had believed it likely she had lost Tom for good.

She glanced from Arthur, who she could tell was only pretending to read his book, to Tom as she followed him in. Without even realizing it, old habits kicked in and she closed the door without even looking while she did so. Tom motioned to her old chair as he sat across from her in his usual spot. The rush of returning familiarity to her was bittersweet.

"Do you feel up to it now or would you rather rest first then tell us everything in the morning?" Tom always did like getting straight to the point.

"No, I think now. The sooner, the better."

Tom nodded at this then turned to look at Arthur. "Come here, son." He pulled out Arthur's chair.

It was all Alanna could do to contain herself. Such a simple act, pulling out a chair, yet it pulled memories from her like a strong current. She had watched as Tom had made that chair, or at least parts of it, into a baby-chair for Arthur. She had carved his name in Atlantean symbols onto the back of it. That back was still present but the rest of the chair had changed to fit a young man.

"I'm fine where I am, father." Arthur's clipped tone caused Tom's eyebrows to crawl up his forehead for a moment. They reset themselves and in the most level yet intimidating tone she had ever come from this man she deeply and truly loved, "I wasn't give you a choice."

Tom and Arthur locked eyes. Alanna could see a quiet fury behind Arthur's. Her shame threatened to engulf her but she caught it in time, choked it, then shoved it back down. There would be time for that later.

"Now."

Arthur sighed indignantly but put down the book, made his way over to the table and sat. Tom pointedly ignored the glares Arthur cast at both of them as he turned to Alanna. "I guess the best thing to do is start at the beginning," he prompted.


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