The fleets had gathered. It was a sight to see. The AU had come through in a big way. They knew the stakes as well as anyone else. All of the ships were gathered around the Odysseus and fighters were practicing maneuvers, eager to get into the fight. Brainiac’s new fighters were here, and they were beautiful. Blue particles followed them as they were moving around the ships. Between her and Enigma, they had figured out a way to make the Nova Particle into something that wasn’t immediately toxic to humans. For the first time, they could have people on the launch deck while particle fields were up. The way was being paved for new technologies that would shape the world for years to come. There were even pledges of support coming in from an unlikely source – space.
While High Orbital Station One was the first colony of its kind, it was not the first space colony ever made. A new breed of colony was under construction, and Nova Particle engines were being pledges from them. They had been pioneering this tech, unbeknownst to the Earth forces. In fact, there was debate beginning as to whether or not the colonies would sue for independence from the Earth’s governments. As their forces gathered and new tech was fitting onto older airships, they were ready.
Meanwhile, Prince Adam’s fleet had gathered in the airspace above the destroyed capital. Over 1.2 million casualties. The people didn’t even have time to flee before the weapon obliterated them from existence. It made a perfect half-sphere in the ground below the impact. It was like a dark sphere just appeared and erased them in an instant. To the people in the surrounding country-side, they fled as far as they could get from this machine. None of them wanted to believe that they were going to be next. However, the thing that stood out above all the rest of his airships was what was in the center.
The fortress was massive, With a base that was a four-sided diamond, with a section extending downward like a rupee in Legend of Zelda, the thing was like a city unto itself. Which made sense since the section on the top was a flat surface with a city inside of it. Roughly the size of Long Island, with enough city to look like it. In the center, there was a huge palace, very reminiscent of the White Palace.
In the main hall, Adam stood. Mary, Black Mask and Azrael were with him.
“So, Eleanor’s fleet has gathered, has it?” he asked to no one in-particular.
Black Mask nodded. “Yes. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the Wolf is a gifted commander.”
That got him laughing. “It’s irrelevant! The Night Fortress is the perfect weapon! It was to be the war-horse of the Imperial Fleet. Might as well test it deposing that little bitch! She’s worn out her welcome.”
Mary looked concerned. “But Adam, what of Thomas and the others? Surely they’re with her.”
He gave her a cold look. “What of them? Those traitors have betrayed everything that made this country strong! What’s more, our mother gave control of the throne to that little bitch! She murders our father and then is given free reign of his country from his wife? What sort of treachery is that?! I may have planned to take the country from him, but I expected her to be against me. To see Eleanor just take the throne like that, it makes me sick!”
Mary nodded, but deep down, she felt rather terrible.
“Where are her forces gathered?” he demanded.
A map came up in the room, showing the greater United States.
Black Mask pointed to a valley in the Rockies. “Her forces have gathered here. It’s a sound location. Mountains on all sides. To go above them would leave our bellies open to attack. We would have to come at her head-on.”
Adam nodded. “And so we shall! It’s time to show this bitch what I’m made of!”
Wolf was pulling on the skin for her Armor. Emily smiled over at her.
“You know, when this is done, and the two of us actually get some time together, I want there to be a no-clothes rule. They only get in the way.”
She looked back at her lover, winking. “I could get behind that.”
Emily walked over, taking her in her arms. They kissed, not wanting it to end. When they finally pulled apart, Wolf was smiling at her.
“I love you, Emily. More than anything, I love you.”
“I love you too, Quinn. With all my heart.” As she was pulling on the skin for her own Armor, there was something that she left on the table. It was an engagement ring.
Wolf walked on to the bridge of the Odysseus. Her mask was back, and the effect it had on the rest was huge. Everyone was smiling. They knew that in the Wolf’s hands, they were safe.
“Set up a link to the entire fleet!”
“On it, ma’am! Link established.”
Across the fleet, captains and soldiers were looking up at screens.
“We have gotten to this place through years of hardship. Mistakes have been made. Lives had been destroyed. When I started my mission to bring down the former Emperor, I was only one person. I got allies who were loyal and believed in what we stood for.”
Deathstroke and those who had been with her since the early days were gathered. They all grinned at each other. Something no one expected, Copperhead was with them. She had come back, to end this.
“For as far as we have come, we have one last hurdle to take. The former Prince Adam has come with a fortress and is prepared to destroy this entire country in order to get the world he wants back. A man stuck in the past, so desperate for things to stay the same that he destroyed his home and would have killed his family, had they have been there.”
At the safe house, Juliet, Thomas and Eve were all crying.
“Now, we are all that stands between him and the conquest of our entire world! If we fail, there will be nothing to stop him.” There was a brief pause. “To each and every person here, I say – your actions have told the world that you will not stand idly by while a potential monster turns the world we’ve made into a dictatorship! This will be the defining moment for everyone who takes part. You will find out what you are made of. And we will not let this relic of a dead nation take our homes away from us. We stand together! This will be the final battle! May the spirits be with us all! Now let’s show this asshole what we’re made of!”
A cheer went up throughout the fleet. Everyone was ready.
Adam’s forces came up through the valley. Mountains on either side, this battle was one where there would be no escape. With the massive fleet, as well as the fortress, it was unbelievably imposing. They saw Wolf’s fleet at the far end of it.
The man smiled. “Alright, Wolf. Let’s see where this goes.” He linked in with the fleet. “Spread out laterally. Have the starboard wing extend forward, while keeping the port-side wing back.”
Wolf saw the move. None of their ground forces were deployed, save some auto-mated anti-air guns. “Have our port-side wing fall back, while extending the starboard wing!”
Adam’s smile grew. Clever girl! “Have both wings fall in to spear formation! We’ll move right at their center!” The airships moved fast, getting into formation.
“Have all ships form up in to a phalanx! Move the anti-air cannons to the perimeter of the formation!” Wolf commanded. Their airships did as ordered. Everyone was sweating.
Inside of one of the fighter cockpits, one of them growled. “What the hell, we’re not even fighting! What is this?!”
Captain Matthias came on. “You’re wrong. A battle is being fought here. Between two great minds. This is a battle of wits, and it couldn’t be fiercer.”
Adam was again impressed. “Have the spear spread in to wings and go along the edge of the mountains!” Keeping your back to the wall. A good tactic even in today’s world.
Wolf nodded. “All forces, bring in close and fall back! Spear formation!” Their ships did as bidden, getting to a point where there were a couple mountains right behind them.
Black Mask was confused. “I don’t get it, why fall back?”
Adam looked over at him. “To get her own back against the wall. Clever girl.”
Wolf looked up. “All forces, get as far back as you can! It’s about to begin.”
There were steam columns coming up from the mountains.
“What’s with all the steam?” Azrael mused.
Riddler looked up from the engine room in terror. He ran to the intercom.
“Get everyone back! Get away from the mountains!”
Adam was confused. “What’s he babbling about?” Just then, there came an answer.
The mountains exploded! Massive chunks of rock came up. The bulk of their airships were against those mountains. The destruction it caused was beautiful. Some of them were ripped into giant chunks, falling to the ground. Others were forced to limp their way down, crashing into ugly piles of steel. Some were lucky enough to have their engines not be damaged. They were in the minority. Roughly 60 percent of Adam’s fleet was inoperable or destroyed. A few of his airships moved to cover the rest of the fleet, acting as shields for the onslaught that immediately followed.
Wolf’s fleet opened fire. The fighters moved in fast, while the bulk of the airships were staying back. All of Winter’s Shadow’s fleet was staying put, while the AU ships were way too eager. It was an ugly battle. Adam’s fleet was in shambles, regrouping around the center
On the bridge of his airship, Adam had a cold look go on to his face. “She’s more clever than I thought. Using an old battle-strategy against me. Not bad. But irrelevant.” He cued up the comm. “Bring the Sunburst Device online!”
The Fortress was changing. The bottom section was pulling back. A massive chamber was exposed. The chamber was on a rotating gantry. It pointed at the fleet.
Wolf looked up. “Everyone, fall back! Get as far away from that weapon as you can!” Their backs were against the mountain, but there was space to the sides. All of them moved that way. Save for several ships in the AU fleet.
“I said fall back, god-dammit!”
A captain buzzed in. “Why? We have this battle won! If we press the attack, we can take the Fortress!”
Just then the chamber on the Fortress went off. What appeared to be a large ball came out, heading toward the battling forces.
Matthias turned to Wolf. “He’s going to bomb his own forces?!”
She nodded. “They’re pawns, to him.”
The device got right inside the two battle sides, then the magic happened. It burst open, with some light coming out. Then, it immediately expanded. The circle was like a black sun. It grew and grew, engulfing both sides in the light. The sounds of screaming soldiers and pilots went out over the comm. Everyone was scared. Inside the Odysseus, people were beginning to think that they were all going to die here.
As the black sun collapsed in on itself, all of the air nearby was sucked in. The airships that were lucky enough to avoid the explosion were pulled inside, often colliding with their own people. Imperial and AU ships smashed together, raining down in the section of ground underneath that was gone.
Beneath the mask, a cold look was on Wolf’s face. So, this is the weapon we’re up against. She turned to Matthias. “Bring the secondary cannons online. Fire directly at the Fortress. I have a theory.”
The man looked concerned, but obeyed. The cannons powered up, sending red beams lancing toward the Fortress. They got close before coming into contact with a huge shield.
Her eyes went large. “It’s like the WASP!”
Adam set up a connection. “Do you see now, Eleanor?! Do you see what this Fortress is capable of?! You’re dead. And now you know it.”
She cut it off, staring out at the place where the explosion had been. It was strange. No one else could, but she could see huge clouds of particles, hanging there. There was something odd about this. And foreboding. This battle was just getting started.
Until next time, a quote,
“Now this is what I call a party!” -The Joker, Batman: Arkham Origins