During a beautiful day, on a lighthouse, a gorgeous woman with pale blond hair approached a young boy with ashen hair.
She looked at him with a prideful expression, not only was her child a healthy kid, but he clearly had the potential to be the best of her people.
Despite being a half-breed.
Perhaps, especially because of it.
"Mother?" The young kid called for the woman.
"Yes, Arthur, my dear?" The woman replied.
"Can you tell me that story again?" He asked with his usual smile.
"You mean the story about our people?" The woman pondered and the boy nodded excitedly. "To know what our people were, is to go back to the time before the Great Fall, when King Atlan ruled over all that was, and the Kingdoms of Atlantis were one."
The woman began her tale while mustering a glimpse of magic, manipulating the humidity in the air to better illustrate her story.
As the image of a glorious empire manifested between them, the woman continued. "It was a time of great prosperity and technological advancement."
Incredible sights were displayed of both impressive technology and ancient magic. "We had unlocked the secret to unlimited energy at a time when the rest of the world still thought the earth was flat. But we became too ambitious, too hungry for power. The ocean swallowed us and Atlantis sank."
Despite the gloomy situation, his mother looked at him with a hopeful expression. "But the very power that collapsed our civilization also paved the way to our future. It gave us the ability to breathe underwater. And so, we evolved."
She showed him the images of some people resembling humans and others looking like merfolk from fables. Though some appeared to have gone feral. "Others regressed, became savage. And the king lived out the remainder of his days in self imposed exile. "
It was then that the woman took her son's hand. "Neither he, nor the Trident were ever seen again. But legend says that only the one true king could find it and wield its true power."
As the young Arthur looked at the image of a golden trident, his mother told him. "You, Arthur. I believe you are the one true king. That will not only unite the people of Atlantis, but be a bridge with the people of the surface."
As the young boy nodded to his mother, an older man joined them, chuckling at the wholesome sight.
The man had the same dark skin color as the kid with ashen hair.
"Atlanna, my dear. I think you have told the boy this story a thousand times." He caressed Arthur's hair and kissed the woman. "I'm sure he knows it by heart by now."
"I hope so Jason, my love." The Queen of Atlantis replied while savoring his embrace. "It is his legacy."
Both Jason and Arthur instinctively turned to Atlanna's trident and equipment, knowing exactly what she meant by it.
They had spent years living a happy life since Atlanna fled from her nation.
But Atlanna wasn't the only one expecting her past to eventually catch up to her.
That day, as they heard the growls of dogs outside their house, her past finally came to the surface.
A loud explosion was heard as an energy blast was shot through the wall and launched several debris everywhere.
Through the hole made by the onslaught, several figures equipped with technological armors and weapons stepped forward.
The leading individual of the squad announced as Atlanna and Jason shielded Arthur. "Queen Atlanna, by the authority of King Orvax, you are ordered to return to Atl…."
But before the invader had the chance to complete his sentence, Jason rushed forwards and parried the man's weapon with a spin before kicking him back to the sea with a powerful spartan kick.
As Jason continued to protect his family, Atlanna led Arthur to somewhere safe and hid him behind Jason's shield.
Joining the fight by catching by surprise a soldier that was about to attack Jason while he impaled another with her Trident, she broke his visor and threw him through the window as water leaked from the invader's suit.
"Here, you know how to use it better than me." Jason told her while handing her the trident before kicking his sofa at another soldier.
However, it was clear to them that they were greatly outnumbered.
Forget about the small group of soldiers that had raided the lighthouse during Aquaman's movie. This time King Orvax was making sure that he was getting his promised wife.
But unfortunately for him, Atlanna wasn't fighting alone this time.
At the beginning of their relationship, Jason pretended to not believe in her tales of her being the Queen of Atlantis. But with time, not only did he acknowledge it, he also told her about his identity as a "demigod".
This fueled Atlanna with the notion that their meeting all those years ago was fate.
Although neither could shrug off a direct hit from the advanced weapons of Atlantis, they certainly had the necessary skills in battle to even the odds.
With Arthur's life at risk, they didn't hold back and went all out against the Atlantean soldiers.
Smashing and piercing whoever stood in their way, the duo certainly looked impossible to be beaten.
It was only after taking care of the last standing invader that they were surprised by the attack of one pretending to be unconscious.
Instead of a laser blast hitting Atlanna's back, Jason pushed her away and took the blow for her.
"JASON!" Atlanna shouted desperately before throwing her trident at her enemy, pinning him to the ground by the head.
As she went to check on Janson's condition, she failed to notice that the previous soldier she had just killed had released a grenade that would've destroyed the entire house.
But it was then that Arthur suddenly arrived and covered it just in time with his father's magical shield.
The explosion was completely contained by it.
"Mom, Dad!" The kid said running towards them.
"It's alright son." Jason said before gasping for air. "Everything is gonna be alright."
"My dear, I'm sorry!" Atlanna told him while she shed tears and questioned herself. "I don't know what happened to me. How could've I been so stupid to not notice that imbecile?"
"Don't worry." Jason reassured her, despite her attempts to heal him with magic, his body simply wasn't responding to it. "You would've done the same to me. I have no regrets. I love you two."
Amongst the piles of bodies on that destroyed lighthouse, both Atlanna and Arthur witnessed Jason's last breath.
By the end of the day, the Queen of Atlantis had made a decision.
She knew she couldn't keep her son safe while still expecting that he would one day fulfill her dream to unite Atlantis and bring peace with the surface world.
"Do you really have to go?" Arthur asked his mother. "You don't need to go, I will grow stronger and protect you."
"I know you will." She told him with a kind smile. "But I also know that they will always find me. Next time they will send an entire army. I have to go back. But I will return to you, when it's safe."
Arthur wiped her tears. "I promise that I will rescue you before that."
"I know." She nodded, baffled by how much he resembled his father. "You stay strong my little prince. You will always be with me in my heart."
"And you in mine." He replied before she left him with a friend of his father.
Never would have she guessed that her entire new family had been a single time traveler who assumed many identities through innumerable methods.
Possession being one of the rarest.
Even so, when she arrived at Atlantis to meet the man she was promised to, never would've she guessed that he wasn't the same King that she had fled from.
Although King Orvax's body remained, his soul had been completely erased from existence.
But Atlanna wouldn't recognize the soul of the gentleman who she had had a son with.
Instead, she would grow to hate this version of Orvax even more than she would have originally.
Founded by King Atlan, the empire of Atlantis at its peak was the most powerful and technologically advanced nation on the planet.
During the First Invasion of Earth, the armies of Atlantis sided with the Amazons and the tribes of Mankind to fight off Darkseid's army and prevented the destruction of earth from the Apokoliptian conqueror.
Aided by the still living Old Gods and the Green Lantern Yalan Gur, the armies of Earth fought off the invaders, at a heavy price.
However, the forces of Earth were successful in driving away the invasion.
Afterward, the Mother Boxes retrieved from the Apokoliptians were given to the armies of Earth for safeguarding, anticipating the eventual return of the forces.
Eventually Atlantis developed a series of new technologies centered upon their greatest achievement, the discovery of an inexhaustible source of energy, allowing the creation of machine walkers, advanced aircraft and the powerful Trident of Atlan.
During a test of the Trident, a massive energy pulse violently radiated outward and destroyed Atlantis, causing it to sink into the sea with great loss of life.
As a result of the disaster, Atlantis and its empire splintered into seven successor kingdoms.
Atlantis itself would form its own kingdom while others, such as Xebel, the Kingdom of the Deserters, the Fishermen, the Trench, the Brine, and the Missing Kingdom were formed from breakaway factions.
As time went on, the seven Kingdoms would eventually undergo significant changes, either surviving, evolving to a new form, collapse or completely die out: Atlantis and Xebel would survive to the present day and retain the original characteristics of the ancient Atlanteans.
The Kingdom of the Fishermen evolved to become fish-like and were considered adverse to conflict.
The Kingdom of the Brine evolved into a crab-like and brutish people.
The Kingdom of the Trench had regressed into savage creatures incapable of speech or intelligent thought.
The Kingdom of the Deserters died out as the Sahara became a desert.
The Missing Kingdom was reported to have completely disappeared, leading to it being called "lost."
The Fall had an unexpected side effect: the energy pulse affected the survivors biologically, causing them to gain the ability to breathe underwater and superhuman strength needed to survive in the deep ocean.
Alongside the biological improvements, the survivors safely harnessed the energy source to rebuild their destroyed civilization despite the Atlantean empire splintering.
As a result of the Fall, the despondent King Atlan took the Trident and went into exile, never to be seen again by anyone.
His last words were copied onto a recording device and left clues to his whereabouts for future generations to find.
The Court of Shadows had already explored and retrieved everything there was of value from the ruins of the Kingdom of the Deserters.
King Orm Marius, following the sudden death of his father King Orvax after he sentenced his mother to the trench, was the current ruler of Atlantis, the second son of Queen Atlanna, and Arthur Prince's younger half-brother.
Besides his royal duties, Orm had been introduced to the Atlantean war sports from a younger age, becoming the undefeated champion in trident combat by winning five times throughout his youth and also earning the title of 8th Dan Nautilus in unarmed Xebel-fu combat.
Orm had also participated in a war using his father's trident as his own weapon, earning the Coral Heart medal and dubbed a war hero.
After taking his father's place on the throne, Orm began devising a master plan that would both unite the seven kingdoms and destroy the surface in one fell swoop.
As the ruler of Atlantis, Orm was a skilled warrior who sought to unite the Seven Kingdoms as the "Ocean Master" against the surface world.
Despite Wayne Enterprises' success in considerably reducing the pollution and mistreatment of the seas, Orm still planned to wage war against the people of the surface.
Though this time it was more out of fear that in a few decades they might grow into a real adversary to them.
Although still respecting his father's memory, he nevertheless missed his mother, who had been sacrificed to the trench after his father learned she had given birth to a half-breed child with a surface dweller.
The Trident of Atlan, also known as the Sacred Trident, was an ancient Atlantean relic forged for and originally wielded by the ancient king of Atlantis, Atlan.
The Trident was forged in the Kingdom of the Deserters from the steel of Poseidon (eighth metal) for Atlan.
One day, during an experiment conducted by Atlan, the power of the trident released a powerful wave of energy that sank Atlantis to the bottom of the oceans, mutating the citizens to be able to survive underwater.
Following the Great Fall, Atlan exiled himself to the Hidden Sea, charging the Karathen (a colossal, sentient ancient sea creature, and one of the most powerful beings on Earth) with protecting it from all but the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis.
The Karathen (resembling a colossal combination of a squid, a shrimp, a crustacean and a dragon) implied that while dead, Atlan's consciousness and spirit still lingered in his skeleton so that even if the Karathen was defeated, his skeleton would not release it until the rightful heir attempted to remove it.
The Hidden Sea was a realm found at the Earth's core.
It is only accessible through a maelstrom in the Kingdom of the Trench, which was the way Queen Atlanna used to survive the Trench.
The Hidden Sea was the location of Dead King's Island, where Atlan's final resting place resided.
When the time finally came, Arthur Prince made his way to finally meet Atlanna.
Swimming past the hordes of Trench was so easy for him that it wasn't even an inconvenience.
Arthur killed none of them because he had plans for them.
When he finally reached the portal to the Earth's core, he was immediately greeted by prehistoric creatures.
Fortunately to him, just like with the trench, the influence over animals he had acquired from Zarola was more than enough to tame them.
Sure, he could swim much faster than any atlantean could ever hope to match, but nothing really beats riding your own Tylosaurus while leading a swarm of ocean-dwelling creatures.
As he reached the shores of Dead King's Island, he immediately came face to face with a figure equipped with improvised armor and weapons.
With a swift jump, landing on the beach while removing his collapsible mask, Arthur stared at the lone figure and declared. "I've found you, Mom!"
His words had the immediate effect of shocking the banished Queen. "Arthur!"
As Atlanna ran towards the man she believed to be her son and embraced him for the first time in years, she said. "I never doubted that you would find me one day!"
Before their embrace could escalate into something inappropriate for the moment, Atlanna asked with a small blush. "What is this suit of armor you are wearing?"
"I could ask you the same thing." He replied casually, not surprised what years in isolation could do to someone.
"Do you like it?" She questioned while swirling around so he could better see it. "I made it myself."
"So have I." Arthur remarked as his advanced suit of armor briefly showcased its complex features. "Come, I will take you back."
"Wait!" The Queen said, catching Arthur's hand. "The only way back is through that waterfall."
"Actually, that isn't true." Arthur replied before signaling with his hand to his side and a loud boom was heard, out of nowhere, a portal appeared.
Although surprised by the level of technology her son had in his disposal, Atlanna still insisted. "Even so, Arthur my son, beyond that waterfall lies the Trident of Atlan. It's real!"
Pretending ignorance, Arthur raised an eyebrow in confusion.
"Don't tell me you were so focused on rescuing me that you forget about the stories I used to tell you when you were a kid." Atlanna tried to convince him. "Now seeing what a fine man you have become, I'm more certain than ever that you are the chosen one. You are the one true of the legends."
Agreeing with her through a nod, Arthur made his way to the waterfall.
As Arthur, The Dark Knight and leader of the Court of Shadows, had come to claim the Trident, he sighted Atlan'a corpse still holding his trident as it emanated pulses of pure energy.
The trident was an impressive weapon indeed.
But it was weak compared to the masterpieces he gifted his Angels.
And that was only taking into consideration Eighth Metal.
Having already worked with Nth Metal and Tenth Metal, Arthur couldn't help himself from being underwhelmed by the mythical weapon right in front of him.
But while Arthur dwelled in his disappointment, he heard the approaching colossal guardian of said treasure.
"You… you are the first of your kind that I have ever laid my sight upon. And I have guarded the Trident against false kings since the beginning and for a thousand years after that." The Karathen said without knowing that he could understand it. "I have seen the greatest champions try and fail, but never have I sensed one as unique as you. Have you come to claim Atlantis's greatest treasure?"
Arthur ignored it at first and moved to claim the Trident, drawing the fury of the mythical creature.
"Do you consider yourself worthy? Do you consider yourself a king? You must first face me to prove your value." It declared while swinging one of its massive tentacles directly at him.
But instead of him dodging or being flung by the attack, Arthur stood his ground and faced the attack without raising a finger to defend himself.
To the Karathen surprise, Arthur was completely anchored in place, and its attack simply rebounded off him.
"You think so highly of yourself to presume that I would require your permission to take what's rightfully mine." Arthur replied coldly while activating Poseidon's dominance over the oceans and everything living in it.
"You understand me?" The Karathen questioned as it squirmed in his presence. "No being has ever conversed with me since King Atlan. Who are you?"
"The one true king." He replied before grabbing and pulling the golden trident in one fell swoop as the corpse of Atlan crumbled into dust.
Kingdom of Atlantis
At the throne room, King Orm sat surrounded by his soldiers and advisors.
Besides him, princess Meera sat in her own seat.
"Is this man Atlantean or not?" An elder of the council questioned.
"Tell us what's going on!" Another questioned Vulko, the chief counselor.
Arthur was then escorted in by one of the elite guards through the legion of soldiers reunited to witness the arrival of Atlanna's firstborn.
The elite soldier tensely steps next to Orm as Arthur inspected the white marble room before taking his place before Orm.
"Welcome to Atlantis... Brother." Orm suddenly spoke, ending the insufferable silence that had been taking place. "I can't believe you're finally here. I've heard so many stories about you…" Wearing his bright golden armor, Orm swam forward. "All these years, I've been ashamed of my mother for defiling herself with a surface-dweller. Ashamed of the fact that I have a half-breed brother whose heart I wanted to run my trident through. But now that you're finally here before me, I must admit…" As Arthur stared directly at Orm's eyes, the current king completed his speech. "I am conflicted. Tell me, what do you want?"
"I want the throne." Arthur declared to everyone but Vulko and Meera's surprise.
"By the gods!" One of the counselors scoffed while the other either laughed dismissively or remained silent in shock.
"My King, we have entertained this charlatan for too long. Reject his request." Another counselor spoke as Vulko and Meera shared a faint smile.
The Dark Knight eyed the counselors with an amused grin. "Oh, I ain't requesting nothing! I'm exercising my blood right to challenge for the mantles of King and Ocean Master!"
"I see." Orm replied to Arthur's declaration, stunned by his knowledge of their way. "Is that why you've come here after all this time? To kill me?"
"I came here to stop a maniac from destroying the chances of Atlantis recovering its previous glory." Arthur remarked out loud. "The surface world already has the necessary tools to discern a tragic natural disaster from acts of war. Your childish tantrums and occasional tsunamis aren't fooling anyone."
"I see that you are well informed in regards to the surface dwellers." Orm said, implying that Arthur's allegiance wasn't with Atlantis.
But before Orm had the chance to say anything else, Arthur spoke. "As a matter of fact, I am." He began making slow steps towards Orm. "Why do you think the surface dwellers have suddenly stopped with their atrocities for the past couple of years? The levels of pollution are barely a fraction of what they once were a decade ago. Even their skies and lands are no longer plagued by their detrimental negligence." Despite the guards' attempts to keep Arthur in place, he leisurely walks up the stairs to the throne. "Lately we have come into contact with beings from outer space. And despite the Atlantean people's short memory, the armies of Earth have once united to fend off invaders from a different dimension."
Now standing face to face, the two sons of Atlanna engage in a staring contest.
"Are you invoking the Combat of the Kings?" Orm asked threateningly, his previous 'welcoming facade' completely forgotten.
"If that's what it takes for me to take what's rightfully mine, so be it." Arthur replied.
"Well then…" Orm diverged his stare before clearing his throat. "…perhaps that's how we'll proceed. A challenge has been made, and I accept. Prepare him for the Ring of Fire."
The Ring of Fire was a battleground surrounded by lava located in Atlantis.
And It was where Atlanteans royalty challenged each other for the throne of the city while watched by a massive crowd with the citizens of Atlantis and high ranked individuals.
Similar to the Roman colosseum, underneath it, there was a special chamber where the contenders would prepare before their battle.
Despite not knowing much about Arthur's skill in combat, he had enough experience to recognize a dangerous man when facing one.
How could have he known that Arthur was actually the most dangerous being on Earth?
"Down here, we have a legend about the Karathen, an ancient sea monster so powerful that even King Atlan himself feared it. So, he imprisoned it in the depths of the ocean. And in that abyss, the creature bides its time waiting to rise again. Atlantis has been lying in wait... And now, the beast has awakened." Orm said, making a clear metaphor that he didn't agree with Arthur's reasons to oppose him.
"You know, there was a time when I wanted to meet you more than anything. Get to know my little brother. Let him know that he wasn't alone, that we were in it together. If only I had known what a disappointment you would turn out to be." Arthur replied. "There's no way you can justify your father's treatment to her, while she did have me with a surface dweller, your father laid with a woman who didn't want to be his wife. You're not the son of a King, you are the son of a rapist."
"How dare you half-breed!" Orm spat, almost engaging in combat right there. "What gives you the right to question our ways?!"
Arthur didn't say anything, instead he raised his arm to his side and conjured a golden trident out of nowhere.
"Im-impossible!" Orm barked with wide eyes.
Not saying anything else, Arthur swam through the circular passage towards the main segment of the Ring of Fire.
"People of Atlantis, hear me! I have come from the surface to challenge my brother for the throne. My mother is Queen Atlanna, and my father is Jason Prince, son of the Amazon Queen and Zeus himself." Everyone gasped at his declaration and in complete awe at his golden trident. "I wield Atlan's trident as proof of my valor. Allow me to settle my claim in the ancient way. By bloodshed do the gods make known their will!"
Orm joined him in the arena while the citizens of Atlantis openly cheered for his half-brother, knowing that he had been fooled from the beginning.
It was too late for him to back down.
Orm and Arthur stood opposite to one another.
Arthur pummeled the ground with Atlan's trident, provoking waves of golden energy so powerful that Orm barely avoided being flung back towards the lava pits.
Orm prevented such a disgraceful end by anchoring himself to the ground with his father's trident and stared at his half-brother.
"I may not have been raised as an Atlantean, but like your people, I'm not too forgiving. This is your last chance, throw down your weapons and kneel before me.
Orm simply pulled his weapon out of the stone floor. "Never!"
Without showing any emotion, Arthur nodded. "I lived my entire life waiting for this moment. I trained, I lied, I killed, just to get here."
He took off his advanced suit of armor, revealing his upper body, no scar or bruises could be seen in it.
"I will kill you and raise you back so you can serve me for eternity." Arthur told Orm.
"Let the challenge begin!" Vulko announced.
Arthur moved forward with expert trident work and Orm braced himself with skilled defense.
But the current king wouldn't accept to remain on the defensive.
Arthur parried several strikes, countering with a leg take-down and removed Orm's helmet with a precise strike.
Regaining their balance, they circle one another, and Orm lunged at Arthur who easily dodged.
Arthur managed to knock Orm off balance again, gaining the advantage and severing off his left hand.
Fueled by rage, Orm rushed at Arthur without consideration for his well-being, intending to overpower his opponent.
But the Dark Knight would have none of it.
By swiftly sidestepping and pivoting in place, Arthur swung his weapon so fast that he managed to sever Orm's right hand and shatter his own trident.
Stumbling, Orm was unable to avoid Arthur's weapon being thrust into his ribs.
The audience cheered.
Arthur snatched his trident out, with Orm barely capable of keeping himself afloat.
Arthur punched him towards the edge of the arena.
He continues to punch Orm repeatedly until he buries him into a small crater.
"The beast is awake, huh?" Arthur scoffed.
Still fueled by rage, Orm lifts back up to his feet and charges Arthur, who ducks his attacks, while talking to the audience.
"Is this your King? Huh?"
Orm swings his handless arms while Arthur ducks.
"Is this your King? The Ocean Master, who's supposed to lead you into the future." Arthur shouts. "Him? He's supposed to protect you." He ducks from another useless attack from Orm, who's bleeding heavily, and grabs him by the throat. "Nah. I'm your King." And he kills Orm by breaking his neck.
Despite the barbaric violence his duel had been, the citizens of Atlantis still cheered as if they were celebrating an event like the Super Bowl.
Staggered by the fight, Vulko gave him the crown as he closed his eyes.
Everyone immediately saluted Arthur, their new King, and eventually their Ocean Master.
Arthur's eyes open again, as his armor starts to cover his body, a new man.
And ready to conquer his goals.
Henceforth, he shall be known as The Dark King, masters of the oceans and deep darkness.
I had access to all the three Mother Box Darkseid had left behind.
Alone they could be considered the most advanced living computer in all of DC's existence.
At least in this version of them.
Gravity manipulation, energy transfer, mind control, telepathy, life-force manipulation/sustenance/resurrection, boom tubes, absolute control over non-sentient machines and evolution, fusion of sentient beings into a more powerful version (Gestalt) and grant special abilities.
It could detect danger (through a form of foresight), sense life, omniscience over everything around it, access to all the knowledge the New Gods had, capable of sharing and projecting its understanding of past, present and alternating future events, source conduit and limitless matter manipulation.
Discovered by New Genesian scientist Himon by experimenting with the mysterious Element X (Tenth Metal), they were generally thought to be sentient, miniaturized, portable supercomputers, although their true nature and origins were unknown.
They possessed even more wondrous powers and abilities not understood even by their users, the New Gods.
But when united, this Trinity could achieve miracles that were only limited by their user's imagination.
And to defy that statement, I had made them one.
Not to replicate the same singularity that would've terraformed the planet into a version of Apokolips. To that I still had the Kryptonian spaceships I confiscated from Zod and his Sword of Rao.
Let's say I took inspiration from the comics.
Although not as disloyal as its original counterpart, it immediately manifested new features for me to use.
The first being conversion.
Similarly in effect to the actual Anti-Life Equation, my Father Box could reshape the thought processes of my targets converting their train of thought towards my services.
A form of devotion that matched the soul inscription I've implanted on my children, just more convenient.
That was possible due to its second new feature.
A direct link with the Rock of Eternity, which granted great control over Magic, similar to its connection to the Source.
And the last notable new feature my Father Box possessed was an improvement to its Boom Tubes.
I now call them Hush-Tubes.
It is the much quieter alternative for going to and coming back between transport points. This enabled near-undetectable motion from place to place without drawing someone's attention.
Especially in regards to individuals with super hearing like Kryptonians.
And to make matters even better, I now finally had a reliable method to travel through time and across dimensions after connecting the speedforce to my miracle machine.
I am Patrick Wayne, and I am here to ask you a question.
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?
'No!' says the man in Washington, 'it belongs to the poor'.
'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'it belongs to God'.
'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'it belongs to everyone'.
I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different.
I chose the impossible.
I chose… Rapture.
A city where the artist would not fear the censor. Where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality. Where the great would not be constrained by the small.
And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture could become your city as well.
A massive underwater city forged from my personal dreams in partnership with King Arthur of Atlantis.
I named this visionary city after the goal I've set in my mind: to create a paradise free from the influence of the ordinary; a place of true rapture.
In terms of its philosophical underpinnings, Rapture could best be described as a "gulch", (a term derived from Galt's Gulch in the Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged).
Which was now a localized underground economic and social community of free-minded individuals who were deemed worthy of coexisting with the people of Atlantis.
It differed from a commune in that it was uniquely freedom-focused and so upheld individual and property rights rather than operating by the rules of a collective community.
The prime goal of Rapture was to create a laissez-faire society free of religious and government interference of any kind, where any citizen could prosper for his or her own gain, without being hindered by the needs of others.
The "world's best and brightest" would be granted freedom of will and choice in Rapture, unrestrained by government, religion and other such established institutions.
Instead of abiding by the traditions and moral systems imposed by those institutions, values such as ambition, scientific reason, and free thought were to guide the inhabitants in their pursuit of achievement.
Obviously, this would-be utopia would definitely have its flaws.
In Rapture's purely capitalistic society, there were no publicly-funded social programs, and everything within the city was privately owned and came with a price.
This included the city's food, healthcare, sanitation, and even its oxygen supply.
Even police and fire departments were subscription-based private companies.
There were less restricted norms for businesses and labor, with nothing but competition and customer's choice balancing the market.
This allowed many industries to flourish at much faster speed than they normally would.
But between you and me, unscrupulous business practices will only be dealt with in secret if they endanger Rapture's overall progress and existence.
For sure, this system purposefully alienated Rapture's unfit citizens, who, as their situation deteriorated, were analyzed to better understand their shortcomings and terminated.
The catch was that each citizen of Rapture was in actuality an enhanced clone of the smartest beings to ever be logged on the Oasis.
A small experiment I have planned that would only have come to pass amongst the unorthodox culture of the atlantean people.
And the Court of Shadows grew even stronger thanks to that.
The Underworld was the realm of the dead, the final resting place of the deceased.
Unlike Atlantis, it wasn't a physical location.
But like Themyscira, it could be added to his pocket dimension.
Although instead of anchoring it to the Rock of Eternity, I merged it with its antithesis, the Rock of Finality.
The prison of the Seven Virtues of Man: Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and Humility.
As for the Underworld realm…
It was divided into various sections, with the Judgment Pavilion responsible for deciding where a soul should go based upon their life's accomplishments.
In Ancient Greece, a man named King Rhadamanthus judged the dead and was later joined by King Aeacus and Minos.
Once a spirit entered the Underworld, it entered the Pavilion, where three spirits judged them and put them in a certain place, according to their actions during life.
The Fields of Punishment were fields of complete and brutal torture for souls of people who have done extreme wrongs in their lifetime.
Souls who didn't wish to be judged (or who have not done enough good or bad in their life) go to the Asphodel Fields (an experience similar to standing in a wheatfield for eternity).
Elysium was the place of paradise for the heroic and the virtuous. The souls of those who had either died a hero's death or led a virtuous life will live in peace in Elysium forever.
Curiously, the Isles of the Blest was reserved for people who had chosen to be reborn three times, and three times achieved Elysium.
Incidentally, Tartarus was the darkest and deepest area of the Underworld. It was where the gods imprisoned their enemies, chiefly the Titans.
It was the lowest region of the world, as far below earth as earth is from heaven. Described as a dark, gloomy pit, surrounded by a wall of bronze, and beyond that a three-fold layer of night. According to the Iliad, it was a 9-day anvil fall from the other regions of Hades.
The River Styx was a sacred river that separated the land of the living from the realm of the dead, one of five which run through the Underworld.
Charon's ferry floated along this river on its way to the main gate on the Walls of Erebos.
In ancient history, Achilles used the Styx to become invincible (His mother, Thetis, held him by his heel to keep him anchored to the mortal world, dipping him into the river).
Though I've come to discover that it actually was the Lazarus Pit in its purest form.
Granting many blessings, the most notable being Achilles' courage, which through the presence of many impurities resulted in the Lazarus pit side-effect of inducing insanity.
Also, legend said that swearing on the River Styx was the most serious oath one could make.
The River Lethe was the River of Forgetfulness, and it was used on people who try for rebirth. Even one drop could make people start to forget who they were.
And there also were other three not so relevant rivers.
But the main attraction of the Underworld was undoubtedly Hades' palace, where he used to live and rule.
Its gate was engraved with images of death and the throne was made of bones, with a flowery throne next to it for Hades' wife, Persephone.
It was built to resemble Olympus even though everything was obsidian black and metallic bronze while on Olympus, everything was shining golden and white marble.
Nearby it was a garden, Persephone's magic garden filled with pomegranate trees with orange blossoms and sweet-smelling fruit, multi-colored mushrooms, poisonous scrubs, and weird luminous plants that grow without sunlight.
The forges were where weapons were made. Skeletal weapon-smiths worked over a forge of black flames, using hammers fashioned like metal skulls.
Despite its rulers being long gone, thanks to the dead working nonstop even in their absence, it was everything in complete order.
Begging to be put to use once more.
Having complete control over earth and its wealth, I could now summon any quantity of precious metals and jewels from under the ground, as well as manipulate them.
As a result, I was undoubtedly the richest being on Earth.
But wealth without purpose was a complete waste of opportunity.
Better than summoning precious metals was the fact that many resources were now really abundant and readily available for me to make use of.
Many projects were finally being put into action.
For mankind, the moon would be a perfect practice for colonizing other worlds while also justifying the abnormal influx of new resources.
Terraforming the entire solar system certainly would be among my top priorities.
Not only for the human population that was obviously going to happen, but also the aliens (and possibly magical beings) that might be open to coexisting with humanity.
While Atlantis would continue to explore the oceans, the Court of Shadows would occupy and make use of several underground spaces and tunnels.
As for the other Power of Laws I acquired that once belonged to Hades…
Speaking with ghosts opened another great opportunity.
Instead of summoning a mathematician to teach me more about his field, I could uncover many secrets that were taken to the grave.
And the undead also made for great manpower.
Never tired, thirsty or hungry.
The only problem would come with what type of undead I was dealing with.
Mindless or Revenant Zombies.
Each was optimal for a certain use.
The first aid my other followers with minimal work that they themselves couldn't be bothered with.
While the latter could be recruited to my cause through a simple deal or pact.
The first had absolute loyalty but wasn't fully independent, and the latter had its particular set of skills but couldn't be completely trusted.
Talia Al Ghul was slowly but surely mastering the secrets of the Law of the Dead.
Not to mention the control over the creatures living in the underworld. Similar to my influence over the trench.
Speaking of them. While the best of best from the Amazon's would ascend into becoming my angels, the Trench were perfectly suited to become half-undead.
As for Darkness Manipulation…
By merging it with my armor, not only did I gain another layer of defense and boots to my kryptonian body, but it made me considerably harder to notice with an ethereal nature to it.
It's shapeshifting nature was undoubtedly the more fun aspect of it, feeling like an extension of my tactile telekinetic aura.
And hopefully giving me more experience before getting my hands on a lantern ring, as I made dramatic use of black wings, tattered cloaks, clouds of shadows, chains and abyssal tentacles.
All in all, I was successful with living up to my edgy reputation as The Dark King.
*Hope the chapter is of your liking. If there's anything that you wish to ask, feel free to do so.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on the plot points I'm introducing.
If there's any problems with my writing, just point them out and I will correct them as soon as possible.
Thanks as always for your attention and please be safe.
** Really sorry for the constant delays, I'm still having a hard time organizing my time to write my fics. 😅
***Hope some of you have got my clear inspiration for this chapter with not only the Aquaman movie, but also with the Black Panther one. 😎 Not to mention the entire experiment name Rapture. 😁