11 Moving Forward

[First Person POV]

Breakfast was an affair late the next morning, more like a big brunch or an early lunch. Mom had told the chefs about my actions last night and they decided to lay out a spread for the ages.

I came down in my PJ's and proceeded to stuff my face and thank god for the "eat anything I wanted perk" he gave my body after I designed it.

My mom and dad let me know they were prepared to spend the weekend with me should I need them to after what I went through.

The good thing about my parents is that they accept and understand me; they know I'm head strong, great at compartmentalization and want to deal with things and put them into the proper context myself, yet they will always offer me a hand in case I need it.

I smiled and assured them I was fine, that I was actually happy and relieved I was able to help save Ben. I added that the guy with the gun was a non-issue as I never directly interacted with him or talked to him.

As we were finishing up the best breakfast/brunch/lunch I've ever had my phone went off, it was the police so I put them on speaker for my parents to hear.

They had told us that they apprehended the suspect last night but he had died in custody on the way to the hospital.

The coroner had just reported the death was due to a drug overdose, the platinum-haired man had evidently been on a lethal high when he committed all his crimes.

A fact that backed what I told the police in my statement, I said that it was "plain to see the man was clearly high on something". He had been unconscious when they found him, they wouldn't say how they found him, but I knew.

When Selene was telling me about Peters first foray into heroing she had mentioned the guy had passed out when Peters webs had caught him by the leg and he saw how close he came to dying.

They told us they found the cash, the gun and his finger prints all over bens car so the case was considered closed at this stage. We thanked the police and I ended the call.

My mom said she was going to call May and my dad said he'd be in his study, I had pimped out his pc for him a few months ago and he was definitely getting addicted to gaming. I told them I was heading to my gym; they knew I had one for my exclusive private use.

What they didn't know is I only kept it for appearances sake. Selene kept a small cleaning robot hidden there to keep the place clean and looking used in case anyone ever looked for me in there.

We all went our separate ways and I quickly made my way to my room to change and grab a duffle bag that held my gym clothes. While in my room I sent a quick message to Selene on a job well done.

The standing orders she had last night were to watch over peter with cloaked drones and to wait until Peter had confronted Bens shooter and left, then clean all possible evidence in the area.

Something I'm going to have Selene do from now on for myself, my powered friends and people I care about. There will be no cloning bullshit if I have anything to say about it.

The further instructions were that if the man didn't die and was simply incapacitated to deliver a fatal but believable amount of drugs into his system. Selene was thorough, clean and efficient in the task I set her.

I had the guy killed because fuck him, he tried to kill Ben in cold blood and we all know he would've succeeded if I wasn't here. He's part of Spider-Man's origin and this is Marvel, if he lived he could've become The Scorpion or some shit, not on my watch.

I made my way to my base excited for what changes have been made. The outside fence looked the same but the metal looked brand new, Selene had apparently upgraded EVERYTHING she could in the base.

I went through my security routines at the upgraded security boxes and enter the ground floor weight-lighting wonderland.

The set up was similar to how it was before, the colours were varied but not outrageous, mostly blues, reds and blacks but other colours made small appearances.

What got my attention was the metal on all the machines was Proto-Adamantium. This meant all machines could handle thousands of tons of weight and more.

Training my super-strength here would be no problem in the future. I finish checking everything out and walk to my secret entrance where the door seemed to materialize out of the bricks themselves. Selene must be using nano-bots to hide and reinforce the entrance.

I make my way down to the Cave with a hop in my step. The entire set up was different now; the floors were now a smooth, natural, dark slate-grey stone with tiny flecks of gold throughout.

The walls were a smooth light-grey, almost white stone that went well with the over-all look of the tech and furniture. In the end it was less Cave/DIY super-hero lair and more high-tech, future workshop/lab meets ultra-luxury living.

Selene appeared in front of me with a smile, "Do you like what I did with the place"? She asked hopefully. "Selene if I could hug you I would, this is amazing" I said in wonder with a smile.

She then surprised the fuck out of me by hugging me, she felt like a person, she felt warm, she felt like she had skin, hair and everything a person would have. I quickly back up a step and look at her curiously.

She simply smiles and puts her arms behind her back, acting innocent. I grabbed her right titty with my left hand to see if that felt real also, she looked less than impressed with me. On the plus side it felt real so technically I'm currently grabbing Selma Hayek's titty.

"Really Lex"? Selene asks in fake incredulity. I don't pay much attention; the feeling was that of a real woman, this was incredible. The hard-light emitters I designed worked, this is amazing.

If the hard-light emitters work that means I can contain and shape light however I want, which also means I can contain the heat the light could potentially emit… I'm going to have an actual lightsaber, not some plasma sword knock off but an actual lightsaber!

Selene breaks me out of my lightsaber fantasy, "Right for the boob, no passionate kiss, no picking me up and spinning me"? She asks in an overly dramatic tone. "Well fine, you jackass" she says with clearly fake heat in her voice and then proceeds to grab me by my junk.

"Two can play at this game you perv" She says with mirth in her voice. I will admit it was an awkward situation, but that soon passed as we both let go and started laughing before we shared a brief hug.

"You had time to make the hard-light emitters"? I ask for confirmation that that's what she had done. "Yeah after I made the first nano-bot out of Pradium" she answered.

"So we're in agreement to call the Proto-Adamantium Pradium then"? I ask to confirm a suggestion I'd offhandedly made during planning for the molecular forge.

"It's more efficient to use" She confirms before continuing, "I used it to make more nano-bots who made more nano-bots and so on until the holding tank was full and I could use them to build everything we needed and more" she continued on.

"What's the state of everything as we speak"? I ask, "The nano-bots are back in the holding tank which is now full" she answers, making me smile yet again.

"You're amazing" I praise her. "Tits weren't bad either" I add like it's an afterthought. She snorts out a laugh and slaps me on the shoulder before walking towards the main computer terminal where she appears to "merge" into the computer terminal itself.

"No more of your perviness today" she says while laughing, her voice being projected throughout the immediate area I'm in (Like Jarvis did before he was vision). I have a cheeky smile on my face and make my way to check out the rest of The Lair, as I was now calling it.

The rest of my walk through was awesome I checked out the Training Room that had been remodeled, it looked like the inside of a large, seamless metal container. I wanted to take the room for a spin but not before I finished checking everything out.

The last things I went to check on were my private rooms; Selene had made my bedroom and connected bathroom look like they belonged in a futuristic manor/estate.

She had somehow seamlessly blended advanced technology and ultra-luxury-living together, the effect was breath taking.

I immediately ordered her to create a program to go online and look up any and all pictures, videos, designs or concepts for mansions, manors etc.

I would definitely be having Selene design and build my future home, whether that ended up being a compound, estate or manor I wasn't sure. What I did know was that Selene would build me something grand, beautiful and awe-inspiring.

With the tour finished it was time to finally try out the thing I was most excited for. I walk to where my old suit was kept, it'd been taken and the materials were repurposed.

Sitting in the glass case was a sternum-high podium with an Arkham Knight helmet sitting on it. I smile and reach out my hand towards the face of the helmet.

When my hand made contact with the helmet it seemed to liquefy and then run up my arm and over my body completely covering me from head to toe making my form look like a rip-off T-1000 made out of a black liquid metal.

The liquid looking metal starts to take shape and solidify from the feet up eventually revealing the intimidating form of a far more advanced Dark Knight.

The Helmet was basically the same but the body looked like some kind of high tech futuristic armor. Selene projected a mirror image hologram so I could check the new suit out; it was so light, like it barely weighed anything to me.

I approve of my new high tech, dark and intimidating as fuck look, It just felt like something was missing so I spend a few minutes screwing around with the helmet before I realize what it needs.

I have the smart-glass face shield of the Arkham Knight Helmet round off more like the Halo Reach EVA face shield without changing the color or anything else about the mask. After I make sure the design flows and looks good I have the scratched in skull design appear on the face like Emile's.

(I hope I described that well)

With the changes to the smart-glass of the face shield made I decide to change the rectangular blue-white eyes. I make them appear as two glowing blue eyes in the eye sockets of the skull design. (Google image search – Amihan's Glowing Eyes FX - Blue).

I quit ogling my new suits badass look and quickly made my way into the Training Room. "Selene let's put the suit, the Training Room and myself through our paces and see how things handle", I say to Selene while activating the suits combat mode, which was done via the neural link that had formed with the suit on my temples.

"No problem, commencing training program, have fun" Selene replies in my helmet. My heart starts beating a little faster as I prepare myself for the intense training to come.


[First Person POV]

An hour and a half later I'm finished with testing and training, this suit is amazing. I can tank hits from actual tanks, rocket launchers and so much more now and not even feel a thing. But even though the suit can and will withstand so much doesn't mean I'm going to let myself get hit on purpose.

This suits persona is supposed to be kind of like Batman before he went public, no one will know if I'm super-human, supernatural or a better trained and equipped version of someone from a Red-Room like project.

Case in point I can fly now, thanks to miniaturized repulsors that can form all over the suit when I need them. Now I can fly but I'm only going to use that if I want to get somewhere or away from somewhere immediately.

If not I'm just going to use them to boost myself and use the Batman Beyond like wings the suit sprouts to let me glide. Using this at night with my camouflage ability will be a great help for stealthy getaways.

Now why go through all this effort when eventually my powers will make it unneeded? Because it's fun, same reason as my thinking of becoming a pro fighter in my civilian life, I'm all about amusing myself.

I think about my future secret lives to my public one and it makes me giddy. Living a triple-life could be challenging, unless I potentially find someone that can makes copies of themselves and can control said copies. Then I'll just get that power for myself.

In any case I'm sure my future is going to be filled with fun and adventure, maybe not much danger, but that doesn't mean I can't have fun.

As I walk out of the Training room my suit quickly flows into a smart watch on my left wrist, a stylish necklace around my neck and the rest form a skin tight, undershirt that my regular clothing will hide.

It's surprisingly comfortable because the nano-bots climate control my torso, so I'll be the perfect temperature at all times, not to mention well protected, unless I'm naked.

I should really be more ambitious about getting more powers; I have some in mind that I can probably get within a day. Yeah I'm going to be making a trip tomorrow, but for today I decide it's time to go grab Peter and May and take them to see Ben.


[First Person POV]

I had waited outside Ben's room while Peter and May visited him; I just screwed around on my phone while I waited.

A short time later May opened the door and told me Ben wanted to see me, he had been a little out of it, probably the good painkillers he was on.

Ultimately he had thanked me for saving his life and told me as far as he was concerned I was family. I gave him a smile and thanked him before the pain killers made him start to nod off, he was only on his first day of recovery after all.

May, Peter and I left the hospital to meet my parents for a late lunch; it was a quiet and casual affair. Mom and dad said they'd take May back to the hospital and check in on Ben before taking her home.

I had offered to take Peter home but he said he was going to take a walk then get a train back or bus back. I offered to accompany him but he again said he needed some alone time, I read it as him taking time to start creating Spider-Man.

I told my parents I'd be spending the night at my gym again which they weren't too happy about but it was the weekend and I'd done it plenty of times before, as far as they knew. With everyone going their separate ways I drove back to The Lair.

On my way I start thinking about what I can do to get more personal freedom, I love my parents but even if I wasn't a super human I was still a genius that needed space. Constantly wondering when I should get home or when they would was annoying.

As I walk down into the main area of The Lair I decide to ask Selene her opinion. "Selene, what do you think about me applying for emancipation citing my regular income, intelligence and physical ability to take care of myself"?

"I think your mother will completely freak out and your father will calmly ask why, then you'll manipulate them into doing what you want. Afterwards they'll stay in the city for about a year then head to one of the estates they own and making it their permanent residence", she answered.

"That was oddly specific" I reply, "I could see it coming so I ran scenarios for the most likely outcome" she confessed. "Well at least I know to polish up my persuasive skills" I say out loud to myself.

"And manipulation for insurance, your mother may try to dig her heels in about it" Selene advises me. "Okay will do, thanks Selene" I reply, "You're welcome" I hear in return.

"Okay let's set our plans for tonight and get ready, because tonight The Dark Knight's going to strike again" I say dramatically while staring off into the distance. "You want to get ready and make some plans or do you want to fuck around all night"? Selene asks bluntly.

"Well sorryyy for trying to add some gravitas to the situation" I snark back at her before we both get to work.


[Third Person POV]

Screams rang out from a dark warehouse, if one were to look at the windows from the outside they may see sporadic gunfire adding to the confused and terrified screams.

A man suddenly gets thrown out of a second story window but before he could hit the ground a rope or wire seems to catch him by the ankles resulting in him slamming into the side of the building and losing consciousness.

Inside the building guys could be seen scattered all over the place, unconscious and broken. The last three men left standing are gathered together trying to watch for any movement in the dimly light warehouse usually used for storage.

"Where the fuck is it"?! One of the men dressed in street clothes asked, clearly terrified. "I don't know I don't see anything" another guy also dressed in street clothes answers him.

"Both of you keep your eyes open and on the lookout, the boss ain't gonna like this" the third guy said to them; he was dressed in a silk shirt, dress pants and shoes with a thick gold chain around his neck.

After quieting down for a while the second man feels something is wrong and turns to the third guy and says "Something feels wrong, something ain't right". "Yeah I know what you" The guy started to reply before he cut himself off suddenly and asked, "Hey where'd your friend go"?

The second guy looked to where the first guy was supposed to be but he wasn't there, "He wouldn't have run, he's not that dumb, even as scared as he was" he says. "Okay we're getting the fuck outta here, follow me and watch my back" the well-dressed man says.

"Right behind ya" the second guy replies before the start making their way through the warehouse to the open exit their guy that works in the warehouse left for them. All the other exits or entries were locked or sealed off.

As they were slowly and carefully making their way out the third guy couldn't help but start thinking to himself, 'This should have been a routine deal; meet the suppliers, check out the product, wire the money and take delivery of said product' he recited in his head, he'd done this a hundred times before.

'Everyone walks away happy and paid, but that all went to shit when whatever the fuck this thing is attacked from the shadows, I really need to stop going out on deals myself'. The man thought with regret.

"How's it looking back there"? He asked the guy behind him, he didn't get a reply. "Hey answer me when I'm" he started to berate the guy behind him only to stop mid-sentence, no one was there.

'I didn't hear a thing, where'd he go, What's Going On'! He screamed in his head. The well-dressed man quickly brought up his pistol and started looking all around himself, as scared as a child lost in the woods.

"WHERE ARE YOU"!!! He screamed into the silent, still air of the warehouse. "Here" replied a deep, terrifying voice in a whisper from behind him.

Outside the warehouse police and a lone freelance journalist had arrived, they had received an anonymous call about a drug deal gone badly at this location. Five cars pulled up; armed officers with Kevlar flak jackets exit the vehicles with their weapons ready.

As they're about to make their way towards the building a bone chilling, terrifying scream is heard from inside. A chill crept up the back of every person there, but they had a job to do so they steeled their nerves and headed in.

Eddie Brock was being kept back by the few police who remained outside to secure the entrance. A minute later the radio blared, a call for backup and multi-prisoner transport as well as multiple EMT's was requested after which Eddie snuck off to get inside.

It wasn't easy but he did manage to slip into the warehouse. He snuck his way through while recording everything he could on a small hand-held video recorder.

He made his way to the centre of the warehouse and recorded the police securing what could only be described as a pile of unconscious, broken bodies. He constantly checked the focus on the video, making sure everything he captured was clear.

There was a table off to the side of the body pile with two large, rolling cases lying down and open on top. One was filled with neatly stacked bands of $100 notes; each band was worth $10,000.

The other case was filled with tightly packed and tightly stacked bricks of either Heroin or Cocaine; the police would have to run tests to find out.

Once Eddie caught everything on camera he slowly started to make his way back out of the warehouse. He was halfway back to the exit when he thought he heard the sound of running.

He quickly turned to his right to see a man burst through a door about thirty feet (around ten meters) away from him that lead into a different part of the warehouse; he looked terrified, "RUN! IT'S STILL HERE"! The man screamed.

Eddie was confused, but before he could ask the bloodied man in the torn silk shirt what he was talking about, "AAAHHHHH"!!! The guy seemed to fly back into the darkness of the other room and everything went quiet.

Eddie had caught all of this on his camera, he continued recording determined to capture whatever was happening. He waited a moment and started to slowly walk towards the room but after a handful of steps he stopped.

Looking into the his camera once again he focused on the pitch black doorway, only to see two blue glowing eyes looking at him from within the darkness.

Eddie felt like the stereotypical child in the woods looking at glowing red eyes in the darkness. Only these blue glowing orbs were actually there, staring into his soul.

Before anything more could happen the eyes seemed to disappear into the darkness and Eddie heard the police heading his way to check on the scream. The whole scene had only lasted about ten seconds.

Eddie decided he'd tried his luck enough for one evening and made his escape, if barely, back out the front where he pretended to just come back from making a call.

It was a short while later that Eddie, now accompanied by a few other reporters, filmed the police and EMT's loading all the prisoners into ambulances and a transport bus they'd managed to get.

Questions were hurled at the police and "no comment, an official statement will be made at a later time" was thrown back every time.

Eddie decided to cut his losses and take his report to The Bugle. He'd filmed tonight because the Bugle had added a nightly news program so any footage was worth extra, as well as an official blog online that the uncut footage can be uploaded to.

The Bugle was modernising much to Jameson's chagrin, but he did enjoy being the lead anchor on his own news show five nights a week, Monday to Friday.


[First Person POV – Lex]

After leaving the warehouse I watched Eddie Brock make his way back towards his apartment, getting that footage should help spread my legend as well as get Eddie some more stable work.

I make my way to the roof of a nearby building and as I watch the police take the broken drug dealers into custody and the hospital Selene gets my attention.

"Knight don't forget to turn off the eye effects if you don't want to draw attention yet" she advised me. "Thanks Selene, will do" I reply as I trigger the glowing eye effects to turn off, giving me more stealth.

I was unsure about the eye effects and the skull in the visor until evidence showed my intimidation factor had ramped up a lot. Seeing glowing eyes looking at you from darkness is a terrifying thought, it's a primal fear I believe most humans have.

"Knight quickly, security cameras are showing what I believe to be a robbery about to take place" Selene suddenly informed me and sent the location to my HUD.

"On my way" I quickly reply before I activate my repulsors and gliding cape and boost my way into a fast glide towards the jewellery story about to be hit. The store was closed so at least I know these guys don't want to hurt anyone, but they're still getting a beat down.

I arrived on a rooftop of a building behind the jewellery store, and the alley behind both buildings. There was a van parked behind the store and the door had been picked open from what my reading were telling me.

I entered camouflage mode, made my way to the top of the van silently and waited. It wasn't long after that three armed men in black ski masks and black clothing exited the store, their duffle bags were stuffed and the alarm hadn't been triggered, these guys were professionals.

My attack was fast and brutal, as always but I wasn't going for a quick finish. Selene had run her scans and tests after I removed their masks and started to toy with the would-be robbers. Two of them had rap sheets as long as my arm but nothing unforgivable, they'd never hurt anyone badly.

The last guy had two murders, he was never arrested due to bribes and blackmail, it turns out one of his contacts can pull a few strings.

Selene ran the evidence and proved he was 100% guilty so one of the non-violent guys got a beating and tied barely conscious to a nearby lamp post, and the other got knocked out and strung up from the same over-head lamp post in front of his friend.

The third guy however? He was beaten soundly until Selene gave me the details of his two murders; one was a beloved wife and mother of two in the wrong place at the wrong time that he shot in the heart.

The other was a fifty-two year old security guard and grandfather just trying to do his job that he blasted with a shotgun at point blank range. This scumbag got away with destroying two innocent lives and that would not stand.

I head over by a trash pile in the alley and find a few pieces of old rebar. Grabbing my chosen tools I walk back over, grab the guy by the throat and pin him to the side of the van by piercing each shoulder with rebar that lodged into the side of the van firmly, leaving him propped up.

I take the last piece of rebar and walk over to the soon to be dead man. I activate the voice synthesizer and say to the man, "You may have thought you got away with those murders, but the guilty can't hide from me".

Shock appears on his face through the immense pain he was feeling before I rammed the rebar through his heart, out his back and into the van, preventing his body from falling.

I look over my shoulder just as the barely conscious man tied to the pole finally succumbs and falls unconscious. 'Two witnesses, good luck hiding me now' I think to myself about the police.

An expanded evidence file Selene had compiled and organised was delivered via a very advanced form of fax drone we invented for such an occasion. It was dropped in front of me so I secured it to a non-bloody part of the dead man's body for the police and took my leave.

It was late when I got back to the lair or early I should say, I had the suit revert into helmet form and put it back on its pedestal and head off to take a shower and go to bed, it's been a long night.


[Third Person POV]

All Sunday constant reports came in about what had happened not just at the warehouse but a few other places in a fifty block radius (about 2.5 miles or 4 kilometres).

People were saddened but not shocked so many crimes were being attempted in such a small radius. What they were shocked about were the reports that it was some kind of vigilante stopping the crimes, or as the survivors were calling it, "A Monster or Demon".

Sunday evening brought about many news reports but the one watched most was the emergency Daily Bugle news program run by and starring the Bugles owner J. Jonah Jameson.

It was a relatively new news program that usually ran five nights a week and had quickly picked up in popularity with Jameson's no nonsense; take no prisoner style of reporting. He was a bloodhound for the truth and if he felt he had something on you he'd attack.

He also had a reputation for being a massive prick, a cheapskate and having a shoot first ask questions later downside to his reporting, which had lead him into trouble more than once. But his audience was loyal and rabid for his "hot takes", the news this night was more watched than ever.

A man with a flat top haircut that was just starting to get a little grey in it and a chevron mustache stared out from TV screens all over the state, with other scattered viewers all over the country.

"Good evening, I'm J. Jonah Jameson & this is The Daily Bugle News" he said, before going over what he would be reporting on that night before teasing the final story about the vigilante attacks last night.

Reports on politicians, businessmen and women, celebrities and various other things were reported on before Jameson got to the top story of the night.

"-That brings us to tonight's top story" Jameson lead in. "Last night a warehouse that was playing host to a two million dollar drug deal, was hit hard by what victims called "A monster or a demon", fifteen men were found brutally beaten unconscious in a pile next to their drugs and drug money".

"While a sixteenth man was later found unconscious in a room by himself with his clothes bloody and torn, at the hospital he was found to have a broken spine, a shattered pelvis, crushed testicles and the word rapist carved into his chest". He continued on.

"In the back of the room they also found evidence files on the broken and bloodied man in relation to a **** of a seventeen year old girl. The police are still investigating but have declined to comment or make a statement", He finished reporting the facts other news programs had also reported.

"It's a sick world we live in viewers" Jameson started bitterly, "A sick world where a sick individual attacks other sick individuals and pretend it's some kind of crusade" he snarled into the camera.

"Other less reputable news sources are calling this the act of a vigilante, I'd call it a violent act by a deranged sociopath" he lambasted his competitors.

"If this individual had the evidence of these people's crimes he should have reported it to the police, not go on a one man spree of violence and death that's more akin to a monster movie rampage"! The mustached reporter yelled as he banged his desk.

"Well we here at The Bugle received an anonymous video from someone that was inside the warehouse after the police arrived, be warned viewers, these scenes are graphic and disturbing" he warned.

The footage Eddie Brock had taken was then shown in cut clips while Jameson described what the viewer was seeing as well as filling them in on some facts Jameson himself had gotten from one of his vast contacts.

This went until they reached the moment the camera had turned towards a closed door. The viewers could hear loud steps running towards the door before it burst open, showing a terrified man in a bloody, torn shirt, dress pants and shoes with a thick gold chain around his neck.

The video paused as Jameson came back on screen and warned the audience again, "Ladies and gentlemen if you have children watching I suggest you take them out of the room, what you're about to see is extremely disturbing".

From there the footage of the man showed him screaming in a terrified voice to run and that "it was still there" before he was ripped back into the darkness.

Many viewers jumped in fright upon witnessing the accused rapists final walking moments. The footage didn't cut away tho; the camera man slowly took a few steps towards the door.

People's hearts were in their throats, this was more nerve racking than any Hollywood horror movie. All of a sudden two blue glowing orbs were staring into the camera from within the doorway of the pitch black room.

Viewers screamed, children started to cry, teenagers were fascinated with what they were seeing and adults were worried about what this could be. A dark outline with two horn-like protrusions from the head could just barely be made out.

Shortly after the orbs in the outlined shadow and the shadow itself faded into the darkness of the room and the footage cut off, Jameson was sitting behind the news desk looking very serious.

"We here at The Daily Bugle apologise for anyone that was affected by that footage" he said solemnly. "I'd like to say this things attack was confined to the warehouse but it wasn't" he continued.

"An alleged mugger was later, and I quote here "pulled into the darkness by the shadows". He was later found unconscious next to a gun with a broken forearm, hand and fingers" he added with disdain.

"The last attack the maniac perpetrated last night resulted in one death". "Three men were attacked committing an alleged jewellery heist. Two of them were beaten badly; with one found tied to a pole and the other hanging from the overhead lamp of the same pole".

"The third man was found crucified to the side of their getaway van. He had been speared with rebar through each shoulder, securing him to the van where he was beaten savagely and ultimately had a third and final piece of rebar stabbed through his chest with such force it went through the side of the van"! Jameson finished in a raised voice.

"He was found with evidence files attached to him linking him to two different murders had had been suspected of but no one could be found that would testify against him and there was no concrete evidence".

"This murderous freak leaves these evidence files behind like it's supposed to exonerate him from these vile and barbaric acts"! Jameson yelled. "Look at what happened on that ship at the docks! Twenty men dead, clearly by the same perpetrator as tonight"! He continued.

"I was going to keep silent about this but not anymore, this thing has a name, and the police don't want it spouted, but you my loyal viewers, deserve the truth"!

"This thing, this freak, is called… The Dark Knight! You heard me right ladies and gentlemen, due to legal reasons we also shared this footage with the police and an investigator let slip that this thing calls itself The Dark Knight.

"However while speaking with investigators we came to the same conclusion, we will not let this thing name itself! This thing thinks itself a dark defender of some kind, the dark knight that does what those in the light won't if you will". Jameson said sounding very cynical.

"The official name that the police and myself are now using is, The Batman, due to the pointed bat-like ears the shadow figure had in the footage, and how some of its victims described it's quick, unbelievable movement in darkness and low-light".

"Trust me when I say this people, we don't know what this thing wants and we don't know what it's after. People are dead, despite them allegedly being tied to serious crimes, people are dead". He was solemn and serious, or at least portraying himself that way.

"Others are permanently crippled in some way; broken spines, necks, lost eyes, cut off or destroyed limbs, hands and feet. There are also the lucky ones who just get severe beatings, broken bones and trauma", Jameson lists off.

"This thing, this Batman may be attacking alleged criminals right now, but how long until he's breaking into your home and attacking you"?! Jameson fear baited the audience. "With that being said my advice to everyone is; Beware The Batman"! He stated loudly and emphatically.


[First Person POV – Lex)

While Jameson's report had a thing or two wrong it was mostly true, except his personal takes and blatant defence of scumbags.

"Selene keep tab on Jameson, I want evidence on him if he gets involved in anything nefarious" I instruct my AI. If he helps make, or fund the making of The Scorpion here, then I will nail him for it, "Will do" she replied.

Other than that I'm kind of annoyed but mostly okay about the Batman thing. The police were definitely giving me the finger by not using my chosen name but there are worse things to be called than Batman.

After watching the news my parents and I had a lavish dinner I had our chefs prepare to butter them up for the discussion to come.

We were sitting at the family dinner table in the kitchen, stuffed and happy, now was the time to make my request. "Mom, dad, there's something I need to talk to you about" I said seriously.

"You want to move out of home and emancipate yourself" My mother says offhandedly. "Yeah, it's just that, wait what"?! I ask in shock, I was well and truly caught off guard.

My mother looks at me with a smile on her face, "Did you really think I couldn't tell what you were thinking"? She asks in amusement.

"I… I uh..." I took a moment to collect myself. "I've only been toying with the idea until recently, I never said anything or even gave hint that I was thinking about this" I finally say.

At this point my dad cuts in, "Kiddo, we're your parents, you don't have to say or do anything for us to understand you". My mom then adds "We know how independent you are, that's why I'm a little clingy, we knew this was coming", she has a sad smile on her face.

We all get up and I give her a hug before giving my dad one, "Let's go to my study, I had the papers made ready shortly after we got to the city, I knew this place would make you want your independence sooner rather than later". My dad informed me before leading the way to his office.

When we got there my father pulled the papers he had our family lawyers draw up, they were already signed by both my mom and dad. They'd clearly been coming to terms with this longer than I have.

I signed the papers and it was official, I'm an emancipated minor. It's amazing what you can do with deep pockets and good connections.

We all shared a hug again and I told them I would be taking all my stuff to my gym/apartment tonight before getting my own place soon.

They were surprised I was leaving immediately but I told them if I was going to do this it wouldn't start tomorrow, it started when I took responsibility for myself and signed the papers.

Mom gave me a big hug, pulled my head down to her level, kissed my cheeks and made me promise to do family dinner at least one a week while smooshing my face, I agreed while laughing.

I packed all my clothing with the help of my newly renamed Pradium Nanites (nano-bots was annoying to type and doesn't sound as good).

Everything was shrunk and then neatly packed in roller cases that were then locked and packed into the trunk and backseat of my car.

I met my parents in the foyer where we said our goodbyes and shared hugs. It was a bitter sweet moment and I was soon on my way back to my lair, I'd be living between there and at my private gym/apartment until I decided where I wanted to live.

It was about 9pm when I got back to my lair and made my way downstairs. "That was not how I thought tonight would go" I say out loud, "You're telling me, my predictions only put that scenario at a 1% possibility" Selene confesses.

"Well at least it wasn't an overly dramatic drawn out argument" I sigh in relief, "I'm just glad they were actually able to realize that my intelligence and physical abilities made me more than ready to strike out on my own" I conclude.

Selene's hard-light form appears smiling before me, "Well this calls for a celebration" she says happily. "Absolutely, what do you have in mind"? I ask curiously.

Selene gives me a salacious smile before she drops out of my view to her knees and unzips my pants.

"Well this is one way to celebrate" I say, "Just remember, don't catch feelings" I add cheekily, knowing Selene is only doing this for fun. "Fuhgg yohg" I hear in mumbled reply.

"Don't you know it's not polite to talk with your mouth full"? I ask before all thought leaves my head.


[First Person POV – Lex]

At lunch the next day I was seated thinking that hard-light blow jobs were surprising good, almost as good as the real thing purely feeling wise, and equal with the skills Selene copied off the internet.

I was quickly brought out of my thoughts as MJ and Felicia make their way over, they were holding hands but something felt like it wasn't just the usual female friends doing it. It looked like it was more intimate than that.

As they made their way over I got a smile from each of them as they let go of each other's hands and sat on either side of me.

"You two seem close" I comment with a bit of cheek in my voice. Felecia smiles and MJ blushes ever so slightly, "Felecia's really been there for me as a friend" MJ says with a small smile sounding completely normal, she'd be a great actress one day.

"I'm glad you two have such a "close" friendship" I tease her, making her just nod her head and look at her food, trying to hide embarrassment.

An arm works its way around my back and stroked my right side as Felicia leans her head on my left shoulder and says, "What's the matter tough guy, jealous of our "close friendship""? Felicia asks/teases me.

I smile and look down at her eyes as she looks up at mine, "Not at all, maybe I could join in on some of your "girl time" sometime" I suggest.

"I'd be happy with that, what about you Red"? Felicia asks MJ with her pet name/ nickname for her. She looks more embarrassed but hides it pretty well, "Yeah sure, sounds like fun" she says, sounding casual.

"Great, I can't wait" I say to her before looking at Felicia and winking, "You excited Cat"? I ask "innocently".

"Sure am muscles" she says with a wink before we get back to regular lunch and conversation.

"How's Ben doing Pete"? I ask, distracting him from giving Gwen googly-eyes. "He's doing better, he's refusing paid meds because he says he "doesn't want to get hooked" or something", he tells me.

"Hey what'd your parents do to get the insurance company to pay out so generously"? Peter asked immediately after.

"I wasn't aware they'd done anything" I reply honestly. "They probably used some contacts to get your family preferential treatment" I add on. "Either way that insurance with help you guys greatly".

"Yeah I figured it was something like that" Peter says in a manner of fact. "I think Aunt May has a friend for life, sorry man, looks like you're stuck with me" I joke with Peter.

He chuckles and throws a French-fry at me that I catch in my mouth, "Good fries", I say surprised before immediately getting up and going to buy some.


[First Person POV]

It was Friday night of my first weekend alone; I stood in my lair wearing my now named Batman suit. The helmet hadn't formed yet, I was looking at a holographic reflection of myself.

I willed the Bat-symbol from the Arkham City and Knight games to appear on the chest of my armor, and the bat design rose a few millimetres out of the chest. I then willed the outline of the bat symbol to turn gold, like the outline for the Batman Rebirth bat-symbol.

I then will the helmet to form around my head, there's now one thing missing and with a thought the suit unfurls a cape from around the front of the suits traps/shoulders that just reaches the floor with the usual scalloped edge the suit is depicted as having.

I now looked like a demonic version of batman with the skull and eye effects on my face shield. (Should I change the helmet to a more Batman Beyond style or keep it how I've described?)

"Damn that's intimidating, and very cool" Selene compliments me, "Thanks Selene, keep me informed if anything big happens, I'm going to use the Training Room". I inform her. "Yes sir" I hear in reply, 'She's in a good mood' I think to myself.

It's roughly an hour later when Selene gets my attention, "There's a bank robbery that's just begun, hostages have been taken, Peter's swinging his way there in his spandex onesie" she informs me.

I'm excited to hear this news and quickly make my way back to the main space. This was one odd thing about this world, everything could be opened late and often it was on Thursday and Friday Night that business's like banks stayed open late for late workers.

"Selene did you modify the elevator like I asked"? I ask, "Sure did, it was a fairly easy modification to make" she replies.

I make my way into the open elevator; turn on the suits voice synthesizer and say, "Don't wait up" before flying out the secret launch bay Selene had modified the elevator/ elevator shaft to double as.

I went stealth mode before exiting the hidden rooftop exit and making my way towards the robbery location.

When I arrived I quickly and quietly made my way inside to take in the situation, I was less than happy with what I found.

There were five knocked out goons, four with rifles aimed at a large group of hostages and another six with rifles aimed at my very out of his depth friend Peter, or I should say Spider-Man.

He was trying to reason with the leader, pointing out how the building was surrounded my police and swat was on their way. Nothing was working, the man in charge didn't care, and he was too greedy to give up the haul he was trying to make.

Selene had sent me information on each robber in the bank from the drone that followed Peter. Two of the men had now been linked to violent armed robberies, one of which resulted in a man being paralyzed.

Others had various assaults and drug charges, but the man in charge was the worst, they always are. Turns out this prick had killed five people in a small town bank three years ago for the thirty grand they kept on premises.

He thought he'd gotten away with it, he thought they'd never catch him, I will show him differently.


[Third Person POV]

Spider-Man was trying to talk the psycho currently trying to rob the bank down but nothing was working, it was like he was too stupid or greedy to listen.

As things were about to reach a boiling point all the lights in the bank turned off.

"What happened"?! Screamed one guy, "Is it the cops"?! Yelled another, "It ain't the cops, we have hostages, they gotta try to negotiate first" said the leader.

The bank wasn't pitch black as the police were shooting flood lights at the front of the bank, light reflected through small gaps between the widows and the drawn window shades, bathing the inside of the bank in a shadows and ambient light.

The leader and his five goons were still aiming at Spider-Man when all of a sudden there was a scream. Everyone including Spider-Man look at where the scream came from but there was no one there, and there were only two guards watching the hostages.

"Hey, where'd the other two go"?! The leader yelled. Before anyone could answer him smoke flooded throughout the bank, seemingly out of nowhere, only Spider-Man had caught two of the small spherical smoke bombs landing before they exploded.

Peter felt a shiver go up his spine, as did everyone else when screams started being heard. There were cracks of bones, the sound flesh being struck, and other sickening noises.

Finally as the smoke started to clear and Peter could start to see shapes through the smoke he saw something that made his blood run cold.

Standing in the middle of the bank in shadow, holding the leader by the neck off the ground was The Batman. Everyone was terrified as they put it together, only Peter could see the gold outline of a bat symbol on his chest.

The helmeted face was cast in shadow; all that could be made out was the shape, the ears and the two blue glowing eyes.

A deep, voice rand out from the shadow directed at the man he held by the neck, "You thought you could get away with killing those five innocent people" it said.

"How, how do you know about that"? The leader questioned The Bat. "The guilty can't escape me" Batman's voice reverberated throughout the bank, filling everyone, but especially the murderous bank robber he held by the neck with dread.

"Don't kill him"! Spider-Man suddenly yelled out. Everyone looked at him, feeling slightly uncomfortable he said "Please let the police arrest him; if you can prove what you accused him of he'll be put away forever".

"This man is a cold-blooded murderer five times over, what right does he have to live"? Batman's shadowed form questioned him.

"What gives you the right to take his life away"?! Spider-Man questioned back defiantly, to which The Batman responded with authority, "I don't have the right, I take it". *SNAP*

"NOOO"!!! Peter yelled as he ran to the bank robber who was now lying on the ground not moving. When he got to him he checked on the man who was still wide awake but he looked like he was in shock.

"I can't feel anything below my neck" he said in horror, "Not a thing" he continued slightly more panicked as he started to hyperventilate. "I CAN'T FEEL ANYTHING"! He screamed as he continued hyperventilating before he passed out.

"What did you do"? Spider-Man question in disbelief, "What did you DO"?! He yelled in anger, looking up at Batman.

"Grow up" was the reply he got, and it took him aback. "This man killed five people in cold blood and if I hadn't intervened he would've more than likely killed more innocent people tonight" The Batman added on.

The now free hostages were still too scared to move, but as they sat there each and every one of them felt like they'd just dodged a very real bullet.

"But that doesn't. You can't just... It's wrong"! Peter finally gets out, unable to come to terms with what The Batman was saying.

"You're clearly young and want to help people, but this is the real world" Batman started saying, "Criminals need to be punished and they need to fear very real consequences for their crimes". He continued on.

"The justice system doesn't always work, case in point that murdering piece of filth" Batman said as he pointed at the now paralyzed killer.

"I didn't kill him because you asked me not to, I didn't kill him because they" Batman then points at the hostages without looking at them, "Don't need that trauma on top of being held hostage at rifle point".

The people that were now safe and free felt thankful to Batman; he truly was a Dark Knight in many of their eyes.

"We're done here; get some more training, and try stopping something smaller next time or you may get someone killed". Batman stated bluntly, the tone in his voice brooked no argument.

With that being said Batman mimicked pressing a button on his gauntlet and all the lights providing any ambient light turned off, bathing the bank in total darkness.

Seconds later all lights including those inside the bank turned back on, Batman was gone and Spider-Man decided it was time for him to leave himself and snuck out the same way he got in.


[First Person POV – Lex]

I'd had Selene record everything in the bank from a hacked security camera that was audio recording capable with a drone. I had her show me the footage after I'd stopped a mugging and then a car theft afterwards while on patrol.

The footage was legendary; it was grainy, dark and the audio was slightly crackly. It was like a horror movie mixed with an action movie mixed with a thriller, with a little drama added in.

Spider-Man came off as a naïve, slightly odd, but commendable young man just trying to help out. I came off as a mix between Batman and The Punisher, which I was very cool with.

It was getting towards midnight, I'd just finished reviewing the footage when Selene informed me my guest was about to arrive at my location.

My Spider-sense went off shortly after and I side-stepped out of the way of a Taser bolt that was aimed between my shoulder blades.

I'd been waiting on the roof of an old building in a bad part of town covered in shadow but not in camouflage mode.

Selene had informed me a newly minted S.H.I.E.L.D. special agent code named: Hawkeye was in the city and looking for The Batman. I had decided to stay out of stealth mode and let him find me to see what they wanted.

After I lazily dodged the Taser bolt I turned, still in shadow to look at Hawkeye, my glowing blue orbs staring a hole through him.

"You're fast and well trained, that much is obvious" the masked man says to me. His outfit was a mix between the movies and comics, his colors were black and purple and he wasn't wearing a winged mask.

He was wearing some high-tech looking sunglasses/lower face mask.

(Google image search - Hawkeye concept art png, it's the first image with 4 different designs and in that picture it's the third one from the left, with visible hair and forehead and covered eyes and lower face).

I take in his appearance and physical abilities in a second, my aim is at Bullseye's level now, I don't even know if anything would happen if I did get his ability now. It would probably just make things even more pin point accurate.

"What do you want" I ask in my deep and terrifying Batman voice. "You've been making noise, it's only normal that noise attracts attention" Hawkeye replies mysteriously.

I say nothing; I just stare at him from the shadows. He's good, he hides his intimidation well but I can still see it in a few tics in his posture.


[Third Person POV]

Hawkeye was on edge, glowing blue orbs stared through him from the shadows, the outline of The Batman barely visible. Everything in Hawkeye was telling him that if he made the wrong move he would be in for a very bad night.

"I'm here on behalf of the Strategic Hazard Intervention, Espionage & Logistics Division" He finally states.

"What does Shield want Agent Barton" The Batman replies unfazed. Clint Barton was not happy to hear his name come out of this unknown's mouth.

"How do you know that name"? He questioned as he nocked an arrow in his bow and aimed it at the shadowy figure.

"I know many things Hawkeye, now tell me what you want" he responded, uncaring about the arrow aimed at him. "The Director would like you to come in for a chat" Hawkeye answers.

"No" The Batman replies immediately and without question. "And tell Nicholas Fury if he sends someone after me again they'll be returning in a body cast", he finishes.

Hawkeye wanted to press the issue but he could tell it would only end in a fight; one he wasn't too sure he was capable of winning.

"That's unfortunate, you really don't want Shield as an enemy" He decided to try threatening. Then before he could even react, The Batman moved.

With lightning fast speed the Batman was on Hawkeye, he quickly unarmed him and incapacitated him by sticking him to a wall with a jet black web-like substance.

It was an improved, black colored web formula that Lex had made after studying a piece of Peters webbing, he'd had a drone take it from Peters Spider-man practice space.

The Batman was in low light but Hawkeye could make him out, he saw The Batman and he wasn't too proud to admit that he was scared.

A futuristic helmet with black metal around the jaw, side of the head and back of the head that seemed to flow into two bat-like ears on top of either side of the helmet towards the back stared him right in the face.

What really got his attention was the rounded, black, smart-glass face of the helmet that had some kind of skull scratched into the glass.

Two small blue orbs of light pierced out through the scratched in eye sockets, giving an inhuman touch to the overall aesthetic of the advanced black armor The Batman was wearing.

A gold outline of a bat-like silhouette was on his chest, he'd evidently embraced the Batman moniker Jameson and the police had issued him.

Hawkeye could also see why this guy wanted to go by The Dark Knight as well; the armor and his demeanor as well as his victim profile indicated he most likely identified himself as a man that was willing to do what others wouldn't in order to protect the innocent.

He was extremely well trained, Clint admitted to himself he could barely keep up with his movements, not knowing The Batman was holding back on his speed as he moved.

Lastly all his armor and gadgets appeared to be custom made, most likely by The Batman himself.

He was a prime candidate for Shield recruitment in Fury's book, but it was clear to Hawkeye that the Batman was far from interested in any proposed meeting.

Not to mention he was far more prepared than they could have imagined, knowing not only his name but Nick Fury's as well was a sign he had access to top level intelligence.

"Don't ever threaten me again" Batman stated just inches from Clint's masked face. "I'm here to wage war on crime, not fuck around with bullshit spies and their bullshit World Council", he stated emphatically.

"Yeah sorry about that, had to try everything ya know"? Clint said half-heartedly, trying to diffuse some of the tension.

The blue orbs in Batman's mask seemed to almost squint in anger at him, "Don't do it again" Batman warned in a menacing voice.

After the small altercation Batman brought out a small spray bottle from his futuristic looking utility belt and sprayed all the webs holding Hawkeye to the wall.

"The containment webbing will dissolve in two hours, don't contact me unless it's vitally important" The Batman notified Clint before turning to leave.

"How are we supposed to contact you if we need you, you got a number"? Clint yelled out to him as he got to the edge of the building.

The Batman turned his head to look over his left shoulder at him, one glowing orb staring into him again.

"Shine my symbol in the sky if you need me" Batman answered succinctly. Before Clint could say anything else Batman jumped off the edge of the building and disappeared.

"You get all that sir"? Clint asked out loud, assuming his communications were still running. "Sir"? He asked again. "Great he jammed all signals too, just what I needed" Hawkeye sarcastically stated to himself and prepared to wait a long two hours.


[Third Person POV]

A showered and fed Hawkeye sat in front of Shield Director Nick Fury (he looks like a ripped forty year old Samuel L. Jackson). Barton was thankful he'd gotten to take care of some basic necessities before the meeting as Fury had been in a meeting.

"So how'd it go after we lost communication"? Fury asked sitting behind his desk, evidently not worried about his subordinates well-being.

"Well he didn't put me in the hospital or the morgue, even after I gave him a thinly veiled threat" Clint replied blandly.

"I noticed" Fury said sarcastically, "What happened"? He questioned further. Agent Barton proceeded to relay the entire meeting to Fury; it wasn't a long meeting so it didn't take long.

"What feeling did you get from him, can he be recruited"? Fury asked after the official report was completed and they could talk off the record.

"In a word sir? Intense" Barton answered before continuing, "And no, he's absolutely dedicated to his mission which as I told you is a one man war on crime".

"That's a bit dramatic isn't it"? Fury asks a little incredulous.

"Not at all sir, he's only got his sights on his mission. I think he left us the bat symbol in the sky thing as an olive branch, something in case people are in real danger and we need his help". Clint replied, he'd had time to have a long think about his meeting with The Batman.

"Very well I". Fury was suddenly cut off by Maria Hill, his second most trusted agent next to Coulson. "Sir" she said over his intercom. "What is it Hill"? Fury replied in a no nonsense tone.

"You need to look at the video I just sent to you, it's being posted all over the internet and we can't scrub it" she replied. "Very well" Fury says in return, he knew she wouldn't do this unless it was important.

Nick proceeded to bring up the video he'd been sent to his large TV screen on the wall in his office. The security footage from the foiled bank robbery played.

It captured everything from the new vigilante Spider-Man trying and failing to talk the leader of the robbers down, to when smoke filled the bank and Batman wrecked shop and took out all of the armed goons.

Finally it captured the short back and forth between Batman and Spider-Man after the former had broken the leader's neck, paralyzing him from the base of his neck down.

Fury then watched as The Batman revealed the now paralyzed mans murderous past.

Fury was impressed with The Batman's investigative skills and the intelligence network he must have to help him, most likely without their knowledge.

The footage stopped when The Batman appeared to press something on his left gauntlet.

"This is something new" Fury stated seriously and he stared out his office window in deep thought. "What are your orders sir"? Barton asks immediately.

"Task one of our investigation units to track and study the vigilante known as The Batman, but inform them under no circumstances are they to make contact, that is a direct order from me", Fury relays Barton's orders.

"Yes sir" Clint replied, knowing he was being dismissed with the orders. He stood up and made his way out of the Directors office to give out said orders then go grab some much needed shut eye.

Meanwhile Nicholas Fury stood, staring out his large office window at the dark night sky with a serious look on his face.

The thoughts and questions running through his head were varied and many, but the one that was the loudest was, 'Who is The Batman'?


Just one big chapter this week, let me know if you like it or not.

As always leave a comment, review, maybe chuck me a power stone or leave a meme the story made you think of.

Anyway I hope you have a great weekend and I'll see you all next week.

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