The Big Red Cheese
Bouncing Through the Void



With Koschei focused on pulling the drives and cables, she withdrew and let him continue. There were a lot. He’d done everything but tell her to get the hell out. Most people she’d tell to get the hell out of the womb. A Time Lord, however, had a stronger constitution and these weren’t exactly normal circumstances.

After mounting up her chair she headed out into the hallway to survey the damage, determining whether she might be able to get to the main residence level by way of the elevator shaft. The cord could be severed by remote control provided it was still responsive.

Unfortunately she’d no sooner left the confines of the monitor womb than a swarm of the smaller flying…things flew from a wide fissure in the floor. The flames had weakened the central core and they’d clearly eaten their way through. She reached for a nearby broomhandle and started to try to fight them off.

There were too many and they were going for the window.

She withdrew quickly back into the womb and sealed the door, beating to death the three creatures that had managed to get past her. On the other side, heading directly into the VR suite was another fissure about twenty feet wide. Through the window Barbara could see the room filling with creatures that were literally eating away at the walls.

Something had to be done.

She considered the self-destruct, but that was out of range for her. With the systems down she had no way to reach it and blow them all to hell.

Stranded in the monitor womb of the Clocktower, Barbara searched for possibilities. On the console, towards one corner of the room was one of Nightwing’s abandoned communicators. He’d left it there for repair and, so far as she knew, it should still be functional.

Barbara shoved the earpiece around her right pinna and opened the comm as the creatures shrieks could be heard in the background, through their fight to break through the thick steel which protected her from the onslaught for the moment. “Tower responders this is control. Issuing final evac. Repeat. Final evac. All responders get clear of the tower excepting Misfit. Misfit, report immediately to the VR control room. You have five minutes before Omega protocol is enacted. These things will not get loose if I can help it. Now move.”

As she waited, nearly deafened by the screams and sitting helplessly in her control tower she grabbed the bag of hard drives and headed into the VR Control suite, nearly above the center of the Omega weapon and held the bag close to her chest. The ignition of the concentrated nitrogen tribromide bomb would send a fireball into the skies over Gotham, leaving empty space where the Clocktower now stood in its final moments. The sheer quantity of the explosives and the slammed-tight window shields on the residence level would ensure one hell of a pressurized bang.

There would be nothing left of the top ten or so floors of the Clocktower. 

As she waited for Charlie to appear, Barbara prayed for her father and the others she loved.

Her death was at hand. She needed to make these last minutes count.

Turning towards Koschei, she spoke with a firm and immutable calm. “I think it’s time for you to go, my friend.”

He stood by, unsure of what she was doing. The Time Lord saw her battle the Pterrordactyls with only a broom, backing back into her control center.

He stepped closer to Barbara, shaking his head, “If you are thinking of sacrificing yourself, Miss Gordon, I cannot allow that. I still have a debt to pay and like Hell that I am going to let it go unpaid,” he put his hand on her shoulder and knelt, locking his blue-gold eyes onto her’s.

"I have a TARDIS," he said simply, “You don’t have to die. You can survive this and kill those bastards out there. I doubt that Bruce or Charlie or your father or anyone else would want you to kill yourself."

Koschei straightened his shoulders, “I will wait with you. There is no way that I am abandoning you,” he removed his laser screwdriver from his pocket, shooting the snout of one of the beasts so determined to get into the Womb.

Captain Marvel kept punching and punching away at them. He thankfully had the stamina of Atlas, but he could see Batgirl and even Batman starting to get hit. In his book, that was never a good sign. His brain quickly began thinking of what to do. Batman was right. He could keep fighting for a long time, but he still had to worry about the volume.

He needed a plan.

And then Batman said there was a dimensional portal that needed closing. “I think…I think I can do that!” He said. Wisdom of Solomon could hopefully provide some evidence. Maybe. He kicked another leathery dinosaur into the clock tower and began flying to Batman when a new announcement was made.

A final evac? But what about Barbara? He looked worried and looked at the top of the Clocktower. Oh no…would she?

"Oracle, I can try and close the portal and try and get you." Billy Batson wasn’t going to let her do anything big and major. But that portal…that portal needed to be stopped.

He shot at the rift, slugging a monster already erupting from it. “Okay…Batman any ideas before I give it a shot?”


LIID 150: Captain Marvels! by *johntrumbull
Bouncing Through the Void



Barbara busied herself trying to get feeds. The power from the generators was holding but that could change. There was still fire, and the nasty creatures which had come from the void seemed intent on chewing the power cables when they weren’t picking at the very walls of the tower.

Already she’d lost power to the portal Dick used occasionally to directly enter the space behind the clock face. She took a nearby reacher and began to push at a recessed switch which ought to force open the hydraulics. It was a failed effort. The window wouldn’t budge.

She was beginning to fear the worst.

And then her systems started to die. One by one the feeds went dead as cameras and cables went dead. Even her drones which were circling to give her a look at matters were no longer responding.

The lack of radio control triggered an automatic self-destruct sequence in the BirdBots, leaving little explosions and the scent of burned electronics in their wake. Anyone who found them would find only the remains of what looked like a child’s remote control toy. Anything else was wiped and incinerated.

On autopilot now, she paid no attention to Koschei or anyone else in the tower and began to collect her various hard drives. She could not risk the data being lost, destroyed, or worse…falling into the hands of a first responder who came to pull her out.

Barbara dropped from her chair and took refuge under the desk unhooking the external drives and pulling them from her rackmounted blade servers recessed behind the wall of monitors. The power relays above her smoked and sparked burning out everything.

She prayed that she wasn’t electrocuted while removing the equipment.

Koschei shook himself out of his daze, whirling about just as Barbara dropped under her desk. He muttered under his breath, pulling her out and crawling in, paying no heed to the sparking wires around him as he tossed the drives back to her.

He could handle being electrocuted a lot better than she could.

He scrambled back out, wiping soot from his fingertips and helped her back into her chair, “We have to close that rift. I’m still working on how. If you have a plan, I’ll be all for it.”

When he got his hands on this…Charlie…person…he was going to wring her neck…or have a serious chat. Whichever he was going to be more in the mood for…


Captain Marvel was certainly doing what he could to avoid the Batarangs from both Batgirl and Batman as he clocked a few of the demon dinosaurs (Demosaurs?) and smashed them together. Still, he’d need some quick thinking.

Grabbing one of them, he whirled them around to face the sky and bellowed out “SHAZAM!”

Lightning cracked down from the sky and crashed into the demon. With a screech it fizzled away. “Yes!” he said as he grabbed another of the creatures and began to make sure they wouldn’t harm the Clocktower.

"I know right?" he said to Batgirl. "But these guys aren’t going to stand a chance against us! Are the flames getting any better?" Should he look for a water source and bring it here? He didn’t have ice breath or anything like that.

Bouncing Through the Void



The Time Lord’s face paled at the video feeds, backing away in fear. Complete and utter fear. He licked his lips, shaking his head.

"Mi’en Kalarash," he whispered, eyes wide in complete and utter fear. He began to pace around, running his hands through his hair, tugging at it and muttering under his breath.

Finally, he whirled, pointing to the creature on the screen, “That thing is not supposed to exist. It is a myth…nothing more. A story…The Mi’en Kalarash. Translated…it means ‘Blue Fire’. It is supposed to exist in the Void.”

He tapped his chin, “When your ward transports…she must travel through the Void…The Mi’en Kalarash must have been waiting for her…watching for its opportunity. It came in with her….It is an Elder God…as we called it…” 

The Master’s body was shaking….hands trembling.

The Mi’en Kalarash. That sounded familiar.

Into the database Barbara dove, pulling all scraps of information together about the creature. There were scattered reports in the Green Lanterns’ respective files which indicated that Mi’en Kalarash had been seen coming through rips in spacetime. There were no Lanterns able to respond. Also in the files were indications that the creatures were fueled by fear, and that the legend of the blue fire had something to do with the creation of the first Yellow Lantern ring by the Guardians.

If it was fed by fear in the same way, it would explain why the flames grew dimmer as people exited the building.

Barbara grinned and opened her comm. “Update: blue flames are apparently fed by fear. Summon your wills. Think Green Lantern. If you can’t control your fear, get clear. Then we can fight the fire.”

In the seconds which followed, the fire seemed to wane. A mighty shriek emanated from the humanoid which seemed to run back towards Charlie’s ruined bedroom.

As it fell in its death throes, running from Captain Marvel, the unseen creature had summoned one last method of inspiring the fear it needed to survive.

From the Void came more creatures. They squeezed through the tear and began to flood the weakened tower. They cried out like ravening birds.

As one ate the remaining camera on the stairwell, Barbara recognized them from reports in the Torchwood database.

Terrordactyls. They looked like leathery dinosaurs of the similarly named type “pterodactyl”, all about the size of full-grown hawks.

And they were eating the tower.

Barbara smiled. These were creatures they could beat. The flames could now be fought, the Terrordactyls could be beaten with strength and strategy.

"You might want to get your TARDIS off the main residence level," she told Koschei, “that’s likely to become a battle zone."

Barbara began to send the news out over the comms.

He had faced plenty of things before. He fought mad scientists, his predecessor, robots, demons and aliens. This looked like it would be new. Captain Marvel stood ready. The moment this guy tried to do anything funny, he’d be ready to use some strength of Hercules on this guy.

But then…he vanished.

"Um…Oracle?" he said. "The thing just vanished." Did he teleport? Should he quickly go to where Oracle was and make sure she was okay? Before he could make a decision, new noises could be heard.

Screeching and flapping. “Holey moley” he muttered as he rushed to the source of the sound. These creatures were…they were eating the Clocktower? “Oh no you don’t!” he said as he rushed over and punched one of the creatures as hard as he could.

He just hoped they’d stay down. He turned to face the others and quickly charged at them.

Bouncing Through the Void



"Stop, stop. STOP!" Barbara said forcefully to her ward. “So you came into your room after bouncing out, after you were told that you were confined to quarters, and something was magically there when you came back. Could it have bounced back with you? Could it have been at this scene?"

She placed her forehead on the heel of her hand, stunned by her foster daughter’s lack of respect for the rules and regulations of the household. 

On the monitors the creature was moving through the lower level of the Clocktower which was now almost fully engulfed in flames. 

Around the arc of the lower residence it went, engulfing both girls’ rooms, the guest room, and the entertainment room. The flame of the creature began to glow more brightly as it approached the central core which housed the womb’s generators. The civilian elevators which had been disabled by the fire alarm were thankfully empty when the heat of the encroaching flames weakened the metal tethers, sending them at terminal velocity into the lobby of the Clocktower building. Thankfully there had been no one inside.

Stragglers were starting to pour out from the upper floors. Barbara considered the situation. Since 9/11, people were less likely to take their chances inside a burning building but there might be some arrogant enough to try. That Charlie appeared in the womb without blue fire in her wake suggested that it might be safe. The blue flame, if it had followed her in, was clearly no longer following her via teleport.

"I need you to bounce into every suite. I mean EVERY suite. Make sure they’re clear. If anyone’s found that refuses to leave, give Batman the coordinates. He’ll get them out if you can’t."

Barbara’s hard features fixed on Charlie’s face. “We will discuss this later. Now go.”

And with that she turned and relayed the details obtained from Charlie to the responders. “Blue flame appeared in Charlie’s room after she used her abilities to sneak out. Estimates have approximately 85% of the building now clear. Flames moving upwards. Main elevator system is destroyed. I have initiated protocol Theta.”

To continue function, Barbara pressed a few keys on her keyboard and issued a verbal authorization code. The Clocktower rocked as the room which contained the tower’s generators was raised through the upper residence level, leaving debris everywhere. The hardwood floors had shattered with the protrusion of the generator closet, showering the room in splinters before settling into place in the living room area. 

It didn’t even strike her that she was cut off from a means of escape from the fire which was licking upward through the floor into the upper residence. A cold chill ran through her despite the terrible heat of the burning building at the sound of its words.

"Hungry… The Void… Destroy… Consume…"

God help them all if they couldn’t stop it.

And then she heard Koschei’s voice shout over the maelstrom on the level below. She released the electronic locks and opened a channel to the residence level, knowing the danger it posed. 

"I’m up here!" Barbara shouted, grabbing a reacher and pounding on the floor. “Monitor womb, one level up. Above the kitchen. There’s an elevator hidden in the closet of the office on your level! If it still works!"

Maybe Koschei would know what to do.

The crackling of the intercoms hit his ears and he twisted his head, listening. The knocks helped him locate the area he needed to be and Barbara’s directions were near spot-on.

Of course, the elevator didn’t work. But that was not much of a problem. He simply climbed. It was a good distraction from the taint of the Void pulling at his mind. 

He wanted to run. To flee. To get out of this place. But he owed Barbara his life. One of them. His duty to her did not extend to any of his other lives.

The Master dusted himself off, sauntering through the opening he made through the elevator doors.

"Miss Gordon. Now would you explain why in the name of Omega there are Void creatures in your building? If you had not done what you did for me…I would have just left you here. Now, explain."

He could hear people entering. A few people he didn’t recognize but other people he could tell. One of them happened to be Batman, which was a relief. “Captain Marvel here” he said over the com link. “Everyone should evac. I’m going to try and stop this guy. If I can’t stop him, least I can do is stall him for the time being. Everyone try and get out.”

He didn’t know who exactly was in the present company, but he figured the strength of Hercules and the stamina of Atlas could hopefully win out against whatever he was going to face. He rushed quickly as the flams grew hotter and hotter.

And then he could hear the voice. The hissing, clicking and chattering with that raspy voice. “Hold it right there!” he said, standing ready. “I don’t know who you are buddy, but I’m not going to let you take another step into this place.”

Reblog if you’re an RPer in the DC fandom


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Bouncing Through the Void



"What a complete waste of time…Why did she even ground me in the first place? S’not like I did anything wrong. Heroes don’t dogrounded.”

Charlie paced her bedroom, grumbling aloud as she ran her fingers through her hair. Of all the things she hated in the world, being left out was one of the top ten. Being an outsider wasn’t any fun when it meant being outside of everything. Sometimes, being a “misfit” wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

"She can’t keep me out of all the major missions! I should be out there with the other Birds! Maybe then she’d see how hard I’ve been training! What’s the point of doing all those stupid exercises and training if I can’t even use it out in the field? Maybe if she would actually tell me where the stupid missions are instead of keeping me in the dark about everything…” Her face crinkled in pure frustration. “This sucks.”

She trudged toward her bedroom window and propped up her elbows onto the wide sill, head resting in her hands. The sun hadn’t even fully set, and she could already see the familiar glow of blue and red flashing lights.

“Hmm…” The rookie grinned to herself. “…S’only a few blocks away…it’s not like I’m going to Russia or anything, right? And, look at that! I’m already dressed.” The smile grew wider.

Not five seconds later, Misfit was at the scene, and already she was ready to leave. Just a car accident. A taxi had rear-ended another taxi, and both were just yelling at each other. Nothing to fix, no one to beat up, just a stupid argument between two idiots. Again, she vanished into a pink cloud of smoke, traveling back into her room, landing at her spot by the window.

As she materialized, Charlie noticed something was off about her room. The lighting had changed…was it ever this…blue? And…something smelled like smoke…

Charlie whirled around, coming face to face with something that, for a second, rendered her speechless. She meekly took a step back and stopped, back meeting the window sill.

"Uh…wh-who let Slenderman in blue tights in?"

It wasn’t a man…it couldn’t possibly be anything human…something of nightmares, surrounded by blue flames.

The creatures mouth stretched into an eerie smile. It bent down, the face at her level. “You did,” it hissed, the stench of it’s breath hitting her face like a ton of bricks, twisting her stomach. “And now, this city will burn…I’m going to consume this city with the blue flames of The Void…”

What could she do? This thing was on fire. All the training, all the exercising …nothing could have prepared her for this.

The fire was beginning to spreading. Fast. She had no intentions of becoming burnt toast. 

Better face the music…gotta get to Oracle.

It was time to bounce out.

The smoke detector was going crazy in the hall outside of Charlie’s room. Her bounces didn’t generate enough smoke to set them off, so that seemed reason enough to suspect Charlie was still therein.

Until she appeared a few feet away from Barbara in the womb.

The hallway cam outside of Charlie’s bedroom showed her door exploring outward in a shower of blue flame. A vaguely humanoid shape could be seen making its way from the girl’s bedroom. Flames trailed in its wake and spread into the hallway before it was engulfed in flames.

For a moment Barbara worried about where Sasha and Billy were, but Sasha was back at the hostel and Billy had gone to Fawcett. 

At least they weren’t caught in the spreading inferno.

When her eyes met the half-manic, half-terrified look in the eyes of her ward, she knew that whatever it was it had been Charlie’s fault.

The camera winked out as the lens burst with the heat of the flames. It had only been seconds since Charlie’s unexpected appearance and already a quarter of the lowest level of the residence was in flames.  The creature in the hallway could be picked up on still-active audio feeds around the corner.

"So much to consume… so many emotions… so hungry…”

Barbara had heard words like that only once before…from Koschei’s parasite. And then she remembered his warning to her. He had foreseen myriad creatures invading Barbara’s home, capturing heroes and dragging them before her before they were slaughtered.

It could not be allowed to get that far. If this was the beginning she was determined to fight.

"I’ll deal with you in a minute," she said tersely to Charlie. “And you can tell me what the hell that is and how it got into your bedroom."

The question of how to fight left Oracle in serious conflict. Even heroes were foreseen as victims in Koschei’s vision. Summoning any of them could get them killed.

But not calling anyone in would all but ensure civilian casualties. In the end there was no decision to make. The heroes knew what they signed on for. The civilians had to be defended at all costs, and she would remain as long as possible in the monitor womb to coordinate efforts. 

On all bands she sent out a distress call. Justice League, The Titans, Outsiders, Birds of Prey…anyone within a fifty mile radius even loosely associated with Barbara or her allies would get the signal. The fire department was summoned by the building’s own alarm system, but she doubted the brave firefighters could do much of anything. 

The blue flame was clearly anything but earthly.

Into her mic she sent out a Mayday call.

"Clocktower on fire. Point of origin, lower residence level of penthouse. Roof minus three. Unknown hostile within, humanoid entity blue flame. All available respond immediately and begin priority evac of all civilians. Fire rapidly advancing."

She could only pray that nobody died tonight.

Barbara whirled on Charlie as she waited for replies. “Now you’re going to tell me just what the hell is going on.”

"Sorry Stanely, but you should know by now that you should always back down from crime." Grinning he set the once menacing Ibac in front of police headquarters and smiled. Fawcett City still seemed safe. He was often worried about not leaving it attended since he had temporarily moved to Gotham. Still, Barbara was a great person and he was grateful for being cared for.

It beat being cared for by Uncle Ebenezer.

Soaring into the sky, he saw the clocktower buzz. Oops! Time to head back. He didn’t want to be late for dinner. With the speed of Mercury, he went whizzing across the skyline, his cape flapping behind him. But as he was entering Gotham, he heard his communicator buzz.

The Clocktower was in trouble!

"Captain Marvel here!" he said. "I’ll be right over! Stay safe!" He said hurtling at the Clocktower. Opening the nearby window, he only hoped Barbara was still okay!


Justice Society of America: Black Billy


Justice Society of America: Black Billy


Mightiest Mortal Problem #17: Exercising.