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 The Next Generation

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:42 pm

But he never got a word out. He could barely speak, after all. Instead,, he weakly reached down with his hand and coated his fingers in his blood. Moving his hand to the side of the table, he started to write something, a series of numbers separated by apostrophes. He then went limp, his head dropping back limply. It wouldn't take a whole lot to figure out what the numbers meant. They were coordinates.
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:49 pm

Neal just stared as the man wrote down the numbers, coordinates to wherever his leader was. Sad, in his breath he had betrayed his cause. "I'm sorry. I did what had to be done," Neal said as he looked down at the lifeless man. The full weight of Neal's decision came back on him, he had just killed this man in one of the most agonizing and brutal ways that he had ever seen. Without looking at the body, Neal quickly memorized the numbers and wrote them down on a piece of paper.

The door opened as Neal walked out to where the group was. He ignored whatever kind of looks he got, he was certain that they would be able to hear the screams from where they were sitting. "He talked," Neal said simply before handing Dick the piece of paper. "He wrote these down with his last breath, double check where it leads," he said before starting to walk off.

Neal wanted to be alone right now.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:58 pm

Dick took the piece of paper and looked down at it. Coordinates? Well, it was definitely something. Hopefully, these coordinates would take them to the enemy leader. Once they found him... then the real fight would begin. Walking over to a nearby table, he pulled out a map and began to examine it, scanning for the proper location.

Sarah watched as Neal began to walk away. She went to go after him, to talk to him, but Power Girl put a hand on her shoulder, holding her back. He wanted to be alone right now, and they would let him. For now, anyway. Sometimes, you just had to gather your thoughts on your own.

"My, my," Joker said, holding his hands together and grinning as Neal disappeared. "Who would have thought that the boy scout could make the pig squeal? It's astonishing, remarkable, simply amazing! ...now, who's up for some Chinese?"

Harley raised her hand. "But Mr. J, you know there aren't any restaurants open. There haven't been for five years."

The Joker just glared back at her. "I know that! It was a joke!" He then wound up his hand and slapped Harley to the floor.

She fell with a thud, rubbing her face. "Oh, heheh... sorry... guess I didn't get it. My fault."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:03 am

As Neal left the area, he found an empty room that wasn't being used and just took a seat. He just sat there for a minute before placing his face into his hands. Neal just couldn't believe what he had done, what he had pushed himself to doing. He had sat back and used his power to maliciously torture someone without relenting. Neal had made people feel pain before, but he had never done it to that level before, never went that far. More than that, it was the act that Neal had put on while doing it. He had openly laughed and smiled at the man who in pain, it was like Neal was the joker for thirty minutes.

Without even thinking Neal just stood up and punched a nearby wall in frustration.

----

About twenty minutes later, Neal walked back in the lounge. He looked pale, like he was going to be sick. Neal's mind wasn't going to let him forget the details of what he had just done, he was too keen to forget. He walked over towards Sarah, not really looking her in the eyes as he stood next to her. "Did we learn anything?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:14 am

When Neal reentered the room, Sarah looked at him in surprise. He looked terrible; pale, sick, like he'd suddenly caught a nasty illness. "Are you alright?" she asked quietly, leaning in close to him. If he wanted to talk, she'd listen, though it would have to wait for the moment.

"Here," Dick said, circling a spot on the map. "According to the coordinates that the prisoner gave us, it points us to a place in the Nevada desert."

"Great," Green Arrow muttered. "So he lied, then. Who on earth would want to live out there?"

"We'll find out soon enough," Lex responded. "Power Girl is already on her way there for surveillance. If she spots anything out of the ordinary, she'll give us a call. Until that time, we have to continue working with what we have. I've already managed to craft three Thorium bombs, more than enough to storm the enemy leader's home when we find it."

Ra's leaned forward, setting his hands against the table. "Regardless, we should take back this city first. We need a safe base of operations before we make a true offensive against the enemy. If we cannot freely operate here, stuck underground like rats, then we won't be able to act at full capacity. We cannot start our attack if we're still in hiding."

"Agreed," Deathstroke said. "It should be easy enough. Create a display large enough to bring the city's forces running, then detonate one of the bombs. The radiation nullifies their tech, they're left defenseless, and then-"

"And then we put a smile on all their faces!" Joke declared, grinning wickedly and cackling out a sinister laugh. "Oh I do like the way you think."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:20 am

Neal was breathing heavily, like it had become hot in the room. The memory of what he had done was really catching up with him, he felt like he could throw up any moment. He glanced over at Sarah and was about to speak to her before he was overruled by those who were speaking around him. He turned his gaze over to Dick who began to speak.

The Nevada Desert? Figures, the guy just decided to lie before he died. Still, apparently Power Girl was going there. He must have written those coordinates down for some reason, otherwise why do anything at all? Perhaps he was in such pain that he just wanted it to stop, maybe he thought that he was going to live longer.

Either way, they had to keep moving forward in this battle. The man was dead, and Neal couldn't focus on how he died.

As the plan to retake the city was explained, Neal had to admit that it wasn't a bad plan. If they did something to gather most of the forces, as they had done last night in Metropolis, and activated a bomb they would be able to defeat their enemy without even having to worry about retaliation.

Neal glanced over at Sarah once everyone was done talking. He didn't say anything, only shook his head. Neal was definitely not okay right now.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:35 am

"Then what are we waiting for?" Green Arrow asked, reaching for his bow. "Let's go cause a commotion and get their attention already. I don't know about any of you, but I'm just itching to give these bastards a piece of my mind."

"I'm with you on that one," Black Canary said, nodding.

"You guys go ahead and get things started," Sarah said. "I'll be... right behind you guys." She then looked over to Neal and and grabbed his hand, pulling him away from the others. "Are you alright? Talk to me, you look horrible."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:41 am

Neal couldn't even fight back if he wanted to, his arms and legs were like jelly. He heard Sarah's questions, but he could barely look at her. "I cannot get what I just did out of my mind Sarah. That man's expression as I made him suffer through things that aren't even possible. I did it, ME," he said as he looked over at her. Tears were starting to come down his eyes. "For so long I just looked at him and smiled as he felt pain and misery and just wanted to die.....things weren't supposed to go this way that's not how we work," Neal said as he started to ramble. "I know that he was the enemy, but it's just now we were supposed to be able to do things," he said weakly.

"I never should have volunteered for that, I never should have even tried. I'm not......I'm not one of them," he said as he imagined someone like the Joker of Deathstroke in the room with him. "They probably approved of what I did, I performed just like they would if they had the ability," Neal said before he looked at Sarah fully. "It keeps playing back in my head, it won't go away"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:57 am

"Hey, hey, hey," Sarah whispered, holding her hands up to his shoulders. She looked straight at him. She didn't need to be an empath like Raven to see the pain and fear in his eyes. He thought that he was no better than someone like Deathstroke or the Joker after what he'd done in there, and it was killing him. "You are nothing like them. You're kind, compassionate, and heck, a joy to be around. Them... not so much. But you're also a fighter, Neal. We all are. You did what you had to, nothing more, nothing less. You didn't do it because you enjoyed it. You did it because there was no other way. I wish to heaven that there had been another way... The fact is, Neal, we've all done things these past few years that we aren't proud of. We've had to act less and less like heroes just to survive, because our enemies won't show us any mercy. "

Her gaze softened a little. "I've watched people I care about die, too many to count, and I know if I try to hold back, I could be next. I hate what this situation has forced us into... but it can't be helped. What matters is that you don't forget who you are in all of it, no matter what you have to do. You're Neal, a good friend who I care about very much."

Sarah bowed her head a moment later, staring at the ground. "I'd never killed before, you know. Before they came here... and then they killed Kori, and I... I was out of control. I killed them all. I didn't even think about it. I just did it. It took me a long time to get used to it, and I hated myself for it. Mostly because it had been so easy. And now... it's like a second nature. And I still hate myself for it. But I do what I have to... as much pain as it causes."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:06 am

Sarah got a grip on his shoulders and was looking Neal right in the face. Despite the pain that he was in, he kept his gaze fixed with her as she spoke. She spoke with such power and passion that Neal couldn't help but listen to her. She was comforting him, easing his pain and throwing away his doubts like the good friend that she had always been to him. Part of her words stuck out more than anything else, that he didn't to it because he enjoyed it, but because he had to. The words were comforting, it sounded like something that Raven would have said.

Once Sarah finished speaking, Neal gained a weak smile before pulling her into a tight hug. "The ring made the right choice with you, and the Titans gained a great person that day, not just another hero" he said as he looked into Sarah's eyes again. "Thank you Sarah, for always being kind to me even when I felt like I didn't deserve it," he said honestly as he gave a weak smile towards her.

He reached an arm up and wiped away the last bits of tears that were at his eyes. "Now, how about you and I start rebuilding what it means to be a hero? Once we win this war, we won't need to kill again. Things can start going back to what they used to be," he said as his smile increased. Nothing would ever be the same, but at least they could get closer to where they once were. Neal took one more deep breath.

"Thank you again Sarah, those words really meant a lot. I guess I'm just not used to being in war yet, not this part of it at least"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:49 pm

"I would like nothing better," Sarah said, with a small smile. "To rebuild a world where we'll never have to kill again... This war has made my hands dirty. I want them to be clean again.. It's what Kori would want." She held her arms tightly around him for quite a while, feeling comforted in the embrace... it had been a long time since she'd had someone to lift her spirits like this. Too long.

"Hey, you guys coming?" Dick asked, sticking his head back inside the doorway. "Everyone else is already topside. Come on."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:52 pm

"It's what everyone would want, and we'll get there soon enough. We just gotta keep going, no matter how hard it is right? Because that's what we do. We're heroes," Neal said with a smile as they each held each other for quite some time. The war was beginning to affect Neal, but Sarah was the one who lived out the whole thing. He was glad that they were able to comfort one another during this time.

As Dick stepped in and mentioned that everyone else was ready, Neal gave him a nod. "Yeah, we'll be up in a second," he said before turning to Sarah. "Let's take back our city," he said with a grin before turning and running off after Dick to where all the others were.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:01 pm

"Alright, so what's the plan?" Huntress asked, looking around the deserted and rather demolished Times Square. It was a bit sad, considering the place had just been restored after the Doomsday battle when the planet was invaded, and then it was destroyed all over again. "How to bring these rats to us?"

"You let me worry about that," Deathstroke said, holding up a small device with a big red button. He pressed it, and instantly a series of massive explosions ripped throughout the nearby buildings all around them. When they stopped, and the dust settled, he lowered his hand holding the device. "I took the liberty of rigging the place with explosives last night."

"Well, that's... one way to do it," Green Arrow muttered, drawing an arrow. It was going to be show time soon."

Lex knelt down in the middle of the square, pressing several buttons on the large Thorium bomb. "I'll have this ready in two minutes."

"Better make it faster," Ra's said, drawing his sword. He was looking up at the sky, where swarms of hover bikes with alien officers on them were already heading straight for them. "Here they come."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:05 pm

Neal was looking around at the ruined Times Square, remembering how this was the place where Doomsday had done the most damage, it was also where Superman had died. It seemed fitting that this was where they would begin to take back their city, and the rest of their planet.

As Deathstroke activated his explosions, Neal looked around at the destruction that he caused. He had to give Deathstroke this much, that he definitely knew how to draw a crowed. It was only ten seconds later that Ra's pointed out that the enemy was already beginning to come on the attack.

Neal took a defensive stance and readied himself. He could use his illusions to cause pain, or he had his soul-self attacks to get in closer. He'd have to be careful to not get shot at by any of those lasers though, they had only just recovered from the other night's battle after all.

The moment that the enemy started to come in close, Neal began to fire several blasts from his soul-self, trying to knock down as many of the enemy before they came in close.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:14 pm

"Almost... got it!" Lex yelled, activating the device. Almost instantly, the thing erupted with a bright white light, and discharged a powerful heat wave that spread throughout the entire area, though not strong enough to cause any bodily harm. No, rather the wave was designed to carry the Thorium radiation throughout the entire city, and it worked like a charm.

One by one, the invaders began to drop to the ground as their hover bikes went dead. They fell hard, some high enough to die on impact, but most survived and managed to get back up to their feet. They tried to take aim with their rifles, but when they fired, nothing happened. It was at this time that they started to panic.

Black Canary took a step forward and held a hand to her waist. "What's the matter, boys? Can't get it up?" She then took in a deep breath and let out a sonic scream that knocked an entire group of them back through the air. The closer ones were dead before they hit the ground.

"Well it's no surprise, really," Green Arrow said, firing one of his trick arrows that exploded upon impact. "You tend to have that effect on guys." Canary's glare made him flinch. "I mean, anyone but me. Of course. Sorry."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:18 pm

Within a minute Lex had activated the device, causing the bikes and rifles of the enemies to fail. They dropped to the ground before trying to launch an attack. Once they realized that their technology wasn't working, it was clear that they were worried about what was going to come next.

Black Canary released a sonic scream, killing anyone that was close by and knocking down basically everyone else that was in front of her. "Now that's what I'm talking about!" Neal shouted with excitement before running forward. He began to project his soul self, hitting, shooting, and smashing anyone that he could make his soul self reach. Sometimes he just plain picked up grounds of people before throwing them at nearby walls.

It seemed like the tide of the war was really beginning to change for them.

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