Traiding Black for Green
"Everybody move it!" screamed Xander as he dodged a group of fighting constructs.
"Yeah, like we really need to be told that. We do have survival instincts you know," said the Flash as he ushered those without enhanced speed to a safer distance.
"Good Lord, he's taking energy directly from the lantern," said Fate in an awed voice.
"That means he can match Joker in power, and trump him in will," said Xander as he vaporized some rubble that would have injured civilians when it landed.
"You really think he has it in him?" asked the Huntress as she watched the battle, attempting to spot some kind of weakness in Jokers constructs.
"In the end it always came down to who wanted to win more between those two. No, even after all this time I have no doubt that Joker will loose again, just like he always did in the past, we just have to make sure no one else gets hurt while they fight," said Xander right before he raced off to brace a building that was about to fall.
No one had much to say to that so they all turned to the raging battle. While the constructs that were being made were glorious and frightening everyone watching knew that in the long run they were simply a side note to the true battle. This was a war that was once again pitting chaotic insanity against order and rational thinking. This was a war that had often been waged on the streets of Gotham, but never at this level.
"Come on you don't really think you can win do you?" asked Joker. "I killed you once; this time won't be any different. Well okay I'll make sure it hurts more this time around, but other than that it's just like old times."
The dark green Batman simply smiled in a way that filled with dread as the green cowl began to dissolve revealing the face of a man in his nineties. "Does this look like the face of a dead man to you clown? I walked away from you, forgot you like the nothing you are, and when I finish with you today I'll forget you all over again."
"No, it can't be true," muttered Joker as his constructs were torn apart by Batman's constructs.
As the last bit of will faded from Joker something truly strange happened. A beam of energy shot out of the lantern and connected with the ring. Xander would have thought that Batman was attempting to destroy the ring with the lantern, if it wasn't for the complete look of surprise on his face.
"Joker is trying to charge the ring," growled the man in a bat costume Xander was now mentally labeling as Junior.
"No he isn't," said Xander as he used his telescopic vision to get a good look at Joker. "Joker is beginning to decompose at an accelerated rate. I think the energy from the lantern is purging the chaos energy from the ring."
"Any idea what will happen when the lantern finishes purging?" asked Stargirl.
"If my fathers memories are anything to go on I'm guessing a rather large explosion so you may want to hold your thumb over whatever button controls the force fields," said Xander.
"Do you want it around us or around the green guys?" asked Stargirl as she started to work the controls on her cosmic rod.
"Put it around Batman and Joker. We don't know how big the explosion will be and people could still die if buildings start coming down," said Xander as he quickly ran through the worse case scenario he could think of, and how to prevent it.
"How big of an explosion are we talking about?" asked Stargirl as she put the force field around her intended targets.
Xander didn't have enough time to answer because as soon as the force field was in place a large magical explosion ripped it to shreds, and flung Batman back several yards before Flash caught him. It wasn't the biggest explosion in history by any means, but it still left a decent sized crater and a severely burned Batman.
"Flash take him to any hospital that is still open, he has internal bleeding and needs immediate surgery," said Xander. "If there is anyone here who is camera shy I suggest leaving now because with the shield around the city down news crews will be coming to film every inch of this area."
"Do you intend to just stay here and take the credit?" asked Junior.
"No I intend to stay here and look for any trace of the lantern and ring, Jokers body, any injured people that were missed, and stabilize any buildings that were damaged in the fight, in that order," said Xander.
"Good," said Junior as he and the rest of the Bat-clan melted into the shadows to avoid the public eye.
"Oh yeah, no hostility there at all. You would think he would be a bit more mellow since his parents lived, but he's as bad as his dad ever was," muttered Xander as he engaged his x-ray vision. The last thing they needed after this disaster was for the ring and lantern to fall into evil hands again.
In New York City a struggling artist nervously walked through a park. The events in Gotham had him spooked, and he was going to go crazy if he sat and watched the same footage of news one more time. In a desperate attempt to calm his nerves he walked to what he was beginning to consider his spot in his favorite park.
As Kyle sat down and began to sketch his favorite statue he couldn't help but think that it was somehow different tonight. It was probably a trick of the dim light but he could swear that the lantern had scorch marks on it now.
Walking closer Kyle saw that there were indeed scorch marks on the lantern, and they seemed recent. It was probably just some guy that was more spooked by what was happening in Gotham letting off steam, but Kyle couldn't help but be a bit upset at someone messing up his favorite statue.
Spitting into his ragged coat Kyle began to polish the lantern, hoping to make it a bit more presentable. What he didn't know was by doing that simple act he would forever change his place in the world, but he may have had an idea that something was up when the lantern and ring started to glow with an unearthly green light.