Justice League: The Other Side -A Standalone Queen Stein Production- |GM: Stein| Co-GM: Jesus H. Christ| |Genre: Superhero, Modern Fantasy On June 5th, 2014 the world witnessed what many news sources classify as ‘the death seen round the world.’ Multiple eye-witness accounts recount varied reactions. A choked gasp, a silence of stupor, slacked jaws and widened eyes. Many say they felt a rush of air as he was hit. Some swear time slowed during the worldwide inhale in the moment he fell and a dreamlike state of disbelief caught the world as cameras recorded his impact into the earth. Reality set in when he didn’t rise: ‘The Man of Steel is no more.’ *** On a day already overflowing with chaos, the White Martians seemed to appear from nowhere, operating with precision. The Earth was unaware – with her heroes already spread thin – until the enemy was at her door. Green Lantern was the first on the scene, striking at smaller vessels and soldiers alike. He was quickly followed by Wonder Woman and Superman, with Big Barda in tow. The Martian Manhunter arrived almost last, but attacked with an intensity that carried him to the center of the fray quickly. Batman soon came to aid, his craft gunning for the Warship, beginning to move for Earth. Navigating with him was none other than Mister Miracle, his knowledge alien tech and warfare a valuable asset. News stations began to pick up on the invasion as the first foot soldiers came in over the city of Los Angeles. However, they were quickly met with the might of the King of the Seas himself. In the Sahara, White Martian foot soldiers were plagued by a blur of red and yellow that no camera was able to accurately catch. But the enemy fell nonetheless. In Metropolis, enemy after enemy fell to the mechanized strength known as Cyborg. The heroes held their ground, gatekeepers of the highest order. Each member of the heroic group moved with the power of a personal army and the wrath of a god scorned. But the White Martians pressed on. The mystery remains as to the exact moment when the tides of the battle began to shift. Batman hadn’t been heard from for a few moments and the Manhunter appeared more frustrated than usual because of it; Superman became a bit more focused, his commands curt; the Green Lantern wasn’t adhering to orders; Diana’s eyes became a little more wild in the fray of battle and Barda’s cries for victory had become more sparse and forced, her mind clearly on the lack of communication from her husband. Back on Earth, Aquaman held back the enemy with the power that came with the title of King of the Seas. The Flash struck hard, without mercy and invisible to the naked eye. His flurry of legs and arms created such a dust storm that he almost missed it. The fall. *** Barry didn’t know what had made him look up, but he did. His eyes could see fire, an object falling to Earth, a meteorite? An attack? It was small, but it didn’t stop burning. Soon there was a small, almost indistinguishable flash of light. It hit the burning object with such force that a seismic boom was the result. “Barry! It’s him, it’s Kal!” 'J’onn! What did that mean? What was he--' “The streak in the sky is Kal! Superman has fallen!” Barry didn’t need much else, his mind put it together almost before J’onn spoke, and he was gone. The Flash pushed and willed himself to move faster than he ever had before. It took a little less than a second to traverse the Sahara. ‘Faster.’ A few more stacked on as he crossed the Atlantic. ‘Not fast enough.’ And even more precious seconds as he tore through the United States. ’Faster!’ Diana flew after Kal, a determination to reach him. If the Kryptonian hadn’t taken all of her attention, she would have noticed behind her. Something else, much larger, much more terrifying. The warship descended into the earth, a blaze of fire, smoke and debris like a cloud of gnats. Things had officially gotten worse. *** June 4th, 2015 Though the battle was eventually won, there was little joy among many. A sense of hopelessness took its place for a time. What else could happen? The Flash was gone, taken somehow. Superman was no more. Batman had barely escaped Death’s door. Green Lantern and Mister Miracle had disappeared without a trace. The Earth seemed vulnerable. “It’ll be one year tomorrow since Kal-El left us,” J’onn spoke as he watched the spinning blue orb he’d come to love below him. Barda nodded solemnly. Her thoughts wondered to Scott, and any question she had about her time spent in the days leading up to this year anniversary were answered by envisioning his face. ’For him. This is all for him.’ She had worked tirelessly alongside the Manhunter to make sure nothing of the sort ever befell the Earth again. With salvaged alien tech, Bruce’s mettle, her knowledge and others, they were able to build it. The Watchtower. A sentinel floating over the Earth where Earth’s mightiest would keep a watchful eye over her. They’ve become wise, knowing that another attack might yield an even worse fate, and they couldn’t risk that. All of Earth’s heroes would need to stand together. “Barda, are we--?” “Yes, J’onn. Without question. I don’t need to have your abilities to know the doubts that plague you.” Barda interjected as she joined him behind the main console. They both stared at the screen, displaying the icon to send the beacon to all those who had expressed interest or they felt had potential. “Martian, this Earth needs us. Kal started the movement, but we have to continue it. We have to bring others in. We’ve heard the whispers and the rumor surrounding that day. And there’s one thing I can be certain of in all of the murky futures that day caused: it’s not over. Whether by our hand or theirs, the echoes of that day have not finished ringing and if nothing else, we will avenge Kal, Barry, and…” her voice faltered. “Scott.” J’onn finished for her, his smile was warm and Barda had no question he truly understood her pain. They may have started distant, but especially in this year, the two had grown as comrades. “We’ll find him, Barda. Worry not.” Barda took a deep breath, looking once more over the Earth that spun below her. Their intel was finally such that they could start making moves against the forces that had acted against them so suddenly, so swiftly, a year ago. Of course, their actions were for justice. But damn, did fury and revenge lace the flavors of their might as well. “I would say that it’s time. Time to move our plan into action. Do you think they will all heed the call?” J’onn asked her. Barda smashed her fists together, displacing a gust of air from the force. “They’d be foolish not to. When I choose warriors to aid me, I’ve invested more than just my time in them. If they can’t heed the call, they don’t deserve the title of a Protector of Earth, and I may personally see that title removed.” J’onn placed a hand on her shoulder, hoping to calm her slightly. “Let’s…let’s not leap to such heights just yet." Barda nodded, her excitement tapering off. "Should we wait for Bruce?" J'onn shook his head. "No, since the completion of the Watchtower, he's been obsessed with hunting more leads for Kal and Scott. To the point where he may even be relinquishing the cowl for the time being. And though he won't admit it, he physically isn't up to par. But, let us see who answers the call first.” With that, he turned his attention the console, activating the beacons he had personally delivered to the heroes beforehand.