DC: System Shock (COMPLETED)

Well, if I had plans for a wild adventure, this wasn’t what I had in mind. One moment I’m crashing on the couch, thumbing through my dog-eared DC Comics collection, and the next... Boom! I’m smack dab in the middle of Metropolis, and let me tell you, it's not the Metropolis you see on postcards. Imagine, the skyscrapers you dream about from movies and comics, now they're crumbling. Flashing lights and explosions paint the skyline. No, it's not some fancy holographic display; this is real, alarmingly real. There I was, regular old me, standing in all my awkwardness in a city under siege by god-knows-what-and-who. Superman is up there, cape fluttering and all, throwing down with these ominous-looking entities. And me? I'm over here, equal parts stunned and terrified. As debris rains down like a disaster movie on steroids, I’m diving for cover behind a partially collapsed building. The dusty, shredded pages of my comic collection flutter around me, a stark contrast to this gritty, chaotic reality. Then, out of nowhere, this shimmering interface pops up, hanging in the air like a neon sign in Times Square. It’s like some cosmic computer screen offering me options like I’m about to pick a new phone plan. I poke at it because what else do you do when you’re yanked from your comfy world and dropped into a super-powered showdown? The thing offers guidance, quests, and, get this, points. Points! Like I’m suddenly part of some cosmic rewards program. So here I am, taking cover, trying not to stick out like a sore thumb in my jeans and old band t-shirt, while navigating an interface that might as well be from a sci-fi flick. “Welcome to the Universal Network System,” it says. And I’m thinking, “Yeah, thanks for the warm welcome, but can I get a ticket back to my couch?”

Wicked132 · Anime & Comics
Not enough ratings
98 Chs

Dreadbane Unleashed #20

As I checked the time on my wristwatch and observed the sky darkening, a mischievous grin spread across my face. I confidently strolled toward the darkest, most foreboding alley that New York had bestowed upon its inhabitants. Now, you might be scratching your head, wondering what occupied my day and why I was willingly delving into a mysterious alley. 

Well, I'll spill the beans – I spent the entire day, from sunrise to this moment, sprawled on my bed, engaged in some serious phone fiddling. And no, I wasn't busy conquering virtual worlds or mindlessly scrolling through endless Instagram reels.

In reality, I was deep into research mode. I was on the hunt for easily influenced DC characters lurking nearby, a mission that seemed more enticing than the elusive pursuit of discovering hot, single moms in my vicinity – at least in my current state. 

And let me clarify, there wasn't a magical database of such characters; I was simply Googling heroes and villains based on their real names to pinpoint their locations. 

This intel would come in handy for a later visit, where I could casually swing by and snatch up some sweet points by trolling the shit out of them at my earliest convenience. I was a businessman at hear, you see. 

But let's not get too sidetracked – back to the wretched butthole of Satan, also known as the alleyway before me. Now, I'd gladly delve into the mundane details of what made this alleyway stand out or spill the beans on my grand plan for venturing into it. 

I enjoyed talking about myself and masterfully laid plans. However, reality check – there was no master plan, and this was just your run-of-the-mill, stinky, probably-thug-infested alley with no hidden treasures, caped crusaders, or dastardly villains. 

The reason for my visit? You'll catch on in a jiffy.

Sauntering into the alley, I spotted a cluster of men loitering near a trash can, huddled together and exuding an aura of suspicious activities. A mischievous grin played on my lips as I approached them. 

Simply for the sake of my own amusement, I decided to break into an improvised song. "Mugger, oh mugger, lurking near, I can sense you, have no fear...." I hummed, even throwing in a skip or two for good measure. 

"I'm just strolling, don't you see? This song is definitely not a trap, believe you me..." I continued my lyrical masterpiece as I neared the group of men, with Rattigan shooting me a disdainful look that clearly conveyed his lack of appreciation for my singing skills. 

Truth be told, I wasn't a fan either, but you've got to add a touch of dramatic flair to these situations.

In the timeless tradition of street thugs everywhere, Thug A shot me a look that could sour milk. He swaggered over, asserting his territorial dominance like a wolf eyeing a clueless rabbit that stumbled into his makeshift den.

"Got lost, buddy?" Thug A quipped, one hand discreetly playing hide-and-seek behind his back – a classic mobster power move. 

I adopted a pensive expression, nodding sagely at him. "Aren't we all lost, wandering in the labyrinth of life, searching for a purpose that would guide us to the light at the end of the tunnel?" I remarked, watching as his eyes struggled to process the unexpected philosophical interlude. 

I mean, who drops Sartre in the face of an impending mugging?

"What... what?" Thug A stammered, his bewilderment spreading like a contagious yawn among his posse. 

"The purpose of life is a life of purpose, my friends. So, tell me – what's your purpose?" I asked, dishing out wisdom like a sidewalk sage, locking eyes with Thug A as if I held the keys to the universe.

Thug A scratched his head with the barrel of his concealed weapon, exchanging puzzled glances with his goons. "Well... at this moment, my purpose is to have you run your pockets, snatch every shiny thing you've got, and maybe toss in a beating for good measure," he confessed with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

I bobbed my head in agreement as if I'd just deciphered the universe's most cryptic riddle. "Aha... not the grandest of purposes, nor the most honorable intent, but a purpose and an intent nonetheless," I remarked casually, a nonchalant shrug punctuating my profound revelation.

 "Very well, you may proceed." I clasped, raising my hands up in surrender and offering Thug A a stage for his nefarious performance, much to Rattigan's apparent bemusement as he palmed his face. 

Thug A's expression twisted into further confusion, but he wasn't about to let existential musings derail his mugging ambitions. "Alright then... thanks?" he mumbled, cautiously advancing with his weapon pointed in my general direction. 

As he closed the gap, hesitation etched across his face, he made a grab for my wristwatch. Quick as a cat with caffeine, I slapped his grubby hand away. Undeterred, he attempted another snatch, only to encounter another swift slap.

 Growing visibly frustrated, he shot me a baleful look. "The hell do you think you're doing? You wanna die or something, dumbass?" he snarled, a cocktail of rage and confusion bubbling within him.

I let out a theatrical sigh in response to Thug A's question. "I told you to proceed with mugging, but I never said I'd cooperate," I deadpanned, my expression an epitome of indifference. Thug A squinted at me, a sudden realization dawning upon him. 

"You..." he began, narrowing his eyes as if he'd just realized something, his voice tinged with anger. "Are trying to make a fool out of me?!" The question erupted from him like a volcano of indignation.

I regarded Thug A with the fascination one might reserve for a rare, exotic animal. "Do birds have hollowed bones? Do airplanes have horns? Do woodchuckers chuck wood?" I quizzically fired back, my tone both whimsical and perplexing. 

Thug A's rage dissipated like a fleeting storm, replaced by genuine confusion. "I... I don't know," he stammered, his bewilderment reaching new heights. 

His confusion was so clear and visible that I even felt bad for a fraction of a second, and then I remembered he was a dastardly, dark-alley-spawned lowlife trying to mug me. 

"So I see... maybe instead of mugging me, your purpose should be to head to the nearest library," I suggested, shaking my head in mock disappointment. 

"But yes, I am trying to make a fool out of you and, by the stupid look on your face, very much succeeding," I concluded with a mischievous grin, prompting a few chuckles from Thug A's friends and reigniting his smoldering rage.

"You bastard! I fucking knew it!" Thug A erupted, his face transforming into a vibrant shade of red fueled by a mixture of anger and shame. 

"I'll punch your teeth in!" he proclaimed theatrically, brandishing the magazine part of his pistol as an improvised weapon aimed at my mouth. The gun struck its intended target, but it halted a hair's breadth away from my lips, thwarted by the protective shield of the Guardian Veil. 

Noticing my lack of reaction, Thug A's eyes darted between my composed demeanor and the suspended gun in his hand, registering the unexpected obstacle. Honestly, this level of stupidity would have been almost endearing if it weren't for the fact that it was being orchestrated by a grown-ass man in a dark alleyway. Stay in school, kids. 

Realizing I had lingered long enough in this theater of the absurd, I seized the opportunity presented by Thug A's distraction. With calculated precision, I delivered a devastating kick between his legs. Thug A crumbled to the ground, his face cycling rapidly through shades of red, purple, and white as he collapsed in agony.

Realizing Thug A had bitten off more than he could chew, his buddies hastily brandished an assortment of weapons – guns, knives, and what looked like a suspiciously hefty wrench – and charged menacingly toward me. 

Maintaining my cool, I summoned the coldest, scariest look my acting and persuasion skills could muster. "Piss off," I deadpanned, delivering the words with a simplicity that belied the potential danger.

 It was like I'd just uttered some ancient incantation, as the thugs hit the brakes with the grace of cartoon characters halting mid-air, collectively turning tail. They sprinted toward the alley's exit, their hasty retreat akin to fleeing from a phantom menace. 

Perplexed, I turned around, half-expecting to find a terrifying figure looming behind me Looney Tunes-style, but the reality was disappointingly mundane.

"Huh... neat trick," I chuckled, watching the thugs vanish into the distance. "Looks like the pendant is working as promised," I mumbled, appreciating the effectiveness of my newfound accessory. 

However, my contemplation was abruptly interrupted by a notification that materialized in my field of vision.

[Your relationship with (???) has shifted from (Neutral) to (Curious)]


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