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

Karma #12

I let out a quiet sigh as The Green Lantern floated my way. Well, a Green Lantern, anyway. 'Let's see what we have here...' I mused, giving him an inspecting look.

He wasn't black, so he's definitely not John Stewart. He didn't look like a high school delinquent, so he wasn't Guy Gardner, either. Too young to be Kyle Rayner, so that only leaves one person. It's got to be Hal Jordan. Uptight and a tad reckless – perfect combo for a pleasant chat.

I kept my thoughts to myself and threw on a smile. "What can I do for you?" I asked, trying to keep it cool.

"Would you mind if I scanned you with my ring, young man?" Hal calmly dropped his request, and instantly, I felt the urge to let out a string of curses. But before I could unleash my linguistic creativity, Superman decided to intervene.

"What's going on, Hal?" Superman queried, flicking his gaze between me and Green Lantern.

"Call it a hunch, if you will..." Hal replied, shooting me a suspicious look. "But I think there's more than meets the eye to your friend here." He raised an eyebrow for added drama. Superman, not thrilled with this, furrowed his brows.

"A hunch isn't grounds to invade someone's privacy," Superman said with a frown. "Besides, Micah here helped us prevent many casualties, so we should give him the benefit of the doubt," he added, sounding pretty firm about it.

Hal Jordan let out a sigh, his arms crossed in a display of reluctance. "True, not a fan of this, but it's Green Corps protocol," he stated firmly. "All off-worlders must be identified and reported to the Guardians. And you have to admit... sleeping in the middle of a warzone? That's a bit suspicious," he added, raising an eyebrow.

Superman shook his head, emphasizing their commitment to the law. "That may be, but we, as Justice League members, can only operate within the confines of the law. You can't enforce the Guardians' rules on civilians based on a hunch," he pointed out.

"I'm fully aware of it. That's why I asked for permission," Hal Jordan replied with a nonchalant shrug. "It's up to him whether to accept it or not," he added, and both heroes turned their gaze toward me.

Talk about instant karma.

I weighed my options. Refusing might cast me in a suspicious light, and even though the Justice League heroes wouldn't openly defy the law, they could keep tabs on me, making my life so much more complicated than it needs to be.

On the flip side, letting Hal Jordan probe into my business might unearth more than I wanted to reveal. Decisions, decisions.

I just rolled my eyes and threw my hands up in a mock surrender. "Go ahead, scan away," I said, giving in to the inevitable. Hal Jordan didn't waste any time, pointing his power ring at me like some intergalactic detective.

The ring lit up with this intense green glow, surrounding me like a sci-fi x-ray. A moment later, the light disappeared, leaving Hal deep in thought, and Superman looking on like the concerned dad.

"So, what's the scoop, Hal?" Superman asked.

Hal scratched his head, looking all serious. "His energy signature is a bit of a head-scratcher. Doesn't match the invaders, but it doesn't match ours either," he explained, his eyebrows doing the conundrum dance.

I jumped in before they could start a superhero debate club. "Hold up, what are you guys talking about?" I interjected, doing my best to sell the confused bystander look. "I was just having the sweetest dream on my couch, and bam, I woke up in the middle of the street. No alien invasion on my itinerary."

Superman nodded in agreement. "He did seem genuinely clueless when he woke up, but he still recognized me," he said, with that look parents give each other when the kid says something bizarre on his face. "Could your ring have malfunctioned?" he suggested.

Hal shook his head. "No, the ring doesn't malfunction. Sometimes worlds are eerily alike-- as in copy-paste versions with a few differences. Maybe you were transported here from a parallel universe..." he concluded, looking like he just solved an interdimensional Sudoku puzzle.

"So, what's the deal for me in all this?" I questioned, arms crossed, staring at Hal Jordan.

"Nothing to worry about," he reassured me with a casual wave. "Green Lantern protocol for off-worlders is straightforward. If you're hostile, we apprehend and confine. If not, we either send you back to your original world when possible or assist in integrating you into ours," he explained.

I took a moment to process that, then gave a nod. "Sounds peachy, but there's always a catch, right?" I arched an eyebrow, skeptical.

"No catch. Just a few questions to get to know your background and check if returning you to your world is feasible," Hal responded, shrugging like he was discussing his weekend plans.

"Well, I don't mind answering a few questions if it helps," I replied, deciding to play along for now. "What do you need to know?"

"Not so fast. I'll need you to accompany me to the Justice League headquarters first," Hal replied and I immediately gave him the classic "Are you serious?" frown.

He caught on to my reaction and felt the need to clarify his grand plan. "I'll need to record any info you can provide about your world and cross-check it with ours using the Leagu'es data... We'll have someone else do the research in real-time to make the process efficient," he explained with a surprising calmness.

Huh, Nice try, Hal.

I might've bought his story, If I didn't know that Martian Manhunter basically lived in the Watchtower, keeping telepathic communication between all members of the League and the countless advanced gadgets that would make communication extremely easy.

I suspected he was leading me to Martian Manhunter for a mind-reading session or letting Batman eavesdrop, but jokes on him. My mind was protected by a consumable talisman, and I could easily snag something from the system that would make me a better liar than Walter fucking White.

"Sure thing. So, are we going by car or something?" I played the clueless card.

Hal responded with a chuckle, "Not quite," He said, seemingly scheming something – probably planning to lift me off the ground without a heads-up. The guy must think he's hilarious.

"It seems like you two have settled things," Superman, previously on the sidelines, remarked in a composed manner. "I would have liked to tag along, but I have a few errands to tend to..." He added, retrieving a sophisticated-looking device from his belt. Some Kryptonian doohickey, no doubt.

He pressed a button on said Kryptonian doohickey, and in an instant, several humanoid machines with sleek designs and Superman's emblem on their chests materialized.

With swift efficiency, the Man of Steel directed them to relocate the robots. As his Kryptonian minions carried out the task, Superman turned to us. "I'll be on my way, then," he declared, soaring into the sky without waiting for a reply.

"Are you prepared to leave?" he inquired.

"Just need to grab something real quick," I responded, injecting a hint of mystery into my tone. Hal appeared puzzled, but he accepted it with a shrug. I gave him a nod and, for added flair, placed two fingers in my mouth.

I took a deep breath and let out this ear-piercing whistle that bounced around the stadium. Right on cue, Rattigan waltzed in, strutting down the players' walkway like he was the MVP returning after an injury break.

The moment his tiny paws hit the grass, he stopped and shot me a blank look. In my mind, I immediately translated it as, "Do I look like a pet dog to you, you silly human?"

My expression promptly dropped.

"I'm leaving you behind if you don't start moving right this instant!" I exclaimed, and the usual affronted look immediately appeared on Rattigan's face, as if he couldn't believe what he heard.

"I mean it, you cheeky little rodent! Hurry up and get your tiny ass over here!" I said unmindful of the strange look Hal Jordan was giving me.

Finally conceding defeat, Rattigan emitted an irritated chitter and strolled in my direction. He was clearly deliberately taking his sweet time, likely just to piss me off.

I rolled my eyes, standing there, unfazed, as I awaited the arrival of this mischievous rodent. When Rattigan finally stopped before me, I reached out my hand toward him.

Naturally, he didn't forget to sink his teeth into my finger, and I could only wince, my eyes twitching as I watched Rattigan nonchalantly settle on my shoulder.

Hal Jordan raised an eyebrow, looking all shocked and confused. "This is...?" he asked.

I just shrugged it off. "Just some stupid, oversized ra-- ouch!" I said, but before I could continue, Rattigan bit my ear, causing me to yelp mid-sentence.

"The little bastard just appeared out of nowhere and decided I'm his long-lost parent or something," I explained, trying to poke the little critter away from my ear, only to get my finger bitten again instead.


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