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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

Rattigan #9

So, I tapped that "accept" button, and whoosh! This blinding light decided to crash the darkness party, turning the room from a black hole to something brighter than a supernova. I squinted, trying to shield my eyes, and then it hit me—like a mental brick. 

"Hold up... how big was this thing again?" I threw my question out to the system, but it was radio silence, which only cranked up my anxiety.

"Whoa! Wait! Change of plans! I don't want the reward right now!" I shouted into the void, hoping for a smidgen of response. But you guessed it—zilch. And now, cue the escalating freak-out mode.

Imagining this "Regent of the Swarm" as some mammoth-sized, room-demolishing entity was all too easy. I mean, come on, with a name like that, it's not painting a picture of a tiny teacup poodle, is it? 

I was busy contemplating potential squishiness while it rearranged the room—meaning reduced it to rubble—and maybe decided to add the entire building to its "to-do list," which was the least of my concerns. 

Legal issues like being sued for damages while being more broke than a New York bum? Nah, being pancaked into oblivion seemed a tad more urgent.

Time ticked by at a slug's pace, and I braced myself, waiting for the arrival of whatever colossal disaster was RSVPing to my party. The suspense was killing me—well, figuratively, at least. 

I crossed my fingers, hoping my imagination had exaggerated this impending catastrophe. 

I let out a sigh of relief as the blinding light started shrinking down, but my relief didn't last long. "Wait... isn't it getting a bit too small?" I grumbled, my feelings fluctuating between relief, irritation, and frustration. 

Seriously, call me picky, but this roller coaster of light drama was pushing my patience to its limit. Someone had to be messing with me, right? I mean, how else could you explain the whole supernova shrinking to be barely bigger than my fist? Moderation, anyone?

The light seemed completely unfazed by my turbulent emotions, going through this color change show from white to golden, which, under different circumstances, might've seemed like a promising turn. But not today. I wasn't falling for any cosmic trickery.

Suppressing my urge to channel my inner Hulk and smash something, I kept my eyes glued to the light, sporting my best poker face. It was hard, I tell you.

Finally, the golden light started fading, and in its place, this teeny silhouette started emerging. It was small, smaller than a house pet but larger than an insect. The anticipation was killing me. 

And then, with a last flash that almost seared my retinas, poof! The light vanished, leaving behind this odd little critter perched on the security console.

I blinked, stared, and blinked again. A rat, blooming bigger than usual, mind you. But still, a rat, dressed in what looked like a royal red cape with fur trimmings, little pants, and a tiny jeweled crown.

 A friggen rat!

"The fuck is this?!" I wasn't sure if I should be laughing my head off or throwing it across the room. I mean, seriously? All that hype for a rodent in regal attire? Talk about a cosmic anticlimax.

The notification popped up in my vision, courtesy of the system as if it was poking fun at my predicament.

[The Regent of the Swarm: A quirky, interdimensional species possessing unparalleled mental prowess, capable of bending the wills of most beings, except those with the resolve of a steel fortress. Its true form is beyond the comprehension of regular mortals, hence it assumes the shape of a creature native to the world it manifests in. However, this clever imitation comes with a catch - it can only dominate members of the species it impersonates.]

Great. So, this supposedly all-powerful being, capable of dominating minds, ended up looking like a rodent that couldn't dominate its own bowl movements, let alone anyone else. Talk about an underwhelming cosmic surprise.

I sighed in defeat, turning once more to face the disappointing sight of the little rat-like creature. It stood proudly on its hind legs, wearing that smug expression that made me want to grind my teeth. Its tiny paw extended in an almost princely gesture, demanding a hand kiss, or so it seemed. My brow began twitching erratically in annoyance.

"I'll give you a kiss alright, you pesky little..." I grumbled under my breath, my hand slowly reaching toward the critter's paw as if I were about to pay some courtesy. But at the very last moment, I decided otherwise, flicking its little face with my finger.

The creature's reaction was priceless. It reeled back, looking thoroughly affronted as if I had committed a cardinal sin. Then, unexpectedly, it lunged forward and nipped at my hand. The pain shot up my arm like lightning, and let me tell you, it stung worse than a hundred bee stings combined.

"That's it, you've officially crossed the line, you oversized rodent!" I exclaimed, shaking my throbbing hand in the air, half expecting it to have transformed into something monstrous. Instead, it remained the same—just a bit more painful and slightly red.

The rat seemed to puff up its chest, feeling quite proud of itself for the sneak attack. It stood there, wiggling its whiskers with an air of self-importance, seemingly unaffected by my outburst. The audacity of this creature! It certainly had an uncanny ability to ruffle feathers.

"Seriously? This is what the system thought would make my stay 'more pleasant'?" I muttered incredulously, eyeing the rat, which now seemed to be eyeing me back with a mix of curiosity and haughtiness.

While I was expecting some majestic, interdimensional being, I got a regal rat with an attitude problem. Figures. But then again, it wasn't the rat's fault; it was the faulty description and mismatched expectations.

I took a step back, a bit more wary now. "Alright, Your Highness, let's get a few things straight here," I said, adopting a mockingly regal tone, mimicking the rat's haughty expression. "You may be some mystical being from who-knows-where, but you can't just bite people without a warning!"

The rat seemed unfazed by my words, simply grooming itself nonchalantly, as if my complaints were nothing more than a passing breeze. It was clear this creature wasn't going to win any awards for diplomatic behavior.

I sighed, trying to calm my nerves. "Look, I don't know what your deal is, but I've got enough problems without adding 'having a demanding rat as a sidekick' to the list," I grumbled, more to myself than to the rat.

I took a minute to figure out what to do with this little troublemaker, but I just had to drop the whole idea. Seriously, this was the worst timing, especially with the Superman meeting on the horizon.

"Hey, little dude... I can't deal with you right now, okay?" I sighed, rubbing my head in frustration. The rat cocked its head, giving me a curious look, almost like it wanted me to keep talking.

"I've got this weird situation outside and a meeting with a guy who could flick me into the next galaxy, so how about we call a truce until things settle down?" I proposed, hoping it'd understand. It took a moment, then nodded slightly, which made me breathe a sigh of relief.

"Awesome... now, I just need a second to check out what I can snag with these points..." I muttered, about to pull up the system's shop, but the rat had other ideas. It started chittering away, seemingly protesting my plans.

"What is it you want now, rat?" I grumbled under my breath, giving the rat a side-eye as it continued its wild chittering, flailing its little arms around like it was performing a Shakespearean play. 

For a moment, I was very much lost, but then it suddenly clicked, almost subconsciously—this rodent was demanding a name. Of course, because why not add 'chief namer' to my list of stellar talents?

"Oh, you want a name, huh?" I huffed, and the rat nodded with such enthusiasm it was almost annoying. Name-giving wasn't exactly my forte, but I guess here we were, trying to brainstorm a name for a rodent with an attitude.

"How about Mr. Poopy Butthole?" I suggested with a smirk, half-joking. The rat's reaction? Let's just say it looked downright insulted, chittering even more fervently, as if to say, "Are you kidding me?"

"Okay, tough crowd... how about Sir Squeaks-a-Lot?" I offered, and the rat's response was an immediate and very definite 'nope.' Great. My track record with names was a solid zero.

I continued to suggest many names, such as (Snickerdoodle McSqueak, Whiskerworth III, Lord Cheesebiter, and Sir Cheddarchunks) all of which didn't seem to match the rat's royal expectations, until we finally found some common ground. 

"Alright, how about Rattigan?" I suggested with a shrug, not expecting much. Surprisingly, the rat seemed to ponder that for a second, then nodded in approval.

"Rattigan it is, then," I declared, almost impressed with myself. Rattigan—it sounded regal enough for a rat wearing what looked like a royal getup. I guess that settled that; I had a truce and a rat with a name. 

Now, back to browsing that system shop for some much-needed upgrades. 

...

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