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The inability to get out of that freaking lobby in the Hyatt continues. But chapter three ends.
I heard something above the sound of the fighting, and eating, and while I was trying my best to get out of there as fast as possible, I gave a brief look back, and saw the guy I met in the media room who was dressed as Spike running towards us.
The Predator was busily fighting off zombies to give the new player on the field any notice, as were the Spartans, at least the ones that weren't being eaten.
Spike continued towards us and leapt right over the entire fight. His coat flapped in the air as he descened, like a modern day cape. "Bugger this," he said, not sounding a bit British beyond using the colloquialism.
He was running straight at us, and the glass doors, and the sunlight outside. I let go of the door in my hand and made my way towards Spike to try and stop him from getting any closer. He knew things were going very wrong, and just wanted to esape the madness, but he didn't realise the depth of what had happened, failing to consider just what he was about to do.
I dove into the air to try and tackle him to the ground before he came any closer, but I missed him entirely. I landed hard on the carpet, scraping up my elbows, and my cheek as my head rebounded off the floor. Even through the layer of fabric and foam underneath, I could still feel the hardness it would have cushioned against under normal circumstances.
Making my way back to my feet, I wanted to grab at him, reaching for the black leather material of his trenchcoat as he ran past, but my fingers failed to find purchase, and he continued onwards, even as I tried yelling at him to stop. All my attempts couldn't stop him, and he slammed into two glass doors, pushing against the dull black metal crossbars and exited into the daylight.
When he hit the doors, I could already see whispy trails of smoke coming off his shoulders, as his freshly vamped body began to smolder in the sun's rays. The moment he had passed through the threshold and into full on, direct sunlight, the smoke gave way to complete flames, as his body combusted with a rush of sound.
The immolation was brief, as it consumed all his flesh, and even bones. The flames ate through to his very core, and as muscle turned to ash, and the skeleton collapsed, even that changed to nothing more than black powder upon the concrete pavement of the upper deck of the hotel.
As if the day had not already been bad enough, it appeared that the group of us had somehow managed to walk from one disaster to the next. If this kept up, people would stop following me.
I was so intent on getting away from zombies, and trying to stop Spike from committing accidental suicide, that I hadn't even taken a look through the doors. If I had, I might have tried thinking of a better plan.
Things were quieter than I had expected outside, although I could hear what was becoming the expected background noise of screaming off in the distance. I looked away from the pile of ash to the man with the same name, and the first thing I noticed were his arms were in the air.
I moved my gaze from him, and soon met the barrel of a gun. The gun was metal, and inlaid with blue, blinking lights that reflected off the surface. The gun was giving off smoke, but looked more like it was cold steam than a regular smoking barrel of any other gun.
The man holding the weapon levelled at my, well not my friend, let's stick with travelling companion, was covered in similar armour to his weapon, and his grey-skinned head was encased behind glass.
"Mister Freeze, I presume," I sighed with exasperation at the never-ending series of obstacles in my way.
"Yes, and I've brought friends." His emotionless tone was capable of freezing a body without the gun, and he never moves his unblinking stare from Ash.
He wasn't kidding about friends. Coming around the corner and through the path that lead towards the stairs back down to the street between here and the Herriott were a veritable cavalcade of comicbook supervillains.
I could make out in the crowd a Bane towering above the rest, his face hidden behind a mask, and large, muscular arms sticking out of his top. Tubes wrapped around him and fed the drug that drove his strength directly into his body.
In front of them all, assuming leadership, was someone who came dressed as Lex Luthor, even going to the length of shaving his head. Rather than being inconspicuous in a business suit, he had chosen the more obviously evil Lex, and was wearing a suit of bulky green and purple armour, making the head poking out of it at the top seem almost comically small.
A man as large as Bane, but not so much muscle, instead with sheer girth was behind Lex, and this one, Marvel's Kingpin, was dressed in a suit, and was walking with a cane carried in one hand. The expensive diamond glistened as its surface caught the light when he came around the corner.
The larger presences blocked most of my view, but I could still see the green tail of the Scorpion whipping around behind them, and flying above them was a man in yellow and black, and glowing yellow, setting off his distinctly large head. Large, pink head. Green Goblin's purple hood poked around an arm of the Kingpin, revealing his green, smiling visage. A small tuxedoed man stayed off to the side, the Penguin leaning against one of his trademark umbrellas.
"I suppose it wouldn't do me any good to request safe passage," I asked, cocking an eyebrow in the air.
Luthor shook his head, and smiled. "I have no idea what's going on here, why me and my colleagues, and others, have suddenly found oursleves transported far from our homes to Boston, but I am never one to let an opportunity slip past me."
I could tell how most of the DC universe's populace could believe Lex was still an ok guy. Just listening to his words, and already I could see how I might willingly give him anything he asked for. With the armour on, and the company he was keeping, kept me focused on just how bad this person could be.
"When I suddenly awoke here, standing amidst a few of my fellows and other heroes, all equally stunned, I realised it was time to strike. When I saw my nemesis Superman there, I thought the game was already lost, and maybe he was somehow to blame, but even he seemed surprised by where he was. I took advantage of the situation and attacked him."
Looking at the others with a quick glance out of the corner of my eye, I could tell they'd heard the story before, and more than once. I wouldn't be surprised if I found out he told every new recruit they found.
"I revealed the Kryptonite shards in my glove, and just started punching away at him. It wasn't long before Superman was dead, by my hands, at long last."
I saw the dried blood on the knuckles of his gauntlets, and swallowed hard, but remained silent, letting him continue to tell his story.
"Unbelievably, there he lay on the ground, gone. I still don't believe it, or know exactly why. It was like he was merely a human. There were other foul Kryptonians and they leapr at his defense, but they fell just as easily. Each one was more difficult than the last, and even began showing super strentgh, but each one fell in their turn. There were more than I remembered, and even more than one Superman. Some multiversal convergance must be at work yet again. If I see that red-haired doppleganger of mine this time, he will not last long either.
"I gathered these like-minded fellows, and we continued to move onward, taking down threats as they came. With no Superman to bother me, this world is finally mine. Finally ours. With our combined strength, as a Society of supervillains from across time and space, nothing can stop us."
I listened, gathering information. And not wanting to interupt the crazy supervillain and friends. I had an idea what had happened. The new Kryptonians were just that, new. Their cells weren't charged with solar radiation like the real Superman's was after years of living on this planet. It took time for that charge to build, and this Luthor took advantage of that brief, unique moment to have his way with Superman, at long last. With a number of very powerful, and honourable superheroes now dead, this was going from worse to even worse.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more pressing things to do, and see if this building will be a suitable palace for the reign of Lex Luthor the first." He gestured dismissively with his hand as he forced his large suit of armour through the doorway. "Kill them all."
Many of the villains visibly bristled at being given orders, but many of them were biding their time to either betray Luthor, or saw this as a better opportunity, for now, so did his bidding.
Mister Freeze didn't even hesitate, and blasted Ash into a block of ice before the door had even closed behind Luthor. I took solace that he was walking into a Spartn-Predator-Zombie barbecue.
The freeze cannon swept over the rest of the people I had led into this fate, and they too were frozen like Ash, stuck inside the ice, unmoving.
As it swung towards me, my eyes closed and the next thing I knew, I heard a cracking sound. I peeked out of one eye, and saw a web of fractures spreading across the protective covering over Freeze's head. A metal bat stuck into the epicenter of crackling glass. He reached up with his free hand and yanked it out of the hole it had created, now leaking vapour from it. He winced as his life-preserving cold escaped, and twisted a dial on his chest. The vapour trail increased as he tried to keep the temperature inside his suit at a bearable level.
The sun above was blocked for a moment, and the crack I heard earlier was dwarfed by the shattering sound his glass covering made as a yellow-booted foot connected with it, spraying glass away as it broke.
The form landed gracefully next to the staggering, armoured form of Mister Freeze, with a twin click of her boots. She retracted the line she had swung in on, and tucked it into a yellow belt. The young woman turned away from our attackers and grabbed me, the last survivor of my group, with a gloved hand, also yellow. I looked over my saviour, and recognised Batgirl.
She grasped my arm and dragged me back through the doors I'd just come through. Her black cape blew back from the blast cool air as she opened the doors, and whapped me in the face. Seeing the fracas between all the various people in the center of the hall, now joined by Luthor, it gave even Batgirl pause.
"Whoa, ok, that's not good." Her hand relaxed on my arm, and she looked around. "I've got an idea, c'mon, Martin!"
She ran up the now empty stairs and brought me right back to that damnable lobby. I didn't even have time to question her as she ran off to the side and ducked down one of the over the street tunnels that linked the various hotels together. With all the other groups busy elsewhere, it did make for a good escape plan. It would have worked earlier too, if there weren't zombies in the way.
Finding a brief moment to catch our breaths, before we moved down the corridor, I grabbed Batgirl's arm and spun her around. She was clad all in black from head to toe, except for her yellow boots, gloves and belt. The underside of her cape was a matching shade, as was the bat insignia over her chest. It wasn't a usual costume for Batgirl, but I had seen it from time to time. Her blue eyes peeked out of the cowl she wore, red hair spilling out from under it and over her shoulders. She glared at me, annoyed that I'd grabbed her as we were making a good escape.
"Who are you," I asked.
She attempted to growl out her words through gritted teeth, "I'm Batgirl."
Fighting back laughter, I tried again. "I can see that. How do you know my name?"
She looked away, and hesitated for a long pause, the only sound coming from below as the fighting continued. "It's me, Chris."