DC Universe: Enter the Defender, Chapter 3: Versus the Crime Syndicate

by Libbylawrence

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Urthlo 5, alias the Defender, recognized the sinister members of the infamous Crime Syndicate of America, but he was unprepared for the speed and savagery of their attack. He immediately realized that this was not a group given over to long discussions or elaborate battle plans.

Power Ring was insufferably cocky. This much was obvious by the way he moved and spoke. He had a high opinion of himself, and he was clearly no coward. He flew directly at the Green Guardian and smirked as he said, “No surprise to me that a hot number like you would give off energy that looks more like flames than my ring power does, but I’m more than man enough to cool those flames!”

Creating a giant fan, he watched as it generated hurricane-force winds. The Guardian was buffeted by the flames, but as she concentrated, the fan broke apart into small chunks that rained down on Power Ring.

Shielding himself with a huge umbrella, he said with shock, “You took control of my ring creation! Nobody can do that. Not even those wimpy Green Lanterns!”

The Guardian said nothing. She was too smart to advertise the fact that she was, in fact, a direct descendant of the notorious villain.

Before the Cyborg could take any action, an invisible force struck him with crushing power. He gasped as his internal sensors registered the presence of an alien. “A Martian? An ancient Martian!” he said. “I did not realize this team of brigades had a Martian ally!” He screamed as a bolt of mental force struck his keen mind, and to his horror, a hulking alien humanoid began to try to rip his metallic side apart from his human side.

“I am the Martian Murderer, and your death will be all too swift for my tastes!” said the grinning alien monster.

The Cyborg felt his internal circuits breaking as he struggled to fight back. He raised his body temperature on the metallic side and found some much-needed relief as the heat drove his attacker backward.

The super-swift Johnny Quick raced around Validus as a red and gold blur until the whirlwind his movements created threatened to rob the behemoth of all oxygen. That’s one ugly-looking brute! mused the man who called himself Charles Drake. He belongs in that Monster Society of Good we once fought! (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See Crime Syndicate of America: The Monster Society of Good.]

Validus reeled from side to side, then slammed both fists down with enough raw force to send the glib speedster crashing to the ground from the shockwaves. Before he could rise, Validus had grabbed him with one giant hand.

Meanwhile, Ultraman scowled as he looked at the heroes. I don’t know these punks, but I’d wager Luthor’s bald head is behind this! he thought. That sure looks like his corny armor! He flew directly at the Defender, who stood his ground long enough to raise both hands and concentrate.

The rogue Kryptonian grunted as the ground erupted upward and covered him in a cocoon of solid rock. “Can’t break free! This stuff is magical!” he realized as he strained against the altered stone.

Urthlo 5 sighed in relief. This mentachem stuff my gauntlets are composed of really can alter and control natural elements! he thought. I don’t know what hero developed it, but it sure does work!

The Persuader was closing in on the black-clad archer called Deadeye, who looked at him and then shrugged, “Far-freakin’ out! This loon escaped from some Wizard of Ego comic!”

As a barrage of arrows sailed down at him, the Persuader merely swung his gleaming atomic axe and stood impassively by as the blade melted all of the speeding shafts before they could hurt him.

A sultry woman with long black hair and a brief pink costume with fishnet hosiery and high-heeled boots approached the archer and said, “Let me try, lover! The Silk Canary will send that modern-day knight back to Camelot!” She moved with all the grace of the exotic dancer she had been before her lover’s colleague had given her remarkable sonic powers. She opened her mouth and screamed.

Waves of powerful force struck the Persuader, but he fought back and used his amazing axe to literally slice through the air between his position and where the Silk Canary stood. No air, and no sound waves can be carried! he thought, spinning the axe around and barely missing the agile woman, who rolled aside with the martial arts skills she had used to murder more than one cop in her deadly career.

Meanwhile, Superwoman had appeared and hurled her magic lariat of Proteus at the hulking Validus, who was very calmly crushing the life out of the startled Johnny Quick. That idiot is too frightened to use his molecular control to vibrate to safety! she thought. Why I put up with that oaf is beyond me! The weakest of my insipid sisters on Sanctuary Isle could fight better than that fleet-footed cur!

As the magical lariat reached Validus, it responded to its mistress’ mental command and changed its shape until it resembled a gold-and-red-scaled serpent. Validus roared and sent a blazing bolt of mental lightning downward to cascade through the serpent toward its owner. Superwoman released the rope and kicked out at Validus, but he responded by throwing Johnny Quick directly into the evil Amazon.

The mysterious Mano was battling the wildly elongating ex-mobster called Rubberneck, but he was unable to touch the pliable plunderer with his destructive touch. Finally, as the grinning thug twisted too close, Mano grazed him with his palm, and the Syndicator screamed as agony contorted his whole frame, and he collapsed like a deflated balloon.

“Don’t touch him again! You hurt him, but his weird metabolism allowed him to survive that glancing blow. He may be a boasting egomaniac, but he has his uses!”

Mano whirled to find the speaker, but he could not detect another person at first. He frowned as he suddenly felt a series of rapid blows connect to his torso. A gray-clad man was pummeling him, but the dark figure had moved with such stealth that Mano had been caught completely by surprise.

Owlman grinned as he raked the hero with his talons. The startled Mano tried to touch Owlman, but the villain was far too capable and merely dodged and then pinned Mano’s deadly hand behind the hero’s back. “I wonder if that hand of yours will kill you as well?” he said as he forced the helpless Mano’s hand closer to his own body.

The Guardian saw the situation and directed a bolt of emerald energy at Owlman. He rolled nimbly away but was forced to release Mano as well.

“My sensors detect another newcomer!” said Computo. “The life form is miniature but human!”

The Defender frowned as his armor suddenly stiffened, and he felt the full weight of the advanced radiation suit. “Something has damaged my armor!” he said slowly. He gasped as he realized his weaponry was beginning to lose power.

A tiny man emerged from within the armor itself and stood defiantly on his shoulder. The red-and-black-costumed Microbe said, “Fascinating! Your armor is far more advanced than anything Luthor has, but it is clearly a modification of his design!”

As the blue-and-gold-clad Doctor Chaos appeared in a cloud of smoke, the magical stone that held Ultraman shattered.

“Thanks for nothing!” growled Ultraman as he broke free and began to batter the now-helpless Defender.

The Persuader was under attack by Deadeye and Silk Canary, as well as by the somber hooded Sundown, who used his uncanny power to plunge the area into total darkness.

Once more Persuader used his atomic axe to do what would have seemed impossible for anyone else. He used it to cut through the strange inky cloud and let in the light of day. Sundown was so surprised that he hesitated just long enough to receive a terrible blow from the spinning axe. He collapsed as the Silk Canary pulled him backward, while Deadeye fired another arrow.

The Persuader cursed as the arrow released a gooey substance that coated his gloves and left the handle of the axe glued to his grip. He could neither release the axe nor adjust its position.

Deadeye grinned roguishly as he dived forward and began to knock the hapless hero flat. In seconds, the skilled fighter had removed Persuader’s helmet and knocked him cold. “How’s the human blackout?” he asked his lover.

“Ollie, this is serious!” said Silk Canary. “I think he’s dying!

Deadeye winced as his lover accidentally used his real name. He knew she was very capable, but her lethal abilities were still new to her, and she occasionally made mistakes, like using his real name before their enemies.

Ultraman raised one fist over Urthlo’s face and said, “You look like Luthor, too! Are you the old creep’s long-lost son or something?”

As the Green Guardian generated more energy to shield Urthlo, she was struck from behind by an eldritch bolt from Doctor Chaos. She lost her concentration for a moment, allowing Power Ring to strike her with a huge boxing glove. As she fought to regain control, she was aware of a newcomer who appeared out of thin air.

The young woman had long platinum blonde hair and wore a white dress and heels. She seemed to replicate or separate into multiple separate selves, and as each one touched a Faultless Five member, as well as the Defender and Computo, they vanished.

Ultraman blinked in surprise. He had enhanced sensory powers, but for the most part he failed to use them to much effect. As the Superman of Earth-One had once noted, the brute lacked the brain power to properly use his super-powers. “What happened to them?” he said. “They sure worked over Sundown, Rubberneck, Quick, and Superwoman!”

“They used a combination of alien and futuristic science,” said Microbe. “I think they may be time travelers!”

Ultraman frowned. “Say, that means that punk may have been ol’ Luthor’s kid or grandkid!”

“Look at it this way, old chum,” said Owlman. “That just means there will be more Luthors for you to kill someday!”

Ultraman grinned at the closest thing he had to a friend as he said, “Yeah! I like that.”

***

Meanwhile, Gloriana had spirited the heroes back through time. Her powers were fueling the damaged time bubble, and she had made a brief introduction. “My stasis fields will allow you all to heal,” she said. “I can speed that process up for you all with my own powers. None of you will die!”

As the Cyborg’s broken metallic hull began to re-form itself, and the Defender’s armor powered up, the other fallen heroes revived slowly as well.

“My arm is almost as good as new, but that owl-headed killer broke it!” said Mano.

“I am not allowed to change history, but I was given permission to rescue you and put you back in your proper era,” explained Gloriana. “My father the Time Keeper will not allow anyone to alter history in this dimension. He insists that this dimension is entirely too fragile for any type of chronal alteration!”

“I have met your father, as has Mano,” said the Green Guardian. “He saved us, and indeed, he preserved all of what some call Earth-Three. I suppose we can’t really argue with his reasoning. What he did must never be undone, even if that means the history of the Crime Syndicate and their heirs must remain intact!”

“Computo, I am sorry I let you down,” said Urthlo 5. “I tried to fight back, but they were too much for me! I think they may be even worse than our own Cabal of Super-Criminals!”

“My own calculations were flawed,” said Computo. “How Brainiac would laugh at my folly!”

“I hate to hear you all give up so soon!” said Gloriana. “I can’t change time here because of the reasons I already told you, but there are other timelines in other parallel universes, as you know. I can at least shift you to one of those where you might recruit new allies! Father would not object to beings from outside our own dimension, leaving their dimension and entering his timeline! While potent barriers separated the Earths from one another in the twentieth century, as you — Green Guardian — recall from your own time in what some call Earth-One, such borders no longer exist in the thirtieth century!”

“Are you saying we have counterparts on other Earths, and they might help us?” asked Urthlo.

“You do have doubles, but they have significant roles of their own to play in their universes,” said Gloriana. “I will give Computo access to data that will guide him to potential allies who would not have been men and women of destiny in the natural scheme of things, but may well become champions if brought to your own proper era and universe!”

“I’ll take all the help I can get!” said Urthlo.

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