A God's Mortality Issue

April 19, 2014:

Superman visits his comrade, the Batman, to determine what could be causing his power failure.

The Batcave

A madman's sanctuary and command center.


NPCs: Alfred Pennyworth


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The Batcave.

Clark Kent sits upon a steel table next to the medical facility in the Batcave, stripped down to his pants and with a perturbed look upon his face. His glasses are off and lying next to him. No one, as of yet, has taken blood from him. This Is a first. But truth be told, this last month has all been a first.

It is surprising, to be sure, that the needle was able to puncture the skin at all. No microscopic blade. No green kryptonite. Just a needle that easily pierces the Man of Steel and draws blood for analysis as to why Clark can no longer go out and protect people with the same efficiency he has in the past.

"MU plays here this fall. You already got tickets?" Clark asks, turning the tide to College Football.

Hypodermic needle in hand the worn and grim looking visage of Bruce Wayne is stooped over the edge of the table, thumb depressing just slightly before he applies the syringe to Clark's arm. The mild surprise Wayne feels right now isn't displayed in the least.

"Small talk, Clark?" The monotone voice breaks a moment of silence. "I have an entire booth reserved, if you're that interested I'll make sure you're seated." The prick is perhaps a new sensation to the Man of Steel as a swab comes out and a tube, blood beginning to run up it. Probably more than is required but that is intentional. When else would someone get such an opportunity and who else's hands is a sample of Kryptonian blood better in? No ones.

When it's finished, Clark shrugs back into his plain t-shirt and plaid flannel. "I'd love to come if that's an invite. Wasn't the reason I was bringing it up. Maybe we could get Diana to come out too. Closest thing we have to gladiator style games," he reasons. Clark blathers as he picks up his glasses and rests them in his pocket. "Of course, that means you'd be seen with the Corporate Killer, as the news agencies on television have begun to call me. Stark won't even return my calls."

But finally, he gets to the point, "Any idea how long it will take to analyze the blood?"

"Considering your peculiar nature and even with my resources the CBC will be a couple days." Plus he is thorough, he's Batman. "Not having any of your species to compare this to… "

Bruce stops talking as he turns around and slides the needle in to a safe box the blood sample getting extra special care. This is no small deal here, this is Superman and what just transpired alone is monumental, Bruce recognizes the levity of the situation.

"I am quite used to bad publicity and from what I have heard Stark is notorious for never returning phone calls." Finger by finger latex gloves are removed, "Gladiatorial games? I suppose she would enjoy that. I'll be there. I… Bruce could use the face time with the public anyways."

Clark nods and begins to button up the flannel, "How about here in Gotham? Tell me you're having better luck than I'm having down in Metropolis." Irreverent clones. Swooping child snatchers. General disarray.

"How far do these caves extend, anyways?"

"I suppose you can't find that out anymore can you?" Mild amusement there, perhaps Bruce is just ribbing Clark at the moment.

"Deep." Which means Bruce is being an ass or he doesn't honestly know.

Gloves off and the computer already running beginning scans on the blood Bruce puts his back to Clark and walks up a small flight of stairs to the above platform where the central Batcomputer is located, a multitude of monitors running live showing feeds and footage from all around Gotham and to some extent outside of it. "I have it under control." He doesn't. The rings under his eyes and the labored pained movements say as much, superpowers are not required to see this. "Who is standing in your shoes now that you're well… just like everyone else?"

"Well, Supergirl is doing her best to pick up the slack. And there's now a new one, a clone, who calls himself Superman." Clark seems forlorn to even mention the pretentious young hero, "Although, in the press I've taken to calling him Superboy. Perhaps out of spite, I'm not sure."

Clark follows along to get a look at the readouts. "He's something else, alright."

When the results do come in, Bruce will find that the pathogen is remarkably similar in atomic makeup to kryptonite, with some small differences. It's thicker and more pronounced in some parts of the blood, which may explain why the power loss is inconsistent. Also, there's a faint blue hue to the peculiar substance in the blood when looked at at extreme resolutions.

"I hope Supergirl is capable enough to shoulder the weight you carried. A clone? How was that even possible? Do you understand what that could possibly mean… " Bruce's brows knit together in a frown.

"You seeing some of this already?" A fingertip taps the monitor's screen directly to his left. The blood's readout already not all of it but a surface skim, enough to pick up exactly what is expected. "The clone situation isn't connected to your ordeal is it?"

Clark gives Bruce a sidelong glance and 'the look.' "Of course I know what that means. As far as how it's possible, I'm not quite sure." As Clark's eyes roll across the readout, his frown begins to match Bruce's. "I don't believe so. I haven't had my power since the incident at Galluzzo's. None of the leads I've followed up have pointed to him as the creator."

Clark peers at the data, "It looks similar to what kryptonite does to my blood, but it's smaller. And it's blue, not black." Clark sighs and tilts his eyebrows, "At least now I can see what's taken my powers away."

"I'll run more tests and narrow it down further for you." Bruce ignores the look deserved as it is it's a mutual back and forth fire. It's how they do. "I suppose that is a bridge we'll have to cross later. For now we find get to the bottom of this." If possible.

A sigh escapes Bruce Wayne as Alfred's voice chimes in, "Master Wayne, sir, you have a call on line three from Roxxxon. It sounds urgent."

"Not now, Alfred. Tell them I am preoccupied with… " A pause, "Du Juan. She was here last night, it'll check out."

"Very well, sir. Shall I prepare some tea for Mr.Kent?"

No response given as Bruce turns off the com. "We need to figure something out, Clark, some contingency plan for when you, I and Diana are incapable of keeping up. With you out of commission and some of my… recent issues I am unsure if we are as solid as I once believed."

Alfred of course will not give names despite Bruce trying to encourage his reckless playboy image. Tossing out names like that would be entirely irresponsible and possibly disrespectful to the supermodel, Bruce is clearly tired.

Clark shakes off Alfred with a twist of the head, a smile, and a nod. He turns his attention back towards Bruce. "I agree. The sooner we all meet together the better." After a moment, Clark raises his eyebrows. "Your issues? You want to discuss or are you keeping things close to the vest on this one?" He reaches down to grab his drab, brown overcoat that looks as though it came from a farm (it did.)

"Nothing unusual or that hasn't happened in the past. Sometimes the vermin decides it's time to nidificate and become more of a problem. They think they're an actual threat, I have them where I want them." The particular rancor Bruce holds in his tone right now says whatever is transpiring he is taking to a personal level. "Right now it isn't anything you could help with anyways." Another jab but also a bit of truth. "Going?" Bruce asks, "I'll have Alfred call you a cab and yes, lets set up a meet. It'll be beneficial to us all."

"Okay, if you say so." Clark rolls his eyes a bit at the jibe while he puts on his glasses. Sure, he doesn't have his powers, but he's not an invalid. "That'd be great, yeah. I have to get the train to Metropolis before deadline. These days I actually have to do some work at work instead of writing up papers in 30 seconds. It's real work." After a brief pause, "If you need an ear on that other stuff, let me know."

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