Gotham High

The Story so Far
School Daze... covering missed entries

When Tina Stark got the news that she was going to attend Gotham High, she was pissed off. Even more when she found out she was being put in what the school called its “Alternate Curriculum Class”, which she knew was code for “Problem Kids”. The class was kept in its own separate building from the rest of Gotham High, like teachers expected there might be some kind of disease that could infect the “Normal” classes. The building was all the way across the campus from the parking lot where Tina’s motorcycle (and concealed Iron Girl Suit) were.
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Two desks were open as Tina entered her classroom for the first time. Tina sat in the one closest to the door, and the eyes of all her classmates seemed to stick on her. No big deal. Tina was used to being stared at… she was the daughter of Tony Stark, after all.

Barely a half hour into class, the teacher just up and walked out. Jason Blood was a no-nonsense kind of guy, and even the students who knew him better than Tina didn’t know what to make of that. A weird kid named Jay with dyed-green hair stood up and started an improvised rap performance in the back of the class, nearly starting a fight with a huge scaly-skinned football player type named Waylon.

“Hey, there are cops outside!” Jay broke off, and hopped up into the window of the classroom. Almost immediately, the entire class had their faces pressed up against the glass. Sure enough, SWAT officers were sweeping the campus in pairs.

“They aren’t cops,” A young man named Bruce Wayne said. He was a quiet guy in class, but he seemed athletic and really smart.

“How do you know?” Tina asked.

“Their weapons are manufactured by Alchemax,” Bruce answered without hesitation. “The GCPD SWAT teams have their armaments provided by Lexcorp. And look, their uniforms still have creases… they’re brand new. And the patches have just been sewn on. You’d never see that in an actual, operating SWAT unit.”

The momentary silence following Bruce’s statement was broken by Harvey Dent.

“Jeez,” Harvey said. “Way to go, Sherlock Holmes.”

“Uh,” Bruce seemed a little nervous, for some reason. “I mean, it’s obvious, isn’t it?”

The students murmured about what they thought could be happening. Pamela took out her cell phone to make a call, and found the signal jammed. All anyone’s cell phone would do was play a recording: "So he made rebellion ’gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
“Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

“That’s Kipling,” Barbara Gordon said aloud. "A poem called “cold iron”."

Tina attempted to call her suit to her remotely. Again, the attempt was blocked, but Tina triggered a new recording: “Take up the White man’s burden -
Send forth the best ye breed -

Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;”

“Kipling again,” piped up Eddie Nigma, eager to show up his rival in academia, Barbara. “You know, this has to be a puzzle! It’s… clues, supposed to be given to a target that could understand them! If I was trying to give clues, I’d DEFINITELY tailor-make them to the recipient!”

The students tried to figure out a possible meaning, but Tina felt time was pressing. She asked if anyone would assist her in getting to the parking lot. Vic Zsasz stepped up.

Tina and Vic managed to avoid any of the false police officers until they reached the parking lot. A massive truck which Tina immediately identified as the source of the jamming signal had two “police” standing outside it. Vic crept some ways away and let himself be seen to try and lure the “officers” away.

Instead, the officers tried to shoot Vic on the spot. However, as soon as they attempted to fire their weapons, their radios screeched and another recording filled their ears: “When you’re wounded on Afghanistan’s plains, and the women come out to cut up your remains, just roll on your rifle and blow out your brains- and go to your God like a soldier.”

Both their weapons misfired. As Tina raced to her armor, Vic grappled with the enemy.

In the course of the fight, Tina recognized that an explosive with a timer had been activated in the jamming truck. Easily restraining the false police with the power of her Iron Girl suit, Tina turned her attention to the truck. She lifted it and flew it far from an inhabited area to allow it to detonate safely.

Real police were now swarming Gotham High, phone and radio signals no longer being blocked. Tina felt that she couldn’t return to the campus, but noticed as she flew overhead that the men she had restrained before were… dissolved. They melted, just like ice cream in the sun.

Programmed cell death, Tina thought right away. And she was right.

Tina scanned the crowd which had formed outside the blockaded school. She identified a Gotham High senior named Felix Faust standing calmly observant of the activities going on… if he’d been outside, why hadn’t he tried to get away? Why wasn’t he freaked the hell out like everyone else?

Tina called her classmates and asked arranged a meeting after police began allowing students to leave.

In an unlucky array of bad timing, both Tina’s parents called as she was allowing the likes of Selina Kyle, Waylon Jones, Jay and Harley, and the rest of the motley crew into her apartment. It proved to make for an awkward conversation.

Many of the sharper students in class put their heads together and shared their insights. Eddie Nigma in particular had concluded that the Rudyard Kipling poems, as well as the sabotage of the false police weapons and radios must have come from a captive being forced to work for his kidnappers. Other detectives speculated that this might be Victor Von Doom, a European refugee who attended Gotham High for a year before disappearing. Most students assumed he’d been expelled.

By using JARVIS’ vast databanks, Tina was able to scan Alchemax Company holdings and cross-reference them with the name Kipling. She discovered Kipling Cold Storage in downtown Gotham.

Tina was about to notify the police, when Bruce suggested that involving police might result in Alchemax killing their captive… after all, they had been willing to blow up a truck in a high school just to cover their tracks.

Not every student was on board with the plan. Vicki Vale and Barbara Gordon in particular felt like not calling the police was reckless and stupid. However, with some convincing (and the promise that no one would get “too involved”), they agreed to wait a night before calling any cops, even Barbara’s dad.

Tina surreptitiously left for Kipling Cold Storage, bringing Vic, Bruce, Selina, Zatana, and Harvey with her.

Only one elderly security guard was visible on the perimeter, and he was asleep. Bruce and Selina crept around to the back of the building to look for easy ways in.

As Selina shimmied up to the roof, Tina witnessed the elderly security guard burst out of his skin to reveal a hideous robot, and one with Selina in its sights. With no time for secrecy, Tina donned her Iron Girl suit and saved Selina from the monstrous defense drone.

Gathering at a predesignated rendezvous point, Tina took roll call. Bruce was missing. He also wasn’t answering his phone.

Vic was convinced that Bruce must have been dragged inside the Cold Storage building by some unseen defense, and insisted on going in after him. Harvey and Tina refused to let Vic go alone, and the trio collectively broke through the front door.

With a little coordination from Selina, Tina was able to find a heavily armored basement. She was able to use her suit to hack the electronic locks as well as an automated armed turret.

What Tina found down there resembled something out of a Nazi horror story. The missing student, Victor Von Doom, appeared to have been tortured and surgically experimented on, only alive by mechanical life support. Two other rooms were prepped for subjects who had never arrived… one labeled Tina, the other Zatana.

Tina was able to remove Doom from life support by encasing him in her own, life support capable armor. She got a call from Bruce, who apologized for abandoning everyone. He said he’d just gotten scared and had to run away. Tina wasn’t sure she believed him.

News reports began covering a fire originating at Kipling Cold Storage even before Tina managed to get back to her apartment… it seemed that Alchemax was covering its tracks. Doom, in and out of consciousness, talked about Alchemax needing people with certain abilities. Their genetics, he said, were necessary if the company was to help in a coming invasion. Although Doom was able to force himself to stay conscious longer than anybody could reasonably be expected to do in his condition, much of what he said didn’t tie together… at least, not as far as Tina could tell. Tina got him out of her suit and onto life support in the illegal lab attached to her place.

Class still carried on the next day… Gotham isn’t a city that shuts down every time some horrific even happens. The students who’d helped in the “Kipling Raid” the night previous were all exhausted. Even so, after class they all came together with the rest of their fellow Alternate Curriculum pupils, and made the (not unanimous) decision to keep things amongst themselves. Tina also asked Zatana to bring her family to stay at Tina’s place… it seemed safer.

Tina returned to her apartment nearly dead from exhaustion, only to find Doom somehow lurching around her lab. She tried to get him to relax for his own safety, but Doom refused and said time was of the essence. Too tired to argue, Tina let him work on the equipment, and (as Doom’s Request) allowed him access to her Iron Girl suit.

When Tina woke up the next morning, it seemed as though the badly injured Victor Von Doom had worked all through the night. Tina made him stop working and go to sleep.

Class was uneventful. At the end of the day, before anyone went home, Leslie Willis stood up and called for everyone’s attention.

“Hey bitches!” Leslie called out, taking fliers out of her backpack. "Look, I know we got TONS of freaky stuff going on, but hey, we live in Gotham right? We keep our lives going!
“Anyway, good ol’ Ozzie…” she gestured to Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot in the front row. Ozzie waved to everyone. “…managed to get his parents to agree to let us use one of his family’s old unused theater buildings for a show this Saturday!”

Leslie started handing out the fliers as she talked, which had pictures of DJ Freeze and a few other student performers on it.

“You can bring your ARTIFICIAL chemicals…” Leslie handed a flier to Julio Bain, “…you can bring your NATURAL chemicals…” she handed a flier to Pamela Isely, “…you can bring your FRIENDS…” she handed a flier to Hope Luthor, then added in a low voice “…if you GOT any.”

Leslie dropped a stack of fliers on Tina’s desk. “C’mon,” she said. “Be cool, give some of these to some rich record producer or something. And NOBODY tell their parents about any of this!” Leslie shouted to everyone.

As Tina was getting ready to leave, Vic asked her if she wanted to go “…y’know, together.”

As Tina was considering it, Waylon had a sudden and pretty aggressive response. He sat behind Tina and seemed to think that he should have first dibs on asking Tina out, if anyone was going to. Tina managed to distract Waylon long enough to avoid a fight.

In the days leading up to the event, Tina became very involved in planning the theater show. She and Zatana worked out stage effects for a magic act, she and Victor Fries collaborated on amping up his speaker setup, and she enlisted the help of some guys from the A/V club to help improve the old Cobblepot Theater’s setup. Those guys were Arnold Wesker, Jervis Tech, and Garfield Lyons. All of them seemed to have a knack for machine work.

It seemed like Saturday arrived in a flash. The old Cobblepot Theater looked almost brand new, thanks to the efforts of the Gotham High students. Leslie was taking a cover charge from all students from other schools, and it seemed like the evening was moving on as a huge success.

“Hey, she needs help,” Selina said to Tina as she nearly carried Zatana, semi-conscious, through the theater.

“I feel sick,” Zatana moaned.

Tina brought her motorcycle-concealed Iron Girl suit around back of the theater and used the medical systems inside to counteract the drugs in Zatana’s system. Zatana insisted that Bain had tried to dope her. Tina wasn’t sure why, but figured the danger was past now, whatever it had been.

Right in the middle of Zatana’s stage performance, a signal broke through on Tina’s phone. It was a staticky, nearly incoherent picture message from someone in a green hooded sweatshirt. As Tina went outside the theater to hear better, she recognized the person as Victor Von Doom, apparently outside of her lab and away from life support.

(SSKKRRRZZ)…attacked…(KKKXXXXTTTT)…took Zat(SSSKKKRRRRNK)…parents…"

“You okay?” Vic Zsasz asked, having noticed Tina leaving in a hurry.

Tina told him there was something happening at her house.

“We better get there,” Bruce said, having somehow approached without being noticed.

“Hey,” Leslie snapped, as Harvey Dent now also came outside to see what was happening. “Can all you DICKWEEDS please stop disrupting my event by running out in the middle?!”

Tina hurriedly explained what she’d seen. The students already outside headed to Tina’s place. Vic and Tina on her motorcycle, the rest in Bruce’s car.

The apartment was a wreck. JARVIS was down, dead bodies were strewn throughout, and Zatana’s parents were gone. Tina got another call from Doom, much stronger this time. He was able to tell Tina that he was tracking the vehicle which held Zatana’s parents, and once Tina reset JARVIS, he was able to patch it through to Tina’s phone. Tina sent the information out to everyone in her class.

“I killed all but one of them,” Doom said before shutting down his signal. “The survivor is Felix Faust.”

Bruce took out his own phone and entered a code. Nobody paid too much attention to it.

Again with Vic, Tina took off on her motorcycle. Traffic was suddenly backed up right along the path of the truck which was attempting escape… it seemed that the traffic lights were malfunctioning. Tina’s motorcycle weaved through it easily.

As soon as the fleeing vehicle came in sight, Tina donned her Iron Girl armor and saw no one in the cab. The rear of the vehicle was windowless, like an armored truck, but no match for the strength of Tina’s exoskeleton. She peeled the doors off the back like skin off an orange.

Then froze.

Tina’s armor was totally immobile, and she was confronted with a human-like thing with a mechanical screen where its face would have been. The thing taunted Tina, threatening her with rape and torture. Then Victor Zsasz slammed into it and knocked it out of the truck.

The thing was only surprised by Vic’s attack, and took the time to slowly tear skin off his body as Tina could only watch.

Waylon Jones, Jay, Bruce, Harvey, and Leslie all arrived in time to see Vic pass out on the street. Jay hopped into the truck cab and reversed, slamming into the monster and (momentarily) breaking its concentration enough to return Iron Girl’s control. She ejected from her armor and commanded it to return to base.

Even as a team, the teenagers were no match for Felix Faust. He badly injured Waylon and grabbed Harvey before rejoining Tina in the back of the truck.

“Now then, pretty little thing…”

“Oh thanks,” Jay giggled, aiming a gun through a hole in the vehicle at chemical containers. "I try to look my best!

And with that, Jay fired into the volatile containers. Tina was able to grab Harvey and bail from the truck, but couldn’t save Zatana’s parents, who were unconscious inside. Chemical toxins released from the truck burned Harvey over 50% of his body, and also triggered latent mutant genes in Leslie.

Shocked and horrified at her transformation into a semi-electric creature, Leslie began teleporting uncontrollably. Tina recalled her armor and used it to transport Vic to her lab in an effort to save his life. Bruce, Waylon, and others who were still healthy enough began evacuating people from the danger zone of the chemicals. Felix Faust seemed to have escaped.

It was a long night, especially for Vic and Harvey, both of whom were taken to Gotham General Hospital before the night was over.

Victor Von Doom suffered a stroke. He died while making modifications to Tina’s Iron Girl suit.

The fight took its toll on Tina mentally. The helplessness she felt as well as the injuries done to her classmates drove her into her lab, distracting herself with work. She contacted her father about the strange activities from the Alchemax Corporation.

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The Story so Far 2
Dark Day

Mister Blood’s head shot up to alert, as though he’d just heard an explosion. Then, the sun went out. It was a day as dark as cloudy night.

“NO ONE leave this classroom!” Mister Blood barked. He touched the floor, and a glowing line crossed the doors and windows. Before any student could react, Mister Blood was already racing down the corridor. His voice was the last thing they heard, echoing back with some kind of rhyme.

“Well, I suppose I can’t go tanning today,” Jay giggled as he peered out the window. “Oh hell, Hopeless is dying.”

Hope Luthor was doubled over in pain, moaning that she felt sick. Tina tried to get Leslie to use her teleportation power to transport Hope to a hospital, but Hope was terrified of being teleported and darted away every time Leslie tried to touch her.

As the students tried to simultaneously calm Hope down and figure out what was wrong with her, Vic Zsasz arrived outside the classroom. He was wearing only his boxer shorts, and hash marked scars latticed his body. Seemingly unable to pass the beam of light, Vic taunted students to come out to meet him.

Screams began to reach the classroom, all from distant sources. Many of the students in the Alternate Curriculum classroom began to panic.

Hope shrieked at the top of her lungs as her body was bathed in an intense light. She expanded and transformed, leaving behind the weak and frail human facade to become a new creature. Hope appeared as a massive, beautiful statue of a sphinx accentuated with robotic parts and holding a lance in one of the human arms extending off her centauroid female form.
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With an instinctual reaction, Hope attacked and destroyed Vic… his body discorporating into a black mist.

“Hopeless!” Jay squealed with delight, “This is the most… scratch that, the ONLY interesting thing you’ve ever done!”

Hope turned to Jay without any trace of amusement.

“You laugh at me all the time,” she said, and lifted her lance to Jay’s face. “Laugh now. I dare you!”

Jay squeaked.

“Laugh now,” Hope snarled at him.

Tina stepped in to distract Hope, eventually calming the transformed girl enough to stop her from threatening her former bully.

“Is this happening everywhere?” Barbara asked no one in particular.

“Oh yes,” Jonathan Crane answered.

“Harvey!” Tina yelped suddenly. “And Vic!”

“They’re in the hospital,” Bruce intoned grimly. “Out there.”

Leslie teleported Bruce and Tina to Gotham General, where they first found Harvey before arriving at Vic’s room, where a near-panic Vic had just killed a duplicate of Tina that was dissolving into black mist.

As the teens began to make their way back to Gotham high, they caught sight of strange, monstrous things moving in the darkness. Then power went out completely, leaving Tina in her Iron Girl suit the only one of the heroes who could see.

Livewire remained at the hospital, powering its electrical grid with her own energy. Victor Zsasz, unable to stand by as people called out for help, abandoned the group to face Dark Day alone.

Just when the school came into view, so did the monstrous image of Felix Faust.

In a frozen state of panic, Tina could only tremble as she watched Faust try to take control of her armor as he had on their first meeting.

As Faust tried to take command of the armor, JARVIS’ automated voice bellowed out:
“Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
“As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

Faust faltered, then whispered: “Doom?”

Tina shrieked, broken out of her paralysis. She slammed into Faust full tilt, then pummeled his supernatural body until it was shattered. Felix Faust was dead.

The students holed up in the apparently protected classroom. As the Dark Day continued, and no one could say when (or if) it would ever end, Tina started making supply runs for food and water.

Late into the night (or early into the morning) Tina was flying a patrol around the area outside the school, when she could have sworn she saw Jonathan Crane standing on a building, warning her about Bain’s dreams being cruel.

Though not entirely sure what she’d just seen, Tina flew back to the classroom at maximum speed. She arrived in time to stop Bain from murdering Barbara Gordon. Bain fled into the darkness.

At the end of a full twenty four hours of darkness, the sun returned. The nightmare appeared to be over. Rescue efforts still needed to be carried out for the wounded or trapped, but whatever had appeared the previous day was no longer active.

Zsasz had been critically injured and lay among the many who wouldn’t survive the morning. Tina sat by his side, accompanied by Hope.

“He never called me Hopeless,” Hope reflected. “He was nice to me.”

Almost without thought, Hope transformed and laid her massive biomechanical hands on Vic’s body. She seemed to absorb his wounds into herself… healing the young man and causing abject panic in the hospital.

Anti-superbeing sentiments abounded after Dark Day, with media reports ranging from asking where were Earth’s heroes during their time of need, to outright blaming metahumans for Dark Day altogether.

One of the chief voices in this movement was Lex Luthor, Hope’s billionaire father and longtime enemy of Superman. In the coming weeks, Luthor would see his supporters form into a new political party; the Preserver Party.

“Preserving America for Humanity.”

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The Story so Far 3
Things in the shadows

After Dark Day, things did not improve. Gotham High was shut down for more than a month as the Earth collectively tried to repair what was now being called a massive attack by superhuman beings.

Hope began clinging to Tina like a lost puppy, spending nearly every waking moment with her. Tina, trying to keep ahead of the memory of Dark Day, worked to make sure her classmates could defend themselves. She took extra time to help construct a mobility suit for Nora Fields, as well as body armor for nearly every one of the Alternate Curriculum Class.

Collectively, the students formed Club Arkham out of Ozzie Cobblepot’s old theater building. They seemed to have agreed that things were changing in the world, and would require them to be as covert as their enemies.

When Tina spoke to her father, his behavior was abnormal. What’s more, he’d come out as an avid supporter of Lex Luthor’s Preserver Party. Superman was also reputed to be a supporter, having given a statement to the press that superhumans had no business interfering in the lives of normal humanity, and declaring his withdrawal from the “illegal business of costumed interventionalism.”

School still being closed following Dark Day, Tina was awakened in the middle of the night by a call from Temple Fugit, the fussiest busybody in Gotham. He told her he’d been expecting a call from Vicki Vale, along with Selina Kyle and Victor Fries. Tina groggily headed over to Club Arkham, where Barbara was exhaustively researching the activities of the now destroyed Alchemax Corporation.

Barbara seemed shocked that Tina was out of the loop with regard to their classmates’ activities. They’d been planning a break in to Star Labs Gotham for over a week, and Tina was supposed to have been told.

Barbara began contacting the members of Club Gotham who were answering their phones, but was unable to reach anyone on the Star Labs break in. Tina headed out on her motorcycle.

Outside Star Labs, Vicki managed to get Tina’s attention with an infrared laser. She showed Tina her phone, which appeared to have been deliberately sabotaged. Selina, Fries, and an old acquaintance of Selina’s named Felicia Hardy were stuck in the labs basement, trapped by a security team sweeping the first floor.

Donning her Iron Girl armor, Tina managed to hack Star Labs’ security system and activated an alarm on the building’s top floor. As the security force reacted, Tina met up with her classmates in the basement. There they were ambushed by a newly chemically enhanced Julio Bain.

As Felicia began successfully clawing chemical tubes out of Bain’s neck, Fries shot her with his newly completed Freeze Ray. She fell shrieking to the ground. Fries and Bain argued, apparently having made some arrangement beforehand. Bain betrayed Fries, and continued to fight.

Tina managed to destroy Bain’s Bio-computer drug supply and would have let him live, But Fries was not so forgiving. He killed the unconscious Bain by freezing his entire body. Bruce Wayne arrived outside with his car, and ushered Selina, Vicki, and Fries to safety.

Tina rushed Felicia to Club Arkham, managing against all odds to save the young thief’s leg from needing to be amputated. She rejected Harley and Jay’s offer to assist in surgery.

Selina demanded that Fries be banned from Club Arkham, and Vicki agreed. Temple Fugit began recording decisions about how the club would funtion in the future. To accept a new member or kick out an existing member, three-fourths of members had to agree to it.

Tina managed to swing the vote in Fries’ favor by manipulating some of the more easily influenced Club members. Even so, the meeting didn’t end until midmorning.

Hope was contacted by her father Lex, who told her she needed to be taken out of public school now that he was becoming involved in politics. Bolstered by her friendship with Tina, Hope was able to stand up to her father and refuse his demands.

Tina made an effort to stay close to Hope in the following days. School was nearly set to resume… the Sunday prior to going back to class, Joseph Wilson was killed.

Hope saw the young man come in to Club Arkham, and their eyes locked. Somehow, they knew they had a connection. Startled, Joseph retreated to the streets, and Hope followed. She came out from the club just in time to see the young man die. A silver blur struck him, his head spun more than a hundred eighty degrees, and his lifeless body collapsed.

Hope shrieked, and Tina began communicating with Barbara to figure out what had happened. Barbara identified the assailant and the direction he’d gone.

In full view of everyone, Hope transformed into her supernatural form and pursued the attacker. Tina donned her armor and followed, engaging in combat with a group of teenage mutants. Hope and Tina easily defeated the enemy, killing one of them before allowing two of the survivors to leave. One mutant was left unconscious to be apprehended by police.

Barbara was able to identify the assassin as Pietro Maximoff, a mutant affiliated with the mutant terrorist called Magneto and the terror cell The Brotherhood of Mutants. Tina took the time to make contact with Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, where she learned of nearly half the student body being killed on Dark Day.

National news was reporting mutant terrorist attacks across the country, and implicated Hope as a possible member until Barbara released photographic proof of the actual murderer to news agencies.

When school started the next day, many of the students in the Alternate Curriculum Classroom were flat out exhausted. They met their new teacher, Ms. Morgan L’Fay. After class, Ms. L’Fay asked Tina to stay after.

As Ms. L’Fay spoke, Tina started to feel a more than natural influence in her words.

“I want you to know you can trust me,” Ms. L’Fay was saying, her voice feeling like velvet caressing Tina’s mind. “You can tell me anything… and it will make you feel good to tell me everything you know about your old friend Victor Von Doom.”

“Well,” Tina started, almost entranced, “There’s only so much…”

“How’d you get that scar?” Came the voice of Vic Zsasz.

Ms. L’Fay’s hand shot to the nearly invisible scar on her left cheek. The influence, whatever it had been, was disrupted.

After a short meeting with the friends who had waited after class for her, Tina returned to Club Arkham to modify her armor.

As she was working, Tina received a phone call from Alfred Pennyworth, who asked her to go immediately to Gotham Central Park where Young Master Bruce needed help immediately.

Unable to get her Iron Girl suit in working order on such short notice, Tina took Hope with her to the park, where they found Vic and Bruce back to back, squaring off against two supernatural creatures, while three normal looking teenagers stood nearby. Bruce and Vic were obviously badly hurt, but were able to continue defending one another against the attack.
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Hope transformed and charged into the attacking creatures, easily knocking them around. Tina sneaked around behind the normal-types who were watching, and fractured the skull of one and smashed in the face of another before they were able to escape by teleportation.

Hope healed Vic and Bruce’s injuries easily, and seemed flush with victory. Zsasz collapsed all the same, and revealed that he had come to the park to prevent the attackers, called the Lilin, from attacking Tina. He was still haunted by the “voices calling to him from the darkness” that he’d failed to rescue on Dark Day, and was nearly broken by the memory. Tina and Hope held him as he sobbed.

Bruce, meanwhile, stood by awkwardly. He didn’t explain how he’d come to Vic’s rescue, but nobody was clear minded enough to ask.

Again operating on nearly zero sleep, class the next day was thankfully uneventful. Ms. L’Fay tried to speak to Tina again, but Tina slipped out while staying in view of her fellow students.

Selina Kyle was trapped in a tree, surrounded by attack dogs. Terry McGinnis managed to get her down safely.

Barbara Gordon detected Derek Powers’ phone in an old Alchemax building following several unsuccessful attempts to call him. Terry and Tina went uptown to check out the situation, only to discover it was a trap set by Anthony Herod. Terry died in the explosion.

The members of Club Arkham managed to save those who had been injured in the explosion. News coverage that evening focused, rather than on the attack, on the return of World War II’s living legend Steve Rogers. Lexcorp had found his remains frozen in ice and successfully resuscitated him.

Jay shut down Gotham High with a bomb threat (and a planted bomb), to allow for Club Arkham time to track down Derek. Tina led a successful raid, accompanied by prospective Club member Oliver Queen. Oliver had some of his friends shadow him on the mission, which was both helpful and a breach of security at the same time.

Anthony Herod had transformed Derek into a living nuclear reactor, as well as damaging his mind in an effort to make Club Arkham members kill each other. Leslie Willis, at great risk to her own life, grabbed Derek and teleported with him to a large body of water until he cooled down.

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New Points of Light
New allies and deadly enemies

Suspicious of Club Arkham’s motives, Oliver Queen led a break-in of the old Cobblepot Theater. Tommy Monaghan managed to find the hidden entryways to the Club’s innermost sanctum, and Helena Bertinelli managed a subtle infiltration. The Ne’er Do Wells spied on the Club members present for some time before being discovered by Selina Kyle.

Both sides reacted with tense hostility at first, but eventually began sharing intelligence with each other. Tommy became friends with a number of Club members, including Eddie Nigma (Whom Tommy began calling “Riddle” after Eddie continually irritated Tommy with cryptic clues) and Jay Napier. Oliver Queen became an admirer of Barbara Gordon’s, and Natt the Hat with Waylon Jones (Whom Nat called “Killer”).

Static Annie Wagner was able to discern the function of alien devices Oliver stole from Lexcorp. One of them was a database of every student in Gotham High.

The Club came to a consensus decision to count the Ne’er Do Wells as “Allies”, but not Club members. They also began pursuing routes of investigation into the Preserver Party and Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Tommy and Helena joined Tina, Vic and Bruce in investigating the presence of the Lilin students who attacked Vic.

After days of tedious investigating, Tommy and Helena located Lazlo Valentin “Doc” lying comatose in Gotham General. Seeing a badly wounded Nakota Jessup arrive, Tommy captured Nakota while Helena made sure the kidnapping was not witnessed. Tommy’s telepathy gave him a deeper insight into Nakota’s mind, and he seemed to decide she was not evil.

Nakota was permanently deformed from her last encounter with Tina, and was clearly traumatized by the mere thought of her. In spite of that, Tina began to plan out reconstructive surgery for the Lilin girl.

Vic Zsasz questioned the location of Nakota’s little sister Elsie, and Helena worked with Bruce to research her whereabouts. They managed to track Elsie to a sex trafficking ring, and saw some of the darkest elements of humanity. Vic and Bruce took the trafficked girls to safety, while Helena and Tommy exacted punishment on the traffickers themselves.

On Sunday, the day before Gotham High was set to reopen, Basil discovered Preserver Party information that Lex Luthor planned a trip to Gotham on Monday. Nakota revealed to Tommy her visions of possible attackers at Gotham Airport, and also told him she believed the other Lilin were going to attack Club Arkham, using her as the “anchor” point for Anton Pilgrim’s teleportation ability.

Tommy relocated Nakota to Noonan’s Bar, and asked Pamela Isley to look after the injured girl.

On Monday morning, the Ne’er Do Wells collectively skipped school and went to Gotham International Airport. They saw Lex Luthor’s private jet arrive, and Tommy’s X-Ray vision revealed Steve Rogers and an internationally wanted assassin called the Ghost inside it.

Luthor went to Gotham High and officially disenrolled his daughter Hope. He offered Tina the opportunity to ride with Hope and himself on the way to the airport, but Tina instead took Hope and escaped by use of a talisman from Morgan L’Fay.

The Ne’er Do Wells saw alien creatures masquerading as humans arrive, seeming to set up an ambush for Lex Luthor’s limousine. They destroyed the alien creatures, but news coverage reported the incident as a “Metahuman Terror Attack Thwarted By Captain America”.

As Lex Luthor passed by Tommy Monaghan, telepathy revealed his thoughts to be “You idiots have killed Hope. And you don’t even know it.”

Tommy relayed the information to Tina, but was distracted by a phone call from Hacken, saying that an attack had just taken place on Noonan’s Bar. Tina responded in her Iron Girl armor, only to find that the Lilin were totally overmatched by the ready and alert patrons of Noonan’s.
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Tina’s armor came under some kind of supernatural influence and began moving on its own toward Washington, DC. Hope was able to capture it and return it to Tina.

When Tina returned to Club Arkham, Static Annie Wagner seemed horrified that Tina had brought her armor back. Static was more or less unable to explain why it was disturbing to her, but she insisted on Hope and Tina leaving. They refused.

Tony Stark arrived at Club Arkham, and Static made one last attempt to get Hope and Tina to leave. Again, they refused.

Hope immediately transformed on seeing Tony Stark. Her supernatural senses revealed his true nature, and Hope forced Tina through a mystic Doorway.

Club Arkham exploded. Hope was badly hurt, but survived.
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Tina returned and began fighting with the thing calling itself Tony Stark. Her Iron Girl armor proved not only impervious to the creature’s power, but also drained energy from it. The supremely confident creature seemed to believe Tina still posed no threat, and taunted her even as she inflicted massive damage to it with her fists.

Oliver Queen, Tommy Monaghan, and Helena Bertinelli joined the battle, arriving from Noonan’s. Oliver fired an explosive arrow directly into Tony’s eye, severely injuring him. Tommy fired all rounds from his pistols into the thing’s legs, and Helena engaged the thing hand to hand. Helena managed to destroy the thing, but not before it had drawn her with it and the Iron Girl suit through a portal.

Tina and Tommy leapt blindly into the portal, joined only by Hope.

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Lost in the Night
The death of Hope

Our heroes found themselves in a strange land, its sky illuminated by a dim, unseen source. Hope projected her memory of the death of “Static” Annie Wagner, and revealed that she had learned that her father might, in fact, have been trying to save her life through his attempts to take her from Gotham.

“Tina…” Hope began, sounding choked up and exhausted, “I think we got this wrong… I think we got it all wrong.”

Tommy’s X-Ray vision detected grotesque, semi-biological vehicles approaching from the west, against the skyline of a city which resembled Gotham, though darker in tone than even America’s darkest city.

One of the vehicles carried the apparent armored form of Iron Man. As it neared, however, this was clearly something else.

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Tina engaged in combat with the mock Iron Man, who believed her to be his daughter and tried to convince her to end things peacefully. Tina pressed her attack, and the Flesh Man realized this was not his daughter, but “the other one”.

In a pitched and brutal fight, Hope was forced into her human form and executed. Tina vanished during her fight with the Flesh Man, leaving only Helena and Tommy stranded in the vast desert, bereft of supplies and low on ammunition.

Tommy was able to detect “sink holes” in the desert, which held water… salt water. Helena and Tommy decided their only option for survival must lie in the dark streets of this mirror image of Gotham.

The pair sought out the counterparts to familiar neighborhoods in their own city, finding twisted reflections of things they knew. Leslie Thompkins’ shelter was, in this city, a torture chamber. Noonan’s bar was a barracks for special troops in the dark armies of this city. They took refuge in a building which had a duplicate of Helena’s cousin Temperance. Temperance seemed only vaguely aware of their presence, but did not seem aggravated by having them around.

Sleeping in spurts, Tommy’s telepathy read thoughts without bodies. He knew from experience some of the minds: Zatanna, Nakota, and Pamela. Another mind was involved, which Tommy could not identify. He tried to convey his location, but was unable to get it across before the thoughts faded.

The duo investigated the location corresponding to the destroyed Club Arkham, where Tommy read the mind of a supernatural creature and learned that Tina was still alive, kept in “Arkham Academy”. Helena took this to mean the mirror of Gotham High.
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The heroes’ allies in the normal world managed to make contact again, and said they would be able to open a portal in Gotham High at four in the AM.

Arkham Academy proved to be a highly active, insidious center for training and research. The heroes infiltrated and avoided detection for some time. However, when they WERE detected, the result was a battle which destroyed an entire building. Tina was rescued unharmed, though without her armor. Tommy was able to detect it using Tina’s JARVIS communicator, in a location corresponding to her home in Gotham.

The exhausted and injured heroes were returned to Earth by Morgan L’Fay, as well as a few of their friends. L’Fay screamed at Tina, seeming to only have executed her rescue in hopes of saving Tina’s Iron Girl armor.

It was days of recovery before the heroes felt able to take action again. They held meetings with one another, learning from a friend of Nakota’s named Lilith Drake a few things about the place they’d just escaped from, and that Lilith had the ability to travel back and forth from that realm.

The heroes decided to try to recapture Tina’s armor from the Nightlands. Inadvertently, Tina passed that information along to Morgan L’Fay, who clearly intended to retrieve the armor herself.

Tina’s home in the Nightlands was protected by JARDIS, a massive horror created by powerful alchemy. The crucified corpse of Superman hung on a wall as a decoration, near Tina’s armor, itself covered in clay plates covered in strange markings.

Proving barely able to stay ahead of the house’s defenses, the heroes bargained with L’Fay to escape to Earth, carrying with them Superman’s remains…

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Lex Luthor's Press Conference
Hope's Rebirth

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Lex Luthor’s Press Conference
Covered by all major news outlets

Good afternoon to the American people, and to those parents all over the world who know the heartbreak of having lost a child. It is by now no secret that my daughter Hope was taken prisoner by one of her friends, and that this misguided girl killed her own father and my beloved Hope. She did this in the name of heroism.

I was the parent of a metahuman, and I know that many of you watching me now know how horrific that experience can be. Many of these metahumans believe themselves to be saviors, or protectors of the world they live in because of the abnormal abilities that come with their condition. It is this belief, and these tendencies, that have killed not only my daughter but countless others, and will continue to do so for as long as this behavior is allowed to continue.

Tina Stark, the girl whose delusions of super-humanity led her to kill her own father as he tried to negotiate my daughter’s release, had caused the deaths of many others before. It has long been a habit of law enforcement to ignore what might be considered collateral damage by metahuman heroes… if it had not been, it is very likely Tina would have already had her robotic suit, itself equivalent in power to a fighter jet, removed when she caused the death of her classmate Terry McGinnis. Or Julio Bain. Or even before deaths had occurred, and only property damage was at issue. My colleague and former opponent Superman acknowledges his part in the many casualties which occurred during his career as a costumed adventurer, and has been among the first since Dark Day to retire in an effort to avoid further tragedy.

Virginia Stark, Tony’s widow, and I have vowed to end this horror, and help metahumans and their families, so that no parents will need to suffer as Virginia and I now do. Together, we begin the Metahuman Hope Foundation. We are building centers across the country to help both young and old metahumans understand their abilities, and their place in this world. We will educate families, and ease the pain of knowing their children are different as best we can. It is my ardent desire that the death of my Hope may mean the birth of hope for so many who need it.

Thank you. There will be no questions at this time.

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Or let us close up this wall...
Miracles and damnation

Police Lieutenant Gordon had been questioning all members of the Alternate Curriculum Class about Tina’s whereabouts. Following Pepper Potts taking control of Stark Industries, Tina left somewhat abruptly for California and didn’t leave any contact information. Vic has been morose since she left, and started intensively training with Bruce. The two spent so much time together that Jay started putting together Photoshopped pictures of them with background music “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie. He applied it to Gotham High’s computers as a screen saver.

Tommy and Helena sought out Lieutenant Gordon and told him what they know about the Nightlands invasion. Although Gordon was skeptical, he believed the teens’ sincerity and his suspicions have deepened that there may be no one in the GCPD who can be trusted.

Morgan L’Fay deposited Superman’s living body at Wayne Manor. It was reconstituted but with no soul. L’Fay intended to return the Kryptonian’s life completely after Tommy completed his promised service to her.

All of Club Arkham’s members, the Ne’er Do Wells, and Lilith Drake and Nakota Jessup meet in Wayne Manor. Eddie Nigma told Tommy about a girl he just got a date with; Destiny Dubbelz. Eddie asked Tommy if he’d come along to give him an “inside track” on how much she liked him.

Bruce and Barbara stood up and gave a status report. They played Leslie’s video of the death of Slade Wilson at the hands of Professor X, gave Basil’s reports of Anthony Herod’s presence in Chicago, and Vicki and Eddie gave a list of suspected or confirmed duplicates in Gotham City… none of whom are in Gotham High. Perhaps the only place in the country completely free of Nightland presence. Bruce started talking about possible reactions, when Selina stopped him and made a speech.

“Hey Bruce! Hope is DEAD, Tina is Gone! As far as I’m concerned, there IS no Club Arkham anymore! What you’re talking about here, this is nuts! It’s basically a death sentence, and there won’t be any happy ending for us! I’m not going along with this, and none of you should either!”

Selina is out, and going with her were Victor Fries, Temple Fugit, Oswald Cobblepot, Harvey Dent, Waylon Jones, and Derek Powers.

Remaining are: The Ne’er Do Wells, Nakota, Lilith, Bruce, Vic, Eddie, Barbara, Leslie, Jonathan Crane, Basil, Zatanna, Vicki, Pamela, Bruce, Jay, and Harley.

Bruce sighed and brought up the potential for recruiting other members. He said he’s been considering Vic Stone and John Henry Irons, and is on the fence about Floyd Lawton. He asked for other recommendations, and said they need to be vetted in some way.

Verified duplicates:
Professor X
Emma Frost
8 congressmen
Senator Robert Kelley
Mayor Hill
Commissioner Loeb
No one in Gotham High

Suspected duplicates:
45% of the House of Representatives
70% of the Senate
65% of the GCPD
30% of upper class business owners in Gotham
Lucius Fox
No one in Gotham High

Still overwhelmed by the sheer amount of developments facing them, Tommy and Helena decided to spend the evening with Eddie and his date. Helena identified Destiny as the sister of Moe and Joe Dubbelz, notorious Mafia enforcers, and daughter of Robert Dubbelz, a mob boss. For half the meal, Eddie remained blissfully unaware of these facts.

Eddie reacted less than heroically when Tommy told him about Destiny’s family, but Tommy managed to calm him down and convince him that Destiny might be worth the inherent dangers involved. On returning to the table, Eddie spotted Vic Zsasz coming in to the restaurant with an unfamiliar girl.

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Tommy recognized the girl’s thoughts as being an entity he’d seen before in the Nightlands, and presumed this was a plot to spy on Club Arkham.

After dinner, Tommy and Helena returned to Wayne Manor, to discover the formerly inert body of Superman was standing, talking, and then flying up, up, and away. Tommy immediately recognized that this was NOT his childhood hero, and contacted Morgan L’fay to yell at her for her failure.

L’Fay appeared at Wayne Manor in her nightclothes, filled with outrage as she determined that the disembodied gypsy Victor Von Doom had just stolen the body she’d worked so hard to rebuild. In a rage, she laid enchantments on Tommy and Helena’s weapons and demanded they slay Doom, promising them Kryptonite and further weapon enchantments.

Calling on Leslie Willis for assistance, the Ne’er Do Wells traveled to Malibu and were given a block of Kryptonite by Pepper Potts. After making contact with Lois Lane in Metropolis, Tommy was able to read her mind for the location of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Using Leslie’s teleportation in conjunction with Barbara’s satellite imagery expertise, the Ne’er Do Wells led an attack on Doom before he could become familiar with his new body’s powers.

Not expecting so sudden an ambush, the Ne’er Do Wells severely injured Doom and nearly killed him, only letting up when Doom had destroyed their kryptonite and declared his intention not to harm them. The courage and power of the Ne’er Do Wells seemed to have won Doom’s grudging respect, and he assisted them in healing Nakota Jessup, Salie Jessup, and Hope Luthor. Doom told the teens about what he had learned about the Nightlords and their plans during his time in the Astral Plane.

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Unsure of their “victory”, the teens returned to Gotham and managed to sleep for an hour before being awoken by Eddie, asking if they knew where Zsasz was. Tommy and Helena realized what his situation must have been, and with Hope, they ventured into the Nightlands and Arkham Academy.

Vic was being made to fight in a makeshift arena, against starved and abused people. Vic was making every effort to spare their lives, in the process being unnecessarily wounded himself. The trio of heroes approached the arena, trying to scout their location out before taking action, though Hope could barely restrain herself.

“Do you think he should fight another round?” the massive bat-like demon called Dark King asked a Night Gnome with two heads.

“I don’t know,” the gnome answered. “Heads or tails!” and with that, he flung a baby end over end into the pit. Helena dove for the infant, but too late. Vic, however, caught the child safely before it could hit the ground.

Tommy shot the night gnome in its faces before leaping into the arena with Hope. A new combatant, a large man with a bandaged face and a Vietnam era M-16 with grenade launcher nearly shot at Hope, but Vic stood in front of the weapon and the man refused to fire. Hope used her Doorway Talent to escape Arkham, and following a battle with Hunters, the now six mortals returned to Earth, draining much of Hope’s energy and scaring the hell out of a warehouse full of workers.

Hope and Vic left to seek medical attention and a safe place for the baby. Helena and Tommy followed the mysterious bandaged man, repeatedly refusing his gruff orders to leave well enough alone. Finally the man identified himself as Codename: Unknown Soldier, and told the teens about the American Defense Agency, a group of warriors who were trying to free the United States from the Nightlands invaders. Tommy gave him contact information.

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The Ne’er Do Wells took time to sleep and recover, planning a raid on Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, working with Leslie to expose the Avatar posing as Charles Xavier. In the middle of their reconnaissance, Eddie detected an attack on Victor Zsasz’s home. Leslie teleported the crew to Vic’s, to find it under a raid by eight heavily armed and armored men. Tommy was the only person able to see in the pitch darkness of the unilluminated street, and a heated, bloody battle followed. The Doppelganger of Tony Stark tried to bargain for Vic, but the Ne’er Do Wells fought to the death, losing Natt and Ollie to bullet wounds and magic.

In the darkness, Tommy resolved to recover his friends and take revenge on Tony Stark.

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Praise From Caesar
The final triumph of Victor Von Doom

Following the disastrous battle with Tony Stark’s Doppelganger, Vic Zsasz went to seek assistance from Lilith in following the monster back to his lair, while Tommy and Helena sought out the aid of Morgan L’Fay in resurrecting their slain friends Ollie and Natt.

Though L’Fay possessed the ability to heal the dead teens, the price she demanded was too high for the Ne’er do wells to pay. After failing to contact Hope by phone, the pair managed to contact Nakota and asked her to get them transport to the headquarters of Victor Von Doom.

In a rush, Lilith Drake rushed in and flung enchanted weapons at Tommy and Helena, promptly fleeing without explanation in her car. Tommy and Helena, trying to lend assistance to their friend’s mysterious plight, pursued in their own vehicle. At that point, Nakota opened a portal to transport her friends to the Fortress of Solitude.

Lilith slammed on the brakes of her car, only to have its front end smashed by Hope Luthor’s powerful Morphus shape. Then the already smashed car was rear ended by the one being driven by Tommy and Helena, launching the still-present cadavers of Ollie and Natt through the air and into the hands of Victor Von Doom, in a crescendo of screams provided by Nakota and her sister. Lilith transformed into her Morphus state, blasting pieces of her wrecked car in all directions.

In the ensuing chaos, a brief explanation emerged about Zsasz being alone in the Nightlands. Lilith led Hope, Tommy, and Helena to Club Freak, where the humans managed to “Trojan Horse” their way inside under Hope’s massive Morphus. Transporting to the safest place in Arkham (Gotham’s Nightlands counterpart), the quartet made their way to rescue Vic, now less one arm and working to rescue humans who had been experimented on by Nightland forces.

Managing to withdraw to the Fortress of Solitude, Zsasz had his arm restored by Doom. Morgan L’Fay was in the Fortress as well, imprisoned. The teens tried to make sense of what was going on, learning of the inhuman rate of progress Doom was projecting in his plans.

Gotham High was officially purchased by Lex Luthor, to be transformed into a Hope Center for Metahuman Development. In shock, Tommy notified Hope.

Hope, nearly bursting with glee, described Doom calling her father while wearing Superman’s face. “He called him a ‘second-rate intellect’ and told him to get on board or else!” Hope giggled. “While looking like THAT! Can you believe it? Dad had no IDEA what to say back!”

The students saw the changes to Gotham High. All the existing faculty, excepting Hugo Strange and Talia al Ghul, were given generous retirements and replaced by an entirely new set of teachers. Students were emphatically “encouraged” to begin boarding at the school. The students who had abandoned Club Arkham had returned to school, some looking very different. Selina Kyle said that Doom had resorted to threats when he’d been unable to bribe her to return. Waylon Jones “The Killer Croc” had been transformed into his human state, a handsome black man. Jones himself was as unaware of his racial heritage as anyone else.

Toward the end of the new Gotham High’s first day, a robot resembling Victor Von Doom as a teenager briefed the assembled student body. Though forceful and convincing, Doom was caught off guard by Selina Kyle’s pointed questions and Tommy Monaghan started a riot which badly injured several students.

Clones of Natt the Hat and Oliver Queen were completed and enrolled in the Hope Center for Metahuman Development. An intense training regimen began for all students, and the Ne’er Do Wells worked closely with Leslie Willis and other students to once and for all free Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters from the hands of the Nightlords. Joined in their plans were a couple of First Person Shooter gamers called Floyd Lawton and Joe Chill.

Helena recognized Chill as having “family” connections. She researched his father, Joe Senior, and managed to find that he had been strongly inplicated as working for a mobster named Lew Moxon. Chill had been strongly implicated in a number of hits, including that of Helena’s biological father and the long ago murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Joe Senior had been running a trucking business for a while now.

Helena put the information aside, believing it to be secondary to the mission at hand.

Between Tommy and Oliver, a well planned attack on Charles Xavier came together. A former associate of the school named Logan arrived to assist, and in fact probably had the most to do with preventing an all-out war between humans and mutants erupting right on school grounds.

The students themselves, once past the initial shock of facing one another, rapidly became allies. Lilith Drake healed the badly injured “Black Tom” Cassidy in front of the entire assembled school. Logan spoke to the school’s current head, Ororo Munro, and convinced her to alter the school from being a purely mutant facility to being an integrated metahuman training center. Helena and Tommy took up training sessions on the weekends with some of their new mutant friends. Lilith became friendly with a young woman named Wanda and even did a few Danger Room sessions with her.

Intensive training continued. Lois Lane and Condename:Unknown Soldier each contacted Tommy. Helena was placed in charge of getting Hope to a better physical condition, and saw how frustrating such a task could be. Doom forcefully requested Lilith to blackmail the Nightbane Underground Railroad. Lilith refused, but did take Doom’s case to the more receptive members of the Railroad.

In a sudden and unexpected alert, all members of Gotham High were activated. A strike force led by Gotham High’s robot Doom landed in the fortress of Lord Moloch himself, finding the Nightlord dead and his forces in disarray. The well trained metahumans acquitted themselves in beyond superb fashion, laying waste to Nightlands minions even on the arrival of Lady Lilith and her elite guard.

Though the students fought well, they were nonetheless outnumbered more than a thousand to one by supernatural forces under the command of an able general, and death was inevitable.

All at once, Lady Lilith shrieked commands to her troops to not harm any of the students, to allow them to escape. And so they did, through spells cast by Lilith Drake.

The world seemed to be exploding around the students. Attacks had been coordinated all over the world, literally hundreds of thousands of people engaged in battles against the Nightlords, all working toward one goal without realizing they were all working together under the same commander. The American Defense Agency (The Spook Squad), however, had been intentionally directed into the worst of the fighting. These espionage specialists and believers in American government were seen as being too dangerous to keep in the world to come, and so they were seen to die as heroes rather than being covertly murdered.

The heroes of Gotham High fought hard against their enemies and for their friends on what would come to be known as Doomsday. Their victory came at a cost, but many of them believed that the gain was greater than the loss.

On the West Coast, Tina Stark managed to rescue her parents from the mystical prison they had been trapped in since Dark Day. Her Iron Girl suit ceased to have the magical protection Doom ad imbued it with, but she no longer needed it.

In the following months, all former national governments were declared null and void by the New United Nations and its leader, Princept Victor Von Doom. The old governments had failed, and were both corrupted by the Nightlords and decimated on Doomsday. In the place of old government, all nations were appointed an Emissary General to the New United Nations and given representation in a Global Parliament.

All the students of Gotham High were granted government pensions for the rest of their lives, and many of them were offered positions of power in the New United Nations. Medical science across the world boomed as Globalized Medicine was implemented. Education swelled. Lands which had never been able to grow crops were suddenly and bountifully fertile. All national armies were declared part of the Global Peacekeeping Force. Some parts of these militaries resisted, and some still resist.

The Global Ministry of Sorcery has begun official, globalized training in magic. No longer “arcane secrets”, Princept Doom has declared that mystic ignorance was largely to blame for the Nightlords ease in taking over Earth’s leadership. Far less developed in its purpose is the Ministry for Psychic Affairs.

Finally, there is the Ministry of Humanity. Princept Doom has declared that hatred and fear of mutants and Nightbane has been because they hide. Because they are not understood by the world at large. Because mankind has been, in the old world, petty, cruel, and weak. In this new world, there will be no hiding. There will be no fear. There will be no weakness. And the Ministry of Humanity under Victor Zsasz is at the forefront of remaking humanity in this new world.

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November 10th, 1775
The Marine Corps Birthday

Months have passed since the defeat of the Nightlords and the creation of the Global Government. Rebels throughout the globe still resist Doom’s rule, but are being solidly and progressively either forced to surrender or destroyed. Nearly all major diseases have been eradicated worldwide. Mages and religious groups are the most directly opposed to the new government, one because their cherished secrets have become essentially forced to become public education, and the other because the tenets of witchcraft are not only being held by the new Princeps, but are being forced on innocents across the globe.

Tina Stark, as head of the Ministry of Science, has been at the forefront of changing the world. Doom has tasked her with bringing forth an unprecedented development in global accomplishment, and she’s been trying hard to put all the nationalized assets at her disposal to bear. Her father Tony has been at best unsupportive and at worst completely obstructionist.

On one of Princeps Victor Von Doom’s visits to see his Minister for Science, Tommy Monaghan crashed in to one of the Ministry’s labs with his usual subtlety.

“I want in!” He said, slamming his fist down on a desk.

Noting the blank stares which greeted him, Tommy quickly amended “to the space program, man! Princeps, I mean! Like, if you’re going to start a galactic empire, I want in!”

“Oh yes,” Doom replied, in a tone which was so heavy with sarcasm it threatened to ooze out of his voice completely and take on a life of its own, “There couldn’t be a space program without you, Monaghan. I’m leaving a directive with my Ministry to begin a training program for the first Space Marines, and you’ll be one of the first admitted to this position of prestige.”

With that, Doom pointedly took Tina to a private office. Behind them, they left the perpetually smiling face of one of Tina’s most capable assistants, Jay Napier.

Jay had the Space Marine program up and running in a few weeks, training in the use of energy weapons, space vehicle combat, zero gravity movement, and an emblem of an eagle, globe, and anchor flanked by a latin phrase meaning “This started as a joke”.

When Tina discovered Jay’s elaborate prank, she sighed and told Jay he could continue with the program if he managed to get Tommy to get a tattoo of the Space Marine emblem, complete with Latin motto.

All he had to do was ask. Tommy agreed, and Waylon “Killer Croc” Jones and Natt the Hat promptly got the exact same tattoo.

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Ides of March
Final death of the Spook Squad

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March 15th, two years after Doomsday.

Televised live after a Global United Nations meeting, Princept Von Doom, en route to his limousine, was ambushed by an extremely well organized and well armed team of assassins. The entire world saw Doom’s bodyguards slain in the first seconds of gunfire, explosions rocking the streets as vehicles and projectiles detonated.

It would later be revealed, after a thorough investigation, that these assassins had arranged for Princept Regent Faith Luthor and Minister for Justice Bruce Wayne to be attacked at simultaneous locations. The primary attack, however, was entirely focused on the Global Princept.

The personal force field generator developed by Victor Von Doom enabled him to survive the assault. His personal sidearm and energy weapons enabled him to fight back with deadly effectiveness. Concentration of fire forced Doom to seek additional cover, and the firefight continued unabated for almost a full minute.

Finally, as the world watched live, the Princept fought hand to hand against a man with a bandaged face and trenchcoat. All the other would be assassins were already dead or had turned tail and run, but the man the press would later dub “the Unknown Soldier” fought to his last breath.

Final seconds of the broadcast before the Princept ordered it shut down were of Von Doom beating the bloody corpse of the Unknown Soldier into the pavement, shouting “You DINOSAUR! You RELIC of a bygone age! Your world is gone, and mine has only begun!”

Minister of Information Barbara Gordon has been attempting to run damage control ever since.

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