Darkseid was trembling in dreadful anticipation. He was feeling excited, as today he was going to delve into Batman's fears and nightmares. Whatever could be said about the Dark Knight, he certainly couldn't be described as a
sane man. Darkseid had already attempted once to forcefully invade Bruce's mind, but, although he could have overpowered him, the Lord of Apokolips would have experienced an enormous psychic trauma.
Today was different however. He had been superficially exploring Bruce's mind to properly attune with it. He was now ready to dive into the parts of his psyche where the Bat's mental defenses lurked.
He entered Batman's VIP cell and smirked at the sight in front of him. Batman greeted him with his harshest glare, he knew what was coming today.
"Greetings, Batman. I propose that today we start right away. I'm eager to finally discover what makes you tick," his powerful voice boomed in the small room, as Bruce kept glaring at him. "When I'm done with you, you will beg me for mercy," the Lord of Apokolips
promissed in a dangerously low tone.
Darkseid's eyes glowed red as he entered Bruce's mind. The New God found himself in new surroundings. His sight was lost among tall buildings and dark alleys. It was a nightmarish background made of glass, dirt and concrete. Darkseid wasn't impressed. He moved
through the poorly lit roads, exploring the recesses and corners of Batman's mind. There was something new to see anywhere he looked. A painful memory here, a frightening hallucination there.
Darkseid was still too far away from the juicy details, but he could already sense the presence of the Dark Knight's psychic guardian, lurking in the shadows and flying through the stormy night sky above his head. There was another presence he could
feel, much fainter and of a different nature. This one wasn't the dangerous beast that had almost swallowed him the last time. No, it was what Darkseid had been looking for, the part of Bruce's soul he was trying to hide from him, his vulnerable side.
Darkseid grinned. The hunt was just beginning.
Diana's throbbing head was starting to settle down. She could see perfectly clear again, but she wasn't in Batman's HQ anymore, or anywhere near Gotham for that matter. The sky was obscured by a giant star fish like creature glaring at her with its unique eye.
The rest of her surrounding were just as unfamiliar. She looked around to spy gray and purple hills falling into a wild untamed sea. She just noticed that she was
standing on water.
She looked back up at the giant eye and everything around her started glowing more and more brightly until she couldn't see anymore. The light subsided eventually and her surroundings had changed again. Though this time she knew where she was: Apokolips, in
the middle of Darkseid's throne room. People were gathered around her for some sort of ceremony.
She moved around to drive their intention to her, but they were all oblivious to her presence. She could recognize more than a few faces. After all she had fought most of them in battle. Then she noticed the figure kneeling in front of Darkseid. It was like
a cold metal claw had gripped her heart and squeezed it slowly and painfully.
Batman, her Batman, was on his knee in front of the Lord of Apokolips, looking up at him with
reverence. Diana couldn't stop the flood of tears that had escaped from her eyes. The background started brightening when the crowd erupted in cheers and applauses.
She found herself back on Earth. The sky was perfectly clear. There wasn't even an atmosphere whatsoever. She could see both the sun and the stars hanging all around. The landscape around her felt
sterile. The ground was covered by a perfectly flat metallic layer. The horizon stretched as far as she could see, but there was absolutely nothing
Soon enough, her vision blurred again and she was finally back to Batman's HQ.
"Diana! Diana!" Hawkgirl called her as she cradled the Amazon on her lap. Diana's eyes opened finally. "Are you okay, Di?" Hawkgirl asked her.
"Yeah! Yeah! Ow! What happened?" Diana complained when she tried to stand up.
"You tell us," Artemis uttered angrily. "Hera! What is happening to you lately? It's like you're loosing your head."
"Actually, it's not that far away from the truth," an unknown voice surprised everyone. It came from a man whose skin looked like it was made of ebony while his hair were glowing brightly like a very very hot fire.
Batman glared at him like his old mentor would have. It was Apollo, the God of prophecy.