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All those who had faced Darkseid in battle would agree on one fact: no one can defeat him in a direct confrontation. Batman and Superboy were definitely no match for his god-like powers. Then again, his demise wasn't in their plan... yet.
They needed to stall him just long enough so that Rogue could get a shot at him and absorb his powers.
Conner attacked Darkseid with an enormous laser gun that he took from a trophy rack down the hall, but the despot countered the blast with his own Omega Beams. The resulting explosion provided the cover Batman needed to launch a pair of explosive bat-a-rangs
that managed to make Darkseid recoil by a few steps. Conner followed suit by punching Darkseid hard, several times. Superboy pounded on his face mercilessly until Darkseid caught both his hands.
"You think you can beat, insect," Darkseid chuckled at Connor's futile attempt to hurt him. Because of his half-human DNA, Connor wasn't as strong as Superman and couldn't break through Darkseid's invulnerable skin. Darkseid was about to rip Conner's arms off
when Batman landed on his shoulders and planted two plastic charges over Darseid's eyes. Having no knowledge of human explosives, the Lord of Apokolips ignited his Omega beams and fired them through the plastic charges, hoping that it would simply clear his
vision. The resulting explosion hurled Superboy across the hall and made Darkseid at his eyes in agony. Batman had avoided the explosion as he was already hanging from the ceiling above the scene.
Darkseid's momentary blindness was the perfect occasion for Rogue to act. She ran to Darkseid and hopped on his back to have access to his unmasked face that she covered with her bare hand. She felt Darkseid's power surge into her body, filling her with Omega
energy. Rogue had never experienced something like that. Normally she would have a total control over the powers and skills she copied. But Darkseid's powers seemed instead to try and take over her, while ripping her body to shreds from the inside. She let
go of Darkseid with a cry of agony. When he regained his vision, Darkseid turned to her with all the wrath he possessed.
"Why you little pest! I will tear you apart," he howl, lifting his massive fist over Rogue. He was about to strike her when Batman fired at him with the gun Conner had dropped earlier. Leaving Rogue unconscious body alone for the moment, Darkseid decided it
was time to punish the Dark Knight. In his rage, he launched his Omega beams at Batman to pulverize him. However, Conner intercepted Darkseid's attack with his own body half-way before it could hit Bruce. While Batman would have been disintegrated, Superboy's
half-Kryptonian DNA protected him from this fate. He was however left unconscious by the blast.
"So, you want to go first," Darkseid bellowed as he approached Conner. On his way he lifted an enormous ax from a display rack that he intended to kill Superboy with. When he lifted his weapon over Conner however, Batman fired his grappling gun at him. Darkseid
ignored the Dark Knight and continued his attack until he noticed what exactly Batman was trying to accomplish. The human managed to deviate his attack and the ax collided with Darkseid's leg. The Lord of Apokolips let out a guttural howl of pain and backhanded
the Dark Knight in retaliation.
Batman's body was hurled through a wall. If it wasn't for the extra layer of Apokoliptian armor, his internal organs would have imploded. Darkseid grabbed Superboy's leg and dragged him through the hole to join Batman on the other side. Bruce tried to stand
up, but Darkseid crushed his knee to keep him in place.
"Stay here, mortal. You don't want to miss the show," Darkseid announced with a dark chuckle. He lifted Conner by the head with one hand and grabbed his arm with the other one. Then he pulled...
"GAAAAAHHH!!!" Superboy's mighty cry of agony echoed through the palace when Darkseid ripped his arm off. Darkseid's laugh reached new heights as he enjoyed his enemy's torment. He kicked Batman again when he made a new attempt at saving Connor, shattering
"See what power I hold," he addressed Bruce. "On your world, this pathetic hybrid is a mighty creature, capable of extraordinary feats by the standards of your people. But here, both you and him are nothing but insects before my might. For I" - Darkseid took
Superboy's head between his palms - "am a God," he finished before squeezing Connor's brain like a lemon.
Another life had been taken before his eyes. Bruce was reminded of the pain he felt when Darkseid had killed his best friend. He shot his darkest glare at the New God, but Darkseid only roared in a mighty laugh.
"Such irony. Such a powerful spirit trapped in a pathetic mortal's shell. All your inner strength goes to waste because of your weak body. Your decades of training, the tears shed, the blood spilled are all for naught. However, shall you accept to become my
son, I will remake you into a New God. You will rule the Universe at my side. Forever mine. Forever Darkseid's," the Lord of Apokolips promised.
"Your son?" Bruce chuckled in answer. "Why would I agree to such a foolish proposal? Besides don't you already have a brat in that oaf of Kalibak?" Batman asked, but Darkseid only laughed at his insolence. He struck the Dark Knight once more in the shoulder
to punish him.
"You are right. Kalibak is nothing but a buffoon, a great disappointment. I had hopes that Orion would grow up succumbing to the rage he inherited from me and destroy New Genesis from inside. But he chose instead to follow Highfather's teachings. I had another
son, by the name of Grayven, who found his demise in a battle against the Green Lantern Corp. Finally, I killed Kal-El, because he had once again refused to join my side. More than once, I offered him to rule at my side, but he rejected my offer over and over
"What makes you think I won't do the same?" Batman interrupted his rant. Darkseid's eyes glowed red and his lips turned into a cruel grin.
"Because you won't have a choice," Darkseid announced ominously.
Neither of them noticed Hawkeye sneaking on the other side of the wall to Rogue and carry her away as fast as his legs allowed him to.
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