Too Stubborn to Die

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Dan was a fighter; he never backed down. He'd take on the world, in the pursuit of justice, if he had to. And that's why he was honored as a hero when he died at the hands of a galactic despot.

I do not own any rights to the DC Universe or any of its stories, characters, and settings. The DC Universe and all related stories, characters, and settings is the property of DC Comics and Warner Brothers, and are not my intellectual property. There is no financial gain made from this nor will any be sought. This is for entertainment purposes only.

This is a work of fan fiction using characters from the DC Universe, which is trademarked by DC Comics and Warner Brothers. The mention of meta-humans, Justice League, Injustice Gang, Green Lantern Corps, or Injustice Society of the World, and any of the other DC Universe groups of superheroes or supervillains, and any supporting characters, are all characters and character concepts created and owned by DC Comics and Warner Brothers, and I do not claim any ownership over them or the DC Universe. The story I tell here, begins with the series finale of the animated television series Justice League: Unlimited continuity. This story concept is of my invention, and it is not purported or believed to be part of the DC Universe story canon. This story is for entertainment only and is not part of any official story line. I am grateful to DC Comics and Warner Brothers for this version of the DC Universe consisting of mortals-turned-demigods and morally gray-scaled villains, for without their animated series, and loosely-related feature length animated films, my story would not exist.

A few years ago…
The ground trembled; something incredibly large, metallic, and powerful was traversing the city street, and it was not good. People began to flee in all directions as a massive tank-like vehicle, the size of a Navy Submarine, tore its way down Madison Avenue. A mighty engine groaned as it propelled the vehicle toward one of Metropolis’ many downtown parks. It obliterated everything before coming to a halt; nothing withstood the spiked wheels as they rolled over cars, street signs, and whatever else that was unfortunate enough to be in its path.
“Oh my God!” Inspector Dan Turpin gasped. Strung to the front of the alien assault vehicle was a battered and bruised Superman. The Man-of-Steel hung there hopeless, defeated. Is that blood on his lips, Dan thought to himself? If it was, then there indeed might not be much hope for the human race. If this invading force could harm the world’s greatest superhero so badly, what would normal people be able to do against it? How would anyone stop such a powerful creature?
Dan attempted to run to the superhero’s rescue but a group of Parademons gathered around, their weapons charged and aimed. He held up his hands, reluctantly backing away from their energy lances. “Okay, back off,” he said. “I get the point.” The Parademons demanded obedience, wanting the humans to stay away from the Leviathan.
Steam rose from the bowels of the Leviathan as the alien ruler Darkseid stood atop it. “People of Earth,” he bellowed, “I am Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips.” The giant despot held out his hand, motioning toward Superman. “Here is your savior, cowed and broken. I have crushed him as easily as I have crushed all who have dared to oppose me, throughout the cosmos.”
News teams held steady, recording every implausible moment. Dan watched, and his rage grew. He was sickened by the audacity of the alien ruler who dared to invade his planet. Earth was the best world in all the universe, and everyone knew that. At least, according to Dan. He had not needed to visit any other planet to know this, it was just an absolute fact. That was Dan “Terrible” Turpin for you.
Darkseid could not care any less about how any human felt, as he continued his self-important rant. “I am power unlike any you have known. Absolute. Infinite. And unrelenting. You have no choice but to prepare for a long, dark future as my subjects, and my slaves.” Darkseid stood atop the Leviathan, his arms folded behind his back. It must be that he felt that his speech was a matter-of-fact, impossible to refute. There was silence for a moment, nothing moved and no one spoke.
That was a mere moment, barely a second.
“In a pig’s eye!” Dan shouted. The crowd cheered his trumpeting resistance, building his already eccentric confidence, and fearless determination. “This is our world ugly. You won’t get it without a fight!” Dan waved his bald fist, his mouth twisted as if growling.
Superman looked back from the make-shift scaffolding he found himself victim to. Surprisingly, he was grinning, proud of one man’s resilience. “You hear that Darkseid?” he asked the brutish despot. “The people of Earth aren’t like your slaves on Apokolips; they don’t take kindly to dictators.”
“If they resist, I will not hesitate to destroy them.”
“You want a piece of me?” Dan called out, his body hunched over and fists waving, ready for a fight. “Come on, come on rock head!” Dan charged the group of Parademons, landing a right-hook on one of them as they both tumbled to the ground. The crowd joined in by attacking the rest of the winged-alien lackeys.
Darkseid was surprised as he looked down at the defiant humans that rallied behind one madman. “They know this is suicide.”
“Better a quick death in battle than a slow one under your heel,” Superman said.
A Leviathan hatch opened and Kalibak emerged, “Darkseid, we’ve detected military aircraft heading this way.”
Back at street level, Dan had somehow stripped a Parademon of their weapon. Hefting the alien weapon with his left hand he shouted, “I don’t care how many crummy planets you’ve conquered. You ain’t getting this one.” He hoisted the energy lance through the air like a javelin. It soared effortlessly toward the construct which held Superman captive, before piercing it.
Sparks flew and an explosion freed the Man-of-Steel. “NO!” cried the hairy brute Kalibak. From the hatch the overly-massive alien lunged at Superman, swinging wildly and uncontrolled. Superman returned one blow and the alien fell.
“That’s one for the home team!” Dan commended.
Superman flew up toward Darkseid, his fists clenched. “Let’s finish it.”
“Very well,” Darkseid replied, his eyes glowing. “This world dies now.”
No one had ever seen Superman look so grimace. Dan, along with hundreds on the streets, and millions more watching at home, were witnessing a cosmic showdown. Regrettably, and he would most likely never admit to it, Dan was worried. Superman had already fought the powerful alien ruler at some point, and lost badly. But maybe, with the human race backing him, all ready to fight and die to maintain their galactic freedom, he could win.
False-thunder shook the city, as three Boom Tubes ripped open the very fabric of space-time. From the intergalactic gateways came dozens of oddly-looking spacecraft, all of different sizes. Some were controlled by solitary pilots, others were as large as school buses, and a few appeared as if they would make real trouble for Navy Battleships.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire, Dan thought.
Come zooming out of one of the Boom Tube’s last was the claret-dressed madman Dan had met months earlier when Darkseid had tried to use Bruno Mannheim to destroy Earth. The guy’s name was Orion if he recalled.
“Darkseid!” the psycho-combatant roared. “My father has decreed this planet is under his protection. Any further aggression will breach the peace treaty and be considered an act of war against New Genesis itself. The decision is yours Darkseid.”
Man, it’s nice we have some help from on high, Dan thought.
Still standing atop the Leviathan, with arms crossed behind their back and resolve unmoved, was Darkseid. Behind him, hundreds of his single-minded winged lackeys, and back at his side was the hairy brute, who had finally recovered from the smashing left-hook Superman gave him moments ago. The Parademons and Kalibak were itching for conflict, even with the appearance of Orion and his allies.
“It is good to see you after all these years my son,” Darkseid finally said. The authenticity in his tone was unmistakable. Dan thought about how he would have hated to attend any family reunion which involved Darkseid’s all-to-eager-to-please rash brute of a child Kalibak and wayward psychotic warrior son Orion. The collateral damage alone could topple civilizations and shatter worlds.
“I have observed your boldness and ferocity for some time; not without undue pride,” Darkseid continued. “Though you’re misguided in your loyalty, I won’t quival over this insignificant speck in the universe.” Behind the so-called mighty Darkseid a Boom Tube ripped open a hole in the universe. Maybe this Orion and his allies were far more powerful than they appeared. Dan looked at the aliens, longing for the days of common crooks, thugs, and lowlifes making his life miserable. He longed for normal days.
There was a time we fought in the alleys, he thought. Now guys fight in the clouds.
“I would hate to spoil our reunion with bloodshed,” Darkseid finished. “Return!”
Immediately, the Parademons flew into the Boom Tubes. Only Kalibak hesitated at obeying the order Darkseid barked. A rush of relief flooded Dan as he watched the alien despot hover toward the opening that led back to whatever backwater planet the credent had hailed from. He could feel pride and brashness overtake him. “Go on ya’ mangy buzzards. And don’t come back!”
The crowd roared with delighted agreement. Some could say Dan was a soar winner, but helping end a hostile alien invasion gave him every right to display his boldness, to express his confidence.
Darkseid stopped, and turned. He looked at the Man-of-Steel, his eyes glowing red hot. “Savor your moment of triumph Superman. But remember, victory has its price.” A beam of energy darted out of those vibrant crimson eyes, arched around Metropolis’ favorite superhero, and struck Dan.
Inspector Dan “Terrible” Turpin had no time to respond. He felt his body heat up instantly, and screamed as his molecules were ripped apart. He had no chance of being saved, but he left the world feeling proud; he had fought to the bitter end.
When his world was threatened by vicious aliens, Dan had not turned coward and allowed meta-humans to save the day. He fought back. He stood his ground and showed a defiance that would live on forever. That was the type of man Dan was. He had always been a fighter. Leaving the world by defending it would have been exactly how he would have wanted to go out.

Slowly, Dan opened his eyes. His entire body ached, as if he had been on a treadmill for several days straight, without rest or food, going at the highest speed setting. The atmosphere was unpleasantly moist and exhaustingly hot. His mouth was incredibly dry, to the point of blisters forming. If he had not known better, he would have sworn that he was a fire-breather. He tried to move, but could not; quickly he realized that he was strapped to an uncomfortable slab of metal, which set in the middle of a room surrounded by an assortment of tools and instruments specifically crafted for torturing. It had not mattered that they were alien in design, implements of torment were easy to recognize.
There was dark burgundy brick that went from floor to ceiling, making the entire space far gloomier than necessary. High above his head was an opening with no glass pane, and through it ash drifted. Some landed on his nose, causing him to sneeze. Through that window Dan could hear the wailing of people in agony. Flames flared high into a murky, crimson sky. Was he trapped in a nightmare? Dan hoped so, otherwise, the other option was less than welcoming.
Dan remembered how some alien jerks tried to invade Earth, by first taking out Metropolis and Superman. He remembered that the alien chrome-dome Orion had arrived just as Superman and the mad despot from another world was going to go at it. He remembered the exchange of words between all the aliens. And Dan remembered how Darkseid was smirking when he unleashed those energy beams which murdered him.
That’s right, Dan had died.
That’s what it had felt like. The energy rippled over his entire body within a second. He had felt his entire body shatter and explode into the cosmos. He had also felt his molecules get yanked across the endless expanse of space to an unknown place. Now he was awake, alive again, and in a place of suffering inferno.
Well, how about that, he thought. All those years at the synagogue, working for the police, and saving folks’ lives, yet I still end up here?
“I assure you Mr. Turpin, you are not in the place you fear. This place, is far worse.”
“Who’s there?” Dan groaned. He did his best to hide the fear that seemed to be fluttering.
From the shadows emerged a hideous creature. “I’m Granny Goodness,” it smiled.
“Granny?” Dan muttered. “You’re a woman?”
Granny Goodness frowned and pressed a button on the staff she held. Energy racked Dan Turpin with pain; he screamed out. “Of course I am, you incredibly insolent pest.”
Dan looked at the robust creature, their head sprouting lots of white hair. A cape fell behind. Her voice lacked the elegance Dan associated with women, even those who were hard-hitting and resilient, like Maggie Sawyer. “Sure you are creep,” he laughed. “And I’m Superman.”
“Why, you petulant, underserving, retch!” Granny Goodness pressed the button again, and Dan cried out again. He tried to fight the pain, but it was unlike any he had ever suffered.
“Be kind Granny,” a harsh, and gravelly voice came into the room. Granny Goodness trembled and bowed. “This human is our guest, and I have many plans for him.”
From the shadows Dan noticed the glowing eyes first. It was Darkseid.
As the alien despot walked over to the metal slab where Dan was shackled, shadows seemed to fade away, as if fleeing his presence. “Your audacious tongue betrayed you, and now you are in the generous care of Granny Goodness. You are now on Apokolips, and will do well to remember, that I am now your sovereign, master. I do not tolerate disobedience. You will suffer, and endure many things beyond your worst fears. You will know agony exclusively. And that will be only the beginning.”

Submitted: September 01, 2022

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