Killing Joke: Finale??

Killing Joke: Finale??

ST: Ra’s al Ghul had not mislead Damien when he provided the boy with the location of his Mother. Sandy Hook: Admiral Docks. This isn’t your average Warehouse district sort of Boat Dock. Considered to be one of the wealthier areas in all of Gotham, Sandy Hooks is most notably home to Gotham Stadium. It is the tourist district of the otherwise gloomy Gotham skyline. You won’t find any homeless people here. No dark alleys. Very little crime.

What you will find is the Admiral Docks, where the wealthiest members of Gotham’s Elite harbor their boats. We’re not talking about an industrial district. This is a well lit harbor, with Yachts ranging from personal pleasure boats to Bruce Wayne’s own super-liner that hosts the New Years Eve celebration each year.

Security for the Admiral Docks is a mixture of personal security provided by the society members who bring their boats in to port and Port Authority, which is the naval portion of Gotham’s Police Department.

Each Yacht in the Port is more elaborate than the next. With every rich family in the City seemingly out to establish their own personal stature in the community, by making their water-bound homes more and more lavish than the next. Searching them all would take days, if not months given how difficult it would be to acquire the proper search warrants.

Luckily Ra’s al Ghul didn’t need to worry about red tape. He provided Damien with the exact Vessel. Destiny. A super-yacht. The 174 meter Luursen-class yacht can accommodate a whopping 75 people comfortably for a six month cruise. Three times that number can come aboard for an evenings party. Even in the dark of night the Destiny can be seen from all angles for miles due to the halo-lighting that serves as both ego-massage and security because the illumination makes it impossible to approve even from -beneath the boat- without being seen even by the naked eye. In fact this miracle liner is known for that very feature, as it actually causes the water for nearly 100 yards to illuminate in such a way that passengers can see the bottom as if it were pristine coastal waters.

Nothing about the boat is amiss, to the naked eye. Though neighboring Yachts have been complaining of late about the loud music and party that has seemed non-stop for almost two weeks straight.

Damien: The harbor wasn’t exactly Damien had in mind when his grandfather told him where his mother was being held. And on board the Destiny, nonetheless. It wasn’t going to be easy, there was no real way to approach the luxury yacht stealthy. If he was going to get in at all, he was going to need help. First, he needed Timothy to get him a layout of the yacht. If they were going to go in, they needed to know exactly where everything was. Everything was going to have to be figured out on the spot. Damien wasn’t going to wait to see what happened with his mother.

Second, He was going to need backup. As confident as Damien was in his own abilities, he knew this was going to require help. Calling Dinah and Richard to come help him was … hard. Damien was much like his father in this regard, not liking to have to ask for help. And when he did, he despised it. It wasn’t going to take long to get towards the docks, going in by air, ground or water wasn’t going to matter. “Timothy.” saying all too calmly as he brought his younger brother on the comm. “Will you be able to turn off the halo?” asking as he started coming up onto the harbor.

“Also. I will require information about this yacht. And do make it quick. I will be onto harbor grounds in approximately fifteen minutes. You will be our eyes and ears, Timothy. The Oracle, if you will.”

Dinah: Normally? There’d be some razzing about the phone call. Maybe more than a little but the tone of voice made it clear enough that I should save the pushing for after this is finished. I don’t want Damien, or any of them, to think that I won’t help. Especially when I’m asked. Because lets face it, normally I’m much more the in your business whether you want me to be or not kind of woman. This isn’t exactly a private matter anymore. Not once the League turned up in the city. Now it’s all hands on deck, or at least all hands that are functional and capable, and I’m still wishing there were a few more to be counted among that number.

Good thing I never let myself get totally drunk. It’s not the night to be off your game in even the slightest.

“Is the Batplane still potentially in kamikaze mode? Air’d be the closest thing to a surprise entrance you can hope for with those lights, and that’s still not going to be a lot.”

Explains so much though. We’ve been over the rest of Gotham, so has the League I assume, and no one had found hide nor hair (Ugh, both have strong potentials with who has her) of Talia al’Ghul. No one thought to check the one part of Gotham that’s usually off limits, and so… of course the Joker would have selected it for his hideout. Insanity doesn’t equal stupidity, unfortunately.

ST: “The ‘Halo’ is unfortunately a hard wired feature. Someone will need to disable it from onsite. Giving you a layout of the Destiny isn’t a problem though. There are essentially six decks. With the upper most deck being a helicopter pad, deck two is the bridge. Deck five and six are maintenance and engine rooms. Deck two is where you’ll find the security system’s main controls, including the hard line for the Halo. Once you’re on the boat, if someone can jack me in I’ll be able to do more but for now I’m essentially your eyes in the sky.”

Timothy Drake-Wayne has been sidelined for the evening due to injury. He’s been incommunicado for most of the last two days recuperating from the brutal beating he received at the Iceberg lounge. Along with his own physical injuries, the hijacking of the BatCave systems have left the Bat-Family with only one functional computer system. The Nest, which isn’t something the rest of them can actually operate in the first place. Leaving him the nature one to play the role of Oracle for the evening.

On the flip-side of this is Dick Grayson, the man currently sporting the Batsuit, “We’re essentially down one Bat-Plane. While we were chasing down a certain Red Hood and stopping him from killing anyone else. The League assaulted Wayne Manor. They ransacked the entire place. PennyOne was controlling the plane remotely when they attacked. He was forced to leave it on auto-pilot. Giving our mysterious Hacker a timely opportunity to seize control of it and attempt to kill us all.”

“There is more than one way to go airborn though,” Grayson is quick then to gesture the two of them to his Cape. “It isn’t just for show… I’d be willing to bet that Damien’s cape still fits too. Maybe he’d like to trade the Hood in for a R, tonight?”

Catman: What has Thomas Blake been doing since everything went to shit? Retracing steps. Checking out old haunts and probably if he did not know any better, contaminating crime scenes, but luckily for the over worked, stressed out men and women of the law especially the CSI techs Thomas knew a thing thing or two about not contaminating crime scenes. For Thomas it was about getting what he needed references, deconstructing what happened, but what was in front of him.

Whether it was a broken table, skylight or anything else that was out of place. Scents that blended together that made for a nightmare for most could be pulled apart by Thomas. It was like looking at after images. He didn’t see people, his brain could fill in the images, but his sense of smell, his olfactory senses were on fire. Things that were familiar and those that were.

Birds of a feather and who flocked and didn’t flocked together could be made out. As could ninjas (he was being kind, because in the beginning it was kung fu mutha #$@%ers.) Those were new, but he was becoming familiar with them and their arsenal of weapons. They certainly liked their smoke bombs. If anything he was looking for clues, clues to help him piece together where to go next, what questions to asks.

The Joker was involved. It was evident by his pirate broadcasts. Word on the street is this is where it happened. He needed to be able to distinguish scents not to go running out into the city, but to add them to a growing and never ending repository of information, but these quiet moments of the lone cat slinking through the night allowed Thomas to organize information in a way that allowed him to ask simple questions. Questions that some would overlook, but others might go hmm.

Of the scents there were some that were unfamiliar. One that was expensive, yet exotic. The fragrance wasn’t anything you would find stateside, it was definitely outside the United States. It had to be the dame. Then there were others that were local could be Joker, but another, this one that was neither ninja, goon or Cobblepot made Thomas wrinkle his nose.

He knew that scent. He smelled it before. He tucked that away. The scent had no name attached to it, but the nose never forgets. Still, this is where the dame was snatched. It’s what he was thinking about as he left one crime scene for the next. There were people to talk to. This was normal. Insurance rates would go out for Oswald, but he’d reopen.

He always did. Why was he involved? Why did it matter? Firefly wasn’t anyone to him, not really.

Perhaps it was the nagging feeling of…where was the justice? If it had been him he’d be in jail, being told what a harm he was to society. Ninjas were in the streets menacing anyone that was caught in their path that happened to have some interaction with those that had been classified as the enemy, because they might know something. Bat’s was an asshole, but he was their asshole and there was something. This…this bullshit was something….Gotham was hitting new lows, even for Gotham and given that he was from Gotham Thomas Blake could say that.

In the middle of all that something stuck out.


Damien: Damien had chosen to gloss over the fact that he had killed Killer Moth, but it wasn’t something he regretted all that much. The man was useless. Hardly a match for Damien’s viciousness. But, that wasn’t the others appreciated so much.

“You are not funny, Richard. Besides, I believe Dinah wore it better than I ever had.” Damien said with a complete straight face and deadpan delivery. Did he just make a joke? Gunning it towards the docks, Damien didn’t stop for anything. Dodging between cars, surprising old ladies crossing the crosswalk. You know, what he normally would have done. “The League attacked Wayne Manor? Hmm. Interesting.” pressing his lips together as he continued zooming towards the harbor.

Storing that bit of information for later, Damien concentrates on the operation at hand. “Dinah. I will need you to take care of the lights. If we cannot shut off the lights, then the night will be much more difficult than it will need to be. What about lifesigns, Timothy? Can your eyes tell us how many guards we are expected to encounter? And maybe where Joker is holding my mother hostage?”

ST: “That is where I give you the Bad News,” as if the rest of what Tim had reported was Good News! “There are nearly one hundred life signs on the boat. Scattered pretty randomly, from what I can see. I can’t risk the drones going in close, with the Halo on, or they’ll blow the element of surprise. So I’m dealing with what I can give you from range. More than half of the life-signs are also pinging on the metal detectors, suggesting that they’re armed. But…

“I’m afraid that’s not the worst of the news. My drones are reading high levels of thermite, which isn’t necessarily an explosive of it’s own, but is a catalyst used to ignite explosives,” Timothy’s voice is actually shaky when he finishes speaking. “What I’m saying is. I can’t tell you who is an enemy or an innocent but what I can tell you is that Joker has rigged nearly everyone on that boat with dead man explosives.”

Dinah: “Sounds like a job for someone not named Canary, you lost me at hard wired…”

In reality, I’d followed the rundown of the yacht itself of course, layout and what’s where committed to memory as easily as anything else is. Except the operation, or use, of anything more complicated technology wise than my VCR. I can use computers, we just have a hate-hate relationship and when it comes to ‘jacking’ anything, especially something important, it’s not a job best left to me even if there’s no other options. I’d probably find a way to get his system herpes at a distance. Or just break whatever I was supposed to be linking. But I’m glad Red Robin’s not here. I’d tried ‘grounding’ him to the house that he’s bunking in with me, which had lasted until I’d left myself, and he’d only been briefly back since. As long as he’s not in the thick of the fight though, he can do his thing.

“Ttch. I was hoping to see you in the booties, Hood. I’m sure they make them in your color. And I wore it better than any of you did. But who wouldn’t want to get all up close and cuddly with Bats, here. You drop me in the bay and you’re getting another tally on your sheet…”

Any further comment or commentary about Damien’s plan gets cut off by Tim’s additional sunny information about our situation here, and the corner of my mouth pulls tighter, and tighter to the side in a grimace as he goes on.

“So. We need to get in and out, with minimal side trips for vengeance…” Yes, I’m making side eyes at you, Hood, “In as short an amount of time as possible. I’m assuming if I destroy in true me fashion the controls and lights then Red Robin’s not going to be able to help…?”

Catman: Thomas had been to the Iceberg a few times, it was usually for upscale clientele. He was familiar with most of the female staff in one way or another. He rather not go into how he knew them, but he was familiar with most of their scents and the clothing that Cobblepot had them wear. It was familiar. However, there was something that didn’t stand out, something that was more along the lines Joker’s people.

Quinn. Not that he didn’t have a frame of reference, but anyone that was there that talked said nothing about her. Despite all her problems, Quinn was not a shrinking violet. She was loud, obnoxious and usually draped over the Joker like a cheap suit. At least that’s what Thomas had observed and heard. However, this time there was no mention of her…at all.

Even more, he couldn’t recall seeing her during the Joker’s broadcasts. That didn’t add up. Not one bit. What’s a guy to do? Ask questions. Questions that could get him in trouble if he asked the wrong people, but there were people he could ask. Had they seen the Joker’s best gal. True they had their differences, and they sometimes went on the outs, but there was nothing on the street said that they were on the outs. What he had a was a peculiarity. One ne needed to uncover.

Here’s the thing. He was working at the deductive reasoning business. If the Joker and Harley weren’t on the outs then where was she? There was nothing from the regulars about her being seen or brought into the police department and she’s not someone you would overlook on the street. She stood out just like the clown.

However, everything about what happened at everyone looking at the Joker focused on what he was doing. Their attention was to the left, but what was happening to the right? What was she up to? Why wasn’t she noticed? Because she didn’t want to be. Took of her face and put on a mask.

She blended in. Change of pace. Less asking about Harley and more about Harleen.

Damien: “I will hardwire him into the boat, then.” offering as he listened to Tim. Though, that didn’t discourage him from coming in hot on the harbor. “Oracle. If I am to give you a up close look at these dead man explosives, will you be able to determine if you can disable them, or give us a way to disable them?” the information was bleak, but it wasn’t going to stop Damien from going in. Though, it wasn’t going to be in the usual way.

Getting through the harbor gate wasn’t hard, that was probably the easiest thing he’d done tonight. Coming within sight of the yacht, Damien would narrow his eyes. It was obvious which boat it was. “Do not worry, Canary. There is only one trip of vengeance, And that is ending when I bash my fist against Joker’s skull.” explaining. “And here, We were comrades at one point. Tch. I was thinking of inviting him to Thanksgiving Dinner.” Obviously Damien was suffering from some kind of head trauma to make such a terrible joke.

Or, maybe he was trying to be like them? It was hard to tell. Damien was hard to read at times. “Okay, Oracle. I will be on the boarding ramp to the vessel in…3 …. 2 …. 1” stopping the cycle hard when he gets just inside the halo light, Damien launches himself at the first guard. Hoping to draw the surprise of some the guards to him. “Patch yourself to my helmet to see what I see and advise.”

ST: “Alright, hang on tight then Canary,” Dick’s voice is not nearly so stern as Bruce’s, but there’s a timber to it when he’s wearing the cowl. “Let’s be clear about this, Hood. We’re here to get your Mother out, Damien. That has to be the priority. Saving Gotham for tonight means getting Ra’s his daughter back.”

Bruce would have never agreed to this plan. Not with so many variables. Especially not with Damien in such a strange place as he has been mentally of late. Bringing in help with explosives on every level would have just invited carnage. All but asking the Joker to set them off for no other reason than to take people away from the Batman. The trouble with Bruce’s method, tonight, would have been a failure to recognize that all of this isn’t about the Batman and his eternal fight with the Joker. It’s about Damien confronting his Demon. Maybe tonight that Demon wears the face of a clown, but it’s still the young man’s demons at risk here. The loss of his Father has the Hood going down a rabbit hole and this might be the last chance to pull him out of it.

The Batman’s arms enclose around the lithe waist of the Black Canary only moments before the two of them take in to the air. They were in a lofty spot, across the Docks at the Lighthouse Tower. It was not merely a point of vantage to see the scene before them, but offered an opportunity to take the high ground. With his cowl in place, Dick was able to track the Red Hood’s transit from afar. Making it an issue of timing, that put them in the air only seconds after Damien begins his count down. Their arrival cannot be before the Hood causes a distraction. True to his words the Cape that Dick wears is fully functional, with hardened spines that look to be seams snapping in to place. With the cape then employed as a glider it will allow Black Canary to choose her point of entry.

In all of their ears is Timothy Drake, “You’re on my main screen Hood. I’m going to use your helmet line a sonar. As you move through the boat I’ll ping and then cross reference with the blue prints. Your mother has to be on level three or four. Deck four is mostly bed rooms. The films that Joker was sending to the local news showed your mother on a stage. That means deck three. Near the aft of the boat. There’s a theater room there. They have live bands perform for parties.”

Now the Boat itself isn’t that difficult to board. Not for the Batman, Black Canary and especially not the Red Hood on his motorcycle. What might be surprising though is the lack of defense put up by the ‘armed guards.’ Even when the engine of the Red Hood’s bike garners their attention? They seem rather flat-footed about mowing him down with a spray of bullets.

Which is a mystery that gets solve in rather quick fashion, when the Halo goes out and the disco lights take it’s place. If you though the Halo effect was bright? This is taking that effect and adding crack cocaine to it. The Admiral Harbor lights up like New Years, in the middle of June. The party music that had been reported to the police as noise pollution before only cranks it up that much worse.

Oh, but that is not the strangest little bit of information that our ‘Heroes’ get once arriving on scene. One has to wonder: How did Ra’s al Ghul know where the Joker was holding Talia? That answer comes quickly. In the form of League of Shadows bowmen laying face down in the olympic sized pool on the main deck. Their blood has turned the pool a sickly shade of brown. The chlorine does very little to cleanse the stench of death from the air. It’s difficult to count how many of the Assassins have died, because their bodies are quite literally piling up in the pool.

Catman: Thomas would not go as far as to say that he cracked the case, but he had something he could work with. It’s not that he didn’t have other resources, but he rather not tip his hand if he didn’t have to. He also was unsure about where he stood. Could this be contained? If so, what then? If not, what then? Gotham hadn’t grinded to a halt, but it felt like a city had seized a bit with everything that happened. The wheels of progress were once again off the track in the worst way.

Even if this had the best possible outcome and Talia al Ghul was rescued there were individuals who weren’t too keen about the way things went down. If the ninjas had been acting alone at the command of their master it would be one thing, but there had been too many reports that the Hood had been at the front. The same Hood who was galivanting around with the Joker.

Everyone saw how long that lasted, in the progress someone last their life and yes everyone knew the Joker was insane, not excuse a fact and he may find his way to Arkham again to repeat that cycle, but what about the Hood? Is this the Justice people should expect now? Are the rules being rewritten? A new order.
The Bat had been seen, but…Thomas told himself to focus. He needed to take a step at a time. Rather than asking if anyone had seen Harleen Quinzel he asked if anyone had seen this woman. If they didn’t think about or she would be a random person.

Anywhere. Somewhere. Someone had to have seen the woman. He was hoping. Whether Gothamites wanted to believe all of Gotham was touched by crime. Some violent, some not so violent some that used the upper echelons of population to bring their operations into the light. They went legitimate , we as legitimate as they could. Others had understandings, which is why he spoke with everyone showing the picture of Harleen from an old newspaper article. They didn’t need to know that she now went about as Harley Quinn.
It was a simple, “Have you seen this woman.” Type of situation. She was running a scam, and someone got burned and Thomas was doing work to track her down, for a friend. It took a little time, because he slow walked it, he didn’t want to tip off the wrong people. If word got around that he was looking for Harley it could quickly get back to the Joker and he wanted to avoid that.

However, he got what he needed eventually. She had been spotted, in Sandy Hook of all places.

Dinah: “So help me God, if you taze me again right now…”

I know he’s not going to, so it’s a hollow and trailed off threat as I wrap my arms around Grayson’s suited form. Up close, it’s very easy to tell the difference between him and when Tim wore the suit, even though he was ‘enhancing’ a lot when he did, and certainly from their father. They’re all built very differently, which could be attributed to what they’re each individually good at I suppose. His ‘fun’ little prank while we were sparring was one thing, none of these guys are going to put down a comrade in the field, especially not when there’s only three of us. It might amount to suicide.

And speaking of which…

There’s a harsh noise not exactly under my breath as we glide over the pool, lit up like a psychedelic murder disco that says ‘Welcome! Party’s Right Here and We’ve Been Waiting for You!’

“So we’re doing Ra’s’ dirty work, in the name of family loyalty and Gotham. Just #$&*ing great. I don’t know if this is a compliment, or a convenient ploy…”

And in the end it doesn’t really matter which one, because clearly the League can’t get this done with the forces he was willing to commit, and the current state of the city just can’t continue. As we approach the helicopter pad, and the inevitable staircase downwards to the floor below, I jerk my head with a suggestive waggle of blonde brows.

“Going down…”

When I’m close enough to make the jump, I just let go and do, tumbling into a booted run across the top deck to make my way towards a whole lot of surely delicate electronics that I’m going to play not so nicely with.

Damien: Damien’s response well, wasn’t a response as Dick told him they were there for his mother, and his mother only. Vengeance will have to wait. That simple fact made Damien’s blood boil. Once again, having to choose. It was the right decision, Damien recognized that, but it didn’t mean that he had to like it. Once he’s on the boat, he’s surprised to see the League of Assassin bowmen laying face down in the pool, upon piles of their own corpses in the pool. It was a disturbing sight, but didn’t faze Damien.

All this would bring Damien down to one knee within the bridge as he reached up to touch the side of his helmet to turn the sound dampeners on. Then something in his lenses to filter out the extra light. Though, it would take him several seconds for the light blindness to slowly fade away. Whatever Joker was doing, it was definitely slowing them down. “Oracle. Can you hear me?” asking, unsure if Tim would be able to overcome the additional sound and light at the origin. When his blindness faded, Damien’s vision would still be hampered. Though, he could only hope that Batman was able to overcome this.

“If you can hear me, Oracle. Can you turn the power off to the vessel? Maybe that will be sufficient enough to turn off the lights and additional music. I am unsure how much longer the sound dampeners in the helmet will be able to suppress the sound before overloading.” It was becoming clear as to why his father had such a hard time defeating Joker. There was no rhyme or reason to his methods. No pattern, just pure chaos. While even chaos had patterns, Joker seemed to defy those laws.

“Batman, Canary. Are you well?” asking as Damien worked on patching a stronger connection for Oracle.

ST: Now our group makes Three. Batman. Black Canary. Red Hood. Gone is the sound of Timothy Drake in their ears. Gone is the sound of one another in their ears. While there are three of them, they are now each very much alone.

The Red Hood has taken to the bridge, that was the plan. He’d volunteered to handle deploying Timothy’s technology that should have given the Boy Wonder access to the Vessel. However none of them had accounted for the instant radio silence that descends upon them at their arrival. Damien most of all was relying on Tim to give him information. Cut off from that he has only his own senses and those of his Red Hood helmet to rely upon. Immediately beneath the Helicopter Pad, the Bridge Deck is actually the smallest area where crew or passengers actually inhabit. Damien can literally see from one side of the deck to the next, with the only impediment to his vision being the singular ‘Room’ where the crew would go to take control of the boat. That’s where the Captain and Crew would be, if the boat was out of the Harbor sailing the ocean blue. Right now the Bridge itself has a myriad of crew members. Each one dressed in their uniforms. Though they’re each showing signs of abuse. Their faces painted, marred with makeup that has made each of their faces a mocking tribute to the Joker.

What’s more immediately recognizable is that Tim was right. They’re all armed. Each of the five man crew that inhabit the bridge is armed with some manner of firearm. And each of them are turning those weapons on the Red Hood.

The Black Canary’s roost upon the Helipad is actually the one place on the vessel with the least amount of eyes on it. But that is actually by design. As the Boat ‘Lights Up’ the Helipad is transformed in to a stage. With the biggest and brightest of the lights turned upon it. Colors of all sort wash over the pad, as blinding as the sounds are deafening. The purpose of chaos is often confusion, but the lights upon the Helipad do not remain all that confusing for once. Their swirling nature last only until each of the lights come to rest upon a single point. A spotlight, such as it is. With a single person standing in the middle of it. A woman. Who’s arrival seems all too timely, especially once Dinah realizes that this woman has put herself right in the path of the staircase off the Helicopter Pad. The red, purple and green tassels that waft in the wind have a similar effect to Batman’s pretty cape obscuring most of the visible sight of what armor and weapons the creature might be carrying.

To those not yet on the boat the sight of the Yacht has drastically changed. It’s ordinary white wash finish has taken on a purple and green hue. The soundscoming from the Destiny can reach as much as a mile away. Circus Music is certainly a way to rouse many a high profile millionaire in the surrounding boats. Anyone within range of line of sight might also notice, strangely, that the other guards are almost motionless all along the exterior of the Boat.

Catman: This was the last place that he thought he would find himself. When people came to visit Gotham it was usually this area that they visited. It is where Gotham Stadium was located. It was the part of Gotham that people wanted to have showcase across the world and it got its fair share of television time sadly Crime Alley and the like also got their fair share. If Crime Alley was the hideous child that you wanted to keep hidden under the steps then Sandy Hook was the one you wanted to show.

In other words, Sandy Hook was Marcia Brady, while Crime Alley didn’t even rate Jan, it was Cousin Oliver.

If Thomas had more to go on he might know where to start in this area of the city, but while he had something he didn’t know exactly what it was. There could have been a number of reasons why Harley had come to his part of town. He could ask around, but that would take time and time had been running out. Though when one thought about it despite the fact that Talia al Ghul had been snatched in the Iceberg, Sandy Hook would definitely be an area she might have been residing in.

It was a leap, but one thing that Thomas knew was that no one had heard anything about the Joker setting up shop in the usual areas. Maybe there was a reason for that. Perhaps to disappear they needed to hide in plan sight in the last place anyone would look for them. It was possible. Anything was possible. It could explain why Harley had been in the area.

Perhaps it was as simple as that. Not only had she removed the armor to appear as a regular person they needed something innocuous and wouldn’t draw attention to themselves. So many assumptions, but now that he had an area there were different questions that he could ask.

Was there anything out of the ordinary. Anything, nothing was too big or small. Was it business as usual in Sandy Hook or was something out of place? That was the question and while there had been no explosions, no terrible threatening people roaming the streets, there had been something.

Noise complaint. Nuisance. Noise pollution. Apparently, all was not well in Sandy Hook. Neighbors weren’t getting along. Perhaps they were having a bit of spat, but as Thomas dug into it apparently this had been going on for quite some time. Two weeks. Two weeks and nothing, but then again, the wealthy tended to handle certain matters amongst themselves. At least that what he was told, but two weeks. It was true that al Ghul had been missing for a week, but perhaps he should.

It’s what brought Thomas to the Admiral Docks in Sandy Hook. The source of the noise pollution. Thomas had seen it before they all had. It was a jewel of Gotham, but by the time he arrived it had gone from jewel to something out of a nightmare. If there was any doubt about where the Joker had set up shop it had vanished. Apparently, the murder circus had set up shop on the water.

Despite what this meant the first thought that Thomas had was, property values are about to hit the basement.

Dinah: The lack of communication and tech feeds? Not actually all that problematic for me. I know what kind of gadget suites most of the other suits run, heads up displays, data feeds, streamed access to the Batputers. Just because I avoid implementing them like the plague doesn’t mean I don’t have a general idea of what they’re all working with. The only thing I’ve used, and probably ever will use, is the earpiece for communicating with my partners, and on occasion some low light/no light lenses. I’ve heard enough bitching and moaning from Tim that I wouldn’t let him ‘set me up’ with something more efficient and top end when he did the latest iteration of my Canary ‘suit,’ not to mention the serious threats of bodily harm he got when eyeballing my bike, but in moments like this? I kind of thing it’s a good thing. I don’t feel crippled, or even that off, when the banter and insight cuts off.

Plus, I have a bit of a distraction in front of me. The lights, and the figure at least. The sound doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Being immune to the concussive force of my own powers doesn’t mean I don’t hear them.

They were waiting for us. Tonight, in fact, because I don’t buy that this one, of all people, was conveniently waiting just so for more than about five minutes. I doubt she has the attention span for it, really. That’s not even factoring in the lovely stage lighting, but I only spend so long wondering exactly how much of our system has been compromised, and where it starts. Or maybe someone just told them we were coming.

“Well, gotta say I’m a little surprised. I figured you’d be all for us offloading your boss’ distraction…”

Damien: When his vision came back, Damien turned around to see five men pointing their weapons at him. This wasn’t good. When they started firing on him, Damien did his best dance to dodge the incoming bullets. They were marred in Joker makeup, which means they might be doing this against their will. Which means non-lethal methods. Unfortunately, that didn’t apply to them against him. Though, he couldn’t kill them. Didn’t mean he could disable him. Diving behind one of the consoles in the bridge, he used it to take cover from the fire.

They were jamming all the equipment. Which meant that Damien had no idea what was going on. But, he had faith in his brother and Dinah to get the job done. There was a hope that maybe Tim could do something. But for now, he had to assume there was going to be no way in contacting his younger brother. It was a slight setback. Right now, Damien had to deal with five armed men, looking to make swiss cheese out of him. Sure, Damien’s armor was bullet proof. It didn’t mean he wanted to rush them and test just how bullet proof it was.

When there was enough of a pause, Damien would make his move. Getting onto his feet and staying low, he pulls out a small blade and runs around the edge of the console. Making sure to make it as hard as possible for the men to tag him. To keep them alive, he was going to have to slice the side of their knees in an attempt to get them to falter. It was the best he could do right now, because if any of them get a good shot in, things were going to become much… much different.

Helena: She couldn’t decide if she was more frustrated or embarrassed over the end of the evening. Frustration she could deal with, the other, not quite so easily. It left a lot of lingering questions she was prepared to answer, or could even answer. It also posed some larger problems and that on top of everything just soured her mood. Being reminded of to many things from her past made a seed of doubt dig its way into her brain, imbedding and growing. To many what ifs were running through her head as she unlocked the door to her dead father’s house and slammed it behind her. Leaning back against it she rubbed the but of her palm into one eye, her head was throbbing again in that knife through the back of the skull kind of way.

Dropping her purse on the entryway table she dug into it, pulling out her bottle of pills. Her hand was shaking, never a good sign, as she opened it and tapped out two of the contents and tossed them into her mouth. Dry swallowing the pills she tossed the bottle back inside her purse, taking it upstairs to her old bedroom to leave among the pile of her things that she’d still yet to go through. Which made her eyes slowly turn to the large locked storage box that she’d shipped over with the rest of her things.

Gotham was off limits. She wasn’t here in any official capacity. She wasn’t here to work. Yet she’d still packed her suit and gear. She hadn’t expected to need it but coming back here with what information she had been given she had planned on gathering more information about the vigilantes in the city. And Dick had left her to go deal with a problem at the docks, which lead to the possibility that those very same vigilanties would be showing up.

An hour later she was perched on the edge of a roof looking down over the harbor, googles down over her eyes as she zoomed in on the yacht just as the lights lit up in clashing colors. A frown tugged across her face and with a thought the air around her shimmered and she vanished from sight. Jumping down off the roof she caught the edge of the fire escape, swinging her around, slowing her descent before hitting the pavement silently. The police radio in her ear buzzing.

Moving further toward the docks she found a new perch on the roof of another yacht, the lack of chatter in her ear making her frown. The silent pop of the radio the telltale sign of a jammer. She drummed her fingers against her knee, the unsetlings sixth sense in the back of her head setting off more than a few warning signs.

ST: “Gee wizz, Mista Jay ain’t so distracticated as ya might think.”

The Cheshire smile is right at home on her sweet face. Dinah’s taller. Seemingly in better shape. Nothing about the heart-shaped face or the even heartier shaped bottom suggests that she might put up a fight against someone like the Canary. Yet there she is. In all of her grandeur. Posing, more or less. Directly in the path of the blonde vigilante. Making no effort to hide or simper. She’s bold and the mallet in her hand, trailing upon the helipad behind her? Is even bolder.

“Listen Tweety, what we have here is a stand-off. Not even the fun Mexican variety. What say we skip town. Couple gurls out on the town. Leave the boys to their toys and games? Maybe we can stop and watch the fireworks. Mista Jay does the best fireworks.”

Just below the Helicopter Pad is the Bridge and that is where Damien is encountering a whole new world of psychotic. He’s right to dive for the nearest console. He’s also right that there’s no way of knowing whether or not the bridge crew are acting upon their own volition or not. What he does know, right away, is that they’re trying to kill him. Gunfire erupts immediately.

Now when he emerges from behind the console there’s a selection of targets. The five of them have not spread out like professions. They’re huddling closer to the console than they should and when Damien takes the fight to them he’s quick to take one out at the knee. Immediately he gets a little more information about the crew, because they don’t hesitate. The remaining four simply shoot at whatever is moving. Including each other. He might not be employing lethal force, but the first person he takes out? Is dead shortly there after by the other men not caring who they shoot in their rush to hit Damien.

His helmet is filtering all of the insanity around him, but it isn’t blocking it off entirely. Now that he’s engaged directly, he’ll hear the men. Screaming. Not in rage, but in terror. They’re terrified. Of -Him-. They’re not attacking him out of rage or intention, they’re attacking him out of unbridled fear. Like he was a demon among their midst.

Not too far below them comes yet more sounds of carnage. After dropping Canary at the point she wished, Dick Grayson descended upon the boat as Batman. Neither of them can see what is happening, but there is no mistaking the sounds of combat below.

Nor can either of them mistake the sound of the first explosion for what it is either. Easily seen from -off- the boat. Something or someone just went up like the forth of July.

In the relative silence that follows the first explosion comes the maniacal cackle of the Clown Prince.

Damien: Damien can see it in their faces, though he can’t let emotion get the best of him. Did he want this man to die? No. He didn’t deserve this, he didn’t deserve to die like this.In complete terror and being shot down by his friends. As much as Damien wanted to save the man, he knew he couldn’t. It was something he’ll have to figure out later. But, right now, he couldn’t be distracted. Taking them down close wasn’t going to do it. Instead, he ops to use the console again as a shield, but he knows it wasn’t going to take long before their weapons completely tore through the already bullet riddled console.

When Damien heard the explosion, hopefully that would catch the men’s attention just long enough for him to throw over some gas pellets as he ran from the console as it wasn’t providing him with any kind of cover. He’d use anything as cover at this point, hoping the gas pellets would be enough to knock the men out. Damien was a man of order, He liked to do things in a certain way. Much like how Bruce did. There was a method to his madness. The Clown Prince threw all that into the air.

“I do not suppose you men are done shooting at me?” asking, waiting for the sounds of the men falling to the ground before slowly creeping up behind a sofa.

Hopefully Dinah and Richard were having a better time than he was.

Dinah: Here’s the thing about looking curvy and sweet and mostly just female: it gets you underestimated. A lot. Even when you’re carrying a Loony Tune-esque mallet in your hands. It’s one of the reasons that I walk around in glorified fetishwear, or maybe just underwear like I do. Being underestimated is a real, solid, and fairly dependable fighting tactic, especially when you’re aggressive enough to seize upon any and all openings that gives you. I’m not going to underestimate Harley Quinn.

“I suppose not, seems like he’s had plenty of time to plan a real party…”

Cocking my head towards the starboard side of the boat, I sweep a half gloved hand out in an inviting gesture.

“Pick up some margaritas on the way? Sounds great, after you…”

The gunfire erupting below isn’t unexpected, we knew most of them were armed coming in, and it means that someone’s engaged. From how close it sounds it could be either one. Then comes the explosion, that you don’t have to be able to see to hear, and maybe even feel. I don’t have time to stand around playing a waiting game here, so I sigh, and the hand returns to my fist.

“No? Alright then.”

I don’t normally like to give up ground. It’s always better to force your opponent to act so that you can react, and set the terms of an engagement but she’s already called it what it could be. A stand-off. And so I move, charging in on the side of the mallet so there’s less time for a wind up, and more opportunity to dodge its’ inevitable path.

ST: The fight in the bridge room ends up being short, if not sweet. Though the gas pellets do not have 100% effectiveness, they do take the proverbial heat off of Damien. One by one the crew men succumb to the toxic gas they inhale. But once the Red Hood emerges from behind the cover he sought, he’ll see that knocking them out did not save them from a gruesome ending.

One by one as the crewmen began to lose focus and consciousness, they took their own lives. Of the fives that were there when he entered three of them died from wounds inflicted upon themselves. One shot himself, to avoid the ‘Demonic Creature’ that would sure surface from the toxic cloud to eat him. Another slit his own throat in some sort of gruesome attempt to keep himself from inhaling the acidic cloud that Damien unleashed upon them. A third simply died, choking and wheezing upon the gas itself. He lays at Damien’s feet gurgling his last breathe in utter terror of the Red Hood.

Only one remains and he, the Captain of Yacht in fact, lays curled at the base of the doorway. Huddled around his firearm. Rocking back and forth, muttering some strange prayer for the help of God to protect him from these unearthed sea demons.

In any sort of real fight between Harley Quinn and Dinah Lance, the Canary wins. The only mistake that Dinah makes is in thinking that this is such a thing. She charges. Quinn ducks backwards, making no effort to truly engage. Instead as she dances back, a hidden switch on the mallet is touched and the floodlights rush to her co-star. The Black Canary gets the lights from all sides. All at once. The sudden unmistakable focus of those ultra high beams, meant to guide aircraft in from thousands of feet away.

She doesn’t attack Canary at all at first. In fact it’s quite the opposite. Blinding the Canary is just step one. Step two comes in the form of a string of fire crackers. Tossed at the pretty bird’s feet. Not just any fire crackers. I mean, they do read “BOOM” on the side.

Her giggling is pretty obnoxious.

Once Damien emerges from the Bridge area he’s going to be greeted with those lights and sounds. The circus is in town and it’s apparently right here on the boat. Below him, just a single deck down. Batman is facing an eerily similar situation to what Damien had faced. It’s nearly impossible to discern the difference between Joker’s actual goons and the hapless souls who just happened to be here innocently when Joker took over the boat.

Which has left Dick Grayson fighting a battle from all sides. Bouncing between upturned chairs, that once upon a time had been for use in the art of sunbathing. He fights an ever growing battle. Similar to Damien’s results, Dick has discovered that disabling the innocents merely causes the thermite that Tim pointed out, to ignite.

“They’re all wired! If they lose consciousness, they blow up. We can’t knock the civilians out! It’ll kill them.”

Which means the Batman is bound in a dance between the ones actively trying to kill him and the ones who can’t help themselves. The Chaos has them turning even on one another. Which is clearly what caused the explosion before.

“… they’ve all been juices… I think it’s Scarecrow’s fear toxins…”

Dinah: So we’re back to the crazytown stand-off it seems, and even though my eyes have started to adjust to the bright strobe effect that’s been bouncing and dancing all over the ship, I wasn’t entirely prepared for the intensity of all of those floodlights, all at the same time. A defensive arm isn’t nearly enough, or fast enough, to fully block them from robbing me of the full range of vision. Who needs all their senses in a fight… It’s definitely preferable but you just have to learn to use the other ones to compensate.

Speaking of seizing advantages, Harley wastes little time in an attack of her own, or what looks like one anyway. They could be nothing. They could also be enough C4 to blast me to Bludhaven in bits, regardless of what happens to the boat along with me. Naval safety doesn’t seem to be their concern, if the amount of thermite Tim had spoken of was any indicator.

I just don’t let them slow me down, after the stutter that blinding lights had caused in my gait, I pick up steam again, breaking into a sprint, orienting myself on that awful, grating giggling. That I know how to stop once I get my fists on her.

Damien: This was insanity in its most pure form. Thankfully Damien’s helmet was able to at least filter out the extra noise and strobing lights. “I noticed.” saying as Damien descended onto pool deck to help Batman try and contain and incapacitate them. “Then maybe we should not incapacitate them. Instead, may I suggest rounding them up like cattle in order to stop hurting themselves?” asking. Damien’s blood was boiling on high. But he was trying to keep his cool so that he could go confront Joker and end this lunacy once and for all.

Pulling out some rope, he hands Batman one end and hopefully they’re able to maneuver around the masses enough to try and tie them up without knocking them out. “Do you have any Fear-Toxin Antidote on you?” Damien wasn’t sure what Batman had exactly. Hopefully their plan worked. “Do you think you can get to the engine room, Batman? The bridge is out of commission and the only way to disable the vessel now is through a power switch in the engine room. Though. I have a feeling you may find more of these lunatics on your way.” commenting, Damien would then start towards where the theatre was. It was time to end this, and end it now.

ST: It might seem like a mad dash, but Dinah’s got a lot of things working in her favor. The rush of adrenaline, the sound of Harley’s laughter. Motivation in the form of Fire Crackers that are even now going off with the thunderous sounds of rifle fire.

What she lacks though, is premeditation. Harley has that in spades. Our Heroes have seemingly forgotten that Joker and Harley are each more than insane, they’re also brilliant in their own little ways. Harley, also known as Harleen Quinzel, happens to be a world class psychologist. Knowing for getting in to her client’s headspace in a way that most couldn’t even understand. Right now she seems to know, intuitively, that the Canary wouldn’t just let someone like her win without giving it her all. Why else would Harley be playing a game of keep away.

Which is working, if only because Harley is dancing away unencumbered by the light that threatens to take away Dinah’s vision. Unfortunately for Harley that only works for so long, before Dinah’s almost upon her and the giggling stops.

“Hey! Hands offa da merchandise!”

Dinah manages a single handful of one of those tassels. Now she just has to hold on to it when that Hammer’s handle thuds against Canary’s stomach.

Batman and Robin, by way of the Red Hood, are squaring off with a sizeable amount of terror-filled people. As Damien gets in close, he’ll see what Dick was talking about. These Civilians are scared, they’re lashing out at anything and anyone who gets close. No skill involved, but that’s where the actual trained goons are failing as well. They’re frightened as well, terrified just the same. Causing them to surrender their own training to that fear, giving in to it. Putting the entirety of that third deck in to complete chaos.

And the Batman’s already scary appearance is only making it worse. He amounts to a literal demon in their midst, not just ones their imagination conjure up.

Damien’s plan is one that Dick sees some sense in, but there happens to be a whole lot of downside in it. At the moment there doesn’t seem to be a lot of choice though. Bringing the Grappling hook in to play, he sets about assisting Damien in that very thing. Tying up as many of them as he can. At the very least it thins their numbers.

“Standard issue in any utility belt, but I don’t have enough for all of these people. That helmet of your’s should keep it out of your system, I’ve got the re-breather from my cowl. Canary’s unprotected though…”

Leaving Damien here sounds like a terrible idea, but neutralizing the boat’s power is an optimal plan. There’s little doubt that it’s not the best option, but nothing in this mad house is optimal. Finally Dick gives him a nod, he’ll get the power turned off.

Hood, as hard as this is to accept. We have to get Talia off of this boat. There’s maybe fifty civilians here, but if Talia dies Ra’s will unleash the League on the whole City. Ten times is many people die if that happens.”

Damien: “Turn off the power and attempt to get to Canary. I will get Talia and take her off this boat. I know what Ra’s is capable of Batman. His blood runs within me. Also, maybe call PennyOne after you have turned the power off. Have him drop enough on everybody here.” Watching Batman for just a moment, Richard is Batman. There was no doubt that the cowl belonged to the right person. It was never for Damien to wear, but he would if Richard didn’t want to wear it.

Purging the thoughts from his mind, Damien turns and runs towards where the theatre is. Using their fear against them to create a path.

Talia had to be rescued. In his mind, Damien was working on an idea. An idea he didn’t like, He couldn’t fight the Joker and rescue Talia at the same time. So, he was going to have to go in guns blazing, if you will, to create enough of a distraction to grab Talia and then somehow blow out a section of the vessel to escape with her.

But, honestly. The idea was shakey enough.

If Joker killed Talia? That would probably be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It would be more than enough to drive Damien onto that path and never look back. Maybe even participate in the razing of Gotham. When he reaches the theatre doors, he doesn’t stop, instead he leaps into the air and kicks the door down tucking into a roll before popping back up, sword in hand.

Now, the final phase of this whole ordeal was about to end.

One way, Or another.

Dinah: Here’s the thing. You don’t stay in this line of ‘work’ without learning how to take a good bit of punishment, and being able to muscle on through it. I happen to prefer avoiding getting hit, while doing the brunt of the hitting myself, but there’s moments where things don’t go quite as I like. For instance, when I’m charging more than half blind at an opponent that I can only hear, and even that you can’t entirely trust because… these whack-os are all about show-biz tonight and I wouldn’t have been that surprised if it meant mics and speakers.


However, the handful of whatever this is, and the sharp ram to my midsection tells me I actually was heading the right direction. Hanging onto that tassel? Not a problem, if for no other reason than it’s getting a sharp yank as I fold forward over the handle of the mallet. Other hand going forward with the momentum of my run, following the ‘lead’ of the weapon down to the inevitable: one of the hands that is wielding it in the first place, and then a wrist so that when I twist around to that side, I’ve got a sensitive body part to torque along with me.

ST: While they weren’t able to secure everyone on the main deck, Damien and Dick did their best to secure as many as they could. There was only so much tether line between the two of them. It made for a slightly less chaotic venture for the two of them through different parts of the ship.

Dick’s path was less certain than Damien’s. Tasked with the unenviable task of getting all the way to the engine room, Dick understands that he doing the exact opposite of what Bruce would do. Bruce would -need- to go face the Joker. He would rationalize that this always going to be about Batman and Joker. Maybe he’d even be right, but the Joker knows. Somehow through all of his insanity? He knows that Batman is dead. Maybe not -the- Batman, but his Batman. He didn’t believe Timothy’s act as Batman and he’s unlikely to believe Dick’s anymore than that.

Damien on the other hand has a personal stake in this. One that will play out whether he’s involved or not. Losing Talia, without factoring in to the result would destroy him. Leaving only one choice, Dick has to trust his younger ‘Brother’ to do what is right. Because that’s really the only hope he has for the man’s sanity when all of this settles down.

So the Batman goes, not to fight to the Joker, but to find the power system that drives all of this insanity. Damien’s last sight of his brother is the cape and cowl descending a flight of boatsman steps. Sending a clown faced goon down before him, with a kick that jars the man to his very core.

“Tee hee. Holdin mah hand? Are we goin steady Tweety? How ’bout you give Momma a little sugar?”

Does that sound like a woman that is being twisted up like a pretzel? No, that sounds like a woman who enjoys being twisted up like a pretzel. Someone who’s had her arm twisted like that for kicks.

And Dinah was right. Sometimes it’s about muscling through the pain, other times it’s about enjoying it. Harley sounds almost happy to finally be in on some of the action. Dinah’s just getting warmed up too, when she undoubtedly hears the click.

That’s about all the warning she gets when the blunt end of mallet fires off like a rocket. Well, not -like- a rocket. It is an actual rocket. Having already been against Canary’s stomach, when the rocket fires it seeks to take Canary. Up up and away.

Oh and that arm? Yeah, well judging by the high piercing shriek of laughter Harley thinks of this like a Roller Coaster. If Canary hands on she gets to go for a ride.

Crazy bitch.

Up until now Red Hood has managed to get through the majority of this Mad House unscathed. He got through the bridge somehow without being shot. He made it through with the Batman’s aide, what might amount to nearly a hundred fear-crazed people with knives, guns and explosives. All the way to the theater room, where he makes this super awesome kung-fun style entrance.

This, folks, is Red Hood. Damien Wayne. In all of his glory.

Right up until the Titanium Baseball bat hits the back of that red hood with a ‘ting‘ that sounds like a grand slam hit.

Then another.

And another.

One to the ribs.

That one hits a knee.

One for the pistol arm.

“…stupid… fucking brat… don’t you get it? We are the same! He meant something to us… we needed answers. Who killed the Bat! Who took him from us?!”

Not so far in the distance? Damien can see his mother. Maybe not in the way he’s ever wanted to see her. She’s mostly naked by this point. Still hung to what looks like an over-sized dart-board. Which has been the obvious target of a game of throwing knives. Let’s just say more than few of them found the mark. If, between smacks of the baseball bat, he’s able to focus even a little? He’ll see that she’s actually still breathing. That may in fact be a bigger dishonor than anything else, because she’ll have to eventually awaken to see and feel what -all- has been done to her.

“Well. I know now. I know the truth … it’s the biggest Joke of them all…”

Dinah: Mother *%$&ing rockets.

When this is over, I’m going to go hunt down whomever it is that’s supplying these things to the city, and we’re going to have some words. And by words I mean I’m going to introduce them to every sharp, bony part of my body in rapid succession, and then do it a second, and possibly a third time afterwards. I wasn’t actually out to hurt Harley with the wrist lock. That had been to set her up for the hurt that was about to come when I put her down on our helipad dance floor.

Sorry Harls. No ride-a-long for you. At least not with me on this rocket-mallet. I let go of her wrist, and give the tassel in my other hand a yank, mostly to try to pull myself around and off of the forward movement of the rocket.


It’s short, but with my weight already back and off center, the force of that short burst ought to be enough to not only tilt me downwards, but the face-full of sonic energy might rock my opponent back, too, and maybe with some luck send her aim and her mallet up up and away. Prone isn’t exactly a great place to be, but I’m more than ready to kick anything that comes in range before I can kip back up again.

Damien: Joker didn’t have much in the way of strength that Damien, or even his father had. But, he wasn’t weak. So when the bat struck the back of Damien’s head, it nearly knocked off the helmet, but it also drove Damien down onto the floor where his ribs, knee and one of his pistol hands became greeted by the bat. The pain coursed through his body. Travelling at light speed, incapacitating him. But, every time Damien saw his nearly nude mother, he grew stronger. Grew angrier.

“Kill…” saying as blood dripped down out of his helmet. “Going … to kill you” growling under his mask. His head felt like it was on fire. Whatever was going to happen now, was going to happen on auto pilot now. When Joker stops his beatdown, Damien rolls away. But not before leaving a few exploding beads in his wake. Not enough kill him, but certainly surprise the living hell out of him. If they go off, the small force is enough to push Damien away even further from the psychotic clown.

Damien probably had a dislocated knee by this point, probably a cracked rib or two and a broken hand. But none of this was going to stop him from rescuing his mother. “Torturing the daughter of the demon would never get the answer you wanted, you psychotic lunatic.” pulling himself up, Damien can’t focus with the helmet on, so he tugs it off to see clearly. “You do not know the family you are trifling with, Joker. You do not realize the bounty that is on your head. The Demon will not stop for anything if you kill her.” slowly stalking towards the white skinned man.

“If you think Batman frightened you. Then you have no idea what true fear is. The Demon would kill you, Bring you back. Then do it again, for all eternity. Until your mind is so fractured, You will not even remember Batman. He will be just a memory that has lapsed.” stalking towards the Joker. “I will give you this opportunity to run, Joker. My fight is not with you tonight. Though, I will not hesitate to show you what real fear is.” saying as he changed direction to reach his mother.

“Come, Mother. It is time for you to return home.” Damien would keep his back towards Joker, knowing that Joker might strike him. Or run like the coward that he was. This scuffle with Joker was not over. He will pay his dues. Either by Damien’s hand, or by the League’s hand. This was his choice though. To rescue his mother and to take her home.

ST: What kind of world do we live in where a Rocket-Hammer doesn’t actually win in a game of one upsmanship between a couple of girls? A world full of crazy people, that’s what.

There’s this start of something truly beautiful. A little cheerful laughter, that turns almost mournful as the Canary is about to be sent in to outer space. Then a hiccup of, “…oh shit…” That comes just before the clowned smirk of Harley Quinn is turned in to a scowl of something akin to remorse.

Seconds later the Mallet of Mayhem is spiraling off in to the wild blue yonder. Leaving Harley’s dimpled face twisting in to a pout, that results in a foot stamp of petulance.

“That was mah favrit one! I clobbered Batgirl with that one… now you’re in for it…”

Then those wild, angry, blue eyes flicker to the wavering tassel. To the way Dinah twisted it as she rolled away. To the end that now tapers in a little loop around the …

“….but I didn’t wear mah parachooooootttt…” 

The Joker might be unaware that his girlfriend is even now taking a short flight over Gotham Harbor, but he has other things to worry about. Beating the piss out of the Boy Wonder for one thing. Right now he’s too busy ranting to have immediately noticed the little beads or even care about what they do.

“… you think Ra’s al Ghul scares me?” His laughter is only interrupted by the beads exploding. Flinging the Joker away from Damien, much as it carries the Hood away from the baseball bat that was coming for him.

Coughing, wiping the blood from his chin, and using the bat as a cane to pick himself up from the wreckage of an overturned television filming stage. The Joker isn’t nearly done. He’s taken more than that in bathroom brawls for the soap. The dry laugh coming from his lungs is serious, not nearly so mocking as before.

“Ra’s is nothing, he lives off of fear. Fear that is over-stated. Look around you Hood. Look at the pool outside. Ra’s is over-rated. He couldn’t save his daughter. He had to send you. You and your second rate bat-knock-off and the blonde hooker. You’re a a regular justice league out there.”

“The only reason you’re even alive is because I need someone to know the punchline.” Twisting the handle of that bat, the fat end drops off revealing it to be a sort of mechanized shot gun. “It’s a joke. Don’t you even see it? Haha. This is why I need him. He’s my only equal. None of you even see it and it’s right in front of your faces.”

“Ra’s doesn’t care about his daughter. He already knew where she was. If was half as scary as you seem to think, why didn’t he bring the full League to rip her away?” Stalking toward the Red Hood, shotgun bat in hand. “He came to Gotham to get back what she stole. The Lazarus Pit you threaten me with. She stole it to raise the Bat.”

“But it didn’t work. Because there was no body. Ask her yourself ‘Red Hood,’ you clod. We’ve all been duped. Batman isn’t dead.”


The shotgun? Blasts a hole in the side of the boat. Big enough for Damien to take his mother and leap in to the Harbor. “… Talia had so much to tell me. I’m afraid I can’t let your friends take me back to Arkham yet. Not when I’ve got so much to do. Go. Carry on my Legacy, as the Red Hood.”

After all of this? The insanity of it all. Damien made it clear that he was letting the Joker leave and the Joker? If what he’s said is true, then he has no reason to stand and have one big last hurrah.

Damien really doesn’t have a choice after all. His back is to the Joker, brazenly. So all he really gets is to feel the Joker’s boot kicking him through the hole out in to the Harbor. He gets to hear the insane laughter. And watch from the Hudson River as the Joker sets the switch. Detonating any of the remaining bombs that can still go off.

How better to cover his exit?

Dinah: On the downside, apparently Harley wasn’t packing a parachute. Seems unwise if you’re going to walk around with a rocket mallet, but that’s just me. The upside? Her trip up, up and away has officially spared her from feeling the brunt of my irritation, and thwarted my plans of ending all that giggling with a couple well placed finger jabs. At least, it’s an upside if she knows how to swim, but that’s not as high a worry on my priority list right now as you might like to think.

Namely because the entire ship is now, apparently, exploding. The usual elegance of me rising to my feet gone all to hell because the vessel rocks, and roils, and moves beneath me. There’s no more attempts at getting to any controls, or lights, there’s just getting off this ship. And hoping that my companions are doing the same. Booted feet beat across the helipad, picking up as much speed as I can get, before launching myself over, and into the awaiting frigid water.

I can swim. Eat that, clowns.


Killing Joke: Demon Daughter; Part III

“Helloooooo, Gotham. It’s me. Everyone’s favorite Clown Prince of Chaos. Bringing you another installment of ‘Gotham: This is your Life.'”

As it has been each time that the Joker’s image has appeared on televisions across Gotham, the scene is a grim one. Certain television shows will of course censor what is seen, but even still they’ll give their warnings of it being ‘Not for the Faint of Heart.’ With their little television ratings suggesting not to let children remain in the room. They’re right to do so of course. Keeping the children from being scarred for life by what is becoming an increasingly grisly view.

Talia al Ghul is beautiful by nearly any reckoning. Her features are that of genetic perfection. One might never look upon her and guess her age. At one time her skin was a state of perfection. Such that one would never guess at her real life-style. A testament of her ability, that her skill a fighter would allow her to navigate her life with hardly a single blemish to mark failure. Such is no longer the case. Her dress is now that of tatters. Leaving very little to the imagination if one were wondering about Talia’s figure. Those curves are easily made out now, what with her having been moved from a chair to being tied upright to a table. Her hands and feet splayed open in order present the woman as a target.

As the camera pans back it is all too easy to see that the surface she has been bound to is actually standing upright. With the Joker next to it. Blood mars the otherwise perfect face and body of the Princess. With each inch put upon display by the camera, it is easier and easier to see the woman’s peril. From the ball-gag preventing her from proper speech, to the cuts and scrapes lining her body from being the targetof every implement thrown at her. Of which there is plenty. Because apparently Talia has spent the time between broadcasts being the object of a game of darts.

Except that the darts range everything from actual darts, to throwing stars, daggers and that looks like an axe embedded in the wood just above her right ear. Her body on display making an excellent target as it’s been slowly exposed as her evening gown was cut away by more than a couple near misses. Those scars though.. those are from the not-so-misses.

“Christmas has come and gone. A new year has rung in. Yet still we have no answer to the one question plaguing our fair City.”


“I know, I get it. I do. It’s been a troubling quandary. Many of you didn’t even know he was gone. What with the game of pretend his sycophants play. Others of you were helpless. Sheep. Who looked to the Bat for protection. Now you’ve been left in a City of Sheep. Made all the more dangerous by the ‘Demon’ and his Goons combing the City.”

“Yes, yes. I know. I understand. I empathize with your pain. We’ve had someone taken from us. Someone dear to our hearts. Fear not, dear Gotham. I, the Joker, understand your pain and seek to find a way through this darkness for us all. But as my dear old friends at Arkham always said, true progress must begin with accepting your guilt.”

Someone in Gotham took him from us. Whether you’re the one who did it,” a hand pumps the ‘wheel’ and sends Talia’s torture rack spinning in circles. “Or you simply know who did. You can come forward. Tell us who took our Batsy away. That’s all we really want. Isn’t it? A chance to know who took him from us.”

“Which is why we’re here. Now. With the Demon’s Spawn. She did not take our Bat from us, but her Father. A man who seeks to remain in the shadows. The Demon’s Head. Not merely the rambling of a demented psychopath, but an honest to goodness, immortal in our midst. He holds the answers. He can step from the Shadows and tell us what we need to know.”

“Gotham. I do not do this to force you to huddle in your homes. Scared. Alone. Afraid of the shadows that the Demon sends out among you. No. I do this to take back what we’ve lost with the Batman’s passing. To give us a chance to find what’s been taken from us. Join me. Fight Back against the Shadows. Stand up. Raise your fists and say…

Who killed the Batman!?

“Ra’s, baby. Tick-tock. Your time is almost up. If you act now, your baby girl can sign up for a Tweety Page and join the #MeToo movement.” Stepping away, so that the Cameras can once more pan to the clown disguised thugs and the other beautiful woman with pig-tails. Each of whom are happily playing their game of Darts with Talia’s life. “Otherwise. I’m afraid our next game is going to be a little more…”

Boss! Hey, Boss. There’s a problem. Dewy tripped and dropped the flame-thrower… it’s broken.
“… what?! Rats. How are we going to play Roasted Rumpus without a flame-thrower?!”
… well there’s still the pirahna tank, Boss…
“…pirahna? I asked for sharks…”
They were all out down at the pet-store.

“Oh. Bother. Well Gotham. It looks like we’re going to have take off those advertisements for Shark Week. Instead you’re going to get to see a Demon’s Bitch, fed to Pirahna. This is your last chance, Gotham. Our next big broadcast will be the last. A season finale for the ages. Who needs sharks anyway…”

Kill Katana Vol. 1

Kill Katana Vol. 1

The trouble with revenge is that is never truly accomplishes anything. It is a dish best served cold and continuously and it is dish that will never satisfy or satiate. The act of seeking it occupies the mind between the drawing of blades and the emotion of it pushes you to slay all who stand before you when on the path. Tatsu Yamashiro had been on this path for longer The she cared to remember. Each footfall past the one that had brought her through the front door of her burning home in the wilds of Alaska and over the rapidly cooling corpse of her husband had been taken in an effort to further her finding his killer. Such as the one she takes now to bring her to the edge of a Gotham rooftop. Looking down she slowly moves her eyes searching for any detail that will ease her assault upon the Yakuza establishment below. The last had been a gambling den posing as a mere laundry mat and it had provided her with no answers. So she had located another target and again the dance would begin and the Soultaker would be fed, already the blade hummed with anticipation or perhaps memory as the voice of Maseo as distinct as the day he still lived pulled her mind back.

Takeo Yamashiro had been her first love and her first husband but he had not been her last love. He had been so confident and handsome then, only his chosen profession gave her slight pause. A lieutenant among the Yakuza the two had met shortly after her father forever changed the direction of her life. Tatsu had only ever wished to compete as a martial artist and to perhaps marry the handsome man who visited her home before every tournament.

His visits had always been cordial, at least until the night before the last when their true nature became clear. Takeo served the Yakuza and had been the man to collect losses or to distribute winnings and Her father had lost, and significantly. When asked just what he had placed such a large wager on he pointed to Tatsu herself. He had been betting on her competitions and had grown to confident in her skills.

She had lost that day and her father had placed all he had and some he didn’t on the outcome. What happened next Tatsu would not be given the opportunity to Reminisce upon this dark and stormy night in Gotham. A feint sound almost indistinguishable from a light breeze caught her ear and she turned bringing her blade up to strike against the swiftly sung blade of a man in garb she did not recognize.

His origin might be vague his intent was not.

“You are not Sword Clan…or Yakuza…”

Her ears heard the sound again as he was not along, others moved to surround her. Katana considered fleeing, Soul Taker would not hear of it. The blade demanded it be given what it required, a worthy soul. The man did not answer her but rather he moved low and brought the blade around to strike her along the neck.

Unfortunately for her opponent Katana was faster and possessed of a mind for swordplay that made her seem psychic to some. Soul Taker caught the sword and knocked it away as her hand thrust forward to send her palm hard into his throat. Staggered undeterred he moved in position again as his friends continued to circle.

“My business here is not with you…leave me in peace or leave in them.”

No sooner had the words left her gritted teeth then the sky flashed with a dramatically timed lighting strike in the distance. With its light came revelation and a small prayer for salvation as the truth had been laid bare. Katana had believed herself to face three opponents, in truth their number could best be described as legion.

it occurred to her now that perhaps she had only detected them because they had wished it to be so. She had been effectively surrounded and had only sensed it at the last second.

it mattered little to katana how many gathered, she had a path and none would push her from it. So she would plant her feet and grip her blade and she would become the goddess of the sword incarnate if she must…she would not be moved.

But just as the fight was set to begin an explosion rocked a building not far from Katana. Whatever had happened the event shook the rooftop she stood on and loosened the brick her foot rested on at the edge of the roof.

Breaking her stance the ninja she had staggered quickly brought up his leg to collide his foot with her chin. Off her feet and desperately trying not to fall to the street below he managed to connect and cause just that.

Katana fell back and into the open air toward the alley below, her path now only seemed destined to involve pavement and a chalk outline.

Despite this she spares a glance back to the gathering army, they were fleeing. The man who had faced her seemed to be the leader and he gathered his men and hey fled. Toward the explosion.

Should she survive this she would have to discern why.



Killing Joke: Demon Daughter Edition

It all started as a Joke. ‘Who killed the Batman?’

Getting the current news in Arkham Asylum was a little tricky by even the best of standards. Unless you’re connected or crazy or both. In my case it’s surely all of the above. A guard thought it was funny. His laughter was curious, confusing. Was someone other than me making them laugh? Unthinkable. How wrong I was. How terribly wrong. The orderlies were only to happy to share the dish, after all how often were they ever going to get the opportunity to torment the Clown Prince of Crime? That’s not the natural order of things.

Batman is Dead. Someone killed the Bat. He’s gone. No one has seen him for months.

It was all a cruel joke right? How could he be dead? How could be gone? Unthinkable. No one else was his equal. No one else challenged him the way I did. Took him to the brink as often as I. How could anyone do what I’d not done? Mind you, I’d chosen not too. So how could someone have done it, without my permission? Don’t they know? Don’t they understand.

They would. Oh, they would all understand soon enough. I started with Manny. The orderly on Mondays. He likes to bring my fruit cup open and missing some slices. We don’t talk about Manny the Orderly. No one does. They talk about the Black Mask. He’s where I went next. His breakout of the Asylum was opportune. For me. Less so for him. I’d tell you to ask him, but you’d have to get him to stop screaming after I peeled the skin off of his face and dribbled acid on his balls, while he dangled from them in the Gotham Cathedral.

From there I started with the Mobs. The Russians were an easy target. Oh, I knew right away they didn’t know anything. How could they? The tracksuit jerks barely know their own name, but they had connections. Fingers in the Pie that is Gotham’s Underworld. They lead me to who was next. Now the Irish? They knew a little. Not because they knew who killed the Batman, but because they knew who didn’t. Those poor schmucks knew who lacked the balls to put their heads out. I think we left one or two of them alive, ol Punch-Face and I. Hey! Team-Up with the Red Hood wasn’t bad. It lasted about a week.

By the time I’d moved on to the Italians? Well. You might say that the Mobsters were scared. My old Buddy, Carmine. He was really the first to even try to answer the question. Who killed the Batman? ‘Who cares ya dumb clown? All that matters is that he’s gone! We can run this town again, ya mook. Oh, Carmy. That’s kind of what your Mother said. ‘I dunno where Carmine is, that bum, at least he’s gone.’ Okay. I’m lying. I think she would have said that. If I’d let her speak before I cut her throat. I didn’t need her to talk, I needed to pose. Dead and Naked. So that Carmine could see the photos of his dear old Mum. Because -then- he’d try to answer the question. The real question. Because these guys are chumps, they couldn’t kill the Batman. They can barely tie their own shoes. No, no. I’m not tearing through them because I think they have any real information about who actually killed the Batman.

I’m doing this because they’re all Happy he’s gone. Because they each have a crumb, on their dirty lips from sampling the Pie. A pie they had no right to touch because Batman should be here denying them. One by one the Gangs of Gotham answer my questions. Little by little I make my way up the latter. Until I finally start to get the attention of the people who matter…


The fat little son of a bitch tries to fake looking happy to see me. Greeting me to his Iceberg Lounge, while silently signalling for his troops to setup in hopes of stopping whatever insanity they think I’m up too. None of them even know. Not one of the bystanders. None of the Goons working for Penguin. Maybe not even Cobblepot himself has a clue. I’m not here for them.

I’m here for Her. The beautiful long legged woman, with the furs and the pearls. Eyes that are as deep as the emerald pools of Ireland. She seems as if she is draped across the booth, like a stolen fur. So many of the customers that this little Casino welcomes look upon her and think ‘What I wouldn’t give for ten minutes.’ How many of them believe they’re looking upon the Penguin’s highest paid callgirl. Not one of them understand the pecking order here.

You see. My War upon Gotham? It began with Black Mask. It spanned the racial divide. They were simply stepping stones. Putting my House in Order, because anyone. Anyone who thinks Gotham is anything but my House, in the absence of the Bat, is just plain stupid. It doesn’t belong to the Bat’s pidgeons. Not to GCPD. Nor the Waynes and Elites. This City was the Bat’s. It was the Bat’s and mine. Mine to torment, to tease, to tinker with. Mine to test and harden. To bring to the brink, to the very edge of Chaos….

Ahhh. Joker. Why the long face? Have you lost your smile? Well, you’ve come to the right place to get it… -squawck!-

If I were aiming at killing the Penguin. He’d already be dead. They’d all be dead. I’m not here for him. I’m not here for the money. I’m not even here for the people. I’m here for her. The ‘High Priced Callgirl’ that everyone lays eyes on, but no one even has the cajones to ask for a moment of her time. Oh, I’m sure she’s good. Hell, she is probably the best there is. If only she knew, that I knew. If only she understood the pieces of the puzzle, that I’d put together in no particular order. She’d know that she was in danger and she’d react. The truth? Even with the Tweedles and Harley, the whole gang and a host of Venom. I’d have to be lucky to get a minute of her time before -she- killed me.

If only she knew, that Carmine Falcone’s last words to me before I beat him nearly to death with his own mother’s Walker. ‘Talk to Talia al Ghul, she knows! For the first time since hearing the joke that made the Orderlies laugh. I smiled. The Daughter of the Demon surely knew the Joke and if she didn’t she’d lead me to who does. If only she’d known, I wasn’t there for Cobblepot. I was there for her. She’d surely have put up a bigger fight than she manages when my joy-buzzer electrifies the whole booth she’d sitting in.

That’s why I smiled. I like my Demon Daughters a little southern fried.



“Wakey wakey little Demon.”

The room is dark, except for the light. A spotlight no less. Shining down from on high. Framing Talia al Ghul upon stage. She is still in her night gown from the Iceberg Lounge. It is difficult to mar her beauty. But you have to ask yourself. Why would you? She is as naturally beautiful as she is gifted. She has also been out cold for several hours. Such is the effects of being electrocuted unceremoniously. One needn’t take the chance. You understand, of course? Getting in to a fight with the Daughter of the Demon is risky business. She’s as well trained as anyone in the world. Possibly better. Few are her equal. I am certainly not.

Not in a fair fight, I should say. Life and I share in common that simple lack of fairness though.

….oookuurr…. ahhhh wulll…. kuuul… uuuu..

“What was that? Wait. Wait just a minute Talia. Hold on. I’m sure one of the Tweedles speaks ballgag-ese. Probably the Fat one. He’s a pervert.”

There’s nothing elaborate about Talia’s situation. Only Batman was worthy of my ‘Best Stuff.’ The gags, the frills. Death Traps. Mmm. How I am going to miss those! Alas, I have only Talia. While perhaps more deadly than ol’ Bateye. She’s missing a certain panache. You know what I mean? She’s all glamour on the outside, but on the inside what do I have to work with? Really, when you get right down to it, Talia is only a stand-in because of one simple, undeniable fact: While she may be the Demon’s daughter, she was the Bat’s bitch.

Don’t believe me? It says so. Right there. On the sign hanging behind her on the stage. In very glittery letters. Which all of Gotham is seeing. Right about Now. Given that I made sure to send the film to every major news station in New Jersey. Home of Gotham City. The Biggest Harbor in the Continental United States.

Show Time!

“Ladies and Gentlemen. Boys and Girls. Children of all Ages. Wait. Don’t turn that dial. We’ve got a whacky show in store for you today. It’s a little something called… Gotham: This is Your Life. Starring your’s truly. The Joker. With a capital T. You know the networks. Oh, you’re probably thinking… another terrible pilot episode. Damn those big networks. But today we’ve got a gen-u-ine hum-dinger of a show for you. My special guest tonight is none other than the Daughter of the Demon. Oooooooh. Scaryyy.”

Pulling back Talia’s lulling head, with a fist full of her hair one of the Tweedles is sure to get a good camera shot of the way I’m playing a knife along her throat. It’s easier to see once I let it bite in enough to draw a line of blood.

“Daughter of the Demon you say? Why yes. Her name is Talia al Ghoul. Daughter of Rhas al Ghul. The most terrible, deplorable, dispicable… actually I kinda like the guy. I’m getting all wet in the pants, just talking about him. It’s a shame. A SHAME. That I’m going to gut his daughter like a goddamned fish.”

“… a fish…”

“That’s right. Boys and Girls. You stay tuned right here. To good Old Gotham Central. For round the clock updates. Because you see? Demon Boy You have until the end of the week. THE END OF THE WEEK. To tell me. To exchange your daughter. For the one or ones who killed my best friend. My Batsy-baby. My Bellfry-bouncing bungalo. Oh. ooohh… or I’m going to start with Talia. Then I’m going to move on to the rest of your little Boys Club for Shadows.. until I’m skull-fucking you, yourself, Demon.”

“Bring me. Batman’s Killer. Or the whole world Burns.”

My hand covers the Camera, pushing it and the holder to the ground, so that you can see the dagger in my hand sliding down and in to Talia’s nightgown, slicing it away from perfect olive skin. “Na na na na naaa will Talia al Ghul live to see tomorrow? Will the League of Shadows tear Gotham apart to find her? Will I suckle from the teet of the Batman’s bimbo? …. tune in tomorrow. Same bat-time. Same bat-channel.”

“Cut! Print. Send to production…”

A Night On The Town


Gotham City is unlike anywhere else in the world. People use catch phrases for their cities, but they’re mostly cute little nicknames that sell post cards. Gotham is the City that Lives. Not because it’s some bright, vibrant crowning point of Humanity. It lives in the sense that it has many working parts. Burroughs. Districts. Each with it’s own little brand of Good and Evil. That happens to be both the best and worst of Gotham all at once. You’re never going to find a dull moment, but you’re as likely to be raped in the high end of town as you are to be mugged in the low end.

For so long now, as long as I can remember and contrary to the psyche reports I remember everything (don’t believe everything you read!), one man has protected all of it. Every square inch of Gotham. Oh. He didn’t always do it alone. He didn’t necessary have the speed of a bullet to get anywhere, at any time. It was more the Spectre of the Batman that loomed over, stretched across the landscape that protected it. You had to gamble, if you wanted to profit from a life of crime. Roll the bones, if you wanted a taste of the sweet life, or sweeter wife next door maybe. Every time you did. Each and every new little trip across the white line of the law, you ran the risk of one day meeting up with the Batman. On that day, he made you pay. He took his pound of flesh and left you beaten. Battered. Bruised. Lucky to be alive.

Just that though. Alive. Very, very much alive.

Some might think that the Batman was a man of truth, justice and the American way. Some symbol of virtue. I know better. He wasn’t unwilling to cross the line. Oh, no. He’d cross that line when he needed too. When he deemed it necessary. Just because he did so rarely and under the veil of necessity doesn’t obscure the simple fact that the Batman was willing to do anything he had to do for this City. That’s why I’m here. You know? That connection. The knowledge that, if he felt that he had no other choice, Batman could have ended me time and time again. He just never did. Some people might think that is because he was proving himself the better man. I say to those people, ‘Hah!’

He needed me! I’m everything about him that he needs to be reminded of. To rebel again. Without me he would have been lost. Alone. A Hero without a foil to measure himself against. Adrift in the Sea of Sloth and Villainy that is Gotham City. I’m alive, because I was his life preserver. Without me he would have drown. The Batman needed me and… now I can’t help the completely foreign, yet inescapable, feeling that… I failed him. He was alone. Left to die without a friend in the world. ….. — “The soul akin to my own. Gone. Snuffed out like….Oh. Sorry. Was that all out loud?! Heehee.”

Who am I talking to? Well that would be the Irish Mob. More or less all of them. They like to get together to eat and drink in a little place called o’Malley’s. About thirty minutes ago, give or take ten minutes of aimless rambling, I walked in with a two heavy set men in gimp-suits and a girl. You don’t need to know where the girl went, I’m sure she’s up to no good. It’s what she does. Once we stepped inside though, I’d ordered a margatia. The kind with the fancy little umbrellas. Only to be told that they don’t serve that swill here. The Bartender is still choking on his own blood, but that got their attention!

“So. You see fellas. My problem here? Is that …. he was mine! MINE. My Batman. Mine. Not your’s. That means. If I didn’t kill’em.. then someone else did. And if someone else did then, I’ve got to have a few words with that person. Now, I’m going to save you a few moments of begging and pleading. Because I know you’re all going to say, ‘I didn’t kill the Batman, Mistah Jokah sir.’ Which might be true or it might not be true. You see the problem. The problem? Is that you’re all lying, cheating, filthy scumbags. Dear to my heart, but liars to the bitter end.”

Now. You can say a lot about the Irish Mob, but generally speaking you can’t call them stupid. They’re not Italian after all. So I’m sure by this point that the writing is on the wall by this point. And if it isn’t, it will be by the time I finish using the barkeeps blood to scribble out the words ‘You’re all dead.’ With a smiley face for posterity. On the bar’s large mirror.

Red Hood (Damien)

Damien had been blazing a trail through the underworld. At first, not even bothering to put on a mask. Using his speed and stealth to conceal his identity. Also, you know that saying, Dead Men Don’t Talk? It’s true. Or, you know, a broken jaw. But, after a run in with the Italians and them beating him near to death, it took him coming to Helena to heal. Anybody else would have given him the third degree. Especially Dinah. She didn’t understand the pure rage that laid at the bed of his heart. Someone killed his father. Murdered. And Damien was going to find out who, by all means necessary. After getting into contact with Tim after the funeral, he had supplied Damien with some.. items to help him. While Tim and Damien weren’t exactly brothers. It was evident that Tim was at a loss of what to do, and decided to help Damien do <i>something</i>.

So, now, Damien equipped with a high tech suit and helmet. He could go on his true terror, make men cry their mothers names in hope that it would save their souls. Nobody in this city was safe. If you so much lifted a candy bar, Damien was going to make sure your fingers would be broken in several places. There was a large shadow to fill, Gotham was going to descend into chaotic mess. Not that his father ever had true control over the city. But he had it organized in a way that the city wouldn’t explode like a powder keg.  But Damien felt that while his … ‘family’ … did nothing, something had to be done, and that was Damien.

Today, he was getting in over his head when he targeted the Irish Mob. There was a price on his head when Damien took Duncan O’Brien, one of the Captains of the O’Brien Syndicate, and threw him over the side of a thirteen story building.  Busting through the door of a bar called O’Malley’s, Damien was quick to take out one men who was playing pool. The man’s head colliding with Damien’s armored knee with enough force to drive the bridge of his nose into his brain. He hadn’t time to see Joker as of yet, since right behind Damien there was an entire mob of very angry Irish Mob soldiers pouring through the door chasing after Damien.

There was all manner of weapons. From handguns, to bats, broken whiskey bottles, chains, brass knuckles… well, you get it. Jumping behind the pool table to put some distance between him and the mob, because Damien had a half formed plan. Get them all into a space that they can’t move in. But, as he took out a few more of these angry soldiers, Damien jumps onto the table as he looks over to where the bar tender was, only to see the pale face of a man in the mirror writing something on the wall in blood.

“You.” The Joker.

His father’s greatest adversary and just as psychotic as a man can get. The complete opposite of his father. Joker was smarter than anybody would give credit to. After all, he’s outsmarted even Batman on occasion.  Right now, Damien didn’t have time to deal with him as men continued trying to swat at him with baseball bats, knives, what have you.

“I’ll deal with you later.” Damien said, pointing at the Joker.


Now there’s really only one way this is going to go at this point. Bloody. Capital B. We all know it. These idiots are just taking the time allotted for my mindless rambling to determine which of them has the best chance of getting out of here, while the rest die. More than one of them? Probably thinks they like the odds of a stray bullet doing me or my boys in. Of course, I’m crazy enough to not care what they think. Or really. What they do. Because I didn’t come here intending to dodge bullets and fight like some sort of man with Honor and Integrity. Nope.

You see the snarl on my face is the first real sign to these delightfully pale-skinned yokels of just what trouble they’re in for. Or it would be, if not for the distraction afforded them. This is as good a time as any for a couple of them to make their break for the back door. Tut-tut… my little Harley is all aflutter and very likely waiting for the stragglers. Me? I’m pulling off my coat, pulling tight my gloves and getting my suspenders in order for a donnybrook. That’s what these idiots call it, right?

“Ooooh… look at that! I loooooooove the fashion statement. A little bit of old, a little bit of new…”

Armed to the teeth that one. I’d have to be even crazier than I am though, not to instantly recognize… the Red Hood. Equally delightful and appalling, I’ll work out whether I’m aroused by the nostalgia or the way he’s cutting people apart like a buzzsaw. Which reminds me. I was about to kill someone, someones in fact.

It might even be a touch on the surprising side to everyone involved when I’m not immediately drawn to attacking someone stealing my schtick. But. He did promise to deal with me later. I can ponder the significant pontification of that while I’m gutting -my- Irish little friends. Playmates. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are here for support. Much like my little Girl, they’ve all got strict orders. Regardless of what happens to me. None of the Irish leave. Little Red Hood did me a bit of a favor, he brought even more to the fight. While the Irish might be known as honorable fighters? I make no such claims. One man who turned his head to the arrival of the Red Hood is the first to have his throat cut. I’m a jealous murderer. Sharing the attentions with another is… Rude!

“Red Hood. Smug. Fights dirty. If you’re here about Mommy’s alimony, keep it quiet!”

Red Hood (Damien)

Right now, Joker was helping thin the herd out, if you will. “I am not here to banter with you, Joker. Focus on the task at hand, then I shall deal with you.” commenting as Damien did a short baseball slide underneath a lead pipe, his foot connecting with another man’s face. Twirling around on his back, he flips up as a man with a machete tries to sever Damien’s head from his body. Landing on the blade, Damien reaches under his coat, producing a tactical dagger and slams the blade down onto the man’s head, then pulls it out and throws it with supreme accuracy to a man who was attempting to sneak up on Joker. The blade singing between Joker’s swinging arm, and his ear before finding its mark in a thunking sound as the man collapses with the blade between his eyes.

“What are you doing here, Joker? I was unaware you had a vendetta against the Irish Mob. Did they attempt to steal a red nose from you?” asking, trying his attempt at humor. “I am unsure what you mean about my mother’s alimony. But, I can assure you that I am not here for that.” Humor escapes Damien most of the time, and especially the Joker’s brand of macabre humor. “I believe as of now, we should concentrate on the task at hand.” offering as Damien jumped off the pool table in time to jump off the pool table, landing in a somewhat open spot. The men were starting to thin down thanks to their efforts.

Who would have ever thought that The Joker and Son of Batman would have ever teamed up? Damien in a way, admired how the Joker moved carelessly in a sort of murderous chaotic dance. It was clear he wasn’t using any kind of martial style, other than unnerving his opponents by using unconventional tactics. For now, the two men complimented each other as they fought to keep themselves above board, if you will. How could Joker fight with such carelessness? How did Batman simply <b>not</b> kill him? Surely the lunatic was responsible for his fair amount of misery within Batman’s life. Both, in and out of the cowl.

Damien was getting lost within his thoughts as he kept an eye on the psychotic clown, listening as he nearly squealed with glee as his blade became more bloodied.


There comes a point when I have to stop disemboweling one guy, while choking a particularly old man with his own Celtic cross to ask myself: Did he just tell me to focus? No one else gets the joke, I’m sure. But they do get the next few minutes of hysterical laughter that no doubt cements in their mind that I’m exactly batshit crazy as all the stories say I am. They’re right. Of course, but they shoulda known that before I walked in the front door.

Ironically for the little Batspurt, I’m just about as focused as I’ve ever been. Even my Shrink thinks I’ve hit a level of focused that bordered on obsessive. Who would have thunk it? All I needed was a little motivation to get my life in order. Put my ducks in a row. The criminal underworld has always taken notice of me. Feared me. They kept out of my way and mostly profited from the insanity that came of my frequent frolics through Gotham. Now though? It seems that the new Red Hood and I have made some of the same rounds. Since the Italians got to listen to the Black Mask howl for nights as he was slowly treated to a cosmetic acid bath. A few drops at a time. Until he was begging to tell me he killed the Batman. The problem is. He was lying. Naughty. He’s been a very good source of information ever since though.

This Red Hood is especially chatty. Once again I’ve gotta stop what I’m doing to answer him. Who chat-boxes like this while sodomizing a guy with his own shillelagh?! The nerve of this guy. “Hunting. Killing. What’s it matter t’ you Hoodsy? All you needa know is one of these nighean na galla killed him! Or they know who did.”

“Or. They stood by while someone else did it.
“Or. They slowly wore him down, until he lost a step.
“Or. They played diddly winks with the guy, who knows a guy, who fucked a girl, that was with the guy who did it.

By this point, I’ve moved on to doing other, even more wretched things with the old leprechaun’s club. At least it’s with someone new. You might be wondering why I’m not overly worried about being shot? Well, that’s where Tweedle Dee comes in. He’s setup in one of the boothes. Letting the Red Hood and I take all the attention. While he snipes anyone who points a gun in my direction. Tweedle Dee? Well. He’s actually the reason Harley was told not to come in, unless called. Let’s just say. He’s the explosives expert and that fat little transgender midget has gas. Or. Maybe he loves Gas. Whatever the case may be, I sent him to the Kitchen so that we can cook up some Irish fritters in a little bit.

In the moments when Red Hood isn’t babbling like a mad man, he might actually take notice that I’m not shooting anyone. No fancy gadgets. No Joker-venom. No gags. Gift Boxes. Trick poker cards. This is as hands on as I get. The only weapon I use, is the club I’ve stolen for sake of irony and the dagger. Mostly… I beat, bash and/or choke every one I can get my hands upon. Until finally…

“…oh they stole from me, they stole. All of them stole Him from me. Someone did. Someone took him from me and when I find the sunuva…” the next few moments are censored, while I do little more than ramble. “…he was Mine. Don’t you get it? Mine. Until I find out who took him from me? Everyone. Everything. Burns.”

Red Hood (Damien)

It was like Joker was speaking the same language as Damien. There wasn’t any minced words, no double entendres. Damien understood everything the lunatic said. And it made sense, he could identify with that. Damien felt the same exact way. He wanted to watch the underworld burn for taking the one person who mattered most to him. “Then it seems, We are on a similar course and direction.” moving to the side of a fist, Damien grabs the arm and twists it in a way that he first pops it out of its socket, then as the man goes down to the floor crying in pain.

There were just a few misfits left by now. Most dead, dying, howling in pain, or simply decided it was in their best interest by running away. Standing around a mess of dead bodies, Damien turns his sights on Joker. Studying him for a long moment. The HUD providing information that he already knew. Staying quiet, Damien inspects a few of the men who were still alive. Grabbing one, he hauls him over his shoulder and throws him onto one pool tables. The HUD would pull up facial recognition and display the information for Damien.

“I need information.” Starting off, Damien did not have compassion for the man. “Every time you answer incorrectly. I break a finger. From there…” trailing off as he looks down at his feet. “We will work something out.” smiling from beneath his helmet, Damien moves to one side of the man’s body and grabbed his hand. “Do you know any information about the murder of Batman?”  asking, his voice cold and electronic.

“Nonono. I swear ta god, I don’t know-” snap, one finger down, a howl of pain, nine more to go.


Well. The new Red Hood and I have a couple more things in common. Like the intent to question these guys when the fight was beaten out of them. As it was, the Hood brought a couple extras to the party. So there was more than a few left to go around in the end. I’m not interested in the young ones. That isn’t how the Irish mob works. Nor do I want the oldest, again that just isn’t how it works with these guys. While the young are ridden like prime horses and the older generation is revered, even followed when they put their foots down? It’s always the smart ones that really run things. The Irish figured that out in the Wars with England. You don’t gotta be the biggest, baddest, in the world. All you gotta do to win, is be smarter than the rest of the chuckleheads you’re fighting.

That’s why I pick one the ones that had been trying to make their escape. In a twist of gleeful irony, I take pleasure in dumping the ‘smart one’ down across the Bar. Like I’m mimicing the Red Hood. Hah! I’m mimicing the Red Hood. How am I the only one who gets that joke? The chuckling, for only I know what, is likely only making the demented approach of blood scored clown-face all the more terrifying. Much less the way gore dripping gloved fingers gesture to the Hood.

“He’s playing nice. Don’t lie to me. None of you know who killed the Bat. I know that. You know that. Even the wicked little red riding Hood knows that. What you do know, is who stood to benefit most from his … absence…” Do Irish Gangsters lose control of their bladders when having their cheeks licked by insane men drenched in blood? This one seems to have. “…you either get to die quickly for telling me or slowly. Over the course of Days. While the Tweedles use you in a variety of defiling ways. Each of which Harley video tapes. For me to show your family. Friends. And all the children at your Church, during Sunday School.”

Now the question. Really. Isn’t whether the Hood or I get answers. It’s really about what happens to be more important. Broken bones. Or an Irishman’s entire sense of self-worth, family and religion. Because I’m very clearly willing to piss all over all of it. They know me. They know that there’s not one ounce of anything I said that is even unlikely.

A few moments later, when I’m finally stripping off the gloves? “My… assistant… is rigging this place to blow. Call it professional courtesy. Call it nostalgia for seeing someone wearing the Hood. But. Understand me, Hoodsy. The Batman was mine. So whoever took him from me. Is now. Mine. Mine. Minemine mine. Miiiiiiiiine.”

Red Hood (Damien)

The man offered little to no information. Nothing they didn’t already know. Everyone, honestly, benefitted from the Bat being gone. Damien doesn’t even bother to kill the now mostly broken man on the table as he cuts a look over at Joker. “Today. Our paths aligned. I believe they will align in the future. I do not care what you say, about what you claim is yours. Just know that while we are on this path, together, we will find who killed him.” saying as he started towards the door, then comes to a stop, putting his hand on the door frame.

“But, Once this is over, and our paths no longer align. I will kill you. Make no doubt, I will do what he would never have done, and make sure you will die, then make sure you can never come back.” saying, his voice low with warnings and threats. Today was a good day, at the very least. The Irish Mob has been gutted, the O’Brien Syndicate has been nearly wiped out. Today marked one more day in making sure Batman’s legacy is no longer shrouded. Looking over his shoulder at Joker one more time, he steps out of the bar and it’s like he just vanishes.

Damien, in some way knowing that donning the Red Hood would be ironic, considering whom his father is. But, maybe this is how it all ends. It started with the Red Hood and would end with the Red Hood. There’s a part of him that feels guilty for allying with the Joker. Though, if Gotham was at stake, wouldn’t Batman do the same?


You know what? I believe the guy. Or at least, I believe that he believes that he’ll do those things. In the future. When we find the person responsible. ‘We’ being the operative word. Even in insanity, I’ve never been accused of being stupid. This is what the big boys call a potential lead. Given that so many others haven’t panned out, I’ve got to take what I can get. Which means that for now? The new Hood is right. Our paths are aligned. Perhaps momentarily, as he says.

“Not to be passe, but… you just reminded me of a joke. You see. There’s this man and as he grows old, he wants to pass along something to his son. Except his son is into all the wrong things in life. Try as he might the old codger just can’t get his son on the right path.” Did I forget that I’m choking an Irish mobster to death? Why yes, I did. But the joke is more important. “So. Hee. Hee. Years pass and he’s done all he can to bring his son in the fold. There he is. On his death bed. He says to his wife…”

“I did everything I could! I beat him when he was bad boy. I treated him when he was a good boy. I taught him to drive. How to get the girls. How to get by in life. Where did I go wrong? By golly, the old hag looks back at him and says… well Mr. Capone, I think you taught him everything you knew.”

“Haa. Hah! Everything he knew. What a hoot!” Besides the outburst of giggling, there’s a sort of meandering that brings me closer and closer to the Red Hood, before turning just in time to pick up my suit-coat. “Ya see, Hoodsy. You can’t kill me. The Bat couldn’t kill me either. Not without becoming me. Hee hahaa. You’re already a step in the right direction, Fruit-of-my-loins.”

“C’mon boys. We got work t’ do before the Red Hood kills me. Again. What a maroon.”