#1 Edited by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Find the entire story here!

---------------------------

“I’m delighted to see you could make it, Selina,” Edward Nigma said smoothly as he shut the door behind the two women. They had arrived as soon as possible (after Harley stopped at an old hideout to pick up an outfit, a mallet, a gun and a couple bombs), and were kitted up and ready for action, despite being a bit sleepy. Eddie – or Riddler, as he was calling himself again – was in his classic green suit and bowler, adorned with a question mark and leaning on that cane of his. However, different from usual, this time he appeared to actually need the cane… he’d been working, and there was a dribble of blood down his leg.

“Yeesh, what happened, Eddie?” Harley piped in immediately, apparently smelling the blood and immediately noticing the brainy villain’s cut, despite the darkness of the little warehouse where the group had met.

“I got lucky, that’s what happened,” the Riddler snapped mildly before hobbling back into the big shack he’d made into his latest hideout. Selina and Harley stood at the doorway, observing the man quiet as he flopped into an overstuffed green chair in a decidedly villainous slouch, his hat tipped down just enough to mostly conceal his lean, stubble-coated face. “Whoever found me was good, too good. I wasn’t ready for him, and he had skill, and the kind of intellect that seems deeply reminiscent of a certain acquaintance we all share. But it wasn’t the Bat – this upstart was out for blood, and he got it. He would have killed me if Clayface – that cretin, of all people – hadn’t shown up and distracted him.”

“There are a lot of Batman impersonators out there, Ed,” Selina said, prowling over to the Riddler and into the dim light of the room’s one small, dingy lamp. “And we’ve met a lot of them. What makes this one so special?”

“He was good, that’s what was so special! It was like he knew me, knew my next moves. When Karlo intervened, this guy already had incendiaries and liquid nitrogen prepared.” Eddie replied, glancing up at the leather-clad woman in front of him with only the faintest traces of the lust that most men looked upon her with. “Also… how much do you know about the Joker’s origins?”

“Joker? Christ, he’s involved in this too, now?”

“I know about it,” Harley cut in, her voice sounding serious. “At least the stories he told me… a lot of them were different. Only one thing remained constant – the chemicals, the red hood, and Bat-brain making him the way he is now.” The clowngirl stepped out of the shadows herself, now, her head tilted slightly. “Why is that relevant?”

“The hood,” Riddler said, whipping his bowler off and spinning it around one finger idly. He looked tired – as both women knew, Gotham had been hard on Eddie. He was unstable, but not to the point that he could drown himself in his own madness, like Scarecrow or the Joker. He understood he had a problem, and that internal struggle that he went through made going up against the Bat, and the rest of Gotham’s underworld, more of a challenge than it was for some others. “This bastard wore a bright red helmet, very distinct. Didn’t match the rest of his outfit. It was a deliberate statement… my only guess is that he’s shouting out to the Joker, possibly the factor of becoming a monster against his will.”

“I thought you said he was a Batman impersonator?” Selina’s voice wavered very slightly – she didn’t like the implications of a new villain in Gotham, skilled and prepared, who had roots with both the Bat and the Clown. Her mind wandered in the split second after she spoke, a droll train of thought tumbling around as she considered her and Harley’s connections to Batman and Joker, respectively. Maybe they’d be the perfect team after all.

“He seemed to be. No gimmicks or goofy pranks, no big theme to make himself stand out. He was a new brand of vigilante, mobile and utilitarian. But he had everything he needed to put Clayface on ice.”

“Waitaminnit – it wasn’t that old Robin, was it?” Harley said, arching a brow and striking a comically inquisitive pose. “Mr. J was always talkin’ about how happy he was to put that little brat six feet under, brought it up at least every week. Then after a while he stopped… actually, now I think about it, he scrapped his old red hood souvenir too, said it “didn’t belong to him” no more.”

Eddie looked up at the black-and-crimson-clad villainess, his eyes suddenly going wide as the pieces tumbled together in his mind, finding their corresponding slots and fitting beautifully. “Ms. Quinn, never let anybody tell you that you aren’t a genius,” he said, standing up again and grabbing his cane, starting to pace. “It makes sense, if you think about it… born to the Bat, killed by the Clown… attacking villains by night, but the brutality of it all… obviously unsanctioned by the actual Dark Knight.”

Harley didn’t hear past the first sentence. A tiny squeal erupted from her as she beamed at the green-suited mastermind. “Ya really think so? Aw, thanks Ed, you’re a really great guy, y’know?”

“Don’t think I’ve forgotten about that fiasco at Wayne Manor, jester. I still have Big Barda’s footprints tattooed on my posterior.”

Harley wilted. “Sorries.”

“But we have a piece now,” Riddler continued from his old train of thinking, pacing back and forth through the dim lighting, his cane making an audible ‘clack’ every few steps. “If it is the knight’s dead Robin, he’ll have Batman’s training, his knowledge, his skills. Imagine someone like that who isn’t afraid to spill a little blood? He could be disastrous to our way of life in Gotham. Even you, Selina – you won’t get any free passes for being pretty if this new Hood comes to dinner.”

“Then it’s a good thing I have nine lives,” Selina purred, lounging casually against the arm of the now-abandoned sofa. “And let’s be honest, Eddie. Just because he isn’t the Bat doesn’t make him immune to my… wiles.”

“After years of crime and misadventure, I honestly doubt you have any lives left.”

Harley snorted awkwardly, falling into a frantic gigglefit that seemed to have no proper origin.

What?” the two other villains said in unison, turning with looks of mild concern and distinct annoyance.

More giggling followed for a moment as the clowngirl tried to catch her breath, unladylike snorts echoing throughout the room as she tried to steady herself. “You said misadventure! It’s just, I… bwahaheeheehee!”

Selina sighed softly and clapped her hand over her face, turning back to Edward. “This is what I have to deal with.”

#2 Posted by wildvine (7136 posts) - - Show Bio

This is soo good. totally my favorite series on here.

#3 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Thanks, I'm so happy you enjoy. ^_^

#4 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (2887 posts) - - Show Bio

Great job. Really enjoyed it.

#5 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks so much! ^_^

#6 Posted by Ravager4 (1625 posts) - - Show Bio

Ha, Harley makes me smile. You write her perfectly. Excellent work

#7 Posted by The Poet (8193 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: very cool!

Moderator
#8 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

How was Riddler? I don't have quite as much experience with him nyaaa.

#9 Posted by batkevin74 (9727 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

Harley snorted awkwardly, falling into a frantic gigglefit that seemed to have no proper origin.

Ha ha ha! You write exceptionally well! Another great chapter, hard to fault it really.

#10 Posted by Rusty_Irons (627 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl

How was Riddler? I don't have quite as much experience with him nyaaa.

I think he was wrote very well, this is the first time i have read the Riddler as a person rather then just someone for batman to foil.

#11 Edited by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

and other people! (I can't remember everyone's namez). Check it out!

“Do I have to?” Harley whined miserably.

“Yes, and keep your voice down,” Eddie growled quietly, securing the rope around Harley’s waist. “You’re the fastest of us, you have the best chance of getting down and getting back up without… well, dying.”

“Dying?!”

“Yes, and keep your damn voice down!”

Riddler, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn had gone together, back to the site that Eddie had barely escaped. Some scorched, gelatinous clay that smelled like excrement and looked worse was splattered near a drainage pipe – either Basil Karlo’s method of escaping the new Red Hood, or merely one of the many tortures that he had been subjected to before being taken elsewhere.

The trio had immediately heard voices nearby – ground level, on the side of the shabby old drug trade hideout where Edward had been picking up a certain “package”, probably for one of his schemes (he had enough problems without adding a drug habit, as Riddler himself had admitted). Looking over the roof’s edge had provided no information – the source of the voices was concealed in shadow from an adjacent building, and they were too quiet to hear.

As a result, and much to her dismay, Harley had been selected to jump down and inspect it.

“Why can’t Kitty do it?! She’s a cat burglar, she DOES sneaky and jumpy! I’m just… y’know, cute!”

Selina smirked wickedly, swatting the clowngirl’s hip gently. “Because I’m too valuable to send plummeting into dangerous conditions. You’re always talking about how tough you are to keep down? How quick you heal? Let’s see it.”

Harley extended her bottom lip, her wide blue eyes misting up. “Kittyyyyyyyyy….”

“Selina, would you do the honors?” Riddler said with the most truly happy look he had had on his face since Selina’d seen him.

“I would love to,” she replied, before extending both hands and pushing Harley off of the roof. She let out a short squeal, eyes bulging with surprise as the rope went spiraling down behind her. However, true to her claims, she quickly rotated, her feet touching against the wall and slowing her fall for long enough to be able to grab onto the rope. She jerked down with a slight “unf” before quickly turning, her free hand going to her popgun while the other held onto the rope.

“I tell ya, I don’t know nothing, waugh!” she heard when she got her bearings. Obviously Penguin.

Too valuable, huh? I’ll show her what Harley Quinn can do while the two masterminds sit up on the nice warm roof, the ex-psychiatrist thought to herself smugly, stalking quietly closer to the shadowy negotiation just around the corner from her.

“That’s very interesting, Oswald… because Sionis seemed very confident that you were in the center of this deal… and I want more names.” This second voice… this was the guy. She knew that much. Years of training made her very sure of when someone was in control of themselves, even if the thoughts and actions they were so in control of belonged to a madman. The voice was smooth and filled with tranquil fury, and carried the metallic echo of a helmet.

“Sionis? Waugh! He’s been in Arkham for who knows how long, he ain’t in the game no more! What would make you trust him?” Penguin’s voice was desperate. Harley could hear it in his voice, and she knew that this new Hood could hear it too, if he was as good as Riddler seemed to think.

“Oh, he seemed trustworthy enough. I find that most people – even idiot crooks like you and Roman – are honest at heart. You just have to know how to push… how to make them feel like opening up.” His voice was cold and crisp, the voice of an unrepentant killer. Harley knew that kind of voice. He continued. “So. Unless you’d like for me to… make you feel like opening up, I suggest you start giving me some names. Who organized this little get-together?”

There was a long silence.

It was broken by a little perturbed grunt from Hoodie, a sound of slight muscular strain… and then a scream from Cobblepot. “Dent! It’s Dent! Two-Face!” he squawked.

Gee, who would have thought that the Penguin would be a stool pigeon? Harley thought to herself, following up with a little giggle.

“What was that? Friends of yours, Oswald?” The Hood sounded angry – she heard the cock of a gun.

“Eek!” Harley peeped out, turning and somersaulting back around the corner, grabbing onto the rope with both hands and starting to run up the sheer brick wall. She could hear him behind her, that fury not so tranquil anymore as he roared out his rage, chasing after her in the dark.

Fortunately, he never looked up. Before he could catch up with her quick, powerful legs, she had nearly sprinted up those three stories and found herself tumbling into Catwoman and Riddler, who had been leaning slightly over the edge.

“Run!” she squeaked, grabbing both of their hands and rushing to the fire escape they’d used to get here from the tunnels in the sewers.

____________________

Later, back at Selina’s house, Harley hurriedly blurted out the things she had heard, as well as the conclusions she had drawn. About Penguin and the Red Hood, about Sionis, and about Harvey.

“Then we have to find Two-Face before the Hood does,” Riddler said calmly, stroking the stubble on his slim chin with two fingers. “He’ll make a powerful ally… or, at the very least, we’ll learn a little more about what the Hood is trying to accomplish.”

#12 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@tmacximas said:

@Joygirl

How was Riddler? I don't have quite as much experience with him nyaaa.

I think he was wrote very well, this is the first time i have read the Riddler as a person rather then just someone for batman to foil.

Oh, I missed this bit! Thanks very much, I tried to really emulate his persona as a real character instead of just an archetype, mostly using what I saw of Detective Nigma in GCS.

#13 Posted by batkevin74 (9727 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

Some scorched, gelatinous clay that smelled like excrement and looked worse was splattered near a drainage pipe – either Basil Karlo’s method of escaping the new Red Hood, or merely one of the many tortures that he had been subjected to before being taken elsewhere.

YUCK! That's good writing: YUCK! Another good chapter, love the ending with Riddler pondering their options.

#14 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@batkevin74 said:

@Joygirl said:

Some scorched, gelatinous clay that smelled like excrement and looked worse was splattered near a drainage pipe – either Basil Karlo’s method of escaping the new Red Hood, or merely one of the many tortures that he had been subjected to before being taken elsewhere.

YUCK! That's good writing: YUCK! Another good chapter, love the ending with Riddler pondering their options.

Yay! Glad you liked that bit, I always thought Clayface was really %$#@ing disgusting and I wanted everyone else to share my revulsion. I have a really big plan in the future that will involve...

Joker!

It will be totally fantastic and there will be lots of sneaky symbolism and exciting bits. I'm going round and round the Bat and Clown, Jason was created by both and now he'll have to face their respective lovers.

#15 Posted by Rusty_Irons (627 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome chapter.

#16 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@tmacximas: Thanks. ^_^

#17 Edited by wildvine (7136 posts) - - Show Bio

This was really funny. Also, the ClayFace "cameo" was really...descriptive. Good story.

#18 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

“We don’t want to fight, Harvey. This doesn’t have to be hostile at all. We’re trying to help you, can’t you see that?” Catwoman, along with Harley and Riddler, hadn’t had too much difficulty finding Two-Face’s new hideout. Once Eddie remembered the pool hall on 22nd street, everything had been smooth sailing. However, now that they’d found him, Selina was having some difficulty getting him to see them as something other than enemies.

“Well… maybe you are. And maybe you aren’t.” Two-Face growled firmly, reaching into his jacket pocket for that damn coin. The side of his face still capable of non-malicious expressions slowly twisted into a little grin, his free hand sliding slowly to his holster as he flipped the coin.

Catwoman held her breath as she waited for the verdict. She knew about Harvey’s… little habit, and how dependent he was on it.

Harvey reached out and snatched the coin, glaring at the three intruders before glancing down to the coin – heads, or, to be specific, the side with no scratches.

“What do you want?”

“We need to know what you’re getting into, Harvey. What you’re doing that involves Penguin and the Black Mask. Something that might make someone want to kill you.” Selina kept her voice calm, and soft. She didn’t like negotiations that didn’t involve her claws sinking into flesh, but sometimes they were necessary. In this particular case, not being gentle could have her end up with a bullet in her.

“Penguin and the Black Mask? Hah… well, Sionis is in Arkham now, isn’t he? So I certainly can’t be doing anything with him.”

“And having only a single partner must be frustrating, mustn’t it?” Riddler kept his head down slightly, hoping that his hat would disguise the knowing grin on his face. There was no way Two-Face would tolerate having only a single partner.

“Maybe it was. Scarecrow was out of the game… got scared when he learned what we were trying to do.”

Harley snorted.

“What’s so funny, harlot?” Two-Face roared, turning to her and staring deeply with the bulging, dry eye on that side of his face. From the tone of his voice, he hadn’t forgotten what had happened when she’d offered herself as his sidekick.

“It’s just… Scarecrow got scared… obviously that’s funny, right?” the Cupid of Crime held her arms up helplessly, offering an apologetic smile.

“Yeah… he did. And Freeze had better things to do.”

“Harvey, can you please get to the point? We – and you – don’t really have that much time.” Selina spoke again this time, chewing the inside of her lip and glancing towards the door. The Red Hood could come at any time, and none of them were really sure what he was capable of yet.

“We got Deadshot. I don’t like him much so far, but he’s better than Oswald… and fearless enough to do what we’re trying to do.”

“Harvey, what are you trying to do?” Selina asked desperately.

“Simple really,” he answered, turning to the little bar behind his desk and pouring himself a drink, leaving the “human” side of his face exposed. “Kill the Joker.”

#19 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@tmacximas: @wildvine: @batkevin74: @The Poet: @Ravager4: New post up, a bit of a shorty!

#20 Posted by wildvine (7136 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes awesome. Love it.

#21 Posted by Rusty_Irons (627 posts) - - Show Bio

I really like the past references.

#22 Posted by The Poet (8193 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: very cool!

Moderator
#23 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Yay! Glad you folks enjoyed.

#24 Posted by The Poet (8193 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

Yay! Glad you folks enjoyed.

:D

Moderator
#25 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Bumpageeee.

#26 Edited by wildvine (7136 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

Yay! Glad you folks enjoyed.

Always do.

#27 Posted by batkevin74 (9727 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

“Simple really,” he answered, turning to the little bar behind his desk and pouring himself a drink, leaving the “human” side of his face exposed. “Kill the Joker.”

I do like when villians go to war! Nice writing again, still, as always

#29 Posted by 4donkeyjohnson (1540 posts) - - Show Bio

Bwhahahahahaha {“Don’t think I’ve forgotten about that fiasco at Wayne Manor, jester. I still have Big Barda’s footprints tattooed on my posterior.” Harley wilted. “Sorries.”} Excellent work @Joygirl