The Dark Knight and the girl from LA
A story by BH and Sharon Best
Just as the roof gave in, Kara flashed down to fly after them. She was immediately greeted by intense heat, the flames licking upward between her long bare legs as she looked around for sign that they might still be alive. It was almost too hard to ignore the heat waves that luxuriated her, puckered her, made her aroused. However, her superhearing faintly picked up the sounds of yelling coming from below her, so she darted down through the flames to the two men basically in the same position they had fell in. The flames threatened to spontaneously combust them any second, yet neither of them seemed to care. The Joker was on the bottom, spittle and blood coming from his swollen, red lips as he laughed crazedly, his leg bent an odd angle, her sparkling eyes confirming that the femur was broken. The Batman was on top of him, apparently unhurt. At least so far!
He had the Joker's jacket in a gloved fist, and was repeatedly hitting him in the face with his other fist screaming at him as he hit him.
"You--crazy--BASTARD! I will--never--EVER--be--as--crazy as--YOU!" He punctuated each word or phrase with an impact with his fist to the Joker's face, which only garnered more laughs from Joker.
Kara had seen enough, it was totally unnecessary for Batman to be hitting that man that way! Grabbing Batman by the back of his cape, she lifted him into the air, quickly noticing that he had not released his grip on the Joker. The two of them formed a little chain as she flew them out of the building, finally setting them down right next to the Batmobile, her skin feeling taut after its exposure to the fire. The Batman's suit seemed to sizzle from the heat, but she was sure that underneath he was just fine. The Joker, on the other hand, was a mess. His leg was broken above the knee, his wrist shattered, his jaw cracked and his mouth a mess of shattered teeth, mashed lips, and blood. Added to this was the awful smell of his burnt clothes along with a tinge of burning flesh. A quick scan with her super vision told her that the Joker had indeed suffered some serious burns. However, all he seemed to do was chuckle and chortle, which would be punctuated every time he looked up at the Batman. Batman seemed to have been regarding him for a second as well, a funny look in his eye, before shaking his head and picking the Joker up gruffly by his collar, and putting him in the rear seat of the Batmobile. A push of a button, and restraints appeared around the Joker's arms and legs.
"Where are you taking him?" Kara protested. "He's been burned and has several broken bones. He needs immediate medical attention."
The Batman had his back to her. Partially turning his head, he muttered over his shoulder. "You have been most helpful, miss. Now let me take care of him."
"I asked where you intend on taking him!"
"To Arkham Asylum."
"He needs to go to a hospital, not the nuthouse. Least, not yet."
"Arkham has an extensive trauma ward. It has to, seeing as how it houses some of the most dangerous psychotics on the Eastern seaboard. These psychotics are not just a danger to others. They are more often a danger to themselves."
With that he hopped in into the driver's seat and closed the canopy. The Batmobile came to life, driving off in a roar of jet flame.
Disappointed by Batman's cool reception, Kara spent the next hour putting that out of her mind by helping the fire crews with the fire. She went to the bottom of Gotham Harbor and used her powerful arms and legs to create wave after wave of water, building it until it was almost three stories high, finally drenching the warehouses near the shore. Then she moved to the more central part of the fire and using her superbreath, she both blew the excess water back into the harbor and blew out the flames.
After taking care of the fire, Kara flew back into the heart of the city, taking in the lights, making her way lazily back to her hotel. Gotham was a night town-- apparently because one couldn't see the grime in the dark. All that could be seen were the lights, the gaiety of Gotham's extravagant nightlife. An elaborate facade¢ until one plunged into the deeper shadows-- those not penetrated by the lights. The ones not acknowledged by Gotham's elite, or mentioned by the city's officials, except in guarded tones. The ones where evil men plotted sinister crimes and planned the downfall of the city into everlasting night.
This was the Batman's territory. And everyone knew it-- no matter how conniving or powerful the criminal may be. They knew who the true ruler of the shadows was. And he proved it again and again every night.
Kara continued to fly among the skyscrapers, pondering this, when she saw that she was very close to the source of spotlight with the Bat emblem on it. Alighting on the roof, momentarily mesmerized by the signal, she stood staring at it for a couple of minutes, lost in her thoughts. Suddenly hearing a slight rustling behind her, she whirled to face the source-- and saw the Batman standing on the ledge of the roof. She realized with some disconsolation that the only reason she had heard him was due to her super hearing. In terms of human hearing, he had made no noise at all.
He stood on the three foot-wide ledge as comfortably as if he was standing only mere feet above the ground, rather than the 40 plus stories they were up. His thumbs were hooked into his utility belt, again using the shadows so that his lenses were the only discernible feature about him. Her supervision allowed her make out much more of course, and if she used her X-ray vision she would have been able to see A LOT more. He regarded her quietly for second before speaking.
"Help you with something, miss." It wasn't so much a question as an inquiry as to her presence on the roof.
She shrugged nonchalantly. "Just checking out this thing that seems to call you out of the woodwork."
His jaw clenched slightly. "I see. Well. . ." With that he moved past her with a fluid grace and flipped a switch, suddenly coating them in blackness. "Sorry to shut off the object of your fascination, but its job is accomplished, at least for tonight. Now if you'll excuse me. . ." He turned to go.
Kara was more than a little put out. "HEY! Wait a minute! You know, some people are actually grateful when I save their lives? I know that may be a little hard for you to express, but you could do a little better than treat me like a child!"
The Batman suddenly turned on her. "Miss, you are a child. When did you start fighting crime? Three months ago? A year maybe. Miss, I've been fighting The War longer than you've known your true nature. Every damn night, in the trenches. And unlike you, I have to rely on my wits and what God gave me to get myself out of my predicaments. I can't just fling them around my pinky like you and your buddy up in Metropolis. Some of us actually work for a living. Now, once again, if you'll excuse me, I need to be getting back to that work. I have two more hours until daylight, and you've already cost me more time than I had up here. Good night, miss."
Kara swore vehemently in her native Velorian, then shot out in front of him to grab him by shoulders. His response was to tense himself and snarl, but he didn't resist her. Even with all his strength and grace, he couldn't hope to release himself from her mighty grasp. Then she used her X-ray vision on him, to see who it was she was dealing with
And saw nothing. Only what in human terms could be best approximated to snow on a television screen. She shook her head in surprise and momentarily let him go. A gentle swish told her that he had moved out of her grasp. She cleared her head and looked at him, finding him standing on the ledge again. He wore a slight sardonic smile.
"C'mon-- I was a Boy Scout. If you didn't think I did my homework and found out you'd be in town, and thus prepare for the inevitable, you don't give me enough credit." With that, he stepped off the ledge.
Kara was after him in a flash, chasing him in what appeared to be a very controlled fall. Just as he passed the 20th or so floor, huge bat wings shot out from under his cape, and he proceeded to glide, finding the ample thermals. He continued in this fashion down the street where Kara could see he had the Batmobile parked. She wanted to go after him and demand he tell her... everything. But she knew he would just laugh at her. Although he respected her powers, he did not fear her for them. And he never would. Because he knew she would never use them against him. Instead, she simply watched in muted fury as he landed perfectly next to Batmobile, released himself from the winged apparatus, folded and stored it in the back of the vehicle, jumped in drove off.
It was early morning after the night of the fire when a very large man arrived in Gotham City, his feet cracking the paving blocks as he landed in an alley behind a condemned apartment building. Looking around disgustedly, the finely-chiseled face on his bull neck was almost handsome, if not for the ever-present sneer of contempt on his face. He walked through the alley and into the street as if he was master of all he surveyed, and for the time-being he was. His body had the look of a bodybuilder, with no excess bulk. His waist was almost tiny in comparison to his broad shoulders. His suit was made of a material that was undefinable in Earth terms. It clung to his physique, defining his ripped abs, his huge arms and his bulging quads. His name was Meelar, and he was an Arion Prime! And he was an enemy of all who called themselves 'Terran'!
Meelar rubbed his side tenderly, favoring it slightly, and cursing all the gods of his native world. He was strong for his race, almost the equal of a Velorian, and fast. But for all his physical attributes, he was not overly bright. His ego was bigger than all his muscles combined could ever hope to be, and that was what had landed him in Gotham in the first place.
Two weeks prior, he had been joined with a group of other Arions and two rogue Kryptonians who sought to overthrow the Son of Jor-El from his throne in Metropolis, as so many had tried to before. The whole affair however, turned into one huge double-cross. Neither race had trusted the other for centuries, and while both were joined in a rogue's bargain against a common foe, each had tried to outwit the other as to who would do the lion's share of the work -- distracting Superman -- while the others found a way to destroy him. In the end, the group of Arions got the shaft both due the fact that the Kryptonians had the means to destroy Superman, and because they bullied the Arions into it. Although the Arions were hundreds of times more powerful than the strongest mortal, even those augmented by a Velorian such as Fairchild or Kara, they were on average substantially weaker than Velorian Protectors, weaker still than the true Kryptonians.
However, not all Arions were as foolish or as egotistical as Meelar, although the group had freely admitted that he was by far the strongest and best fighter among them. So, in an effort to keep an eye on the Kryptonians and make sure they kept their end of the bargain, and to keep themselves alive (for it was rumored that while Superman was lenient with Earth criminals, more than one Arion had met his fate at his hands), they had added fuel to Meelar's already overinflated ego, telling him he was easily strong enough to take on the Man of Steel, and that no Arion worth his salt with his size and strength could hope to attain the status of a Warrior Prime without putting himself through the proper trial. For Meelar, they convinced him that his trial had to be to challenge Kal-El to single combat.
Meelar was feeling particularly cocky that day, and needed little convincing. Two days later, he stood in the middle of downtown Metropolis, a cascade of wrecked cars around him, calling on the Man Of Steel to show himself and fight like the coward he was, rather than the superbeing he claimed to be. And sure enough, the Son of Jor-El had come down. And Meelar quickly realized what a huge mistake he had made. For not only was Superman easily as big as he was, but by his very nature as a Kryptonian he was more powerful than Meelar could ever possibly become. Not to be daunted, however, Meelar proceeded to challenge the Man Of Steel, calling him a disgrace to his ancestors, and a coward and a pretender. Superman had taken it all in-- then he had flown straight at Meelar with a speed the Arion could not even have guessed at. Meelar, to his credit, had been quick enough to get in a grapple with him, but that did him little good other than save him the initial crushing impact. Then Superman had hit in the stomach, just below his left ribs hard. Meelar had been doubled over and gasping for air, again shocked when he realized that the Man Of Steel had been holding back. He could have hit many times harder, but hadn't needed to. Superman had picked him up with a hand around his throat, the look on his face one that a teacher gives an unruly student. Then he had smashed his head into Meelar's face, sending him back fifteen blocks and through two buildings.
Meelar had reawakened ten minutes later, to find the battle in full swing. The two rogue Kryptonians were on the defensive, each trying to tie up Superman long enough to employ their secret weapon. Superman, however, seemed to be the master of the game, easily playing the two as if it was choreographed. Meelar's attention had been diverted upwards where he saw his fellow Arions on top of a skyscraper, watching the battle. He had flown up to them and immediately demanded why they weren't involved.
"Because, you fool," one of them had sneered, "your 'distraction' was supposed last at least five minutes, and it didn't even last five seconds. We're not so stupid as to try and fight the Man Of Steel, especially not one-on-one. So we wait until the Kryptonians have been whipped."
"So you freely admit you are cowards." he had said.
The woman, the weakest of the group, approached him. "We also freely admit that we aren't stupid and pathetic, unlike someone else on this roof."
In Earth terms, Meelar never had amounted to anything more that a brutish boor, and as he now walked towards central Gotham, he remembered how good it had felt to back-hand that little bitch, and throw her right off the roof-- right into Superman's arms!
It had been an odd scene indeed: Superman suddenly on the ground, laying on his back underneath Aileea in a vaguely sexual position, with both of the other Kryptonians looking on in shock. Then they had turned their heads skyward and seen the other Arions on the roof. By this time, Superman had thrown the writhing mass named Aileea off of him and began staring curiously at the two Kryptonians who, having had the perfect opportunity to attack, had let it pass. These two had looked at each other, then at the girl and nodded. Turning to Superman, they had said, "A truce, for now Kal-El. We have been betrayed. And now we intend to deal with the betrayers before we deal with you."
With that, they had flown over to the Arion woman, taking her in their grasp, and flown skyward with her, towards the other Arions. As they neared the roof, they had suddenly pulled apart, her shriek of agony reverberating throughout the city as her armless body had plummeted to the ground. The son of Jor-El had let out a piercing roar as he flew after them at supersonic speed. From then on, it had been a free-for-all.
Meelar had initially been spared as Superman had been engrossed with going after the Kryptonians, who were after the Arions that had scattered from the roof at their approach. In the ensuing melee¢ , however, one of the rogue Kryptonians had seen him just taking in the action from the roof, and confronted him.
"So, the incompetent fool seeks no shelter?" he had said, "Well, then, all the easier killing you will be."
Whether the Kryptonian had been too cocky, or Meelar's ignorance of his true power (he was still insistent on relating size to power regardless of race), Meelar had been able to fend off his initial attack. In the process, one of the strange green crystals that the Kryptonians had claimed was their secret weapon against Superman had fallen from its special sack. Meelar had swooped down to get it, holding it before the other Kryptonian, who had backed away as if recoiling from a snake.
Meelar had then curled it in his right fist and flown at the Kryptonian, feinting left then swinging his right with all his might. The mere presence of the crystal had seemed to nauseate the Kryptonian and make him sluggish. The resulting impact had sent him through six buildings, his jaw crunching into his skull.
Meelar remembered his own shout of triumph as he had then flown after the Man Of Steel. Even as he rushed toward Superman, he had been shocked to realize that Kal-El seemed unaffected by the green crystal. Even when he had swung at him after a couple of quick feints, the Man Of Steel had easily caught his wrist, with so much terrible strength in that grip. Then Meelar had noticed that Kal-El had started to get dizzy and shake his head. Meelar had reacted with a frenzied attack that had succeeded in freeing his right arm, but accomplished little else other than to make Superman angry.
Meelar had then tried again to attack with his crystal-laden hand. The Man Of Steel parried most of his attacks until a sharp backhand with Meelar's right had suddenly brought Superman around. Again catching the right wrist, Superman had inspected the contents of Meelar's hand. The resulting look that crossed Superman's face was not one Meelar had thought him capable of possessing. Then, swearing a Kryptonian oath, he had summoned all his strength and connected with a backhand that knocked Meelar unconscious and sent him flying so far that when he had woken up, he had been on the outskirts of Metropolis!
Having had his fill of Kryptonians and his own race, at least for the moment, Meelar decided he needed new stomping grounds. A place where his natural superiority would not be challenged. He had heard of such a city not far from Metropolis. Its protector, unlike Metropolis, was mortal. And although he was very ingenious and powerful for a mortal, he was mortal all the same. And that meant, in Meelar's mind, that he was automatically inferior. Meelar also still had the crystal, which had practically imbedded itself into his hand, so tightly had he gripped it when the Man Of Steel had hit him. He had pried it out earlier, and was nursing the hand as well.
So now Meelar, who after his reminiscence of the miserable string of events that had brought him here, finally reached the bustling center of Gotham. He thought to himself that it was small wonder that no superbeing would want to be this city's protector. It was falling apart at the seams. Almost a mere shantytown, with the facade¢ of being upscale. He was frankly surprised the mortal even wasted his time with it. But, it was to be his city to rule, so he had best assert control quickly. That meant elimination of the city's protector. But where to find him?
As he continued to walk, he noticed part of newspaper with a gaudy headline on the ground and stooped to pick it up. It read:
BATMAN ABDUCTS JOKER IN FIERY WAREHOUSE
A smaller headline read:
Joker yet again in Arkham Asylum
So-- the city's protector was revealed! And the Joker. . .obviously a natural foe of the protector-- and thus probably the best source of information on how to find him. Now all he had to do was find this Arkham Asylum. . .
Of all the things that could contribute to the downfall of human sanity, there was one environment that was generally acknowledged by those who knew of it as being the absolute worst- the night shift at Arkham Asylum. It was said that this shift was more hotly contested than the existence of UFOs. Guards had been known to pay up to $200 in order to get out of sitting.
The fact that one is locked up with some of the most notorious criminal pyscho/ sociopaths in world was bad enough. But to have to do it in the dead of night almost went against normal human reasoning. Added to the fact that most of the occupants seemed to be nocturnal, and thus harassed their keepers with all manner of screams, soliloquies and threats, it was near miraculous that one shift didn't degrade the guards to the state of their charges.
Murray was firmly convinced that was exactly what they wanted, too. This was his second turn at the shift- and after only a half an hour, he was debating skipping out on his partner. Turning around from the coffee machine, he walked back towards the guard room, looking wonderingly on him. Rogers sat in front of the television in the shack, hastily stuffing donuts into his mouth to help his already ample stomach enlarge. He was something of an anomaly in that he never complained about the night shift. Indeed, when the scheduler had fairly shafted him with back-to-back night shifts once, he had not even uttered one word of protest. Many in the division believed he was off his rocker already, and thus his lack of disdain for the shift. Just as Murray was walking back in, a shrill shriek, followed by a heinous laugh echoed throughout the hallways, causing him to jump and spill coffee on himself. Although the ward itself was sound-proofed, it still had microphones which fed speakers in the guard areas so that the guards could hear what passed on. Rogers barely moved a muscle. Murray entered the shack, closing the door and shaking his head in disbelief and pain at his smarting hand.
"How the hell do you--" Murray was cut off in mid-statement by alarm klaxons screaming, warning of incoming intruder.
"It's coming from out--" Rogers was yelling, before an entire section of the roof caved in. The concussion shook the bulletproof windows and fragments pinged against it and the door. As the dust began to settle the light showing through the roof revealed the silhouette of a man. A very big man. And he didn't look like one of the good guys.
In a vain attempt to ward off the malevolent-looking man, Murray bolted the door. In the event of any hostilities, the two men were merely supposed to sit in their shack and ride out the storm. The last time Arkham Asylum had possessed a rapid-reaction force of its own was back in the late eighties. It had been equipped with the best of everything-- stun guns and grenades, thousands of rubber bullets, tear gas, body armor, the works. The last year of its existence, a criminal organization had pierced the Arkham defenses to try and free their boss. Rubber bullets and tear gas did not equal real bullets and rocket-propelled grenades. Once the inmates were set loose, they literally fed on the reaction troopers. All 50 had been slaughtered, many in grotesque ways that made Silence of the Lambs look like the work of an amateur. It had been decided from then on that the monetary and political cost of such a force was too high, and that a small security force that could call in the police when the things got hot, along with enhanced internal measures was a better alternative.
The heavy-duty security door was shock-tested to withstand a grenade. The newcomer merely slapped it with his palm. There was sharp scream of metal as the bolts were hewn at the lintel and it came off its hinges. Meelar walked up to Murray, insulted that this stupid little mortal had gotten it into his head that the door would have kept him out.
"You little fool." He sneered, and swatted him aside. Murray was thrown with incredible force against the console, effectively smashing it into a useless piece of junk. He slumped to the floor unconscious. He would never see another day outside of a wheelchair.
Meelar then heaved up Rogers. "Tell where I can find this. . .Joker. Tell me now!"
Rogers' lips moved but no sound came out. His pants were already loaded with his feces, which disgusted Meelar to the point that he threw Rogers into a bank of consoles as well. Then he picked him up, crushing the man's hand in his own. Rogers only groaned; his broken back and shattered hip had taken him too far along the pain spectrum for the hand to mean much.
"Tell me where he is now and I may kill you quickly."
Rogers only feebly pointed in the direction he needed to go.
Meelar smiled. "Thank you, earth scum." With that, he flicked Rogers in the throat, effectively collapsing his windpipe, and threw him away.
Meelar walked towards an area that was proclaimed "Maximum Security Ward." It was guarded by all manner of titanium gates and doors of bulletproof glass. Meelar smashed through these with even less effort than he had the guard shack door. Finally he came around the corner to an area lit by flashers. In his way was a 5 ft thick titanium and advanced ceramic door (courtesy of WayneTech), the primary defense against anyone trying to break the inmates out of the maximum security ward. Nothing short of a 2,000 pound bomb could hope to breach it, and it also had special blowback boxes within it to prevent against its being breached by shaped charges such as plastic explosives. Meelar felt around the door, then stepped back a few paces.
He began to flex his magnificent muscles. His back ripped out such that it threatened to shred the suit. His quads bulged unbelievably, and his arms became the size of volleyballs. Then he levitated himself a few feet off the ground and flew at the door with all his might.
The hall exploded in noise. Its occupants watched in wonder as they were suddenly hit with a pressure wave, then milliseconds afterwards, blowback boxes in the door went off simultaneously, shooting ceramic material through cracks in the titanium. Meelar then began to hit and kick the door, each successive blow denting and cracking it further. He then stepped back and did a two-step jumping side kick. The door sheared off at the top and went flying down the hall. Ceramic dust floated everywhere.
Meelar walked down the hall looking at the electronically-operated cell doors with serial numbers and names of the occupants. Meelar read the names: The Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, The Penguin, Amygdala, The Mad Hatter. One cell had the name "Zasz" written on it with a large sign underneath that read "At Large." At the very end of the hall, a cell slightly separated from the others read "The Joker." Meelar took a solid swing at the door. It fell flat to the floor in a shower of sparks. A slight buzz told him it had been electrified. Sitting in the middle of the cell with his legs hugged to his chest sat the Joker. He regarded Meelar with a curious glance before stating, "You rang?" to which he laughed insanely. Meelar looked into the Joker's maddening eyes and at his sickeningly rictus grin and came to the same determination within two seconds that everyone did who had the misfortune of meeting him: he was truly crazy.
This fact however, did not phase Meelar in the slightest: it just meant the mortal would have to be given a little more patience, something Meelar wasn't good at.
"You are The Joker, I presume."
"I am. How may I be of assistance, oh great one?" The Joker bowed his head in mock supplication.
Meelar saw it for what it was. "Don't mock me, mortal. Your life means nothing to me if you cannot help me. So you had better be worth my energy, or I will appease my anger at this waste of my time by tearing you into tiny pieces."
The Joker seemed unimpressed. He merely regarded Meelar and said nothing.
"Are you enemies with this 'Batman'?"
The Joker's eyes immediately lighted, and he stood up, making a conscious effort to dust himself off. "I have the honor of being such."
"Well, he stands in my way as lord over this city-- and I will not have that. Thus I will destroy him. But I don't know how or where to find him. So you will bring him to me. If you do not fail me, and you do not tax my patience, I may let you live after your purpose has been served. Do otherwise-- and yours will be a very painful existence indeed."
The Joker smiled. "I will only help you if let me participate in his demise."
Meelar was in no mood to argue with the crazy man. "Done. Now let us leave."
The Joker tittered and followed the Arion out into the hall. As they made their way halfway down the hallway, a voice screeched at them, "NAPIER!"
The Joker stopped, annoyed. Meelar did too. "What is it Harvey?" The Joker asked.
"I busted you out last time. You owe us."
"Harvey, perhaps you don't understand. I didn't plan this one. He did. Now, if you'll excuse me. . ."
"Dammit, Jack, I want a piece of the Bat, too. Don't be so goddamn selfish. Let us out NOW!"
Meelar stepped forward. "Why do you insist on saying 'us?' I only see one of you. Now shut up before I decide to waste some time making you into a corpse."
"Ahh. . .but there are two of us." With that, Harvey "Two Face" Dent stepped into the light, the scarred right side of his head coming into detail.
The Joker pondered quietly. "In his defense, oh powerful one, Harvey has shown a knack for smoking out the winged freak from time to time."
Meelar regarded The Joker for the briefest of instances. Then he broke down the door in a shower of sparks. He gestured toward The Joker. "This lunatic better be right about you, or your fate will be his."
Harvey joined the crew, having barely jumped out of the way before Meelar had broken down the door.
They continued when yet another screech stopped them.
"AMYGDALA WANT OUT TOO!! AMYGDALA WANT OUT!!!!!"
Meelar looked on the other two. They shook their heads in unison.
"These two say you will be of no help to me in finding the Batman. You are of no use to me."
There was a silence. "Amygdala. . .no use? AMYGDALA MAKE USE!!"
With that there was a scuffing of feet. Then one of the cell doors quivered. Sparks shot out. Amygdala screeched from within and repeated the smashing three more times, until the upper corner was bent out from the lintel. A hand grabbed the corner and forced it outwards, forcing the whole door out further. Finally Amygdala was able to wrench the door off altogether, his massive shambling bulk squeezing through the doorway. By human standards he was huge. He was taller than Meelar, but not so dense. This made no difference to the maddened brute, who promptly picked up the bent wreckage of his door, and hurled it at the Arion. Both The Joker and Two Face dove out of the way as the door slammed against Meelar's upper body, wrapping itself around him. He tossed it away.
Amygdala then rushed at Meelar and flung himself at him. Meelar merely side-stepped him. Further enraged, Amygdala charged him and swung with all his might. The resulting CRACK seemed to echo down the hall. Meelar's head snapped to the side, then slowly moved back. Amygdala looked dumbfounded at his hand, in which every bone had been shattered. He then swung his left. Meelar caught it, then rotated it up and out. There was a loud pop and Amygdala screamed. He then threw his right hand at Meelar's head, mindless of its mangled state. Meelar caught that one too, and did the same thing he had done to the left. Amygdala screamed again and proceeded to go into a frenzy in attempt to free himself. Meelar smiled evilly, then spread his arms out further, further. . .
The resulting tearing and popping was enough to make any person want to retch and possibly faint. The Joker found it incredibly amusing, laughing harder each time a popping joint or muscle caused Amygdala's face to contort in some new way or a new scream to emit from his lips. Two Face just watched, one side of his face a picture of disgust and sorrow, the other side grinning gleefully.
Finally, the sockets gave way, and Meelar had Amygdala's arms in his hands. He threw them away and kicked Amygdala right in the groin. Amygdala's body shot up like a bullet, its bald head caving in on impact with the ceiling, showering Meelar with blood and brains. The headless, armless torso landed at his feet, still twitching. The Joker laughed insanely, rolling on the ground. Meelar stepped over to him and picked him up.
"The same arrangements can be made for you if you don't SHUT UP."
The Joker nodded solemnly, unable to keep occasional chuckles from erupting at the corners of his lips. Meelar shook his head in disgust and dropped him. "Let's go."
The trio rapidly departed, flying through the hole Meelar hade in the roof well before the first police officers arrived.
It was only eight o'clock in the morning when Kara landed at the wreckage of what had been Arkham Asylum. Although it had been a late night, she was habitually an early riser, having woken up at seven in the morning, and after seeing the destructive break-in on the news, had coughed down a quick Continental breakfast, and then flown over. The more she thought about what she had seen, the more of an uneasy feeling she got.
As she flew through the hole in the roof, she looked for blast marks that would be evident from an explosion. There were none. Saying as much to the lead investigator she found inside, his response was, "Miss, there's no way anyone could have blown a hole in the roof. Radar sensors on the roof pick up intruders from 500 yards out. The guys inside would have known. Even if the perps had inserted by helicopter and used a HUGE shaped charge, there's no way they could have gotten through AND done the damage done inside before we got here."
Kara nodded and proceeded inside. He followed her in, trying to control his dry mouth as he ran his eyes again and again over her tight ass and shapely muscled legs and back. He continued.
"We found two bodies inside. One guard, Orren Murray, is in critical condition at Mercy General. Docs say he should come to in a couple of hours. The other was a DOA. Had his windpipe crushed and was even more banged up than the other. Whoever came in here decided to use both of their bodies as human clubs, because all the indications we have indicate that both men were hurled into these consoles with such force that they shattered the displays."
Kara looked around dispassionately, but inside, she was churning. "Lead on."
The investigator led her through the series of bent gates and shattered bulletproof glass doors, until they came to the main door. One look at it finally sealed it for her, as much as she had tried to write off all the other evidence. No mortal could have done the damage done in this room.
". . .still can't figure out what the hell happened in here. Nothing we have ever seen, short of maybe Superman, could have smashed the door in like this--"
"Superman didn't do this."
"Well, miss, I wasn't implying that he did, but you have to admit, looking at the door. . ."
Kara had walked over to the door, then stooping over, picked it up. The investigator's jaw dropped. Her legs, wide and slightly braced, suddenly began to flex to unearthly proportions as she lifted the door slowly but easily. Her back, supple and shapely, began to widen with muscles not evident before. Her triceps stood out in graphic relief as she heaved the door over and leaned it against the hallway. She looked over at the policeman to see his jaw still dropped and a hard-on outlined very prominently by his pants. She looked down, then up at him with a look of curiosity. "Are you-- okay, inspector?"
He shut his jaw finally and looked down, then promptly wrapped his overcoat around him in an effort to hide the erection. "I. . .er. . well, what you did typically takes the work of a crane."
She turned her attention back to the door. "See these dents? That indicates that whoever hit this had great strength, but still had to hit more than once. Superman could have penetrated this door in one blow. It wasn't him."
The investigator nodded. Kara turned down the hallway. "What else?"
"Two of the inmates are missing. Their cell doors were broken down from the outside."
"The Joker and Harvey Dent, also known as 'Two Face.' "
She pondered this for a moment. "Do you have files on them?"
"I'd like to see them."
The inspector gestured. "If you'll follow me, then?"
She proceeded after him, stopping when she saw two large bloodstains, one on the floor and one on the ceiling. "What happened here?"
"Oh that. Yes, well, whoever broke out The Joker and Two Face evidently crossed paths with Amygdala as well. Amygdala is--er, rather was a highly unstable, extremely powerful brute who suffered from paranoid delusion, schizophrenia, as well as being just plain dumb. But when you're 6' 5", and weigh almost 400 lbs, all of it sheer unadulterated muscle, power and anger, you have little to fear from the average man, unless of course, it's Batman. But apparently, the jailbreaker pissed Amygdala off plenty, because Amygdala went through the pain of his electrified, 6" inch steel door to get at the guy. The guy didn't waste anytime with him either, 'cause he ripped Amygdala's arms clean out of their sockets, then kicked him so hard in the groin that his body shot up and caved his head in on the ceiling."
Kara pursed her lips they proceeded onward. "Surprising that Amygdala wasn't intimidated by that display with the door."
The inspector shook his head. "Like I said, miss, Amygdala wasn't all that bright. Plus, when his temper was triggered, he typically went into a frenzy. Nothing intimidated him at that point."
Kara spent the next hour looking over the psychological and police profiles of both The Joker and Two Face. She also called Bill to let him know she would be late.
"Oh, but Miss Kara, we need you here NOW hon, I mean, my reputation. . ." he had stammered and heaved and hah-ed. In the end, Kara had sweet talked him into an eleven o' clock showing.
Sitting now behind a desk, her legs crossed, her free foot rocking back and forth, she pondering quietly. She finally turned to the lead inspector.
"I can tell that both of these men have deep psychological ties to the Batman."
He nodded. "From day one that the Joker appeared, and the very day that the second side of Harvey's personality was created, both have been at almost constant war with the Dark Knight, only interspersed by their stays at this institution."
Kara nodded. "And would it be safe to say that these men would jump at any chance to get at Batman?"
The inspector snorted. "Oh hell yeah."
"And if someone else wanted to get at the Batman, and needed a little 'help,' these two would probably be the best to pick."
The inspector nodded. "Yeah, but he'd have to a hell of a magician to pull that trick off."
"Because, their hatred for the Dark Knight is about the only thing that these two have in common. That and they're both crazy. Otherwise, they're as different as night and day. They'd just as soon try and destroy each other as join forces to kill the Bat."
"Hmmm. Well, whoever broke them out didn't seem to have too much trouble getting them to cooperate."
He smirked. "I'm sure he didn't."
Kara glared. "Assuming it's a 'he.' But looking at the profiles, The Joker is not one to be intimated by physical displays of power. Neither would Harvey, who wants to die almost as much as we wants to kill Batman. So the jailbreaker's display of physical power wouldn't have deterred them from going after each other once they were free."
The inspector shrugged and raised his hands supplicantly. "Lady, I don't know. I'm a cop, not a shrink. Bottom line is, they're fuckin' crazy, okay? That means anything's possible with them, in my book."
Kara nodded. "When can we expect Batman to arrive here?"
"Sometime tonight. Old Man Gordon wants us outta here by dusk, so he can have the building to himself. Fine by me-- that guy gives me the creeps anyway."
"Thank you for your help, inspector." With that, she leaped into the air and flew off.
It was 9 P.M., and Commissioner Gordon was pacing impatiently in front of the demolished building. Why can't he ever appear during the day-- just once, he thought, as paused momentarily to light his pipe. It always has to be when it's dark and cold out and-
"Good evening, Jim."
Their meetings invariably started this way-- with James Gordon nearly jumping out of his skin at the theretofore unheralded approach of the Caped Crusader.
"JESUS! One of these days, you're gonna do that, and I' gonna be having a bad day, and I'm gonna turn around and put a bullet in you. Or have a heart attack. Either way, it'll be the last time I'll ever have to deal with that ever again."
The Batman smiled. "If you had just looked away when you lit your pipe, you might have seen me."
Gordon grumbled something about shoving the lighted pipe where the sun didn't shine, which made Batman smile again as he preceded Gordon into the ruins. As he was about to go through the lintel of the main entrance, he brought them to a sudden halt. He stayed there for a moment, then knelt to the ground.
"Jim, how long since your men vacated this area?"
"About three hours ago."
"Anyone been watching this area?"
"No, I told everyone to leave per your request."
Batman stayed crouched for half a second. Then he exploded out, tackling Gordon and rolling on top of him.
It took half a second for Chaos to make his entrance.
It felt to Gordon as if the earth had belched fire from within. The entire foundation of the building erupted into the sky, sending huge chunks of debris everywhere. The force of the explosion caused the local manhole cover to be blown sky high, and Batman reacted instantly. Throwing Gordon toward the hole, he dove through it himself, pushing the older man ahead of him. Both fell the six feet to the bottom of the sewer, landing on their sides. At that instant, the light from the open cover was blocked by huge piece of masonry. Batman pulled himself up and sloshed over to Gordon, pulling the older man to his feet and further down the tunnel, as the masonry was shattered and shards of concrete rained down where Gordon had just been lying.
The two men moved a few feet farther inward before pausing to catch their breath.
"What the hell!"
"Looks like Two Face couldn't wait to get back at me." Batman suddenly straightened. "Well, I'd hate to disappoint him by not giving him another chance."
Gordon looked up incredulously. "You're not going back out there?!"
Batman nodded. Then before the Commissioner could utter another protest, he was fleeing down the sewer in the opposite direction they had come. "Go down about another 15 manhole covers. The police station should be one block to the right." He called out over his shoulder.
Batman went down another two blocks before popping up very cautiously at the far end of the decimated block. He had guessed right on the perpetrator of the bomb. Duff McGee and Rat "The Fink" Reynolds sat in a sedan a little away from the rubble with submachine guns-- both of them were Two Face's goons. Batman weaved his way up behind the car and entered silently as the two were talking.
"What the fuck? How fawkin' hawd is it ta find two fawkin' bawdies?"
"Shut the fuck up. The Face is just bein' careful. It ain't like the Bat ain't never gotten outta on o' these situations before. Be just like him to be playin' possum."
With that the Batman struck, giving Duff a shot to the neck that knocked him out cold, and wrapped a choker grip around The Rat's neck.
"How many more guns, Rat?"
"Hey, hehe, Bats. . .see I knews yous wasn't kilt---HAAAK. The Face, he said he'd git ya, but I knew better--"
Batman responded by increasing the pressure. Rat began to hit at his arm.
"URkay URkay! Yer gert ter mer furder durn de strit, and ter mer un de urder side urf de beerding."
"Thank you Rat." Batman added a little more pressure, and Rat passed out.
Moving on from the car, Batman began scouting the other cars for Two Face. What Rat had neglected to tell him on purpose was that Two Face was searching the wreckage himself with two other men looking for Batman's body. Because some of the larger chunks hid him from view, Batman didn't see Two Face right away. It wasn't until he was creeping up on the second car to disable its two occupants that he whirled at the crunching of gravel to see Two Face coming from around a large piece of masonry. Two Face to his credit was no sluff either. He hadn't even had his gun out when he saw the Batman, but he had it drawn and was firing even before his other two men with their guns out could join him.
Batman responded with a Batarang at the trio, which sent them diving. Then he threw a tear gas pellet in their general direction and ran ahead of the two goons in the car, who by now were sufficiently caught up in events that they too were launching a fusillade at the Caped Crusader. Batman ran down an alley, hitting a device on his belt. The goons in the car followed him, spraying the alley with rounds. Batman was nicked here and there, but somehow managed to dodge the mainstreams as he wove his way down the alleyway. The two men had the Batman lined up in their sights when a solid black shape suddenly filled the other end of the alley. It came straight at the Batman, and as he was just about to collide with it, the top part of it retracted, revealing a cockpit. The driver stopped the car as Batman did a perfect mid-air somersault to land on the hood, and popped into the driver's seat of the Batmobile. He then hurriedly hit reverse as he tried frantically to outrun the jet-powered car. Batman added some more gas and slammed into the front bumper of the goon's car. They shot at him with their submachine guns and then with their pistols. Batman inexorably added more gas.
Two Face was just ordering another car to follow his first one down the alley when it shot out of the alley trunk first, slamming into a piece of rubble. Flying out right after it was the Batmobile, heading straight for him. Two Face dove out of the way just in time as the car swerved to avoid a huge piece of concrete behind him. The Batmobile drove a few yards farther then executed a perfect 180° spin-out. Two Face dove in the car that had just driven with its door open as the Batmobile charged towards them yet again. The driver expertly wove out of the way in the direction his boss told him. Two Face looked behind the car to see the Batmobile gaining rapidly behind them. He promptly shoved his gun barrel behind his driver's ear.
"He catches us, and you die."
The driver nodded dumbly, terrified, and poured on more gas. They continued to weave their way through alleys with Two Face giving directions, the driver frantically trying to stay ahead of the powerful vehicle which prowled after them, threatening to catch them at any turn. Finally they pulled into a residential parking area which was literally trapped on two sides by buildings, and bottlenecked on either side. It had a semi-trailer in the middle of it, and the driver barely made it around it in time.
"BLOCK THE GODDAMN EXIT!" Two Face screamed.
The driver jerked the wheel hard left, the car swerving to a stop lengthwise against the exit to the parking lot. Seeing the Batmobile still coming, the car's occupants cringed and threw themselves down and against the far side of the vehicle.
But the impact never came. For if there was one thing the Batmobile was renowned for, it was its brakes. Batman slammed on them hard, and was thrown against his harness. Miraculously, the car went from 80 to 0 in 10 feet. The bumper came millimeters from impacting the side of the car. Instantly, two darts shot from the wings on either side of the Batmobile. They went straight into the tires of Two Face's car, effectively immobilizing it. Batman was set to back up when he noted that his rearview scanner registered an image on top of the semi-trailer that was all too familiar. And mounted next to that chalk-white face and ruby red-lipped grin was an anti-tank rocket launcher.
Batman flipped the cover off of his rear defenses and pushed one of the switches. A section from the rear of the Batmobile slid back and a net weighted with grapnels shot out from it. It caught the Joker full on, just as he was aiming the missile launcher. He was carried by the force of the net across the lot and was pinned by the grapnels to a building on the far side, just above a set of fire stairs.
The canopy of the Batmobile opened and the Caped Crusader exited rapidly, and in two blinks of an eye was on the fire stairs just below him.
"Who broke you out Joker?"
The Joker looked sullen. "Never were one for 'chit-chat' were you. Always business, business, business. . ."
"Joker. . ."
The Joker waved his hand dismissively. "Oh please! Just a little patience. I'm afraid, my, ah, 'predicament' has quite scattered my wits." He gestured to the net holding him up.
"You don't have any wits, Joker, that's your whole problem. If you were at least decently funny, I would probably leave you alone. Now where is he?"
The Joker tittered. "Always so insistent. Well, alright. He's right there." The Joker pointed behind him.
Batman narrowed his eyes for half a second-- then he dove to his left down the stairs.
A split-second later, the masonry underneath the Joker caved in, effectively freeing him.
Batman somersaulted over the railing of the stairs and landed on his feet on the ground. Looking up, he saw the Joker looking down on him with a look of twisted amusement. He was suddenly shoved out of the way by another man in a costume made of a material Batman could not identify. He pointed his finger at Batman.
"You are the one called Batman?"
"Yes-- and you are?"
"Who I am is hardly of any concern to you mortal seeing as how I will end your pathetic existence in the next few seconds. But seeing as you are the former lord of this city, I will at least let you know that it is Meelar, of Arion Prime, that will seal your fate."
Batman narrowed his eyes. "I am no lord of this city."
Meelar's eyes flamed. "DO NOT MOCK ME, MORTAL! You are even acknowledged by this pathetic sack of feces," he said, gesturing to the Joker, "who is your sworn enemy, that you rule this city through fear. Well, no longer will they fear the wrath of a puny mortal, but that of me, Meelar!"
Batman jumped back at that. The concrete where he had just been standing erupted in a shower of fragments. Meelar stood ankle-deep in asphalt. Batman stepped back warily. The Arion stepped out of the hole he had created and towards Batman. Batman continued to retreat, but Meelar closed the distance quickly. Finally Batman's left foot shot out, a blow no mortal could have hoped to stop. Meelar parried it easily. Batman launched his right hand a split-second after it. Meelar caught his arm in his left hand and turned it slightly outward. Batman grimaced. Meelar's other hand shot out and grabbed Batman around the throat.
"Now, Batman," he hissed, "you see your death!"
"I thought I smelled an Arion."
Meelar froze. Then he let go of Batman's arm and shot his elbow back faster than the eye could see. It impacted with a solid THWACK!-- right into Kara's open palm.
"Tsk tsk tsk-- temper temper, big boy." Her right hand shot out and clipped Meelar right under his right bicep. Meelar winced and his grip on Batman was released. She then wrapped her fingers around the back of Meelar's neck while maintaining her grip on his other arm. Then she spun her upper body to the left with a force no centrifuge could hope to mimic. Meelar went flying through an apartment building, popping out of the roof on the far side, legs and arms sprawling. Someone inside screamed.
Batman watched him fly off, then looked upon his savior for the briefest of seconds. She was truly a vision in blonde, and even he had to admit he was impressed. She fairly shone from her recent exertion, her yellow hair having that brushed back yet wild look all the same. Her entire body glistened underneath her Superfemme costume, her chest pushed out even farther by her flexed pecs, her arms flexed and powerful looking, her legs bulging with muscles unhinted at before. Her face had a glow that could be matched by no mortal. She smiled at him then took off after Meelar.
Batman watched her fly off, then, shaking his head, hopped back into the Batmobile. Once inside, he turned his aerial radar. Two extremely fast moving blips were heading towards Gotham's South Side. Batman punched the burner and sped off towards them.
Meelar was flying as fast as he possibly could, yet he couldn't shake the Velorian bitch. If it were any other Velorian but her, he would go after them in a second. He would even have tried to take her out, but after her display of power with him in the parking lot, he realized that she was just as powerful as his brothers and sisters had warned him she could be. Add to the fact that he was still weak from his fight with Superman, and one could see why he was running from her as fast as his flying power would take him.
There was only one hitch in his plan, however, and he became painfully aware of it, literally, when Kara suddenly popped in front of him and landed an uppercut that sent him right through the top of a skyscraper. Because Kara was stronger, she could also fly faster.
Meelar landed on top of a supermarket and groaned. Kara alighted next to him.
"Bet you thought coming to Gotham was gonna be an easy ride, huh? Just cause some mortal was supposedly-- what was it you called him? Oh yeah-- 'lord'. . .because some mortal had the run of things around here, this was supposed to be a cake walk, right?"
"Fuck you, bitch." He gasped.
She snorted. "Not if you were the last man on Earth. Sad thing is, I know mortal women who can satisfy me better than you could." With that she kicked him in the head, sending him across the street into and office building. She flew in after him. But when she alighted inside, he was nowhere to be found. She could see where he had impacted, but he wasn't there. She began to proceed warily farther in.
He came around a file cabinet launching a 1-2 combo to her head. She slipped the left, but the right caught her right on the cheek. Her head snapped around and she staggered a couple of steps to her right. Then she turned her head back towards him, her bangs askew, and murder in her eyes. Head lowered, she stalked toward him.
He launched another rapid combo. She parried them all, still advancing, forcing him to retreat. He launched a feint to her head and slammed his fist into her stomach. There was a slight cracking noise and he shook his hand in pain as his knuckles had given way before her perfect Velorian abs. He could see them ripple underneath her flesh. Then her hands shot out and popped him on the sides of his head. He staggered back.
"You son of a bitch." She growled and wrapped her arms around his neck and slammed her knee in his groin. He doubled over and his butt was literally launched into the air.
"Fuck YOU!" With that, she launched a front kick into his stomach, sending him flying out into the street.
Meelar landed hard on his side. He groaned and grabbed at it, when he felt something small and hard. He reached to grab it and found it was the strange crystal he had used against the Kryptonians earlier. He didn't know if it would work on Kara, she being Velorian, but there was only one way to find out. As she landed near him, he groveled, attempting to make himself look worse off than he was. When she picked him up, he launched his right hand with all his might and caught her right on her chin.
One thing that needs clarifying here. Kryptonite are shards of highly radioactive particles that were charged with a special form of gamma rays by Krypton's sun when it exploded. The gamma rays are so highly-charged that they literally "pass-through" beings like us, which are not very dense compared to Kryptonians. But Kryptonians are extremely dense (thus their seeming imperviousness to man-made things), which means all the energy emitted by the Kryptonite is trapped by their bodies. This makes them sick much the same way radiation sickness attacks humans, and in the same manner can kill them if exposed to it for too long. The added effect of Kryptonite is that for some reason, it also temporarily robs Kryptonians of all their superpowers if the dose is strong enough. Now you're asking, what the hell does this have to do with Velorians? Well, there's a reason why the disparity in strength is so great between Arions and Velorians, but not so great between Velorians and Kryptonians. The Velorian star is very similar to the Kryptonian one, which is why Velorians and Kryptonians are roughly on par with each other. The Arion star, however, is much weaker. Thus why Arions are generally that much weaker than Velorians and Kryptonians. But because Kara's density is that close to that of Kryptonians, she is subject to the ill-effects of Kryptonite as well, while Meelar was not, due to the disparity in his density. And thus why, with a resounding CRACK, Kara went flying down the street and through the glass front of the Federal Reserve Bank.
Batman drove up just in time to see Meelar stride painfully but proudly towards the shattered front of the bank. Although he couldn't Kara, he always prepared for the worst. He started punching commands into the console of Batmobile.
As Meelar proceeded inside, Kara was struggling to get up, rubbing her jaw. Meelar chuckled fiendishly, and kicked her supporting arm out from under her. She collapsed.
"You stupid, fucking, BITCH!" he said, emphasizing each word with a kick to her midsection, the final of which sent her across the room. He walked over towards where she lay.
"Just who the FUCK did you think you were fucking with, you stupid little whore? Hehe. . .yeah, that's what you are-- a "super" whore. . .c'mre, super-whore."
He walked over to her and picked her up by the straps of her costume, slamming her against the wall. Then he trailed one of his hands over her ample breasts. Then, holding the shard of Kryptonite in his hand, he did the same thing, circling her engorged nipple with it. Then, pinching her nipple with all his might, he heard Kara crying out. He smiled and backhanded her across the face.
"Shut up, whore."
Kara shot him a look of utter loathing. Then she slammed her head forward right into his face. Meelar dropped her and clutched at his nose. When he drew his hands back, there was blood.
"Why you little BITCH!!!!"
With that, Meelar strode up to her, picked her up by her chin in both hands and hurled her upwards. She went flying up straight through ten floors. Meelar flew up after her. She was barely moving as he picked her up and her hurled her up again. By the time he got to her the second time, she was barely conscious.
"Don't you EVER do that to me AGAIN, you sorry CUNT!"
He flung her up again, another ten floors up. She was unconscious when he reached her. Ripping at the seams of his suit, he thought she looked very cute when she was unconscious, her blonde hair splayed across the floor, her legs crumbled beneath her. And she looked so young. And Meelar had this big thing for young women. He was almost ready to have his way with her when he heard a calm voice coming from behind him.
"Hey loser-- did you forget? I'm still lord of Gotham."
Turning to follow the sound, Meelar strode to where the window used to be on office building. There, standing at the base of a lesser building not two blocks away, was Batman.
"You honestly consider yourself a match for me? If it hadn't been for this little slut," he said, gesturing behind him, "you would have been dead long ago."
Batman's voice hardened. "You will never be the lord of Gotham while I live."
Meelar sneered. "Well, I can remedy that in short order." With that, he leapt off the edge of the office building and went screaming at the Batman.
Batman remained poised, his body tense but unmoving. It was as if he was a deer caught in the headlights. Yet anyone who knew Batman any better than Meelar knew him would understand that this simply did not happen, and thus the first hint he had that something was amiss went totally unheeded. In fact it wasn't until Meelar was a split second away from impacting when he realized what was wrong, why Batman had not moved. For Batman was half a block away from his image, only the ghost of his hologram stood poised before the brick depository building. But Meelar, flying at supersonic speeds, couldn't hope to stop in time. Cursing himself for failing to use his super vision, the hologram flickered as his body passed through it and into the building behind it. And the building after that. And the building after that. All told, Meelar went through six buildings before shooting out sprawling and out of control over Gotham Bay into the Gotham City Bridge. The bridge was much like the Golden Gate Bridge, supported by cables and the like. Meelar went flying into these cables, which acted like a series of huge rubber bands. They stretched and snapped as they sought to contain his momentum.
The bridge itself was thrown into a chaos of rending twisting moments. Cars were thrown into the bay, and those that stayed were tossed about like Matchbox cars. Finally, the strands had just reached the apex of their stretch when Meelar was able to contain them. As he was about to slacken their tension, he heard something behind him. A large, black shape was headed right towards him. The longer he looked at it, the more it resembled a giant bat. The aircraft fired four rockets at him. All four hit him square and had the desired effect. The explosions distracted him long enough that he let go of the cables. The tension shot him across the harbor like a slingshot. Flailing in a vain attempt to get control, he was flung straight into a steel mill. The impact was so great that it exploded, sending molten metal shards flying for miles around.
Batman noted the explosion from across town, and though he knew it would keep Meelar's attention for a while, he didn't have much time. Kara was thirty stories straight above him. For him to run up there would take too much time. He couldn't use the BatWing-- it figured into another part of his plan. Quickly reaching into the back of the Batmobile, he extracted a pair of oversized boot that resembled cut-off hip waders. Pulling them on over his own boots, he hit a button on his belt and his glider wing assembly opened. Then, standing as straight as he could, with his arms held tightly to his sides, he pressed two small buttons on the tops of either boot.
The launch given to him by the boots was equivocal to an ejection seat. He strained to keep himself rigidly straight as he was launched over 20 stories. However, the wings that had given him so much stability also came with a price: drag. His ascent finally leveled off at the 27th story, and with a kick, he grabbed onto the ledge of the 28th by his fingertips. Temporarily folding his wings, ran up the remaining two flights of stairs to the thirtieth. Kara lay in the middle of the office, her costume askew, a huge purple mark on her breast, and a sickly pallor to her skin. He picked her up and walked to the edge of the floor. He hesitated briefly as he unfolded his wings. They were meant to carry only him, and he had little illusion as to their lift capability being burdened as he was. But as he looked over his shoulder towards the steel mill, he knew he had little choice, for Meelar would emerge from it soon, and would certainly kill both of them without leaving room for chance. So Batman stepped off. . .
And plummeted like a rock. The floors went by in dizzying succession as he fought to get control, constantly trying to turn to allow his wings to catch some air and slow their decent. But each attempt ended up flipping him over at the apex of the turn. He knew he didn't have much time before impact. Straining all the muscles in his abdomen, he finally pulled up and arched his pelvic bone up, effecting a dead stall-- ten feet above the ground. He fell the rest of the way, but was able to handle the landing somewhat gracefully. He hastily trotted over to the Batmobile and placed her in the back seat. Deeming that it would take too long to break the wings down, he simply pushed two buttons on the apparatus and tossed it away. Then he hopped into the Batmobile and drove off, the wings exploding and burning away to nothing behind him.
Once in the car, he guided the BatWing to the roof of the building they had just vacated, and waited. Soon enough, a high-speed blip appeared coming from direction of the steel mill, headed straight for the building. Batman typed in a few last coordinates, then a special code. The Wing took off from the roof of the office building and shot over his head at maximum speed. A split second afterwards, a blur almost too fast to see went screaming after it. Batman engaged the throttle and slammed his foot down on the gas.
Meelar had awakened to find himself encased in molten metal. It actually felt relaxing, until he remembered how he got there. Uttering a roar of utter rage and humiliation, he burst free of it, heading straight for the office building, determined to make Kara and the human pay for his humiliation. He would make them pay in slow and painful ways that they couldn't even begin to imagine.
As he neared the office building, he saw the black shape that had attacked him at the bridge take off and head away as fast as it could. Did that mortal honestly think he could outrun Meelar in his own man-made flying machine? Meelar chased it down, using his super vision to confirm it was real. He saw nothing, the leaded glass and body of the car an effective shield to his remarkable eyes. He toyed with the plane for a little as it led him on a twisting chase around office buildings and skyscrapers. Meelar quickly tired of this, however, and pulled out in front of the plane.
"Enough of this nonsense. Now you both die."
He smashed his way into the cockpit to find. . .nothing.
He had been duped again.
Meelar screamed in inhuman wrath, and, grabbing the Wing by its cockpit, hurled it into a nearby skyscraper. The wreckage fell in tiny pieces to the ground as he flew back towards the office building.
Meanwhile, Batman weaved his way in the opposite direction from the aerial chase, finally pulling in front of the WayneTech building. Checking both visually and with his scanners, he saw no one near. Punching a button on his console, he watched the grate closing off the parking garage start to raise. He shot underneath it and hit the button again to start it closing again. Weaving his way rapidly through the garage, he came to a freight elevator that had posted "Authorized Personnel Only: No Trespassers."
Batman hit another button and the elevator door opened. Driving the Batmobile in, he opened the canopy and pressed the down button. As the elevator proceeded down, he opened a small door which revealed a keypad. Punching a code into the pad produced a large whirring sound as two large slabs that previously made up the floor of the elevator opened up to reveal another floor beneath. The elevator alighted on this surface. Batman pulled out a small remote from his belt and push the stick forward. The Batmobile rolled off the elevator. Entering another code into the keypad, he closed the door and jumped off the elevator as it proceeded up through the open slab doors. As soon as the elevator was clear, the doors closed. Batman walked over to the Batmobile and plugged a cable from his sensors in the vehicle to a socket in the wall. This allowed him to utilize the specialized sensors he had installed in the building structure itself. He saw Meelar's blip on the radar screen, but it was floating aimlessly, darting this way and that. He had lost them.
Kara had been in and out of it for two hours. She briefly came to, and had the sensation of being strapped in and going down at a high rate of speed. She passed out again, and came to once more, this time in a tunnel. It had a great deal of ambient light, but was not highly lit. Once again, she had the sensation of moving at great speed, and taking turns that pushed her back in her seat. Then she passed out once more. This time she dreamed that she was swimming in her favorite pool on Velor, one that she had never visited. But the wet sensation that she felt on her forehead was very insistent, almost as if it wasn't--
She opened her eyes, and there, very blurry at first, was the face of Bruce Wayne. As she focused in on him, she could see that the seriousness in his cobalt blue eyes was matched by the expression on his face. At first, it didn't make sense to her, then she looked a little lower-- to see the Bat tunic on him, its symbol seemingly very large to her for some reason. Alfred stood behind him with a silver basin. It had the water which Bruce was dipping the cloth into and rubbing over her forehead.
"Shhhh. Don't speak. Just relax."
"Later. Just rest now."
"You you're the Batman?"
"Yes, Kara, and I'm sorry I was so defensive about it earlier. But the fewer people that know about me the better. Now you need to sleep and let that famous physique of yours heal. I'll be back in a few hours to check on you."
And with that, he tucked the covers around her and turned out the light, her eyes closing as she fell back to sleep.
"What now, Master Bruce?"
Bruce Wayne replaced the cape and cowl, this time minus the asbestos inserts. "I have to round up the Joker and Two Face. Hopefully, Meelar will be too busy elsewhere to get in my way."
The two were standing in a more remote part of the cave, as Batman prepared once more to venture forth.
"The news reports say Meelar is reeking city-wide havoc. Is there no way to stop him?"
"That's what I'm going to go find out."
The two men met on a hill overlooking Gotham. The Batmobile was parked a little ways away. Both men seemed to be looking intently on Gotham as one of them spoke.
"I'm sorry, Bruce, but I can't help you right now. I'm sorry Kara's sick and I wish I had the time. The only reason I'm talking to you right now is because Gotham is on the way to where I'm going."
"It can't be THAT difficult to deal with one Arion. Not for someone as strong as you, Clark. For Chrissake, tell the Pres to have a Coke and a smile and be happy. You'll be there when you get there."
"I can't do that, Bruce. Those Kryptonians are threatening his daughter's life at Camp David. If only you'd seen what they did to the Arion girl that Meelar had originally been with. . ."
Batman shook his head. "Do what you gotta do, Clark."
"I'm sorry, Bruce. But right, you're just gonna have to wait until I deal with that other situation." With that, the other man took off into the night sky.
Batman drove into Gotham to find the city a study in chaos. All the dark forces of the night had come out to celebrate their liberation under their new lord. Batman's success at restoring order was measured alley by alley, block by block. Criminals that thought themselves impervious quickly found out the opposite was true when their new "lord" wasn't around. Regardless, it was late the next morning before Batman had been able to eradicate the greater part of Gotham's scum, and avert a city-wide riot. He had found The Joker and Two Face as the lead inspector had predicted they would be-- in a state of war against one another. Dispersing their respective goons was little trouble after the minor war he had raged all night, and he had dragged the two lunatics in kicking and screaming-- mostly because they couldn't get to one another.
Kara awoke again an hour after Bruce had left. She was still groggy but able to move now, her body healing at a fantastic rate. Alfred looked after her, bathing her in cool water and allowing her move around, as he nursed her back to health as best he could. As she ate, Alfred recounted the events that taken place after she had fallen unconscious, as both told to him by Bruce Wayne and that recounted by the computer in the Batmobile.
"So, how did I come to get here without Meelar seeing us?"
"Simple, Miss Kara. There are many accesses to this cave that are underground. The one Master Bruce used was right under the WayneTech building, almost thirty feet below the ground."
Kara nodded slowly. "Where is he?"
"Master Bruce went to try and apprehend the Joker and Two Face."
Her head snapped up. "What about Meelar?"
Alfred only shrugged. "Master Bruce said he was going to try and get some help in stopping him. I don't know how successful he was."
Kara looked at a clock on the wall. It had been almost four hours since he had left. "Any word from him?"
"I'm afraid not, Miss Kara."
She started for the stairs. "I need to find out what happened to him, and save him if I can."
Alfred put a restraining hand on her arm. "In all actuality, miss, I think you had better rest-- I really don't think you are in the shape to help anyone right now."
Kara shook her head, pushed past Alfred's hand. "He'll get killed without me there. . .have to help him. . ." She stumbled up the stairs.
Batman brought the Batmobile to a halt. He couldn't understand Meelar's disappearance. His scanners hadn't picked him out flying anywhere. He had cleaned up the city without any intrusion from him at all. The Joker and Two Face were in custody. It just didn't make any kind of sense. Looking over his other scanners, he noticed a great deal of electromagnetic activity. Switching on his close-circuit TV, he tuned in the local channels.
". . .and has threatened to kill the Mayor and have all of Gotham's criminals turn Gotham upside down unless the Caped Crusader shows himself."
The image cut to Meelar holding the Mayor by his arms, threatening to tear him apart.
"He's got one hour until I kill this pathetic worm and begin my purge of Gotham!"
The image panned back to a news reporter.
"That statement was made exactly thirty-seven minutes ago. . ."
Batman had already tuned out the station, the accelerator floored.
The elevator doors to the studio opened exactly eleven minutes later, and Batman stepped out, walking past terrified technicians and producers to the sound stage. Meelar was there, bellowing at some poor boy to get him another camera.
"Let him go, Meelar. I'm here."
Meelar flung the Mayor out of the way. "So you are that much of a fool. BOY! Give me the phone." He punched in a number and waited.
Batman stood stolidly and said nothing. Meelar pressed a button, then another series of numbers. A wait. Finally Meelar crushed the device in his hand. He glared up at the Batman. "You're behind this aren't you."
"Your 'army of criminals' have been taken care of. So have the Joker and Two Face."
"I knew I couldn't trust them. But no matter. Now you are here, and nothing can save you. I beat your little super bitch, so now nothing stands in the way of your demise."
"Guess again, jerkoff."
Meelar whirled to see Kara standing in the hole he had made to get into the studio. But when he saw her, he smiled. She was making a hell of an attempt to look strong, but she could not betray how weak she really was.
Meelar sneered. "So, come for another spanking, you little whore?" He pulled the crystal out of his tunic. "Well, I'm just the one to give it to you."
Batman made a instinctive grab for the crystal-- and was thrown back across the room as Meelar's left hand backhanded him. Only Batman's superior shape and training saved him sustaining permanent damage. He slumped against the wall, stunned or unconscious.
Kara launched her own attack, catching him with a kick to the stomach and a left across the face. Meelar stumbled back a few feet-- then he straightened and smiled.
"Is that all you got, bitch?" He launched a kick to her midsection. She blocked it, as he intended her to-- it was the backfist with the crystal-wielding right hand that he had intended to hit her. Had she been well, she undoubtedly would have blocked or ducked the blow. But in her weakened state, it caught her full on the cheek. She was knocked clear out of the building and into an apartment building across the street. Meelar chuckled evilly as he strode to the hole to see where she had landed. "Home run." he muttered as he flew down.
Kara was trying to get up as he came down. "Now, you little whore, time for that little object lesson we never had before."
He slapped her across the face, putting her face-first into a wall. Then, reaching up under her skirt, he tore her panties apart, his fingers gripping her tight ass. Pulling his own suit down to expose his manliness, he shoved himself between her legs from the rear, his throbbing manhood searching for her sex. She flexed with all her might in an attempt to keep him out. He just laughed-- using the crystal to begin to finger her. Gradually, her resistance waned to where he could get himself inside her. Her cry of passion and rage filling the room as he began to pump inside her with abandon. She quickly became silent, submitting, only grunting when it became so painful that she had no choice. Meelar continued, muttering at her and slapping her to try and get some reaction out of her. He was so engrossed that he didn't notice the grapnel slam into the floor above him. Nor did he notice a caped figure slide down the cable onto his floor.
Meelar turned to see Batman, just standing there, his hands held before him to form some weird symbol, breathing deeply.
"You again. Well, I might as well deal with you now. This is like fucking a log." He turned to Kara. "Don't go nowhere, will you, love." He started to pull himself out of her. And then as a last act of defiance, Kara used her vaginal muscles to pinch him inside her. He winced, then slapped her forward, forcing her to let go, and slamming her whimpering into the wall, which promptly collapsed on her along with a section of the roof.
But in that instant that Meelar had been distracted, Batman struck. Using all of his energies focused, just as his teacher's had taught him, he achieved the ultimate state of mushin, or no mind. Action and thought were one. Emitting a kiai that shattered a nearby window, he launched himself into a jumping side kick that hit Meelar right in the chin with an audible CRAAACK. Meelar stumbled backward, dropping the crystal. He withdrew his hand from his chin and was stunned, for Batman had done the one thing that no mortal before or since had ever done. He had drawn the blood of a superbeing.
His hesitation was again his undoing, for while he hesitated, Batman did not. He saw the crystal on the ground, and immediately heaved up a broken piece of masonry and threw it down upon it. Meelar gave a shout, but even his superspeed wasn't fast enough. The crystal was shattered under the brick, emitting a bright light that blinded both men. Then Meelar uttered the roar of tidal wave, and he grabbed Batman and held him over his head, one hand gripping the back of his neck, the other his left leg. And he proceeded to bend the Batman over his head. If it hadn't been for his phenomenal physical condition and his superior flexibility, Batman would have been broken right away. But flexing every muscle possible, Batman fought Meelar's inexorable grip.
"You cannot win!! I will have my vengeance!"
He began to exert more pressure. Bones began to crack, and Batman began groan under the stress.
Suddenly there was an explosion behind the two men. A voice thundered, "LET HIM GO!!"
Meelar turned to see Kara, her body looking as neither he nor anyone else had ever seen her. For she was no longer clothed in her familiar garb, but was naked. All marks of violence on her were gone-- she fairly shone with an unearthly light. Her muscles glistened in the sun, and she was indeed a goddess reborn. There was fire in her eyes as she lowered her head at Meelar.
"Now-- meet your DOOM!" And she flew at him, her long blonde hair streaming behind her, making a more dramatic cape than ever she had before.
Meelar was terrified. He threw Batman away and flew away as fast as he could. But it was to no avail. Kara reached up and caught him by his testicles. Meelar screamed and doubled over. Then she pulled him down and launched a flurried assault. Punches and elbows and knees rained all over him as blood flew and bones broke. A final kick sent him through the tops of five buildings. She chased after him and picked up his mangled body in one hand. He had ceased to be capable of resistance. Then she slammed her fist into his abdomen, going clear inside him. He looked down at her arm with numb shock. She reached up and found his heart. Then she ripped it out and held it up in front of him. She then proceeded to rip his head off and take it to the top of Gotham Twin Towers, where she put it on top of the tallest antenna. Then she flew around for the next hour, exhilarating in the feel of his blood running over her naked and very aroused body.
Alfred opened the door of the mansion in response to the frantic knocking, shocked to see a very naked Kara standing before him holding the Batman in her arms. He lips were shaped into a fierce grin, yet Alfred was horrified as he looked down to see the condition of his master. He had a number of broken bones and was covered in cuts and bruises, his protective costume nearly torn from his body.
"My God, Miss Kara, what happened to him! Is he alive?"
"Barely, Alfred, just barely. But we have to work fast. One of his ribs has been broken and has pierced his heart."
"But, how can we heal him here, shouldn't you take him to a hospital?"
"No time for that, Alfred," she said as she strode through the doorway. "Besides, I don't think that 20th Century medicine could save him, his heart is too badly damaged. But there is a way, maybe. But you have to help me!"
Rushing up the stairs with Alfred gasping as he tried to keep up, Kara laid Bruce on the bed while ripping the remains of his costume off. She finally turned to face Alfred, his eyes unable to remain focused on her face as she stood nude before him.
"He is unconscious, Alfred, but what I need is to heal him in a very special way. A way that requires another man or woman to help me. Can you help me, Alfred?"
Stuttering, he stood proudly before her. "B, but of c, course Kara. But what can I do?"
She paused, her sparkling eyes tracing down his body. Taking a deep breath, she finally spoke. "You can make love to me, Alfred. You can help me to generate the hormones that can heal your master. Hormones that I cannot generate myself no matter what my desires may wish!"
He suddenly looked shocked, his eyes traveling from hers down across her body and then back again, a frightened look in his own.
"But, but how can I do that. I mean, I've read about you, about how you like women. And I'm an old man, Kara, I'm not exactly "
"Shh," she interrupted, you will do as well as any other Terran. Besides, you are kind of sweet and I like you. In fact, you'll do much better than most men. Now come here and show me what you've been dreaming of ever since you met me a few days ago!"
The next half hour was the most incredible experience in Alfred's life, the young woman named Supergirl carefully and gently encouraging him to make love to her. Standing over Bruce Wayne, her strong arms holding Alfred's body to her own, they had made slow and delicious love, the wetness of Kara's arousal dripping from her legs to fall on Bruce's lips, his tongue instinctively tasting them. And Alfred did quite well, thank you, his manly powers not totally diminished by age, the attraction of a young Supergirl enough to awaken any of his powers that had become latent.
And so it was that a new type of man was born, a man who was born of Terra yet enhanced by a girl from the stars. A Batman who no longer feared the bullets and weapons of his victims. A Batman who could leap from tall buildings and not need his wings and other paraphernalia to land safely on the streets so far below. And while he might not be a superman, at least not of the Kryptonian kind, he now stood above all other men of this planet.
And Alfred had some very special memories, being the only man in a very long time to experience the joys of a young Velorian woman.
Kara stood quietly in the darkened waiting area, watching Bruce sleep. She was soon joined by another silhouette, a taller figure who wore a costume that looked much like hers.
"Kara, what have you done?"
"I made him better."
"Better?! You made him ten times more powerful than he was before. And for a mortal, he was already pretty damn powerful."
She shrugged. "He fights crime. He needs all the help he can get."
"Maybe I didn't make myself clear. Bruce is no ordinary man. He's a fanatic. All that matters to him is his war. Nothing else."
"Why don't you just come out and say it, Clark?"
Superman shuffled his feet. "Dammit, Kara, one of these days, his war is not going to be popular anymore. It's not going to end. Ever. He will fight until he gets too old and hurts himself. Well, in the end, it'll either come to that, or. . ."
"Or you will have to eradicate him yourself."
Superman looked down.
"And when that happens, Clark, may the best man win."
"HEY, wait a sec. . ."
But Kara had left already. Clark followed her, her rapid flight barely sufficient for him to catch up with her.
Bruce sat in bed for a second, before extracting his ear piece and tape recorder. He smiled. "Yes, Clark, let the best man win."
Later that night, Kara came and sat by the side of his bed. She was wearing a low-cut top that showed off her ample breasts. She glowed as always. "How are you feeling?"
Bruce nodded. "Been worse."
She slid her hand down past his stomach and up his thigh, higher. . .
"Are we still on for Wednesday, Bruce? After all, you promised to show me the sights and to thank me for making you into someone so strong! " He just smiled, her hand finding him, her powerful grip unrestrained for the first time in her young life