Afterparty

Now. Yes. Hmm.

Gotham City. Quite the party capital, we’ll agree. You no doubt know of the various nutters currently swarming the streets and unleashing the chaos. But even I have to admit that releasing an asylum exodus is a bit, well, pre-drinks really, compared to finding a crashed giant ice robot in downtown. Crashed giant ice robot. I mean crashed robot alone would’ve been enough for me, but I’m happy being outdone. Whatever Womble was taking at the time – and yes, I suspect him entirely, there are flipper tracks everywhere – I want some.

But this crashed giant ice robot did give up an additional smidge of technology, that has been rather helpful, shall we say? Finally, I get to put the Q.U.A.R.K to good, if entirely not good and actually rather evil, use.

……Gotham Cathedral bell tower……..Penny One in distress……..Gotham Cathedral bell tower……..Penny One in distress……

I’ll admit it’s not the most imaginative call to arms I’ve ever come up with, but when you’ve nicked a superhero group’s own tech wizard/butler, they’re not going to be worrying over semantics. I’m rather proud of my impression. Halfway between Michael Caine and Michael Gough, and it’s only on their four frequencies.

But that’s not the really clever bit. No no no. I’m not usually a master at traps, but oh my friends I have redeemed this lacking personal quality. For seeping through the very heart of this belfry is a potent cocktail of Scarecrow’s toxic poisons and my universal residue. And by shaking, stirring and altogether mixing it up, I have made this three dimensional nightmare. This Bird’s Nest. Four Robins. Four phobias in one. And a seriously psychotic Timelord. Distress beacon’s in place. Let’s just see who arrives first.

“Alfred!”

…ahhhh, here we go….what shall we seeeeeeeee…

……a near infinite drop, hands vertically grasping at one another only just out of reach and never together. Three trapezes swing slowly in the air, each clang, like the bells that bring a funeral to an end. The orphan boy walks alone, past tombstones turned to stands at a circus fair, the ground opens like a grave and he falls, to try again and again to catch them. It repeats but it never changes……

Dick Grayson. Nightwing. I’ve should’ve known you’d get here first. You played the first idiotic catchphrase-toting imbecile in bright tights and came first ever since. Sure you moved into dark blues and assassin’s tactics but you just won’t shake the delusion that you’re his favourite.

*thump*

Keep yelling, kid. Sure, scratching at your forehead’s good for you, go for it. The writhing certainly looks the part. You’re just breathing in more of your own demise.

One down.

“Who the hell are you?”

……..ooooooh, heh heh heh, I like this one already………

…..all four walls of the same smile laughing and shouting, its lips as red as the blood, as the floor, as the crowbar that swings upwards and downwards in a graceless arc and held by the brightest white hand. Each strike blurs the world around us. Thud. Thud. Thud. Theep. Beep. Beep. Beep. The explosion that comes is so large it leaves nothing behind it except the rictus grin. Nothing can kill the smile……

Jason Todd. Red Hood. Not even death could hold you back, could it? Though I suppose I’m not one to talk. Care for a larger dose? I want you to really feel the world turning its back on you.

Two down. We really are progressing in order, aren’t we? A whole new level of psychoses and coincidence pays my OCD a favour. Yum yum yum.

“Looks like you’ve *cough-cough* grown…a bit…Tetch *cough*”

A pun at a villain’s expense. Why it can only be Tim Drake. Red Robin. If the sequel failed, the threequel’s just got to work, right?

Wrong……there are no faces in this one, they’ve all turned away, putting their backs to everything that was dreamt. Only two stand above, facing in, and right now their true owners are gasping for air on the floor of this belfry. Their forms grow and distort and these ‘people’ are the city, so large and towering as it drags and drowns the world in black, that ripples into the shape of a bat, in flight, alone.

“How does it feel, little Drake? Living in the shadow of those two screeching morons over there? Do you feel like you’ve reached your potential? Like Mr Bats is proud of you?” Heh. “The fourth one’s coming, soon. You were so easily forgotten.”

And that makes our hat trick. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but the jackpot’s in the belfry. The last of this toxin’s got your name on it, Damien. Hehhhehheheheheeheheheheheheeehhhhheheheh

“The Joker’s laugh’s still better.”

Heh. “I’m sure Mr Todd will vouch for that. Do you think it’s the only thing he hears at night?”

“The last thing you’ll be hearing tonight is your *cough* is your bones snapping.”

“Idle threats mean nothing to me, little one. I’ve had a near miss with Bane tonight already. You possess as much threat as a matchstick.”

“Then that’s *cough-cough* how easily you’ll…*cough*…you’ll break….”

Here we go. One last time…

…bullets lay scattered, lightly dancing in the raindrops that fall like tears. The alleyway is tall, narrow and echoing with the sobs of the child. He kneels and weeps beside a body many years his elder though bearing the same name. Violence begets violence as Wayne begets Wayne. They even know between them. The one living will never match the one no longer……

Ned, thirteen bodies of my own and I think I’ve got problems with succession. You four little sidekicks will never, ever, EVER live up to the great legacy that is-

“Hand’s up.”

Batman. “At long last.” I turn, and there he is. In my opinion, the greater hero of them all. A tribute to antiheroic justice clad in bulging-muscle-tight-spandex. Now that’s role models, apparently. “An honour to meet you, my good Bats. Nice touch on the mask filter, by the way. Avoid the toxin, nice. Didn’t see that coming.” Plus the fact you somehow got the distress beacon. Ned f**king damn it.

“I tend to come prepared.”

“That, I don’t doubt.” Enough upper body strength to move my jaw a few feet to the left and then go in to combine my lungs with my tonsils. This isn’t the fight I can win.

And what’s the other option?

“Y’know, Mr Batman, I respect you. I really do. In fact it’s out of that respect comes the reason I’m doing this for you. But with all your training, your preparation, your gadgets and your……endless money, there’s one thing I know you haven’t accounted for.”

“Enlighten me.”

“Quite simply…….a time machine.”

Simple as that, back on the TARDIS, Robins and all. Yes, you may say coward, but cowards win. Cowards can get what they want, without losing their kidneys. Oh, and at last! An excuse to use the TARDIS inner prisons. Off we go, you lot. Don’t ask me why there’s a prison, I’m still lost somewhere around the mini golf courses. That’s plural, no less.

SO. Part 1 done, tick. Murder victims caught. Now all we really need is the murder.

Oh and Womble, of course. Don’t ask me why, but I think he’ll appreciate seeing this.

HH

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