Bats, Birds, and Psychotic Clowns

by T.J. Keitt

At Robin's feet fell a large man who looked as if he could heft a tractor trailer with ease. One down, four left. The Dark Knight's heir apparent had stumbled on to a mugging of some poor sap from out of town and had become the target of the five thugs. One had attacked young Robin, but he quickly put him down with a roundhouse kick that would make Richard Dragon proud.

"Let's get that little punk!" The four charged Robin. Two wielded chains, one carried a lead pipe, and another brandished a butterfly knife. It was a cold Gotham night and young Master Drake was a little under the weather with the starting effects of the flu. He didn't want to take on four armed attackers, but he had to to give the mugging victim time to flee the area. That's what old Batsy taught him, and that's what he was going to do.

Robin quickly dove into the men, punching and kicking , dropping men to the ground. One popped up quickly and took a swing at Robin, which he avoided and countered with a quick chop to the adam's apple and then a kick to the stomach. Two more rose, one at Robin's back (which he didn't notice) and another at his side. The one to Robin's back grabbed him in a vise grip while the other picked up the lead pipe.

"End of the road you costumed freak." Robin couldn't move and he felt dizzy as he knew he was about to be thrashed. He closed his eyes and expected the worst. There came a loud thud and he knew he had been released. He pun quickly around to see the man who was holding him run away. He turned back around and saw him.

"I need to talk to you," his voice in its usual low growl. To Robin, he looked as forbidding as ever as he stood over the unconcious body of his attacker. He was the Batman.

"Yeah, sure." Robin coughed a little and then pulled a tissue from his utility belt to wipe his nose. "What's wrong?"

Batman began to walk towards the end of the alley and Robin knew that was his cue to follow. There was an urgency in his step and his body language that Robin had only seen in times of desperate danger to the city. He knew whatever it was, it was really bad.

"The Joker broke into the Army's chemical depot at Ft. Gotham earlier this evening," Batman began to tell the story as he and Robin got into the Batmobile. " He stole two very powerful chemical agents. One's called Lithium Triodide and the other is called Sodium-postasium iodide. When the two are combined, they produce a toxin commonly referred to as Harlequin's Death. It causes insanity, extreme violent tendecies, and eventually a very painful death in it's victims."

Robin's eyes lit up with fear. He knew this was not good news. Joker was planning to make a very power toxin that would wipe out Gotham city. "How are we gonna find Joker and this Harlequin's Death?"

Batman punched a few keys on the car's computer terminal and a list of locations appeared on the window. "These are the Joker's most frequent haunts. He's gonna need some place to store the two chemicals and mix them without causing exposure to himself."

Robin examined the list and one name popped out at him. " The old Apex Chemical factory down by the river."

[go to part two]  [return to the journal index]

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