Bats, Birds, and Psychotic Clowns
by T.J. Keitt
"ALFRED! Alfred, we need you!" Robin dragged the body of Batman from the passenger side of the Batmobile and laid him on the cold tile floor of the Batcave. Bruce Wayne had been in and out of conciousness throughout the trip back to the cave and he was beginning to ramble and have slight hallucinations. Robin was scared as he pushed the intercom button on the wall and yelled for long time confidant Alfred Pennyworth.
Alfred scrambled down the stairs, an apron wrapped around his body, duster in his hand. He quickly asked, " What happened, Master Tim?"
" The Joker...he sprayed Bruce with posion. It's lethal if we don't find an antidote."
"Help me get Master Bruce into the medical facilities here in the cave," instructed Alfred calmly. He and Robin picked up Batman's limp body and carried him some 80 feet to a gurney surrounded by medical machines such as heart moniters, respirators, and intervenous bags. They laid his body on the gurney and Alfred quickly put the oxygen mask around his face and hooked the IV into his arm.
Robin pulled off his mask and slumped over into the chair before the cray computer. He knew he had to get help. He knew that Joker still had the means to make Harlequinn's Death for in the rush to evacuate the affected Batman, Robin had not destroyed the Joker's vats. He was tired and sore from the flu but he knew he had to keep going for Bruce Wayne only had 48 hours left.
"How is he, Alfred?"
"Hard to say, Master Tim. I know how to begin treating this posion that Master Bruce has been given. I'm going to need more information if I am to combat this."
"If that is what it takes to get Bruce back, that is what I am going to do." Robin put his mask back on and quickly ran to uncover his car. Robin fired up the engines and shot out of the Batcave garage at at least 80 miles an hour. The car sped out of Bristol heading for Gotham City once more. Robin punched up his onboard computer terminal and quickly sent a message to Commisioner Gordan via the modem.
"How bad is it?" Gordon stood on top of Police headquarters, lighting his pipe and staring at Robin.
"Bad," Robin began, "extremly bad. He may die in 48 hours if I don't locate and antidote. To top it off, the Joker still possesses this stuff and I think...I know he intends to use it against Gotham."
Gordon grunted his reply and turned away from Robin slightly. He looked outover the Gotham skyline and then turned back to Robin and said, " What do you need?"
Robin replied, "All avalible files on Harlequinn's Death. I also want this to stay between us. No need in panicking the city. Joker wants chaos and we can't allow him to have it."
The Commisioner nodded and said, "I'll see what I can do. The military doesn't freely give away its secrets on chemical weapons. In the meantime, find the Joker and stop him."
With that, Gordon headed back to the door to head downstairs and Robin quickly swung off to the rescue of the city. He moved gracefully through the sky, all the while sneezing and coughing. He landed on a roof to blow his nose and he heard a light footstep behind him. He spun around and the last person he wanted to see was standing there: Spoiler.
"Hey, Robbie," she smiled and waved at Robin as he stood there with a tissue to his nose.
"Go home, Stephanie. You don't need to get involved with what I'm dealing with here."
"Ohhhh, if it's something that you don't want me to help you with, that means it should be all the more fun." He could tell she was smiling under her mask as she approached him.
"I'm going up against the Joker, Steph, and he's got some nasty hardware this time. This is way out of your league."
"So, ummm, this is strictly a Batman and Robin Adventure hunh?" Spoiler stood next to Robin and put her hand on his shoulder.
Robin shrugged the hand off and replied, "Batman's been hurt. I'm flying solo on this one."
Spoiler sensed an opening and quickly said, "If the Bat has been hurt by this, what makes you think you can handle this alone. You're gonna need back up, Bird Brain, and I'm it."
Robin shook his head and fired off his grappling hook and swung away. Spoiler was determined to follow and she did. Robin was going to need help and he knew it. He had to call in heavy support, namely Nightwing.
It was close to dawn and Robin made sure he'd lost Spoiler before he uncovered the boxes from his car and sped off back to Bristol. He call in the troops as soon as night fell.
"I came as soon as I heard," Nightwing stood over Bruce's body in the cave. Alfred had strapped him down because insantiy had begun to set in and Batman had attempted to escape. He was foaming from the mouth and his eyes were wild with fire. Dick looked over at Robin, who had just come in.
"I'm glad you could come. The situation here is going to get very bad, very fast." Robin strapped on his mask. The sun had set on the day and it was time to find Joker.
Nightwing asked, "Where was the Joker's last location?"
"That's where we should start to look for clues to where he is now. He couldn't have gone far with all that chemical."
Robin and Nightwing sped off in Robin's car. They arrived at Apex Chemical shortly after their departure. The factory was just as Batman and Robin had left it the previous night. Nightwing and Robin slipped in and found it desserted. The two chemical vats were empty and the only residue from last night's battle were some shell casings and bulletholes in the surrounding walls.
"These vats hold 2000 pounds of chemical. Joker, no matter how many stoogies he had, couldn't have made it far. They had to have some sort of transport to get it out, and I think I know how we'll find out what it is."
Nightwing and Robin went to the eastern loading dock and found a fresh set of tire tracks on the ground. Nightwing hopped off the dock onto the ground and quickly took a sample of the tracks.
"We'll have to run an analysis on the content of this track. Mud, tire type, any plant particle should lead us to the Joker." Nightwing handed the sample to Robin and then said, "Let's get back to the cave."
They rode through the night back to the Batcave. As Robin parked, they heard a loud crash coming from within. Robin knew it was trouble and hopped out of the car in a hurry followed by Nightwing. They rushed around to the aid station and found Alfred unconcious on the ground. Blood trickled down his nose and there was a lump on his forehead. Robin looked up and saw Bruce thrashing about, turning over medical supplies and howling like an animal.
Nightwing moved quickly, but Bruce quickly countered Dick's attack and pounded him to the ground with a medicine tray. Robin started to move and Bruce yelled, "Stay Back! Stay Back! I'll kill you if you come closer! You understand? I'll kill you!"
Bruce picked up the Dick's limp body and pulled a scalpel from the counter and held it to his neck. "Don't come any closer or I'll kill him." Robin froze in his tracks not sure what to do.
[back to part two]
[go to part four]
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