Bats, Birds, and Psychotic Clowns
by T.J. Keitt
Robin stood in horror as Batman held Dick's limp body in one hand and a surgical scapel in the other. The toxin had grown in Bruce's body until he had reached the point of insantiy. He remembered from Batman's briefing that once this stage had been reached, death wasn't far behind. This situation was apprecitated by Robin, but the more immediate crisis was the fact that Bruce was about to kill Nightwing if he didn't move quickly to rescue the former Robin.
Even in this demented state, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, was still a great martial artisit, so Robin had to be very delicate in his attempt to seperate Dick and Batman. He moved very slowly to his left, Bruce's wild eyes following him very closely. Robin slowly reached his hand back to his belt and pulled out a can of epoxy; it was a fast acting glue that would prevent Bruce from moving his arm to slice. He did this while continuing to move to his left so that he was in a position to execute a vault and put himself between the unconcious Nightwing and the insane Batman.
"DON'T MOVE!!" Bruce began to brandish th scapel inches from Dick's neck. Tim froze in place, his thumb on the trigger of the epoxy can. "DON'T COME ANY CLOSER ROBIN. I'LL KILL HIM, I'LL KILL HIM!!!" His eyes were wild with fire and foam was seeping out of the corners of his mouth. A flash of total fear paralyzed Robin's body; he was horrified by what he was facing. Robin's eyes found the form of Nightwing and he knew that he had to do something to help him. He needed a diversion, and at that moment, he got one.
Alfred, who had been unconcious on the floor, began to awake and moan loudly. Bruce turned slightly and Robin took this split second to move. His leg muscles bunched as he sprang into the air and summer saulted into a flying kick. He connected with Batman's jaw making him drop Dick and fall to the ground. Bruce had managed to hold onto the scapel and was turning to swing the blade at Robin when the sidekick sprayed the can at Batman's elbow and then worked his way down so that the glue coved his arm from his elbow to his hand. This did not keep Bruce from attempting to continue fighting, so as he attempted to rise, Robin finished the job with a round house kick across Batman's face that sent him to the ground unconcious.
Alfred's head was bandaged tightly in white gauze and he and Robin had once more restrained Batman to the gurney. Nightwing sat on the medical counter with a bag of ice to his head to stop the swelling of the knot on the crown of his head. "His condition is getting worse Alfred," Robin's tone was very grim and had a hint of defeat. "I've been through the Rouge's Gallery looking for clues, but the only possiblity I see in finding a cure is to raid the army base it was originally stolen from."
Nightwing replied, "You want to raid a Federal compound and steal an antidote that you don't even know exist?" He put the ice down and hopped off the counter. His eyes met those of Robin and he could tell the kid was for real. "What do you propose to do?"
Robin walked over to the "Mighty Crays" that loomed over the Batcave and sat down at the consuel. He began to jab keys and diagram appeared on the screen.
"This is Fort Gotham, a state of the art Chemical Weapons depot located 22 miles outside of Gotham City. It is the most heavily guarded weapons compound in the contiental United States with state of the art security systems, storage areas, and some of the best soldiers the army can provide. Joker broke in and stole the toxins by an underground tunnel system built back in the 1960s," Robin pointed to a section of the diagram that displayed an intricate system of about 80 tunnels. "I think we can follow the Joker's lead and infiltrate the base the same way."
Nightwing shook his head and noted, "The army's smarter than that. They would seal up those tunnels tight to prevent any other looney, or us, from getting in."
Robin wagged his fingure and said, "That's why we don't do this alone." He cleared the diagram to a smaller screen and brought up file photos of several people on the screen: Huntress, Black Lightning, and Technocrat. "Black Lightning is in town on business and the Technocrat is staying in a cabin about half a mile from the base. We're going to launch a two pronged attack on the tunnels and come up, hopefully, in the labs."
Nightwing looked at the diagram and at the pictures and said, "We don't have much time left. Let's do it."
Joker sat in a chair at Mercy General Hospital. Behind him, two bodies of hospital staffers lie dead and a very scared doctor stood before him, held up by two of Joker's henchmen. Sweat beads popped up on the doctor's forehead and he stuttered as he spat out, "P-P-Please d-d-don't k-k-kill me! I-I gotta wife, t-t-two kids. Y-Y-You gotta spare m-me M-M-Mr. J-J-Joker!"
Joker rose slowly and began to chuckle softly. He put his gloved hand on the man's face and said, "Come come Dr. Conroy, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Just show me where your little invention is and I'll let you go."
The doctor nodded and said, "I-It's over here." The Joker's men let Conroy go and he went over to the counter in the lab. There was a large contraption covered by a white sheet which Conroy lifted. "The Aerol Vaccination System. It's designed to distibute airborne vaccinations into the air of Gotham City making it immue to various diseases."
Joker exhaled a bone-chilling laugh that startled Dr. Conroy. He rushed over and picked up the machine and giggled, "Gotham won't be immune to this disease...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
Conroy studdered saying, "W-What are you talking about?"
Joker snapped his fingers and one of his men opened the window of the lab. Joker grabbed Conroy by the neck and forced him to the window, pushing half of his body out. Conroy cried, "W-What is the meaning of this? You said you'd let me go!!"
Joker laughed and repiled, "That's what I'm doing silly!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" With the release of the muscles in his hand, Joker let the doctor go, and the man plunged nine stories to his death below. Joker looked out and said coldly, "I am a man of my word. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!" He turned to his men and instructed them to pick up the machine and they were off.
(To be continued)
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