Chapter Nineteen: To Hope
of the things that Lois never understood was how Clark could so easily
get off work whenever he requested off. Clark never questioned it though
and was just grateful that Diana had such a free schedule. They had
been dealing with separate threats over the past week. He dealt with Toy
Man while she dealt with the Silver Swan. To be perfectly honest, if
something went off now, though, they'd probably both yell at the Green
twins, Hal and Ollie, to deal with it.
Alfred answered the door
and let them in. Diana quickly pulled off her work suit once they were
in, glad to take off the constricting outfit. Her costume gleamed even
in the faint light while Clark slowly took off his civilian clothes in a
more fashionable manner.
"I assume your trips went well," Alfred remarked.
"Very, thank you, Alfred," Diana told him.
"Yeah, sorry we couldn't get here sooner," Clark said.
"Not a problem," Alfred said.
Diana asked, "How's Dick doing?"
my knowledge he is doing just fine. Ms. Kane has had him for the past
week and I've heard nothing but good reports for him," Alfred relayed.
"What's he been up to?" Clark asked.
sighed, "He and the Titans have been active in the evenings, watching
over Gotham. That's all he's really said, but I'm certain that he's
probably attempting to find this Ravager character."
his head while Diana replied, "Well, as long as he hasn't broken an arm,
I think it's time that it's about time that we look into that clock."
rolled his eyes as he and Alfred followed Diana to Bruce's office.
Diana kicked the clock while Alfred nearly fainted in response, "Please
don't! That's an antique!"
"Alright then, well, let's at least get it off the door," Wonder Woman said shrugging, "Superman?"
nodded and carefully pulled the clock off of the door, placing it to
the side. He then used his heat vision to melt through the door's solid
block of steel. Soon, the sound of screeching bats were heard along with
running water from the cave below. Superman began the long descent down
with Wonder Woman and Alfred behind him. It was slow, excrutiatingly
slow, and as they got farther down, Wonder Woman noticed something.
Clark was getting slower too, as though he didn't want to go down any
more. About half way down though, her reasons changed as a blaring siren
"SECURITY BREACH! SECURITY BREACH! SECURITY BREACH!"
and Wonder Woman looked to both sides as they heard the screeches of
the bats grow. But that wasn't it. Like it ever was. Superman gasped as
Kryptonite shot into the open and clipped to his shirt, leaving the
Kryptonian with only the ability to fall to the ground. Wonder Woman
pushed Alfred up the steps and pulled Superman to the side. She flew
downwards until she saw a door slam down in front of her, all access
denied. She pounded the door a few times until she gave up, for the
moment. She walked back up the steps, where she had left Superman.
She began to pull off the kryptonite clasps, bitterly, "Alfred, come on! I need you to bring down a lead box!"
"On my way, Ms. Prince," Alfred called.
she got off the last of the clasps, Wonder Woman felt a bitter sense of
anger grow in her throat. He had expected them. Expected them and what
had he done? He'd put up defenses! Defenses, of all things. She tried to
bite her lip, as she attempted to convince herself that Bruce was
probably just being careful, wary if the JLA were to ever go rogue.
Alfred was down in a matter of moments and held the lead box. Wonder
Woman dumped the remaining pieces of Kryptonite into the box and shut
it, and Superman immediately seemed to revive from the bout of sickness.
Superman shook his head, "Well, that wasn't fun."
"Did you know about this, Alfred?" Wonder Woman asked.
knew that Master Bruce had put in security measures, but I never
guessed that he would put it in for the Justice League," Alfred told
Wonder Woman rolled her eyes, "It figures, though."
"Is the cave sealed?" Superman asked.
"Yeah, not much of a way in unless we dig," Wonder Woman replied.
Alfred interrupted, "Which would be a very poor decision considering how unstable the rock formations are as it is."
"Let's just see this door," Superman said, and the trio once again began to walk down the moist steps.
the door, Superman put his hands up to it and pushed. It wouldn't
budge. Besides, he wasn't too excited to encounter another round of
"Alright then," he said after a moment.
He adjusted his vision, the X-rays taking in perfect images of the various levels of the Batcave. Superman sighed.
"What? What is it?" Wonder Woman asked.
"I..." Superman stopped for a moment, before turning for the exit, "I just almost hoped that he was down there."
"Clark..." Wonder Woman started, but Superman continued up the stairs.
the top, Superman finally turned to the other two, "You, you don't
know. If there was one person that I always thought would live through
it all, other than you Diana, it was Wayne, but to find that Bat-Symbol,
to find it over that dead body... It scared me, like at the moment, I
was actually human in one of the most deadly situations ever."
Woman bent her head down while Alfred offered words of comfort,
"Superman, if there's one thing I knew about Master Bruce, it's that, he
lived to protect others from his own pain. He would not want you or
anyone else to dwell on his death. He'd want you to keep being the hero
Wonder Woman added, "Yeah, that sounds like what Bruce
would want. Come on, Clark, why don't we get something to eat? Get your
mind off of things?"
Clark nodded, when he looked up as though he heard something else, "Uh, one second."
an instant, Clark flew past them and back, with his cell phone at hand,
"Hello? Jimmy? Hi, I um, well yeah, but, alright, Lois did what? What
did Perry say? I... What's going... Bizarro? Why's he... Alright. Okay.
I'll... Why not? I..."
Clark looked at his phone as Jimmy hung up, "Apparently Bizarro's capture is still causing the MPD trouble."
"Figures," Wonder Woman stated.
"I better get back home," Superman said, "Call me with the final report, Alfred?"
"I will as soon as I get it," Alfred nodded.
smiled slightly and flew off to get his stuff and head back home.
Wonder Woman remained silent for a moment as she and Alfred walked back
to the main hall. She took note of the place. It seemed... so empty and
quiet. Her footsteps echoed all around them. She wondered how Alfred
could stand this. She never realized how much life even Bruce could
bring to this estate.
"Would you like something before you go, Ms. Prince?" Alfred asked.
"Huh? Oh no, I just... You know, I get why Clark's so down about this. The place isn't the same," She said.
nodded, "I must admit, I see it myself... But I try to focus on other
things, such as keeping this place in order and keeping in contact with
"You've seen a lot of people die, Alfred," She said out of the blue.
probably many more," Alfred said, "But if I know they could be happy
with what their final actions were, I can lay it to rest."
"You think he was happy?" Wonder Woman asked.
"He was protecting young Master Dick, was he not?" Alfred asked.
Wonder Woman sighed, "Yeah, I guess."
two walked off to the door, where Alfred saw Diana off. He looked off
at the horizon with Gotham's skyline. He sighed. He had to admit, Gotham
was different. It wasn't the same as it was years before the Dark
Knight. It was worse and now it seemed like it was in the pit of
despair. It was hanging by a thread and he hoped that somehow, it could
Adeline got out of her car and walked into
Wayne Tower. Her morning had been nothing but a disorganized mess. She
was still getting used to having Dick at home and while the kid had done
nothing wrong, he sure added a whole new element to her mornings. Just
this morning, she had jumped into a cold shower and found out later that
he had taken a hot one moments earlier. And then of course, making
another breakfast was another story. She was starting to think that
maybe she should just listen to him and let him fend for himself, but at
the same time, she almost enjoyed the company and having to worry about
Opening the doors, she made her way up by the
staircase (there was only one working elevator and that had a line).
Besides, she liked the exercise. Getting to the twelfth floor, Adeline
walked up to several co-workers asking her for information. This always
happened. It was like being swarmed by gnats. It kept her for a couple
minutes from going into see Mr. Earle and Fox to complete the
finalization about the investigation. Within the office, Mr. Earle and a
few board members were in a heated argument with Fox.
"...with the success of Project Firewall, what reason do you have to demote me?"
"Wayne wanted the company to..."
"He left me at the head, Fox, and I expect you to be treat me as such," Earle remarked.
not the owner, Earle. And personally, I have much more respect for him
than I do you," Fox backfired, "You just have never liked the fact that I
actually play it safe."
"You're being demoted and that's the end of it," Earle told him, "Effective immediately."
eyed Earle harshly and he would have stormed right out of the office if
it hadn't been for Adeline walking into the room at that moment.
"Ms. Kane," He said.
"Hi, Fox, I'm sorry. I got barraged as usual while coming in," Adeline said.
"Yes, but normally it doesn't take you this long," Earle noted.
stared at him for a moment before Earle continued, "Fox, why don't you
and Ms. Kane go up and get the final report about the damage to our
Fox almost huffed his answer, but decided against it, "Yes sir."
two walked out of the office and to their luck, found the one elevator
that was working close by and on the way up to them. Earle sat back in
his chair. Maybe this time, it would work for him. He'd waited over a
decade to get this company to go public again. This time, he was ready
to actually make it happen. Then again, at the moment, that was a very
unrealistic goal. A more appropriate one would be to survive the next
five minutes after he finished signing his name to demote Fox.
Inside the elevator, Fox sighed, "I'm sorry about him."
no, it's fine, I should have been here earlier anyway. I'm starting to
remember what it feels like to be a Mom," She conveyed.
"He's doing well?" Fox asked.
Adeline said, "He's adjusting much better than I expected. I'm still
trying to get out of him whether he wants to go to school or not
"Knowing him, whatever answer he gives you wouldn't
surprise me," Fox said, "He's always been a logical kid, that's for
sure. Doesn't act that way all the time, but he is deep down."
"I'm realizing that," Adeline said jokingly.
were quiet for a couple moments until the elevator reached the highest
floor. They had two more flights to go. Walking up, Fox's movements were
"You know, these murders... I just, it's such a brutal way
of dieing," Fox commented, "I mean, even when I first knew Austin, I
just, he didn't seem like such a person who would have been on a murder
list. Then again, I suppose they never are. Wayne... Maybe. Because of
his position. But I had never even heard of some of the others."
"You knew Austin?" Kane asked.
used to be a socialite in Gotham when he was younger. I saw him at
several of the functions held here at Wayne Tower, believe it or not,"
Fox said with a smile, "Good friends with the Waynes, that one."
"I see," Adeline said as the reached the top.
they opened the latch to the top, they walked into the remaining level
of the damaged tower's top. There were others around doing research on
the damaged building. They could still see walls around them, but they
were scorched and Adeline instantly smelled something dead. Dead like it
had been cooked. However, that wasn't the only thing she that she
noticed. She suddenly felt incredibly light headed.
"Are you okay, Ms. Kane?" Fox asked.
"Just a little, dizzy, I guess..." Adeline started.
"Well, that constitutes a part of what we've discovered," Fox told her.
raised an eyebrow and followed Fox over to a table of equipment and a
small laptop, "The chemical, that Ravager used to torch the place, was
not gasoline as we originally thought."
"What?" Adeline asked.
"It was another chemical, called 'Hexane'," Fox explained.
"Hexane?" Adeline repeated.
has many of the same properties as gasoline. But a few notable
characteristics, it reacts with solvents to create and extract cooking
oil and is also used to create glues. It's remains are also the reason
you're feeling dizzy because it's a mild form of anesthesia. And of
course, it's flammable," Fox said.
"So what are you saying, Fox?" She asked.
"Look around," Fox told her.
looked. The Hexane had done a lot of damage, a considerable amount.
Things were either melted or a charcoal black. But it was only until she
noticed two workers picking up a door that she noticed something else.
The door wouldn't budge. Down several stories below, Earle finished the
paperwork for demoting Fox and handed it off to one of his secretaries.
He sat back in his chair. It was good to be on top again. Very good.
Slade watched him, hidden in the shadows, "I thought you'd never finish Mr. Earle."
Earle spun around to face the man, his eyes wide with shock, "Who are you? What do you want?"
"Oh you'll find out," Slade said, taking out a torch gun.
back up above, Adeline, oblivious to what was going on below her,
turned back towards Fox with a hard glare, "You mean to tell me that
this... this... Hexane... and whatever it was mixed with, it was...
"It cooked it's victims, Ms. Kane. They caught fire, they
burned thanks to the immense heat, when it got hot enough, they became
trapped in the glue covered walls and floors, and eventually, they
passed out as it or the smoke knocked them out," Fox finished.
held her breath as Fox finished, "Someone, someone really planned this.
They really wanted Wayne dead and they weren't going to take any
Adeline's eyes were still for a moment. She fought off
the urge to think about such a horrible way of dieing. But her thoughts
were caught off by the sound of two gunshots. Looking down below,
Adeline immediately went into action and flew down several flights of
stairs. Earle! He had to be the target. No one else would be. He was
running the company. She had to get there in time. She had...
open the doors to Earle's office, the site was not pleasant. There was
another one. A ring of soot and ash. Just like the pictures she had seen
of the cops before. And Earle was no where to be seen. Worse yet, there
were two bullets inside a wall. But to top off all of this though,
there was no culprit. No one.
Adeline clenched her jaw as she
lowered her gun to the ground. Why... Why... Something wasn't right. Why
not finish off burning Wayne Tower to the ground? Huh? Why not? Adeline
stepped back for a moment as she raised her phone up to her ear,
dialing 911 subconsciously.
Adeline didn't answer.
"Hello?" They repeated, "Is anyone there?"
Finally she hit her senses, "Yes, this is Adeline Kane, security head of Wayne Tower. We've got another murder."
day seemed slow after that. Adeline watched as the police came up and
surrounded the area. She had let them examine everything. She had seen
Gordon and Yin going ballistic over this. Eventually, she just locked
herself in the security room, watching the tape in Earle's office over
and over again. It had turned off right when the assassin needed it to
and then back on again moments later.
In her gut, Adeline didn't
believe that this was Ravager at all. From what they knew, Ravager had
been a gun for hire. Dick had even said that he was easily distracted.
Not a mastermind, by the sounds of it. It just didn't fit. The day
dragged by. She felt numb at the wheel of her car, despite being totally
aware of her surroundings. It felt so out of her control. How could she
have missed the culprit by a few minutes? How?
Getting out of her
car, Adeline walked up the stairs and fumbled around for her keys,
listening to the crickets chirp. It was late. Opening the door, Adeline
wearily entered the house and closed the door.
"Hi, Ms. Kane," Adeline jumped at the voice and turned to see Dick at the kitchen counter.
"Oh, oh Dick, you scared me, I'm sorry," She told him.
"Oh, sorry," Dick said.
"Don't be," Adeline told him and then she noticed what he was doing, fixing something, a salad.
"I hope you don't mind," Dick said, "I, you didn't come back and it's like nine."
"Oh, no, I'm, I don't mind," Adeline told him, "But I think you'll need more than that."
"Um, no, I'm good..." Dick trailed off as Adeline immediately went to the fridge and began to pull out food items.
watched her as she took his plate and began to add items to it. Her
moments were hasty, but as Dick watched, he noticed her fingers shook
and she fumbled with everything.
"Ms. Kane? Are you..." Dick started.
"Huh?" Adeline asked, "I... I'm... I'm fine."
looked at her. Throughout the day, he had kept himself busy. Working on
files off of his laptop and trying to put back together some of his
equipment. He felt bad because she was working to make him something to
eat when in reality, he had just noticed maybe ten minutes ago himself
that he hadn't had anything for several hours. But a question sprung to
his mind as he stumbled upon that fact again.
"Ms. Kane? Why did you get back so late?" He asked.
Adeline stopped moving and looking at the ground, before looking at him from the corner of her eye, "...Earle's dead."
Dick's face said it all, "What?"
"Died the same way the cop Bennett did," Adeline said.
"Ravager was there, again?" Dick asked, his voice mounting slightly in anger.
Adeline slammed a plastic container onto the table, making Dick jump, "Dick, I don't think this was Ravager."
Dick was taken back by this, "What? Why wouldn't it be? He killed Bruce!"
"Ravager is sloppy," Adeline stated, "This was clean."
felt like answering that no killing was clean, but the logical part of
himself held him back. That... that was true. Ravager was sloppy.
"And the idiot PD don't believe me on this," Adeline stated, "They're willing to bet it's the same guy."
Dick watched her, she looked shaken, "I guess... well... I mean, we don't know any of that..."
didn't look at him. She picked up a knife and began cutting cold
chicken to add to the salad. Dick watched Ms. Kane. He could tell, by
the way that she was standing, that what he had said had bothered her.
Something about the whole thing bothered her. He looked up at the
staircase and at the ceiling where his room was and then back at her.
"Dick, that's just it though... We don't know anything," She muttered.
She finished with the chicken and handed the plate to him. He took it, but paused before actually sitting down to eat it.
"Ms. Kane... Why does this bother you so much?" Dick asked.
Adeline felt shock at the question, but then thought for a moment about it, "I... I don't know, Dick. It just, it just does."
looked at his plate and then at one of the nearby windows, while a
small smile tugged at the corners of his lips, "Ms. Kane?"
"Yes, Dick?" She asked, obviously tired.
"Thanks," He said, "You're good at this."
Adeline chuckled, "Good at what, Dick?"
Dick shrugged, "I don't know. I good parental figure, I guess."
Adeline let a soft smile hit her face, "Thanks, I guess. Don't stay up too late ok?"
nodded as Adeline grabbed a Coke from the fridge and slowly made her
way upstairs. Dick took a couple slow bites. He had a feeling that he
had only begun to get to know his new guardian. In particular, he was
curious to know whose stuff was in his room. He shrugged. Well, if she
was like Bruce, he'd find out that she was a vigilante within two days.
He let out a low laugh. Yeah, sure. The likelihood of something like
that happening again was so low it was laughable. He listened for any
motion, nothing. He finished his food as his thoughts wandered back
He quietly made his way upstairs, hoping that Ms. Kane
was asleep. He heard nothing. Opening up the toy box, Dick put on the
suit and wedged the window back open and closed. Running through the
neighborhood, Robin wasn't surprised when he saw his bike coming around
the corner. Jumping on, Robin put on his helmet and let the wind whip
his cape behind him. Tonight he was out for his latest target: the
infamous Two-Face. Over the week, he and the Titans had... found clues
as to his whereabouts. However, Robin was almost sure that Two-Face knew
that they knew where he was and was waiting for them.
smiled. Two-Face didn't know who he was dealing with. The Titans were
not from around Gotham and they fought in a whole different way.
the Titans found him and they continued to ride on- it had become a
pattern for them. They followed and asked questions afterwords. No one
bothered to change it because often times, they met up midtown and for
some reason, being superheroes in this city and actually showing up in
the brighter sections of town was deserving of people pointing and
giving them remarks. It gave them a little boost in moral and
confidence, which in Robin's mind, the Titans needed when they got down
to the scum of this city.
The lights flashed against the smooth
exterior of the T-Car and R-Cycle while it gleamed against their armors.
It was liberating. Finally, they passed over to downtown Gotham. Robin
led them down towards the north east section of the island near the
bridge leading to the Narrows. When Robin hopped off the bike and into a
crouch, his bo-staff out, the other Titans halted their motions and
stopped by their leader. Robin was always crouching these days, as
though remaining in a stealth mode. They didn't see his face much
anymore either; it was always in shadows.
"He's here," Robin said slowly.
"So what's the plan, then?" Raven asked.
want you, Raven, to take out the first set of goons; they'll be
expecting you. Beast Boy, Cyborg, you follow her and push your way in,"
Robin told them.
"And I Robin?" Starfire asked.
"You and I are going in the back way," Robin said.
Cyborg and Raven nodded at him and then went towards the front as Robin added, "Want to make a bit of a flashy entrance?"
Beast Boy smiled, "Oh yeah!"
ran past them while Raven and Cyborg were left in the dust. Robin and
Starfire held back, but it wasn't until the other three were out of
sight that Starfire realized she was alone. Looking up she saw Robin
climbing to the top of a nearby building. Flying up, Starfire saw Robin
three roofs over, watching a building below. He didn't move and didn't
acknowledge her presence. It was eerie how still he was.
"Robin?" She asked.
He didn't move, "Robin, are you alright?"
"I'm fine," He told her, his eyes not moving.
didn't know how she was supposed to disagree, but really, it was all
she could do unless she changed the subject, "Are you... doing well at
"It's fine. Mr. Earle's dead at Wayne Industries," He conveyed, changing the subject for her.
"How did you..."
"She told me," Robin told her.
felt a cold breeze hit her and she held her arms. It was then that she
noticed that he again hadn't moved. Not even bothered... His face... It
was so hard, unmoving. Stony, like it had been carved out of rock. His
stance was formidable, like he was ready to attack someone from the sky.
It bothered her. She had seen him looking somewhat that before, but...
never to this intensity.
"Robin..." She started, "You are not okay."
It was at this, Robin turned to face her, "What?"
"You... you act differently," She said, "You are less... you are..."
"Starfire... I just... Look, I want to get Ravager," Robin said.
"You wanted to get Slade, too," Starfire said.
Robin looked away, "Starfire, I'm... it's different. Gotham's... You realize what I have to do, right?"
Starfire watched him as he continued, "It's nearly defenseless. You... You realize what I was trained to do?"
"I... do, but Robin... You and I both know that when you act like this it is unhealthy," She answered.
Robin shook his head, "I'm fine, Star, for now. We'll figure it out soon, k?"
Starfire looked at him sadly, but with sigh answered, "I guess."
Starfire was surprised to see Robin in front of her with a small smile on his face, "We will. We just have to get Ravager."
nodded, but a noise coming from a nearby building distracted their
attention and Starfire instantly saw Robin go back to how he was minutes
ago within seconds.
"Come on, it's our cue," He said, as he slipped back into the shadows.
disposition went back to it's rather depressed mode with his shift in
behavior. She'd probably have to deal with this later as he said. But
that's what really bothered her. She thought back to all of the times
that Slade had ever monopolized Robin's mind. It was the same thing
here. Only now, it seemed that everyone, every single crazed monstrosity
was taking up his mind in this decaying city. Yes decaying, just like
what she was afraid of what might happen to Robin if he continued to act
this way. Throughout all of this though, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Raven
had found the entrance to Two-Face's hideout.
"Ew," Beast Boy said, "Dude, the place looks worse than Fix It's."
"What, are you scared?" Raven asked.
"No!" Beast Boy answered, "It's just not very friendly looking, that's all."
"Well, look, I'm going to go take out those two thugs out front," Cyborg said, "You don't suppose there's more out here, do ya?"
it," Raven told him, "Robin said Two-Face likes pairs. So unless
there's another pair out here, you're probably safe. Just remember to
take out those cameras first."
Cyborg knocked his head with a fist, "You think a tech-geek like me would forget something like that?"
"Just go," She said.
As they watched Cyborg sneak over, Beast Boy whispered, "Hey, Raven."
"What?" She whispered.
"What do you think of all this? This Ravager, Two-Face, and Red X stuff?" He asked.
"I just want to wrap this all up soon," Raven said, "Staying here is a bad idea."
"So you're supporting this?"
"Like, searching for these guys. I mean, we're even trusting Red X right now," Beast Boy said.
"I'm all up for finding Wayne's killer, Beast Boy, I just want to do it quickly," Raven answered.
had answered the question, but Beast Boy was less then satisfied. Sure,
he had wanted to know what she had thought about finding Ravager, but
being the mind-wandering guy that he was, he was a little more
interested as to whether or not she or anyone else was a little edgy
with trusting Red X. After the guy had raided the fridge, Beast Boy
could hardly say that he trusted X.
Cyborg was having a little
more success in his goals, but even here, even in Gotham, he was edgy.
He didn't like this place. There's a difference between being a city guy
in Jump and a city guy in Gotham, that's for sure. And after that
hacking job, Cyborg had not been too thrilled about the prospect of
having his system either hacked again or used against him. He took out
the cameras with a repeating image setting. Once he was close enough, he
easily knocked the two goons into each other. Wiping his hands, he
waved over to Raven and Beast Boy who quickly came over.
"Mind if I start this one?" Raven asked.
"Not at all," Cyborg said, letting her pass through the solid door.
Beast Boy and Cyborg smiled as they both went for a window to hide by, "Hey Cyborg!"
"How long do you think this will last?"
"You buy the pizza?"
"You the soda?"
Raven was unaware of her comrades' bet on her, but she had instantly
appeared to about fifteen goons. Enshrouded by shadow, many of them
looked at her like she was some sort of weird little girl.
"What the..." One of them began when Raven started to walk forward.
"Hey, you're not allowed past," Raven turned her head around and the thug saw her eyes glowing.
"You think I care?" Raven asked.
she shot up into the air, her telepathic energy shooting in all
directions. Many of the thugs didn't expect this. And the rest didn't
expect Cyborg and Beast Boy jumping out of the windows either.
"Come on, what kind of party is this?" Cyborg joked.
"Yeah, where on earth are the babes?" Beast Boy quipped.
the three Titans took out the thugs one by one, another ran down the
hallway towards his boss. Bursting into the room, he panted out to his
boss the news. Two Face turned around, a gun in his hand.
"I suppose we'll have to rectify that," Two-Face said, "But not today. There's no real worth fighting for this."
"Huh?" His thug asked, but he didn't get his answer as Two-Face and the pair of twins with him left the room.
thug didn't have to wait long when he felt a cold presence. Turning
around, he saw an engulfing dark figure and she wouldn't smile. The man
screamed, but it didn't keep him from getting knocked out. Raven lowered
herself and breathed. For personal reasons, Raven felt her presence in
Gotham was just asking for trouble. The evil here was so strong and she
fed off of that.
She composed herself and voiced over her communicator, "Search the place, Two-Face has to be here."
headed down the opposite hallway while the other two continued down
their corridors. Two-Face on the other hand, was walking briskly down
the hall, the gun at his side now. The two pasty faced twins followed
him, despite the uncertain nature of the situation. Two-Face barely paid
them heed. That is, until they were gone. Turning around, he barely had
the chance to realize what was going on when he was shoved into the
office next to him. With a yell, he landed on the hard edge of a desk.
He pulled his gun out, but it was knocked out of his hand by a bo-staff
and down to the ground. But what he finally saw, when he finally saw his
opponent, he was shocked to see someone different than he'd been
expecting. And they were accompanied by someone he had never seen
Two-Face began to chuckle, "Wow, Boy Wonder, this is certainly a surprise."
"Why should it be?"
"Who's your darling friend?" Two-Face taunted, as he reached for the gun unsuccessfully.
shot a glance at Starfire and then the gun. Starfire got the message
and fried the thing with a starbolt instantly. She let her eyes glow and
her body revel in the energy for a moment.
"Now that I know we
won't have any interruptions, what do you know about the killings? What
do you know about Ravager?" Robin asked.
Two-Face laughed, "I only know that they've been a pain."
"What else?" Robin asked, harshly.
looked at him questioningly, "You know, I'm starting to wonder why
you're even doing this Robin. Shouldn't the bat be doing this? It's a
little dangerous having a child out doing a man's job. What if he were
to get in the way of a home run?"
Robin growled and slammed Two-Face up into the wall, "You don't get it, do you?"
looked up as Robin continued, "I'm not some sidekick anymore, Dent. In
case you haven't noticed, my entire team is swarming your pathetic
hideout and taking every one of your goons out. And I'm perfectly
willing to knock you out too."
Two-Face smiled and Robin head-butted the man, scaring Starfire, "Don't think I'm some kid you can beat with a baseball bat."
spat out the blood from his lip, not in the least bit pleased with that
last attack, "What's the change in attitude for?"
"Answer. My. Question," Robin seethed.
glared at Robin for a moment, studying his face. It was unyielding, "I
don't know anything about it. Joker does. He got involved with the
head's plan because he couldn't stand waiting. They were getting paid
big to take out Wayne. With all the maniacs running around, I wouldn't
know where to start. All I got was a warning not to pull anything during
Robin eyed him. He knew that Two-Face wasn't telling
him everything and he knew that Two-Face deliberately was doing so too.
It would be his ticket out of Arkham. But at least he had a lead with
Joker. Throwing Two-Face to the side, Robin hand-cuffed him to a wall
while Two-Face tried to remain conscious.
"You're... You're growing, heh, to be a lot like him," Two-Face said, before passing out.
Robin smiled, "Good."
left the room, Starfire looking after him. That was just what she was
afraid of. She didn't know what she had just witnessed. She didn't
understand half of it. But she could certainly understand that she
didn't like it and that Robin's actions were far from ordinary. They
were... he was... it was scary.
Outside, Starfire caught up with
the rest of the team, with the police showing up as well. She watched
everything unfold. She watched Two-Face being taken away. They caught
sight of each other and when Two-Face smiled at her with a deranged
look, Starfire looked at him with an expression that said nothing but
disgust. She held her arms. It was getting cold.
"Gordon says he
needs to get us security clearance to get to see Joker," Robin
confirmed, "But that could take a while. So I think our best bet for now
is to keep working during the night."
The others nodded and got
into the T-Car while Starfire watched Robin climb aboard the R-Cycle and
head out his own way. She didn't think he was going back to Ms. Kane's
either. Getting in the car because she didn't want to stay outside,
Starfire leaned against the seat and didn't bother to tell Beast Boy to
change out of being a puppy dog on her lap for the ride.
right. Robin didn't go home. Ms. Kane was nice. Yeah. But it didn't feel
like home. Wayne Manor hadn't even felt like home. It was more like a
morgue for him now. He thought of Starfire's face from earlier. He rode
towards the center of the city again. Shooting up a jump line, Robin
began to climb up towards the top of a nearby building. He rested next
to one of the gargoyles and watched the city move. In some ways, it was
very pretty. Very calming. In others, the filth pervaded the sky. He
thought about Ravager and Two-Face.
He knew he was worrying his
team. He knew that. It had been something that he had never quite been
very good at. With Batman, he had always worried too much. So when the
Titans worried, he often took it the same way. But he knew that they
worried like friends did. They weren't there to babysit him. Like any
friends though, they were there when they needed to be for him. He got
up and leaned on the gargoyle's head and sighed.
No one, no one
knew this city like he did. No one anymore. He saw so much beauty in it.
So much potential. There was almost a sense of a strong rooting, like
nothing could destroy it. He knew the little alley ways. He knew where
the best place was to get a home-style breakfast. He knew where the
homeless could go for help. He knew where there were single moms who
would tuck their kids into bed with a kiss on their forehead with a
He wondered if Ms. Kane had really had kids at one point.
He had suspected it for a while, but he figured that she could tell him
when she was ready. He had to go back. He knew it. She really was a kind
woman and Robin had a feeling that things would get better. He hoped.
He hoped they would. Bruce wouldn't have. But at this point, hoping,
hoping was all that Robin thought he could do. He sat up and stood,
getting on top of the gargoyle's head. Falling, Robin felt the wind hit
Yeah, this was all real.
It was all so real.
Robin shot out a zip line and landed on his bike, he found himself
hoping he actually could do this, could survive all of this.