..."Well, well, well…" Said the Joker as he grasped both hands to the railing as so he could look down on the two good people. Batman starred up at him, while Xack did the same, gasping. "It seems you somehow survived the fall, but it doesn't matter, because look at you two now." Joker shrilled with happiness and jumped for joy as he saw their rather sticky situation. "Ah, how perfect this is! Both the Bat, and my little precious to fall into my vat of chemicals. Just wonderful -- really!" Joker slowly took out one of his playing cards and hovered it close to the thin rope of the batgrapple. "I hope you two brought your bathing suits!" He started cackling as he worked on slicing the rope.
"Batman!" Xack cried, putting her face in his shoulder so that she didn't have to watch how their lives would come to an end.
Batman had to think of something -- quick! "Xack! You have to take out my batgrapple! Now!" Xack seemed confused by his demands. "Xack, the grapple I'm using now! Find another one on my belt!"
Xack did what she was told and tried as hard as she could to find this 'grapple' he mentioned. Then, something caught her eye: an object with a claw attached at the end of it. This seemed to resemble a 'claw gun' of sorts, or whatever Batman had said to take. Xack took up this device and awaited her next orders. "Aim it at Joker!"
What did he say? 'Aim it at Joker'? Was Batman crazy? Xack wasn't that good when it comes to shooting at direct targets, but what did he want to accomplish by doing that? Then, it dawned on her: If the batgrapple entangles with Joker, than she can somehow drag the clown into the vat instead of Batman and herself!
Xack carefully aimed the batgrapple at Joker, but she didn't have time to try and perfect it. When it seemed to be in position, she fired away...
...but her heart sank...when she missed. A hopeless cry came forth as she watched the grapple fly past Joker and grab hold nothing but the thick air around. Batman and Xack's eyes widened as the grappled end fell into the vat of chemicals below. The girl let go of the one thing that she thought could save herself and Batman from turning into crazed clowns. There was no point, after all, to grasp onto something that has burned away in Joker's chemicals.
A devilish, crazed look came over Joker as he starred down on the two humans. "I think the word were all lookin' for now is...'anyways'..." He then continued on with slicing the rope. "Let's finish business, hmm?" He questioned, even though more to himself than to Batman and Xack. He laughed away manically as he saw the rope threads loosening...thinning...
"No! No, please, Joker! Don't! Please, don't!" Xack cried up to him, now sobbing into Batman; her tears starting to soak through his cape. Batman hugged her tightly with the one arm holding her against him. Even though he was trying to comfort her as much as possible...but was there really any reason to now?
Xack couldn't see what was going on at this point; she didn't want to anyways, but when she heard that rope snap, she smashed her face into Batman's shoulder more. She didn't want to feel, hear, or even see what was about to become her fate. Batman, on the other hand, had no words to say. There was none...as the two fell with the rushing wind hitting their bodies...and finally...they crashed hard into the green colored, repugnant odors of the chemicals. Everything went blank...blurry...faint...as they were being engulfed by the liquids. Memories were being washed away -- all the good memories that were left in Batman and Xack's mind. As for the girl though, she practically had no good memories. Now though...she knew from here on out, she'll probably never have happy thoughts...
Three Days Later...
"...five more children had been abducted from their homes late last night, by the crime clown -- Joker, himself, and...what appears to be new 'recruits' of his seeing running off into the night; claimed by some eyewitnesses that want to remain anonymous. It seems everyday now, roughly around two to five children and adults, are being taken from their will by Joker, but unfortunately, the police still do not know the whereabouts of the crazed criminal or the hostages. If any of you have any clues or leads as to Joker's schemes or know where the kidnapped citizens are being held, then please, call-- !
We just received word that police are all over the streets of Gotham, trying to arrest...Batman? Is this...is this correct? Batman is on the run from police? Why is this? I haven't gotten all the information yet, but it seems Batman has been causing chaos around the city! The police confirmed that the Dark Knight has been seen bombing apartment buildings, banks... and terrorizing citizens on the streets... It seems that our vigilante hero...has now become a top wanted criminal here... I'll bring in more updates as this story develops."Detective Bennett grunted as his partner, Detective Yin, made a sharp turn to the left. Her eyes glanced upwards to see Batman scaling and jumping over rooftops of many businesses. He turned to her and asked hastily, "What's wrong with Bat's? Just what...just what came over him?"
As Yin made another sudden turn around a corner, she replied bitterly, "I don't know, but if Batman is endangering the lives of people here, then we must stop him."
Bennett shook his head. He just couldn't believe this is happening. It seemed only a few days ago, that Batman was determined and willing to save everyone from Joker...but now...it's as if the 'used to be' hero is pulling violent schemes that would run in the clown's category. Just what is going on? "I don't get it. It's probably been -- what, about close to four days, and...it feels like...it's Batman one day, and now...this..." He leaned forward in his seat to get a better look out the front window, and Bennett saw Batman glide down towards the ground with his cape. "He's on the ground now," he stated, and turned to Yin. "Should we get out and pursue the guy?"
Yin abruptly stopped the car about twenty feet from where Batman stood. She withdrew her gun from her coat and answered back, "Yes, let's go."
Just as she and Bennett exited the car, the two detectives watched a dozen cop cars surround the Caped Crusader in the streets. Their flashing lights and sirens filled every nook and cranny of the general area. "This is your final warning!" A cop bellowed out to Batman, who remained still; his eyes darting to every police officer around him. "Do not fire! Do not attempt to run, or we will shoot!"
Batman held both his hands up, smirking. "Alright. I give up. I surrender to ya..." He tried to contain his snickers, but he couldn't suppress it. Batman broke out to fits of laughter, and it startled some cops so badly that a few took steps back as a precaution. "Psyche! Had ya goin' there, didn't I? Didn't I?" An odd, harsh chortle came from him as he took out a couple bombs and threw them at the police vehicles. Even the two detectives coward to try and protect themselves from the flying debris that came from the cop cars. As everyone gained back their focus, Batman laughed away as he took off onto the roofs once more with the help of his batgrapple.
"Shoot him! Shoot him down!" One of the cop captain's ordered. The rest of the police did what they were told and began to fire at Batman, who was still sailing about the city before he finally settled on a nearby roof.
Bennett scratched his head. "Do you think it's a good idea?" He questioned to Yin. "I mean, do you think shootin' down Bats is the best thing?"
Yin wanted to roll her eyes at her partner, but chose not to. "Bennett, the Batman almost injured our fellow policemen. We gave him repeated warnings of this, and yet, it seems this 'ex'-vigilante has gone criminal on us. He has to be taken in..." She cocked her gun and glanced over her shoulder to Bennett. "You ready? We have to get up to that roof and catch Batman." He nodded solemnly to her, and then the two rushed into the nearest building and worked their way up to the roof.
Before the detectives could reach Batman, the crazed man stood over the edge of a roof and gazed down on the many police cars and officers. "Ooooh, are we having a party?" He squealed with delight, and took out a few more small bombs from his utility belt. "I'll throw down the party favors for ya!" A few short laughs, followed by him dropping the bombs down from the roof to the streets. All the police men and women dodged out of the way as the bombs blew parts of the street away. Batman couldn't help but fall onto his back and hug his gut as he thought all of this as to be hilarious -- laughing at all this, of course.
"Oh man, you coppers are just so stupid!" He got up and wiped away a tear that came down from under his mask. "There's none of ya who can take on this bat!"
Suddenly, both detectives Yin and Bennett burst through a door and onto the roof. They immediately pointed their guns at Batman. "Freeze!" Yin shouted, her voice sounding a bit rough.
Batman frowned at them. "I stand corrected," he said in a calm, monotone voice, but then a wide smile came on his face. "Oh good, someone -- or rather, some people for me to play with!"
Just as Yin and Bennett were about to fire, Batman hurriedly withdrew his batarangs and threw them at the detectives. Both of the sane people grunted as the objects hit their hands which caused them to drop their guns to the ground. "Ha! Just as I thought! You're worthless! Weak!"
As Yin rubbed her hands and watched Batman laugh away, she couldn't help but narrow her eyes at the caped man. Taking a good, distant look at him, she asked -- well, more to herself than to Bennett, "Hs face...is it -- is it just me, or is his face...bleached?" She turned to him with a perplexed look.
Bennett also squinted his eyes to get a good look at Batman. "As I see it...yeah, and...I think his lips are...red too..." His eyes widened. "No...did Joker -- did he... No, it can't be..."
While the detectives were horrified with Batman's new skin, the evil man used their shock to his advantage by charging over to Bennett and wrapping his arm around the poor detective's neck. Yin gasped, but just as she was about to grab her gun to get Batman off, the caped man waved a finger back and forth at her. "Uh, uh, uh...I wouldn't do that, or else your going to see your partner all over this roof...if you know what I mean..." He winked at her and held one of his batarangs to Bennett's neck.
"Yin, just get outta here!" Bennett told her in a worried tone, struggling to get out of Batman's grasp.
Yin stood there. She didn't know what to do. She wanted to go and get backup, but...she just couldn't leave her partner -- her very good friend, with the now crazed Batman. "I can't just leave you here!" Yin cried back to her partner stressfully.
Batman chuckled through clenched teeth, and then put his lips close to Bennett's ear. "You never were a good friend, Ethan," Batman said in a deathly whisper to the detective. "I don't know why I ever wanted you to join me before..."
Bennett tried turning his head towards Batman, but the batarang at his neck prevented him from doing so. "Bruce?..."
A helicopter suddenly came around the roof, with a sniper aiming at Batman carefully. Before Batman realized it, the sniper fired and the shot hit the caped man's left shoulder. He hollered in pain, but with him distracted, Bennett was able to wiggle out of Batman's arm, and then elbow the guy in the face. Yin quickly retrieved her gun and rushed over to Bennett, just as Batman fell to the ground. As Bennett and Yin stood over the fallen man, many policemen came onto the roof as well and circled Batman with the detectives.
"My God..." said one policeman as he looked over Batman. "Just...what happened to him?..."
"Joker happened," Bennett grumbled, shaking his head in disbelief while Batman's mouth was left agape; soft, rash laughs came out, like he was some broken toy. He didn't even notice the blood beginning to pool around his wounded shoulder.
The police, nor the detectives, could believe as to what became of Batman. Instead of having peach skin, it is now bleached to match Joker's. No one could see under the mask, but by the red-lipped grin he had on his face, everyone knew what was hidden...probably should remain that way...but couldn't.
"We have to see the damage done..." Yin stated sadly to everyone around. She looked at Bennett's saddened face. "It has to be done..."
"Bruce?..." Bennett didn't want to...but he chose to. He crouched down to the grinning Batman...and slowly began to peel back his mask. As the detective pulled the mask off his head and tossed it to the side...everyone gasped, and began to mutter amongst each other greatly over the true identity of Batman.
"Oh my God... Bruce Wayne...is Batman?" Yin's eyes boggled at the sight before her.
Bennett shook his head once more. "He's not even Batman anymore..." He starred into Bruce's cold, red eyes...just like the Joker's; green hair...he almost looked exactly like the Clown Prince himself. "He's not even Bruce, for that matter... He's...something else now." Putting a hand to his head, he added, "He's worse off than that Hathaway kid at the hospital. Doctor's still can't find a cure... What's left to do now?..."
Yin went into her coat pocket to take out her cell phone. She quickly dialed into it and spoke, "We need a medical team here -- now!" As she put away her phone, Yin put a comforting hand on Bennett's shoulder.
A tear rolled down Bennett's cheek. After all...he did just lose...his best friend.Alfred had been awaiting news of Bruce for the past three days, and his heart turned to stone when he watched dozens of reporters cover the story about Batman and his identity. His eyes were glued to the TV screen as a woman reporter told practically the whole world who the Caped Crusader really is...
Alfred listened intently...on every word the reporter spoke of. The woman discussed about Batman being Bruce Wayne, and the reasons on how he kept this secret hidden well for so long. She talked about Bruce becoming another victim to Joker's chemicals...and that there was no cure present at this time; nor probably ever. The clown's genius of chemicals is so great, that not even top scientists can crack his code, or even come up with some kind of antidote. Sometimes, those geniuses would love to know how Batman creates cures for people who are under the influence of Joker...but sadly, no one would know -- ever again, of how Batman does these things.
It disheartened Alfred greatly when he heard that Bruce had taken gunshot wounds to the shoulder. The most unfortunate news though...was hearing that the poor, crazed man just can't stop laughing. Doctors are saying at this rate...that Bruce can die if he doesn't calm himself, but that looked very doubtful.
Alfred clutched his chest upon hearing this. Little pains kept shooting up to his heart. Was this the sign of a heart attack? Is this just depression? Stress? He didn't care of the physical feelings at this moment; only the emotional. At this point, he lost everything dear to him: Thomas, Martha, Bruce...and even the young Hathaway children. Thinking about this...only caused Alfred to crumble to the floor with that awful pain in himself. Now only one question remains in his head: was there really a point to living now?If only the police and everyone else knew: the children and adults that Joker had kidnapped...they were no longer hostages any more; now...they were clowns themselves. Having forced to drown in the chemicals that very much closely resembled to what Joker had fallen into, innocent people have now become apart of Joker's henchmen and women. Of course, if the citizens of Gotham knew about this, they would be horrified, but as for the Clown Prince of Crime...he was thrilled! Unfortunately though, he missed the showing of the true identity of Batman, and if Joker were to see this, he would probably be the happiest clown anyone has ever seen.
At this time...all the so-called 'hostages' are all currently at Joker's new hideout: a festive warehouse of sorts, that was littered with many props, gadgets, and lots of circus-like material that any clown would dream of having. Joker loved this place, and at times, he would call it, "My idea factory..."
Joker had the utmost feeling of satisfaction and triumph as he watched his unusually happy clones run about the factory; making new chemicals, traps, gasses, and possibly everything else you can think of. Some were even just toying or playing around with the gadgets and props laying around the place. Joker didn't care though. All that mattered now is that he finally had his dream realized.
Suddenly, the clown shrieked when one of his green dreadlocks were being pulled from behind. Joker spun around with an angry expression as he saw a couple of young teenagers. Both were a girl and boy, and practically drugged up to Joker's liking. "No hair pulling!" Joker snapped at the kids, and backed away a few steps in case the two teenagers would try at it again.
"Wow...your hair...is so awesome..." The teenaged boy announced his thoughts in a drunken-like tone.
"Yeah, I want hair like yours..." The teenaged girl piped up dreamily, and now she gazed into Joker's red eyes. "Please, Mr. Joker. Please tell us how you got such cool hair..." The two teenagers clutched their hands as if in prayer, and waited for their 'master' to give them the response they wanted to hear so desperately.
A sly smile came on Joker's face as he saw the eagerness on their bleached ones. He shrugged, as if he didn't care. "Ehm...I let you kiddies find that answer out yourselves... You're big boys and girls now, right?" The teenagers groaned and threw down their arms childishly. Joker chuckled to their child-like behavior. "Have fun..." He then left them, but not before waving his hand rapidly back and forth as a way of saying 'so long, suckers'! Joker had other business to attend to. He didn't feel he had the need or time to tell a few drugged children how he got his hair to a dreadlock manner. This 'business'...felt important to him...
Joker walked casually past adults that experimented with many chemicals and gasses, so that when everyone were to go on a crime spree again, they would all be ready for cops and anything 'heroes' could throw at them. The clown smiled to this and continued his walk through the factory.
Groups of clown-cloned children were running amok in the 'idea factory'; hanging from the rafters, pulling pranks on the clowned adults that were trying to create dangerous concoctions, and the children were even fighting amongst themselves when they saw there was nothing left to do, until Joker would say otherwise. As the Joker passed through this crowd, a few of the tikes playing with squirt guns of some sort, bumped into the Clown Prince which made him almost tumble over.
"Do you mind?" Joker sneered in a drawl. The two children stopped abruptly to quiver from Joker's angered tone. He examined the toy guns in their hands and cocked his head in curiosity; thinking. "Hmm...those toys don't seem very suitable for your age..." the Joker mumbled more to himself than the kids in front of him. He gazed around himself and grinned darkly when he found what he was looking for. The two little ones looked at each other before their red eyes went back to the clown adult who went over to a nearby table to bring back bigger, more dangerous looking guns to the children. The kids squealed and gasped in delight as Joker handed the larger 'guns' to them. "Me thinks you'll have tons more fun with these..." The children smiled up at Joker and then took off in the factory to shoot at each other. Joker chuckled quietly...and continued on his way
It wasn't long before Joker finally reached the destination he wanted to in the warehouse, and a sinister grin came on his face as he saw what made him feel so content.
Not too far ahead of him was...a girl. A somewhat young girl, sitting in a throne of some sorts, except that this 'throne' was decorated with many festive streamers, and painted purple, orange, and green. The girl was sitting oddly, however; sitting with her arms draped over the armrests of the throne, legs almost dangling to the floor, and even her head was tilted to the side, close to resting upon her shoulder. Unfortunately, she too, was a victim to the Joker's chemicals and is now a clown herself. Her eyes: red with yellow pupils like Joker's; skin bleached, and lips a dark red -- close to being black. The chemicals took an odd effect on her hair though. Yes, her hair is a green shade like Joker's, but it seems there's also some streaks with her natural color of brown. The hair was pulled back into two pigtails, with one thrown behind her and the other off the shoulder in the front.
What was more disturbing about her appearance, is the attire that Joker chose for her. The girl is dressed in the exact same matter as the superior clown, all the exception is that the orange, buttoned shirt was a bit longer in length, and instead of being barefoot like Joker, the clown gave the girl a pair of sleek, purple boots that were almost knee high.
So, who is this girl? Well, this is the girl Joker dreamed of having in his arms one day. This is the girl Joker worked so hard of getting to be his own; the girl whom he kept scaring everyone away from.
This...is Xack Hathaway.
"Aaaahh...my dear, Xackie, how are you today?" Joker asked her in a most happy tone, approaching her from the front. Xack remained speechless. Motionless, just like the past three days she has been. Her eyes were very wide, not blinking, and her lips slightly apart as so she could breath. Other than that, she appeared almost...dead.
Joker grasped both hands to the armrests of the throne as his body leaned in towards her. It still surprised him that she continued to be still, even though she hated to be close or touched by anyone. "I was like you once..." said the Joker as he propped his elbow on one of the armrests, with his body slightly touching hers. Xack was too...'spaced' to notice. "Ah, yes, I remember when I first fell into those vat of chemicals... I was just like you for days; paralyzed with fear to face reality..." He waited for her to remark on his words, but didn't.
"Then I woke up one day...when I gazed into that cold, horrible mirror...one morning..." Joker's tone became somewhat saddened as he recollected on old memories. "I realized then that I just can't sit around and wait for miracles -- my dreams to come true. I knew I could still make people laugh...all the more reason to when I look like this." He tugged on the edges of his purple tailcoat, either to stretch it out or get Xack to finally notice him there.
His face drew closer to hers as he brought a hand to her neck. A crazed, but warm smile came on when he tilted Xack's face upwards to get a better look at her. "You're so pretty..." he whispered breathlessly, and if she were more aware of his vocals, she would shiver greatly to the Joker's choice of words. "I can't wait for you to wake up..." he grinned at her deviously now.
"We're gonna have so much fun..."
Xack's heart pace quickened when the Joker's lips brushed her exposed cheek. He could feel that change within her body and smirked to her fear. He planted his lips and gave the girl a cool, moist kiss on the cheek before he finally backed away from her. Joker walked way...with his hands clasped behind his back, and grinning at her all the way until he was out of sight from her.
As Xack sat there lifelessly -- at long last, she broke a little by tears of utter sadness doing down her white cheeks. When she heard these salty drops hit the floor below, she took her hands to feel around the outfit she finally realized she was wearing.
She's remembering again...
After some time, Joker had fished her out of the chemical tank and saw that the liquids burned a few holes in her old clothing. The chemical she fell in wasn't very acidic, but enough to burn her clothes away. "Dear, oh, dear..." said the Joker in a low, soft, falsetto voice as he took hold of Xack in his arms. "It seems you need a changin' of clothes there... Don't worry, your Uncle Joker has quite a few costumes for you to try on..." He looked her over carefully when an idea came to his mind. "... And I have the perfect one, just for you..."
Xack didn't even care...when Joker undressed the pitiful girl to put a whole new wardrobe on her. Undressed her -- dressed her... Touched her...and smiling at her the entire time he changed her into the new clothes. Being slow...careful. Xack though...hated to be touched by anyone, and as this went though her head, she could almost feel the Joker's fingers on her again. Still, she was just too 'shocked' to do anything in revolt against him. She just couldn't care anymore...about anything. Xack didn't even feel awkward or embarrassed when she refused to eat for the past three days, and thus, Joker had to force feed her. It was tough, but he managed to get her to choke down some food. After all, he didn't want her to be malnourished and eventually die from no nutrition intake.
She suddenly stopped feeling the material of her clothes...as she felt something around her neck. She took a hold of this jewel and felt around it. Xack remembers this as well: a jewel given to her by Joker, back when the two were in Arkham Asylum together. A necklace of a castle with a sharp, pointed, crystal end to it. Xack squeezed this within her hand until her palm started to draw blood. Ah yes, back when she was more sane than she is now... She wanted her sanity back...so badly.
Her family...friends...homes...pets...everything. It was gone. Her whole life thrown away because of this 'incident'.
Xack began to laugh. It started out as a few, soft cackles, but as she worked at it, they grew louder...and louder...and louder, until the point where it became fits of maniacal laughter. Her body squirmed as she slapped her knee when this laughter seemed endless. The clowned adults and children all turned their attention to the laughing girl and started up their own fits of laughter; each different from the rest. With practically everyone laughing within the warehouse, their sounds echoed off the walls, and Joker wouldn't be surprised if anyone on the outside heard this.
Joker was so thrilled to hear this. It was the most sensational music to his ears. He smiled as he cupped his ear to listen better. "That's right," he said, his voice urging, "Keep laughing, my clown family. Just keep smiling. Just keep laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing...and laughing--"
"--until you die..."
The 'Unfortunate' End...
...ha ha ha...
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