…and he kills them
A Birthday Present: Part 2
Another bit of birthday present fiction for my friend, avylou. It’s a bit longer than the last, so it’s behind a cut. And yes, it does mix superhero mythology from Marvel and DC. And yes, once again the names are altered to protect the not so innocent:)
Arkham Asylum West, California, 8:30 PM
The man lay on his bed trying to look as drugged as his keepers expected him to be. If they found out that he was building up a resistance to his daily dose of mental fog, they’d up the strength and he’d never have a thought of his own again.
Of course, it would also mean not having to listen to Him, which was getting harder by the minute.
“Come on, bubby. Let’s bust outta this popstand and have us some fun!” He said, in a voice that dripped madness. “We can go see Her, have a few laughs, paint the town green.”
“NO! Never again! I’m in control, not you! I’ll think of some way to get rid of you!”
The other laughed, long and loud. It was chilling to hear.
“Again with the thoughts of killing me? Not gonna happen, kid. The gamma rays gaveth, but they ain’t taking away any time soon. No, you’re stuck with me just like I’m stuck with you. Now, I figure we can…”
“…jump the orderly first…
“…before he realizes we aren’t in zombieland…”
…and then take out the doctor…
“SHUT UP NOW!”
…next thing ya know, we’re out the front door and down the road!”
The man slowed his breathing. He had to compose himself. Had to get control. After a minute or so, his heart rate slowed. Thankfully, there was still enough effect from the drug to keep Him from emerging.
“We will not attempt to escape. Besides, even if we did try, the security system would stop us. So shut the hell up.”
The Other growled, but then immediately chuckled.
“Yer right, Serious Lad, we wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Both of them heard the key turning in the lock, but it was almost immediately drowned out by a dull rumble. Then the shaking started.
“EARTHQUAKE!” they both shouted without actually speaking.
The orderly came stumbling through the door just as a particularily violent tremor hit. He pitched forward, slamming his head into the wall.
The man on the bed slowly sat up. The native Californian in him couldn’t help but guess that this quake was at least a 6.5 or better. The survivor in him thought he’d better get into the doorway.
Unfortunately, at that moment, he saw the doctor get hit by the heavy metal door, cauising him to drop the drug bottle and syringe. Then, above the grinding of the quake, the sound of the building coming apart and the screaming of patients and staff, he heard Him say…
“Yer getting scared, bubby. We might die here, crushed into a red goo. Let me out. I can save us.”
Heading for the door, the man began shouting out loud. “No! Never! Your a monster!”
And then he looked down the hallway and saw the flames. Fear engulfed him. His heart began a jackhammer beat. He started hyperventilating.
Moments later, be felt himself falling into the darkness, while at the same time, he felt himself awakening. He looked at his hands and saw the color drain from his skin. His hair hung in his face, rapidly turning from red to green. His body screamed in agony as he grew at least six inches taller and his muscle mass shifted. He felt the bones in his face shifting.
And then, the man felt nothing at all.
But the Joker? He felt pretty fucking good.
Cane Manor, Gotham City, 11:30 PM
She thought that tonight she might just stay in. Perhaps read that new mystery she had picked up. Maybe watch a movie. Eat some ice cream. Check out that big west coast cat show on Animal Planet.
Or maybe she’d just put on the suit and go out into the Gotham City night looking for trouble. She sighed loudly.
From behind her she heard Alexa say, “Having trouble deciding on how to spend our night, Miss April?”
April grinned to herself. If there ever came a day when Alexa didn’t know what she was thinking, she would keel over from the shock.
“I was considering going out dancing. Maybe pick up on a few hot young lads. Bring them home for a bit of fun.” She idly changed the channel on the tv to the cat show.
Alexa looked at her and gave a “hmmph”. “It certainly wouldn’t hurt. A bit of fun would do you good.”
“And you know I’m right. You’ve been working hard lately…at both jobs. A night taken off from busting heads would do you wonders.”
But April wasn’t listening to her. She was looking at the tv, where the cat show had been interrupted by a news report.
“As we said a minute ago,” the reporter said, “the quake registered a 7.3 and was centered near Hollister. Reports of damage are just coming in, so we can’t confirm much…wait…I’m being told that the famous Arkham Asylum West has been badly damaged…no report on any escapes by inmates yet…”
In three steps, April was across the room, grabbing her custom cell phone. She hit a button and 4 seconds later heard Jim Gordon’s voice on the other end.
“I’ve been waiting for your call.”
“Were there any escapes?”
Jim’s long sigh gave her the answer.
“Just one…Doc Banner.”
Her heart sank.
“Did he change?”
“Yes. Half a dozen witnesses saw it.”
Of all the deranged criminals she had fought, the Joker was the most deadly. He was also the one she most feared she might permanently hurt in a fight, because his other self, Dr. Bruce Banner, was her best friend.
“I’m on my way, Jim. He’ll make a beeline for Gotham City after he raids one of his many caches for clothes, money and weapons.”
Again, Jim sighed. “I’ll be waiting.”
She put down the phone and started walking towards the library, Alexa hot on her heels. Once there, they went through the hidden door and took the elevator down to the Catcave. As she put on her suit, Alexa started up the Catmobile for her, then laid out a selection of gadgets.
“I hate fighting him, Alexa”, she said as she chose a few gadgets and stowed them in her belt. “He can’t help what he becomes.”
“Perhaps not, Miss April, but when he’s the Joker, he’s a murdering psychopath who wants nothing more than to see you dead. If you pity him too much, if you hold back…”
April slid behind into the car, pressing buttons and revving the engine.
“I know, I know.”
She took a deep breath, punched the accelerator and shot down the tunnel and into the Gotham night.