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Rated: 13+ · Campfire Creative · Appendix · Fantasy · #1491184
Batman and Robin don their capes once again...
[Introduction] Batman and Robin don their capes once again as a new criminal mastermind, The Rat, arises from the shadows of Gotham City. Originally being led to believe they were following murders the Joker had committed, they find nothing other than The Rat, who imitates almost perfectly the crimes of other criminals…


Here are a few guidelines:

#1. This story is not in continuity. Batman and Robin are to be as original as possible.

#2. This Robin is the Dick Greyson (rather than the Jason Todd version.) He may also be referred to as Richard. (And… There is no Nightwing! This is a Batman AND Robin story after all.)

#3. This is not an origin story… although Batman and Robin can have memory of their past, it should really be kept to a minimum or not included at all.

#4. Other Villians are allowed, however the primary focus should be on The Rat.

#5. The Joker isn’t crazy here… he may have a psychotic edge to him, but he really should be “too smart for his own good.”

#6. The introduction of new characters is allowed, but they shouldn’t be primary villains.

#7. This Batman wears an all black suit… which can be seen here… http://www.supermantv.net/wallpaperbattles/batmanbegins/batman.jpg

#8. This Robin should either wear an original costume, or it should be similar to the Chris O’Donnel version here….
http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/HPO/10605~Batman-Forever-Robin-Post...

#9. Batman and Robin use real world (or close to real world) gadgetry. There are no “bat”-gizmos, or “anti-penguin gas” pills. And Batman and Robin face real world (or close to real world) consequences.

And finally…

#10. Neither Batman nor Robin die.

*Just for fun, I created this website: www.gothamcity.synthasite.com


*Please don't be offended if I skip your turn... I only do so to keep the story going, and if you are lacking in making speedy additions.
Police Commissioner James Gordon sat at his desk pouring through some crime scene photos. His mug of coffee chilled as the wind blew in from the open window. He tossed the photographs onto the desk, clasping his fingers together. With his elbows resting on the desk, he put his head directly onto his knuckles. He wanted time, but knew that he didn’t have it. He casually picked up his glasses from the desk, and put them on, picking up the one photograph he hadn’t looked at yet. The woman had obviously been shot in the back of the head and her body had fallen directly to the floor. She was a bit crooked, laying in a near fetal position on the rugged beige carpet. But just before the bottom of the photo, something caught the Commissioner’s eye. Was that a playing card? He peeked at the picture again. The card was upright, only a few inches away from the blonde woman’s tan skirt, and displayed clearly… The Joker!

The Commissioner set the photograph face up on the desk, as he scowled at it. He leaned back in his swivel chair, locking his fingers behind his all white hair, his elbows sticking out like the wings of… a bat. “Of Course!” He mumbled to himself, as he promptly sat upright, releasing his arms to his sides. He glanced at the black and grey business telephone on his desk, and thought about making the call. It was a sad day when Gotham City’s police force couldn’t handle their own, but it was a day the Commissioner knew all too well. He needed the help of the ever so resilient shadowy figure of the night… he needed Batman. If anyone could deal with the Joker, Batman could.

He picked up the telephone receiver, wrapping the cord around his left forefinger, as he dialed the one and only secret phone number, that only he himself knew.

***

At the Wayne Manor, the friendly elderly butler Alfred Pennyworth was delivering breakfast to the young master, Bruce, when the phone began to ring. Bruce was lying in his bed, reading The Gotham Times. “Thanks Alfred” Bruce said as Alfred set the tray of food down on Bruce’s lap, Bruce putting the newspaper aside.

“I’ll get the phone, Sir.” Alfred said to Bruce in a spirited, but polite tone. Bruce nodded, as he took a knife and peeled into the orange from his tray. Alfred made his way to the bedside table and picked up the cordless phone. “Hello. I see. Hmmm. You don’t say. Yes, he’s here… I’ll get him right away.” Alfred looked at Bruce with a face of dissatisfaction. He placed his hand over the phone and whispered “Its for Batman, Sir.”

Bruce put the knife down on the tray, and held his hand out. “Thank you, Alfred.” Alfred handed him the phone. "This is Batman." said Bruce. "Yes. I understand Commissioner. Robin and I will be there right away."
On the roof was three shadows. The wind made the capes blow so nonchalantly. The tallest of shadows was looking down at the town drowned in shadows. He sighed and looked at Commissioner Gordon. The picture his sidekick held only told him that the crime spree was done by a true psycho, The Clown Prince of Crimes himself. The girl laid dead and he was probably sitting down in his hideout laughing. Dick looked at the picture at the Joker card that grinned at him. A chill ran down his spine.

"Will get him," Bruce said and both of them left without saying anything else. They walked in the dark shadows as they got to the car. Both of them jumped in quickly. Bruce headed to the best place, the one he was sure that the Joker would be. The hum of the motor filled the air as no words were spoken. The night sky seemed to make Gotham look just a little bit more dangerous than usual. Maybe it was because of the gangsters lurking somewhere close or could it be another villain planning his next spree.

***


In the old decrepit circus, The Joker was sitting in front of a desk with plans scattered all over. A grin pinned to his pale face as he looked at all of his killer jokes. He was completely submerged in his thoughts when the alarm was set off. The loud hyena like laugh stole away his thoughts. He turned to look at the numerous screens and laughed.

"Oh darling, you think I'm the amateur killer?" He grinned and walked to the door to greet them. He opened the door and leaned against it. The two shadows appeared. The Joker moved aside to let them enter his humble estate.

"Make yourself at home Batman and Robin. Don't mind the clutter on the desk." He said as he walked over to it. Turning the chair to look at them, his smile spread across his livid burlesque face.

"So who may I thank for this wonderful honor?"

"You can cut it. We know you killed her." Dick said quickly and directly.

"I see you haven't taught the little one manners." He feigned hurt. "But, I saw those pictures and I don't see a joke in shooting someone from behind. I say someone is trying to make me a laughing stock in the underworld."

"How come their was a Joker card at the scene. The exact ones that you use?"

"I use the one in a deck of cards. Don't you think that any copy cat could do that? Batsy, you're loosing your touch." He laughed and walked closer to the duo. "See, that ain't me. Might be a new killer, a person who just had one bad day and just..." he mimed a branch cracking as he said, "snapped. Oh! How I love humans!"

"Quit stalling, you know something don't you." Bruce said soberly. He always hated his meetings with the Joker, he knew stuff but never said it without provocation. A true mime this clown is, never would say a word if he didn't see the least bit of comedy to it.

"Oh," he muttered. "I don't think I will darling."

Bruce froze and he growled. He hated it so badly. Never once did he feel so annoyed with this clown. "Spit it out or else," he barked.

"Oh, so touchy. Well, give me a second to refresh my memory." the Joker did a back flip and landed on a used couch. It squeaked violently when he landed. "His name is The Rat. Some say he's kind of like you. But, I know he isn't. No, this guy is a plain bad guy, not much to him. Although, I don't like that he is using my deck. Better pay him a visit the little rat might get fried," he smirked. "That's it what a hilarious joke."

The Joker got off the couch with a quick agility. He walked over to a cupboard and took out a deck of cards. "See Bats, nothings up my sleeve, well except a couple of aces."

He threw the deck of cards and added, "Keep it. I'll just get another at the joke store. They know me well enough by now."
At the Docks of Gotham City, the coin was tossed into the air and landed on the right Hand of Two-Face, who checked the two-sided item's side carefully in front of the terrified man, bound and gagged in front of him.

"Oh, too bad, looks like you lost this toss." The raspy voice of Dent caused the figure's eyes to expand before the half scarred villain put a gun to his temple and pulled. the trigger. "Humph. That two-bit punk knew nothing about the Rat." Harvey turned and walked down the dockside, accomplied by two of his sizable number of thugs who had allied themselves with him in his bid to control Gotham City.

"Sorry boss. Whoever this Rat freak is, he ain't dealing with the smallies. I heard he copies people, right? Joker was first. Who says you ain't next, Boss?" One of them stated.

Two-Face snorted. "Joker's easy enough to imitate. Anyone can act like a madman in my city. My style is precision. If this 'Rat' wants to be a clown, I'll get to have the last laugh. He acts like Freeze, I'll put him on ice for good. He tries to be Catwoman, I'll dig my claws into him til there's nothing left. And if he wants to be me... its last toss, and all bets are off. This is my turf, and no new loser's going to take it away."

The other thug shugged. "What about the Batman?"

Harvey's eyes narrowed and the six-foor man gulped as Dent stopped to consider. "Justice is corrupt. Chance is absolute, boys. The only morality in an unfair world. Unbiased. Unprejudiced. Fair. No Rat can come close to me, much less the Bat and his brat." The thug sighed, seeing that his life wasn't forfeit.. this time.

A movement just out of sight caught his attention and he glanced at the shadows. "We're being followed boys. Guns at the ready." All three men bandished classy handguns as they looked about for any-

"Agh!" A batarang slammed into one of his goons and caused him to crash the floor, tied up. Panicing slightly Two-Face and the other thug rushed towards the car park which bordered the docks, only to have a shadowy, feminine figure leap in front of them.

"Batgirl!" Two-Face snarled as Barbara Gordon, the alter-ego of Gotham's female crime fighter grappled with the other goon. Preoccupied with him gave Two-Face the chance to rush to his nearby car, but he saw Batgirl flying up behind him. Quickly he led off a volley of shots in her direction which she expertly dodged before knocking the handgun out of his grasp.

"Better give yourself up, Two-Face. I know you killed that man over there, not to mention pulling that Two-Million Dollar stealing bank robbery earlier tonight! Whats your sick game this time, Dent?" Batgirl was determined to bring Two-Face to justice as the pair enaged in hand to hand combat.

Harvey's mind raced as he struggled to keep up with the woman warrior. "What Bank heist, brat? I've been-" His face displayed first surprise, then rage, though not at Batgirl. "The Rat! That stinking-!" Filled with anger, he swung a left hook at Barbara which caught her in the jaw and she crashed to the ground.

Harvey took the opportunity to spin under his car and pull out a Thompson Sub-Machine Gun from a hidden compartment for emergencies before unleashing a volley of bullets in Batgirl's direction. She was able to gather her thoughts in time and dodge out of the way, but it gave Two-Face the chance to enter his high-powered car and drive away.

His mind raced as he sped into a near hideaway and tightened his scarred left fist on his dollar coin. "So this 'Rat' wants to play with the big boys and the Batman and his lackies? No! I rule this city, not some two-bit newbie!" He tossed his coin into the air and it landed scarred side up, prompting him to cackle. "Good, tails for killing the twerp. Once I get a few boys together, we find this 'Rat'... and then if he wants to be me so badly, I'll scar him like no man's business. And then it'll be the Bat's turn."
Douglas Croft, The Rat was a 35 year old lackluster stout man. He paced the floor of his small apartment as several mice surrounded him. His long black hair flowed down behind his back. The apartment was a wreck, with clothes strung about, and empty pizza boxes lying everywhere. He wanted to be the biggest man in Gotham. He wanted to rule the City. He would have his day.

He fed some cheese to his mice as a smile overtook his face. He had killed Leslie Penchant, with no other motivation than a pure villain quality. He didn't care about people. He just liked the fun of killing. And he liked being a copy-cat criminal. He knew that his crimes led people to search elsewhere for the crimes he committed. It was one big sick joke, and he loved it. He had gotten away with a bank robbery as well. How pleasant!

The slightly obese man sat down on his couch and begin gnawing into a huge chunk of cheese. “I need a good hideout… someplace dark, and damp.” He said aloud to himself. “Perhaps someplace under the streets of Gotham. I’ll call it The Rat Trap.”

***

Meanwhile… Bruce Wayne looked at the deck of cards that had been tossed his way by the Joker.

“What’s his game, Robin?” he asked Dick as he left the Joker’s hideout.

“I don’t know, Batman, but I don’t trust him.” said Dick with an attitude of angst.

“Nor do I…” said Bruce.

They reached the car and Bruce entered first. “Come on Robin, we’ve got to find this Rat fellow.”

Dick got in the car following Bruce’s orders. “Batman, do you think the Joker was telling the truth?”

Bruce revved up the car and took off.

“One thing I’ve learned from that clown, is that he may be quite eccentric, and loves to toy with us, but he never blatantly lies.”

“Perhaps not. But something is fishy about this whole thing.” said Dick.

“We’ll see what we can find out at the Batcave.” said Bruce with a voce of determination.
***

The solemn figure sat down at the desk in the dark cavernous cave far below his stately mansion staring perplexedly at the computer screen. He had searched several databases for the villain the Joker had told him about but he found nothing. His sidekick, Robin stood nearby, peering through the eye-slits cut into his mask at the computer screen. “Nothing, Batman? Nothing at all?” asked the boy.

Bruce shook his head. “Nothing Robin.”

“Golly Gee Willickers! Surely there is something about this fiend. Unless the Joker lied to us.” said Dick with that particular angst.

Bruce typed something on the keyboard, and said “Wait a minute. I think I found something.”

“Well, what is it?”

“According to the police reports there was a bank-heist that occurred shortly after Miss Penchant had been murdered. Read this page, Robin.” said Bruce tapping his finger against the computer screen.

“You think they’re related?”

“It certainly appears so. Julie Penchant was Gotham National Bank’s District manager. Perhaps she knew something about the crime, and was murdered so that no secrets got out.”

“I see.” said Dick. “This Rat fellow sure knows how to cover his tracks. Certainly he had accomplices”

“Yes, and Batman and Robin are going to find out just who they were and track this criminal down.”

“But what about the Joker?”

“Unfortunately, Robin, we have no proof of any crimes committed by him recently. He‘s crystal clear.”

“Holy Double Jeopardy!”

Bruce gave Dick a stern fatherly look and stepped away from the computer, allowing the boy to sit down and read the screen for himself.

“A man with a hideous scar on one side of his face was spotted fleeing the scene… Two-Face!” said Dick. “You think Two Face was involved?”

“No… I don’t think so.” said Bruce pacing. “I think this Rat fellow set him up.”

“But, what gives you that impression?” Dick inquired.

“Its just a hunch.” said Bruce. “But I think Batman and Robin should pay him a visit. If anyone knows about the crime in this town, its bound to be Two-Face.”

“I thought that was the Joker’s job.”

“You mock me, Dick. You mock me.” said Bruce.

“Not hardly. You know I admire you.”

“Please, enough with the flattery. We’ve got some business to attend to.”

“Shouldn’t we tell Alfred?”

“I’ll call him from the bat mobile. C’mon let’s go.”


They got to Two-Face's hideout and got out of the bat mobile. Walking quickly just in case like the Joker Two-Face has an alarm, they got to the door and knocked. The door opened up and Harvey Dent looked at them.

"See ya heard about the robbery. Well, it wasn't me." He said as he played with his coin. It felt good to just have it slip through his hands.

"Then why was someone seen with the same disfigured face as you running from the crime scene?"

"Because someone set me up," he almost growled.

"Do you think it could be The Rat?" Dick asked.

"Of course it's him. Nobody else would dare set me up in my city. This is my turf and I promise he ain't gonna be copying me anymore." He stated, even his normal side was soaked in deep hatred. Taking out his coin he looked at it. "You know the only thing that is fair nowadays is chance, luck. It doesn't take sides. All it does is flip and flip till it stops and gives its answer."

Two-Face flipped his coin high in the air. Once it landed on his hand, he grinned. "Well, his luck has just ran out. If ever I find him, he won't be going to jail, but an early grave."

He was about to close the door when Batman asked, "Do you know anything about him? I mean you know everything that goes down in the underworld."

"Nobody just till now knows anything about that slippery rat, well except that he's a copy cat. This guy, he works by his own law." Harvey answered as he closed the door.

"That rat even brought the Batman to my hideout. Oh, he won't see the light of day!" Two-Face yelled as he got two pistols and walked out of the back. His black Camaro was parked there waiting for him to rev it. He jumped in the back and flipped the coin again. The coin ended up on the normal side. "Well, he was lucky tonight."

***

"Nobody knows about this new villain. How can that be?" Dick asked.

"I don't know Robin. I don't know."

"Who do you think is the next villain to be copied?"

"Hmmm, good question. There's so many for that guy to assume. Mr. Freeze, the Mad hatter, Clayface, the Penguin, Posion Ivy, Catwoman, who knows who he will choose."

"Golly gee,"
It was a dark, abandoned fairground that Harvey Dent's car drove into, just outside the edges of Gotham City, its warped spires viewable in the distance. Two-Face exited the car, once more backed by two of his thugs and a raincoat over his smart black-white suit. He montioned at them to remain by the car, then tossing his coin as he walked, headed for the enterance to the Funhouse, stopping right in front of it.

"Ok, Joker." Dent growled out. "I know you're here, so cut to the chance and-"

"I see that you too have been asked to come here, Harvey Dent." An emotionless voice prompted the scarred criminal to point his gun in the direction of the shadows. "I would not recommend that course of action." The voice had a metalic ring to it and only on occasion did it raise or lower in pitch.

The sound of metal boots marched forwards to realise a tall, seven-foot man encased entirely in a suit of blue and grey. Beneath a glass cylinder upon his head, a grey face with two blood red eyes stared back at him. In one hand, a large gun of the same design pointed in Dent's way. "You should know that my weapon is far more likely to incapasitate you before yours would to me."

A snarl appeared on both sides of Harvey's face. "Freeze. Didn't know you'd been invited to this little discussion of ours."

"Oh, but I wanted you all here, Harvey old chum!" The high-pitched, mocking voice of the Joker was inmistakable as he dropped down from the Funhouse's roof. "Well isn't this nice? Funny how one little rat bites, and then we're all interested in what we have to say."

Two-Face shugged. "Nice hideaway Joker. For your sake though, you'd better have some valid means of getting rid of this Rat, or I might have to try things my way."

He was irritated as Joker wrapped an arm round either side of him and Mr Freeze. "Oh come have a heart, you two! Everyone knows that when it comes to results, the Joker delivers!"

"This Rat is as yet no concern to me." Mr Freeze stated simply while moving Joker's arm away. "I merely consider him an possible irritation, nothing more."

"Thats the spirit, Freezie!" Joker cackled. "Now, come into my humble abode!" He shouted loudly. "HARLEY!"

"Comin' pudding!" a flip from the shadows and the Joker was joined by his red and black soul mate, the ever lovable Harley Quinn. She stared widely at Two-Face and Mr Freeze. "Oh, I see Mr J has gotten some big guns for this dear bash!"

"Precisely my dear. Now you fine gentlemen follow me. We're got a Rat to disinfect!" The four super-criminals headed into the confines of the Warehouse for their important meeting.
Once inside, Two Face sat down on a crate, while Mr. Freeze stood beside him with his arms crossed. "How do you propose we off this guy, anyway Joker?" asked Freeze. "I mean how are we to get to him?"

The Joker laughed maniacally. “We’re not going to get to him, we’re going to bring him to us. I say, if he wants to play with the big boys, let him play with the big boys. Catch my drift? The war to take Gotham’s streets has just begun boys, and ahem lady.”

Harley smirked. “So, Mr. J. What are we gonna do?”

“Well, every Rat likes his cheese. We’ll just have to feed it to him.” said Joker. “We’ll give him a false lead… we’ll set up a caper that even I wouldn’t dare to miss.”

“Another bank heist?” asked Freeze.

“No. Something better.”

“What do you have in mind?”

“We’ll hire him… to kill… the batman. Smells like cheddar!”

“Enough with the puns, Joker. How do we get to him? No one knows anything about him.” said Two-Face.

“For peeve’s sake, must I think of everything myself!” The Joker scratched through his green hair, creating a messy wild look. “We just, have to bring him out of the shadows, boys. And um, my darling, Harley.”

Harley smiled this time.

***

The abandoned subway below 3rd and Broadway seemed to be the ideal spot. Douglas Croft, a.k.a. The Rat and three of his lackies stood in the midst of it gazing at their surroundings. “Well boys, this is home!” said the Rat. The tallest of the henchmen spoke up “So boss, what’s next?”

“Well, I don’t know. I’m in this game for the fun of it boys. You guys just seem to want to get paid. But what’s payday without a little pizzazz? The Minx diamonds are something that that feline imbecile has been trying to get her hands on, for quite some time. Why don’t we make The Gotham Museum our next stop. Its time to step up the game. Catwoman will go to jail for certain if we pull this one off as successfully as we have done with the murder of Miss Penchant and the robbery of Gotham National. Its nothing personal, its just my style!”
"Someone tripped the alarm!" The Rat screamed as he ran with the diamond between his hands. His thugs behind him, shooting at any targets. Despite his stocky frame, Douglas was actually pretty fast on his feet when he knew danger was soon upon him. He got to the door and jut out just to be grabbed by a lithe figure.

"Let go of me!" He yelled as he flailed his arms.

"Honey, are you the Rat?"

"Who wants to know?" He demanded.

"Well, Mistah J would like to talk to you. Now," and with a quick jerk, Harley had the Rat with her running to the getaway car she had. The truth is they kind of tricked the alarm so he would be force to come with them. How did they know he would be there? Easy, they were looking for failed attempts and that was one Catwoman's most tried.

Harley floored it and the red convertible roared away straight to the Funhouse where the others waited patiently. As she drove, she put on some fresh make-up and added, "My uniform when I go to work is to have a big smile."

She laughed as she turned the corner quickly, Douglas almost flew out, but he grabbed on tightly with one hand. Harley looked at the man beside her. So this is the guy who set up my puddin', Harley thought as she studied him.

"So you're the Rat?"

"Yeah, is it so hard to believe?"

"Not really. Hey, I was a psychologist before I fell in love with Mistah J." Sh said with pep.

"Who's Mistah J?" Douglas asked almost dreading the answer.

"Well, The Joker silly. Oh we're here!" She yelled happily as she stopped the motor and grabbed the man beside her so he wouldn't run away. "C'mon he just wants to chat. Nothing more, I promise."


They walked into the warehouse and all the lights came on. "Puddin' I got him!" Harley yelled.

"Coming darling," the Joker answered before walking into the room.

The Joker stopped and looked at the obese man with the diamond in his hands. He cocked one of his green eyebrows and scratched his head quizzically. "You sure this is the guy deary?"

"Positive Mistah J."

"He doesn't look like the type that could pull off my style."

"Or mine," Two-Face growled as he got out of the shadow with his coin flipping in the air.

Douglas started to fidget as he saw the two villains he imitated. His eyes looked for an exit, but the Harley's grip on him tightened.

"If he thinks that he is better than us, maybe we should propose are plan." the Joker laughed as he sat down on a chair. "So do you wanna here it Rats?"

"What is it?" Douglas asked.

"Well you know Batsy, I hope."

"Ummm, yeah."

"Well, we were planning on killing him. But, you've been imitating us so good, maybe you would like to have the honor of doing it." He said with a burlesque grin.
Beads of sweat poured down Douglas' face as the Joker leaned right up to him, an enormous grin phasted onto his face. "Ah, don't look so hurt, my Ratty Rat friend. If you can do what we all can do, you're clearly got the stuff to kill the Batman and his delightful friends."

"Erm..." The Rat looked unnerved as he tried to speak. "Mr Joker, what you're asking is difficult. Very difficult, and-"

"Lets put it this way." Two-Face's mug replaced that of the Joker's as he growled into Douglas ear. "If you don't kill Batman, I will be very disappointed in our latest addition to Gotham's best loonies. In fact, since you took it to heart to try and frame me in one of your pathetic schemes for notoriity, I will have no quibs in getting some nitric acid and use it to scar your pretty little face, since you think you make a better Two-Face than I do." The Rat's features were horrified, and a grin appeared on Dent's face. "Good, glad we understand each other."

"Enough. We waste time with your foolish games." Mr Freeze, who had remained seated through this display, stood up and adress the pair of criminals. "If you want him to destroy the Batman, just send him on the task. You have amply demonstrated he will do as you ask."

Douglas glanced over at the encased man. "M-mr Freeze? B-but I haven't even copied you yet..."

"This is true." Freeze was checking the display on his Freeze Gun as he walked across to the captured Rat. "But it is logical that you would have sooner or later. I merely chose to intervene at this moment. Gotham City must pay for the damage it has caused for the life of my wife Nora. I will not allow my vengance to be short-lived via the actions of a common criminal." He pointed at Two-Face and Joker. "Release him. And know this, Rat; that you have seventy-two hours to devise the means of which we locate and destroy the Batman."

Nodding dumbly, Douglas Croft rushed for the exit as the four criminals watched him go.

"We should have just killed him." Two-Face muttered. "He's clearly incapable of destroying the Batman."

"Oh I know." Joker sat grinning. "But its going to be fun seeing him try." At this he launched into a stream of crazy laughter as the others watched.
The Rat tied Batman and Robin in the warehouse as he waited for instructions. He didn't know what the Joker had in store for the fantastic duo. The Joker waltzed in and grinned. Two-Face followed behind flipping his favorite scarred coin. Harley came flipping like a deranged gymnast.

"Freeze couldn't make it?" Joker laughed.

"Whatever," Two-Face growled. "What do we do with them?"

"A little mix of both our styles. A little dual joke," Joker said.

Two-Face flipped his coin and looked as the scar side was up. He nodded his head.

"Do you see any jokes in tying them to a quarter and throwing them into the lake?" Harvey asked.

"Hmm, creep's has got a good idea. Harley, darling, do you have any suggestions?"

"Ummm, Mistah J maybe we could just shoot em." She said shyly. The Joker looked at her and took out a magnum and pulled the trigger right a them. A flag that said bang popped out.

"Is this the good one?"

"Yes puddin’.”

Two face took out a knife and walked over to Batman. “You know I’ve always wondered who was behind these masks.”

“Save it!” The Joker demanded. He walked over to a cardboard box and opened it, taking out several gas masks and tossing them to his fellow criminals. “You better put these on… Ratsy, you’ve done well so far. Its time to see if you can follow through. Release the gas.”

The Rat walked over to a lever on the wall, and pulled it. Suddenly, from the vents on the floor a yellow vapor began to pour into the room.

The Joker laughed again.

The Rat hurriedly put on his gas mask… “Nice one Joker. These two will be finished in no time.” he said.

“Yes, who would have thought a Rat could’ve caught a Bat? Well, we better get out of hear, before even our masks can’t take the gas.” Said Joker.

Batman and Robin began coughing. “You won’t get away with this Joker!” cried Robin.

“Looks like you’re in no position to talk, boy wonder. And with that gas, I doubt you'll be talking long."
It has been at least ten minutes before the affects start to set in. Batman started to laugh as the gas filled his lungs. The uncontrollable laughter erupted from both heroes. The only thing that didn't change was their eyes that looked fearfully around. They had to think of a way out of this and quick. Robin quickly grabbed a little knife that he kept in his back pocket. No one knew about it and that was lucky or else Joker would've grabbed it before. The crazed laughter grew more frantic as the gas started to really do its job.

Robin's hands were free and he quickly untied Batman. They got to the door and...

"It's, ha ha ha ha.. loc-ha, ha, ha, ha-ked!" Robin whined between fits of laughter.

Batman not wasting his breath pointed to a window set up a bit high. The duo ran to the window. Batman got on his knees and placed his hands together. Robin sprinted and once on Batman's hands. Batman sent him in the air. The Boy Wonder went flipping at the window and outstretched his leg. The window exploded in a shower of shards. Robin staggered to the front. His uncontrollable laughter was starting to make him unsteady.

He got to the door after falling down a couple of times. At the door, he noticed the lock. He had no key, but like usual he had a bobby pin just in case. With new found adrenaline, Dick picked at the lock moving the pin quickly. Once the lock snaps open, Bruce Wayne falls to the ground. No longer laughing, the grotesque smile pinned to his face.

"Batman!" Robin yelled. He grabbed from the utility belt a thing that looks more like a magnum and placed it were his heart should be. He pulled the trigger.

***

"Well Rats, I didn't think you had it in you." the Joker commented as Harley drove the car to another of his hideouts.

"Ummm, thanks. Do you think I can go?" He asked shyly.

"Oh poor imbecile! Didn't you know? When you finished we kill you." the Joker laughed.

Douglas' eyes grew wide as the Joker said that. Two-Face took out his coin and said, "Actually clowns, that wasn't part of the plan. We got to flip for it."

"Whatever, flip Two-Face." Joker said as he shrugged. Harley slowed down the car as Two-Face threw the coin in the air. It flipped and flipped till it landed in his open palm.

"Well, luck has just saved your life." Two-Face growled. The Rat sighed and rested against the seat of the red convertible.
Batman's eyes drifted open as he came to in the darkness of the Batcave. With a coughing fit, he pulled himself off the table he'd been placed on and headed grogily across to the Computer Station. Through squinting eyes he could see that Alfred, Dick and Barbara Gordon were gathered round it.

Upon spotting that Bruce was awake, Dick rushed up and patted the Dark Knight's shoulder. "Bruce! You had us worried for a while with that big plastered grin by the Joker."

Bruce Wayne nodded as he rubbed his head. "Yeah. Looks like you got me out just in time though. A few more seconds and I would have reached the point of no return."

Alfred spoke up. "Master Grasyson was resourceful enough to alert both myself and Miss Gordon to your aid, sir. We were able to drag you into the Batmobile and activate the medical station to speed your recovery before we got back here."

Bruce smiled. "Thank you, all of you. Clearly the Rat is more resourceful than we first thought. By himself, he was able to stage two crimes and frame the Joker and Harvey Dent for them. Once they got hold of him, clearly they forced him into a bid to capture and kill us."

Dick grumbled as he spoke. "We should have known that the tipoff from Commissioner Gordon for getting into the Warehouse might be staged by the Rat. And he was able to disable our gadgets with that EMP too."

"I can't believe that the Rat could even pretend to be my father. That makes it personal for me now." Batgirl clenched her fists. "Besides, I have a score to settle wirth Two-Face for getting away last time, so I'm going to help you any way I can."

Batman and Robin nodded as the former spoke. "Thanks for the help, Barbara. In any case, we have to plan carefully. At the moment, we have the advantage of surprise, which works. Plus theres the chance that the Rat might not be as helpless as Joker and Two-Face thinks."

"You think he might try and stage something?" Robin asked Bruce, who considered that possibility before nodding. "Then we better be better equiped the next time, all three of us."

"If I may sir?" Alfred flicked on the computer as the others turned to watch. "I have been monitoring transmissions across Gotham City to see if I might locate the Rat's lair, so to speak. It appears that he has a base in an abandoned Subway marked here." He pointed to a grid reference where a red dot flashed. "More so sir, via radio signals it seems that the Rat has a number of men loyal to him. They seem to be preparing to break him out of the Joker's funhouse, possibily with some backup - the transmission I intercepted said they'd hired a supervillain for a sizable sum, paid once the Rat is safe." He smiled as he turned back to the trio of crimefighters. "However, with that in mind sir, their base would probably remain lightly defended."

Batman, Robin and Batgirl smiled as they turned to each other. "I think its time for a suitible strategy." Batman stated. "If we can bring down the Rat along with Joker and Two-Face, that would be great."

##############################

In the damp facility that opperated as the Rat's base, the chief goon of the Rat, wearing a mouse eared costume which symbolised his loyalty, stood in front of a huge, imposing figure who to their nervousness had simply walked out the sewers nearby. "Er, so you'll get your payment after your rescue the boss, ok?"

The figure growled. "For your sake, your boss better be worth the trouble. Taking on Joker and Two-Face isn't my idea of fun. But if the pay is good, then I'm willing to get my claws dirty."

Killer Croc emerged from the shadows as he headed across to the van where a bunch of the Rat's cronies were. "Ok, lets go." The huge reptilian man entered the back as the van sped in the direction of Joker's funhouse, ready to retrieve their boss at any cost.
Douglas sat in a chair as he watched the four villains talking quietly. They've been like that for some time, never raising their voices. Even Two-Face that normal growled was talking softly. Douglas strained to hear what was going on, but he couldn't even get the just of it. Harley jumped up in the air suddenly and yelled, "Puddin' you're a genius!"

"Harley, don't call me puddin'." He barked.

"Sorry Mistah J," she whispered and regained her spot.

"And Harley,"

"Yes," she said, her smile grew and her eyes looked up at him happily.

"I know I'm a genius." He said with an irritated grin.

Douglas looked as the little scene, the others didn't say anything. Harley simply kept quiet and looked at her feet.

"You know, you don't need to take that from a clown." Douglas spoke up. The Joker turned to look at the Rat tied to the chair.

"Rats, I don't think you understand your place. You're tied to a chair that I can quickly flick on and kill you. So, learn were you stand." The Joker said calmly with a grin.

"You wouldn't kill me Joker." Douglas said with a bizarre change of attitude.

"Why do you think that?"

"Because, you won't have enough time."

Two-Face stood up and walked to the chair as he played with the scarred coin.

"Enlighten us Rat boy, why won't we have enough time?" He growled.

"My thugs are gonna break me out."

"Hmmm, you think so. Then I better just shoot you now." Two-Face smiled thoughtfully. Douglas started to fidget in the chair as fear started to set in.

"Pal, if you don't mind I would love to see our little friend fry." Joker laughed.

Two-Face turned to look at him and said, "Do what you want as long as he's dead. I want to make an example of him. Nobody gets away with copying me."

"Thanks Two-Face, well I guess you're gonna fry." The Joker flips the switch and sparks jump from the chair.
Then the lights went out.

"What the hell?" Two-Face was heard to snarl.

Then came the explosion as light poured from one half of the funhouse and two vans screeched to a halt. "Ah, he was telling the truth!" Harvey screamed before thirty odd men with rat caps on burst out and started to fire. Joker's own forces quickly got into action with their own weapons, and before long the warehouse was ablaze in the heat of gang warfare. Two-Face let off several shots from his handgun, felling two of the Rat's boys before he felt something hard slam into his cheek.

Killer Croc watched Two-Face crash to the floor, knocked out. "Well that was easier than I thought it would be." he grinned evily, before heading across to the terrified Rat. "Your fellows have paid me a tidy sum to protect ya, so move it!" Bullets bounced off Croc's hard reptile skin as he and Rat wentdrew to a defensive posture by his own men. With Two-Face for the moment down, only Joker, Harley and a handful of Joker Clowns remained to aim to recapture their prize. Rat leapt for the safety of a van with Croc and it sped away. The surviving Rat Goons began to move back to their own transport and were soon away.

Joker screamed in fustraction. "That blasted Rat! I'll get him if its the last thing I do! Especially since he ruined my best suit! I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE RUIN-"

"Er, Pudding?"

Joker and Harley looked up as Batman smashed through the window panes above. While Robin and Batgril were tackling the headquarters of the Rat, he'd opted to deal with the Joker and his goons alone.

"Oh great, now he had to show up." Joker muttered. "Ah well... Harvey old chum, you alright?" He only got a groan. "Oh well, just me and my boys.. oh, and darling Harley." His grin became a snarl as he pointed at Batman. "KILL THE BATS, BOYS!"

##################

High above the funhouse upon a nearby building top, Mr Freeze watched through his enchanced sight as he saw Rat escape and the Batman enter. In the distance, he could see Gotham police forces heading for the Joker's den.

"The Rat is causing more problems to my plans than originally expected. No matter, I suspected that Two-Face and Joker would be ill equipped to deal with him. Perhaps I require a larger strategy..." He activated his jet pack and sped in the direction of Gotham City.
Batman successfully hid behind some crates as shots were fired in his direction. He pulled out his grappling gun and aimed it toward some pipes in the above ceiling. He just hoped the pipes would hold his weight. He swung across the room like a bat out hell, his cape flowing behind him. Several shots were fired in his direction as he swung on the rope. He landed on top of Joker.

Batman lifted his up in the air, and punched Joker in the face. "Talk Joker! Where is he?"

"He..." The Joker Laughed..."I don't believe it, Bats! He got away."

Soon the police sirens were louder, and a shout from a megaphone "We have you surrounded, Come out with your hands up!"

"Arrest us? For what? We were just playing a little game that got out of hand a bit, Batsy, that's all. What you don't realize is that we're toying with you."

The Joker fought off batman from his shoulder and took a swing toward the dark knight. Batman caught it, and soon they were fighting in hand to hand combat. "Cease fire boys!" the Joker ordered as he cornered Batman up against a wall, taking a knife up to Batman's neck. "Look's like its last breath Batsy!" he said.
The Harlequin of Hate held the knife right at his throat as his laugh filled the funhouse. Relishing the moment of having the Bat against the wall with his life in his hands. Sadly, that proved to be his misdoing because Batman had enough time to calm his heart rate and regain his composure.

"Joker, guess what," Batman said softly. "This isn't my last breath."

The Joker looked at him and grinned. "Oh really, what can you do?"

"Not me, but him," Batman said and looked over the Joker's shoulder. The Harlequin of Hate glanced over his shoulder to see the boy wonder in mid air, his leg extended. The Joker turned quickly and grabbed the gun from his back pocket. Robin looked at it and stopped.

"That's it Birdie." The Joker said as he trained his gun on him as he slowly walked backwards. "C'mon Harley darling. We've got a rat to find. Two-Face you coming?"

"Okay," Two-Face said as he walked away with them. Right before stepping out, Joker pulled the trigger and a flag withe the letters "BANG!" written on it came out.

"Fooled you Batsy and Bird Boy." Joker jeered and ran away.

Batman sprinted after them.

"As usual, there's a getaway car." Bruce said.

"He's starting to drive me nuts!" Dick complained.

"Batgirl, are you okay?" Bruce asked.

"I'm fine," Barbara said.

"You didn't get shot?"

"I'm fine." She repeated.

"Do you know where they might be going?" Dick asked.

"Not really, luckily it's Joker that's controlling this. All we have to look for is a place with just a little comic value." Bruce smiled slightly.

"What about Two-Face's hideout?" Barbara asked.

"We could check it out as well." Bruce said as they made their way to the Batmobile.
Batman stood there in the Gotham City Police Department explaining to Commissioner Gordon, that not only had the Rat escaped, but also the other criminals escaped from a vehicle behind the wharehouse, and the two officers that were posted near that exit and both been shot, deceased. Neither Batman nor his alter-ego part of himself were proud of such a fatal mistake. Batman told Commissioner Gordon, "Don't worry, now we have suspects to bring in for questioning. But we also know what to look for."

"What's that?" asked the Commissioner.

"Copy-cat crimes."

"And we also know a possible hideout location." said the boy wonder who was sitting on the corner of the desk. Bat-girl stood nearby Robin.

The Commissioner nodded. "Where is this location? I'll have my boys check it out."

"Its the Subway below 3rd street." said Batman. "In the meantime, Robin, Batgirl and I are headed to speak with Two-Face again. We just hope he has enough information to tell us."
Douglas looked at mugshots of criminals as he stood. His electroshock therapy made him a little apprehensive of chairs. The Killer Croc grunted loudly. Douglas turned and looked at him.

"Well, I'm sorry to interrupt, but I can care less about your little games. So, cough up the dough and I'll leave." He said impatiently.

"Oh yeah, here," Douglas answered dazedly. He threw a money clip full of one hundred dollar bills. "Thanks for the help."

"It wasn't for you, it was just for the cash."

The Killer Croc slithered away without saying anything else. Douglas stared at his thugs and after all his attention went to the pictures with a list of failed attempts on their behalf. A picture of the sensual Poison Ivy with a name of a factory.

"That's it, we have to get that flower." He declared.

"Why?" said a thug dressed as a rat. He was a tall, but slim guy, no real muscle tone.

"'Cause Jake, if that dame couldn't do it; it'll be easy pickings." Douglas declared.

© Copyright 2008 Ryverwolf, Crimson Ghost, Derek the Dalek, (known as GROUP).
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