“Rise, child, and enjoy your first breath of new life.”
“Father, I do not think that she is at her full strength.”
“Daughter, you underestimate her will to live. Or perhaps it is her thirst for revenge that calls to her.”
I can hear their voices, but I cannot see anything but a sea of green. Soon that sea of green turns red as I rush up and gasp for air. I only remember one word leaving my breath.
“Sedate her. She mustn’t be allowed to leave the chamber.”
“Father, was this the right decision?”
“Perhaps that is a question you should have asked before you picked the specimen.”
“Do you think that Batman would fall for such a trap?”
“No, but it will distract him so my plans for world domination can go unhindered. Now, once her new wounds have healed, have some of the men bring her to her quarters, we will begin her reeducation once she wakes.”
As soon as I wake, fragmented memories rush through my mind; it’s the most complicated computer trying to perform a defragmentation in record time, all while still being rebooted.
Suddenly the rush stops.
Then it starts again, except this time in more detail and agonizingly slower.
There’s a knock at the door, as I open it, I see his vile grinning face.
I feel rage and powerlessness for a second before the shot is fired.
“I was aiming for the blue, but red is even better!”
As the memories fade again, I feel sorrow and disappointment. I can hear my father’s last words before he attacks.
“You scum! I’ll kill you!”
Then suddenly blank.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
“I’m coming in.”
I wake up as the door opens, and I immediately ready myself. No, I see my opportunity and take it.
The girl with the eidetic memory, and once again it is a blur. Perhaps it is because I’m running on pure instinct, or perhaps because I have only one thing on my mind.
I can hear her shouting for reinforcements, but that won’t stop me. Nothing will stop me; I will not stop until I’ve put him down once and for all.
I can’t tell if I’ve delayed their pursuit or if they’ve stopped pursuing, again, I don’t care.
As I bust through any obstacle, nothing can stop me except nature herself. I’m suddenly looking thousands of feet down at the edge of a cliff.
“It would be in your best interest to control your primal instincts and return to your quarters. Not even the Detective could survive a fall from such a height, unaided.”
I allow myself a few seconds for my mind to clear. I recognize the voice as soon as I do. It is a voice, while no less evil, not nearly as menacing as his.
“Ra’s Al Ghul, I can only assume this is part of some scheme to lure out Batman so you can eliminate him.”
I make my way back into his castle, cautiously. This time I take note of everything that I pass by.
“Originally, yes. However, your plans may intertwine with my own.”
I allow him to continue talking as I see the aftermath of my escape attempt.
“They will heal; our main concern is that you do not foolishly dash off to your death again. The Lazarus Pits can only reverse so much damage. It cannot create new organs.”
"I have made arrangements to return you to Gotham in order to try to begin a new life, or try to take back the one you lost. You may do as you wish; while I am not holding you captive, I also believe you can agree it is not wise to return home unprepared.”
While I hated to admit it, Ra’s Al Ghul was right, if I was to do things right, I couldn’t just rush in without research.
“Okay, Ra’s Al Ghul, but don’t consider this an alliance, once I tie up some loose ends, I’m coming for you and your League of Assassins.”
“Yes, until then, perhaps this is the closest agreement to a truce we will have. Perhaps once the dust settles, you may prove even smarter than the Detective.”
“I am smarter.”
Gotham City, 11:00 P.M., December 24
“It’s Christmas Eve and you’re going to tell me that almost half of MY money has gone to charities?!”
“Mr. Cobblepot, Penguin, sir, this is exactly what I am saying. As of 5:00 P.M. EST, approximately…”
“I DON’T NEED TO HEAR HOW MY MONEY GOT INTO THE GRUBBY HANDS OF BEGGARS! I WANT MY MONEY BACK LIKE A CHRISTMAS PRESENT OR I’LL HAVE YOUR HEAD? ARE WE CLEAR?!”
“Yes, Penguin, sir, I’ll see to it that we get your money back immediately, by any means.”
Christmas Eve and a one, Oswald Cobblepot has made hefty donations to Gotham’s Orphanage for “Displaced Children of Inmates”, “The Society for Better Futures”, and “A Second Chance for the Second Class”. This was all in the spirit of Christmas, of course.
I watch as the short and scrawny thief fester in anger as he tries to find out where his stolen money went.
“I want you to make sure that you talk to the police on our payroll, figure out who is still in Arkham so we can narrow it down from there. Assuming this isn’t an inside job, I want to you to question the culprit so we can find out what they’re really after.”
I continue to watch as he feebly attempts to piece together a puzzle that isn’t there.
“Was there any trace that could have been left behind?”
“No, Penguin, sir. The transactions do not show signs of being performed by an outside source. All it says is that it was in your name and that it was as a gesture of kindness in the spirit of Christmas.”
“Whoever did this is not only going to pay, but they will regret the day that they had meddled with the Penguin.”
Seizing the moment, I make my presence known as I speak to him from the shadows.
“Well it seems that the Penguin has lost some of his fish. Would he like to know where he can catch them?”
The frustration washed over him as he looked aimlessly above him in hopes to find where my voice was coming from. Pointless, seeing as not only was I using a voice modulator, but how the Iceberg Lounge was designed, it would bounce of the rafters and give the illusion that I’m everywhere; it was an acoustic design done so that the entertainment filled the room. Right now it was providing what I needed to conceal my location.
“Returning to the scene of the crime, I see. I hope you don’t think that I’m going to go easy on you because it’s Christmas Eve. You took something that was rightfully not yours and put it in the hands of the undeserving.”
“Funny, I was about to say the same about you, Cobblepot.”
If the boredom wasn’t setting in, I would almost be amused watching Penguin waddle around and having his men “get in position”. I already had planted explosives in strategic locations of Iceberg Lounge. I was just waiting until everything was in place.
“It seems that we’ve come to an impasse, Penguin. I need information, and you want to take candy from babies.”
“Candy from babies? I believe you mean wanting my liquid assets back into their rightful place. As far as your information, that is a precious commodity that requires a hefty fee.”
I monitor the funds on my computer as his men feebly get ready to just fire aimlessly into the rafters.
“Hefty fee, well it is quite convenient that you’re in such a generous mood, Penguin. How much is all the info you have on the underworld? 1 million, 2 million, or maybe it needs another zero.”
His lackey tries to show the frustrated scumbag the results of my actions.
“Mr. Cobblepot, sir, you might want to…”
“Quiet, James, can you not see that I am busy?”
“But, Penguin, sir…”
“FIRE, MEN! THEY ARE NOT THE BATMAN; DON’T BE AFRAID TO UNLOAD THE WHOLE CLIP!”
I couldn’t hold back my laughter as they empty entire magazines from their semi automatic weapons at a drone with a puppet to cast a shadow that looks like a certain urban legend.
“Sorry, boys, but you chose your end when you surrendered to the Penguin.”
I watch as the small packet explosives fragment their skulls. Consequently, Penguin had the look of fear painted on his face.
“Now, that wasn’t very nice, Penguin. I thought we were doing business.”
“What is it that you want? Why go after me?”
“Don’t flatter yourself; you are just a means to an end. So, I believe we were negotiating that ‘hefty price’, how much?”
“For everything, $10 million dollars wired into a Swiss bank account.”
I press a button and the transfer is complete. It’s ironic that I bought the information with money stolen from his accounts. I decide to leave him with parting words.
“And Penguin, you’re right, I’m not the Batman. I’m much, much worse.”
Those who hold the knowledge of the world, holds the most power.
Never has there been a truer statement.
I glean over Penguin’s data, which would be a herculean task for anyone else. Good thing I’m not anyone else.
“Seems like Joker has had a number of breakouts, but recently has stayed quiet, wonder what got him to bow out of the crime game.”
I linger on his rap sheet, but quickly move on. He’ll have his day, but it had to be done right. Today wasn’t that day.
The Clock Tower, one of Batman’s vacant emergency hideouts, is eerily quiet as I’ve taken my temporary residence within its cold walls. Despite all his crime-fighting “trophies” he actually never used it, but he still monitors it with a highly advanced security system on the off chance that a stray stumbles upon it.
It’s a good thing I was able to decrypt it, since I knew the system better than he did, I was the IT girl after all. However, I have limited time to use its full capabilities; the system has a failsafe that if it doesn’t ping back to the Bat cave in a week, it will automatically send a silent alarm to alert Batman of a breach. He never trusted anyone, even his allies, always thinking if he had every failsafe he would be untouchable.
“You were wrong, Bruce. And just like the first time, I’m going to show you how it can be done right.”
Professor Victor Fries, several PhD’s in science, primarily focusing on biochemical studies. This is what I was looking for, someone who can help me figure out how chemical accidents can affect the brain and how cryogenics can provide a temporary solution to the problem until a more permanent one could be found.
Having a grudge against Bruce Wayne and an undying devotion to finding a cure for his terminally ill fiancée, Nora, it wouldn’t be hard to convince him to assist me in my crusade. The part that wasn’t easy is to make it so he could help me.
After working under intense research for Wayne Enterprises, Mr. Wayne found out that while Victor was the perfect research scientist and was always thinking of the interests of the company, it was a ruse so that they wouldn’t discover or investigate his ongoing “pet” project, Project Great Thaw.
You see, Bruce Wayne, unlike so many other CEOs, like Lex Luthor, wasn’t keen on human experimentation in any capacity, even if it meant getting results quicker, mainly because human testing of any kind had too many variables that couldn’t be monitored in, say, a house plant. So of course, poor old Victor couldn’t just go up to Wayne and ask if he could cryogenically freeze a willing subject in hopes that he could learn to wake them up, or “thaw” them out, unharmed. So, knowing that despite this setback, if he were to ever realize his dream he would need the facilities and technologies of Wayne Enterprises, the leading research facility for studying cryoscience, he devised a scheme.
Now I for one wouldn’t have called it Project Great Thaw, but he didn’t have many naming options. So once he decided his course of action, he followed through, and of course, because when there is any “foul play” at Wayne Enterprises the Batman is on the case, his grand scheme of bringing back his Nora, was discovered and, well, Batman speaks more with his fists than he does his mouth.
After being released from the hospital from his injuries, since Batman couldn’t necessarily press charges (and neither could Victor), he returned to his job back at good old Wayne Enterprises, where Bruce Wayne somehow found the evidence that Batman gathered, and fired him for embezzlement of company assets. Then he hung his head in shame and was never seen again, right?
No, that’s never how Bruce Wayne/Batman grudges ends. Almost immediately, as he was being handled by security guards to get his belongings, he tried to steal WayneTech, until one of the overdeveloped gorillas threw him straight into one of his own experimental cryo-tubes chemical delivery systems, instantly freezing him, or so they expected.
Just like every chemical accident in Gotham, he didn’t freeze, and instead had a touch so cold that the moment he touched the guards as they attempted to restrain him, they were frozen solid instantaneously. One thing leads to another, and he engineered himself a containment suit, because he was a thermodynamics disaster walking, and of course a cryo-gun because, well, we know where this is going.
Dr. Freeze, as he was now calling himself, began his rampage of Forever Winter starting with the Wayne CryoLabs. One thing lead to another and half of Gotham was below zero within hours. Ultimately Batman showed up and rather than resolve the problem, just beat Freeze senseless and then threw him in Arkham.
I begin by erasing all his criminal records to give him a clean slate. Can’t risk a breakout, I need him working as a free man, not a wanted criminal.
“And done, now to ‘pay his bail’ and arrange his release.”
ARKHAM, 8:00 P.M., December 25
A guard walks down one of the main corridors of Arkham Asylum. He taps on the cell labeled “Victor Fries”.
“Yo, Freeze, looks like you’re getting quite the Christmas present, my friend.”
Dr. Freeze doesn’t even look at the guard.
“If that was your attempt at a joke, it was poorly executed. If you’d so kindly take your banter and bother one of the other inmates. I’d rather be left alone.”
“Well too bad, Freeze, you’re being released whether you like it or not.”
“Yea, something weird happened and you’ve been acquitted of all crimes. And you’re bail was paid by a ‘Red Hood’.”
As Dr. Freeze is given back his confiscated items, he resists the urge to freeze the police where they stand. Instead, confused, he makes his way to the gates out of Arkham.
A car is waiting for him with a man in front of it with a sign that has his name on it.
The car takes him to an abandoned lab, which he is then escorted inside by the driver, who then gives him a letter before leaving.
“To Mr. Victor Fries, aka Dr. Freeze. From Red Hood
Merry Christmas, you work for me now, if you turn on the light, you’ll see the present I’ve left for you.”
Dr. Freeze has a look of bewilderment as he reaches for the light switch with the letter in hand. As the lights turn on, he realizes it’s not an abandoned lab. More still, there is a cryogenic chamber in the center of the room.
A speaker turns on.
“Yes, Dr. Freeze, your precious Nora. Now that I have your attention, allow me to get better acquainted. I am Red Hood; I wiped out your entire criminal record and arranged for you to not only continue your research on cryogenics, but the effects of chemical baths on the brain. Now you have a choice, you can agree to these terms, or you can go back to Arkham and never see Nora again.”
Dr. Freeze puts his hand on the Nora’s chamber.
“I’d freeze Gotham over a hundred times to be with my Nora again.”
“Don’t worry, Dr. Freeze, you won’t have to do anything like that. Thank you for accepting my request.”
“One down, one more to go; and bonus is that Dr. Freeze will be given the second chance that he deserves.”
Red Hood pulls out her laptop and begins her search again, once more stopping on the Joker’s file.
“No, not yet, Barbara, not yet, he’ll get his soon enough.”
Red Hood pulls out a grappling gun and swings from the rooftop.
As Red Hood lands on another rooftop, she pulls out her laptop.
She can hear police radio chatter as she looks at her laptop.
“All units, we have an APB on Jonathan Crane, aka Scarecrow, he’s taken the Gotham Opera House hostage.”
“Bingo. And now we move to the next act.”
Red Hood descends into the opera house.
At the center of the stage, a thin man in tattered clothes is waving around a gun. The opera house seems to have a dark yellow fog rolling in through the floor.
“Ah, the aristocrats come for a show as if there is nothing they need to fear. Why should they, with enough money you can make anyone fear you instead, except that isn’t how fear works my naïve little sheep.”
Red Hood sneaks around the balconies as she sets up her trap.
“No, let me tell you how fear works. First you must induce trauma, perhaps a madman with a gun, oh and look at that, how convenient that I’m here.”
Red Hood listens to his diatribe as she continues to move about the opera house.
“Second, you create a state of dread in your audience. You do that by bringing to light their vulnerabilities and how they are crippled by them.”
Scarecrow fires at a man in the center row straight in the chest.
“Third, create an inescapable situation, and then the fear will manifest and permeate in the audience.”
Surrounding the audience is several scarecrows with blinking lights.
“And that would be provided by my lovely additions to the interior décor. Attached are proximity chemical bombs; if set off, they will flood the room with a dangerous combination of gases that can kill in seconds.”
Red Hood shoots Scarecrow’s hand as he raises his arms to make a grand gesture causing him to drop his gun.
“Disappointing, Scarecrow, haven’t you learned that bullying only begets bullying? Now, we have two choices…”
Scarecrow pulls out another gun and begins opening fire at Red Hood. Red Hood takes cover nonchalantly.
“For as smart as you are, Scarecrow, you really don’t have brains. Ha, just like the Wizard of Oz character.”
Red Hood begins to laugh as Scarecrow continues to fire at the balcony. In her hand is a button.
“I did like your lesson so far, though; I hadn’t realized fear was so simple.”
Scarecrow is looking around him with an expression of paranoia.
“Hmm, let me see if I can remember it. First, induce trauma.”
As the button is pressed, hundreds of bats fill the opera house from the balconies. There are so many it darkens the entire ceiling.
“Second, create a state of dread.”
The bats begin to swarm and dive bomb near Scarecrow, who has a genuine look of terror in his face.
“Third, create an inescapable situation.”
Red Hood is looming over a cowering Scarecrow as she quickly puts him in a headlock.
“Now, about my proposal…”
Scarecrow is shaking in fear.
“Yes, just get the bats away from me!”
“Good, you work for me now, I say jump you say how high. Or the bats will eat your face.”
Scarecrow is wide eyed with fear and the horrifying visage of bats can be seen in his eyes.
A few months after…
The Batmobile is patrolling the streets of Gotham.
“Alfred, check the police radio channels, there seems to be white noise.”
“Yes, sir that is because that is all there is.”
Robin interjects on the communication link.
“Yea, ever since that new vigilante showed up, crime really has gone done a whole lot.”
“The Red Hood, that’s the word on the street anyway. Apparently they scare a criminal into never wanting to commit a crime again, that’s the rumor anyway.”
“It sounds like this Red Hood is working with Scarecrow, or using his fear toxins, to clear the streets.”
“Isn’t that a good thing? I mean I wanna slug a criminal in the face with a right hook, but if the reason I can’t is because there aren’t any, it’s all good in my book.”
Batman doesn’t even respond as he continues driving. Banter between Robin and Alfred can be overheard the radio.
“Master Todd, must you make a mess every night sparring?”
“How else am I going to let out my frustrations, Alfred? The Red Hood beat us to the punch on cleaning up the city of crime.”
Suddenly there are police reports being heard over the radio.
“All units needed at Arkham! I repeat, all units report immediately to Arkham, a breakout is in process, fear gas has flooded the facility and inmates are rioting!”
“Is it still good in your book, Robin? Alert Nightwing and meet me at Arkham.”
And now the final act of my ballet is being played. I cause mass hysteria with the guards and most of the inmates as the fear gas permeates the air. It is facilitated by spores developed and created with the help of a Dr. Pamela Isley, a botanist who briefly was an eco-terrorist by the name Poison Ivy.
“Explain to me again why we put so much effort in research just to break into Arkham.”
“I’m going to choose to humor you, Ivy, because I know how you can get.”
“Let me guess, it is part of your plan, right?”
I decide to not even give into her whims with a response. I know what I’m doing; this is exactly what I’ve been building up to.
I walk calmly with Ivy by my side and we go deeper into the asylum as chaos ensues all around us. I can hear the sirens and the screams for a moment, but they are ignored when a one, Selina Kyle, otherwise known as Catwoman, arrives on the scene.
Greatest cat burglar, perhaps greatest thief, which Gotham has ever seen, I required her aide in stealing a key from Commissioner Gordon’s office, the final piece I needed.
“It didn’t seem too hard to get that key; I don’t know why you need such a high caliber of skill to get it.”
As I grab the key I can’t help but smile.
“No, I need your expertise because I need someone who could follow my instructions with little explanation because I couldn’t do it myself. Thank you, ladies, I suggest you leave and go to one of the safe houses, if my calculations are correct, which they almost always are, the caped crusaders should be here any minute.”
“Well you don’t need to tell me twice.”
“I’ll leave one of my babies behind, just in case. Don’t do anything stupid, darling.”
I barely gestured to them as they make their escape.
I finally reach the end of the hall for maximum security. I stop as I can already hear his laughing, and it triggers my rage.
“Grant Access, Commissioner Gordon.”
“Voice Recognition Confirmed. Please insert key, Commissioner.”
As I open the door, I take aim when entering the cell. What I’m greeted with is not what I’m expecting. My revenge has been damaged.
“Ha, what’s with the long face? Black and blue not your color? No, I guess not, that’s more the boy blunder, probably why he likes playing piñata so much.”
I’m aggravated, not only at the fact that this has become slightly anticlimactic, but even in his current situation, he still acts like he has the upper hand. I take aim at his head as he just looks at the gun with a disgusting grin on his face.
“Funny, they always say the past will come to haunt you. I guess I’m lucky because mine has come back to finish the job, ha!”
“You don’t know the half of it.”
As I put my finger on the trigger, I can feel my hand shake for the first time in months since my rebirth. Lucky for the bastard, it was just enough for me to be distracted by the screams of a nurse or shrink.
“NO! YOU CAN’T KILL HIM! SOMEBODY STOP HIM!”
I’m annoyed by her distracting cries begging I give this scum mercy. Before I can turn my attention to the beaten and bruised Joker, though, I see him, Nightwing. I freeze for a minute, enough for the Joker to exploit this.
“Oh, so you have a thing for the birdie, huh? Well he is quite the looker, when he isn’t angry and beating me senseless anyway. Really it’s like any relationship, I try to give him what he wants, and what he really wants is to just beat me senseless. Ha, we’re practically married.”
I immediately turn to the Joker and aim my gun at his kneecaps.
“You think you’re so funny.”
He still makes a snarky remark as the blood flows down his calves from his knees.
“Funny, oh no, I believe I’m hilarious, HAHAHA!”
“Why don’t you come to ACE Chemicals, and we’ll see who gets the last laugh.”
I immediately leave the scene as Nightwing is still trying to plow through to get to me.
“STOP, I WON’T LET YOU GET AWAY!”
I stop for a second, I actually contemplate for a moment allowing myself to be caught as part of my plan, but instead I leap towards him and behind him.
“Sorry, bird boy, I got other plans.”
I fire a few rounds that he easily deflects, but distracts him enough for me to vanish.
ACE CHEMICALS, 1:00 A.M. APRIL 1st
A wheel chair is pushed along the cat walk by a woman. Inside the wheel chair is the Joker.
“Why, thank you for your help, Dr. Quinzel, can I call you Harleen? You truly understand that I must bury my past.”
“All part of your therapy, Joker, it’s a bit unorthodox, but I think it will truly help you get to the next step to recovery.”
“Please, Harleen, call me Mr. J, Joker is my cruel label.”
Soon other footsteps can be heard.
“So you actually showed up, I’d say I’m surprised you didn’t show up alone, but we all know that wasn’t possible.”
“Well, at least I’m not the one stealing old two cent bits, so I figure I’m coming out being the better smelling rose.”
“Funny, how you talk about old material in this place, the place of your origin. This is where it all changed, isn’t it?”
“Ha, yes, the big bad Batman threw me into that vat, or maybe it was that one, and I came out feeling like a new man, HA!”
She stops his banter by shooting a couple rounds at the wheelchair.
“Perhaps the helmet’s on too tight, aim a little more to the left.”
“Thanks for the tip, I’ll take it into consideration.”
Red Hood takes aim, unfortunately, Harleen steps in between the two.
“As per the Hippocratic Oath, I cannot allow you to inflict further harm on my patient.”
“That’s for medical doctors, you’re nothing but a young shrink trying to make a name for herself. You don’t actually care about this criminal.”
As if given permission, Joker laughs as he throws Harleen over the railing and into the vat.
“Sorry, sweetheart, but I can’t get a clear shot if you’re in the way. Enjoy the lovely bath, ha!”
Joker then pulls out a pistol from his coat pocket, but his hand is hit with a batarang before he can even put his finger on the trigger.
“Oh, well this is a treat; I haven’t got to play with old Bats since old bird brain decided I made a better punching bag than an inmate. I wonder what he does with you after he’s sent me off to jail. Maybe you’ll go out for coffee?”
Red Hood immediately aims her pistol at his eye as she looks at Batman.
“Well, Batman, you’ve come just in time, I’m going to show you how this problem should have been taken care of a long time ago. I’ve shown how your methods fail time and again, but this, this is my magnum opus.”
Batman, giving himself a second to assess the situation, attempts to reason with Red Hood.
“You don’t have to do this.”
“Actually, Bruce, yes I do. I have to prove once again that you’re way of crime fighting is nothing more than wish fulfillment and only truly benefits you.”
As Red Hood is about to pull the trigger, Batman is quick enough to throw a few batarangs at her. As a result, she drops her gun, that accidentally fires a round that goes into Joker’s chest, and her helmet is damaged by one that was going towards her head.
Batman is genuinely shocked when Red Hood’s identity is revealed. Red Hood looks at the bleeding Joker as he still laughs, despite facing certain death.
“Barbara, but how…”
“You shouldn’t be asking, because this joke; this scumbag shouldn’t have been allowed to kill me, to take me away from the ones I loved. There shouldn’t have been a chance in hell he could have taken me away from them, away from you. And I’m going to make sure that it is done right this time.”
“Killing him is not the right way to do this.”
“It isn’t? Is it because he fell in a vat of chemicals and destroyed his brain chemistry so he needs help? Funny thing about that, I’ve had some colleagues study the so called effects for the last few months now. You know what I found out? It doesn’t do anything different other than an increased drive to want to do things. There was no way of helping him, and whatever makes him the way he is has always been there, the chemicals just brought it to the forefront.”
The Joker sits in the wheel chair, almost falling out of it due to the wound in the chest.
“Ha, what a sweet little family reunion, I had no idea that you would come back home so soon! They really do grow up so quickly these days. One moment they are lying on the floor in a pool of their own blood, the next they are putting bullets into your chest, I’m so proud.”
“You can stop with the act, you’re going to die and no one will remember you. I’ve erased every bit of information about you from any database I could hack into. You’ll die as quietly as your career was.”
“Way to be a downer, Batgirl. I see you’re having daddy issues.”
Red Hood immediately lunges toward Joker and sticks her gloved hand into the entry wound as she applies pressure to the bullet in his chest. He screams in agony as she does this and laughs.
“Who’s having the last laugh now? I’m not Batgirl; she died the moment you shot Barbara Gordon without a second thought. And I had a father, it wasn’t Batman.”
Red Hood just looks at Batman as she continues to agitate the bullet in Joker’s wound.
“The choice is yours, Bruce. You can either do the right thing, end his suffering now along with preventing the loss of hundreds of lives from his inevitable crimes, or you can stop me from doing it, if you are so hell bent on living your caped fantasy.”
Batman instinctively throws a batarang in Red Hood’s direction, but she is quick enough to turn the Joker’s wheelchair so the batarang ends up hit Joker in the chest, further lodging the bullet into his chest, killing him.
Barbara suddenly is in shock that Joker slumps lifeless in the wheelchair. While she knew that she had planned for it this way, she had never imagined that it would be played out until the very end.
“He’s dead, he’s actually dead.”
Barbara looks at Batman, still in disbelief. Batman tries not to take his eyes off of her as he reaches for his grappling hook.
“Alfred, I need you to send the Batwing for immediate extraction.”
“Of course, Master Bruce, are you taking the Red Hood into custody.”
“No I’m bringing in Barbara Gordon to be cared for.”
“I’m sorry, sir, I don’t think the radio picked that up properly, did you say Miss Gordon needed care?”
“I did Alfred.”
“Oh my, should I alert the Commissioner?”
As Batman looks away for a moment, possibly trying to absorb all the emotions, Red Hood is gone.
“No, Alfred, I don’t think the Commissioner is ready.”