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World's Finest Writer's Corner Batman Beyond: Legacys

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by witness, May 5, 2001.

  1. witness

    witness I am always watching.....

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    Eve, since you asked so nicely, I'll repost the whole story so far just for you. Also, after seeing silentbob173 repost his latest story, I figured, why not? So, here it is.......


    NOTE: This story was inspired by a question posted at the old boards. The question was what if they made a second BB movie? Or so i think.......anyways this is what came out of it. This story is best understood if you've already seen the Mask of the Phantasm and all of Batman Beyond. Without these, you probably won't get it. Also, I've modified the story a little......cleaned it up a bit. I've also added on a line in the last chapter.


    Batman Beyond: Legacys


    Part 1: In The Beginning......


    There was an unusual calmness in the air that night as she walked home from a hard day's work. In Gotham City, things hardly are ever quiet. Especially lately.....she had plenty of things on her mind. Her work, taking care of her grandmother, being engaged. She had a lot to worry about. She didn't even notice the laughter starting to build from the dark alleys behind her and up ahead. She stepped on a large crack in the sidewalk when suddenly a wire had tightened within the crack and caused her to fall.

    Then the laughter exploded.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    "Step on a crack and break your own back!" J-man said.
    His gang chuckled, partially at the joke and also at the woman.

    "Oh great. A horrible end to an almost perfect day." she moaned.

    "You said it, lady, not us." J-man replied.

    Then he grinned and tilted his head to the side, motioning for the others to rob her. One of them managed to grab a hold of her purse. The others started to taunt her, pulling her hair, pushing her around....little things to keep her occupied while a Jokerz rummaged through her purse.

    "J-man, there's only 50 creds in here."

    "What? Are you joking??? Man, robbery is quickly becoming a waste of time. Get rid of her."

    The gang smiled and dragged her to a nearby dumpster.

    "Time to take out the trash."

    "I couldn't agree more," said Batman.

    He leaped off the rooftop and glided towards them. They took out some guns and started shooting at Batman. A batarang here, a punch there, and soon all but two of the gang were down. The Jokerz holding the purse and J-man.

    "Well, a horrible ending to an almost perfect day!" J-man said.

    Then suddenly someone came up from behind them and bashed their heads together and they slumped to the ground.

    "You said it J-man, not me." the lady replied as she brushed herself off.

    "Nice move. Next time try not to be the hero though. You could really get hurt," said Batman.

    "I'm sorry, but I didn't want you to have all of the fun," she replied.

    "I believe this is yours."

    "Thanks."

    "You're welcome. By the way, where did you learn to do that?"

    "My grandmother. Oh no! I'm late for an appointment! Thanks again......Batman?" she said turning around, but he was gone.



    Part 2: Enter The Phantasm!


    She realized that Batman had left her alone. Only one
    thing to do......go visit her grandmother. She arrived at
    the nursing home later then she had expected. She just
    hoped her grandmother hadn't gone to bed yet. When she
    came to the room, she knocked gently on the open door
    before letting herself in.

    "Grandma? Are you still awake?"

    "Yes."

    "How are you feeling today?"

    "Better."

    "That's good. You'll never guess what happened to me today! I
    saw him grandma! There was a gang of Jokerz trying
    to rob me, and he came to my rescue!"

    The elderly woman's eyes grew wide, but she said nothing.

    "Grandma? What's wrong now?"

    "You remember what I told you a long time ago?"

    "Yeah..."

    "Well, I think that now is the time. I've already
    planned to do this myself, but when I had that stroke I
    couldn't do anything about it."

    The old woman slowly got up out of her chair and
    walked towards a table where a purse was sitting. She
    started to rummage through it and after a few minutes, pulled out what she wanted.

    "Here, I want you to have this. Take this to Gotham
    National Bank. They'll lead you to the right spot."

    The young lady took the key from her grandmother and
    walked towards the door.

    "Oh, and Katherine...." the young lady turned. "Don't
    tell anyone about this, understand? No one, not even
    your fiancee."

    The lady managed to nod her head yes and left.

    ....Meanwhile...

    The batmoblie was heading into the batcave after a hard night's work. Ace had perked his head up from where he was laying, just for a minute and then set it back down. Bruce rose from his chair and started walking towards the batmobile.

    "How did it go?" Bruce asked.

    "Well, J-man and some other Jokerz scum should be
    behind bars again soon." Batman replied. He then
    proceeded to take off his mask. "They probably won't
    stay there for long though."

    "I did meet an interesting redhead though...She
    managed to take two of them out when they weren't
    looking. I told her not everyone could be like me."
    Terry smiled after he said that.

    "Uh-huh."

    "So, what shall we do now? Gotham's been pretty quiet
    lately."

    "Just the calm before the storm." replied Bruce. "I
    think you need to keep your eyes and ears open. It
    hardly ever gets this quiet."

    "Tomorrow though, I think we should pay a visit to an
    old friend."

    "Ok, I'll be by after school."

    ...Later at Gotham National...

    "Here we are miss, this one is yours." said the clerk.

    "Thank you." replied Katherine.

    She waited until the clerk left her alone in the room.

    "Well, let's see what you've got here, grandma."

    She took the key out of her pocket and put it into the lock. She opened the door, only to find a small box. When she opened it, she found a videotape and a large plastic bag. Seeing that nothing else was in the box, she took out the tape and bag and left.

    She arrived at her house at almost midnight. She put in the videotape and started to watch. The picture she saw was of her grandmother.

    "I knew all along that you were special, Katherine.
    After the stroke you took care of me and have never
    left my side when I needed you. Now I need you again.
    You are the only chance for peace that I have left.
    What I need for you to do is to carry out what I was
    going to do 20 years ago. Inside the plastic bag,
    there is a folder. It has all the information that you
    need. I know that you are willing to do this. I just
    hope that you'll understand one day why it must be
    done. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask
    me. I'm counting on you Katherine. Please don't fail me
    now."

    Then the tape stopped. She started to read the files
    within the folder. Somehow, she understood what her grandmother was talking about. She knew what she had to do. She started getting ready for the task at hand.

    ....later that night....

    Tim drake had finally finished working on his latest project. He was heading out of the building and towards his car in the parking lot when he heard something. It was a faint noise. Then he saw a cat race past the far side of the lot. He sighed and thought to himself that he was getting too paranoid lately.

    He noticed something else when he got closer to his car. Smoke had started to fill the air....Then the smoke started to gather up in between him and the car.

    "......TIM......"

    He heard his name coming from out of the smoke.

    "......TIMOTHY DRAKE......"

    Finally a figure appeared in the midst of the smoke.

    "......ROBIN......"

    By this time Tim was horrified when he saw the dark figure come through the smoke brandishing what looked like a sickle on his hand. The figure pointed his sickled hand at Tim and said....

    "ROBIN....YOUR ANGEL OF DEATH AWAITS!"



    Part 3: The Chase Is On



    Tim was totally frozen in front of this dark, morbid figure. His fear became mixed with anger as he realized that hardly anyone knew he was Robin. He shouted angrily at the figure.

    "Who ARE you? What do you want from me?"

    "I AM PHANTASM.....AND I WANT YOU TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS!"

    "Me? Pay? Ha! I've been paying my whole life! You have no IDEA how much I've paid!"

    "NOW YOU WILL PAY WITH YOUR DEATH!"

    "Fat chance, freak. If you really think I'm Robin, then you should know better than to mess with me."

    "I HAVE DEALT WITH BATMAN BEFORE....THIS IS NO DIFFERENT."

    "You have? When?"

    "DOES IT REALLY MATTER?"

    Phantasm begins to glide towards Tim. Tim turns and starts running. Got to think of some way to contact Batman, Tim thought to himself. Just then it hits him. The intense excruciating pain in his head. He stops and starts to moan. Phantasm stops too, wondering whats going on. Tim's skin turns deathly pale. AAAAAAAUUUUUGH!!!!!!! Finally the pain stops and his skin returns to its original color. He turns to see that Phantasm is still behind him, so he proceeds to run into the building. He'll be safer inside with all of that technology at his fingertips. Phantasm chases after him, not wanting the first of the victims to get away.

    Phantasm begins to search the rooms, one by one until he finally sees the target. A little odd that Tim would just be standing there working on the console, but an opportunity like this doesn't come often. Phantasm glides over to Tim and swings his deadly sickle right through......





    a hologram.


    He couldn't believe it. He had been duped so easily. Now he was angry. "YOU CAN'T HIDE FOREVER TIM!"

    "I don't intend to." A monitor flashed to life revealing Tim's weary face. "This should keep you busy until the police arrive."

    As soon as Tim finished, the doorways began to be blocked by lasers. Phantasm had become trapped, or at least that's what Tim Drake thought.

    "DO YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT THIS CAN STOP ME?"

    Phantasm began to build a smoke cloud around himself. Tim watched in awe as the cloud seemed to engulf the dark figure, making him literally disappear. The smoke then proceeded to pass right through the lasers and dissapated on the other side. Phantasm emerged once again, this time outside the enclosed room. He glanced at the monitor before resuming his search for Drake.

    Tim was furious. This room couldn't hold Batman, but surely he thought it could hold its new prisoner. He shut down the lasers for that room.

    "I've got one thing else that I can do." He turned towards the monitor and contacted an old friend. "Bruce, are you there?"

    ***silence***

    "Bruce? Come in, Bruce, please!"

    "Yes?"

    "Oh thank god! Bruce, you have to get over here quick! Someone is trying to kill me!"

    "We'll be there soon. Wayne out."

    Bruce had just turned off the monitor when Terry was walking down the stairs.

    "What was that about?"

    "Suit up. We have to get to Tim fast."

    "We?"

    "I'd go by myself, but I figured you might want to tag along."

    "Funny. What's the rush?"

    "Someone's trying to kill Tim."

    Indeed, that someone was trying, but was quickly becoming more unsucessful as time went by. Phantasm had to find Drake, and fast. He probably called the cops by now.
    He needed a break. Just then, the elevator started to move. Phantasm looked at the numbers to see where it was going. The roof. Without any hesitation, Phantasm headed for the stairs.

    Tim didn't think that he could get away, so he went to where he thought he could best defeat this Phantasm. The elevator was slowly climbing up towards the roof when it suddenly stopped.

    "Oh no, not now!"

    The top hatch was lifted to reveal that Phantasm was standing on top of the elevator.

    "ANY LAST WORDS?"

    Tim could only cower in fear next to the elevator doors.

    "I DIDN'T THINK SO. FAREWELL TIMOTHY DRAKE."

    Phantasm closed the hatch and started to cut the cables with his sickle. Tim quickly took out a remote and pressed a button. The doors opened, revealing to him that he was between the executive level and the one below.

    It took all of his strength to climb up into the executive level. He heard the cables snapping apart. He pressed the button again and the doors started to close.
    Just then, the cables snapped apart and the elevator plummeted thirty stories. Phantasm was hanging on a wire and saw the doors closing, with Tim being on the other side.
    Phantasm built another smoke cloud aimed at the doors.
    The cloud seemed to hold the doors in place, just long enough for him to jump through.

    "YOU CAN'T GET RID OF ME SO EASILY, DRAKE."

    "Apparently, neither can you."

    Tim turned and headed for the other end of the hallway where a private set of stairs was located leading to the rooftop. He raced up the stairs with Phantasm close behind him. Tim pressed the remote once more, opening the door to the roof. After walking through it, he imediately pressed the button again and turned. The door closed behind him. Tim found himself alone on the roof.

    "Yes! Now he'll never get me."

    He turned again and started walking towards the middle of the roof. CLICK. Tim stared at amazement. Phantasm had easily entered through the other stairway.

    "No!" Tim cried. "Why? Why do you want to kill me?"

    "ISN'T IT OBVIOUS? YOU'RE PART OF HIS LEGACY."

    Phantasm began to run towards Tim. Tim pulled out a laser gun and fired. Phantasm dodged every shot, getting closer to his victim. As Phantasm reached Tim, Tim shot at him again. This time the laser connected.

    "AUGH!"

    Phantasm reeled from the pain and held himself defensively.

    "Did you think you would be able to kill me? I've been through a hell of a lot worse than this. Compared to my days as Robin, this is practically nothing. I saw more heinous acts, prevented more
    robberies, saved countless lives, and tangled with the roughest crowd of villians that anyone could face in their entire life! Now, did you honestly think it would be so easy to kill me?"

    "NO. I KNEW THE RISK I WAS TAKING WHEN I STARTED THIS. I HAVE NO REGRETS. I ONLY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE TO DIE IN ORDER TO PAY FOR ALL OF THE HADRSHIP YOU AND THE BATMAN HAVE BROUGHT ON THIS CITY." Smoke started to form around the body of Phantasm.

    "We didn't create all of these problems! We were trying to make this city a better place to live!"

    "THE ONLY WAY FOR THIS CITY TO FIND PEACE IS WHEN YOU ALL DIE." Then Phantasm disappeared under all the smoke.
    He reappeared behind Tim. "AND YOU WILL DIE!"

    He swung the sickle at Tim's head, but Tim had already ducked. Tim then swung out his foot at Phantasm's leg knocking him to the ground. Both of them quickly recovered, ready to continue. Tim aimed the laser gun at Phantasm once more. Phantasm split the gun in half with one swipe of his blade. Tim took that opportunity to punch him in the stomach. Phantasm stumbled backwards, but remained standing. Tim continued his assault on Phantasm, by kicking his head. That knocked Phantasm out. Seeing that he wasn't moving, Tim stood over the fallen foe. He took off the sickle that was attached to Phantasm's hand.

    "Looks like you've failed to give yourself AND this city its 'peace of mind'."

    Tim raised the sickle over his head. Just then Phantasm moved, holding out his hand. Smoke was released from his hand and began to choke Tim. Tim stumbled backwards, letting the sickle fall to the ground. He was coughing violently, trying to catch his breath. The smoke had done its work. Within seconds, a passed out Tim Drake lay sprawled out on th rooftop. Phantasm reached for his sickle and reattached it to his hand. He then picked up Tim Drake and dragged him to the edge of the roof.

    Phantasm held Tim out over the edge of the roof. Tim was starting to come around. The smoke was only effective for a short while.

    "......uuuuugh....."

    "POOR TIM. THE FIRST TO GO. DON'T WORRY, I'M SURE YOUR FRIENDS WILL CATCH UP WITH YOU SOON ENOUGH."

    "heh.......heh heh heh......ha ha ha ha..."

    "OH, SO NOW WE THINK ITS FUNNY?"

    Tim's skin once again turned deathly pale. He held his sides feeling the intense pain in his chest. He was barely awake, but he thought it was funny, going out this way.

    "WELL, THE ONLY THING LEFT IS TO KILL YOU. IF YOU DON'T DIE FROM THE FALL, I'M SURE YOU'LL DROWN SOON ENOUGH."

    With that, Phantasm let go of Tim Drake.

    "Hahahahahahahahahahaha!" Tim's laughter grew to a maniacal cackle that echoed until he embraced the water. Phantasm started to turn away, but another sight caught his eye. The Batmobile arrived, and stopped right in front of the major splash of water that Drake had caused. The top opened, letting Batman climb out and survey the situation. Batman looked at the water, then at the rooftop.


    He saw the one who had killed Tim. A tall figure, dark and emboding. He was wearing a mask that created the appearance of a skull. His grey cape was loosely hanging over him, the neckline attacthed by a chain that hooked around a skull on either side of the cape. The cape's edges were torn, as if shreadded by the sickle that was covering his right hand. The rest of his body was covered in black hiding his true form from the pale light of the moon. This figure stared back at Batman for a couple of minutes.

    Without thinking of helping Tim, Batman fired the jets in his boots and flew towards the rooftop. The figure kept his stare on the Batman as the smoke enveloped his body. Within seconds, Phantasm was gone.


    Part 4: Death and Resurrection


    "Oh my God!"

    That was all Bruce could say when he saw what had just happened. He got out of the Batmobile and raced towards the edge of the water. He couldn't see anything, no movement, no air bubbles, nothing. He quickly went back to the Batmobile to call the police. Batman had met him there.

    "I'm calling the police. They'll handle it from here. We
    had better get back. Did you see anything up there?"

    "Yeah, another nutcase in a costume. He got away though.
    It was like he was waiting for me or something."

    "Yes, Commisioner Gordon please. Yes, I'll hold. Go back up there and see what you can find. Anything that can get us closer to Tim's killer."

    "Yeah, sure..."

    Batman once again took flight and headed for the rooftop.
    He didn't like being told what to do, but this time was different. He certainly didn't want Bruce to be angry with him. He saved Tim's life, only to lose it now...just a year after the "accident". The psychopath's words still echo in his mind....

    "Tim Drake doesn't even realize that I'm using him as a timeshare! Soon, I'll have taken over his body permenatly!
    HA HA HA HA HA!"

    ....Batman just shook his head and started to look around.
    He saw a remote control and two pieces of a laser gun lying around. He took them and placed them in a bag. He turned around to see that the Batmobile was waiting for him at the far end of the roof.

    "I found these. It looks as though Tim tried to put up a fight."

    "Good, we can run tests on them when we get home."

    "Bruce...."

    "Save it. Tim knew what the risks were of being a part of this team. Even long after he left. Just take us home."

    The Batmobile flew away from the scene. Within a couple of minutes, the sound of sirens could be heard. The police had arrived, searching everywhere for signs of a struggle.
    They couldn't find anything. Even worse, they couldn't find the body of Tim Drake. Hours passed and nothing was found.
    They gave up their search, leaving behind a very confused commissioner. Not to mention the rest of the police.


    Meanwhile, back at the Batcave, Bruce was running tests on the remains of the gun. The remote turned up nothing except for Tim's fingerprints. The results of the test were finally ready when Terry showed up. Bruce was reading them, not paying any attention to the boy.

    "So, what have we got?"

    "There was some kind of dense long-chain polymer residue on the gun. Tell me again exactly what it was you saw on the rooftop."

    "Well, there was a person in a costume. It was black, it
    had a grey cape, and..."

    "Was there a sickle on the right hand?"

    "Uh, yeah......how did you know?"

    "I've seen this costume before."

    "Really? When?"

    "When I was Batman. It seems that my past has caught up to me again."

    "What?!?! You're kidding, right? It's bad enough that I have my own enemies to deal with, but why do yours have to come back? First Mr. Freeze, then Bane, then Talia, then..."

    "I know." Bruce said coldly.

    "Who is he?"

    "The name SHE went by was Phantasm."

    "Ok, and?"

    "And I want you to do everything in your power to stop this menace. The real Phantasm is around my age. This is obviously an imposter."

    "That's it? Is there anything else I should know about her?"

    "Yes, that's it."

    "I demand to know what's going on here!"

    Both men turned around to see Barbra walking down the steps. She was furious. She didn't like the fact that she had wasted so much manpower to find absolutely nothing.

    "Well, that makes two of us." said Terry.

    "Barbra, come in. Let me explain."

    "Please, go ahead," she sarcasticly replied.

    "Earlier tonight, I had gotten a call from Tim saying that someone was trying to kill him. We got there as soon as we could, but we were too late. Tim had hit the water when we arrived. Terry"

    "Batman," Terry stated.

    "...Batman, had gone up to the rooftop to see if he could catch the killer, but the killer just disappeared. We found this."

    Bruce pointed to the gun that was sliced in half.

    "You do realize that you could be charged here for tampering with evidence from a crime scene...if you want to call it that." said Barbra.

    "What do you mean?" said Batman.

    "Well, after Bruce called me, I went over there right away. The police were already searching the rooftop, and the inside of the building. A dive team had just started to search the waters when I arrived. We spent hours there. No evidence of a struggle was found. The only thing that we did find was one of the elevators in shambles. Apparently, the cables had been cut. There was no body in the elevator though. We searched all around, but couldn't find Tim's body anywhere. Hopefully, Tim actually survived the fall. If not, I don't know if we'll ever be able to find the body."

    "I guess we'll just have to wait and see if there are any more victims." replied Bruce.

    "You and the kid had better make sure that there AREN'T any more. I can't have this city running in fear every time night falls. I'll be taking the gun now. Call me if you find anything else."

    ......meanwhile......

    J-man and his gang had just gotten out of prison again and had found a new hideout near the bay. They were scoping the place out when one of the Jokerz started to scream. The others rushed over to the edge and saw it. A body.

    "Well, it looks like time for some fishing!" J-man said.
    "Don't just stand around, pull him up out of the water!
    Maybe he has a wallet full of creds!"

    They pulled the unfortunate person out of the water and dragged him towards the entrance of their new-found hideout.
    When they turned the body over, they realized why the girl srceamed. His hair was a dark shade of green, his body was ghastly white, and there was this hideous grin on his face.

    "This guy's one of us? Unbelieveable! Quick, Happy, try to revive this guy!" J-man ordered.

    Happy, the tall, black guy leaned over to try to revive him when......

    "BOO!"

    "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!" they all screamed.

    "HAHAHAHAHA! Oh what fun! The looks on your faces! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

    Once the man stopped cackling, he frowned.

    "Well??? Show a little respect for your elders! Help me up!"

    They did, but they were still amazed at this guy. The man turned towards J-man. He chuckled slightly.

    "You look great! I see we have the same tailor."

    "What? Wh--who are you?" asked J-man.

    "Oh how quickly they forget! What a yutz you are! I'm you...in a sense. I am THE Joker."

    "No way!"

    "Way, kiddo! Now, you're gonna tell me everything I want to know. And if I still think you look good in that suit as much as I did, I just might let you live! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"


    Part 5: An Old Friend


    It was a bright morning. Quite a contrast to last night. News reports were quickly becoming more frequent with each minute trying to figure out where Timothy Drake's body was.
    A visibly upset woman was on the vidscreen talking to reporters about her life with Tim. Katherine turned off the vidscreen so that she could get ready for another visit with her grandmother. She didn't want to be upset today.

    She arrived at the assisted living facility a little before noon. She told the front desk where she was headed and proceeded to her grandmother's room. She couldn't wait to tell her what had happened to her.

    "Hello, grandma," Katherine said cheerfully.

    "Hello. I see that you've been busy."

    "Yes, last night was very interesting."

    "Why?"

    "Do you really HAVE to ask? I'm doing what you wanted me to do."

    "No, I don't think you quite understand. I didn't want you to hurt innocent people. I just wanted you to stop him."

    "Great, now you tell me. Well, I can't turn back now. Besides, what's the point of going after him if I don't take care of the others? After all, they could just as easily raise up another to take his place."

    "Alright then. But I don't like it. We both know what you'll eventually have to do. You can't just kill the others and keep him alive."

    "I know, I know. You'll thank me after this is all over though. I'll take care of everything. Don't worry."

    "I won't. I knew that I could count on you."

    "You know, you never told me why you were going to kill him. After your stroke, I mean."

    "He got in the way."

    "Is that it?"

    "Yes."

    They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Both of them turned thier heads to see an old man standing in the doorway.

    "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't want to interrupt. I'll just wait outside." the man replied.

    "I think that we're done talking for now." said Katherine.

    Andrea motioned for him to come in. "Come here honey."

    "I'll see you guys later!" Katherine smiled and left.

    "What was that about dear?"

    "Oh nothing much. We were just reminiscing about old times. You came up in the conversation too."

    "Oh really? What did you say about me?"

    "About how I would live my life if I never had you Dick."


    ***meanwhile***


    "This isn't exactly the place I would have picked out. I
    mean, this place used to be a cop magnet. Why should we stay here?" said J-man.

    "You know, if you keep asking questions, you're soon to become a dead man," replied the Joker. "Now! This is what we're going to do. I want you to track some people down for me. We're gonna have some new members of this happy little gang. J-man, I want you to find me the Jokerz that go by the names of Chucko, Ghoul, and Woof. I will personally find the other two myself. We'll meet here tomorrow night at 1am. Got it?"

    "Yeah, sure thing boss," J-man replied.

    He hated to say those words, but if he WAS going to have a boss at least it was THE Joker.

    "Ok, Happy, you're coming with me. The rest of you stay with J-man."

    Joker tells his new found gang to lay low until nighttime.
    He thinks of the fun he'll have when he sees the look on her face after 50 years.


    Part 6: The Gang's All Here


    "DeeDee!!! Get your butts back in here!" the old woman screamed.

    Both of the girls gave each other cold glances as they turned around and headed back inside the living room of their quaint little house. They stood at full height in front of an elderly woman who was sitting on a couch at the far side of the room.

    "I thought I told you that you couldn't leave this house after dark for a year!" the old lady flatly stated.

    "Nana Harley, in case you haven't realized, it HAS been a whole year!"

    "Yeah, and now it's time to catch up on a little partying! Are you gonna let us go this time?"

    "Really? It's been a whole entire year already?"

    Both of the girls anxiously nodded thier heads and started backing out of the room.

    "Hold it right there you two!" said Nana Harley. "I've just got one thing to say. No more funny buisness ok? If you get into any more trouble, you can forget about me deciding to help you. I won't do it! Do you understand? I won't!"

    "Geez, Nana Harley, why are you getting so upset? It's not like we were going to start robbing people."

    "DeeDee, now listen to your grandma....I've done some things in the past that I wasn't too proud of. Things that I've gotten away with for decades. But something always bothered me. After I stopped doing those things, I was overcome with guilt. I wasn't happy anymore. Life wasn't worth living. Then I met your grandfather and he brought some meaning and joy back into my life. Now, I have you two to take care of. This is my last chance to make things right. So I don't want you two going around town and messing it up for me, ok? If you do, I'll personally sic the entire police force on you!"

    "Ok..." they both reluctantly said.

    Once again, they started backing away from Nana Harley when they bumped into someone.

    "My, my, my.....that was an impressive speech."

    The girls both turned to see someone they never expected to see again. They quickly went to thier grandmother and sat beside her. The man at the entrance to the living room grinned.

    "It was moving, riveting, and it just brought a tear to my eye," the Joker mockingly wiped away a fake tear. "I'm touched that those times we had together were special to you. They were ok for me too," he said nonchalantly.

    "No, it can't be," she said disbelievingly.

    "Oh but it is! And you'll never guess how! You see, I implanted my DNA into..." he paused remembering that no one else knew who Batman or his sidekicks were. "Robin when we were at Arkham! Now, some fifty years later, I'm back to make life fun again! Harley, I need to ask you a favor. Could I have DeeDee join my gang again?"

    "S..s..s-sure," was all she could manage to say.

    "Thanks a bunch Harl! We'll keep in touch! Toodles!" He turned his attention to the girls. "Come on, I've got lots of things to do and I haven't got all night!"

    The young twins quickly got up and left with the Joker. They both looked back at their grandmother and smiled. She was just staring in disbelief at the wall where Joker was standing. She snapped back to attention once she heard the unmistakable laughter exploding in the air.


    ***meanwhile***


    Barbra Gordon had finally gotten a chance to rest when she stepped into her home. She had just come back from Tim's lab still trying to search for more evidence to support Bruce's story. She got a warrant for all of that night's surveillance tapes and for the vidscreen inside the laser room that was used.

    She hoped her search would turn up something that would help her catch Tim's killer or, perish the thought, of his own suicide. She began to brew a pot of coffee and wished that she were with her husband right now.

    Sam Young finally had a chance to go on vacation. They were supposed to leave today, but with the death of one of her closest friends, she couldn't leave. They probably wouldn't get another chance to go on vacation together for a couple of years.

    She turned on the vidscreen and sat down with her fresh cup of coffee so she could watch the evening news. She had been there for about ten minutes when she heard a noise on the roof. She looked up, thought it was nothing and turned her attention to the vidscreen once more. A couple minutes later, the electricity for the entire house abruptly turned off. She carefully put down her cup of coffee, then quickly pulled her gun out of her holster.

    Outside, on the rooftop, a figure stood next to the cut wires that used to bring the house light. The sickle on the figure's right hand gleamed underneath the moonlight.


    Part 7: Another One Bites The Dust


    Her eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness that she was put in. She slowly walked out of the room, her gun pointed foward ready to blast anything that moved. After a few minutes of silence, she was beginning to wonder if there was any cause for alarm. The lights, however, never came back on. She decided that she should go outside to investigate. That was her mistake.


    **across town**


    "Well, well, the gang's all here! Heh, heh!" said the Joker.

    "Now, as first order of buisness...."

    "Um, Joker? Why are we here?" asked one of J-man's gang.

    "Rule number one...NEVER interupt me!"

    "Sorry," he mumbled.

    "As I was saying, the first order of buisness, is to round up all of the gangs. J-man, Chucko, I want you to find every Jokerz member in this city. Tell them to meet at the old Funnibone shipping company tomorrow night near the bay. It's time that the Jokerz started to be more of a real threat to this city. Ghoul, my boy, you're going to help me find somthing that I lost. I need to find some old documents hidden at Arkham. DeeDee, you'll tag along with us."

    "Are you going to tell us what this is all about?" asked J-man.

    "Yes, now go!!!!"

    "Sure, whatever....let's go gang!"

    Chucko and Woof went with J-man leaving the others with the Joker.

    "Okay, Ghoul, DeeDee, let's go."


    **back across town**


    Barbra Gordon was outside, her gun still drawn. She looked up and gasped. She thought she saw a menacing figure on the rooftop. She gasped again when she heard her name.


    "....BARBRA..."

    "Who's there?" she asked as she kept turning around trying to see who was calling her.

    "BARBRA GORDON"

    A cloud of smoke began to form in front of her. The dark figure that she saw on her roof was now stepping out of the smoke.

    "BATGIRL!"

    That word shocked her. She couldn't understand how this person knew that she was Batgirl.

    "W-ww-wwhat did you say?"

    "BATGIRL, YOUR ANGEL OF DEATH AWAITS."

    "Who are you?"

    Silence.

    Her gun was now aimed directly at her soon-to-be attacker. Her hands began to tremble. Somehow she had managed to form the question again.

    "Who are you?"

    "FUNNY, TIM REACTED THE SAME WAY."

    Then he began to walk towards her. She pulled on the trigger.

    BLAM!

    The figure kept advancing towards her.

    BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

    He wouldn't quit.

    She tried to get her thoughts back together again. Her mind was racing so fast. She couldn't think straight. She began to run. Anywhere to get away from this guy.

    The figure disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Barbra looked back once and saw that he was gone. Immediately, she remembered about Bruce. She took out her phone and called him up.

    "Hello, Bruce?"

    "Barbra, what's going on?"

    "I think I know who killed Tim."

    "Really? Who?"

    "The same guy that's after me right now! Have Batman get over here now! Oh, and Bruce?......CLICK"

    "Barbra? Barbra??? Damn!" Bruce switched on the reciever in Batman's cowl. "Terry, someone is attacking Barbra. Go to her house and make sure that she's safe."

    "Right," replied Batman.


    Part 8: Is She Dead?


    The Batmoblie raced through the night towards the commissioner's house. When Batman arrived, he could see the
    one Bruce called Phantasm standing over someone. That someone was an unconscious Barbra! Batman saw the Phantasm raising his right arm, the one with the sickle on it. As Batman jumped out of the Batmobile he screamed....

    "NOOOOOO!"

    Phantasm turned to see Batman flying towards him. Phantasm was frozen like a deer in the headlights as Batman
    tackled him to the ground.

    "NO! IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN LIKE THIS! YOU'VE RUINED EVERYTHING!" bellowed Phantasm as he kicked Batman off of him.

    "You will never hurt anyone again!" Batman growled as he stood back up.

    "ON THE CONTRARY, I INTEND TO DESTROY YOUR ENTIRE LEGACY BATMAN! YOU GOT LUCKY THIS TIME, SHOWING UP BEFORE I HAD THE CHANCE TO KILL HER. NEXT TIME, IT WILL BE DIFFERENT!"

    That said, Phantasm once again began to disappear beneath a cloud of smoke. Batman lunged into the cloud hoping to catch Phantasm, but there was no trace of him left.

    Only after the smoke cleared did Batman turn his attention to Barbra. He knelt next to her and took her hand in his. She had just returned to a conscious state when Batman spoke.

    "It's going to be ok, Barbra. He's gone now. I'll make sure that you stay safe."

    "Trying to get on my....**cough**...good side McGinness?"

    Batman smiled. "Come on, I'll take you to a hospital."

    Batman carefully picked her up and placed her in the Batmobile. He went to Gotham General Hospital and placed her in the care of the finest doctors in the city.


    ***meanwhile, at Arkham***


    "Alright, time to get to work..." said the Joker as he walked in the doors.

    The old room had been left in the same state ever since the Joker's "final" confrontation with the original Batman.
    Everything except what he was looking for.

    "It's not here...I can't believe this!"

    "What are you looking for?" said Ghoul.

    "The card! The giant Joker card! There was something very important on it!!! The only other people that have ever been here are.............oh."

    It finally dawned on the Joker where the card was.

    "Ooooo...kkkkk...this is going to be more difficult than I thought. I'm gonna have to go visit an old friend," the Joker grinned.


    ***across town***


    Thomas Harper had everything a man could want in life. A great job in a prestigious law firm, a brand new house, and his loving fiancee. He just laid in bed thinking how wonderful his life had turned out. His thoughts were interrupted when the bedroom door opened.

    "Finally decided to turn in for the night, huh?" he asked.

    "Yeah, I'm exhasuted!" replied his fiancee.

    He just stared at her and smiled.

    "What?"

    "I just can't believe how things have finally turned out right for a change! And you know what the best part is?"

    "What's that?" she said, already knowing the answer.

    "It's you! We're going to be married in a couple of months! I'm so excited!"

    "Me too! It's like a dream come true!" she smiled.

    She went to go get ready for bed as she heard Thomas recite his vows for the hundreth time.

    " I, Thomas Harper, take you Katherine Beaumont...,"


    Part 9: Enemies Meet Again


    "We have a problem," said Batman.

    "Tell me something I don't know," replied Bruce.

    "That Phantasm guy almost killed Barbra. I took her to the hospital. They're not sure if she'll make it."

    "What happened out there?"

    "Phantasm said that he was going to destroy my whole legacy."

    "She knows."

    "Knows what?"

    "She knows who we are. All of Batman's helpers years ago. She probably knows about me too. She may know about you also."

    "How could she know?"

    "The original Phantasm must have told her."

    "Ok, I got to know who this Phantasm was."

    "Just another costumed criminal."

    "But don't you know her identity? You knew everyone else's..."

    "Like I said before, just another criminal."

    "Fine, don't tell me. I'll get my answers somewhere else. You going to look after Barbra?"

    "Yes, I'll be there soon."

    A half hour later, Bruce pulls out of his driveway and heads towards the hospital. Just as his car turns the corner, the Joker and a couple of his cronies emerge from the bushes.

    "My timing couldn't be any better! Heh Heh!"

    "What do you plan to do now?" asked DeeDee.

    "Ghoul, hand me the data scanner."

    Ghoul hands him a souped up metal detector.

    "Stay out here and keep watch in case he comes back."

    The Joker heads towards the manor seeking out his prize. Surprisingly, he finds only a little resistance in the form of Ace the dog. The dog starts to bark like there's no tomorrow. He positions himself in front of the Joker's way. The Joker viciously kicks him aside.

    "Out of my way, mutt!"

    The dog yelps in pain as he collides with the wall and slumps unconcious.

    "Bruce, you really need a better security system."

    The Joker makes his way down into the Batcave and sees what he has been searching for. The giant card. He smiles knowing what secrets are stored within, with Batman again not able to comprehend his plan. He finds a ladder, places it next to the card, and begins to climb. He stops when he reaches the eyes. He lifts the scanner to the right eye first. Inside the eye, there is a disc. He moves the scanner over the left eye, finding the other disc.

    "Excellent! Still in place after all these years! Old Batsy never had a clue! HA HA HA HA HA!"

    He checks the scanner to make sure that he has all of the info from both of the discs. It shows all of the info on how the Joker created a duplicate of himself in Tim and the info on what would have been his next master plan.

    "This is gonna get interesting..." he said as he climbed down the ladder.

    "YOU'RE TELLING ME...." replied the Phantasm.

    "You! After all of these years, you've come back!" Joker said turning to Phantasm.

    "I'M TOUCHED THAT YOU REMEMBER. I KNOW I'LL NEVER FORGET WHAT YOU DID."

    "Lady, I don't know how you can still be alive, but I don't really have time for this now."

    "THEN I SUGGEST YOU MAKE TIME."

    "Sorry, but I've got better things to do. Toodles!"

    The Joker waved his hand and ran back upstairs. Phantasm followed him all the way to the gate outside of the manor, but there were other Jokerz waiting. The Joker hopped onto one of the motorcycles and sped off with his gang. Phantasm could only watch in disbelief, wondering how the Joker could have survived for so long himself.



    ::the next day::


    "Dick! What a pleasant surprise!" Andrea said as she sat up to greet her beau.

    "Hello Andrea. I've come to talk to you about something."

    "Sit down! Sit down! What's up?"

    "It's all over the news. Your mystery assassin. I thought you had finally put the past behind you!"

    "Dick, what are you talking about?"

    "Don't lie to me. I know you used to be the Phantasm. Now there's a guy running around town, killing people fitting the exact description. What's going on Andrea?"

    "I did put the past behind me! I have nothing to do with this new person. If I did, it would be me out there instead of some imposter. Dick, you have to believe me!"

    "What about your granddaughter?"

    "She has nothing to do with this. Keep her out of it!"

    "She doesn't know anything?"

    "No, the only ones that know are you, Bruce, and the Joker....and I know that the third one will never tell. I assume that neither Bruce or you will either."

    "If it's not you or your granddaughter, then who is it?"

    "I don't know! If I did, I would tell you! I have put the past behind me, and I would hate to know that someone is using my identity and killing people!"

    "This other Phantasm isn't just killing ordinary people, Andrea. First, he attacks and kills Tim Drake. Then, he tries to kill Barbra. I think he knows who we all were."

    "Impossible! How could he know? He could just be covering his tracks by trying to get rid of Barbra."

    "I hope that's what happened, because if it isn't, I could be next.....or even.......Bruce...."

    "Dick...are you alright? Dick? Dick!!!!!"

    The room started to spin. Dick fought to keep his balance, but to no avail. He dropped to the floor, his breathing becoming more shallow. He could faintly hear the sound of Andrea screaming at the top of her lungs for a doctor. As the sounds of footsteps rushed towards him, his world went black.


    Part 10: Need A Tissue?


    ::Gotham General Hospital::


    "Hello, may I help you?" asked the nurse.

    "Yes. I was wondering where I could find Commisioner Gordon's room."

    "Your name?"

    "Bruce Wayne."

    "Ok, Mr. Wayne, it's room 345. Just take that elevator over there sir."

    "Thank you."

    As Bruce was heading towards the elevator, a group of paramedics and doctors were huddled over a stretcher. They were rushing a man in his sixties to the emergency room. As the group passed by, Bruce saw the familiar face of Dick Grayson. He just stood there staring at them.

    "Excuse me sir," said one of the doctors trying to catch up with the rest of them.

    "What's wrong with him?" Bruce asked.

    "He can't breathe. We've been trying to revive him ever since we arrived on the scene."

    Bruce knew that he couldn't just follow after them. Even though he wanted to. He went to Barbra's room instead.
    When he opened the door, he saw Sam Young sitting by her side.

    "How's she doing?" Bruce asked.

    "There's been no change. I knew I shouldn't have gone on vacation! If only I was there, I could have stopped him."

    Bruce knew that wouldn't have been possible.

    "I'm sure that we'll find out who did this."


    ::across town::


    Katherine had decided to go visit her grandmother once more this month. She was very pleased with the way things were going. Tim was dead, Barbra was in the hospital barely alive, and she knew that Dick was going to die tonight. Then she thought about what had just happened the night before. She found out that the Joker was still alive. She couldn't understand it. Everyone knew that the Joker was dead. It was all over the papers forty years ago. Then, last year he comes "back from the dead" only to disappear again until now. Why did he come back this time? How could he still be alive? She had to find out what was going on. Somehow, she knew she'd have to find out on her own.

    "Hello, grandmother!" she said pleasantly as she walked into her grandmother's room. She found Andrea sobbing on her bed. "Grandmother, what's wrong?"

    "It's Dick. He had to be taken to the hospital. They couldn't revive him Katherine!" she said between sobs. "I never thought I'd lose him! At least not this way!"

    Katherine went to her grandmother and consoled her.

    "There, there. It's going to be alright. I'll check up on him for you. He'll be fine. You do realize though, that when the time comes, I'll have to kill him too. He's part of Batman's legacy. He can't survive."

    "Yes, I know. I just never thought he meant that much to me."

    "I'll take care of it. Now, I have a problem."

    "Problem? What kind of a problem?"

    "Not what, grandma, who. It's the Joker. He's still alive. Last night, he was at the Batcave looking for something. I don't know what, but I'll find out eventually."

    "NO! That LUNATIC cannot still be alive!"

    "I know, it's hard to understand, but I'll kill him too. Who knows? I might just decide to destroy his entire legacy as well. Kill every single one of those sorry Jokerz."

    "You just make sure that you kill the real Joker. He cannot be allowed to run loose in this city."

    "Don't worry, I'll take care of it. I always do."


    ::Funnibone Shipping Co.::


    "HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, if this town only knew what kind of trouble it was getting into! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

    "Hey, Joker, I rounded up every gang member that I could find. Most of them are here." said J-man.

    "Good work! Now all I have to do is put the data from this data scanner onto this here computer and.......voila! Instant and total chaos! Ok, Ghoul, fire her up!"

    Ghoul brought the computer to life. He furiously typed up all of the information that the Joker had requested. Then he connected the datd scanner up to the computer and began to download it all into the computer. A half hour later, everything was done.

    "Well, everything's in there now boss. Now are you going to tell us what your plan is?" asked Ghoul.

    "Patience Ghoul, all in good time. DEEDEE!"

    The twins strolled up to where Joker was, and stood waiting. "Yeah boss?" one of them said.

    "Deedee, I have an extra special task that I want you to do for me. This will take some time to do, but I'm sure that you can handle it."

    As the Joker told the twins what to do next, thier eyes grew wide. They weren't sure if they should go along with him this time, but they had no choice when Joker said, "If you don't like the idea, just remember what happened to Bonk."

    They quietly walked away, their hearts heavy with what they knew they had to do.

    "By the time Batman realizes what's REALLY going on, it'll be too late! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"


    Part 11: Revelations


    Katherine had opened the door to her apartment. She had found it decorated for a romantic evening. Rose petals had formed a line from the doorway to the dinner table. The table was set up for a lovely dinner. The room was lit by candles set in place all over the apartment. The faint aroma of food poured from the kitchen. She smiled to herself, thinking she had the best guy in the world as she closed the door behind her.

    "Hello, honey. Dinner's almost ready," Tom said as he peeked his head from the kitchen.

    "Sorry, but I don't think tonight's such a good night for this."

    "What? It's a perfect night! Niether of us has anything to do. We can spend the whole weekend together!"

    "I'm sorry, but there's some unfinished buisness to take care of. I have to go out of town for awhile. It's personal...family stuff."

    "Why now? Can't it wait?"

    "No, it really can't."

    "You can't do anything, remember? You have to take it easy. Absolutely no strenuous physical activity! The doctor said so. You can't just think of yourself now."

    "I know, I know....I don't want to hurt our baby, but this really needs to be taken care of."

    "Tell you what, you stay with me and we'll have this romantic dinner. Then you can tell me what needs to be done. I'll take care of it for you."

    "Hmmm.....that is a tempting offer......and I am eating for two now."

    "Then it's settled! You just let me handle it, ok?"

    ****************************************************

    Dick Grayson had just been moved out of surgery and into another room close to Barbra's. Bruce decided that he should at least check up on him. He excused himself and left Sam with Barbra. He entered the room and looked at Dick. Iv's and an EKG monitor was hooked up to him. He was breathing through an oxygen mask. Dick was barely awake, but enough to see who was in his room with him.

    "What are you doing here?" asked Dick.

    "Funny, I was just going to ask you the same thing," replied Bruce.

    "I was visiting an old friend."

    "Andrea? I'd hardly consider her a friend right now."

    "Knock it off, Bruce! She had nothing to do with it."

    "How can you be so sure?"

    "She told me herself!"

    "And you're just going to take her word for it?"

    "Yes! There's a lot about her you don't know Bruce! She's changed."

    Bruce was about to speak when Terry walked in.

    "Hey. I got here as soon as I.....am I interrupting something?"

    "No, we're finished," said Bruce.

    "One of us is anyway. Is he your new puppet?" said Dick.

    "Bruce, who's this?" said Terry.

    "My name is Dick Grayson. I'm the original Robin."

    "Really??? Cool!" Terry said through a smile.

    "Terry, I'm going to check on Barbra once more. I'll see you at home."

    As Bruce was leaving, Dick decided to try to sit up. He winced in pain, realizing that he couldn't sit up. His breathing became shallow once more.

    "So........you're the new.......bat on the block......"

    "Yeah, I am...what were you and Bruce talking about when I came in?"

    "Nothing. Ancient history."

    "Really? History is becoming my favorite subject."

    "It's about a woman."

    "Does this woman happen to have a sickle on her right hand?"

    "I see you've met her."

    "She wasn't all too friendly. How do you know her?"

    "A long time ago this woman used to live in Gotham. She had met Bruce in the cemetary, of all places. They dated and had even been engaged..."

    "Bruce? Engaged? Are you talking about the same person?"

    "Yes, he and Andrea were engaged. He was just starting to wage his eternal war on crime when they met. But since she had come into the picture, he gave it up to be with her."

    "Whoa..."

    "That's what I said when she told me. Anyway, she left Bruce. She broke off the engagement and forced Bruce to live a life as Batman."

    "Why did she leave?"

    "Her father was a banker. His clinets included gangsters. He had embezzled a fortune off of them, and when they found out, he had to leave town. Andrea's father had paid off the debt eventually, but they wanted him dead for stealing their money. They found out where Andrea and her father were living. The driver for the gang had killed her father. Andrea was brokenhearted. She vowed for revenge and got it by becoming the Phantasm. The Phantasm had killed every one of the gang except for the driver, who turned out to be the Joker."

    "No way! He did it?"

    "Yes, it seems that the Joker always manages to destroy us every chance he gets. After she killed them all, she had become a mercenary for hire. It took her many years and a stroke to finally put the past behind her. I became friends with her a couple of years ago. I hope she isn't part of this."

    "One more question. Why are you here?"

    "My lungs were partially destroyed in an ecological disaster. I believe you know of it."

    "The one in '09? You were there?"

    "Yes, I tried my best to save Ra's Al Ghul...but in the end it just wasn't good enough. His body was too far gone. After that, he was nothing more than a vegtable."

    "Well, does Andrea have any relatives or friends that she would have confided in? Maybe one of them is this new Phantasm."

    "Andrea has a granddaughter. Her name is Katherine Beaumont. She lives somewhere in the city. She visits Andrea more than I do."

    "I guess I'll have to talk to her then. Thanks."

    As Terry left the room, Dick looked out of the window. He gasped as he took a harder look. He wasn't sure, but he thought he saw a person out on the rooftop.

    ****************************************************

    Terry had just put on his helmet when Bruce's voice came over the reciever.

    "So, how was your visit?"

    "Very enlightening. He told me what happened between you and Andrea. I can't believe that you were engaged!"

    "And?"

    "And he told me Andrea had a granddaughter named Katherine Beaumont."

    "Good work. I'll run the name through the computer and see what I can find. Go home and get some rest."

    "But,"

    "No buts. That's an order. You've been working hard for the past few days. You'll need your strength for the battle ahead."

    "You're the boss."


    Terry walked into his house expecting to find his brother jumping out and trying to scare him again. It never worked.
    When he entered though, everything was quiet. He thought that they had already gone to bed since he hardly ever came home early anymore. He crashed in his bed and fell asleep.

    ****************************************************

    Dick had started to get drowsy. The sedative that the doctor gave him was working perfectly. He was about to fall asleep when he heard something. He thought it was his name. No one was in the room though. Then he saw smoke billowing up in front of the window. His eyes grew wide just for a minute when he heard his name again.

    "DICK GRAYSON....NIGHTWING....."

    Dick had begun to reach for the button to call in the nurse, but by then the sedative had kicked in. He was asleep, and knew that he would never wake up.

    "YOUR ANGEL OF DEATH AWAITS."

    Phantasm walked up to Dick and saw that he was sleeping.

    "I'M SORRY THAT I HAVE TO DO THIS. SHE REALLY DID CARE FOR YOU."

    Phantasm turned off the EKG machine and then sliced the sickle through the tube carrying oxygen to Dick. Phantasm lowered his head as if he was sorry. He then turned to the window, opened it up and left.

    ****************************************************

    The next morning Terry woke up. He had expected to see both his mom and Matt already up and getting ready for another day. When he didn't see them, he began to check all of the rooms. When he entered his mother's room, he screamed. All he found was a Joker card neatly placed on one of the pillows.



    Part 12: The Joker's Plan


    Terry stormed into the Batcave holding the card in his hand. He went right up to Bruce who was apparently busy with something of his own. It looked like he was dusting the floor, but when Terry got closer he saw what Bruce was really up to. Bruce had chipped out a piece of rock and put it into the spectral analyzer. Terry momentarily forgot why he was so angry and asked Bruce what he was doing.

    "I found Ace against a wall upstairs. He was bruised, nothing serious, but I also saw the doorway to the Batcave was open."

    "Why the rock?"

    "I had scanned this entire area under a phosphorus light to see if I could pick up any footprints."

    "Spectral analysis complete," said the computer.

    "Well?" asked Terry.

    "It seems that Phantasm was here last night. This is the same kind of polymer used in Phantasm's smoke clouds. The Phantasm wasn't alone, however. I found two sets of footprints around this area."

    "It seems that you're not the only one who's privacy was invaded."

    "What do you mean?"

    Terry, with tears welling up in his eyes said, "My mom and my bro were kidnapped by the Jokerz. All that they left behind was this card..."

    Terry handed the card to Bruce. Bruce looked at it for a moment and sadly bowed his head.

    "This isn't from the Jokerz. They usually just stick to stealing things...creds, jewelry, etc. This is more along the lines of the Joker himself."

    "You can't be serious....Tim is still alive?"

    "Not really, he didn't survive the fall after all."

    "What do you think Tim, I mean, the Joker will do?"

    "We'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, I want you to make your rounds tonight and be on the lookout for Phantasm. We cannot have both of them loose in this city."

    ****************************************************

    Meanwhile, at the Funnibone Shipping warehouse, the Jokerz were beginning to get a little restless from waiting so long. One Jokerz member in particular, Punchline, had just gotten out of prison and hadn't met the real Joker yet.

    "Hey J-man! What's going on?" Punchline asked.

    "Nothing," J-man glumly replied.

    "Well then, let's go out and slag something. It'll be great!"

    "Who's this?" Joker said as he passed by the two young men.

    "This is Punchline. He usually hangs with my crowd. He just got out of jail," said J-man.

    "What's so special about you?"

    "Funny, I was going to ask the same thing about you, old man."

    The Joker grinned.

    "Punchline, this is the Joker. The ORIGINAL Joker."

    "Really? Shway!" Punchline said as he extended his hand towards the Joker.

    "Sorry, I don't shake hands. Cooties and all."

    Punchline frowned, then grinned. He was going to have some fun after all. "Alright then...Circle circle, dot dot, now I've got my cootie shot! Circle circle, square square, now I've got them everywhere!"

    Punchline again extended his hand to the Joker. The Joker, unimpressed said, "Interesting that you still sing nursery rhymes. You do realize that there's more to the song though, don't you?"

    "There is?"

    "Sure," grinned the Joker. "It goes like this...Circle circle, knife knife, now it's time to take your life."

    Once the Joker finished, a knife shot out of his sleeve and into his hand. He thrust the blade to just inches from Punchline's stomach and stopped.

    "B-b-bb-bad j-j-joke?" Punchline stammered.

    "Yes."

    Then the Joker put away the knife.

    "No hard feelings, ok?" said Punchline.

    "Sure, accidents happen sometimes."

    Just then, the knife that the Joker had put away had reappeared. He thrust the knife again, this time not stopping.

    "Whoops....it slipped," said the Joker.

    J-man just looked at Punchline.

    "Unless there's anyone else you want me to kill, let's try to keep the interruptions to a minimum, kay?"

    J-man could barely nod his head.

    "Get him out of here."

    J-man quickly had a few Jokerz that were in the next room to help him get the body out of the warehouse.

    "J-man, what happened to him?" asked Happy.

    "He pissed off the Joker. Get him to a hospital, quick. Make sure that he's still alive when you get there."

    J-man walked back inside to a waiting Joker.

    "You know what kid? I like you. But if you ever undermine my authority like that again, I'll kill you too. Trust me, there'll be no one to take your carcass to the hospital either. Now, let's get down to buisness, shall we?"

    They walked into a small room that held Mary and Matt McGinness. They were placed at the far end of the room. A table was placed next to the door. On it were various instruments of torture. The Joker took one in his hand and walked up to Mary McGinness.

    "You know what, J-man? Even when I'm busy with trying to destroy the entire city, I always take time to enjoy the little pleasures in life. Ha Ha!"

    The Joker just slapped her with the instrument.

    "Today though, I have bigger fish to fry." Then he leaned towards Mary's ear. "Sorry to disappoint you. You can
    look foward to tomorrow though. I know I will."

    "My plan is almost complete. Which reminds me, I have to check with Ghoul."

    The two then left the room and headed to where the computers had been set up.

    "How's it coming, Ghoul?"

    "Everything's perfect Joker. I should have this ready for you in a few minutes."

    "Well then, I guess it's time to make my speech! J-man, round everyone up!"

    J-man called everyone together. They all stood in front of the Joker.

    "Boys and girls, its time you all found out why I brought you here. It's time that you all started to make yourselves feared in this city. With my help, we will make the Jokerz a force to be reckoned with. As we speak, Ghoul here is updating my patented Joker Virus. I created this virus decades ago in hopes of destroying Gotham's computer systems. I never got the chance to use it, however. It's been lying dormant all of these years. Ghoul, turn on the vidscreen."

    As the vidscreen was brought to life, a digital face of the Joker appeared. It's eyes were closed, a sign that it hadn't been used yet.

    "I realized that I could do more damage if I put this virus into the city's power supply. When the virus gets downloaded into the power company's computers, it will affect the entire city, bringing Gotham back into the dark ages! Once that happens, Gotham will be ours. We will rule the city! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"


    Part 13: The Truth Hurts


    It had been three long agonizing days since Terry's family was taken from him. He still didn't know of their whereabouts. The Joker had hidden them well. Terry was making his nightly rounds again, hoping that he would find a clue to help him find his mom and brother. Bruce was continuing his search via the Batcomputer. He too couldn't find anything.

    As Terry started to head back to the manor, Bruce began to pick up disturbances. Various gangs of Jokerz had started to cause trouble. They were at some local stores, at the city mall, some even harassing drivers in the streets.

    "Are you getting this?" asked Bruce over the reciever.

    "Yeah, looks like the Jokerz are starting to pop up everywhere," replied Terry.

    "Don't worry about any of them. Let the police handle them. They're nothing more than diversions. Obviously, the Joker doesn't want everyone's attention."

    "I'll make sure that he gets mine."

    Another break-in popped up on the screen.

    "Terry, someone broke into the Gotham Power Plant. I think the Joker has finally made his move."

    "Consider me already there."

    Sure enough, when Terry reached the power plant, some of the more familiar Jokerz were hanging around. J-man, his gang, and the Joker's gang were there. With them outside, it was pretty obvious who was inside.

    Batman leaped out of the Batmobile as it sped past the power plant. He was met with J-man's gang who was armed to the teeth with weapons. Chucko had one too. Batman took them all out one by one. Chucko and J-man had fled into the plant.

    When Batman had entered the plant, the door slammed shut. Batman looked through the window and saw J-man, his gang and Joker's gang laughing and riding away on motorcycles. He pounded the wall in anger, not realizing that there was more to be done.

    As he was searching for a way out, he walked into a large room filled with computer equipment. There was also a woman tied to a chair at the far end of the room. As Batman walked towards her, he realized who it was. His mother.

    Mary McGinness looked terrible. She was battered and bruised. She had cuts and abrasions all over her face, arms, and legs. She was also sporting a black eye. He just stared at her in disbelief. The anger inside of him began to rise like a thermometer on a hot summer's day.

    "B...Bat - man?" Mary said through a busted lip.

    "Isn't this great?" A voice from behind Batman said. "Together again for the last time. It's touching moments like these that make me wish I had a barf bag."

    The Joker appeared in the doorway that Batman entered moments ago. Batman leapt at him, hoping to knock him to the ground. The Joker just stepped aside, letting Batman fall flat on his face. As Batman got up, the Joker kicked him in his side.

    The Joker then slapped his hand on Batman. A surge of electricity raced through Batman's body. When the Joker let go, Batman again slumped to the ground.

    "Don't bother to get up."

    Batman continued to struggle but to no avail. He was at the Joker's mercy.

    "Well, Batfake, I hadn't expected you to arrive here so early. I was hoping that you'd be preoccupied. I'll just have to make sure that those Jokerz work harder at getting your attention next time."

    The Joker electrocuted him again with the joybuzzer, just to make sure that he wouldn't be getting up anytime soon.

    The Joker then activated the main computer in the room. He punched in a few keys and made sure that the computer was ready.

    "Well Batsy, I've decided to create priceless pandemonium in this city again! This disc will turn off the city's power. I intend to send Gotham back into the dark ages......literally!! HA HA HA HA HA! No more cars, T.V., radioes or lights! Nothing in this town will work! Not unless you can find a cure for this Joker Virus of mine. Since I'm going to kill you now, I don't see how you'll ever get that chance! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"

    Batman suddenly found out that he couldn't move. His entire suit was paralyzed. He tried his best, but he couldn't budge.

    "Now comes the really fun part!" exclaimed the Joker.

    The Joker bent down towards where Batman lay and began to pull off the mask.

    "Mary McGinness, allow me to introduce you to the man behind the mask," squealed the Joker with glee. He ripped off the mask. "He's none other than your own flesh and blood! Your son, Terry! AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

    Tears were streaming down Mary's eyes as she heard what the Joker had just said. Terry couldn't face his mother. He just kept his head down so that his mom couldn't see his face.

    "Oh, so now we suddenly become shy? Let's not keep your mom in suspense!"

    The Joker viciously pulled up Terry's head by the hair so that Mary could get a good enough look at him. Mary couldn't hold back any longer. She began to cry like there was no tomorrow. Terry held back his tears as the Joker let his head drop back to the ground.

    "Looks like this is finally ready to download my virus."

    The Joker then went back to the computer. He inserted the disc and began to download the virus into the computer.

    "Where's my brother?"

    "I've decided to hold him hostage just in case you actually do make it out of this. I doubt it though. The same virus that I'm downloading into this computer has already been injected into your batsuit. The electric shocks were just a pleasant bonus.....for me! HAHAHAHAHA!"

    "ENOUGH!" bellowed a voice from outside of the room.

    "Who invited you??" asked the Joker.

    "JOKER, I'VE BEEN LOOKING EVERYWHERE FOR YOU. YOUR ANGEL OF DEATH AWAITS," Phantasm said as he stepped into the room.

    "Look, I'm a really busy guy. How about you get back to me next Tuesday?" the Joker replied with a devilish grin.

    "NO MORE GAMES. YOUR TIME IS UP. YOU WON'T HURT ANYONE EVER AGAIN."

    "On the contrary.....I intend to hurt everyone! Ha!"

    The Joker pressed a button to activate the virus. It came to life on the vidsrceen above the computer. The virtual version of the Joker looked almost as hideous as its creator. Its eyes were glowing red as it proceeded to carry out the work it was meant to do.

    As all of this was happening, Terry was struggling with his suit. He slowly moved his head towards his right hand. He took the glove in his mouth and pulled it off of his hand. With his free hand, he the took off the rest of his costume.
    Finally, he put the mask back on his head. The Joker saw Batman stand back up.

    "I'd give you a dollar, but I just don't swing that way Batfake!" said the Joker, grinning again.

    "SHUT UP!" yelled Batman as he backhanded the Joker.

    The Joker staggered back, but didn't fall. Phantasm then tried to get to the Joker, but Batman got in his way.

    "Get out of here, he's mine!"

    "NO, HE NEEDS TO DIE. JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHERS. HIS LEGACY MUST BE DESTROYED AS WELL."

    "Funny you should say that. You're the one who started his legacy up again," said Batman.

    "ME? HOW?"

    "It's a long story. One which you probably wouldn't care to hear."

    "NO, NOT REALLY."

    While Batman and Phantasm were talking, the Joker had quietly slipped out of the room.

    "WAIT, WHERE DID HE GO? YOU FOOL! I COULD HAVE KILLED HIM, BUT YOU GOT IN MY WAY!"

    Phantasm threw a punch at him. One which Batman easily avoided.

    "Look, I don't really have the time for this right now," Batman said as he dodged another punch from him.

    Phantasm didn't give up though. He then gave him a roundhouse kick that knocked Batman to the ground again. As Batman sturggled to get up once more, Phantasm leaned into his face.

    "DON'T EVER GET IN MY WAY AGAIN!"

    Phantasm pushed Batman into a wall. Batman remained standing this time, but he was holding his sides. He looked up and saw Phantasm being hit from behind. Phantasm fell to the ground unconcious.

    The Joker had returned, and was holding something in his hand.

    "Here ya' go Bats! A momento for tonight's enjoyment! If you don't like it, give it to the dog. I'm sure he'll eat it up! HA HA HA HA HA!"

    The Joker dropped what he was carrying and left once more. Batman walked over to his mother who was still tied up. She hadn't stopped crying. As he undid her wrists, she threw her arms around him and started to cry uncontrollably.

    "Mom, stop it please. I need your help."

    She let him go long enough for him to explain to her.

    "We have to get out of here now. I don't want the Joker to come back and take you away again. I also need you to carry something for me. My suit and the object that the Joker left behind."

    "What about him?" Mary asked, pointing to Phantasm.

    "He's coming with us. He has a lot to answer for."

    Batman hoisted Phantasm over his right shoulder and walked out of the power plant with Mary close behind him. She carried the Batsuit and what appeared to be a giant bone.
    Batman hurled Phantasm into the Batmobile, then offered his hand to help his mother in. When Terry hopped into the driver's seat, he called.

    "Hey, you there?"

    "Yes."

    "Three to beam back home."

    "What happened out there?"

    "My mom's in the car, along with an unconcious Phantasm," Terry whispered.

    "And you think you should bring them here?"

    "You don't want me to bring them?"

    "Take Phantasm to the police."

    "She knows. My mom knows I'm Batman."





    ***silence***





    "Bring her here....after you drop off Phantasm."

    Terry looked outside the window. He could see the effects of the Joker virus starting to come to reality. The city was quickly shutting down. Terry could see all of the lights in the city being turned off. Cars were piling up at intersections where there were no traffic signs. Trains had stopped dead in their tracks. Nothing had seemed to be working anymore. Terry sighed. He knew it was going to be a long night.
     
  2. Eve

    Eve Guest

    One Word, ............... Brilliant
     

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