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Zachy1993

A Good Life, Good Enough - (1x1 with Silver Kuroi)

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When all the commotion was over, and the guests had left, DIck, Damien, and Tim had gone out on patrol for the night, Bruce went down to the Batcave with the others and sat before the computer system.

The recording of the assassin was being replayed, "Computer, run voice analysis. ...Lets see who you are." Bruce said.

The computer played the recording again, and announced there was no match found against current known criminals.

"Run again." Bruce said as Alfred came in with a tray of snacks and tea, with enough for the boys too.

"I'll leave this in arms reach I suppose." Alfred sighed.

Alfred sighed again, "If I may say so sir. The morning before last I came across an article in the Gazette that said recently scientists in Germany have discovered that most bats depend on sunset for long distance navigation." Alfred said and continued.

"Which is to say they need to experience twilight to calibrate their internal compass. Which is to say, that bats need a little sunlight to be able to fly straight." Alfred said, clearly teasing Bruce in his own way, about him rarely getting out before dark.

"I know plenty about bats Alfred, tell me what you know about owls." Bruce asked.

"On the recording, I managed to pick up the assassin murmuring about how much he 'loved killing Waynes.'" Bruce said.
 

"No Wayne in the last fifty years has died suspiciously to my knowledge sir, other than your parents of course." Alfred said.

"I know, but whoever this guy is...he wants me to believe he's not just some assassin, but he's The Talon." Bruce said, handing Alfred a throwing knife engraved on the handle with a shiny bronze owl.

"The Talon? From the Court of Owls folktale?" Alfred said, taking the knife.

"Except he wants me to believe they're real, that some secret organization has been secretly ruling Gotham from the shadows since colonial times." Bruce said.

"So I'm guessing the Wayne killing line he said, involves some incident from the past. So again, what do you know about owls?" Bruce said.

"Common trivia, they're carnivorous, they're natural predators of bats..." Alfred said, inspecting the knife.

"Though....your great great grandfather, Alan Wayne...near the end of his life suffered from aggressive senility." Alfred said.

"So I've heard." Bruce answered.

"Yes but he supposedly developed a particular obsession with owls..." Alfred said.

 

Alfred began to quietly recite the supposed folktale, "Beware the Court of Owls that watches all the time, Ruling Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime. They watch you at your hearth, they watch you in your bed. Speak not a whispered word of them, or they'll send the Talon for your head." Alfred finished.

 

"He suffered from severe paranoia, claimed the owls were conspiring against him. My father told me he even boarded up his windows for fear one night the owls would come for him." Alfred said.

"But even so, he soon became gripped with the fear that they were roosting in his walls...watching him." 

"But his death..." 

"No you're quite right, he began running through the streets and fell into an open manhole to the Gotham sewer and drowned." 

Bruce and Alfred after that went up to the library in the manor, to do some research. 

 

Unknown to them, minutes before, a man in a white mask was sending an army of Talons throughout Gotham.  "Tonight we will not only kill our enemies, but we shall take back our city!" 

"We will take back our KINGDOM!" 

"Now go! Go and take Gotham city!" The army of talons swooped off the balcony and glided into the city on their wings.

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"By endurance we shall conquer! Fortitudine vincimus!" The man in the mask shouted out to the heavens.

-----


Alfred grabbed Bruce's attention as they heard a thump in the depths of the house. "Master Bruce--" 

 

"I heard it, someones trying to get in." 

"Get to the cave, I'll take care of the intruder!" Bruce said, running off towards the noise without his batsuit or weapons...just his skills.

"I have the earpiece and lens, help me from down there, Alfred...go!" 

As Bruce rushed through the house, they heard Alfred's voice in their head. "I'm in position, and I'm picking up intruder signals all around the manor, but they're not making sense...the pulses are.." 

Just then an assassin dressed the same as the first one, burst through the wall, having an clawlike metallic arm. "Bruce Wayne, the court of owls has sentenced you...to..." 

Before the assassin could finish he got hit on the head by a wooden banister ripped from the staircase by Bruce, "Yeah yeah I got it the first time!" 

"Haha seems you have some moves Mister Wayne..but so do I!" The Talon snarled kicking at Bruce with a knife from the toe of his boot.

"Maybe so, but yours went out of style TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO!" Bruce kicked the Talon in the jaw, knocking him out for now.

More glowing yellow eyes appeared out of the darkness in the next room, "Alfred..I need their positions!" 

"I'm trying sir, but...but they're all around you! And there are so may others!" Alfred said worriedly.
 

"And they're getting into the house from all sides!" 

They heard Alfred go quiet, and a soft 'hoo hoo' coming from over the earpiece.

"Alfred! Come in Alfred!" Bruce cried out into the earpiece.

They heard the sound of a shotgun firing over the earpiece from the batcave then.

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The group of boys stood behind Batman's chair, staring at the screen. As no matches were found, Sora shrugged."Well then." He commented.Grabbing an orange from the tray, Lea peeled it before biting into the fruit. Sora took a few chocolate cookies while Riku helped himself to the tea.Lea laughed at the lecture on sunlight. "Talk about deja vu. This won't be as funny to you guys, but sunlight is great for vitamin D. That's what you all need."As Bruce talked about the Owls and the dead Waynes, they simply listened on silently, staring at Bruce to show their attention. The part of being a secret organization made them shake their heads in unison."This is just like Organization XIII all over again." Sora said"And we'll stop them either way." Riku replied.The part about Alan Wayne becoming obsessed with owls got their attention.Lea exercised his arms, getting prepared for some possible exploring. "Sounds like a mystery. Almost like a ghost story too."-----The sounds of thumping disturbed the silent atmoshpere as the teens summoned their weapons."But Bruce, what about yo-" Sora asked, getting interrupted by Riku. Following the man, they saw another assasssin, which Bruce skillfully took down."Ugh, dammit! How are there so many?" Lea cursed, trying to figure out the situation."Should we split up? Riku and I can go check on Alfred!" Sora asked.

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Bruce glared at the enemies surrounding them. "No....we'll all go together. This is no time to get picked off one by one." Bruce slammed his fist down on a a nearby table, causing the floor to sink in and form a slide underneath their feet. The top of the chute clicked, locking it as it closed off the Talons from using it.They found Alfred with a knife in his shoulder, holding up a large rifle which smoked with recent use, and a downed Talon laying on the floor, dead from a slug wound."Alfred are you OK!?" Bruce rushed to his friend's side."I've had worse from better people. I was in the military remember? I'm no stranger to wounds, especially trifling ones such as this." Alfred managed a smile to everyone.As much as Bruce hated guns, he couldn't help but be thankful for them in the moment. He grabbed the downed Talon's arm and took the gauntlet on his arm, opening it to reveal a microchip. "Lets get into the armory, bring that rifle just in case." 

 

Alfred nodded and Bruce led them to a large metal pair of double doors. "Master Bruce! They're coming through the tunnels!" Alfred pointed to an enormous flock of Talons flying on wings attached to their suits, they were getting closer and closer. The downed Talon rose and chuckled behind them, Alfred looked fearful. "I shot him in the face...it went through...how is he still-" 

 

"Alfred, don't slow down!" Bruce and Alfred pushed open the large door to the armory, and once everyone was inside they shut it behind them, just as the Talons landed and rushed the door.Bruce initiated the lockdown, and handed the computer chip to Alfred. "Try to find out if they have a weakness...and how they're able to survive almost anything." Alfred insered the computer chip into the computer in the armory, and a scan of information popped up. "Judged on their body chemistry, they're not even alive, they can't be called alive by any stretch of the imagination. Its showing some sort of regenerative compound in their blood, which judging from this is heat sensitive." Alfred turned to see Bruce already in his batsuit, just clipping his utility belt on."Then drop the temperatures in the batcave to sub zero.g." "But Master Bruce those temperatures if you're going out there, won't only affect-" Alfred began."That's why," Bruce said as he backed into the wall, which opened up and began to automatically put him in a giant batsuit which looked like it was designed for utter war. "I've got this beauty." 

 

Batman turned to the trio, "Don't suppose my alternate self gave you three batsuits as a sort of gift? If he...or I did, which honestly that sounds like me, put them on now and they'll automatically heat up your bodies once that kind of freezing temperature hits you."

 

The Talons could be heard mocking them from outside, "You can't hide forever little Bruce! That's what Waynes always try to do but its no use! So go on and..open...up?"

 

To the Talons shock the doors did open up.

 

And before them was a gigantic Batman Battle Suit. "Get the hell out of my house.."Alfred's voice could be heard in their ears, "My god...this is a list. A list of targets for them, and nearly every public figure in Gotham is on it." "Commissioner Gordon, Mayor Hady...they're going to kill everyone who has shaped and does shape this city." Alfred said fearfully."Put the call out, I want the Justice League and everyone else informed." "Yes sir...I will." Alfred said, still fearfully.Batman looked at the Talons and grinned from within his helmet, "Come on! I'm right here!" 

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Sora was the first to jump down into the slide, while Riku threw out a Blizzaga just to be safe before entering."Nice house." Lea complimented. Upon seeing Alfred with a gun, they sighed with relief."For a second there, I thought you were...... a goner." Riku trailed off.Lea feigned being offended. "Gasp, Riku. You shouldn't just people by their appearances! Just remember when yo-""Nope." Riku interruped.Reaching the armory door, Sora yelled in frustration. "What are these guys even made of? Do you think magic would work?""Damn..... they're not even alive." Riku replied to the new information."Hehe, he did!" Sora replied to the batsuits. Reaching into his bag, they pulled out the suits on wore them.As Bruce opened the door, the trio were ready to fight. Sora ran forward, throwing out his keyblade at a wave of enemies. Riku used Dark Blizzaga, taking advantage of the sub zero temperature, while Lea settled for attacking them normally.

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Once the scuffle was over, Batman grabbed one of the still conscious Talons by the throat. "Who sent you! And drop the Court of Owls bull!" Batman shouted into the assassin's face."The...League..of...Assassins." The Talon choked out."Why would they go so far to hide their identity, they never did before."  Bruce muttered."That's just it, to distract you from the real thing, if you were chasing shadows...you'd never know who was really behind all this. Oh and by the way, Ra's has employed the Joker. And he's currently got the commissioner in his custody....at the carnival. So you can stop us or save your pal Gordon! Your choice!" Knocking the Talon out, Batman had them all put into a large cryofreezing chamber, to make sure they wouldn't come back. Batman discarded the Bat battle suit, and took them to the Batmobile. "Get in...we're going to the carnival." 

 

----Once they got there Joker had Gordon in his boxers locked in a cage. He ran into the funhouse when they arrived, cackling.Bats broke open the cage, "Jim...are you okay?" Jim fell into Bats arms and started crying. "He-He shot Barbara, showed me photographs, tried to make me go crazy." As Jim finally got ahold of himself, Batman told him that the police were arriving soon, offering to stay with him until they arrived."No...I'll be alright. You go get him, I want him brought in..by the book! We have to show him, show him that our way works!" Jim said as they all entered the funhouse.They heard Joker's voice throughout the funhouse. "So I see you received the free ticket I sent you, I'm so glad, I really wanted you to be here. But it doesn't matter if you catch me and send me back to the Asylum. I've proved my point, Gordon's been driven mad. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am, just one. bad. day." Avoiding the traps, Batman and the others continued to hear the voice echo throughout the funhouse. "You had a bad day once am I right? I know I am I can tell! You had a bad day once and everything changed! Why else would you dress up like a flying rat? You had a bad day and went as crazy as everybody else! ONLY you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense and there's a point to all this struggling!" "I mean, what MADE you what you are? Mother killed by the mob? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that I bet. Something...like that happened to me...I don't exactly remember what it was. What I"m saying is, the point is I went nuts when I saw what a black awful joke the world is...I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you!?" Then Joker's voice surprisingly got very sad, "Its all a joke...everything anybody ever valued or struggled for...its all a monstrous demented gag. So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing!?"That was when Batman burst through a wall and grabbed Joker by his collar. "Because I heard it the first time, and it wasn't funny then!" Throwing Joker through an opposite wall, Continuing to speak, "Incidentally..I spoke to Gordon before I came in here, he's fine...and sane as he ever was. Despite all your sick twisted little games, he's come out on top."Grabbing Joker and lifting him up, "So maybe ordinary people don't ALWAYS crack, maybe there's no need to crawl under a rock when trouble hits. Maybe it was just YOU...the entire time!" "NO!" Joker pulled Batman's mask by its eyeholes so his vision was obscured, and hit him over the back with a wooden beam.Joker was then grabbed by his shirt by Batman, who had restored his vision. And punched so hard he flew outside into the rain onto his stomach.He turned around with a pistol in his hand, a demented grin on his face, Batman froze, but the gun clicked and a flag popped out with the words "CLICK CLICK CLICK!" on it."Damn it..its empty." He said with a sigh. "So what are you waiting for? Go ahead, I shot a defenseless girl and terrorized a cop. Kick the hell out of me and send me back where I belong." Joker said, his voice uncaring one way or another, and for once..he wasn't smiling.Batman sighed, "Because I'm doing this by the book, and I don't want to. Don't you understand? I don't want to hurt you, I don't want us to end up killing each other. But if this continues, we're locked onto that course with no way out."  Joker sat on his heels and looked out to the horizon, for once not laughing or saying anything."I don't know what it was that bent your life out of shape, but who knows...maybe I've been there too. Maybe I can help. I could...I could rehabilitate you, you needn't be out there on the edge any more. You don't have to be alone. What do you say?" Batman was shocking them all with this offer.Joker stared at them all, he was standing in the rain and though they couldn't swear to it...it looked like tears were streaming down his face as he finally spoke."No...its too late for that, too late for me. Far too late...I'm sorry....but thank you...." Joker said, holding his fingers to his eyes as tears came.

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"Darn. I actually thought there was a Court of Owls." Lea said, frowning at the news.The news of the Joker brought an even greater grimace to Sora's face. "Not this jerk again." The group went into the Batmobile, preparing for whatever gruesome event took place at the carnival.----The sight of Gordon barely nude elicted a look of apallment as Batman freed the commisioner. When the man described the atrocities he faced, Riku snarled. "We'll go after him now.""Wrong!" Sora yelled at the Joker throughout the funhouse. "He's still himself! I know it!""Hmph. One bad day can ruin a person. But one good day can redeem them." Riku replied in a stern voice.The pain in Joker's voice caught Lea off guard. "What.....?"The teens watched as the Joker "fought" against Batman, and was helpless on the floor, with rain pouring on his face. The "offer" caused different reactions in all three of them."W-what?" Lea groaned. "Ugh... he'll just escape again.""That..... was actually a good offer." Sora said.Riku simply stared at the Joker, knowing the feeling. "Will your good day to redeem yourself be today?"As the Joker refused, the stared at him sadly."It's never too late." Sora comforted as he reached out his hand, summoning away his keyblade. "I don't need a weapon. My friends are my power. They can be your power, too."

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Joker didn't get a chance to shake Sora's hand, as the police rushed in and took him away."Now we go after the League." Bruce said.

____

 

 

Bruce as Batman later took them out on his private jet, to a certain location. The League of Assassins HQTalia answered the door to the monastery. "Bruce, what an unexpected surprise." She said, he was in his Batsuit and she knew who she was."Boys, I'd like you to meet...Talia, she uh....is Damien's mother." 

 

"I take it you're here to see father?" She said."Yes....as a matter of fact I am." Bruce sneered."He was VERY disappointed...even furious, that you wouldn't be his heir. He might have acted rashly with what he did." She said.She let them in and led them to a chamber that overlooked the mountain with a big window, the entire place reminded them of Mulan's world."I'll leave you to it then." Talia said.

 

A tall man wearing a green cloak, and hair formed into two spikes, that resembled devil horns, he also had a goatee...that was groomed into two fang like wisps of beard that went down to his chin."Detective." He said curtly as he turned around, sipping a goblet of wine.  

"Ra's al Ghul..." Batman sneered."Such manners, you don't even refer to me as master anymore. I did teach him everything he knows." He finished  by looking at the trio."You lost that right to be respected as such, a long time ago." Batman glared at him.

 

Ra's paused, and then spoke quietly as he approached Bruce in long strides. "Why do you protect them, Bruce? With every passing year what little light is left in that city fades. Let me end this entire charade of you trying to save what cannot be saved. It is the League's responsibility to check humanity when it....loses its way." Ra's said."By murdering thousands of innocent people?" Bruce snarled.

 

Ra's sighed and went back to the window, "You have insulted me far too often, detective. You broke Talia's heart, you refused to be my heir, and Talia tells me you have restrained my grandson from realizing his full potential...by restraining him from doing what must be done." "Damien is a little boy, a boy you had corrupted...training him to be a killer for your league, its despicable."  

"You do realize you being here...means you aren't protecting your beloved city?" "Nightwing and Robin can handle themselves." Batman glared again."Please do hit the comlink on your gauntlet....I know your loyal butler will have some news for you." Ra's smirked.Bruce did, just as it beeped, a hologram popped up of Alfred at the batcomputer."Sir? I'm sending you a video feed from BlackGate Prison, you'll want to see this."  

A video of a helicopter taking out the north wall of the prison was seen, and every inmate was now free and given guns and other weapons.

 

"Its the same situation at Arkham Asylum sir! Someone has set loose those crazed lunatics, for what I don't know!" 

 

Batman shut off the comlink, "We have to get back...but I'll be coming back for you Ra's." Batman growled."I look forward to it.." Ra's smirked.

_____

Once they got back to the Manor, they took some much needed rest, all except Bruce.That was when it happened. Bruce heard a commotion from upstairs and went to go look while everyone was sleeping, including the trio."Your butler is not here....I saw to that personally." A South American voice said, He turned to see a huge musclebound man wearing a spanish wrestling mask standing there, he had feeding tubes running from a device on his arm to the back of the mask."Who are you!?" Bruce demanded. "What have you done with-""I left him alive, It is not your underlings I want." "You-you know who I-" Bruce began.

 

"You could be no one else, this Bruce Wayne is nothing but a mask for you. It serves no purpose." "Although mine.." He pushed a button on the device on his wrist, and his muscles bulged and grew. "Still does, a direct feed to my brain, bloodstream. Coursing through my veins is-""Venom..the super steroid." Bruce said, feeling actual fear this time."I was once made a guinea pig for a concentrated dose of it. How did I know who you were? I've known about you for a very very long time, I've known you in my dreams." "I escaped from that hell and those dreams, for one reason: To find you...and break you." "But why did you free the inmates from the prison and Arkham? All the lives that were lost, for what?""Your city of course. My master wants us to destroy it, but I think differently. I think once you are out of the way, I can rule this Gotham City." Bruce was obviously tired from everything that had happened recently, Bane took advantage of that weakness and punched him in the jaw.Throwing him through a wall and down into the batcave where he landed hard.Bruce wasn't in costume now, he was in his regular outfit, Bane had all the power now.Bruce took a swing at Bane, and had his fist caught. "Weariness has cost you your strength, victory has defeated you.." 

 

Slamming his own fist into his face, Bane proceeded to pummel Bruce. Bruce got a few good hits in, but Bane leaped into the air and brought his fist down on Bruce's leg with all his weight. There was a loud crack and Bruce fell to the floor.Struggling to get up, Bruce found himself held up high by his neck. "Come now, we are members of the League, I expected better from you Mister Wayne! But then, you betrayed us!" Throwing Bruce into the batcomputer, it shattered upon impact.Bruce rushed Bane, but he was tired after rounding up most of Gotham's criminals who escaped. Bane smacked him away like a pesky fly."You showed such promise...but you are nothing but a disappointment!" 

 

Bruce clicked a button on his belt, and all lights throughout the house went out."You think darkness is your ally, you merely adopted it, I was born in it..molded by it..." Then Bane grabbed Bruce by the throat and sent him spiraling into the trio's room, which they had made their way outside of.Bane was not far behind, he leaped onto Bruce, shouting. "The shadows betray you! Because they belong to ME!" Bruce's face was being pounded in.

 

Dick and Damien rushed into the boys' room. "Dad?" Damien asked worriedly."Your father is weak, boy! Allow me to show you!" He then noticed Bruce getting up and smiled, saying loudly. "Oh! I was wondering what would break first..." Bruce's final punch missed, and he was batted to the ground. "Your spirit," He lifted Bruce high above his head. "DON'T!" Damien cried out."Or your body!" Slamming Bruce's spine down onto his knee there was a very loud snapping noise, and Bruce didn't move again on the floor. Damien rushed to his father's side, holding back tears. "Father! Father come on! You have to fight!"Bruce's eyes looked over at his son sadly,"I-I can't move Damien..I'm sorry."  

Dick flew into a rage, and charged the big man. "Get the hell out!" Throwing a spin kick aimed at Bane's head, his leg was easily caught and he was slammed into a wall, leaving a large dent in the plaster."Urg!" Dick coughed up blood as he was punched in the stomach when he tried to stand. 

 

Damien charged in, Dick yelling for him to run away, but Bane caught him by the throat. "Damien...are you Talia's brat? I bet there's a reward for returning you to the League.." Pinching Damien's shoulder tightly, he knocked him out efficiently and without hurting him badly.He slung Bruce over his shoulder and waved goodbye to the trio. "Goodbye, thank you for being so cooperative." That was when a helicopter was heard outside and blew the wall off with a missile, Bane jumping into the chopper with both his hostages. The chopper flew away and vanished into the night.Dick coughed up more blood, "Damn it....damn it all! Those bastards at the League of Assassins sent him! If only I didn't mention Damien's name..." He cursed and pounded his fist into the carpet.

Edited by Zachy1993

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Sora frowned as Joker was taken away. Riku in particular knew the pain of trying to atone.-----Staring at the woman named Talia, they hesitantly introduced themselves as they moved on towards the chamber. The atmosphere held a certain nostalgia for Sora.

 

"You're......Bruce's wife?" Riku asked.

 

"Well, they sure don't live with each other." Lea answered back."Heh. Kinda brings you back to Mulan, doesn't it." Sora noted on the surroundings."How would I know? I wasn't there at all." Lea replied casually.The man in vermillion teaching Batman everything he knew received impressed looks from them."You don't think you could te-" Lea started before getting elbowed by Riku.The two adults continued their banter, the group listented before Bruce decided to head back. They simply remained silently as Ra smirked deviously.----Sora snored loudly as the other two slept with pillows over their heads. The sounds of talking aroused Riku from his sleep, hearing "master wants us to destroy it". Shaking both of the boys awake, they suddenly heard a smash against a wall.

 

Sora stood up groggily, summoning his kingdom key. "I think it came from the below. Let's go!"

 

----

 

The trio arrived as Dick coughed blood, defeated in a fight. The batcave showed obvious signs of a battle.

 

"We heard fighting. And we were too slow." Riku shook his head. The hole in the wall meant Bruce must've been kidnapped. Sora groaned, lamenting on being unable to save a friend in time. "It's in the past, Dick. What's important is we save Bruce. Do we go after him now?"

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"Whoever he was, he was trained well, and knew to strike when Bruce was tired from capturing escaped prisoners and Asylum inmates and just coming home."  

Alfred wandered into the cave then, "He struck me over the back of the head, I didn't even hear him." Alfred said, rubbing his head sorely. Dick sat down in the computer chair, examining it. and hitting a button. "Good, its still pretty much functional." Dick said. "He mentioned to Bruce he was in a prison somewhere before the League broke him out and trained him, he mentioned in this prison he was a guinea pig for a concentrated dose of the super steroid venom." Dick spoke to the machine, "Computer, search for any prisons in South America which were known to be a front for experiments on inmates." 

 

Alfred came over, "How do you know he was imprisoned in South America?""His accent, skin tone..." Dick answered.

 

A map showed up and a newspaper article. "Pena Dura in Santa Prisca of the Caribbean Republic shut down in light of secret experiments on inmates being exposed." 

 

"And I'll bet that's his base...where he took Bruce."-----Bruce finally opened his eyes, "Why did you let me live?" he said quietly."Your punishment must be more severe, and I won't have Gotham's favor if your body was found. I have taken the liberty of you being put in a cell with a television, so you may see your Gotham fall....., when Gotham is ashes...you have my permission to die." Pushing himself up from Bruce's chest, putting so much weight on Bruce's fractured body Bruce cried out in pain.A man approached Bruce, his cellmate,,an elderly man. 

"Who are you? Why are you here?" Bruce asked wearily.The man didn't answer, "This prison is situated at the bottom of what used to be the man known as Ra's al Ghul's many pits of lazarus. There is a stream hidden in the depths of the prison, that still flows with that water. If you're willing to drink it, the lazarus pits..they only won't poison you if you have a strong will." 

 

There is a doctor in the cell next door....I shall ask him for advice on how we can get you walking again." The old man asked the bald man in the next cell something in hushed tones.He had been passed a rope, He tied it around Bruce's waist and the other end was used like a pully, to bring Bruce up out of the bed, he grit his teeth in pain and hissed through them.Once Bruce was in an upright position wtih his toes scraping the floor, the old man examined his back. "If we're lucky, this will work....your vertebrae is exposed." "Do it fast..." Bruce said, grabbing his bedsheets and biting down on them and closing his eyes.The old man began punching Bruce in the back, Bruce screamed through the bedsheet. "GRRRAAHHHH!" 

 

Bruce hung there for awhile, and then slowly steadily, began to walk. "Where is the stream?" Bruce asked."The stream runs through this cell actually, the lazarus has remarkable healing powers-" "I know. I've encountered them before, someone who takes a dip in them to restore his youth and gain immortality." Bruce answered."Who?" "My master." 

 

Bruce exposed a loose brick on the side of his cell, and a steady dripping of green liquid could be seen.He cupped his hands underneath the drip, and took a sip, beginning to convulse as the man caught him.Bruce after convulsing for a long while, gave a quick jerk and stood up on his own, like he hadn't been doing before.-----Ra's appeared on the screen of the batcomputer."What the-...what do you want Ra's?" Dick said glaring.Ra's sneered at Dick, "I called for those three young men behind you. I wanted to tell them....I am so sorry. I should've never allied myself with the clown. He has taken someone...someone who is precious to you. She is a girl with long red hair...that's all I know." 

Edited by Zachy1993

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"He must be pretty good then. You think he was using magic?" Sora asked.Riku stared at the screen, watching the map appear. "Doubt it. The league trained him after all, so it must be natural skill.""Pen Dura, huh? We'll teach those guys a lesson they won't forget." Lea scoffed.Just then, Ra's appeared on the screen, surprising the group.Sora stared closely, trying to understand. "A girl with red hair.... know anyone like that, Dick?" Realization hit him at the same time that it did with Riku."Kairi!" They shouted together at the same time. Riku growled at Ra's, remembering the last time Kairi was kidnapped. "She's a strong girl. She wouldn't go out so easily."Lea maintained his casual stance, evaluating the situation. "We were planning on rescuing Bruce anyway. Just think of it as a.... extra motivation."Before Sora could yell back in reply, Lea interrupted him. "I know how it feels to lose someone important. Which is why I'm saying it for your sake."

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"First lets take a quick look at the recording, Bruce set up security cameras all around the house, including the cave." Dick shut Ra's out of the Batcomputer and they saw an enormously muscled figure, wearing a spanish wrestling mask, taunting Bruce as he turned off the lights in an attempt to disorient the musclebound figure.What he said and did next struck a chord with everyone. "Ahh..so you think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark, I didn't see the light until I was already a man...by then it was nothing to me but BLINDING!" He grabbed Bruce by the throat as the man attempted to sneak up on him.Throwing him through a wall he began pounding the billiionare's face in to the ground with his fist, "The shadows betray you...because they belong to me." 

 

As Damien and Dick came into the room, DIck glared at the figure known only as Bane, Damien shouting as the enormous figure lifted Bruce easily over his head and slammed his spine down upon his uplifted knee.Bruce was able to do nothing as Dick was beaten and Damien and himself kidnapped."That's where the recording ends, he knew exactly when to strike, knew Bruce was Batman, and knocked out Alfred quietly before the fight. 

 

That was when Dick got an alert that someone had activated the batsignal on top of the GCPD building. "C'mon, maybe Gordon'll have some information that we haven't got." Dick got into costume and they all raced off to the GCPD.Gordon and Harvey Bullock met them, Gordon just lighting a cigarette and Bullock puffing on his usual cigar."Where's the bat?" Harvey asked when they arrived."Still trying to catch the escaped inmates...he said he's sorry he couldn't come but he sent me to see what's up." Nightwing explained.

 

"Follow us, you'll wanna see this." Gordon said putting out his cig and Harvey following after stomping his cigar out.They led them to a holding cell, with of course padded walls. "We designed this holding cell specifically for him, he seemed flattered, the bastard." Harvey growled.

 

"This morning, Gordon sent me to deliver his morning meal, while we sorted up the paperwork that comes with the freak going back to Arkham. And..we...found uh...well you'll see." Harvey opened the door, and drawn on the wall in what could only be blood, were crude stick figure drawings with bloated heads and features like tongues sticking out mockingly, and large eyebrows and eyes. Above them was sloppily written:"SUCKERS" With an arrow pointing to the drawings of the three figures.The drawings, judging by their hairstyles, were Sora, Riku, and Lea.But pinned below the drawings, held up by two pins...was the entirety of Joker's face. Seemingly cut off with surgical precision.The eyes were missing, so Dick could only assume he was walking around without one."If someone went out of their way to kill that maniac, then...well....I'd be the first to thank them." Harvey said."No.." DIck said inspecting the face."What?" "He's not dead, otherwise his body would be nearby." Dick said."Well I know that! But...." Harvey stammered."What Bullock is trying to say, is that you have to remember he's just a man....nothing more. If he's actually walking around without a face, then...." Gordon stopped."Then he most likely had help with this and escaping and making sure he doesn't bleed to death." Dick said. "And most likely they'd be on the cameras." Dick said.They took them to the security room...and showed them the footage from that day.A young blond nurse came in, claiming she wanted to take Joker for an evaluation for Arkham.When Dick zoomed in on the nametag, it said "Harleen Quinzel" Dick's eyes narrowed, "She ran away with him." "You mean...like...run away on some sicko romantic date?" Harvey said."That girl....who is she?" Dick asked."Just some girl psychologist from Arkham." Bullock answered."Looks like we've got two people Joker's holding captive." 

 

"Wouldn't be so sure of that," Gordon said coming in."A night watchmen at Ace Chemical reported seeing a girl with Joker...assisting him in different ways...her hair was in ponytails and one was purple the other red, her skin had been dyed white like his." Dick's eyes widened, "No...don't tell me he..." "Night watchmen reported him throwing a blond haired girl into the vat of chemicals. He heard two voices laughing after that..." Gordon said sadly.Once Gordon left and they were back on the roof alone, Dick and the others heard Alfred in their ears, "I found Master Bruce laying outside on the front lawn, he says they brought him back...saying something about Bane wanting a better fight next time. Master Damien is not with him." 

 

"Did he say where he was?" "He says that it was somewhere beneath Gotham's sewers. So that rules Pena Dura out." 

 

Dick nodded and shut off Alfred after saying goodbye. "We'll find your friend, don't worry." Dick smiled.

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"Reminds me of Xehanort's Guardian." Sora noted on the sight of the intruder. The statement on darkness especially elicited a reaction from Riku."Darkness, all his life. I can only imagine the pain." Riku said wistfully."No wonder he wears a mask." Lea commented. Watching the one sided beatdown was painful to them as Bruce and Damien were easily kidnapped."Sound like insider information." Riku said in response to Bane's knowledge, before leaving for the GCPD.----The teens stayed silent as Nightwing lied about Bruce. The drawings caused them to widen their eyes, but what really shocked them was Joker's face."Wait, what!? How in the...... what?!" Sora was utterly speechless. "How is that even possible?" Lea groaned. "Someone brain bleach me."Riku stayed silent, listening to Dick. "So he had inside help, after all."Sora frowned at the Joker's actions. "I really thought....."-----"Wait, they actually sent him back?" Lea groaned again. "No adventure then."

 

"At least he's home." Riku sighed in relief."I appreciate it." Sora thanked Dick. 

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When they arrived at Wayne Manor, they found Bruce waiting for them in the batcave. "I heard what you said Lea, about losing out on an adventure." Bruce smirked, "Damien is most likely at the League's HQ with his mother, if you're up for saving someone...I'd be really grateful for your assistance against an army of trained ninjas to save my son."  

Bruce stood up, "I also heard that you, Sora, are feeling a bit bad because it seems Joker fooled us all. But you have to understand Sora, that this is a man whose name has eluded me for years, has sawed off his fingerprints and all DNA tests reveal...nothing. People have called him a psychopath before...I'm not sure there's even a word for him. But he was able to manipulate Harleen Quinzel...when she was trying to treat him at Arkham, he knew things about her...could guess her background and where she came from...manipulated her into telling him more about her own self than she ever got out of him." Bruce turned and clicked on a mugshot of the Joker on the screen. Bruce opened up about the Joker then, telling them something he hadn't even told his closest allies. "Look into those eyes and tell yourself that he's just a man. That he can't know the things he says he does, he simply can't know your fears..." He turned to them with a grim look, "I have studied the human eye, there are six movements that reveal motive, fifteen variations of each one. On every other criminal I've faced. even the most hardened ones, the pupils contract or expand depending upon the emotion." He turned back and looked at the mugshot, "Happiness, laughter, affection: The pupils open. Fear anger and hatred: they close. But not..his, his pupils stay fixed, tiny points of utter blackness, the eyes of someone who hates everyone and everything. Eyes that let in no light, that see through the darkness have stared into me many times. Eyes that say to everyone he faces: "I know you." they are eyes that say he's more than just a man. But most people would like to pretend he's just a man who fell into a vat of chemicals." Bruce sighed, "So I keep telling myself he's just a man, all these years I have. I tell myself he has flesh that can be ripped, bones that can be shattered. That he needs to breathe, sleep, and eat like everyone else." Bruce looked up at the photo angrily, "I just wish I could stare into those damned eyes, stare into them until he flinches. I want to forget that I've stared into those eyes...and seen them expand....expand for me after I glared at him so long....I wish I could forget that what I saw in his eyes as he stared back...." Bruce put on his cowl and began walking past them, but stopped and turned to the three of them..."Was love." 

 

"Now lets go get my son back.."

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Lea smirked at the proposed mission. "Sweet, you can count on us. I'll teach them how to burn, bat-baby."Sora held a straight face, listening to how the Joker couldn't be redeemed. "But....... I understand what you're saying, but still....."The trio stared carefully, listening to Bruce talk about how eyes show movement, and Joker didn't. How the Joker didn't have emotion. At least, until Bruce said it showed love.Sora's thoughts were obvious as he considered how the Joker could be saved, but he pushed it to the back of his mind for now. The other sensed it, so they remained quiet on the topic."I've been wondering how strong those ninjas were." Riku said."Round trip to Mulan's world!" Sora joked.

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Soon they were back at the League and Batman kicked the door open into the training yard.

 

They saw over a hundred men dressed in black sitting on their feet with katanas resting in sheaths on their laps.

They appeared to be in a meditative state, when Batman approached they stood up and drew their katanas, all taking the same ready stance with their blades in front of them.A man dressed in dark blue and orange armor leaped down from the balcony and came down in front of Batman.He had an extendable staff on his back and held two katanas in his hands. "You and the children's game is over, before it even began." Deathstroke taunted.

 

 

Batman glared as his hands formed fists, "This is no game, Slade." Leaping up into the air and coming down with both swords, which were blocked by Batman's gauntlet spikes, the ninjas began to attack the boys from all sides.Dodging and blocking Slade's incredibly fast attacks, Bats was moving with a speed and skill they'd never seen out of him before. 

Edited by Zachy1993

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All three instantly had their weapons ready, aiming at the ninjas.

 

Sora was the first to act. He entered his Limit Form and dodge rolled the attacks, reaching Slade. However, a group of enemies swarmed his right side, so he covered his Keyblade with an orange-hue and slash a combo at them instead. At the end of his flurry, he shot out a Ragnarok blast. Lea spun his keyblade, using his trademark spell. As a group of ninjas approached him, he trapped them all in with a barrier of fire. "Ninja, All right. Fight fight fight." Pointing his weapon, he covered himself in flames before running forward, slashing through the foes. Those who manged to block were lit on fire as the teen continued his assault. Riku's Keyblade emanated a dark purple aura as he vanished in a haze. He reappeared in an instant with a quick slash toward a few ninjas, warping around the battlefield to strike opponents multiple times. Sinking into the ground, his location was marked by a small pool of dark energy. Riku then emerged with a burst of dark and white energy, dashing toward enemies.

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Soon all the ninjas were down, and it was just Batman and Slade, who continued to taunt Bruce.

"Haven't you realized I'm not here to fight, I'm here to kill! Do you honestly think you win without killing me!?" Deathstroke said as he continued to battle Batman."Vigilantism is a waste of your talents! You could be so much more!" He said as he was pushed back, one of his swords broken off at the hilt by Batman's gaunlet spikes.

 

Looking at the broken sword, Deathstroke threw it over his shoulder. "Your methods and tactics are impressive, but inferior. They will not save you." Extending the metal staff in one hand and the second sword in the other. "I am stronger, faster, better! You're just a man in a cape!" Batman smirked beneath his cowl and motioned with his hand for Slade to come at him.Deathstroke rushed at Batman, who threw a punch only to find his enemy had soared over his head, brandishing a desert eagle handgun and began shooting him from above. Batman dodge rolled out of the way, a trick he'd observed Sora do just now, and shot out a grapple claw that hooked onto Slade's chestplate, Batman yanked Slade down from the sky and right in front of him, punching him so hard that his mask flew off. Slade glared out of his left eye, the other one having an eyepatch over it, he had graying hair and he had dropped his weapons all but the staff.Batman circled Slade and stood still, taking the fighting stance of the tiger form. Slade threw a punch, Bruce blocked it with the back of his hand, Then with that same hand, which had the fingers curled like claws, he slashed at Slade's face, "Rip face!" getting his good eye filled with blood.Then he pulled back his hand, palm open and shouted as he brought it hard down onto Slade's unprotected face, "Break nose!" 

 

Slade staggered back as his nose was smashed in and grinned, "That all you've got?" "Obviously not, you haven't shut up yet." Batman said grinning as his foe took another punch, Bruce grabbed Slade's arm by the wrist and delivered a palm strike to the elbow. 

Then he delivered a kick to Slade's abdomen, sending him flying into a wall. 

 

Slade panted as Batman picked up the sword from the ground that wasn't broken. Fear showed in Slade's eyes as Batman threw the sword blade first at Slade's head, and it embedded itself perfectly into the wall next to his cheek.As Batman approached the door that Slade was standing against, Slade stared into Batman's mask, 'What. are. you?" Just before he was knocked out by Batman."Just a guy in a cape..." Batman smirked as he opened up the door to Ra's chamber.

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"Take this!" Sora yelled, throwing his keyblade at the last ninja in his view. The foe flipped to the right, but found herself caught in a Blizzaga from Riku. Lea simply lit his own last enemy, bored. The group turned to Slade, having finished their foes. They observed as Batman fought Slade by himself, obviously superior. The roll earned a smile from Sora, having been his trademark move. As Batman was about to kill Slade, the group didn't worry, knowing he would spare him."Nice move, Batman." Sora complimented as he went behind him, prepared for Ra's. Riku and Lea followed, prepared for the worse.

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They found Ra's looking out the large window out into the snowy mountainside, he barely looked up when they entered.

"When I first accepted you as my pupil, you were lost..without purpose. But I believed in you, and in some small way I still do, my greatest student....it should be you standing by my side saving the world." Ra's finally turned around and looked at Bats sadly. "You are stronger than your father." 

"You didn't know him." Bats clenched his fists.

 

"But I know the rage that drives you,  that impossible anger strangling the grief. You must know that no one can save Gotham, and after I defeat you and the three boys behind you, the world will watch in horror as one of its greatest cities are ripped from the face of the earth....with your son standing by my side." 

With impossible speed Ra's launched himself at Bats, striking out at the three boys in ways that the human eye could barely register. 

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The slender figure let out an essence of melancholy as the group approached him. After talking, the man suddenly struck the group even faster than they ever anticipated."What is this? Magic?" Lea groaned.Riku stood back up, staring intensely. "I used up most of my magic earlier." Holding his keyblade in his signature manor, he dashed forward with a sprint, hoping to at least parry the hits. Sora waved his keyblade, using the last bits of his magic to cast Haste on himself. Running sideways, he leaped into the air for a Blitz. Lea recklessly ran forward, hoping the group attack would be enough.

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Surprised by the movements of the three teens, Ra's was thrown into a wall and left a crack in it as he stood back up, grabbing a scimitar and charging the teenagers, and vanishing before reappearing behind Lea and slashing at him. 

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There was a clang as Sora and Ra's locked blades. Ra's gritting his teeth, struggling to hold Sora back.

 

Batman inspected Lea's wound, "Its not too bad, you won't need stitches, here." He lifted up Lea's shirt and sprayed something on it, "Sorry if it burns...but it'll keep it from getting infected and opening up any worse." But then Ra's began sweating profusely, and began to make choking sounds..

 

Then he started laughing as he backed away from Sora and dropped his sword, clutching his throat.Bats eyes widened underneath his cowl, "No...." 

 

Grabbing Ra's and running to Talia's room, he found Talia and Damien, the latter looking a bit uneasy around her. "What are you--Father!" Talia rushed over to Bats, "Get him to the Lazarus Pit, that should heal him." Bats said, Talia nodding and rushing off with surprising strength, carrying her father through a secret passageway.While she was gone Bats motioned Damien to follow them out to leave.Damien smiled and did so. "Did you see anyone suspicious around?" Bats asked Damien once they were in the bat jet. "Nobody other than the usual suspects found there." Damien answered.

 

They arrived at Wayne Manor and Bruce took off his cape and cowl."Alfred?" Bruce asked as he went through the house with the trio, Damien had been sent to bed to rest from being kidnapped.

 

Bruce noticed a door ajar in the hallway, he entered it and found a purple wrapped package with green ribbon. "My god..." Opening it up and finding a cassette tape, he put it in the stereo system in the sitting room.He put his hands over his eyes as he heard a voice he knew all too well."Hello Brucie! I hope you don't mind me borrowing your butler. I'm planning a VERY special event for you-know-who! A celebration! And I hear you've got the best butler in Gotham!" The darkly whimsical voice said."Master Bruce! I'm sorry, this degenerate waste of--" Alfred tried to shout, but was hushed by Joker, "Shhhh! Jeeves! No spoiling!" Bruce had his back to the wall next to the stereo, and tears came down his cheeks.

 

Kairi's voice was heard then, "Guys I'm sorry! I followed your trail here cause I wanted to finally go on an adventure with you and this creep attacked me from behind!""Creep? Moi!? You were lost and I helped you didn't I?" Joker's voice said."If you think being blindfolded intimidates me--" Alfred started.

 

"HAHAHAHAHA, you think you're--HahahA! You're NOT blindfolded good sir!" "But--" Alfred didn't understand."I burned your eyes with ammonia! Here I'll do it again for fun!" Alfred's screams came over the stereo as Bruce clenched his fists to the side of his head, gritting his teeth and shaking visibly as he punched his fist through the stereo.

Edited by Zachy1993

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Sora pushed his weapon forward, clenching his teeth. The combined determination and spells allowed him to be on par with Ra's swordsmanship.Lea flinched, feeling the spray. "Ah geez, is that how it feels when I burn someone? Ouch...."Sora took a leap backward as Ra seemed to be choking. After being carried by Talia, the group left with Damien for the Wayne Manor.Lea stuck his hands out, surprised at the finale of the battle. "That was a bit anticlimicatic. Not gonna lie.""Be quiet, you couldn't even last the whole fi-" Sora replied, before noticing the purple package. "Oh no..."Alfred's voice on the end frustrated the teens, but what truly caused them to break was Kairi's voice on the other end. The final straw was Alfred's eyes being blinded as the Joker laughed gleefully.Sora's face contorted in anger as punched a nearby desk. "I.... I can't believe it! Ugh!" The boy was at a loss for words, muttering rapidly under his breath. He took care not to say anything rash, but inside, he knew what he wanted to do. Riku took a few deep breaths, managing to stay calm in the situation. Due to giving in to the darkness multiple times, he was more accustomed to stressful situations."There's no point getting mad about it, Sora. Kairi's a tough girl. The Joker won't lay a hand on her." Riku offered. Sora simply frowned, his teeth and fists clenched in unison. Lea suddenly tapped Sora on the forehead after having been quiet, surprising the duo.Lea crosses his arms, giving his best Axel impression. "Remember the time..... when I kidnapped Kairi? The little rascal managed to escape. And she'll do it again. So don't worry." Tapping his own forehead, he smirked. "We'll rescue both of them, Sora. Bruce. We always do."Sora could still feel the adrenaline in his blood, but managed to calm down for the time being. "Yeah." He barely replied."Any leads?" Riku asked Bruce.

Edited by Tatsumi

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When Sora punched the desk nearby, something small and square fell off onto the floor. It was another cassette tape, this one simply had one word: Gordon 

Bruce knelt down and picked it up, his eyes went wide when he saw the name. "Jim...." Bats eyes narrowed as he pulled on his cowl, "We have to go." They found Gordon sitting on the end of his bed, looking exhausted and melancholy, When they appeared at the window, Gordon whirled around and aimed his gun. 

--Jim Gordon's house--Batman and the others came into Jim's upstairs bedroom through the window, Jim grabbed his gun and pointed it at the dark figure wildly, before realizing who it was."I'm sorry...come in. Did you hear what happened? Joker came to the Gotham city PD building, he cut the power, I suppose he came to get that nasty face of his back, but...I could hear him torturing and killing over nineteen of the cops in the building...one by one. And...I couldn't do anything to stop him." Gordon looked exhausted, and obviously shaken up."Jim...Joker has kidnapped Bruce Wayne's butler, said he was planning something...needed someone to help serve." 

 

 

 

"Is no one off limits to him?" Jim sighed putting on his glasses. "Its what I hate most about that lunatic," Jim put on his glasses from the bedside table, "With everyone else there's a sense of logic, some motive that makes sense. Even the deep Arkham crew, Riddler and Freeze. If you're a good enough detective, you can get a sense of what their next move might be. But with him, all you can do is react..see who his next target is."Jim sighed, putting a cigarette in his mouth, "God help the man who can think like him..."

 

"That's why I'm here Jim, the next target is you." Bats held up the cassette tape with the name 'Gordon' on it. "There are no companies called Gordon that have any connection to recording material. I'm taking you to a bunker I keep, you'll be safe there.""No...NO dammit I'm not going with you! Not going to hide away while they're out there on the front lines! Not after what he did to us! Ninteen men dead, Nineteen on my head! Don't take me out, don't do it.""You know it as well as I do, the only way to beat him is to not be afraid of him....and..." Blood dripped onto Gordon's sleeve."Jim?" Bats asked worriedly.Blood began leaking out of Jim's pores, eyes and mouth as he gripped Bats shoulder in a death grip."JIM HOLD ON IT'LL BE ALRIGHT!"

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