Join Date: Jun 2009
11:43 Roof-top, Gotham Police HQ. The trench-coated figure has been in this position a thousand times, though it seems more like a million. Commissioner Gordon opens the manila folder. He slowly shakes his head as his worst fears are confirmed. ‘No doubt about it now’. His brow furors; “Hit it” he growls.
He squints monetarily and puts his hand to his eyes. ‘This should be an interesting conversation’ he ponders as his thumb pops loose a Rolaids from the roll in his pocket. ‘Hope I made the right decision’ he thinks as the tablet crunches between his teeth.
12:01 Gordon’s office. Out of the night cold and into heat of the situation brewing. He quickly falls into deep thought. A page on his notepad rustles. As he looks to the right, a familiar shadow appears to his left.
A quick shudder followed by “Batman, thanks for coming, but come on with the entrances already. I’d like to make it to retirement; don’t need a heart-attack quite yet”. Gordon thinks he sees a slight grin momentarily cross Batman’s scowl. Maybe not.
“Been relatively quite the last few weeks. What’s the situation?”
“Take a look at this Batman, this is the fourth body we feel is related. Didn’t call you in earlier as we thought we had a handle on it. After this latest, we now fear its worse than we expected”.
Batman pours over the photo. Even just a cursory survey brings him to the quick deduction of “….Joker? Come-on Jim. You know I’ve been on his trail since his latest escape from Arkham. Leads have been few, but this…”
“Batman, sorry to interrupt, but take a closer look….”
“I noted skin hue, but we’ve seen this variation before.”
“Yes Batman, that’s what has thrown us for a loop and kept us from contacting you earlier. Pretty obvious it’s Smilex, but as you can see, there is a difference in color. Like I said this is the fourth. Boys in the lab have tested this against every previous strain and update of Smilex. While there are differences, each version does have the same base formula. Not these four. They are same with each other, but not with anything previous”.
“So the Joker has a new chemist?”
“Perhaps. That’s where we were heading after the third. Now…..”
“Okay, let’s say the Joker does have a new source for Smilex, isn’t the result the same? Not to be glib, but isn’t the result the same, death is still death?”
“Agreed, but what if this isn’t the Joker”?
Batman’s jaw clinches, “Continue….”
“After number three we did some research. You were right on the hue, we think…”.
“Exactly, as such we thought….”
Batman’s eyes narrow as he hears the doorknob turn and the door briskly opens.
“Commissioner Gordon, sorry I couldn’t get here sooner. Had a few loose ends in New York I had to contend with.” His hand hand extends.
“Captain America, an honor to finally meet you in person. Can’t believe our paths haven’t crossed before”.
“My pleasure Commissioner”. After a quick shake his hand moves towards Batman.
Batman’s hands stay at his side. “Jim, didn’t know the Bat-signal could be seen in New York”.
“Batman, I understand your apprehension, but considering the circumstances I figured…..”
“You figured wrong. If you wanted my help, then you….”
“Pardon the interruption…” Captain America says as he slowly withdraws his hand “….I’m not hear to step on anyone toes Batman. I’m simply here to offer my expertise with….”
“The Red Skull, I figured that one out. I realize you’ve been going toe-to-toe for half a century, but don’t be so bold to assume I now nothing of his methods of motives.”
“Okay, Batman, I’ll confess I’m probably not half the detective I hear you are, but I don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deuce you are ripe with distain and sarcasm at my presence. If you’d prefer we could…”
“Gentlemen please, I knew this was a risk, but can your egos be checked?”
Silence from Batman.
“Sorry Commissioner, maybe…”
“Jim, how do you expect me to react? Have you lost faith in our relationship?”
“Why now do you need to bring in an outsider!?”
“Batman, please be realistic, there’s no doubt that Captain America has more working knowledge of the Red Skull than your computer could even…….I mean honestly, no one knows the Skull like him.”
“I’ll give you that Jim, but do you really think the Skull is out of my league?”
Captain America’s posture stiffens as he says, “Batman, I’m here to help law enforcement, not be an obstacle in any investigation. If you think it prudent I’ll recluse myself, head back to New York and email you the necessary files and profiles.”
Batman slightly grins. After a several second pause, “Captain, I’d rather have the deal with you personally.”
Captain America’s eyebrow raises.
Batman lets loose with a full grin, causing Commissioner Gordo to double-take.
“By that Captain I mean I’d like to take you to the Batcave where we can compare notes, nothing ominous by any means……”
“It’d be my pleasure Batman.”
“Great, can you keep a secret?”
“Son, and I say that with respect, I’ve been keeping capital secrets for fifty years.”
“Touché Captain, touché. Follow me to the roof top and we’ll be on our way.”
“Many thanks ahead of time gentlemen” Jim Gordon says as he lets out a perceptible sigh. ‘That went well’ he sarcastically thinks to himself as he watches the two legends disappear into the night.
That’s about as far as I ever got with the story, though I envisioned at some point there had to be a throw-down:
As for other portions of the story-line my thoughts were that actually these deaths were neither the Joker nor the Red Skull. Instead they were the work of a villain of mine called the Scarlet Archon, a would-be world ruler (are there any others?). He just happens to use a death dust that is similar enough to the Red Skull’s modus operedi that it brings Batman and Cap together in Gotham. If anyone (hint-hint) wants to they certainly could finish the story for me……