Gotham City was a dangerous place to be at night. The shadows consumed every crevice of the city's winding landscape. Nothing could escape the grasp of the dark: always moving, never stopping. However, the city had its own defense, like a child in their bedroom. The dark may be scary at first, but it dissipates at the first instance of light.
That defense is, of course, the Batman.
The Batmobile roared through the sky as Dick Grayson and Commissioner Gordon raced to stop the 99 Fiends from releasing Professor Pyg from Blackgate Penitentiary. It was a race that they could not afford to lose.
"If Pyg gets out, he could incite even more panic than what we were expecting! If this viral sickness does hit within the next few days, the city will try to kill itself!"
"Keep it together Batman!" Jim tried to comfort him. "We've taken on bigger challenges and came out on top! This is nothing we can't handle!"
Batman flicked a switch on the dashboard and put the car into overdrive. "I haven't had the ability to test this function yet. It homes in directly to areas of interest in the city: Crime Alley, Arkham Asylum, Town Hall..."
"And Blackgate," Gordon finished.
"Hostile targets incoming!" The voice of the Batmobile rang. "Multiple targets fleeing from Blackgate Penitentiary!"
"They've gotten Valentin! We can still cut them off. Brace yourself Commissioner, this is going to get rough!"
"What do you mean quarantine?!" Ayeka screamed into Damian's communicator.
"Watch it woma...Ayeka! You'll puncture my ears!" Robin winced in pain as he corrected himself.
"Listen, by being in the city, you run the risk of infection. It will probably be only a few days and then we can all return to Japan," Kiyone explained on the other end of the line.
Ayeka curled her fists into balls and punched the wall. "But that is three days I am deprived of my Lord Tenchi...and three days I am stuck her with that woman!"
"Am I that bad Princess?" Ryoko asked, teleporting beside her. "I always thought of myself as a fabulous woman and the heart and soul of the group."
"That is a matter of opinion Miss Ryoko," the Juraian verbally jabbed.
"Is it? Hey Clown, what do you think?" Ryoko called out to the stirring form on the floor.
Battered and bloody, The Joker regained consciousness and coughed up some blood. He wiped it off of his mouth. "I think I shouldn't have turned left at Albuquerque," he groaned.
"See? He agrees!"
"Is that really an opinion that you want to have?" Ayeka sighed.
"So great, we are stuck in a city I didn't want to be in with a monster who I really dislike," Ryoko rolled her eyes. "What could possibly make this worse?!"
"Ladies," Kiyone's voice piped up again. "I have word that Batman is now engaging the 99 Fiends and Professor Pyg at Blackgate. They may need help."
"The who?" Ryoko asked.
Ayeka's eyebrow twitched in irritation. "Those people at the Mansion who we decimated! Have you paid any attention to what has gone on around you since you got here?!"
"Don't know, don't care. This crap is way too confusing and annoying for me to think about. Still, let me handle this Princess," offered the space pirate. "I've got way too much stress to let loose. Can you handle him?"
"That depends. Mister Joker person, are you going to try to kill anyone or cross me?"
"But mommy, I don't want to go to school today! I want to stay home and bake cookies with you!" Joker loonily responded.
Ayeka blinked a few times. "I'm honestly not sure if he's faking or not."
"Just to make sure, keep an eye on him. He might be playing possum," Ryoko suggested. "I should know. I would do it. I'll be back before you can say 'Jurai Sucks!'" With that, the woman teleported out of the room, leaving a clown, a child assassin, and a princess alone in a hotel room.
"Oh, she really grinds my gears! Well since we have so much alone time together Robin, why don't we talk about your aspirations for the future. I take Sasami's friends very seriously you know," Ayeka sat down, preparing for an interrogation. Damian backed up in confusion and what can only be described as fearful annoyance.
"...really? Right now?"
"Really. Right now," she smiled.
A large plume of smoke rose from the fortress that is Blackgate Penitentiary. Several dozen forms were running away from the building and heading toward several armored cars. Chief among those fleeing was the familiar form of Lazlo Valentin, commonly called Professor Pyg.
"Run my lovelies! I know the good doctor opened my dollies out of their packaging! The condition may no longer be mint, but their beauty shall know no bounds!" Pyg roared in delight.
A beam of light fell upon the running forms. Pyg looked up and pointed at the sight. "That smell...can it be? Batman! That's the man who ruined my precious mask! Bleed him dry and watch the starry venom bathe the streets!"
"Commissioner, use these controls to disable the vehicles. You're a smart man, I think you can figure it out!" Batman yelled as he jumped out of the Batmobile and descended onto the crowds of fanatics.
"YOU NEVER TOLD ME WHICH CONTROLS TO USE!" Gordon called back to him. He sighed and looked at the various buttons. "Okay...what the hell do I do now?"
On the streets, Batman whipped out his escrima sticks and started to fight the Fiends. Thankfully, most of them were still injured from their encounter at Wayne Manor, so it was not as bad as it could have been. Regardless, Dick Grayson was but one man and there seemed to be no end to the foes that he had to face this night.
Just then, new players appeared on the gameboard. From a distance, they looked like cute little girls in odd dresses, but Dick knew better. These were Professor Pyg's Dollotrons: people who have been dosed with an identity destroying drug and surgically grafted with a fake face.
"Commissioner, I could really use some suppression fire!" Batman requested as loud as he could.
"Red button on the left control panel! Hurry!"
After some fumbling, Commissioner Gordon managed to hit the right button. A stream of rubber bullets hailed down from the sky. Just then, a Dollotron managed to produce a weapon that gave Batman dread: a rocket launcher. "Oh no. If he shoots down the Batmobile, the Commissioner could be killed!"
Batman attempted to beat his was to the Dollotron with the rocket launcher. The doll people kept coming at him in waves, and Dick saw that he wasn't going to make it. The only hope he had was that the body was strong enough to brace for a crash landing.
With a flash and a pounding sound, the rocket ejected from the launcher and struck the Batmobile. The vehicle crashed to the street below and was immediately swarmed by the criminals that infested the streets. Dick had no way of knowing if the Commissioner was okay, so he v-lined for the crash site. Grabbing his grappling hook from his utility belt and firing at a nearby lamppost, Batman soared in the air like he did when he was a child. He perfectly executed a triple flip and landed on top of the wreckage. He could hear the "self-destruct" protocol engage itself but could not see any sign of his long time mentor.
How fortuitous, then, that Ryoko arrived ready for a fight.
"Who's the bastard responsible for me not being able to see my Tenchi?!" The woman screamed at the top of her lungs.
"Wha? Ryoko? How did...actually, I don't want to know," Batman questioned. "Ryoko, find Commissioner Gordon before they kill him! It's up to you! Ugh!" Dick kicked a Dollotron out of his way.
"Baaaaaatmaaaaaan!" the all too familiar wail of Professor Pyg echoed. "You lost your tooooooy! He needs a bad operation! Come out and saaaaave him, if you caaaaaan!"
"Unhand me!" Batman could hear Gordon struggle. 'This means he's close.' "Batman, don't worry about me! Stop those monsters from destroying the city!"
"Can you save him Batman? Can you...ugh!" Pyg started to taunt before getting grabbed by Ryoko. She flew him up in the sky and stared at his disgusting form.
"Just between you and me, I'm going to enjoy this far more than you will. Clear?" Ryoko grinned evilly.
"Pain is like fine wine to me!" Pyg laughed.
"Good. I've got one hell of a vintage!"
Ryoko threw the masked man down to the ground with great strength. He smashed into the pavement, causing particles of debris to fly everywhere. He twitched, showing that he was miraculously alive. Batman noticed the knocked out form of Commissioner Gordon was in the line of fire. "Damn it Ryoko, I said save Gordon, not accidentally kill him!"
As Batman was focused on saving the Commissioner, he did not notice the Dollotron with the rocket launcher had managed to load a second rocket. The poor creature pointed it at the laughing form of the infamous space pirate and fired. It was unfortunate luck that the Batmobile exploded at the same time, causing Ryoko to have no idea of her coming doom.
The rocket collided and exploded. As it had knocked her off guard, Ryoko actually managed to fall down to the Earth herself. Her lifeless form plummeted directly into a secondary blast from the now destroyed Batmobile. Given her nigh destructible body, she was not critically damaged, but was knocked out due to shock.
"It's the demon who attacked us from the heavens!" One of the 99 Fiends announced to her comrades.
"She may prove use to us! The Professor may be lost to us, but El Penitente would want her too! Grab her before she wakes!"
With that, the Fiends grabbed the slumbering form of Ryoko and dragged her to one of the armored vehicle. In the midst of all of the combat, the Fiends slipped away, leaving Batman to take fend for both himself and the Commissioner.
"What do you mean you failed to retrieve Pyg?!" Dr. Simon Hurt snapped at the Fiends. "All of my plans were contingent on his presence here! The Black Glove meets in a few hours and I now have no victim to corrupt or right hand to control!"
Hurt began to pace around the abandoned theater he had adopted as his base of operations. He had every intention of bringing Mayor Hady and the other current members of the Black Glove here tonight to watch the fall of an innocent soul, but this changed things. He could see the doubt on his guest's face. He was a middle age man wearing a domino mask and a cowboy hat.
His name was Senator Vine and he was the last remaining member of the previous Black Glove to still be alive. The others were, of course, killed by The Joker.
"I refuse to allow it all to fall apart when I have finally come to reclaim my birthright!"
"But the Casket of Barbatos..." One of the Fiends asked.
"Requires the offering of a noble soul, something which we are lacking at the present moment. My plans for Grayson are still in play, but this is a delicate procedure," Hurt paced around in a circle. He sighed and slumped into a chair. "Now you claimed you had something else to offer me in Pyg's place. Present it."
The door opened up and four Fiends dragged in the unconscious form of Ryoko. Hurt jumped up in amazed excitement and examined the woman.
"How is this possible? How did you get her?"
"She came flying from the sky and intervened with our fight with the Batman," one of the Fiends exclaimed. "One of the dolls struck her with a rocket launcher and she fell into our grasp."
"A rocket launcher? With such minimal damage? This woman may prove to be a worthy specimen. Prepare her in Pyg's table!" Hurt ordered. "It's time this doctor opened his practice once more!"
"You mean to tell me Miss Ryoko has been captured by that Black Glove person?!" Ayeka yelled in the Bat-Bunker later that day. Upon his arrival from the wreckage of the battle at Blackgate, Batman explained the situation to all of his remaining help. This included Oracle, who was communicating from a different location speaking through her computer proxy, and The Joker, who was blindfolded and knocked out before arriving. Nobody liked his presence in the Bunker, but they tolerated it given the situation.
"She was caught in two different powerful explosions," Batman explained. "She's probably knocked out, but I'm not too worried. From what you have told me, she is a powerhouse. She'll probably give Hurt a run for his money when she wakes up."
"This is proving to be more exciting than I was expecting!" Joker laughed. "How is it possible that the Doctor screwed up so royally that he let his bishop and several of his pawns get captured? The man cannot play chess for his life!"
"What are you blabbering on about?" Robin growled. "How does chess factor into ANYTHING?"
"That's what this is Boy Blunder. All of this, right here, is a giant game between me and the Black Glove. I have my knights, my pawns, and even a queen!" He pointed to Ayeka, whose rage was showing on her face. "This is why you need to trust me for once!"
"Just to be clear here Joker, we are not working FOR you. We are working WITH you," Dick clarified.
"Actually, you aren't 'working' at all. You are standing around arguing details with me while your friend may be dying at Crime Alley!" Joker pointed out.
Batman raised an eyelid under his cowl. "Crime Alley? How did you know that?"
The Joker snorted. "Oh please, everyone in the know is aware of the party going down tonight. Trust me, I had to hire a caterer for it," he sighed. "Did you even ONCE check that homing signal you put on that Casket thingy?"
"Who says I didn't? We've been a bit preoccupied with, well you," Dick reluctantly admitted. "Hurt was going to be our next target. I was just hoping to see him play his hand."
Joker laughed again. "See, this is why you need me! You wanted to play cards, but he is playing chess!"
"Maybe he is playing Go?" Mihoshi offered.
"I like her!" Joker pointed to the blonde. "She gets my style!"
"Enough with your chess and other stupid games!" Robin yelled. "You are stalling! Just make sense and we can finish the job!"
The Boy Wonder felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned slightly to see Kiyone shake her head. "What Robin is asking is for you to clarify what you know. It would be better for everyone here if we are all on the same page."
"Couldn't have said it better myself! All the bigwigs of the city have all gathered here to witness our dearly demented Doctor Hurt throw a party to celebrate the fall of the city to some kind of madness." Joker pointed to a map of Gotham City that was on the wall and pointed out Crime Alley. "There has been talk about this for days now. I was afraid I would have to do this as Sexton, but this is so much funnier. The proverbial Mexican Train has stationed itself in Crime Alley and has promised the ruin of a good spirit. That's probably why the Hamburglar's happy meal toys targeted Gordo initially before a better target presented itself."
Batman processed all of the information that he received. "Oracle, what is your take on all of this?"
"There has been a lot of chatter over the radios about the old Monarch Theater being off limits tonight, specifically from the Mayor's office. This could be the largest gathering of underworld gangsters since Black Mask's war game two years ago," the modulated voice of Barbara Gordon played on the speakers.
"Even Max Headroom there agrees with me!"
"But what about Ryoko?" Mihoshi asked. "What if the Black Glove hurts her?!"
With that, Ayeka started to laugh. "Come now, you are honestly concerned for that woman? She has brought down spaceships all on her own. What harm could a single Earthling do to her?"
"What are you doing to her Doctor Hurt?" Senator Vine asked his protector. He had been watching the man work with several chemicals for over an hour now and had started to become unnerved. Every second that was spent on this woman was a second that was taken away from protecting him from The Joker.
"It is very simple Senator Vine. I have performed some cursory tests on our female companion here and I have only one logical conclusion: she is not of this world. I could tell that there was something extraordinary about this one when I first met her. This is a golden opportunity to learn more about our foe."
"That didn't answer the question."
Hurt held up the vial that contained his chemical concoction. "This is a cocktail of the most powerful truth serums on the planet. I have lived long enough to understand a thing or two about the mind Senator. If this woman is as humanoid as I believe her to be, I will hold the keys to her mind. If not, she will no doubt kill us where we stand," Hurt explained. A smile crept over his face. "It is a risky gamble, but one I am willing to take."
Senator Vine backed away from the slumbering woman and the demented doctor. "You...you are going to kill us! I thought we were trying to be safe! This...this is some kind of sick, demented horror movie!"
"Oh Senator, Gotham is an over the top city. You must remember that. We all have our roles to play in our little game, and now it is time to see if Ryoko here will play the role of the Trojan Horse or my dark queen. Place your bets!"
With that, he forced the liquid down the space pirate's throat. "Watch as she is helpless to stop! This is the big moment Senator! Ryoko, awaken and be my servant!" Hurt laughed as loud as he could. The senator could not help be stay affixed to his current spot, watching the horror unfold in sheer terror.
The woman with the spiky hair opened her eyes defensively. She looked around the room and her eyes fell to the man with the gloves. "You!" With a loud grunt she ripped her restraints off of her arms and grabbed Hurt by his throat. "How did I get here?"
"The better question is what did I do to you?" Hurt smiled.
Ryoko's vision suddenly became blurry and her knees started to collapse. She grabbed the table for support, but even it was hard to hold on to. Doctor Hurt merely adjusted his black cape and knelt down to her. "I think it is time you and I had a little talk my dear..."
The air around Crime Alley was thick with the stench of fear and corruption. It was an air that seemed to have stuck when two prominent individuals, Thomas and Martha Wayne, were gunned down by a hood with a gun. Tonight was no exception. In fact, the air was especially thick tonight.
Flying toward the building in the Batcopter, Batman was worried about the horrors he would fact at the Monarch Theater. He knew the symbolic value of the place and was annoyed at how set Hurt was on desecrating Bruce’s legacy. He looked to his passengers and noted their determination. Ayeka, Mihoshi, and Kiyone had joined him tonight. He did not want Damian to be alone with the Joker, but he was not about to risk Joker’s presence on sight and the girls insisted upon rescuing their friend. Deep down, Dick hoped that Damian’s new-found optimism would keep his temper in check.
“Funny thing that a supposed abandoned theater has all of its lights on,” Kiyone observed. “Guess The Joker wasn’t lying after all.”
“Joker knew that we knew where Hurt was. He had no reason to lie,” Batman explained. “Girls, I have no idea what we are going to face in there. If it gets bad, I want you to promise me that you will get out of there and regroup. If we can make it to tomorrow, I think we will be fine.”
Mihoshi coked her head in confusion. “What are you talking about Batman? What happens tomorrow?”
“Remember that eclipse I was telling you about? It happens tomorrow. I have a hunch that something big will happen tomorrow, and my hunches are usually right.”
The Juraian Princess scoffed at the comment. “Please, we can end this tonight without any problem. We have the power of Jurai at our disposal and…what is happening down there?” The princess pointed down to the streets below. A crowd had formed and it seemed like there was some kind of movement going on.
“Batcopter, zoom in,” Dick commanded. The view screen of the car obliged and displayed a most horrific sight: the citizens of Gotham had started to riot and fight for seemingly no reason. The inhabitants of the Batcopter watched in horror as men, women, and children seemingly tried to kill each other with makeshift weapons. “My god, it’s starting.”
“What is starting?” Ayeka asked.
“It’s Pyg’s virus, isn’t it?” Kiyone whispered. “The one you said was dormant…”
“Guess it’s no longer dormant,” Dick bit his lower lip. “Damn it, I wish Washu were here. She claimed can stop all of this.”
“Isn’t the Bat Computer working on something to counteract it?” Kiyone asked.
Dick nodded. “Between my analysis and Washu’s tinkering, we should be in the clear…if Gotham can hold its own for one more day…”
“Monarch Theater in range,” the Batcopter announced.
“Guess we are bringing the fireworks after all,” Dick sighed. “Be on your guard. Be prepared for anything! Just because Pyg is gone does not mean we discount his Dollotrons!”
With that, Dick fired into the old theater on the corner of Park Row. As the heroes jumped down into the carnage they discovered a terrible sight: several men and women were all laughing uncontrollably and turning pale.
“He did say he was handling the catering…” Dick muttered.
It was only when he landed on the ground that Dick’s fears were realized: Professor Pyg’s Dollotrons were playing the role of body guards and henchmen for this Black Glove ceremony. ‘Wait, if the Dollotrons are here...where are the 99 Fiends?’ he thought to himself.
As Batman started to attack the Dollotrons, Ayeka's eyes met a limp form on an operating table. Knowing that spiky hair anywhere, the princess plowed through the hordes of doll creates like they were tin soldiers.
"Hang on Ryoko! I'm getting you out of here!" Ayeka shouted. She landed beside her rival and started to pull the straps on her wrists.
The second she grabbed the material, an electric shock went through both women. Ayeka started to writhe in pain. She tried to pull away but found she was stuck.
"The first princess of the Planet Jurai! Welcome!" A new voice shouted from behind the princess. A dark figure made his way into her vision. Though it was blurred, she recognized the face from the Bat Computer.
"The restraints you are currently attached to can only come off with great force. However, I can flick a switch to release you, but the shock will kill your friendly rival here!" Doctor Hurt announced as if he were a television announcer. "Are you willing to bet your life for hers?"
Before he could hear Ayeka's answer, a shot was fired at him. Hurt spun around to see the familiar duo of Mihoshi and Kiyone. "Ah, the Galaxy Police Officers!"
"How did you know that?" Kiyone demanded. "Answer me you criminal!"
"I know more than you think Detective Sergeant," Hurt grinned. "I am The Hole in Things!"
"What does that mean?" Mihoshi asked intently.
"It means I have been there since the beginning and I will be there at the end. I know all of your secrets and will not stop at anything to get to him!"
A loud scream was heard. Ayeka was still pulling at the restraints with all of her might.
"I have calculated the force needed to remove her by just the princess alone. However, you may have a chance to save them both if you all pull together. What will you do? Will you save the world from me or save your friends?!" With that, Hurt ran at both of them and then right in between them.
Kiyone spun around and started firing at him, but by that point he had blended in with the Dollotrons and the victims of The Joker's handiwork. A new scream was joined Ayeka's and Kiyone knew at once what needed to happen.
The teal haired woman ran to her partner and the princess and started to pull like her life depended on it. The electricity flowed into her body now and, unlike Ayeka, did not have the power of Jurai to lessen the blow. It was pain unlike any other Kiyone had felt, but she knew she needed to be there for her friends.
With a final pull, the three women flew back to the floor. Mihoshi's body started to twitch, which caused Kiyone to crawl over to her.
"Mihoshi! Mihoshi you bonehead! Are you okay?!"
"Ugh..." Mihoshi moaned. "Ryoko...?"
Understanding that she wanted to see how Ryoko was doing, she looked up to see Ryoko still laying on the table but no longer tied down. Ayeka miraculously limped over to her and and started to pant.
"Awaken...you decrepit mummy!" Ayeka cried. "I demand...demand by the Holy...Council of Jurai to awaken!" She accentuated her last word with a punch to her stomach.
Ryoko began to suddenly cough. Tears started to roll down her face. "Ayeka..."
"Don't you dare...be that foolish again!" Ayeka forced a smile.
"Listen to me!" The former space pirate weakly grabbed Ayeka's collar. "That bastard did things to me! He drugged me!"
"And you can tell me about that later! We have to help Mister Grayson fight those doll people and that..."
"NO!" Ryoko yelled. "I couldn't help it! I told him everything I know! He knows where to find Sasami!"
A wall exploded nearby and the sound of a helicopter was heard. The Dollotrons had pushed a fallen figure into it: Dick Grayson had been overcome and captured. As the helicopter rose into the sky, Ayeka and the rest could only stare dumbfounded at the sight. Before they knew it, they were attacked by the remaining creatures.
Ayeka, mad with grief and full of rage, used all of her Juraian power to strike all of her foes. Kiyone stood there in shocked awe at the force she was exerting. “WHERE. IS. THE. DOCTOR?!”
One by one like dominoes the Dollotons fell. In the end, all that remained were the four injured, exhausted women. Ayeka combed through the remains like a fine comb. “He isn’t here! He must have gotten in that helicopter and…”
“There isn’t time Princess!” Ryoko wheezed. “We have to get to Sasami before he does!”
“You don’t even know WHERE she is outside of a last name! How do you expect to find her?!”
“Why don’t we ask Oracle?” Mihoshi offered weakly. “We need to think calmly about this!”
Ryoko put her arm on Ayeka’s shoulder. “She’s right.”
The purple haired noble bit her lower lip and flew to the Bat Copter. There was not much time to get there before Doctor Hurt could…
The Brown house was lively despite only having three occupants inside. With the rioting going on in town, Stephanie’s mother was still out trying to save lives. Unfortunately, Kara had to leave as well, citing another global emergency that she had to take care of while her cousin was traveling in time. All that remained were Sasami, Stephanie, and the small Ryo-Ohki. As it was, the two girls were engaged in deep combat.
“If you think you can land a blow on me, guess again,” Steph taunted. “I’m the best fighter here.”
“We will see about that! Hiya!” Sasami cried in return. “You have the power, but I have the reach!”
Steph stared at the television amazed that Sasami kept using Samus Aran’s throw to counter Ness’ PK Fire. “Stop spamming the throw! It’s no fun that way!”
“All is fair in video games! That’s how I play with Azaka back on Jurai!”
“Damn you and your persistence! Take this!”
The two girls were warned by both Stephanie’s mother and Oracle to remain inside. Though both girls professed their desire to help, Oracle managed to convince them that joining a conflict they knew nothing about was dangerous, especially since if something were to happen to Sasami an intergalactic upset could occur.
That was not something Stephanie Brown wished to live with.
“Yay! I win!” Sasami cheered as the Super Smash Bros. game finished. “Do you want to play again?”
“We keep going until I show you what Americans are made of!” Steph’s determination was incredibly strong. Sasami could not help but laugh at it.
With that, the door was broken open by several people from outside of the house. Sasami screamed as the oddly dressed men and women entered the room. One of the people, a blonde woman holding a flame thrower, pointed at the girl.
“She’s the one! Torch the rest!”
Steph, not taking any chances, pushed Sasami away as she instantly started to attack the crowd. “You need to get out of here!”
Tears started to form in Sasami’s eyes as she looked at her new friend fighting for her. “I can’t leave you!”
“I was trained by Batman! I’ve got this! Go!”
The blonde was in full Batgirl mode now as she grabbed various objects around her house to defend herself with. Sasami, not wishing to stand by, ran to help her. Seeing the chance, one of the Fiends let his vicious dog loose and sent it at her.
Ryo-Ohki, seeing the immediate danger in the situation, flung herself at the animal. The cabbit scratched the creature with all of her might, but suddenly stopped. With a faint “Meow,” she looked down and saw an arrow pierce her side. The little creature collapsed to the ground, panting and barely breathing.
“RYO-OHKI!” Sasami screamed at the top of her lungs. With that, her world went black as a Fiend snuck up behind her and knocked her out.
Ayeka and Ryoko flew with all of their might to the Brown House. Oracle had tried to contact Stephanie, but could not reach her at all. The fear only compounded when Ryoko felt a sharp pain in her chest that she recognized as coming from Ryo-Ohki. Things were not looking good as they sped their way through the Gotham skyline.
“Look there! That smoke is where I sense Ryo-Ohki!”
“I have no doubt that is where that Brown girl lives,” Ayeka cried grimly.
The smoke was indeed emanating from Stephanie’s house. The two women were horrified to see that the house was lit up like a pack of matches. The house had started to collapse and the flames escalated. Several of the neighbors had come out of their houses to watch the ensuing chaos…at least those who were not succumbing to the effects of the viral narcotic.
“Stay back! All of you!” Ryoko growled as she started to tear through the burning carnage. Thankfully, she could withstand the effects of fire. “RYO-OHKI? WHERE ARE YOU?”
Beside Ryoko, Ayeka did her part to find her little sister. The fire burned her, but she was too determined to let that stop her. After a few minutes of tearing the place apart, Ryoko found what she was looking for.
Ryo-Ohki, battered and burned, had managed to create a tiny force field around the lifeless form of Stephanie Brown. It was clear that both of them were clinging on to life, but were alive regardless. Ryoko grabbed her companion and the girl and pulled them out of the fire. By now, Ryo-Ohki had dropped the force field and lay still on the grass outside of the house. Ryoko knew her self-regenerative cells would heal her in time, but it did not change the pain that Ryoko knew she was going through.
Ayeka continued to search for Sasami until a cough was heard. Stephanie managed to awaken and was now watching her home burn down in front of her eyes.
“Lay back kid, you are alright,” Ryoko whispered.
“Took her…they got her…” Stephanie managed weakly. She dropped her head and it hit the ground. Ryoko checked her pulse to make sure if she was alive. Thankfully, she was. By now, an ambulance pulled up and from the vehicle came a very concerned woman. Ryoko could see the resemblance between the two immediately and realized that this was her mother.
“Stephanie! Get her some oxygen and put her on the stretcher! Did anyone see what happened here?!” Mrs. Brown asked the crowd.
“A bunch of hoodlums came in and took some girl. Your daughter tried to save her,” a reply came from the crowd. The woman held her daughter’s hand as they loaded her into the ambulance.
Watching all of this and seeing her injured cabbit, Ryoko wanted to do nothing more than to scream and kill the man who drugged her, used her, and penetrated her own mind. However, she looked to Ayeka, who had fallen so low and had started to cry. Ryoko knew that she needed to get both of them back to the Bat-Bunker…
When that was done, though? She would kill Simon Hurt. Slowly. Painfully.