|What: Joker finally throws Batman a bone, cluing the Caped Crusader in on Selina's location. Unfortunately nothing is ever easy when dealing with the Clown Prince, making it a good thing that Batman has an ace up his sleeve.|
It was a joker card, as usual.
First, a group of Joker thugs went out, causing as much chaos as possible, but instead of their normal clown garb, they all wore chesire cat masks. They were instructed not to tell the Bat that Selina was being kept in the amusement park, knowing full well that they'd break in seconds.
And so, Amusement Mile waits. Darkened. Empty.
Or so it would seem.
Days have blended into each other since Selina was abducted, partially due to being kept in a drugged stupor, that done to insure she was on her best behavior while a 'guest', and partially because she has been kept where there are no windows. She has been treated well, for the most part. Food and water has been provided, not that Selina trusted them to eat or drink, and she was left alone to sleep when under the worst of the drugs' effects.
That all changed when Joker had some of his minions pull her out of a cage, clean her up and change her clothing, swapping out what she was wearing when she went to see Jim for a Little Bo Peep costume, complete with full, ruffly petticoats and a bonnet. They even went as far as to put a golden wig upon her head, the fake tresses curled in thick ringlets. And as if that wasn't bad enough they went as far as to make her face up. Bright red circles have been rouged upon her cheeks and the same red applied to her lips, lending her the look of a little dolly waiting to be played with.
Currently, Sel is sitting upon a chair, a single spot light shining upon her from above. She's out again and slumped, such a sad, pathetic looking ragdoll if ever there was one.
Eating food and drinking drink offered by the Joker is never wise-- probably part of what makes it so amusing for him to periodically -not- lace his offerings with lethal (or otherwise hilarious) chemical compounds. It's hard to say which takes longer, interrogating the Joker's less-than-professional crew, the abrupt and rather painful break-up of their smash and grab at one of Gotham's sporting outlets, or realizing that he's dealing with the Joker's men-- and not the Mad Hatter's. None of the aforementioned tasks are marathon endeavors for Batman, however, and the entire affair remains-- for the moment-- completely off the radio waves.
Not that the goons in question aren't swinging, gagged and bound, waiting for the police to find them even without a tipoff from the Oracle. It just doesn't pay to tip the Joker off on the Bat's timetable. That alarm is set off soon enough, as the Batmobile's armored frame crashes the heavy gates barring access to the derelict amusement park where the Clown Prince of Crime once more chooses to make his stand.
The metal bends, flips end over end in either direction as the car roars into view, past any gunfire and sentries, right into the midst of the fray. The Dark Knight, meanwhile, perches high in the night shadows, amidst the skeletal, rust-pocked frame of a long neglected ferris wheel, the electronics in the batsuit scanning from building to building in search of signs of the Clown's captive, whilst his compatriots are drawn to the revving vehicle.
"Hiya' Bats! I was hoping you'd show up soon, you almost missed game night! We're playing, 'Find the Cat,' but we're changing the rules slightly. Maybe you should get out a bat-pencil and some bat-paper. In the park, there are six, count them, six cats, only one of them, though, is the Cat of your dreams. The rest are some shmucks I picked up off the streets. Hell, I think one of them's even a thief. When you find one, you get to keep 'em... But here's the catch. For every one you save, I blow up another hostage at random, and, since you're looking for the real cat, once you find her, I'll just -- well -- let's just say, 'clear the board.' HAhAHAhAHahahAHAhAHAHAhaHA!"
The Bat's sensors seem to confirm his story. Six groups are scattered throughout the park, all of them under heavy guard, though one seems to have a slightly larger escort.
Selina stirs slightly as she hears Joker's voice, her eyes fluttering open as she tries to parse all of what was relayed to Batman. Mouth dry, she tries to cry out, to scream as if she's under the belief that she'll be heard, but whatever warning she might try to shout comes out as only a squeak.
The guards turn to look at her and she frowns, the crimson-tinted lips curled down heavily, but she doesn't do anything else. Best not to get on their wrong side when she might be getting out of here.
|"Oracle."| It's a hushed murmur, even high over the Amusment Mile, |"Track sensor telemetry from my suit. Linking you in now. The Joker claims to have six hostages wired to six bombs; the detonators are probably remote."| Which gives the Dark Knight a little bit of potential wiggle room; maybe. |"I'm not sure we'll be able to locate him without letting him set one of the charges off.. but I'm not sure there's a better option."| Which is a rather unnerving aspect to the puzzle, just now.
A few buttons are pressed on a concealed pad in his utility belt, and another changes his thermal imaging to electromagnetic. The old park isn't typically thrumming with power sources, after all-- he may be able to locate the bombs, or at least buildings with power.. but little apparent activity.
In the meantime, running on its updated program, the Batmobile takes off with a squeal of tires, roaring straight for the most populated building in direct paradox to Batman's own patient caution. The intent is, quite literally, to ram its front end through the nearest wall. Meanwhile, on a comparatively utterly silent grapnel line, the Dark Knight drops to one of the other rooftops, moving like a shadow to access the building and seek out one of the Joker's charges.
The Batmobile's course drives it straight through the front gate of the fun house, taking out two guards in the process. The rest open fire with submachine guns on the empty cockpit, attempting to kill someone who isn't even there. Meanwhile, the hostage whichever one it is, sits amongst a circle of mirrors deeper inside the buidling, dressed like Selina in a Bo Peep costume, their guards looking outwards towards the sound of gunfire.
The second building on Batman's quest for the hidden Cat, holds a few cautious guards. Guards who seem to be a little more relieved that they aren't the first target of his attack, based on the gunshots they can hear in the distance. Their hostage sits bound and gagged in the middle of a circle of joker masked goons who set about checking their weapons, 'just in case.'
As if their puny weapons can do any good against Batman. It's a thought that causes Selina to grin but she is still silent. But while she's quiet her mind is working over time, picturing all the ways she'd love for Batman and his little family to make Joker and that blonde girlfriend of his pay, nothing about what she is imagining G-rated.
His face is all business, his mouth a grim line of determination and his eyes narrowed and focused as he approaches Amusement Mile from the ground. No airborne soldier is he as he slinks across the ground, black cape wrapped about him to hide the bright colors of his uniform from prying eyes. The chain-link fence is met, a gloved hand tipping the contents of a small phial on the metal with a circular motion. A hiss of smoke and a section of the fence falls away, the gap large enough for Robin to slip through.
On the outside he is a picture of grim determination, but on the inside his joy threatens to bubble over. This man they are hunting is the worst of them. The nightmare. The cackling antithesis to everything his father is and represents. The case files that Damian has read and reread all indicate that the Bat was always hesitant to let his soldiers face the Joker and yet here he is. This may be all that he has trained for.
He allows himself a faint smirk as the thought crosses his mind, his back pressed against the rickety side of an old stall. He reaches up to tap a button on his gauntlet, a wordless signal to the Bat that he is inside.
The small arms fire ricochets with potentially painful results off armored hull and the thick, reinforced glass of the canopy; which in this case protects absolutely no one. Sparks fly as bullets impact metal here and there, in the moments before the Batmobile suddenly roars into reverse, bits of funhouse raining from the sky as its improvised entry point is vacated, leaving in its wake several large, gas-spewing spheres. The Joker isn't the only admirable chemist in play, and the Batman doesn't apply just any old tear gas-- it's an agonizing substance to make contact with via eyes and skin, so much so that the secondary tranquilizing effect is likely rather merciful.
The Dark Knight, on the other hand, gets a closer look at the placement of the charges. |"I've got a visual on one of the bombs; they're attached under the chairs the hostages are tied to."| Which sounds like it's rather disappointing indeed, to the Dark Knight. Silently, he drops to the ground outside his chosen building, pulling out a small handheld computer that flips open as he aligns it with the device. |"I'm going to try to tap into the Joker's communications and isolate the frequency of the detonator attached to this bomb; if we can jam both channels temporarily..."|
Does he need to explain further? There's two of them, just now, and the Joker isn't known for his patience while Batman works his angle. It might give them a moment to get the abundance of hostages clear. The decryption protocols work madly as the miniaturized device scans frequencies swiftly. |"Oracle, tag the six structures in Robin's HUD. We'll need to hit them hard and fast if this works. Standby."|
No, the Caped Crusader is -not- happy that his protege-- and in this case, his son-- is here. He's done what he can to keep Damian completely clear of the Joker during this latest string of crimes; 'what he can' decidedly stops somewhere before sacrificing six lives, and potentially Selina's, because Robin may not be ready, however.
"Oh dear, oh dear. You're not even going to be there to save the first hostage, Batsy? How dreadfully careless!" Joker's voice cackles over the loudspeakers as the goons fall over, first screaming, then silent in the fun house. Several remain to guard the hostage deeper within, probably the only saving grace. As Batman's infinitately superior tech begins to hack into the bomb's detonation frequency, Joker continues speaking, "I think it's time to change the rules, since you're probably doing just that as I yammer on. Every five minutes it takes you, another hostage goes kablooey -- Starting four minutes ago. Have fun!"
Selina prides herself on being a strong woman, prides herself on being fairly unflappable and the kind of person who is able to stay calm no matter what the situation. But she's been stripped of her strength, removed of the protective barrier she had drawn about herself and left vulnerable.
At first the thought of potentially dying by the Joker's hand didn't faze her but it's all starting to weigh upon her, that added to by a sense of responsibility for those who might die because of her. A tear runs down her face, smearing a streak into the red makeup that had been applied to her face, it then joined by another and then many more as it all sinks in.
|"I see them" Robin speaks into his comm as the little points of light bloom on his HUD, showing him the bombs, |"I'm moving in closer."|
There is only a minute to spare, so Robin wastes no time waiting for Batman to tell him why he should not do what he is about to do. The Boy Wonder is no fool, and he's not about to put himself in the same room as a bomb-strapped hostage unless he's sure he can save him. What good it do to get himself blown up along with the poor sap? No, Damian doesn't really see life in the same sacred light as his father does.
He moves fast, back now pressed against a wall just beyond which one of the hostages sits. A small device is fished from his belt, something akin to a PDA. He taps a button, causing it to spring to life and bathe his face in a blue glow. A few button depressions later a jamming signal goes out, a confusing static to block or at least delay the signal.
|"Running a jam on signal three"| Robin announces into his comm, |"I'm going tight-range. Looks like all I can cover is this one from here."|
Right on cue, the Joker runs out of patience. |"I'm locked in on the detonator frequencies; but I'm betting we don't have long before the bullets make it a moot point."| Always so optimistic, the dark observation comes as Batman deploys his own palm-sized brick of a jammer. It looks bad, even on the 'disabling the bombs' end for a moment-- two locked out, four available, with a Clown who tends to react badly to disappointment.. assuming he doesn't just start by setting off one of the ones the Batman doesn't target. Then again, just how unprepared -does- the Joker expect the Dark Knight to be? A spherical black device a bit larger than his average pellet charge is drawn from its own capsule towards the rear of his utility belt, and released into the air.
A skeletal structure expands outwards as the drone that's half helicopter, half airplane, activates and swiftly climbs to hover over another structure; three more launch from the Batmobile as it screeches to a halt in the open pedestrian mall between derelict park attractions. Each abruptly glimmers as a small but potent power cell charges up their own localized jammers. It may not stop the Joker from screeching orders and comedic repartee over the loudspeaker.. but with a bit of luck it buys them a window where his bombs stop working, and the surveillance on his groups of thugs (along with their ability to call in problems) fades to nothing but ominous static. |"Go."|
Launching himself off the rooftop, the Dark Knight catches himself with a fired grapnel, building momentum and leading with an armored shoulder as he breaks through the ground floor window, all but tumbling into the midst of the men who surround the nearest hostage. With their attention firmly on the sounds of (apparent) combat outside, it's destructive, direct shock and awe that the Dark Knight utilizes-- a smoke pellet detonates even as he lands, seeking to entangle and engage multiple targets at once.
Wrenching limbs, breaking hands, dismantling guns, smacking skulls together, and moving swiftly between strikes, feints allowing reprisals to wound other thugs rather than himself. From within the cloud of smoke, it's a concerto of cracking bones and tearing tendons, seeking to work with grim, efficient speed. If he's lucky, sixty seconds gives him time to deal with one and move on before the Joker even realizes the full extent of the problem...
As Batman begins the assault, presumably along with Robin, the Joker frowns. He expected a lot from the Bat, but to be ablt to disable all six of his bomb simultaneously... "Maybe I should get twelve hostages next time..." He mumbles to himself, before he activates his mic. "I'm guessing by the lack of explosion, you've somehow, miraculously, disabled the bombs. Well... Gotta' hand it to you Guano-Breath, even I didn't expect that -- Oh wait. Actually I did." The sound of a gunshot rings out over the park, then a gurgled scream of pain before silence, "Since I don't know how many you've gotten to, I'm just going to start killing all of them... That's your cue, idiots!"
As one, all the mooks who are still standing begin strapping on green and purple painted gas masks, and start pulling out gas grenades. "You see, I figured the bombs wouldn't do much good, which is why I stuck them right under your nose. While you were busy worrying about the boom, I brought the laughter. HEhehEheHEHehEHEheheHEHeHE!"
As the familiar laugh breaks out over the speakers, it's joined by another, one of the hostages succumbing to the Joker Venom in the gas grenades. Selina's guards seem to be a bit slower, though if that was by design isn't immediately obvious, as they pull out their grenades, it just so happens that Robin has stumbled upon the right Bo Peep.
The tears ebb as soon as she realizes that this is no time for being upset, not when she has to act fast. Not realizing Robin's here just yet she raises up, bringing the chair with her as she's bound to it by the arms. "I have had enough," the previously-passive captive says before she rushes forth, seeking to take out the grenade-carrying crooks with the legs of the chair. This is awkward and clumsy but it does the job once she gets the hang of the feel of the chair strapped to her, putting her in a hunched position. One of the thugs goes down after his leg is swept out from under him, that giving Selina perfect opportunity to kick him in the head to put him out for the count. She then rushes forth to give the others the same treatment, or so the plan goes. Whether she can carry it out to the end remains to be seen.
Regardless of if Selina is successful is not, one thing will be easy to see. These guys are getting their asses kicked by one pissed off Bo Peep. They better hope the guys in the prison never hear about this.
Robin curses to himself in his native Arabic as the gas begins to flow, pulling a collapsible gas mask from his belt and clasping it in one hand. He's already been busy, and a signal sent from his gauntlet causes the wall he is standing by to explode inwards when an explosive charge is activated. He doesn't don the mask himself, plunging in through the new entrance he has made.
Before Selina can tackle the second thug, Robin is upon the man. Though he is fighting one-handed, he drops his boot heavily into the man's lower back and elicits a muffled shriek from behind the gas mask. The grenade is caught on the tip of his foot and kicked deftly out of the hole in the wall and into the night. The gas has not begun to flow but who knows what fail-safes the Joker has thought up. Not gently, Robin jams the gas mask against Selina's mouth.
"You will earn your keep tonight, Thief." he growls, his accent thicker than usual as he slips a narrow-edged blade through her bonds to free her, "Follow me."
No, he doesn't trust her to follow her own lead as he takes off out the hole and begins to run in the direction of the next hostage on his HUD. He triggers his comm, speaking aloud to Selina and across the airwaves to Batman all at once: |"I have your Thief. Moving to the next hostage. We will not save them all."|
As the Joker moves on to plan 'b', the Bat pauses only long enough amidst the clutter of broken and unconscious henchmen to grab one of their gas grenades himself, tucking it away before he cuts the bindings of his own terrified (but luckiest) Bo Peep in the same motion that he all but drags her out of the chair. There's no time to be gentle or forthcoming with the details, so the Bat simply leaps back out the way he came in as the outer guards rush in.. rather confused to say the least. Their captive is deposited on the roof, "Stay low, don't make a sound." The Batman advises her simply, before launching himself towards the next building.
As the grapnel line accelerates him all but horizontally across the Amusement Mile, the Batmobile is reactivated, turning its attention to one of the hostage locations further down the line and repeating its barrier-breaking frontal assault. It'll open wall after wall, accruing no small measure of dents and scratching in the process-- this time, confusing and alarming the Joker's men is only part of the point, however. The other portion involves opening ample ventilation to each hostage, buying the Dark Knight valuable seconds. As far as the doomsaying? It's just not acceptable. |"Move faster. Induce cardioplegia in any exposed hostage. Lidocaine, Nitroglycerin, Albumin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Potassium Chloride, Mannitol, Isolyte-S. Oracle, guide him on quantities."|
Wait, what? Yes, the Dark Knight's solution to the Joker venom: stop their damn hearts. He keeps Barbara hopping: |"We need EMS inbound five minutes ago; and get me Fox."| He barely has time to cover those scant bases before, at full velocity, the Bat breaches a concession stand holding the next hostage. His own gasmask sealed to his cowl, the gas proves little more than a ready-made smokescreen as the Dark Knight's elbows lead, breaking the ribs of two men with what appears little more than a glancing impact from a passing missile dressed as a bat. He comes up into a jaw-shattering haymaker, and brutally suplexes another man headfirst into the floor with enough force to shatter the rotting boards and leave him chest-deep in the splinters.
Turning to the newest Bo Peep, the Dark Knight quickly prepares a hypo-gun with a solution of the aforementioned chemicals.. and injects it directly into the laughing woman's heart. She's carried out of the venom with the Bat, emerging into the open air and setting her down to prepare two rather special batarangs. Each is hurled through the nearest two windows, bladed edge sticking into the first wall it comes into contact with... before emitting a debhilitating sonic pulse designed to nauseate and agonize anyone caught in its radius, destabilizing the inner ear and robbing them of their senses-- and balance. He just doesn't have time to fight them all.
Plan B, also happened to be plan 2 through Z, and since it worked so swimingly, the Joker feels it's time to enact Plan 3F and get the heck out of there. His cameras no longer work, but luckily windows do, and as he steps over the body of the hostage in the fun house wearing the costume of one of his thugs, he whistles a merry tune and starts to slip out the back. Hoping Robin will follow him. He just bought a new crowbar.
Meanwhile, at least two hostages have died at the hands of the Joker, three have been saved, and only one remains with the Dynamic Duo 1 on their way. The thugs have already scattered from the batmobile's attack, but they still fire potshots towards their boss' foes even as they flee. The last hostage is already in the midst of the drug enduced laughing fit, but the restraints have kept him from breaking his own back, however, it's only a matter of time until the last Bo Peep sufficates.
Gratitude will be shown once her face stops smarting from having the mask all but slapped to it, the protective device now held into place while Robin's followed. Selina looks around once she's sure sure she won't lose sight of him as the last thing she needs is to lag behind and risk falling behind.
"Tell Batman I need to talk to him soon," she mumbles gravely. "I got some bad news for him." This will be a discussion she will not like but he needs to know that Joker now knows about her being Catwoman, it too important to not make mention of.
|"Kill them to save them,"| Robin repeats, a snort of laughter in his words, |"Very well. Wait - "|
He glares over his shoulder at Selina, voice thick with derision, "Tell him yourself. Bad enough that I had to save your life, you expect me to be your messenger bird."
That said, the Boy Wonder will probably still make mention of it later.
|"I count only one hostage left living,"| he says into his comm, voice now grave as well, |"You take him. I'll take the Clown.|"
Robin is brash and sure of himself. No matter how much he has read about the Joker and no matter how much Batman has warned him, there are facts he just cannot accept. How can a lunatic with no formal training be a physical match for one such as he? He cannot accept it. He turns on his heels, rushing in the assumed direction of the Madman.
It doesn't take long for the Dark Knight to prepare a second vial of solution, though the collection of chemicals in the sections of belt dedicated to medical gear run dry quickly; even if the other two weren't exposed quickly, and already laughed to death... well, he wouldn't have to medicine, himself, to pull this off anyway. It's a good thing he stays equipped for field surgery; not the first time it's a good thing, either, limited stock or no. With the last group of relevant henchmen fighting the effects of the sonic batarang, and the Dark Knight's cowl rendering him utterly immune, it's even more lopsided than the previous engagements: Batman almost simply wades through, throwing men to either side in wall-crushing flights leveraged with his own strength and training.
Then the needle stops another heart. The hospital can keep them stable a bit longer than they'll live in the field, but priority one has become the need to analyze the compound in his absconded grenade, and quickly adapt his baseline antivenom to this specific batch of the Joker's ever-shifting formula; it's touch and go, to say the least... but it's still a chance. |"Do you have a visual?"| The consternation is unusually obvious in the Caped Crusader's voice as he swiftly moves to intercept Robin and Selina's chase, as the ambulance and police sirens whine closer.
Joker's purple trenchcoat slips around a corner, the laugh echoing behind him, and then his voice. "Tut tut. You know this is how I killed the last one, don't you? Or was it the one before him? I can't keep track, anymore, you're all so... replacable." When Damian catches up with the Joker, he'll find him backed into a dead end, looking angrily back the way he came, as if it was Robin's fault he got lost in his own maze of carnival attractions. "Oh, go ahead and get it over with," he growls, already beginning to flinch in anticipation of the hit he knows is coming.
It's also a good way to hide the grin that's forming at the thought of Damian triggering the classic boxing-glove trap that's hidden just behind an old pile of junk. Also the joy buzzer in Joker's hand. And the knife up his sleeve. And the crowbar on the other side of the fake wall. And the bomb strapped to his ankle. And the laughing gas in his lapel.
Meanwhile, Batman makes it to his target just in time to watch them slowly begin to aphixiate. The syringe works quickly, but so does the venom. At this rate, the only thing that can save them is the antidote, but if he chases after Damian, the hostage will most certainly die. At the same time, several escaping Joker thugs, seeing the Cat distracted, decide to open fire from down range... luckily there's a sturdy wall nearby.
The gunfire gets Selina to whip her head to the side, her eyes narrowed in anger. "Better be glad I don't have my whip," she hisses before running to duck behind the protective cover, the woman separated from her rescuer. "Well," she says to herself once she's sure she hasn't been hit or anything like that, "it seems like I've stepped in it once again."
All that can be done now is wait until the Joker's goons run out of bullets so she can make a run for it.
Robin sniffs the air, eyes still fixed on the Joker as he pauses at the mouth of the dead end. A gloved hand reaches slowly behind him, clasping around the hilt of the sword sheathed at the small of his back. The gunshots and the wailing sirens do not serve to distract him, his lip curling in a sneer of derision and loathing.
"This is it? I'd imagined you less pathetic, Clown. No matter."
A hiss of metal as Robin draws the sword from it's scabbard, holding it out to his side. A vicious, predatory slant takes his shoulders and he flicks his comm off.
"I'm going to slice your hands from your body and see how funny you find it. He may not wish to permanently harm you but I have no such compunction. Perhaps I shall simply lop your head off and call it a terrible accident."
Seldom when presented with option 'B' and option 'A' does the Dark Knight fail to select the (ofttimes maddening) option 'C'. Every now and then, however, he's trapped in a compromised situation. Such as when Robin rushes off to confront the Joker while the Bat still has important work to do. |"Don't underestimate him."| Because 'let him go' isn't going to work; and wouldn't hold much conviction, fear or no. The Joker's too deadly to let run free. |"He always has escape routes planned, and a multitude of concealed weapons."| Trapped or no, there's always a third option-- even if it takes a few moments too long for the situation, and the only immediate support he can provide is sage advice.
The Batmobile comes to a stop in front of Batman, its canopy opening. The gas grenade is dropped inside. |"Tell Fox to get to Gotham General ahead of the ambulances. Tell him the car is in the back alley."| Which is where the Dark Knight programs the vehicle's guidance system to take it, carefully mapping out the side streets and back alleys that will limit its contact with pedestrian or other vehicle traffic... particularly this time of night. The sample will still get there ahead of the patients.
With Oracle's instructions in place, the Dark Knight administers a second, maintenance dose to both his afflicted 'patients' and ropes up numerous fleeing henchmen... those not already incapacitated on the ground. Only then can he rightly pursue his... enthusiastic son.
"Oooh, this new one has some kick, doncha', Shorty?" Joker, taunts, before he sticks his tongue out at Damian, "You wouldn't dare. The big bad Bat would put you in timeout for at /least/ a week." As Damian settles into that slant, Joker pauses, before his grin spreads wider, "Wow. I'd recognize that look anywhere. I get the same one before I put a smile on someone's face. Permanently -- You're serious, aren't you?" With the slightest of movements, his grin turns far more sinister, as does his voice, though both somehow still seem jovial, "I'm going to have a lot of fun with you."
It's around that time that he gets directly in line with the boxing glove trap, and it springs. The punch the glove packs is tremendous, enough to shatter bones in anyone not wearing full on body armor. Or it would be if the spring was long enough to reach Damian. Of course, it serves it's purpose. Joker was always a master of the sleight of hand, and within an instant, the knife up his sleeve is sailing directly for Damian's torso, a purposely painful, but non-lethal aim.
Selina picks a moment where there seems to be a lull in the gunfire to peek out from around a crumbled edge of the wall she shielded herself behind, trying to figure out where Robin is. She can't see him but she does see what appears to be a bat-like shadow move along a wall some distance from her, it making her sigh in relief. Even if it is just a figment of her imagination it does help to soothe her frazzled nerves.
Robin spins swiftly on his heels, bring the sword up to lop the boxing glove trap off of it's mount and let it fall to it's floor. 'Do not underestimate him,' Batman said, and Robin does not intend to. It would not be the first time that someone has tried to trick him in such a way, but he had not expected such swiftness out of the man. As far as Robin is concerned, the Joker is a wretch in a bad suit with a purely unpredictable brain.
"Ugh!" Robin shouts in protest, turning around just in time to catch sight of the blade angled at his torso. He lifts his forearm, attempting to rake the spiked gauntlet across the Joker's face as he staggers - for his footing is thrown off - away and out of reach of the blade. It cuts through his armor, yes, but only so far as to slice the flesh and draw blood.
Despite all that, Robin did indeed underestimate the man.
The gunmen who had Selina pinned down are among the last to be relieved of weapons and mobility by the Dark Knight, but there are still enough stragglers to tie him up for several more moments as Robin engages the Joker. Then, the Bat drops silently down half-behind, and half-beside Selina. "Heard you could use some help." He notes simply, smoothly, and somewhat suddenly. "You might want to get somewhere safe." Because drugged hangovers and bo-peep costumes are not the time to chase the Joker; not that she's any more likely to listen to him on that count than Robin is, some days.
There's little time for reunions or further concern, however.. not with Barbara talking in his ear on what's happening on Damian's feed. Instead, Batman returns to the heights of the park, using his grapnel gun to ascend and spreading cape wide to catch the gusting night winds that will carry him to the alley in question, as teh crow flies.
As the gauntlet brutalizes the Joker's face, he lets out a shriek of laughter, cackling as blood drips down his neck. "So. Much. /Fun/." He lashes out with the knife again, however, with surprise gone, the blade is probably worse then useless against the well-trained Robin.
Good thing the Joker's a walking death trap. His other hand reaches out towards Robin, a simple move as if to pull him towards the knife, but is in fact, just a ploy to lay the Joy Buzzer he carries with him on the kid. He's already planning his escape from Arkham, but he's going to teach Damian a lesson first.
Robin lets out a pained howl as the Joker grabs his arm, the joy buzzer sending a jolt through him. However, this is not the uniform of yore - no, it is well-armored and made with such attacks in mind. The voltage is lessened, much of it grounded through his boots, but the raw electricity stings as every muscle in his body clenches at once and his sleeve begins to smolder.
No, Robin will not allow himself to be char grilled by one of the Joker's toys. He yanks his arm away, lifting a foot to try and knock the Joker back and off balance. Even then he's moving, fighting through the pain. A red mist of rage falling down over his vision, something he has not felt since the League of Assassin's and even then not for many years.
He is furious. Furious that such a creature might get through his defenses so ... easily! He is a storm of fists and feet, punching and kicking and stomping at the Joker. He is no longer speaking English, shouting a string of curses in Arabic. He is all rage, the hate that usually simmers beneath the surface now a blistering conflagration.
Over and over he shouts in Arabic. The same word. The same command.
It's a good thing the Joker is having fun enough for the rest of them, because the Dark Knight is only marginally more collected than his protege by the time he drops in the midst of the fray as if falling from the meandering dark clouds high above them, directly. While his actual landing point is just off the combatants' flanks, the force of his drop and abrupt engagement may make that seem more like 'directly in between'. While Damian is vastly superior to the Joker in terms of training, his style (and even specific teachers) work in ways well known to Batman.
The Bat is surprisingly gentle in his attempt to separate Robin from the Clown, intersecting one of those brutal strikes with his own arm, seeking to divert it in a circling block and lock, and powerfully push Damian clear with a mighty straightening of said arm. Any inkling he's here to actually /save/ more than Joker's life is quickly dispelled by the more brutal reprisal launched on the likely already-bloodied Clown: a singular, armored backhand strikes with bone-crushing force for the Clown Prince of Crime's grinning features, carrying strength enough to dwarf that applied by his partner in anticrime.
Force enough to bounce the Joker directly into (or perhaps through) the fake wall behind him. There's not a word spoken in any language but violence.
Joker's cackle as he's brutally beaten by Damian is probably the only thing more disturbing then the insults and curses thrown at him in arabic. As Batman arrives, Joker's sinister grin shines bright red with blood as he spits off to the side first, "Wow. Just wow, Batsy. This new one is goi-"
And then Joker's out before he can even grunt in pain and not-so-surprise.
Selina looks at Batman and nods, smiling as much as she's able to. "Thank you. And tell the kid thanks as well." A sight sigh causes her shoulders to rise and fall. "I'm going to head home. I got to clean up a mess someone made while I was gone. I need to talk to you about something. Come by later." Later. Such a subjective word in regards to Batman. Keeping his own schedule, she knows very damn well that 'later' could be later tonight or could mean later next week. Hopefully she can clean up the penthouse before he comes by whenever it'll be.
For once she doesn't argue with him, nor does she try to follow along. She really does need to get home. Thankfully Isis has her basic needs attended to automatically thanks to the technological wonders like automatic feeders and water fountain-like bowls. The royal highness even has a fancy kitty box that cleans itself. But by now she's sure Isis has to be missing her very much, as she is her cat, and it's time to go home.
Oh yes. There is also a matter of attending to herself. Food and a bath is very much needed. And that damnable Bo Peep costume is going down the garbage chute.
Robin does, for a moment, try to fight his way past Batman to continue his assault on the Joker. Nevertheless, all his attempts are easily turned aside and sure enough he is pushed away and separated from his quarry. It is then that his anger begins to die down a little, a few deep breaths taken as he quickly tries to reassert control of himself. Something about him makes him seem shamed, as though he is displeased about what he has done - or perhaps what he failed to do.
He opens his mouth to say something, almost apologetic in his looks, before he simply turns and runs. His grappling line is fired once he's around the corner and he retracts it, gliding through the air to land on a rooftop. His feet find the slanted roof near the edge of the park and he leaps from it, landing in a roll on the ground outside the fence and taking off into the night.
Teeth grit as the Dark Knight seeks to follow both Damian's course and confirm the Joker is -actually- out for the count at the same time. He doesn't immediately pursue Robin-- after all, capturing the Joker was important enough to let this confrontation happen in the first place. Instead, Batman turns back to the Clown and roughly applies the reinforced toe of his boot to several of Joker's ribs. The gesture born of frustration and his own simmering ire, as is often the case.. there's a lingering moment where the Caped Crusader stands over his broken foe, and contemplates finishing it for good.
It's probably a good thing no one else is there to see it, the palpable wrath and broiling emotion all but impossible to miss even masked behind blank, white eyes and tense, sternly set mouth. When the Bat finally moves to restrain the Clown Prince of Crime, it's by the Joker's hair that he's lifted. Slammed against the alley wall.. and tightly bound. The Clown is deposited from a short but haphazard drop limply onto the hood of one of the responding police cruisers, the Dark Knight already gone by the time the officers look up-- swinging into the night sky after his injured son.