Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Dark Knight at Wayne Manor (Part 3)

Outside the garage, Batman heard the sounds of battle and knew that for all of his strength, Bane would have a hard time standing up against all four foes that were now moving against him. It was time to even the odds.

"Dove, carry me over to that bench near the garage entrance." Without a word, the young fighter did as she was told.

With his night vision goggles in place, the Gotham Avenger could clearly see the action in the garage. Bane was in trouble, doubled over at the feet of the garishly costumed Doc Samson. Well, if you are going to wear a costume that makes you a target, the least I can do is shoot at that target. Batman reached into his utility belt and pulled out a small, sealed metal tube. He punched a button on its top and tossed it toward Doc Samson. It landed at his feet and sent out a burst of green light. The results were dramatic. Samson seemed to wilt and grow slightly smaller. Thinner. No, I didn’t think you would much care for a dose of concentrated gamma radiation, he thought with some self-satisfaction.

Seizing the opportunity, Batman pulled a batarang and hurled it toward Samson, hitting him square on the temple and staggering the big man. Red blood flowed from the wound and mixed liberally with his cartoonishly green hair.

Nightwing had seen the "gamma grenade" flying through the air just before it had detonated and had managed to shield his eyes before it had detonated, allowing him to preserve much of his night vision. Geez, Bruce must be farther gone that I thought. That kind of radiation could be lethal to everyone in the room who isn’t wearing a lead-lined cape. In other words, everyone but him. We’ve got to end this thing fast before someone really gets hurt.

By now, Bane was once again standing tall, and while he was no longer wielding the motorcycle as a weapon, in the long run, that didn’t make him any less dangerous. In addition, Samson looked more than a little woozy from the joint gamma flash and batarang attack. Bane needed to be put down and Doc Samson needed medical treatment. And both needed to happen right now.
Like his mentor, Nightwing let fly with two attacks of his own. The first nighterang severed the last of the tubes feeding Bane his venom, while the other struck the big man right across the bridge of his nose. Bane staggered but refused to go down.

"Doc! Finish him," Nightwing called out.

Fighting through a haze that made the world seem indistinct and dreamlike, Doc Samson heard Nightwing’s commands and forced himself to focus. It wasn’t easy, but he was able to gather enough of his wits to throw a weak (for him) punch in the general direction of Bane. Somewhat to his surprise, he felt his punch connect and he saw the big man in the dark blue costume go down. Bane had been defeated. But that final blow had taken a lot out of Doc Samson as well. The world spun before his eyes and he staggered and fell to one knee — an easy target for the still camouflaged Batman.

"Iceman, get Samson back to the medics," Nightwing ordered.

Bobby Drake didn’t need to be told twice. Immediately he grabbed Doc Samson around the waste, created an ice sheet beneath their feet, and whisked Samson away. Nightwing and Hawkman scanned the darkness looking for Batman. For while they could not see him, they knew he was out there and they had to find him.

Suddenly, a bright light flashed on in the driveway just beyond the mouth of the garage. Both Nightwing and Hawkman looked in the direction of the new threat, only to be confronted by the sight of Harley Quinn dancing vigorously, with what appeared to be industrial strength road flares sprouting from her shoes.

"Hellooooo you big studs! Do you like my little dance? Mr. J always said I was light on my feet!"

So distracted was Nightwing by the display that he did not see Batman launch a batarang toward him. Unaware of the attack, and thus unable to roll with it, the batarang caught Nightwing full force in the throat, staggering the erstwhile young leader.

That’s what you get for caring more about your friends than about yourself, Batman thought. If you had sacrificed Samson you would have remained uninjured. You’ll never learn.

Seeing Nightwing stumble, Hawkman moved quickly to pick him up and the two of them flew back to the rear of the mansion, where the paramedics had established a rudimentary MASH unit. As he arrived, he saw one of the medics starting to tend to Doc Samson.

"No wait," called Destiny to one of the you paramedics. Don’t use that needle on him, it is going to break.

"What are you talking about?" asked Juanda, the youngest of the medics.

"Trust me," replied Destiny. "Use that one, third from the right."

"Listen to her!" shouted Hawkman. "She can see the future. She knows what she is talking about!"

"Okay," said Juanda, unsure what else to do. She reached in to her medical bag, pulled out the needle that was third from the right and affixed it to a vial of stimulant and plunged the needle into Doc Samson’s arm. To everyone’s amazement, Doc’s eyes immediately opened and he hopped to his feet.

"I feel MUCH better," he proclaimed.


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