Terror in Got.ham City: Pow! Zap! Smash! Ka-thud! The council members gathered outside the main council room door at midday. They had been called together, but didn't know why. Talk mentioned the plane coming down last night, criminals escaping, and the destruction of the museum, but no solid reason for this impromptu meeting could be found. Then the doors swung open. They looked and saw Chairman John Travis sitting in his chair, sitting straight. With someone standing behind him with his arm around the chairman's neck. Behind them all was the large window in which light streamed through, giving the whole scene a radiance. "Come in, come in," said the man. "Please do, and feel free to feel deluded that this man's life may depend on your co-operation." Some of the older members had been through this sort of thing before, and pushed the others in, and they slowly took their seats. "What is going on?" one woman hissed. "You must all be wondering why I called you here today," said the man. "Well, there is a reason, a very good reason. My name is Karmic Death, and I'll be your executor today." There were gasps around the table, but also a few mutterings of "Here we go again." "You see, there are so many uncertain things in today's society. Will the weather hold off for a nice weekend? Will that lamp still be on sale tomorrow? Where was Billie-Jean last night?" He paused dramatically. "Can we really trust our government? "But I am here to help you all. I can assuage the good people of Got.ham that their government is a good one, a just one, a... balanced one. And how will I do that? What is the one thing in our lives that tells us how good or bad our life is? Karma. And karma is what I deal in. "Today I shall do you all a service. I shall balance your karmas. Isn't that nice of me?" No-one agreed. "Of course, there is the side effect that you'll most likely all die, but it's just one of those things." Karmic Death smiled wryly, but no-one appreciated his humour. He moved away from the chairman, and walked slowly around the table. "The only question now is... who do I save first?" "Are you insane?" one man asked. Karmic Death shrugged. "Possibly. Aren't you?" He paused by one council member, and brought a hand up. Slowly, carefully, he removed his glove. All eyes were on his hand as he brought it down. "I'm afraid I can't let you kill them." Karmic Death spun around, looking for the source of the voice. "Not yet. They have to do a job for me first." Karmic Death spun back around, to face the table again. Now standing in the middle of it, katana unsheathed and held upright, was Ninja-san. "Go away," ordered Karmic Death. "I don't think so," replied Ninja-san, and a foot lashed out, connecting with Karmic Death's head. Karmic Death thumped unconscious on the floor. The council members didn't have time to feel relieved. They were now focussed on Ninja-san, and the sword he held. He walked casually down the table, each step in time with the pounding of their hearts. He brought the katana down, and the tip just touched Chairman Travis' neck, in the centre of his Adam's apple. "There is a pair of nun-chucks buried in the rubble of the Got.ham Museum," said Ninja-san quietly. "I want you to get them for me. Go ahead. Make my phone-call." _-~-_ Police Commissioner Hamilton rushed into the room where WBW and Mouse were recuperating. Mouse sighed and took out her headphones when he blurted out, "Two supervillains are holding the City Council hostage!" "I told you... WHAT?" Mouse exclaimed. "It's that fruitcake Ninja-san!" Hamilton yelled. "He wants us to search the rubble of the Got.ham Museum," he looked sourly at WBW, "for Ultimate Ninja's nun-chuks. And that other nutcase is in there too, but we don't know what he wants. Well, what are you going to do about it... _heros_." he said snidely. Writers Block Woman opened her mouth. "Heros? I see no heros here. Just incompetents." Mouse said sweetly. "I guess you'll have to handle this on your own." Commissioner Hamilton went red, "There's no time for you to clown about! Lives are at stake!" "Yeah," said Mouse. "Mine if I get back in range of Karmic Death." "You _have_ to help!" Hamilton shouted. "You're HEROS!" Mouse opened her mouth. "... damn." It didn't escape her that it was that same heroic tendency that had gotten her in this mess in the first place. She glared at Commisioner Hamilton's smirk. Writers Block Woman stood up on her bed, the blankets fell from her and she was revealed in a brand new unblemished costume. "He's right! Now is not the time for witty repartee or petty revenge! We must put aside our differences to face this threat in the city's time of need! We must stop these evil villains from killing innocent lives!" "That's a nice speech," said Mouse. "Any idea how?" "I have a plan!" WBW said dramatically. ... "And this is your plan." Mouse observed. She stared down at the windows of the town hall from the roof across the street. "Yes! We shall swoop in through the window and engage the villains in combat, then, once they are vanquished, we'll... I don't know, tie them up until the police get there I guess." said WBW, trailing off. Mouse winced at the memory of the last time she'd "swooped" through a window. It had hurt a lot as she recalled, and had nearly ended her career as a crime-fighter. "An impressive plan, Writers Block Woman," she said. And it was, usually they didn't even have a plan. "May I suggest a few refinements?" _-~-_ Chairman Travis stared up at Ninja-san. All this time and the ninja hadn't moved. The katana was a constant presence on his throat. Yet he didn't think for a moment that any of the others escaped the ninja's notice. There was a groan from nearby, and then the figure of Karmic Death rose up into Travis' peripheral vision. "That hurt," Karmic Death growled. With a sudden rush, the katana was gone from his throat, as was the ninja from in front of him. His eyes followed the ninja as he flew through the air, Karmic Death at the end of the arc of Ninja-san's blade. With amazing presence of mind, Chairman Travis caught the eyes of the other members and motioned they should get under the table, then led the way. Karmic Death lashed out, his arm knocking the blade aside. The ninja landed softly in front of him. Karmic Death grabbed a nearby chair, and threw it at him. The katana flashed, and the chair fell in two pieces in front of Ninja-san. But Karmic Death was already moving. Heading towards the door, Karmic Death grabbed two more chairs, throwing one low, the other high towards the ninja. Ninja-san jumped, the low chair passing underneath him. His sword sliced through the other chair, and passed through the air the chair had occupied moments before. He landed on the table, facing Karmic Death. _-~-_ Writers Block Woman floated up the stairwell until she encountered the thing she'd been looking for. She hovered under the smoke alarm and pulled out the cigarette lighter Mouse had given her half an hour earlier (not that it had taken her half an hour to find a smoke alarm, that had been a small matter of ten minutes. The other twenty had been spent listening to Mouse reassuring her that she had not taken up smoking, that she knew that it was a foul habit and terribly unhealthy. Mouse had only been able to convince her mother that she carried the lighter in case of emergencies by telling her that it was part of her utility belt). WBW flicked the lighter and waved it under the smoke alarm. The plastic alarm slowly began to melt. WBW stared as it slowly caught fire. Thirty seconds later the alarm went off. _-~-_ "What was that?" asked Karmic Death. He and Ninja-san paused as the alarm went off around them. Neither of them were watching the window. _-~-_ "That's our signal!" Mouse held the crossbow more tightly as she watched the two villains stare up as the sprinklers went off. "Now, you're sure this thing works?" she turned to Chief Repp. "Absolutely." he assured her. Mouse sighted along the crossbow piece and fired. The bat-shaped grappling hook that some unnamed and forgotten hero had left behind in a previous visit to the city smashed through the glass window, passed between the fighting villains, and embedded itself in the wall of the council chambers, cable automatically tautening itself between the wall and the chimney Mouse had attached the other end to. Mouse stood up, grasped the handles of the flying fox attachment and kicked off the roof. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" she screamed as she flew through the air. "OH SHIIIIIIIIIIII..." she added as she realised that the glass had not been entirely removed by the hook. Mouse crashed through the remaining shards, and slammed into Karmic Death, knocking him over and halting her forward momentum enough to allow her to release the handlegrips and fall to the floor, rolling to absorb the rest of the momentum. "Ow. Even with full body armour that hurts. Owchie." She looked up to see Ninja-san standing over her, a baffled expression on his face. "You!" she said. "You!" he repeated. They stared at each other. "Who _are_ you?" Mouse finally asked. "I was about to ask you the same question." said Ninja-san. "But I suppose in the end it doesn't matter." He raised his katana. "Halt foul miscreant!" "Finally, the cavalry." Mouse rolled out of the way and looked around for Karmic Death. Ninja-san looked past her to the form of his former opponent. WBW spun Ultimate Ninja's nunchuks around her in a dazzling display of aptitude. "You thought you could get rid of me by dropping a museum on me! Well foul varmint, you thought WRONG! And now, by all that is holy and good, I say thee... REMATCH!" WBW sprinted at Ninja-san, screaming a challenge as she ran, "TCHEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!" Ninja-san prepared himself and charged headlong at WBW, katana held to the side in readiness, "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!" he shouted as he ran. The two foes sprinted headlong at each other, screaming. "TCHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!" "HAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!" ***THUD*** They met in the centre of the roof, smashing headlong into each other. Skull met skull in a teeth-jarring crash, followed quickly by the rest of the body. The two figures swayed, then toppled over majestically into the centre of the room. Mouse slapped her forehead. "D'oh! Somehow that always looks better on the anime. Sigh." She looked around, "Hey, where are all the hostages? And where's Karmic Dork?" "That's _Death_, my dear," said a familiar voice. "As always, an appropriate title." _-~-_ Chairman John Travis glanced out the sides of the table. There had been smashes, thumps, and screams. Just the sort of thing voters didn't like. He crawled along till he came to the other end of the table, and looked out at the doors, now open from Writers Block Woman's entrance. "You can't go," hissed Judy Dodgeson. "You'll be killed." The table shook. "Here isn't much better," muttered Travis. Drawing in a deep breath, Travis jumped and ran for the door. Instead of the door, he collided with Mouse, who spun him round. Karmic Death's hands came down on the Chairman's clothed chest, as opposed to Mouse's bare head, but the force of the blow knocked both of them down. "Thank you, Kuno baby," gasped a dazed Mouse. Karmic Death hauled Travis off Mouse, and brought their heads in close. "Wait your turn," growled Karmic Death, and heaved Travis to one side. Mouse managed to rise, and moved away from Karmic Death. She found herself near the pile of ninja and mother, and grabbed a glittering object that caught her eye. Swinging around on Karmic Death, she brought Ninja-san's katana up between them. "Now the foot's in the other shoe... whatever." Karmic Death eyed Mouse carefully, but for the moment stayed where he was. Groaning announced the fact that Writers Block Woman and Ninja-san were now joining them in the land of the conscious. They rolled onto their fronts and slowly started to get up, still moaning in pain slightly. Then they both caught sight of the nun-chucks that Writers Block Woman had dropped when they came crashing down. Ninja-san dived, but Writers Block Woman flew, and made it to them before he did. "Now, evil evildoer, now you shall pay for thy heinous crimes against man and nature." Ninja-san frowned. "What crimes against nature?" "Writers Block Woman," called out Mouse. "If you could actually see your way clear to apprehending him?" She kept her attention on Karmic Death, who had circled around until he was side by side with Ninja-san, although they were facing different directions. Feeling proud, Writers Block Woman grinned, and twirled the nun-chucks about her again. Ninja-san suddenly faked a leap towards her, and she lost track of where exactly the nun-chucks were... until one came down onto her hand. Writers Block Woman stared at her hand in horror. "Oh no!" she cried out. "I broke a nail!" "Mother!" cried out an exasperated Mouse. Taking a chance, Karmic Death moved forwards and brought his hands up to meet at different parts of the blade, a move that would either cut his hands off, or jerk the blade out of Mouse's grip. The katana twisted out of Mouse's hands, and spun through the air. Mouse watched float away from her, and then a hand grasped onto it. "Thank you, my friend," said Ninja-san. Then he clobbered Karmic Death on the back of the head with the hilt of the katana. As Karmic Death fell downwards, Ninja-san leapt... and came down beside Mouse. "Now, 'mother', let us talk." _-~-_ Mouse stared at the bright, shiny, and more importantly extremely _sharp_ blade that was at her throat. "Gah." she managed. "Hush," shushed Ninja-san. He looked at Writers Block Woman. "Well opponent?" he inquired. "The nun-chuks for your daughters life, a reasonably fair exchange I feel. You obviously have no use for the nun-chuks, whilst I have no use for this young lady. Well... that's not exactly true, but this is a family comic. Deal?" WBW stared in horror at the scene before her. "You, you vile FIEND!" she raged. Ninja-san smiled slightly. "I'll take that as a yes." he said. "Now, drop the nun-chuks and kick them over here." They clattered to the floor and then rolled across it to Mouse's feet. Ninja-san looked sideways at Mouse. "Pick them up." he instructed her. Mouse bent, aware of the katana which still hovered menacingly. She cautiously caught hold of the nun-chuks and looked at Karmic Death's unconcious form. "Uh oh." she said. Ninja-san immediately looked at his opponent's body. It didn't move. In that moment Mouse caught his foot in the nun-chuks and pulled. He lost his balance briefly and nearly tumbled, but caught it with breathtaking speed. He lunged for Mouse, who'd rolled forward as he was struggling to regain his balance. WBW threw herself at Ninja-san, who brought up his katana. "Eep!" WBW abruptly shot upwards to avoid the sharp blade. Ninja-san moved towards Mouse again, but WBW dropped down out of the air behind him, and he spun to face her. Mouse prepared to attack him whilst he was occupied with trying to score a direct hit on WBW, who was dancing out of reach, but being gradually backed up against a wall. Suddenly she felt a tap on her shoulder. "Ahhh... shit." she said. Again she threw herself forward as Karmic Death lunged for her throat. Mouse rolled and kept rolling until she fetched up against Ninja-san's feet. He swayed as she crashed into him. Writers Block Woman kicked him backwards and he fell, landing on Mouse as she curled into a ball. Karmic Death grabbed Ninja-san, "Will you please GET OUT OF MY WAY!" He prepared to throw him aside when Ninja-san grabbed hold of his throat. "NO!" the ninja yelled, and punched him in the nose. "help." Mouse muttered as the two men struggled with each other. She tried to crawl out from under the fight. "I. Have had. Just about. ENOUGH from you." Karmic Death choked out. "I was just. Thinking the same thing. About YOU!" Ninja-san gritted. Karmic Death and Ninja-san were about to knock each other out, thus saving the good guys a lot of effort, when Writers Block Woman pushed them apart. "Oh, my poor baby," she wailed, scooping up Mouse and hugging her tightly. "OOW!" cried Mouse. "Mum, let me go. We've got bad guys to fight." They froze as they heard Karmic Death and Ninja-san roar in anger, and with surprising intelligence, Writers Block Woman flew straight upwards. Mouse clung on while the two villains clashed beneath them. "You're not going to drop me again, are you?" asked Mouse. "Oh, Mouse. I never would." "Again," muttered Mouse. Below, Karmic Death knocked the katana from Ninja-san with the same move by which he had disarmed Mouse. Ninja-san dropped and swept Karmic Death's legs out from underneath him. Karmic Death fell, and just missed catching Ninja-san's legs under him. "You're going down," growled Ninja-san, taking his katana back. "Come meet your judgement," hissed Karmic Death. "Coo-ee," waved Writers Block Woman, landing nearby. "Remember us?" Mouse helped Chairman Travis to his feet. "Sorry about that before," she said. Travis swayed slightly. "No problem." He shook his head, then stared at the villains. "Aren't you supposed to be fighting them?" Mouse shrugged. "As the Patrician says 'Si non confectus, non reficiat'. Still, there is something I owe one of them." She eyed the fighting pair, and moved slowly towards them. Karmic Death scored a blow that spun Ninja-san around, sending him to his knees. Taking the advantage, Karmic Death brought his hands down towards Ninja-san's head, aiming to touch flesh and thus deliver judgement. Moving awkwardly, Ninja-san cut his katana through the air, just managing to slice into the air above his head. Unfortunately, the flat of the blade was facing upwards, and it was this that Karmic Death brought his hands down onto, and pressed downwards. Karmic Death had better leverage, and so the katana slowly sunk to Ninja-san's head. "Now, if you can't play nice," admonished Writers Block Woman. "Then you shouldn't play at all." Incensed beyond measure, Karmic Death abandoned Ninja-san and swung towards Writers Block Woman. "SHUT UP!!" He took a step towards her, but Ninja-san spun around, rising onto one foot, grabbed Karmic Death, and threw him into a wall. Karmic Death hit the wall with an agonising thud, and slid down to a crumpled heap. Ninja-san stood, katana pointing directly at Writers Block Woman's heart. "GIVE ME MY NUN-CHUCKS!" "All righty," said Mouse from behind him. *WHACK* Ninja-san's eyes rolled up in his head, and he fell to the floor. Behind him was revealed Mouse, grinning, holding the ends of the nun-chucks together to form a club with a chain. Mouse grinned evilly and looked down at the unconcious form of her opponent. "Always give them what they want." she smirked. She handed the nun-chuks to Chairman Travis. "Remember that come election year." _-~-_ Commissioner Hamilton watched as the Chairman spoke to the cameras. "And were it not for the actions of these two brave heros, I and my duly-elected fellow councillors, would have perished at the hands of these two escaped felons." the Chairman smiled for the cameras and waved. Hamilton wandered over the Writers Block Woman (who was repairing her broken nail) and Mouse. He glared at them. "Now what?" Mouse asked impatiently. Hamilton looked at WBW, then at the ruins of the Got.ham Museum. "I was originally going to lock you both up for damage to public property." "And now?" Mouse prompted. "Now..." Hamilton looked at the departing Chairman, then again at the ruins of the Got.ham Museum, then at Ninja-san and Karmic Death being carried off in straitjackets by the Net.ional Guard. "Now... you've got four hours to get out of town. Don't come back. My men will help you leave." Four burly policemen surrounded WBW and Mouse as the Commissioner stalked off. "Hooo... somebody seriously needs to switch to decaf." said Mouse. Each of the cops grabbed one of the two womens arms and lifted them up. Then marched them briskly off to the city limits. "Wait wait wait!" WBW yelled. "I want Ninja-san's katana for a souvenir!" "What katana?" asked the policeman holding her right arm. _-~-_ The van exitted the city and drove towards a secure prison facility. The two guards in the back kept a weary eye on the two bodies. Although the villains were unconscious and in straight-jackets, neither guard felt in any way relaxed. One guard was staring directly at Ninja-san when the latter's eyes opened. He leapt up, pointing his gun directly at Ninja-san, but Ninja-san was already on the move. He reached out with his legs, grabbed the other guard, and cannoned him into the first. The van stopped as the driver halted at the sounds from behind. He grabbed the radio and called for back up. Ninja-san was already half out of his straight-jacket by the time the guards both targetted him. This gave Karmic Death the opportunity to twist around, trying to tear the jacket away by brute strength, although it was too strong for him. The guards reflexively glaced towards Karmic Death, and then turned back to see the jacket that had just been holding Ninja-san sailing towards them. One fired a panic shot, but missed the ninja entirely. Who was now behind them. He pushed one guard away, while placing his arm the other and strangling him into unconsciousness. The guard sent flying stopped abruptly as his head blossomed in incredible pain caused by Karmic Death's knee. "We work well together," remarked Ninja-san, ironically. Outside, the driver had his hand-gun out, and was aiming at the back door, the only door into the secured part of the van. When he saw a thin blade pierce the lock of the door, he started firing. The door swung open, and a large object flew towards him. Karmic Death, flight aided by Ninja-san, knocked into the guard, sending him sprawling. Ninja-san leapt casually from the van, and cocked an ear at the approaching car sirens. "Later," was all he said as he disappeared off the road into the surrounding woods. Karmic Death merely grunted, and heaved at his jacket again, ignoring the bullet holes, just as he ignored the bullets stopped by his kevlar outfit. He felt the straps giving away and grinned. Looked like he'd be able to give these cops judgement before leaving the area. _-~-_ "Phew, home at last." said Mouse as she and Writers Block Woman arrived back in Net.ropolis in the late afternoon. She paid off the taxi driver and looked up at the LNHHQ. They walked in the front door and were hailed by Kyoko, who was on reception duty. "You're back! Wonderful! I'll tell the others." she said. "Where is everyone?" asked Mouse. "Oh, they're all forming up into a search party for you two." "What?" Just then Plotline Lad and GirlWatcher came sprinting out into the foyer. From the bloodshot eyes it was obvious they hadn't had much sleep. "You're back!" PL cried. "Thank goodness! Are you alright?" "How are you?" GW asked. "We're fi..." "Did you tape Beast Wars?" demanded WBW. "Yes," said Plotline Lad. "I even edited out the ads." "Yay!" WBW rushed past him to her room. Mouse peered past the two men to the mass of LNHers congregating inside the cafeteria. "Search party huh?" "Yeah uh... well, when we couldn't find WBW we thought..." GirlWatcher's voice trailed off. "Mmmmm..." said Mouse. "Well, no need. But thanks for thinking of it. Mum's been filling me in on how you two have been helping her fight crime and generally keeping an eye on her. Both men gulped. "All things considered you did pretty well." Mouse said, smiling slightly. She put an arm around each of them. "I don't suppose I could get you to fill in again for me next year?" -------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEXT TIME: What? What next time? This is a mini-series, and it's over! *Phew.* Credits: -------- GirlWatcher belongs to Chris Gumprich, Plotline Lad belongs to Aaron Veenstra, Kyoko belongs to Public Doamin, all used with permission. Jaelle and Jamas are to be blamed for the rest. Final notes: Jamas - One thing that really irked me about the Batman films was how the various villains joined forces. How likely is that? I wanted a story where the two villains DID NOT join together, and actively opposed the other. As they say, 'if you want something done right,' so I did it myself. :) Jess - The one thing that really irked me about the Batman films was... uh... Batman. Oh well, never mind. :-)Back to the Index.