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One Cold Night In Gotham …

Written by castor :: [Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:24] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 03 February 2015 09:21]

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It was a cold night in Gotham.

Not a freezing night but a cold one. Gotham had periods of snow, but usually by the time it snowed a second time it had melted in a haze. There wasn’t snow. But it was cold. Cold to the bone.

Batman’s suit was designed to withstand a fair amount of cold … but some nights, he just wanted a cup of cocoa and a warm bed. He had a suit actually design specifically for the cold – but it took away some of his mobility – so he wasn’t wearing it. It was a mistake he wouldn’t make tomorrow.

And tonight he would end up making a lot of mistakes.

It was around 10 PM on a moonless night. You think midnight was prime time for him, but nights like this – when people where just leaving the bar, or just tired, walking alone in a street … this was his time. His moment.

It was the excitement of the moment the thrill of the night that got to him, that got into his bones, that turned him from an eccentric rich idiot with daddy issues into one of the most feared men in the world.

He was …

He stood over his city looking down waiting …

before a radio went off in his hear.

“A silent alarm has been tripped at Allanis bank at 454 Seventh Street in the main bank floor”

Well, Bruce silently thought, at least banks are always climate controlled.

It was a wasted thought which Bruce, if he had the time, would have hated, because he didn’t like them. His enemies, his rogue gallery, he knew would develop elaborate plans to rob a jewelry store, destroy the city, do any number of horrible acts … but they had the luxury of time to plan. Even someone like the Joker, he knew, could be very meticulous about everything from the type of gun his henchman carried, to exit routes, to color of frosting on his murderous cakes. They could spend months or years developing their schemes and spend millions of dollars hiring staff, equipment … everything to the detail.

He was on 5th street, about half a mile away. It would take him by foot and by gliding about three and a half minutes to get there. That’s how much time he had. He would have to make use of it.

He jumped off a roof extending his wings to glide between buildings. Bank robbery. Middle of the night. This was complicated. Banks were, by nature, secure places. They required a lot of brute force to break into … or this could mean either high-tech robbery using computers to open doors … or it could be a simple bribe to a guard. All where possible given information.

His cape clipped a window. He kicked off against a wall and extended a rope gun to a skyscraper across.

However, a break in the central lobby would indicate that a physical break in was unlikely. If you blew open a door something would go off sooner. Something with computers or fancy locks maybe. Bribe was possible. One clue.

A silent alarm also meant that it was possible – not a certainty, but possible – that his thief wasn’t aware that he was there that he was coming (or maybe that it wasn’t a thief at all. Janitors did stupid things).

He landed on the ground a block away from the place, and looked he could see the bank look quiet and dark.

Of course it was always possible that this involved superpowers but …

“We got visual picture from a security camera inside the bank” said the voice of the batcomputer.

Batman took a second and pressed a button. He had a heads-up display that if he …

It was Catwoman. Catwoman was in there. Wearing a black cat suit looking at vault door.

He felt relieved.

Cause, if there was any villain he knew it was Catwoman. Oh yes, he knew her. Catwoman. Selena Kyle. 5’6 usually about 115 pounds. 42-23-34. Master thief. Most likely, she made a mistake breaking in. Brownish black hair, occasionally dyed blonde. Had a cat motif, but that was mostly a motif. Probably a better sneak thief then him. Normal levels of strength and speed, but a master combatant of – he guessed – some version of kickboxing, mixed with acrobatics. Also loved to use a whip – she was a master at it. Occasionally used gimmicks and clawed gloves. They had sex occasionally. She liked to favor her right side when fighting and expose her left, especially when extending her whip, but she was smart enough to know this and to use it in combat. Her breasts where natural, and felt spectacular. Her whip varied from about 6 to 18 feet long and usually was a cat-o-nine-tails ending, which his armor could stand – but only once – a couple of blows and he would be in trouble. Not likely to kill him (that wasn’t her M.O.) but easily in the top 5 of his regular rogue gallery in terms of pure danger. When she kissed him.

This was wasted thoughts. Yes, she was his lover. Yes, she was a criminal. Yes, she was his enemy. Wasted thoughts were too. He was a 220 pounds of muscle, trained and skilled in a dozen forms of combat and stealth, but his greatest weapon was his mind, his ability to prepare, his ability to think of the consequences and this was the moment he had.

She also likely didn’t know the alarm was off. If she was still in the building, which he didn’t have complete confirmation. But she could be greedy.

He saw a back door was open. It looked forced, within two seconds he examined it, looked like something metal had grabbed it and pulled it. This was odd. She normally didn’t use tactics like that, but it was in the realm of possibility. The alarm that should have gone off hadn’t, so perhaps this wasn’t as simple as it looked. However to figure out the trick would require time and time was a luxury he didn’t have (thought he would, he would figure it until satisfied).

His MO was to establish contact with the enemy and figure out her state – then plan a response. Where was she?

He walked in. The bank was dark. Pitch dark. Batman had night vision goggles built into his cowl and activated them – turning the bank into a world of black and white with no shadows. It was a comfortable world for the Caped Crusader. He liked it. He would live in it, but actual light made it too painful.

No subject.

The bank was a large modern-ish affair. If this was a comic book, they would leave out the large friendly signs telling you to open up a checking account. It had a large open floor plan, with desk of tellers and a number of computers to one side – they probably were worth 10 grands by themselves. It hadn’t been cleaned and was dusty. A large glass divider separated the lobby from the bank – and Bruce couldn’t see how it had been breached. This room should have a 24 hour security guard, but he or she wasn’t there at all.

No one was there.

The picture of Catwoman was from about 20 feet away, behind the glass. She wasn’t there.

He looked at the floor plan.

Contrary to popular belief, he couldn’t see footprints. He had chemicals and techniques that made that possible with – again – time. It was his enemy on this case.

He looked to the non-opened door to the bank. It had an electronic lock.

He had a ‘key’ in his belt – really a small electronic scooper – it went up the computerized display and shocked enough to get it to open.

How had she gotten in? If she gotten in? Technically speaking, it was still possible that she had broken in, realized she had tripped the alarm and fled. 30 feet from her target, but well. It happened more often than you think … but not from a pro like her.

This was tricky. A trap wasn’t likely. An ambush … well that was just another word for a trap.

He went behind the vault looking around the smaller space … when he turned down a small hallway and saw the open vault.

Open.

It had been forced open by someone something that was.

“Why hello Mr. Batman” said a voice, “What a pleasure to see you here.”

“Catwoman.”

He didn’t see her at first, he looked around

“What brings you to my little extraction …”

“Where are you?”

Then he turned around and saw her.

She was bigger than she normally was. It looked like she worked out and went to a gym for a couple of months – or had an invested in a costume (as we was occasionally accused of) with muscle padding. Huh. It hadn’t been all that long since the last time … my god she was beautiful wasn’t she? She had a whip in her hand.

“I was just coming back from the car when you found me here with the first bit of my … unlawfully acquired game … as you might say.”

“A thief always goes back to the scene of the crime.”

“Oh Bats. Wouldn’t you learn I am no good for you? So not good for you. So why do we keep having these little dances.”

“Give up now.” said Batman, “and we won’t have to.”

“Things have … changed a bit in the last couple of weeks. I don’t want to get into the how?” said Catwoman licking her lips, “And I don’t want to hurt you. Well, I never want to hurt you but I always end up doing so.”

“You’re going to jail.”

“And you end up hurting me. This mutual cycle of pain isn’t very fun at all.” said Catwoman. “But well …”

Batman crouched. In a circumstance like this it was best to wait for her to move first to strike. But he had one advantage: he knew her. Knew what she was cable of. Sure, she may have gone to the gym a bit … but … but … if he knew anyone in this world – from whip, to her thighs to her mind – she was …

She moved faster than Batman even considered. What the …

There was a large steel frame holding the glass between the tellers and the public. It was gone in a flash as the glass shattered into a million pieces.

Huh.

She grabbed the long tube of hard metal … and cracked it. Cracked it like a whip. It was a inch thick piece of metal. It was very solid and not at all able to be bent in a thousand places in quick movement to crack to break the speed of sound … but she did it.

He then glanced behind … and realized: the safe wasn’t just opened, it was pried. It would take a very powerful crane or earthmover to even attempt something like this. This wasn’t a careful robbery. Something had pulled it. Something that wasn’t in the bank and may not even exist … unless …

“Things have changed a bit.” said Catwoman. “For the better, for me, but for you Bruce … well, I offered.”

“Selina,” said Bruce, “what’s going on?”

The whip snapped again breaking the bank floor. “I don’t like big showy displays … they are uncouth … and I don’t want to hurt you, you of anyone … run.”

Bruce looked at the vibrating metal thing in front of him, this solid steel whip of destruction … and …

“I can’t.”

Selina shrugged, “Well, I would have looked down on you if you had, I suppose.”

Then Bruce felt it. It didn’t hit him … not precisely. Even with all his armor and training that would have killed him in less time than it took to think it. It went around him – legs first –crushing him, surrounding him, grabbing him and he felt down.

Bruce paused on the floor, he reached for his belt … before he saw … a flash of red light blasting from her eyes towards his fingers heating them up.

“Kryptonite? I know you keep some on you if Superman goes rogue. Would it work on me? Don’t know. But you have to keep it in a little lead case … and led cases melt closed very easily.”

Bruce tried … and realized the truth: he was at her mercy.

She moved forward towards him and picked him up.

He punched her.

Nothing.

He honestly didn’t expect anything at this point but he had to try.

“What’s going on?” asked Bruce – and it was Bruce at this point – the shadow of the bat had left his voice.

“I am robbing a bank, silly.” answered Catwoman, wrapping the metal bar around his body in a slightly more comfortable fashion,“And I’m going to leave you to be discovered by the police, you silly goose. You underestimated me. What I could do, what a woman could do. You have such a keen bright little mind Bruce, you’re smarter than me. But you don’t know what a little devious little thoughts, what little tricks … or what great power can do against you. You have tricks, gadgets, fortunes and brawn-you think you’re the king of the universe … but really you’re as blind as a bat …”

She set him down on the floor in front of the vault and leaned in to kiss his head. “… and I love you for it.”

She then casually went into the vault – leaning down to show him her ass, wiggling a bit, undoing her zipper a touch – as she took some more money, a vault of jewels and what looked to be a violin for some reason. If she was as fast as he thought she was this would be done in a second, but no, she was taking her time-but after teasing him to long to hard … she went out, leaving him in the night .

Bruce paused and waited. He looked around. There was a very large hole behind the bank. He should have seen it, should have swept it … but he was too busy, too fixated on what he knew – both strategically and carnally.

He couldn’t be that stupid.

There was a perfect Batman – a creature of the night who was perfect fear, terror, mind and body.

If he was that Batman … if he was that creature … he would be perfect. He could do it. He could save us. Just a little more work a little more preparation …

Then noise. People. Screeching a cop … voices. Well at least this was soon going to be over.

Wait he was still in night vision mode …

The cop’s large flashlight beam hit him in his eyes and blinded him.

*****

It was a cold night in Gotham, but Catwoman no longer felt it. Well, she did, but it didn’t hurt, didn’t sting … if anything, it invigorated her.

Catwoman sat on top of a building looking down. She did this a lot and this was the same city. But now she was different she was …

She looked at the diamond in her hand and realized how small it was, how puny. It weighed as much as change in a purse. Carats where for rabbits.

She looked down. The same city …

Catwoman thought. She had grown up in the lowest of middle classes. Became a child of the street around 16. Became a whore, then a thief, at some point a legend. She had lead many different lives …

What life was next?

She jumped down 54 flights … and landed on her feet.

The End

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