Last evening, Batwoman met with several heroes of Gotham at the Oracle’s headquarters to reveal what she had learned about the current crime spree affecting Gotham City. She of course had noticed that the crimes were linked by theme to the 12 Days of Christmas song, but she had also learned by investigation that the murder victims all had one thing in common – all had, in their wills, bequeathed large amounts of money to a certain St. Lawrence Orphanage in Gotham City….an orphanage that Oracle confirmed did not actually exist. Batwoman also revealed that St. Lawrence was the patron saint of comedians and Oracle confirmed that the man heading the charity was a certain Father Genesius….and St. Genesius was the patron saint of actors, clowns…and also a known alias of….THE JOKER!
Yes, it appeared that The Joker was truly behind the horrendous crime spree affecting Gotham City and that he was personally reaping monetary gain from it. Oracle managed to track the address given in the wills to a building in the East End of Gotham which proved to be the old abandoned Gotham Heights Hotel that had been condemned for over a year.
The heroes quickly went to the location to find the building as they expected…a run down tenement in the worst part of the city. The door was chained but Wonder Girl and Troia managed to dispatch that to secure entry only to find their way blocked by a gated door. Batwoman quickly spied that the door was electrified and once again Wonder Girl managed to use her lasso to disarm it and break in.
Once inside, the team split up to investigate the first floor. Red Robin and Troia discovered an empty apartment, and though Red Robin detected the smell of gas tracked it to an old oven in the kitchen. However, investigating a back room they discovered a large Teddy Bear sitting in the corner which looked deliberately placed. Troia accidently tripped a tile in the floor that triggered the bear to release deadly Joker gas as the door behind them locked shut. Fortunately, Red Robin had gas masks for them both but upon trying to force the door open discovered it’s wooden panelling hid a steel door beneath. In another part of the first floor, Batwoman, Black Canary and Wonder Girl tripped another trap as they found themselves trapped in a tight corridor with a solid brick wall closing in upon them. Using her Amazonian strength, Wonder Girl managed to slow the wall down until her strength caused the gears to crack, stopping the wall.
Hearing Red Robin’s cries for help, they fled to aid the other two trapped in the bedroom filling with gas. Troia finally managed to break down the door allowing them to escape. Now freed, Red Robin dispensed pills The Batman had created to counter the effects of The Joker’s gas and venom. Reassembed they made for the second floor where they could hear the strains of “Jingle Bells” playing.
On the second floor, they discovered a room filled with large toy soldiers standing guard to a room where they could hear Harley Quinn taunting them. Once they entered, the door slammed shut behind them and to the strain of “The March of The Wooden Soldier, the toy soldiers
( Which The Joker had acquired from The Toyman some time ago) began to move forward firing bullets at them. As Wonder Girl and Troia deflected the bullets with their bracelets, Black Canary destroyed some with her Canary Cry, and Batwoman and Red Robin blew several up with exploding batarangs. Wonder Girl and Troia took down the other soldiers, but not before Red Robin was grazed in the arm by a stray bullet, though he was fine otherwise.
They then entered the next room where Harley Quinn and several knife wielding Clown goons waited. She had created an ice slick on the floor before the door with chemicals that managed to trip up some of the heroes as the goons attacked. As they fought off the killer clowns Finally, Harley who kept cruelly taunting the heroes turned and fled out the window. However, when Batwoman leapt to follow her she triggered two large candy canes guarding the window that were really large eletrical conducter rods which created an electtrical arc. Fortunately, Batwoman’s suit managed to protect her from the worst of the charge as she fired her grappling hook and began to rapel up the side of the building towards the fleeing Harley. Wonder Girl too followed Batwoman thru the window, saved only by her Amazonian body from the electrical blast. Black Canary destroyed the conductors with her Canary Cry as she, Red Robin and Troia met up with Batwoman and Wonder Girl on the third floor.
The heroes could hear The Joker behind the door before them. Batwoman tossed a smoke bomb into the room which one of The Joker’s clown henchmen attempted to smother with his body thinking it to be a grenade. In the smoke, the heroes entered the room to find The Joker…dressed in a Santa suit and looking far more like The Grinch than a jolly old elf….seated on a throne with Harley Quinn standing by his side wielding a giant candy cane.
The Joker was disappointed that The Batman hadn’t fallen into his trap but was impressed that Batwoman had figured out his scheme. Their arrival however hardly affected his plans as he then had two gunmen burst out of large Christmas boxes to fire upon the heroes. Once again, Wonder Girl and Troia managed to deflect the bullets while Black Canary and Batwoman both made short work of the gunmen.
Just as they thought they had The Joker dead to rights he reminded Red Robin of the gas he’d smelled downstairs. He then told the heroes that he had a trigger in his throne that would ignite the pilot light of the oven in the kitchen causing the old gas mains in the building and on this block to explode….supposedly his 11th crime….11 pipes piping! Harley then attacked Red Robin as The Joker triggered the ignition switch and fled for the door. Red RObin disarmed Harley of her candy cane weapon but it exploded in his face. Harley made for the window to escape as the building was rocked by an explosion in the first floor beneath them.
Black Canary and Batwoman halted The Joker’s escape while Harley reluctantlly fled as she was commanded. However, as the gas mains beneath the building exploded, the old tenement began to collapse beneath them. Part of the floor collapsed beneath Red Robin and Troia. Troia managed to stay aloft and Red Robin caught the edge of the broken roof before Troia managed to catch him. Wonder Girl attempted to catch Harley but the fire escape began to detach from the collapsing walls. The heroes managed to make it out as The Joker attempted to escape again but was caught by Troia and flown out into the street to join the others who managed to all escape as the building collapsed behind them. Also the gas mains exploded under the streets causing more fires amongst the buildings on that block and causing more devastation.
When Batwoman attempted to interrogate The Joker where the money he had acquired from the wills of the people he’d killed, the Clown Prince of Crime steadfastly refused to tell…instead demanding they return him to Arkham Asylum in time for Christmas dinner. As Wonder Girl, Troia and Red Robin attempted to help the innocent civilians and stem the fires from The Joker’s rampage, Batwoman and Black Canary returned The Joker to Arkham.
At the same time, a mysterious package was delivered to Dr. Leslie Tompkins at the famous East End Free Clinic. Once opened, the package revealed to contain over 10 million dollars in bills and a note that read “Merry Christmas from an Unknown Benefactor”….coincidence or had The Joker truly gained The Christmas Spirit?….One may never know…..
Heroes present: Batwoman, Black Canary, Troia , Wonder Girl, Red Robin, Oracle
Villains present: The Joker, Harley Quinn, Clown goons, The Toyman’s toy soldiers