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Marked, Stacked, and Falsely Shuffled

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This story is No. 6 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the Third Part of our Heroine's Adventures in a Wicked Place

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR131613,66663315,8267 Feb 1015 Feb 10Yes

Standing Before A Reckoning.

"Well, what have we here? A Bat and a bloodsucker I see. How ya doing Bats, enjoying the show?"

"Joker..."

"Oh no, that was this shell's identity, and quite a strong one at that. So strong it just kind of leaks in you see, " He leapt to his feet and snapped his fingers. A rattan cane, white suit, bow tie, and a straw boater appeared, giving him the costume of a toff.

"For example, I try to summon fearful armor, and I end up with this, " he shrugged, "Well its remaining psyche, will fade eventually, but for now I still have gained enough control to annihilate the pair of you without straining.

I felt what was coming and grabbing the Dark One, leapt as high into the air as I could manage. The floor where we had been standing melted away like mist, revealing a bubbling pool of some foul smelling caustic. We landed clear of the dangerous pit as the Old One cursed.

"It won't even let me simply erase you! It has to perform some showy trick!"

The Dark One whispered so softly, I was sure it was meant for me alone, "He will be using all the Joker's tricks and gimmicks at the speed of thought, I can always defeat those if I can see them coming."

"I can see what is coming next."

"Is there anyway I can get that information fast enough?"

"There is, but you must relax for a moment, " I turned to look him squarely in the eyes, "and...Be in me..."

His force of will was nothing less than prodigious, but he understood what I was about, and slowly, begrudgingly, allowed me in. I could see his mind clearly now, his past, his emotions that remained in check at all times only to be released on the most special of occasions. I saw his hopes and fears, all the things that made him the man he is. The highs, lows, friendships, and loves that he had permitted himself in his lonely life. I saw clear through to his core and knew him for all that he was. And then I gave him all that I was.

The eye contact broken he moved forward, dodging the swarm of fanged wooden ducks that appeared in front of his face, and the exploding cream pies that tried to herd him back towards the pit. I could feel him pulsing through our link and sent all the images I received as quickly as they formed. My vision had never been more sharp and crystalline. It was obvious that since I saw all possibilities, the ones that were changing literally right in front of my nose, would most likely be the clearest.

Even with my assistance and his almost inhuman skill, the Dark One could not dodge every thing that was being sent at him. Giant stomping boots, razor sharp strands of confetti, poisonous seltzer water, fire breathing teddy bears, the list went on and on, and my Champion was weakening, being subject to the death of a thousand cuts. Drawing my sword, I threw myself into the fray.

The mental toll was incredible, focusing on our opponent's every potential reality, and either reacting to or sending it on to the Dark One. I could feel my madness starting to bubble to the surface under the strain, I started hearing the voices from dust and draughts of air. I continued to swing at places on the Old One's form that I knew he would not be able to defend, but caused mere cuts and scrapes as my sword slid off his chitinous hide. My beast shook its bars ever more fiercely and I began tapping into its rage to both drain it of power and enhance the primal fury of my attacks. It was fighting for survival as well as its freedom so it allowed the second, but resisted the first.

The Dark One was producing explosives and blinders, blades and binders in a almost never ending stream, seeking to distract and impair the Old One's attacks so that we would have a chance to deliver a telling blow. He struck with deadly precision using hand, foot, knee, and elbow to their best effect succeeding in jarring and knocking down a creature that possessed many times our combined strength.

The room took on a strange glow and time seemed to slow down, I began to feel that I could see the seconds dripping like morning dew on a cool spring day. The whole world had shrunken to this battle at this moment. The three of us were leaping dodging and striking as reality continued to bubble and warp at a faster and faster rate, and then I felt time stop. I looked around and saw everything frozen in place, but my mind was still free and my madness had taken full control. I saw then, in this time between moments, how to defeat this creature from an ancient age.

Time clicked forward and I called out to the Dark One, "We need Harley here!"
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