The room was silent. I glanced at the doctor bending over Bart and I frowned. I shook my head. This is unreal. My thoughts drifted back to a few hours ago at the charity gala…
I was seconds away from ripping Lex a new one. We messed up…we should have realized that he’d be looking into the phone logs…My thoughts were interrupted by a loud noise and screams coming from several attendees. I glanced to my right and my eyes widened.
“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We are tonight's entertainment! I only have one question. Where is Victoria Vale….”
The guy let out a crazy laugh and sucked in a breath…this must be the Joker…well crap…that can’t be good. I saw Bruce’s whole body tense and I frowned. I moved my hand to Chloe’s arm while pushing a button inside my pocket, sending out a signal to the rest of the team.
I leaned down to her ear and spoke in a low voice.
“We need to get you out of here…now.”
She frowned at me.
“Oliver…what about everyone else…we need to get them out too. This Joker guy is bad news…trust me…”
She cut me off with an angry voice.
“No! Dammit…I am not more important than anyone else here. We stay and help…”
I shook my head. She’s so stubborn…Bruce chose that minute to face us as he grasped the other side of Chloe’s arm and practically pushed us around a bend. Chloe frowned at him.
“What are you doing Bruce?”
He opened his mouth and then shut it. He sighed and spoke in a low voice.
“You need to get out of here Victoria. This guy is bad news…and with all the good press you’ve been giving to Batman and the other ‘heroes’ I don’t think the Joker will take kindly to it…”
She shook her head again and looked between us.
“Listen you guys…I’m not bailing. I can help. We need to get everyone out of here.”
Bruce looked at me and I shrugged out of irritation. There was some more shouting and then a gun shot went off. We ran around and stopped in our tracks when we saw someone lying in a pool of their own blood. I was about to say something when the glass window crashed in and Bart. Victor, A.C. and Clark stood there in uniform.
Bruce turned to us and spoke quickly.
“I need to get to something…Victoria please…just stay where no one can see you. I’ll be right back.”
I opened my mouth to protest, but he was already gone. I looked down at Chloe and spoke in her ear.
“I need to go suit up. At least go back behind the bend until I get back…please Chloe…we didn’t spend all this time keeping you safe to blow it like this. She sighed, but nodded. I watched her go around the bend and hunker down with a few people.
I ran off to an empty alcove and stripped my clothes off. Lately with all the crime in the city I’ve been taking a page out of Superman’s book and keeping my suit under my clothes. I yanked up the hood and ran out toward the others.
I saw Clark knocking two guys together, Victor and A.C. were fighting back to back, and Batman was throwing people around trying to get to the Joker. Batman…when did he get here? I heard a loud scream and everything from that point on happened very quickly.
I saw Chloe shoot out from her hiding spot, run across the room and shove a young girl to the ground. She turned and the thug who was pointing the gun at the girl pulled the trigger. I heard someone screaming her name and then I realized it was me.
Clark’s head whipped around and I saw a wave of panic come over his face as he started to run. He was headed off by a red blur. As soon as Bart’s body slowed down in front of Chloe the bullet struck and he ran into her knocking the two of them to the ground.
I was two feet away when some guy came at me with a knife. As I was fighting him off I watched someone strike A.C. over the head with the butt of a gun twice before Victor slammed into him and pushed him out the window. Clark was on a rampage.
I watched as a few thugs went over by Chloe and I yelled. I felt something collide with my head and blackness over took me….
Something hitting the floor knocked me out of my thoughts. I looked around the room until my eyes caught Clark’s and I could see worry clearly written on his face. I saw his eyes shift to Bruce who was putting his gear away.
That’s right…Bruce Wayne is Batman…maybe Chloe was right about billionaires and hero complexes…When I woke up before we were in Bruce’s mansion. Apparently he and Clark brought us back here after the fight.
Most people got away okay, but the Joker took Chloe…My thoughts were interrupted when the door opened and the doctor left. Bruce’s butler, Alfred I think his name is, came in with drinks. A.C. was still unconscious and Victor didn’t look happy.
I couldn’t take it anymore and I broke the silence in the room.
Bruce turned and raised an eyebrow in my direction.
“You’re the Green Arrow…not something I would have expected.”
I folded my arms across my chest.
“Yes well, I can’t say I pictured your extracurricular activities to include roaming Gotham at night and riding it of it’s bad guys.”
He smirked slightly, put his hands in his pocket, and nodded.
“Fair enough. So I assume this is the Justice League I’ve heard so much about.”
It was quiet when I heard Bart groan. We moved over to him quickly and I watched his eyes slowly flutter open. He looked extremely confused.
“Dudes…what the hell happened to me…if feels like…I got hit with a truck…”
I shook my head and Clark grinned. If he was making jokes then he’ll be just fine…
“No, not a truck…a bullet.”
He gave us a disbelieving look.
“Not possible amigos…I can be gone before you can even blink. I redefined faster than a speeding bullet.”
“Yeah, you did, but not tonight…”
My voice faded and Bart’s eyes finally opened wide in recognition. His body shot up, Victor, Clark, and I all moved closer to push him back down. He winced.
“Oww...oh god that hurt…where is she? Where’s Chloelicious? Did I…did I make it in time?”
His voice was frantic and panic was settling in on his face. Clark clasped a hand over his shoulder.
“You made it in time to stop the bullet from hitting Chloe, but not with enough time to get the two of you out of the way in time. It went right through you.”
“But Chloe’s okay?”
Clark looked at me and hesitated before speaking again.
“As far as we know Chloe is fine…for now…”
“What the hell does that mean?”
I cut Clark off and spoke.
“It means that the Joker got Chloe…and we think he’s working with Lex…”
I saw Bart swear under his breath as his head hit the pillow. I turned my head at a voice clearing his throat bringing our attention to Bruce. We watched as he leaned against a small desk and spoke.
“Listen…if the Joker is working with Luthor that means it would be beneficial for us to work together. You know more about what Lex is capable of them I do and I know more about the Joker.”
“That makes sense…”
He cut me off.
“Before we can work together you need to tell me what’s going on. You all obviously know Victoria…and I assume you five are the people she mentioned knowing to me…but things don’t add up. Who is Chloe?”
I looked at Clark and his tired voice carried through the silence.
“You might as well tell him. It’s been four hours since they took her…we need to find her and he might be able to help. All that matters right now is getting her back safely.”
“You’re right…Victoria Vale is really Chloe Sullivan. She is a good friend of ours and a reporter for the Daily Planet. A few years back our team found out Lex was experimenting on people with abilities; under an operation he calls 33.1, in hundreds of facilities around the world.”
I sighed before continuing.
“About two years ago, Lex found out that Chloe has a second generation meteor healing power…she has the ability to heal herself and others. Ever since he discovered that, he has been trying to take her. In order to keep her safe we created a new cover identity and sent her here.”
“We wanted to keep her safe until we could discover specifically what Lex had planned for her abilities and stop him. It obviously didn’t work out the way we planned though…”
My voice trailed off and Bruce nodded. He was quiet for a few minutes before speaking.
“I see…so Victoria Vale…”
He waited for me to finish the sentence.
“Is an old friend of mine who hasn’t been to Gotham since she was a child. She was nice enough to let me use her information to keep Chloe safe for the time being”
“So…where does…Chloe fit into all of this? She seems civilian to me and yet…there’s something about her.”
Clark stood up and glared slightly at Bruce.
“She’s my best friend, she’s family, and she’s a valued member of the Justice League. She’s our Watchtower.”
He gave Clark a look of confusion.
“What is a Watchtower?”
I spoke up and explained.
“She runs logistics for our missions. Chloe makes sure we don’t run into trouble by being our eyes and ears. She’s pretty computer savvy.”
Victor nodded and spoke.
“She gets us from point A to B unharmed and she…it’s hard to explain what she does for us.”
Bart cut him off.
“She’s Chloelicious. Not only is she a hottie, but she knows who we all really are and she accepts us unconditionally.”
He winced before continuing.
“For truth, justice, and all that other crap.”
He glared at Bruce and spoke with gritted teeth, which I’m pretty sure was do to the pain from the gun shot wound.
“Listen flying monkey or whatever it is you are…does it really matter how she’s involved with us? She’s innocent in all this and we gotta save my bride to be or it’s gonna be a truly lonely wedding night…”
I shook my head and chuckled, Clark smirked and Victor laughed. At this point Bruce looked not only slightly confused, but a little shocked as well.
“You’re engaged to Victoria? I mean Chloe?”
I waved Bart off as he laid his head down and closed his eyes.
“No he’s not. He would like to be, but that’s neither here nor there. We need to figure out where Chloe is and how to get her back. Are you with us or not?”
It was quiet for a minute or so before he sighed.
“I’m with you…but this doesn’t mean I’ve joined your little group of misfits…”
He logged onto his computer and we started planning out a strategy to get Chloe back from the Joker. Hang on Chloe…we’re coming…
I walked into the room and I heard something crash to the ground. I sighed. It figures…this is what happens when you send in amateurs to do a job…as I got closer I heard a female’s voice and then flesh hitting flesh. I rounded the corner and saw the Joker leaned menacingly over Chloe.
His body was rigid and his voice was callus.
“Do you want to know why I use a knife Miss Vale?”
He didn’t wait for her to answer before continuing.
“Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the... little emotions. In...you see…in their last moments…people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know those I kill better than anyone ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?”
I watched her glare in his direction before spitting in his face. I saw rage boiling as he brought the knife up and I stepped in.
“Relax…we need her alive, please try to contain yourself. I know she’s irritating, but I promise once I’m done with her she’s all yours.”
He backed away from her slowly but not before taking a gun from one of his thugs and whacking her across the face with it, knocking her unconscious. He turned in my direction and gave me a dramatic sigh as he fixed his hair and licked his lips.
“Women today…they just have no manners…”
I didn’t respond. I glanced around us at the random lackeys hanging around and I cleared my throat.
“We should probably discuss how we’re going to move her to Metropolis and finalize the details of our arrangement.”
He nodded and motioned everyone to leave.
“Go, go…everyone out!”
They scurried out of the room. I took a cloth out of my pocket, pulled out a syringe and walked toward Chloe. The Joker was watching me carefully and spoke.
“Hmmm what’s that you’ve got there?”
“It’s just a sedative to keep her from waking up while on the way back to Metropolis.”
He nodded as I injected Chloe.
“Mmmm very smart…very smart indeed.”
He was looking at something on the other side of the room. It was now or never. I took out the second syringe and jabbed it into his arm quickly. He turned to me semi-shocked and went to grab me, but his body hit the ground.
His voice was furious when he spoke.
“You…you betrayed me….you…you’ll be sorry…Luthor…”
His eyes closed as he passed out. I opened my phone , held down the number 3 and waited for someone to pick up.
“Yes. It’s done. I need the team to move in now.”
I heard the doors burst open and several gun shots were fired. My security team came in and three of them grabbed the Joker while one took Chloe. I nodded.
“Head out I’ll meet you back at the facility.”
I walked over the corpses of the Joker’s thugs and smiled. This is going to be a very interesting night…