The Fox Fire Ring: Chapter Five: No Matter the Cost



Wayne Manor

I looked at my watch as I came into the cave. 4:00 AM. "Bruce?" I called out into the silent, utter darkness. Nothing. I shrugged it off, thinking he had gone to bed. I put the batgirl suit in it's case and sat down at the computer, looking over everything I knew about Nightshade, but the realization that I knew next to nothing about her, hit me hard. "I can't do this anymore," I whispered to no one. It was wearing me down. How did Bruce do it? How did Terry? I wasn't like them. I gave up too easily, because I could feel myself breaking. But if anything ever happened while I was out there......The thought sent me into shivers, and I fought back just breaking down and crying. I couldn't do this anymore.....

I gave a small sob and leaned on to the keyboard.....Wait a minute?! Bruce rarely sleeps, and he wouldn't bother going to bed at 4:00 just to get two hours of sleep!.....Oh my God.......

I grabbed my book bag and frantically searched for my cell phone. I dialed the McGinnis' apartment number and waited.

"Hello?" said a groggy sounding Mary McGinnis

"Hi Aunt Mary. It's me Emily. Is Terry there?" I asked, trying to remain calm. Or at least sound like I was.

"No, I assumed he was with you. Is there a problem?" Fear was gripping her voice, and I could hardly deal with my fear, so I had to think of something. Fast.

"No, um, he just left, and he left his backpack here. I figured if he was there, Id just drive over and give it to him, but he's not so I'll wait until morning. Ok, bye," I said and hung up.

"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," my mind repeated over and over. Think Mackenzie! Think! Ter's cell! Yeah!

I dialed the number, but no one answered. I was panicking now. Nightshade really did know who I was! Why didn't I just give her the ring! I had burst into tears now, and didn't know what to do!

Suddenly I heard this cackling from behind me, but the only thing behind me was the computer. I turned and to my horror saw Nightshade, with over a hundred people surrounding her.

"Hello Emily. If your watching this it means that I have taken your little friends along with half the city's population and will now proceed to kill them. Trying to stop me is futile, but I need a good laugh so here's my location." A map popped onto the screen. It was an old abandoned warehouse. My fist clenched as my angry, tear stained face looked at the video note. Nightshade couldn't get away with this one....

"BAM! BAM! BAM!" and finally the door broke down. "NIGHTSHADE!" I yelled into the dark utter bleakness. I gasped as I saw at least 10 dead bodies. Oh God no.....





I put a hand to my head, and felt a large lump where I was hit over the head. I slowly came to, my vision clearing. It was some sort of room. Dark, barren, but not empty. Terry was on the ground next to me. I shook him gently and he woke up, moaning.

"Bruce? Where are we?" he asked. I didn't answer. I didn't know, but I wasn't going to tell him that. I was Bruce Wayne. The former Dark Knight. I was supposed to know everything. I didn't of corse, but still. No need to let Terry know that.

There she was. Laughing like a maniac. She probably was a maniac, but I still had experience with maniacs, and their tougher than you think.

"Well hello dark night," said Nightshade. "Or should I say former dark night?"

I began to struggle to get up, getting some help from the cane. I then fell to my knees as a large pounding rung in my concussion sensitive ears. I could tell Terry was feeling it to, as well as the other people, because they held their ears and moaned.

Suddenly the door broke down, and a very ticked of Batgirl was standing at it. Thank God she was here.....

"NIGHTSHADE!" she yelled. She then saw the 10, now lifeless bodies I had failed to notice before. On no......





I managed to keep in tears. How could she!? She wasn't human, I was certain of that now! She was a monster!

I saw Bruce and Terry, and ran over to them quick as I could, but before I could reach them, a blinding flash surrounded them and they were gone!

"BRUCE!? TERRY!?" I screamed. Nightshade just laughed......

"And thus ends the glorious legend of the Gotham Knight......"





I was so glad to see Bruce! Especially alive. And seeing Emily burst through the door mad as heck wasn't bad either. Then the flash surrounded us, and I lost consciousness.......

"Who are you?"

"You killed my father"

"Do you have any idea how little that narrows it down?!"

"Why did he open the door mom? He would have looked first! We could have fought them off, me and dad! I was such a jerk!"

"You're my best friend for twelve years and then you just move away. Then you never talk to me. At least at the first family reunion after you moved, you acted like I was still your cousin and important to you! Then you come here and decide to act all chummy and then you have to be my partner and all that crud! Why can't you just leave me alone! Not like you care any way!"

"Is that what you think?! That I don't care?! The day I moved was the day I died on the inside! If I didn't care about you then I wouldn't be vacationing in Gotham City and I definitely wouldn't be risking my butt out here!"

"You sure have a funny way of showing it......"

"......he has no wife, no relations. He can't live by himself anymore. Who's going to take care of him?"

"Me. I could."

"Awful young, aren't you?"

"Awful slimy aren't you?"

"Careful. The courts are very strict about slander."

"Really? Let's see how they handle assault!"

"The only rat here is Terry McGinnis....."




Suddenly, just after the flash, Terry cam crashing down to the floor. "TERRY?!" I screamed and ran to him. I felt his pules....There was none. He was cold.........

"No God! Don't take Terry away from me!" Now fear was really getting to me. What about Bruce?




All I saw was Emily, and heard her screaming, and that was just before blacking out......

"Bruce, I like you, really, but as a friend....."

"I understand."

"Now that this nasty business of Ms. Kyle's has been cleared up, I'm hoping you two will get back together."

"I doubt it. I'm not so sure it's been cleared up, and besides. She loves Batman."

"You once taught me never to give up. Now if you don't do something, I will!"

"Joker....I should have known you'd be in on this."

"Really? I must be falling into a rut"

".....but you don't need to prove yourself. You're a valued member of this team and-'

"I'm taking the javelin. Unless you want to try and stop me."


"Goodbye detective."

"Next time I'll fax my intentions....."

"My face is on a t-shirt for crying out loud!"

".....but in reality your just a scared little boy in a play suit, crying for mommy and daddy. It'd be funny if it weren't so pathetic!......Ah, what the heck, I'll laugh any way!"




Moments after Terry hit the floor, he was followed by Bruce. Again, dead cold. I couldn't help it. I was sobbing now. Everything I'd ever cared about was gone now, and I didn't know how to get it back......I couldn't control the hyperventilation attack I was having, but soon, a blinding white flash engulfed me as well, but I didn't black out.

"You're my best friend for twelve years and then you just move away. Then you never talk to me. At least at the first family reunion after you moved, you acted like I was still your cousin and important to you! Then you come here and decide to act all chummy and then you have to be my partner and all that crud! Why can't you just leave me alone! Not like you care any way!"

"Is that what you think?! That I don't care?! The day I moved was the day I died on the inside! If I didn't care about you then I wouldn't be vacationing in Gotham City and I definitely wouldn't be risking my butt out here!"

"You sure have a funny way of showing it......"

"Dance? I don't really ballroom dance."

"He's got two left feet."

"I do not!"


"I don't have two left feet."

"Yes you do! Remember in third grade when we took those dance lessons and you were my partner? My feet were under ice for days!"

"That was hard dancing though!"

"You can't dance."

"You wanna bet?"

"Your on!"

"So what exactly does this Blight guy look like?"

"Know what a skeleton looks like?"


"Think that only lime green and radioactive"

"Oh, I'm gonna have pleasant dreams about this, I'm sure"

I was in a dark room, if you can call it a room. It was really just black. I couldn't see a thing, but I knew there was some sort of floor, cause I hadn't fallen downward forever yet.

Suddenly a soft light hit a little stand with a goblet. Something inside me said "Drink it! Drink it!" While something else said "No! Don't be and idiot!"

The first thing won out.

I walked over to the tray and was about to put it to my lips when something rang out inside of me.

"Jesus died on a cross so you would live. Whenever you look at that bible and these crosses, think about that. Ok?"

Live.......Jesus had given something to me....Now it was my time to return the favor.....The flash surrounded me again, and I was back in the warehouse.

Nightshade gasped, but held her composer.

"You know, the old one was a bit of a challenge, but the young one was very easy. Of course, I broke him down first."

"No...." I whispered. In the face of Nightshade, my new found strength was leaving me quickly. She just cackled.

"Did you actually expect to win?! Simple minded mortal! I am Nightshade! I pray on you deepest fears, hates, sorrows, sadness, loss, loneliness, remorse, guilt, revenge. You name it, I can turn it into a weakness!" and she cackled again.

I had fallen to my knees. I really was a fool! I couldn't beat this! Not with her sensing everything in me!

"Your emotions make you weak! That's the same for all you mortals!"

".....Fears, hates, sorrows, sadness, loss, loneliness, remorse, guilt, revenge."

It was ringing through me. I couldn't escape it........Fears? Wait a minute!


Emily stood up again. "NIGHTSHADE!" she yelled. "You forgot one thing!" and she through a punch towards her.

"What about hope? Love? Sacrifice, happiness, family, truth, and don't forget faith! You name it, it's my strength!"

Nightshade looked like a deer in car headlights, and Emily's fist connected with her jaw. But the effort had made her extremely tiered. She wouldn't be able to keep this up for long. But then it came to her....There was only one thing to do.

She held her fist up above her head, the Fox Fire Ring on it glowing brightly. "FOX FIRE RING!" she called out.

"No you fool! You can't control it's power! You'll doom us all!" cried Nightshade.

"But is could save Terry. The risk's worth taking! ACTIVATE!"

Suddenly, from the ring, beams of coppery light came shooting out of it. They began to surround Emily, and wrap about her. Soon, covering the Batgirl suit, was a new one.

It was a rusty coppery color, with silver gloves an boots, rust tinted goggles, covering her eyes, yet allowing her to see, and finally, a silver fox head where the blue bat symbol had once been.

"I am the Fox!" she cried and shot at Nightshade, delivering a hard punch to the stomach. "I spread light through the shadows, and blaze the ones who try and destroy the light!"

While Nightshade tried to form some attack of her own, Fox already had one.

"Fox Inferno!" she cried, and from her gloved hands, cords of fire sprung out and hit Nightshade dead on. "Final Blaze!" she sang out again, and Nightshade gave one last feeble moan....




"....But why kill him father? He's not food. he's not my enemy."

"He's right....I'm not his enemy."

"...I was thinking we meant more to each other than this. Beyond saving each other and dealing with the costume villains....."

"Bruce Wayne?"

"You peeked."

Slowly I found myself waking up and saw Emily's face bending over me. But she wasn't in the Batgirl suit. I was trying to figure out what happened, but I took a good guess when I saw a flaming blackish puddle.

"So that ring's really something huh?"

I saw the worry melt from her face as it was replaced by relief. Tears were streaming down her cheeks and she gave a sob and put her arms around my neck, in a gentle embrace.

"I thought you were dead!" she sobbed, and helped me up. She then knelt down, and put her ring on Terry's heart.....




"Terry, you once told me Batman's the only thing that makes you worth while. But in reality, you're the only thing that makes Batman worth while, and don't you ever believe differently ....."

"....Better late then never right?"

"Shut up McGinnins......Just shut up......"

"I warn you. I can be a difficult task master, excepting nothing but the best from all who work for me."

"I think I can handle it."

"Very well then. Welcome to my world."

"Which time are you wearing the mask and which is real! When it comes right down to it, which life are you willing to give up!"

I felt this undescribable warmth go through my chest. It was then that I started to come to, and saw the goggled face of my cousin leaning over me. She was crying.

"Emily," I said. "Why are you crying?" It was the same thing I had said when I had come back from the dead in that hospital. She was smiling, yet sobbing at the same time as she helped me up. I didn't bother asking what happened to the former Batgirl, figuring I'd get filled in on the details later.

"Shut up McGinnis! Your stupid nightmare lady's gone, It's 5:00 AM, and I have never been so tired in my entire life!"

The End

(As in not to be continued:))

So what did you guys think? Truthfully, I think it sucked, but hey *shrugs* it got the point across. It explains some things from five years running and clarify's the fact that there isn't gonna be another batgirl in the rest of these stories. So basically it was only here to set the stage for the rest of my terrible stories:)