Chapter One: Tempest

Rain dripped steadily down the glass. A pair of sage green eyes watched it stream between the panes. It ran in tiny rivulets down to the dead brown grass in the muddy soil, making puddles where the walls of the greenhouse met the earth.

It was fall in Gotham City. The sheets of rain steadily drenched the city. The gutters ran like icy rivers down to the overflowing sewers. Rotting leaves from the few trees within the city limits clustered on the sidewalks, leaving wet black marks on the grey concrete when tracked away by unwary feet. A chill wind whipped around the corners, making coats flap wildly around pedestrians as they hurried to get to somewhere warm.

Ivy huddled miserably in a nest of plants in her greenhouse, watching the rain come down for the third time that week. A vine from her flytrap curled comfortingly around her shoulder. She sighed and snuggled into it, closing her eyes and resting her head on a pillow of vines that snaked underneath her.

The thing about fall that really curled her leaves, she thought, was that it marked the death of everything. Winter wasn't nearly as bad...the snow covered and insulated the tiny remains of all those poor plants. But in the fall, everywhere she went the death of plants was thrown in her face. Children played in piles of leaves as if it were something to enjoy! And Halloween...carving pumpkins, corn stalks tied together and propped upright in yards...

An icy raindrop splatted across her face. She jerked upright, squinting toward the ceiling angrily, and saw a crack in a pane of glass. Another raindrop hit her right in the eye.

"That is IT!" she howled to the jungle inhabiting the greenhouse. "I can't stand this for one more minute!" She brushed impatiently at the vines that blanketed her. The vines hastily uncoiled themselves from around her body and cleared a path for her to walk. They nestled back around each other like confused cats as she stalked over to her workbench. Tossing aside the plans for eradicating several big businesses who had trampled on the earth's rights, she started work, occasionally pausing to glare hatefully outside.

One way or another, fall was over in Gotham City.