Disclaimer – I don't own Batman or Cornelius Stirk, DC does. All reviews and comments are welcome. The rest of the story is not in this style (probably too bitty to read for a long time). I just thought I would try it out as a way to build speed and tension up into the story. All comments about its effectiveness or whether it is a good or bad idea would be appreciated.

Hostile Takeover – Chapter One

21:36 Dave was munching on a doughnut whilst waggling his eyebrows provocatively at the tea lady. He stood up, wiped the sugar from his "I Love Strippers!" top and waddled over to her. He had been preparing for this moment all day. He had practically bathed in cologne. He found it a great way to mask the smell of sweat he got from playing squash before going to work. If someone lit a match near him it would make an atom bomb look like a barbecue. He had been preparing the one killer line. The one line that would get him her cell phone number and her into his life. The line about jello and octopuses. His computer beeped. He looked back at the computer. He looked over at her. She was sweeping her gorgeous blonde hair back and smiling at him whilst holding her nose for some reason? She was looking at him! No-one else! Just him! Her eyes were watering? Must be the t-shirt, it is rather witty! Beep! Beep! It was his computer again. A double beep. It had to be important.

Dave Walker waddled in a subdued way back to his computer terminal. He tapped the screen in confusion. It was showing a map of Gotham city and all the red dots showed any buses that had been stationary for more than one hour. Green dots showed active buses. One of the green dots was leaving the city. He left clicked on the dot. A little speech bubble appeared above it. The 276. He looked at his next monitor. The 276 was taking a group of school children to a hotel. It was full of children from a visiting Nevada school. The only problem is it was heading the wrong way.

He tapped the radio button and typed in 276 on the keypad.

"Bill this is Dave, come in Bill." Silence. The tea lady was leaving the office again. Damn he had fluffed up another chance! Maybe he should try his "Strippers do it in y-fronts" top next time? "Come on 276, this is Dave." Still silence. "Bill you are going the wrong goddamm way. The hotel is in the centre of the city. What the hell are you doing?"

The radio crackled to life. "I'm going to kill everyone of them."

21:40 "He has activated his vehicle. We have a trace on him."

21:41 Gordon was standing in his office. A bus full of kids taken hostage. Great. He would have the tourist board on his back again. The tourist trade in Gotham was already hit hard enough with a bunch of scarred psychos treating the city like their own personal playpen. The last advert the Gotham Tourist Board had released to the world had been "Visit Gotham, or we'll visit you" with a picture of some of Arkham's most famous inmates. It hadn't gone down well. He slammed the phone down and picked up a two-way radio. "This is Gordon, liase with Walker in the Gotham City Coach Head Quarters. I want to know the minute that bus leaves that road. I want a helicopter in the air now. Let me know when we have visual. Get a mobile swat team on the road as well."

21:44 "The police are incorrect. The target will acquire the coach in ten minutes."

21:46 "Commissioner this is Skybird One. We are above the freeway heading out of Gotham City towards the Gotham City dump."

A voice crackled into her earpiece. "This is Walker. You should have visual now. It is just passing the turning to Gotham Cemetery."

Becky Marler, the pilot looked down at the stream of lights heading into the distance. She was probably the best pilot in Gotham's police department. She could see the blue lights of the police converging in three directions.

"I still have no visual Walker," said Becky. "I'm taking her down lower." The signal was about to go under a bridge. She had nearly lost her stripes for flying under a bridge before. She decided to go above it this time. She didn't know what the fuss was about; she had missed the train by several feet. It was just pure bad luck that the blades had trimmed the hedge of the mayor at the same time. That wasn't exactly her fault; she had to get out of the way of the train. Who would have known the train would be on time? It wasn't her fault that the down draft caused the Mayor's garden party meal to be blown indoors. It was raining; they should have held it indoors anyway. From what she had heard the house needed redecorating before she decorated it with noodles and catsup. She was doing them a favour really. Horrible food, splattering it against a wall probably improved its flavour. Better concentrate on the job in hand. She looked down at road. Still no sign of the bus.

"You are right above them," the voice crackled on the radio. "I've got your GPS signal on my screen. It is doing 47 down the road. Look down, you are right on top of it."

Becky looked down. "There is no bus there, Walker. I've got two chevies, an open top beemer and a garbage truck."

"You just passed over it."

"That is a negative, that is not a bus." She focused the spotlight on the vehicle below her. "The signal is in the garbage truck! The signal is in the garbage truck!"

21:49 "This is Gordon to all units. Be on the lookout for a bus full of children."

21:50 The Batmobile was roaring down the road. Alfred's voice crackled on the radio. "I have triangulated the radio signal sir, it does not conform to the GPS signal."

"Where are they headed?"

"Take the road to the Gotham National Forest. The last recording was from the road about 500 yards from your current position, fourteen minutes ago."

Batman pressed the accelerator and roared up to 230 miles per hour. He clicked a button and changed the headlights to infrared and the windscreen showed everything in front of him as clear as day. It just had a slight reddish tinge to the view.

"What type of coach are we talking about?" Said Batman.

"It is a 2005 Allure 500 series."

"Top speed 90 mph. With its cornering capability a one in four gradient and the fact it is fully loaded I should catch up with it in four minutes."

21:52 Sarah Jensen, a police operator, heard a "ghost" voice in her earphones telling her what type of call was coming through. "Police call."

"Police operator. Please state the nature of the emergency?"

A child's frightened voice came through the headset. "My name is Fiona Barrington a bad man has taken our bus and is driving us out of town."

Oh great another kid with a mobile phone. What had been the last emergency call she had taken? Oh yes, my brother has taken my Barbie and flushed it down the can. Woo! Call out the National Guard! "Who has taken the bus Fiona?"

"He looks like Abraham Lincoln?"

"Please restate that?"

"Oh my god! He is looking around! He is not Abraham Lincoln he is…"

The signal cut out.

21:54 Batman weaved through the traffic at high speed, not even bothering to take his foot off the accelerator. There it is. Five hundred yards ahead. He knew the type of coach. It has a slightly corrugated roof making an assault from above very feasible because of the handholds. If it were a different type of coach he would adopt a different tactic. He clicked a button on his dashboard and a screen showed all the heat signatures in the bus. One adult heat signature was cooling on the floor and one adult with a cold gun driving. The children were cowering in the seats. He ran a dual scan for explosives and gas canisters. Nothing. He scanned the engine block again just to make sure. The radiator would sometimes mask the signature and Batman did not want to be caught unawares simply by a button press. The Batmobile roared up to the side of the bus. The top of the car slid open.

"Take over," said Batman into his mouthpiece.

Alfred took remote control of the vehicle from the cave. Batman steadied himself and leapt onto the side of the bus and quickly scrambled onto the roof of the coach. The roof was slippery. Rain lanced into his eyes and his cloak was dragged back threatening to pull him off the roof. He crawled to the front of the bus and attached a flashbang to the drivers window. Boom. The window blew out and Batman swung in and kicked the driver to one side, quickly taking control of the vehicle. He looked down. The man's mouth opened wide and it was full of sharp razor like teeth. Three tongues like a snake flicked out. Batman punched him again.

The man's face changed to look like Abraham Lincoln. Cornelius Stirk. He was trying out his hypnotic implant's. Batman kicked the man in the knee bringing him down. Still steering with one hand he kicked him on the chin. He got back behind the wheel and slowly brought the bus to a halt. The man, who originally had looked like Abraham Lincoln shimmered as the hypnotic control he was using wore off revealing a bald, scarred, ugly looking man. It was Cornelius Stirk, a very nasty psychopathic killer. He tried to scare people to death to harvest their chemicals that he felt he needed to live. He looked back at the coach. The children were all there. All looking frightened.

"Calm down," said Batman to the children. This had the opposite effect to what he wanted. Considering his suit scared hardened criminals on children his effect was no less effective. They started screaming. "You are safe, your parents will be informed."

They still carried on screaming, though whether at him or their parents being told about them screaming he did not know. Batman dragged the unconscious Cornelius Stirk from the coach and he could hear the sound of sirens in the distance. Alfred must have told them where they were. In a few seconds he could see the blue lights and a spotlight from above when the police helicopter caught him in its glare. Time to leave. He looked around and pressed a button on his belt. The Batmobile glided to his side and the door hissed open. A black sedan with tinted windows screeched to a halt beside him and two men in dark suits with sunglasses got out. Secret service agents by the looks of them. They had the earphones that only they seem to wear. They stared at him with a strangely blank expression. The door hissed shut and Batman roared off the police radio already telling him about a vicious mugging in downtown Gotham.

21:55 "The stories about him are true. Eighteen minutes from when he was told. We should talk to him before the agents do."