Standing among a swarm of Gotham Police and their squad cars sitting about the base of Wayne Tech Labs, Commissioner Maxine Gibson walks through the crime scene and the frozen guards still giving a shocked look behind melting ice. The police officers tap on the chilled victims and stand about wondering how to unthaw them.
"Anyone got a flame thrower?" One male officer chuckles.
"How bout a dash of hot sauce?" The other officer quips.
"Ok, knock it off you guys." Maxine orders as she stops to scowl at them. "How bout a little respect for these poor souls, huh? How'd you like it if you were the one under all that ice?"
"I'd be chilly." The officer snickers.
Max didn't think that was funny at all, she walked over to the insubordinate cop and pointed at him with distain.
"Consider yourself on probation…rookie!"
The male officer gulped as he saw the seriousness within her eyes.
As she turns back to one of the victims incased in ice, she lightly rubs her finger on the cold surface and recoils quickly as the chill of it is too much for her flesh to stand. A few gasps from the officers behind makes her turn to see what the rest are all looking up at. Swooping down out of the night sky, Batman lands to the ground gracefully as he folds his suit's wings back and approaches Maxine.
"Bout time you showed up." She smirks.
"What's the story here? Holding a winter carnival?" Batman quips.
"Not exactly, seems we've got a copycat on our hands."
Batman brings his face in close to the iced men and studies them with a careful glare. He too rubs his fingers along the surface of the ice and notices how there's no wetness on his fingers from the heat of his skin touch it.
"Interesting." He mutters. "It's not even melting."
"I know." She nods in agreement. "This can't be who I think it is…can it? I mean, he's long gone right?"
"What you mean maybe?" She questions. "This is Mr. Freeze's M.O."
"But Mr. Freeze hasn't been around for years…and the fact he's dead." The dark night sighs as he keeps rubbing his fingers as he continues to stare at them.
"You're sure about that?" Max scoffs.
"I was there when the place came crashing down on him." He says looking over at her. "Trust me. Mr. Freeze isn't coming back."
The Commissioner folds her arms and now glances over at the damaged front of the building. The door way is covered in the same ice and looks frosty all down the entrance inward.
"So then who could do all this? If it's not Freeze, then I was right before…we've got a copycat villain on the loose."
"Looks like it." Batman states as he walks towards the building. "Question still remains why he's doing it."
The two walk inside and notice the glittering, frozen corridor as they make their way to the lab at the end. Gibson wipes the walls with her bare hand and shivers from the sheer feel of the substance.
"Man. If I knew this was going to be like this, I would have brought my gloves."
Batman continues on into the lab and scans the room as he enters. A few Gotham PD officers are taking samples and taking hi resolution images for their records. The entire lab is incased in ice, all the equipment and valuable computers virtually untouched by the robbery. He walks in further scouting about the room as he continues to rub the ice with a rather puzzled look. As Maxine enters, one of the officers approaches her and tries to stay warm by rubbing his arms.
"Well, what's the damage Pete?" She asks as she places her cold hands into her coat pockets.
"Brrr." He shivers. "We've used the scanners to trace everything. No finger prints, no DNA left behind, not even foot prints if you can believe that."
"What about the stuff in here?" Gibson says looking beyond his shoulder. "Did he scoop up all the high tech?"
"No, that's what's weird." The officer says as he warms his hands. "Nothing else was taken, except what ever was in that box over there."
As he gestures to the table where the black box sits, she notices Batman hovering over it already and inspecting it with his hands. The dark knight squints his eyes with a continued puzzlement, the label on the box simply reads: Bio-Chip X Wayne Tech.
"Why go to all this trouble to steal one lousy computer chip?" Max asks out loud as she approaches him from behind.
"Something tells me that this was more then just a simple chip." The gruff sounding vigilante states. "This looks more like an abandoned prototype left over from the older Wayne Tech archives."
"Ok…" Max says with sarcasm. "So it's a very old chip then. If it's out dated why take it? Can't be worth much on the black market…"
Batman turns to look at her and taps his chin in thought.
"No. The chip itself is worthless to anyone not knowing what to do with it. My guess is that its only one of many things on this guys 'to do list'."
"What makes you so sure?"
"He left all this valuable equipment." He says pointing at the various objects. "There's supercomputers, the latest in bio-nano-technology, scanners of every kind…but he only takes a chip that was created nearly twenty years ago. He could have made a killing with all this junk…but the chip is what he was really after."
"Why? What's so big about a chip?" Maxine ponders as she paces around him. "It doesn't make sense. Its obsolete technology, certainly not worth doing all this…to these men."
Batman takes out a small pen sized lazer from his belt and cuts off a piece of the non-melting ice. As he takes hold of it, Gibson stops and looks at him pocketing it away.
"You know you're not supposed to take things from the scene of a crime. Right?"
"You gonna stop me?" He smirks playfully.
The commissioner woman lets out a quick laugh and pats his face gently.
"And hold up the world's greatest detective? Not on your life buster."
"You're thinking of the other Batman." He says as he moves her hand away from his face and frowns. "He was the detective. I'm just a guy having to figure out how he did it."
She brings her hand back into her pocket and flips up her jacket collar with the other as she winks at him.
"Spare me the 'I'm not him' speech, ok? Just let me know what you come up with. I'll get my boys on it on this end as well."
As Maxine leaves the room, as do the other officers following behind her, Batman takes out the piece of ice again and stares at it intensely.
"Detective Terry McGinnis...that's me." He sighs dreading the thought. "Who am I kidding? I'm no detective. Maybe her guys will figure it out before I do."
In a small apartment on the other side of Gotham City, a figure walks into the place as he unlocks the balcony doors. The knobs freeze quickly in the figure's grip and the hand recoils back from the result of the icy touch. The man growls at himself for such a stupid thing and stands in the open archway as he gives a simple command.
The amazing cold suit begins to power down and soon fades to an all black appearance. The blue glow of the detail switches off and begins to smolder with vapor. Now he's able to remove the gloves that seem to slip off like regular cloth. He removes the Helmet off his head as the seal around it unpressurizes to give him fresh air again. Taking in a deep breath, the man chucks his suit helmet onto the near by bed. A clean cut looking guy, blonde hair and looking of Caucasian-Asian decent. Taking the chip out of his suit's only frost-free pouch, the man gives a simple snicker as he studies it.
"Well done my boy." A stale drone voice says from the dark corner of the room.
Turning to the direction it came from, the man sees a masked individual waiting for him in a chair.
"What are you doing here?" He asks him. "I told you we'd meet later. This isn't the place do to this!"
Leaning out of the shadows, the masked person reveals his face in the light. The frozen grin and dark lifeless eyes reveals it to be Batman's newest foe – Mr. Smiley.
"I suppose you think it matters to me?" He says gently touching his hands together. "But then again, I'm not the trusting sort any how. Meeting later, meeting here and now…what does it matter? You've got the merchandise I asked for."
Holding tightly in his hands, the fair-haired man looked at him with anger and held out his other hand.
"Where's my stuff in return?" He demands. "I went to a lot of trouble to get this piece for you…remember our deal. I scratch your back, you scratch mine."
"I have what you asked for." The eerie looking villain says as he rises out of his seat. "What you want is in both our best interests, Gordon. And to prove I'm grateful…"
Smiley reaches into his inner suit pocket and takes out a data disk. He holds it out to him in a non-threatening manner and waits for him to hand over the object he's carrying.
"The complete records of Project Snowman." Mr. Smiley continues. "You're revenge will go as planned with this information."
Gordon, the only name Smiley called him, quickly handed over the old computer chip and snares the disk out of the villain's hands. As he holds the data disk, an insane grin now creeps onto his face.
"I'm going to make them all pay with this."
"I'm sure you will." Smiley nods as he places the chip into his pocket. "I've acquired the other parts for your project, free of charge of course."
"Free?" Gordon questions as he looks at the grinning individual. "I thought you wanted me to get the other things you asked for?"
"Plenty of time for that, Gordon. I want you to get started on your revenge right away…a chilling reminder to those that buried you."
Gordon turns away and looks at himself in the mirror on the wall. His face full of memory as he lowers his eyes and strokes the disk in his hands.
"They blamed me for everything. The scapegoat for all the problems that day, they sent me out into the cold with not a penny to my name. It wasn't my fault the cloning on Victor Fries didn't work, but Powers and the rest of his new group of board members threw me to the wolves and stole everything I ever helped them to build. I still don't know how you managed to get the schematics for this suit…I would have thought they'd locked it all away in a vault somewhere."
"It wasn't easy mind you." The fake smiling villain says rubbing his mask slightly. "But I do have some one working for me…on the inside as it were."
Gordon looked back at him and wondered at what he meant.
"I trust the suit works to your liking?" Smiley inquires suddenly.
"Better then I expected." Gordon smirks. "I don't know how or where you got the material from, but it's doing exactly everything I originally designed it to do."
"I'm so glad you like it."
Balling his fist and grinning with delight, Gordon marveled at the technology he had.
"The neuro-interface response time is much faster and better then I hoped. Once it activates, I'm completely shielded in pure ice cold that nothing…not even lazers could penetrate. The perfect weapon they dared called too extreme. I'll show them all what extreme cold is…now that I have this."
He holds up the disk that Smiley gave him and smirks. As he rubs the plastic covered item in his hand, Smiley clears his throat as to break the man's tranced fix on the computer disk.
"I take it our transaction is done then? I shall take my leave of you."
"I still don't understand something." Gordon says to him as he places the disk on the table in front of the mirror. "Why are you helping me to do all this? What's in it for you?"
"Your enemy is my enemy Gordon." The masked man says with a serious note in his voice. "Powers especially so. That company along with Wayne Enterprises is far too big for their own good. Time we cracked the pair of them and show all of Gotham who really owns this city."
"It's going to be a cold day in hell for the lot of them." Gordon says smiling.
Smiley walks towards the door leading out of the apartment, as he opens the door and steps half way out, he turns his head and snickers.
"I'll let you know where to meet me again tomorrow. Oh and Gordon?"
Gordon looks over at Smiley as he gestures with his fingers along his mask.
"Thanks for making me smile."
As he leaves the room, the villain giggles in a low tone and closes the door behind him. Picking up the disk again and walking over to a computer sitting on the night table close to the bed, Gordon places it into the drive slot and boots up the information. The faint blue light shines on his face as he smirks and peers at the scrolling data.
"Revenge is a dish best served cold."
Deep below the city of Gotham, in the bowels of the new massive Batcave, Terry sits staring at the large computer screen analyzing the sample he brought back. The computer shows detailed information and the chemical elements it discovers. As he zooms in to have a closer look, a smaller window on the screen targets the area and enlarges the section ten times. The graphics are amazing as it dances about the monitor, small red dots appear near the edge of the microscopic structure and give information about this part he's focused on in yet another scrolling text below.
Terry leans back in the dark leathery chair and gives a sigh. He's still wearing the bat suit, but without the mask on. His eyes dart about the monitor as he tries his best to make sense of it all.
"This is way beyond me." He gruffly states. "I never was one for chemistry."
"That will teach us for skipping those classes." A woman's voice suddenly says from behind him.
As he spins around in his chair, he notices Maxine Gibson walking towards him.
"Thanks for the spare key by the way." She winks at him.
"Funny I don't recall giving you one. How did you manage to get down here?"
She takes out a small device and presses the green button that has the 'play' icon on it.
"Open…" A recorded voice of Terry's says from it.
McGinnis tilts his head back and moans.
"Should have known. That's it…I've got to give it a new password before anyone else discovers this place."
"Relax Bats." She says poke him with her finger. "Your secret is always safe with me…remember?"
She leans on the large computer and looks up at the massive screen showing the composition of the ice sample. Terry spins back in his chair and brings his hands up to his mouth in thought.
"Tell me you found something." She asks.
"From what I can make out, this is no ordinary ice we're dealing with." He says tapping one hand back on the keyboard. "It doesn't melt. At all."
"I kinda figured that." She remarks. "The boys at the lab couldn't figure out why though…it looks like regular ice."
Terry taps the keyboard again and shows her a deeper look into the structure of the sample.
"It's supposed too. I think who ever created this stuff wanted it to look like the real thing. This stuff is literally copycatting liquid elemental structure of regular ice…that is until you get into the sub-molecular particles buried in the make up of it. The kind of science we're dealing with here is nano-technology of a cryogenic nature. Every particle in this matter has a cold fusion cell bonded onto it. I can't even hazard to guess what it would take to melt the stuff."
"Shway…Uh…I mean, this is not good." She nervously grins. "Wait are you saying you don't have a cure for this? What about my guys incased in the stuff?"
Terry stands out of his chair and walks away as he thinks.
"They'll be fine. For now. But if we can't find a way to melt this stuff or get them out before it crystallizes their cell structures…it might kill them."