Title: Underground

Author: Silver Queen

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Not all stories have happy endings. A story from Gotham's underground.

Disclaimer: I don't own the DC universe, nor the rights to any type of drug used in this story. MDT, as far as I'm aware, is not an actual drug. Apologies if it is.


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It all started with a drug. That's how things down this end of Gotham usually start, isn't it?

I'd run out of whatever drug I was doing that week – it could have been pot but I think it was more likely to be cocaine – and I'd gone down to my dealer. He's a pretty cool guy, a bit more expensive than some maybe but he gives clean stuff so I don't worry about crashing out in the middle of a strip.

He had no more. That's pretty unusual so maybe had I stopped to think then I wouldn't be sitting in this dingy hotel room telling you the story of my life as if it will change anything. Kids – and adults too – are always going to try drugs they don't know about.

He had nothing. Not an ounce of coke, not a single pill. But he said that there was a new drug out there, one that didn't have a street-cred yet but was guaranteed to do the job. He gave me a name but I've forgotten what it was – miracle something, or medical something – it just didn't seem important at the time. I'd like to think that if I wasn't so hyped and needing a fix so bad that I would have turned it down. But I didn't.

At first the drug was sweet. There was a feeling of invincibility, a high so great I wanted more. There was no way to describe it. It was like everything else I'd ever taken lumped together and multiplied by twelve. I felt fucking great.

Then things started happening. They weren't bad so at first I didn't pay much attention to them. I was a little stronger, a little faster. I don't know how to describe it, I was just better. I had weird ideas; I wanted to hurt people.

So I went after crooks. Not known ones, not people the Batman would have dealt with – I had it on good authority that he was real and I didn't really want to mess with him – but little shadows and people that never got caught.

To start with, it was cool. Once I'd finished at the club I'd put on whatever outfit happened to be handy – sometimes I was so high I'd forget to do that and go out starkers – and take a pill. It was great; the best high I'd had in years.

Let me tell you, chasing crooks through Gotham's streets is one way to get an adrenaline buzz, and as choked up on MDT as I was it was choice. Sometimes I did stuff that wasn't possible – I mean, humanly possible, not just impossible for a crack-smoking whore like me – but I just didn't care.

Case in point, one time I was cracking down on a trader that I knew sold bad shit. He'd mix and match and never tell his customers what they were buying. I'd had co-workers die from his crap.

So I was coming down on his ass, meaning to cause him some pain. He was a smart asshole though; he'd heard the tales of Batman – maybe even of me in my vigilante rages – and hired bodyguards. They weren't particularly smart but they were big, strong and most likely doped up on something bad.

And I killed them all. With my bare hands.

Pretty amazing? No shit.

I'd never killed a person before. I'm not saying that I'm broken up about it; I'm not, but it was odd to wake up the next morning, coming down from my high to think 'I just killed three men'.

And I liked it.

It was the greatest rush that I'd ever had. The highest high ever.

That day I didn't take my pill, just incase the police actually cared who killed the asshole; no point in stirring up any more trouble.

The thing was, the police didn't care. There was no mention in the newspaper – I'd checked – no investigation – I kept my ears open – and most of all, no one thought I had anything to do with it.

So next night, I went out again, strung up high on MDT and busted another sick-trader. And again, and again.

It was only when I started tapping the more noticeable crooks – the murders and rapists who disguised themselves as respectable citizens – that people started noticing.

Police were suddenly swarming the clubs, looking for anyone mysterious. Hell, everyone in Gotham is mysterious, right down from the kid who works tables at the club up to that high-top wass'his'name – Wayne.

Then Batman started poking around. You can tell when he decides to stick his nose in 'cause more and more people end up in police custody with broken bones.

I didn't care. Heck, I was so high on dope that I wouldn't have cared if purple double-headed monkeys started poking around our club. As it went I did my usual stuff, got more shit from my dealer, worked my strips and drank. Life in Gotham underground doesn't change much.

Still, I went out, made a few stiffs and came back in the morning. The coppers were awful upset next day. Their information was tellin' 'em that a six-foot muscle bound hulk was knocking off guys on their doorstep and they were missing him. I'd be pretty upset too if people thought I was that incompetent.

Like I said, this MDT that I used was great. When you do drugs you don't care about the side effects – otherwise you wouldn't be doing drugs, after all. I hadn't even noticed that I'd changed; no body else had either, I think, else I would have been watched a bit more closely.

So the police were looking for this huge guy and I didn't see anything wrong. Clouded judgement and all that. I just figured, if I thought about it at all, that the cops were just as useless as I'd always thought.

That was when things started to go bad.

I went to my dealer to get more MDT and he tells me that I shouldn't be using it cause it'd killed all its users. Thing is, in Gotham all druggies usually end up dead, so I didn't pay him much attention. Till he told me he wouldn't sell.

I snapped his neck and stole his stash. I'm not proud of that, old Denny had been a friend, but when you're on drugs all you care about is getting your next hit, not about hurting anyone you care about.

I knew then that I was sliding. That whatever was in these pills was worse then anything I'd ever taken before. Fuck, I'm ashamed it took me so long to work it out.

It wasn't the killing that woke me up, shit, I don't know what did, but I had to get out of there. I didn't move fast enough though.

Police were swarming my club one night, askin' for me. I don't know how they managed to connect Denny's death to me, but I got the hell out of dodge before they found me. Likely, it was Batman who did the math.

By that time I was runnin' low. MDT burns fast, I guess, or maybe I'd just lost track of time – that happens sometimes.

I moved to another club; turning tricks is always a good way to make money and nobody care about another crack whore.

This time though, I swore I'd quit MDT. Not the other things, I couldn't do without those, but I'd at least quit that.

I did. For a while anyway. I felt awful, not like in withdrawal or anything – I've experienced that enough times to know what it felt like – but just flat out awful. I was sick, wishing I could die, and feeling very much like I was. I had headaches from hell, I think it was 'cause the MDT was messin' with my head. I never paid much attention in school – when I bothered to show – but I knew the changes that had happened to me couldn't have occurred without some big fuck up.

For the few days I was on a downer I realized just how bad it had gotten. I started to wish I had paid more attention to Denny when he told me what the drug was called, or to the news when it showed all those stories about scientists releasing body changing drugs to us folk underground 'cause nobody would fund their tests. I felt real bad for weeks; I thought I was dying.

Then I started to have black outs. At first it wasn't bad, just a few seconds, a few minutes, a few hours, then I woke up with a few hundred in cash and a new bag of (opened) MDT. I freaked.

Once I was back on the MDT things seemed to get better – I didn't feel so bad for one, but I started killing again. This was a new side of Gotham, so there were new criminals to take down.

It was almost an exact repeat of the first time. I'd kill, the police would catch up, I'd leave, I'd try and quit, I'd wake up with a new bag of MDT and it would start all over again.

I don't know how many times it went round; those days are all messed up in my mind, but three or four is the closest I can think of.

So anyway, I wound up here, at the end of my stash, in a crummy hotel room that I imagine my life would look a lot like if it were a shape, and dying.

Score one for Batman, maybe? I don't know. He chased me out of all my hideouts, so maybe. Maybe he's waitin' outside my window so he can be assured that I ain't no more of a threat. Maybe not.

So this is my last story, kid. Remember it and don't take strange drugs cause one day you could be me, dying from a drug that made you feel like a fuckin' god.


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