Jonathan Crane watched with mild interest as Rachel's eyelids fluttered under the influence of the gas. In the end, it was her own fault this had happened. He had simply taken the opportunity.
The silly girl had come back again, striding in with her head high, determined to take him down, spouting all her legal jargon about his illegal activities. Imagine his…concern…when his usual concentrate had no effect on her – Miss Dawes had simply stood before him and laughed. To him, her attitude had seemed surprisingly childlike for a District Attorney.
He had smiled calmly, reached down and simply changed the settings before giving her another faceful of the airborne toxins. That had soon wiped the smile off her face - she had expected to worry him…for her immunity to make him feel fear.
Insolent female. Hadn't she realised that he knew there would be a cure…a vaccination in the running? It was only a matter of time, and all he'd had to do was up the stakes…add a little more. It was only a few days since the fear gas had ineffectually spread through Gotham City, and she knew she'd find him back here…
And now, here she was, twitching on his medical work-surface like a butterfly on a pin.
Crane turned and left the room, heels clicking on the polished floor. On the way out, he switched off the lights and let the thick metal door secure itself behind him. Another amused smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.
Here she was, just where he wanted her.
Rachel's eyes stopped fluttering and snapped open in the darkness. She could feel the beads of sweat standing on her forehead and she reached up quickly to brush them away.
Where was she? Did she dream that stupid stunt in the grounds of the Asylum?
The sensation of cold metal under her fingertips told her otherwise, and she bit her lip in panic and humiliation. A stream of questions raced into her confused mind:
How long had she been out for? What had he used? Wasn't she inoculated?
Rachel unconsciously touched the small, bruised area on her arm where Fox had inserted the needle. It was a defence against the Scarecrow's fear gas…it was supposed to keep her safe…
Then she remembered. Crane was a scientist – he was always looking for a new way to create fear – no matter what they found to protect themselves with, it was just going to escalate.
The door opened, and she shielded her eyes from the artificial light that flooded the room. She struggled to recognise the black figure in the doorway – her head hurt, and she felt exhausted from the adrenaline rush…
"You're awake. I expected you would be – perhaps someone who hadn't already been dosed would have been in downtime for longer." Crane pushed his spectacles up the bridge of his nose, and began to arrange various bottles and test tubes with absentminded calmness, as if she had just walked in late to a meeting with him. He kept his gaze away from her, though she could see two blistering burns on his left cheekbone, most likely from her TASER gun.
"What's all this?" Rachel tried to sit up as two of Crane's men entered the room and made a beeline for her. She tried to leave the work surface as they took their places on either side of her, but her legs gave way after what must have been hours of nervous muscle work. Despite the cramp, she kicked out as one of them caught her by the wrists and forced them behind her back. She received a swift slap to the face from the second, who then bundled her legs under one arm and held them fast. She screamed on contact, and the Doctor of Psychology, with his back to her, paused his arranging and smirked to himself.
"I won't be long, gentlemen. Please wait for me."
She was intriguing enough without a catalyst, he mused, as she was carried screaming out of the lab. The muffled sounds that carried on as she was tied to a chair and gagged in the interview room next door inspired a spark of excitement in the back of his mind. He considered the idea.
She isn't afraid, she just thinks she is – it is the reflex action of the dominant female mind when forced into submission.
Crane flicked a few specks of dust from the work surface and refilled the canister for his gas. She would probably take a small amount of work, but it was nothing he wouldn't enjoy.