"Barbara?" Helena cradled Barbara's head in her lap and took hold of her fallen hand. There was no response.
"Huntress?" Dinah looked around as bodies lay strewn around the once-safe-haven. "Reese. Do you have this? I've got to find Barbara and Helena."
"Dinah! Up here. Hurry!"
Hearing the urgency in Helena's voice, Dinah quickened her trip up the spiral staircase to the kitchen. As she reached the top, her eyes filled with tears; partly from fear and partly from sadness and disappointment at all that had transpired.
"Hey!" Helena, feeling the presence of sudden danger, shot her eyes toward Harley Quinn. "Dinah…"
"Oh no you don't!" Seeing Harley begin picking herself up off the ground, Dinah sent her crashing through the top of the kitchen table. She followed her motion by rushing over to Helena's side. "Is she…"
"No. She's just…We need to get this off her fast." She glanced toward the transponder which, had long-since stopped blinking.
"Do we just pull it off? What…"
"I don't know Dinah. Let's get her to her room." The girls carefully moved a seemingly lifeless Barbara to a room down the hall. "Go get Alfred. He might know more about his." Helena began removing Barbara's jacket and straightening her legs out. She rolled her smoothly onto her side. "Barbara. Why do you push yourself so far?" She muttered to herself as she studied the transponder.
"Alfred. Helena needs you. It's Barbara." Reese and Alfred busied themselves carrying the fallen officers and Harley's stooges, out of the clock tower.
"Go ahead Alfred. I've got this. I'm calling for backup…"
"I trust you know…"
"Alfred, I'll protect them. Don't worry."
"Very well, Miss Dinah?" The two hurried up the stairs to Barbara's room. "It's the transponder. I told her it was a bad idea. It was on far too long this time."
"Can you take it off?"
"But what?" Dinah was growing more and more worried.
"…I'm not sure how she will fair. That is to say, she's never prepared for this circumstance. She pushed too hard this time." They entered the room to find Barbara still unconscious and Helena worriedly studying the mechanism attached to Barbara's back.
"Yah. Sounds like Barbara. Alfred. We have to get this thing off!"
He went about rolling up his sleeves and bending over where Barbara lay. "Miss Helena, you realize she may not…"
"Alfred. Just get it off. She'll be fine. It's Barbara we're talking about. She has to be fine." She helped steady her friend's body as Alfred went to work dismantling the device.
"Yes Miss Helena. Let's hope she's strong enough."
"Shit! All Hell is braking loose. There's no way we can stop this without her." Reese walked out onto the riotous streets of New Gotham pushing one of Harley's stooges into his car. The once-quiet streets were now full of screaming and rioting. People were literally going crazy. They had broken through almost every storefront to clean out the goods of helpless storekeepers. There were so many of them, Reese sighed at the sight of one such criminal in the backseat of his cop car. "One down, thousands to go. Huntress! I need you now more than ever." He grasped the knuckle of his middle finger, rubbing the metal band signaling a call for help; a call that would go unanswered. The Clock tower was out of commission. His signals were not going through. Oracle's system had been compromised. Diligently as ever, Reese climbed in and headed toward the station not knowing what his next move would be.
"Complete chaos! How am I going to stop this?" The mayhem continued as he went deeper into the city toward the station. Stepping out of his car, upon arrival, Reese looked around at the mess that had come to be in just a few hours. More looting, shouting, mass pandemonium.
"Detective Reese? It's the Commissioner on the phone. He wants to speak to you."
"I bet he does!" Reese reluctantly took the call. "Yes Sir, this is Reese." He began spinning his wheels trying to come up with a way to explain what had transpired. Then it dawned on him. "Sir. Do you still have contact with Commissioner Gordon? James Gordon?" There was a pause before the Commissioner's affirmative response. "You might want to give him a call Sir. You know how history repeats itself? Well, let's just say, when you tell him what's going on, he'll understand, explain, and now what our options are. Oh and Sir? You should tell him that Barbara is hurt and might need him." Alfred's brief history lesson during clean-up was paying off. "Yes. I'll be with her shortly. Stay in contact Sir."
Together, Helena and Alfred removed the device which revealed bruises covering the width of Barbara's frail back. Scars of the past met painfully with the new injuries caused by the stress of the transponder. She didn't stir which was good and bad. It meant she was in no pain, but also meant that she was unresponsive.
"Miss Helena, I'll leave you to change Miss Barbara's clothes." Touching Helena's hand, he left a clean-fresh outfit on the bed beside Barbara.
"Miss Dinah. Come with me. We'll ready some tea and see if we can't wake her up."
Reluctantly, Dinah made eye-contact with Helena who smiled and motioned for her to go ahead and leave.
Helena began gently removing Barbara's shirt. She couldn't help but think how it was usually the other way around; Barbara helping her. Moving her up to the pillow, she reached down and began to take off her black leather boots. A small grin fell across her face as the thought occurred to her how much Barbara would hate all this help and attention. She was allowed to stay but a fleeting moment more in the comfort of the moment as she laughed again and thought to herself, "These are my black leather pants!" Then, as sneakily as it arrived, the feeling left and she was overcome by sadness as she held Barbara's lifeless legs in her arms. "I'm sorry Barbara. It's not fair. I'm so…" Her heart almost stopped as her words of pity were hushed by Barbara.
"Shhhhh…. Just get it over with and leave me…" her voice was weak and trailed off.
Helena was only slightly relieved. At least she knew Barbara was conscious. It didn't still the feelings of sadness as she continued guiding her friend's legs into sweatpants. The task finished, Helena bent down and kissed Barbara's forehead softly and pulled the covers up. Giving one last look at the woman who had given her everything, the woman who was just fighting side by side with her not more than an hour ago, she left the room.
"How is she? Did she wake up? Could you tell any…?"
"Dinah! She's fine. She woke up for a second long enough to get mad at me for helping her." Helena allowed herself to laugh out loud to complete the front she began putting on at that moment. In the back of her mind, she knew Barbara was different, but she didn't want to make that an issue at that moment.
"Good. Her back looks bad. Do you think…?"
"She no worse off than she was before right?" Helena startled Dinah with her angry reply.
"Helena! What are…?"
"I'm sorry Dinah…it's just…" Helena collapsed in a pile on the floor. Dinah was even more afraid at this sight. She dropped down beside her and threw her arms around her fallen comrade.
"Helena. She's going to be fine. Barbara is strong. She'll make everything o.k." The two just sat and cried for a while; something Helena never allowed herself to do. Everything was just too overwhelming. Their world had fallen apart.
"I know. It's just…I've never had to…help…"
"Shhhhh I'm sorry Helena. I know it must be hard."
"Yah." Helena sat up pulled her knees to her chest and wiped her nose. "Let's just hope she doesn't bring that up again. She'd be pissed." They tried their hand at a laugh then got up to carry on with the assessment of what was left of their lives.