In a district in Japan known as Nermia, most of its days and some of its nights are filled with martial artists trying to out fight and even kill each other. The town doesn't mind it, for it always gave them a show. However, there were times where they wished for a break, such as whenever they destroy a building, or disrupt business. However, tonight, Nermia can sleep peacefully, for this is a night without any major fights, or calls for a pig tailed apprentice of Anything Goes to die. Yes, Nermia can sleep peacefully.
At least on the outside. On a roof top at a nearby abandoned warehouse, thinking to himself why these guys would go for such a cliché, a young man who looks more like he's ready for Halloween, being dressed as a giant bat and all, complete with an outline of a bat spreading its wings on his chest, and a cape in the back, is watching what appears to be a rather illegal activity, complete with thugs dressed in the usual thug attire of black coats, matching pants, and shades. He gets out his nighttime binoculars and ready to confirm if this is arms or drugs that are being shipped tonight.
Or he would be if he wasn't distracted by something.
"You're late." The bat costumed man said without even looking with a bit of his typical coldness. Had he looked, he would have seen a woman with a bob hair cut, a green derby hat with a question mark on it, a green mask, a green and purple leotard with a line going diagonally across dividing the colors, green heels, and a green jacket with tails. She even has a cane that doubles as a weapon with a question mark on top. She takes a look at her partner and smiles.
"Had to deal with some muggers uptown." The woman said.
"Muggers? How could muggers take you so long?" The man said still focused on the crates and the thugs.
"Hey, I tried to think of a riddle you know." The woman said with a twinge of anger.
"The great Riddler, out of riddles? I never thought I see the day." Batman said with a smirk that was hidden by the shadow of the night goggles.
"Hey, I didn't plan for a mugging, and I couldn't think of a riddle in time." She than sat down right next to him, and restored her smile from when she arrived. "So, what's up?" The man in the costume then handed Riddler the night vision goggles.
"You tell me." The man said, not changing his tone even once, causing the woman to look at him as if he had some sort of attitude.
"Not even the great Batman can be human around his partner? How droll." Riddler replied as she took the goggles.
"At least I don't waste time coming up with riddles before I act." Batman said in retaliation. However, Riddler knew better and realized right away that, even though it was the same tone, it was a reply to her saying he wasn't human. "Now, what do you see?"
"Enough ammo to start World War 3." Riddler said. "If it weren't for the fact the cops are bought, somebody would notice."
"The martial artists here already cause enough chaos around here; we don't need a gang war."
"Riddle me this, what kind of a thug doubles as a beast in the Jungle?" Riddler suddenly asked when she pointed the goggles a few degrees to the left.
"What kind of… A Gorilla." Batman said when he got the riddle. He then took the binoculars from Riddler and saw for himself who she was talking about.
"And what gorilla do we both know that is also the alternate name of one's pain in existence?"
"Bane." Batman answered. Nether of them fought him, but his reputation is very well known. Not only is he a thug for hire, but he's got a bit of a cunning mind, enough to even start his own gang. Word has it that he doesn't do so because he likes being a thug for hire for it keeps him loose, and if he finds the right enough opponent, a bit of a work out as well. "If I wasn't sure about who was behind this, now I know."
"Yep. All we need to see is one big venom fueled freak to confirm mob connections to arms deals." She then picked up her cane, and turned to her partner. "Supes and Ivy here yet?"
"Superman isn't. He had to deal with a drug shipment in Hong Kong, but Ivy's on stand by." Batman replied as he got out his grappling hook gun from his belt.
"What about Wonder Woman?" Riddler asked, getting her cane ready.
"Visiting her other family on Thamescaria."
'Hope she likes them better than her 'real family.'' Riddler thought.
"Lets just hope things go smoothly between mother and daughter." Batman said in his usual tone. He then turned to his partner and looked her square in the eye. She nodded, as a way to tell him she's ready too. If this were a few months ago, Batman would have told her to go home and stop playing pretend. However, over time, he found out he needed help in dealing with those like Scarecrow, Two Face, Clayface, the Joker, and Harley Quinn. However, the time is now and he just saw one of the goons open a crate to conform his suspicions about the shipment and launched the grappling gun. A thug turns behind him, thinking he heard a noise, but he sees nothing mainly due to the color of the rope matching the color of the night. He then turns around to watch for cops or anything when Batman quietly hooks up his zip line, and Riddler uses the question mark half of her cane, to gently glide down to behind the crates below. The clueless thug is still watching when Riddler sneaks up behind him and just stops a few feet from behind the thug, and whistles.
The thug, seeing a girl in high heels, a leotard, and a tuxedo coat with tails, complete with a derby hat and cane, can't help but go near a woman seemingly attracted to him. He just walks up to her with the biggest smile he can put on and tries to look smooth doing it. Forcing a smile, Riddler then speaks.
"Hello there hansom." Riddler says seductively. The dope just looks around and points to himself while looking completely clueless. "Yes you." She then traced her fingers around his chest. "I was wondering if you could help little old me out with something."
"Uh…" The thug said before clearing his throat and trying to sound as manly as possible. "Sure thing uh, ma'am. What is it?"
"It's a riddle." She then looked him in the eyes. "What is comfortable to stand on, but a nightmare to sleep on?"
The thug then thought for a few moments and had no clue, nor knowledge of Batman coming up from behind him and…
…knocking him out, causing him to land hard on the ground.
"Cement." She said as she looked down at the thug, trying to surprises a laugh. She then looked up at Batman with a questionable look. "I take it we're going to let the cops inquire about this guy?" Riddler asked.
"He's a hired goon." Batman replied. "Bane maybe big enough to take on several men at once, but he's not stupid enough to try. Chances are this guy doesn't even know who's in charge of this operation." Riddler then looked at the thug and saw a small lump on his head.
"A little hard, wasn't it?" Riddler asked her partner.
"No." Batman just stated.
"Oh, so you got jealous, huh?" Riddler asked in a playful tone.
"We don't have time for this." Batman quickly replied. "The deal's going down right now." He then quickly dashed into the shadows of the space in between the two warehouses.
"Jealous." Riddler said as she smiled and joined her partner.
Unbeknownst to the gun runner and the man, in full body spandex, with fingered gloves, and a mask covering his mouth with red eye pieces, a pair of Nermia's finest crime fighters are watching them make the deal. However, this is not to say the spandex man is suspicious. After all, when you're Bane, you don't let your reputation for a brain bigger than your muscles, as impossible as that can be, go to waste. You do your research and you take in all the facts, rumors, and urban legends about the town you can get because one of the three half the time turns out to be true. Bane starts to think that, especially with the gun runner acting very nervous as he gets his employer's suit case full of the payment.
"You look nervous my friend." Bane said in a friendly, yet business tone. "Something I should know about?"
"Man, you don't get it, do you?! This is Nermia!" The man said freaked out. "If we don't get this deal done right now, and I mean RIGHT now, they're gonna show up!" Under his mask, Bane smiled.
"Ah yes," he replied, "the legendary Dark Knight and the Mistress of Questions." He himself wasn't above believing the Nermia urban legend, but he had to look relaxed incase the Bat and his friend were near, other wise he gives himself away as being prepared for them. "Such stories must be strong if you believe them to be true."
"Are you nuts?!" The man snapped back. "My brother encountered them a while back! Their real man! Their real!" Unlike the dealer, Bane has not only enhanced muscles, and an intelligent brain, but he is well tuned to sense and hear things that no normal person could. Sure enough, he though he heard something in the alley way.
'And they're here.' Bane thought. Sure enough, from seemingly out of nowhere to the dealer, balls full of gas were thrown and landed in their direction, some of which exploded on impact, causing the dealer to be blown a few feet away from Bane, but not to be seriously hurt. Bane however, due to his size and strength, was just momentarily stumbling from the explosion. Riddler went for the gun runner, Batman went straight for Bane, who just simply side stepped his kick.
"I take you are this Batman I have heard so much about?" Bane confidently said.
"And you must be Bane." Batman replied in the same tone.
"Well, now that we got the pleasantries out of the way, shall we?"
"Yes." Then Batman and Bane came at each other. If one were to look at the other's masks, one would see a muscle bound man already thinking of 30 ways to beat his opponent, while the other man in the mask would be a pig tailed martial artist doing the same thing, thanks to his training with a man known as the Demon's Head…
NEXT TIME: Our story may begin with Batman's latest fight, but that was just a taste of what's in store, because starting next chapter, we find out just how one Ranma Saotomae met the Demon's Head and the training he went through to become Nermia's Dark Knight. From there, its how he met the Riddler, Joker and all the other heroes and villains in this alternate reality. Don't worry though; we will come back to Bane and Batman's fight after "Dark Origins."