Disclaimer: I am not DC. Therefore I do not own Batman. Logical, no?

View the CAT timeline at www. freewebs catverse. html. This follows after "Aquatic Nocturne."

Cover image by AdAbsurdum.


There were strange things afoot in Gotham City. Stranger things than usual. Strange things involving the Scarecrow's trio of hired help, CAT—the Captain, Al, and Techie.

And what were those three worthies up to on this balmy June evening?

They-or, more specifically, Al-was making a friend.

They were not good at making new friends.

Since moving to Gotham, Al had never gone any farther than the grocery store without being accompanied by at least one of her friends, whether it was Techie, the Captain, the Scarecrow, or maybe the Riddler. She didn't know anyone else.

But tonight was going to change all that. Because she had been invited to a tea party with the Mad Hatter. And not even her socially phobic tendencies were going to stop her from showing up for that.

(Did he even realize that her name was not short for Alice? It wasn't short for anything—although she was starting to think that Aloysius had a nice ring to it.)

Her friends saw her off with some last minute advice and a reminder not to forget the tea she had meant to bring him. She promised to tell them everything, and then she left.

"So…now what are we going to do?" Techie asked when Al was gone.

"Oh, you mean I have to decide?"

"Well, either you or the Ouija board."

"I don't have a Ouija board," the Captain said seriously. "Al would never let me keep one of those things in the house."

"Well, Al's not here now. We have no adult supervision."

They both snickered over the idea of Al as a responsible adult. She wasthe Winston to their Peter and Ray (which made Squishykins the Egon, which made Captain want to run her hands through his hair...)

"Want to watch a movie?" the Captain suggested.

"No. We've watched all our movies already."

"That was fast. Well…is the internet still dead?"

"As a can of spam. I know I can get it going again, but it'll take a while."

"Hmm…there's always bothering Squishy."

"I don't know. He's been awfully gas-happy lately."

"Oh! I know! We can dye our hair and surprise Number One when she gets home."

"Do you have any hair dye?"

The Captain's face fell.

"Oh. No. I said I wasn't going to buy any more of that stuff until I could find a company that didn't test on animals. And then I never did. I guess that's a weird thing for a criminal's henchman to be worried about, but…"

"But…" Techie echoed, a mischievous gleam coming to her eyes.

"But…" the Captain repeated, as the exact same expression came over her face.

"But…we're in a position to do something about it. I mean, who's going to stop us?"

The Captain laughed.

"No one, that's who! Let's go blow up a factory!"

"Hold on, there, sparky," Techie said. "There are other ways to send them a message than just blowing them up." The Captain looked disappointed.

"If you say so."

"You wouldn't want to hurt all the poor little test animals, would you?"

"Well, no, of course not. But I want to blow something up."

"Oh, we will, Captain," she said. "We will."