Batman watched over the city silently and had heard some fighting earlier. He chalked it up to a daughter and mother thing, so he ignored it until he heard the slam of door echoing through the alley. It had sounded like a gunshot. A desperate woman ran to the door and opened it. "Lily…Lily wait!"
"Leave me alone!" The girl shouted back. "I hate you!"
Lily hugged herself as she stormed down the back alley that she called home. It was raining and all she had on was a hoodie, getting soaked, and a pair of ragged old jeans. For so long Lily had wanted to know who her father was and now that her mother finally told her, everything began to make a little more sense. She had plenty of stepfathers, none of them good, and now her mother was trying to tell her to stay away from her real father.
How was that even possible? How could he be so much more horrible than any of the other men she brought into Lily's life?
"Lily! Come back!"
Her mother's voice was fading into the rain now and Lily kept her head down, watching her every step. Mom would not follow, Lily knew that, she was too afraid of the dark.
Batman noted the danger in a young girl being out this late at night and so he kept his distance, but followed her. She avoided any of the dimly lit city streets and kept to the back allies, which she seemed fairly familiar with. The hard rain began to subside and now only a misty dew fell over the city of Gotham. Voices could be heard ahead in one of the allies and Batman saw the soft glow of a fire.
"Hey, Little L," a voice called, "what are you doin' out here?"
The girl's voice was low and irritated. "Got in a fight with my mom."
"Need a little somethin' to calm you down?"
"No," Lily pushed the dope Jack held out to her away, "thanks, though. Any of you guys got a ride?"
"What, you got a date?"
The others laughed, but Lily remained serious. "I gotta do something. So, anybody got a ride?"
"Yeah, Little L," the man with the dope replied, "G's got one, but you're gonna need some green for it."
"You doped out?"
"No, man, I don't do that stuff." The man named 'G' replied.
"I got money," Lily pulled out two twenties, "will this do for there and back?"
"Sure, sure, come on."
The pair went to the car parked not very far away and got in. When the pair were gone, Batman leapt down, landing lightly, and approached the three young men still around the fire, startling all of them. "You should find better ways to ruin your lives." Batman stated.
Two ran, but Batman grabbed the one, making him drop his drugs. "Where's he taking her?"
"What's it to you!"
Batman shook him and then brought his face closer to his. "Your neck, punk, now where's he taking her?"
"I don't know man!" The young man sputtered, his feet kicking in the air. "Just put me down!"
Batman threw him to the ground and watched as the scrambled little egg clambered to his feet and skittered away. Batman pressed a button on his belt and looked up to see his batwing.
Lily watched as the scenery passed by quickly. "So where are we headed?"
"I'll tell you when we get there, Greg."
"All right," Greg laughed, "whatever."
A few moments followed in silence before Lily jumped up and pointed to a road winding up a large hill. "Turn here."
"Arkham Asylum?" Greg panicked. "You crazy?"
"Then stop here and let me out."
"And let a pretty little thing like you get hurt?" Greg played it smooth now.
Lily was losing her patience. "Then go!"
"Fine, calm down, babe."
Greg turned and went up the winding hill until finally they made it to the doors of Arkham Asylum. The rain was heavy again as Lily got out of the car and went to the door, where a security guard stood.
"Can I help you miss?" The confused security guard asked.
"Yeah, I'm a visitor."
"I'm sorry, but visiting hours are over."
"I need to see someone, now."
"I'm sorry," the guard repeated, "but visiting hours for tonight are over. You can come back tomorrow, we're open until five."
Deciding against getting into a fight with the guard, Lily got back in the car. "What was that all about?"
Batman followed the car to Arkham Asylum and flew past it, wondering what the girl had gotten herself into. He swung back and glided over the city, then dipped low and found the car again, going onto back roads.
"Where are we going?"
"Just sit back and relax." Greg insisted, putting his hand on Lily's leg. "I'm gonna take you to a nice little spot to chill."
"Don't touch me!" Lily slapped him away.
"Whoa!" Greg said with surprise, taking his eyes off the road for a second. "I'm driving, we're going to do what I say we do. Do you wanna get home in one piece?"
Lily felt the rage building up inside of her as Greg put his hand on her leg again, now he was slowing down and going into a little spot off of the road. As soon as they stopped, Greg reached over to Lily, but she grabbed neck. Looking down, Greg's eyes widened at the sight of her hands and he gasped. "You freak!"
Slamming Greg's head off the window, Lily saw blood creeping from a spot on his forehead after he passed out. Shoving him out the door, Lily crawled over the consol and took the driver's seat, driving off.
Batman landed, exploring the woods where he had seen the car go, hoping that he would not find the girl's dead body. That's when Batman heard a groan and ran over the brush, where a young man, covered in dirt and blood, lay in a heap of pain.
The dayshift guard for Arkham Asylum saw the car coming toward the building and watched as it parked in the lot. A young girl, about sixteen or seventeen, got out of the car in damp clothing and moved toward the asylum.
"Can I help you?"
"I'm a visitor." The girl replied, her hands hidden up her sleeves due to the cold morning.
"Right then, go through the door and to the receptionist, you'll need a pass."
Lily did as the man said and when she got to the receptionist desk, the woman at the desk was buried under papers and answering the phone's numerous calls. After a few moments the woman looked up and sighed. "You a visitor?"
"Your name and reason why you're here?"
The phone rang and the woman held up her hand. "Just a minute please."
As the woman turned away, looking through her papers Lily saw a pile of passes and grabbed one before moving off down the hall, making sure the woman was still busy with the phone. Running her pass down the machine, Lily was granted access and moved down the corridor. Guards were everywhere.
There were rooms on either side of her and Lily could hear each of the prisoners talking to themselves, ranting on about Batman destroying their fun, and repeating the same chant over and over. Lily came to one of the rooms and stopped, seeing the name 'A14 – Killer Croc' on the papers jutting out of the door.
"You a visitor for him?"
Lily jumped and turned to see the guard. "Y-yeah," Lily felt herself shudder, "I'm an old friend."
"He doesn't get many of those," the guard said with a look of interest on his face, "thought he killed all of them."
Lily remained silent as the man slid back the little window. "Croc, you've got a visitor."
A deep, angry growl filled the place in reply and everything became deadly silent. "Visitors quarters are through that door," the guard pointed down the long hall, "come on."
Lily was led down the hall and into a large white room where the insane came to meet their family. "Sit right here." The guard said, gesturing toward a seat where glass separated the prisoner from the visitor.
Taking a seat, Lily waited for a few moments, watching the inmates pass back and forth. Four men came out, guiding along a hulking reptilian man that was led to the seat across from Lily. Lily was terrified, she wanted to run, but she promised herself that this time, she would not.
"What the hell's this?" Croc growled, strapped heavily in chains and a straight jacket. "Some kinda joke?"
"Calm down, big guy," one of the guards said, "just be thankful you got somebody who cares just a little."
Croc stared through the glass, his slithery pupils dilating a little, waiting for the girl to say something. "What…what happened to you?"
At that Croc chuckled menacingly. "That's a long story, kid. Now who are you?"
"I need answers," Lily insisted, sliding her hands slowly out of the hoodie, "and I need them now."
Croc glanced down to see the girl's hands were reptilian like his own and his eyes widened a bit with interest.
Batman found the car stranded in a ditch the night after, no signs of ill doing except for the spider-webbed smashed window. There was still blood on the window, which Batman concluded was the young man's blood that was now in the hospital. He found no fingerprints anywhere, but what he did find was a scaly piece of skin shed from what seemed to be a reptile. Otherwise, there was no trace of the girl anywhere, who had been reported missing earlier that day.
When he got back to the batcave, he decided to try and trace the skin. Though he found no positive match, the DNA was very similar to a villain he was very familiar with. Killer Croc.
The bolts on the manhole began to screw off and then the manhole was pushed aside to reveal a young girl with dark, curly hair emerging from below. Lily dusted herself off, she had found everything, just like he had said, and she would follow his plans.
There was not much man left in Killer Croc, but maybe there was enough to help her. Reaching back into the manhole, she lifted out a backpack laden with explosives. Lily made her way through the alleys and to where she had parked the car. Opening the back door, she threw in the backpack and went to get in the front seat when a breeze ruffled her hair, sending a chill down her spine.
Spinning around, Lily gasped seeing a tall, dark man with spiked ears on his hood and a cape flowing in the breeze. "He's going to kill you, just like he does everyone else."
"You don't know him," Lily brushed hair from her eyes, now slits from the dim lamplight, "you put him there. You don't understand him."
"I'm going to ask you to give me whatever you put in the car and go home," Batman insisted, "or I'm going to have to put you away, too."
Lily clenched her fists. "Go ahead and ask. Your answer's gonna hurt."
Batman smirked at the reply. "Give me the explosives."
"What's the magic word?"
Suddenly Batman grabbed the girl's arm when she went to punch him in the gut. He had to admit, he had to use all of his strength to stop her. "Please?"
The girl tried another hook from her left, but Batman stopped that, too and held tight. "Don't make this hard."
Lily bit the man's hand as hard as she could and he pulled back, blood had been drawn. Now that he was caught off guard for a minute, Lily kicked her pursuer back, sending him into a trash receptacle. Lily got in the car, grabbed her backpack and ran for the manhole, disappearing down the sewers in minutes.
Batman watched as she vanished and then lifted a switch on his watch, seeing the radar picked up quite clearly. She was heading straight for Arkham.
Lily slowed to catch her breath, she had lost him, but for how long? Killer Croc had warned her about him, how he was completely crazy, and those tracking devices he liked to plant on everyone.
Putting down the backpack, Lily checked herself completely and then found it, on her sleeve, where he had grabbed her. Hearing a squeaking, Lily reached over to the side and grabbed a hold of something warm, slapping the tracking device on the squealing rat. Letting the rat go, she watched it run in the opposite direction and continued on her journey to Arkham.
Sniffing the air, Lily caught herself and shook her head. She was starting to become an animal. If she could get Croc out, maybe he could help her. Lily looked at her hands, she could see them since the recently developed night vision had come, and sighed. Trudging further on through the muck, Lily traveled a few more miles until she finally found Croc's new stomping grounds; Arkham.
The backpack getting heavy now, Lily reached up and grabbed hold of a pipe, swinging herself back and forth a few times and then propelling herself through one of the sewer pipes. Digging in her claws, Lily heard the metal screeching and cringed, but held on and when she finally stopped she began her new journey up.
Reaching an outcrop, Lily planted a few of the bombs and then pulled a pin before dropping back down the pipe. Getting to her feet, Lily started running back to Gotham and then she slowed down. What was taking so long?
Croc was surrounded by heavily armed guards as they took him to the van waiting outside to transport him to another asylum. All of the other victims within the place had already been taken to the vans, but Croc was the last. Commissioner Gordon had ordered the place evacuated after an anonymous phone call had warned him of a threat on Arkham. Now the bomb squad surrounded the building and began the search.
The rage, the pain, and the killer instincts began to build in Killer Croc and just as he reached the van he let out a roar, breaking every shackle they restrained him with and throwing the guards aside like toy soldiers. Before anyone could react, Croc headed for the manhole and ripped it open with one pull then disappeared, tail and all, down the manhole. He had her scent.
Lily looked up the pipe. The bombs had all gone bad, their time in the dark, damp sewers had destroyed them and now her plan was ruined. What was she supposed to do now? Then, suddenly, a crash came from behind her and she turned to see a huge, reptilian creature become one with the sewer waters below.
Terrified, Lily stood absolutely still as the creature swam towards her and then Killer Croc emerged, looming over her. "Nice work." Croc growled, shaking the water off of him.
Lily smiled up at him, sighing a little and then Croc grinned. "Sorry if this hurts, kid."
There was little pain at first and then Lily reached up feeling her forehead, where he had just punched her. When she saw blood on her hands she collapsed in horror. Croc caught the girl gently as she fell.
"Batman…" Croc snarled, seeing the freak standing not far away.
"Put the girl down."
Croc growled, taking the girl in his grip and submerging into the muck, swimming off. Batman put on his mask and dove into the muck, following him.
Croc rose from the waters, moonlight coming through the bars of one of the drains, and he carried the girl, now drenched in sewer water, in his arms. Lying her on a pile of sewage, Croc stepped back and observed his den.
Cigarette butts had been carelessly piled up from people through them down the drain, and the place had gone to ruin. Batman would not come for a few more minutes, so he had to be ready.
Batman emerged a few minutes later, he found the place Croc had come suspiciously empty. Then he heard coughing and turned to see the girl was coming to, barely. "Mom…" was the first thing she said.
Going to the girl, Batman checked her vitals quickly, making sure she was all right, except for the large bruise that was forming on her forehead. "Can you hear me?" Batman called out to the girl.
"Mom, I'm sorry…" the girl replied and then hugged Batman tightly, "I'm so sorry!"
Prying out of the girl's grip, Batman eased her back into a lying position. "I'm going to get you out of here," Batman promised, "Lily—"
Batman recovered from the mind-bending slam against his head and turned to see two Crocs forming into one. "Get away from her!" Croc roared.
Wincing, Batman got to his feet, prepared for another blow. "You think this is any kind of life for her? Living in the sewers?"
"That's for me to know!" Croc made a swing for Batman, but the cape crusader was missed. "Now get outta here before I break you in two!"
Batman ducked from another swing. "Do you really want her to become the animal you are?"
"I'm gonna kill you, you rat!"
Croc swung again, this time missing and hitting the wall, crashing through it. For a few moments Croc was confused and then stepped back into his den, seeing the Batman had gotten away.
"Where are you!" Croc roared. "Fight me like a—"
Batman had managed to get Croc in a choke hold. Croc started to thrash around and then dove into the water, spinning fast. Batman held tight and when Croc came up from the water, Batman was still holding on. Batman injected Croc with a serum he had concocted for putting reptiles to sleep. After a few minutes of throwing himself against brick walls, Croc grew tired and then, finally, collapsed.
Releasing Croc finally, Batman went toward the girl and lifted her up despite his beating. When Batman finally got back to the upper part of the city, Commissioner Gordon was waiting for him.
"Where's Killer Croc?"
"I put flares along the way to guide you to him," Batman replied, "he should be out for a long time."
"Who's the girl?"
"She needs to be hospitalized."
"Lily…" Lily's mother brushed her hand gently over the girl's forehead. "How are you feeling?"
Lily glanced around the hospital room. "How did I get here?"
Ms. Kendall glanced at the doctor, who nodded. "Do you remember anything at all?"
"One minute we were having a quiet dinner and now I'm here…" Lily replied.
"You were in a horrible accident," Ms. Kendall felt the lie catch in her throat, "you don't remember anything?"
Lily went to feel her forehead, but she could not move her arms and looked down at the shackles on her. "Mom?" Lily panicked, looking at her mother. "What are you doing to me?"
"It's for your own good, honey, you…you killed one of the nurses…"
"What?" Lily growled, shaking the bed. "Get me out of here!"
"Get one of the nurses in here!" The doctor called.
Lily broke free and grabbed her mother's neck, her eyes becoming slits. "Say goodnight…"