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- Prologue -

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Detective Ayumi Kudo looked up in the screen as she waited patiently, almost manically for her suspect to arrive. Beside her, Dr. Kyla Brea, a leading criminal psychologist and profiler from the USA was tapping her fingers on the wooden table in a rhythmic way. They had both been rather tense for the past few months since the case first started. A bank robbery leading to pre-planned murders, with almost no absolute connections with each other. Their suspect, a smiling maniac, had only been caught just a few hours ago thanks to Detective Kudo.

"Nervous?" Brea had asked towards her companion.

"Very… I won't breathe easier until the bastard is confined," Kudo replied.

"Relax. We won," Brea stretched her back. "We stopped him… well, you did."

"You didn't meet him, Brea-san," Kudo shuddered slightly. "He was nothing like I ever met. I am more suited to the normal yet clever individuals. Bank robbers, murderers, kidnappers… my dad taught me how to catch criminals. Not monsters."

Detective Ayumi Kudo, daughter of the famous detective Shinichi Kudo and Ran Mori, who's dad was also a detective. It wasn't really much of a surprise when she became a detective for the police department before she turned 18. As a young girl, she showed a greater potential and intelligence than her father, and she was taught well enough with other different disciplines. Black Belt in Karate, well versed in literature, art and music, she was able to stamp her name across the whole country as one of the top detectives Japan has ever produced.

A genius.

Yet, no matter how great her deductive skills were, this case had confounded her. The suspect had always seem to elude her, working in a very random trail, yet only to show, in the end, that he wasn't just being random at all. All his crimes were committed with such atrocity, yet well planned that kept him one-step ahead of her.

Doctor Kyla Brea was called by the government of Japan to assist Kudo in profiling the criminal, but like Kudo, she was ultimately stumped by how their suspect operated. Even with the lucky break the police had recieved, even if she knew his name, he always worked away from her pre-defined models.

The man they were chasing seemingly had no remorse, no existing criminal record. His name, while known, was unhelpful, and he had no other alias. His weapons ranged from guns, knives, to toxics. He left almost no trace of himself in the crime scenes, and took pleasure in seemingly creating chaos.

Brea looked towards the file they had accumulated over the past few months.

"He's a piece of work, I tell you. Shows sign of clinical insanity, yet…" she closed the file. "He doesn't seem to be totally insane."

"He butchered a woman, poisoned another, and horribly disfigured another," Kudo shook her head. "He's insane."

"In a way," Brea took a deep breathe. "But almost all of his capers were calculated meticulously. Something you'd not find normally in an insane criminal."

"What would you call him then?" Kudo scoffed slightly. "Clever?"

"Well, he is," Brea muttered. "Take a look at his history. Bank robbery, July. A group of thugs break in a bank wearing clown masks, stealing five million Yen. Each of the bank robbers decided to seemingly kill each other off, to limit the share they would have to give. At the end, only one person had left the bank with all the cash. Him.

"Now, a few more robberies spanning a few weeks… each with the same results. He got out of each robbery cleanly, seemingly outsmarting his hired hands, walking out with twenty million Yen at the end. That's when the robberies stopped, all of the sudden."

"My first failure as a detective," Kudo muttered. "That's what the media had said during that time, anyway."

"Quite. But then, how could you have caught him with such vague descriptions? What did the witnesses say about him?" Brea asked.

"He was careful not to remove his mask, but they kept saying the strangest things at that time. They noticed that his neck was pale, almost white, and his hair had odd shades of green," Kudo shrugged.

Brea nodded. She took another file.

"Next case wasn't even considered to be related until the end. The break-out in the asylum," Brea flipped a few pages. "A mysterious man suddenly seemed to show up with a semi-automatic, and fired on the guards without warning. He strolled in towards maximum security, and dumped a large bag in front of the prisoners. They were filled with guns."

Kudo looked at her own copy of the file. The only witness to the whole thing was an inmate, who was too scared to follow the mob.

"He described the crook as a man with chalk white face, ruby red lips, and dark green hair. He wore a colorful purple suit with green vest, purple pants. When he entered, he just seemed to blend in with everyone, handing out guns like he was handing out candy."

"'The town needs an enema!', the suspect told the inmates. 'And we need to administer it! Its quite enough for the normal people to call us unwell. We're quite sick of it, aren't we?' and he just laughed as the inmates followed him.

"Soon, some of the inmates were on the street, shooting on by-standers, killing ten and injuring twenty," Brea continued. "The police were able to stop the inmates, though they've only caught five of the twenty released."

"We investigated the confiscated weapons," Kudo muttered slightly, getting on with the story-telling. "They were illegally bought outside through the Yakuza connections. A little thorough investigation and a little crackdown, we were able to find who had sold those weapons."

"Luckily for you, the transaction of the weapons were recent, and you had been able to confiscate the money that was used to buy the weapons," Brea nodded.

"Yes… and using the serial numbers of the notes we confiscated, we realized that the money used to buy the guns were the stolen money from the banks," Kudo shook her head.

"Quite… his first mistake," Brea stated.

"No, something's not right there," Kudo muttered.

"What?"

"I… I can't describe it fully, but to me, it seemed a bit… convenient," Kudo shook her head. "I don't even know what I'm talking about anymore." She paused slightly. "Yeah… it may be his first mistake. It connected the robberies to him. He was careless after he got away with his first crimes."

"Well, show's he's still a human being," Brea smirked slightly. "He makes mistakes."

Kudo didn't reply to that anymore, but continued to listen, though a nagging part of her head seemed to bother her. She ignored it as Brea continued.

"During the chaos, it seemed that a few inmates had broken through a bank, a computer store, and the supermarket. Stole several of items, including a News Van out of random… or so we thought. After that, everything suddenly seemed to calm down… until after a month or so when he finally revealed himself to the public."

Kudo nodded.

It was a chilling September day when he struck again, this time suddenly appearing in TVs, computers, and cell phones, when he finally showed himself fully. A grinning man whose stark white face contorted as his red lips smiled towards everyone watching. Kudo remembered the day well as she had been watching the news at her home when he appeared.

'Good evening Japan! Welcome to my humble show!'

The sound of muted clapping was heard, though it seemed that the man was expecting something much more as he approached the live audience. The camera followed him as he talked to another man sitting, clapping in slow motion

'Well come on! Aren't all of you happy? Come, on, clap! Ah… we gotta work on that.'

Kudo wouldn't have found it any more interesting if it wasn't for the fact that the man on her set was the same man who was described breaking the inmates out of the asylum… and then, she had recognized the man in the audience. It was one of those escape convicts.

'Tonight… we have a very great show for you! Our guest this evening is a promising young college student who had recently made it to the Dean's List in University of Tokyo! She has hazel-nut brown hair, piercing eyes, and a punch that can send a man to the moon! Narusegawa Naru!'

Kudo remembered her adverse reaction as she saw the woman's mutilated body. Her skin was already pale with death, her body limped in the chair. Her pants were bloodied, while her white shirt had been written with the word 'Slut' in blood. Her face… Kudo remembered her face. Her cheeks were sliced starting from her lips, which were smeared with lipstick, giving her an unnatural grin, as if she was some sort of Jack 'o Lantern. Her phone began to ring as the Captain of the Force called her, and asked her if she was watching it.

'Narusegawa! How are you? Are you… feeling okay? Well… no need to get shy! It's not like talking a little will kill you…'

And he laughed. Kudo's teeth gritted as she watched his white face laugh inhumanely in front of her.

'Oh sometimes I kill myself.'

He stifled his laughter, and looked at the camera once again, his face now serious.

'The bell of death rings three times. It had rung once… will ring twice… and thrice. You know who you are. I will come after you.'

And he grinned.

'But don't think I'm mad… no! Of course not! I find it quite exciting to see you two again! It will be like old times! And as you can see…'

And the camera panned towards the dead Narusegawa again, zooming in her disfigured face.

'…Naru was quite happy to see me. HAhaHAHahaha!!! HahAHAHaHahaa!'

The police were on the move immediately. They tried to trace the source of the signal. It was from the stolen news van, and another untraceable signal from the Internet. The former was found in an abandoned factory, where they found the body of Narusegawa Naru. She was found exactly as she was seen in the TV, but with a new detail. Around her were multiple photos of her naked, and a memory card, containing a lewd video.

He had left his calling card as well. In one of her pockets was a playing card.

"That's when you called him a monster, right?" Brea asked.

"That's when I vowed to catch the monster," Kudo corrected her.

"Yes, well, that's where everything escalated as well," Brea stated as she took a few more folder files. "Konno Mitsune, and Aoyama Motoko."

"… they were my failure."

"You did your best," Brea consoled her.

"I should have stopped him before he got to either of them," Kudo muttered. "We had his name! When the bastard just came all over the news, his aunt gave him away! We should have gotten a pattern, or anything!"

It was after that news did the police department receive one of the biggest breaks they had on the case. Kudo was given an envelope without a return address… inside was all the information about their character. His relationship with the victims. His family, his diary, and even an explanation of his apparent change.

There was one letter there explaining who had sent the envelope. Urashima Haruka, the aunt of the suspect. And she only wanted one thing… for them to catch her wayward nephew.

With such information, the Police had requested outside help with this. The government responded by calling Doctor Kyla Brea. After giving her the details, she had immediately came to Japan, and met with Kudo, who collaborated with her. But even with a standard profiling, it seemed that it was futile.

"Pattern is useless against him because of his damage psych," Brea muttered. "Urashima Keitaro… average looks, average height, average build. Skills not substantial. Failed to get into Tokyo University four times. Was the manager of an all girl's dorm, where he knew the victims. Declared dead a year ago. But even if we formed a pattern or profile for him with that kind of info, it would be useless because he thinks himself as another person… he acts like another person. He might actually be another person. The only thing useful that was given to us was his name, and his pre-existing relationship with the victims."

"He's here," Kudo declared, spotting the armored van coming in from the screen. Brea immediately closed the file, and looked as armored police came out, and opened the back door, revealing him in a straight jacket.

"Creepy…" Brea muttered as she watched with fascination, as his eyes suddenly seemed to go towards the camera. He smiled.

Kudo frowned. "Urashima Keitaro… or as he calls himself these days…" and she grabbed the evidence plastic bag, showing the plastic cards he had left in all the crime scenes... "The Joker."

- To Be Continued -

Author's Note:

Before anyone complains, no, I am not abandoning K2. I'm still on the process of writing it, but unfortunately, I have a nice writer's block for it. To stretch it out a bit, I figured, why not write a totally new story with something really new to it? I mean… never wrote about the Joker. And maybe I shouldn't. That character is seriously hard to grasp accurately. But whatever. Hope you enjoy!

And thanks to Aaron for his help with this. He's a DC fan. :P