Punch Line

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He's a genius really.

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You wouldn't think it to look at him would you? No of course not. But not everything is what it seems. It's really a quite funny story actually.

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When I knew him he went by Jack. Now don't get all excited I don't know if it's a real name or not. Probably not, Jack was always one for games and intrigues like that. He was a self proclaimed researcher at that time, working on this and that. I don't know where he picked up everything that he knew, but it would put an ivy league scholar to shame. I don't think that there's a book in the world that than man hasn't read twice, but I digress.

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As I said, his research was all self-proclaimed. He said that if you let the government mess about in anything truly important that they would just fuck it up. I suppose that he was a bit of an anarchist then too. He said that without the governments interference researchers could have done almost anything.

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He spent most of his days in a mad kind of haze adding up numbers and writing out formulas that were indecipherable to me. He burned many of the papers, saying that they were too good of work for the political system to have. He did send in a few that he deemed irrelevant, always anonymously. They all won at least an acknowledgment and several revolutionized the growing of crops.

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He always worked at a mad pace and would often spout comments that would make no sense unless you knew whatever philosopher or icon that he was referring to. Sometimes he would take the time to explain, but only when he was in the mood to. There was always a reason behind everything that he did or said, and he could always explain it in perfect detail.

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He could read people with astounding accuracy. We were walking out of the bank one day when he stopped for a moment and stared at a man walking from the bathrooms, holding a tool box. He was a plumber, or so his jacket and the closed signs on the bathroom, would indicate. When we walked out Jack turned to me and said that that man was going to blow up the bank. I asked why he thought that and he just shrugged and told me not to visit that bank again for a while. I let it pass out of my mind until I turned on the news one day to see that man's face plastered across the screen.

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But I'm getting a little off topic again. But you need to understand that Jack isn't crazy. That's a very important part of this story, you see. Or if you prefer, at least accept that he wasn't crazy then.

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I never really knew what he was working on all that time. Until one day I walked in and he was grinning and writing furiously. He told me then that he was very very close to being able to create a workable cheap way to produce such vast amounts of food that he could actually cure world hunger within ten years. I know that you have no reason to believe that this is true, or that he hadn't been lying to me. But I suppose that you'll have to take my word for it. Nothing is left of his research.

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You would think that was horrible wouldn't you? To destroy that information, I mean. I would have agreed back then. I came in after a month of this frantic work and found him, sitting stone-still in the center of the floor. Jack was never still, much like he is now, always active in at least some little way, mind always whirring. His work was a smoldering pile not far from him.

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He told me before he left that he had found the answer to his research, he had finally solved it. Then he calculated the changes that it would give to the world. His chalkboard had few words written on it but illustrated what he had calculated quite clearly; Population boom, disease, war, genetics, 2029 End.

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He discovered a way to feed all of the people in the world, and then realized that it would kill us all. He told me that the only reason that people had lasted so long was that we were always fighting trying to overcome something. The world had always been a bit of a game to him. But what happens when there is nothing more to overcome in a game? It can't go on forever, it ends.

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He told me that people need to have something to struggle against, some reason for working towards bettering themselves. Some reason to keep playing the game.

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Are you starting to see the funny side yet? A man learns how to right one of the worlds greatest problems and then realizes that it would only cause it's destruction. There is no obvious way to win in this game. But Jack was always very good at seeing what others missed.

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He gave the world something interesting, terrible and gruesome and horrifying, yes. But it is a macabre scene that Gotham can't take it eyes off of. Crime rates have actually dropped, did you know that? For all of the Joker's elaborate dramas, statistically Gotham is a safer place. He killed many of the cities worst offenders, and you terrify the others into submission.

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You don't like it when he compares himself to you, do you? It's a compliment from him really. It's easy to see that you would save the world, or at least your little piece of it. But for him to pay such close attention... He thinks that with just the right push that you could see the humor. That he's saving the world in the most statistically accurate way that he knows how.

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You're playing in his game, whether you know it or not. Some philosophies would say that he has reached enlightenment. He's seen and grasped the delicate balance between destruction and creation. Saw that they were two sides of the same coin. He actually understands what makes the world turn for all of us mere mortals, toiling day after day, and I think in his own way, he's trying to keep the gears turning for as long as he can.

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Funny isn't it?

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Bruce Wayne stared at the letter with horrified eyes. The letter was meant for Batman, he had no doubt of that. But it had been addressed to him. He turned to meet the curious blue eyes of his oldest friend.

"Alfred, where did this come from?" The question came out gravely and Alfred blinked in surprise.

"A rather charming young woman dropped it off. I do hope this isn't a paternity suit Master Wayne, the young woman asked me to tell you that she's also picked up the habit of being more observant from a mutual friend of yours. Is everything all right?" Alfred queried.

Bruce silently handed over the letter and both men reflected on truths and lies and thought for quite some time on their own decisions. The world really is a funny place. It's topsy turvy and completely messed up, but we're all just trying to find our place in it. Sometimes the niche that we find is just as crazy as the rest of the world.

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Alright, first off I'm all for curing world hunger, please don't flame me or think that I'm a bad person for writing a story that's a little twisted! I was dozing peacefully until about 1 am last night when my muse struck and up I went to start this story! My muse is damn finicky though, so please leave a few reviews that I can persuade her with!

One-shot for now. You can see the letter giver as who ever you want, harley or an original character or one of the jokers many henchmen/women. Tell me what you think!!!