Another challenge for the Green Hornet! He and his aid, Kato are taking a relaxing vacation in Los Vegas. But what is this? An undercover ring of guns and gamboling? And a friend from the past? Watch Out, Hornet, or the burger you eat, maybe the burger that kills you!

Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, and Maybe Some Incendiary Rounds

Book 9

{PeechTao}

"This was a fantastic idea. I think this is the best plan you ever came up with. I swear. The vet thing, that was genius. Putting me in a dump with a sniper rifle, not so much, but this," I motioned to the striking skyline. "This is awesome."

Kato threw his suit case on the bed and shrugged out of his leather jacket. "I thought you may like it. I did not want to go too far off, you know? In case, we are needed in LA. Vegas was nice enough and I have not been here often."

"I have been here many times, my friend." I said. "But this will be better. I haven't gone with a friend in a while. And the last time I did it was with Bruce Wayne. Since he's been in Gotham so often we haven't crashed together for a while."

At this remark Kato looked at me with an air of curiosity. "Bruce Wayne? Wayne industries, Bruce Wayne?"

"Yeah. We were together constantly as kids. Practically raised together. When his parents died, we were closer than ever. Two almost teenage kids with tons of money and nothing to do with ourselves, we were a dangerous pair."

"I can't imagine why." Kato said, grinning.

I wondered what my life would have been like if I had met Kato sooner. How might he be different? Surely he wouldn't be anywhere near the crime fighter he was. And that alone was maybe a little bit better than I was. Well, maybe a lot better ok? I knew what I wanted to do the minute I got into the city. It involved a boatload of poker chips, teaching Kato the intricacies of Texas Hold 'em, and getting drunk as a skunk in spring. I cannot wait to get out of this room and into some clubbing clothes and completely forget about all of my duties as an editor and The Hornet. At least the latter would be a little easier. BJ Parker was rolling around town in my spare pair of Hornet gear he stole about a year back and has been dying to play with. That with the keys of the Beauty and he would definitely be happy as a clam for the week I planned to be away. Glenda was on her way to Atlantic City for the East Coast Veterinary Conference. Axford was in control of the Sentinel, as usual, and Case was making sure he didn't ruin it in my absence.

So, with all those coming together perfectly to give Kato and me a week alone, I was prepared to enjoy myself.

"Get your good shoes on, Kato, we are having a night to remember!"

He smiled some. "I sure hope so. We need this."

I have been wasted a lot of times in my life. One time I forgot four days of my life and had a hangover for nearly a month. Another time I drank four straight bottles of Vodka and forgot that I decided to rearrange my entire bathroom on my lawn until that morning when I tried to take a shower in a hole in the floor. Then after four shots of tequila I threw a refrigerator through a window. After bringing down a massive drug ring I got so drunk Kato had to rescue me from the empty swimming pool. This was different. This was way different.

"Kato?" I called into the fully sunlit suite. I realized almost as soon as I woke up half-off the couch that I would be paying some damages fees. And a whole lot of room service. And some room services damage fees. Three trolleys of foods were in various degrees of destruction around the room. The wall of windows and landing outside were completely open. The fresh new-room smell that somehow wafted through the dingy city and into my room was overwhelming. That and the smell of gunpowder.

Now I was awake for sure.

"Kato?" I called again, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. There was a gun, a .44 Magnum on the floor three feet away. Beside that was a trail of shotguns, an AK-47, then a Gatling. Wow. What did I do when I was out?

I checked my watch. It was 3:45pm on Tuesday the 15th. Not bad. I got into town on the 14th and didn't start drinking until eleven last night. So at least I didn't have ten days of lost memory to sort through. However, I have seen The Hangover, the last thing I wanted to run into was a tiger in the bathroom and Mike Tyson singing. No chickens though.

And where the Hell was Kato?

I cradled my pounding head as I searched my still packed bag for the bottle of aspirin I had the forethought to pack. I swallowed three tablets dry (which I would never ever do again) and kept up my inspection of the casino suite.

I followed the trail of guns through my room. It ended in a strangely arranged body on the floor. My Hornet instincts leapt up. I knelt down and ascertained he was alive if not smelly. A stupid grin was plastered across his face. He smelled half like a sewer, half like an Italian deli shop. Suddenly I was reminded of New York, but I'm not sure why.

My alarm over Kato's potential whereabouts was escalating. If I was just some guy in Vegas for the week it wouldn't matter. But I wasn't just some guy. I was the Green Hornet and Kato was my Kato.

Then I came across the cash. About fifteen million dollars worth of one dollar bills thrown around the suite's master bedroom. A woman's thong and lacey shirt were tossed in the corner. No woman though.

I wondered if that guy passed out was wearing his shirt still. He was. That was a close one!

Under, behind, and around a virtual tower of $50 wrapped singled was another peculiar pile. This one consisted of three thousand dollars worth of McDonald's double cheese burgers.

How drunk was I last night?

Suddenly I heard the sound of Lady Antebellum belting her lungs out. Thrown by the sudden appearance of a country singer in my bedroom, I looked about for the source of the sound. I found just such a place with the discovery of my cell phone under the mattress of my bed. For now, I ignored the fact that someone, perhaps me had changed my ring tone. I answered the call, recognizing the number as the DA.

"Britt."

"Reid, God, I thought I'd never get you! I've been calling for hours, what happened? I thought I was the Green Bee this weekend. You called me at all crazy hours of the night. I finely got you at this number."

I rubbed my pounding brow as my heart attempted to race out of my chest. "What?"

"Yeah, you and Kato planning to clean up Los Vegas now? Turn on the news."

I went up to the TV, ignoring the futile search for the remote control. After channel surfing past VH1 and Desperate Housewives I discovered my own news station broadcasting the latest and greatest Green Hornet Hits. Some of which included me hauling five tied up men into a police station before daringly escaping via a three hour cab chase. Did I get drunk after that? Who was driving me, Kato?

"Apparently you caught three known fugitives, hauled them to jail and sped off." Parker said. "Keep that kind of thing up and the cops are going to get on to you. And what do you see here that's super strange?"

"Super?" I asked dubiously, still trying to figure out what I did last night. Then I saw what he did. "I'm driving!"

"Yeah you are. Where's Kato?"

"What time was this?"

There was a rustle of paper work on his end. "About four am."

"Then I lost Kato before that." I said to myself.

"Hey, Britt, What—"

"Thanks Beej."

"Sure, but Britt—"

I hung up. Ok. So from 4 am to about 7 am I was running from the cops. Great. I went back into the main room to look for my car keys. If my Hornet gear was still in the trunk of my car where it should be I wasn't too bad off. I probably should have left it home altogether, but you never know when becoming a masked vigilante in Los Vegas would turn out for the better. Obviously it worked out well enough. I robbed the casino blind and made off with a couple thousand dollars worth of burgers. Kato would have bought onion rings and chicken wraps so I must have been alone when I went for the fast food. After I went to check on my gear I would call up the local fast food chains to see when I had arrived with my monster order. Someone had to remember me. As I slipped on my shoes and headed for the door in a pair of jeans and t-shirt I considered whether or not I should wake the drunk on my floor. Then I realized he was no longer on my floor. The front door was swinging open and he was already gone.

Weird.

And if all that wasn't bad enough, guess, my loyal audience, what I found in one of the decorative Grecian columns? A black bat. I kid you not; stuck in the column by one overly sharpened wing was a black bat silhouette. There was another one in the screen door that led to the landing and a third on the ceiling.

"Oooo-kkkk." I drew slowly. Before I found a dead body in the bathroom tub I decided to get out of the partially haunted hotel suite and headed into the hall. My key card in my back pocket I sauntered up the hallway.

"Reid? Britt Reid?" Someone called halfway across the casino lobby. I couldn't see past the rows of eighty-year-olds getting their quarters slotted before the evening rush approached, so I wasn't able to tell who called me. I knew it wasn't Kato, it didn't sound like him. But the person who did show up was a much bigger mystery. I had no idea who he was.

"Mr. Reid, a pleasure, truly a pleasure!" he exclaimed, pumping my hand vigorously. "Jack Talbot, casino owner and manager here at the Wynn. It's a pleasure to meet you in person, Mr. Reid, I hear you made quite an impression last night. A truly fantastic killing. Where you always so good at Black Jack?"

Here I was expecting the man to shake my hand and kindly kick me out of the casino for life, but here I was a little surprised. I never played black jack in my life. "Black jack? Uh, not as far as I know."

"Ever play?"

I rubbed a hand behind my head. "Actually, sir, I never knew I played. A bit of last night is a blur honestly."

Talbot laughed uncomfortably loud and long, slapping my back like an old friend. I did resist the urge to flip him into a choke hold. Kato must be rubbing off on me.

"Fantastic! Truly fantastic, you are a funny guy! I gotta tell you, the dealers were making out fine until you and your friend walked in and started betting like madmen! I've never seen such excitement, the whole floor was just hopping with it."

I thought about the legitimacy of a floor sprouting legs and jumping like an Easter rabbit. It didn't make enough sense for me to continue imagining so I stopped. "Well, glad to hear it, say, you haven't seen the guy I was with last night, did you?"

"No, I don't believe I have. I'm sure he'll turn up. You left together. You know," he came in close, "You two look just fabulous together. Honestly. More LA socialites should come out the way you have."

I recoiled as if he'd shot me.

"Couple? No, no, no, no. We're not together. I have a girlfriend. She's in Jersey right now though."

Talbot gave a wide smile. "Well, you now, what happens in Vegas. I hope you got that shipment ok. Any problems, just let me know, all right?"

The look of terror that washed over my face about his assumptions. But I was surprised and completely off-put by his latter statement. For one, I had no idea what he was talking about. Before the casino owner moved off, I was able to finagle out of him when I was seen betting last night. It was from around eleven to two am. Before that I had left a hefty tip at the Wing Lei Chinese restaurant. Kato was with me there too. The trip to my car resulted in the finding of my Hornet gear in perfect order. However, that did nothing for assurances. Kato's gear was missing. It was daylight. Who knew where in the world he was?

(:):(:)

"Reid?"

I tucked my head, attempting to rush through the lobby before I was stopped for the eighth time by someone I didn't know or remember from the night before. This one was just as insistent as all the others. He came running from the checkout desk over to me. My head was down so hard into my chest to keep me looking uninterested that I never got a good sight of him before the guy's arm was on my shoulder spinning me around. My fist was tightly wound at my side and ready to uppercut if need be.

"That any way to ignore one of your best friends? Hey, Britt."

"Bruce?" I said in shocked surprise. "God, why didn't you say something. I've been followed by every money monger this side of the strip after I swept the tables last night!"

My old buddy Bruce Wayne stood in front of me with the smuggest look on his face. He looked good, better than I ever recalled. He was actually fit for one, he'd decided to fall off the planet a few years ago for no apparent reason and then suddenly reappeared on the Gotham scene to retake his father's company. We were a lot alike. His father's death threw him into a world he didn't ever intend on being in. I was the same way.

"I heard about you father, I've been a little crazy, I'm sorry I never got down to see you." Bruce went on. We were shaking hands, all grins.

I nodded slowly. "Yeah, it was a bit of a shock to us all. He was murdered."

Now his face changed. "I thought—the papers said he was had an anaphylactic reaction. Were they missing something?"

"A big something." I told him. My voice changed a little. I tried to move past the grim conversation. "But, hey, Bruce you're in my neck of the woods. What brings you?"

"R and R. much needed, much deserved. There is a company meeting here in the tower tomorrow evening, propositioning some more investors, but I may just decide to skip if you're hanging around."

I laughed a little. "Yeah, if I ever find my friend that is. You haven't seen a little Asian guy with a dangerous look about him running around have you? Maybe carrying a few thousand dollars worth of chicken wraps."

"I can't say I have." He told me with an amused expression. "You lose a boy toy or something."

"God, why does everyone think that?"

"Everyone thinks that?" Bruce said he stepped back a few long paces I rolled my eyes at him but we were both laughing.

" I do have another good question for you. You know much about your bat guy in the city?"

He shrugged. "Batman. He gets around. Why?"

"Come up to the penthouse, I need to show you something. Seeing you just reminded me. I lost a lot of last night in some drunk black jack binge. Along the way I wound up with some crazy stuff in my room. Could you do me a favor and take a look?" My mind was drifting to the black bats stuck into my walls and ceiling. Maybe they had some connection with this bat dude of New York. That in itself was a scary notion. What was my alter ego up to?

And where the Hell is my Kato?

"Sure, I'll be happy to take a look." Bruce said. He followed me through the lobby. The two of us were trying to catch up as much as possible in the distance it took to reach my penthouse suite. I learned that he had been just as busy as I had lately. His company was now publicly owned, even though he was the majority stockholder. His dealings had him rushing all over the world. Most recently he had been enjoying a small stint in Japan. I told him my associate was from Shanghai and I had intended on visiting there at some point in the future. He laughed, said I had yet to change.

(:):(:)

"Prison? Honestly? Never saw you as a prison kinda guy, there Bruce. And you're calling me gay. How was that shower situation, huh?"

Bruce gave me a jab in the side. "I was in iso most of the time."

"So here's what I wanted to show you." I strode through my apartment door. The house cleaner had been by with probably a truckload of support staff. They ignored my bedroom at least, that was a good sign. I probably hadn't lost too much of my money to them. Maybe a few of my burgers though. I grabbed the black silhouette out of my wall and handed it over to him.

He looked very intently at it. Then he took a turn around my room. He noted the money and burgers.

"Wow, you had a wild night all right." He commented.

I noticed at once he didn't say anything on my little bat. Even with an old friend like this I was put on edge. Something wasn't right. Something was making me nervous. Antsy. I looked hard at Bruce Wayne. "What do you think?"

Wayne was not looking at me. He was staring out the amazing view to the Vegas cityscape below us. He sighed and held up the bat with one hand. "This, Britt, is a big problem. Were you here all night?"

I shook my head. "No. I doubt it. First came dinner, then some betting. Maybe a little dancing and definitely a run for munchies. Is that what I think it is?"

Wayne pocketed the item. "You said your friend's missing?"

I had a noticeable quickening in my breath. My heart started to flutter some. My Hornet gear was in my car. I had a glass vase at my disposal.

WAIT A MINUTE!

I had to quit letting the Hornet take over my thoughts like some deranged split personality. This was my friend. My good friend that I have known for twenty years or more. Sure he fell off the face of the planet when his parent's killer was released and shot. Who wouldn't? I went off my own sort of deep end in a way. But this was Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne.

"Yeah. Name's Kato. He's a pain in my rear if you ask me. I know we were betting together overnight. That's the last I was seen with him."

"Chinese?"

"That's right."

He turned back to me, a relaxed grin spread across his features. He must have noticed my tension regardless that I attempted to hide it. He waved a hand at me. "Easy, slugger. You're awful touchy nowadays. Paper got you watching your tail? Or is it just all those Green Hornet deals going down in your city. I'm stealing one of these by-the-way." He pocketed a cheeseburger.

I laughed. "The Hornet. Yeah, he's got me running mad all right. He runs all the major crime syndicates in city and destroys all the smaller ones either personally or taking them to the cops. He's good to sell papers, bad for other things. What about you're Batman?"

"Batman is good, whether people believe it or not. He's got a rough way to deal justice but its justice all the same."

"Better than how we are." I commented. "So what's the bat mean?"

"Mean's Batman is in Vegas too. According to the morning news so is your Hornet."

"And Batman was in my bedroom for what reason?"

His shoulders went up and down. "Probably the same reason there's a new stack of guns in your corner, or were they just for protection from The Hornet shooting you again?"

"You know about that?"

"A friend of mine, a guy I grow up with gets shot and it's all over the news, yeah I'm going to notice."

"Boy, I've been missing you." I said.

(:):(:)

"Britt, what are you thinking? I want you out of Vegas. Don't deal with Batman. Stay out of the way of The Hornet, oh wait—"

"Tacos, Glenda, Tacos."

"Tacos?" her voice replied with an edge of anger. "Britt, what are you talking about?"

"You know, all couples have like that word they say when they can't talk about something because of other people being around. Yeah, tacos."

"Can we discuss the tacos?"

"Not right now. Just checking in."

"Oh, hey!"

I waited.

"Kato called about an hour ago. Something about needing to be picked up? Did he call you?"

"No."

"Does he have your number? You're not calling me from your cell phone."

I pulled the phone away from my face. It looked like my cell, but I have been wrong before. "What number am I calling from? Kato got a hold of you an hour ago?"

She told me the number and I wrote it down on the back of my hand with a pen provided by Bruce. We were both sitting at a bar in one of the many lounges in the Wynn. He had been calling up around town to see where I lifted all the burgers. He was getting a big kick out of the whole thing and wanted to do nothing more than assist me in retracing my steps throughout the night.

"Did he say where he was?" I asked.

"Somewhere around a big fountain and a pool of soda I think. He did say something about a tiger, flying back to New York, and his long lost brother. Oh, and he said he has the guy. He's not the guy, he is Bruce Lee, and something about a movie called The Losers."

"I love that movie." I replied.

"Did you lose Kato some place?"

"Goodbye, Glenda."

"But, Britt?"

And I hung up.

As Wayne was still enthralled with his own phone calls and convincing some automated voice he did in fact speak English, I dialed in the number Kato had called from. It rang a few times before a generic voicemail picked up. I tried it again. This time it rang a little longer and then:

"Is this The Green Hornet?"

Tacos. I thought to myself. I tried to remain relaxed.

"Yes."

"We have your associate. If you want to find him alive, you are going to have to come down here with that four million dollars you took from us and the weapons. If you do not, he will be killed in two hours. We will call you in four minutes with your instructions." The line was cut.

I pulled in a breath and exhaled it slowly. Then I looked over at Wayne.

"Think I got your latest restaurant." He said triumphantly. He was still smiling with the ridiculous nature of it all. "Apparently you taxied yourself to fifteen different ones and bought all of them out. The last one you went to was 2050 East Charleston Boulevard right by Eastern Avenue. The clerk remembers you all right. Said a guy came in and bought every double cheeseburger, fresh or frozen, in the place. Is it too late to caution you on the effects of drunk driving, my friend?"

"A little behind the game aren't you." I told him. I stood up, grabbing my coat off the back of the chair and started working myself into it.

"I couldn't be a friend if I didn't mention it." He said. "Where you heading?"

"I forgot I have to get up town. My editor in chief, Mike Axford, is babysitting the paper while I'm out and I've got to be at a meeting with him and some of my newest reporters in half an hour."

"No pleasure without work?" he said.

"Not nearly." Was my reply. "can I catch up with you in a couple hours?"
Bruce nodded. "Absolutley. Just like old times. I'll keep an eye out for that friend of yours."

(:):(:)

Ok. Kato said he was at a fountain of soda. That could be a McDonalds, actually. As far as the guy thing, I couldn't figure that out. If Kato was Bruce Lee, that means he was dressed in his chauffer outfit and domino mask. He was also a hostage. The last place I visited was on a main highway. The cops had not followed me there or else they would still have an unmarked unit waiting in the area to see if I came back.

What was I doing at a McDonalds at that time of night dressed as The Green Hornet after having stolen a taxi?

I called BJ back to see precisely where I had driven the cops to during our three-hour chase across town. Apparently, it was no place special to them, just some random fast food places all on the main road of East Charleston. I lost them at the Eastern Avenue intersection. Kato had to be in that area, somewhere. Maybe I was trying to tip the cops off.

Then I asked who the criminals were.

They consisted of a few East Coast guns dealers transported up from Cuba. None other than my all-too-friendly and equally common Batman had driven them out of New York. Now these men were in Las Vegas with Batman following them, The Green Hornet catching them, and guns in Britt Reid's apartment. The guy on the floor of my suite, I still didn't get. It was Vegas, he could have been anyone.

So here I was, staked outside of a good old golden arched eatery while waiting for a sign of something to happen. The kidnappers told me to meet them at the Bellagio half an hour ago. I, of course, did not make it to that appointment. I was here, on a hunch that Kato was being held against his will somewhere inside. My question was whether I should wait until dark or head right in now.

It was only six-o-clock. Two and a half hours since I woke up to my crazy afternoon. I assumed most of the morning after my run from the cops involved going back to my room to pass out. Kato must have been with them since I went to the cops. Over twelve hours. I had no choice. I had to go save my little blue wombat before something terrible happened to him.

I decided to head in now.

Dressed in my Green Hornet outfit I walked through the front door of the McDonalds and brandished my gun. The place cleared out in seconds. The staff went ducking for cover. I rushed the teller before he was able to escape out the back door. To scared to scream, he went limp in my hands.

"lllloook—I I gave you what you wwwwaaaantted. I gaaaaavve you the buuurgers. Just, just leave us alone, ok?" he stammered, scared crap-less.

Is it a little sadistic to enjoy hearing people frightened of me again? I was so used to Glenda beating the Hornet up by now, I almost forgot what it was like to be a ruthless villain.

"I want the guy I was here with." I roared.

"Whhhat guy? There wasn't a guy, honest you were alone. You came in and—"

I hauled the man to his feet and threw him over the counter. Something about this place stunk like rotten criminal masterminds, and it wasn't the thirty day-old fries. I grabbed the teller by his collared polo shirt and yanked him to his feet.

"Where is he!" I demanded.

"I don't know! Honest!"

I let go and he crumbled to the floor. I picked him up again.

"I can do this all night, kid." I told him, my voice low and menacing. I did not want to be doing this at the moment, but I would. I would do whatever it took to find Kato and make sure he was safe. If that meant beating up this kid whom I knew was keeping something from me, I would.

"Please, Hornet, I—"

WHAM!

He hit the floor again. Honestly, he could have used his legs or something.

Before I had a chance to drag him up again, I heard the running of feet that preceded someone approaching my back and breaking a broom handle against it. Now if that didn't tick me off, nothing would.

I learned a lot from Kato and the use of my Bowflex has made me darn near super human. So I turned around and did the greatest spinning midair kick in my career. If only I had like a hidden camera or something to record that thing. The poor employee would definitely be winning his disability suit against the state of Nevada, I can tell you that.

My initial teller was crawling away as if I would forget all about him. Of course, this I was the opposite of what I actually did. I pulled him by the back of his shirt across the linoleum floor, up, over the counter, and into the food prep. All good movies had that one scene where a bad guy used the hot plate to melt off people's faces, or just make a point. That and the fryer where the French fries were deep-fried to like, a thousand degrees. I went for the hot plate.

Having worked ever so briefly (for my father to make a point) at a fast food place I roughly knew my way around. I grabbed a soggy beef paddy out of the warming drawer and dropped it onto the hot plate. Then I shoved the teller's head down on the butcher block right next to it. As the congealed meat cracked and fizzled, my mouth was at his ear as I snarled.

Honestly, snarling was definitely the word. "Where. Is. He." I punctuated each word by a smack of his head against the butcher block.

I could hear the sound of a police siren in the distance. It was possible the car was on its way here, but this was Los Vegas. It could be going anywhere.

"I don't know man!"

I grabbed a spatula and tortured the burger into the hot plate with it. Awe, poor burger.

"I don't know!" he screamed.

"TELL ME!"

"I don't—"

The sound of gunfire had me hitting the deck and dragging the teller down with me. I felt the bullets lodging into my Kevlar overcoat. Eight shots total. That, plus the sudden fire that broke out on my arm was enough to get any vigilante's attention. I sat up and batted my arm until the flames went out. My gun was in my hand, ready to find where in the world the shooter was coming from. I found nothing.

I'm not sure what caused me to look over at the burger but I did. It was completely obliterated. I blinked in surprise, then went back into the meat drawer and ripped apart the first burger patty I found. It was stuffed with a clip of eight bullets.

Bullets. Gun runners. Batman. Burgers. Kato.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry, don't kill me! please, don't kill me! He's down there. He's in the freezer, please, I'm just a teller, really, I'm just a teller!"

I left the man on the floor and ran into the back. I kept myself in control. I needed to make sure I was not walking into a real shooting gallery. There was one guard, a redheaded teenager with a pocket full of twenties as a pay off. He took one look at me and passed out. That was convenient. I fired the lock off with the Hornet Sting. Not because it was locked, but because I was not about to have someone lock it behind me. Kato was indeed inside the freezer. Tied with a mix of bungee cords and zip ties he was down and out. Not to mention, he looked like a mac truck decided to run him over.

Twice.

I grabbed the knife I commonly kept in one of my pockets. Flipping it open, I instantly cut him free. Being in the cold freezer had him relatively useless for his own motility. I attempted to throw him up and over my shoulder but not before a certain caped crusader decided to get the better of me.

My feet fell out from under me as the cable wrapped around my legs. I was being dragged through the entire store from the freezer to the door before I was able to flip forward, spin around, and flick my knife open. I sawed at the cord until it sprung free. I uncoiled my legs in three seconds, enough time for the cleverly little Batman to realize my freedom and come to amend the situation. I found a boot lodging up into my jaw, flicking it sideways with a sickening pop. As my brain suffered with stars, my legs moved of their own free will, scissoring around the bat and dragging him to the ground. I grabbed one of his boots, twisted over and back until he was lying stomach down. Before I could control his upper half he had a familiar bat shaped device in his hand swinging out to gut me.

I rolled off of him, scooting back on palms and boots until I made enough distance that the two of us could stand. I reached for my gun, but it was gone. I found it about three yards away at the front entrance of the McDonalds. I wanted to go for it.

Batman I think knew that. He fired something from his belt that sent my gun flinging out of sight.

Fine. I faced him.

"Batman." I said.

"Green Hornet." He said. "So. What's the decision. Are you in with them?" He pulled something from his rather dashing tool belt and dropped it a couple feet in front of me. "Incendiary rounds hidden in burgers. Nice try."

I folded my arms. "Don't know what you've heard, but I'm only here to get what's mine. Whoever has decided to run this operation took my aid hostage."

He seemed surprised but hid it well. "You haven't approached Cartel then."

Said as a statement, meant as a question. I was used to that. "No. but its been a wild weekend. Even The Green Hornet needs a vacation if you ask me."

"You brought in three men last nights."

I crossed my arms. "So what if I did?"

"I'm just trying to make you out."

"Stop trying." I growled. "Frankly you're in my neck of the woods. I don't care for this Gotham trouble you've brought my way. I own LA, soon I'll own California. Keep out of my way. This coast isn't big enough for the two of us."

Batman came closer, trying to intimidate me but really, the man was dressed like a bat. I was able to see he was covered in bulletproof material too. Not Kato's Kevlar, but something thicker, heavier. He had a cape too. That was an interesting touch. That together with everything else in his arsenal made him a veritable force to be reckoned with. And he wasn't about to bother me in the least. Let's face it, the guy was no Chevnofsky.

I shrugged, all relaxed criminal mastermind. "Hey, look. I don't care what you do with the bullets, or the gun runners, or anything else. Enjoy. Kill them, drag them to the cops, whatever. I'm taking what I came here for and getting lost. Got it?"

"I can't let you do that." Batman replied. His hand was by his belt.

"I think you can."

He had a bat silhouette in his hand quicker then I gave him credit for. The sharpened wing slashed by my face, hardly drawling blood. I was surprised he even went so far as to hit my face at all instead of going for a chest blow. It would take to long for my Sting to work. I could go for my gun, or rush him.

Half way into rushing him Batwan fell over backward in a plume of green smoke.

I spun around on my heel and there he was! My Kato in the doorway of the McDonald's holding my gun and looking like a kicked dog.

"What the Hell took you so long?" he shouted, throwing the gun at me.

I laughed a little. That was my Kato.

(:):(:)

BATMAN UNEARTHS GUN RING COAST TO COAST

Editorial by Britt Reid

Working in conjunction with the local authorities and with the permission of the FBI and other state agencies, the famed Dark Knight of Gotham City, New York took down one of the largest illegal gun tycoons in the country. A Cuban immigrant, Harold Cartel was fleeing Batman's interference in his illegal drug trades when he arrived in Los Vegas just five weeks ago.

Recent sightings of The Green Hornet in Los Vegas have been tied to a potential meeting between the gun runner and famous crime boss of Los Angeles. The police presume The Green Hornet was planning on supplying his network of criminal underlings with the famous incendiary hollopoint rounds that are illegal here in the United States. Cleverly smuggled across the country in burger patties to various fast food restaurants, Cartel's buyers would go to the establishments and purchase the select amount of ammo agreed upon. Payment was arranged through an underground gamboling ring at the Wynn Hotel and Casino. Buyers would lose the amount they were meant to pay and the casino's former owner, Jack Talbot, would then transfer the money directly to Cartel.

Jack Talbot is now in custody for aiding and abetting a federal fugitive. Cartel has been charged with a myriad of crimes spanning three states. He is now in federal custody.

The Green Hornet was seen in a daring face off with Batman himself after leaving a meeting at one of Cartel's establishments. Backed up by his enforcer, The Green Hornet got away. He is still at larger and considered armed and dangerous.

"Nice report." Bruce said, tossing the copy of the Sentinel on the table between us. Kato was at half asleep in his plate of eggs beside me. I had to stop running him so hard. Maybe next time we got away I'd let him go alone. Even in a drunken stupor, I seemed to find a network of underground national guns dealers.

"Thanks." I replied, sipping my coffee. It was good, but it was not Kato good. "Some vacation I'm having. I choose the one crooked hotel on the strip and loose my penthouse because some drunken worker of Talbot's decided to hide his loot in my suite."

"It was his suite first. Not many guys have the dough to dish out for that place. Probably surprised him that someone was even staying in there. I thought that tower of burgers was a little bit weird, even for you. Remember that night you stole a horse and rode through a KFC with it?" Bruce started laughing, which woke Kato up. He looked around in bewilderment before realizing he'd hardly eaten. He pushed his food across his plate.

Bruce smiled. "See you found your friend."

"Yup. That's Kato. Kato, Bruce Wayne. Turns out Kato was out getting married to some French Maid attached to the Frank Sinatra show. They were at the church last night when the maid's second husband showed up and beat the crap out of Kato. Then the first husband showed up and—"

"Beat the crap out of the second one." Bruce finished.

I agreed, enjoying the fun of my believable lie. "He was at the ER. Should have known to check there."

"Who got you then? The fourth husband?"

I gave Bruce a questioning look. He traced a line across his cheek. I felt up to mine and remembered the scratch from Batman's weapon. "Oh, actually that was the third husband. Kato. He didn't like that I made fun of him." If Glenda was back in LA and not in New Jersey right now, my superficial scratch would totally be bad enough for a visit to her. Kato too, but mainly me. Any excuse to see my lovely girlfriend was necessary to take advantage of.

"Look, let's not let this crazy first day interrupt a great week. Let's hang out. Let's have a good time like we used to do and forget our responsibilities for a while. I want to find out what makes you tick now, Britt, its been forever it feels like since we've had time off."

I raised a glass of orange juice to that. "Sure thing! I want to hear all about that Chinese prison."

Bruce nodded, we clicked glasses.

But I still couldn't get over the feeling he was analyzing me.

Like I was a bug under his magnifying glass.

A Green Hornet.


The end! yay, that was a lot of fun. i was going to put this under crossovers, i may in the future. and this is not the last we have seen of Bruce Wayne!

please review, inspiration waning again.