The Lady Isis was nice enough to Beta this for me, so all praise goes to her. Now on to the show!
Tonight, Wayne Manor is more filled than usual. In the dining hall, the grand table is finally holding a family dinner (though not one large enough to remotely fill even half the table), as Dick, Tim, Casandra, Stephanie and - the guest of honor - Barbra all join Bruce and Alfred for a meal in celebration of Barbra's new freedom.
"Thanks, guys, I mean it," the guest of honor says from her seat right next to Bruce.
"We are all so happy for you," Cassandra says with a rare smile on her face.
"Greatest news ever!" Steph shouts.
"Yes it is," Bruce agrees.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great news, insanely happy for Barbra, but whatis making that delicious smell?" Tim asks, looking around.
"Hey!" Dick says giving his adoptive brother's shoulder a shove.
"No Dick, I'm with Timmy. Where is that food?" Barbra asks, her mouth literally watering.
"While this is a celebration," Alfred says, stepping into view holding a large tray with a cloche over it, hiding whatever masterpiece is inside, "I expect all of you to remain seated until I've brought out all of the-" Before he can finish, he begins to stumble. His eyes flutter, and suddenly he collapses onto the floor.
"Alfred!" Bruce shouts as the entire family jumps up to give aid.
They don't get very far though, as one by one, each of the guests starts to faint and fall to the floor. The last to drop are Dick and Bruce, and as Dick begins to slowly sink to the ground.
Bruce's mind raced. Something knocking us out one-by-one, fast. Alfred is the first to go down - he was the only one standing. He's followed by the girls, then Dick and Tim. I'm still up, which is probably to do with body mass. Gas!
Armed with that knowledge, Bruce throws himself across the room and hits a switch, causing fans to start clearing the air of the gas. It doesn't help - Bruce feels himself slowly lose his battle with the drug. It is already in his veins as he frantically roots through a draw, until he pulls out a bright red first aid box. As he pulls open the top and looks inside, he can hear glass breaking and heavy footsteps in the hallway. As the intruders near, he finally finds a large syringe, filled with adrenalin. He quickly pulls the cap off and plunges into his chest while pushing down the plunger.
New life surges through the Dark Knight's body at the speed of lightning. He soon pulls himself up, arms himself with a pair of knuckle dusters from the drawer and a pair of knives from the table, then stands in front of the door, ready to greet his uninvited guests.
The large wooden double doors are soon thrown open and four women step in. Each of them appears to belong to a different ethnicity, but all of them are heavily muscular, almost superhumanly beautiful and above six feet tall. They are all dressed in uniform black, with any bare skin he can see covered in tattoos. Even with all the evidence, it is their stance which truly gives away their identity.
"Amazons," Bruce practically growls.
"He still stands," the one who seems to be the leader of the group, says into her communicator.
She is dark-skinned, with violet-colored eyes. The language she uses is the same as the one spoken on Themyscira, but her dialect is like none Bruce has ever heard. Bruce hears a voice on the other end answer in the same language, "You were warned not to underestimate the Batman."
"Get out of my house," Bruce orders in cold tone, using their own tongue.
The four women step apart and their leader tells him, "You are coming with us," in perfect English.
His voice controlled and his eyes filled with cold rage Bruce answers. "Come and take me."
The leader snarls and steps forward. She throws a right jab straight at his jaw. With speed no man his size should be cable of, Bruce sidesteps to the right and delivers a right hook to the left side of her chest. Shocked by her opponent's agility and by the sudden pain, the Amazon pauses just long enough for Bruce to deliver a right hook to the right side of her chest, and then drop low to deliver a crushing right-arm blow to her right knee. As she begins to fall, her enemy springs back up to deliver a rising left hook to the underside of her chin, knocking the large woman out.
As the entire exchange happens in the span of a few blinks of an eye, the other three look on in amazement. Bruce looks between the three of them and asks, again in their own tongue, "Who's next?"
The three Amazons decide to attack as one. The woman closest to him (red hair and tanned skin), goes for a leg sweep, as the attacker to his right (the tallest and most muscular Asian woman he has ever seen) tries to deliver a roundhouse to his head, while the one to his left (Middle Eastern) and furthest way simply attempts to rush him. Batman's response to this is to leap up over the leg sweep while somehow spinning himself backwards. It keeps his body and head under the kick, before he throws out both legs into a two footed kick. It landed right on the chest of the woman before him, before rolling back to his feet and using the charging Amazon's own momentum to throw her into her Asian friend. The redhead recovers quickly though and returns with a powerful kick to his ribs. It sends him backwards spinning to the ground in front of his dining table.
As the hero uses his chair as a crutch to pull himself up, the three woman begin to advance on him again, with the Middle Easter Amazon saying, "You can't win this fight."
Batman gives them a slightly deranged smile. "I've fought a real Amazon before. You've got nothing on her." Then he throws the chair right at the center of the woman's face.
While she easily catches the furniture, Batman capitalizes on the distraction to pull out two hidden knives and throw them at his other two attackers, hitting each of them in the leg. The Amazon holding the chair glances at both her allies as they go down. She tosses the piece of furniture aside just in time to duck out of the way - the man she was sent here to capture is now flying at her in a running jump kick. She turns to him and goes on the attack, throwing out a series of vicious punches and kicks. All of them, her very frustrating opponent narrowly avoids. It has been so long since the Dark Knight fought outside his armor he has forgotten how free and easy his movements feel without it. It's helpful when fighting the murderous blows of super strong killer women. Though his enemy continues on the offensive with no sign of tiring, eventually Batman sees the opening he was waiting for and crushes the pepper shaker in his hand (which he had somehow grabbed from the table) throwing it into her eyes. The redhead looks away, shielding her eyes from the burning powder, which is exactly what her enemy waits for. He unleashes a torrent of powerful blows across her gut, chest, and finally her face, before finally delivering a backwards spinning roundhouse kick which finally puts her down.
The hero doesn't get much of a chance to catch his breath though, before the Asian Amazon finally manages to pull the serrated blade out of her thigh and throws herself at him. She knocks Batman to the ground and brings the knife down, aimed directly at his heart. The Dark Knight is just barely able to catch her arm with his, but with the difference of strength, it is a losing battle. The blade slowly begins to sink closer to his chest. His assailant's eyes are wide and filled with murder. Thinking quickly, he collects a good bit of saliva in his mouth then spits it out with surprising speed an accuracy, hitting her right in the eye. When she involuntarily turns away, Batman has time to roll out from under her. He then quickly jumps to his feet, kicks the knife out her hand, and slams the heel of his shoe into the back of her head.
Batman then takes a moment to breathe before turning to his last attacker, still on the floor trying to pull the knife out of her knee joint. She tries to get into a defensive stance when he approaches, but Bruce simply kicks the end of the protruding blade. The wave of pain which that causes sends her back to the ground. He then grabs her leg and uses it to slam her back first into the wall three times before he lets her drop to the ground, unconscious.
The battle over and his family beginning to stir again, Batman walks back to the dark skinned woman and takes her communicator from her. He holds it to his face, hits the button, and says, "Whoever this is, you've just made a very dangerous enemy."
The only response is a crack on the other side and then static. Putting the communicator aside, Batman uses some smelling salts to revive his guests. They all come around slowly, confused when they finally do.
"Whoa, looks like we missed the party," Dick says, getting back to his feet.
Bruce rubs his ribs and looks around, asking, "Is everyone alright?"
"Yeah," Barbra says blearily as everyone nods.
"Good," Bruce says, launching into the orders. "Dick, Stephanie, and Cassandra, I want you to search and restrain our party crashers before throwing them in a holding cell. They have meta strength so deal with them accordingly. Barbara, I would like you and Tim to go over the manor's security system and find out how they got in unannounced."
As the group disperses to take care of the tasks they've been given, Bruce moves over to where Alfred is sitting, taking longer than the others to fight off the remnants of the drug. Bruce helps him up, and then into a chair. "Easy, old friend."
"I am quite well, Master Bruce. A slight bump on the head, but that's all."
"Still, you could have a concussion. Just sit still for a moment."
Bruce did the same, reaching for his glass of wine and taking a large gulp. "It is a pity the dinner was ruined. I cooked Ms Gordon's favorite," Alfred laments.
"We'll order takeout, something simpler for everyone."
"I am quite capable-"
"You've just been knocked out, Alfred, I'm not letting you anywhere near the kitchen for at least another two hours."
"There must be something useful I can do."
"There is. Could you please contact Diana at the Themysciran embassy, and tell her we have a problem?"
TBC. Reviews are always welcome.