It was quiet, almost to the point of silence, as the one less known as Dr. Victor Fries was working in his laboratory. Besides the occasional ruckus from the henchmen, the cold-hearted man was left to his own devices. He had been trying fruitlessly to make the mileage to his cryo-suit longer lasting, but was having no such luck in the matter.
"Damn!" He growled, banging a fist against the countertop, only to let out more profanity as a beaker rattled off the surface and plunged to its demise.
Just as he was about to resume working, however, a picture on the room's intercom system blipped on and a frazzled looking henchman started to sputter unintelligibly.
"Out with it, fool!" The iceman exclaimed, having no patience for moronic underlings while he worked.
"Boss, something-someone-something just fell through the roof! We don't know what to do with it!" Curiosity instantly snapped the doctor out of his brooding and made him wonder enough to want to see the anomaly, himself.
"Don't touch it," were his simple instructions, before turning the monitor off, and storming into the front room that usually functioned as a lounge for any unoccupied flunkies.
Surly enough, glass littered the floor from the broken skylight and his men were gathered around the cause of the commotion.
"What is it? Get out of my way!" He called, shoving a few of the gawking men out of the way, before his own expression turned quizzical.
There, lying curled up into a ball, violently quaking, was a woman. Frost clung to her white-blonde hair and her lips and fingertips were dangerously close to being just as blue as Freeze's skin. All she wore was a tank top and a pair of shorts and the rest of her visible skin had turned a startling violet color. Every conscious person in the room simply stared at the shivering mess, not knowing what to do, until the iceman himself bent down and scooped her up. The other men watched their employer's retreating back, only to give a start and scramble as he shouted,
"Get back to work!" from over his shoulder.
The frigid man didn't know if he wanted to believe what had just happened. Just as he had escaped from that infernal Arkham Asylum, and was learning how to cope with the-hopefully temporary-loss of his cherished Nora, a shadow of his past had returned to haunt him.
I thought she had been tucked away at a private college. He mused, closely watching the woman's heart rate as the even, albeit slow, beeping of her heart resonated through the room. The only choice Freeze had had was to place her into a healing module and wait it out, to see if she would regain consciousness.
"Just as scrawny as I remember you." He sighed; the monitor was reporting a mere 120 pounds and a height of 5'6" for the twenty three year old.
If she had a smaller build, it'd be fine, but she's too lanky. Nora would be fussing over her, the whole time. The iceman smiled, at the thought, only for it to become bitter in his mouth as he felt the absence of his wife. He took to stewing and remembering the times they'd visit her family's beach house, where he and the small woman-a small girl, then-had first met each other.
She had called him "Uncle Victor," right from the start. She had always been a feisty little thing and he vaguely recalled her adventurous spirit ending her up in the emergency room, more than once.
Freeze's reminiscing was cut short when a buzzing signaled that the module was draining. To Freeze's mild surprise, his niece had already gotten shakily to her feet and was removing the plastic facemask from her head.
When the glass cylinder began to rise, however, she didn't seem so confident. She stumbled forward, once or twice, before noticing another presence in the room. The woman froze, eyes widening, then limped towards him faster than expected. Freeze would have thought to defend himself if not for the smile plastered to her face.
"Uncle Victor!" She cried, hugging him rather tightly, for someone her size. Freeze was extremely uncomfortable by the casual display of affection. He was confused enough concerning how his niece recognized him and that she didn't seem fazed by the hazardous cold radiating from him, so he didn't push the trembling thing away.
"It's good to see you, Elodie." He greeted, his strained voice showing his discomfort. Fortunately, Elodie noticed this and took a hasty step backwards, out of respect for her uncle.
"It's good to see you, too." Elodie replied, a little sadness in her eyes, even though she tried not to show it. They were both trying not to think about Nora, and the emotion it provoked seeped throughout the room, until Elodie provided a distraction.
"It's cold in here." She observed, suddenly noticing that her teeth were chattering and her fingertips were beginning to turn blue again. As if on cue, a clueless henchman wondered into the room, staring down at the clipboard in his hand.
"Give me your jacket."
"What?" The man seemed confused as he looked from the small, shivering young woman, to the blue-skinned man who could have decided his fate in the next instant.
Said blue-skinned man narrowed his eyes at the incomprehensive underling and made a mental note to recruit more competent henchmen, sometime in the near future.
"Your jacket." He replied, his voice rumbling in an authoritative tone. Elodie frowned at the exchange; was her uncle bullying someone out of their jacket, just because he worked for him?
It's not his fault Uncle Victor has this medical condition. She huffed, about to ask the man to keep his jacket, when it was hurriedly shoved into her hands.
"Oh." Even though she knew it was wrong, the jacket was exceptionally warm, so Elodie was helpless to do anything besides put it on.
"Thank you!" She called to the retreating man, waving for emphasis, before turning and smiling at her uncle. For a moment, her smile diminished, taking some of the warmth of the room with it.
"I didn't interrupt your work, did I, Uncle?" The genuine concern in her voice almost made some of the ice chip away from Freeze's monotonous emotional shield. Almost.
"No, child, it's fine. What I want to know is how you ended up falling through my skylight." More color faded from Elodie's face as she took the nearest seat, feeling spent and unfocused.
The whole ordeal had her more shaken up than she was making known, but the young woman was determined to tell someone, sure that verbalizing what had happened would make her feel better.
"I was sleeping in my dorm room. I remember briefly waking up, before something hard hit me in the head and knocked me out. Where I woke up was slightly warmer than here, but I was suspended over a vat of freezing water. There was ice in the water, for Pete's sake.
Then that monster showed up and started asking me questions about you." She scrambled for words as her uncle's eyes narrowed angrily.
"I didn't tell him anything, I swear! Then, every time I refused to tell him anything, he dunked me into the vat. I don't know how or why I'm still alive; even the van they used to drive me here was refrigerated. I guess I'm just lucky that it's almost the summer." Freeze was growing increasingly angered as his niece recounted her first few hours in Gotham City.
There are only a few big names in town that would resort to torture, but the refrigerated truck helps narrow it down. The iceman turned his attention back to Elodie, who had wrapped her arms around herself to ward off the memory of freezing water. His main focus, at that very moment, was revenge.
"What did he look like, Elodie?" He asked, his voice cold and distant as anger heated his temperament. She shook her head, eyes widening, before standing to try to match gazes with him.
"He said he'd kill you, if I opened my mouth." She whispered with widened eyes, her tormented expression making her look even more horror-stricken. This mattered little to Freeze, right then, as anyone could see on his face. He usually didn't interfere with the other criminal masterminds of the city, but this was personal, which gave little room for discussion.
"I highly doubt he could. Now, unless you want me to put you on lock-down, until I find him myself, I suggest you tell me." Elodie knew that arguing with her uncle would be pointless. He was almost as stubborn as her Aunt Nora had been-almost-which meant she'd never win a verbal confrontation with him. Sighing quietly, Elodie nodded in peaceful submission, her anxiety slowly mounting.
"Well he was really short and round-" Freeze had already stepped into his cryo-suit, and had started for the door, when Elodie stepped into his way. There was little she could do, just then, but tagging along was one of them.
"Take me with you." She begged, clasping her hands together in a pleading gesture. She could see her uncle's reluctance to say no, even with his frigid demeanor, and placed her final blow strategically.
"Would you trust those guys out there with your favorite niece?" For some reason-maybe, because those emerald green puppy dog eyes had found a chink in his armor-he found himself agreeing with her.
She's my only niece, and Nora would be irate, if I left her with those idiots. What else could he do?
"If you put some proper clothes on, then you can wait in the truck." He instructed, grunting in surprise as she attacked him with another hug. Patting her back awkwardly, the iceman watched as Elodie ran off to scavenge for clothes, a yelp escaping her as she slipped and slid down the majority of the hall.
So, this is my first fanfiction. Gulp. I wrote the first few chapters, maybe one or two years ago, but they were horrid and I had to clean them up. This is pretty much purely for fun, for me to write, so enjoy and stay tuned for the next update! Nothing much else to say, really.
Disclaimer: I don't own Batman or any of his rogue buddies. Sad face.