I do not own any of the DC characters named within, and are only using them for a tale crafted for entertainment purposes only.

Batman: Inverse Theory

By LJ58


He stepped down the slick, muddy bank, his steps made awkward by his bulky isolation suit, and the oxygen tanks strapped on his back.

Even through the hood on his head, he could smell the reek of the murky, green water before him that looked to almost be bubbling. The smell was, he did not exaggerate, dreadful.

There were times that he really hated his life.

Well, there were a lot of times when he hated his life.

His job.

His dead-end existence.

He didn't even have a girlfriend. Not one he could keep. Which was a major reason why he was out here on a weekend, scooping up someone else's mess while his usual partner had bailed to make out with the shapely blonde he had been crowing about all week.

Even as he had mocked him, of course, telling him an ugly loser like himself didn't have any chance of ever getting such a girl. Or any girl.

Jerking on the long hose that was attached to the small tanker truck that would be pumping the small pond clean soon enough, he growled as he realized there was a kink in the old hose, and he half-turned, and tried to shake it free.

Even as he did, he felt one boot slide, and in spite of his grip on the kinked hose, he ended up sliding down the bank, perilously close to the edge of the murky pond where the chemical soup had been dumped by some company.


He caught himself just at the edge of the bank, and swore as his gloved hand tightened on the fat hose.

Right before the kink suddenly straightened out, giving just enough slack to end up plunging him down face first in the reeking water. He barely had time to give an abortive cry before he plunged straight down into the water, and vanished with loud splash.

The weight of his gear carried him right to the bottom of the nearly twenty foot deep hole filled with contaminated water, and while he had an oxygen tank, it was not designed for diving. His suit began to fill with water almost the moment he fell into the pond.

He struggled madly, feeling the burning as the water saturated his clothing beneath his containment suit, and tried in vain to rise. He belatedly realized he had only one way to free himself before he likely ended up dead.

He tore open the bulky containment suit, shoving off the tanks strapped to his back, and then pushed for the surface with desperate kicks as he tried to hold his breath after one last gulp of air filled with muddy water. He didn't dare imagine what else might be filling his mouth as he tasted the brackish water that filled his nose and mouth as he pushed for the surface.

Clambering to the bank, he clutched at the muddy slope, dragging himself up by using the fallen hose to pull himself back to the drier, and more stable bank. Rolling over, he dropped onto his back, and stared up at the setting sun on the artificial horizon.

Another crappy ending to a perfectly crappy day.

What a joke!

He started to push himself up, trying to figure out what the boss would say about the loss of that suit, and a new oxygen tank when he saw a bizarre sight that had him gasping for breath as shock numbed his wits for a moment.

Sitting up, he held up his hands, and stared hard at the skin that was completely, and suddenly white. Not Caucasian white. More like chalky white. Sick as a dog, and two inches from death white. He frowned, and jerked down his sodden work shirt, and saw his pale chest. His pale, hairless chest.

Every inch of skin, so far as he could tell, was the same sickly, hairless pallor.

Rising to his feet, he staggered over to the cab of his truck, and stared at himself in the driver's-side mirror.

He blinked.


A third time.

His lips were red as blood, and seemed not unlike a ghastly wound cut into his pale face. His hair was green as grass, and looked as if someone had dyed it that way, it was so bright.

He blinked again.

Then sniggered.

The snigger turned into a giggle.

A shrill, slightly manic sound.

Then he began to laugh.

Shrill, howling bellows that carried over the growing night as he turned bloodshot eyes on the city before him. The city that had damned him. Mocked him. The city that destroyed him.

Even as his laughter gradually tapered off, a cold, manic smirk etched into his pale visage as he decided he was going to return the favor. Somehow, he was going to repay the city. Every stinking, perfect man, woman, and child that mocked him was going to pay. Especially the women.

He would see to it.


He chortled again, and then climbed into the truck, the hose still dangling from the pump, and drove away into the night.