"Doctor Channing!" A voice echoed off of the walls in a dreary hallway.
A woman, of about the age of 25, turned around to see who was calling her name. Her golden hues resided on a man in a security outfit, but to be more exact on the name tag. In bold white letters it read Arthur Jones.
"How can I help you, Mister Jones?" She questioned as she pushed her glasses up on the bridge of her nose. "Is something wrong with one of the patients?"
Mister Jones scoffed slightly at the thought of there being something wrong with one of the patients. They were in an asylum; there was something wrong with all of the patients. Despite this string of thought, he shook his head before speaking.
"There's a new, err, old patient that was put in here again," He spoke slightly hesitantly and handed a file over to the doctor, "Strange ordered me to hand you the information on this patient and that you were to be his psychologist."
"Professor Strange?" Channing questioned. "I thought Warden Sharp was in charge of this place."
Mister Jones rolled his eyes, "You have a lot to learn about this place, Doctor Channing."
"Hmm…Very well," she spoke as she redirected her eyes to the folder.
Looking through her black framed glasses, Doctor Channing read aloud Edward Nigma. She then looked up at the security guard with scrutinizing eyes.
"Now, I only just got here, but I'm assuming that you had an encounter with this patient before, am I correct?"
"Yes, he's one-." Mister Jones was cut off by a wave of a hand from Doctor Channing.
"I don't want to know," she shook her head. "My method for treating the mentally ill is unconventional. I don't read anything about the patient besides their name. I myself will make all notes on their mental state and then refer to what others have seen before." She paused for a second. "It helps build a sort of trust between the patient and doctor." Doctor Channing gave a small smile towards Mister Jones. "After all, if they want my help they'll have to trust me. Now, would you please show me the way to Mister Nigma's cell? I'm afraid that a week of working here hasn't really made me all that familiar with all of the hallways." She laughed nervously and scratched the bag of her head.
"Only if I can leave right afterward," Mister Jones let a sigh of relief as Doctor Channing gave a subtle nod of her head. "Alright, follow me. Stay close, you never know if Scarecrow or Joker broke out."
"Who?" She tilted her head curiously.
"You're kidding right? You don't know who either of those two bastards are?"
"No…" She shook her head, "I just moved to Gotham after I got the job here, so I don't know too much about the crime here."
Mister Jones grimaced at the thought of how careless it was of her to move to a city that she barely knew. He thought that she should at least know about some of the freaks here.
"Well, Scarecrow used to be a psychologist like you. Except he went insane making a fear toxin."
"What's fear toxin?" Even though Doctor Channing just moved here, she knew that it couldn't be a good thing.
"Scarecrow can spray you with it then it'll make your worst fears come to life," he shuttered at an unfriendly memory. "If it's a strong enough concentration you'll go insane. Then there's Joker. I'll tell you he's the nuttiest case we have. He just gets a kick of seeing people suffer. We honestly have no idea what's wrong with him. There's no hope."
"What are their real names?"
"Scarecrow's Jonathan Crane. No one knows who The Joker is," Mister Jones pointed down the hallway. "Rid—I mean Nigma's cell is the last one on the right. The cells near him are empty, so you shouldn't have a problem with the other patients. Why do you want to even go to his cell? You can just have him go to your office."
"Like an animal, people feel more comfortable in a place they're familiar with, Mister Jones," Doctor Channing smiled at him. "I myself don't feel too comfortable here since I'm not that familiar with it."
"Don't say that out loud!" Jones scolded her. "If one of these nuts hear you say that you're dead."
Doctor Channing shrugged, "I assure you I'll be fine, Mister Jones. Thank you for the warning, though. And thank you for showing me the way. It was nice meeting you."
Mister Jones nodded to accept her thanks and turned around quickly. He was out of sight in a matter of seconds, this of which caused Doctor Channing to sigh. This Edward Nigma, whoever he was, couldn't have been that friendly of a fellow and must have caused some foul memories.
She shook her head. She can't make any pre evaluations on a patient. Nodding to herself she walked over to the cell at the end and peered in. A man was writing on the wall, with what she assumed to be a marker. He had his back to her. She glanced at his surroundings. There seemed to be endless amounts of riddles. Doctor Channing smiled to herself. Riddles and puzzles have always been a hobby of hers. Perhaps she could use this to relate to her patient.
She cleared her throat and spoke, "Are you Mister Nigma?"
The man stopped writing on the wall and turned his head so he could hear better. Though, he didn't show his face to her yet.
"That is I," he spoke in a slightly arrogant tone. Doctor Channing took a mental note, but didn't deduct as to why it was arrogant. It could just be his voice, after all. "I'm assuming that Neanderthal, Strange, assigned you to be my psychologist."
"That's correct," Doctor Channing smiled at him. "I'm Shar Channing. Feel free to call me whatever you want to call me."
"Whatever I want to call you?" A sly smirk crept onto his face. "Very well, simpleton."
Doctor Channing flinched at the cruel name, but decided she fell into that one. Looking over she noticed a chair against the wall and grabbed it to sit on.
"Would you mind if I sat here and spoke with you for a while, Mister Nigma?"
Mister Nigma stood up and turned around showing Shar his face, "Only if you can answer my riddle."
With enthusiasm, Shar nodded, "That sounds reasonable."
Mister Nigma paced back and forth, causing Shar to watch him more intensely as he spoke, "Riddle me this! I start with the letter 'e' and end with the letter 'e' and I usually contain 1 letter, but I am not the letter 'e.' What am I?" He looked over at Doctor Channing with a smug look. She couldn't possibly get it right, now could she?
"An envelope," She spoke with the same smile on her face. "You are an envelope."
Mister Nigma's face dropped, "What…? How did…Very well, that was an easy one." His face turned slightly red with anger, but he kept it in and sat on his bed. "I suppose you knew I was The Riddler and you decided to look up the riddles online so you could beat me! You know I hate cheaters!"
"The Riddler?" Doctor Channing tilted her head. "I'm afraid I didn't know that."
Mister Nigma glared at this simpleton. How could she have not heard of him before? He was only the most intelligent being in all of Gotham! She must have really had the intelligence of a disabled chimp.
Doctor Channing frowned as if reading his mind, "I'm sorry I haven't heard of you. I actually just moved to Gotham City and I haven't read your file yet." She held it up. "I'm not planning on reading it either."
Mister Nigma's temper started to simmer off as he came to this realization. However, that still doesn't excuse herself from not knowing about him. He looked over at the simpleton and noticed that she was twirling her caramel hair as if she were deep in thought. A slight smirk appeared on his face. At least she had the ability to think.
She looked over at him, snapping out of her trance and spoke, "Can you tell me more about you being The Riddler, Mister Nigma? I understand if you won't want to tell me." She diverted her eyes to the side hoping that he would tell her. She really didn't want to have to read up on him.
Mister Nigma stood up with a high spirit. "The Riddler is the most intelligent person Gotham has ever seen. I leave riddles behind so the cops can solve them with their primitive minds. Though, they rarely do. This makes it only easier for me to commit the next crime."
"So the riddles are a hint as to where you'll be next?"
He nodded slowly, not all that grateful that he was interrupted, but went on. "Then, there's the Dark Knight. He's the only one of the morons who can solve my riddles." He paused as he felt his blood boil.
Doctor Channing looked at him. She could tell he was growing angry. She made a mental note that he had a short temper, but was intelligent at the same time. This provided her a bit of relief. She could handle people who were mentally disabled, but those who were just flat out stupid annoyed her.
"Can you tell me who the Dark Knight is, Mister Nigma? What do you think of him?"
"The Dark Knight, who is known at Batman, is a shaved ape who goes around in a cape trying to stop crimes from happening," Mister Nigma paused for a second. "But we all know he's only making the crime rates worst."
Nigma smirked, "Through escalation."
"So when there's a vigilante, then the criminals get…" She paused looking for the right word. She wondered if the right word would be better or worse. It depended on which side was on the view point. "More destructive, more intelligent, just more dangerous." She looked at him while she saw a smirk on his face. Doctor Channing mentally shook her head as she realized she must have stroked his ego.
"Doctor Channing," the woman looked up seeing a bald man walking towards her. "What are you doing here talking to Edward Nigma?"
Doctor Channing stood up, "I was getting to know Mister Nigma better, Professor Strange."
Strange glared over at Nigma and then at Channing, "Why don't you evaluate him in your office. Or is it going to waste?"
"N-no, Professor Strange," Doctor Channing looked down, intimidated by this man. "It's just that…" She looked over at Mister Nigma. "I've found that a person is more comfortable in their surroundings that they are familiar with than in a completely new setting. It's seen with different species of animals and-."
"I do not want you changing things here in Arkham, Doctor Channing," Professor Strange looked down upon her in more ways than one. "You're lucky we hired you with your unconventional ways of treating your patients. The only reason why you were hired is because there was no one else. Do not do anything to disappoint us or you will be out of here on onto the streets of Gotham. I hope to not see you here again, Doctor Channing."
With that, the man, known as Hugo Strange, walked away from the prisoner and the doctor. She clenched her teeth and tightened her fists, causing the folder in her hands to crumble. Tears threatened to fall from her eyes.
"I should have just gone into animal behavior," she muttered and then turned to Mister Nigma, avoiding any eye contact. "I apologize for this unconventional way to try and help you Mister Nigma…I'll read your file and then we can start the therapy sessions tomorrow in a more conventional manor…Good day." She started to walk away but was stopped by the sound of his voice.
"I'll meet in your office, simpleton," Mister Nigma spoke. "But if you read my file or do anything else that's 'conventional,' you won't make any progress."
Doctor Channing smiled to herself and turned back to face Mister Nigma, "I understand Mister Nigma. Thank you…"
She walked off, her heals were clicking on the cold floor as she did so. Her long hair flowed behind her as she looked at the signs in the hallways. All the while, she ignored some cat calls from various patients in the facility.
An hour or so passed when she came to a stop, "Now where am I?" She questioned as she looked around. "Now's the time I could use Mister Jones."
"Now, you'll listen to what I say Patient X," Hugo Strange's voice sounded.
"I suppose I'll just ask him," Shar sighed and began to walk towards where the voice was coming from.
However, as soon as she started walking she froze in terror. An animalistic scream rang throughout the halls. It sounded like whatever it was in an incredible amount of pain. Strange's voice sounded again, but the words were blurred through the screaming. Slowly and quietly, Shar crept towards the source. A glass window was near, so she crept down, knowing the Strange was in the room that it was coming from. Quickly, she peered through the window. Her hand clasped over her mouth to keep her from screaming at the sight. She fell back down and leaned her back against the wall. Her chest heaved up and down.
"Wh-what kind of monster is that?" She whispered to herself.
The mental images flashed before her eyes. A man, who was at least ten feet tall, screamed while he was on an examining table. Muscles bulged to the point where his skin was ripping. Crimson blood leaked from the rips. His eyes were either white or a bright green, she couldn't tell. All she knew was that it wasn't human. That or it was a human that was changed through some awful experiment.
Strange's voice sounded once more. Shar snapped out of her fear and quickly made her way out of the area. Whatever it was, she knew she couldn't be caught. Once she knew she was a good ear shot away from Strange and whatever was with him, she burst into a full sprint. She ignored the pain that the heels caused her; she just wanted to be away from it.
A glowing sign that said exit was above one of the door ways. Quickly, she threw it open and found herself in the parking lot. She ran to her car and unlocked it through the remote. Channing opened the door with great haste and climbed in the vehicle, slamming the door shut after her. Shar's forehead rested on the steering wheel as she tried to regain her breath. She glanced at the time. It was time for her to get off work, so it wouldn't be unusual if she were to leave. Shar placed the key in and started the car, after a few attempts all be it.
-Time Skip- [Double space doesn't want to show on internet pages]
After what seemed like an eon, Shar finally made it to her apartment building. It wasn't the cheapest place, but it wasn't the most expensive place either. Needless to say she didn't have to worry too much about being murdered right in front of her place of residence.
Shar opened the door and shut it behind her, locking it after she did so. She dropped her purse on a kitchen counter and fell on her couch. Her eyes clenched shut as she tried to get the memories out of her head.
Strange's voice echoed through her mind. Patient X. The crimson blood. She shook as she remembered the horrific things. Shar grabbed a cushion near her and screamed furiously, kicking her legs as she did so.
"Who the Hell is Patient X!" She shouted, though it was muffled by the pillow.
She shot her head up and ran to her laptop that was on a dining table. She typed furiously away into Google's search engine. Though her hopes were small, perhaps she could find just one thing about a Patient X. Her eyes grew lifeless as she only saw things about the X-Files or different movies. There was nothing about this patient that was in Arkham.
She chewed her lip as she thought. Mindlessly she started to doodle on a piece of paper that was near her. Her mind snapped and she dropped the pencil she was using. She ran to her bedroom and pulled out another laptop, an older one at that. She set it on the counter away from the one she was previously working on. Then, she started it and went back to her original laptop. She typed away commands and glanced up at her older laptop as it started to play music. She smirked at her success of hacking into it.
"Who knew having a dad that was a hacker would be such a good thing?" She laughed to herself for a minute. "Now…I'll just have to figure out what kind of security Arkham's using. Surely they have something on Patient X in their record…" She tapped her fingers on the table. "If I'm caught it could be a lot…I can't do it when I'm working…I shouldn't do it at home either, or on my computer for that matter."
Shar stood up and walked to her bedroom. She glanced around and closed the blinds to her window, so no peeping Toms would see her. After opening her wardrobe, she threw off her more formal clothes and grabbed some sleek black ones. Shar carefully put them on and looked in the mirror. She sighed as her figure had very little curves.
"At least I'm thin," she ran a hand through her hair. "Now I just need a mask of some sort."
She dug through her wardrobe and through multiple boxes until she found one with various costumes. She pulled out what looked like a cheap domino mask. Knowing that it would have to do she put it on and glanced at the time. It'd be getting dark any minute now, that's good. She'd need it to be if her plan was going to work.
Pulling a hood up, as it was part of her shirt; she kept her head down and made her way outside. Carefully, she walked into her car, making sure no one noticed her. Once she knew she was safe, she started it and made her way back to the asylum.
Once she got about a half mile away, she parked her car and locked it. Not that it would stop anyone from breaking in. She inwardly sighed know full well that her car may be stolen when she gets back. She kept her eyes down, hoping to avoid anyone from seeing her masked face as she walked to the asylum.
Keeping to the shadows, that the eerie trees provided, Shar eventually made it to the Asylum. Her eye glanced up towards the watch towers. If she were to be spotted she may be shot and killed. Shaking her head, she knew she couldn't risk that. Her eyes glanced over to a sewer outlet. Smirking she snuck her way over there and climbed inside.
"Ah, it smells horrible in here," she clenched her nose shut with her right hand and took a flashlight out of her pocket. She turned it on and looked around. "Should have thought this through better, I have no idea where I'm going…"
Cautiously, she took some steps forward and read some of the signs that were on the sewer's walls. Luckily, everything seemed to be label with where the buildings were, just in case there had to be work done. Shar inwardly cheered as she noticed a sign that read 'Maximum Security.'
Her hands grasped the ladder that lead up to the building, but stopped as she thought she heard something. She turned around and tilted her head as she shined her flash light in the direction she thought she heard something.
"Is someone there?" She called out hoping it was just her imagination. "Must just be my imagination. Oh well." She smiled to herself thinking she was rather silly for thinking someone was there. "Better get going." With that she climbed out of the sewer and into the Maximum Security building.
She glanced around; making sure no one was around and pushed herself up out of the sewers. With great stealth, she walked down the various hallways of the maximum security building searching for a room with a computer. Upon entering a room, she peered into it. It took several attempts before she actually found one.
"Now to get into the data base," she murmured to herself and began to type away. She cursed to herself for the keyboard being so loud.
"Well, well," a voice sounded from behind her. "It seems as if someone has already beaten me to the network."
Shar turned around quickly as her pulse started to race. She was caught. If it was a guard they might shoot her. If it was Strange, well she didn't want to think about that. Wait-…Did they just say?
"Nigma?" She whispered to herself.
"Hmm?" the person in a prisoner outfit raised an eyebrow. "So you know of my great self? Now, who are you? That is the question." He smirked coyly. "By the looks of it you aren't a patient here, are you?"
Shar glanced around. If she spoke too much he may recognize her voice. That would most definitely blow her cover. She had no choice; she'd have to disguise her voice.
"No, I'm not," a British accent escaped from her lips. She inwardly cried tears of joy since a British accent always makes a person sound more intelligent, always.
"Then, what are you doing in a place such as this?" Nigma took a few steps forward.
Shar turned her back to him and continued what she was doing, "Hacking into the database."
Nigma smirked for a moment and then frowned, "You're doing it wrong."
"Give it to me!" He hissed through clenched teeth and practically shoved Shar to the side. He messed around for a little bit and then looked at her. "I suppose it's only natural for someone of your intelligence to not understand how to hack into these primitive security systems. Still, I would have even expected an infant to be able to do this."
Shar's eye twitched at the rapid fire insults the famed Riddler shot at her, but she chose to ignore them. After all, he did just do her a favor.
"Thanks…" She got back on the computer and started searching file through file.
"Just what is it that you're looking for?"
Shar looked over at him and then at the computer screen, debating whether or not she should tell him. If she did then that could lead to the both of them getting in trouble, but he could know something about it. She scoffed in her mind at how a patient could know about something so terrible. So Channing decided to keep it away from Edward Nigma.
"Are you going to answer my question?" Nigma clenched his teeth together in annoyance.
Shar continued to look at the computer screen, "What's the fun in me giving you the answer? Shouldn't you find it for yourself?"
Her eyes landed on a file that read X. She licked her lips in anticipation. Though, her time was running short, she'd have to read it later. Her hands slipped into a pocket and drew out a flash drive and inserted it into the computer. With a click, drag, and drop the file was copied over. She quickly got out of everything and stood from her seat and began to run out.
"You better get back to your cell, security will be here soon, Riddler," she flashed a small smile at him and ran through the hallways to escape back into the sewer.
A small yelp emitted from her lips that was muffled by a gloved hand. Sweat began to run down her forehead as she felt her anxiety level rise to a dangerous level. Her eyes glanced upward to meet those of a stormy gray. Whoever grabbed her propelled the two of them to a higher and more private place of the Asylum.
"What were you doing?" His voice sounded as if he were gargling marbles. He removed his hand around her mouth, but held her so she couldn't run.
Shar looked at him and noticed a mask that had pointed ear that somehow resembled a bat. Batman!
"Answer me!" His grip tightened on her.
She gulped, "I-I was looking for some information on a patient X…I-I saw some sort of monster and I needed to find out what it was."
She nodded weakly, "I-it was huge and its eyes were either white or glowed green…"
"Bane," the Batman spoke to himself. "Why were you working with Riddler?"
"I-I wasn't, he just showed up. I'm not sure why."
"Must be planning an escape," his grip loosened. "Oracle, I need you to search through Arkham's files on a patient X."
"Oracle?" Shar questioned, but zipped her lips as the Dark Knight sent her a threatening glare.
"Thanks…" He looked over at Shar. "Follow me. You don't want to go through the sewers to escape here. Killer Croc's down there."
"Who?" She questioned and ran after Batman as he started to stalk off. Her question was unanswered, though.
After only a few minutes time the two were outside of the asylum. Shar was thankful she didn't have to go through the stench filled sewers, let alone finding out who Killer Croc was. The guy didn't sound all that pleasant.
"Don't let me catch you doing something like this again," the Dark Knight warned her. "If you do anything wrong, I'll find you."
"I won't," she nodded at him and smiled slightly. "Promise."
With that, the Dark Knight vanished, leaving Shar Channing to fend for herself. It didn't matter, though. She could fight in self-defense if need be. The only thing that worried her was how she was going to get home if in fact someone took her car. Screw that, how would she get to work in the morning?
Her eyes lit up as she saw her car right where she left it. Her legs carried her to a full on sprint and pulled herself into her car, as if it were a form of gravity. Starting the ignition, Shar drove off towards her home, ready to figure out what exactly was in the X file.
The luminous screen of the laptop cast a glow upon Shar's face as she read through file X. Tears coursed down her face in sorrow. Her lip quivered ever so slightly as she learnt of the cruelty. How could a person, no matter how evil they are, be treated in such a manor?
"A chemical is being, Venom or Titan, is being forced into Bane…?" She questioned and wiped away her tears. "He's the only one that's survived it…That would make him the twenty-fourth test subject…What a horrible thing to do to someone…It has to be stopped…"
Strange's voice echoed in her mind. Patient X. Crimson blood. Patient X. Crimson blood.