A/N: I am not a native English speaker so sorry if there're any grammar/vocabulary mistakes :)
Opinions and reviews are very much welcomed :)
1. And She Went Down.
The police station looked like shit and she wasn't surprised. After months of being controlled by Mr. Destroy-it-all, like Jane usually called him, police stations all around the city had been burnt down to the ground. Hers had been particularly 'lucky' and the whole structure was going to be demolished to build a new building instead. The façade was still up and apart from minor breaches it could be said that it looked relatively fine, but the inside was completely destroyed and the main walls were ruined. Jane got to what had been her office and picked up the few useful things that she could find: ammo and chewing gum, that was all. She realised that it looked like at some point someone had decided to have a little party in that area; either that or her workmates had been more sneaky than usual with the alcohol. Both options were possible. After inspecting the place, Jane went to the central room to disconnect the radio. She had been instructed to do so because they didn't want the wrong people to enter the building and listen to whatever they had to say before the whole thing was knocked down. She pulled from the cables one by one, accomplishing one of the dreams that she had had since she first entered the police: getting rid of the annoying radio station. She had never liked the place because the only memories that popped up into her brain were stressful and chaotic. 'I don't care, I don't care and I don't care.' Jane repeated while ignoring all the calls. She felt relieved when she was done with it and slightly smiled.
'Officer Sykes here, central radio station has been disconnected,' Jane said to the still alive mini radio hanging on her shoulder.
As glad as she could be, which wasn't very, she went out and sat inside the car. At least everything has ended and there is no more stupid atomic bomb to worry about, she said to herself. Phew. The problem was that all the convicts that Bane had set free were, as just mentioned, free. The first order that most police officers had received had been to aid civilians, but they all knew that sooner or later they were going to have to bring those convicts back to jail again, and that was going to be hard, very hard. But Jane tried not to think too much about it and forced herself to relax for a few seconds in the car. For the first time after all that huge mess, she was starting to realise that she had survived. It wasn't something very simple to comprehend taking into account that most of her companions had died or disappeared without leaving any trace and that she didn't have any idea of where her few friends were. However, there she was, sitting in her car, chewing strawberry bubblegum and waiting for orders. Jane hit the wheel and took a deep breath. 'I'm here, I'm here…' she whispered.
'Officers required in the town hall area,' a male voice came out of the radio on her shoulder.
'Sykes. I'm on my way.'
Jane pushed the pedal and started driving. There weren't many cars in the deserted empty streets because the traffic hadn't been reestablished yet. It felt entertaining and scary at the same time. Jane thought that it could stay like that for a while before it came back to its normal chaotic state. The officer saw some people going out of their houses for the first time in months, some looked pale and terrified; some were happy to be able to be out again without being scared of being shot to death or caught in an explosion. One of them specially caught her attention. It was an old lady, she was stepping outside her home very carefully and slowly, her face was disconcerted. Jane rolled down the window and lowered the speed.
'It's ok to go out during daylight, ma'am,' she told her while passing by her side, 'but just make sure that you are not alone, alright?'
The elder woman looked at her scared, turned around and locked the door behind her. Jane sighed and accelerated again. She couldn't blame the woman for that, she understood that after all that had happened it wasn't very easy to trust anybody. Jane was happy that she didn't find anyone else in the way to the town hall and that ambulances were back to work.
The officer parked next to another bunch of police cars and went to talk to the person in charge. The situation around her wasn't very exhilarating. There were injured bodies everywhere and trucks loaded with corpses drove around the place every now and then being filled up with more dead people. When Jane stopped to look at the situation, she realised again about how lucky she had been and felt guilty for being alive. It wasn't a nice feeling and she wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible but she couldn't help but think that she could have been among those corpses. She shook her head and approached one of the tables with the sign of the police department on it.
'Officer Sykes. I heard you guys need help.'
The woman looked at Jane and smiled. The lady was in her fifties, her hair was dyed red and even though it was freezing cold, she was sweating from each pore of her skin.
'Yes, right. Mm, we need more units to help rebuild the inside of the town hall. You think you can do that?' she told her. It wasn't a question, it was an order, but she was pretending to be nice and calm. Jane smiled back at her, she didn't want to be rude.
Without saying anything else, she turned around and went upstairs towards the inside of the biggest building in the square, the town hall. What she found there was more of the same: dust and nice and expensive broken stuff. One of the men supervising the different emergency teams explained the situation to Jane. It seemed that the wall of one of the main rooms had been seriously damaged and it needed quick repairing, the problem was that, before that, they had to make room for the workers to actually work in it and get rid of the huge stones that were all over the place. Nice.
'You are gonna need this, lady,' another officer standing by the door gave her a half-face respirator, 'it's full of dust in there and god knows where it comes from.'
'Thanks,' she said.
Jane put on the respirator and entered the room. At the beginning it didn't look that bad, there were huge opened windows and the air was clear but when she got to the huge perforation on the wall everything changed. On the other side of the hole there was another big hole, this one going down, and it was covered by a thick cloud of some yellowish powder that didn't look very healthy.
'Holy shit, what happened here?' Jane asked to a fireman.
'It's the space between buildings, it's supposed to be empty but now it's full of pieces of both buildings that have been falling down with the explosion.'
'I don't know. People say they heard an explosion a while after the Batman and Bane went in… and well, this looks like an explosion,' he pointed at the giant broken rocks on the wall.
'Yeah, it does. So, how can I help, sir?'
'Go down and start making space for the building company to start fixing this shit,' he gave Jane a climbing harness. Fun…not. 'Tie it to this rope and down you go. There are two more officers in there already but they are too big to access some areas and check the condition of the wall,' he looked at Jane's body, making her feel uncomfortable, 'I guess you are smaller than them, you can do that. There's no risk, they say the building is not as bad as it looks.'
'Not as bad as it looks, huh?' Sure. 'What am I supposed to find?'
'More cracks, fissures... Whatever looks dangerous to you, just tell us,' he handed her a tiny walkie-talkie that she kept in her pocket.
'Well, this whole thing looks dangerous to me,' she said.
'Well, officer, this whole town looks dangerous to me and here I am.'
'I'm sorry, sir,' Jane knew it was time to shut up and started tying the rope to the harness, 'ready, sir.'
And she went down. It wasn't as dark as she had imagined and knowing that two other policemen were wandering around the place made her relax a bit more. The yellowish dusty cloud came all the way up from the bottom of the place and it made the work way harder. Jane couldn't see properly where she was putting her hands and let alone her feet so she moved as carefully as she could, feeling everything before giving any other step forward. While she kept going down, she blamed whoever had done that and wondered why she had even accepted to do the job. She sighed. She didn't have much idea about what to do if something really bad happened. A shadow approached her, it was one of the other officers.
'Here,' he gave Jane a lantern, 'a few meters down there are two big rocks, they are stable, we have checked.'
'So go between them and see where that fucking dust comes from and let's see if we can fix it.'
He started to descend even more and Jane followed him. She wasn't an expert climber but she was strong and flexible, so she managed to go down without major problems. The two rocks were indeed quite big and they blocked all the way down. The yellow floating powder was coming out of the small space between the two giant stones, the small space where she had to go through all by herself. Yay! There was a flickering light illuminating the place every now and again, it was hanging above their heads. Jane tried to look for any desperate excuse not to do it but she couldn't find any. Lots of people had already died trying to save the town; going through that space looked like an easy job compared to what other people had had to do. At least I don't have to take a jet and fly away with a nuclear bomb hanging down my ass. During just a second, Jane felt sad for that man, she had never met him but she owed him her life, she realised that she owed her life to too many people. Jane took another deep breath, though this time it didn't feel so good because the damn mask was in the way, and squeezed herself in between the rocks.
'What do you see?' the guy asked.
'Not much, this is full of crap and the rocks block the light, hold on a sec,' she turned on the lantern, 'better.'
There wasn't much to see, just more walls and a few metal beams. The walls looked ok, there weren't any cracks or broken beams, but there was something getting into Jane's nerves. It was a noise, like some kind of troublesome breathing mixed with the echo of a tin can. Weird, she thought. Jane moved the lantern around, pointing at the place where she thought the sound came from but she couldn't distinguish a thing, just bunches of some strange boxes. She approached one of the wooden cases and inspected it, it had something written on it. 'Dr. Jonathan Crane'. What the hell? She opened one of the boxes and saw that most vials were opened. It just couldn't get better.
'Hey, you there?' she yelled while holding one of the vials.
'Yeah. You found something?' the face of the officer appeared in between the rocks.
'Dr. Crazy Crane's drugs are all over the place and there are broken vials,' Jane showed the vial.
'It must have been because of the explosion. Don't move, alright? I'll go and get more people down here so we can take that shit out.'
'Roger that… Erm, hurry up, ok? This place is creeping me out.'
But she didn't get any response back. Her mask was still in place so she kept examining all the boxes to check whether there were more broken vials or not. The weird noise continued being there but she had forgotten to mention it to her new companion. I guess he would have told me if he had heard it too, right? Jane finally accepted that she was starting to panic so she sat down on the floor and tried to keep calm but, of course, couldn't. The light that came from her lantern moved from one place to another, analysing every single spot, while Jane waited to see if something happened. A few rocks moved. Huh? The woman crawled towards the rocks that had just moved, there was nothing but that weird sound. She used her hands to clear the area she was standing on. The sound was still there. What if there was someone trapped among all those toxins? Jane panicked even more.
She didn't have time to pronounce a single syllable more. The ground started to vibrate under her hands and feet, it felt like a small tremble. She tried to stop moving thinking that the shuddering would cease but she was wrong and in less that a few seconds Jane fell down, deep down. She didn't know how many meters she had flown down that hole but she knew it hurt, it hurt like hell. Jane opened her eyes scared to see if she had gotten any limb broken but what she saw was even more scary than getting all your limbs broken. It was seeing the person that could actually break all your bones: Mr. Destroy-it-all... Bane.