Rain of Fire IV

Red X came to a halt on top of the Gotham Library. Something there felt off to him. Perhaps it was the air, or the way the shadows seemed to be moving.

"Raven," he said cheerily. "How nice to see you again."

She materialized from out of the darkness, the shadows shimmering around her, her eyes glinting beneath her hood.

"You shouldn't be here, X," she muttered.

Red X readied himself for action. "I can't resist a city in peril, Raven. You know that."

"Leave it!" She ordered. "We both know what's coming next."

"Ladies first."

Raven's brow furrowed. Yet she stepped forward and sent a wave of telepathic energy at Red X, who leapt out of the way just in time. It still rippled his cape.

He tossed a few of his shurikens at her, though a conjured shield stopped these. Red X wasted no time in jumping at Raven, but she sidestepped his assault and lashed out at him with her leg.

Red X grabbed her extended limb, lifted it higher, and launched a kick into her groin, following up with a sweeping foot across her face, and a third kick at her gut that sent her sailing into an air ventilation unit.

She recovered quickly, and shouted, "Azarath!" The resulting explosion sent Red X flying backward, but Raven was on him in an instant. Then they were both sailing over the edge of the library and down toward the street below.

"Determined to the bitter end?" Red X shouted.

Raven didn't reply, though they kept falling, the wind whistling through X's ears as windows flashed by at blinding speed.

# # #

There was a storm brewing, and Batman could feel it. Earlier tonight, reports had come in that there had been a breakout from Arkham Asylum. The GCPD was currently securing the scene, and Batman had already been on site to check it out himself.

Making sure to stay out of the way of the Police, Batman had noticed that there had been several large explosions on the north side of the Asylum, near the Intensive Care center. Several parts of the building had collapsed, and a few of the deceased personnel were littering the grounds. It was a devastating scene.

It was during this survey that Batman had received notification of the activities of Zsasz and Two-Face. Harvey was nowhere to be found, but Zsasz had been relatively easy to locate. By now, he was back in GCPD custody and Robin was on a case involving the theft of an armored car.

Batman meanwhile, was busy scanning radio frequencies for any indication on the whereabouts of the Joker.

# # #


"Hello again, Gothamites!" The voice of the Joker echoed loudly through all of Gotham City's radio frequencies. "Your friendly Uncle J is back, and I've got a quick update on what's been happening in your neighborhood.

"Recently, we've heard reports about a breakout from Arkham Asylum. I wonder if their having the same good luck at Blackgate? We'll soon find out.

"Live from the prison itself, we have your favorite co-reporter, Harley Quinn. Harl, give us an update on what's going down at Blackgate, would you dear?"

"All's rough and rowdy out here, Mister J," Harley replied. "The inmates are causing quite a bit of chaos but…unfortunately it's all being contained at the moment. Huntress has made a show of herself out here."

"Shame," said Joker. "Put her out of her misery for Gotham, would you?"

"No problem, sweets!"

# # #

Helena Wayne. Long lost daughter of Batman, and the Huntress. She was one of the world's most elusive vigilantes. She never stayed in one city for too long, and never came to Gotham City for any reason whatsoever.

But she knew a storm was coming, and Gotham was going to be the prime target for all manner of chaos.

At the moment, she was observing the breakout at Blackgate. Her purple and black outfit was still sleek and maintained, though it wouldn't be for long. She wore a domino mask over her face and her long black hair fell down to her waist in small ringlets.

As she watched the inmates at work, attacking guards and causing all manner of chaos, she readied her batons (which resembled police nightsticks) and jumped into the fray.

Huntress landed right in the middle of a fight, surprising the inmates with a swirl of her cape and a flourish of her feet that sent a few of them to the ground.

"Who the hell is this bitch?" One of them asked.

"I call dibs," said another.

Huntress twirled her batons. "Good luck," she growled, and jumped at them. Her arms and legs were blurs as she beat the inmates senseless. One after another they fell after being slammed in the sides of the heads, throwing their own punches that ended up redirected, or from being slammed face first into the ground.

Twenty men tried to take her, and twenty men were lying unconscious on the ground moments later. Helena had barely even broken a sweat.

Suddenly, an explosion tore through the prison wall behind her, knocking her off of her feet. Huntress hurriedly got back to her feet and looked at the scene before her.

There she stood, pistol in her right hand, and a large hammer in her left. The hammer was propping her up as she watched Huntress with a smug expression.

"Look who's come to Gotham," Harley said in her light voice. "You're gonna wish you hadn't when I'm done with you."

She aimed her pistol and opened fire.

# # #

Two-Face looked out at the skyline of Gotham, watching the lights, the arches, the spires, and all the while he flipped his coin. There was a storm coming to Gotham, and it was going to be a real shell-shocker.

Only time will tell who the players in this game were going to be. Who are the movers and the shakers, the winners, the losers, the heroes, the villains, and the vigilantes.

Harvey flipped his coin again. He checked it and found that it had come up on the burned side.

There's two sides to every conflict.

Let the bullets fly, the fires rage, and the bombs blow. Gotham will be on its knees before winter comes.