I dream of Harley Quinzel
Everything was quiet in the Gotham museum of history, a rare event in the town protected by the Batman. With its reputation as a city full of the criminally insane and such, a small uneventful night was a rarity, especially in a place such as the museum, full of rare pieces worth quite a lot of money.
Close to every loon worth his salt had tried at least once to steal something from there, some succeeding temporarily while others didn't, caught before any real trouble by the bat family. Gotham and its citizen were very lucky indeed to possess such protectors, but on this very night, it seemed like the streak of thievery would not break as a feminine figure wandered in the shadow and the darkness.
It was Harley Quinzel, better known as Harley Quinn, also known as ''that loony chick who is kind of the Joker's girlfriend''. Dressed in her usual costume, she had decided to act on her own on this fine night, after some kind of argument with Joker himself, as he had told her that sometimes she could be useless. Frustrated at such a remark, she would show just how good she was and how sorry he should feel for having said that. Sneaking her way around, she saw the guard posted close to a few exhibits, the only one in the perimeter from what she could see.
Being a show-off, she decided to give him at least a performance before she would kick his teeth in. Moving from her hiding place, she performed acrobatics, flipping and walking on her hands as she quickly advanced toward the dumbstruck guard.
-What the he...
Not having time to finish his sentence that matched his expression, he received two well placed kick on his head as he fell down on the ground, unconscious. Satisfied with herself, Harley saw no more need to hide like a coward, walking openly close to the exhibits. All those trainings she had with Selina Kyle had paid off, it seemed. After all, one could learn many things from cats, especially in the agility department.
Looking at the various objects on display behind tough glass, she knew not what would please her most to steal. There was some kind of broken vase with gold inscription, an old Sumerian lantern and some old dusty piece of paper closest. The three of them looked boring to her, as she had expected that something of value would at least contain some jewels or something like that.
As she inspected the objects, a sound very close to her startled her in surprise, fearing that perhaps Battsy would be here to arrest or beat her, depending on his mood. Turning around, her fears proved to be false, as it was only the silly guards that rose up from the ground. Finding it curious, Harley knew that these kicks should have knocked him out, yet here he was, rising from the ground like he had never received anything. The guard turned around, looking at Harley with interest, as if he had seen her for the very first time in his life.
-Zounds! That was glorious, lady. I knew doing this kind of thing would turn out to be interesting and fun!
Although she found it strange, Harley knew that letting him wake up would not be a good idea, as she went toward him in the same way she did, acrobatics mixing with her fighting skills. The result, this time, was very different, as the guard popped out of place, disappearing and reappearing two meter away from her, albeit in a very different form. Gone were the guard and his uniform, replaced by a small cartoonish man dressed in a purple suit along with a purple bowl hat. Looking much too outlandish for the lunatic young woman, Harley raised a confused eyebrow in reaction, unsure what to make of this sudden transformation of the man into a Saturday morning cartoon.
-You just made my night better, clown lady. Let me introduce myself:Mr. Mxyzptlk, not at your service!
Harley, borrowing the expression this strange imp used when he was a guard, was confused, to say the least.
-How did I even get your evening better? Also...what are you?!
-An excellent question, jester girl! I'm a citizen of the fifth dimension here in your third dimension to get some much needed amusement. Looking at your city, I asked myself this question: how do the guards feel like when they see that Bat man or any of your awesomely costumed folks enter here? I mean, you gotta think about it on their perspective.
-So, you changed into a guard to get beat up or threatened by criminals?
-Quite correct! You would not believe how fun it was to see you jump your way toward me in such an innovative manner. After all, I can't be affected by your third dimensional law, so it's not like it hurts or anything.
-So...you've had your fun then. I'll just take those three objects and leave you to meet some more people then.
-Now now, you seem just way more fun than some of the more somber criminals I've heard all about from my friend Bat-Mite. I have more things to do with you, clown lady.
Snapping his finger, the old Sumerian lantern appeared in his hands, transported as if he had used weird magic. Opening the lid on the old bronze lantern, some kind of sucking sound could be heard all over the room, as Harley tried to resist being sucked by the object in question. The first things to get sucked in were her clothes, which flew into the lantern and disappeared from her sight. Fearing that she was nude, she saw that her costume was already replaced by something else: some kind of outfit that seemed like it would fit on a harem girl. Her belly was now bare, as were her arms and neck, her skin now the same color as her white make-up she had on her face. She had a top that was the same color and pattern as her old clothes, squares of black and red covering her breasts. Gone was her hat, replaced by her hair splitting in two in much the same manner her hat did.
Witnessing that her clothes changed, she had no time to see her pants as her legs were being sucked inside the lantern. Unable to hold on to anything, her legs were turned into some kind of tail made of smoke and mist, disappearing into the tiny Sumerian object. Everything went too fast for Harley, as she was entering the unknown destiny that the small imp seemed to give her. As Harley was gone inside the lantern, Mr. Mxyzptlk closed it, laughing a bit before putting it on a pedestal of his creation.
-Don't worry, baby, you'll love this. Being a genie gives a lot of opportunity for some good fun, let me tell you.
Disappearing out of sight, the imp would not miss out what would inevitably happen for all the gold in the world, as entertainment such as this would give him plenty of laughs for months to come. All he needed to do was wait a bit for some criminal or other type of person to enter the room.
It seemed like, on this very night, trouble had decided to work a double-shift, as some masked goons had entered the very room he was ''guarding'' before. Most of them wore black masks that covered their faces completely, but Mr. Mxyzptlk knew that they were only thugs, goons in the service of a better and much more intelligent criminal.
It was a most lucky night for the fifth dimensional imp, as it turned out that there were two major criminals tonight in the museum now. Recognizing the descriptions his friend had given him, he knew that Two-Face and Penguin were the one that were planning a robbery right now. Collaboration between two minds like these had got to be very rare, which delighted Mr. Mxyzptlk, smiling at what could happen when one of them would find the genie. Listening to those two speaks; he had to know just why they were here and what they wanted.
-So you see, Harvey, the museum had on display a parchment with supposed Alchemical knowledge in it.
Flipping his coin as he advanced, Two-Face seemed amused and annoyed at the same time, an easy feat considering his facial features.
-Yeah, turning iron to gold and other things like that.
Penguin looked at him with a grin stuck on his face, looking like a demented bird from Antarctica while doing so.
-We could make a killing with a thing like that. There would be no sense if two high minds like ours would fight for this parchment when we could just collaborate.
-Yeah, more like you needed some more muscles if Batman showed up to ruin your plan.
-Nonsense, I'm just wishing for use to be partner in this venture, Mr. Dent.
As they approached the exhibit in question, one of the goons saw the lamp in question, approaching it. Witnessing that there were no protection whatsoever, the goon shouted at his boss.
-Hey boss, there's an old lantern here without protection. No laser, no glass, no movement detection. What should we do with it?
Two-Face, recognizing the voice of one of his subordinate, walked to his position, still flipping his coin like always. Inspecting the lantern in question, he then looked at the goon.
-Head, we take the lantern. Tails, we leave it here.
Penguin, overhearing what they were talking about, went to them, all interested that there was something that could be stolen easily in the museum.
-Now now, no need for a game. We'll just take it right away now...
Two-Face, flipping his coin like he did not hear his colleague, made it land on his hand, as he looked at the result.
-Head. Let's take the lantern. It's Sumerian anyway. It's worth a lot of dough.
Penguin, pleased that luck had been on his side tonight, could not help but think about what would have happened it a different result had come out. Harvey Dent was a brilliant man and had ton of charisma, but he was a loony, being obsessed with the number two and what it all entailed.
Two-Face, picking up the lantern, inspected it carefully, to see if it was in perfect condition. It was, although it was bit dirty in one specific spot. Seeing it as an easy fix, Two-Face rubbed the dirt out of the lantern, which made it shake a bit. Falling to the ground as it shook violently; the lantern was still in perfect condition, despite its fall on very hard ground. The lid popped out as black and red smoke poured out of the lantern, making everyone in the room cough in answer to that.
A few seconds later, the smoke cleared out, in its place was floating a superb gal. Two-Face, recognizing the woman in question, was stupendous at what just had happened.
-Hey, aren't you that gal that's always with the Joker?
Harley, now fully transformed into a genie, looked the part, as her legs were gone, replaced by a tail of smoke connected to the lantern that was on the floor. Having the urge to speak in reverence to Two-Face, she could not resist the temptation, as she bowed before him, trying to look graceful at the same time.
-Hello there, master Double-Face. I'm your genie now and I'll grant your every wish!
Even though servitude and obedience were drilled into her mind, her personality was still intact, which made Mr. Mxyzptlk chuckles quite a bit.
Two-Face, ignoring the error she made while saying his name, raised an eyebrow on the normal part of his face, suspicious about the whole deal. There was no way that this was happening right now. Penguin, seeing an opportunity here, approached Two-Face with a suggestion.
-Wish for us to be able to decipher this parchment. That way, we'll truly be rich!
-If that gal was a true genie, Cobblepot, we would never need this stupid parchment anyway. You know, sometime I wish you'd shut up and let me think.
In answer to his wish, Harvey blasted some kind of beam right on Penguin, which placed a comical zip on his mouth, closing it. Muffling incomprehensively, Penguin could not speak at all as he tried to move the zipper to open. Two-Face, surprised at such a sight, smiled at his incredible luck, now believing that he was in possession of a genie like in fairytales. About to make another wish, he was quickly stopped when Penguin himself picked the lantern from the ground, rubbing it himself.
This prompted Harvey to switch her desires of servitude toward him, not even remotely interested in Harvey Dent now. Looking at her new master, she bowed once more.
-What does my avian master wishes of me? I'll get you anything you desire!
His mouth twitching to a grin, he tried to speak his wish, thinking about ways to pay back this insult from Two-Face. However, he soon found out that he still could not speak, since the wish Harvey Dent had made did not vanish when he picked up the lantern. Trying to form a sentence with sign language, he was quickly knocked out by one of the goons that Two-Face had brought. The goon, seeing that Penguin was knocked out, picked up the lantern himself.
Two-Face, pleased that at least one of his goons was efficient, waved for him to give him back the lantern.
-Give it back now. I'll make sure you have a raise. I'll double your salary.
The goon, not obeying the command at all, removed his mask, revealing to be Catwoman in disguise, as she rubbed the lantern and spoke even before Harvey could pledge herself to her.
-I wish everyone in the room would freeze right there.
Taking it literally, Penguin, Two-Face and all the goons in the place froze in their tracks, ice blocking their movement and covering their body.
-There you go my meowstress. Bandits on ice!
Selina, looking at the bunch of helpless men stuck there and frozen, smiled with confidence. She had no idea just what had happened to Harvey now, but for now, she had no problem taking advantage of her situation. There were many things she could do with such power.
Mr. Mxyzptlk, all the while, loved the current development, as there were just so many of these costumed villains that arrived on the scene and tried to take advantage of the situation. It was just too funny for words.
Taking the lantern with her, Selina went toward the third exhibit, the vase with golden inscription. Readying herself to steal it, she was interrupted by Harvey.
-Now now, my meowstress. Why don't you wish for me to do all the work? It's easy, just wish for it? Don't tell me the cat got your tongue?
Finding it as annoying as ever, Selina still saw some wisdom in what she said. She could just wish for the vase to be in her hand and for her to be transported to her apartment, making this operation as breeze. About to do just as was suggested, Selina received a surprise shock, like a huge wave of electricity going through her skin, effectively knocking her out.
While she was thinking about it, it had seemed that the Joker had found a way to sneak in the museum, finding its way to Catwoman with subtlety. Laughing a bit at what he achieved, he picked up the lantern from the ground, then looked at Harvey.
-Harvey, what has happened to you? You turned into some kind of genie or special effect or something?
Harvey, able to behave normally since he was not her master, tried to explain things as best as she could.
-Yes pudding. There was some kind of small man with a purple hat that turned me into a genie and trapped me in this lantern...
Unable to finish her story, Joker could not resist the temptation to test her fable, as he rubbed the lantern in hope that it was true. This resulted in the behaviour of Harvey changing in accordance to his action, bowing before him like he did with her first two masters.
-Hi there, my clown master. I'll grant you all your wishes and more!
Joker, being as insane as ever, fully believed her story instantly, seeing potential for much fun now that he had a genie of his own. Thinking of all the mayhem and chaos he could deliver with such power, he knew that there would be a piece missing if a certain someone was not here.
-Boy, I wish Batman was here so I could gloat and show him what I'm about to do.
Harvey, understanding his wish, summoned the Batman himself, making him stand behind him. Oblivious to the presence of his enemy, Joker never knew what came at him as he heard a familiar voice.
-Beat it, Joker.
Never seeing it coming, he received a strong punch behind his head, effectively putting him out of commission as his face landed on the strong glass protecting the exhibit.
Batman, picking up the lantern from his hand, decided to rub it, as if he knew exactly what was going on. This had the result to make Harvey want to obey him now, as she bowed before him, repeating the pattern that she had set unknowingly.
-Hiya, Batmaster. I can make all your wishes come true!
Not flinching or showing any kind of emotion whatsoever, Batman simply replied:
-I wish you'd stay in your lantern.
Obeying the wish of her master, Harvey returned in the lantern as it sucked her inside once more. Trapped once more in the confine of the tiny object, she would not be freed unless one who would rub the lantern again.
Mr. Mxyzptlk, smiling with glee, could not believe his own luck, as he had seen four famous criminals and the Batman himself fighting over that lamp in a way. Returning to the fifth dimension, he could not wait to tell his friends and his girlfriend what he had seen and did on this very night. Turning this woman into a genie had been one of the best ideas he ever had.
Returning to the batcave, Batman inserted the lantern on a pedestal, which he then reinforced with a bulletproof box of glass. Putting a small sheet on it to conceal what was hidden there; he turned around to see Alfred, looking at him.
-I take it that this is the lamp in question which you talked to me about. If I may ask, sir, how did you guess that she had been turned into a real genie and that she was not just a cheap trick or something like that?
-I work alongside a martian, an amazon, a space cop, an alien, a man who can run at the speed of light and other such persons. It comes with the job to be prepared like this. Beside, I've already fought against beings from the fifth dimension with Kal and this has their signatures all over it.
-Very well, sir. If I may just serve you something to eat, you'd need it after all this trouble I'm sure.
Turning back and marching to Alfred, Batman left the lamp where Harvey was still trapped, leaving her to her fate for the time being. Still, it would be only time before she, just like any of his enemies, come back to cause more trouble. This was Gotham, after all.