Tonight it rains in Gotham. People scurry for shelter as the sky rumbles and the streets are washed clean. A woman watches from her open window. The sound and smell of the rain turns her tranquil and pensive.

Autumn has come once more. And much like the natural cycle, the city goes through the motions. Years pass and nothing changes. The people still live in filth and despair. Those who live in excess still oppress those who do not. Women are still reduced to the role of victim. Grey factories still spew putrid smoke that hangs on the air and settles into the cracks, in pavement and people, turning all lifeless. Again she has failed.

A few rotten apples are removed, a few corporations are razed to the ground, but it is never enough. Mankind is only too eager to destroy itself. Every year as she stands amidst the falling leaves which no longer herald rejuvenation but destruction and decay, she feels a creeping doubt. It is a weakness that often overcomes her. She finds herself looking upon this herd of animals with anger, disgust and, occasionally, envy. But this is not right. Her purpose is not to judge or punish. They are her herd, after all. Lost, angry and in desperate need of guidance. But too often her mind strays to forceful methods. And with every failure her rage festers and the temptation grows.

Sometimes she wonders if she is still human. She surrounds herself with people, wraps them around her finger effortlessly, but she feels nothing in their company. Her only true friend is caught in a downward spiral that can only end in death. Her peers are a motley crew of misfits who seem to wish nothing more but to cackle madly as the world careens towards its end. Her most dangerous foe is a deluded fool who protects a decaying system rather than life itself.

Her hand dangles listlessly by her side. The world is rotting. The people are hollow. And she is alone. Nothing ever changes. Poison Ivy watches through her window and listens to the rain. The people far below scurry for shelter as the streets are washed clean.

Tonight it snows in the city. Ivy watches as the skylight is slowly turned white. She languishes on a mattress hard as stone, reclining her head against the wall to feel at least some modicum of softness. Her cell is cold and stripped of life, nothing but muted gray colors and the orange of her jumpsuit. The air stinks of a poison designed to suppress her. Cameras stare blindly down at her, irksome red lights blinking in the dark.

Winter is here, with all the sadness it brings. Outside things remain as always. The desperate of the city slip even further into the cracks, only visible to those who wish to see. A few will turn up cold and stiff at inopportune times, the cops who stumble upon them will shake their heads at their pathetic findings. Meanwhile the important people hold their galas and their fundraisers, flashing empty smiles and emeralds.

The rats breed frantically in the sewage underground, and it is hard to tell them apart from the creatures above. The industry still whirs and hums, spewing grey to battle the white sky. The snow falls ashen to the earth, transforms the streets into unnatural mire. And she can do nothing.

No victory is grand enough. For every good person there exist a thousand selfish, rushing blindly towards oblivion, taking everything they can, stealing life itself. Every year as she wastes away in the cold and the city freezes over, she feels a crippling despair.

Her thoughts are disturbed by a muted whir. One of the night watchmen has stepped into her isolated block. He stands in the shadows and stares at her, thinking she doesn't notice. He comes almost every night. The idiot probably thinks himself in love. She wonders why. She is tired and ugly.

She has no true friends. Her associates are mad and hopeless. Her greatest foe is a false hero. And the herd is beyond saving.

In the silence she can hear heavy breathing. The night watchman is still there. Perhaps one day she will make him let her out. But not today, not now. Now she just wishes he would leave. He doesn't.

They should all die.

Tonight the sky is clear and the stars shine bright overhead. Ivy lies under a great oak, its rattling leaves whistling softly. The world breathes around her and she can feel the life of an endless network of roots beneath the earth. She is far from the ugliness of the dead city, but not free from its influence. There are voices to be heard, faint in the distance. The grass bends under their feet. Their presence does not bother her.

Nothing ends, everything changes. No matter how many times she fails, she will keep working, she will persevere. Eventually victory will be hers, for nature wills it, and nature cannot be stopped. It never breaks, no matter how it is attacked. Nature is slow and patient. So shall she be.

Even now, clear and calm, she plots. But not revenge. No, she plots only change. She will kill not them but their hatred. The factories will not crumble, they will be transformed. People's minds will expand. She will cure them of their madness.

She ponders the pattern of the oak leaves. Her thoughts are interrupted as a voice erupts somewhere above her.

"Guys, there's someone here. Oh god, it's like she's halfway buried in the ground."

She feels a lake an hour's walk away, humming with life. Heavy footfalls disturb the peace and soon there are more voices.

"Hey! Are you okay? We're going to dig you out now, alright?"

A bird rests in the bushes, its lost life returning to the earth. She is surrounded by eager rescuers.

"Uh, guys."

She languidly pulls her face and hands out of the earth, sighing along with the calm breeze.

"Guys, we should run."

She brushes the dirt from her face and sits up, yawning. Her warm green eyes fall on the five young people standing over her. There is a moment of absolute stillness. She blinks sleepily as they stare in disbelief. Finally she smiles and calmly gets to her feet. They run for their lives. She laughs as she watches nature's clumsiest creations scramble away. One of them throws a last look over his shoulder. She waves, still laughing. He falls flat on his face.

Tonight it rains in the city. Ivy listens to it pound the pavement outside. The city is full of life. She turns to the gathering of old men with a radiant smile and passes the fume. They smile like children as the dead wood of the table sprouts new life, fresh green growing out of the cracks. They watch happily as she takes their wallets and throws them outside, one by one. Fruits drop from the ceiling and they partake, worriless and harmless, finally at peace with themselves and the world.

She speaks to them. Of their abuse, of the society that eats its own, of the great crypt they are erecting. She speaks sweetly of what can be, the wonders they can see, of their atonement. They listen with awe, alien hope lighting up the cobwebs in their minds. No matter what they choose to do, they will remember this night as the best of their lives.

Outside it rains, each drop with its own sound. Footsteps vibrate on a rooftop a block away, disappear with one final thrust. She glances outside, keeps talking to her entranced audience. They breathe calmly, hearts beat steady. Her seeds are planted firmly into their bodies, ready to bloom and transform their hosts should she command it.

A weight lands lightly on the wall outside and her lips curl up in a smile. The weight climbs, a window opens. Her guest drops into the apartment silently and rushes straight to her, unleashing a wave of metal projectiles at her. She lazily swings her arm and the walls come alive, playfully swatting his toys out of the air. She turns to him smiling.


His legs are struck and he falls to his knees.


She brings a handful of dust to her lips and blows it gently in his face. The detective immediately slumps and looks up at her dazedly. She pats his head before turning back to the gathering. They gaze at her warmly. Outside the streets of the city stretch like endless branches into the distance. The air is warm and wet as the pavement is bathed by rain. The people do not run for shelter.