Disclaimer: I DO NOT in any form or fashion OWN these characters, DC comics entertainment, and Warner Bros. are the owners not me. I do not take any credit for the characters or anything, ALL CREDIT goes to DC…..again ALL CREDIT GOES TO DC! No money is being made off of this story…none, No money whatsoever is being made or exchanged so please….please DO NOT SUE ME! I have no money. None. Okay cool.

Hey readers it's me Nomad88 back again with another chapter in the Batman Beyond universe. I'm please everyone enjoyed the last installment, the Knightbreed are still lurking around Neo-Gotham and Batman is still dealing with and also you all got to see Terry's slight progression into being a better Batman LOL! That trend will continue throughout this bridging story. Anyway enough of me talking, on to the chapter but before I go Please continue Read, REVIEW (A writer's main source of motivation) and of course Enjoy…

Chapter 8: Inque Marks the spot

Neo-Gotham Slums- December- Night time

Inque, the formidable and beautiful femme fatale stared down at the semi-large puddle of black ooze on the lumpy and unkempt mattress. A look of horror crossed her cracked face as she continued to stand there and look at the puddle. She briefly closed her eyes and she 'called' out to the puddle to come to her but when she opened her eyes the puddle was inert….dead, just like she would be in a few hours.

"Damn it all" she growled to herself, "Damn it all to hell!" she exclaimed in anger.

The past couple of months have been literally the worst couple of months of her adult life, even worse than the agonizing pain that was involved with her receiving her shape shifting powers. Since her tussle with Batman and Derek Powers atop of the Wayne-Powers building she had been hiding out in the slums of Neo-Gotham city far away from the Dark and Gothic urban area, away from prying eyes.

Inque had hidden out in an attempt to heal but the as the days drew on the healing never came only debilitating pain that kept her immobilized for days. When the femme fatale could finally move to her horror she had discovered that she was beginning to fall apart. It started out slow a piece of black ooze here and small piece there but soon the pieces began to add up until they resembled the puddle that was before her.

"I need to get out of here" she whispered to herself but as the worlds left her dark lips a light illuminated her small dingy hole in the wall abandoned apartment. She turned towards the cracked and shade less window to see the bat-signal high in the snow filled sky.

Upon seeing the signal she gasped and shyed away from the light a little and into the darkness.

In the months that had past and the more of the ooze that left her she knew that she had to escape Neo-Gotham but she couldn't travel in the daytime in fear of being spotted however since her run in with Batman that fateful night it regrettably scarred her and made her fearful of the night. And so not being able to travel in the day or night she had only one option and that was to sit and withered away into nothing.

"Damn pointy eared bastard" she said to herself looking at Batman's symbol, the symbol that gave every low life and creature that prowled the night including herself something to fear; and in knowing that it sent a wave of anger through the hardened assassin. However coupled with that anger at Batman was an equal amount at Derek Powers or whatever monster he had turned himself into, she vividly remembered the agony that his power wracked upon her body, never before had anyone let alone two men brought her to her knees or to the brink of death. She had almost died that night and the fear of that plus her weakened and deteriorating form kept her trapped in the dingy apartment; trapped like a rat.

Inque turned her eyes away from the bat-signal and she shuffled across the small apartment and to the nasty roach infested bathroom. She grabbed hold of the edges of the sink and she started at her cracked face.

"This was supposed to an easy mission" she whispered to herself "Kill Bruce Wayne…kill an old, weak, and feeble man. Simple, quick, and easy. So how the f**** did it all spiral out of control. How did….did…." she started but a painful seizing feeling gripped her stomach.

Inque closed her eyes and tried to the ride the pain out but it was too intense and it felt like it was rising upwards. Inque gagged loudly and then in one motion she leaned forward and opened her mouth and vomited copious amounts of black sludge into the green tinted sink bowl.

"ACK!" she gasped in an attempt to catch her breath but before that could happened she vomited again.

Once it was over she stumbled backwards and tumbled to the floor and the motion made some of the black ooze on her body fall off. She weakly looked at the fall piece and she grabbed at it but it didn't respond and it slipped through her fingers.

"God…" she said.

RING! RING! RING! Came the sound of a cell phone ringing.

Inque looked up from the floor and to the small old wooden nightstand where she saw an ordinary looking white cell phone vibrating. Inque forced herself to her knees and she crawled over to the nightstand and she weakly grabbed the phone and answered the call without even looking at the number.

"Dylan?" Inque questioned in a strained voice.

"Inque" Came a slightly high pitched masculine voice on the other end of the line "You sound awful, but then again radiation sickness will do that."

"A-Are you…in G-Gotham?"

"I'm just outside of Gotham." The man named Dylan responded.

"Y-You…sure took you sweet time g-getting here."

"You're not my only client Inque."

"W-Whatever..I'm at…an apartment in N-Neo-Gotham Slums…."

"No No No Inque you're going to have to come to me."

"WHAT!" she shouted.

"Yeah, it case you haven't noticed there is a bat insignia in the sky and from what I've been hearing Gotham is Bat territory. I'm not really interested in get bashed in the face, so you're gonna have to come to me."

"I'M DYING YOU BASTARD!" she roared.

"I know. I'm the one that told you that."

"….I can barely move...y-you have to come to me."

"Well, maybe if you were a little nicer or if you would have screwed me when I asked then maybe I would risk it but seeing as how we're strictly client and supplier I don't feel so obligated. I'll see you when you get here; I'm just off of highway one…fifteen, going towards Metropolis."


"DYLAN! DYLAN!" Inque screamed into the phone but all she heard was dial tone. She gritted her teeth and threw the phone across the room and into the wall where it smashed to bits.

Inque stared at the phone and then after a long second she turned towards the window where the light from the Bat-Signal shined through.

"I can either die here in hiding…or….or I can risk it. F***!" she shouted while digging deep and hoisting herself up to her feet.

Minutes Later

Inque fell to the snow covered ground knocking over a few trash cans in the alley behind the crappy apartment complex in the slums of Neo-Gotham. She could feel the biting cold wind against her pain wracked body but it just another challenge that she had to get over.

Standing nearby were a few unscrupulous looking men smoking out back and upon hearing the sound they whipped towards Inque who was attempting to crawl away in the snow. One of the guys threw away his cigarette and he started over towards the weakened assassin and he was quickly followed by his friends.

Inque struggled to her feet and as she made it she fell against the brick wall and watched in horror as another glob of black ooze fell from her body.

'I'm g-g-getting worse…b-by the s-second and the c-cold isn't h-helping. I-I'm not going to m-make it' she thought sullenly to herself, she raised her head to the sky and looked at the symbol 'F*** YOU!' she shouted in her head.


Inque heard the shout and she slowly turned around to face the men that had approached her from behind.

The men recoiled in fear at the sight of her but the fear quickly turned to anger.

"Hey…we don't let freaks into our neighborhood" One of the men said stepping towards her a little, "Clear out before something bad happens"

Inque eyed her attackers for a long moment and in that moment she eyed the one that had spoken to her and she saw a set of keys hanging from his belt loop. She raised her dropping eyes and looked at the man in front of her.

"C-C-Come and…s-say that to my f-face." She replied before gritting her teeth and concentrating as hard as she could on changing her right hand that was behind her back into a sharp pointed blade.

The man swallowed and he turned to look at his friends who nodded their heads at him signalizing that they had his back. He took one step forward and Inque lunged and jammed her spiked hand into his foot.

"AHH!" he screamed in agony.

'Damn…I was aiming for his leg' Inque thought to herself as she yanked her bladed hand out of his foot.

The man fell down to the ground; his friends looked at him and then at Inque whom was already limping towards them. She reared her arm back and then thrusted it forward stabbing two of them through the chest at the same time. She yanked her blade out of their chest and in turn they fell to the ground dead. She hit the ground seconds after them completely exhausted.

The remaining men instantly took off down the way they came and neither one of them looked back.

Inque let out several deep and haggard breaths, she could feel death's embrace closing in on her, but before the embrace would encircle her completely she would keep fighting on to the last breath.

The shape-shifting Assassin rolled over and she eyed the man that she stabbed in the foot and she crawled over to him with every ounce of strength in her body. When she reached him she grabbed him by the face with her left hand and held her bladed right hand to his throat.

"PLEASE D-DON"T KILL ME!" he shouted.

"Shut up…." She growled breathlessly "Where….is….y-your car!?" she demanded.

"A-Around the c-corner"

"Good…..you're going to…take me out of Gotham." She stated more than asked; the man could only nod his head.

Outside of Neo-Gotham- 15 minutes later

Sitting on the hood of a hovering vehicle on a lonely snowy road was a young man of about twenty-eight. He had dark hair, dark eyes, and a fair skin tone. He had a semi-average build but was a bit lanky; the young man's name was simply Dylan, a supplier of sorts and a self-entitled genius.

He sighed to himself and pulled his jacket closer to his body before he looked towards the sky and stared at the bat-signal.

"Batman" he whispered "I hear he has all sorts of gadgets and what not….I wonder how his gadgets would stack up to mine. I bet I could kick his ass…he's lucky I'm a lover and not a fighter"

SCREEEEEEEEECH! Came a loud sound.

Dylan lowered his head and he looked down the road to see a car had skidded from around bend and onto the main highway road. The car zoomed down the road until it reached him and it came to a screeching halt.

Dylan raised an eyebrow as he saw a shaggy head guy in the driver's seat but his eyes wide as a sharp black blade found its way through his chest.

"HOLY!" Dylan shouted just as the back door to the car opened and a puddle of sludge poured out.

The remaining portions of Inque fell out of the back seat and onto the pavement. Dylan recoiled in shock at the sight of the once vibrant and well put together Assassin; she now had no legs and with each crawlign motion towards him she made another piece of her turned to sludge.

"D-D-Dylan…h-help….m-me…." She groaned.

"Oh my God….Inque you are completely F**** Up. HOW MUCH RADIATION WERE YOU EXPOSED TO!" he shouted while hopping off the hood of his car and running towards the driver side.

Dylan threw open the door and he reached towards the passengers seat and he retrieved a medium sized metal canister.

He turned around and he ran towards Inque until he was standing over her.

"OPEN YOUR MOUTH!" he yelled.

Inque collapsed, but she managed to collapse onto her back with what was left of her cracked and drooping mouth open. Dylan pried open the canister and he emptied the solid pink colored liquid into her awaiting mouth.

The pink solution tasted and smelled like manure but the taste and the smell were the last things on her mind, she greedily swallowed the substance as it fell from the canister. Inque could feel the solution working, she didn't feel like she was dying anymore; the droopy and sagging of her shape-shifting body began to pull and snap together stabilizing her molecules, however just as she could feel in beginning to work even more Dylan pulled the canister away.

"WHAT...ARE YOU DOING!?" Inque roared through some of the pink solution that was still in her mouth.

Dylan looked at her and bit his lip.

"Obviously you've never been irradiated before….the serum has to be administered in increments. That was the first dose….I hope it's enough, I didn't know you were exposed to this much radiation, the next dose will have to be administered in exactly one hour."

Inque growled but decided not to argue because he knew more about what was going on with her than she did. The crafty assassin held up her hand and she could see the dripping black ooze pulling back together.

"Can you stand?" came Dylan's voice.

Inque still felt weak but she moved her hands away from face and stared upwards and her eyes zeroed in on the bat-signal.

"Can you stand?" he asked again.

"Yes. I can stand" she responded while tearing her eyes away from the signal and gingerly rolling over to her stomach, she weakly began to push herself up and for a second she felt Dylan grab her by the arm to help.

"DON"T TOUCH ME!" she yelled which made him back off. Inque sucked in a breath and she continued to fight her way to her barely formed feet but she made it.

Dylan looked at her and in the shape that she was in and shook his head.

"Jeez, someone really did a number on you." He whispered, but she heard the comment and her response was to turn to him and give him her most evil glare. A cold shiver ran down Dylan's spine and he immediately regretted saying anything.

"C-Come on" he stuttered. He screwed the top to the canister back on and then he led Inque towards his car making sure to open the back seat car door. Inque climbed into the back and collapsed on the cushion.

SLAM! Went the sound of the door closing.

Dylan got into the front seat and he started up his car.

"Hang on Inque, I got a safe house in Metropolis I can stash you in until you get better but I hope you know this is gonna cost you extra." He said over his shoulder.

"I'm good for it…now shut up and drive"

The car lifted up in the air and started for the sky and in the direction of Metropolis but before they were too far out of sight Inque got one last look at the bat-signal before it disappeared from the sky.

End Chapter: Read and Review: Hey readers it's me Nomad88 back again with the closing comments. I hope everyone enjoyed the chapter, so soon after the last one right. I'm sorry about that long wait but hopefully as my chapters come out they are worth the wait.

As you all read Inque is in pretty bad shape after her battle with Powers and the original Batman Bruce Wayne, but she's on the mend so I'm thinking when she gets better her heart will be filled with vengeance and the desire to get even. LOL! Will Terry be ready for her or will Inque be ready for a Damian trained Terry McGinnis, either way should make for an interesting chapter right…in Batman Beyond Volume 2.

I just want to say thank you to everyone out there for reading this story and sticking with me as I tell this long winded tale. I had big plans for this story since the first chapter in Batman Beyond Volume 1 and I'm super glad and excited that all of you out there seem to be enjoying my ideas. So thank you and I hope all of you stick around for more…because more is definitely coming your way.

If anyone has any questions, comments, rants, or raves feel free to either leave it in the review or just hit me up with a PM and I'll get back to you ASAP. This is Nomad88 saying later….

Ps: Check my profile for any other updates on my stories, I believe a new chapter to Superman should be up and running so don't forget to stop by and check that story out, thanks. This is me saying later…

Next up: Happy Birthday

Summary: Every year a birthday comes around but this birthday is much different than the last for one reason….the Return of Batman.