Hello everyone, it's acw28 here with another new story.
So this is one of four stories that I'm posting because either (a) it's an idea that I've had forever and decided to finally get it on paper or (b) it's a new idea that I kept thinking about and developing. That said, if you feel so inclined I'd appreciate it if after you finish this chapter if you could head over to my profile and look at the other stories to see if they strike your interest and vote in my poll to help me decide which I should pay the most attention to. Thank you.
As always, I'll give my readers a little background to the story. Much like how One Small Change started, I was feeling nostalgic and surprised when I saw Batman Beyond, one of my favorite shows from my childhood, on Netflix and couldn't resist watching. After the first season I noticed how under used some of the characters were, as well as while some of Bruce's former nemesis were reference, one was noticeably absent. From there the wheels began to turn and some ideas started to develop.
This is an AU story where I'm going to adapt some episodes while also providing original story lines (the show was somewhere around 50 episodes, there's no way that covers all of Terry's career as Batman). So with that final note, I hope everyone enjoys the first chapter.
Disclaimer: I, the author of this fanfic, otherwise known as acw28, claim no ownership of the copyright of Batman Beyond. If I did own the series there would be a live action movie in production.
After checking the time on her cell phone again, Dana Tan confirmed that her oh so wonderful boyfriend Terry McGinnis had stood her up, again. The pair were supposed to spend the day together at the mall to make up for the previous missed dates. The teen had everything planned out to, a brief bite to eat at the food court than an afternoon showing of a movie before she used the boy as her personal pack mule to carry a number of bags while she went shopping.
Dana tried to be understanding, what with Terry's father being murdered by Jokerz and him moving back in with his mom and younger brother, and then finding a job to help support the family. She guessed he found a pretty good one, the Bruce Wayne must pay quite well with the amount of time her boyfriend spent chauffeuring the old man around. Still, it was annoying to have an entire day's plan just thrown out without proper notice. Really she wouldn't be that mad if she could call one of her friends to hang out, but all of them were unavailable. Chelsea was grounded by her father, Blade had a date, and Max was still visiting colleges, Dana still didn't understand how the girl could keep her above 4.0 GPA even when she wasn't in the state.
The thought of calling her dad for a ride home briefly crossed Dana's mind before she decided against it. Her father never really warmed up to Terry, not being able to see past the teen's days as part of a gang. It was hard enough to get her dad to allow her out of the house for the date, she didn't want to hear another lecture from her father about how she was wasting her life away with Terry. Her mind made up, Dana started her odyssey into the various stores.
About half an hour later, the teen came to an oddity, a store she'd never visited before. 'Boutique Chat?' the girl questioned as she read the semi-foreign name. Deciding she had nothing to lose, she walked into the store and could instantly tell how the boutique got its name. While there were plenty of finely made dresses, almost all the accessories were shaped in some semblance of a feline. As she wondered the store, occasionally pulling something from the shelf to try on, something caught her eye. It was just a pair of relatively cheap silver earring shaped to resemble cat heads with small jewels serving as eyes. Yet as she looked at the earrings, Dana felt a familiar itch.
Everyone had their secrets, for Dana it was the fact that she was a kleptomaniac. She mostly had her impulse under control, but it use to cause her a lot of trouble. It was actually fairly ironic that it was those impulses that initially lead her to meeting Terry. When she was in Sixth grade some mall cop had caught her trying to sneak away with some shoes and threw her in the mall's holding cell until her father showed up. Terry was already there, having been in some fight and the only one involved to be apprehended. With nothing else to do the two started talking before Dana's father showed up. While shocked when they saw each other on the first day of High School, neither brought up the incident, both wanting to forget it for different reasons.
While she could ordinarily keep impulses under control, Dana was having trouble today. It was always better if she went shopping with at least one other person, the social stigma associated with stealing was enough to make her think twice about swiping something. It also didn't help that school and relationship troubles were causing added stress to the girl.
Finally deciding to indulge in the impulse just one more time, the teen checked the price to ensure she could pay for the earrings if she did get caught, confident she could play it off that she had forgotten about them in the worst case scenario. Her mind made up, the girl took the jewelry off the rack and slipped it among the clothes she was carrying.
After making her way to the fitting room, Dana carried on as usually until she came to the dress that was above the earrings. After holding the clothing in front of her and looking at the mirror, she grabbed her purse, opening it to get a wipe and a different shade of lipstick. Her items retrieved she placed the still open purse on top of the clothing pile. After cleaning her lips with the wipe and applying the new lipstick, she decided that the dress didn't look right and used the wipe again to clean her lips, retrieving her previous shade from her purse as she laid the other tube of make up on top of the earrings. Once she was satisfied with her reapplied lipstick, and deciding that she didn't like the dress that much, the teen slid the makeup back into her purse, the earrings hidden underneath.
Now that the hard part was over, Dana continued trying on the clothes she'd picked out. Some she liked, but the majority looked better in the soft lighting of the store when compared to the bright lights of the fitting room. Her purchases decided, the teen deposited her returns in the basket beside the door before going to the counter and paying for the few things she liked enough.
After paying Dana turned to leave only to find her way blocked by a massive man. After panicking briefly, she breathed a sigh of relief as she saw he wasn't wearing a mall security uniform, yet the fact he had sunglasses and an ear piece like some retro mobster did give her a slight pause. Finally deciding to act with confidence, the girl asked, "Is there a problem?"
The man only shrugged his shoulders before saying, "The boss would like to talk to you."
After a quite gulp, Dana nodded her head and allowed herself to be lead to the back of the story. She could run, but she knew it was useless, in her shoes she'd be caught almost right away. After a few minutes of walking, the pair came to an elevator where the man pushed a button. Once the doors were opened, he motioned for Dana to enter alone. Growing even more nervous, the teen nonetheless complied.
After a short ride in the elevator, the doors opened directly into a spacious office. Aside from the few cat paintings and ceramics, the only furniture was two chairs before a large desk where the girl saw an older woman, probably in her mid to late 70s judging by the fair amount of wrinkles and white hair, was busy filling out some paper work. Awkwardly, Dana walked into the room and took one of the seats while she waited. After five minutes of silence, she opened her mouth to speak only to have the woman hold up her hand. Activating the built in keyboard, the woman typed a few commands before a projector somewhere in the room caused a video of Dana swiping the earrings to appear in midair above the desk.
"You're good," the woman began as she spoke for the first time, "if I didn't know what to look for I wouldn't know you lifted the earrings."
"Listen, if this is about paying…" Dana began, only to be cut off.
"Now honey," the woman said as she leaned over the desk, a cat-like smile on her face, "if I wanted your money I wouldn't want you brought to my office."
"Then what do you want?"
"Simple, you work for me now." The woman stated.
"And if I say no?" Dana asked.
The woman's eyes gained a dangerous glint as she said, "Then I could always show this video to the police, or maybe your parents." Dana didn't know which she feared more at the moment, the strange woman in front of her or her dad learning she gave into the impulse again. Hesitantly, the teen nodded her head, accepting the deal. The woman regained her smile as she said, "Great," before jotting something down on a piece of paper and handing it to the girl, "come to this address tomorrow and be on time." Dana accepted the paper before getting up to leave the room, hearing the woman make one last comment, "And be sure to enjoy the earrings."
As she rode the elevator down, Dana tried to process what had just happened. She hardly believed the events herself and she'd been a participant in them! Yet that didn't matter to the girl right now. Right now she needed to come up with a convincing lie for her dad and her friends as to why she decided she needed and applied for a job in the same day.
As she drove along the deserted road, Dana couldn't help but feel like she was making a mistake. Her dad had bought her lie about wanting to be more responsible with her own finances and that she'd save the majority of her paycheck while using the rest for fun. In truth her father was just glad he wasn't the only person paying for her clothes and nights out. Most of her friends thought the opposite, that she should enjoy her father's generosity for as long as possible, at least Terry was supportive of her.
Finally after what felt like an eternity, the girl arrived at the address, an estate from the pre-Neo-Gotham days. While not as large as Wayne Manor, the house was still nothing to shake a stick at, no wonder the woman didn't need Dana's money. As she pulled up to the gate, the teen got ready to get out of her car only for the gates to open for her. As she passed under the large iron arch, Dana ideally noted the "SK" in the center.
After driving up what seemed to be a mile long driveway, Dana got a better view of the manor, a large yet simple two story house with a few Roman style columns at the entrance. After parking and walking up to the door, the teen half expected to be turned away and told she'd gone to the wrong house, only for the old woman from yesterday to open the door. "Well come on in girl, we don't have all day." Although unsure about the entire situation, Dana still followed orders.
"You said you had a job for me?" The teen asked as she was lead through the house, noting the high number of cats featured in the various artworks.
"In due time honey, but this isn't the place." the woman said as she lead Dana into what appeared to be an office. Walking into the room, the teen saw that it was practically identical to the one downtown, the difference being a series of framed newspapers on the walls. Seeing as she hadn't been ordered to do anything yet, and with her curiosity peaked, Dana walked passed a few and glanced at their headlines.
'Museum Robbed. Priceless Diamonds Stolen. Art House Heist.' the girl read each as she passed by, wondering why a successful businesswoman would save these papers. Her answer came when she read the last paper's headline, 'Catwoman Strikes Again!' Suddenly the cat art made sense. Surprised at this, Dana couldn't stop herself as she said, "Holy shit, you're Selina Kyle, you're Catwoman!"
"Yes, I am. Or rather I was." Selina said as she took her seat, indicating the girl to take the other one.
"So why invite me here?" Dana questioned as she sat down, "I could save myself a lot of trouble, make one call to the NGPD and get you arrested."
In response to the teen's threat, Selina laughed. "They really don't teach kids much in schools these days, do they?" Dana wasn't sure if the question was directed at her or rhetorical and choose to remain silent. "Before I left Gotham, I infiltrated a cat worshiping cult and stole practically all there funds, along with their diamonds. The big bad bat was still upset with me over some small thing so I left the city and set up shop in Paris. Now I'm sure you're at least somewhat familiar with Darkside's attempted invasion, right?" The teen nodded her head, she knew the basics they taught in school, but not much else. "Well it wasn't just Metropolis that was affected," Selina continued, "Paris was hit pretty rough as well, and you can't rob a city that's destroyed, so I put on my old gear and helped where I could. After everything calmed down, those who'd done smaller crimes, such as theft in my case, were given full pardons."
"That still doesn't explain why you're here." Dana interrupted.
Selina only shook her head, a smile still present on her lips, "Youth today, so impatient. Well honey, to answer your question a girl can only stand risking her life so many times, so I decided to use what I had left to start a legitimist business. As for why I'm here, everyone has to go home eventually."
"Okay, I get that." Dana said. "So this job, what is it? Am I going to have to be your assistant or something like that?"
The teen was a bit unnerved at how large the older woman smiled, "Or something like that. Tell me Dana, what do you know of the new Batman?"
"New Batman?" Dana questioned, "I thought it was the same guy, he just took a break for a while…" she weakly finished.
"Honey, the old Batman is as old as I am, and no one disappears for 20 years just to show up out of the blue. Let's not forget they just don't match up. Trust me, after spending as much time as I had next to the old Bats, the new one, while certainly muscular, is scrawny in comparison."
"That's interesting and everything, but what does that have to do with my job?"
"Simple," if it were possible, Selina's grin grew even more as she said, "one thing I've learned both with and without my mask is that for every Bat, there must be a Cat."
"You want me to be Catwoman?" Dana asked. Not waiting for an answer, she got up and started walking away as she said, "Go ahead and call my dad, there's no way I'm doing this. I may have taken a small knickknack now and again, but I am nowhere close to the thief you were." As her hand touched the doorknob, Dana froze as she heard Selina ask a simple question.
"It's for the rush isn't it? That's why you shoplift?" When the girl stopped, Selina knew she had her. "Let's make a compromise. You spend the next three months training and doing jobs for me and we'll call it even. Sound like a deal?"
Dana couldn't believe that she was actually contemplating this. She had her impulses under control, most of the time. Sure she had the occasional relapse, but she couldn't deny how much of a rush she got from shoplifting. The more she thought about, the more the girl realized she stole more so for the thrill than for anything else, she couldn't even remember if she ever wore the last thing she stole before the earrings, some scarf or something. Sighing, the teen released the doorknob. Turning around, she said, "I'm not stealing from some mom and pop shop."
"That won't be a problem." Seeing the small amount of doubt in the girl's eyes, Selina explained, "Even the old Batman couldn't take care of all the crime and I doubt the new one is any different. They don't have as big a hold on the city as they did in the past, but the mob still has several families in the city."
"You want me to steal from organized crime? Are you crazy!" Dana yelled.
Selina only shrugged her shoulders as she replied, "I use to wear spandex and swing from skyscrapers using a whip. I also counted a psychotic psychiatrist and a woman who was essentially a living plant among my friends. Make of that what you will. As for the mob, did you forget that you'd be wearing a mask?" Any other questions Dana had were quickly forgotten as Selina entered a code on her keyboard. The bookshelves in the offices slid away to reveal a large hidden room. The room was filled mostly with gym equipment, although Dana saw a set of parallel bars and suspended rings, along with a computer and what looked like an operating table and some medical supplies towards the far wall. She was brought out of her thoughts as her boss said, "You're mine for the next three months," pausing to toss a bundle to the girl, who fumbled with it for a few seconds before catching it, the elderly woman then continued, "get changed then start running laps, we have a long way to go in improving your strength, speed, endurance, and flexibility."
"And what are you going to be doing?" Dana questioned as she began to leave the room to change.
Selina walked towards the operating table, which had an assortment of fabric and robotic spread around, as she said, "I have somethings to finish up."
To say that the past few months were exhausting for Dana would be an understatement. Everyday after school she'd go to Selina Kyle's estate to train to near exhaustion, then drive home for a quick dinner with her dad before collapsing in her bed. On top of that she had to maintain her social life by keeping up with the latest gossip with Chelsea. She was grateful that her new "boss" was kind enough to let her skip practice the few days Mr. Wayne allowed Terry off, even if one of those dates was interrupted by Willie Watt and his robot crashing the dance. Yet those free days were few and far between. Just this afternoon Terry had asked her if she had time for a quick date, unfortunately Selina had already scheduled mandatory training. At least her boyfriend wouldn't be alone, Bruce Wayne made the uncharacteristic public appearance to talk to Terry about something.
As she walked through the halls, Dana wondered what Selina would have her do today. So far she'd been alternating between strength training, cardio exercises and gymnastics, which she had to admit was helping her out a lot, she could do the splits! Selina also introduced whip training last week, which surprisingly the girl was fairly good at, after hitting herself a few times. Despite all the interesting new skills she'd acquired, the teen was still glad it was the second to last day of her "employment."
Once at the office, Dana opened the door to find Selina already in the training room, putting the last touches on whatever her project was. After clearing her throat to get the woman's attention, the teen saw Selina smile before saying, "Good, you're here." The older woman then grabbed whatever she was working on and handed it to the girl. "Now put this on quickly and get back here."
Although she didn't completely understand what she was ordered to do, Dana still followed instructions. After changing out of her street clothes and into whatever she was given, the teen did have to wonder, for the millionth time, what exactly she'd gotten herself into. Walking back to the office, Dana asked, "Is this really necessary?" referring to the skintight, dark purple catsuit with black details on the armored claws, forearms, shoulders, chest, and lower legs.
"Of course it is. You need to be stealthy, not flashy, which means we need the bare minimum." the "former" thief answered before asking, "And how is this any different than that short dress you usually wear?"
Slightly angered by the question, Dana responded by saying, "What I wear gives Terry a hint about what's underneath while leaving plenty to the imagination. I might as well be naked while wearing this." She then held up the helmet, which was the same color as the suit with large decorative ears and yellow eyes, and asked, "How am I supposed to fit my hair in this thing? And where's the whip?"
Selina only shook her head as she walked behind the girl. "I usually kept my hair short because of this, but when I was first starting out there was a little trick I learned." Faster than the girl expected, the older woman had undone the back of the suit, pulled the girl's hair taunt against her skin, then closed the suit and put on the helmet. Dana felt a slight pain as her hair was pulled, but once the helmet was on, she was able to pull some of her hair forward into the helmet, reliving the pressure.
"As for the whip," Selina continued as if nothing had happened, "it's on your hip." she finished as she pointed to a silver rectangle seemingly attached to the suit's left hip. Sensing the teen's question, the woman continued, "It's an encrypted lock that will only let you unhook it. Go ahead, give it a try."
Still no believing the woman's words, Dana put her right hand on the metal and pulled outward. To her surprise, the rectangle easily came away from the suit as a semi-solid red beam emitted from one end. "Is this a laser whip?" Dana wondered aloud.
"Yes it is, I thought it was time for some upgrades." Selina said with her cat-like grin. "The suit is synapse controlled and has neuro-muscular amplification." feeling the blank look she received, Selina corrected herself by saying, "Any gadget you need from the suit just needs you to think to activate it while the suit itself will also make you slightly stronger and faster. The suit also has a stealth function that'll essentially allow you to disappear, but it drains the internal power supply. Aside from that you also have increased hearing due to the ultrasensitive microphones in the helmet's ears, not to mention the communicator in the helmet in case I need to walk you through a few obstacles."
"I'm not going to lie," Dana said as she looked over herself in a mirror, "this is pretty schway."
"I'm glad you like it," Selina said as she walked back to her desk to punch in a new code, resulting in a seemingly empty room appearing in place of the usual training room. The only feature present in this new room was a large white circle on the ground. "Now why don't we test it out?"
Figuring that some holograms would appear, nothing that her mentor hadn't introduced before, Dana confidently walked into the middle of the ring. She saw as Selina entered a code into her computer, but was caught by surprise as a number of laser turrets popped out of the walls. As if sensing her fear, Selina told the teen, "Relax honey, they're only set to stun. Do try to stay in the circle." before hitting one more key.
Dana thought she'd gotten fairly fast during the training, and it showed as she was able to dodge the first two laser bolts. Everything after that was downhill. The lasers may have been set to stun, but that didn't mean they hurt any less when they struck, a lesson Dana learned when she was first hit in the shoulder. Not expecting the pain, the teen cried out as she brought her hand to her tender shoulder, yet as she stood still she was struck five more times. As she barely dodged the incoming fire, the teen called out, "Can't I have a second to get my breath?"
"Whoever is shooting at you out there won't let you take a break, so no." Selina told her student before adding, "When you're able to go ten minutes without being hit we'll move on."
Dana froze as she questioned, "Ten minutes?" However, this proved to be a mistake as another shot hit her between her shoulder blades. The teen really couldn't describe what happened next, only that she became increasingly angry. Releasing a battle cry, Dana swung her whip left and right as she dodged a number of laser bolts. Oddly, as some of the lasers came closer she acted on instinct and instead of dodging she used the claws of her free hand to bat the bolts away.
Finally the lasers stopped, allowing Dana to calm down after a few deep breaths. Stalking over to the still seated Selina, the teen tore off her helmet before throwing it on the ground. As she arrived in front of the desk, she pulled her hair out from her suit, careful not to cut it with her claws, and said, "Ten minutes? I don't know what you expect from me but I'm not going to be as good a Catwoman as you were."
"No," Selina said as she stood up, then forced the teen to turn around, revealing the destroyed torrents littering the training space, "you need more practice but in time you'll be better than I ever was."
Slightly shocked at what she was capable of, Dana quickly shook away such thoughts as she said, "You've got for one more day and then your three months are up. Now I'm going to change out of this and go home."
The older woman only nodded her head as she mumbled to herself, "We shall see honey, we shall see."
As it was the weekend, Selina had Dana over at her estate early in the morning. After changing into the suit and practicing for a few hours to get a better feel for it, the older woman announced that Dana was ready and would set out on her first heist after lunch. When the girl asked why she'd need to leave so early, Selina explained how the store she'd be robbing was a good distance away and how it'd be dark by the time she arrived. As she took of her helmet to eat the simple sandwich, Dana couldn't help but wonder what Mr. Wayne was having Terry do.
It hadn't been a fun week for Terry. Sure, he stopped Power's radioactive waste dumping and he got to rattle a few Jokerz skulls, but the main work the old man had him doing was just plain boring.
"Seriously Bruce," the teen questioned over the communicator in the Batsuit, "will you just give it up on Fries? "
"You may think I'm paranoid, but that thing is just a ticking time bomb." Bruce Wayne, the original Batman, replied.
"Geez, I know you two were enemies back in the day, but isn't that a bit too far?" the teen questioned. "I mean Victor Fries seems to just want to…"
Bruce cut the teen of by saying, "That thing is not Victor Fries!"
Taken aback by the venom in the old man's words, Terry stopped on the nearest building and asked, "Powers had his head and put his brain in a new body, seems pretty simple to me. Or is there something you're not telling me?"
Terry could hear the old man sigh on the other side of the communicator as he got ready to relive an old memory, "You know of the Scarecrow's Night of Fear, when he put fear toxin in Gotham's water supply and let the various villains and hired mercenaries run lose?" Even though the old man couldn't see it, Terry still nodded, "The public doesn't know everything. In the course of the night a ship, an Icebreaker, was on a collision course for Gotham Harbor, only to be stopped from inside by an iceberg. When I investigated I found Mr. Freeze at the helm, saying that the mercenaries Scarecrow hired had kidnapped his wife to force his allegiance, luckily he allowed me to find her before he did anything drastic."
"His wife was in cryo-sleep while Fries worked on a cure for her illness, right?" Terry asked to insure he remembered his History correctly. "So you found her before she de-thawed and convinced Freeze to turn the ship around."
"Not exactly," Bruce countered, "the mercenaries had set up a number of decoys. When I found the right pod and took out the guards it was too late. The best I could do was restore Nora Fries to full consciousness, afterwards I was able to take her to Fries' ship. She told him that being frozen wasn't a life she wanted and she'd rather spend a few days with him than have her husband spend an eternity searching for a cure that might not exist, the man was saddened but agreed with her. The last time I saw Victor and Nora Fries was when their ship disappeared over the horizon."
"If the Fries disappeared over 50 years ago, then why do the files I "recovered" say that Powers has had Freeze's head for close to 20 years?" Terry questioned his mentor.
"It happened during the last few years I still ran my company, a team had discovered the Icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean. The bodies were found, nothing of Nora could be recovered while the torso of Victor was almost perfectly preserved. Not being able to remove the body from the suit, or having the capabilities to transfer the body and suit in sub-zero conditions, the team opted to take only the head. When word reached me during a board meeting, one of the members suggested we try jumpstarting what was left of Fries' brain with footage of his past crimes as well as what was available in the report form the last time he went to Arkham."
"But that report was a long time before Scarecrow's Night of Fear." Terry finished. As he saw Fries exit the TV studio, the teen continued, "Powers must have heard about the idea once he took charge and didn't have any moral objections to see the project through. Your worried that Fries' intellect was revived, but with little of his humanity."
"That is exactly what I fear." Bruce confirmed Terry's suspicions, slightly proud the boy could piece everything together. "This is one instance where I hope I'm wrong. Whatever the outcome, let's hope Powers doesn't do anything to anger Freeze, I'd rather not live through a new Ice Age."
Dana was learning to trust Selina's advice. As she couldn't drive her car to the store, and since her boss didn't have any other means of transportation, the girl was forced to walk to the target. Although in this case walking meant using her claws to climb up buildings, leaping across impossible gaps, and using her laser whip to swing underneath overpasses. She wouldn't lie, she was afraid at first, but after the first few heart stopping jumps from the roof top, the running felt liberating.
As she approached the target, the girl caught a glimpse of the news on one of the jumbo screens that littered the city. "So Mr. Freeze is going after Derek Powers, that doesn't sound so good." Dana said to herself.
"Don't look a gifted horse in the mouth." Selina said over the headset. "Freeze is attracting the attention of almost every cop in the city," the older woman paused as Batman made an appearance on the screen, "as well as our main problem. The shop should be unguarded, and even if you trip an alarm the police will be too busy doing damage control to pay much attention."
"Alright, I hear you," as Dana's eyes settled on the target, a small jewelry store, she breathed out before saying, "let's get this over with."
Falling forward off the skyscraper, the girl waited a few seconds before activating her whip. Latching onto a gargoyle from the building next door, Dana swung towards the target store, stealthily landing on the roof. Finding an entrance point was easy, she just tore the grate off the ventilation system before crawling through the ducts. Once she was above the showroom, the teen cycled through her optics until she came to inferred. "Hmm, no laser tripwires for the alarm." Switching to x-ray, Dana saw a series of wires underneath the floor that lead to a box on the wall of the office. "Guess the floor has pressure pads that trip the alarm." After switching to night vision, the girl kicked open one of the vents, careful to keep it from falling onto the floor, before using her claws to crawl along the ceiling and into the office. Easily spotting the power box, the teen opened her communicator and asked, "Hey boss, does this suit have anything hacking related?"
"Of course honey, just put your right pointer and middle fingers on the electronic and you should be good."
Following instructions, the girl was surprised at the box sparking, but breathed a sigh of relief when the light turned green. After double checking that the pressure pads and alarm was offline, the girl flipped onto the floor before wandering around the store. 'So many gems,' so thought to herself, 'too bad I didn't bring a…' her thoughts were cut off when a large synthetic bag popped out of one of the compartments on her hip, 'bag? Well that was lucky.'
With the alarm disabled, the girl abandoned subtlety. The next few minutes were spent smashing open display cases and shoving the jewelry into the bag. As she was finishing up, the girl turned her attention to the office. A quick look with the x-ray vision showed the wall safe hidden behind a painting of a diamond neckless. After seeing the cliché, the girl half expected the safe to have an old tumbler lock, but was pleasantly surprised to see an electronic lock, which was quickly hacked. After stuffing the credits, gold, and large uncut jewels into the bag, the girl began to go out the way she came before pondering something.
"Hey boss, what should I do about the security tape?"
"Leave it." Selina replied, "The footage is being stored at a location off-site, besides you can use some grainy images to make the public notice you, get the momentum started for when you deserve the recognition for a bigger heist."
Although she thought she should be as stealthy as possible, Dana replied, "You're the boss." as she pushed her bag into the ventilation duct, being sure to close the grate after she climbed in.
The trip back to the Kyle estate seemed to go by quickly. Luckily there weren't any police in the area, all available units needed to help clean up the massive amount of ice Mr. Freeze had conjured at the Wayne-Powers building, thankfully Batman had stopped the resurrected villain before any serious damage could occur.
Stepping into Selina's office, Dana opened the bag before dumping its contents onto the desk. Once the bag was empty, the teen removed her mask, revealing a satisfied smirk. "So boss, how'd I do?"
The older woman smiled as she said, "Pretty good for your first haul, a shame there won't be another one."
Confused, Dana questioned, "What do you mean?"
In response, Selina pointed to the digital clock, showing the time to be 11:03. "In 47 minutes it'll be a new day and our deal will be done."
Saddened at the news, Dana quickly got an idea and asked, "Does it have to end?" Seeing the older woman raise her eyebrow, Dana quickly continued, "I didn't think I would, but I had fun doing this. You said that this jewelry store was a front for the mob, so in a way I'm helping the city, so why not continue? We both win, I get the rush while you get someone to continue your legacy."
Selina's cat-like grin reappeared as she said, "I guess we'll make a Catwoman out of you yet."
"Who's to say you haven't already?" Dana countered before nodding to the loot and asking, "So what are you going to do with all this?"
"I still have a few less than legal contacts, I'll have a middle man contact them to get the jewels recut and sold, I'll probably use some of the profits to upgrade your suit and give you some pay, the rest I'll donate to some animal or children's charities."
"That sounds reasonable," Dana said before reaching into the pile and pulling out a simple silver bracelet, "but I think I'll be keeping this one."
"Taking a trophy are you?"
"Well I need something to remember the heist with, something nice but cheap enough I can say I bought it, and none descript enough that it can't be traced back to the store."
"That's pretty thought out, where did you learn to think like that?" Selina teased.
"I learned from the best." As she got up to change and go home, the teen turned around and asked, "Same time tomorrow?"
Her mentor waved her off as she said, "It's the weekend and you just had your first heist, go home and relax."
"You got it boss." Catwoman replied with a smirk.
And that's a wrap of the opening chapter with 12 pages.
I hoped everyone enjoyed this chapter, even if there wasn't that much action. While this chapter was mainly about Dana learning and accepting the Catwoman identity, the more action packed stuff will come later. Until then there are a few questions, such as…
How will being Catwoman affect Dana's life?
Why did she use her claws to bat away some of the lasers?
What will happen if her secret identity is discovered?
To find out the answers to all these questions and more, stay tooned for the next chapter of The Bat and the Cat.
Until then, here's acw28 saying, "until next update."