The alarm had been shut off in advance, and the guards had been knocked out and tied before they could realize what hit them.
-Gotham's cops are a joke- said Wolf, gazing cross-legged at the closet were they had stuffed them.
-Maybe they think their Batman does everything himself- grinned Hyena.
-Stop fooling around- Fox interrupted them, kneeling in front of the cavou's safe - Batman is not a legend, and he could be here already. Keep your eyes open.
-And above all the mouths closed- added Dingo, intent on forcing the safe -Even a deaf man could tell where we are.
-Bah, think about your job. Batman is just a man, not a legend and certainly not a gargoyle: we will have no problem fixing him up- said Wolf, snorting with pride while rubbing his mighty fists against each other.
-I remember you said the same thing when we hunted the gargoyles, and look how it ended - snapped Jackal.
-Don't make fun of me- answered the other - We almost had them last time, and if it hadn't been for ...!
-Guys- Fox interrupted them again, placing one arm on both their shoulder -We are on a job that is worth a lot of money, after which you can take what you deserve and flee in any corner of the world you like. And without worrying about having all the police in the United States, or the gargoyles or Batman at your heels.
-Here we go- said Dingo -Stay back.
The band quickly backed away as the explosive charge did its job, frying the lock and opening the museum safe.
Fox grinned, grabbing a small bag and walking towards the cavou -Take what you want, but no more than you can carry. We will leave in a hurry.
-Okay boss- replied Dingo -After a year on the run I want to take a break with the Pack.
-Ah! This is your gratitude after all we've been through together?- Hyena retorted, but Fox didn't bother with their quarrels. The woman ignored all the priceless originals of the exhibits in the Gotham museum, and stopped before a small glossy ebony casket, hidden deep in the cavou. She studied the form of the object for a while, looking for hidden traps or locks, before finally approaching and uttering the simple password. The casket opened with a slight click, and she gently lifted the lid, uncovering a small jade statue of a roaring tiger. Fox smiled. She pulled a ring out of the bag she had brought and cautiously he approached the statue, looking for the fissure to put it in. Once she found it, she pushed the trinket in. Only after the click she reached for the effigy. She raised it in her hand and gazed at it with intent: it was a supreme work of art, detailed and perfect. It had been carved so that even the imperfections of the material seemed to follow the artist's design. Fox lost herself in the contemplation of such magnificence until she heard woman scream. More screams of fright began to resonate nearby. The woman slipped the statue inside the bag and quickly turned back, crouching behind a shelf to avoid being noticed while assessing the situation: the Pack was fighting furiously against some elusive forms, and seemed to be in trouble.
"Damn" she thought; taking advantage of the cover of a smoke bomb she emerged unseen and quickly traced to the service bathroom. She jumped inside, locking the door behind her. Then she went to the small window and broke the glass with a well-aimed kick. After a few moments she was climbing to the roof with her grappling hook, hoping that the others would keep Batman busy long enough for her to escape unnoticed. She had what she had come for. Reaching the roof, she pulled out a transmitter and pressed the button; after a few seconds the helicopter appeared between the skyscrapers. Fox was about to breathe a sigh of relief when a voice said -And were do you think you're going?
He and Damian exchanged a glance and nodded before slipping silently into the shadows. He aimed the woman with the brown hair, and the moment she was distracted rummaging with her noisy iron claws he grabbed her by the neck. He tried to silence her but he had underestimated the agility of the criminal: she managed to slip through his fingers, after hitting him in the arm with her sharp claws, and shouted an alarm before he could knock her down with a blow on the back of the head.
-It's Batman!- exclaimed another of the criminals, pointing a bright light at him. He was stunned for a second, before Damian disarmed the thief with a boomerang.
-He brought a friend!- exclaimed another criminal, but Batman knew he could trust Robin, and focused on the man who was in front of him. He looked Australian, probably a native: he was burly, and his hair was cut to a long crest from the forehead to the base of the neck. Batman jumped on him before he could finish pulling the gun out. He grabbed him by the wrist and the neck, slamming him against one of the shelves. Then, with a twist of the hand, he disarmed him. The criminal pushed him away with a blow from the shoulder, and threw small metal spheres at him; Batman instantly covered his eyes with his cloak from the smoke, and promptly hurled a batarang at the man, hitting him straight in the forehead. For good measure, the vigilante handcuffed him to an iron bar, before returning to turn towards the rest of the fight.
-Come here, little bird!- shouted the biggest of the thieves, standing in the middle of the room with Damian clasped in his strong arms -Nothing escapes the grip of the Wolf!
-Put him down and nobody will get hurt- said Batman with icy calm, while pulling one of his bolas from the belt.
-Oh well, the Batman himself- the man replied, throwing the boy aside -When I'm done with you you'll have to change your name!
The criminal leaped forward, but he was faster, as always, and moved sideways avoiding the charge, and then hurled the bolas at his opponent's ankles knocking him to the ground.
-Curse you!- exclaimed the "Wolf", slipping from the trap -I'm not playing!
He attacked with the left, but the superhero was well trained and avoided the blow; then Batman grabbed the man by the collar and raised him over his head, before knocking him hard to the ground. The thief remained bewildered for a few moments, which allowed Damian to kick him in the face.
-Robin!- exclaimed the Dark Knight.
-I just made sure he couldn't stand up again- replied the young man, impassive.
-Batman, here's Batgirl, we have a pro-zckah!
-Batgirl, repeat- said Robin, but Batman did not hesitate. He trew himself towards the roof with one of his grapples.
-Robin! On the roof! - he exclaimed, even though he knew there was no need. He immediately noticed the helicopter not far from the window he had just came from; he threw a batarang towards the propeller, but it had no effect.
-Batman let it go! - Damian called him -It's taking off..!
The vigilante ignored him, recognizing two indistinct forms intent on colliding on the hatches; one of the two was suddenly pushed back, and fell down from the aircraft. The Dark Knight caught her in a matter of seconds, and with Robin's help he managed to hoist themselves safely up.
-Thank you- Batgirl murmured.
Batman replied with a nod, then turned to his son -Are you all right?
-Yes, I'm okay- Robin answered -I've had worse.
-Visit Alfred once we get back to the cave- he recommended.
-Come on, it wasn't worse than Bane- the young man replied, but his father turned his back to him, closing the matter.
-We missed one of the thieves- said Barbara, staring at the lights of the helicopter that was flying away. -I tried to stop her, but the helicopter arrived before me.
-Would you be able to make an identikit? - asked Batman, raising a pair of binoculars to see some detail on the side of the aircraft.
-Obviously- she replied. After all, she was the daughter of the police commissioner.
-We took her accomplices. With the computer we should easily find the connection- intervened Robin. In a few moments the three disappeared into the night.
-The Pack- he said aloud, reading the computer screen.
-An appropriate name, Ladies- commented Alfred, intent on visiting a recruit Damian -I am surprised how these individuals had not visited Gotham before. They definitely fit in.
-I don't think that we would be pleased to also receive supercriminals from New York- said Barbara, sipping a herbal tea the butler had prepared.
-They were a group of TV stars, starring in a show named after them. They vast knowledge of martial arts, explosives and combat- continued Bruce, scrolling through the files -But following a strange incident they decided to become criminals full-time. All but one.
A woman's face, with long thick red hair, appear on the screen. She had with a strange green-blue star on her left eye.
-It's her- confirmed Barbara -"Fox".
-The daughter of wealthy family: the father is the owner of Cyberbiotic- he continued to read - And currently engaged to ... David Xanatos.
-Arrested for smuggling stolen goods, but otherwise clean- Damian stated -He sounds like Lex Luthor.
-The helicopter had no recognizable marks- said Bruce, silently contemplating the Xanatos Enterprise's logo.
-There is a chance he might be involved anyway- observed the young man..
-But the theft has been foiled. Maybe she'll try again- considered Alfred -Meanwhile, Mr. Damian, I would suggest you to not take any other rash actions.
-We have to ask Commissioner Gordon to give us the list of assets in the Museum: I'm not sure it went like that- said Bruce instead.
-And then?- asked Barbara, taking another sip.
-Then we will go to New York to investigate
-Ladies, I can say that your arrival was... unexpected- said Xanatos, observing the group of super villains who had entered his skyscraper and had caught and tied him to his chair with minimum effort.
-I'm sorry sir. They seem to have a valid pass code for security systems- said Owen, his secretary, sitting in the opposite corner of the room coiled by tendrils sprouting from an apparently harmless pot plant. He had the misfortune to enter when the three women were looking in his direction.
-Oh yes! Ahahahahah, just a tap and boom!- exclaimed one of the ladies , dressed in red and black with leather pants and a motorcycle jacket over a simple T-shirt with "Harley Queen" written on it.
-Harley please- said another of the trio. She was an impressive woman: she had green skin and flowing red hair, and wore only a strange dress of leaves, resembling a goddess of nature coming out of a painting of the Baroque period.
-Don't worry Owen- replied the billionaire, shifting his gaze between three women -I'm sure we can help each other without conflict.
-I like the way you talk, darling- intervened the third female, the most enigmatic as she was dressed from head to toe in a strange black suit. She covered her face with a pair of dark glasses. She was the one that kept him tied to the chair using her long whip.
-It is simple: we come in, you give us what we want, and then we leave without ever seeing each other again- she continued, sitting on the desk in front of him. She meowed after finished the sentence. Only then did Xanatos notice that she had a pair of cat ears above her hood.
-Catwoman I assume- he said, deducing the identity of the thief -And you two must be Harley Queen and Poison Ivy.
-With smiles and cries- replied Harley, going to sit next to her comrade -Do you want me to print you an autograph, honey?
-Thanks but I don't think it would be worth of you- replied the billionaire, smiling soothingly -I can say that this meeting is rather enlightening.
-How nice. You're sexy, you know?- said Harley, slipping into his lap and taking his face in her hands. It was not so bad, Xanatos thought, to receive such attentions.
-Oh, I always knew I was a special child- he replied, making a sensual smile.
-Strange- said Poison Ivy at that point, joining the other two -You look very comfortable in this situation.
-Let's say it's not the first time I have to use my charm to get out of uncomfortable situations- he said, winking at Harley, who replied with a similar gesture.
-If your charm means that you will kindly accept to help us…- continued Ivy, taking off her left shoe and then stretching her leg towards his face.
-There's no need to be so extreme- said Fox, causing the three ladies to jolt.
-Hi honey. I prepared a surprise for you, do you like it? - he greeted her as she entered the room.
-Sure. I too have one- she replied, taking a bag from her belt and emptying its contents into the palm of her left hand, revealing the statue of the jade tiger. Xanatos smiled triumphantly and she answered in kind.
-So Ladies- continued Fox -Do you want to talk about business?
A\N: This story just a prelude, a one-shot test. If you like the idea and want me to write a full story on this, let me know with likes, reviews o PM's. Alla prossima. Ciao.