A/N: Happy New Year! Sorry for the wait everyone! I was really busy working in the holidays. Even with the pandemic it's still busy working when Christmas and the New Years are close. Plus, it didn't help that this chapter is crazy long! I hope you enjoy this chapter.
After watching their last viewing and left what Penny has informed them as the Theatre Room where Mr. Myxzptlk had sent them.
Thanks to the additional information that the imp has given to Penny, she knew exactly where to guide her friends.
Before they were given the tour of their new accommodations, they all agreed to have something to eat first. Penny happily complied and guided them to the Mess Hall. As they arrived, there are surprised to see that the cafeteria looked precisely like Beacon Academy. Even the windows have lovely scenery of the school grounds. To their surprise, there were even students wandering about! Before anyone could say something, Penny quickly explained that Mr. Myxzptlk took the liberty to replicate some areas of their world for nostalgia's sake. The scenery is just moving pictures so that they would feel more comfortable in the pocket dimension. Most of them are grateful for that as they began to get their trays and pick out their food prepared for them as any school cafeterias would.
In contrast, Penny mentioned that every meal will be prepared for them and will be served differently, and they can leave their plates and be cleaned instantaneously, while she quoted from the imp's words, 'It's magic! Don't think about it.' Making everyone drop the subject.
After finishing their meals, Penny began to give everyone the tour as she guided everyone in the halls of the pocket dimension. Interestingly, the halls much resembled the Watchtower where the RWBY and JNPR counterparts stayed in. Penny explained that Mr. Myxzptlk thought they would know what it would be like to live in a replicated Watchtower, minus the space location. The first thing that the protector of Mantle showed was the Training Room. It was much similar to any kind of training room you can find in a Huntsman Academy. What's even more impressive was that the training room even has a replica of the Justice Leagues' Holographic Simulator Room. This got most of the teens excited now that they had the opportunity to train just the same way as their counterparts did, while the adults were intensely interested to learn and study how the simulator works.
They were guided to the Library as they witness a vast collection of books and computers. Penny explained that this is all the information that can be found on Earth. Culture, Media, Entertainment, and so on. They were even informed that their Scrolls had been updated with the information if they wanted to browse at their leisure.
Next was the Entertainment Room. This was the room to relax and have some fun, and what's even more impressive was that all the forms of entrainment are from Earth. Such gaming consoles include the PlayStation series, Xbox series, Wii series, DS series, and the Switch series and a vast collection of games with a different genre for each, including an extensive collection of movies and television series with a large flat-screen television to watch with. This got most of the younger hunters to get super excited in playing these games while others were interested in these consoles and entrainment.
Then came the Research and Development Room or R&D Room. This room got Doctor Polendina and Ruby's attention. This room was much similar to the Doctor's home but had more equipment, and the room was much ten times larger than his old one. Penny happily explained that this room is not only for doing research but also for creating or building equipment in the future.
Finally, Penny guided them to their quarters. Each door contains the names of the Remnantians and con only be open by their personal Scrolls, two rooms, however, were labeled RWBY and ORNJ. The last one got everyone confused until they realized that Oscar's name was added to Team JNR. Jaune, Ren, and Nora did not mind Oscar being added to their team. Oscar felt happy that he was part of a team, even if it wasn't official.
In comparison, the rest had their individual rooms. The rooms had their bathrooms, extra clothing, a private washing machine, and dryer. Much to James's relief, a study desk for everyone sees that he can take notes and references when returning to Remnant. Additionally, they each have their beds. RWBY was pleased to know that they still have their bunk beds.
After their tour, they all decided to return to the Theatre Room since they still had enough time to watch more of the viewing.
"And that ends the pleasant tour of our pocket dimension!" Penny happily said as she and the rest of her fellow Remnantians walked back to their respective seats in the viewing room.
"Yeah! I can't wait to use the training room when I have the time," Ruby cheered as she sat down on her seat along with her friends.
"You said it, Ruby." Yang smiled, feeling excited at the idea. "Can't wait to experience what our others did!"
As everyone took their seat, the large screen began to start.
Chapter 5: A Nightmare in Gotham City
"Gotham City," Vine said as he read the city's name from the title chapter. "That name was mentioned from the previous viewing."
"Gotham City, or simply Gotham, is an American city rife with corruption and crime," Penny answered. "It is also the birthplace of Bruce Wayne and home to the iconic protector, Batman."
"Is Gotham that bad?" Weiss says in concern not helping that there was some kind of similarity between Atlas and Gotham.
Penny frowned. "It is. It is also the origin of how Bruce became the Batman."
"His origin?" Oscar asked.
"I'm sorry, the file is sealed. Most of Bruce's life is under strict security." Penny said.
The Watchtower was buzzing with activity as red light flashed through the space station, accompanied by a loud and obnoxious alarm. League members hurried to their stations and rushed through hallways, the sight of which greeted RWBY and JNPR as they opened their doors, still clad in their pajamas.
"It appears the Justice League have noticed the distress as well." Winter points out.
"Understandable." James comments. "With what we witnessed from the last viewing, it wouldn't be strange for them to get involved."
"What's going on?" Weiss asked a passing League member, a dark-skinned woman clad in skintight orange. If she remembered correctly, the woman called herself Vixen, with the ability to copy the traits of any animal she wanted.
Some of the younger men in the viewing room blushed at the appearance of the new hero. Nora slightly narrowed her eyes, seeing her boyfriend having a slight tint of red in his face even with his stoic face on. She holds his arms with her own, making the boy slightly blush at the suggestion she was making.
"This hero can copy traits of any animal she wants?" Blake questioned with interest wondering how that was possible.
"Mari McCabe, also known as Vixen." The gynoid answered. "A Zambesi-born American businesswoman and model. The Tantu Totem, a magical item around her neck, allows her to wield the animal kingdom's powers such as superhuman speed from a cheetah, superman human strength from an elephant, accelerated healing from a lizard, and enhanced senses from a monitor lizard. She is also skilled in hand-to-hand combat."
"Remarkable!" Pietro says in awe. "A magical item that grants you the ability to mimic traits of animals?"
"Situation in Gotham," Vixen began to explain as she continued to rush down the hall. "There's been an attack, and right now, we're on standby."
The teenagers quickly followed after the woman, more Leaguers joining in as they went, until they finally stopped at a large conference room. A massive monitor was above them, displaying a map of Gotham City's three main islands along with the smaller islands around them. On the middle island, a large section along the Atlantic coast was highlighted in red. Mr. Terrific was typing away at keyboards, and Blake could see data and information stream in on the smaller monitors around him.
"So that's the map of Gotham? It looks much larger than I thought." Robyn admits seeing that Gotham City is much larger than Mantle.
"Alright everyone, listen up," he said as he kept his eyes on the monitors. "There's been a chemical attack in Gotham City, originating in the Bowery, which has already affected thousands of people on the southern half of Gotham's main island. Early reports suggest that the gas is a new form of fear toxin, and evidence points to Doctor Jonathan Crane, the Scarecrow, as the culprit."
"Scarecrow…" Qrow narrowed his eyes, not liking this freak already as well as not liking how the word 'crow' was added in the creep's name.
"What's this about a fear toxin?" James carefully asked, feeling dread in the name itself. "Who is this Scarecrow?"
"Files in my head inform me that it will be explained soon," Penny explained.
"Scarecrow…" Jaune whispered, vaguely remembering the name from the dossiers the League had given them. From what he remembered, Jonathan Crane used to be a psychologist at Arkham Asylum, a mental institution in Gotham City that had routinely been converted into a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane. Why that place had not been shut down yet was beyond Jaune's ability to comprehend, as nothing he read indicated that place was successful in rehabilitating its residents. In fact, it often seemed to do the opposite, and so many people had escaped from it that they might as well not have been locked up at all.
"The guy was a psychologist in this Arkham Asylum?" Harriet raised her brow, beginning to see how Jonathan Crane turned insane or is insane in the beginning before becoming a supervillain.
Regardless, Crane worked there for several years, and used his patients in his fear experiments. He was obsessed with the emotion, stemming from an incident in his childhood, and eventually created a gas that could induce extreme amounts of fear into a person's mind, to the point of driving many victims into madness. Eventually, Crane's unethical experiments were discovered, and he was promptly fired, only for him to kill his former colleagues and drive his supervisor into a fear gas-induced insanity. He then went on a reign of terror, attacking dozens of innocent people, and when Batman finally caught him, he was thrown into the very place he had worked in for years.
"Wow. Talk about irony." Jaune muttered while everyone agreed, seeing how Crane's fate of being locked up with the very crazy people he treated and experimented on, then again, a fitting punishment for his wrongdoing.
James frowned and narrowed his eyes. He remembered a particular disgraced doctor from Atlas who did questionable experiments on unwilling patients than was exiled from the kingdom and was never heard since.
"So this fear toxin brings out your worst fear from your mind and drives you crazy?" Oscar worryingly said, not liking what the idea of such a harmful poison could do if it existed in Remnant. He shuddered at the catastrophe if the fear toxin were to be released in any of the Four Kingdoms or villages outside of them, and it wasn't just the unrest of civilian panic but the endless Grimm attacks due in no small amount of fear. Entire settlements can fall in less than a day, and even the kingdoms would be on the verge of destruction.
Jaune and the others found it ironic that a psychologist working on the insane would go insane himself, but in any case, the Scarecrow was among the most dangerous supervillains Batman dealt with on a regular basis. Most of the time, his attacks were isolated and contained to a few individuals, with Batman and the Gotham City Police Department able to handle him on their own. But an attack on this scale was something else entirely, and so it was obvious the League would take notice.
"The GCPD has already mobilized, and a manhunt is underway for Scarecrow. Should the situation worsen, a Justice League response team will be deployed to assist."
"Wait, our others aren't going to help them?" The viewing Yang asked.
"That's a not strange decision, firecracker." Qrow answers. "As a pro-Huntsman myself, even I can tell that's something you kids aren't ready yet."
"WHAT?" Yang shouted indignantly while her fellow teammates and JNR stared at the former drunk in shock, but before she could say anything, Qrow raised both his hands in defense.
"Calm down, Yang, let me finish." Qrow calmly said while her eldest niece calms down. "What I meant to say is that your counterparts aren't ready for this kind of experience. Unlike your kids, they lack the kind of experience."
"But our counterparts already experienced the Breach!" Ruby protested.
"In a small area of Vale and a handful of Grimm." Qrow counters, then he points to the screen. "This. Heck, even I don't know what to say about this, let's just be grateful that we haven't experienced this kind of attack that is clearly a widescale Grimm magnet."
"Wait, we're not going down there?" Yang asked, and Mr. Terrific shook his head.
"We already have boots on the ground," he announced. "Batman and his team were able to respond immediately. They have… requested to leave Scarecrow up to them. Also, Ms. Xiao Long, he specifically forbade either you or friends from going down there under any circumstances."
"WHAT?" Yang shouted indignantly while the others stared in shock.
"Yeah, that's what said." The viewing Yang pouted as she crossed her arms.
"Calm down, Yang. I'm sure our others will be given a chance to do something." Blake reasoned with her partner.
"But we want to help!" Ruby insisted, only for Superman to fly down and shake his head.
"I agree with Batman on this one. Scarecrow is too much of a threat to any of you right now." Superman then floated upwards and cleared his throat. "Everyone, the League is currently on standby. I want to be able to get down there immediately. If things get too out of hand, I don't care what Batman says, we're going. John, I need you to take Steel and a few others and prep the Javelins. Mr. Terrific, ready the teleporter bay and start working on an antidote. I suspect it's a new formula, so what we have now won't work."
"Spoken like a true leader." Clover compliments the Man of Steel, seeing how easily he handled his leadership towards his people.
"On it," both of the men announced as they quickly left to perform their assigned tasks. Superman nodded, then turned back to the assembled League.
"As for the rest of you, you all have your assigned duties. Dismissed." At Superman's orders, the League disbanded, with everyone splitting apart as they moved to their respective stations in the Watchtower. Except for RWBY and JNPR, who merely stood there in confusion. Yang looked frustrated, her arms crossed and tapping her foot, while the others merely looked at Superman expectantly.
"Of course, your other would act that way…" Weiss sighed, earning a rare 'hey!' from the blonde, which gave her some delight. "Don't get me wrong, Yang, if our positions were reversed, I would feel the same."
"Listen, Superman, I know that we can help," Ruby insisted once more. "Just because we're young doesn't mean…"
"Your age has nothing to do with our decision," Superman cut her off with a raised hand. Seeing the looks on their faces, he sighed. "Look, I know you want to help. It's admirable, and never lose sight of that, but Scarecrow is like nothing you've ever fought before. He gets inside your head, uses your greatest fears in such a way that you're left helpless as he brings them to the forefront of your mind."
"That… sounds disturbing that I admit," Maria admits as she touches her artificial eyes, she knows very well what her fear was after a close encounter with death after her last fight against one of Salem's pawns.
"We can handle a little fear," Weiss declared, but Superman shook his head.
"Not like what he does, and not in your present condition. Our decision is final," Superman declared with such finality that the teenagers knew they would not be able to dissuade him. They released a reluctant sigh of defeat before Blake looked back at the Kryptonian.
"Best to leave this to the professionals." Elm comments, while her fellow Ace-Ops nodded in agreement except for Clover, who was carefully thinking of the scenarios if he and his team would be in that position. He can only think of the possibilities, but with little information, he could only guess.
"Well, there has to be something we can do. Just because we can't go down there doesn't mean we can't help," Blake stated, to which Superman nodded. He faintly smiled in pride before throwing his thumb to the monitors Mr. Terrific formerly presided over.
"Glad to know that Superman here is happy you kids don't back down that easily." Robyn compliments the young hunters while they took pride, knowing that Superman felt pride in them.
"You eight will be on monitor duty while J'onn helps with the antidote. We need you to keep watch over the situation in Gotham City as well as keep an eye on the rest of the planet. If anything comes up, you let us know."
"Monitor duty?" Nora said in slight surprise as she turns to her boyfriend/partner. "Have we ever done that?"
"No? I don't believe we had." Ren slowly said as he recalls any sort of activity but only to shake his head that he and his friends never did such a thing.
"Your others must have studied that activity during their stay in the Watchtower. Probably one of your training exercises." Oscar said, making sense that the heroes would train in them in such a way.
The teenagers looked among themselves for a moment then back at Superman, nodding in understanding. Superman nodded back then flew off, leaving RWBY and JNPR to trudge up to the monitors. Silently, they cursed not being able to actively participate, but at the same time were determined to perform their duties as best as they could.
"Worry not, friends!" Penny happily said, making both RWBY and JNR look at her confusingly. "Despite not physically taking part in defending Gotham, know that your counterparts are aiding Batman and his team."
"Yeah… I guess your right, Penny." Ruby smiled along with her friends.
As they watched streams of data fly by on the screen, they couldn't help but wonder how things were going in Gotham itself.
"That's what we want to know too." Marrow muttered, being concerned for the people of Gotham despite not being familiar with them.
Thick clouds of noxious gas clung to the ground and enveloped everyone it could. Unprotected citizens screamed in absolute fear at everyone, swiping away at unseen terrors only they could see or hear.
"Stay back! Stay back!"
More and more screams filled the air, but the masked gunmen ignored them. Wearing thick burlap sacks that housed rebreathers, they were spared from the harmful effects of the gas, which they used to their benefit. Their suits were jagged and filthy, looking like they came straight out of a horror film and served to frighten anyone that came in their path.
Everyone watching could only watch in silent horror as they listen to the screams of terror coming from the citizens, not expecting to hear this. Those who experienced the Breach found some comparison with the chaos. The only difference was that there was no Grimm causing panic and attacking the innocent. It was the innocence themselves that was causing all chaos. And what's worst is that the terrorists they assumed in the jagged and filthy suits with the masks are taking advantage of all it without a problem.
"My Oum…" Maria quietly gasps as she covers her mouth with her hand. In all her years, she has never seen anything as horrifying as this.
"I doubt even the Adam and his White Fang would be capable of this…" Blake slightly shakes in fear seeing the panic and anxiety in the eyes of the innocent.
"It's this bad…" James widens his eyes in horror seeing such chaos unfold before he would not dare imagine what would happen if the Grimm were involved in this.
"Stay back, you monsters!" One man shouted through terror-filled eyes as he pumped his shotgun, keeping guard over his workshop. He wasn't aiming at the masked men, rather at the terrified bystanders trying to escape the gas. One woman got too close, and in a panic, he fired at them. His aim was off significantly, striking the brick wall above her head, but it was enough to send the panicked survivors off. He seemed to be relieved at this, somewhat, only to see the gunmen march ever closer to him.
"It's even scared them to the point that there blinded by fear…" Weiss shuddered to see how dangerous Scarecrow can be with his Fear Toxin.
"Penny, is it possible for such a poison to be made here in Remnant?" Pietro asks his daughter, a part of him hoping that his question was not answered.
Thankfully she shook her head. "Worry not, father. Comparing the files between Earth and Remnant's resources, it will not be possible to make a perfect replica of Scarecrow's Fear Toxin. Even if someone did create one here, I would hold information about the vaccine to counter it." This made everyone sigh in relief, glad to hear this information from the gynoid.
"I said, stay ba—" He didn't get to finish his sentence as one of the men shot him. Three bullets pierced his body, and he fell to the ground, a pool of blood expanding on the pavement as he gasped for pained breath. The men walked over him, pressing a button to open the garage doors and turning around.
"Bastards!" Harriet gritted her teeth, seeing the terrorist just killed the man like it was nothing.
"Taking by their attire, they are clearly Scarecrow's men." Vine points out as he narrows his eyes and places a hand on his chin. "What are they doing?"
"Alright, this is a good enough spot for the next bomb," one of the men declared, his voice muffled by his mask. "Bring the truck around."
"They're adding more bombs?!" Oscar shouts in shock along with everyone.
"But why? What would Scarecrow gain from all this chaos?" Ruby questioned, not understanding all this. She understood that the White Fang had a motive when they caused the Breach and the Fall of Beacon, albeit it was all manipulation of Cinder Fall, but still, they held a reason.
"I'm not sure, Ruby," Yang answers as she frowns. "But it doesn't look good."
At his order, the roar of an engine sounded off, and a truck rolled down the street. A small carrier was attached to the back. It backed into the open garage, one of the men guiding it inside before ordering it to halt. Immediately, the back hatch opened, and men poured out of the vehicle and began pushing a large cylindrical object of it. A monitor was attached to the side, displaying the internal pressure and an empty timer on the top right corner.
"Hate to admit it, but these guys are well organized." Elm narrowed her eyes as she watches the terrorist's work.
"These people are well trained," Clover adds.
"Careful, careful! We don't want it to blow yet!" the group's leader declared as the bomb almost struck a wall. "Move it into the elevator." The men did as they were told and hefted the heavy bomb to the elevator in question, while another man closed the hatch and banged the truck twice. Taking the signal, the truck roared off into the night and left the men behind. The criminal watched as it disappeared around a corner and nodded to himself once it did, then turned around to head back into the garage. The others were already upstairs and arming the bomb, leaving him alone, but he couldn't help but smile at what was going to come next. Fear, pure, unadulterated fear, was going to plunge Gotham City into chaos. Everyone would be powerless to stop Scarecrow and his gang, and Gotham City would be theirs. By the end of the night, they would all be rich.
Winter scoffs in disgust after finished reading the description on the pop-up blocks. "Of course, all they care about is money. The perfect personification of a terrorist."
Blake silently agreed to that comment. She knows perfectly well that the White Fang was not what it used to be when Sienna Khan and Adam Taurus took over the moment her father stepped down from the leadership. She was too prideful and young to admit it back then. It's a good thing it's now back to her father's hands.
"Yo, Frank!" a voice yelled from upstairs, directing the man in question's head upwards. "Get your ass in here before the Bat shows up!"
"Really, Bob?" Frank asked with an amused chuckle. "You honestly think that the Batman will come here? He's been up in that space station of theirs all week, working on those aliens and whatnot."
"Ohohoho! Those bastards have no idea what they're getting at." Nora smirked, excited to see Batman and his team kick some serious but.
"I'm more curious who this team will assist Batman," Ren said, curious how this will play out.
"I don't think, I know. Especially after the job we just pulled," Bob barked back. "Look, I know that you've only been in Gotham for a few weeks, but trust me, you do not want to get caught by the Bat. He's comin', and if we don't ready ourselves, we're as good as dead."
"At least they know the consequences of their crimes." Weiss sarcastically said.
"Alright, alright." Frank threw his arms in the air and shrugged. "I'm comin', I'm comin'."
He sighed and moved back towards the garage, only to stop once he heard gasps of breath coming from below him. Looking down, he saw the man he shot earlier, clutching his wounds in obvious pain, his skin quickly paling as he lost more and more blood.
"Oh, Oum! He's still alive!" Jaune shouts, shocked that the gunned civilian was still breathing.
"But with that amount of blood…" Pietro drifts off, fearing for the worse.
"Ple… plea… please…" the man gurgled out, and Frank couldn't help but smile darkly. Frank crouched down and rubbed his hand on the man's bald head, while his other hand reached down to his sidearm.
"Sshh, sshh, sshh," he whispered to the man as he unholstered his pistol and clicked the safety off. He then aimed the weapon at the dying man's head. "Don't worry. It'll all be over soon."
Everyone held their breath while some looked away, not wanting to see this scene.
He prepared to pull the trigger, only for the sound of breaking glass to catch his attention, making him bolt upright in alarm. Frank's heart began to beat harder in his chest as he holstered his pistol and pulled out his automatic rifle, the symbol of a penguin engraved on the side.
Everyone slightly flinched at the sudden sound of glass breaking instead of a gun firing, making them relax a bit while the others to return their focus on the screen.
"Wh-What happened?" Ruby shakily asked, nearly having a heart attack at suspense.
"Who's there?" he quietly called out as he rounded a parked truck, his finger tapping the side of his trigger guard. To his relief, he saw nothing. "Must have been my imagination."
"Frank, come on!" Bob called back out to him. He was beginning to sound annoyed, and Frank sighed.
"At least he didn't kill him…" Ruby muttered.
"He should have killed him right now." Everyone turns their heads in shock, hearing that it was Harriet who said.
"Harriet!" Cover berated her fellow Ace-Op.
"What? You all saw the civilian. He's slowly bleeding to death! I don't like it as much as everyone here, but the bastard could at least give the guy a mercy kill."
Hearing that very word made Yang turn her eyes red in rage, making her remind a certain woman who used the same excuse. "I bet you would want that don't you?" She growled as she glared at the Ace-Op, catching her by surprise by that question making her glare at her in return.
"The hell you sa–"
"Enough!" James commanded, making Harriet quickly stand down but still glared at the blond. "I will not allow this kind of argument to continue. Is that understood?"
The two continued to glare at each other before they looked away. "Yes/Yes, sir." Both of them said, slowly calming down.
Ruby and Blake comforted Yang as she slowly got better while Clover whispered to Harriet that they would discuss her earlier comment later, much to her annoyance.
"I'm coming, goddamn," Frank shouted and shook his head. He began walking back, moving past the spot where the dying man once laid, and pushed the button to close the door behind him, only to freeze in his tracks. He turned around and stared at the pool of blood on the concrete, only to find no trace of a body. Hoping his eyes were deceiving him, he ducked beneath the closing garage door and knelt down next to the blood, only to confirm that nothing was there. Then, out of the corner of his eye, a shadow moved. Frank bolted upright and aimed his rifle but did not fire, as there was nothing there.
Everyone was stunned by what just happened. The first thing they saw was the poor soul was bleeding to death on the ground, then next he disappeared without a trace.
"W-What just happened? I didn't even hear anything!" Blake says in shock, even with her enhanced hearing. She couldn't pick up anything.
Ruby was confused at first but then realized what happed or, better yet, who happened. She slowly grinned at the thought. "He's here!"
His heart was now pounding in his chest, and he moved to run back inside, only to find the door was closed. Cursing to himself, he ran up to the controls and moved to open it back up, only to find that the buttons were no longer working.
"Come on, come on!" he grunted as he repeatedly pressed the buttons, only to pause when he noticed an object attached to the side. Curious, he leaned over and pried it off, and what he saw made his heart jump into his throat. It was a small disk, no bigger than his thumb, with the symbol of a bat emblazoned on its face.
"Oh, shi—" He never got to finish his sentence as a black form descended on him from above, knocking him to the ground and the air out of his lungs. His rifle was flung to the side as the creature's black hand covered his mouth, his arms wrapping around his neck. Through wide eyes and futile struggle, Frank saw the beast stared at him through white, featureless eyes while continuing to hold him down. He could feel his consciousness slip away, and his vision began getting blurry, and the last thought that ran through his mind was how much the creature looked like a humanoid bat.
Then, everything went black.
Everyone was shocked, silent at what they have just witnessed. They all know it was the Batman who did all that but stunned at how masterly he did. Everything happened so fast that everyone was not able to comment in time.
"That… Was… Awesome!" Nora cheered, making her friends cheer as well.
"That was so cool! Scary but cool!" Ruby said.
"He executed all that so flawlessly!" Blake comments she was familiar with stealth but what the Batman did makes everything she knew was just child's play.
"Remarkable…" James breaths out in awe at Batman's skills. "Before that, thug can kill that civilian. Batman purposely made some noise to catch him by surprise. With that time, he saved the civilian, and additionally, he used his disappearance as a fear tactic to make him panic. He even disabled the door with enough time for Batman to knock him down."
"Ingenious!" Clover compliments in awe. Even his fellow Ace-Ops are in awe by this.
"He thought of this all by himself and alone to boot?" Robyn says in awe.
"Because he's the Batman!" Penny proudly says while she followed the instructions on her head to use that famous quote when needed.
Scarecrow's goons were huddled around the garage's upper floor, taking watch over windows and doorways and keeping the bomb at the center of the room. They couldn't afford to mess this up, which was why Bob was taking his time in arming it. One wrong move and the explosion of fear gas would turn into a fiery blast, one that would kill them all instantly. Obviously, he didn't want that, and so he took his time.
"That's the positive thing about terrorists. They take their sweet time to get their job done." Qrow comments.
"And there… we… go," Bob declared as he approached the final steps of the arming process. He allowed himself to smile at this. So far, everything was going to plan. They'd set off the bomb, their gas masks protecting them while everything else descended into chaos around them, and he and his crew would be free to hit every home, bank, and store they came across. He had already sized up several marks on the drive over here, ones that would fetch him and his boys a hefty payday. Once this bomb went off with the others, then the whole city would be his playground.
"Uh, boss?" a voice called out. "I don't see Frankie no more."
"Here it comes!" Elm smirks, eager what will happen next.
"God..." Bob sighed and shook his head. "He closed the door, you idiot. He's inside the building, not outside."
"No, that's just it. I kept watch on him, like ya' said, and something spooked him. He ran back outside to check on it, only for another sound to distract me. When I turned back, Frankie was gone."
"Batman even planed far ahead to distract more than one guard?" Winter widens her eyes in awe.
"This has to be teamwork." Jaune points out. "Batman's team must be helping him to pull that off."
"What?" Bob stood upright and slowly walked over to where he had last seen his newest recruit. Sure enough, there was nothing out there, not a trace of Frank to be seen. The hairs on Bob's neck stood upright, and at once, he knew just what had happened.
"He's here," he muttered, rubbing a spot on his arm that had been broken once before. "Everyone get in position. Now! Do not let him get to the bomb!"
"Oh yeah! That's right! You guys better are scared of the Batman!" Yang smirked as she watches in eagerness for the beatdown that is about to commence.
"Yeah!" Nora and Ruby cheered, and the others watch with full attention.
His men complied immediately, taking positions along the upper windows and guarding the doors, their rifles covering all angles in sight. He glanced momentarily at the primed bomb, just a few keystrokes from the timer being set, but he turned his attention back towards the elevator door. Along with the stairwell, it was the most likely route one would take. Whether the Batman would was anyone's guess, but he wouldn't take any chances.
Then the lights suddenly exploded, one by one, into shards of glass. Panicked shots rang out as everyone fired blindly, trying to hit something that simply wasn't there. Bob regained his senses and stopped firing and began to shout.
"He's even a master fear tactitio–, actually, that makes sense." Marrow quickly corrected himself, seeing how dumb it was to be surprised regarding the Dark Knight's skill in bringing out his enemies' fear.
"Hold your fire! HOLD YOUR FIRE!" he shouted over the sounds of gunfire. Slowly, the shots came to a halt, and everyone waited with bated breath. His pulse pounding, his ears ringing, and the feel of sweat pooling on his skin, Bob could quite easily say he was absolutely terrified. He turned back to the door, the thought of making a run for it, briefly crossing his mind.
"Coward." Winter spat at the thug's decision to leave his team behind.
Before he could even take a step, the wooden floor exploded from underneath him, armored hands grabbing his ankles and, with a terrified scream, the thug was pulled into the dark.
Most of the audience jumped on their seats in fright, not expecting that to happen.
"Oh my…!" Weiss gasped, shocked seeing that happened.
"Holy shit! I did not see that coming!" Qrow swore as his eyes widen.
A barrage of fully automatic gunfire followed him, the criminals firing everything they had into the hole, hoping that somehow the Batman would still be there. Then, one of the masked men stopped as he heard another sound below him, and before he could react, the floor exploded downward, sending him plunging and a dark shape rappelling to the ceiling above. The gunmen raised their rifles to fire, only for the dark shape to throw red disks onto each of their weapons, the disks latching on with a mechanical whirl that was followed by a small explosion. The small explosives destroyed the weapons in their hands while not harming the men themselves, and in their confusion, the shape pounced onto a man and knocked his head into the floor, sending him straight into unconsciousness. The dark shape then stood upright, revealing the Batman in his armored glory. His face was covered in a full mask, a sleek black rebreather over his mouth.
"He's so awesome~!" Ruby squealed, both being awed and terrified at the Batman's entrance. "Even his rebreather looks cool!"
"Glad he's one of the good guys," Jaune says, feeling the same as Ruby, but his fear was slightly higher than his awe.
"Shush! I wanna watch the beatdown!" Nora shouts as she giddily jumps on her seat, excited to watch the Batman in action. Ren just rolled his eyes but gave a small smile.
With shouts of rage, the criminals all charged the Batman. Their fists raised high and ready to be thrown. As the first one neared, Batman ducked and grabbed the arm, then punched it upwards at the elbow, breaking the arm. The man shrieked in pain, helpless to defend himself as Batman pummeled him repeatedly in the face, then pivoted, forcing the man to take the blow meant for the vigilante. Batman then kicked his captive in the back, sending him into his attacker before pivoting to redirect another thrown punch. Grabbing the man's head, Batman brought it downwards into his rising knee, breaking the man's nose and knocking him out cold. He then hefted the unconscious criminal over his shoulder and threw him into another, sending them both falling through the hole in the ground.
Hearing the click of a pistol's safety being unlocked, Batman turned and grabbed his batclaw, aiming it at the gunslinger and firing it. The grapnel attached itself to the man's torso, latched onto it, and pulled him to the Caped Crusader who clotheslined him, knocking him flat onto his back and the air out of his lungs. While he gasped for breath, Batman didn't rest as he simultaneously blocked three men's knife swings with expertise, leaning back from any swings of the knife while using his armored gauntlets to deflect others. Metallic clangs were heard as they made contact, and then one overextended. Seizing his opening, Batman grabbed the arm and broke it while kicking in the knee, sending the howling man helpless to the floor.
Another criminal charged at him with his knife, only for Batman to rip it from his hands and throw it like a dart into a nearby wall. He then grabbed the thug and kneed him in the stomach, followed by a powerful punch to the jaw while throwing his other elbow out to strike the other attacker. The Dark Knight then elbowed the masked man's back, sending him to the ground, then hefted him to the side, throwing him into a wall and shattering it. The final man backed away in sheer terror, the fate of his comrades exposing what was likely to happen to him as well. So, rather than fight, he attempted to flee, turning towards the stairwell. He didn't get far, as Batman then grabbed him with the batclaw and pulled him to his arms. Taking hold of him, Batman then turned the man around to face him directly, grabbing hold of his collar and dragging him to a nearby window. He shoved the criminal through the glass, shattering it and sending shards everywhere, while the captive screamed in utter terror. Those screams increased as Batman pulled out his grapple gun and fired it to a nearby building, pulling them both high above the clouds of fear gas. As they landed, Batman turned and left him dangling above the street, held aloft by the strength of his arm.
"Hohoholy shit!" Yang grinned at the badass savagery the Dark Knight did.
"He didn't even break a sweat!" Blake says in awe seeing how Batman defeated his foes in less than a minute.
"That was even better than him fighting the Grimm!" Nora squealed.
"Everything was so flawless and perfect!" Ren comments in awe.
"He even has a perfect sense of his entire surroundings!" Weiss gasped.
"He even combined his fighting style with all his weapons!" Ruby's eyes sparkled.
"Awesome!" Jaune shouts.
"He even did it all without the help of Aura or Semblance!" Oscar says in awe how one person could do so much without the power they are so familiar with.
"Okay… the guy really deserves the title of the Dark Knight." Qrow complements Batman.
"Hate to be them right now." Robyn chuckled as she smirks at the beatdown.
"Ah. Memories…" Maria whispered, feeling nostalgic as she witnessed Batman's fighting style, reminding her time being the Grimm Reaper.
"It happened so fast I barely caught up with what was happening." Pietro was baffled by what he saw.
"Sensational! Batman combined different kinds of martial arts along with equipment for additional damage and efficiency!" Penny exclaimed at Batman's skills.
"Outstanding!" James says in awe as his respect for Batman continues to grow. Winter and Clover felt the same as their superior, while the Ace-Ops had mixed feelings. Elm was amazed at how powerful Batman connects his punches and executes with little effort. Vine was awed at how well-focused he was in battle, knowing precisely what he needed to do in such a short amount of time with such a calm demeanor. Marrow couldn't help admire how Batman did not hold back and knew what he was doing, and the Faunus couldn't help but feel inadequate comparing himself to him. And finally, Harriet, like the others she respected and admired Batman but, she couldn't help but feel a tinge of jealousy at how a single person without any Aura, Semblance, or any form of power could achieve all this, let alone do all this by himself. She would like the chance to prove herself to the Dark Knight's level if she was given the opportunity.
"No, no! Please!" the terrorist screamed as he dangled over the ledge. "Don't hurt me!"
Ruby felt scared seeing how the Dark Knight was treating the thug. "Why is he doing that?"
"My guess is that he's planning to interrogate him." Qrow answers while also feeling uncomfortable at the scene. "Even with anyone with Aura, it won't be pleasant to be dropped from that height while being tied up."
"You don't want me to hurt you? Then talk," Batman calmly ordered, a faint growl underneath his words. "And don't lie to me. I'll know if you do…"
"Oh wow… he sure knows how to interrogate someone." Jaune's spine shudders, seeing how the Dark Knight handles his way of interrogation.
"I hate to be in that guy's position." Oscar comments, then suddenly felt a slight amount of pain in his chest. He places his hand on where the pain was while wondering what that was about.
"Okay, okay! What do you want to know?!"
"What is Scarecrow planning? How many bombs does he have?"
"He developed a new fear toxin… planned on using Gotham as a testing ground before selling it to fund his experiments…" the man grunted out as he held onto Batman's arm tightly, the stench of ammonia drifting off of him. "There are six bombs in all, scattered throughout the city… They don't get armed until they're ready to go…"
"He's just testing his new toxin on Gotham?!" Pietro says in shock.
"That monster!" Weiss shouts in both disgust and rage.
"How many men does he have? What did he promise them?" Batman's tone was calm, and somehow that was even more terrifying than had he been angry. It made him seem almost inhuman.
Even the audience couldn't help but shudder before Batman's gaze.
"I don't know, honest." Batman's grip loosened, and the dangling man screamed and tightened his own grip. "NO, WAIT! Roughly sixty men, ten to a bomb! He promised us we'd have Gotham to ourselves, free to plunder it of everything!"
"For a crazy scientist, he knows exactly what to do." Blake begrudgingly admits to the villain's planning skills while slightly shaking that Batman was threatening to drop the man.
"Where'd he get the equipment? Who's the supplier?" Left unasked was whoever the buyer was, but if Batman's assumptions were correct, they were likely the same.
"I don't know who, I swear to God!"
"SWEAR TO ME!" Batman suddenly shouted as he dropped the criminal. The man screamed as he plunged, only for Batman to reverse the still attached batclaw, sending him back up to his waiting arm.
Most of the audience shrieked in fear seeing that Batman actually dropped the man but then quickly calmed down, seeing that the Dark Knight promptly reeled him back, but that didn't help when most of them nearly had a heart attack.
"I-I-I, I d-didn't th-think…" Ruby was a stuttering mess as she held her chest while gasping for air, quickly trying to calm her beating heart. The same should be said for her friends.
"Thank goodness my Semblance saw that coming…" Maria takes a deep breath as she quickly calmed down. If it were not for her Preflexes, she would have died of fright.
"Goodness, he could have killed him!" Robyn breathed out as she calmed down.
"No he wouldn't." Penny chimed as if she was not affected by Batman's action. "The Batman has a strict 'no killing' policy, but that won't stop him from putting the bad guys to the hospital."
"Well… I suppose that's a good thing." Clover nervously chuckled, hoping that his luck would not put him in that position.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" the man wailed. "I really don't know! I'm just a grunt. They don't tell me anything!" He began to cry, and with a grunt, Batman realized he wasn't going to be getting any more information out of him. He glanced at the bomb still inside the garage and realized he had what he needed from the man.
"He's telling the truth." Ren points out. "No one would be able to fake something like that."
"I believe you," Batman said, then delivered a knockout punch to the man's temple, sending him straight into unconsciousness. Carrying the man over his shoulder, Batman walked to a nearby pipe and handcuffed him to it, sending a signal to the GCPD for pickup.
"Brutal…" Marrow cringed.
"But necessary." Harriet finishes.
"Oracle, did you get that?" Batman asked as he glided back to the broken window.
"I did, Batman," the voice of Barbara Gordon rang out through his earpiece. "Patching into their comms channels now. For such a well-equipped operation, they have lousy security."
"Oracle?" Winter echoed.
"Oracle, real name, Barbara Gordon," Penny answered. "She is Batman's eyes and ears. She provides information for him as well as being a skilled hacker." The gynoid slightly shuddered at the hacking part. She knows that her father can do the same to her, which she was okay with since she trusts him, but the idea of someone else hacking her terrifies her.
"So she's on monitor duty like our others." Yang points out.
"Indeed! Friend Yang." Penny smiled. "But her skills are masterful. She can multitask different sets of teams all by herself."
"Impressive," Pietro says, growing interested in who Oracle is.
"Keep monitoring it. Tell me if you find anything," Batman ordered as he inspected the bomb's monitor. He tried to access the internal computer, only for the system to prove password protected. "Hmm, a time lock…"
"Let's see how The World's Greatest Detective do his work," Winter says as she slightly leans forwards, interested in how he will solve this.
Kneeling down, Batman pulled out his decryption device and began scanning for all passwords. Finally, after a few moments, a matching password of 'F3 R' appeared on the holographic display, granting him access.
"Remarkable! A device that decrypts passwords in a short amount of time." Pietro says in awe as he takes not of this device.
"Oracle, I'm sending you data from the bomb's onboard computer system. There's a tracker attached to it, along with a list of internal components. See if you can't use it to find the others." Batman continued to work on the monitor before the lights switched off, signifying it was now disarmed. He then punched the monitor, breaking it and preventing any further use.
"Smart," Elm comments seeing what the Batman did.
"Will do, Bats!" Another voice suddenly announced, causing Batman to bolt slightly. The voice was boisterous and not that of Barbara Gordon, and with a groan, he realized it belonged to Yang.
"Alright! I'm now part of the action." Yang grinned, glad that her other is finally helping.
"Can't you take this seriously?" Harriet raised a brow.
"My other can do whatever she wants. She's no soldier like you." Yang narrowed her eyes at the Ace-Op, still angry at the comments she made. Harriet just growled in annoyance but turned back her focus on the screen.
"Why are you on this channel?" he asked while sending a text message to the Watchtower, warning them not to say their actual names over the channel. A moment later, he received an acknowledging checkmark.
"Supes put us on monitor duty rather than potentially send us down, on your specific orders, might I add." Yang sounded annoyed at his request, but frankly, he didn't care about whether or not she wanted to be down here and more about whether or not she was even ready to. As far as he was concerned, they were most certainly not.
"By the way, that fight was awesome! The way you just punched and kicked and dodged and all the gadgets! It was amazing!" Ruby excitably announced her presence, causing Batman to sigh.
"You can say that again, me!" The viewing Ruby giddily said.
"The monitor is not a place for—"
"I know, I know. Geez, learn to live a little," Yang scoffed over the intercom while the sound of keyboards being pressed were heard. "Okay, let's see here… Yep, there are five other bombs all around the city's main islands, none of which are next to each other. Super…"
"Most of them are moving around rapidly, I imagine in trucks," Blake pointed out, then hissed. "Looks like one has stopped, over in the Financial District. It's located in a construction site on Andrews Street, fiftieth floor. That thing detonates there. It'll cover the entire district…"
"Huh." The viewing Yang blinked. "I gotta admit my other is actually doing a good job at that."
"Yeah…" Blake blinked as well but slightly smirked. "You usually don't pay attention to the boring stuff."
"I'm sending Nightwing over now," Oracle declared. "Red Hood just called in. He and Batgirl are tracking one of the trucks as we speak. I'll send Spoiler, Red Robin, and Batwoman to other probable locations."
"I take it those are names of his teammates?" Clover asked.
"Yes, sir!" The gynoid happily said. "There are few others that haven't been mentioned yet, but I will be happy to reveal them when they are revealed."
"Robin and I will find the last one. Keep me posted, Batman out." With that, Batman shut off the radio and grappled to another building, the same one he had deposited the wounded man before. His son, Damian Wayne, was huddled over him with his hand over the man's face while holding his wrist with the other.
"Who's the kid?" Qrow asked, surprised that a young hero in that line of work happens to around Ruby or Oscar's age.
"That's Robin, real name Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and the sidekick of the Batman," Penny said, much to everyone's shock.
"What?! That young man is the son of Bruce Wayne?" James says in shock, not excepting for the Dark Knight even to have any offsprings.
"How old is that kid?" Marrow asked.
"He's currently fifteen years old," Penny said, shocking them again.
"Fifteen?!" Ruby recoils back in shock. "He's the same as I was!"
"And he's the Batman's sidekick?!" Oscar says in awe and shock that someone out there who is that young is fighting beside the Dark Knight.
"Yup! Like Batman, Robin has no powers of any kind, but his combat and intellect make up for it. In the beginning, Damian was born and raised by a group called the League of Assassin, an organization that has existed on Earth for centuries. His mother, Talia al Ghul, gave Bruce his son, believing that he would achieve greatness far beyond what the league can offer."
"Why would Bruce even leave his kid with a bunch of assassins?" Qrow raised a brow. Why would the Dark Knight do that?
"That's because Bruce did not know of Damian's existence," Penny answered, taking everyone aback.
"What?! He didn't know? How the heck is that possible?" Yang questioned, shocked at how the World's Greatest Detective did not know of his own child's existence.
"That's easy! Talia raped Bruce in one of their romantic get-togethers. Whatever raped means." Penny tilted her head in confusion on what particular word meant while the rest of the audience had a mixed reaction to that revelation
Ren, James, Robyn, Pietro, Clover, Elm, and Vine just dropped their jaws. Winter, Marrow, Weiss, Blake, Jaune, Harriet, Qrow, Nora, and Yang where utterly shocked that actually happened. And Ruby and Oscar were confused about what the word 'raped' means. Since beacuse the young Rose was raised by an overprotective family and the farm boy lived outside of the Kingdoms.
"What does raped mean?" Ruby asked while Oscar and Penny also wondered, snapping out of Qrow and Yang's laughter.
"Um…" Yang looks at her uncle as he looked back, not knowing what to say either. "We'll tell you when Oscar's old enough."
"What?" Oscar blinked as he raised a brow. "What does that–?"
"When Oscar's older!" Qrow finished ending the conversation, much to the younger audience's confusion.
"Robin, how is he?" Batman asked, and Damian slowly shook his head.
"He bled out, father," Robin revealed, and Batman clenched his fist tightly. "I'm sorry, there was nothing I could do."
A few of the audience gasped, sadden to learn that the civilian died in the end.
"No…" Ruby covers her mouth with her hands as tears threaten to fall from her eyes.
"At least… at least the poor guy got the chance to know that he was saved," Oscar said.
"How do you know that?" Harriet questioned.
"I don't." The Ace-Op blinked at the young boy's answer. "I just do." Harriet stared at a boy for a few seconds before looking at the ground, then back on the screen with a look that not even her teammates can tell what her expression was.
"It's not your fault," Batman replied as he and his son walked to the edge of the building. "We need to find Scarecrow, put an end to this. After we find the bombs."
"Alright." Robin nodded as he perched himself on a gargoyle. "When we find Crane, what are going to do with him?"
"Lock him away in Arkham, where he belongs." At Batman's declaration, Robin looked at him with a hard look.
"Even after this? Father, this is the worst attack he's done in years. We put him in Arkham. He's liable to break out again and do worse," Robin pointed out. Whatever decision his father made, he would go along with it, but that didn't mean to wouldn't voice his opinions on the matter. Batman's hard stare answered his unasked question, and Robin shrugged. "Just pointing it out. Not saying we should."
"Robin got the point there," Robyn said while she was slightly chuckling, having the same name. "The guy should get the death sentence."
"Most people will agree, but due to Crane's lawyers, they would label him as a mentally disabled person, so instead of giving him the death penalty, he would be sent to the Asylum for rehabilitation," Penny explained.
"What?! That's bullshit! Why the heck would they allow that?!" Elm shouts in disbelief.
"It's their Laws, isn't it?" James calmly said, being familiar with the Law himself since he holds two seats of Atlas's Council.
"It is." Penny nodded. "You can learn more in the Library."
Batman released his stare and sighed. "I know." He then stood up and pressed a button on his gauntlet, the roar of the Batmobile answering him as it sped down the street.
"Okay, now that," Yang declared as the Batmobile came into view, "is officially the coolest car I've ever seen!" It wasn't hard to see why. The vehicle was elongated and heavily armored, with two rotary cannons on the front end and a cabin at the back. Twin spoilers, shaped like batwings, rose out the back on either side of the rear, while a single jet engine stuck out of the back, while a large single-barrel cannon sat collapsed on top of the cabin. It looked more like a tank than an armored car.
"Oh my gosh, it is!" The viewing Yang declared seeing Batman's car. But not as excellent as her Bumblebee. Oh, how she misses her bike.
"What is that beautiful masterpiece?" Ruby asked as her eyes sparkled at the sight of the Batmobile.
"That's the Batmobile, Batman's personal vehicle next to the Batwing," Penny answered. "Like its airborne counterpart, it is equipped with the necessary equipment for the Batman disposal."
"Is there anything that the Batman does not have?!" Marrow says in awe.
Without saying a word, Batman and Robin leaped off of the building and glided down to the oncoming Batmobile. The vehicle stop just as the two reached it. The cabin opened automatically, allowing them to drop into their seats effortlessly. Strapping themselves in, Batman took hold of the controls and activated the internal display. A radar appeared in front of Damian's face, and he studied it intently.
"That was the most badass entry. Ever!" Nora squealed, seeing how Batman and Robin got in the Batmobile with style.
"It so was!" Oscar said as he giddily jumps on his seat. Who could blame him? He's the youngest out of the group.
"Okay, we are roughly one kilometer from the nearest bomb," Damian observed. "Due north of us. Putting in the route now."
As soon as the route appeared on the windshield, Batman slammed his foot on the gas, and the armored car raced down the street, a jet of fire trailing behind it.
"Um, sir?" Clover said, getting his General's attention. "Does Atlas have any projects currently that could match what Batman has or other forms of technology we have witnessed?"
James raised a brow, confused why the leader of Ace-Ops would ask that. "No… no, I don't believe we do."
Clover nodded his head at the answer then looked back to his superior. "Permission to speak freely, Sir?"
James was now confused about why the lucky Specialist would ask that. "…Yes, you may."
"I find that we terribly lack with our current technology compared to Earth's," Clover breathed out, feeling like he just unloaded a lot of weight from his shoulders.
James Ironwood blinked a couple of times before he registered what Clover had said to him. He didn't get angry or upset but just nodded, knowing very well despite Atlas's technological advances, it wouldn't compare to what Earth has offered. "So true, Specialist. So true." He dryly chuckled as they focused back on the screen.
"Spoiler, talk to me. See anything?" Tim Drake, clad in his Red Robin armored suit, spoke softly into his earpiece, sitting on his motorcycle inside a dark alleyway. On his mask's heads-up display, he could see the distance between him and the bomb's transmitter tick ever closer, and he kept his grip tight on the throttle.
"Who's that?" Oscar asked. "He kinda looks like Robin."
"That's Red Robin, real name Tim Drake originally the third Robin but graduated to his current guise for proving his skills for the countless years of training and fighting by Batman's side," Penny reveals.
"The third?" Winter echoed. "Does that mean that Damian is not the first Robin?"
"Correct. Damian is currently the fifth person to wear the mantle of Robin."
"Wow! Batman sure has a big team!" Nora says.
"Not yet. Getting close, though," Stephanie Brown, otherwise known as Spoiler, replied. Then she sighed, and Red Robin raised an eyebrow.
"Stephanie Brown, also known as Spoiler," Penny reveals. "Originally the fourth Robin after Tim Drake. Like the previous Robins, she trained and studied under the tutelage of the Dark Knight until she finally reached the level to make her own name."
"How many people did the Batman recruit?" Robyn asked.
"He didn't recruit them. They came to him, much to his reluctance before." Penny answered, shocking everyone. "At the beginning, when Bruce started his career as the Batman, the only ally he had was Alfred Pennyworth, and he originally planned to keep it that way. But as time grew, he met the soon-to-be protégés that would assist him and find their own paths. Later they would be known as Batman Family."
"Family?" Harriet whispered, saying the word as if it was so alien to her.
"Indeed!" Penny happily says as she recites a similar quote from Red Hood in her files. "At the beginning, they may have started as soldiers Batman built for his crusade. But they became something more, something even he never expected. They started as an army, but they chose to be a family. A perfect example for showing that there is hope for anyone such a dangerous and strict career like themselves can give hope for anyone with a similar career."
Both Teams RWBY and JNR and Oscar felt enormous warmth hearing such description of the Batman Family, seeing that even the Dark Knight would deeply care for his team as if they are his children while imagining that his protégés would see him as their father.
The adults felt a strong sense of approval that Batman would see his protégés as his family granted one of them is his literal son but none the less he even respected even more.
Robyn Hill saw his Happy Huntress as her family, but she doubts it would be at the same level as the Batman Family, but that didn't stop her from being inspired by such an example.
James respected such a family. He knows that his military force may not follow such a principle as a whole, but he can only hope that the smaller teams would fall to the idea, especially the Ace-Ops he knows that Clover has been trying to get his team to grow and connect. Yes, he agrees that following protocols are essential, and the Ace-Ops have proven themselves to be best, but even he knows that there are even flaws among the younger Specialists.
The Ace-Ops had mixed feelings in learning this from Batman and his family. Clover strongly approves of this and hopes that his team can learn from this. Elm saw this and had her thinking about how she should start treating her teammates than work acquaintances. Vine was one for the rules and learning that the Batman trained his protégés to what they are due to see each other as a family than being soldiers. Marrow knows that he puts up a front just to catch up with his fellow Ace-Ops. Unfortunately, his tail makes it difficult for that, but he was somewhat happy to learn that even the Batman can treat his team as a family, and finally, Harriet had the most mixed feelings out of everyone. She respects Batman and his skills and profession, but him treating his team as a family rather than soldiers just made her both confused and annoyed at the idea, and she doesn't even know why.
"No, but…" Spoiler sighed, audible through the earpiece. "It's just, of course, the crazies would come out to play after Batman goes up into space for a week."
"I can only imagine being a member of the Justice League, and being a protector to your own home can problematic," Penny comments about being a protector to Mantle and being a Huntress to the world.
"We all knew that was a possibility," Red Robin pointed out. "That's why he had us all come into Gotham while he worked on RWBY and JNPR."
"That's very smart and considerate of him." Weiss compliments the Dark Knight. "He knows that if he takes his time too long with our counterparts away from his home, his enemies will take advantage of it, which is why his team are already in Gotham before the Justice League could react."
"Yeah, I know. Even when we see it coming from a mile away, it's still just as annoying." Spoiler paused, thinking over her words carefully. "How much do you want to bet Batman is planning on taking them with him?"
"I wouldn't mind becoming Batman's protégé." Ruby innocently says as her friends agree with her at the idea.
Red Robin chuckled. "I won't take that bet. You know how he is."
"What does that mean?" Jaune asked what the two meant about Bruce.
"I think they meant that Batman is thinking about the idea, but he will let our counterparts decide." Ren reasons.
"True that." Spoiler laughed, only to cut off as screeching tires filled the audio. "I see them! Going in hot!"
"Finally, some action!" Yang shouts, eager to see how Batman's family fair against the bad guys.
"I see mine, too!" Red Robin announced as a white van passed him by. Throttling his cycle, he chased after them, his body hunched down to increase his speed. Seeing him, the van accelerated down the street, widening the gap slightly. Undeterred, Red Robin moved ever closer, only to swerve out of the way as one of the cars next to the van opened a window, allowing a masked man to lean out and fire a burst of automatic gunfire at the vigilante. The bullets passed by harmlessly where he once was, and Red Robin swerved off the street and onto the sidewalk to avoid more gunfire.
"You know, for once, I would like to have a car chase without being shot at!" Spoiler declared as gunfire sounded off around her.
"Ha! Wouldn't that be nice." Clover chuckled, remembering the times that he and his tea would do similar chases like these in Atlas or Mantle.
"It would be nice!" Red Robin agreed as another gunman leaned out of a car window. Without missing a beat, he reached into his belt and pulled out a shuriken shaped like an R. He threw it at the exposed gun, striking the hand and causing it to be dropped onto the street below.
"Nice aim!" Ruby cheered as she eyed at Red Robin's R-shaped shuriken. "Love how their shuriken are themed after their costumes."
"Gaagh!" the terrorist grunted as he clasped his wrist in pain. Seizing his advantage, Red Robin sped towards the car and moved alongside it. Another man moved to fire at Red Robin through his window, only for him to throw explosive pellets at the front tires. They exploded, shredding the tires and causing the car to careen violently to the left and slam into the other car, halting both of them in their tracks and leaving him alone with the van. He couldn't help but smile, but he had to remain focused.
A few of the audience cringed, seeing the two vehicles crash at each other. Fortunately, no one seemed to be badly hurt, while also they cheered at the same time.
"That was so cool!" Ruby cheered. "Those explosive pellets are so powerful!"
"Yes! How very fascinating!" Pietro says as he takes note of this information. He is familiar with Dust grenades installed for Yang's upgraded Ember Celica, but the idea for a much smaller pellet size explosive intrigues him.
"Oracle, call GCPD on my position!" Tim announced as the van skidded and turned sharply, forcing him to turn after it.
"On it," Oracle replied immediately. "Two squad cars are en route."
"They sure are through on tier work." Vine nods at their efficiency.
"Any luck on finding Crane?" Red Robin ducked as a few bullets struck his windshield, cracking it slightly.
"Still working on it. His signal is bouncing around all of the bombs' transmitters. Disable them, and you should be able to find him." Red Robin nodded at the information.
"Understood." He sped ever closer to the van, which began swerving to the left and right in an attempt to shake him off. In the distance, he could hear a few gunshots sound off, and from what he could tell, they were getting closer.
"Looks like Spoiler is nearby," Qrow said.
"Spoiler, what's your location!"
"Hold on a sec!" Spoiler shouted. A moment later, a loud explosion and screeching tires sounded off in the background, and Spoiler grunted. "Okay, all good. Just me and the van now, about a mile from your position."
"Perfect. Spoiler, lead them to the intersection up ahead!"
"On it!" Spoiler announced and was followed by a screeching of tires. Narrowing his eyes, Red Robin sped towards the back of the van and stood up on top of the seat. As the cycle moved closer, he leaped forward and grabbed hold of the van's back hatch, a loud clang announcing his presence that was followed by the sound of his cycle automatically braking to a stop. Leaning down but careful to keep his hold, he began to kick at the lock. After a few heavy blows, the metal attachment broke off of its hinge and tumbled down the street, allowing him to hoist the door open. He was immediately met with a barrage of gunfire, forcing him to throw himself onto the roof of the vehicle to dodge it. More shots followed after him through the top of the compartment as he backed up along the van's roof before hurling himself to the side. As he descended, he grabbed his staff and stabbed it through the side of the van. Keeping his momentum going, he swung to the open hatch door and grabbed hold of it, using it to pivot himself into the van and kick one of Scarecrow's men in the chest.
Reacting immediately, the other two gunmen in the van attempted to pull out their sidearms and shoot him, only for Red Robin to vault over the bomb and kick one in the head straight into the van's side, knocking him out instantly. The other got off a few shots, only for them to bounce off of Red Robin's armor, allowing him to close the distance and pummel him in the face relentlessly. After a few blows, he slumped to the ground, unconscious.
"Holy crap! He's just as good as Batman!" Elm shouts in awe.
"Obviously! He's one of Batman's protégés!" Jaune adds.
"The van is secure," Red Robin revealed as he walked to the stabbed portion of his staff and grabbed hold of it. The staff then collapsed into the end he was holding, allowing him to bring it inside. Walking over to the monitor and pulling out his decryption device, he knelt down and began decrypting the password. After a few moments, the monitor flashed green and granted him access, allowing him to disarm the bomb and transmit the relevant information to both Oracle and the Watchtower.
"Interesting… let's see how they disarm the bombs," Winter says as she carefully studied how the hero would handle it.
"Second bomb is disarmed, proceeding to removal." Red Robin proceeded to aim his staff at the bottom of the bomb and extended it, the back end pushing into the front of the van and sliding the bomb slightly. Pushing with all his might, the bomb inched closer and closer to the open door before finally falling out of it, skidding along the pavement with a shower of sparks.
"Hey, what was that?!" the driver yelled out in confusion. Taking that as his cue to leave, Red Robin pressed a button on his gauntlet and summoned his motorcycle to him, which appeared after a few moments. He leaped onto it without issue, twisting himself in mid-air to land on it correctly, then slammed on the brakes, skidding to a hard stop. The van continued on without him, seemingly obvious to the loss of its cargo.
"Nice landing!" Yang grins while also being jealous of how the motorcycle would appear to him via remote control.
"But the van is getting away." Blake points out why Red Robin would allow that.
"And three… two… one…" Red Robin counted down. As he finished, the second van slammed into the first from the side, pushing it off of its wheels and sending broken glass everywhere. A moment later, Spoiler, still wearing her purple armored cloak but with a few more bullet dents in it than before, got out of the driver's seat and walked over to her fellow vigilante.
"Oh! That so well timed!" Marrow could help but smirk at the action heck. Even he couldn't stop his tail from wagging.
"Whoa… she looks so cool!" Ruby admired what Spoiler looked like, especially her hood.
"Have to say, that worked out quite well," she declared as she tossed Tim a pair of handcuffs, who proceeded to hoist the groaning driver of the first van out of his seat and cuff him to a light pole. Nodding at the action, she brought her hand to her ear and began to speak once again. "Both bombs are secure and disarmed. Ready for extraction."
"Two bombs at once? Impressive." Clover says.
"Got it, dispatching a GCPD airship and squad car now," Weiss' voice cut into the channel. "I need one of you to get a sample of the gas, one not contaminated by the outside air."
"I need samples?" The viewing Weiss raised a brow.
"I believe the League requested your counterpart to do so that they can create the antidote." Winter theorized.
"May I ask why?" Red Robin asked as he walked towards the nearest bomb and pulled out an apparatus.
"Mr. Terrific and J'onn J'onzz requested a sample for the antidote," Weiss revealed. "There should be a valve on the left side of the bomb."
"A valve next to the bomb…" Pietro grimaced at the idea. "So that is how they spread the toxin."
"I see it." Red Robin knelt down to the valve in question and attached the apparatus to it. "Attached."
"Allow me," Weiss said as he could hear the sounds of keys being pressed. A moment later, a sound emitted from the bomb as orange gas began to pour into the attached device, shutting off a moment later. "Done, information coming in now. Let's see here… Gods above, what is in this stuff?"
Everyone watching was confused why alternate Weiss made that comment.
"What does my other mean?" The viewing Weiss asked.
"Perhaps it was inside the toxin that she has gathered."Ren deduces.
"Hell if I know." Red Robin regretfully sighed. "Can you make an antidote?"
"Yes, it's being worked on now, but… Look at it. What kind of deranged mind would come up with this?"
"Is… is it that bad?" The viewing Weiss began to worry.
"One who has a sick mind to begin with," Spoiler answered. "Keep us posted, Watchtower."
"I… Understood. Watchtower out." The radio clicked off, and the two teenagers looked at each other.
"I don't think she's ever seen a chemical weapon before, maybe not even heard of one," Spoiler noted, and Red Robin slowly nodded in affirmation. "Just her luck that she sees one of the worst ever made."
"A chemical weapon…" James grimaced at how fitting this name is.
"So it's that bad…" Weiss grimaced, feeling bad for her other.
"Don't worry, Weiss," Ruby said as she comforts her partner. "At least you don't need to worry looking at what that Fear Toxin is made off."
"She's right, friend Weiss!" Penny chimed in. "Mr. Mxyzptlk has made sure not to add any information about how to make or create anything lethal aside from the description of the said topic. So you don't need to worry about finding them here."
"That's good to hear." Oscar sighs in relief, glad that Remnant won't be getting any chemical weapons. "I doubt Remnant even needs such weaponry, and I'm thrilled that no one has ever thought off or created it."
"My thoughts exactly." Red Robin then pulled out his grapple gun, as did Spoiler. "By the way, sorry about date night."
"Aww, they're a couple?" Yang smiled, glad to know that there are more hero couples she's seen so far.
"Oh, so now you bring it up?" Spoiler smiled as the two of them zipped away. "Don't worry, beating up psychopaths is a great alternative to a movie." Red Robin smiled at her answer as they glided across Gotham City, straight towards the epicenter of the attack.
"Aww, they're so cute together!" Nora gushed as she held Ren's hand, making him give a small smile as he held her hand.
A mother, cradling her child, ran through the streets of a Gotham City, quickly descending into chaos. She couldn't help but admit to herself that, with all the psychopathic supervillains that call her city home, she had a lot of practice in this area. Too much practice, in fact. She would have moved if she could, but with a baby to take care of on a minimum wage job, her options were limited.
Most of the audience gasped in horror seeing the mother with her infant in all this chaos.
"Oh, no!" Wiess gasped in horror as she covers her mount with her hands.
"Waagh!" her baby wailed as she ducked into an alleyway. Around her, people screamed at everything in sight, while a few began attacking what they undoubtedly saw as terrifying monsters. She thanked every god who would listen that she had enough time to wrap a wet towel around her and her child's mouths, meaning that the worst of the toxin's effects were avoided. Still, she was experiencing mild hallucinations, but not enough to lose her mind completely. She could only pray that it would be enough to keep the same from happening to her more vulnerable child.
"So that's how she did it," Vine says when he wondered why the mother and child were not affected by the toxin.
"I'm impressed a civilian thought of that in this situation," Robyn says as she thinks of a way she could use that idea for the people of Mantle.
"Sssh, sssh, it's okay," she soothed and rocked him side to side, hoping to calm him down while she herself stared with fear-filled eyes as a group of people beat each other senseless. Her eyes then widened as she realized she recognized them. They were her neighbors, people that she had known for years to be great people. One of them even invited her and the baby to a barbeque just last week, and now they were beating each other like the others were monsters crawling out of their closet.
"Such a horrible sight…" Winter mutters in both concern and horror as she dared imagine people doing the same thing n Remnant.
"Have to get out of here…" she muttered as she saw her chance and took it, running across the street and away from the chaos. Catching her breath momentarily, she continued running as fast as her legs could carry her, making sure to soothe the baby whenever she could. If she could just get away from the epicenter, towards the GCPD building, they would be safe.
Suddenly and without warning, a white van flanked by two black sedans slammed to a stop in the street in front of her. Men wearing burlap sacks and armor then got out of the vehicles, and to her horror, she realized they were all armed. Quickly, she hid herself behind a dumpster and waited, her heart pounding in her chest as she forced herself to slow her breathing.
"Damn! Just when she got the chance to escape." Qrow swears as he sees the mother's bad luck.
"Get the bomb inside, hurry!" one of the masked men yelled as something heavy was hauled out of the van. Peeking around the corner, she saw a white cylindrical object resting on the pavement while the men hefted it towards an abandoned tenement. "Hurry up! We don't have much time!"
"Don't yell at me!" a man hefting the bomb retorted, his other arm holding his rifle out near his hip. She could see his finger tapping along the trigger guard, and she could imagine why that was the case. Then, a few screams broke out as a couple people ran out of an alley near them, shouting in fright but going stiff as they saw the men in front of them. Angrily, one of them aimed his rifle upwards and began to fire, frightening them off and forcing her to bite her tongue, preventing herself from screaming out. She prayed that her baby would remain quiet while she kept soothing it.
A few of the audience shrieked or yelped at the sudden action while the others remained silently tensed.
"I thought you said this place was secure?!" another man yelled out angrily.
"Goddammit!" the man she assumed to be in charge cursed. He fumbled with the lock and jumbled it, trying to pry it loose but finding it jammed. "Screw it! Put the bomb down here. We're setting it off now."
"They're going to set the bomb now!" Blake shouts in disbelieving horror.
"But Paul, Scarecrow said…!"
"I know what he said!" Paul yelled and interrupted the man. "I also know that the Bat is on his way here, and if we don't set it off now, nothing is going to happen! Crane's going to have to deal with it!" He snapped his fingers, and at once, the bomb was gently lowered to the ground. Another man strapped his rifle to his back and began typing away at a monitor while the others took position around it. Silently she watched until one man suddenly looked her way, forcing her to duck behind the dumpster again. After a few moments, she allowed herself to breathe and look again, only to suddenly see the mask of one of the gunmen staring right into her.
"Hello there," he said, an unsettling tone to her voice. The mother screamed and attempted to flee, only for the man to strike her with his rifle, knocking her onto her back. Although the baby was still tucked into her arms, the jarring impact startled him, and he began to wail.
"Oh, no!" Ruby gasped in horror.
"Is that a baby?!" one of the men asked as he and the others turned towards her. The man over her nodded, keeping his rifle trained on her.
"Yep, a mother and her child," he replied. "Paul, what should we do with her?"
"Does it look like I care? Just get her out of here," Paul shot back while he continued to type away at the monitor. Her assaulter shrugged and clicked his safety off, aiming at her head.
"Bastards!" Yang shouted as her eyes turned as she felt so helpless sitting in her set as she watches.
"Sorry, lady. Nothing personal," he softly stated while slowly squeezing the trigger.
"No, wait!" she shouted, holding her hand in front of her in a feeble attempt to protect herself, only for a shot to fire out. A splatter of blood shot across her face, and she squeezed her eyes shut in anticipation of a burning pain. A few moments later, she realized she wasn't feeling any pain at all, and when she finally opened her eyes, she saw the man lying dead in front of her, a fresh bullet hole in his skull.
Everyone cringed as they heard the sound of the gunshot, but to their shock, it wasn't the mother who died but the punk with the gun.
"Wh-What happened?!" Elm blurted as she demanded an answer.
"Stay down and get out of sight." She gasped and turned to face the source of the voice. She saw a black-armored man wearing a brown leather coat, holding a smoking pistol in his right hand. Emblazoned on his chest was a red bat, and covering his face was a featureless red helmet with black eyes.
"Oh, shit! It's Red Hood!" one of Scarecrow's goons called out as the criminals raised their weapons to fire, only for Red Hood to whip out his other pistol and start firing. One of the men went down immediately, forcing the others to take cover from the barrage of heavy fire.
"Oh, thank goodness… another one of Batman's family!" Robyn sighed in relief as she held her chest with her hand.
"That's Red Hood, real name Jason Todd, formerly the second Robin." Penny introduces. "Like all the others, he is personally trained by Batman himself, although unlike the others, he is one of the only two in the family that uses firearms."
"Why is that?" Ruby asked, wondering why that was a fact. Then again, she never did see Batman using a gun at all.
"Batman has a strict no-gun policy," Penny explained. "Most of the information why he set that rule is sealed, but it does show that the said two have been given special permission despite Batman's disapproval."
"A no-gun policy…" James muttered. In the world of Remnant, it is a common fact that almost every Huntsman uses guns in their personal weaponry. He could only wonder why the Dark Knight would be s against the idea of using firearms.
"Get out of here!" Red Hood, known to his family as Jason Todd, ordered as he kept up his fire. Nodding at him, the mother picked herself up and ran off into the night, away from the violence behind her. Once she was fully out of the line of fire, only then did Red Hood allow himself to break into cover and reload, at which point the gunmen opened fire on his position.
"Kill his ass!" a man shouted as he sprayed Red Hood's position with fully automatic gunfire, only for his weapon to click empty. Pausing to reload, he was unable to react in time for Red Hood to break cover and fire a shot briefly. He fell to the ground, howling in pain while clutching what was left of his hand.
"He has good aim," James comments, seeing how skilled Red Hood just by disarming a thug with only one shot.
"Anytime now," Red Hood calmly spoke as he combined his pistols into a rifle. Flipping the switch to fully automatic, he broke cover and began a sprinting fire towards another covered position, forcing Scarecrow's goons to take cover themselves. Halfway there, he abruptly stopped and fired a grappling gun at a nearby building, taking him above the bomb and out of their line of sight. For a moment, the criminals were confused, which was all the time he needed to drop a flashbang grenade among them casually.
The Faunus among the audience winced at both a sound and the bright light, but fortunately, they were not that affected.
"What was that?" Blake asked as she rubbed her eyes and ears, mostly her cat ones.
"That was a flashbang grenade," Penny answered. "Designed for temporally stunning enemies. Don't worry. The viewing made sure to lessen the sound and sight, so the Faunus in the room won't be affected."
"Fascinating!" Pietro says as he took note of it.
"Yeah… fascinating." Marrow muttered as he rubbed his eyes and ears like Blake as he wondered how much of an effect it would be for the Faunus if it happened.
"Gaagh!" the criminals below yelled and clutched their eyes and ears, leaving them defenseless as a young girl, clad in a black and yellow-trimmed batsuit with a yellow outline of a bat on her chest jumped from above and pinned a man to the ground. A thick yellow utility belt was wrapped around her waist, and a yellow rebreather mask was outfitted to her cowl. Despite not being able to see any part of her face, Red Hood recognized her as Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl.
"Another Batman?!" Nora gasped, seeing a woman wearing a Batman costume catching women's interest.
Penny giggled as she shook her head. "No, that's Cassandra Cain, the second Batgirl. Like Damien, she was a former member of the League of Assassins trained at an early age up to her teenage years. She later broke her ties with the League and decided to join Batman as his protégé. Oh! Additionally, she's a mute."
"Batgirl's here, too?!" another man yelled as he raised his rifle to fire, only for Batgirl to throw a Batarang at his hand, forcing him to drop it. A shot rang out from the dropped weapon, striking a man in the leg and causing him to fall. Taking advantage of the situation, Batgirl leaped onto a man. She grabbed his shoulders, hoisted herself over him to land on her feet, and used her momentum to throw him over her body and onto the pavement, knocking him out instantly.
"Damn! Girl's got some moves." Harriet grinned, liking her already.
As the other criminals regained their wits, Red Hood shot a grapnel at a man's thigh and hoisted him upwards. As he howled in pain, Red Hood leaped down and used him as a counterweight to swing like a pendulum and kick another man in the chest, knocking him back several feet and shattering a wooden crate. Pulling out his pistols, he prepared to flick off the safeties, only to see a disapproving shake of Batgirl's head.
"Was… was he about to kill him?" Oscar stuttered, seeing what Red Hood was about to do.
"Looks like it," Clover said. "I wonder why Batgirl stopped him, though."
"Batman has another strict rule, the no-killing policy." The protector Mantle revealed. "This rule is mostly followed by Batman and his protégé."
"Then why did Red Hood kill the man earlier?" Weiss narrowed her eyes. "Don't get me wrong, that man deserved what was coming to him for willingly trying to kill a mother and her child, but why is he following that rule?"
"There's a file regarding that topic, but it's sealed. The only thing I could get out of is that it's 'long and complicated'."
"Ugh, fine," Red Hood grunted as he kept the safeties on and flipped the pistols in his hands. Now holding the barrels, he began swinging them like clubs, striking any criminal in his warpath. One man tried to punch him, only for Red Hood to grab his arm and twist it before swinging his pistol down onto the elbow, breaking it. As the man screamed, Red Hood then ripped the gas mask off his face, exposing the criminal to the fear toxin and making him collapse into hysteria. Grunting to himself in satisfaction, Red Hood continued his assault, wailing on another criminal with unmatched brutality.
"He sure doesn't hold back." Jaune winced, seeing the brutality the red-clad hero was doing.
Batgirl's attacks, in contrast, were like watching a ballerina. She danced between everyone attacking her, gracefully bobbing, weaving, and jumping over any attacks that came her way. Reading her opponent's movements at an instant, she would react preemptively, doing whatever needed to be done to ensure that while her opponent's attacks failed to land, hers did not. Between every dodge, she would lash out with light punches, jabs, and kicks, and already her opponents sported many nasty bruises.
"She's so elegant," Weiss muttered in awe seeing how the Batgirl gracefully defeated her foes with such skills. Compared to her fighting style, she mostly relied on Myrtenaster and her Glyphs to perform her combat grace. But never the idea of using close-quarter combated without her weapon, and Semblance never occurred to her. "I wonder if I can do that…"
Narrowing her eyes, Batgirl decided to end this and jumped upwards over a clumsy kick and kneed a man in the jaw, snapping his head back and knocking him out. As his body fell, she kicked off of it and used him as a springboard, leaping towards another man on the opposite side of him. Throwing a pair of batarangs at separate attackers, she latched onto his shoulders and twisted herself around his neck, and closed them tightly. He tried to pry his way out, only for Batgirl to tighten her grip and put him into a sleeper hold. After a few moments, he gave way to unconsciousness, and she leaped off of him while the last two criminals moved to attack. Before they could take a step, two shots rang out and hit their legs, downing them both as they clutched their wounds.
"Woah! Was that Red Hood?" Ruby jumped in her seat at the sudden gunshots.
"Wasn't me," Red Hood immediately spoke up as he finished walloping a criminal across the face. Batgirl continued to stare at him before turning her head to see a woman walking up to them. She was wearing a batsuit similar to her own, although the woman in front of them was far older, the yellow was replaced with red, and long red hair flowed out of her cowl. Like the others, except for Red Hood's built-in rebreather in his helmet, a red rebreather mask covered her face.
Nora gasped in excitement. "Another Batgirl?!"
"Nope." Penny giggled. "That's Kathy Kane, the Batwoman."
"Let me guess, she's the original Batgirl," Maria smirked.
"Nope." The gynoid said, making the elderly lady blink. "She's the very first Batwoman to join the Batman. Kathy was a formerly military student who attends the United States Military Academy at West Point but was unfortunately expelled from the academy before graduation. She was later trained by the Dark Knight and is the second person in the group permitted to use firearms."
"Why was she expelled from the Military Academy?" Winter asked.
"I'm honestly, not sure." Penny tilted her head. "The file says something about her breaking protocol."
"The who was the first Batgirl?" Ruby asked.
"Barbara Gordon was the original Batgirl before she stepped down the mantle and became Oracle."
"Finished yours already?" Red Hood greeted Kathy Kane, the Batwoman.
"Sorry I'm late," Batwoman said as she holstered her pistol. "Took care of another bomb in the Narrows. That should leave just two."
"They work fast." Vine nods in admiration for their efficiency at getting the job done.
"Nightwing is already on scene and is about to disarm the one in the Financial District, while Batman and Robin are in pursuit of the last one," Jaune called out over the radio.
"Yeah! Leave to fearless leader!" Nora cheered, making her team leader chuckle at her antics.
"Another one of Batman's protégé, I take it?" James asked.
"Yes, General," Penny answered. "I'll properly introduce him when he appears."
"None of that matters if we don't find Crane," Red Hood angrily pointed out. "Do you or Oracle have any leads as to where the hell he is?"
"We're still triangulating his position. We think that he's located somewhere in the Bowery, as his signal seems to be bouncing around that area. Recommend you three meet up with Red Robin and Spoiler there," Oracle recommended.
"Wow. I think I should start working on monitor duty." The viewing Jaune says, impressed at his counterpart despite being younger, is skilled at his job assigned to him.
"Finally," Red Hood said with a nod. "Red, Spoiler, we'll meet you two there."
"Got it," Red Robin's voice cut in. "We'll be there."
Nodding to himself, Red Hood cut off the radio and turned to the others. As Batwoman moved to disarm the bomb, a muffled movement caught his attention, and with a grimace, he realized it was the man he had shot in the hand earlier. Walking up to him, he realized it was the supposed leader of this particular outfit, the same man who callously allowed one of his men to try to execute an innocent mother and child. With a scowl, Red Hood pulled out his pistol and aimed it at the downed man.
The audience remained silent as they watched Red Hood. The mature ones had a neutral look as they watched, but they can only imagine what he would do. The others could only watch nervously as they all suspect that Red Hood will kill the injured thug.
"No, please…" the criminal begged for his life, clutching his stump of a hand. He was met only with the sound of the safety being flicked off and the hammer being pulled. Before he could fire, he felt a gentle weight on his arm, and from the corner of his eye, he saw Batgirl staring at him. She said nothing, but he understood her intent.
"Why is she defending him?" Harriet questioned. "She has no reason to stop Red Hood."
"She's obviously the voice of reason here," Yang says, still not forgetting about the Ace-Ops comments about the mercy kill. "And besides, did you forget about Batman's no-killing rule? I don't know why Red Hood breaks that rule, but I know that his family is there to stop him from doing that."
Harriet narrowed her eyes towards the blond but huffs as she focuses back at the screen.
"Why?" he asked, his sights never leaving the man's skull. "Why should he get to live when he and others like him have ruined thousands of lives tonight? A man so apathetic to others that he's willing to let a mother and child die is just as bad as the man who tried to kill them."
Batgirl continued to stare at Red Hood, slowly shaking her head. Her eyes bored into his, telling him to spare the criminal's life and not cross the line between defense and murder. After what felt like an eternity and with an angry grunt, he clicked the safety on and holstered his pistol. He then proceeded to kick the downed criminal in the head, knocking him out cold.
"Well, that's better than killing him, at least…" Jaune breaths out a sigh of relief.
"Better to traumatize the bad guy than killing him, I suppose," Qrow said.
"What?" he asked without an ounce of shame as the other two glared at him. "He's not dead. It's called compromise."
"Huh. Never that it that way…" Elm mutters, seeing that she could have thought of using that idea during her past mission as long as it doesn't affect her and her team's objective.
Batwoman sighed, then fully shut off the bomb, transmitting the data to both Oracle and the Watchtower once she was done. The three then pulled out first aid and cuffs and prepared the criminals for the GCPD, as well as any medical attention they might require. By the time the police arrived, they were long gone.
Overlooking the construction site, Nightwing, otherwise known as Dick Grayson, silently watched the men toil away at the bomb. They had already received word that the other bombers had been apprehended, both from intercepted police reports as well as a distinct lack of communication from them. As such, they were on high alert, snipers and riflemen taking up positions along every line of sight around the bomb itself.
"I take it that is Nightwing?" Harriet asked, liking what she sees seeing the black and blue-clad spandex hero.
"Yes, that's Richard John "Dick" Grayson, also known as Nightwing and previously the original Robin." Penny introduces. "Originally, Dick Grayson is a young talented acrobatic circus performer and his family known as the Flying Graysons."
"A circus performer?" Ren blinked, surprised to learn that the original Robin was initially a performer. "I can understand that his acrobatic skills can major advantages to his combat skill, but how did he manage to be Batman's protégé?"
"Sadly, a tragedy happened to the Grayson family that caused Dick to be an orphan." The audience gasped, saddened to hear such a tragedy. "Bruce, feeling sorry and understanding for the young boy, decided to adopt him and take him as his own. Later, the young boy discovered Bruce's secret of being the Batman and proved himself to be Batman's first protégé and the beginning of the Batman Family."
"That's so sad…" Sadly, Ruby was touched that Bruce went far to take in Dick when he needed help the most.
"At least Dick had a second chance in having a family." Yang smiled sadly.
"Looks like they already armed it," he grimly noticed through his mask's optics, zooming in on the monitor. A timer displaying ten minutes was on its top right corner, and his scowl deepened. It wasn't a lot of time to take out ten heavily armed and alert men, but it would have to do.
"That's so cool! Their masks have optics!" Ruby says in awe.
"That's right! All of the Batman Family have their masks digitally connected to Oracle's connections and has other multiple uses such as measuring the targets heartrate." Penny said while her father took note of this useful information.
"But he as ten minutes to defuse the bomb." Winter points out. "How will he handle this?"
Pulling out his grapple gun, Nightwing silently zipped to a nearby steel beam and crept along its upper ridge. Years of training, both with his family and under Batman's wing, made his steps silent and masked his approach to one of the snipers.
"He has such quiet footsteps," Blake comments. Even with her Faunus traits, she couldn't hear a single thing.
"You guys see anything?" one of the men nervously called out.
"Nuthin' yet," another replied. "Just hope it keeps that way."
"Don't talk like that, man!" a sniper angrily shouted. "You wanna jinx us or something!?"
"Ha!" Qrow laughs at the pure irony at that comment, seeing how his Semblance always makes the bad guys eat their words despite the negative effect it does towards himself and his friends and family.
Nightwing smirked under his dark blue rebreather as the man fumbled for an answer. He hadn't even shown himself yet, and they were already scared, something that his optics picked up on. All of them sported elevated heartrates indicative of nervousness. Stopping over a sniper, Nightwing moved his gaze over the rest of the goons below him and waited for an opening. After a few moments, a head briefly turned and left the criminal below him out of sight, allowing Nightwing to pounce. He zipped down to the criminal and grabbed his shoulders before hoisting the startled man upwards. Holding him aloft, he attached a line to the steel beam they were on before dropping him.
"Aagh!" the criminal screamed as he fell before jerking to a stop above the ground, the force ripping the rifle from his hands. Nightwing watched as his screams attracted the other men, and a few quickly ran over to the dangling man.
"Holy crap! That was crazy." Jaune shouts.
"Are all of the Batman Family this crazy good at scaring people?" Oscar asked while shivering at the thought of being dangled from that height.
"What the hell happened?!" one asked as he looked the man over.
"I don't know!" he replied. "Get me down, man!"
"Hold still, let me think of something!"
"They all learned well from the Dark Knight," Maria grins, complementing the Batman Family and their skills.
As the men worked to try and figure out a way to get their comrade down safely, their heart rates slowly elevating, Nightwing continued on. Seeing a man isolated, he zipped above him and repeated the same process as before, leaving yet another criminal dangling from the rafters. Once again, his screams attracted yet more attention, but now eyes were on the rafters themselves.
"He's taking them out one by one!" Yang laughed.
"Not only is he silently taking them out, but he's also using a fear tactic against them, making them even more disorderly than they are before," James says, impressed such a tactic could use in such an affected way. He would make sure to study such a method for future references.
"Ah, shit! One of 'em's here above us!" the apparent head of the operation announced, his rifle trained on the steel beams. Nightwing's optics picked up red laser sights emitting from underneath the barrels, several scanning the rafters and trying to find him. While his armor was good, it wasn't meant to take sustained fire, and so Nightwing shifted tactics. Quietly, he dropped down and crouched behind a pillar, trying to find a place to pick another off. When he saw an underlying grate, he silently moved towards it and placed himself inside, revealing a small drainage network under the floor.
"He's very resourceful in where to hide," Blake comments, seeing that he creatively used the small drainage network as a hiding spot.
"I don't see anything!"
"Keep lookin'! He's here!"
Nightwing continued underneath the floor towards the feet of a gunman, seeing how his attention was focused elsewhere. Seizing his chance, the vigilante sprung from underneath the floors and onto the man above, pinning him to the ground with a loud clang. As the man struggled, Nightwing twirled one of his batons around and smacked him in the back of the head, knocking the man out instantly. Before the rest of the criminals could get to their fallen comrade, Nightwing was already down.
"So his weapons are batons?" Ruby eyed at the weapons while she was awed at how Nightwing masterly took down his target with such little effort.
"Goddammit! Somebody find this son of a bitch!"
Moving to the other end of the tunnel network, Nightwing saw yet another isolated man, his heart rate quickly accelerating, and leaped up at him and threw him against a wall. Before he could move back down to the grates below, one of the men saw him and raised his rifle with a shout.
"It's Nightwing!" he announced with a spray of fire, forcing Nightwing to zip away to safety, a few bullets pinging against his armor. The bullet spray followed after him, forcing him to zip between many different angles to evade, and after several more passes, he finally managed to do so. Grimacing, Nightwing noticed how the timer was now at six minutes, and there were still six more men he had to take down. He could probably disarm the bomb in a minute, but he didn't want to leave things to chance, so he would have to take down six men in four minutes.
"Cutting it close!" Marrow says as they all watched, wondering if Nightwing will make it in time.
'Well, no one said this job is easy,' he thought to himself as he moved down below once more. Seeing a partially destroyed wall, Nightwing pulled out a can of explosive gel, sprayed his logo onto it, a bird-shaped like a V, and placed a device next to it. Zipping away again, he activated the device, creating a loud ringing noise that attracted a man towards it.
"What's that gel?" Oscar asked.
"Those are explosive gels," Penny answered. "They're not lethal, but they are powerful to knock out a person or destroy a small part of a damaged concrete wall."
"Ingenious! With that kind of material, there won't be any necessary waste of using Dust for such tasks!" James says in awe, thinking about the possibilities for the gels.
"Love the bird symbol," Robyn comments on Nightwing's work, and Qrow chuckled, agreeing with the Happy Huntress, seeing that their names are similar sounding to actual birds.
"What the…?" he mumbled as he edged closer to the source of the sound, his rifle trained on the wall. Once the gunman entered the effective radius, Nightwing detonated the gel, sending a barrage of broken concrete forward and striking the startled thug, sending him to the ground writhing in pain. Picking up on his angle, the men refused to come to his aid and stayed where they were, but Nightwing was already on the move.
"Whoahoho! That was one heck of an explosion! I so need to get my hands on those!" Nora grinned ear to ear, seeing such a possible explosive that was begging to be in her reach. This made her friends worry for her, no, for everyone.
Leaping off the side of the building, he extended his arms and deployed his wingsuit, gliding around the building's edge for an open window, then grappled towards it, ending up behind a now terrified man and quickly putting him in a sleeper hold. Once he was unconscious, Nightwing zipped away once more and moved towards the next thug, the man now shakily moving his rifle back and forth. Once his back was turned, Nightwing pounced down upon him and threw him to the ground, kicking away his rifle and striking his forehead with his baton, knocking him out. Looking at the remaining time, Nightwing's scowl deepened at the four-thirty that was quickly dropping down. Stealth was no longer an option.
"It appears stealth is now out of the option," Vine comments, seeing that there was not much time left.
"There he is! Get him!" a man called out as he raised his rifle, only for Nightwing to pull out a wing-ding and throw it at them. The wing-ding arced across the rifles, knocking them out of the gunmen's hands and leaving them disarmed.
"His shuriken is also the shape of a bird?" Blake says.
"Yes, but his are called wing-dings." Penny points out, making a few of the audience chuckled or giggled at the cute sounding name.
"Well, I'm here," Nightwing declared as he fully extended his batons, the ends sparking with electricity. "How about we make this easy, and you guys just surrender and let me disarm the bomb?"
"I like his style," Qrow smirked, liking how the kid handles himself despite the situation.
"So cool! His batons are also shock batons!" Ruby's eyes sparkled.
"Fat chance, creep!" One of the three declared as they charged him, and Nightwing sighed.
"Don't say I didn't try to make it easy for you guys," Nightwing said as he flipped over them. Their backs turned towards him, he swung his batons in a pincer, striking the men with the electrified ends and shocking all of them. They spasmed as electricity flowed through them, but the burliest one of them was able to recover and press on. He threw a punch at Nightwing, who nimbly twisted his body around it and retaliated with a jab to the face. Disoriented and clutching his nose, the thug was unable to stop as Nightwing began a relentless assault against him, striking him repeatedly. Each blow rang out across the construction site, only to stop as the man recovered his wits and grabbed the batons. He then hurled the vigilante to the ground and made to curb-stomp Nightwing's head, but the vigilante rolled out of the way just in time. At the end of his roll, he spring-boarded off the ground and onto his feet, grimacing that his batons were now several feet away from him.
"He's very skilled with his batons." Harriet compliments the vigilante's precise and close-range combat but was caught off-guard seeing the thugs separating his weapons from him. "How the heck did that happened?!'
"He's rushing," Clover said. "Not that I can blame him, though with how short on time he is."
"Ya think you can make a fool outta me!?" the man yelled out while pumping his fists.
"Buddy, you don't need me to do that for you," Nightwing quipped, enraging the criminal and making him charge. As he did, Nightwing vaulted over him and kicked his back, stumbling him slightly. As he recovered, he clasped his hands together and swung them like a hammer, striking Nightwing in the face and sending him flying into a wall. Rubbing his jaw, Nightwing noticed he was next to a junction box, and an idea sprung to his head just as the thug charged him.
'Have to time this just right,' he thought and waited against the wall. Just as the man cleared the proper distance, Nightwing moved, kicking off of the wall and into the man's chest. Not expecting the attack, he was helpless as Nightwing pounded his head repeatedly before grabbing his shoulders tightly. Nightwing swung the man around in a circle before releasing him headfirst into the junction box. Sparks flew out as the man screamed in agony, electricity flowing through his body before Nightwing grappled him off of it. The man was unresponsive, and a quick look through his optics confirmed that the man was alive, albeit unconscious. He'd live, and that was more than enough for the vigilante. Nodding to himself, he turned to run over to the bomb when the sound of breaking glass caught his attention, and he quickly turned around with a wing-ding in hand at the source. It was one of the men he thought was already unconscious, clutching his head tightly and shakily aiming his rifle at Nightwing with one arm.
Everyone was impressed with how Nightwing, despite his disadvantage, he used his surrounding as his advantage. Most of the viewers cringed at the sight of the thug getting hurt but are glad that he survived. While they are pleased that he finally reached the bomb, most of their jaws dropped, seeing that one thug was standing after the beating he received.
"Are you kidding me?! How can one of them get back on their feet after that beating?" Weiss says in exasperation.
"That poor man is determined I can give him that," Maria said.
"You bastard…" he spat through gritted teeth, struggling to pull the trigger. Nightwing merely sighed in response then threw his wing-ding at the man's head, knocking him out instantly.
"Well, that was anticlimactic," Ren said.
"Note to self, be more thorough next time," he mumbled as he zipped over the bomb itself. Glancing at the timer, he winced as he saw a minute and thirty seconds left before detonation. "Oracle, I'm at the bomb! How do I disarm this thing?!"
"Working on it!" Oracle frantically called out as she typed away at her keyboard. "Okay, transmitting the disarming code to you now. Input it into the computer, and it should give you access."
"Hurry! You're running out of time!" Oscar shouts, feeling tense in his seat as everyone watched in similar silence.
"On it," Nightwing replied as the long code flashed across his optics. Racing against the clock, he inputted each character into the keyboard, being sure not to make a mistake. The clock ticking down past the minute sign, beads of sweat started appearing on his brow as he continued typing away.
"Nightwing, hurry!" Oracle pleaded.
"I know!" Thirty seconds were left, and time seemed to slow down. Each keystroke seemed to take an hour, but he pressed on. Finally, he entered the last key and submitted the code. "Got it!"
He stepped back as the bomb shuddered. For a moment, he was afraid that it would go off, but to his relief, nothing happened. There were five seconds left on the timer, and Dick let out a sigh of relief.
Even the audience sigh in relief.
"That was intense…" Jaune relaxed a bit.
"I'm so glad we had bomb disarming lessons from Beacon," Ruby said.
"Ruby, we barely even finished that class after the Fall." Weiss reminded her partner.
"That was close," he said while wiping his forehead. "Okay, everything good on my end. Contact GCPD for pickup."
"On it." Oracle's relief was audible, and Nightwing couldn't blame her. Taking a moment to catch his breath, he watched as a GCPD airship made its way over to him, spotlights beaming down on the chaotic city below. Memories began to surface as he looked across Gotham. It had been quite some time since he'd last stepped foot in this city, having since moved on to Blüdhaven on his own and Jump City with the Titans, but it was Gotham where he got his start. It was where his family died, only to make a new one with Bruce, Alfred, and Barbara. He had nothing but fond memories of Alfred Pennyworth and Barbara Gordon, but he had to admit that his relationship with Bruce was, and is, at times, tense. Still, the man was a father to him, one of the greatest men he had ever known and worthy of his respect.
"That's a lot of information we are getting here," Clover said as he quickly reads the message boxes on the screen. "Should we be concerned about these?"
"The information that I have says that I can only show them at the right time, and besides, it will take too long for me to explain," Penny answered, earning a nod of understanding from the leader of the Ace-Ops.
"Batman to all teams." Batman's voice suddenly cut into the radio, breaking Nightwing out of his thoughts. Internally, he found it ironic that he could announce himself just as he was thinking about him, but he pushed it aside. "Robin and I are on the last bomb, Rendezvous on our position."
"Just one bomb left…" Pietro said.
"Batman and Robin got this!" Ruby cheered.
"On it. Nightwing out," Nightwing declared as he leaped off the building and extended his wingsuit.
"Speed up, man! He's gaining on us!"
"Shut up and let me drive!"
"I can't go back to jail!"
"Listen to them! They're terrified of Batman." Elm laughed, hearing the fear in the bad guy's voice.
"Are we hearing this from a radio?" Vine asked, noticing how similar the sound was when he talks to his earpiece.
"It's thanks to Batman's equipment," Penny said. "Thanks to his optics and earpiece, they can instantly hack any electronic communication within Batman, or his protégés range so they can listen in to them without their knowledge."
"That is a beneficial device for infiltration missions!" James said, awed again by the Dark Knight's resourcefulness.
Over the radio, Batman and Robin heard the criminals panic as they raced after them in the Batmobile. Despite their best attempts at shaking him and his latest protégé, they were proving to be in vain. Pulling up alongside one of the sedans, through the windows of which the gangsters were firing uselessly at them, Batman sharply cut to the left, impacting the right rear tire of the vehicle. The impact caused the car to rotate to the right, forcing them to be sideswiped by the Batmobile's front end and dragged along. A shower of sparks barely masked their terrified screams, and with a groan, Robin pressed a button on his control panel. The Batmobile's front then split sideways, shearing the car in half and leaving the two halves behind them.
"Holy shit! That was crazy!" Robyn screamed with her eyes widen in disbelief, shocked as everyone else saw what the Batmobile is capable of.
"GCPD en route for pickup," Pyrrha declared as the still alive criminals sat numbly in their seats. "Batman, may I say something?"
"Proceed," Batman replied as the back of the van opened up, revealing a man wielding a minigun. He fired it at them, the high-velocity rounds bouncing off of the Batmobile's armor.
"It's even bulletproof," Pietro mutters in awe. "I wonder if it can withstand Dust equipped weaponry."
"All of this seems off to me," she elaborated. "It's too easy, and the others feel the same."
"A diversion?" Blake questioned as she perked up when the alternative Pyrrha mentioned it.
"Yeah… now that Pyrrha mentioned it, it did seem easy for Batman and his team in taking down the Scarecrow's thugs," Jaune said, now noticing how everything seemed to be going too well.
"You think it's a diversion?" Batman calmly asked as he fired a rubber bullet from the Batmobile's main cannon, striking the minigun-wielding thug in the chest and shooting him straight back into the front end of the van.
"It even has a gun installed?!" Ruby's eyes sparkled in awe.
"Possibly, we don't really know," Ren pointed out. "Even after all the other bombs have been defused, Crane's position is still bouncing around everywhere, almost as if there's something interfering with it."
"A jammer?" Penny said.
"So Crane has one extra bomb, and everyone else was a distraction." Clover points out, realizing what the villain's true intentions were. "Hate to admit it, but that was genius."
"Why do the bad guys always have to be this smart?" Nora whined.
"Because they're crazy, and they don't care about the consequences." Ren quipped, getting a surprised look from his friends, knowing that he doesn't make jokes like that. Nora laughed as she held her boyfriend close.
"I've noticed that, too," Oracle said. "It's not electronic, but more physical interference. Something big is blocking his signal from getting out."
"Plus, the amount of material in the bombs are nowhere near big enough to affect the entire city," Weiss announced. "Only enough for a few city blocks, unlike the first one he detonated. If I were a betting woman, I would say that Crane likely has a bigger bomb hidden somewhere and that the ones you have been going after are merely diversions while he sets that one up."
"And I'm willing to bet that I am right." The viewing Weiss smirked, knowing well that she's right.
Batman hummed to himself as he rammed the other sedan to the side, forcing it to crash into a parked car and stop in its tracks. As the man stumbled out of the wrecked vehicle, Robin already dialed the position to the GCPD.
Few of the audience cringed at the sight.
"I agree with all of you, and I've been suspecting the same thing," the Dark Knight announced as the van swerved down a tight alley, the Batmobile following straight behind it. "Were you able to find a general area where he is?"
"Leave it to the World's Greatest Detective to figure it our first before confirmation," Yang commented.
"Uh, maybe," Jaune replied, his voice uncertain. Batman suspected it had much to do with the shock of seeing Scarecrow's fear gas in action. "The signal seems to be concentrated, faint as it is, in the Narrows."
"Isn't that where Gotham's main water distribution system is?" Red Hood pointed out, alarm in his voice. Batman's eyes widened slightly as he realized that was the case.
"Good lord!" Maria gasped in realizing horror as her robotic eyes widen. "Crane is planning to poison Gotham's drinking water with his fear toxin!"
Everyone gasped in horror at what the mad man is planning.
"That monster!" Winter shouted in both horror and rage. "Doesn't he realize how much damage it will cost?"
"Crane already knows Winter," James said as he narrowed his eyes in disgust towards Scarecrow. "I doubt he even cares."
"He's in the sewers," Batman realized as he looked towards Robin, giving him a silent command. Acknowledging it, Robin unstrapped himself from his seat and began pressing a few buttons on the control panel. "There's a water main access pipe there. If he gets his fear toxin into it, he can infect the entire city instantly."
"Already en route," Nightwing declared, and Batman nodded.
"We'll be with you shortly." At that, Batman turned off the radio and turned his head to look at his son, who nodded in acceptance. "You take the drivers. I'll take the back."
"Got it." Robin nodded, and Batman slammed on the brakes, halting the Batmobile in its tracks. At the same time, he unstrapped himself and had the canopy open wide, throwing the Dynamic Duo out of their seats and straight towards the white van and past it. Extending their capes, they slowed their descent until the van was right below them and dropped, landing on its roof with a loud thud. Immediately gunfire rang out from below, puncturing the roof of the vehicle while the two moved in opposite directions.
"Okay. Now that was awesome!" Oscar grinned ear to ear at how awesome the stunt two did.
"That's the Dynamic Duo!" Penny cheered. "It doesn't matter who wears the mask of Robin, but everyone knows that Batman and Robin are unstoppable together!"
"The Dynamic Duo." Ruby, Jaune, Oscar, Nora, and even Marrow echoed in awe.
Pulling out his sword, Robin swung the point at the passenger window and shattered it, then swung himself feet first into the passenger himself and landed between him and the driver. While the driver continued to keep his attention on the road, Robin wrestled with the passenger, forcing the man's pistol away as he fired it. The gunshots rang out through the cabin, making his ears ring and puncturing holes in the roof, but Robin persevered. Ripping it out of the man's hands, he threw it out of the van just as the passenger pulled out a knife and moved to stab the Boy Wonder. Expertly, Robin grabbed the arm and ripped the knife away, only to stab it into the man's shoulder.
"AAGH!" he screamed and clutched at the weapon while Robin turned his attention to the driver to punch him across the jaw. Disoriented, the man was helpless as Robin slammed his head against the steering wheel repeatedly until the eyes of his mask shattered, letting the toxic fumes seep into his mask. The man began to scream at unseen horrors, only to be silenced with a final punch to the temple, knocking him out. He then threw a device onto the steering wheel. One meant to serve as an automatic steering system and prevent it from veering off course.
"You bastard!" the passenger shouted as he pulled the knife out of his shoulder and tried to stab him yet again. Without missing a beat, Robin kicked the man in the wounded shoulder, causing him to clutch the wounded area in pain and allowing Robin the chance to shift the vehicle into neutral. As the van slowly decelerated, he became aware of the shouts coming from the back of the van, and he smiled at the knowledge that his father was easily winning. He then turned his attention back to the passenger and clambered over to him, where he proceeded to punch him in the face repeatedly.
"I'm not a bastard," he declared as he continued to wallop the criminal, only pausing to grasp his collar and bring him close. "I'm the son of the Batman." The criminal tried to throw a punch, only for Damian Wayne to grab his wrist and twist it sharply, breaking it. Damian then retaliated with a final punch, knocking the man out.
"And don't you forget it," Damian hissed as he moved back to the driver's seat. Nonchalantly sitting across the unconscious driver's lap, he gently moved it to a stop. Once it did, he swung his sword upwards and chopped off the steering wheel, preventing the criminals from even trying to drive off again, then cuffed them to their respective doors.
"Dahahamn! That kid is brutal!" Yang says as her eyes bulged open at the boy's battle.
"Years of training with the League of Assassins and under the tutelage of Batman has brought him to where he is," Winter says, both admiring Robin's skills.
"That's the Boy Wonder for you!" Penny cheered.
"Father, everything good on your end?" Robin asked as he climbed out of the vehicle. He was answered by a thug being violently thrown out of the van and onto the street, out cold. Nodding to himself, Robin calmly walked over to his father and watched as Batman held a man by the throat with one arm. A glance told Damian that the bomb was already disarmed, and so he made no move to intervene.
"Please don't hurt me," the thug whimpered, and Batman shook his head.
"No." The Dark Knight then punched the man across the jaw, knocking him out cold. When Batman finally dropped him, he crumpled to the floor and made no move to resist Batman cuffing him to the bumper.
"They are all brutal," Weiss comments as she slightly winced at the punch that Batman did.
"If it gets the job done, it gets it done." Blake shrugged.
"Did you get what you need?" Damian asked as Batman summoned the Batmobile to their location. As the vehicle pulled in, Batman pulled out a chip and inserted it into his cowl.
"Tracker, compiled from data from the other bombs," Batman answered the unasked question. "Should allow us to find Crane once we enter the sewers. Oracle and the Watchtower's assistance would be limited in there."
"Nice, now they can get that son of a bitch." Harriet said.
"Make sense," Damian replied as he and his father entered the armored car. In the distance, he could hear the sound of police sirens zeroing in on their location while they themselves sped off towards the Narrows. As they sped through the city, carefully avoiding the crowds of panicking civilians, Damian scowled at the damage Crane wrought upon his city and gingerly touching the hilt of his sword.
"Damian," Batman's voice suddenly cut in, and Damian sighed.
"I know, Father," Damian replied. "But, seeing all of this… It's hard."
"You should see what we had to go through…" Jaune muttered, understanding what Damian was feeling. He and his friends slightly looked away at the bad memory of the Fall of Beacon.
A long pause ensued between the two of them, ending with a resigned sigh. "I know."
"Glad to know that the kid knows how to draw a line." Qrow comments.
The two continued down the road in silence, police cars screaming past them with their sirens blaring. A few shots could be heard, but they reluctantly paid it no heed as they drove into the Narrows. The Batmobile's HUD highlighted the other vigilantes' presence. They were already in the sewers, and Batman immediately drove towards a large open pipe, one wide enough to drive through.
"Ugh… having a mission in an abandon Dust mind is one thing, but working in the sewers is not." Marrow shudders as he remembered the foul smell that clogged up his nose.
"Oh, suck it up, Marrow!" Harriet rolled his eyes, not caring for his teammate's distress over sewers.
"Just a heads up, reception's going to get spotty in a bit," Yang declared over the radio. "Stay safe down there."
"One of the disadvantages of communications." Ren points out.
"We will." Batman's response was curt as he exited the vehicle. "How's the antidote coming along?"
"Quite nicely, actually. J'onn and Mr. Terrific are miracle workers. Should be ready soon."
"That's great!" Ruby smiled.
"Understood." Clicking off his radio, Batman and Robin looked at each other before heading into the sewers, disappearing completely into the dark.
"Well, we've officially lost contact with them," Yang declared as she watched the signal disappear from the monitor. Leaning back in her chair, she took a moment to stretch out her arms, thankful that she was able to perform this action while dressed in her sleepwear. They might not have been what she wore at Beacon, but they were close enough to match. At the very least, she no longer had to withstand the sight of Jaune's Pumpkin Pete onesie, although he himself was devastated. Weiss was currently watching videos of Gotham's streets, and Yang arched her eyebrow.
"Looks like it's back showing to us now," Jaune said.
"Aww… I wanted to see them more in action." Nora pouted.
"I'm more curious about what my other is watching," Weiss said.
"Weiss, mind showing us what you're looking at?" she asked, breaking the heiress out of her concentration. Shock and horror was evident on her face, something that Yang didn't blame her for. They all saw what Scarecrow's gas did to people.
Winter sadly sighs, seeing her alternate sister's reaction, and she couldn't blame her for reacting like that after seeing what the fear toxin is capable of.
"I… okay." Weiss sighed and did as requested, moving an amalgamation of different views onto the larger screen above them. They watched as overworked police officers and SWAT members tried to restore a semblance of order to their city while terrified civilians either ran away from anything they saw or, even worse, attacked each other. "Gods, this is terrible."
"It may not have any Grimm, but it doesn't change the fact of how much damage this can do." James points out.
"I don't think even the White Fang would have done something like this," Blake muttered, her ears dropped to her head. "Why would anyone make something like this?"
"Because they're crazy, psychotic, and beyond reasoning." The viewing Blake narrowed her eyes as she recalled a certain bull Faunus who was beyond redemption. He may have started as a good man initially, but as time moved, he began to reveal his true nature, which caused her to leave. She may have felt pain and sadness as she and Yang were killed, but she felt no regret ending Adam's life after moving on and watching.
"I don't know. I honestly don't know," Weiss answered with a shudder. They all stared in silence at what they were seeing, forcing themselves not to look away. In their minds, they needed to see this. Jaune then developed a look of horrified realization on his face, and his body shuddered.
"Oh no… what am I thinking?" The viewing Jaune winced, seeing his younger self's reaction.
"Jaune, what's wrong?" Pyrrha asked, the awkwardness from before now completely gone. After a moment, he shook his head and looked back at his friends.
"I just had a thought. Seeing all this, the fear that this stuff is inflicting makes me really happy that Earth doesn't have Grimm." Everyone went silent and pondered his words for a moment, then simultaneous looks of horror crossed their faces, making them shudder.
"Oh. We already came up with that conclusion." The viewing Jaune relaxed since he and his fellow Remnantiants already came up with that conclusion.
"And super glad that there's nothing on Remnant that can replicate the fear toxin," Oscar said.
"Unless there's a Semblance for that," Ren said, making everyone shudder at the thought.
"Gods, if someone had made this on Remnant…" Weiss whispered, thinking of the horrific possibilities.
"Entire cities would fall overnight," Ren finished the thought. Memories of his hometown flashed through his mind, and he clenched his fist. He then felt a hand press on it, and he looked to see a concerned Nora holding it. He relaxed and took her hand into his own, making them both faintly smile.
The viewing Ren and Nora did the same, both being glad that the very monster plagued their nightmares and ruined their childhood is now dead.
"We should be down there," Ruby suddenly declared. "We should be helping them, not watching from above, unable to do anything."
"Really? Even with all that chaos and when Batman said that he didn't need help?" Harriet raised a brow.
"Yes," Ruby answered determinately without a second thought. "I will never abandon those who need help, and I will do everything I can without sacrifice."
Harriet silently stares at the young huntress, then turns her head back on the screen as she mentally asks herself this question while she scowls. "Seriously… what is up with these kids?"
Jaune sighed and shook his head. "Ruby, you know what Batman and the others said. They don't want us down there, end of story."
The viewing Jaune was surprised that his other said that, knowing very well that he would agree with Ruby and help the people of Gotham.
"You're taking their side on that?" The viewing Yang said, slightly accusing Jaune but was also confused.
"Hey, don't look at me. I'm just as confused as you are." The leader of JNR defended.
"You're taking their side on this?" Yang accused, and Jaune shook his head.
"No, I agree with Ruby. We should be down there, and frankly, seeing all of this and being unable to do anything about it is infuriating," Jaune declared, his eyes showing how angry he truly was. "But, like it or not, we're in no position to do anything about it. The only way down there is via teleporter or Javelin, and I highly doubt that anyone is going just to let us waltz on in there and help out directly." Everyone stared at the boy before Yang sighed and crossed her arms. He was right, but that didn't mean she liked it.
"Glad to know that my other's has a good reason." Jaune sighs in relief.
"Doubt that's going to stop our others from helping." Blake points out.
"We have to do something," Nora insisted, and Blake shook her head.
"Yeah!" The viewing Nora agreed with her other.
"Nora, I think Jaune's right here," Blake said as she turned back to her individual monitor. Flashing across her screen were names and criminal records of all of Scarecrow's goons, all of whom appeared to be career criminals. Most were former inmates at a prison in Gotham named Blackgate Penitentiary, repeated inmates at that. Crane pulled from a wide selection pool for this job, with the arrested ranging from arsonists and thieves to murderers and simple thugs. She wasn't overly concerned with that, however. What she was most concerned with was how they got their equipment.
"Anyone know what this symbol means?" Blake asked as she pulled up an image of a man's rifle, a symbol of a penguin attached to the side of the magazine holder. Weiss quickly wheeled around and began searching in the database before pulling it up.
"Is that a penguin?" The cat Faunus narrowed her eyes as she focuses on the symbol.
"I think I got it," she replied as a picture of a portly man appeared on the screen. He was wearing a thick coat with a top hat, a monocle on his face, and holding a black umbrella. "Oswald Cobblepot, owner of the Iceberg Lounge as well as the largest weapons dealer on the east coast. Also known as the Penguin. Can't imagine why…"
"A weapons dealer?" James narrowed his eyes towards this Oswald Cobblepot. "Why hasn't this man been arrested yet?"
"Oswald Cobblepot, also known as the Penguin the Iceberg Lounge owner or the Iceberg Casino, is well-known and popular in Gotham," Penny explained. "Though it does serve as a front for the Penguin's criminal activity, he has countless lawyers that aid him in his protection and release when arrested."
"So another Junior," Yang comments but snorted. "That's one heck of a nose, though."
"I'll say. Look at his nose." Yang snorted in obvious disgust. "Think he supplied the bombs, too?"
"No, I don't think so. Someone else did." Weiss shook her head. "From the League's records, I can only imagine a handful of people who could."
"There are other groups like Penguin?" Clover said in concern.
"With how things are going on Earth, I'm not really that surprised." Qrow said.
Two images then appeared on the screen. Weiss zoomed in on the first, showing a bearded man with large mutton chops, as well as an insane look in his eye. "Ra's al Ghul, Arabic for "the Head of the Demon". An extreme ecoterrorist who believes that mankind is destroying all life on the planet, and as such, works to prevent that. His organization, the League of Assassins, has been responsible for numerous atrocities throughout the millennia. The Black Plague, the assassination of Arch-Duke Ferdinand, the Spanish Flu, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Fire of London, to name a few, all in the name of bringing humanity to a so-called 'manageable state', if not simply wiping everyone out."
"So he's the leader of the League of Assassins…" The viewing Blake muttered as she narrowed as she was slightly comparing it to the old White Fang. Granted, the League is far more senior than the White Fang, and their goals are somewhat justifying but at the cost of countless innocents. It disgusts her.
"Guy's a basket case," Yang noted. "Wait, hold up. It says here he's centuries old. He only looks thirty."
Everyone blinked in surprise at what the alternate Yang said but not as surprised at the particular group.
"What?" Ruby asked while she began to grow nervous.
"There's something about Lazarus Pits in here," Jaune pointed out as he focused on the section in question. "Apparently, hidden around the world are naturally occurring pits of chemicals. These chemicals can… bring people back to life? What the hell…?"
"What the heck? A pit of chemicals that can bring back the dead?" Marrow said, slightly freaked out that something like that is possible.
"So what? Are you telling us this Raish guy is immortal?" Harriet raised a brow, not buying what she was listening to while unknowingly pronouncing the name wrong.
However, those familiar with the term widen their eyes in pure shock but fortunately remained silent without the others knowing. They couldn't believe what they were hearing. Earth has its own immortal?! That was something none of them expected.
"I see it, too," Ruby declared as she pulled up a video of a pit on action. It showed Ra's' lifeless body being hurled by an assassin into a green pool, only for the dead man to rejuvenate and appear youthful suddenly. He also began screaming, a mad look in his eye. "They also drive a person crazy, at least temporarily."
"Geez! That… is that even worth it?" Robyn cringed as she shrunk in her seat at the sight of Ra's revival while seeing his state of madness.
"If you're a mad man, then probably." James also cringed at sight in slight horror. Who would be willing to do that continuously?
The others who knew the truth silently watching couldn't help but cringe at the sight couldn't help but flinch, seeing that this is what Salem similarly did when she jumped in the Pool of Grimm.
"Has…anyone in the Justice League ever faced him?" Ruby slowly asked.
"Oh yes, he is one of Batman's greatest foes." Penny answered, surprising everyone.
"Wait. Batman faced this immortal guy before?" Yang asked, surprised by that revelation.
Penny nodded. "Yes, in fact, they have battled against each other for many years, and mostly, it is Batman who won every time."
"Batman defeated him and his assassins all the time even though he's immortal?" Oscar asked.
"Yes! Despite his immortality and the countless years of training and knowledge, the Dark Knight always finds a way to stop him no matter how impossible it seems to be." The gynoid stated, impressing everyone at Batman again while Ruby's group was in deep thought about this revelation. Batman faced against an immortal and won more times than once! If he could do it, could they do the same?
"Does he got any powers or anything?" Nora curiously asks.
"No, he doesn't. Ra's al Ghul is a master martial artist and tactical master who has been leading the League of Assassins ever since its founding." Penny answered, making Ruby's group silently sigh that he may be immortal but has no powers that match against Salem.
"Aw." Nora weakly smiled, but inwardly she was disappointed. "I guess even being immortal; you can't get any powers aside from coming back from the dead."
"Actually, there are other immortal aside from Ra's al Ghul." This earned a 'WHAT?!' from everyone as Penny nodded, ignoring the outburst. "The files are sealed, but they show that their others that existed far longer than Ra's, each with their own unique powers that may be seen as godlike."
This fact scared everyone in the room but got Oscar thinking.
"Has the Justice League faced these threats before?" The current incarnation of Ozma asked.
"They have before countless time and time again, but through their hard work and determination, they manage to pull through and beat them!" Penny happily said, making everyone awe at one of the many achievements the Justice League has ever faced. This even gave a sense of hope for Ruby's group as they plan to face against Salem. More determined than before, they decide to watch more in hopes of defeating her.
"Geez," Nora softly stated. "What about the next guy?" Weiss pulled up the other image, showing a sharply dressed bald man. They recognized him immediately. "Luthor."
The audience groans in annoyance hearing that name.
"Skip him. We already know who that creep is." Robyn snarled, not needing to have a reminder of Lex Luthor.
"Based off what the League told us about him, it wouldn't surprise me if he's the one backing and supplying Crane," Weiss snarled. "Everything I read about this man makes me despise him even more."
"No arguments here," Jaune muttered before turning back towards his monitor. "I'm forwarding the data to Oracle now. She might know what to do with it better than we can."
"Hopefully, she can figure out this dilemma." Pietro said.
Just then, the monitor showing Batman's team flickered to life, attracting everyone's attention. "Oh, hey. We can see… What the heck is that?!" Yang shouted as she and the others saw everyone but Batman fighting a massive creature. It stood on two legs and towered over everyone, his body covered in reptilian scales and his teeth sharpened into fangs. Quickly, Ren began typing away into his monitor and pulled up a match, and he began reading.
"Who or what is that thing?!" Marrow shouts in pure shock and horror, knowing full well that what he sees before him is no Faunus.
"Waylon Jones, otherwise known as Killer Croc," Ren read aloud. "Born with regressive atavism, which resulted in his body looking more and more reptilian with each passing year. He was ostracized for it and eventually embraced it, becoming what he is now. Lives in Gotham's sewer system in complete isolation, except for when he is interred in Arkham Asylum and is known for eating people on occasion."
Everyone felt uncomfortable listening to that information. To think that atavism would result in a human into a crocodilelike human, and what's worse is that he is a cannibal.
"That's… I don't even know what to say." Maria said, not knowing what to describe such a thing to be possible.
"I'm starting to think that the people of Earth have it worse than us in Remnant." Jaune comments, making everyone nod in agreement.
"It's a good thing that there are heroes like the Justice League are there to protect it." Ruby smiled like there Huntsmen there will always be good people to fight for what's right.
"Waylon, calm down!" they heard Nightwing shout over the radio, punctured by gunshots that bounced off Killer Croc's hide. Robin moved to stab him in the back, but the blade barely broke the skin before Waylon turned around, grabbed the boy, and threw him across the room with an animalistic roar. "You're under the effects of Scarecrow's toxin!"
"A psychotic giant cannibal human crocodile under the effects of the fear toxin… great." Elm sarcastically said.
"Without a doubt, a difficult foe to face against," Vine comments, thinking that even he and his team would have great difficulty facing against Killer Croc as he watches the fight.
"Leave! My! Home!" Killer Croc roared as he charged Nightwing, ramming straight through concrete pillars like they were nothing. Nightwing rolled out of the way while throwing a pair of explosive wing-dings at the man, exploding harmlessly against his scaly skin. At the same time, Red Hood continued firing his pistols one after another, despite them doing nothing against him.
"His skin is way too thick! I even doubt there's even a Faunus with that kind of trait." Blake says, shocked that despite Killer Croc is no Faunus but is genuinely a threat.
"Dammit!" he cursed before diving out of the way of a thrown chunk of concrete. "We have to take this guy down!"
"I'm trying!" Batwoman replied as she fired her pistol at the man. Seeing how it was doing nothing, she holstered it and zipped away while Spoiler and Batgirl ducked underneath a swing of his arms and uppercutted him. The twin blows did nothing but leave them exposed to his grasp. He threw them up into the air then back down, knocking the air out of their lungs and leaving them exposed to an attempted stomp. Before his massive foot made contact, a flashbang was thrown into his head and exploded, causing him to stumble back and allowing the two to move to safety.
"Despite their disadvantage, they still work perfectly as a team against him," James comments, admiring their teamwork and relentlessness against Killer Croc.
"Yes, but where's Batman?" Clover said, not seeing the Dark Knight among his protégé.
"Where's Batman?" Ruby suddenly asked, causing Nora to cycle through the feeds available to them. After a few moments, they found him, and Nora brought the feed in question on screen. He was fighting Scarecrow in a room a hundred feet from Killer Croc's lair, a large bomb connected to a water main. To their alarm, they saw it was armed.
"There he is!" Qrow points out.
"You're too late, Batman," Scarecrow declared while throwing a hook at the vigilante. "In a few moments, my toxin will flood Gotham City, vaporizing, and filling the air. All will know what fear truly is."
"He's insane!" Winter snarled.
"You're insane, Crane," Batman retorted while kicking the deranged ex-psychologist in the chest, sending him back into a railing. "Give it up and come quietly. No one else has to get hurt."
"On the contrary, my research depends on it." Scarecrow creepily laughed, sending shivers down RWBY and JNPR's spines.
Even the audience shiver at Scarecrow's laugh. "Ugh… his laugh is so creepy!" Ruby shivered as she led herself.
"Is everyone in Gotham just a guinea pig to you?"
"Disgusting… this freak reminds me too much of Merlot." Qrow snarled, remembering what the lengths the psychotic doctor would do for the sake of studying and experimenting on Grimm.
"Just be glad these two will never meet." James said, making everyone shiver in the possibility.
"Yes." Crane's casual indifference shocked RWBY and JNPR to their core. Briefly, they were reminded of Brainiac's dismissal of them, but those thoughts subsided as Batman and Scarecrow continued their fight. Turning their attention to the other fight adjacent to them, they noticed how several more concrete pillars were now completely destroyed, and a noticeable crack was appearing on the ceiling. The vigilantes were vaulting themselves above Killer Croc, and at the top of their arcs were spraying tiny amounts of gel onto the cracked ceiling, and at once, the huntsmen realized what they were doing.
"Genius!" Clover shouts, amazed at what the protégés are doing. "While Batman faces against Scarecrow, he's unaware that Batman's team are planning to take down Croc right on top of him."
"That's… that's really impressive." Harriet admits seeing the genius in that strategy.
"They're going to bring the roof down on him," Yang realized with an approving nod. The others nodded in appreciation as well, continuing to watch the vigilantes fight the criminals. A thought then sprang to mind, and she turned to look at Ren. "Can we talk to them?"
"No," Ren declared with a shake of his head. "We're lucky enough to get video and audio. If we try to talk to them, then…" Just then, the audio and video cut off into static, making everyone groan. "Then we get that."
Most of the viewers wined at their predicament, being unable to see the plan happen.
"But I want to see them getting beaten up!" Nora pouts in annoyance while Ren just pats her shoulder.
"Great, just perfect," Nora grunted in both annoyance and concern. "What are we supposed to do now?"
"Not much to do know seeing that the crisis is close to being averted," Weiss said.
"Wait, I guess," Jaune suggested, disappointment creeping into his voice. Ruby then looked at everyone, seeing the dejected look on their faces, and straightened herself.
"They'll be fine, I know it. You'll see," she expressed. The others nodded at her then she turned back to her station, as did the others. Seeing a blinking light, she pressed it, and a video of J'onn J'onzz appeared on her monitor. "Hey, J'onn. Is the antidote ready?"
"Good to know that you're still positive at these situations, Rubes." Yang smiled while her sister smiles at her sister's comment.
"Yes, Ruby. Mr. Terrific and I have managed to create a viable cure," J'onn replied in his familiar monotone. Ruby couldn't help but admit to herself that she found it kind of creepy before remembering that he could read her mind. "Don't worry. I am not offended. I do need you, however, to notify the pandemic teams, put them on standby for arrival into Gotham."
"Sorry, J'onn!" The viewing Ruby apologized on behalf of her counterpart, making her friends chuckles at her action.
"Will do," Ruby stated as the monitor shut off. She then turned to the intercom and moved to press down on it, only to see Weiss already doing so.
"Pandemic Teams to the teleporter bay. Pandemic teams to the teleporter bay," she declared into the intercom. She then looked at Ruby and shrugged her shoulders.
"I see you're one step ahead as usual." Ruby smirked towards her partner.
Weiss huffed with a smile. "Well, someone has to pick up your slack."
"No problem, Ruby." Weiss turned back to her station and continued to work, but Ruby could see it was reluctant. She could see it in all of them. Despite what Jaune said to them earlier, they still wanted to be down there, wanted to help more directly. But with Batman and the League forbidding it, they couldn't do anything. Dejected, Ruby turned her attention towards the monitor and saw the pandemic teams running towards the teleporter bay, carts of antidotes following after them. Nudging her partner, she directed Weiss's attention to what she was seeing. After a moment, Weiss' face morphed with realization.
Even the viewing Weiss and her friends realized what alternate Ruby was thinking while their Ruby was smiling, realizing what her other was plotting. While others also slowly began to understand what her plan is.
"Seriously, Ruby?" Her partner raised a brow with a deadpan look.
"I'm not one planning it." Ruby said with a cheeky smile.
The viewing Weiss just sighs as she shook her head, knowing full well what will happen next.
The GCPD building was a hive of activity as uniformed officers directed calls from panicked civilians and to the officers on the field, not to mention federal agencies. Commissioner James Gordon sighed as he rubbed the bridge of his nose, exhausted after a long night. It had started off so peacefully, too. Or as peaceful as any night in Gotham could be.
"That's James Gordon, the commissioner of the Gotham City Police Department or the GCPD for short." Penny introduces. "He assists Batman by assigning him bizarre and impossible cases to him for the past twenty years."
"A police department that aids vigilantes?" Winter said, surprised by this case but blinked as she recognized the last name. "Gordon? As in Barbara Gordon?"
"Yes, he is Barbara Gordon's father." Penny nodded, surprising everyone by that fact.
"Whoa! Seriously? Does he even know that?" Yang asked.
"No. James does not know that Barbara is working with the Batman." Penny answered. "She has kept this from her father ever since her first debut as Batgirl."
"Here," a woman suddenly announced, breaking Jim out of his thoughts. Looking to his side, he saw Detective Renee Montoya holding a steaming cup of coffee, offering another to him.
"Detective Renee Montoya," Penny revealed. "A skilled detective who aids the commissioner and the Batman."
"She seems nice." Ruby comments.
"Thanks, Renee." Gordon gratefully took the cup and sipped it, noting the bitter taste. Black, just as he liked it. "Any word from Batman?"
"Nothing yet," Renee revealed with a sigh as she sat down next to him. "Harvey is taking a couple of officers to the Narrows now. Going to try and enter the sewers and get Crane into custody before Batman can get to him."
"This Harvey guy doesn't seem to like Batman." Jaune notes.
"Harvey Bullock, a Detective like Renee, who is her partner," Penny answered. "Originally a rough police officer with very little respect for vigilantes like Batman but through the countless years working with James and begrudgingly with the Batman he shapes himself becoming a proper man of the law although he still doesn't like Batman and develops a rivalry towards him."
"Huh. If a guy like that can shape into a decent man, then I guess there's hope for the idiots back in the VPD." Qrow comments while knowing how insufficient the police can be when they don't do their job correctly.
Gordon couldn't help but laugh at that. "Bullock always did hate Batman showing him up, so I'm not surprised." He got out of his seat and put on his coat and hat. "I'm going to the roof."
"Alright," Renee said as the commissioner walked to the elevator. Pressing a button, he waited for a moment before the doors opened, giving him entrance. They then shut behind him, and the car carried him up to the roof. As it did, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his pipe along with a lighter before finally stepping outside to the roof. Walking past the Bat-signal, he was briefly reminded of how much he had used the damn thing over the last twenty years, but by now, he had stopped caring. Gotham needed all the help she could get, and while at one point he would have preferred Batman working with the GCPD more directly, now he simply took what he could get. He stopped at the edge of the roof and brought his pipe to his mouth, then began to light it. A small spark of flame ignited the tobacco inside its container, allowing the smoke to fill his lungs, which he then breathed out.
"Smoking is never healthy for you." Maria sarcastically chastised the commissioner earning a few chuckles and eye-rolls from the audience.
"You know that stuff will kill you, right?" he heard someone ask, and with a faint smile, he recognized her voice immediately. Turning around, he saw his daughter roll up to him in her wheelchair, the same one she had been forced to stay in for the past three years.
"Barbara, what are you doing out here?" he asked as she made her way over to him, and she smiled.
"Wait. That's Barbara?!" Jaune says with his eyes widen at the disabled girl in shock. He wasn't the only one. The rest of the audience is surprised by this, as well. "Is that why she stepped down from being Batgirl?"
"Didn't want to leave you out here alone," Barbara Gordon revealed, stopping next to her father. The two looked out over Gotham City's skyline, content to be silently comforted by the other. Gordon couldn't help but glance at his daughter's wheelchair, and his mind flashed to that horrible night three years prior what that clown had done to her out of simple cruelty, trying to make a point about the human condition. He wouldn't lie and say that he wouldn't have killed him then and there once he finally got freed, but he never got the chance. Batman had already gotten to him, and he'd beaten the Joker so thoroughly that the Clown Prince of Crime spent the next three months in a coma. Of course, that was nothing like when he killed the second Robin. Then he'd spent a year in a coma. But, as always, the Joker recovered, only to continue spreading chaos and murder to his city.
Everyone learning about what happened to the previous Batgirl was horrified that such a tragedy has happened to her all because of this Joker. The mere mention of the name made everyone had mixed feelings about him, but one thing they all had in common is that they all despise the Clown Prince of Crime, but they are also pleased that Batman gave him a thorough beating for what he did.
"Who the heck is this Joker?" Harriet snarled though not knowing what he looks like but hearing everything about what he has done and what he did after made her despise him even more.
"Much of the files regarding the Joker are sealed, but all it says that he is Batman's most dangerous and unpredictable foe he has ever faced in his early career." Penny answered, learning a bit about the Crown Prince of Crime.
"Dad, you're getting angry again," Barbara chided him, breaking him out of his thoughts.
"It's okay." Barbara smiled and took his hand. "Look, I know that you still blame yourself for what happened, but it's okay." Gordon moved to retort, but a stern look from his daughter silenced him, and he sighed. It wasn't the first time they'd had this discussion, and it most certainly wouldn't be the last, but he'd let it slide.
"Glad to know that the old man shows this much love for her kid." Robyn comments while Winter and Weiss narrowed their eyes and looked away, reminding themselves how much their father meant nothing to them and that he only cares about himself.
"I'm proud of you, you know."
"I know, Dad." Barbara smiled, thinking he was talking about how she'd risen above her paralysis. She was correct, but Gordon was proud of her for other reasons, reasons she thought he didn't know about. He was content, however, to continue letting her think that way.
"Even in a state of paralysis, she is still a remarkable person." Pietro says, happy to see a fellow cripple not giving in to her condition. Her being Oracle is proof of that.
"James," he heard Harvey Bullock's gruffy voice over the radio, getting Gordon's attention immediately.
"Bullock, what is it?" Gordon asked over his radio while he and his daughter moved to the elevator.
"We got 'em." Gordon sighed in relief at the news, and he could hear Bullock's relief as well. This long night was finally coming to a close.
"It's finally over…" Weiss sighed in relief.
"Let's not get our hopes up, yet there's still the case of interrogating Crane in how he was supplied with bombs." James points out.
"I'll have a cell waiting for him in the precinct," Gordon revealed as he and Barbara entered the main room of the building.
"Uh, about that…" Harvey got out, making the commissioner sigh. Something told him he wasn't going to enjoy that. "You're gonna want to prep a special containment cell as well."
"The Bat's kids had to take down Killer Croc to get to Crane. On the bright side, we finally caught him."
"Aww." Ruby pouted in disappointment. "But we didn't get the chance to see it happen."
Gordon sighed and pinched his nose. "I'll send over a chopper to get him. Just get Crane over here."
"Will do. Bullock out." The radio shut off at the declaration and allowed Gordon to collapse onto his chair. Barbara wheeled next to him and nodded her head.
"Anything you want me to do, Dad?"
"Just… do what you need to do, Babs." Gordon smiled at her, and she did in turn. She then turned around and moved to her isolated office, the walls of which were covered in monitors she used to keep track of anything the GCPD needed her to expertly, and more. As she shut the door behind her, Gordon reminded himself of how proud of her he was, even if she didn't know the full reason why.
"Impressive work area." Vine comments, seeing the equipment around Oracle.
"She really is Batman's eyes and ears." Elm said.
When Batman and his various protégés finally entered the GCPD building, Gordon was already waiting for them in the garage. His hands tucked away in his pockets. Men and women wearing HAZMAT suits and rebreathers, each bearing the Justice League's insignia, moved around him and carted vials of antidotes with them. Batman had seen flights of Javelins fly overhead as he made his approach, dispersing clouds of antidote to affected areas, but the more contained vials were for those most severely afflicted.
"And the Justice League arrives with the antidotes." Ruby smiled, glad to know that the chaos is over, and the League has arrived to clean up the aftermath.
"Very creative in how they counter the fear toxin with clouds of antidotes." James said, impressed in their creativity in cleaning the affected area of Gotham.
"Batman," Gordon nodded, and Batman nodded in turn. "This whole night has been a mess."
"Understatement of the year." Yang sarcastically said.
"I know, Jim," Batman agreed with the commissioner. Behind him, he heard a police squad car pull up behind the Batmobile, out of which came Harvey Bullock and a pair of heavily armed SWAT officers. Their weapons were trained on a handcuffed Jonathan Crane, his mask off of him and revealing an unrepentant look on his smug face.
"And here's the man of the hour." Marrow sarcastically glared at the lunatic.
"You think you've won, but you haven't. I've already gotten the research that I needed, how to improve my formula. You can't stop fear, Batman."
"Why do captured criminals always have to have a say in the end." Elm sighs in annoyance, remembering when she and her teams would always capture criminals, and they would still curse and swear as there are being taken away to their jail cells.
"Yeah, yeah. Tell it to the judge, you creep," Bullock spat at the lunatic and pushed him further into the precinct. Batman watched as he disappeared into the building, his hand hovering next to a Batarang. Robin was doing the same thing. Only his hand was resting on the hilt of his sword.
"So that's Bullock?" Qrow raised a brow, having a good look at the detective. "Rather chubby for a detective."
"He's going to be locked up in Arkham, where he belongs," Gordon revealed and followed after them. "Jones is being airlifted to the roof now. He'll be joining him."
"I can imagine with size." Ren points out.
"Waylon was affected with the fear toxin," Batman pointed out. "His attacking us was not his fault."
"He's defending Killer Croc?" Weiss says, surprised that the Dark Knight would defend a criminal.
"Batman may face against criminals and take them to justice, but that doesn't mean he's not fair when it comes to law." Penny points out.
"I know," Gordon replied, "but the fact is he still escaped Iron Heights two months ago. He's an escaped convict, and the law requires me to intern him."
"A good reason for him to return to prison." Clover points out.
"He only escaped because of the experiments they were doing to him," Batman pointed out, making Gordon frown.
"What?!" Everyone shouts in shock, learning this.
"They experimented on Waylon in prison?!" Blake says in disgust and horror.
"Sadly yes, it happened under the secrecy of the corrupt Warden Ranken who did illegal experimentations of other convicts aside from Waylon Jones. Fortunately, Batman discovered his corruption and was stripped from his position and imprisoned after." Penny answered while everyone was glad to know that the warden got what he deserved.
"Don't remind me. Ranken got life in prison for the stunt he pulled." Gordon's rage was palpable, and Batman couldn't blame him. He had been the one to bring Ranken down in the first place, although he had to stop Jones from killing the former warden to do so. That fight brought down the Iron Heights airship, allowing Croc to escape in the confusion. "Why are you defending him?"
"Yeah… why is he?" Harriet raised a brow.
"I'm not," Batman insisted, remembering how even though Croc's actions were justified, he still killed many people in his escape attempt. "Just asking you to take that into consideration."
"That's fair, I suppose." James admits.
"I will, don't worry." The two stopped as the elevator doors opened, revealing Killer Croc as he was escorted to a clear cylindrical cell on the far side of the room. Once he noticed the Dark Knight, he stopped and turned to face him, anger on his face. He didn't say anything, however, before continuing on and getting into his cell. League workers continued to move around the building, preparing to go out into the city itself, when Gordon silently tapped Batman's side. An obvious signal if he'd ever seen one, Batman followed his gaze to a group of eight individuals wearing HAZMAT suits clustered together, their backs turned to him. Six of them appeared to be female, while the other two were male. Even though their bodies were obscured by their suits, their nervousness was easily seen
"Twenty guesses who those people in the HAZMAT suits are." Yang grinned while her friends chuckled, and the others just rolled their eyes while some were disappointed, especially ones from Atlas.
"Really? You kids would really go this far?" Harriet questioned.
"We did steal Manta to get to Atlas, so yeah, we're willing to go that far." Nora grinned, reminding them how they got away with that much to Harriet's growing annoyance towards them.
'They didn't…" Batman's eyes widened in realization, only for anger to bubble up inside of him. Taking his cue, Gordon acted and moved over to them.
"Well… I wonder how Batman's going to talk to guys now." Oscar nervously said while secretly being glad that he wasn't there to listen to Batman's lecture.
Both RWBY and JNR silently gulped nervously about what will happen next.
"Hey, quit standing around! I need you up on the roof," he ordered them. They jumped slightly then carried out his orders, moving to the elevator far too quickly. Gordon watched as the elevator doors closed, and he turned to face the Batman and ask who they were, only to find him already gone. Used to this response, Gordon walked to the stairs and began to climb it, content to give Batman the time he needed to chew whoever those people were out.
"Whoa! How did he do that?!" Marrow said, eyes wide open at Batman's disappearance.
"I didn't even hear him leave." Blake says in surprise, even with her Faunus trait, and she couldn't hear anything.
"I'm am going to ask you this once." Batman's voice was chilling as he stared at the group ahead of him, his body tight and filled with irritation. "Why. Are. You. Here?"
Most of the audience's spined shiver hearing the intimidation in Batman's voice.
"Wow! Even his voice can be terrifying." Ruby shivered in her seat.
"I'll admit even I'm going to have a hard time staying cool to that guy." Qrow admits earning a shock from her nieces.
"Ain't that a surprise." Winter sarcastically grinned to form drunk.
Qrow's eye twitched in slight annoyance. "Oh, please don't pretend your not the only one freaking out from the Dark Knight."
Winter just frowned and said nothing, but truthfully, she was slightly terrified of the Dark Knight. The only reason she wasn't scared of him was that Batman is on the side of good.
Ruby awkwardly chuckled and rubbed the back of her head, her rebreather covering her embarrassed smile. They were no longer wearing the HAZMAT suits, which meant her embarrassment was no longer hidden. "Well, you see…"
"We wanted to help, and with the situation contained, we thought it was a good time to come down," Yang revealed, much more confidently than her younger sister. Batman shifted his glare to her, and she stared right back.
"Okay, going to admit that is one scary glare, but I'm not backing away." The viewing Yang confidently said while her younger sister was thankfully for standing up for her.
"I specifically told you that you were not allowed to be down here. Not yet," Batman countered, the rest of his protégés standing behind him.
"Looks like everyone is here." Robyn comments.
"I don't see what the problem is. We're wearing these suits and rebreathers, and Scarecrow's locked away. We weren't even planning on fighting anybody, just going around to help disburse the antidote," Yang insisted, her arms crossed.
"That is not the point!" Batman suddenly yelled, shocking the huntsmen. "You deliberately disobeyed a direct order, putting yourselves in danger that you are not ready for, even if you think you are, and you left the monitor station empty!"
"I won't lie, children, but even I can tell that Batman has a point." Maria said.
"You don't need to remind us Qrow pretty much made it clear to us." Jaune said while the former drunk nodded in agreement.
"Know that I think about t we pretty much left the monitors station unattended." Ren points out what Batman says, making his friends cringe at the mistake.
"No we did not!" Nora countered. "We got someone to cover for us!"
"We did?" RWBY and JNR blinked.
"Skeets, I have a question."
"How long does it take for eight kids to use the restroom?"
"That depends. Why?"
"Because," Booster Gold replied to Skeets, throwing his arms out wide to emphasize how only he and the diminutive flying gold robot were in the monitor room, "I'm beginning to think we've been duped."
"He's… shiny?" Ruby tilted her head, finding the right words for this hero. "Who are they?"
"That's Michael Carter, also known as Booster Gold and his robotic companion Skeets." Penny answered. "They are heroes who came from the future."
"The future!?" Weiss says in shock along with everyone. "As in, they time-traveled back to the past?"
"Wow! I wonder why a hero from the future is doing in the past." Oscar wondered.
"Because he sucks in the future." Penny nonchalantly said, shocking everyone in the future.
"W-What?" Ruby says in disbelief.
"He tried being a hero in the future but keeps doing everything wrong and became a laughingstock which brought the idea to go be a hero in the past, and ironically he becomes successful enough to be part of the Justice League thanks with the help with Skeet." Penny said, earning an unsure look from everyone.
"I guess… good for him?" Oscar slowly says, unsure even himself.
"Remind me to have a chat with Booster Gold when I get back," Batman growled and shook his head. "Regardless, you should not be down here in the first place. You are to stay right here and wait as the Watchtower teleports you back up to them."
"Well, it looks like the answer is still no." Robyn said.
"What? But-?" They all protested, only to be silenced with a glare. Batman stomped to the other end of the roof, already dialing the Watchtower's teleporter bay, when his radio suddenly came to life.
"Master Bruce, if I may?" Alfred suddenly spoke, halting Batman in his tracks.
"Alfred?" Weiss blinked, recognizing the butler's voice. "Why is he calling Bruce?"
"What is it, Alfred?" Batman asked, his hand hovering over the transceiver button to contact the Watchtower.
"I'm afraid that their minds are already made up, and simply sending them back when they've already arrived will only be counterproductive."
"I… actually won't deny that logic." Qrow comments being a professor himself even he understands that.
Winter widens her eyes, realizing what the butler was suggesting. "He's not suggesting…"
"Are you suggesting…?"
"Yes, actually," Alfred cut him off. "Need I remind you of another man who did the exact same thing when he wasn't ready?"
This earned a few chuckles as they did their best in holding it in.
"Batman being a rookie?" Yang snickered. "Now, that's something I would like to see."
"Everyone starts somewhere, even the Dark Knight himself." James said even he admits that he had to go through sweat, blood, and tears to reach where he is.
Batman knew who he talking about, and he shook his head. "Alfred, this isn't the same thing."
"Quite so, Master Bruce. After all, they simply came down to assist recovery in the aftermath rather than leaping straight into battle." When the Dark Knight didn't dignify his butler's sass with a response, Alfred continued with his point. "I'm not asking you to send them off to fight criminals, but surely keeping them around to help wouldn't be all that bad."
"He… actually has a point." Jaune admits not actually thinking about that idea.
"I didn't think about that idea at all." Clover admits. "Combat isn't always a necessity for helping people."
"It very well can be, Alfred."
"As bad as implying you don't trust them?" Alfred pointed out, halting whatever Batman had to say in its tracks. Seeing his opening, Alfred continued on. "I agree that they should have stayed up in the Watchtower, but what's done is done. They are down here, and if you want them to stay with us, then you'll need them to show that you trust them. Otherwise, all of your efforts will be in vain."
The adults began to slowly agree to the older man's wisdom even when he admits that it's dangerous but won't deny that this experience may help shape the children in this new world.
While the young adults were awed by the wisdom, Alfred said and touched how he would give them the chance to make their alternate slaves grow much closer to Batman.
"He truly is a father figure to Bruce." Weiss smiled warmly towards Alfred as she imagined how well he and Klein would be wonderful friends if the two meets.
Batman sighed at his butler's statement, and slowly, his hand went way from the transceiver. Turning around, he walked back towards the Remnantians, his fist still clenched but no longer angrily.
RWBY and JNR inwardly screamed 'yes' as they clenched their fists at Batman's approval.
"What?" Jaune asked in confusion.
"You eight can stay and help." At his announcement, his protégés looked surprised, and the Remnantians overjoyed, only for Batman to silence them with a raised hand. "But, there are limits. None of you are to leave the precinct for any reason, and you will stay with one of them at all times." He thrust his thumb back at the other vigilantes, who nodded back at them.
"A fair trade." Winter nodded at that reason. "Like shadowing a Huntsman."
"You will also not say any of your names while in there. Your identities are the most important protection you have, and I will not risk it getting out. Keep on your rebreathers as well."
Ruby squealed. "Are we getting superhero code names?" Earning a few chuckles and eye-rolls at the idea while her friends were also interested in the concept.
"How are we supposed to refer to ourselves, then?" Ruby asked as she and the others did as instructed, only to slightly take a step back when Batman pointed at her.
"Red," he declared before pointing at Weiss, "Snow, Black, Gold, White, Pink, Scarlet, and Green." Batman finished giving them their impromptu names in an instant. They couldn't help but notice how he tried to make it match their color schemes and Aura colors, something they appreciated. "While you are in there, only call each other by those names."
"Aww, so just color codenames?" Ruby pouted in slight disappointment.
"Well, to be fair, we can't just get real cool names at this situation, now can we?" Jaune says with a good reason, which her fellow team leader begrudgingly agrees with.
"Alright, will do." Weiss nodded. Internally, she thought it was silly that the superheroes were so insistent on secret identities, but she also recognized that they were on thin ice with the Batman as it was. Better to go along with what he says now rather than risk his ire. She knew, however, that Ruby and Jaune were undoubtedly more enthusiastic about it. For the past several nights, she had caught the two thinking of superhero names for all of them. Weiss found the exercise childish, but if she had to go along with it just to operate on Earth, then she'd put up with it.
"You don't like the idea of having a superhero name?" Ruby asked, slightly hurt at the idea her partner thought.
"To be fair… I can agree why these names are the reason to cover their identities, but I'm a bit skeptical about getting one myself." Weiss defended.
Batman nodded at her, and then the stairway door opened up to reveal the commissioner. James Gordon, if Weiss remembered correctly. He was one of Batman's biggest allies in the GCPD, and through him, a delicate relationship was developed between the two groups.
"Just in time for the commissioner to arrive." Elm joked.
"Everything all squared away?" he asked, and Batman nodded. "Good. Well then, if you all are ready to go, we're in the process of interrogating Crane now."
"Finally! Time to get some answers." Harriet says as she raises her hands in exasperation.
"We have some ideas on who supplied him with his weapons and equipment," Blake revealed, drawing Gordon's attention to her. "We think that the Penguin supplied him with his weapons."
"A possible lead." Vine comments.
"Of course he did," Gordon spat and scowled. "What about the bombs?"
"We aren't quite sure on that one," Ren answered reluctantly. "We're still going over the evidence at the tower."
"Let me guess, Luthor and Ghul?" Gordon's question shocked the eight with its accuracy, and they nodded their heads. "I figured as much. I'm more than aware of what he's pulled, but he is outside of my jurisdiction. Even if he wasn't, I can't bring him in without proof."
"Such is one of the problems for officers of the law in their assigned jurisdictions." Winter comments.
"We get that answer a lot when it comes to him," Pyrrha remarked with a frown. Shaking her head, she turned to look at Batman and the other vigilantes, only to find they were gone, making her jump back. "What the-?"
"Seriously! How do they do that?" Harriet cries out. Heck! Even she's not that fast to disappear like that without making a sound.
"Even his protégés can do it too!" Ruby shouts, feeling a bit jealous of disappearing at that kind of speed.
The others realized what Pyrrha had noticed, and they jumped slightly as well. "I didn't even hear them leave."
"That's Batman's favored trick." Penny answered.
"Of course, it is." Maria sarcastically said, but none less she is impressed.
"Yeah, they do that," Gordon stated, amusement in his voice. "You get used to it after a while."
"They just leave him?" The viewing Ruby tilted her head at that fact.
"Well, that's rude." The viewing Nora says while a few others agreed with her.
"They just leave you?" Ruby asked, and Gordon nodded. A pause ensued between everyone before Nora coughed.
"Well, that's rude."
The audience chuckled at the perfect echo that there Ruby and Nora said, making them blush a bit.
By the time RWBY and JNPR made their way down to the interrogation room, Batman was already inside of it, interrogating Crane and trying to make him talk. So far, he wasn't succeeding, and the smug grin on the lunatic's face sent shivers down their spines.
"Oum, he is ugly…" Roby shivered at the sight of Crane.
"Meh, I've seen worse." Maria comments.
"Damned psychopath," Red Hood scowled and glared at the man. The other vigilantes nodded in agreement, keeping a watchful eye on him.
"Anything yet?" Blake asked, and Nightwing shook his head.
"Nothing at all." His tone was angry, and a quick look told them that the other officers felt the same. "Something about this isn't right."
The viewers leaned forward to learn more.
"What do you mean?" Jaune asked while keeping his gaze locked on Scarecrow.
"Just a gut feeling." Nightwing shrugged. "At least this will be over soon."
"A gut feeling?" Winter raised a brow. "He can't be serious?"
"You can be amazed at what you can learn by trusting your gut." Qrow counters.
"I hope so," Ruby nodded then fell silent. After a moment, she began to speak again. "You know, this entire thing reminds me of back home. A man named Roman Torchwick blew a hole into Vale's walls, letting the Grimm in. We were lucky that we were already there. Otherwise, things could have gotten really bad."
"Torchwick… I haven't heard that name in a while." The viewing Ruby admits remembering that he was just a puppet for one of Cinder's plans for the Fall. "I wonder if he's still alive in this alternate timeline?"
"Just as we were lucky that we were in Gotham when Scarecrow made his move." Nightwing nodded. The group went back into silence then eyed the pistols in Red Hood's holsters. Noticing this, he huffed and shook his head.
"Yes, I use guns. You got a problem with that?" he accused, only to be surprised when Ruby shook her head.
"No I don't! We Remnantians love our guns." The viewing Ruby chirped proudly but quickly remembered Batman's rule. "But not to kill! After all, Batman doesn't like guns."
"No, actually. I use a gun, too. It's a sniper rifle that can turn into a scythe. I'd show you, but we left our weapons up at the Watchtower." Ruby's announcement directed the vigilante's stares at her, each of them looking at her incredulously.
"I was wondering where our weapons were." Blake said.
"Why are they looking at my sister like that?" Yang raised a brow.
"…I get the sniper part, but why the scythe?" Red Hood asked, making Ruby puff out her chest.
"Because when the Grimm gets close, I can shift it to a scythe and kill them with it. Also, because scythes are cool."
"Yeah, they're cool!" Ruby proudly said while Qrow and Maria smiled, agreeing with the young reaper.
"…Fair enough," Red Hood conceded. "What does it fire?"
"Fifty-BMG," Ruby revealed, making him and Batwoman whistle.
"Damn, you go all out." He pulled out a round from his pocket, flicking it around his fingers. "Titanium composite alloy with a C4 kicker. Fastest, most explosive pistol rounds in the world. Made them myself, actually."
"Impressive." James scratched his chin in interest, learning more about Red Hood's weaponry. "Perhaps it's time to upgrade my Due Process."
"Oooh," Ruby cooed as she held out her hand. Red Hood tossed it to her, allowing her to take a closer look. The others also looked at it while she did before a sad expression crossed her face. "We saw what you guys did down there. Wished we could have helped more."
"To be fair, Ruby, I doubt we would have done anything with an unfamiliar area and situation like that." Jaune reasoned with his friend.
"I know." Ruby looks down. "But I just hate it when we can't do anything but watch."
"Eh, Batman's always been a little thick-headed," Red Robin stated. "Don't let it get to you."
"It's not just that," Blake clarified. "It's just… seeing what that stuff did and not being able to do anything about it…" She trailed off, but the others understood what she was saying. She felt a hand on her shoulder, and she looked to see Batgirl nodding at her with understanding.
"Glad to see that Batgirl is friendly to my other." The viewing Blake smiled.
"Tell me," Spoiler spoke up, directing their attention to her, "the Grimm are attracted to fear, right?" RWBY and JNPR's expressions turned grim, and they nodded.
"A common knowledge throughout Remnant." Pietro said.
"Grimm were attracted to negative emotions in general, like fear, anger, and such," Ren clarified before staring back at the interrogation. Like Nightwing, he too felt something was off, and as the discussion continued around him, he kept his focus on Crane.
"You're trying my patience," he heard Batman growl through the glass. Crane merely laughed.
The viewers returned there focused on the interrogation.
"What would you have me say? That I feel guilty for my actions? That I wish to repent? There's nothing to repent for. I feel no guilt over my actions, only satisfaction. Your belief that I can be 'reformed' is misguided delusion at best. But that's not what's most intriguing about you, Batman. You are a very interesting case study. Oh, I know why you do what you do," Scarecrow laugh. "Behind your mask, you are just a scared little boy, aren't you? Something happened in your youth to make you into what you are. After all, a man doesn't just decide one day to dress up like a bat and beat up criminals at night." Scarecrow's words stopped all conversation around Ren as everyone stared at him.
"He's testing Batman's patience." Clover narrowed his eyes towards Scarecrow.
"Who supplied you with your equipment?" Batman ignored Crane's monologue, making the lunatic laugh.
"Oh, a classic attempt at deflection! I hit close to the mark, didn't I?" Batman said nothing at Scarecrow's question, which only served to make him laugh harder. "It doesn't matter. I don't really care who you are under that mask. After all, I wouldn't be surprised if that mask is who you truly believe yourself to be. How I wish I could have the chance to analyze you in closer detail."
"Gods, he pisses me off…" The viewing Yang clenched her fist along with the others.
"Damn, he is infuriating!" Harriet snarled, hating Crane more than ever.
"Gods, he pisses me off…" Yang clenched her fist at the psychopath, as did the others. From the corner of her eye, she saw the vigilantes tensing at his words. What he was saying was infuriating them on a personal level.
"Is that not what you're doing right now?" Batman suddenly asked, halting Crane's laughter in its tracks. "Deflection, delusions of grandeur, hiding behind a mask. Behind your mask, you're just a lonely man who was never loved, a man who was scared at everything and tried to project that fear onto the world."
"Oh! He just deflected it!" Qrow smirked, seeing how Batman turned the tables.
"Batman is not only a detective but also studied advance psychiatry." Penny said.
"Is there nothing he can't do?" Nora smirked.
"I am fear incarnate. Nothing scares me."
"Oh, please. I'm willing to bet that Batman is much scarier than this creep." Robyn rolls her eyes, pleased that Batman one-upped Scarecrow.
"Oh, I doubt that very much." Batman glared at the psychologist, who glared right back. Just then, he began to smile darkly and chuckled, making Batman suspicious.
"He's planning something." Blake says as eh narrowed her eyes.
"I must admit, I always enjoy our little chats, Batman," he admitted. "But, I'm afraid that this is where we must say goodbye."
The viewers began to tense, now fully knowing that something terribly wrong is going to happen.
Everyone tensed at his words, and Ren's eyes widened as his Aura-enhanced senses detected something at the other side of the wall.
"Get down!" he yelled and tackled Nora to the floor, just as Batman hurled himself through the one-way mirror. At that moment, a small explosion rang out from the other side of the concrete wall, creating a large hole to the street on the other side. Masked men wielding rifles emerged from the hole, firing their weapons at the superheroes and forcing them into cover.
"Are you serious?! There still more of Crane's thugs!" Marrow shouts.
"So that's why he was so confident!" Oscar shouts.
"Let's go, boss!" one of the men announced as he cut Crane's binds with a large knife. At the same time, he handed him another burlap mask, along with a large leather bag.
"Thank you." Crane smiled wickedly as he placed the mask over his head. Calmly, he walked through the hole towards freedom, pausing only to turn and look at where the heroes were hiding. "As I said, you can't stop fear, Batman."
"He's getting away!" The viewing Weiss shouts.
"Grrgh!" Red Hood growled as he finished loading his pistols then combined them into a rifle. He then shifted his optics to a camera on the front end of his rifle, allowing him to see what his gun was pointed at, then popped it over the wall he was taking cover behind. The vigilante started to fire just as the criminals began to go back through the hole they made. "Dammit!"
"They have the vigilante pinned down!" Blake shouts.
"Come on! We have to get them!" Ruby announced as she broke cover in a burst of petals.
"Wait!" Batman yelled after her, but she already disappeared through the hole. He turned to look at the rest of the Remnantians, only to find that they too were already breaking cover and running after her. With a grunt, Batman leaped over the wall and ran after them, the others following shortly after. Following the trail of rose petals, they saw it drifted upwards to a nearby roof, telling them where Crane had gone. Batman immediately grabbed hold of Yang and grappled the two of them over, followed by everyone else.
"Oracle, Scarecrow's escaped!" Batman yelled into his microphone.
"We know! Choppers are already en route!" Oracle frantically replied. Gunshots could now be heard, making the rest of RWBY and JNPR anxious. Those could only mean that Scarecrow's goons were shooting at Ruby. As they jumped across an alley, they finally spotted the group, and as they expected, Scarecrow's goons were firing haphazardly at a red blur.
"I know that you want to help Ruby, but that was reckless even from you." Weiss chastised her partner, earning a nervous chuckle from her.
"Get away from her!" Yang yelled out in worry and leaped towards her sister. As she landed, Ruby rematerialized to reveal she was wielding one of the criminals' rifles and fired a single bullet. The round struck another's rifle, blowing it out of his hands and making the man clutch his wrist in pain.
"Reckless, but at least you took a weapon." Weiss corrected while Ruby smiled a bit.
"Nice shot," Red Hood admitted as he joined the fray, firing his rifle. The spray of bullets forced the criminals into cover, allowing the rest of the group to make it to her.
"I told you to stay in the precinct!" Batman chastised the huntress while he leaped towards one of the thugs. The man tried to strike him with his rifle, only for Batman to rip the gun from his hands and crack it across his face.
The audience cringed at the strike but cheered.
"And I wasn't just going to let him get away! Not when I can do something about it!" Ruby countered while firing her rifle at a group of men, forcing them into cover. It may not have been her baby, but it would have to do. One man tried to shoot her, only for Yang to jump in its path, the bullet bouncing harmlessly off her Aura.
"No one messes with my sister!" The viewing Yang growled while her eyes turned red.
"That tickled," she growled and charged the man. The thug fired his rifle at her, each bullet flattening against the brawler's Aura and doing nothing, only to stop when Yang finally got to him. Grabbing his neck, she delivered a powerful punch to his gut, knocking the air out of his lungs and making him crumple. She then ripped the mask off his head, just as a stream of bile erupted out of the man's mouth, making her wince before kicking him across the head and knocking him out. "Ew gross, he got some on my shoe!"
"Seriously?" Yang gagged.
"Just be glad it wasn't me this time." Jaune comments, earning a slight glare from her.
"Looks like our others' training shows how much control they are in." Ren comments glad to see that their training has earned their results.
"Focus, Gold!" Red Robin shouted as he deployed his staff into a shield. Bullets pinged off of it as he ran towards a gunman before firing his grapple gun at the man. Rather than pull the man towards him, Red Robin pulled himself towards the man to deliver a kick to his chest, knocking him to the ground. Before he could seize the opening, Blake was already on him, pinning him to the ground and punching him in the face, knocking him unconscious. She nodded at Red Robin, only to disappear as another man fired his rifle at her and dissipated her Shadow. Nora then announced herself by ripping a lead pipe off of a nearby wall, creating a small gout of steam and swinging it into the gunman's arm, breaking it.
"So cool! His staff can turn into a shield!" Ruby says in awe.
"I bet Sun would love to have that function in his weapon." Blake said.
"Gaagh!" he screamed and dropped his rifle, allowing Jaune to tackle him to the ground and wallop him in the head. After a few blows, his eyes rolled to the back of his head, and he fell unconscious. Another man tried to shoot Jaune, only for Pyrrha to leap in and direct his gunfire into the air. He tried to punch her, only for the champion to catch his fist and headbutt him, knocking him out instantly.
"Glad to see Pyrrha having my back." Jaune smiled.
"Thanks." Jaune smiled at her, and Pyrrha smiled back. They all turned to look at Scarecrow, who was flanked by his last two men. While the supervillain himself simply looked annoyed, the two thugs looked scared and were backing away.
"Why does he not look like he's going to piss his pants." Harriet says in annoyance, not liking that Scarecrow doesn't seem fazed at all.
"Clearly, he still has a plan." Vine points out.
"Hmmph," Scarecrow grunted as he reached into his leather bag, pulling out a spherical grenade. "Looks like I don't have much choice..."
"Give it up, Crane!" Batman announced while he and the other heroes closed in on the criminals. The two thugs then looked at each other for a moment then threw down their rifles.
"We give up!" they announced, raising their arms above their head.
"Smart choice." Marrow says, seeing the two thugs willingly give up.
"Cowards!" Scarecrow snarled and pushed them towards the heroes, pulling the pin on his grenade and throwing it after them. Everyone looked at it for a moment before it exploded, releasing a cloud of yellow gas that briefly ignited. The two thugs fell to the ground as fire scorched them, rolling around to put it out, while the heroes merely patted out the flames.
"Really? A smokescreen? How's that going to affect them? They're wearing HAZMAT suits." Nora raised a brow.
"What was that supposed to do?" Weiss asked, unimpressed. "In case you haven't noticed, we're—"
"Oh, I noticed what you're wearing," Scarecrow darkly admitted, confusing everyone.
"What? What does he me–" Ruby was about to ask but stuttered when she saw what happened next.
That was when the first cracks began to appear on their rebreathers, and Scarecrow began to chuckle.
The viewers gasped in horror.
"What's happening?! Their masks are breaking apart!" Penny shouts in horror.
"No! They'll be affected by the fear toxin!" Oscar shouts, getting everyone horrified at that realization.
"It's a new formula I've been developing. It wasn't quite ready yet. The fire burns away most of the gas, leaving its effects something to be desired. But, it does have one noticeable improvement." The rebreathers continued to break, as Scarecrow explained, and Batman rushed towards him. Then, the rebreathers broke apart completely, exposing the heroes to the toxic gas. "Welcome to my nightmare."
"NO!" Everyone in the viewing room screamed as they watched in horror at what's to come next.
"No!" Weiss covered her mouth in a vain attempt to shield herself, as did the others. She began coughing, and then her vision started to blur and distort. Falling to the ground, a stark white blur formed into the image of her father standing over her, as tall and imposing as when she was a child, bearing his gaze down on her and making her feel small and powerless before him. Blake scrambled away on the ground as she saw Adam Taurus slowly march towards her, a hateful snarl on below his mask as his glowing red sword extended outwards and raised above his head.
Weiss and Blake widen their eyes in horror seeing their worst nightmares appearing before them. Though Weiss managed to turn her fear of hatred towards her father, it didn't help that the memory of her father's abuse in her childhood made her scared. Blake may have killed Adam in her timeline and managed to move on thanks to Yang, but it didn't help that she still felt frightened at her old mentor at the memory.
Yang quickly embraced her partner as she did when they killed Adam. It helped a lot and calmed Blake down.
Winter widened her eyes in horror and realized how much Weiss was hurting when she left her to their father's influenced. Without a second thought, she quickly went to her sister's side and embraced her as she whispered to her how sorry she was for leaving her sister behind and never came to her when she nodded her to the most. This helped Wiess a lot and calmed her down.
Marrow's eyes widened, seeing Weiss's fear, and looked at the Schnees embracing each other. This made him realize how messed up the Schnee Family is, and he can't help but feel guilty about how wrong he thought about them.
"Fight… it…" Ruby grunted as she fell to her knees. Images of Brainiac swarmed around in her vision, the shrunken remains of Vale crushed in his heartless grip while the prongs of his metal tentacle slowly reached for her eye, forcing her to close her eyes and clutch her head even as tears started streaming down her face. "It's not real… it's not real…"
The viewing Ruby shivered to see the sight of Vale being destroyed by Brainiac. She wasn't the only one—everyone in the room were terrified by that thought. Penny quickly hugged her, which helped calmed her down.
"Oh, but it is," Scarecrow countered as the heroes became immobilized by the gas, experiencing their worst fears come to life. "I wonder what you are seeing? For such a young girl, perhaps it is a monster? A concept, maybe? Perhaps my suspicions are correct, and you eight are the ones who appeared in Metropolis not too long ago. Are you seeing those creatures, the Grimm as you called them? Such marvelous things, I must admit. They almost seem to be perfect embodiments of fear itself."
"Damn him!" Surprisingly Oscar was the one who cussed, but no one could blame seeing what Scarecrow is doing to his friends.
"Go… to… hell…" Yang grunted as she rose to her feet, staggering as she did. She slowly made her way towards him, forcing herself to ignore the sights of the people she loved turning their backs on her and leaving her alone, only to fall onto her knees and pant. Sweat trickled down her head, and her pupils were the size of pinpricks."
Yang widens her eyes at her fear as she trembled, but fortunately, she was still hugging Blake as she, in turn, was coming to her partner down.
"I must admit, your resistance to my formula is intriguing. I can't help but wonder if it is a result of your alien biology?" Scarecrow mused as he crouched over her, pulling a syringe from his bag. Inside was an orange liquid, and Yang could tell that whatever it was, it was not good. Turning her head slightly, she saw Nora hugging her knees while shaking like a leaf, Jaune was frantically looking around at unseen horrors he was unable to stop, and Crane took hold of her arm. "Hold still. This will only take a moment."
"Damn it! Are we really that useless against his fear toxin?" Jaune gritted his teeth seeing how everyone was giving in to their fears. Even Nora held Ren for comfort as he did the same.
Yang ripped her arm from his grasp and backed away, the toxin making it hard to concentrate. She could feel her Aura working to counteract the toxin's effects, but until it did, she wasn't sure if she'd be able to stop him from injecting that stuff into her. She tried to throw a punch, only for Scarecrow to dodge it easily and retaliate with a swipe of his hook, striking her across the face. The blow stung and staggered her but otherwise did nothing.
"At least our Auras have some kind of resistance to the toxin." Pietro points out, but he is just horrified at seeing the children's fears as everyone else is.
"Hmm, interesting." Scarecrow hummed to himself as he kicked Yang in the knee, forcing her down. He looked around, seeing that his window of opportunity was depleting, and with a sigh, he reluctantly turned to move away. "Shame, I would have liked to have—"
He didn't get the chance to finish his sentence as Ren suddenly tackled him off the building. They tumbled through the air and crashed through a nearby window, only to land and shatter a wooden table. Rising to his feet, Scarecrow backed away from Ren and tensed himself, while the Mistralian boy slowly picked himself off the shattered remains of the table.
"REN?!" Everyone shouts in shock that the alternate Ren seemed to be not affected by the fear toxin.
"But how–, of course! Your Semblance!" Jaune shouts, remembering what Ren's Semblance can do.
"His Semblance?" Harriet questioned as she and the others began to calm down now.
"My Semblance, Tranquillity allows me to put me into a sense of calmness no matter what situation I am in. It even allows me to share this trait with others as long as I calm in contact with them." Ren explains, earning an impressed look from those who don't know about his Semblance, which is handy when avoiding Grimm.
"How are you…?" Scarecrow asked before noticing a distinct lack of color on Ren's body. His entire body looked to be a dull grey, while his expression was the picture of calm focus, devoid of any confusion or distress, and at once, the doctor understood what was happening. "You're able to counteract my toxin's effects? How are you-?"
"Like I'm going to tell you that!" Ren snarled angrily that Scarecrow would dare hurt his friends. The others were shocked that their calm and collective friend would actually snap while Nora found it downright hot.
Ren suddenly ran and pushed him, knocking him into a wall. A painting fell down to the ground as the two struggled, and Crane headbutted the boy to release his hold. As Ren clutched his face, Scarecrow took note of the boy's body and the distortion flickering over his skin. It appeared that the toxin was indeed affecting him, but the boy was somehow able to counteract most of its effects, at least enough to remain coherent. Narrowing his eyes, Scarecrow pulled out his hooked chain and twirled it in a wide circle, striking Ren repeatedly across the face. On the third swing, Ren grabbed the chain and hoisted it towards him, dragging Scarecrow with it in order to deliver a roundhouse kick.
"Yeah! Get him, Renny! Break his legs!" Nora cheered as she held her boyfriend's while everyone else also cheered for the alternate Ren.
Scarecrow was knocked back but was able to stay on his feet. Ren, however, exploited his state by rushing towards him, delivering blow after blow to the man's sides. Grabbing his collar, Ren headbutted the psychologist then kneed him in the stomach, making him crumple to the ground. Breathing deeply, Ren turned to look at the building they had jumped from, wondering how he was going to get them both back up there, only for Scarecrow to tackle him out the window. They tumbled through the air, each punching the other, only for Ren to take the blow as they landed on the roof of a parked car. Shattered glass sprayed everywhere, and as Ren caught his breath, Scarecrow took the time to hobble away. His leg was sprained by the fall, and a quick glance back showed that Ren was still unharmed, prying himself out of the wreckage.
"Yes!" Nora cheered, seeing that Crane's leg was broken, and quickly gave her Ren a big kiss to the cheek, making him blush while everyone smirked. "That's my man, alright!"
"Grrgh," he growled and turned to face the boy, taking his hook in hand.
"Stop, Crane," Ren commanded across the empty street, putting himself in a combat-ready stance. "You can't win."
"The fact that you believe that shows how misguided you are!" Scarecrow angrily insisted as he threw the chain at the boy. Ren nimbly ducked under it and ran towards the criminal, jumping over the chain as Scarecrow pulled it back. While flipping in the air, Ren directed his feet downward and kicked him across the head, sending him to the ground. Ren then picked him up and slammed him against a nearby car, shattering the glass window and preparing to throw a punch, only for Crane to spray more gas out of his glove. No longer having the rebreather's protection, Ren stumbled back as the gas took hold. His vision became distorted, and he saw Scarecrow's body shift and twist. Bugs covered the man's body, and his arms became long and stretched, weapons poking out of his back that didn't seem to harm anything. It reminded him of the Grimm that destroyed his home when he was young, and a trickle of fear started leaking through the walls of enforced calm erected by his Semblance.
"No!" Ren and Nora shouted in fear, but it wasn't about the Nuckelavee Grimm but that the alternate Ren was now in danger.
Everyone did not pay attention to Grimm but to the intense battle wondering how it will end.
"So, you do experience fear," Scarecrow declared as he walked over to the boy, his hook raised high. He swung downward, only for a thrown Batarang to knock it out of his hand. "Aagh!"
"Yes! Batman's here!" Ruby cheered as she jumped out from her seat while everyone cheered at his timely arrival.
As Scarecrow grasped his wrist, Ren took the chance to tackle the crazed man to the ground. Pinning him, he punched him across the face repeatedly, his Semblance making way for a deep-rooted fury to overwhelm the fear he was experiencing. Ripping off Scarecrow's mask, Ren snarled and continued to beat the man silly, breaking his nose and bloodying his lip. Finally, he stopped as Crane's head swiveled, straining to look at the boy in astonishment. Grabbing the bastard by his collar, Ren flipped him up over his shoulder and down into another parked car's hood, denting it and knocking the man unconscious.
Everyone breaths out a sigh of relief, finally glad that it's over.
"It's over… its finally over…" Ren said as he takes a deeps breath as he calmed down.
"Who would have thought that watching this would be so intense." Maria breathes out a sigh of relief.
Ren breathed deeply, silently daring the Scarecrow to rise to his feet, but he never did. He let out a sigh of relief, only to feel a hand gently clasp his shoulder. Ren turned away sharply and backed up, seeing a monstrous humanoid bat staring at him, whose eyes shone brightly. Rather than attack, it held up its hands and began to speak, its speech garbled but still understandable.
"Holy crap! That's scary!" Marrow trembles seeing such horror before him.
"This is what it's like under the influence of the fear toxin?" Vine says even he shudders in fear.
"Relax, everything's fine," the creature insisted while pulling out a strange needle. Ren's vision was warped, but he had enough of his senses to know what the creature truly was, and with a nod, he allowed it to inject him. He felt a slight prick that soon subsided, and a cool sensation passed through his arm. It spread across his body, and he felt his senses slowly return to him. Ren's vision became less distorted, and he soon saw that it was indeed the Batman who was staring at him, his eyes filled with a mixture of pride and concern.
"Glads that over…" Nora says as she still held Ren.
"Are you alright?" he asked, and Ren slowly nodded his head.
"I'll be fine," Ren answered and turned to face Crane. With a scowl, he turned back to Batman. "How are the others?"
"They're fine, if a little jumpy," Batman replied. "I've already administered the antidote to them. We're lucky that the dosage wasn't concentrated."
"That wasn't concentrated?!" James shouts in pure shock.
"I-I would only imagine what kind of effects it was." Winter says fearfully at the idea.
"Yeah, I noticed," Ren winced as his injuries suddenly made themselves heard, his Aura playing over them. Batman moved to help him, only for Ren to hold up his hand. "Can we just… get out of here?"
"Now that sounds like a plan." Yang breaths out, now fully relaxed after such an ordeal.
Batman stayed silent before nodding. Together, they moved towards the unconscious Scarecrow and stripped him of his suit, then bound his hands and feet together. A moment later, a large plane appeared overhead and landed on the street, the bottom opening up to reveal a troop compartment. Ruby and the others were already inside, watching as the two men walked inside. As they did, the doors closed behind them, and the Batplane flew off into the night.
Watchtower, One Hour Later
"Back to the Watchtower." Clover breathed out as they finally have the time to relax, seeing that everyone was now claimed in their seats.
"Yeah… that's was damned stressful." Qrow comments.
"Ren was able to use his Semblance to suppress the fear toxin and apprehended Crane while Ruby managed to administer the antidote I had on my person at all times," Batman stated to the other League founders as video of the incident in question played out. Superman silently watched and sighed regretfully.
"I should have kept a closer eye on them," he admitted. The possibility of them going against their orders was considered, but not them grabbing HAZMAT suits and sneaking right by them.
"Yes, you should have." Batman glared at them angrily before sighing. "But, what's done is done. J'onn, how are they?"
"Don't blame Superman! We made the decision." Ruby says, defending the Man of Steel.
"They are doing well, all things considered," J'onn admitted, shame and regret showing across his face and tone. "I can detect no long term psychological or physical ailments from the experience. We are lucky the dosage was so low."
"That's good to hear." Weiss breathed out in a sigh of relief, though the memory of her past still lasted a bit.
"And that their minds were strong enough to handle it on their own," Green Lantern stated. "I'll keep a close eye on them regardless, give them a person to talk to."
"Same here," Flash agreed, leaning forward in his chair. Tapping his fingers against the desk, he turned to face the others. "So, what happens now?"
They turned to face Batman, who calmly looked at them. "At the very least, they've proven they have the capability to handle assignments, as well as the determination to see them through, regardless of whether or not we want them to. At this point, it will be best to take them under our wings more directly, send them on missions with other League members. After they've fully recovered from their ordeal."
"Glad to know that Batman is still giving us the chance to train us." Yang smiled.
"You think that is best?" Hawkgirl asked, and Batman nodded. Nodding back, Hawkgirl turned to look at John, leaning forward across the table. "John, were you…?"
"No, the Corps haven't found Remnant yet," Green Lantern admitted. "They're looking, though, and we'll be the first to know once they do."
"They still haven't found where our world was?" Penny says in surprise. "That's odd. Even if it's an entirely new world, it shouldn't be that long for the Green Lantern Corp to find it."
"Why is that?" Ruby asked, but Penny just shrugged, not knowing the answer herself.
"Notify us once you have word. Finding it may bring them closure," Superman stated, knowing from experience from when he himself flew out to the ruins of his destroyed home. J'onn himself had visited Mars a few times since he awoke on Earth, if just to remind him of what he had to ensure never happened again. Everyone then turned their attention towards Diana, who was staring silently at the diagram of the mask-shattering gas Scarecrow had used against them.
"Diana, you've been awfully quiet," Flash noted. "What's up?"
"That gas…" Diana began to say, alarm in her voice. "I've seen it before, or rather something like it." Her statement caught everyone's attention, each demanding to know what she was referring to.
"What? Wonder Woman knows about the mask breaking thing?" Nora says in surprise.
"I wonder where?" Oscar asked.
"Where?" Batman asked, and Diana looked straight at him.
"France, in 1918."
The scene ended there, leaving the screen black.
"France?" Winter asked.
"It's another country, and the date took place more than eighty years ago." Penny answered.
"So Wonder Woman was around for more than eighty years?" Yang raised a brow. "Well, she is kinda a god, so it's no surprise that she doesn't look old."
"I hope the next episode can explain everything." Ruby said as they were all prepared to watch the next episode.
Batcomputer Files: Analysis
"Wait. What? What's this?" Ruby asked as she tilted her head.
"Oh! This is one of Batman's Files from his Batcomputer." Penny explained. "Mr. Mxyzptlk said that there would be some episode that will show about Team RWBY and JNPR's profiles."
"That sounds cool." Jaune comments.
"Is that really okay?" Weiss questioned, feeling it's an invasion of privacy.
"Don't worry, friend Weiss, nothing serious will be revealed!"
Accessing Batcomputer Archives
Username: Dark Knight
Welcome, Batman. Please select file for review:
Subject: Analysis on Remnantians: Lie Ren
"So this episode will be about me?" Ren blinked.
"No surprise, their buddy." Jaune smiled. "You did save the day in beating Crane."
Name: Lie Ren (goes by familial name of Ren)
Equipment: Stormflower, a pair of fully automatic 9mm pistols with downward-facing bayonets for close-quarters combat.
Semblance: Emotion Suppression: Capable of suppressing an individual or small group's emotions
"Hey! Why isn't Renny's Semblance name not there?" Nora asked.
"It's probably that my other did not tell Batman what I called it." Ren deduced.
Bio: Lie Ren is a native of the kingdom of Mistral, the largest of the four major kingdoms on Remnant. At a young age, he and his family lived in a growing settlement called Kuroyuri before it was tragically destroyed by an Elder Grimm. During this attack, his mother and father were both killed, and he, along with a young Nora Valkyrie, were the only survivors. This event set him on the path to becoming a Huntsman, determined to ensure that the tragedy that befell his family would never happen to anyone else ever again.
"I must really trust him enough to share him about my life." Ren said he and Nora cringed at the memory of their childhood.
"Damn, for its worth, you two, I'm sorry that you kids have to go through that." Robyn says, earning a nod of thanks from the two.
Expert Martial Artist: Ren has a mastery of several different fighting styles from Remnant that are similar to Earth's karate, taekwondo, and wing chun. This allows him to quickly adapt to many close-quarters scenarios and situations on the fly
Expert Aura Manipulation: Ren's knowledge on Aura is second to none among the group at hand, capable of focusing his Aura on specific points and applying it where needed. This skill has translated to a much more enhanced sensory network than others, allowing him to detect oncoming threats well before they are seen.
Logical Mindset: Ren, even without the use of his Semblance, is capable of keeping a level head under most situations. This mindset would enable him to continue operating in stressful situations that would otherwise break another person.
Semblance: The attack on Gotham City by Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow showed just how useful Ren's Semblance truly is. By using it, he was able to counteract the effects of the Fear Toxin the others, including myself, had fallen victim to and allowed him the chance to apprehend Crane when he might otherwise have gotten away. Debriefing after the battle revealed that Ren was indeed under the effects of the fear toxin, suffering from its associated hallucinations the entire time. However, his Semblance was able to stop him from being afraid of what he was seeing, allowing him to logically deduce what everything he was seeing truly was and take action. This Semblance shows tremendous potential in heavy psychological situations, and its use should be encouraged whenever applicable.
"Impressive." Clover says learning more about Ren's skills.
This part got Ren's attention the most, and he focused on seeing what it is.
Emotional Outbursts: Although Ren is capable of keeping his emotions in check, harming his comrades runs the risk of him losing control of his emotions and making him lash out. Should Nora Valkyrie be directly harmed, his emotional control becomes almost non-existent? In any case, these moments represent a tremendous weakness for him, and a skilled combatant can use this weakness to move Ren into an undesirable situation, putting him and others at risk of harm.
"Oh yeah… I remembered that happening when we thought against that Nuckelavee." Ruby cringed at the memory.
"You thought against a Nuckelavee?!" Winter shouts in shock along with everyone.
"I know, right!" Nora chirped as she held her boyfriend. "My Renny went all crazy against that Grimm, and in the end, we managed to kill it!"
Ren blushes at the memory even though it was also proof of his weakness, but it was also an achievement in killing the very monster that killed his family.
Endurance: While still beyond that of a normal Earth human, Ren's physical stamina is noticeably less robust than his peers', including Weiss Schnee, without extensive use of her Semblance. While mitigated by his efficient movements and use of his Aura, heavy impacts seem to drain him particularly.
"That is a weakness that I recognized." Ren acknowledged.
Areas for Training:
"Areas of training?" Ren perked up interested in this part significantly.
Semblance expansion to involve multiple people at once regularly.
Furthering martial arts training to include more styles from Earth.
Physical conditioning to improve endurance.
More powerful and versatile ranged options.
Forensics training to compliment his naturally logical and deductive mindset.
The scene now ends as the screen begins to prep for the next episode.
"Interesting… perhaps I am training in few areas of what was suggested but didn't take for most of the suggestions." Ren answered as he took notes of what areas he could train in.
"That's so cool! Not only do we get a profile of ourselves, but we can also learn which areas we can train in!" Ruby cheered.
"Looks like there are some benefits to these parts after all." Weiss said now, changing her mind about these file analyses.
Penny, however, tilted her head in confusion as she thought to herself. "That's strange… why is this file incomplete?" Before she could voice her question, a notification appeared in her head saying that these files are purposely incomplete but will reveal themselves after all the files regarding RWBY and JNPR are shown. Penny was confused why the notification appeared like that but shrugged it off and did what it says as she waited for the next episode to start.
To be continued…
A/N: And done! Another reaction chapter done. I hope it was worth the wait. For now, I'm going to have a short break from Hunters of Justice and will focuse on the fics for now. Hope you all understand.
Next update: RWBY Watches Ruby's Mansion