Never Smile at a Crocodile

January 10, 2016:

The Joker breaks into Arkham Aslyum in order to break people -out-.

Arkham Asylum

Characters

NPCs: King Croc and an army of clowns, prison guards and inmates.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Never Smile at a Crocodile - The Paulette Sisters


Fade In…

Arkham Asylum is one of the fixtures of Gotham and a grim one at that. It has housed - and lost - many of Gotham's most infamous minds and criminals and perhaps none more so than the Joker whose revolving door entrences and exits have made Arkham something of a… byword for bad security.

Which isn't quite fair really. Arkham houses plenty of criminally insane people who don't regularly break out and go on murder sprees. And that, to the Joker, is a problem. He's in a giving mood right now and, really, why should he have all the fun? A good comedy act, after all, has plenty of variety. So it's time to spice things up.

The alarms went out from Arkham twenty minutes ago about a security breach. And it's a hell of a breach. A small army of clown masked thugs had broken in with automatic weapons and explosives. They haven't completely overwhelmed the security there but anyone who isn't already cowering in the darkest corner they can find can hear the weapons fire echo through the corridors as those who remain desperately try to hold out for help. And over it all…

The Joker has sequestered himself in the warden's room and is going through the files. His voice can be heared from the PA system pretty much everywhere. "This one. And this one. And th- oooh! They have Killer Croc here? I love that guy! Break him out toot sweet fellas!"

Bluebird is in Arkham, Oracle knows this and the fact that The Joker has just 'invaded' leaves the redhead a little cold. "Report Bluebird." The young woman has a communicator, that Oracle will conference with whoever responds.

"This is Oracle, The Joker has staged an attack on Arkham Asylum. We have an asset inside, already." The call goes out over her comms. "Respond if you can get there."

As this is all happening, the feeds to the Asylum are slowly displaying on her screens. She'll get the big picture before attempting anything - after all knowledge, is power.

Who's to say that there wasn't help coming to Arkham Asylum? Harper, that's who! For once the bell started to toll, she couldn't exactly dump and jump into her Bluebird getup; don the cowl and become the vigilante who stalked the streets of the Narrows and underground to fight for the right for those bullied and others to walk the street. No. She had to keep to the cover that she was given; some random girl who worked on the electrical systems who actually upgraded a few things here and there and kept tinkered items locked within her bag that she always carried.

But the bell tolls, and for once she felt alone, scared because of the screams, hollars and bangs practically echoed through the building and she was but one person and they were many. Harper was essentially cut off at the head of her bleak run by the clowns, thankfully their back to her as she slows her pace, her bag swung behind her as her hands remain outright, a crouch as she slowly approaches and..

*TING*

The clowns look back, seeing nothing behind them, Harper smooth enough to duck into the shadows, her hands slowly shuffling through her bag as she retrieves a pair of wired up gloves which were soon slipped on.

"You hear that?"
"Was that an elevator?"

"There was something in my bag." Harper calls out, as one clown rushes down the hallway he's met with an outstretched arm that sends him flipping backwards and to the ground. Her boot lifts and slams down hard upon his head, knocking him outcold as another lifts his gun and begins to fire.

Dick Grayson responds into his communicator, "Nightwing here. I'm close, I'm making my way in. If he's actually in the place, we need whatever backup you can pull in. I'm not picky," he says. He'd been keeping close to the island just in case of emergency, knowing Harper was in there. He was trying to keep hiis distance enough that she didn't feel smothered, as if he were watching over her shoulder, but close enough to be easily available if…well, if something like this happened. He quickly gets the jet ski he'd hidden near the docks and takes off, making his way quickly across the harbor to Arkham. He knows the security measures like the back of his hand, it won't take him long to get inside once he's at the place…

"Oracle. May. I can be there in two minutes." SHIELD agent Melinda May has been forced to deal with increasingly bad stuff of late, and this would just be more yi dà tuó dà biàn for her week. Part of the delay is the fact that she stops in on the armory and stocks up on all the FUN toys — Morse's taser batons (let's go for three pairs this time), enough of those little Widow's Bite disks to fill a coin roll, and six extra clips for the two ICER pistols she claims in place of regular sidearms. Oh, and she's got her usual complement of blades already ready already, and she has every intention of sticking a sharp object through the Joker's eye socket if she gets a chance. Then, informing the powers that be on duty that she's out on WAND business, she rushes out of the Triskelion and toward the nearest ley line.

One advantage to Arkham being on an island is that there's a ley line running right along one wall of the giant, forboding building. "Oracle. May. Find me an in and tell me where that clown is."

The picture Oracle gets from her clocktower is… bad. The Joker's people have broken in through the main gate and the south wall and secured probably two thirds of the facility. In these locations, free of fighting they roam alternately terrorizing the staff unlucky enough to have made it out with security or freeing the prisoners en masse. Many of those arm themselves with weapons from their liberators or crude supplies taken from whatever is to hand. In the wing that deals with the, er, special patients, many of those cells are being blown open as well. And Killer Croc? He's loose now.

Worse, they've overriden the computer controlled systems. Oracle can, possibly get these back under control but there is so much structural damage to the building that it's an open question how effective they'll be. Doors and walls blown open sever power and data lines and whole sections of the facility are black to her. She does have a few of Bluebird as first one thug, then a second, then a third begin sprying bullets at her. Around the corner there's another mob, coming made curious by the gunfire. Their approach is slow but they're directly in the way of the best exit.

Nightwing won't have any trouble getting in at all. Getting in isn't the issue here. The thugs aren't trying to prevent people from getting in. Once he is in though there's no shortage of clown masked crazes and escaped prisoners to deal with. In fact the first trio are beating a nurse just to his left as he makes his way in. May will appear not far from this location and can probably hear the screaming.

"May, Nightwing. I'm trying to patch Bluebird in, she's not responding. I have a visual on her though, she's engaging the villains." Oracle winces as the picture of Arkham appears. "Entry is easy, there are doors blown and walls missing. Joker is in the Warden Room. Computer systems are mostly black, I'll need Bluebirds assistance in there."

There was a slight wonder if they could hear her screaming as well. Bluebird was used to being shot at; but not this many people and with so much lethality. Not to mention, the Joker was at the helm and she had hoped to go through her entire vigilante career with never meeting him. But, she had to think quick on her feet, her mouth clamping shut as her hands raise to shield her ears from the noise, lowering herself to the ground at a slight curl as she plants both hands to the floor with a hard press.

The fingers begin to light and vibrate upon her hands as she takes in a few breaths, hoping the MK-1 variant kevlar holds true as she counts.. one.. two..

"THREE!"

She busts out of her little hiding space, ducking low and making a mad dash to the lone guard, her back to the others as she keeps her focus, strafing left, then right.. and with a clear leap with curled legs to try to knee the clown in the face, her hands smack down atop of his head to send a quick shock of electricity to the system. Lets hope her gadget works!

Dick Grayson somersaults in over the fence and makes his way into the asylum proper. Seeing the trio assauting the nurse, he unleashes a few wingdings, following up with a few kicks and elbows to quickly dispatch the flunkies. "This whole place is overrun. Make certain they're ready on the mainland in case anybody tries to make for shore. I'm going to try to make my way to Joker as well - the sooner he's contained, the sooner we can working on rounding up the rest of these schmucks."

Melinda May doesn't hesitate when she hears that screaming. She takes the first opening inward with ICERs in both hands and fires at anyone or anything moving. Clown-masked goons, escaping inmates, prison guards, they're all getting the same treatment. This likely looks very much unnecessarily violent and lethal to anyone unfamiliar with the SHIELD tech she's using, but it's really the fastest and most efficient way to get this over with. Drop EVERYONE and sort them out later. For those with sharp eyes, every person she shoots and takes down has a momentary blue veining around the area where they were hit, and most importantly, they're still breathing.

Apparetnly the Joker can get some of the camera feeds from the Warden's office or wherever he is now. Because as Nightwing rescues a frankly rather badly battered nurse and May comes in shooting at any target that presents itself his voice comes on over the intercom again. "Well well well, look who we have come to visit boys. It's The Low Fat Bat Substitute and Nightfling." There's an interlude for some raccous laughter, some of which sounds like it comes from a hyena's throat, before he resumes again. "They're at the entrence. Kill 'em and stuff them in the isolation cells."

Ever seen a zombie movie? How about a zombie movie where all the zombies are wearing clown masks. Well okay not all of them. Oracle can see freed inmates and armed clown thugs drop what they're doing and rush toward May and Nightwing's general location. They won't all arrive at once. They're far too spread out for that. But they're all converging on their position like an immune system. It'd be fascinating if it weren't also horrifying. Time to get under cover or move, quick.

Harper takes two shots to the back but the kevlar holds. It still feels like someone kidney punched her but it's not the pain of having been shot. And then she's clear and moving. The good news, O can see, is that she's moving generally toward May and Nightwing. The bad news? So is everyone else. Or well, mostly everyone else. Crazy people don't always take directions well. There's also a locked reinforced security door on the only route between her and them. There's got to be something O can do about that.

"Bluebirds heading your direction." Oracles digitally disguised voice filters out over the comms. There's something she can do about that door, it will just take a moment to …. there, she's access to Arkhams systems - the parts that aren't blacked out. That reinforced door should open as Harper nears, allowing her through … and hopefully swing shut before the inmates get there. It'll be a matter of timing.

Now for The Joker. She'll not take Nightwings or Mays fun away there, but the redhead does have a score to settle. A couple in fact - not just her own injury, but for shooting Pepper as well. With a bit of work, she should be able to subvert the feeds he's seeing and give him a different view of what's really happening. No… she's not cutting his view, no need to let him know that the others have help from the outside.

"May, Nightwings in your vicinity, be sure not to shoot him, please." beat "Emergency Services are being despatched, they'll pick up anyone that makes the mainland, Nightwing." or so Oracle hopes.

With the clown down.. that rhymed.. with the clown down, Harper lands upon her feet there after, propelled by the two shots to her back with a silent crack that echoes from the inside. She couldn't feel it, not yet, adrenaline was on high as she continues to run, one hand lifted to shield from the blasting debris and as if that lifted arm could stop the hail of bullets flying within her direction. There had to be a little hope there.. a little prayer.. and soon the door was open which causes Harper to pick up the pace and take a leaping jump forward.. belly flopping onto the hard ground and sliding with a tuck of her feet upon her side just as the door closes behind her.

"Phew.."

Gloves were soon shaken off as she reaches up to touch along her face, the prostethics were still there, though a piece of the longish dark hair hung upon her shoulder. "Aw hell." With a snatch of that section of hair tossed to the side, Harper quickly climbs to her feet, bag shuffled to her front to dig into, pieces of steel broken out and soon slapped together and smacked against the palm of her hand as the top of the mechanism begins to hum to life.

And then she's off again, running at breakneck speed, her hand reaching up to smack against her ear finally to try to patch herself into the comms. "Oracle! I need help!"

Apparently she missed the Calvary (and calvary) being called.

Melinda May fires at two more roaming inmates then turns and … manages to not fire at Nightwing's face. "We need to move," she tells the young man in blue-accented black. She'll never get why Gothamites seem to think those skinny little glue-on masks are all the rage. They just restrict one's field of view. "Find us the path of least resistance, Oracle." Of course, knowing Bluebird is en roure, they'll hold out here for a just a few moments more.

Harper is through and not a moment too soon as the door slams shut to the sound of bullets smacking into it. It'll probably take the clowns a bit to get through that. Assuming they don't have explosives… which they might.

Best to keep moving then. The insides of Arkham are a maze but fortunately both Dick and Harper are well familiar with them at this point and Harper at least knows what direction to go to get to an exit. She's once again headed in May and Dick's direction. If she can get there before a few hundred clowns and freed inmates converge on the place with murderous intent, they should be scott free…

And then the wall to her right explodes outwards. The man standing there isn't a man. Dressed in large, and somewhat tattered asylum pants and nothing else he's eight feet tall at least and a mass of towering muscle and hate. Oh and he's grey-green. Did we mention that he's grey-green? Between that, the fangs and the slightly serpentine tongue there can't be any doubt at all who this is…

Fortunately for Harper, all Killer Croc wants to do is get out of this place. Unfortunately for her, she's in the way and… well she just saw what happened to the last wall that got in her way. The Croc screams in fury and begins to charge.

The echoes of the wall collapsing reach May and Dick easily. Harper isn't far now and Oracle can guide them there. There's thugs and inmates arriving every minute or so but if they move, and quickly, they can side step the swarm.

Then all they'll have to worry about is the super strong atavistic killing machine.

"About time, Bluebird. You're conferenced in." Oracle resists the urge to roll her eyes. "Nightwing and Agent May are directly in front… " And there's Killer Croc. Oh good!

"May, Nightwing. Killer Croc is on the rampage, about to attack Bluebird." Scanning the screens, reviewing the video feeds that she can get, she plots the most direct route for the team to take. "Directions incoming … " She'll guide them, waiting as they deal with the thugs … and um… Killer Croc.

Harper beat her feet, smacking a hand against the wall to aid in her sharp turns and directions, often times stopping to allow a few of the crazed prisoners to pass as she hides in the darkness to take an alternate and direct route towards The Agent and Nightwing. "I was delayed! Sorry!"

The explosion of the wall knocks Harper back into the opposite side, and as her feet touch the ground she crouches and rolls, standing to take a few staggering steps back which does in fact, puts her between Killer Croc's freedom, Nightwing and May.. and well, further inside of the Asylum.

"Uh…" She slowly raises her hands, stick held upright. "It's.. Handy Girl.. remember me? Rebecc—" His roar cuts her words out as she winces, her feet soon moving backwards. "Easy.. uh.. Jones?! Yeah! Jones! We're all cool here! Right?"

Dick Grayson manages to get to right where Harper and Croc are just in the nick of time, almost skidding hiis feet. If it weren't for the treads on his iboots, he certainly would have. Damned hospital floors. "Get down!" he cries out to Harper, not prepared to shout Bluebird and blow her cover right off the bat. Hey, he's Batman's apprentice, he respects the masks.

He unleashes a flashbang wingding, tryiing to see if he can land it right in Croc's eyes, getting his nightsticks out to prepare to fight to follow up, 'No killing!" he calls to May, wanting to make sure the Agent respects the rules of the road while in Gotham.

Now that she can hear what 'Bluebird' is saying, it sounds… well, it sounds like Barton when he's got someone bigger and meaner in his face and he's trying to talk them down long enough to get away. She spares Nightwing only one more glance as she changes out the clips in her ICERs before turning and running in the direction indicated by Oracle, bent on getting to the young woman (based on her voice) before whatever is there gets her.

She's not letting anyone get in her way, again mowing through clowns and inmates and guards equally, roughly pistol-whipping or kicking them aside as much as shooting them. One inmate in particular tries to think he's got combat chops. She has to resort to a Romanoff move, using momentum and her entire body weight to pull the man off his feet and slam him to the floor. She closes her eyes when Nightwing yells at the young woman to get down, and seeing the flash bang through her eyelids is glad she guessed correctly.

And then she straightens up and fires both ICERs. Straight into the Croc's open maw. If that won't take him down, there's not much that will.

Someone has a bent sense of humor. As Croc begins to charge some distinctly old timey music starts playing over the intercom. You should never smile at a crocodile, no you can't be friendly with a crocodile… The charge is arrested by the arrival of Nightwing and May delivering respectively a flashbang to the face and dendrotoxin to the mouth. The huge scaly inmate swerves and crashes into the wall feet from Harper. And then shakes himself and starts to pull himself out.

Waylon Jones is the worst kind of insane. The kind where you know he'd be a decent person if it weren't for his condition. Unfortunately his condition is in full force right now and he has only one thought on his mind: Escape. Whatever, or whomever, he has to smash to do that he will without hesitation and without mercy. Still, he's disoriented for a moment as he leans down to pick up a torso sized chunk of shattered masonry.

"Aaaaaaand it's Croc versus the Bat Brigade plus one. Wonder what he's gonna do with that brick…" The Joker seems to be enjoying this. Wonder if there's a way to shut him up.

Oh good heavens. Oracle feeds Harpers situation back to May and Nightwing, but Nighwings already there. She'll leave the trio to handle Killer Croc for the time being. She'll go after The Joker for a moment and shut down the speakers… well, maybe she'll take them over.

With a little work, the audio output from the microphone in the Wardens office isn't disabled, but it stops transmitting to the PA system and the redheaded Gothamite patches her own feed in…

She'll hear everything that Joker has to say and maybe she'll respond to him.

Oh yeah? That music? It stops too.

The hollar from Nightwing didn't go missed, Harper immediately crouching upon the ground, both hands shooting up to shield her vision from the flashbangs that soon come. The loud POP POP's along with the weapon fire from May immediately has her moving towards the wall, keeping her face shielded to the point where she was able to reach down around her neck to draw up the scarf there to hide her mouth and nose from viewing. Not that they would know it's her anyways. Her real face is covered in plastics that makes her look brand new.

As the song plays over the intercom, Harper looks up, a grit to her teeth given as Croc draws the masonry from the ground. "Oh no you don't!" It was Harper's turn to dash into the fray, taking another flying leap to try to land upon the piece of wall that he holds, the electrified makeshift baton still humming with life drawn back to try to shove it right into his maw.

Oh thank god, that song was off. Harper was nearly about to fall into a fit of giggles at that one.

Dick Grayson uses the acrobatic expertise that has become his trademark. While May goes head-on at Croc and Harper tries to take him from the side with her makeshift weapon, he leaps, higher than it seems a man should be able, kicking a foot off the wall and somersaulting up and over the leather-skinned monstrosity. When he lands, he presses as pair of hidden switches in his escrima sticks and there are twin puffs as he fires a pair of tranquilizer darts behind him into Croc's back, the dosage powerful enough to put down a rampaging bull.

Knocking out testosterone-stuffed raging beastmen came with the territory around here. He just hoped he was right and the needles were long enough to punch through that hide. The close range should help, but there were never any guarantees.

Oh crap. That thing is STILL UP after two dendrotoxin rounds to the inside of the mouth. But now both the young woman and Nightwing are going for takedown moves on the croc, so she'll do what she can to keep at leaset some of its attention.

"Mei Yong Ma Duh Tse Gu Yong! Nee Yow Wuo Kai Chiung?" Or, rather, another one. She fires her ICERs at the Croc again, figuring they'll be useless against his reptilian hide, but the impacts will hopefully be enough to distrack. "Fall down already!" And now she wishes Fenris were here. A gigantic wolf would be able to fend off a giant croc-thing, right?

A gigantic wolf would be handy about now but alas, he is not here. Harper's move refocuses the thing's attention on her. It had been about to strike at Dick as he leapt… and probably miss, honestly. But when Harper kicks off the masonry that is in his hand and shocks him, Croc flings the diminuitive woman upward into the ceiling with a reflex-to-sudden-pain flick of his hand. Hard. As she falls he catches her again midair, batting her like a baseball player hitting a self-tossed ball and slamming her into the wall near May with bone crunching force. The only thing that prevents a follow up fling of brick to head is May herself who spatters Dendratoxin all over the thing's scaly hide, shifting the deathglare from Harper to May herself.

And then Nightwing lands. Both needles go in near the base of the neck and Croc thrashes in pain again. The needles may snap, but their work has been done. Crocs movements become slow and groggy… he may well pass out in a moment. Question is how long will he stay that way. With confused clowns and inmates now spreading out to try to find the trio they almost certainly don't want to stay to find out.

"Oooh! And he hits it out of the par- hey! This thing on? Hello?!" The Joker's noticed that someone cut off his fun and by his looks he's not pleased. "Bah. More Bat-Dickery." Unintentional pun to be sure. The mad clown picks up an RPG from the corner of the room and blows a hole in the wall. "Bring over the chopper boys! Our work is done here!"

"The building is compromised. I can't shut it down fully." Oracle tells the team on the ground. "And Jokers about to leave, he's called in a chopper." If the team is going to have a shot at him, someone had better move quickly.

The fact that he's not pleased makes Oracle smile. No, she won't respond to him. Right now, she's trying to delay his escape.

Harper wants to know a gigantic wolf-mount right about now. Perhaps shocking the beastly man wasn't the right call, but there was a slight.. 'HAHA!' as she lands her hit, along with an 'Ut!' as he yanks her upright and slam into the ceiling. There was a little imprint there with the force of the blow, the wind knocked out of her at that instant, her legs flailing trying to find a catch of anything but yet she's grabbed and tossed with a fold into the wall that aggrivated the broken rib she had already.. and doubled it.

She crashes to the ground right upon her face, her eyes queezed shut as she finally finds the need to breathe again, a huge cough allowing a thick of blood to splatter against the ground as she tries to inch towards a safe space. She wasn't stupid, she knew she was done for.

Dick Grayson spins and unleashes a hard thrust kick to the point of Croc's chin, trying to finish the job that the drugs started. When Harper falls, he cries out, moving quickly towards her. He looks up at May, "See if you can snag Joker. I bet he's already halfway gone - he always has an escape plan. But it's worth a shot. At any rate, you can seize the security controls from there and get this place back on lockdown. I'll take care of her!" he calls, kneeling down next to Harper and trying to check and see how bad the damage is.

Melinda May very promptly puts herself between the Croc and the young woman that just crunched to the floor. And she hides the relieved breath she takes when the beastman finally looks to be going down at least momentarily. She nods to Nightwing as he moves to help Bluebird and promptly takes off at a full run to try and get at the Joker. As she's running the ICERs get put away and she pulls her Partisan-made 1911. This one uses real bullets. She's DONE playing games now. Clowns in her path get killshots — bullets to the face mostly — and everyone else either non-lethal leg wounds or knocked clear.

Making it to the contol center that the Joker just vacated, she spares only a second or two to hit the big 'Emergency Lockdown' button, to hopefully keep any other inmates from getting out or clown goons from spreading further, and continues right through after Joker. She REALLY wants to put two in his brain pan. Squish.

Croc goes down for the count with Nightwings last kick. He's no longer a threat to he or Harper. The incoming clowns are, but Oracle's there to guide them out toward the safety of the waterline.

There's going to be a few bodies thanks to May and… really it's not going to be possible to tell. There's already more than enough shot people in the Asylum. The lockdown goes into effect… sort of. A lot of the building is physically compromised but it will cut off some sections of the facility and retard the escape of those still inside. Of which there are a lot. May arrives in time to see a comandeered news chopper lifting off with the Joker, half a dozen thugs and a trio of hostages. No good shot though. He's away.

The Joker's isn't the only chopper in the air though. GCPD is arriving as spotlights and helicopter engines soon tell. Many of the escaped inmates won't be getting away and many of the ones who do will get picked up along the shore. But this will still go down as one of the largest mass escapes in Arkham history with over four dozen inmates at large when it's all said and done. When the facility is finally secured… Croc is nowhere to be found.

Not that any of that is the concern of anyone on the team right now. Extract and get Harper to medical care. That's got to be the priority.

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