Gotham's Greatest Fear

March 02, 2016:

The Scarecrow gets a visit from the smiling sinner himself…And Gotham quivers in terror with what happens.

Gotham City - Chinatown

Scarecrow's hideout, a rotting penthouse above a modest little shop which is a front for his chemical factory. The entire area beneath the penthouse is hollowed out into a large production warehouse where Scarecrow oversees it all from above.

Characters

NPCs: Thugs

Mentions: Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\ None.]


Fade In…

Dead of night.

Cold air and thick rain always fill Gotham's skies, more predictable than the rising sun itself. It's in this atmosphere that fear truly reigns supreme. The chill down one's spine always could be either fear or the weather. One man prefers it to simply be fear alone.
The ghastly face stares outward from the dirty windows at the shingled rooftops around the newly acquired hideout. An abandoned penthouse, a shopkeep made to not talk below, and a proper factory for his chemicals in the sewers below.
Scarecrow was content, for now, despite knowing he would have had more sufficient resources if it was not for interruption. He breathes out heavily in a low hiss, his breath hitting the cold glass and spreading the fog along it. This causes him to pause, and stare.
He brings his hand upward, and drags his gloved thumb across the fog to carve into it a simple word.

'Scream.'

"Boss, we got the first batch done, real solid stuff! We can be ready for the next attack by dawn if the men keep working hard! Hah!"

"Extra batch. Have it prepared by noon."

"You got it, Scarecrow."
His goon heads down with the new order, moving quickly. His men were loyal. They were too afraid of the man in straw to not be, but knew he'd not lash at them without their failure.

Through the dark fog and rain a flash of lightning illuminates the solitary word. Thunderous applause of a pitch black night shining high into the nights sky. In that terror of the night a sudden knocking comes from the front door of the penthouse. Shave and a hair cut. Once, then twice. Waiting for the two bits part of its little knock.

On the other side of the door stands none other then the joker dressed head to toe in something that would fit in a bit more in the 1920's then modern gotham. A full grey trench-coat, and matching hat with grey pants and mirror finished black shoes. His undershirt is a sickly sort of bright yellowish orange. That unnatural smile on his face more like a mask then anything that could form on a normal human being. Behind him a pair of matching thugs in dark black suit and bow-tie.

"Leonard Glennon, Moore? You in there? I brought that brain you were looking for." He mentions moving his eye right up to the peephole of the door, that blood red pair of his lips curled up into a constant smile, white skin so inhumanly pale that it couldn't possibly be the set he was born with, nor simple makeup.

It was the moment that death came knocking that the guards at the door both take positions. One stepping back to raise their gun to the door, per protocol. The other looks through and sees the white face. That smile causes immediate reaction. The first goon is already bringing the radio to his mouth.
"Birdman, the mime is here."
Scarecrow just turns from the window he was facing, letting a low growl out. How did he find him?
He speaks with a low hiss into his own receiver, "He's about to shoot you dead. Let him in."
The reaction is immediate, and the goon is already opening the door…and standing behind it. He just served up his buddy on a platter, as now just he stands alone with a gun pointed right at the Joker's face.
That's not going to do a thing of course. But the gunman speaks fast.
"What do you want?" says the gunman.

Above, in the penthouse itself, Scarecrow is already walking along the inner railing of the balcony, dragging his needles along the cement in irritation as his men begin arming themselves with not only their newly acquired automatic pistols but also their vial grenades. They expect conflict.

"A little respect." The jokers own gun aimed right to the goons crotch. The barrel itself about a foot long, and a full inch around. That pitch black metal gun looking more then enough to easilly punch a hole right through one of them and into the other.

There's not even a moments pause before the trigger is pulled and a massive boxing glove slams its way from the end of the gun at full force right into the poor goons groin. There's enough force there to knock a rhino off its course, and the metal plating doesn't help matters as it makes impact.

"Honestly, didn't your boys learn the lesson after dumbo?" That laugh of his echoing out as he stands there with a broad smile on his face just waiting for the shots to be fired. The goons on either side of him standing almost so tall as the man himself but build like brick mansions, with over-sized Thompsons in their grasp.

The clown prince of crime without another moments pause confidently starting to stride into the room, that smile never leaving his face.

A shattered pelvis hurts a lot more than shattered pride. The man is down, and his buddy is too afraid to come from behind the door. As he just keeps silent, he lets the men pass…cowering in fear.

Scarecrow stands above the room, now grinding his needles on the metal scaffolding he has been using to oversee the chemical production. He wouldn't seem any bit surprised, and actually is waiting apparently. His men already all have their guns trained right on the intruder, but all have not even turned the safety off on their weapons.

His orders.

"You're interrupting my work again, Clown." His voice is booming against the silence other than the rain.

"You mean this isn't the satellite of love?" A two beat pause as joker moves his goons following behind. "So, what's cooking lagasse." The clown prince moves over to one of the vats taking in a deep breath of air. "Ah, just like mom used to make." A small contented sigh before he lets out a lighthearted laugh, calm and collected with that completely disconcerting backing of insanity.

"Come on now, is that any way to treat an old friend baring gifts?" He shakes his head, a bit of the sheer arsenal tucked away in his jacket visible for a few moments. Tsk tsk tsk. "I suppose if you don't want them, I could always take them to someone who will appreciate my good will." A bit of mock disappointment backing it. "Maybe Two-face would get more use out of these chemicals."

"A man who doesn't even know what he wants has no business in what I deliver."

Scarecrow retorts fast, staring down at The Joker with a single eye showing from underneath his tattered hood. His men keep giving the madman enough distance. They've been long briefed and trained on how to react in this situation just as much as dealing with the Bat. Scarecrow isn't moving anymore, he's just gripping the railing and staring down.
"I have business, you got in the way of it at the Towers. You drew attention to a perfectly laid out plan. Now you are at my home, it's growing tiresome, especially when you threaten to take something of mine."

Joker does a sudden slight motion towards one of the guards before falling back into place attempting to bait them into action. "Lovely set of dogs you have here, they do tricks?" He laughs again still smiling taking a slight spin on the ball of his hell, before the smile finally falls from his space.

A deep sort of mock sadness fills his voice again. "Scarecrow, baby, honey, you've got me all wrong." Both hands falling down onto his own heart. "I'm here to give not to take." That smile slowly curling back onto his face, as men come up through that same door wheeling in 55 gallon oil drums with varying chemical labels and warnings.

Scarecrow's chin lifts a moment, as if he's focusing his eye on the drums as they come in. Initially he assumes they are bombs. He would not move though, as it's not that he won't feel fear; he simply can't. The lighting behind Scarecrow dims a moment, and he raises a hand up towards his men on the right. They drop their guns slowly while the others on the left take a sharper aim.
"Policy. I have many times failed due to simple security concerns and failures…"
The men look up at their boss in silence, knowing what he may tell them to do.

"Gifts, or is this another game of trick or treat?"

"Isn't failure half the fun though" Joker points out looking right up towards scarecrow, his own appearance massively different from the last time the two had met. Back then he simply had a bit of face paint and blond hair, but now it's been quite the visual upgrade. More and more of the barrels loaded into the room. "You know I can't quite remember myself."

"How's about I take a peek and double check for you then hmm?" A large red crowbar suddenly slides out from his jacket as he walks right over towards the barrels with a smile on his face a spring in his step and a tune in his heart. "I mean as you put it yourself I don't know WHAT I want after all." Almost mocking Scarecrow as he starts to leverage off the lid from one of the many barrels. That revolver of his spinning round his finger like a children's toy.

"I was referring to Dent. I know precisely what you want."
Scarecrow makes the comment in that low tone you would hear from anyone listening to the insane. The psyche that once listened to the Joker in Arkham is now speaking. He would motion with his hand again to those at the right, and one man goes forward to tentatively check inside the barrel that the Joker brought. A lamb of sacrifice in Scarecrows eyes.
Scarecrow would begin to walk to the side towards the stairs of the scaffold.
"To make sure the Bat knows your name, and doesn't forget it. To make your point that he's just the same as you."
All deductions thanks to the files of Arkham stored away in his brain…Scarecrow doesn't forget either. He's soon on the factory floor, having figured out this was far from some hit for fun by Joker.
"You enjoy just having a nice playground all for you and your friend the Bat."

The lid fly's off and inside there's a man tied up helpless with arms behind his back mixed in with a number of much smaller canisters surrounding him with varying chemical labels. "Honestly I didn't know you cared." That smile growing even wider then before. "Such a rare trait in people." An imaginary tear wiped right from the corner of his eye with the back of his sleeve.

"Honestly I think I'd link it all back to my childhood, when my father used to beat me." Joker reaching down to begin throwing canisters into the hands of the poor goon, loading him down with them while saying. "Don't drop those if you want to keep on living." A slight pause in his story. "Or was it after I murdered that couple in the alleyway of the Monarch, with my old buddy chill? Could have been the gamma radiation. Oh I know it was when my Uncle Ben was shot in the alleyway." He clears his throat a little. "Like I always say if you need to have a history, make it multiple choice."

"It's all part of the joke."
Scarecrow quotes the man with a calmness now. He doesn't pursue anything beyond the first words of that line. He would eye the chemicals being tossed so freely around his workspace. No fear. He can't feel it. His men though catch the vials in a frenzy as they try to safety. He identifies them quickly, and looks back to the Joker. His tongue runs past his exposed teeth underneath his mask a moment, like an animal licking it's jowls for a moment.
"Those will be quite potent. I'd be impressed, but I'd expect no less from you and your methods on getting what you want…So what brings you to my home."
Suddenly so civil, Scarecrow's men lower their guns…not even asking about the men in the drums for some reason.

And from jokers crew his men lower their guns. There's a moments pause as they begin opening the other drums. Quite the collection of various chemicals taken from quite the lucrative stash by the looks. Though the military personnel inside of the drums might be a bit of an added bonus all things considered.

"See now that is the kind of welcome I've grown to expect." Joker calmly throwing a banana peel onto the ground in front of one of the goons who slips and falls only to almost drop a canister and catch it at the last second. "And they say chivalry is dead."

The crowbar falls back to the floor as Joker reaches through his shoulder pulling out a rubber chicken two complete decks of aces with backings for different casinos a porno mag, five pistols, a bar of soap on a rope and finally an umbrella from within the sleeve of his arm. He raises the umbrella high to the air and uses it as a grappling hook to lift himself up onto the catwalk. "Well let's just say some plans are better with friends." The smile crossing his face as he effortlessly flips over the railing and onto his feet purple and green umbrella tapped back down to the ground in front of him.

"Hm. Let's make a deal. Simple. I spare Gotham, for you to enjoy with the Bat all you wish. You get to enjoy the fruits of knowing your paradise is untouched."
Scarecrow watches as his goon bumbles and falls, almost breaking one of the vials due to the Jokers prank. He doesn't show a reaction, he doesn't have a face after all. His aura though shows he would put a bullet in the man's head if he had a gun in reach. He just breathes in and out once heavily, turning and taking a few steps as his brace creaks.
"Right now, I am simply acquiring resources to fund an idea of mine…Something the world has become too high-tech to stop."
Scarecrow lifts one of the vials up to the light, inspecting it closely with his good eye.
"Those men are perfect sources to pump for information about it…An unexpected boon. I'm thankful, Joker. Sometimes you surprise even me."

"Now doesn't THAT sound interesting." Joker walking over with his best pimp walk that umbrella becoming something of a cane of sorts. His own steps echoing out as he looks down over the mystical squirrels of chemicals down at ground level of this little pent house suite. "You know" He twirls the umbrella around as the last of the drums is brought in for their little trade. "If I didn't at least have a surprise or two up my sleeve there'd be no reason to have me around"

He comes along side the catwalk just right above one of the vats so he can lean out and take a nice deep breath of the chemical mix. The expression on his face more fitting for someone who'd just smelled a vat of roses or perfume then hazardous chemicals "I'd ask to shake on it, but that's a bit too old for me." He waves his hand with the hand buzzer clear as day on the palm a smile coming back to his features.

"That's why you survive. You understand the value of just having that one last bit no one knows about."
Scarecrow is still examining the vial, barely concerned with the clown now. He doesn't fear him, he can't. He just takes in a long haggard breath before coughing a few times. Just a cold. He would look towards Joker as he shows the buzzer, and just lowers his chin some to stare out at him with lidless eyes.
"Keep that last joke around, may come 'in handy.'"
Did the man in straw crack a joke? Doesn't matter, he is already hobbling up the staircase with a low grunt. His men begin to speak now with Joker's goons as well, and soon a solidarity is found. Crane knows the value of the Joker's abilities. He's the one true way to keep the Batman busy.
"This will work out very well."
With that, he closes the door on the rotting penthouse above.

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