The Magic Word

March 10, 2017:

The Joker and Taskmaster find themselves making a deal.

Gotham, East End, Tin Roof Club

Characters

NPCs: Putty, Eliza, Amanda Waller, Tin Roof Barkeep

Mentions: Catwoman, Batgirl (Babs), Batman, Spoiler, Batgirl (Cass)

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Early afternoon in the Tin Roof is like lunch time at a stripper club. The D-listers are out at the moment. The not quite as attractive barkeep, though thoroughly attractive enough to only be a two beerer is working the counter. There's a few patrons in the bar as the door swings wide open and the bouncer falls to the ground, a large, expansive smile on his face.

"Here, KITTY KITTY. Uncle Joker wants to neuter you!" the green haired Clown Prince announces as he steps over the body at the door and tsks. "Good help, hoo, so hard to find these days!" he offers with a laugh as he sashays into the bar and points at the bartender. "Where is she?" he asks. "She ruins my parade. Fine. She crashed my Batgirl party? I'll let that slide."

His hands wrench together tightly and he rolls up his sleevs. "She breaks one of my toys and tries to make her normal? We're gonna have words!" he says as he looks around, knowing that Catwoman, were she here, usually works the floor.
"An anarchist, terrorist, psychopath, murderer and all around asshole, even the bad guys think hes a bad guy. We already hit our lunatic quota with Wade Wilson. Why are we doing this again?" There is upward inflection in Taskmaster's voice as he inquires towards the small floating orb over one shoulder. An 'eyespy' drone. It's direct feed going back to Belle Reve Prison in Louisiana.
-"Call it an experiment, Taskmaster. Just do your job."-

"She always this bitchy?" A big white skinned brute asks, his muscular body overly large. Two broad, small head, bald, the black pants he wears the only thing hes wearing along with black strapped boots. Putty. This is his first 'mission' a metahuman with obvious levels of superhuman strength.

A dark haired girl strides beside the two of them, pausing in front of the Tin Roof Club, a bo staff slung across tanned shoulders, "He is in there? I heard hes also a cannibal."

"Mm, Long Pig." Putty chuckles.

"Shut up both of you, I'm trying to think here." Taskmaster grumbles, he is familiar with the Tin Roof Club, his former gadgeteer used to be a resident before she turned snitch or whatever. Catwoman and Taskmaster have tangled, this zone is supposed to be off limits to him but from the looks of the deceased at the doorway, their prey is inside. "Alright, so, we're all just gonna go in. I've danced with the Clown before, he's freaky but he can be taken down and no, he doesn't eat people. I don't think. Don't quote me on that."

"Whats the matter, Taskmaster? You seem nervous." Putty teases further, his bravado leads him to just shoving open the door, following the sound of the Joker's voice.

"She's not here, Clown." the bartender offers, as she moves to set out a bottle of scotch. "She said to offer this to you as a way to make it up."

"Twelve year old scotch?" Joker asks, taking the top off and sniffs at it. "Oooh, potent!" he grins, and takes out his handkerchief, as if to rub off the top of the bottle, but instead, starts to stuff it within. "I bet it burns just as well!"

He starts to say more, but he notices the newcomers, and his expression sours further. "Tasky! You old skull-face so and so! You haven't been around.. since the last time. Back for seconds?" he says with a grin as he holds the scotch bottle. "Let me just take care of this and I'll be riiiiiiight with you!" he says with a chuckle, looking back to the bartender. "Hold this for me." He lights the handkerchief and sets the bottle on the counter as the bartender is rapidly trying to put it out.

"And you even brought friends!" he says. "So.. who's holding your leash this time?"

"Doesn't look like much." Putty sneers and leans against the bar, grabbing the flaming drink from the man before he puts it out and guzzling it down. Fire and all. A belch is even included. "I got this."

"Joker, we're just here to talk." Taskmaster assures the Clown Prince. Though, Taskmaster and is decked out in his typical arsenal. Guns, knives, a sword, a shield, likely some explosives. "Eliza, cover the door."
Eliza, the girl with the staff leans against the doorway, arms folding across her chest, the bo propped against her. "Sure."

"So, Joker. Where to begin… "

"I said I got this, Taskmaster." Putty wipes off his lips and thrusts a large finger in the Joker's face. "You're coming with us or we're going to be forced to break you to little colorful pieces haul you in, they'll put you back together but you won't ever be the same. Get it?"

"Damned, moron." The skull-faced mercenary complains. "Just… just dumb. You're just dumb." A sigh escapes Taskmaster. Clearly he is not impressed with his assigned crew.
"Ooooh! He's a forceful one." Joker throws up his hands in surrender. "You got me!" he says with a grin, "I'm allllllll yours!" he says, waiting for Putty to approach. As he does so and thrusts that finger in his face, the green-haired man frowns. "Tut, you didn't even say the magic word!" he chides, bringing down his hands on either side of Putty's head. The imbedded joy-buzzers there send a combined total of nearly one hundred thousand volts through Putty's head.

As his name suggested, the power set is pretty much the same. Have you ever put Play-Doh in a microwave? Oh, how it expands. How it grows. How it bubbles. How it bursts and gets all over the place.

Stepping back from the mess he just created, Joker laughs manically for a moment and then straightens his tie.

"Please. The magic word is please."

Watching someone get melted before hes had a drink was not on Taskmaster's agenda today. Then again, talking to the Joker is never on his agenda. 2014 was it. He had decided he was done with the Clown after one of his very very rare failed hits.
"Moron." The merc mumbles again his insult drowned out by Putty's screams.

Putty's sneer turns in to a rictus of pain, contorted by the feeling of the joybuzzers, his skin is frying, peeling away around the jolts and sizzling. The smell is unmistakable. Surprisingly his hands come up and begin to squeeze down on the Joker's wrists but that amazing strength briefly felt fades quickly as the man topples to the ground, whimpering. Shockingly, he still lives.

Eliza at the door is eyes wide, terrified looking but staff ready, tip aimed towards the lunatic. "Taskmaster! What should we do?"

"We do nothing. We weren't supposed to engage anyways." The curt reply from their team lead.
"Screw that, hes killing one of us. We have to stop him!"

Taskmaster leans over the bar and begins to pour himself a drink of Jack. His mask rarely comes off but this time, it peels up to reveal a very human stubble riddled jaw. Down the hatch. "Yeah, we're all criminals here, Eliza, you don't owe him a thing."

"Coward." The dark woman hisses at Taskmaster and then squares off at the Joker, "Stop now and stand down or else!"

"You should say please." Taskmaster warns.
She ignores him. Clearly fixated on the Joker.
"Who hired these people? Boy, they don't make hired help like they used to!" Joker says as Eliza comes rushing in. He's a quick and slippery thing. Picking up the scotch bottle that Catwoman had left him. "Tasky's right, this got started on the wrong foot! We should have a drink, since they're on me!" He says, just before he smashes the makeshift weapon into Eliza's face, and then lights it on fire.

"Whoops, guess the drinks are on you!" he says with a laugh and a jaunty jig, clicking his heels for a moment before he leans down near Putty and looks at him. "That looks like it hurts. Let me help you with that." he offers, and leans in close. "Take a deep breath." he says to the wheezing, gasping man, before a green gas floats up from the flower for Putty to inhale. Taskmaster knows it. Knows it well. It won't be long now, unless Putty has a hellacious toxin resistance.

"Now. Are we gonna make it three for three, or are you finally gonna say Please?"

"Don't push me Clown. They're amateurs, I'm the goddamn Taskmaster." The mercenary says flatly, trying to ignore the sound of Putty's growing loudness, the Smilex causing him to seizure with laughter on the floor.
"Wrong foot is correct. For that one, my bad. Thats the closest you'll get to a please. Lets talk, I promise no more… violence, as long as you just talk and stay cool." Taskmaster to some extent is a coward but hes no weakling, he likes to think hes more of a survivalist and just knows when to run away. The Joker isn't one he thinks could beat him in a fight but at the same time, you don't want to fight someone like the Joker. They hurt you in other ways and they don't usually forget. No. He doesn't want to play that game. He's not stupid.
"How about it, a drink?"
Oh, Joker has no allusions that Taskmaster would utterly destroy him in a fight. But Joker doesn't play nice, or fair, and Taskmaster already carries reminders from the last time, along with two new reminders, one sizzling, one laughing as he grabs one of the chairs, turning it around and sitting backwards in it.

"Sooooooooo, who sent you and why?" he asks, as he looks around. "Are we on Candid Camera?" he asks with a grin, before he turns his attention back to Taskmaster. "And I have business to attend to, so don't distract me too much from my beef with the Kitty."

"An interested party. I'm not exactly allowed to talk about it much beyond letting you know it's official un-official. They have pull and they can grant things guys like you usually need, things like get out of jail free cards so you can make better use of Gotham's revolving door policies, information, toys or if you're so inclined just money. It's structure and order though, not anarchy and there are rules. Like we can't talk about it for starters. We follow orders… that kinda thing. I've been sent to ask you if you'd be interested in such an arrangement." Straight to the point. He doesn't like to be in Gotham nor does he like to be in the same 1 mile radius as the Joker. It's almost as if Taskmaster acts like the Joker's lunacy could rub off on him. He comes here for two reasons, jobs and the possibility of fighting one of the Bats. They're elusive though and he just hasn't had the time to set up a trap to lure one in. Priorities. Fun comes later.
Putty's laughter starts to die down in wheezes, the man is dying, the toxins filling his lungs as his face's muscles stick in a peel of lips that makes all of his teeth show. It is grotesque. A gruesome death and likely one Putty deserved.

"A simple yes or no is all I require from you, Clown." The stench of burnt flesh is getting heavy in here.

"I don't even what to know what your beef is with the Cat."

"It's personal business." Which means it's none of Taskmaster's, and probably it's best that it's kept that way. Joker settles down and considers. "Let me get this straight. Someone, you won't tell me who, wants to hire me, and send me to who knows where to who knows what? And they say I'm crazy!" he says, but he sees the opportunity there. A chance. He knows Taskmaster a little. And that he's in Gotham, he can tempt a little. And getting a freebie from the Taskmaster? It's like a neckbeard getting a handsy from a Playboy playmate and actually wanting him in the fedora.

"Tell you what." he coos. "The Bat. He's left the belfry. I guess he thinks his kids can handle it and he doesn't need to be around here anymore."

"…help me prove him wrong, and I'm all yours, buttercup. What do you say, you're already here, take a little pleasure!"
"I'm not the one making the deal." Taskmaster says to the Joker.
-"Do it."- A stern voice over the comm orders. Joker may catch sight of the eyespy drone swiveling in a circle getting a better vantage as they talk. It did follow them in. It actually tried to obscure itself in one of those dancer 'birdcages' above but its just been mobile around the room. -"We can use him. This may the one and only time we will ever have him cooperative with us. Don't waste the opportunity."-
A grunt escapes Taskmaster and he studies the Joker, "It appears I've been advised to cooperate against my better judgement. One job for you and then /they/ get to call you in when the time comes for whatever they please. Deal?"

"Ooooh!" Joker notices the eyespy and his eyes light up with delight as he makes a note of it and that it's pulling his strings. "Do I get one of those too? I'll take it to the park, it can follow me in the shower, we'll make a television show!" he says with a wide smile as he considers. And then he gets a smile. "I have just the thing!"

Standing up, he steps over the now dead Putty and roots around on his body, humming to himself. Finding a pen and piece of paper, he comes up with a note. "So. Here's the job!" he says. "The Robins have all seemed to run away, and it's like the girls are running over the city. Now, I'm all for equal rights!" he points out, and writes down a name. "For this. It's the original. Not the blonde. Not Stitchy. The redhead." he says as he moves the sheet of paper over. "She's come out of retirement. I want to know where she's been, I missed her so."

The name: Batgirl.

Taskmaster doesn't cringe. Makes no motion towards the twisted delight the Joker shows in regards to the eyespy.
"If you work with them, I imagine it is possible. Maybe. I am just the middle man here."

The paper is picked with gloved fingers, "Batgirl. The redheaded one. Are you wanting me to put her back in to retirement or just track her down for you?" A curious study of the name and Taskmaster toys with his memories, music in physical form, the other Batgirl, possibly 'stitches'? He tangled with her once. It was amazing and brief. So fluid but the redhead is likely not 'that' one. That one moved more like one of the League of Shadows or even Elektra. A shame it was so brief.

"Well, with so many Batgirls, perhaps it's best to decide which one is the one that stays, am I right?" Joker says with a grin as he chortles. "Retirement, maybe something to dissuade the others from trying so hard. If you want to play with Stitches or Fanbatgirl, that's all up to you, but the original's cowl is the one I want." he says with a firm nod of his head. "You do that, and I'll take your job. One for one!" he says with a grin. "Let me know when you're done." he offers as he stands up and grins at the barkeep. "Three drinks! He can have them all! Since.. well, the other two don't need them anymore."

Chuckling, he heads towards the door, the Clown Prince turns and looks at the eyespy. "You and I? We're gonna have sooooooo much fun." he offers as he laughs, stepping out of the club and back into the streets.

"I can arrange that." Taskmaster says quietly, still mulling this over. Maybe he will get to have his cake though he wanted the Bat, perhaps this is setting some roots down or maybe the Joker is playing him, likely also playing him but if this is what the /Client/ wants, this is what she is going to get.
"Fun? Heh, right, I suppose. Just remember your side of the bargain, Joker. I'm not the one you'll be crossing here. You back out of this and you're spitting in the face of Satan /herself/." That could be enough if Joker doesn't already know who he is working for. The barkeep is motioned by Taskmaster, those drinks are required now. He needs to wash the taste out of his mouth and get a new scent in his nostrils.

"Got all that?"
-"We have it all. Deal with Batgirl."-
"Sure. Then you'll have the Joker."
-Break a few eggs, Taskmaster. Speaking of, your performance today was not satisfactory. I am bringing in someone else as team lead, one of my people."-
"Joy. It is not my fault you teamed me with fodder and the Joker culled them."
-"Mission over, Taskmaster. Finish your drinks and return to the Sheba. Waller out."-

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