14577/The Laugh Track

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The Laugh Track
Date of Scene: 07 April 2023
Location: Old Gotham - Founders Island
Synopsis: A series of events lead to an outbreak of the Joker's minions trying to reclaim the glory of the Joker's youth. A trial of a popular politician, a underlying discontent with the 'system' of Gotham City. It all comes to a boiling point, a tipping point, and the only hope of survival is the protectors of Gotham City, from it's brave police to it's outstanding heroes. But, where is the Joker?
Cast of Characters: Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, Dinah Lance, Jason Todd, Harley Quinn, Austin Reese

Barbara Gordon has posed:
(Prologue information: +bbread 4/580 and 6/283)

Gotham City at 5pm on a day where it rained all morning is a sight to behold. The sky is a deep, dark grey, and the clouds are so thick that they blot out the sun entirely, making the city feel like it's perpetually on the cusp of twilight. The air is damp and heavy, and the smell of wet pavement and rainwater permeates the city. Despite the gloominess of the weather, life in Gotham City goes on as usual.

As the day wears on, the threat of heavier rain looms, and a growing sense of unease begins to pervade the city. It doesn't help that an elevated train running through Gotham City is being boarded by a large group of people in various types of clown makeup and cosplay. As the train pulls into the station, people on the platform look up and begin to feel a sense of growing anxiety at the sight of the horde of clowns boarding the same train that they're on. It's a strange sight, and the tension on the train is palpable as people exchange nervous glances and wonder what's going on.

The clowns boarding the train, male and female, smile, laugh, make faces, mock, and generally toy with the other passengers as they flood the train from car to car.  Some passengers disembark rapidly, others stay behind as they wish to try and ignore it all.

In the control cabin of the train, the driver waits for the timer to tick down before he plans the next leg of the train's journey.  But when the door to his control cabin slides open, he turns around to complain.  "What in the Hell--"

He's cut off when he sees a grizzled clown-makeup-covered face just staring back at him.

Somewhere nearby in the city:

Barbara's batmobile blazes down a side street.  The sound of Carrie Kelley's voice piped in to the cockpit, as Carrie is in the tower as 'Oracle' tonight.  "The verdict came in.  Cruskini is guilty, on all charges." Carrie tells Babs, who's in full costume.

"I'm headed that way now.  But I'm not going to step on the GCPD's toes if they've got this covered.  I need---"

She's cut off by Carrie's voice.  "Uh, we got a problem.  My socials are lighting up with a video from the ... from the Joker, Babs.  This looks ... this doesn't look good."

"Send it to me." Babs speaks calmly back as she turns her vehicle down another roadway, splashing tires through a deep puddle in the rain soaked street.

The social media video plays on one of her dash screens.  She doesn't show much reaction to it, but when it finishes, Babs draws in a breath.

"There's more," Carrie says.

"Isn't there always?" Babs fires back.

"Something is going down on a train.  One of the el-trains.  There's reports of clowns filling up the stations from 45th street to 72nd... Where the courthouse is." Oracle fires back.

"Get everyone on the horn. Everyone you can.  Let them know that the Joker is planning to stir the pot on this thing."

"I'm on it." Oracle replies.

The throttle on the Babsmobile is pushed forward as she angles her vehicle toward the el-train tracks... 72nd street being where the courthouse where the Trial of the Crush is taking place.

"Everyone on alert tonight.  This is Babs.  there's a situation developing... we have clowns crawling all over the track leading to the courthouse.  Get here now." Comes the voice of Batgirl (the red haired one).

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The bag from Big Belly Burger was already disintegrating on the rooftop as it lay in the puddle of rainwater. The sound of slurping on a straw precedes the slow pan over to where a figure in eggplant sits on a gargoyle water spout on the corner of a building, her black cape soaking wet as it hangs down her back.

The rain keeps dribbling down on Stephanie Brown, a steady stream of it streaming out of the gargoyle's mouth to fall down to a drain somewhere below. Stephanie gives another draw on the straw, getting only the slightest remaining dregs of her shake to come up through it.

"Blah. What a rotten day," Batgirl says, looking up at the sky. She was careful enough to pick a building with taller ones around it, and a nice antennae and lightning rod far enough way she won't get zapped.

She lets out a depressed sigh and lies back across the gargoyle's back, head upside down. "Blah blah blah," she says as the rain falls on her. But this posture lets the rain reach her lower face below her mask, so she lets out a groan and sits back up.

She swipes the soggy bag off the roof, stuffing the shake cup into it. It's then that the alert comes through. Whatever threat a bored 21 year old Batgirl posed to the city, it's nothing alongside a no-longer bored Joker. << What? Clowns? Joker? I wouldn't have thought he'd go out in this weather. >> After a pause, << That last was a little quip. It's kind of like stretching your hamstrings before running. Need to warm up to these things. I'm on my way. >>

Dinah Lance has posed:
"This city and clowns," Black Canary mutters over the communications device that she very, very begrudgingly wears in her ear, "What makes these peopl see a clown and not think to run a mile? Maybe it's just a nice circus?"

Dinah's motorcycle roars beneath her as she makes for the location that's been pinged, sweeping low towards the asphalt as she rounds a tight corner. Her groceries are left melting out the front of Sherwood Florist several blocks back. She snorts at Stephanie's comments.

"Thank you Shadow Don Rickles. Anyway, I forgot to lock up, Babs," she announces, "If I'm burgled, I expect compensation."

Jason Todd has posed:
Football is a way of life for most fans and, if nothing else, Gotham loves its sportball teams. When one of the favorite players is accused of criminal actions? Of corruption? It reflects a mirror back at the populous. Not everyone is as good or as innocent as their social images would suggest. Even the little guy just trying to make it by on minimum wage who uses sports as an escape.

So when 'idols' and 'heroes' fall from grace it causes righteous indignation and the holding of others to standards they, themselves, cannot hope to maintain. It's no wonder there are protests and riots.

Jason is no less upset. Cruskini was a favorite player. A possible figure who could help the city. But really? He's just part of the problem. Part of the disease.

It makes Jason's often dour mood worse. Getting a copy of the Joker video? Well. If anyone in Gotham not named Batman had a reason to take particular exception and offense at the Joker promising to sow his form of chaos across Gotham? It would be Barbara and Jason.

Already in the midst armoring up when the call comes for the All-Hands alert, Red Hood is quickly behind the wheel of his black '69 Mustang Mach 1, erupting from the alley behind the 14th Street Garage. Steering out onto the street in the direction of the courthouse he activates his comms.

"Batgirl. I'm enroute to the Courthouse. Should be there in under five minutes unless you need me elsewhere."

Harley Quinn has posed:
If there's someone that has an intrinsic knowledge on how a Joker's mind works that's Harley. And once she got to see that video on tv with him pointing out the courthouse? It means fireworks would be happening soon which is why she has made sure to be in Gotham already.

<Already on it.> That's the clownette. Serious tone too. Meaning business.

The jaguar she was driving through the streets spins, the tires screeching as she steps on the brakes to turn hard to begin making way to the courthouse.

And she doesn't even quip back at Stephanie's comments on the channel. SERIOUS BUSINESS!

Austin Reese has posed:
He'd seen the alerts on his phone about the verdict, and heard the murmurs around campus. He figured GCPD would have it covered, so Austin went to his last class of the day, which had just let out when his phone started to buzz. He knew that alert. There was no way to ignore that kind of alert.

He slipped back to one of the caches on campus and gets geared up, taking the cycle and booking it towards the courthouse, weaving in and out of traffic as Osprey's voice comes up over coms, <"I'm surprised he's actually come out again. I'm enroute.">

Barbara Gordon has posed:
Commissioner Gordon stands outside on the steps of the courthouse, concern etched on his face, as the news of the guilty verdict spreads throughout the growing crowd of people gathered outside. As the tension builds, signs of chaos are beginning to show, and Gordon knows he must act quickly. He turns to some of his fellow GCPD officers and warns them to prepare for the worst, urging them to stay alert and keep the situation under control. Gordon understands that the coming hours will be critical, and he will need to rely on his experience and training to maintain order in the city tonight, like so many times before this one.

As the elevated train leaves the station, the clowns aboard continue to clown around, much to the increasing concern of the normal citizens sharing the train with them. What started as harmless fun is quickly turning into something much more ominous, and the sense of unease on the train is palpable. The citizens begin to realize that this is not just some regular every day freakshow like you find in the city, but rather something much more sinister. As they huddle together, they wonder what the clowns have in store and if they will make it to their destination unharmed.  Some have their phones out, recording the clowns, others are trying to ignore them yet still, browsing the internet, or otherwise... anything to keep their eyes from falling upon the strange performers within the train car.

"Hood." Babs calls over comms to Jason.  "See if you can meet up with Osprey, start toward us at the el-train, but try and get close to the Courthouse too, the GCPD might be getting overwhelmed soon if the Joker has a plan already in place here, they may not know what to expect."

She believes in her father, arguably more than she believes in anyone else.  But... she knows he only has so many tools at his disposal for this kind of thing.

Harley, Stephanie, and Dinah will see more clowns... not the ones ON the train, but instead others just roaming the street beneath the train's elevated track.  There's hordes of them.  Some of them poorly cosplaying in makeshift attempts, while others are full-blown clowns.  They're moving in packs around the base of the train track now, all gathering up like random parties preparing for something....

"Canary.  Your store is under my drone surveilence now.  If anyone disturbs it, I'll know who." Babs responds to Dinah as she pilots the Babsmobile through the street, and tears out on to the same road that Dinah is on, the engine of her sporty Batmobile loud, echoing off of the city's buildings beneath the el-train track!

Harley's car whips around a corner and right in to a clown on stilts.  The silts are whipped out from under the man who topples down on to her car, and right IN to it if the convertable roof is down!  Wearing a full clown outfit of greens and silvers, the man looks ridiculous, and now totally disoriented!

Osprey and Jason, making their way closer to the courthouse and the train will see large swaths of regular Gotham Citizens getting riled-up after the court case is really starting to reach people.  They'll get bottles thrown at them on their way through the streets too!

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The clowns roam about beneath the track, which probably helps keep them out of the dreary rain. Though of course not all of them stay beneath the El track all the time. Which subjects them not only to rain, but to a dark shape that dives down from above.

It could be a raptor or some other animal that attacks from above the way it just falls at full speed, only slowed at the last moments by the line trailing out behind. Batgirl grabs one of the clowns off the street, slapping a carabiner on their belt and then the pair of them are rapidly pulled back up into the air so fast that only a few of the clowns in the area caught it, and they aren't even quite sure what they saw, staring up into the grey skies and the falling rain.

Batgirl is soon standing on the railing of a balcony about 8 stories up. The clown dangling from the line too far down to be able to reach safety.

The blond heroine leans down. "I have questions, and you'd better answer. And fast. I don't think the rope I used is actually rated for rain. I should have checked the weather this morning."

The rope gives a little lurch like it's slipping, Stephanie's finger on the control just dropping the person a half foot, but getting a scream of terror in reply. "How did Joker get you to come out here? What were your instructions?" she asks.

The clown howls in fear. "It was just a social media post. Said dress up as a clown and come down to the courthouse and it'd be a big party. I don't know anything about Joker! I'm just 17! Please!"

Batgirl scowls. She doesn't need Barbara's lessons in haptics to know this one is telling the truth. << There was a call on the internet for people to dress up and come down. They are going to provide perfect cover for whatever men Joker actually has in place. >>

The clown gives a whimper. "Please let me down!"

Batgirl looks down at them. "In Gotham, just how smart do you think it was, doing anything dressed up like a -clown-?"

The clown teen looks embarrassed. Batgirl lets out the line, lowering them at a rate that won't make them pee their pants. Anymore than they already did.

Dinah Lance has posed:
<"You guys sound like a pack of dogs about to gnaw the hell out of a juicy bone,"> Black Canary says into her comm, her lack of artfulness with the tech showing as she clips off a syllable at the end, <"So, which one of you calls dibs? Because if you're torn on it, I've got no qualms in stomping the Clown's face into a fine, toothless paste.">

Approaching the train station on her bike, she swerves off to the side to avoid a speeding police cruiser that seems to have gotten the same memo. A glance ahead shows where the traffic has started to clog up the road with police, media, and just local yokels who have lived in Gotham so long they have bingo cards for this kind of thing.

<"Oh, damn, I haven't gotten to do this in forever ...">

She swerves once more, catching the lip of the curb and drawing back the front wheel at just the right moment. The Canary atop her bike soars over the heads of the gathered throng, landing on the pavement before skidding right into one of the more makeshift clowns cavorting beneath the elevated track and knocking him down. Already on her feet, another clown is met with a booted foot to the jaw.

As she sets about taking down clowns (she pays no mind to whether they're involved or just a badly-timed flashmob), she replies almost casually over the communicator to Babs.

<"Thank you, be-be. My little petunias are safe.">

Interrogate them? Maybe later.

Jason Todd has posed:
<Already seen the clowns> comes the terse response from Red Hood.

<Almost hit a pack of them. They were J-Walking.> Was that some sort of a joke?

<Osprey what's your ETA?> turning down an alley, Red Hood buries the gas pedal and launches his car across the exit at the other end, using the dip formed for the storm drain to launch the car airborne over a pile of trash at the mouth of the alley on the other side of the street.

<Canary? Some of us have more invested claims on that pleasure than others. But I think it can be safely established that once we have him, everyone will get a chance. No need to be selfish.>

Closing in on the El, Red Hood steers onto the street that runs under the railway. <Batgirl I'm on Lower Dixon Drive. I don't have sight of the train but I'm heading toward the courthouse.>

Harley Quinn has posed:
Harley stops for no clown! And certainly not for a clown on stilts. The stilts go flyin'... And so does the guy, but at least the guy lands on the back seat of her jaguar, arse up and fumbling about to gain his bearings.

"Woah, Assface! Nice landin'!" she says in ways of praise to the clown who's trying to hold on for dear life as she takes another sharp corner to continue nearing the courthouse. All the clowns in the streets make her frown though. <<These guys are stealin' my schtick. So many clowns out heah tonight.>>

Looking over her shoulder she taps the guy on the back. "Hey, wake up. What's going on heah? Why are so many people out and dressed as clowns, eh?"

And then she hears Steph's report on why they are gathered here tonight. She sighs, "Oi, Assface, let me see yoh face to see if you awhe one of Mistah J's goons or not!" she knows most of them by face after all!

<<As long as his ass gets kicked I am happy>> She finally says over comms.

Austin Reese has posed:
<"Thirty seconds."> Comes the reply from Osprey, as he rounds a corner to see the courthouse, and the massive crowd gathered at the steps ahead of him. He has to come to a sudden stop as a crowd of people wearing Knights jerseys run into the street past him, heading towards the courthouse. Things look on the verge of boiling over. Osprey manages to pull his bike around, ducking a flying bottle, and parks it back into an alley and dismounts, engaging the security lockdown as he quickly scans the alley.

The roar of the gathered crowd is getting louder. It must be almost time for them to bring Crush out of the courthouse. That's when things always go wrong. Some whacko with a gun, some angry fan that lost money throwing a brick. It could be anything.

He grapples up onto the roof of the building, across the street from the courthouse, and quickly moves up to the ledge. If the GCPD doesn't have a presence up here, they should. Once he's at the edge of the roof, he comes back up on comms, <"This doesn't look good. All it's going to take is one spark and this is going to explode. Which is probably part of the plan.">

Barbara Gordon has posed:
A roll of thunder passes over the city, emerging from the thick clouds high in the sky^...

Commissioner Gordon observes as the GCPD tries to stop fights from breaking out on the foot of the courthouse steps. The tension in the air is thick, and objects are being thrown at the police left and right, including rocks, bottles, and even a sudden burst of fire from a makeshift molotov cocktail. Gordon ducks away from the flames, shielding his face from the heat as he shouts into his comms for backup on the north side. The situation is quickly spiraling out of control, and Gordon knows that they need all hands on deck if they're going to prevent things from getting even worse.

The clowns aboard the elevated train are starting to get more aggressive with the passengers. One of the passengers takes a swing at a clown, only to get hit with a bat in response. Chaos breaks out aboard the train, with passengers screaming and trying to protect themselves from the violent clowns. Meanwhile, the train driver, who is dressed up as a clown himself, pushes the throttle forward as fast as it will go, seemingly unaware or unconcerned with the violence unfolding behind him. As the train speeds through the city, the situation aboard the train continues to escalate, with the passengers and clowns locked in a dangerous and unpredictable battle.. the interior of the train is now threatening to turn in to a total meat grinder of violence...

In Harley's car, the overweight clown that had been on stilts is now trying to sort himself out in his baggy clown jumpsuit.  By the time he turns around to see who is driving, he's got a stunned expression on his white-painted face. "Holy shit, you're... you're her!  THE her!  His her!" Uh oh.  "Harley Quinn!" He starts laughing wildly.  Finally he processes what she says though, and he motions up ahead as they're driving past part of the el-train track.  "We're here to bring it down!  Bring them all down!  Come on, lets get this party going! It's the end of the world!"  Wild laughter comes from the fat faced clown as Harley's car barrels down the street of various clowny parties breaking out under the track.

Dinah completely outmatches the clowns that she comes to fight beneath one of the train track struts.  They're charging her, and she's able to put them down with ease, leaving some of them to run off.  But a few yet remain, quietly huddled near one of the train track support beams... they're doing something, and it's not looking good.  Dinah will see it, they're planting a bomb.

Oracle (Carrie Kelley) chimes in on the Bat-comms: "Hey. Everyone.  Heads up.  We're getting reports that there's a rogue train that's been fully taken over by some of the Joker's men.  People are posting videos of it online, passengers.  There is fighting going on.  They're... they're headed your way."

Inside the Babsmobile, Barbara sweeps her vehicle under the el-train track, splashing through water and sending a group of clowns jumping out of the way as they shake fists and shout profanity in the wake of the Batmobile as it zips past them.

"Informa the GCPD." Babs says back to the Oracle, who responds simply with. "On it."

Up on the courthouse roof, where Osprey is, there are GCPD snipers setup, though none of them have spotted his arrival yet.  From way up high like this, Osprey will see the chaos at its finest down below, with the fire burning on the stairs now.  There's no way they'll bring 'The Crush' out here now, would they?

Down below, Jason finds the chaos up close and personal.  He'll spot a group of clowns coming in from the east, and they're holding weapons... one of them is clutching what looks like a handgun inside his pocket, transfering it from a holster in to his pocket...

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Once the clown is back on the ground, Batgirl reels in her grapple and fires it off, swinging through the rainy skies to bring her nearer to the courthouse.

<< Oracle. What information do you have on the case and the verdict? Is there anything to suggest that it's not on the up and up? I suppose it could just be a target of opportunity for Joker. But never know, maybe there's something deeper at play going on here. >>

It doesn't take long for Oracle to get back with information. Just a matter of accessing the right files. << The evidence is pretty solid in terms of the verdict seeming justified. But the evidence also seems to paint such a clear picture there's some reason to doubt it. There are a lot of people out there who think because he was looking to clean up GCPD, that the cops themselves might have been behind it. But I don't have anything definitive to back that up as right or wrong.>>

Batgirl hrms quietly to herself as she swings along, firing off another grapple after she goes around a corner. Up ahead she sees the accelerating train, and spots Barbara's Batmobile on the streets below.

<< Batgirl I have an idea. There are breaker boxes below the tracks every few hundred feet. One got knocked out in a fight with Killer Moth and the train dragged to a halt when it got to it. If you can get ahead of the train and take one out, that should stop it. >>

Dinah Lance has posed:
<"We've got a bomb,"> Dinah calls into her communicator, having dealt with enough explosive-wielding madmen to know boom-boom when she sees it, <"On the train tracks. One of you bat-babies want to get here and take a look at the thing? Afraid I haven't covered bombs yet in my Junior Bird of Prey Detective Kit.">

All the same, she makes her way towards where the clowns are planting it. She's not using the Cry here. Last thing she wants is to jostle the bomb and set it off. So instead she does things the old fashioned way, fighting her way through the clown gang. A broken wrist here, the heel of her boot straight-up impaling the foot of a clown who gets too dang close. A clown suddenly in her face lets out his best effort at a hideous, maniacal cackle but is cut short by her palm striking him square in the throat.

Near enough to the bomb now, she looks at it critically.

"So, let me see ... yep. Bomb. Oh, to not have a day job ... "

Jason Todd has posed:
Almost recreating an iconic scene from a musically inclined buddy movie filmed in downtown Chicago, the black Mustang flies across the Gotham intersections, weaving between vehicles and -almost- hitting packs of clowns.

Then Red Hood sees the clown with the gun. At this speed it has to be a really big gun. And that means even more bad than just a regular sized gun. Right?

His first instinct is to just plow through the clown and keep going. The little Red Hood devil on his shoulder is urging such a course of action.

But the little Not-So Red Hood who is not-quite-an-angel on the other shoulder piously implores for restraint. -Remember your promise to Him!-

Growling, Red Hood veers close to the armed clown. Using the wet roadway to his advantage, he snaps the wheel to put the car into a spinning skid even as he reaches over to throw open the passenger door. As the car pinwheels around on the wet pavement, the door just grazes the clown and topples him - right into the passenger seat. Correcting the skid, Red Hood floors the throttle again and the passenger door slams shut.

Looking to the likely surprised clown, Red Hood mutters, "You're not old enough to play with guns, Harpo." Delivering a forearm to the clown's temple, the gun is wrenched free.

"Say goodnight, Gracie."

With no further warning the top of the car opens like a moon roof just before the clown is ejected with no ceremony. His former weapon tossed to the floor as the roof closes and the Courthouse comes into view.

<Think I'm just ahead of the train.> Unless it's right above him.

Harley Quinn has posed:
His her? That means there's a flying punch from the clownette to Assface. Right in the kisser! But she doesn't knock him out, instead sitting him up straight and pulling him towards the passenger seat. "Yep, we conquerin' the world!" she says to the now-groggy henchman.

"And wheah exactly is this conquerin' gonna happen? Where's the meetin' place with Mistah J?" a big wide grin on her expression. Almost as if she was all giddy to join in with the festivities and explode some shit up.

Even if in this case what she really wants is to explode the Joker. But tomato, tomahto or something!

<<Bomb on the tracks? Shit, Mistah J ain't gonna be there. My bet is he wants a front row seat to what's gonna happen. I would bet him being at the Courthouse.>> she then listening to BATBABE's report on the crime, <<You know, if Cruskini got killed by a cop when he was leaving the courthouse that would provoke a riot.>> she suddenly says. <<He might be there disguised as a cop!>>

To Dinah's benefit she says, <<Does it have a red wire? Always pull the red wire!>>

Austin Reese has posed:
No. Bringing him out here would be too dangerous. Gordon is smarter than that, <"I'm going to go check out the courthouse's side. If I was going to bring him out anywhere, it'd be there."> He does a quick look around, assessing the best way to get to that side of the courthouse without getting spotted by the sniper up here.

He pushes himself up and over the ledge and then lands on a small sill, balancing there for a moment before he grapples to the top of the car park, dropping down to the deck below the top and trying to get eyes on the side door, looking for any unmarked vehicles or anything that might get flagged as belonging to the GCPD.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
As another molotov gets thrown, this time at a GCPD police car, Commissioner Gordon quickly reacts, shouting for riot police to shield that section. But his attention is quickly diverted as he hears the news over the comms that there is a runaway train headed straight for them. Gordon looks up at the train station at the other end of the street and realizes it's facing a corner. His heart sinks as he knows what the Joker is planning. The madman is planning to blast a train off the tracks and send it hurtling straight into the crowd of protestors, creating even more chaos and destruction in Gotham City. Gordon knows he needs to act fast if he's going to prevent this disaster from unfolding, but he also knows that the situation is more dire than ever.

In fact, he sees past the protestors, and sees the onsloght of gathering faces in clown makeup.  Quickly, he raises his radio up. "Bulloch.  Turn it on." He says in to his comm.  Bulloch firing back with warnings about how they don't use this thing anymore because of backlash from the city, let alone social media.

"I don't give two shits about social media! Turn it the Hell on!"

As chaos erupts throughout the city, the Bat Signal is suddenly turned on over Gotham, shining up into the dark storm clouds high above. Its glowing light casts an eerie shine over the whole of the city, a beacon of hope in the midst of despair. Commissioner Gordon stares up at it for a moment, feeling a glimmer of hope amidst the chaos. He mutters something under his breath, a prayer for sanity...

"Does he even respond to that thing anymore?" A female cop asks, now beside Gordon.

"It's not for him." The commissioner says back, as shouts fill the street.  "It's for them.  His people are already here.  It's for the rest of them, the rioters, the Joker's people.  It's to let them  know... that we'll never stop pushing back. That this shit has to end."

Gordon, and his officers move then to support the line, Jim taking up a riot shield as he blocks a brick from slamming in to one of his officers who had their back turned to the crowds.

Aboard the train, the clown operating it looks up in to the sky as he sees the Bat Signal shining against the clouds.  He huffs out a little laugh, and just puts his feet up on the body of the train driver he shot when he took control of the locomotive.  Behind him, inside the train cars, the fighting has broken out, pockets of clowns versus the passengers who are even capable of putting up a fight. A woman is being drug across the floor by two clowns, while a Do Gooder rushes up behind them and hits them with a blast of pepper spray!  The train whips around a corner though, at high speed, sending EVERY one aboard it to one side in a fit of screams, and laughter alike.

Oracle (Carrie Kelley): "I've already been searching for connections between Crush and the Joker.  I haven't found any.  But I did find that the judge in this case, Gloria Paulson was one of the judges who tried, and sent the Joker-- and Harley --to Arkham.  I don't know if that's related, but it did pop up on my scans.  If you can get me a look at the explosive devices, I can get you help in disabling them too!"

"Got it." Barbara says over the team comms, her Batmobile already hauling ass down the streets and weaving between vehicles as she curves back around toward the tracks.  She is ahead of the train now, and her car suddenly screeches to a halt, its heavy tires rattling on the pavement.  The top bursts open, and Batgirl (red) flies out from within, her cape spread wide as she takes to the sky... up in to the air, high and far... She sweeps forward, and angles herself downward toward the street again.  Landing within a crowd of clowns, Batgirl becomes a blur of motion.  They gather in upon her, come down upon her, and soon the sounds of snapping limbs, breaking bones, and screams echo out under the train track.

With half the clowns taken down, Babs throws a device at the power py

Barbara Gordon has posed:
Landing within a crowd of clowns, Batgirl becomes a blur of motion.  They gather in upon her, come down upon her, and soon the sounds of snapping limbs, breaking bones, and screams echo out under the train track.

With half the clowns taken down, Babs throws a device at the power pylon controls, a burst of EMP energy hitting the box, and shutting down, effectively ending the trains power once it reaches this section^...

But if it's already going fast, and if the track is blown out... the momentum will carry it in anyway!

From the vantage point that Osprey has, he'll see GCPD transport vehicles, and a small group of officers waiting by some side doors.  He's found the spot.  No sign of The Crush yet, but that changes after only a moment.  In handcuffs, the large man is brought outside via an entourage.. a 50 yard walk ahead of him for the GCPD vehicles in the side lot of the courthouse.

For Jason, his vantage point is the front of the courthouse, he can see the GCPD is fully under attack now by the rioters, and there is a whole horde of clowns closing in on them to provide more chaos to the extensive mess.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
At the mention of the bomb, Batgirl's cowl drops the lenses over her eyes so she can have it amplify her vision. Black Canary is still a pretty good distance ahead. But maybe she can make the shot.

<< Black Canary. Check the bomb, see if you can tell what the explosive substance is. Does it look like a block of playdoh? Is it liquid? Or in a container you can't see? >>

As she continues her swing, Black Canary's answer comes back over comms that it looks like playdoh, saying it is a block of C4.

<< Ok great we can do this. I'll freeze it. That'll stop the battery from being able to set it off. And then you blast it over into the river. Takes electricity to set it off. >>

Batgirl drops to the ground, still pretty far away, and pulls out her disk launcher from her utility belt. She takes careful aim and lets fly a freeze disk, full of freezing gas that was impounded when Batgirl captured Mr. Freeze on a train in Russia last year.

The disk flies across the great distance. Sailing right over the bomb, missing it, but hitting a clown with a machete who was charging at Black Canary from behind. He freezes solid and tips over, sliding across the pavement to her feet.

<< Oops. I mean... Yay! Great shot! You owe me! Ok now for the bomb. >>

Another freeze disk is launched. This time it hits the bomb and flash freezes the device.

Dinah Lance has posed:
<"Thanks, Penguin o' Doom,"> Dinah answers Harley through the comm, still peering at the explosive device, <"But I wanna hear what Batgirl has to say.">

The plan is made, and the Canary takes a very subtle side-step away from the frozen clown at her feet while making a face. The bomb now frozen, she reaches out to touch it with her bare hands and hisses through her teeth.

<"Okay, cold. Probably should've figured that.">

So, she slips the leather jacket she wears off. Beneath is a skintight suit that covers her torso but leaves her shoulder and arms completely bare. She lets out a sigh as she tosses the leather-swaddled bomb into the air, letting out a shout that rattles the windows and walls around them. Launched like a ball out of a cannon, the bomb and Dinah's jacket hurtle through the air and land in the grubby water.

<"Someone owes me a jacket. And a good one - none of that pleather crap.">

Jason Todd has posed:
Arriving on the scene, Red Hood frowns. It would be so much easier to right through the crowd.

"... liked it when I didn't give a f.." he mutters as he slams on the brakes. Locking the front wheels up, he spins the car around and flips a switch on the steering column. Using the car's exhaust pipes as a delivery system, a cloud of billowing tear gas is pumped out toward the rioters and Instigating Clown Posse.

As the car whips around, Red Hood pulls a reverse of the move he used to gather up the armed clown and steps out of the car as it skids to a stop. The drivers door slams shut while Red Hood is stalking away from the vehicle, his mask set for thermal imaging and to actively filter the tear gas.

Drawing his pistols he immediately unleashes his own brand of hell on the clowns, first. Dropping three of them immediately, their bodies twitching as the taser rounds fired into them unleash their powerful jolting payloads.

<Osprey. I'm going to work my way toward you.>

Austin Reese has posed:
There we are. Osprey scoots along the inside of the car park, sticking to the shadows as he watches the door. There's Crush himself. Well, now we see how this plays out, as he quickly comes up on comms, <"Eyes on Crush, GCPD is taking him out of the side entrance.">

He briefly thinks back to the word that corrupt GCPD could be involved with this case. He frowns faintly, wondering about the possibilities now. He knows Commissioner Gordon vets his officers, but the GCPD is a big, red tape filled monolith. Which means that if some cops DID want to take out the guy they were framing for their crimes, this would be a great chance to do it. The thoughts are snapped out of when he hears his name over comms, <"Right, I'm moving closer to make sure nothing happens to Crush. Once he's safely in the GCPD convoy I'll help you take down the clowns.>

There's way too things bouncing around in his mind as he moves across to get within striking range of where the GCPD is moving Crush, quickly scanning above him for any more snipers, and looking for any sign of ill intent for the convict.

Harley Quinn has posed:
Fast and Furious. That's what the clownette is doing to get through to the place, zipping through the streets and HONKING at the clowns. Many of them cheer, maybe they think she is back to her old days of 'glory' with the Joker. Maybe that's why they open up a corridor for her to continue on through the riot.

<< I got a few I can get ya. How do you like yellow? >> Because that's pretty much the color of all of April's jackets!

She drives past, parking up right near the courthouse on a side alley and jumps out. "Alright Assface, keep my car safe."

<< It's either Crush or the judge. Where is she? Still inside the Courthouse? >>

Barbara Gordon has posed:
As the situation on the courthouse steps grows more violent by the minute, the Red Hood's muscle car suddenly pulls up and unleashes a barrage of tear gas, hitting the violent protestors and causing them to scatter. Commissioner Gordon sees the arrival of the Hood and quickly dispatches a group of riot police to back him up. However, as they approach, a group of clowns on motorcycles roars past, their sport bikes zipping right past the Red Hood. The clowns brandish clubs and electrical shocking weapons, trying to take down the Hood and anyone else who stands in their way.

Dinah and Stephanie effectively destroy that bomb, leaving the clowns in that region of the street shocked.  Some of them start to scatter away from the vigilante women, while others move in on them.  "This isn't about Bats anymore." One of the clowns states.  "This is about the people of Gotham deciding what is and isn't justice." The big black and white clown says as he brandishes a knife and rushes Stephanie.

Another two pull out handguns and aim down on Dinah, popping off shots in her direction.  "Get another explosive out of the van.  We'll chase these Bat freaks off!" One of the fat clowns shouts.

At the court house, Osprey will see Harley Quinn arriving just as Cruskini is almost at the GCPD vehicles.  The GCPD is NOT happy to see Harley Quinn, of all people, and a bunch of them draw their weapons on the Clownette!

"Freeze, Quinn!" One of them shouts.

Just on the edge of the building, a police sniper sets up his rifle... Osprey can hear him as he speaks in to his comm.  "Boss.  Your ex is here.  Do you want me to take her down too?"

That doesn't sound good.

"Copy.  Just Crush.  Got it.  Consider him dead."

Back at the train, Batgirl (red) grapple guns her way back in to the sky, now soaring through the humid late evening air toward the train as it barrels toward the the last curve ahead of the protestors at the court house.  She lands upon its roof, using her suit's heavy footfalls to march her way to the front of it...

"The train is losing power, but's gained so much momentum, I'm not sure it'll stay on the track no matter what now." Babs says over her comms as she rushes toward the front end of the runaway locomotive, her gold and black cape whipping in the wind behind her.

Dinah Lance has posed:
"I'm a citizen born and raised," Dinah tells the clown, rolling her bare shoulders for a second and then knocking him down with a right-cross, "And I say bombs and clowns aren't it. Oh, and sorry about your knee, babe."

Before the clown can question what's wrong with his knee, Dinah stomps down heavily upon it with a sickening crunch sound. The Canary strides past Batgirl, hip-checking her as she does.

<"Bomb's dealt with, Oracle. Where do you need us?">

It's then that the shots start firing and Dinah dives for cover, a little more liberal with the Canary Cry now that Batgirl has assured her it isn't susceptible to detonation via sound waves. She clenches her fists, looks out over the top of the crate, and screams at the gunmen.

<"Scratch that. We've got shooters.">

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Face by the enormous clown armed with the knife, Batgirl... turns and runs. The clown cackles, gaining on the fleeing heroine!

Just as he's lifting his knife for an overhand stab, she reaches one of the supports for the elevated train's tracks. Batgirl runs up the pillar and backflips overtop of Bozo's Bowie knife, then as she lands, kicks at the back of his knee. He flops forward, his momentum sending his head bouncing off the pillar. As he falls backwards, he gets an extra boot to the head that knocks him out cold.

"You want to decide justice, do your jury duty," Batgirl says as another clown rushes at her. He tackles her but as they fall back, she rolls and next thing he knows her feet are under him and launching him ten feet to smack into a parked car.

Batgirl flips back to her feet. "Learned that one watching All Gotham Wrestling as a kid," she tells the groaning clown.

<< Do you need help protecting them at the courthouse? >>

Austin Reese has posed:
A sniper up there, GCPD colors, but audio is picking up the conversation. At least one part of it. Enough for Osprey to make a move, <"GCPD sniper is working with Joker, gotta take him out!"> He calls over the comms, standing up from where he'd been hidden. Stealth is out the window at this point. He pulls out his grapple gun and fires, pulling himself upwards to where the sniper is located.

The intention is to grab hold of the barrel and pull it upwards as he flies past, let the momentum carry him over behind the sniper, eject the round in the chamber and the magazine and then throws the rifle back at the sniper, putting some torque on it to make it slam into him, and allowing Osprey to follow up the throw with a diving punch, trying to pin down the cop.

Jason Todd has posed:
Red Hood could be counted amongst those shooters. Although, for his part, he is only shooting at clowns and any rioters that try to come between him and the loading area where Cruskini is supposed to be whisked away from the courthouse.

<It's like Joker whipped up his own lynch mob.>

A few clowns and one rioter get close enough that Red Hood has to shift to beating them down. A process that isn't filld with much goodness or mercy, only the most effective takedowns possible. Bones are broken. Joints are made to bend in unnatural directions.

<BlondeBat. Seems like a good bet with Joker using GCPD uniforms for his goons.>

Reloading, he has fought his way within range of the armored car the, hopefully, honest GCPD cops are trying to hurry Cruskini into.

Looking up, he scans the rooftops for any other positioned snipers. Odds are they're all on Joker's payroll, not the city's. As Osprey disarms the first, Red Hood spots another taking aim. Lift his pistols, he unleashes a volley to get the sniper's head down.

<Osprey, second sniper to your west about fifty yards. You have elevation can you get him?>

Barbara Gordon has posed:
Above Dinah and Stephanie's heads, a Bat-drone sweeps past, headed toward the street out from under the train rail.  A moment later the sound of Oracle's voice comes over the comms.

Oracle: "The van that the Clowns are talking about, I see it just past the station stairs.  It looks like it has more explosive devices in it.  I need you two to get to it and secure it.  After that, the situation at the courthouse could use your help."

The clowns that are facing off against Batgirl (gold) and Canary are mostly bugging off now, the two girls are just too capable at fighting, and these men are ultimately just out of shape losers who came here for a party tonight... and the party was rapidly being broken up.

The train rushes by over head of Steph and Dinah now, the tracks rumbling above them, shaking the earth, and the very foundations of the elevated tracks themselves... warning of shaky infrastructure, one of many of Gotham's city-wide issues...

Atop the tracks, Batgirl (red) reaches the front of the train.  She crouches down as the vehicle barrels toward the last turn, the power gone, but the speed still dangerously high.  "We're gonna go over the edge!" She calls out before she speaks to her wrist gauntlet.

Suddenly, from above the storm clouds, the Gordon Green Energy Blimp descends with a roar, passing through the thick cloud cover to emerge beneath it. Its running lights shine down from above, each spotlight creating a column of light in the humid air. As it approaches, it fires an anchor cable that flies toward the ground below, slamming into the front train car just fifteen feet away from where Batgirl is crouched at its front end. With a hiss of compressed gas, the cable pulls taut, causing the train to rapidly lose speed.  All across the edge of the tracks, a shower of golden bright sparks rain down to the street below, as clowns, and civilians alike run for their lives!

A screaching sound like that of a mythical banshee spreads out across Gotham City, as the heavy train is slowed quickly via a cable reaching high in to the sky, anchored to a massive blimp that looms like a black guardian on the backdrop of massive storm clouds!

On the roof of the courthouse, Osprey's quick intervention catches the sniper off-guard, and he's beat down by the young Bat-family combatant.  His weapon cast away, his shocked expression showing how the young man caught  him by utter surprise!

Gordon and his Officers help push back the rioter around where Jason was, with the Commissioner approaching the Red Hood.  "How many of you are here?" Jim asks Jason.  "Do we have any sign of..."  He cuts himself off as the screaching train car pulls his attention... along with the attention of just about everyone else in front of the courthouse.  People stop what they're doing as they watch the train come to a gradual halt, still spewing sparks in all directions...

In the back of the building, the GCPD are confronting Harley Quinn, while another group push Cruskini in to the back of one of the police transport vehicles.  The large man looks out on to the cops, then up to the top of the building before the doors are slammed shut and he's securely locked inside the back of the van.

Dinah Lance has posed:
"Okay, bad van," Dinah says aloud, mostly to let Batgirl know she's got the message and a plan is formulating, "Alright, purple bat. Follow my lead."

That said, she stands up and shouts once more. This time, it sends the crate she's hiding behind hurtling in the direction of the armed clowns. Striking them with it, the Canary uses the opportunity to run on swift, fishnet-clad legs towards the van. But she's not charging the clowns, rather she's using cover to move straight past them and ... into the van?!

She climbs into the driver's side, revving up the engine and beginning to take off with the protesting squeal of tires against the ground. As she drives, she looks for a moment like she's going to deliberately run over Batgirl until she's close enough to shout for her to get in.

"We're gonna drown this thing!"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
As Dinah blows the crate at the vans and takes off running, Batgirl pops up and sends a trio of batarangs flying in quick sessions. One of them shatters the stock of a gun. Another hits a gunman in the hand and there's a muffled WHUMP! as it gives of a concussive blast.

The other one just bounces off a guy's forehead. It was a blunted, heavy one.

Batgirl is just grabbing her collapsed bow staff from her garter utility belt when she hears the van's engine race. She turns just as it squeals to stop. Batgirl hops in, bullets impacting the door as she slams it shut.

"Hit it Louise!" she calls over to Dinah as she leans out her window to whip a handful of flash pellets towards the gunmen.

The van lurches forward, engine racing as it accelerates towards the river. Faster and faster. Steering right towards a trailer whose ramps are down.

The van hits the trailer's ramps and goes airborne, arcing over the cement sidewalk and the railing along the riverside. Floating over out of the water before splashing home.

Austin Reese has posed:
With the first sniper down, Osprey gets eyes on the second one when the fire from Red Hood hits the sniper's nest, watching as the guy is forced to duck for cover, allowing that door on the SUV to slam closed and secure Crush, <"Crush is secure, GCPD is moving out, we better keep eyes on it.">

With the sniper pinned, Osprey can move in. He locks onto where that gunfire is hitting and fires his grapple gun into the wall behind the shooter. He trusts Jason to stop shooting when Osprey gets in range. Osprey's disengages the grapple sailing into the sniper with a dropkick, aiming to knock the second gunman prone on the rooftop, with Osprey kipping back up to his feet and closing the distance to the shooter, dropping an elbow into his sternum to knock the air out of him, and then aiming to roll him over and zip tie him before he can put up a fight.

Jason Todd has posed:
As the Commissioner-Loyal GCPD officers help stop the rioters and Gordon speaks to Red Hood, he spares a glance to the man. "Never enough, Commissioner." Some might say too many.

"But enough to help GCPD get things under control."

Well until the train starts screaching overhead. That it's the Gordon Clean Energy blimp that helps the vigilantes stop the runaway train is not lost on Red Hood. He can't be alone. Best not follow that rabbit hole too deeply, Commish.

Looking back, "No visuals yet. But you know as well as I do that he's here. And Harley's convinced of it. She's on our side, by the way. So maybe don't have your officers shoot her?" This time anyway.

Trusting Osprey to get the second sniper, Red Hood is looking to the train.

"Batgirl. Have you found him?" No need to ask whom.

Reaching to his belt, Red Hood secures a grapple to one of his pistols and fires it toward the elevated tracks. With no goodbye to the Commissioner, he is quickly launched up toward the approaching train's cab. It seems like the heart of the chaos is where the Clown will be and he doesn't want Batgirl to have to face Joker alone. Assuming he hasn't already run off and left them all chasing shadows and batting clean up with his lackeys.

Barbara Gordon has posed:
Batgirl (red) springs up from her crouched position at the front of the train and swings herself down to the control cabin. The clown inside screams as Batgirl attacks him, and the clowns in the back stop and watch the control cabin door, preparing themselves for whatever is happening inside. The door opens up, and the lights in the train shut off. Batgirl uses her strength-enhanced suit to fight her way through each clown, disabling them one by one until she reaches the back of the train. She stands over a trail of disabled clowns, who groan in pain as she looks down at them, and then sees a large group of civilians huddled up together at the back of the train, staring at her with wide eyes. Batgirl offers a reassuring nod, and stands guard over them, ready to take on any remaining threats that may come their way.

Outside of the now halted el-train, a swarm of Bat-drones sweep over.  They spread out around the Gotham courthouse building, and begin to monitor the entire situation unfolding below.

On comms: Oracle speaks up. "Canary, Batgirl.  Well done with the van.  We need your help at the court house now.  GCPD has Cruskini in custody and he's already heading out.  They're ... not being kind to Harley, but she's okay.  I think Osprey might need your help too, up on the roof.  I'm sending out alerts to more members of the team, hoping to get some more backup on this.  I get the sense this is going to be a long night."

Back down on the street, Jim Gordon stares up at the train, having seen Batgirl (red) go inside it by crashing through the front window.  He stares with no small amount of concern on his face, for a variety of reasons.  But he tears his eyes from it and finds one of his Sergeants.  "Get a group of Officers up to that platform!  Secure that train!" He orders before he looks to Jason.  "I'm going inside.  I have to check on something."

Whether Jason decides to go with the Commissioner or not, Jim marches off back toward the steps, hopping over what's left of the small molotive fires that had broken out on the concrete steps.

On his way, he barks orders in to his radio.  "Quinn is on our side.  Don't take her in to custody. Listen to her.  She's our best connection to the Joker!"

Sirens sound out around the city, the GGE Blimp hovers high above...

... another clap of thunder rolls through the sky, and a heavy rain starts to pour down from above.

Dinah Lance has posed:
The river lies still for a moment, the waters as choppy as they might normally be with the wind and the overall tumult of Gotham. Then, out of nowhere, Dinah surfaces and spits the murky water out in a disgusted spray.

"Oh, god, I'm gonna be tasting this for months. Now I see why they hate the Joker so much."

She swims towards the edge, heaving herself up onto the stonework and slinging her now soaked-through self up onto the shore. She climbs to her feet, settling the blonde wig she wears on her head even though the water seems to have played havoc with it. Oh well, she's got more at home.

<"On my way.">

That said, she takes a deep breath and takes off at a run towards the courthouse. Some casual pedestrians stop to watch the blonde in fishnets and a tight-leather sleeveless tunic run down the sidewalk with a look of determination on her face.

Just another Friday in Gotham.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A familiar figure in eggplant sticks her head up over in front of the trailer ramp that the van launched itself from. Bat-shaped ears atop her cowl, Batgirl peers about. "Canary?" she asks. She looks around for where Canary bailed out with her before the van went into the water.

She... did bail out. Didn't she?

She turns to look at the water. "Ok, she's able to blow the whole van apart to get out if she's in there," she says to herself. Though she's worried.

Then Canary's head shows up above water. "Oh thank god," she says. << Alright. On my way >> She waves to Black Canary and then begins racing across the intervening distance to where the vehicle has Cruskini in it. A line of smoke pellets are tossed down to either side of the route out, just far enough it leaves a clear line of sight up the road, but any clowns, including ones in GCPD clothing, wanting to get at it, will have a tough time.

Jason Todd has posed:
Something makes Red Hood hesitate. He had planned to fire off his grapple and go check on the train. But the combination of other vigilantes indicating they're heading to the train, and the behavior of Gordon as he decides to head into the courthouse causes him to stop.

After only a moment he turns and falls in a step or two behind Gordon. "I'll go with you, Commissioner." The tone is quiet. Clearly learned from Batman over the years.

Holstering his guns for the moment, the red masked vigilante looks almost more like an enforcer for the commissioner than anything else.

Austin Reese has posed:
With the second sniper down, and the convoy safely away, Osprey takes a second to check the HUD on his domino mask to see where everyone else is, <"Both snipers are down, there appears to be a group of clowns approaching from the back, one just threw a Molotov at the convoy as it tore out of here. Moving to engage.">

Osprey uses the sniper's perch to get into a position above the group of clowns, who are preparing to throw more molotov cocktails at the smaller contingent of cops in the back. Osprey throws down a trio of smoke bombs, which rapidly billow up around the clowns. Osprey then drops down into the group, dropping knees first onto the leader of the group, rolling off of him deeper into the smoke, and proceeding to knock the hell out of the group of them, when the smoke dissipates they're all scattered around, <"That's a group down back here. May still need help with clean up.">

Barbara Gordon has posed:
Inside the Courthouse:


There's music blaring from somewhere.

Jim and Jason rush toward it.  They find bodies strewn across the floor.  Guards.  Courthouse employees.  All knocked out, gassed, or otherwise.  Jim looks frantic after exchanging looks with Jason.  He draws his handgun and hops over one of the fallen security guards.

The music blasts through the halls.

"You really don't REMEMBER!"
"Was it something that he said!"
"Are the voices in your head calling?"

Jim, along with Jason, throw the doors open to the Judge's chambers, the source of the music so loudly coming from within them!  The Commissioner sweeps his gun around the inside of the room, as from the center of it, the Judge hangs from a bright green rope, a note hanging from her chest, her head tilted to the side.  The note simply says in purple handwriting. 'Now this is what I call fun!' with a big :) emoji next to it.

Gordon reads the note, and looks up to the Judge's face, to reach a hand up to check her pulse.  The music continues to blast onward in the background, making it impossible to hear anything except it.
"You're always on the Run. Always running after somebody."
"You've gotta get him somehow! I think you gotta slow down before you blow it!"
"I think you're about to have a breakdown!"

The GCPD transports pull away from the building and start to head for the streets.  Police cruisers pull in to an escort position on the front and back end of the vehicles, creating a active convoy.  In the sky, the swarm of Bat-drones fall in-line with the convoy, providing overwatch for it as the Batmobile appears again, it too moving with the convoy, along with any other members of the Bat-family that too wish to provide additional security for the police transport of the  convicted criminal.

The rain pours down from above, the riots outside the courthouse continue, but the weather actually plays a role in pushing people off the streets, along with the continued support provided by the skillful Osprey too, with Batgirl (gold) and Canary arriving to reinforce.  Clown parties begin to break up, a clown on a uni-cycle rolling down a side alley rapidly disappearing in to shadow.

Inside the courthouse, Gordon steps out in to the hallway, his phone up to his ear as he reports the death of the Judge, and that there's been no sign of the Joker.

At Harley's car, whenever she returns to it, a single stuffed animal resides in the driver's seat now.  A little plushie 'Puffin' bird with a note in green ink. 'A puffin for my muffin. <3 Mr. J'