196 The Joke #196

"Just when it was starting to get fun..." The Joker said, clicking his tongue in annoyance and sitting up from the sidewalk as he heard multiple police sirens echo from afar.

"Keep the dimwitted ones here. Take the others and bring me, Barbara Gordon," he instructed as he turned to The Mad Hatter, who merely nodded and began giving instructions to his goons.

The Mad Hatter and the five original members of the Wonderland Gand made for the hospital, taking only five men with them and leaving the army of brainwashed goons behind to help The Joker stall the police.

"It has been quite a while since I had to deal with the piggy patrol..." The Joker muttered to no one in particular as he turned to the end of the street, where he could already see the red and blue police lights.

Usually, the police force gave him a wide berth, staying as far away from his way as they could since no one had any idea how to deal with the clown, preferring to rely on Batman to bring him in instead.

"It's at times likes these that I miss having Harley around..." The clown went on, grinning as he watched the police cars getting closer and closer, speeding toward him.

"I suppose it's finally time to bring her back to my side..." The Joker went on, reaching into his pockets and retrieving a baseball that looked no different from any other.

"Take me out to the ball game... take me out with the crowd♪..." The clown loudly sang as He brought the ball closer to his mouth, blowing a hot breath on it before wiping it with his jacket and kissing it.

"Let me root, root, root of the home team... If they don't win, it's such a shame..." The Joker chanted, his hideous grin growing more pronounced as he raised one arm, assuming a pitching stance.

"For it's one, two, three strikes... and you're out...♪" He went on, his eyes narrowing as he shot the baseball toward the speeding police car with almost perfect form.

"At the old baaaal gaaame...♪" The cheerful clown concluded, raising his arms and spreading them apart as he waited for the grand finales that would come in the form of an explosion.

However, a loud gunshot sounded in the air, and the baseball exploded before reaching the police car, much to The Joker's bemusement as he looked around and found no trace of whoever had the gal to get in the way of his fun.

"Goddamnit! Show yourself, you humorless bastard...!" The Joker angrily exclaimed, furiously scanning the area in search of the buzz kill, and received no answer.

"You better pray I don't find out who you are! I will eviscerate and choke you to death with your fucking intestines!" The clown bellowed, his tone growing more aggrieved and angry as he spoke.

The Joker then proceeded to spout many profanities and creatively brutal threats, but the intended target of those charming words merely turned a deaf ear to his outburst.


Selina closed her eyes, taking a deep breath as she exited the hospital's deluxe ward, where she instructed the hospital's staff and patients to hide and closed the door behind her.

"Let's move..." Selina said as she turned to Jason, who was waiting for her in the hallway. "We only have to deal with The Wonderland Gang thanks to the police, but don't let your guard down..." she added as she moved towards the hospital's reception area.

"The goal is to neutralize them, but if you think that's impossible, you know what to do..." She went on as she stopped and turned to Jason, giving him a firm look.

Jason hesitated but ultimately nodded without arguing.

"Good. And remember, Mad Hatter's goons have guns and whatever that chick dressed like a handyman is packing..." she went on, letting out an involuntary chuckle at The Carpenter's choice of weapons before shaking her head.

"So don't take any unnecessary risks... and none of that fancy bat-stuff either..." She remarked as she approached the reception desk and took cover behind it.

"Unless you want to blow your secret identity, of course..." Selina jokingly concluded as she watched Jason take cover next to her and nod with a sigh as he raised his gun.

Soon, loud gunshots erupted outside as the police force finally arrived at the scene outside and began subduing the Mad Hatter's brainwashed minions.

It didn't take long after that for The Mad Hatter and his gang to enter the reception area, unaware of Selina and Jason hiding behind the reception desk as the former began barking orders.

"Split up. Find Barbara Gordon, and kill everyone in your way..." The Mad Hatter said as he divided his goons into groups, sending each of them to a different area of the hospital.

Listening to the Alice-Wonderland-themed villain's speech, Selina turned to Jason and gave him a resolute nod as she unlocked the weapon's safety and took a deep breath.

"Now..." The Brunette whispered as she rose to her feet alongside Jason, both ready to start firing. However, they didn't get the chance to act as the unexpected happened.

The woman with the gaudy haircut, The March Hare, was the first to see them. She shouted at her companions in warning as she raised her two guns and prepared to return fire.

Just as everyone turned to Jason and Selina, either in a hurry to fire or take cover, several metallic threads penetrated the ceiling, latching onto them before they could react.

And before anyone could even exclaim in alarm, 120 volts of electricity coursed through the metallic threads, rendering the wonderland-themed thugs unconscious before Selina and Jason's eyes.

Several ceiling tiles fell, revealing eight insectoid-looking machines that promptly bounced on the villains, binding them at an incredible speed and precision that didn't match their clumsy movement.

Selina sighed as she lowered her gun and reached to lower Jason's with her free hand. "I suppose it doesn't mean much, what with how many times I've said it already..." She remarked, her expression bitter as she looked at the machines.

"But I owe you one..." The Brunette concluded with a tired sigh at owing yet another favor.

She wasn't bothered by the lack of reply as the machines climbed back into ceiling tiles and disappeared almost as fast as they appeared after binding the villains.


The Joker couldn't help but curse loudly, literally and figuratively draining his bag of tricks, sparing nothing. He threw knives, bombs, pies, and pie bombs at the police as he watched The Mad Hatter's brainwashed goons go down one after the other.

Yet, nothing seemed to work as some persistent bastard kept sniping whatever he threw out of the air before it reached its intended target, infuriating the clown to no end.

Despite his ever-present grin, The Joker was not in a good mood. Not only did his plan to drive Commissioner Gordon fail miserably, but the GCPD seemed strangely competent since his last run-in with them.

And to make things worst, he'd been rampaging for more than a day, but he didn't even get to play with Batman, and it was the former boy blunder, some hussy he'd never heard of, and the piggy patrol foiling his plans.

It was so infuriating that The Joker couldn't help but laugh as he watched the acid bomb he threw at the police from behind the brainwashed goons explode in the air with the trilling of a gunshot.

"Fine if that's how you want to play it..." The Joker said through gritted teeth as he retrieved his last bomb from the colorful duffle bag at his feet, dubbed "Bag Of Tricks" in bold red.

He raised his hand as if to throw the bomb at the police officers, only to chuckle like a child pulling a prank as he lowered his aim and prepared to launch it at his own allies.

However, before he could even throw the bomb, another gunshot echoed, hitting the grenade in his hand, causing it to explode and send him flying back and crashing into the building behind him.

Dazed by the impact, The Joker raised his now missing hand in front of his face and grinned as blood leaked between his teeth.

"Now that's... funny..." he muttered to no one in particular, letting out a loud laugh before losing consciousness.


"Not really..." I blankly muttered, putting away the sniper rifle in my hand as I watched the police officers subdue the last of Mad Hatter's minions before putting the unconscious Joker in a police car and taking him away.

"I just hope this doesn't come back to bite me in the ass later..."

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