1552: Arkham Asylum – Chapter SixPosted: October 2, 2016
Title: Arkham Asylum
URL: Chapter Six
Critiqued by BatJamags
Gary Stu count: 17
Running the Asylum count: 16
Out of Character count: 18
Hello once again, patrons! I’m your guest host (Brought to you by the Department of Contradictions Bureau, which is the same thing as the Department of Contradictions Agency) BatJamags, and we’re back to this shit.
Last time, nothing happened.
This time, the next chapter is going to happen.
Hello people! I’m back! Hehe.
As evidenced by the fact that you’re here.
Ok, so… I wasn’t able to recover my lost documents… But everything is okay. Mostly.
I have no idea what he’s talking about. Sure, it’s possible he’s referencing something he brought up elsewhere, but I have no way of knowing that without scouring his ff.net account, which I don’t really feel like doing.
The chapters for this story are always short, which is why this one is being updated first, but expect an update for The End of One Life sometime within the next few days.
I don’t care, and since this is your only Batman story, most of your readers don’t, either.
Love you guys! Thank you all so much for the support!
I’m terrified to read the reviews on this. Eh, they’re probably
dull and grim, anyway.
The Joker laughed happily as the building on the horizon exploded.
The booming sounds likened to thunder mixed with the crumbling of brick and the screeching of metal was like a beautiful symphony. The music of destruction was punctuated by a chorus of wonderful screams and sounds of terror.
It was magnificent. Absolutely magnificent.
The story’s actually doing something, it seems. It’s not doing it with sentences that make any damn sense, but it’s doing something.
He punched a button and another building, more to the east of him now, followed the previous onto the jaws of death in a mighty and wrathful explosion. He cackled with joy, and pushed the next button.
He sure did get the explosives to do this… somewhere. And he sure did get them into the buildings by doing… something. Glad the plot showed us his doing that stuff rather than bullshitting around with the characters’ daily routines.
This one did not explode. Ah. Well that was his cue to leave then.
Guess the explosives receded back into the SDQF
With a grin still on his face, splattered with blood as it was from the unfortunate security guard of the empty building he had chosen to watch his masterpiece from, he rushed down the flights of stairs and skipped through the lobby of the building. There was a car outside; one of his clowns in the driver’s seat.
Ah, so he’s in [building]. OK. Good to know. It would also be good to know why it’s guarded, but I get the sense that we won’t be privy to that information, will we? Or… y’know, anything important.
This plan had been beautiful.
It was, wasn’t it? So glad that the story showed it to us!
Usually his plans involved coming face to face with the bat. He did it that way so as to taunt the man and tempt him into killing the Joker. The bat never took the bait though, and then he would end up in Arkham. He couldn’t afford that yet though. Lamb wasn’t ready to be left without him yet. He was too weak.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Fic, are you trying to tell me that the Joker isn’t insane? Or at least, that he would let some random guy interfere with his insanity?
Gary Stu count: 18
Out of Character count: 19
Thus his plan had involved taunting the bat from afar. He told him of a school with a bomb in it and gave him three possibilities along with a few hints. The bat would have to figure out which school held a bomb.
Oh, so [building], [building], and [building] were schools. Glad we knew that because the story SHOWED us the Joker’s plan instead of TELLING us about it.
But the truth was that all three were rigged to blow. Not that the bat knew that. Well, NOW he did.
In other news, Namtab is still a shit detective. Of course the Joker rigged all three to blow.
The Joker giggled joyfully to himself as he slipped into the car. It was an old black thing, though he wasn’t sure as to the make or model. Not that it mattered. What mattered was that it was rather plain and easily ignored. The windows were dark enough that no one within would be visible, and the particular clown he had in the driver’s seat was one of his more competent minions who knew how to stay calm and obey traffic laws when they needed to remain unnoticed.
Ah, so the car is a black [thing] of [make] and [model]. Seriously, it’s not that hard to figure out, just look at the back of the car. At least tell us what kind of car it is. Is it a van? A sedan? An SUV? A tank? A clown car? An AT-AT? Describe things!
He sighed and smiled to himself, beginning to hum a song. He pulled out his handkerchief to clean and polish away at his knife, but he didn’t bother with cleaning the blood from his face. It would dry on his skin slowly like mud on the back of a pig. He was so used to blood; he was more likely to be delighted by being covered in it than he was to be bothered.
Now he’s humming [song]. At first I didn’t think this would be able to compete for most Formless Void in the Sucktastic Awards, but I think we’ve got a contender, here!
He absentmindedly thought of Lamb.
Of course he did.
Gary Stu count: 19
His clown’s idea of a doctor involved dragging scarecrow in.
Which they were able to do without getting fear gassed because the Joker is god in this story for some reason.
That had been a problem. He scowled at the remembrance;
Also, we’re not going to see this incident either, are we?
the rage still fresh in his mind. He would need to punish the good doctor again when he got back.
Yup, the Joker can just command and punish whoever he wants, even people who should have far more autonomy or capacity to escape. The Joker is personally dangerous, and has a twisted charisma about him, but he doesn’t command unquestioning loyalty from Gotham’s entire criminal underworld.
I’m beginning to think we’re dealing less with a single Stu, and more a Possession Stu/Trajek Stu tag-team.
Scarecrow was not insane like the rest of them. Not really. He was unhinged, certainly, but he was not out of his mind. He was a sadist in the darkest form, though his sadism only manifested itself in his delight in his fear toxins, and in the way he didn’t seem to care at all about human emotion. Even the Joker could feel things for others. Those feelings were limited mostly to vague interest and possessiveness, but still.
You have a weird definition of insane.
Still, despite being a psychologist, the doctor had agreed to help. He knew enough about the human body to get them started at least. But then…
Go fuck yourself. Psychology and physical health are entirely different disciplines. At least psychiatrists work with medicine, but psychologists deal with the mind on an academic level.
Then again, Scarecrow was able to develop his fear toxin, so he probably does have some physiological expertise, but he’s still primarily interested in the mind.
Then he had gone and tested his new batch of fear toxin on Lamb.
WELL WHY DID YOU KEEP HIM AROUND THEN?
Shouldn’t you have guessed that would happen? Testing his fear toxin on random people is pretty much all Scarecrow does!
The Joker growled to himself. It had been a horrible way to learn that regardless of his silence and sewn lips, Lamb was not actually mute.
If he had been mute, they wouldn’t have needed to sew his lips together, would they?
He had screamed. The sound had been loud and harsh and had echoed off of the walls throughout the factory building.
Yeah, it was really interesting how you SHOWED us that instead of TELLING us about it.
Joker had heard them from a different room. At first the sound had made him smile and he had come wandering after the source in search of entertainment. But then he had opened the door the room Scarecrow had been using. He had seen Lamb curled into the corner covering his eyes and screaming.
So, where in the Formless Void were they that Scarecrow had someone other than Lamb Chop Stu to experiment on? Or is the Joker just being a moron (it’s this one)? Generally, male voices sound distinct from female voices, and at this point there were three men in the factory: Joker Stu, Scarecrow, and Lamb Chop Stu. Joker Stu was accounted for, and Scarecrow is known for causing fear and pain, to both of which screaming is a reaction. It’s not that hard to connect the dots.
Joker was the kind of man who could kill for sport, for fun, out of boredom, for whatever damned reason he could think of. But he was rarely a man to kill out of rage. He nearly had though. At the knowledge that it was Lamb curled there screeching in terror rather than some random low life off the street he had been filled with fury.
And there was nothing quite as terrifying as the Joker when he was pissed.
How about the Joker when he thinks what he’s doing is funny? Because when he gets pissed, he gets sloppy. When he’s trying to make a joke or prove a point, he gets sadistic. And again, he has no reason to care about Lamb Chop Stu specifically so much.
He hadn’t killed Scarecrow. No. The doctor was far too valuable to just kill.
WHY?! WHY IS SCARECROW THAT IMPORTANT TO THE JOKER?! WHY IS THE JOKER JUST DRAGGING IN RANDOM PEOPLE WHO THE AUTHOR FEELS LIKE INCLUDING?!
But he had made him give Lamb the antidote before beating the doctor into a mess of wheezing purple bruises and bloody split skin. He had only stopped when Lamb had grabbed onto him.
Those purple eyes had looked up at him with fear and tears had fallen freely from them. The boy had made a sort of sobbing noise and clung to him. He had stopped him, not because he cared about the doctor’s fate, but because he was scared and wanted the Joker to reassure him.
So the Joker did.
I give up. Fuck the Gary Stu counter. You get the point. The Joker is protective of Lamb Chop Stu for no particular reason other than the author’s probable sexual attraction toward the psycho-clown. Fuckin’ great.
He had picked up Lamb’s frail form and held him close and let him cry. It wasn’t really his style to do something like that,
Out of Character count: 20
but he had done it. It wasn’t the first time he had done such a thing either. There had been a time or two in the past where Harley would have a nightmare and wake up crying. He had done the same for her then despite how tedious it seemed.
It didn’t feel so tedious with Lamb though.
AND LEAVE HARLEY ALONE!
Geez, can you STOP with that? It’s getting really repetitive.
Lamb had had nightmares. He had woken up shaking only to calm within moments. He had seen the Joker beat, maim, torture, and kill right before his eyes without any semblance of fear. He may be weak physically, but mentally, emotionally, he was not. He was strong in that respect, and fearless.
So to see him terrified and crying was a shock to the Joker.
More than a shock, it was unbelievable. It made the Joker question what was terrible enough so as to make Lamb this afraid.
Uh… I don’t know. Suppose there were some kind of thing that could make him feel fear, like, say, a toxin of some sort.
What was the boy who was unafraid of murder and mayhem afraid of?
Murder and mayhem are the worst things in the world, and there is nothing else that could ever happen or exist in reality or fiction that anyone would ever be more afraid of. Good to know.
Scarecrow was now chained up in one of the smaller buildings near the warehouse. Joker wouldn’t kill the man, but he would give him many, many new scars.
He would suffer for hurting the Joker’s little Lamb.
I’ve been here so long. I don’t even know when I began. I don’t even know if I began. I know that I may never end. I have nothing but what lies to my sides. On one side, a bad fanfic. On the other, an infinite, sprawling Formless Void.
I am a line, and this is my life.
Lamb smiled absently as the pretty plant lady taught him.
She had taught him so much. He knew all the names of her flowers. Even though they all had more than one name.
Like the pretty Angel’s trumpet with its’ trumpet shaped flowers. They were beautiful with their golds and pink tips. But its’ other name was Brugmansia, and he was not allowed to eat it because it was bad.
The plant lady called it a hallucinogen, and said that it could kill him.
Not that he would ever eat it anyways.
No shit. Is this a Batman fic or a Captain Obvious fic?
It was too big to fit past the threads, and he couldn’t bear the thought of cutting it up just to eat it. The flowers were too pretty for that.
Thank you for clarifying that, author. I am a goldfish and forgot that Lamb Chop Stu had his lips sewn shut.
A lot of the plant lady’s plants could kill him.
Even the one she was teaching him about now. Oleander. Nerium oleander. The flowers came in white, red, pink, and even a light purple. They weren’t as pretty as the Angel’s trumpet. But they were more deadly.
I don’t care.
He liked them though. He liked all the plants. But especially the special ones the plant lady had made that could think and move. They liked him too and would sometimes pick him up and play with him; throwing him in the air and catching him again or bending and acting as a swing for him.
They were very nice.
Author, you realize that plants aren’t sentient, right? Ivy’s protective of them and treats them like children, but they can’t actually react unless she tells them to. Do you know what the reason for this is?
THEY DON’T HAVE FUCKING BRAINS!
They’re much like the characters in this fic, in that respect.
He looked up at the sound of metal slamming together and grinned, the threads stretching taut. That was the sound of the door in the corridor.
His laughing man was home.
I don’t have the will to keep snarking these. The task is just too…
Dull and grim.
Batman angrily slammed his fist into the metal desk.
Batman: TALK, DESK! Make this easier on yourself.
He glared up at the computer screen that couldn’t seem to give him any answers. He had hunted down the officers that were mentioned in Arkham’s report. The names and badge numbers were fake, but hunting back through the security footage had allowed him to run their faces against the GPD’s database. He had matched the faces.
Yeah, when two random officers show up at Arkham and are all “Take our word for it, you should take this guy,” that tends to be the case.
Only to learn both officers were dead.
*Yawn* Plot twist, I guess.
They had both been killed on the same night, a week after bringing the John Doe to Arkham, in some back alley. They had been out on patrol at the time, and they were shot point-blank twice each; once in the chest, and the second time in the center of the head. It had rained that day, and any evidence that might have been present was washed away.
All-new, from the PCC: Water-Soluble Evidence!
Are you tired of the fuzz finding evidence at the scenes of your crimes? Sick of those pesky detectives hunting you down? Then water-soluble evidence may be for you! Now, any and all evidence of what you did will disappear with the rain. It’s easy, just add water! DNA? Gone! Finger prints! Like they weren’t there! Bullets? What bullets? Specific and easily-identifiable form of execution? Don’t be silly!
A couple other things:
First: The guys were on patrol despite not being real police officers. The hell?
Second: Two officers, shot twice each. If this doesn’t turn out to be Two-Face’s handiwork, I’ll be disappointed.
Which meant the Batman no longer had any leads available to him.
Yes, because clearly the bullets the officers were shot with, the security camera footage in the vicinity, and the officers’ DNA (which could identify them) also washed away the rain. The PCC really earned their money on this one.
Oh, and one more tiny, little, nitpicky, insignificant issue:
SHOULDN’T YOU BE MORE WORRIED ABOUT THE TWO SCHOOLS THAT JUST BLEW UP?!
That’s got to be a couple hundred kids who just died fiery painful deaths, and you’re worried about this random John Doe?!
WHAT THE FUCK, BATMAN?!
He had no pictures or footage of the John Doe’s face because of the hair, so he couldn’t cross-check his appearance with the system. He had tried to scan the drawing for prints, only to come up empty. There were marks like being touched with gloves on the paper, but no fingerprints. It made no sense, because he had seen the John Doe’s bare hands touch the paper, and yet he had left behind no fingerprints.
It was frustrating.
What’s frustrating is that Namtab here is a shit detective.
Out of Character count: 21
It seemed as though any effort to uncover the truth about the John Doe was met with a dead end. Then, on top of his lack of information, the Joker had struck again. The schools he had blown up had been mostly empty at the time, with the casualties in the single digits. It had been notably less horrifying than the Crown Prince of Crime’s usual escapades. Not that the numbers mattered so much. People had still died.
Wow, I’m glad we were SHOWN that instead of TOLD about it after the fact.
And also? We’ve still got anywhere from one to nine (It’s not that many numbers, hathanhate, just tell us how many died) people brutally murdered in a terrorist attack, and Batman’s worried about Lamb Chop Stu.
And finally, what the hell was the Joker doing blowing up empty buildings? What’s the point?
What bothered Batman though was the way the Joker had played his game from afar. There was no direct physical confrontation with the man like he was typically prone to. He didn’t understand why.
*A PCC agent steps into the Batcave with a check*
PCC Agent: I think this should clear everything up.
He needed to hunt the Joker down, and he needed to find the John Doe. He needed to find the truth.
But everywhere he looked, there were no leads to be seen.
Except for the all of the ones you’re ignoring. This chapter was mercifully short (not short enough that I can really double up, but shorter than usual; of course the one that actually moves the plot forward would be), so I’m going to get out of here while I’m still sane.
Gary Stu count: 19/20 [ABANDONED DUE TO STUPIDITY REACHING CRITICAL MASS]
Running the Asylum count: 16 [NO CHANGE, SURPRISINGLY]
Out of Character count: 21