(Continuation. PG-13 for violence and language)
Virgil’s steps were silent as he moved through the shadows. The darkness of the hall was punctuated by the occasional flickering bulb above him. Still, there were enough small alcoves to keep his outline hidden among the darkness as the occasional patrol passed him by. As he paused in a doorway, fishing a small mirror from one of his pouches to check a corner, Seraph heard his communicator buzz once more. Frowning under his mask, he tapped his wrist and watched the corner through the mirror in his hand.
“Yes?” he asked as the communicator clicked over. All traces of his Cajun accent were eradicated—an accomplishment that brought him some pride, and further helped to keep his identity a secret.
“Oracle here,” came the reply.
“No kidding,” Seraph muttered. Satisfied that the next hall was clear, he reached up to unscrew the intersection’s lightbulb before moving on.
“Mr. Detective strikes again,” Oracle responded, “Anyway, Dark, I’ve got the surveillance recording you sent my way from the JLA’s containment.”
“And body movements and ticks do not match Midnight Sentinel.”
“You didn’t call me just to tell me that,” he whispered in response, his back to the wall as he slowly approached another intersection in the dark. Seraph could hear several guards talking nearby from his left. A quick scan revealed two lights down the hall, and two other doors. He swore quietly. There was no way to pass them without alerting anyone else on watch… unless he played it carefully.
“I heard that. Language, Mr. Seraph.”
“Sue me,” he replied.
"You don’t have deep enough pockets. Anyhow, I called to let you know that I’ve given my analysis to the JLA and the GCPD- hopefully that will help clear things up.”
"You don’t say… I’m a bit busy at the moment, not that I don’t appre-“
“Ah, about that… let me give you a hand…”
About to shake his head in the hallway, Seraph allowed himself a small chuckle as the lights in the hall flickered and died. There was a moment of confusion on the part of the guards before one laughed and commented about giving it a second. Seraph refused to give them that second.
He darted around the corner, his legs pushing off of the ground as quickly as he could manage. He may not have possessed superhuman speed, but his body was trained and his work kept him in peak condition. Already primed for the night, he held an enormous advantage over the Joker’s soldiers—not only were they lax, they didn’t think anyone would be crazy enough to sneak so far into the funhouse.
Making up the distance between him and the four guards in mere moments, Seraph leapt into action. Two throwing darts impacted into the neck of the largest guard, forcing him to slump against the wall and slowly slide down to his knees. As his back hit the wall, a confused grunt touched the lips of one of his partners. Seraph struck him in the jaw with a left hook. The clown yelped in surprise, his head slamming back against the wall. Through the night vision in his lenses, Virgil saw their panicked expressions. He figured they were afraid the Bat had come upon them. He snorted, snapping his left foot up and catching another clown across the jaw and ear with a round house. If he had been the Bat, they would have never had the chance to look surprised.
“Lights in two seconds,” Oracle announced calmly over the communications link.
Seraph did not respond. As his foot hit the ground, the hero spun, sending his right hand smashing into the temple of the final guard in a backfist. The clown struck his partner, their heads slamming together with an almost comical “thud” before they both slumped to the ground. Recovering from the kick to the head, the only conscious clown raised his weapon just as the lights came back on. He saw Seraph and blinked. Expecting the Batman, the clown was taken by complete surprise as an unknown masked hero stood before him. A smirk twitched on his lips as he raised his submachine gun at Seraph.
Virgil took full advantage of the moment, sending his foot crashing down on the clown’s knee. As the man buckled, Seraph grabbed the submachine gun from his hand and smashed the butt of the weapon into the thug’s jaw. The clown fell in a small sprinkle of broken teeth and bloody lips.
“Thank you, Cherie… that was actually helpful,” he commented to Oracle with a smile.
“I aim to please,” came her response, her own smile practically audible. “You know that the GCPD is less than 200 yards away from your position, right?”
“Yeah. It’s the reason I got in so easily.”
“As long as we’re on the same page.”
A small whimper came from the clown crumpled at Seraph’s feet. The guard feebly tried to scoop up the broken bits of his teeth, one hand gingerly touching his bleeding lips. Seraph looked down on him, his face turning grim beneath his mask.
“Give me a second, Oracle.”
“No problem… not like I’m not used to it.”
Without responding, Virgil crouched down next to the clown, reaching out for the man’s wrist with a gloved hand and twisting it back. The clown winced and tried to pull away. Seraph gripped the man by the back of his hair and bore him to the ground, slamming his face into the remnants of his broken teeth that lay scattered on the floor. Establishing a wrist lock, Virgil released the man’s hair, but held his wrist firmly, twisting back the clown’s hand. The guard’s elbow rested snug against Seraph’s shin, and the hero’s free hand pressed down on his back, putting extreme pressure between the shoulder and radial bone.
“You feel that sting? I can break your arm in three places right now… and I will… if you don’t tell me what I need to know.” Seraph’s voice was low and dangerous. It held the promise given with deathly calm.
“I… ahh… I don’ know nuttin’! I oww oww I swear!” The clown gasped. Seraph gave the hand a small twist, pulling the clown’s arm tighter against his shin. As the pressure against the elbow grew painfully, the clown swore.
“Clowns don’t use that kind of language… now… are we going to behave?”
“yeah! Oww! ****! Fine! J-just don’t break my arm!”
“That remains to be seen. Where’s Harley?”
The clown was silent. Seraph ground his weight down on the man’s shoulder. He nearly screamed.
“Where. Is. Harley?” Seraph repeated.
“I dunno! Maybe by the mirror room! Just… ow! Let me go and I can take you!”
“Can’t do that, friend.”
“You have somewhere else to go. The hospital.” Seraph tightened his grip.
“What’re you?! No!”
There was a sickening pop as Seraph dislocated the man’s shoulder. There was another as he pulled the arm back against his shin. When the elbow gave out, the clown lost consciousness with a shocked cry. Seraph let the broken and dislocated arm fall to the ground carelessly.
The hero took a few moments to police the thugs’ weapons and handcuff them for the authorities.
“Fun time over, huh?”
“Cute. Let the GCPD know that Harley Quinn is present. I’ll be done here, shortly.”
Leaving behind the unconscious guards, Seraph made his way through the twisting hallways of the funhouse. He ran into the occasional patrol, but managed to avoid them by remaining in the shadows. As he approached the room of mirrors, Virgil paused, crouching in a dark corner behind a few crates. There were no guards anywhere to be seen—nor had there been for several sections of hallway. In the pit of his stomach, the hero had a small, sinking feeling.
“You rang, DS?”
“Your cycling nick-names for me aside, I think I’m walking into a trap,” he commented, eyes narrowing as he watched the door to the room or mirrors. “No guards. None anywhere near this place.”
“Well, you –are- operating under information gathered from a psychotic criminal in clown makeup who works for an even more psychotic criminal in clown makeup.”
“Nice observation. You have a bead on any Knights nearby?”
“You mean to tell me you don’t?”
“You have better shielding on your lines than we do… I don’t want to risk an open transmission.”
“Fair enough,” Oracle replied. She was silent for a moment, and then returned with a small frown in her voice, “Doesn’t look that way. Don’t worry. It’s just Harley.”
“Great. If you don’t hear from me in ten minutes, let the Knights know.”
Virgil frowned as he approached the door to the room of mirrors. His steps were light; his muscles tensed for action. Reaching out for the door handle, Seraph twisted it and pushed forward. Much to his appreciation, there were no explosions or gunfire… just a low running, gray mist that flowed out of the room. Sighing in relief, he stepped inside, allowing the door to close behind him.
The room of mirrors lived up to its name in spectacular fashion. Twisted mirrors of all types lined the walls and formed a sort of maze. The mist rolled about Virgil’s feet as he moved forward, glowing softly with the multicolored like that fell down on him from the ceiling’s numerous fixtures. The light swirled in different patterns, creating odd shapes and designs on the back of the writhing mist.
“Looks like we have a guest, fellas… and I didn’t even set a plate for him at the table. Aww, Mistah J’s gonna be bummed if we can’t entertain friends,” Harley’s voice slithered through the air, the high pitch of it tinged with madness. “Go play with ‘im boys.”
Seraph swore under his breath as he cautiously advanced through the maze of mirrors.