Issue #2 “Off with her head!”
White Rabbit was prone on the floor after being attacked from behind and knocked off her feet. She caught a glimpse of a pair of deep red boots standing before her. She looked up and saw a young woman who was wearing a red catsuit, with ears and a tail. "I beg your pardon, but.. who are you?"
Crimson Cat stood over the fallen form of her adversary, and frowned. "Excuse me?"
"I said," began the White Rabbit, speaking slower and pausing between each word. "Who.. Are.. You?"
The Crimson Cat chuckled to herself. "Listen bun-bun, I know those huge gaudy rabbit ears of yours are just for show, but I assumed your real ears were in good working order. I told you, I'm the Crimson Cat."
White Rabbit stood up and brushed herself off. "Gaudy? No less so than your costume, I'd say. Make no mistake, I did indeed heed your introduction, but it's embarrassing to admit I have no clue who you are," explained White Rabbit. "I'm flattered that you know who I am, you'll have to forgive me, I'm not accustomed to being the more successful and well-known party when I engage in battle."
Crimson Cat found herself at a loss for how to respond. Had she just been passively aggressively insulted by The White Rabbit? The one and the same White Rabbit that had become the laughing stock of the entire supercommunity over her criminal career?
White Rabbit wiggled her finger at Crimson Cat. "Also, it was quite rude of you to attack me from behind, before announcing yourself!"
"Are you serious? You're the bad guy, that's what I do, I cave in your skull, then drop you off to the police. This isn't your first dance, you know how it works."
"Yes, but while I am the "bad guy" you are the "good guy". There are certain unspoken rules for this kind of engagement, a hero etiquette if you will. What kind of hero are you? Do you want to grouped with the likes of The Punisher and Venom, or would you rather be likened to Captain America?"
"Listen, if it bothers you that much, I'll ask you if you'd like to give up bef..."
White Rabbit gripped the tip of her umbrella, swinging it at Crimson Cat's feet. She used the handle as a hook, pulling Crimson Cat off her feet, sending her crashing down on the ground. White Rabbit hopped over her, and scurried off toward the back of the museum.
"Hey!" shouted Crimson Cat, standing up as she prepared to give chase. "What happened to the whole "rules" and "etiquette" thing?"
"My dear Crimson Cat," explained White Rabbit, as she ran up the stairway to the second floor, "I am the villain of this tale. As such, I have a completely different set of rules than you.. With your inadequate understanding of how such things work, it's no wonder I've never heard of you."
Crimson Cat growled, becoming more agitated with each stinging insult. "I'm really going to enjoy bringing you down, you smug little rabbit!"
Upon reaching the top of the staircase, White Rabbit tipped over several potted plants, rolling the tall pots down the stairs, attempting to slow Crimson Cat's accent. The heavy jars presented little obstacle for the Crimson Cat. Her civilian identity, Sara Simmons, was attending ESU on a gymnastics scholarship. Her limber form vaulted over the oncoming obstructions with ease.
Crimson Cat arrived at the second floor, and spotted White Rabbit standing over a glass top display, rubbing her hands together, laughing manically.
"Who does that?" thought Crimson Cat. "It's like I'm up against one of those obnoxious villains from a classic campy TV show."
White Rabbit used her umbrella to smash open the glass case, then removed the object of her desire. She turned her head as Crimson Cat walked toward her.
"How about you listen to reason this time?" asked Crimson Cat. "The only way out of here is back down the stairs, and to get there you'd have to go through me. Since the lowlights of your criminal career include being brought to justice at the hands of men dressed like giant frogs, a boy monkey, and a pro wrestler in a grizzly suit, I'd say your chances for success aren't looking good right now."
"Ah, so not only have you heard of me, but you are well versed in my many merry misadventures!" squealed White Rabbit, gleefully.
Sara keeps a scrapbook of every news story The Daily Bugle prints about any super villains. It's not exactly the Avengers Files or S.H.E.I.L.D. database, but it's enough for her needs. "Listen, if I were you, I'd just give up already and save myself a lot of pain."
"Ah, but you are not me, and for that I am thankful. I have known the bitterness of defeat and now I wish to taste the exultation of triumph! Eat hot carrots, my fantastically frustrating feline foe!"
White Rabbit targeted Crimson Cat with her umbrella, unleashing a volley of carrot shaped projectiles from the tip. Crimson Cat tumbled and backflipped to avoid being stuck by the oncoming barrage of missiles. Once they struck the wall behind her, they exploded, sending her crashing to the floor as shrapnel and rubble rained down around her. White Rabbit hopped up onto a windowsill on the far side of the room.
"Are you crazy?" asked Crimson Cat, from her position on the floor. "We're two stories up, you're going to break some bones at the very least! It's not worth it, just turn yourself in."
"It's true, rabbits don't land on their feet as cat do. Although, judging from your current situation, I'd say that rumor has been exaggerated to a great extent. Now, I bid you adieu.."
Crimson Cat reached out her hand and screamed as White Rabbit took a step off the windowsill and began to fall. Suddenly, White Rabbit rose up in the air, holding onto a rope ladder.
"With a immaculately timed extraction from my Bunnicopter, I make my escape, triumphant at last!"
Crimson Cat got to her feet and walked over to the window, watching the Bunnicopter disappear into the distance.
"I'll never live this one down. I'm just glad nobody was around to see how badly I was humiliated."
The Rabbit Hole
"This would've been way easier and a lot less messy if it had been done my way." scolded Charles.
"Yes, but where would the excitement, the conflict, the drama have been then? My way was more fun, and no less effective in the end."
"Effective? You got beaten up, you blew up half a museum, and didn't even get away with any loot!"
"Not true my unpaid iniquitous apprentice! My goals were met this day. I made my escape with this perfectly pilfered pocket watch!"
White Rabbit pulled a watch out of her pocket and swung it in front of Charles's face. "It's it wonderful?"
"That's it? You only got one watch?"
"Precisely. This is one of the first known pocket watches, from the 16th century! Still accurate down to the second. Such exquisite craftsmanship, you don't see this kind of thing anymore. "
"Now that is something we can work with! How much do you think someone would pay for that on the black market?"
White Rabbit clutched the watch to her chest and gave Charles a disgusted look. "We're not selling it! I wanted this for my personal collection!"
White Rabbit held the watch out a examined it, grinning ear to ear as her eyes sparkled. Charles rolled his eyes.
"We spent all that money on weapons, transportation, and cameras, risked going to jail or getting killed, for that? Some ancient trinket that isn't even getting us a return on your money?"
White Rabbit became indignant, crossing her arms and scowling at Charles. "I don't care about the money! I've got more money than I'll ever need! It's about adventure, danger, daring-do!"
"There must be easier and more sane ways of ach.."
White Rabbit became distracted by the television, completely abandoning her argument. "Shush, shush! It's the nightly news, turn it up! Turn it up!"
Unsatisfied with the speed at which Charles was executing her commands, She snatched away the remote control and turned the volume as loud as possible.
"This is Kelly Blake with CBS affiliate WXNY channel 7 news, downtown at the historical museum. This afternoon, the scene was pure chaos. Eye witness reports illustrated a scene right out of a nightmare, as a crazed clown attempted to destroy the timekeeping exhibit here today. Thanks to the heroic efforts of local hero, The Crimson Cat, nobody was seriously injured, and all the exhibits survived this terrifying event."
Kelly Blake turned as the camera panned out to show she was standing next to Crimson Cat.
Crimson Cat smiled at the camera. "This was just another walk in the park for me. I'm glad I was able to thwart that maniac before anyone was injured. I'm just sorry that baneful bouncing bunny bandit escaped!"
"Oh great," she said, under her breath. "Now I'm starting to talk like her."
White Rabbit threw the remote control at the TV, breaking it. Charles covered his head as sparks flew from the cracked screen.
"That's it?" she exclaimed, stomping her foot to show just how cross she was. "That's all the publicity I received? A thirty second spot on the local news? They mistakenly identified me as a "clown"? I'm not some crazed harlequin! I'm the White Rabbit, mistress.."
"..of mayhem," finished Charles. "You know it, I know it, who cares about those other guys? Better off this way, if they don't know who you are, they aren't going to come looking for you."
"I want people to know who I am! Did you see how that self serving shrew played herself up, and didn't even mention me by name? "Ran me off" my fluffy tail! I escaped after almost blasting her into tiny kitty kibble, this was my shining moment of triumph, and she stole it from me!"
White Rabbit turned to Charles with a franticly desperate expression her face.
"Is there nothing else? They didn't break into national network programming? No story on CNN? Not even a blurb on FOX NEWS?!? "
Charles was furiously typing commands into the keyboard to his laptop. "None that I can find, and it's not even mentioned on the local news ticker, or Daily Bugle website, let alone the network homepage."
"What are you babbling about?"
"Most people get their news from online sources, instead of newspapers and TV, like they had in the past. I figured it would be here first, but it's not even on the Huffington Post."
"It's one of the largest and most well known online newspapers."
"A paperless newspaper? What a wonderfully nonsensical contradiction, I think I like it."
"Regardless, there is nothing about your crime posted anywhere, at least not that I can find. It must not have been a big enough news story."
White Rabbit's eyes lit up as a smile crept over her face. "Unless.."
"Unless what?" asked Charles.
"Unless the Daily Bugle didn't break the story yet, because they are planning to run a front page feature, detailing my thrilling battle, last minute escape, and successful theft of this priceless pocket watch!!! That must be it! I can't wait for the morning edition, where I finally get my due!"
The next day.
Charles ducked as a tea cup sailed past his head.
White Rabbit ripped the morning edition of the Daily Bugle to shreds.
"Not only was my story tucked away in section B, page 4, but again, there was nary a mention of me, while Crimson Cat was painted as the hero of the day! This was my story, not hers! I should have gotten top billing! This has put me in such a mood, and ruined my morning tea.."
White Rabbit turned on the new television that Charles had purchased to replace the broken one from the previous day. She replayed the news story from yesterday, pausing it on Crimson Cat's smiling face, midway into her telling how easy it was to "defeat" White Rabbit. She stood up and sighed, then started to solemnly wander away.
If Charles didn't know any better, he could have sworn even her rabbit ears drooped slightly.
"I'm living my dream, a dream of danger, drama, and adventure! I know I shouldn't care what anyone else thinks, but it hurts that my dream is a joke to everyone else! In the past I've had other villains callously laugh in my face when I had suggested teaming up. Now that I've finally done something right, and there is no proof because it's swept under the rug. Crimson Cat stole my kudos."
White Rabbit spun and pointed an accusing finger toward the television, at Crimson Cat's face.
"Where is my fame? Where is my glory? Where are my kudos!?!"
White Rabbit threw her umbrella like a javelin, breaking the television screen, shattering Crimson Cat's face.
Charles started to become concerned about her emotional outburst. "Hey, are you ok?"
White Rabbit shook her head. "No, I'm not "ok". However, tomorrow is another day, as they say. When the dawn breaks, I begin my schemes anew. I'm nothing if not tenacious."
White Rabbit left the room with a brave face, but Charles could still sense an underlying dejection. He glanced over at the three spherical cameras that were sitting on the table near his laptop. A roguish grin crept over his face as inspiration flooded his brain. He plugged the camera's into his USB port and began to download the footage they recorded from White Rabbit's heist.
Several Sleepless Hours Later
Charles rubbed his bloodshot eyes, trying to remain focused on his computer screen.
It had taken him all day and most of the night, but the final product turned out better than he imagined. After downloading all the footage his camera's had recorded, he edited together a video package that highlighted White Rabbit's exploits, making it look like she effortlessly defeated Crimson Cat.
Sure, it was a one sided video package, but he who controls the editing, controls public perception. Charles had uploaded the video clip to a webpage he created as a test, calling the webpage "The Rabbit Hole". Satisfied with how the test video played online, he opened up the youtube webpage, preparing to post it on a more public forum.
Channel 7 news had an account on youtube, they always uploaded their news stories so people could watch them whenever they wanted. He link his new video to their Crimson Cat story as a "response", to expose the one sided reporting. He'd show it to White Rabbit in the morning, hoping it would cheer her up.
Charles clicked the "upload" button, then retired for the night, unaware of the Pandora's Box he had just opened.
Next Issue: There has been one single foe who has ruffled my wiskers more than anyone, one sigle foe whom I have never defeated, and it’s high time I correct that situation. Who could it be? I’ll give you one hint, it’s not Spider-Man. Also, the Daily Bugel and the Hearld are not giving me my due, so I make my own newspaper. So, that should be fun.
Down the Rabbit Hole: What is this that has fallen down the Rabbit Hole? Mail?We got mail? Charles, are you sure this didn’t get sent to us by mistake. Well, well, well. I bet Dr. Doom and Red Skull don’t get fan mail. Let’s see what we have here, shall we?
I love it, yes I do. I can not wait to see more of this at all, next month- I will totally be on this like...well... I have no description at this time but I will be! xD
YOU GET A WHOLE BAG OF GOLD STICKY STARS, MY FRIEND!
Did you hear that Charles? I’m fabulous! Thank you for the gold stars. I was so excited I stuck them all over eveything I could find. I don’t think Charles was very happy with it, but he looks cute with a sticky star on his nose.
I’ll see everyone next week! I really need a cool sign off expression, like excelsior, only cooler..