Gotham City, East End
"Pick up the pace, Irons! I'm not about to print your obituary!"
Lois Lane grit her teeth and raced forward with the sprint of a lower-tier athlete, heart pounding and adrenaline pumping as she fought against the oncoming glow of the headlights belonging to the out-of-control vehicles heading directly for her and Dr. John Henry Irons. It didn't take an investigative journalist of her experience to deduce that all of this was the work of Winslow Schott, who was now undoubtedly the mastermind behind the many Toyman tasks that had ravaged Metropolis for months, as it hadn't been taken so much of a whisper of Irons' demented former business partner for an attack to suddenly commence out of nowhere. What really threw her was the fact that despite the distance between The City of Tomorrow and the current hellhole that she'd been forced to visit in an effort to get this exclusive, Toyman's reach had been vast enough to follow either her, Irons, or both across city lines. It seemed almost entirely too coincidental, and as Perry White had taught her long ago, coincidence was the invention of the naive.
Nevertheless, Lane wasn't a fool. She knew when to turn on the intrepid reporter mode and when to shut it off long enough to keep herself alive. And right now, there was nothing more important to getting out of the way of these cars, which were quickly amassing into a fleet as people within driving distance were caught in the pull of an unseen signal. Lois fought back every physical limitation that she had in order to push herself ahead, but every time that she looked back, Dr. Irons seemed to be growing farther behind. Clearly, the guy had to work on his cardio if he survived this. Spotting a nearby tree that led into a narrow junction, aswell as a steel bench that sat infront of the area, Lois' mind raced with an immediate plan of action. The problem was, Irons would have to reach her before she could enact it.
Forcing herself to stop, Lois shielded her eyes from the blinding light and spotted the first car that was making a beeline directly for her, as some were selectively targeting her and some were gunning for Irons. Eyes narrowed, she stared it down, counting the seconds away as it grew closer. This was obviously insane for her to even attempt, but she refused to let a man die just for having the nerve to tell the truth. And she could tell that every word of what John Henry Irons had told her was the truth that would provide them with the key to shutting The Toyman's deadly fun and games down for good.
"When The Man of Steel's nowhere to be seen, deadly improvisation a girl's best friend..."
Saying a small prayer for herself, Lois dove directly for the oncoming car as it sped up and beeped, the driver being a helpless woman in her mid-sixties who was frantically trying to warn the young reporter of the peril she was placing herself in by doing this. But as she looked to collide into the windshield, Lois immediately grabbed her thick leather purse and held it above her head as a makeshift shield, lessening the impact as she hit the speeding vehicle head-on. Luckily for her, the contents inside were enough to keep her from any serious danger as she bounced off of the hood, rolling onto the grass with barely even a scratch as the old woman looked back, amazed.
Lois smirked to herself for a moment, before realizing that the woman herself was in danger of colliding with the bench. She didn't mind if the car itself was totalled, but the woman inside was an innocent in all of this. Reaching out in a vain attempt to try and help her, Lois' eyes widened as the car suddenly stopped, revved it's wheels, and performed a one-hundred and eighty degree turn. Reaching into her purse, she tried desperately to look for her phone, but only felt broken plastic and shattered plexiglass from where it had once been.
"Oh, come on. Next you'll tell me that the psychopath can parallel park from here, too."
"Miss Lane, find cover! I... I can't shake them and there's nowhere else for me to go!"
Glancing over her shoulder as she stood, having been ready to make another run for her life, Lois saw Dr. Irons race towards her with sweat beading from his brow and heavy breaths echoing out of his chest. There were at least five cars targeting him compared to the one or two chasing her, making it clear that Irons was the one Schott wanted silenced the most. It was a damning turn of events that verified the story in all the ways needed - provided either of them lived to tell it. Looking back towards the car that had already tried to render her into paste, then back at Irons, Lois shot straight for the director of SteelWorks and fiercely grabbed him by the arm.
"Don't be an idiot! We're getting to cover!"
Using as much strength as she could to pull them both ahead at a running speed that met the divisional line between her and John's, Lois practically dragged Irons off of his feet and into a running leap. The car ahead was still gaining on them, but The Daily Planet's senior correspondent already had a plan ontop of her other plan. As the headlights from the car once again lit up the path ahead, Lois once again spotted the bench leading up to the tree. And all that was standing in their way was a 2004 Lime Green Chevy with a screaming woman flying into the back seat.
"Get ready to jump! You hear me?!"
"Hear you, yes! Know if I can do it? No!"
Lois shot him a smirk.
"The goal is not to die, Doctor! The landing might be a little messy, but we're not competing for the Olympics!"
Irons defeatedly shook his head.
"It's no use! Winslow is after me, and he's not gonna stop until I'm dead! You're better off leaving me behind!"
"Kinda think that we're in the same boat on this one, Doc! If Toyman went to this much trouble, he's not about to leave a witness!"
Pointing towards the tree ahead of them, Lois signaled for Irons to brace for the jump. Then, after a silent count of three, she grabbed ahold of him and shoved him ahead of her. Irons frantically looked back, horrified at the implication, but Lois gave him a reassuring nod.
"Relax! Just giving you a boost! You ready?!"
Lois looked back at the vehicles gaining traction behind them. There was no way to prevent a collision now, but the fact that the woman had been shot to the back seat of the car meant that there was less of a chance of serious injury if the front collided with another. She had to time this just right, or she'd end up getting them both killed.
Pushing Irons as hard as she could, Lois watched as the Doctor jumped as instructed and flew onto the top of the car, the extra velocity from her boost saving him from certain doom. Except now, instead of vaulting over the car as she'd intended for him to do, he was clutched onto the hood and refused to let go, too scared to make the leap.
"Doctor Irons! What are you doing?!"
As Irons looked back at her, the uncertainty of his next move made very clear by the overwhelmed expression on his face, Lois looked on in horror as the car carrying him came to an immediate and sudden stop. John Henry Irons flew from the hood of it and into the air, sent directly into a nearby tree. Lois gasped as his body fell flat to the ground, having heard a loud and sickening crunch upon his impact. If he wasn't dead, he had certainly endured enough trauma not to get back up anytime soon.
Immediately sprinting ahead to see if he was okay, knowing that the murder machines were still programmed to turn him into street pizza, Lois came to a stop as a car dashed past her, followed by another. Looking around, she realized that she was suddenly being surrounded by them, as if they were a horde of sharks waiting to bite down on a hapless beast of prey. In the distance, she could see a few of the cars heading towards Irons at an alarming speed. She tried to move forward, but the cars were moving too fast. And in the air, drones were now encircling the area once again, having caught up to the chase.
It would take a miracle to save them now. Not even Superman could get here in time to prevent what was about to happen. As Lois closed her eyes and prepared for the worst, she heard a loud and unexpected shattering of glass from a building nearby. At first, her mind thought that Kent had made it to the scene after all, despite her phone being destroyed and rendering her unable to call for help. But the person that she saw diving out of the building wasn't clad in red and blue. He was wearing a cape, but it was black - and adorning a horned mask that covered his face, stationed atop a high-tech looking motorcycle.
Lois stood astonished, distracted from her peril for the first time upon seeing this intervention.
"You've got to be kidding me..."
"Ace! Lock down a scan of every car in Grant Park! Isolate electrical engines from diesel fuel!"
I grunt as The Batcycle smashes over the hood of a truck that isn't currently occupied, nor under the control of this apparent technological virus that's entrapped multiple pedestrians in a high-speed chase across the area. When I was a block away and could see off of radar that the cars were advancing in a singular file position, it tipped me off to the idea that this was being done via remote control. While I haven't been able to pinpoint the source of the signal yet, I made sure to scan for anyone in the path of the cars so that I could prioritize getting them to safety first, before focusing on the unwitting and currently trapped drivers behind each wheel. I'll need to systematically remove them from each car and somehow dismantle the motors in the event that the signal can't be located and shut down in time, but I have to hurry. The chance of costing the city a number of innocent lives hangs between a second's miscalculation.
Smashing through a protective gate that surrounds the park's deeper area, I pick up speed as I notice a woman with black hair being circled by five of the vehicles. Seems to be an intentional method of intimidation at best, and a sign of imminent murder at the very worst. Better get to her first. As she leaps into the air and waves with both hands, trying to make it clear that she's in trouble, I leap onto the seat of the Batcycle and rev the engine even harder.
"Engage autopilot! Approach the cars ahead, then divert!"
I'll remember to thank Oracle for being the first to reveal that the cycle even had the capabilities for this function, aswell as Lucius Fox for giving me direct access to it via vocal command. The Batcycle weaves in at just the right speed and angle, allowing me to brace myself before leaping over the cars and diving directly for the woman. Wrapping my arm around her waist, I twist my body in mid-air and fire out a grapple line towards a nearby tree. Yanking us both out from the circle created by the vehicles, I direct us to a wider branch and grab on, lifting the combined weight of the woman and myself with as much strength as possible. To my surprise, she breaks free of my grip and grabs onto the branch herself.
"I... uh, appreciate the assist. But I've got it."
Pulling herself up, she unexpectedly reaches into her shirt and pulls out a lanyard. I look at the card attached for the briefest second to recognize it as Press Badge. For The Daily Planet. Immediately tensing up, I climb up to her level but refuse to look at her directly, as I don't want The Planet printing an up-close description of my suit or lower facial features.
"Guess this would be a bad time to ask for an exclusive, huh?"
Shooting the woman a stern glare, to ensure the seriousness of the situation is communicated well enough, I turn back towards the cars as they break formation and go directly for the tree itself. With that much force ramming into us their current speed, they could theoretically knock us down or upend the trunk itself. Need to divert the attention of the signal controlling them.
"Stay up here until I've taken care of this. You're better off on the high ground."
Tugging at my cape as I prepare to leap, the woman frantically points downward.
"Wait! There's a man down there that needs you more than I do! He's the one that these things are after and he's hurt!"
Scanning the area, I spot a man in the distance pressed against another tree, clearly injured and unconscious. Must have already suffered the brunt of an attack. But judging from how a few of the cars begin to branch off from the pack and head in his direction, the reporter's claims are confirmed. Giving her a nod, I fire off another grapple line and leap off of the branch.
"I'll see what I can do."
Spotting The Batcycle as it automatically tracks my movements, I spread my cape and descend atop it just as it comes to a stop. Assuming manual control once again, I jumpstart the engine and drive directly for the imperiled man too injured to save himself. Weaving out of the way of several cars, however, I notice a startling trend - they're not acknowledging me in any way. They're still hellbent on trying to kill the reporter. As I slide the cycle to a stop, my eyes widen as the cars ram directly into the tree at full speed and knock the woman off of the branch.
Too late. She falls head first onto one of the cars and rolls off, lifelessly flailing onto the grass. Blood is oozing from her temple, indicating head trauma. I look back towards the man as a set of cars come barrelling for him at breakneck speeds. Great. Now I've got two injured parties to help, but the reporter will have to wait. I need to save that man right now or he's destined for a fate much worse than her's.
"ACE! TOP SPEED, NOW!"
Watching the speedometer blindly switch from a little over a hundred miles to two hundred and fifty miles an hour, I clench at the console with one arm and reach into my belt with another. Producing the Utility Gun, I line up the shot to one of the tires of the vehicle and fire off a rubber bullet. The rubber of the tire explodes, sending the vehicle swerving off of the path. That's one down. Slamming a proximity mine squarely onto the console of the Batcycle, given that I used all of my C-4 in the fight with Clayface, I leap off of it and activate my paraglider once again, ascending upwards and watching as the only vehicle that I use to operate at night drives directly for the cars looking to crush the injured man. With an explosive attached to it.
That's three hundred million I'm never going to see again, but if it saves his life, it'll have been worth it. Now I just have to be fast enough to save the lives of the two other motorists that are still trapped within those vehicles. Firing off another grapple line towards the second vehicle, I get it to attach and press the trigger for me to be reeled. Once I zipline for the truck, I slam onto it with the armor of my boots' heel first, cracking the windshield. The man inside screams as I then smash through the glass, grab him by the jacket, and attach the grapple gun to the front of his jeans.
Firing the grapple for a nearby anchor point, I hit the reel once again and watch as the man screams even louder after being violently yanked from the front seat of his truck. With no grapple to help me save the third and final motorist, I take out a pair of batarangs and dive from the truck to the Sedan, raising both batarangs high. Slamming the razored edges into the hood of the car, I manage to keep myself from falling off as I reach through the open driver's side window, pull out a woman who's as equally terrified of me as she is of this predicament, and shield her with my cape as I jump off, carrying her in tow. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see The Batcycle closing in. Have to be sure that the woman's protected from what comes next.
"GET YOUR HEAD DOWN, NOW!"
Trembling, she ultimately complies, and I wrap the cape even tighter around her as we hit the grass. Using the other side of the cape to shield my own body, I grit my teeth and brace myself for what's about to happen.
An explosion demolishes the two thankfully unmanned vehicles and prevents them both from accelerating any further. The Batcycle's demolished aswell, but the plan worked, as I pull the cape from around the woman and stand. She wordlessly gets up herself and runs in the other direction. Smart, given that I was about to tell her to do that myself.
Now, to see if I can...
BA-BLAM! BA-BLAM! BA-BLAM!
Eyes widened once again, I look towards the skies upon narrowly being missed by a hail of gunfire, only to see... drones? Active and armed, they're an advanced model that I've yet to encounter before - designed to look, bizarrely, like toy airplanes. They're encircling the sky above me, prompting me to prepare another batarang. But as I go for the defensive stance, the red targeting lights from their on-board cameras align me in their crosshairs. One batarang isn't going to cut it, and The Batcycle is destroyed. I have to stowe the impulse to fight and take off running if I'm going to escape this.
What the hell is going on?