Once again, I feel a million pins and needles sticking into my body as my muscles spasm from the Batman's taser. My jaw clenches so hard I feel like my teeth are going to break, and my back arches back so far I can feel my vertebrae pop. The air around me smells of ozone, before it's mixed with the odor of smoke as my t-shirt starts to singe.
"Y-.....---you're---.....--you're th--" I try to speak, the words getting caught up and stopped by the intense electrical shock. With as much willpower I can manage, I uncurl one of my fists just long enough to grab the prongs from the taser, rip them out, and toss them aside with more than a little contempt.
Sparks fly as the electrical cables dance across the ground, and I take in a deep breath before glaring at my opponent.
"As I was saying," I say between breaths, "You're the third person today who's tried to electrocute me."
Stalking towards him, I can start to feel my arms grow heavy, my head swimming. That taser was minor compared to what the self-proclaimed 'Electrocutioner' was carrying, and nothing at all compared to what Livewire can do, but with so little power left in the tank, it still did its damage.
But Batman doesn't need to know that. So I do what I always do when I'm hit with something that hurts like hell and leaves me sapped of my strength: I square up my shoulders, puff out my chest, and I keep moving forward. Most of the time, the difference between being tough and being 'invincible' is keeping up appearances.
"I don't know how you've gotten wrapped up in the Toyman's plot," I say, lunging towards him and giving him a shove that sends him sprawling back. "And right now, I don't really give a damn. I've let you go unchecked for too long, let you snap limbs, put police officers in the hospital, attempt to assassinate a district attorney."
I rush him again, grabbing him by the front of his costume, clenching the bat-symbol in my fist and feeling it tear free. The part of me that's seeing red right now wants to really unload on this lunatic, show him the same kind of brutality he's inflicted upon this city. Another part of me is holding my fist back, pleading that maybe there's more to this than it seems, that I'm missing something.
I won't hurt him, if I can avoid it. But I will stop him, here and now.
"You've turned the people of this city into a cowardly, superstitious lot," I say, hoisting him up off the ground, "convinced them that you're a monster, a bogeyman, something to be feared. But I'm not afraid of you, Batman. I'm not going to fall for your tricks, or buy into your illusions. You're not some creature of the night. You're a sick man who needs help before he hurts anyone else."
With that, I toss him up and back, not with the intent to do damage, but to get the message across that he's not going to win this.
"I'm only going to tell you once," I tell him. "Stand down, or I put you down."