United States of America
“Oh, puh-lease, Bats. You of all people should know that nobody’s crazy enough to go to Arkham, except of course, those who are crazy enough to be thrown into Arkham. Makes it increasingly amusing how often I’m seeing you around these parts lately.”
This lunatic before me is responsible for thousands of deaths directly and has poisoned the city so many times I can’t even begin to summarize the collateral damage he’s racked up. At the rate that he’s been polluting the area, it would only take five years for Gotham air to be as toxic as Beijing’s.
A year ago, he and the Riddler had joined forces to paint the town green. In the end, I caught them both, detained them, and prevented any bloodshed. However, goaded by Robin, I’d bashed the Joker so severely that he’s never been the same. He still tells me we’re friends, which I’ve refuted time after time, but I can’t help but sense that he feels personally betrayed. I find it oddly troubling.
I lean in and glimpse into his eyes, the cameras built into my cowl stream the video to Oracle’s video-analytics suite, where the footage is mined to pick apart his microexpressions. There was a time when the Joker wouldn’t have lied to me. I find it oddly troubling how much I do earnestly miss those days.
“For the last time, Joker, is Professor Miles Warren in Arkham Asylum?”
He puckers up, his eyes centering not on my own, but on the camera’s housing around the zygomatic arches. He blows my eyebrows a kiss. He blows Barbara a kiss.
“Sorry, bats. I couldn’t help you if I wanted t--kk!”
My fist lands in his throat, rocking him back so hard that he would’ve fallen out of his chair if it werent to the handcuffs snagging his wrists, anchoring him to the table. Eyes wide, he gives a Mona Lisa smile, eyes dilating, goosebumps inflating before he leans over the table and, rubbing his throat, he coughs pathetically, but giddily.
”Batman, he was telling the truth.”