As Croc pursues his prey through the dark sewers, he lets his anger get the best of him.
I moved through the dark sewers, following the scent of my prey. Batman. He'd escaped me once. I would not let that happen again. My feet pushed hard against the mucky bottom of the sewer while my hands moved against the part of the walkways that were underwater, moving me along at a quick, but quiet pace. I concentrated on every move I made so I didn't slip or make noise any louder than a whisper. I was straining all my senses for any hint of the Bat's presence. Once I found him, I'd give him the beating of his life and make him tell me how to get out of here. Then I'd pull him apart piece by piece. Surprisingly enough, though, I didn't feel excited. I wasn't twitching with anticipation. It didn't feel like a long-awaited Christmas present, but more like a mission. A mission of hate made from years and years of meddling. A mission who's success had that kind of satisfaction you could wait an eternity for.
At this point, I didn't bother marking my trail. I just followed the scent I'd gotten from the boomerang. I must have made a dozen turns already. My eyelids were heavy, but my hatred out-weighed my tiredness. If I fell asleep now, he could get to me; wipe away his scent and take back his toy so I couldn't find him. Or he could try to drown me again. But as long as I stayed awake, he wouldn't have the chance and I'd have nothing to be afraid of. There I went again, thinking that I could be afraid of something. Thinking that I should be afraid of something. I reminded myself again that I was the one chasing Batman, not the other way around. He was a afraid of me, if anything. And if he wasn't, he should be. I wasn't the type to gloat over a kill before I'd made it, like Joker or Nygma. I wasn't in it for the fame of beating him. I was in it just for beating him. And when I found him...
Suddenly I heard another splash, just up ahead of me. I hadn't heard anything for a while, so it took me a bit my surprise, but I'd been waiting for it, and I was ready. I sped up just a bit, still concentrating on staying steady. I licked my jaws as I neared the spot. I was so hungry. I normally didn't like eating people. I talked like that just to scare everyone. Cash was a mistake. So was that doctor who'd tried to help me. But at this point I felt hungry enough to eat anything. As I approached, I heard another little splash, louder this time, just a bit further down the tunnel. My heartbeat was pounding now, I could barely restrain myself as I moved even quicker this time. There was another splash, followed by what sounded like a gasp, right in front of me! My control snapped and I erupted out of the water. “YOU'RE MINE!” I roared, lunging forward to grab my prey. I heard another splash to my right just before I landed back in the water. He must have dodged. I slashed to my right, connecting with nothing, but hearing another splash to my left. I swung again, still missing. I heard another trail of splashing in front of me, like he was running away. Caution to the wind, I charged forward, chasing him through the sewer.
After a few seconds of hard running, I stopped. I couldn't hear anything. The splashing was gone. The only thing I heard was my own heavy breathing and heartbeat. Where the fuck did he go?! If he had stopped, I would be right on top of him! I stretched my arms out to scan the area between me and the walls. But the walls were gone. I was at an intersection. Shit! He could be anywhere! I frantically sniffed the air, trying to find his scent again so I could follow it to him. But it was gone! I heard another splash come from my right and turned to follow it. But another came from behind me, and another from somewhere else. What the Hell was going on here?! “Where are you?!” I growled. My deep voice echoed around me, coming back at me from every direction. As the tunnels grew quiet again, I heard something. It wasn't a splash, though. It sounded like a voice. I heard it again, but I couldn't tell where it was coming from. It sounded like... like cackling. Every time I turned to face the source, it seemed to move. The tunnels were making it echo all over, as it slowly got louder. It was annoying the Hell out of me, and I couldn't hold back a savage roar. “RAAAAH! WHERE ARE YOU, BATMAN?!” The laughing only got louder, drowning out my voice before the tunnels went quiet again. It was like he was taunting me; playing against my temper and leading me on a wild goose chase!
As I tried to hold my anger back, a thought occurred to me. Batman never laughed. He never laughed at all. He used scare tactics, but this was just too much. As a matter of fact, playing hide-and-seek wasn't Batman's way either, at least whenever I'd fought him. He was too good for that. Too snappy. Too 'by-the-book.' He wouldn't waste time pissing me off when he could have just tried to knock me out. Hell, I was already trapped down here! There was no point! In fact, the more I thought about this whole situation, the more it brought to mind another guy I knew. A sadistic calculating little punk that liked to watch people suffer. And my nightmares only made me think about that person more. It made sense. He probably followed me down here to get revenge by poisoning me with that fear toxin shit. “CRANE?!” I growled. Hatred coursed through my veins and I felt like my blood was boiling. Scarecrow, that mother fucker! He'd tricked me! He stole one of Batman's boomerangs to make me think he was behind all this! He was just like everyone else in this world. He thought he was better than me, putting me down, laughing at me! He was just like those rich people from before; he was afraid of me. He thought I was nothing more than a big, dumb, angry, monster to study and torture like a science project! Well, if he wanted a monster, he'd get one!
I roared and swung my right arm around, smashing into one of the corners of the intersection. I ripped a chunk from it and tossed it down one of the tunnels, hearing it smash into the wall. I swung around again, punching another corner with my left hand and causing the concrete to shatter. I reached up above me and grabbed a bunch of the rusted pipes in each hand and ripped them off the ceiling. I bent and crushed them in my hands, snapping a few in-two and throwing them down the tunnels, raising the sounds of metal sliding against stone as I tried to find my enemy. I gripped the ones I had left like bats and swung them around, smacking them against the walls of the sewer. The metal bent & broke, screeching as it was otherwise destroyed in my grip. All the ones in my left hand were ruined, so I grabbed the ones in my right with both hands and began beating them relentlessly against the closest wall, roaring in frustration as I did. With every blow came the thought of everyone who'd ever looked down at me. Crane, Batman, Cash, the doctors, the mob bosses, the people of Gotham, all the way back to the kids who pointed and laughed at me in school. Tommy Foley, Julia DuPree, Richie Card, and all the others I couldn't remember!
After a few minutes my rage finally started to subside. My breathing and heartbeat again pounded in my ears. My arms ached again, and felt like they were shaking. I dropped the metal pipes, letting them splash into the water at my feet. I leaned my left hand against the wall I'd just obliterated, while holding my right hand to my chest to calm me down. More cackling came, more quietly this time. Mocking me just to rile me up again and waste my energy. But as much as I wanted to believe it was that little freak Crane, something just didn't add up. If it were him, he would have used his fear toxin on me. He was too cowardly not to. But I was still just seeing darkness, not hallucinating monsters. I couldn't be under the effects of his toxin. And if I wasn't injected with the toxin, I should have been able to smell his rotten stench and the blood from the wound I'd given him. Plus, Crane was a smart-guy; a talker. If I'd figured him out, why was he still just laughing? Why wasn't he taunting me? None of this made any sense! “Just what the Hell are you?” I breathed quietly, half to myself and half to this thing.
I heard the cackling again. It was closer this time. It sounded like it was coming from a tunnel behind me. It felt like something was creeping up on me. I tensed all my aching muscles, and strained all my senses. I braced myself for a counter-move if it came at me from behind. The few seconds of silence that followed felt unnervingly-long. The sudden splash made me snap. I spun around and lunged forward; my left hand going for the bat-boomerang under my belt, and my right hand outstretched, ready to rip something apart. This would end NOW!
My head exploded in pain as I smashed into the corner, knocking the wind out of my lungs and the thoughts out of my head. I heard more bits of concrete shake loose as I fell to my left and landed on my side on the walkway. Unable to control myself through my savagely-painful dizziness, I rolled to my left again and fell off the walkway into the water, quickly losing consciousness. The cackling echoed quietly around me again as I sank below the surface.
A/N: I tried as hard as I could to not make that seem comical. So, Croc finds himself in quite a predicament here. On a mission to kill Batman, he finds that someone else could be behind this whole ordeal! Is this really a revenge plot by Scarecrow? Is there something else lurking beneath Arkham Asylum? Is the man who calls himself Killer Croc finally losing his mind? Or is it something else? You'll have to read the sixth and final chapter to find out the answer.