Categories > Anime/Manga > Princess Tutu > Princess Tutu and the Secret Six


by paladin313 0 reviews


Category: Princess Tutu - Rating: PG - Genres: Crossover - Published: 2009-05-29 - Updated: 2009-05-30 - 14688 words - Complete


The second semester started with aptitude tests, and the five of the six that were not in the advance placement class were surprised that they were not placed in the advanced class, but in the advanced placement class! Since they knew that there was only a limited amount allowed in that class, they wondered how they were let in. As it turns out, five of the six already in that class were told that they would be student teachers for the rest until it was time for their classic variation tests at the end of the year, and given full credit for the effort. This meant that the six were now the AP class. The main reason was that Mr. Katt could not only ready them for careers, but also hone the act in this way. When Fakir queried if that was against school rules, Mr. Katt assured them that this was nothing wrong. This was for two reasons: one, the board thought them good enough for AP, and second, since Mr. Katt was the sole instructor for the AP class, he had the final word on who he would instruct, because he knew who would be teachable in that level of a class. Okay, so this was a bit of the bending of the rules, but he knew that these six were the best candidates for fame that the ballet school had seen in a long time, and, as a teacher, he felt the obligation to give them the uppermost attention to get them there. This class was actually in the afternoon, so they could adjust their schedules. In fact, this shortened their days some, and the other five started taking some musical theory classes to improve on their playing. The AP class would take up the last block of the afternoon, and thus, it could be as long as they needed. Thus, they did their Tai Chi at that time as a part of the class, as well as the drills that would hone them as a team. This consisted of the basics, drills, and doing things that would be done as a part of their act—both in dance and in music. For Billy, this took a load of his classes, and now he could concentrate on other things. As far as the shows go, this was left to the lower classes, because their case was a special one, and they would be doing shows on a regular basis anyway. Mr. Tawny had contacted Billy, and he loved the idea. About the second week into the semester, he came to visit, and he and Mr. Katt struck it off right away. After watching them perform a bit, Mr. Tawny said that they indeed had something, and began to ponder some ideas. He needed some kind of an engine to get them into the public eye, and then he remembered that, in Fawcett City, there was a national talent contest show called “Strut Your Stuff,” and this was something they could do that would not affect their class work. If they could win that, or place high, they would have a chance. Thus, they had to come up with routines that would be fitting enough to not only show their stuff, but also good enough to win. If this happened, then they could book the second half of the summer touring the United States, as Billy had wanted. Mr. Tawny knew that a show like this would be a good test for seeing if they had something that America wanted to see. Thus, the class then went to work on putting together enough numbers to last the stretch of shows that would make up the contest. They would be ready.

As time passed, the six of them grew so close as performers, they began to know how the other acted and thought as they performed—in both music and dance. In other words, they were becoming so tight they were almost one entity: something that Mr. Katt had intended all along. One routine they had formulated was a much-augmented version of what they had did in the alumni show dealing with “Across the Universe.” However, all six were to dance in this, and to add to it, they used the school’s recording studio to cut a record of them singing and playing this. This could then be played as they danced, displaying both their musical and dancing skills simultaneously. By this point, Ahiru had learned to play both lead licks on the autoharp, and was becoming expert on the dulcimer. Mytho continued on the violin, and added drums to the mix. Rue added keyboard to her talent pool, and was able to add the accordion as a result, combining the best of keys and the concertina, upon which she had also learned to play quite well. The judges of that show were in for an entertaining time. In between all this, the three seniors were able to put together their classic variations much easier than what they had once thought. Because of the act, and the extra attention they were receiving, they all could have gone professional at that point. Then it came time for the tryout.

Two weeks before they were to go to New York, they were to go on “Strut Your Stuff,” and try out. There was a panel of judges who were involved in the entertainment industry on one fashion or another, and there was a live audience as well. They were glad for the audience, because, if they all responded well, it would influence the judges. However, if the judges panned them, and yet the audience still responded well, then this was also fine. Mr. Tawny explained that, if the audience responded well, it showed that they did have an audience, and their appearance on the program would still propel them into what they sought, though it might take them a bit longer. They were pumped up, and were ready to put on a show. As they waited their turn to go in, there were cameras filming certain ones here and there that seemed to have something about them that made them unique. Mr. Katt and Tawny both told them to be themselves if the cameras came to them. Even if they were to cut up some, this would sell well in the public eye. They would seem approachable, and human enough for the common person to relate to them. Eventually, the camera came to them, and they began to receive questions. They explained whom they were, how they came together, and then just began to have fun. The interviewer commented on how calm they were, but Ahiru said that they all felt like they had rockets in their stomachs, but that was mostly from the excitement of just being able to entertain people once again. She said, “If everyone goes home happy and smiling, it doesn’t matter what happens today!”
Mr. Tawny was able to contain his excitement, although he wanted to roar with glee. She had just said something that probably already connected with the viewing audience. They then asked who was in charge, and they all pointed to Ahiru. Rue said, “She is the youngest, 14, but she is the brains of the outfit. Billy does the music, and Mr. Katt here is our manager and choreographer, and I help in the choreography department.”
“How is she the brains?” they asked.
“When we kick around ideas,” said Mytho, “she just listens, and then somehow takes the best ideas, puts them together in her head, and then hits us with a bombshell. When she speaks, we say, ‘enough said,’ and get to work.”
They all laughed at this, and the two cats were ecstatic. These kids were selling themselves to the world, and they had not even taken the stage yet! They just hoped that they would be as good on stage as well as in the interview. Then, they gave the cameras all something that would floor the entire room. Just before it was time, they all got into a circle, with Mr. Katt in the middle, and he led them in the haka. This brought the room to silence. Then they all applauded, and before they went in, the interviewer had to ask, “What was that?”
“Just our way of getting pumped up!” they said, and went in. However, Rue did not see Mytho slip something into his sack before they went in. She was going to be in for a big surprise.

It was now their turn and they all came out and took their positions. Before this, there had been a string of bad acts, and the judges looked worn out. Mr. Katt seemed worried, but Mr. Tawny assured him that this was good because, if they were as good as he himself thought; this would actually work in their favor. They have been bombarded with garbage, and they would be ready for a breath of fresh air. The one who seemed to be in charge, a well-known talent scout, said very indifferently, (not even looking up from his papers,) “Okay, who are you?”
Ahiru piped up, “We are the Pas De Six!”
Another on the panel, a female, smiled when she recognized the toe shoes, knowing that this could be interesting, and said, “Do you dance ballet?”
Billy, to joke around a bit, said, “We hope so!”
This got a laugh from the audience, causing another panel member to ask, “Are you not sure?”
Fakir then said, “Pay us well, and we’ll dance the Charleston if you want!”
That got a huge laugh from the audience, considering the deadpan expression on Fakir’s face when he said it. At this, the talent scout looked up, knowing that they may actually have something at that point. They were already showing a good stage presence, confidence, and even a sense of humor, despite the competitive atmosphere. Mary then said, “We also sing and play as well.”
This got his attention even more. He then had to ask, “So, how do you describe your act?”
“Very well,” said Rue, “at least, I think we describe it well enough.”
Now the panel was laughing at the cheeky comment. Mytho, returning things to a bit more of a serious tone, then said, “We are a song and dance act like you have never seen. In fact, the music we are going to dance to is going to be us singing and playing, so we hope you enjoy it!”
With that, the talent scout said, “Okay then, off you go.”
They repositioned themselves, and began to dance. Normally, this number would have had certain lighting hues and changes within it. However, because it was raw talent that got one on the show, they had to make sure the dance was good enough without it. Then, if they were told to, they could then do it on the main show with all of that, taking things to a new level. Mr. Katt insured that there was enough there to dazzle any crowd. They mixed the classical and contemporary styles well as the proceeded, insuring that the panel knew that they were not some fly by night act, but a disciplined crew. By the time they were finished, the crowd thunderously applauded on their feet. This was just the shot in the arm the panel needed. The third panel member that had spoken said, “You know, after what we have seen today, you have no idea how refreshing that was to see. I never figured that ballet could look and sound like that. Do you sing live as well?”
Ahiru spoke here, and said, “Sometimes we all dance, sometimes we all sing and play, while sometimes, some of us sing, and some dance.”
“Well, I can tell you this,” he said, “you six already seem like a polished, professional act now. If three of you are going to be in an art school for a few more years, I cannot wait to see how that will turn out by the time you graduate. Good job!”
The second panel member who spoke then said, “How old are you: I mean, who is the youngest?”
“I am: I’m 14,” said Ahiru.
“We three are all 18,” said Rue.
“So, what you are telling me,” she then said, “is that, this young, you are already a polished act, quite professional act. You have no idea how encouraging this is for me to see. You have so many years more and it can only get better from here. What are your names?”
“I am Ahiru Arima,” said Ahiru, “this is Billy and Mary Batson, this is Mytho and Fakir Schmidt, and this is Rue Kuroah.”
Finally, the talent scout spoke, and said, “You have talent in several areas, you are unique from any other act out there, and still can connect with an audience. You have wit and charm, and seem to do this for the sheer enjoyment of this, no matter what anyone thinks. This may be a bit premature, but the six of you have the potential to be the Beatles of the ballet world, and maybe music if you keep it up. Certainly, you may turn children on to the form, and even prove that this is not a sissy dance form, but a form for anyone to enjoy, and even do, though they may never go into show business. Well done!”
Then the whole panel gave their approval, and said that they were all into the consideration phase of the program. They would then be called back if they decided they would be worth giving a shot to win the show. After that, Mytho then said, “I waited for this point; because I wanted to be sure what I do next did not taint your judgment, or the judgment of the audience.”
He then pulled out a ring case, and got on one knee before Rue, opened it to reveal a diamond ring, and said, “Rue Kuroah, when we graduate, and before the entire nation, I ask for your hand in marriage.”
Rue was in shock, trembling, and screamed, “Yes, yes, oh yes!” and they kissed and embraced right on the stage, which brought even louder cheering and applause. When they had stopped, Ahiru then said, “Thank you for your consideration. And now, let us leave the stage with proper style, and ballet decorum.”
At this, they lined up, shortest to tallest, all turned stage right; put their right hands on the shoulders before them, and began to march as they swung their left arms in cadence by their sides as they sung a vaudeville exit tune. They went all the way to stage right, turned, and exited stage left as they waved at the audience. They all cheered and applauded again. They had indeed been given a treat that day. The panel even spent a few minutes chatting about what they had just seen, including the cheek that the seemingly white haired one had proposing right there on the stage. Backstage, all the others were congratulating the couple, and commenting on the chutzpah that Mytho had to ask the way he did. They all knew it was coming, but they did not expect this. Rue asked, tears of joy in her eyes, “You nut! Why did you do this now?”
He laughed, and said, “I had to be sure you would not say, ‘No,’ lipshun!” knowing that she would have said, “Yes,” anyway. He just wanted it to be memorable. Mr. Katt was out of his head with joy. Mr. Tawny said, “You kids are on your way, no matter what! You now just have to wow them again, and get through to the final. If you do, I’ll start booking the appearances. However, I will need approval from Ahiru’s parents, because they have to approve the schedule. I do not want to burn you out, but I also want to book enough shows to establish your act.”
“I’ve already contacted them, and they are coming. Daddy’s taking some leave, because he says he wants to ‘chaperone.’ I think he just wants to spend time with me. That’s okay. We’re all set.”
They were told that the callback would be in the first week of April, so they need to be ready with something just in case. Mr. Katt assured that they would be ready. However, the six had other pressing business over spring break.

They arrived in New York right on time, and they were met by Superman. “Hi, kids,” he said warmly, “I hear you had a great tryout for that talent show.”
“Well, they are going to broadcast it about one week before they call us back to let us know if we go on to the next round,” said Ahiru.
“Great!” said Superman, “I also suggest you six make your changes, because we expect to get to work right away. We’ve set up some rooms in the hall, and all the principals that know your secret identities are going to be the only ones there. Therefore, if you wish to revert to your present forms, it will be okay.”
They found a discreet place to change, and then Superman escorted them to the hall. Once they had all their things in their rooms, they came out to the main room where the meeting table was. Six chairs were set up on the other side, and the others were on the other. Present there was Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, and the Flash. In addition, there was Raven, at Tutu’s request, and she was so glad to see her soul sister again. Superman then said, “If you will take your seats, we shall begin.”
Once done, he continued, “What we are doing for the next two weeks shall be to your benefit, considering that your main foe has been quiet for months, which means she is gearing up for something big. Therefore, the training you shall be getting here will be crucial to defeating her. It is good that you have been active these few months, stopping the local crime here and there. However, as the saying goes, ‘Welcome to the big leagues!’ You will be going on patrols here in New York for two reasons: one, there is plenty here for you to train on, and two, one of our major foes is now trying to operate here in New York, and he has been on a spree. You shall be a great aid to us in stopping him. More on that later: for now, we are going to talk to you about what you have been doing since September and telling you how you have been doing as heroes, and how you can improve. With that, I hand the floor over to our chief strategist, Batman.”
He sat down, and then Batman took the floor. “First of all,” he began, “Congratulations on your engagement, and on your tryout. If you six do well in that, I am going to see what the Wayne Foundation can do about getting you a theater to perform in, so you have somewhere to continue your careers. Now, let’s get down to business. You all work well together as a team, and even better since you have all had an act form as your alter egos. However, some things need to be mentioned. One thing is that you tend to get a bit sloppy from time to time. For example, the drug bust that the Chess Knights did almost cost them their lives. I think it had something to do with you possibly underestimating Van Hellmann and his resourcefulness. On the upside of that, it was good that you called the local police before engaging your targets that night. If you had not, I might not be addressing the two of you right now.”
The Knights cringed at the memory. They had been sloppy, and Fakir sat at the wrong end of a .44. If Brock had not shown up when he did, it would have been all over. He continued, “Another thing to address is Tutu. I have noticed that you have rarely gone on the offensive, and then only if you had no other resort. On the one hand, your restraint in the face of danger is an asset. However, too much caution at the wrong moment could be the matter between seeing another day, and reading about you in the obits. I am sorry, princess, but you have to be more aggressive, or it might cost you your life.”
This made Tutu shudder. She still had a hard time with doing harm to anyone, because she was not all about that. She would rather aid than harm. However, he did have a point, and so she asked, “So, what should I do?”
“Your Tai Chi training is good, because you can make quick work out of an opponent. The law does speak about minimal force necessary to resolve a conflict. You certainly have the capabilities to do this. Just because you may have to fight does not mean that you have to enjoy it. Claire teaching you Aikijutsu could help in this, because that involves a lot of evasion, using your opponents own weight against him, and letting your opponent do himself in. You do this fairly well already. However, combine that with the Aikijutsu, and that could become more efficient to where you would absolutely be using minimal force, and still be delivering a forceful blow. In time, you will be able to take on three attackers, and have them stumbling all over themselves. Adding in those fighting fans would make it even more efficient. Claire, on the other hand, needs to tone it down a bit. In some cases, you walk the line in your attacks. You have a lot to learn from Tutu about control and restraint: something I figured that you would already have considering your martial arts background. However, you do need to tone it down. This brings up another point: the use of deadly force. It is not written in stone somewhere that a superhero cannot use deadly force. However, there are two things to remember. First, if you ever consider the use of it, you have to be sure that you, or others, are in threat for your lives. I cannot emphasize that more. Second, the reason why any of us are reluctant to use it is that we realize the power that we wield as heroes. It is easy to begin to think of yourself more highly than you ought when you get into the habit of deadly force. I grant you, a police officer has to use it more often than any average citizen does. However, even he has to act within certain criteria. Even if he does, and even if it was quite clear that deadly force was justified, he still has to turn in his badge and gun until the board officially says that his actions were justified. As for us, knowing how much more power some of us wield, we cannot get into the habit. The bottom line of that is that we must always keep high within our hearts the value of human life. Because of my background, deadly force is a line I refuse to cross, lest I even become remotely like the scum that did in my parents. Now, in that football stadium, it was easy to justify deadly force, because this was more of a case of a threat to national security, and more lives than that poor fan that tried to be a hero were at stake. However, I do applaud your show of restraint in taking many of them alive, so that they could be questioned, and be made a public example. Yet, Claire, what you did to that mob boss was on the razor’s edge of the borderline. While it is true that your lives could have been at risk in that room with him, if you had not had a sympathetic police officer, you would have been in jail right now. In other words, depending on which way the wind blows, that might not have been justified. Therefore, you must learn to get your emotions under control, or you may end up just as wrong as the evil you face. There is a fine line between being a superhero and a vigilante. Now, what we are going to do is split you up, and use you in different areas of the city, teamed up with some of us, so that you may learn some of the things we are talking about.”
With that, Superman began to hand out the assignments, “Claire, you will be with Wonder Woman. The Chess Knights will be with Batman and Robin. Mary, you will be with me. Tutu, you and Raven will be together. Wonder Woman, you two will have Central Park, and Raven, you and Tutu will not be too far away. You two will have the theater district, near Times Square. That way, if either of you need reinforcements, you can be there for each other. Chess Knights and the Dynamic Duo, you four have the Bronx. Mary and I will cover the port. Batman will now continue, and explain the threat, who our main target is, and how we may find him.”
Batman retook the floor, and this time, punched up on the computer screen the images that would help in the investigation. “We are dealing with a particular narcotic that has been wreaking havoc on the streets. It is a hallucinogenic substance is highly addictive, packaged in this green and orange wrapping, as you see here. It is so addictive, all it takes is one dose, and you are hooked. One cannot really overdose on it; however, there is a deadly effect to it. Over a matter of a couple of months, the addict’s body and face begin to turn a chalky white, and the lips begin to turn a deep red. Slowly but surely, the addict begins to go insane. Because of the addictive nature of the substance, and the dissolution of the sanity, the victim has absolutely no sense to seek for help, and ends up dying in a laughing fit. By this point, the body is completely chalk white, the lips ruby red, and the face contorted into a ghastly smile, as seen here. By the packaging, and by the effect, there is only one person that this can be: the Joker.”
Batman punched up his picture, and although he looked like something out of the circus, his smile still could make someone’s spine tingle in fear. Tutu then said, “Is this his normal modus operandi?”
“Indeed, things like this are typical for him,” said Batman.
“Then I do not understand,” said Tutu, “Why would he so much as announce that it was him that did this?”
“I see that this is your first experience in dealing with a serial criminal,” said Batman, “Someone like him is very arrogant. He or she feels his or herself to be more intelligent than the local law enforcement to the point where, though he leaves clear clues that could get him caught, he feels that they still could not catch him. Normally, this is true. The worst example is the serial killer. He will leave a trail of bodies behind him, and, sad to say, it may take many deaths before he is caught. The Joker is both a serial criminal, and serial killer. He is a reprobate of the first degree. He kills indiscriminately, and feels absolutely no remorse. He especially loves to do things that taunt me, because I am his biggest challenge: of all the supers around, I was the first to figure him out, and catch him somewhat easily. Now, the JLA all know his ways, and he loves doing all he can to figure out how to thwart us, for no other reason then to simply taunt us.”
Mary spoke at this point, and asked, “Then, why is anyone even trying to buy this. I mean, even drug addicts know better than to go after a product like that.”
“That is the trick behind it,” said Batman, “At first, it is disguised as another drug for the first few doses. Then, the dealers can be more open with its sale, once they know they have their victim hooked. If the victim tries to take too much, all it does is increase the euphoric state, and accelerate the process towards death. Because of the way it kills, the product is called ‘Happy Face’ by the addicts on the street. Believe me, there is nothing ‘happy’ about it!”
White Knight then chimed in, and said, “This must mean then that those dealing in the stuff are not the normal dealers.”
“Good eye,” said Batman, “That does help us narrow down the field a bit. However, they do cover their tracks well. Therefore, what should we be looking for?”
Black Knight thought for a moment, and then said, “We should be looking for some kind of a gang that looks like they are being ‘bankrolled’ to do this.”
“Very good start,” said Batman, “What else?”
Claire then said, “If they are bankrolled, then we have to look for a hand of organized crime behind it.”
“You guys have been working on your detective skills,” said Batman, “It certainly shows!”
Tutu said, “Experience with this since September has taught us much. It is sad to say that some of that has been the hard way.”
“Well, that is not the most fun way to learn,” said Batman, “but it is indeed the most effective. Thus, what is the next step: now think about the places where we are going tonight?”
Mary thought, “We are going to look for some organized crime that may be running on the docks.”
“Excellent,” said Batman, “But you are going to be looking for some rival mobsters that may look for a chance to get back at one another.”
“How then can we know which group to go after?” she asked.
“That’s where we and the Chess Knights come into play,” said Batman, “because we will be hitting the spot where the heaviest use is: the Bronx. If we can find a gang dealing in it, and bankrolled, we can start there.”
Tutu thought for a minute, and then asked, “So, what do we look for in Times Square?”
“Since you have that counseling nature,” said Batman, “you are a natural to work with some of the addicts that live there. I grant you, the previous mayor did much to clean up that area, but that is not to say that it has been cleaned up completely. If you can find one, help him or her, and then find out who has been dealing to him or her, we can then make a connection, and then move in.”
“Then, what do we look for?” said Claire.
“This is where your feminine charm comes in,” he said, “because there is a pimp that works the area, and he may have some information for us about underworld connections, especially if he works for a rival group that stands against the one bankrolling the dealing. I guarantee you; the hands of the Joker will be all over this mob group. Your appearance may get his attention right away, and he may offer to have you join his harem. Then you can do what you can to get the information out of him. If all goes well, we can peg who is behind it, where they are being supplied, shut it down, and then go in for the big prize.”
“Will I not stand out in Times Square?” asked Tutu.
“Hey, kid,” said Flash, “This is New York City: you could walk down the street dressed as the Jolly Green Giant, and no one would say a word to you, especially there. They may think you are advertising for the Met, and that will allow you to move about unhindered: the main reason why we wanted you and Raven to go there.”
Superman then spoke, and said, “Also, the main reason it is just you five, is because Captain Marvel has been through all this, and he will be here observing your actions in reserve. If it gets bad for any of us, he and the Flash will be there—no pun intended—in a flash. Thus, you all have your missions, so get some rest, because it could be a long night.”

As everyone awoke, they either changed clothes or changed form, and prepared for the evening. They reported to their respective tutors, and prepared to face the evening. When the Chess Knights reported to Batman, he had a couple of surprises. “The first thing that I need to know,” asked Batman, “is do you two wear any kind of body armor?”
“Body armor?” asked White Knight.
“No, we do not,” said Black Knight.
“I figured not,” said Batman, “I didn’t think that you would be able to afford such things. Thus, I took the liberty.”
He then produced two sets of upper body armor. It was not what the average police officer would wear, because it was designed to provide full protection, and still allow full mobility. They were able to fit these under their tunics easily, and then Batman had another surprise. “You’ll need these,” he said. With that, he produced two belts—one white, and one black—with several pockets. “Although I question the color of your uniform, White Knight, you have done well so far, so that won’t be questioned. However, every crime fighter like us needs the tools contained in these belts. I have the basic kits right here. You have the following: grappling hooks with a launching system and cable, handcuffs, magnesium flash pellets, tear gas pellets, smoke screen pellets, flashlight, magnifying glass, listening cones, slots for your swords and communicators, sample tubes and tweezers, rubber gloves, gas mask, lock picks, small amounts of C-4, blasting caps, and a leather man.”
Both boys were staggered at the amount of things contained in the belts. He then said, “There are also open pockets for storage of things you may find, and things that you may find useful as tools.”
The boys put them on, and they prepared to leave. Black Knight rode in the Batmobile, and White Knight rode with Robin on his cycle. Meanwhile, Mary and Superman both flew off to the docks. “Captain Marvel says that he has taught you much about controlling your abilities,” said Superman.
“He sure has,” she said, “and at first, I thought, ‘What’s the big deal?’ but I sure learned otherwise!”
“Give me an example,” he said.
“Well,” she pondered, “I remember our battle with Mr. Mind. I was in such a hurry to get here that I overshot New York by about 40 miles.”
“So stopping was a problem?” he asked.
“At first it was,” she said, “But I have learned much in the way of control since that point.”
“Good,” he said, “Then you’ll understand what I am about to say. Because we three—you, Captain Marvel, and I—are three of the most powerful heroes in the world, we have to be able to show restraint in all things. It is so easy for us to say, ‘No one on earth can harm us, and we should be able to do what we want,’ but that is dangerous. If we ever get like that, we will get sloppy, do something foolish, and run into the one villain that has our names tattooed on his or her forehead. Though you do not have weakness as you are right now, when you are your normal self, you are perfectly human. At that point, you are quite vulnerable, and you cannot stop disaster from happening, especially if you cannot say, ‘Shazam.’ Therefore, using minimal force is one of the most important things for us, and one of the hardest things to learn. Keep that in mind.”
“So, what are we looking for right now?” she asked.
“We are going to await word as to which crime family is involved,” he said, “and in the meantime, we will be observing the actions of the trucks coming and going out of the port here, seeing if we cannot stumble on a target of opportunity.”
Thus, they continued their patrol. At that time, Claire and Wonder Woman were arriving in Central Park. “Our job is going to be easier,” said Wonder Woman, “All we have to do is extract information from our target, and see if it matches up with what everyone else may have found.”
“What if our informant will not talk?” asked Claire.
“This is where we have to find more persuading means,” said Wonder Woman, “and also be able to show the most restraint. The man we seek to contact will seem repulsive, considering who and what he is, and so, if he resists, it would be easy to give in to the wish to throttle him. We cannot do that. First, the law stands in our way. We do have to respect the law. Second, he may lie to us, just to stop the beating. That then will absolutely put a fly in the ointment.”
“I suddenly wish Tutu was with us,” said Claire, “She has a way of getting this kind of information without force.”
“I know,” said Wonder Woman, “this is why we split you up. You have to learn to extract this kind of information without that kind of help. You may not have her around all the time, and so you are stuck. However, because we do need this information, and you just cannot make any headway, I have a way.”
She then patted her hip where the lasso sat. “Yes, this will be an interesting evening,” thought Claire.

Raven had her own way of getting places, and, unlike Claire, she could take others with her. They appeared in Times Square without incident, right in an alley where they could not be seen arriving. Raven flashed a rare smile, and said, “Come on, let’s go!”
“No one is going to say anything?” asked Tutu.
“This is New York City, honey!” she exclaimed, “There is nothing that these people have seen that would make them think of you strangely.”
Thus, they stepped out, and it was true: no one even paid them any mind, except the occasional proposition from a passing man, he thinking that they had another purpose. Tutu was taken in by all the sights and lights, but it was not entirely unfamiliar to her. Raven asked, “Have you ever seen anything like this?”
“In Tokyo,” she said, “it is very much the same.”
“Except here, you can read the signs!” joked Raven.
“You seem so happy,” said Tutu, “You do not seem the brooding girl that I met last winter.”
“Around you, I feel so comfortable,” said Raven, “You are not judgmental. You are very accepting.”
“Everyone needs love,” said Tutu, “even you! Who cares about your past! Your old nemesis has been vanquished, has he not?”
“Yes,” she answered.
“Then what is there to fear about you?” Tutu asked, “You have taken what one has meant for the bad, and you turned it to good. In that, there is nothing of which to be ashamed.”
Raven hugged her, and said, “I tell you, I want to be there to help you in your final fight. A raven fighting a raven: who would have thought?”
They giggled, as if they were there to have fun, and not on a mission. As they passed by, they saw a middle-aged fellow out on the street, guitar case open, playing for anyone passing by. He was just finishing a song when they walked up. “Why hello,” he said, all warm and friendly, “And have you come to entertain as well?”
Tutu said, “Not really, however, I have a friend that used to do what you do. I just want you to know that you should keep playing: one day, it will be big for you!”
“Why thank you, ma’am!” he exclaimed, “You give a man hope. Say, let me play something for you, and let’s see you dance. You seem dressed for it.”
“I’d love to!” she exclaimed. With that, he started to play the song “On Broadway.” She began to dance to it, and that began to attract a crowd. He began to sing with fervor he had not felt in ages, and it added to the scene. Soon, his case was being filled up with more money that night than he had seen all week. When he finished, the crowd loudly applauded, as he bowed, and she curtsied. He then said, “Thank you, folks! I’ll be taking a short break for about ten minutes, and then I’ll be back.”
He then turned his attention to the two girls as the crowd broke up, and he said, “The cops say that I have to do that every fifteen minutes or so. I have to keep the crowds moving, lest I create a hazard, or set up someone to get his pocket picked. Wow! I haven’t seen cash like that in ages! Thank you…ah, what’s your name?”
“My name is Princess Tutu,” she said, to which he responded, “Now that seems like a fitting name.”
Just as he was saying that, the three of them saw out of the corners of their eyes a young girl in tattered clothes, with a very pale face, rushing to a nearby alley. He shook his head, and said, “Poor girl! She got into that Happy Face stuff, though she did not know that it was that at first. Now she can’t stay away from it.”
This was just what the girls had been looking for, and Tutu said, “Thank you for reciprocating help just now! She is actually someone that we just may be looking for.”
“Why are you looking for someone like her?” he asked.
“Tonight, a life is going to be changed for the better,” said Raven, “Hope the best for us.”

The girls approached the alley, and saw that the effects of Happy Face were taking a deadly root. She was incessantly giggling from time to time, with a crazed look on her face, white face, and red lips. She was opening up the packaging, and it revealed—of all things—a chocolate! Apparently, this was the delivery method. She prepared to eat it, when a hand reached out and slapped it away. “No!” said Tutu, “Please, do not do this anymore! There are people that do care about you!”
For a moment, she looked enraged. However, she then began to laugh as if someone had told her a funny joke, and she started to go for the drug on the ground. She was so far gone, it could have fallen in the garbage, and she still would fetch it out and ate it! Tutu swiftly stepped in front of it, took the fifth position in her feet, and then the fourth to knock the hand away as she tried to reach around to get the candy. She stopped laughing, and then took a desperate look to her, and said, “Please, I must! The itches: I have to have it!”
“You poor child,” said Tutu sympathetically, “Let me help you! I dance to guide your heart.”
Raven watched with keen relish, wanting to watch what it was that she had heard so much about. Tutu did her normal gesture, and bent into an arabesque as she reached out her hand. Somehow, the woman was seeing humor in the whole situation, but was also expressing what was really inside her as she began to laugh, as if to say, “There is no help for me.”
Yet, she took her hand anyway, thinking it all a joke. Suddenly, her laughter left her face as they made the link and the session started. However, as Tutu tried to start, it seemed like, in their minds, that they were dancing in a fog. The each of them could see the other’s silhouette, but they could not see face-to-face. Tutu figured that this had something to do with the mental haze that narcotics created. “I see your outline, and you dance so divinely, but I cannot see you! Why will you not show yourself to me?”
“I see the same thing,” she said, “Why not show yourself to me?” and she began to laugh. Raven saw the plodding way the dance was progressing, and she figured that something was wrong. As the woman bent backwards, both hands holding Tutu’s, one leg stretched straight out, Raven put her hands on her head, so that she could be involved. In the minds of them, Raven appeared with a golden aura about her, as if to be a guiding light. “Ah,” said Tutu, “I see you would like to dance as well.”
“Maybe,” said Raven, “But I think we need to clear the fog. Let me help.”
Externally, Raven began to put her healing powers to work. The first thing that she did was to purge out any of the narcotic that was in her body that was leaving the lingering effects that shown in her skin and face. She began to clean out all the pores and cells of her body from the drug. She then began to restore the chemical balance in her that should have been there before she started taking the drug, so that she would suffer no withdrawal symptoms. Mentally, it was as if Raven was the sun, burning off the fog. After that, it showed as if the whole place were covered in dirt and dust. However, Raven began to call up a breeze to blow it all away. Now the place looked clean and pristine. In fact, it did not seem like an alley any more. It looked like a flower-filled field. Raven then said, “There, that should help you,” and she turned to walk away. However, Tutu said, “Oh, please do not go! Dance with us!”
“But, I don’t know how to dance like that,” she said.
“That is okay,” said Tutu, “Just dance how you feel.”
Thus, Raven joined the dance, liked how she felt, and loved what she saw. Tutu asked the woman, “You do this so well! Tell me, were you a ballerina?”
“Yes,” she said.
“What happened?” asked Tutu.
“I got hurt,” she said, “I have a notable limp, and I cannot dance. But how am I doing it now?”
“In your heart,” said Tutu, “you can do as you please. If you were a ballerina, you never forget what you know in your heart. This is why you can dance now!”
“No one wanted a gimped dancer,” she said, “and dancing is all I know. I wanted to teach, but no one would take me as a teacher. I ran out of money, and I ended up here.”
“But why the drugs,” asked Raven, “You know what that would lead to.”
“I was desperate,” she said, “I wanted to escape the pain.”
“But, my dear sister of dance,” she said, “you cannot escape pain like that, it only covers it. If it builds enough, then no longer shall you cover it. Taking more will not change things. You need to do what you know to do, and teach.”
“Who would take me now?” she asked.
“Funny you should ask that,” said Tutu, “because I know someone that may help. Have you ever heard of Kinkan?”
“Isn’t that the renowned school of the arts?” she asked, “I would love to teach there. But how would they take me with this kind of background?”
“My friends know one Gustaph Katt,” said Tutu, “If we can convince him, we can get you in. Remember, it is never too late to start over. Believe me: I know this well!”
“Yes,” she exclaimed, “I want that so bad! I want to come back!”
The dance ended with a group hug, right there in the alley, and Tutu said, “Come with us. We can give you a place to stay, and then we can introduce you to my friends.”
However, there was to be a bit of resistance before they went on their way.

They had not walked more than a block, when a youth came out of the crowd, looking quite cross. He had all the markings of someone in a gang, wearing a New York Yankees jersey quite prominently. He had seen this woman, (whom the girls had learned was named Tanya,) walking out with normal flesh, escorted by what looked like two show people, and he did not like the sight. He was her dealer, and he was not too positive about losing a payday. Therefore, he was going to have a few words with those ladies, and straighten the matter out. “Yo,” he said, “What up wit dis?”
“Oh God,” said Tanya, “its Joey!”
“Who is he?” asked Tutu.
“He’s the dealer that I’ve been buying from,” she answered, “Joey, go away!”
“How did you change yo’ looks so fast?” he asked.
“I suggest you leave now before you get hurt!” snapped Raven.
He then called her the derogatory term for a female dog, and then told her to mind her own business, and told her, (with more colorful metaphors,) to get out of the way.
“I do not appreciate such fowl language, young man,” said Tutu, “Leave her alone. She does not want what you have anymore.”
“Yo!” he exclaimed, “You ain’t takin’ no payday from me,” and called her the dog word again. At that, he whipped out a switchblade, and intended to put it to Tutu’s throat, just to get the point across. His main intent was to scare them off, and then re-addict—by force, if necessary—Tanya to Happy Face. However, he did not have long to ponder this, as Raven reached out, and snatched the blade from his hand by the flat of the blade between her palms. Knowing he was in trouble, he slapped it out of her hand, and that was the last thing he was to remember before he regained consciousness in a jail cell. Tutu, due to her flexibility as a dancer, gave him a standing side roundhouse kick, using the point of her toe shoe to add impact. She remembered what she had heard: minimal force needed, and end it quickly. Fortunately, a police officer was nearby, and quickly took control of the situation. Once he learned the JLA connections, he backed off, and handcuffed the dealer. He then received a statement from the three ladies, and let them go. They would then go somewhere to get her a good cup of coffee, and then to report into Captain Marvel to say what they had learned.

They went to a coffee shop, and they were about to turn Tanya away when the girls followed up behind. Tutu, with her gentle demeanor, was able to explain the situation to the proprietor, and convince him to let her be served with them while the tended to their business. The shopkeeper then allowed them to have some standard drip on the house, and they contacted Marvel. They explained the situation, and then told of Tanya’s plight. Flash then told them to keep her with them, and they would find a proper shelter for her until better means could be found. Marvel then also volunteered to buy her some proper clothes and hygiene products later that night. By Tanya, they were also able to find out that that gang that had been fronting as the dealers was a gang called the Bronx Bombers. They worked mainly out of the Bronx, but also worked in Queens. They informed Batman of this, and then he said that they would do a bit of work in Queens that night, and then work over to the Bronx in hopes that they may not raise suspicions of their true intent: find out who has been supplying them with the drugs to distribute. In addition, that would also be good side training for the boys should they stumble across any other kinds of crime being committed. Batman could then see how they boys would handle themselves. In the meantime, he told the girls a particular street to which to take Tanya, and that there was a Wayne Foundation sponsored shelter there. He said that they would be awaiting them, and then, once dropped off, to go back to Times Square for some general superhero work, (busting crooks, rescuing people, etc.) for a couple of hours, and then to call it a night. These things they did, and then went back to work. The rest of the evening was somewhat eventful, as they were able to stop a corner store robbery, and save some people from an old apartment building on fire. After that, they went back to the hall, and called it a night.

About this time, the foursome was in Queens, and Batman got on the police band to inform the local precincts that they would be operating within them. With thanks for the heads up, they said for them to stay in contact in case there was something bigger they ran into that could not be handled by just the four of them. Batman then said, “You always contact the local precinct when you operate, so that they can either send for help if needed, or you can ask for help in a situation greater than what you can handle. You also do this to prevent walking into a police situation, and foiling a collar that they may be making. Your actions may actually spoil the collar, rather than aid it. In that case, you only act when you have clear permission. Now, let’s get to the rooftops and see what develops as we patrol.”
The boys learned quickly that patrolling was not exactly what one would call action packed. One thing that they learned is that crime is not a constant thing, and that, if they wanted to catch anything, they would have to keep on the move. They spent fifteen to twenty minutes in one place or another, looking for action. Black Knight was forced to ask, “Has there ever been nights where you have seen nothing?”
Batman answered, “It is rare, but it does happen. Those are good nights. The best nights are the ones you do not have to do anything. On those nights, you don’t have to worry about not going home in one piece, if at all. However, it’s not so good when you are looking for something or someone specific, like tonight.”
“And what are we looking for?” asked White Knight.
“Drug deals,” said Batman, “and specifically, any drug deals that involve any dealers wearing a lot of Yankees gear. Now, I grant you, this is New York City, and just about everyone in this area, especially in the Bronx, are Yankees fans. Their choice of gang colors was quite creative, considering that trying to find anyone that is truly a part of the gang would be the same as trying to find the needle in the proverbial haystack.”
“We’re also looking for any other crimes to bust up,” added Robin, “If we catch that, consider it a bonus.”
Just as he said that, Robin piped up and said, “Speaking of which…Batman, below, two o’clock: a car jacking.”
“Good eye,” said Batman, and then he looked at the boys, and said, “That’s a simple thing: see if you two can handle it.”
“What do we do first?” asked Black Knight.
“Use stealth, of course,” said Batman, “and don’t just jump them. It could be someone who locked their keys in their car. That’s highly unlikely here in Queens, but you have to give the benefit of the doubt. Warn them, and watch how they react. If they try to run, get them. There are two of them, so get to either side of the car. Use the darkness around.”
With that, they lowered themselves down by the cables, and Black Knight took the passenger side. The two car jackers were now inside, trying to hotwire the car. White Knight already detected that this was no locked key situation, and nodded to Black Knight. They both approached the car, and Black Knight said, “Good evening, gentlemen: having car problems?”
The two boys stopped, and looked up quickly, thinking that it was the police. They saw the Knights, and then realized that it may be superhero problems—even worse! However, they were experienced, and they were not going down without a fight. Yet, as Batman watched, he saw that they were getting too close to the car, and he tensed up, ready for action. If what he thought would happen did happen, he would have to move quickly. Black Knight said, “Now, slowly, let me see your hands, and come out of the car.”
However, White Knight sensed first what the two men were doing, and swiftly jumped back from the car door. Before Black Knight could figure out why, both car doors opened quickly, and the one on his side struck him hard, knocking him to the ground. On the driver’s side, the jacker began to pull a pistol, but White Knight anticipated this, and swiftly kicked the gun hand into the door. He then grabbed the man by the collar and hurled him out of the car. He went for a knife, but before he could use it, White Knight caught him in a Tai clinch, and gave him about three knees. He was stunned on the first blow enough not to be able to use the knife, and the last two knocked him clean out. While all this was going on, Black Knight was trying to collect himself enough to act, but his assailant already had his gun on him, and he was aiming at his head. “Ha! Some superhero you are!” he said, and prepared to fire. Yet, before he could, there was a loud “thud” that sounded like a bat on a coconut. He crumpled to the ground unconscious. Black Knight watched him fall, as he also watched a Batarang land right beside his assailant. Batman and Robin descended, and Batman contacted the local precinct, who told him that a car would be by in a couple of minutes. White Knight was already to the other side of the car, after cuffing the other man, to see if his brother was all right. Black Knight was a bit rattled, considering that, this was the second time in a matter of months he was looking down the wrong end of a pistol, and it almost cost him his life. In both instances, had not help come when it did, he would have been done for. Batman said, “Alright, you two: time for an after action review. Come here, please.”
As they gathered, a squad car arrived. After giving a brief statement, and taking away the two men, they talked. “Everything was fine until you approached the car. You got too close to the car. You need to make a quick assessment of things and anticipate what could go wrong before you approach! Do either of you play chess?”
“We both do,” said White Knight.
“Then, approach things like this as if you were playing chess,” said Batman, “because, if I had not been here, your brother would be dead right now and maybe you as well if you were not able to subdue him! Another thing: you must always assume your target has a firearm, because by not doing so, you may end up like this, and like the time before.”
Black Knight hung his head, knowing that, in both instances, he failed to do this. Batman then asked him, “What surprises me is that you didn’t seem to apply what you learned with that Van Hellmann character. I figured the two of you would have had a better head on your shoulders.”
Black Knight said, “We have been quite nervous. We did not know what to expect, and we have been scared about what would happen if we made a mistake.”
Batman saw that he was rattled, and said, “It’s all right, son: we all have to learn. You are still new at this, and what I have learned has often come the hard way. However, if you are nervous around me, think about the dance teachers the two of you have faced. You handled the pressure in that throughout your time. Just think of this as just another dance class. It’s just that here, your “partners” hit back and hit hard. Therefore, take what I say as Gospel, because I speak from years of experience. However, White Knight, how did you know how to hop back the way you did?”
“In addition to being a healer,” said White Knight, “I am an empath. I sensed the shift in his emotions, and sensed he was going to act quickly. It was then I quickly assessed that he would try to open the door, and so I moved before I was hit.”
“If that is the case,” said Batman, “then you have to use that ability to the benefit of the both of you. Come up with a sign language of some sort to communicate those things. You two dance ballet, correct? Do you not have hand signals that you use to speak?”
“Yes sir,” said Black Knight.
“Then use what you know to your best ability,” said Batman, “A little communication could have prevented this. Okay, let’s shake this off, and keep on patrol. Just relax, because I am here to help. Be yourselves, and go with the flow.”
They then shot their grapples, and returned to the rooftops.

While they scoped out the area, the Knights quietly discussed the different hand signals they knew, and added a few. They knew that, in time, they could come up with an elaborate language that would aid them in their fight. About 45 minutes after the bust they had just done, they came across what they had been looking for. In the distance, they saw what looked like the start of some kind of a drug deal. However, before they moved in, Batman said, “Now, what would you look for to know if this is what we are looking for?”
White Knight answered, “Look for the Yankees gear on the one doing the deal.”
“Good start,” said Batman, “Is that all?”
“No,” said Black Knight, “We look to see if indeed he is the dealer, and look at the person doing the buying.”
He then turned his attention to Robin, and said, “And what would you look for in the buyer?”
Robin though for a second, and then said, “Easy: look for the slowly developing Joker face on the buyer. Come on, Batman, you know that was easy!”
Batman laughed, and said, “Just seeing if you were on your toes. So, let’s take a look.”
However, White Knight already anticipated what needed to happen next, and had his binoculars out. He saw them talking, and saw the buyer. Just as they were looking for, he had a chalky white face, and the red lips. He looked far gone, and looked close to the end. The dealer indeed was wearing a Yankees hat and jersey, and he may have well been the one they had been looking for. Black Knight then said, “It looks dark around them. Would we not want to see if there was someone keeping watch in the shadows?”
Batman was pleasantly surprised, and smiled that he was catching on quickly. “You learn fast,” he said.
“They would take away my license to be German if I did not learn how to be efficient!” joked Black Knight. Batman then asked, “Okay then, what now?”
“Let us stay on the rooftops, and approach that way,” said White knight.
“Very good,” said Batman, “and let’s go.”
They got over the roof area where the deal was going down, and they were able to glimpse the packaging: Happy Face. “Jackpot,” said Robin. “Now we have to assess if there are others.”
However, the empathy of White Knight was already noticing it, and he said, “There are, and, there are about six of them, spread out.”
Batman then said, “On your specs, there is a night vision setting, on the left side, first switch. Flip them on.”
They did as they were bidden, and each of the six was covering a different approach to the area. “They are experienced,” said Batman, “which means that making an approach will be difficult.”
“Then we attack from the center, where they would not expect it,” said White Knight.
With that, they lowered themselves down into the middle of them, and approached silently. They quickly subdued the guards, making sure that none of them cried out before they could take them out. However, the dealer somehow began to feel awkward, and “just didn’t like the vibes.” He turned to his nearly insane client, and said, “Hurry up, fool, and just give me the money!”
“You get nothing,” said a gruff voice from the darkness, and out of the shadows came a sight that nearly made him soil his underwear. He was against a wall, so there was no running away. He thought about pulling his gun, but then he saw how close they were, and that two of them had healthy sized blades in their hands, drawn, and at the ready. If he flinched, he knew that they would be on top of him before he could pull. Batman then said, “Get your hands against the wall, slowly.”
He did as he was bidden, now frightened out of his wits, especially with the one that looked like a bat. He had heard legends about the Batman from friends in Gotham, but he never thought he would run into him. Robin was already searching him, extracting his pistol, and any other weapons he possessed, all the while covered by the swords of the Knights. “He’s clean now,” said Robin, and Batman picked him up with one hand, and pinned him to the wall. He tried to kick him in the chest, and hurt his foot on the Kevlar. “Dumb move, punk!” said Batman, “Now I want to know where you get your supplies, and I want to know now!”
“Bobby, Mick, where are you, man?” he said, terrified.
“Oh, you mean your friends back there?” asked White Knight, “They are taking a short nap right now.”
He cursed, and said, “I don’t know nuthin’! I just get the stuff, and sell it!”
“Oh really?” said Batman, “You have to get it somewhere. Where do you get this?”
“Okay,” he said, “I get it out in Heights. ‘You happy now?”
White Knight already sensed the shift in his heart rate and breathing, and knew that he would not have the skill to lie and not to be detected in doing so. “He lies,” said White Knight, angrily.
Batman then said, “Take care of that addict, but keep me informed.”
He pulled the punk face to face with him, and said through his teeth, “I…don’t…like…liars! TALK!”
A puddle began to form below, and Batman loved it when they lost control like this. This meant that he would do anything to avoid whatever he thought Batman had in mind. He squealed, “All right, all right! It’s in the Bronx: the main distro center. It’s not to far from the stadium! Please, don’t hurt me!”
“What street?” demanded Batman, but the kid passed out from fear. Batman let him drop like a sack of potatoes. “I hate it when they do that,” he said, “Robin, did you find anything when you searched the others?”
“Sure did,” said Robin, “and it looks like they made a big mistake if they wanted to conceal themselves.”
He handed Batman a bus schedule that led by the stadium, and ended not too far from there. Apparently, this was a line that was used frequently by one of the gang, and Batman was aware that there had been some schedule changes. If they had their headquarters and/or the main distribution point there, it would not be too far from the start, considering the proximity to the stadium. “We have what we need. Robin, did you already report…?” said Batman, but Robin interjected, saying, “…this to the police? I sure did: they have a wagon coming.”
“Then, we’ll send this report in to the others, and then we will continue to do general patrols for a couple of more hours, just to give the two of you the experience. Good job, you two.”
Meanwhile, White Knight was working on the addict. He had heard how Raven had purged the drug from Tanya’s system, so that is what he did. It took him longer, because this man’s addiction was greater. However, the white began to fade from his face, and a white, milky substance began to sweat out of his pores. He then did as Raven, and began to restore his chemical balance to normal. White Knight saw that he was back to normal, but not quite. Like a man that had done drugs for years who had recovered, his speech was slurred, and his thought process was not quite fluid. He thanked White Knight, but he did not know what he should do next. Batman asked if he had any family around that would take him in, and he said that he did. At this, he told Robin to take that man to those people, and then to catch up after. Then Batman said, “If there were six others, this was a distribution sub-center, which means they were also waiting for some Happy Face to distribute themselves. If this man knows where the main point is, then that means we scored one of the gang’s lieutenants. I hope that New York’s Finest can get more information out of him. This also means that we must at least stick around until the wagon shows up; if the main distribution truck comes, and they run into the cops, it could get ugly, and complicate things.”
However, as he spoke, the wagon did indeed show up. Thus, Batman took the opportunity to tell the police of the situation, and that they needed to leave the place with no trace that anything happened here, except that their contacts were gone. This way, they would not blow the collar, and the acquisition of the main target: the Joker. Once done, the police made quick work, and made sure that no trace was left behind. With that, they resumed patrolling.

Wonder Woman and Claire were in Central Park, and received the information about what had thus far been discovered. They then began to press their phase of that evening’s mission. “So, what’s on the agenda for us?” asked Claire.
“We’re actually looking for a pimp, of all things,” answered Wonder Woman.
“Okay, I’m confused here,” she said, “Why would we be looking for a pimp?”
“Well, normally, I look at people like him, and I want to tear them apart,” said Wonder Woman, “They are normally slave drivers who keep their girls hooked on drugs, give them the bare minimums to survive, take almost all their money, beat them, things of that nature.”
“What’s different about this one?”
“This one actually has a good sense of business. He says he runs an ‘escort service,’ and claims that his girls do what they want: he cannot control what they do as an escort. He also makes sure that his girls are well taken care of, because he knows that, if he offers a good product, people will come back. This means that he has a high-class clientele. He also pays his girls well, because, first, he has many that work for him. Thus, he does not have to take nearly as much from them as other pimps would. They do what they do, because they know that prostitution is illegal; and if they wrong their girls, to whom are they going to run? However, he knows that happy girls are productive girls, so he makes sure that they live well enough. Therefore, these girls are not necessarily doing what they do because they feel they have no other recourse in life. He makes sure they are checked out by doctors, provide a good product, and, (though this seems odd to say,) they enjoy their jobs. It seems odd to say that he is a ‘good’ pimp, but there you have it.”
“What does that have to do with us?”
“Because he gets more work than the other pimps, and because of his clientele, they all despise him, and would like to shut him down. Therefore, we, that is, the Justice League, are in an awkward position of having to protect him for the sake of those girls, for there is no telling what would happen to them after. They are clean, disease free group of girls, and they don’t need things to go south for them. I would hope that they would eventually come out of that, but you cannot force someone to do something they do not want to do.”
“What kind of information would he have?”
“He would know of mob connections, because some of his girls ‘escort’ some of these mobsters. However, some of them hold the strings of some of the ‘bad’ pimps, and supply them with girls. Yet, this man cuts into their business, and so he is on some of their hit lists. If one of those mob families that are out for him are involved with Happy Face, he would be more than happy to spill the beans, and we can then see if we can make a connection between that family, and the Bronx Bombers.”
They strolled a bit more through Central Park, when they came across a man dressed in a fine Armani suit, wearing a fedora, sporting a goatee, cordovan wing tip shoes, speaking on a cell phone. They came in on the tail end of a conversation that went something like this, “…can’t do it like that. I told you, these girls are escorts: I don’t know how ‘good’ they are in that aspect. You have to ask her. Hey, if it goes there, it goes there—that’s her choice. Yeah, I know what some of the others have said. Yes, believe me, if you act like a gentleman, there’s no telling…wait, excuse me. I have someone here I need to speak to. Yeah, just look at the brochure, and get back to me on who you want to escort you. Yeah, call me in about a half hour, and we’ll see what we can do.”
He closed the cell phone, and said, “Man, some people just don’t get it. You should hear some of the things they request.”
Of course, Wonder Woman knew that this man, in truth, told his girls to turn tricks with his clients, but he also told them to make it seem like that is what they wanted to do anyway, so that way, the police stay out of his hair, and theirs as well. However, there was no real way to shut down his operation, because he was so clever about it, and no one could ever prove that his girls were really told to do these things. “Hello, Wonder Woman: what brings you…” and he trailed off when he caught sight of Princess Claire. “Well, well, well: who have we here?” talking suave, and in a gentleman-like fashion. He took her hand, and kissed it. “A man of manners I see,” said Claire, “I am the Black Swan, Princess Claire.”
“All right, Mr. Smooth,” said Wonder Woman, “She’s not that kind of girl.”
“Aw, come on now, Wonder Woman:” he said, “can’t a man greet a beautiful young lady without having you thinking that I’m propositioning her?”
“If you think that I wish to be an escort,” said Claire, “guess again. In reality, we are on JLA business.”
“Oh, I see,” said the pimp, (named Warren,) “You have a trainee here.”
“That’s right,” said Wonder Woman, “And I sure do hope that your ‘escorts’ are doing well.”
“As always,” he answered with a bow.
“Good,” said Wonder Woman, “Just hope that it stays that way,” and Warren caught the hint. She continued, and said, “In reality, we are trying to find out what you know about Happy Face.”
He leaned back, affecting a serious look on his face, and said, “Whoa, that stuff’s bad news! Hey, you know my employees are clean girls.”
“I know that,” said Wonder Woman, “that is not what I am asking you about. What do you know about the Bronx Bombers?”
“I have season tickets,” answered Warren, “I don’t miss a game!”
“We refer to the gang,” said Claire, affecting a knowing look.
“Oh, those Bronx Bombers,” he said, “Yeah, they’re bad news.”
“Do they deal drugs?” asked Wonder Woman.
“They sure do,” said Warren, “Everyone knows that.”
“Do they deal in Happy Face?” asked Claire.
“Hmm…” uttered Warren, and then he said, “You know, come to think of it, I’ve heard from a few sources that they are involved in that stuff.”
Now they had to be careful, because they did not want to hint that they were after any mob family that may be involved as well. They did not want to lose this contact if one of them happened to be some of his customers. Wonder Woman then asked, “Are they making it, or are they being supplied?”
Warren thought for a moment, and then said, “As a matter of fact, they may have some help, and from ‘above the law’ kind of people. In fact, I think it’s the Torricelli family.”
“Isn’t that a family on their way out?” asked Wonder Woman.
“Oh yeah,” said Warren, “and I cannot wait! They have been a nuisance: they harass my girls, threaten my life, and try even to kidnap some of them! They hurt business! Man, if I could only get rid of them!”
“Well, if what you say turns out to be true,” said Wonder Woman, “you may have just helped in hastening that.”
“What can I do?” he said, now genuinely excited about the prospect.
“If you find out anything on them, call,” said Wonder Woman, “There are forces behind them that may be driving things, and that ‘force’ is even more bad news than the Torricelli family.”
“In fact, I can get my escorts to keep their ears open,” said Warren, “They seem to be able to charm things out of people, and so I could find out quickly.”
“Well then, thank you,” said Claire. However, she stopped short, and looked over his shoulder. Two thugs seemed to be harassing a scantily clad, but otherwise well-dressed, young woman, and she was having none of it. They all turned to see what was going on, and Warren said, “That’s Margaret: and just what do they think they are doing?”
He began to approach, and said, “Oh, no they don’t”
However, he didn’t need to worry, because Claire had already did a grand jette over the top of them, and landed before the three. “Look, ho, jus’ give it up. We got the scratch,” and they were treating her like a common streetwalker, and she was having none of it. “Leave me alone!” she yelled, “Warren!”
However, Clare stood before them, and snapped, “The young lady said to leave her alone!”
The punk then requested that she leave, using a few choice adverbs, and questioned what species she was a member of, calling her what animal he felt her to be. His buddy then agreed that she leave, stating that this was none of her business, and then questioned her profession, calling her what he felt her to be. Then they questioned what she thought she was going to do about it. The answer came in the most unpleasant way for them. One found a toe shoe in his crotch, and before his comrade could react, he found an elbow in the mouth, and then found himself in a side head chancellery, followed up by a snap mare, and then a foot in the back of the head. He lay on the ground, too much in a daze, and too much in pain to want to do much more. Claire then turned her attention to the woman. She said she was okay, and she thanked her, considering that those two punks had threatened to accost her if she did not give them what they wanted. Warren came up quickly, and she ran to his arms. He cuddled her, and told her that it would be okay. She was trying to give him money, and he said, “Hey, baby, you’ve been through a lot tonight. Its okay: just keep it tonight, okay. Sleep it off and be ready for work tomorrow, okay?”
They pecked, he stroked her hair, and she went her way. Claire was surprised at this, considering that pimps normally did not show this kind of affection for their girls. When Warren saw them staring, he just shrugged and smiled, saying, “Hey, they’re crazy ‘bout me.”
His demeanor changed, and then he said, “Hey, word up: I owe you! I’ll get that information for you. Be ready to get the call tomorrow.”
He pointed, winked at them, grinned, and walked on, flipping open his cell phone, getting ready to continue business. Wonder Woman said, “Now that was well handled. You may have gone a bit overboard on the boys, but I don’t think they’ll be going to the police about this anytime soon! Let’s report in what we found.”

Superman and Mary Marvel received the information, and then he pointed out one particular dock, telling her to land there. He had spotted a limousine there, and he knew that this family was a rival and hated enemy to the Torricellis. If they could get more information this way, they could save themselves some time and effort. They landed inside the dock area, and some guards instinctively put a bead on them with their rifles, telling them to leave. They both ignored the threats, knowing that the guards would figure out who was walking on the dock in time. They approached the limo, and the man inside cursed under his breath. He opened the door and said, “Hey, Sups, I ain’t done nothin’ for you to be here! Take da dame and beat it!”
“Oh come now,” said Superman, “Just what did you think you would do to get rid of me anyway?”
However, the driver thought that he was going to be clever. He knew he could do nothing to Superman, but he had never seen the other one. He figured that he could grab her, use her as a bargaining chip, and get Superman out of there. He jumped up, and held the pistol to her head, saying, “Okay S, you heard the boss: amscray!”
However, Mary had other ideas. With lightning speed, she snatched the driver, threw him about 20 yards, and sauntered over to the fallen man. He was still dazed when she approached and took up the pistol. She knelt before him, dropped the clip, ejected the round, and said, “Now really, did you think you were going to hurt me with this?”
With that, she bent the gun in two as if it were made of aluminum, and dropped it on the ground. “Oops,” she said mockingly, “I broke your little toy.”
She stroked his face, and fluttered her eyelashes. She then went back to the boss. Superman then said, “All that was not necessary, because I came here with a proposal. What do you know about Torricelli and Happy Face?”
That got his attention. “Let me tell you!” he exclaimed, “Torricelli is all dirty with dat stuff! He’s hurting business with dat.”
“I’m sure he is,” said Superman knowingly, “And, what do you think you could do to help stop him: you know, put your business back on a paying basis?”
“What do you want to know?” he then asked.
“Can you find out where that stuff is being made, distributed, and who has been bankrolling them?” asked Superman, “We know that they do not have the kind of money that they need to run such an operation, and they have to be getting it from somewhere.”
“Give me about 12 hours,” he said, “I’ll give you all you need!”
“Great,” said Superman, “Just be careful you don’t give an indication that the noose is closing in on them, because other things have happened that just might do that. So be careful, because, if you want Happy Face off the street, you have to be careful about how you get that info, got it?”
“Clear as mud,” he joked.
However, just before they were about to leave, a large moving van was making its way into the compound quickly…very quickly. “Speak of the Devil,” said the boss, and they all knew that this was deliberate. However, Superman scanned the van, and it had armed men and explosives in there. He shouted, “Mary, stop the van!”
The van crashed through the gate, but Mary was there to intercept it. She braced her feet, and put her hands out. However, she missed the bumper, but she was well braced, and the truck stopped suddenly, as if hitting a concrete pillar. Her hands went straight through the grill and fan like a hot knife through butter, and slammed straight into the engine. This rammed the engine straight into the cab of the van, further frightening the driver, who was still trying to get over the shock of the sudden stop. It was not quite how Superman envisioned it, but it did the job. Meanwhile, all the men in the back had been thrown to the front, which Superman observed with his x-ray vision, and had to chuckle. He had expected to take these men on, but now they were not quite in the mood for a fight. Superman ripped the back door off the van, and began throwing out mobsters like rag dolls. Mary was tying them up in the fencing that once made up the gate. However, Superman’s super hearing detected the sound of the timer that had accidentally been set off when they collided with Mary Marvel. Superman said, “Quick, grab the other side, and throw it with me as hard as you can.”
They heaved the van, and it quickly flew out of sight, and exploded in a spectacular fireball far over the water, and out of danger. The boss then went up to Superman, and said, “Now it is a matter of returning the favor. We will have information for you tomorrow.”
Superman left him with a contact number, and they took their leave. It was nearly two in the morning by this point, and the teams were called back. They had what they needed, and the five trainees had gained some valuable experience. The next day would be interesting.
Sign up to rate and review this story