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Batwoman Beyond

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Batwoman Beyond

01

"Chelsea Beyond"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: Welcome to my new fanfic series. I used to love watching Batman Beyond back in the day, and I recently decided to rewatch the entire series (plus the movie and the various crossover episodes). With a Batwoman series coming, I thought giving Batwoman the Beyond treatment made sense; the timing was right.

Regarding time placement and continuity, this series picks up during Return of the Joker and then goes through the remaining episodes of season 3 and beyond the end of the series. I'm going by the timeline as reckoned by Watchtower Database, so please watch that video, if you have any questions. I am completely disregarding all of the comics, past and present, sticking to the show only. This particular chapter occurs during Return of the Joker and Out of the Past.

Later chapters will deal with heavy subject matter, such as white supremacy, rape, and homophobia, so consider yourself forewarned.

Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Thursday, August 1, 2019, 9:47 PM - 9:56 PM, 10:13 PM - 10:23 PM; Friday, August 2, 2019, 8:45 PM - 9:14 PM; Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10:37 PM - 10:48 PM; Sunday, August 4, 2019, 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM; Monday, August 5, 2019, 1:28 PM - 1:39 PM, 2:23 PM (actually 2:25 PM because of fucking mom) - 2:43 PM; Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 8:32 PM - 8:55 PM; Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 12:15 PM - 12:25 PM; Thursday, August 8, 2019, 11:03 AM - 11:18 AM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:39 AM - 9:52 AM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 3:32 PM - 3:45 PM; Sunday, August 11, 2019, 12:40 PM - 12:50 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:00 AM - 10:18 AM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 9:49 AM - 9:59 AM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 10:02 AM - 10:17 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 2:12 PM - 2:27 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:03 PM - 9:12 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 10:00 AM - 10:13 AM; Sunday, August 18, 2019, 12:40 PM - 12:53 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 4:37 PM - 4:49 PM, 5:17 PM - 5:21 PM; Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 9:07 PM - 9:13 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:14 AM - 11:26 AM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 2:39 PM - 2:51 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 9:56 AM - 10:27 AM, 10:42 AM - 10:58 AM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 5:57 PM - 6:30 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 9:41 AM - 9:54 AM, 11:52 AM - 12:21 PM, 12:31 PM - 12:41 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 9:17 AM - 9:41 AM; Thursday, August 29, 2019, 9:59 PM - 10:25 PM; Friday, August 30, 2019, 9:13 AM - 9:20 AM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 9:40 AM - 9:55 AM, 1:29 PM - 1:36 PM, 2:13 PM - 2:36 PM; Monday, September 2, 2019, 12:17 PM - 12:45 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 10:06 AM - 10:44 AM; Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 11:24 AM - 11:54 AM; Thursday, September 5, 2019, 8:19 PM - 8:41 PM; Friday, September 6, 2019, 8:33 PM - 9:36 PM, 10:06 PM - 11:42 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham paced back and forth nervously as she waited on news of Dana's condition. Finally, she decided to walk up to the nurses' station. "Excuse me."

A nurse looked up at her. "Yes?"

"Any word on Dana Tan's condition?"

"And you are?"

Chelsea frowned. "Chelsea Cunningham. I rode here with her. I was told by the paramedics that initially treated her to come here, and I'd be updated on her condition."

The nurse checked her computer. "Dana Tan has been moved to room 302."

"Thanks."

Chelsea went and took an elevator to the third floor, and then she sought out room 302. A doctor was just walking out of it.

"How is she?" Chelsea asked him.

"She's unconscious right now, but she's out of immediate physical danger. We won't know if there's any permanent damage unless she regains consciousness."

Chelsea gaped at him. "I was told she'd be fine. Don't you mean 'until'?"

The doctor paused. "Yes, of course."

"May I go in and see her?"

"Of course."

Chelsea walked into the room. Dana was lying in the bed, a white sheet raised up over her chest. She appeared to be asleep, but the machine monitoring her vitals reminded Chelsea that not all was well with her friend.

Chelsea brought a chair over and sat at Dana's bedside. She took out her cell phone and texted her friends about Dana's condition.

Soon, Bobbi "Blade" Sommer, Jackie Wallace, and Maxine "Max" Gibson arrived. They had each bought flowers from the hospital's gift shop and set them on the table next to Dana's bed.

"How is she? Any progress?" Blade asked.

Chelsea shook her head. "She hasn't woken up yet."

Blade, Jackie, and Max stared at Dana.

Chelsea did, too, for a while, but then she looked at Blade, Jackie, and Max. "Are you the only ones that decided to come? I texted a bunch of our friends."

Jackie looked at her. "Well, the others might be busy. They might be unable to get here right now."

"Well, I thought Terry, at least-"

Max looked at Chelsea. "Terry's probably busy with one thing or another. He works for Mr. Wayne, you know."

Chelsea frowned. "Yeah, I know. I've been trying to convince her that she can do better."

Max frowned. "Terry cares about her. It's just..." She paused, hesitating, unsure.

Chelsea raised an eyebrow.

Max shook her head. "Never mind. We're here. At least, she's not alone."

Chelsea paused, wondering if she should press Max for info, but then she decided to drop it and looked at Dana.


Chelsea was still sitting with Dana two hours later when she slowly woke up.

Dana groaned. "Wuh...? What happened? Where am I?"

"You're in the hospital. How are you feeling?"

"Like shit." Dana tried sitting up, felt dizzy, and flopped back down again.

"Hey, take it easy. Terry asked me to ride with you and stay with you until he arrived."

"And he hasn't yet?"

"No." Chelsea smiled. "But you've had a few visitors: Blade, Jackie, and Max. They brought you flowers."

Dana sighed.

Chelsea stood up. "I'll let the nurses know you're up." She turned and left the room.


"I still think you can do better than Terry McGinnis."

Dana rolled her eyes. "Chels, don't start."

"We've been talking for an hour, and he hasn't shown up."

Just then, they heard two knocks on the open door behind them.

"Knock, knock."

They looked. Terry was standing there, holding a vase with a bouquet of flowers.

Dana smiled. "Hey."

Terry walked into the room, set the vase on the table, bent over, and kissed Dana on the lips.

Chelsea stood up. "I'll leave you two alone."

Terry looked at her. "You awake enough to drive home?"

"Well, I gotta catch a ride back to the club to pick up my car first. I'll get a Pow fizz out of the vending machine." Chelsea turned and walked away.

"Thanks for staying with her."

"No problem." Chelsea left the room.

She walked down the hall and stopped by the vending machine. She took out her credit card, paid, and selected a Pow fizz. The can was dispensed. She got it, popped it open, and started drinking as she walked to the elevator. She got in and selected the first floor. As the elevator moved, she watched the wall-mounted screen and saw some business listings. One of them caught her attention: martial arts classes at Hikawa Dojo.


Chelsea slept in late, but she eventually got up and decided to go down to the Hikawa Dojo, which was on the eastern outskirts of Gotham. It was actually located on the grounds of the Hikawa Shrine, a Shinto shrine. As soon as Chelsea passed through the torii and entered the grounds, she noticed a difference between the busy outside city and the peaceful quietness of the shrine. After consulting a map near the shamusho, she made her way to the dojo and entered. She walked over to a miko, who was doing duty as a receptionist.

Chelsea smiled. "Excuse me, I'd like to sign up for a class."

The miko smiled. "You'll have to speak with the sensei. She's teaching a class right now."

"May I go in and watch?"

"Sure. Please take off your shoes before you enter."

"Thanks." Chelsea walked over to the door, took off her shoes, set them to the side, and slid the door open.

A few students and an older, gray-haired woman - who Chelsea guessed was the sensei - looked at her. Chelsea stepped onto the training floor and slid the door closed behind her.

She stood back and watched the students practice. Some performed kata. Some sparred. Others broke boards or concrete blocks. The sensei sparred with a few of the more advanced students.

Eventually, the students cleaned up the dojo, and then the sensei led the students in the closing meditation, bowing to the Japanese flag, and bowing to each other. Then she dismissed the class.

Chelsea walked over to the sensei. "Excuse me."

The sensei looked at her. "Yes?"

"I'm interested in joining your class."

"Have you ever done any martial arts before?"

"No."

"Anything athletic? Sports?"

"I'm a cheerleader."

"Do you do any stunts?"

"Yeah."

"Are you flexible?"

Chelsea smiled. "Yeah. My boyfriends can attest to that."

"I meant with your schedule."

Chelsea laughed. "Oh. Yeah. However, once school starts, I'll be free in the afternoon and evening only."

The sensei smiled. "We have classes throughout the day. Let's go to my office and discuss it."

They left the training floor and headed toward the sensei's office.

"I'm Kathleen, by the way. Call me Kathy."

"Chelsea."

Kathy opened the door to her office and let Chelsea go in first, and then she followed and closed the door behind her.

Kathy went over and sat behind her desk, and Chelsea sat in a chair in front of the desk.

"We offer classes in a few different styles. There's karate, which I teach. There's aikido, which my wife teaches; it focuses more on defense and not harming your attacker. There's jujutsu, which involves manipulating your attacker's force against him. There's judo, which involves throwing, taking down, or otherwise subduing your opponent."

Chelsea thought about it. "I'll go for karate."

"Any particular reason?"

Chelsea shook her head. "Not really."

"What do you hope to get out of the class?"

Chelsea was silent for a moment as she tried to collect her thoughts. "Recently, I was at a club with some friends, and we came under attack. All that I could do was hide. I feel so frustrated that I wasn't able to fight back."

"Sometimes, the smartest thing to do is hide."

"Well, I want to be able to do more."

"Okay. What time do you want to take the class?"

"Got anything in the evening?"

"7:00 PM on Mondays and Thursdays."

"That's fine. Oh, is it a beginner class?"

"It's open to all skill levels. Students at different levels will be given different things to practice."

"Okay."

"One-hundred creds per month. Payment is due up front."

Chelsea grinned and took out her credit card.

"I'd recommend also hitting the gym on days that you're not here, so you can build up some muscle."

Chelsea thought about it. "Yeah, okay."


Chelsea was lying on her bed, listening to music on her phone. There were a few knocks on her door.

"Yeah?" Chelsea called.

The door opened, and her father walked into the room.

"What's up?" Chelsea asked, pausing the music and pulling the earbuds out of her ears.

"Have you decided which college that you're going to yet?"

"Not yet." Chelsea thought for a moment. "Well, probably GSU. It's right here."

"And what are you planning on studying?"

"I don't know yet."

"Don't you think you ought to start thinking about it?"

"I've got a whole year. Lots of people don't even decide on their majors until after they start taking some basic classes."

"Chelsea, I will not fund your college education, if you don't take it seriously."

"I do take it seriously. I'm just not as hurried about it."

"Oh, that's right, because going out clubbing with your friends is more important."

Chelsea frowned. "I don't do that every night. Besides, I've got other things to do. I signed up for a karate class today - as well as a gym membership."

"Using my money."

"Using the allowance that you gave me."

"I see. Well, let's see how well you do without it."

Chelsea stared at him, stunned. He turned and left the room, closing the door behind him.


"Wow, overreact much?" Dana asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Keep in mind that this is the same guy that sent me to that clinic simply for sending an e-mail."

"Good point."

Chelsea had driven over to Dana's to talk, and they were currently sitting at the kitchen table, eating brownies and drinking cola fizz.

"Without an allowance, how am I gonna pay for my class? Or the gym? Or car insurance? Or college?" Chelsea asked. "I'm gonna have to get a job."

Dana thought for a moment. "Do you wanna come and live here?"

"Huh?" Chelsea asked in surprise.

"Yeah. Move in. If it's okay with my dad."

"I sleep naked. Is that okay?"

Dana shrugged. "Fine by me. You'd have the guest room to yourself."

Chelsea smiled. "Okay, thanks."

"Hey, Dad!" Dana yelled.

Soon, her father walked into the room. "Yes?"

"Can Chelsea move in with us?" Dana asked him. "She's having...issues with her dad."

Mr. Tan looked at Chelsea. "And what guarantee do I have that I won't inherit these...issues?"

"You won't. I give you my word." Chelsea paused for a moment. "I'll contribute creds for food, and I'll buy my own clothes."

"Do you have a job?"

"I'll be looking for one."

Mr. Tan paused in consideration for a while. "Very well."

Chelsea grinned. "Thank you."

He nodded, got a fizz from the fridge, and left the room.

Chelsea hugged Dana in delight.


Mr. Cunningham walked into Chelsea's bedroom. "You wanted to see me?"

Chelsea was just zipping closed a suitcase. "Yeah. I'm moving out."

"Excuse me?"

Chelsea turned to face him. "I'm moving out, Dad! I'm gonna be staying with Dana. Look, I'm almost eighteen. I can move out now or in January, but I really would prefer now. It's for the best."

"Okay."

Chelsea was a bit surprised that it was that easy, but she didn't question it. She picked up both suitcases and headed for the door.


During her first class, after learning some initial stances, kata, and meditation, Chelsea put on some protective gear, and she and Kathy sparred for a bit.

Kathy smiled. "You're doing okay, but you need to improve your reaction time. I hit you with a few easy punches that you should have been able to block."

Chelsea took off her protective gear. "Sorry. I've just had a lot on my mind. My dad and I had an argument, he cut off my allowance, and I moved out. I'm staying with a friend. Actually, I'm not sure I'll be able to afford the class anymore."

"Oh. That's too bad. You've definitely got potential."

"I don't wanna quit. I just need to find a job."

"Well, good luck."


That evening, Chelsea lay on her bed, searching for job openings on her laptop. There was a knock on her door.

"Come in."

The door opened, and Dana walked into the room. "Hey. Dinner'll be ready soon. I decided to bake a large pizza."

"Schway."

"How's the job hunt going?"

"No luck so far." Chelsea noticed something. "Hey, wait a sec. Deckard's Kitchen is looking for a waiter."

"Have you ever waited tables before?" Dana asked.

"No, but I've also never taken karate or lifted weights before until recently. I'll go in and apply tomorrow."


The next morning, Chelsea went to Deckard's Kitchen and over to the counter. A young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes was just coming out with a serving tray full of food and some drinks.

"Excuse me, I'm here about the waiter position."

"I'll let the owner know you're here. I just gotta serve this food first."


"Woo-hoo! I got the job!" Chelsea practically danced into the living room.

Dana and Terry, who were sitting on the couch, looked at her.

Dana smiled. "Congrats, Chels!"

"You got a job?" Terry asked her.

Chelsea was a bit surprised to see Terry here. "Yeah, at Deckard's Kitchen. I start tomorrow. Another waiter will be training me."

"Is he cute?" Dana asked.

"She. And yes. Her name's Melanie Walker."

Terry was surprised. "Oh. Really."

"Know her?" Chelsea asked.

Terry was hesitant. "Yeah."

Chelsea smiled. "Old girlfriend?"

"Never mind. It's in the past."

Dana frowned at him. Chelsea decided to head up to her room.


The weeks passed, and school started. Chelsea had been doing well in her karate class and gotten promoted. Her body became more toned and muscular.

One day, as school was letting out, she and Dana walked out to the student parking lot.

Chelsea was hesitant. "I don't mean to ditch you, especially with Terry out of town."

Dana looked at her. "Yeah, he went off somewhere with Mr. Wayne and one of his old girlfriends. Mr. Wayne's, I mean."

Chelsea looked at Dana. "I'll meet up with you later. There are some things that I gotta do."

"Okay."

Chelsea hopped into her car and drove off.


Chelsea kneeled in front of her mother's grave and set a bouquet of roses in front of the headstone. She stared at her mother's name in silence for a while, the wind rustling the leaves in the trees.

"Hi, Mom. I, um, I hope you like these roses. I know they're your favorite. I'm doing okay. Had it out with Dad, but I finally got outta there. I'm living with Dana now and just started senior year. Hell, you probably know that, right? I mean...why wouldn't spirits know everything?" Chelsea paused in silence for a moment, unsure of what to say. "Anyway, I love you. Bye."

Chelsea stood up, dusted off her skirt, turned, and walked away.


Chelsea pulled up, parked her car on the side of the street, and then checked to make sure she had the correct address. She hadn't been expecting this. Next to her was a tall tower built in an old, Gothic architectural style. A giant, old-fashioned clock face was on the front, street-facing side.

After confirming the address, Chelsea got out of her car and walked to the front entrance. She pressed the button on the intercom.

"Yes?" Kathy asked.

"Hi, Ms. Duquesne? It's Chelsea Cunningham. I've got that late payment that I promised. I just got paid."

"Okay, I'll buzz you in. Take the service elevator up to the loft."

The buzzer sounded. Chelsea opened the door and walked inside. The ground-floor area was empty and unfurnished. Chelsea made her way to the elevator and pressed a button. The doors opened, and she got in. The doors closed. Chelsea pressed the button for the loft, and the elevator started moving.

The elevator stopped, and the doors opened. Chelsea walked into the loft and looked around. It looked like a hipster's apartment. It was mostly colored shades of brown. There was a studio area with a couch and a television. There was also a painter's set-up nearby. Behind the studio area, there were some stairs going up to a slightly elevated living area. There was a small kitchen with a small fridge; no stove. There were two doors, presumably leading to a bedroom and a bathroom. Finally, there was a desk with an impressive computer set-up. The clock face was visible.

Kathy was sitting in the chair at the desk. She spun around and looked at Chelsea. "I've got a card reader over here."

Chelsea walked over to her. "You've got a nice place - and some schway gear."

Kathy smiled. "Thanks."

Chelsea took out her credit card and offered it to Kathy. Kathy took it and processed the payment.

Chelsea looked around the apartment. "I'm kinda surprised that you don't have a training area here."

"I don't live karate 24/7. This is my place to get away from all that and just relax."

"Why do you live in a big clock?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy laughed. "Because it was available. The city wanted to demolish the clock tower ten years ago, because it had sat dormant for so long after the previous tenants left. I offered to buy it for myself and my wife."

Kathy offered Chelsea's credit card back to her. Chelsea took it and put it away. They heard the elevator moving and looked toward the doors.

"That'd be my wife."

The elevator stopped, and the doors opened. A woman with short white hair and black eyes walked into the loft.

Kathy smiled. "Hey, sweetie, how was class?"

Her wife smiled. "Good." She bent over and kissed Kathy on the lips.

"Chelsea, this is my wife, Margaret. Mags, this is Chelsea, one of my students."

Margaret looked at Chelsea. "Hey. Call me Maggie."

"Hey. Well, I'm gonna get going."

Maggie smiled. "Oh, stay a while. Have a look around. You thirsty? You can help yourself to something in the fridge."

Kathy looked at her.

"What?" Maggie asked. "We don't get many visitors."

Kathy smiled. "You hitting on her?"

"Nah." Maggie sat on Kathy's lap, curled her arms around her neck, and kissed her on the lips.

Chelsea watched the couple make out for a bit. "Uh, thanks."

She walked to the fridge, opened it, and searched. She got out a chocolate fizz and popped the can open. She closed the fridge and starting sipping her fizz as she took a closer look around the apartment.

She finished her drink and threw the can in the recycle bin. She decided to use the toilet and walked over to a door. She opened it and discovered it wasn't the bathroom but rather the bedroom.

Curious, she decided to have a look around. She saw a few photos of Kathy and Maggie together and a few of them separately in their youth.

Chelsea noticed the closet and decided to open it and check out their outfits, hoping they wouldn't mind. All of the clothes seemed outdated and not very stylish. Chelsea was unimpressed. She noticed three dresses: a red one, a white one, and an orange one. Those were the closest things to fancy in the closet, but even they looked old and nearly worn out.

Then Chelsea noticed something that stuck out from the other clothes. It was in the far right of the closet and looked like a gray suit. Curious, she pushed the other clothes aside and pulled it out. What she saw shocked her. It looked like a Batman costume, except it was gray. The bat symbol on the front was a pink-red, and so were the gloves. There was a yellow utility belt and even a long gray cape. The shoes were built into the suit.

"Holy shit." Chelsea stared at the costume for a moment and then heard music coming from outside. She went to the door and peaked out.

Kathy and Maggie were holding hands and dancing while music played from their home theater system.

"Don't tell me that you don't like...anything about me. I've seen it in your eyes, that look. You think that I don't notice. Don't hide what you feel inside. Baby, I can feel the same. What to do, it's up to you, so maybe you should try again, or maybe you'll just fade away. Yeah! Betcha never, betcha never, betcha never thought we'd get this far. Betcha never, never ever, betcha never thought you'd touch my heart. Betcha never, betcha never, betcha never thought that I'd surrender. Betcha never thought that you would ever get with me. I betcha never thought of that."

Chelsea smiled and then thought for a moment. Kathy and Maggie were occupied. She had perhaps just enough time to try on the suit. She took off her sneakers. She stepped into the suit through the neck hole. Once the suit was on, she put on the gloves and cape. She walked over to the full-length mirror and looked at herself. Finally, she put on the mask, the eyes of which partially obscured her eyes but still allowed her to see clearly. Her lips were also visible. Chelsea smiled.

She was so into her cosplay that she didn't notice 1) the music had stopped and 2) Kathy had entered the bedroom.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Kathy demanded.

Chelsea turned around, startled. "Kathy! I, uh, well, I was looking for the bathroom, and I opened the wrong door, but I figured it was okay to look around. I saw the costume, and I figured it wouldn't do any harm to try it on-"

"Shut up. Take the suit off and get the hell out of here."

"Please, I-"

"What's going on here?" Maggie asked, walking into the bedroom.

Kathy looked at her. "This little snooping former student of mine found my Batsuit."

"Oh, please don't kick me out of the class!" Chelsea begged. "I'm sorry! Honest!" She took off the mask.

Maggie paused, thoughtful. "You look good in that."

"Mags!" Kathy exclaimed in surprise.

"Well, she does." Maggie looked at Chelsea. "Strike a pose."

Chelsea grinned and assumed a fighting stance. Then she remembered the mask, put it on, and resumed the stance.

Kathy sighed. "Okay, she does look kinda badass."

"Why did you get so upset over me finding your Halloween costume?" Chelsea asked Kathy.

"It's not my Halloween costume; it's my Batsuit."

Chelsea thought for a moment and then gasped in surprise. "You were Batgirl?!"

Maggie laughed.

Kathy frowned. "Batwoman."

"There was a Batwoman?" Chelsea asked, confused.

"Three of us, actually. We were working together. It didn't last long."

"I'd like to hear about it."

Kathy thought for a moment. "Join us for dinner."

Chelsea nodded. "Thanks."

Maggie left the room. Kathy and Chelsea started following her.

Kathy looked back at Chelsea. "Take off the suit."

"Awww." Chelsea returned to the closet, disappointed.


"And that's it."

Chelsea finished the last piece of her steak. "Wow, that was pretty neat."

Kathy finished the last piece of her steak. "Well, it's all in the past."

Chelsea thought for a moment, sipping her cola fizz. "Doesn't have to be."

Kathy laughed. "I'm too old to get back out there."

"No, I mean...a new Batwoman." Chelsea paused for a moment. "Me."

Kathy was stunned. "What?"

"Yeah." Chelsea paused and tried to collect her thoughts. "I never felt more helpless than the night of the attack at the club. I stayed with my friend, Dana, and looked after her after she'd already been attacked, but I couldn't...do...anything!"

Kathy sighed. "Chelsea, you can't just put on a costume and suddenly be a hero."

"I know how to fight."

"Barely."

Chelsea stared into Kathy's black eyes. "Let me try. Let me put on the suit and show you what I can do. Something low-level. If I do a good job, then..." She paused for a moment. "Please, Kathy. I feel like I can be something...beyond what I currently am."

"This is crazy."

"Please. I...I lost my mom."

Kathy was surprised.

"Not like you did. Car accident. Nine years ago. Since then, I'd been raised by a man that seemed to want nothing to do with me. Maybe I was an unwelcome reminder of what he'd lost; my mom looked so much like me." Chelsea shook herself out of the memory. "Anyway, being Batwoman is my chance to prove, at least to myself, that I'm worth a damn. Please, Kathy, I'm begging you."

Kathy stared at Chelsea for a moment and then looked at Maggie. "Mags, what are your thoughts on this?"

Maggie shrugged and finished her last piece of steak. "It's insane. No one would believe a high school cheerleader could be a costumed hero." She paused and thought about it. "And yet...maybe that's what the world needs right now: unconventional solutions totally out of left field."

Kathy looked back at Chelsea, who was staring at her, awaiting a response. Her blue eyes were watering.

Kathy sighed. "All right, we'll try it out."

Chelsea grinned. "Thank you!"


"Okay, try talking."

"What should I say?!" Chelsea asked.

"That's fine, I heard you. Come on out."

Chelsea walked out of the bedroom and over to Kathy and Maggie. Kathy was sitting at her computer.

"Mic's working."

"Earpiece, too. So is that it?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy and Maggie looked at each other briefly.

"You gonna show her?" Maggie asked.

"Show me what?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy looked at Chelsea. "There's one more thing. Let's go downstairs."


Kathy and Chelsea exited the elevator. Chelsea followed Kathy over to a door.

"This was originally a maintenance room. I turned it into a garage." Kathy unlocked the door and turned on the light.

Kathy walked into the garage, and Chelsea followed.

Chelsea looked around. It was pretty barren. There were no cars. There was a work bench. Against the left wall, there were objects covered by a white tarp.

Chelsea looked at Kathy. "You don't have a car?"

Kathy smiled. "I used to have lots of cars. Not anymore, though. Mags and I rely on public transportation, and that's just fine for us. That's not why we're here, though."

Kathy walked over to the left wall and pulled off the tarp, revealing three gray, mechanical, wing-shaped objects.

Chelsea walked over to them, grinning. "Woah, are these the gliders?!"

Kathy nodded. She picked up one of the gliders and took it to the center of the garage, where she set it down. Chelsea walked over to her. The two of them crouched down by the glider.

"Okay, I'm gonna show you how to operate it."

"They still work?" Chelsea asked in surprise.

"Uh-huh. Mags and I have maintained them over the years - with some occasional help from Rocky. Okay, so this button..."


For a half-hour, Kathy trained Chelsea in the use of the glider. Chelsea learned what the various buttons did and how to maintain her balance during low-altitude flights.

Finally, Kathy opened the large garage door. "You're as ready as you'll ever be. Hop on."

Chelsea got onto the glider and held on.

"I want you to go out on patrol. I'll go up to the loft, where Maggie will be monitoring criminal activity. I'll pass along anything that I think you can handle."

"Okay."

Kathy waved. "Twa-la."

Chelsea started pressing buttons, and she and the glider took off, flying out of the garage and into the night sky.

"Okay, so any particular direction to head in?" Chelsea asked.

"Hang tight, Chels. Kathy's not back up here yet."

Chelsea flew aimlessly for a while, looking down at the city, trying to see if she could find something to do.

"Okay, Chelsea, I'm here. I'm picking up the glider's signal. Okay, I want you to head south."

Chelsea did. "Hey, I know these streets." She thought she recognized some figures walking along a sidewalk and went down for a closer look. "Hey, it's Dana, Blade, and Jackie." She frowned. "No doubt going out clubbing without me." She sighed. "I guess I can't blame them, though. I've been at your place for quite a while."

"Well, hey, better to get high on the glider than high in the club."

Chelsea frowned. "Oh, don't lecture me, Ms. Mafia Princess. Like you didn't do a ton of drugs back in the day."

"I neither confirm nor deny-"

"Hang on." Chelsea noticed a figure approaching her friends.

The figure, a person in a hoodie, got in Dana, Blade, and Jackie's path. They stopped. He made a gesture with his left hand while keeping his right hand in his pocket. The girls looked frightened.

Chelsea brought the glider down. "Oh, shit, I think they're being robbed. I'm going down."

When Chelsea was near the street, she hopped off the glider. It hovered nearby. The figure turned around. It was a young man. Chelsea kicked him in the chest. He fell backwards, landing on the sidewalk. Chelsea kneeled and started punching him in the face. Soon, he was unconscious.

"Chelsea?" Kathy asked.

"I'm okay. I got him. Gonna check for a gun."

"No, don't do that!" Maggie told her. "That's evidence. We can't have you jeopardizing a conviction. His lawyer would argue you planted the gun on him."

"You're right." Chelsea stood up, turned, and faced her friends.

They were staring at her in amazement.

Dana smiled. "You saved our lives. Thank you."

Chelsea smiled. "No prob."

"Who are you?" Jackie asked.

Chelsea raised her arms and let her cape flow dramatically in the wind (except there was no wind, so it just stayed in place). "I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the fiend that lets the carb out of your fizz-"

"What's your name?" Blade asked, impatient.

"Oh." Chelsea was a bit disappointed that she didn't get to finish her impromptu speech. "I'm Batwoman."

Her friends smiled.

Chelsea pressed a button on her utility belt. The glider came by. She hopped on it.

Chelsea smiled. "Until next time."

Blade frowned. "Are you implying we're gonna be in danger again?"

"And you'll be there to save us?" Dana asked.

"No, just..." Chelsea sighed. "Keep calm and stay schway." She struck a dramatic pose and pointed toward the sky. "Batwoman away!"

"Chelsea, you're not standing on the glider, are you?" Kathy cautioned.

"Oh, uh, hang on." Chelsea crouched down and held onto the glider. Then she quickly flew away to save herself further embarrassment.


Chelsea flew the glider back into the garage. Kathy closed the garage door. Chelsea got off the glider.

"Well, I'd say you did okay for your first time out."

Chelsea smiled. "So I can continue?"

Kathy smiled. "You can continue."

Chelsea grinned and hugged Kathy.

"Oh, uh..." Kathy was startled and at a loss for words. She eventually hugged Chelsea and smiled. "I didn't say we were hug-buddies, but okay."


Chelsea was standing still, striking a heroic pose, wearing the Batwoman costume. Kathy sat in her computer chair, sketching the newly-minted hero in her sketchbook. Maggie came down from the kitchen area, carrying a bottle of Champagne, a corkscrew, and three wine glasses. She set them down on the desk and opened the bottle. On the home theater system, "All You Wanted" by Michelle Branch was playing.

"There are going to be ground rules."

Chelsea smiled. "Of course."

"No going out on your own. You must be supervised at all times."

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "Yes, Mom."

"No revealing your secret identity while Batwoman. No revealing your costumed identity while Chelsea. No inviting people over here. Got it?"

Chelsea smiled. "Got it."

"Good." Kathy turned her sketchbook around. "What do you think?"

Chelsea took off her mask and studied the sketch. "You've got a good eye."

"Thanks."

Maggie brought two glasses over and offered one to Kathy and one to Chelsea. "Okay, time to toast Gotham's newest hero."

Kathy and Chelsea each took a glass. Maggie retrieved her own glass from the desk.

Kathy raised her glass. "To Batwoman, the hero that Gotham may or may not need right now, but we could always use one more, so why the hell not?"

Chelsea raised her glass. "Thanks, I think."

Maggie raised her glass. "Cheers."

The three ladies clinked their glasses together and then drank their Champagne.

"If you want to, I can save you. I can take you away from here. So lonely inside, so busy out there, and all you wanted was somebody who cares."

Suddenly, a flurry of dark figures flew past the clock face.

"What are those?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy smiled. "Bats."

"Good sign?" Maggie asked.

Chelsea smiled. "Fuck yeah."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

02

"Inque-ing a Deal"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter occurs after Speak No Evil and during and after Inqueling. Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Friday, August 2, 2019, 9:43 PM - 9:51 PM; Saturday, August 3, 2019, 10:50 PM - 10:57 PM; Sunday, August 4, 2019, 9:52 AM - 10:01 AM; Monday, August 5, 2019, 4:04 PM - 4:12 PM; Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 9:27 PM - 9:36 PM; Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 1:33 PM - 1:45 PM; Thursday, August 8, 2019, 11:18 AM - 11:29 AM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:57 AM - 10:07 AM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 3:56 PM - 4:08 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:18 AM - 10:36 AM, 11:21 AM - 11:28 AM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:00 AM - 10:07 AM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 10:17 AM - 10:26 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 2:27 PM - 2:37 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:12 PM - 9:22 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 10:13 AM - 10:20 AM; Sunday, August 18, 2019, 12:53 PM - 1:04 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 5:22 PM - 5:32 PM; Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 9:36 PM - 9:47 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:48 AM - 11:58 AM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 3:41 PM - 3:50 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 11:45 AM - 12:07 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 7:29 PM - 7:39 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 1:50 PM - 2:10 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 9:43 AM - 9:59 AM; Friday, August 30, 2019, 9:21 AM - 9:27 AM, 9:30 PM - 9:39 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 3:39 PM - 4:07 PM; Monday, September 2, 2019, 12:46 PM - 12:57 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 11:09 AM - 11:31 AM; Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 12:07 PM - 12:50 PM; Thursday, September 5, 2019, 9:43 PM - 9:58 PM; Saturday, September 7, 2019, 3:35 PM - 4:39 PM; Sunday, September 8, 2019, 7:19 PM - 7:27 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 2:09 PM - 2:37 PM; Friday, September 13, 2019, 7:41 PM - 10:06 PM; Saturday, September 14, 2019, 12:26 PM - 12:43 PM, 1:55 PM - 2:57 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


"Oof!" Chelsea Cunningham groaned as she fell to the mat.

Kathy Duquesne shook her head. "My grandmother could have dodged that punch, and she's dead."

Chelsea got to her feet. "Sorry, I've just got something on my mind."

"Then maybe get it off your mind. Otherwise, you're not gonna learn anything."

"It's just...the suit's kinda low-tech."

"Shhh!" Kathy shushed.

"What? I'm being quiet."

"Well, you shouldn't take chances like that. Let's go in my office."

Chelsea followed Kathy to her office and closed the door behind her.

Kathy looked at Chelsea. "It's the best that we can do at the moment. We don't have enough creds to build anything high-tech. Besides..." She paused, hesitating.

"What?" Chelsea asked.

"It might not be worth spending a lot of creds on this endeavor...if things don't work out."

Chelsea frowned. "I can't be effective without a budget."

"Y'know, back in the day, the original Batman made do with a regular old suit, a grappling hook, some Batarangs, and his athletic prowess."

"Point taken. Still, at least Batman had a schway ride."

"You want me to get you your own Batmobile?" Kathy didn't even attempt to hide her amusement. "I'm not rich, y'know. We lost most of our money when my daddy was sent to prison."

"Well..." Chelsea paused in thought for a moment. "I know a guy that knows a guy. My friend, Terry, works for Bruce Wayne."

Kathy hesitated. "I know the guy."

Chelsea smiled. "We could pay him a visit."

Kathy thought about it and then sighed. "Very well. I'll give him a call. He doesn't like visitors dropping by unannounced."


After class, Kathy drove Chelsea to Wayne Manor. They arrived at the gate, and it opened. They drove onto the manor grounds and parked by the front entrance. They got out of the car and walked up to the front entrance. Kathy rang the doorbell. They waited.

"You did call, right?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah."

Soon, the door opened, and Bruce Wayne stood in the doorway.

Kathy smiled. "It's good to see you, Bruce. You're looking well."

Bruce smiled. "I appreciate the sentiment, but we both know that's false. You, on the other hand..." He paused. "Still teaching at the dojo?"

"Yes." Kathy gestured at Chelsea. "In fact, this is one of my newer students."

Chelsea smiled. "Hi, Mr. Wayne. I'm Chelsea Cunningham. My friend, Terry, works for you."

Bruce smiled, a bit surprised. "Hi, Chelsea. Yeah, Terry's mentioned you a few times." He stepped aside. "Come in."

Kathy and Chelsea walked into the manor, and Bruce closed and locked the door.


Bruce brought tea for the three of them and poured it into cups. He offered one to Kathy and one to Chelsea. He took one for himself and sat in his chair.

Kathy smiled. "Thank you."

Chelsea smiled. "Yeah, thanks."

"So what brings you here?" Bruce asked Kathy.

"To the point. Okay. You remember how we met? During that thing that I was involved in?"

Chelsea looked at her. "You mean when you were Batwoman, right?"

Bruce looked at Chelsea in surprise and then looked at Kathy in anger. "You told her about that?"

Kathy felt a bit embarrassed. "She found my old suit. Anyway, she decided she wants to become the new Batwoman."

Bruce frowned. "You said 'No', of course."

"I was skeptical, but she proved her capability on her first night out."

Bruce looked at Chelsea. She smiled sweetly at him.

Kathy sipped her tea. "Anyway, she - we...were hoping you could maybe provide some tech support."

Bruce raised an eyebrow.

"Y'know, upgrade the Batsuit-"

Chelsea grinned. "Get me a Batmobile."

Bruce set down his cup. "Absolutely not."

Chelsea frowned, sad. "Why not?"

"Because I don't believe you have what it takes, and I won't be party to getting you killed."

Chelsea set down her cup. "Mr. Wayne, I want to do this. I am doing this. I just need a little extra oomph."

"Well, you'll just have to get your 'oomph' somewhere else."

Chelsea sat in silence for a moment, contemplating the situation. She noticed how Kathy and Bruce were looking at each other. Finally, she looked at Bruce. "You were Batman, weren't you? The original Batman, back in the day."

Bruce looked at her but made no reply.

"We learned about you in business class. You lost your parents in an armed robbery when you were really young. Is that what motivated you to become Batman?" Chelsea asked him.

Bruce still made no reply.

"I'm lucky to not have gone through something that tragic. My mom died when I was little, but it was nothing like that. But I still know what it's like to feel scared, helpless, and frustrated. I want to help girls - and anyone else. That's why I want to be Batwoman."

Bruce thought about it for a while. "I'm sorry. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to prepare for a trip. You can see yourselves out."

Chelsea felt helpless and a bit angry. She just sat where she was for a moment.

Kathy stood up. "Come on, Chelsea. See ya, Bruce."

"Kathy."

Chelsea stood up and followed Kathy, dejected.


Chelsea dodged the punches thrown at her, doing somersaults and cartwheels. She did a back flip onto the hood of a car and kicked the gun out of the hand of one of the car thieves just as he pulled it out. Another drew his own gun. Chelsea did a jump kick and disarmed him as well, but she slipped as she landed and fell off the car. She groaned but got to her feet. The two men tried to pin her against the car, but she squeezed out just in time. She ran away, turned, and threw two Batarangs, hitting them in the head. Then she ran at them and unleashed a flurry of punches. They fell to the pavement.

Suddenly, Chelsea heard approaching sirens. "Cops are on their way."

"Get out of there."

"No, stay."

"I'm confused. Which is it?" Chelsea asked.

"I just think it'd help if she meets with the police. I know Commissioner Gordon. She should be cool with this. She's cool with Batman."

Kathy sighed. "Fine. Stay put, Chelsea."

Chelsea stayed where she was. The police cars arrived, and officers got out. They stared at the scene before them in surprise. Chelsea grinned, posed, and gestured at the car thieves like a useless model on a game show.


"The Batwoman strikes again, this time taking out two car thieves. She even stayed behind to talk with the police. It seems Gotham's finest owe another debt of gratitude to its newest costumed crimefighter."

"Well, there's been no official statement from Commissioner Gordon yet, but Batwoman certainly has the support of her fans. Remember this excited reaction after her first appearance just a short while ago?"

"Omigod, Batwoman is the best hero ever!" Dana squeed.

"She totally saved us!" Jackie added.

Blade smiled. "She can enter my cave anytime!"

"Moving on to weather-"

Kathy turned off the TV, looked at Chelsea, and smiled. "Well, it seems Batwoman's a hit. Congrats."

Chelsea smiled.

"Ms. Duquesne? Ms. Sawyer?" a voice asked over the intercom.

"Uh-oh, we've got a visitor."

Kathy and Chelsea looked over at Maggie.

"Who?" Kathy asked.

"Commissioner Gordon."

"What does she want?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy sighed. "I have a feeling. Let her in."

Maggie pressed the buzzer. Soon, the elevator started moving. When it stopped, the doors opened, and Commissioner Barbara Gordon walked out and into the loft.

Maggie smiled and stood up. "Hi, Barb."

Barbara briefly looked up at her. "Maggie." She looked at Kathy. "Kathy, you know why I'm here."

"I do?" Kathy asked innocently, giving Barbara a sweet smile.

"Cut the innocent act. I know you were one of the Batwomen back in the day, and you're the only one still residing in Gotham. When a new Batwoman shows up in the same suit, it's not a leap to guess you're behind it. Who is she?"

"What are you gonna do?" Kathy asked her.

"Answer the goddamn question!" Barbara demanded.

"It's me."

Barbara turned and looked at Chelsea.

"I'm Batwoman."

Barbara stared at Chelsea in disbelief and then rolled her eyes. "Oh, you've gotta be fucking kidding me. Chelsea Cunningham is Batwoman? She's just-"

"I'm just what?" Chelsea asked, glaring at her.

"You're a flake."

Chelsea frowned. "I'll give you a chance to take that back, Batgirl."

A momentary look of shock passed over Barbara's face.

"Oh, yeah, I know. Once I figured out that Bruce Wayne was Batman, it was only a matter of comparing photos of the women in his life with photos of Batgirl. Likewise, I know Dick Grayson and Tim Drake were Robin and Selina Kyle was Catwoman."

Barbara stared at Chelsea, dumbstruck.

Chelsea smiled. "That flakey enough for you?"

Barbara stared at Chelsea a moment longer and then turned and walked away. "You're in way over your head, kid. Stay safe."

Chelsea grinned. "Luckily, I've got a kickass support system."

Barbara didn't reply. She just got into the elevator and left.


Chelsea was exhausted. She walked into class and sat to Dana's right.

Dana looked at her. "You look terrible. No wonder you had me drive you today. You look like you're about to fall over."

Chelsea yawned. "Just the Monday blahs."

"It's Friday. You okay?"

Chelsea yawned. "I'm fine, just a day behind. My days are overlapping."

"I was thinking maybe we could go to Rhino's after school. You up for it?"

"That's the restaurant by the beach, right?" Chelsea asked.

"Uh-huh."

"Yeah, sure, I'll come. I'll even bring along Nelson."

Dana was surprised. "You're seeing him again?"

"Kinda. He asked me to give him another chance, so I put him on probation."

Dana smiled judgmentally and folded her arms over her chest. "And you criticize me for continuing to see Terry."

"Fair point. I'm a fucking hypocrite." Chelsea yawned and rested her head on the table. "Good night."

Terry walked into the classroom, exhausted. He yawned loudly.

Dana smiled. "At least, you're not the only one with energy problems."

Terry walked over to them. "Hey, Dana."

Dana smiled. "Hey, Terry."

Terry looked at Chelsea. "Hey, Chels, do you mind?"

Chelsea groaned. "Huh? What?"

"I'd like to sit next to my girlfriend."

Chelsea groaned again, stood up, and made her way over to Nelson.


As the bell rang to end class, Chelsea walked with Nelson past Terry and Dana.

"Do you have some time after school?" Dana asked. "Some of us are going over to Rhino's, and I thought it would be nice to just hang for a change."

"I..." Terry paused.

Chelsea guessed an excuse was coming up.

"I'll make time."

Chelsea was surprised.

"Great."

Chelsea and Nelson exited the classroom.

Nelson smiled at Chelsea. "See ya after school, babe."

Chelsea smiled. "'Til then."

Nelson bent over and kissed Chelsea on the lips, and then he turned and walked away.

Chelsea grinned and made her way to her locker with a skip in her step.


Chelsea, Nelson, Dana, Max, Jackie, and Blade were sitting in a booth at Rhino's. Chelsea and Nelson were sitting by the window, across from each other. Dana sat to Chelsea's right. Max sat across from Dana. Jackie sat to Dana's right. Blade sat across from Jackie.

Chelsea looked out the window at the ocean surf hitting the sand on the beach. She stuck a fry in her mouth and smiled. "Such a romantic view, huh?"

She got no response from Nelson, so she eventually looked at him. He was looking at his phone.

"Wouldn't you agree, Nelson?" Chelsea asked.

"Uh-huh, sure, babe, order whatever you want. My treat."

Chelsea frowned. "Of course, it'd look even more romantic if I went out there, stripped naked, and offered to fuck and suck people in the mud for money."

"Uh-huh. You do you, babe."

"Nelson!" Chelsea screamed in frustration.

Nelson looked up from his phone. "Huh?"

"We're in a romantic setting, and you can't appreciate it."

"Sorry, babe, I just got a lot on my mind."

"Wanna talk about it?" Chelsea offered.

Nelson hesitated. "Maybe some other time. I gotta go." He stood up and looked at Max and Blade. "Girls, could you move?"

Max and Blade sighed, stood up, and got out of the booth.

Nelson got out of the booth. He took out his credit card and offered it to Chelsea. "You girls order whatever you want, okay? It's on me."

Chelsea took the card, giving him an icy stare. "Yeah. Sure."

Nelson turned and walked away. Max sat back in the booth.

Blade sat back in the booth. "That was weird."

Jackie nodded. "Totally."

Chelsea looked at Dana. "I'm starting to get how you feel when Terry blows you off."

Dana smiled. "Actually, I haven't been mad since I figured out what's really going on."

Chelsea paused in surprise as she was about to take a bite of her Supreme Bacon Triple Cheeseburger. "You have?"

"Yeah. I understand the special nature of his job."

"You do?" Chelsea asked.

"With his dad being gone, it's important for him to have a positive father figure."

Chelsea was a bit disappointed. "Oh."

Max smiled at her. "What did you think she meant, Chels?"

"Oh, nothing." Chelsea started eating her cheeseburger.


A few days later, Chelsea got a Pow fizz from the vending machine and slammed it back. Terry walked up behind her and got one for himself.

"You, too, huh?" Chelsea asked him.

"Oh, yeah. Rough night." Terry gulped down the Pow fizz.

Chelsea stared at him for a moment, and then she came to a realization, and her eyes opened wide, her sleepiness suddenly gone. "Holy shit, you're Batman."

Terry spat out some of his drink as it nearly went down the wrong pipe. "What?! No, I'm not!"

"It all fits. The exhaustion, the sudden disappearances, the tragic backstory, working for Mr. Wayne..."

Terry looked at her, surprised.

"I know he used to be Batman. He didn't say anything, but he didn't have to."

"Why'd you go to see Bruce?"

"Long story, but the short version is I'm Batwoman, and I need money."

"I'm sorry, what?"

Chelsea smiled and shrugged. "I've become a costumed crimefighter. But I have no budget. So...do you know anyone with lots of money? Oh, and Bruce has already turned me down, so...no help there."

Terry thought for a moment, and Chelsea saw inspiration cross his face before quickly disappearing.

Chelsea grinned. "You have an idea."

"No, I don't."

"Yeah, you do. I saw your mind at work."

"My mind doesn't work! You take that back!" Terry cried.

Chelsea folded her arms over her chest and waited.

Terry sighed. "Look, it's a bad idea. Just forget it."

"Tell me, and I'll decide if it's a bad idea."

"Well, I recently met this girl. Her name's Deanna Clay. She recently inherited a lot of money. But she's also the daughter of Inque, one of the most dangerous adversaries that I've ever faced. If Inque's still out there, Deanna's a target." Terry paused for a moment. "Besides, Deanna's not exactly a good person. She had stolen for her mother and then betrayed her in the end, seemingly killing her. She's not someone that you should get involved with."

Chelsea thought about this for a moment. "You're probably right. Do you have her address?"


Chelsea rang the doorbell.

Soon, the door opened. A butler was standing there.

"Yes?" he asked.

"Hi, my name is Chelsea Cunningham. Is Ms. Clay home?"

"Is she expecting you?"

"No, but I have a proposition for her. I think she'll be interested in it. Tell her that a mutual acquaintance put me in touch with her."

"Very well." He turned and walked away.

While she waited, Chelsea looked around at the front yard. She found more delight in the birds that she saw than anything else.

"Yes?"

Chelsea turned around and saw a girl with short, dark red hair and black eyes standing in the doorway. She was wearing a bikini.

"Ms. Clay?" Chelsea asked.

"Who else?"

"Uh, right. My name's Chelsea Cunningham. Batman sent me in your direction."

Deanna frowned. "I wish he'd stop worrying about me."

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "Oh, get over yourself. I'm here against his advice. I have a proposition."

"Oh?"

"I've gotten into the hero thing, too, but my associates and I need a bunch of creds, so I can up my game."

"What's in it for me?"

"I know about your mom, and I know what you've done for her - and to her. One of my associates has an in with the GCPD. She'll keep them off your back, and I'll do my best to protect you if and when Inque shows up to exact her revenge on your murderous ass." Chelsea punctuated the offer by grinning sweetly.

Deanna thought about it for a moment and then gestured at the door. "Come inside. Let's work out the details."


"You did what?!" Kathy screamed. "You made a deal with a criminal?!"

Chelsea smiled. "Not true. Deanna Clay is a tragic, misunderstood antihero."

Kathy rolled her eyes. "Oh, please."

"And you promised I'd keep the police away from her!" Maggie screamed.

"Okay, yeah, that part's true. But c'mon! We're getting some serious creds! This is the big break that Team Batwoman needs!"

Kathy raised an eyebrow. "'Team Batwoman'?"

"Chels, I don't think the money's worth all of the stuff that you promised." Maggie brought up a profile of Inque on the computer. "Inque is one of the most dangerous perps that's shown up in this city. How do you expect to protect Deanna against her?"

"With all of the schway gear that'll be installed in the Batsuit."

"And until all of the 'schway gear' can be installed?" Kathy asked.

Chelsea thought about that for a moment, and her smile faded. "Oh."

"Anything else we should know about?" Kathy asked her.

Before Chelsea could say anything, they heard the sound of the elevator rising. Kathy and Maggie faced the doors and folded their arms.

Soon, the doors opened, and Deanna walked out.

"Afternoon, Super Friends!" Deanna cried cheerfully as she walked toward them.

Kathy and Maggie stared at Chelsea in anger. Chelsea shrugged and grinned nervously.

"You invited her into the lair?!" Kathy asked in disbelief. "What's the fourth ground rule?!"

Chelsea laughed nervously and gestured toward Deanna. "Meet our new-"

"Girl in the chair!" Deanna sat in Kathy's computer chair and spun around in delight. She put her feet up on the desk and leaned back.

Kathy shoved Deanna's feet off the desk. "Get the fuck out and forget you ever saw this."

Deanna grinned. "Part of the deal, babe."

Kathy scowled at her. "We're not that desperate!"

Chelsea grinned. "I am! Besides, you and Maggie sometimes have evening classes at the same time, and that leaves no one to feed me info."

Kathy looked at Chelsea and then at Deanna. She sighed. "How much do you know about this tech?"

Deanna shrugged. "I've used similar stuff before. The learning curve shouldn't be too bad."

Kathy thought for a moment. "Fine. Let's see what you've got."

Deanna grinned and started working the console. "Aaaand...done."

"What did you do?" Kathy asked.

"Deposited a million creds into your account."

Chelsea grinned. "Time to go shopping!"

"Hang on." Kathy looked at Deanna. "A million creds is nice, but I need to hear more about your arrangement with Chelsea."

"Simple: Batwoman will be my personal bodyguard whenever I'm outside the clock tower."

Kathy was confused. "Whenever you're-"

"Now, I believe the new season of Fuck Dynasty just dropped today." Deanna stood up.

Kathy shoved Deanna back into the chair. "Not so fast. If you wanna be the 'girl in the chair', you need to learn everything."

Deanna sighed.


Deanna groaned. "That was so tedious!"

"Yeah, well, the 'girl in the chair' needs to know what she's doing."

Deanna looked at Chelsea. "Anyway, I take issue with you being out of costume. Batwoman is supposed to be protecting me, not Hamilton Hill High's head cheerleader."

Chelsea frowned. "I am not wearing that costume around town in broad daylight."

"Suit yourself." Deanna laughed. "Get it? 'Suit'?"

Chelsea rolled her eyes.

"Anyway, which way?" Deanna asked.

"Right at the next intersection, and then it's on the right."

Deanna followed Chelsea's instructions, and they soon arrived at Deckard's Kitchen. Deanna parked her car, and she and Chelsea got out. They entered the restaurant.

Melanie Walker was at the counter. "Hey, Chels. Who's your friend?"

"Uh, this is Deanna. Deanna, this is Melanie. Deanna's gonna be hanging out here while I work my shift."

The manager, a large, burly man with facial stubble, walked by. "Not unless she's buyin' somethin', she's not."

Chelsea smiled. "Oh, don't worry. She has plenty of money." She looked at Deanna. "Well, I'm gonna go clock in. Have fun."


Chelsea was in the middle of her shift when a liquid form suddenly emerged from the floor and grabbed hold of Deanna's legs. Deanna, who had been sitting on a stool at the counter and enjoying a cheeseburger, fries, and a strawberry fizz for lunch, screamed in terror as she was lifted upside-down into the air.

Chelsea, who had been in the middle of taking the contents of her serving tray off it and placing them on a table, promptly dropped her tray on the table, turned around, and watched in horror as the figure solidified into Inque and held a terrified Deanna in front of her white, featureless face.

"Mom!" Deanna exclaimed.

"How dare you try to kill me?!" Inque raged at her daughter.

Deanna tried to put on a cold, stern face. "You had it coming!"

Inque was just as cold. "And now you do."

Chelsea, who had been staring at Inque and Deanna, frozen with fear, suddenly regained her composure and frowned. "Leave her alone!"

Inque turned and looked at Chelsea - as much as one could with a blank face. "Who are you?!"

"I'm..." Chelsea paused and thought for a moment. "I'm her friend!"

"I'm surprised to hear she has any. Did she tell you what she did to me?"

"I've heard of it, and I'm sorry that you were harmed, but killing her won't change anything; it'll merely confirm what we believe you are."

Inque thought for a moment, and then she tossed Deanna toward Chelsea. "Catch!"

Deanna screamed. Chelsea ran and caught her, and then she set her gently on the floor. Inque liquefied and left the building.

Deanna looked at Chelsea. "Do you think that's it?"

"I doubt it. I think we oughta discuss strategy back at the clock tower."

"Great, let's go." Deanna started walking away.

Chelsea yanked on her shirt, pulling her back. "After my shift's over. I've still got two more hours of work."

Deanna sighed.


Deanna rubbed her belly. "If I see another chocolate shake, I'm gonna blow chunks."

Chelsea looked at her. "Serves you right. If you'd taken your time with all of your meals, you could have eaten way less."

The two of them exited the elevator and entered the loft. It was empty.

Chelsea threw up her hands. "Great, I guess Kathy and Maggie went out."

"Should we call them for help?" Deanna asked.

Chelsea walked over to Kathy's computer and took a sticky note off the screen. "'Since we've got a new girl to warm the computer chair, we've decided to go out on a date. Twa-la, Kathy'"

"So that's a 'No'?" Deanna asked.

Chelsea set down the note. "No problem. We can handle this ourselves. Get on the computer. Search for any sightings of Inque. I'm gonna go out on patrol." She headed for the elevator.

"What are you gonna do if you come across her?" Deanna asked.

Chelsea briefly looked back at her. "I'll fight her...and protect you. That's our agreement, right?"


Chelsea got the Batwoman costume out of the trunk of her car. Then she headed back toward the garage.

Suddenly, she saw a taxi stop in front of the clock tower. Kathy and Maggie got out. The taxi drove off.

Chelsea walked over to them. "Hey. I thought you were on a date."

Kathy sighed. "The restaurant that we had reservations at closed due to a bomb threat. Don't worry, they rescheduled us."

Chelsea wasn't even thinking of that, so she just kind of shrugged it off.

Maggie nodded at the Batsuit. "Going somewhere?"

"I was gonna take a glider out and look for Inque. Don't worry, Deanna's supervising me."

Kathy rolled her eyes. "Oh, that's reassuring. C'mon, let's go upstairs and talk this through."


Chelsea, wearing the Batsuit, was posing as Kathy started on her painting of Batwoman. Maggie and Deanna were sitting on the couch, watching. On the home theater system, "Flesh and Blood" by Kirstin Candy was playing.

"So, just to be clear, Inque didn't kill you, Deanna, right?" Kathy asked.

Deanna blinked a few times in confusion. "Yeah, that's right."

"Even though she totally could have."

"Uh-huh."

"Well, it seems to me that Chelsea saved your life, and she didn't need to be Batwoman to do it."

Deanna thought about it. "You really think so?"

"Well, why else would she let you go?" Kathy asked her.

Deanna shrugged. "To torture me, maybe? 'Okay, you're safe, sweetie. Oh, wait, no, you're not. You're fucking dead.'"

"Well, that is a possibility, and it's one that you'll have to live with. Honestly, I think you deserve to live in fear."

Chelsea frowned. "Kathy, was that really necessary?"

Kathy shrugged.

Maggie stood up. "Who wants a beer?"

Everyone raised their hands. Maggie went up to the kitchen.

"I made a stupid mistake, and it was all you could take. Couldn't you take away this cross, or is it easier to write me off? I'm only flesh and blood. I come so easily undone. I'm only flesh and blood. Now, you know that, baby, better than anyone."

"So what you're saying is...I succeeded? I beat the bad guy?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy nodded. "Not all victories are won by fighting, Chelsea. Some are won by words."

Deanna smiled. "Well, I guess thanks are in order. I'll add another million creds to your account, Kathy, and you can get started on the upgrades."

Chelsea smiled and took off her mask. "Woo-hoo! Time for a new ride!"

Kathy pointed a warning finger at her. "Which you will not use until you've learned all of the controls."

Chelsea lost her smile. "Awww..."

Maggie came by and passed out the beers, keeping one for herself. She opened the bottles.

Deanna contemplated the events of the day as she took a gulp of her beer. "I wonder what was going through my mother's mind before she...showed me more mercy than I'd showed her."

Chelsea took a gulp of her beer, looked at Deanna sympathetically, and offered her a faint smile. "Maybe she realized, no matter what you've done, no matter what you've become, she couldn't hurt her own flesh and blood."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

03

"Schway Gear"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter occurs before, during, and after Unmasked. Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Saturday, August 3, 2019, 11:00 PM - 11:05 PM; Sunday, August 4, 2019, 1:15 PM - 1:20 PM; Monday, August 5, 2019, 4:58 PM - 5:13 PM; Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 9:37 PM - 9:52 PM; Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 1:45 PM - 2:09 PM; Thursday, August 8, 2019, 8:01 PM - 8:22 PM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 8:23 PM - 8:43 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 4:57 PM - 5:18 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 11:28 AM - 11:41 AM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:16 AM - 10:38 AM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 10:33 AM - 10:42 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 7:13 PM - 7:22 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:22 PM - 9:31 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 10:25 AM - 10:34 AM; Sunday, August 18, 2019, 1:07 PM - 1:17 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 5:33 PM - 5:41 PM; Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 9:54 PM - 10:00 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 11:58 AM - 12:10 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 3:50 PM - 3:56 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 12:08 PM - 12:22 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 8:08 PM - 8:17 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 2:10 PM - 2:16 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 10:00 AM - 10:13 AM; Friday, August 30, 2019, 9:39 PM - 9:52 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 4:37 PM - 5:03 PM; Monday, September 2, 2019, 1:15 PM - 1:25 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 11:36 AM - 11:37 AM, 12:24 PM - 12:40 PM; Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 1:04 PM - 1:13 PM; Saturday, September 7, 2019, 7:04 PM - 7:22 PM; Sunday, September 8, 2019, 7:34 PM - 7:40 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 2:51 PM - 3:02 PM; Saturday, September 14, 2019, 9:20 PM (9:30 PM to actually start) - 9:52 PM; Sunday, September 15, 2019, 8:33 PM - 8:57 PM; Monday, September 16, 2019, 10:36 AM - 10:45 AM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 1:10 PM - 2:03 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 11:11 AM - 11:20 AM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:43 PM - 8:49 PM; Friday, September 20, 2019, 8:24 PM - 9:30 PM, 9:43 PM - 9:59 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


"What's the surprise?" Chelsea Cunningham asked as she followed Kathy Duquesne to the garage.

Kathy smiled. "You'll see."

Chelsea was definitely curious. Her mentor had texted her and told her to come over to see something special, but she wouldn't say what it was.

They arrived at the garage. Kathy opened the door, and the light turned on. She stepped aside.

Chelsea walked into the the garage and stared in shock. "Holy shit."

Sitting there was a sleek black car.

Kathy smiled and walked into the garage after her. "Your very own Batmobile."

"Schway." Chelsea got closer and studied the vehicle.

The car was a sleek black with tinted windows. Kathy walked over and took a remote control out of her pocket. She pressed a button. The roof slid back, revealing the cockpit.

"This is an extra remote. I've integrated the same controls into your new Batsuit. Okay, hop in."

Chelsea climbed into the cockpit.

"How does it feel?" Kathy asked.

"Pretty comfy. Leather seat?"

"Yeah." Kathy pressed another button on the remote.

The dashboard lit up.

"Everything's clearly marked and self-explanatory. You've got a cloak, a tractor beam, and a grappling hook."

"How'd you manage to get this made? Didn't anyone ask you any questions?" Chelsea asked.

"I got different components from different places and also had them installed in different places. I kinda went to guys that are in the habit of not asking questions."

Chelsea got the idea. "Yeah, okay, forget I asked." She grinned. "Ooh, turbo boost!" She reached for the button.

Kathy slapped her hand away. "Don't touch that! My garage isn't a drag strip!"

"Sorry." Chelsea's eyes suddenly lit up. "Ooh, drag racing!"

"Forget it!"

Chelsea was silent for a moment. "So what about the Batsuit?"

"Come over here." Kathy walked away.

Chelsea got out of the Batmobile and followed Kathy over to a work table. The Batsuit lay on it. It was black, and the bat logo was red. It looked pretty much like Terry's suit.

"Put it on."

Chelsea took off her sneakers and picked up the Batsuit. She climbed into it through the neck. She didn't put on the mask.

"Among the things that I had installed are servo-motors to amplify your natural abilities, a Jet-wing for flight capability, batarangs of various kinds, grappling guns, bolas, a cloaking device, rocket boots, touch-sensitive microphones on the index and middle fingers, a personal communicator, discs, electromagnetic pads in the soles of the boots for adhesion to surfaces, retractable claws in the fingers, and smoke pellets."

Chelsea looked at the suit and smiled. "Schway. Deanna really came through."

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Oh, is the new color scheme gonna fuck up your painting?" Chelsea asked.

"Nah. I haven't started coloring the suit yet. Anyway, you'll learn to use all of these things in time. Maybe try out a few of the less-damaging things here in the garage before you go out in the field."

"Yeah, okay."

"Put on the mask."

Chelsea did.

"Activate the visor."

"How?"

"By voice command."

"Oh. Visor on."

The visor in Chelsea's Batsuit activated. Her vision took on a reddish tint.

"You have night vision, binoculars, and an infrared filter. It's hooked up to my computer, so I can see what you see, and I can also send you stuff, which will appear on your display. Speaking of which, I'm gonna go to my computer, and we're gonna test the communicator and the visor."

"Okay."


The next day, at Hamilton Hill High School, Chelsea was sitting with Dana at their usual lunch table.

"So you ready for the fundraiser?" Dana asked.

"Yeah." Chelsea stuck a french fry in her mouth. "It sucks that we have to raise money for new cheerleading uniforms, though, like the school can't just buy them for us."

Terry and Max walked over to their table and sat down, Terry next to Dana and Max next to Chelsea.

Max frowned at Chelsea. "If you don't wanna help by volunteering, you can at least buy some cookies or something."

Chelsea frowned. "Hey, I never said I didn't wanna volunteer."

"Fine. After school."

"I'll be there."

Terry looked at both of them. "You gonna sell stuff or beat each other up?"


After school, they had the fundraiser, which sometimes involved the girls doing various cheers or stunts in order to drum up business. When it was done, they started cleaning up.

"How'd we do?" Jackie asked.

Chelsea checked the credit card scanner and smiled. "Not bad. Pretty good, in fact. 304 creds."

Most of the other girls cheered.

"Isn't that great, Dana?" Chelsea asked.

Dana blew some hair out of her face. "Yeah, great. Where the fuck's Terry? He missed the whole thing."

Max looked at her. "Probably doing something for Mr. Wayne. That job takes a lot of time and energy, y'know."

Chelsea nodded. "Oh, yeah."

Max and Dana looked at her.

"Um, well, I can imagine."

"Yeah, whatever. I'm not gonna wait around for him. See ya." Dana walked away.

Max watched her leave in concern.

Chelsea observed this. "Let me guess: trouble in paradise?"

Jackie nodded. "Oh, yeah."

Max sighed. "Well, these people are slacking. I gotta motivate them." She walked away.

"Okay, see ya." Chelsea looked at Jackie. "Later."

Jackie smiled. "Bye, Chels."


Chelsea was flying the Batmobile on her nightly patrol of Gotham.

"So get this. Nelson stood me up for a date tonight. He's taking out Blade instead. Can you believe that? I give him another chance, and this is how he shows his gratitude?"

"Why are you complaining to me about your love life?" Kathy asked.

"Well, my other gal pals ain't here."

"Since when are we 'gal pals'?" Kathy asked her.

Chelsea gasped. "You mean we're not?"

"I'm your gal pal, Chels."

Chelsea smiled. "Thanks, Maggie."

"Don't encourage her, Mags."

"Chels, I just picked up police chatter regarding a break-in at Cyodine Tech. Check it out."

"On it." Chelsea followed the coordinates that Maggie sent her.


"Where should I park?" Chelsea asked.

"On a rooftop. Then scope out the area below."

Chelsea frowned. "You sure, Kathy? How am I supposed to get down?"

"Jump. Repel down the side of the building. Fly."

"Oh."

Chelsea landed the Batmobile on the roof of an adjacent building, got out, walked over to the edge, and looked down at Cyodine's front entrance. She scanned it with her visor. She didn't see anything, so she activated her suit's cloaking device and flew down to circle the building. She scanned all of the entrances. Finally, she came across an open door. She landed on the ground and walked inside.

"Looks like a development lab." Chelsea scanned the room from side to side. "I don't see anyone, though."

Suddenly, she came across an armored figure ripping open a storage booth.

"Scratch that. You seein' this?"

"Of course. Scan it before you engage."

Chelsea scanned the armored figure. She was a bit overwhelmed by all of the information but came to the conclusion that her suit and arsenal were capable. "I think I can take him."

"All right. Go for it."

Chelsea decloaked and threw an electric batarang at the figure. It hit the figure in the back and sent an electric shock through the armor. While appearing momentarily stunned, the figure soon turned around and charged at Chelsea.

"Oh, shit." Chelsea did a few back flips and then jumped up on some large equipment. She threw another electric batarang at the figure and then jumped down, kicking it in the head.

The impact shook her, and then she landed on the floor, somehow on her feet. She ignored the pain in her leg and turned around. She grabbed some bolas from her utility belt and threw them, but the figure shrugged them off, turned, and ran away.

"Don't pursue him. You managed to prevent him from stealing anything. Let's call that a win."

"It doesn't feel like a win." Chelsea grunted as she started walking, the pain in her leg nearly overwhelming her. "Fuck, my leg."

"Come back here. Let's take a look at it."


Chelsea sat on the computer desk, clad in only skimpy lingerie. Kathy was examining her leg with some medical equipment that she'd recently purchased. Maggie stood nearby, watching.

"So...this is what you wear under the Batsuit?" Kathy asked Chelsea.

"Not usually. I started out by going naked, but then I figured it might be better to wear at least something in case a sitch like this ever came up."

Kathy raised her eyebrows. "So you take the time to take off your shirt and skirt before your nightly patrols?"

"Actually, I take the time to do that and put on the lingerie, since I keep them in the trunk of my car."

"Okay, stop. Geez, kids these days."

Chelsea laughed. "So what's wrong with my leg?"

"What? Oh. Nothing. The Batsuit absorbed most of the impact."

"Doesn't feel like it."

"It'll ache for a while, but you'll be all right."

"Thanks, Doc." Chelsea climbed off the table. "So what's the deal with the baddie?"

Kathy shrugged. "No idea."

"Well, what was he after?" Chelsea asked.

Maggie shrugged. "Any number of things, all bad."

"That particular lab that you entered is devoted to weapon and armor development."

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "Great, some dude in badass armor stood around and thought 'Hmmm, this armor isn't badass enough. I'm gonna steal some more.'"

Maggie shook her head. "He might be working for an individual or organization and stealing tech for any number of reasons."

Kathy started typing. "I'll do some digging and see if any of this shit has turned up on the black market."

"So what should I do in the meantime?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy shrugged. "Get some rest. Go out clubbing. Get laid. Whatever."

"'Kay, later." Chelsea waved and headed toward the elevator.


Chelsea walked into the living room and closed and locked the front door behind her. She went upstairs and tried to make her way to her bedroom as quietly as possible.

Suddenly, the door to Dana's bedroom opened, and she walked into the hallway.

"Hey, you went out."

Chelsea looked at her. "Yes, Mom. I went over to Kathy's."

"Who's Kathy?"

"My sensei."

"Okay." Dana thought that was a little weird but didn't push it. "It'd be a bit of a late start, but do you wanna go out to a club or two?"

Chelsea thought about it. "Nah, I'm gonna go to bed. Got the breakfast shift tomorrow."

"Oh, okay."

"But you don't have to stay in on my account. Ask Jackie, Blade, or Max if they wanna go."

"Yeah, okay. Well, good night."

"Good night." Chelsea went into her bedroom and closed the door.


The next morning, at Deckard's Kitchen, Chelsea was busy taking orders from and serving customers. The place was packed and noisy.

"Chels, get this to table 15." Melanie Walker passed a tray to her.

"Yeah, okay." Chelsea headed in that direction.

Suddenly, the door opened, and more customers entered the restaurant.

Dana grinned and waved. "Hey, Chels."

Chelsea briefly looked at her. "No time to talk. Grab a booth."

Dana, Terry, Blade, and Nelson looked at each other and shrugged. They went to find an empty booth.

Chelsea set down the order for the customers at table 15, returned to the counter to get four menus, and then located her friends. She flipped a page on her order pad and took out her pen. "Welcome to Deckard's Kitchen. My name is Chelsea. I'll be your waiter." She set down the menus. "Would you like to start out with any drinks or appetizers?"

Dana smiled. "I'll have a cola fizz."

Terry smiled. "Me, too."

Nelson grinned. "The little lady and I will share a root beer float."

Blade frowned at him. "Uh, excuse you. No, we won't." She looked at Chelsea. "I'll have a chocolate fizz."

Nelson frowned. "Oh, well, then forget it. I'll have a fruit punch fizz."

Chelsea finished writing the orders down and gave Nelson a dirty, hurtful look. "Coming right up."

She turned and walked away. As she did so, she overheard their conversation.

"What was that about?" Terry asked.

Nelson laughed. "I think Chelsea's upset, because I upgraded."

"Upgraded?" Dana asked in confusion.

"Uh, never mind."

"Wait a minute. I recall Chelsea grumbling about you as she headed out last night. Did anything happen between the two of you?" Dana asked.

"Wait a minute. Nelson went out clubbing with me last night."

There was a long pause.

"You broke off a date with Chelsea to take out Blade?!" Dana finally asked in disbelief.

"Not cool, man!" Terry added.

"How dare you?!" Blade asked, enraged. "It's like you used me to hurt Chelsea!"

"I didn't mean it that way!" Nelson insisted.

Chelsea dropped off the order and then entered the ladies' restroom. She closed and locked the door and just stood there, her head lowered, her hands shaking. She started crying. It soon turned into loud sobbing.

Soon, there was a knock on the door.

"Go away!" Chelsea cried.

"It's me, Dana. Can I come in?"

Chelsea hesitated for a bit, and then she unlocked and opened the door. Dana walked into the restroom, and then Blade followed. Terry walked over as well.

Dana looked at him. "Uh-uh. Girl time." She closed and locked the door, and then she faced Chelsea.

Blade looked at Chelsea in sorrow. "Chels, I'm so sorry. I didn't know Nelson had ditched you when I agreed to go out with him."

Chelsea wiped away her tears. "It's not your fault."

The three girls shared a group hug.


That evening, Chelsea was sitting on her bed, trying to use her Ouija board. There was a knock on her door.

Chelsea sighed. "Come in."

The door opened, and Dana, Blade, and Jackie walked into the room.

"Hey, Chels, whatcha doin'?" Dana asked.

"I'm trying to contact my mom."

"Any luck so far?" Blade asked.

"No."

Blade smiled. "Want us to help?"

Chelsea smiled. "Sure, thanks." She picked up the board and got off the bed. She sat on the floor and set the board down.

Dana sat to Chelsea's left, and Blade sat to Chelsea's right. Jackie sat across from Chelsea.

"I've never done this before. How does it work?" Jackie asked.

Chelsea smiled. "We touch this planchette with our fingers and move it along the board, hoping we'll get some kind of message. Hang on."

Chelsea stood up, walked over to her altar, and lit the central, white candle. Then she turned off the light in her room. She got a pad and pen from her desk. She returned to the other girls and sat back on the floor.

Chelsea offered the pad and pen to Jackie. "Jackie, you will be the only one to look at the board. Write it all down."

Jackie took the pad and pen and nodded.

"Ready?" Chelsea asked.

The other girls nodded. Each girl put the fingers of her left hand on the planchette.

"Mom, are you here?" Chelsea asked. "It's me, Chelsea. Please let us know if you're here."

They started slowly moving the planchette around the Ouija board.

"Anything?" Blade eventually asked.

Jackie sighed. "Nothing that makes sense. Sorry, Chels."

Chelsea frowned, disappointed. "It's not your fault."

"Do you wanna try again?" Dana asked.

Chelsea thought for a moment. "No, let's go out."


Chelsea, Dana, Blade, and Jackie were dancing at a club. The music was pulsing, and the lights bathed them in multiple colors.

"Ain't this beat fucking awesome?!" Blade asked Chelsea.

"Yeah, I guess."

"Are you still disappointed about earlier?" Jackie asked.

Chelsea was a bit confused. "'Earlier' meaning...?"

"Either incident."

"Yeah."

Jackie looked at Chelsea sympathetically. "Well, you're not gonna feel any better anywhere else, so you might as well stay here."

"Yeah, you're right. I need the distraction."

Suddenly, her cell phone rang.

"Speaking of distractions, excuse me." Chelsea walked away from them, took her phone out of her shorts pocket, and checked the caller ID. She answered the call. "Hey."

"Hey. You busy?" Deanna asked.

"Well, I'm out at the club with my friends."

"Ooh, sounds like fun. Well, anyway, Kathy and Maggie have class, and I don't, so I'm your girl in the chair for tonight. Care for an assignment?"

Chelsea chuckled at Deanna's choice of words. "Sure."

"There's been a break-in at Dysontech's research lab."

"On it." Chelsea ended the call and walked back over to her friends. "Hey, I hope you don't mind, but I'm gonna bail. This music is giving me a headache. I'm just gonna drive around and clear my head."

"Okay. Who was that?" Dana asked.

"Oh, uh, wrong number. See ya at home." Chelsea turned and walked away.


"So how do you like your new gear?" Deanna asked.

"Pretty awesome."

"Think I'll get to drive the Batmobile sometime?" Deanna asked.

"I doubt Kathy will allow it."

"She doesn't have to know."

Chelsea landed the Batmobile on the roof of the building, got out, and flew down to the ground. She walked into the building and looked around.

"What does Dysontech make?" Chelsea asked Deanna.

"Primarily defense systems, but it's been rumored to also develop military-grade weaponry that it sells on the black market."

Chelsea looked at some of the boxes, which had been pried open and emptied. "I think I'm on the right track."

She kept walking for a while longer and soon came across the same armored figure from earlier.

"Okay, how do you wanna handle this?" Deanna asked. "Electric batarang to the mechanonads?"

Chelsea laughed. "I doubt he has any. That would have been a fatal design flaw. Hey! Roboturd!"

The armored figure turned around and looked at Chelsea.

"'Roboturd'?" Deanna asked.

"Well, what do you suggest I call him?" Chelsea asked.

"I dunno. Armored Guy?" Deanna suggested.

"Armored Guy, you will cease and desist, and you will surrender."

"Oh, yeah, sure, that'll work."

Chelsea frowned. "Hey, fuck you, I'm still learning."

Armored Guy ran toward her.

Chelsea did a back flip, grabbed a pole, and climbed up. "I wasn't talking to you! Although, yeah, fuck you, too."

Armored Guy ran over to the pole, wrapped his arms around it, and started shaking.

"Really?!" Chelsea asked. "What do you think's holding up the ceiling, you dumbass?!"

Sounds of strain came from the ceiling. Chelsea activated her boots, flew down, and tackled Armored Guy. They both fell to the floor. Armored Guy threw Chelsea off him. She landed on the floor a short distance away. When she finally got to her feet, she looked around, but he was gone.


Back at the clock tower, Chelsea, wearing the Batsuit, was posing for Kathy. Deanna sat on the couch and watched. Maggie was sitting at the computer. On the home theater system, "I'm Ready" by Cherie played.

"I'm in a new place with the same face, but nothin' is familiar to me, but there's a strong rush in the wind's touch, and it's bringing out the woman in me."

"When I got up, he was gone."

"What did he take?" Kathy asked, dipping her brush in paint.

"Some kind of energy amplifier."

Maggie typed on the computer. "That all, Chels?"

"As far as I know."

"Well, I put the word out to my sources. We'll see if anything pops up." Maggie stood up and walked over to the kitchen. "Who wants a beer?"

Everyone else raised their hands.

Chelsea took off her mask. "Deanna did a good job tonight."

"Oh, yeah?" Kathy asked, briefly looking at Deanna.

Deanna smiled. "I have my moments."

Maggie arrived with the bottles of beer, passed most of them out, and opened all of them.

"I'm ready, come and find me. I'm not gonna hide, got the sun on my side. It's heavy, 'cause I'm finally open for the one, and I'm ready, ready."

Chelsea took a gulp of her beer. "A girl can get used to this."

"So, Chelsea, how are you handling the break-up?" Kathy asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "I'm fine. I'll be okay. There's someone out there for me."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

04

"Quiverfull"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter occurs during Curse of the Kobra. Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated. I'm planning to spin Mary off into an original novel, so stay tuned for information on that.

Times written: Monday, August 5, 2019, 5:37 PM - 5:48 PM; Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 9:52 PM - 10:04 PM; Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 2:09 PM - 2:16 PM; Thursday, August 8, 2019, 8:26 PM - 8:39 PM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 8:43 PM - 8:56 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 5:34 PM - 5:50 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 8:10 PM - 8:33 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:15 AM - 11:29 AM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 10:47 AM - 10:56 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 7:27 PM - 7:41 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:31 PM - 9:39 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 10:59 AM - 11:06 AM; Sunday, August 18, 2019, 1:18 PM - 1:22 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 5:42 PM - 5:54 PM; Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 10:10 PM - 10:15 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 12:58 PM - 1:04 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 4:04 PM - 4:10 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 12:33 PM - 12:41 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 8:34 PM - 8:40 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 2:16 PM - 2:27 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 10:15 AM - 10:30 AM; Friday, August 30, 2019, 9:53 PM - 9:56 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 5:41 PM - 6:07 PM; Monday, September 2, 2019, 1:31 PM - 1:41 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 12:52 PM - 1:06 PM; Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 1:14 PM - 1:21 PM; Saturday, September 7, 2019, 8:15 PM - 8:33 PM; Sunday, September 8, 2019, 8:55 PM - 9:02 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 3:25 PM - 3:33 PM; Sunday, September 15, 2019, 8:59 PM - 9:27 PM; Monday, September 16, 2019, 10:46 AM - 10:54 AM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 2:57 PM - 3:07 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 11:27 AM - 11:35 AM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 8:50 PM - 9:00 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 2:40 PM - 2:58 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 9:34 AM - 9:39 AM; Monday, September 23, 2019, 12:39 PM - 12:49 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 6:18 PM - 6:21 PM; Thursday, September 26, 2019, 9:32 PM - 10:06 PM; Friday, September 27, 2019, 9:11 PM - 9:56 PM; Saturday, September 28, 2019, 3:15 PM - 3:43 PM, 3:55 PM - 4:38 PM, 4:45 PM - 5:27 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham was at her locker in Hamilton Hill High School, looking in her mirror as she put on some cherry lipstick. Suddenly, she was bumped into from behind and ended up with lipstick on her right cheek.

"Hey!" Chelsea turned around. "Watch where you're going!"

"Sorry! I'm sorry!" The girl looked up and saw Chelsea's cheek. "Omigosh, I'm so sorry. I overslept, and I was worried that I was gonna be late for class." She reached out with her right hand. "Here, let me get that."

Chelsea moved the girl's hand away from her. "It's okay, I'll get it."

"Sorry."

Chelsea studied the girl. She was about her height and had long, curly, red hair and green eyes. She wore glasses and a decidedly unflattering outfit of black shoes, knee-length white socks, a long red skirt, and a long-sleeved red shirt.

Suddenly, the bell rang.

Chelsea slammed her locker shut. "Shit, I gotta get to class!" She ran away.


Chelsea ran into her class and sat to Dana's right. She breathed a sigh of relief. "Made it!"

"What kept you?" Dana asked her.

"Oh, some girl ran into me. I didn't recognize her. Probably new."

Dana looked at Chelsea's cheek and touched her own. "Um, you have a little..."

Chelsea remembered the lipstick, sucked on her right index and middle fingers, and rubbed the lipstick off her cheek.

"New girlfriend?" Dana teased.

"No, that girl bumped into me."

The bell rang.

"Terry's not here?" Chelsea asked Dana.

Dana shrugged. "Guess not. Max isn't here either."

"Think they're off somewhere together?" Chelsea asked.

"What?!" Dana asked in surprise. "No! That would be stupid!"

"Why?" Chelsea asked. "Max is hot."

"Shut up!"

Chelsea smiled. "He might be fucking her right now."

"Shut up, Chels!" Dana screamed.


Chelsea and Dana sat next to each other at their usual table at lunch. It felt uncomfortably empty.

Suddenly, Jackie walked by, carrying her lunch tray.

Chelsea waved to her. "Jackie, sit with us!"

Jackie set down her lunch tray and sat down across from Dana. "Hey, what's up?"

Dana sighed. "Not much. Terry and Max are MIA."

Chelsea smiled, biting off a piece of her pepperoni pizza. "Manmeat In Anus."

Dana flicked a french fry, hitting Chelsea in the face. Jackie laughed.

Dana smiled at Chelsea. "Anyway, tell me about this girl that you met this morning."

"What girl?" Jackie asked.

Dana looked at her. "Chels ran into a girl and then showed up to class with lipstick on her face."

Jackie smiled. "Ooh!"

Chelsea laughed. "That's not how it went! Well, it is how it went, but you're twisting what happened!"

Dana laughed. "Okay, okay, so what happened?"

"The girl bumped into me while I was putting on my lipstick. I'm guessing she's some new transfer student."

"What does she look like?" Dana asked.

"Red hair? Kinda frumpy?" Jackie asked.

Chelsea looked at her. "Yeah. How'd you know?"

Jackie pointed. Chelsea and Dana looked. The girl was carrying her tray and trying to find a place to sit.

Chelsea waved at her. "Hey! Over here!"

The girl looked. She approached the table uncertainly.

Chelsea smiled and nodded at the empty spot across from her. "Sit."

The girl set her tray down and sat down. "Thanks."

"I'm Chelsea. These are my friends, Dana and Jackie."

"I'm Mary."

"You're new here, right?" Chelsea asked.

Mary nodded. "I just transferred."

"Where are you originally from?" Dana asked.

"Texas."

"Where from in Texas?" Jackie asked.

"Oh, this little town. You probably never heard of it. It's called Zion's Blessing."

"Yesiree, that is a 100% gen-u-ine Texan name." Chelsea sipped some of her Pow fizz.

"So what brings you to our not-so-fair city?" Dana asked.

"Daddy's business. He got a promotion up into the big leagues, and even Texas ain't big enough to hold him."

Jackie smiled. "So this must be kind of overwhelming for you, huh?"

"Kinda, yeah."

Chelsea smiled. "Well, we'll do our best to make you feel at home."

Mary smiled. "Thanks."

"Even the school must be bigger than your old one, huh?" Dana asked.

"Oh, I was home-schooled. My parents don't believe in sending us off to school. Unfortunately, they don't have the time to home-school me here, and none of the private schools were acceptable to them, so here I am."

Chelsea found this to be kind of weird, but she didn't ask about it. "You have some siblings?"

"Five - all brothers."

"Five?!" the rest of the girls asked in disbelief.

"My parents believe children are blessings from God, so they don't believe in birth control."

Chelsea rolled her eyes but didn't say anything.

"So what's there to do at this school?" Mary asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Lots of things."

"Well, what do you do?" Mary asked.

Chelsea smiled. "We're cheerleaders."

"Oh. I don't think I'd be very good at that."

"Well, what do you like to do for fun?" Dana asked.

"Um, read. Watch movies sometimes."

"Do you play any sports?" Jackie asked.

"I've done some climbing and some archery. My brothers and I sometimes played pick-up baseball back on the homestead."

Jackie smiled. "We've got a baseball team. You should try out."

"Oh, I don't know. I'm not gonna play professionally."

"Well, you never know."

"Oh, I know. Women don't do such things."

Chelsea stopped inserting a fry into her mouth. "What?! Who fucking says?!"

"My daddy. And my mama. And all my brothers."

"Don't listen to them." Chelsea pointed the fry at Mary. "You do whatever you want to do. Don't let anybody tell you different."

"Um..." Mary felt unsure.

"Also, after school, we're taking you out shopping." Chelsea ate her fry. "You're in serious need of a makeover."


Chelsea, Dana, and Jackie searched through various clothes in search of the makings of an outfit for Mary. Mary stood nearby and watched.

Chelsea looked at Mary and smiled. "Get in here. See what you like."

Mary hesitatingly walked over and started browsing the clothes. "These things are so little. Why are they so expensive?"

Dana smiled. "That's, like, a rule."

Jackie picked up a pair of green short shorts and a green camisole. "Ooh, these look cute."

Mary looked at them and blushed. "Actually, red's more my color."

"Perfect. Found 'em in red." Chelsea picked them up, grinning. She tossed them to Mary. "Try 'em on."

The clothes hit Mary in the face. She pick them up off the floor and headed to the dressing room.


The door of the dressing room opened, and Mary stepped out. She was wearing the outfit, but she had her hands over the front of the shorts and looked embarrassed.

Chelsea grinned. "Lookin' pretty schway."

"I'll take your word for it."

Dana grinned. "Now, let's get your hair done."

Jackie grinned. "And pick out some shoes."

Mary grinned nervously. "Great."


After a trip to the shoe department, the girls hit the hair salon. Mary checked in, and then she sat and waited with the others.

"I dunno about this. Daddy'll kill me, if I do anything too radical."

Chelsea smiled. "Chillax, it'll be fine."

Dana smiled. "Trust us." She started swiping on the wall-mounted touchscreen monitor. "Okay, how short do you want it?"

"And what color?" Jackie asked.

"Oh, gee, I dunno. Daddy doesn't like me getting my hair cut. He says my hair is a 'gift from God'."

"You shave your legs, don't you?" Chelsea asked her.

"Yeah." Mary thought for a moment. "Okay, let's have a look-see."


Chelsea, Dana, and Jackie were startled out of the games that they'd been engrossed in on their phones by a loud, high-pitched, blood-curdling scream. They ran toward it, and all of their questions were answered: Mary had seen her reflection in the mirror.

Chelsea smiled. "Why are you upset?"

Mary sobbed. "My beautiful hair is gone!"

Dana smiled. "It's still beautiful, and it's still there - just less of it."

"How am I gonna face my daddy?!" Mary cried.

Jackie smiled. "With some extra awesome on your face. C'mon, let's get you made up."

"At another store?" Mary asked.

"No. Somewhere else."


"You brought her to the right place."

Mary looked at the cosmetics on Blade's vanity and then back at her. "I'm not so sure about this."

Blade smiled. "Trust me. I'll make you beautiful."

"By putting paint on my face?" Mary asked in confusion.

Blade picked out a tube of lipstick and opened it. "You'll love it, or I'll scrub you clean myself."


Blade spun the chair around, so Mary could face the mirror on the vanity. "Voila!"

Mary stared at her reflection. She wore a bright red shade of lipstick, pink eye shadow, and pink blush.

"Well, what do you think?" Blade asked eagerly.

"I...I look like a clown."

Dana frowned. "That's not very nice."

"But it's true!"

Chelsea examined Mary closely and then looked at Blade. "She has a point. You did go a bit overboard."

Blade frowned. "Fine, then what do you suggest?"

"I suggest losing the blush and using lipstick that's a slightly lighter shade of red."

Blade shrugged. "Okay."

Jackie smiled at Mary. "We'll get it right, Mary, I swear. Just be patient."

Mary sighed. "Okay."


"How about now?" Blade asked.

Mary examined her reflection in the mirror. "Well, I suppose this is an improvement."

"So...can we declare success?" Jackie asked her.

Mary nodded. The other girls cheered.

"So how about we hit the club tonight, and you can show off your new look?" Chelsea suggested.

"Oh, I'd have to get Daddy's permission first."

Chelsea frowned and put her hands on her hips. "Seriously?!"

Mary nodded.

Chelsea rolled her eyes and sighed. "Fine, let's go over to your place together."

Dana smiled. "Yeah, we'll be your emotional support."

Mary smiled. "Thanks, girls."


Mary unlocked the front door of her house and opened it. She let the other girls walk into the house. Chelsea turned around and looked. Mary was still standing outside, frozen in fear.

"You gotta face him sometime." Chelsea smiled. "C'mon."

"Maybe I oughta run away and wait until my hair grows back out."

"Oh, yeah, that'll make things go much better." Chelsea reached, grabbed Mary by the hand, and pulled her into the house.

Mary looked back at the door and was about to close it, but then she decided to leave it open in case she needed to make a run for it. Chelsea picked up on the general gist of this and slammed the door shut.

"Mary, that you?" A tall man with short, slicked-back black hair walked into the living room. He froze in his tracks and stared at his daughter in shock. "Blessed Jesus, what have you done?!"

Mary was paralyzed with fear, unable to speak.

"Answer me, girl!" Her father stormed over to her. "How dare you do this?!"

Chelsea considered taking responsibility for the idea, but then she thought better of it, reasoning Mary needed to learn to stand up to her father.

"I..." Mary choked. "Please forgive me, Daddy!"

"No, don't apologize!" Chelsea told her.

The father looked at Chelsea. "Who are you?!"

"I'm Chelsea. These are my friends, Dana, Blade, and Jackie. We're your daughter's friends."

"Hmph, so these are the kinds of friends that she's making."

"Excuse me?" Dana asked, offended.

Blade folded her arms over her chest. "Wow, rude much?"

Chelsea gestured at Mary. "We took Mary out for a makeover to give her a confidence boost."

He looked up. "Oh, Lord Jesus, guide my daughter through this trial and give her the strength to come to her senses."

Chelsea grinned. "Sorry, but you can't pray the schway away."

He looked at them in anger. "Get out of my house."

"Gladly." Jackie turned and walked away.

Dana and Blade followed her.

Chelsea stared at Mary's father for a while, and then she turned and walked over to Mary. "Do you wanna stay here? If not, you can probably stay with Dana and me."

Mary gave her a weak smile. "I appreciate that, Chelsea, but I need to confront this instead of running away."

Chelsea smiled. "Good for you, girl." She headed for the door.


Chelsea didn't see Mary at school the next day or the day after. That evening, she was in the loft at the clock tower, putting on her Batsuit. Kathy was checking for crimes on her computer, and Maggie was monitoring her police scanner.

"I just have a bad feeling about this. She shows up at school, I take it upon myself to give her a makeover, her dad gets pissed, and then she stops showing up at school."

"And you feel responsible."

Chelsea looked at Kathy. "Well, yeah."

"Don't. She agreed to it, which means, on some level, she wasn't satisfied with her current life."

"But what if I've ruined her life?" Chelsea asked.

"It's out of your hands. It's up to her now."

Chelsea sighed and shook her head. "I still can't believe all of the repressive bullshit that she'd been taught."

"It's called Quiverfull. It's a truly fucked-up evangelical movement based on Biblical patriarchy that teaches women to be subservient to men, not pursue careers or higher education, and exist solely as baby factories. Adherents typically live on homesteads away from civilization, and the children are home-schooled." Kathy looked at a search result. "It's named after a Biblical passage, Psalm 127, verses 3-5: 'Children are indeed a heritage from the LORD, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are children born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. He will not be put to shame when he confronts the enemies at the gate.'"

Chelsea thought about that. "It's comparing children to arrows?"

Kathy looked at her. "Yeah. A multitude of children means an army of believers, which will be weapons to be used against the enemies, meaning the non-believers."

"Yikes."

"The movement was actually featured on a shitty reality series back in the day." Kathy shook her head. "I can't believe it's still around. I thought we were past this nonsense."

"Apparently not." Chelsea put on her mask and headed for the elevator. "Okay, I'm heading out. Got anything, Mags."

"Actually, yeah, there's a report coming in of a fight outside a strip club being interrupted." Maggie paused and chuckled. "The men were shot in the dick with arrows."

Chelsea laughed. "Well, that's different."


Chelsea flew the Batmobile over to the strip club. She looked down and saw various men lying on the ground in pain. She zoomed in. Arrows were clearly lodged in their pants, between their legs.

"Any sign of the perp?" Maggie asked.

"No. Hold on."

On the roof of the building across the street from the strip club stood a figure, cloaked in red clothing, complete with a red hood. On the figure's back were a bow and a quiver filled with arrows.

"There's someone on a building across the street, dressed all in red and armed with arrows." Chelsea paused and thought about that. "A quiver full of arrows." She smiled. "Well, son of a virgin bitch."

"You think it's Mary?" Kathy asked.

"I'm pretty sure. Gonna cloak and fly up to her." Chelsea activated the Batmobile's cloak and flew to directly face the hooded figure. She zoomed in on the screen and clearly saw Mary's face. "Yup, it's her."

"Awww, ain't she adorable?" Kathy asked. "She thinks she's Cheryl Blossom or something."

"Who?" Chelsea asked in confusion.

"You've never watched Riverdale?" Kathy asked in surprise.

"When was it on?" Chelsea asked.

"Oh, let's see, about..." Kathy paused and thought about it. "Oh, shit, never mind. Before your time. Goddess, I'm old."

Chelsea chuckled.

"What's she doing?" Maggie asked.

Chelsea looked at the screen. Mary's mouth was moving.

Chelsea smiled in amusement. "I think she's trying to make a speech, but she hasn't realized no one can hear her from up here. Hang on, I'll activate the external microphone." She pressed a button.

"-and soon the entire city shall know and fear my name! I am Quiverfull!" Mary declared.

"So how should we handle this?" Kathy asked.

"What do you mean?" Chelsea asked.

"Well, she attacked a bunch of innocent civilians."

"Uh, no, according to Mags, she shot a bunch of raging dudebros in the dick. I say we leave her alone."

There was silence for a moment.

"Agreed...for now. I want you to follow her and observe what she does. If she steps out of line, take her down."

"Sure thing, Kathy."

Mary turned and ran. She climbed down the side of the building. Chelsea followed her. Sticking mostly to alleys, Mary ran. Flying overhead, Chelsea pursued her.

Finally, Mary climbed up a fire escape. Chelsea parked the Batmobile on the roof, got out, activated her cloak, flew down, and entered the apartment just before Mary closed the window.

Chelsea stood silently and watched as Mary took off her bow and quiver and shed her sweatshirt and pants. She was wearing skimpy red lingerie and red boots underneath. Mary took off her boots and walked over to her desk. Chelsea followed her and watched as Mary turned on her laptop. While she waited for it to boot up, she picked up a remote and turned on the TV.

"Well, it seems Gotham has a new vigilante. Check out this video taken outside a strip club just a short while ago. This red-clad archer took aim at a bunch of men that were arguing and fighting."

"It seems the figure was trying to say something but didn't realize no one could hear. What do you think we should call him?"

Mary frowned.

"The Crimson Archer?"

Mary scowled and e-mailed the TV station, sending them a pre-written "womanifesto".

Chelsea scanned Mary's laptop and copied all of the data, and then she left the apartment.


"'I am Quiverfull, protector of the downtrodden, heroine of the oppressed, champion of females, and scourge of the patriarchy. All shall know my name.'" Kathy spun her chair around. "Well, okay, then."

Maggie smiled. "I certainly don't mind her, but I'm not sure Barbara will tolerate a vigilante whose sole mission is to 'smash the patriarchy'."

The elevator doors opened. Deanna came out and walked over to them.

"What's goin' on?" Deanna asked.

Chelsea looked at her. "New vigilante named Quiverfull. She fights the patriarchy by-"

"Sold!" Deanna exclaimed with a grin, looking at the computer screen. "When can we adopt her and bring her home?"

"Hang on, we were just talking about why she should probably go."

Chelsea looked at Kathy, sad. "Awww, but I kinda like her."

Deanna frowned. "Yeah, I vote we keep her."

Kathy and Maggie looked at each other for a while.

Finally, Maggie looked at Chelsea. "It might look bad for Batwoman, if she does nothing to stop a man-hating vigilante. If Batwoman does nothing, there might be enough of a stink raised that Barbara will have to take her down."

"You think the police are really that effective?" Chelsea asked her.

"Against a teenage girl in a hoodie with a bow and arrows?" Maggie smiled. "Hey, even the GCPD ain't that ineffective."

Kathy looked at Chelsea. "Maybe you can convince her to leave town...for her own protection."

Chelsea thought about it and then nodded.


Mary stalked the young man as he followed the unsuspecting young woman into the alley. As soon as he was upon her, Mary shot him in the right ass cheek from the rooftop. He screamed in pain. The woman broke free of him and ran away.

"Nice job."

Mary looked around, startled. "Who said that?!"

Chelsea decloaked. "Me."

"Who are you?!"

"Someone that's been observing you." Chelsea paused for a moment and thought about what to say. She started pacing. "Here's the thing: I support what you're doing, but the police might not."

"I'm not afraid of them."

"You should be, not because they're effectual, but because you're still new at this. You're not ready. If enough people - meaning men - complain about you, it'll suddenly be framed as a 'war on men', and the police will have no choice but to try to arrest you - or take you out completely."

"So what am I supposed to do?!" Mary asked. "Just give up?! Let the rapists and beaters win?!"

"No, of course not, but I'm giving you some advice as one vigilante to another: go someplace else, someplace less...organized. Learn. Grow. Become stronger."

Mary thought for a moment, and then she nodded.


The next evening, Chelsea was working a shift at Deckard's Kitchen. She was cleaning the tables that she had served and was close to clocking out for the night.

Suddenly, the door opened. Chelsea looked. Mary walked into the restaurant.

Chelsea smiled. "Hey."

Mary walked over to her. "Hey."

"We've missed you at school."

"Yeah, I've already stopped and spoken with the others. I was told where to find you."

Chelsea resumed cleaning. "So what have you been up to?"

"Well, I had it out with my daddy after you left. It was really bad. We argued a lot. None of my brothers would support me, and my mama didn't say anything at all."

"Wow, that's horrible. I'm sorry."

"Yeah. Anyway, I'm leavin' town."

"In the middle of the school year?"

"I can't wait."

"Where are you going?"

"Dunno yet, but I'll have my records transferred there and finish senior year at the local high school."

"Well, good luck."

"Thanks." Mary turned and headed for the door.

Chelsea looked at her. "And keep in touch."

Mary briefly looked at her. "I will." She opened the door and walked out.

Melanie Walker walked out from the kitchen area and over to Chelsea. "Did we have a customer?"

"No." Chelsea paused and focused on a stubborn ketchup stain on the table. "Just a friend saying goodbye."


After work, Chelsea went to the clock tower and told Kathy, Maggie, and Deanna about her final meeting with Mary. This was done, of course, while Kathy was painting Chelsea, who was posing heroically in her Batwoman costume. Chelsea had her mask off. Maggie and Deanna sat on the couch and watched. All of them were drinking beer. On the home theater system, "Revolution" by Aimee Allen played.

"I'd start a revolution, if I could get up in the morning. I'd start a revolution, if I could get up, get up! Start a revolution, start a revolution, if I could get up, get up! Start a revolution, start a revolution, if I could get up in the morning."

Chelsea took a sip of her beer. "And that's it. She's gone."

"It's for the best." Kathy dipped her brush in black paint.

Deanna took a sip of her beer. "I never got the chance to meet her, but I'm gonna miss her."

Maggie took a gulp of her beer. "I hope she'll find a place where she can learn, grow, and perfect her craft."

Chelsea took a gulp of her beer. "Y'know, I've been thinking about it, and her dad's prayer was answered."

"Oh?" Deanna asked.

"Yeah, just not in the way that he thought it would be." Chelsea chugged the rest of her beer, and then she smiled. "Anyway, I think we oughta be on the lookout for reports of her, so we can see what she does next. I have a feeling that she's destined for greatness. She might even start a revolution."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

05

"Ten is Wild"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter occurs during The Call. Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Monday, August 5, 2019, 7:49 PM - 7:56 PM; Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 10:35 PM - 10:43 PM; Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 2:17 PM - 2:31 PM; Thursday, August 8, 2019, 9:00 PM - 9:14 PM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:04 PM - 9:22 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 6:06 PM - 6:20 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 8:49 PM - 8:58 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:29 AM - 11:38 AM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 11:14 AM - 11:27 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 9:40 PM - 9:46 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:39 PM - 9:54 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 11:48 AM - 11:54 AM; Sunday, August 18, 2019, 1:36 PM - 1:41 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 5:54 PM - 5:59 PM; Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 10:35 PM - 10:39 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 1:04 PM - 1:10 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 4:17 PM - 4:24 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 1:21 PM - 1:27 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 9:54 PM - 10:01 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 5:18 PM - 5:29 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 12:19 PM - 12:32 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 6:07 PM - 6:28 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 1:06 PM - 1:18 PM; Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 1:21 PM - 1:25 PM; Saturday, September 7, 2019, 8:54 PM - 9:10 PM; Sunday, September 8, 2019, 9:15 PM - 9:28 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 3:45 PM - 3:52 PM; Sunday, September 15, 2019, 9:56 PM - 10:15 PM; Monday, September 16, 2019, 11:54 AM - 12:05 PM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 5:00 PM - 5:10 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 11:35 AM - 11:43 AM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 9:08 PM - 9:16 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 4:24 PM - 4:30 PM, 4:43 PM - 4:51 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 9:40 AM - 9:45 AM; Monday, September 23, 2019, 12:49 PM - 12:54 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 6:21 PM - 6:30 PM; Saturday, September 28, 2019, 8:44 PM - 9:27 PM; Sunday, September 29, 2019, 8:26 PM - 8:33 PM; Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 5:55 PM - 6:00 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 12:44 PM - 12:46 PM; Thursday, October 3, 2019, 9:00 PM - 9:35 PM; Friday, October 4, 2019, 9:00 PM - 10:55 PM; Saturday, October 5, 2019, 3:49 PM - 5:04 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


"So who are you taking to the dance?" Chelsea asked.

Dana Tan looked up at Chelsea from across their lunch table. "Terry, of course."

"Have either of you asked the other yet?" Chelsea asked her.

"Well, no, but...we go to every dance together - at least, when he can make it."

"Why not ask someone else?" Chelsea suggested.

"I can't do that."

Chelsea pointed her fork at Dana. "You mean you won't."

"Chels, what is your obsession with me and Terry?" Dana asked.

"I just think, if he doesn't take the initiative...and isn't forthright, you should perhaps look elsewhere."

Dana paused in consideration. "Are you offering?"

Chelsea was confused. "Offering what?"

"To go to the dance with me."

"No!" Chelsea paused and waited for her initial surprise to dissipate. "I mean...maybe. Sure. If you're willing."

Dana stared at her for a moment. "If Terry doesn't ask me soon, we can go together."

Max came over and sat at the table. "Terry's out of town."

"What? Again?" Dana asked in anger.

"He went to Metropolis."

Dana sighed. Chelsea casually sipped her fizz. Dana looked at her. Chelsea made no reaction.

"Fine, we can go."

Chelsea smiled. "You won't regret it. I'll show you a good time."


"Sorry, no dance."

"What?!" Chelsea asked in surprise. "But it's the senior prom!"

Kathy dipped her brush in some blue paint. "I need you out on patrol tonight. Rumor has it that Batman's out of town, so you're the only Bat left in Gotham."

"Kathy, did you ever go to your prom?" Chelsea asked.

"Of course."

"So you know what it's like."

"A lot of standing around, drinking punch, and gossiping - with some dancing thrown in under the watchful gaze of strict chaperones."

"Wow, school was really different in your day, huh?"

"Tell me about it. For instance, I'd never have gotten away with wearing what you wear on a daily basis."

"Anyway, my point is this is our senior prom. It's our last dance in high school. I need to go."

"Sorry."

"I already have a date."

"You're gonna have to cancel."

Chelsea was silent for a moment. "No."

Kathy looked at her. "I'm sorry, what?"

"You heard me. I'm going to my prom. Gotham will have to settle for the police for tonight."

"Chelsea, heroes don't take time off when things get inconvenient. They put the people ahead of their own happiness. Kind of like Bruce."

"And look where it got him."

Kathy frowned.

Chelsea turned and walked toward the elevator. "I'm going. Don't bother calling me tonight."

"If you don't go out on patrol tonight, don't bother coming back. I don't work with slackers."

Chelsea paused, her hand on the button. "I'll drop off the Batsuit at the dojo tomorrow."

Then she left without another word.


Chelsea spent the rest of the afternoon getting ready for the prom. She put on a black, short, strapless dress and some red lipstick. She sat on her bed and started putting on a pair of black shoes.

The door opened, and Dana walked into the room. She was wearing blue shoes, a dress similar to Chelsea's (except blue), and her usual black lipstick. She smiled and struck a pose. "What do you think?"

Chelsea looked at her. "Oh, wow. You look fantastic."

"So do you."

The two of them just stared at each other for a moment.

Chelsea cleared her throat and stood up. "I'm ready."

"Me, too."

Chelsea suddenly remembered something. "Oh!" She walked over to her dresser, opened a drawer, and took out a corsage. She closed the dresser and walked over to Dana. "I got you this."

Dana held out her left hand. Chelsea slipped the corsage onto her wrist.

Dana looked at the corsage. "It's beautiful. Thank you."

Chelsea smiled and nodded. "Ready to go?"

Dana nodded. The two of them walked toward the door. Suddenly, Chelsea's cell phone, sitting on her night stand, vibrated.

Dana looked at it. "Oh, do you need to get that?"

"No. Let's go."


Chelsea drove Dana to Hamilton Hill High School and parked in the student parking lot. They got out and made their way to the front entrance. Some of the students had sprung for limos. It was slow going, trying to navigate through the crowd. Eventually, they entered the gym. The DJ was just starting to play the music. Colored lights bathed everything and everyone in a warm glow. Chelsea and Dana searched for their friends.

Blade was with Jackie Wallace. Nelson Nash was by himself but near them. Chelsea and Dana got some punch and walked over to them.

Jackie looked at them. "Oh, wow. You two look great."

Chelsea and Dana smiled. "Thanks. You, too."

"So Terry never showed up, huh?" Blade asked.

Dana frowned. "Even if he had, I wouldn't have agreed to come here with him. I'd already agreed to come with Chelsea."

Chelsea grinned. "Ooh, I like the sound of that."

Dana playfully elbowed her.

Nelson grinned. "I always knew McGinnis was a loser."

"I guess you're the expert." Chelsea turned to Dana and offered a hand to her. "Wanna dance?"

"Sure." Dana took hold of Chelsea's hand.

They walked out onto the dance floor. "A Thousand Miles" by Vanessa Carlton started playing. Chelsea and Dana hugged each other and started dancing. They were soon joined by Blade and Jackie. Near the end of the song, Chelsea kissed Dana on the lips. Dana offered no resistance.


Chelsea and Dana had a great time dancing at the prom. They also had their photo taken. They stayed there until it just started winding down, and then Chelsea started driving Dana home.

"So, um..." Dana paused, unsure how to broach the subject.

Chelsea knew what Dana wanted to talk about. "Only if you want to, sweetie. I'm not pressuring you into anything."

Dana smiled. "I appreciate that, thanks." She paused for a moment. "And it's not like we haven't fooled around before. But that was before..."

"Before you started dating Terry."

"Yeah."

The two of them were silent for a moment.

"Do you wanna stop by Deckard's and get something to eat?" Chelsea suggested. "It might be better if we take a breather."

"Yeah, okay."

Chelsea drove to Deckard's Kitchen and parked. She and Dana got out of the car and entered the restaurant.

The place was relatively empty. Chelsea and Dana walked over to a corner booth and sat next to each other, Dana by the window.

Melanie Walker came by with two menus. "Hey, Chels. Hey, Dana."

Chelsea and Dana smiled. "Hey, Mel."

Melanie set the menus on the table. "Would you like some drinks to start? Appetizers?"

Chelsea thought about it and looked at Dana. "Onion rings? Regular cola fizzes?"

Dana nodded.

"Coming right up." Melanie walked away.

Chelsea and Dana each picked up a menu and started reading.

"Anything new on the menu?" Dana asked.

Chelsea flipped the menu over. "Nah, same old shit."

The manager passed by and gave Chelsea a dirty look.

Chelsea grinned nervously. "In a good way."

Dana laughed. Chelsea smiled at her. The two of them kept studying their menus.

Melanie came by with a tray and put a plate of onion rings and two glasses on the table.

Chelsea smiled. "Thanks."

"Have you decided yet?" Melanie asked.

Chelsea offered her menu to Melanie. "A bacon double cheeseburger and large fries."

Dana looked at Chelsea in surprise.

Chelsea smiled and shrugged. "It's a special occasion. I feel like stuffing myself."

Dana thought about it and offered her menu to Melanie. "I'll have the same."

Melanie wrote it down and took the menu. "Okay. It'll be a bit." She turned and walked away.

"Have you heard back from any colleges?" Dana asked Chelsea.

Chelsea shook her head. "You?"

"GSU." Dana sighed and sipped her soda.

"You don't sound happy. Did you have your heart set on someplace else?"

"Pretty much anywhere else." Dana sighed again and looked out the window. "This place is fast becoming a shithole."

Chelsea smiled. "Well, at least, we have Batwoman and Batman to keep us safe."

"Not that it's done a lot of good."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, Batman's been around for over three years. Before him, there was the original Batman, who was active for decades. What have their efforts accomplished? Crime is worse than ever."

Chelsea thought about that for a while, recalling her earlier conversation with Kathy. "That's true, if you look at the big picture."

Dana was surprised. "How else should I look at it?"

"On a case-by-case basis. How is the individual affected by these heroes? What difference does Batwoman or Batman make in one person's life?" Chelsea paused for a moment. "It's so easy to say nothing's been accomplished, and it's all been futile, but that's not seeing the trees for the forest."

Dana thought about that. "I see what you're getting at. However, what if I'm not one of the ones saved when I'm in danger? 'Trees for the forest' wouldn't make any difference then."

"Neither would 'forest for the trees', but I think 'trees for the forest' will allow you to be overall less pessimistic."

Dana smiled. "When did you get so wise?"

Chelsea smiled. "Couldn't tell ya." She knew there was truth to that statement: she couldn't tell Dana her secret until Terry told Dana his.

Melanie came by with their food and set their plates down in front of them.

Chelsea smiled. "Thanks."

Dana sniffed her food and smiled. "Smells delicious."

Melanie smiled. "Enjoy." She turned and started to walk away, but then she faced them again. "My shift ends soon. May I join you?"

Chelsea looked at Dana, who shrugged.

Chelsea looked at Melanie and smiled. "Sure."

Melanie grinned. "Great."


Melanie had ordered a bacon double cheeseburger, large fries, and a cola fizz for herself, and she sat across from Chelsea and Dana in the same booth and eagerly chowed down.

"So how long have you two known each other?" Melanie asked.

Chelsea and Dana looked at each other, each unsure of how to answer the question.

Chelsea finally looked at Melanie. "Forever, I guess."

Dana looked at Melanie and nodded. "Or close to it. Honestly, I can't remember a time when we haven't known each other."

"We pretty much grew up together."

"Wow, that must be nice."

Dana stared at Melanie in confusion.

"I always moved around a lot. Never stayed in one place for too long until recently. Never mind. So what brings you two here?"

Chelsea smiled. "Prom. Dana's boyfriend is outta town, so I took her."

"Seriously, where the fuck's Terry?" Dana asked. "You'd think he'd at least make it to our last dance."

"Terry?" Melanie asked. "You wouldn't be talking about Terry McGinnis, by any chance?"

Chelsea and Dana were surprised.

"Yeah, do you know him?" Dana asked.

"We used to date, but he seems to be avoiding me now."

"Oh, really?" Dana asked, upset.

Chelsea folded her arms over her chest. "Do tell."


Over dinner, Melanie filled the girls in on her and Terry's history, leaving out certain problematic details.

"And that's it. He just seems to be avoiding me now."

Dana frowned. "I know the feeling."

"Anyway, wanna get outta here?" Melanie asked.

"And go where?" Chelsea asked.

Melanie smiled. "Joyriding."


"Woooooo-hoooooo!" Melanie exclaimed.

She was tearing down the road at 120 miles per hour. Chelsea was in the passenger seat, and Dana was in the back seat. Both girls were terrified.

Chelsea looked at Melanie and frowned. "Maybe slow it down a little? I'd like to end today without my brain splattered all over the road."

"Awww, you're no fun. Live a little."

"Trust me, I live a lot - but not this extreme! Slow down!" Chelsea demanded.

"Oh, all right." Melanie took her foot off the accelerator.

The car slowed down somewhat.

"Where are we?" Dana asked, looking around.

Melanie smiled. "Jokerz turf."

"You're kidding, right?" Dana asked her.

"Nope."

"Why in the everloving fuck would you bring us here?!" Chelsea demanded.

"To have some fun!" Melanie brought her car to a stop.

Chelsea and Dana looked. They were parked in front of a garage that had the word "Jokerz" and a smiley face spray-painted on the door in green paint. Melanie picked up a can of red spray paint and hopped out of her car. She ran over to the door and spray-painted "Suck!" beneath "Jokerz"; then she ran back over to her car and hopped into the driver's seat.

"Hey!"

The girls looked. Four Jokerz were approaching the car.

"Shit!" Dana exclaimed. "Let's get outta here!"

"I second that but add 'the fuck' for emphasis!" Chelsea exclaimed.

"Uh-uh, you ain't goin' nowhere." The lead Joker swung his bat and smashed Melanie's left taillight.

Melanie leaped out of her seat, did a back flip, landed on the trunk of her car, and turned around. "Hey, you're gonna pay for that!"

The Joker grinned. "Bill me."

"That the best you got?" Melanie kicked the bat out of the Joker's hand and grabbed it. "What kind of lame joke is that?"

The Joker frowned. "Shut up!"

"Okay." Melanie swung the bat and bashed the Joker in the head.

Dana gasped. "Oh, shit."

"Mel, this ain't funny anymore!" Chelsea yelled. "Hell, it was never funny! Let's go!"

"All right, all right." Melanie made a move to throw the bat away.

Chelsea leaped out of her seat, did a back flip, landed on the trunk of the car, turned around, and grabbed the bat out of Melanie's hand. "Uh-uh, never leave evidence behind. They can get your prints off this."

"Oh, yeah, I forgot I'm not wearing-" Melanie abruptly shut up.

Chelsea raised an eyebrow.

"Never mind."

"My ass. We're gonna talk about this." Chelsea got back into her seat. "Get us back to Deckard's first, though."

"Fine." Melanie got back into her seat and drove away.


"And that's it." Melanie stuck a fry into her mouth.

Over the past half-hour, over a bowl of greasy fries, Melanie had given Chelsea and Dana a lengthy, though no doubt highly censored, account of her time as Ten in the Royal Flush Gang.

Chelsea stuck a fry into her mouth. "Wow."

"Do you miss it?" Dana asked Melanie.

Melanie thought about it for a moment. "Nah, not really, although there are times, like tonight..." She trailed off and smiled.

The three ladies continued eating their fries in silence for a while.

"So what about you?" Melanie asked Chelsea.

"Huh?" Chelsea asked, mid-chomp.

Melanie smiled. "C'mon, you can't expect me to believe you learned those moves in cheerleading."

"I take karate."

"Oh."


Chelsea drove Dana home, and they went upstairs. They stopped outside the door to Dana's bedroom.

Dana smiled. "Other than that little adventure that your coworker took us on, I had a nice time tonight."

Chelsea smiled. "I'm glad."

Dana curled her arms around Chelsea's neck. Chelsea kissed Dana on the lips. She hugged Dana and pulled her close, kissing her passionately. The two friends made out for a while.

Suddenly, Dana broke the kiss. "Fuck me."

Chelsea was surprised. "You sure?"

"I'm sure. Just fuck me, Chels." Dana pulled away and opened the door to her bedroom.

Dana went inside, and Chelsea followed. Dana turned on her light. Chelsea closed and locked the door.

The girls kicked off their shoes and faced each other. Chelsea slipped an index finger under each strap of Dana's dress and slipped them off her shoulders. The dress fell to the floor, leaving Dana completely naked. Chelsea grinned as she stared at Dana. Then she remembered she was overdressed and quickly remedied the situation. Dana grinned. The two girls stepped out of their dresses, hugged each other, and kissed each other passionately on the lips.


The next morning, Chelsea woke up to the sound of her phone vibrating - and Dana snoring. She looked over to her night stand and saw her phone, and then she looked over at Dana, mouth wide open, her right arm draped over Chelsea's breasts.

Chelsea finally picked up the phone with her right hand and checked the caller ID. It was Kathy. Chelsea frowned. She let it go to voicemail.

"Who is it?" Dana asked.

Chelsea looked at her, startled. "Nobody important." She set the phone on the night stand.

"So we should probably talk about last night."

Chelsea felt a sense of dread. "Is this where you say 'It was a mistake'? Or do we 'define our relationship' and 'establish parameters'?"

Dana stared at Chelsea in confusion. "What? Oh! No, the sex was great! I was talking about Melanie."

"You want her to join us?" Chelsea asked.

"What? No! Well..." Dana paused in consideration. "Anyway, I'm talking about her reckless behavior. I don't care if she used to be a criminal and is now reformed; she still seems to crave danger."

"So we won't go joyriding with her again. Problem solved."

"Really? I'm not so sure. I'm concerned for her. She looks like she has issues."

Chelsea smiled. "Don't we all?"

Dana shrugged. "I guess."

Suddenly, Chelsea's phone vibrated. Chelsea sighed, picked it up, and looked at it. She had received a text from Kathy: "I don't want you to quit. Meet me at the clock tower tonight." Chelsea thought about it in silence.


Holding the Batsuit in her left hand, Chelsea exited the elevator and walked into the loft. Kathy and Maggie were sitting on the couch. Kathy's head lay on Maggie's right shoulder, and she looked upset.

Chelsea approached the women. "Hey."

Kathy looked at Chelsea. "Hey. Just drop it on the floor and get out."

Chelsea was confused. "You said you didn't want me to quit."

Kathy was confused. "I didn't say that."

"Uh-huh. You texted me this morning."

Kathy looked at Maggie in confusion. Maggie shrugged.

"So which is it?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy looked at her and sighed. "I don't want you to quit, Chelsea, but I also don't want you to continue doing this, if you're not gonna give it one-hundred percent."

Chelsea nodded at the couch. Maggie and Kathy scooted over, and Chelsea sat to Kathy's right.

Chelsea lay the Batsuit in her lap. "I love being Batwoman, Kathy, but I can't do it every single night. It's not lazy or selfish of me to want a night off every so often. I need some nights off. It's called having a life. Gotham can get along without me while I recharge."

Kathy thought about it for a moment. "I suppose you're right. I'm sorry that I pushed you away."

Chelsea smiled. "It's all right."

"What a minute, I'm confused. If Kathy didn't text you, who did?" Maggie asked.

Suddenly, the elevator started running. All three ladies turned and looked at it. The doors opened, and Deanna Clay stepped into the loft.

Deanna smiled and turned off her earpiece. "That would be me."

"You?" Kathy asked in surprise.

"Yeah. Remember when I was 'debugging' your computer last night? I was actually hacking it - and your phone."

"You did what?!" Kathy asked, angry.

"Hey, you weren't doing anything to fix this broken family, so I had to take matters into my own hands to get our girl back here." Deanna paused and took a breath. "You may thank me."

Chelsea smiled. "Thank you, Deanna. We owe you one."

Kathy rolled her eyes. "Yeah, Deanna, feel free to hack my shit whenever you want." She pointed sternly at her. "Actually, no, don't ever do that again."

Deanna smiled. "No backsies."

Maggie stood up. "Well, now that that crisis is over, who wants a beer?"

Everyone else raised their hands. Maggie went up to the kitchen.

Kathy looked at Chelsea. "Feel like putting on the suit for a bit?"

Chelsea smiled. "Sure."

The two of them walked over to Kathy's art space. Kathy sat at her easel. Chelsea put on her Batsuit but kept the mask off for now, for she knew beer was coming.

Deanna stood up and went up to the computer. "Let's put some music on." She started reading. "Hmmm, I've never heard of any of the people on your playlist, Kathy."

"Way before your time."

Maggie walked over to Deanna and offered her an open bottle of beer.

Deanna took the bottle. "Thanks." She pressed Play.

On the home theater system, "The Wreckage" by Vanessa Carlton played. Maggie and Deanna walked down the steps. Maggie offered Chelsea and Kathy a bottle each. They each took one. Maggie and Deanna sat on the couch and watched Kathy paint Batwoman.

Chelsea took a gulp of her beer. "Kathy, I've got a question."

"Yeah?"

"There's this friend of mine. She's a coworker. She has a sorta...sketchy past as a criminal...ish-type person."

Kathy raised an eyebrow.

"We went out for a joyride tonight, and she scared me. She drove to Jokerz territory and took them on. We got out okay, but...I'm concerned for her."

"There are people that are addicted to the rush that they get from fighting. It's not something that's given up easily, even if they've reformed. Be vigilante."

Chelsea nodded. "I will, thanks."

"Flying, flying in slow motion, the wind through my hair, and ripping through the scenery. Oh, the wreckage, it is my secret need."

Kathy hesitated. "There's also another possibility."

"Yeah?" Chelsea asked, drinking some beer.

"She could be looking to die."

"Oh, speeding into the horizon, dreaming of the sirens, wishing for broken glass on a highway. It could be so easy."

Chelsea sat stunned for a while. "Oh. Damn."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

06

"A Sign of Zeta"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter occurs during Countdown, the final produced episode of Batman Beyond. Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 10:48 PM - 10:53 PM; Thursday, August 8, 2019, 9:30 PM - 9:39 PM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:23 PM - 9:33 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 8:34 PM - 9:02 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 9:53 PM - 10:04 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 11:38 AM - 11:46 AM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 11:27 AM - 11:41 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 9:58 PM - 10:04 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:54 PM - 10:00 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 12:17 PM - 12:23 PM; Sunday, August 18, 2019, 1:41 PM - 1:46 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 5:59 PM - 6:05 PM; Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 11:03 PM - 11:09 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 1:10 PM - 1:15 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 7:29 PM - 7:51 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 2:00 PM - 2:13 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 10:03 PM - 10:12 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 5:29 PM - 5:35 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 12:32 PM - 12:41 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 6:56 PM - 7:21 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 1:28 PM - 1:41 PM; Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 1:25 PM - 1:34 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 4:04 PM - 4:39 PM; Sunday, September 15, 2019, 10:15 PM - 10:46 PM; Monday, September 16, 2019, 12:05 PM - 12:15 PM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 5:10 PM - 5:25 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 12:55 PM - 1:10 PM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 9:43 PM - 9:53 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 4:51 PM - 5:13 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 9:46 AM - 9:55 AM; Monday, September 23, 2019, 1:20 PM - 1:23 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 7:22 PM - 7:28 PM; Sunday, September 29, 2019, 8:34 PM - 8:50 PM; Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 6:01 PM - 6:24 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 12:47 PM - 12:50 PM; Saturday, October 5, 2019, 8:33 PM - 8:40 PM; Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9:27 AM - 9:33 AM; Monday, October 7, 2019, 11:57 AM - 12:01 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 5:03 PM - 5:06 PM; Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 1:05 PM - 1:10 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:32 PM - 9:36 PM; Friday, October 11, 2019, 9:55 PM - 10:49 PM; Saturday, October 12, 2019, 3:25 PM - 3:59 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham marched up to Terry McGinnis, who was at his locker. She purposefully stood behind the open door, so she could have a dramatic reveal once he closed it.

Unfortunately, he closed the door and walked away without noticing her.

"Hey!" Chelsea called.

Terry stopped, turned, and looked at her. "Hey, Chels."

"Don't 'Hey, Chels' me. Where the fuck have you been recently?" Chelsea demanded.

"Out of town, doing, y'know, stuff." Terry leaned close to her. "Saving the world."

"Great."

"So...I noticed you took Dana to the prom."

"Yeah, I know. I was there."

"Right. Good, good. At least, you showed her a good time."

"Is there a point?" Chelsea asked.

"Well, I was kinda wondering." Terry paused for a moment. "Did she talk about me at all?"

"Not really." Chelsea paused. "Maybe a 'Where the fuck's Terry?' or two."

"I see."

The two of them started walking toward the school's exit.

"Y'know, if your heroics are putting this much of a strain on your relationship, then you really oughta tell Dana the truth."

Terry sighed. "I can't. If the bad guy ever found out I was Batman, they'd try to get to me by hurting her. Really, every moment we're together, she's risking her life."

"That's some faulty logic. By doing a simple bit of recon, a bad guy would find you with your tongue down Dana's throat...or something else."

"Chels..." Terry paused as his cell phone rang. He took it out and answered it. "Yeah?" He paused as he listened. "Okay, I'm on my way." He ended the call and put his phone away.

They exited the school and walked over to the student parking lot.

"Boss want you to do something?" Chelsea asked him.

"The World Science Symposium is being inaugurated at GSU. Bruce wants me to patrol it. Wanna come?"

"Nah, I wanna hit the gym and then spend some time with Dana before I go out on patrol tonight."

Terry looked at her and frowned.

"Hey, we had a great time at the prom...and afterward."

"I did not need to hear that."

"Anyway, she's my best friend, and I love her. I want to spend as much time as I can with her. If you're not gonna let her in on your secret, it'll be only a matter of time before you lose her, and I want to be there for her."

"Okay, get that cheap romance-novel plot out of your head. Dana and I are fine."

They stopped at Chelsea's car. She hopped into the driver's seat.

Chelsea looked at Terry. "I'm not trying to compete with you, Terry. I'm warning you to be open and honest with Dana or risk losing her."

Terry didn't say anything. Chelsea started her car and drove off.


Chelsea was at the gym, punching a punching bag. Deanna was holding it still for her.

"So Terry's upset that I'm spending so much time with Dana, even though he neglects her."

"Yeah, but aren't you Dana's best friend? Why would Terry be jealous?" Deanna asked.

Chelsea didn't say anything; she just kept hitting the bag.

Deanna suddenly came to a realization and grinned. "Holy shit, Chels, you fucked her, didn't you?"

Chelsea hesitated for a moment. "Yeah, I fucked her."

"Woo-hoo! You go, girl!" Deanna cheered.

"Look, I'm not trying to compete with Terry, and I'm not trying to steal his girl. He just makes himself so...undesirable."

"But you like her."

"Yeah." Chelsea paused. "In fact, I love her."

Deanna smiled in amusement. "Damn, and I thought my mom and I had the most complicated relationship in Gotham."


Chelsea and Dana were sitting next to each other in a booth in Deckard's Kitchen, Dana by the window. They were eating hamburgers and fries and drinking cola fizzes.

Melanie Walker walked over to them. "Everything okay here? Can I get you anything?"

Chelsea smiled. "Everything's fine."

Dana held up her glass. "Can I get a refill on my fizz, please?"

Melanie took the glass. "Sure." She walked away.

Chelsea looked at Dana and smiled. "So...I had a great time...on prom night."

Dana smiled. "Me, too."

"I was wondering. Would you say we're a couple?" Chelsea asked.

Dana was caught off-guard by the question. "I, um, I dunno."

The two of them sat in silence for a moment, just staring at each other, unsure of what to say.

"Would you like to be?" Chelsea finally asked.

"I..." Dana paused to collect her thoughts. "I like you, Chels. It's just that Terry and I are..." She fell silent.

"Are what, exactly?" Chelsea asked.

Dana sighed. "Exactly. Are what?"

Suddenly, Chelsea's phone started ringing.

"Shit." Chelsea got her phone out of her pocket and checked the caller ID. She answered the call. "Yeah?"

"Chelsea, I need you to head down to the train station. There's been an altercation."

"I'm on a date."

Kathy was silent.

Chelsea sighed. "Fine." She ended the call and looked at Dana apologetically. "That was Kathy."

"Kathy?" Dana asked.

Chelsea nodded. "She needs me for something. I'm sorry. We gotta go."

"It's all right." Dana leaned forward and kissed Chelsea on the lips.

Chelsea smiled, stood up, and went over to pay the bill and have their food bagged.


After dropping Dana off at home, Chelsea went to the train station, parked her car in the parking garage, and put on the Batsuit. She ran out to the train station but saw nothing except some damage.

"Looks like I arrived too late. I'm gonna check around."

"Okay. Keep in touch."

Chelsea activated her visor and scanned the area. Then she summoned the Batmobile, got in, and flew above the city, checking for anything unusual.

"Anything?" Kathy asked.

"Nope. And you interrupted my date for this?"

"Chels, I might have something."

"Yeah, Mags?"

"The police got a phone call from a girl. Probably a prank, but she said there were lots of baddies involved, so maybe check it out. Here's the phone."

"On it." Chelsea paused in thought for a moment. "Why are there still pay phones around?"


The phone wasn't being used, so Maggie searched for the girl using voice recognition software, checking current calls in the city against the initial call. She found a match and sent Chelsea toward a cell phone. Chelsea parked the Batmobile on the roof of a building, cloaked it, and flew down. She spotted a blonde girl with blue eyes nearby.

Chelsea walked over to her. "Excuse me, did you make a call from a pay phone a short while ago?"

The girl folded her arms over her chest. "Maybe. Who the hell are you?"

"I'm Batwoman."

"Any relation to Batman?"

"No. You got a name, kid?"

"Rosalie Rowan. Call me Ro."

"Okay, Ro, so what about that phone call? Where are the baddies?" Chelsea asked.

"Well, I might've...possibly...exaggerated my account to the police, but I do need some costumed help."

"What for?"

"My friend got kidnapped."

"Who's your friend?"

"Uh, well, he's a robot."

"A robot?"

"Yeah, and he's...kinda wanted by the NSA."

Chelsea frowned. "Start at the beginning."


"Batwoman to secret lair."

"Yeah?" Kathy answered, confused.

"We have a client in need of assistance. Her friend, a robot named Zeta, has been kidnapped."

"Zeta?" Maggie asked in surprise. "He's a wanted fugitive."

"Complete misunderstanding."

"Chels, is our 'client' Rosalie Rowan?" Maggie asked.

"Yeah."

Maggie sighed. "Fuck, Chels."

"Anyway, she needs help finding him."

"Zee is innocent!" Ro pleaded. "Please help!"

There was silence for a while.

Finally, Kathy sighed. "Fine."

"We need to know everything that she knows."

"No problem. I've already questioned her." Chelsea smiled at Ro. "We'll get him back."


Chelsea landed the Batmobile and got out. "Glad I caught ya before you left town."

"Oh, Batwoman, hi." Ro smiled. "Thanks for trying."

"I'm sorry that I couldn't be more help."

"That's okay."

"Well, see ya." Chelsea hopped back into the cockpit, closed the roof, and took off.


Chelsea returned home and made her way upstairs. She heard arguing coming from Dana's bedroom. The door was closed.

"You disappear for long stretches at a time, going who-the-fuck-knows-where!" Dana yelled. "Your phone goes to voicemail most of the time! What are you doing, Terry?!"

"I'm just running errands for Mr. Wayne!" Terry insisted.

"That often?!" Dana asked.

"Yeah! He's an old man, but he's also rich and has a business empire to run! I gotta do the mundane shit for him, and that often means going on business trips with him!"

"We hardly ever see each other anymore!" Dana yelled. "Are you at least gonna show up for graduation?!"

"I dunno! I'll think about it!"

Suddenly, the door opened, and Terry stormed out into the hallway, slamming the door shut behind him. He stopped when he saw Chelsea. He stared at her, angry.

Chelsea frowned at him. "Asshole."

"This is all your fault. You had to go and fuck my girlfriend and turn her against me."

"I didn't have to do anything, Terry. She willingly went out with me, and she willingly slept with me. This is on you, Terry. I don't know what the fuck your problem is, but you better get it straightened out, because she's clearly had it with you and your secrets."

Terry stared at her for a moment. He looked like he was about to say something, but then he stormed past her and went downstairs.

Chelsea walked over to Dana's door and knocked on it. "It's me, Chels. Can I come in?"

"Yeah."

Chelsea opened the door and walked into Dana's bedroom. She closed the door, walked over, and joined Dana on her bed. Dana was very clearly upset.

"I don't understand why Terry's being like this!" Dana cried. "It's like he loves that old man more than me!"

Chelsea tried to think of what to say. She resisted the urge to reveal Terry's secret, reasoning she'd let Terry dig his own grave with Dana, if that's what he wanted to do. "He lost his dad, Dana. Like you said, maybe Mr. Wayne is the closest that he'll ever have to having a dad again."

"I get that, but he seems to be Wayne's errand boy, day in and day out. Am I gonna be an afterthought in his life forever?"

"I...I don't know."

Dana started crying. Chelsea swept her up in a big hug. Dana rested her head on Chelsea's right shoulder and sobbed. Chelsea just held her for a while.

Finally, Dana managed to compose herself. She looked into Chelsea's eyes for a moment and then kissed her on the lips.

When their lips parted, Chelsea gently ran her left hand through Dana's hair. "All that I know is he's the luckiest person in the world to have you, but it's up to him to realize it."

Dana sighed. "I don't know if I can wait much longer for that to happen."

Chelsea thought for a moment. "Do you wanna go out, maybe?"

"Nah. I'd rather not deal with any noise."

Chelsea stood up and walked over to the far wall. She lowered the lights. Then she took out her phone, set it on Dana's desk, and browsed some songs. She selected one. "You Get Me" by Michelle Branch started playing. Chelsea walked back over to Dana's bed and offered a hand.

Dana took Chelsea's hand and stood up. They two of them moved to the center of the room, hugged, and started dancing.

"So I'm a little left of center; I'm a little out of tune. Some say I'm paranormal, so I just bend their spoon. Who wants to be ordinary in a crazy, mixed-up world? I don't care what they're sayin' as long as I'm your girl."

Chelsea and Dana stared into each other's eyes. Finally, Dana kissed Chelsea on the lips. They made out for the rest of the song.

When the song was over, Dana stepped back from Chelsea. Chelsea looked at her, puzzled. Dana smiled, put her thumbs under her dress straps, and slipped them off her arms. Her dress fell to the floor, leaving her completely naked. Chelsea grinned, took off her shoes, and then took off her shirt and skirt, leaving herself equally naked. Dana stepped out of her dress, walked over to her bed, and pulled the cover and sheet down. She got on her bed and waited for Chelsea, who eagerly joined her.


The next morning, Chelsea woke up and saw Dana sleeping next to her. She smiled as she watched her love sleep.

Eventually, Dana woke up and slowly opened her eyes. She saw Chelsea and smiled. "Hi."

Chelsea smiled. "Hi."

"What time is it?"

"About time for breakfast."

Dana started to sit up. "What do you wanna eat?"

Chelsea pulled Dana back down and grinned. "A little Chinese."

Dana laughed. "Do we have time? Don't you have work soon?"

"Yeah, but I'd stay in bed with you all day, if I could."

Dana smiled silently at her for a while. "Y'know, I've been thinking about it, and the answer is yes: we're a couple."

Chelsea grinned, kissed Dana on the lips, and then went down on her.


Chelsea walked over to Jackie and Blade's booth, took the two plates and two glasses off her tray, and set them on the table.

Jackie smiled. "Thanks, Chels."

Blade smiled. "Yeah, thanks."

"No prob." Chelsea turned to walk away, but then she turned to look at her friends. "Hey, can I ask your opinion on something?"

Jackie stuck a fry in her mouth. "Sure."

"Is it schway or un-schway if you, through no pursuit of your own, end up sleeping with someone else's steady?"

Blade smiled broadly. "Go, Chelsea."

"I'm serious. Dana and I are a couple now, and...Terry knows. He and I had an argument about it last night."

Jackie thought about it for a moment. "Terry doesn't seem to give Dana much attention."

"Except for last night, when they had it out."

Jackie shrugged and took a bite of her cheeseburger. "I wouldn't worry about it."

"Cunningham! Get back to work!" the manager yelled.

"Thanks, girls." Chelsea walked away.


That evening, at the Hikawa Dojo, Chelsea stood and listened as Kathy addressed the class.

"There are some among you that have made significant progress. If any of you wish to try for a promotion, you may do so tonight. You must demonstrate proficiency in the latest kata that you have learned. You must successfully break whatever is required. Finally, you must win a sparring match against a student of the same rank for which you are trying. Whoever wishes to try for advancement, please come see me now. The rest of you, practice your kata."

Various students started practicing. Chelsea and a few others approached Kathy.

"You think you're ready, Chelsea?" Kathy asked her.

"I believe so. I've been at 9th kyu for a while. I believe I'm ready to try for 8th."

"Very well. Wait your turn. I'll be testing the students from lowest rank to highest."

Chelsea waited and watched some of the other students try for advancement. Some passed; others didn't.

"Chelsea."

Chelsea stepped forward, put her hands flat against her sides, and bowed to Kathy. Kathy bowed to her. Kathy eventually straightened, and so did Chelsea.

"Heian Shodan."

Chelsea assumed the ready stance and then started performing the kata. Kathy observed her as she went through all of the moves. Finally, Chelsea returned to the ready stance.

"Good. Okay, for 8th kyu, there's no breaking required, so let's move on to sparring. Your opponent will be Jason. Jason!"

Jason, a tall boy with sandy blond hair, ran over to them. "Yes, sensei?"

"You will spar with Chelsea."

"Yes, sensei." Jason ran off to get his gear.

Chelsea followed him. They each put on a helmet and gloves. Then they returned to Kathy. They stood facing each other and bowed.

"Begin."

Jason started off with a series of punches, which Chelsea blocked fairly easily. Then came the kicks. She had a bit more trouble with those. Jason even successfully landed a kick to her head. The onslaught continued. She blocked as best as she could and even threw a few punches, most of which Jason blocked.

"Okay, stop."

Chelsea and Jason stopped sparring and bowed to each other.

Kathy looked at Jason. "You may return to practicing your kata."

Jason bowed to Kathy and then left.

Kathy looked at Chelsea. "Chelsea, your defense wasn't the best, and you seemed almost scared to go on the offense. I'm sorry, but you're not ready for advancement."

Chelsea was disappointed but gave a slight nod. She and Kathy faced each other and bowed.


Later that evening, in the loft of the clock tower, Chelsea, Kathy, Maggie, and Deanna were sitting at the kitchen table, drinking beer.

Maggie looked at Chelsea. "You look down, Chels. Is something wrong?"

Kathy smiled. "Hey, don't worry about the promotion. Just keep practicing. You'll eventually get there."

"It's not that." Chelsea sighed and took a gulp of her beer. "I recently started dating someone. She has a boyfriend, but she's pissed that he's keeping secrets from her and not giving her much of his time. However, I'm also keeping a secret from her, and I have to either sneak away or make an excuse to get away, and I know it would just be so much easier, if I just tell her the truth about myself, but that might lead to question about other secrets, including his, that I have no right to divulge."

"What are his secrets?" Deanna asked.

Chelsea hesitated. "It's really not my place to say. I mean...Goddess knows I'm as much a gossip as anyone, but, in this case, I can't."

Kathy nodded. "Okay, we won't press it. Do you think you can trust your girlfriend with your secret?"

"Absolutely."

"Then...I would tell her." Kathy started gulping her beer.

"Really?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy nodded. "Be the first one to be honest with her. If she questions you about something, well, we'll leave it to you to decide how to handle it."

Chelsea thought about it as she chugged the rest of her beer. "I dunno. I'm the replacement love interest. I feel I should allow him to come clean first."

Maggie shrugged. "Well, that's big of you - bigger than I would be in your situation, anyway."

"Graduation's coming up soon. If he doesn't tell her his secret by then, I'll tell her mine."

Kathy shrugged. "However you feel like handling it."

"Want me to pose while you paint?" Chelsea offered.

"Actually, I've finished painting you. I'm just working on the background now. The painting will be ready soon."

Chelsea smiled. "Cool."

Deanna stood up. "I'm gonna put on some music." She walked over to Kathy's computer.

Maggie smiled at Chelsea. "So tell us about this Zeta...and Ro."

Deanna opened Kathy's playlist and hit Play. On the home theater system, "Zeta - Toki wo Koete" by Mami Ayukawa played.

Chelsea took a gulp of her beer. "I can't say more about Zeta, because I saw him only briefly, but Rosalie Rowan is pretty awesome."

"Crying...ima wa mienaku tomo. Searching...michi shirube wa ukabu. I wanna have a pure time. Everyone's a noble mind. Kurai machikado...hiraku sora kara. Hidoku utsuro ni...hoshi ga yurete mo...soko ni nokotta...wakasa toridashi...believing a sign of Zeta...beyond the hard times from now."

Deanna returned to the table and sat down. "Think they'll find a way for Zeta to be free?"

Chelsea smiled. "Yeah, I think so. They've certainly got the determination. I wish them well."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

07

"Graduation"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter occurs after Countdown, the final produced episode of Batman Beyond (from now on, all remaining chapters are post-series). The beginning of the chapter occurs during the Shadows episode of The Zeta Project. Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Thursday, August 8, 2019, 9:40 PM - 9:50 PM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:33 PM - 9:42 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 9:40 PM - 9:52 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:12 PM - 10:21 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 8:55 PM - 9:20 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 11:42 AM - 11:50 AM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:04 PM - 10:10 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:00 PM - 10:06 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 12:24 PM - 12:29 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 6:09 PM - 6:21 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 1:43 PM - 1:55 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 8:20 PM - 8:27 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 2:21 PM - 2:28 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 10:15 PM - 10:19 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 5:35 PM - 5:44 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 7:40 PM - 7:50 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 7:21 PM - 7:47 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 1:53 PM - 2:02 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 4:40 PM - 4:50 PM, 5:24 PM - 5:45 PM; Monday, September 16, 2019, 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 5:29 PM - 6:05 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 1:10 PM - 1:16 PM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 10:17 PM - 10:23 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 5:24 PM - 5:45 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 1:37 PM - 1:45 PM; Monday, September 23, 2019, 1:23 PM - 1:27 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 7:37 PM - 7:42 PM; Sunday, September 29, 2019, 8:51 PM - 9:36 PM; Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 7:06 PM - 7:30 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:09 PM - 1:13 PM; Saturday, October 5, 2019, 9:16 PM - 9:25 PM; Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9:33 AM - 9:38 AM; Monday, October 7, 2019, 12:17 PM - 12:20 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 5:08 PM - 5:11 PM; Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 1:10 PM - 1:12 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:37 PM - 9:41 PM; Saturday, October 12, 2019, 8:00 PM - 8:08 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 5:39 PM - 5:43 PM; Friday, October 18, 2019, 11:00 PM - 11:30 PM; Saturday, October 19, 2019, 10:21 AM - 11:05 AM, 1:40 PM - 2:49 PM, 2:52 PM - 2:57 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham studied her reflection in the mirror. "This outfit looks kinda stupid."

Dana Tan looked at Chelsea, who was wearing a blue cap and gown. "Sure, but it's, like, high school tradition."

Chelsea straightened her cap.

Dana smiled and leaned back a bit on her bed. "I can't believe we're graduating."

Chelsea turned and faced her. "Personally, I could barely wait. I'm so happy that we'll finally be out of that place."

"Don't you have anything positive to say about Hamilton Hill High?" Dana asked her.

Chelsea thought for a moment. "We made it through high school without getting shot. That's something."

Dana rolled her eyes and stood up. "C'mon, let's get to the school."


Chelsea and Dana met up with Blade and Jackie off the football field at Hamilton Hill High School.

Dana grinned. "This is exciting, isn't it?"

Blade filed her nails. "I guess."

"So who's coming to the after-party?" Jackie asked Chelsea.

"Well, all of you, obvs. Terry. Um, the rest of the cheer squad. The Hawks. That's about it."

"Where the fuck is Terry, anyway?" Dana asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Beats me."

Some teachers came over and got them to get into line according to alphabetical order. Chelsea yawned and took out her phone to entertain herself before she had to walk out on the field. She texted Terry: "Hey where the fuck are you?"

Terry didn't reply, but he eventually ran over to the line. "Whew! I didn't miss it!"

Chelsea frowned. "Yeah, lucky you. Where the fuck were you?"

"Just got back from Diamond Springs. Met up with Zeta and Ro again."

"Oh, cool, how are they?" Chelsea asked.

"Fine."

"Cool. Well, you better get in line. We're lined up according to alphabetical order."

Terry nodded. "Right, right." He started to walk away.

Chelsea grabbed his right arm and pulled him back. "Oh, one more thing."

"Yeah?"

Chelsea frowned at him. "Fucking tell her already."

Terry pulled away from her and walked off.

The band started playing music, and the line started moving. Chelsea put away her phone and started walking. She went out onto the football field when prompted by a teacher.

Chelsea, along with the rest of her fellow graduating classmates, walked underneath raised swords, which were held by Hamilton Hill High School's honor guard. The senior class went and took their seats.

What followed was a rather boring ceremony featuring speeches by Principal Nakamura and students that Chelsea didn't particularly know. Finally, Chelsea's name was called, some people cheered for her, she went up on stage, she received an empty folder in which to place her diploma (to be picked up after the ceremony), Principal Nakamura shook her hand, and she returned to her seat. Eventually, the class was told to stand and turn their tassels, and then they were declared graduates. Chelsea took off her cap and threw it in the air along with the others, but she didn't shout.

Chelsea and Dana hugged, and then Chelsea kissed Dana on the lips. Then Chelsea hugged Blade and Jackie.

Terry walked over to Dana. "Hey, Dana, can I talk with you privately?"

Dana finished receiving hugs from Blade and Jackie. "Sure."

Dana walked off with Terry. Chelsea watched them go, and then she went to stand in line and get her diploma.

After Chelsea got her diploma and put it in her folder, she went in search of Dana and Terry. She didn't find them on the football field.

She eventually found Dana leaning against the driver side of her car in the student parking lot. As she walked closer, she noticed Dana was crying.

"Dana?" Chelsea came up and stood in front of her friend. She put her hands on her shoulders.

Dana hugged Chelsea. Chelsea hugged Dana and rubbed her back.

"I can't believe it!" Dana cried.

"I know, it's pretty shocking. Who would have thought?" Chelsea asked. "Finding out Terry is Batman is like finding out-"

"What?!" Dana looked at Chelsea in shock.

"What?" Chelsea suddenly had a bad feeling. "Isn't that what he wanted to talk with you about?"

Dana shook her head. "No!"

"Oh, shit." Chelsea sighed. "Dana, I'm so sorry. I didn't want you to find out like this."

Dana pulled away from her. "And you knew?! For how long?!"

"Since early in the school year. I didn't tell you, but I'd urged him to tell you himself."

"Well, he didn't."

Chelsea was confused. "Wait. So why are you so upset?"

Dana started crying again. "Terry broke up with me!"

"What?!" Chelsea asked, shocked. "Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry."

Dana wiped away her tears. "Forget it. Let's talk about something else. How'd you find out that Terry's Batman?"

"I pieced it together after I became Batwoman."

"What?" Dana asked.

Chelsea laughed and briefly stuck out her tongue. "Yeeeaaahhh, that's another thing. I decided to become a costumed hero. It was after the attack at the club last summer. Well, you know how I felt about that and what I did. What you didn't know was I'd discovered the identity of the original Batwoman-"

"There was an original Batwoman?" Dana asked.

"Three, actually, working together. I found one of them. I asked if I could take up the mantle, and she agreed. I didn't tell you, because then you might have asked if I knew who Batman was, and I didn't wanna lie to you."

Dana tried to process all of this. "Okay, so Terry's Batman, you're Batwoman, and I'm a fucking idiot. Is that about right?"

Chelsea put her hands on Dana's shoulders. "Hey, you are not an idiot."

"I heard his voice, Chels, as Batman. I couldn't even recognize my own boyfriend's voice?"

"Hey, I heard it, too, and I didn't know either. Don't beat yourself up over it."

Dana nodded. "You're right. Let's go beat up Terry."


"Hey, hey, hey! Woah, woah, woah! Girls! Wait!" Terry screamed.

Chelsea and Dana had cornered Terry at his house, just inside the living room.

"How dare you keep this from me?!" Dana cried.

"And how dare you dump her instead of telling her the truth?!" Chelsea added.

Suddenly, Matt, Terry's younger brother, walked downstairs. He walked over to them, grinning. "What'd he do this time?"

Terry looked at Matt. "Stay out of it."

Chelsea looked at Matt. "He didn't tell his girlfriend that he's Batman."

Matt rolled his eyes. "Oh, more of this baloney. Nice try, Ter." He walked into the kitchen.

Chelsea and Dana looked at Terry in disbelief.

"You told your little brother, but you didn't tell the woman that you, theoretically, want to spend the rest of your life with?!" Chelsea asked.

"I told my mom, too!" Terry cried. "It was gonna be announced on TV! I told them preemptively, but they didn't believe me!"

Suddenly, Chelsea's cell phone rang. Chelsea hesitated.

"Aren't you gonna get that?" Terry asked her.

Chelsea got out her cell phone, checked the caller, and answered it. "Yeah?"

"Get over to the warehouse district. There's been a break-in."

"Okay." Chelsea ended the call. "Gotta go. Bat business."

Suddenly, Terry's cell phone rang. Chelsea frowned.

Terry awkwardly pulled out his cell phone and answered it. "Yeah?" He paused for a bit. "Uh-huh. On it." He hung up and stared at Chelsea awkwardly.

"Warehouse district?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah."

Chelsea looked at Dana. "Go back home and host the after-party until I get there."

Dana nodded.

Chelsea walked away. "Let's ride."


Chelsea flew her Batmobile toward Gotham's warehouse district, which was near the port. Terry followed in his own Batmobile.

"So who do you think's behind this?" Chelsea asked Terry. "Mad Stan?"

"Unless those warehouses contain explosives, I doubt it. It's not his style. He just wants to blow shit up. Well, tech shit, anyway."

Chelsea scanned the ground. "I see a set of doors that have been blown open. I'm going down to check it out."

"I'll come with you."

Chelsea and Terry parked their respective Batmobiles on the roof of the warehouse and got out. They flew down to ground level and activated their cloaks. They entered the warehouse.

Suddenly, Chelsea felt a blow from behind. "Oof!" She was knocked forward and struggled to regain her balance. Finally, she righted herself and turned around. She didn't see anyone. "Terry?"

"Yeah?"

"Oh, for fuck's sake, watch where you're going!" Chelsea hissed.

"How?"

Chelsea thought about it for a moment. "Activate heat vision." She did so and saw Terry's heat signature.

"Ah, okay. Good thinking, Chels."

Chelsea nodded, turned around, and started exploring the warehouse. She read the labels on some of the crates.

Suddenly, they came across a group of armed men, each positioned around a gated area. The lock on the gate had been ripped off, and the the gate was open.

"What do you think's back there?" Terry asked Chelsea.

"Something that they're not getting. C'mon."

Chelsea and Terry walked right behind the guards and into the gated area. Inside was Chelsea's old nemesis, Armored Guy.

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "I should've known."

Armored Guy was ripping off the top of a crate. Suddenly he looked up, jumped over the crate, and ran at Chelsea.

"Shit!" Chelsea jumped backwards and then did a roundhouse kick. "He can see us!"

Chelsea kept punching and kicking Armored Guy, to apparently no effect. Meanwhile, Terry went behind him and got him in a choke-hold. That didn't last long. Armored Guy picked Terry up and threw him against the bars of the cage. Chelsea used the distraction to grab a few electric Batarangs and press them directly against the armor. She gritted her teeth as the electricity shocked her, though most of it was absorbed by her Batsuit. The Batarangs didn't have any effect on Armored Guy, though. He just shrugged them off, swatted Chelsea away with one arm, grabbed the item out of the crate that he'd opened, and ran away.

Chelsea groaned as she got to her feet. "Fuuuuuuck. Isn't anything gonna immobilize that asshole?"

Terry got to his feet. "A nuclear bomb? Anyway, what'd he get?"

Chelsea checked the label on the crate. "A microwave emitter."

"A microwave emitter?" Terry asked in confusion. "What would he want with that?"

"I dunno, but I know someone that might." Chelsea pointed at the shipping label.

Terry got closer and read it. Chelsea was pointing to text that read "WAYNE ENTERPRISES".


Terry flew his Batmobile into the Batcave, and Chelsea followed. They landed and got out of their respective Batmobiles.

Bruce spun around in his chair, furious. "Terry! What's the meaning of this?!"

Terry dropped the crate on the floor. "We've got a problem. It seems one of Chelsea's recurring villains is stealing from your company."

Bruce was surprised but still angry. He picked up the crate and examined the label.

"Any idea what someone would want with a microwave emitter?" Chelsea asked him.

Bruce thought about it. "It could have any number of potential applications. You can thank Derek Powers for its existence; it was developed under his tenure. When I regained control of my company, I decided against canceling the development project, figuring such a device could aid in evaporating water in flooded areas."

Chelsea thought about that in silence. Then she looked around. "So...this is the famous Batcave."

Bruce smiled. "Was it everything that you expected it to be?"

"Meh, kinda drab. Maybe spruce it up with a disco ball, some lava lamps..."

Bruce frowned at her.

"Uh, never mind. I'm outy." Chelsea looked at Terry. "If you guys find anything, let me know."

Terry nodded.

Chelsea walked back over to her Batmobile, hopped in, closed the roof, started it up, and flew out of the Batcave.


Once Chelsea got home, she went up to her bedroom, took off her cap and gown, and threw on a sleeveless red dress. She went downstairs and mingled with the guests.

She noticed Dana standing by the punch bowl. She walked over to her. "Hey."

"Hey. How'd it go?" Dana asked.

"The dude made off with some valuable tech from Wayne Enterprises. Terry is handling things for now."

"With Mr. Wayne, right?" Dana asked.

"Uh-"

"OG Batman?" Dana asked.

Chelsea smiled. "Wow, you're smart."

"Once I knew Terry was Batman, it wasn't that hard to figure out."

Chelsea laughed. "I'd figured out that Terry was Batman after I'd found out that Bruce was the original Batman." She helped herself to some punch.

"So how do you like the party?" Dana asked.

"It's pretty schway. Music's a little loud."

"Really? I haven't heard anyone else complaining."

Just then, Dana's father walked into the living room with his hands over his ears. "Dana, please turn the music down!"

Chelsea and Dana looked at each other and smiled in amusement.


Chelsea and Dana sat across from each other in a booth at Deckard's Kitchen.

Melanie Walker walked over to them. "Hey. What are you two doing here so late?"

Chelsea shrugged. "Just got done cleaning up after the graduation after-party."

"Oh, that was today?" Melanie asked. "Congrats."

Chelsea smiled. "Thanks."

Dana smiled. "Thanks. Anyway, we decided to come here after, because we're not tired."

"What would you like to drink?" Melanie asked.

Chelsea thought for a moment. "A chocolate float."

"And the fizz?" Melanie asked.

"Cola."

"Dana?" Melanie asked.

"Mmmm, I'll have the same."

"And that'll be all. We're not hungry."

"Okay, coming right up." Melanie turned and walked away.

While they waited, Chelsea reached across the table and took Dana's right hand in her left hand. The two of them smiled as they silently held hands and waited.

Soon, Melanie arrived with her tray. She set the glasses on the table and smiled. "Enjoy."

Chelsea waited for Melanie to leave, and then she leaned in close to Dana. "There's somewhere else that I wanna take you before we go home."

Dana smiled. "Oh, yeah?"


Chelsea parked in front of the clock tower.

Dana looked at it, confused. "You brought me to the old Gotham clock tower?"

Chelsea smiled. "C'mon, let's go inside." She hopped out of the car and headed toward the door.

Dana hopped out of the car and followed her. Chelsea took out a key and unlocked the door. She opened it and stepped inside. Dana followed.

Chelsea closed and locked the door and put her key away. Then she walked over to the service elevator and pressed a button. Dana followed her. The elevator doors opened. The girls got inside. Chelsea pressed the button for the loft. The doors closed, and the elevator rose.

"You got a secret bachelorette pad?" Dana asked.

Chelsea smiled but didn't say anything.

The elevator stopped. The doors opened.

Chelsea grinned. "Welcome to Batwoman's secret lair!"

Dana gasped and grinned, walking into the loft. "I'm in the lair?!"

Chelsea walked into the loft. "Yup. Lemme give you a tour."

Dana followed her around.

"This is the TV. This is Kathy's painting area. As you can see, she's painting me. Up here, we have the kitchen. This is where I bum food and fizzes off them. This is the computer, where Kathy, Maggie, or Deanna usually assist me when I'm out in the field."

"Okay, who are these people?" Dana asked her. "Kathy, is that your karate instructor?"

"Yeah."

"She's the one that used to be Batwoman back in the day?" Dana asked.

Chelsea nodded.

"And Maggie?" Dana asked.

"Retired police officer, first in Metropolis and then here. She's Kathy's wife."

"And Deanna?" Dana asked.

"She provides the funding, and, in return, she gets to hang out here and sometimes be useful, but mostly she watches TV, surfs the Net, and pigs out."

Suddenly, the elevator started moving. Chelsea and Dana walked down the steps and watched it. The doors opened, and Deanna walked into the loft.

Deanna stopped, looking at Dana in surprise. "Oh. Hello."

"Dana, this is Deanna Clay. Deanna, this is my girlfriend, Dana Tan."

Dana smiled. "Hey."

Deanna smiled. "Hey." She looked at Chelsea. "Y'know, they're gonna be pissed when they find her here."

Chelsea shrugged. "Yeah, well, they'll just have to deal."

Suddenly, the elevator started moving again. Chelsea and Dana were surprised. Deanna laughed.

The elevator stopped, and the doors opened. Kathy and Maggie walked into the loft.

Kathy frowned. "There is a person that I don't know here. Chelsea, why is that?"

Chelsea frowned. "Hey, why are you automatically blaming me? It could have been Deanna."

"Because you were responsible last time."

"Right. This is my girlfriend, Dana Tan. Dana, these are Kathy Duquesne and Margaret 'Maggie' Sawyer, the leaders of Team Batwoman."

"What's with this Team Batwoman name?" Kathy asked.

Dana smiled. "It's nice to meet you."

Kathy smiled. "Likewise, Dana."

Dana smiled. "So...how did the two of you meet? What was the original Batwoman about?"

Maggie smiled. "Would you like to stay for dinner? It's just leftovers, but it's my special extra-spicy lasagna."

Dana grinned. "Sounds great. Thank you."

Deanna grinned. "Woo-hoo! I love lasagna."

Kathy rolled her eyes. "Sure, Deanna, you can stay, too."

Deanna was confused. "I thought that was implied."


During dinner, Kathy and Maggie recounted their individual and combined histories, most of which Chelsea had already heard, but some of it was new to her.

Dana smiled. "Wow, that's pretty neat."

Maggie stood up, cleared the table, and took the dishes and utensils to the sink. She headed for the fridge. "Anyone want a beer?"

Chelsea, Dana, Kathy, and Deanna raised their hands. Maggie took out five beers, set them on the table, and opened them. She sat down. The five of them started drinking their beers.

Deanna stood up. "I'm gonna put on some music." She walked over to Kathy's computer and brought up her playlist.

Kathy smiled. "Oh, Chelsea, your painting is finally done."

Chelsea smiled. "Really?"

"Yeah, I finished it this morning before heading to the dojo. Come and take a look."

"Oh, I already saw it when I showed Dana earlier."

"Ah, okay. Well, I'll wrap it up for you, and you can take it home."

Chelsea was shocked. "This painting was for me?!"

"Of course."

"But I...I can't. You worked so hard on it."

"And I'm giving it to you."

Chelsea sat, stunned, for a while, and then she smiled. "Thank you."

Kathy smiled at her and took a sip of her beer. Deanna pressed Play. On the home theater system, "Afterglow" by Vanessa Carlton played. Deanna returned to the table and sat down.

Maggie took a sip of her beer. "So what are your plans, now that you've graduated?"

Chelsea and Dana looked at each other, unsure.

Dana sipped her beer and looked at Maggie. "Hang out during the summer and then start attending GSU in the fall."

Chelsea nodded. "Yeah, same."

Kathy smiled. "Well, that's a relief. I'm glad you're staying in the city."

Chelsea smiled. "Hey, I'm not abandoning my girl...or you two...or the city."

Dana smiled and kissed Chelsea on the lips. "Glad to hear."

Chelsea grew a bit more serious. "Where do things stand with you and Terry?"

Dana paused, unsure.

"Just when the days start getting longer, I walk the streets I never knew. The sun comes out for you. And if you could see what's come over me, then you would know, 'cause I'm walking free, the wind at my back, bathed in after...'cause I'm walking free, the wind at my back, bathed in afterglow."

Dana gulped her beer. "I think...I think Terry and I are through." She shook a little, overcome with emotion.

Chelsea gulped her beer and took hold of Dana's hand. "It's okay, sweetie. It's okay. I think I speak for all of us when I say...we're here for you...whenever you need us." Chelsea smiled. "We're your family."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

08

"Blade of Steel"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter deals with rape. You have been warned. Also, the rating of the fic has been increased to reflect this. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Thursday, August 8, 2019, 9:51 PM - 9:57 PM; Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:42 PM - 9:51 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 10:02 PM - 10:08 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:21 PM - 10:27 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 9:23 PM - 9:34 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 11:51 AM - 12:00 PM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:10 PM - 10:15 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:06 PM - 10:12 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 12:29 PM - 12:42 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 7:08 PM - 7:17 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 1:58 PM - 2:11 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 8:30 PM - 8:34 PM; Friday, August 23, 2019, 2:28 PM - 2:33 PM; Saturday, August 24, 2019, 10:19 PM - 10:23 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 5:45 PM - 5:56 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 7:50 PM - 8:02 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 7:48 PM - 8:08 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 5:26 PM - 5:36 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 5:56 PM - 6:19 PM; Monday, September 16, 2019, 1:00 PM - 1:39 PM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 6:05 PM - 6:15 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 1:16 PM - 1:21 PM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 10:41 PM - 10:45 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 5:47 PM - 6:00 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 1:45 PM - 1:58 PM; Monday, September 23, 2019, 1:27 PM - 1:33 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 8:02 PM - 8:09 PM; Sunday, September 29, 2019, 9:55 PM - 10:28 PM; Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 8:16 PM - 8:30 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:13 PM - 1:18 PM; Sunday, October 6, 2019, 9:38 AM - 9:54 AM; Monday, October 7, 2019, 12:20 PM - 12:26 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 5:57 PM - 6:08 PM; Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 1:13 PM - 1:17 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:42 PM - 9:46 PM; Saturday, October 12, 2019, 8:28 PM - 8:36 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 5:43 PM - 5:57 PM; Sunday, October 20, 2019, 5:31 PM - 5:56 PM; Monday, October 21, 2019, 10:57 AM - 11:09 AM; Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 5:35 PM - 5:44 PM; Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 4:54 PM - 5:21 PM; Thursday, October 24, 2019, 9:13 PM - 9:24 PM; Friday, October 25, 2019, 9:34 PM - 10:06 PM; Saturday, October 26, 2019, 9:23 AM - 9:40 AM, 2:23 PM - 3:36 PM, 4:46 PM - 5:17 PM, 5:57 PM - 6:27 PM, 7:02 PM - 7:09 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham, Dana Tan, Bobbi "Blade" Sommer, and Jackie Wallace were dancing at a club. Multicolor lights flashed, and a pulsing techno beat blasted from the speakers.

Chelsea smiled. "This is great, isn't it?! We don't do this nearly enough!"

"What?!" Dana asked her.

"Girls' night!"

"No, I mean what were you asking?!"

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "Never mind!"

"Anyone want some drinks?!" Blade asked.

Chelsea, Dana, and Jackie raised their hands. Blade walked away and headed for the bar.

"How are things with you and Terry?!" Jackie asked Dana.

Dana suddenly felt uncomfortable.

Chelsea frowned at Jackie. "Hey, no discussion of guys during girls' night!"

Jackie put up her hands. "Okay, okay, forget I asked."

Blade soon returned with three drinks. "Hey, here are your drinks. I just met this hot guy at the bar. I'm gonna go hang out with him."

Chelsea, Dana, and Jackie took their drinks. Chelsea looked over at the bar. She saw a guy with black hair sitting there, watching them.

Chelsea looked at Blade. "Be careful. You don't know this guy."

"You worry too much, Chels. I'll be fine." Blade waved and walked back over to the bar.

Chelsea, Dana, and Jackie sipped their drinks while slowly dancing. After discarding their empty glasses, they held onto each other's hands and danced in a triangle. They eventually ended up in a three-way make-out session and got some whistles and shouts from the crowd.

Eventually, Chelsea broke the kiss. "I gotta go to the restroom." She walked over to a far corner of the club and entered the ladies' room.

After taking a quick piss and washing her hands, Chelsea returned to the dance floor and tried to find her friends again. She leaned back against a wall and tried to scan the room. What she didn't realize was she had leaned back against a door, and it wasn't fully closed. She fell backward against it.

Chelsea regained her balance, turned, and looked into the dark room. What she saw shocked her. Blaze was lying on a couch. She was half-naked, her tube top removed and lying on the floor. A man was straddling her, feeding his cock into her mouth.

Chelsea sprung into action, running forward. She lunged at the man, headbutted him, and threw him to the floor. She put her right hand around his neck, pinning it to the floor, and punched him repeatedly in the face with her left fist.

When she was satisfied that he was unconscious, she got off him and checked on Blade. "Blade! Blade, are you all right?!"

She received no response. Chelsea lifted Blade's head, and drool came out of Blade's mouth. Her eyes were looking at nothing in particular.

"Bobbi?" Chelsea asked, more quietly. "Speak to me." She turned her head toward the open door. "Hey, I need help in here!"

Some patrons ran off. Chelsea tried to keep Blade comfortable.

Soon, a bouncer arrived. "What's going on?"

"Asshole over there was raping my friend!" Chelsea cried. "I think she's been roofied!"

The bouncer took out his cell phone.

Another bouncer showed up. "What happened?"

"Attempted rape. I'm callin' the cops. Cuff the dude in there."

"Not 'attempted' rape! He was fucking raping her!" Chelsea angrily corrected.

The second bouncer went into the room, turned the rapist over, got out a pair of handcuffs, and cuffed his hands behind his back.

Chelsea stayed with Blade until the police and paramedics arrived. Chelsea turned Blade over on her side, so she could vomit on the floor. When the paramedics arrived, Chelsea left Blade in their care, left the room, and went to talk to a police officer.

"You were the one that found her?"

"Yeah, she's my friend. We'd come here tonight as a group. She'd gone off to the bar to get us drinks and met that asshole." Chelsea nodded in the direction of the rapist without looking at him. "He roofied her at some point and gotten her into this room at some point."

"You saw him doing this?" the officer asked.

Chelsea frowned at him. "Well, no, but she's displaying the symptoms."

"Please relate only what you saw."

Chelsea sighed. "I went to use the restroom. After I came out, I leaned back against the door, which wasn't closed. The door opened wide. I turned around and saw the asshole on top of her and feeding his cock into her mouth. I subdued him-"

"How'd you manage that?" the officer asked.

"I know karate and work out at the gym. Anyway, then I checked on my friend. She had a far-off look in her eyes, and she was drooling and threw up."

"What's the name of the alleged victim?" the officer asked.

Chelsea got really angry. "She's not an 'alleged' victim! She's a victim! Period! You fucking son of a bitch!"

"Ma'am, I'm gonna need you to calm down."

"I want your badge number."

"Just a few more questions-"

"I told you what I know! Her name is Bobbi Sommer! My name is Chelsea Cunningham!" Chelsea yelled. She turned and walked back into the room and over to the paramedics. "How is she?"

They had put Blade on a stretcher.

One of the paramedics looked at her. "She's stable. We're gonna take her to Gotham General."

"May I ride along?" Chelsea asked.

The paramedic nodded.


After Chelsea got the officer's badge number, she quickly searched for her friends.

"Girls, Blade's..." Chelsea nearly choked on her tears.

"Chels, what is it?" Dana asked, worried.

"Blade's been raped!" Chelsea cried.

The others gasped.

"She's being taken to Gotham General. I'm gonna ride with her." Chelsea walked away.

"We'll follow!" Jackie called.


Chelsea waited outside as Blade was loaded into the back of the ambulance, and then she climbed in after her. The driver closed the doors.

Chelsea watched sadly as Blade breathed through an oxygen mask.

"Hold on, Blade." Chelsea took Blade's left hand between both of her own. "Please just hold on. You're a fighter."


At Gotham General, Chelsea watched as Blade was unloaded from the ambulance and brought into a room. She wasn't allowed into the room at first; a doctor had to examine Blade. Chelsea got a Pow fizz from the vending machine and nervously paced and drank as she waited. She also texted her location to her friends.

Soon, Dana and Jackie arrived.

"How is she?" Dana asked Chelsea.

"I dunno yet."

"What happened?" Jackie asked.

"I accidentally leaned against a door to another room. It opened, and the asshole that Blade had met at the bar was feeding his dick into her mouth."

"What'd you do?" Jackie asked Chelsea.

"I beat the shit out of him. Anyway, I'm gonna stay with her until she wakes up."

Dana smiled and linked hands with Chelsea. "Of course, you are. We'll stay with you."

The door opened, and the doctor and a nurse walked out.

"How is she?" Chelsea asked.

"She's asleep right now. There's probably no lasting damage."

Chelsea frowned. "You mean other than being raped."

"She probably won't remember that."

Chelsea scowled at him. "Can I see her?"

"Sure, you can go in. Only two visitors at a time, though."

Chelsea looked at Dana and nodded. The two of them walked into the room. Dana closed the door behind her.

Blade was lying in the bed. Chelsea and Dana walked over to her. Chelsea picked up Blade's left hand and held it between her own hands.

Dana stared at Blade. "I can't believe this happened to her."

"It can happen to anyone." Chelsea started to cry. "We think and hope it'll never happen to us, but it totally can."

Suddenly, Chelsea felt Blade's hand squeezing her left hand. She looked down in surprise. Blade moaned and slowly opened her eyes. She blinked a few times.

"Where am I?" Blade asked weakly.

"The hospital."

Blade moaned and slowly turned her head to her left. Her eyes focused on the girl holding her hand. "Chels? Chelsea...Cunningham?"

Chelsea nodded, figuring Blade was out of it. "I'm here. Dana's here, too. And Jackie is waiting outside."

"What happened?" Blade asked.

"Do you remember anything?" Chelsea asked her.

Blade shook her head.

Chelsea swallowed and sat in a nearby chair. "You'd met a guy at the bar in the club that we were at. At some point, he got you into a room with him. He...raped you."

"What?" Blade asked.

"He raped you." Chelsea paused. "It was orally. He put his dick in your mouth. I came across the two of you and managed to stop him. The police took him away."

Blade stared at Chelsea in shock for a moment. Chelsea just stared back at her, unsure what else to do.

Blade swallowed. "Thank you."

Chelsea nodded. Then Blade started crying. Chelsea could do nothing but sit with her and hold her hand.

Dana walked over to the opposite side of the bed and placed a hand on Blade's right shoulder. "We're here for you, Blade."


Chelsea, Dana, and Jackie fought with the hospital's staff every step of the way to allow Blade to leave the hospital under her own power instead of in a wheelchair. Once they were outside, they made their way over to their cars.

"Do you feel like going home?" Chelsea asked Blade.

Blade shook her head. "I don't wanna be alone."

Chelsea nodded. "Are you hungry? We can take you out for a late dinner."

Blade nodded.


The ladies were sitting in a booth in Deckard's Kitchen. Blade sat by the window, staring out at the night. Chelsea sat across from her. Dana sat to Chelsea's right, and Jackie sat to Blade's left. None of them said anything.

Melanie Walker came by and set their plates of cheeseburgers and fries and glasses of cola fizz on the table. "Can I get you anything else?"

Chelsea looked at her and shook her head.

Melanie looked at her friend in concern. "Is everything okay? You look like someone died."

"Just leave us alone."

Melanie was stung by the bluntness of Chelsea's words.

Chelsea realized she might have come off as a bit too strong. "Please."

Melanie nodded and walked away.

Chelsea absently swirled her straw around in her glass of cola fizz as she stared at Blade in sorrow.

"Blade?" Dana asked.

Blade turned and looked at her.

"Are you gonna be okay staying at home tonight? I know your parents aren't usually around."

Blade thought about it. "I don't wanna be alone."

Jackie smiled. "You can stay with me."

Blade looked at her. "Thanks."


The next morning, Chelsea walked into Deckard's Kitchen and headed to the back to clock in. Melanie was waiting by the time clock.

Chelsea approached her. "Hey."

Melanie looked at her. "Hey."

"Um, I'm sorry that I was so brash with you last night. One of the girls is going through a rough time."

Melanie shrugged. "It's okay."

Chelsea and Melanie clocked in.

"So I was thinking. Would you be interested in taking karate class with me?" Chelsea asked.

"Me?" Melanie asked, surprised. "Why?"

"Well, I'm trying to get all of my friends involved. It's good to be able to defend yourself."

"Yeah, sure. When's the next class?"

"This evening."

"I'll be there."


Chelsea and Dana passed through the torii and entered the grounds of Hikawa Shrine. Blade and Jackie followed them, and Melanie and Deanna brought up the rear. They walked over to Hikawa Dojo and entered it.

The miko, who was doing duty as a receptionist, looked up at them. "Oh. New students?"

The door slid open, and Kathy walked out. "Hey."

Chelsea smiled. "Hey. I brought you some new students."

Dana smiled. "You already know me, of course."

Deanna smiled. "And me."

Kathy smiled. "Hi, Dana. Hi, Deanna."

Melanie smiled. "I'm Melanie Walker."

Jackie smiled. "I'm Jackie Wallace."

Everyone waited for Blade to introduce herself.

Jackie looked at Blade. "It's okay, sweetie." She took hold of Blade's left hand and linked fingers with her.

"I'm Bobbi Sommer." Blade paused for a moment, choking back tears. "I...I was..."

Kathy put her hands on Blade's shoulders. "You're not the first one that's taken this class. You're strong. You'll survive."

Blade stared at Kathy for a moment, and then she nodded hesitantly.

Kathy removed her hands from Blade's shoulders. "All right, I assume Chelsea's gone over the pricing and schedule with you, so let's get in there."


What followed was a half-hour of meditation and learning kata and a half-hour of the newbies getting their asses handed to them by not-quite-as-new students.

Dana groaned and rubbed her ass as Chelsea helped her to her feet. "My ass is so sore, and we haven't even fucked yet today."

Chelsea laughed. "Give it time, sweetie, you'll get the hang of it."

The two girls turned and watched Blade and Jackie sparring against each other. Kathy was also observing them.

Jackie punched Blade in the chest. Blade fell to the mat. Jackie reached down and offered Blade her hand. Blade took it, and Jackie helped her get to her feet.

Blade sighed. "Thanks. I suck at this."

Jackie smiled sympathetically. "Hey, we're both learning. You'll get there."

The two girls turned to watch Melanie and Deanna spar. Melanie was clearly more experienced. Chelsea, Dana, and Kathy watched them as well.

"Where'd Mel get all of those sick moves?" Jackie asked.

Chelsea laughed. "Maybe she has a dark, mysterious past."

Kathy gave her some side-eye.

Melanie knocked Deanna down and then helped her to her feet.

Deanna smiled in respect. "Damn, you're good."

Melanie smiled. "Thanks."

"Okay, everybody, time for the closing meditation."

Everyone went and sat down on the floor. They got into their meditation postures.


After class, the girls were in the locker room, changing back into their regular clothes.

"So what do you think of the class so far?" Chelsea asked.

Jackie smiled. "I like it."

Dana smiled. "Me, too. I can see why you take it, Chels."

Melanie shrugged. "It's kinda amateur."

Deanna rolled her eyes. "Well, I like it."

Blade didn't say anything.

Chelsea looked at her. "Blade?"

Blade still didn't say anything. Then she broke down and started crying. Jackie immediately hugged her.

"I just...I feel so helpless!" Blade sobbed, hugging Jackie. She couldn't get anything else out.

Jackie let Blade cry on her shoulder. The girls looked at each other, helpless.

Finally, Chelsea looked at Blade. "Blade, do you wanna maybe hit the gym with me?"

Blade looked at her for a moment and then nodded.


All of the girls went to the gym. Chelsea payed for a one-month membership for Blade, and then the two of them worked out together, lifting weights, while their friends watched. Then they punched punching bags. Chelsea stopped her own workout and watched Blade, who was clearly pouring all of her anger into her punches. Chelsea noticed "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia played on the radio during this time, but she didn't comment on it.

After their workout, Chelsea and Blade got some cola fizzes from a vending machine, sat on a bench, relaxed, and cooled down. Chelsea stared at Blade, trying to determine her feelings on all of this.

Suddenly, Chelsea's cell phone rang. Chelsea set down her can, got her cell phone out, and checked the caller ID. It was Maggie.

Chelsea answered the call. "Yeah?"

"Blade's rapist was just bailed out of jail."

"What?!" Chelsea exclaimed in shock.

Blade looked at her in surprise.

"How was that allowed?!" Chelsea asked.

"I don't know. Is she with you?"

"Yeah, she's right here. We're at the gym."

"Put her somewhere safe and then go out on patrol. I've still got another class tonight, and Kathy's got some paperwork to do, so have Deanna get to the clock tower and run point on this."

"On it." Chelsea ended the call. She looked at Blade. "Your rapist was just bailed out of jail."

Blade gasped, her expression a mix of fear and anger.

Chelsea looked at Jackie. "Jackie, take her home. Keep her there."

Jackie stepped forward and nodded. "Got it."

Blade stood up. "Bye."

The two of them left the gym.

"How'd you get that info?" Melanie asked Chelsea.

Chelsea stood up. "Kathy's wife, Maggie. She's an ex-cop and has contacts on the police force. Dana, Deanna, c'mon."

Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna headed for the door.

Melanie followed them. "Where are you going?"

Chelsea's mind raced for an explanation. "Um, spin class. See ya."

"Okay, bye, Grandma."

Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna walked outside.

Chelsea looked at Deanna. "Deanna, get to the clock tower and run point on this."

"On it." Deanna headed for her car.

Chelsea and Dana headed for Chelsea's car. Chelsea opened the trunk and got out her Batsuit. She closed the trunk and hopped into the driver's seat. Dana hopped into the passenger seat. Chelsea raised the roof over her car and raised the windows as well. Chelsea drove out of the parking lot and went down a side street. She parked in an empty parking lot. Then she took off all of her clothes and put on her Batsuit, leaving the mask off for now.

Chelsea summoned the Batmobile and then looked at Dana. "Meet me at the clock tower later tonight?"

Dana nodded. "Sure."

Chelsea kissed Dana on the lips and put on her mask. The Batmobile arrived. Chelsea opened the roof of her car and hopped out. She opened the roof of the Batmobile and hopped into the cockpit. Then she closed the roof and flew off.

"Deanna, you at the clock tower yet?" Chelsea asked.

"Just heading in now."

Chelsea frowned. "I need you to locate and track that son of a bitch."

"Gladly. Gonna kick his ass?" Deanna asked.

"Oh, yeah. Definitely."


Following Deanna's instructions, Chelsea silently pursued Blade's rapist under cloak. When she saw he was going to enter a club, she felt physically disgusted. She cloaked herself, parked on the roof, exited the Batmobile, jumped down to the street, and entered the club.

Chelsea silently followed the rapist as he went over to the bar and sat down. She looked around, hoping no girls would come up.

One did, a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes - not unlike Chelsea. Chelsea felt irritated at the intrusion, but then she realized this might be an opportunity. She waited to see what would happen. The girl sat on a stool.

The rapist looked at her and smiled. "Hi."

The girl looked at him and smiled tentatively. "Hi."

"I'm Mike - Big Mike, as I'm often known."

Chelsea rolled her eyes.

"Karen."

"Can I buy you a drink?"

"Sure. I'll have a lime hard seltzer."

Chelsea waited while he ordered the drink for Karen. As it was about to arrive, he dropped his credit card on the floor and pretended to have difficulty finding it. Karen located it and bent over to pick it up. While she was doing this, Mike quickly slipped a tablet into her drink, and it quickly dissolved.

Chelsea felt unsure of what to do. She considered knocking the drink over; that would certainly save Karen from a traumatic experience. However, she decided to let things play out, so she could beat Mike up in private and also, perhaps, get evidence of an attempted rape.

Sure enough, once Karen returned Mike's card to him, she started sipping her drink. Chelsea waited. Karen started feeling woozy as she finished her drink.

"Hey, would you like to go someplace a bit more private?" Mike asked.

Karen's mind was foggy. "I, um, yeah, sure."

The two of them stood up. Mike led Karen into a dark room. Chelsea followed them. Mike closed the door.

"Have a seat, babe."

Karen sat on the couch. Mike joined her. Chelsea watched as they started making out. Mike lay Karen back and then lay on top of her. They started frenching.

After a while of this, Mike broke the kiss and sat up. He unzipped his pants.

"What are you doing?" Karen asked.

"Time for you to meet Little Mike." Mike pulled his dick out of his pants.

"No..." Karen struggled to get out from under him.

Mike lay on top of her and shoved his tongue into her mouth.

"Help!" Karen cried weakly.

Chelsea leaped into action. She pulled Mike off Karen and threw him to the floor. Then she kicked him in the ribs and stomped repeatedly on his penis. She briefly mounted him and punched him repeatedly in the face until he was unconscious. Then she got off him, decloaked, and scooped Karen up in her arms.


After contacting the police and taking Karen to Gotham General, Chelsea went to visit Blade. She rang the doorbell.

Soon, the door opened. Jackie was standing there.

Jackie smiled. "Hey, Chels."

"Hey. Can I see Blade?" Chelsea asked.

"Sure." Jackie stepped aside.

"Thanks." Chelsea walked into the living room of Jackie's house.

Jackie closed and locked the front door. "She's upstairs. Do you want anything to drink?"

Chelsea shook her head. "No, thanks."

Chelsea followed Jackie upstairs. They went down a hallway and to the last door on the left.

Jackie knocked on the door. "Blade? You've got a visitor."

There was no response for a moment.

"Okay."

Jackie opened the door. She and Chelsea walked into Blade's bedroom. Chelsea closed the door behind her.

Blade was lying on her right side on her bed, facing the wall. She turned to lie on her back and looked at Chelsea. "Hey, Chels."

"Hey." Chelsea walked over to the bed and sat down. "How are you feeling?"

Blade shrugged. "I dunno. I really don't feel like doing anything. I just...I'm here...but not here."

"Well, I have a bit of good news. The rapist was caught trying to rape another girl. It was caught on video, and it was sent to the police commissioner. He's been locked up again. He's also had the shit beaten out of him, so he won't be out on the streets for a while, if ever." She paused and waited for Blade to react. "So...what do you think?"

Blade was silent for a moment. "Is the woman okay?"

"She was roofied." Chelsea was hit with guilt, but she beat it down for the moment. "But she's recovering. Like you, she probably won't remember what happened."

Blade thought about that for a moment. "Well, at least, he was stopped before she was raped."

"Yeah. Yeah, at least, that."

Blade reached up and took Chelsea's left hand in her right hand. They linked fingers.

Blade smiled weakly. "Thank you, Chels."

"I didn't do anything."

"I have a feeling...that you did."

"Well, you're kinda right, because I have more good news. My friend, Maggie, is former GCPD, and she talked to Commissioner Gordon about how your case was handled. The investigating officer has been terminated. The commish is willing to work with you personally to build a case against this guy."

Blade lost her smile. "I don't wanna go through all of that."

"Blade, sweetie-"

"You were there. You can testify on my behalf. I don't remember the rape."

"Do you remember any of what happened before you were roofied?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah, a little."

"That's important, too."

"I...I dunno."

"Come with me."

"What?"

"Come with me. Please." Chelsea looked over at Jackie. "You, too, Jackie."

"Where are we going?" Jackie asked.


Chelsea, Dana, Jackie, and Blade exited the elevator and walked into the loft in the clock tower.

Kathy smiled. "Hi, Bobbi."

"Hi."

"Come up to the kitchen. Maggie put some tea on."

The five ladies walked up the steps and into the kitchen. They sat at the table. Maggie came by, set down five cups, and then filled them with tea.

Maggie smiled. "Enjoy. I've got more, if some other people will stop fucking around and decide to join us." She turned and looked at the computer area.

Deanna was sitting at Kathy's computer. Commissioner Barbara Gordon was standing behind her and looking over her shoulder.

Barbara frowned. "You're doing it wrong."

"Look, I got this, all right?" Deanna asked.

"I am looking. I'm not seeing anything impressive."

"I'll figure it out. Just gimme a sec. I'm the girl in the chair."

Barbara smiled in amusement. "Oh, are you? Get up, kid. I was doing this long before you were born."

Deanna sighed and stood up. She stepped aside.

Barbara sat in the chair and smiled as a wave of nostalgia hit her. "Okay, here we go..." She worked her magic on the keyboard.

On the home theater system, "Talk in Tongues" by Natalie Imbruglia started playing.

Barbara looked at Kathy and smiled. "Got your new gear running. Now, you can enjoy your playlist in lossless, ultra-high-def quality."

Kathy smiled and gave her a thumbs-up.

Barbara stood up. She and Deanna joined them at the table. Maggie got three more cups, set them on the table, and poured tea. Kathy stood up and picked up her cup, letting Barbara have her chair.

Barbara sat down and looked at Blade. "Bobbi, I want you to know I believe you, and I will take you at your word. I will not refer to an 'attempted rape' or 'alleged rape' or call you an 'alleged victim'. You are not to blame, not for meeting with the guy nor for what you chose to wear."

Chelsea, Dana, Jackie, and Deanna looked at Blade in surprise. She sadly nodded.

Barbara looked at all of them. "In cases of rape, it's not unusual to blame the victim, criticize them, and say they were 'asking for it'." She looked at Blade. "That won't happen between you and me, Bobbi. We are all here to support you."

"Will I have to testify in court?" Blade asked her.

"Yes, and his lawyer will go after your character; I'm preparing you for that right now. Stick to what you know, not what you think you know." She looked at Chelsea. "Chelsea, do the same."

Chelsea nodded. Blade sat in silence, contemplating it.

"You pay the bill. You lost your will. Just run away until...you wake up, and tomorrow is today, oh-oh-oh-oh, and you're cryin', cryin' like a baby, caught between the tides. Did you lose your way? You lost your way. Did you lose your way? You lost your way."

Jackie placed her left hand on top of Blade's right hand. "You can do it, sweetie. We'll all be there for you. We're your support system."

Barbara smiled at Blade. "I hear they call you Blade. I think that's pretty appropriate. You're made of steel. Tough, just like Supergirl - only stronger."

Blade smiled weakly. "Okay."

Barbara stood up and looked at Maggie. "Thanks for the tea." She looked at Blade. "Let's go to my office." She looked at Chelsea. "You, too, Chelsea."

Blade and Chelsea stood up.

Jackie stood up as well. "I'll drive you, Blade."

Dana stood up. "I'll come, too."

Barbara, Blade, Jackie, and Dana headed down the steps and toward the elevator.

Chelsea held back for a bit, looked at Kathy, and smiled. "Thanks for offering to host this here."

Kathy smiled. "Yeah, well, special circumstances."

Chelsea waved. "See ya." She caught up with the others and threw an arm around Blade.

Blade looked at her. "Thanks, Chels."

Chelsea smiled at her and kissed her on the forehead. "We're all here for you, Blade, always."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

09

"Glory Days"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Friday, August 9, 2019, 9:51 PM - 9:57 PM; Saturday, August 10, 2019, 10:08 PM - 10:13 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:27 PM - 10:36 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 9:42 PM - 10:09 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 12:04 PM - 12:13 PM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:16 PM - 10:22 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:12 PM - 10:16 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 12:43 PM - 12:48 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 7:20 PM - 7:32 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 2:17 PM - 2:31 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 8:35 PM - 8:55 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 5:56 PM - 6:16 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 8:03 PM - 8:18 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 8:26 PM - 8:46 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 5:37 PM - 5:52 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 7:34 PM - 8:00 PM; Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 8:15 PM - 8:53 PM; Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 1:22 PM - 1:27 PM; Thursday, September 19, 2019, 10:45 PM - 10:49 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 6:03 PM - 6:16 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 2:12 PM - 2:24 PM; Monday, September 23, 2019, 1:33 PM - 1:38 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 8:15 PM - 8:19 PM; Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 8:46 PM - 9:24 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:18 PM - 1:22 PM; Monday, October 7, 2019, 12:51 PM - 1:18 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 6:08 PM - 6:15 PM; Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 1:17 PM - 1:21 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:46 PM - 9:51 PM; Saturday, October 12, 2019, 9:14 PM - 9:22 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 5:58 PM - 6:10 PM; Sunday, October 20, 2019, 5:56 PM - 6:24 PM; Monday, October 21, 2019, 12:37 PM - 12:51 PM; Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 5:44 PM - 5:54 PM; Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 5:23 PM - 5:32 PM; Thursday, October 24, 2019, 9:30 PM - 9:44 PM; Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 1:13 PM - 1:28 PM; Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 1:14 PM - 1:22 PM; Thursday, October 31, 2019, 7:09 PM - 7:36 PM; Saturday, November 2, 2019, 10:32 AM - 11:23 AM, 5:54 PM - 6:17 PM, 11:40 PM - 11:48 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham piloted the Batmobile, flying on her semi-nightly patrol of Gotham. She yawned. "This is so boring."

"What's the matter?" Kathy asked. "No crime to liven things up?"

"Not so much as a mugging. Can I call it a night?"

"Yeah, sure. Come back."

Chelsea set the auto-pilot to return to the clock tower.


Chelsea decloaked the Batmobile as soon as the garage door was closed. She opened the roof and climbed out. She took off her mask, opened the door, and walked through.

Chelsea took the elevator upstairs and exited it into the loft. "Kate, Mags, I'm back."

She stopped short when she saw two unknown women sitting in chairs, borrowed from the kitchen, in the living room. Kathy and Maggie were sitting together on the couch.

Chelsea felt a bit nervous. "Oh, I didn't know you had company."

Kathy smiled. "They just arrived. These are my old friends, Dr. Roxanne Ballantine and Sonia Alcana. Ladies, this is Chelsea Cunningham."

Sonia smiled. "Pleased to meet you, Chelsea."

Roxanne smiled. "Call me Rocky."

Chelsea smiled. "Hey. So how do you know each other?"

"We were all Batwoman back in the day. Remember that story that I told you? These are the ladies."

"Oh, yeah."

Maggie smiled. "I wish I could have been there to see these ladies back in their prime. Unfortunately, I was still in Metropolis at the time."

"So you know about Batwoman?" Rocky asked Chelsea.

Chelsea smiled. "Yeah, I know a thing or two."

"How do you know Kathy?" Sonia asked her.

"Um-"

"She's my student...at the dojo."

Sonia looked at Kathy. "And she hangs out at your house?"

"She also works for me."

Sonia looked at Chelsea. "Oh. What do you do?"

Chelsea gave her a nervous smile. "Oh, you know. Random shit. So, um, I'm gonna head home. Good night." She headed for the elevator.

Kathy smiled. "Awww, don't go yet. Stick around. We were just gonna get caught up with each other."

Chelsea couldn't think of anything that she'd rather do less than sitting around and listening to two women that she barely knew and two women that she didn't know at all talking about themselves. However, not wanting to appear rude, she reluctantly returned and sat next to Maggie on the couch.

"So how's the dojo going?" Sonia asked.

Kathy nodded. "Good. Oh, Chelsea, do you want some coffee or something?"

"Um, maybe a fizz." Chelsea stood up. "Y'know what? I can get it myself. Don't let me stop you from reminiscing."

Chelsea quickly walked into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and took her sweet time looking at everything. She eventually settled on a fizz and closed the fridge. Then she decided to stay in the kitchen and drink it instead of going back down to the old ladies.

Eventually, she had no choice but to return to the living room. They didn't seem to miss her.

"Where's your drink?" Kathy asked.

"Drank it - as people are known to do with drinks." Chelsea sat back on the couch.

"So how are you and Kevin doing?" Kathy asked Rocky.

"Still every which way possible." Rocky winked.

Chelsea threw up a little in her mouth. She swallowed it.

"Why do you live in a big clock?" Sonia asked Kathy and Maggie.

Chelsea tuned out their explanation; she'd heard it before.

"So, Chelsea, what's with the Batwoman costume?" Sonia asked.

Chelsea shrugged, feeling it wasn't worth it to try to come up with a cover story. "I'm Batwoman."

Sonia and Rocky looked at Kathy in surprise.

Sonia raised an eyebrow. "You never mentioned this to us."

Rocky smiled. "Training the next generation?"

Kathy smiled. "Yeah."

"Are you any good?" Sonia asked Chelsea.

Chelsea shrugged.

"What, you don't know?" Sonia asked her.

"I don't like to judge my own abilities."

Maggie smiled. "She's fine."

Chelsea stood up. "Anyway, I really oughta get home."

"What's the rush?" Kathy asked.

"Oh, y'know, there's either this or having delicious sex with my delicious girlfriend, so...bye." Chelsea headed for the elevator.


The next evening, Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna entered the clock tower and got into the elevator. Chelsea hit the button for the loft. The elevator started moving.

Deanna gave Dana some side-eye and then did the same to Chelsea. "So she's just gonna be hanging out here from now on?"

Dana looked at Deanna. "I'm right here, y'know."

"Whatever."

Chelsea looked at Deanna. "Be nice."

"No promises."

The elevator stopped and opened. The ladies exited it and entered the loft. They stopped short at the sight before them.

"Hey!" Chelsea exclaimed, frowning. "What the fuck is this?"

Kathy, Rocky, and Sonia were each wearing their original Batwoman costumes. Maggie was sitting in the chair at the computer, watching them. They turned to look at the three young ladies.

Kathy smiled. "Oh, hi, girls."

Rocky smiled. "Sooo...that is a very valid question."

Sonia smiled. "We stayed up all last night, talking about the old times. We figured we're all still in pretty good shape, so why not get back in the saddle and kick some ass?"

Dana smiled in amusement. "Was that train of thought helped along by any alcoholic beverages, by any chance?"

Kathy shrugged. "Some beer and some wine."

Rocky grinned. "Oh! And some shots of vodka!"

Kathy gave her some side-eye. "It's still a valid conclusion."

Chelsea grinned. "This, I gotta see."

Maggie stood up. "Okay, so I'm gonna be the woman in the chair-"

"Hmph!" Deanna folded her arms over her chest.

"Anyway, I'll be assisting the ladies from here in the clock tower." Maggie walked over to the three original Batwomen. "We got the original Batsuits upgraded today."

"Who's gonna pilot the Batmobile?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy, Sonia, and Rocky looked at each other, stumped.

Chelsea laughed. "You really didn't think this through, did you?"

Kathy smiled. "No problem. I am clearly the one that has kept up training and is in the best physical condition of the three of us. Clearly, I should be the one to pilot the Batmobile."

"And what are we supposed to do?" Rocky asked her.

"I dunno. Hang out. Check out Chelsea's Batsuit."

Chelsea frowned and folded her arms over her chest. "Sure, poke around in my shit, why don'tcha?"

Dana smiled and hugged Chelsea with one arm. "Mmmm, no way; that's my job." She kissed Chelsea on her left cheek.

Chelsea briefly smiled. "Hey, here's an idea: leave the Batmobile and use the gliders."

"But I wanna fly the Batmobile!" Rocky whined.

Sonia looked at her. "Oh, shut up. We're all gonna fly the Batmobile. We'll just rotate nightly."

"Um, how long, exactly, are you gonna be here?" Chelsea asked Sonia and Rocky.

Sonia and Rocky looked at each other, and then they looked at Chelsea, smiled, and shrugged.

Dana grinned at Chelsea. "Hey, that'll give you a bunch of free time, Chels."

Deanna looked at Dana and frowned. "Shut up, Yoko."

Chelsea looked at Deanna and frowned. "Hey, don't tell my girlfriend to shut up."

Dana smiled at Chelsea. "Thanks, sweetie."

Kathy cleared her throat. "Anyway, I'll go out first." She turned and headed for the elevator.

Everyone watched her get in the elevator and watched the doors close. Then Maggie turned her attention to the computer.

"Does anyone but me think this is a bad idea?" Deanna asked.

Dana considered it. "You've got a point. All three of you ladies have gotta be pushing seventy."

Sonia and Rocky frowned and took off their masks.

Dana looked at Chelsea. "So you wanna go out and hit the town?"

Chelsea shrugged. "Might as well."

The two of them headed for the elevator.

Deanna followed them. "I'm comin' with you."

Dana rolled her eyes. "Sure, why the hell not?"


Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna went and picked up Jackie and Blade, and then they went to Deckard's Kitchen. They entered the restaurant and walked over to a booth. The place was packed.

Melanie walked by, carrying a loaded tray. "Hey, Chels, I know you already worked today, but we're really slammed. Would you mind clocking back in and working an extra hour or two?"

Chelsea had the natural reaction when it came to being asked to work when one wasn't scheduled: extreme irritability. However, she forced a smile. "Excuse me for a moment while I consult my people on that." She turned to her group. "What say you, O wise council?"

The wise council gave a collective shrug.

Chelsea faced Melanie and grinned. "Lo, I am at your disposal!"

Melanie frowned. "Great. Hurry the fuck up and clock in." She walked away.


Soon after Chelsea got the manager to override her in, she was swamped with orders to deliver to various tables.

Finally, she walked over to her friends' table with four menus, a notepad, and a pen. "Thank you for waiting patiently. My name is Chelsea. I'll be your waiter this evening." She set the menus on the table. "Would you like a beverage or appetizer to start?"

Dana smiled. "Nachos and a large cola fizz."

Deanna smiled. "Onion rings and a chocolate fizz."

Jackie smiled. "Chicken nuggets and an orange fizz."

Chelsea finished writing it down. "Blade?"

Blade sighed. "I don't fucking care."

Jackie looked at her sympathetically and then looked at Chelsea. "She'll have the same."

Chelsea wrote it down. "I'll be back in a bit." She walked over to the counter, got behind it, and entered the order into the computer system.

She looked up and noticed a couple teen guys climbing onto the stools in front of the counter.

Chelsea smiled. "Welcome to Deckard's Kitchen. What can I get ya?"

One of the guys grinned. "Your phone number!"

His friend was incredibly proud of him and slapped him five. The two of them started laughing.

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "Oh, see, I dunno about that. You might wanna discuss it with my girlfriend."

The guy stared at her in extreme disappointment. "Oh, bummer."

His friend laughed at his misfortune, and he punched him in the arm in response.

Chelsea found this slightly amusing. "Okay, seriously, are you gonna order anything?"

Just then, Melanie set a tray with appetizers and fizzes on the counter. "Chels, your friends' orders are ready."

Chelsea quickly mouthed "Thank you" to her, picked up the tray, and headed to her friends' table. "Here ya go." She took the items off the tray and set them on the table. She took out her order pad and pen. "Have you decided yet?"

Dana smiled. "I'll have the Spicy Pork Triple Cheeseburger."

Deanna smiled. "I'll have the Bacon Habanero Triple Cheeseburger."

Jackie smiled. "I'll have Loco Lopez' Caliente Stuffed Burrito."

Blade sighed. "Same, I guess."

Chelsea wrote it all down and collected the menus. "Okay." She turned and walked back over to the counter.

Suddenly, she noticed something on the TV. Batwoman was fighting a gang of thugs on a street.

"Hey, turn that up!" Chelsea called.

Melanie picked up a remote and turned the volume up on the TV.

"Well, it looks like Batwoman is cleaning up the trash on our streets, but what's up with returning to the old costume?"

"I know, right? Is she afraid she'll be mistaken for Batman? I think there's ample evidence she's not."

Chelsea groaned. "Ugh. Typical male comment."

On the TV, Batwoman hopped on her glider and took off into the air.

"Odd. I thought she was using the Batmobile." Chelsea went behind the counter and entered her friends' orders into the computer.

"Batwoman's really somethin', ain't she?" Melanie asked.

"What? Oh. Yeah, she is."

The door opened, and Commissioner Barbara Gordon walked in.

Melanie smiled. "Ooh, VIP customer."

Barbara walked up to the counter and sat on a stool.

Chelsea smiled. "Hey, Commish, what can I get ya?"

"Cunningham?" Barbara asked in surprise. She briefly looked up at the TV and then back at Chelsea. "You can start by giving me some damn answers."

Chelsea turned toward the kitchen. "Three damn answers! Hold the baloney!" She turned to face Barbara.

Barbara stared stone-faced at her. Chelsea grinned.

The manager came out of the kitchen. "Cunningham, what the hell?"

Barbara stood up. "I need to question her for a few minutes. Police investigation."

"Uh, yeah, sure thing, Commish."

Chelsea walked out from behind the counter and followed Barbara outside.

"So what's up?" Chelsea asked her.

"You tell me."

Chelsea shrugged. "The old Team Batwoman recently got together and, after much booze, decided they've 'still got it', so..." Chelsea threw up her hands.

Barbara rolled her eyes. "Great. What's next? Is the original Batman gonna come out of retirement?"

Chelsea threw up her hands again. "What do you want me to say? Go to the clock tower and talk with them."

"I'll do that, thanks." Barbara turned and walked away.

"Didn't you come in here for dinner?" Chelsea asked her.

Barbara briefly looked back at her. "Investigation before indigestion."


After two hours, the rush died down, and Chelsea was finally able to clock out and join her friends for a late dinner.

Melanie walked over to the booth. "Okay, Chels, what can I get ya?"

"Chicken nuggets, a large cola fizz, and a Loco Lopez."

Melanie wrote it down. "Coming right up. Oh, anyone else want anything?"

They shook their heads. Melanie turned and walked away.

"So did I miss any interesting discussions?" Chelsea asked her friends.

Dana shrugged. "Not really."

"What about college?" Chelsea asked. "Where's everyone going?"

Dana sipped her fizz. "Well, you know I'm going to GSU." She sighed.

Jackie smiled. "I'll keep you company. I got a full ride."

Deanna sipped her fizz. "I didn't do the whole college thing."

Chelsea smiled at her. "Because you were broke at the time."

Deanna stuck her tongue out at her.

"Blade?" Chelsea asked.

"I...dunno if I wanna go."

Chelsea was about to ask why, but then she suddenly realized Blade was utterly scared of being out in public. Jackie reached over and put her right hand on top of Blade's left hand. Chelsea noticed and smiled faintly.

"What about you, Chels?" Dana asked her.

"I'm still waiting to hear back from GSU."


After their meal, and taking Jackie and Blade home, Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna returned to the clock tower out of a mixture of curiosity and a lack of anything else to do that didn't involve getting naked.

Upon entering the loft, they were bombarded with yells and alarms.

"Kathy, get outta there!" Maggie yelled. "Rocky, Sonia, are you anywhere near her?!"

"I'm kinda busy at the moment!" Rocky replied.

"Same!" Sonia added. "Get off me, you fuckfaces!"

Chelsea walked over to Maggie, amused. "Well, that didn't take long."

Maggie looked at her. "Skip it! Just take Kathy's glider and get out there!"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm on it." Chelsea turned and headed toward the elevator.

"What should we do?" Deanna asked Maggie.

"Deanna, take over here. I'm gonna let Barbara know what's up. Dana, um, 'assist'."

Dana frowned in confusion. "Um, okay."


Chelsea, holding onto Kathy's glider, flew toward Kathy's location. She came upon her trying to fight off five Jokerz at once. She jumped off the glider and immediately kicked one Joker to the pavement. Then she punched another two in the back of the head, one with each fist. That left two. Chelsea karate-chopped one at the neck, and Kathy punched the other one in the face. Chelsea and Kathy looked at the fallen gang members around them.

Kathy looked at Chelsea, embarrassed. "Thanks."

"No prob. Let's see if Rocky or Sonia need our help." Chelsea hopped onto the glider, held on, and flew off.

Kathy summoned the Batmobile, hopped in, and followed her.


Rocky was taking on two armed robbers at the same time. Each time that she managed to disable them, one would be able to regain his weapon.

Chelsea and Kathy took care of them in five seconds.

Rocky looked at them and smiled. "Oh, hi! Thanks. You know how long I've been trying to disable these guys?"

Chelsea shrugged. "Not really, but they're definitely disabled now."

Kathy looked at the robbers, who were lying face-down on the pavement. "Perhaps permanently."

It took Chelsea a while to realize what Kathy meant. She looked at her mentor in surprise. "Shut up. You really think so?"

"You didn't hear the loud 'Crack!' sounds when we kicked them down?" Kathy asked her.

"Yeah." Chelsea paused and considered that. "Oh. Shit. I really hope not. No one deserves to be paralyzed."

Kathy shrugged. "For mundane activities, I'd agree with you, but deliberately engaging in dangerous activities means inviting the possibility of paralysis into your life. A bad move on your part or a stroke of luck on your opponent's part, and suddenly you're in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, assuming you're not a quadriplegic."

Chelsea thought about that in silence and shuddered, suddenly shaken to her core.

"Anyway, let's get outta here and see if Sonia needs any help." Kathy summoned the Batmobile.

It arrived. Kathy hopped in and took off. Chelsea and Rocky hopped on the gliders and followed her.


Chelsea, Kathy, and Rocky came upon Sonia, who was trying to get into a limo with tinted windows, but five bodyguards were making it difficult for her. Chelsea, Kathy, and Rocky came to her rescue, and they each took on one mook. They quickly disabled them and then beat them up. But then the fifth mook drew his gun and got off a lucky shot. Chelsea was struck in the right leg, near the ankle. She fell to the pavement in pain and cried out.

Over her earpiece, Dana gasped. "Chelsea!"

Kathy looked at Chelsea in shock, and then the three original Batwomen unleashed their rage upon the mook, disarming him and beating him up. Kathy kneeled at Chelsea's side and checked on her. The limo's engine started.

Sonia pulled on Rocky's arm. "Don't let it get away!"

Sonia and Rocky ran to the limo. Chelsea was in too much pain to see what they did, but a fat man in a suit soon landed near her. Sonia and Rocky used some bolos to tie him up.

"How is she?" Sonia asked Kathy.

"The bullet partially penetrated her Batsuit, but I don't think she herself has been hit. I need to get her back to run an exam to be sure, though. Gimme a hand."

Kathy and Sonia helped Chelsea get to her feet. Chelsea shifted her balance to her left foot and raised her right foot. She put her right arm around Kathy and her left arm around Sonia. They helped her over to the Batmobile and helped her get inside. Kathy joined her and closed the roof. She took off for the clock tower. Sonia got on her glider and followed. Rocky set Kathy's glider to follow her own and then followed the Batmobile.


The elevator doors opened, and Kathy and Sonia helped Chelsea into the loft. Rocky followed. Chelsea already had her mask off.

Dana, who had been standing by the computer, ran down to the elevator. "Chels!"

Kathy looked at her. "Make way, Dana."

Dana stepped aside. Kathy and Sonia helped Chelsea up the steps. Rocky followed. Deanna was sitting in Kathy's computer chair. Kathy and Sonia helped Chelsea climb up onto a nearby table.

"How is she?" Deanna asked.

Kathy briefly looked at her. "I won't know until I've examined her." She looked at Chelsea. "Take off your Batsuit."

Chelsea struggled as she took off her Batsuit. Kathy and Sonia assisted her. Finally, Chelsea, clad in just skimpy lingerie, lay down on the table, facing the ceiling.

Kathy examined her foot. "No sign of penetration, but the area is reddening a bit. My guess is you came this close to having a bullet in you before your suit ultimately expelled it."

Chelsea gritted her teeth. "It still hurts like an unlubed assfuck!"

"Be that as it may, you'll survive. And I can repair the suit. But we might want to consider a new suit eventually, made of sterner stuff."

Sonia thought about that for a moment. "Ooh, what about Kevlar?"

Kathy thought about it. "Will it affect her mobility?"

"That fucking bullet fucking affected my fucking mobility!" Chelsea screamed in pain. "Please concentrate on that!"

Kathy analyzed Chelsea's right foot with some medical equipment. "You're very lucky. I'm gonna get an ice pack." She walked over to the kitchen.

Dana leaned on the table and looked at Chelsea. She picked up Chelsea's left hand and held it between both of her own. "Poor Chels. Hey, how about, after, I get you something to eat? Anything you want."

"Thanks, sweetie, but I'm really not hungry."

"Not even for hot Chinese?" Dana asked, starting to kiss Chelsea, first on the lips, then on the neck.

Chelsea smiled. "Mmmm, I might be able to work up an appetite for that - as long as it's heavy on the yum yum sauce."

Dana grinned. "I'll see what I can do."

The two of them started making out.

Kathy walked over to them with an ice pack. "Oh, look who's suddenly feeling better. Get a room, you two."

Chelsea broke the kiss. "Can we use yours?"

Kathy frowned at her but then sighed. "Fine."


Kathy, Rocky, and Sonia sat on the couch. Chelsea and Dana stood behind the couch. Deanna stood at Kathy's computer. All of them were drinking beer.

The elevator doors opened. Maggie walked into the loft.

Kathy smiled. "Hey."

Maggie smiled. "Hey." She walked up to the kitchen.

"How'd things go with Barbara?" Kathy asked.

Maggie rolled her eyes and opened the fridge.

"That bad, huh?" Kathy asked. "C'mon, what'd she say?"

Maggie got out a bottle of beer and closed the fridge. "You want the sanitized or unsanitized version?"

"Uh, just give me the basic gist."

Maggie opened her bottle, took a gulp of beer, and walked down the steps. "Okay. 'Those stupid fucks think they're all that and a bag of chips. Tell them, if they ever pull this shit again, their chips will be dipped.'"

Kathy stared at her in confusion. "That doesn't make any fucking sense."

Maggie shrugged. "So what's been going on here?"

Kathy, Rocky, and Sonia were each hesitant to answer.

Deanna grinned. "Chelsea saved their collective asses. Oh, and she got shot. But it's okay, because then she got laid."

Maggie looked at Chelsea in surprise.

Chelsea grinned. "Yeah, I totally did - in your bedroom."

Maggie stared at her in shock. Dana kissed Chelsea on the cheek. Chelsea sipped her beer.

Deanna opened up Kathy's playlist and pressed Play. On the home theater system, "Girl In A Car" by Kim Richey started playing. Deanna walked down the steps and joined Chelsea and Dana behind the couch.

"So what did you learn?" Dana asked Kathy, Rocky, and Sonia with a teasing smile.

Rocky smiled, embarrassed. "I learned we're not cut out for this."

Sonia smiled. "And we should leave these things to the next generation."

Kathy smiled. "Which is doing just fine, I think."

Chelsea raised her bottle. "I'll drink to that."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

10

"You Are Not Worthless"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Saturday, August 10, 2019, 10:28 PM - 10:35 PM; Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:36 PM - 10:43 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:09 PM - 10:13 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 12:13 PM - 12:18 PM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:22 PM - 10:27 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:16 PM - 10:20 PM; Saturday, August 17, 2019, 1:03 PM - 1:09 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 8:03 PM - 8:15 PM; Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 2:33 PM - 2:42 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 9:01 PM - 9:05 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 6:59 PM - 7:30 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 8:19 PM - 8:28 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 9:14 PM - 9:35 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 6:03 PM - 6:11 PM; Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 8:44 PM - 9:12 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 7:03 PM - 7:44 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 2:24 PM - 2:30 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 8:35 PM - 8:42 PM; Tuesday, October 1, 2019, 9:38 PM - 10:01 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:22 PM - 1:26 PM; Monday, October 7, 2019, 1:26 PM - 1:50 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 6:15 PM - 6:28 PM; Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 1:44 PM - 1:47 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:51 PM - 9:55 PM; Saturday, October 12, 2019, 9:23 PM - 9:46 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 6:18 PM - 6:29 PM; Sunday, October 20, 2019, 7:05 PM - 7:29 PM, 7:47 PM - 7:59 PM; Monday, October 21, 2019, 4:19 PM - 4:37 PM; Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 6:06 PM - 6:29 PM; Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 5:32 PM - 5:57 PM; Thursday, October 24, 2019, 9:46 PM - 9:55 PM; Thursday, October 31, 2019, 9:09 PM - 9:34 PM; Sunday, November 3, 2019, 2:20 PM - 2:44 PM; Monday, November 4, 2019, 12:41 PM - 12:59 PM; Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 4:33 PM - 5:01 PM; Thursday, November 7, 2019, 3:35 PM - 4:20 PM; Friday, November 8, 2019, 9:41 PM - 10:25 PM; Saturday, November 9, 2019, 3:48 PM - 4:21 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham was driving to the Hikawa Shrine. "Kathy, if you get this message, I'll be a little late to class today. My car's running low on juice. I gotta stop at a charging station."

Chelsea pulled over to a charging station, grabbed her car's charging cable, hopped out of her car, plugged in her charging cable, and swiped her credit card. She noticed the charging station was near a convenience store, so she decided to walk in and browse for a fizz while her car was charged.

She walked over to the coolers and searched for Pow. As she was looking, she couldn't help overhearing a conversation between a little girl and her father.

"Daddy, I don't wanna go!"

"You're goin'! I've had it with you! You're nothin' but a worthless brat!"

The girl started crying.

"See? You're cryin' like a fuckin' sissy! Worthless!"

Chelsea felt angry. She turned and marched over to the man and the girl. She knelt in front of the girl, who had short blonde hair and whose face was red. She put her hands on the girl's shoulders. "Hey, listen to me. You are not worthless. Okay? You're not."

"Hey, who the fuck are you, and what right do you have to touch my daughter?!" the man demanded.

Chelsea stood up and turned to face the man, who was tall but overweight. His stomach hung out from under his sleeveless shirt. He had long hair and looked like he hadn't shaved in a year.

"Who the fuck are you to talk to a little girl like that?!" Chelsea demanded.

"I'm her father!" the man told her angrily.

"Unfortunately, based on past experience, I don't doubt that."

"You little bitch! Mind your own fucking business!"

Chelsea smiled. "I'm making this my business."

The man made his right hand into a fist and swung at Chelsea. She easily blocked it and punched him in the face. Then she quickly backed up and got out of the way. The man ran after her.

"Cops are on the way, yo!" the cashier called.

"Thanks, man!" the man called back without any sense of realization.

Chelsea smiled in amusement. "Heh. It'll be fun seeing you try to explain yourself, considering the camera will show you throwing the first punch, and the cops will hear all of the things that you yelled at your daughter."

The man stared at Chelsea, his face reddening. Chelsea turned her back on him, went over to the coolers, got a Pow fizz, and went to the counter to pay.


Chelsea toweled off after class was over. Kathy walked by.

"Hey, Kathy, can I ask you something?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah."

"On my way over here, when I stopped by the charging station, I saw some shithead dad verbally abusing his little daughter. I mean he was really vile. I intervened and tried to cheer up the girl. He took issue with this. We had it out, and the cops were called. He's going to jail, but now that little girl...I think she's going into foster care. She's probably gonna be taken away from everything that she knows."

"You did the right thing."

"I know. My question is...are heroes supposed to follow up on the people that they save?" Chelsea asked.

"That's entirely up to the individual hero. Is that something that you would like to do?"

Chelsea nodded. "Yeah."

Kathy smiled. "I'll have Maggie do some digging."

"Thanks."


Later that evening, Chelsea entered the loft in the clock tower and walked over to Maggie, who was sitting at the computer.

"Hey, Mags, where's Kathy?" Chelsea asked.

"She has an evening aerobics class tonight. Anyway, I looked into that girl." Maggie brought up the girl's picture and information on the computer screen. "Abigail 'Abbey' Johnson, age 7. Her mother died when she was 1. Brain aneurysm. Her father's raised her ever since." She brought up his picture and information, which were displayed next to Abbey's. "Hugh Johnson. He's got a ton of priors - including a claim of domestic abuse by his wife. She never pressed charges, though."

Chelsea rolled her eyes and sighed. "Why, women? Why?"

"People have been asking that question forever. The answer is 'They're idiots.' Anyway, Hugh's in jail right now - at least until he makes bail."

Chelsea was shocked. "Don't tell me that they're gonna let that asshole out on the street!"

"Afraid so. The jails in this city are routinely overcrowded, filled to capacity."

"Fuck. Well, how's Abbey doing?" Chelsea asked.

"GCPD took her to a station. DCF picked her up."

"What happens from there?" Chelsea asked.

"They'll try to notify next of kin and place her there."

"And if they don't find any?"

"She'll go into foster care."

"Both of those possibilities suck."

"I know, but it's out of our hands."

Chelsea thought for a moment. "I'm gonna go out on patrol. Let me know if Hugh Johnson, which I'm sure is totally his real name, makes bail." She turned and headed for the elevator.

"Why?" Maggie asked.

"So I can tail him." Chelsea pressed the button. "I don't trust that son of a bitch."


Chelsea was flying the Batmobile above Gotham.

"Chels, Johnson just made bail and has left the jail."

"Shit. Send me the coordinates. Who bailed him out?"

"I don't have that info. I'll talk with Barbara. Maybe she can find out."

Chelsea flew toward the jail.

"Hey, Maggie."

"Oh. Hi."

"Is that Deanna?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah, she just arrived."

"Hey, Chels."

"Hey."

"So what's goin' on?" Deanna asked.

"I'm looking for an abusive dad that was just released from jail."

"Oh." Deanna paused for a moment. "Need me to do anything?"

"Nope. We got it covered."

Chelsea detected just a hint of glee in Maggie's voice.

"Anyway, kick his ass, Chels."

"Deanna!" Maggie admonished. "Chelsea, I need not remind you, if you do happen to find him, that you are not to engage in combat, correct?"

"Awww, can't I kick his ass just a little?" Chelsea asked.

"No! The last thing that I want is him filing a report and Barbara shutting this operation down."

"I could activate my cloak. He wouldn't know what hit him."

"Good idea, Chels."

"Shut up, Deanna. Chelsea, tail him but do no more. Understand?"

Chelsea sighed. "Yeah." Suddenly, she noticed a figure walking a few blocks from the jail. She zoomed in. "Bingo. There's the asshole."

Keeping some distance, both horizontal and vertical, between them, Chelsea followed Johnson as he walked to the train station and boarded a train.

Chelsea followed the train, flying some distance above it. Eventually, she saw Johnson exit the train. She followed him to an apartment building.

Chelsea parked the Batmobile on the roof of the building, got out, activated her cloak, and flew down to the ground. She entered the building.

She caught sight of Johnson just as he was entering the elevator. She ran over and got in just as the doors closed.

They rode up to the fourth floor. The doors opened. Johnson got out, and Chelsea followed. He walked down the hallway and over to the door to an apartment. He pressed his thumb to the scanner. The screen turned red, and a buzzer sounded.

"What the fuck?" he asked.

He tried it again. Same result.

"God damn it." He stared at the scanner in rage. "God fucking damn it!" He started pounding on the door. "Hey! Hey, open the fuck up, woman!"

"Fuck you, asshole!" a man yelled from inside.

"Oh, my bad, bro." Johnson turned and walked to another apartment.

Chelsea shook her head in disbelief, resisting the urge to laugh. She followed him.

Johnson pressed his thumb to the scanner. It turned green, and the door unlocked. He opened it and walked inside. Chelsea slipped into the apartment, and Johnson closed the door.

"Hey, babe, where you at?" Johnson asked.

"In the kitchen."

Johnson walked into the kitchen, and Chelsea followed. A woman, who Chelsea guessed was Johnson's girlfriend, was sitting at the kitchen table, drinking a can of beer.

The woman grinned, showing off her yellow teeth. "You got out, huh, sweetie?"

"Yeah, just now. Buddy bailed me out. Beer in the fridge?"

"Yeah."

Johnson walked over to the fridge and opened it. He took out a can of beer and closed the fridge.

"So get this." Johnson popped open his can of beer and took a swig. "While I was in the slammer, I had to take a shit, but this asshole was on the toilet, and he was takin' forever. I mean he had massive taco shits or somethin'. Anyway, I walk over to him, and I'm like 'Get the fuck off the fuckin' toilet already. I gotta take a fuckin' shit.'"

"Oh, really?" the woman asked. "What'd he say to that?"

Johnson took another gulp of beer. "He was like 'Fuck you, I ain't done takin' a shit yet!' And I was like 'Oh, yeah, you is!' And I fuckin' picked him up, threw him off the shitter, and sat the fuck down. Well, he got up and was like 'Get off the fuckin' toilet!' And I took a massive shit and was like 'You smell that? That's my shit minglin' with your shit.'"

Maggie groaned. "Fucking Christ. Chels, if you don't learn anything useful soon, you might as well just leave."

"So you gettin' the kid back?" the woman asked.

"Abbey? Tryin' to. Don't know where they've taken her, but I've got a buddy on the force that promised to find her."

"Is he serious?!" Maggie asked, outraged.

"Anyway, gimme some sugar, baby. I been on the inside for too long." Johnson bent over and roughly kissed the woman on the lips.

Suddenly, his cell phone rang.

Johnson broke the kiss. "Fuck." He took the phone out of his pocket and answered it. "Yeah?"

Chelsea quickly pressed the index and middle fingers of her left hand to the back of Johnson's cell phone.

"Hey, I got that thing for ya."

"Oh, shit, hold on." Johnson quickly found a pen and notepad. "'Kay, shoot."

"321 Bayview Drive."

Johnson wrote it down. "Thanks."

The caller ended the call.

Johnson pocketed his phone and tore the page off the pad. "I'm out. Gonna bring Abbey home."

Chelsea watched as Johnson opened a drawer and took out a gun. He started loading it with bullets.

"Chels, head over to 321 Bayview and get Abbey out of there. I'm heading down to the commissioner's office to have a chat with Barbara. Deanna, you're in charge here."

"Woo-hoo!" Deanna exclaimed.

When Johnson went out the door, Chelsea followed her. She didn't bother going to the elevator with him, instead running down the stairs.

Once she was outside, Chelsea decloaked, flew up to the roof, and hopped into the cockpit of the Batmobile. She lowered the roof and took off. She followed the coordinates that Maggie gave her.

"Deanna, what's at that address?" Chelsea asked.

"Doesn't it tell you?" Deanna asked, surprised.

"No, there's no information."

"Hang on. I'll do some digging."

Chelsea continued flying to the location.

"Well, that's odd."

"What?" Chelsea asked.

"I can't find any information at all about what's at that location."

"Strange. Well, I'll find out soon."

Chelsea soon arrived at the location, which was a large house on a relatively unpopulated street. She cloaked the Batmobile and parked it in the backyard.

After getting out, she activated her cloak, went around to the front of the house, and slipped in through the front door when it briefly opened.

She started searching from room to room, looking for Abbey. Not finding her downstairs, she went upstairs and searched the various bedrooms. While doing this, she thought about which approach that she would take regarding removing Abbey from the house: telling someone in charge what was going on and getting permission to take Abbey, telling Abbey and getting her to go with her, or just plain kidnapping Abbey. She ruled out the last option as probably a bad idea.

"Deanna, this looks like a home for at-risk foster children. Search for any phone signals near me, call, and warn them to evaculate. I'm still looking for Abbey."

Finally, she found Abbey, sitting alone on her bed, staring out the window. She entered the room and closed the door. Abbey gasped and turned to look at the door.

"It's okay, I'm not going to hurt you." Chelsea decloaked.

"Who are you?" Abbey asked.

Chelsea walked over to her and sat to her right on the bed. "I'm Batwoman. I'm here to help you."

"With what?" Abbey asked.

"Your father's on his way here. He's got a gun."

Abbey gasped. "Is he gonna kill me?"

Chelsea was disturbed by that. "Do you think he'd kill you?"

"I don't know, but I've seen his gun before, and he gets angry a lot."

"Abbey, I want you to come with me."

"Where?"

"I'm gonna take you someplace safe, where your dad won't be able to find you."

"But he's not supposed to find me here. That's what they said."

"I get it. I understand what this place is. But he's found out the address, Abbey. He's coming for you." Chelsea stood up. "C'mon."

Abbey stared at her, uncertain. Chelsea could see doubt and fear in her eyes. Chelsea thought for a moment and removed her mask. Abbey was stunned.

Chelsea smiled. "I'm a girl, just like you. Please trust me."

Abbey nodded.

Chelsea put her mask back on and offered her left hand to Abbey. Abbey took hold of Chelsea's hand and stood up. They walked over to the window. Chelsea unlocked and opened it, and then she scooped Abbey up in her arms, climbed onto the windowsill, and jumped. Abbey screamed. Chelsea activated the rockets in her boots and flew to the Batmobile.

Chelsea landed on the ground and set Abbey down. She decloaked the Batmobile. Abbey gasped in wonder. Chelsea opened the roof and helped Abbey into the cockpit. She closed the roof.

Abbey looked around in wonder. She started pointing. "What does that do? What does that do? What does-"

"Secret shit, kid. Okay, hang on." Chelsea started the engine and flew the Batmobile into the night sky.


Chelsea, not wearing her mask, and Abbey rode the elevator up to the loft. The doors opened, and Chelsea walked into the loft. Abbey timidly followed her.

Chelsea looked back at her and smiled. "It's okay, c'mon."

Abbey looked around the loft in wonder.

Deanna stood up from the computer chair and walked over to Chelsea. "You're making a habit of this."

Chelsea smiled. "Good habits are hard to break."

Abbey walked over to them. "Why do you live in a big clock?"

Chelsea and Deanna looked at each other and shrugged.

Chelsea thought about it. "Um, because...clock towers...make good...superhero lairs."

Deanna smiled at Chelsea, amused. Chelsea shrugged.

Abbey ran over to the computer. "Ooh, what kind of games do you have on here?"

Chelsea looked at her and frowned. "Um, this is the nerve center of our operations. We don't have time to play computer games."

Deanna nodded, frowning. "That's right. This computer is filled to capacity with expensive, highly secretive, semi-legal surveillance software."

Abbey stared at them skeptically.

Deanna finally broke. "And Super Splatter Fight 10."

Chelsea shrugged. "And Kill All Pissants 7."

Abbey grinned. "Let me at 'em!"

Deanna sighed. "Fine."

Abbey hopped in the chair and attacked the keyboard. Chelsea walked into the kitchen. Deanna followed her. Chelsea got a cola fizz out of the fridge.

"So what's the status on Johnson and the foster home?" Chelsea asked.

"I think I managed to convince the lady that I talked with to evaculate the home. Regardless, judging by what I picked up on the police scanner, Johnson was apprehended on the property with a gun in his possession, and he's being taken to the police station for processing and then back to jail."

Chelsea popped open her can. "Good."

As Chelsea drank her fizz, she and Deanna stood and silently watched as Abbey played a computer game.

"So sad - to be unwanted by her own parent."

Chelsea briefly looked at Deanna and then at Abbey again. "Tell me about it."

The elevator started moving. Chelsea and Deanna walked down and waited for the inevitable yelling. The doors opened, and Kathy walked into the loft.

"Hey, Chelsea, Mags filled me in on everything." Kathy stopped short and looked from Chelsea and Deanna to Abbey and then back at Chelsea and Deanna. She grew angry. "God damn it, Chelsea!"

"You're dead! You are so fucking dead!" Abbey screamed.

It took Chelsea a moment to realize Abbey was addressing some enemies in the game.

"You're really making a habit of this! What were you thinking?!" Kathy asked Chelsea.

"Okay, calm down, Kathy. You're gonna pop a vein in your forehead. Remember your meditation. Ommmmm..."

"Chelsea!" Kathy screamed.

Chelsea sighed. "Look, Johnson was on his way to the foster home where Abbey was being kept. I had to get her out of there."

"You could've taken her out for dinner!" Kathy told her. "And what's with revealing your secret identity to her?! Ground rule number two!"

"She was scared and wouldn't come with me. I had to earn her trust. She'd already seen me stand up to her dad earlier, so...it seemed the natural thing to do."

Kathy stared at Chelsea for a moment, and then she looked at Abbey. Finally, she sighed. "Fine. What's your plan now?"

"My plan?" Chelsea paused, unsure. "Well, since her dad's been arrested, return her to the foster home, I guess."

"That it?" Kathy asked.

Chelsea was surprised. "What do you mean?"

"Well, you're the one that wanted to follow up on Abbey, and you've done a good job, but simply returning her to foster care now seems a bit flat."

Chelsea thought about that. She looked over at Abbey.


Chelsea sat by the window in a booth at Deckard's Kitchen, and Abbey sat to her right. Dana sat to Abbey's right. Jackie sat across from Chelsea, Blade sat across from Abbey, and Deanna sat across from Dana. They each had a cola fizz.

Melanie Walker came by with a large serving tray. She set six plates, each containing a Bacon Triple Cheeseburger, and one large basket of fries on the table. She smiled. "Enjoy." She turned and walked away.

Abbey picked up her cheeseburger and happily bit into it.

Chelsea smiled. "So, Abbey, there's something that I'd like to tell you."

"Oh?" Abbey asked between bites.

"I lost my mom, too, and my dad didn't exactly like me."

"You?!" Abbey asked in surprise. "But you're-"

Chelsea quickly put an index finger over Abbey's lips to silence her.

Abbey pulled away. "But you're perfect."

Chelsea internally breathed a sigh of relief and then smiled. "I'm not perfect. No one is. I'm just a regular person, not some kind of larger-than-life superhero."

Abbey took a bite of her burger, thinking about that. Chelsea looked at Dana.

Dana looked at Abbey. "My parents are divorced. My mom moved back to China when I was seven, and I haven't seen or heard from her since. My dad's mostly okay, but he did take issue with someone that I dated in the past."

"Do you miss your mom?" Abbey asked her.

Dana thought about it and shrugged. "Mostly, no. She walked out on us, so I really don't feel like she's missing from my life. There are days, though, when I kinda wonder 'What if she'd stayed?'"

Abbey thought about that in silence as she took another bite of her burger. Dana looked at Jackie.

Jackie looked at Abbey. "My mom died of breast cancer when I was young, and my dad died in a gruesome accident around a decade ago - or, at least, I thought he had. My father's boss adopted me and raised me as his own. What I didn't know at the time was the fact that my dad had survived the accident - sort of. He had become one with the soil and could manipulate it - an Earthmover. He had come up with all of these crazy ideas and sought revenge against his former boss. In the end, though, his final act was to help save my life."

"Do you still think about him?" Abbey asked her.

"All the time." Jackie looked at Blade.

Blade looked at Abbey. "My parents are almost never home, due to business, so I've largely raised myself, pretty much living on my own. Recently, I've been staying with Jackie, and I think I'd like to make that arrangement permanent, if she's willing." She looked at Jackie.

Jackie smiled. "We'll have to discuss it with Bill, but I think it'll be okay."

Blade smiled at her.

Abbey stared at them for a moment. "Are you two in love?"

Blade and Jackie looked at Abbey in shock. They blushed.

"What makes you say that?" Blade asked Abbey.

"The way that you two look at each other. Plus you're holding hands."

Blade and Jackie looked down. Jackie's left hand and Blade's right hand were joined.

Blade looked at Abbey and smiled. "I suppose we are."

Jackie smiled. Blade looked at her. Jackie kissed Blade on the lips. Abbey grinned. Blade looked at Deanna.

Deanna looked at Abbey. "My relationship with my mom is...complicated, to say the least. My dad and I got along okay, I guess, and he raised me just fine, but my mom? Hoo-boy."

Abbey stared at her expectantly, but Deanna just shrugged, unsure what to divulge.

Chelsea looked at Abbey. "The basic point that we're all trying to make is...we all have issues with our parents, but we've all managed to get through it, because we all support each other."

Dana looked at Abbey and smiled. "We're all here for each other."

Abbey thought about that and smiled.

Melanie came over and smiled. "How's everything going over here?"

Chelsea looked at her and smiled. "Just fine, I think."

"What are you discussing?" Melanie asked her.

"Our relationships with our parents."

"Ooh. Don't get me started on mine."

Chelsea was confused. "I wasn't going to."

Melanie frowned. "Hmph!" She turned and walked away.

Deanna frowned. "Wow, mood."

"Will you be here for me always?" Abbey asked everyone.

Chelsea smiled. "You bet."

"But what if I'm adopted?" Abbey asked her.

"I'm...friends...with the police commissioner. I talked with her, and she'll work with everyone involved to ensure you stay here in Gotham." Chelsea grinned. "Also, I want us to join a Big Sister program together."

Abbey grinned. "Sounds great!"


Back at the clock tower, in the loft, Deanna brought up Kathy's playlist on her computer and clicked Play. On the home theater system, "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch played. Maggie passed out open bottles of beer to everyone.

"It's a nice night. Wanna go outside?" Kathy suggested.

"Huh?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy nodded toward the clock face.

"Is there a balcony out there?" Dana asked.

Kathy shook her head. "No, but there's a raised ledge, and there's enough room to sit or stand. Just be careful."

Deanna shrugged. "Let's do it."

Kathy smiled, walked over to the wall, and unlocked a door to the left of the clock face (from her perspective). She opened the door.

Chelsea smiled. "I never thought about that door. I guess I just figured it was a closet or something."

Kathy walked outside, followed by Chelsea, Dana, Deanna, and Maggie. There was, indeed, enough room to sit or stand. The five of them sat down. Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna looked at the ledge and realized there were bird statues extending outward, over the city below.

Chelsea smiled. "It's nice out here."

Kathy smiled. "It's nice what you girls did for Abbey."

Dana smiled. "We girls gotta look out for each other."

Chelsea took a gulp of her beer. "And I got a new little sister out of all of this."

"'Cause you're everywhere to me, and when I close my eyes it's you I see. You're everything I know that makes me believe I'm not alone."

"How often will you be seeing her?" Maggie asked Chelsea.

"Twice per week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays."

Deanna took a gulp of her beer. "Well, good luck. I don't think I'd be able to put up with a little kid for an entire day, much less entertain her."

Chelsea smiled. "Well, I look forward to it."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

11

"#robinhood"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated. I'm planning to spin the #robinhood team off into an original novel, so stay tuned for information on that.

Times written: Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:43 PM - 10:52 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:13 PM - 10:20 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 12:19 PM - 12:23 PM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:29 PM - 10:33 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:21 PM - 10:23 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 9:16 PM - 9:35 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 9:21 PM - 9:38 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 8:02 PM - 8:19 PM; Tuesday, August 27, 2019, 8:36 PM - 8:49 PM; Sunday, September 1, 2019, 10:10 PM - 10:36 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 7:16 PM - 7:29 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 9:01 PM - 9:19 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 3:33 PM - 3:49 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 9:11 PM - 9:25 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:26 PM - 1:34 PM; Monday, October 7, 2019, 10:09 PM - 10:23 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 8:07 PM - 8:17 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 9:55 PM - 10:02 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 7:18 PM - 7:58 PM; Monday, October 21, 2019, 4:42 PM - 5:04 PM, 5:22 PM (mom interrupted), 5:43 PM - 5:47 PM; Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 7:19 PM - 7:30 PM; Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 6:16 PM - 6:29 PM; Thursday, October 24, 2019, 9:56 PM - 10:07 PM; Sunday, November 3, 2019, 5:47 PM - 6:26 PM; Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 5:27 PM - 5:56 PM; Thursday, November 7, 2019, 4:49 PM - 5:10 PM; Saturday, November 9, 2019, 7:30 PM - 8:20 PM; Monday, November 11, 2019, 1:00 PM - 1:27 PM; Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 8:14 PM - 8:38 PM; Friday, November 15, 2019, 11:09 PM - 11:38 PM; Saturday, November 16, 2019, 6:04 PM - 6:16 PM, 7:02 PM - 10:25 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham walked into the loft and over to Kathy Duquesne, who was sitting at her computer.

"You had something that you wanted to show me?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah, check this out. A bunch of prominent local business executives have recently had their bank accounts hacked into and drained recently."

"So?"

"In each of the cases, the perpetrators left a calling card embedded in the information of each account." Kathy pressed some buttons.

The text "#robinhood" flashed on the screen in a green font.

"It looks like we've got some modern-day Robin Hoods fighting the 'good fight' against economic inequality."

"So?" Chelsea asked again. "How is this any of our concern? I specialize in 'Twack!', 'Pow!', and 'Boom!', not cyber crimes."

"Well, I'm excited. I used to watch old movies and anime back in the day that dealt with dystopian cyberpunk futures. Ever seen Blade Runner, Max Headroom, or Bubblegum Crisis?"

"No, but I'll check 'em out."

"Anyway, I think we oughta look into this."

"Why?" Chelsea asked. "Aren't they doing the Lady's work?"

Kathy laughed. "Maybe so, but call me curious."

"Any pattern as to who they're targeting or what they're taking?" Chelsea asked.

"They're targeting millionaires and billionaires in positions of power. As for what they're taking, that's a little more complicated. In most cases, the money's being transferred to accounts owned by shell companies, dummy corporations, stuff like that, and then it's distributed into the bank accounts of average people. In other cases, though, the money seems to just...vanish. I can't find any trace of it."

"Maybe it was transferred into an offshore account."

"It wouldn't be done directly. They'd move it around a bit first to throw people off the trail. I just can't find anything."

Chelsea thought about it for a moment. "What if they're not moving it anywhere? What if they're just zeroing out the accounts?"

Kathy looked at her in silence for a moment, surprised. "That would be...different. If they're just taking millions or billions of creds out of the economy, then that would lead to massive deflation."

"Maybe that's their aim. So the average person has more spending power."

Kathy thought about that for a moment. "You might be on to something."

"So what do we do?" Chelsea asked.

"Well, first, we need to find a way to get in touch with this group." Kathy started typing on her computer. "I'll let you know when I have anything. Why don't you head out on patrol?"

"Yeah, okay." Chelsea headed toward the elevator but stopped by the fridge and got a chocolate brownie first.


Chelsea flew the Batmobile over the Gotham cityscape.

"Chelsea."

"Yeah, Kathy?"

"Guess who's attacking a fundraiser at Wayne Tower."

"I dunno, who?"

"Your favorite guy."

Chelsea stared ahead blankly, confused.

"Armored Guy!" Kathy clarified.

"How was I supposed to guess that?" Chelsea asked. "Bit of a change from his usual targets, ain't it?"

"Yeah, well, I'm just as confused as you. Anyway, get over there."

"On it."


Chelsea parked the Batmobile on the roof of a building near Wayne Tower, got out, and flew down to street level. She entered the lobby and quickly determined the location of the attack: it was where all of the screaming was coming from.

She entered the dining room and found Armored Guy holding a man a few feet off the floor.

"Gimme your credit card!" Armored Guy demanded.

The man fumbled as he got out his wallet and opened it. Armored Guy grew impatient, snatched the wallet, and tossed the man. Chelsea ran, caught him, and set him down.

Chelsea ran toward Armored Guy. "Hey! Shitass!"

Armored Guy turned and looked at her. Chelsea punched him in the head. He picked her up and tossed her across the room. Chelsea landed on the floor with a grunt.

"Chelsea, try throwing a bunch of electric Batarangs at him. Don't stop. Just be relentless."

Chelsea stood up and did as Kathy suggested. Armored Guy couldn't dodge or deflect most of them. Chelsea kept piling on until she'd used up her entire supply.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough. Armored Guy turned, ran, and smashed through a wall.

"Do not pursue, Chelsea. Wait for the police to arrive and talk to them. Then return to the clock tower."

Chelsea grunted, frustrated.


Chelsea entered the loft. She was wearing the Batsuit but not the mask. She stormed over to Kathy. "That dude is getting seriously annoying."

"I agree. Rocky and I are collabing on a way to bring him down. Until then, though, back to our Merry People. I think I have a lead. I've been replaying the audio from your suit. You were probably unaware of it, but I came across this conversation happening a short distance from you while you were being interviewed by the police. I've isolated the relevant part." She played the audio clip.

"So the suspect was after people's credit cards?"

"Yeah, and good for him."

"Oh? What makes you say that?"

"These rich bastards have enough money. They can afford to lose a few mill."

"Don't like rich folks, huh?"

"Oh, no."

Kathy stopped the recording. "I checked this against camera footage in the lobby, where the police were conducting interviews."

"How'd you get a hold of that?" Chelsea asked in surprise.

Kathy smiled. "Bruce. It's his property, remember?"

"Oh, yeah."

Kathy brought up the camera footage. She zoomed in on the young woman in the audio recording. "I'm running a facial recognition search on this young lady right now. It might be a while."

Suddenly, the results appeared on the screen: a picture of a young woman with short brown hair and her information.

Kathy smiled. "Or not. Joan Little, age 18. Originally from Cleveland. Moved here a month ago."

Chelsea looked at the information. "She seems to move around a lot."

Kathy nodded. "Like someone that's running from something."

"Want me to tail her?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy thought about it. "Um..." She came across some information. "Actually, I want you to attend the next party that she'll be attending: the Wayne Enterprises Shareholders Dinner tomorrow night."

"Okay." Chelsea thought for a moment. "Wait a sec. I don't own any shares in Wayne Enterprises."

"I'll buy you some, and I'll handle the reservation. You just focus on the important things."

Chelsea nodded. "What to wear."

"Getting information out of her!"

"Oh. Right."


The next afternoon, at Deckard's Kitchen, Chelsea was busy taking orders and serving customers.

Melanie handed Chelsea a large serving tray. "Chels, get this to table 3."

Chelsea did so. As she was unloading the order, the door opened, and Dana, Jackie, and Blade walked into the diner. They walked over to an empty booth and sat down.

Chelsea returned the empty tray to the counter and then walked over to her friends' booth. She took out her pen and notepad. "Hi, my name's Chelsea, blah, blah, blah. Whatcha want?"

Jackie smiled. "Round of cola fizzes to start."

Blade looked at Chelsea. "And some fries and onion rings for me."

Chelsea wrote it down. "Coming right up."

Dana smiled. "We decided to come and keep you company while you work, so you'll see some friendly faces in the crowd."

"Thanks, sweetie, but I'm too busy to hang right now. We're slammed." Chelsea leaned down toward Dana's face and smiled. "I'll take a quick kiss, though."

Dana kissed Chelsea on the lips.

Chelsea grinned. "Thanks." She turned and headed toward the counter.


Chelsea and Dana came home after Chelsea was done with work. They walked into the house and headed for the kitchen.

Mr. Tan was standing there. He gestured at an envelope on the table. "Chelsea, the mail came while you were out."

Chelsea looked at the envelope and picked it up. It was addressed to her, and it was from Gotham State University.

"It's from GSU." Chelsea opened the envelope and took out a letter. She unfolded it and read it silently. "I've been accepted."

Dana grinned. "Chels, that's great!"

"But there's no scholarship." Chelsea dropped the letter on the table. "I was hoping to get at least a shitty one for cheerleading. I'll never be able to afford college. I'd have to take out student loans and then drown in debt."

Dana put her right arm around Chelsea and hugged her close. "Maybe you can get some grants or something."

Mr. Tan looked at Chelsea. "Actually, Chelsea, if you promise to work hard, I'll do for you what I'm doing for Dana: pay for your entire college education. You'd have to pay me back, of course, but I won't charge any interest."

Chelsea grinned, on the verge of tears. "Thank you, sir!" She wiped away her tears. "Okay, I gotta get dressed."

"For what?" Dana asked, surprised.


"So...you're going to a party to hang around a hot girl?" Dana asked.

Chelsea sat on her bed and put on her sandals. "Uh-huh."

Dana smiled. "Should I be jealous?"

Chelsea smiled. "Nah. Okay, how do I look?"

"Hot."

"Thanks."

"Hang on, though. Let me reapply your lipstick." Dana went to Chelsea's desk and picked up her tube.

"Is it smeared?" Chelsea asked.

Dana kneeled on the bed, straddling Chelsea and sitting on her lap. She kissed and licked Chelsea repeatedly, her tongue gliding sensuously over her lover's lips. "It is now."

Chelsea grinned and then closed her mouth and allowed Dana to reapply her lipstick.

Dana smiled. "Okay, all done."

Chelsea smiled. "Thanks, sweetie. Y'know, if you want, you can come with me."

"Really?" Dana asked.

"Yeah, I can bring a plus-one. I'm supposed to give advance notice, but I can make the call right now."

Dana smiled. "Okay."


Chelsea and Dana arrived at Wayne Tower. Chelsea parked her car. They opened the doors and got out. Dana closed her door. A valet walked up to them.

Chelsea looked at him. "Be careful with it, please."

The valet nodded and got into the car.

Chelsea offered her right hand to Dana. Dana took hold of Chelsea's hand. They walked through the front entrance of Wayne Tower and followed the signs to the dining room. They entered it.

They walked up to the head waiter.

Chelsea smiled and offered him her ticket. "Cunningham and Tan."

He took the ticket and checked the reservations list. "Yes." He picked up two menus. "Follow me, please."

They followed him to a table. A card on the table had only Chelsea's name printed on it, because Dana was a late addition. Chelsea and Dana sat down.

The waiter set a menu in front of each of them. "Would you like a beverage to start?"

Chelsea picked up her menu. "Is your wine list on here?"

The waiter frowned and stared at her. "Perhaps you would like a fizz, Ms. Cunningham."

"Oh." Chelsea frowned, upset. "Yeah, sure, a cola fizz."

Dana smiled. "Make that two."

"Very good." The waiter wrote it down and walked away.

Chelsea looked at Dana. "I'm so used to booze that I forget I'm not allowed to purchase it."

Dana laughed.

Chelsea opened her menu. "Okay, let's see what's good."

"Aren't we supposed to be on the lookout for Joan?" Dana asked.

"We can do that during the mixer portion of the evening. Ooh, Florentine steak! Served with potato wedges and onion. Yes, please."

Dana smiled. "Ooh, that sounds good."

They folded their menus and set them down.

The waiter soon returned with two glasses of cola fizz on a tray. He set the glasses on the table. He took out a pen and pad. "Have you decided?"

Chelsea nodded. "Yes, we'll each have the Florentine steak."

"Very good." The waiter wrote it down. "How would you like the steak done?"

Chelsea looked at Dana in confusion. Dana shrugged.

Chelsea looked at the waiter. "Whatever's healthiest and kills the bacteria."

"There's rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done."

"Whatever. Nuke it. Nuke the fucking thing." Chelsea offered him her menu while sipping her fizz.

Dana offered him her menu. "Same goes for me."

"Very well." The waiter wrote something down. "'Nuked'. Will that be all?"

"Uh-huh." Chelsea sipped her fizz.

The waiter collected their menus. "Very good." He walked away.


While Chelsea and Dana ate their dinners, they listened to various speakers. Finally, Bruce Wayne took the stage and adjusted the microphone on the podium.

"Welcome, all of you. Is everyone enjoying the food?" Bruce asked.

There were a few lighthearted responses from the crowd. Chelsea and Dana ignored them and focused on filling their bellies.

"That's good. Well, I wish to extend my thanks to you all for the trust that you have placed in Wayne Enterprises. This night is for you. Enjoy."

The audience applauded. Bruce left the stage. Chelsea's gaze wandered around the room, and she happened to see Joan sitting at a table across the room.

"That's her."

Dana looked at Chelsea. "Where?"

Chelsea nodded. Dana looked in the same direction and saw Joan.


After dinner, a band played soft music, and Chelsea and Dana took to the floor, ostensibly to mingle, but they were laser-focused on approaching Joan. They found her but didn't introduce themselves, instead hanging out nearby.

Chelsea looked at Dana. "So...can you believe how smug that Wayne was up there? 'This night is for you.' Please."

Dana picked up on what Chelsea was doing. "I hear ya. Rich fucker has billions of creds and hordes it instead of raising his employees' wages."

That got Joan's attention. She approached Chelsea and Dana. They pretended to not notice.

Joan smiled. "Excuse me."

Chelsea and Dana looked at her.

"I couldn't help overhearing. Wayne's an asshole, am I right?"

Chelsea nodded. "Oh, yeah, big asshole."

"I'm Joan."

"Chelsea."

"Dana."

"Enjoying the party?" Joan asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Meh, a bunch of rich fuckers dressing up and telling jokes to make each other feel good. Food's okay, though."

Joan laughed. "So what do you ladies do?"

Dana sighed. "We're just waiting to attend GSU in the fall."

"You don't sound excited."

Dana moved some bangs out of her face. "I'm not. I've had to take out student loans. I'll probably be paying for it for the rest of my life. Wayne could set up a free or cheap college, if he wanted to, but he'd rather keep his billions to himself. What good's it gonna do him once he's dead?"

Joan looked at Chelsea. "How do you feel?"

Chelsea shrugged. "Pretty much the same. I'm a waitress. I can't afford to pay back my student loans."

"How much debt are you in?" Joan asked.

Chelsea raised an eyebrow. "Why? Are you offering to pay them off?"

Joan smiled. "Not directly, but what if I could get you the money?"

"We're listening."

"Maybe we should go somewhere private. Feel like ditching this salute to unbridled corporate capitalism?" Joan asked.

Chelsea grinned. "Fuck yeah."

"Then come with me."


Chelsea and Dana followed Joan in Chelsea's car. They went to the warehouse district. They parked their cars in front of a small warehouse and got out. Chelsea and Dana followed Joan to the front door. Joan did a secret knock on the door. They waited for a while.

Finally, the eye slot opened. The pair of eyes looked at Joan. The slot closed. The door was unlocked and opened. A woman with short black hair stood there.

"Hey, Joan, brought some friends?" she asked.

Joan smiled. "Some like-minded people."

"They okay?"

"As far as I know."

The woman paused for a moment, and then she stepped aside. Joan walked into the warehouse, followed by Chelsea and Dana. The woman closed and locked the door.

"This way." The woman walked across the small, empty lobby to a door.

The others followed her. The woman opened the door and let them go in first, and then she followed, closing the door behind her.

Chelsea and Dana looked around. There were various crates stacked up high. The woman helped them navigate it. It was like a maze. Chelsea looked on the crates for any information.

Joan noticed her doing so. "They're all empty. It's all for show - and to slow down the cops in the case of a raid."

The woman looked at her reproachfully. "Don't offer up too much info, Joan."

Joan smiled. "Chillax, Marian, you worry too much."

After many twists and turns, they came out into a relatively open area. They was an elaborate computer system against a wall. A woman with short brown hair was sitting at one monitor. Three other women were sitting at other monitors.

The brown-haired woman stood up and turned to face the arrivals. "Who are these lovely young ladies?"

Chelsea and Dana blushed.

Joan smiled. "Robin, these are Chelsea and Dana. I met them at Wayne Enterprises."

Marian folded her arms over her chest. "I don't trust them."

Robin briefly looked at her and then at Chelsea and Dana. "If Joan saw you fit enough to bring here, you may stay."

"Hmph!" Marian turned and walked away, disappearing behind a tower of crates.

Robin smiled. "Please forgive my wife. She's overly cautious."

Chelsea shrugged. "It's okay."

Robin gestured widely at their computer set-up. "So this is where the magic happens."

Chelsea smiled. "You've got some schway gear."

Robin grinned. "Thanks."

"How much did all of this stuff cost?" Chelsea asked.

"A lot, but it's already paid for itself."

"What, exactly, do you do here?" Dana asked.

"Lots of things. Hacking, video surveillance, money laundering. Come and take a look."

Chelsea and Dana followed Robin over to her computer chair. Robin sat down. Chelsea and Dana watched the screens for a while, not quite sure what was happening.

"How tech savvy are the two of you?" Robin asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Eh, not very."

Dana shrugged. "Same."

Chelsea grinned as inspiration suddenly hit her. "But we know someone that is."

Robin looked at them questioningly.

"A friend. She spends a lot of time in front of the computer, getting into lots of things that she shouldn't." Chelsea shrugged. "You could call her our 'girl in the chair'."

"Is she good?" Robin asked.

Dana smiled. "The best."

"You two will vouch for her?" Robin asked.

Chelsea and Dana nodded.

Robin nodded. "All right. Bring her in."

Chelsea nodded. "So...tell us about yourself."

Robin frowned. "What do you wanna know?"

Chelsea shrugged. "Where are you from? Why did you decide to start this operation? How did you get it off the ground?"

"Let's go to the break room. You like coffee?" Robin asked.

Chelsea grimaced. "Not really."

Robin smiled. "Well, we've got other stuff."


Chelsea and Dana followed Robin into the break room, which they found to be perfectly ordinary. They guessed it had been part of the warehouse's original design.

Robin gestured. "Help yourselves to whatever's in the fridge."

Chelsea and Dana walked over to the fridge. Chelsea opened the door and saw a pizza carton and cans of Pow fizz.

Chelsea grinned. "Jackpot!" She took out the pizza carton and a can of Pow.

Dana grabbed a can of Pow for herself and closed the fridge. Chelsea and Dana walked over to the table. Chelsea set the pizza carton and her can on the table and sat down. Dana sat to her left.

Robin sat across from Chelsea. "Aren't you gonna heat that up?"

"Nah, I'm used to cold pizza." Chelsea flipped open the box and grinned. "Ooh, supreme!"

Dana quickly checked the pizza place printed on the top of the box. "Ugh, Pied Piper Pizza."

"You don't like it?" Chelsea asked, grabbing a slice.

Dana set down her can and picked up a slice. "It's really fucking nasty. Terry worked there briefly, and he'd brought me a lot of free pizza. It's so greasy. It actually dissolved our styrofoam plates and stained our tablecloth during a picnic." That said, she took a large bite.

Chelsea smiled in amusement and took a large bite of her own slice.

Robin grabbed a slice of her own and took a large bite. "I grew up in New York City. I'd always been really interested in computers, and I started developing a sense of right and wrong regarding the distribution of wealth as I saw how economic inequality affected my friends and neighbors."

Chelsea and Dana nodded.

"Last year, after I graduated from college, I decided to do something about it. I got a few of my like-minded college friends together, and we formed #robinhood. Our goal is to level the playing field."

"When did you move here?" Chelsea asked.

"A month ago." Robin smiled. "We've made plenty of progress already."

Dana smiled. "Yeah, we've heard of your work. We just weren't sure who was behind it."

Robin grinned. "Well, now, you know."

The three of them finished the pizza.

Robin stood up. "Anyway, get your friend and bring her here. I look forward to meeting her."

"Do you mind if we do that tomorrow?" Chelsea asked her. "It's getting kinda late."

"Oh, but this is when we do our best work." Robin smiled. "Less people paying attention."

Chelsea and Dana stood up.

Chelsea headed for the fridge. "Fine, but we're gonna grab a couple more Pows."


"You're serious?!" Deanna asked, a grin on her face. "I get to go out in the field?!"

Dana shrugged. "Well, this is your area of expertise - supposedly."

Deanna frowned.

Chelsea smiled. "We have full confidence in your abilities."

Deanna smiled. "Well, it is true that my expertise is unparalleled."

Kathy looked over from her computer chair and rolled her eyes. "Uh, Babs would like to have a word with you. She's the master of the cyber realms."

Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna looked at her, making faces.

"'Master of the cyber realms'? Deanna asked, resisting the urge to laugh.

Kathy shrugged. "It's what one of Batman's peeps used to call her."

"Anyway, c'mon, Deanna." Chelsea turned, went down the steps, and headed for the elevator.

Dana and Deanna followed her.

Kathy sat in her computer chair. "I'll monitor things from here."


Chelsea did what she hoped was the secret knock on the door. She, Dana, and Deanna waited.

"Does it usually take this long?" Deanna eventually asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Maybe Marian's taking a piss. Anyway, once we get inside, Dana and I will distract them as long as possible, giving you the time to get everyone their money back."

"But what if I can't find it?" Deanna asked her.

"Then create it. Just give everyone what they had before the hacks."

Dana noticed something. "Uh, Chels." She pointed to the pavement.

Chelsea looked down. A note was tucked under the door. Chelsea bent over, picked it up, stood up straight, and unfolded it.

"What's it say?" Dana asked.

"'Dear Chelsea and Dana. You're probably wondering what's going on. Well, the truth is I knew who you were before you even showed up here, thanks to Joan. When you go up against cyber hackers, you need to be twelve steps ahead. Still, you provided us with an amusing diversion. Oh, don't bother looking for us. We're long gone. Perhaps we'll meet again, Batwoman. Sincerely, Robin'"

The three women stood in silence for a moment, unsure what to do.

Deanna frowned. "Well, this is anticlimactic."

Chelsea frowned. "Tell me about it. I was looking forward to slipping into my Batsuit and wrecking their shit after you were done."

They stood in silence for a while longer.

"So what do we do now?" Deanna finally asked.

Dana thought about it. "We can stop for an extra-large pizza and take it back to the clock tower for dinner."

Chelsea and Dana shrugged. The three of them walked back to Chelsea's car.


Back at the clock tower, in the loft, Chelsea, Deanna, and Maggie were sitting on the couch. Dana was sitting on Chelsea's lap. Kathy was sitting on Maggie's lap. Each of them had a slice of pizza and a bottle of beer. On the home theater system, "All the Things She Said" by t.A.T.u. played.

"So they left town?" Kathy asked Chelsea.

Chelsea nodded. "Uh-huh."

Maggie frowned. "And there's no retrieving any of the money that they stole."

Deanna looked at her. "Don't worry, I'll recreate it. All of the fat cats will be just as rich as they were before all of this."

Dana sipped her beer. "I wonder where they'll set up next."

"Who cares? Good riddance." Kathy sipped her beer.

Dana looked at Chelsea. "So...you looking forward to school starting?"

Chelsea sipped her beer and thought about it. "Maybe a little."

"Just a little?" Dana asked.

"Well, the furthering-my-education part, sure. The might-get-raped-or-murdered part? Not so much."

"Good point."

Chelsea smiled. "Anyway, GSU will be the safest campus ever, now that Batwoman's patrolling it."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

12

"Fourteen Words"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This chapter deals with white supremacy, nationalism, and homophobia. You have been warned. Feedback is appreciated.

Times written: Monday, August 12, 2019, 10:57 PM - 11:04 PM; Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:20 PM - 10:25 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 12:23 PM - 12:27 PM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:33 PM - 10:36 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:24 PM - 10:27 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 9:35 PM - 9:46 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 9:39 PM - 9:52 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 8:27 PM - 8:43 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 7:45 PM - 8:24 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 9:41 PM - 10:05 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 3:58 PM - 4:15 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 9:25 PM - 9:38 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:34 PM - 1:37 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 8:39 PM - 9:26 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 11:21 PM - 11:31 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 8:20 PM - 8:28 PM; Monday, October 21, 2019, 7:07 PM - 7:31 PM; Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 7:30 PM - 7:46 PM; Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:26 PM - 7:35 PM; Thursday, October 24, 2019, 10:12 PM - 10:24 PM; Sunday, November 3, 2019, 7:12 PM - 7:26 PM; Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 6:15 PM - 6:30 PM, 6:56 PM - 7:00 PM; Thursday, November 7, 2019, 6:01 PM - 6:29 PM; Saturday, November 9, 2019, 8:22 PM - 8:37 PM; Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 8:39 PM - 8:55 PM; Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 8:02 PM - 9:02 PM; Thursday, November 21, 2019, 9:04 PM - 10:07 PM; Friday, November 22, 2019, 9:53 PM - 10:23 PM; Saturday, November 23, 2019, 9:20 PM - 11:22 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


Chelsea Cunningham, Dana Tan, Bobbi "Blade" Sommer, and Jackie Wallace were walking through the quad at Gotham State University after exiting Wayne Hall.

Suddenly, Chelsea noticed a commotion in front of another building. Some people passing out fliers to students were being confronted by other students.

"Hey, what's going on over there?" Chelsea asked.

"I dunno. Wanna go check it out?" Dana asked.

Blade shook her head. "Let's not and say we did."

Jackie looked at her girlfriend. "Agreed."

Chelsea watched the guys for a moment. "Maybe we oughta walk the other way and ignore them."

One of the guys - a tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed man - looked at them. Then he looked specifically at Chelsea, grinned, and walked over to them. "Hello."

"Hey. What's going on here?" Chelsea asked.

"Just preaching the good word."

"Oh. That explains a whole lot. I'm out." Chelsea started to walk away.

The guy grabbed Chelsea's left arm and pulled her back. "Hey, hey, hey, you didn't even give me your name."

"That's right." Chelsea pulled her arm away, did a backflip, and kicked him in the jaw with both feet.

"Ow! Crazy bitch!"

Chelsea started walking away again.

Another guy put an arm around Blade's shoulders. "Hey, babe, you interested in learning what we're all about?"

Blade elbowed him in the stomach, pulled away from his arm, and stomped on his right foot. He cried out in pain.

Blade, Jackie, and Dana caught up with Chelsea.

"So I'm gonna shower when I get home. What was that about?" Blade asked.

"Who knows? Who cares?" Dana asked.

Jackie looked at her friends. "Well, everyone be safe getting home."

The others nodded. The group of friends dispersed. Jackie and Blade walked away together. Chelsea and Dana headed for Dana's car.

Suddenly, Dana noticed something. She bent over and picked up a pamphlet off the ground.

"What is it?" Chelsea asked.

"I dunno, possibly literature from those assholes back there." Dana offered it to Chelsea. "Maybe Team Batwoman can take a look at it."

Chelsea took the pamphlet. "'Kay."

Dana kissed Chelsea on the lips. "I'm gonna head home. See ya."

"Be safe."

Dana nodded, hopped into her car, and drove off. Chelsea watched her go and then went to her own car.


Chelsea exited the elevator and entered the loft. She walked over to the desk, which Deanna was currently sitting at with her feet up, not doing much of anything.

"Hey, Deanna, where are Kathy and Mags?" Chelsea asked.

Deanna smiled. "They're kinda occupied."

Chelsea smiled. "Ah. Fucking each other's brains out, huh?"

"Yep."

Soon, the bedroom door opened, and Kathy and Maggie walked out, wearing matching red robes.

Chelsea grinned. "Heeeyyy!"

"Chelsea!" Kathy exclaimed, surprised.

"What are you doing here?!" Maggie asked.

"What, I can't drop by unannounced?" Chelsea asked. "What is this world coming to?"

Kathy rolled her eyes. "What's up?"

"The girls are I were at school, and we came across these assholes handing out propaganda to students. One of them actually hit on me. I kicked his ass." Chelsea offered the pamphlet to Kathy. "Anyway, Dana thought maybe you could investigate these guys or something."

Kathy took the pamphlet, flipped through it, and frowned. "Have you taken a look at this?"

Chelsea shrugged. "Nah. Didn't feel like reading their bullshit."

"This is from a white supremacist group."

"Dear Goddess, those things still exist?" Chelsea asked in disbelief.

"Sadly, yes." Kathy sat in her chair. "I've had run-ins with groups like these before. The country went through a dark period from the second half of the 2010s to the early 2020s, when such groups became emboldened by the selection of a racist, sexist, homophobic, nationalistic asshole as president."

"Really?" Chelsea asked, surprised. "Glad I wasn't around for that."

"Anyway..." Kathy turned to her computer and started typing.

Soon, some information came up on the screen.

"Fourteen Words, a relatively new organization, based right here in Gotham, but apparently claiming to be a continuation of an older organization. The police are looking into them, but they don't seem to be on anyone else's radar, and they haven't been listed as a hate group yet."

"So what do we do?" Chelsea asked.

"Do?" Maggie asked her. "Just let the police handle it. That's their job."

Chelsea thought for a moment. "Do you think it'd be possible for me to go undercover? Infiltrate the group?"

Kathy and Maggie looked at her in surprise.

"For what possible reason?" Kathy asked.

"To record them. Maybe I can get them on video saying something truly damning. That oughta get them shut down."

Maggie gave Chelsea a small smile. "Chels, I'm pretty sure the police have already sent in officers to infiltrate the organization."

"But...those guys really pissed me off. I'd like nothing more than to see them led away in handcuffs."

Kathy gave Chelsea a stern look. "Look, Chelsea, I hate these bastards just as much as anyone. To them, I'm the enemy just because of how I was born."

"Oh, they're homophobic, huh?" Chelsea asked.

Kathy was momentarily confused. "Well,...yeah, but that's not what I meant. To them, I'll never be anything but a nigger."

"Oh. I see. Still, I wanna try bringing them down." Chelsea smiled. "Besides, I've got the right look."

Kathy felt like throwing up. "Good for you."

"I...I'm sorry, it just slipped out."

"Of course."

"Kathy, I never thought of you as black."

"And I never thought of you as white...until now."

"Kathy, I'm truly sorry. I wish I could take it back."

"Well, you can't."

Chelsea was silent for a moment. "If you're unwilling to help, I'm gonna investigate this group myself."

"Whatever you say. Du bist die herrenrasse."

Chelsea stared at Kathy for a moment in anger. "Just slipped out?" Then she turned and walked away.


In the afternoon on the next day, Chelsea and Dana were in Chelsea's bedroom.

"You're doing what?" Dana asked in surprise.

"I'm going undercover at Fourteen Words." Chelsea put a small audio recorder in her shirt and checked her reflection in her full-length wall mirror.

"Chels, that's...not a good idea."

"Chillax, I'm not gonna get brainwashed."

"That's not what I meant. These people are nutso. I'll be worried about your safety."

Chelsea smiled. "I appreciate that, sweetie, but I can handle myself." She sighed. "I just wish I hadn't upset Kathy."

"She'll get over it. She knows you're not a racist."

"Does she?"

"Yeah." Dana curled her arms around Chelsea's neck. "And so do I. Look, since I can't talk you out of this, I want you to at least promise you'll be careful."

"I promise."

Dana kissed Chelsea on the lips.


Using contact information from the pamphlet, Chelsea arranged a meeting with a member. She drove to a parking lot on the outskirts of town, parked her car, got out, and waited.

Eventually, another car arrived and parked. It was the same guy that Chelsea had met earlier.

He grinned. "So...you've decided to give me another chance?"

Chelsea resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "I thought you were trying to convert me to Christianity. Once I read your brochure, I realized it really spoke to me. I wanna learn more." She paused, steeling herself for what she was about to say, and then smiled. "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."

He smiled. "Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman must not perish from the Earth."


Chelsea followed him to a building. They parked their cars and got out. Chelsea looked at various vehicles as they passed them. Most had the usual right-wing bumper stickers. However, she was surprised - and confused - to see one car with neopagan bumper stickers in addition to neo-Nazi stickers. That sickened her.

"I'm surprised that your headquarters is here. I expected something out of the way - on the outskirts of town."

He smiled at her. "Oh, no, we're right here - in the center of the action. We've got nothing to hide."

They walked up to the entrance. He opened the door and stood aside. She stared at him in confusion. He gestured for her to walk in first, so she did. He followed her and closed the door behind him.

"I'm John, by the way."

A guy walked past them. "It's a good Christian name from the Bible."

John smiled. "Amen, brother."

Chelsea rolled her eyes and contemplated telling them that John was a Hebrew name, and amen was a Hebrew word. She decided against it, believing it would arouse suspicion.

"So you're not a Christian?" John asked Chelsea.

"Nah." Chelsea wondered if maybe she shouldn't have offered that up earlier.

"So what are you?"

"Eh, I'm kinda my own thing."

"That's what I like to hear. You're an individual who can make up her own mind."

Chelsea didn't say anything.

"What's your name?" John asked.

"Chelsea."

"Chelsea. That's English, right?"

"Old English, yeah."

"What's your last name?"

"You first."

"Daniels."

Chelsea again decided against commenting. "Cunningham."

"Cunningham." John thought about that for a moment. "Hang on, don't tell me."

Chelsea wasn't going to, but she kept quiet, anyway.

"English?" John guessed.

"Scottish. The Clan Cunningham dates back to the twelfth or thirteenth centuries."

"Ah, okay, that's pretty cool. Say something in Scottish for me."

"Say something in Hebrew for me." As soon as the words had left her mouth, Chelsea wished she hadn't said them, but she was angry at him for making an assumption.

John frowned at her. "I'm not a Jew."

"Your name betrays you."

John manhandled her and took her aside. "Look, it was on my dad's side, a long time ago. I'm not a Jew. Why are you asking, anyway?"

"Just checking. I need to make sure this organization is racially pure."

John grinned. "A girl after my own heart. I like the way you think."

Chelsea forced a smile.

"Anyway, we're about to have a meeting. Follow me."


Chelsea followed John into a room. A bunch of metal folding chairs were set up on the floor. A table was set up against the back wall, and it had a coffee pot and a plate full of donuts on it. The wall on the front wall had a large TV.

Chelsea sat in an empty chair. She looked around at the rest of the people sitting there. They looked like anyone that she'd see on the street. Some of the men had shaved heads. Some people had swastika tattoos. Others had "14" or "14/88" tattoos. Some people brought their children: some teens, some younger, even babies. They ate donuts and drank coffee. John walked to the podium, adjusted the microphone, and turned it on. Everyone quieted down.

John gave the Nazi salute. "Sieg Heil."

The audience responded in kind.

Chelsea felt revulsion but beat it down and gave the Nazi salute. "Sieg Heil."

"I see some new faces in the crowd. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to them." John gestured at the TV on the wall behind him. "We finally got our new TV. Thank you to everyone who donated. Give yourselves a round of applause."

John and various audience members started applauding.

John smiled. "What do you say we fire this bad boy up and get some words of wisdom from the big man upstairs?"

The audience applauded. Chelsea joined in, although she was confused as to who they'd be listening to. Someone turned off the lights. John picked up a remote, turned on the TV, selected a video, and pressed Play.

A fat, old man appeared on the screen. He had a wrinkled face and a mix of orange and white hair. He was sitting at a desk in an office. A large American flag was on the wall behind him. He appeared to be waiting for a signal to begin.

Finally, he looked directly at the camera. "My fellow Americans, I come to you today to announce the formation of a new group. It's called Fourteen Words. No one's ever heard of them until now, but here we are. What does Fourteen Words stand for? Simply, God, guns, Jesus, America, and the white race."

Chelsea rolled her eyes.

"So what are the fourteen words?" He paused and stared blankly at the camera for a while - as if trying to remember. "Well, I'm sure you've heard them. Anyway, Fourteen Words is about self-empowerment. It's about taking back our country and putting America first. You can read all about it in my book, Fourteen Words. It's a big, beautiful book. Probably the best book ever written. In it, I go into everything. I start with the oranges of the organization. It's a fascinating story. I'll leave it to you to buy my book and read it."

Chelsea rolled her eyes again.

"Y'know, I used to be president, and it's an absolute disgrace what happened. I was treated very unfairly by the fake news media, which are the enemy of the people. The Democrazies impeached me. They tried to overturn the will of the people. That oughta be illegal, if I'll be honest with you. I won the popular vote, because millions of people voted illegally against me, but the fake news media won't tell you that. Y'know, I was a very successful businessman. No one had more success than me, before or since. I brought that success to the presidency, and I accomplished more than any other president ever, but they don't give me credit for that, but that's okay. I know it to be true in my heart, and the silent majority knows it, too. I went after the illegal aliens and the terrorists big-league. I was both feared and respected around the world, depending on who you asked. Sometimes both. I made the best of a bad situation and brought people together. I was a great uniter. Of course, the fake news fucktards don't like to talk about that either."

Chelsea rolled her eyes yet again.

"Anyway, I want everyone to join me for a 'Sieg Heil'." He gave the Nazi salute. "Sieg Heil!"

"Sieg Heil!" Chelsea and the rest of the crowd responded, giving the Nazi salute.

"Together, we can, to use my old campaign slogan, make America great again. You know what I'm talking about."

"Make America White again!" someone in the audience shouted.

"May God blesh the United Shtates. Amen."

"Amen!" the crowd, minus Chelsea, replied.

The video continued for a few seconds longer, during which the founder stared awkwardly into the camera. He reached off-screen and picked up a piece of fried chicken. Finally, the video ended. The audience cheered and applauded. Chelsea stared at them incredulously but then unenthusiastically applauded.

John turned off the TV. The lights turned back on.

John walked up to the podium. "All right, on to some business. Our recruitment drive at GSU went well. What say we try it again?"

The audience cheered and applauded.

"Any volunteers to hand out pamphlets?" John asked.

A few people in their late teens and early twenties raised their hands.

"Good, good. Any others?" John looked directly at Chelsea. "Chelsea?"

Chelsea was upset that he had called on her, but she tried to hide it. "Okay, sure."

"Great. I'll work out the details with the university. Gotta get folks psyched and ready for when I come to speak there."

Chelsea was appalled that GSU would invite a white supremacist to speak there, but she didn't say anything.

"Any other issues that anyone wishes to discuss?" John asked.

No one said anything.

"Then this meeting is adjourned."

People slowly started standing up. Chelsea stood up as well. John walked over to her.

"So...you're speaking at GSU?" Chelsea asked him.

"Yep - or, as I like to call it, GS Jew." John started laughing.

Chelsea felt disgust but forced herself to laugh along with him.

"What are you gonna speak about?" Chelsea eventually asked him.

"The usual. Jews are controlling the world and have infiltrated every level of our government. Our great nation is being invaded by degenerates from shithole countries. We must act now to stop this threat and preserve our race."

Chelsea forced a smile. "Well, I wouldn't wanna miss that."

John grinned. "Great."

"Well, I'll see ya then." Chelsea turned to leave.

"Oh, give me your contact info, so I can add you to our mailing list."

Chelsea turned and took out her cell phone. "Right, okay."

"And stay for coffee and donuts."

Chelsea shook her head. "I don't care for either. Unless it's chocolate. Which you don't have. So..."


Chelsea entered Deckard's Kitchen and sat on a stool at the counter.

Melanie Walker came out of the kitchen. "Hey, Chels."

"Hey."

"What can I get ya?"

"A slice of triple chocolate pie and a chocolate cola float."

"Coming right up." Melanie turned and walked away.

The door opened. Deanna Clay entered the restaurant and walked up to the counter. She sat on the empty stool to Chelsea's right.

Chelsea looked at Deanna. "Hey."

"Hey. What did you wanna talk about?" Deanna asked.

"I've infiltrated Fourteen Words, and I'm trying to bring it down. I was wondering if you could somehow hack into their shit and find something damning."

"Maybe I can."

Chelsea looked at Melanie in surprise.

Melanie smiled and set Chelsea's plate, fork, and glass on the counter. "I couldn't help overhearing."

"You've got an idea?" Chelsea asked her.

Melanie nodded. "You're going about this all wrong, if you're just trying to find something 'damning' about a white supremacist group. I mean they're a white supremacist group, and they have followers and supporters. 'Damning' info isn't gonna make them abandon the organization. You need to go all scorched-earth on these motherfuckers."

"What do you suggest?" Chelsea asked.

"I know these people." Melanie paused and leaned in close to Chelsea. "They're Antifa."

Chelsea was surprised. "How are you involved with them?"

Melanie shrugged. "Look, I can't not fight, all right? I enjoy it. Fighting fascism seems like a good cause."

Chelsea had concerns about this but chose to set them aside for the time being. She just shrugged.

"Anyway, I can spread some false information, sow seeds of chaos-"

"I don't wanna know. Just do it."

Melanie nodded and walked away.

Chelsea looked at Deanna. "This group's founder used to be president."

Deanna stared blankly at her. "President?"

"Of the United States."

Deanna was shocked. "Shut up!"

"Afraid so. Anyway, you think you can dig up anything that'd be potentially embarrassing or controversial to this group?"

Deanna smiled. "I'll see what I can find."

Chelsea smiled. "If you find something good, we can make a video of the best parts, and I can sneak it into their next meeting three days from now."


Three days later, Chelsea, armed with a flash drive, drove to Fourteen Words' headquarters. She parked her car, put on her Batwoman costume, and activated her cloak. She got out of her car and went into the building when the front door was opened.

She went into the meeting room, walked over to the TV, turned it on, inserted the flash drive, and replaced the video in the TV with the one that she and Deanna had edited together. Then she turned off the TV, removed the flash drive, and stood off to the side to witness events unfold.

People filed into the room. John arrived last, went to the front, stood behind the podium, and turned on the microphone. Everyone quieted down.

John gave the Nazi salute. "Sieg Heil!"

The audience responded in kind.

"Welcome, everyone." He paused and searched the crowd. He seemed disappointed. "Well, not everyone, I guess. Anyway, let's get some words of inspiration from our founder, and then we'll get to business."

Someone turned off the lights. John picked up the remote and turned on the TV. He selected the video and played it.

The fat, old man appeared on the TV in the same setting as before. He was eating steak and fried chicken covered in ketchup. He drank liquid from a silver can. He let out a burp, followed by a fart.

Some people in the audience chuckled. John appeared confused.

The video abruptly changed to a wide view of the desk. The founder was kneeling on it, doggystyle, completely naked. A young, naked, blonde woman was kneeling behind him and swatting his naked ass with a rolled-up magazine.

The man groaned in pleasure. "Oh, that's it. That's it, spank me. Hit me harder."

"You like that, Daddy?" the woman asked him.

"Oh, yeah, I love it, sweetie."

"You're not gonna tell Jared, are you?"

"No, Jared doesn't need to know. Ow! Wow, that was a good one. Okay, suck me off."

The video abruptly changed again. The founder was sitting behind his desk, eating buffalo wings, sauce all over his face. He was panting heavily and occasionally glanced down between his legs.

The video abruptly changed again. The founder was kneeling on his desk again, being pegged by the blonde woman from behind. He let out a series of agonizing cries.

As the woman kept ramming him, she suddenly picked up a large knife from off-screen. She raised it up, ready to strike. "Speak hands for me!" she screamed in primal rage.

As the slaughter unfolded on the TV screen, the audience gasped and shouted in horror. Some mothers covered their children's eyes. Others stood up and ran for the door in disgust.

Suddenly, the video cut to black, and a voice - Chelsea's, processed to a lower pitch - came on: "And so, the senile, stupid, flabby old fuck of a man-child died. The end."

"Everyone, please wait!" John pleaded. "There must be some mistake!"

Suddenly, the lights turned on, and various audience members drew guns and pointed them at John and other people. The door was closed shut.

"Freeze! GCPD!" one officer shouted.

"What's going on?!" John demanded.

The officer walked up to him. "What's going on, John Daniels, is you're under arrest for showing pornography to minors. Hands behind your back."

John wouldn't comply, so another officer forced him against a wall and handcuffed him. The first officer read John his rights.

As John was led away, he struggled. "Fake news! This was a set-up! I'll fucking sue! I'll have the last laugh when the White Race reigns supreme and all fags are dead!"

Chelsea walked alongside him and leaned close to his right ear. "Shut ye geggie. Yer aff yer heid, bawheed."

John looked around in confusion. Chelsea smiled and walked away.


After it was over, Chelsea and Deanna met at Deckard's Kitchen. They entered the restaurant. Melanie was cleaning tables.

Chelsea smiled. "Success."

Melanie smiled. "I saw."

Chelsea and Deanna sat across from each other in a booth.

Melanie walked over to them and took out her pen and notepad. "What can I get ya?"

Deanna smiled. "Just some fries and cola fizzes. We're having a light dinner."

Melanie wrote it down. "Coming right up." She turned and walked away.

The door opened, and Dana walked into the diner. She walked over to the booth.

Chelsea smiled. "Hey."

Dana smiled. "Hey."

"We just ordered." Chelsea scooted over toward the window.

Dana sat down to Chelsea's right and looked at Melanie. "Melanie, add a cola fizz for me!"

Melanie waved her acknowledgment.

Dana looked at Chelsea. "So I saw what happened on the news. It'll probably completely destroy their credibility."

Deanna smiled. "No 'probably' about it."

Chelsea grinned. "And Melanie and her associates helped a lot by unearthing that footage."

Deanna grinned. "Yeah, even I couldn't find it, and I'm usually awesome at these things."

Dana grinned. "I wish I could've been there to see it go down."

Chelsea thought about that. "Mmmm, nah, I doubt it. Everyone was detained and questioned."

Melanie arrived with a tray containing a plate of fries and four glasses of cola fizz. She unloaded the tray and sat to Deanna's left. The others stared at her questioningly.

Melanie smiled. "Break time."

The others smiled.

Chelsea raised her glass. "To a small victory in an ongoing war."

The others raised their glasses. "To victory!"

They clinked their glasses together.


Later that evening, in the clock tower, Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna exited the elevator and entered the loft. Kathy was sitting in front of her easel, painting. Maggie was sitting on the couch, watching her. Both of them were drinking beer.

Chelsea walked over to Kathy. "Hey."

Kathy briefly looked at her. "Hey."

"So we took care of Fourteen Words."

"I saw."

Maggie looked at Chelsea. "We all saw."

Chelsea fell silent, unsure how to break the ice.

Kathy continued painting. "Good job."

"Thanks." Chelsea paused. "May I get a beer?"

Kathy shrugged. "It's your lair, too."

Chelsea, Dana, and Deanna walked up to the kitchen. Chelsea opened the fridge and got out three beers. She closed the fridge and passed two of the bottles to her friends. She picked up the bottle opener off the counter, opened the bottles, set the opener down, and threw the caps in the recycling bin. The three friends gulped their beers in silence as they walked down to the living area. Everyone was silent for a while.

Maggie finally sighed. "This is silly. The two of you are teammates - and, I thought, friends."

Dana gently elbowed Chelsea. "Talk to each other."

Chelsea looked at Kathy. "I'm sorry for hurting you, Kathy. I respect you immensely."

Kathy stopped painting, set her brush down, and looked at Chelsea. "And I'm sorry for hurting you. You're a good person, Chelsea, and I know you're not a racist."

Chelsea smiled. Kathy smiled back at her.

"Wanna go outside?" Kathy asked.

Chelsea shrugged. "Sure."

Kathy and Maggie stood up and walked over to the door.

"Oh! Music!" Deanna dashed up the stairs and over to Kathy's computer.

Chelsea and Dana laughed and joined Kathy and Maggie outside. They sat down in front of the clock face. On the home theater system, "All God's Children" by Belinda Carlisle played. Deanna joined them outside and sat down. All of them sipped their beers.

"One and all, there are no exceptions. When it calls, baby, let your love shine through, bright and true. All God's children, right or wrong, weak or strong. All God's children, old and young, everyone. All God's children, right or wrong, weak or strong. All God's children, old and young, everyone. All God's children, glad or sad, good or bad. All God's children, don't go and lie. Day or night, they need real love. They need real love."

"Chels?" Dana asked.

"Yeah?"

"Do you think...humanity will ever realize fear and division are stupid and come together as one?"

Chelsea thought about that as she sipped her beer. Finally, she looked at her girlfriend, kissed her on the lips, and smiled. "Possibly."

To Be Continued...

Chapter Text

Batwoman Beyond

13

"Anniversary"

Written By
Mark Moore

Author's note: This is the end of the "season". Please enjoy this chapter. Feedback is appreciated, especially regarding whether you'd like to see this series continue next year.

As for the Quiverfull and #robinhood original novels, I hope to have them written and available sometime next year. I'll be self-publishing them. Just follow me on Amazon to be notified: https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Moore/e/B0084QDLXU?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575172707&sr=1-1

Times written: Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 10:25 PM - 10:32 PM; Wednesday, August 14, 2019, 12:27 PM - 12:30 PM; Thursday, August 15, 2019, 10:36 PM - 10:40 PM; Friday, August 16, 2019, 10:27 PM - 10:30 PM; Monday, August 19, 2019, 9:46 PM - 10:09 PM; Thursday, August 22, 2019, 9:53 PM - 10:24 PM; Sunday, August 25, 2019, 8:49 PM - 9:02 PM; Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 9:04 PM - 9:19 PM, 9:27 PM - 9:47 PM; Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10:10 PM - 10:29 PM; Sunday, September 22, 2019, 4:27 PM - 4:34 PM; Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 9:45 PM - 9:57 PM; Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 1:38 PM - 1:41 PM; Tuesday, October 8, 2019, 9:40 PM - 9:50 PM; Thursday, October 10, 2019, 11:31 PM - 11:39 PM; Tuesday, October 15, 2019, 9:01 PM - 9:15 PM; Monday, October 21, 2019, 8:04 PM - 8:31 PM; Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 8:19 PM - 8:26 PM; Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:35 PM - 7:42 PM; Thursday, October 24, 2019, 10:24 PM - 10:34 PM; Sunday, November 3, 2019, 7:43 PM - 7:59 PM; Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 9:50 PM - 10:02 PM; Thursday, November 7, 2019, 7:08 PM - 7:27 PM; Saturday, November 9, 2019, 8:59 PM - 9:12 PM; Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 9:10 PM - 9:47 PM; Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 8:51 PM - 9:17 PM; Friday, November 29, 2019, 1:43 PM - 3:33 PM, 4:53 PM - 6:29 PM, 7:46 PM - 10:25 PM; Saturday, November 30, 2019, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM, 9:07 PM - 11:08 PM

The following story is copyright © 2019 by Mark Moore.


"What's this?" Chelsea Cunningham asked as she walked into the kitchen.

Kathy Duquesne, Maggie Sawyer, Deanna Clay, and Dana Tan were standing around the table. On the table was a large chocolate cake with a bat drawn in red frosting and a single lit candle.

"Surprise!" they cheered.

Chelsea was confused. "I don't get it."

Kathy grinned. "Happy Anniversary!"

Chelsea frowned. She stared at Kathy in anger. "Fuck you."

Kathy's grin turned into an expression of shock. "What?! Did we do something wrong?"

Maggie looked at Chelsea. "Today is the first anniversary of you becoming Batwoman."

"It's also the tenth anniversary of my mother's death!" Chelsea shouted, on the verge of tears.

Deanna looked at the others. "Oh. Ouch."

Dana walked over and put her hands on Chelsea's shoulders. "I'm sorry, Chels. We didn't know."

Chelsea nodded at Kathy. "She did."

"I'm sorry, Chelsea, I forgot. I'm truly sorry."

Chelsea looked at Kathy, who was on the verge of tears. She sighed. "Forget it. Look, I'm gonna go and visit my mom's grave. I'll see you later." She turned and walked away.

Dana felt bad for her. "Chels-"

"Later, Dana." Chelsea left the kitchen.


Chelsea kneeled in front of her mother's grave and set a bouquet of roses in front of the headstone. She stared at her mother's name in silence and traced it with her left index finger.

Then Chelsea lowered her head and closed her eyes. "Hello, my Lady. Thank you for this past year. I've learned so much about myself and about the world. Please continue to bless me and my friends. Mom, have you been watching me? I hope so. I miss you so much, and I hope you're looking out for me. It hasn't been easy for me, but I'm still here, and I like to think you have something to do with that. Anyway, I'm gonna shut up now and let you speak."

Chelsea sat in silence for a few minutes, trying to hear her mother's voice. She listened for signs, such as the wind rustling the leaves in the trees.

Eventually, she realized she wasn't going to get anything. "All right, well, see ya later. I love you. Bye."

Chelsea stood up, wiped the dirt from her knees, turned, and walked away.


Chelsea entered Deckard's Kitchen, walked up to the counter, and sat on a stool.

Melanie Walker walked over to her. "Hey."

"Hey."

"Is something wrong? You look kind of out of it."

"My friends disappointed me. Never mind. I'd like a large cola fizz chocolate float."

Melanie smiled sympathetically. "Coming right up." She turned and walked away.

Chelsea sat in silence. The door opened and closed, and she heard footsteps behind her. Suddenly, her eyes were covered by a pair of large hands.

"Hey, babe."

Chelsea immediately elbowed the guy in the chest, pulled away from him, and got off the stool.

"Jesus, Chelsea, what the fuck?!" Nelson Nash exclaimed.

Chelsea looked at him. "What the fuck, indeed, Nelson?! Don't ever do that to me again!"

Nelson held up his hands. "All right, all right, I'm sorry! Anyway, I was wondering if you'd be interested in going out sometime."

"After the shit that you pulled?! No fucking way! You've got some nerve!" Chelsea yelled.

"Hey, listen, I've changed."

Chelsea rolled her eyes.

"Really. I'm a one-woman person."

"Me, too." Chelsea sat on the stool. "Get away from me."

Nelson sighed. Chelsea could hear him walking away and the door opening and closing.

Melanie returned with Chelsea's cola fizz chocolate float and set it down. "Did a customer come in?"

"It was just Nelson. He wants to get back with me."

"After the shit that he pulled?!" Melanie asked incredulously.

"Exactly!" Chelsea agreed.


Later in the day, Chelsea returned home. She went up to her bedroom, lay on her bed, and mindlessly watched TV for a while. Raiders of the Lost Ark came on.

There was a knock on her door.

"Yeah?" Chelsea asked tiredly.

"It's Dana. Can I come in?"

"Sure."

The door opened, and Dana walked into the room. She closed the door, walked over to the bed, climbed on, and snuggled with Chelsea.

"How'd the visit with your mom go?" Dana asked.

"Same as usual. I didn't get anything from her."

The two of them just snuggled together for a while, ignoring the sound of the TV.

"Do you think there's any life beyond death?" Chelsea eventually asked.

Dana looked at her. "I don't know. I hope so."

"Because I have tried, countless times, to contact my mom since she died. I never get anything."

"Maybe there's some rule that the dead can't contact the living."

"Stupid-ass rule."

"True. Maybe the soul is reincarnated soon after death, so there's no opportunity for your mom to respond to you, because she's busy living her new life."

Chelsea thought about it. "Maybe. I just wish there was something. Some concrete proof that we go on. Not just old words on crumbling, old pieces of paper."

Dana didn't say anything. She didn't know what to say to that.

"Anyway, I'd requested off from work today. The thing is I really don't feel like doing anything. Why don't you go out and have fun, sweetie?"

"Nah, that's okay. I can stay here with you."

"That's sweet." Chelsea kissed Dana on the lips and then sat up. "Hang on, let me turn off the fucking TV."

She picked up the remote and was about to turn off the TV when a special news report started.

"This is a special report. Just moments ago, an explosion rocked Wayne Tower."

"Omigoddess." Chelsea stared at the screen.

Dana looked up.

"We do not as yet know the cause of the blast. There were no visible indications from outside that something like this was about to happen."

Suddenly, Chelsea's cell phone rang.

Chelsea picked up her phone and answered it. "Yeah?"

"You seein' the news?" Terry asked.

"Yeah."

"I'm heading there now."

"I'll meet you there." Chelsea ended the call and looked at Dana. "That was Terry. I gotta go."

"Be careful."

Chelsea nodded, opened the door, and left the room.


Chelsea flew her Batmobile toward Wayne Tower. Before she even arrived, she saw the smoke in the distance.

"You seein' this?" Terry asked.

"Yeah. Where are you?"

"I'm a bit closer."

"Okay, I see you. Any theories?" Chelsea asked.

"Could be an anti-tech terrorist named Mad Stan. I've dealt with him before."

Chelsea looked him up on her onboard computer. "He's currently locked up."

"Well, do you have any theories?"

Chelsea frowned. "Hey, don't get snappy with me. There was a group that I dealt with called #robinhood, but this isn't their m.o., and they left town, anyway."

"Maybe we should head closer and try to survey the damage. We might pick up some clues."

Chelsea frowned. "I don't think it's safe. A bunch of fucking bombs just went off."

"Well, then let's fly closer and use our on-board scanners."

"Okay."

Chelsea and Terry flew closer to Wayne Tower.

"Do you know where Mr. Wayne is?" Chelsea asked.

"He's safe. He happened to be at home when the attacks happened."

Chelsea studied the large, gaping holes on the front of the building and the fire and smoke that was coming from them. "I have no idea what to look for. Let's hope our peeps see something in the footage that we can't."

"Right."

Terry flew to Wayne Manor, and Chelsea followed him.


Chelsea got out of her Batmobile and walked over to Bruce, who was sitting at his computer. Terry walked over as well. Chelsea and Terry each took off their respective masks.

"Got anything?" Terry asked Bruce.

"The bombs were detonated on the first, fifth, and tenth floors. Major structural damage, but the building isn't a total loss. The bombs used low-yield explosives. I'm guessing whoever planted them didn't want to actually bring down Wayne Tower."

"So...what, then?" Chelsea asked.

Bruce looked at them. "Perhaps it was meant as a diversion."

Chelsea thought about that for a moment. She went to her Batmobile and retrieved her cell phone. She returned to Terry and Bruce and called Kathy. It went to voicemail.

"Kathy, please call me when you get this."

"What's up?" Terry asked her.

"I'm trying to contact my people. See if they can help out." Chelsea called Maggie.

It went to voicemail.

"Mags, please call me when you get this." Chelsea ended the call. "Well, I guess they're busy for now." She thought about that and frowned. "Odd. I thought they didn't have any classes today." She looked at Bruce and Terry. "I'm gonna head out. Call me if you make any progress."

They nodded. Chelsea walked over to her Batmobile, hopped in, closed the roof, and flew off.


After stopping by Hikawa Shrine, Chelsea went home, walked into the kitchen, and opened the fridge. She took out a can of Pow fizz and closed the fridge.

Dana walked into the kitchen. "Hey."

Chelsea leaned against the counter and popped open the can. "Hey."

"How'd things go?"

"Bruce and Terry are handling it." Chelsea took a gulp of her fizz. "I'm worried about Kathy and Maggie."

"Oh?"

"They didn't answer their phones, so I went to the dojo, but they weren't there - nor anywhere else on the shrine's grounds."

Dana got a cola fizz from the fridge. "They could be doing other things, Chels." She popped her can open.

"That's what I thought, but they still haven't returned my calls."

"Did you go to the clock tower?" Dana asked.

"No, I didn't think they'd be home at this time of day."

Dana nodded, and then she thought of something. "Wait. Where did you park the Batmobile?"

"In the backyard."

"What?!" Dana blurted.

Chelsea smiled and waved a hand in dismissal. "Chillax, it's cloaked."

Dana squinted her eyes. "Harry Potter cloaked or Star Trek cloaked."

"What difference does it make?"

"It makes, like, all the difference."

"Okay, whatever." Chelsea got out her cell phone and called Deanna.

The phone rang three times.

"Hey."

"Hey. Have you heard from Kathy or Maggie recently?"

"Not since this morning. I'd gone over to the clock tower after the party to help them install a new security system. Why?" Deanna asked.

"They're not answering their phones, and they're not at Hikawa."

"They could be doing other things, Chels."

"For so long? Without getting back to me? And with Wayne Tower being attacked?" Chelsea asked.

"Did you go to the clock tower?" Deanna asked.

"No." Chelsea sighed. "Okay, I'll try there."

Suddenly, there was a crackling noise on Chelsea's cell phone.

"Deanna, I think you're breaking up."

"Chels?" Deanna asked.

"Come to the club where it all began. You'll find your answers there."

"What the fuck?" Chelsea asked.

"Chels?" Deanna asked.

"Deanna, did you hear that?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah, who was that?"

"I dunno."

"What's going on?" Dana asked Chelsea.

"Hang on, let me turn on the speaker." Chelsea turned on the speakerphone. "Okay, so we both heard a female voice that said 'Come to the club where it all began. You'll find your answers there.'"

"What does that mean?" Deanna asked.

The three of them thought for a while in silence.

Dana finally looked at Chelsea. "Maybe she's referring to the club where we were attacked during the summer before senior year? That's the event that set you on the path to becoming Batwoman."

"But who would possibly know that?" Chelsea asked.

"Well, a few people know it by this point: me, Terry, Deanna, Kathy, Maggie, Sonia, and Rocky."

Chelsea frowned at Dana.

Dana smiled, embarrassed. "But it's probably none of them, so forget I said anything."

"Anyway, I'm gonna check it out."

Dana stared at Chelsea, incredulous. "You can't be serious!"

"I rarely am, but this is an exception."

"But what if it's a trap?" Dana asked.

Chelsea smiled. "Well, if it is, what better way to find out than to go along with it?"

Dana stared at her skeptically. "Suuure. Well, if you're gonna do this, I'm going with you."

"But-"

"No arguing."

Chelsea sighed. "Fine. Deanna, get over here and bring some equipment. We need you to hook up my Batsuit to your laptop."

"On my way."


After setting things up with Deanna, Chelsea and Dana went to the club. Chelsea parked the Batmobile on the club's roof.

Chelsea briefly looked at Dana, who was dressed all in black: short black boots, black leather pants, black T-shirt, and black leather jacket.

"What?" Dana asked her.

"Nothing." Chelsea put on her mask. "Just think you might be overdoing it a little."

Dana smiled. "Says the woman dressed as a rodent."

"Point taken."

They got out of the Batmobile. Chelsea held on to Dana and flew them down to street level. They walked to the front entrance.

"Is it even open yet?" Dana asked.

"Ordinarily, it wouldn't be, but...she did tell me to come here." Chelsea pulled on the door and easily opened it. "Stay behind me."

Chelsea walked into the club, and Dana followed. The door closed.

The club's interior was dark and eerily silent. The two of them walked around for a while. Dana put her left hand on Chelsea's left shoulder to keep track of where she was.

"See anyone?" Dana asked.

"Nope. Hey, I'm here! It's me, Batwoman! Show yourself!"

"Oh, where's the fun in that?"

"It's much more fun to let you guess!"

"Are my ears playing tricks on me, or did that voice seem to come from two different directions?" Dana asked Chelsea.

"Yeah, that was weird." Chelsea looked around. "Hey, you know what would be really fun?! If you stop wasting my fucking time and show yourself!"

Suddenly, the club's dance lights turned on. Chelsea and Dana were bathed in various colors.

"Ooh, who's your friend?"

"She looks very yummy."

"Show yourself!" Chelsea demanded.

Two women with long, orange hair came out of hiding and came together in front of Chelsea and Dana. They appeared to be identical twins.

"Who the fuck are you?" Chelsea asked.

One of them smiled. "Ooh, we've got a feisty one, Dee Dee."

The other one smiled. "Just like we like 'em, Dee Dee."

Dana frowned. "Ugh. Terry and I encountered them here last year. That was on the night-"

"-that we were attacked." Chelsea frowned. "Okay, so what do you want?"

"Want? Why, we want to kill you. Isn't that right, Dee Dee?"

"Sure is, Dee Dee."

"But we're not allowed to, Dee Dee."

"Such a shame, Dee Dee."

Chelsea was surprised. "What do you mean? Are you working for someone?"

"Meet a friend of ours. Make the introductions, Dee Dee."

"My pleasure, Dee Dee. Show yourself, sweetie."

Out of the shadows came Armored Guy.

Chelsea rolled her eyes. "Oh, great, him again?! Who the fuck are you?!"

Instead of answering, Armored Guy charged at her. Chelsea and Dana dodged him.

"Kill him, sweetie. Let's go, Dee Dee."

"Right beside you, Dee Dee."

"Are they gone?!" Dana asked, running alongside Chelsea.

"I don't know! I've been focusing on not getting my ass kicked!" Chelsea replied.

Chelsea and Dana continued running. Dana lagged behind. Chelsea grabbed hold of Dana with her right arm and shot a grappling hook up toward a steel beam. The two of them were pulled up. They sat on the beam and looked down. Armored Guy stared up at them but stood motionless.

Chelsea considered that. "Well, it seems he can't fly. That's something, at least."

"Any ideas?" Dana asked her.

Chelsea looked around. "How heavy do you think those lights are?"

Dana looked at the lights. "Heavy enough to disable that guy, I hope. How are you gonna bring 'em down?"

Chelsea thought about it for a moment, carefully stood up, and extended her arms. She flew over to the lights and landed near them. She fired a grappling hook at them, jumped down, activated the rockets in her boots, and pulled with all of her strength. The entire light fixture came loose and hurled toward the floor. Chelsea kicked Armored Guy, knocking him to the floor, and quickly flew out of the way just before the entire light fixture, assorted beams, and a large fan fell on top of him. Chelsea flew up, grabbed Dana, held her gently in her arms, and landed on the floor. She set Dana down.

Dana looked at the pile of debris on the floor and then looked at Chelsea and smiled. "Nice work."

Chelsea started removing the debris, throwing lights and steel beams behind her. Once Armored Guy was uncovered, Chelsea kneeled next to him, felt around his neck area, and found a way to detach his helmet.

"Time to find out who the fuck you are." Chelsea detached the helmet and took it off. Her hands shook, and she dropped the helmet, staring at the face beneath it in shock. "Nelson?!"

Nelson Nash groaned as he opened his eyes. "What...happened?"

"Nelson Nash?!" Dana asked in surprise, walking toward him. "You were Armored Guy?"

"Dana?" Nelson asked. "Why are you here? My target was Batwoman."

"Nelson, why?" Dana briefly looked at Chelsea and then back at him. "Why have you been doing this?"

"You first. Why are you here? What's your connection to Batwoman?" Nelson asked her.

Chelsea abruptly took off her mask, shock and horror visible on her face.

"Chels?" Nelson asked in surprise, though weakly. "I didn't know it was you."

"Nelson, how? Why?" Chelsea could barely form full sentences.

"Money." Nelson coughed. "My wrestling scholarship fell through. I was desperate. The Dee Dees promised me money if I stole stuff and defeated you."

Chelsea was confused. "What would the Dee Dees want with me?"

"I dunno. Boss's orders."

"Boss?" Chelsea asked in surprise. "They're working for someone? Who?"

"I dunno. Never met him." Nelson went into a coughing fit.

"C'mon, Nelson, let's get you to Gotham General." Chelsea tried to help him sit up.

"Chels, stop. Stop!" Nelson cried, coughing again.

"Nelson, c'mon, the doctors can-"

"They can't do anything! Chels, I can't feel my legs!" Nelson lowered his voice. "I can't feel my arms. Nothing below my neck."

Chelsea stared at him. "What?"

"I'm paralyzed." Nelson coughed. "And who knows what else?"

"I'll carry you." Chelsea tried to secure Nelson in her arms.

"Chels, no, stop. I'm useless without my arms and legs. I can't wrestle. I can't do anything. That's not a life, Chels."

"Nelson, they can do amazing things-"

"Kill me."

Chelsea stared at him in shock. "What?"

"I want you to kill me, Chelsea." Nelson coughed. "I wanna die. Please."

Chelsea shook her head, tears streaming down her face. "No-"

"You can do it, too. With that suit? Amplifies your abilities, right? You can snap my neck. It'll be over in a second."

"Goddess, Nelson, I can't do that!" Chelsea cried. "I'm not a killer! And you're a fighter! You've gotta fight!"

"Chels, please, I'm begging you! I don't wanna live like this!" Nelson pleaded.

"Shut up!" Chelsea cried. She looked at Dana. "Dana, find a phone and call an ambulance!"

Dana just stood and stared at Nelson, unmoving.

"Now!" Chelsea yelled.

Dana didn't move.

"Damn it!" Chelsea stood up and ran over to the club's bar. She picked up a cell phone and called the police.

"What's your emergency?" the operator asked.

"Medical emergency at Club Dancetron! Subject is immobile!" Chelsea cried. "Please hurry!"

"Assistance is on the way. Is the subject conscious?"

"Um..." Chelsea turned to look at Nelson and nearly dropped the phone, her hand shaking again.

Dana was kneeling next to Nelson. She was pinching his nose closed with her left hand and covering his mouth with her right hand.

"Ma'am?" the operator asked.

"I can't tell! Hurry!" Chelsea ended the call, dropped the phone, and ran over to Dana. "Dana!"

Dana didn't acknowledge her. Chelsea pulled Dana away from Nelson and leaned close to him.

"I can't feel his breath. He's dead. Or he's gonna be soon." Chelsea turned on Dana in anger. "You killed him."

Suddenly, they heard the sound of approaching sirens. Chelsea and Dana stood up.

Chelsea looked at Dana. "Cameras aren't recording at this time of day. Go out the back door and wait for me."

Dana walked away. Chelsea quickly crouched down and wiped away Dana's fingerprints from Nelson's lifeless face. Then she stood up straight, put on her mask, and went out to meet the police.


"So what did you tell them?" Dana asked Chelsea when she finally showed up behind the club.

"Don't worry, I left your name out of it, Goddess help me. No one will ever know what you did."

Dana could hear the anger in Chelsea's voice. "Chels-"

"We'll discuss this later. Right now, we need to assemble the team - or as much of it as we can find. We need to formulate a strategy. Hold on to me."

Dana hugged Chelsea. Chelsea flew up to the roof. They got into the Batmobile. Chelsea closed the roof and took off. She placed a conference call.

"Hey, Chels, how'd it go?" Deanna asked.

"Hang on."

"Chels?" Terry asked.

"Hey, Ter. Where are you?" Chelsea asked.

"On my way home."

"Well, get back to the Batcave. We'll be there shortly."

"Problem?" Terry asked.

"Possibly. We're all coming in. Think Bruce'll mind?"

"Probably."

"Oh, well. Deanna, head for Hikawa Shrine."

"Okay."

Chelsea ended the call and placed another conference call.

"Hey, Chels."

"Jackie, is Blade there?" Chelsea asked.

"She's in her room. Why?"

"Hang on."

"Deckard's Kitchen."

"Mel, that you?" Chelsea asked.

"Yeah. Chels?" Melanie asked.

"Yeah. I want the three of you to head over to Hikawa Shrine. We'll meet you there."

"What's going on?" Jackie asked her.

"I'll explain later. Just get over there."

"I'm at work."

"Well, take off."

"What do I tell my boss?" Melanie asked.

"Family emergency or whatever. I dunno. Bullshit something. Later." Chelsea ended the call.

"What are you doing?" Dana asked her.

"Assembling a new team."


Chelsea and Dana walked onto the grounds of the Hikawa Shrine. Deanna, Jackie Wallace, Bobbi "Blade" Sommer, and Melanie were waiting outside the dojo.

"Hey. Have Kathy or Maggie shown up here?" Chelsea asked.

Jackie shook her head. "No."

Chelsea sighed. "Yeah, I haven't been able to get a hold of them either."

"What's this about?" Melanie asked.

"I dunno, but I have a feeling that something is very wrong." Chelsea paused and looked at all of them. "I'm Batwoman."

Jackie, Blade, and Melanie reacted in surprise.

Blade smiled in amusement. "Good one, Chels."

Deanna looked at Blade. "She totally is. I should know. I'm on Team Batwoman."

Dana nodded. "Chelsea is Batwoman."

Blade folded her arms over her chest. "Prove it."

Chelsea shrugged and took the Batmobile's remote control out of her shorts pocket. She turned and pressed the button. On the street beyond the shrine's grounds, the Batmobile decloaked.

Blade stared at it in shock, her mouth hanging open. "Holy shit, you're Batwoman."

Chelsea briefly smiled. "Okay, listen up. I need your help, and I want you to come with me."


Chelsea flew the Batmobile into the Batcave and parked. She opened the roof and hopped out. She walked over to Terry and Bruce. Bruce was sitting at his computer.

"So what's going on?" Terry asked Chelsea.

"I'm not sure, but I think something big is about to go down."

"You might be right." Bruce punched up some information on his computer screen. "I've been looking into the various items that were stolen by your opponent, whom you creatively named Armored Guy."

Chelsea frowned. "Someone else named him."

"Whatever. The point is, put together, they could unleash havoc on the city."

"Hold that thought."

Bruce raised an eyebrow at Chelsea's remark.

Dana, Deanna, Jackie, Blade, and Melanie descended the stairs. Bruce looked at Chelsea in shock and anger. Chelsea smiled sweetly at him.

Jackie looked around in wide-eyed wonder. "Wow, the Batcave!"

Blade was unimpressed. "Kinda drab."

"Where are the weapons?" Melanie asked.

"Chelsea, what's the meaning of this?!" Bruce demanded.

"Hang on. We're missing one person."

Commissioner Barbara Gordon descended the stairs. "Okay, I'm here. Bruce, I know this is unconventional-"

"To say the least."

"But you're gonna wanna listen to what she has to say."

"I can't locate Kathy or Maggie."

Bruce nodded. "I've tried accessing Kathy's computer. No luck."

Barbara paced back and forth. "We have to assume 1) Kathy and Maggie are in trouble, and 2) the clock tower has been compromised."

"So what do we do?" Dana asked her.

Before Barbara could reply, an image appeared on Bruce's computer screen. It showed the Dee Dees, both of them close to the camera and smiling.

"Hello, Batwoman."

"And Batman."

"And old people."

"And friends."

"We're coming to you live-"

"-from the clock tower."

Chelsea frowned. "What have you done with Kathy and Maggie?!"

"Why, they're right here."

The Dee Dees parted, revealing Kathy and Maggie, bound together by rope, sitting back to back on the floor behind them.

"They're still alive."

"For now."

"We want you and Deanna to come to the clock tower."

"Alone."

"Together."

"You have a half-hour."

"Or else we kill them. Isn't that right, Dee Dee?"

"Sure is, Dee Dee."

"Don't!" Kathy yelled.

"Stay away!" Maggie added.

The signal went out.

Chelsea looked at Terry. "How serious are they?"

Terry shrugged. "The Dee Dees are harmless. They're mostly just annoying."

"But they're working for someone."

"How do you know?" Barbara asked Chelsea.

Chelsea looked at her. "Armored Guy told me...before he died."

Dana looked away.

Chelsea stared at Barbara. "Thanks for the news blackout, Commish. I wanted these people to know before everyone else." Chelsea looked at her friends. "Armored Guy was Nelson Nash."

They gasped in shock.

Chelsea frowned. "And I killed him. I...I had no choice. Anyway, the Dee Dees are working for someone, and whoever it is has gotta be planning something big. Deanna and I are gonna go to the clock tower."

"Alone?" Barbara asked her in surprise.

Chelsea looked at her and nodded. "Together." She looked at the others. "As for the rest of you, I've got a plan."

Blade raised her hand. "Uh, before you get to that, I've got a question."

"What is it?" Chelsea asked her.

Blade looked at Terry. "Who are you?"

Terry sighed. "Oh, why the hell not?" He took off his mask.

Melanie gasped loudly and then frowned in anger. Jackie shrugged and nodded.

Blade was surprised. "Whoa."


The elevator doors opened, and Chelsea and Deanna walked into the loft.

The Dee Dees walked down the steps and over to them.

"So glad you could come."

"Now, get ready to die."

Chelsea ignored them. "Kathy, Maggie, you okay?"

Kathy frowned at her. "You shouldn't have come."

Maggie rolled her eyes. "She never listens, Kath."

"What do you want with us?" Deanna asked the Dee Dees.

"Not us."

"The boss."

Suddenly, liquid poured across the floor and then solidified into a purple female figure.

Deanna gasped. "Mom!"

Inque smiled. "Hello, Deanna, my 'dear' daughter."

Chelsea was confused. "I thought you gave up on trying to hurt Deanna."

"Oh, that's only what I wanted you to think. In reality, I left you alone to allow you to let down your guard, and I bided my time...until now."

"So where have you been this whole time?" Chelsea asked her.

"Oh, here, there. You would be astounded at the amount of spying that I've done on you. I'll say this: Batwoman certainly has an active sex life."

Chelsea shuddered and walked over to the clock face. She turned and faced Inque. "Well, whatever you're planning, it won't work. We're onto your grand plan, and we're gonna stop you."

Inque was confused. "What are you babbling about?"

"All of that equipment that you stole. We know you're going to use it to infect the city with a nerve toxin or Joker gas or something."

"What?" Inque asked, confused. "No, my grand plan is to kill you."

"But the microwave emitter. The-"

"We sold all that shit, so I could make back at least some of the money that Deanna stole from me. A girl's gotta eat." Inque smiled. "But I guess you'd know all about that, huh, Cuntingham?"

"Cute. You think of that yourself?" Chelsea asked her.

"Whatever. Prepare to die."

Chelsea smiled. "You're gonna lose."

Inque rolled her eyes. "Oh, please. You're outnumbered, and I have way more power than you. What do you have that can possibly defeat me?"

"Friends." Chelsea stepped aside.

Inque saw five silhouettes, and then suddenly the clock face was smashed to pieces, and Terry, Dana, Jackie, Blade, and Melanie entered the loft. Without missing a beat, they started attacking Inque.

Deanna ran up the steps and over to Kathy and Maggie. She pulled out a knife and cut the ropes. Kathy and Maggie stood up and threw the ropes aside. Deanna ran over to Kathy's computer, brought up Kathy's playlist, and pressed Play. On the home theater system, "Revolution" by Aimee Allen started playing. Deanna ran and joined the fight.

Dana, Deanna, Jackie, and Blade, being less experienced fighters, took on the Dee Dees, leaving Chelsea, Terry, Melanie, Kathy, and Maggie to take on Inque.

"I'd start a revolution, if I could get up in the morning. I'd start a revolution, if I could get up, get up! Start a revolution, start a revolution, if I could get up, get up! Start a revolution, start a revolution, if I could get up in the morning."

Dana and Deanna teamed up on one of the Dee Dees, and Jackie and Blade teamed up on the other one. While the Dee Dees were the superior fighters, they couldn't each take on two women at the same time and were soon beaten unconscious. Chelsea, Terry, Melanie, Kathy, and Maggie weren't having nearly as much luck against Inque, despite it being a five-against-one fight. Inque kept liquefying, slipping away, resolidifying, and attacking them from behind. Deanna observed this and then ran up the steps and over to Kathy's computer. She started working the keyboard.

"Ladies...and Terry, fall back!" Deanna called.

Chelsea and Melanie did backflips (hitting Inque in the process), putting distance between themselves and Inque. Terry, Kathy, and Maggie ran to join them.

Deanna pressed a button. A red forcefield activated, surrounding Inque. She touched it and was shocked. She liquefied and tried passing through it but couldn't.

Terry looked at Deanna and smiled. "Nice."

Deanna turned up the power on the forcefield and shrunk it, making it close in on Inque and squeeze her.

Inque's face briefly materialized. "Deanna, please don't! I'm your mother!"

Deanna stared at Inque coldly. "Since when?"

"Deanna, don't!" Kathy yelled.

"Deanna, don't do it! Don't be a murderer!" Chelsea pleaded.

Deanna briefly looked at her, confliction showing on her face.

Melanie walked up the steps and over to Deanna. "Deanna, I know how you feel. I have plenty of anger within me. Sometimes I just wanna fight, destroy, kill." She put her left hand on Deanna's right shoulder. "But I don't think killing would make me feel good, and I suspect - I hope - the same is true for you. No matter how much you think you want it or think it's justified, it'll...diminish you. Inque will face justice, but don't let it be at your hands."

Deanna looked at Melanie. Then she looked at her mother. After a moment, she expanded the forcefield.

Chelsea and Terry looked at each other and smiled.

Jackie breathed a sigh of relief. "Well, that wasn't too bad."

Blade smiled, looking down at the Dee Dees. "Yeah, they weren't all that, just all talk."

Kathy went up the steps and over to the computer. She called Barbara. "Clock tower is secure, Babs."

"On our way up."

Terry took off his mask and looked at Melanie. "So, um, Melanie-"

"Don't." Melanie stormed away from him. "Just don't."

A concerned Deanna went after her.

Terry looked at Dana. "Dana, can we talk?"

Dana briefly looked at Chelsea, and then she looked at Terry. "Okay."

The two of them went up the steps. Dana opened the door to Kathy and Maggie's bedroom, and she and Terry went inside. Terry closed the door behind him. Chelsea watched them go.


Almost everyone pitched in to clean up. The GCPD transferred Inque to their own containment unit and took her, along with the Dee Dees, away. They were led past Barbara.

Barbara frowned at them. "This is beginning to be a habit. Your Grandma Harley will be very disappointed in you."

"This is all your fault, Dee Dee."

"No, it's yours, Dee Dee."

Barbara rolled her eyes and walked over to Kathy and Maggie. "You two okay?"

Kathy nodded. "Just some rope burn."

"I'll contact you, if I have any additional questions."

Kathy nodded. Barbara headed to the elevator.

Bruce smiled at Kathy and Maggie. "I'll pay to have the clock face replaced."

Kathy smiled. "I appreciate that, Bruce. Thanks. Maybe we can discuss some upgrades to the clock tower, too."

"Sure."

The door to Kathy and Maggie's bedroom opened, and Terry walked out. He closed the door behind him and walked down the steps and over to Bruce.

Bruce looked at him. "You ready to go?"

Terry nodded. "Yeah." He looked at Kathy and Maggie. "Ladies."

Kathy and Maggie nodded at him.

Terry looked at Chelsea, who was sitting on the couch. "See ya, Chels."

"See ya."

Barbara, Bruce, and Terry walked over to the elevator. Barbara pushed a button. The doors opened, they got in, and the doors closed.

"Well, I could use a beer." Maggie headed up the steps and to the kitchen.

Kathy smiled. "Great idea. Get one for each of us. I'll round everyone up. We'll meet outside."

Chelsea took off her mask, stood up, walked up the steps, and opened the door to Kathy and Maggie's bedroom. Dana was sitting on the far side of the bed, facing away from the door, her head lowered.

"Hey."

Dana turned and looked at her. "Wanna have it out with me?"

Chelsea walked into the room and closed the door behind her.

"Actually, we're getting beers and heading outside for some fresh air." Chelsea walked over to the bed and sat to Dana's left. "We can talk at home later."

"Let's talk now. I need to know where we stand."

Chelsea thought carefully about what to say. "I still love you. I don't approve of what you've done, though."

"And what did you do?" Dana asked her. "You paralyzed Nelson but then didn't finish him off. You wanted him to live for years, perhaps decades, as a mind trapped in a useless body. That's cruel."

Chelsea got angry. "Don't turn this around on me. I stopped a seemingly unstoppable threat. The fact that I showed mercy instead of killing him was based on my own personal beliefs."

"Instead of his wishes!" Dana yelled back. "You were content to sentence him to an agonizing limbo. I was the one that showed him mercy."

"By killing him?" Chelsea asked her.

"Yes!" Dana replied.

"You murdered him, Dana."

"Oh, fuck you!" Dana yelled. "Fuck! You! I stood there and watched him suffer until you gave me the opportunity to do what you wouldn't."

"I couldn't!" Chelsea yelled back. "In my view, it wasn't right! And I wouldn't have felt good about myself afterward."

Dana folded her arms over her chest. "Damn selfish of you. So how do you feel now?"

"I said I still love you, didn't I?" Chelsea asked her. "I wouldn't have covered for you otherwise."

"And if you ever get too frustrated with me?" Dana asked her.

"I won't. Y'know, it sounds like you're trying to push me away." Chelsea paused and stared into Dana's eyes. "Listen, we're probably never gonna agree on this, so let's not speak of it again."

"Fine with me."

Chelsea paused and then leaned over to kiss Dana on the lips.

Dana pulled away. "Terry wants to get back together with me."

Chelsea was surprised. "Oh?"

"Yeah. Nothing like fighting a battle together to make you miss someone."

Chelsea fell silent.

Dana shrugged. "I know, probably a bad idea. I'm probably just a consolation prize after Melanie rejected him, and I have every reason to tell him to fuck off-"

"I think you should. Date him, I mean."

Dana was surprised. "Really?"

"Yeah, really. Don't date him exclusively, of course, but...date him. We're still young, and I don't want you to feel you have to date only me. I want you to keep your options open."

"And if I decide I wanna be with Terry?" Dana asked her.

"Well, I'll be disappointed." Chelsea smiled. "In the meantime, though, I'm gonna fight like hell for you. You're one of the reasons that I became Batwoman, and I cherish you."

Dana gave Chelsea a small smile. "Okay. Game on."

They sat in silence for a moment. Chelsea took her cell phone out of her Batsuit and opened her playlist. She pressed Play and set her phone on the bed. "Kiss from a Rose" by Katherine Jenkins started playing.

Dana looked at Chelsea. Chelsea offered her right hand to Dana. Dana took hold of it with her left hand. The two of them stood up, drew close, and started dancing with each other.

"There used to be a graying tower alone on the sea. You became the light on the dark side of me. Love remained a drug that's the high and not the pill. But did you know, that when it snows, my eyes become large, and the light that you shine can be seen? Baby, I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the gray. Ooh, the more I get of you, the stranger it feels, yeah. And now that your rose is in bloom, a light hits the gloom on the gray. There is so much someone can tell you, so much she can say. You remain my power, my pleasure, my pain!"

As the song ended, Chelsea kissed Dana on the lips.


Kathy, Maggie, Chelsea, Dana, Deanna, Melanie, Jackie, and Blade walked outside and sat in front of the smashed clock face. On the home theater system, "All You Wanted" by Michelle Branch played.

Maggie sipped her beer and sighed. "Well, it's been quite a day."

"And yet we survived." Kathy looked at the six young women and smiled. "Thanks to all of you."

Jackie smiled. "So does that mean we're officially heroes now?"

Maggie nodded. "I'd say so."

Blade smiled. "Do we get our own cool costumes?"

Kathy laughed. "We'll see."

Jackie kissed Blade on the lips, and then they drank their beers.

Melanie sipped her beer. "A new costume sounds nice. Ten isn't a face card, so my old costume sucked. Seriously, what the fuck was that?"

Deanna slowly sipped her beer, her mind occupied.

Melanie noticed. "You okay?"

Deanna shrugged. "I guess. I was just thinking about how close that I came to..." She couldn't finish the sentence.

Melanie took hold of Deanna's left hand with her right hand. They linked fingers. Deanna looked at Melanie.

Melanie smiled at her. "But you didn't. Neither of us did. I think we've learned to overcome the darkness within us."

Dana briefly cast her eyes downward, uneasy, but then she took a large swallow of her beer and looked back up at them.

Melanie kissed Deanna on the lips. Deanna was a bit surprised, but she didn't protest. The others smiled at them. When Melanie finished the kiss, Deanna grinned at her.

Kathy smiled as she sipped her beer. "Y'know, maybe I oughta start a new painting. Make one of all of Team Batwoman."

Chelsea looked at her. "And maybe come up with a better name. This team is more than just Batwoman. It's gone...beyond."

"Got anything in mind?" Dana asked Chelsea.

Chelsea briefly looked at her and then sipped her beer as she thought about it.

"If you want to, I can save you. I can take you away from here. So lonely inside, so busy out there, and all you wanted was somebody who cares."

Suddenly, a large flock of birds flew past them.

Chelsea smiled as inspiration struck. "Hmmm..."

The End?