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October 15, 2012
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A little background before this story begins. A few nights before this; Batman and Robin arrived in Brooklyn and proceeded to piss off Joseph/Ronin because Robin drugged his dog and threatened Sam, Joseph's little brother. They also broke into Joseph's bunker under his house to find out more about him. Stressed out about what happened, Joseph went on another patrol. However, Batman followed and gave him criticisms as he fought. The two vigilantes finally confronted each other; Batman pointed out that Joseph still had a long way to go, etc. Joseph snapped, punching Batman through a brick wall. His powers finally manifested for the first time, but in an uncontrollable rage, Joseph attacked Batman. Batman managed to subdue Joseph and knocked him unconscious; while Joseph rested in his bunker, Batman and Co (Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Alfred and Titus (though those last two stayed in the bunker)), with some unwilling assistance from Sam, uncovered Joseph's full origin as well as how he figured out many of the identities of the Bat-family.

When Joseph woke up, he was still a bit angry, especially since Batman and Co had basically taken over his case. He stubbornly refused to help them from that point; stating that Bruce had brought the madness of Gotham to his city, and felt like they were not treating him with respect. Batman and Nightwing are somewhat astonished by Joseph's hot headedness and stubborness, since they were traits they never really seen in him before; but Batman chalks this up to Joseph being a "kid." During all this, Damian and Sam have not been getting along at all; with Damian practically bullying Sam in his own home (Bruce, Dick and Alfred tell him to stop). Later, Joseph confides in Nightwing that he's having second thoughts about refusing Batman's help. However, the next afternoon is to be a party at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden where Joseph's grandmother Gladys Kane is raising money for Actors Equity. Joseph, however, "forgets" to invite the Waynes; but he and Sam go as Joseph helped to organize the party. Alfred, who traveled with Bruce to aid him in New York (and to keep an eye on Titus), suggests that Bruce and Damian should "gatecrash"; because that many wealthy people in one spot might be a target.

And on with the story.

At the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, a fundraiser is being held in the summer sun. Numerous society people gather in the Conservatory, where several tables and an open bar are surrounded by lush plants (NOTE: This is different than how the actual BBG Conservatory is constructed, but we could add an additional glass building to make it work). Joseph is mingling with several people while Sam sits at a nearby table in his own little tuxedo and looking uncomfortable. On Joseph's arm is an older woman who is dressed elegantly and is obviously the hostess. She is his grandmother, Broadway star Gladys Kane.

Gladys: Joseph, you remember your "Aunties" Bernadette and Patti.

Joseph greets his two "Aunts" (they look like Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone respectively)

Joseph: Ladies, so good to see you.

Patti: You've grown, Joseph; you've become a confident young man before my eyes.

Joseph: (blushing) Thanks Aunt Patti.

Bernadette: (sees Sam) Oh, there's my precious little Sammy. (Sam comes over and lets her kiss him on the cheek) I heard you've been listening to the original cast recording of Into the Woods.

Sam: Yeah; you were an awesome Witch, Aunt Bernadette.

Bernadette: Thank you, Sam. (to Gladys) Is Stephen here; he and I were supposed to talk about that revival of....

Gladys: He's here, but this is a party. We shouldn't talk business, Bernadette.

Patti: I just want this new production of Company to get going; Neil and I just want to get the show on the road.

Joseph chuckles as he starts walking around, talking to guests (if we can get many Broadway actor cameos in there as possible, that would be awesome). Sam follows, and soon pulls on Joseph's pants leg.

Sam: Joey...

Joseph: What, Sam....

He looks and sees Bruce and Damian, in tuxes, arguing with the doorman.

Joseph: Oh for the love of....

He starts walking towards them, but his grandmother beats him to it.

Gladys: Bruce, darling; I didn't know you were in town!

Bruce: Gladys Kane, still the Queen of Broadway. Sorry to have crashed the party, but Manhattan is so dull these days.

Gladys: No worries, Bruce; and this must be your son.

Damian: (a tad terse) Pleasure to meet you ma'am.

Gladys: Must take after his mother.

Joseph: (under his breath) You've no idea

Gladys: Joseph, why didn't you tell me Bruce Wayne was in town.

Joseph: I didn't think it was that important....

Bruce: Your grandson was very kind enough to let Damian, me and my oldest adopted son Dick stay at his house for the time being.

Gladys: That's Joseph, generous to a fault.

Joseph now has a VERY fake smile on his face.

Joseph: (practically speaking through clenched jaws) Grandma, they don't have an invitation.....

Gladys: Joseph, his money is as good as anyone's; and we have more than enough food.

Joseph: Hope you have enough drinks at the bar.

Gladys: What's the matter with you?

Joseph begins to speak, but Bruce interrupts him

Bruce: Joseph told me he's been having a lot of stress at work.

Gladys: I know; he really needs to relax.

Bruce: You know Joseph, total workaholic.

Gladys: I know. Joseph, dear; relax and enjoy the party. Go get yourself some sort of canape and a soda.

Joseph: Yes, Grandma.

Joseph walks away.

Gladys: You and Damian can sit at our table. Sam, please be nice to young Master Wayne while I attend to our guests.

Sam: (nervously) Yes, Grandma.

Damian sits next to an uncomfortable Sam.

Damian: Where's your walking carpet?

Sam: Barkley is NOT a walking carpet! Besides, he's at home; dogs aren't allowed in the Gardens

Damian: -tt- Like I give a damn

Sam: Psycho

Damian: Coward

Meanwhile Bruce has sidled up to the bar where Joseph is getting a ginger ale

Joseph: Well Bruce, what can I get you? Martini, Beer, Champagne…(under his breath, angrily) Arsenic.

Bruce: Champagne (whispers) You treat all your guests like this?

Joseph: (whispers) Only the unwelcome ones. Why are you here?

Bruce gets a drink from the bartender and he and Joseph start walking

Bruce: You should reconsider helping the investigation.

Joseph: Why? For you to take over every little thing? I've had enough micromanagement in my life; thank you, but my answer is still no.

Bruce: Look, I understand your want for independence and to do things your way; but you can't reach your full potential until you let go of your ego and accept help. I'm perfectly willing to give you advice....

Joseph: And what do I do in return? Give up what I've planned to do until I reach your standards? Set myself back?

Bruce: Joseph, I'm telling this for your own good; stop being a stubborn ass and accept help for once in your life. If not for yourself, but those you care about, for your city. You are not trained or experienced yet to survive if you crossed paths with any of them; I should know.

Joseph: Oh, you think I can't handle myself even though I spent half my life training for it.

Bruce: You can handle it, surviving it is another question.

Joseph: Why can't you trust me to do things....

Joseph begins to continue, but then sneezes.

Joseph: (taking out a tissue) Damn allergies!

Bruce: I thought you were healthy as a horse

Joseph: Healthier than that; but I still have some childhood maladies to beat. (takes out a bottle of pills, takes one and swallows it with a sip of ginger ale) Simple antihistamine. Funny, there shouldn't be any triggers in here.

Bruce: Any plant allergies?

Joseph: Certain pollens, why? (sees a look in Bruce's eyes) Oh no…no, not here!

Bruce gives a signal and he and Damian head to the door.

Gladys: Where are you and your son going, Bruce?

Bruce: Just for a walk, I'll be right back.

Gladys nods. She then walks to the podium.

Gladys: Can I have everyone's attention, please? So far this, we have raised 1 million dollars for Actors Equity! This money will go to arts programs around the city, to the Equity Fights AIDS Charity, and for the continued renovations of our beloved theaters....

Voice: (off panel) And it's all mine.....

Everyone starts looking around for the source of the voice. Then, the ground rumbles, and a giant flower erupts from the ground. Poison Ivy steps out of the flower.

Ivy: And I will free these plants.....

Batman and Robin land on the roof of the Conservatory

Batman: (narrating) Leave it to New Yorkers to say 'meh, seen it' to Poison Ivy.

Robin: Guess the party is ruined. (to Batman) Why doesn't Kane just run out and become his alter ego?

Batman: Because he was too stubborn and prideful to think anyone he cares about would get hurt.

Ivy: I will take this money, I will free the plants trapped in this prison of glass and steel, and you will feed them.

The crowd begins to be afraid.

Ivy: And no one, not even a pair of Gotham pests, can save you!

She has a vine reach up and attack Batman and Robin. They jump to avoid the vine and crash through the glass ceiling and into battle with Poison Ivy. Joseph opens the doors of the Conservatory.

Joseph: EVERYONE OUT NOW!

The guests run out of the doors; but as Joseph is escorting his grandmother and Sam out the door; a giant vine blocks their way.

Gladys: Joseph, what's going on?

Joseph: I think a Gotham crazy really wants her money, Grandma.

Gladys: But...I give money to conservation societies!

Joseph: Yeah...she would consider it to be a very minor step.

Sam: I'm scared.

Gladys holds onto Sam. Joseph looks around and has an idea.

Joseph: Grandma, take Sam and hide in the Ladies Room, ASAP.

Gladys: Don't get too hurt, dear; your father gets really cranky when he's angry, I should know I raised him.

Joseph smiles as Sam and their grandmother run off. When they are in safety, Joseph picks up an aerosol can of pesticides. He then spots a lighter several feet away. In the meanwhile, Batman and Robin are fighting Ivy and her plants.

Ivy: Trees do grow in Brooklyn, Batman; as do plants! And did you know this Conservatory contains quite the variety of Venus Fly Traps?

Several giant Venus Fly Traps crash through a wall and head towards Robin. He begins fighting them as Batman and Ivy fight.

Batman: (narrating as he fights) Ivy is rarely interested in money; but the rare plants in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens is something she would kill to steal. Unfortunately, this room is where they are kept. But she's rarely this bold, this brazen when it comes to her crimes. Someone must have promised her a major payoff to do this; the same person who is setting Joseph up for a fall.

A giant vine nearly crushes Joseph as he heads toward the lighter, he somersaults over it as it comes crashing down.

Joseph: You got to be kidding me! (grabs the lighter) Thank God for nicotine addicted actors!

He grabs the lighter, flicks it on and preps the aerosol can.

Joseph: Robin, duck!

Robin complies as Joseph uses his makeshift flamethrower on the Venus Fly Traps. They scream in pain, as does their mistress. She lashes out and wraps Joseph in thorny vines.

Ivy: MURDERER!

Joseph struggles to get out of the vines, which keep constricting him. He begins to get several cuts.

Batman: (narrating) Why isn't he using his powers to free himself? He is more than strong enough to burst through those vines. (A close up on Joseph's face sees that he's struggling and panicking. Batman has a moment of realization) His powers must only work sometimes; he can't free himself. Guess there is more to these powers of his than we thought.

Batman throws a batarang, freeing Joseph who falls to the ground. Batman proceeds to fight and defeat Ivy. Her mutant plants melt into compost. Batman and Robin help Joseph into the waiting hands of paramedics before disappearing.

Later that night, in the Bunker.

Alfred: Doctor Kane....

Joseph: (putting on his Ronin gear) Alfred, that makes me sound old.

Alfred: Master Joseph, you should rest. What you experienced today....

Joseph: I'm fine, Alfred; my city needs me and a few scratches won't stop me.

Batman: Would you mind a little help; or are you going to flat out deny it.

Joseph is silent, Batman continues.

Batman: Look, you're very good, but not good enough yet. I will give you pointers and criticism, but I promise to hold back until this is over.

Joseph: All of it? The Arkham escapees? Finding out who has been trying to drag my name into the mud? Who has been causing chaos for us both? (thinks, smiles) I guess I could accept some help. (becomes a bit more serious) Actually, I think I really need it; this is a bit too big for me.

Nightwing: Good for you, Joseph; you're finally admitting you need help.

Joseph: Oh shut up, Circus Boy! Now, let's get going.

Robin: Do you have any leads anyways, noobie?

Joseph: Watch it, homunculus! Sam?

Sam activates a holographic map.

Joseph: We have several sightings. Mr. Freeze is attacking the Diamond District, probably to get fuel for his suit.

Robin: It seems Mad Hatter has taken over FAO Schwartz

Nightwing: Scarecrow is scaring the tourists in Times Square

Batman: Zsasz is attacking people in Central Park

Sam: Riddler is trying to steal stuff from the Brooklyn Museum. (brightens) That's a first, someone big robbing the Brooklyn Museum instead of the Metropolitan.

Robin: -TT- I can't believe you're celebrating the fact a bad guy is targeting your lame Brooklyn Museum.

Sam: It's not lame! And I'm just excited that Brooklyn isn't out of the action.

Batman: You two be quiet!

Joseph: Can you not yell at my brother, Bruce? You are technically a guest.

Batman: Any intel on Joker?

Joseph: Nothing yet; but I have a hunch that he might show up in Coney Island.

Robin: Because it's a location in oh so glorious Brooklyn?

Joseph: (rolling eyes) No, because it's the logical place.

Robin: Joker is anything but logical.

Joseph applies his mask to his face and puts on his hat; he is now Ronin.

Ronin: I'll take FAO Schwartz.

Nightwing: I'll take the Brooklyn Museum; and I'll make sure none of the exhibits are damaged, Joseph.

Ronin: I'll take your word for it.

Batman: Robin will take Central Park, and I'll deal with Scarecrow. We will then meet at my location and we'll take down Mr. Freeze.

Ronin: Sam can feed us intel on the go.

Batman: Are we clear?

Ronin: Yes.

Nightwing: I'm surprised you aren't pissed that Bruce is taking charge.

Ronin: For once, I'll bow to his experience.

Batman: Move out.

Soon a series of vehicles move on the ramps and out the secret entrances of Joseph's bunker to their targets. Sam and Alfred turn to the computer as Barkley and Titus watch.
Joseph is not to keen on having the Bat-Family basically take over his bunker, his investigation and his city even though they are technically trying to clear his name and figure out who is really behind this crime empire. A party being held by his grandmother at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens should ease his mind. I mean...it's not like one of the escaped Arkham criminals will attack, right?

Joseph and Sam Kane, etc belong to me

Batman et al belongs to DC Comics

And I do recommend the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (which is a real place; wiki it, it's wonderful!) should you come to visit!

Reference Links:

Intro Arc Plot Outline: [link]

Brooklyn Botanical Garden main site: [link]

Brooklyn Botanical Garden Wiki page: [link]
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