Written by Nick Bryan
(Dedicated to Archie Goodwin)
Legends of Gotham Edited by Erik Burnham
Formatted by Jason Tippitt
A lorry loading in a yard in Gotham City. The sign on the side of the truck read
"Alpha Bakery," but the contents were different. Small packets of white powder
going to San Francisco. Whilst the contents of the lorry when it arrived were now on their
way to Santa Prisca, the man behind the wheel turned out of Chalfont loading yard and
began his long journey to San Fran. Sarah Challa was hanging upside down in a drug
storehouse spying on its occupants. And if that sounds odd for one of the most eligible
society-girls in town, you're right. But Sarah is not currently wearing one of her
trademark low-cut ball gowns. She is wearing a functional all-over black jumpsuit. Not the
sort of thing you pose for photos in. But it is the suit Sarah wears rather a lot. Because
she has had years of martial arts training virtually since birth, and she, in her
night-time identity as the Lady Shiva, is currently devoting her time to finishing the
operations of Zorro, San Fran's resident crimelord. The lorry rolled in, full of Venom
ready to travel the streets. The unloading began. Shiva knew exactly what she was going to
do. She was going to find the source. Then she was going to eradicate it.
- Tim Drake was also not someone who shied away from the society spotlight. Not during the
day, anyway. But it was now 1:00 a.m. He pulled on the cowl.
- "What crime was committed, and when did it happen?"
- "Ha ha." Tim smiled sarcastically.
- "What DO you want?"
- "I want to know if anything I may be interested in has happened lately."
- "Nope. Not. Nada."
- "Go away."
- "Yes, miss."
- The lorry started on its return journey early that morning. Driver in the front. Drugs
and five goons to load in the back. The Lady Shiva on the roof. And it was being watched.
- The camera moved to follow the lorry. Zorro frowned. He made a habit of watching his
drug shipment over the last few days since he learnt that Shiva had found his supply
warehouse by catching sight of her on a camera. Not that it was easy.
- He thought he saw something twitch. He still couldn't really see her until he used his
heat scan process on the tape. He knew he had a problem then.
- The way it worked was that the people from Santa Prisca gave him Venom, then he used his
machines to enhance it further and give some of it back.
- And as the truck passed, he shot the heat scanner over the tape. Then he grinned. He had
her. On top of his truck. He had the seeds of an idea blossoming. His drug network was
huge. It had other ports. If they temporarily lost Chalfont, it wouldn't dig too far into
profits. He looked up the phone number of Gotham Advertising Daily ("Sell anything
NOW!") and placed a one-day advert.
- Next Zorro bombed the motorway, causing a major holdup. And he made sure the lorry
wouldn't get there for a little while. Until night fell. He knew Shiva had almost infinite
patience, and would wait there until she got where she was going.
- It was the night in the Batcave. For half an hour, Tim had been slouching around doing
nothing. Then he picked up his copy of Gotham Advertising Daily ("Sell anything
NOW!") and skimmed it. Finally he saw the ad.
- "HEY, ALFRED!"
- "You have enough cars already, sir."
- Tim looked up at him with a look that would silence anyone. Except a computer. Alfred
shut up anyway. Tim walked over and showed him the ad.
- "Very interesting."
- Then it appeared on the screen:
Dolls! Rings! Umbrellas! Greenery! Shrubs
Stay tuned for details of the show at Chalfont Harbor!
- "That is interesting sir."
- "You're damn right it is. I haven't licensed any merchandising." Tim frowned.
- "Look at the first letters of the five exclamations."
- "D.... R..... UG........ S.... Drugs!"
- "Yes. At Chalfont."
- "No. Whoever left this hint must have left a time for us to go there...."
- "LOOK!" Tim shouted. "The phone number!"
- Alfred looked. the number was.... a date... today.... and a time.
- "In an hour..."
- "I wonder who it was?" Tim pondered.
- "Well, on a night as dull as this, it's worth checking out." Alfred reasoned.
- "You don't need to persuade me. I'm THERE," Tim muttered. He pulled on his
cowl and wandered over to the Batmobile.
- It was half past two at Chalfont harbor. The lights twinkled in the sky as the
"Alpha Bakery" truck roared into the street. Shiva looked up and saw a ship
bearing the national flag of Santa Prisca. That was all she needed. She prepared to
- What Shiva did not know was that the Batman was perched above her on a roof. He had seen
the boat and the truck and jumped to the same, correct, conclusion. What he hadn't seen
- He leapt down in front of the truck. Shiva saw him and realized it was time to act. She
detonated her mini-bomb and leapt into the back of the truck. She reached through the hole
into the cockpit and snapped the driver's neck.
- Tim realized the truck wasn't stopping. Then it began to swerve across the road. He was
NOT going to die being run over by drug runners. He leapt past the front of the truck and
pulled open the passenger door. He moved to wrestle the wheel from the driver, then
realized the driver wasn't doing much to resist. Or drive the thing, anyway. Shock from
seeing him? Batman moved him forward, and his head lolled back unnaturally. Broken neck.
- Shiva kicked one into a box of the stronger Venom derivative that the crooks had, and he
fell through and down. She stomped on his neck, and he died. Then she leapt out of the
truck after the other four.
- Batman used a charge to get into the back. He saw the open back doors. The crook lying
in a mound of Venom with a broken neck. The hole in the roof. And some more crooks being
beaten up outside.
- The Leopard blow is a very good way of killing people. A straight shot to the face that
drives the sinuses back into the brain. And Shiva had just done it to two of them.
- The other two were fated the go the same way. She swept her foot around, and one of them
fell to the ground. Grabbing the other one by the neck, she flipped up and landed on the
grounded one's chest shins first, whilst driving the other one's face into the road.
- Zorro was busy. Whilst watching this fun from a camera in the truck, he had dispatched
one of his goon squads to Gotham. He wanted both heroes dead.
- Batman started running towards Shiva. Then a drug-runner hit him full-on. He lifted the
man up with both hands. For a second he was open to a full-on kick to the face. He hit the
floor of the truck hard.
- As he forced himself up, the crook with two shin-shaped holes in his organs hit him in
the chest. As the blood ran down his costume, Batman cast him aside and tried to make
another attack on Shiva. He didn't succeed, because the third man hit him while Shiva was
swinging him around her head as if she was throwing a hammer.
- When Batman fell back, she threw the hammer. Into Batman's face. He was not having a
good day. What kind of person uses bodies as weapons? His unspoken question was answered
when Shiva used the next one as a human shield while she tried to knock him back.
- Batman didn't want to have to break the dead man up more than he already was if
possible. But he didn't have to. Shiva hurled him back. She tripped Batman up in the
process, but at least she put the body down!
- Zorro loved bloodsport, and this was the ultimate in bloodsport!
- "Why are we fighting again?" asked Batman as he tried to stay out of her
- "Because I've got a drugs run to stop," Shiva said, barely audibly, "and
you're in the way."
- "HEY! Don't let me stop you?"
- "I don't intend to. I want you out the way. Because the next bit of my little plan,
you will not like."
- "And it is...?"
- "I'm not a criminal." And with these words, Shiva broke the conversation off
with a high kick in Batman's direction. Batman tried to block it and partially succeeded.
But then his raised arms were grabbed and thrown back and over. Batman hit the floor
- Tim hovered between consciousness and sleep. For the first time he got a good look at
his assailant. A woman? Great. Thrashed by a woman. Clearly some kind of martial arts
expert. He isn't in her league. Not close. Natural stamina and agility only go so far when
you're up against someone who moves so fast and kills that easily.
- Then he asked why he's still alive. He answered it as well. She said she wanted me
"out of the way." That doesn't have to mean dead.
- He saw her move over to the stacked Venom derivative and take a box. She moved smoothly.
If it wasn't a simple fact that people have to walk, Batman would say she was.... gliding
or something. As she flipped down to the ground he had an irrational thought before he
passed out. Nice ass.
- Shiva found a phone in Chalfont loading yard and dialed the police. She said,
"Chalfont," then hung up. The next stage began in a minute.
- She swam like a fish around the Santa Priscan boat and placed the charges. She clambered
up the side and listened to the captain ordering to pull out in his Santa Priscan dialect,
saying they had waited long enough.
- She smiled and dove into the sea. Moving with the grace of a dolphin, she pressed a
button in a waterproof case on her belt. The charges exploded and the entire drug-running
ship, the size of a reasonable sized fishing boat, seemed to be drifting on fire for a
second. Then for another second it stayed afloat. Then it started to sink.
- As she pushed her hand up on the dock, she saw the police running along the pier. And
she saw another policeman by the truck. Then she recovered her box of Venom from the
middle of the pier and went about her duties.
- Constable Goodwin was new on the beat. He was the youngest constable in the GCPD. So
while his comrades checked out the boat, he had to do this.
- He wandered in. He thought he could smell blood. He turned on the flashlight and saw
something he thought he would never have to see. Six dead men.
- He flashed his light around and saw another figure. His chest was moving up and down. He
- But that's not what Goodwin noticed about him. The thing that Goodwin noticed was the
costume. "Omigoah..." he muttered. "It's the B... Batman....."
- Constable Goodwin looked up from the man sprawled on the floor at
his commanding officer, running toward the van after Goodwin had raised him on the radio.
Then a van screeched around the corner. The goons started to emerge.
- Shiva was on a nearby rooftop, getting ready to finish the job.
She had done her research before coming to Gotham. She knew that occasions like this, when
both the truck and the ship were at Chalfont simultaneously, were rare. That's why she had
chosen this night. Usually the boat left its load in a nearby warehouse and picked up the
load left there by the last lorry. Then later a lorry came along, grabbed this load, then
left its load there for collection by a later boat.
- Shiva didn't want this to continue. And she had found the
warehouse. In fact, she was currently standing on top of it. And in a minute she would get
in there. But now she was seeing what would happen to the Batman. Then........
- In the van were four gunmen, poised to shoot, and five members of
Riley, a ninja group usually hired by Zorro. And a driver. Shiva leapt across the
- As the gun was leveled at Batman, the van shook as Shiva landed on
it. The gun wobbled, then was removed. Before the gunman could react to this, a foot shot
through his shooting gap and shoved his sinuses back into his brain.
- Twenty-four seconds later the windscreen had shattered, and the
driver was dead. The other gunmen were also deceased. Then the Riley ninjas burst out of
the van, while Shiva was on top. Shiva managed to back flip out of the way of a hostile
foot, but slightly wrong-footed herself. Lucky shot.
- Then, as the Riley ninja prepared to knock her head open, a small
metallic boomerang hammered into his groin. Batman was conscious. Shiva was slightly
irritated by this. She could have handled him herself.
- Batman leapt over her head. "Thought you could need a
- This is not what you say to the Lady Shiva if you want to get into
her good graces. Her foot hacked behind his legs, forward and around. Batman fell out of
the sky, and Shiva leapt over HIS head. As Batman tried to punch her back, she took
advantage of the fact he was still slightly groggy and flipped him backwards towards the
- Batman, having been conscious for one minute, crumpled. Shiva
dealt with the remaining ninjas reasonably quickly. Whilst they bled their lifeblood down
a conveniently placed drain, she grabbed Batman and went back to her warehouse where the
load of Venom she had stolen from the drug-runners.
- The big finale was reasonably simple. She grinned, propping Batman
up against a rafter. They were concealed in the roof of the warehouse. Then she broke open
the pack of Venom and filled a syringe. A group from San Fran arrived to clear the
warehouse. Shiva shoved the syringe into Batman's arm and squeezed. Then she kicked him
off the rafters.
- You'd be amazed what an effect Venom can have on people. If you
are an antisocial criminal, it turns you into a mass destroyer. If you are a murderer,
you'll kill thousands. And if you long for justice, it turns you into an avenging tornado.
- Batman fell, landed, and went wild. He landed a volley of punches
on the two men. One fell instantly. The other was strong and put up a fight. For roughly
8.2 seconds, then he went down with a broken cheekbone and a snapped wrist.
- Shiva smiled and pushed the rest of her pack of Venom onto
Batman's head. He collapsed, sweating like a demon. When he started to rise, she pressed a
button, and a small charge in a pile of Venom went off. This knocked every box of Venom
onto the floor. The white mist filled the air, and he fell again. Shiva decided to end
this bit and do the big finale. She blew up the warehouse.
- As Tim Drake was finding out, nothing like a large explosion to
clear your head. Though he was still having a drug problem, he was feeling a bit better.
- He looked up, noted the burning beam about to break his neck, and
leapt to the side, dodging it and subsequent debris. The fire consumed him, almost. He
felt off balance. Dizzy.
- He ran forward and saw a boulder getting to his head. And a rock
in the way. He had to focus. The drug. The Venom. Strength. And he leapt towards it.
- With four hits, he had shattered the boulder. A shard zipped
through his costume and into his arm. Then he started to fall. He threw a line to a
rafter. It caught, and he started to climb up.
- Unfortunately he suffered solidarity problems with the line. The
rafter snapped. It was half burnt, so it was no surprise, just irritating. As he plunged,
he tried to latch another line to a wall. It missed. He hit the floor with no time before
a rafter hit him.
- On the way down, he noticed the people he had beaten up whilst on
Venom crawling out firther down. He couldn't get there. He'd worry about them later.
- He tried to knock the rocks out of the way and partially
succeeded. Then he felt a great feeling of triumph as his hand found fresh air. Then he
felt very little when a rafter and half a roof hit him.
- The Lady Shiva sat there watching the Batman scuffle through the
rubble with amusement. She wondered if maybe Batman was sick of being rendered unconscious
yet. She noted with interest that the warehouse was about to fall down. The comparatively
small, but still pretty large, amount that remained of it.
- She suddenly thought of something and grabbed the Batman's hand.
She struck a supporting rock, and while the surrounding rubble shifted, she yanked him
out. He thudded onto the floor. Then the warehouse collapsed.
- Shiva slung Batman over her shoulder and leapt over the end of the
dock. The explosion lightly singed Shiva's jumpsuit as she fell rather ungracefully into
the water. Luckily it put her costume out. Unluckily, she was having a bit of difficulty
getting both herself and Batman up.
- Then she noticed a red splash in the water. Batman's arm. Rock
fallen on it. He was losing blood. Another reason to get him up and out. She then noticed
something else. She threw Batman up against a post of the dock, grabbed a few torn-off
pieces of his costume's sleeve, and tied him to the post.
- She saw a scuba mask with a minute or so of air in it hanging on
the belt. She hooked it on, then she swam up and out.
- She knew unless he woke up, she only had a minute. She saw a
sachet of powdered Venom. She thought of an idea. After sealing the sachet away and
grabbing a small blob of the powder, she dived in. She looked at his face. The bit she
could see. Going blue. Air out. She pulled off the mask, opened his mouth, and shoved half
the powdered Venom onto his tongue. Then she elbowed him in the gullet.
- He swallowed the powder and started to squirm. Shiva backed away
as he hyperactively snapped the straps. He came back to himself after that and swam to the
surface. As Shiva flipped up, Batman managed to regain equal liquid content of his lungs.
- "So," he grinned, "want a rematch?"
- Shiva did not take to kindly to wisecracks. She spat out a
mouthful of liquid. "One more of those shots, and you won't know much else."
- Batman decided not to bother. He wasn't in top condition. And
speaking of that... he looked at his arm. Hacked open. He found a piece of cloth in his
utility belt and managed to stem the bleeding, but clearly neither Shiva nor Batman was
having a good day.
- A couple of seriously irritated bruisers came from the drugs
warehouse. One with a few bruises. One with a broken cheekbone bandaged and a rather
tough-looking leather gauntlet supporting his wrist.
- Batman and Shiva took one each. Batman went for the one with the
broken bones; Shiva took the other one.
- Batman swung a kick at the man's wrist, but he pulled it a bit too
much to avoid damaging his wrist more. The gauntlet deflected it, then his opponent landed
a punch. On his arm. He fell back and prepared to retaliate.
- Shiva was enjoying it a bit more. The punch she threw knocked the
enemy back as Batman was blocked. Then she managed to get behind him with an elaborate
back flip. One quick neck snap later, she looked at how Batman was getting on.
- One roundhouse kick later, Batman finally made contact. The enemy
staggered back into the edge of the pier. He hadn't noticed. One hard punch later sent him
spiraling off the end. Batman heard his shouts all the way down. For a second. Then
silence. Batman looked down the edge. Gone.
- A loud snap punctured the night air. From behind him. He ran over.
Two dead bruisers. He had a pretty good idea who had this idea.
- He noticed something in the darkness a few metres away. He didn't
particularly want to bring her in. She did her bit. Though he could do without the grisly
- Shiva could go home now. Zorro wasn't going to be running drugs
through Chalfont for a little while. One last little issue. The Batman. She could leave.
But, she reasoned, as her actual personality began to break into the cold, calculating
murderer act, the idea she had just had could be great fun. Just one last knockout.
- She leapt slightly out of her native shadows just as he was
looking her way. He ventured towards the area, and she dropped down behind him.
- "Evening. Nice of you to nearly get me killed. Who are
- "I'm the Lady Shiva. You might have read about my
predecessors in your predecessor's files."
- "Very deep. Care to explain yourself?"
- "I was just doing a little anti-drugs patrol. The runners are
from my native San Fransisco, which you are to stay away from on threat of death."
- "Nice to know."
- She moved towards him. While Batman thought he would be able to
hold his own, he really was having an anti-knockout period after the massive amount of
time he had recently spent unconscious.
- She rolled her mask up over her mouth and made as if to kiss him.
Tim wondered for a split second what to do. Then he spent yet another nice long period out
of it when Shiva tapped him on the neck as she stretched her arm around him.
- Tim had a very strange dream. The last words he heard were,
"Goodbye, Mr. Drake." Was it the Lady Shiva? No one in sight. Did she know?
- Shiva watched him get up from a gargoyle ahead. She was good at
that sort of thing. She did it quite a lot in her other identity. Hey, whatever gets you
into the tabloids.
- But, the Batman. He seemed to, like herself, alternate reasonably
between two personalities. The "Crusader for justice" and the joke-riddled
version she had recently met. She didn't think much of the former. Idealistic and stupid
about sums it up.
- But the other... interesting. A bit more realistic than the other.
That was where the difference lay. Although she did have two personas, each with separate
personalities, she knew exactly what she was doing with each. She often used Sarah to reap
info. She wasn't sure the same was true for him.
- As Tim wandered back into the cave Alfred asked, "Would you
like a sedative to help you sleep?"
- Not for the first time, TIm wondered how long it would take to
whether delete Alfred's entire computer banks or rewrite his personality.