24 – Two Days Later – Hour 16
The following takes place between 10 am and 11 am
10:00 am – Jack, Bill, Morris and Chloe are standing in a parking lot. They’re still disoriented from the jump. It’s dark out. A nearby sign for Gotham bank shows that the local time is 9 pm.
They hear some screeching tires, and look around. A huge black car with large tail fins roars towards them. The car slams on the brakes, and slides to a halt about two feet away from Chloe. A valet gets out of the car, and says, “Oh! Sorry! I didn’t see you there! The shuttle bus station is two rows over. That will take you up to the party.” He presses a button the keys he’s holding. The car doors lock, and the horn honks as its alarm system arms itself. Chloe mutters something about recharging her taser in case she sees that valet again.
10:02 am – Jack says, “Well, I guess that’s where we’re supposed to go.” They start walking towards the shuttle pickup.
Bill asks, “If that librarian’s idea was right, the terrorists might have been here for hours now. Why haven’t they been waiting for us?”
Morris says, “It’s unlikely they know exactly where we’ll end up. Any chance of them being in the right place to attack us right after we jump is pretty remote. I’m surprised we end up close by at all.”
Chloe says, “I’ve been thinking… We’ve… well, Jack… has been taking out these guys nearly every place we’ve been to so far. You’d think with the number of them that he’s gotten so far, they’d be gone. I think they’re…”
Morris interrupts, “Zombies.”
Chloe says, “’Zombies’? That’s just stupid.”
Morris puts his hand to his check and very sarcastically says, “Hmmm… well let’s see now… We just came from a place where vampires are roaming around freely, and nobody but a bunch of teenagers seem to be aware that the whole town is overrun with them.”
Chloe says, “Yeah… ok, but…”
Morris continues, “…And last year, you told me that you saw Edgar again, apparently risen from the dead as a robot.”
Chloe’s eyes narrow. “You leave Edgar out of this!”
10:04 am – Bill says, “Stop it, you two! We can’t be arguing like this. We have to figure out what we’re doing here. Jack… Jack?” Bill looks around. Jack has stopped and is standing ten feet behind them. He’s using his PDA. Bill repeats, “Jack!”
Jack looks up, “Huh? What? …Hey, I had a thought. I did some quick MTTTS calculations, and realized that the terrorists we’ve been chasing aren’t the same people all the time.”
Bill looks confused, “MTTS?”
Chloe says, “Mean Time To Thigh Shot.” She turns to Jack, “What do you mean, ‘They’re not the same people’?”
Jack says, “I don’t think the people we think we’ve been chasing are the same people each time. I think they might have been in these locations already.”
Morris says, “What makes you say that?”
Jack continues, “Think about it… If these guys always knew we were chasing after them, they wouldn’t be ignoring the fact that we’ve been coming after them. Besides, if they knew we were after them, they wouldn’t be sending small groups of them after us. They’d send everyone they had.”
Chloe says, “What if they’re sending replacements through that doorway we went through? And what about that man with the voice altering device that wears that mask over his face? He’s been in every place we’ve been to…”
Bill says, “Not in that canyon. I don’t remember seeing him in that canyon.”
Jack interrupts, “Wait… If they were still sending replacements, don’t you think they would have been in that warehouse room that we were in? Fenster would never have been able to make that phone call to us. He would have been caught.”
Chloe shrugs, “Look, all I’m saying is, someone’s been tipping them off that we’re around. I still think it’s that guy in the mask.”
10:06 am – The shuttle arrives. The shuttle has a sign that reads, “Museum of Art”. They all get on.
The shuttle takes them to the Gotham Museum of Art. There’s a picture of a man on the building, and underneath the picture are the words, “Our Founder: Art”. Above the doors leading into the museum is a sign that reads, “Wayne Industries Gala”. People get off the shuttle and enter the museum. Some people in expensive cars have opted to drive directly to the museum, and have valets take their cars to the parking lot.
Jack, Chloe, Morris and Bill follow the crowd into the museum and up the stairs to the reception area.
10:10 am – The museum reception area is quite large, with tables around the outside walls. The tables are full of appetizers, which the caterers and wait staff continuously replenish. Jack tells Chloe, Morris and Bill to keep an eye out for anything unusual as they help themselves to the hors d’oeuvres.
A stage with men in tuxedos and women in long dresses is at one end of the reception area. The stage has a banner over it: “Museum of Art Thanks Bruce Wayne”. Art, the man picture on the front of the museum, walks onto the stage and to the microphone at a podium. He says, “Thank you all for coming tonight. I’d especially like to thank Bruce Wayne of Wayne Industries for organizing this fund raising event, and for making a very generous donation to the museum. I’d like him to say a few words”.
10:12 am – The crowd bursts into applause and Bruce Wayne approaches the podium. He waves at the crowd, and the applause dies down. He starts to speak, but is interrupted by a loud bang from somewhere above. Everyone looks up. There’s a clown with green hair and a white face with a megaphone in his hand, standing on the rafters. Someone gasps, “The Joker!”
The Joker says, “A party? And me without an invitation!” He laughs maniacally. “That’s OK. I’ve been helping with the catering.” Everyone looks at the tables, but the caterers are gone. The clown continues, “Unless you meet my demands, everyone here is going to break out into fits of uncontrollable laugher in six hours.” The crowd gasps.
Chloe says, “Oh, great! That’s just great! I go off my diet long enough to eat some hors d’oeuvres, and now I find out they’re poisoned! Jack, what are we going to do? Jack?” She looks around, but doesn’t see Jack. “Morris! Where’s Jack?”
Morris continues to look up at The Joker, . He says, “I don’t know. Maybe he went to the bathroom to throw up…”
10:14 am – A voice from the stage says, “You’ll never get away with this, Joker!” Everyone looks towards the stage, and a man in spandex tights, a mask and a cape is at the microphone. A young man, with a mask over his eyes, a cape and tights is standing next to him.
The Joker says, “Why if it isn’t the Fatman and side kick the Boy Blunder! You won’t stop us this time! We’ve got reinforcements!”
Morris says, “A clown yelling ransom demands at a man dressed in a mask and tights is definitely one of the weirder things we’ve seen.”
10:15 am – Bill points up and says, “Look! It’s Jack!”
Chloe and Morris look over to see Jack climbing up one of the banners, trying to reach The Joker. The Joker seems completely oblivious to Jack.
Batman asks, “Who have you teamed up with this time? The Penguin?”
The Joker says, “No, I heard he’s in sunny Philadelphia.”
Batman asks, “Mr. Freeze?”
The Joker says, “No, he’s in California. I think he ran for office out there.” The Joker laughs. “No, you can guess all you want, but you’ll never guess who it is.”
10:16 am – The Joker has remained distracted long enough for Jack to reach the top of the banner and to swing himself up onto the rafter. Jack sneaks along the rafter towards the Joker, who finally notices him.
The Joker laughs, “Hoo hoo! Someone who thinks he can outwit me! Come here my boy!” He holds out his hands as if giving up. “I’ll come along peacefully.”
Jack takes another step and slips. He looses his balance and tries to grab onto the rafter as he falls, but can’t hold on. He grabs the banner, and is able to keep himself from falling to the floor. The Joker laughs and says, “Oh! Didn’t I tell you? A bit of banana wax works wonders on rafters to keep them nice and shiny!”
10:18 am – The Joker turns back to Batman and grimaces, “Tell Commissioner Gordon he has six hours to deliver 10 million dollars to me at the Old Street Pier!” The Joker climbs to the center of the dome, which opens up. A rope ladder drops down, which The Joker grabs. He grabs onto it and is lifted through the dome.
Whatever influence everyone has been under while watching the exchange between Batman and The Joker wears off, because now that The Joker has left there’s general pandemonium in the museum. People are saying things like, “What do we do?”, “Batman will save us”, and “Will there be more food?”
10:19 am – The police arrive at the museum, and look up. The Chief of Police tells some of his men, “Get that man down off the banner! I want to talk to him!”
10:23 am – Batman is talking with Commissioner Gordon in the commissioner’s office as the Police Chief enters the room with Jack. Chloe, Morris and Bill follow close behind. The Police Chief says, “Batman… Commissioner… Here’s the man that tried to apprehend The Joker.”
Batman says, “Thank you citizen! We appreciate your enthusiasm in trying to apprehend the dastardly doer of these dreadful deeds, but you have to leave these things to the professionals. Here, everyone take these pills, they’re an antidote.” He hands a pill to everyone.
10:24 am – Chloe can’t contain herself any longer. “Professionals? You were just standing there! Hundreds of people poisoned, and you were just standing here.” She steps closer to him, and taps him in the chest with her finger. “You were just standing there, while Jack tried to catch that guy.”
Chloe keeps tapping Batman on the chest and then suddenly stops. She says, “Hey! You’re Bruce Wayne!”
Batman looks shocked, but quickly recovers. “I… I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Chloe turns to everyone in the room. “It is! It’s Bruce Wayne!” Jack, Morris and Bill step forward for a closer look.
Commissioner Gordon says, “Bruce Wayne? Batman? Why that’s preposterous! I don’t think I’ve heard anything so ridiculous in all my life!”
10:26 am – The young man with the mask and tights comes into the room. “Batman! I parked the Batmobile downstairs.”
Chloe becomes more insistent. “That’s Bruce Wayne!” Now Robin looks shocked and surprised. She continues, “Look, I’m sure you two like dressing up in tights, running around, and doing what ever you like to do, and not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m telling you, you’re not fooling anyone with those disguises”
Robin says, “Uh, no ma’am! That’s not Bruce Wayne! Whatever gave you that idea?”
10:27 am – Batman says, “Commissioner, I believe we have more pressing matters to discuss. I sent Bruce Wayne the antidote formula, which he promised to have one of his pharmaceutical laboratories manufacture right away. The first shipment should be sent here soon.”
The police chief turns to Chloe and says, “There, you see? Batman couldn’t be Bruce Wayne because they talked together, and Mr. Wayne will be sending us more of the antidote to hand out.”
10:28 am – Chloe is exasperated. “Are you people dense? He’s the same guy! That’s not even a decent disguise!” She thinks for a moment. “Hey! I bet you’ve never even seen the two of them together before.” She looks self-satisfied. “Bet you can’t explain that!”
The chief looks smug, “Well, as a matter of fact, Miss Know-It-All, I have seen them together. A few times. And in this very office!”
Jack says, “Chloe, let’s just drop it. Quit picking a fight with him. From what The Joker was saying, I’m sure the people we’re after are with him.”
Batman blurts out, “I can prove it!”
Chloe says, “OK. Go ahead!”
10:34 am – Everyone remains in the commissioner’s office while they wait for Batman and Robin to return with Bruce Wayne. Robin enters the room and announces, “Mr. Bruce Wayne, and Batman!”
Bruce Wayne enters the room, and shakes hands with Commissioner Gordon. A moment later, Batman walks in, but a decidedly taller (and older) Batman. There’s a white mustache peeking out of the cowl “Batman” is wearing.
Bruce says, “I received the information from Batman, and the antidote delivery will be here in the next couple of hours, Commissioner Gordon. I was told there was a Doubting Thomasina here, and she thought that…Ha! I was Batman. As you can see, I’m clearly not.” He points at “Batman”, who waves at everyone.
10:36 am – Chloe flips out. “Are you kidding me? He’s at least a foot taller! Bruce Wayne sounds EXACTLY like Batman! This other guy even has a moustache! How can you people not see that??”
The Police Chief says, “Look, miss… I think it’s time to go now.”
10:37 am – Commissioner Gordon says, “Mr. Bauer, I’d like to thank you for trying to help us, but I think Batman has this well in hand.”
Bruce Wayne says, “I think he was being an exemplary citizen. If we had more people like him doing good, we would have a lot less evil in the world.”
Commission Gordon says, “That sounds like something Batman would say. Well said, Bruce.”
Chloe screams, “ARGH! Come on, you guys! Let’s get out of here!” She storms out of the room. Jack, Bill, and Morris follow her out.
10:38 am – The hallway is completely empty. Jack says, “That hasn’t helped us find out where the terrorists are.”
Chloe says, “Sorry, Jack. I just don’t like it when something obviously stupid is happening.”
Bill says, “How long have you worked at CTU now? I would have thought you’d be immune to stupid by now.”
Bruce Wayne, “Batman” and Robin leave Commissioner Gordon’s office. Chloe doesn’t say anything, and watches as they leave.
They reach the stairs and “Batman” stumbles, says, “Master Bruce!” and collapses. Robin says, “Alfred! Help him, Bruce!”
Chloe hears this and yells, “I KNEW IT! I KNEW IT!” She points at Alfred, and turns to Jack, “See? See that! I was right. He has a white mustache too!”
Jack rushes over to see what’s wrong. Bruce says, “I think it’s the heat. Robin, we have to get him out of this costume before anyone sees him. Let’s get him into the Batroom.”
10:40 am – Jack helps carry Alfred into the bathroom, and get him out of the Batman costume. Alfred is wearing a dark suit under the costume. Bruce pulls out a pill from the belt of the costume, and gives it to Alfred, along with some water. Bruce says, “I told him not to wear that suit underneath the costume.”
Robin says, “He was afraid of chaffing.”
Bruce says, “If only he had worn the Batunderwear. I think he’ll be OK, but we’ve got a problem. How do we leave here with the Batmobile, without someone getting suspicious? They saw me enter the building as Bruce Wayne.”
Robin says, “Holy Double Dilemmas! Unless…”
Bruce says, “What, old chum?”
Robin says, “Unless we get Jack here to step in for you…”
Jack realizes what this means. “What? Wait a minute, now! I’ll help you friend, but I’m not getting into that costume.”
10:46 am – Bruce Wayne, Alfred, Robin, and Jack dressed as Batman exit police headquarters. Bill, Chloe and Morris follow at a safe distance, giggling. Chloe is carrying Jack’s clothes.
Bruce tells Robin, “You go back to Wayne manor. Get changed, and come back with a car for Alfred and I. We’ll be waiting here.”
Jack tells Bruce, “You just make sure Chloe is here with my clothes when we get back.”
Jack and Robin get into the Batmobile. Robin gives Jack directions back to Wayne manor and they head off.
Jack tries to make some small talk with Robin, and Robin confesses that it’s pretty tough being a crime fighter. “It’s a lot harder to get a date than you’d think. Women make a lot of assumptions about men that wear tights.”
10:48 am – About halfway to Wayne Manor, a bright light shines in the sky. Robin yells, “The Bat Signal!” He presses a button on the dashboard of the Batmobile. A panel slides down, revealing a red telephone hand set that’s blinking. Robin answers the phone. “Yes. Yes, Commissioner. We’ll be there right away.” He hangs up the phone.
Jack says, “I have GOT to get myself one of those signals! I love that!” He gets a far away look on his face. “The Jack Signal!”
Robin says, “Jack! Snap out of it!”
Jack realizes he’s been day dreaming and says, “What did the Commissioner want?”
Robin says, “The Joker was sighted at the Abandoned Warehouse in downtown Gotham City with some people dressed in black. This might be our only chance to catch him! Oh, Bruce isn’t going to like this one bit.”
Jack says, “Where’s the warehouse?”
10:50 am – Robin gives him directions, and Jack slams on the brakes to turn around. The car does a 180 and heads back toward Gotham City.
Jack asks Robin, “You wouldn’t by any chance know how to put up a perimeter, would you?” Robin admits that he doesn’t. Jack says, “Well, it was worth a shot.”
10:56 am – Jack and Robin pull up in front of the warehouse. Robin says, “Why are they always in ‘abandoned’ warehouses?”
Jack says, “Hey! We’ve always wondered that too!” They get out of the car. “Let’s go inside.”
As they head towards the building, Jack catches one of his gloves on the utility belt around his waist and stops to free himself. One of the compartments opens. Jack looks down and reaches in. He says, “What is this?”
Robin turns around and says, “Be careful! There are some very advanced weapons in that belt, and you might set one of them off!”
Jack looks at what he’s holding, sniffs it and then pops it in his mouth. “Hey! Gummi Bears!”
Robin says, “Uh…yeah. He likes those too. He calls them Gummi Bats. He adds ‘Bat’ to everything. It’s always ‘Bat’ this and ‘Bat’ that…” He trails off, and then says, “…Well, anyway just be careful with anything else you’ve got on your belt there.”
Jack heads for an entrance to the building, but Robin stops him by asking “Where are you going?”
Jack says, “Uh….Inside? Isn’t that the idea?”
Robin shakes his head. “Batman never goes into the building through the front door. Get the Bat Hook out.” Robin pulls a device off of his belt and holds it up. It fires and shoots a cable to the top of the building. Jack looks around at his belt, finds the same type of device, and shoots it. Robin says, “Come on!”
They climb their way up the building to the roof, and enter the building through a service door. The inside of the building is decorated as a fun house. The carefully walk downstairs. They look around and don’t see anyone. Robin says, “It looks like the coast is…”
Two men drop down from above Jack and Robin, landing on top of them. Music starts from somewhere. Jack turns and punches one of the men. A loud “BIFF!” noise comes out of the speakers. Jack yells over the music, “What the heck was that?”
Robin punches the man that attacked him, and a “POW!” noise comes out of the speakers. Robin yells, “Batman and I have been trying to figure out that for years. Every time we fight people, we hear music and sound effects!”
10:57 am – Over the music and sound effects, they can hear The Joker laughing. Jack looks over and sees the masked man standing next to The Joker. He hears the man’s mechanical voice say, “Shoot him! Shoot him!” The Joker is too busy laughing, and doesn’t do anything. The masked man takes a gun from the Joker’s pocket and takes aim at Jack. Jack ducks out of the way, and looks around for anything he can use as a weapon. He reaches down and pulls out a boomerang. He looks to see if the coast is clear, and sees that the masked man is still holding the gun, but it has a small flag that says, “BANG!” coming out of the barrel. Jack says, “Stop or I’ll throw this boomerang…”
Robin whispers, “Bat-erang!”, as he punches (“ZING!”) the man he’s fighting with.
Jack coughs, “..Uh, I mean, Bat-erang!”
The man drops the gun and runs to an exit. Jack throws the Bat-erang at the man running for the exit, but misses. Fortunately it returns and hits the man Jack is fighting (“ZOWEE!”) in the back of the head. He falls to the floor and Jack runs to the exit to go after the masked man. He comes out of the building, but doesn’t see anyone.
Police cars arrive. The Police Chief and Commissioner Gordon arrive with Chloe, Morris and Bill in the back seat of the car.
10:59 am – There’s a bright flash.
Chloe, Morris, Jack and Bill are standing in an office parking lot. Jack is still wearing the Batman costume.
11:00 am – Time’s up!