Welcome to the 2022 April A to Z Challenge! Each day (minus Sundays) in the month of April will feature a short work of fiction based on a random word beginning with the corresponding letter of the day. Those random words will be provided by various friends and family members throughout the month. Today’s word, estrogen, was provided by my friend, Mark.

Jason Todd leaned back against the console of the enormous computer that filled this section of the Batcave. Looking around, he shook his head at how little had changed in this place over the years. Bruce may be dark and brooding… hell, he may even be slightly psychotic… but no one could say the man wasn’t a sentimental fool.

The Batcave wasn’t as dark as one may have imagined. It wasn’t exactly bathed in light, but there was plenty of light for everyone to see what needed to be seen. After all, the Batcave wasn’t just a hangout for capes. It was a crime lab. It was a war room. It was a research library. Laughing a little to himself, Jason also thought of the Batcave as a museum.

Sure, there was a huge super computer in this section along with bookshelves and files and enough lab equipment to be a crime scene investigator’s dream come true. But off in the distance were the mementos. Trophies acquired over the years as Batman solved various crimes and defeated various criminals: a giant penny, a robotic T-Rex, the oversized Joker playing card. And then there were the old costumes on display: Bruce’s original Batman costume (which has evolved too many times to count since the beginning), Dick’s original Robin outfit, and, of course, Jason’s Robin costume… the one he was wearing when he was killed by the Joker.

The memory of being beaten over and over again by the Joker’s crowbar caused his anger to surface. But then, for Jason, it wasn’t as if his anger was buried too deep in the first place. He had been killed. He was legally dead. He had even been buried before his body was secretly recovered and bathed in a Lazarus Pit, restoring him to life. And what did Bruce do? Nothing.

Well… not nothing, really. He memorialized Jason’s costume in a glass case. He had the Joker arrested and placed back in Arkham Asylum. Only for the madman to escape again and again. Why not kill the clown and be done with it? Why allow him to live so that he can have another night like tonight? Word is the Joker killed three Arkham guards in his escape and at least one GCPD cop was dead tonight.

“Let me see if I’ve got this straight,” Jason finally got tired of the cave’s silence, “While we were distracted by the Penguin and his goons at a hockey game, the Joker was breaking out of the asylum and killing a handful of guards and cops on his way out. Is that right?”

Jason scanned the faces of the others in the room. It didn’t seem that any of them were willing to comment on the situation. This was a strange gathering, as not everyone was present. Batgirl was closest to him with Spoiler standing next to her. Cassandra Cain, aka Orphan, was resting on the floor, blending in with the shadows and staying silent, which was the norm for her. Crouched on a railing and overlooking them all was Damian, Bruce’s son and the current Robin. Jason shook his head again, realizing that’s exactly where Damian always sees himself: above everyone.

“Where are the guys?” Jason asked, noticing the absence of Nightwing and Red Robin. “There’s too much estrogen in here.” He waited a beat then said, “Yes, I’m including the kid in that statement.”

“Hilarious, Todd. You’re lucky I don’t come down there and shatter that stupid helmet of yours,” said Robin from above.

Jason looked up. “It’s always so funny listening to you talk. Like you believe you’re a big boy in a little kid’s body.” He could see Damian’s anger rising, his cheeks growing redder. “You’re like a yappy chihuahua that imagines it’s the size of a Rottweiler.”

“Yeah,” Batgirl began, “but this yappy chihuahua was trained by the League of Assassins.”

Spoiler chimed in, “Please, Hood, continue antagonizing him. This should be entertaining for the rest of us.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Jason noticed that even Orphan was nodding in agreement.

“Whatever,” he said, letting the matter drop. He wondered why he bothered joining in on these little get togethers. It was clear he was the least liked in the so-called Bat-family. Even as antisocial as Batwoman was, they all loved having her around when she made herself available. He had his own group of Outlaws. Why wasn’t he rounding them up to go after the Joker on their own? Why stick around here and play by Batman’s stupid rules?

As if on cue, Batman’s image appeared on the gigantic monitor of the main computer. “Joker’s headed to Blüdhaven. I’ll have Nightwing meet me before dawn to make a plan. For now, I want you all to go home and get some rest. It’s been a long night. But stay on alert. This isn’t close to being over.” Without another word, the image blinked out and the monitor went dark once more.

“Well, this has been fun,” said Jason, “But not my kind of fun.” He made his way over to his motorcycle, donning his red helmet before climbing on. “See you ladies at the next crisis.”

He started up the engine and sped toward the Batcave exit. If Bruce thinks I’m just going to sit this one out he’s got another thing coming, Jason thought as he continued accelerating toward the highway. At this time of the morning, there would be little to no traffic keeping him tied up. He should be in Blüdhaven within the hour.

These characters are not my own. Batman and all related characters are the property of DC Comics. This is a work of fan fiction and is just for fun. Please don’t sue me.

Feature Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash


5 thoughts on “Estrogen

  1. Pingback: A to Z Challenge 2022 – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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