May 13, 2018

When he woke up that morning, at 2am, it was to frustration beyond himself. Joker was back in full control, and there would be none of this bullshit of Joe trying to bring Jack out, oh no. This was not the time for that. He could hear the lesser man protesting in his head, begging him not to do anything stupid, but Joker pushed until he was able to block out Joe completely. After all, he was very used to the voices in his head and being able to block them out, and it didn't matter that this was Joe's body, Joe was just another voice that could be snuffed out.

And Boston was such a bore these days. The same old routines, the same old crimes, it was time to go to a different city. It was time for something new.

There were messages for him, of course, on his burner phone meant only for these weeks. Joe had no idea of the phone, and Joker planned on keeping it that way. Just as Joe had no idea of the gang that Joker had for these weeks; but oh how the gang was angry at him! He hadn't planned a single heist last month, and they needed the money. They were getting angry at him, the phone messages were saying, and they were daring to go against him. We're going to make sure you're going to go down, boss, the voicemail said, and Joker found himself actually laughing. "Oh, Jimmy. You fucking idiot," he muttered, as he deleted the message. If his boys wanted to do something so stupid as to set him up, he'd like to see them try.

Still in the early hours of the morning, he pocketed the phone. He picked up the bag he had stashed away, and started to fill it with money and guns, all the important things he needed for his trip. If only Joe knew of the fun he was going to have! But no, Joe wasn't a fun sort. He wasn't someone who enjoyed the same things Joker did, and that just wouldn't do. So he needed to go and cause problems for Joe, but not in Boston. That was too easy.

But his family still lived in New York. So, to New York he'd go.

Purchasing a last minute plane ride was easier than he expected, and it was even easier to get first class on the flight. And of course, when he flashed some cash and a grin, the flight attendants were even easier. Sure, the airplane bathroom was tight, but the flight attendant was even tighter and that just made it all the more fun; putting his hand over her mouth to make sure she stayed quiet as he fucked her hard against the wall, and when her nails dug deep into his shoulders, he actually found himself grinning wider. "Tell me where you're staying in New York," She told him after, and he laughed. "This wasn't any more than a good fuck in the air, woman," He replied, but somehow That made her want him more. Funny, how some people had such a strange reaction to rejection; they just begged for more. They became desperate. And her way of that was to get on her knees in front of him, and well who was he to stop her? It helped him after all.

Departing the plane, and turning his phone back on, he was getting messages from one of the only loyal members of his gang. Text messages coming in with Boss, you gotta call me and Boss, check the news and Don't worry boss, I took care of it. Joker waited until he was out of the airport, away from the desperate flight attendant who gave him her number (that he promptly gave to some overweight man who was down on his luck, because maybe Joker was feeling generous, or maybe he was just tired of desperate women not knowing how to take no for an answer). So once he was in a cab, going towards the penthouse he rented for the week, he finally checked the news.

He found himself almost offended at the sorry attempt of trying to copy him. Green and yellow colored smoke? Really? And how obvious of a venue, a comedy review. He had done that already in the Bahamas over a year ago, and killed more people than claimed to have been killed in this event. Only 10? How dull. But he couldn't claim the prize on this one, this one wasn't him.

He paid the cabbie and got out of the car, and headed up to his home for the week. Once he was settled, he took out his phone and called his guy. "Anthony, what is this that I'm reading about Las Vegas?"

"Boss," The man was frantic on the other end, "The other guys, Jim and Hank and Chris, they weren't likin' how we didn't get a job last month and decided they were tired of waitin' around for ya. They wanted to take over, set up a job that would get ya arrested and thrown in the slammer for the rest of ya life."

Joker found he wasn't laughing, as he lounged on the couch, his legs crossed at his ankles, one hand behind his head. "Oh? And?" Because he was waiting for Anthony to implicate himself in the job, that he had a part of it, that he was sorry, that he'd never do it again, and that Joker would have to kill him now. It was a shame, Anthony was his best guy.

"I followed them to Vegas boss, all 12 of the guys. They had this funny idea of doing the job during the comedy review, ya know? Since you keep callin' yourself The Joker and all that, the comic book guy?"

"Yeah. The comic book guy," He deadpanned, still waiting for the implication, and found himself getting bored.

Anthony was quiet for a moment, before he said, "The gas canisters weren't supposed to go off until the show started, for a maximum amount of damage, but they left me in charge of them. So I set them off while they were still in the room, posing as workers on the performance. Killed 10 of the guys instantly, and Jim and Chris were at the bar with me, trying to plan their next moves. They had no idea what was goin' on until it hit them. "

Joker remained silent as Anthony explained the rest of it. That the gas from the room started to get into the casino at large, and someone pulled the alarm to get people out. All the people that were injured weren't injured because of the gas, but because people when running in a horde have the tendency to trample each other, and destroy each other. Fight or flight, the instinct to survive kicks in and it's everyone for themselves. "And boss, I knew when the timer was gonna go off, so I distracted Jim and Chris to somethin' on the TVs, and I drugged their drinks. Excused myself to leave for the restroom, and when I came back, they were dead on the bar. All the chaos of tryin' to get out started then, so I just ran out with the rest of the horde of people and got my ass home back to Boston."

Joker was silent for a long, long time. He moved up on the couch, and sat up, a contemplative look on his face, before his face broke out into a wide grin. He could hear Anthony on the other end getting anxious, and Joker finally laughed, a deep and amused laugh. "Anthony, my boy! I had no idea you had it in you! Bravo!"

He could hear Anthony immediately get relaxed on the other end and he laughed, "Don't worry boss, I took care of them all. Only problem is, we ain't got no crew to run with no more. What do you want me to do?"

And there it was. Loyalty. If only Joker could teach Joe some of this fucking loyalty. It'd be a lot easier dealing with the bastard. "Anthony, how would you like to be my new right hand guy?" He asked, and Anthony immediately responded with a yes. "Good. That's what I like to hear. I want you to form a new crew. Of men and women you know you can trust. Get their names. Run background checks. I want all the fucking dirt on those motherfuckers, to hold over their heads to make sure they stay loyal. Do you understand?"

"Yeah boss, I understand. I'm on it. I'm not gonna let you down."

"You better not, Anthony. Or I'll just kill you too." And Joker hung up, and pocketed the phone. So he had one loyal guy left, but finding more gangsters desperate for a job wasn't going to be hard, not when he could promise large amounts of money to keep them happy. The beauty of it, is that he was never stopped. There was no pesky Batbrats to stop him, and even when there were, they never did shit. It was a big difference from Gotham, but it was even easier now to get what he wanted. It was better this way.

Still, he was in New York for a very specific reason. To watch Joe's parents and brother. To see what they were doing, what their patterns were. To start to formulate a plan that would break Joe completely.

About to start on that plan of heading out the door, his phone rang again. He answered it without looking at who was calling him, and barked into the phone, "What do you want?"

"Darling, is that how you greet all the beautiful women in your life? I hardly think that's the proper way to greet a lady." The voice was like smooth velvet on the other line, and he laughed hard.

"Pamela, oh how are you? Calling to beg for more of me? I knew I was the best fuck you've ever had."

"Charming, as always, Joker. Listen, a little bird told me you're in New York. I am too. Are you up for a bit of a job? I promise it will be a killer time." He heard the amusement in her voice and he couldn't help but also be amused.

"Oh sure, I'm in a good mood, why not?" He hung up the phone and she sent him her location shortly after. Whatever Pamela Isley, miss Poison Ivy was doing in New York, he wanted to witness it. Besides, he had nothing else to lose. Joe's family could wait for a little bit. Besides, they had no idea what was coming anyway.

So he packed up what he needed, slung a backpack over his shoulder, and headed out to see if New York really was still the city that never slept.