"What in the world was I thinking?"
Ras al Ghul looked out over his operations center, where a dozen men,
all fiercely loyal to him, monitored communications signals and
network transactions from around the world. To either side of him,
two bodyguards watched as a colorfully-clad figure darted from one
console to the next. Wisely, neither of them answered his murmured
"First, he manages to trace the promethium bomb used on Bruce Wayne's
plane back to me, and then he actually finds his way here on foot."
Sensing someone entering the mezzanine behind him, he raises his voice
slightly and turns. "I should have killed him as soon as he set foot
in our lair, my darling."
"You have mentioned before, Father, that you wanted to study him, to
see how someone like him could be such a challenge to my beloved."
Talia settled into a chair at her father's right hand. "I read an
interview with the magician Zatanna, in which she spoke of an eternal
struggle between Order and Chaos. Would it not seem as if you and he
represent that struggle?"
"Such a struggle may be eternal for magicians and spiritualists,
Talia, but not for those of us grounded in the real world." Ras'
stood and gestured to one of the bodyguards. "Bring the Joker to my
"At once, Master."
"And if he gives you any trouble, do not hesitate to kill him."