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Batman's eyes bulged wider than an anime character.

"Talia, wait! What are you doing?"

The daughter of Ra's Al Ghul looked down at Batman.

"You have made it clear many times, beloved, that the only way we can have a life together is if I choose you over my father. Well, now, I offer you the same choice. Agree to be my husband, forever more. Or, I shall do to each of these young ladies what I now do to him whom you love like a son."

With that, she dropped the shrunken Boy Wonder into her mouth...and swallowed him whole.


The Dark Knight did not end his screaming until he was too hoarse to scream anymore.

* * * * *

For the rest of that day, and all through the night, the Pussycats took turns comforting the grieving crime-fighter. Sometimes, kissing him. And, sometimes hugging him to their ample chests.

[The latter was quite convenient, given the circumstances. For, as Bruce was only three inches tall, his head only came up to their chests!]

Came the next morning, Talia once more stood over their detention area like a cat-suited Colossus of Rhodes.

"Have you come to a decision, beloved?"

Batman stared up at her with tear-stained eyes.

"If I agree, will you re-enlarge these young women and let them go?"

"I will agree to re-enlarge them, so they can play at our wedding!" she replied: "But, they will be shrunken, again, immediately afterwards. For, not only did I give my word, to Alexandra Cabot to eliminate them from her life. I also told you, last night; they are my insurance policy that you will do as I say."

"That's unacceptable, Talia!"

"My terms are non-negotiable, beloved. Duly wedded, or common-law basis, you finally will be my husband, regardless! But, the latter approach means the deaths of Josie and the Pussycats will be on your conscience."

The diminutive Dark Knight looked at the three lovely youngsters who had given him succor, all night. There was no choice, at all, really.

"Very well. I agree."

Talia smiled.

"Excellent! My father will enter the U.S. around midnight, tonight. When he arrives, here, he will officiate the wedding. The entertainers will be re-enlarged half an hour, beforehand."

With that, she walked away.


...two distaff members of the Justice League reviewed the video footage confiscated, by the GCPD, from one of the TV cameras at the Gotham Ritz-Carlton press conference.

The first few frames showed all three Pussycats suddenly begin to shrink. Followed by Batman and Robin doing likewise, after falling to the stage. Only for all five of them to be snatched up, and placed in a small burlap sack, by the notorious Catwoman!

"She certainly moves with the agility of her namesake," opined Wonder Woman.

The green-eyed platinum blonde sitting next to her (wearing a semi-strapless blue leotard with matching moccasins), nodded in agreement.

"But," she added: "if she is truly as cunning as one, she will not hide out anywhere with too obvious a feline motif."

"How do you mean, Rima?"

Rima of the Jungle turned in her swivel chair and looked her teammate straight in the eye.

"Here-to-fore, Batman's enemies have treated their adversarial relationship as one big perverse game! Hoping to outwit him, before finally deigning to kill him. Hence, their constantly choosing lairs blatantly linked to their modus operandi. Yet, Catwoman has been more devious than usual. If shrinking and abducting the Pussycats for ransom was her one and only motive, here, the authorities would have heard from her long before this. Especially, with a shrunken Dynamic Duo to auction off, as a bonus!"

"So, we shouldn't be looking for her anywhere, too obvious," concluded Wonder Woman: "Like, for example, in the sewers beneath the former lion cages at Old Gotham Zoo."

Rima nodded, again: "Precisely! We must ask ourselves, rather; 'Where could I safely take, and look after, five shrunken hostages?' "

To be continued?
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