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Summary: The diamond girl gets an unexpected ride home.

Location: I-95 to Hell's Kitchen

Participants: Batman and Melody

Rating: G


Clouds roll into the midday sun begin to blot it out. Signs point to a coming storm but its of little consequence. Melody is walking the Rogers Bridge, hitchhiking in vain. While she still looks ok, it is obvious she is fatigued and has been walking since she left the hospital the day before in an attempt to get home. Her Camero was being repaired in Gotham, not that it mattered. All she wanted was to get home and try to sort through the events of the past 48 hours.


Melody's long, strange trip to Gotham is about to get a bit more surreal. She might notice a few people honking their horns excitedly as she wanders along the road, and not just to stop to pick her up. If she looks towards the direction of traffic, she'll notice a very famous (or possibly infamous) black car jetting up the freeway towards her. The Batmobile, as it gets closer, pulls off on to the breakdown lane before the top peels back. Inside, naturally, sits the Batman, looking over at the girl. "Get in," he says, his voice low and gruff.


Melody looks with wide eyes at the batmobile, and then at Batman himself. Who hasn't heard of Batman? The Dark Knight who has been kicking butt and taking names in Gotham for what seems like forever. She doesn't argue with him. If anything she seems a bit happier just to have a ride at this point. She gets into the vehicle and looks at Batman. "Umm Hello... My name is Melody." It's all she can think to say. She then remembers that Catwoman was going to speak with someone about her situation. Someone who may be able to help. She turns and looks at Batman once again with a questioning look in her eyes, "Are you the one Catwoman said would help me?"


Batman doesn't answer her question directly as the Batmobile closes up ad quicks starts moving towards New York. He twists his mouth slightly in thought before giving his own introduction. "I'm Batman. I looked at the substance that is supposedly coming out of your body. It is...completely inorganic. Nonhuman material. You say that your skeleton has been affected with this? Do you have difficulty moving, breathing?"


Melody shakes her head, "it doesn't hurt at all. I don't feel any different either. I admit what happened in the hospital was weird and still has me a little shocked at the moment I don't even know if it was real or if I was dreaming. They had me really drugged up." The girl smiles as she looks at Batman, "Now can you answer my question please? I mean its pretty obvious you don't drive around picking up hitchhikers all day." She looks down over her body and is still trying to figure out what happened while she was sleeping, sure she was told but who could really believe a doctor who is trying to steal from you?


Batman nods his head slightly, in full investigation mode now. "Sounds like your body transmorphed itself to be accepting of the new substance, with the radiation helping in the adaptation process. Typically, you would have rejected the material. I guess in a way you still are. But it has been...grafting into your genetic code. I've similar cases, Clayfaces transformation wasn't all the different, though the outcomes are far apart." At the pressing of the question of if Catwoman was the one who keyed him into the situation, he reluctantly nods his head. "Catwoman mentioned that you might be looking for information on what happened. I can only speculate, don't have the tools. But...I do have friends who might be able to look at your genetic code, see how things got changed."


Melody nods slowly. So much for trying to sort things out. "I had to leave the hospital. That one doctor would have kept me in a coma so he could make money off of me. As much as I like my dreams, I really don't want to be stuck in a dream world for the rest of my life." The girl looks at her hand. What came out of it should have caused some major trauma but no. Nothing. It is as if nothing had happened at all. Was she still dreaming? "So umm, where are we going?"


"You have to be careful who you tell," Batman says steadily. "For that very reason: if the wrong person learns about what happened to you, they might try to experiment on you as long as they can. Or try to pump you for more diamonds; to the right mind, you'd become less a person and more a commodity, a source of products for sell." He turns off the access bridge and starts to drive towards New York City. "You tell me. Your medical records showed that you weren't a Gotham native, so I figured I'd get you back home, while you waited for your car to be repaired. Couldn't find an address in your information about where to drop you off."


The young woman nods slowly, "I am hard pressed to believe what happened to me as is. Everything feels so strange. I feel like Rip Van Winkle, I was sleeping for so long and the world has changed so dramaticly while I was asleep that I have no idea what is real and what is a dream." She gets comfortable in the seat and relaxes a bit. The fatigue is catching up with her but she tries her best to shrug it off. "I live just outside Hell's Kitchen."


Batman tenses slightly, remember the last time he was in or even near the Kitchen. Still, he simply nod his head and starts to head north. "Give it some time. Sometimes, things happen in our lives that seem so unbelievable, so unexpected that we reject them as impossible. But when the situation doesn't change when we don't wake from what we swear must be a dream--or a nightmare--we discover that we've come out stronger. Better. More aware of the world around us. Hopefully once you've rested and had time to take in all that has happened, things will start to align for you, and you can see where the future is heading." He certainly sounds like he's speaking from experience.


Melody turns her head and looks at Batman, "You have had dealings with people like me right? I need to ask, how did I create the shield, let alone the the shards of diamond that you got to investigate? I think it would be good if I knew how to control this stuff. It could be very bad if I m walking down the street and I leave a trail of diamonds behind me." She smirks at the idea but that fades as a memory flashes to the forefront of her mind. The clowns. "Who were the clowns?"


Batman purses his lips for a few seconds, considering how to answer that. "I've...dealt with Metas before," he says slowly. "Mostly as co-workers with the League. From what my, admitedly, limited expertise in the field would suggest, it seems that the diamonds are part of your cell structure, and when the doctor attempted to take sedate you, your defense reflexes didn't take kindly to it and pushed up some extreme defenses. As far as how far you can push it?" He shakes his head. "I can't say, though I suspect there's an upper ceiling to how much you can push out at a time, the same a human being can only spit three gallons of fluid per day maximum." Random statman away! "If you haven't noticed yourself shedding diamonds yet, I'd suspect that you probably won't. Still, make be in your best interest to...discharge some, just to make sure you don't make yourself too appealing a target for thieves."


Melody gives a rather curious, if not disgusted look to Batman, "That is gross. I suppose your right. I probably should. I need to learn how to do it though. I obviously wasn't pushing myself while I slept. How could he have gotten those diamonds from me?" She takes a moment and closes her eyes and tries to push herself to create some of her diamond and nothing happens. She tries again but again nothing. "I don't know what I am doing wrong!?!"


Batman doesn't seem affected when she declares his factoid gross. He glances towards Melody as she pushes herself, frowning slightly. "Don't hurt push yourself so hard you hurt something," he instructs as he turns a corner, nearing the area of town Melody gave him. "Give it time, you don't need to figure it out right now. If what I've heard is correct, you will mostly be a reflexive action for now. Overtime you'll be able to do it on cue. Like..." He pauses, trying to think of a less body-fluidish example. Though that does lead him to, "Crying. For most people, crying is a reflexive action to exterior stimuli. For some though, crying on cue is possible. Right now, you're still learning how this new ability works on reflex; eventually you might be able to do it on cue, though I wouldn't necessarily count on that."


Melody nods yet again, "Still its something I would want to know how to deal with. I definitely wouldn't want to feel threatened and find myself in some sort of diamond cocoon running out of air ya know." She then seems to drift into thought for a bit. Streets move by at a relitively quick pace but she hardly is paying attention to them. Then a blue fluid moves out of her hand, flattens and fans out into a the shape of a simple shield again. "Oh my Dot I wasn't dreaming!"


Batman glances towards the shield as its forming, hmming softly. "Or you still are," he informs her, before breaking into a slight grin. "No, just kidding, you're awake, or at least dragged me into your dream with you. Either way, seems like your shielding capabilites are thus far confined to your arms. Do you know how you did that?"


The very confused woman lifts the shield and moves it around, doing her best not to interfere with Batman's driving. She slips it off her hand. a simple yet strong blue diamond shield. She is just stunned by it. "I was thinking about what happened at the hospital, how much I wanted to keep that doctor from putting me to sleep again. Then it happened, Its like my body knew what I wanted to do and how it needed to respond to do it. This just formed then."


Batman nods his head a bit. "So like crying again," he says, sticking with his analogy. "When someone needs to cry on cue, they often think about something that happened in their life that actually made them cry, or something that would. Your psychosomatic memory of the fear of the doctor triggers the same reaction. Maybe try differet emotional responses or memories, see what the results are." He pauses. "In the safter of your own home. Don't need you have a gem-explosion in my car," he informs her, sounding stern but reasonable.


Melody agrees with a slight nod of her head. Then as quickly as it formed, the shield is reabsorbed into her body as if it had never been made in the first place. "Sorry about that Batman, I didn't really think that would work. Reminds me of something I read once, Oh brave new world with such people in it. The people in referance were normal for the time period but the person who said it had been sheltered on an island for her entire life." She then realizes what she did and her jaw might as well of hit the floor.


Batman nods his head a bit. "Tempest, Act V, Scene I," he says, pinning down her quote. "Very fitting for the times we live in, I find." He glances towards the retreating shield, brow arching. "And it seems that you're becoming a natural already," he comments as he comes to the crossroads that were indicated for her address, letting the top of the modified roadster roll open. "I'll be in contact, Melody, once I feel I have found someone who might be able to help you with your new-found world. I'm sure the everything will work out."


Melody gives a smile and a wave, "Thank you, Batman. I look forward to it. For now I am going to sleep. its been a long few days." She waves again and heads into her apartment.


The Batmobile seals itself closed, and then zooms off down the street.

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