Terry Regent prepared to
for his next assignment. Working for the Gotham herald had
never been exciting before. As he studied at night, Terry worked down in the editing bay,
verifying all historical facts for the next copy. This was different. The famous sculptor
Henry Roberts was in town, and Terry had made arrangements to interview him. As he was
doing this off the clock, Terry had not informed his editors. Roberts had seemed very
understanding when he talked to him. After telling him this would be his big break, Terry
had feared he would be turned down. Quite the opposite had happened. Not only had Roberts
agreed, he had even suggested that Terry tell no one. 'After all', Terry remembered him
saying, 'You want this to be YOUR story, don't you?'. Terry had agreed, and knew that if he
were to talk to any one he risked losing his byline to the story. Early on he had learned
how the senior editors often took credit for there subordinates work.
As he prepared for the interview,
Terry chose a simple grey suit. A single red
flower at the lapel gave him the successful look he was hoping for without being overwhelming.
His long blond hair was back in its customary pony tail, and he made sure to run the razor
over his face one last time before heading out. Terry had double checked the directions to
Roberts house earlier and drove confidently to the estate. The anniversary of Roberts 'Batman'
exhibit was only a week away, and the artist had returned to prepare for a re-showing of the
caped crusader. As the gates came into view, Terry turned off the tape player replaying his
interview questions. Even though he felt nervous, Terry was confident this technique would
bring him through. He took a moment to visualize how his boss, old mister Simmons, would react
to him bringing in the first interview with the world famous sculptor.
Reaching the gates, Terry
buzzes the intercom. In moments he is queried and let in.
The estate is magnificent! At the entry way four statues of soldiers stand at attention, two
standing on each side of the door. Garbed as first world war 'Dough boys', Terry is astonished
to see real rifles in there hands. He may not be an expert on fire arms, but Terry has done
enough research to recognize a working bolt action rifle from a fake. A servant answers the
door and shows Terry to the library. As he enters, he sees the famous sculptor standing next
to the fire place gazing down at the embers. A glass of brandy is in his left hand, his right
arm resting on the mantle. Had he not turned moments after the young man entered, Terry would
have sworn he was looking at another of Roberts enchanting statues. The stillness with which
Roberts had been standing was somewhat unnerving to the budding journalist.
"Good evening" is the greeting
given by the sculptor, "I hope this is convenient for
your interview" "Very, I mean yes, I'm sorry, that didn't come out right. It is a very
convenient setting for the interview". Terry was nervous before answering, and his stumbling
response heightens his anxiety. Roberts gestures to the seats before the fire and invites
Terry to sit. As they both take there seats, Roberts queries "I take it this is your first
'Real' interview?" "Yes" answers Terry, "I have done practice interview before, and I have
interviewed relatives and friends before, but you are my first official interview" Terry
gives a delightfully innocent smile to the sculptor. Roberts thinks terry would make a
As Terry interviews Roberts,
he starts to become more relaxed. After a half hour,
Terry becomes confident and start questioning the sculptor like an old pro. Robert seems
more and more animated as the talk, and Terry felt very pleased with himself. Finally Terry
was done with background details. Now came questions about Roberts art. From what he had been
told before, Terry knew better than to ask How Roberts pulled off his miracle creations.
Instead Terry decided on an oblique approach.
TR:"So tell me, Mister Roberts, from which designers do you get your costumes?"
HR:"Which designers? I'm not sure I follow you."
TR:"I know that several other artists get there costumes from specific
designers. Take M.L.
for instance, He always deals with the same fashion house. They give him there latest
designs for free, and he gives them credit for the fantastic outfits his mannequins wear."
HR:"Actually, I tend to buy off the rack. Except certain costumes that I have custom made."
TR:"That is surprising. I am sure the readers will be happy to know
that 'Off the rack' can
still be art. I take it then that you don't make your statues with a specific costume in
HR:"Well, I generally know how I want a new creation to look when I
first get the raw
materials. After that it is simply a case of finding something appropriate"
TR:"So the color and texture of your materials lends them to specific styles?"
HR:"Well, yes and no. I could have used any of my materials for most
any of my statues. It
is not just how the statue is formed, but also getting just the right color and texture
for it that makes my works so unique."
TR:"Kind of like what one of my art professors used to say. There are
a million statues in a
single block of stone. The true trick is choosing just the right one. Did you find it
difficult to match material to image when you were working on the caped crusader?"
HR:"Not at all. Lets just say the material was perfect. It only took
me a couple hours to get
that one ready once I had the materials to work with. I hate to admit it, but I only
finished it shortly before the show. One of the reasons I had to have the pair of them
cordoned off is because Batman was still warm."
As the interview continues,
Roberts begins to realize he may have revealed too much.
Towards the end of the evening he starts talking to Terry about using him as a subject. Terry
is surprised to hear this, but the chance of finding out more about how a Henry Roberts statue
is made is too much for him to pass up. As they get to talking about what type of an image the
'Terry' statue should have, Roberts starts feeding Terry brandy shots. Both are drinking, so
Terry thinks nothing of it. After the third shot though, Terry starts getting a bit of an
upset stomach. Roberts insists on having one of his servants bring the young man something to
calm his stomach. Minutes later Roberts begins to smile as he watches Terry swallow the pill.
Over the last few week Roberts has perfected a new NIM system, one that will be much easier to
conceal than the older sheath. The new version is sealed inside a normal looking capsule.
Instead of being outside of his statue, these ones control the man from the inside. The
sheaths are still needed, just not for control.
After Terry's stomach settles
down, Roberts invites the youth to come with him to his
drafting room. Over the years Roberts has found this room very helpful in dissuading prying
eyes. As they arrive, Terry is greeted with a stark white room filled with lights and cameras.
Two doors lead into this room, both on the same wall. As they enter, Roberts asks Terry to
stand by the opposite wall as he goes to the other door. As Terry watches, Roberts goes into
a fairly large room and starts looking through the piles of props. He returns shortly carrying
a massive looking desk. As Terry looks on in amazement, Roberts explains that it is a foam
replica, weighing only a dozen pounds. After putting down the desk, Roberts goes back in and
rolls out a high backed chair. A small lamp soon follows, as do foam books. Roberts arrays
these props and asks Terry to take a seat and assume a studious pose. Doing so, Terry feels
a little self conscious. "I don't think I'm ready for this" he objects. Roberts assures him
that natural poses and normal attire are what he is looking for. "After all", he explains,
capturing the essence of every day existence IS what I am famous for." Roberts starts taking
pictures of Terry. One role goes for stills of him at the desk. Two more roles are used of him
standing in different poses. A fourth role is used for seated pictures, sans desk. After an
hour of photos, Terry begs fatigue and asks if they can continue at a later time. Roberts just
Fulton decides Roberts has
had enough play time. Watching the shoot on one of the
video monitors, he presses the green button and watches as the youth starts to freeze. As soon
as Roberts notices his guests condition, he starts protesting to the wall. "I wasn't done yet!
I didn't give the signal, did I? I never said 'But wouldn't you like to see the rest of my
sculpting process', now did I? We didn't even get the forms signed! And what about his car?"
Fulton's voice comes clear into the room, "The car is taken care of, and we can use examples
from his wallet to forge the signature. Besides, he could only stay so long here without
running out of time to run. How are we supposed to make it look like you turned down his
request for an interview if you seem to have kept him here all night? The police would become
suspicious of something like that."
Two men walk in and pick
up the inert form of Terry Regent. Fuming, Roberts follows
them to his workshop. As he enters the area he sees Fulton coming out of the control room.
"Next time wait until I signal, Understood?" "Alright, alright. I just get so damn bored with
you playing with them." replies Fulton. "Next time take the remote so I don't need to keep
tabs, OK?" Even through Roberts does not like being disobeyed, he does consider Fulton's
request. "Alright. Start stripping this one. He will make a perfect surfer. Henderson, get me
the number six tan and a spray gun." After giving instructions to his men, Roberts goes to the
clothing racks to find a bathing suit. Fulton heads back to the control room to work on the
right pose for the newest Henry Roberts statue. As he starts working, he hears the sound of
a pistol being cocked.
"Jones, see what's taking
Henderson so long. He should have been back by now". As
Roberts sounds angry, Jones rushes to comply. The naked form of Terry lays before Roberts. As
he finishes pulling the yellow swimming trunks up, He hears an unknown man. "Mighty nice
work doc, Now hows about we start undoing the crime fighters?" Looking up, Roberts sees a tall
man wearing a black trench coat standing in the door. "Don't even think about resisting, You
wouldn't like to know what I would do to you if you tried." "Who do you work for?" asks the
frightened Roberts, "What do you want?" "Come now, You can guess who I work for, and as to
what I want, well, lets just say I can tell you what I was sent here for." Roberts looks
around his workshop, frantic for any kind of assistance. Coming in from the back is a menacing
figure in black armor. Standing almost seven feet tall, the definitely female form is carrying
a gun far to large. Even though he cannot see the woman's face, Roberts gets the terrible
feeling the woman is smiling.
In the control room, Fulton
slowly turns around to see who is with him. A short man is
standing behind him. The man is wearing loose fitting brown pants and a black T-Shirt. His
black hair is shaggy, as is his beard. He is grinning a very evil grin and pointing a silenced
pistol at his head. Fulton can feel the heat from the guns laser sight. Is it pointed between
his eyes. 'Dead between' thinks Fulton in a very depressed thought. The man's deep gravelly
voice filles the room, even though he speaks quietly. "Sit down and don't do anything foolish.
You already know how this stuff works, so its cheaper to have you teach someone than to have
someone figure it out on there own. I know some bright boys, so I's say you life is worth
about three days of some techies time. Remember that and we'll get along fine. Forget it and I
splatter your brains across this room". Fulton's seat becomes very wet.
Recovering some of his wits,
Roberts reaches into his pocket. He pulls out a small
remote control and puts his thumb over a large red button. "Stay back. If you want the caped
crusaders or the other alive, you'd better not come any closer. If you do I will KILL them, I
swear it!" Roberts almost faints when he hears the evil laughter coming from the man in front
of him. "That was a good joke, doc! Like I'd care if someone lived!" The mans continue
laughter reveals what he is wearing under his trench coat. The distinctive black and yellow
body suit identifies him as Deadshot. Roberts has not heard of him for a couple years, the
last time was when his obituary was printed. As he reaches up, Roberts can see the magnums on
his wrists. Deadshot pulls his hood over his face. "Seems to me you don't have any cards to
hold anymore. I don't care what you do to the pretty boys. In fact, I get to kill you if you
kill them. I did have to tell you that, just so the mike can hear me." Roberts watches
Deadshots eyes as they go up to the ceiling. He doesn't see anything unusual, but can guess
that there is a microphone hidden up there. His hand is jerked back as he hears the loud clap
of thunder. His hand hurts, as does his shoulder. The female speaks, her voice soft and
melodious. A sharp contrast to her sinister appearance. "Nice shot, but what else is new? So
tell me Deadshot, now that you aced the controller, how do we defrost the pretty boys?"
Fulton feels the barrel rest
against the back of his neck. He can see what is
happening to Roberts over the monitors. "Might as well let them know what your up to" says the
man with the gun. Fulton reaches towards the controls but stops as the man behind him says "Do
anything I don't like and I get to hurt you, really hurt you". Fulton hears a 'SNICK' and
feels the sharp blade being pressed against his shoulder. Fulton reaches over to the mike and
speaks into it. "Henry, I am still alive, but I don't know for how much longer" "Blacky,"
begins Deadshot "You are not allowed to kill him." Deadshot waits about six seconds, knowing
that Fulton should be relaxing a little, "Instead just break his knee caps and elbows. And let
me know so I can get a twenty pound bag of salt".Under his mask Deadshot starts smiling. "What
are you planning to do to us?" says the very shaken Roberts. "Trust me, you don't want to
Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne
arrive just before nine o'clock. Bruce looks around and
sees an energetic photographer from Metropolis consulting with a tall newsman. "Looks like
this exhibit made the 'Daily Planet' list of cultural events, Dick." Bruce smiles down to his
ward. Before the younger man can respond, the crowd is addressed by a very well know figure in
the world of the arts, one Henry Roberts. "People of Gotham, Friends, peers, and lovers of the
arts from around the world, I am about to present to you a new work of mine. May you enjoy my
showcase of the male body as much as I enjoyed creating it!" and with a flourish the artist
pulls back the cover on his masterpiece. Roberts smiles down on the crowed as there faces
become transfixed with the view before them. His smile becomes strained and maniacal as the
general rush of disapproval flows from the crowed. Several police officers aid him in
departing the stage as the crowed of onlookers turns rapidly into a mob aimed at tearing him
limb from limb. Bruce and Dick move on top of a refreshment table to escape the flood of
humanity. Both are staring open mouthed at the scene displayed in the center of the Gotham
On display are five male
figures. All are mostly nude and all are engaged in very
sexual acts. In the center are two men engaged in the classic '69' position. Seated behind
them is an older man wearing a leather vest, leather driving gloves, reflective sun glasses,
and a leather police hat. Obviously older than the two men in front of him, he gives the
impression of a monarch enjoying the pleasures of court. Flanking him on the left is a man
wearing a black leather strait jacket. This man is wearing a hood and boots, and nothing else.
To the right of the seated figure is a man hanging upside down on a cross. He is tied in place
and his face is covered with blindfold, ball gag, and pressure straps. His body shows the
marks of the lash. The two men before the seated figure are wearing leather harnesses. The one
on top has a large green dildo protruding from his anus. If one were to look carefully at the
seated figure, they would notice it looks like the artist himself. A closer look at the
figures before him would reveal Henry Roberts assistant and his helpers.
Once out of sight, one Henry
Robert starts taking on an etherial appearance. The form
of the well known sculptor shift and flows into a massive grey humanoid form. The police
captain turns towards the form and says "You did that pretty good Clayface. Keep up the good
work and we'll get you back to normal. Don't and we stop research. Now do I need to put you in
the body cast?" The ponderous shaking of Clayface's distorted head assures the police there is
no need for additional restraints. The captain continues "OK, then back to the lab. For what
it's worth, I hope everything works out for you. My wife caught a couple of your plays and is
quite a fan. Any chance I can get an autograph?"
"'The latest Henry Roberts
exhibit is not suitable for younger patrons of the arts.
The scene depicts group sex in a homosexual leather club. The themes are bondage, homosexual
lust, pain, and domination. This reporter would not encourage anyone offended by the above
materials to attend a showing of this work, though the famous Henry Roberts attention to
detail is evident in these statues.' Clark, do you expect me to print this?". A very angry
Perry White is glaring at Clark, waving the review of the Robert exhibit about. 'Mr White'
begins Clark, 'I am a journalist. This requires me to OBJECTIVELY report the news. I cannot
let my personal feeling color my story, nor can I disregard the artistic qualities of an
exhibition I personally dislike.'
Outside the door to Perry
White's office, one Louis Lane stands. In her hands is a
folder marked 'H Roberts', and within are enlargements of the pictures taken at the exhibit.
Intended for proofing before release, these photos are of the highest quality. Upon the face
of the lady reporter is a look of pure lust and desire. In her mind are thought of a similar
nature, centered around a single man; one with an 'S' emblazoned upon his chest. In her pocket
is a small remote control and a bottle of unmarked pills. In her desk is a leather harness. It
sits upon a notepad containing ideas on how to seduce a certain man of steel. Also written are
ideas on how to get him to swallow one of the pills currently in her purse...
To be continues?