In an underground laboratory, Wayde was lying on a bed, his wrists and ankles were shackled with large metal restraints and there was a large metal arm with a myriad of equipment attached to it, among them a few syringes connected to thin tubes that went up the arm and through the wall. On his left was a large window leading to another room in which an old man in a lab coat was looking over several indicators. Next to him stood Eduard who looked pleased for some reason.
"Hey Ed... remind me why I'm doin this..." Wayde said nervously.
"To get back at the Batman, you dim-witted oaf. Now stop behaving like a spineless gecko and calm down."
"I just... I don't like needles!"
"Then perhaps it would comfort you, Mr Jones, to know that when I'm done with you, no needle will ever hurt you again," the man in the lab coat said checking his vitals.
"I swear it on my medical licence," the other replied and pushed a few buttons that lowered the mechanical arm towards Wayde.
"Dr Langstrom... your licence was revoked," Eduard pointed out.
"Indeed. But he doesn't know that," the doctor replied and pushed a button that made the syringes pierce Wayde's chest.
A green fluid started pumping through the tubes into his body. Wayde was already shaking from the needles but when the fluid started flowing inside his body he started panicking and yelling in pain. He struggled to get free but the restraints held him in place. The needles being attached to rubber tubes that were flexible they kept pumping his chest full.
Wayde gave a final yell, his eyes almost bulging out of his skull, the irises had expanded and covered the entire eye and his pupils were elongated.
"Success," the doctor said pleased.
Morning at Wayne manor and Alfred was staring at his charge who was sleeping soundly but the look in his eyes was displeased as he walked to the window and threw the curtains apart, filling the room with light. Bruce turned his back on the sun and put a pillow over his head.
"Alfred!" his deaf yell came.
"Time for school, Master Bruce," the old man said calmly.
"Oh..." Bruce said sitting up then yawned so wide he could have swallowed a coconut.
"Worked late again last night?"
"Something like that..."
"You know the old saying, young master? All work and no play? I have made one up just for you. Exhausting work and no breaks make Master Bruce a comatose boy."
"I will take a break... this Friday, there's a dance!"
"A dance? At your school I presume?" Alfred said pleasantly surprised.
"Yeah and I have a date too..."
"Really?" the old man said pleased. "Then I trust you will show Ms Gordon a good time."
"Uh... I'm not going with Barbara. I'm going with Pamela Isly."
"Oh... I thought you would ask..."
"Actually, the girls ask the boys to this dance."
"The... girls ask... the boys?" Alfred repeated confused.
"Yeah, it's a new tradition," Bruce said getting dressed.
The talk about the dance reminded Bruce that he still had not talked to Barbara about the dance. To be precise, he had not apologised for not realising she would have like to go with a friend than some boy. When he got to school that was his first priority.
"Ozzy! Have you seen Barbara?" he asked the minute he saw a familiar face.
"We have bigger problems than her I'm afraid."
"What do you mean?"
"Tall, bald and dim-witted has just become tall, scaly and dim-witted," Oswald said looking at a crowd that had gathered outside the school gym.
He followed his friend's gaze and saw that a crowd had gathered around a boy who looked very strange. Looking closer he realised it was none other than Wayde... and Ozzy was not kidding, his body actually looked covered in green scales. Even more so, when he opened his mouth, it was filled with cone shaped fangs.
"Did Halloween come early?"
"I would not joke about it if I were you," Oswald replied.
Bruce was going to ask why but Wayde answered the question when he took a bite out of a locker. It seemed his change in appearance was not just for show. There was going to be trouble.
"Wayne!" the crocodilian football player called and walked his way. "I'll be taking my spot on the team back."
"If the coach will let you," Bruce challenged.
"Think you're gutsy, rich-boy? I'll be taking care of you at practice. And when I'm done with you, I'm goin after that Bat-guy."
"That's Batman," Barbara corrected.
"Go pop a zit, four-eyes."
"Go eat a fly, lizard breath."
"I think I'll have a bookworm instead," he said advancing on her.
Bruce quickly got in his path. A few students had gathered around them, to get a good view of the fight. Wayde swung his arm at him but Bruce ducked and threw his backpack in his face then tripped him. Big as he was, his speed did not seem to increase since their last fight. Or so Bruce thought because Wayde suddenly turned towards him with amazing speed, knocking him against a locker.
"Say your prayers, Wayne," Wayde said making his knuckles snap.
But just as he raised his fist to hit him, Pamela suddenly jumped in the way, shielding Bruce.
"Outta the way, Pammy doll."
"Forget it you brainless oaf! I'm not letting you harm one more hair on Brucey's head!"
Wayde growled but walked away. The rest of the students walked away, all but Barbara.
"Brucey! Are you hurt?!" Pamela asked concerned.
"I'm fi-ARGH!" he winced and grabbed his side. "My ribs..."
"Let's get him to the nurse's office," Barbara said and put one of Bruce's arms around her.
Pamela glared at her but took his other arm and they carried him to the nurse's office where she only confirmed what they feared, he probably had a few cracked ribs. Hearing that, Barbara called Alfred to come take him to the hospital and the old man arrived in ten minutes, probably breaking a few speeding violations on the way.
"This is your fault, you know?" Pamela said after Alfred had taken Bruce.
"MY fault?" Barbara said outraged.
"For provoking Wayde."
"He was gunning for Bruce from the get go!"
"It's still your fault he did it now!"
"Don't you think I know?!" Barbara yelled and a tear fell down her cheek.
Pamela was taken aback by the strong feelings behind the girl's reply but still frowned. "You should have told him sooner," she said walking away.
'Don't you think I know...?' Barbara thought as she wiped her eyes.