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.Then he reached out with his gloved fist and knocked on theman’s icy cheek.The sound he heard was a hollow one.“A copsicle,” he observed.His gang of thugs, whom he had dubbed the Icemen,chuckled among themselves as they skated backward in their thermalsuits.They were giving Freeze the space he craved-the space hedeserved.He had trained them well, he mused.Then he approached the shattered display case.With care not topuncture his suit, he began to wipe away the fragments of glass andsteel.“A brief lesson on the ways of the universe,” he said to no one inparticular.“Some substances are invulnerable to the heat of a thousandsuns.There are stones that defy the weight of mountains piled on theirbacks.Certain subatomic particles exist forever and will outlive Godhimself.But in this universe,” he pontificated, “there is only one absolute.Only one thing you can always depend on.Everything.”He lifted a tremendous diamond from the debris of the display case.Itsparkled magnificently in his hand.“.freezes,” he said, completing his thought.Freeze held the diamond high over his helmeted head.The light lanced through it, eliciting rainbows of color, making itshine more brilliantly than any star.“From perfect beauty,” he announced, “I will bring back … life.”Suddenly, the skylight seemed to explode, scattering daggers of glassthat made the remains of the display case look like splinters.And inthe wake of that unexpected explosion, Batman came plummeting into theroom, his cape a huge, outflung shadow that darkened even the brillianceof the gem.before Freeze could move a muscle, Batman hit the ice-coveredbrontosaurus and came sliding down its neck.Plowing into the villainfeetfirst, the Dark Knight dislodged the diamond from his grasp and sentit skittering across the frozen floor.Clenching his teeth, Freeze turned his cryonic weapon on his adversary.“Bat on ice, anyone?”Abruptl,/, Batman kicked the cryo-gun out of Freeze’s hands and snatchedit out of the air.“Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to play withguns9” he asked in that low, ominous voice of his.Moving quickly, Freeze launched a kick of his ownand sent the gunpinwheeling out of Batman’s possession.Then he snatched it in turn.“You’re not sending me to the cooler,” he said.Before Batman could respond, Freeze fired.But his enemy dodged theblast.Undaunted, Freeze took aim again.That’s when the front doors of the museum blew open-admitting Gotham’sother costumed crime fighter.Robin came soaring through the air on his motorbike, a grin on his faceas if there were nothing in the world he’d rather be doing than riskinghis life.Freeze was so distracted by the entrance, he didn’t see Batman kick athis gun again.He just felt the impact and saw the weapon ascend in ahigh, twirling are.At first, Freeze thought it was headed for Robin’s hand.But Batman’s protdgd didn’t catch it.Sailing over Freeze’s head on hisbike, he kicked the airborne gun onto the altar atop the pyramid.“Score!” Robin laughed.“And the crowd goes wild!”Then He landed, laying his bike sideways in a long, slippery slideacross the floor.To keep from slamming into the wall, Robin grabbed aRoman statue of Mercury and used it to whip around in a dismount.Batman went for Freeze.Robin was right behind him.How dramatic, thought Freeze.How inspiring.His own outlook tended tobe more down to earth.More succinct.“Grab the gem,” he told his Icemen.“Kill the heroes.”Until now, his hirelings had been holding back, awaiting his orders.Nowthey rushed forward, hockey masks in place, sticks flailing as theyclosed with the caped intruders.“It’s the hockey team from hell,” Robin wisecracked.He didn’t know how right he was, Freeze mused, as he raced toward thealtar and his fallen gun.But he never quite got there.There was a rush of dark security uniforms from a side door Freezehadn’t paid much attention to.And before he could reach the top of thepyramid, they were swarming all over him.It turned out to be a mistake.A big mistake-but not for Freeze.After all, he was their superior in every way.A living weapon designedto survive, to endure, to win-while they were doughnut-chomping nobodiesoff the streets of Gotham.With speed and precision, he began whaling on the guards.Hooks, ‘abs,upper and lower cuts-all perfectlydelivered, ithe did say so himself.And the inevitable result?He looked at the uniformed figures sprawled all around him.Not asingle one was still conscious.“Cop-suey,” he spat.Then he remembered his gun, still atop the altar.Showing therent-a-cops the disdain they deserved, he turned his back on them andwent for it.Batman blocked a swinging stick with his left hand, then kicked theoffending Iceman in the ribs.Sensing danger from behind, he ducked andallowed a second Iceman to sail over his back.Then he punched thefirst one, sending him sprawling across the room.A glance told him Robin was holding his own as well.But they weren’t getting any closer to the giant gem the Icemen weredefending.Glancing at Freeze, Batman saw the villain ascending the pyramid, astring of guards littering the floor at its base.Clearly, the villain had to be the priority now [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]