Commedia Doll'Arte
Roleplaying Log: Commedia Doll'Arte
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Joker unveils his latest ponderings to his favorite henchwoman.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: March 28, 2020
IC Location: Gotham, NJ
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 28 Mar 2020 20:26
Rating & Warnings: G
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

A broken gavel lays across the table.

There's something warped and wrong about the scene, so intimately laid out. The stolen navy blue compass-patterned rug. The scattering of old mahogany tables. To be fair, senators don't tend to much have gavels. That's really just because there was one left over in the box from that time with the Gotham judge and the combine harvester, truthfully. And honestly, if it fits with the gag, really, why not?

The room, really, is a record of criminal actions, done dirty and cheap. The months following the toss-up at Belle Reve had seen the Joker turning to his own personal pet projects, with nary a peep heard from him in the Gotham underground. Of course, there were rumors. The Joker caught one of the Bats. I wouldn't want to cross someone like that. Did you hear? He went national. Blew up a whole prison for the girl. They're just as crazy as the Batman. Did the Bat escape? No, couldn'ta. Maybe he let her loose. Maybe he killed her. What about Quinn? Where did she go? Wait, she had a tank? Goddamn. Did Batman stop her?

Why is she still walking?
This town is crazy…

Once the Joker almost killed Batgirl after her daring escape, he was left with little to do in the way of idle projects. And though there is something to be said for the man never truly being idle, the maniac with a thousand ideas, there were certain benefits for some for his idle hands. If he were in the right mood. Broken gavel aside…

"Hear ye, hear ye," the Joker snickers absently, stepping out onto the balcony overlooking the Joy Factory, dressed in a sliced up suit that was once quite expensive, and quite pressed. It's hard to tell if the bloodstains are old or new, but the U.S. flag pin inverted on his lapel can't be anything but intentional. The suit jacket and undershirt are left open, the only ward against the stiff chill of the waning winter, still viciously cold in the poor streets of Gotham. Knife and bullet wounds ages old scar across the barely revealed ghost white at his midriff, leaving his bare hands to fiddle absently with a phone. A pack of chewing gum satisfies his oral fixations for the moment, a bit of foil discarded as he quietly, vainly checks the knife edges of his face in the phone's reflection, even as text flickers across the screen.

WE'VE GOT HIM.


As soon as Joker steps out to his place, Harley races out on the balcony in front of him. She sets down a goose-necked desk lamp at the end of a mile of extension cords and swivels and twists the thing so the bare bulb shines up from beneath him. It may not be the most flattering lighting angle in the history of evers, but it will do the trick. And once that's done, she hurls herself over the balcony's edge.

Oh, no! Is this the end of Harley Quinn, most beloved of the Joker?!

Nay, nay, good sir! Nay, nay!

Despite the three-inch heels she wears and the business suit beside (which one might note, upon closer inspection, is actually a very comfortable lycra blend - why isn't she in fashion?), she manages to catch herself on a support beam. In short order, this means that the flexible and acrobatic creature has settled down at a tiny, narrow stenographer's desk below… whereupon a tiny manual typewriter has been set. "Ready for notes, sir!" she chirps, and she slams the typewriter's ribbon and reel to one side. It takes the abuse with a bright little 'DING!'


The Joker is grandiose, even when he just seems to have walked out of the bedroom in a stolen man's suit. Admittedly, he does have an eye for superior tailoring and size. But even so, the man gestures in a grand sweep, even as the nymph takes a perilous leap over the railing of the balcony. He could only hope to be that flexible, but it's arguable that he ever actually notices anything more than the remarkable shape of a slender woman tucked away into a tiny desk with an even smaller typewriter, done up in shades of ribbon and lycra.

For the comedy value alone.
He's glad he thought of it.

"Ahem," the jester continues, hand to lapel and phone sweeping wide as he addresses the committee, one leg raising slightly as he arches a heel away from the walk, his wingtips flexing with the motion in an artful performance analogue worthy of Broadway. "Hear ye, hear ye! All assembly rise for the honorable Speaker of the Factory, The JOKER!" he hoots to the gathered assembly.

Before him, there is an assemblage of various toys, all done up to look like senators and various political/celebrity figures having been gruesomely murdered at their tiny desks, not too far from where Harley sits. Hey, isn't that teddy bear sporting hair from the girl that was the UN liaison for a few years? Man, crushed by a computer. That's a harsh way to go, even for a teddy bear.

"Thank you for your tremendous appreciation of my work, and our performance thus far in this country, in the year of our lord twenty twenty! I now open the day for debate and the commentary of and upon the new menaces facing our great nation of rogues and monsters. Under this great rotting roof, we must discharge our solemn honor and obligation in powers to determine the course and character of our best storylines, and our best performances thereof and wit! Where is my gavel? I speak to you tonight of the need for an enema in the deep nethers of this noble city, and the impaction of our great work therein! I tell you now, this is our charge today, solemn and sad, to open the discourse against the most offensive thing to happen in our country since the invention of the IRS! I speak of only one thing, and one thing only!"

The clown, despite making a habit of making no sense, is pretty impassioned as he vaults into the longest, most painful parody of the Senate ever. If that raggedy ann next to Harley had not already been mock killed with an axe, spilling yarn everywhere, she almost certainly would be dead by this point.
Fortunately, eventually even the Joker has to get to the punchline.

"I say to you now, where, are, my, mutants!?'


Clickity, clackety, clickety, clack, DING!

Clickity, clackety, click, click, clack, DING!

Harley's fingers dance over the typewriter's keys with all of the joy and sprightliness of a concert pianist. Truly, did pianist ever find such a cheerful sound as found by Harley at the end of each line? Ding!

Her transcription is just as much nonsense as the Joker’s spewing of words, random mixings of consonants and vowels of the likes that the world would have never seen fit to otherwise offer physical space. But Harley doesn't just make room for every nonsensical utterance her beloved speaks upon the air. She makes it holy.

The silence will hang for a long moment, before Harley leans over sideways and squeaks in a ridiculous voice from the corner of her mouth as though the ragdoll on the narrow bench beside her has finally found her voice from beyond the grave, "I don't know, Mister Joker, sir! Where should we be looking?"

Clickity, clack clack clack, ding!

Suddenly, violently, Harley pulls the page out of the machine and throws it behind her shoulder, only to load another. The first flutters dramatically to the floor, even as the second bends itself for use upon the black roll.


And the Joker does so exult in the exalt.

Swimming in faux patriotism, Senator Speaker Joker slams his hands into the railing ahead of him, setting the balcony/makeshift lectern acquiver with the motion as he addresses the so addressed, the power of his motion enough to cause a small toaster with a cowboy hat to fall over in the middle row two spaces to the right. His gloves creak as he grips the railing with mad fervor. His gloves are rarely removed, even in the most seductive of circumstances, and today is no different, the acid-etched silence that follows his outburst only broken by the creak of barely-restrained orchid leather.

It's so quiet, you can almost hear the pupils in his mad green eyes contract.

"I'll tell you what. They're not. In. GOTHAM!" the Joker sneers, jabbing the air violently with an outstretched finger, undecided as to whether he should admonish fate, or stab it and leave it bleeding in the alley. "And what does that do, my dear citizens? Depress housing prices, cause innocent families to lose their jobs and go on the streets? What's a garden variety clock-punching maniac to do if all of the attention is on the antics and opinions of a bunch of alphabetically challenged teenagers, especially if their ideological champions are composed entirely of the world's most sexually confused handicapped club?! People like that should be on television commanding spaceships, not the thoughts and minds of a nation," the Joker spits, thumbing to his bare chest. "That's MY job!"

"So! My fellow maniacs. I've decided to pass this nation's Affordable Psychopath Act, effective tonight."

The Joker stares at his phone for a few moments more, before whipping it away from him with nary a further thought, the handset pinwheeling into the air haphazardly, probably to land somewhere and break. Luckily he sprung for the phone protection plan. "No longer will this great nation's best and brightest sociopaths in the greatest city on our lord's green Earth be forced to play second fiddle to a bunch of ball-ascendants and red-and-pimplies who can't decide which bikini is the best to wear to the pool. As part of my campaign, we're going to drain the pool! —Or pee in it. I haven't decided. Mmm."

Scratching his chin, the Joker seems to lose his train of thought for a moment. Oh yeah
"
But then after that, these icky freaks are coming to Gotham!!" :D


The room explodes into a riotous cacophony of hoots and hollers, due in no small smart to the diminutive transcriptionist who is slamming her heels into the concrete floor and bashing her hands onto the delicate plastic keys of the vintage typewriter to see what sounds she can pull from both below his feet. Between emphatic bangs of her fist, she cups her hands around her mouth so that her shrill voice carries all the better in the room with its cavernous echoes.

“WOOOOOOO. YEAH! YEAH, YOU TELL ‘EM, MISTAH J! WE’LL BRING ALL THOSE ICKY FREAKS TO—”

There’s a pause as Harley’s brain catches up with her mouth and her infamously fanatic support of her beloved’s diabolical scheming.

Confusion reigns on her features for a very long moment, and then she tentatively raises her hand and asks in a volume so low that it’s nearly a murmur. “Uh…. Uh, puddin’?” And just in case he doesn’t hear her (because, honestly, she’s a little more than accustomed to being regularly set in her paramour’s shadow and the shadow of his fixations and she mostly contents herself with that lot), she begs for his attention once more.

“Puddin’?”


"Thank you, thank you. Please, hold all applause until the end."

The Joker, as someone who left aside all ideas of being a real person a long time ago, exults in attention and fame. Priding himself on being the very definition of personality, he does not break character for a moment, sharpening the edge of an open-fingered pointing jab at the air, grasping the ridge of the makeshift lectern with his other. "Now," he starts sharply, punctuating the motion. "I know what you're thinking. 'President Joker,' has a nice ring to it, yeah? But first, we need to get funding for our fun. The boys haven't been paid since I last had to kill one or two of them, and eh… it really kind of stifles the elation economy if we have to knock a few dead more than once in awhile, right? So! You'd think we'd have to pass lots of taxes with our bill, right?"

The Joker slices the air with his finger, perishing the notion. "Wrong! Who likes those?"

"As always," the mad jester continues, "we're going to rely on the nation's most fortunate. We don't need to take a little from a lot, but just reach deep into the deepest pocket there is, and ask winsomely, 'is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to—" What?

The Joker frowns deeply, even if frowning isn't really a color he wears well, the crime scene across his face more in the color of a rictus grin than deep disapproval. Even so, even Pagliacci is allowed. It takes him mock moments to single out the sole source of dissent among the adoring crowd. He stares. He frowns. He even jumps down, comically bouncing on a nearby railing and with a slide whistle that you could swear he installed just for the purpose, he kites down to the Senate floor. The motion is not smooth, nor is it practiced, Joker having to stumble more than once to stick the landing. You can always tell when he isn't planning for something to happen. And this is definitely not part of tonight's program.

The Joker marches right up to the diminutive reporter, hands clasped behind his back firmly.
He grins, charitably. And with a snap, he gestures to the teddy bear seated not far from Harley.
"Now. You're embarrassing me in front of the congresswoman. What. Is it." :)


Harley looks suitably abashed as she sinks low into her tiny seat, her spine curving more than looks really natural. If you squint, she might look more like a wilting flower than a jestress in a business dress, particularly as her hand and arm seem to sink downward as the Joker approaches. Her eyes never leave him, waiting for the grin and his long-suffering to evaporate.

But she cares. She wants him to do well. To be spared the embarrassment that he accuses her of bringing now. So she pushes forward, despite his irritation.

"I-If we bring all the mutants to Gotham, won't they outnumber us? By a lot? By, like, a LOT a lot?"

She turns her head to the teddy and smiles nervously in the toy's direction. "I'm sorry, ma'am. This will be jes' a minute. Little sidebar, you understand."

-

"Why, senator," the Joker asks, simultaneously disobeying the premise and also making a mockery of how the government works, "Are you suggesting that a bunch of low-rent, overhyped, underdressed young adult fiction rejects are any kind of threat to moi?" As if to underline how preposterous an idea it is, his flourish is expansive, a roll of the wrist and a orchid-gloved grandiose wave outlining his own haphazardly dressed personnage.

"Surely, you jest."

There is a thin veneer of congeniality in the Joker's words, a sense of meandering wonder meeting a relentless dedication to gentlemanly courtage. It tempers, of course, everything he does, that same polite diffidence that gives his slender accomplice every opportunity to contemplate her thinking, and to re-consider the facts at hand. He is endlessly cordial, nodding in perfect and sympathetic harmony with every word Harley speaks, gracious in hanging on every word, as a great leader might.

It is like staring into the eyes of a coiled viper.

And he is ever the more gentle as he slips a hand along his inamorata's jawline, to command her full attention away from the toy and into his faintly shimmering green eyes, shot through with decade-old poison in beautiful and deadly iridescence. "Besides," he takes pain in asiding, magnanimously pointed in his tonality, his phrasing intended for just Harley. Just her, and no number of toys and false party mates. He tucks her towards him, and looks her knife-like in those bright baby blues, the borderpost of insanity miles away at this juncture.

"If they outnumber us, they outnumber the Batman, too." :)
Did you think he was just going to bring the good mutants?


Harley's eyes close as she savors the touch of a hand upon her powder-soft skin and the way she's drawn in from her tiny perch to her beloved, so easy to imagine it in an entirely different context. It's contact she longs for but is so oft denied, and she refuses to waste it, even such as it is.

There is a command in his fingertips, and she is pulled along with but the tiniest, beckoning curl of them. Her eyes open, and she finds the familiar pools of the Joker's. And she, perhaps more than anyone else alive, can fathom what lurks beneath the depths of them.

Her brow creases. "Well, yeah, but that doesn't…"

Those blue eyes of her dart in minuscule degrees from side to side, taking him in and betraying the race of thoughts through her brain. She sees something there, perhaps. Because, suddenly, violently, she laughs. "You're right," she capitulates, and every inch of her relaxes for it. She exhales a pent up breath, and then her slender fingers come up to fuss with and straighten his marred lapel. "I'm sorry, Mistah J. Yer honor. Yer absolutely right." She chuckles again and shrugs sheepishly. "Yer always right. I'm sorry I interrupted."

She twists her hands then to set them down once more upon the round button keys of the typewriter. "Please, continue?"


There is so much that is deadly about the Joker that it's hard to remember which parts of him are not. The wild, unfettered light in his eyes promises a symphony of things volatile and extreme. And for a moment, it seems like the point of no return is far gone, the place that so many have found themselves in with him, the moment in which he decides that you simply just are not going to get the joke. These are the types that die the fastest in his employ, stale passionless milquetoasts. A lot of the other boys can spot them on sight. A few even start up a betting pool on the fresh meat. After all, the game's no fun if there aren't a few lives on the line, right?

But then, there's always been a more complicated relationship between the clown and his once-would-be psychiatrist.
"Good," the Joker replies unctuously. "I knew you could get the punchline through that lovely alabaster forehead of yours." His compliment is mild, the back-hand something set aside and brushed over in light of her laughter, a nervous music to his ear. "Quite good, because I'm going to need you to help me with the funding side of our little excursion."

There is a game at play, shown in the way the clown touches her, the way he holds her custom, even when she struggles to look at anything else. It isn't a trap she can slip out of this time, even as she plays at his lapel, even as her hands return to the keys. The Joker doesn't move, save for that meandering, crawling little smile, a whip to the arc of her back. Her mind races, and he knows it. But the Joker, he is a different man entirely.

He's capable of thinking of only one thing.
And he can think of it for a very long time.

"In the meantime," he continues along her lines of thought and the lines of her, gentle in the way he cups her neck between his hands, settling finally at her shoulders. His weight is in those hands, all of the verve and the showmanship distilled into one scintillating, dangerous line of thought. There is something in the way the whip-lean man drapes over her, his presence distracting away from her mindfulness. He eats her doubt, one slow, undulating swallow at a time. "In the meantime," he repeats, an octave lower.

"The Speaker is thinking of calling a recess."

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