It was Ivy's idea, she told Harley if she really wanted to make it on her own she'd need some loyal henchmen. Which was of course easy for her to say, Ivy only had to blow a kiss to any hot blooded person and she had them under her thumb. Ivy even offered to “grow” some for Harley, but she declined. Plants was Ivy's thing after all, yet she agreed she did need henchman. Every costumed villain worth their colourful tights had henchman, aside from maybe Catwoman, but she was always a loner. Yet theme was important, Harley knew that. Anyone could walk out into some dingy little dive bar in Gotham and walk out with a crew of muscle, but that's all they were. Hired canon fodder, with no loyalty passed payday.
It was actually during a marathon of Freakazoid that Harley got her inspiration. A little trip to Arkham in disguise and some stolen confidential files later and Harley was busy making her short list. Harley felt like some big shot Hollywood executive going through head shots and resumes. It felt good. After a few sleepless nights and many cups of Ivy's home grown coffee, which has a special kind of kick to it, Harley had her winners.
Two young women, who'd both been ( )ought to Arkham for a short involuntarily stay. They'd both shown signs of anti social or severe anxiety. During their physical both were discovered to bare signs of ( )uising and repeated injury. Which was excused away by the girls' activities. Harley could read between the lines, saw a pattern all to familiar to her and knew she could do something. All she had to do was reach out.
In one of the many depressingly poverty stricken areas of Gotham, a young woman by the name of Melissa Fate sat in the dark on her bedroom. She was looking at a couple of well worn letters. She didn't need the light, she already recite them by heart. Which was good because her step father would shout at her for not being asleep, or worse. The letters were from her real father, who was currently severing time in Blackgate prison. After a year or two of no steady work Melissa's father signed up with the penguin's gang, doing low level intimidation. Yet it all went wrong when Batman showed up one day, Melissa's father got thirty years and a crushed right hand.
“Dear Mel, Thanks for the last letter, I know it's not easy with your mother and that arsehole watching you like a hawk. I miss you sweet heart. How's classes and all that? Does it still feel weird writing actual letters, instead of just texting over the phone?...” Melissa let the letters slip from her hands and onto the bed because she didn't want to smudge the ink with fresh tears.
“Wakey, wakey.” A chipper and oddly whiny voice shook Melissa from her unremembered sleep. When her eyes managed to peel back the darkness and the haze of sleep, she saw Harley Quinn.
“What?” Melissa managed to get out, but Harley butted in before Melissa could continue.
“Now I know what you must be thinking, “Is that really The Harley Quinn? I must be dreaming!” Well I can tell you that yes I am She! And no you aint dreamin!” Harley was loud Melissa didn't need to be told she was awake.
“What do you want?” Melissa blurted out scared and confused.
“Well I'm not here to ask you to do my homework...No kid, I want you!...to sign up for some less than legitimate after school activities.”
“Look before you go saying the “W” word again, listen to me Mel. I know that signing up with a known criminal such as myself sounds crazy, but lets talk crazy. Why were you sent to Arkham?”
“How do you know about that?...Actually never mind, I don't want to know. I got sent there cause I was getting into fights at school.”
“So you were sent to a hospital for the criminally insane for what? School yard street fights? Trust me kid I've been on both sides of the padded walls in Arkham, they don't send you there unless everyone else has given up hope fixing what they think is ( )oken.”
“...I...I stole a kitchen knife from my mom, I took it to school and held a boy from my classroom hostage in the bathroom.” Melissa hadn't thought about it in so long, had pushed it so far down that the memory was alien to her now.
“Why did you do that?”
“Because she said my dad deserved to be locked up and that Batman should have ( )oken his spine instead of crushing his hand.”
“How did it all end?”
“They tried getting my mom in to talk to me through the door, but it was the head teacher saying that my dad was on the phone that made me put the knife down.”
“Where's your dad now?”
“He got killed trying to get out of the way during a prison riot.”
“Did Batman ever stop to asking why your dad was working for the penguin?”
“No...he didn't.” Harley saw it in Melissa's face, that hatred for the Bat.
“I had a feelin' that'd be the case, so to recap. The Bat sent your daddy to the slammer, which lead to your mother to send you to the mad house... Doesn't seem fair to me.” Harley paused and allowed betrayal of society to sink in to the girl. She needed this to be the girl's decision. “Look kiddo, if you don't wanna join up that's fine, if you do I can take away that helpless and hopeless feeling.”
“Yeah? How?” Mel was getting frustrated, upset and confused.
“Easy, the problem isn't you kid, it's that everyone doesn't want you to know your own strength. That is except me, cause I believe with enough training you could one day stand before those meta humans and laugh in their faces too.”
Listening to Harley Quinn's words gave way to something inside Melissa. She felt like the world was spinning away from her and she thought she should try to grab it and hold on. Yet she wondered why she was trying to cling to this old world? That didn't want her and it hadn't wanted her father either, so why hold on?
“How do I start?” As Melissa asked the question Harley's smile widened. She leapt to her feet, forcefully grabbed the girls arm and shook it.
“First I need to make another house call, but you should probably come with me now. Your mom and step pops is gonna think you whacked them on the head with a mallet when they come to.”
“Why are they going to think that?”
“Cause I whacked them on the head with a mallet, now come on.”