ByMalice Dahustlah, writer at Creators.co
We focus on the origins and processes that make the bad guys so villainous throughout the multiple universes of comics, films and novels.
Malice Dahustlah

Harleen set down her coffee and files before sitting down. She was excited to start recording her sessions with Joker today. Harleen only had to wait the few extra minutes for Greg the video tech to finish setting up the recording equipment on the sixth floor. She thought she would get a head start and get to the interview room before Joker did, but her plans were halted when Dr. Wallace burst through her office door with a file in hand and a look of disbelief.

“What’s wrong?” Harleen asked.

“You will not believe who was just admitted.” Dr. Wallace said, showing her the unopened file. Harleen attempted to grab the folder. “A young woman, early twenties…claiming she was Joker’s daughter.”

Harleen put her hand down, giving Dr. Wallace the biggest look of skepticism she could muster. “You cannot be serious.”

“Incredibly.” Dr. Wallace said with a smile. “She was brought in after an explosion at the bus depot. She gave herself up almost immediately. When the cops came in with her last night, she went hysterical, begging to see her father. The doctor on the night shift asked who her father was and she said, with no hesitation, Joker.”

“There’s no evidence to suggest that Joker ever had a relationship beyond Batman, let alone that he ever had children.” Harleen argued.

“And there’s no evidence to say he didn’t.” Dr. Wallace answered. “Until now.” He handed her the file. “I want you to speak with her.”

“Why me?” Harleen asked.

“Because of your work with Joker. If she really is his daughter…”

“She can’t be!” Harleen said, bordering on shouting.

“Talk to her, and find out.” Dr. Wallace answered. “You want a challenge? I don’t think there’s any better one than this. She’s waiting for you in Interview Room 6.”

Harleen eyed Dr. Wallace before taking the file. “You really know how to tug at a girl’s heartstrings.” Dr. Wallace chuckled as he watched Harleen leave her office with the file.

═════

Harleen walked into a familiar place, Interview Room 6, where she had her first sessions with Joker. Instead of her normal pale-skinned and green-haired patient was a brunette in her mid-twenties in standard Arkham attire. She looked up to see Dr. Quinzel enter the room and stand by the table.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Harleen Quinzel.” Harleen said before taking her seat. “What’s your name?”

“Where’s my father?” the woman asked. “Batman brought him a few days ago; I need to make sure he’s all right.”

“How about we start with your name?” Harleen asked.

“Where’s my father?!” the woman asked again. Harleen fell silent, waiting. The woman scoffed. “Duela. Can I see my father now?”

“And who is your father?” Harleen asked.

Duela sighed. “About six feet, green hair, almost pure white skin, has crimson red lips, likes to smile and crack jokes. Batman brought him in a few days ago. I need to make sure he’s all right.”

“And why is his safety so important to you?” Harleen asked.

“Duh. He’s my father. Why would I not care about his safety?” Duela replied. “You wouldn’t drop everything to make sure your parents were okay?”

“Of course, but I wouldn’t go so far as to get admitted into a sanitarium.” Harleen said.

“I’m here to see my father. How else can I see him?” Duela asked.

“You could come in during visiting hours.” Harleen speculated.

“Like that’s enough to get his attention. You want to capture my father’s eye? Blow something up.” Duela answered as though she shared a crucial bit of life advice.

“And that’s why you blew up a bus at the depot? So you could make sure your father would notice you?” Harleen asked. Duela nodded. “Okay. Let’s start with the most obvious question.” Harleen replied. “How do you know for certain that Joker is your father?”

“He is. Simple as that.” Duela answered.

“Would you be willing to take a DNA test to prove it?” Harleen asked.

“I don’t need to. He’s my father, and I want to see him.” Duela answered. “I’ll do whatever it takes to get just a few minutes with him.”

Harleen wrote one word under Duela’s name: delusional, and circled it. “So, Joker is your father.” Harleen nodded. “Do you have any memories of him in your childhood?”

“No. My mother raised me by herself, but she always told me stories about my father.” Duela answered. “How he made her fall in love with horrible gag and bad jokes. He used to leave her notes and flowers.” Her faced turned sour. “But he never had time. He was always busy, making it hard for them to be together. When he found out she was pregnant with me, he took off.”

“Joker left?” Harleen answered.

Duela nodded. “No letters, no phone calls, no nothing. It hurt my mother badly, but she never forgot him.” She scoffed. “So when I was old enough, I went out and searched. I tracked him here, to Gotham. I was going to approach him, but Batman got in the way, throwing him in here.”

“Which prompted you to blow up a Gotham City bus inside the depot, get caught by the police and willingly be admitted into Arkham in the middle of the night? You then decide to lash out, demanding to see Joker and then claiming to be his long lost daughter.” Harleen said. “Not many people would believe you, knowing the Joker like they do.”

“I don’t need them to believe me. I need him to believe me.” Duela answered. “He is my father, and I want him in my life.”

“You know the things he’s done in Gotham?” Harleen asked. Duela nodded. “Then why do you want him in your life?”

“Did you grow up with your father?” Duela asked.

“I did.”

“Then it isn’t something that can be explained; not to you.” Duela answered. “Good or bad, I’ll take the father I have over nothing.”

“And you’re one hundred percent sure Joker is your father?” Harleen asked.

“Beyond a doubt.” Duela answered.

“Then a DNA test shouldn’t be too much to ask.” Harleen answered.

Duela scoffed. “Fine.”

“I’ll be right back.” Harleen answered before getting up from the table. She left Interview Room 6, walked out to the hallway to find an orderly. “Can you bring a cheek swab to Interview Room 6, please?” The orderly nodded and left while Harleen made her way back to Duela. She sat down in her seat and smiled. “An orderly will be here shortly to swab your cheek.”

“And what happens when you see I’m not lying?” Duela asked. “Will I be able to see my father then?”

“I don’t think that’s possible.” Harleen answered. “Joker’s not part of the general population, and he has no visitation rights here.”

“Can I just at least make sure he’s all right?” Duela asked.

“Again, I’m not sure that’s possible.” Harleen answered. The door opened and the orderly came in. “Open your mouth so he can swab your cheek for your DNA.” In silence, the orderly stuck the swab in Duela’s cheek. He looked at her for brief moment, catching the wink she gave him just before leaving. “Thank you. Have it tested against the Joker’s.” The orderly nodded and left. “So, is there anything else you would like to talk about?” Duela was silent, meaning all she wanted to do was ask to see Joker. “Okay, then. I’ll have a guard bring you back to your room.” She stood up. “If you want to talk, you only need to ask an orderly to see me.”

“I just want to see my father.” Duela whispered.

Harleen left the room in silence, leaving Duela alone, staring at the table. Harleen walked down the hall, up the stairs and back to her office, opening her laptop and began typing.

═════

Harleen printed out her report of Duela and added it to her folder when Dr. Wallace stood in her open doorway holding a single piece of paper. “Afternoon, Dr. Wallace.” He was silent. “Is everything all right?”

“I was informed that you ordered a DNA test on the patient claiming to be Joker’s daughter.” Dr. Wallace said calmly.

“I wasn’t buying her story. So I wanted to be sure.” Harleen answered.

“Well, now we’re sure.” Dr. Wallace said, moving to her desk and dropping the paper on it. “She is Joker’s daughter.”

Harleen stared in disbelief. “Really?”

“I ran it a second time to be sure. The second time brought about another surprise.” Dr. Wallace said as he unfolded a second sheet of paper from his pocket. “When I ran the second test, I accidentally forget to reset the parameters solely to Joker’s DNA. It ran her DNA against our entire system.” He set the second paper down next to the first. “It showed a 98% match to Joker’s DNA…and the DNA of Harvey Dent.”

“Also a 98% match.” Harleen whispered. “That’s not possible.”

“I also checked Dent’s records. He has no sisters.” Dr. Wallace answered. “So tell me, Dr. Quinzel. How is she both Joker’s daughter, and Dent’s?”

Harleen looked up from the paperwork Dr. Wallace had given her. “Let’s ask her.” She replied with a smile.

═════

Harleen only waited a few short minutes for the guard to bring in Duela to Interview Room 6 for the second time that day. Her Arkham jumpsuit had torn slightly at the shoulder, which immediately caught Harleen’s attention.

She pointed to the tear. “How did that happen?”

“She tried to get to the isolation wing to see Joker, broke Tim’s nose and dislocated Harry’s shoulder.” The guard answered. “It took another three of us to hold her down for the nurse to administer a sedative.” He looked to Duela, who winked at him. “Girl’s stronger than she looks.”

“I wanted to see my dad.” Duela pointed out.

“As you’ve repeatedly said.” Harleen answered. “Any chance you’re wrong that Joker is your father?”

“Not even remotely wrong.” Duela replied.

Harleen nodded. “Do you know who a…Harvey Dent is?”

“Who?” Duela asked.

“Better known as Harvey Two-Face?” Harleen asked. Duela shook her head. “Because when we ran your DNA, you showed a 98% match to his DNA.” Duela stared in silence. “Our DNA test says that Harvey Dent is your father.”

“No he isn’t. The Joker is my father. Did you even test it against his, like you asked the orderly to?” Duela asked.

“We did.” Harleen answered..

“And?” Duela asked, eager to hear Harleen’s answer.

“It was a 98% match to his as well.” Harleen said with a straight face. Duela more looked confused than Harleen could have anticipated. “Would you care to explain how you’re biologically related to two different men?”

“I’m not! Joker is my father. My mother’s name was Evelyn Dent, and she raised me all on her own while Batman kept my father away from us by throwing him in prison and here.” Duela answered.

Harleen leaned in closer. “Who is your mother?”

Duela sighed. “Her name was Evelyn Dent, and she raised me by herself in the hopes that—”

“Evelyn Dent. That’s your mother’s name?” Harleen asked.

“Yes!” Duela shouted. “I can only say the same thing so many times! I am the Joker’s Daughter, Duela Dent, and I want to see my father!” She started to get loud and the guard came through the door.

“Come on, let’s get you back to your room.” The guard said.

“Wait, we’re not done.” Harleen said.

“We’re not getting her riled up again.” The guard replied. He looked to Duela. “Let’s go.” Duela and Harleen barely took their eyes off each other until Duela left the room with the guard right behind her.

═════

Harleen sat at her desk, reading the paper records she had access to about Joker and Harvey Two-Face. She placed one hand up to rest her head. Dr. Wallace walked in and sat down in silence. She looked up for a brief moment before returning to her paperwork.

“I heard what Duela said about her parents.” Dr. Wallace said.

“There is absolutely no Evelyn Dent anywhere in Two-Face’s records.” Harleen answered. “But she is one hundred percent sure that Joker and this Evelyn Dent are her parents.”

“Yet she had a positive match to Two-Face.” Dr. Wallace answered. “Any theories to explain that?” She shook her head. “Yeah, same here.” He adjusted his weight in his seat. “I can only imagine what Joker would say.”

“A bad joke or pun.” Harleen said immediately.

“Maybe you should find out.” Dr. Wallace said, causing Harleen to take her eyes off the paperwork. “Maybe you could try to drop a few hints about Duela in your next session?” She gave him a look. “Nothing that would violate doctor-patient confidentiality—”

“Not that she said much that’s covered by it.” Harleen answered.

“But with the scene she made today, I have no doubt word spread to Joker by now.” Dr. Wallace continued. Red lights flashed and the siren went off. Dr. Wallace sighed in his exhaustion. “Another patient escaped.”

Drs. Wallace and Quinzel walked together to the main office, meeting the security chief. “Who escaped this time?” Dr. Wallace asked.

“The new girl—Duela.” The chief answered.

“So much for another session.” Harleen replied.

“Why would she escape knowing how close she was to seeing her father?” Dr. Wallace asked.

“Did she get out the same way as Nygma?” Harleen asked.

The chief shook his head. “We were going to move her to the women’s wing when she subdued her security detail and swiped an access card of one off the guards she knocked out.” He sighed as he swiveled back to the computer terminal. “She used it to walk right of the main gate, where it looked like a getaway car was waiting for her.”

“A getaway car?” Harleen asked. “Any idea who was in it?”

The guard shook his head once more. “The driver was smart. Whoever they were, they stayed beyond the view of the cameras we have at the gate.”

“It makes no sense. She blew up a bus to get in here, fails to get to Joker, so she decides to break out?” Dr. Wallace asked.

“It’s just another question to ask Joker when I see him tomorrow.” Harleen answered. “It will be very interesting to hear his take on the subject.”

“I imagine it would involve a bad joke or pun.” Dr. Wallace replied.

After returning to Harleen’s office, she finally remembered something she wanted to ask Dr. Wallace. “So I assume my sessions with Joker continue tomorrow?”

“Yes.”

“And the video equipment is set up?” She asked.

“Mm-hmm.” Dr. Wallace answered.

“Then I was planning on doing something for Joker’s next session.” Harleen said. Dr. Wallace was silent, but was prepared. “I want to take his strait jacket off.”

“Why?” Dr. Wallace asked after giving her his skeptical look.

“It should help develop more trust between us. I won’t have him completely free. I would ask the guards to keep him still cuffed.” Harleen answered. Dr. Wallace stared at Harleen, unconvinced. “It’s for the sake of progress!”

“I’m not okay with this.” Dr. Wallace replied. Harleen folded her arms across her chest, giving him a cold look of disappointment. He groaned. “All right! I’ll make sure he’s restrained with handcuffs and not the jacket. I will also make sure that the guard is within shouting distance at all times in case he’s needed.”

“Thank you. I’ll make the calls right away.” Harleen answered.

“Why is it so hard to say no to you?” Dr. Wallace asked.

“Because you know I’m worth the results.” Harleen answered with confidence.

Dr. Wallace nodded. “Please don’t make me regret this.” He said before walking out the door.

Harleen went for her office phone and dialed the extension she needed. “This is Dr. Harleen Quinzel. I have a request authorized by Dr. Wallace.” She nodded. “Yes, I would like to have Joker’s strait jacket replaced with cuffs, starting tomorrow.” She nodded once more. “Yes, thank you.” She hung up the phone.

Duela Dent Session 1 Notes by Dr. Harleen Quinzel

To my own surprise, this patient had repeatedly claimed to be the biological daughter of the Joker. In our two brief sessions, she kept asking to see her father and talk about how his vague lifestyle made it impossible for her parents to be together. In between sessions, I authorized a DNA test. It proved she was Joker’s daughter.

I was unsure what to make of it, but the test is correct. She desperately wanted to be recognized by her father, who abandoned her pregnant mother prior to her birth. She even said, “Want to catch my father’s eye? Blow something up.”

Since I was unable to have my session with Joker today, tomorrow’s session will be about Duela, whether or not he’s even aware of her existence, and if he is, his reaction to knowing she attempted to see him.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Check out Session 1 here if you missed it.

or at Villain Archives.Com

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