Shadow Of The Bat Part 1
Batman faces his greatest challages yet with the return of an old foe in part 1 of my 2 part story. This is my idea for the 5th Batman movie.
I have a link to Part 2 inside
If you haven't read my previous stories you may find them here
Batman: End of Days
Batman: Dark Side of the Mind
Here it the first part of my new story for Batman 5. It is nowhere near as long as it looks. It has about twenty pictures and they take up space. Let em know what you think.
Gotham, Several Years ago:
The city is shown from above at twilight a deep voice is heard “Insanity. It has been the downfall of great men, but for others it has been, a refuge a sanctuary. Anyone can go insane, all it takes is one very bad day.”
A young, up and coming mobster is leaning against the trunk of a car in a parking lot waiting for his crew to arrive.
He was preparing for the biggest score of his career, he and his men are being hired to intimidate a company that was fixing to join a major conglomerate, but this was against the wishes of Carmine Falcone. That is why the Falcone crime family hired Tony Zucco to take care of the company. His plan is to trash the plant and steal all of their documents. Zucco was able to find a man on the inside, some washed up comedian, who was willing to get them inside, for a price. Zucco threw down his cigarette as the other car pulled up, Zucco walked up to it and smiled as his men drug out their new little partner. Zucco tried to hide his disgust at the meek, sniveling little man whose face was hidden in the shadows, Zucco couldn’t remember his name he motioned to one of his men “What the hell’s this pricks name again?” The man, hired more for his muscles than brains shrugged “Joe, Jack…something like that.” Zucco looked at the man “You got our contingency plan ready, in case he doesn’t pull through?” The man nodded “yeah, if he screws up, we take the cut out of that wife of his.” Zucco motioned them to load up the cars and they were on their way towards their mark.
Zucco looked at the man who sat in the back seat, who sat face hidden in the shadows “Hey lighten up back there, this pays off and you and your wife will live happily ever after. You a comedian right, tell us a joke.” The man in the back shifted uncomfortably until he finally gained enough composure to respond.
“W-ww-ell, there is this one j-j-o-k-r I know: Sssee, there were these two guys in a a a asylum... and o-one n-night, one night they de-de-de-cide they do-d-on't like living in an asssylum any moore.” Zucco growing irritated raised his hand “Forget I said anything, no wonder you failed as a comedian.”
Zucco’s driver looked over at his boss nervously “Hey boss, ya think we might run into this bat-man everyone is talking about?” Zucco laughed “Ah, who knows, he’s probably not real.” The thug shook his head “He’s real all right, my brother was one of the guys that got pinched when the bat nabbed Falcone last week.” They continued on into silence until they reached their destination the Ace Chemical Plant.
Hours later a form ran through the dark alleyways of Gotham, until he reached a fire escape, he ascended it and climbed through a window. He looked around the room and all he saw was blood, the man ran into the kitchen. As he left the dark room and entered the kitchen you here a scream, which slowly becomes a laugh.
It is in the dark of night in Gotham City, the camera spans over the city, taking it all in, suddenly the camera fixes on a procession of four police cars guarding an armored van as it passed through the city. The camera follows the procession for several city blocks, as the procession nears an intersection a car suddenly slams into the lead car. Three cars approach from the intersection, they block off the police, as another two cars close them in from the flank. Several masked men exit the two rear cars, one man pulls out a rocket launcher, the aims it and fires it at the rear police car. The rocket hits the car in the rear, the force of the explosion causes the car to flip in the air, and land on the car nearest it causing both of them to burst into flames. Six masked men approached the remaining police car from the cars at the intersection, the men opened fire on the remaining car, killing the occupants. The group approached the van, the policemen in the van shooting them as they neared. The remaining policemen were eventually cut down as well. The masked men approached the rear of the van they opened it, the two people nearest the door were killed by the cop hidden inside, she too was quickly killed. Inside the van was a man bound to a gurney, this man had a crazed look in his eye, this man was Roman Sionis! His men quickly released him and began rushing back to their cars, one of the men paused long enough to silently give Sionis a bag. Sionis removed an item from the bag and smiled as he raised a black mask over his face. He and his men quickly drove off as sirens could be heard in the distance.
A deep voice speaks as the city is shown is shown from above in all of its magnificence as the police arrive at the wreckage “Gotham city, a city gripped with corruption and fear, a city that has vested its spirit and soul in one man. They do not know how much they depend on him. He is what keeps this God forsaken land alive, he unjustly fills these people with a false sense of hope. They look to him for protection from the degradation and corruption as the city falls to pieces around them. They plead for him and yet they damn him.”
Across town in the exclusive night club the Iceberg Lounge, the club’s owner Oswald Cobblepot is having a meeting with known crime boss Rupert Thorne, for you see Cobblepot is also the criminal known as the Penguin. Penguin was telling Thorne that the arms shipment they were expecting should arrive in Gotham in a little over a week, Thorne drinking from a glass a brandy, said that this was the best news he had heard in weeks. Thorne began to raise his glass to his lips when it shattered in his hand, he and Penguin look in shock at the wall near Thorne, they see a bat shaped shurken lodged in the wall. They turn to see a broken window, and a shadowy figure breaking through the remains. Batman landed in the room as several of the Penguin’s men came running into the room. Many of the men opened fire on Batman as Penguin and Thorne dove behind objects for cover. Batman worked his way through the room easily dispatching the thugs he elbowed a man behind him in the jaw as he punched another in front of him. He ran toward two men armed with guns, he jumped in the air and did a spinning windmill kick, taking both men out. Three remaining three tried to rush him, he took out the first with an uppercut to the jaw, the second he defeated with a leg sweep and a blow to the gut. The final man wrapped his arms around Batman, trying to crush him, Batman head butted the man repeatedly until the thug was dazed, Batman then threw a swift jab to the man’s throat rendering him unconscious. Batman turned and saw Penguin reaching for a umbrella holder, Penguin reached in and pulled out a gun! Before he could even point it at Batman, Batman threw a Batarang at him, causing him to drop the gun. Batman then approached the two mob bosses, and spreads his cape, covering the camera dramatically.
Not long after that the police are shown outside of the club staring at the bound Penguin and Thorne hanging from the roof. Bulloch walks up to Gordon “Ya know, he could of at least hung em from a lower spot.” Gordon sighs and shakes his head as some men move a ladder truck towards the pair of criminals.
That same night in the Gotham slums an old movie theater erupts into flames, people on the streets stop and stare as the building burned. They waited for the firemen, but Gotham was in the middle of a drought, so neither the water nor the firemen ever came.
The deep voice begins speaking again “This city is burning, it is infected by a disease, a disease that must be destroyed. They look to the Bat for a cure, but they do not realize he is part of the disease. The city has vested their spirit in him, and that spirit will only be broken, when someone has broken his.”
The fire eventually spread to more buildings, burning two city blocks. The police questioned some of the witnesses in the morning, some of them claimed to have seen an almost insectoid looking figure moving through the flames. Other citizens claimed to have seen a fire spouting mantis or cockroach near the building; these people were later brought in for possession of drug paraphernalia.
At Wayne Manor Alfred Pennyworth, butler to Bruce Wayne was entering the study, he looked cautiously around before locking the door. He headed to the book case and activates a hidden switch, a door opens up and Alfred walks through, shutting it quickly behind him. He activates an elevator and begins to descend into the darkness. The elevator finally stops in a large cavernous chamber, the chamber however, is filled with state of the art equipment ranging from a super computer to a ballistics lab to an auto garage containing several unusual vehicles in various states of repair.
Alfred walks over to a man leaving a chamber containing various weapons, armor and equipment. “Late night master Wayne?” he asks. Bruce just looks at him and raises an eye brow as he walks over to a table containing various items, including his belt. Alfred continues “Master Dick refused to go to school again.”
Bruce stopped and looked up at Alfred “Where is he?” Alfred picked up a Batarang and absentmindedly looked it over “Most likely he is the exercise room or the garage, again.” Alfred said with a sigh as he sat the weapon down. Bruce looks at him “Does he still hate me?” Alfred did not respond, Bruce looks at him frustrated and runs his hands through his hair “If I was like this to you I am truly sorry.” Bruce said with a sigh. Alfred walked over to the chamber containing the Batsuit, he turned towards Bruce with a smile “Actually you were worse sir.” Bruce smiles and goes over to a rack containing cloths, he selects a shirt and begins putting it on. He tells Alfred about Sionis escaping, Alfred says that at least Batman caught two of Gotham’s top mob bosses. Bruce looked over to Alfred as they began walking towards the elevator “And this time they will stay in jail, I gave Gordon evidence that will put them away for sure.” He said as the elevator rose.
Dick Grayson was in the middle of working out on a bench press, pushing himself, he is struggling with the weight and closes his eyes in concentration as he pushes the weight out. He is suddenly surprised to find the weight suddenly lightened and is proud of himself, until he opens his eyes to see Bruce standing over him with his hands on the weights. Dick slammed the weights onto the rack and walked towards the door. Bruce followed his calling his name “Dick wait, I was just trying to help you.” Dick stopped and turned towards Bruce “ I don’t want your help, I don’t want anything to do with you!” Dick then stormed out of the room, Bruce not following.
The Gotham news was on when Bruce reentered the study a short while later, reporter Vesper Fairchild was talking about the events of the previous night
“Last night was full of unfortunate events. Former CEO Roman Sionis was being transferred to Arkham Asylum to be treated for his degrading mental condition. While the police convoy was en route it was attacked by several members of Sionis’s crime organization, the False Face Society. In southeast Gotham near the famed Crime Alley, a city block was burned to the ground by an arsonist, fire crews were unable to respond in time to save the block, fortunately no one was harmed. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen the urban legend known as ‘Firefly’ in the blaze. If anyone has any information regarding this most recent in a series of arson please contact the GCPD. On a positive note known crime bosses Rupert Thorne and Oswald Cobblepot were apprehended by the vigilante known as the Batman. Later today GCN will interview the head of Arkham Asylum Hugo Strange, we will discuss the link between Batman and the rise in violence, and the emergence of some of his more famous enemies, such as Dr. Jonathan Crane the Scarecrow, Waylon Jones the Killer Croc, and serial killer Victor Zsasz. And we will also discuss some of his more notable enemies like the Riddler who only recently terrorized Gotham, Catwoman also known as socialite Selina Kyle former love of billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, Julian Day also known as the killer Calendar Man he held the city of Gotham in a state of fear for nearly a year, and of course Batman’s most infamous foe, the Joker. ” Bruce switched the TV off and leaned back in a chair drifting off to sleep.
Barbara Gordon sat in the Gotham courthouse with her lawyer at her side she was staring at the lawyer opposite her. This lawyer however was missing his client, Barbara’s lawyer said something to her, but Barbara was to wrapped up in thought to hear her. She did however hear the judge when she spoke “In view of your husband’s lack of attendance at these proceedings, and in view of his special circumstances I will reschedule these divorce proceedings for a later date.” Barbara’s lawyer rose to her feet “You honor this is the third time these proceedings have been postponed.” The jugde replied “Her husband is the commissioner of police and his duties are to protect this city, so we will show him a little respect.”
Commissioner James Gordon stood in the office of Gotham’s new mayor, Daniel Dickerson.
Dickerson was in the process of berating Gordon about the escape of Sionis from the convoy. Gordon assured Dickerson that his department was doing all it could to find Sionis’s location and investigate the series of arsons in Gotham’s poorer districts. Dickerson threatened Gordon “If you can’t do this job, I will find someone who will.”
Dr. Harleen Quinzel walked down the halls of Arkham Asylum, she had just come from Dr. Strange’s office, he had told her that the Joker had again injured himself, lately his attempts at self mutilation had occurred with more frequency, now Strange had ordered in to be kept in a straight jacket at all times. He had just been released from the infirmary and Strange told her it was ok to begin their daily session. Strange let Harleen mostly have free reign around here, especially since she was the only one the Joker would communicate with, he had really begun to open up to her. He told her about the hard childhood he had experienced, his memories of his life a clouded and confused because of his psychosis, but slowly and diligently Harleen had been able to piece together facts from his memories. He agrees only to speak to Harleen, and even then under special conditions, one of which was that all recording devices must be off during their sessions. They tried lying to him and doing the sessions with the recorders on, yet somehow Joker always seemed to know, even when Harleen herself didn’t. She didn’t want to admit it, but she was getting attached to the Joker, she actually enjoyed their sessions together. She reached the door to the Joker’s cell, she opened the cell and was shocked by what she saw in the corner. The Joker wearing a straight jacket over his orange jumpsuit, but the thing that surprised her most was his face! His face had been covered with gauze and bandages, the bandages were stained red from blood near his mouth, giving the appearance of a gruesome smile, there was a type of mask around his head attached to the jacket, Harleen knew this prevented him from tampering with the bandages.
“Well if it isn’t my dear Harley Quinn.” Harleen couldn’t help but smile a little at the pet name he had given her, she had been called Harley or Harl most of her life, but never Harley Quinn, until she met the Joker. Harley let him call her that, so he could relate to and trust her more.
She looked at a file she held in her hand “It looks like you tried to hurt yourself, again, why?”
He gave a low chuckle “I honestly don’t know. Could it be my inner child throwing a tantrum? My repressed conscience subconsciously trying to make me repent for my sins? Or it could just be I needed a break from the Riddler’s incessant ramblings? You pick.”
Harley shook her head over exaggeratedly, trying not to seem amused. “I have your papers.” She said pulling out two newspapers, Joker’s lawyer was somehow able to maneuver it to were Joker would receive current newspapers daily. Harleen was amazed that Joker was able to read the papers, as he was often in a straitjacket. “Are you ready for our session, or would you rather not talk today?” she asked sitting in a chair across from him. She couldn’t tell anything from his face as it was covered in gauze and the mask, but she could swear the blood stained bandages almost smiled at her.
“No my dear, our little chats are one of the few things I have to look forward to in the day, and if I didn’t talk to you I may have to talk to that four eyed Freudian fraud, if I had to talk to him much more, I may go mad.” Harleen did not stick up for Strange, knowing the Joker’s animosity for the man, Joker continued “Do you know some of the things he does to Eddie next door? Personally I think Riddler got enough of a beating from Batman.” Harleen looked at her notes, this wasn’t the first time Joker insinuated that Strange was using unconventional treatments on Edward Nigma, Joker claimed that Nigma told him things at night, which was likely since their cells were next to each other. Joker spoke up snapping her out of her musings “So what do you want to talk about today? Childhood, dreams, Sexual Habits?” he put extra emphasis on that last one.
A few hours later Joker was laid out across his cot telling Harley a story, not one of his usual ridiculous stories about his life, no this one had some merit to it, Harleen listened closely
“Once upon a time, there was a poor factory worker, let’s call him Jack, Jack is such a … common name don’t you think. Anyway Jack wanted a new life, so he quits his job to try his hand at comedy. He had this wife, and they were gonna have a kid. Jack knew he couldn’t have a kid on the money he made as a comedian, he worries about this for a while, until these guys come along and offer him a chance to make all of his worries go away. They want him to help them break into his old job, he doesn’t want to do anything wrong, cause ya see he is a straight guy in a crooked world. He sees the worry on his wife’s face and well he goes to this guy, let’s call him Zucco, well he tells Zucco he’ll go along with the plan. Everything goes fine, until some new freak in town, a guy with a thing for bats, breaks up the crime. The bat swoops in and throws some of his little toys, one of em nicks Jack on the face, not a bad cut just a little nick. Well Jack, Jack escapes and makes his way home that night, he finds that the mob beat him there, as punishment for failing them they take his part of the cut out of his wife. The carved her face up and left the blade, just left it laying there, Jack picks up the knife and holds it up to his already cut face. You couldn’t conceive the sheer finality of it as he sticks the blade into his mouth. Now, now he sees the funny side of life.” Harley is stunned at the emotion Joker exhibited while telling this story, she reaches up to her eyes to feel tears slowly making their way down her face. As she left the camera focuses on the newspapers she had brought, the cover showed an article about Commissioner Gordon’s divorce.
Bruce was at Gotham News Studios being interviewed by Vesper Fairchild, he was not the only one being interviewed however, there was also one Hugo Strange, and Commissioner Gordon. Fairchild was addressing Bruce at the moment. “Bruce aren’t you worried that Sionis will come after you, since it was thanks to you that Commissioner Gordon and his men knew of Sionis’s illegal activities?”
Bruce smiled a typical rich boy smile as he turned to her “Well Vesper, I’ve known Roman since we were kids and I don’t think he will attack me, and I have complete faith that Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD will catch him before he does any more serious harm.” Vesper turned towards Strange and asked him his opinion of the matter.
Strange wiped his glasses as he responded “Well miss Fairchild, since his arrest several months ago, Roman Sionis’s has lost touch with reality. He has become unstable, aggressive and psychotic, he only has the Black Mask persona left to him. And this is all because of Mr. Wayne here, so yes I think he will try something.” Vesper turned towards Gordon
“Commissioner, do you have anything to say on the Firefly arsons, and do you still consider the Batman a threat?” Gordon shifted uncomfortably “We are doing everything in our power to find the culprit behind these attacks, and as for Batman, all vigilantes are considered fugitives.” The interview ended a half hour later.
Bruce approached Vesper afterwards, he wanted to know if she would be interested in going out to lunch with him later in the day, she seemed hesitant but ultimately agreed. They shared a nice quiet lunch together, they talked about things. She admitted that she was fascinated by the Batman; she was constantly investigating stories and leads about him. They talked for a little while longer until Bruce mentioned he had a meeting and had to leave, but he suggested they meet again for dinner one night, she agreed.
Bruce Wayne’ meeting was with the headmaster of the prep school he enrolled Dick into, apparently Dick Grayson was skipping and interrupting class and generally disrupting the learning environment, so they have no choice but to suspend him for two months and unless something was done Dick would be permanently expelled. Bruce sat in the back of his car as Alfred drove them home late in the afternoon “Alfred I know Dick is doing this because he is trying to cope with his parents deaths, but he is ruining his future.”Bruce was silent for a moment “Alfred, how did I cope with my parents deaths.” Alfred contemplated for a moment before responding “If I recall correctly sir, you disappeared for several years, returned and began dressing as a bat.” Bruce smiled and nodded as they drove towards Wayne manor.
Batman was across town on patrol , searching for a sign of Sionis, unfortunately none of his contacts or informants had heard anything. Batman was approaching Crime Alley when he saw flames light up the black of night off in the distance. Batman quickly accelerated towards the glow, he arrived to see an apartment building aflame. Batman knew that people may be trapped inside, so without hesitation he plunged into the flames. Batman searched the building, he found several people and was able to direct them to safety, luckily the flames were not very strong. Batman worked his way to the top floor, opened a door and was immediately confronted by a burst of flame aimed in his direction. Batman knew that the flames were too contained to be random, they were directed by someone. Batman looked into the room and saw the ‘Firefly’ it was in reality a man in a fireproof suit wearing a modified gas mask.
The man turned towards Batman and raised his arms as flames poured out from beneath them, dodge the flame, he turned to see the arsonist jump out of a window. Batman ran to the window and saw the man climb down the fire escape to a waiting motorcycle, Firefly jumped on the bike and sped off Batman followed him out of the window and made his way to the Batmobile.
Batman chased Firefly through the streets of Gotham; they made their way towards the industrial district, Firefly suddenly cut through a gap in the fence surrounding a nearby warehouse. Batman turned the Batmobile to follow, breaking through the fence.
Batman pulled up in front of the warehouse, he jumped out of the Batmobile and carefully moved towards the open entrance to the warehouse, he made his way inside when he heard a deep baritone voice in the darkness “You know the good thing about fire Batman? It’s pure, it cleanses all it touches, it is feared when it should be embraced, I use fire to clean this city the same as you use fear.” Batman felt the air behind him warm and he dodged as a blast of flame soared through the air. Batman spun around looking into the dark for his assailant, Batman heard a sound coming from above, he rolled behind some barrels as Firefly dove out of the darkness spouting flame at the spot were Batman once was. Batman got a good look at Firefly as the flames billowed around him, Firefly was a man about six feet tall, he wore some kind of flame resistant suit that may double as body armor, on his back there was some sort of dome like container that connected to launchers on his arms by tubes. Firefly spread his arms eagle and quickly spun in a circle, spewing flames from the jets on his arms. The flames allowed Batman to see that the barrels were filled with flammable materials, and Firefly was lighting them! Firefly began laughing as a barrel exploded, followed by another, then another, Batman dove through a window as the warehouse burst into flames.
Black Mask made his way through a dark corridor underground, after making several turns in the dimly lit hall Mask and three of his men enter into a brightly lit, large, and well furnished lab. Black Mask motioned for his guards to remain at the door as he made his way into the room he passed several shelves along one wall, shelves filled with various compounds and chemicals, He also passed a large insignia emblazoned on the wall ‘ACE CHEMICALS’. Mask stopped to look at it for but a moment as he made his way through rows of chemicals, books and equipment, until he came to a lone man standing before a mass spectrometer, the man was an older, balding gentleman, he had kind face that hid a malicious nature “Ah! Mr. Sionis, or do you prefer Black mask now?” Mask looked at the man menacingly, and then extended his hand “Doctor Karl Hellfern, chemist extraordinaire, I was hoping you could help me with a problem I am having.” Hellfern stood and returned Black Mask’s hand shake “Of course I would be willing to help you, you are the one who got me out of prison for that unfortunate incident.”
Black Mask walked towards Hellfern “I need a poison, fast acting and completely untraceable.” Hellfern rubbed his jaw thoughtfully “I may know of such a toxin, it is a plant based airborne neurotoxin developed by a doctor Isley for the government, this was before she became an eco activist.” Mask held a beaker in his hands as he spoke “Can you acquire this for me?” Hellfern snorted “I can do better than that, I was a member of the team that developed it.” Hellfern said with a sly smiled.
Later that evening Batman met the waiting Commissioner Gordon on top of GCPD headquarters. He told Gordon about his encounter with Firefly, he gave Gordon a description of Firefly’s equipment. Gordon informed him of Earle’s murder, he also gave Batman information about the woman’s other victims. Gordon also told Batman that no information about Sionis has surfaced. Batman turned to leave “I am sorry about your wife, I wish you the best.”
A few days passed without anything of consequence, Bruce continued to try to get through to Dick, but to no avail. Members of the False Face Society had been seen less, and gangster Tony Zucco gained more power in the wake of Thorne and the Penguin’s arrests. Just over a week after Roman Sionis escaped the False Face Society began its attacks, they struck three different areas at once. The first place they attacked was a money launderer formally owned by the Penguin, they took over $5,000,000 and six lives. The second place they hit was a high end electronics firm owned by Wayne Enterprises, they stole communication gear. The final place they struck was the home of Don Tantaga, a notorious crime lord. The False Face Society were led in this attack by their leader, the Black Mask himself, Mask gave the Don an option, work for the Black Mask or die, the Don inevitably joined Black Mask. It was at this point that the heads of Gotham’s remaining crime families realized they had to do something about this growing threat, so a meeting was set.
Gordon sat defeated in the courthouse. Barbara had won, she had gained custody of both kids and seventy five percent of their assets. Gordon exited the courthouse long after the others had left, when exited the building he was confronted by his now ex-wife “Jim, I. I didn’t want it to come to this, but I had no other choice. You are welcome to see the kids anytime Jim, I want you to be a part of both of their lives.” Gordon looked down at the ground “Barbara, I still l-“ Gordon was interrupted by the sound of his phone going off, he checked it to see that it was an emergency, he looked up to see Barbara already getting into a cab.
Bruce walked into Lucius Fox’s office that afternoon, Fox was going over some paper work “What can I do for you today Mr. Wayne?”
“I need two new suits Lucius.” Fox looked at him with a raised eyebrow. “Two this time, what for?”
Bruce laid a folder on Fox’s desk. “This has all the requirements in it, I need one of the suits to be fire proof” Fox smiled “Looking to have some hot nights? Well, I’ll get right on it.”
At Arkham Asylum Harleen Quinzel quietly exited the cell of the Joker and made her way to the guard station, she nodded to the guard as she exited the hall, and was immediately confronted by Strange. “Dr. Quinzel what are you doing here this late in the day, your shift was over hours ago?” He asked.
She looked at him nervously before responding “I was checking on my patients.”
Strange shook his head “Harleen, I know you have been visiting the Joker every night for weeks, you are becoming to close to your patient. I am afraid that I will have to oversee this patient myself.” Harleen looked at Strange, crushed she followed him out of the building silently, not letting him see a tear roll down her face as she softly whispered to herself “puddin.”
Bruce was sitting across a table from Vesper at an exclusive restaurant , they were enjoying their meals and having a nice conversation until Vesper asked Bruce about how he dealed with the deaths of his parents. Bruce looked sullen for a moment “Off the record? I was devastated, my whole world had been destroyed I lost everything. And after Joe Chill was killed, I left Gotham and searched the world for a way to …combat the evils that killed my parents.”
Vesper looked thoughtful for a moment “And did you find a way to face those evils?”
Bruce looked down for a moment “I ask myself that everyday.”
Dick was walking towards his room in Wayne Manor, he was trying to avoid running into anyone, but his luck held to its usual course and as he turned a corner he ran right into Bruce, home early from his date. What surprised Dick was that when he walked into Bruce, it was like walking into a wall. Bruce apologized, but Dick kept walking, Bruce followed asking Dick what was wrong, Dick tired of putting up with Bruce spun around “You’re what’s wrong Bruce, I can see right through you, I’m only here cause your girlfriend ended up being Catwoman. I’m just something you’re using to gain public sympathy. You talk to me about responsibility, but you spend your nights with a different woman, every night. If you want to do me any favors, just leave me the hell alone.” Dick said as he slammed his door shut. Bruce sighed and shook his head as he walked to the study. Dick meanwhile grabbed a bag off of his bed, opened a window climbed out quietly and made his way around behind the garage. He sneaked into the garage and stealthily stole a motorcycle, he quietly rolled it out beyond the gate before getting on. Dick revved up the bike and made his way towards the lights of Gotham.
Tony Zucco had taken over Penguin’s business on the Gotham waterfront since Penguin and Thorne were arrested, he had been trying to gain control of the rest of Penguin’s organization, but much of it had been seized by the Black Mask. He had received word that one of his arms shipments had been hit by the False Face Society, over $10,000,000 lost in two hours. Zucco and his men arrived at the warehouse were the weapons were stolen, he sent his men in ahead of him Zucco stood by his car and lit a cigarette. He heard a crash in the warehouse, alarmed he dropped his cigarette pulled out a gun and rushed into the warehouse. He slowly moved into the dark warehouse he saw several of his men lying about the warehouse “What the hell is going on here?” he shouted at the men who stood with guns drawn and were looking into the shadows. One of the men cried out “The bat!” as a rope snaked out of the dark and wrapped around his throat, the man was pulled back into the shadows. Zucco’s men pointed their guns into the darkness as they heard a struggle, then silence. Zucco made his way towards the doorway when suddenly a figure lunged at him from the shadows, the figure wrapped his arms around Zucco’s neck and tried to choke him. Zucco and the figure struggled until one of Zucco’s men hit the figure in the head with his gun. Zucco rolled away and saw that it wasn’t Batman, just some punk with a mask and a hood. Zucco had his men drag the boy up onto his feet, Zucco reared back and proceeded to beat the boy with his gun. Zucco laughs as he strikes the boy until a window on the other side of the warehouse shatters from the airborne form of the Batman! Zucco runs for the door as Batman easily dispatches his men, Batman grabbed one man and throws him into another, Batman turned and saw the one remaining man of Zucco’s holding the boy at gunpoint. Batman grabbed a Batarang from his belt and hurled it at the man striking the gun, causing him to swing the firearm as it fired. Batman felt his cheek burn and knew the bullet had lightly grazed him. Batman pulled the mask off of the kid and saw that it was Dick! Batman picked Dick up and carried him to the Batmobile.
Harley walked to Arkham’s entrance, she glanced nervously about as she stepped out of the night and proceeded towards the maximum security wing. She flashed her access badge to the guards and made her way to the Joker’s cell, she looked about cautiously before switching the recorder off out side the door, as soon as she was sure it was off she opened the door. Joker looked at her and smiled through his bandages “Why my dear harlequin, two visits in the same night? This will be much better than listening to Eddie mumble riddles all night.” Harley walked up to him and broke down crying, she told him Strange wasn’t going to let her see him anymore “this is horrible.” Joker looked at her and said “Here Harley lay back on my cot.” He said as he stood and sat on the bolted down chair that consisted of the rooms other furnishing. “What do I do, puddin?” Harley asked sobbing “Strange is going to take you away from me.” Joker sat there in his straight jacket “How does this make you feel, are you angry?”
“Yes.” She sniffed.
“What would you do to prevent this?” He said. Harley looked at him through tear stricken eyes “anything.”
Joker sat there in the chair looking at her “Harley do you remember those names I gave you?” Harley remember him giving her a list of names of his associates a few weeks earlier, she did not divulge this to the law, she told herself it was because of “dr. patient confidentiality” but now knew it to be love. “How will that help?” she asked quietly.
Joker smiled at her “My dear, dear Harley, if you want us to be together, create a little chaos.”
She looked at him through tear stricken eyes “How?”
Joker looked up at the ceiling “Do what I would do.” He said as he began laughing a maniacal laugh. “There are many agents of chaos in this world and some of them hide behind Masks.”
The deep voice returned as Harley left the laughing Joker after he told her more of his plan “Corruption exits in all forms. Everyone can be corrupted, whether it be a policeman looking to put his oldest child through school, or a young woman in love with a monster willing to go to any depth to gain its love. Corruption even exists in a man with a cape seeking to avenge lost loved ones, but in his attempts he has become corrupt as the monsters he fights, and in refusing to accept this he drags the city down with him in to the depths of darkness.”
Harley drove across the city and eventually stopped in front of a store, it was a costume shop. She pulled out a baseball bat from the back of her car and smashed in the window; she reached in and unlocked the door. She looked quickly through racks of costumes along the wall, until she came to a red and black leather costume that should work, she grabbed it hopping Joker would like it. She nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard a jingle; she looked around frantically before realizing the bells were on the costume. She also picked up some face make up and ran out of the store, Harley threw her purchases in the car and sped away into the night.
A few miles down the road Harley realized there was something else she needed, a gun. Harley nervously pulled up in front of a closed Pawn Shop in the Crime Alley area of Gotham, she thought this place wouldn’t have any alarms since Joker told her that most stores in this area sold many illegal things including guns that would be untraceable. Harley hurried out of the car and glanced furtively about and saw that many people in the area were headed towards a glow in the distance, “Another fire, what luck!” Harley thought as she smashed in the window off the store and climbed through. She looked around the counter area for a key to the gun cabinet and found it under the cash register, Harley looked into the cabinet not sure what to grab, she wasn’t an expert on firearms. There were several types of handguns, rifles, and shotguns in the case but Harley couldn’t decide, eventually Harley grabbed a 9mm Beretta and a sawed off 12 gauge Remington 870. Harley then walked over to a rack that held different types of ammo, she grabbed a box of 9mm shell and nervously filled the magazine and inserted it into the gun. Harley unsurely fumbled around with the gun until she put a round in the chamber, Suddenly Harley heard something behind her “What the Hell are you doing in here?” Harley spun without thinking and accidentally fired a shot. The bullet struck an elderly man in the head, Harley looked down at the mans body as it lay in an expanding pool of blood. She looked away quickly as she quickly grabbed more guns and another couple boxes of shells and ran to her car sobbing the whole time. Harley sped away into the night tears rolling down her cheeks to a disturbed smile, her sobs slowly turned to a troubled laugh that would have made the Joker proud.
Just a few blocks away from Harley’s murder the old Gotham Opera House was engulfed in flames, no one saw who set the blaze but on a rooftop overlooking the blaze was the Firefly. He stood there as the flames danced in the reflection of his goggles, until the fire trucks finally came “Ruined.” he muttered as he walked away from the edge of the roof.
Jason Crowley was an executive on the board of Wayne Enterprises, he was returning to his apartment late that night. He opened the door and was immediately hit on the head, rendering him unconscious. When he awoke he was confronted by a fearsome sight, five armed men and a man with what appeared to be a black skull for a face.
The Black Mask pulled out a menacing looking knife and moved towards Crowley, outside the penthouse Crowley’s screams could be heard for quite a distance, but no one on the surrounding floors would be of any help for they were already dead.
Batman took Dick back to the cave and waited for him to awake up, Dick looked around and reared up when he saw Batman. Batman looked at him and scowled “What did you think you were doing?” he asked angrily. Dick felt the bandages on his head “Playing Robin Hood. What do you care?”
Batman walked to him “It was stupid for you to go after Zucco Dick.” Dick looked at him outraged “I had to you and the cops let him go free after he killed my parents! Wait how did you know my name?” Batman turned his back on Dick “I know because you and I aren’t so different, we both have lost much, we both have faced death only to survive, we both lost our parents.” Dick looked in shock as Batman took off his cowl, revealing his true identity, Bruce Wayne! Dick was shocked to see that a man he had previously thought weak and superficial was in reality THE Batman. Bruce looked at him “I know you feel the desire for vengeance, but believe me it is never the answer.”Dick stared at Bruce before responding “Let me help you, we can work together to take out Zucco!”
Bruce turned around quickly “No, it is to dangerous I won’t place you in danger. I have had years of training and experience, I have devoted my life to this mission, I don’t want you to sacrifice your life as well.” Dick looked solemn as Bruce took off parts of his armor “I need to do this, you could train me, I know so much already. I know Ju-Jitsu” Bruce raised his eyebrow at this statement “Ok, only a little, you saw me take down half a dozen of Zucco’s men.” He said as he followed Bruce to the elevator and they began to ascend to the house.
Alfred was in the study as the hidden door opened up, he was obviously surprised to see Dick follow Bruce into the room “Come on I can help you.”
“No.” Dick continued asking and giving reasons as Bruce continued answering “No.” Alfred smiled and shook his head as Dick continued to give reasons “I could watch the Batmobile while you’re on patrol.” Bruce turned sharply “Watch the what!”
Dick looked confused for a moment “That’s what the news said your car is called, isn’t it?” Bruce looked at him “no it is a Waynetech mark III series I all terrain multi-purpose armored conveyance.” Bruce saw the confused look on Dick’s face “Alright, it’s the Batmobile, but the answer still is no.” Dick walked out of the room and Bruce looked over to see Alfred barely suppressing a smile “Master Wayne, maybe you should listen to what young master Grayson has to say, he and you aren’t so different.” Bruce was silent as Alfred walked to the doorway “My whole life is devoted to this battle against darkness, I don’t want Dick to lose his life to this endless war.” Alfred stopped in the doorway “Master Bruce with all do respect it is his choice. Oh Miss Fairchild called she wanted to know if you would meet her for lunch after her morning show.”
Commissioner Gordon sat at his desk looking over cases, he had three stacks of files, one for Firefly, one for Black Mask, and a new one for a missing psychiatrist who robbed a pawn shop and a costume store, Dr. Harleen Quinzel the analyst in charge of the Joker. She had not been seen since she killed the owner of the pawn shop the night before. Gordon reviewed her case file, Quinzel came from a broken family, her father was a drunk and regularly beat her, her mother was a heroin addict that died from an over dose. Quinzel was a champion gymnast in college, she had a black belt in karate, was proficient in Tai-Chi and had taken several other self defense classes. “She may be more dangerous than she appears.” Gordon said to Bulloch, who was busy eating a doughnut. Gordon and Bulloch had just returned from the scene of Sionis’s latest attack, Sionis had killed a member of Wayne Enterprises board of directors. Black Mask killed everyone on several floors, but they know the executive was the target because of the way Black Mask mutilated his corpse. The man’s eyelids, lips, nose, and ears had been cut off and his face had been painted black giving him the appearance of a black skull, which was similar to the mask Sionis was reported to wear, it was a calling card plain and simple. They still had no evidence on who Firefly is, but he had struck again the night before, and since Gotham was in a drought they couldn’t put out the fires in time. This time Firefly had burned the old Gotham Opera House near Crime Alley, the very same theater were the Waynes were killed Gordon recalled, Firefly’s blaze spread to the surrounding blocks killing thirty. Gordon wouldn’t say anything but he was overwhelmed, he did not have the resources to deal with these things and the mob war, but thankfully he had an ally that had his own set of resources.
A buzzer sounded on his desk “Commissioner, the mayor is on his way to your office.” Gordon leaned his head into his palms, Bulloch looks at him out of concern “You want me to leave Comish?” Gordon smiled at Bulloch and told him he was welcome to stay. Mayor Dickerson barged through the door “Gordon what the hell is wrong with you! I told you to do something about Sionis and the arsonist, but now I see how incompetent you truly are!” Bulloch leapt to his feet “Hey the Commissioner is under a lot of stress, his wife just left him, he don’t need some pencil pusher barging in here and bustin his balls!” The mayor wheeled on Bulloch “One more word from you and your suspended, I don’t know how a useless pig like you ever made detective.” Bulloch raised his fist to strike the mayor, but was stopped by Gordon, the mayor looked down on Bulloch smugly “Bulloch, I am going to have you suspended indefinitely.” Gordon told Bulloch to wait outside. The mayor sat in Gordon’s chair and put his feet on Gordon’s desk “Is this how you run a police department, with trash like that?” Gordon held his tongue and calmly replied to the overly rude mayor “No this is how a make sure there are citizens left in this city so they can reelect you.” The mayor stood to leave as he did he again threatened to replace Gordon if he didn’t do something.
Harley was in a small rundown hotel room, she had just finished making some modifications to the costume she stole, namely removing the bells on the cap, and some of the lace. She had the guns she stole from the pawn shop laid out across the bed, she had two 9mm’s, one shotgun, a 44 revolver, and a small two shot gun that could easily be hidden for emergencies. Harley pulled out a list of the contacts Joker had told her about, these were the names of associates he had spread throughout the city in positions from city hall to Zucco’s organization and the False Face Society.
Bruce arrived at the set just as Vesper was thanking her guest Hugo Strange, one of the show’s producers walked up to Bruce as Vesper finished up “Seems like Strange spends more time here that he does at Arkham.” Bruce looked at her and nodded in agreement. After the show Bruce waited for Vesper to come out of her dressing room, as he waited Strange walked up to him “Ah Bruce Wayne, how good to see you, I notice you have a bad burn on your face, I am a doctor would you like me to make sure it is not infected?” Bruce looked at the man getting an uneasy feeling from the shorter man “Uh, no thanks, it’s fine.” Bruce replied hoping Strange would leave. Strange rubbed his chin thoughtfully “Hmm, you seem to have a deep fear of showing weakness, possibly a coping mechanism from the death of your parents. Here is my card if you ever have any difficulties that you need help with.” Strange said putting a card in Bruce’s hand as he walked away before Bruce could respond. Bruce stood there stunned for a moment, until Vesper came out of her dressing room “Hey Bruce, ready for lunch?” Bruce said he was looking forward to it as they left.
Vesper filled Bruce in on the recent events, Bruce was especially surprised to learn that the Joker’s analyst had killed a man, Vesper told Bruce that was the subject of that mornings interview “Strange told me that Dr. Quinzel was spending most of her time with the Joker, even after hours. Strange said he was worried she was becoming attached to the Joker, so Strange informed her that evening that he was going to oversee the Joker’s treatment personally and she would be reassigned. He later found out that she came back to visit Joker a few hours before she killed that man.” Bruce looked down quietly as Vesper finished. After a few minute she told her that he had to leave. Vesper sat at the table alone for a moment, she softly muttered “I wonder…”
That night Batman met Commissioner Gordon outside of Arkham, Gordon looked around nervously “Are you sure about this? Strange did agree to it, but with a few conditions, he wants to talk to you.” Batman walked up the stairs towards the entrance “It’s worth it.” Strange met them at the door, he informed them that all of the security was on break, so they had to get in quickly. He led Gordon and Batman into the maximum security wing
Batman looked through some of the view ports on the doors as they passed,
he saw some familiar faces Jonathan Crane the Scarecrow, Waylon Jones the Killer Croc, Julian Day the Calendar Man, Victor Zsasz, and in the last cell nearest the Joker was Edward Nigma the Riddler who smiled as Batman passed.
“When the world’s against you, where is the safest place to hide?” Riddler called out as Batman walked past him to the cell of the Joker. Strange told Batman he and Gordon would wait outside, Strange opened the door into a dimly lit room, in the shadows in the corner sat a figure “Oh look, company. I wish the good Dr. had let me know I was going to have visitors, I would have straightened up.” Batman stood in front of the closed door “What did you do to her?” Joker laughed “who? Oh you mean my little harlequin, is she causing trouble?” Batman stood there “Tell me WHAT DID YOU DO!” Joker laughed “You never write, you never call, I thought you forgot about me, I had to get your attention somehow. Oh and I didn’t do anything I was stuck in here, she did this of her own free will.” Batman walked closer to the Joker “What is she planning?” Joker leaned back further in the shadows “She is taking a page from my book, there are many agents of chaos, some of them hide behind their masks like yourself.” Batman stood in front of Joker as he continued talking “The order that you so firmly believe in only creates more chaos, take me for instance, I was once a fool like you, living in the dark, but now I see past the lies and hypocrisy , I see the true face of the world and I laugh at it.” Joker said laughing maniacally as Batman walked out of the cell. Gordon stood by the door “Well that was a waste of time.” Batman stopped in front of Riddler’s cell “No, it wasn’t a complete waste.”
Batman said as he walked past the Riddler’s cell, as he was leaving, Riddler called out to him “You should know that the safest place to hide is…Insanity.”
Batman stood outside the gate to Arkham with Gordon and Strange in silence, Strange spoke up “I held my end of the bargain, will you hold yours?” Batman turned and pulled out his grapple “A week from now, you get one hour.” He said as he turned away from Strange, before he left Strange said “Oh, and Batman that is a nasty burn on your face, you might want to have a doctor look at it.” He said as Batman shot his grapple across the narrow river separating Arkham from the city, the camera moves back to show Strange smiling sinisterly.
Gordon stood a short distance from Strange on his phone trying to get in touch with Barbara, but she wouldn’t answer him. He missed his family, he wanted to see his son.
On a yacht docked at Gotham harbor all of the heads of Gotham’s crime families, with the exception of Tony Zucco and Black mask of course, were discussing what to do with the False Face Society. One crime boss suggested they unite and destroy the False Face Society, a Russian man seconded the opinion. Before the rest could respond the doors were slammed open as several men wearing masks rushed into the room, they held the mobsters at gun point as Black Mask casually walked into the room, hands clasped behind his back as his men disarmed the gangsters “Good evening gentlemen, we have a lot to discuss, and no one is leaving this room until we have an agreement.” He said as his men exited the room closing the door behind them.
Harley had been busy, in one day she had contacted several of the Joker’s old “acquaintances” through those people Harley learned that Black Mask was planning two things that evening, first on his list was to interrupt a meeting of Gotham’s crime organizations, the other thing he had planned was to pay a little visit to a member of Wayne Enterprises board of directors. Harley decided the best way to attract Black Mask’s attention would be to pay the executive a little visit first.
Black Mask had made no headway in his ‘negotiations’ with the crime bosses, all of them bitterly opposed him and refused to yield to his demands. Mask had by this point lost all patience with these fools, he reached into a pocket in his jacket and pulled out a small cylinder. All of the other people in the room were immediately silent, Mask hit a switch on the side of the canister and the cap slowly opened with a hiss. Almost immediately the men began struggling to breath, many of them clawed at their throats or tried to move towards Mask, but they all failed as he stood over them, watching them perish from an agonizing death. He walked out of the room and lifted the base of his mask and pulled a small rebreather out, which he immediately pocketed. He and his men made their way past the dead bodies of hit men and hired killers, off of the yacht and entered their cars and drove away into the city.
Dick couldn’t sleep, he knew Bruce was out there, and so was Zucco. Dick figured that it would do no harm to take a look around the cave, so he decided that he would wait until Alfred was asleep and sneak down there, Dick slowly crept down the stairs trying to remain silent. He made his way to the study, Dick silently opened and closed the door. Dick glanced about the study, all he saw was a high backed chair facing the opposite wall, Dick searched all of the shelves looking for some kind of a switch, but found nothing so he decided to search the case by the chair. Dick walked past the chair and began rifling through the shelf “You know, he’ll never make you his partner if can’t even sneak past an old butler.” Dick jumped in surprise, he spun and saw Alfred sitting in the chair looking at a book “You should be more careful, or he will never let you help him.” Dick told Alfred he was sorry and slowly made his way back to his room.
Black Mask and his men made their way to the apartment of a Wayne Enterprises executive, as they went they quietly killed everyone they came across. Slowly they stood against the wall outside of the penthouse, Mask motions for one of his men to break down the door. As the door flew into the room, they streamed into the room only to find the executive hanging from a chandelier in the ceiling. The man had his mouth slit into a bloody smile, some sort of white paint or cream smeared on his face. A woman lay stretched seductively across a couch in the corner wearing an unusual outfit, the outfit was skin tight black and red leather and knee high red and black boots. She picked her head up, which was revealed to have white face make up on it and a smile painted across it, and looked at the men with guns in mock surprise “Oh my! Company? And the place is such bloody mess.” Mask and his men looked at the room and saw blood spread across the walls and its fixtures “Who the hell are you? The Joker’s crazy doctor.” Harley slinked off of the couch and slowly stretched “No, I used to be crazy, but the Joker showed me the truth about life, and how pointless it is, now I am as sane as he is.” Mask looked at her without commenting “What are you doing here?” Harley walked up towards Black Mask.
She casually leaned seductively against Mask, not seeming to notice the fact that all of Mask’s men had quickly pointed and cocked all of their guns towards her “I figured this would be the best way to get your attention, The Joker has a little proposition to offer you.” Mask looked down at her “And that would be?” Harley leaned close to the skull mask “A way to make more money than you could ever imagine.” The camera zooms out of the room as Harley tells Mask the Joker’s offer.
The voice again returns as the camera moves from observing Black Mask and begins to pan over the city “Passion, could be used as a tool, easily allowing a person to be a pawn of another’s wishes. Passion often leads to pain and eventually vengeance. Vengeance is what drives this city, vengeance on an enemy, a lover, a murderer. This city seeks vengeance on the world for its very existence by spreading its dark influence. And at the center of that darkness is a man driven by a need for vengeance that can never be fulfilled. His quest for vengeance has caused this city to escalate further into degradation and evil.”
Batman met with Commisioner Gordon on top of GCPD headquarters just before dawn, Gordon told him about the mobsters being killed and the corpse that was mutilated to look like the Joker “So you think Harley has teamed up with Sionis, I mean it looks that way, especially since Sionis killed everyone else in the building, and this would be the third excecutive he has targeted.” Batman stood facing the city “What do you plan to do?” Gordon, was taken aback for a moment “Well….We are going to post officers to guard the remaining Wayne Enterprises executives, we are still trying to get in touch with Bruce Wayne to see if he is okay, but with his hours, it will be difficult to keep someone on him.”
Batman turned towards Gordon, is cape blowing in the breeze “I know who poisoned the mob bosses. Dr. Karl Hellfurn, he is one of three men alive that could make that toxin.” Gordon looked down and put his hand in his face “You mean Dr. Death, the man responsible for selling biological weapons to those Caznian rebels. They killed over three million people. He has been one of the most wanted men in the world since he was broken out of Blackgate, and now he is in Gotham. Damn it!”
Batman turned towards the edge of the roof “We have to find Sionis, he can lead us to Hellfurn.” Batman said as he leapt from the ledge.
Dr. Strange was leaving the Joker’s cell at Arkham, his hands shaking with rage, or was it fear. Fear that he was responsible for Harley.
Or was the Joker right, was he Dr. Hugo Strange, one of the most distinguished doctors in the world, as crazy as the very inmates he studied. Strange saw some of the orderlies wheel a gurney out of the next cell, and on it was the trashing body of the Riddler “Ah Edward, are you ready for your new treatment today? Only a few more sessions and we should have you cured of that bad little habit of yours.” Riddler stopped trashing and looked at Strange with hatred as he was wheeled through several halls until they came to a large operating room sealed by a large reinforced steel door. Inside the room was a large machine set above a table, the guards strapped Riddler to the table as Strange began setting up the controls, all the while he was thinking to himself. Was the Joker right, was he Hugo Strange as crazy and sadistic as the Joker? He pondered as he set a pair of metal diodes a t the base of Riddler’s temples. “As you know Edward, these diodes feed pulses of electrical energy into your body, and they will hopefully restore the chemical imbalances in your brain that I feel are responsible for your obsession with riddles. Do you have anything to say before we begin?”
Riddler, strapped to the table glared at Strange with an intense hatred “what is Greater than God, worse than evil, the poor have it, the rich require it, and if you eat it you die?”
Strange shook his head “Nothing.” he said answering the riddle as he activated the machine, he looked over at Riddler’s spasming form on the table as he cried out in pain. No he, Hugo Strange, was not a monster; he helped people help themselves, as he was doing now. Strange smiled to himself, satisfied, as the Riddler’s tortured screams filled the floor of the asylum.
That evening Dick was walking through Wayne Manor when he was summoned by Alfred, Alfred led him silently down the elevator and into the cave. There in the center of the cave stood Bruce in his full costume, with the exception of the cowl, Bruce motioned Dick forward “I know you want to help me” Bruce looked at Alfred “And it is also your choice to do so, but I warn you it is not an easy life, you must be willing to be trained in some of the most difficult forms of combat known to man, you must be dedicated to protecting this city at all times. I won’t always be able to protect you when we are out there, so in order to be my partner you must prove to me that you can take care of yourself. We will go into the city, and you must evade me for the whole night. If I catch you we will hear no more of this, if you win you will be my partner” Batman said as he donned his cowl, he motioned for Dick to follow him to an adjacent room which held the Batmobile and it also held something that excited dick, a supped up motorcycle. “Take this into the city, I give you an hour head start, but if I were you I wouldn’t keep the bike, it has a tracking device installed.” Dick stood there dumbfounded for a moment before rushing to the bike an speeding towards the exit of the cave.
Batman sped through the streets of Gotham towards the docks, he had received a tip from an informant that Zucco was meeting with the Black Mask there, and this was his chance to end this for good, Dick would have to wait.
Dick meanwhile had ditched the bike several miles from the docks and made his way through back alleys towards the docks, he was about two miles from the freight yard, outside of a nightclub. He saw someone come out of the club that made his blood run cold, Zucco was leaving the club and getting into a car, Dick ducked behind a dumpster and watched as Zucco made his way towards the freight yard.
Zucco and several of his men were to meet with the Black Mask and an equal number of men at the freight yard near Gotham docks, Zucco had planned for everything, and he was completely prepared for anything Mask had. But Black Mask had one thing that Zucco had not accounted for; Harley Quinn was going to be there with the False Face Society at the meeting. The two rival gangs pulled up to the meeting point in black cars, the meeting area was hidden in the rows of containers that had been unloaded from the cargo ships that docked at the harbor. Nestled deep in this maze of containers was a courtyard of sorts surrounded on all but two sides by the metal containers, the only openings were barely large enough to allow vans to enter. This place was often used by Zucco for drug deals and arms shipments, it was the perfect place secret meetings, or an ambush. Zucco’s cars and the False Face Society’s cars made two separate semi circles at opposite sides of the area, Zucco and his men disembarked from the cars guns at the ready as the False Face Society exited their cars. Black Mask exited last as he did he reached his hand into the car and, in a very dignified manner, and led Harley Quinn out of the car by the hand. Zucco and three of his men walked towards the middle of the area guns at the ready while Black Mask led Harley and three of his own men towards Zucco.
On top of one of the stacks of containers sat two men with automatics trained on Black Mask, they did not notice the large form creeping up behind them. The figure slammed both of the gunman’s heads together rendering them unconscious; slowly the figure drew them back further into the dark. He watched the meeting down below with interest. Black Mask was saying something and motioned around with one arm, Zucco started laughing and raised his hand. At Zucco’s signal men rose from stacks of crates, all with their weapons trained on Black Mask and his men, Black Mask began laughing a hideous hollow laugh which obviously discomforted Zucco. Before Zucco could do anything Harley Quinn snapped out her arm, and from under her sleeve came a small holdout gun, which she promptly fired at Zucco , who was standing only a few feet from her. As Zucco wheeled from the impact of the bullet Batman swung down from a stack of crates opposite the figure, knocking out two of the Society, he turned sharply and threw several small explosives at Zucco’s cars, Zucco’s men ran from the cars just as they exploded. The figure stood as Batman engaged two of the False Face Society in combat, while another stood behind him with a gun drawn, suddenly the sound of a motorcycle drew the figures attention away from Batman as he saw a teenager riding a supped up bike ram into the man preparing to shoot Batman. Batman to saw the heroic display, but quickly returned to dispatching the thugs as the boy in the hood joined the fight. The figure shook his head, and turned away from the fight and jumped off of the crate just as Batman hit a button on his belt, which caused small explosions to dislodge the crates that the gunman stood on, causing them to fall to the ground in a crash.
Dick saw Batman finish the two thugs as he defeated one himself, he turned and saw a car with Black Mask and Harley Quinn speed away into the night. Dick balled his fist in anger as he watched the people who had robbed him of his revenge get away, Dick wanted to leave the injured Zucco there, but he couldn’t bring himself to it, Batman couldn’t do anything because he was fighting the remaining gangsters. Dick rushed over to Zucco, he ripped open Zucco’s shirt, the wound looked hideous, it was the first time Dick saw a gunshot before. Dick ripped the hood off of his improvised costume and used it to plug the wound. “The ambulance is already in route, don’t you have to be somewhere kid.” Dick heard a voice behind him say, he looked and saw Batman motion to the sky, it was nearly dawn, Dick had almost made it only another hour or so left! He ran to the bike and sped away into the remainder of the night as Batman monitored Zucco for the police.
Black Mask spoke to Harley as their car sped off towards his hideout “You have proven yours and the Joker’s loyalty, I will do what you ask, if he does as you said.” Mask finished as they pulled into Gotham Cemetery.
Bruce stood facing Dick in the darkness of the cave, as he had turned all of the lights off except for one candle. “You have done as I said, more in fact, I have something for you.” Bruce said turning towards a large case, he opened it revealing a suit just Dicks size “This is to keep you safe from the physical harm that you face, but I warn you. There is more to fear in the dark, and you must master fear.” Bruce said blowing out the candle, Dick stood stiff as hundreds of Bats flew through the room and all around Dick, but he didn’t move, he was not afraid. Not anymore.
Gordon stood out in front of his old home just before dawn fearing to go in. After a few minutes he finally knocked on the door, after a few moments his former wife Barbara answered the door “What do you want Jim, its early in the morning.” Gordon stood there looking as if his wife’s words had stabbed him in the heart “I want to see my family.” She sighed and let Gordon in to see his children, Gordon silently kissed his daughter on the head before going to is sons room. The boy awoke and saw his father in the door way, he murmured to his dad sleepily “I knew it, I knew you’d get back together.” Gordon looked as if he had been stabbed in the heart again, he hated to tell his son the truth, but he must “We’re not getting back together, I’m sorry.” Gordon said sitting on the bed by the boy. “Why dad?” Gordon didn’t know where to begin, but he slowly tried to explain to James what had happened. On the other side of the door Barbara sobbed to herself quietly.
Gordon eventually left the house as the deep voice began speaking yet again “So often it seems that the son must suffer the sins of the father. This is a tragic theme that resonates throughout time an literature; from Jesus dying on the cross, to Hamlet’s tragic quest for revenge, to a small boy forced to serve his father’s sentence in a third world prison. The cycle has remained unbroken throughout history. Because of one man a marriage was broken, and now innocent children must suffer for the sin they’re father committed, putting his trust and that of the city’s in one man.”
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