Category Archives: Stories

“BATMAN- THE KILLING JOKE: AFTERMATH” CHAPTER 8 (A FAN FICTION STORY!)

(I do not own any of the characters that appear in this story. Batman and all related characters are property and trademark of DC Comics. I Do claim the story though.. This is mine!) 

*Huff!* *Puff!* *Omph!* 

Barabra Gordon grimaced as she pulled herself up and then lowered herself down. Streathing her chin over the bar each time she came up. Huffing and puffing. Sweat dripping down her brow. “50!” she exhaled deeply. Slowly bringing herself down, she looked over at her wheel chair, which was a few feet away. She looked around the training area. The room was empty. She liked to work out alone. 

[A YEAR AND SIX MONTHS AGO] 

Barbra scanned the length of the pull up bar. She could easily scale it and be above the chair. With a sigh she began to scurry along the bar. Left hand, right hand. Left, right. Left right. Her legs bound together so they dont flail around as she moved. She hated not having control of them anymore. She clenched her teeth with frustration.  She was alomst there. Her feet hit the chair and it rolled back out of place. “Shit!” She nearly slipped off the bars when Suddenly, Firm hands held her waist. “Easy there, Sahra Connor.” A kind voice said, 

“Dick!?” she exclaimed in happy surprise. “Hey Barb.” he smiled, his foot held the wheel chair from slipping any further back and he helped her gently in to the chair. She hugged him tight. “When did you get back?” she asked. “Roughly an hour ago. Called your place. Your dad said, you’d be here.” He said. “So i thought i’d come pick you up.” 

He helped her unstrap her legs. And handed her a towel. “Thanks.” she said. He looked at her and sighed. She looked back at him. His eyes asked ‘Are you ok?’ Barbra smiled sweetly and her eyes said, ‘I will be.’ They smiled. “Come on. Lets get some grub. I heard they just opened a new Big Belly Burger a few blocks from here.” Dick said quickly as he rushed behind the wheelchair and started pushing her out toward the door. “Oh nothing helps a good workout like some fatty greasy food.” she quiped, “I know right!” Dick said excitedly and she laughed.

[LATER: inside Barbra Gordon’s new apartment.] Boxes cluttered the entirety of the living room. One lamp was plugged in. Babara layed atop her loveseat and Dick sat close on a blanket on the floor. A nightstand served as their dinner table.

“Hahahaha” Barbra laughed, tears in her eyes and a covering a mouthful of fries. “So. So. Victor,” Dick said through chuckles, “Victor is just laying there, under Gar’s Elephant Butt! And hes like. ‘I swear! If you let one go Gar! Im gonna blast you!’ hahaha!” They laughed. “Oh my goodness” Barabra said, wiping the tears away. “Thats golden.” “Yeah. I, I’m gonna miss those guys.” said Dick. “So. Your seriously gonna stay?” she asked. He paused for a moment, “Yeah. I am.” “Is Starfire okay with the whole, long distance relationship, thing? I mean. Its not like it would be a problem for Her, cause of the whole flying thing.” She said. “Uh.. Yeah. Yeah, its.” He started, “uhm, We decided. Or I, decided.. It would be best if we took a break.” “Really?! Why?” She questioned.

“I. Just… I realised that.. There, was something. More important to focus on.” he said, as he gently griped her hand and smiled kindly as he just as quickly and gentley pulled away. 

Barbra blushed. They stood silent for a moment. “Oh! I gotta show you something really cool.” she said suddenly. She moved herself forward and reached for her wheelchair. He motioned for it, “I got it.” she said sweetly, and he fell back. She got herself into the chair and wheeled to the other side of the living room. “Come on.” she said excitedly. He rushed to his feet and followed. 

She paused just before the short hall way and placed her hand on the wall. A small panel glowed for a second and then flickered out. Barabra sucked her teeth. “Still working on the bugs.” she said as she slapped the wall and a secret door opened. She lead him inside the small room as the lights flickered on. 

“Its still a work in progress. Mr. Fox helped me design it. I call it, ‘The Oracle’. From here. I can access almost all of Gotham. Police files. Security systems. Just about anything.” she said excitedly as she wheeled up to a large computer moniter. Dick looked around sternly. A tall display case was to the side. Her Batgirl costume displayed like a trophy on a mannequin inside of it. He carresed the glass as memories of the two of them leaping across rooftops danced in his head. His hand clenched in to a fist and he hit the glass. 

“Son of a bitch!” he cursed under his breath. “Dick?” she wheeled around to face him. “I cant believe he’s having you do this.. Even after whats happened!” he grunted. “Dick, This is My choice. My decision. I may never be able to walk again, but i am not going to let that stop me from doing what I know is right. And helping those that need my help.. In any way that i can give it.” 

He signed and looked away in embarrassment. “Have you even gone to see him?” she asked. “No.” he said. “You should. He.. He hasn’t been the same since that night. If he’s ever going to make it through this.. He’s going to need us, all of us. To help him. Whether he wants to admit it or not. Until that time. Gotham needs a protector.. Gotham needs a hero.. I cant do it alone..” She presented her hand. He looked at her hand, and then deep in to her eyes. “.. You.. You had me at hello.” he said dryly. She began to laugh as he leaned forward and hugged her in his arms tightly.

[PRESENT DAY] 

[GCPD HQ]

The GCPD’s Roll Call room was packed with officers, waiting for the days schedule. Muttled conversations polluted the air. In the furthest corner of the room, Officers Gruntkie, Berman, Portmen and Fogel huddled together.
“It’s going down tonight.” whispers Berman, “The meets at..” 

“ALRIGHT YA BUMS!” Harvey Bullock stomps in to the room, cutting off everyones chatter. Sgt. Renee Montoya enters behind him. “We’re gonna skip roll call, cause i honestly dont give a crap if your here or not!” He grunts. Some chuckle. “Where’s Gordon?” a voice asks. “Commissioner, Gordon. Was called in to city hall this morning and he asked us to proceed for him.” Sgt. Montoya answers. “Thats right jackasses, so listen up!” says Bullock. He ruffles through some of the papers in front of him looking for where to start. “Get that out of the way” Montoya whispers gesturing to the first paper. 

“Right! Uh.. Ok. Fluffy shit outta the way now. Tomorrow nights Gala at the grand ball room is supposed to kick off the city’s 200th anniversary celebration.. That crap is still happening.. So we’re gonna be pulling extra shifts from some of ya.” Groans erupted. “I know! But with this Black Mask crap still causeing trouble.. We gotta make sure the stiff upper lips going to thd ball are gonna be alright as they sip their souls away.” Bullock crumbles up the paper and tosses it to the floor. 

“What else we got?.. Uh.. Right. China town’s got some crazy shindig going on..” “Its the new year!” Officer Chen calls out. “Whatever! Extra man power is gonna be spent to keeping that going smoothly and not have it turn into Hiroshima” 

“Wrong Country!” someone mockingly called out. 

“BITE ME!” Bullock shot back as chuckles and laughs started. “Let’s Settle down guys.” Montoya called out.

“Get to the REAL story! Is it true!?” 

Montoya and Bullock exchanged looks. Montoya sighed, “Detectives are still taking Officer Brent’s statments about last night.. So we still aren’t sure what exatly happened.” 

“Oh Come On!” More groans from the room. 

“Look!” Bullock called over the voices,  “Even if the Bat IS back.. We’re still gonna do our jobs and get shit done! Whatever comes after that.. We leave to the guys in charge to decide that. So when the commish has something to say to ya.. He will.. Now lets get this over with.. I got better things to do then be stuck in this room with you mugs!” 

[Later..]

Berman and the other officers gather in the hallway by a rear exit. 

“3 o’clock sharp. Be at the location at least an hour before.. No later.” He says.

“So.. This is it? It’s really going down?” asks Portman excitedly. 

“Shh!” Berman nudges.. “Don’t worry about that.. You just make sure you have the package delivered on time.” 

Montoya exits a nearby room and spots the group of men. 

“Yea. No problem I’ll have Bird Man there right o-.. ” Portman starts..

“Hey! Guys!?” Montoya calls as she walks forward..  

The group look up startled and shaken. 

“What’s going on?” she asks.

“Nothing Sergeant.. We’re just.. Uh.. Making plans for the.. Next, poker game at Gruntkie’s place.” Berman stutters as the other guys start to slowly agree. 

“Okay.. Why dont you boys do that on your own time.” she tells them sternly, “You got jobs to do.” 

They hurridly agree, apologize and scatter. Her gaze follows Berman for awhile as he leaves down the opposite side of the hall. A feeling of suspicion crept in her mind.

[CITY HALL] 

Gordon sat outside the Mayor’s office. His leg bobbing up and down with annoyed and anxious nerves. He glanced at his watch and scoffed.Just then, The Mayor’s Assistant appeared at the office door. “Mayor West will see you now Commissioner.” she said kindly. He grumbled a ‘thank you’ as he rose to his feet. 

“Gordon! Please, come in. Come in. Sorry for the wait my friend.” Mayor West greeted Gordon at the door as he walked in with a firm and rigorous hand shake. “Please. Have a seat. I dont want to take up too much more of your time, so I’ll try to make this quick.” 

Gordon chose the nearest chair as a sudden feeling crawled up his back.

Mayor West smiled kindly, “How have you been Jim?” he asked. 

“Fine.” Gordon said flatly. A awkward silence followed for a few short seconds.

“Ok. Thats good, that good. Uhm..” Mayor West searched for the words in his head, “Have you been considering any upcoming vacation time?”

“No.” Gordon’s back straightened. “With THIS job, in THIS city. One can’t afford the luxery of ‘Vacation Time’. Let alone contemplate one.” 

The tension in the room began to build. Mayor West scanned the room as his mind continued to search for the proper words. “Is there any Real reason why we are having this meeting, Mr. Mayor?” Gordon asked, a tinge of sarcasm and annoyance in his tone of voice. Mayor West gave him a stern look.

“You. Have clearly had a very heavy work load as of late. This.. ‘Black Mask’ menace! And now, this. Sudden reemergence of The Batman?.. Maybe. Maybe it’s time for a freash prospective on the police force.” 

“Meaning?” Gordon tenses up leaning back in the chair.

“After the 200th anniversary festival, I am putting in a formal request for you. To Resign as Police Commissioner.” Mayor West said in one breath. 

Gordon’s chest lowers and he leans forward lowering his head. 

“Jim.” Mayor West said calmy, “I may not have been in office for long. But ever since what happend last year.. I am sorry.. You have not been performing at the standards that i have come to know. You have been working very hard, that is clear. But.. Something is..”

“Who the fuck do you think you are?” Gordon said, looking up into the Mayor’s eyes. 

“Excuse me?” Mayor West said feeling offended.

“Do you have any idea, Just what the fuck i have been through all these years!?” Gordon rose to his feet, ” The things I’ve seen!? I’ve been a cop long before you came out your daddy’s sack! Ive been Commissioner of Police for just as long as you’ve been alive! What i have sacrificed for this job! For this god forsaken city! My Life! Who the fuck do you think you are!!” 

“That is enough!” The Mayor yelled back. Jumping to his feet. “This outburst of yours has just proven my point. I could just as easily fire you right now. But i have too much respect for you. You have one week after the celebration to get your things together and prepeare for the transition. Now get the hell out of my office before i change my mind.”

Gordon’s face turned red from rage and then suddenly, as if realizing what jist happened. The red turned into embarrassment. Without a word he quickly turned and left the room. He rushed into the elevator. Breathing heavily, his mind raced a hundred miles a minute. His words echoing in his head.

“What I Have Sacrificed!” “This God Forsaken City!”, “Sacrificed!”, “My Life!”, “What I Sacrificed!” 

Gordon let out a loud yell. 

People stood waiting in the lobby for the elevator. The bell rings and the door opens. Gordon stood there. Expressionless. 

[THAT NIGHT]

Harvey Bullock stepped out of the corner deli. Two cups of coffee in hand and a grocery bag of snacks and donuts. He stepped up to a near by car, put the bag in his mouth and worked the door open. He wiggled himself in to the dark car, “Here Ya go.” he said handing one of the cups to Renee Montoya. “When are you gonna get a bigger car?” he groaned as he closed the door. “When are you gonna get a smaller belly?” she shot back. “Har har.” he said, bitting into a chocolate glazed donut. “What exactly are we doin’ here?” he asked as he chewed. “It’s a Stake Out Harvey.” she said. “I know dat! Can you at least tell me why? And who?” 

Montoya nodded her head forward. “Him.” Harvey looked. 

Officer Portman exited his apartment building accross the street from them and headed straight to his car. Glancing at his watch he quickened his pace. 

“Aint that uh.. Uh.. Whats his face?” Harvey said. “Officer Charlie Portman.” Montoya said as she started her car. “We hot ourselves a ‘dirty’?” he grunted. 

She watched Portman closely. “I dont know… Just.. A feeling.” she said. Portman began to drive off. She gave Harvey a look of hesitation. He looked her in her eyes, “Your Guts never lead us wrong before. Lets tail the bum and see what we get.” he said reassuringly. She smirked with a relieved sigh and began to follow officer Portmancs car. 

[Gordon’s Apartment] 

Sahra Essen laid beside him sleeping soundly. Gordon sat in bed. In the dark, staring at the wall. His badge dancing between his fingers. He glanced at it. He frowned. Sahra turned over and he glanced at her. She was sound asleep. He ran his fingers thrpugh her hair and gentley stroked her cheek. He wanted to hold her. He turned to place his badge on his nightstand. He noticed the picture of him and Barbara together on the stand. Just then, his phone began to glow with a silent notification. He didnt pick it up. He looked at his daughters picture. He looked down at Sahra. The phone began to vibrate. 

[ELSWHERE]

Bullock and Montoya sat in the car on the corner street, across from an apartment building. Harvey looked at his watch. “Its been 15 minutes.. Maybe hes got a mistress?” Renee sighed and shook her head, “Its not a mistress.” she said and got out of the car. 

“Montoya?!” he called after her, “Keep the car running.” she said and closed the door. “Dont do anything stupid!” he hollard. She pulled out a baseball cap from her back pocket as she rushed across the street. Pulling the bill close to her face. She causally walked the front of the building. She scanned the front side. She walked up to the front door and peered inside. She sighed, she started for the side of the building. She made it half way around the corner. 

A dark hummer pulled up from the opposite corner. She spotted Portman in the drivers seat. Them she noticed someone in the back passenger seat. Her eyes widened and she slightly paused. Quickly gathering herself she placed her head down and continued walking. From the corner of her eye she watched the hummer veer off and up the street. “Madre Dios!” she exclaimed and quickly turned on her heel and ran back for her car. She jumped in like a blot. “What the hell Montoya!?!” 

She stepped on the gas and sped after the hummer. “What The Hell is going on with you!? What did you see?” Harvey said, struggeling to put on his seat belt. “The Dead!” she said.

[AN ABANDONED WAREHOUSE] 

A dimley lit room. A dark figure sits at a desk. The Black Mask mask sitting atop the desk. 

“I’m not afraid.” the mysterious man says, “I know what needs to be done…. “No. Im not having second thoughts.. I said No!” The Mask stared back at him with its red eyes. “Damn it! You do know what is at stake here!.. Nothing can go wrong. You understand?” The figure sat back in his chair. “Of course.. Everything is ready.  Assuming our ‘friend’ fulfills his end..” 

A light knock came at the door as it creaked open. A beautiful woman peeked her head inside.

“They’re ready for you.”she said. 

The man sighed, grabed the mask and put it on. 

Black Mask stepped through the door and on to a balcony that stood over a small meeting room below. 

Two groups of people stood at a table. A Large muscular Masked man, flanked by military garbed men stood on one side. A young Asian Woman in elegant, traditional robes, flanked by masked men in similar robes armed with swords and various weapons stokd in the opposite side. Neither, wanting to sit down with the other. 

“Lady! Gentleman!” Black Mask called from above as he headed for the stairwell. “Welcome! I am glad you could make it on such short notice.”

He stopped at his seat and looked at the each of them. “Please. Have a seat.” The group leaders exchanged looks. 

The woman, “I refuse to sit with Hired Thugs, and a Common Criminal. Bane and yourself are not the kind we wish to associate with. However! Our leader has informed us that You have something of worth to offer. That, is why we are here. But we refuse to sit with you like.” 

Bane laughed ar her words, his men laughed as well. “I, do not have such reservations,about you, Lady Shiva.” he said in a thick spanish accent. “But, I hold your master in high regard. That is why i dont reach across this table and kill you with my bare hands.” 

Lady Shiva removes her Sword, “I would like to see you try!” her men also drew their swords, while Bane’s crew drew their guns. 

“HEY! CAN YOU BOTH SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” Black Mask yelled. “Our guest of honor has arrived. Just then, a side door opened. Four other Black Masks entered the room. Flanked behind them was Officer Portman and at his side was, Oswald Cobbelpot, The Penguin. Behind them, Two very large men. Identical in apperance. Both missing an opposite arm. One a left arm, the other, the right arm. 

“The Penguin? I thought he died on Arkham Island” Bane said. “Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated! Wah, Wah, Wah, Wah!” Penguin cawed with a laugh. “Yet another Honorless Criminal!” Lady Shiva grimaced. 

“Oswald. I trust The Abramovici Twins have been taking good care of you?” Black Mask asked as he gestured for Penguin to take a seat. “Yes. Your boys have been absouloute professional. Wish i had this kind of muscle at my disposal years ago!” Penguin said getting in to his seat. 

“Now.. Lets cut too the chase. Where is my shipment?” Black Mask asked. “Well, let it be said, Roman Sionis was a tad more cordial when dealing with business associates.” Penguin shot him a displeased look. “I’m not Roman Sionis.” Black Mask said flatly. 

Penguin squirmed in his chair. “Well. My ‘friend’ overseas, has informed me ‘Our’ shipment of supplies will be hitting my warehouse later tonight.” he said. 

“All of it?” Black Mask questioned. “Every single piece.. Except..” Penguin started, “Except? What?” Black Mask pressed. “Except.. Some sort of Triggering mechanism or something.. He wasnt very detailed in his explanation.” Black Mask rose from his chair. He started to walk toward Oswald very slowly. 

“Uh.. He did. He did say that he left more detailed instructions.. With the uh.. Shipment.” Oswald stammered. Black Mask contunied to walk forward. “Wayne Tech! It’s something in Wayne Tech.” Oswald blurted. Black Mask stood before Penguin, paused Staring at him with his bright red eyes. A long tense moment passed. “That shouldn’t be a problem Oswald. I have people that can retrieve whatever is needed from Wayne Tech.” he said, reassuringly smacking Oswald on the shoulder. “Now.” He said, turning to sit on the edge of the table. “What Exact Time, was the shipment supposed to arrive?” 

“Should be in the next couple of hours. I can take your people there myself.” Penguin said, trying to hide the quiver in his voice.

“Portman!” Mask called, “Yes, sir!?” Portman answered quickly. “Whats the report from the Docks?” Portman quickly pulled out his phone and after a quick look,  “An unmarked Shipment came in alittle under an hour ago sir. Warehouse 17.” 

“How..!?” Penguin gasped. Black Mask clasped his hand on his shoulder. “I have my ways Oswald… But its okay. Im not mad that you lied. I mean.. I would do the same if i were you. Have some sort of leverage to make sure I stay alive in case things go south. Or perhaps.. Double cross the next guy and make sure i come out on top..” 

“I. I.. I.” Penguin stammered. “Oswald. Oswald. Calm yourself.” Black Mask rubbed his shoulders. “Relax… Gentelmen.” He said turning to the Abramovici Twins and snapped his fingers. The two men stood on opposite sides of Penguin and with each of their arms, clasped their thick hands around his neck.

Penguin gasped and struggled. The two men raised him up and out of the chair. Each applying great pressure. Penguin gurggled and spat for air. Blood draining down his nose, And then his tearducts. His eyes bulged, his face turning purple and then, with a sickening gurgle and snap. His eyes popped out the sockets. The two men dropped him like a sack of potatoes. 

Black Mask gingerly walked back to his seat and sat down. “Now. Can we get too business?” 

“Is this your way of trying to.. ‘intimidate’ us?” Bane started, “If so. I assure you. Your going to have to do better then that..” He smiled. “Indeed” Lady Shiva agreed. “You kill your buisness associates…”

“Oswald Cobbelpot is already dead.” Black Mask interrupted, “He died on Arkham Island. The GCPD is set to publicly release the list of the dead. It will only be a matter of time before The Batman figures out the medical records on Cobbelpots body are falsified.” 

Bane and Shiva exchanged looks. “Thats right. The Batman is alive and well and once he figures out Penguin is still alive. He will turn every rock in gotham to find him. Once he does. And he will. Penguin would give up everything he knows. Now.. That loose end is taken cared of. So, Lady. Gentelman. Can we discuss the future of Gotham?” 

“And why should we trust anything you have to say?” Shiva asked.. 

Black Mask sighed. And after a moment, quickly reached up and removed his mask.

Shiva’s eyes widened. She and Bane exchanged surprised gazes. 

“Great.. Now, lets get to buisness shall we?..”

TO BE CONTINUED!.. 

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“200 BLOGS AND COUNTING!Whats Happened and Whats To Come..”

This article marks my 200th Blog on this here website.
200.. Wow. 

I had posted on my twitter page the fact that i was 2 posts away from 200, and i asked ‘What should I write About in My 200th Blog?’ I received great suggestions and ideas. 

‘Is DC’s Cinematic Universe Doomed to fail?’ 

‘A top 10 list of most anticipated 2017 movies.’

Just to name a few. Those are ideas i will be discussing in future blogs. But there was one idea i wanted to use today. 

“Talk about the future.” 

A retrospective if you will.

Well.. I started this blog in, oh about, 1803. Jefferson was looking to make peace with the British and Benjamin Franklin was still being a douche bag about the whole lightning bullshit!.. So i thought i’d put my thoughts and feelings down on this electronic parchment. 

Ok.. That was an outdated joke, but i took a swing at it. I think it was a base hit.. Right? 

Anywhoo. I did start this blog, to really open myself up and express my feeling on things that i actually gave a shit about. Granted, I’m not on par with the big guys like Collider News, Moviepiolt, ComicBookMovie News, Heroic Hollywood just to name a few. I dont jump on the most up to date Geek News. I dont go for the “Click Bate” stuff. I try and be as honest as i can and be on point with what i write about. I’m not first on the scene and i am not chuck full of exclusives. 

BUT! some how, some way. I’ve gotten some peoples attention. As it stands, TheMarvelIncBlog has gotten a good share of views and followers. Starting back in 2015

Stats that grew a good deal in 2016

So far.. 2017 is looking just as good, 

I Have a great set of followers, 

So straight up, THANK YOU ALL SO VERY VERY MUCH! I appreciate any and all support!

This is where the blog stands at the moment. 11,009 Views, and 6,681 visitors. I am truly greatful!

So whats the plan for the future? 

My dream is to be a Comic Book Writer and Movie Screenwriter. So my hope is that my Fan Fiction Stories would get me noticed by the big two (Marvel and DC) still keeping my fingers crossed on that part. So, fan fictions are still going to be a feature on the blog. 

More Movie Reviews. And.. Lets face it.. I ain’t changing a damn thing. Everythings still gonna be the same. Like they say, “If It aint broke.. Dont fix it!” 

But i will ask you all this.. WHAT DO YOU THINK I SHOULD ADD OR TAKE OUT FROM THE BLOG? Hit me up! 

Thx for reading! heres to another 200! 

Until next time folks.. Peace Out!

“BATMAN-THE KILLING JOKE: AFTERMATH!” CHAPTER 7 (A FAN FICTION STORY)

(I do not own the rights to these characters. Batman and all related characters are property of DC/WB. I do claim ownership of the story!) 

Nightwing stood there. The blood and gore that was Edward Nigma, drenched his hands and suit. The torrential rain fails to wash it away. His hands began to shake as he played back what just happened. He clenched his eyes tight, as if in hopes of sqeezing the memory out of his mind. Then, sense rushed back to him in an instant. 

Far off, Deadshot has Nightwing in his crosshairs. “Night, night birdie.” he smiled, and with that he pulled the trigger. 

If Nightwing had not turned the slightest bit to his left. The bullet would have done its evil deed. But Nightwing did move, ever so slightly to the left, in that milisecond between the pull of the trigger and the bullet zooming out of the barrel. 

The bullet slammed into his shoulder, knocking him on his back. “Ahg!” He groaned. 

“Son of a bitch!” Deadshot cursed as he set up for his next shot. 

Nightwing quickly rolled out of postion and scanned the rooftops. Pushing a small button on his mask, activated the state of the art lenses in his mask. “Track” he stated. The buildings around him pushed away from him, becoming a three dimensional model right before his eyes. A bright line appeared before him. “Pinpoint” he said as he darted for the nearby cover of a chimney. 

“Bricks aint gonna protect you, birdie.” Deadshot smirked. 

BLAM! A bullet blasted through the brick near Nightwings ear. “Damn it!” he cursed as he moved more to his left. “Hold. Re-track.” he said, The 3D display highlighted a new bright yellow track.”Bingo.” he said. “Pinpoint and locate.” The display panned out into a full map and a bright red dot appeared. “Got you” 

As another bullet blasted through another brick next to him, Nightwing jumped to his feet and ran toward the gunfire. “Oh yeah, come at me bro.” Deadshot smirked and just then, Nightwing suddenly tossed down some smoke pellets. 

Deadshot glared through his periscope. Waiting for Nightwing to emerge from the smoke. “Shit!” He cursed, after a moment. He quickly shouldered his rifle and rushed away. 

Deadshot leapt over to the next rooftop and raced for the fire escape, then suddenly, a pair of Batarangs knocked the rifle out of his hands. Nightwing swooped out of the sky tackeling Deadshot to the ground. 

Deadshot kicked Nightwing off of him pulled out a side arm and fired. Nightwing dodged and kicked the weapon out of his hand. He then pulled out his Escrema Sticks and began to pummel Deadshot with them. “You killed him! You freaking killed him!!” Nightwing spat as he beat on Deadshot. Suddenly, Deadshot produced a dagger and stabbed Nightwing in the thigh. 

“Argh!” Nightwing staggered back and dropped to his knee. Deadshot stumbles to his feet and draws another pistol. “Look! A jobs a job kid. Nygma was an annoying prick that stuck his nose where it shouldnt have been. Aint nobody gonna a shed a tear for that dumbass. And please, Forgive me for not giving a shit about how you feel about it. Now.. You weren’t on the payroll.. But im sure Black Mask would pay a couple more millions for a dead former Bat-Boy.” Deadshot Pulled back the safety and his finger started to tighten on the trigger. 

A great rage boiled up in Nightwings body. He lunges forward as Deadshot pulls the trigger, pushing the gun up. BLAM! The gun fires in the air. Nightwing pulls his fist back and deliveres a massive right hand, knocking Deadshots mask clean off. 

Deadshot flew a clear foot off the ground and crashed hard. Nightwing dragged himself up and mounted Deadshot. Seething, he raised his fist up and began beat Deadshot. 

Bop! Bop! Bop! Bam! Bam! Crick! Crick! Crack! 

Suddenly, a whipping sound cracked the air and something grasped his wrist. Stopping his fist. 

Nightwing turned and found Catwoman and her whip stopping his fist. Her face in a state of shock.. “I think.I think He’s had.. Enough.”

[LATER: THE BATCAVE] 

“You know, Master Dick. If You are to continue down this course of activity.. Might i suggest a full suit of Armor? Perhaps titanium?” Alfred joked dryly as he stitched Nightwings thigh. 

Catwoman sat a ways off, gingerly turning in the arm chair. 

Nightwing smirked, “I think titanium would be a little heavy for this line of work Al.” “Perhaps sir. Or maybe you can call your friend?.. The Robotic gentleman. Maybe he can set up replacement parts for you in the future.” Said Alfred cutting the last stitch.

The door upstairs could be heard opening and heavy footfalls coming down the stairs. Bruce had the most severe, stern look on his face. “We need a moment.” he said flatly, walking past everyone without looking at them. He walked up to the batcomputer and paused. 

Selina and Alfred exchanged looks. Alfred packed up the first aid kit, passing Dick a freash bandage and patted his shoulder gently with a reassuring smile. Selina helped Alfred with the kit and they left Bruce and Dick alone. 

Bruce sighed and turned on the Main Moniter. Deadshot’s beaten and bruised face filled the screen. “What is this?” Bruce said after a moment. 

“What?” Dick said as he wrapped his leg, “Its not like you havent lost your temper before.” 

“Fractured Eye Socket. Crushed cheek-bone. Jaw.. Broken in two places. A Fractured Skull! If Selina hadn’t stopped you. You would have killed Lawton!.. You call THAT losing your temper?” 

“Oh come on! Your being a major Hypocrite!” Dick shot back. 

“A Hypocrite!?  Damn it, Dick. Have you learned nothing.” 

“If I Did Kill Deadshot. What great loss would that be, huh?! One less murdering pyscho on the loose.” 

“NO! Not one less..”

“Oh, spare me the old, Kill one become one bull crap! Please. I honsetly dont see just what the big deal is, anymore… You did it and the world didn’t stop.” 

“You dont know what your talking about..” Bruce turned away.

“What Happened to you Bruce? Why are you letting him effect you?” 

“Its not him..” Bruce sighed.

“You sure? Bruce.. The Joker, was a murdering. Homicidal. Lunatic. Brought nothing but death and destruction wherever he went.” 

“Its not about the Joker..” Bruce said. 

“He.. He could have killed.. My wife! Barbara. He crippled her! Left her to bleed out.. You did.. What needed to be done.” 

“It’s Not. About. The Joker.” Bruce said through clenched teeth. His hands shaking.

“Then, DAMN IT. WHAT IS IT?!?” Dick yelled.

“I. KILLED. A. MAN!!” Bruce wheeled around, his face red and his eyes wet. 

Dick froze. 

“I.. I took.. A LIFE! It doesn’t matter if it was the Joker. Or penguin. Or or whoever.. I killed a man. With my hands. I.. Am supposed to be better. The Batman.. Was supposed to be better. And I failed. I failed everything that I stand for.. What THEY stood for. In my eyes.. The Batman.. I.. Am no better then the Joker..” Bruce turned away and rubbed his eyes. 

Dick stood there. No words were said. For long minutes.

“You know..” Dick started after a moment, “When i was.. 5. I was still learning how to swing on the trapeze. My dad, had built a small set for me. So i can learn and practice you know. Anyway.. I was swinging and i wanted to try something i saw my parents do one time. I fell.. Hard. Skinned my knee and hurt my ankle. Hurt like hell. Man.. I cried so hard. Dont remember crying so much, like, ever. My dad came running. I told him what happened, through the sobbing. He laughed.  And then he picked me up in to his arms and said.. ‘Son. Do you know, Why We Fall?’ he said, ‘So We Can Learn To Pick Ourselves Up. And Keep Moving Forward.’ I was 5.. Never really grasped it at the time. Then, years later.. A man I looked up to.. I nearly got him killed during my first time out. I beat myself up for weeks. Didn’t want to leave the cave. And then, that man pulled me to the side after a very rough, forced, training session and he asked me.. ‘Why Do We Fall Down, Grayson?’ I get it now.. But now. I ask you, Bruce.. Why Do We Fall Down?” 

And with that, Dick turned away and left.

Bruce stood there. Quiet. His mind drifted for a moment. And then.. “The kid has a point you know.” Selina said, appearing out of the corner. She slowly walked toward him and grasped his hand. She propped her chin on his shoulder and ran her fingers through his hair. They stood there in silence. After a moment, she slaps his butt and says, “Come upstairs and lets work out that pent up aggression you got there big boy..”

[THAT NIGHT] 

Bruce and Selina cuddled in bed. She layed in his arms, sound asleep. He stared deeply at the cieling. The moonlight shined dully through the window. His eyes, he could feel them getting heavy. He didnt really want to sleep. His mind echoing with those words. “Why do we fall down.”  Bruce sighed deeply and closed his eyes. 

BUMP! A sound came from down stairs. His head shot up. He looked at the clock on the night stand. ‘its too late for Alfred to be up.’ he thought. BUMP! BUMP! The sound again. He quickly got out of bed, but made sure not to wake Selina. 

The noise was coming from the living room. Light was blazing from the door way. ‘The Fire Place?’ He crept to the door way and peeked inside. A man was tossing firewood into the fire place. “The Hell? Excuse me?!” he said demandingly. The man turned around with a big smile on his face. “Hey there son.” 

Bruce’s Eyes widened in total shock and horror. “D..D, Dad?” he gasped. “You ok son? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” Thomas smiled. “H-How are you.. Here?” He stammered. Thomas chuckled, “I dont believe i have ever left son. WE, never left you.” A soft hand gentley grasped his shoulder. He turned and met his mothers gaze. “Mom?” he breathed. “Hello Bruce.” she smiled, kissing his cheek. 

He closed his eyes at the warmth of her touch. He opened them and they were both gone. The room was dark. He wheeled around, looking for any trace of them. A cold breeze hit his neck. He turned and saw the front door wide open. A shadow passed the window. He chased it outside. 

He suddenly found himself running down a hill side. Suddenly, he slipt and fell. He began rolling down the hill. He came to the base of the hill and landed on top of something soft. Dizzy, he shook his head and looked. He was a top Jokers body. He gasped, jumping to his feet. He found himself surrounded by police officers. Gordon looked at him with saddness and disapointment. Behind him, Thomas and Martha Wayne stood. “Mom. Dad.” they turned away. “Wait!” 

“You’ve been a bad boy brucie!” Joker laughed as his head dangled grossly off his neck. Bruce gasped and Ran after his parents. Joker’s laugh echoed around him. Soon everyone was laughing. 

“Stop it. Stop!.. Stop Laughing!!” he yelled. 

Silence. He was alone. Darkness. He turned around and met Jokers sick twisted gaze. His head dangled off center. “Hiya Brucie!” he smiled. “Look who finally had that One. Bad. Day! Now, you and me.. Are one, and the same! We all are..” 

Bruce found himself surrounded by all of his enemies. They all laughed at him.  “No. No! Im nothing like you! I cant.. I wont! Im not! I’M NOT!!” He buried his head in his hands.

“No.” a cold voice said. Bruce looked up. He found himself in the street. That fateful street. He looked to his left. The Alley Way. Crime Alley. “No” he trembled, as foot steps echoed around him. He turned, There was the man. There was Joe Chill. He lifted the gun and pulled the trigger. 

BLAM! BLAM! 

“Maybe. Maybe, your more like me?” Joe Chill lifeted his head in to the light, he had the face of Bruce Wayne. 

Bruce looked down at his parents lifeless bodies. “NNNNOOOOOOOO!!” He screamed. grasping at them. His hands becoming more and more drenched with blood. Dark and crimson. He cried. 

“Bruce.” a calm voice said. “Bruce.” He opened his eyes. He was outside the mansion. He looked for who called his name. He gazed over at the family cemetery. A bright light flashed from withing and he raced for it.

“Hello?!” he called, “Who’s there?!” He searched all around for the source of the light. And then he saw them. The gravestones. “HERE LIES: THOMAS AND MARTHA WAYNE” it read. He fell to his knees.

“You remember that promise we made?” a dark voice said. He stood up, turned and standing before him was The Batman. “We swore we would never let anything like what happened to us, happen to anyone else.. Do you remember?” He asked, his eyes glowing red. 

“I.. I remember. And we broke that promise. We failed them! We took a Life!” Bruce said. 

“Bruce.. You must stop blaming yourself.” His Fathers voice said. He stepped out from behind Batman. “You made a mistake. We all do. Dont you remember what i taught you son? Why do we fall down Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.. And learn from our mistakes.” “Our Work is not done.” said Batman. “We have much to do.” Bruce shook his head, “You were supposed to be better then them. We were.. I, was supposed to be better.” 

“You put too much pressure on your shoulders, sweetheart.” His Mother said from behind him. He turned to her. She glowed with a white light. She stood there, her bright white dress flowed like silk. A warmth came from her. “I know what this is.. I know im dreaming. My subconscious. Thats all that all of you are.” He said rubbing his eyes. She grasped his hands gently and pulled them from his eyes. Her hands were so warm. “Do i truly feel like a dream?” she said. A sensation came over him. A chill. A warming chill. She touched his face and he gasped. Tears flowed down his cheeks. He pulled her close and held her.”Mom..” he sobbed, “I am so sorry..  I failed you.” “My sweet boy. We have watched you grow in to such an inspiring man. A man of true passion and purity. We are so very proud of you.” she lifted his head to look into his eyes. “You have changed the world for the better. But you carry so much weight on your shoulders. Too much for one man. You are not perfect. You never had to be. No ever is. We all make mistakes Bruce. But its how we come back from those mistakes. How we better ourselves. How we overcome. That, is how we can truly LIVE with ourselves. Rise my son. Face yourself.” she turned him around to face Batman. 

“You created something that gives people hope. Gives people strength. In a world that takes those very things away from them. You dont have to be perfect. No one is. Your only human. But you are strong. You have the potential to do.. Great things. But i can not make you choose to take back that responsibility. All i can do.. All i really want to do.. Is look at you.. And tell you.. We love you. We are so very proud of you. And we will Always. Always, be with you.” 

“Bruce?” Thomas asked, “Yes, father?” Said Bruce. “Why do we fall down?”

Bruce’s face went serious and stern. He walked up to Batman and looked deep into his eyes. 

“So we can learn to pick ourselves up.. And Keep Moving Forward.” He said. 

His eyes suddenly opened. He found himself standing in the Batcave. The display case for his Batsuit stood empty before him.. 

[THE BOWERY: Downtown Gotham.]
A Gang War was underway. Machine gunfire was coming from both sides of the street. In the middle of all the carnage, was a lone police car. 

“I REPEAT! This is car 2187! We are under heavy fire. I NEED BACK UP DAMN IT! NOW!” The officer called from under his car. Bullets bouncing and pierceing his car above him. “Hang In the 2187. We’re sending units your way now.” the operator called back. “UNITS?! DAMN IT I NEED THE NATIONAL GUARD HERE!” 

Screams erupted over the gunfire. Smoke began to bellow around outside. Then the gunfire began to scatter. Heavy at first.. Then.. Light.. Then.. Silence. 

“The Hell?!” the officer breathed. Gingerly, he crawled out from under the car. The streets were silent. The smoke began to thin out. He coughed and waved his hat around to clear the air. Something heavy landed on the roof of the car behind him. He wheeled around, drawing his gun. Then. Through the smoke. He saw Him. He felt his eyes on him. He lowered his gun. The Radio cracked on, “officer Brent? Are you still there?!” he turned to grab the radio, breathing heavily he said, “Scrap that back up.” he turned back. He was gone.  “Send a clean up crew.” he said with a smile, “He’s Back!”  “Can You repeat that?” said the operator. “BATMAN IS BACK!” Brent cheered! 

TO BE CONTINUED!…

“THE KILLING JOKE: AFTERMATH” CHAPTER 6! (A FAN FICTION STORY)

( I do not own the characters appearing in this story. But i do claim the story!) 

[AXIS CHEMICALS ]

Batgirl carfully opens the roof window panels and slides in to the building, Landing skillfully on a near by beam. She masterfully scales the cieling. She hears voices. She spots a nearby vantage point and silently grapnels to it. 

“You heard the boss. Batgirl should be arriving any minute.” said a Thug from below. 6 heavily armed Thugs enter the room and begin to spread out. “Boss says this will be the only way in or out. So wes gotta make sure the place is tight. Nobody gets in or out.. And if the bitch shows her little red head anywhere.. We blast it clean off!” The thugs laugh. 

“Yea, Right.” she mutters. A thug decides to lay back against a wall directly below her and stops to have a smoke. “Bingo.” she says. She zips down from the roof and snatches him up before he even realizes it. He lets out a yelp. “The hell was that?” A Thug Yelled. 

They rushed over to find the man hanging upside down from the cieling. “She’s here! Spread out and find the bitch!” Just then, a thug at the back of the crew was snatched up in to the darkness. They wheeled around and he was gone. Suddenly, smoke enveloped them like a cloud. They fired thier weapons wildly and one by one, they fell. Finally, The group leader made a run for it. He rushed for a door and ran into it. It was locked. He wrestled with the door lock and a sudden silence came around him. He grasped his side arm and turned around. Nothing was there. “I aint scared of you! You cheap Bat knock off!” he called out. “You should be.” she whispered from behind. He gasped and wheeled around to a round house kick to the face. 

The door behind her opened behind her with force. Knocking her forward. A large shadow stood over her. 

“Bane!” she grumbled.

“Its time for you to die, Malyshka!” Bane grolwed. He charged at her like a rhino. She threw a series of batarangs at him. Several of them sailed through him like they didnt exist. He knocked her down with but a swipe of his arm. She struggled to get up, but she couldnt.. She fell back as air left her body.

“GAME OVER!!”

“what the hell was that!?” Barbara exclaimed over her headset. “One hit and im dead?!” A text appeared on her screen, ‘RED_ROBIN_436: Still working on the bugs. Sorry’ “Some serious bugs.” she retorted. “RED_ROBIN_436: But what do you think of the game so far? Any critique would be accepted.” She smiled as she sipped her tea, “Where do i start? ” she laughed. “First of all.. Bane is South American.. Not Russian. Might wanna fix that. The Batarangs went right through him. You clearly made him waay to strong. Uhmm, the language can be toned down abit. And lastly.. Batgirls design.. You could make her just a tad bit more.. Realistic and less.. ‘Kardashian'” An alert came on her screen. “Virus detected!” “Aww. Red Robin..” she said sweetly as she pressed some quick comand buttons. “Still trying to hack my sytem little buddy?” she said mockingly. “Red_Robin_436: Cant blame a guy for trying! LOL!😂” She smirked, “It was a nice try pal… But not nice enough.” ‘Virus eliminated!’ the screen read. “Red_Robin_436: One of these days, Oricale_66! 😅😜” Barabra smiled again. Just then another alert came on screen. It was the shape of a Green Question mark. “Red_Robin_436:Hey! Whats that?” “Uh.. I gotta go Red Robin. Ill ttyl, keep working on that game. Oricale out.” she said shutting down the program and activating the Question Mark.

[WAYNE TOWER]

“Ok. As i sign this last document.” says Bruce Wayne, “As of this moment. All of Wayne Enterprises and it’s subsidiaries now belongs to my friend and former ward. Mr. Richard Grayson.” The Board Room began to applaude. “I know i am leaving it all in good hands.” He said, shaking Dick’s hand. A cameraman jolted forward and snapped several pictures. “Ok. Ok. Thank you.” Dick said, motioning for the clapping to stop, “I am.. Really humbled and proud to be given this. Opportunity. This honour. I am not much of a, ‘Buisness Man’ myself. But i will do my very best to, uhm, Uphold the Wayne name and what it stands for in this city, and around the world. And, look, lets be honest.. Im gonna have Mr. Foxx be in charge and take all the credit!” The room laughed. “But, in all seriousness.. I want to thank Bruce. For… Everything. Uhm.. I dont wanna get too mushy. But.. Uh. Thank You. Thats all i got. Thank you all!”

Lucious Foxx escorted everyone out of the room soon after. “Not much for speeches, i see.” Bruce teased. “Yea.. Im usually a shower then a talker.” said Dick, slightly limping in to a chair. “And i thought we agreed on dropping the whole ‘Young Ward’ part out of the speech” “Did we?” Bruce teased. “Hows the leg?” “Its good. Getting better.” Dick said rubbing his thigh. “So.. You ready for the PoliceMens Ball?” Dick changed the subject, “Yes.” “You have a date yet?” Bruce glanced at Dick sideways, “Selena? Its getting serious isnt it.” Dick teased. Just then, both thier phones began to vibrate. “Its Barb!” Dick said. They rushed into Bruce’s office and pressed a nearby panel. The window blinds shut and a portrait on the wall flipped into a screen. Barbara’s Image came on screen. “Whats up, Babe?”

“You guys need to see this..” she said quickly.

A Green Question Mark appeared on screen and a ragged and disheveled Edward Nygma quickly followed.

“Dark Knight! I know you are seeing this message.. I.. I need your help!” Bruce and Dick exchanged looks. “My life is in grave danger. I am being hunted like a big game animal! I have come in to very intriguing information.. Information yourself may be interested in hearing. I didnt have enough time to safeguard this transmission from being seen by anyone else. ‘If You follow the Straight and Narrow.. You will find This?”

“And thats all the video.” Barbara came back on screen. “What do you guys think?” “Riddles! Why is it always riddles?!” Dick moaned. “He’s hiding in the Narrows.” Bruce said flatly. “Too easy. Even for Nygma. Follow the straight path to the Narrows and we find our answers. IF, hes telling the truth.. Either way it could be a trap.” “Is it something we can afford to over look, even if it is a trap?” Dick added. They exchanged looks, “Im on it.” Dick said finally. “I’ll start cross referencing known Riddler hideouts in the Narrows.” Said Barbara as she went off screen.

[THE NARROWS]

Nightwing scaled swiftly along the rooftops. “That leg brace holding up nicely?” Oracle said. “Very nicely.” said Dick. “Ok. This is the last of Riddlers hideouts. Lets hope this is not another dud.” He opened up the window paneled roof and slid inside.

The building was pitch black, but with a slam, the lights lit the room like the sun. “It took you long enough. Was actually expecting The Bat.” The Riddlers voice echoed around him. “Batman’s Dead, Nygma. Or havent you figured that out yet.” “Of course he is..” Riddler said knowingly. The lights dimmed and Riddler came out of the shadows. “Heres the deal, ‘Boy Wonder’. You get me out of this cursed city, Safely! And maybe i will tell you what i know.”

Nightwing folded his arms. “Clearly, your confusing me with someone who gives a damn about your safety. Nygma!”

“If you dont garuntee me safe passage out of this city.. I will never tell you. Who. Is. Black. Mask.” Riddler scowled. Thunder clapped outside. “What?!” Nightwing got closer to him. Rain began to pelt the roof and windows. “I know the riddle behind the mask. And if you want the answer.. You. Will. Protect me!” Nygma proclaimed, poking his finger in to Nightwings chest. Dick immediately grasped his arm and twisted it. “Ahhh!” Nygma screamed, “I am not Batman, Nygma! Im not in the mood for your games! Tell me, who is Black Mask?!” Nightwing twisted his arm. Riddler screamed.

Suddenly the doors banged open. “FREEZE! NOBODY MOVE!”GCPD officers rushed the room and surrounded them. Nightwing reluctantly let go of Riddlers arm. “Dont trust them.” Riddler whispered. “Officers. I have reason to believe that Edward Nygma may have information that may lead to the location and capture of Black Mask.” Nightwing said. The officers exchanged looks. “Is that right.” said one of the officers. He pulled out the gun and before he coukd pull the trigger, Nightwing knocked the gun out of his hand. “RUN NYGMA!” Nightwing yelled, as the officers began to open fire. Nightwing fought them off, one by one as Riddler scurried for cover. Soon more cops stormed the building.

Nightwing raced over and grabbed Riddler up and with the toss of some smoke bombs, they made their escape. “Riddler is on the move. Nightwing is helping him. Send in the asset.” an officer called over his Radio.

Once sure they were a good distance. Nightwing found a secluded rooftop. Dropping Riddler hard. “Why are the cops after you!?” “Isn’t it obvious simpleton!?” Riddler spat. “Black Mask has most of the GCPD in his pocket! Hes got politicans. Hes got criminals!” The rain grew heavier. “Who is he!?” Nightwing grabbed Nygma by his jacket and shook him. “No more games! No more Riddles! You tell me.. And i promise i will get you out of the city. I swear! Now tell me!”

Riddler shoved Nightwing off of him and paced. Muttering to himself.. “What Do you call..” “DAMN IT NYGMA!” Nightwing cursed, grabing ahold of him again, “I am not gonna ask again.. Fight that stupid urge of yours and tell me!”

Riddler looked in to Nightwings eyes. “Black Mask.. Is’nt just one man.. But he is One Man.” “I said. No. Riddles!”, “Its not a Riddle! Black Mask is.

KABLAM!

Riddlers face exploded in a blast of gore and bone. His eye and grey matter splattered across Nightwings face. Nightwing stood there frozen as Riddlers headless body slipped through his fingers.

[10 miles away]

Nightwing stood in the crosshairs. His face frozen with shock.

“This is too good.” Floyd Lawton mused as he looked out through the scope. “Literally Two for the price of one.” Deadshot smiled, “Say good night Birdie…”

TO BE CONTINUED…

“THE KILLING JOKE: AFTERMATH!” CHAPTER 5 (A FAN FICTION STORY)

(I do not claim ownership of these characters. But i do own the story! Batman and all related characters are property of DC Comics and WB inc. Copyright and trademark and blah blah blah) 
[James Gordons apartment: Lower Gotham] 

Gordon laid on his living room floor. His legs proped on to the couch. The room was mostly dark, save for the neon lights that crept in through the window blinds. He stared at the dark cieling for a moment.

“Memories… So Treacherous.” 

He grunted as he lifted his chest up to his knees suddenly. He huffed and puffed as he lifted himself up and back down. Up, and down. 

Moments flashing in his mind.

“Damn it Gordon. I got the Governor breathing down my ass about this, Black Mask business.” said Mayor West. “Theres panic in the streets. The mafia is turning the streets in to their own personal war zone. I got Families giving me grief over the Asylum bombing, and i have nothing to tell them! What are you going to do about this Jim?!” 

[Jim] 

“One Moment your in a Carnival of delights, with poignant childhood aromas, the flashing neon of puberty, all that sentimental candy floss..” The Joker’s voice whispering in his ear.

Young little Barbra Gordon leaves her fathers arms rushing on to the waiting school bus. He watches her get to her seat. She sees him through the window and gives him the sweetest smile. 

“The next, it leads you somewhere you dont’t want to go..”

BLAM! Barbara crashes in to the glass table. Joker stands at the door way, smoking gun in hand. 

“Somewhere dark and cold”  He says, “Filled with damp, ambiguous shapes of things you’d hoped were forgotten.”

[Jim?]

Gordon reaches out for Barbara. But he cant move.

His stomach cramps and he quickly switches to push ups position. 

[Jim?]

He’s stripped of his cloths, his manhood, his pride. The photos of Barbaras nude body, bloody, helpless..

“BARBARA!!” He screams in his mind.

His arms and shoulders feel like they will explode. His heart pounding in his chest.

Joker smiles his wide grin. “All it takes. Is. One. Bad. Day!” 

Gordon screams aloud as he pushes himself up one last time.

“JAMES!?” Sahra called to him. The living room lights flash on, snapping him out of his trance. Dressed in onky his dress shirt she rushes to his side on the floor. “What the hell, Jim? Are you trying to give yourself a heart attack?!” she said wiping the sweat from his brow.

Breathing heavily, “Sahra?” he sighed, as if finally realizing she was there. She looked at him, “Yea.. Im here.” she said. “Is this your new regimine? Work out till your heart explodes?” 

“Im fine.” he said as he moved to sit on the floor properly. “It gets results. Im in the best shape of my life.” he adds as he gestures at himself. “I see that.” says Sahra, “But your not a young man Jim. You dont need to push yourself so hard.” “I was overpowered by three little people and stripped naked. I couldnt fight them off.. I could help my…” he stopped himself. His body shivered. 

Sahra looked at him with sympathy in her eyes. “It wasnt your fault, Jim. It wasnt your fault.” He looked in to her eyes, and he began to sob. She grasped him in to her arms and cradled him close. 

[GOTHAM METRO RAILWAY and GOTHAM EXPRESS TRAIN 7: Currently speeding way beyond its proper limit]

“Gimme the damn bag lady!” The thug growled through his mock Black Mask mask. The old woman cried. Several of the masked men filled the train car, stealing anything and everything from the frightened passangers. At the head of the Car, The Real Black Mask stood and watched. 

“Thats all the loot boss” a thug said strapping his full bag over his shoulder. “Good.” said Black Mask, “Whats the word on the cargo hold?” in response, a voice came over the thugs radio, “Everything all set back here boss! Ready to Go!” 

“Heh, Perfect.” Black Mask said, pulling the trains intercom mic, “Ladies and Gentelmen! I would like to personally thank you for being such great sports in todays exercise. And i hope this experiance hasnt turned you off from using Gothams fantastic public transportation. Just, next time, dont ride the same train thats carrying over 40 million dollars in diamonds on it. You never know when some psycho will try to rob it!” 

“Chopper 2 to Black Mask. Come in, Black Mask.” Someone called over another radio. “Go ahead chopper 2.” said Black Mask. “ETA is 3 minutes. Im almost over you.” 

“Well Folks! Thats my que to leave. Its been.. A Blast” Black Mask pulled out a small remote and pressed a button. A large explosion sounded and the train rocked wildly. “Last Stop folks.. The Diamond District… Fasten your seatbelts!” he said as he strolled down the aisle with his gang, toward the back of the train.

Nightwing raced at top speed on the streets below. Trying to catch the run away train. “Dick, We have a problem!” Oracle called over his ear piece. “Yeah, I noticed.” He said, “The Elevated rail way is down. That train is approaching 80 mph. You Have to stop that train!” “Yes, Dear.” He said. “Nows not the time for quips, ‘Honey'” He smirked under his helmit, “Right.” 

“There’s an inbound Helicopter just above you.” she said. “Got it!” Nightwing quickly lept off the bike and drew out his grapnel gun. Attaching to the incoming Helicopter, he soared up in to the air. In one quick move he spring boarded off of the bottom of the copter and sprang out two underarm flaps allowing him to glide forward. 

A thug kicked open the back exit door of the train, he looked up. “Ah hell.” he groaned as Nightwing kicked him in the face and barrel rolled in to two more men, knocking them back. He drew out his Escrima Sticks and quickly took out the other 5 men with expert precision. 

[The WatchTower: Oracles base of operations] 

“Dick. If you can get to the conducters cabin and plug in the new gauntlet interface. I could hack into the system and..” “I am a little busy right now. Just give me a sec!” He said.

Just then 5 more men came in to the cabin, Guns at the ready.

Suddenly, several alerts came upon Oracles screens. 

Nightwing expertly fought his way through the thugs and crashed through to the next cabin using one of the men as a battering Ram. Two more thugs greeted him there.

 “Uhm, Nightwing” Oracles voice  came over the radio. “We have a situation..” 

Using his helmit as a projectile he took down the two thugs. “What is it now?” he said as he turned to face The barrel of a gun.

Black Mask is robbing The Gothem first National Bank, The Downtown Bank, Lincoln International Bank AND The Bank of Americas! Right now all at the same time!” She exclaimed as she starred at the several security camera feeds with Black Mask at the center of every one.

Black Mask clicked the safty off, “Whats the matter BirdBoy?” He said, “You look like your seeing a ghost!” 

“Nightwing! Right? Thats the name, isnt it?” Black Mask mocked. “No longer the Boy Wonder, eh?” he chuckled as he circled Nightwing, his gun pressed to his head. “You’r probably finding out by now, I. Am. Everywhere. So now you got yourself a choice.. Stop the speeding train and save the lives of hundreds of passengers. OR bring to justice someone who may or may not be who he says he is before he spaltters my brains all over this cabin.. Easy choice if you ask me.” Black Mask leaned over for a large duffle bag on the floor. Without unlocking his gaze from Nightwing. 

“Clocks ticking bird boy.. Whats it gonna be? This train aint goin any slower.” 

“Dick! Forget the train. Take him down.” Oracle exclaimed. And without hesitation he lunged for Black Mask. “Bad move Bird Brain!” said Black Mask as he avoided his attack. Nightwing, a trained acrobat and expert combatant trained by Batman himself, used every move he had. But Black Mask was incredibly agile and fast. He couldnt land a single hit. “Impossible!” he thought, “How is he so fast? Who IS this guy!?” Nightwing started to become frustrated. He lost focus for a fraction of a second, ‘BLAM!’ a bullet wedged itself in to his leg. Nightwing fell forward grasping his thigh and Black Mask kneed him in the gut, knocking the wind out of him. 

Just then, the cabin windows shattered around them as a Blue Streak whizzed by. “Ah, Ha! Looks like you had an ace in the hole.. Well. It was fun while it lasted handsome.. But i gotta run.” Black Mask raced for the door. Nightwing struggled in pursuit. Black Mask grabed ahold of the Hang ladder from the Helicopter. He turned back to face Nightwing, and said, “I’ll be seeing ya.. Dick!” and with that Black Mask was airbourn. Nightwing looked stunned. “Did he?.. Does he?!” his mind raced. 

The Train suddenly came to a jolt and began to slow down. Until finally, just before it reached the end of the elevated rail. It stopped. 

Nightwing limped through the train, making sure passangers were ok along the way. When he came to the front car, he found the passengers there in high spirits and excitment. Standing before them, looking all majestic and mighty was, Superman. 

“I hope everyone is ok. I just.. Happened to be in the neighborhood. Glad to hear it.” He said to everyone as they mobbed him for questions and autographs. “Please, Excuse me.” he told the crowd as he spotted Nightwing. He marched through the people toward him. Nightwing watched every stride, and suddenly he had a very strange feeling. A feeling he never had before. “I got here as fast as i could. Youve been shot?! I can get you back..” He started, “No. I’ll be fine.. Uhm.. Thanks for.. The help.” Nightwing said nervously. “Are you sure?” Superman glared at Nightwings leg, “Doesnt appear to be any internal damage. No hit arteries. The bullet is lodged between..” “IM FINE!” Nightwing interupted.. “Sorry.. Im ok, really. I owe you one..” “Not at all, Consider us even. I owed Oracle for a favor she did for me a few weeks back. She sure knows when to cash in, huh.” Superman smiled. “Yup.. She sure does..” Nightwing said, feeling awkward.. 

“Hey, Superman. We need some help here..” a Passanger called. “Hey, why dont i help out the emergency crews with the evac and rescue.” Superman says Glancing over his shoulder “And you get that…” when he turns back Nightwing is gone. “Of course.” He says to himself. 

[THE BATCAVE] 

“AARGGH!” Nightwing grunts as Alfred works to remove the bullet from his leg. “Hold still Master Dick. I’ve. Almost.. Got it!” Alfred pulled the bullet out and dropped in to a nearby metal dish. “Arent you glad, you switched to the new armour plateing in your suit?” Said Bruce, who stood watch. “Yea.. Lot of good it did.” said Nightwing as he braced for Alfreds stitching. “Prevented the bullet from going any deeper and causing serious damage to your leg.” Bruce stated flatly as he took the bullet to examine it. 

“You know.. I actually get it now.” said Nightwing, “Get what?” asked Bruce. “Your.. ‘thing’ with.. ‘Him'” Nightwing said, nodding to the Bat Computer moniter as it showed newsfootage of Superman helping firecrews. “Oh.” Said Bruce, with a slight grin. “I never understood until today.. Its kinda wierd.. And ive always looked up to him, but It just felt.. Strange.” “Well, you should be glad i was able to reach him in time and call in that favor.” Barbara called as she wheeled herself out the elevator. “Black Mask made off with half of the diamonds he took from the train hiest. Which is an estimated 25 million. Thats not including the loot he got from 4, count em, 4! Separate bank hiests at the same time. We’re looking at a sizable 350 million dollars. In one day… How the hell is he doing this?! Body scans from the servalance footage points to it being the exact same person. Every body movement exactly the same. Same speech pattern. Same gestures. Its freaky!” she said as she showed them on the batcomputer the various servailance footage. 

“Could Clayface still be alive? Was he even in arkham when it exploded?” Nightwing mused aloud as Alfred wrapped the final bandage on his leg. “I saw him myself.. But it cant be out of the question.” “This type of multiplicity would be too complicated for Clayface.” Bruce stated as he watched the footage closely. “Look at how he dodged ever hit you through at him.. Clayface never had such grace and agility. This is someone new.. Someone who knows what they are doing” 

Nightwing hesitated a moment and finally said, “He said my name.” “What?!” They all said together, “I could be missreading it.. But, Its the way he said it.. He wasnt mocking me. ‘I’ll be seeing ya.. Dick!’ I dont know.. Maybe im nust reading too much in to it.” “I’ve taught you better then that.” said Bruce, “Your an excellent detective, and know how to read situations.” “Did he just complement me?” Dick quipped, “Dont make me take it back.” Bruce shot back, “If indeed This Black Mask knows who you are.. We must assume he knows all of us!” Bruce gazed in to the screen at the Image of Black Mask, “We need to handle this carefully.. We need to find out WHO is Black Mask!” 

[UNDISCLOSED LOCATION]

“YOU SAID, WHAT!?!” Black Mask yelled. “Do you have any idea, how long i have been planning this?! How much detail has gone in to this!?” 

“It was a slip of the tounge” said another Black Mask. “I got caught in the moment.” There were 4 other Black Masks in the Room. They all groaned at those words. “You. Got caught up.. In. The. Moment…” Black Mask repeated. He slowly walked up to the other Black Mask and shot him in the head. The others grasped their heads and groaned in pain. “Let that be a reminder! I! Am running this show!” He marched over to a particular Black Mask and grabed him by the back of the neck, “Keep it in check. Do you understand me? We are.. So close! I wont have you fuck it up for me.. Next time something like this happens again.. I wont stop at just one… Understood?” The two Black Mask’s stared at each other, and the other nodded. “Good. Now all of you out.. Except you.” he gestured to the one in front of him. 

[Meanwhile: In another undisclosed location] 

Edward Nigma( aka The Riddler) sat at his computer moniter, his legs crossed atop his desk and a bowl of popcorn in his lap. Upon his moniter, was Black Mask and his doppelganger. “This is by far more entertaining then any primtime show on television!” he mused. Using a joystick, he zoomed in on on the room. “Its been sooo long since i used my old CC camera system. I used tonhave eyes and ears all over thos city.. Looks like i chose a good time to get back in to it.. I Must remind myself to dig into the archives and binge on what i have on there.” 

“Now that thats out of the way.. We need to go over whats gonna happen at tomorrow nights Charity event.” Black Masks voice came over the screen. “Oh goodie! Spoiler alert!” Riddler giggled with glee. He watched and listened intently. As he watched, his smile suddenly faded in to a open mouth of surprise. He watched and listened. His eyes widedned at what he was seeing. He drew closer to his screen. Suddenly he bounced in his seat. The popcorn fell to the floor and he struggled to shut his moniter down. He clapped his laptop shut and looked around in stunned surprise. His eyes darted back and forth as his mind raced. Suddenly.. He had a plan.. A smile spread across his thin lips. He began to giggle with every thought that appeared in his mind.. “It’s Perfect!” He exclaimed, he laughed with such joy. “Riddle Me This!?.. Who Is The man behind the curtain? Who is the man hiding in plain sight?  Who. Is. Black. Mask?!… Only, I know!… HAHAHAHAHAHA!!” 

TO BE CONTINUED..




“THE KILLING JOKE: AFTERMATH” CHAPTER 4! (A FAN FICTION STORY)

[I do not claim ownership of the characters that appear in this story. But the STORY, is of my creation!] 

“This is Vickie Vale of Gotham News 8, with breaking news. What you see before you on your screens. Is what remains of Arkham Island. Which mysteriously exploded roughly a half hour ago. What was once a sprawling mansion and medical facility for the mentally disturbed and Criminally Insane. Arkham Asylum and Arkham Island is now a smouldering crater. The blast sent shockwaves over the west river and the surounding area. We must try to remember, that there were more then just criminals and the disturbed on that island. There were innocent people there who dedicated their lives to serve those who needed the help. It was the late evenning shift and, according to records, a total of 350 people were on staff this evenning… It is too early to specify who these people were.. But our thoughts and prayers.. Go out to the families of these poor souls.. We will return momentarily after these messages..”
Nightwing awoke with a gasp. Flailing his arms, a hand pressed his chest down. “Dick! Its alright. Your safe.” Dick Grayson looked up and as his eyes adjusted to the bright exam table light. “Bruce? Holy hell.. What, where?” he asked. “The cave.” said Bruce, “I found you on the shore shortly after the blast. Oracle called me. How did you make it out?” “I guess we both have our ways of cheating death.” Dick said rubbing his head, wincing at the pain of such movment. “You hit your head pretty hard. Mild concussion. Nothing too sever. Even though.. Your lucky to be alive.” Bruce paused a moment, and turned away. Walking over to the bat computer he activates a moniter. The Gotham News replaying security fotage of Arkham Island exploding from a distance. 

Bruce looked deeply in to the screen. “Dick..” he turns to face him, “What happened?” he asked solmely. “I dont know.” Dick started, slowly turning to sit on the exam table. “We were looking into the bombing on the pier. Two-Face’s body was on scene. But footage and reports had him in isolation in Arkham. *sigh* It was Clayface.. He warned me. He knew it was gonna happen, and he seemed content. There wasn’t enough time to get everyone out..” He went silent for a moment. “Black Mask” he said. “What?” “Black Mask was there.” Dick stated forcing himself up. “Roman Sionis is in maximum security in Blackgate.” said Bruce as he turned back to the computer. Pressing a series of buttons. A police file for Black Mask and Roman Sionis came on screen. “Military Grade explosives is not in his wheelhouse. What would make him change his M.O.?” 

“Guess its up to me to find out.” Dick said, dressing in his Nightwing uniform. “Not a chance.” Bruce said, “You dont have any say in the matter.” Dick said flatly. “”He has every say! As do I!” called Barabra Gordon as she raced out of the Cave elevator, Alfred in tow.”Barb..” Dick started. “Your not going back out there!” She ordered. “So I should let some mad man run around with nukes at his disposal, and sit around and do nothing!?” Dick yelled. “Thats not what we’re saying. You were just in a massive explosion. You need to rest. You dont need to push yourself so hard! We can still work on this..” “Nobody bothered telling Batman to sit and rest..!” Dick shot back. “But your not Batman.” said Bruce sternly. “And neither are You!” Dick growled. “Batman is dead remember? You, gave up! You quit!.. Look.. I get it.. I do. But it was the Joker! That son of a bitch had it coming! Hes lucky it wasn’t me.. Thats why i came back. I figured you would need some time. I took the position at Wayne Tech just to show face. I wanted to Help you.. But it’s been a year! Get over it! You wanna do something? Stop feeling sorry for yourself, get off your ass and suit up!.. If not. Then stay the hell out of my way and let me do the job you wont.. Cause some of us still believe in what we do..” and with that Dick angrily saddled the Batpod and raced off. 

Alfred and Barbara watched Dick speed away and exchanged looks. “Master Bruce, I’m sure..” “Its ok alfred.” Bruce cut in, “Barbara. Im gonna need your help figuring out where and how Black Mask could have gotten his hands on this type of explosive. Alfred, contact GCPD and Blackgate officials and find out the status of Roman Sionis.” Barbara and Alfred sighed, “Very well, Sir.” said Alfred as he walked off toward the comumications station. Barbara wheeled up to the computer consule next to Bruce. Bruce’s hands were typing fast on the keys. She reached and grabed his hand. He stopped and looked at her. She smiled soflty and said, “He means well. Its just.. He.. We, are still adjusting. All of us. We will get through this.. Together.” Bruce dropped his eyes. “We want you there.. He may not have the words for it. But he wants you at the wedding. He wants you by his side. I, want you there.. Ok?” He looked in to her eyes again and slightly nodded.

Suddenly, an alert appeared on screen and then a Black Skull appeared. 

“Citizens of Gotham! I, am Black Mask. Some of you may think of me as some kind of, Gangster. A crook. A Criminal. A sociopath. But what i really am.. Is an instrument of change.” 

“Start a Trace.” Bruce said, “On it!” Barbara began tyling away. 

“Allow me to introduce to you, Jeremiah Arkham.” Black Mask continued, gesturing to a bound and gaged man. His face swollen and bloodied. “Head of Arkham Asylum, great grandson of Amadeus Arkham, the man who established Arkham Island and the institution in which stood upon its very soil.. At least.. It did, until i blew the place straight to hell!” 

“Nightwing? Are you getting this feed?” Barbara called into a mic. “Yay.. Im hearing it.” Dick answered, “Tell me your getting a location.” “Im working on it. He’s bouncing the signal from what seems like everywhere.” she said. “Use the Wayne Tech satellites to boost the tracking beacon.” said Bruce, his eyes not looking away from the screen. 

“Lets face it folks.. Arkham was of no use. And aint nobody is gonna miss the sick freaks that were locked up there!” Said Black Mask. “Was there ever a time where you found yourself wondering, ‘How the hell do these freaks keep getting out of there?!’ Well.. Heres your answer!” he said pulling Jeremiah’s hair to lift his head. “This little punk was turning a blind eye to his own job in keeping these maniacs and pshycopaths locked up! While You, the taxpayers of Gotham, were shoveling money in to his pockets to do his job.. He just ate it all up while jerking off at the desk.” Jeremiah began growling something through his gag. “You got something to add?” Black Mask removed his gag, “I never did any of the sort! I admit its been difficult to keep certain inmates in check.. But never once did i slack in my job to insure that those individuals remained behind bars..” Arkham spat, “I… REALLY, find that hard to believe.” Black Mask mocked, “Well now people aint gotta worry about that no more.. Cause I took care of it! Just like i took care of the mob! I’m looking to fix this city! First the dirty old mob heads and their old ways of bleeding this city to its core. Now, with the removel of all the psycho freaks that threaten the very sanity of this city! Soon.. The false gods who pretend to do whats right, while filling their stomachs and wallets with the blood, sweat and tears of the hard working men and women of this city!.. Im talking about the GCPD! Commissioner Gordon and his jackbooted flunkies.. The Mayor! The so called, High Society Types, who look down on everyone else from their great big mansions and skyline apartments! Once these people are erased.. Then, and Only then.. Will Gotham be whole.. Be renewed. Be Reborn!” Black Mask then pulled out a gun from his suit jacket and pointed it to Jeremiah’s head.”Wait! Please dont!” Jeremiah pleaded, “BLAM!!” 

Barbara gasped as she clasped her hands to her mouth. “Damn it! Where’s that trace!?” Dick yelled. 

Black Mask then stared in to the camera. Bruce stared back at the screen. In to Black Mask’s red eyes. Their eyes seemingly meeting each others gaze. “See you soon” Black Mask said, and the screen went black. “Master Bruce..?” Alfred said after a long moment. “I.. I have just recieved word from Black Gate..” 

“Romain Sionis isn’t there.” Bruce said. “No sir..” Alfred said, his face ghostly white, “Roman Sionis.. Is dead.” 

[GCPD BUILDING: DOWNTOWN GOTHAM]

The precincts phones were ringing non stop. Officers half arguing, half counseling callers. “Im sorry for what you just saw.”, “We dont have any control over what happens at the tv stations!”, “Well maybe your kid shouldnt be up watching tv late at night miss!” 

Commissioner Gordon himself had about ten phone calls at once. The news outlets asking for comment. Concerned citizens asking what he was planning on doing. The governor and mayors office requesting immediate action. The national guard wondering when to deploy. The fire department giving updates from Arkham Island. It was becoming too much. He screamed and slammed the phones down. He grabbed his coat and stompped upstairs to the roof. He slammed the door behind him and pressed against it for a moment. Taking heavy breaths of air. He rubbed his eyes under his glasses and sighed deeply. “Damn this city!” he grumbled. Gordon reached for his pack of cigarettes in his pocket. He lit a cig as he strolled to the edge of the building. He took a long drag and let out a long puff of smoke as he stared off in to the distance. Thunder clouds began to rumble overhead. He looked out and over the skyline at the large pillar of smoke that was Arkahm Island. He shook his head and turned away. Only to find his gaze on the old Batsignal. Now resting under a large tarp. He slowly approached it. “I want him brought in.. By the Book!” his voice echoed in his mind, as his thoughts went back to that night one year ago. “Barbara? BARBARA!!!” his voice screamed in his head, as pictures of what happened flash in his mind. He gripped the tarp in his hand. “By The Book! Our way works.. Show him.. OUR WAY WORKS!” 

“Jim?” a soft voice called. He wheeled around ready to draw his weapon. But then he saw her. “Sarah?!” he breathed in surprise. 

There she was.. Sgt. Sarah Essen. Just as beautiful as he remembered her. She hadent aged a day, he thought to himself. “Hi, Jim..” she smiled. The rain pellets began to drop. She brushed a loose curl of hair behind her ear. “I-” she started, but he took her in to his arms and embrassed her tightly. She said nothing, but embraced him back. The rain grew heavier, and with a soft look into each others eyes.. They kissed. 

[EPILOGUE: BLACKGATE MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON] 

“Hey, Sionis. You got a visitor.” The guard called as he opened Roman Sionis’s cell door. 

Moments later, Roman was seated and shackled in a dark room. A lone cieling lamp lit the room. The door behind him opens and a dark figure enters the room. The door slams. 

“You wanna tell me, what the hell is this about?” Roman asks. The figure says nothing. Roman strains to look through the darkness. His visitor steps into the light. 

“Oh.. Its you. The hell do you want from me now?!” says Roman.

The figure says nothing, But places a small leather briefcase on the table. Roman watches as the figure reaches in to the bag and slowly removes a Black Skull Mask. 

Roman looked from the mask to the figure and back again. A sinister smile spread across his face, and he begins to laugh. “Ohhh ho ho ho. Hahahahaha! This is fucking rich! This. Is. Rich! Holy mother. This is.. Beautiful!” The figure put the mask on. “It feels good huh? You can feel it cant you? And It choose you!” Roman slaps the table with glee and laughs some more. 

The figure removes a blade from the bag. Romans laugh dies away.. “*sigh* You know. Doing this makes it final. Take me out, The Mask owns you. Aint no going back.” The figure skirts the table toward Roman. Roman’s body tenses up. He pulles on his restraints, but they dont budge. “You could just give the mask back to me.. You aint gotta do this.” The figure grabs Roman by the hair. “HEY! I NEED HELP IN HERE!!” Roman screams. He looked up in to the blood red eyes of the mask. “The Mask owns you now.. You, my friend. Are Fucked!”and he spit in the Masked Figure’s face. And with a quick swipe, Roman Sionis’s throat is slit open and crimson gore poured from his neck like a fountain. He choked and gaged and spat as he bleed out. And The Black Mask let Romans head go and it fell forward on to the table. Roman gaged, and gasped for air as his life drained from him. 

The Room door creaks open and slams with a clang. 

Roman Sionis fades into darkness..

TO BE CONTINUED…

“BATMAN- THE KILLING JOKE: AFTERMATH” CHAPTER 3! (A FAN FICTION STORY!)

(I dont own the rights to the characters.. But i do own the story..) 

[GOTHAM RIVER- WEST] 

A figure emerges out of the depths, lumbering for the shore.

“Dick! Dick!? What happened?! Can you hear me?! Dick!!” Oracles voice echoed in Nightwings ears. He dropped to his knees and fell faceforward in the sand.

“DICK!!?!” 

[24 HOURS EARLIER] 

Commissioner Gordon carefully walked through the fire damaged warehouse. C.S.I Teams darting here and there gathering all the evidence they could. He bumped into a rushing investagater, “Sorry Sir.” The man said quickly. Gordon raised his hand and slightly shook his head in saying ‘No worry’. Harvey Bullock, stood over a corpse, spotted Gordon and said to the M.E.’s “Wrap him up.” They zipped up the bag and lifted the bag away. 

“What do We got Harvey?” Gordon groaned rubbing his tired eyes. “Far as i can tell? A Cook out gone wrong.” Harvey quipped. Gordon half smiled. “Honestly Commish. These bastards were blasted to holy hell. Its gonna be awhile before we find out who’s Who.” “That Bad, huh?” said Gordon. “I aint never seen a bomb do damage like this.” Harvey Added, “But! There is a silver lining in this smoke cloud. Judging from what was left of the cars parked outside and the remaining plates.” He pulled out his note pad and presented it to Gordon. “All these bodies belonged to every single Mafia Head in the City.. I mean all of them.” Gordon gave Harvey a look and snatched the booklet. Flipping through the pages. “My god. Are you sure?” He asked. “Well, until we scrap off the burnt crust on these stiffs. I’m pretty sure.” 

“Commissioner Gordon, Detective Bullock! You need to come see this.” an M.E. called. They rushed over the debris to the M.E. “Holy Shit!” Harvey exclaimed at the sight. “The Fuck is this?!” The body before them had half his body burned and the other half, charred bone. “What happened? The blast did.. this!?” Gordon asked. “Yes and no sir.. Judging from the burn pattern. This man didnt have any proper skin protection on the left side of his body to protect his skeletal structure. While the right side had flesh to be burned severely.” The M.E explained. “Two-Face.” Gordon sighed. “Damn.” Harvey grimeced. “Get a bag for him will ya!” he told the M.E. “Yes, sir.” he said and rushed off. “Geez! Two-Face was here too? I thought the psycho was still locked up in Arkham?” said Harvey. Gordon stood silent. ‘They Never stay locked up in Arkham..’ he thought. Just then, a small sound came to his ears. “Can you go see whats takeing that M.E so long to get a Bag please?” Gordon asked. Harvey gave a confused look and slightly nodded in agreement. 

As soon as Harvey was gone, Gordon placed a cigarette in his mouth and lit it. “Give me one good reason why i shouldn’t arrest you right now?” he said after a long puff of smoke. “Even After all these years commissioner Gordon? Has it gotten this bad?” Said Nightwing as he stepped out of the shadows. “Your an accomplince of a wanted fugitive.” Gordon said flatley, “Besides.. I spoke more to Batman then to you.” “Good point.” Nightwing sighed. “Quite the mess we have here, huh? Files had Two-Face in his cell in Arkham Asylum..” “And, Yet.. Here He is.” Gordon said, with a hint of sarcasm. “Yeah..” Nightwing sighed, Kneeling in front of the body. He looked it over and spotted something in the bodies hand. “His Coin? Gonna need that for evidence son.” said Gordon. “Of Course.” Nightwing handed the coin to Gordon. “Look.. I just want to help. Try and go back to the way things were.” said Nightwing. “There is no going back. Things have changed. Maybe for the better.. Maybe for the worst. But right now. I dont need your help. Now please.. Get out of here before Harvey and the M.E. get back and i’ll be forced to take you in.” said Gordon. Nightwing hesitated. “Fine.. But if you Do need me.. You know how to reach me.” Nightwing turned to leave, “Before you go.” said Gordon. “Tell him i know hes still alive. No matter what people say. I know. You tell him. And you tell him he.. He let me down.. And i will not forgive him for that. If i so much as see, Cape or Cowl.. I will arrest him.” 

Nightwing sighed, turned back to Gordon and says, “I am sorry Commissioner. For everything. But lets face facts.. (He turns his back to Gordon) The Batman IS dead.” and he flips up in to the shadows and vanishes. Just then, Harvey came back with two M.E’s at his side. Gordon watched as they carefully placed Two-Face’s remains into the body bag. 

[LATER THAT NIGHT]

“It official.. You father hates me.” Said Nightwing as he looked around the warehouse. “Nonsense Dick. Dont be silly.. He hates Nightwing.” Oracle said in his ear. “Funny.” he retorted. “Changing the Subject. The Wedding planner says she’ll drop by around 11.” “Can we not discuss the wedding while i scour a crime scene, please?” he said. “Oh, right. Well.. It’s not like our wedding isn’t within a week and we have yet to discuss so much as seating arrangements, because of you ‘busy’ scheduale.” she stated. “Do we really need such a big.. ‘Thing’? All that matters is that you show up and I show up. Nothing fancy shmancy. Just a simple gathering of friends. And family.” He said as he danced around a hole in the ground. “And we can have Alfred marry us in a nice shake outside Wayne Manor. Or perhaps the Batcave.” she said “That dont sound so bad.” he said. “Dick.” Nightwing froze, “Did you just call me Dick.. Or ‘A’ D..” “The Latter.” she retorted. He laughed. “Its not funny. Its not like we always get a chance to be.. ‘Normal’ and this is very. Important to me.” “Barb… Your right. It is veey important. And i promise. First thing tomorrow. I will dedicate my morning to getting this wedding off and running without a hitch.” He could sense her smile. “Ok.” she said. 

“I think i got something here.” he said, kneeling and brushing off some dirt. “Shrapnel? Probably a piece of the bomb.” “Lets have a look.” she said. Pressing a button on his mask, special lens’s popped down. “Scan complete. Searching.” she said. “Wow”, “Wow?” he repeated. “This is high grade tech here.” she stated. “Lay it on me Barb.” “Military grade high explosive. Its been modified. Original version would have done a lot more damage.” she explained.”Thats.. A plus? I guess. It did a number on this place thats for sure. I would hate to see a non modified version.” he said. “There’s something else on the shard. Can you zoom on the upper left. Can you Tell me what it is?” “Hmm. Let me see.. Oh!” “Oh? Whats the oh?” “Flesh.” “Flesh? How could there be flesh on this if it wasnt found inside anyone?” he questioned. He looked around for further clues. “Switching to Blue Light.” The area glowed befor his eyes a shade of blue. “Im reconfiguring the lens to pick up any further traces of the flesh.” she said. “Oh my god.” he mutered. “Theres traces everywhere! The only place there isnt.. Is right here. The epicenter. Suggesting.. Holy Shit.” “The Bomb was inside someone.” Barbara added. “Someone blew themselves to bits to kill the mafia heads of Gothem.” Nightwing stated. “Two-Face was here too.” “But Arkham files have him locked up there.” she said. “I’m pulling up records now.. They say they have him in isolation for attacking a guard. He’s been there for days they say. Wait!? Theres security footage.. He’s there now!?” “What?!” I saw his body here.. Me and your father saw his body.. Clayface!” said Nightwing as he rushed toward the exit. “Clayface? We havent seen him for months!” She said.

He jumped on to his cycle and slipped on his helmit at the same time as he raced off. “How else would you explain Two-Face bieng in two places at once?” he said “Good Point.. Please Be careful” she told him. 

[BRIDGE SIGN: ARKHAM ISLAND- EXIT RIGHT OVER GOTHAM RIVER BRIDGE: WEST SIDE] 

Nightwing kicked the bike in to high gear. Speeding over the bridge toward Arkham Island. Home of Arkham Asylum. Parking his bike in a nearby brush. Nightwing used an old secret entrance he and Batman used to use. It was a quicker and faster way of getting in and out of Arkham. 

Once inside, he stealthily made his way through the corridors. Passing through several cells. Taking mental notes. ‘Penguin? Check. Calander man? Check. Croc? Check. Hatter? Check. Everyone seems to be here.’ he thought. He made his way to inmate isolation. Going inside, he readied his battons for a fight in case Clayface decided to put up a fight. 

He walked up to the glass case where Two-Face was. “Its kinda weird talking to a deadman.” said Nightwing. “Bird boy? You werent the one i was told would come.” “who WERE you expecting? Santa Clause? Sorry Clayface.. All you would get is a big ol lump of coal. Now give up the gag. Why did Two-Face ask you to pose as him? What was he planning with the other Mob bosses that got him blown to ash? Who did he piss off?” Nightwing asked impatiently. 

“There’s no time… It was all a fun ride. While it lasted.” said Clayface, as he turned to his true form. “What are you talking about?” Nightwing asked, his hand gripping his batons tighter. Clayface glared at Nightwing. “What are you now boy? 20 something? Nearing 30.. The Bat must have trained you good right?!” he turned to sit down in a near by chair. He sighed.. “Give it up kid. None of this is worth it.. In hindsight.. My life may have been a waist.. But you may still have a shot. Get out. This place is rigged to blow. In about less then 20 minutes.” “What?!” Nightwing exclaimed. “Did i stutter moron!? Get the hell out of here.. NOW!” 

Nightwing rushed for the door. “Oracle! I need you to scan the island for a bomb now!” he ordered. Pulling a fire alarm. “Way ahead of you.. I heard.. Dick.. 20 minutes is not enough time to find it!” Oracle said. “I HAVE to get these people out of here!” he said. “EVERYONE! THERE IS A BOMB ON THE PREMISES! GET OUT NOW! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” He shouted over a nearby intercome. “Dick! Please! Get out of there!” Barabra cried in his ear. 

[20 minutes later]

KABLAAMM!! All of Arkham Island exploded with a mushroom cloud. Chunks of the island dropped from the sky into the river. Nightwings body crashed through the water as well. Waves pushing him around. He awakens with a gasp. Swallowing water, he struggles for the surface. It took all his strength to swim to shore. He finally emerged from the waves.

He lumbers for the shore. A muffled voice in his ear, along with a deep ringing. The world spun around him like a whirlwind. He fell to his knees and fell forward.. He glanced up and before the Darkness took him. There.. On top of the shore. A man.. In a Black Skull Mask stood. Watching. Black Mask looked down at him from the top of the shore. His red eyes glaring. 

The world faded away..

TO BE CONTINUED..