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Very well, where do I begin?

My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet.

My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.

My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds - pretty standard, really. At the age of twelve, I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles.

There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking. I highly suggest you try it.

Most Recent Posts

Given that I've fallen back on mostly playing the same character in these games for the most part, my problem is more of a sink-or-swim one. If I hit writer's block, I tend to get too overwhelmed by it and end up either bowing out or watching the RP die due to unwittingly contributing to inactivity.

It's important for me to focus. I tend to want to go to different things and try something else, like anyone does, but I also get my best results from just focusing on what I have. There have been a few characters I've thought about doing as my second, but none have appealed to me nearly as much as just trying to do the best I can with Batman. So I think you just gotta kinda feel out what seems right for you and do that.

The Gotham City Diamond Exchange
12:40 AM


"If anyone wants to make for the door, feel free to do so now. Just don't expect any of my guys to take too kindly to your inhospitable behavior."

The after-hours workers at the Exchange had already been forced to their knees by a group of masked men brandishing high-powered rifles. Each mask was of a different animal - one, the muscle of the group, was an Ox, while the two men guarding the entrance were a lion and a tiger, respectively - but it was the three commanding the room that stood out most. The tallest, lankiest member wore a Shark's head, brandishing a large duffel bag full of tools that he'd just used to break open the safe. The middlest one wore a Vulture's head, holding up a large and very intimidating body-strapped minigun that had easily cut through the reinforced front entrance doors within seconds. And the shorter, normally sized one - wearing a Fox's head - was holding up a cellphone that was set to voice chat with the group's leader, who sat idly by in an unknown location miles away. His features hidden by an affixed charcoal skull, save for his wild eyes, the individual on the small screen placed his hands together and casually leaned forward from what looked to be behind a desk. While few had ever seen him without his mask, most knew his name extremely well, given that he'd spent many years terrorizing Gotham's East End district: Roman Sionis, known more commonly as The Black Mask.

"You may be asking yourselves how this is going to go. You may even be thinking that if you'll co-operate with us and let these gentlemen take what they came for, you'll be spared any undue unpleasantness and be allowed to walk free. You'd only be partially correct."

Black Mask's voice echoed loudly from the phone's speaker, commanding the attention of every hostage that had even considered keeping their head down and waiting out the scenario before it escalated into something truly horrific. The False Face Society of Gotham hadn't earned their reputation with kindness, as their leader had been proven a highly sadistic madman since even well before he'd suffered a disfiguring injury that had permanently grafted the death's head mask to his face. This personality type seemed only to attract like-minded individuals, from extremely violent ex-cons who had beaten their rap or been able to afford a mob lawyer that could get them off to complete schizophrenics whose visual and audio hallucinations compelled them to commit acts of cruelty. Sionis was able to keep them all under his thumb with a simple ploy: attain lots of money and considerable power. And when lacking in either, work fast and dirty to replenish. This was a time of replenishment, unfortunately for everyone else in the building.

"My empire is expanding rapidly. Gotham is looking for a new figurehead to steer the direction of organized crime, and while some of you may think that role belongs to someone like The Penguin, being the respectable businessman that he is, you would be sorely mistaken. Black Mask is the false face of this false city, no one else."



"And one can't be the 'face' of anything without a boatload of scratch. Boys?"

As if in a trance, each armed thug repeated Mask's mantra in a cold, dead baritone.

"Black Mask is the false face of a false city."
"Black Mask is the false face of a false city."
"Black Mask is the false face of a false city."
"Black Mask is the false face of a false city."
"Black Mask is the false face of a false city."
"Black Mask is the false face of a false city."

Sionis made a gesture with his fist, indicating that they cease their chant.

"As they said. We're cleaning out your tainted wares, seeing as though they were bought and paid for by the mob families that your employers have spent so many years trying to distance themselves from. And why wouldn't they? Such a mark on your clients' reputations must be removed like a cancer attacking the nervous system: with immediacy."

The Lionhead and Tigerhead audibly chuckled at this, having been the former muscle for those aforementioned families.

"That's just sensible business. We're simply extending the courtesy of cutting out the middle man."

On cue, the Vulturehead raised the minigun and opened fire into the ceiling, causing every hostage to either scream out in abject terror or to drop directly onto the floor in an attempt to dodge the onslaught of dust, plaster, and debris that exploded out from above them.

"And if anyone tries to call the cops before business is concluded? Consider that a preview of coming attractions."

Pulling the camera closer to himself, Black Mask's breath behind the mask became audibly elevated, creating a tense, horrifying image of a man who seemed overly excited at the prospect of death and destruction should anyone be brave enough to fall out of line.

"As for the rest of you, don't worry. You'll be free to leave once we do. The only stipulation to this rather generous deal is that some of you... won't be leaving entirely unscathed."

Pushing ahead a cart from within the vault, a man wearing a Panda mask presented a large rectangular object hidden beneath a heavy tarp. Stopping in the middle of the showroom, the Pandahead swiftly removed the tarp, revealing something that made each hostage turn a shade of white: a large timer attached to a couple of gasoline barrels, which had several pieces of dynamite strapped to them each and wired to a panel behind the display. It became evident that despite the robbery, Black Mask was playing for more than a few expensive cases of diamonds. He was on a quest for blood.

"And yes. That is entirely what you think it is. Shark?"

The large Sharkhead made his way over to the timer, setting it for three minutes flat. Despite many of the hostages calling out for mercy, the thug didn't hesitate to flick the bomb's activator switch. A loud ticking began, and the gunmen quickly shuffled off to collect duffel bags of wares that the Tiger and Lion had piled up next to the entrance.

"Remember to scream, ladies and gentlemen. It'll be the last sound most of you will be able to generate on this mortal coil. And nothing lasts in the memory of the survivors, if any, longer than a scream."

3:00

Giving a condescending parting wave, Black Mask's image disappeared from the phone instantaneously as the call was cut. The Foxhead took the butt of his gun and smacked it hard against a hostage's jaw, knocking the man hard onto the ground before lifting his weapon and training it back onto the hostages. The elder men and women shrieked, while the younger men and women quietly sobbed to themselves, unable to process that this was actually happening.

"None of you fucks make a move! You heard Black Mask, you're already dead! Doesn't matter how you die tonight, whether by a bomb or by a bullet! I'm happy to oblige either way!"

As many of the hostages began whispering silent, tense prayers to whomever they believed in, a miracle seemed to happen. One by one, the lights in the room seemed to quickly and violently disperse under an unseen attack by a projectile force. Spooked, the masked men fired wildly into the air, unaware of what was happening, but doing the job of unwittingly taking the rest of the lights out for the third party that had seemingly arrived.

"Black Mask isn't in a position to give orders."

With the lights having completely blackened out the room, the Foxhead began to back away from his starting position, holding his weapon tightly against his chest as he strained to look for any source of visibility. All he could feel next was the tightening of some sort of cable, as it wrapped itself around his neck and lifted him rather effortlessly off of the ground and into the rafters - where he promptly fell unconscious from the pressure of an executed blow.

"...and neither are you."

The other False Faces began to panic, hearing that distinctive growl of a voice seem to reverberate from all around the room at them. Obviously being in Gotham, they recognized the voice immediately. And despite each of them being hardened criminals with multiple homicides under their belt, a few immediately considered dropping their weapons and running. There wasn't a man in this city that had tangled with The Bat and won in over fifteen years, and none of them felt particularly confident that they were about to be the exception. Especially in pitch black conditions, where they couldn't even see their guns infront of their faces, much less some living bogeyman who had made a regular habit of bringing down guys like them.

2:00

"Fox? Fox, where are you?! Where did you go, man?! I can't see shit!"

The large man, Shark, heard the sound of crackling leather behind him. Turning and firing his weapon wildly, he watched as a few bullets sparked off of the walls and illuminated the dark figure that was gliding directly towards him. With an impressive wingspan covering his descent, The Batman only made a single expression as he closed in: one of unbridled rage, a look that tore through the thug's soul and made him immediately regret his already questionable decisions in life. Before he knew it, he was out too, and all that had given his location away was the gruesome sound of hard bones shattering under soft flesh.

"AAARGH!"

Landing on the floor with a silent backflip, The Dark Knight's cowl gave him a readout of the darkened room through a sequenced infrared and night vision HUD. The Vulturehead was beginning to back towards a wall, still keeping a firm hold on the minigun. Batman sneered, realizing that if the idiot started opening fire, the room would be littered with the corpses of civilians at best. At worst, he'd strike the gas canisters attached to the bomb, blowing all of them sky-high. An additional sensor in the cowl indicated that the Vulturehead's pulse was rapidly rising, all but guaranteeing such a drastic measure would be taken soon. With a careful reach into the back of his belt, The Batman produced a remote Batarang, patterned with an artificial intelligence that could allow the wielder to control the path of its trajectory.

"S-Stay back! I'm warnin' you, freak! J-Just let this one go and back off! Back off or I'll shoot everyone in this fuckin' room, you hear me?!"

Raising the Batarang behind his head, Batman ignored the fact that if this didn't work, he'd provoke the man into jumping the gun and launching an assault. So this had to work, and it had to be done in one shot.

"I hear you."

With a careful pause, the eyes behind the cowl's lenses closed. He vaulted forward and tossed with precision, leaving the projectile to sail through the air and fly just above the Vulturehead's position. Automatic sensors in the Batarang locked onto the criminal's position, and after a spin, the metal shuriken came flying back down in an arc, driving a hard thrash into the back of the Vulturehead's skull. As he stumbled forward, completely taken off guard, Batman leaped into the air and drove both boots into the Vulturehead's chest, sending him careening directly into the wall behind him. The impact shook the room, and Batman landed, standing over the unconscious form of the Vulturehead as he remained partially embedded into the now caved-in bricks.

1:00

The Ox, Lion, and Tiger still remained, but Batman's attention was brought directly to the bomb. The fifty-nine-second countdown had already begun, and he wasn't surely engaging with the remaining three would be as beneficial towards getting the hostages out of harm's way. Sprinting for the bomb whilst searching in his belt for a pair of pliers, The Caped Crusader immediately felt an immense amount of pressure hit the back of his spine. Knocked to the ground, Batman immediately crawled onto his back, only to find that the Oxhead had gain a clear advantage over his peers: on top of his mask, he had managed to find and strap a pair of night-vision goggles to his face.

"Heh. Not so scary when youse isn't under the cover a' dark."

Throwing a massive punch directly towards The Dark Knight, the Oxhead's fist merely dislodged a chunk of plaster cement as Batman rolled backward. Throwing down a haymaker, the Ox forced the vigilante to go on the defensive, launching his knees up and catching both of his enemy's hands onto the armor surrounding his knees. Neither hit seemed to phase the Oxhead, seemingly boasting a high tolerance for pain.

"That all youse got?"

Spotting the Lionhead approach out of the corner of his eye, having followed the sounds of the scuffle, The Caped Crusader removed a grapnel gun from his belt and fired the harpoon-shaped hook directly at the Lionhead's shoulder, piercing it so hard that the hook became stuck in the wailing criminal's flesh. With a massive tug, Batman swung the Lionhead's body and tossed him directly into the Oxhead, sending him backward in a more staggered state as the Lionhead collapsed in a heap. The Caped Crusader steadied himself for another attack, shooting the Ox a glare.



"I can always give more."

Lunging himself into the air with a front flip to provide the necessary momentum, Batman brought down a hard elbow into the Oxhead's chest, followed by a flying roundhouse kick, a hard Muay Tai knee to the face, a series of jabs to the criminal's sternum, and finally a swinging haymaker uppercut. The Ox stumbled backward less than gracefully, managing to hit one of the diamond displays to narrowly catch himself from falling. While his enemy wasn't far from out, he wasn't exactly down either. Feeling a tightness begin to swell up in his lungs, Batman couldn't help but think to himself that if he were just a few years younger, this would have been over by now. But in the forefront of his mind, the vigilante remained fixated on the timer for the bomb. The limitations of age being a factor or not, all of them were quickly running out of time.

0:30

Wrap this up, Bruce...

Momentarily caught off guard by the stakes at hand, Batman snapped back to attention as soon as the Oxhead composed himself and began to rush towards the masked vigilante. Nearly four hundred pounds of sheer muscle shook the room as he approached, and to The Dark Knight's right, the other one still standing - the Tigerhead - had managed to find one of the fallen guns, preparing to use the noise of the conflict to aim directly at him. There were at least a couple of methods to quickly take out one of his attackers now, but there weren't many to take both out at the same time. Less than that to take both of them down and dismantle the bomb. But there was certainly a way, if he timed it just right.

0:20

Tucking and rolling just as the Oxhead was inches away from grabbing him, Batman pushed himself off of the ground and straightened himself into a full-body double kick. The heels of his boots landing squarely into the Oxhead's spine, The Dark Knight watched as the Tigerhead's gunshot, originally meant for him, pelleted the shoulder and kneecap of the Oxhead. Unable to keep himself standing for very much longer after that, the Ox shrieked in pain as he tumbled over much to the Tigerhead's surprise, falling directly into him with all four-hundred of those aforementioned pounds. The two men collided so hard that they sent the cart that held the bomb backward, giving it a rolling start as Batman grabbed the cart and started pushing it with a run.

0:10

Giving himself no time to think it over even once, The Caped Crusader let the cart loose as it rocketed towards the door to the vault of jewels that had been left wide open after the robbery. Hearing the bomb smack against the back of the wall inside, Batman sprinted directly for the vault door and grabbed it with both hands, pushing the entirety of his strength into pulling the massive metal door closed. After a momentary struggle, the vault door eventually gave in, it's hydraulics snapping firmly shut just as Batman counted the timer down under his breath. There were less than three seconds left by the time that he dived backward, leaped over a nearby display, and braced himself.

BOOOOOOOM!


Papers went flying, powdery bits of debris from the ceiling dropped like pellets of hail, most of the hostages screamed in the firm belief that their lives were over, the glass in each display case shattered instantaneously and something in the floor seemed to shift. But upon opening his eyes, The Batman looked out and breathed a sigh of relief. No one had been harmed, much less killed by the blast. The vault had been strong enough to contain it. Black Mask's plan had been foiled, even if only for the moment.

Rising to his feet, Batman slowly caught himself on a display, feeling the tightness in his lungs return. It was only a fleeting feeling, but it was enough to make him stop for a moment to collect himself. Then he began to breathe heavily, just as strained as the night that he'd nearly sent the thug working for The Clock King plunging towards certain death. He didn't know what was wrong, specifically, but he could feel that something was. It didn't feel like a heart attack, though experiencing any sign of one would have been perfectly understandable at that moment. And with Alfred's still-too-recent death still fresh in his mind, the possibility of a stroke was certainly ruled out...

Nevertheless, The Dark Knight rose into a straight stance as the hostages finally began to realize that they hadn't been blasted to kingdom come, and that they had in fact just been saved. Some of them crossed themselves and began a silent prayer, others looked towards the void of the darkness to try and catch a glimpse of their savior. The only thing that Batman himself noticed was that the Tigerhead - the only one still conscious, after all this, was still reaching in vain for a gun. He was partially crushed under the Ox, but was determined to get a shot in regardless.

The Batman stomped on the thug's hand as he moved past, hearing a satisfying crack of several fingers followed by a loud yelp. With all of the False Facers now incapacitated, all that was left to do was tie the would-be thieves and murders up for the police to collect. But as Batman searched for several pairs of cuffs that were stashed away in his utility belt, a message sent directly from Commissioner Gordon's phone appeared in the bottom left of his cowl's HUD.

City Morgue... Fifteen Minutes
Come Alone


The Dark Knight sighed to himself.

At this point, he was far past in the mood for anything else.

Perfectly timed as always.




"Thanks for coming on such short notice."

Commissioner James Gordon entered the waiting elevator and turned, holding the door open for his caped companion. Despite his overwhelming tiredness from the fight less than an hour prior, The Batman nodded once and complied, taking a step forward and turning towards the front as Gordon pressed the button that had been labeled 'the icebox' by a joking attendant. Even for their usual level of secrecy, Batman could already tell that something was different about whatever this was. Jim wasn't one to keep anything regarding a case very close to the chest with him, as the nature of their relationship relied on transparency. As much transparency as a man who had yet to divulge his real name to the other could manage, at least. Still, his observation of Gordon's body language indicated that the Commissioner was unusually tense for this type of meeting. The Dark Knight remained silent about this, out of respect for an old friend.

"Of course."

"I heard about the Diamond Exchange robbery. Black Mask?"

"Still in the wind. We press hard enough, Sionis will eventually play his hand."

"Right. Let's just hope that whenever he does, we can contain the collateral damage. With Freeze out there and whatever the hell Clock King is doing, the last thing we need right now is another loose end running amok on the streets."

Batman narrowed his eyes. He knows that Jim didn't mean it in the way it came out, but the vigilante couldn't help but feel that it was a passing judgment on his ability to keep this madness contained. But then again, it wasn't as if it were a thought that hadn't already crossed his own mind. At any given moment, it seemed, there were threats out there that could start a rampage capable of tearing Gotham apart. He'd done his best to keep them at bay, but it had never quite been enough to keep them all in Arkham at once. There was always at least one errant psycho on the loose. Had The Dark Knight pushed himself even harder towards the beginning, he imagined, this would never have been the case. But there was always something to be said for the fact that he was still only one man.

True, there were others now. And there had been others since toward the beginning. Robin had been the first, followed by Batgirl, and the rest seemed to fall into place as the years all blurred together. But there was never a moment when The Batman didn't consider Gotham City to be his own personal responsibility. Never a second where he didn't blame himself for not holding back the chaos as well as he could have, whether that was innately true or not.

"I'd actually meant to catch you up to speed on a few things last night, but I figured I'd be better off staying out of whatever you and your, erm... friend in the stars and stripes were up to."

The Batman outwardly ignored the comment. This was hardly the first time that Gordon's inherent bias against the so-called "superhuman" community had come about. Through no fault of his own, Gordon was an honest cop who had worked most of his life trying to establish order in a city full of chaos. The only times that he had frankly encountered anyone with special abilities on the streets of Gotham, they were usually the kind to try and lay waste to the men and women under his employ. The world beyond Gotham was one that he didn't fully ever understand, and The Dark Knight suspected that he wasn't a man who cared to. As far as he was concerned, there was the world that the men in capes and the superpowered individuals lived in, and then there was the real world. The fact that Gordon knew that Batman didn't possess any sort of special abilities was probably one of the only reasons that he'd come to trust the vigilante. No such complications to consider.

Though Gordon also didn't realize how needed the conversation with Director Rogers really was. The Caped Crusader was used to periods of self-doubt. It was the nature of the mission to reflect, to question everything. Fleeting moments in time where he was forced to scrutinize his own worth and assess whether he could pull himself out of the darkness. But the night that he nearly let that man fall was one that had shaken him to the core - perhaps even more than he'd known at the time. Before speaking to the Captain, Batman had considered whether it was time to re-evaluate whether he could do this anymore. Steve's words of encouragement, not to mention his fairly blunt honesty was enough to inspire the vigilante to weather the storm.

After all, he was right. It wasn't his job to keep doing this forever, as much as he had spent the years telling himself otherwise. It was his job to shepherd in the next wave of people willing to put their lives on the line to protect the innocent of Gotham. And as far as a legacy was concerned, The Batman realized that he could do alot worse than what he had. It was enough to shake him from the darkest thoughts that had kept him up that night.

"You know, speaking of the crazy times that we're living in. My daughter Barbara just received her doctorate over at Arkham."

Batman had already known this. Though he hadn't personally responded, the former Batgirl had shared her excitement over the new position with the rest of the family. There were congratulations shared, plans made to celebrate in person. The truth was, The Dark Knight didn't know how to feel about it yet. Though he would always fully support Barbara in whatever endeavor that she sought out, his growing cynicism towards the capability of Arkham Asylum to keep maniacs like The Scarecrow, Two-Face, Victor Zsasz and other regular denizens of it's hallowed halls made him wonder if her efforts weren't more useful out on the streets as Batwoman. But he wasn't one to criticize, especially when Barbara's idealistic crusade was one that he desperately wished that he could believe in.

"Congratulations. You must be proud."

The Commissioner smirked. "Oh, I am. Immensely. She strong-armed me for too many years to do something more about the situation over there, and I would always have to tell her that it wasn't a lowly cop's job to ensure that a high-security mental asylum kept it's inmates at bay. You just had to trust in the institutions that put them in place, no matter how many times they let us down. Barbara never believed that was enough."

Batman glanced over his shoulder at Gordon, who lit a fresh sample of tobacco in his pipe.

"Do you worry about her being over there? It isn't exactly the most ideal environment."

Gordon scoffed, with a light smoke billowing out of his nostrils.

"Only in as much as any father worries about his little girl. But I've learned time and time again that she's made of much sterner stuff than her old man ever was. She knew the risks long before now, and she understands any potential risk that comes with spending time among the patients. Besides, it isn't as though I could talk her out of it if I even tried. Stubborn as her mother, that one..."

The Dark Knight couldn't help but relate. He had always harbored some doubt in the idea that his own sons - whether it be Dick, Jason, Tim, or Damian - truly understood the risks necessary to embark on the same line of work that he'd trained himself to take on. When they initially became Robin, Batman had intentionally made it hard on all of them. Tried to get them to see that this path wasn't easy, that they were better off pursuing something resembling a normal life. But they each had their reasons, an unstoppable drive to keep trying to stay ahead and keep up the good fight. Even if he worried, he'd never be able to say that he hadn't been proud of them for defying his attempts to warn them and become something greater than he could've imagined.

Though in two notable cases, that journey was still a work in progress...

"Anyway, I just thought you might like to know that there's at least one doctor out there that we can both depend on. God knows, I've had my doubts about that place since the beginning. But if Barbara can make a difference with these nutjobs, maybe Arkham can still be salvaged."

The elevator dinged, indicating that they'd reached their stop. As the doors slid open, Gordon went ahead and indicated that Batman followed. Despite his apparent optimism regarding Barbara's promotion, The Dark Knight couldn't help but feel like his old friend was hiding something as they advanced. Like he was nervous and trying to use small talk to hide the true intent behind this visit. It wasn't more than a few steps forward before the vigilante felt it necessary to address the elephant in the room.

"Jim. Why are we here?"

Gordon was evasive, at first. But as they reached the end of a long hallway, he started to relent. There was hardly any point in keeping something from a man that many considered, though never himself, to be "The World's Greatest Detective".

"Three days ago, we got word from the Coast Guard that a stiff had been found in Gotham Harbor. They were conducting a routine test on the purity of the water leading into the reservoir. Scared the hell out of a couple of divers, but we eventually flushed the body out and had it returned here for forensics to I.D."

Batman raised an eyebrow. That's all?

"Those results came back this morning. And when I found out who it was, I made sure to prioritize our John Doe as a classification one. Autopsy results were to be for my eyes only, and it'll remain that way until I decide it's necessary to lift the veil. But I wanted you to see this before anyone else. The only other one to know at this point is Montoya, and I trust her to keep it quiet."

As they entered a chilled room that was practically littered with metal slabs and corpses obscured beneath white sheets, Gordon led Batman to a storage locker at the west end of the room. The Joe Doe had been marked under 'evidence', much to The Dark Knight's surprise.

"Do you remember the Moxon gang?"

Batman reacted to that, in as much as he could hardly forget.

"Lew Moxon. One of the city's earliest known gangsters. Preceded Carmine Falcone and the Maroni family by a few decades. Died of heart failure a decade ago, but lived well into his nineties."

Gordon gently pushed aside a slab on wheels that was blocking his way.

"Yeah, that guy. Well, there was a regular that Moxon used to pay to carry out a few low-level hits. We had him booked at least twice a year for thirty years, though he never quite made it to the state penitentiary. We actually thought we had him on a bigger case, once, but it turns out that there wasn't sufficient evidence to hold him. Save for an eyewitness who was stationed abroad. I heard that once Moxon cut ties, he sequestered himself in The Narrows. Became a junkie, eventually succumbed to the lifestyle. A sad end to a sad life, really."

Despite Gordon feeding him the details, The Batman was at a loss as to who he could be talking about. Most of Moxon's regulars had died well before the mobster passed away, and the few who lived remained at the criminal's side in his final days. The family had dissolved soon afterward, with their empire being absorbed by what was considered, at the time, to be Gotham's five families. Moxon's representatives had even tried to coax the head of Wayne Industries into taking a share, but he was swiftly turned away at the gate. Batman knew this because he distinctly remembered that day. Alfred had insisted on sanitizing the gates just after the man had left.

"Who was he? Did you need me to run some additional tests?"

Gordon paused, then sighed.

"No. Not really."

Opening the drawer to the storage locker, Gordon slowly pulled out a still-damp body. It had partially wasted away, the skin being translucent and all of the blood having long been evacuated from the now blued veins. Batman was actually shocked at the state of decay, given that it already told him that the body had been deceased for nearly two years. The Harbor should have easily torn what was left off of its skeleton, especially if it had been down there for that long.

Approaching the corpse from the other side, Batman immediately examined the head. An obviously old entry and exit wound stood out just left of the temple. That was sure to be what had killed the man, though The Dark Knight wondered if that was simply a way to hide the true method of expiration. Either way, the man had been clearly murdered.

"Batman, listen..."

"This man hasn't caused anyone any trouble for at least the last twenty-four months. If you're worried about whether this will start up any lingering gang war between the other families, you said it yourself, Jim. He was small-time."

Gordon's tone became harsh. "Would you just listen to me for a second?"

Looking up at his friend, Batman stood back from the body.

"I called you here because I knew you'd want to hear it from me. The victim's not just your average John Doe, and once word gets out of who he was, it'll be a media circus. I just wanted you to have a first crack at it, since it's probably in your best interest to get a lead on this."

The Dark Knight sneered.

Whatever had spooked Gordon so much about this case, the vigilante was getting tired of this.

"His name."

There was a long, almost deafening silence between the two.

"Chilton. Joseph Chilton."

And all of the world around them suddenly went mute, save for The Commissioner's next unbelievable words.

"Joe Chill."
The Avengers has probably aged the most poorly of the MCU, in that it was great when it came out and now is kind of a chore to get through because you more easily recognize the lack of overall big budget directing experience that Whedon possesses. Jon Faverau or Joe Johnston would have done a better job.

As far as any controversial opinions that I have about the MCU, I think Doctor Strange's solo movie gets a unnessescary flack. It made me care about the character and his world for perhaps the first time, and I think had there been more scenes with the villain to flesh him out a bit, it would be among my favorites of the series. As it stands, even, it kind of is.

I also think Thor: Ragnarok is severely overrated. Love Taika, but he really went out of his way to make a more fan-fictiony movie than a Thor movie good on it's own merits. Thor's best movie appearances are easily Infinity War/Endgame for me, with the first Thor tailing distantly behind. Those movies seemed to get what works about him, and Ragnarok feels like it's about this entirely other thing that I care less about.
What are your unpopular superhero/superhero media opinions?


I've said it before and I'll probably say it again, I find Ben Affleck to be a highly overrated Batman. But my issue with the casting has always been that I think they made a mistake by casting a well known, well established actor to play the role. When Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale were all cast, they had maybe one or two notable hits if that. Their careers were in their infancy compared to their post-Batman notoriety. Affleck had a whole ass career of ups and downs and was a known celebrity, so it was hard to really buy him as the character without just seeing Ben Affleck in a tuxedo/batsuit.

Which is interesting, because Robert Pattinson is similarly more established at this point than those aforementioned actors. But I also think he's more of a chameleon type of actor, so he may pull it off. I don't know.

Point being, the only Batman that really counts is Kevin Conroy.

"Right. I need to take this back, relay what I can to Romanoff and figure out what's next-" His phone beeped and he pulled it out of his pocket, groaning as he did so. There was always something else. Fury better have a damn good reason for skipping town. "-right I have to get back to the carrier. I have Vegas to deal with now." He clicked his homing beacon, sending the signal to the waiting quinjet. Steve walked towards the edge of the building, though stopped and turned as he had a thought. "Before you disappear into the night however, how's Grayson doing?"

Ever the conversationalist...

The Batman's demeanor turned cold, having already fallen back into the shadows in the midst of Director Rogers' call. As much as he respected the legendary Captain and all that he'd been able to accomplish in an extensive career, there was apart of The Caped Crusader that strongly felt this particular charade of Fury's had been a waste of both his and Rogers' time. Having dealt with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s continued interest in his own affairs in Gotham over the last few years had already soured Batman's opinion of the global peacekeeping organization by itself, nevermind having been expected to decode more of the Colonel's spy games for stakes that likely didn't concern anyone beyond the usual suspects. For Batman's part, he couldn't be more disinterested in wherever Fury was hiding - at least, as long as he stayed out of his city. There were always more relevant matters to address.

"Nightwing is... fine."

Already having turned his back, ready to disembark on his nightly patrol, Batman stopped for a moment to dwell in the idea that this could be the last time the two men spoke for a while. Gotham had been restless ever since the flood struck last year, leaving hundreds of people homeless. Most had turned to crime, feeling as though they had been given no other options despite a plea from The Wayne Foundation that jobs were to be created following the recovery effort. The resulting few months had left Batman in a state that seemed even more dour. Among... other recent events.

He couldn't imagine that it'd been much easier for Steve, given that the wannabe soldier-turned-living symbol for an entire country had been quickly promoted to the highest position over a network of individuals whose jobs it had been to undermine half of the transparency that Captain America spent his life advocating for. It wasn't an enviable task, though there was little doubt in anyone's mind that Rogers wasn't up for it. Which was perhaps the problem in the long run. No one dared to question whether he had been the right man for it. Least of all, the man who preceded him.

"...Blüdhaven is lucky to have him. I just worry that the city is going to tear into him more than Gotham did to me at his age."

A silence hung over the two for a moment, before Batman glanced over his shoulder.

"Steve. If I could have a word."

The Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. seemed genuinely caught off guard by the request, but nevertheless nodded, apparently indicating a 'standby' motion to some unseen craft awaiting him in the clouds.

"You've been apart of every major conflict that this country's seen since World War II. You were at the forefront of The Cold War, Vietnam, The Gulf War... when faced with all of that horror, it would have been easy to become disillusioned. To turn your back on it all and give up."

A sense of melancholy hung on The Dark Knight's tone, as his caped silhouette stood at the edge of the building. He stared out across the skyline of the city he'd sworn to protect. It all suddenly seemed much bigger than he'd ever noticed before.

"And you didn't. Despite it all, you persevered. I just wanted... no, I need to know."

Turning around fully, Batman's gaze was affixed to the man who'd shouldered a lifetime of burdens. A man who was much older than him, but hadn't seemingly cracked under the same mortal limitations that the vigilante was beginning to fear were creeping up on him.

"Does it ever get easier?"


Steve reached to his back pocket and pulled out a small smartphone. He still couldn't get over the fact that this tiny device had more computing power than anything that had existed back when he had gotten the serum. The level of progress made by the world was staggering. He scrolled through the phone as he spoke. "Everything I have is on here, which isn't a lot. All I know is he was investigating reports of Hydra deploying the Winter Soldier out of Sokovia. I've sent Romanoff to see if she can dig up more on that end."

Pulling up the photos he handed the phone over to Bruce. "As first on the scene we handled all the crime scene photos, before Waller muscled her way in and convinced the UN that since it happened on US soil that ARGUS should handle the investigation."

He pulled out his old notepad, flicking through the pages until he found the notes he was looking for. "From what we gathered on the scene, and this is all unconfirmed as we never got to keep the physical evidence. We estimated that there were three shooters, other than Fury. Scuff marks and a blood trail indicated they went north from the car however no other traffic cameras in the area seemed to witness anything untoward." Steve pointed to with his free hand to the phone. "All these notes are in there, I just prefer old fashioned pen and paper."


Something's off...

Scanning over each detail of the photos presented by Rogers as carefully as he could, The Batman's immediate reaction to the crime scene was that it was as if looking at a jigsaw puzzle that had undergone a complete reconstruction - with a single piece replaced. There was a detail staring at The Dark Knight almost instantaneously, subliminally pinpointing his attention towards everything else and enhancing what fit the scene so that his mind could do the work of determining what didn't. It was one of about a hundred different methods of deduction - take the subject of analysis, work backward to ascertain the problem, then find the solution within the problem itself - that he had been taught many years before by some of the keenest deductive minds on the planet.

The interior of Fury's vehicle had been riddled with high-impact armor-piercing rounds. The ballistics attached to the document running counter to the image file had confirmed as much, but what likely wasn't in the accident report was that the rounds were fired at a specific angle. Batman had seen this specific pattern at work before - it was a million-to-one shot that only a series of highly-trained marksmen could pull off once, let alone in succession with multiple shooters all converging on the scene at the same time. There had been an attempt to hide it in the manner that the windshield had been blown apart. It had been shattered from the outside, but the glass hadn't been completely destroyed.

Hardly surprising, given that Nick Fury held access to the most advanced espionage defenses in the world - there was a secondary bulletproof pane of glass behind the outer windshield, likely activated during the skirmish. But what was surprising to The Dark Knight was that the trajectory of the break in the bulletproof pane suggested that it had been broken from within. And while it would be easy to suggest that this was a result of a violent struggle within the vehicle itself, as an old war dog like Fury would never go quietly without a substantial reason, Batman suspected something else once he noticed a certain detail hidden just beyond the broken glass and bullet holes. That subliminal message that had been rattling around in the forefront of his mind.

Without missing a beat, The Batman held up the phone so that he could illustrate.

"The blood spatter. Take a look at the pattern on the dashboard."

Director Rogers squinted, staring for a moment before indicating that nothing seemed out of place.

"That's a pattern common within a certain type of vehicular homicide. Which would ordinarily suggest that Fury was murdered by an enemy convoy, except..."

Batman's gaze narrowed. "Why would there have been both a gunfight and a struggle to incapacitate Fury if he'd already been murdered?"

Taking that into consideration, Rogers was handed the phone back as The Dark Knight elaborated.

"There's enough blood to suggest a fatal crash, and yet the supposed victim was pelted with rounds that would pierce a tank. Except that if you look closely, each individual bullet entered at an angle. They weren't shooting at Nick, Captain. They were shooting around him. Carefully coordinated with instruction to make it look as bleak as possible."

Pointing to a specific part of the photo that Rogers was currently going over, Batman made sure to direct his eyes towards the shattered glass.

"The outer-pane of glass was taken out by ballistics. That's indisputable. What's odd is the inner-pane, which was shattered from inside the vehicle. Wouldn't make any sense for an attacking convoy to break it down that thoroughly, even by accident. Which means that it wasn't used to break into the vehicle. It was used to hide something. A detail small enough to escape Waller's eye, but large enough for you and I to find."

Registering a look of pure confusion, the old man was clearly waiting for a more concrete answer than that. Batman folded his arms over his chest, knowing that what he was about to say would likely change the course of the investigation - but also knowing that it was, in all likelihood, the truth.

"The inconsistency with the blood spatter. The angle of the bullets. Obvious misdirection by themselves, but visually indistinct when hidden behind a sheen of shattered protective glass. A trick that only a few would know... likely, they would be on the level of an ex-spy with a record as long as Fury's."

Finally, conclusively, Batman's tone grew colder.

"You and I both know that there aren't any living spies with a record as long as Fury's. Which can only mean one thing."



"Nick orchestrated this himself."
Steve turned as he heard Bruce speak. He shouldn't have been surprised that he had decided to sneak up on him rather than just walk up. He was the Bat for a reason. "Actually I tend to go by Director these days." Steve smiled at the Batman, he didn't exactly expect one in return but he had followed the Bruces career with great interest overt he years. From the Urban Legend to member of the Justice League, the two had worked together on a variety of different cases and while their ideologies differed, Steve firmly believed that the core that drove them was the same, and it all boiled down to the fact that they didn't like bullies.

"It may be a long way from the Triskellion but I feel that if I had shown up in the Helicarrier it may have raised a few eyebrows. We've got enough of a crimewave without S.H.I.E.L.D panicking every two-bit crook and gangster that roams Gotham. I heard about your takedown by the way, nicely done. Your boys and girls are doing well too."

He chuckled good naturedly. All he was doing was putting off the issue, and all that was going to do was piss-off Bruce.

"Waller is stonewalling me on the evidence gathered when they found Furys car, and she seems to be keeping all her files on the matter analog so I can't access them remotely. I'm clutching at straws here, I was wondering if you'd take a look at the photos and let me know what you think?


Fury. Of course.

While the general public wasn't exactly privy to the inner-workings of a global peacekeeping organization on the level of S.H.I.E.L.D., former Director Nick Fury's disappearance and subsequent missing person's status had been the talk of the intelligence community for some time. Batman knew this because he'd made it his prerogative to know such information, starting from nearly the beginning whenever the FBI, CIA, and individuals like Fury and Amanda Waller had begun intercepting the GCPD's investigation into what exactly left multiple criminals in Gotham hospitalized on a nightly basis, claiming that some inhuman creature with wings, fangs, and claws had been the perpetrator. The Dark Knight had seen fit to establish contacts within all of the major organizations, whether through solving a cold case in exchange for an agreement to share whatever they knew, or hacking into some of the most secure servers on the planet to extract the information manually.

It was a tactic that had nearly acquired more trouble than it was worth, but Nick Fury - despite being legendarily considered one of the most paranoid men in the world - had actually respected this approach. Batman knew this because Fury himself had turned up at Wayne Manor years ago, more or less confirming, in so many words, that despite knowing the identity of Gotham's infamous masked vigilante, he was content to keep that information to himself - as long as The Batman never fell out of line. So far, that agreement had been mutually beneficial. Even if neither man completely trusted eachother, there had been a sense of respect. Much in the same vein as Batman's working relationship with Captain Rogers.

It was for that reason alone that The Caped Crusader leaped off of his perch, cape spread, and gently landed infront of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s current director, his cloak draping over the entirety of his frame as he stood upright. For a moment, Batman remained silent - before extending his hand in a manner that indicated he'd be willing to honor Rogers' request.

"If Waller doesn't want you to investigate this, that usually means it needs to be investigated. Give me whatever you have."
Some less popular picks:



I don't see why this would be less popular, given that it's one of the most schway pieces of music to ever be orchestrated.
Discussion Time Baby: If you want not everyone is getting involved in these: what's your favourite Superhero-related OST (Original Soundtrack) of all time?

Predictable answer is predictable, but I think I listen to parts of this every week.



This one is a close second.


Stately Wayne Manor
Gym, Southeast Wing
9:26 PM


"In a statement regarding the near-catastrophic crash of the Lexcorp shuttle Lillian and it's apparent rescue by Superman, President Ellis attributed the launch's success to CEO Lex Luthor's drive and talent while speaking on the death of Justice Hartw---"

"Change."

"---made headlines today, as The Boy Of Steel's overabundance in dealings with the opposite sex has been called into question by parental advisory boards across the---"

"Change."

"---despite leaving no casualties, Freeze's attack on Wayne Biotech was nevertheless considered ruthless, with eyewitnesses describing the notorious criminal's motive as one of technological theft. It was thanks to the interference of the GCPD, Chief Renee Montoya tells GCN News, that the employees of the prestigious science center were rescued in---"

"Change."

"---other news, fourteen members of Temple Fugate's grand larceny outfit were arrested in the early morning hours following a supposed clash with The Batman. The perpetrators were said to be strung upside down via cable, just north of the entrance to the Industrial Bank Of Gotham, their alleged target in just the latest of a daring series of robberies hitting the Financial District. Fugate, known for his acts of time-themed felonies under the alias of The Clock King, remains at large after escaping from Arkham Asylum earlier in---"

"Off."



Practically every grain of sand within the leather bag flew wildly out of place, as billionaire Bruce Wayne threw concentrated hits at it in succession. His determination rose with every blow, causing the bag to swing out even further on it's suspended chain. Bruce been training around the grounds of Wayne Manor for close to three hours, having taken a six mile jog not long upon awakening from a mid-afternoon nap, following that up with push-ups, crunches, lunges, squats, and deadlifts of over 450 to 500 pounds. His body felt like it was on fire, but everything about his routine seemed to echo the exact same result: nothing had changed. Despite his momentary loss of strength while foiling the heist on IBG, Wayne seemed to be healthier than ever, with no apparent need to compensate for his age or the sheer amount of physical duress he'd been put under over the years. It all felt as effortless as it did when he was ten years younger, which was part of what was worrying him. Feeling the slowness that naturally came with age would at least partially explain what had happened last night, giving him a logical conclusion to go with and a clear course of correction.

But he felt more alive today than he did when he was thirty. Even now, he could recall the thrill that washed over him whenever he first donned the cape and cowl. That group of muggers that were threatening Leslie Thompkins' free clinic at gunpoint in Park Row. Their fear upon getting their first glimpse of him - the very first glimpse that anyone, aside from ever-loyal Alfred, had gotten of The Batman - and the sense that something about the outfit had struck a nerve with what had only theoretically been a superstitious, cowardly lot before that night. He remembered the feeling being intoxicating, like a drug that had both enhanced his senses and tore away at any lingering doubts that he'd maintained from his early failed attempts at vigilantism. It was the greatest feeling in the world. As though apart of him had been unchained after years of trauma and aimless direction had beaten it back into the darkest corners of his soul.

Now things were so much different. Being Batman hadn't been a thrill for Bruce for many years, despite his continued necessity in carrying out the mission. He learned early on that Gotham's contingent of criminals weren't apart of any game that he'd been playing, that the stakes were considerably higher than he ever could have imagined. So like with any drug taken for too long, Bruce eventually found himself sobering up. He began treating the responsibility of becoming Gotham's protector as what it was: a greater calling, perhaps even a great baptism by fire, rain, and blood. There was almost a spiritual need to continue the work that had kept him going, night after night, for the last fifteen years.

Last night had been the first time that he could remember that need waning, even for an instant. Watching that young man slip out of his grasp so easily, plunging towards the streets so fast that he could barely react in time to save him - it would have been the end of him in so many ways. Even taking a life by accident wouldn't have been an acceptable loss, so the idea that he could falter in such a crucial manner had stuck itself to the forefront of his mind. Even on the drive home, with The Batmobile's speedometer reaching 300 MPH, he'd felt... numb. Traumatized, in all likelihood, by the idea that he wasn't good enough to carry on anymore.

With a final lunge forwards, Bruce struck the bag so hard that it hit the ceiling of the gym. A few scattered pieces of plaster came falling to the ground like grains of salt, signaling that it was time for him to rest. But Wayne merely stared, discontent, at his own reflection in the mirror ahead of him. He saw the face of a man that was tired, even if he didn't feel it. He noticed the gray streaks in his hair that had begun to form along his temples. He caught a glimpse of the crow's feet that were forming around his eyes, even as he toweled down the enormous amount of sweat around his face. And most evidently of all, the amount of scars that ran down so many parts of his body. Some fully calloused over, others still in the midst of healing. His inner-self may have felt as beastly as ever, but his outer-self was starting to crack. And he didn't know what he could possibly do about it.

Throwing the towel around his shoulders, Bruce walked across the gym and exited into the long hallway that led him past the massive dining hall, the kitchen, the armory, and the entrance to the greenhouse. His heart was still regulating itself, but it hadn't reached the point of any extreme duress like it had the previous night. His breathing was steady. His ears weren't ready to pop from the altitude of the building; rather, all he could hear was an almost deafening silence. It was something that he still hadn't quite gotten used to after losing Alfred - the idea that at any given time, the elder British statesman wasn't awaiting him with either a remedy for his current ailments or some sage words of wisdom. All that was left in the butler's wake was a chamber of echoed beats, originating entirely from Bruce's footsteps.

Cassandra was the only one living with him now, and her room was on the second floor, on the other side of the house. Even if he went to check in, he'd wager she was already gone for the night. Despite being largely mute, the girl had a sense of solitude that made itself readily apparent. But she knew the risks just as well as she knew the rules: do not engage with any of Arkham or Blackgate's regulars without accompaniment. Do not make yourself known if you don't have to. And never kill, even if that's all your mind is telling you to do. Cassandra was troubled with the latter burden from years of conditioning by her twisted father, but Bruce was confident that there was a sense of good in her that was stronger than anything so morbid. It was why he had gone to convince Barbara to allow the girl to take up the long-abandoned mantle of Batgirl in the first place, and why she ultimately allowed it: an obvious spark of hope in there that couldn't be ignored.

As for the others, they had all left the nest. Dick had been on his own for years, having built an entirely new life for himself in Blüdhaven. He was a respected cop and an incredibly formidable force as Nightwing, single-handedly being the reason that one city could sleep at night. Bruce's enormous pride in him was only overridden by his sense of worry - something that all fathers had to go through. But he ultimately knew that of all of the men, women, and children that he'd trained, Dick was the least of his concerns. They talked once a week and were on much better terms than before Alfred passed. It was as if losing him had given them an excuse to finally hash out their differences and become the true father and son unit that had been lacking since Dick's graduation from the role of Robin.

Jason... was an entirely different story. Even after learning of his miraculous return from the Lazarus Pits, it seemed as if the news with him just got worse with every development. From trying to strike out on his own as the vengeful Red Hood, leaving plenty of bodies in his wake, to his internment at Arkham and the slaughter that he'd committed there. Bruce couldn't put into words how much he hated what Jason had become, but never once did he square the blame on Jason himself. Rather, he was the one that felt responsible. If he'd been a better father, there was a higher likelihood that when the earthquake hit Gotham and the family was stretched thin, Robin would have never ran off in defiance and tried to take on The Joker by himself. In truth, Bruce felt entirely lost as to what he could do to make things right.

The same could also be said of Damian. Despite training the boy under Dick's supervision and guidance, too much of his only biological offspring's mother and grandfather still reigned in his approach to everything. It had gotten them into plenty of heated arguments, not to mention more than a few reconsiderations of even allowing him to join in on this line of work. Bruce and Dick eventually realized that what he needed was a team's structure to work within, as it would force him to grow up among a group of his peers and learn the respect that was lacking from him within the team in Gotham. But there had been no communication since Damian left. Bruce had tried, but he guessed that the boy simply wasn't ready to accept that his father hadn't shuffled him off to be someone else's problem. And Bruce wondered when it came down to it, with Alfred being too bitter of a burden for him to carry ontop of his responsibilities as a mentor and a father, if Damian was right.

Then there was Tim. Despite having to work hard to earn his place as Robin, Tim had excelled in every part of his role to a point that still astonished Bruce. An excellent detective, a brilliant technological mind, Red Robin was arguably as much of a force for good in Gotham as The Batman was at this point. He'd moved out of the mansion two years prior, but his endless nights of work ever since had not gone unnoticed. If anything, Tim was a prime example of how a son could surpass his father in many ways. Bruce had learned to trust in his own instincts whenever Tim first came to him to become the new Robin, and his instincts told him only one thing: that the young man was destined for greatness. Tim had yet to let him down for even a moment.

The others, such as Barbara, Duke, Stephanie, Luke, Kate, Helena, and Jean-Paul had never been his children, though Wayne cared for them each all the same. They were his extended family. Never having roles that owed Bruce their loyalty, they hadn't lived under his roof and were never forced to adhere to any of his rules, unless they were unlucky enough to break them. That had gotten him into plenty of clashes with Helena and Jean-Paul, specifically, both of whom didn't value the sanctity of life nearly as much as the rest did. But they had repented and changed their ways, earning themselves a second chance - though it was a tough road to get there. But they managed to overcome their demons, largely thanks to the help of Barbara's skills as a therapist.

It was all a little overwhelming for Bruce to consider. Some relationships seemed stronger than ever, while others were in desperate need of mending before it was too late. And that's what worried Wayne more than anything else, at the end of it - the idea that if his age was truly catching up with him and he'd eventually have to give up the cowl, that he would be forced to enter retirement without having accomplished building the bridges in his life that led to a legacy he could be proud of. The Batman wasn't simply a symbol for the innocents of Gotham to rally behind anymore. It was also a statement on the lives he'd been able to touch along the way, the souls that took it upon themselves to continue the fight, either directly under his guidance or otherwise. To have nearly let that thief fall to his death would have been an affront to that statement, and more than anything else, Wayne wanted to know why it almost happened.

Entering the library after that long walk of contemplation, Wayne grabbed a shirt and quickly began to button it up. There were some forensic files that he had yet to examine in The Batcave, either as a favor to one of his colleagues in The Justice League or as part of an ongoing case in Gotham. The Clock King was hardly the only one still at large, despite his best efforts, and Wayne knew that he had to put together the clues as to any of their whereabouts before he could embark on a proper search through the criminal database to see which threats needed to be taken off the board.

But before he could lift the false Shakespeare bust and scan his thumbprint to open the entrance to The Batcave, a rotary telephone in the corner of the room suddenly flashed to life with a crimson emergency beacon. Bruce's eyebrow raised, noting the timing of this particular call in conjunction with his plans. Evidently, Commissioner Gordon had other plans for him tonight. No matter, he thought to himself, as he briskly paced over to the phone, removed the glass dome over it, and picked up the receiver, holding it to his ear.

"Jim. I take it there's an emergency? I didn't see the signal."

"That's just it, Batman. You're about to. I'm calling because we need you to come down to the station as soon as you can. There's... a visitor here for you, among a few other developments that I need to touch base with you on."

A visitor?

"Can this visitor wait?"

"Christ. Can this visitor wait..."

The annoyance in Gordon's voice indicated that not to be an option. Whoever it was, they must have been important enough for the Commissioner to feel the need to forewarn him that the Bat-Signal was about to be lit.

"I'm on my way now."

Steve Rogers, better known to the world at large as Captain America, was a legend. This fact was indisputable. What was equally as indisputable was that despite his immense respect for Rogers, as the two had come across one another in the field a great many number of times before - through their alliances in The Justice League and The Avengers, respectively - was that Batman couldn't have asked for a worse time to receive a visit from an outsider to Gotham. As he watched from the adjacent gargoyle as Rogers leaned against the side of the gigantic, still-lit lamp emblazoned with his own insignia, The Dark Knight considered all of the reasonable possibilities for why Rogers needed to see him. Because in all likelihood, it wasn't for anything good. These types of meetings never really were.

Regardless, it wasn't long before The Caped Crusader had swallowed his pride and made his way over to the GCPD roof. Quietly, of course, to the point that Rogers hadn't noticed him take position on a perch directly above him. Still as stoic and unwavering as ever, Captain America wasn't likely to be taken too off guard by this approach. But he had to realize something. This was Gotham City - and in Gotham, there was only one authority that had to be recognized whenever that signal was lit.

"Captain."

Rogers spun around, immediately catching the eye of the silhouette in shadow above.



"You're a long way from the Triskelion."
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