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Story [The Dark Knight Trilogy] Who Are We? Epilogue (Drawing of the Masks Part III)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by madman007, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2007
    I have finally finished my Dark Knight Trilogy! I posted the first two stories on here on the old site. They are on here but they have been cut off and are not complete. Here are the links for the first two on FF.Net.
    I'll post the first two parts and add the Epilogue later. Enjoy and review as you see fit!
    Who Are We?
    Drawing Of the Masks III
    Part I

    Batman landed on the roof of Arkham Asylum with ease. He could spot the lone figure there waiting for him patiently. Commissioner Gordon.
    This couldn't be good news.
    There were no other police cars around. Batman knew why. His popularity with the Gotham police continually waned after Harvey's death. Gordon seemed to be the only one not affected. Then again, he was also the only one who knew the lie.
    His boots met the gravel roof and he retracted his grapple from the edge. Gordon was already walking over to him.
    "Thank you for coming. I...didn't know if you would show."
    Batman's guttural voice uttered, "If I hadn't, our private alert system would be for nothing."
    "Right. First time I had to use it. I had to wait until my squad left before I could. Wanted to make sure we avoided their presence. You're not too popular with the force right now."
    "Which was the point."
    "Still, I'm sorry it has to be this way."
    "It's all right. What's going on?"
    Gordon made a gesturing motion and said, "Better to show you. Follow me."
    Batman followed Gordon down the roof's exit to the top floor of Arkham and into the corridors. They went down a flight to the fourth floor. Along the way, Arkham guards stopped what they were doing to stare at the awkward scene of the Batman casually walking through Arkham Asylum with Commissioner Gordon. Batman scanned their faces and none seemed to be angry or filled with rage. They were proud and seemed full of relief.
    By the time Gordon reached a certain cell, Batman knew what this was about. The most famous cell in Arkham. His alter-ego made this same path seemingly by accident almost a year ago. Gordon tore off the yellow police tape strewn across the cell door and opened it with a audible creak.
    Immediately, Batman could feel the draft of cold October air pass over him. The first half of the cell was normal. Only the bed was left. The opposite wall had been completely blasted away leaving a gaping hole.
    "What happened exactly?" asked Batman.
    Gordon answered, "Shortly after curfew, the guards heard a huge blast. By the time they got here, they watched the Joker fly away harnessed to a helicopter."
    Batman thought to himself that the method was similar to how he captured Lau in China. Skyhook. Batman asked, "Any unscheduled flights at Gotham's heliport or airport?"
    "Nothing official."
    "So you don't know where he went."
    Gordon cringed embarrassingly. "Not at the moment. I've got a very quiet manhunt for him now. The media doesn't know this yet, so I called the manhunt a training exercise. Don't know how long that will last. That's why I called you."
    Batman went to the absent far wall and inspected the edges of the hole. "The mortar and metal frame were bent outward. Charges were placed from the outside. C4."
    "Looks like it. There would have been no way the Joker could have gotten any in here. without anyone knowing."
    "Meaning he had help. Tell me, is anyone on the Arkham staff missing?"
    Gordon raised his eyebrows in surprise and replied, "Yes. Dr Harleen Quinzell. The one doctor who's been with him the most. He probably took her as a hostage. How did you– "
    "She's not a hostage," Batman stated.
    "What makes you so sure?"
    "Dr. Quinzell has developed a relationship with her patient since she started studying him."
    Gordon didn't have to have it spelled out for him. "Wonderful. Another traitor. Typical Gotham."
    As Batman scanned the rest of the area, he asked, "Has your men been through here already?"
    "They did a once over. Nothing found except Joker's fingerprints. And those have never been found on file. Only thing he left were those." He gestured at the drawings of Batman on the right wall. Gordon inspected them. "Not a great likeness of you, but not bad."
    "Maybe we can send them to the Louvre. "
    Gordon chuckled and stated, "Joker certainly has you on his mind."
    "I've already seen those drawings."
    "I'm not going to ask how. It's not like we can use these to find out where he's going."
    "Don't be too sure." He stared at the pillow on the bed for a moment. "There's something metal under there."
    Gordon asked, "A knife?"
    "Not big enough. Joker wouldn't leave one here anyway."
    Gordon lifted the pillow to see two objects. "Looks like some kind of small pewter sculpture of a bird and a penny."
    "What kind of bird?"
    Gordon leaned closer and adjusted his glasses. "An owl." He straightened up. "What could those mean?"
    Batman pondered the question in his head for a moment. No. It couldn't be that simple. "I know where he's going."
    "You know that just from these objects."
    "Trust me."
    "Well, where is it? I can meet you there."
    "No. If you go too it'll give him what he wants; an audience. This has to be between him and I. Besides, I work better alone."
    "I don't like it."
    "You don't have to."
    Gordon nodded but said, "All right. But let me tell you that this better not be about vengeance for what Joker did to Harvey Dent."
    "No. I'm ending Joker's vengeance for what I did to him."
    Gordon spoke as he turned away for a few moments. "That's all well and good. But what if Joker wants that too? You could be walking into another of his traps." Gordon turned around to find an empty hole in the wall before him. "And, of course, he's off." He went back to look at the drawings.

    Batman was weaving in and out of traffic in downtown Gotham. His speed was such that the drivers hardly knew he was passing by them. Even if they did catch a small glimpse of the Batman, they chose to ignore him. To the average citizen of Gotham now, the Batman was the job of the Gotham police. Batman didn't care. Ignorance was bliss for innocents who were getting out of harm's way. There were only a few whom he did care for. His parents. Rachel. And a last one who was still among the living. He wasn't about to lose another.
    He clicked on the communicator in his ear. "Alfred! Alfred!" No answer. He tried the main number in case Alfred wasn't near a phone. He reached its voicemail. He left a cryptic message. "The bandit is coming for his ruby!" He reached the Wayne penthouse and parked the cycle in a hidden alley. He enters the elevator but doesn't press a button. He opens the top hatch and climbs into the elevator shaft. Batman never arrives in a traditional manner. He continues to grapple upward until he reaches the top floor.
    Bruce Wayne's floor.
    He opens the outer doors and enters the penthouse.
    It is dark. Too dark. The place had been ransacked. Tables and chairs knocked over. Drawers pulled out of cabinets and emptied. Papers scattered on the floor. There was no pattern to the search. They weren't looking for anything. They wanted to make it look like they were looking for something.
    He fought the urge to call out Alfred by name. That's what Bruce Wayne would do.
    He eased over the floor checking out the damages. He spotted something sitting on the long oak dining table. He approached it and saw an MP3 player set next to a large note. Scribbled on the paper was Joker's insanely wild handwriting. "Press play!" He did so and out of the speakers came a recording of a line from a very famous movie. Dorothy Gale repeated over and over, "There's no place like home."
    Somewhere that neither Bruce Wayne nor Batman could define. But it all added up. The hint under the pillow in Joker's cell. The recording at BruceWayne's penthouse. Batman knew where the Joker took Alfred. All because of Wayne's meeting with Joker. What was worse was that the Joker knew how to get to Wayne personally. He knew something like this may happen after he gave Joker a hint of his true identity. His thinking then was that no one would believe him save for a personal therapist who became much more personal. He didn't expect the Joker to escape. That may be the oversight considering the contacts Joker still had on the outside.
    Dr. Quinzell tested him when he came to Arkham. She tried to bait him into revealing what was under his mask. He only gave her Bruce Wayne. She was satisfied albeit rather frustrated. The Joker wasn't going to quit as easily. It didn't matter. Batman would make him pay for his actions. He had to end this. He had to end the Joker. He could do it. Batman could take it, in Alfred's words. Joker wanted a showdown between the two of them. He would have it. He will go back to where Wayne's true identity was born.
    Back home.
    There was just something he needed to bring first.

    Who Are We?
    Drawing of the Masks III
    Part II
    The structure was mostly in its skeletal frame phase now. It would be at least another two years before the new Wayne Manor would be completed. The front wing that would eventually become the main entrance was the only structure that looked finished on the outside. Inside, the top floors had only just begun their construction.
    Batman stood among the trees just on the edge of Wayne grounds. He knew they would be watching for him. He looked through his binoculars. They were well hidden in the dark. He flipped the switch that turned on infrared. Now he could see the heat signatures of five people. They were all on the second floor. Two were guards standing on the edge of the open side of the unfinished wall. One was the Joker and the female form would be Dr Harleen Quinzell. The sixth figure was sitting in a chair with Joker nearby.
    Batman searched for an entry point that wouldn't give away his approach. He noticed that the two guards were standing below a high wooden beam that would become the frame of the third floor. Perfect. He swung around to their blind side on the opposite end of the building and grappled up to the high beam. He softly crept along the beam that hovered over the guards. He could now see Alfred tied to an office chair with his hands and mouth bound by heavy tape. Only one of the guards was armed. He would be the first target. No one looked up to see him above them. It was amazing to him how criminals never thought that an enemy named Batman would not choose an attack from above. He was slightly startled when one of the guards spoke.
    "I don't think he's gonna show, boss."
    "No, no, no, no, he's coming. Just keep your eyes peeled or I'll peel them for ya."
    Harley added with her high-pitched voice, "Yeah, we got his old servant here." She nudged Alfred, who answered with a muffled cry. "Don't worry, he'll come."
    Batman smiled. Perfect timing.
    He swooped down on top of the armed guard first, taking him out with a hard knock on the head with his boot. Batman landed and immediately went into a defensive stance while waiting on the other guard to attack.
    Harley quipped, "See, what I tell you?"
    The guard came at him with a frontal attack. Bad idea. Batman blocked his blows easily and even got in some hits of his own. Finally, he kicked the guard with a roundhouse that connected with his jaw.
    Batman came over to Joker and Harley. He eyed Alfred who could only nod and Batman gave an assuring nod in reply. The Joker was dressed back in his same purple suit and pants. Was that his only set of clothing he owned? He also had access to makeup in which he applied it to his face again. Back to his old self.
    "Welcome home!" Joker exclaimed.
    "This is nobody's home," Batman stated.
    "Not yet, anyway. I do believe this will be the future home of this fellow here." Joker patted Alfred's cheeks.
    Batman pleaded, "He's an innocent. This is between you and I."
    "See, I don't think so. You came here from the clue we left at Wayne's penthouse. You wouldn't happen to know where Wayne is, would you?" He laughed hysterically.
    Harley said, pointing to Alfred, "This one keeps saying that Wayne is out of the country on business. We think he's much closer."
    Instead of replying to her, Batman asked Harley, "Why are you here, Dr Quinzell? Had a hand in Joker's escape? You think you're going to follow him? He's you played, Harley. He'll get rid of you once you're of no use for him. And he'll do it just for the fun of it. You're too vulnerable for his manipulations."
    Harley reply back was full of sarcasm. "Wow, what an incredible assessment. Wasn't that impressive, puddin'?"
    "It brought tears to my eyes," Joker uttered casually as he licked his lips.
    Harley continued. "You really know him well. But considering that I have studied Joker non-stop for more than a year I think I know him better than you. Truth is, I'm not expectin' nothing from him. If you don't expect nothing from life you get much more. Don't you think so....Bruce?"
    Batman emphatically replied, "Bruce Wayne is not Batman."
    Joker cried, "If that's what you have to tell yourself. I know...since you're here, let's see what your butler here has to say on the subject." Joker rips off the tape on Alfred's mouth, which causes a painful cry from the butler. Joker produces a small blade that he brings up to Alfred's neck. "And believe me when I say that a wrong answer will be cut...short." He laughed and so did Harley with her ear-piercing screech. Joker asked Alfred, "Now, where is Bruce Wayne?"
    Alfred replied back, "As I bloody well told you before, Master Wayne is in London at a fund raiser for underprivileged children."
    "Awww, isn't that sweet. Of course, that's what it says in the computer system. But you know what I've learned? Information inside those systems can be altered. Kinda like a magician's secret wall. Take away that wall and what have you got?" He pressed the blade more into Alfred's flesh. He whispered just loud enough for Batman to hear, "Reality." Joker then takes the blade and slashes a shallow cut on Alfred's right cheek. "Ta-Dahhh!"
    As Alfred cried in pain, Batman demanded, "Stop!"
    Joker kept taunting. "Ah, ah, ah, ah...not until I get my answer. The true answer. I mean, that's what we're here for, isn't it? The truth? We all know about truth, don't we? I want to know about your truth." He went back to holding the blade in front of Alfred. "Now, once again from the top. You know what I want."
    "And I've already told you. You can put that thing in my bloody arse but it won't change anything. 'The instruments of darkness tell us truths, '"
    Joker took the back of his hand and slapped Alfred across the face. "Now that wasn't quite the response I was looking for. And if I wanted to hear dead English playwrights quoted back at me I'd ask for it. Let's see if I can match that same shape on your left cheek."
    Batman said, "Stop. You win." He paused for a moment and said, "I am Bruce Wayne."
    Joker burst out laughing and cried, "Now, was that so hard?"
    "I knew it," exclaimed Harley.
    Batman continued. "I am Commissioner Gordon. I am Mayor Anthony Garcia. I am Detective Gerard Stephens. I am Head Arkham Guard Aaron Cash." He edged closer to Joker and Harley, who were obviously confused. "I am everyone and no one."
    Joker tilted his head in disbelief. "Mmmm....cryptic. Maybe we need more physical proof?"
    Alfred cried out, "You can do what you like to me..."
    Joker slapped Alfred on his head. "Not for you. Harley!"
    Harley took the hairpin out of her hair and her long blonde tresses flowed down her shoulder. She moved away from Joker and Alfred in a wide vacant space on the floor. She seemed to be inviting Batman. "The last time we did this you had the advantage. There's no doctors around here now."
    Batman stated, "You won't have any doctors around after this. At least, any doctors as your colleagues anyway."
    "I know what you're doing. Getting me mad. It won't work." She gestured toward Joker. "See, he's going to take Gotham places that they never dreamed of."
    "To the sanitarium? There's already crazy people in Gotham."
    Harley shouted, "He's not crazy!"
    Joker remarked, "Isn't she a doll?"
    Batman corrected, "No, he's not crazy. He's a maniac."
    Joker sighed. "Well, if you must put a label on things..."
    Harley taunted Batman. "Just for that I should knock you out cold." She readied herself in an attack formation. "Let's see what you got this time."
    "We're not seriously doing this," said Batman.
    In answer, Harley came at him doing a cartwheel a few times. On her last vault, she aimed her legs straight at Batman's chest. Batman stood perfectly still during her acrobatics until her last lunge, where he simply stepped aside at the right moment. Harley missed Batman entirely and landed horizontally on the wooden floor with a thud.
    "Oh, you like to play rough. I can do rough." She immediately got herself up and twirled her legs into a roundhouse kick. Batman caught her foot and lifted her leg up and over, flipping her back to the floor again.
    "So can I," he replied.
    Harley was stunned at first but got back up again and uttered, "All right, no more play time!"
    She then simply tried to hit Batman with her fist. He merely avoided each thrust by shifting his head and body so that all her fists caught was air. He had to admit that she was quick and determined. But she wasn't a criminal. She was never taught how to fight. This was all new to her, brought on by the maniacal tendencies of a madman. Her moves were too predictable. He decided to end her charade as a fighter and he caught one of her fists in his. He used his other fist to strike a blow across her face hard. Harley twirled from the force and landed on the floor for the third time within five minutes. Her eyes fluttered for a moment and then closed sending her into unconsciousness.
    The next sound was applause from Joker as he cried, "Bravo! Well done! You know, I didn't think she had much of a chance myself. But hey, don't ever let it be said that you don't hit girls." He laughed.
    Batman made a beeline towards him and cried out, "Let's end this now! You and I. Gotham's masked men. You had to find makeup to put yours back on. I've always had mine."
    "Hmmm....except when you're not wearing it."
    "I'm always wearing a mask. Same as you. They cover up the lie we tell ourselves."
    "Oh, the lie? You mean the lie you and Gordon told Gotham about Dent? See, word travels fast even in captivity. I know what you did. You destroyed my creation by stepping in as the villain." He changed his voice to that of an announcer. "Tonight's villain will be played by the Batman. May he live up to the title." He reverted back to his own voice. "And live it up, you did."
    "Harvey Dent wasn't your 'creation'. He was driven mad by grief, anger, and pain."
    "And whichever of those was dominant, flip a coin." He laughed and licked his lips again. "But, see, I was right. The people of Gotham did cast you out. Just not on their terms, but yours."
    Batman explained, "I did what I did to save Gotham the despair of losing hope they had for Harvey Dent. I couldn't let them believe that he could do those things."
    Joker screamed, "Stop talking like you have the moral high ground! You lied to Gotham because you didn't want to admit that I was right!" He lowered his voice. "Not that I'm offended. It's your nature. You always have to be right, don't you? All that Kevlar bi-weave you wear can't protect your ego. Yes, yes, yes, yes, your ego! The same thing that made you pull that stunt in my cell last year. I guess you did that because you thought I couldn't escape."
    "Even if I did, no one would believe you."
    He pointed to the comatose Harley on the floor. "She did."
    "A naive and misguided intern? Hardly someone with true believability."
    Joker backtracked towards Alfred and he held out the blade again, hovering it over the servant's head. Joker licked his lips and said, "Speaking of believability...I don't believe him. See, we can dance around all we want. I just want you to admit one simple truth. Or else he dies. Now, I know we've been here before. You allowed people to die last time. But those were strangers to you. I suspect that this one...isn't."
    Alfred grumbled, "Do your worst. I'm not afraid of you."
    Joker turned the office chair around so Alfred could face him. He emulated Alfred's accent. "I think you should be old chap." He reverted to his own accent and waved his blade in front of him. "I have ways to use this that you cannot imagine. Incidentally, that's how I got these scars. Wanna know how?"
    "No!" Batman cried. "We're not listening to your stories anymore. No one is."
    Joker licked his lips. "Well...we can always make new ones. I can see the headlines now. Millionaire playboy's servant was found gutted like a fish at the site of the future mansion. Kinda has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?"
    "It'll never happen," stated Batman.
    "Why? Is there something you're going to do?"
    Instead of replying to Joker, Batman addressed the man tied to the chair. "Alfred...hang on."
    Instantly, Batman used the grapple gun to attach it around the bottom of the chair. He pulled back on the grapple and the chair slid awkwardly back from Joker. The chair's momentum with Alfred in it sent it flying on its side. Alfred landed with it along with a cry of pain. Joker growled a rabid, "No!" and began to chase the leverage he had against Batman. But Gotham's dark knight beat him there by handing Joker a punch in the gut. Joker fell to the floor but got up immediately with the blade out. He tried to stick Batman with it in his mid-section but Batman blocked his tries with ease. Joker then tried a feint to the left which Batman met but Joker threw the blade across to his other hand. Once he grasped it he shoved it forward into Batman's side that sank through his Kevlar suit and thus into his flesh. Batman cried out in pain but managed to quickly thrust his arm against Joker's chest. Joker was thrown back by the force and landed again on the floor.
    As Batman took out the blade out of his abdomen to throw it far away, Joker laughed and said confidently, "Don't worry, I have another." He stood up and Batman could hear an audible click. An instant after he realized the sound was Joker's old knife-shoe, Joker was already lunging at him. Batman lunged at the same time to close the gap between them. Joker was in mid-kick when Batman caught hold of Joker's thigh.
    Batman looked down at Joker's foot and said, "I see you have the same taste in shoes."
    "All the better to stab you with."
    "Too bad." Batman reached with his free hand and bent the blade completely off the shoe. It dropped with a clang to the floor. He then repeated the move he made with Harley and flipped Joker up and over. Joker went into the air and landed hard to the floor again. Before Joker could react Batman flew at Joker with his cape outstretched into the air. Joker had just enough time to roll to one side allowing Batman to hit the space he had just occupied . The problem was that the floor in that spot wasn't as sturdy as the rest and the boards gave way. Both Batman and Joker crashed through the crumbling hole in the floor, sending them both to hit the hard first floor below.
    Amidst the mist of dust, Joker struggled to get up and move. He got to his feet for balance and saw Batman coming out of the rubble with his black outfit coated with white dust.
    With an effort and a grunt of pain, Joker said, " really...hold a grudge...don't you?"
    "The feeling is mutual."
    "See, I don't think so. I think because you turned Gotham against you, by your own choice, I am your only competition."
    "You're not the only one on my list. There's several of Maroni's men still loose."
    Joker shook his head. "Still chasing Mafia peons. The pipeline says they're not going to be around for long. Word of a new bill is coming named after our beloved anti-hero, Harvey Dent. It'll keep them in jail for a while. Then what will you do?"
    "That hasn't been voted on yet."
    "You think the people of Gotham won't vote for it? They already hate you since they think you killed Dent. And what better way to honor the memory of Dent? When that passes, you may as well pack your special suit and fancy car." Joker paused before saying, "See, we're the two faces of Dent's coin. At opposite ends of the spectrum, so to speak." He overemphasized the K. "We're just two complicated men who don't know who they are."
    Batman edged closer to Joker. "I have an identity. You don't. Who are you? You have no name. No fingerprints. No ID. No connection to anything resembling a sense of self. All you have are made up stories that you use to intimidate your victims. Maybe they're true. Maybe you don't even know anymore if they are. You created your own monster within yourself so well that you no longer feel responsible for your actions. Being without an identity gives you power. You crave that power. I know that power. It's the reason I wear this suit and mask. Becoming Batman gave me the ability to take power away from those who abuse it through fear. Now they fear me." Batman hesitated and said, "Before all of this, I was ignored as a man. Then I became a symbol of fear for criminals. Until you. You brought me back to man."
    "Don't you hate that?"
    "I hated you for it. I was prepared to do anything to stop you. I broke my one rule, as you once said. It wasn't me anymore. Yet, I couldn't let you win, especially about Dent. He became Gotham's martyr without them realizing it. And he didn't need a mask. He was both of my masks combined."
    "Uh huh, you were confused. You finally admit it. But that's all right."
    "I'm not confused now." Batman reached for his cowl and removed it, revealing the face of Bruce Wayne. "I know who I am."
    After a long pause, Joker held out his hand for a handshake. "Well...glad to make your acquaintance."
    Wayne did not move and Joker retracted his hand. Wayne stated, "You know I can't have you spreading this around."
    "Little too late now, don't ya think?" He laughed.
    "This has to end tonight."
    "Oh, no, no, no, no! We're just at the beginning. We'll be doing this forever."
    "Not likely." Wayne suddenly brought his cape up for a distraction while swinging his other arm towards Joker. His fist was clenched on something that landed on Joker's neck. The jet injector sank its contents into Joker's flesh. After Wayne pulled it away, Joker quickly held his hand over where he was stuck.
    Joker grumbled, "What...did you...give me?"
    Wayne replied, "A friend helped me with the concoction. It's an antipsychotic mixed with a powerful tranquilizer. Guaranteed to induce a long-term coma."
    Joker started to struggle at standing. He eased over to a nearby wooden post and leaned.
    "No! You can't! That's not fair."
    "Look who's talking about being fair."
    "This...this is your solution? Neutralize me?"
    "I can't kill you. One of my pesky rules I can't break."
    At that moment, the sound of a police siren wailed closer and closer.
    Joker tried to grin. "I see you invited your friends to the party."
    "Party crashers!" Joker started to slump against the beam. He sunk to the floor. "Strangers passing in the street. By chance...two sheparate And I am you...and what I me." Joker's breathing was slowing and his words were slurring. "There...analyze that one...Bats!" He tried to laugh in his usual manner but it came out sounding like a weak grunt.
    Wayne put his cowl back on.
    Joker tried to exclaim, "There you are! The one...and only. Dark...knight. We could have....had so" Joker's eyes fluttered and ultimately closed. His head slumped to one side and he fell into unconsciousness.
    Batman stood over him for a while, thinking of his last words to him.
    The siren was now just outside and within moments, Commissioner Gordon appeared with arms outstretched holding his gun with two hands. Upon seeing Batman, he lowered his gun and said, "Ah...figured you would be here."
    "How did you know to come here?"
    "Something you said. I examined all of Joker's artwork and in one there was a rough drawing of Wayne manor in the background. Seems Bruce Wayne was one of Joker's suspects of being you."
    "One of several. It's impossible, of course. Wayne is in London on business. Where's his servant?"
    "On the second floor. Along with Dr. Quinzell. She was Joker's accomplice in his escape. I knocked her out." Gordon raised his eyebrows. Batman explained, "She hit me first."
    "Brave girl. I'll wait for the EMTs to get them." Gordon looked over Batman's shoulder. "Is that the Joker? Is he dead?"
    "Coma. And with the dose I gave him it will be a while before he awakes. Maybe years."
    "I'm not going to ask. Of course, others will."
    "Tell them the truth. This time it won't be a lie."
    "Yeah. well, speaking of your friends, I called for backup. They'll be here in a few minutes. I'll try mentioning that you weren't here but what's the point? They'll know."
    "It's the Joker. Don't think they will be lynching me this time. He's much easier to deal with now."
    "A risky play."
    "If you're worried too much about risk, then you're in the wrong profession."
    Gordon scoffed. "Now you're talking like my wife." More sirens were coming closer and Gordon warned, "You better go."
    Batman stood silent for a moment before asking, "Gordon...did we do the right thing with Harvey?"
    Gordon let out a long sigh. "I've asked myself that question every day since. Maybe someday the truth will come out."
    "Or be forced out."
    "Hey, if you of all people are doubting yourself then it's time to quit."
    "Not yet." Batman grappled to the top floor and flew off into the night.

    Epilogue coming soon!
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  2. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, but I liked this. You had a great dialogue going with all of the characters, one that I enjoyed immensely. Batman and the Joker's dialogue is always a hard one to get down, but you succeeded in spades. I especially liked your version of Harley, as well. She is always a fun character to play with. I mean:

    Harley shouted, "He's not crazy!"
    Joker remarked, "Isn't she a doll?"

    Batman corrected, "No, he's not crazy. He's a maniac."
    Joker sighed. "Well, if you must put a label on things..."

    Classic! :p

    And . . .
    Batman continued. "I am Commissioner Gordon. I am Mayor Anthony Garcia. I am Detective Gerard Stephens. I am Head Arkham Guard Aaron Cash." He edged closer to Joker and Harley, who were obviously confused. "I am everyone and no one."
    This was a great line - you really summed up his purpose and his character. =D=

    The drug was a neat way to tie up loose ends with the Joker - I have always wondered why Bruce hasn't done something like that in the mainstream continuity, past the simple excuse that we'd be denied such a fantastic villain.

    "Hey, if you of all people are doubting yourself then it's time to quit.""Not yet." Batman grappled to the top floor and flew off into the night.

    That was a great way to wrap that part up. That conscious is what keeps him a hero, and the day he looses that is the day that he's just a vigilante and not anything more.

    I look forward to the epilogue. This was a great piece. =D=
  3. madman007

    madman007 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 22, 2007
    Thanks, Mira_Jade! Congratulations! You not only posted my first review for this story but also my first review on the new boards! [face_party]
    Not sure if you've seen The Dark Knight Rises yet,but the beginning of it gave way to the ending of mine. If you don't understand the epilogue fully, you will once you see it.​
    "I am everyone and no one."
    This was a great line - you really summed up his purpose and his character.​
    I wanted to go back to the beginnings like TDKR did and get to Bruce's main mission. To become a symbol instead of a man to battle injustice. I thought of this line after I had him admit to the Joker that he was Bruce Wayne...and all the rest. ​
    The drug was a neat way to tie up loose ends with the Joker - I have always wondered why Bruce hasn't done something like that in the mainstream continuity, past the simple excuse that we'd be denied such a fantastic villain.
    Nolan was adamant about not mentioning the Joker as a tribute to Heath Ledger's memory. And rightly so. Nobody will ever play the Joker again at the same level as Heath did. But as far as the story goes, Nolan didn't supply what happened to the Joker. I found the drug solution as a way to take Joker out of the picture without killing him. And for those who complain that they are denied such a great villain, I remind them that my trilogy is based on Nolan's Batman world and not the comics. ​
    Well, Darth Real Life got the batter of me since I posted the first two chapters. Since you have reviewed and waited patiently, here is the end of my own Batman Trilogy below. Thanks for reading and reviewing! ​
    Who Are We?
    Drawing Of the Masks III


    Two months later...
    "Since nearly all of Falcone and Marconi's men are now locked behind bars thanks to the new law voted in unanimously by Gotham courts and appropriately named the Dent Act, Gotham is now safer than it has been in decades. According to Gotham police, crime has fallen by fifteen percent just in the last two weeks since the Dent Act was passed. Needless to say that some citizens of Gotham feel that a certain vigilante dressed as a bat has worn out his welcome. Underground sources tell us that the Batman has not been spotted in more than two months. Though, there was a rumor that the Batman was unofficially involved in the Joker's kidnapping of Bruce Wayne's servant. That was the instance that sent the notorious Joker, the self-proclaimed Agent Of Chaos, into a prolonged induced coma. He still is in that coma and has been brought here at Blackgate where he will be staying in the med facilities.
    Now with the Batman's absence, and the passing of the Dent Act, which cleaned up the organized crime in Gotham, there is one question that remains. Does Gotham still need the Batman? It is the opinion of this reporter that–"
    Bruce switched the set off, avoiding the reporter's opinion.​
    Does Gotham need the Batman?
    Rachel's words so many years ago came back to haunt him. The man I loved - the man who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there, somewhere. Maybe someday, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I'll see him again.
    "But I need you now, Rachel. And you're not here," Bruce muttered to himself as he caressed her image inside the frame.​
    "Master Bruce?" Alfred called and Bruce quickly put the picture frame on the desk face down. "Sorry if I startled you. Was I interrupting?"​
    "No. No, of course not, Alfred. Did you need something?"​
    "I was about to ask you the same question. You seem to have been living inside this hidden room within your penthouse for weeks now. You haven't been going out at night for more than a month."​
    "And your point?"​
    Alfred ignored the question but gave Bruce a knowing glance. He went on to ask, "Did you finally go see the doctor?"​
    "Oh yes."​
    After a small pause, Alfred asked, "And?"​
    "Well, in addition to the many bruises and cuts I've received, my knee is also deteriorating. Something about the cartilage wearing out. Turns out he ordered me to end my activities for a while."​
    "You know. Spelunking and skydiving."​
    "Have you finally reached your limits and not Batman's?"​
    After a reflective pause, Bruce said, "Maybe I have."​
    Alfred scoffed. "Don't tell me you're making that maniac into your own excuse for quitting."​
    Bruce replied in a defensive tone, "I am not. And is that the same maniac who cut your face? How are those scars healing, Alfred?"​
    Alfred's reply was, "Forgive me for saying, Master Bruce, but your scars run much deeper." When he saw how hurt Bruce became after his words, Alfred said in a soft tone, "I'm sorry. I was out of line."​
    "But no less truthful."​
    An awkward silence fell between them until Alfred spoke. "If you care for a suggestion, you could use your hiatus to your advantage. For instance, the new intern at Gotham's paralegal department. Have you seen her?"​
    Bruce smiled for the first time in months. "Stop it, Alfred."​
    "Cute red-head. If I were forty years younger, I'd take a shine to her myself."​
    "All right, Alfred. You've had your fun." After a paused, Bruce said seriously, "I don't need anybody, Alfred."​
    "Yes, you do. Especially now. A man feels lonely when he believes he's not needed."​
    "I have you."​
    "That may be, but I'm not quite the sort you would like for a shag." Bruce laughed for a few seconds as Alfred said lowly, "I only wanted something more for you."​
    "I know."​
    "Whatever your decision, I'm with you."​
    "Thank you, Alfred. It's just that Gotham doesn't need the Batman now."​
    "As I recall, Ms. Dawes said something to the effect of a promise when that happened."​
    Bruce lifted his head at Alfred. "What made you think of her?"​
    "Perhaps it was the picture of her on your desk there. The problem is that she can't keep that promise now, can she? It's one thing to chase criminals but another if you chase ghosts. Besides, how do you know she–" He quickly gasped and abruptly stopped speaking.​
    "She, what, Alfred?" As Alfred turned away towards the exit, Bruce kept on him. "You were about to say something about Rachel."​
    ""Maybe another day. I've said enough. Perhaps a bowl of soup? You haven't eaten all day."​
    "Sure. Thanks. Just bring it in here."​
    "Of course. Stay in the inner sanctum." And Alfred exited leaving Bruce alone.​
    And that's how Bruce felt. Alone.​
    As crazy as the Joker was, he did shed light on what Batman and Commissioner Gordon had done to the people of Gotham. Yes, they had their hero in Dent. That heroism was false but the Gotham citizens did not receive the truth. ​
    Was that what they deserved after Batman saved them from Ra's al Ghul years ago? Was that the compassion that Batman should show? Is that why he wore a mask of a symbol to emit fear in the criminals of Gotham? Did he really preserve Gotham's hero by making himself the villain? Or was he lying to himself? These were questions that did not come up after his seven year sabbatical from society. He imagined himself Gotham's savior for standing up to those in power. It certainly didn't turn out that way. By his own doing.​
    Bruce realized then that since the emergence of Harvey Dent he had subconsciously been trying to end his Batman persona. At that time, it was due to him hanging onto Rachel's words that promised him a life together without Batman. That promise disappeared with Rachel's passing.​
    Bruce tried to tell himself that lying to Gotham about Harvey "Two-Face" Dent was for the purpose of keeping their hopes up for a better life in Gotham. It was what his father yearned for but never achieved. The execution would not have been the same for Thomas Wayne. He wouldn't have allowed himself become the villain over the true murderer. He wouldn't have let himself be constantly involved in a manhunt every night since. Because Thomas Wayne could take it.​
    Bruce Wayne slowly realized now that maybe he couldn't take it. ​
    But now there was a chance for him to end what he began. His body couldn't take it, for sure. He needed a rest.​
    Bruce decided that would be exactly what he would do. Gotham didn't need him now. One day in the future, they might. He would be there on that day. Someday, Gotham will know the sacrifices that Batman had made to become their Dark Knight. Someday, he would go back to the people of Gotham when they truly needed him. They deserved it.​
    But not today. He would now rest. He deserved it. It would only be for a small amount of time. Then, and only then, would Bruce draw upon his mask once again. ​
    Someday. ​
    Eight years later...
    Mira_Jade likes this.
  4. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    And this was excellent as well. =D=

    Nolan was adamant about not mentioning the Joker as a tribute to Heath Ledger's memory. And rightly so. Nobody will ever play the Joker again at the same level as Heath did. But as far as the story goes, Nolan didn't supply what happened to the Joker. I found the drug solution as a way to take Joker out of the picture without killing him. And for those who complain that they are denied such a great villain, I remind them that my trilogy is based on Nolan's Batman world and not the comics.

    I liked the digression from the comics. You did a great job with fitting this into Nolan's world. (The latest movie was probably my favorite of the series, even with Heath's amazing acting in the second. Nolan stole my soul with how daring and epic his trilogy was in scope. [face_love])

    You had some great character moments with Bruce here - his missing of Rachel, how he was holding up with his ostracism, and his body's own betrayal of his self. I loved the doctor's quoted words and Alfred trying to set him up - you echoed a few of the lines from TDKR perfectly. But the last words added the perfect punch to this:

    But not today. He would now rest. He deserved it. It would only be for a small amount of time. Then, and only then, would Bruce draw upon his mask once again.

    And then the eight years later? Perfect.

    Thank-you for sharing your work. I greatly enjoyed reading. =D=