Campaign of the Month: March 2014
The show opens this week with a small council room with a dozen men around it. One man begins to speak.
“Next item, the proposal for the privatization of the Gotham City Police Force. Councilmen, the time has come to vote on this controversial issue. Before we make our decision two gentlemen would like to address you. First, Police Commissioner Michael Akins would like to lobby the opposition of the bill. Mr. Akins, the floor is yours.”
“Thank you Councilmen Grey. Gentlemen, we in the Gotham City Police Department understand your concerns with the current state of affairs. However, I assure you that this is not the answer we need. We would be selling our protection to the highest bidder. The poor would go without safety while the rich would be free to commit any crime they could pay for. I beg you, do not pass this legislation. Do not sell Gotham City.”
“Very good. Now, in support of the bill we have Mr. Bruce Wayne. Mr. Wayne represents Wayne Incorporated, the primary bidder for GCPD. Mr. Wayne, the floor is yours.”
“I won’t waste any of your time, Councilmen. You know my offer.”
And Bruce Wayne rolls from the room and the scene fades out.
The scene fades out and the title card comes up, a broken, rusted, and bloody Batarang in center screen with the words “Gotham Nights” written in the lower right corner. The screen fades to black for a half-second before the episode title fades in, “Winter Wonderland”.
The scene fades in on Adam Arthur sitting in his office at Blackgate. He’s reviewing inmate records when his phone rings, “Mister Arthur.” the secretary says, “Phone call for you.” Adam sets down the papers and picks up the phone.
“Do you still have your contacts with GCPD, old friend?”, Nigmas voice says though the phone.
“Some. Not all, but a few. Why?”, Arthur asks.
“Because I think this is the perfect case for the Riddler to show Gotham he’s on their side.”, Nigma says.
Adam nods to himself as the scene fades out.
Blinding light fills the screen and then the outline of a man appears in the middle. His right hand is extended in front of him and he carries an old book in his left. “UNA SALUS VICTIS NULLAM SPERARE SALUTEM! MORIAMUR ET IN MEDIA ARMA RUAMUS!”, Merlin’s voice booms out. The light vanishes in a blink and wave of energy erupts from around him. The room he stands in is littered with bodies of Trigonic Cultists, their robes torn and faces bloody. The ritual circle in the center of the room, below where Merlin stands, is ruined as are the various tomes strewn about the room. Behind the podium a single man still stands, his robe torn from him he stands in jeans but no shirt. He looks awestruck and terrified as he stares blankly at the Merlin.
“This ends tonight. Tell me who has the Avatar of Trigon now?”, Merlin’s voice is thick with menace.
“… Har… Har… Harley. Harley Quinn.”, the cult leader stammers.
Merlin raises his hand to the air and summons energy to an open palm, “LIE TO ME AGAIN, CULTIST, AND THOSE WILL BE YOUR LAST WORDS.”
“Mask! Fine! Black Mask! He said Harley was a mistake! Stole the energy from her and has been trying to summon Trigon into himself so he can reclaim Gotham!”, the cultist pleads.
“For your actions tonight and in nights past, I lay the judgement of the Merlin upon thee. Should you ever tamper or treat with arcane forces again your eyes will burst and you will be unmade.” Merlin then releases the energy which wraps around the cultist before sinking into his flesh, leaving small decorative burns from head to toe. Merlin then turns and walks from the room. The scene fades out.
Translation: “The only safe bet for the vanquished is to expect no safety.” “Let them die as I rush into the midst of battle.”
Man-O-War and Nighthawk sit in the small conference room used by Special Crimes for clandestine meetings with vigilantes. They sip coffee quietly for a moment before Nighthawk breaks the silence.
“I’m surprised you’re here tonight.”
“Croc is a menace, especially now that he’s started killing.”, War replies.
Their conversation is interrupted as Renee Montoya steps into the room. She’s carrying a file folder with her, which she lays out on the table. She gives a polite nod to War and a warm smile to Hawk before sitting down.
“I appreciate you two being willing to help with this case. We’re at a bit of an impasse.”, Renee starts.
She then relays the tale of the murders. Starting on the night the Gotham Guardians stopped the League of Shadows from dispersing Clench mutators into Gotham’s water supply, a number of local mobsters, thugs, and deadbeats were washed down the river. Some escaped without issue, others report being attacked by a man covered in scales. In total, twelve bodies were found and parts from at least six other unidentifiable people were recovered. There were signs of struggle and fight, the victims have large bites taken out of their flesh, deep claw marks that cut to the bone in some places, and contusions from blunt force trauma. The marks are consistent with survivor reports. A man between seven or eight feet tall, yellow reptilian eyes, covered in green-yellow scales, who’s teeth have been filed into fangs and massive clawed hands and feet. Since that night, every couple weeks they have been finding another body with the same disfigurements but no further survivors. Bodies have turned up all over Gotham, not just near the River and not in one central area. GCPD’s primary suspect is Waylon Jones, AKA: Killer Croc. As the description is similar to his appearance. However, they haven’t been able to lift any positive DNA matches off the victims and have absolutely no leads left to follow up on. GCPD’s hunch is he’s using the sewer systems again but the attacks have happened in areas where the tunnels don’t connect to each other.
After Renee gives her report she slides the file folder over to the two Guardians. She says all the specifics on the case are in there and they are welcome to stay and study the file as long as they need. She has to return to her desk though and she can’t let them have, or make copies of, the case. The scene fades as she walks out the door.
“The ribs are more painful but a blow to the solar plexus will knock the wind from them. I’ve seen men fight through a broken rib but everyone falls down when they can’t breath.” Arsenal is saying as he demonstrates by driving the but of his shotgun into the dummies chest.
“You make a good point but the breast plate is too risky to punch. You could break your fingers. The ribs have more give.” Specter says as he steps up and launches a hard right into the dummies side.
“I’ve always been partial to punching them in the neck. Easy on the fist and keeps them from breathing.” A third voice is hear behind the practicing duo.
“Huntress, what are you doing here?” Specter asks.
“Came looking for help. Is Nighthawk around?”
“He’s out at the moment. Is there anything I, Arsenal – tell your friends, can do for you?”, Arsenal asks.
“Maybe… but you might want some of Nighthawks intel too. I’ve seen him scouting Freeze and I’m tried of no one doing anything about that madman.”
“Freeze? But he hasn’t been doing anything.” Specter says.
“Yes and no.”, Huntress says as she passes a flash drive to Specter, “Analyze this and let me know what you come up with. I’m going to go back and see if I can’t find out what he wants.”
As Huntress leaves Arsenal looks to Specter and says, “Why doesn’t she just have Oracle analyze this stuff?”
“I don’t know… but I’m going to find out.” Specter says as the scene fades out.
The show fades in on Dominique Dane tramping through Slaughter Swamp. She crosses over closed off trails and paths as she pushes deeper and deeper into the swamp. As she pushes through some vines a low voice can be heard near-by.
“Died on Saturday. I know, I know. You can stop now.” The guttural voice of Killer Croc is heard saying.
Another voice is heard but the words he’s saying can’t be made out. Dominique starts heading towards the conversation and moves slower to mask her noise.
“If you say that one more time I’m going to cave your skull in!”, Croc is heard saying.
Dominique slowly climbs up a tree and starts hopping between branches to close the distance. Then from below her she hears the second voice, clear as a bell.
“Born on a Monday.”, it says.
Killer Croc roars and in response the voice yells, “Christened on Tuesday!” and then the sound of a massive fist striking a tree. More roars from Croc and “Married on Wednesday!” from the other. Dominique moves to get a better view and the camera pans down into a clearing. Croc is on top of Grundy pounding down on his head. Dominique drops from her perch and yells out, “Waylon! Stop! You’ll kill him!” Croc looks over and laughs, then he punches his hand through Grundy’s face
“Grundy will be fine.” Croc says with a smile. “He’ll be back. He dies every Saturday anyway.”
The scene fades out with Dominique looking horrified at her old friend’s sadism.
The screen lingers on the black for awhile before letters fade in. Down in the bottom right corner of the screen white letters read, “Two months later”
The show fades back in on Arsenal sitting at the small table that’s been seen time and time again. It’s the conference room in the abandoned Gotham Police Station that Special Crimes uses to meet covertly with vigilantes. This time, Virgil sits alone. He sips his stale coffee and waits. After a few seconds the door opens and the voice of James Gordon is heard saying, “Wait here.” before he steps into the room.
“Arsenal. Your work with the Gotham Guardians and assistance to GCPD in recent months has been invaluable. With the re-structuring of GCPD we’re seeing the Special Crimes unit evolve. With that in mind I’d like to invite you to be part of the system in an official capacity. You’ll be an official member of GCPD working closely with the Special Crimes department. You’ll be the second licensed vigilante in Gotham City.”
“Second? Who was the first?”, Arsenal asks.
“If you accept she would be your new partner.” Gordon says before opening the door, “Come in.”
A woman steps into the room, she’s wearing a suit and tie, trenchcoat, and fedora hat. Over her face is a mask that makes it look as if she has no face at all. She nods to Arsenal and Gordon.
“Arsenal”, Gordon says, “Meet The Question. Now. What do you say? Are you with us?”
The next scene that fades in, The Specter sitting in his apartment scanning the internet for crime reports. Suddenly there is a knock on his door. He gets up and cautiously answers the door. In the hallway sits a red haired woman in a wheel chair, normally she would be completely unassuming but tonight another woman stands behind her. Specter recognizes Lady Shiva from their brief encounter on Ra’s al Ghul’s boat months ago.
“May we come in, Darren?”, the red head asks.
Specter nods and steps clear of the doorway for the duo to enter the room.
“Darren Spektor. Also known as The Specter, protector of the Narrows and member of the team the papers call the Gotham Guardians.” the red head says.
“How do you know that?”
“Because, Darren, I’m Oracle.”, Oracle says.
“Why are you here?”
“To grow our ranks. You’ve been a valued ally for a long time now and the Network has decided to offer you an official position. You’ll be our first male operative. I’ll understand if you need time to think about it. Let us know when you decide.”
The next scene fades in on Man-O-War tying up some thugs he just apprehended. He walks over to the truck they were stealing from and closes the freight doors. When he turns to walk off a man steps around the corner and stops right in front of him. Man-O-War steps back and raises his fists before a look of recognition shows on his face.
“I’m done with you.”, Man-O-War says.
“Hear me out, Adam. You might change your tune.”, the mystery man says.
“You have until I hear sirens.”
“Black’s dead. Waller sent him in with bad intel. I confirmed that she had almost perfect recon reports but she didn’t pass them on to Black. His replacement. Pamela Isley. You might know her better as Poison Ivy.”
“What does this have to do with me? My contract’s over.”
“Deadshot. Nemesis. Deathstroke. Count Vertigo. Poison Ivy. Suicide Squad is all ‘reformed’ villains. Black was the last of our volunteers and he wasn’t even that great of a guy.”
In the distance police sirens fade in. Man-O-War turns to go but the mystery man puts a hand on his shoulder.
“Adam. I need your help.”
“Get out of there, Rick.”
“No. Come back to Suicide Squad. Help me take the fight to Waller. Help me bring the Squad back to what it used to be.”
The next scene that fades in is Merlin sitting in his study reading. A chill breeze passes through the room and rustles some papers on his desk. He marks his page and walks over to close the window. A figure stands on his fire escape looking in on him from outside. Merlin jumps back and a weak voice carries into the room from outside.
“Merlin. I’ve come seeking your aid. Please, permit my entrance so we may talk.”, the soft voice says.
“Who? Who are you?”, Merlin asks.
“I invoke Treatise Arcana to seek the aid of the one true Merlin.” the man says.
Another chill wind passes into the room, stronger than the last. The room begins re-arranging itself, furniture sliding to the walls while a single table and two chair slide into the center of the room. The Merlin is gently pulled backwards into one of the chairs and the man steps in from outside. In the light of the apartment, Ra’s al Ghul looks older than ever, tired, and has marks along his arms and neck where shackles one held him. He slowly limps over to the chair across from the Merlin and sits down.
“Treastise Arcana permits the requester one associate, also under the rules of hospitality, if the Merlin grants the privilege. I would petition their participation as well.”, Ra’s says meekly.
“You’ll both be torn asunder if you violate the accords, I’ll permit it and hope you both attack me.”, Merlin says.
From outside a woman steps into the room, Merlin recognizes her from a few months back as Lady Shiva. Shiva steps up behind Ra’s and nods to the Merlin.
“Plead your case quickly so I can deny it and be rid of you two.”, Merlin says.
“My own daughter, Talia, attacked me, chained me, and locked me away to rot and die when I refused to purge Gotham City from the world. She took control of the League of Shadows and brought in an impostor to pose as myself. When Lady Shiva discovered the truth of my capture months ago she found and freed me. I seek to regain control of the League and Society from my daughter. I wish to return us to our original purpose. I ask to roll back time and I beg for the world to give us a second chance. I vow, under Treatise Arcana, to stay true to the tenants the League and Society were founded upon. I seek the Merlin’s aid in this. I submit a offer of allegiance with the Merlin and a position of honor among the League of Shadows.”, Ra’s slowly says.
“You want me to join the League of Shadows?”, Merlin asks.
“I ask you join us as my personal adviser, to help us stay true to our purpose.”
The next scene fades in on Steven Kyle having lunch with his sister, Selina. The two chat casually as they finish the last bites of their food.
“So.”, Selina says, “Who’s the black guy?”
“What black guy?”, Steven glances around to see who his sister is talking about.
“The one with you the other night. When you tried to stop me from robbing that pedophile’s house?”, She says with a sly grin.
Steven coughs on his sandwich, “Don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Oh come on Stevey! You think I wouldn’t recognize my own brother. Spill it, Nighthawk. Who’s your partner?”
Steven shifts uncomfortably for a second before responding, “Arsenal. He’s not my partner though. Just a guy I work with sometimes.”
The conversation continues like that for a little while, with Selina slowing working more information out of her little brother. Then she asks the big question.
“What would you say to a new partnership? Brother and sister, stealing from criminals to protect Gotham City. Nighthawk and Catwoman could be an impressive team.” Selina says.
Steven shifts uncomfortably again, “I don’t know…”
“Then how about you come with with all of us? With Huntress storming out I’m sure we could use a replacement. Plus we’ve made an offer to another man so the ‘Women Only’ policy’s been lifted.”
“Join Oracle Security?”, Steven asks.
“Yeah. Why not? You’ll have better access to all sorts of stuff. Plus we can work together. Get to know each other better. Maybe feel more like family.”, Selina says.
The next scene fades in on Dominique Dane practicing her routine in the big top of the Gotham Circus. The empty tent echos faintly with each landing and she’s totally focused on her set. The flaps of the tent rustle as she lands and turns to face the guest. Roman Vinchinzi smiles at her and says she has a visitor waiting in his office. Dominique cleans up and heads to Roman’s little trailer. Inside a well dressed man, more of a boy really, stands up as she enters the room. He smiles politely and Dominique moves to sit in Roman’s chair.
“Ms. Dane, my name is Timothy Drake and I’ve come to discuss your future in Gotham City.” he begins.
“Is that a threat?”, Dominique asks.
“Oh, no. Not at all Ms. Dane. I’ve come to offer a unique opportunity for you.”
“What are you talking about?”
From the shadows another man steps out, Dominique immediately recognizes him as Nightwing, protector of Bludhaven. He stands behind Drake.
“Calliope, what I’m about to tell you can never leave this room.” Nightwing says.
Calliope nods, “Batman isn’t dead. Bane only crippled him. The man who was once Batman is very much alive. He sees that Gotham City still has a desperate need for the symbol. I know this, because I was once Robin. The tabloids were right, I struck out on my own and Batman replaced me. We’ve stayed in touch over the years and we all agree that Gotham City needs him back.”
“Why are you telling me all of this?” Dominique asks.
“Because he wants you to become Gotham’s new Dark Knight.”