Campaign of the Month: March 2014
The show opens on a chain-link fence with a notice sign tied to it. The sign reads: “Gotham City Limits: No Trespassing”. A quick cut shows a street sign that reads “You are now leaving the United States” followed by another which reads “By Federal Authority this area has been declared Off Limits”. Finally, the show cuts to the old Welcome to Gotham City sign. A crude Hell has been painted over the W-E-L and a spray-paint S added to the end of welcome makes the sign read “Hell Comes to Gotham City”.
A few shots of the ruined city followed by a running shot along a massive concrete wall topped with razor wire. On the opposite side from Gotham a handful of soldiers stand around chatting idly.
“What do you really figure the government’s got in mind with this?”
“Shut the place down for a few years, bulldoze it, turn it into… I dunno, a parking lot.”
“I figure they got no plan. It was the cheapest solution. Shut it down, cut it off. No federal aid, no state aid, no disaster relief. Saves tax dollars.”
“Tax dollars. Hell. It was all a plot by the big insurance companies not to have to pay any claims after the quake.”
The camera pans up from the talking soldiers and looks over Gotham City again. Then the screen fades to black.
Then the title card for this episode comes up, a broken, rusted, and bloody Batarang with the words Gotham Nights in the lower right corner. The opening montage features scenes of Bane cracking Batman across his knee. The Singularity being slammed through a building by Lobo. Man-O-War’s terrified look as he’s boom-tubed away with Bane. The Specter laying in a hospital bed coughing up blood. The Merlin crashing into Gotham Harbor after being blasted out of the sky by Black Adam. Nighthawk being stabbed through the heart by Deathstroke. Calliope fighting Wayne Securities as they force her onto a boat. The screen fades to black and blood begins to drip down. The episode title fades in over the bright red blood, “No Law and a New Order”.
The show cuts to an exterior shot of the United States Capitol building. In the lower right corner the words “Washington D.C.” fade in and linger for a few seconds. The camera then cuts to the interior where Bruce Wayne sits before congress. He’s giving a speech about the current state of Gotham and how badly they need federal aid. He has slides showing the hungry and homeless in Gotham City but the camera starts to pan through the hall. Eventually it finds Alfred Pennyworth and Dominique Dane sitting in the back of the chamber. Alfred is quietly working on a crossword puzzle while Dominique has fallen asleep in her chair. The camera fades out.
The camera fades back in on the Merlin standing on the edge of a roof, looking out at the destroyed Gotham expectantly. From off camera a voice calls out, “Tom. Raven sends her apologies. She couldn’t make it.” The camera pans around to show Deadman standing on the rooftop near Merlin.
“Like I told Stranger, I don’t have time for the Sentinels.”, Merlin says.
“Nope. Not what this is about. We’re bringing you information this time.”, Deadman says.
“Will it help Gotham?”
“No. But if you don’t take care of it, Gotham won’t matter.”
Merlin looks confused and Deadman sighs, “Nicholas Scratch is in Gotham.”
Merlin’s face goes hard, “He’s the bastard responsible for this.” he says as he gestures to Gotham.
“Yeah, he’s the guy who won convinced the US Government to abandon Gotham. He now plans on using it as his home base to recruit and conquer the world.”
“You don’t have to say anything else. I’ll hunt him down. He’ll pay for what he did to my city.”
Deadman nods, “I’ll let you know if we find anything but Raven wanted to make sure you got the heads up.”
Merlin thanks Deadman and the two shake hands as the camera fades out.
The show transitions to a scene of The Specter crouching on top of a building along with Red X. In the streets below a grisly tableau plays out as the Spooks fight with, the LoBoyz, a gang made up of former Blue Boys trying to push into the Narrows. The fight is going poorly for the Spooks as the LoBoyz’s training is simply better than the Spooky rag-tag ranks. Specter looks to Red X.
“I’ve never seen our boys take such a beating.”
Red X nods.
“Any words of wisdom? You used to run with Batman, right? What would he do?”, Specter asks.
“Batman wouldn’t have men fighting for him. As for advice… This is the first real organized gang you’ve had to go up against. These aren’t the shitty little unorganized peons you beat to take control of the Narrows.” Red X says.
“I’d hardly call the Jackals unorganized.”, Specter says.
“Compared to what we’re seeing now? They really were.”, Red X says.
“What the hell do we do. If we pull out, the LoBoyz will take this block. Then the next and the next. We’ll lose the Narrows.”, Specter says.
“It might be time to motivate. You’re in charge here. You’ll need to rally the troops. Get down there and start calling the shots.”, Red X says.
“I was really hoping I’d be able to start reconing Gotham…”, Specter says.
“I don’t see that happening any time soon, Boss. I know you want to take the whole city but you’ve got to hold your ground. This whole place would fall apart without your hand on the wheel.”, Red X says.
Specter nods reluctantly, “Go fetch Huntress. When you get back, I’ll have a plan.”
Red X doesn’t say another word. He doesn’t even nod. He just flips down the half-broken fire escape and into the building below them. Specter sighs and starts trying to figure out how to take the LoBoyz down.
After a commercial break the show comes back on a shot of a dirty backroom. The walls are covered with spraypaint and decay. In the lower right corner the words “Gotham City – A.I. Territory” fade in and linger for a few seconds. There is a folding table setup in the center of the room and a handful of men sit on miss-matched folding chairs around it. At one end of the table sits Arsenal, and next to him sits Dark Guardian. At the far end sits Amanda Waller, with Rick Flag sitting next to her. Waller slides a folder across the table to Arsenal.
“You’ll find our terms are more than reasonable. You track down and return our rogue agents to us and we supply weapons and, more importantly, ammunition for your new business. We’ve also included a list of potential recruits and you’ll get half-standard payment for them.”
Arsenal opens the folder and scans the contract briefly before he turns and nods to Dark Guardian. Guardian stands up and walks out of the room. Arsenal looks back at Waller. “I hope you brought some guns for us today.”, Arsenal says.
“We have a small assortment of sidearms and ammunition with us.”
“I’m going to need more than that. Full-autos. Snipers. Shotguns. Ammo too. Lots of it.”
“That’s a big order. Who are you planning on bringing us?”
Just then the door opens and Deathstroke walks into the room with Dark Guardian. When he sees Waller sitting at the table he goes for his sword but Guardian grabs the sword before he can reach it. Arsenal pulls a sawed-off shotgun out and blasts Deathstroke in his right knee. Guardian slides the sword against Deathstroke’s neck and Deathstroke slumps down in defeat. Waller signals for Flag to collar Deathstroke and smiles at Arsenal.
“You’ll get your first shipment within the week. We have a large selection of Armalite firearms. AR-18s, 24s, 17s.”
Arsenal nods and opens the folder again. The camera pulls in and we see him draw a line through the name Slade Wilson. Before the camera fades out the pen moves down and taps the next name on the list, Steven Kyle.
After that the show cuts to an exterior shot of a partially collapsed apartment building. On what is now considered the building’s rooftop a couple are sitting across a bonfire from each other. The man stands up and lights a cigarette on the fire.
“You know what I think? I think he’s gone. I think we’re cowering in fear of a bogeyman who isn’t there. There’s gotta be food in those stores across the street. Maybe some booze too.”, the man says.
“Benny, we can’t be sure he’s gone…”, the woman says.
“YOU can’t be sure. Me. I’m damn sure. You wanna say here? Fine. Better than fine cause I’m sick of your whining.”, Benny yells at the woman.
“Benny… Don’t…”, she says.
“The dumbest thing I’ve ever did was get hooked up with a loser like you.”, Benny says as he throws a rope ladder down into the crumbling building.
“When you come back I’ll lower the ladder.”, The woman says.
“Come back? To you? You’re so dumb you probably think I will.” Benny laughs.
“Hello, Benny. Join me for dinner?” a voice from the shadows says.
Benny gulps, “Hey. You don’t want me. You want the chick. I can get her for you too. No problem…”
“Oh. Her turn will come. But yours comes first.”, A large man holding a large knife says as he steps in front of Benny.
The man plunges the knife into Benny’s chest and the camera cuts back to the outside of the building. The Merlin is making his way down the street when Benny’s scream rips through the night air. Merlin vanishes from the streets only to appear behind the giant man standing over Benny’s corpse.
“Calibax. I’ve finally found you. Tell me where Scratch is and I won’t break every bone in your body.” Merlin says.
Calibax laughs and lunges at Merlin with his knife.
The show then cuts to a bridge, one of the few still standing in Gotham City. Men with rifles and patchwork blue uniforms patrol along the sides of the bridge. On the far side of the bridge sits Arkham Asylum and as the camera begins to zoom towards it a massive explosion erupts on one side of the island. The camera freezes and as the dust settles a thick green-brown fog starts to billow into the sky from the explosion site. Screams of terror cut through the night air and the guards on the bridge turn to start running back to the Asylum. Then from off camera comes a massive roar and the guards stop and look back down the bridge. The camera swings around and three men are seen walking onto the bridge. Between Scarecrow and Zsasz is a shackled and chained Killer Croc, who roars again as the duo lets him off his leash. Croc runs forwards and the guards drop their guns and run back towards the Asylum. Scarecrow begins laughing manically as Zsasz pulls out his knives. The two start walking towards the Asylum as Croc grabs his first guard. The camera fades out.
The show comes back from commercial with Catwoman’s voice, “to wonder what exactly we’re doing here…”
The camera shows Nighthawk crouched in a broken window across from a small office building. Behind him stands Selina Kyle and while Steven looks down at the office he’s clearly talking to his sister, “I told you Selina, we’re saving Gotham.”
“Look around you little brother, Gotham is dead. This is No Man’s Land.”, Selina replies.
“Then we are rebuilding Gotham.”
“I know… It’s just getting harder every day.”
“I won’t abandon my city. Not like Batman.”
Just then two men walk out of the office building and Nighhawk stands up. “That should be the last of them.”, Steven says and starts to double check his gear.
“Be careful. I’ll keep an eye out to make sure they don’t come back.”, Catwoman says.
Nighthawk smiles and hugs his sister, “I hate No Man’s Land as much as you do but I can’t give up on Gotham.”
With that Nighthawk dives out the window and catches himself on the building’s broken fire escape. A jump, hop and flip later and he’s at the door into the office building. Wrapping the shadows around himself he slips into the building and begins checking rooms. It doesn’t take long for Steven to track down Marvin, one of his information brokers, tied to a support beam in a back office. Steven cuts the ropes and begins to carry the unconscious Marvin out of the building.
Then he hears the front door burst open and Selina’s voice cry out, “The fucking LoBoyz just ran in shooting! Two Demonz caught bullets and a god damn gang war just erupted on the streets!”
Steven glances at the shadows longingly and silently curses Marvin for getting caught. Steven closes his eyes for a second and says, “Ok. Here’s what we’re going to do…”
The show cuts to the United States Capitol building and in the lower right corner the words “Washington D.C.” fade in and linger for a few seconds. Alfred is seen shaking the slumbering Dominique Dane awake as Bruce Wayne rolls towards them. He looks very annoyed as he rolls up.
“Idiots. Savages. Condemning Gotham City to death. I can’t believe it.”, he says.
“Just like us.” Dominique says under her breath.
“Don’t start.”, Bruce replies.
Dominique looks at him for a second before a determined look comes across her face. “No, Bruce. This is stupid. We’re the idiots. We abandoned our home. We should be there, doing whatever we can!”
“What the hell would we do? An old man, a cripple, and a child? How can we possibly hope to save Gotham alone?”
“We can try!”, Dominique yells back.
“And die. Or, we can work to get the quarantine lifted. Convince the government to bring in supplies and food. We can get our home back.”
Dominique glares at Bruce for a moment before turning away and storming off.
“I can’t believe…”, Bruce begins to say.
“That she is so much like you, sir?”, Alfred responds before he can finish.
Bruce looks sternly at Alfred and the scene fades out.