Campaign of the Month: March 2014

Gotham Reborn

Vagabond's Journal - Episode 7: Spirit of the Bat
Clarity of Purpose

So many important things that can’t be recorded. so many little things that are finally clear. Where do I start?

Orchids. I will never think of Orchids ever again without seeing my own death. But that was before a long time before. Recently though, I was saved from another death, a death at the hands of Croc. I would have never pegged Ivo as a man who would help me out of simple kindness, but then again I suppose he probably wasn’t expecting kindness out of me.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that Kate Spencer had taken up up my cases. But I’m getting ahead of myself again. I returned from the brink of death to discover that James Gordon wanted to see me at Wayne Manor of all places. It became very clear why almost as soon as I had arrived. “Oracle” was finally showing his hand, though I suspect that Nightwing and the real Oracle may have had more do with it than him. Their offer was simple, join their new “Just League Gotham” unmask and play on the home team. If I was the man they think I am, I would have thought about it longer. But even if this alliance is only temporary, it is the best answer that Gotham has for now, and it will give me access to far more resources than I currently have.

Now there is a sticking point. I trusted Steven to secure my funds. He did no such thing. He gave me a non-answer and let me go on thinking things were fine. I would be mad at him, but it is exactly what I would have done. Well played Steven. I trusted Mario Falcone to be good to his word. He was. He has no holding in Gotham. Never again will I trust a Falcone, even the black sheep of the family. And all my money spent buying up Wayne-Powers. Thomas Wayne Jr. in a clever move devalued all the stock by issuing more. All that money spent and I have no more say than any other share holder. A curse on all Waynes.

But I had much important things to worry about. The escapes of Arkham. Hatter proved more resilient than I had thought. It took myself and a severely battered Jape to put him to put him on ice. I had hoped to reverse the effects of his mind control patches to march Scarecrows little army back into their pens. That proved to be a fools hope. Hatter’s little devices appear to have been likely little more than amplifiers for Scarecrow’s control. Still, I think I find use for these in the coming shadow war.

It is amazing how popular I became as soon as they saw the mask I wear every day. Joshua, who had never once paid me any mind suddenly needs to speak with me. Nate had suspicion confirmed. I wonder he sees me now know that I didn’t just send my help to save the Denny girl, I did it myself. Other’s are also seeking me out. Tsunami, the young man who sought me out for information of Killer Croc and who walked away from the new Justice League, sought me out to prove he was team player. If only he knew how easy that make him to command. I gave him a test. I let him lead me to Blockbuster. I played bait for the brute. He knows how to fight, and his heart is pure. It will be shame to see him fall, but Gotham never lets such optimism last for long.

I encountered him later as I recruited Jape to help me explore Grant Park for the Batcave entrance. I gave Tsunami the proper recommendations. I think we all may have made it to the Batcave with nothing more than Jape’s prattle were it not for the fact that the Postman was waiting on us. I took a call and let the man do his work. I value Jape more than I do him, but I am not going to cross a useful resource while I can help it. Jape can take care of himself, and whatever the Postman wanted with him I suspected it to be relatively benign. Once they had left I suggested that Tsunami avoid the man. I don’t know enough about Tsunami to know who or what he really wants, but if he wants to keep it secret, then the Postman is the last person he should be talking to.

When Steven refused to open up the Batcave with Tsunami there I sent the boy along after Amygdala and promised him a car in return. The one chose I was little sad to see go, but a deal is a deal. About a year ago a young punk stole it from me and wrapped it around a tree. I had it lovingly restored put with the others out of sentimentality. I had almost forgotten about it. Perhaps he will find a better use for it than I have.

Jape's Journal - Episode 7: Spirit of the Bat
Ow. Owwww. Ow.

That was a grade A mess. A+.

I’m a mess. I’ll need a new costume, and medical attention.

Riddler is putting me up in a nice hotel, which is fine, and it’s interesting that he seems flexible enough to work with me despite the fact that I was pretty honest about our potential differences.

Oracle and, honestly unexpected, allies are starting a Justice League of all the damned things. How do you pass that up? Batman would maybe pass it up, maybe the people who see themselves as ultimate loners, but I’m dreaming big these days and can’t afford to pass up stepping stones or new allies.

Of course a part of me thinks that even if my reasons are actually good it’s all because I’m so lonely for non-crazy people to associate with. “Jackson,” it says, “You have been spending most of your time with the copy of a criminal’s brain and a literal mad doctor, after over a year of physical and social trauma. You’re like a kicked stray puppy being invited into a warm house. Do the reasons really matter, or is it the hope of table scraps?”

I tell that part of me to fuck off.

So, Renee was there. She’s done well for herself. Maybe I’m not the stray that part of me thinks I am, because I wasn’t as obsessed with the acceptance of someone I used to know as I’d have thought.

Anyway, Firebug got me. Of all the people, I engaged a bomber in a parking garage, and if I hadn’t thrown that explosive under that car then I’d probably be in even worse shape. Later Vagabond and I managed to grab the Hatter, letting me drag him off to the Cryoprison. That last part still feels like something important, something good I am doing long-term, but I still feel like an idiot, so I’m doing something about it.

Riddler and I are working on some signs, digital billboards that will cycle in to the normal rotation throughout the city. They’ll delete them when they find them, but it shouldn’t be hard to keep seeding new ones in every few days.

WELCOME TO GOTHAM” they’ll read, with a classic backdrop. “GOTHAM FACT #:” will show up, with something making fun of a criminal, a legitimately interesting/useful Gotham trivia (I’ve been doing alot of reading), some villain’s weakness, or (and the Riddler will like this) some particularly nasty verifiable dirt on a crook or corrupt official. The seal will be a white silhouette in the style of the Jape with “Remember, The Jape’s Always Watching” under it.

Excuse me, now, it’s time for my painkillers.

Tsunami's Journal - Episode 7: Spirit of the Bat

When visiting hell,
don’t tarry long in one spot.
Much pain and no time.

I received a visit from DuCarte. He told me the master wants to leave Gotham alomne, as was his agreement with the Detective. I am not to do any recruiting for the league, and I was ashamed I had suggested such.

It turned into a busy night. A meeting was called to order by James Gordon. The gathered people were asked if they want to help Gotham, for it was as bad as it has ever been. I was interested until they said that we would have to unmask in front of each other to join. I looked at all these people I did not know. There was a reason to wear a mask, to protect your identity. To throw it away would be foolish. Kurishimi followed me out. It was a difficult choice to make, this network would be a way to have an infrastructure in place to tackle all of these problems. I doubt it was the last such choice…

Left out of the loop, I decided to get off my ass and start doing my own networking. I think Sleeper disapproved of my decision with Gordon, so I started with someone who worked with me in the past, Vagabond. I found him the worse for wear. When I asked if he needed help, he replied he wouldn’t turn it down. Iassisted in helping him take out Blockbuster. Despite the reservation I have with the new ‘Justice League’ I think he is someone I can work with.

There was still plenty of chatter over the oracle earpiece. Criminals were getting taken off the streets. Brimstone approached Vagabond and dropped Victor Zsasz at Vagabond’s feet, “Take his scars,” he said, “They belong to me now.” With a nod to Vagabond I followed Brimstone.

“We got off on the wrong foot. That was mostly my fault. I would like to work with you, to help.” He seemed reluctant to do so, but let me assist in taking out False Face. Seemed fitting that False Face didn’t know anything about the Cavlier’s workings and it was a dead end. “Are we cool?” I asked him, extending my hand. He grimmaced, “We can work together, but I don’t like who you associate with.” Not sure what Kurushimi did to Brimstone, might have to talk with her…

Briefly met Jape and the Postman. Jape seems as unstable as I thought. I do have a more sympathetic view on Jackson Singletary. This Postman was an ominous sort, but he seems like a troubleshooter. Vagabond seemed worried about him, not sure what that means. Jape lead us to the gates of a batcave with Vagabond before he left with Postman. Oracle wouldn’t unlock the gates because I was there. Obnoxious, but within reason. Vagabond made it up to me, I got me a sweet ride. It may not be a batmobile, but it’s the same car I wrapped around a tree to annoy that asshole Mathias Maxwell.

Need to figure out how to get into this league…I see a familiar black with blue highlighted figure swing by. “Time to take this to management,” I say to Kurushimi as we bound off in hot pursuit.

Webisode - Episode 7: Spirit of the Bat

Mutually Assured Destruction

The webisode opens with a man dressed as a dark Ringleader walking into the big top of Haly’s Circus. A group of men and women dressed as playing cards lounge around but climb to their feet when the figure enters. The Ringleader followed by more dark carnival folk, now easily identifiable as the Circus de Gothik. The King of cards stands up, “You’re not welcome here, Max.” The Ringleader nods, “Nor are you, George.” Then the dark strongman clubs out the legs of the Jack card. The Royal Flush gang attacks back and a full brawl rips through the big top. First turn to knives and knives turn to guns. When the dust settles, the Nine card cradles the lifeless body of the smaller Eight card. She looks around, the only survivor of the slaughter.

Taking Back

The show cuts to an exterior shot of the old Major Crimes Unit building. GCPD squad cars are surrounding the building and Bullock is on the bullhorn. Their demands are simple, turn over Marion Grange and come out with their hands up. Failure to do so will result in the SWAT team breaching the building and taking them out. Bullock barely gets through his demands when shots ring out. Prometheus, positioned in a sniper’s nest on the second floor, takes out two of the officers before everyone can scramble for cover. As Bullock orders the SWAT team to advance a man in a thick black duster bursts from the crowd and charges through the doors. One of the rookies asks Bullock who the undead cowboy was.
“Another goddamn mask! Get him out of there, he’s endangering lives!”
But seconds after Brimstone burst into the building, Prometheus is thrown from his perch. His armor takes the brunt of his fall, but Prometheus was unconscious long before he landed. A few seconds more and Brimstone comes back out the front door. Passing by Bullock he comments, “Two-Face wasn’t in there. But the building is yours, Officer.”


Next up we cut to the Gotham Knights Stadium, where Cornelius Stirk is lurking through the darkened corridors. He cackles madly to himself as he moves, muttering about this being a fine lair. A good lair. Yes. From here they will spread the terror.
He steps around a corner and a figure, clad black as night, stands with the floodlights to his back. The silhouette moves gracefully, like water, out towards Stirk, his shadows rushing down the walls towards the madman. Stirk shivers, somewhere between actual fear and ecstasy. Then the figure strikes him. The form comes crashing down and Stirk crumbles into dust. Tsunami leans down, placing a hand on the madman’s shoulder, “You will not have this place.”


We go next to a shot of Dr. Fate making his way through subterranean caves. The cameras follow a second before he rounds a corner and steps into an opening. The ledge he stands on overlooks a vast and beautiful jungle. Bio-Luminescent lights glow across the ceiling, mimicking perfectly the position of the sun. The canopy is a rich green and the trees look untouched by civilization. Dr. Fate stands in awe for a moment before the garden’s owner takes notice of him.
Rising from the jungle below on a life of vines rises Poison Ivy, her naked body covered only be leaves. “You have come to burn my Eden?”
“I’ve come to cast you back into the lands of Nod where you belong.”
“Does a man do this to me, or a Lord?”
Fate responds by striking at Ivy, but she nibly slides away from the blow. She tisks at Fate, “I think you are but a man. Luckily, I have a champion for my cause.”
The ceiling of the cave cracks slightly, tree roots parting the earth. A cage of vines lowers a dazed Son of None down next to Ivy. She leans towards the caves and blows a noxious purple cloud towards Son and his eyes glass over. He steps from the cage and squares off with Dr. Fate, “You are not welcome here, Doctor. Allow me to escort you out.”

The False Messiah

The screen comes back and we see Harley Quinn making her way through the sewers of Gotham City. Her outfit, more militarist styled than normal, is stained with the toil of hours scouring the dirty tunnels. Luckily, she finds her prey as we watch. Pinned to the wall with a half-dozen batarangs is an unconscious Ratcatcher. Clearly the target of Harley’s query. At his feet, a shriving heap of grey and black fabric lay on the ground. Harley walks over and nudges the man and he rolls over, showing a face that’s pale white, think black veins sticking out across his skin.
Harley pulls a walkie-talkie off her belt, “I’ve found your Genowhatevers. It doesn’t look so good.”
A second later, Deadshot’s voice squawks back, “It doesn’t matter how it looks, bring it back in.”
“It got the Ratcatcher. What should I do with him?”
“Bring him too.”

Old Friends

Next we watch as Sleeper trudges his way through Slaughter Swamp. He pushes slowly through the waist high muck and pulls himself up onto a island of dry land. After resting for a moment he stands up and tries to regain his baring. Across the lagoon, on another island, he spies Talia al Ghul watching him. Next to her a large man is slumped down on his knees. When Sleeper sees her, she calls out. “Do you remember him?”, she gestures at the man.
Sleeper shakes his head. Talia nods, then bends down to life the man to his feet. He’s easily seven foot tall and his blond hair hangs limp around his face. Seeing that face, Sleeper recognizes him. Alexander Anderson, a member of his unit that was killed years ago. Talia sees the recognition on Sleepers face and pulls out a dagger.
“Are you ready to watch him die again? I brought him back just for you.”
Sleeper dives into the swamp, pushing his way against the mud towards Talia. She laughs.
“You’ll never reach me in time. Let this be a warning to you, Justin. We can take from you anything. Even things you’ve already lost.”
She pulls the blade towards Anderson’s throat… then a shot rings out. Talia’s shoulder erupts with blood and she stumbles backwards. Sleeper, pistol in hand, keeps his aim level on Talia. “I won’t let you kill.”
Talia smiles, “Even if it means that you will?”

It Must Be Love

The show cuts back to Harley Quinn, making her way through Gotham’s streets towards Wonder Tower. On a makeshift sled behind her, two bodies are stacked on top of each other then covered by a blue tarp. She’s just about to stop and call in for Deadshot to send some men out to help her when the Jape comes bouncing out of an alleyway. He grabs her and continues his hop until their across the street and down another alley. Harley, taken aback by the sudden appearance finally gets a look at Jape.
“You look terrible. What happened?”
“Ohh…Just a little bug. Nothing to worry about.”
Assessing the situation, Harley’s look turns puzzled. “What are you doing here, Japey?”
“Just saving your life, Har.” The Jape turns and gestures back at the street. Right where Harley was standing a few seconds ago are two bullet holes in the pavement.
“How did you…?”, Harley asks but when she turns around Jape is already gone. She considers for a second then nods to herself, “I knew it. He does love me.”


When Son of None wakes up in his bed, he’s more than a little confused. Last he remembers he was out getting pizza… And why does his apartment smell like grass clippings. His confusion is quickly stopped though when he notices the masked man standing in his room.
“You continue to work against us. Yet you still live.”, the man says.
Son of None stares at the man in the Owl mask, hatred burning in his eyes.
“We’ve been preparing the last of your training, but many of us wonder if its in vain. Tell me, Joshua. Do you forsake our gifts?”
“Fuck. You.”
The owl mask nods slightly, “Then you will die lost and alone.”

Two Paths

Back in Slaughter Swamp, Sleeper is making his way back out of the mire with Anderson slumped over his shoulder. When Sleeper spies the black archer he sighs and almost laughs. “Have you come to kill me too?”
“You are not my query.”, The archer replies.
“You’re after Talia then.”
The black hood nods.
“Well. You can’t have her.”
There is a laugh from behind the mask, a single Ha. “You would let her burn Gotham?”
The archer nods again, “Then our paths are aligned. Very well, Sleeper. We give you one week. If Talia al Ghul still torments this city, I will return. If not, we will never speak again.”

Lost Answers

Back in the apartment of Joshua Freeman, a man in an Owl mask stands in his bedroom. From the hallway another figure enters, this one dressed as a Talon, but in front of him he pushes a frail old man. The old man collapses on the ground in front of Joshua and the Owl turns to him.
“You are the Dealer. Yes?”, the Owl asks the old man.
The Dealer nods.
“You run Mirror House. Yes?”
Another nod.
“Do you know about Officer Freeman?”
“Who else in your House knows of his fate?”
The old man’s voice is weak, broken, “No one. Only I saw his demise.”
The man in the Owl mask turns back to Joshua, “We brought you the leader of the Mirror House. The one man who could tell you the truth about your father’s death.”
Joshua stands up, “Tell me.”
The old man opens his mouth, but the Talon moves quicker. The knife tears open his throat, spilling blood onto Joshua’s floor. Joshua screams and the webisode fades to black.

Tsunami's Journal - Episode 6: Die Laughing

Redemption’s first step;
a foreboding dark traverse.
Tread lightly with care.

I have made contact with several of the player’s in Gotham’s grand theatre. I spoke to Sleeper and Son of None, though Son didn’t seem too interested in talking. Sleeper seemed to be gauging my intentions. He is wise to be wary; everyone in this town has an agenda. I like to think that I am an exception to that, but in truth I owe the master much. I’m sure the master has plans on how he wants Gotham to look. Sleeper plays the game well, as I don’t have a good gauge on him either.

Son seems less of an attack dog than I expected after what I found out he did to Honshu. He is very young, maybe Kirushimi’s age. I may have misjudged him, though he didn’t leave a glowing first impression either.

The Oracle of Gotham wants to work with me, but he charges a fare for this alliance that I cannot accept; to strip away the mask and learn my true name. I am unsure of what use being an ex-gang member has in my work right now, but I cannot throw it away. I have a feeling if Gotham needs help, Oracle will not be hung up on semantics. I keep the headset.

The Scarecrow’s army attacked Blackgate. I was able to get to the scene but I was one against a sea of villainy. I tried to play it smart. Attack from the shadows, aim for the smaller fish. Although many escaped that day, I think I did what I could.

The master has made his other benefactors aware to me. DuCarte, Shiva, Merlyn. Some of these names have meaning, and not all have glowing pasts. It seems like we all walk the path to Redemption together. I am glad to have comrades to help steer me back on the path if I am weak, just as I will them in their times of need.

Gotham burns brightly.
No shortage of problems here,
Ripe with damnation.

Vagabond's Journal - Episode 6: Die Laughing
Thoughts from a Puddle of Blood

It is amazing the level of clarity that can be achieved by laying in a puddle of one’s own blood. Mistakes that have been made become clear: I really shouldn’t have choked out my lawyer. Little petty slights seem trivial: Cobblepot really isn’t worth my time. And death is simply a fact: Croc is going to kill me.

With all this running through my mind I find a strange sense of calm. Lately, the last year or so, I have lost much of my way. I lash out without thinking. I’m boxing out of my weight class. I have for some time been letting my anger get the better of me. That is what put me here.

No more rage. Gotham makes monsters and mad men. I know I am mad, only a mad man would believe he could conquer the underworld of the greatest pit of crime and corruption on the planet. I was a monster even before the explosion. Only monsters survive in Gotham. I was a thinking monster before, and I think it is time for a change.

Maxwell has served me well, but I think it may be time to shed this life. Strange how simple the idea is to me. My memories tell me that I have been Maxwell always, but so much of the world around me tells me otherwise. I’ve been avoiding such thoughts for long enough.

There are only two men I know of who could have inflicted the wounds I saw on Bruce’s corpse, Thomas Elliot and myself. Elliot was a friend of mine from medical school, but if that is the case why do I have so few memories of him? Why do I always think Bruce, not Batman? Why does Kyle’s claim that he worked with Batman ring false?

I know I am being played, but by who? It isn’t either of the al Ghuls, they have let me flounder about in my madness. It isn’t any of the obvious players. Someone else is sitting at the table and playing, but who? Worse yet, what if it is I who is playing Maxwell.

The gaps in my memory seem to be filling in piece by piece. Things that I should have known before jump back to me moments or hours after I should have known them. Wheels within wheels. For example: Why didn’t I tell my lawyer that I have quietly been buying up Wayne-Powers stock for over a month? I am the third largest shares holder. Why didn’t I tell him that I have a contract that I signed with Wayne Biotech for use of my protoplasm formula in a government R&D project? It is obvious that this is what my building was being used for. Why didn’t I tell him that I had been hired to do a private autopsy on Bruce? I was. I can by who, but I was.

I feel like I am trapped within my own head, dancing the steps of some grand plan I set in motion before… before the bomb. Or was it someone else?

Why, why if I loved my wife and daughter so dearly can’t I even remember their faces? Why?

I’m obviously getting low on blood. My mind is fracturing. I can feel a scratching in the back of my mind and all I can wonder is, where is Cassius? My luck has run out. The reaper comes to collect his toll, and Cassius will be coming to collect his pound of flesh. I can feel it.

Sleeper's Journal - Episode 6: Die Laughing

Tuesday, 10/15

Flag sent me to meet with Waller in Wonder City. Showed me something called a Lazarus Pit that apparently can return the dead to life. Currently nonfunctional. Need to make a call – Morrow can either continue to work on his device, or get the Lazarus Pit up and running. Waller has given me complete authority over this. She also stated, point blank, that she didn’t want TFX to know about the Pit’s existence. Interesting. Internal strife? Maybe Waller doesn’t have as much control over her division as everyone thinks.

Got a call from Oracle asking if I wanted “a Robin.” Turned out to be Son of None, agreed to help him if no other options turned up.

Met Tsunami, either Japanese or a serious Japanophile. Thinks he’s a ninja or some shit. Knew a lot about me, at least by reputation. Looking for occassional backup. Says he wants to help Gotham, and claims to be a Gothamite, but I’m not convinced. Will work with him until I can learn more. Keep at arm’s length.

Wednesday, 10/16

Went to see Josh today. He’s been sharing his apartment with Nate Adams. Not sure I like it, but young people usually don’t respond well to disapproval. Better idea to try to motivate Nate to become a better person than to tell Josh to stay away from him.

Took them to the cemetary. Talked to Josh about his mom. Hope he follows through and goes to see her. I know it’s hard for him, but it’s even harder for her. She is almost never lucid, but when she is she doesn’t know where she is or why, and she just wants a familiar face. She cried in relief when she saw me. Seeing Josh might make her jump up and start dancing.

Asked Nate about his family. He was vague. Told him that he should stay in touch with them. Family is important. Josh isn’t my son, probably closer to a nephew or little brother, but still matters. I promised his dad. I keep my promises.

Word came down from Oracle. Scarecrow’s mob assaulting Blackgate. Went to intercept, but ran into Talia. Tried to convince me to back off and stop interfering. Not gonna happen.

Son of None showed up, she ran. Had to let her go to try to make it to Blackgate, but made it there too late. Managed to contain the chaos at least a little, but lots of big names got out. The list just got longer.

Thursday, 10/17

Someone wants Derek Powers dead. Managed to stop them for now, but don’t think they are just going to give up.

Powers says he is working on a virus in order to contain it. Never trusted billionaires at their word — primary motivation is almost always to make more money, but that doesn’t mean he’s lying. Lots of money in treatment of a virus, but less in a cure. Big BIG bucks in vaccine, but if Powers makes a buck to keep people from dying I’m okay with that.

Recovered a knife from the assassin. Engraved with what looks like an owl. Son of None’s phantom organization, probably. Someone is co-opting the Court’s name, reputation, and iconography for their own ends. First instinct was Society, but no. Son of None says he was sent to save a Society target, so doesn’t track. Need to meet with Son of None and compare notes, need more information. Can also get knife to Oracle for analysis.

Under the same date, but in sloppier handwriting
Talia blew up the lighthouse. Barely escaped, would have died if she hadn’t tipped me off. Says she thinks I can be “saved” but pretty sure what she means is “converted.” Not interested. She’ll regret not letting me burn.

Lost almost all gear and weapons. Managed to save one knife (owl engraved), collapsible staff, a silenced pistol, one clip of sleep darts, my phone, my helmet, and the key to my safety deposit. Have to move everything now to somewhere more secure. Relocating to Wonder City. Was going to use it as auxilliary base, but suddenly finding myself homeless means plans change.

Need to call Flag. Need to get more Checkmate assets in play against the Society. It’s time to stop reacting. I’m done trying to convince them that it’ll be too pricey to assault Gotham. It’s time to start making them pay the price.

I am going on the hunt.

Jape's Journal - Episode 6: Die Laughing
All That's Missing

I’m different now. Something has changed in me these last few weeks, and I didn’t even see it until I met the Riddler.

It’d be stupid to say that it was being exposed, having myself paraded around as a crazy person again, the threat of Arkham hanging over my head. And why? Because of what the Joker did to me. Not what I’ve done with myself since then; the Jape is dangerous, but he wouldn’t be thought of as crazy if not for the fact that when I was wearing the mask I didn’t have to hold everything so tight.

The smile is bad enough for me on a good day, mocking my real happiness and making any pain look ridiculous. Turning it into a disfigurement for other people, though, grinding my teeth so they’d know that I knew that it looked nuts and to assure them I took no pleasure in my own God damned face? That’s where the bitterness came from. That, and the fact that for some people even that wasn’t enough.

After the Batman died things were crazy all over Gotham, and Grant was no exception even if it wasn’t hit as hard, but I kept my head down. I hardly ever went out. I was tolerated by my neighbors so I tolerated them back.

Then some of Falcone’s men moved in on Mr. Taggert’s business, showed up banging on his door at 1am, scared his wife, flashed a piece. Just seeing my face was enough to spook them, at least enough that me refusing to go back inside my apartment, and that was when the change started.

Because at the exact same instant I saw the flash of temporary fear in their eyes, I saw a hint of relief on Mr. Taggert’s face. I followed those men that night, back to their homes.

Being the Jape has saved me, and even though I thought I was angry at the world it turns out I just needed to be something new. I was bitter, for good reason, but these last few weeks have washed some of that away. I am angry, but now that anger means something.

Like a riddle, or a pencil, it has a point.

Webisode - Episode 6: Die Laughing

Who’s your Mayor?

The webisode opens on Mayor Hamilton Hill’s office as he sits at his computer. He talks to himself as he works. “Just a little more and the bill will be ready. Then that freak Jackson Singletary will finally be off our streets.” From across the room, Jape’s voice rings out. “That’s not very nice.” Hamilton jumps to his feet. Then when the Jape steps out of the shadows he stumbles backwards and falls right back into his chair. “Mayor Hill. You’re not going to pass that bill.” Hamilton’s face goes hard for a second, “Why wouldn’t I!?” Jape giggles slightly and slides a disk onto the table. “That’s footage of you with no less then THREE different prostitutes. And if footage of you paying for sex isn’t enough you do more drugs than I even knew existed.” Hill pushes the disk into his machine and we see grainy black and white footage of a man doing what Jape described. Mayor Hill balks, “Well, that could be ANYONE.” Jape holds up a finger to Hill’s lips, “Shhhhhh. This is the best part.”
From the computer we hear Hamilton Hill’s voice, “Who’s your mayor, bitch!”
Then a woman’s, “You are, Mr. Hill!”
“Say my name, whore!”
The sound of a hand smacking into a face, then Hamilton’s voice again, “My full name. Say my goddamn name! And use the title too.”
The woman’s voice is a little weaker, “Mayor Hamilton Hill. You’re Mayor Hamilton Hill.”
The sound of Hill grunting, “Now tell me what I’m doing to you. And be graphic.”
Jape reaches over and shuts off the video. “That next part creeps even me out.”

The War for the Watchtower

The show cuts to the Batcave where we see Steven Kyle working at the computer. On the screen the words, “Watchtower Access Denied” flashes in bright red. Steven sighs in disgust and keeps working. After a few seconds the screen turns green and a large “Access Granted” screen lights the cave. Steven smiles to himself but then everything goes red again. Access Denied fills the room. Steven slams his fist down on the terminal and the scene cuts. We see Delta sitting at his computer, Oracle’s screen pulled up on his own. On a second monitor Delta works at a terminal overriding Oracle’s access.


We see the old Ace Chemicals plant next and then cut inside to see Dr. Freeze standing over a cyrotube holding Bane. Inside the tube we see Bane’s venom lines pulsing with blue fluid. After a few seconds, Freeze presses a button on the unit and Bane starts to defrost. A minute later and Bane’s eyes blink open. Victor leans over, showing his face to the man inside the tube.
“Mr. Bane. How do you feel?”
“What is happening?”
“Please, Mr. Bane. Are you angry?”
“No… I’m… Cold.”
“Yes, you would be. I need to know if the treatment worked. Would you like some Venom?”
Bane looks at him for a long moment before he responds, “No… No, I wouldn’t.”

Old Plans

We see Jackson returning home, humming and proud of himself until he rounds the corner and sees his landlord pinning a note on his door. “What… What’s going on, Jack?”
The overweight balding man turns and shurgs, “Sorry Jack, but your last three checks bounced.”
Jackson pulls his phone from his pocket, “Give me five minutes and I’ll wire you my rent, Jack. There has been some kind of…” His voice trails off and the camera pulls in on his phone. His bank accounts have all been frozen. “I don’t understand…” Jackson says.
“Look, Jack. You know I like you. But business, ya know?”
Jackson looks up from his phone and nods, “I know, Jack. No hard feelings.” Then turns and walks back down the stairs. As he reaches the front door his phone rings and he picks it up. The digitized voice of the Riddler; “I’ve been monitoring your accounts and I see your funds have been frozen.”
“Yeah… Must be something from the trial.”
“I’m sorry, Jape. But… It’s my fault.”
“I will fix this. It was put into motion before I could trust you.”
“I’ll set you up at the Orchard Hotel until I can get this sorted out. I’ll have a man bring you a card attached to one of my accounts too. Please don’t be angry with me Jape. I never thought you’d hear me out.”

Saving Powers

Next we see Sleeper attached to a ceiling corner in a large dark laboratory. Inside the lab we watch Derek Powers barking orders at some scientists. One of Power’s employees pulls a large glass cylinder out from a cabinet and hand it to Powers. Almost too late, Sleeper sees the the throwing knife come whistling out of the darkness and catch in Power’s shoulder. Without thinking, Sleeper lunges forward catching the cylinder. The scientists are already half-way out of the door when Sleeper scans the room. Powers laughs slightly, “You just saved my life, Vigilante. You’re holding a genetic virus in your hands.” Sleeper looks down at Powers, “What are you doing with it?” Powers replies, “Keeping it from destroying the world.” But something else has caught Sleeper’s attention, the dagger sticking out of Derek Power’s shoulder has an Owl engraved on the hilt.

The Cathedral Burns

We see an exterior shot of the Gotham Cathedral as a half-dozen black SUVs pull up outside. Black Mask climbs out of the first one and dozens of his men follow from the other vehicles. The men produce firearms and gas cans as Mask starts shouting orders. Within seconds the church is on fire. Then a man wearing a dirty duster steps out from the burning doorway. His duster catches on fire but he hardly notices as he charges Black Mask. The goons open fire but the bullets hardly seem to register on the corpse-like face. Mask scrambles back into his care but Brimstone slams into the door, leaving a giant dent and rocking the vehicle onto two wheels. Masks’ car speeds off and Brimstone turns his attention back to the Cathedral. The congregation is already in action, throwing water on the fires, and Stonehill is making his way towards Brimstone. Thomas stops a few feet from him, “We’ve got this under control now.” he says, then gestures towards Brimstone’s shoulder, “You’ve been shot…”

Project Nightfall

We come back on a shot of a man we haven’t seen before. His name tag reads: “Dr. Thomas Thompkins, CADMUS Director” He’s walking through a hallway and steps through a door. Against the far wall is a vat with a sleeping man floating in liquid. Dr. Tompkins makes is way to a terminal at the base of the vat and begins to speak. “Computer. Activate Project Nightfall.” A wirring noise fills the room and the tube begin to drain of fluid. Tompkins watches at the man inside begins to wake up. The tube rises and he steps dreamily from the platforms. Tompkins opens a compartments at the base of the platform while speaking.
“You are a genomorph. A genetically engineered clones created for one reasons; The protection of Gotham City. Please, remove your uniform from the cabinet and follow me to your first briefing.”
The man, completely naked, steps forward and pulls a dark grey uniform from the cabinet. He lifts it to his chest, the black bat symbol emblazoned across it and looks to Tompkins. “Who… am… I.” Tompkins smiles, “You are the Batman.”

I’m your…

The webisode cuts to Dr. Leslie Tompkins working late at Gotham City General Hospital. He’s filling out paperwork at her desk when a shadow falls over the room. She looks up and a man wearing a scorched dirty duster stumbles in the room. He falls to a knee and we see Nate Adam’s dirty, burnt, and bloody face. Leslie smiles, “Oh my. Hold still. I’ll take care of you.”
“I’m your…”, Nate says but his words catch in his throat.
Leslie stands up and steps around her desk towards Nate. She’s about to touch his shoulder when the door comes crashing open and a knife-wielding madman bursts into the room. He laughs madly and lunges at the two of them. Nate’s eyes go wide and he throws himself at the blond man. The two go crashing down to the ground and Nate can feel the knife slide smoothly into his side. Nate rolls onto his back and Victor Zsasz emerges from under him. The madman climbs to his feet and runs out the door as we watch Leslie go to work on the stab wound.

The First Target

The show cuts back to Sleeper sitting at his lighthouse base, looking over the dagger he pulled from Derek Power’s shoulder. Then a voice calls out from behind him. “Mr. Monroe.” Sleeper turns around to see Talia al Ghul standing behind him. He grabs one of his knives and jumps to his feet but Talia simply stands there looking at him. “I’m not here to hurt you, Justin. If I was, you’d already be dead.” Sleeper scowls, “Then why are you here?”
“To save your life.”
“Bullshit. You were ready to kill me last time we met.”
“I still think you can be saved, Justin. But I can’t let you to continue trying to stop me. I suggest you reach the door before I do.”
Then Talia takes off. Unsure of what’s happening, but not willing to let Talia escape, Sleeper lunges after her. She jumps out the front door only steps ahead of him and Sleeper’s fingers are inches from her foot when the explosions go off. Talia his the grass and rolls but Sleeper is knocked to the ground by the fireball erupting behind him. He rolls onto his back as jets of super-heated fire blast out of the windows. From behind him Talia calls out, “I do not want to kill you, Justin. Lay down your arms or this Lighthouse will only be the first thing we take from you.”


Finally, we cut back to Gotham City General Hospital where Nate Adams is being rushed through the halls. The doctors, including Leslie Tompkins, are calling out injuries. A knife wound, multiple bullet wounds; one through and through, two grazes, and one that’s a problem, First, second, and third degree burns, old untreated concussions, bruised ribs, hairline fractures… One doctor comments that this man shouldn’t have been standing BEFORE he was stabbed.

As they arrive in the operating theater Nate reaches up and pulls the breathing mask away from his face and turns to Leslie. “Dr. Tompkins” he wheezes. Leslie moves to his side and urges him to not talk but Nate shakes his head slightly. “I’m your son.” He says. Leslie’s eyes go wide as another doctor steps up, “Excuse me, but we need to sedate him for surgery.” Leslie nods but grabs Nate’s hand, “I’m so sorry I gave you up. I love you.” She turns to the other doctor and nods, “He’s my son. Please save him, Dr. A’Daire”

Whisper A’Daire steps forward and hooks a syringe into Nate’s IV line. As she presses the plunger down she leans in and whispers in Nate’s ear. “The Society of Assassins has sentences you to die.” Nate’s eyes go hard for a second before he starts to fade. The scene fades to black as Nate’s eyes close. The sounds of medical staff rushing around grow louder and words like cardiac arrest are thrown around. Then the sound of a flatline that drowns out all other noise.

Jape's Journal - Episode 5: Dark Dance
Ha Ha Funny

They think I’m crazy, but not that kind of crazy. What’s the surprise, there? I didn’t have any of my new medications, so they saw my face and their guts yelled, “He’s nuts! He’s dangerous!”

They hear the laugh, his laugh, come out of my lips and they make the same mistake Harley does.

I might be crazy, to do what I do, but I am not the Joker. He talks a big game, but when he did this to me he pushed me through the same looking glass that made him who he is today. I’ve seen what it’s like on the other side.

And it’s not that different than being any other sort of disfigured or twisted by accidents of life, except with me they see him instead of the scars. Here’s the secret I’m learning; a clever but cowardly killer went into that vat, and a clever killer who thought his accident had taught him some deep truth about the universe came out.

His ego was so big that when the world reached out and maimed him, reality no longer made sense. Suddenly the story he told himself, the one where he was the protagonist, was invalidated and that meant that everything everyone else knew was wrong.

So now he could kill, steal, and disfigure others as part of a “joke” or in service to “chaos” or because he was the only sane man in a world full of deluded fools. Funny how that allows him to be the main character of the story again. His obsession with Batman just reinforced it all, because if Batman was important and Batman was his opposite and Batman thought he was important that must mean it’s all true!

…man, looks like I went off there. The conflicts with the police combined with meeting Harley has me thinking over things, I guess.

I’m free now, though, with new contacts in the Oracle, and I hear there’s trouble in the Narrows. My network indicates someone is trying to raise the bridges, and trap everyone there with the Arkham inmates. I’ll take care of that, and see what’s going on first-hand.


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