Campaign of the Month: March 2014
This week’s episode fades in on an old-fashioned radio. A voice is heard roughly through the broadcast static.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you know how much I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I have to tell you that two weeks ago our very own Gotham City Police Department were screwed. First the city council gives Commissioner Akins the nigh impossible task of clearing out Amusement Mile and then they stack the deck by hiring vigilantes to work against him. Instead of sweeping in to clear out the scum that have been eating away at our coast line his men were left chasing after a vigilantes. Vigilantes that could have only been hired by the corporate interests that are looking to buy out our police protection! But its too late now. While the verdict has yet to come in I’m here to tell you that Gotham City Police WILL be leaving governmental jurisdiction! If you think this privatization is good news for Gotham… YOU. ARE. WRONG!”
An old wrinkled hand reaches over and turns the dial silencing Jack Ryder’s voice. The camera pulls back into a large dark room with a solitary figure sitting by a large window. From off screen we hear a soft British voice, “There is much to do today. I suggest you get moving, Master Bruce.”
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, “Contagion: Origins”.
The words “May 2nd” appears on the screen before the camera than fades in on a private jet as it sets down in Gotham City. Baggage throwers move quickly to start unloading the plane as the camera cuts to the interior. The interior is soft leathers and comfort, a blond man sits with his back to the camera sipping wine and looking out the window. Another man is sitting across from him, a serious looking fellow wearing a Union flag t-shirt and British accent.
“We have time for a quick status update before we disembark. We’ve secured Blackgate Penitentiary for you. Only problem is that if this new legislation passes Blackgate, Arkham Asylum, and Gotham PD are all effected by the privatization laws.”
“Just tell me what this means, Black.” The blond man says.
“Means you’ll be on the board of directors for Gotham’s police force with majority control of Blackgate, not full control.”
The blond man shifts uncomfortably, clearly unhappy with the news. Then a voice chirps over the intercom, “Phone call for you Mr. Arthur.”
The camera then swings around to show that Adam Arthur as he answers a video call. The screen comes to life and a man wearing a green suit and bowler hat smiles back at him.
“Riddler.” Arther says.
“Mr. Arthur, or am I to call you Man-O-War again?”
“I should have known you would have figured it out by now.”
“Regardless, this isn’t a social call. I have a riddle for you, old friend. What do European rats in in 1348 have in common with your airplane?”
Adam looks confused for a moment before realization crosses his face. His concern deepens as the scene fades out.
The words “May 6th” appears on the screen before the show opens with the Merlin stands in an abandoned amusement park staring at a man who looks exactly like himself. The park around them is eerily quiet. They blink at each other in unison before both asking, “Who are you?”
A curious look exchanges between the two of them and they say, “I’m the real Thomas Stonehill. Who are you?”
The scene then fades out.
The words “May 9th” appears on the screen before the scene fades in on the Monarch Theater. Nighthawk, Calliope, Merlin, Arsenal, and Specter sit around a table listening to Man-O-War. “That was a week ago.” he is head saying.
“Why wait a week before bringing this to us?”, Nighthawk asks incongruously.
“I still had a limited term left on my contract with Task Force X and they hoped to clean up this mess before it escalated. We failed.”
“Let me see if I understand this correctly.” Specter says, “Someone smuggled a fatal disease on your plane, a plane charted by Task Force X, and when called in to clean up the mess Task Force X couldn’t get the job done. And you never thought to question if it was the Suicide Squad that did this?”
“It’s not their agenda.” Man-O-War says frankly.
“What is their agenda?”, Calliope asks.
“TFX is a government controlled agency. If they were the cause the incident they wouldn’t need to ‘pretend’ to clean it up. They would simply not get involved. Either way, the fact is the Clench has reached Gotham City and unless we want the city under martial law we need to stop it from spreading.” The scene fades out after that with the team looking uneasy.
The words “May 13th” appears on the screen before the scene fades in on Gotham City General Hospital. Inside we see a man laying in a bed, curled in the fetal position, and retching violently into a bucket. A doctor and nurse run into the room and ensure the man doesn’t choke. When the fit is over they help move him, still in the fetal position, before leaving the room. They stop in the doorway and the nurse asks, “Why are they all curled up?”
The doctor replies, “Ebola Gulf-A effects the nervous system. Muscles all over the body, including around the spine and fingers, contract and force the patient into that position. That’s why they call it the Clentch.” The two look back at the man in the bed. The camera pulls in on the man and his face comes into view, the face of Darren Spektor.
The words “May 14th” appears on the screen before the scene fades in on Arsenal punching a goon in the face, “Tell me where the cure is.” he growls.
“I… I don’t know!” the goon stammers.
“Not a good answer.” Then Arsenal ends the conversation with a knock out punch. He looks around the warehouse and the camera pulls out to show a dozen men laying strewn about the room. Arsenal is about to leave when his phone goes off. He looks down and sees a message from the Oracle Network on his phone. “Get Man-O-War and head to the Gotham City Army Testing facility ASAP. I have a lead for you.” The scene fades out as Arsenal runs towards the door.
The words “May 14th” appears on the screen before the next scene fades in. Nighthawk and Calliope are shown standing outside of a monolith of a walled community. The sign over the massive gate reads “Babylon Towers” and a smaller plague indicates “Closed Community, No Solicitation, Invite Only.” Calliope says, “Don’t think we have time for an invite. We need to find out if this carrier is really immune.” Nighthawk glances at the wall and shrugs before they both begin scaling the fence into the compound. As they land on the soft manicured lawn the scene fades out.
The words “May 14th” appears on the screen before the scene fades in on Merlin and his double sitting together. The sit silently for a second before they both say, “I’ll talk.” Then Merlin nods to his double and allows him to do the talking. “We both can’t live in Gotham. One of us needs to become a different person and since you have the mantel it looks like it’s up to me. I’m going to move up to Toronto for awhile. Find out who I am again. We’ll keep in touch. I know what a burden our power can be. Maybe someday we’ll find a way to switch.” The stand up and shake hands as the scene fades out.