Campaign of the Month: March 2014
The screen is black for longer than it should be, then we hear the voice over begin.
“December 15th. Earlier this month the United State bowed to Media pressures. We had been given until January 1st to save Gotham City. One month to turn No Man’s Land into a city again. The Army Corps of Engineers, LexCorp, Wayne Enterprises, STAR Labs… all of them coming together to rebuild with a promise of redemption. Contessa even had a tree flown in from Vermont and the media loved it.”
The screen fades in on Arsenal looking out over the wasteland of No Man’s Land. The camera soaks up the broken buildings and the skeletons of rebirth rising from their remains.
“All of us have achieved the impossible. Water is running from Grant Park to Tricorner and everyone is hopeful.”, Arsenal says to no one in particular. Then another voice is heard.
“Blackgate is secured and reconstruction has already started. We have the Strong Men under surveillance but it’s too dangerous to move on them yet. I just have one question for you, Arsenal.”
Arsenal turns from his window and the camera pans into the room. In the shadows the figure of Richard Grayson is outlined, a moat of darkness obvious but obscured.
“Where is the Joker?”, he asks.
“Who is asking me.”, Arsenal replies, “Batman? Nightwing? Dick Grayson?”
Silence stretches for seconds without reply.
“No one knows. He’s off the map.”, Arsenal finally replies.
“How long now?”, Grayson asks.
“Not since he attacked Merlin.”, Arsenal says.
“I have a new first priority.”, Grayson replies.
The darkness hidden in shadows turns and pushes further into the black until he’s completely vanished. Arsenal stands looking at the corner Grayson stood in for a few moments before he turns back to his window. The screen fades out but we hear Arsenal’s voice one more time, this time a tinge of doubt and sadness fills his voice.
“Well.. Almost everyone is hopeful.”
The screen lingers black for a moment before a simple white episode title fades in, “Days of Auld Lang Syne”. The episode title fades out and then a voiceover begins to play again. "The series finale of Gotham Nights is brought to you without further commercial interruption by Stark Industries. “Changing the world for a better future.”
The show fades back in on a small office, the Penguin sitting on the far side of a desk. He smokes his long stem cigarette and looks less than amused by the man sitting across from him. He rubs at a bandage over his nose, a reminder of the last time he saw his guest.
“You’ll forgive me if I’m nervous. Last time we spoke I had my nose broken by one of your associates.”, Penguin says. The camera swings around and we get a good look at a tired looking Adam Arthur sitting across from him.
“For what it’s worth, I didn’t want to work with him.”, Adam replies.
“That’s not much of value at this point.”, Penguin sneers, “But, what brings you back to my table?”
“The end is coming, Penguin. We’re in the final days of No Man’s Land and I want to know where you stand?”
Penguin crosses his arms and huffs, “I’ve stood on my own this whole time. I see no reason not to welcome in the New Year the same way.”
“New Gotham doesn’t need your connections, but we can’t afford to have the exploited by Joker or Petit.”, Adam says
Penguin just squints and stares back. Adam knows it’ll take a better argument than that to get the Iceburg Smugglers to sign up with New Gotham…
The show cuts to a construction site as the end of lunch whistle blows. A foreman is heard calling out for the workers to get back on the site and we see a half-dozen men in blue jeans and t-shirts pull on tool belts and make their way back to work. The camera pans around before it stops to focus on one man in particular. Something about him seems familiar but it isn’t until one of his co-workers addresses him do the familiarities come together to reveal his identity.
“That’s good work, Tom. You’re parent’s should have been the Woodhills.”, a man in a hard hat remarks.
“Why’s that, Bill?”, Tom replies.
“Because you’re a better carpenter than mason.”, Bill says with a laugh.
A blue collar Thomas Stonehill picks up a hammer and goes back to the wall he was framing. The days are long and hard without magic. Still, he’s going to try his hand at being a normal person, even if it wears him down.
The scene fades out as if it were going to commercial break but immediately fades back in on a thick swath of trees. The overgrown vines and bushes are familiar as the lair of Poison Ivy. The camera swings around and we see the idyllic farm being tended to by happy children. Near a small house made of vines lays Croc, napping peacefully, with his massive head in Ivy’s lap. The trees rustle slightly as Dominique Dane emerges into the clearing.
“The plants make it impossible for even you to sneak up on me.”, Ivy smiles as she looks to Dominique.
“I wasn’t trying to sneak. Look, Ivy, we need to talk.”, Dominique says.
“I’ve heard. No Man’s Land is ending.”, Ivy replies.
“Yeah, and afterwards you’ll be an escaped criminal holding dozens of children hostage.”
Ivy gives an overly pout-y frown, “You’d turn me in after all I’ve done.”
“It has nothing to do with my personal feelings. I just want to know that these children are safe once No Man’s Land is lifted.”
Ivy smirks, “And what would you have me say to you?”
Dominique thinks for a moment. She sees that this is the pivotal moment in the conversation. One wrong step and Ivy will clam up just to be difficult.
Tilt: As Dominique turns to leave something clicks in her head and she turns back to Ivy.
“What, what’s happened to Waylon?”, she asks.
The camera pans down and takes a closer look at the sleeping Killer Croc. His skin is scaly and green but his features have started to revert back to a more human appearance. Ivy smiles and strokes Croc’s leathery scalp.
“His mind is healing as is his body. It may take years but eventually he should recover from all of his ailments. There is nothing nature can not heal.”, Ivy says with a smile.
Next the show cuts to Darren Spektor sitting with Connor Hawke. The two crouch in a crumbling building somewhere in the wastes of No Man’s Land and Darren passes a set of binoculars to Connor. In turn, Connor passes a thermos of coffee to Darren.
“I feel weird wearing denim and cotton.”, Connor remarks.
“To be honest, I don’t miss the spirit gum.”, Darren replies.
“Ha. Spirit gum. Get it?”, Connor snorts.
“You’re the one millionth person to crack that joke.”
Connor rolls his eyes and then looks out of the binoculars. Then immediately drops them and jumps to his feet. Without hesitation Darren stands up too and looks at Connor.
“We’ve been spotted.”, Connor says before bullets start to rip through the rotted wood walls. Darren nods and ghosts through the ceiling as Connor runs towards the back of the building.
From the roof, Darren can see dozens of armed men pointing guns at his building. He needs to keep their attention long enough for Connor to make his escape on foot… and of course not get shot out of the sky himself.
Finally, the show cuts to Steven Kyle walking into an abandoned warehouse someone in the ruins of No Man’s Land. The building is in rough shape, a clear giveaway that it’s not in the reconstruction zone. As he steps through the freight entrance the doors buzz to life and start lowering behind him. He drops into a fighting crouch and pulls his sword from its scabbard.
“I know you’re here.” He calls out to the darkness.
The only reply is his own voice echoing back.
“No Man’s Land ends soon and this might be the last chance to settle our score. You didn’t think I’d forget about you, did you?”, Steven calls out again.
Again, silence is the only reply. Steven starts to move deeper into the cavernous warehouse.
“Are you not going to even engage me in a little banter?”
Silence again, and then… “No.” A voice says from behind him. Steven whips around just in time to see a sword only inches from his head. Only one chance to deflect the blow before Steven is cut down by a single blow by Deathstroke.
As the show fades to black for the final time a slow text scroll starts at the bottom of the screen.
“A record of the lives lost in Gotham Nights. So that we never forget the blood spilled both on and off camera.
The Original Green Arrow I, The Second Green Lantern II, Lex Luthor, The Second Robin, Superman, and Wonder Woman: All killed before we ever knew they existed.
Abattoir: who’s demise set all of this in motion.
Manchester Black, Michael Akins, Hugo Strange, and the Original Clayface: All killed off camera before No Man’s Land.
Cavalier and Ratcatcher: Who died on screen before No Man’s Land.
Black Mask, the first official casualty of No Man’s Land.
Blockbuster, Calibax, The Catwoman Impostor, Lock-Up, Maxie Zeus, The Original Ventriloquist, Black Scarab, Curaré, and James Gordon: The lives lost on and off screen during No Man’s Land.”
The words continue to scroll up and off the screen until nothing but black remains. Then the show fades back in. It’s the swamps around Gotham City and a gray hand begins to rise out of the waters. A guttural voice rumbles, “Reborn on a Monday…” and the show fades out for the final time.