Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Issue #2: Questions, Part 2

6 Months Ago…

The chaos had been going on for weeks now and this was another in a series of events that Gordon and the GCPD were just not ready for.  MCU headquarters had been cleared out, a perimeter had been set, the bomb squad called in, and all the parts had moved into place, but things were not going to end in any way Gordon could’ve imaged.

“Hennelly, where are your snipers!?” Gordon barked into his walkie.

Silence on Gordon’s end. He looked up at the top of the building, and could make out the shadow of Bane and a handful of Bane’s men. He wasn’t going to blow up the MCU, at least not yet. He had an agenda. Gordon just didn’t know what it was. All Gordon knew was that Bane had been behind one of the biggest breakouts Arkham had ever seen. It was utter anarchy and Gordon and every available officer had worked nonstop to restore order.  Even Batman had to have been running on fumes by then, but in all this time no real threats from Bane himself… not until that night.

“Hennelly!” Gordon tried again. Nothing.

On the other side of the confetti of emergency responders, media reporters, and evacuees from nearby buildings, Luietentant Gerard Hennelly, team leader of the Quick Response Team, dealt with his own problems.

“Hawk 3. Hawk 1. Do you copy?!” Hennelly called into his com. “Report your status. That’s an order!”

It was Hennelly’s turn to hear silence and that worried him. The coms worked, he knew that for sure, and his guys should’ve been in place by now, but something was wrong. Gordon barked over the walkie again.

“Jerry I need those snipers in place now!”

Not wanting to leave Gordon hanging any more than he was, Hennelly called back, “Working on it Jim.”

Gordon, irritated at the delay, started to give Hennelly an earful as soon as he got his response, but Hennelly only heard the first few words before Gordon’s voice became a distant rustling of static as he ran up the street to the first vantage point.

The building was evacuated like all the others, but Hennelly knew something wasn’t right. Getting some interference from all the media vans here and there was one thing, but no response from any of his men was a different story. Hennelly focused on his breathing now, his sidearm in hand. He scanned the bottom floor quickly as he entered the building. The building was clear, but Hennelly moved silently over to the stairs still scanning the area, looking out for any surprises. Hennelly knew what floor his man should be on, but he wasn’t sure of who else was in the building with him and if they were still there.

Moving to the emergency stairs, Hennelly quickly and softly made his way up, scanning frequently as he ascended to the top floor. If anyone was still in there, he wanted to get the jump on them and not the other way around.

Back on the ground, outside the MCU, Gordon tried to work out his next move after Hennelly had gone dark.  Just as he was about make a call into his ground team, Bane stepped out onto the ledge of the MCU headquarters.

“Gotham City! Look upon the god of chaos.” The hulking South American snickered. “Look how you scurry about like ants, crippled by fear.” Bane chuckled. “Who will save you now?”

Gordon looked up from below and tried his walkie again. “Hennelly, if you or any of your men have a shot, now is the time to take it.”

Damn it, where’s is he? Gordon thought to himself, but his thought was not about Hennelly. There was only one person who could diffuse this situation, but he was nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile, Jerry Hennelly, neared the top step of the floor he needed to be on. He took a moment to let his breath catch up from two flights down, it was then or never. Bane wasn’t going to let his fat head bobble on top of that roof forever and Hennelly needed to move. He looked through the glass window, nothing on either side of the hallway. Hennelly gently turned the metal handle, pulled the door ever so slightly, and peered through the small gap. Nothing. Yanking it open quickly, he bolted through the door way into the hall directly across from the door. Another quick scan and nothing. He waited for the stairwell door to shut. If anyone was up there, they’d investigate the noise. The metal of the door and frame clapped and locked in place. Several seconds later, still no movement.  Hennelly remained cautious, but moved around the corner and down the hall with a little more confidence. Skipping the first few offices, he neared the end of the hallway where the line of sight would be best. The door was open.

Moving in, he saw an arm stretched out behind the giant desk.  It was Jones and he was dead. His gun was disassembled and scattered across the floor. From the look of him and the rest of the office, Jones never saw it coming.

They knew Jones would be here, on this floor, and in this office. Knowing it was probably the same sight for his other two snipers, Hennelly couldn’t do anything but rattle with anger. Hennelly slammed his fists across the desk sending its contents across the room like shrapnel. Hennelly was at a loss.

Looking out the window he still saw Bane. All of his sense said shooting Bane would just create a panic and cause his thugs to kill the hostages.

The MCU had been quiet that day, so luckily there were few people inside when Bane and his men staged their attack. What Hennelly heard on the radio was that they were hit fast and hard, and that a small explosive went off inside that caused most of officers and staff to evacuate. Either way, cops were dead and Bane was probably going to kill the hostages anyway. Not thinking on it anymore, Hennelly picked up the pieces of Jones’ sniper rifle and put it back together as quickly as possible.

 Back on the roof, Bane continued to address the crowd below, gloating in some unforeseen victory.

“Look how you all wait for your savior to come and rescue you. I tell you he does not come… because like your rotten and broken city I, Bane, have also broken the BAT!” Bane shouted as he lifted a lifeless black body above his head.

Gasps and cries filled the crowd and Gordon himself felt his own heart skip a beat, his gaze frozen on the black figure in Bane’s arms. There was an eerie pause as if time stood still, no one sure of what would happen next or what to do.

Hennelly finished assembling the sniper rifle, stabilized it and checked his sights. He shifted his sight vertically and could see the black figured man. It was Batman. Again Hennelly found himself stuttering in his actions, frozen in place much like the crowd below. What did it mean?

But before he could come back to reality and take out Bane, Hennelly saw the black figure fly off the top of the building. He followed it as best he could through the tiny eye of the scope, he watched as the lifeless body fell, bounced off the top of a police van, and down onto the ground.

 Another explosion and Hennelly quickly moved his sights back up to the top of the MCU building, but all that was there was a cloud of smoke. Bane was gone.

Back on the ground, Gordon and the circus that formed around him had just been racked by another explosion right after witnessing the shadowy descent of who they could only assume was Batman. Gordon saw that the explosion was localized to only the roof of the building and set his teams in motion, sending fire, police, and medical up into the MCU to check for survivors and possibly Bane himself.

As he continued to conduct his men here and there he grabbed a young EMT.

“Come with me.”

The two rushed over to the side of the building where Batman was. The boy was awestruck, but not from fear, he’d seen much worse in his short career -- no, this was different. It was Batman. He was both mythical and real to the young man, but not like this.

Gordon crouched down and reached inside Batman’s mask for a pulse.

“He’s alive. We need to move him.”

“No!” the boy snapped. “No, we can’t. He needs to be stabilized.”

“Then get a damn stretcher!” Gordon ordered.

The young EMT dropped his kit and sprinted off to his truck, but just as he left, a black SUV barreled through the police barricade and right up to Gordon.

 A thin man in a suit and black ski mask stepped out of the car with a gun pointed right at Gordon, but the man’s eyes were more focused on Batman.  He didn’t know what, but Gordon knew that the man had encountered some trouble of his own. The man’s suit was torn and bloodied, and in the few steps he took toward Gordon, a fresh limp was evident.

“Put him in the van.” The masked man ordered pushing the gun towards Gordon.

“He needs a stretcher.” Gordon replied, as he noted the man’s mature and articulate speech. It was familiar, but he wasn’t sure from where.

The man just stared at him in silent insistence.

“Where’s that stretcher kid?!” Gordon yelled out.

When the EMT returned, he and Gordon set Batman and had him stabilized while the masked man looked on with a sense of urgency.

“Good, now place him in the back.” The masked man ordered.

Gordon and the EMT complied and lifted the stretcher and carried him to the rear of the SUV, but the EMT stopped just before putting him in. “He needs a hospital.”

“I’ll decide that young man.” He commanded as if correcting a young pupil. “Now hurry before I have to… to shoot you.”

That’s when Gordon knew for sure that this mysterious man was here to help. He always suspected that someone had to be helping Batman, at least a little. Gordon agreed with the boy, but knew best to not push it. The masked man wasn’t going to kill them, but anyone who slammed right into the middle of a chaotic scene like that was determined… and if pushed, he just might shoot them and Gordon knew both he and the EMT were more useful without bullets in them.

“Damn it kid, get him in the back.”

Closing the doors, the masked man pushed them back with his gun as he limped back to the driver’s side. And before Gordon and the EMT could move, the SUV peeled off around the front of the building, moving people out of the way and then disappeared down the street.


“And at no point and time did you feel the need to signal an officer, or give chase to the vehicle and this masked man as they fled an active crime scene?!” Frensler asked with frustrated puzzlement.

“What the hell did you want me to do Frensler?! I had two explosions, several hostages unaccounted for, dead officers, and the potential threat of more bombs going off!” Gordon barked back. “Sorry I didn’t feel that a masked man hauling off Batman was police priority.”

“He dis-rupted…” Frensler gritted his teeth, “Forget it Gordon! You’re done.” He said leaning over toward Gordon. “Your days here playing cowboy with all your other sad excuses for police officers are numbered. Your little Lone Ranger is dead… or gone at the very least, and your career… well, it doesn’t look too much better.”

Frensler looked at his watch. “I’m late for meeting.” He said as he got up to leave.

“More asses to kiss Elliot?”

Frensler looked back and snickered. “If you must know Jim, I’m meeting with Lucius Fox over at Wayne Enterprises.”

Gordon looked at him with feigned intrigue.

“So yeah, you could say I’m doing a little ass kissing, but from what I hear… they have quite a proposal for overhauling all of Gotham City PD.”

“Looking forward to it.” Gordon said dryly.

Author Note:
Feel free to comment or leave some feedback. To learn more about this series click here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Issue #1: Questions, Part 1

3 Months Ago…

The fluorescent light above Gordon’s head flickered as he sat in the stale, humid interrogation room. He had been on the other side of the table numerous times, but this was his first time to sit in the old rusted steel chair.  It needed replacing - not because it was old, but because it was only a matter of time before the rust ate up the floor bolts keeping it locked in place. Resting his elbows on the table, his thumbs tucked under his chin, Gordon fixed his gaze forward, examining the two-way mirror in front of him. He wasn’t so much trying to look through it as he was reviewing all of the many imperfections of the reflective window; its cracks, scratches, smudges, and stains. It was a wonder anyone could actually see anything from the other side.

His train of thought was interrupted when the steel door of the room opened. In came Elliot Frensler. Previously Internal Affairs, he now worked for the Attorney General’s office, but Gordon could tell Frensler was all too happy to be investigating Gotham’s Commissioner.  He was a tall, lanky, mouse-faced man far too dressed up for an interrogation, or, as the AG’s office told Gordon twenty minutes ago, an interview.

Elliot Frensler smugly made his way over to the table where Gordon sat, folder in hand. Behind him, he dragged an old worn desk chair, whose wheels screeched along the concrete floor in rhythm with the clack of his high end dress shoes.

“James Gordon, how’ve you been?” smiling like a used car salesman.

“It’s Jim - or Commissioner Gordon.” Gordon responded leaning back off the table.

“Okay Jim,” Frensler said as he sat across from Gordon. The grin he entered with slowly faded as he began to peruse the file he held. “As I’m sure you know by now, the AG’s office has sent me here to… discuss the events from three months ago involving the wanted criminal known as Bane and Gotham’s infamous vigilante, Batman.”

“Whattaya wanna know Frensler?” Gordon responded tiredly staring at Frensler.

Frensler glanced at the file, and back to Gordon.  “Jim, I read your report and frankly… well, it leaves me with more questions than answers.”

Gordon just looked at him. The look on Frensler’s face showed that he was regretting his cheap tactic of putting Gordon in the room. He was too seasoned  a cop to be intimidated by being on the other side of an interrogation table. The room itself wasn’t horrible, but the rest of the environment that was unnerving. The air was stale and humid and the smell became overwhelming after a while, unmasked by industrial cleaner.

Gordon stared at Frensler, waiting. “Well Frensler, you gonna ask your questions or just sit there like you just brought your cousin to Prom? I gotta city going to hell out there and I don’t have time…”

“Listen Gordon!”

Frensler was quickly losing his calm. The lights continued their sporadic flicker as Frensler tried his best to compose himself.

“The Attorney General’s office is not too happy about how things went down three months ago and personally, I think you and this whole department need to go. In fact, if it were up to me, I’d keep the military here a little longer and have you and that joke of a Major Crimes Unit working security at Arkham. Unfortunately, the mayor thinks it’s best that the military start pulling out so that Gotham PD can start taking responsibility and enacting some control over this city.”

“I still didn’t hear a question in there.” Gordon replied.

Frensler was becoming unnerved. “Now that your pet vigilante is gone, the AG’s office wants to know if you’re still fit to be Commissioner and whether or not your Major Crimes Unit is worth the taxpayer’s money?”

“What does Batman have to do with any of this?”

Frensler sat back in his chair, interlocking his fingers, trying to keep control and to ignore the terrible smell. “I don’t know if you know this or not, but we’ve all generally looked the other way concerning some of the oversights and short-comings of this department. Even considering my distaste for him, I know that Batman did most of your heavy lifting while you and the whole Gotham police department watched from the sidelines… despite a standing order to bring him in. What I want to know is whether or not you and that joke of a police force, the MCU, can actually get the job done? Or is it a requirement to dress up like a freak to catch a bunch of freaks?”

“My officers are some of the best and hardest working out there, but I won’t deny that Batman has done this city a lot of good and Gotham owes him for the countless…”

Slamming his palms down on the table, “HE’S A VIGILANTE GORDON and you and this whole city hid behind him! Now that he’s dead, those days are over. My office and Gotham want to see real results from REAL officers. If one man dressed like a bat can do it, then it shouldn’t be a problem for your so-called ‘hardworking’ officers. Gotham’s in your hands now Commissioner, are you up to the task?”

“He’s not dead.” Gordon responded, staring down at the table, replaying a memory in his head.

Looking over Gordon’s change in demeanor, Frensler sensed he was finally getting at what he wanted. “So tell me Jim, what really happened that night?”

to be continued...

Author Note:
Please feel free to comment and provide any constructive feedback. This series is a fun retreat from my normal original writing, but serves as a fun way to practice the craft of writing while sharing something (hopefully fun) with you, the reader.

Series concept and writing disclaimer found here.

Summary & Disclaimer

"Gotham's Dark Knights" is an original fan-fiction series I've created based on the characters and and DC universe of Batman. This series takes inspiration from several story lines and concepts of Batman. For the most part, many of the main and pre-established characters retain their familiar characteristics, but some liberties are taken for the sake of story. Overall, main DC created characters should be recognizable. For new author created characters, any resemblance to real persons alive or dead is purely coincidence. Not to mention, I Google-checked to see if any of my characters where obvious celebrities or real life criminals. All in all, this is fan-fiction and while some Batman facts and story may be referenced, this series does not serve as any official insert into the DC Batman universe. 

 Gotham City's hero is gone. His whereabouts and status unknown. Despite the increased efforts of city leaders and the Gotham City Police Department the city begins to descend into chaos. Gotham needs Batman, but what does it do when he's not there?

'Gotham's Dark Knights' follows three of Gotham City's finest as they are mysteriously and anonymously recruited to take on the role of Batman. Without the time, money, and resources of Bruce Wayne, will these three be able to convince Gotham that its hero has returned?

This series takes inspiration from several story lines and concepts of the DC Batman universe. For the most part, many of the main and pre-established characters retain their familiar characteristics, but some liberties are taken for the sake of story. Overall, main DC created characters should be recognizable. For new author created characters, any resemblance to real persons alive or dead is purely coincidence. Not to mention, I Google-checked to see if any of my characters where obvious celebrities or real life criminals. All in all, this is fan fiction and while some Batman facts and story may be referenced, this series does not serve as any official insert into the DC Batman universe or timeline. 

I do not work for or have ever worked for DC Comics, and I am not making or seeking to make any financial gains from this series. So in the crazy off chance that someone from DC reads this series (not likely), please don’t sue me. This is just pure fictional fun.

Batman and related Batman characters were created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. Batman is the property of DC Comics.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Excerpt from 'Dead in 30 Minutes or Less'

Note: Originally posted on my main website back on February 23, 2011


Hey Folks! So if you've read my blog, you know that I am currently in a Creative Writing class and that a large part of the class is focusing on writing Short Stories. One of our most recent assignments was to write a scene with one of our main character undergoing an internal change. I picked 'Dead in 30 Minutes or Less' as my story to use for this assignment.

Blog post with story description here

While probably not New York Times Best Selling stuff, I liked this little scene and thought I'd share it online. Hope you enjoy!

An excerpt from 'Dead in 30 Minutes or Less' ©