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…”
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...
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.