The Batman: Ashes of Gotham - Cold, Cold Breeze
Black Mask drinks a glass of Whisky with three ice cubes, he's on his limo accompanied by his secretary, Anya Volkova.
Black Mask: Well, I don't care what happened to Cobblepot and this new "Emperor Penguin", I don't worry with minor problems.
Anya: You should worry then, because he's planning something big, I don't know yet but I'm sure he'll try something.
They get out of the car and enter a building, the henchmen on the building are all wearing animal masks from the personal collection of Roman Sionis.
Black Mask: I don't know if you see but I'm a little worried with other things now, like the Red Foot.
Anya: Red Hood, sir.
Black Mask: I don't care, I told you already, he wasn't a problem when he worked for Falcone, he isn't one either now that he's playing the crazy life vigilante.
Anya puts her hands over her arms, her breathing expels a white breeze, it's cold.
Anya: Okay boss, we can harsh things on him a little. Why we are here again?
Black Mask: Recruiting.
He opens a door, a white breeze comes out from it, the ground is frozen.
Black Mask: Hello, I'm happy that you accepted to see me.
A robotic voice answers him.
Voice: What do you want, Mask?
Black Mask: I'm offering you a job, the money is enough for you to live the rest of your life in peace and...cold, also you'll have the chance to kill a vigilante. What do you say, Freeze?
Mr. Freeze gets out of a capsule and removes the red lenses glasses he uses. His veins stand out on his skin as he puts a asthma inhaler on his mouth and breaths.
Freeze: The money is *breaths* very good, I'll be able to *breaths* finish my research on Nora's cure *breaths*. But I'll need something to use, a new suit.
The Unknown Cell Block, Extreme Isolation, Arkham Asylum
Plastic Man walks carefully on the corridor, two guards are walking on his direction, he becomes a flower pot. The two guards pass next to him, one of them stops, looks at the pot and throws his cigarette on it, they keep walking. Plastic Man heads to Wolfgang Winks cell.
Plastic: Woozy? Are you here?
Woozy: Eel? You son of a flying pig, where have you been? It's almost one week!
Plastic: I had some problems in finding the way back.
Woozy: When you haven't? Haha. Come here, let's watch Baseball.
On another place in Gotham
Batman kicks the head of one of Ekin Tzu's thugs against the wall and screams with him.
Batman: WHEN WILL IT BE?
Batman punches the head of a McKillen's thug against a window, the pieces of glass cut his face entirely, full of blood Batman asks him.
Batman: WHERE IS HIM?
Batman breaks in the The Cauldron, the band stops playing classic Irish songs, Batman punches several thugs and throws them over the drink's storage, he takes one of Sean Riley's thugs and throws him out of the pub, he puts his right foot over his neck making him bleed, Batman asks the thug.
Batman: WHEN HE'S COMING BACK?
Nightwing jumps in front of him, his leg is covered by some metal joints and leather protection.
Nightwing: What's going on Batman? I'm following you for sometime but this leg didn't let me accompany you.
Batman: He's back. After 10 years away from Gotham, after we ended his empire, after all we left was ruins of the biggest criminal mafia in Gotham, he's finally back Dick
The batmobile drives away from Gotham and enters a dark forest, an interrupted road opens for the car to enter a secret trail and he drives to the Batcave, a camera scans the car and several rocks move, the entrance opens. He enters the bathroom and takes a bath, he finally relaxes.
While at Gotham Robinson's Park Apartments
Gordon shaves his beard and leaves the mustache untouched, the white haired Commissioner and opens his cellphone.
Gordon: Yes, Gordon speaking... yeah, I know it's you Stacy.
Stacy: We got a trail on him, sir.
Gordon: Solid information? No rumors?
Stacy: Yes sir.
Gordon: Call everybody, the Task Force, the SWAT, street officers, we'll get him, more than 10 years hiding and we're finally getting him.
Janus Cosmetics Tower
Freeze: It's not hard enough, look at this!
A scientist welds Freeze's new suit.
Scientist: Yes it is. It's made of a new metal alloy, your old costume was amazing but this is the future.
Freeze The future looks weak and ridiculous.
Scientist: I know this may look like the costume of a 60s TV Show Villain that has catch phrases like "You know what killed the dinosaurs? THE ICE AGE". But this is the new fashion of science, Mr. Fries, retro fashion.
Freeze: This is what I have to learn from you?
Mr. Freeze smashes the head of the scientist. Anya Volkova opens the door and closes it quickly.
Anya: Sir, this isn't as wise as I thought.
Black Mask: Are you talking about Freeze?
Anya: Yes, I'm talking about Freeze.
Black Mask: I prefer Freeze working for me rather than against me, Ms. Volkova.
Anya: Freeze works for who pays better, he needs the money to finish his research. If someone pays higher, he'll betray you easily. I don't get excited with psychopaths.
Black Mask: Talking about psychos, the Red Hood, maybe my last request was too mired in subtlety. I want him dead, when I say "dead" I mean beaten, broken, his helmet nailed on my wall, his freaking head on my collection kind of dead!
Anya: Noted, we'll take further precautions on every deal we make-
Black Mask: F*ck that! It's already time for him to learn that his dealing with powerful people, we're going on offense. Rough up his business, something loud that will echo through the underworld! When he shows up to take us down, we'll have birthday party waiting for him! And when I say "party", I mean a massive whole lot of people carrying their rifles and waiting to shot through his head! I want his body on my dinner table!
Anya: I figured sir.
Black Mask: Just being clear. Also, call that new boy we hired, Jay, Jones, whatever.
Black Mask: I SAID WHATEVER. I want him and Freeze to get Red Hood, do something to bring his attention and kill him off.
Anya: Yes sir.
Black Mask: COULD YOU STOP SAYING "YES SIR" EVERY TIME I ASK YOU TO DO SOMETHING?
Anya: Yes s- Yes boss.
At Old Gotham Docks
A giant group of henchmen are guarding a ship filled by containers, a crane pulls a shipment from the ship and puts it next to a white Volkswagen truck.
Thug: C'mon, we're late.
Thug 2: Calm down, the boss won't be mad if we bring the whole shipment without any damage, without any Batman to bother us. Even if he comes, we'll end him.
Thug: Don't be ridiculous.
Thug 2: Look at these guns! They will clear our way so fast-
The batclaw pulls the gun from the thug, Batman takes his gun and disassembles the gun parts.
Thug 2: Shoot him!
The thugs try shooting Batman but Nightwing gets them from behind.
Nightwing: You're so full of yourselves and full of stupidness too.
Batman throws batarangs on the gun barrels, they explode from inside, hurting the thugs hands. Nightwing ties them to the truck, he then throws one of his escrima sticks on the truck's transmission, the truck rides with the thugs tied on it and hits the wall.
Nightwing: These guns... they were armed for a war, Batman. Do you recognize them?
Batman: Yes, automatic machine guns with a special computed sight, they were stolen from Queen Industries. They're amateurs.
Batman scans the shipment's boxes, and opens it carefully.
Batman: You can open the others, there aren't explosives.
Nightwing: Okay, what's your pick? Guns? Technology? Drugs? Maybe a surprise?
They open the boxes. They're full of criminal stuff, Mr. Freeze older guns, Captain Boomerang's scarf, Riddler's hat, Penguin's umbrellas, Joker's gun with a giant barrel and playing cards.
Nightwing: What's that?
Batman: What it looks like. Collector's stuff.
Nightwing: With no doubt but why? Why would someone buy these stuff?
Batman: I've seen worse.
Nightwing: Yeah I know that. Well, at least we'll have some new stuff at the Trophy Room. Oh fu-
The box starts beeping, Nightwing grabs Batman and jumps from the ship. A bomb explodes the ship, Batman and Nightwing are on the water while the ship sinks on the bay. Batman and Nightwing climb the ledge of the docks. They're wet.
Batman: Are you okay?
Nightwing: Yes, I am, but it's the third time someone tries to explode us.
Batman: Yeah but this time, it's not the Red Hood, it's someone new, he only attacks the Black Mask and this isn't his style.
A deformed man with a gas mask holding a cane watches them and laughs.
In the other side of the city, Mr. Freeze enters the Stacked Deck, a pub in Gotham City owned by Tobias Whale. He freezes the police officers inside it and the door.
Freeze: Nobody will get out.
They all shoot Freeze. After they all need to reload, Freeze smiles.
Freeze: This is your best? Haha this armor is really amazing.
Outside the place, people hear screams and watch the blood gushing on the windows.
The club is making a lot of noise, the entrance is filled by security and a giant line waits to enter the club. A car stops in front of the club, closing the street, inside it thugs load their guns. It's tires start screeching, people scream and the car enters the club by breaking the front doors. The thugs get out of the car and start shooting just to scare people, they shoot all the security and attack strippers and bartenders. A thug picks up a bartender and puts her head against the table.
Bartender: What are you doing? We have protection from Red Hood!
The thug points the gun to her head and removes her pants, he starts unbuttoning his pants.
Thug: Is that right? Well, take this message to your boss.
The woman starts screaming and crying, he laughs and pushes her against the table, he removes her panties and starts to r*pe her, Jason watches it trying to control his emotions. He kills all of them, the bartender stops crying and hugs him.
Jason: Get out fast, I'm thinking in something.
The bartender runs and Jason calls Black Mask.
Black Mask: What do you want?
Jason: I-it was him. He kille-ed all of them, he left m-me alive and said t-to send you a me-message.
Black Mask: Stop crying you little p*ssy. What's the message?
Jason: H-he said he wanted to "Deal with Business" in an addre-ess.
Black Mask: What's the address? And I already said for you to stop crying.
Jason: Baker Street, 225C, it's a wa-warehouse.
Black Mask turns the cellphone off, Jason starts smiling and runs away from the place. He throws a Molotov Cocktail on the place and it starts burning, the flames consume everything, from the bodies to the insides.
The Warehouse, Hours Later
Thug: Are you sure it will work?
Freeze punches the gate and breaks a hole in it.
Freeze: Happy now?
Thug: I was talking about we aren't stealth enough or either protected.
Freeze: You'll all die then.
Someone: They're not the only ones.
Red Hood points an assault rifle to them, with laser sights and grenade launchers.
Red Hood: I didn't expect you here Freeze, it doesn't changes anything but it's interesting. I thought that after what happened in Arkham City, you would change, mainly because of Nora.
Freeze: Shut up you pig, don't dare talk about her.
Red Hood: What's all that about, Fries? Working with criminals because of money...Own, that's really something I didn't expect from you, Snowballs. What Nora would think about it?
Thug: That's going too far, just kill him.
Freeze: Shut up, you idiot, that's none of your business.
He freezes the thug and kicks him, breaking him into pieces of ice.
Red Hood: Ouch, that must have hurt, like watching your wife in ice for years.
Freeze: I'll kill you you son of a b*tch!
Freeze shoots his gun on Red Hood, he starts shooting his machine guns, the bullets explode in the heads of the thugs. Freeze remains untouched. Red Hood punches Freeze's armor but breaks his hand, he falls on the ground groaning of pain. All the windows and door are kicked down and at least forty thugs enter the warehouse, all of them wearing the classic animal masks.
Freeze: Don't stop shooting until he's dead.
Red Hood jumps and covers behind a pillar, the bullets come from everywhere, one of them even hits his helmet. He pulls a detonator and presses it, but instead of exploding, several boxes open and sentry guns start shooting the enemies, they are all killed in a matter of seconds. Freeze, again, is standing untouched.
Red Hood: Your armor is tougher than I expected, let's see how you go against this.
He jumps over Freeze and leaves an explosive on his back. The explosion throws Hood away. Freeze gets up, unharmed.
Freeze: Congratulations. You succeeded in making me angry.
Freeze Gun is hit by a batarang, it explodes and the pieces fly all over the ground.
Batman: You're not the only one.
Nightwing jumps over Batman and falls on Freeze. Batman grabs his hand and gives him a push, making him kick Red Hood. Batman puts his foot over Freeze's chest and deactivates his suit. Freeze loses breath, the sensation is like burning from inside.
Batman: Fries! Stop this madness, stop all of this, not for me but for Nora. You don't need to gain money to save her anymore, Wayne Enterprises is doing a research on her illness, you're always welcome there, remember what happened with Boyle, if it wasn't for Wayne, he would never be arrested for what he done.
Freeze: I-I'm sorry Ba-atman. But ple-ease, sto-op this.
Batman turns his suit on but knocks him out. Meanwhile, Nightwing fights Red Hood, they punch each other at the same time using the same technique.
Nightwing: How you know that movement?
Red Hood picks his knife and stabs Dick's leg, the same that was with protection. Dick groans in pain, Bruce looks back and both Red Hood and Mr. Freeze are already disappeared.
A private jet lands on the airstrip, the door opens and an old man with a scar on his face, wearing a suit and carrying a rose gets out of it. It's Carmine Falcone, the Roman, the man who years ago was the greatest crime lord in Gotham.
Carmine: Are we clear? No distractions or interventions?
Luca Falcone: No, it's clean and bright for us, cousin Carmine.
They both enter a car, it's a modified Dodge Caravan.
Luca: It's great to see you, even with this circumstances, we miss you Carmine.
Carmine: I miss this city and you too cousin Luca. How things have been with the family?
Luca: Well we lost some space to that costumed criminals but we're still the leader of the Five Families.
Carmine: What about Dent? When he discovers I'm back, I'll be priority on his life.
Luca: He hasn't been seen for a while, but the last times they saw him on public, he was just playing with that coin.
Carmine: And Batman?
Luca: Taking on the streets as usual.
Carmine: Maintain them out of the way, I don't want any interventions. This city will be mine again.
In Aparo Avenue
A truck is carrying another shipment for Black Mask, the thugs are now carrying high-tech rifles and the security is doubled. A thug suddenly disappears in the shadows, another one miss his presence and enters a dark alley. Some groans are heard on it, the thug returns unharmed but with some blood on the clothes.
Thug: Where's that blood from?
Thug 2: I just killed a cat right in the alley.
Thug: F*ck that dude. Ya know I love cats, never come near my home again.
Thug: Won't need to.
He shoots the thug and kills every other henchmen on the place, he then puts an explosive on the truck and explodes it.
On Janus Cosmetics Tower
Black Mask, Anya Volkova and several other thugs are in his office.
Black Mask: So you're telling me that son of a b*tch stole my guns again?
Anya: No, he blew up them. Destroyed the truck and shipment, killed the drivers and security.
Black Mask: DAMN IT! Of everyone he could be bothering, the Five Families, the Emperor Penguin, he chooses to bother me! ME!
Anya: At first, he was just enlisting anyone under our control to come work for him, now he seemingly starts to just kill them.
Black Mask: We got another vigilante with mental issues? Another Batman? One who doesn't mind all the war and blood?
Anya: He's not a Batman, he's still taking his part from off the streets but he's eliminating the competition. His next target is probably, you.
Black Mask gets angry and throws his desk away, the takes the computer and smashes it at one thug's head.
Black Mask: Why the hell this guy ain't dead, already?
Anya: We tried, we sent Freeze and forty of your gang after him at the warehouse.
Black Mask: Forty? Were they blind? I asked why he ain't dead?!
Black Mask punches other thug and kicks his face while he bleeds at the ground.
Black Mask: Why Batman doesn't end this little piece of sh*t and removes him from the surface of our planet?
Anya: Maybe he doesn't want to, maybe he wants to let you and Red Hood kill yourselves in a gang war. He could be waiting to-
Black Mask: Take on the winner? What do you think this is? A game? You're an idiot who doesn't know nothing about Batman! He's not letting him run wild killing everyone on his way, he can catch him either. Or it's something else, maybe we're stuck in the crossfire of their war. Can't you feel it?
A red dot marks Black Mask's head, he scares for a second and looks up. On top of a building, Red Hood is holding a bazooka, he salutes Black Mask. Black Mask starts running, Anya follows him and the other thugs do the same. He enters the Fire Exit.
Red Hood: Wow, he surely can move when he wants to.
Red Hood shoots the bazooka, the bullet enters the building and explodes in middle of the office. The explosion destroys most of the front part of the building and the inside of the building, even the fire exit's door is threw in the thugs going down the stairs. Black Mask jumps over Anya and saves her from being killed by the door.
Anya: You okay, Sir?
Black Mask: I'm not dead, that's good enough. That's time to change up the chess pieces for this war.
Black Mask: Well, I'll have to do business in a very cold place and I hate cold. I'll have to negotiate with a Russian friend that has a grudge on me.
Anya: That doesn't sounds good.
Black Mask: What a hell of a nightmare if will be.
Days later on the lands of Russia
Two thugs carry a wounded member of the Red Rocket Brigade.
Black Mask: This is a gift for you Yevtuschenko.
The Russian politician, Andrei Yevtuschenko greets Black Mask. He looks at the poor man and talks to him.
Andrei: Do the government still uses you Rocket Reds? How old are you? 24? You know what happened to your predecessors?
Rocket Red: General Andrei Yevtuschenko... under the authority of president Vladmir Putin, you're arrested for stealing government property, including... weapons and documents... and for crimes related to... betraying Mother Russia.
Andrei: Mother Russia? The real Mother Russia died after the Cold War, boy.
The Ex-General shoots the Rocket Red.
Andrei: Burn his body and put his ashes on an urn, treat him like one of us. Sorry for the interruption Sionis, I suppose you came here to see what I have to sell?
Black Mask: Indeed, show me everything you got here.
Andrei picks up a giant gun, it looks old and kinda dirty.
Andrei: This is the famous laser rifle they developed to kill aliens on the Moon, well they didn't get there in enough time and when they got there, there weren't no aliens.
Black Mask: I'll pass.
Black Mask stands in front of a capsule, inside it, a frozen man, bald and carrying a red star tattoo. He has a silver robotic arm, too.
Black Mask: It can't be!
Andrei: It can't but indeed it is, the greatest weapon the KGB ever had, our beast, our monster. He was put in this stasis after the end of his agency, here he is and most of our stuff too.
Black Mask: How much for it?
Andrei: Well, we can discuss about that.
Batman is looking at the bat computer, thinking about what happened at the boat. Analyzing the facts, the explosion this night, the shipment, collections.
Batman = Who benefits?
Batman opens the file of Edward Lamont, one of his most recent cases.
Batman = Edward Lamont IV is still disappeared, the kidnapper has sent a letter to F.B.I, no fingerprints, only a little dirty, the officers described it like "the smell looked like it came from the sewers", he wanted millions for him and yet, they plan to pay for the boy, thankfully his family is a friend of the President's family, Luthor and Edward Lamont III were great friends.
Batman opens the interrogation camera files.
Batman = Edward was at his grandmother's house, she went out to buy food for them, when she came back, her grandson had disappeared. She wasn't lying, her expressions demonstrated stress, fear and... sadness, someone lying would demonstrate stress, fear and normally, anger, only a true actor can fake those emotions, one of Alfred's ability, but she didn't have any precedents or record of actress. Her tears weren't anywhere near from false, I recognize them, the fear of loss.
Batman opens the file of the crime scene photos.
Batman = He entered in the back yard, the grass had footprints and the flowers were crushed, the footprints were really big, the feet were inconsistent, with fingers in bizarre sizes. The door was kicked down, it was smashed with the left hand, left handed for sure, he was strong, the wood had only one sign of being punched. The floor next to the door was wet, the water was from the sewers, there were some herbs and animal scales on it. Maybe Ivy took control of Killer Croc, but why? The scales couldn't match any D.N.A. from Croc, it's not human and neither animal.
Batman opens the file of another case, the Batmobile crash. He takes a look at the bandages, he notices a strange symbol at the bandages. He searches in Lamont's case, the letter was made with letters cut from magazines and newspapers, one of the letter is exactly like the symbol, the "A" from "Deαr F.B.I. Agents". Batman then searches the cameras of the ship explosion, the name of the ship was Finαl Offer II.
Batman = Who benefits with all that? It's an Άλφα (Alpha) symbol, the first letter from the Greek alphabet, the beginning, the last letter is Ωμέγα (Omega), the end. If this is the beginning, what's the end?
On next chapter, KGBeast takes on Red Hood!