Future Knights Part 1: Brave new world

Non-Arkhamverse Batman Fanfic

Future Knights Part 1: Brave new world

Postby The_King_Of_Arkham » Feb 2nd, 2015, 5:53 am

Welcome to the year 2025
Gotham City has become a very different place at this point. The Batman still patrols the street as an aging crimefighter, Billionaire Bruce Wayne has not been seen in public for eight years. Gotham’s gangland has grown as a new crimelord known as Exodus has slowly been taking control of Gotham’s Underworld from older crime boss Roman Sionis, The Black Mask. Other factions have sprung from it such as a crime boss known as The Tally Man ruling The Narrows Island and The Great White Shark taking control of the shipyards. The Riddler is all but untouchable due to a pardon given to him two years ago. The Scarecrow is in a catatonic state in the new Arkham Island based in Amadeus Arkham’s old home. Two-Face has been in recovery for the last five years at the Arkham home in The Narrows for less violently disturbed patients. The Joker has been missing for eight years and presumed dead since his last encounter with Batman ended with Joker’s body being set ablaze and falling off a cliff. Batman and Robin still operate as crime fighting duo, But behind the scenes Damian and Bruce Wayne are at complete odds with each other. James Gordon is headed for retirement soon, but dragging it out as long as possible because his replacement Jack Forbes has proven to Jim on multiple occasions to be untrustworthy and out for his own personal gain.

“This fish thought he was man enough to take on The Tally Man, serves him right he got iced,” said a muscle bound goon to his compatriot as they dragged a dead body to the Gotham river. His friend laughed, “Yea I betcha The Bat wouldn’t even stand a chance.”
They dropped the body at the edge of the river, they need to go back to get their equipment to make sure the body sinks. “Hey! Careful what you say man!” the first goon said with notable fear in his eyes. “The Bat could be anywhere. I-I mean he could be here now.”
“So?” said the other. “I ain’t scared. Bat’s gotta be gettin’ old now. If he’s even still around.”
“You didn’t hear? Black Mask took a big hit last night. He had a major drug shipment coming through the docks and all of the Shark’s guys as well as Black Mask’s guys that were protecting the shipment got taken out. All the guys got beat the crap out of and the shipment was hand delivered to the cops somehow.”
“That don’t mean it’s The Bat,” the other man scoffed. “How do you know it wasn’t Exodus’ guys? They’re all supposed to be expert killers right? They could’ve done it?”
“But why leave ‘em all alive? The big boss never does that. And why give the cops the evidence when he could just give it to us?”
“What the hell’s with all these questions man?! Maybe the boss just wanted to send a different type of message. It’s not like we know anything about him. Nobody even knows what the guy looks like!”
The other man felt puzzled and remained quiet for the remainder of the trip back to the car and back to the dead body. As they were tying rocks to his feet the first man finally asked, “Why do we follow orders from him? Exodus I mean. Why take orders from someone we don’t know?”
“I don’t why the others do it, all I know is that I take orders from The Tally Man,” the other man said matter-of-factly. “I don’t listen to people that don’t even show their face to his gang. All I’m saying is that there’s no way it’s The Bat. Guy’s getting way too old to take out that many guys.”
“I think I’m pretty spry for my age, and I’m not that old yet,” came a voice from behind. The two men jumped up to see who it was but before they could turn around one became acquainted with the elbow of their attacker while the other was backhanded across the face, breaking his nose. The elbowed one was face down in the dirt. The man with the broken nose was still conscious and struggling to get up as he clenched his nose tightly from the pain. Then he was suddenly jerked upright and came face to face with their attacker. A man all dressed in black, a long black cape and a pointed cowl. He came face to face with The Batman. “Jesus!” the man exclaimed in hysteria.
“Not even close,” said Batman. “What happened to this man?”
“H-h-he was beat to death,” the goon stammered in fear. “The Tally Man beat the crap out of him.”
“Why?” Batman got more in his face. His gaze as cold as death.
“He challenged him,” he answered quickly. “When anyone challenges him he puts them in the ring with him. They get a fair shot to take him down. The only rule is that only one walks away alive,” the henchman paused. “No one…no one’s ever beaten him. The other guy’s are lucky if they land one punch.”
Batman was considering the man’s words, then slammed him on the ground and handcuffed him to his unconscious friend. “The police will be here in a moment. If you’re smart, you’ll stay here. If not…I’ll find you.” And with that he fired his grapnel to the nearest building and zipped away in the air.

Back at the Batcave, Alfred Pennyworth awaited his master’s return as he watched Damian training in one of Batman’s pre-programmed training sequences.
“Master Damian,” Alfred called to the young man. “You’ve been at that awhile, would you care to rest a moment? I’m sure your father will be home soon.”
Damian put his sword back in it's sheathe as he sliced up the last of the training drones. “Just finishing up Pennyworth,” the young man called back. Damian was now nineteen years old and still headstrong as ever. “Why does it matter if my father is returning? He won’t let me assist him.”
“Not true,” Alfred responded. “You assisted him in tracking the smugglers’ movements at the docks.”
“That was reconnaissance on the batcomputer, not field work,” Damian sniped.
“Ah but that’s not what you said,” the old man shot back. “Perhaps you should be more specific young sir.”
Damian gave him a cold stare, “When are you going to die, Pennyworth?”
“Probably when your father trusts you to drive the batmobile…which will be never.” Damian growled and went to get dressed. A few moments later, Alfred heard the roar of the batmobile’s engine coming down the driving strip that led to the turnstile. Alfred walked over to greet his master. “Welcome home, Master Bruce. I trust your trip to the Narrows was educational?”
Batman hopped out of the car and removed his mask, “Very.” Bruce’s face carried more lines from age as well as battle scars. His head was completely bald now and he stumbled slightly when he walked. But his suit was now a more updated piece of technology that was optimized to be completely efficient in the field and utilize his strength at a level that he hasn’t been at since he was in his twenties. “Apparently when Tally Man gets challenged he gives his opponent the chance to defend themselves in a one on one fight. But he’s never been beaten. I got two of his men getting ready to dump the latest challenger in the river.”
“Which no doubt means that there are others at the bottom of the river,” responded Alfred.
“Probably,” Bruce disrobed by the computer. As he removed the torso part of his suit it revealed a very technologically advanced back brace. He took two blue pills out of a bottle by the computer and sat down. “I’ll have to tell Gordon to get harbor patrol to perform a sweep.” He sighed as he sat back. It was a very exhausted sigh.
“What’s next, sir?” asked Alfred, shoving down the urge to ask if his master was feeling alright, he knew the answer would be a lie anyway. “Head straight to this ‘Tally Man’?”
“Not immediately. If I strike now I might not be able to learn more about his operations as well as his work with Exodus.”
“Any more developments?”
“Just what I already suspected,” Bruce started typing. “No one knows anything about him.” He stopped for a moment. “Where’s Damian?”
“I imagine the young master is still cleaning up after training.”
“Hmm,” was Bruce’s only response as he went back to typing.
Alfred paused a moment to consider his words. “You know. Keeping him at arm’s length like this will only make it worse, sir.”
“He is your son after all, I know you and he have your differences. But would it really be so bad to actually talk through this instead of the usual putting up barriers between you two?”
Alfred sighed, “Good talk, sir. I feel we really accomplished something today.” He said, defeated.
Damian stormed in almost at the exact moment Alfred and Bruce fell into silence. “Father, turn on the news. There’s something you need to see.”
Bruce turned and looked at his son in confusion, “What’s going on?” Damian stormed up to the computer. “You really need to see this,” he said as he brought up a screen linking to the news.
“This is Lola Chang, reporting live from the Arkham Home for the mentally ill as Harvey Dent, the former district attorney later known as Two-Face is being released under his own recognizance.” The reporter began. “When asked to give a word on his recovery, Mister Dent responded with this.”
The screen switched over to Harvey Dent, who was still scarred on one side of his face, but there definitely was something different about him. “I’ve been declared legally sane, but I have to meet with a psychiatrist twice a week to discuss my progress and be certain I don’t fall back into my old habits. I don’t think this city can forgive my actions, but I do hope that this can be the first step in my second chance.”
The screen switched back to Lola Chang. “We later managed to get a word from his psychiatrist, Holman Hunt on this stunning development.”
The screen switched over to a very well dressed young psychiatrist with one side of his face burned like Harvey’s only it was the opposite side. “I have had many sessions with Mister Dent. Trying to relate my own personal trauma to him and showing him how to move past it.”
“What of his multiple personality disorder?” asked Lola. “His psychological trauma began long before his accident.
Doctor Hunt laughed, “Very true Miss Chang. Harvey suffered from a schizophrenic bipolar disorder that later escalated into a dual personality that manifested itself more after his accident. Harvey now understands that he is only one man, not two. He realized after facing his own personal demons that not only came from work stress, but the abuse that he suffered through in his childhood that his accident didn’t create another person it just gave him an excuse to not deal with his pain.”
Lola came back on screen, “Harvey Dent is now currently being transported to an apartment rented to him from Doctor Hunt. He claims Harvey is only one man now. But does that mean he’s a good man? More information will be presented as it arrives, but as of now Harvey Dent is a free man.”
It was silent in the batcave for a few moments. Finally, Damian asked, “What’s next father?” But Batman didn’t say anything, he just glared at the screen paused on a shot of Harvey Dent.
"You see now I understand there are no chance encounters, it was all meant to be, everything leading up to who. I've met. Tonight."
-The Joker (Batman: Arkham Origins)
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