A/N: DISCLAIMER: ANY REFERENCES OR LINES FROM V FOR VENDETTA BELONG TO THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS! I OWN NOTHING BEYOND THE IDEA FOR THIS STORY! Alright! After being pestered for so long I've finally dug my claws into this idea, the first NarutoxGotham crossover. Now y'see, I didn't know where or when to place it at first, didn't want to alter too much. But then it hit me. What does Gotham have no short of? Corruption. Now, screwing around with Batman is one thing. But messing with Gotham the show...
...now that's a whole new can of worms. Off we go! Fair warning; A LOT of people are going to die in this fic...
"The Waynes deserved better."
You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
The saying itself may be cliche, but as all sayings go, it rings with a seed of truth. Indeed, if one were to search for the definition of filth in the dictionary, they'd find a picture of this city. Gotham, as a whole is a city of corruption. Filth. Pestilence. Nowhere in the world can you find a fouler pit. Since the time of its founding, this postule of a city has been just that; a zit on the face of humanity, ever - present yet ignored. Murders take place here ever day. Children are kidnapped. Women are raped. Families, businsess, are burglarized.
Its officials turn a blind eye. The day-to-day minutia of this city is ignored, the cries of its victims left unheeded. But no longer. They say that every man has a limit; there are certain things that he will, and will not, be able to tolerate. When you push someone past the limit, well...you're about to find out what happens.
This is a story of corruption. Of death. Love. Redemption. But, most of all...
It was autumn in Gotham City.
That in itself was not too surprising; the world turned on its axis, and the seasons changed, especially in this northeastern corner of the country. It was the last week of October, and the trees along the boulevard were brilliant every one of them, with scarlet, auburn, burgundy and other rich colors. They seemed to glitter in the evening. The air was still and crisp-not quite brisk-every drawn breath promised winter. The sky was quite remarkably clear, the dark shade of a little boy's blanket that had been washed too many times.
It was, all things considered, the perfect night for a murder.
The harrowing sound of a broken bone filled the park.
Aubrey James-the unfortunate Mayor of Gotham-wailed, crying out in agony as another spike was driven into his hand, nailing him to the wood.
He found himself staring into the pitiless eyes of his tormentor.
An blank slate of red and orange metal stared back at him, blue light leering furiously down from the slit where his eyes should have been. Did the man even have eyes behind the mask? Was he even human? The rest of him was wreathed in orange and crimson leathers, creaking softly as he moved. As he worked. Strung him to the tree in a grim parody of a crucifix, his hands and feet tied with zipcords, he began to realize that this was no simple extortion; this was something far worse. He saw the dry kindling at his feet, the oil being poured into the hastily-erected firepit, and his heart sank.
This man was going to kill him. Burn him at the stake. Like a modern day Joan of Arc...
"Why are you doing this?!"
"Why?" the scarred mask cocked aside, like a dog listening to a new sound, that stark, visor-slit-device glittering in the black. A voice like a slow moving avalanche emerged from within. "You're corrupt, my dear mayor, unfit to leead. I need no other reason." The mayor struggled, earning himself another blow. "Would you rather I repeat what you told the poor masses of Gotham? Yes, perhaps that would put your soul at ease...
The man held up a tape recorder. A gloved finger reached up, pressed play.
"This is a case of compromising for what's best for the people of Gotham." Aubrey's very own words from that afternoon were flung back in his face. "The Arkham District will be developed into both low cost housing, as well as a much needed site for waste disposal. This is the best of both plans – together in one. Meanwhile, Arkham Asylum will be retrofitted to meet today's standards and re-opened. Gotham deserves a world class treatment facility for the mentally ill. I know, that were the Waynes still alive today, they would be proud of what we've accomplished."
He clicked it off. Silence pervaded once more.
Aubrey blanched, wholly at a loss. "I...you...how did you get that?"
"Why, I was the one who asked you that very question."
Foam flecked the corners of his mouth. "Bullshit! That's impossible!"
"Impossible is merely that which is thought not to be possible." came the cryptic answer. "That does not make it so."
This man...he was insane!
"I am dissapointed in you, mayor." the man rumbled, ignoring his crass profanity. "Do you think they, the Waynes, are proud of what you've done? They're likely rolling in their graves, even as we speak. You lead these people. You were supposed to stand for something. Yet at the first sign of fear, you soil yourself and give in. What happened to integrity of your job? The honor?"
The answer was just as he'd expected
"You," he rasped, throat dry, "You won't get away with this."
The masked man chuckled, hoarse. "Oh, I will. Unlike you boring mortals, I can become anyone. Anything." Before his eyes the man seemed to vanish into plume of dry smoke, becoming a woman. Then a child. Then a man again. "I've even taken the courtesy of disabling the cameras in the park. Of course, there's the live feed I'll be transmitting, but hey, that's showbiz, ain't it?" A match was struck, sending sparks flying towards the kindling at his feet. Then another. And another. And another. Irate, the masked man growled.
"Oh, for fuck's sake-
The man raised his mask in a lightning fast motion and spat, expelling a tiny cone of fire into the pit. It caught immediately, creeping up toward his fine shoes. Aubrey thrashed wildly, kicking them free moments before the tongues of fire could touch them. The masked man flicked his fingers, and twin knives slammed into the mayor's forgotten feet, binding him back to the cross once more. The flames continued to spread. Sweat beaded upon his brow.
"L-Listen! I can pay you! I can make you rich-FUCK!"
His words trailed off in a warbling cry as a boot slammed into the joint of his knee, shattering it. "Oh God, oh Christ, oh sweet Jesus...somebody help me!" He howled as his feet began to warm.
"I do not want your money." the assassin answered, his voice rising over Aubrey's cries. "I've enough of that in my day job already. No, my dear mayor, there is only one thing I want. Your life." A hand rose, cradling a portable camera in palm, its light blinking as it recorded every instant of his torment. "Chin up now, Jamesy, its almost time for your show. Your piece de resistance." Strutting around him, he set the device on a nearby tripod, stepping back into full view of the tiny camcorder.
And still, Aubrey James burned.
"Good evening, people of Gotham," he began loudly. "You may not know me, but I...know you. My name is unimportant. Because I have a message for you. Do you see this man here?" his arm gestured grandly to the writhing form of Aubrey. "This, your mayor. He has betrayed you. Soon, he will be dead. His demise will be broadcast across the world. But my message is not for him. It is for you. For the common man," those fingers rose, clenching into a fist. "The downtrodden. The suppressed. Ignored. Abused. For those of you who have been beaten, oppressed and humiliated, I am your redemption. The one who will purge thise city. To those who are corrupt, I say only this.
"Justice is coming."
He reached down and pressd a button, ending the recording.
Smiling, he returned his attention to the mayor.
"Pretty soon this'll be all over the news, the internet and then the whole world." he said, addressing the burning figure. "You should be honored, really, mayor. You're the beginning of something that's been a long time in coming. Something...wonderful."
"I'll give you whatever you want!" he wailed! "Just make it stoooooop!"
"Words." his tormentor tittered softly, muttering over the crackle of their flames. "Empty. Hollow. Without meaning. I tried using those when I came here. Do you know what that got me? A bullet in the heart. Funny thing, though. That just pissed me off. But even so, I could live with it. What I cannot live with, my dear mayor, is corruption. I thought you were different. Really, I did. For awhile there, I thought you were different. But, no, you caved in just like all the rest; you let fear for your life consume you. To survive, you made a deal with the devil. And that, I cannot allow."
Aubrey could almost longer speak, his lungs were filled with fire.
"Madness is a fickle thing, my boy." The knife stroked up and down the man's throat in a lovers caress. "Leave it alone and its fine. Dandy. But, y'see, insanity is like gravity. Pressure." With that very word, he began to push the blade against his throat. "That's where its at." A tiny trickle of blood welled up at its edge, running down his adam's apple. "All it takes...is...a little...
Blood spattered the street as the knife sank home in his throat, ending his torment. It was quick death. Clean. Simple. Better than he deserved. Still the fires burned, consuming his corpse. He watched for a long, awful moment, comittng the body to memory. The first of many. This city had taken someone precious from him, just as it had done to so many. But now, now he was taking it back.
As he slipped away into the night, Uzumaki Naruto -soon to be dubbed the Undertaker by the people of this city- idly wondered if anyone else would eventually step from concealment, accept whatever shame they truly owned in this city, and take action.
Until then, there was only one cure.
Gotham would be purged.
He would be the cure.
A/N: Its been awhile, hasn't it? I've been away from the world of Batman for ages, haven't I? And if you're wondering about the mask, its vaguely like that of the one Revan wore. Scary little 'ting inn'it? That aside, there's not really much of a pairing for this one, just a means to make the criminally corrupt of Gotham pay for what they've done. By the time this story's finished, there will be blood, Falcone's, Fish's, Maroni's, and more...
So...in the immortal words of Atlas...
...Review...Would You Kindly...? And of course, enjoy the preview!
The light flicked on, revealing his worst fear. He wasn't alone.
The man inclined his head politely.
"Good evening, detective."
James Gordon bristled in surprise, his hand flying to his holster. The man made no move to evade; he simply sat there, reclining on the couch. There was a moment of silence between the two of them, detective and stranger. Neither spoke. Neither moved. Gordon was fairly certain no one breathed.
"Put your weapon away." the stranger said at last. "We're all friends here."
Friends? No. This man was no friend to him. He was responsible for the riots, for the fear, for the muttered words of Undertaker in lower Gotham. This was no friend of his. Instinct seized him, drawing a bead on the masked man sitting in his home. The blank face of slate regarded him emotionlessly, unflinching, uncaring of the pistol that could have easily taken his life. It was as if he had no fear of it. None at all.
"You're the one who murered the mayor."
Another silence, barely a beat.
"Yes. Are you going to arrest me?"
"I suppose you will." the mask inclined in a nod. "But if you do that, I'll have to kill you."
"I'd shoot you first." James growled.
"Hardly." He scoffed. "I don't need to touch you to immobilize you, ya know. Hell, I'd destroy your gun before you could even fire"
There was a moment of silence. Then:
His hand shot up, snatching the bullet from the air.
"I wish you hadn't done that."
A wave of his wrist and the weapon vanished, turning to dust in his hand. James balked; in the next instant the Undertaker was on him. A hand like iron lashed out, breaking his nose and flinging him down to the floor; a harsh click followed seconds later, followed by his remaining bullets clattering to the floor. A boot pressed into his back forcing him down to the floor.
"I have a proposition for you."
"I wanted to tell you that something is coming," he began, pushing down harder, "Something that is beyond my control. I can't stop it. Frankly, I don't want to try." Those eerie blue eyes bored into him from behind the mask, dark and flat like the waters of the bay. "In the next week, another corrupt individual is going to die." he said. "I will be the one to kill him. Or her. I haven't decided, yet. In the next week, two. Then three. Then four. I'm sure you know where this is going detective.
"I will continue to slay them, one by one, until it is done. And when I am done, I will leave."
"That's not the way to do this!"
"I am not the saviour of this city." he said. "I am here to purge it. The innocent will live. The wicked will die. I will make no distinction; whomseover has committed and unjust murder, burglarized, raped, harassed, or performed any other act of evil in their heart, they will die."
"So you're here to tell me that you're going to kill me." James hissed.
He couldn't see the surprise behind that slate mask, but he certainly felt it.
"I wanted to let you know that you're going to live."
Smoke blinded him. The boot vanished from his back, allowing him to clamor to his feet.
The Undertaker was gone.