Alright, I caved. I suddenly got the inspiration for the sequel and couldn't help myself. This isn't a direct retelling of the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum. However, I will be incorporating elements from the game and kind of making a new-ish story with it, since I'll be involving Jason and his fellow Robins into the story much more. We'll see where this goes. ;)
A chill runs through the night air. Which may be surprisingly to some, as the day had been sweltering, and for once clouds had not obscured the majority of the Gotham sky. The sun had set not too long ago, and upon its disappearance the temperature seemed to drop at an oddly rapid rate. That's how it always seems to be in Gotham. Dark coldness clings to her, no matter how hard those who live within her dangerous borders try to change that. Unfortunately, most people seem too busy making a living and staying alive to worry themselves with something as petty as hope.
Thus, the challenge of finding and spreading hope seems to fall upon the few masked legends that dwell within Gotham's shadows.
Gabby is grateful that she wasn't given a closing shift tonight. She has a paper due for her Film History class tomorrow, and the extra hours she now has to work on it are much welcomed. Nevertheless, darkness still is what she steps out into upon leaving the diner where she works, and the sight is not comforting to her. Tugging her purse higher up her shoulder, she straightens and begins walking in the direction of her apartment with a feigned air of confidence she doesn't quite have at the moment.
She constantly looks around her as she walks, careful to keep her distance from the dim corners of the alleyways she passes in front of as she continues on. The distant sounds of cars roaring down a busier street leak through the buildings clustered together, only enhancing the fact that Gabby is very much alone on the street she is currently trekking along.
It's when she turns the corner down a smaller street that she hears the footsteps. Whipping around, Gabby squints her eyes to peer into the shadows, desperately hoping that the sound had just been her imagination. She hears the sound of feet crunching on crumpled newspapers and shoves her hand into her purse, pulling out her pepper spray.
"Hello?" she asks. Trembling, she clears her throat and grips the pepper spray tightly, as though drawing courage from its touch. "I know you're out there, so you may as well show yourself."
"Gladly," says a gravelly voice. A tall, bulky man steps around the corner of a building Gabby had just passed. Long hair frames his weathered face in greasy strands, and a sinister grin spreads across his mouth, showcasing yellow, uneven teeth.
Gabby swallows, raising her pepper spray. "Back off," she says, her shaky voice betraying her fear. "I-I just want be left alone."
The man's grin turns into a sneer. "Aw, now that's not nice. I just wanna see what you've got in that little purse of yours." His eyes travel up and down Gabby's body. "And maybe whatever else it is you've got hiding. Right, boys?"
"Course," says a new voice, this time from the direction Gabby had been heading in.
Gabby's twists around, her eyes widening as two new men emerge from the shadows. She whips the pepper spray around, switching her aim from one man to the next frantically. "Please," she says. "Please don't. Help! Somebody – HELP!"
The first man laughs. "This is Gotham, sweetheart. If anyone does hear you, they ain't coming."
"Well gee, I wish somebody had told me that before I had started this whole vigilante thing."
Everyone's heads snap up in the direction the unexpected reply had come from. A large figure is swinging down directly towards them, presumably having jumped off from one of the overhanging roofs. Before anyone can react, the figure twists his body, throwing his booted feet forward and slamming them hard into the chest of one of the surprised thugs. The man goes flying into a brick wall, striking his head and slumping to the ground unconscious; at the same moment, the new figure drops to the ground with a hard thud.
The figure straightens and Gabby, unsure whether or not to be afraid, finds that all she can do is stare. Along with combat boots, the man (Gabby assumes it's a male) wears red and gray camo pants and a leather jacket covered in some kind of armor. But most odd of all is a red and silver helmet completely covering his head, decorated with what looks like two short...bat ears running along the sides of it.
The two other thugs rush at the man, one pulling out a knife and the other a gun. The man with the gun immediately fires, but the masked figure easily dodges the bullet; lunging, the figure crouches low and slams his elbow into the thug's gut. The armed man grunts in pain, stumbling backwards. The other thug throws himself forward, swiping his knife at the masked man. But the man twists out of the blade's range, simultaneously bringing his hand up to knock the knife holder's outstretched arm up into the air. The masked man then delivers a hard punch to the thug's gut, doubling him over.
The man turns back to the other thug, who has raised his gun once again. Another shot sounds off, but the masked man had moved out of the bullet's range before the thug had even finished pulling the trigger, giving the him plenty of time to lurch out of harm's way. His movements impossibly quick, the masked man then pulls out something similar to what Gabby would assume a Batarang to look like. The Batarang flies at the armed man, knocking the gun from his grip.
The masked figure jerks around and grabs the wrist of the now recovered man still clutching the knife, jerking it back viciously. There's a snapping sound, and the thug cries out in agony, dropping the blade and clutching his broken wrist to his chest. The man who had lost his gun once more runs forward, but the other man easily deflects the thrown punches. He shoves the heel of his gloved palm into the thug's jaw, snapping his head back. The thug crumples to the ground, and at the same moment the masked man spins, kicking out the legs from beneath the man with the broken wrist. The thug falls, joining the other two men on the ground.
Immediately the masked figure pulls out three sets of handcuffs. In a matter of seconds he has the dazed men secured to a water pipe running alongside one of the buildings bordering the narrow street. He presses a sequence of buttons on his gauntlet, then turns to Gabby.
Gabby takes a step back, still clutching her pepper spray.
"Are you alright?" the man asks. His voice is filtered slightly through the mask, but not enough for Gabby not to be able to tell that the person speaking is in fact a man, and a young one from what she can guess.
Breathing heavily, Gabby nods shakily. "Y-yes," she sputters. She looks up and down the man's outfit. "Are…you're not Batman, are you?"
"Hardly," the man answers. There's a touch of cockiness to the voice. The man glances down at the three thugs, who are starting to shift as they become more cognizant. "Commissioner Gordon and his men should be here soon, so this scum won't be bothering you – or anyone else – again. Isn't that right, boys?" Crouching, the man grabs the jaw of the thug who had been holding the gun. His grip tightens, and the thug winces in pain. "Or you'll all be very sorry you ever bothered to step foot in Gotham." The masked man looks over at the discarded gun lying on the ground not three feet from when he's kneeling. Reaching out, he picks it up and turns it over, inspecting it. Then he presses it to the thug's jaw, forcing the man's face upwards. "Maybe I should just pull the trigger," he hisses. "Relieve this godforsaken city of three worthless pieces of shit. It won't make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, but I'm sure any future victims of yours would be grateful." The thug doesn't answer, keeping his eyes focused on the far wall. The masked man shoves the thug's face away in disgust and stands, turning back to Gabby.
A tense moment of silence passes.
"Do you need me to take you home?" he finally asks.
"No," Gabby says quickly. "No…" Her gaze flickers down to the gun in the man's hand. Seemingly unconcerned, the man ejects the gun's magazine and tosses both it and the empty weapon to the ground for Commissioner Gordon to pick up for evidence. Gabby swallows. "It's not that I'm not grateful…but…"
"I understand," the man says. "Just be careful, okay?"
Gabby nods. "K." She begins to turn away but stops, looking up into the red and silver mask. "Thank you," she says. She hesitates. "Who are you?"
The man studies her for a moment. "The Gotham Knight." Perhaps it's the confidence, or the tinge of pride in his voice, but somehow the name seems to carry a sense of heavy importance to it as it's spoken.
Before Gabby can reply, the Gotham Knight pulls out a grappling hook and shoots it at a nearby roof. A second later he's launching into the air and over the edge of the building top, out of sight. Gabby stands there for a minute, staring. Then she shakes her head and turns away, hurrying down the street.
Less than five minutes later, she's rushing up the outside steps to her apartment complex. As she fumbles with her keys a chill runs down her spine. Gabby glances back over her shoulder, and for the tiniest instant she is sure she spots what looks to be a helmeted figure crouching on the nearby rooftop, watching her. But when she looks harder, there's nothing to see. Frowning, Gabby finally gets the door unlocked and goes inside, wondering who on earth her savior had been.
It's nearly five in the morning when Jason pulls his motorcycle into the Batcave. The Batmobile has already been parked, and only one person is there to greet Jason as he walks up to the massive computer monitors hanging from the cave's far wall.
Still in his Robin uniform, Tim slowly turns his chair around at the sound of Jason's approaching footsteps. He blinks wearily in Jason's direction, clutching a coffee mug. "Sup," he mumbles. "You were out forever."
Jason pulls the helmet from his head. "Looks like it's past your bedtime," he jokes.
Tim tosses what he, in his drowsy state, probably thinks is a biting glare in Jason's direction. "Shut up."
Smirking, Jason looks up at the multiple open pages displayed on the screens looming over them. "What are you working on?"
"A few leads Bruce and I picked up tonight," Tim answers. He stretches his arms, yawning. "Bruce already went to bed. Well, he said he was going to bed, but he's probably just working in the study or something."
"Maybe you should go to bed too," says Jason, watching Tim's eyes drift close momentarily before snapping back open. "It's been a long night."
"Yeah, yeah," Tim mutters, waving his hand absently. "Just promise me you'll be the one making waffles for breakfast…lunch…whatever, later today. You're much better at it; Alfred's were awful last time."
Jason chuckles. "The one thing he can't cook. And yet he's always so proud of them." Jason lets out a yawn of his own and sets his helmet down on the computer desk. "Sure, fine." He begins peeling off the outer layer of his armor, groaning with exhaustion. "Just go to bed."
"Don't tell me what to do," Tim mumbles, pushing himself out of his chair and stumbling towards his personal elevator. He waves drowsily in Jason's direction before entering the elevator; the doors close and Tim is sent upwards into his bedroom, leaving Jason to himself.
Sighing, Jason drops into the chair Tim had been sitting in. He shrugs out of his jacket and drapes it over the chair's armrest as he pulls himself closer to the computer desk. Moving Tim's work onto the farthest right screen, Jason open up a new internet page. In seconds he's hacked into Arkham Asylum's private patient files.
His hands tremble slightly as he types into the name search bar.
The patient file comes up instantly. Jason ignores the information he's memorized a hundred times over, instead focusing on the words following "status" at the top of the page.
STATUS: Incarcerated and undergoing mental treatment
The tightening Jason hadn't even realized had taken hold of his chest releases, and Jason lets out a low breath, leaning back against the chair. He's still there. He hasn't escaped yet. Jason runs a hand through his hair, breathing deeply. He drops his hand, and it brushes against the long-healed scar on his left cheek. His fingers trace the curve of the letter and he sobers, his expression hardening at the memories that once again poke the edges of his mind. Jason drops his hands to the keyboards, typing once again.
The computer takes less than a second to pull up the new page.
STATUS: Location currently unknown
Jason frowns, though he's not surprised. If Harley had been recaptured, he would have heard about it long before the information was put into Arkham's files. A sigh escapes Jason as he closes the internet tab. He rubs a hand across his forehead, his eyelids drooping in sudden weariness. Standing, Jason gathers up his Gotham Knight armor and heads towards his elevator, knowing that – as usual – he probably won't be getting a lot of sleep.