The Will to Act

Within the dark city of Gotham, two men fought. In truth, almost the entire city was fighting, reverted to savages due to a panic inducing toxin. But the main battle was between two men, fighting on a train that raced on a single track…towards Wayne Tower…and if that train reached the tower, the city would be lost forever…

The two men who fought were prodigal family, bound to each other closer than family. They were like partners…brothers…two halves of the same warrior. These two men were the legendary Ra's al Ghul, and his greatest student Bruce Wayne, also known as the Dark Knight…Batman.

Batman remembered this train so well...this train was one of the last places he had ever seen his parents…They had been killed…and this supposed enemy he was fighting now took him in and offered him a path when he was lost…he turned him from a rouge to a legend…and now they fought like bitter enemies. He hated it, he hated it so much, this is what had to be done. He didn't want to do it…but he had to…he wasn't having second thoughts…nor regrets…just wishes for a way for them to leave as brothers like they came…but he already knew it was impossible. He learned to accept this…he was taught by that very man. He continued to fight…he already knew that Ra's death was written in stone, he was doomed to die upon that train…the question was: whether Bruce go down with him.

Ra's could feel the regret…stabbing at him like a blade between his ribs. He knew he had to do this…if not, the entire planet could parish. He would have to sacrifice the bond between him and his prodigal son…he didn't want to…but in a role as important as his, want played no factor. It must be done…Wayne must be defeated here and now. As he knocked him down and leaned on him, he said a solemn farewell in his head.

'Goodbye…Old Friend…'

Then Ra's saw it…the fateful glimmer of doubt in Bruce's eyes…Bruce was doubting himself, doubting what he was doing…Ra's would not have that. He refused to fight a man in such a climatic battle who did not know where he stood. So he leaned forward and spoke in his fatherly whisper: "Don't be afraid, Bruce…"

Then Ra's could see it…he could see Bruce return to where he belonged…standing where he belonged…as he had put it earlier that night…between him…and the people of Gotham…Ra's continued talking, telling Bruce the facts from his point of view: "You hate this city as much as I, but you are just an ordinary man in a cape…that is why you could not fight injustice…and why you cannot stop this train."

Bruce pushed forward…now decided to state facts himself. He spoke in the raspy growl, the voice of Batman: "Who said anything about stopping it?"

A moment of confusion struck Ra's. What could he mean? Suddenly, the train began to shake…Ra's looked up to see the forward rails collapsing…Bruce had done it…Ra's already knew it…Bruce had won… he had finally…

He had to do it now…it was now or never…he pushed forward against Ra's and rolled reversing their positions. From under his cape, he brandished two batarangs, holding them above Ra's head, a single swift strike could cause them to dig into his skull. Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw it…they were so close to the end of the rails…it was now or never…but he didn't know…Ra's was a second father to him…could he really let another father die?

No!

This had to be done.

That's what he had dedicated his life to. He had to make sacrifices of his wishes to save people, and if this didn't happen now…so many other people would die.

Ra's merely grinned and completed his earlier thought. "So, you've finally learned to do what is necessary…"

Batman hated what was happening…but this was not murder…this…was justice. He growled between his teeth. "I won't kill you…"

He threw one of the two batarangs at the wind shield, shattering it.

Then threw the second one behind him, blowing the back of the car, then he turned to Ra's and said in a much softer voice: "But I don't have to save you…"

He morphed his cape into wing formation and set let go, the wind carrying him out of the back of the train and away into the air…"Goodbye...Old Friend…"

Ra's quickly sat up and looked at the front of the train, it was now going off the end of the track…his life was now over…bravo Wayne…Ra's closed his eyes…and thought the final thoughts of his life, that he knew…through some way, shape, or form…would reach Bruce… "I'm proud of you…you did what must be done…without forsaking your single and solemn vow, to never take a life…you have indeed bested me…and you have shown that you have the will to act…Goodbye…Old Friend…"