The disclaimer, Batman and other DC characters are not mine, a sheer fable is all I have preformed.

Ch.1 of Men and Bats

A living legend, protector, and above all a hero. A man who in the wake of tragedy was born a new. He fights perhaps a battle that will never truly be won. In years to come, his body might be spent and wasted. In years to come, there may be a day when The Batman no longer moves among the city of Gotham. But alas that future has not arrived. The Batman is still around to strike fear in the hearts of criminals. Coincidently, the Man-Bat is out an about tonight as well, only it strikes fear in all of Gotham's citizens unfortunate enough o cross its path.

It's a creature a little to close to his heart thinks Batman as swings around a skyscraper attached to his grapple gun. The creature is something that has even his pulse pounding a little faster then normal. Completing his arc around the building he lands on a small ledge. The night flyer has vanished, for the moment. Reaching up to his masked eyes Batman activates an info red scanning system and sweeps the city in sight. He's not looking down below but up the gray veils hiding the moon. He searches patiently, nothing. No sound of leather wings flapping, no blasting sonic screeches, nothing and then….a shimmer of red. He tunes the image and there flies the creature above the city, steady in motion. It's searching for prey, realizes Batman and with a swipe at his utility belt withdraws a sonic pulse emitter. A push and it activates. The creature howls in anguish.

Descending from the sky Man-Bat tears at empty space, scratching at its long floppy ears, screaming as its sensory perception is blacked out. It's falling fast, and then with a flap of its giant wings its coming to him. Batman amplifies the sonic emitter, but the creature is locked on, and knows its insanity will end with the killing of the Batman. With bleeding ears, the creature comes at Batman with full force and before the dark knight can leap away to safety the creature slams into him and both go through the glass crashing into a small office.

The creature fumbles on the ground, its large wings in place of arms slashing out at the walls, tearing shelves apart, and overturning file cabinets. Its fanged mouth opens and screams with full intensity. Batman braces his own ears as the reminder of glass shatters in the office. Driven into an animal frenzy Man-Bat spots the costumed human hunched behind the wooden desk. Leaping up on it, and spotting the sonic emitter upon the ground it bites down upon the device and shatters it, sparks cracking in its mouth. Taking the moment of opportunity, Batman rears up and attacks the creature, but the real Bat is strong, far stronger then the Batman. With ease it tosses Batman into the ceiling.

Falling near the open window the creature lunges out at Batman sending him out and falling. Man-Bat races downward with his prey, Batman struggling to shock his cape out to wings, but he's falling backside, he's helpless and plummeting too fast.

Small situation, he thinks to himself as he once again fumbles at his utility belt. The grapple gun. Man-Bat soaring down with him close by, Batman aims and fires. The cable shoots out and wraps around the leg of the creature. Man-Bat screams furiously and just before Batman lands to what would be his sudden death, he's whipped upward by the creature, hanging precariously from the attached cable. Flying low through allies after ally, Man-Bat turns violently slamming Batman into the ally side before he's pulled out into an open stretch of road. Cabs mixed with busses and regulars, Man-Bat flies low to the oncoming vehicles. Batman twists and strains his body to avoid any oncoming vehicles, missing a few and brushing alongside another, his ribs.

Onlookers from the sidewalks watch in stunned horror, fingers pointing at the winged freaks playing chicken through the streets. "It's the Batman," one woman calls out. "Two of them," shouts another.

Regaining his balance, Batman realizes he can't keep up the charade too much longer, and he's right. He's headed for two parallel busses and Man-Bat drops even lower so that his cape drags along the road. In a last ditch effort Batman reaches out with one arm and produces another grapple gun, aims and fires at the creature's right wing. Success, he thinks as Man-Bat looses function of one of its wings and is forced into another dark ally, Batman pulled in as well.

Tumbling in, the creature lands on its back, Batman already up and racing to it. Sensing the movements of its prey Man-Bat turns violently and with one swipe of its clawed talons pins Batman against the wall. Its jaws open wide, producing the large white fangs and it bites into Batman's shoulder, an instant spray of blood misting into the air. Batman hollers out in pain and with all his might sends his right bladed arm backwards against the creature's chest spilling its stolen blood.

Man-Bat shakes his head back and fourth screaming, flaps its right wing free of the grapple cable and in one push is back into the air. Going straight up through the ally, batman watches as the creature soars to freedom, getting away and as it surfaces above the ally it is most unfortunate to fly right up and under the blades of a passing police helicopter. Its body shredded apart, a light rain of its crimson substance drops down and Man-Bat is no more.

Injured and Bleeding, Batman clutches at his left shoulder, and moves deeper into the dark alleyway, rats scurrying away along with other vermin. He brings up a com link and voices, "Alfred, Alfred?"

"Yes sir, I am here," responds his old friend's voice.

"Alfred, meet me at Marcus 34th, the back of the Xeon building."

"Yes sir, I'm on my way."

Batman disappears into the shadows, into the night. Another day's work of protecting Gotham is done. He would complain about it if not for the fact that his alter-ego was Billionaire Bruce Wayne, prince of Gotham as it was once said.