I do not own Batman, or any DC character used in this parody for my own amusement.
The Bat: Eternal Night
Batman was still slumped over the computer, studying data when Francis came into the main cave.
"You don't have to call me that."
"It's…..expected. I think. Anyway, we were wondering. Have you heard anything? About…. You know? Him?"
"Not yet. I sense him. He's here. But so far, he isn't making any overt moves. Just as well, since I spent the last two days chasing copies of that bizarre meta that decided to try to make Gotham his new home," he grumbled.
He knew even the police weren't sure if they really got the right one. After all, when you were dealing with a man that could literally create unlimited copies of himself, how did you know if you had the right one when you finally caught him. Even his senses had been fooled more than a few times, since apparently he made exact copies that were capable of moving and even thinking independently until they were 'burst' like balloons by the man that created them.
He supposed they would find out soon enough if Kopy-Kat was still out there. But they knew his M.O., and his abilities now. He would know what to look for in the future.
"What if he comes here," Francis asked.
"Whatever he does, we'll face him when he makes his move," Batman told her, and understood why the four young vampires had gotten so quiet lately.
At first, they were simply worried that he might yet stake them. They were obviously not the blood-mad ghouls he had met before, though. He wondered if it had something to do with the synthetic blood diet they all shared. Or if they were simply the kind of people that couldn't succumb to such behavior even when faced with the monstrous shift in their lives they now suffered.
"I've faced worse, Francis," he told her, his mask currently down since by now they all knew his real identity. "I'm still here. Trust me. We'll stop this demon, too."
She nodded, and then asked, "The guys? Well, all of us. We were wondering….. Ah, what are we going to do? I mean, even after this ends. You know, with the old master, and all? What are we supposed to do? You've been great, and really, we aren't complaining, but…..hanging out in your cave just sucking down your blood supply? It's kind of dead-endish," she said with a wan smile.
Bruce smiled back just as somber. "Yes," he agreed. "I suppose it would be. Just now, however, I am trying to….."
"What is it," she asked.
"Joker disappeared from Arkham. Only according to his medical charts, there is no way he should have managed. He's suffering from stage two malignant carcinomas brought on by his…..condition."
"Do you think he did it?"
"I don't know. I don't really see this vampire master of yours bothering with old lunatics. Still, I'll keep it in mind. As to your friends, tell them I'm still considering things, but for now, we need you to stay underground, and out of the public eye. Don't forget, you're still missing persons back home. You don't want to draw official notice, and have the wrong people try to drag you home."
"Oh. Right," she grimaced. "Man," she sighed. "Mom must be freaking by now. Funny, I just now thought of her."
"I'm sure it's understandable," he told her. "Don't worry. Just tell your brother, and your friends to stay patient, and we'll work everything out in due time. All right?"
She sighed. "All right. I'll tell them."
Batman watched her leave, sighing as the irony that he should end up protecting vampires. Even if they were relatively innocent children caught up in a nightmare beyond their experience. He did have a few ideas about dealing with them, but it was going to be tricky. After all, even he had some limitations. And considering every one of the teens was under eighteen, and not likely to get any older, it only made things trickier.
Meanwhile, he had to deal with this new vampire that from what Adam had said might be more of a threat than expected. The last thing he needed was to be dragged into a vampiric turf war over who owned the night. He could just imagine how Clark would react to that one.
"Master, we have the information you desired," a cloaked man walked into the dimly lit office where a man sat at a desk reviewing stacks of books piled around a small notebook computer he was using for whatever occupied him.
"Report," the dark-haired man with a thin beard ordered as he turned cold eyes on the man.
"Your daughter is definitely with the detective in his city. She has also been seen in daylight hours, but considering the Bat's own apparent immunities….."
"There remains the possibility that she was turned. Unfortunately, it is the only explanation to date for her survival," he growled. "Still, I can find nothing that explains his miraculous resurrection, or his ability to resist the usual blights on those changed by the vampiric curse. It is as if he….."
"Never mind. Continue to observe, but do not act. Not yet. We dare not underestimate Wayne this time. Considering the level on which he now operates, we must be far more clever than ever if we are to bring him down. And we must. From now on, that is our sole directive until otherwise noted. For we cannot go forward until we are rid of his infernal shadow. I see that now."
"As you will, master," the man bowed, and turned to leave after he was dismissed.
Ra's al Ghul never bothered to take note of his departure. He was still focused on his own studies.
"How," he demanded of the research he was conducting. "How did you manage it? What miracle did you perform this time?"
"We meet at last," a lean, pale man hissed as Batman turned to face the shadow that rose out of the darkness around the cavern's dimly lit interior.
"Dumont," Francis cried, turning to stare at him.
The man smiled coldly as Selina stared at the overly tall, feral creature that simply looked cruel.
The three teens with Francis, especially her brother, cringed before the man's gleaming red gaze, but Talia and Selina stood their ground as Batman turned to pull his cowl down into place.
"Why so bashful, Wayne? I did wonder about the connection of Gotham's favored son to the Bat, but now I wonder how it is you are able to survive the sting of day. Tell me, Wayne," the demon smiled. "And I might just share power with you."
"This is my city, Dumont," he told him as he stepped forward. "You have no place in it."
"Truly? Somehow I guessed this was going to be your reaction. I suppose, then, you'll want this back," he said as he held out Montoya's limp, nearly lifeless body before him.
The unconscious detective looked as if she had been badly beaten, but the more damning marks were those at her throat.
"It took a little effort, but she finally shared all her secrets with me. You chose a poor consort, Wayne. Worse, you should have known to keep your bride closer to you."
"Put her down," he growled, his own eyes glaring with unnatural light as he looked on the woman that had trusted in his protection.
"As you wish," the former manager of the hellish carnival laughed, and flung the woman's limp body out and over the nearest chasm around them.
"Talia," he barked as the woman leapt instantly, grabbing the unconscious woman, and carrying her easily with her as she landed on a far ledge.
"My, my, my. You have quite the setup here," Dumont said, moving closer. "I think I shall enjoy moving in, after I make a few changes, of course. And," he added, eyeing Francis, "Dealing with a few disloyal curs."
"I have a better idea," Batman hissed, and leapt for him.
Dumont, as if waiting for that move, flowed like quicksilver, and ducked under him to reach Francis. "Every bitch of yours I kill limits your own power, Bat. When enough of them are dead," he said, pulling a long, silver knife from under his dark coat. "You'll be back on my level. Then I'll kill you, and claim the mantle the old vampire lord left up for grabs! I'll be a…..!"
"No," Selina hissed, and lunged to grab his arm before he could stab that knife into Francis' heart.
"Interfering bitch," he growled as Batman landed, turned, and lunged toward him even as he backhanded the woman. "No mortal can resist my power!"
"Stop him," Francis shrieked at the gaping teens with her as he turned, ignoring Batman, and went for Selina's throat since that woman had managed to snatch the silver dagger from his hand.
Selina's scream sounded just before Batman could reach her as long, potentially lethal claws slashed at her chest, almost tearing her open. In the same instant, one of the teenage boys risked his former master's fury, and jerked him back and away before he could finish the woman.
"Interfering pest," Dumont howled, and drove the dagger he reclaimed into the boy's chest.
"No," Francis cried as the sandy-haired teen vanished in a burst of gray-green ash that left only yellowing bones to fall and scatter at their feet.
"This ends here and now," Batman hissed, and dropped a hard fist into the carnival owner's jaw. He went flying back hard enough to smash rock behind him, but leapt back to his feet in the same instant.
"Your defenders are dropping like flies, Bat," Dumont laughed as he leapt into the air to again attack. "It'll be your turn soon."
He landed behind Talia, who to his shock, seemed to be waiting on him, as she jumped back across the deep abyss before her with Montoya in her arms. She set the injured detective down near Francis who stood over Selina, and told her and the two teens left, "Protect them," she said, and pulled out her own ninja daggers.
"Stupid cow," Dumont spat. "I'm older than you can imagine. Your silly toys….."
The man hissed, and ducked as the silver tipped shuriken flew past his head, almost taking off an ear.
"Well, well," he gave a sibilant hiss. "Someone is cheating."
"I'm older than I look, too, demon," she spat. "And I've faced your kind before."
"My kind? You mean our kind, don't you, my dear," he mocked, leaping, and flying as he obviously revealed his stratagem was to evade Batman, and attack those around him.
"Did I live twice my years, I'd never be the craven thug that you have become," Talia spat as Batman managed to anticipate one of his leaps, and delivered a punishing kick to his chest that sent him flying backwards again.
He smashed into a computer console, but he landed near the teens in doing so, and rushed at Francis again, dagger still at the ready, and only her brother leaping up to block him spared her their friend's fate. Franklyn managed to evade the blade, though his shirt was sliced across his belly even as his friend joined him, and they tried to hold the vampire master for Batman as he fought to shake them off even as Batman and Talia both closed on him.
"Infernal, treacherous dogs," he howled, and drove a knee into Franklyn's groin to drop him, even as he turned and slashed at the other boy's exposed throat before he could move. The teen staggered back, his throat bleeding black as he stared in horror at the man that had now twice killed him before he fell back, and exploded into gray-green ash that settled around clattering bones falling near Selina who sat up, clutching a hand to her bloody chest as she realized she was really dying.
"Two down," Dumont laughed as he ducked Batman and Talia again. "And when I slay your other queens, I shall claim your power and become lord of Gotham, as well as lord of the night."
Batman stopped, staring coldly at him as he abruptly realized he was playing the wrong game. He was letting Dumont call the plays here, and that was not going to let him win. This was a game he was unfamiliar with, but he guessed from what little Adam had let slip, there were rules.
"So, you want the mantle of the night lord," he demanded.
"Of course I do, you idiot," Dumont spat, and turned to face him directly again only then.
"Then why are fighting women and children," Batman growled. "Why aren't you facing me? Or are you hoping to take that mantle by proving how great a coward you are?"
Batman didn't even blink as he became aware of the sounds of scuttling all around him. Ten. Twenty. No, well over thirty vampires had come with Dumont. He could sense them only now as he calmed down. Calmed his fury. And focused on what was actually going on around him. He had almost succumbed to forgetting the first lesson of control, mastering his temper.
"Talia. Francis. Step back. This is between us. Only us. Unless Dumont intends to keep breaking the rules."
Batman's cold eyes stared at his opponent, but he did not yet move.
"So, do you challenge me? Personally? Formally?"
"Yes," Dumont hissed. "Yes!"
"Then face me, vermin. Face me, and stop picking on children."
Selina stared at him as she forced herself to get up, feeling the blood flowing from her wounds, and knowing she didn't have long left. Only she wasn't sure Bruce could face this monster. He was, she guessed, far more familiar with his powers, and far more experienced in using them. Bruce might be a peerless champion, but he still fought like a man. This Dumont did not. Would not. Bruce, she knew, needed an edge.
"Talia," she rasped, drawing the woman's attention as the vampire glanced her way, and smirked mockingly.
"She's done," he laughed. "Unless you want a last snack of her before she goes on to her own hellish rewards."
"Take me…..to clinic," she groaned, spitting up blood, and praying her gambit would succeed.
"You and me, Wayne," Dumont was being told as Batman approached him with empty hands. "Let's see who owns this city, and the mantle of the night," he growled as he assessed the lanky demon before him.
Even as he walked toward the vampire that would be king, multiple leeches all around them waiting to see who would win this night before making a move, Batman felt a curious shuddering deep in his own body. He frowned, but hid the reaction even as he closed on Dumont.
Who jumped at him unexpectedly, his silver dagger held by the protective handle he had crafted to try to stick it in his chest.
The tip skittered off his armored chest even as a hand flashed to knock the dagger from his hand, and sent the blade clattering across the stone floor of the cavern near where Francis still stood. She picked up the knife again, and held it carefully in both hands. Waiting.
"Now," Batman murmured. "We do this my way," he said so coldly that even Dumont was taken aback just before a hard fist slammed into his jaw.
This time his jaw fractured in three places as he flung across the cavern.
Batman right behind him as he landed with hard boots smashing down into his ribs, cracking bone, and pulping organs. Were he a mortal, Dumont would be dying at that point. He had fed well before he had come here this night, though, and he was healing even as he shoved himself back to his feet, and cursed defiantly as Batman seemed to swell before him, his eyes glittering coldly behind his cowl as he easily batted Dumont's fists aside, and grabbed him by his throat.
"You are nothing but a bully, and a monster. Preying on women and children whose pain and suffering make you feel like a big man. I put men like you in jail every day. You, however, aren't going to jail," he said, and drove another hard fist into his still healing gut as Dumont howled in agony as he sensed the change even as Selina walked back into the cavern, her bloody lips no longer quite so pale, her wounds already knitting as she stood beside Francis and Talia, and shouted out, "Beloved, I am yours," she said, wiping her lips clean even as the last of her injuries healed with preternatural speed.
Batman shivered at the words, and suddenly understood what was happening.
His third bride.
His power was swelling within him, and becoming far more than what it had been, which had already been considerable. Not truly enough to defeat Dumont, but now his energies were coursing through him in a way that made him feel almost as powerful as Clark.
He smiled, and hammered Dumont with a grim, merciless efficiency as he broke the healing vampire again and again until the man simply quit trying to get back up.
"I yield. I yield," the challenger finally cried. "Mercy, Wayne. Mercy. I yield!"
"Mercy," Batman snarled, and lifted his battered, still healing body from the ground, and flung it to the closest group of shadowed vampires.
"I'll still win, you know," Dumont tittered as he looked up at him. "I will. Wait and see."
"We all know I want nothing to do with this madness," he told the nearest cold-eyed demon as he ignored Dumont's rambling. "We all know I can't kill you all. Any more than I want to turn Gotham into a slaughterhouse trying. But this….creature…..would have exposed us all, and led hunters right to our resting places," he told them. "I leave you to judge him. He is beneath me," he spat, and turned his back on Dumont.
One of the vampires that was clad in a very snug utility worker's uniform stepped forward, and walked over to where Batman stood with his allies.
"Give it to him," he told Francis when the man eyed the silver dagger she now held.
The vampire took the dagger, and walked over to where Dumont was held by four of their kind by then as he looked at the dark-haired vampire with his dagger. "No! No, you can't do this. We can still rule this city. We can still….."
Dumont died in a burst of yellowish-green ash, speaking of his age. The vampires holding him let his yellowed bones drop from their grasp as they turned to look back at Batman who simply stared at them in turn.
"By might, and by rite, you are now the lord of the vampires in this region, Lord Bat," the utility worker told him and he bowed to him. "So, then, what would you ask of us if you don't wish to be our master, or command an army?"
"You're obviously not mindless ghouls," Batman commented as he stood with the others just behind him. "But you aren't making new vampires, as you are obviously living beneath the notice of others…."
"As you say, we are not all demons," the man who seemed to be spokesman told him. "Most of us are just trying to…..survive. We take what we need, but try not to kill. Or kill those that don't deserve it," he stated bluntly.
"Which is why I have not noticed you, I don't doubt."
The man only nodded.
"So long as you continue as you say you are doing, and do not kill needlessly, or take innocents, I will not act against you. I will, however, suggest an option you might not realize exits."
"Word of your synthetic blood is already spreading, Lord Bat," the vampire told him, still addressing him formally. "It is already bringing more than a few of our kindred here. If it does work, you might find that many of us would prefer not to have to hunt."
Batman nodded. "Then I shall arrange to offer it to those in need. But any that violate this pact of peace will be dealt with, Sherman," he told the man, having read his nametag.
The man smiled wanly. "We don't want trouble either, Lord Bat," he smiled. "Until you can feed us all, though, we will do as we must."
Batman nodded, only beginning to understand his own 'duty' to this new standing among the creatures of the night. "In the meantime, if any do require....sanctuary….."
"We shall handle them, if any come. And don't worry," Sherman added as the rustling of departing vampires filled Batman's sensitive ears. "We shall keep your secrets. After all, we don't want you coming after us next, Night Lord."
Then he was gone, and they were alone.
"Selina," he turned toward her as the brunette smiled wanly as she held up a nearly drained packet of the XP-403 blood serum.
"I guessed it was my only chance. And yours," Selina told him. "Based on all that had been going on, and all we've heard, I felt that by giving myself to you as your third bride, I hoped it would…..make a difference."
"More than you know. And likely more than we can guess just yet," he said as even Fate had been unable to find out just why the vampire lords always chose three brides. Always three.
"I suppose we'll find out together, beloved," Talia told him.
"Master," Francis said as she shook her head. "Your friend….."
"I know," Batman said, looking down at Montoya's pale body. "She's dead."
Selina gasped as she looked down at the woman. "I didn't realize….."
"He snapped her neck when he threw her," Talia told her. "I realized that after I caught her."
"Do you think…..? Do you know….?"
Francis was looking at the bones of her friends.
"I can't say where they went," he told her honestly as he reached out to put a comforting hand on her shoulder as Francis and her mute brother simply stood staring at their fallen friends' bones. "But I know this much. The fact they died fighting for someone else has to count for something."
"What are we going to do about Montoya," Talia asked pragmatically. "Someone will come asking questions if she just vanishes."
"We will give her a hero's ending," Batman said grimly as he eyed them. "In the meantime, call Tocul. Tell him we have stopped the demon he's probably still hunting," he told Talia grimly as the coven he had unwittingly and unwillingly gathered surrounded him as he glanced over the ancient bones left of the creature he almost torn apart with his bare hands before giving him to the others to judge.
Then he looked at the brunette beside him. "Selina. Thank you. I know what this cost you."
Selina smiled. "Not half so much as what it would have cost us all," she said, and looked to the fallen detective who had tried to warn them in vain. "I'm still not sure if I'm ready to be back to running around at night, though."
He only smiled, but then turned back to the fallen, his smile fading. Even as Batman stood staring at the bones, though, he realized something in his own body had yet to fully settle. He rolled his shoulders, feeling the unease, and then tore his cape away even as he felt his reinforced costume shred as large, webbed wings flared out behind him. Wings like those a large bat. Only with dark feathers.
"Wow," Francis gasped, the only one to speak as those large, powerful wings spread out behind him. "We didn't get those!"
"Indeed," Batman murmured, glancing over his own shoulders at the large wings now sprouting and spreading out from his back. He also felt a sense of the night he had not known even after his first transformation. He could sense others around him. Every insect. Every rat and mouse. The mites in and around them. He could still sense every one of the forty-seven vampires, male and female, that had filled the cavern, too. He could sense their paths, and if he focused, could now likely track them to their own lairs.
Or it was to him.
He realized more than ever the damage Dumont could have done with such power. Such….awareness. Fortunately, that threat was ended.
Talia turned from the computer where she had been calling her contacts as she nodded, telling him, "I told the hunters' people the vampire was gone. Tocul will be informed, and we likely won't see him again unless something else leads him here."
Batman only nodded.
"What about Montoya," Selina asked quietly.
"I have an idea," he said grimly. "As I said, she deserves a hero's ending."
"What is it," Batman asked as he appeared to face Thomas Clarke at Ivy's greenhouse again the next night.
"I suppose you heard about Detective Montoya," he asked.
"Yes," he nodded as Ivy stood nearby, saying nothing.
Earlier that day, in the early morning hours, Detective Montoya radioed in reporting she was in pursuit of a lawbreaker who had just shot up an area neighborhood, and was apparently on a drug-fueled rampage. She was in pursuit of the suspect when the suspect turned and aimed his car at the pursuing detective. Their cars crashed, and both exploded. Her, and the suspect, were burned to death in their mangled cars. All that was left was the perp's bones, and what little remained of Montoya's charred body that had been badly damaged in the crash.
In fact, he and Talia had been in those cars to ensure everyone saw the initial chase, and Talia had used her own skills to mask her voice as the detectives when she called in the pursuit.
Once out of sight of anyone close enough to notice their gambit, they settled the bodies, or bones in place, and rammed the cars into one another, leaving them a mangled heap of burning metal to mask the two apparent deaths that covered up the truth that would have stunned the city had they learned it.
"I am sorry to hear about the detective. She was a good cop."
"I happen to know she was likely helping you. Certain….abnormalities of late suggested….."
"What is on your mind, commissioner," he asked curtly as his cape hung over his back, hiding his folded wings as he tasted the man's nervousness.
"Was she involved in one of your investigations? Do I need to worry about….anything else?"
"No," was all Batman told him.
Thomas sighed. "I'm not sure if that's a relief or not. Still, I do want to thank you for….my daughter."
Batman only nodded.
"You know, you could probably do a lot more good if you just…..joined the Force."
Batman's chortle was as grim as any he had ever voiced.
"Okay, I deserved that. But I hope you understand, I am not going to waver on my stance on vigilantes. I'm not Gordon, and….."
Thomas Clarke looked back to find himself talking to empty space. The grimly clad detective had vanished.
"Damnation, I hate that!"
Ivy chortled. "Not many people like it." she told him.
Thomas just glared at her, and stalked out of the nursery as she waited. Even as the commissioner drove away, she addressed the shadows around her.
"So? Selina joined us after all?"
"It was her choice."
"I thought she favored living out her natural lifespan?"
"It was an impulsive decision on her part."
"So I've heard. As I have heard Gotham's vampire population seems to be growing of late."
"So far they're keeping in line. Worried?"
"Only about you, Bruce," she called him as she walked over to gently touch his cape. "I know how you drive yourself. And we both know that with all these vampires coming, others will follow. From both sides of the chasm."
"I know that, too. So if you'll excuse me, I do need to get back."
"Of course. Call if you need anything. I'm here to help, too."
"I know, Ivy. And I appreciate that," he nodded before his wings spread out over his modified cape designed to retract at such times, and she only smiled as he took to the air with the grace of a born flier.
Deep underground Arkham. Deep in shadows among reeking corridors hidden from most beneath the asylum, and the city, something stirred.
Pale, yellow eyes flared open, and red, bruised lips parted to reveal the gleaming white of sharp fangs. Pale skin made paler by the lack of blood flowing beneath parchment like flesh shuddered like wispy parchment fluttering in the breeze.
Only there was no breeze.
Only withering muscles filled with fresh vitality relearning their role as unholy will met desiccated flesh, and forced it to respond.
Glittering eyes finally focused, and a low, raspy chortle began to issue from the split lips.
"Now this is what I call a punchline," a tittering voice exclaimed as a darker than normal shadow rose to cast an eerie silhouette across the other shadows around the sewer he occupied.
The sounds and movement sent rats scurrying, but the glassy-eyed demon did not notice, or care. He moved slowly, cautiously, his mind uncannily aware that he was not truly safe. Not yet. Because he was well aware that out there in the night was another shadow. One that would cheerfully put an end to his new life if he had but the slightest inkling that he still existed. That he had become far more than dear Batsy ever could have dreamed.
Better, the madman resurrected realized, to wait and plan. To bide his time, and gather his forces. Then. Then he would move. And this time…..he would win!
Adam appeared on the rooftop as if materializing from thin air as Batman surveyed the city. It was, he knew, entirely possible. Atypically, he was dressed in a finely tailore white suit. Even his tie was a startlingly, unblemished white.
"Clever Bat. Very, very clever. You still hide the truth of your potential blight in the shadow you present to the world on a daily….or rather nightly basis."
"What you call a blight, I choose to consider just one more tool," Batman told him quietly, feeling the new vibrancy singing in his blood and bones, and urging him to unleash his new powers on an unsuspecting world.
He didn't so much as blink as he surveyed his city, ignoring the shadow of the finely dressed man beside him.
"Enjoy the opera," he asked the reborn demon. "I hear Velicara plays a very good Faust."
"You are quite the clever man. And you are closer than ever to true immortality. I especially enjoyed the way you handled that poser Dumont, who about now is likely learning all about the delights of hell firsthand."
"Curious how you seem to be so interested in how I am doing," Batman drawled leadingly.
Adam chuckled softly. "As I once told you. Eternity can be boring. You're amusing, Bat. And you're quite diverting. And if you ever actually achieve true immortality, then I might just consider you a real challenge, and face you once more. As a peer. If you don't yet slide into hell yourself."
"You first," Batman growled, looking back out over the city.
Adam chortled again. "Been there, done that," he sighed. "Besides, hell is not what you mortals think. You may yet learn that for yourself, though. Oh, and Velicara is superb. I sent Bruce and a date of his choice tickets. Consider it…..a gesture of good will."
Batman fought an involuntary shudder of his own as the demon vanished, and left him standing alone again.
For just the briefest of moments.
The two shadows moving behind him were clad in full body unitards that hid even their faces. One was male, one was obviously female.
"Tonight, you watch. Only that," he told his new apprentices. "You are not yet ready to face anyone."
"But they can't hurt…."
"There is always someone stronger, better, or more dangerous than you realize out there," Batman cut her off. "Remember that if you don't remember anything else. What you saw just now? He is as far beyond you as Dumont was when you were still normal humans. And this is much more out there. Trust me. If you're going to face them, you have to be ready. You have to train. You have to learn. So tonight…you watch."
"Yes, master," the female murmured, and he glanced back at her, but said nothing.
Whatever he might have been about to say was lost as an echoing scream rose from the streets far below them. Batman turned and flung himself downward without hesitation, and paid no attention to the two shadows that followed in his wake.
To Be Continued in 'Darkest Before Dawn'.....