Monsters Create Monsters
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters here (unfortunately), except for my OC in this story.
Note: Hey everyone, sorry for the long wait in updating, had some other stuff to deal with. But here it is, second part of my Scarecrow origins story. Once again, I know this is one month late, but be this fic is as a birthday present for a good friend of mine, Aivia. Happy (one month later) birthday, and hope you enjoy.
I believe I once stated that there was no cure for fear, well that is true, but that doesn't mean we don't understand it, or we can never harness and use it. Hard to think that I, someone who once scurried away from fear and dedicated my whole to finding a way to evade fear's talons, would be preparing to use it to get what I needed…revenge.
This was a necessity, Arkham housed many murderers, but within those walls was one that has plucked the soul out of this crumbling city. Jessica was precious, she was kind, and she was everything this city needed in its time of depression and decay. I now want to bring about a new reign, a reign of terror. I'm tired of playing by others rules, now I am the one in control, the puppeteer pulling the strings to get what I needed…what I wanted.
Fear, once thy enemy, is now my ally!
Guards at every turn, watchful eyes at every corner, the halls of Arkham was filled at all times. Whether it be the guards and police of Gotham, or the inmates being lead to their destination, the shackles of their entrapment echoing to an unbearable audible level. I was followed by two guards, keeping an eye on me. Funny, they were so focused on whether any of the inmates that passed me were carrying deadly weapons; they hadn't bothered to check to see what I brought. It's not a weapon per say, to some maybe, but unlike others this was a necessity.
Eventually the two lead me to a large elevator; the doors chained with a number lock in the centre. As another guard approached the two left without another word or look. The new guard came over to me and shook my hand. ''You must be the new guy right? The Scarecrow?''
''That's right!'' I answered.
''Well then, let me be the first to properly welcome you to hell itself!'' He said drearily as he typed the number of sequences on the lock to release the chains and open the elevator door. He gestured for me to go first, but I didn't budge. He took a moment before stepping in awkwardly first, and I followed. I wanted to get that fresh taste of caution before moving onto the main course soon, it was as intoxicating as ever.
There were many floors until we reached where I was meant to go, so obviously he would be looking for a conversation. ''You ever been inside Arkham before?'' He asked.
I was glad it was at least an intriguing question he had giving me. I simply shook my head, my eyes darting to whatever moved as my body remained motionless. ''Never, it's impressive!''
''Impressive? Not the word I would use!'' He sneered. ''It's disgusting, to think of how many damned souls are in one place. I say hang the lot!''
''I take it you don't take to kindly to this place! Does it have a history of murder itself?'' I asked him. Once more he seemed intimidated by me; the sensation of control had truly overcome my senses now. Putting fear in others kept me going.
''Yeah, believe it or not, kills happen in these cells quite often. What do you expect when you've got inmates like we have? The Penguin, Freeze, Riddler, all those whack-jobs that just want to kill. I say God bless Batman for catching them and taking them off the streets, but I say damn you to the government for not bringing back the death penalty!''
Despite my initial desire to just ignore this individual and get down to proper business, I admire him for his motives. Although before I was never a believer of the death penalty, I couldn't help but feel that the man responsible for the murder of my woman be torn apart and burned for eternity. ''I think you'll be happy to know,'' I started. ''I have these new tests going on, they may solve our little death penalty crisis!''
''What do you mean?'' He asked curiously.
''Of course the government would never willingly kill their inmates, oh no, can you imagine the bank roll they'd have to pay. No, but what I have is just as effective. A sure fire way of the guilty to feel the pain and torment they have caused other tenfold, forcing them to constantly live in fear!''
''Sounds extreme,'' He responded. ''And these tests you've done, they are approved aren't they?''
''Of course!'' I replied. There was no way my methods would be legalised, even for the inmates of this city. But it didn't matter to me if the government were to use these, for the moment they were mine, and I will use them my way to catch the man or woman I am looking for.
Finally arriving on the floor I was assigned to, he lead me to a cell room near the very end of the hallway. The walls were old and dry, the white paint peeling off slowly revealing a disgusting brown decay of a wall underneath. The guard gave a nod of his head and left. I took a moment before entering, I don't care how long it takes me, I'll find the murderer to my beautiful Jessica!
Opening the door and stepping inside, sitting at the table was a man in his mid 40's, bald with tattoos going along his neck down to his arms. Dressed in black and white prison uniform, handcuffs hooked onto the table; he was going no where any time soon and there was no watch. This was low level, the guards would be too concerned with the prisoners that are on a Level 5 matter. I was alone with him so I could ask him whatever I wanted and get answers out of him…one way or the other.
I sat opposite him, forcing a smile. ''So Martin Williams?''
''Just get this over with, I missed lunch!'' He scoffed at him.
''You seem calm at the moment!''
''So what if I am?''
''Well for a man in your position I just find that hard to understand!''
''I've gotten use to the chains freak!'' He scowled at me. That word freak struck a chord with me, the amount of times I heard it -been called it back in school. No, I can't afford to be the one driven to fear, I am fear itself now.
Regaining my composure I went on. ''I don't mean physically! For a man who was found guilty of murdering his wife, I was expecting a bit more sorrow a bit more guilt even.''
''Guilt?'' He said in disbelief before chuckling. ''That bitch cheated on me!''
''And you thought the best possible solution was to beat her to death?'' I questioned.
''It's what she deserved! Four years together and she then goes off with someone else behind my back, I was having none of it! She got what she deserved!'' He told me without a shred of remorse, he really meant what he said; it made me sick to the core.
''Did you even love your wife?''
''What kind of question is that?''
''One that I might understand better than you!''
''What you married freak?'' He used that word again, but I was so overcome with rage now that it didn't faze me at all.
''I almost was, to a kind and beautiful woman. I treated her right, and I wanted us to be happy for the rest of our lives. But she was murdered, in this very asylum!''
Martin Williams just shook his head, his eyes darting around the room as he forced a smile. That force of an emotion meant he knew something, something suspicious. ''Look, I don't know anything about that.''
''I never asked if you did! Why? You want to change the subject? Is there something about what I said got your attention?''
''No, I don't know anything!'' He told me in a frustrated tone, I was getting to him and we both knew it. It was only a matter of time now before he would crack.
''You're like a guilty dog barking at his master who's just forced him into a corner. Trying to plead innocent as every fibre of your body betrays you and tells otherwise. You can tell me anything, I'm just someone here to listen.''
He wouldn't stop fiddling with the chains now, his fingers dancing along the metal as his face was lowered and his breathing became frantic and loud. It appeared as if he was chocking on his words for a brief second before he continued. ''I didn't kill your wife; I wasn't there when it happened. But in this place you hear things…things you're not supposed to. It's like those top-class villains that run the underground of this city, they pollute the air and it rises up to strangle the throats of every living person. I've heard things…I know who killed your girlfriend.''
''Well then you better start talking.''
''Why not?'' I asked calmly keeping my inner rage to bash the information out of this man under control.
''I-I can't talk,'' He whimpered. ''If he found out…they'll know it was me and then…the things he would do to me…''
''Oh I can't guarantee you that this man won't have the chance to kill you when I'm through with him.''
Martin just chuckled like a mad man once I said that, his eyes fixed into mine as he shook his head once more like I was the mad one. ''I never said he would kill me…no what that man does to snitches is far, far worse. I'm not going to talk! You best forget about your girlfriend, trust me, the man you're after you can't kill. He's even given the Batman a run for his money more times than I can count.''
My time was running low, soon the guards would return and I would be forced to leave. Here I have a man that knows who killed my Jessica, I will not lose this one probable chance to find that monster and end his life. ''Would you like to see my mask?''
''What?'' He asked.
''I've been running these new experiments! I really wanted to test them out on the murderer first, but since you're being so tight lipped…''
''Hold on!'' He cut me off, visibly shaken with fear, perfect. ''I've got no choice man!''
As he went on trying to defend himself I brought up my suitcase to the table, the one with my little experiment in, as well as a little something to help it along. My machine of mine, it can create a gas that when inhaled will cause the victim to succumb to quick but violent fear episodes. And my mask, just something that went along with my Scarecrow name to really get the results I wanted. Looking at Martin once more, I gave him a cold smile. ''Well neither do I!''
Before he could react, I flicked the switch on my machine, and instantly the gas was sprayed on his face. He stumbled back onto his chair as I grabbed him around the neck and held him up to my face. ''Tell me who killed Jessica Cornell now!''
Immediately I knew the results of my experiment, as he went into something that I could only describe at the moment as a fit. His body jerking rapidly as he was screaming to the heavens for help. He wouldn't shout what he saw, or give me any indication of what he truly feared, but for the moment…fearing me was all I needed. He was a babbling wreck, his words nothing more that mummers as the fear over took him. I shook him hard once more. ''Tell me who killed her!''
He was in tears now as he continued screaming. ''I-I-I can't s-say…''
''Do you want every second of your life to be like this, to have the fear rammed down your throat and ripped apart every muscle and every vein in your body. Your mind will be the first to crack, you will become nothing more than a pool of blood on the side of a Gotham street unless you tell me who killed my beloved Jessica, NOW!''
''The Joker!'' He shouted clearly. ''It was the Joker! She was talking with him, and then the next day she was found dead, that's all I know!''
Of course, who else could it have been? The man that darkens any Gotham street and walks through the nightmares of every good soul on Earth. Now I knew what this man truly feared, was he seeing the Joker himself as I threatened his life? No matter, because the Joker won't be around much longer to do anything about it.
''Excuse me Mr Crane?'' The recruitment officer questioned.
''Did I stutter? I want a talk with the Joker!'' I repeated firmly.
''This can't be allowed; you've only had one talk with a lowly inmate. An inmate that I remember was very isolated and tough going before you came only, and is now a mess of madness that we've had to quarantine for his safety and others!''
''So you think more for the safety of your inmates?''
''No I don't, that's why I'm not letting you go anywhere near the Joker. I thought you of all people would know he couldn't be helped, not after what happened to the last person that went in with him. He's been locked up for good, no visitors or parole until the day he rots.''
I sit back in my seat, unable to grasp the reason for all this. ''I've always wondered why the Batman has constantly allowed the Joker to live, time and time again after he's put the lives of hundreds at risk for his own amusement. And now you're telling me that clown has got the Gotham government protecting him?''
''We aren't protecting him Mr Crane, we're keeping him from hurting others.''
''If that was true, then he would have been put in the electric chair already!'' I shouted out before I could stop myself. I had practically given the whole plan away now; from the look on the officer's face he knew the whole story now, my motive, my reason. I had just dashed it all away in anger.
''You never intended to talk with the Joker,'' He stated. ''You want to kill him, don't you! For what happened to Miss Cornell!''
''It's amazing what we will do for the people we love, and have loved!''
The officer looked around his office, before reaching over his desk to press a small button on it. I wondered at first what it could be, then my attention quickly shifted to the camera in the corner of the room, he had switched it off. He was about to do something he didn't want others to see or hear.
He leaned over the desk, his face now filled with sorrow and hurt, and that rage that I felt a moment ago. ''My son was four years old when the Joker killed him. He had taken him and his class hostage. He didn't demand for a ransom. Eventually the place was surrounded with Gotham police…and when he thought he had enough watchful eyes on his performance…he just blew the whole place up. It was silent, no one could believe it…then all we hear his that…that laugh of his. He had taken so much away from us, and my boy's whole life before he even had a chance to live it. And now every time I walk these halls, I keep thinking how easy it would be to just…just one gun…one bullet…that's all it would take.''
''But the fear stops you,'' I said causing him to look at me like a pleading man; it almost made me feel pity for him. ''The fear of losing everything you've worked so hard to achieve. Or maybe it's the fear that you may underestimate him, and he'll escape to kill again. And you'll be overcome with the guilt of another crime that caused the death of your son.''
He was doing his best to hold back the tears, tears that were caused by the death of his boy. I felt sympathy for him, he had lost someone dear to the Joker just as I, but he could have done something about it a long time ago, I needed to take action now before my Jessica is simply forgotten. He turned to me once more, eyes watery and red. ''There are complications that mean you can't meet the Joker…but I can arrange for him to meet you.''
''Where and when?'' I asked without hesitation.
''The old abandoned computer workhouse, on the street just outside Gotham Asylum…''
''I know it.''
He nodded. ''I can arrange for some of my boys to drop the Joker off there for you tonight, but you have to promise me something…promise me that the son of a bitch will never hurt anyone again!''
''Don't you worry, he'll never leave that building alive…but not before I drive him mad first.'' I whispered. This is what I have wanted; I will finally end it, now the Joker will finally have a taste of his own medicine.
Gotham was now covered in a blanket of darkness as I waited in the workhouse the officer instructed his boys to bring the Joker. It's amazing how easy it could be for the authorities to simply put their bad dogs down, yet they never do, it's baffling. As I've seen, loved ones can be lost if those monsters aren't dealt with properly.
As I looked out the main window of the workhouse, looking over to the Asylum, the door behind me was opened and two large muscle men dragged a limp body over to the chair in the middle of the room. A sack covering his head, yet they allowed him to still wear that hideous purple suit of his, it makes him seem better than other murderers, but none are better than the other…they are all the same.
They strapped him to the chair, his body not moving much, they must have sedated him before bringing him here. Smart move, no one must ever underestimate the Joker, not the police, not Batman or any of his other superhero allies around the globe. Joker is a man of many dark talents, but he won't get to me tonight, because everyone fears something, and I'll be using his to bring him to his knees and beg for death.
''Leave us, and lock the door behind you!'' I instructed to the two men, and they did just as they were told, leaving and making sure the door was locked from the outside. Joker wouldn't be leaving, and I won't be until I have my revenge. I could hear the faint groaning sounds coming from under the sack, he was regaining consciousness. Before I asked any questions, I put on my Scarecrow mask, making sure he wouldn't remember my face and instead see the face of fear and his death. ''Do you know why you're here?'' I asked him.
His head tilted from side to side slowly, he couldn't see under the sack and I couldn't tell what his expression was but something tells me he had that sinister smile plastered on his face like a badge of dark honour. He coughed slightly before finally speaking. ''Well I have been asking for a new room these past few weeks, although the sack and sedation may have been a bit much, please I'm not a critical man I won't diminish your hard work…''
I silenced him by strongly grabbing the top of the sack and ripping it off his head, making sure that I tugged on his hair as well just to start off with the physical pain. That unforgettable face of his; the chalk white skin, green hair and scar red smile going along his lips and cheeks. He looked around the room, still playing along with his games. ''Maybe you could have fixed it up a little more, but at least this room has a window. Could do with some desks, maybe a little clock in the corner…''
''Shut up!'' I shouted silencing him instantly. ''You knew Jessica Cornell!''
He licked his lips, his tongue darting in and out in the style of a rattlesnake, quick and intimidating as he thought heavily. ''See I'm such a popular guy I have people come up to me all the time. It's always hard to keep track of who's who and…''
''She was the last person to talk with you in Arkham before you poisoned her!''
''Ah, yes now I remember. Very lovely, very beautiful. And straight to the point, didn't bore me with all that we want to help you crap, she was a straight down to business woman.''
''Why did you kill her?''
He took a moment to answer me, licking his lips once more. ''What was she to you?''
''I'll be asking the questions!'' I muttered firmly. If you ever let the Joker get one scratch of detail on your personal life, he could use that against you and tear you apart from the inside out. ''I'll ask again, why did you kill her?''
''Was she your sister?'' He asked again. ''No, no, family ties are a strong bond; it would have slipped out of you if she were. Maybe a daughter, although from the tone of your voice and smoothness of the skin on your hands, you can't be that much older than her. Ah, so she must have been your lady.''
''You are going to answer my questions!'' I stated as I forcefully grabbed him by the collar of his suit and forced him up. With his arms still strapped to the chair, they were now bending in an awkward angle, but it didn't seem to faze him.
''What's with the mask?'' He asked.
''None of your business!''
''Oh come on, there's got to be some meaning to it. See I don't wear a mask, no, this is all me. Because there is only one part of me, people with masks tend to be different. They have a more…conflicted side to everything. Almost as if they argue with themselves, have you ever had that happen to you?''
''We're not here to talk about me,'' I let go and he dropped back down onto his chain. ''Now start talking, why did you kill her?''
He sighed heavily and hesitated once more before continuing. ''Like I say, she was straight down toe business and didn't bore me…at first! But then it just got so repetitive; she wouldn't crack no matter what I asked her. But every morning I could see in her eyes that faint redness of tears from the night before, she probably didn't have a decent nights sleep since she met me. But she just wouldn't learn to have fun…she just needed to smile more.''
Hardly believing what I was hearing, the torture this manic must have put her through, and then to kill her because she wouldn't crack to his little mind games face to face, so he ended her just like that. ''So that's it…just another one of your little games? That's what it was to you?''
''When you're a guy like me games are the only thing that keep you going!'' He giggled lightly.
''Well I have a game for you,'' I muttered as I walked to the back of the room to get my equipment. ''A little experiment.''
''Oh, exciting. Is it going to be the one with needles, I have a thing for needles!''
''No,'' I replied simply as I brought my machine and set it down in front of him. ''You just have to inhale the gas, and then whatever you fear most will become reality.''
It was almost like I saw a twinkle in his eye; the smile on his face grew as he looked up at me. ''You ever thought about using this on the Batman?''
''I have no reason too!''
''Oh come on kid, have you ever wondered what the Batman fears? The Dark Knight dreads of at every street corner? The monsters under his bed? But then again, why stop there? The possibilities…the fun you could have with this little device of you. What's the matter? Is it fear stopping you?''
He wasn't going to catch me off guard, I wouldn't let him. I have the guilty, I have the reason, and now it was time for the execution. ''Like I said I have no reason to use this on the Batman, you on the other hand…will get it full force!'' I kicked at the machine and the gas exploded onto the Joker twice as much as it did on my first test subject.
Grabbing him by the throat I tossed him out of the chair with enough force that the straps come undone and he was flung across the room. I ran over and stepped down hard on his hand, he yelled out in pain and then erupted in a fit of…laughter? What the hell was going on? He should be seeing his worst fear, and yet he was still smiling in its face? I grabbed him by the collar once more and lifted him up until we were face to face. ''What do you see?''
He continued laughing and babbling nonsense before looking me dead in the eye. ''I see…me, me, me! HAHAHAHAHA!''
''What do you mean?'' I questioned. Fear was the most powerful emotion, the most powerful response in the human mind. For years it has tormented me, how can this maniac simply be laughing about it, and saying that it's himself that he fears?
''B-Because…'' He stuttered trying to get out a coherent sentence. ''Whenever I have a plan…the only one that can truly mess it up and be a disappointment is me! I have learned that all fears can be an alley, but I always fear that part of myself that will never truly understand fear. I'm conflicted…much like yourself!''
''The mask kid! If you really wanted me dead that badly because of the death of your loved one, you would want me to see your face. To look in my eyes as the flames dies out in them. But instead you choose that mask to wear; you want me to remember someone else when I burn in hell. So tell me the name…come on, I want to hear it!''
''No…'' I whimpered. I couldn't believe this, how could he use fear without the need of any machine or tests? He's simply a man, a mad man to be exact. I don't understand, what could he have done to learn to control fear and only fear himself.
''Tell me the name; maybe I should start guessing…Pillow Case? Rag boy? Dust Man? I got a bunch of these kid I could go on and on, HAHAHAHA!'' His maniacal laughter ringing in my ears and scarring my mind. I was losing control of this; Jonathan had already lost control of this since the beginning. But now it was the other half's turn, Joker was right, he was conflicted.
All was quiet for once, only my panting of frustration. The Joker had gone silent after all that's just happened and smiled at me devilishly. ''Good name choice kid!''
BANG! Just then the door was burst open and a dark figure jumped in, throwing what looked like a boomerang towards me, faster than I could react. BANG! A mini explosion on contact with my chest knocked me back, and forced me to let go of the Joker. Coughing and wheezing, I sat up to witness the harrowing sight of Batman approach me.
''Ah, Bats, glad you could make it!'' Joker called out. ''Kid's a bit of an amateur at throwing parties, but I give him a six for effort. But now that you're here, the party can really get…''
BAM! He had nothing more to say as Batman punched him hard across the face knocking him unconscious. With the clown out of the way, the dark vigilante turned to me. ''You attempted to take the life of a man Mr Crane!''
''A man that has taken so many other lives!'' I answered back.
''And he will answer for those crimes by spending the rest of his miserable life in Arkham, killing him solves nothing!''
''Killing him solves everything!'' I screamed in desperation. ''If you had killed him from the beginning, think of all the misery and death that could have been avoided, my…my fiancé would still be alive!''
''I'm sorry for your lose,'' He responded. ''It is hard losing people you care about, but what would she think of you if she was looking down on you killing someone?''
I didn't want to listen to his pointless and hypocritical banter of his, looking over to the fear machine that was right next to my foot, I turned to Batman once more. My fear of the creature he represents was forgotten in that moment, Joker was right about it. I should only fear that part of myself that does fear, and nothing else. ''She would be disappointed in her Jonathan…but he's not here, I'm Scarecrow!'' Quickly kicking at the machine, the room was engulfed in smoke, catching Batman off guard, and with that I quickly made my escape out the door as the chase begun.
He never did catch me, but the chase went on non-stop for hours of the night, the Batman was persistent I'd give him that. Joker was forced back behind bars, because the Batman values his life just as much as any other man's, no matter what he's done. My chance for revenge was gone, but for some reason…I wasn't disappointed, only angered by the Batman's interference.
He doesn't understand what it's like to lose a loved one, if he did, he would have been like the officer, he would have allowed for the Joker to taste the executioner's blade. And the Joker had taught me a valuable lesson in fear, I could use it. That part of me that feels fear, Jonathan Crane, it should not exist anymore. There can only be fear himself, and that is I…the Scarecrow.
Goodnight Batman, try not to have any nightmares…because I want to be the one that gives them to you and find out just what keeps the Batman awake at night.
So what did you all think? Good? Hope so, thanks again to those who have read it. Thanks and take care everyone!