Prologue: Rise of a Fall
The night sky hung over Gotham with dimly lit stars, faded from the lights of the city. The streets were damp as mist rolled off the pavement and collected in the cool night air. At this hour the city was scarce of people, except for those who craved adventure or worse—infamy.
Still, the streets seemed quiet, harboring little commotion (at least for the moment). A few homeless men gathered around an old barrel they'd set flame to, trying to find warmth form the fall air. The leaves had begun to change, signaling the end of a summer and possibly the end of an era.
"Does anyone have some of the crystal?" One disheveled man asked, nervously scratching his skin.
"Sorry Davey, I'm dry at the moment. What about you Hitch?" replied a heavy set man with long disheveled grey hair.
Hitch looked up from the flames, his cold hands barley covered by torn fabric, but filthy none the less. "I can't even afford to buy myself a decent pair of gloves, never mind being able to afford that crystal shit." Hitch said with a strange sense of pride, his voice thick with his Scottish origins.
"Man, I need something," Davey snapped, trying to hold back from his tweak. It had been hours since he'd had his last fix and his high was beginning to wear off. "Maybe I can find enough money for that cheap tar some of the dealers are selling."
"You may wanna rethink that Davey, I hear that new shit will rot form the inside out" Hitch said asked looking back down at his filthy hands.
"That's cause that shit's not really heroin, just some cheap homemade shit from Russia." The man with the ratty hair replied, taking a sip of scotch he stored away in his coat.
Suddenly, in the distance the three men heard the squeal of a car engine approach. From the edge of the ally they could vaguely see the glare of head lights far in the distance, but before they knew it, the car speed passed them. The blur of a black SUV flew by, splashing water up from the streets disturbing their clothing before it vanished into the fog.
"What the fuck was that?" Davey exclaimed.
"Um… I think that was the Batmoblie?" the heavy man replied in an air of confusion.
Just then a sleek black car soon cut through the fog, racing passed them with swift intensity.
"No… that was the Batmobile."
The homeless men watched with stunned eyes as the two vehicles drove by and sped off into the foggy streets of Gotham. Moments later the sounds of sirens wailing in the distance began to grow closer. Their lights flashed through thick fog and soon blurs of blue strobes rode by in hot pursuit.
"Who do you think their after?" The heavier man asked, watching the police cars fly by.
"I don't know, but there's something foul in the filthy air," Hitch growled and spit into the flame.
The three men went back to their business, warming their cold hands by the fire while justice chanced those who dare to cross it.
The black SUV charged down the road doing its best to avoid pedestrians who ran fearfully out of its way. The driver looked back in the rear view mirror to see the sleek black vehicle behind it, gaining fast.
"Shit Bruce!" The young man scoffed, gripping the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles began to turn white.
He looked over to the passenger seat where a young woman sat slumped over and bleeding heavily from a gunshot wound. "Raven, Raven answer me!" He demanded, knowing she didn't have much time left.
She groaned and rolled her head back, her long black hair now clinging to her white skin. The young man quickly looked up at the road, looking eagerly for an escape route. "Just hang in their Rae, I'm gonna get you help, just stay with me."
He knew these streets well as if he'd never left. They hadn't changed much from when he was a child and if his memory served right, a cut through road to the bridge should have been coming up. 'But how to ditch the Bat,' he thought grimly.
He pushed the pedal to the floor, picking up speed with every second. The SUV began to pull further ahead of the Batmobile, which meant that at any moment one of the Bat's handy gadgets would come hurling out in an attempt to slow the vehicle down or dismantle it.
He saw the Dark Knight's car begin to ready itself to release some sort of projectory. If his memory severed right, he knew it was only moments before he took aim and fired it. He'd have to think fast if he wanted to escape in one piece.
An old road soon appeared on the right and just as the Bat took his aim the driver turned sharply nearly rolling the SUV. The Bat himself was taken by surprise and tried stopping short, but had to come to a squealing stop to get his barrens, but not before sliding into a row of parked cars.
The young driver tore down the narrow road scrambling to remember the fastest way to the bridge. He knew it was only a matter of time before The Batman caught up with them and when he least expected it.
He looked over at Raven again, his concern for her beating in his chest. He needed her to make it, if she didn't he'd never be able to live with himself. He'd already lost too much. The cut through road soon arose from the darkness and with metal and furry the young driver turned down it, nervously taking the chance that he'd come face to face with the Dark Knight.
Swiftly he came around the bend and to his surprise there was not a car insight, or so he thought. From out of nowhere the sleek black vehicle shot out in front of the SUV, cutting it off. The young man whipped the wheel to the left and floored it, pulling up the E-bake to drift around the Batmobile. The Bat himself was stunned, not expecting to see such a sight and watched as the car straightened itself, slightly fish tailing before it sped off.
"Who the hell is this guy?"
The stunt had gained the driver some time and he punched it for the bridge which he could see just up ahead. He knew his pursuer was not far behind, but he hoped with any luck he could escape him. Under the dim street lamps the black SUV shined, catching the light in its reflective dark paint. It flew upon the on ramp of the bridge, speeding wildly down the clear road. The smell of scorched tires rising heavily in the air, leaving thick tracks on the pavement.
"Mmm… Richard?" He heard Raven mutter.
He turned his head quickly to see Raven roll her head back and slightly gain conciseness. "Raven, can you hear me?" He questioned urgently.
For a moment the girl didn't respond and he watched as she let her head go limp again.
"Raven!" He yelled, and reached out his hand to take hold of her chin. "Raven, Raven, answer me PLEASE!"
He peered up and in shock found a woman standing in the middle of the bridge. He jerked the wheel, but this time he lost control and rolled the vehicle over. The scream of scraping metal and shattering glass echoed into the empty space. The car slid violently on its passenger side, bringing to life the bellow of crushed metal as it hit the barrier of the bridge with great force.
The scent of scotched rubber and ground metal rose from the pavement, burning the woman's nose. She'd watched in horror as the SUV slid passed her and broke through the rusty barrier, plummeting from the bridge into the black river below.
The splash of the car was epic, sending white sprays of water into the air at a prominent height. The SUV began to submerge, sinking quickly beneath the black water. On the bridge the woman watched helplessly among the broken glass that lay scattered on the scarred pavement. Her eyes became glassy and her voice quivered in disbelief. In the distance a pair of headlights caught her attention and cut through the smoke left behind from the crash.
Beneath the dark water he couldn't breathe. His head held a dull pounding that rippled through his thoughts. He wanted to open his eyes, but he couldn't his mind being too scattered. Deep in his train of thought he wondered how he'd gotten to this point and how he'd let himself fall so far. Guilt began to set in, devouring him in his breathless state.
'What have I done to us…'