Batman Episode 3: Long Summer

Chapter 2

Bruce was back in his element. The temperate night seemed still and quiet to the untrained eye, for those not watching. But he was watching. Gotham was his city. He had forced out its most notorious crime lord, Carmine ‘The Roman’ Falcone and even threw its most dangerous criminal, Black Mask, behind bars. More would come to threaten the peace of Gotham and he would be ready for them when they did, but till then, he would continue his watch and fight petty crime wherever it emerged.

The night seemed slow as he navigated the rooftops. He spent the majority of his time in the northernmost borough of the City, the Narrows. He was always able to find some trace of criminal activity and tonight was no exception. As he made his way south over the residential district of Burnley, he heard the sudden clang and crash of trash cans. Bruce aimed his descent towards a nearby rooftop and disengaged the glider frame of his black cape. His boots landed lightly despite his immense weight. He dropped low onto his hands and knees, transferring the shock of impact. His cape closed around him as he stood tall and menacing in the darkness, making his way to the edge of the roof. Peering down into the alley below, he spotted his target. Behind a dumpster, a woman tried to muffle her cries as a man grasped her with his free hand.

“Shut up! I will blow your brains out!” he said as he hefted a large chrome plated handgun up to her temple. Bruce bared his teeth as he glared down at the man, taking his usual precautions. All was clear. He stepped off the roof and dropped down into the space between the two buildings. Bruce engaged the gliding frame to soften his fall then released it again moments before landing behind his target. “Whoa,” the man exclaimed as he suddenly was alerted to a presence behind him. He managed to swing his heavy handgun halfway around but was instantly seized. Bruce’s large black gloved hand grasped his lower arm. He enjoyed throwing a right cross into the man’s face. The gun fell with a thud to the alley way ground. Careening further down the alley from the force of the punch, the man stumbled and tried to get away, screaming in terror as the black figure pounced on him. They crashed to the ground, Bruce on top as he rained blow after blow down on him. Had this piece of filth been merely a drug peddler or even a common mugger, Bruce would’ve gone easier on him. But this crook was a predator of the vilest kind, he needed to learn to be afraid. Bruce loomed over him, his demonic like expression accented by his menacing cowl hovered an inch over the battered, trembling man.

“You remember this night, Scum, the next time you decide to put your hands on anyone ever again. If you do, you won’t be able to touch anything ever again, because I’ll be watching you.” The man whimpered, his bloodshot eyes wide with fright despite the heavy bruising of his face. Bruce threw down one final punch, and the man was out instantly. From a pouch on his utility belt, he grabbed a pair of flex cuffs. Rolling the man onto his stomach, he brought his hands behind his back and tightened each loop of the black plastic around each wrist. Bruce stood up after securing his prisoner then turned around. The woman huddled in a tight ball in the corner of the dumpster and brick building, her eyes wide with terror, mascara streaking from the stream of tears, stared at him as he stooped and reached for the ground then stood back up. He took slow steps forward, his black cape draped around his entire form like the shroud of a phantom. “Do you have a phone?” he asked in a soft, yet strong tone. Still frozen in silence, she barely managed to nod. “Call nine, one, one,” Bruce instructed as he raised his arm over his head and fired his grapnel gun to the rooftop above.

“Wait,” she croaked, finding her voice once again. “You’re going to leave me here alone?” she inquired shrilly.

“Never,” he said solidly. Bruce activated the winch sending him flying to the rooftop above. The woman’s gaze followed him into the darkness watching him vanish into the abyss of shadows. From his perch overhead, he watched as she searched through her purse, found her cellphone and placed the call. In his hand, he held the discarded Desert Eagle. The large, chrome, 50 caliber handgun gleamed in the sparse light of the moon overhead. Not a single scratch or scuff was visible on the surface. Not only was this firearm grossly too much for the crook to handle, it was far above his price range. This wasn’t the first time in recent outings that Bruce had come across amateur criminals with ill fitted weapons. The black market weapons trade was getting worse. Whomever sold it or distributed the handgun needed to be shut down. Using his PDA’s camera function, he took a snapshot of the serial number engraved on left side, lower half of the slide. Moments later, red and blue lights flashed at the mouth of the alley way, now illuminated by the headlights of a GCPD squad car. Bruce ejected the magazine from the handgun and threw it aside then dismantled the Desert Eagle with practiced precision. After throwing each component in separate directions, Bruce turned away from the ledge of the rooftop, taking off away into the night.

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