Batman Episode 3: Long Summer

Chapter 5

Captain James Gordon cleared his throat and instantly the rabble in the room quieted down. He stood at the podium before the rows of chairs, overlooking the ocean of deep blue, uniformed police officers. His expression was stern. He learned early on in his career in the Gotham City Police Department that these officers in the First Precinct required a firm hand. Gordon lost his sense of humor long ago.

“Approximately three months ago, the vigilante called ‘the Batman’ was first spotted,” he announced with a quick glance to a police officer sitting in the front left corner of the assembly. Gerard Stevens glanced back, giving a slow deep breath. Officer Stan Merkel, the officer sitting to his right was the only one in the room that noticed. “That same night, he assaulted and apprehended the criminal Salvatore Maroni, and eleven others associated with both Carmine Falcone and Roman Sionis, A.K.A. Black Mask. Since then there have been exactly three hundred sixty-four counts of assault and battery attributed to the Batman in Gotham City, all of which targeted on alleged criminals with the exception of five GCPD personnel.” Seated against the wall of the room, a large, bald man glared at Gordon. A stitches scar sliced across his forehead. His left hand was secured in a cumbersome cast with his right still slung against his chest. “I’ve asked Detective Flass, a firsthand witness of the perp to provide us with a description, Detective,” Gordon waved the focus over to the grumpy faced man.

“It was big, and all black,” he added. An officer seated in the front row snorted, suppressing his chuckles behind his hand. Flass bared his teeth, revealing a missing upper tooth. “The thing aint human!” he exclaimed. “I shot it with my sidearm but the bullet passed right through it. It punched straight through the windshield and threw to the ground with one hand! It aint human!” The room of police officers were all now in hysterics, all except for the detective standing in the doorway in the far back. He grinded his teeth on a toothpick as he listened in, his hands stuffed in the pockets of his wrinkled slacks, his short sleeved shirt one size too large was kept in the same, sloppy manner. Harvey Bullock didn’t find this very amusing.

“Settle down, everyone,” Gordon ordered with the same lack of amusement. “Now we have been authorized by Mayor Garcia to initiate a full Department wide man hunt on the Batman, which is why I’ve requested the presence of the other Precinct Captains. In the far back of the room, five other officers stood with attentive faces. Each were the captains and heads of each precinct established in each borough of Gotham City. In the far right corner, another man listened in. He wasn’t a police officer but Gordon recognized Counselor Arthur Reeves from his campaign adds. The counselor was overly confident, something that Gordon, never quite trusted. What exactly the Assistant District Attorney had to gain, Gordon wasn’t quite sure, but regardless his feelings, he had a job to do. “Now, let’s go over some details about the perp’s methods and other patterns we’ve learned.”

Opening the door to his small office, Gordon stepped inside, rubbing his eyes under his glasses.

“So, how’d it go?” Jim opened his eyes to find seventeen year old daughter seated behind his desk, her eyes fixed on the screen of his computer, most likely focused on a video game.

“Well I didn’t have to arrest anybody,” he sighed as he pulled off his jacket.

“Super,” she droned sarcastically. Jim gave her a reproachful look.

“Alright that’s it,” he sighed and placed his hands on his waist. “You’ve been moping about this past week, what’s up?” Barbara looked away from the screen then folded her arms as she leaned back in his chair with a frown on her young, defiant face.

“I still think its wrong,” she protested. Jim groaned as he rubbed his eyes wearily.

“Barbara, we’ve been over this.”

“He took out Maroni, brought down Black Mask and even pushed out Falcone!” she exclaimed.

“Keep your voice down,” Gordon pleaded with alarm in his eyes. “None of that has been proven.”

“Yeah right!” she snorted. “Who else did it? Sure as heck wasn’t Flass or Merkel or you.” Gordon sighed again. Her stubbornness was his own fault, it was one of the many traits of his that she inherited.

“I think getting out of Gotham will actually do you some good,” he grumbled. “You talk with your Mom yet?” he inquired.

“Yeah,” Barbara replied as she sat upright and returned her attention to the computer screen. “She’s picking me up at the airport tomorrow.”

“Good,” Jim said. “I’m sure you and her will have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend together,” he said with a forced smile.

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