DC Cinematic Universe

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ch0sen1, Sep 29, 2014.

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  1. CAST:

    Ch0sen1 - Rachel Roth / Raven
    @Razilin - Bruce Wayne / The Batman
    @Enkou666 Regedashi Dick Grayson / Nightwing

    -1064: Azar founds the astral realm of Temple Azarath, expelling all evil souls from there.
    -1997: Rachel Roth is born. She is taken to Azarath after her birth, raised by Azar.
    -1998: Angela Roth is announced missing; months later presumed dead.
    -2002: Bruce Wayne takes Dick Grayson as a ward and trains him as Robin.
    -2012: Batman and Robin/Dick Grayson part ways.
    -2013: Dick Grayson fully embraces his destiny as Nightwing.

    Summer 2014

    STORY ARCS ----> *Currently Active *Inactive *Not Available Yet
    The Sins of Our Mothers
    Info (open)

    There exists other realms, other dimensions, and other entities that transcends our understanding as humans. These paralogical occurrences holds host to many things that everyday life describes as "unexplainable" or "phenomena".....and these are the very things that co-exist in the commonplace of space and time, right under civilization's nose and within grasp. They hide away in the shadows, lurk outside the physical and abstract sight of many, but these anomalies reside with society every single day...

    So what happens when the gateway and interconnection between the two are explored? Explored through the perspective of one of the most powerful, darkest beings known to civilization? The cambion. The chosen one. A young girl raised in the pacifist ways for truth and light, but holds a dark, sinister secret inside her that will shatter all realms into an eternal abyss at the very wave of her hand...Or is there truly always light in darkness? For one will become the symbol of both, and ascend as something much greater.
    For that symbol will be depicted as...Raven.

    -When a mysterious girl arrives to Gotham asking questions about her mother and lurking in the criminal underbelly, darker, more stranger forces are watching her from all angles. In the city of the feared "Batman", an urban legend who was said to once have roamed the streets of Gotham causing terror, this girl soon explores that she's in for a darker journey she could have anticipated...however, she's not alone. She's being watched from the shadows. And even in that fact, Gotham soon may find out she's not as "innocent" as she may seem.


    Age of the Vigilante/A.R.G.U.S.
    The Terrible
    The Suicide Squad
    Night of Arkham
    The Alien/Incident of Metropolis

    Titans Protocol
    JLA Campaign
    #1 ch0sen1, Sep 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2014
  2. The hot summer night was sweltering and oppressive, but did nothing to keep the worms and dregs of the criminal underworld from crawling to the surface and out of the proverbial woodwork. It was the dark that enticed them to continue their bleak activities despite the heat. It was the dark that provided safety, mystery, anonymity. Only bad things moved in Gotham's streets during the dark hours.

    But some bad things hunted other bad things.

    A silent shadow with scalloped wings flew across the gothic rooftops of the city, limned in the full, silver moonlight. It was a demonic figure, and where its shadow was cast, a cold dread swept across those it passed. More than one thief or drug dealer looked up at the shadow, gulped, and scampered back into the proverbial woodwork like a rat with its tail between its legs.

    No one knew for certain if the boogeyman was real. They only knew the stories.

    An entire arms ring brought down in a single night. A human trafficking scam went south, fast, with every girl rescued and every trader unconscious with dozens of fractures. Entire gangs strung upside down several stories in the air, hanging by thin cables threatening to snap. Warehouses of contraband set to the flame. Secret labs concocting all manner of illegal substances blown to bits.

    It was the cops, some said. No, it was a gang war, just another set of casualties in a fight for territory. The Roman had something out for the Mutant gang. No, it was the Slenderman, the guy from the Internet. No one knew for certain if the boogeyman was real. But they were afraid of him anyway.

    The silent shadow landed on a rooftop and stood proudly upon a twisted gargoyle outcropping, the moon at his back and his long flowing cloak dancing around him like ghostly fingers. Upon his broad chest was armor and upon that a raised emblem.

    A bat.

    For thirteen years, the Batman lurked and hunted from the shadows of Gotham City, defending his territory from the evil of men with the same brutality they would unleash upon good, honest people. For thirteen years, the Batman was the unknown, unsung, and shadowy protector of this failing city. This night, like every night, he patrolled for evil to punish.

    The night was unusually quiet. His legend had culled many potential incidents over the years, a phenomenon he was all too grateful for. Grappling through the city was getting harder every year, it seemed. Already his right shoulder burned, the old gunshot wound from a decade ago aching like a hot iron through his skin. It was only two hours into his patrol; it normally did not hurt until at least the end of his rounds.

    He absently rolled his shoulder, vainly hoping the motion would loosen things up slightly. His left knee was hurting again, too, where it had nearly been crushed under falling debris eight years prior. So many battles, so many injuries. He simply willed his way through them before. Now they kept reminding him that he had been fighting for far, far too long.

    "This was easier when Nightwing was patrolling with me," he murmured under his breath. His last encounter with his former protege had ended badly. He had not meant it to. It took a few years for him to finally admit it, but he now recognized that Nightwing had come into his own and was indeed his own man. The Batman - Bruce - had not been able to accept that then. And it had driven Nighwing - Dick - all the way to Bludhaven.

    The Batman pushed the errant thought aside and focused on his present task. This sector of Gotham was clear, it seemed. But still no sign of the strange teenage girl asking questions in the wrong part of town. These days, after thirteen years of a boogeyman harassing the criminal element, very few were daring enough to traipse through the Batman's dark world unnecessarily. A few days ago, his information network passed along the word of a young girl looking for her mother in the worst alleys and corners imaginable. The sheer audacity of coming to Gotham of all places for such a task seemed immensely reckless, leading the Batman to wonder just who this girl was.

    He pulled a pair of binoculars from his utility belt, scanning the streets for anything unusual.
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  3. ((ORIGIN POST))

    Location: Unknown
    Time: 11:58 PM
    Year: 1996

    An eerie silence ensues throughout the dark and ominous area. Darkness surrounds the vicinity in a chilling mood of coldness and isolation, as if Death itself dwelled there. In this undisclosed abyss, an aura of despair and promise fills and fuels the air, in a way that only compliments the sinister tone of the moment at hand. a column of softly lit candles exist in this space, its golden dim light revealing frigid cole stone surfaces and splatters of red along the walls and floor. In the middle of this room lies an altar. Upon the altar, a young girl lays unconscious in a dark red robe, opened up to reveal her bust and half naked body. On the young girl's belly is a symbol of some sort coated in the same dark red. A pillar stands behind the altar with the same symbol, as the eerie silence trangresses into small and faint sounds of whispers. About a dozen beings linger in the mysterious dark with the young girl, as their garments brush against the floor. These dark figures increase their whispers as they kneel down in the direction of the young girl. The whispers go fourth just as dark as the abyss they all were enshrouded in.

    Mysterious Beings: "Unum abyssi.... In ac desperationis supplicio, sed occulta divinae lucis et custos... Quod si tibi hodie, ut dominus.... Et ostende nobis...."

    The still of the air along with the grisly breeze shooting through the void grips all individuals who dwell there. The figures chant on once more, as if chanting in harmony. They strive to fulfil their purpose, and they continue to kneel in the direction of the female.

    Mysterious Beings: "Unum abyssi.. In ac desperationis supplicio... sed occulta divinae lucis et custos. Quod si tibi hodie, ut dominus. Et ostende nobis."

    The beings rise their torsos from the kneel position and face towards the young lady they begin to reach out their hands to the girl, but never move a step forward. They begin to raise the volume of their voices as their hoods conceal who they are. The candle flames wave with a slight fury as if some unseen force was pushing it. The golden lights from the flames begin to flicker across the room. The figures chant once more with thunderous, heavy, deep tones of absolution.

    Mysterious Beings: "Unum abyssi. In ac desperationis supplicio, sed occulta divinae lucis et custos. Quod si tibi hodie, ut dominus. Et ostende nobis."

    The current gets stronger as the flames begin to flicker back and forth the small chill air suddenly finds an unknown source of heat. The altar with the girl seems to develop a resonance as the chanting brings forth an unexplainable energy. The hair on the unconscious girl begins to wave in the unseen wind as her eyes begin to dart back and forth while her eyes are still closed. The chanting gets louder now, moving into strong shouts of words from the group. The entire space begins to tremble slightly.

    Mysterious Beings: "Unum abyssi! In ac desperationis supplicio, sed occulta divinae lucis et custos!! Quod si tibi hodie, ut dominus! Et ostende nobis!!"

    The presence of another energy then disperses through the place. the trembling turns into full vibration as the altar shakes with fury and prejudice. The candle flames wave back and forth with rapid haste, but never extinguish. The young woman then begins to slowly levitate while still unconscious, eyes in a subconscious frenzy. Her dark red robe hangs down scraping the stone altar as splatters of red are revealed all over the stone surfaces. The figures stand up straight and begin to walk towards her with their arms stretched fully to her, as she lifts higher and higher into the air. Their words now resounding through the entire void with echoes. The entire venue shakes with force as the apex moment comes and the figures continue to scream the incantations at the top of their lungs.


    The candles shoot up in a streak of flames and the tremors cease their activity as the yound woman opens her eyes, and they reveal to be a deep dark violet color. She drops back down onto the altar as the candles return to normal and the air and energy returns to silence. The young woman opens her eyes once more as they return to her normal crystal blue eyes. She awakens to the robed figures surrounding her, not moving an inch. Silent. She rises from the stone surface, tying her robe up.

    Young Woman: "Is...is it done? Did....did it work?"

    The group remained silent as she looks around in hope and confusion. She stares into the light of the candles as they stand beside the tall stone pillar. There was nothing but silence. Eerie and still air and a grip of oppression through the room. The woman looks back at the group and seeks them once more.

    Young Woman: "What happened? I thought The Ascension would work?"

    Before anything else could happen a whisper arose from behind the pillar. Both the young woman and the robed figures alike jumped to attention at the behest of this unknown source of sound. They all stare at the pillar in shock and bewilderment. Something else was there.

    ???: "I am here..."

    The robed figures kneel down on their hands and knees and all chant in unison at the arrival of the mysterious entity.

    Mysterious Beings: "Lord."

    ???: "So long....have I been in captivity from the planes of mortality...you all have freed me..."

    The young woman stands surprised and taken back by the events that really just unfolded. This was stuff from movies and stories, but it just happened in real life. She couldn't believe it...she was so astounded that they had sucessfully summoned a divine being.

    Young Woman: "Is....is that really an angel..?"

    Suddenly the entity steps from behind the pillar, the darkness masking it's anatomy. It slowly walks forward into the candle light in grace and precision. Once the golden aura shines on the being, it's revealed to be a tall man with purple hair, and gold eyes that were only rivaled by the sun. He looks deeply into the group and focuses his eyes on the young woman, particularly focusing on the symbol on her stomach. He slightly smirks as he steps forth right next to the altar.

    Man: "You all have summoned me, and now here I am before you. My followers. My disciples."

    He walks down next to the young woman, and stands inches from her, looking into her eyes softly.

    Man: "What is your name, dear?"

    Young Woman: "My name is Angela..."

    Man: "Well Angela, you are one of supreme beauty and decadence. You carry the sigil on your stomach. The sigil of union, that represents the loyalty and faithfulness of your spirit unto the divine."

    Angela: "The Church said it was to summon you here, angel. So that I could be ascended to the Church as a Sister.."

    Man: "Oh, Angela...you are so much more than that..."

    While still looking at Angela, the man raises his right arm, telekinetically snapping the neck of one of the robed figures. Angela gasps at the sight of his mangled neck and lifeless body falling to the floor. The other robed figures raise up in fear and shock and begin to back away. The man then lifts group member after member up with his mind, throwing them like rag dolls across the dark space. Their screams and panic fueling him. Angela screams in horror as the men hit the walls and floors at the snap of bones. She stumbles away from the man and backs into the stone altar.

    Angela: "Please stop!!! What are you doing!? We're your followers! Angels don't kill!!!"

    Man: "Whoever said I was an angel...?"

    The man smirks at Angela and continues to tear the men apart as their screams turn into gurgles of blood. Angela darts towards the door but is unable to find in in the limited light she has. She trips over the body of one of her fellow members, blood splashing on her bare feet. She screams from the sensation of the warm fluid on her and rises to run once more.

    Immediately her body movement is stopped, as she tenses all her muscles to fight to move. The man lifts her up from afar and controls her body as he moves her over to the stone altar where she lay once before. He gently places her down and gives her control of her neck up. Angela begins to cry as she pleads the man.

    Angela: "Please....d-don't kill me...I swear I'll do whatever you want....just don't kill me [sobs]"

    Man: "Dear Angela....I won't kill you...for you are the chosen one, you will be the bridge for all human kind and divinity alike. You are more special than you realize..."

    Angela stares at the man with confused and fearful eyes as he turns towards the dead bodies before him and raises his hands once again. This time a dark mist rises from the corpses slowly and gradually. Angela looks on at this mystifying sorcery as the dark mist emits screams of the dead members' souls. The man balls his fists as the mists begin to rush toward him. The man opens his mouth, consuming the dark mist as his gold eyes turn into a bright hot orange yellow, as if the mist is powering him. Faint screams and cries of agony leaves the dark mists as they enter into the man. Once all mist has been absorbed, the man turns back to Angela with his gold eyes intact. He approaches Angela as she screams.

    Angela: "NO!!! PLEASE!!! AAAHAHHHHHH!!!"

    The man shuts her mouth psychically and she squirms and squeals. He takes the candle flames and shapes them into a full on inferno, blasting them at all the dead bodies before Angela. The two look on at the burning bodies...Angela in sheer terror, and the man in a dark satisfaction. The area can be well seen from the inferno now. Splatters of old blood everywhere throughout the pure stone complex. The inferno spreads cinders and heat through the once cold and dark area. As the man grabs Angela and they both begin to vanish in an instant.

    Angela comes to in a dark place...far worse than where she once was. Fires cover the sky as black mist rises from the ground in all directions. Wails of suffering and screams of terror surround this new unknown place for what seems like miles upon miles. Angela shakes herself into consciousness....and when she finally becomes aware she sees that she's fully naked with nothing but the blood red symbol on her belly remaining. She tries to scream, but nothing comes out. She can't move, anything. She noticed that she was on some kind of gigantic platform with a throne, and sitting on that throne was the mysterious man. Just staring at her. Once he sees that she's awake he rises from his throne and approaches her, psychically stripping himself of all clothes as he continues to walk to her. Angela looks on in pain and torment as she watched this monster control her like a puppet. Tears flow from her red face as her veins pop out to the very limit.


    Man: "You are mine to be, Angela. You will always be mine....the queen of it all."

    A smirk covers his face as his voice becomes significantly deeper and more ominous than ever...as if he was otherwordly.

    Demon: "You just don't know it yet."

    He relieves control of Angela's neck up as she screams absolute screams of terror and fear. They resonate throughout the fiery abyss that was never ending and all-consuming. The man's eyes glow orange-yellow hot once again, as his skin turns pale and the silhouette of his shadow turns into something far sinister to that of a human's......

    -------------------------------------PRESENT TIME-------------------------------
    Location: Azarath, the Astral World.
    Time: Cycle 2014. High Morning. 1 day earlier.

    I awake from my nightmare and jump up faster than expected. The bright aura of the day shining on my face as I squint my eyes to the luminous sky. Another day in this crazy spiral of a thing called life. I sit up from my slumber and I levitate down onto the floor, my feet hitting the cold golden brick surface paved on the ground. I put on my Azarathian robes and make way out into the palace halls where I can seek to find Azar. I know she'd probably want to hear about this dream I had. I could never keep anything in, especially from her...at least that's what I've been told since birth. Everything felt so...routine. I felt like a puppet at the hands of this world, just going along with the flow of life as the Azar says often. Something I can't argue I suppose, the Azar isn't even really my mother. She took me in when I couldn't even walk...said my mother wasn't fit to raise me because I was 'different'. That I was born extra special and that this was the place that those special people go, but for some reason..it feels like there's more to this life thing. Like I'm more... Time is different here. The mortal plane ages in nature, as Azarath does not, only the spirits in it. Everything's so lucid, so free flowing, yet so restricting; at least for me.

    Hello, Metrion..
    Greetings, Metrion!
    Hollow Eve, Metrion.
    Tidings, Metrion.

    I pass my fellow Azarathians as they bow with their robes concealing their faces. I feel their indifference, their false courtesy...they're fearful of me. It's a bad feeling. A feeling I've gotten used to. I return a gentle nod as I continue to walk towards the main throne. Each of the high council has these pocket dimensions where they dwell as opposed to royal mortal throne rooms. Azar's was a floating garden, some even said the original Garden of Eden. I reach the throne door and I then activate my astral self to go outside my body and travel through the door. It wasn't a physical realm, so I had to access it spiritually always. I enter a gorgeous garden, with the utmost lush plants and trees ever seen by eyes in history. They all radiate light in a star filled sky...except the sky in below the garden along with a full moon. I drift over the grass as I see the Azar kneeling and meditating.


    I kneel beside her as I begin to speak:

    Me: Hello, Azar.
    Azar: I sense the concern in your mind, Metrion. How was your slumber?
    Me: Troublesome. There was death and darkness in my visons...
    Azar: How did you feel?
    Me: I felt despair, sadness...agony. I used my training and balanced them away.
    Azar: Good my dear, lest your abilities consume you and you cause destruct to this realm.

    Azar was the closest figure I had to a mother. She told me my mother of Earth gave me up after birth, that she was a mortal that was inable to properly care and raise me because of how 'special' I was. I never really knew much about her, only that she died shortly after I was taken to Azarath. Azar says that due to my abilities, I have the power to greatly influence the spirit realm, and even cripple the mortal planes if I were to ever lose touch of my emotions. I don't know why I am this way, but I can connect to being's thoughts and feelings ...I can feel everything. Azar teaches me to become outside myself and emotions to be clear in action and thinking. No matter how far I want to push my limit or my curiosity she constantly reminds me that I can never do that. Not ever. I've learned to live with it for 16 cycles now, but the feeling of this burden...to never truly feel anything for myself, to never have an experience of emotion...it consumes me. These abilities...why me? I would do wonders to experience what it's like to just be normal...just for one minute. I close my eyes and meditate for a moment, clearing myself of envy.
  4. There was a loud thud as flesh struck brick, followed by an even louder breath of agony.

    “The girl. Tell me about her.”

    “I don’t know anythin’, honest!”

    A vice-like hand, sheathed in a polymer gauntlet, yanked the young hoodlum forward by the front of his shirt, only to push him back against the brick wall even harder than before. The thug let out another terrified gasp as the wind was literally knocked out of him. He swore that the brick wall cracked a bit, or perhaps that was just his own spine screaming.

    Any thought to his pain was suddenly whisked from his mind by the gravelly voice that breathed down upon him. “The girl,” the menacing figure demanded again, “tell me what you know.”

    “I don’t know anythin’, man! I swear to God!”

    “No,” the figured growled, the booming, low baritone promising no mercy, only pain. “Swear to me.”

    The gauntlet slammed across the hoodlum’s jaw, hard enough for his ears to ring and sparks to explode behind his eyes.

    This wasn’t happening, he thought. This guy was just a myth. He wasn’t real. But those punches sure felt real. The terror making him leak into his jeans was most assuredly real. That sinking feeling of dread and doom, making his heart pound at a hundred miles a minute, all of that – that was definitely real. As these thoughts raced through his head, the thug could only come to one conclusion.

    The Batman was real.

    The Batman had him in his hands.

    Good God above, the Batman was real.

    “I don’t know anythin’, please, oh God, please,” he burbled helplessly even as the armored fist crashed across his face two more times, again with a thundering bang as if it were a handgun firing at his head. Something flew out of his mouth…a tooth and a smattering of blood. The thug desperately cried out, “Okay, okay, I just heard from a guy who knows a guy. This chick, pretty thing, petite. She was lookin’ around for her mom or somethin’.”

    The Batman said nothing. He simply narrowed his eyes. The hoodlum’s bowels tightened.

    In the darkness of the alley, lit only dimly by a flickering streetlamp, the Batman’s eyes seemed to gleam white.

    “She was askin’ around like an amateur. Y’know, checkin’ out the real easy places. Boagie’s, the Pump, the Tiger Lily Bar.” Pubs, bars, and strip clubs. Common places for common vices. Like the thug said, places an amateur would go if they wanted information. No finesse, no forethought, no planning. At least, not the kind that people who lived and breathed the culture of the criminal element would have concocted. “The girl, from I hear, didn’t even ask any of the wallflowers. Probably didn’t even know what a wallflower was.”

    Wallflower. A new term on the street in its ever-evolving slang. It meant one of the major mafia groups’ eyes and ears, situated in various businesses and fronts, perhaps even masquerading as common vagabonds sitting on the curb. They kept their ears to the ground for information they could sell to their masters. If someone wanted to get real information about what was going on in Gotham, they tried to hook up with a wallflower.

    “Where was she heading to next?”

    “I dunno, man, honest! Just please, don’t kill me!”

    The gauntlet wrapped its armored fingers around his face and suddenly everything went black as his head was slammed into the wall.

    The Batman let his erstwhile informant succumb to the sweet, merciful release of unconsciousness. He would live, but he would have a splitting headache. And he would remember who stalked these streets.

    “Hmph. Back to the drawing board.”
    #4 Razilin, Sep 30, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2014
  5. The night was cold. Nightwing was on patrol in Bludhaven as every night. Owner of his apartment building and owner of the bar. It was all a cover for this life. The one he chose. Unlike his mentor he wasn't rich. Although he was left with a small fortune. He only tapped into that when needed. Nightwing sighed openly. For the past few years of cleaning up the harbor and all of Bludhaven it's become quiet. Not even the bar held enough intel now a days. Maybe he was too good at his job. Mainly that was a bad thing. Back to normal intel searching it was.

    He leaped from roof top to roof top. Finding some scum that he could gather something out of. It seemed like a normal enough job. After searching he found one. It was simple to know who would rat and who wouldn't. And intimidation had been a tactic he honed a long time ago. He silently dropped down behind the guy and kicked him into the wall.

    "Intel. I need it now." Nightwing punched the man in the stomach. "I won't tell you nothin!" Nightwing sighed. "If that's your wish. Hard ball it is." He began the beating. Punches and kicks. He broke two of the man ribs until he cried out. "OK OK! I'll rat." Nightwing picked him up. "Well? I'm waiting and I'm not a very patient man." Scared the man started to spill. "Ok ok ok. Listen there is this girl. She's in Gotham. She's been looking for her mom. Falcone has called in everyone to find this girl." This peaked his interest. Why would the biggest mafia head in Gotham be looking for this girl. It didn't make sense. "Why? Why the girl? There's plenty of homeless children looking for their parents in Gotham!" A statement he knew almost all too well. He shook the man and he screamed. "I DON'T KNOW! She has purple hair. I don't know much about anything else. Please." Nightwing set the man down. "Thank you. You've been most helpful." Nightwing climbed back to the roof.

    He let out another outward sigh. No wonder it had been so quiet the past week. Who was this girl. And with purple hair. This wasn't much to go on. But, if Falcone was looking for her it couldn't of been easy on the old man. And after the loss of Jason. Another encounter he wished to not recall. It was all happening so fast. He was only being a year into fully established and he'd accomplished so much.

    But, now he had a homecoming to go to. He'd been to Gotham a few times over the year. Even a few on business terms. But, this was different. He had to find this girl. It was a mission now. He went back to his apartment and began packing. This would be an extended trip. He grabbed normal clothes and other items. He even found a few things Bab's left. He put them away. Their break up wasn't nice. It still pained him to think about. But, it was for the best. So he could still stay Nightwing. His purpose in life.
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  6. The low rumble of multiple conversations was a hypnotic ocean of noise interlaced with the clattering of dishes and wine glasses as well-dressed waiters and waitresses maneuvered through the booths and tables of Pina’s Italiana, a moderately-sized family restaurant in the Narrows of Gotham City. Well made food and good wine were its hallmarks, at least to the majority of the public. What truly made Pina’s stand out was its regular clientele. While the Falcone family could certainly afford to eat at the most lavish establishments of Gotham on a regular basis, sometimes simple, home-cooked fare bringing back ancestral memories of the old country made for the best dinners.

    The robust gentleman sitting at the restaurant’s modest bar knew this. He was a big fellow, with a paunchy gut but broad, strong shoulders hidden in a brown blazer. He wore a simple flatcap and khakis, giving the impression of being a man who had a decent living, yet liked to live modestly. The kind of gentleman who frequented Pina’s. There was a single, distracting feature upon an otherwise nondescript face, a burn scar on his left cheek.

    He forked a helping of chicken and pasta into his mouth, washing it down a moment later with a mouthful of Jack and Coke at his hand.

    He seemed to simply be minding his own business when the bartender stopped by to get him another cocktail, asking politely, “Another, Matches?”

    Matches Malone tipped his flatcap in silent affirmation, but then tugged the bartender’s sleeve lightly. “Wait up a sec,” he interrupted in a throaty New Yorker drawl; it was common knowledge that Matches Malone came down to Gotham after a particularly bad run went down in NYC several years ago and that Matches never did let go of his love of the Big Apple, no matter how well he had it down in Gotham. “Is Mr. Falcone gunna be in tonight? Got a question fer ’im. Somethin’ I’m hearin’ from the wallflowers ’bout some pretty purple-haired thing lookin’ ’round where she ain’t s’pposed to be.”

    The bartender nodded. “Y’know, I heard the same, Matches. Dunno much myself, though. And Mr. Falcone ought to be coming in tonight. He had a reservation for him and his best friends at the VIP room about that girl.”

    Best friends. Another slang term. For lieutenants.

    That set off red flags in Matches Malone’s – Batman’s – head. Looks like after a few hours of putting the pieces together, he finally had something to work with.

    “Well then, better leave me the bottle,” Matches said. “I think I’ll jus’ wait for Mr. Falcone and ask ’im myself.”
    #6 Razilin, Oct 1, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
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  7. Azar: 'You must never indulge on your emotions, Metrion.'
    Me: 'Yes, I know Azar...'
    Azar: '...your birthday approaches. Anything in particular you wish to retrieve?'

    How about being normal? That's what I wished to say. How about stripping me of these burdens that makes it uneasy for me to walk through life. Or....my mother, or father. Father...Azar never really mentioned him whatsoever. The last time I asked about it was a couple of cycles ago in meditation, and Azar suggested that he was as useless as anything in this universe, that he should never be spoken of. So not only may I never meet my mother, nor only may I ever feel any true emotion, I also can't speak of my father...I'm to be a drone in the realm of Azarath. It consumes me, it weighs me, but I can't feel any way about it. Such burden that no one will ever know, except Azar.

    Me: '...A cake would be nice.'
    Azar: 'But of course dear, anything else?'
    I was going to say it.
    Me: 'To see the realm where I came from....Earth?'

    In a split second Azar opens her eyes and looks over to me with deep eyes of piercing. Never in our time of meditation has she ever broken focus. Until now. She arises and walks to a precious tree in the garden and speaks as she rubs the branches.

    Azar: "How long have you been thinking about this?"
    Me: *looking down* "For some time now, Azar."
    Azar: "For what is your reason to impart upon Earth? You have no reason...no cause.."
    Me: "Because it's where I'm from...I've had years of training and honing my senses for events such as this."
    Azar: "The quiz and the test are two separate things, Metrion."
    Me: "Both which I've never failed."

    I've had some shaky moments in my past time. Azar even said when I cried as an infant Azarath shook with earthquakes and violent lightning storms. As a youngling, when I used to get sad or throw a fit things would break or move harshly around me. Azar has taught me to not bottle it, but release it in a balanced way of meditation, that I was a special breed that had enormous power, and in wake of that power I literally had the ability to destroy dimensions lest I succumb to my darker and mortal inhibitions. Ever since, it's been a daily meditation period. Another things that's helped my is my companion Zinthios. Azarath has very rarely seen any animal life since it was created, but Zinthios saved me one day when I was 8 cycles old and has been with me ever since. He's the only being I can fully unwind to and share everything with; even with him being a three eyed black bird. I often chat with him telepathically, and link emotions with him when he's happy so that I may feel joy myself.

    Azar: "Metrion, until you have an absolute understanding and grasp of yourself and abilities, you must remain here."
    Me: *clenching my jaw* "Very well, Azar."

    I get up to leave the domain of the Azar when she looks back and imparts that inevitable knowledge onto me: "Sometimes the shadows reveal themselves, only to mask that there's light."

    I turn around to see that I'm already back in the main halls of the temple. The lush golden bright aura radiating from an unknown source of light. We didn't have a sun as the mortal realm did, just light. I remove my hood as I trek through the palace temple and make my way towards the grand doors opening to the outside environment of Azarath. Again I feel the curiosity and contemplation of my fellow Azarathians as they stare at me from behind with eyes of indifference. Something I'm all too familiar with...

    I open the grand doors to the outside nature of beauty before me. The crystal waters, the souns of waterfalls rushing in the distance, the smell of fresh air and plants. This was an utopia I had to admit, no matter how twisted Azarath was towards me and my "ability". I levitate across the soft, lush blades of grass until I get to the river stream that shows only the most absolute perfect water. The current flows with ease through the rocks and stone objects at the bottom of the river. This was mesmerizing. I close my eyes as a slow breeze runs through my spirit. A sudden sound of a shriek causes my face to involuntarily smile. I knew that shriek. That caw. Zinthios. I look to the sky as I see a black-winged figure soaring at uncanny altitudes. It flies so gracefully, so peacefully until it locks eyes on me from afar. With another shriek, it darts from the sky in extreme haste like a dark missile from the sky. I look on at it with a grin as I read it's emotions: overly joyous. I copy the emotions into my own self, my heart warming and spirit brightening. I reach out my arm as Zinthios spreads its wings and glides onto my forearm, scooting up near my neck and rubbing itself against me.

    Zinthios (open)


    Me: *giggles* "Good to see you too, Zinthios."
    I place my feet in the river as the cool, crisp water rushes past them and slightly soothes them.
    Me: "What shall we tamper with today, Zinthios?"

    Zinthios: "CAWW!" *flies to the river and picks up a rock then drops it*
    Me: "Ahh, the rocks huh? That's easy, watch this...."

    I close my eyes and begin to feel the energy of the things around me. The roots in the ground, the flowing water, the rocks the lie at the bottom. I can feel their signature, their vibrance. I sync with that resonance and become one with it as I begin to make the rocks vibrate. Slowly and gracefully I begin to lift up the rocks with my mind as they levitate with peace above the liquid surface. Zinthios caws with anticipation upon the menial show being provided. I smirk as I'm not satisfied with just these small rocks. I dig deeper. I lift up the moderate sized rocks underneath the waters as well, as they join the unseen orbit of objects already floating. I open my eyes to the wonderous sight. I rarely got to exercise my abilities, well the mental ones anyway. This was the closest that I'd get to tapping into these gifts...or curses. I lift them high in the air as they begin a centripetal orbiting motion in the air. Zinthios jumps up and down with excitement as the velocity of the rocks increases more and more. I shape the rocks in the form of a giant hand and I roar while reaching for Zinthios, scaring it a bit as it flutters backwards. I chuckle and then I turn it into a heart. A simulated pulsating, pumping heart...I can get more creative than that. I levitate slightly as I mold the rocks into a copy Zinthios...well I tried. It looked more like the winged animal known as a bat. Zinthios caws and jumps on my shoulder as I bring the presentation of my abilities to an end. I clap my hands together as the rocks all collapse back into the water.

    Me: "How was that, Zinthios? Pretty fun huh?"

    It was sad what my definition of fun was. Not like any of the young inhabitants here would want to play with me. They're all mostly afraid, but at the same time most are still friendly. Theron is the only one to go out of his way to try to make me cheerful. I met him when we were ten cycles old. He was crying over his dying bird and I felt the bird's agony and sadness, as well as his. So, I walked up to the bird, and used my abilities to heal it. However, I took the bird's injuries and was down and out for a day. Ever since, he's been really fond of me. I remain outside playing with Zinthios for hours, staying right in front of the temple palace the entire time. Not many ventured outside, only to see the utopian scenery or to cultivate plants for food and medicine every so often. This was nice. I drifted afloat the air with Zinthios on my chest moving about trying to keep balance. I had lost touch of how far I was up, still my eyes remained shut. Until something broke my attention. The sound of a great horn. No....The Trials of Peace.

    The Trials of Peace happened rarely, but it was an extreme crucible of one's mindstate. Azar would push thoughts in our heads, make us see things that weren't there, all as practice of the spirit, and of the will. I open my eyes to the sky before me, as I begin to drop gracefully throught it. I was higher than anticipated. The temple gets larger and larger as I zoom towards the ground with Zinthios flying right beside me, cawing. I gather my feet and slowly levitate and descend on the grass.

    Me: "Well Zinthios, guess it's time for trials...wait for me in my chambers..."
    Zinthios: *caws, then flys off*

    I place my hood over my head as I begin to walk back towards the temple palace. I open the grand doors back into the temple as hundreds of black robed Azarathians all converge towards the temple courtyard, where the trials take place. I join in the masses of pedestrians as we all uniformly begin to fill the space of the great courtyard. The waters gush from the golden floors as the temple overview can be seen from afar. Such beauty. The entire population forms a large circle arounf the perimeter of the area as we all begin to kneel at once. Many thoughts rush through my mind at this moment. Why now? Was it because of what I said? Was this truly random? I look up into the center of the yard where High Magistrate Coman and Azar enter. Coman is the second-in-command to Azar, and oversees all Trials of Peace to judge who is worthy of the Temple Guild. The Temple Guild is a collection of the highest spiritual people, with tasks divided in three sections: Law, Council, and Preservers. Law members look after and address the oaths and rules of Azarath, and keep a list on all who break them. Council members judge the laws, as well as the people who break them. They also handle special requests by anyone who wishes to do so. Preservers are the protectors of peace and oppose any violence of confrontations. Coman runs the Temple Guild also.

    High Magistrate (open)


    High Magistrate Coman: "Welcome, my people, to yet another Trial of Peace. We have came so far in our quest from evil, and now we will practice the pacifist way by stretching our spirits. I'm proud of each and every one of you, as we have had NO laws or incidents broken in the recent times. May your inner light continue to guide you thoroughly. Now! Let our leader commence the trials!"

    Azarathians: "HUO!!"

    Azar then sits then levitates into the air, in the center of us all. We close our eyes in droves as the Azar then uses her spiritual power to sync all of our minds together into the same pocket dimension. The courtyard transforms into an all black abyss. We all remain floating, as we levitate from the now vanished ground. With my eyes closed, I project my astral self from my body and I begin to look around. No one. Just me. Alone. I knew they were with me, but when we venture off into our own tether, then everything else gets excluded. I only see my body, levitating and eyes closed. It's amazing how Azar could send different telepathic communications to multiple people simultaneously. The amount of energy and concentration....impeccable. A winding road then appears before me, leading deeper into the darkness. I follow carefully as the road gradually curves more and more uphill as I walk. Echoes of a baby crying hits my ears hard. I sway my head searching for the sound...what was it? WHO was it? It was everywhere...I continue to walk up the path as my calves begin to strain as I walk. My feet feels shaky against the stone road in the middle of darkness. The road begins to vibrate harshly as I crouch to keep my center of balance. Rocks and pebbles fall from beneath me as I levitate and keep myself up, the road now breaking apart into an asteroid belt made of rocks and pebbles. I drift cautiously through the belt moving the stones with my hands.

    Azar: 'Metrion....you can never leave. You can never be anything other than what you are now: nothing.'

    I continue to drift, looking for Azar. Nothing. Her words resonate in my head, and I start to feel the cold distant sting of what I already knew. The truth. These trials were all the same. Words of how I can never experience anything, and be nothing. What really made them hard was that they were true....but I've started to get used to it. I'm stronger now, I had to show my strength to the Azar. I use my telekinesis to adjoin the many stones back together and continue to walk forward. I felt a surge of confidence. The road begins to level out as I make my way towards more darkness. Now I see dozens of robed Azarathians lined up on both sides of me. They're snickering and looking fearful. Soon it increases to them pointing and casting me out like I'm some evil entity. The road shakes again, but I use my focus to keep it joined. I use my telempathy to project my feelings of indifference and burden onto them, making the numerous robed citizens quell their words and actions, and simply remain staring at me. I begin to speed up my walk as I rush down the stone road. I've never felt this amount of momentum in the Trials. Ever. I'd gotten considerably stronger in spirit.

    Azar: 'You will forever be here, Metrion. You must never venture outside your inner self...you will destroy worlds. You are powerful, but you are weak. You do not belong, but you MUST belong.'

    The road then breaks from underneath me, as I aptly use my abilities to stay afloat in the void of pitch black.

    Azar: 'You are a mistake, your parents abandoned you. Your own flesh and blood wanted nothing to do with you...they tossed you aside as if you were nothing but a rock in the sand. You have nothing. No one. You are a foreigner in a strange land. Lost, like you are now.'

    The words ring in my head and begin to bring forth a slight bit of sadness, but I knew it was a test. I had grown too much and come to far to let those words influence me. I knew they were true, and that they would forever be my burden, but right here, right now, I had control of who I am and the power to control the situation.

    Me: 'You're wrong Azar, I have you. You took me in, and I'm grateful. You care, just like you care enough now to push my spiritual strength to better ensure I'm responsible.'

    Azar: 'Is that what you think? I had no other choice! I couldn't let you destroy the planes of reality! We took you in for the safety of the realms, NOT for sentiment. YOU. ARE. A. MONSTER. You don't realize it and can't realize it because if you do, you will kill.You will destroy. Your emotions are dark and wicked, Metrion. As are you.'
    The words resonate heavier this time, but I can still ward off the harsh words of the Azar. Suddenly I feel emotions of isolation, despair, lonliness. More cries echo through the dark plane, but this time it was a woman not a baby. Who was it? Was that me? No, .........mother!? I swing my head around as I think through the emotions eating at me. If I can find the Azar, I can counter her telempathy. But nothing. I didn't know what else to do....this was tricky. The Azar didn't let up. It was like she was bringing my greatest insecurities out before me. The woman kept screaming my name. Loudly. It kept pounding in my head, like a screeching that wouldn't stop. I close my eyes and try to resist.

    Woman: 'METRION!!! METRION!!!! METRION!!!!!'

    I grunt and struggle in resistance as I can feel myself giving in. How?? I was just doing well, and ok at that! Just like that, the tables have turned....maybe that was the lesson here. Yes, it HAS to be! I had to find harmony in my lonliness, easier said than done. The screaming made it difficult, but I had to learn to focus. I think about Azar, how she took me in....then I think about her harsh words on why she did. Did she mean it or was it a test? She planned this, ugh. She knew I'd resort to these thoughts, she was one step ahead. I was losing myself spiritually, I had to get back. I got it....I found a way. Azar can only project thoughts and illusions, but I can project emotion. I dig deep and take my sense of gratitude I have for the Azar and project it through the entire void. This was my inner self, I had control.

    Me: 'No matter what you do, Azar....I am still grateful...'

    I didn't mean it as much. I had to admit, the words and feelings have altered my perspective a bit, but no enough for me to give in. That's the true meaning of strength: being able to bend and be bent, without breaking. I open my eyes to see black still, but this time I decide to do the unthinkable. Azar would never expect me to rebel; she's always seen me as this obedient and willing follower....but I have honed my skills in the darkness. At least to a small degree. She absolutely opposes me using my extranormal abilities, well let's see how resolute she can be. I clench my fists as my eyes glow an intense deep violet color. My hair begins to transmute into a dark purple, and my sclera turns dark as the void I'm in. I had tapped into these emotions of isolation, but not past the point of extreme emotion. I concentrate my energies as the entire realm begins to shake as dark mist eminates from my body.

    Azar: 'Metrion! Cease!'
    Me: 'I.....am....stronger than you know, Azar. This isn't about emotion, it's about will.'

    The dark mist forms constructs of things I see positive in my life: Zinthios, Azar, Water, a diamond...representing balance. I begin to shoot the mist throughout the void, as it travels everywhere and nowhere. Back in the reality plane of Azarath, all denizens remain meditated. I float indian-style, but I was different. My hair was purple. My eyes were black and violet, and dark mist began to resonate around my aura. High Magistrate Coman looks as his eyes widen at the gripping sight, even though I was in a meditative state, he was shocked all the same. The Azar opens her eyes and looks at me through the courtyard, seeing the use of my abilities.

    Azar: 'Metrion, cease your powers at ONCE!'
    Me: 'I....am still grateful to you...Azar....'

    The mist begins to grow larger and larger, it starts to orbit around my body. As long as I kept it under control, I would be alright.

    High Magistrate Coman: "STOP! [slams staff to the ground]"

    I open my eyes in surprise, as does the other denizens. My hair returns back dark brown, and my eyes return to their golden color. I felt a bit of concern. What would the Azar and High Magistrate do with me now? I was to never display my abilities or use them, but technically I never did since we were meditating. Both look at me with sharp eyes, as the robed citizens open their eyes and lift their heads to the center of the courtyard.

    High Magistrate Coman: "The Trials...are over."

    A great horn sounds off through all of Azarath. Trials of Peace are over. All of the people descend from their spiritual highs and begin to rise from their positions and go on about their day. I stand up, still feeling the emotional toll of the past hour. Hour? It seemed like only moments. Everyday I fought these emotions, so that I don't get consumed into intense feelings. I showed them what I was capable of, my spiritual strength. The Azar descends from levitation and looks at me with countenance. I guess it was a trial...but did she have to go that far? Did I? Sometimes I wanted to just be isolated from it all...but I knew nothing would be solved if I did so. I begin walking away to my room as I hear Theron calling to me from behind.

    Theron (open)


    Theron: "Hey Metrion!!" *runs up*
    Me: "Hello, Theron.."
    Theron: "I almost lost my way in the trial...thought Azar was going to banish me to confinement..."
    Me: "Heh..."
    Theron: "So hey I was thinking that we trek the hills, go enjoy the beauty."
    Me: "I'm kind of drained, I just wish to relax."
    Theron: "Oh...very well, shall I escort you to your chambers?"
    Me: "I'm fine Theron."
    Theron: "Alright then, well if you wish to convene then just summon me" *smiles*
    Me: "I'll do that, yes."

    Theron then splits off into the reaches of the castle as I climb the gold-ivory steps up towards the upper levels where my room resides, as Azarathians greet and praise me on my way up.
    [Very well, Metrion.....Greetings....Well done, dear child....Hello Metrion, stellar focus today...]
    Robed Azarathians (open)
    Robed Azarathians (open)


    One voice stands out from all the rest, a loud, reaching, annoying voice that I really did not want to hear: Juris. Juris always lived to detest and belittle me at every chance he was granted. A part of me analyzed that it was a result of fear, that maybe he was afraid of who I was and voiced his as well as the others' REAL feelings towards me. The sight of Juris climbing the stairs to meet me caused my blood to heat. I was already on edge.

    Juris (open)


    Juris: "Metrion Metrion Metrion.....you never cease to amaze.."
    Me: "Juris....you never cease to say things no one cares of..."
    Juris: "Speak for yourself, outcast....you almost destroyed us all back there...what? You thought that people would not talk of it? And you expect us to adorn you?"
    Me: "By us I'm assuming you mean you, since you're always all alone. Is this an affection thing? Projecting your feelings of interest on me through discrimination and sullied words? It's not that attractive."
    Juris: "Hah!! Funny Metrion...I'd no sooner court you than I would run myself through."
    Me: "Then you have no reason to keep badgering me with ineffective banterings of an infant. Good day." *walks off*
    Juris: "Good day freak, I'm sure your mother would be so proud." *smirks*

    I stop in my tracks. My blood involuntarily boiled at that moment. My heart intensified with feelings of temptation and slight anger. I could feel him smiling from behind me, waiting for me to make a wrong move so that I may be outcasted by Azar. I was sick. Sick of tolerating the looks. Sick of tolerating these harsh words. Sick of being viewed as if I'm a dangerous animal in a cage full of harmless fawn. I turn around and glare at Juris, as I push a thought into his head, before walking away up the stairs to my chambers.

    Juris: "HARK! EVERYONE!!!" *climbs to the top of the stairs and yells* " I HEREBY PROFESS MY LOVE TO METRION!!!! I LOVE HER!!!"
    Me: *turns around and walks up the 2nd flight of stairs with a smirk*
    Juris: *regains consciousness, stands there confused as Azarath stares at him in bewilderment*

    Once I reach my chambers, I open the door as Zinthios sits at the window pane. He caws at my entrance as I plop on my velvet silk sheets. Zinthios then flies on my chest and stares at me, I think he senses my stress. We developed an extreme bond over out time together here in Azarath. I levitate from the bed as I close my eyes and just let my mind drift. Mother, Azar, Theron, Azarath, Love, Peace, Father, Outcast..... I've never been outside of Azarath, and I wished to go so bad. I wanted to see where I truly come from. How outcasted I really was. I rub Zinthios gently as I stare into the sky, letting my mind wander and emotions clear.


    Azar: *telepathically* 'Metrion, you have prevailed, my apologies for pushing those dire words and thoughts to you, but I knew you were ready.'

    I ignore the Azar and continue to float. I look out the window at the clear, azure, blue sky and wonder of the ways of Earth. About my mother, about my father. About everything. I had endured so much, but now it was starting to take its toll on me. I pull out my necklace with the red diamond on it...The Chakra. A center for my abilities and what helps me focus when I use them. It was a gift from the Azar on my 8th birthday, kept it ever since. What she didn't know was that I harnessed the crystal with some of the Azar's magic. I enchanted it with a spell from her great book.

    Azar: 'Metrion...I know you hear my thoughts...respond.'

    I just wanted to go away. From all of this. I think I was depressed, it was the only emotion that made sense. It felt so saddening, but so consuming. Before I know it a knock on my door hits, as Zinthios caws away. I knew it was her. Azar enters as she looks at me with eyes of emotion this time...must be nice.

    Azar: "Tell me what's wrong, Metrion."
    Me: *stares out the window* "Nothing."
    Azar: "I know that's false, is this about the trials?"
    Me: .........
    Azar: "You know, Metrion...I would never test you against things if I didn't believe you were ready."
    Me: "Which is why you were afraid when I used my abilites and had them under control..."
    Azar: "You think your abilities are meant to control? No, they're meant to consume you...one use and more and more you will be enticed to practice them."
    Me: "What's wrong with that? Better I practice and hone them as opposed to having outbursts I can't handle."
    Azar: "Tis never that simple.."
    Me: "It is that simple. You just .....you are afraid that I'll become some destroyer of worlds when really by keeping me confined and treated like nothing by all these citizens it's making me more emotional, and I'm supposed to just 'clear it' from my heart?"

    This was the first time I rebuttled against Azar in a long time. It did nothing but stir my emotions more.

    Azar: "The people of Azarath have accepted you for who you are."
    Me: "No, you THINK they have, but you can read emotions like I can. I feel their fear, their indifference, their scrutiny. They all are waiting for me to explode, just like you are."
    Azar: "You let your thought blind you, I don't wait for you to explode...I wait for you to realize the day your abilities aren't for controlling, but for consuming."
    Me: "A little late for that...I've been using them since I was a childling and yet here I am still not destroying a realm. You don't wish to help me control my emotion, you wish for me not to ever have any realization that my abilities can be used for my will. You want to control ME. You and the rest of Azarath!"

    A small wind generates at my rising emotion. I immediately calm down and cease levitation.

    Me: "I'm glad you took me in. I will always be. But if the cost is being a puppet, and never knowing who I really am and not having a full life then who's really the monster? Me? Or a society that keeps a being unwillfully prisoned in spirit and emotion, stripping them of their sense of free will?"

    The Azar stood quiet for a moment as I look out the window once more. I had pride in myself. I felt better, but now I knew that this utopia was just a mask for the place of confinement it really was. I heard the door close behind me. She left, without any words of insight. Strange, first time that's happened. Zinthios flies on my shoulder and rubs its head against my cheek to cheer me up.
  8. WINTER, 1996

    The wind was like a blade of ice and cold, slashing between the immovable, snow-capped peaks of the desolate mountain range. The howl of the torrent was like a beleaguered beast, screaming out its death cries. More than one foolish traveler fell prey to the inclement weather, the bitter cold, and the uncertain surfaces of this blighted locale.

    It was barren, it was lonely, it was dangerous.

    And it was the place Bruce Wayne had to go.

    He climbed.

    The scars of battle and the lines of stress and worry that would line his face and mar his body decades later were nowhere in sight on this tall, young, and strong body. His physique was powerful, agile, confident. His mind was sharp and disciplined. But here, he was tested. He had been traveling in these mountains for the last week, with little more than the tattered hand-me-down wool robes he wore on his back, the cloth gloves and boots on his feet, and the dirty satchel of rapidly-dwindling supplies he strapped across his shoulders.

    His rope had snapped two days ago, nearly ending his life on a precarious climb. His bandages were bloodied where had wrapped a bad cut he received on his arm from a fall; now, he had no medical supplies left. Food and water he still had, but like the rest of his possessions, these were now in dangerously short supply.

    He climbed.

    He pressed on, heedless of the dangers. One hand clung to a handhold on the mountain surface. The other reached higher and pulled the rest of him closer to the precipice. He climbed, relying equally on the strength of his body and the strength of his will.
    Already he could see his destination. A wooden monastery with an aesthetic of Japanese extraction. It was unusual place to find such architecture, buried amidst the snow and mountains of Tibet. But the founders of this monastery had, generations ago, abandoned the war-torn lands of Japan during the Warring States period for the solitude of this land. It was peaceful here, a peace enforced by the deadly climate. Only those who sought refuge from violence, who conquered the violence of this desolate place, could even hope to touch the tranquility of the monastery.

    He climbed.

    At last, his hand had grasped the edge of the monastery’s environs, a great clearing before the one hundred and eight stone steps that led to the main building, all painted brick and lacquer. His breath was ragged and his muscles burned. Despite the frozen wind, hot sweat ran down his face and under his tattered garments.

    Bruce forced himself to his feet, tiredly, but ignored the fatigue when he saw three men in black gi and cloaks walking toward him. Swords were strapped to their backs. Leather armor adorned their chests. Iron gauntlets with three sharp fins each protected their arms. Bruce had never met them, but he had heard of them. They were the reason he came to this place and braved it dangers.

    The best of the best. Justice from the shadows. Tranquility through violence.

    The League of Assassins.

    “Dare desu ka?” the leader of the three, a tall Asian man with wispy white hair and a neatly trimmed beard, asked. It a was a tongue Bruce knew well. Who are you?

    He replied confidently, “Deshi desu.” A student.

    The leader was silent. His dark eyes sized Bruce up like a hawk analyzing its next prey. He weighed him, considered him. Bruce met his gaze with a hardened, determined stare, his eyes deflecting any attempt the man made to break him down. If he failed, Bruce would surely be torn apart by this man.

    Watashitachi ga wakarudeshou.” We shall see.

    Bruce’s arms leapt into a defensive guard, his feet separated into a balanced stance, just as the leader barked out a command to his two subordinates: “Kougeki!”

    Bruce didn’t have to be fluent to understand the meaning of that word. The two underlings charged him, swords drawn. He dodged the vertical slash of the first and slipped his foot across his path, tripping his assailant and sending him into the snow. He planted his feet strongly into the ground just as the second attacker stabbed at his chest with a forward thrust. Bruce leaned ever so slightly to the right and trapped the blade between his armpit and ribcage; a quick turn of his hips pulled the weapon out of his opponent’s hand and a continuation of that turn transformed the disarm into a spinning reverse sidekick that sent his opponent flying back with a shattered rib.

    Bruce completed the technique, set his feet into a ready stance, and flipped the stolen blade into his own hands in a neutral, balanced position, blade tip pointed toward the throat of the leader.

    The leader smirked. “So you have some skill after all,” he said in accented English, apparently impressed
    enough to deign to speak in Bruce’s native tongue. His own sword silently left its scabbard. Bruce reflexively tightened the grip on his own; the leader, he suspected, would not be as easy a foe as the last two.

    The leader was like lightning; Bruce barely even registered his movements. The young man moved desperately, fighting through the burning fatigue in his limbs and the searing pain in his lungs as he gasped for desperate breaths. The leader’s attacks were everywhere, striking from impossible angles. Every time Bruce parried or dodged, it only put him in line for the leader’s successive strike. His opponent was reading his every move perfectly, each blow merely the next step in a subtly choreographed dance that only the leader knew.

    Bruce could tell instantly that he was going to lose.

    The he was going to die.

    Not like this! It can’t end like this! Not this soon!

    He swung upwards, turning the leader’s thrust into the air, but his opponent merely went with the deflection and turned the blade in an open palm, gripping it in reverse with the blade pointed down. The downward stab came right after, the point of the blade nicking Bruce in the cleft of his collarbone.

    Bruce knelt in defeat, the blade tip pressing down hard enough to draw blood.

    They two fighters stayed that way for many silent moments, a silence broken only by Bruce’s ragged breathing and pounding heartbeat.

    “Watashi no namae wa Kirigi,” the leader said suddenly. My name is Kirigi.

    Bruce’s eyes widened and sweat began to form on his hands.


    Master Kirigi.

    The man Bruce was looking for, the fabled martial arts master and O-Sensei to the entire League of Assassins. This was the man Bruce wanted to learn from. The greatest killer on Earth. The greatest warrior on the planet.

    “Namae wa?” Your name?

    He could have lied. He could have given an alias. He originally planned to do so; no one needed to know his true identity, not if he was to ever go through with his plan to become Gotham’s vigilante protector. But Kirigi was the greatest warrior alive. There was honor between warriors. To train under this genius was the deepest of accomplishments and the warrior within him could not abide staining such an honor with a lie.

    “Bruce Wayne.”

    “Youkoso, Bruce Wayne. Doumei no Kyoushu ni.”

    Welcome, Bruce Wayne. To the League of Assassins.
    • Love Love x 1
  9. ((reserved post))
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