stories from all over the galaxy
A small, abandoned house in a distant field on snow covered mountains now holds the fate of three of the most impactful people in the world. A resurrected Jason Todd seeks vengeance and reason for why the deranged psychopath, The Joker, has not been killed by the Batman yet. Tension rises as the once former Robin holds a gun to The Joker’s head, telling his former master that he must either kill him or kill the Joker. If he refuses, Jason will kill the one and only Batman.
Jason Todd: [Biting lip, shaking nervously. Sweating while screaming, as if his emotions are being spilled in to the words that have tormented his mind for months] “It’s him or me! I’m not talking about Scarecrow, The Penguin, Two-Face, or even Harley. I’m talking about this… this monster. The man that took me from you. I thought I gave you something to lose. I thought I was worth the scar, because do you see how many you have been worth to me? I thought it would break you… to lose the closest thing you had to family.. I thought I’d be the last thing you’d let him take, because you loved me! I didn’t mean more to you than a deranged monstrosity. I wasn't worth one bullet to you. ONE! BULLET!”
[Jason cocks the gun back and shoves it towards the Joker’s skull. He smiles]
Batman: [Standing tall, affirmatively speaking with power. However, slightly softer than usual] “You don’t get it, Jason. You’ve never understood. Shoot that gun at him and you’re nothing better. You’ll never come back. It’s a dark world filled with evil, and that’s what we worked so hard to stop. I did, I do love you, with every bit of my heart… but justice. I cannot cross that line. It may be the only thing that will stop him, but it is the only thing I cannot do.”
Joker: "Kind of like a game! Join the fun kid!"
Jason: [Now shaking ferociously, holding back tears by replacing it with anger. Screaming.] “Shut up! This isn’t about your morals or even mine. He's been right all along, he's not the only crazy one in this room… and I realize that now. What about us, Bruce? You loved me, didn’t you? Our city, it would be better without him! The world would be better. You know that but you won’t give in because apparently the world would crumble if the Batman killed somebody. He’s a demon! Decide! Now!”
Batman: [While turning around] “Life isn’t what we wish of it, Jason… the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is kill him.”
[Batman fully turns around and begins to walk out]
Joker: [Smiling brightly] “Awe, so you do think about me!” [Laughs] “Ya know, the kid’s got a point. But without me, what would either of you be? Especially you, Batsy! Haha! Time is no illusion, as you and this poor boy have figured out. You gotta decide, tick tick!” [Laughs ferociously]
[Batman turns around to the Joker as Jason throws a gun at Batman. He holds it, awkwardly]
Joker: [Positions himself comfortably] “Now that’s a sight I’ve wished of seeing for a long, long time... Ya know, I was thinking. This may be the only thing you two do that ever actually lasts! How’s it feel, pal? It’s okay to break, I mean look at me! I turned out alright, didn’t I? Madness, is the emergency exit. Remember, Bats? Why don’t you do what you’ve been destined to do and give in to your brother, your lover, your better half… Me!” [Laughing again]
[Batman looks down, and then back up at the Joker laughing and Jason shaking with one gun pointed at him and one gun pointed at the Joker. Batman drops the gun, as Jason nervously fired. He dodges quickly and picks up the crow bar the Joker had brought and immediately starts to beat him with it, delivering painful blows to the Joker’s face]
Joker: [Continuing to laugh] “Come on! Take me all the way tonight!”
[It continues. The Joker laughs harder and harder with each bone that breaks.]
Jason: [Looks at Batman with a tear in his eye.] “…Bruce?”
[Batman looks up in to Jason’s eyes. He simply smiles. Continues to beat the Joker]
Joker: “We’re all going to get what we want tonight! Ahh, you look so good when you’re smiling, you should have done it more often when I killed all those people. It works, doesn’t it? Haha! Come on Bats! Just a couple of more blows!”
[Batman simply rears back and delivers the final blow to the Joker’s head. As the maniacal laughter and tears simultaneously end, it is silence]
Joker: [In his final breathe] “I… win.”
Batman drives in to the Batcave. He hops out as the lights enlighten the computers, depicting various screens playing the news and the center, and biggest screen, showing a picture of The Joker. The news glorifies Batman and his “heroic actions against the psychopath that has tormented Gotham for years.”
[Alfred approaches Batman as he sits in the seat watching each screen. He lays down a plate of food.]
Alfred: [Calmly, and gently. Feeling sympathetic for the raging emotions he knows are inside Bruce] “They don’t understand, do they Master Bruce?”
Batman: [Picking up his head, staring in to the eyes of the virtual Joker and slowly turning his head to Alfred] “Yes… they do!” [Almost in denial, but now much more calmly] “It was the right thing to do.”
Alfred: [Knowing Bruce doesn’t mean it] “Master Bruce, with all due respect, maybe by the standards of millions the Joker did not deserve a life. But, you’re bigger than them. You’ve never seen it like I have, maybe it’s because I love you, but your standards… they are much more meaningful than this. I promised your amazing father and beautiful mother that I’d take care of you. Please, master Bruce... take off the cowl. The city is safe now, because of the thousands of things you have done. We can get through this.”
Batman: [Now yelling with a growl in his voice] “The Joker… He was just another criminal! Nothing special. The Batman is needed more than ever. Dent, Riddler, Croc, the Suicide Squad… These people need me!” [Batman begins to scramble on the computer, more focused than ever. He violently begins to scratch his cowl]
Alfred: [As he puts his arm on Bruce, resting it on the armored shoulder] “Sometimes, self acceptance is not the answer. I pray you find peace, Master Bruce” [Alfred grabs his shoulder tightly and walks away]
As Alfred walks towards the elevator, a loud crash is heard. He turns around to see Bruce furiously punching the picture of the Joker as sparks fly from the monitors
Batman: [Turning to Alfred. The white eyes beam hard, with his voice shaking in devastation] “I killed a man, Alfred. I gave in. Tell me what that makes me.
Alfred: [Walking towards Bruce, intensely speaking] “It makes you human, Master. Imagine a life you didn’t regr-
Batman interrupts him
Batman: [Walking towards Alfred now, speaking with increasing self-loathing anger] “I don’t regret it. I’m praying to the God that took my parents away for a life where I didn’t kill him. Why? Because he won. That psychopath has brought everyone in this city to his level. Being happy over a death.. and now I’m scared of going there too Alfred. That’s my fear, and the fact this city is glorifying the man I hate myself for being. I can’t take it. My rule was my only humanity. My one rule. It’s broken, and rules cannot be repaired. Neither can he, neither can this city… and neither can I.
Alfred: [Very worried by Bruce as he begins to walk towards the Batmobile] “I refuse to bury another Wayne. I swore to your parents. I swore to myself. Please, for one second look at me, Master. This city has transformed and evolved in beautiful ways because of you. The world has been shown brightness and hope, relying on their safety net that is the Batman. Please do not go out there and make mistakes. You’re angry, you’re hurt. You’re human. You’re an extraordinary human and the most beloved thing to ever grace my life, and I cannot let you stumble down a path where the only thing to gain is momentum… you are a hero, the hero, my hero.”
Batman climbs inside the Batmobile and as the roof closes over his head, he stares at Alfred.
Batman: “I can’t be… not anymore.”
One of the computers depict a Gotham building burning down behind a news reporter.
News reporter: [Nervously] “And we are just getting word that The Scarecrow and Harvey Dent are releasing fear toxin throughout the city. Their gangs are running wild! Buildings burning, bombs exploding. Gotham PD is ordering immediate evacuation!”
Batman’s eyes close gently as the Batmobile drives off in to the city enlightened by nothing but fire.
However, this time, The Batman did not seek Gotham's chaos. Tonight was the night The Joker died, and tonight may be the night that Batman goes with him. He sits amongst the fields and sees Gotham from a distance. The city that has been his jail, is now free of it's greatest prisoner. Loud explosions echo in the distance, as the wind blows back the cape and the hair, of a cowless Batman. His eyes shut.
Batman: "Alfred, I need to find Jason."
Alfred: "Master Todd has lost connection to us since your last encounter at the warehouse. Why do you seek his help on this fiery evening?"
Batman: "I don't need his help. I need him."
Alfred: "Master Wayne... are you implying that Scarecrow and Two-Face are free to cause mayhem tonight?
Batman: "The Batman is dead."
The hologram of Alfred disppears in to the arm of Batman.
There is one thing on his mind, find Jason and never look back. They can conquer together. He places his cowl back on, as he walks towards the Batmobile with intentions of finding Jason himself. But just as he begins to enter, a prescence lurks.
Superman: "Bruce... I heard what happened. Are you okay?"
Batman: "I need to find Jason."
Superman: "But Jason is... dead... isn't he?"
Batman: "Far from it. Jason was ressurected by The Joker and in his vengance, took up the mantle of the Red Hood. For months now, he has sought for my attention by killing the same kind of people me and you go after. I searched for this mystery of a man, until I was given coordinates in which I followed to a warehouse. The Joker was there."
Batman: "So was the Red Hood. Jason. He's not dead, he's damaged. And The Batman is responsible."
Superman: "You cannot call yourself responsible, Bruce. What matters is that there is a city to save-"
Batman: "What matters is what I love, because that is the only thing that matters. I have rescued this city from it's ashes, pulverized injustice, yet there was always one clown dumb enough to stand... and he laughs last once again."
Superman: "He is dead, Bruce."
Batman: "Maybe for the indestructible alien. Shut up, Kent. Bullets don't even scratch your surface, nuclear bombs exploding in your face don't even phase you. You don't know what pain is. You don't know what it feels like to lose. The worst thing you've encountered is Luthor in a mech suit. You never had a Joker in Metropolis. You never had a Joker in your mind. Screaming at your morals, laughing at your every move, the light at the end of every tunnel. And now, he didn't JUST kill the closest thing I'll ever have to a son. That wasn't good enough for him. He twisted him, manipulated him, and threw him from the fire in to the place that had burned him in the first place..."
Superman: "Bruce, he is dead-"
Batman: "He lives on. Through Jason. How could he ever be forgotten?"
Superman: "BRUCE! He is dead. You, should have killed him. And you did."
Batman's arm beeps violently once again; it is Alfred.
Alfred: "Sir, I have located Master Todd. He is atop GCPD... with Scarecrow, and Two-Face."
Batman: "Superman and I, en route."
Superman looks back;
"Let me take this one, Bruce."
Batman turns to him before jumping in the Batmobile;
"The city needs Superman. Jason needs Batman."
Superman bursts in to the depths of the city, seeking to end the reign of tear gas and criminals that continue to cause chaos in the streets.
Batman, goes after his long-lost friend, Jason Todd.
The Batmobile rushes in to the city, and at the sight of GCPD Batman ejects himself from the cockpit in to the air and soars in to the city. Snow falls and gas flies, as Batman perches himself upon a gargoyle. He sees Two-Face, holding Jason to his knees with a gun pushed in to his head. Batman glides down and softly lands in front of them, as if he is just another snowflake.
Batman: "Nobody needs to die tonight. Give me the boy."
Two-Face: "Killin' the clown wasn't good enough? Had to come for me too?"
Batman: "Just give me the boy, Dent."
Two-Face: "Just another person to die on your watch.... what does it matter to you anyways?"
Batman: [Lowers his head, speaks with rage] "Everything."
As if it is in slow motion, Jason raises his head and softly, uncontrollably smiles as he and Batman's eyes lock.
Batman throws a smoke pellet and dives in to the shadows. Silence.
Two-Face: "Come out, come out wherever you are, freak! We got you right where we want to. The skyline of your city, deteriorating to ashes as it takes it's people with us. And us, up here, with this very, very special boy."
Batman emerges from the grates and lifts the arm holding the gun in to the sky, as Two-Face suspiciously does not fire. Batman wraps him, and securely places him in a headlock.
Batman: "You wished for me. And it's about this time where you start to regret that wish."
Two-Face: "It's not as easy as you think, Batman"
Steam pours from the doors as they open, to the Scarecrow emerging from them.
Scarecrow: "I would advise you to put Dent down, Batman."
Batman: "All I want is the boy, Craine!"
Scarecrow: "He has a name you know... Jason. Jason Todd. I think you guys have met before."
Batman equips a batarang and holds it in his hand as he throws Dent to the side.
Batman: "How do you know Jason?"
Scarecrow: "I wouldn't be so quick to threaten. Our friend Joker, couldn't keep his mouth shut about how proud he was of his new sidekick, and as the days winded down to today, he designed... a dying wish."
Batman: "Speak, Craine. Now!"
Scarecrow: "Relax, Batman. You seem.... scared. In his final laugh, he had a plan for this day. The day the Batman Breaks. The day the night falls, and does not ever seek to rise again. The day Gotham crumbles, and takes it's beloved Batman with him."
Batman charges at Scarecrow, as he slowly pulls a gun and directs it at Batman.
Scarecrow: "I will kill you, and that wouldn't work out too well for the rest of us, and the boy. Control yourself, Batman. Basically, the Joker knew you would be the one to kill him, and that it wouldn't sit too well in your little hero heart. I can see the rage in you. The pain. The agony. The fear.... Take Jason, but it may just be at the expense of your flying friend."
Scarecrow: "The madness does not end with the clown, Batman. It follows you. They call that, the law of attraction... Our friend Luthor, put his own ingredient in the gas, so it wasn't just the normal, boring fear toxin."
Scarecrow: "And your friend is allergic. He's dying with every moment that passes. You can save the perfect, beautiful hero from the fire of this city, but you might want to be a little... afraid of what punishment the boy would have to pay if you did that."
Two-Face: "This is a pretty tough choice, you might want a coin..."
Jason sits next to the standing Batman, as the mask falls halfway off his face. Blood comes from his eyes. Batman must choose. Between the broken, beaten Jason, or the city that he has been a knight for, and now killed for.
Jason looks up at Batman;
Jason: "Please, don't let me die, Bruce."
Batman looks down at him, and then looks back up at Two-Face and Scarecrow;
Batman: "Never, again."
Batman presses his belt, as a miniature EMT explosion happens upon the roof. Two-Face and Scarecrow cannot fire their weapons as they panic in reaction. Batman charges them and attacks them both, using aggression as more of a tactic than his knowledge of martial arts. He strikes them over and over again, as Jason decides to intervene. He limps behind Batman, and places his hand on his shouler, as Alfred did earlier.
Batman: "You forgot, he was trained by me."
Batman walks away from the crimelord and the psychopath, and leaves them for Jason to dispose of and get his revenge upon. He watches his city enlighten in flames, never to be the same again. At this point, Superman has been consumed my the clouds of kryptonite, as the citizens inhale all of the fear toxin there is left in the world.
Batman walks away from Jason. He stands along the edge of the roof and looks back;
Batman: "Do not thank me. Thank you, Jason."
Jason: "But I made you kill the Joker..."
Batman: "I did it for me. And I am doing this, for you."
Jason: "I will make you proud."
Batman: "I know."
The Batman soars off in to the darkest of all nights, as he glides above the city that spins it's tires in it's final attempt to escape the chaos. Batman, in light of his decision to finally kill the Joker, realizes that he has won and defeated him so many times because he had given him the power to do so. To continue, after being what he was. He realizes, that this city is far beyond his control. That the world is far beyond his control. That madness, is not his emergency exit. That reality is. As he plummets down in to the Batcave, he looks behind him and stares at Gotham for one last time.
"Love, is what we were meant to do. To fight, to battle, to seek an end is what the downfall of humankind has always been. I am a warrior, and I will always be. But this city is chaos, and will always be. I have sacrificed my literal life, to revolutionize the world. But, I cannot sacrifice the life, of someone I love. This is how Superman died. This is how Gotham lost. This is how the Joker ends. And this, is how reality begins. The Batman, has broke. The Batman, is no more."