#1 Edited by Bearded Justice (751 posts) - - Show Bio

Rated T

Batman created by Bob Kane

"So, tell me Mister--" the doctor began.

"No. Stop right there. I don't even want you using my name. You don't understand the kind of enemies I have in my position. If any of them discovered my secret it would ruin me!" the man sternly interrupted.

"Very well. What shall I call you?" asked the doctor.

"Just... just call me B." answered the man.

"B? Look, I know who you are. When your aide setup this appointment, it was an odd request, even for a celebrity such as yourself."

"I know, but I haven't seen a psychiatrist in... well, years. I don't want people thinking I'm... you know."

"Crazy? There's nothing wrong with seeing a doctor, or letting out some stress. Especially for you, B, being so high up and in the spotlight."

The man chuckled, "You have no idea."

Part 1

"Master Bruce?" Alfred Pennyworth called, his voice echoing through Wayne Manor. "Master Bruce?!"

"Yes, Alfred?" a voice shouted back.

"If you don't hurry, sir, you shall be late for A Very Big Appointment." Alfred reminded.

A man appeared from the depths of the manor. A tall, well structured man, yet handsome and childlike in appearance. His hair was groomed, but his facial features molded easily to fit a range of emotions. This was a man who could go from bliss to misery in the shifting of his eyebrows, or in the turn of his grin to a grimace. Though, some in Gotham City might say that this was no ordinary man. For this man, was Bruce Wayne.

"A Very Big Appointment is bound to be a very big disappointment, Alfred. You know how I dislike the theater." Bruce stated, fiddling with the cufflinks on his suit.

"Nevertheless, you must attend. It provides an opportunity for you to become acquainted with a few key pieces on the chess board of Gotham. Remember, the play is the thing, wherein you'll catch the conscience of the king." quipped Alfred.

"A senator or CEO in my back pocket would certainly come in handy. Besides, I can always slip out at the end of intermission." Bruce schemed.

"A cunning plan, Lord Blackadder." Alfred joked. "I'll bring the car 'round."

The stage is set. The players are in position. And yet, one remains out of place. He adjusts his suit. Takes a deep breath, and puts on his best fake smile. Bruce Wayne steps into his private box at The Gotham Palace Theater. His guests politely stand up as he enters and each one stretches out their hand to greet his.

"Bruce Wayne as I live and breath! How are you, boy?" a portly fellow bellows. "I am--"

"Edward Yales: a top scientist at K.O.R.D. Inc." Bruce quickly spat out. "I am very interested in discussing the progress you've made in aerodynamics."

"Hello, Mr. Wayne." a young lady started, blushing.

"Ah, Ms. Havensham, hello. It is miss, isn't it?" Bruce flirted. "I hear you need a grant to start research and testing on that new metal cooling agent?" Ms. Havensham smiled and nodded her head, as Bruce turned to his last guest. "And you must be Brian Harding, former Mayor of Gotham, and possible future President of these United States. You're younger than I expected."

Brian laughed quietly, "And you, Bruce, are more theater going than I expected."

"Yes, I must say your invitation came as rather a surprise." Edward declared, as the four took their seats.

"Well, to be blunt, I think each of you has something I want, and I'm sure I have something you want in return. However, we will talk later. For now, on with the show." Bruce said, turning his attention towards the stage.

Intermission was always Bruce's favorite part of a play. It allowed time to talk about what you thought would happen next, and for him, it allowed time to leave.

"So, if you'll excuse me ladies and gentlemen, I have other matters to attend to." Bruce told his guests.

"You don't want to see how it ends?" Edward asked.

"Yes, it's quite good, Bruce. Don't you think?" Ms, Havensham chimed in.

"Oh, I know how it ends. If you read the program I think you'll find my name where it says 'Producer.'" laughed Bruce as he exited his metaphorical stage.

"What an odd man." Brian thought aloud.

Bruce Wayne had no time for idle chatting. His mission was accomplished, so he left for the next one. He briskly quit the theater and made for his car, which Alfred had waiting for him. Bruce entered the car, and breathed a sigh of severe relief.

"I think my acting was the best of the evening." he bragged.

"Shame, sir." Alfred shook his head.

"Now, where is my suit?" Bruce asked anxiously.

"Under the seat, as usual. Shall I wait up?"

Bruce did not answer. Instead, he quickly donned a cape and a cowl, for as some in Gotham City might say, he was no ordinary man. He was Batman! Alfred turned the car down and alley, and Bruce left the warm seats of the vehicle for the cold streets of the city...

#2 Posted by tomdickharry1984 (834 posts) - - Show Bio

Vry cool!

#3 Posted by Bearded Justice (751 posts) - - Show Bio

"Well let's start with why you are here." the doctor continued.

"Like I said, this is fairly new to me. Any problem that has come up in my life, I've dealt with. I don't like relying on others, but something happened recently. And... I'm not quite sure how to handle it." the man began.

"What happened?" questioned the doctor.

"I've met someone. Not--not someone I'm interested in sexually. I mean, a rival?" the man went on.

"A rival?" asked the doctor.

"I don't know. To be quite honest, we haven't actually 'met.' We... exchanged blows, professionally." the man explained.

"I see. B, I think you need to explain things a little further. What happened when you met?" interrogated the doctor.

"I was at the theater. Well, it was after that actually, when I was going to do some business." the man thought a while before he started again.

Part 2

Batman scoured the night for prey, as he was Gotham's supreme predator, peddling fear and justice to petty thugs. He lept from one roof to the next and glided silently, using his leathery cape. If he fell, which he rarely did, his grappling gun pulled him to safety. Batman was a well oiled machine, driven by a man's determination and skill.

On the streets below he could hear the sirens of police cars. He grinned slightly and began to follow them. They led Batman to a condemned and abandoned department store. One that had once shined brightly at it's peak, but now remained a dark and unforgiving sight. The police were preparing to storm the building, when gunshots were fired from within, at them. Instead, they set up a perimeter, while Batman made his way to the roof, and stealthily found a way in.

"Do you know what you taste like?" a sick man asked his victim. "You taste pitifully. That is to say, you taste of pity; of patheticism. Though, that is not a word. It brings me no pleasure to eat you, and I have, if not usually, eaten pleasurably."

"I--I'm sorry." the victim cried softly, as he watched an insane man eat part of his arm, while he sat helplessly bound to a chair.

"Fear not. Nothing angers me. Not even the fact that you weren't cooked properly!" the madman continued, raising his voice to his surrounding minions. "Though, I suppose I should've cooked you myself, since only I know my personal tastes. Oh, that was a bad bite."

"Please, let me live!" the victim cried some more.

"Live? You've been allowed to live. Sir, you have been allowed to live for such a very long time. Did you take advantage of that generosity? Or did you... throw things on top of it, as one might do to a lovely night stand?" the madman's victim did not reply to this new line of questioning, so the madman raved on, "I have been allowed to live, you know? I've been given that gift and look what I have done with it. I don't have a wife, or a car, or a house. I don't have the things you have, and you don't have the things I have. I have... cretins that do my bidding, for some reason. I have willpower. And, I also have rather good taste in food."

"Stop!" demanded Batman, hidden from sight.

"What was that?" the madman asked aloud. "I heard a voice. That's new. Pray tell, voice, if I cease this action, then what new action would you have me perform?"

"I heard it too." one of the minions said, looking around the room. He broke off from the other minions who were aiming firearms out of windows at the police, and began to search.

"Oh, then my sanity remains intact." the madman breathed a sigh of relief as he spoke. "Come out, voice. I won't eat you." A scuffle was heard in a dark corner of the room, and the madman realized his minion was gone. "Uh-oh. A brawl is imminent." he leaned in close to his victim and whispered in to his ear, "We must protect the meat." Then he spoke to his remaining minions, "My friends, see to it that this voice is silenced."

Each man turned his attention towards the shadows and began searching for Batman, who was very well hidden. The room offered many spots for hiding; enough for two people even. The madman's eyes were drawn away from his victim, and Batman knew this was the time to strike. He readied himself to plunge into a fray. However, someone else knew this as well. A dark figure appeared from a corner of the room and charged the madman. He was a fit man clad in black. Batman noticed his swift movements and skill, as he bridged the distance between himself and his prey in seconds. A flying kick put the madman out of commission and something sharp set free his victim. He then turned to the minions. One or two had noticed him already, and raised their weapons. Before they could fire, the mysterious figure drew a weapon of his own, a silenced pistol, and shot each of them. Batman almost revealed his position, as he was ready to mark this man as his enemy, but he saw each man was still alive. Something lightly struck Batman's foot, and he reached down to pick up a rubber bullet. The shooter holstered his pistol and engaged his foes in hand-to-hand combat. He struck hard and without warning, knocking out each man with only a few blows. The minions were incapacitated.

The man relaxed as he scanned the room. Batman ducked down, wishing not to be seen, and made some mental notes of the figure. "He's experienced, but doesn't have access to the technology I do. He is considerably less theatrical than I am, relying strictly on skill. Not sure yet if I should be calling him an enemy or an ally." thought Batman. He looked over his choice of attire. "He wears black, of course. A mask covering most of his face. What is that? Some kind of scarf? No cape. Is he wearing all leather? Various weapons hidden over his body. All in all: fairly basic, though fairly effective."

The madman regained his senses and stood up. The figure noticed this and grabbed him by the throat. "Who--who are you? Batman?" the madman choked. The figure did not speak but dragged his prey to the nearest window. Batman came out of hiding and slowly snuck up behind the figure, in case he needed to intervene. The figure smashed the madman through the window, who spat glass from his mouth and choked again, "What do you think the papers will call me? The Butcher?"

"A suicide." the figure coldly replied as he prepared to throw him out of the building.

"Stop this!" Batman shouted.

The figure, still clutching the throat of an insane man, turned and faced Batman. His eyes were glazed over with white and he appeared quite demonic. His scarf blew in the night breeze that filled the room. "Certainly." he answered, and struck his hostage over the head with his fist, once again putting him to sleep. "Batman. It was thoughtful of you to show up, but I don't need your help."

"Who are you?" Batman growled, angrily.

"I call myself Sariel. Those I've dealt with have named me The Watcher." he said, backing off.

"Gotham City is my town! If you wish to stay, I suggest you play by my rules. If you think I'll allow murder, then you'll find yourself very sorry." threatened Batman.

The man smirked. He stepped over the broken glass of the window and stood by the edge. The moonlight struck him, and his image gave Batman a brief chill. "Sorrow is my existence." he quietly uttered. Batman took a step forward, but Sariel lept off the edge of the building and vanished. Batman looked into the night, searching for his trail, but saw nothing but the police down below. He regained his thoughts and attended to the criminals.

#4 Posted by batkevin74 (10440 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bearded Justice: Very nice, mind you I've only read part 1 so far, i'll be back for part two when I'm not so sleepy. Good work, keep it up

#5 Posted by Bearded Justice (751 posts) - - Show Bio

"So, basically, you met someone who you consider to be your rival? I mean, is this something that's new to you? Surely, in your line of work there have been rivals before?" the doctor asked.

"Yes, well, it's complicated. I have enemies; I have allies, but a rival? Someone who does the same thing I do, but strives to be better? In all my years I've never encountered a rival before." the man spoke, a little more freely than before.

"I see. And this... frightens you?" the doctor questioned some more.

"Actually, I'm a bit excited. He's different, this one. His methods aren't like mine, though that doesn't make them better." answered the man.

"B, when you say rival, do you really mean successor?" probed the doctor.

Part 3

"I'm at a loss Alfred. Who is this man? Where did he come from?" Bruce snapped from within the Batcave. He sat at his computer, searching for signs of The Watcher or Sariel.

"I don't know, sir. Quite baffling, really." Alfred said, droning.

"I've never heard of this man. Someone with his skills does not simply appear out of no where. Surely, he's been at this for awhile, wouldn't you say?" Bruce asked, not looking for an answer.

"I can't say, and don't call me--" Alfred began.

"Not now, Alfred. I need more information. Though, what I really need is to meet this man again." Bruce interrupted.

"Why not try the church? I know Sariel is an angel." offered Alfred.

"An archangel, and found mostly in Judaic tradition." continued Bruce.

"A synagogue then."

"A priest becomes a vigilante? Unlikely."

"One of the flock then?"

"More likely. Probably an extremist. He was ready to kill that man, Alfred, and yet he used rubber bullets on the thugs."

"Questionable tactics. He's skilled you say?"

"Beyond myself. He had a wealth of expirence as if he's been doing this forever."

"A supernatural being?"

"Really now, Alfred? Leave the deductions to me."

Suddenly an alarm went off. One that told Batman the batsignal had been lit. Bruce sprang into action and went to meet Commissioner Gordon.

Gordon quietly waited for Batman to arrive on the roof. He pulled his coat close to his face to keep warm.

"Cold night, Jim." Batman spoke.

"No emergencies tonight, Batman. Just need some information." Gordon said, flipping off the batsignal. "My men saw you in that building, They say you were about to drop someone out of it."

"Your men saw someone else. Someone who I was hoping you would give me information on." replied Batman.

"Someone who looks exactly like you?" Gordon asked, confused.

"Slightly. He goes by the name of either Sariel or The Watcher. Heard of him?" Batman asked a question of his own.

"Can't say that I have. Though, The Watcher sounds familiar. Like I've heard it before, but I don't know where or when. What is he to you?" wondered Gordon.

"I'm not sure. He may be a friend; albeit with the proper guidelines. Without those guidelines... he may be an enemy." answered Batman, unsure of himself.

"Well, keep an eye on him, Batman. I can't have another you wandering around dropping people from buildings. What should I tell my men to do about him?"

"Tell them... hell, Jim, I don't know what to tell them. If your men engage him they might get hurt, but at the same time I don't want him thinking what he's doing is okay."

"I'll tell them to be careful."

Batman nodded his head and disappeared into the night, though it was soon to end. He made for home and for some sleep, as Bruce Wayne had things to do tomorrow. He had scheduled meetings with his new friends from the theater. Each of them had something particular to offer to him, or at least, to Batman. He needed Mr. Yales and Ms. Havensham's brains to assemble a new weapon for his arsenal. However, Mr. Harding was to serve a different purpose...

"Bruce, are you alright? You looked exhausted." Brian Harding pressed Bruce Wayne after their meeting.

"Yes, thank you for the concern, Brian. Just not much sleep last night. The playboy's life, you know?" Bruce explained.

"Um, no I can't say I do know" Brian laughed. "Lucky dog, you. Seriously though, if there's anything else I can do for you?" Brian went on. "I mean, surely there's some way I can repay you for donating quite a large amount to my Presidency campaign."

"Sort of, Brian. Though, it'll really be for everyone. I want you to clean up this country, like you helped clean up Gotham. It would really mean a lot to me. In memory of my parents." Bruce uttered with strength.

"I knew your parents, Bruce. Did you know that? Your father and I were such good friends, and... and it hurt a great deal when they passed. I never said it, but it's what made me come down on the criminal element so hard." Brian struggled to speak.

"It seems we have a common goal, and from a common source." Bruce said.

"I am sorry it took that to realize it." muttered Brian, about to leave Bruce's office.

"There's one more thing, Brian." Bruce called out.

"Yes?"

"You were Gotham's mayor for some time. You dealt heavily with criminals and Gotham's underworld. I'm sure you are privy to secrets."

"I... I suppose I am. What do you want to know?" Brian asked, becoming slightly nervous.

"Have you ever heard of The Watcher?" Bruce questioned, seriously.

Brian's face twisted at the words, as if he had heard something he did not want to hear, but he looked Bruce in the eye and said, "No, it doesn't ring a bell." and he left.

#6 Posted by DickGrayson (330 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bearded Justice: Amazing! May you please tag me in the next one so I can read it!?

#7 Posted by Bearded Justice (751 posts) - - Show Bio

"A successor? I..." the man stammered.

"Is it so impossible to imagine?" the doctor asked.

"No, I suppose not. It's just that I've been doing this for so many years, I never thought there'd be a successor. I never thought there'd be someone who does this better than me." the man explained.

"B, it sounds to me like you've already known this, or at least considered it. Search inside yourself. Do you really want to be a guardian of Gotham forever? Maybe it's time to move on to better things." the doctor went on.

"Doctor, I think you may be right." the man replied.

Part 4

Batman searched the night for signs of The Watcher. He stopped two robberies, rescued a kidnapped child, and even put an end to a prison riot. However, The Watcher was nowhere to be found.

"Who is this guy?" Batman thought. "Why haven't I heard of him before? Where is he now? And why did Brian lie about not knowing of him? I saw his face. Anyone could tell the man was lying. Surely, Gotham's longest Mayor in office would have heard something about this vigilante."

Batman drove around in the batmobile, visiting all his informants. None of them seemed to know anything, except for one homeless man, who recalled seeing a man dressed in black near where his friend lived. It was a lead; the one Batman had been looking for. He quickly searched for the man in question, finding him under one of Gotham's many bridges.

The man was old, if not ancient. His beard was untamed and wild, and he smelt. Batman took a direct approach, quickly picking him up by his collar and demanding information. "I hear you keep company even more mysterious than me. A man. Dressed in black. Goes by name of The Watcher, or Sariel. Ever heard of him?!" Batman growled.

The old man shuddered and shaked terribly. He stuttered when he spoke, "Y-y-y-yy-e-e-e-s. A f-fff-ff-f-friend."

Batman loosened his grip. He didn't want to hurt the old man. "A friend?! You do keep dangerous company. Where is he?!" Batman growled some more.

"Hhhhh-hh-h-h-h-e-e-e comes and g-g-g-g-goes. A-a-a-ahhhh-sks questions and l-l-l-l-l-ea-v-v-ves. Gives m-me f-f-food." the old man struggled to speak.

Batman set the man on his feet, but didn't let him go, as he spoke, "What questions does he ask?!"

"W-wouldn't y-ou l-l-ike to know?" the homeless man said more clearly. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed and he turned from a feeble old man to a strong virile man. He clapped his hands to Batman's ears, giving him a shock. Batman dropped the man, who discarded his disguise and fled into the shadows.

Batman regained his composure, seeing the rags the man was wearing the ground. He realized that this was no homeless old man, but someone much more. He took off after his foe, noticing a false beard thrown into a trash can, and a wig in the one after that. Soon, he caught sight of his prey running through a small shanty town of homeless people. Batman followed as fast as he could, and seemed to be gaining ground. He dodged cots, cats, and humans while in pursuit. He lost sight of the man and not knowing the area, found himself in a dead end alley. However, after a few moments he realized this alley was one much closer to his heart. Batman found himself walking Crime Alley, the same alley which his parents had been killed on years before. He saw the now decrepit theater from which he and his parents had exited from. He saw the spot where they had been gunned down. He saw their deaths repeating before his eyes, and he faltered.

"I'm sorry, Batman." a voice sounded. Batman recognized it as The Watcher's. "I did not mean for this to happen."

"For what?" Batman cried into the night, looking around frantically.

"For many things. I'm sorry that you've become what you are. I'm sorry that I couldn't stop it." The Watcher said, true remorse filling his voice.

"And what about what you've become?" shouted Batman.

"I care not for myself, but I'm sorry to see you following in my footsteps." he quietly admitted.

"In your footsteps?" Batman asked in a low voice.

"Bruce, did you really think you were Gotham's first protector?" The Watcher questioned.

Batman's head spun. "How does he know Batman is Bruce Wayne?!" he thought. Batman fell to his knees, overwhelmed in what had transpired. The Watcher slowly emerged from his hiding spot, and walked towards Batman from behind. He put his hand on Batman's shoulder and said, "Bruce, I'm sorry I let them die."

#8 Posted by DickGrayson (330 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bearded Justice: I want more! Lol.

#9 Posted by Bearded Justice (751 posts) - - Show Bio

Part 5

Bruce threw The Watcher's hand from his shoulder and jumped back from him shouting, "Leave me alone!" Without pause he sized up his opponent for weaknesses and attacked, jumping back into the fray. Bruce threw punch after punch, but The Watcher dodged each, and it seemed easy for him. The Watcher struck back, landing a single blow to Bruce's chest, setting him off-balance, but not enough to stop him. He flung a batarang at The Watcher and it stuck in his arm. The man quickly yanked it from his skin, tossing it the ground.

"Emotions are best left to your alter-ego." he said, recovering and taking the fight to Batman. Now, it was The Watcher's turn to attack. He too launched many a punch at Bruce, but each one failed. Bruce began to calm down and was able to deflect the assault. He controlled his breathing. He widened his vision. The Watcher sprang for a tackle, as Bruce utilized his surroundings and hurled a trash bin at his foe. It hit The Watcher in the head, knocking him to the ground. He clutched the wound, but managed to stand up. Bruce saw his strength weakening and moved in for the finish. "Age." The Watcher began, coughing, "It's caught up with me. I'm not the spry man I used to be. Back when I started." He drew his pistol and fired several rounds at Bruce, striking him several times. The rubber bullets slowed Bruce down, and horribly pained him. However, he closed the gap between himself and his combatant, and knocked the weapon from his hands. The Watcher struggled to fight back, as Bruce landed a few more blows. I final kick sent him reeling backwards. Bruce readied himself for more, but it was clear to him that The Watcher had had enough.

"That's why you'll be better than me, Bruce. Your training. It's obvious you prepared for this a lot more than I did. I had the will. I had the means. So, I did. Your parents is what started it, you know? After they were killed... my best friends... I..." The Watcher spat out some blood as he spoke. He peeled off his cowl and tossed it at Bruce's feet. "I've been waiting for someone to take over for me." The man stepped into the light, revealing that he was Gotham's longest reigning mayor, Brian Harding.

"B--Brian?" Bruce said in shock.

"Yes, Bruce. Uncle Brian, as you used to call me. Probably don't remember that do you?" Brian asked.

"I..." Bruce stammered trying to recall his memories and failing.

"We were inseparable; your parents and I. The best of friends. When they died, something awoke within me: a sense of justice. A sense that not all was right in this town, as I thought it was. Your father had supported me in my candidacy for mayor and where was I when the trigger was pulled? After that, I came down hard on crime, but it wasn't enough. One night, a man from the mob entered my office and offered me a bribe. Before that, I had always turned down such things, but this time I accepted. Slowly, I made my way into Gotham's underground. I did deals with the crooks, but rarely followed through. I learned the joints and who was in charge. That's all I needed to know. Then, I attacked them on my terms. Bruce, it was exhilarating, as I'm sure you know. They called me The Watcher. I called myself nothing. The mob just thought I was someone working for another boss. Gang by gang is how I cleaned up Gotham. I'm old now though, and I'm ready to quit. All I have going for me is my experience." Brian paused and Bruce bent down to pick up his discarded cowl. "I'm passing it on to you, Bruce. You're Gotham's true protector."

Bruce examined the cowl, briefly. He felt every grove in it; every cut; every tear. He felt his future. When he turned to say thank you, Brian had gone. Bruce nodded and made his way back to the batmobile.

Once inside, Alfred came over the radio, "Bruce, are you okay? Did you find The Watcher?"

"Yes, Alfred." Bruce replied, softly.

"Who was he?" pressed Alfred.

"He was... my predecessor." answered Bruce, with some thought.

"I see." Alfred said, sensing that Bruce did not wish to discuss the matter, "You are needed at Ace Chemicals, Bruce. There was a report of a man falling into a vat and being horribly disfigured."

"Batman is on his way." Bruce responded.

"This will be our last session I think." the man said.

"Sorry to see you go, B." the doctor replied. "I hope you feel we made some progress?"

"I suppose so." the man stated.

"Did something happen with that rival we were discussing?" the doctor asked.

"Yes, I bequeathed my... mantle to him." the man answered.

"So, you won't be running for President?" the doctor questioned, confused.

"Oh no, I will be." Brian laughed.

"I'm sorry, but I'm confused. I thought you were speaking of a person whom you felt would do a better job than you for President? And that you were going to drop out of the race for him?"

"I'm afraid you've got it all wrong, doctor. Now, if you'll excuse me, the press is waiting, and I have a meeting with Bruce Wayne to get to." Brian said.

"Oh. My apologies, Bri--I mean B." the doctor frantically said.

"No worries, doctor. Anyway, so long, and I hope I can count on your vote!" Brian chuckled, leaving the office.

"Yes, of course. Bye." the doctor mumbled, lost in thought.


#10 Posted by PLTRGY13 (23 posts) - - Show Bio

@Bearded Justice

Wow! Very cool, my friend! Have you submitted this to DC? They'd be nuts to refuse it! Try it out, man! God bless!