Rated T+: I may use relatively graphic or gory violence scenes, or include some mild swearing.
DISCLAIMER: Batman, Robin, the Justice League and all affiliated characters belong to DC, I am only owner/creator of the story contained herein and the character Dead Arc.
Author's note: This story involves not just Batman, but he is one of the major characters. It revolves around an original character I've made and worked with before, this will be his first story written by me, I have given the idea of this character to a couple other people on fanfiction.net which I frequent, but this is the first story written by the creator of the character Dead Arc. Begin story :)
Batman: The Lost Arc
Chapters (ascending from 1):
Chapter 1: Dead Arc
I've been following him for days, a remorseless mind thinks... Tracking his appearances, his seemingly regular patrol routes, everything about him. Everything I could find on him anyway... This remorseless mind, possessing a body, checks his weaponry... Modern and savage, it puts most arms to shame. He's rather mysterious though, as to be expected; this city itself is full of mysteries, as evident by the many different responses to the question "Gotham is..." in the newspaper. It checks the grip on a firearm. Small. Sturdy. Powerful. He looks out over the kingdom... Gotham is MINE. One mystery will be revealed soon enough, however...
What does a screaming bat sound like?
"Come on Bats... Make your regular route for me," Dead Arc says lowly to himself, his voice low and almost dreamy, yet he sounds equally deadpan. A complex mixture of sounds for most ears.
Suddenly, Batman can barely be made out hopping across a couple rooftops.
Left, right, left, right, more power to the legs, more power to the legs... Our villain hops across the city like the Dark Knight himself. Some tyrannical force propels his every movement, better than the finest athletes; but then, The Batman is equally supernatural in his movements.
Sir, your sensors indicate a chaser is- "I know, Alfred." Yes, Batman knows. He always knows. Why hasn't he done something about his pursuer?
He knows. He always knows. He's Batman, after all. I think I'll try to change things up... And he's gone. Dead Arc is just gone. The displacement of a body from the air instantaneously is rather loud, and Batman notices it. He looks back, seeing no-one and nothing, and wonders...
Had he imagined this mysterious pursuer, a side effect of patrolling late nights? What was that noise, then, he wonders?
Dead Arc appears directly in front of The Batman and speaks... "I heard you like jumping on rooftops? Thought I'd give it a try."
Batman replies dryly and un-amusedly, "Really, now? It can be hazardous to your health. Who are you?"
Dead Arc chuckles lightly; "Really, the world's 'Greatest Detective', and all you can say is 'who are you'? I expected more. But allow me to introduce myself... I am Dead Arc." Music, some sort of rock or metal band, starts playing, emanating from... Dead Arc? "I enjoy listening to tunes when I'm on the job, helps me get in the mood. You ready for the fight of your life?"
Batman says and does nothing.
Dead Arc puts his hands on his guns, preparing for some sort of stand-off it seems, saying, "This should be interesting."
Please review and rate! My first published fanfiction. I'm planning several more chapters, some crossovers, and more fan fictions in DC's various universes... Lots to do! Let me know what you thought of this story's beginnings! Here's a splash-page of Dead Arc! uploads/12/122491/2631200-dead_arc_ _arc_gotham_
Art is courtesy of D.J. Bennett! myvine/dbennett6684/ Arc Comics is not an official logo or trademark, however it is copyright protected by me! Dead Arc is also copyrighted by myself! The art shown is owned by D.J. Bennett, which he has let me use, but the character Dead Arc's conception, details, costume, all are my own property!
Next chapter will be up soon! Waiting for other art to be drawn!
Chapter 2: Welcome to Hell
Art is again courtesy of D.J. Bennett! Hats off to him! Link to his profile in the OP.
Batman throws a smoke pellet in the air towards Dead Arc; his reflexes are incredible, Unlike anything Dead Arc has ever encountered before.
Burnin', now I bring you Hell!
Dead Arc's music continues to play. I know this song... It's Disturbed's song 'Hell', Jason used to listen to this. Batman thinks to himself. Arc appears to have a taste for the theatrical much like our Dark Knight.
The pellet breaks into seperate pieces and each explodes loudly, in different areas in front of Dead Arc; a new pellet designed by Batman, he thinks to himself. His vision is obscured badly.
Read me tonight, when the warnings said leave a shudder upon you
Running from all that you feared in your life
He realizes, however, that he has the advantage here; his helmets' technology can pick up the faintest sounds and amplify them, thus enhancing his already highly trained senses.
Soul of the night, when the sun mislead paint a horror upon you
Marking the moment, displaying in my...
A tiny blip on the radar of Arc's ears appears, but just as soon as he thinks he's heard the Batman, an elbow connects with the side of his face. Incoming blitz, he thinks as fast as he can, preparing himself for many further attacks connected to the first one made by the Dark Knight.
Ghost of a life! And I can't get round the way you left me out in the open
To leave me to die!
Batman throws a heavy jab from his left hand, held at his hip, to the side of Arc; Arc deflects it with his right hand. He counters Batman with an elbow strike of his own, lightning fast, to the front of Batman's face; if it weren't for Batman's excellent reflexes, his nose and eyes would be crushed by the force of the blow. He ducks underneath, using his right arm to pull the elbow forward, as Batman pivots on his heels and rotates to deal a devastating backfist hit to the back of Dead Arc's head. Dead Arc anticipates this however. He brings both his elbows to the back of his head as protective plates, as it were, to deter the attack, and mitigate the force; it works, but at a cost.
So how can I,
Batman brings his left leg up and roundhouse kicks Arc in the chest, bringing him hard down onto the cement roof they were standing on. He calculates that if he stayed down, and made no moves of any threatening kind, the Batman would not further injure him. He might walk away with barely any scratches on him. He notices a twinge of pain and wonders if he has any broken ribs, or if he's just bruised badly from the kick.
Forget the way you lead me through the path into Heaven
To leave me behind!
"You're not bad, but I've never seen or heard of you before. What's your game, Dead Arc?" The menacing Dark Knight says, keeping watch over the motionless body of the foe he's just brought down.
Now I can't stay behind
"I'm an enigma, as it were. While my motivation isn't complicated, my methods and psyche are much so, and I shan't be giving you any hints to their inner workings." He speaks like a philosopher, Batman thinks to himself.
Save me, from wreaking my vengeance
Arc throws himself up, somehow jumping from his prone position, eight feet in the air; he draws his left pistol and fires four shots off as fast as most men fire one, and three make contact with the Dark Knight. One gets embedded in the armor in his left shoulder. Two draw blood and are embedded in Batman himself, in his left side.
Upon you, too chilling more than I can tell
Burning now I bring you Hell!
"You're on, Bats!" Arc mocks. How did he do that? I barely saw it happen... The Dark Knight nearly loses himself in his thoughts, the pain is great.
Free me tonight, as the animal kings breathe their terror upon you
Caught in the moment, engaging in my...
He lets down a batarang from his right hand, concealed from sight, and lets it fly towards Arc;
Bloodlust tonight, now I can't control my venom's flow
Get back from me demon, or be exorcised!
Arc catches it, flawlessly, but it detonates in his hand! His hand is bleeding, seemingly crippled, and Batman says through the pain, trying to overcome the sound of the music,
Now I can't stay behind
Save me, from wreaking my vengeance
"You're going to jail, Dead Arc. If you come quietly, you might get a lighter sentence. Though that depends on what other crimes you've committed..." The Dark Knight seems to be unaware that his prey isn't at all damaged-as-advertised. He reaches with lightning-fast determination to press a button on the side of his helmet with his uninjured hand, and time seems to slow down as Batman seems unable to comprehend what's happening due to bloodloss.
Upon you, too chilling more than I can tell
Burning now I bring you Hell!...
"Welcome to Hell Batman, hope you enjoy your stay." he vanishes from sight, with the loud crackle Batman heard earlier just before he momentarily lost track of his prey.
"Alfred..." Bruce calls on his comm, kneeling from the pain of three impacted bullets, two of which are still inside his body; "Alfred! Get the medical table ready... I'm on my way... back..." He decides not to waste any more time talking, but hurries back to where he parked the Batmobile to recover from this new foe. He needs to prepare, to be ready... He needs to find out who he is and stop him before he returns to finish off the Dark Knight, or worse, innocent civilians.
Burning, now I bring you Hell!
Chapter 3: Break the Bat
"But sir! Your vitals are crashing! You're losing blood, sir, you need help!"
"I... Know that, Alfred! Just... Get ready!"
Bruce was in pain, that much was obvious to them both. Very rarely does the Dark Knight choose to turn tail and lick his wounds, rather than pursue the man or creature that gave them to him. Whatever happened, Alfred thought, It can't have been good.
"Sir, do you want me to put out the call? You might not be safe wherever you are!" Alfred says, attempting to be helpful and keep Bruce alert and active.
"NO! I can... Handle this!" He's partially lying. Two bullets in his side, one in his colon, is no laughing matter, even for Batman. He's bleeding and his chance of infection rises with every moment.
How did he make those shots..? Bruce ponders over the matter as he gets in his vehicle, the Batmobile. The high-tech, almost unbelievably advanced vehicle has many buttons to push, but the Dark Knight merely tries to start the vehicle up; even that task proves to be a difficult one in his condition.
I'm supposed to be bullet proof, and no-one is supposed to be that fast and accurate at the same time... It would take a skilled marksman with incredible patience to get those shots, normally.
Batman speeds through Gotham, looking at every corner to make sure he's not being chased by the man called "Dead Arc", before nearing the Batcave after what seems like years of driving through his city...
"He's almost here..." Alfred waits impatiently for his subject.
Just as his vehicle reaches the entrance of the Batcave, to return to his home, however, he begins to fade... Not just mentally, either. His vision grows darker, the dimly lit cavern is barely visible to him, and he steps on a pedal in the vehicle before he passes out completely.
But he passes out just as he mistakenly hits the gas pedal.
"You don't look like you killed a bat, Arc."
That was the voice that greeted Arc on his return to his home, his holdout in Gotham, when he had finished his altercation with Batman. A complex voice very similar to Arc's, it was low, rich, and terrifying; it was the voice of a soldier and of a man who doesn't play games, yet you couldn't help but want to grasp out to the voice, enraptured in it's sensual sound. This was a man one either loved or feared, perhaps both.
The voice reverberates in a great room, dimly lit, with a window showing the backsplash of some great city in the background; they're high up in a skyscraper, but the view would seem different from that of Gotham City.
"I shot him twice, and I wasn't even trying very hard. Though he does pack a punch..." Arc defends himself in this battle of voices, while slanting to one side slightly; two ribs have been broken from one kick from Batman, and Arc was wearing armor and gear when it happened. No other human in the world would have had enough speed and precision to accomplish this.
"You shot him, but he lives yet," the other voice proposes, "and he will be coming for you. For us, if you're not careful, and I won't be linked to you in any way, you know that. I'll make it look like I was never here, never involved." Someone seems to be working with Dead Arc, but who?
"You won't have to. He's wounded, he'll spend time recuperating, won't he?"
A burly fist slams on a metal table, with enough force to make any other man twitch or jump in fear, but Arc remains motionless, ready to take his medicine.
"You idiot! This isn't just another man, like Gordon or Crane! This is Batman. He outsmarted the Court of Owls when he was just getting over being drugged, beaten, stabbed, tortured, and sleep deprived. Do you really think that he'll spend any significant amount of time just resting?" The voice strikes out at Arc, reprimanding him, trying to teach him.
"... No. I suppose not." Arc admits defeat, and the conversation calms.
What seems like hours passes before either one of them utters another word, just standing in the dark.
"You hurt him, yes. But you didn't kill him in body or spirit... You didn't accomplish your task," The voice says. "He'll come back with a vengeance. You wanted to be the best, yes?" The voice questions.
"Yes." Arc replies, in a disciplined manner. Short, concise, accurate responses, sometimes indicative of a military background.
"You have to break him. You have to either kill him, or make him wish you did, and then, you have to give him no choice but to do something he would never dream possible. In some ways, that is the more difficult task than simply extinguishing his life, and in some ways, it's even more brutal," the voice instructs. It teaches with a loving care, much like a father or older brother would, when the student, the son or younger brother, is unsure of what his task truly is, or how to accomplish it. It instructs as if it cares about success and accomplishment, rather than money or numbers. This voice comes from someone close to Dead Arc.
"I will break him. I will break the Batman. You can count on it." Arc says, before turning and leaving. He enters an elevator in the back of the room, and goes down two floors, to rest and think.
"Yes, I believe you will, Arc... I believe you will."
Chapter 4: Bruce!
The following day, Arc returns to his mentor and colleague, to discuss the previous nights' events.
"You shouldn't be here." The voice says from behind a chair. It doesn't want to be seen. It likes the mystique of anonymity, even if Arc knows who it is.
"I know, but I needed to talk to you about the other night. What did you mean about the 'court of owls'? How did you know exactly what Batman had gone through when they tried assassinating half the city?" Arc pryes for information.
"You don't think I can be stealthy and underhanded when I want to? I have ways of getting information." Evasion.
"Everyone does, that's a meaningless phrase, and you know it. Cut the crap, you're toying with me. You have intel on Batman and don't want to share it, why?" The first shot has been fired.
"I thought you wanted to be the best, not second-best, apprentice," counter-offensive launched.
"I do want to be the best, which is why I should be the one to have the information, not you. You claim you're training me up to be your replacement, should the time arise that such a thing is needed... Yet you try to prove your dominance over me, a futile attempt, since you came to me in the first place." Artillery fired.
"Get the information yourself; it'll be an exercise. We can see if you're really so much better than myself, if you can get the intel I got, from me, without resorting to interrogating me directy." Cease-fire offered...
"Fine." And signed. All hostilities have come to an end, with no more verbal bloodshed on either party, as Arc leaves the room, to fulfill his new assignment, as part of his larger mission: to kill the Batman.
"Oh, my god," thinks Alfred, as the Batmobile destroys the Batcave's main computer, causing mayhem, fire, and destruction in it's wake. It's destroyed. It's all destroyed; the most advanced computer system in the world, the most advanced automobile, and possibly even Bruce Wayne, the most advanced human in the world, too.
"Sir! Sir! Master Wayne!" Alfred cries as he tries to go into the inferno, to pull his friend out of the blaze.
Just as he reaches the door of the Batmobile however, he steps in something that makes him sick to his stomach. Blood is dripping out from the Batmobile, forming a small pool underneath Alfred's feet. The sticky, red, juice of life, which smells of iron due to the heat causing it to fumigate the air around it, nearly causes Alfred to pass out, as he takes one more step towards the door, to attempt to pry it open with a piece of metal he found in the wreckage.
He pryes it open after what seems like a lifetime of trying, to find Bruce Wayne slumped forward, face first in an airbag that broke his nose, along with the shock of the impact snapping multiple bones in his body; Alfred was too worried, trying to get him out of the crash, to notice which ones were broken, specifically.
As he finally pulls Bruce out of the inferno, with burns and cuts on his own body from the ordeal, Alfred tries to carry Bruce over to the medical table he prepared, before collapsing himself. Boiled blood slowly seeps from his wounds, as he winces from the pain, as he comes to the dark realization of what's happening; he's dying. The world goes black and red as Alfred fails to get Bruce over to the table, when he suddenly feels someone picking him up, just before he drifts off completely...
Chapter 5: Revelations
"What... What is going on?" Alfred manages to sputter from his tired mouth.
"You'll be fine, I'm here to help. I've got you and Bruce both some antibiotics into you; you're both banged up pretty well. Just rest for now, Mr. Pennyworth," says the voice. Alfred can't do much to object to the notion of rest; he's already lying down, low on energy, willpower, and he can barely tell if he's truly awake or if he's delusional.
"I'll be back. Rest up, you'll need it," and just as mysteriously as it came, the strange voice leaves. Alfred sleeps, blissfully unaware of what's going on around him, letting his wounds heal; much more obedient than the other patient, who's busy at the computer already, despite his half-dead state.
"Odd material to make bullets out of... Hard to process..." He mumbles under his breath.
"Analyzing..." He drones on as he scans the bullets that were extracted from his body; true to his reputation, he spends no time taking care of his wounds, but spends his resting period tracking down his would-be assassin.
"Active promethium?! Why use such a dangerous material if you'll have it on your body at all times? What effects could it have had on me if it was inside my body..?" The Dark Knight poses many questions, to which he finds one response.
"Bruce, get back to rest!" And he immediately regrets being part of the Justice League.
"Soon, Clark. By the way, how did you know to come by at just the right time, lastnight?"
"I heard the explosion. It triggered a surveillance device you kept in the cave, and it transmitted directly to the Fortress of Solitude. I heard everything over a microphone and came as fast as I could," Superman says as he floats down the the wounded Dark Knight, arms crossed.
"Convenient." Bruce mumbles.
"Upset that you needed help?" Clark quips.
"Not so much that, as I am that someone shot me with a mutagenic material. I've never seen this kind of bullet before. This is more serious than I thou-" but his sentence was cut short. He pushes himself off his chair, trying to stand, but doubles over in pain; Clark gets him and helps him up, but the only two things he can manage to aggravatedly say are "GET HELP".
Arc types furiously on a computer terminal, using his superb hacking skills to tap into every file in use of the building where he and his mentor are stationed. He's going to find out how his mentor got this information on Batman, and most likely more information than Arc is privy to, if he has to spend the next week on the computer terminals finding it.
"No... No... Hmm... This sounds promising." He says as he looks at an entire partition of a local computer, somewhere in the building, linked in the local net, that's securely encrypted, with a codename designation, as opposed to the usual designation computers are given. "Very promising," he says to himself.
He begins typing faster, most people, even computer scientists, would be astounded at his typing speed, if he actually left anyone alive in the room he was in. To him though, it's not even max speed. He's almost relaxed during his escapade.
"IP address and local data flows place it... Underground. I wasn't aware we had a basement that extends so far underneath the complex. You've been keeping secrets from me, haven't you?..."
"Speak of the devil, and he shall appear." Slade says from behind his cohort and apprentice, Dead Arc.
"You're quite the industrious little bug, managing to hide an entire underground complex right beneath my feet. You planned this test, didn't you? You left clues, trails, so that I'd want to find this information, and then you urged me to take on these extra tasks so that... What? I'd either prove to you I was better than you, and you'd be secure in the knowledge that your work lives on, or you drive me off, preventing me from killing the Batman, from being the best, like you proclaimed I could be, as some sort of sick joke? Is that what this is? Am I a joke to you?" Arc says, sounding aggrivated even for a murdering assassin.
"You're impressive, I must admit. Your deductive skills rival Batman's himself... I'm glad that you're pitching yourself against him. You might even be able to find his secret identity for me."
"I'm not your pawn and you know it," the words are spit from Arc's mouth like poison.
"No. But, if you want my training, you'll do exactly as I say. You said I was like a father to you, yet you resist to simply follow orders, to follow the training regiment I have set before you. This... All this! It will turn you into the greatest warrior and thinker alive! Yet you fight back because of some misplaced sense of respect."
Deathstroke instantly spans the several meter wide gap between them, grasping Arc's throat in his hand, faster than most people can blink. I could have stopped him, Arc thinks to himself, Why didn't I?
"Let me teach you a thing or two about respect," he says furiously. "Respect is how much someone is willing to pay you on a job. Respect is having your enemies cower before you. Respect is being able to do what you want because you're the best, and nobody can stop you. That's what I'm giving you. You're thinking too small and too childishly. If you keep it up, I'll end you myself, and you'll have all the respect and dignity of a bug on the windshield."
Deathstroke tightens the grip around Arc's neck as Arc does nothing to defend himself, too shocked at his surroundings, too emotionally compromised, to understand or think of how to stop what's happening, and Deathstroke finishes by saying, "Do you have something to say?"
"Well!?" His grip tightens, Arc begins to black out.
"Sor... ry... Father..." He says.
Deathstroke lets go, saying, "I thought you were. Now don't let this idiotic rampage of yours get in the way of your training again. Find out what I know about Batman, uncover the secrets I've practically uncovered for you, and I'll know you're ready to progress."
"Alright..." He says quietly, woundedly, venomously, like an angry dog who's been defeated, now whimpering away from it's foe.