Written By: KisserNe and MovieGeek17
Rated T+ for Strong Violence, Mature Language, Mature Themes and Gore.
Helena Bertinelli A.K.A the Huntress soars through the skies of Gotham. The streets are glowing dimly beneath the grey smog and the smells from below fill the air with the stench of death. She flips from roof top to pillar to ledge with dignity and grace. She is meeting the Bat-Family nearby and she feels…happy.
Huntress (V.O.): Gotham City… Hell’s favorite customer. Every year the demons of this city prey upon the innocent, depriving them of their lives and to those unlucky few- their souls. I was one of the latter.
Huntress (V.O.): People used to call me Helena Bertinelli, these days I go by a different name. Night after night I descended upon Gotham’s demons, matching their brutality with a woman’s touch.
Huntress (V.O.): My wrath became legend amongst the underworld of Gotham. No criminal was beyond my reach. In return I was hunted by Gotham’s protectors and criminals, finally they could agree on something…There was only one way this story could end, or so I thought.
She stops on a gargoyle and peers down into a familiar alley and sees groups of people that pass by the alley. They’re smart enough not to linger too far from the light.
Huntress (V.O.): The Batman… He showed me how to fight the darkness in my soul. His influence has rubbed off in some ways. My thirst for justice remains the same but the bat and his family have somehow dulled the pain. Maybe this is what happiness is like. It’s been so long I… I can’t remember…
Distressed woman: Someone please! HELP ME!!!
The shriek echoes in the night. She looks towards the sound and rushes off from her path. The Bat can wait…She sprints across the brick buildings and glides from one fire escape to another in the distance. She is getting closer, she can feel it. The woman’s cries are getting louder and the attacker’s voice sounds like a bullet through the shrill air.Helena glares down at the sight and lets the rage take over.
Huntress (V.O.): No matter how many times I hear the innocent suffer my blood still boils. The bat might have talked me down from killing but he couldn’t kill the rage.
Helena puts the mugger in the crosshairs of her crossbow.
Huntress (V.O.): One shot would be all I need to end this.
Mugger: Give me the money, bitch!”
Huntress holsters the crossbow and drops down from her position, boots first upon the grubby man. Her cape engulfs him, twisting him around to buy some time for his victim. The woman is petrified, tears frozen to her cheeks but she manages to escape. Unsure of who her savior is.
Huntress (V.O.): But I want him feel the fear. When I’m done with him he’ll wish he ran into the Batman.
Huntress twirls back, allowing her attacker to swing a fist that clutches a shiv, but she’s faster than he thinks. She grabs his wrist, giving him a quick jolt as she yanks him forward, loosening his shoulder from its socket.
Huntress (V.O.): Perhaps, I am too violent, but what does he expect?
She throws her mighty leg outward, the side of her boot cracking the man’s jaws, left side, right side, left side and then right. She cracks his teeth into pieces as blood sprinkles the alley.
Huntress (V.O.): Out of anyone in this world, he should understand…
She grabs the mugger by the neck and tosses him into the brick wall, face first. His nose shatters and his skull cracks, crimson paints the bricks.
Huntress (V.O): This is the only way I know.
Huntress finishes and looks away from the pathetic creature’s body with little to no remorse. Sirens ring in the distance; the cops will be here soon, they always come shortly after the job is done. She looks back down at the man who balances on weak knees. He’s still breathing, barely, but he is alive and that’s something to be proud of.
Familiar Person: What? No kill shot this time?
Huntress turns around to see the voice is none other than Harvey Bullock of the Gotham City Police. He’s casually puffing away at his cigar as he’s talking with her. Bullock has his usual smirk on him to show her he’s not a threat.
Huntress (V.O.): Harvey Bullock. The one cop in this city that somewhat approves of my… methods.
Bullock: This city is making you soft princess.
She can’t help but grin back. Their friendship is a bit unconventional but neither party seems to mind the other’s business too much.
Huntress: What makes you say that?
Bullock: Well he’s still breathing for starters.
Huntress: And that bothers you?
The wind blows out Bullock cigar forcing him to relight it. He silently curses at the thing like any seasoned smoker does. Fresh smoke erupts out of the cigar with the successful light.
Bullock: Not really, means less paperwork for me to write up.
Huntress (tease): You’re such a softie
Bullock: Takes one to know one.
They both laugh. Not many people would get their humor, but that’s the point. In a lot of ways this is how these two open up.
Bullock: Seriously though, I get why you’re doing this. He wants you to ease up, our department wants you to ease up. That’s a lot of pressure to cope with.
Huntress: I’ll get by.
Bullock: I’m sure you will. Just make sure you don’t lose yourself in the process. He’ll give you hell for it but you’re your own person, don’t forget that.
She is legitimately caught off guard by what he’s said. It takes her a moment to respond to his advice.
Huntress: That’s- that’s really nice of you…
Bullock (earnest): Heh. We all have our moments.
The sirens draw closer. Their conversation has to be concluded, they both know this.
Bullock: Best you get out of here. You may be at a better standing with us but it’s going to take some time before you’re like him.
She leaps up and out of sight, turning once more to see a cop car approaching. Bullock tosses his cigar aside as he approaches the first responders. She can’t help but smile as she leaves, for once she feels like she belongs in this city.
She continues to the Wayne tech building where she is to meet with Batman and Robin. She doesn’t know what to expect, if she would be greeted warmly or with the usual attitude. She crept up the wall to the very top and saw the empty rooftop.
Huntress (V.O.): Beat them. That’s a first.
Batman (Off Panel): You’re late.
The Batman, glares at her. His eyes, dark and stern as usual, pierce into Helena. Robin, Tim Drake, sits on a ledge. Quiet and mysterious, deep in thought as he lets Batman do his job. Lecture the vigilante, dispatch the jobs and move on. He wants it done and that is where Huntress and Robin share a similar problem, patience. They want to go and get the deed done, no more waiting.
Huntress: I was… caught up
Batman: We noticed.
Huntress: Then you saw me get the job done. That man will think twice before mugging another innocent person.
Batman: You could have killed him.
Huntress: But I didn’t. The paramedics will fix him up and he’ll be back on the streets in a few months’ time. Least I didn’t kill him.
Huntress: Look, I’m trying, okay?
Batman looks away and out towards the city. He’s like a father. He’s stern, but loving, difficult to deal with, but highly appreciated and respected. She could feel her heart plop into her stomach. She was in trouble and prepared for the worst. What was going to be her punishment this time? She didn’t kill the criminal like she had wanted, she let him live. She thought it was more of Batman’s way, but she had still gone too far.
Batman (calculating): You’re rash, undisciplined and emotional- but you’re also right…
Huntress is too stunned to respond at first. She had prepared for so many variations of Batman yelling at her that she had not anticipated this.
Huntress: You’re agreeing with me?
Robin (sarcastic): I’d recommend taking a photo while you can. Moments like these don’t happen very often.
Batman ignores robin’s joke like it didn’t happen and continues with his explanation.
Batman: In spite of your flaws you’ve drastically improved your methods. You’re much closer to being someone we can consistently work with.
Robin: Even I have to admit you’ve been awfully nice to the criminals this year.
Huntress: So what happens now?
Batman: Continue this trend and we’ll talk. Till then we have other matters to tend to.
Huntress approaches them trying to join in with whatever they have planned. Even though she is closer than ever to being accepted by the Bat-Family she is still in many ways an outsider. Batman gazes at Helena with concern wherever they’re going he wants to make sure she doesn’t follow.
Huntress: I know that look. Who’s out there?
Batman: Scarecrow… He’s abducted a little girl. She’s been missing for two days.
Huntress: Let me help then. Crane could be anywhere in this city.
Batman: Out of question. Your last encounter with him took weeks for you to recover. You’ve come too far to have him derail you now.
Huntress glares at him. She doesn’t like being treated like a child.
Batman: There will be other opportunities Helena, but not tonight.
Robin: I think what the big guy is trying to is, take the night off. You’ve earned it.
Batman remains silent. This is his way of agreeing with robin. She backs off realizing this is a start. He knew it was killing her, but if she wanted to stay in this city and fight crime, she would have to listen to him. She understood that Batman knew what he was doing. He had a plan and if she got in the way, it could be ruined.
He also knew Crane better than most, if someone was haunted by a painful past, they were an easy target. He knew this very well.
Huntress: Fine... Punch him hard for me
Robin (supportive): That can be arranged
Helena turned to leave, with mixed emotions. She could feel her heart beating a million miles per second and clumps rising in her throat. Happy that she’s making progress with the Bat-Family but secretly wishing she could be there to take down the Scarecrow.
Helena dropped from the roof, contemplating Bruce’s words as she tumbled through the sky. Shooting down like a falling star, she extended a hand, grasping a flagpole and spinning around to rocket back forth into the sky.
She flew from building to building watching as the tall towers went from decent to disintegrating to demolished piles of rubble. Her home town, close to the outskirts of Gotham, was practically a pile of dust waiting to be blown away. She could see her family’s manor, alone and holey in the darkness of Gotham.
For a brief moment, she thought she saw lights flicker in the old windows, but she shook her head. Tears filled her eyes and blurred her vision, she needed to stop. She ignores the bitter memory trying to push on, but she’s going too fast.
As she jumps over the next skyline, the building in front of her erupts with steam from the cold night. Helena coughs from the steam as it hits her right as she transitions to the building. She tries to adjust her body for the impact but it’s already too late.
Disembodied Voice: Helennnaa...
Her body crashes into the fire escape on the side of building and tumbles down the skyline. Thinking fast she shoots a grapple for the building knowing that this is her only shot at not being another of Gotham’s infamous death statistics.
Disembodied Voice: Did you think I was finished with you my child?
The line plants into the side of the building successfully but she didn’t take into account the strain it puts on her shoulder. The shoulder almost immediately gives out and she tumbles the rest of the way down. She has a dislocated shoulder but soon that will be the least of her worries
Disembodied Voice: Last time we met we had so little time to get acquainted.
She violently lands on the cracking pavement. Her black hair envelops her face as she struggles to get back up.
Disembodied Voice: But don’t you worry my dear. This time we have all the time in the world to plaaaayyyyy….
Her body trembles and shakes as echoes from the past creep into her mind. Gunshots, screaming, crying, pain, red, shattering glass, holes blasting through the walls, there was so much. There were so many men with guns…
Huntress (V.O.): STOP IT! Get ahold of yourself, Helena.
She grits her teeth as she rises to her feet, clutching at her injured shoulder. It may be dislocated or broken. She’s too dazed to tell.
If only she was in her normal clothes, if only she was on a job and wearing the sacred cowl bestowed by the Bat. If only she could be as strong as him… But she wasn’t.
Disembodied Voice: hehehehaaaahaheeeheahaaaa…. Just you… ME… and a verrryyyy special guest….
She slams her gloved fist into a stone fence and roars in anguish. The fabric tears and her knuckles began to bleed, stinging in the faint wind. She looks up through watery eyes and notices another familiar building. It was her elementary school, abandoned, depressed and in the middle of everything.
Disembodied Voice: So much to do so little time. Till then … enjoy the festivities.
Huntress (denial): It’s… just the fall…
It’s been so long since she’d last seen the playground. Since then the welcome sign had become so weathered. It was a sad sight to see such a beautiful and happy place look the way it did.
She remembered reading in the Gotham Times that its fate as a school had finally been decided. They declared that it was to be closed down. The area had become too dangerous for children and in the state that things were now. It seemed the area was only good for ghosts and rats to hide away in the corner of the room you never clean.
Without a second thought, Helena approaches the distant memory. The heavy soles of her shoes crunch upon the frosted and dead grass, her mind was vague and her eyes glazed over. She couldn’t stop. She saw the swings, swaying back and forth without owners. They were so lonesome and tired, squeaking and moaning in the wind.
She reaches the pebbled pit and grasps at the chains as they pinch at her gloved hand. Wearily, she plops down on the small black seat and slowly rocks back and forth.
Disembodied Voice: Having fun? I certainly hope so… I spent so much time preparing for this night.
Huntress breaks away from the daze and her head shoots up at the speed of light. She is now aware of the voice. She looks around the playground, but she sees no one.
She can hear laughter and shrieking like there are children playing somewhere near her, but she still does not see any figure or shape of a person, large or small. A few moments pass and a cold and bitter fog forms throughout the schoolyard. The playground has come to life and Helena waits, listening and rocking on her toes.
Disembodied Voiced: You may not know this Huntress, but I’ve had my eye on you long before the Hush affair. The way you deal with your pain is so delightful. What caused such a violent tact? Spousal abuse? A family massacre? Stranded on an Island? So many possibilities!
The school bed rings, jingling noisily throughout the air. She can hear school children yelling joyfully inside the now lively school.
Disembodied Voice: I can’t wait to poke around that pretty little head of yours to find out….
Helena follows the children that she can now see, brightly colored and blurry as they race across the abandoned hallways. Their smiling faces are ever so familiar as they join her side, pulling at her hands.
Child #1: Come on, Helena. The teacher wants to see you!
Child #2: Come on, come on!
She feels like she is out of her own body as she moves along with the excited children. She doesn’t know where she’s going but like most people in dreams she’s just going with the flow.
Helena’s heart thumps inside her chest as she hurries with the other children, following them towards the green door. Excitement is coursing through her body as she realizes that it’s Mrs. McClary’s classroom.
The door opens and welcomes her body with a tender, warm embrace and the sweet smell of McClary’s perfume. It fills her with joy and contentment as she rushes to her desk. The other children wait, sitting in their assigned seats without any movement with their hands cupped gently upon their desk’s surface.
Mrs. McClary (off panel): Hello, class. Hello Helena. Today we will be discussing how to decay the human mind…
Little Girl (outside the door): Don’t listen to him! Sniffle… Get out of here! Mmmmghhhhh!
Huntress spins around trying to figure where the child’s voice came from. No matter where she looks she can’t figure out where the girl is. The hairs on the back of her neck stiffen, she’s realized far too late who is responsible for this.
Huntress (enraged): Show yourself Crane!
Scarecrow: How dare that brat ruin my fun! No matter… It’s too late to stop what’s in motion Huntress. I will see what makes you tick- one way or another!
Huntress frantically turns around to alert the children.
Huntress: Run children! I’ll protect you…
She stops dead in her tracks. The children are decaying in front of her very eyes. Flesh is rotting off the bone, teeth falling out, each of them slowly disintegrating in the most painful ways imaginable.
Children: RING AROUND THE ROSEY…
Tears fall down Helena’s cheeks. She wasn’t prepared for this kind of terror.
Children: POCKETS FULL OF POSIES…ASHES, ASHES ….
Huntress: Oh god….
Huntress backs up to the desk. She is frozen stiff.
Scarecrow: Heeehhahaahahaehheee… God? He’s not here right now…
Three syringes pierce Helena’s neck. Each syringe is filled with a mysterious orange poison. She starts blacking out.
Helena tries to crawl for the door, her last hope for freedom. This idea is quickly destroyed as Scarecrow grabs at her and pulls her close to him. She’s staring directly into his mask. What little strength she has left is drained away from looking at the inhuman features of his mask.
Scarecrow: But he’s left his dominion to me!
He raises his syringe glove and is about to plunge it into her again right as she blacks out.
Children: WE ALL FALL DOWN…
To be continued…