I Deserve This – Detective’s End
I killed a man today. I broke my only vow. I swore to my parents that this would never happen. That I would never do the one thing that destroyed my life. I’m a murderer. Why didn’t someone stop me sooner? Who the hell am I? …I hate this…
As you can see, being the world’s most deductive man has it’s disadvantages. For one, I overthink the most minute details. I scrutinize and examine everyone I come in contact with. Everyone is dirty. Even the most innocent are filthy criminals waiting for a chance to take advantage of another for their own gain. Innocence, innocence is just a term to describe someone who has yet to enact their own evil upon those less endowed, those unable to protect themselves.
..Fatigue..I know it well. My only release is a humble little bean brewed into a bitter liquid. Every swallow brings a humming vibration, instant gratification and tension. I’m so tense. I haven’t slept in God knows how long. Meditative naps have carried me for weeks on end. If I sleep, someone dies. Funny, now that I’m a murderer…will me sleeping save someone? This coffee is bitter, old, and smells of cloves, and sourdough, with a hint of aged beef.
I could call for Alfred, have him hastily whip something up that would make even the most honored chef cry. What doesn’t that man do for me? He’s my cook, field nurse, mechanic, overseer, caretaker, adviser, …my father. I use him. I keep thinking that there is a defined time when I will retire from this life. I keep thinking that on that day I’ll make it up to Alfred, that I’ll show him how much he truly means to me. That..I’ll thank him. I’m sorry Alfred, sorry I’ll never think of you more than my own hatred, my pride, or my pain.
I’ve been so worried about subduing injustice that I’ve never managed to be honest with anyone. Especially those I’ve brought into my own home..my father’s home. Dick and I will never truly come to terms with eachother. Poor kid, no, poor man will never know how proud I actually am of him, my first Robin. The love he knew from his deceased parents is perhaps the only reason the kid smiles. Kid indeed, I suppose to me he’ll always be the high flying little acrobat I adopted so long ago. I’ve always loved seeing his smile. A shame I never see it anymore, but that’s my fault. He’ll stop parading as a vigilant hero the day he and a lucky red-head have a child. Logic dictates that, dictates that he’ll be fine. He needs to distance himself from me in order for that to happen. He’s walking the right path. Seeing that is one of the few comforts I know.
Jason, Jason Todd will die by his own hands, I’ve done the math. There is an overwhelming odd against him that he will place one of his firearms to his temple and erase a past no one dare whisper. He should have stayed dead. Even had I never taken him as my ward; my replacement for Dick [whom grew out of his Robin identity and became his own man], my second Robin, Jason, would still have died. Logic and mathematics dictate with his propensity for violence, his lust for blood, and fascination with guns churned into his sociopathic tendencies, he’d have died a gang leader anyways. I try not to think about him, regardless, lord knows I do. I’ll never forgive myself for what I did to him; I gave him a shard of hope, that hope was a lie. My little lie. That boy never had a chance, I just thought I could fix something. At no point was Jason whole. He is and always will be a broken child, product of a ruined city. Joker just took that scenario and made it worse by killing him. ..Joker…funny how the only one who truly knows me, my best friend per say, is a psychopathic clown. It’s demented that I find it funny.
Tim, Tim Drake, Tim Wayne now. Tim is easy to calculate. That is, in that he is the most true amalgam of all of my skills and abilities. I know his every move, his every thought, his every trouble. He’s the most brilliant mind this world will ever see. Were he not spending the last of his youth honing his trade in investigation, logic, close quarters combat, and stealth, he’d move on to be mans’ greatest asset. He has the ability to not only mimic, but adapt and improve upon every thought or action his mind perceives. He’s proven to me there has to always be a Robin, but when I am gone, he’ll prove to himself that he has to be Batman. Just as fate would have rebellious teenagers eventually turn into the parents they forsake. Fate..I’ve proven to myself that it is indeed a real and formidable entity. I could explain it, but only Tim would comprehend. Truth be told, I’m jealous of his deceased father. Jealous Tim was not the product of my biology. I’m envious of a dead man…how befitting for a killer.
Now for my ‘real’ son, Damian, the hell-spawn as his name implies. The definition of obligatory love. I get little rest as is, with that evil child around I’ll never sleep again. I fear him taking another life at any time. His psychosis is so deeply ingrained, he at times makes Jason look like a vigilant saint. Damian was raised by his mother to be an assassin, a contract killer, and in the long run, my replacement. The child is evil incarnate, a genetic cornucopia of power, will, hate, vengeance, and pride. I would erase him were it humane. But that would be like suicide. He disgusts me. I really should find a more effective way of disciplining him. I see it in Alfred’s eyes, he knows the reason I enjoy sparring with Damian is due to it being my way of hurting his pride, of scaring the evil, subduing the menace inside him. Is it even possible to mold this…mistake into a good man? He is a 10 year old killer who has never know childhood. I pity him, but how long will pity allow me to overlook his actions? I estimate he would try to kill me one day, truth be told, he’d probably succeed. Hence lie my reasoning, my prophecy for Tim becoming The Detective, The Dark Knight, ..me. Or so it would have been was tonight not the night of my death.
This elegy is playing on my irritation. As I implied, being a brilliant mind has nothing but disadvantages and consequences when played versus one’s sanity. I’m still hungry.
I hate that name. I despise his swagger, he voice, his grin. I hate becoming him for those unimportant little tasks which must be ritualized; public appearances, board meetings, fund raisers, donations, speeches, parties, women, laughter, cologne, caviar, tuxedos, limousines. Bruce Wayne is a necessary pain in my brain. Hmm, that will become a silly little rhyme I’ll use when irate with the distaste of Bruce’s accent on the tip of my tongue. It’ll be muttered beneath my breath and internally whispered between the synapses of this troubled mind. Pain in the brain, much unto ‘Mean one Mr. Grinch’. ..I believe that thought evoked a smirk. So cold in this cave that I dare say I wouldn’t be able to feel a jester’s toothy smile on this scarred and grizzled exterior, let alone a smug curl of the mouth and cheek. Don’t mistake me, I’m fond of the cold. The equipment down here sings praises to up, …so does this wound.
Oh have I not told you about how I received this, this laceration, this perfectly disserving lesion? Of course not, I’ve been too busy lamenting, solacing about my past, my ‘family’. Tonight I was hunting, which, in all honesty is what I do every night. Tonight’s prey is one I’ve hunted before. This prey is also a hunter; Basil Karlo, whom most only know as Clayface. An actor, much like myself, though with an astonishing ability to become anyone. A self-righteous murderer whose jealousy dictates his entitlement, greed and depression. Karlo had two nights prior, killed his most recent adopter of a role he played on screen. One played before having assumed his criminal identity of Clayface. This cadaver, another victim of his jealousy, determined that no one should remake, rewrite or revisit his roles on the silver screen.
So in swoops the ever enigmatic Batman, determined to right wrongs and strike hard. I tracked Karlo to a lesser used safe-house of none other than a dear old friend of Bruce’s, a Mr. Harvey Dent. I assumed the worst. But we both know that assumptions aren’t logical. In fact this night was seeming less and less logical as it progressed. But I was close and that’s all that mattered, up until I heard a single gunshot and the screams of a woman coming from familiar territory.
….God my wound is on fire. The puncture starts in the lower right of my back and barely exits [like a pin prick] a good two and a half inches above and to the right of my naval. I’ve pushed aside pain before, this time…this time I won’t…
Okay, I’m obviously losing coherence…so back to the long story and stupid mistakes, this tale entombs. I killed a nobody, some petty thug with his eye spent on a quick payoff. This poor bastard, from a broken home no doubt, decided tonight was the night to break into a house of a single mother. A single mother I know only because I’ve saved her before, from a drunken husband some three years, eight months, 14 days ago. This a home in my path, my hunting grounds. This man’s fate decided tonight was the night to get between The Batman and his prey. You never get in the way of a predator and his catch. [At least that’s something I would growl into some scum’s face to break his will. How typical.]
All it took, all it took was a hasty grapple through a window, a batarang delivered to a sweaty hand holding a gun, a knee thrown into an abdomen, an elbow strike to a greasy neck, and a gunshot. It was over. Or it would have been had not this idiot pulled a knife, forcing me to disarm and discard the weapon by throwing it into the nearest wall. Pinned down it was easy to read, this man was an addict no doubt. Rotted teeth, chemical burns, flesh clinging to his skeletal figure and copious white residue attached to nose hairs. Meth and cocaine, no mistaking it. He was willing to steal, to hurt, to kill over his ‘needs’. He was willing to let chemicals not only destroy his body, but allow his weak mind to terrorize and attack a single mother for what, a wallet housing a couple of dead presidents?
I paused, my first mistake… I took in a deep breath and inhaled a wiff of musk, this thug embellished himself in it, of course, to try and hide the overpowering smell of bleach and ammonia. I should have moved, I shouldn’t have allowed my back to stay positioned to the mother and….the child I neglected to remember. I should have rendered the addict unconscious instead of letting him stare fearfully into the eyes of one such as me. This addict, I’ll call him Frank, I never did like the name Frank. See Frank, shot the woman with that last bullet, something I failed to make note of in my unbridled rage. Not only did he shoot her, but he drove that little piece of pain soaked lead straight through her heart. If I looked back I would have noticed the boy. The boy with the strenuous glare, the tear washed face, the soul instantly filled, not with fear or sadness, but of hate. Hate for what killed his mother, hate for whom was really responsible, hate for no one… but yours truly.
The last time I experienced hate, anger, disgust so extreme was the night my parents received their own bullets. I wasn’t angry with the one who took their life…not at the time, not like I should have been. I was angry with my father, I hated my father at that moment. In the pouring rain I beat his chest with my young fists and screamed “Whyy!!? Why didn’t you protect us!!!?? Whyyyy!?!?!?” I cried until I had not a tear left. I pulled my mother in close with one hand while I continued to pound my father’s chest with the other. I did so until I had only enough energy left to rock back and forth with my parents in hand.
The boy I forgot about in the room, in the little apartment, with the dead mother, the frantic terrified addict, and the broken future. The boy; this barely pubescent child saw his object of hate, of pain and destruction, he also saw a knife in a wall. A knife thrown into the wall like holy Excalibur laid in the mythic stone. The boy, being the triumphant soldier of fortune hastily wiggled the knife from the wall, walked up and plunged the cold, sharp tip into his demon. He did every bit without saying a word.
As soon as the knife hit, my grip tightened. My grip, which lay around the squirming addict’s neck was just like the rest of my body, honed to the bounds of what is the human limit. Frank was weak, decayed from the drugs. He never had a chance. When the seven inch blade punctured my back, my grip tightened, crushing and cracking poor Frank. I’m Batman and I killed a man.
The rest is a little hazy and happened fast. I looked amazed as the boy ran back to his mother’s body, coddling her chilling corpse and screaming incoherently. I pulled the knife from my back while standing up. I stared at the bloodied knife for a brief moment with Frank’s remains in the corner of my vision. I stumbled frantically out the broken door and tripped down the worn stone steps. I pressed the transmitter on my belt for my vehicle, waited what seems like an eternity for it to arrive, I thought about my parents waiting there and I beat my fist into the stone wall I was propped against while cursing my own name. The trip back to the cave was seemingly nonexistent. I could have called for Alfred, instead I locked the entrances into the cave. He could have dressed the wounds, but instead I clinch a bloody hole and drink old coffee that tastes worse than turpentine. I deserve this.
So here I am, The World’s Greatest Detective, The Dark Knight, The Batman killed by a boy. I sit while I grasp a gaping hole in my back amist all the glory in my cave, all the technology, the information, wealth, the world at my fingertips. My true home, my tomb. I must die, this Bat-man is no more. I killed a man and this is my judgement. No more acting, no Bruce Wayne, no righting wrongs, no more justice, no more pain. A simple heartbroken youth, turned avenging angel killed me. But.. one thought gives me satisfaction; …Joker’s going to be pissed it wasn’t him.
…I’m still hungry.