The Batman: Frozen Hearts - Chapter One

Chapter One 
Memories tend to bring out emotions in a way often unwanted to men like myself.

Memories of death and corruption.

But I learned long ago to utilize these as an asset, not a hindrance. The city I love is one that has done little to repay me. Instead, I am treated like a villain despite my best attempts to achieve the change so desperately needed. On the business end of my life, I am viewed as a man with far too much money. I agree. The flow of cash brought in is used to better things on the streets in a variety of ways, though. I've signed off to fund new hospitals and schools. I say this not to brag, but to make it understood that not all of the things said about me have weight.

My personal life also meets with bad publicity due to the fact that I refuse to rub shoulders with other men of power outside of work. I do this simply because I am not one of greed like that herd. They wish to grasp at power from a tightrope being slit on both ends. The fact that I prefer solitude has forced the wealthy to look at me like a black mark on their social class.

But there is another life I live as well.

It's one that too draws the ire of my city, and the world as a whole. Three lives, afforded to me due to chance and fortune.

In the dark of the night, when the streets are littered with criminal activity, I serve as a symbol of fear. Outside of my charitable deeds, my biggest sacrifice to Gotham is the one I risk my life with. The papers call me "The Batman".

I prefer to be known by the sounds of screams and whispers of panic.

Looking out over the city, my city, provides a thrill. It's a drug like effect that is unmatched by any other thing in the world. While I do my part to fight injustice, I strive to live by a code. The cops of Gotham tend to dislike my methods, but their corruption is unparalleled with reports piled up to be ignored.

That's not to say they're all bad.

No, the good ones have my respect though I am unsure if I have theirs. Death is not my purpose. The court systems are the true judge and jury. I just help bring them in. It's not perfect, but I always try to leave them tied up with enough evidence to ensure proper handling by even the poorest of officer.

Down are below two thugs, Caucasian, in gang colors waiting for someone worthy of robbing (or worse). Possibly initiation related as they lack many of the tattoos and other markings most of their more established brothers bare. They wear the colors of the All-Americans, a group of racist, white supremacists. The oldest gang in Gotham.

A woman, young, Hispanic walks alone. Not the brightest choice in this part of town, but not worth what they're selling.

My heart begins to beat faster.

They turn the corner of the alley where they waited, stalking, slightly into the light to confront her leaving me without much time to act.

I repel down in quick fashion, halting the crime. Fight or flight is an interesting beast. One fled. The other stuck it out. A right punch thrown from the filthy clothed bigot is ducked. My training in martial arts from my youth, mastered through the years leading up to me dawning the mask have been of importance during these late night adventures.

Too crass, no subtlety from his approach. He's outmatched from the beginning. I hear the girl running back the way she came, heels smacking the concrete as she goes. Hopefully this scares her from walking alone down this area again.

There's still work to do tonight.

I throw a left hook, then taking out the legs as a follow up. The impact of the fall leaves him motionless on the ground. Defenseless and unconscious. If he were in my shoes, he'd take everything I had on me right now. Possibly kill me. Instead I give him a chance at a future. These are not the catches I seek but merely guppies to toss back. Besides, there's a chance he will cower next time the idea comes up.

The story alone is worth the short amount of time, at least.

I tie him up from the closest lamp post and slide back into the night. Warmed up, I decide it's time to follow a lead. Rumor has it a new crime lord is attempting to come into town. Crazy fellow from what's being said. I've forced the tongue of a few men so far, coming closer to identifying my target. The mafia's power has diminished elsewhere, but they still make attempts at comebacks when the time feels right. Too bad they chose the wrong location.