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FADE IN: CAMPSITE OF NOMADS IN THE FERTILE CRESCENT AT NIGHT. SUPER; FERTILE CRESCENT, THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO. EXT. THE NOMADS CAMP - NIGHT Dozens of families gather around huge bon-fires. Large animals roast over the glowing coal and the SOUNDS OF CELEBRATION echo through the night. A Young Boy listens intently as a few of the men tell a story of the hunt. The Boy is flanked by his Mother and Father who are also caught-up in the tale. A story-teller stands in the midst of the mesmerized crowd. He uses grand gestures and an amazing array of SOUNDS and CALLS to tell the story of The Hunt. The language sounds a bit like Arabic. The CLATTER of galloping horses and SCREAMING men shatters the peaceful night. Bandits invade the camp-site. Some carry torches and set the tents ablaze. Other bandits brandish copper swords. They begin hacking and slashing anyone who stands in their path. The Boy's Father grabs a giant staff and joins the other nomads to defend their camp. Mother grabs the Boy and they run with the other children and mothers for the hills. The Young Boy tries to say with his Father, but Mother wrenches the lad away. EXT. HILLS BEYOND THE CAMP The women and children run desperately for the hills, but they are cut- off by more bandits. Each woman grabs a rock and hurls the missiles at the thugs. They order the children to run. The band of women fight valiantly but are overwhelmed by the bandits. One by one they fall. A handful of bandits pursue the children. The little ones are slaughtered. The Young Boy grabs a huge stick and tries to make a stand beside a sink-hole. He stands at the edge, swinging his club at any horseman who dares to approach. Finally one of the bandits drops from his horse and walks towards the boy. The bandit evades the swings and SMACKS the child hard, sending the Boy plummeting into the sink-hole. INT. SINK-HOLE The Boy falls for many meters, his body SLAMMING into the sides before finally landing into a glowing pool with a SPLASH. The Boy's shattered body floats in the glowing liquid. Slowly his wounds and bruises magically heal. Evidence of his fall is a scar on his right cheek. In moments, his eyes flutter open and he unleashes a vicious SCREAM. He stands in the hip-deep water, thrashing like a berzerker. The madness passes and he looks around the sink-hole. The Boy looks at the water and is mesmerized by it's mysterious glow. INT. SINK-HOLE - DAY The Young Boy is awakened by the CHIRPING of birds echoing down the sink-hole. He looks up and sees day-light. The boy starts the slow climb out of the sink-hole. EXT. HILLS BEYOND THE CAMP - DAY The Boy makes it out of the sink-hole and sees bodies strewn everywhere. A few scavengers pick through the corpses. He searches feverishly until he sees his Mother. The boy WAILS while cradling Mother's head in his lap. EXT. NOMAD'S CAMP - DAY The Boy walks back to camp, Mothers body strapped to a jury-rigged sled made of sticks. He finds Father's body, mangled on the ground. This time no tears come. EXT. NOMAD'S CAMP - NIGHT The boy stands before a pair of shallow graves, staring grimly at the mounds. Strapped to his back are a pair of copper swords left by the bandits. An animal-bladder filled with the glowing water is tied to his hip. The grim Young Boy stares at the ground, looking for hoof-prints. He finally finds a set of prints head east, and slowly follows them. EXT. GOTHAM CITY - NIGHT SUPER; TODAY, GOTHAM CITY The spires of the metropolis are shrouded by a dingy haze. Streetlights and moving headlights give the city an eerie glow. EXT. STREET - NIGHT A BLONDE WOMAN walks along the streets. Her eyes are alert, a container of mace at the ready. She walks quickly but calmly past some beggars, then the newspaper delivery person. EXT. HIGH LEDGE NIGHTWING stands on the ledge of a building, scanning the night. His face-mask has night-vision optics in the eye-holes. NIGHTWING Ok, where the hell are you? (into his throat-mike) ALFRED, you sure he's out this way tonight? ALFRED Yes Master Dick, that was his intention. Nightwing sees the Blonde wandering through the night. NIGHTWING Well Alfie, it looks like we might find out soon enough if he's here. Oh wait, ok, yep, he's here. EXT. STREET The Blonde comes upon an alley and carefully avoids the entrance. However she misses the trip-wire set across the sidewalk. The woman trips and falls forward. Five men rush from the alley and drag her into the dark, concrete canyon. She SCREAMS in desperation, spraying her mace on the assailants, but each one has swim-goggles on. BLONDE WOMAN FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! The attacker in the LEATHER JACKET pulls out a pistol and points it at her forehead. LEATHER JACKET Good try with the mace. What's your name? BLONDE WOMAN It's it's it's it's MARY. LEATHER JACKET Well Mary, shitty night so we're just lookin' for some fun now. MARY Look, you got my wallet and credit cards I have no freaking idea what you look like, just go! A thug in BLUE WINDBREAKER keeps looking up into the skyline. BLUE WINDBREAKER Look, just grab her purse and lets go! You remember what happened to 'Twan last week? The other attackers look up in the night sky like mice wary of a falcon soaring over-head. They reach into their jackets for their pistols as well. LEATHER JACKET Don't give me that. He was always trippin'. I don't buy that 'Bat-Demon' shit. While Leather Jacket is momentarily distracted, Mary rams her knee into his crotch and tries to run. She almost breaks free, but Blue Windbreaker tackles her from behind. LEATHER JACKET Oh, that was really cute. I actually was thinkin' about letting your ass go, but now- A metal shuriken shaped like a bat CLINKS into the concrete. BLUE WINDBREAKER OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT! Black smoke wafts into the alley. Everyone COUGHS and GAGS from the foul gas. LEATHER JACKET EVERYBODY JUST STAY COOL AND TOGETHER! THIS SHIT WILL BLOW AWAY! The alley is transformed into a haunted house filled with shadows. Leather Jacket grabs Mary by her hair and uses her as a shield. LEATHER JACKET Ok asshole! I got her. (to Mary) You get your cute ass out here! (to his posse) Fan out! They hesitantly venture into the night. The gas lingers in the alley, creating more ghostly shadows. One shadow moves and shifts like an amorphous demon, following the thugs. Leather Jackets stands with Mary, his pistol to her temple. The alley echoes with the sound of BREAKING BONES, SCREAMS, and GRUNTS. LEATHER JACKET Ok, enough of this shit, Rambo! I still got the woman, now get your ass out! The fog slowly clears. One mugger is out cold on the ground. Two more are dangling upside-down from a fire-escape like bugs caught in a spider web. The one still SCREAMING has his leg twisted and bent like a chewed straw. Leather Jacket stares in shock at the carnage. Mary SHRIEKS. LEATHER JACKET SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! OK, COME OUT RIGHT NOW, GET YOUR ASS OUT OR I'M GONNA DO HER! A large shadow emerges from the haze. It's pointed ears and 'wings' make it look like a demon from hell. Leather Jacket's grip on the pistol slips a bit, and Mary pushes away from him. The DEMON lunges forward with amazing speed. It grabs Leather Jacket by the throat and lifts him off the ground, pinning him against the wall. LEATHER JACKET Oh my god oh my god oh my god you're real you're real you're real you're real! DEMON Yes, I'm real, I'm your worst nightmare, I'm vengence. I'm BATMAN. Mary continues to SCREAM in terror. Nightwing drops from his perch and shields Mary from seeing anything more with his body. NIGHTWING Mary, Mary, it's ok, he's on our side, the cops are on the way, it's ok, it's ok. Mary quietly SOBS against Nightwing's shoulder. Leather Jacket faints. Batman drops the thug to the ground. Nightwing stares angrily at his former mentor. Batman cannot return the gaze. EXT. LEDGE ABOVE THE ALLEY A few patrol cars and ambulances are parked outside the alley. The thugs are loaded into some of the ambulances while paramedics tend to Mary. Batman and Nightwing stare down at the scene. NIGHTWING I thought this entire gig was because CRIMINALS were a 'cowardly and superstitious lot', not the VICTIMS. BATMAN She was in shock from the initial attack. NIGHTWING Going all Bela Lugosi and stringing up those guys didn't help. The Dark Knight stares at Nightwing, then turns away. NIGHTWING You always taught me never to let my emotions control me. Where the hell did tonight come from? Batman walks to the edge of the roof-top and sits down, his feet dangling over the side. BATMAN I've been patrolling this alley for years, stopped so many muggings here I lost count. NIGHTWING And you stopped another one tonight. BATMAN WHY THE HELL DO THEY KEEP HAPPENING! Every night I'm patrolling here, but they keep coming! What difference does it make! Nightwing sits beside his mentor. NIGHTWING If you didn't patrol tonight, Mary would probably be dead. BATMAN If patrolling MATTERED, she would be able to walk this alley and not worry! Batman glares at Nightwing BATMAN And what are you doing here anyway? Doesn't Bludhaven keep you busy enough? Nightwing tries to give a reply, but manages only a lame shrug. BATMAN Alfred. Batman snags a grappling gun from his utility belt and fires a line into the adjacent building. BATMAN Well, let's go. Nightwing relaxes in relief. He also produces a grappling gun from his gauntlet compartment. Both warriors swing down to the street below. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM The Batmobile roars out of town while Nightwing follows on his customized motorcycle. INT. THE BATCAVE Alfred walks through the Cave in oil-covered coveralls. He walks through the huge cavern which is Batman's sanctum, and stops briefly by the library. The room is filled with shelves and shelves of reference books. A PC with a very large monitor is in the corner. Dominating one wall is a portrait of the Wayne Family. Both parents stand proudly in the picture while Bruce stands between them. The child has a mischievous grin on his face. A melancholy smile touches Alfred's lips. The ROAR of two engines echoes as the vehicles park in the Cave. Alfred walks into the parking area, magically changed into his 'on-duty' attire. He sees Nightwing is there, and a relieved smile crosses Alfred's lips. The Dark Knight gets out of the Car. BATMAN Sending someone to play nanny, Alfred? Alfred is unaffected by the accusation. ALFRED One does one's best, sir. NIGHTWING There IS a non-crimefighting reason for my trip. Batman pulls back the cowl of his suit. Bruce's face is much more weary then usual. NIGHTWING (CONT) You've wanted me to talk with Lucius about my portfolio, might as well do it. And besides, I miss Alfie's cooking. Nightwing and Alfred share a CHUCKLE. BRUCE Fine, we'll go into the office tomorrow. Bruce walks into another part of the Cave while Nightwing and Alfred watch the burned-out soldier walk away. Nightwing removes his mask. ALFRED Well, Master Dick? Dick detaches a pair of hard-body 'saddle-bags' from his bike. DICK I don't know, Alfred. It sounds like he's burned-out, but it's more then that. I've never seen him this angry or frustrated before. He let out a little something... ALFRED And? DICK You know him. Getting him to talk is impossible. Alfred nods knowingly. INT. OFFICES OF WAYNETECH - DAY Bruce and Dick walk through the halls of Waynetech for a quick tour. The halls and work-stations have the look of a futuristic office with lots of light. As they walk through the office, assorted employees give their CEO brief HELLOS and GOOD MORNINGS. DICK You've been keeping busy in here too. Like the new look in here. Less Goth. BRUCE Not everything has to be dark. Dick appraises his mentor. Bruce looks mildly distracted and detached. LUCIUS FOX walks down the hall with another gentleman. Lucius is an impeccably dressed, African-American in his mid-thirties. Lucius' guest is tall, with long blonde hair tied into a pony-tail and a goatee. A large scar runs along his right cheek. LUCIUS Bruce, you're here early! Dick, good to see you. I see you've finally come in to talk with me about your portfolio. Dick smiles like a guilty patient reminded by his dentist about the last visit. LUCIUS This is William Marduk, owner of Marduk Industries. William, this is Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. William reaches out for a handshake with Bruce. Bruce is taken aback a moment by the strong grip. WILLIAM I'm sorry, it's all those games of tennis. LUCIUS William's company specializes in environmentally safe industrial processes. WILLIAM Considering the tech-base of Waynetech and your philanthropic side, I'm hoping a partnership is in the making. BRUCE Well, Lucius is always good at making those work for me. I'm lucky if I remember what car I bring to the office every morning. DICK The cobalt-blue Viper this time. Everyone CHUCKLES. WILLIAM Well, I must be about to a few more appointments. I hope to hear from you soon, Mr. Fox. Pleasure, Mr. Wayne, Mr. Grayson. LUCIUS (to Bruce and Dick) We're still on a noon in the executive commissary? Bruce and Dick both nod in agreement as Lucius walks William towards the elevators. Bruce wriggles the fingers on his right hand. INT. WAYNETECH EXECUTIVE COMMISSARY The 'commissary' is made-up like a swank dining area with a well-dressed wait-staff. Lucius has series of papers and a lap-top open on the table while Dick tries to look interested. Bruce sits beside them, an amused look on his face. Dick glares at Bruce. DICK What? BRUCE Now I know how I look when Lucius is explaining something to me. All three share a CHUCKLE. Bruce notices a very attractive woman siting alone on the opposite side of the commissary. BRUCE Excuse me, gentlemen. I see a damsel in distress. He walks towards the table. Lucius nods to himself, like an uncle watching his young nephew. DICK Lucius, got a non-financial question. LUCIUS Bruce? Dick nods yes. LUCIUS He's been, oh, I don't know, he ALWAYS looks like his mind is a hundred miles away, but it's been worse lately. Is there something going on? Dick shrugs. Bruce returns with his face and front of his suit covered in water. He grabs a napkin and dabs at the water. BRUCE She said she preferred lunch alone. INT. OPULENT OFFICE A dozen people stand within a large, opulent office. Art and weapons from many different cultures hang from the walls. A large table dominates the center of the room. A holographic map of Gotham city floats over the table, with Blackgate Prison and Arkham Asylum high-lighted in red. One of the men is a behemoth. He is easily a head taller then anyone else in the room. His body is rippled with muscles. A multitude of tubes run from the base of his neck to his belt and a gauntlet studded with buttons on his left hand. Almost everyone in the room is in military BDUs. However, RA'S AL GHUL is dressed in a pants and tunic like a kung-fu gee. He has jet-black hair, closed-cropped hair and a goatee. A scar runs along the Mastermind's right cheek. RA'S That is the plan, everyone. Soon the reclamation of this planet can begin. Everyone gives Ra's a brief bow, then most of the group disperses accept for Ra's and the goliath. RA'S Question, Ubu? UBU There must be another way, master. RA'S I wish there were, but my time is running short. I can feel it in my blood. No, I must find a replacement and he is the one. Ubu looks dubiously at the Mastermind. RA'S He's been obsessed with changing things for so long, he is perfect. I just need to be sure he's ready to deal with the chaos of this new world. UBU And if he declines? RA'S Then you get to prove you are the true master of combat on this planet. The Venom flowing through your veins makes you invincible, especially to a lowly mortal like the Batman. Ubu presses one of the buttons on his gauntlet. The tubes all stiffen as a dose of the powerful steroid/stimulant floods the warrior's veins. The goliath grins hungrily. INT. GYMNASIUM IN THE CAVE A large gym and armory fills a section of the Cave. Free weights and 'old school' martial-arts training equipment dominate one side of the work-out area. Archaic weapons from a multitude of systems hand from one wall. The other side of the gym is occupied by a large sparring area. Bruce and Dick are in the middle of a sparing session. As they fight, each exhibits unique techniques taking advantage of their abilities. Dick's moves are more acrobatic and agile, while Bruce uses more power. Both warriors stop, then ceremonially bow towards each other. BRUCE It's been too long. You're getting faster. DICK I learned from the best. Bruce wipes himself down with a towel and looks sadly at the weapons and equipment in the room. Dick tries to read the emotions of his friend and mentor. A CLAXON rings through the cave. BRUCE No rest for the weary. EXT. ROOF TOP OF GOTHAM CITY POLICE HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT The Bat-signal shines against the clouds. Batman and Nightwing swing down on to the roof. A handful of individuals stand on the roof with COMMISSIONER GORDON. Two are DETECTIVE RENEE MONTOYA and LIEUTENANT HARVEY BULLOCK. Montoya looks like Jennifer Lopez but with Eleanor Ripley's attitude. Bullock has Fred Flintstone's body type and Columbo's tailor. Joining the Gotham cops is a tall gentleman in a black leather trenchcoat. GORDON I didn't expect both of you. NIGHTWING Oh, just visiting so I thought I would drop in. BULLOCK Great, the whole freaking family is here. Montoya elbows Bullock in the ribs. Gordon looks irritably at Bullock. The Commissioner then tips his head to the gentlemen in Matrix wear. GORDON This is DETECTIVE NABIL SAMIR of Scotland Yard. He needs your help on a unique case. Batman looks upon everyone distractedly. SAMIR I'm on the trail of an eco-terrorist with a rather unique history to Gotham city. Commissioner Gordon tells me you specialize in odd cases, so I'm asking for your help. BATMAN No offense, Detective, but an eco-terrorist sounds rather mundane. SAMIR This one is different. His name is Ra's Al Ghul. He's been associated with activities for decades. There's connections to Ebola outbreaks in Africa, he almost sabotaged the Three Gorges project in China, and a multitude of others. BATMAN The global implications are huge, but what resources do I have that Scotland Yard and Interpol don't? SAMIR looks uncomfortably at the ground. SAMIR There is a possibility Ra's has a few other abilities that go beyond normal human abilities. That's why I'm coming to you. BULLOCK (to Batman) Hey, it's a chance for you to take on somebody who's not in spandex. Montoya tries to elbow Bullock again. This time he deftly blocks the strike. BULLOCK Commish, why do we need the glory-hound? Samir needs help, Montoya and I can find this chump. Samir prepares a retort, but Batman ends the conversation. BATMAN Lt. Bullock is right. Detective Samir, if more issues come to light, Commissioner Gordon knows where to find me. The Dark Knight leaps over the edge of the roof top. As he plummets to the street, he fires a line and swings into the night. Nightwing looks after his mentor and glares at Bullock. NIGHTWING Thanks for the support and a good word. (to Gordon and Samir) Let me talk with him, and we'll see what we can do. Nightwing swings into the night. MONTOYA Well, that could have gone better. Gordon glares at Bullock. Samir looks hopelessly into the night. GORDON I'm sorry, Samir. Is Ra's really that dangerous? SAMIR You have no idea. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM Batman and Nightwing land beside the Car. The side panels show no obvious door handles. BATMAN Open. NIGHTWING Open. The Car's doors swing open. NIGHTWING Batman, if Gordon is convinced, it's- BATMAN It didn't sound it to me. Samir has an international database backing him. Gotham doesn't have those options. EXT. GOTHAM SKYLINE - NIGHT A pair of helicopters fly nap-of-the-earth over the city. Their rotors make barely any noise as they WHOOSH at very high speed. The choppers are the size of US Army Blackhawk choppers, but have the angular sides of the Commanche attack chopper. Both helicopters have stub-wings with missiles dangling from them. Ra's is co-pilot on one chopper while Ubu is the co-pilot on the other. The choppers split in separate directions. One heads to Arkham Asylum, the other towards Blackgate prison. EXT. A LARGE PRISON The jail is built on an island and is surrounded like Ft Knox by high walls and miles of barbed wire. A huge sign is erected beside the main gate. It reads 'Blackgate Maximum Security Penitentiary.' Behind the massive structure a electrical relay-station CRACKLES with energy. Ra's' chopper approaches the huge prison complex. INT. MAIN CONTROL CENTER OF BLACKGATE The control center is like NORAD. There are hundreds of monitors showing images of the interiors and exterior of the complex. A RADAR OPERATOR stares in confusion at this monitor. The NIGHT COMMANDER notices the Operator's grimace and walks over. NIGHT COMMANDER What's up? RADAR OPERATOR Don't know. I've got a signal approaching, but it's very faint. NIGHT COMMANDER Could it be a bird? RADAR OPERATOR That's the thing. It seems to 'blink' like a 'ghost', but it's coming in at one- hundred kph. The Night Commander's eyes widen. He sprints to a console with a large red button covered by a glass panel. The Commander flips the panel up and slams the button down. A SCREAMING SIREN goes off. EXT. BLACKGATE The CLAXON continues to shriek outside. Guards scramble to their positions and search-lights shine everywhere. INT. RA'S' CHOPPER Ra's watches the panic through his night-vision goggles. His thumb rests lightly on the red button of a joy-stick. He presses the trigger. EXT. RA'S' CHOPPERS. The rockets ROAR from the choppers towards the ill-prepared prison. EXT. BLACKGATE The first missile SLAMS into the power relay. Blackgate is immersed in darkness as the sirens stop. The other missiles EXPLODE along the outer walls first, then SMASH into the walls of the main structure. Gaping holes riddle the walls of the prison. The chopper hovers over the main exercise yard. About a dozen of Ra's' men in black, special-ops attire repel from the chopper. INT. BLACKGATE Ra's' troops take the guards by surprise. The over-matched cops fall easy prey to Ra's efficient soldiers. As the guards are killed, Ra's' men lead the prisons out. EXT. BLACKGATE The prisoners run with glee from the prison's walls. Some head to the handful of patrol-boats used by the prison guards. Others dive into the water and swim to shore. Ra's' chopper lands and his crew all file back into the chopper. INT. RA'S' CHOPPER Ra's watches the prisoners head to Gotham. RA'S Ah Detective, you are in for a very, very long night. EXT. ARKHAM ASYLUM Ubu's helicopter converges on Arkham. The legendary sanitarium looks like the nightmarish mansion from 'The Fall of the House of Usher.' Missiles ZOOM from the choppers stubbed wings and EXPLODE against the walls of the facility. INT. ARKHAM The deepest bowels of the complex are a maze of passages and rooms. Each room is sealed with a reinforced steel doors. A name-plate on the door identifies the occupants. Most of the names are ordinary. However, a few more colorful, such as 'Killer Croc', 'The Ventriloquist', 'Firefly', and 'Mr. Zsasz.' The RUMBLE of explosions echoes through the dungeon. The lights in the hallway flicker, the blink out. A MONSTROUS GROWL emanates from Killer Croc's room. The petty SOUNDS OF AN ARGUMENT can be heard through the Ventriloquists door. Ubu and his troops march down the hallway. Each trooper is fully armed and wearing night-vision goggles. One trooper burns through the door with a portable blow-torch and opens the door of the Ventriloquist. Inside stands a middle-aged man with a ventriloquist dummy that looks like a caricature of Al Capone. THE VENTRILOQUIST looks panic stricken. VENTRILOQUIST Oh my god MR. SCARFACE THEY'RE GOING TO KILL US! The Ventriloquist looks at his dummy in terror. The trooper motions to the Ventriloquist to leave. SCARFACE You dummy, they're greaking us out! I told you my goys wouldn't let us down! Mr. Scarface SLAPS the Ventriloquist. The Ventriloquist gazes at Scarface like a beaten pup. The odd pair march out. Another trooper opens Zsasz's room. Inside a bare-backed man sits in the lotus position. Zsasz's body is covered by tally-marks make of scar-tissue. ZSASZ Ah, finally a chance for some air. I was beginning to wonder if I would get a chance to add another mark. A blood-thirsty grin comes to the killers lips. He reaches under his bunk and pulls out a plastic knife. Zsasz tests the blade and slices his thumb open. ZSASZ Ah, just right! Zsasz stalks out of the room. Another mercenary opens Firefly's cell. A man sits huddled beside his table. There is a faint glow within the room. Firefly looks up at the mercenary in surprise. As the merc beckons the prisoner to leave, Firefly grins gleefully and begins to sing off-key. FIREFLY Come one baby light my fire, try to set the night on fire... Firefly leaves the room with a lantern constructed of odd and ends. Ubu walks to Killer Croc's room. The man-mountain touches his panel and the tubes on his head-gear stiffen from an infusion of Venom. He also holds a very large tazer in one hand. A trooper opens the door cautiously for Ubu. The door is shoved open with a CLANG. The trooper is hurled against the far wall with a THUD. Killer Croc lumbers out like a miniature Godzilla. The man-monster is covered in green-ish 'scales' and is head-and- shoulders taller then Ubu. Ubu calmly gazes at the beast. CROC Finally! Do I thank you, or eat you? The creature leers at Ubu. Ubu returns the gaze without a second thought. UBU You could try, but I think you'll find what's outside much more appetizing. Croc appraises the calm warrior, then slowly stalks out as well. INT. DICK'S BEDROOM The MUFFLED EXPLOSION rattles the window's of Dick's room. He races to the window and sees the glow of an explosion in the middle of the city. INT. BRUCE'S ROOM Bruce stares into the night as the second EXPLOSION rips through the night. INT. THE BATCAVE Batman and Nightwing scramble to the mainframe. Alfred follows in a silk robe. NIGHTWING Ok, what the hell- BATMAN We'll know soon enough. Batman sits at the keyboard and begins TAPPING a series of commands. The huge display brings up a satellite view of Gotham city with all sorts of color enhancements. Two portions of the city are glowing red. ALFRED Oh my. DICK Arkham- BRUCE AND Blackgate. The CLAXON rings through the Cave. Batman punches a series of numbers on a numeric key-pad. GORDON (O.S.) My god, Batman BATMAN I know, Blackgate AND Arkham. INT. GORDON'S APARTMENT Gordon stares out of the bedroom window of his apartment. Plumes of smoke and columns of flame are only a few miles away. GORDON Bullock and Montoya are heading for the Blackgate break but- BATMAN (O.S.) Nightwing and I will take the Arkham break. The phone hangs-up with a CLICK. Gordon clicks off his cordless phone. He stares sadly at the destruction hitting his city again. A tear trickles down his cheek. The Commissioner shakes himself, then turns to his closet. He open it and grabs his shoulder-holster and bullet-proof vest. INT. THE CAVE Batman taps more commands on the keyboard. The image changes to a view of the streets surrounding Arkham. Infra- red images of people march through the normally quiet streets. Nightwing What's the plan? Alfred appears behind them in a pair of coveralls. ALFRED The helicopter is primed and ready, Sir. Bruce turns around and gives Alfred a fond smile. NIGHTWING Chopper? You've really been busy while I've been gone. A warm smile comes over Bruce BRUCE I had to do something to keep me busy since you moved out. INT. HANGAR Batman, Nightwing, and Alfred walk towards a large attack helicopter. The chopper is a cross of the AH-56 Cheyenne attack chopper and the F- 117 Nighthawk. It has the large wings and long tail of the -6, but the angular sides of the -117. Missile launchers dangle beneath the wings and the barrel of a cannon sits under the nose. ALFRED She's prepped for anti-riot duty, Sir. BATMAN (to Nightwing) Let's go. EXT. HILLS MILES FORM WAYNE MANOR A pair of doors slide open on the hill-side as the Copter WHOOSHES into the night. It's rotor's barely whisper as it zips over the countryside to Gotham. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM ON THE SOUTH SIDE The ruins of Blackgate glow in the harbor as the prisoners make their way to shore. A riot begins. Some of the escapees smash windows and cars. Other escapees begin a frenzy of looting. Others walk idly about, in shock from their freedom. BULLOCK (O.S.) OK YOU LOSERS, FREEZE! Bullock stands in the turret of an APC modified for riot control. Bullock is at the controls of a water-cannon. Behind him are hundreds of Gotham cops in riot gear. WHIRLING above the crowd is a police-chopper, it's search-light panning over the crowd. The officers form a long battle-line to contain the escapees. On each end of the line is another APC. Mounted police arrive behind the APC. An ESCAPEE steps forward from the mob and grabs a large pipe from the ground. ESCAPEE Come on Bullock! Let's dance! A POP echoes through the night as the pipe flies from the escapee's hands from a rubber-bullet. Montoya trots her horse forward, a rifle modified for riot-duty in her hands like Annie Oakley. MONTOYA You wanna waltz or salsa? The Escapee begins to back down. The others follow suit. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM NORTH SIDE The wave of prisoners from Arkham sweeps through the streets. Some of them riot and loot like the prisoners from Blackgate. Others sit on the curb like children waiting at school for their parents. A gasoline truck RUMBLES through the streets with Firefly at the wheel. Mr. Zsasz riding shot-gun, and two more inmates are squeezed between them. A make-shift turret is mounted on the top of the gasoline truck. Another inmate sits at the controls of the 'cannon'. Cops in riot-gear appear on the scene to take the asylum residents in custody. Some resist violently, some follow like pets being led by their master. Samir stands with the officers in full riot-gear. Firefly stops the truck, steps out and walks to the back of the gasoline truck. He reaches for a flame-thrower constructed of odds and ends. It's attached by a long hose to the back of the tanker. One of the inmates slides over and sits behind the wheels of the gas truck. Mr. Zsasz steps out of the truck armed with a massive compound bow and a plethora of arrows strapped to his back. FIREFLY You could have grabbed the gun. Zsasz runs his fingers along the broad-bladed tip. He cuts himself and licks the blood dribbling from his fingers. ZSASZ What can I say, I have to be me. The pyromaniac nods amiably. A handful of cops see the Demonic duo and head towards the pair. Firefly pulls the trigger and a huge stream of flame WHOOSHES from the nozzle. The inferno strikes a car, causing it to EXPLODE instantaneously. FIREFLY Ah, nothing like the smell of home-made napalm in the evening! Firefly nods to the inmate in the turret. He sees the signal and another WHOOSH of flame is fired from the turret onto the defenseless populous. Zsasz begins to fire arrows at the unsuspecting cops. The killer's aim is perfect as he strikes the open seams in the officers armor. ZSASZ Any armor has a chink in it. The inmates see the opening and rally behind Zsasz and Firefly. They grab pipes, rocks, and anything else and begin to rush the cops. The officers don gas-masks and lob tear-gas grenades on the rioters. Some inmates fall back, but many move forward from the push of Firefly's inferno. Firefly motions 'forward' to the gas truck. The line advances on the cops. A missile SCREAMS from the sky and explodes over some of the inmates. A shimmering net drops from the exploded missile. It CRACKLE with electricity and drop on the inmates. They go into convulsions as thousands of volts of electricity pump into their bodies. The officers CHEER as they see the bat-shaped chopper SWOOPS over the street. Fire trucks ROAR on to the scene. Dozens of fire-fighters scramble from their vehicles to extinguish the blazes and assist the wounded. INT. THE CHOPPER Nightwing watches his monitor in the back seat of the chopper. NIGHTWING Nice. Tazer missiles. What else? BATMAN Oh, just a few more surprises. Batman CLICKS another switch and pulls the trigger on the cyclic. EXT. THE CHOPPER The nose cannon FIRES thousands of rounds on the inmates. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM The bullets hit their targets and explode like paint-ball capsules, releasing a gas. At first the inmates look in shock and begin to LAUGH at the munitions. Then they breath in the gas and Start to CRY, COUGH and CHOKE. The men collapse in droves as more and more rounds pelt them. The officers see the opening and begin to move forward. FIREFLY Let's see if he's ready for THIS. Firefly points upward and both he and the inmate fire into the night sky. ZSASZ I'll give the grunts down here something to think about. Zsasz rushes forward and grabs a gas-mask off of a dead cop. The killer marches forward, arrows WHIZZING from his deadly bow. As he gets closer, Zsasz reaches over his back and draws a machete. He twirls the blade like a wind-mill, hacking and slashing his way through the police's front line. The inmates follow their murderous leader into battle. Samir steps forward with a steel pipe and duels with Zsasz. Sparks fly and steel CLANKS as the pair fight through the city. INT. THE CHOPPER Batman banks and swerves the chopper the avoid the columns fire from Firefly's flame-thrower. He CLICKS another toggle and pulls the trigger again. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM A pair of missiles ROARS from the chopper and EXPLODE on two fire hydrants. Fountains of water gush around Firefly and his incendiary tank. Firefly's cannons begin to sputter. Samir and Zsasz continue to clash in the street. ZSASZ I'm impressed. You're not just a cop, I see. SAMIR No, a little something different. Zsasz smiles coldly at the valiant detective. The murderer seems to switch gears and moves faster and with more power. He slowly begins to over-power Samir. INT. CHOPPER Nightwing watches his monitor and sees the advance Zsasz is making. NIGHTWING Batman, I'm going to drop. The Dark Knight sees the same monitor. He gives the thumbs up. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM Samir is slashed a number of times by Zsasz and drops to the ground. Samir looks up defiantly at Zsasz as he prepares to deliver a killing blow. The chopper swoops down and Nightwing leaps from the chopper on to Zsasz. Nightwing pounces on the killer and knocks him away from Samir. Nightwing rolls upright, reaches back, and pulls a pair of escrima fighting-sticks from his back. SAMIR Nice save. NIGHTWING Don't mention it. You ok? SAMIR Yes. I'll help the others. Nightwing nods in agreement. Samir dashes off to help the other officers. Zsasz slowly rises. ZSASZ Ah, I get to take the Junior Partner. Nightwing grins at the insult. NIGHTWING Ah, I get to bitch-slap the second- rate villain. Zsasz SNARLS and rushes Nightwing. The two engage in a duel of WHIRLING steel blades and composite batons. As they fight through the street, the police gradually retake the avenue. Above the streets, and news helicopter with a search light hovers over the destruction. INT. NEWS CHOPPER An ANCHORWOMAN watches the scene as her camera-man videos the war-zone. ANCHORWOMAN Ladies and gentlemen, you can see the carnage which has rocked this city for the last few hours. Gotham police were fortunate to control matters close to Blackgate Prison, but those close to Arkham aren't so lucky. Cops and inmates are scattered everywhere on the streets. Firefighters continue to rescue civilians and extinguish the fires. ANCHORWOMAN Slowly but surely the gallant police and fire fighters have managed to gain control of the streets. witnesses also report sightings of another, black helicopter shaped like a manta-ray hovering over the scene. More scenes of the carnage on the streets. INT. THE CHOPPER Batman swoops over the battlefield as Firefly and his henchmen try and re-ignite their flame-throwing 'tank.' The Dark Knight sees the police struggling to get people trapped in their cars. He also watches the firefighters extinguish the blazes ignited by Firefly. A cold snarl crosses Batman's lips as he taps a few commands on his weapons console and pulls the trigger once more. INT. NEWS CHOPPER The Anchorwoman peeks her head out of the open side-door. ANCHORWOMAN Wait, is that, oh my god! (to the pilot) Get this damn chopper that way! No, the other way! (to the audience) Folks, I've just seen the chopper! We're in pursuit! EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM More missiles SCREAM from the Chopper, EXPLODING against the gas truck. Firefly and the henchmen barely jump clear of the inferno. The TRIO stop running when they have cleared the worst of the fire and put their hands up in surrender. A fusillade of missiles EXPLODE around the pair. Chunks of asphalt fly everywhere, peppering the inmates. The SCREAM in pain and terror. FIREFLY We give up! Jesus we give up! The Chopper hovers only a few meters above the villains, Batman looks out of the cockpit with cold eyes. He peppers the spot with rounds and rounds cannon fire, immersing Firefly and the henchmen in noxious gas. The pair COUGH, GAG, and collapse in spasms. INT. THE NEWS CHOPPER The Anchorwoman watches in horror. The Chopper looms over the unconscious inmates like a giant demon. ANCHORWOMAN Oh lord, please... EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM Nightwing dashes in front of the incapacitated inmates. A miniature gas-mask is on his face. He waves his arms to halt the Dark Knight. A pair of officers in riot-gear 'cuff Firefly and his helpless henchmen. INT. THE CHOPPER Batman is almost shaking in rage. He sees Nightwing standing before the helpless criminals and his hand loosens around the cyclic. The Dark Knight looks out the cockpit at Nightwing and nods. INT. RA'S' CHOPPER The Demon's Head watches the news cast on a monitor. Batman's chopper begins to veer-away from Nightwing. RA'S Well, well, you almost joined us, Detective. I may finally enjoy my rest after all. Ubu's face appears in a corner of the monitor. UBU Do you still think he'll take the leap, sir? RA'S Oh, I believe he will. When he realizes the futility of his methods, he will join us. Give him time, just give him time. EXT. THE WATERFRONT The Ventriloquist and Killer Crock lead a small group to the water- front. SCARFACE Those Firefly and Zsasz never listen. We finally get out and all they wanna do is just glow stuff up! There's gigger and getter things to do in this two-git city! VENTRILOQUIST What's your plan, Mr. Scarface? The dummy raises it's right arm and SMACKS the Ventriloquist in the jaw. Killer Croc and the others stare warily at the psychotic pair. SCARFACE It's ogvious, you dummy! We lay low for a while, let the heat cool down, THEN we get outta this join! KILLER CROC Um, so where exactly do we lay low, Mr. Scarface. Mr. Scarface points at the facade of one of the buildings. It's an abandoned club. The front is dominated by a huge glass window with the name 'The Comedy Club' painted on. SCARFACE Perfect! INT. WAYNETECH - DAY William Marduk and Lucius sit in a conference room, surrounded by sheets of paper and laptops. A huge blue-print is spread across a huge table. Lucius looks eagerly at the plans and graphs on the laptops. LUCIUS Thank you for allowing our engineers to looks at the blue-prints for your plant, Mr. Marduk. Myself and the board of Waynetech are impressed by the level of trust you're showing us. WILLIAM Mr. Fox, all that matters is getting this done. This plant could be used everywhere in the world and lead to clean nuclear energy. Taking old fuel-rods and recycling them for use again rather then just tossing them in caves could be a book to our energy needs. LUSCIOUS Mr. Wayne mirrors those sentiments. William smiles wryly at Luscious. WILLIAM I hope he understands hope important this is. We've pillaged this planet for centuries, and we must do something NOW before it's too late. This plant is an opportunity to move forward and stop the mindless destruction we've brought to this planet! Luscious is taken aback by William's passion. William sees the surprise and CHUCKLES. WILLIAM I'm sorry, Mr. Fox. This project has been my life, well, it seems like forever. You tend to get attached to it. Both men share a CHUCKLE. WILLIAM Mr. Wayne is a unique person. Luscious CHUCKLES. LUSCIOUS Oh, he certainly is. He was supposed to be here, but a prior engagement detained him. He's not always the playboy, though. William looks questioningly at Mr. Fox. LUSCIOUS Let's see, it was about three months ago. One of the ladies in the commissary was out on family leave. Her husband works at a convenience store, store got held-up, he got shot. William's face squints in sympathy. LUSCIOUS Gets a little worse. Poor guy dies, no life insurance, and they were putting their son through college. Marduk shakes his head sadly. LUSCIOUS We're in the commissary and we over-hear what happened. Wayne gets this kinda funny, far-off look on his face. WILLIAM No offense, but that sounds normal for him. Both executives share a LAUGH. LUSCIOUS No, it's not the 'well, what kinda suit do I wear to my date' look, it's the 'wheels- turning' look. William nods in understanding. LUSCIOUS Few weeks later, the crew is whooping and hollering. She gets a call from the son's school that an anonymous donor has footed his son's bills. William's eyes widen. LUSCIOUS We're sitting with Conrad from legal. William grimaces. LUSCIOUS Yeah, he's a piece of work. Anyway, he spouts about how some folks get lucky getting a free ride. Bruce outta nowhere goes 'Yes, we all had it hard with this silver-spoon in our mouths.' William eyes Luscious. He smiles mischievously at Marduk. WILLIAM So did he? LUSCIOUS I don't know, and it's none of my business. BUT, I've learned not to buy into the detached playboy thing. There's more behind that bored look in his eyes. Marduk nods thoughtfully. EXT. ROOFTOP OF POLICE HEADQUARTERS - NIGHT Gordon, Samir, and the Dynamic Duo meet on top of the building. Everyone looks spent. Days of stubble and soot are on everyone's faces. Batman in particular looks beaten. GORDON The only ones left are Killer Croc and the Ventriloquist. BATMAN Any leads? GORDON Word is they're near the waterfront. BATMAN The Comedy Club? Gordon nods. GORDON He seems to be keeping a low profile there. NIGHTWING Waiting things to blow over for a real hit? SAMIR Or to run out of here when our guard is down. BATMAN Either way, it's best to hit him now. Gordon and Nightwing look at Batman with worry. GORDON I've got a officers headed down there- NIGHTWING Gordon's right, we can- BATMAN NO! Everyone is taken aback by the flare-up. BATMAN We have to take the opportunity now before they have something BIGGER up their sleeves. Besides, we still have to find out who did this! GORDON This is military operation; well coordinated, well equipped. NIGHTWING That leaves out the usual suspects. Everyone else we deal with is a bit too whacked to come up with something like this. BATMAN That leaves a new player. Batman glares at Samir. SAMIR Ra's Al Ghul goes beyond anyone you've taken on, Batman. He's a mastermind who controls an army of thousands to meet his ends. BATMAN So do thousands of two-bit dictators. SAMIR Ra's Al Ghul is also immortal. Batman glares at Gordon. GORDON That's why he wanted to talk with you. SAMIR It started as an 'urban legend'. A mysterious 'immortal' who travels across the globe to change the world by any means. Batman glares impatiently at everyone. SAMIR But the stories spanned decades of this man who strikes like a ghost in the night. My research lead me to centuries of tales from across the world, across cultures, some a man who wants to transforming the word into a Utopia and will no anything to reach that end, even slaughtering most of the people on this planet. BULLOCK Sounds like a James Bond movie. BATMAN And what do you want from me? SAMIR His plans range from the subtle to the spectacular. I need your insight into his next target, and you're the only person who could probably spot the pattern he's working from. Ra's Al Ghoul's targets aren't just one or two cities, he's looking at the planet! GORDON This is why we need you, Batman. BATMAN We round-up the Ventriloquist and Croc, then start on the Demon's Head. Samir looks at the Batman with respect. SAMIR I'm impressed, you translated the name. BATMAN I'm just prepared, or try to be. GORDON I'll see if I can round up a- BATMAN No, you're men are busy enough with controlling the rest of Gotham. SAMIR Well, I can lend a hand. Batman looks at Samir SAMIR I served in the SAS for seven years before I joined Scotland yard. NIGHTWING Hey, the man has moves, and a little help never hurts. BATMAN (to Samir) Grab whatever you need. We'll head out in 30 minutes. EXT. THE COMEDY CLUB Batman, Nightwing, and Samir stake-out the abandoned nightclub from a rooftop. Batman and Nightwing deploy special lenses in their masks while Samir uses a large, high-tech pair of binoculars. Samir is decked-out in a special-ops suit. His only visible weapons are a pair of semi-automatic pistols and two tonfas. NIGHTWING Two guards in front, who don't appear to be paying attention. BATMAN Back has a service entrance. SAMIR Front and back assault? BATMAN You two in the back, I'll crash from the front. Batman gazes at the lack of heavy firepower on Samir. BATMAN I expected heavier weapons. SAMIR You seem to have an aversion to guns. This is your op, so I'm game. Besides, it's more of a challenge this way. Samir winks at the Dark Knight as he clips on a head-set. Nightwing CHUCKLES. EXT. BACK OF THE COMEDY CLUB A lone guard stands by the service entrance. He lazily holds a shot- gun. A dark blue disk WHIRLS through the night and PLUNKS the thug on the skull. He slumps to the ground. Nightwing and Samir quietly run to the rear entrance. Samir ties the thugs arms and legs in binders while Nightwing peeks through the back door. NIGHTWING Clear. SAMIR Is your mentor always so sullen? NIGHTWING I've been asking myself that for a few days now. SAMIR Oddly enough, your partner is why I'm at this job. Nightwing looks at Samir questioningly. Samir is about to answer, but both pause and press their ear-pieces down harder. BATMAN (O.S.) In position? NIGHTWING AND SAMIR Yes. BATMAN (O.S.) Twenty seconds from mark. Samir and Nightwing nod. Nightwing touches a stud on his mask and green lenses slip over his eye- holes. Samir reaches behind his harness and places a pair of night-vision goggles over his head. The pair quietly slip into the door. INT. THE COMEDY CLUB The inside would have been opulent in it's heyday. There is a large bar on one side, the stage on the other, and the large bay window at the front. After years of neglect, the plaster in the walls is cracking and water- spots cover the ceiling. Piles of food containers litter a corner of the room. Killer Croc sits at the bar, wolfing down pieces of chicken from a bucket. The huge killer is watching a cartoon on a portable TV and ROARING with laughter. A few of the criminals play a game on a stolen video-game system. Some are napping. One stands guard lazily by the window. The Ventriloquist sits on a bar stool at the stage, Mr. Scarface on his lap. SCARFACE Dummy, I keep telling you, Gatman isn't gonna find us! VENTRILOQUIST But sir, this place is pretty easy to find- Scarface SMACKS the Ventriloquist in the jaw. SCARFACE I don't have you around to think! Gesides, if Gat-goog shows up, Croc can handle him. (to Killer Croc) Right? Crock smiles evilly at the pair. He takes a stool beside the bar and SMASHES it against his head. SCARFACE And with the guard in front and gack, there's no way he can sneak up on us. The front window SHATTERS as the silhouette of a giant demon SWOOPS into the room. Tiny pellets are scattered everywhere. They POP open and black smoke fills the room. COUGHS echo. SCARFACE Don't just stand there shoot! Machine-gun fire CRACKLES through the room as bullets perforate the black haze. Three shadows move like ghosts through the haze. GRUNTS and MOANS break-up the RATTLE of gun-fire. The smoke finally clears. Most of the guards are on the ground either 'cuffed or unconscious. The guard at the door is dead from multiple gun shots. Two more guards, Killer Croc, and Scarface and the Ventriloquist stand bewildered. Batman, Nightwing, and Samir stand in the middle of the room with their night-vision goggle deactivated. The Dark Knight and Nightwing fire tazers at Croc. The barbs harpoon the brute and energy SIZZLES, but Croc just stands there and smiles. CROCK Croc size AND croc SKIN. Nice try. Batman and Nightwing drop the tazers and dive for Croc while Samir takes on the two guards. The Dynamic Duo tag-team the reptilian giant. Nightwing uses his escrima sticks and acrobatics for quick shots while Batman wades in for heavier blows. Samir takes on the two guards deftly with his tonfas. He easily deflects their blows and clobbers both of them. SCARFACE You guffooons! Come on! The Ventriloquist slips a gun into Scarface's hands. Samir sees the weapon, draws his pistol, and FIRES. Scarface's head EXPLODES into wooden splinters. SCARFACE Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! They got me! VENTRILOQUIST Oh my god Mr. Scarface! The Ventriloquist hovers over the shattered dummy like a mother over a dying child. Croc crushes Batman in a powerful bearhug while Nightwing is stunned on the ground. Samir rushes in and tackles Croc by the hamstrings. Croc drops to his knees with a GRUNT and releases Batman. Nightwing SMASHES Croc in the head with a bar stool. For a moment Crock kneels motionless, then finally topples like a redwood. Batman winces and leans against the bar, favoring his ribs and back. SAMIR (to Batman) How are you ribs? BATMAN I'll manage. Nice thinking with Scarface. SAMIR You're not the only one who likes to be prepared. The triplets share a wry smile. INT. OPULENT OFFICE Furnishings, art, and weapons from many cultures adorn the walls. Two dozen TV screens fill one wall. Each one shows a different telecast. Ra's watches all the screens, his eyes darting from one to the other. This time Ra's in a red silk robe. Ubu stands against one wall like the ever-watchful guardian. RA'S I so hoped he would finally turn after the incident with Firefly. He's taken more of Arkham's tenants into custody. Ubu stares hungrily at the screen. UBU So is it time to end the game, sir? Ra's stares at the monitor, contemplating. A GUARD walks into the room. He carries a plastic bag behind him. GUARD Sir, we've received a communiqué from some of Gotham's underworld leaders. Ra's turns around, his eye-brow arched at the interruption. GUARD They demand another one-hundred million dollars for maintaining their distance from our organization. Ra's' face turns from bemused to cold. The Guard GULPS. GUARD They wish to speak with you at midnight at hanger twenty-four at Sprang field. RA'S And what are the repercussions if I do not give in? The Guard opens the bag and something drops to the floor with a SPLAT. Ra's stares down, the bemused expression returns. RA'S These gentlemen have watched too many episodes of 'The Sopranos.' Ubu looks down at the mass on the floor, eyes calm. UBU Shall I amass a full force, sir? RA'S No, just twenty men, you, and I. I believe it's time to teach these criminals how conquers conduct business. Ra's walks to a far wall and lovingly caresses the pair of copper swords the Young Boy had. RA'S Something never change. He then plucks a pair of Wu-Shu swords from the wall. INT. HANGER - NIGHT Approximately forty 'goodfellas' are gathered in the hanger. The organizations ranging from gang-bangers to Yakuza to the Mafia. Ra's arrives last in a stretch limo. The Demon's Head nonchalantly exits the car, followed by Ubu and three guards. Ra's and his entourage are in black outfits. A YAKUZA REPRESENTATIVE steps forward. YAKUZA REP We are glad you arrive quickly, Mr. Ghul. RA'S Your message was rather difficult to ignore. A cold smile crosses the Reps' lips. YAKUZA REP Quite true. When- A MAFIA REP shoulders his way in front of the Yakuza Representative. MAFIA REP Ok, enough of this shit. You came to us, offered a ton o' money to leave you and your boys alone while you do whatever the fuck it is you got planned. But we didn't expect you to COMPLETE FUCK UP THE CITY LIKE YOU DID! We expected a few incidents, NOT OPEN WARFARE WITH THE POLICE! YAKUZA REP My comrade is rather crude, but very, very correct. The other 'goodfellas' snarl at Ra's and his posse. Ra's looks at the group in boredom. RA'S My apologies for upsetting your little fiefdoms, but I paid you quite handsomely to appease all of your territorial issues. YAKUZA Well your tribute isn't enough. You're not just taking on a few of us, you're taking on ALL of us. Everyone draws semi-automatic weapons. The CLICK-CLACK of rounds being chambered echoes through the hanger. Ubu watches the proceedings and smiles wryly. MAFIA REP What you smiling at? UBU Oh, it's fun watching a corpse speak. The Mafia Rep SCREAMS and draws a pistol. Ra's moves like a cheetah, reaching behind his back, drawing his Wu-Shu swords, and slices the Mafia Rep's hand off. The Rep SCREAMS in agony. The other 'goodfellas' try to get a bead on the Demon's Head, but he is too fast. He continues to move, now rushing for the criminals. His blades flashing in the dim light. Ra's' guards attempt to join their leader, but Ubu signals them to stop. Over a dozen, MOANING, SCREAMING, bleeding bodies litter the ground. The far wall of the hanger EXPLODES and collapses. A group of Ra's' troops run into the hanger, assault rifles ready to fire. The troops surround the surviving 'goodfellas.' Just outside the wall, one of Ra's' choppers hovers, the rotors barely whispering. Ra's stands over the Mafia Rep, like a triumphant gladiator. His blade is pointed right at the Rep's forehead. The Demons Head's voice is something from the pits of hell. RA'S What you must understand, my friend, is YOU are playing with a CONQUEROR. Your little territories and transactions mean NOTHING to me. Pass this on to the others; NO ONE THREATENS THE DEMON'S HEAD. The Conqueror stares at the terrified 'goodfellas' with contempt, then nods to Ubu. Ubu gives a signal and the helicopter troops swiftly re-board their assault chopper. The rest of Ra's' posse climb back into the limo and drive away. The Mafia Rep lays on the ground, wrapping a tourniquet around his hand, SOBBING. INT. LIMO Everyone sits quietly in the posh limo. Ubu looks at Ra's expectantly. Ra's stares out of the black tinted windows. RA'S (to Ubu) Deal with the Detective as you see fit. Ubu smiles coldly, then reaches for a cell-phone. INT. THE CAVE Nightwing and Alfred are in the infirmary. The room is equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment. Alfred is suturing a gash on Nightwing's fore-head. ALFRED Ah, good as new, Master Dick. NIGHTWING Thanks Alfie. Don't I get a lollypop for being good? Nightwing smiles mischievously, Alfred returns a wry smile. Both gaze worriedly at Batman. The Dark Knight sits at the terminal of the mainframe computer, TAPPING at the keyboard. His top is off showing bandages and sutures all over his torso. Nightwing and Alfred quietly approach the over-worked warrior. ALFRED Master Bruce, it sounds like Commissioner Gordon's men can handle the remains of the hooligans in Gotham. NIGHTWING Bruce- BATMAN There's still a nut with- NIGHTWING Batman, this is Gotham City, there are always nuts around here. Batman turns around and glares at Nightwing and Alfred, like a pitbull looking for any target to mangle. A CLAXON goes off again. NIGHTWING Now what! Batman hits a toggle on the mainframe console. The image flips from the text to an image of the Gotham skyline. The Bat-signal shines in the night, but it's image is blood red. Batman leaps from his chair and WINCES as he slips the Suit on. EXT. ROOFTOP OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT Batman and Nightwing swing on to the rooftop. The Bat-signal is smeared with blood. The bodies of police officers in contorted positions are scattered everywhere. There are a few GROANS coming from some of the officers. Samir CRASHES through the door on the roof. SAMIR I saw the signal and- He stares in disbelief at the carnage. Nightwing comes upon a MOANING person. He gently turns the person over, and find it's Gordon. NIGHTWING Batman! The Dark Knight and Samir rush over. BATMAN Jim, don't talk. GORDON Batman, it's Al Ghul. He's got a body- guard, huge man. Samir's right, he's got something- Gordon passes out. Samir checks Gordon's pulse. SAMIR Shallow but still with us. I can stabilize things until the paramedics arrive. Batman stands, his eyes murderous. A few feet away, written in blood on the rooftop, is 'crime alley now'. BATMAN Nightwing, help Samir stabilize the wounded. NIGHTWING Batman- The Dark Knight dives over the roof top. At the last second, he FIRES a grappling line into another building. The line catches and Batman swings down gracefully to the Car. He jumps in and ROARS away. Nightwing stands on the edge of the rooftop, then runs back to assist Samir. EXT. CRIME ALLEY - NIGHT Ra's and Ubu stand on top of the facade of a dilapidated movie theater. This time Ubu is carrying a huge quarterstaff. A few letters from the movie title 'Mask of Zorro' still to the sign. The ROAR of a car engine echoes through the streets. RA'S Ah, punctual as always. So unlike Wayne. UBU You speak as if they're totally different people. RA'S Oh, they most certainly are. The thing to remember is WAYNE is the 'secret identity.' BATMAN is who he really is. The Car SCREECHES to a halt before the movie sign. Batman leaps out and glares at the pair. BATMAN You're very direct. RA'S I realize this is a departure from your usual adventures, but I have grander schemes that require my immediate attention. I have neither the time nor energy to waste on puzzles or games. BATMAN You hear one nut taking over the world, you hear them all. RA'S Ah, expecting me to expound on my 'grand plan' to conquer the world? No, Detective. That would be too easy, and not the method for this particular 'nut.' Oh, and this 'nut' is prepared. Ra's nods to Ubu. The goliath gracefully leaps to the ground. Ubu touches the studs on his gauntlet and the pipes of Venom FLUSH. Batman rushes in like a punch-drunk heavy-weight. Ubu moves deftly and quickly as he swings and spins the quarterstaff. Ra's watches from above like a distracted emperor at the games. RA'S (to himself) I had such high hopes for you, Detective. EXT. ROOFTOP OF POLICE HEADQUARTERS Paramedics wander about tending the wounded. Samir and Nightwing strip-off another pair of bloody gloves as a gurney carrying Gordon is rolled off the roof. Renee Montoya makes her way towards the pair. MONTOYA Hey, thanks for the assist. Who knows- Bullock barrels his way past Montoya and is in Nightwing's face. BULLOCK So where's your partner? Gordon finally REALLY needs him and the Bat is gone? Nightwing balls his fists and glares at the enraged cop. NIGHTWING He's been doing the same thing you have, busting his ass out there, every night! Why don't you just back off! Samir and Montoya break-up the alpha males. Samir grabs Nightwing by the shoulders and stares into Nightwing's eyes. SAMIR We have something more important to do! Nightwing looks questioningly. SAMIR What is Ra's planning for Batman, and what's Crime Alley? Nightwing shakes out of his rage and dashes towards the edge of the roof. He stops and looks back at Samir. Nightwing runs towards the stairs and motions to Samir to follow. Montoya and Bullock watch the pair bolt down the stairs. BULLOCK Freaking glory hounds. MONTOYA Ya know Harvey, you can be such an asshole! Bullock looking at her like 'What did I do?' MONTOYA If they wanted the 'glory' there are a hundred SAFER AND EASIER ways to do it. Instead, they wade through the trenches like US! Montoya stalks away from her partner in anger. EXT. STREETS JUST OUTSIDE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT Samir leads the way to a cobalt blue Dodge Viper. Nightwing nods appreciatively then is surprised as Samir tosses him the keys. SAMIR I don't know where I'm going. Nightwing jumps in. NIGHTWING Well there's a first, I get to drive. EXT. CRIME ALLEY Ubu and Batman continue their clash through the street. The man-mountain's incredible strength takes it's toll on the Dark Knight as Batman's strikes are easily absorbed by Ubu. The Dark Knight flings batarangs, gas capsules, bolos, anything to slow down the juggernaut. Ubu easily shrugs-off Batman's anemic counter-attack. INT. SAMIR'S VIPER Nightwing stares coldly out the windshield as the car bobs and weaves through Gotham's night-time traffic. SAMIR So what exactly is Crime Alley? NIGHTWING Not quite a 'what' as a where. It's the beginning. SAMIR This is why he is who he is? NIGHTWING It's a long story. EXT. CRIME ALLEY Ubu's whirling quarterstaff does more and more damage as Batman cannot dodge and deflect the powerful blows. The Dark Knight misses a crushing blow to the ribs, sending him SMASHING into a brick wall. The goliath stalks the semi-conscious soldier, twirling the quarterstaff like a buzz-saw. Batman groggily rises like a zombie rising from the grave. UBU I'm impressed, Batman. All the stories I've heard about you are true. I admire your courage, but this ends tonight. Ubu swings the 'staff and it flies through the air with a WHIR. The 'staff SLAMS into Batman's skull, sending flying through the night and CRASHING into a car. It's windshield SHATTERS. Samir's Viper comes careening through the night. INT. SAMIR'S VIPER Nightwing and Samir see Batman fly through the air. NIGHTWING NO! Nightwing slams on the breaks. He and Samir leap out of the car. EXT. CRIME ALLEY Ra's sees Nightwing and Samir arrive. RA'S Ah, the cavalry. He presses a stud on his wrist-watch. The assault choppers WHOOSH over the street. Each chopper drops a line to Ubu and Ra's. Both climb up the ropes and escape. Nightwing and Samir race to Batman's side. Samir tries to examine Batman through the battle armor. SAMIR Nightwing I can't tell if he's broken anything through his armor. Nightwing nods grudgingly in agreement. Samir watches as Nightwing disconnects a series of clasps and hooks. Bruce's face is revealed. He is bruised and bleeding everywhere. SAMIR Damn it, I need a cervical collar, stretcher- NIGHTWING On it! Nightwing glances around and sees the Car. He leaps to the vehicle, pops open the trunk and pulls out a few cases of medical equipment. SAMIR He really does prepare for everything. NIGHTWING Thank god. Is he... SAMIR We need to get him somewhere to stabilize him, then he's going to need a hospital. NIGHTWING We can get to the Cave in minutes, and there's someone there who can help. INT. THE CAVE The SCREECH of tires and ROAR of a giant engine echo through the Cave. Alfred stands beside the entry to the Cave with a crash-cart and gurney. He stands in an ER smock, his normally calm demeanor replaced with worry. The Car SCREAMS to a stop just a few meters from Alfred. Alfred walks to the rear of the Car and is taken aback by Samir as he tries to get Batman out of the Car. NIGHTWING It's a long story- ALFRED Time enough later. They carefully move Batman to the gurney and rush him to the infirmary. Alfred and Samir work quickly and quietly while Nightwing watches helplessly. NIGHTWING Alfie, is he- ALFRED Please let us work! Nightwing steps back and wrings his hands. Alfred steps towards Nightwing and smiles apologetically. Nightwing smiles. SAMIR He's stabilizing. ALFRED We need to get him to a hospital. SAMIR How are you going to explain what happened to him? NIGHTWING We'll think of something. INT. INFIRMARY IN RA'S' LAIR Ubu sits on an infirmary table. His sutures and bruises are tended by a doctor. Ra's stands close by. RA'S He wasn't as easy as you thought. UBU No. His moniker the Dark Knight is well deserved. Ra's nods sadly. RA'S Yes, he did. I hope the Lazarus pit will last a few more treatments so I can find a new successor. UBU But what of Batman? RA'S We shall see. We weren't able to finish him, but I believe we've done enough. Ubu looks at Ra's questioningly. RA'S The key to the Detective is his MIND. He's questioning his crusade. That is enough. INT. HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM Alfred, Samir and Dick CRASH through the ER doors with Bruce on a gurney. Bruce is dressed in a torn and tattered tuxedo. DICK Help! An ER DOCTOR rushes to them. ER DOCTOR Jesus, what happened? Hey, isn't this Bruce Wayne? Alfred manages to smile coyly. ALFRED Let's just say it's best to be sure the woman you're with is not married to a football player. The Doctor looks at Samir. SAMIR I tried to warn him about this, he wouldn't listen. A group of nurses and technicians rush together to treat the playboy. The medics CRASH through another set of double-doors as the ER Doctor BARKS orders. Samir, Alfred, and Dick are left in the hallway starring after Bruce. Alfred begins to SOB. Dick gently holds the fragile-looking gentleman. INT. ER WAITING ROOM - MORNING The ER Doctor walks into the room. Dick gently nudges Alfred awake. Samir stands to hear the news. ER DOCTOR We've managed to stabilize him. Alfred EXHALES in relief. ER DOCTOR He took a serious shot to the head, but something protected his skull. He's going to need a while to recover, but it's looking good. INT. KITCHEN OF WAYNE MANOR Alfred is at the stove, cooking up breakfast for everyone. Dick sets the table for three beside a bay window. Samir carries pitchers of juice and a pot of coffee. DICK I assume you can keep a secret? If not, I'd have to kill you. Dick grins at Samir. Samir grins back. SAMIR You're probably one of the few people who could. Alfred arrives with a plate stacked with pancakes, eggs, and sausage. All three sit and eat quietly for a moment. DICK Ok Samir, what's the plan? Samir looks questioningly at Nightwing. DICK Hey, you're the specialist on Ra's Al Ghul. You call the moves, I give you local support, Alfie keeps the two of us out of trouble while Bruce gets back to being the Bat. Samir stares thoughtfully at his plate. SAMIR Well, he's here, but the question is why. DICK We can dig with the mainframe in the Cave. And I can snoop-around the underground and see if there's word of anything. Alfred looks uncomfortably at his plate. DICK What's on your mind, Alfie. ALFRED I feel like a fifth-wheel. With Master Bruce, I had a place. You two seem, well seem a bit too well-adjusted. SAMIR Well, I'll be brooding. NIGHTWING I'll even forget to do my laundry, Alfie. Everyone CHUCKLES. INT. PRIVATE HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT Bruce lays in bed attached to a multitude of IV bags and monitors. The playboy tosses and turns in his sleep. BRUCE MOTHER, FATHER please- MOTHER (O.S.) You poor, poor boy. All this hard work and what do you have to show? FATHER (O.S.) There's an empire to run, son! And you want to run around in that stupid suit? BRUCE But help, must help, must help- MOTHER (O.S.) What help are you doing? A PAIR OF NURSES walk into the room. They check his monitors and administer some more medication in the IVs. NURSE A Did you hear? He was caught naked in the bed that actress, oh what is her name! NURSE B I heard it was that super-model, ya know, the real bitchy one that was seeing the football player for a while? NURSE A Well, that would explain all of this! NURSE B The price of being rich. NURSE A Ain't that the truth. INT. BRUCE'S PRIVATE ROOM - DAY Dick, Alfred, and Samir walk into Bruce's room. Bruce lays in bed, looking thoroughly beaten. The playboy manages SMALL-TALK with the attractive nurse checking his vitals and monitors. Alfred is taken aback by the banks of equipment. Dick smiles mischievously as the nurse walks out. DICK I hope we weren't disturbing you? BRUCE No, just Miriam doing her hourly check. (to Samir) And thank you. Samir politely nods. SAMIR Anything for a friend in need. Bruce smiles. BRUCE So was it a jealous husband? Alfred shakes himself out of the shock of seeing Bruce so battered. ALFRED Jealous boyfriend, actually. The tabloids are running themselves quite ragged explaining this one, Master Bruce. Bruce smiles humorously. BRUCE The trials and tribulations of the idle rich and famous. Bruce stares at Samir. BRUCE So, what do you know? The three look at each other innocently. SAMIR No much, a little history, some stories about a few skeletons in your closet, bats in your belfry, that sort of thing. Samir looks deep into Bruce's eyes. SAMIR And nothing anyone will know. Bruce gazes at the officers sincerity, and nods. DICK So how long before you get back home? BRUCE Well, thanks to Samir's work, it could have been much worse. Few broken ribs, a concussion, few internal injuries- Alfred winces. BRUCE (gently to Alfred) I'm sorry. I'm on the mend thanks to all of you, and I just need some time. Dick looks grimly. DICK I believe some pay-back is in order. Samir and I are working on- Bruce looks away. BRUCE Dick, I don't know if- Luscious walks in, a lap-top bag dangling from his shoulder. He smiles at the three standing around Bruce's bed. LUSCIOUS Ah, having an audience already, Bruce? Everyone smiles. ALFRED Actually, Master Bruce, the nurses were quite specific on the number of visitors. Bruce nods in understanding. BRUCE Yes, and Luscious probably has some specific business matters to attend to. A wonderful anesthesia, actually. Everyone CHUCKLES. Alfred, Samir, and Dick leave. LUSCIOUS Actually, I really am here to just see how our CEO, signer of my pay-check and general ok guy is doing. Bruce looks into the distance. BRUCE Oh, just taking the time to think about everything, really. Luscious leers. LUSCIOUS So, was she worth it? BRUCE I honestly don't know, Luscious, I really don't know. Bruce looks at Lucius' case. BRUCE Do you ever go anywhere without that thing? LUSCIOUS Well, my girl-friend complains about the back-lit screen at night. Both CHUCKLE. Bruce winces as he tests his ribs. BRUCE What sort of projects do we have that directly assist the city? Luscious is surprised by Bruce's question. LUSCIOUS Well, the Wayne Foundation funds- BRUCE No, not generic philanthropy. I mean, what do we DO. Programs to help employment, the environment- Luscious purses his lips. LUSCIOUS Well, funny you should mention the environment, because Mr. Marduk's plan is very intriguing. It could net a pretty penny AND help the environment. BRUCE Yes, he's designed the fuel-rod reclamation plants. Mr. Fox is surprised Bruce remembers. LUSCIOUS Yes. The engineers in Waynetech are amazed by the process. It's so different from anything anyone's tried and, wait, I'm babbling. Sorry. Bruce LAUGHS, then winces again. BRUCE Hey, it's ok. Actually, tell me more. This place is driving me batty with boredom. Luscious looks around for any nurses, then slides a chair beside Bruce's bed. Luscious opens his briefcase and places a few folders on Bruce's lap. Bruce opens the dossier with info about Marduk's company. LUSCIOUS Well, Marduk appeared out of nowhere, bought the company and transformed it. It used to design parts for reactors and military aviation, and now it's become an environmentally friendly company. Bruce nods as the pair talk shop. INT. THE CAVE Samir quietly TAPS away at the mainframe. The display shows schematics and pieces of wire and circuit boards, all charred. Alfred walks in and deposits a large tray of food and drinks. Samir stops and SNIFFS. SAMIR I can't imagine how Bruce lives without you. He turns and voraciously digs in to the food. Alfred nods sadly. ALFRED One does one's best. SAMIR He'll be back soon, Alfred. Alfred looks doubtful. The ZOOM of a motorcycle engine echoes through the cave. Nightwing comes in. He sees the sandwiches and snags one. NIGHTWING Bless your heart, Alfie. Alfred smiles warmly. NIGHTWING Well, from the people I could question, sightings range from the boogey-man to UFOs to Superman moving in on Batman's turf. Samir nods as he munches. NIGHTWING However, all agree whatever it was, it flew from the center of the city. Nightwing looks at the monitor. NIGHTWING Parts from the explosives? SAMIR Yes. I'm accessing Interpol files through the mainframe. Nightwing nods. SAMIR Basic high-tech timers and demolition equipment. Difficult, but not impossible to get on the black-market anywhere in the US or in the world. NIGHTWING So we've got high-tech attack choppers hovering around the center of the city and explosives equipment you could get anywhere. SAMIR But the choppers, THAT wouldn't be something you could just sneak into the city or get anywhere. NIGHTWING So how to you sneak in a pair of high- tech military choppers and enough ordinance to blow-up Fort Knox? ALFRED Miller Harbor. Samir and Nightwing stare at Alfred. ALFRED Miller Harbor is close to the center of the city. What better way to sneak all of this equipment, ESPECIALLY the helicopters, then on a large cargo ship? Samir and Nightwing look at each other, then at Alfred. Alfred smiles and slowly walks back up-stairs. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT Gordon lays in the hospital bed, monitors and tubes attached to his body. GORDON I was wondering if you would visit me. Nightwing quietly appears from the shadows. NIGHTWING I thought I would pop in to see how you're doing. Gordon slowly props himself up, wincing a bit. GORDON Samir's 'urban legend' pops a hell of a wallop, but the docs say I should be outta here in a few days. Gordon looks around the room in the shadows. NIGHTWING Batman was detained tonight. GORDON Word is he had a hell of a 'confrontation' with Ra's' men. Nightwing looks uneasily at the floor. GORDON Son, I won't pretend to know you or Batman well but I DO know that you two are the best at what you do. Whatever happened, Batman will make it. Nightwing tries to put on a brave face. The Bat-signal shines on some clouds over the city. Gordon and Nightwing see the tell-tale may-day. NIGHTWING No rest for the weary. INT. HALL WAY IN RA'S' LAIR Ra's and Ubu walk through a large, wide hallway flanked by massive double-doors. Some of the doors are open to reveal rooms filled with computer equipment, labs, and store rooms. A few of the doors are marked with yellow radiation symbols. The pair enter a large room filled with mainframe towers, each one covered in blinking lights. A middle-aged man sits at a gigantic work station at the back of the room. The man is dressed in wrinkled clothes, and he appears to not have bathed in days. Food wrappers, soda cans, and other garbage surround the man like a rats nest. His attention is taken by a computer simulation of an energy-wave on a very large flat-screen monitor. Ubu looks distastefully at the mess. Ra's doesn't appear to notice. RA'S Progress, DR. MARKOV? Markov GRUNTS and remains oblivious to the world. Ubu GROWLS, but Ra's gives him a nod of 'no.' RA'S Dr. Markov- MARKOV What! Ra's maintains a calm demeanor. RA'S What is the progress? MARKOV Surprisingly good, considering the equipment and help you've gathered for me. Markov stares sourly at the screen. MARKOV Why not just build a bomb? Much easier and more effective. With the quantity of fuel you're estimating, we could build thousands of bombs and hold the entire planet hostage. Oh dear, that sounds like a horrible movie plot. Markov CHUCKLES at his own joke. Ubu and Ra's are not amused. RA'S The point is to change the world, doctor, not make some pocket change to spend on electronics and women. Markov finally turns from the screen and gazes distractedly at Ra's. MARKOV Why bother taking over the world? Ra's stares coldly at the impudent man's face. He leans forward into the man's space. The scientist tries to lean back in the chair, eyes lips quivering a bit in terror. RA'S Because the likes of YOU have taken the magical globe the universe has given our species and turned it into a ball of waste and destruction! The Nazi, the Khmere Rouge, the destruction of the Amazon and enslavement of Africa. It's because people don't CARE that we are doing this! Markov nods 'yes' in a panic. RA'S This is an opportunity to make right millennia of wrong, and using your designs means saving this poor planet and finally weeding-out the cancer which has destroyed us as a species! Ra's finally gazes at the garbage pile surrounding Markov's work station. RA'S Keep me appraised. And next time, clean up Ra's marches out, followed by Ubu. Markov drop to the floor, picking up weeks worth of trash and stuffing it into the near by trash can. EXT. LARGE COMPLEX - NIGHT A huge gun-battle is blazing outside of the large building that looks like a bunker. The structure is in the middle of a large parking lot. The remains of a chain-link fence topped with barbed-wire surrounds the parking lot. Large sections of the fence are either cut open or knocked down. Wisps of tear-gas float in the air. Dangling from the fence is a sign stating 'GOTHAM CITY NATIONAL GUARD DEPOT'. A few dozen cars and jeeps besiege the bunker. Dozens of thugs from Blackgate hide behind the vehicles, trashcans, and anything else they find to use for cover. Each thug is wearing a gas-mask. EXPLOSIONS and GUNFIRE echo through the night. Gotham police in riot-gear and battle-armor surround the building. They use police cars and SWAT trucks for cover. Bullock and Montoya squat behind one car, taking errant SHOTS in the night. BULLOCK Ok, so where's the freaking cavalry? When did you radio for the Bat-signal? MONTOYA First you bitch about them being around all the time, now you're bitching about them not showing up? BULLOCK That was before sixty gang-bangers were trying to shoot my ass! The pair continue to FIRE into the night. Nightwing comes roaring down the street on his cycle. He hits a few toggles on the control panel of his bike. Some panels open beside the head-light. Dozens of canisters POP from the nose of the bike. As they soar into the night, they release giant tazer-nets. The nets land on the thugs. The SIZZLE of electricity and SCREAMS of pain ripple through the parking lot. Some of the inmates turn around and FIRE at Nightwing's cycle. He leaps at a group of gang-bangers huddled behind an abandoned SUV. Nightwing bowls-over the thugs and comes up swinging with his escrima sticks. Bullock leads a charge of the cops. INT. NATIONAL GUARD DEPOT A section of the depot has been transformed into an infirmary. Dozens of officers are being treated by paramedics. Nightwing stands alone in a quiet corner, drinking a bottle of water. Montoya approaches. MONTOYA Good timing back there. Thanks. Montoya offers her hand and Nightwing shakes it. NIGHTWING You're welcome. MONTOYA I'm surprised your partner isn't here. Nightwing looks at the ground uncomfortably. Bullock stalks over, his forearm wrapped in a bandage. BULLOCK Yeah, where's your boss. Nightwing glares at Bullock. NIGHTWING Ok, what the hell is your problem? MONTOYA Boy, BOYS! BULLOCK You wanna know the problem? Mr. High- tech-gadget-battle-armor-wearing- helicopter-flying super-hero? You come waltzing in here with all this shit, playing 'hero' a few times a night while the REST of US have to make do with half-ass, lowest-bidder, budget-cutting CRAP! Bullock is nose-to-nose with Nightwing BULLOCK You come flying in here like the messiah but the rest of us GRUNTS gotta do this every god damn day! And while we take five tons of shit from lawyers, the politicians, and everyone else YOU get to enjoy being the HERO while WE do the real work every freaking day! The storm finally ebbs from Bullock. His monstrous frame still shaking, he finally backs away a few steps. Nightwing seethes with fury. Bullock looks uneasy for the first time as Nightwing approaches him. Montoya stares at the alpha males. NIGHTWING You wanna know why I wear this stupid suit and get my ass KICKED out there? Because sometime, somewhere, Batman and I saw something that made us realize we couldn't just sit on our asses while all hell was breaking loose on the streets! For the same reason you, and every other cop in here does, to try and make a DIFFERENCE! The huge cop stares into Nightwing's furious eyes, then walks away to join his comrades. Nightwing watches after the wounded officer. MONTOYA Nightwing- Nightwing shakes his head 'no', walks to his bike, and ROARS into the night. INT. THE CAVE Nightwing, Samir, and Alfred form a 'war consul' before the mainframe monitor. A satellite shot of Miller Harbor is on the screen. SAMIR So far, there have been hundreds of ships coming through Miller harbor for the past twenty-four months. I'm cross- referencing for any aberrations in the length the ships were in port, but it'll take a while. NIGHTWING Good things come to those who wait, I guess. Alfie, is Bruce still planning to come home this soon? Alfred nods in disapproval. ALFRED Yes, Master Dick. I've tried to convince him other wise but- BRUCE (O.S.) But I'm a very, very stubborn man. Bruce walks towards the trio with the help of a cane. The playboy is gaunt and haggard, but the bruises have finally started to fade. Nightwing walks towards Bruce with a faint smile. NIGHTWING Don't make me kick your ass and send you back to the hospital. BRUCE In my condition, it would be easy. I just got tired of laying in that stupid bed with nothing but the ceiling. Nightwing brightens a bit. NIGHTWING Any ideas on Ra's? Bruce looks away. BRUCE Actually, no. I've been talking with Luscious, and since you and Nabil have this in hand, it just seemed- Samir walks over. SAMIR I wouldn't quite say things are in hand, Mr. Wayne. Bruce smiles at Samir. BRUCE Nabil, you know more about me then Gordon does. Call me Bruce. And you two are FINE. Between the equipment and your three heads- Bruce smiles at Alfred. Alfred looks worried. BRUCE (CONT) You'll catch this guy. Meanwhile, I'm going to go up-stairs, and get a bit more rest. I've got a meeting with Luscious this afternoon. Alfred, two PM at Waynetech? ALFRED Of course, sir. Bruce smiles and gingerly makes his way out of the cave. The trio watch him leave. INT. WAYNETECH - DAY Luscious sits in his spacious office, TAPPING away at his keyboard. A huge window with a panoramic view of the city fills one side of the room. Luscious' ASSISTANT opens the office door. She looks shocked as she stands in the doorway. ASSISTANT Mr. Fox, Mr. Wayne is here to see you. Luscious looks up at the clock on his desk, reading two PM. LUCIUS Please, let him in. The Assistant is about to let Bruce in, then hesitates. ASSISTANT Mr. Fox, I heard about what happened, but Mr. Wayne looks- Luscious nods in understanding. LUSCIOUS I know, I know. Apparently whoever it was had it in for him. The Assistant nods, and leads Bruce into the office. Wayne is dressed in a very stylish suit which seems baggy on his gaunt frame. He walks with the assistance of a cane. LUSCIOUS Bruce, come on in! I didn't expect you- BRUCE On time? As the Assistant closes the door, Luscious shakes Bruce's hand. Luscious looks to be sure the door is closed. LUSCIOUS Jesus, you look like hell! Are you sure about this? Bruce wearily leans on his cane. BRUCE You have no idea. Bruce notices the skyline and walks towards the window. He gazes down at the tiny figures walking along the streets many meters below. BRUCE You ever wander what happens to all those people down there? Luscious watches his bosses back, then joins him. LUSCIOUS It's easy to be jaded when you have this view all the time. It's easy to forget those little dots are people. BRUCE In the end, they're all just like us, getting up day-to-day, their own nightmares and worries. Luscious stares side-ways at Bruce. LUSCIOUS You getting all philosophical on me? Bruce shakes himself and smiles. BRUCE Hey, it's the meds. Anyway, where are the plans from Marduk's plant? The pair walk towards a giant conference table with blue-prints scattered over the top. INT. THE CAVE'S GYM In the gymnasium, Bruce does a slow, deliberate kata. Alfred walks into the gym carrying a silver tray with a few bottles of water on it. He watches Bruce exercise, concern on his face. BRUCE Thanks Alfred. Alfred nods and is about to walk away. Bruce stops his kata. BRUCE I would have thought you would approve. Alfred stops and turns. ALFRED Master Bruce, nothing in the world would make me happier then to see you finally satisfied that your work as Batman is done. Bruce takes a long drink of water. BRUCE Well, I think it is. After being out for so long, I've realized I need to look at things a little differently. Nightwing can help out of if there's anything odd going on here. Alfred looks dubiously at Bruce. BRUCE It's a choice, Alfred. ALFRED But is it a choice for the right reason. Alfred walks away. INT. CAVE BY THE MAINFRAME Samir is seated, TAPPING commands while Nightwing is over his shoulder. NIGHTWING Ok, let's see what we can see. The screen blinks, and a massive list pops up on the screen. Nightwing WHISTLES as the list grows and grows and grows. Samir stares at list. SAMIR Let's see, this one was in port for two extra weeks for customs. This one was here an extra month for quarantine- NIGHTWING This one was trying to awaiting a bail- hearing for, wow, is that legal? Both stare at the infinite list. NIGHTWING Well, time for the real detective work. Both CHUCKLE. NIGHTWING So what made you take on this line of work. Samir looks sadly at the screen. SAMIR My parents died when I was eight. Nightwing nods in understanding. SAMIR My mother was Palestinian, my father Israeli. NIGHTWING Quite a combination. Samir CHUCKLES. SAMIR You would think. Both families were neighbors for years in Jerusalem. Both sides were so happy they were getting together. Samir fidgets with the keyboard. Nightwing silently watches. SAMIR We moved to Britain to get away from the fighting. My parents were killed in a terrorist bombing from an off-shoot of the Red Brigade. Nightwing almost winces. SAMIR Both sets of grandparents took me in until I was eighteen. Then I moved back to Britain and joined the SAS. No disrespect to the Marines, but if you want to be the best, you have to train with the best. After a stint there, I joined Scotland Yard. Nightwing nods in understanding. SAMIR It was a chance. NIGHTWING Revenge? SAMIR No, just to make a difference. NIGHTWING Birds of a feather. INT. GORDON'S OFFICE - NIGHT The Commissioner sits at his desk, surrounded by piles and piles of paperwork. He's wearing a worn and comfy 'Gotham Giants' sweater. NIGHTWING (O.S.) Aren't you back a little early? Gordon jumps. GORDON Jesus, I wish you two wouldn't do that! Nightwing appears from the shadowy corner, a impish grin on his face. NIGHTWING You didn't answer the question. GORDON I probably am, but SOMEONE'S got to get this administrative crap done. And if I can't be out there with them, the least I can do is give them one less thing to worry about here. Nightwing nods in understanding. GORDON How are you holding up? NIGHTWING We've got a few leads on Al Ghul. It's taking a bit longer- GORDON No, I meant YOU. Nightwing looks uncomfortably. GORDON Batman was never one to let ANYTHING out but you're different. That isn't necessarily a bad thing considering how your mentor can be. Both share a CHUCKLE. GORDON I heard about the blow-up you and Bullock had. Nightwing glares at Gordon. GORDON He tends to shoot from the hip, but he's a good cop. Nightwing nods grudgingly in agreement. GORDON And just about every other cop here is glad you and your partner are around. Nightwing is surprised. GORDON You do the stuff they CAN'T do. You're not replacing them, you're around for the weird stuff a cop isn't trained for. Domestic violence and hostages we can handle, immortal conquerors aren't in the academy syllabus. Nightwing grins. GORDON (CONT) And considering the lunatics you and Batman have handled over the years, the rest of us don't See you as glory hounds. Hell, you get to deal with the REAL ugly stuff. Gordon places his hand on Nightwing's shoulder, like a coach to his best player. GORDON Let your partner know his work, and YOUR work will always be appreciated. And you two give us something else. You give us hope. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM AT WAYNETECH William Marduk stands before a huge LCD screen, a laser pointer in hand. bar and pie graphs fill the display. Polite APPLAUSE fills the room. Luscious and Bruce sit at the end of a long conference table opposite of William. Both looks appreciatively at William. Over a dozen of Waynetech's executives sit at the table. Expressions range from interest to sheer boredom. A CONRAD from legal almost yawns. William glares at the impertinent act. WILLIAM Are there any questions? CONRAD Mr. Marduk, let me be frank. This project is all well, good, PC, environmentally friendly and tons of other crap. Some of the other officers blanch. A few turn away. Bruce glares, his knuckles white on the edge of the table. CONRAD (CONT) Mr. Marduk, Wayne Enterprises is built for profit, and the margin you're talking about, no matter how incredible your plant is, isn't much to talk about. So why the hell should be shell out- The executive leafs through his notes. CONRAD (CONT) $45 BILLION to jump on your radioactive bandwagon? Conrad looks smugly at William. Williams smiles pleasantly at the executive and puts down his laser pointer. WILLIAM Do you have any grandchildren? CONRAD Three. Two boys, one girl. William walks towards the Conrad and leans on the edge of conference table. WILLIAM Well, if this project doesn't go through, you'll be guilty of killing them. William exhibits surprising power and speed as he whips the rude Execs chair around. Marduk hunches over the Executive, like a lion about to gorge on helpless prey. Luscious is about to say something, but Bruce stops him. William's voice turns into a snarl. WILLIAM You see, this project is NOT simply about profit, it's about the future! Our silly, narrow-minded, pathetic, bigoted, STUPID species has been using up this planet like toilet-paper for the last five-thousand years! Beads of sweat drip down the Conrad's brow. WILLIAM (CONT) We can either keep lying to ourselves that everything will be fine and ignore the signals this planet has been giving us and just watch our profit margins OR we can get off our fat, lazy, over-paid asses and DO something! Williams stands over the Executive like a prize-fighter looming over an unworthy opponent. WILLIAM (CONT) Wayne Enterprises has a reputation for looking beyond such short-sighted thinking, and realizing we have to start NOW if our FUTURE is to have any meaning. So I offer this opportunity to you, to build dozens of these plants across the planet. If you have any love for your grandchildren, you'll seize this chance. William takes a DEEP BREATH. The room is silent until Bruce leads a thunderous APPLAUSE. Conrad remains frozen on his chair. INT. COMMISSARY Bruce, Lucius, William, and a few others sit at a round table in the commissary. Conrad is seated with a few of his cronies at another table. BRUCE William, that was quite a presentation. William looks embarrassed. WILLIAM I lost my temper. Nothing gets to me more then that much of arrogance and apathy. Luscious nods in understanding. LUSCIOUS He is very good at what he does, though. WILLIAM Looking like a buffoon? Everyone LAUGHS. BRUCE Oh my. Um, seriously, it's hard to find someone with this much passion for something. How did you get this? A distant, sad looks crosses William's face. WILLIAM My family has enjoyed nature in all of it's glory for generations. After seeing what we've done to this planet, and to each other, it seems like a chance to really, truly change the world. The others look admiringly at William. A CRASH and SHATTER of glass, followed by BOISTEROUS LAUGHTER echoes through the room. Everyone watches the Conrad GUFFAWING loudly with his clique. A server picks himself off the floor. A tray of dishes is scattered all over the floor. CONRAD Gotta watch your step in here, son! The server smiles politely, and picks up the pieces of glass and ceramic on the floor. Everyone at Bruce's table looks angrily at the display. LUSCIOUS I'm amazed your father never just fired his ass. BRUCE I guess his father was even WORSE. Like you said, he's unfortunately good at what he does. Bruce looks over the commissary and sees another server moving through the room, pushing a huge cart of deserts. BRUCE Excuse me a moment. I just saw someone I've been meaning to talk with. Bruce slyly winks to Luscious and motions towards a red-head walking into the commissary. The other executives smirk, but Lucius looks thoughtful. William follows Luscius' gaze. The playboy walks towards the red-head as the desert cart moves towards them. Not far away is Conrad's table. Bruce raises his hand to call to the red-head, but he trips and CRASHES into the desert cart. The cart flies into the Conrad's table, covering everyone in food. Bruce very slowly gets up with a wince and a GROAN. William and Luscious are beside him, helping him up. LUSCIOUS You ok? The red-head looks down, sees Bruce is ok, smiles, then struts away. BRUCE Not the most impressive first impression, was it? All three CHUCKLE. INT. GYM IN RA'S' LAIR The gym is similar to Batman's; the equipment is simple, 'old school' training equipment. A number of archaic weapons hang from the walls. Ra's and Ubu spar in the middle of the room. Ra's is using his trade- mark swords while Ubu utilizes his quarterstaff. UBU The processing goes as planned. Dr. Markov says he may have over-estimated the amount of plutonium the process will create. Ubu SNORTS humorously. Ra's smiles wryly. RA'S Now, now, Ubu. Dr. Markov may be an annoying, obnoxious, and arrogant person, but he's very good. Ubu and Ra's trade blows and parries with amazing speed and power. UBU And what of the Detective? RA'S I believe he is no longer a threat. He seems to have found new energy in the Wayne Foundation. UBU This entire masquerade is very cumbersome, sir. RA'S True, but with the pieces working together, it'll make the final implementation almost impossible to detect and stop. Ra's finally takes advantage of a tiny opening and lays his blade against Ubu's throat. UBU Point, sir. The two go back to neutral positions, bow, then continue to spar. INT. WAYNE MANOR - DAY Bruce walks through the halls of the manor, brief case in one hand and his suit jacket tossed over his shoulder. He almost passes the library and stops. The playboy walks in and gazes at the portrait of himself and his parents hanging over the fireplace. He smiles warmly at the portrait. Just beyond the door, Alfred and Dick walk by. They both see Bruce staring at the portrait. They quietly enter the room. DICK I miss my folks, too. Bruce jumps a bit. He smiles sadly at Dick. DICK Bruce, please, what's going on. BRUCE Nothing, Dick. Dick glares at Bruce. Bruce turns away and is about to walk out of the library. Alfred stands unsure of what to do. DICK Oh, bullshit. Bruce twirls around, eyes burning. DICK Ah, FINALLY a reaction. Look Bruce, for the last month you have been moody as all hell, and that's saying something considering the way you normally are! Bruce turns away guiltily DICK Alfie, me, hell even GORDON is getting worried. Bruce LAUGHS mirthlessly. BRUCE Ah, they miss their 'Dark Knight?' DICK No, they hope their FRIEND is doing ok and not driving himself any more bonkers then he already is! Dick lunges forward and grabs Bruce by the shoulders. DICK Look, no more hiding, no more brushing- off. There's something more going on, tell me! BRUCE Why? Dick looks at Bruce questioningly. Bruce twists away from Dick and looks up at his parents. BRUCE I trained for twelve years, a more years to build the suit, the legend, but what's it done? DICK Bruce, you've- BRUCE I created all of this to make the city BETTER. Is it? I've locked up a few sociopath, but is anything BETTER? Bruce reaches his hands up to the dark wooden frame of the portrait. BRUCE I hoped when I did this I keep anyone else from going through what I did that night in Crime Alley. Alfred walks towards Bruce, but Dick holds him back. BRUCE (CONT) I feel like I'm just a liability to the police and one more urban legend for the tabloids to talk about. He turns around and looks at his closest friends. BRUCE Maybe it's time for me to find a new way to make a REAL difference in this city. DICK Bruce, you DO make a difference. Bruce nods sadly. Alfred steps beside Dick. ALFRED Sir, perhaps you need to ask yourself why. Bruce looks at Alfred questioningly. ALFRED Are you atoning for yourself, or are you atoning for you parents? Bruce looks thoughtful for amount, then walks out of the library. The sad silence is broken by a BEEP. Dick reaches into his pocket for his cell-phone. DICK What's up. Oh. Really? Sweet! Yeah, sounds good. I'm used to working at night. Alfred looks questioningly. ALFRED Samir. We might have a break. We're hitting a spot at Miller Harbor tonight. EXT. GARDEN BEHIND WAYNE MANOR - NIGHT Bruce does a kata in the well manicured garden. He is bare-back, and years of scars riddle his back. Samir quietly approaches him. Samir is in all-black 'Matrix' wear, minus the shades. SAMIR Nice night for a work-out. Bruce stops and smiles. BRUCE Seemed too nice to stay cooped-up in the cave. SAMIR Old habits die hard, Bruce. Both CHUCKLE. BRUCE You and Dick keep working together, I'm not going to be needed. SAMIR Oh, no. You'll always be needed. Bruce waves-off the comment. Samir looking seriously at Bruce. SAMIR You're the best at what you do, even if you can't fly like that gentleman from Metropolis. I became what I am because of you. BRUCE I'm not sure if that's reassuring, Samir. SAMIR I became someone who tried to make a difference, Bruce. Bruce looks thoughtfully at Samir. BRUCE So EVERYONE is playing therapist today? Samir CHUCKLES. SAMIR No, you're surrounded by people who care. And who also want you to know your crusade, isn't meaningless. It may not END, but it does mean something to all of us. Bruce nods a 'thank you.' SAMIR Well, I must be off. We have a lead to pursue tonight. BRUCE Don't keep him out too late. Both CHUCKLE. BRUCE That reminds me, Alfred and I are heading for Dr. Thompkin's clinic. Both walk back towards the manor. INT. THE CAR Samir and Nightwing go blazing down the streets of Gotham in the Car. Nightwing is driving. SAMIR Siva Importers and Shipping has a warehouse by Miller Harbor. One of their ships was moored here for about a month because of a crew-man with pneumonia. Oddly enough, none of the hospitals here show any admissions from the ship. NIGHTWING Bingo. Nightwing looks at Samir's attire again. NIGHTWING Should I call you 'Neo?' Samir CHUCKLES. SAMIR It's actually woven with Kevlar and fire-resistant fiber. Besides, my girl-friend Carrie thinks I look hot in it. Both CHUCKLE. INT. SIVA'S WAREHOUSE Samir and Nightwing walk quietly through the huge warehouse. The only lights are the pen-lights the pair have. Giant crates are stacked like Lego blocks everywhere. Samir finds a crate with a radiation symbol on it. They slowly open the crate and find radiation suits inside. NIGHTWING I imagine Siva doesn't specialize in haz- mat gear, do they? Samir nods 'no.' A WHOOSH ripples through the warehouse as the lights all come up. SAMIR Oh boy. Ubu walks towards them with about two dozen armed guards. The guards carry hand-weapons rather then guns. Ubu has his trusty quarterstaff. UBU Well, well, rats in the warehouse. Ubu motions to his guards. The mob rushes forward. Nightwing tosses a handful of pellets at the guards. The pellets POP and release huge clouds of gas. The guards stop and start to HACK and COUGH. Nightwing and Samir dash towards another section of the warehouse. Ubu twirls his quarterstaff like a giant fan, blowing away the gas. UBU Go! The guards recover and chase after the pair. Ubu presses a pair of studs on his gauntlet. The tubes fill with Venom. Ubu SIGHS with glee as the chemicals fill his system. EXT. SIVA'S WAREHOUSE Samir and Nightwing race out of the complex towards the Car. They are surrounded by more guards, also armed only with hand-weapons. Ubu approaches them. NIGHTWING What, your boys don't like guns? Ubu smiles coldly. UBU No, just don't have to worry about anyone hearing gun-shots as we kill you. Ubu nods and the guards rush in. Samir pulls his tonfas from his coat and rushes into the melee. Nightwing yanks his escrima sticks from his back while tossing bat- shaped shurikens at the guards. Nightwing and Samir use their paired weapons to fight the guards back and slowly make their way to the Car. Ubu finally enters the fray and takes on Nightwing. UBU Your mentor was one of the best. NIGHTWING He IS the best. Ubu smiles and begins to swing his quarterstaff, the pole WHIRLING like a giant propeller. Ubu and Nightwing SMASH their weapons together as they exchange blows in the night. Nightwing is slowly overpowered Ubu's Venom-augmented strength. Samir finally defeats his adversaries and sees Nightwing is loosing to Ubu. SAMIR Nightwing, the Car! Nightwing nods and leaps away from Ubu. He opens a control panel on his gauntlet and hits a few commands. The Car's engine ROARS to life as Samir runs to the car and tries to find a door panel. NIGHTWING It's voice-activated! Nightwing tries to keep-up against the goliath. However his weary blocks barely deflect Ubu's powerful blows. SAMIR Shit! Ok, ok, um, door! Open! The door slides open. Nightwing is SMASHED by Ubu's quarterstaff and flies across the parking lot. Ubu stalks towards the semi-conscious Nightwing. The Car SCREECHES between them. The passenger-side door pops open. Nightwing barely pulls himself into the car. Samir slams on the gas as the car ROARS into the night. Ubu watches them escape. A few more guards appear. UBU Get two vans. INT. BATMOBILE Samir's eyes are wide as he tries to absorb the glut of information scattered on the Car's HUD. Nightwing is slumped beside him, dribbles of blood dripping down his face. Nightwing tries to test his ribs and GROANS. NIGHTWING Don't try to absorb too much. The most important stuff is on the bottom of the HUD. SAMIR Easy for you to say. This is worse then flying the Typhoon. How are you doing? NIGHTWING Well, I have no ribs, but ok. Nightwing winces. EXT. STREETS OF GOTHAM As the Car ZOOMS through the night, a pair of mini-vans come SCREAMING after them. INT. THOMAS AND MARTHA WAYNE CLINIC Bruce walks through the huge central room of the clinic. It's filled with toys, bright pictures and posters, and children of all ages. In one far corner, Alfred is reading a story to some children. Their gleeful LAUGHTER echoes through the room. A few teenagers surround a video-monitor playing a video-game. Another group of kids work quietly at some PCs. An African-American woman in her 60s walks towards Bruce. Bruce smiles warmly and gives her a huge hug. BRUCE Hi DR. THOMPKINS. THOMPKINS Bruce, we've known each other for how long? The doctor gazes at Bruce like a school teacher. BRUCE I'm sorry, THELMA. Both CHUCKLE. THELMA That's better. Bruce gazes approvingly at the complex. BRUCE You've done amazing work since the last time I've been here. THELMA Thanks to you. BRUCE Please, I just write the checks. THELMA And they're greatly appreciated. You know, you should come down here more often, like Alfred does. Bruce looks sadly across the room. BRUCE It's just- THELMA I know, it's not easy, even after all these years. Bruce nods sadly. Thelma looks concerned. THELMA So how are you doing? Bruce looks a little agitated. BRUCE Are you going to play therapist too? THELMA Well, technically I still AM your therapist. Bruce is about to shoot a retort, then LAUGHS. BRUCE Touché, doctor, touché. THELMA Well? BRUCE I just don't know why I do it. Does it really matter? Thelma nods in understanding. THELMA Cops go through that sometimes, seeing the dregs of reality day in day out, you question whether what you do has any meaning since it never stops. Bruce nods. Thelma looks out at the children. She points to a teenager who's helping a few other children with their homework. THELMA See Marcus there? He used to be a runner for one of the heavy dealers in the area. You saved his sister a few years ago, he swore he would never run again, he's been coming here, two nights a week, helping kids. Thelma points to a middle-aged woman working in the open kitchen on the other end of the center. THELMA Lindsey, she used to do tricks about three blocks from this center. Her pimp was pretty nasty, beat her pretty bad. You saved her life two years ago. She started working here and is a few months away from her associates in accounting. Thelma leads Bruce down another end of the center into an art studio. Easels and shelves of art supplies fill one wall. The other wall is filled with pictures of Batman. Some are by little children, some appear to be good enough to appear in comic books. Each image is different. Some show him stopping a robber, some show the Car streaking through the night. Bruce walks towards one in particular. Batman is cradling a child in his arms. THELMA Ah, that one. That's by Krissy. Her sister was caught in the middle of a drive-by. Bruce's eyes fill with tears. THELMA Her sister didn't make it, but she remembers hearing your voice consoling her until the cops got there. Thelma wipes the tears from her cheeks and CHUCKLES. THELMA She said she wants to be your partner when she grows up. Bruce CHUCKLES. THELMA Trust me, Bruce, you make a difference. More then you could imagine. Everyone calls you the Dark Knight, but you're more like an angel to ALL of these people. You give them hope to survive, and to rise up. Bruce presses his head against the wall, his voice CRYING and LAUGHING. BRUCE I'm beginning to sound like a whining teenager. THELMA No Bruce, you're sounding HUMAN, maybe for one of the few times since your parents died. Besides, if you started to whine, Alfred would probably send you to your room without supper. Both friends LAUGH. EXT. STREETS OUTSIDE THE CLINIC The mini-vans continue their pursuit of the Car. Machine- gun fire RATTLES through the night. Samir drives the car like a NASCAR racer, weaving through the narrowest gaps in traffic. The mini-vans manage to stay close. A taxi cuts-off the Car from an intersection. The Car swerves and SCREECHES around a few other cars until it finally CRASHES outside the clinic. The mini-vans come to a stop and Ubu's troops fall out. Bruce, Alfred, Thelma, and some children run out to see what happened. BRUCE Get them back into the clinic! Some of the children SCREAM upon seeing the destruction and the troops. The older children heard the little-ones back into the clinic. Ubu sees the children and motions for his men to step back. The Car's door pops open and Samir slowly crawls out. Ubu and Bruce glare at each other. UBU Tell the Detective the darkest night has fallen on his city. Ubu nods to his men. They all file back into the vans and ROAR into the night. Alfred, Bruce, and Thelma rush to Samir's side. The other door pops open and a GROAN rises from the passenger side. BRUCE Samir, this is Dr. Thelma Thompkins. Samir nods. Bruce walks over to the passenger side. Nightwing looks up at Bruce. NIGHTWING Sorry Bruce. He passes out. INT. INFIRMARY WITHIN THE CLINIC Thelma and Alfred tend to Nightwing, who slowly regains consciousness. Bruce and Samir stand aside. THELMA Well, beyond cracked ribs and some serious bumps, bruises, and who knows what else, he's gonna be ok. BRUCE What happened, Samir? Thelma looks questioningly at Bruce, then at Thelma. BRUCE She knows. SAMIR This identity of yours isn't much of a secret. Bruce motions him to continue. SAMIR We found a lead with Siva Importers. Ubu and his men discovered us while we searched SIVA'S warehouse. Nightwing GROANS and tries to sit up. NIGHTWING We found radiation suits in the warehouse, so whatever Ra's is up to is nuclear. ALFRED A bomb? Bruce looks thoughtful. BRUCE No, he wants to PRESERVE the planet, it's just the people he wants dead. Bruce stares into space. BRUCE Nuclear, but not lethal... Samir is about to say something, but Alfred stops him. BRUCE The Cave, now. ALFRED Welcome back, sir. Bruce smiles as everyone but Thelma dashes out of the infirmary. The playboy returns and gives Dr. Thompkins a quick kiss on the cheek. INT. THE CAVE Bruce sits at the mainframe, tapping at commands while everyone stands behind him. SAMIR What are you looking for? BRUCE One of the few 'harmless' things to use radiation is EMP. Samir gets the 'of course' look on his face. NIGHTWING Which would wreck every piece of technology in the area- ALFRED And cause the type of cataclysm Ra's Al Ghul is looking for. Bruce nods wordlessly as he continues to type. BRUCE EMP was being heavily researched by the US government- SAMIR A traitor? BRUCE Not as likely. BUT, a disenchanted scientist from the Eastern Block is another story. The picture of Dr. Markov and his biographical data appear on the screen. BRUCE And guess who he works for? SAMIR Siva? BRUCE No. Everyone looks puzzled. BRUCE Marduk, which ALSO owns Siva. SAMIR So is Ra's working through Marduk? Bruce taps at more commands, staring at the screen. BRUCE No, but I've got an idea. Biographical data about Marduk pops on to the screen. BRUCE Marduk was actually named Holstrom Inc until Marduk bought the company about seven years ago. Apparently the owner of Holstrom died mysteriously and Marduk took over and transformed the company into the environmental giant it is now. Bruce continues to TAP at the keyboard. BRUCE There isn't a lot of information on Marduk. He's developed a reputation for being a passionate defender of the environment and a recluse. Samir looks at the data appearing on the screen. SAMIR Interesting, NO information about his parents at all? NIGHTWING Movie stars can be pretty closed-mouth. ALFRED But even they mention something for their publicist or PR people. Bruce nods. SAMIR You don't think- Bruce nods again. BRUCE I've seen Marduk work. He's Al Ghul. Bruce TAPS more keys on the mainframe. A satellite view of the nuclear facility appears. A vast tangle of tunnels appears beneath the complex like a mass of spaghetti. BRUCE This is a Doppler image of the complex. Now if I can tweak the resolution. Bruce TAPS more keys. The images clear as a set of tunnels radiate out from the complex. BRUCE Those tunnels don't appear on any blue- prints from the last eighteen months. ALFRED Emergency exits. Bruce nods. NIGHTWING So now what? BRUCE We go to work. Bruce stands up and walks towards the gym. Everyone follows, curious looks on their faces. INT. THE GYM Bruce gazes at the wall of weapons, and comes upon a Wu-Shu fencing sword. NIGHTWING Um, Bruce- BRUCE I need something to be an equalizer since I've been out so long. ALFRED Sir, are you sure? BRUCE Al Ghul knows we're coming. If we don't hit him tonight, he'll leave with all of his information and start his nightmare all over again. Bruce grips the sword loosely in his hand and begins a simple kata. He stops for a moment. BRUCE Alfred, can you bring a spare cape for me? Alfred returns with a cape and snaps the mantle on around Bruce's neck. Bruce goes into an elaborate kata. He uses the sword to strike while twirling the cape like a tornado to parry. BRUCE There's only one way to find out if I'm ready. (to Samir) Would you? Samir bows to Bruce. He reaches for a pair of Wu-Shu swords. The two clash. Samir uses the swords with amazing speed, the blades flashing in the lights. Bruce whips, whirls and strikes until finally Samir's sword CLANKS to the ground. Everyone smiles. SAMIR I think you're ready. BRUCE Not quite. First a surprise to deal with the EMP threat. Then I've got to throw together something for our steroid- filled friend. A cold smile crosses Bruce's lips. INT. RA'S' TV ROOM The mas of screens show Ra's' troops rushing to destroy and/or remove evidence of their work. Ra's looks sadly at everything. Ubu stands beside him. RA'S Oh well, we have the blue-prints complete. How is Markov coming along? UBU He's completing a few more down-loads while his assistants are destroying the hard-drives. Ra's nods. UBU How soon before they come? RA'S Possibly tonight, tomorrow at the latest. UBU Do you think there will be trouble? RA'S I doubt it. Unless the Detective can gather an army to take us on. One of the monitors shows troops loading crates labeled 'RPG'. EXT. ROOF TOP OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT Gordon, Montoya, Bullock, Batman, Nightwing, and Samir stand on the roof-top. GORDON (to Batman) Welcome back. Batman smiles. Gordon, Bullock, and Montoya are taken aback a bit by the show of emotion. BATMAN We need your help. We've found Ra's Al Ghul and his plan, but we need the help of any officers to stop Ra's from escaping. GORDON What does he have? NIGHTWING He's building an EMP device in the reclamation plant to destroy all the electronics in the city. SAMIR The plan is to construct hundreds of these through Marduk Incorporated and Waynetech- Gordon nods in understanding. GORDON And then disable the tech base of the entire planet. Bullock WHISTLES. GORDON He certainly thinks big. How many do you need? BATMAN As many as you can. We're not sure how many of Marduk's men are simply employees and how many are part of his 'cause', but I would guess a few hundred. Gordon nods gravely. GORDON I don't know, if we had some time to get the National Guard- SAMIR He's probably leaving tonight with plans for the generator. Bullock steps forward, gazing sheepishly at Nightwing. BULLOCK We'll get enough. You've saved this city's ass a lot of times. It's our turn. Montoya looks proudly at Bullock. Batman stares at Bullock, then extends his hand. Bullock shakes it hard. GORDON I take it you have a plan? Batman smiles once again. EXT. INLAND SIDE OF THE RECLAMATION PLANT - NIGHT The plant sits on the edge of Miller Harbor. The huge facility looks like a run-of-the-mill nuclear reactor. A large fence surrounds the facility. A number of armed guards patrol the fence-line. The RUMBLE of heavy vehicles echoes towards the complex. A guard by the main entrance sees a convoy of APCs and SWAT trucks heading for the complex at great speed. The guard picks up this walkie-talkie as the convoy SMASHES through the gate. Dozens of guards flow out to meet the police like angry wasps. INT. THE APC Gordon watches Ra's' forces getting into position on the monitor screen in his APC. The Commissioner is wearing a head-set. GORDON (into his headset) Move into positions! BULLOCK (O.S.) Gotcha, Commish! EXT. INLAND SIDE OF THE RECLAMATION PLANT The police vehicles roll-out into a line-of-battle. As the police vehicles advance, Ra's' men OPEN FIRE on the cops. The APCs fire water cannons and tear-gas canisters at Ra's' troops. Ra's' forces give way as they are over-come by the tear-gas. Police and SWAT officers jump out from the APCs and move towards the terrorists army. Ra's' choppers join the fray, strafing the officers with CANNON FIRE. The Chopper ROARS in, launching missiles at Ra's' choppers. Each rocket strikes home and both helicopters EXPLODE. INT. THE CHOPPER Nightwing sits at the controls of the Chopper. NIGHTWING Man-bat to Swamp Thing, both choppers are down. BATMAN (O.S.) Swamp Thing copies, Man-Bat. We're moving out. INT. RA'S' MONITOR ROOM Ra's watches the gun-battle with Ubu beside him. Personnel scramble just outside the monitor room. UBU Where is he? RA'S It's a feint. Send men to the sea-side of the complex. Ubu nods and heads out of the room. Ra's smiles. RA'S So you haven't quit, Detective. Let the end-game begin. INT. THE CAVE Alfred sits at the mainframe monitor, watching a satellite view of the complex. He's wearing a head-set. Icons of everyone are on the screen playing-out the battle. A series of new icons move out from the facility to the ocean-side of the complex. ALFRED Watchman to Swamp thing, Al Ghul's troops are heading to the sea-side of the reclamation plant. BATMAN (O.S.) Swamp Thing copies, Watchman. The feint was worth a try. Pass word on to Montoya's forces. ALFRED Watchman copies, Swamp Thing. EXT. HARBOR SIDE OF THE PLANT Batman and Samir scoot towards shore underwater with a sea-sled. Both lay just beneath the water line and see a few dozen guards waiting. Samir and Batman toss grenades at the guards. The grenades POP releasing tear-gas. The guards HACK AND COUGH. Batman and Samir leap from the water and easily dispatch the incapacitated guards. The pair remove their swim goggles and rebreathers as Ubu appears from the shadows, CLAPPING. Ubu is surrounded by a few dozen more guards. UBU Ready for a rematch, Detective? BATMAN Always. Batman gives the signal. Three dozen officers in SCUBA gear, lead by Montoya, rise from the water like demons. Ubu looks grimly at Batman. UBU Ah, so you really are 'back.' Ubu gives his signal and his forces rush into battle. Montoya's forces open FIRE as Ra's' guards FIRE and use hand-weapons on the officers. Samir and Batman wade into the fray, striking down anyone in their way. The Dark Knight reaches behind his back and pulls a foot-long rod. He flicks his wrist and it extends into a fighting-stick the length of a bokken. Batman wades into the fray, his cape and bokken whirling like a buzz- saw. Ubu swings his quarterstaff and levels the police like a lawn-mower going through tall brush. Batman and Ubu finally face each other. Ubu smiles as he touches a stud on his gauntlet, releasing more Venom into his system. UBU This time, I will kill you. Batman reaches to his belt and tosses a tiny capsule at Ubu's feet. A puff of smoke surrounds Ubu. He takes a deep breath and begins to LAUGH. The man-mountain then begins to SPUTTER AND COUGH until he collapses on the ground with a seizure. Samir and Montoya stand beside Batman. MONTOYA Jesus, what did you do? BATMAN It's a special compound that reacts with Venom. It latches on to the compounds in Venom and you develop a seizure. If you don't' have it in you, you're not affected. Montoya looks at Batman in shock. Samir looks respectfully at Batman. SAMIR Surprise number one? Batman nods and smiles slyly. BATMAN (to Montoya) Is the area secure? Montoya nods 'yes.' The Dark Knight flicks his wrist, retracts the bokken, and slides it back into his belt. Samir, Batman, and some officers race into the complex. INT. HALLS OF THE RECLAMATION PLANT The Dark Knight holds a giant PDA with a map of the complex. A schematic of the complex is on the screen, with Batman and his forces appearing as tiny, blinking icons. ALFRED (O.S.) Watchman to Swamp Thing, sending you real-time satellite telemetry. SAMIR Where do you think he would be? BATMAN Probably one of the sub-levels that popped up on the Doppler. The group weaves through the labyrinth of corridors until they get to a huge warehouse filled with huge crates. Ra's, Markov, and a few more guards are at the opposite end of the warehouse, and about to walk through a pair of double-doors. BATMAN It's over! The guards turn around and open FIRE on Batman and his group. Batman and his forces take cover. Samir pulls out his pistols and returns FIRE. Ra's yanks Markov behind a huge cabinet while Markov SNIVELS. RA'S Ah, Detective, so stubborn. Ra's grabs Markov and they dash for the doors. Batman sees Ra's escaping. He reaches for a grappling gun on his utility belt and FIRES at the ceiling. He pulls the line taught, CLICKS the trigger, and SWOOPS into the air. The Dark Knight soars gracefully over the gun-fight and CRASHES through the double-doors. Ra's and Markov are just ahead as the race continues down the corridors of the complex. All three come to a halt at the center of the complex, the incomplete main reactor of the plant. An Erector-set of catwalks and scaffolding is scattered over the dead reactor. BATMAN Ra's, it's over! Or is it William Marduk? Ra's smiles. RA'S It was a temporary identity. I hope you aren't too upset with the charade. BATMAN All that matters is the fight is over. RA'S Detective, you of all people should know the fight is never over! Ra's drags Markov over the scaffolding. Batman cautiously follows. BATMAN If you mean your men escaping with the designs for the EMP generator, they've been cut-off at the tunnels already. Ra's looks surprised, then smiles. RA'S Bravo, Detective. I do wish this had worked out in it's entirety. I hoped to make you my heir to a brave, new Utopia! We're so much alike, you and I. BATMAN You slaughtered all those people to TEST me so I could continue your work? The Demon's Head glares at the Dark Knight's disbelief. RA'S All that matters is saving the RACE, Detective. If killing thousands saves billions, then so be it! BATMAN We're not alike at all, Al Ghul. You want to change the world, I just want to make a difference. Ra's sneers at Batman. RA'S Small minds, Detective, small minds. Markov latches on to the railing and holds on for dear life. Ra's tries to pull him free but to no avail. He gazes down in disgust at the scientist. RA'S So, it comes to this. So be it. Ra's reaches back and draws the copper swords of his youth. Batman pulls out the retractable bokken. The titans CLASH as metal and composite strike. The warriors fight along the scaffolding, leaping, dodging, and tumbling from platform to platform. As they fight, Samir and the other officers flow into the cavernous reactor room. Ra's and Batman are evenly matched, with Ra's' speed countered by Batman's greater power. The police 'cuff Markov and surround Batman and Ra's as they duel high in the air. The duel pauses for a moment as Ra's sees the police surrounding them. BATMAN Ra's, give up, you cannot win this fight. Ra's looks sadly at the Dark Knight. RA'S True, but the war is FAR from over. It was a good fight, Wayne. In another time, perhaps we won't be adversaries. Ra's salutes Batman and dives over the railing. The Demon's Head SLAMS into the concrete. EXT. INLAND SIDE OF THE FACILITY Hundreds of officers and medics tend to the wounded and take statements. Ra's' army is in handcuffs and being carted out. Markov is in 'cuffs, terrified but SINGING like a bird to an officer close by with a note-pad and tape recorder. Ubu is loaded into an ambulance, his body still shaking. Batman, Gordon, Samir, and Nightwing and gathered by a quiet section of the parking lot. Gordon looks at Batman. GORDON So, how do you feel? BATMAN Actually better, with a little help. Samir and Nightwing grin. Gordon listens intently to his head-set. His shoulders slump. GORDON Ra's' body is missing. Real coroner's crew as found unconscious a few miles from here. INT. THE CORONER'S VAN A handful of Ra's' men lower the inert body into a large container of glowing liquid. After a moment, Ra's' body rises violently from the water. One of Ra's' men bows his head to Ra's. Ra's grabs the man's head and breaks his neck easily. The rage finally ebbs. RA'S Next time, Detective, next time. INT. WAYNE TECH BOARD ROOM Luscious stands at the head of the table before the LCD display. Bruce sits at the opposite end of the table, looking distracted and bored. Luscious and some of the other board members look at Bruce with some disappointment. Others, including the Conrad, look relieved at the return of their old boss. LUSCIOUS So that's the report from the police. All holdings with Marduk are on hold until the investigation is complete. The Conrad leans back in his chair. CONRAD I told you, this was a bad idea. Dealing with corporations like that just invites trouble. Bruce looks distractedly at Luscious. BRUCE Um, is that it? I've got an eleven am tennis lesson I can't miss. Luscious looks sadly at Bruce. LUSCIOUS Yes, that's it. Bruce gets up. BRUCE Oh, one question. LUSCIOUS Yes? BRUCE What's the status of the plans? Lucius looks at him curiously. BRUCE Well, our engineers looked at the plans for the plant, and they do work, right? Luscious nods 'yes.' BRUCE Well, unless they're part of the hold with the police, we can still go on with the project. We can just build another series of plants and go from there. A small grin comes over Lucius' face. LUSCIOUS I'll have legal check into that, but I think we can do it. The Conrad SPUTTERS. CONRAD But Mr. Wayne, building ANY nuclear facility in this country takes YEARS, and something this unprecedented could cost BILLIONS. The start-up cost on this was very low since we were working with Marduk, Al Ghul, oh hell whatever his name is. Now, alone it- BRUCE Well, taking risk is part of the fun of being in business, isn't it? CONRAD But- Bruce walks towards the Conrad and sits on the conference table. The Conrad shrinks in his seat a bit. The other officers watch in anticipation. BRUCE Here's the deal. This isn't about profit, this plan is about making a difference, somewhere, some how. (to everyone) The resources we have, the MONEY we have gives us a bit more responsibility, not simply for profit, but to make a DIFFERENCE. Luscious and some of the other board members smile at their chief. BRUCE (to Luscious) Can we do it? LUSCIOUS All we can do is try, sir. BRUCE Then the game is afoot. INT. GOTHAM AIRPORT Samir, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred are at the gate. SAMIR Well, that's my flight. Samir gives Alfred a warm hand-shake. ALFRED It was a pleasure, sir. SAMIR The pleasure was all mine. Samir looks at Dick and they share a Wonder-Twins fist-tap and a hug. DICK Stay out of trouble. The pair share a warm smile. Samir and Bruce look at each other and share a long hug. BRUCE Thank you. SAMIR Not everyone gets to work with their hero. Bruce has an embarrassed smile on his face. DICK This feels like a reunion of the Knights of the Round Table or something. SAMIR In this case, we're Off-White Knights. Samir suddenly becomes very serious. SAMIR You realize he'll be back. BRUCE I know, but we'll be ready next time. A predatory grin crosses Bruce's lips. Samir also smiles and walks down the gate. FADE TO BLACK 1 4
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