Gotham: City of the Bat: A City at War
Part 1: "The Shape of Things to Come"
It is the future.
For decades, a terrible worldwide war had raged throughout the United Confederation of Nations. It was not a war involving man against man, but of man against machines.
When Global Net (the world`s leading computer tech company) became self aware through its Uber Weapons Division, called “Skynet”, it saw humans as a threat to its defence network.. and to its very safety. Skynet then tried to eliminate this threat by eradicating humanity from the face of the earth. Thus began a war which would rage and ravage the world, tearing at the very roots and foundations of human existence upon the planet.
Though Skynet failed in its ultimate objective, to this day the threat of the machines is still very real.
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The Year 2021 AD
Meanwhile, in Gotham city... it is now dark. It is a time when most decent law abiding citizens are asleep, tucked away in their warm cosy beds. But the city itself never truly slumbers, and indeed... now begins an entirely alternative existence, as nocturne begins its cadence: along with its incessant vigil beat. Beneath the neon and strobe of the shrouded witching hour, the night watch begins; and all the terrors of the glooming.. emerge to plague and trouble the still reflex of a throbbing beating heart, like a macabre and chilling dream. The gangs are now awake!Somewhere far underneath Gotham`s sprawling mass, within the vast underground sewer system and the upper Underdeeps, a conversation is taking place.
The Penguin feels he is secure, for he is King of his subterranean domain. So instead of feeling angered by The Gray Family`s bid for a slice of his turf, if anything he feels amused that anyone should feel so bold as to attempt to `cut a deal` in the first place. And so it is that Mr Oswald Copplepot... aka Mr Penguin... deigns to meet Mr Bob Gray to hear his - terms of friendship!
Amusement quickly turns to agitated annoyance when Mr Gray himself does not attend the meeting, but instead sends one of his henchman. A greasy snake oil salesman by the name of Mr Bing.
At first Mr Bing tries to `win` Mr Copplepot to his Bosses` way of thinking, with his wide shark like smile ...tries to persuade The King of Gotham that using the Underdeeps for trade and trafficking, should be a shared responsibility of two such illustrious families; mutually much more beneficial, and so much more `sensible` than allowing the domain to rest in the hands of a soul `protective` figurehead.
When Mr Copplepot doesn’t `bite` at this proposal, Mr Bing turns up the juice, and several of his `associates` appear out of the darkness.. from various tunnels and side passages attached to the large underground chamber wherein the meeting is taking place.
Someone turns on a ghetto blaster and strange disjointedly macabre carnival music starts to echo and waft its elusive dulcet charm throughout the vast complex. Clowns and contortionists, and fire eaters, and trapeze artists and..... all manner of circus weirdoes, start to pour into the vast central sewer chamber.
Mr Copplepot sees this as a direct threat and a show of strength by Mr Bing. He is meant to, of course. But Mr Copplepot is not slow to understand the real reason for Mr Gray`s sudden desire for a family merger. With the increasingly frequent attacks from the machines, especially in the lower deeps where so much of their business is conducted, holding hands in the dark is a not too subtle way for The Clowns to make sure the proverbial bogeyman doesn’t leap out and grab too many more of their nervous and vulnerable numbers.
And so the real power of the Gotham Deeps decides it is time to show a little bit of his own potent juice.
A tap on the stone with the point of his umbrella, is all it takes for dozens of Copplepot`s large and exceedingly burley black and white minions to arrive on the scene and quickly waddle out to surround Mr Bing`s (rather feeble by comparison) entourage of henchies.
To seal the deal and make himself completely understood, Mr Copplepot...The Penguin.... finally does bite. In fact he leans forward on tiptoe, opens his mouth, and bites a rather knotty bloody chunk out of the fish oil salesman`s large and bulbous nose.
“Take that back to your Mr Gray, and tell that upstart piece of shit, that The Penguin says.... NO DEAL”
Article by Steve