"Soul Of The City" by Alicia McKenzie- The OutsideTheLines Home Page
The OutsideTheLines Home Page - Feature of the Month
For July, 1999
“Soul Of The City” by Alicia McKenzie
PLEASE NOTE: This is the first Batman Fan Fic that we have named FotM, but this by NO MEANS, should imply that we would choose any Marvel-based story over one from DC, Wildstorm, or a crossover.
Just as with the 22 other stories and the two Spotlight Interviews we have done so far, the OutsideTheLines Feature of the Month has, and will continue, to showcase only a sampling, of the outstanding Fan Fiction OTL has to offer its international membership, and other fans world wide.
David D. Amaya
Web Page Administrator
The OutsideTheLines Home Page
and now on with June's Feature of the Month!
DISCLAIMER: Chararacters belong to DC, and are used without permission for entertainment purposes only.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my VERY first foray outside the Marvel Universe...:) I recently picked up a few Batman TPBs, and got hooked. ;) This would be set within the 'Knight's End' storyline. I don't know whether I've done Bruce justice here, or not, but I had a series of images that wouldn't go away, so, as always, I had to let them out (...before they drove me insane! ;) Feedback would be very welcome. And if you'll pardon me now, I have to go placate a whole horde of my Cable fictives who are sulking in the corner. Reassure them that I haven't forsaken them and all that....;)
Night in Gotham. My night. My time.
And here I am, back where I belong.
I've been away too long. First trapped in that chair, then lost in the struggle to put the pieces of myself back together.
Absorbed in myself. A necessary evil, of course. I couldn't have recovered from what Bane did to me, otherwise. I need that time, that strength turned to my own wounds. I needed to heal, in body and mind both.
Still--too much turned inward. Questions. Doubts. Recriminations.
Filling my nights. Until I became the haunted, not the hunter.
The night wind howls through Gotham, battering at the towers and screaming down the long concrete and glass valleys. My city, at war with itself as always.
I've stood here before, since I returned, looking down on the city from its highest point. But always as Bruce Wayne, or the bat-spirit of Shiva's test. Parts of myself, only parts. Facing the abyss and finding myself wanting. Lacking.
Not ready yet.
The costume feels like a second skin. I could feel it as I put it on. It wasn't just a cape and cowl. I was--becoming, once more. Reclaiming my life.
I was back. Batman once more.
And now there's only one test left, one last leap of faith, before I can face the other contender for my ‘title.'
Jean Paul Valley.
A Batman of armor, a sleek, darkly shining thing of metal and cutting edges. Too many cutting edges. In trying to protect the city, he wounds it. Innocents have bled, because of him.
Because of me. He was my choice. My ‘successor.'
A fallen angel, cast in steel.
He doesn't know the city. Doesn't understand it. Can't live within its dark heart without losing his own.
I stand on the tower, the wind lashing at my cape. Tense, but not too tense. Ready. Waiting.
A Dark Knight for the dark city. Part of the shadows, but still able to see the light.
I leap, and the city opens its arms wide to welcome me home.
The wind screams past me, a wild, challenging song.
My line shoots out. Hits its mark.
And I fly.
One with the wind. One with the city.
For a moment, just for a moment, I am Gotham.
I land, the dark rapture waning somewhat as I think of what's left to do, the battle yet to come. Still one very sizeable hurdle to face, before everything's right again.
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