The Big Waynowski, Act II

Note: this is an incomplete work that got posted on accident while tinkering with categories.  But since there’s a disclaimer about half-finished projects, i’m letting it go. 

 

A GANG OF THUGS

Scattered by a roundhouse kick.

THE VIGILANTES

Tim calls out from the circle of streetlight:

TIM

Shazam Bats – They’re dead in the water!

As the Bat walks back to the shadows he looks up to see female bat-themed costumed vigilante in black perched on the corner of a two-story building.

BAT

Your streets, Cassandra.

Jason, just arriving, is carrying a red metal helmet under his arm and accompanied by a young boy wearing a black-and-white bodysuit, red tunic and grayish hood and cape.  He is also wearing brass knuckles.

JASON

Way to go, Bats.  “Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot, so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts.”

BAT

You’re fucking twenty minutes late.  What the fuck is that?

JASON
Detective Comics #33.

BAT

Huh?

JASON

Wars Against the Dirigible of Doom.  “I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible…”

BAT

What the fuck’re you talking about?  The kid.  What’s with the fucking kid?

JASON

Huh?  Oh – Talia’s Damian.  Can’t leave him alone or he goes on a killing spree.

BAT

What the fuck are you –

JASON

I’m saying, Talia’s Damian.  I’m looking after him while Talia and Ebeneezer Darcel are in Tibet.

BAT

You brought fucking Damian out crime-fighting?

JASON

What do you mean “brought him out crime-fighting”?  I didn’t invite him to join the Bat family.  I’m not giving him fucking utility belt.  He’s not gonna take your mantle, Bats.

He waves the furtive boy off.  He stalks the area, snooping about and staying alert for signs of danger.

BAT

Hey, man, if my fucking ex-lover asked me to take care of her fucking genetically perfected son while she and Doctor Darrk went to Nanda Parbat, I’d tell her to go fuck herself.  Why can’t she put him in suspended animation?

JASON

First of all, Bats, your ex is from an alternate dimension of the multiverse.  Secondly, he’s a fucking killing machine, with fucking League of Assassin training.  If he gets bored, he’ll start offing people.

BAT

Hey man –

JASON
Fucking genetically perfect killer, Bats. – Over the line!

JEAN PAUL VALLEY turns from his last brawl, where he’s savagely beat several criminals with flaming gauntlet blades, to look at Jason.

JASON

Over the line, Jean Paul.  I’m sorry, you’re not Bat family material.

JEAN PAUL

Bullshit.  I’m staying on patrol, Bat.

JASON

Excuse me!  Hang it up.  Next justice seeker.

JEAN PAUL

Bullshit.  Jason!

JASON

This is not No Man’s Land.  This is the New 52.  There are rules.

BAT

Come on Jason, it’s just – it’s Jean Paul.  So he’s not the most restrained, his genes are spliced with animal DNA.

JASON

This is a War on Crime.  This could determine who becomes the next Robin, am I wrong?

JEAN PAUL

Yeah, but –

JASON

Am I wrong?!

JEAN PAUL

Yeah, but I wasn’t over the line.  That guy had it coming, Bat, I’m still going to patrol the city in the dark of night.

Jason takes out a gun.

JASON

Jean Paul my friend, you’re entering a world of pain.

BAT

Hey Jason

JASON

Swing away on a grapple line, you’re entering a world of pain.

JEAN PAUL

I’m not –

JASON

A world of pain.

A uniformed Gotham City police officer is running for the radio in his squad car.

JEAN PAUL

Look Bat, I don’t hold with this.  This guy is your protege, you should –

Jason primes the gun and points it at his head.

JASON

HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE CRAZY?  AM I THE ONLY ONE HERE WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT CONTINUITY?  HANG UP YOUR CAPE!

Damian is excitedly scurrying about Jason’s vicinity, shadow-boxing and performing acrobatics.

BAT

Jason, they’re calling in SWAT, put the piece away.

JASON
HANG IT UP!

JEAN PAUL

Jason –

JASON

YOU THINK I’M FUCKING AROUND HERE?  HANG IT UP!!

JEAN PAUL

All right!  There it is!  It’s fucking gone!

He removes his cape and cowl frantically and surrenders it to the Bat.

JEAN PAUL
You happy, you crazy fuck?

JASON

This is a war on crime, Jean Paul.

HIDDEN GARAGE

Jason and the Bat walk to the Bat’s car.  Damian lurks sneakily behind Jason who totes the red hood.

BAT

Jason, you can’t do that.  These guys are like me, they have damaged psyches.  Jean Paul was a test-tube baby conditioned to become a remorseless Angel of Death.

JASON

You know Bat, I myself dabbled with insanity at one point.  Not pre-retcon punch, of course –

BAT

And you know Jean Paul has emotional problems!

JASON

You mean, beyond knowing only how to kill?

BAT

He’s unhinged, man!  He’s very unhinged!

As the two men get into the car:

JASON

Huh.  I did not know that.  Well, it’s water under the bridge.  And we do still only have three official Robins, am I wrong?

BAT

No, you’re not wrong –

JASON

Am I wrong!

BAT

You’re not wrong, Jason, you’re just an asshole.

They watch a SWAT van take a squealing turn around the corner.

JASON

Okay then.  We go on patrol with Helena and Stephanie next week.  Should be a cakewalk.

BAT

Just, just take it easy, Jason.

JASON

That’s your answer to everything, Bat.  And let me point out – neuroses are not – look at our current situation with the obsessive-compulsives in Arkham – neuroses are not something to hide behind.

BAT

Well, just take it easy, man.

JASON

I’m perfectly calm, Bat.

BAT

Yeah?  Wavin’ a gun around?!

JASON

(smugly)

Calmer than you are.

This irritates the Bat further.

BAT

Just take it easy, man!

Jason is still smug.

JASON

Calmer than you are.

BAT’S LAIR

A giant, shiny penny stands amidst the Bat’s beat-up old crime-fighting memorabilia.

At the table next to the Bat-Radia the Bat is combining three luminescent chemicals together.

VOICE

Bat, this is Jean Paul.  Look, I don’t wanna be a hard-on about this, and I know it wasn’t your fault, but I just thought it was fair to tell you that Barbara and I will be submitting this to the Justice League and asking them to sponsor me for membership.  Or maybe revoke yours –

BAT

Shit!

VOICE

– so, like I say, just thought, you know, fair warning.  Tell Jason.

A beep.

ANOTHER VOICE

Mr. Waynowski, this is Alfred at, uh, well – at Mr. Waynowski’s of manor.  Please call us as soon as is convenient.

Beep.

ANOTHER VOICE

Master Waynowski, this is Maxwell Lord with the International Justice League.  I just got a, an informal report, uh, that a uh, a member of your crime-fighting legacy, uh, Jason Todd, drew a loaded weapon during routine patrol.

We hear the doorbell.

THE DOOR

It swings open to reveal a gorgeous, red-haired woman with a greenish-hue to her skin and vines entwined around her body.

BAT

Hiya Pamela.

PAMELA

Bats, I finally got the venue I wanted.  I’m going to create a tropical paradise – you know, my usual M.O. – at Robinson Park starting Tuesday night, and I’d love it if you came and gave me notes.

The Bat takes a swig of his serum.

BAT

Sure, Pamela, I’ll be there.

PAMELA

Bats, uh, tomorrow is already the tenth.

BAT

Far out.

PAMELA

Just, uh, just slip the rent under my door.

BAT

Oh, oh yeah, okay.

BACK IN THE LAIR

The voice continues on the Bat-Radia.

VOICE

– serious violation of the Comics Code, and examine your mentoring.  Thank you.

Beep.

VOICE

Master Waynowski, Alfred again.  Please do call us when you get in and I’ll send the limo.  Let me assure you – I hope you’re not avoiding this call because of the giant penny, which, I assure you, is not a problem.  We need your help and, uh – well we wound very much like to see you.  Thank you.  It’s Alfred.

TRACKING

We are pushing Alfred down the high-ceilinged hallway.  Distantly, we hear a German libretto.  Alfred talks back over

HIS SHOULDER:

ALFRED

We’ve had some dreadful news.  Master Waynowski is in seclusion in the West Wing.

BAT

Huh.

Alfred throws open a pair of heavy double doors.  The music washes over us as we enter a great study where Bruce Waynowski, a blanket thrown over his knees, stares hauntedly into a fire, listening to Die Fledermaus.

ALFRED ANNOUNCES, AMBIGUOUSLY

ALFRED

Master Waynowski

Bruce Waynowski waves the Bat in without looking around.

WAYNOWSKI

It’s funny.  I can look back on a life of grim justice, on tradgedies met, villains incarerated, death traps overcome.  I’ve accomplished more than most heroes, and without the use of super powers.  What…What makes a superhero, Mr. Waynowski?

BAT

Bat.

WAYNOWSKI

Huh?

BAT

I don’t know, sir.

WAYNOWSKI

Is it…is it, being prepared to do the right thing?  Whatever the price?  Isn’t that what makes a superhero?

BAT

Sure.  That and a pair of tights.

Waynowski turns away from the Bat with a haunted stare, lost in thought.

WAYNOWSKI

You’re joking.  But perhaps you’re right.

The Bat thumps at his utility belt.

BAT

Mind if i pop a Miraclo?

WAYNOWSKI

Dick.

He turns back around and the firelight shows teartracks on his cheeks.

BAT

‘Scuse me?

WAYNOWSKI

Dick Grayson…He is the light of my life.  Are you surprised at my tears, sir?

BAT

Fuckin’ A.

WAYNOWSKI

Dark Knights also cry…dark knights also cry.

He clears his throat.

WAYNOWSKI

I received this fax this morning.

Alfred hastily pulls a flimsy sheet from his clipboard and hands it to the Bat.

WAYNOWSKI

As you can see, it is a riddle.  Sent by a superstitious, cowardly lot.  Men who are unable to successfully function in society.  Men who will not use their real names.  Weaklings.  Bums.

THE BAT EXAMINES THE FAX:

WE HAVE ROBIN.  WHAT KIND OF PINS ARE USED IN SOUP?  WHAT WAS JOAN OF ARC MADE OF?  THAT’S WHERE YOU’LL FIND HIM.

BAT

Terrapins.  Orleans.

WAYNOWSKI

Alfred will fill you in on the details.

He wheels his chair around to once again gaze into the fire.  Alfred tugs at the Bat’s cape and points him back to the hall.

HALLWAY

The libretto is once again faint.  Alfred’s voice is hushed:

ALFRED

Mr. Waynowski is prepared to make a generous offer to you to act as caped crusader once we solve the riddle.

BAT
Why me, man?

ALFRED

He suspects that the culprits might be the very people who, uh, soiled your coin, and you’re in a unique position to mete out and bring these criminals to justice.

BAT

So he thinks the coin-pissers did this?

ALFRED

Well Bat, we just don’t know.

THUGS

WHAM – spun like a top by a crossbow bolt, in slow motion.

WIDER

Still in slow motion.  We are looking across the length of the dark alley at an athletic, shapely Italian vigilante displaying perfect martial arts technique.  She wears a purple spandex singlet with a purple cape, boots, and mask.

FAST TRACK IN

On the Bat, perched next to Jason on a stone gargoyle on the side of a building.  The Bat is staring off towards the vigilante.

BAT
Fucking Helena – that woman can fight crime, man –

BACK TO THE VIGILANTE

Displaying great slow-motion form as the Bat and Jason’s conversation continues over.

JASON

Yeah, but she’s a fucking killer, Bat.

BAT

Huh?

JASON
The woman is a loose cannon.  With a violent history.  Spent time Sicily until she turned 16 and returned to Gotham to track down and kill the people that had killer her parents.

FLASHBACK

We see HELENA learning a variety of forms of combat.

The VOICE-OVER conversation continues.

BAT

Huh.

JASON

She was inspired to become a costumed crime-fighter and adopt a now de guerre after she saw one crash through a skylight.

At a extravagant function, Helena witnessed the Bat interrupt the event by crashing through a skylight.

TIM

What’s a now de guerre, Jason?

JASON

Shut the fuck up, Tim.

THUGS

Scattered by a sweep kick.

HELENA

wheeling and thrusting a purple gloved fist into the air.

Fastened to her chest and forming the clasp for her cape is a large white cross.

BACK TO JASON AND THE BAT

They have been joined by Tim.

JASON

Anyway.  What did they offer you?

BAT

Kidnapping case.  And of course I still keep the coin.

JASON

Just for rescuing the young ward?

BAT
Yeah.

He slips a little black box out of his shirt pocket.

BAT

…They gave the Bat a Waynowski Enterprises gadget, so whenever this riddle is solved –

JASON

What if it’s during a patrol?

BAT
I told him if it was during Justice League business –

Tim has been watching Helena.

TIM

If what’s during Justice League business?

JASON

Cases don’t solve themselves at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit.

TIM

What’s wrong with Jason, Bats?

BAT

I figure it’s an easy adventure, it’s all pretty harmless.  I mean he probably kidnapped himself.

JASON

Huh?

TIM

What do you mean, Bats?

BAT

Coin-peers did not do this.  I mean look at it.  Young trophy ward.  Adopted by a guy for partnership but he isn’t treating him equally.  He fights crime all over town –

JASON

That…fucking…bitch!

BAT

It’s all a goddamn fake.  Like Strange said, the luminous world is the invisible world; the luminous world is that which we do not see.  Our eyes, uh, you know, see only, uh, you know what I’m trying to say –

TIM

By the Vishanti.

JASON

That fucking bitch!

BAT

Yeah.

TIM

By the Vishanti.

JASON

Shut the fuck up, Tim!  Professor Strange!  Professor Hugo Strange!

TIM

What the fuck is he talking about?

JASON

That’s fucking exactly what happened, Bat!  That makes me fucking SICK!

BAT

Yeah, well, what do you care, Jason?

TIM

Yeah Bat, why is Jason so pissed off?

JASON

Those rich fucks!  This whole fucking thing – I did not watch multiple universes get destroyed by Anti-Monitors so that this fucking sidekick –

BAT

I don’t see any connection to the Crisis, Jason.

JASON

Well, there isn’t a literal connection, Bat.

BAT

Jason, face it, there isn’t any connection.  It’s your patrol.

JASON

Have it your way.  The point is –

BAT

It’s your patrol –

JASON

The fucking point is –

BAT

It’s your patrol.

VOICE

Are you ready to be impressed, man?

They both look up.

Helena, about to disappear into the night, looks up at them from the street.  Her crossbow is loaded with a grapple line.  Behind her stands her team-up for this patrol, Stephanie, a young girl with a purple bodysuit and hooded cloak, her face concealed completely by a dark blue hood.

HELENA
I see you fought your way back from the distant past.  Mio dio, man.  Stephanie and me, we’re gonna impress the fuck out of you.

BAT

Yeah well, that’s just, ya know, like, your opinion, man.

Helena looks at Jason

Let me tell you something, stupido.  You pull any of your crazy shit with us, you flash a Bat-signal up in the sky, I’ll show up on the GCPD rooftop, talk to Gordon and track down the criminal lickety-split.

BAT

Huntress.

HELENA

You said it, man.  Nobody fucks with the Huntress.

Huntress fires her grapple line and swings away.  Jason nods sadly.

JASON

Extreme measures, Bat.

BAT’S LAIR

We are looking up at the Bat who is hanging upside down from the ceiling in front of the giant penny. His eyes are closed.  We wears his cowl.  Leaking tinnily through the pointy ears we can just hear an intermittent clatter.

In his hands, clasped over his chest, he holds a leather notebook labeled BLACK CASEBOOK.

The Bat absently licks his lips as we faintly hear the blast of an ice gun.  The impact produces a cracking sound, and the Bat opens his eyes.

He screams.

A black-haired woman stands eye to eye with him.  Next to her a punchy older man winds back and throws a wallop at the Bat.

The punch catches the Bat on the chin and sends his head thunking back against the giant penny.

A million bats explode against a field of white.  We hear the “Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na” of the Batman theme.

The white field dissolves into an image of the giant penny.  The giant penny falls away to reveal an aerial view of the city of Gotham at night, moving below us at great speed.

The Bat is flying over the city, his arms thrown out to the sides to steer his glider cape.

Ahead the mysterious black-haired woman wings away, riding on the Bat’s giant penny like a New God on an aero-disc.  She is outpacing us, growing smaller.

The Bat does a couple of dives and then notices that a letter has materialized in his hand.  His surprise turns to concern over the words written by his father Thomas Wayne just as the letter seems to suddenly assume it’s emotional weight, abruptly snapping his arm down, and him after it.  He is falling.  From a high angle we see the Bat hurtling down toward the city, dragged by the alternate timeline letter.

A reverse looking up shows the Bat hurtling toward us out of the inky sky, his eyes wide with terror. Led by the letter, he zooms past the camera leaving us in black.

We hear a distant

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The Big Waynowski, Act I

A few nights ago, my friend/roommate and i conversed for several hours, with the origin of the conversation lying in the realm of comic book characters.  Our relationship with comics in our lives is quite similar, as we both grew up devouring them regularly only to trail off in our teens before picking the habit back up seriously in our twenties, then selling our collections off to finance a European excursion.

These days, i’m a damn sight from the fervent collector that i’d been in years past.  The advent of digital comics has drawn me back though; a weak tractor beam that, once tethered, keeps me always just within reach of the wonderful world of superheroic adventure.  Not so much for my buddy, who still has a place in his heart for the capes-and-tights crowd but long ago forewent purchasing or reading comics.

However, the two of us quite often wax philosophical about our modern-day mythology.  Mostly this involves imagining our own What-If?! style stories, and also frequently pondering what these characters do when they’re not performing heroic deeds – which invariably leads us to question why they continue to do it at all after all this time (both in- or out-of-continuity).   Of course, the answer to that last one is because if too much realism were injected into comics, most of their enemies would likely be dead and the heroes along with them.

Anyway, the other night we were sitting in our customary places in the living room (upon the only furniture to be found therein – two leather recliners) and we began entertaining ourselves with a mash-up of our favorite lunatic superhero with a beloved film classic.  This went on for quite some time, to our great amusement.

And so i have decided to adapt it here for you on the Long Shot.  Maybe you will find this as thoroughly fun as we did.  Perhaps you’ll think i’ve lost my marbles.  Possibly a bit of both.

This is Act I of what is naturally three acts.  Let me know what you think!  i’ve got a couple of other ideas for movie-comic mash-ups so if you like this one, i’ll keep working on them.

bat lebowski

The Big Waynowski

We are floating up a rusty breaker wall from a bay.  We hear male voices gently singing “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na” and a deep, calm, other-worldly voice – Kevin Conroy’s, perhaps:

VOICE-OVER

A way out east there was a fellow, fellow I want to tell you about, fellow by the name of Bruce Waynowski.  At least, that was the handle his loving parents gave him before they were murdered in Crime Alley, but he never had much use for it himself.  This Waynowski, he called himself the Bat.  Now, Bat, that’s a name no one would self-apply where I come from.  But then, there was a lot about the Bat that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.  And a lot about where he lived, like-wise.  But then again, maybe that’s why I found the place so darned interesting.

We top the breaker wall, adorned with art deco humanoid figures, and the grim vastness of Gotham City at twilight stretches out before us.

BTAS-Gotham_City

VOICE-OVER

They call Gotham City the most dangerous place in the world.  I didn’t find it to be that exactly, but I’ll allow as there are some deadly folks there.  Of course, I can’t say I’ve seen Gorilla City, and I’ve never been to Khandaq, and I’ve never seen a Themysciran in her battle regalia as the fellow says.  But I’ll tell you what, after seeing Gotham City and this here story I’m about to unfold – well, I guess I’ve seen something every bit as stupefying as you’d see in any of those other places, and in English too, so I battle mysterious and occult forces with a smile on my face without feeling like the good Lord gypped me.

INTERIOR – LABORATORY

It is early, and the laboratory is all but deserted.  We are tracking in on a fortyish man in a low-grade costume and cowl at the cold storage unit.  He is the Bat.  His rumpled costume and relaxed manner suggest a man in whom casualness runs deep.

He is feeling vials of serum for coldness and examining their expiration dates.

VOICE-OVER

Now this story I’m about to unfold took place back in the gritty nineties – just about the time of our conflict with Bane and the released Arkham Asylum inmates.  I only mention it because sometimes there’s a vigilante – I won’t say a superhero, because what’s a superhero?  But sometimes there’s a vigilante.

The Bat glances furtively about and then opens a vial of serum.  He sticks his nose in the spout and sniffs.

VOICE-OVER

And I’m talking about the Bat here – sometimes there’s a vigilante who, well, he’s the vigilante for his time and place, he fits right in there – and that’s the Bat, in Gotham City.

LAB ASSISTANT

She waits, arms folded.  A small black-and-white monitor next to her work station shows Mayor Armand Krol in front of Gotham’s City Hall with GCPD SWAT behind him.

MAYOR KROL

This contagion will not stand…This will not stand!

The Bat, peeking through his cowl, scribbles something at the little visitor’s lectern.  Serum beads the lip of his mask.

VOICE-OVER

…and even if he’s a paranoid vigilante, and the Bat was certainly that – quite possibly the most paranoid in Gotham County.

The Bat has his crime-fighter identification card to one side and is making out a payment stub to the lab for sixty-nine cents.

VOICE-OVER

…which would place him high in the running for most paranoid worldwide – but sometimes there’s a vigilante…sometimes there’s a vigilante.

EXTERIOR – LABORATORY

Long shot of the unassuming lab.  There are only two or three vehicles parked in the huge lot.

VOICE-OVER

Well, I lost my train of thought here.  But – aw, hell – I’ve introduced him enough.

The Bat is a small figure walking across the vast lot.  Next to him walks a lab assistant in a white coat carrying  a small brown bag holding the vial of serum.  The two men’s footsteps echo in the still of the night.

After a beat of walking the Bat offhandedly points.

BAT

It’s the Futura.

Batmobile

BAT’S HOME

The Bat is going up the fire escape of a small East End tenement building.  He holds the paper sack in one hand and a utility belt in the other.  He awkwardly hugs the grocery bag against his chest as he slides the window to his apartment up.

INSIDE

The Bat climbs through the window and flicks on a light.

His head is grabbed from behind and tucked into an armpit.  We track with him as he is rushed through the living room, his arm holding the utility belt flailing away from his body.  Going into the bedroom the outflung belt catches a piece of doorframe and wallboard and ruptures something in one of the pouches, ripping through the building materials and leaving a hole.

The Bat is propelled across the bedroom and on into a small bathroom, the belt’s volatile contents once again taking away a piece of doorframe.  His cowled head is plunged into the toilet.  The paper bag hugged to his chest explodes serum as it hits the toilet rim and another of the belt’s contents melts tile as it falls to the floor.

The Bat blows bubbles.

VOICE

We want that money, Waynowski.  Robin said you were good for it.

Hands haul the Bat out of the toilet.  The Bat blubbers and gasps for air.

VOICE

Where’s the money, Waynowski!

His head is plunged back into the toilet.

VOICE

Where’s the money, Waynowski!

The hands haul him out again, dripping and gasping.

VOICE

WHERE’S THE FUCKING MONEY, SHITHEAD!

BAT

It’s uh, it’s down there somewhere.  Lemme take another look.

His head in plunged back in.

VOICE

Don’t fuck with us.  If your ward owes money to Oswald Cobblepot, that means you owe money to Oswald Cobblepot.

The inquisitor hauls the Bat’s head out one last time and flops him over so that he sits on the floor, back against the toilet.

The Bat gropes back in the toilet with one hand.

Looming over him is a strapping blond man.

Beyond in the living room a bald Arab man unzips his fly and walks over to an over-sized coin on display.

ARAB MAN

Ever thus to crime-fighters, Waynowski.

He starts peeing on the coin.

The Bat’s hand comes out of the toilet bowl with his cowl.

BAT

Oh, man.  Don’t do –

BLOND MAN

You see what happens?  You see what happens, Waynowski?

The Bat pulls on his sopping cowl.

BAT

Look, nobody calls me Waynowski.  You got the wrong guy.  I’m the Bat, man.

BLOND MAN

Your name is Waynowski.  Your ward is Robin.

BAT

Robin?  Look, man.

He gestures towards the bedroom.

BAT

You see a twin bed?  Does this place look like I’m a fucking legal guardian?  The windows are unlocked!

The blond man stoops to open the utility belt.  He pulls out a rebreather and examines it in the manner of a superstitious native.

BLOND MAN

The fuck is this?

The Bat pats at his costume’s hidden pockets, takes out a Miraclo capsule and pops it in his mouth.

DUDE

Obviously you’re not a time traveler.

The blond man drops the utility belt which damages more tile.

BLOND MAN

Ubu?

The Arab man is zipping his fly.

UBU

Yeah?

BLOND MAN

Wasn’t this guy supposed to be a billionaire?

UBU

Uh?

They both look around.

UBU

Fuck.

BLOND MAN

What do you think?

UBU

He looks like a fuckin’ loser.

The Bat pulls his cowl up over his eyes and looks at them.

BAT

Hey.  At least I’m housebroken.

The two men look at each other.  They turn to leave.

UBU

Fuckin’ waste of time.

The blond man turns testily at the door.

BLOND MAN

Thanks a lot, asshole.

ON THE DOOR SLAM WE CUT TO:

A STREET THUG’S NOSE

Shattered by a punch.

Credits are shown over various crime-fighting shots – criminals getting defeated, vigilantes suiting up, cape gliding down alleyways, running feet, graceful kicks, criminals tied up in front of the police station, etc.

The credits end over a POW!

An young man with a black domino mask and red bodysuit and black cape with yellow interior turns from the punch to walk back to the shadows.

YOUNG MAN

Hot damn, I’m throwing down tonight.  Mark it, Bat.

We are tracking in on the shadowy alcove towards a man nursing a large vial of serum.  He has dark worried eyes and a red domino mask.  Black leather pants are tucked into knee high black leather boots.  He also wears a kevlar vest under a black leather jacket.  This is JASON TODD.  He squints through the smoke from his own cigarette as he addresses the Bat.

The Bat, also holding a large vial of serum, wears some of it’s glowing droplets on his mustache.

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JASON

This was a valued coin.

He elaborately clears his throat.

JASON

This was, uh –

BAT

Yeah man, it really tied the room together –

JASON

This was a valued, uh.

TIM DRAKE, the knockout-punch throwing vigilante, enters and crouches next to Jason Todd.

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TIM

What tied the room together, Bat?

JASON

Were you listening to the story, Tim?

TIM

What —

JASON

Were you listening to the Bat’s story?

TIM

I was fighting crime –

JASON

So you have no frame of reference, Tim.  You’re like a guest cameo who wanders in in the middle of a team-up and wants to know –

BAT

What’s your point, Jason?

JASON

There’s no fucking reason – here’s my point, Bat – there’s no fucking reason –

TIM

Yeah Jason, what’s your point?

JASON

Huh?

BAT

What’s the point of – we all know who was at fault, so what the fuck are you talking about?

JASON

Huh?  No!  What the fuck are you talking – I’m not – we’re talking about unchecked aggression here –

TIM

What the fuck is he talking about?

BAT

My coin.

JASON

Forget it, Tim.  You’re out of your element.

BAT

This Arab who peed on my coin, I can’t go give him a bill so what the fuck are you talking about?

JASON

What the fuck are you talking about?!  This Arab is not the issue!  I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Bat.  Across this line you do not, uh – and also, Bat, Arab is not the preferred, uh…Middle Eastern-American.  Please.

BAT

Jason, this is not a guy who brewed the first pot of coffee, here, this is a guy who peed on my –

JASON

What the fuck are you –

BAT

Jason, he peed on my coin –

TIM

He peed on the Bat’s coin –

JASON

YOU’RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT!  This Arab is not the issue, Bat.

BAT

So who –

JASON

Bruce Waynowski.  Come on.  This other Bruce Waynowski.  The billionaire.  He’s gonna be easier to find anyway than these two, uh, these two…And he has the wealth, uh, the resources obviously, and there is no reason, no FUCKING reason, why his ward should go out and owe money and they pee on your coin.  Am I wrong?

BAT

No, but –

JASON

Am I wrong!

BAT

Yeah, but –

JASON

Okay.  That, uh.

He elaborately clears his throat.

That coin really tied the room together, did it not?

BAT

Fuckin’ A.

TIM

And this guy peed on it.

JASON

Tim!  Please!

BAT

Yeah, I could find this Waynowski guy –

TIM

His name is Waynowski?  That’s your name, Bat!

BAT

Yeah, this is the guy, this guy should compensate me for the fucking coin.  I mean his ward goes out and owes money and they pee on my coin.

JASON

Thaaat’s right Bat: they pee on your fucking coin.

CLOSE ON A PLAQUE

We pull back from the name BRUCE WAYNOWSKI engraved in silver to reveal that the plaque, from Gotham Club International, honors Waynowski as PHILANTHROPIST OF THE YEAR.

Reflected in the plaque we see the Bat entering the room with an OLD MAN.  We hear the two men talk:

OLD MAN

And this is the study of stately Waynowski Manor.  You can see the various commendations, honorary degrees, et cetera.

BAT

Yes, uh, very impressive.

OLD MAN

Please, feel free to inspect them.

BAT

I’m not really, uh.

OLD MAN

Please!  Please!

BAT

Uh-huh.

We are panning the walls, looking at various citations and certificates unrelated to the ones being discussed off-panel.

OLD MAN

That’s the key to the city of Gotham, which Master Waynowski was given two years ago in recognition of his various civic, uh.

BAT

Uh-huh.

OLD MAN

That’s a Gotham City Chamber of Commerce Business Achiever award, which is given – not necessarily given every year!  Given only when there’s a worthy, somebody especially –

BAT

Hey, is this him with Gordon?

OLD MAN

That is indeed Master Waynowski with the police commissioner, yes, taken when –

BAT
Waynowski on the right?

OLD MAN

Of course, Master Waynowski on the right, Commissioner Gordon on the left, taken when –

BAT

He’s handicapped, huh?

OLD MAN

Master Waynowski is disabled, yes.  And this picture was taken when Gordon was still a lieutenant, yes, yes?  Not the commissioner.

BAT
Far out.

OLD MAN

And in fact he met privately with the mayor, though unfortunately there wasn’t time for a photo opportunity.

BAT

Jim’s pretty good.

OLD MAN

Wonderful man.  We were very –

BAT

Are these.

OLD MAN

These are Master Waynowski’s children, so to speak –

BAT
Different mothers, huh?

OLD MAN

No, they –

BAT

I guess he’s pretty, uh, racially pretty cool –

OLD MAN

They’re not his, heh-heh, they’re not literally his children.  They’re the Little Waynowski Orphan Achievers, inner-city children of promise but without the –

BAT

I see.

OLD MAN

– without parents, so Master Waynowski is committed to sending all of them to therapy.

BAT

Jeez.  Think he’s got room for one more?

OLD MAN

One – oh!  Heh-heh.  You never went to therapy?

BAT

Well, yeah I did, but I spent most of my time training in various, uh, martial arts –

OLD MAN

Heh-heh –

BAT

– drinking super serums, learning detective skills –

OLD MAN

Yes, heh –

BAT

– and fighting crime.  I’ll tell you the truth, Alfred, I don’t remember most of it – Jeez!  Fuck me!

Our continuing track and pan brought us onto a framed Life Magazine cover with is headlined ARE YOU A WAYNOWSKI ACHIEVER?  Oddly, the Bat’s cowled face is on it.  We realize that, under the magazine’s logo and headline, the display is mirrored.

We hear the door open and the whine of a motor.  The Bat, wearing a worn costume, turns to look.

So does ALFRED PENNYWORTH, the old man we’ve been listening to.  He wears a tuxedo and has his white-gloved hands clasped in front of his groin.

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Entering the room is an unusually athletic sixtyish man in a motorized wheelchair – Bruce Waynowski.

WAYNOWSKI

Okay sir, you’re a Waynowski, I’m a Waynowski, that’s terrific, I’m very busy so what can I do for you?

He wheels himself behind a desk.  The Bat sits facing him as Alfred withdraws.

Old Wayne

BAT

Well sir, it’s this coin I have, really tied the room together –

WAYNOWSKI

You told Alfred on the phone, he told me.  So where do I fit in?

BAT

Well they were looking for you, these two guys, they were trying to –

WAYNOWSKI

I’ll say it again, all right?  You told Alfred.  He told me.  I know what happened.  Yes?  Yes?

BAT

So you know they were trying to piss on your coin –

WAYNOWSKI

Did I urinate on your coin?

BAT

You mean, did you personally come and pee on my –

WAYNOWSKI

Hello!  Do you speak English?  Krypton Speak English?  I’ll say it again.  Did I urinate on your coin?

BAT

Well no, like I said, Ubu peed on the coin –

WAYNOWSKI

Hello!  Hello!  So every time – I just want to understand this, sir – every time a coin is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the –

BAT

Come on, man, I’m not trying to scam anybody here, I’m just –

WAYNOWSKI

You’re just looking for a handout like every other – are you a superhero, Mr. Waynowski?

BAT

Look, let me explain something.  I’m not Mr. Waynowski.  You’re Mr. Waynowski.  I’m the Bat.  So that’s what you call me.  That, or Bats.  His Batness.  Or El Batarango, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing –

WAYNOWSKI

Are you a superhero, sir?

BAT

A superhero?

WAYNOWSKI

You don’t go out and fight crime dressed like that in the middle of a weekday.

BAT

Is this a – what day is this?

WAYNOWSKI

Well I do fight crime, so if you don’t mind –

BAT

No, look.  I do mind.  The Bat minds.  This will not stand, ya know, this will not stand, man.  I mean, if your ward owes –

WAYNOWSKI

My ward is not the issue here.  I hope that my ward will someday learn to live on his allowance, which is ample, but if he doesn’t, sir, that will be his problem, not mine, just as your coin is your problem, just as every vigilante’s lot in life is his own responsibility regardless of whom he chooses to blame.  I didn’t blame anyone for the loss of my legs, some Latin American villain took them from me during Knightfall but I went out and acheived anyway.  I can’t solve your problems, sir, only you can.

The Bat rises.

BAT

Ah fuck it.

WAYNOWSKI

Sure!  Fuck it!  That’s your answer!  Tattoo it on your forehead!  Your answer to everything!

The Bat is heading for the door.

WAYNOWSKI

Your “revolution” is over, Mr. Waynowski.  Condolences!  The vigilantes lost!

As the Bat opens the door…

WAYNOWSKI

…My advice is, do what your counterpart in Metropolis did!  Get a normal civilian life, sir!  The vigilantes will always lose – do you hear me, Waynowski?  THE VIGILANTES WILL ALWAYS –

The Bat shuts the door on the old man’s bellowing to find himself –

IN A HIGH COFFERED HALLWAY

Alfred approaches the Bat.

ALFRED

How was your meeting, Master Waynowski?

BAT

Okay.  The old man told me to take any coin in the manor.

WALKWAY

A houseman rolls a giant penny along a stone walk that winds through the back lawn, past a swimming pool to a garage.  Alfred and the Bat follow.

giant penny

ALFRED

Manolo will load it into your car for you, uh, Bat.

BAT

It’s the Futura.

BAT’S POINT OF VIEW

Tracking toward the pool.  A boy sits facing it, his back to us, leaning forward to pull a pixie boot on.

Beyond him a chalk white form floats in an inflatable chair in the pool.

ALFRED

Well, enjoy, and perhaps we’ll see you again some time, Bat.

BAT

Yeah sure, if I’m ever in the neighborhood, need to use the john.

CLOSER TRACK

Arching around the boy’s foot as he struggles to pull the emerald green bootie on.

THE BAT

Looking.

WIDER

The boy looks up at him.  He is in his tweens.

He leans back and extends his leg toward the Bat.

BOY

Push it on.

The Bat pulls his cowl up and looks at the pixie boot.

BAT

Huh?

The boy waggles his foot and giggles.

BOY

G’ahead.  Push.

The Bat tentatively grabs hold of his extended foot.

BAT

You want me to push your bootie on?

BOY

Uh-huh…I can’t pull that hard.

The Bat looks over at the pool.

BAT

You sure he won’t mind?

The man bobbing in the inflatable chair is passed out.  He is thin, in his thirties, with stringy green hair and ruby red lips in a perpetual grin.  He wears purple pinstriped pants and a matching sport coat, open, shirtless, exposing chalk white skin.  One arm trails off into the water.  Next to it , an empty Smilex bottle bobs.

BOY

Joker doesn’t care about anything.  He’s a nihilist.

BAT

Practicing?

The boy smiles.

BOY

You’re not pushing.

Alfred nervously takes the Bat by the elbow.

ALFRED

Our guest has to be getting along, Master Grayson.

The Bat grudgingly allows himself to be led away, still looking at the young boy.

Dick Grayson Robin

BAT

You’re Dick?

DICK

I’ll be your sidekick for a thousand dollars.

Alfred releases a gale of forced laughter.

ALFRED

Ha-ha-ha-ha!  Wonderful boy.  Very free-spirited.  We’re all very fond of him.

DICK

Alfred can’t help though.  Or he has to pay a hundred.

ALFRED

Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  That’s marvelous.

He continues to lead away the Bat, who looks back over his

SHOULDER:

BAT

I’m just gonna find a cash machine.