Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself.

I role played online as Jonathan Crane (aka Scarecrow) for a while. Here’s something I wrote! =D The only thing you really need to know is that this is set some time after TDKR, Crane never got thrown back in Arkham, and up until this point he’d been living (aka hiding from Batman) in the sewers (there was a rumor of a crocodile down there, hmm…).


 

Gotham.

 

The cesspool of every evil thing in the world. The city that begged and pleaded to be saved but never accepted the saving. The people whined and moaned for a hero and then disgraced him when he came. It was a city that let itself be torn apart by scarecrows and clowns and corrupt politicians. A city drugged by its own leaders into submission.

 

Dr. Crane knew a thing or two about drugs. The high left by cocaine, the sweet calm from marijuana, the crazy actions caused by bath salts. Drugs altered one’s personality, one’s intelligence, and one’s mind. They were the perfect weapon to use in a city that inebriated itself into believing that someday… everything would be okay.

 

How foolish an idea that was. Nothing would ever be okay again.

 

Would they even run if given the chance? Would they flee this monstrosity and go someplace pleasant like Metropolis or Star City to live out the rest of their days? Or would they try to escape momentarily only to be drawn back by some inner love for the town they grew to call home? How many wouldn’t even bother running, determined to stand their ground and fight the lost war of Gotham?

 

They were pathetic. Why couldn’t they see what Crane saw? Couldn’t they look around with the same eyes and find the corruption, the evil, the insanity that infected everything here? Gotham was diseased. He was a doctor. It was his job to fix it. Did their eyes not work the same way as his or did they just deny what they saw in some last-ditch-effort to make their lives worthwhile?

 

It would end soon enough. The blindness of Gotham would be a thing of the past when Crane was through with them. He would open their eyes to much more than the sycophantic bureaucrats’ sleight of hand tricks and the police force that cared nothing for the screaming of children abducted in the night. Crane would show them things that never again would they be able to forget.

 

He glanced around the alley, his bandaged hands gripping the sack cloth mask firmly as his blue eyes swept over the quiet city street once more. Everything was in place. It had taken a long time. He’d had to be very quiet and sneaky… had to keep out of the public eye for a bit. As a result, he’d become even more sallow-faced than before. Deep dark rings circled beneath his pale eyes, his shaggy hair clumped with dirt and oil, his face covered in uneven patches of stubble. Living in the sewers had given him a rank stench and stained his business suit with oil and soot. The edges of the suit were ruffled and torn, sewn back together hurriedly with twine. Over time, he had evolved into the very thing he’d begun calling himself so early on in his criminal career. A Scarecrow.

 

He moved his shoulders a bit as he cracked his neck, humming a quiet little tune to himself while the few henchmen he’d managed to scrounge together finished up their jobs behind him.

 

“…The moon is as blood… over the soldiers who sag in the mud….”

 

It was amazing what kind of work a gram or two of cocaine could buy you.

 

“Hey Boss, you ready ‘r what?”

 

“Patience is a virtue,” Crane sang back to him without so much as a glance in his direction.“And I’ve waited a very long time for this revenge. It’s got to be perfect.”

 

“Whatevah ya say.”

 

Fools. They had no idea what was about to be unleashed upon them. Was a gram of cocaine worth the possibility of losing your mind? Interesting, the way the human mind and body worked. And how it dealt with addiction… well that was even more interesting. Perhaps fuel for the future. But for now, Crane had an inauguration to get to.

 

Oh no, he wasn’t just going to rampage around town this time. He had a purpose. This city needed new management, someone the people could count on. Crane certainly was someone you could count on. And he’d gotten so comfortable in that lovely judge’s bench, how much better would the mayor’s seat be?

 

He lifted his mask and pulled it over his face, humming. “Save our city.”

 

Raising his hand, he snapped his fingers. “Keep our souls, Lord.”

 

The men hit the levers. From every single sewer grate in the city, with the exception of the Narrows, a light green mist began to spray out. “Through the rapture of this world.”

 

Let the games begin.

 

Crane left the screaming of the men who had considered him boss for the last few days, a smile twitching at his lips beneath the burlap mask at what horrors they might be going through themselves. Had they not realized they would be left immobilized by the Fear Toxin as well? How foolish it was to think that Crane would want to spare them from their own nightmares just because they’d given him assistance.

 

He didn’t look behind him, though if he had he may have seen some of the large, muscled hired help rocking themselves on the ground like infants. Others would be clawing at the walls, splitting their own fingernails in some poor attempt to escape what they were seeing. Still others would view their friends or colleagues as the vision of their nightmare and react violently to them, perhaps even killing one or two.

 

It was for the best. Gotham didn’t deserve to be run down by typical, every day criminals. Better to weed out those of the lowest intelligence first. It would make the coming hours much more entertaining.

 

He leisurely began his trek toward City Hall, to claim his rightful throne, as it were. The gas had yet to reach the building, but the plumes of green fog seemed to follow Crane like a pack of wolves following its leader. He twisted his neck to each side, cracking it, and reached up to straighten his oil-stained tie and to fix his ragged lapels. He had to look presentable for his new job, after all.

 

He strolled across the street, unflinching as cars screeched to a halt or slammed into buildings and fire hydrants around him, erupting geysers of cold water to cleanse the streets of the common filth while drivers scrambled out of their vehicles or smashed their own faces into their wind shields. Long legs and arms moved in time with some inaudible mental rhythm. He scaled the steps of City Hall only to be greeted by two security guards rushing to stop him, hands on their weapons. They dared utter a word in defiance against him, but were quickly struck down by his toxin. He watched as they fell at his feet like good little peasants, gasping and twitching.

 

He peered down at them, tilting his head to the side as he watched them writhe in pain. One was obviously trying to escape mountains of spiders that clung to every inch of his skin and burrowed under his eyeballs and into his ears. The other was screaming about Daddy putting down the gun, and hiding his head. Such typical fears. They weren’t the least bit intriguing.

 

Disappointed in what he saw, Crane stepped over the security guards with a look of disgust beneath his mask and pushed the doors to City Hall open, allowing the green fog to waft inside with him, pluming up like smoke from a fire to swirl around his arms before spreading outward, seeking out its next victim. He smiled as he looked around.

 

“Rise and fight….” The lyrics trailed off.

 


The lyrics are from the song “Save Our City” by the lovely band, Ludo. :3

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