"Gotham Eternal"

Harper Row stands on a Gotham City street corner, staring into one of the surveillance cameras mounted on a nearby streetlamp. Staunchly she waits until the police arrive, warning that she is in violation of the city's 8PM curfew, and they give her only thirty seconds to clear the street before they use force. Bravely, she stands against their threatening approach, daring them to beat her with her stillness. As one of them swings back his arm to beat her with his club, she states, "Midnight in Gotham is the bee's knees." Without a word, he relents, grabs her up by the collar, and shoves her into the back of their armoured van.

Before long, the bag is removed from Harper's head, and she finds herself in the exclusive club called The Egyptian - the only nightclub left in New Gotham. She is introduced to one of the managers, who, after giving her a body scan, demands to know what she's doing there. She explains that she came because her brother was infected. They had been in the Narrows at Ground Zero. She wonders if the rumours that the owner of the club can make anything happen at any price are true. The man agrees to show her to the boss, but instead, he leads her to a room where a group of thugs is set to kill her. The password she'd given the police was three days old, and the scan of her face turned up no results in city records. Before they attack her, they demand to know who she is, and why she is there. Smirking, she explains that she is there to hurt them.

Flicking a switch on a small device, she shuts off the power in the room, leaving them in darkness. By the time she turns them back on, all of the thugs have been knocked unconscious, and Batman stands before her. Angrily, he accuses her of having brought the thing he specifically told her not to bring. He calls back to the cave, and learns that thanks to her use of that forbidden device, they were able to download the schematics for the nightclub, but the safe they are seeking is only accessible via the main casino floor, where sixteen armed gunmen are on duty. Glaring pointedly at Harper, Batman warns her to get her uniform on. They have work to do.

Together, Batman and Harper - in her vigilante identity as Bluebird - burst into the casino and fight their way through the heavies assembled there. Eventually, the club's owner calls a stop to the violence, and offers Batman a chance to be heard. The club's owner is Selina Kyle, who comments that Batman looks better than she expected, having lost the support of the police, his friends, his city, and her. She took control of the underworld because it needed her guidance to run it. Grimly, Batman points out that she also took the key to winning Gotham back. He demands that she show it to him. She reminds him, spitefully, that he could have asked nicely, cracking her whip, and wrapping it around his throat. She has no more tolerance for the masks and adventure. Catwoman is dead, because he left her to die.

Trying to appeal to her human side, Batman reminds her that the people need what she's keeping from him. People are dying without it. Coyly, Selina reminds that he only had to ask. She has her men lead them to the safe, and when it's opened, Harper can't believe that what's inside could really be of help. Selina explains that yes, this is the real deal.

Inside the safe, she has got a girl tied up to a chair. She explains that this is Stephanie Brown, called the Spoiler, and she is the only one in the city who knows how to stop what's coming next.


"Gotham Eternal"





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