Gotham's Rap Sheet

Sarah Demens

4/12/20246 min read

My post content

After twenty five years in the force, there was no way of getting around it: the police station was more home to Jim Gordon now than it had ever been.
The seasoned commissioner had seen much. Too much. From the time of being a naive rookie cop, he had watched low level thugs build their own criminal empires, once trusted and just public defenders revealed to be the cause of Gotham's disgusting decline... and a scared, helpless little boy of whom he comforted after the loss of his parents suddenly rise and become the savior of their once hopeless city.
It hadn't been a year since he had learned the true identity of the Batman, on a night that changed everything. The moment he learned it, however, he realized that a part of him perhaps always knew. When he stood beside Batman and simultaneously felt the coldness of a dark stranger and the warmth of someone he somehow had already been acquainted with. When he had bumped into Bruce Wayne the frequent times Wayne and he happened to be in the same area and he was obliged to shake the billionaire's hand.
Each time he checked on the man that he met as a boy, to ensure he was still doing alright. The loss of a single loved one, let alone two, would take a toll on anyone. It was something that he knew by experience that Bruce could never fully recover from. Despite all the scandalous publicity surrounding Wayne, he knew deep within there was still that scared and traumatized child that displayed such grateful and genteel behavior as a result of his selfless parents. It was in those moments that he shook Bruce's hand and looked into his eyes and... bleakness stared back at him. Bruce was wearing a mask. A mask of which shrouded his true, terrifying identity as the one catalyst of change that overtook Gotham.
Gordon knew that Batman trusted him. Trusted him in never telling a soul and never turning on him like so many others did over the years. Bruce's list of friends was scarce... it brought him relief that Gordon was still at the top five.
"Gordon." An officer called out to him. His back straightened, lowering his coffee mug as he watched the officer enter his office. Officer Cash... he started out at Arkham Asylum and by the grace of his impressive endeavors, he had landed a position amongst the GCPD. Aaron Cash had truly proven himself as both an officer and a friend. Gordon valued him.
"There's someone here to see you. He's waiting in the hall."
"Send 'im in."
Gordon was warned of this... news of a nasty government official arriving in town had reached his ears. An official who had things to say that Gordon that he simply did not want to hear. Yet... what could he do?
With a nod, Aaron pulled back. Next thing Gordon knew, a stiff and emotionless suited man was walking through his office's threshold and without a word, helped himself to sitting in the chair across from him. In his possession was a seemingly wrapped food product. Gordon's eyes fluctuated between the wrap and the man himself.
"Commissioner." The man finally spoke. Jim shifted, his fingertips touching each other in a somewhat irritated manner.
"Evening." His gruff voice replied. This was followed by the government official setting his wrap on the counter and unraveling it, revealing a finely crafted, but terribly messy, danish. He already disliked this man.
"I think you know why I'm here." The man started, flattening the edges of the paper out.
"Can't say that I do." Jim answered. The man's cold eyes met Gordon's. There wasn't much to like behind them.
"I'll be blunt, James. We've been monitoring this city of yours for some time and lemme just say... we don't like what we see."
Jim's eyes cut behind the man at Cash, who was standing silently by the door, arms crossed and listening in on the beginning conversation. He, too, was already irritated.
"I don't quite know what you mean by that."
"I'd appreciate you not playing stupid."
Gordon's mouth tightened. The man cleared his throat and laced his fingers together.
"To put it bluntly, your city is a stain on this country. A stain we can't quite rid ourselves of. You openly endorse a dangerous vigilante, allowing him free roam on the city streets to play cat and mouse with deranged citizens of whom repeatedly keep breaking out under very suspicious and frightening means. These criminals, including your little masked friend, have gone unchecked for years. You like to pretend the city's gotten better... it has not. You keep saying the criminals are afraid of the vigilante... they are not. If anything, they commit crimes simply to get his attention. It's all a mad, horrific game and your citizens are paying the price."
Gordon didn't quite know how to even begin to respond to this. How this foreign presence could barge into his office and act as if he knew what all he and the rest of Gotham had went through firsthand. He had no idea what he was talking about... and yet... Gordon still could not formulate a good defense against it.
"Admittedly, the crime and corruption was far worse before 'Batman' arrived. I will give you both credit for that. However, we can't overlook the fact that the city has not yet achieved the peace its people deserve. There are still psychos playing costume and running rampant in the streets as if Gotham is their own personal circus. I've received countless pleas sent from citizens who just want to take their children to school without a pyromaniac setting it on fire. For a woman to go on a jog and not be killed by a scarred nutjob with a knife. For a man to go to work at the bank and not have his life ended by a disgraced attorney only doing so cause a coin told him to. You see what I'm getting at?"
The man leaned back, rocking it uncomfortably. "The one common dominator here is simple... Batman. None of them would have risen to such heights if it wasn't for him. They're baiting him and he's taken the bait, every single time. They're not doing it to fulfill their own sick and twisted impulses anymore... they are doing it because they find the rush of him giving them attention is far more intoxicating than even they realize. Killing, stealing and torturing isn't enough for them anymore. And that's a problem."
After all of that, Jim still didn't have a good enough argument to fight back with. So he merely shrugged his shoulders.
"So what do you want me to do about it?"
The man inhaled and exhaled aggressively, his dead eyes drilling into Jim's very soul. He leaned in.
"Get rid of 'em. Cut out the weeds so that Gotham can flourish. Your people can't handle holding them anymore. So we will."
Jim's brows furrowed, as did Cash's. "Excuse me?"
"Hand the criminals over to us. We will take them to a specialized facility to hold the scum... your vigilante included."
Jim at once launched from his chair. "You see that door behind you? I suggest you run through it real quick before I kick your pampered hide and throw you outta here myself!"
"I knew you would react this way."
"How else am I supposed to act?! You come into my city and try to tell me how to manage it?! Then you proceed to tell me you're going to take our one and only weapon against the thugs of Gotham and throw him in with the psychos he's helped put away?? Lemme tell you something, pal... if the Bat is out of the equation, even with the others gone, it's not going to stop. The rest of the low-lives will rise up and spread, bringing this city back down to its knees and it'll be twenty years ago all over again! You can't take him... you can't have him. He's ours. And no matter what you try to say, he's still a citizen... he's my citizen. I protect my people. And you might as well shoot me before I give up one of my own."
Cash couldn't help but smile. His eyes landed on the back of the official's head, who remained silent. It appeared he was at a loss for words, trying to counteract Jim's sudden passionate outburst. Unable to argue quite yet, he lowered his head and brought his danish to his mouth. Jim stood over him, an old man with a quick temper, his aged fists curled at his sides and ready to deck the putz before him.
The man sighed, heavily, and set the danish back down. He had lost his appetite. "I see... thank you for your time."
With a swift motion, he wrapped the remainder of his danish and stood up, scooting the chair back into the desk as he stepped away. He brushed past Cash, not even bothering to look at the man directly, and proceeded his way down the hall. Jim and Cash stared after him with a hint of unease, but unmistakable irritation.
"Think that's the last we've seen of that pansie?"
Jim ground his teeth.
"No..." The elevator opened, the man walking through. As he turned, he looked back at Gordon. The emptiness that once resided in his eyes was instantly replaced with venom. Jim breathed.
"Not by a long shot."