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A Scandal in Gotham #3

by MeherazulAzim16


1895

Arkham Asylum

It’s a chilly spring morning. Batman walks through the gates of the asylum, right past two guards. One of the guards is a middle-aged man. He seems to know how things work around here: You don’t mess with the Bat. In fact, you don’t want to have anything to do with him. They’ve all heard the stories, how he had gone toe-to-toe with the American alien, how he had waded through a million demons in hell to make a deal with the devil and save the world, it goes on and it gets weirder. They don’t of course believe all the stories. But they agree on one thing, what the Bat did to the Joker after the bastard killed the commissioner’s daughter is the worst thing he has ever done, or the worst he has done that they know about. Who knows what he is hiding beneath that mask—what other bleak deeds—and who wants to know, really? The first guard certainly does not.

The other guard happens to be an overzealous young lad. He scurries up behind Batman.

“Stop, son! Don’t!” says the middle-aged guard. His warning goes unheeded.

“You can’t,” says the young guard with a stutter, “you can’t just go inside, sir!” Batman stops. The young lad’s legs begin to tremble and soon his hands and then his whole body.

“It’s best for both for us that we don’t do this,” says Batman, without turning back.

The young guard tries to say something but his vocal organs refuse to orchestrate any noise.

“Alright, then.” Batman goes on his way, past the main asylum doors, leaving the guard to tremble and self-loath in the spacious front yard.

As he turns to go back to his post, he sees a blonde man in a tan trench coat, standing in the street outside the gates, puffing at a cigarette. The young guard has learned to mind his own business.

***

Batman is greeted inside by the warden of the asylum, Dr. William Sharp. They stand at the Crossroads, a room that leads to all the different sections of the facility. 

“I have to talk to Crane, Bill,” says Batman.

“For a case," Dr. Sharp replies in a trivial manner, looking at a file.

“Yes.”

“That is twice you’ve wanted to see him this month. He has been here for over a year now and he has been a model patient. I fail to see how you’re drawing a connection between him and any criminal activity.”

“Actually,” says Batman, “it’s his expertise in the field of psychopharmacology that brings me here.”

“Why him?” says Dr. Sharp, raising an eyebrow. “We have doctors here who can—”

“Because he is the best,” says Batman, confidently.

“Well, at least I appreciate you being honest. Take the hallway to your left, as always.”

“And Bill,” says Batman, “I’d appreciate it if you don’t tell Gordon, or anyone in the law enforcement, about my meeting with Crane.”

It sounds like a request, if not a plea. Batman can tell that Dr. Sharp is amused even though the doctor doesn’t let it on. It’s not a comfortable place, where you have to trust someone to not betray you; a problem that arises when you are dealing with a generally good person with a clean record.

“Sure,” says the doctor. He takes a moment of silence before adding, “as long as your mate Wayne keeps funding the researches.”

Good or bad, every person has needs, and self-interest is the only real motive there is. Once upon a time, Batman endeavored to prove that that was not true, that some people could be selfless, that he could inspire the people of Gotham to rise above that mortal coil.

“Don’t worry about it,” says Batman, holding something of a smirk. The doctor nods and walks back the way they came. As soon as the doctor is out of sight, Batman’s face drops. He struggles to not imagine how Alfred would look at him right now.

***

One of the senior nurses unlocks the door to Jonathan Crane’s cabin, she examines the caped crusader with a glaring look, and steps aside.

“Yous even touch the feller and ay am send’n out for the bizzies!” says the nurse, pointing a finger at Batman’s face. Her hand does not tremble, her eyes resolute, there is no hint of hesitation or stutter in her voice.

Batman’s eyes widen and his mouth slightly drops—so slightly that only a couple of beetles may squeeze in. He realizes that the nurse can see through him. You don’t fear what you understand, and the nurse understands that he is all but an animal. His shock immediately turns into shame.

“That’s not why I’m here,” He manages to mutter.

“I got this, Jenny.” A calm voice calls out from inside the cabin. Batman hasn’t seen Crane since the incident; he has been dreading this moment for a long time. The door creaks open, revealing a feeble, blind Jonathan Crane; he is wearing a pair of dark spectacles and using a cane.

“I believe our guest would prefer to talk to me in private,” says Crane.

“Yous be careful, Crane,” says the nurse. She gives Batman one last glare before going on her way.

“Don’t worry about her,” says Crane, gesturing at Batman to enter the cabin.

“I wasn’t.” Batman follows Crane inside. He closes the door behind but does not lock it.

“Behold, the Scarecrow’s final lair!” Crane ironically extends an arm at the room.

There’s a bed, a wooden table with some academic books and a notebook on it, and that’s about it. Batman stays on his guard as he watches Crane approach the table—he winces at almost every step—and struggle to find something. Batman couldn’t have imagined Crane would be in such a bad condition. He mentally tries to justify that Crane deserves it for everything he has done.

“Don’t try to help me and don’t touch anything. If you do, I’ll hit you with my cane,” says Crane, still searching.

“You’re blind,” says Batman.

“Observation or underestimation? Either way, sod off,” says Crane. “Ah! Found it.”

It’s a book. Crane hands it to Batman. On Meaningful Co-incidences by Dr. Jonathan Crane.

“Crane, I need—”

“Aye, mate. It’s one of the three copies ever printed. I could never forget the feel of that cover. I lost one of the copies in Basel, while attending a conference. The conference itself was pretty dull. Just a buncha old sods patting themselves on the back. Science has reached its peak, my arse!”

Crane sits down on the edge of the bed. Batman turns a few pages of the book, as he stands his ground, helpless to Crane’s rant.

“Anyway,” says Crane, “I got drunk and misplaced the book. The other copy though—my own students at Gotham University set it on fire right outside the faculty. Happened two days after you revealed to Gotham that I was the Scarecrow. Or, so I heard. I hear a lot of things these days.”

Batman notices that Crane is smiling on his own as if he is deep down into an ecstatic thought, free from the interference of visual signals. He also snaps back on his own, as the ecstasy in his face is replaced by seriousness.

“Why did you want to talk to me, Batman?” asks Crane.

“I need your opinion on something,” says Batman.

“Go on, spill it then, or are you not sure where to begin? I’m certain I can get Jenny to bring a couple of couches in.”

Batman puts Crane’s book down on the table and takes out a small notebook from his utility belt. He places it in Crane’s hand.

“What is it?” Crane is a little startled.

“Have a look. I had the information written in braille.”

Crane chuckles gratefully and opens the notebook; he begins to feel the pages.

“Are these,” says Crane, eyes widened, “formulas?”

Batman crosses his arms and waits for any reaction from Crane. But then Crane begins to laugh hysterically. This doesn’t bode well.

“This is what the Bat is doing nowadays, eh? Synthesizing recreational drugs?”

“It’s not just that, Crane.”

“Oh I know, love. This is based off my concept of the fear toxin, isn’t it? Bloody brilliant.”

“Will it work?”

“Not a good question. Does it seem theoretically correct? Yes. Ethical? No. Could it disintegrate your brain permanently? It could.”

“So it will work.”

“Your overestimation of yourself is going to be the end of you,” says Crane, “and I could not care less.”

Crane tosses the notebook at Batman’s approximate direction. Batman catches it with one hand and tucks it inside one of the belt pockets.

“Well, this has been pleasant,” says Crane. “I appreciate you coming down here, asking for my opinion and all. I somewhat regret refusing to see you the last time. If I’d known you have grown soft—or have you? Might just be Arkham. Honest to god, this place does that to a man.”

“One other thing, Crane,” says Batman, rather hesitantly. “I know you have had interactions with Professor Moriarty in the past and—”

“Since you’ve been nice to me all morning,” says Crane, “I’ll spare you some advice. Do not make the same mistake again. Admit that you shuffled the wrong feathers and paid the price for it.”

“Tread. Carefully. Crane,” says Batman, clenching his jaws. His fists could burst right now.

“Nothing good waits for you down that path. She wouldn’t want you to—”

“You blind fool!” Batman screams but immediately regrets it.

“Don’t you bloody dare,” says Crane. “You did this to me.”

Crane’s whole body trembles, not out of fear but out of rage. He can’t hold it in anymore. He hurries to get up and in the process loses grip of his cane, then crumbles to the ground himself. But it does not lessen his spirit.

“You did this to me! You’re the fool. You are no knight, for you have no honor! Your code only conceals that fact. You may think you have never taken a life, but you have, you self-righteous bastard. You have ruined mine.”

“I did what I had to do stop you before you hurt more people.”

“To stop the Scarecrow, you mean.”

“You think there’s a difference.”

“Are you joking, mate? I didn’t want to be the Scarecrow. I couldn’t help it. I’m somewhat grateful that you put me in here too. But I had a life going on as Jonathan Crane. I was doing important work at GU and I was making progress. You should read my book.

“You have taken away any chance that I ever had of leading a normal life. I have nothing to look forward to. I’m stuck here. I don’t know why I shouldn’t take a page out of Joker’s book.

“What about you? Are you telling me you’re the same brute and rage underneath that cowl? Maybe that brute and rage is who you are. But is that who you want to be? Ah, bloody hell, why am I humanizing you?”

Batman is towering over Crane, the palm of his hand covering his face as he shakes his head. He wishes he wasn’t standing where he was. He wishes nothing was real, all but a dream. He exits the cabin without uttering another word.


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Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:58 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Hello once again! This is coming a bit later than I intended (sorry about that!) - I got sick and was having trouble focusing. But, feeling all better now and really excited to be reviewing this.

This might be my favorite chapter so far. I found the second half -- the conversation between Batman and Crane -- to be much stronger and much more intriguing than the first half, but still enjoyable nonetheless. I think it's more of a personal opinion (I got so engrossed in the conversation Batman was having with Crane about Batman's new... plan? With some sort of drug? :0). But, really liking where this is going. I also appreciate how, as a fan fiction, you're still working on developing Batman's character; I can see him fighting between two sides of himself and his decisions on what's morally right or wrong. Many fan fictions I've read have the writer doing hardly of anything to develop the character because they've already been created, but I enjoy it much more when the writer does it!

I would have loved more description, imagery wise. I want to know what Arkham Asylum looks like - is it a spooky building with a rusted metal gate, or a slab of rectangular concrete with unkempt vines crawling up the walls? Also, I'd love more visual imagery of Crane, as we only get one line of him seeming feeble (and blind).

I don't know how much it would help to know the backstory of Scarecrow/Batman, but even not knowing it builds up a nice tension in the plot that I'm really enjoying. I don't know what the "incident" is (and hopefully you go more into backstory/detail of this in the future - or, even just reference it is fine, too) but the amount of knowledge I don't know is just perfect because it leaves me wanting to know more.

All in all, solid chapter. Excited for more!

Peace!
~EternalRain






Thanks for the review! Sorry to hear you've been sick. Hope you're okay and welcome back!

I've been enjoying it too, exploring Batman's psyche. I'm glad it got appreciated.

I wanted to write more about the incident in this chapter but it felt a little forced, like forced exposition. I haven't started on a new chapter yet. Been busy but taking a little time anyway to shuffle around some ideas. But I have a feeling it will still come up in some form at some point.


Thanks and have a wonderful day!



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Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:25 pm
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Em16 wrote a review...



*Just a disclaimer, I haven’t read the first two chapters of A Scandal in Gotham.
Nice job! I was really impressed by this story and the suspense it contained. I always had so many unanswered questions, and it really pulled me in and enticed me in to keep reading. I was also impressed by your characterization of Batman. He’s such a popular superhero, and there are so many versions of him, that it’s easy to fall into a cliché. But your version of Batman is original, and quite intriguing. Your characterization of him is very subtle, and interwoven through the story. I especially liked the first paragraph, where you describe Batman through the eyes of the middle aged man, and referred to as the “Bat”. That’s a great nickname, as it personifies all the darkness in Batman, and fits with the general tone of the guard’s words. By taking away the word “man”, you take away everything that is human and good in Batman.
The dialogue between Batman and Dr. Sharp was quite interesting, and I could feel the tension between them. However, I felt that the dialogue could have been a little snappier. It seemed a bit forced, and Dr. Sharp just seemed like an automaton, saying lines. It also seemed to move a little fast. I would have liked a little more filler, just to have some more time to process what they were saying.
The exchange between Batman and Crane was also really interesting. It is strange to see Batman as the “villain”, as he is getting yelled at by the nurse, but it fits with the tone established in the first paragraph. I like the dynamic between Batman and Crane; they seem to respect and tolerate each other, but at the same time, I feel an underlying current of hate. You’ve done a good job with the characterization of Crane- I sympathized with him, even though I know he must have done some bad stuff to end up at a prisoner. I was drawn to his passion for his work, and also his strength and dignity despite his blindness. I was also drawn in by the vagueness of what they were talking about. I don’t know why Batman would be messing with formulas that could “disintegrate your brain permanently”, and I want to read on and find out.
The one suggestion I would have is just working on sentence structure and dialogue. The plot and characters are amazingly well-developed, but sometimes the actual sentences themselves confused me or seemed a little awkward. When you wrote “Batman’s eyes widen and his mouth slightly drops-so slightly that only a couple of beetles may squeeze in”, I was a little put off by that comparison. For one thing, I don’t really have a good idea of the size of beetles, so saying only “a couple” could fit in didn’t really help me imagine Batman’s mouth. Maybe that’s just me, but I feel like other people might be confused by that too. Another example would be when you wrote “As he turns back to the post, he sees a blonde man in a tan trench coat, standing in the street outside the gates, puffing at a cigarette”. It’s very descriptive, but it’s a long sentence. Every time I get to “standing in the street outside the gates” I expect the sentence to be over, but then it continues. Four clauses is unusual, so I would suggest breaking it up into a smaller combination.
Overall, though, I was really impressed by your story. I’d definitely like to read more.






Thanks for the review!

I think #3 kind of works as it's own thing, so it's okay if you skipped over to it.

he must have done some bad stuff to end up at a prisoner. I was drawn to his passion for his work, and also his strength and dignity despite his blindness

Well, I'm glad the writing could convey that!

And point taken, I do have to work on sentence structure. Description too.

Thanks again! Have a wonderful day.



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Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:03 am
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Lucrezia wrote a review...



Hi there! I am back again as promised.

This was really good! I liked that it was longer—more time to dig into the Batman/Crane dynamic. Rest assured, it held my interest and I never got bored. And the exchange between Batman and Jonathan was, like the exchange between Bruce and Alfred in the previous chapter, very interesting and a lot of fun to read. Again, I'm impressed by your character work and the questions you're raising. I love that you're digging into Batman's morality—questioning it, investigating it. I also like that you've continued to establish Batman's relationship to himself and others. And even though he's a stoic, the reader is privy to his inner unease. We get a sense of his interior life, which is very important.

I like what you've done with Crane, too. He's so pitiful here, and his view of Batman (and vice versa) is fittingly complex. One of the areas in which you shine is definitely character interaction. The exchange between Crane and Batman was layered, and I really got a sense of the nuances of their relationship: mutual respect but also mutual disgust/loathing. Good stuff. I can tell you put thought into this story, specifically with regards to how the characters feel about one another and about themselves, and the effort is paying off.

As for what could be improved, you're still struggling with telling rather than showing, and the descriptions need work. There were also some punctuation issues—nothing major, mostly a lot of semicolons in places where they didn't belong. All fixable problems, that's the good news.
Which brings me to my specific comments...

It’s a chilly spring morning.

I know I've already whined a lot about the importance of vivid, creative imagery and attention-grabbing opening lines, but this quote begs for further whining, and I intend to deliver. Here's the thing: "chilly spring morning" is not bad, per se. It gives me an idea of the setting and I can fill in the gaps a little from there. With that being said, it's just so generic. This kind of descriptor is fine on occasion—y'know, if the setting's not that important and you just need to give the reader a sense of the time of day/weather/location really quick—but should be used sparingly. Especially as an opening line. I think it goes back to the ol' "show don't tell" adage: rather than telling your reader it's a chilly spring morning, show us! Show us the dew on the grass and the crisp bite in the air and the just-beginning-to-blossom flowers.
This is particularly important if you're starting a chapter with a description. Make that description good. Hook your reader.

One of the guards is a middle-aged man, he seems to know how things work around here

That comma is bumming me out. I'd suggest either breaking this up into two separate sentences, OR deleting the comma and switching "he" to "who." The latter's probably the better option, as the former might make the sentences too short and choppy.

You don’t mess with the Bat. In fact, you don’t want to have anything to do with him. They’ve all heard the stories, how he had gone toe-to-toe with the American alien, how he had waded through a million demons in hell to make a deal with the devil and save the world, it goes on and it gets weirder.

I like this part a lot. The writing's good and it gives the reader important insight into how Batman's perceived and what his reputation is in this story.

or the worst he has done that they know about. Who knows what he is hiding beneath that mask; what other bleak deeds; and who wants to know, really?

A few things here: first, "know/knows" is repetitive. Second, incorrect use of semicolons. Punctuation is one of my favorite things so I'm going to indulge myself by offering a couple alternative ways to punctuate this.
Option 1: Who knows what he is hiding beneath that mask—what other bleak deeds—and who wants to know, really?
Option 2: Who knows what he is hiding beneath that mask, what other bleak deeds? And who wants to know, really?
Also, something about that "what other bleak deeds" bit isn't quite working for me. It feels incomplete, somehow, and I don't know if it jibes with the metaphor. Like, can actions be hidden behind a mask? Usually the mask metaphor refers to a facade a person hides behind—they smile and look all nice, but then are murderous or villainous; they're calm and collected on the surface, but deeply troubled underneath, et cetera—rather than their specific actions... although, their actions are part of it, since it's often their actions that are incongruous with how they present themselves... so I don't know. Maybe it works. It might sound better if you add "he has committed" to the end, which would also kinda separate the two lines and make them their own complete statements: Who knows what he is hiding beneath that mask, what other bleak deeds he has committed? Or, Who knows what he is hiding beneath that mask? What other bleak deeds he has committed?

The first guard certainly does not.

The other guard happens to be an overzealous young lad.

"Guard" is repetitive here. I'm trying to think of how to fix it... maybe you could change the second guard to "the other man on duty"? Something like that.

without turning back.

The young guard tries to say something back

"Back" is repetitive. You can delete the second one.

“Alright, then.”

This is fine if you're writing in British English. If you use American English, then it should be "all right" instead. (I probably should've noticed which one you're using by now, but I can't remember—and I don't want to assume anything just based on the Britishisms scattered throughout this chapter since that slang could be character-specific.)

The young guard has learned to mind his own business.

Just because of what Batman said? Really? Isn't "minding your own business" kind of frowned upon when you're a guard? Like, the whole point of guarding is to keep an eye on suspicious people and not let them do anything shady. Right? (I realize Gotham is notoriously corrupt and a lot of their guards are doubtlessly look-the-other-way kinda people, but the point stands.)
Also, this is another instance of telling rather than showing. Maybe instead, we could get a glimpse into the guard's thought process. Something like: Never again, the guard thought, his cheeks turning red with embarrassment. From now on, I'm minding my own business.

They stand at the Crossroads. There are different sections in the facility. The Crossroads is a room that leads to all of them.

"Crossroads" doesn't need to be italicized here. Also, this is a rather clunky way of explaining the setting. It can be shortened up considerably—maybe try, They stand at the Crossroads, the room that leads to the other sections of the facility.

“I have to talk to Crane, Bill,” says Batman.

“For a case,” says Dr. Sharp, in a trivial manner, looking at a file.

You use "says" a lot. Don't be afraid to switch it up—you could use "replies," "states," "adds," "requests," whatever. You can also separate two parts of dialogue with just action and no speaker tag. For instance: "I'm thirsty." Carol leaned back in her chair and sighed. "Can't I get something to drink?"
Or, to use the piece of dialogue of yours that I quoted: “For a case." Dr. Sharp spoke in a flat, almost bored tone, his eyes never leaving the file he was reviewing. You get the idea.

It’s not a comfortable place, where you have to trust someone to not betray you; a problem that arises when you are dealing with a generally good person with a clean record.

I like what you're getting at here (Batman is uncomfortable trusting people, worries about being betrayed), but there are a few problems. First, another incorrect semicolon—I'd suggest swapping it for an em dash. Second, what does this mean? It seems to be saying that you have to worry about a good person betraying you? Or maybe it's trying to suggest that a good person wouldn't be as likely to lie for you, so you have to worry about them telling the truth (i.e. betraying you)? Is that it? Or that you're more likely to share things with a good person and then you have to worry about those secrets getting out? Maybe I'm just tired today and misreading it, and once I get a good night's sleep, I'll reread it and be like, "Oh! Now I get it!" Or maybe it's genuinely confusing. Either way, I'd suggest trying to clarify.

“Sure,” says the doctor and takes a moment of silence, “as long as your mate Wayne keeps funding the researches.”

"Takes a moment of silence" is a weird way to put it. I'd also like to break up these two halves of dialogue a little, so that the moment of silence actually lands. You could try: “Sure,” says the doctor. He pauses before adding, “As long as your mate Wayne keeps funding the researches.”

Good or bad; everyone has needs, self-interest is the only real motive there is.

Improper semicolon. Also, something about this sentence isn't working. Again, there's confusion—what's the "good or bad" at the beginning supposed to mean? It's just kind of hanging there by itself. That random semicolon certainly doesn't help. I'm assuming you're trying to say that even "good" people and "bad" people are selfish at the end of the day, so here's a way for that to be clearer: Good and bad people share the same needs, and self-interest is the only real motive there is.

Once upon a time, Batman endeavored to prove that that was not true, that some people could be selfless, that he could inspire the people of Gotham to rise beyond that

Try "rise above that."

He struggles to not imagine how Alfred would look at him right now.

Ooh, I like this. These brief little flashes we get into Batman's psyche are very good. Keep 'em coming.

she examines the caped crusader with a glaring look

"With a glare" is fine.

“That’s not why I’m here.” He manages to mutter.

Using a speaker tag after dialogue that ends with a period isn't done very often. You could, instead, flip these around, like so: He manages to mutter, “That’s not why I’m here.” (A colon in place of the comma would also work.) You can also just comment on the character's voice/manner of speaking after dialogue that ends with a period (like: "That's not why I'm here." The words came out a mutter).

There’s a bed, a wooden table and that’s about it. The table has some academic books and a notebook on it. Batman stays on his guard as he watches Crane approach the table

Holy repetition, Batman! (Sorry—I had to.) That's three uses of the word "table" clustered very close together. Surely there's gotta be a synonym for table that could be used here instead, at least once?

by Dr. Jonathan Crane.

No need to italicize this.

Batman notices that Crane is smiling on his own; as if he is deep down into an ecstatic thought

Another misused semicolon.

Batman waits anxiously. But then Crane begins to laugh hysterically.

Try not to use adverbs like these so close together. Even though they're different words, the shared "-ly" ending makes them sound repetitive.
This is also another example of telling when you could show. How is Batman "waiting anxiously"? Is he shuffling his feet around, shifting his weight, staring at the floor, crossing and uncrossing his arms? Gimme some details.

“Your overestimation of yourself is going to be the end of you,” says Crane, “and I could not care less.”

Haha. Gotta love a sassy Scarecrow.

Crane’s whole body trembles; not out of fear, but out of rage.

Semicolon strikes again.

You may think you have never taken a life, but you have, you self-righteous bastard. You have ruined mine.

Oooh, this is good. More thought-provoking questions are being raised. I am into it.

Are you telling me you’re the same brute and rage underneath that cowl? Maybe that brute and rage is who you are.

Can a person be rage? Perhaps try: Are you telling me you’re the same brute with the same rage underneath that cowl? Maybe that rage-filled brute is who you are.

Batman is towering over Crane, but his head is titled down, sinking into the palm of his left hand that is placed across his face.

What?

He wishes he wasn’t standing where he was. He wishes nothing was real, all but a dream.

This is a great ending—such a clever allusion to the dream-like, faux-reality hallucinations Scarecrow is known for. Very nice touch.

All in all, I liked it a lot! I also love that we're getting more references to various Batman characters (Scarecrow! Joker! Gordon! Barbara!). It warms my little fangirl heart. I think you've done well so far and I'm sure you'll continue to explore exciting directions.

Good work! :)






I saw the notification on the way to uni yesterday and I just crashed on the bed after coming home. So, been waiting to respond to it for a while now.

Thanks for taking the time to write the review! It's thorough, I love it.

It%u2019s a chilly spring morning.

It's fair to say I got a little lazy with it. Initially the chapter just started with Batman walking in through the gates. I thought this sentence could do the job of setting the time and also the mood early on without boring the reader. There's probably a better way of doing it.

Holy repetition, Batman!

I giggled a little. Honestly, how repetitively I used some of the words is bumming me out too.

"what other bleak deeds"

Depends on how you look at it. I was alluring to the idea that a general person, or even the other vigilantes/heroes don't know everything about him -- at times, they find it hard to believe what they know, in retrospect, you could get a little meta with that too -- or about everything that he has done from the shadows. That makes him a bit of a myth. It allows for a lot of projection. They've heard the tales of Batman's heroism, but his most recent brutal acts would make one wonder if there are (insidious) things Batman's done that they'll never know about.

Just because of what Batman said? Really?

The guard did have to gather all of his courage to object to Batman's entrance. He was a little low on that when he was going back to his post. But still, the look-the-other-way attitude is uncharacteristic for this guard as we have established him to be someone who will disregard a senior guard's warning, risk getting on the Bat's bad side or risk getting fired as the Warden seems to have a deal going on with Batman, just to do what he thinks is the right thing to do.

So, maybe it's not all Batman. Well, what is it then? The writing doesn't do a lot to explain it. This part initially did have a couple more sentences. But they begin a thread that this chapter was never supposed to resolve. I'll notify you if I add anything here. I'm honestly a little torn.

Semicolon strikes again.

It was a little experimental. I felt I normally don't as semi-colons at all and it can be a useful tool. But I ended up totally ditching em dashes. Gotta work on that.

Again, thanks for the review! I'm glad you liked the direction it went and the choice to make it a longer chapter. It's encouraging. The criticism also helps immensely.

The plan is to upload a chapter every week. I'm still shuffling around some ideas for #4 . I'll let you know when I upload anything.

You have a wonderful day!




I say, in matters of the heart, treat yo' self.
— Donna, Parks & Rec