Episode 2: Ethan Bennett's redemption
In Arkham Asylum, Ethan Bennett was sitting in his confined cell like always. He had been told that someone will come to pick him up soon to take him to court in order to see if he had completely reformed. As he was waiting, he was silently praying for a good session, one where he can go back to the GCPD. He then heard footsteps. Thinking it was the person coming to get him, Ethan got up and looked outside.
"I'm ready to get going." Said Ethan as the shadow of a person got closer. To his surprise, the person just chuckled before revealing himself as Jonathan Crane. Ethan heard about him from one of the orderlies. He was the new psychologist for Arkham Asylum. "What does he want from me." Thought Ethan as he stood attention as Crane looked at Ethan from the glass wall separating them. "Is there something that I can help you with?"
"*Chuckles* Not really, detective. I just wanted to say congratulations for getting another chance for redemption. After all, the last time you were given a second chance you mucked it up, Clayface." Said Crane. Ethan then narrowed his eyes at the mention of his former super villain career.
"That's not who I am anymore. That part of me is gone forever." Said Ethan while crossing his arms.
"Are you sure about that?" Said Crane as he held his hands together and started to pace around. As he was pacing around, Ethan noticed that he walked with a slight limp. "For all we know, Clayface is still inside of you. Waiting to come out and start all over again. Maybe you're right, and Clayface is gone forever. But I doubt it, that persona will always be a part of you. Now and forever. After all, during your chance of redemption, you choose to become a villain. To become Clayface."
"That wasn't me." Said Ethan, though hesitantly.
"Perhaps." Admitted Crane as he looked at Ethan. "Or perhaps not. Either way, it seems Bruce Wayne believes you are capable of redemption along with commissioner Gordon and your former partner." At hearing of his former partner, Ethan widen his eyes.
"Yin? She's back in Gotham?" Asked Ethan hopefully. He had heard that sometime ago, Yin was transferred to Bludhaven to help as some of their best detectives were in the hospital or dead because of the criminals there.
"Yes, she was transferred back to Gotham after a recent decrease in criminal activities there caused by a new hero called…Tarantula, I think it was. In either case, she will be the one to pick you up. She'll be here soon." Explained Crane. Hearing that Yin was back, Ethan sighed to himself in relief. "But, before you go, I wanted to express my regret on not being able to examine and treat you, Ethan. It would have been a…interesting appointment. After all, there's no other former cops turned super villain in Arkham Asylum and I wanted to see your greatest fear. But alas, it is what it is." Said Crane. He then held out a syringe with a yellow substance in it. "Pity to. I wanted to see what this would do to you." Ethan then narrowed his eyes at Crane, but this time in suspicion. Something about him seemed off. Before more words were said, however, Yin finally came. Upon seeing her, Ethan smiled, which Yin returned.
"Ready to get out of here?" Asked Yin. Ethan nodded in confirmation. With that, Yin opened his cell and let him out. The two then smiled at each other again before leaving. As he was leaving, Ethan looked back at Crane, who waved good bye at Ethan. "Something wrong?" Asked Yin, seeing that Ethan was looking back.
"No, Yin. It just that doctor. He creeps me out." Said Ethan, looking back at Yin.
"Don't worry about him. His records were checked thoroughly. There's nothing fishy about him." Said Yin. Believing her, he nodded his head in confirmation. Crane heard her, however.
"Oh, detective." Thought Crane as he looked back at Ethan's former cell. "Just because a person didn't commit any crimes in the record, doesn't mean they actually didn't do any." With that, Crane walked away, holding his serum. One that he made himself. "Perhaps, I can still experiment on Ethan Bennett. I just need to bring him here." Crane then smiled to himself. "And I know, who's up to the task."
The next day
"The defendant may now stand." Said the judge as he looked slammed his gavel on the sound block. Ethan then stood up with his lawyer, the same on that helped him before. "Mr. Brent, call in your first witness." The lawyer nodded his head before calling Bruce Wayne to the stand.
"Mr. Wayne, do you believe that Ethan Bennett deserves another chance of redemption." Said the lawyer. Bruce coughed into his hand before speaking.
"As you know, I've known Ethan for most of my teenage life and beyond. He's a good man that had an unfortunate accident forced upon him that made him become something he's not. If I had to choose one person in Arkham Asylum that deserves redemption, it would be Ethan." Said Bruce. Ethan smiled a bit at his friend's words.
"I see." Said the lawyer before asking Bruce to leave so that Yin can speak. "Detective Yin, share with us your reasoning that Mr. Bennett should deserve redemption."
"*Take a deep breath* Ethan Bennett, as the court knows, has been subjected to psychological torture at the hands of the Joker before inhaling a chemical the Joker himself made, which turned him to Clayface. I believe that, had none of that happened, Ethan would still be the cop he once was. And now that he's been completely cured, I believe that he should be allowed back into the force." The lawyer nodded in satisfaction before calling in several more people willing to testify. The case went on for several hours before the jury made their decision.
"Your honor, we, the jury, find that Ethan Bennett should be once again on probation. So, to prove that he is redeemable." Said one of the jury. The judge then nodded in understanding.
"Very well." Said the judge. "Ethan Bennett, you are now placed on probation until it is determined that you're fully reformed. Case closed." With that the Judge slammed his gavel to signify the end of the case. Once everyone was gone, Yin and Bruce hugged Ethan, relieved that he was given another chance. As the three were leaving the building, Bruce looked at Ethan.
"If you want, I can offer you a job at Wayne industries." Said Bruce, eager to help his friend.
"After what happened last time, no thanks, Bruce. I think I'll go for something more off the radar. Like a cashier." Said Ethan.
"*Chuckles* Never thought you would be doing a job like that." Said Yin.
"Yeah well, things change. So, who's going to be supervising me?" Asked Ethan.
"Gordon pulled some strings and had me handling you. Just like old times." Said Yin.
"Yeah, but this time, you're calling all the shots." Joked Ethan. Bruce just smiled at the two's banter before getting a call on the Batwave.
"Uh, I got to take this. I'll see you both later." Said Bruce before leaving the two alone. Once he was certain he was alone, he took out his Batwave communicator and answered. "What is it?"
"Oh, nothing much." Said Robin as he took cover from Fire Fly's attacks. "Just wondering when you're coming to assist me and Batgirl."
"Fire Fly given you trouble?" Asked Bruce as he called the Batmobile.
"Not really. He's easy." Said Robin with confidence before an explosion erupted near him. "It's just that, I wanted you to have some swings at him. So, you won't feel left out."
"Uh huh." Said Bruce. Unconvinced at Robin's weak attempt at brushing off how Fire Fly was causing trouble for him and Batgirl. He then got in the Batmobile and started to get dressed in his costume. After finishing getting in his outfit, he drove as fast as he could to Robin's position. Passing by Yin and Ethan as he did so.
"The Batman." Said Ethan as the Batmobile passed over them. "He's at it again."
"Yup." Said Yin. "I better call this in." She was about to get out her phone when Ethan stopped her.
"I'm sure Bats got it handled. I mean, all the heavy hitters in Gotham are locked up, right?" Asked Ethan. Yin looked hesitant before giving in.
"I suppose." Said Yin. She then looked at Ethan. "Speaking of them, did they treat you well. I can't imagine an ex-cop being popular with them."
"Eh. Some scrapes here and there, but for the most part I was confined to my cell. Orderlies didn't want me to escape." Said Ethan. The two then continued walking. "By the way, Yin. Where's the other Clayface? Haven't heard anything about him during my time at the Asylum."
"He's escaped a few times from arrest after escaping from Arkham, but he'd just been recently captured by the Batman. He's now serving time in Arkham." Said Yin.
"That's good. Somebody with powers like that could really do some damage." Said Ethan. Yin raised an eyebrow at that. "You know. With what I did with my powers and all. He could do the same."
"True. Anything else?" Asked Yin as the two walked.
"Yeah. Who else is on the run?" Asked Ethan.
"Well, Catwoman was never caught. Black Mask is at large. Killer Croc escaped last week. And we haven't heard anything from Penguin. Everyone else is in Arkham or in hiding." Said Yin. "So, you want to continue this twenty questions game or do you want to get something to eat. The food at Arkham could not be good."
"Trust me Yin." Said Ethan as the two walked to the closets restaurant. "The stuff they serve in the in the department is haven compared to that stuff."
Few days later
Basil Karlo, the second Clayface, was currently in a cell that was specifically made for him, was doing nothing but shapeshift into different people when an orderly came for him.
"Mr. Karlo, someone is here to see you." With that the orderly left the area, leaving Karlo to look at the person before him.
"What do you want?" Asked Karlo as he looked at the man before him.
"Nothing much really, Mr. Karlo." Said the man as he paced back and forth. "If you haven't already heard, I'm the new psychologist of Arkham Asylum. The name is Jonathan Crane. And I have a proposition for you." Karlo rose an eyebrow at that.
"What is it?" Asked Basil, curious at the proposition that Crane was offering.
"Oh, it's not too much. I just need you to pose as Ethan Bennett so that he'll be forced back into Arkham." Said Crane. Basil blinked at surprised at this, never expecting such a thing from the psychologist.
"Why?" Asked Basil, suspicious at Crane's intentions. Crane simply smiled.
"I want to have a session with Mr. Bennett. Unfortunately, he'd just gotten on probation, so I can't have a session with him. But if he committed a few crimes, then he'll be forced back into the Asylum. That's where you come in. You can shapeshift into Ethan Bennett. If you take Bennett's place, do some crimes, and implicate him in the crime, then people will blame him." Said Crane.
"And you get what you want." Said Basil. "But what's in it for me? What do I get out of this?"
"Freedom. I can free you from cell right now. Here's the plan." With that Crane began to explain his plan on getting Basil out. A few minutes later, a passing guard heard shouting from Basil's cell. Knowing that Crane was having a private session with him, the guard ran to the cell. When he got there, he was surprised to see two doctor Cranes fighting each other. Seeing the guard, the two Cranes got up.
"Oh, thank goodness that you're here! Clayface has impersonated me. Take him down!" Yelled one of the Cranes, pointing at the other one.
"Don't be fooled! He's Clayface!" Yelled the other one, pointing at his double. The guard, confused at who is who, got out a taser and pointed it in the space between the cranes. Hands shaking at the pressure being put on him. After a few minutes passed, the Cranes grew impatient.
"My god! He's the fake one, you imbecile!" Yelled one of the Cranes. Hearing that Basil was a horrible actor and that Crane was rather docile, the guard fired his taser at the one that just yelled. The resulting shock left the Crane that was hit, sprawling on the floor in a twitching mess. The guard then resumed to cuff him.
"Thank you for choosing the imposter, sir. Now, I must go and report this." With that, the other Crane left the cell. As soon as no one was in site, Crane suddenly turned into Basil, who smirked in satisfaction.
"Idiot." Said Basil before turning into a puddle of clay before using the sewer system to escape. Meanwhile, while recovering from the shock in his systems, the real Crane made a smile in satisfaction.
The next day
Ethan was currently sweeping the floor of the pastry shop that hired him. The folks that owned the store were people that he had helped back in his police days and they were kind enough to hire him during his probation. Meanwhile, Yin was observing the pastries the store had to offer, wondering which to pick. The doorbell then rung and Bruce came inside. Seeing his friend, Ethan smiled.
"How's it going Bruce?" Asked Ethan as he held out his hand, which Bruce shook with vigor.
"Just wanted to see how you're doing. People treating you right?" Asked Bruce.
"Well, the this is my first day, Bruce, so I can't say for most people. The folks that own this place are nice though." Said Ethan.
"That's because we wanted to help you in your time in need when you helped us during our time of need." Said a woman as she arrived from the storage room in the store. "Besides, my sister and I feel that you deserve another chance after what happened to you."
"Thanks again for giving this job, miss. It was extremely kind of both of you to hire a former super villain, even if he was a former cop." Said Ethan as he looked at one of his employers.
"It wasn't any trouble." Said the woman. "And it's Carla. We're opening up soon. You might want to get ready." With that the woman went back into the storage area.
"She seems nice." Said Bruce with a smirk. "And a sister." He then began to smirk. "You telling me that you have a secret affair going on?" Ethan then spluttered at the innuendo Bruce made.
"Bruce! C'mon, man!" Complained Ethan as Yin and Bruce looked at him in amusement. "You know that I don't do stuff like that!"
"Relax Ethan." Said Bruce as he held his hands up. "Just making a joke. It was terrible though."
"You got that right." Said Yin as she finally decided to pick a loaf of bread with cream in it. "I got to go. I'll come back at night to check up on you." With that Yin went to the cash register and left some money on the counter. "Tell them to keep the change. Least I can do for them taking you in." Yelled Yin as she left.
"Must be great to have her back in Gotham. Not many cops like her." Said Bruce as he looked back at Ethan.
"Yeah. I'm actually surprised that she made it back in one piece. From what I heard, Bludhaven is even worse than Gotham in terms of crime sprees." Said Ethan. Bruce nodded in agreement. Even with the new hero Tarantula, he feared that Bludhaven would need more heroes to help stem the tide of crime there. Perhaps he can go and visit Bludhaven for a bit. To help with the crime there. But before he could think on it more, he brushed it off. If he was gone, the criminal underworld in Gotham would go out of control. So much so, that the GCPD, Batgirl, and Robin couldn't handle it. Besides, Batman was a symbol of Gotham, not Bludhaven.
"Well, she's a tough gal. I'm sure that she can handle anything thrown at her." Said Bruce. "hey, she might even be the one for you."
"*Chuckles in amusement* Not going to stop with this, huh Bruce?" Said Ethan, amused at the thought of him and Yin together.
"*Smirks* After all those times you teased me with all those girls, never." Said Bruce. The two then had a conversation with each other for a few minutes before Bruce had to leave because of a phone call. After he left, the store opened and the people began to pour in. As they came in, Ethan braced himself in what would undoubtedly be a day full of suspicious looks and hurtful looks.
Later that night
"Thank you! Come again soon!" Yelled Carla as she waved the last customer good bye. Ethan sighed in relief as the last customer made it out. The day went by in a flash. Most of the customers ignored him or let him be, much to his relief. Though there were some stares or whispers about him, they were mostly kept to themselves and they didn't bother him too much. "Well, Ethan, it's time to close up. You did pretty good on your first day."
"Thanks. Same time tomorrow?" Asked Ethan as he got ready to leave.
"Yup. Just be here quick. Zoe wants to do inventory again." Said Carla as she also got ready to leave. Zoe, upon hearing her name, smirked at her sister. Ethan chuckled at the sisters, thinking it was amusing to see them act like this. After saying good bye, he started to walk to his apartment. Sometime later, someone was currently vandalizing a local jewelry store. The police arrived just in time to see the criminal leave the area, forcing them to give chase. They tracked the criminal to a dead end, but much to their shock, when they went in all they saw was an empty alley. While they were shaking their heads at this, the criminal appeared out of nowhere on a rooftop. He looked at cops, who were just leaving, when he noticed three shadowy figures above him.
"Want us to do this the easy way or hard way?" Asked Robin as he held a bird-a-rang in each of his hands. Batman stayed silent, observing the criminal before him. There was something within him that was telling him that something was off.
"Turn around." Said Batman. The criminal then turned around. Much to their shock, it was Ethan Bennett. Ethan then smirked before turning into a puddle of clay, using their shock to get away. Once the bat family recovered, Robin looked at Batman.
"I thought that Ethan was cured." Said Robin as Batman looked at the direction Ethan took.
"He was." Said Batman. "Wayne industries did multiple test to make sure we didn't get any false data."
"Is it possible that, they just came back?" Asked Batgirl, wondering also why Ethan still had his powers.
"No." Said Batman. "Before Ethan was taken in court, we did another test just to be safe. There weren't any mutated cells within his bloodstream. Somethings off." With that Batman began to leave, Robin and Batgirl following in tow.
"You think the police would blame Ethan for this?" Asked Robin. Batman stayed silent for a moment before replying.
"Most likely, if they had concrete evidence of him doing so." Said Batman.
The next day
True to his word, there was evidence that implicated Ethan to the crime. Surveillance footage of the jewelry store caught Ethan destroying display cases and attacking innocent bystanders. The police arrived to take Ethan into custody. Upon hearing this from Yin, who was shocked at this as well, Bruce immediately drove to his friend's apartment building, only to see Ethan being taken by the police. Already knowing what was going on, Bruce played the oblivious friend to avoid suspicion.
"Ethan, what's going on?" Asked Bruce as the police stopped. Ethan looked at his friend with a frustrated, but also sad, look.
"They're taking me to the GCPD. Because I supposedly vandalized a jewelry store." Said Ethan.
"Supposedly nothing! Security footage caught you in the act." Said one of the police officers. "You blew you third chance, and now you're going back to Arkham." It was, at this time, that Yin arrived. The look on her face was one of rage and concern.
"This is absurd!" Yelled Yin, confronting the officers holding Ethan. "There was no way for Mr. Bennett to be at the scene of the crime. The store he worked in was too far away from the scene of the crime for him to do it."
"Doesn't matter, detective. The evidence doesn't lie. And it says that Mr. Bennett did it. Besides, he could have easily got there, unlike most crooks." Said Chief Rojas as he walked to the source of the commotion. Bruce rose an eyebrow at the chief of GCPD. He had rarely ever seen him as of late. Only doing so, during charity events or news reports. Yin, meanwhile, glared at Rojas. Before she did anything rash, Bruce took over.
"Hold on. Are you implying that Ethan still has his powers?" Asked Bruce. "If so, that's absurd. Wayne industries did tests after tests to determine if Ethan still had his powers. All of them showed that he no longer has them."
"Doesn't matter kid. The evidence showed him doing it, so he's guilty. End of story." Said Rojas before motioning his men to take Ethan away. But before they did so, Bruce and Yin said some words to him.
"Don't worry Ethan. I'll try to clear you name." Said Yin.
"Same here." Said Bruce. Ethan smiled at his two friends before being forced into the armored car that then took off.
"Good luck doing that." Said Rojas before leaving with the rest of the GCPD. As soon as they were gone Yin scoffed.
"I hate him." Said Yin.
"You're not the only one." Said Bruce, scowling as Rojas's car drove past him. "So, what do we do?"
"Well, I'm going to interrogate those two shop owners that hired Ethan, see if they had any information worth digging up. You can help if you want, but I doubt that you'll be of any help in this." Said Yin. Bruce smirked in the inside at hearing this.
"You're right. Bruce can't. But Batman can." Thought Bruce as Yin walked to her car.
"But if you find anything, give me a call." Said Yin as she started her car. "You still have my number, right?" Seeing him nod, she drove away from the apartment building. As soon as she was gone, Bruce frowned.
Bruce, in his Batman costume, but with the cowl down, was accessing his super computer for anything that can help prove his friend's innocent while also trying to figure out, who did it. He had a sneaking suspicion, who did it though. As he was working, Alfred and Dick arrived with a tray of food and a glass of milk. Dick looked at Bruce working as Alfred put the tray down, somewhere safe.
"What going on? Trying to prove Ethan's innocent?" Asked Robin. Bruce simply nodded before getting back to work. "So, did you find anything?"
"Several." Said Bruce as he contemplated the information he gathered up about the jewelry store that was supposedly vandalizes by Ethan. "For one, the amount of time needed to get to the jewelry store from where Ethan works or anywhere near his apartment doesn't match with the time the store was vandalized. Even with his powers. There's also the fact that nothing was stolen. The original Clayface, and any other villain, would have stolen something from the store. Someone must have a grudge against Ethan to do this. Particularly someone with morphing capabilities." Getting the picture, Robin rose an eyebrow.
"You think Basil, did it?" Asked Robin. He wasn't being skeptical. After all, he heard that Basil escaped from Arkham after impersonating doctor Crane.
"It would explain the vandalism, and using Ethan as a scapegoat. Ethan did help in the attempt in removing his powers." Said Bruce, placing a hand on his chin. "He couldn't have done it before, since Ethan was in Arkham, but now with him out, Basil can easily use Ethan as a scapegoat."
"But wouldn't know that Ethan was cured. I mean the tests from Wayne industries should be enough to prove his innocence, right?" Asked Robin.
"For some, it would, but with the evidence that supports that Ethan did it, I don't think that will be enough to prove his innocence. Especially with chief Rojas." Said Batman.
"So, we just find Basil and get him to confess he did it, right?" Asked Dick, eager to get back in the field.
"It's not that simple." Said Batman before showing a map of the entirety of Gotham with dots showcasing possible places where Basil may attack. "With Ethan in jail, that leaves Basil to do whatever he wants. There's so many places that Clayface can attack. We need to narrow it down." Batman then began to think on what drives Basil. "For starters, he wants to be recognized, so he won't attack anything that won't attract attention." Multiple dots then disappeared. "He'll probably wants to be remembered, so he might do something unique." Some dots then began to glow brighter.
"What if he wants payback at Ethan. You think he'll go after him at the GCPD?" Asked Dick. Batman went into thought at that. The GCPD was rarely ever attacked. Doing something like that would undoubtedly attract attention to Clayface.
"That's certainly a possibility. He'll got both infamy, and a chance to get payback at Ethan." Said Batman before putting on his cowl. "We're going to GCPD." Dick simply smiled before running to get his costume on.
"Just confess to the crime Bennett." Said Rojas as he looked at Ethan, who was looking at his hands. "There's no point in this, Ethan. All the proof points to you doing it. Now, just confess you did it, so we can place you in Arkham, where you belong."
"I'm telling you, Rojas." Said Ethan, frustration in his voice. "I didn't do it. I was framed."
"If so, then why were you there in the security footage?" Asked Rojas, getting impatient. Ethan was silent for a moment, not having anything to say. Having enough of this, Rojas motioned to men to take Ethan away. "Fine, we'll just take you to Arkham now. Gordon wanted to give you a chance to speak for yourself, and as far as I'm concerned, your guilty and we're taking you away. Get him out of my sights." With that the two men, then grabbed Ethan and escorted him to an armored truck, which would take him to Arkham. As the truck was moving, Ethan was thinking of how unfair this whole predicament was and who could have framed him. He then thought of Basil.
"Basil, of course!" Thought Ethan. "He has the motivation to want payback with me and he has the abilities to frame me. *Sighs* But how will I get people to prove that it was him. They won't believe me. Not unless Basil confesses that he did it. And it's not like he'll just appear right now and do that." As if someone was responding, the truck was pushed back by a something big, resulting in it spinning in midair and crashing sideways on the road. Ethan groaned as he steadied himself from the crash. He then heard something ripped the doors of the truck open. He turned to see Clayface looking at him. Before he can do anything, Clayface grabbed him, pulled him out of the truck, and then glared at him.
"Payback, detective." Said Clayface before turning his free hand into a hammer. "Any last words?" Ethan just glared at Clayface.
"Yeah. Why did you frame me for that crime?" Asked Ethan. "Want to ruin my chance of redemption before finishing me off?"
"*Chuckles* Something like that. Think of it was repayment for you getting me locked up. And relax, I'm not going to kill you. Guy that helped me escape wouldn't like that." Said Clayface before getting ready to hit Ethan with the hammer. "But that doesn't mean I can't hurt you." As Clayface was getting ready to swing his hammer, Ethan thought on what he said.
"Someone helped him escape? Who would do that?" Thought Ethan before thinking of Crane. Before he could think on the matter further, Clayface then swung his hammer, but before it hit Ethan, a sudden flash caused Clayface to let go of Ethan. When he recovered he saw Batman and Robin looking at him from one of the rooftops surrounding him.
"Batman." Growled Clayface as he looked at the caped crusader.
"And Robin." Said Robin with an annoyed expression on his face.
"You're going back to Arkham, Basil." Said Batman as he brought out several pellets that would dry up Basil, turning him to a frozen clay statue of himself.
"*Laughs* Don't expect this to go like our last encounter, Batman." Said Clayface as he saw the pellets. "I actually prepared for those." With that Clayface began to separate himself into three separate piles of clay. The three piles then reformed into three separate Clayfaces, shocking the two masked heroes and Ethan, who was getting the two officers that drove the truck out of said truck and somewhere safe. "Learned this trick myself sometime ago. Now I can multiply myself, which means you can't use those things to put me down anymore because you'll be wasting them on other me's. Explained Clayface before laughing along with his other selves.
"Uh…we got a back-up plan, right?" Asked Robin, doubting they have enough pellets to take down the three Clayfaces. Batman narrowed his eyes in response. He never predicted that Clayface can self-duplicate. The only other villain that did that was Everywhere man, but he only beat him by making them turn against each other. With Clayface, he doubted he could have the same effect. He then looked at the pellets in his hand. He may have enough to defeat Clayface if he used them sparingly, but he doubted it. He then remembered the weapon he had recently made for Clayface in case he ever developed a countermeasure for his usual way to take him down. It was still a prototype and he needed to be careful, otherwise Clayface would adapt to the weapon before they can take him down.
"Just one, but we need Ethan. Try to distract them while I take with Ethan." Whispered Batman. Robin nodded just as the three Clayfaces jumped at them, intending to smash them to bits. The two jumped out of the way just before the Clayfaces smashed their hands at the area where they used to be. The two landed safely near the armored truck before throwing a few smoke pellets at their feet, creating a smokescreen. Two Clayfaces then jumped in while the third got ready in case the two heroes tried to escape. There was a noise, and then the sounds of fighting. When the smoke subsided one of the Clayfaces was a dried up statue while the other one was holding Robin.
"Where's the Bat?" Asked the third as he walked over to the other Clayface.
"No clue. Kid must have been a distraction, so Bat can escape." Said the other as Robin tried to escape.
"*Chuckles* How's it feel, kid? To be abandoned by your partner?" Asked Clayface.
"Little hurt." Said Robin before smirking. "If this wasn't planned." Before he could decipher what, Robin meant, a blast hit the third Clayface, freezing him in place. The last remaining Clayface turned to see Ethan holding a small, advanced-looking gun with the barrel still smoking.
"Drop the kid, Clayface." Said Ethan as he held the gun.
"Or what?" Said Clayface, holding Robin. "You shoot me and the kid's frozen too. You willing to do that?" Ethan stayed silent before standing down. "Just as I thought." Said Clayface while smirking. He then grabbed Ethan, who dropped the gun in response. He then made the two look at him. "*Laughs* Looks like I can get payback with two people I hate. But unlike Ethan, I can kill you, kid. So, say good night." Clayface then began to surrounded Robin with clay, suffocating him.
"Let him go, Basil! This is going too far!" Yelled Ethan as Robin began to fight back. Clayface ignored him as Robin began to lose oxygen. Just when all seemed lost, a bat-a-rang hit Clayface in the face. It then exploded, leaving a trail of dust in it's wake. Clayface was confused for a moment when he suddenly began to feel weak and began to lose control of himself. "What the. What's going on?" Demanded Clayface as his hold on Ethan and Robin began to lessen, allowing them to break free. As Robin coughed out some clay that managed to get in his mouth, Batman appeared before the two.
"Great work you two." Said Batman as he looked at Clayface, who was beginning to turn into a puddle.
"What happening to him, Bats?" Asked Ethan, wondering what was going on.
"The Bat-a-rang I just threw had a special chemical I made that is able to weaken Clayface's composition, making him unable to maintain his physical form." Explained Batman as Clayface threw out some slur words at him. "He'll be able to reform sometime later." He then turned toward Robin. "Are you alright?" Ethan noticed that Batman spoke with a slight hint of concern, something he never thought he heard from the Batman.
"*Coughs* I'm alright." Said Robin before looking at Batman with frown. "You couldn't have done that earlier?"
"Sorry about that." Said Batman. "Next time, I'll be quicker."
"It's alright." Said Robin. "Just be the bait next time, and I'll take out the villain. Oh, and give a raise." Said Robin with a smirk. Batman gave a huff of amusement before turning toward Ethan. "Nice shot with that ice-gun. This all wouldn't have worked without you." Said Batman. Ethan just brushed it off. He remembered how Batman, while the smokescreen was still up, threw him a gun and told him to fire at the third Clayface, and then wait for him to take out the last one.
"Just doing my job, Batman." Said Ethan before looking at the truck. "Probably the last time too, since I'll be going back to Arkham."
"Not really." Said Batman before holding out a small device and handing it to Ethan. "It contains the confession of Clayface doing the act instead of you. That should be sufficient in clearing your name." Ethan was stunned at this. He looked at the device before looking at Batman.
"Thanks, Bats." Said Ethan, grateful for the help in clearing his name. "I owe you one." He then held his hand out. Batman looked at the hand before shaking it. "Now, you better get going before back-up shows up. I'll tell them everything. Including how you helped save the day." Batman simply nodded before taking off. Robin waved Ethan goodbye before taking off as well. As soon as they were gone, Ethan looked at the Clayfaces and frowned.
"Did Crane help Basil escape?" thought Ethan as he went into thought. "I mean he was disappointed in not being able to have a session with me, but was he really willing to go to extremes like this to get to me? I got to get to the bottom of this." He then heard some groaning from the cops. "But first, I got help these guys."
Few days later
"I have to say, Carla. I'm surprised you let me keep this job after what happened." Said Ethan as he swept the floors. After he had given the device Batman gave him to the police and after they examined it, he was cleared of all charges and was, once again, a free man. To his surprise, Carla and Zoe allowed him to keep his job.
"That wasn't you doing those crimes, Ethan." Said Carla as she looked at Ethan from the cash register. Business was slow today. "You were framed. And in my book and Zoe's, that doesn't mean we can fire you."
"Still, thanks." Said Ethan. The door then opened and, to his surprise, Commissioner Gordon came inside and walked to him. "Commissioner Gordon. I didn't except you here. What can we get you?"
"Nothing really." Said Gordon. "I just need to talk to you." Seeing that Ethan was standing at attention, he continued. "How would you like to be back at the GCPD?" Hearing that, Ethan widened his eyes in surprise. So, did Carla's.
"Are you serious, sir?" Asked Ethan. "I mean, I served time in Arkham. Wouldn't that raise a few eyebrows?"
"True. It took some strings and calling in some favors to get do this." Admitted Gordon. "It'll be a tough road, but I wouldn't be giving you this job if you weren't up for it. Yin thinks, so too. And so, does Bruce Wayne. A few others believe you deserve to come back. What do you say?" Ethan looked at the floor before looking at Carla, who smiled and giving a thumb's up, showing that she was alright with it. Ethan then sighed before looking at Gordon.
"I'll do it." Said Ethan. "When do I start?" Gordon let out a small smile before giving him his badge.
"Right now." Said Gordon before leaving. "Yin is waiting for you in the car." With that Gordon left the store.
"I'm so happy for you, Ethan." Said Carla as she looked at Ethan, who was looking at his badge. "You're back in the force."
"Yeah." Said Ethan. "It's like a dream come true. You going to be alright?" Asked Ethan, looking at Carla.
"We'll be fine." Said Carla. "We can handle the extra work. Besides, Zoe has been getting lazy. Just go out there and be the cop you used to be." Ethan then smiled at the support before taking off the apron and walking out the store. He took a deep breath before getting in the car Yin was in. She smiled at Ethan before taking off.
"Where to, partner?" Asked Yin as they drove the streets of Gotham.
"Anywhere they need us, partner." Said Ethan before smiling. Yin gave a smirk before driving to the GCPD.
"I must admit, Mr. Basil, I'm disappointed with your work. Instead of Ethan being here, you're here. Arrested and humiliated because you couldn't help, but hurt Ethan Bennett." Said Crane as he looked at Basil, who was in his cell. Arms behind his back.
"Alright! I get it! It was my fault! Get over it." Yelled Clayface, getting annoyed at the doctor, but Crane just shook his head.
"No, I'm afraid I can't do that. You see, I need a subject for my serum. And since you failed me, you'll be the first test subject." Said Crane. Then he revealed this his right arm had a metal hand brace with fingertip syringes that had claws on top of them that were latched on his wrist. The claws then retracted, allowing him to use the syringes. He then slides a small window in the cell open before spraying the serum in the syringes into Basil's room. He then quickly closed it. "I'll come back later Mr. Basil. I wish to see the results without me becoming a suspect for your…sudden insanity. Before Basil could figure out what Crane said, the gas from Crane's serum reached his mind. Soon, Basil began to scream in fear. While he did so, Crane smirked in satisfaction.
"It does work. Good." Thought Crane before leaving. The orderlies would later find Basil laying on the floor in a ball, whimpering like a broken man.
Black Mask growled as he heard from his number one that they need more time and resources to achieve his plan.
"I thought we had enough to do this." Said Black Mask, getting ready to replace his number one with a new one.
"Our associates thought so to, but apparently, with the recent security measures placed by the GCPD and the mayor of Gotham, we need more." Said Number one. Black Mask growled, knowing she was right. If they wanted to do this, they needed more fire power, and some officials to be taken out and replaced with more incompetent ones.
"Then we need to do some…remodeling of Gotham's leaders." Said Black Mask, thinking of a plan. He then began to chuckle. "And I got just the one in mind to do that." He then turned to his number one. "Get me him." Number one rose an eyebrow, knowing, who Black Mask was referring to.
"Are you sure, sir? He's quite expensive." Said Number one, Black Mask then glared at her.
"I'm sure." Said Black Mask before resuming to plan on how to get more firepower. "We have more than enough money to buy him off. Besides, we won't need to pay him because I know what the man values more then money." He then told his Number one the plan. Upon hearing it, the woman smiled dangerously before telling Black Mask it will be done.
Before anyone asks, yes I know, that this chapter was not want the preview was going on, but I realized that a former criminal, even in Gotham, wouldn't be allowed back in the police force that quickly. So, to my discontent, I had to make a new one. My apologies in advance.