A Beware the Batman fanfic – Bring on the Badguys!
Written by WDCain Man

Disclaimer: Batman was created by Bob Kane and owned by DC Comics, which is owned by Warner-Brothers Discovery. No money is being made with this story. No profit is being made from this fanfic.

I haven't updated this in a while. It's not that I've run out of ideas, I have plenty of villains left to update. It's just other story ideas have been brewing in my mind palace and I want to give them more of my time.

Bring on the Badguys!

Part Twenty-Three:

The Order of St. Dumas


On the island nation of Corto Maltese there was a beautiful church. Built a century ago when the local populace successfully overthrew their Spanish colonizers, no one minded the church was overseen by French missionaries. All people regardless of their race, nationality, or denomination were welcomed within its halls. It was the one institution all Maltesians saw as pure and free from the corruption of the modern era.

This was the Church of Holy Radiance. While most parishes visited it for salvation, the man who walked towards its beckoning doors sought only guidance.

His name was Abraham Arlington and was dejected and lost. A sorry looking sort by his disposition, yet his body was still in good shape from his recent military tour. He stopped combing his blonde hair and it was an unkempt shaggy mess. Abraham's blue eyes no longer shined with the joyful light of someone who lived everyday to the fullest. He had seen the real world while in service and the sights broke him.

Too much violence. Too much hate. The life of a soldier was not easy but being deployed overseas had tarnished him. He was lost; but he knew he couldn't stay like that and so came here for a sign.

Abraham entered the church. It was as impressive as always with the usual grand high steeples that reached the heavens and decorative crosses. Unlike other churches, the marble statues weren't of venerated saints but famous warriors from the Crusades. Even the ornate stained glass murals didn't show angels or the messiah but glorified battles from history. Some even looked right out of fantasy books such as shining holy knights battling shadowy assassins and their demonic overlords.

He had heard the tales growing up. During the Crusades, an elite order of knights was tasked to battle the Saracens' legions of assassins and sorcerers. While the Templars sought to take back the holy lands, this sect of knights fought battles the church would never recognize. They would hold no lands or rank, only the knowledge that they had weakened the forces of evil.

This was the reason how they survived the Third Crusades and the fall of Jerusalem. Instead of obeying the power hungry nobles, they followed their own charter and so did not partake in the losing battle at the Horns of Hattin. They had fulfilled their duty and lived to spread the word. If only Abe had their guidance now…

"Welcome to the Church of the Holy Radiance, Abraham." It was the head priest, Father Bakkar. Winkled French features and thin white hair, he still carried himself with dignity despite his age and condition. Decades ago he had survived a suicide bomber while preaching in Kahndaq, but at a cost: He was missing his right arm and the right side of his face was badly scarred. Being able to continue this journey even at the worst places earned Father Bakkar the honorary title of Gray Abbot. "Let me give you guidance."

"I could use some, Father." Abe sighed and looked ashamed. "I've been taught all my life that there's nothing sinful over being a soldier but that just doesn't ring true after everything I've seen. How can warfare be anything but a sin? Saying soldiers are just following orders is turning a blind eye."

"Do you see yourself akin to Pontius Pilate, the cursed judge who cast our Savior to the wolves?" Bakkar looked at him steadfast. "Must I remind you that this church was founded by Templars? War is never pretty, Abraham; but it is a sad part of life. Acts of cruelty can bring peace and progress. It's just the good cannot be seen in the immediate aftermath. You need to be reminded of this."

"Easy for you to say, Father. This church has done nothing but good for the people. There is no way you could do evil."

"You'd be surprised. Take this church. It does not follow under the jurisdiction of the Vatican and so function relies entirely on donations." Father Bakkar gave a crooked smile. "And our biggest donator is Blood Angels. You know of them, of course."

"Everyone in Corto Maltese has. Blood Angels is a huge PMC that's got troops in all the hot zones. It's probably the best in the world – almost 100% success rate. A few decades ago they worked out a deal with the Maltesian government to set up shop here tax free. They've created lots of jobs: Opening munitions factories, hiring local caterers, and employing native workers for their construction projects. Most people here make their living from them."

"Top marks remembering that, Abraham." Bakkar nodded. "It's a good arrangement. They pump up the Maltesian economy and all it costs was turning a blind eye to their ugly work in distant lands. Think of all the good this has done. Blood Angels has brought prosperity to this country. Their money has built schools, hospitals, and valuable infrastructure like paved roads and clean water plants. This is stated in their slogan: May the gods of war quenched their hunger in the blood of angels. From violence comes prosperity."

"If you're okay with blood money paying for it all," Abe grumbled. "Working here in the church means you don't have to see what happens over there. Massacring whole villages is just the tip of the iceberg of what Blood Angels have done. It's easy to praise them when you're not a part of it."

"Oh, we are very much a part of it. The way to Heaven is through Hell after all." The abbot gave a smug chuckle. "Follow me to my office. I want you to see how much this church is involved."

While an odd request, Abe did as ask, partly as he was still desperate for answers and out of curiosity over what the Abbot was talking about.

Bakkar's office was surprisingly well furnished. Expensive busts of the church's militant founders lined one wall like soldiers standing at attention. Multiple firearms from the ages lined the walls instead of crosses or paintings. On the wall opposite his desk between a set of blunderbusses was a massive television screen. Even his desk was far fancier than it should be. Fine engravings, silver doorknobs, and atop his desk was the most advance computer setup Abe had ever seen. This room felt more like the office of a hedge-fund manager than a priest.

Abe swallowed. "This is all pretty elaborate, abbot."

"It suits my needs." Bakkar brushed off the concern and touched his keyboard, turning on the large TV screen.

At first Abe thought it was porn. A beautiful Arab woman dressed in a fetishist latex nun costume that tightly hugged to her curves and lifted her ample bosom except she was doing ordinary office work. By the looks of it she was filling out a quarterly financial report.

"Sister Lilhy, report."

The overtly sexual woman bowed her head reverently and responded in a professional tone. "Of course, Abbot. Our quarterly earnings have exceeded projected estimates. While congressional donations are at a steady level, the revenue from recent troop deployments in Qurac were higher from confiscated arsenals. Blood Angels success there has also caused the provincial government to retain our services for future conflicts."

Bakkar nodded in approval. "Instead of funneling that money into the company, I want you to divide it between the R&D weapon division and increasing our stock portfolio. Look into foreign companies we could damage to lower their stock so we can benefit from their eventual rebound."

"Understood," said the lewd nun. "I will draft new shell companies to keep it from being traced back to the Order. This should also prevent future clients from spotting a conflict of interests."

"I want a statement on my desk by the end of the week. Don't keep me waiting, Sister Lilhy. And make certain to set aside funds for property purchases. There is a town named Ossaville 100 Miles north of Gotham City that would make an ideal launching point for any jobs in the states."

She clasped her hands as if praying to god. "I understand, Abbot. Praise be to St. Dumas."

"Praise be to St. Dumas." The transmission was cut off.

Abe looked at Bakkar in horror. "You run the PMC?"

"Run it? We created it. Blood Angels has proven to be an excellent source of income as well as offering opportunities for arms development and tech advancement. We have become a global player without anyone the wiser. The Church of Holy Radiance, Blood Angels, our weapons factories, all of it under the banner of the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas, our founder whose vision still guides us. Grand, is it not?"

Arlington made a sad choking sound.

The screen showed a new location. Thankfully it didn't show another woman in porn clothes. Instead it was a middle-age man of stock statue with severe facial deformities. Pointed ears, exaggerated eyebrows, a flat nose, and wild red hair made the little man look more like a gnome or ugly Halfling.

"Caretaker Nomoz, report. How is indoctrination of the orphans coming along? Will they grow up to serve the Order in some capacity?"

"It's going as expected." When Nomoz spoke, it was with a deep guttural growl like it hurt to talk. "The children who are prone to aggression are shown war movies and comics that glamorized army life. The smart ones are encouraged to study fields that will bring in capital to the Order of St. Dumas, either through the Church or Blood Angels. One girl with a penchant towards film making is already making her first student film that promotes the army. The softies who just want to help others are being directed to look into working for charities under our direction. The dumb ones will just become manual labor."

"This is good news, Nomoz. Just make certain that when they leave the orphanage everyone will be approached by the proper division to make use of their talents. We're ever expanding and need numbers for those ranks in the future."

"Headhunting is the past, Abbot Bakkar. While raising the children takes more money, their loyalty will be unquestionable. I promise when they leave the orphanage, they'll all be ready to die for us."

"Just make certain we always come off as benevolent and right. I don't want to you raising someone who'll try and bring us down."

"Anyone that rebellious will be sent to the lab long before they spread dissent. One bad apple spoils the bunch. Best to kill them before they start to rot."

"Always keep that in mind, Nomoz. Dissention cannot be tolerated, even from a child." The screen went black.

Abraham felt his blood pressure spiking. "Yu-You're indoctrinating children?! That's how cults work!"

The holy man nodded. "The difference between a cult and organized religion is just a few hundred years; and we have existed far longer than that."

Another button was pressed and now the screen showed something Abe wish was porn but knew otherwise.

It was a stern looking woman dressed in a leather dominatrix outfit – corset, thigh-high heels, and opera gloves. Her chocker spotted a large gold cross nestled between her bosoms. It was a perversion of the symbol she proudly wore even as she whipped a bruised and broken man tied to a metal harness.

"Inquisitor Whip, how goes the heretic's inquisition?"

The sadist stopped her flogging and bowed respectfully, notably displaying her cleavage. "The prisoner has confessed his crime and repented. This lobbyist has revealed his plans to have Blood Angels labeled a terrorist organization by the US congress along with encouraging more bank audits to find our funds for illegal transactions." By her accent, she was of Scandinavian origins.

The Gray Abbot shook his head sadly. "Greed often turns good men into savage. Fortunately for his soul you made him realize his crime. What sacrifice has he offered as penance?"

Whip gripped her torture instrument like it was the part of her she was most proud of. "It's a blessed trinity. He has divulged the oversea bank accounts that hold his money, the names of every congressman in his pocket, sign over all his company's patents to Blood Angels at a low cost, and donate the proceeds to the Church of Holy Radiance."

"Blessed be his soul. He will enter Heaven for this." The monk looked exceptionally pleased like he really believed it.

The dungeon master tenderly touched a heavy clamp on her prisoner's knee that made him moan pitifully. "Brother Kodo is drafting the proper legal documents for the sell. The conspirators who are moving against us will be hunted down by Biis. Their sins are to be cleansed."

"Saint Dumas works through you, Whip. Continue as your righteous tasks."

"I am truly blessed, Abbot Bakkar. God blesses us all for following in the steps of Saint Dumas." She patted her sobbing prisoner's chest with her whip, making him tremble as the torture resumed.

The screen flickered off. Abraham shuddered over what he just saw. "You… you have a torture camp…? How can you justify this?"

"Remember the Gospel, my child. The son of God was tortured to death and his passing began the Harrowing of Hell, opening the path to Heaven for all. Our order knows suffering will bring forth paradise. I think my final appointment can make this clear."

The screen flickered like the Abbot was flipping through horror channels. The current sight was of a pale man the color of death itself working tirelessly in a laboratory filled with vials of concoctions, robotic androids, and a set of power armor adored with a skull helmet.

"Carleton Lelah, my old friend. How are you? I hope your work is progressing."

The pale man smiled and Abe felt sick. He could feel his evil through the television.

"Everything is going marvelously, Bakkar." Carleton spoke with a thick Texan accent. "With the medical data our agents stole from Wayne Enterprises, the Clench Virus is ready. It can be dispersed at anytime. I swear on the cross the fatalities will be 100% of all infected."

"You're doing God's work, Carl." The priest smiled. "I see the Biis power armor looks complete. Will the results be as projected? You promised a lot when you requested funding."

"That and more, Bakkar. This suit is an engine of destruction – guaranteed to slaughter scores while keeping the wearer safe. We can put it on the public market to increase our coffers, keep it in-house to drive up our stock among the PMCs, or use it for black Ops. There are so many super-villains nowadays that nobody would think twice over us incidentally benefiting from one's super crimes. The sky's the limit."

The priest tapped his chin in thought. "You've outdone yourself, Carlton. Why, I can even see us using the Biis armor for variants once we miniaturize its tech. This can led to us finally crafting the Azrael armor for our champion on the world's stage. The masses will cheer as he slays our enemies and campaigns our cause."

The scientist laughed. "If this impresses you, just wait until I finish Ascalon. It's the next step in drone warfare. A fully automated battle-droid that will change the way war is fought. It will be so precise that all those peace groups who protest us will praise Blood Angels as the face of clean battlefields."

"It is a marvel of engineering. Ascalon will be your crowning achievement. The Lord looks down on you with adoration, Carlton."

The pale man kept smiling, looking insidious all the way. "Do remember this when deciding the next budget allocation. I have many more weapons planned."

"I'll keep you informed. Take care, Carlton." The screen cut to black.

Abe's fury was white hot. "You… dare call yourself a man of god while making WMDs? There is no justification for this."

"'Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.' First book of Samuel 16:14 NIV. God commands all, even evil to do His will. We follow in His path."

Abe was ready to kill. "You… greedy… evil thing! This whole church is an abomination! I will expose you to the world so everyone can see you for the hypocrite and charlatan you really are!"

The Gray Abbot didn't flinch. "I believe you; but know that I've heard this all before. Every recruit I show the inner workings of the church to said the same thing. 'We are evil and a perversion and need to be brought down.' What I show them next made everyone recant their rage and embrace us body and soul. You will be no different."

"Not happening, sicko!"

Bakkar touched an ancient sword used by St. Dumas himself mounted on the wall and twisted it sideways. A portion of the wall opened to reveal a hidden passage. He walked through with Abe storming after him, his knuckles tight and fists clenched. This old man wasn't going to escape!

Then Abraham Arlington beheld the glory.

He saw a woman of unfathomable beauty dressed in pure white robes chained to the walls. But it wasn't lust that drove him. Her very aura captivated him on a spiritual level. She was holy, the very light that brought forth love to the masses. The light of God was in her eyes. All Abe could do was fall to his knees, his hands clasped in prayer and cried.

"This is the Radiant – the Spirit of Mercy, the light of the Lord that brings peace and kindness to man. Back in the '40s she… arrived in the American city Gotham, choosing a nun as her host. We were able to retrieve her before the press found out. We keep her safe here – away from the cruelties of society." He touched the genuflecting Abe. "This is why the Order of St. Dumas exists: To bring stability and order to the world so the masses will be worthy to receive her. Do you understand, Abraham?"

With tears in his eyes, Abe kissed Bakkar's ring hand. "I see the light! Oh blessed be to you, Abbot! You are the true prophet! I will follow you to the ends of the earth!"

Bakkar smiled. "There is much work to be done, holy Templar. You must be trained for the wars ahead and you must prepare yourself to fight in them, mind and body." He tightened his grip on Abe's shoulder. "Any who oppose us must be destroyed! God wills it!"

"GOD WILLS IT!" Abraham yelled at the top of his lungs. He was now a willing disciple and dedicated to the cause.

Bakkar looked past him towards the Radiant. She looked away, unable to look him in the eye. He didn't mind. Mercy was naturally repulsed by cruelty but it is as much necessary as kindness. This was knowledge passed down from Saint Dumas.

And his will be done. Heaven help those who stand in their way.

End Part Twenty-Three…

This story has been a cooking in the back of my mind palace for a long time. The Order of St. Dumas has always been a big part of the Bat mythos but it's always shown as just church warriors. They needed to have their own lore and back story along with fleshing out their methods and philosophy.

I really wanted the Order of Saint Dumas to be the opposite of the League of Shadows. The League is a bunch of secret criminal assassins that are all about mysticism and the old ways of Eastern values. By contrast, the Order of Saint Dumas is a publicly known militia that operates within the law while focusing on technological development and western expansionism. It's west vs. east, science vs. sorcery, soldiers vs. ninjas, but all in the name of a twisted order back by violence. The best villains follow a theme.

There were a lot more characters I wanted to add like Colin Wilkes AKA Abuse as a child-turned-Hulk from Nomoz's brainwashing daycare. I also planned to have Hook to be an assassin alongside Whip as Absolver Hook, the one who cleanses sinners. I'm torn if I should have added Catwoman's sister, Sister Zero but she has the same origin as the Radiant: A pious nun is tortured by a supervillain and gets possessed, but instead of an angel it's a demon. It seemed redundant.

A big source of inspiration was Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The game does such a good job developing Big Boss' PMC Militaires Sans Frontières that I used it as the blueprint for how the Order was structured. I think I did a good job.

All in all, this was a lot of fun and so I follow my tradition of listing my favorites from 2022.

Favorite new game: Capcom vs. SNK: Match of the Millennium. I upgraded my Dreamcast with a high-end VGA box and the StrikerDC ergonomic controller and it feels like I have a brand new system. This game is so good, beautiful to look at while playing smooth as butter.

Favorite new comic: Garth Ennis' Fury: My War Gone By. I've known this comic existed but never checked it out until now. It's amazing, utterly deconstructing Nick Fury as a character by being a sad contributor of the military industrial complex, too concern with war than making the world a better place.

Favorite new cartoon: Disney's Amphibia. I never checked out this show, seeing it as a Gravity Falls rip-off. I regret it as this was brilliant. There wasn't an episode I didn't like. But on the retro front, Round Da Way or Lascars from France was also great. Manuella might be my favorite yandere. She's utterly obsessed with her man and wants him body and soul, but once she realizes he doesn't respect her or her family, Manuella will drop him like a bad habit. Tony never realized how good he had it.

Favorite new anime: Shenmue. I love the games and own all of them and this show hit all the right spots for me. If no more games are made then I'd be happy if the series was concluded as an anime.

Favorite new novel: Crippled by Paynis. It's a Highschool DxD fanfic but it's amazing. It was my introduction into the series and I wish the anime was as good as the story. Whenever a show presents a genius, they're usually mind-blowing smart that they come off as precognitive with how they predict future events. Issei isn't that. He has amazing analytical skills and can think up plans on the quick. I hope the story is continued.

Favorite new TV show: Peacemaker. I loved James Gunn's The Suicide Squad and this was a worthy successor. I cannot wait to see what he'll bring to the DCEU.

Favorite new musician: DIO! Holy Diver is such a great album! I was banging my head at every beat and jammed with every song.

Favorite new movie: The Batman. I went into this movie dreading it, thinking it would just be edgelord trash but I was blown away by the heart and optimism it presented. My ideal Batman movie would be Nolan's Batman in Schumacher's Gotham fighting Adam West's villains but this film is the next best thing. I can't wait for the sequel.

I hope I will have more new stories to bring all of you! Please remember to read and review!