"Here's the initial report, Commissioner. A citizen witnessed it all. Officers on the scene asked him to not talk to reporters about it, to give us a chance to investigate, and he's agreed to cooperate, but other people will have seen or heard something. Reporters are on the scene now."
"Thanks." The Commissioner dropped what he was doing, and took the report. A shooting incident had occurred on Gotham's near north side. It happened in an area where some of Gotham's more influential people lived -- not rich, just influential: retirees, mostly, but right outside one condominium complex that was especially popular with faculty from a campus of Gotham University. They were the kind of people that could make trouble for the city council and for the mayor. The Commissioner knew he would be asked about the incident.
He read through the report.
It started with two prowlers dressed in strange costumes. Two armed citizens approached with drawn guns to detain them and take them into custody. Suddenly, all hell broke loose. Within minutes several dozen gunshots were reported.
The Commissioner opened his desk drawer and pulled out a special towel and some special cleaner that he used to clean his glasses. He wanted to make sure he was reading the rest of this correctly.
In the course of the fight, a smoky fire broke out, although nothing seemed to have burned.
The Commissioner looked up for a minute, shaking his head.
Other evidence on the scene includes a discharged tear gas cannister. Still other items found on the scene include bladed martial arts-style weapons -- and a tomahawk!
No one was on the scene when police arrived, no one was taken into custody, and only one witness saw anything -- and he only had a vague description.
Wonderful! thought the Commissioner.
Streetgangs? Maybe organized crime hitmen? Professional assassins, possibly, who got tangled up with somebody's bodyguards?
He was going to be asked questions about this one.
Special Agent Nicholas Kyle of the Gotham Bureau of Investigation shook his head. He still couldn't believe it.
He and his partner, Special Agent Ron DiViglio, surprised The Bat -- they had him!
And then the whole thing just fell apart -- it just went to hell on them!
The Bat popped a smokescreen, The Bat popped tear gas, The Bat napalmed Ron's arm!
During the fray, Nick and Ron each fired one full clip from their 9mm pistols into The Bat at point-blank range -- to no effect!
The smoke and tear gas were impairing their vision. Ron was out of the fray, wounded and unable to see.
But, Nick managed to reload, and, aiming his pistol through a break in the smoke and tear gas, had the bead on The Bat's forehead.
Nick had him!
Everything moved in slow motion....
Nick had The Bat in his sights....
Nick made eye contact with The Bat....
The Bat smiled at Nick... and calmly said, "See ya around."
Then The Bat just vanished! He just disappeared, right before Nick's eyes!
His partner's voice drifted in -- "Come on!" he said.
The smoke drifted back in front of him....
"Let's get out of here," his partner called again, hurt, shaken, needing to withdraw from the battle.
A little later, Nick told Ron what had happened, but Ron didn't believe him, although Ron was too hurt and too shaken to argue much.
But Nick knew -- a light breeze opened a hole in the smoke screen, then The Bat disappeared, then the smoke drifted back between where Nick was and where The Bat had just been!
It was as if The Bat had it all planned... as if The Bat had been toying with him....
As long as he lived, Nick would never forget that look in The Bat's eyes, and that smile on The Bat's bloody face....
It was as if The Bat were taunting him, saying to him "You've done your worst, yet here I am."
Then The Bat said "See ya around," as if promising that next time, it would be Nick's turn to suffer.
Then The Bat just vanished into thin air!
Nick shuddered uncontrollably: the vivid memory chilled him to the bone.