The crime rate is rising; the crimes are more frequent and more brutal.
Women, and even young girls, are being savagely gang-raped and sexually assaulted; often, when they report the crime, their own families kill them rather than face the dishonor of having a victim in the house.
Hard narcotics are again the scourge of the streets, fueling yet more street crime, even as their profits fund the criminal aspirations of those who sell them.
Innocent people are knifed, shot, beaten, robbed....
The crime is now organized, now semi-organized, now seemingly random; omnipresent, it is hidden in plain sight.
In the face of this, the silence is deafening. Elected officials deny that any problem exists; or, grotesquely, they portray the criminals as the victims, and defend them, making a complete mockery of logic and justice.
Law enforcement officers are told by their superiors to not deal with problems clearly visible, yet strangely unseen. Many are paid off by the criminals; many are intimidated by them.
The few people who speak up are themselves targeted by both the criminals and the authorities.
Instead of telling about the crime, the media condemn those who dare to point it out.
Gotham City has become oppressive and stifling. Hatred rules; life is a lie.
The citizens have become submissive, living in fear and apprehension of the evil all around them. Whistling in the dark, they go on about their lives, pretending to be happy and unconcerned.... Many of them truly are happy and unconcerned, so effective is the cover-up by the people in power.
All too many feel alone, afraid to even whisper what is on their minds.
A deep, dark pall has descended on the place they call home; Gotham City is covered by a thick overcast of evil.
Alone, in a quiet room, one person gazes at this new Gotham, taking it all in, thinking....
Alone, I am nothing.... Just one voice.... One voice that will be shouted down, and ultimately silenced, forever.
But, as a symbol, I can fight back.... As a symbol, I can have an effect and spread the word. Not knowing who the messenger is, people will be forced to focus on the message. Soon others will hear; soon, they, too, will speak out. Maybe, one by one, we can turn the tide.
I will have to be careful. To bring light back to Gotham City, I must live in the darkness. To move about freely, I must stay in the shadows. The key to success, and even to survival, is to be a stranger in the midst of those around me, even to friends and family.
To do my duty, I must wear a mask; from this day forward, I must lead two very different lives, and keep them completely separate....
Moving like a ninja through society, a new kind of knight enters the battle in a new kind of war, a personal crusade against an enemy thoroughly modern, yet ancient and unchanging. A Dark Knight enters the information war, determined to stem a tide of evil that came to Gotham City straight from Hell.
A voice whispering from the shadows, the Dark Knight catches the attention of one official. This official is a true public servant, one of the few who understands what is happening, and who wants to do something to stop it. But, this official feels alone and powerless, opposed by an entire system that has become rotten, betraying the very ideals upon which it was founded....
"Looks like the Mujahideen are back in town, Batman."
This post is dedicated to the bloggers: you are the caped crusaders, the dark knights, who will save Gotham City from evil.
You are the Batman.