The Darkest Song

BY : AsylumWritings
Category: DC Verse Comics > Batman
Dragon prints: 64
Disclaimer: I do not own Batman/DC Comics, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Earth, wind and fire may stand in my way
Hell or high water I'll still be the same
Whatever comes and whatever will be
The choice is mine and I choose to be me
The Man and the Elements, Dynazty

I walked up onto the small stage, sitting down at the piano. The microphone was still a little high, so I lowered it as I looked out at the audience. The bar was packed, like always, and the faces looked at me expectantly. 

“It’s good to see you all again tonight.” I spoke softly, letting my voice wrap around them all. “I thought I would start with one of my favourite songs. This is called Past the Mission, and it’s originally by Tori Amos.”

Launching straight into the song, I let the calmness of my mind seep out into my voice. I could see my words affecting the audience, calming and entrancing them.

Past the mission, behind the prison tower
Past the mission, I once knew a hot girl
Past the mission, they’re closing every hour
Past the mission, I smell the roses 

I couldn’t deny that I loved the attention, and when I’d discovered what I could do, it just made me love it even more. People flocked from all over Gotham to see me, and I could have sold out concert halls. But it was harder to sustain my influence over a large group of people, so I kept it small.

Hey, they found a body
Not sure it was his, still they’re using his name
And she gave him shelter
And somewhere I know she knows
Somewhere I know she knows
Something only she knows 

The air seemed to sparkle as my voice spread out over the audience. Every note, every syllable, settled on them, drawing them into my world. My fingers drifted over the keys, adding gently music to my singing.

It’s like I could feel the music inside me, drawing the emotion out of me and sending it to the listeners. I could feel every person in the audience, every one of them with their own lives, their own dreams. They were individuals, but when they were listening to me, they all felt the same pleasure I did.

It was a good job, and I loved being up there a few times a week, just singing my heart out. But it wasn’t what I really wanted to spend my life doing. It used to be perfect, back before Maroni was killed. I would sing in the bar some nights, and go out on jobs for him other nights. Or even what my life was like back in Central City. Back there… I was everything that I wanted to be, but I’d been naive to think it would last.

Things change in Gotham so fast, and soon the bar was bought out by a businessman who changed it to a slightly classier place. Now I was only on singing and piano duty, and even though it paid just as much as all the work I was doing before, I just wasn’t completely happy.

As I played the last few notes, letting them hang in the air, I could hear the audience begin to applaud. It washed over me, and I used it for my next song. It was like a strange emotional transfer between me and them, and it was intoxicating.

My set always seemed to end too quickly, and I felt a moment of sadness as I finished up. As the applause rung in my ears again, I stood up, gave a little curtsey and then walked off stage. I stopped in the dressing room to change, then headed out to the bar for a drink.

Bane walked into the old apartment building. It was close enough to the centre of the city that he could easily get in and out of the places he needed to, but far enough that there wasn’t a lot of traffic around. 

He’d bought the building under a false name, one he’d never used before, so it would take the League a while to find him. It wasn’t the nicest place, but it was enough for him and his men.

“Is everything ready?” He asked, turning to Barsad, his right-hand man.

“He’s at a bar in Gotham Square right now. It’s pretty unprotected, so we should just be able to storm in and take him.”

“Good. We’ll go now.” He turned on his heel, walking back to the car. “I want to be back before the sun comes up.”

I slid onto a bar stool, giving the bartender, Sarah, a small wave. She walked over, pouring me a cider.

“You look tired, Alex.” She commented, as she polished some glasses. “Long day?”

I shrugged. “Just a few things on my mind. I’m just thankful I get a couple of nights off, so I can sort my head out.”

She didn’t reply, and I watched as her eyes got very big. The sound of gunfire echoed through the bar, shooting out some of the lights and everyone went silent. I didn’t flinch, even in the sudden dimness of the room, and I probably wasn’t the only one. This was Gotham City, even the fanciest clubs had an armed robbery or two every year.

“Stay calm everyone. We’ll be out of your way momentarily, as soon as we find who we’re looking for.” A man called out. 

I still didn’t move, crossing my legs as I continued my drink. There was nothing that would make me interfere, even though I could. Everyone minded their own business in Gotham, and I was no exception. But then I heard a scream, and what sounded like a scuffle, and I couldn’t ignore it.

I turned on the stool, raising my hands to show I was unarmed as one of the men turned to point his gun at me. His face was mostly covered by a mask or a bandanna and all I could really see were his eyes.

“Mind your own business, sweetheart.” He marched over, pressing the barrel of his pistol under my chin.

“I’m afraid I can’t.” I gave him a big smile, counting the men. I focused my attention on them, letting my voice drift through the air to them. “I think you’ve been here long enough, boys. It’s time for you to leave.”

It wasn’t an order, as such, and I didn’t know how it worked, but I was very persuasive. It didn’t always work, especially with strong-willed people or those who knew what I was doing, but it was worth a shot.

The men put their guns away and quietly left the bar. I felt the sudden release as my influence disappeared, and I took a deep breath. I was drained, and it was hard to stifle the yawn that was threatening to escape.

“Are you alright?” Sarah asked. “I know it’s not easy for you to do that.”

“I’ll be fine.” I gave her a small smile. “I just need to rest. I’ll see you in a couple of days.”

Getting up, I downed the rest of my drink then headed out to my car. I just wanted to forget about what had just happened, and go to sleep. It was risky, exposing what I could do like that, and I needed to lay low, just in case. 

As soon as I got home, I changed into something comfortable and basically fell into bed. I was exhausted, and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

He stood at the back of the room, in the shadows. People didn’t notice him, a stranger in the dark wearing a mask, because their attentions were focused on what his men were doing. Then he saw her. She turned on the stool, a confident smile on her face.

He wondered why a woman who had no part in the situation would draw attention to herself. He continued to watch her, listening to her voice as she spoke. There was something almost magnetic about her.

Just as he was debating what to do next, she spoke, and suddenly all his men turned tail and left. As soon as they were gone, people finally began to panic and rush out, making it easier for him to slip away. Storming over to the van, he angrily climbed inside to face his men.

A loud bang woke me from my sleep. I leapt out of bed, just as a man came running in. Ducking under his arm, I ran into the living room, only to find three more men. They were all masked like the men I’d seen at the bar, but I couldn’t be certain they were the same men.

They advanced, backing me into a corner. I looked around, but there was no easy way past. I was going to have to influence them.

“I don’t know what I did to you, but I’m sure you really don’t want to do this. You need to leave.”

None of them reacted, but I saw one turn his head just enough that I could see ear plugs in.

“Fuck. I guess we’re doing this the hard way then.” I kicked one of them in the chest, knocking him down and making a break for the door. 

I thought I was safe, but then a huge man stepped inside. He grabbed me and slammed my head into the door frame. My vision clouded as my legs gave out from under me, collapsing into his arms.

He lifted me effortlessly, holding me close to his chest as he carried me out into the back of a van. He placed me down on the floor, tying my hands and feet, then sitting on the bench seat. Feeling dizzy, I could see the world beginning to darken. I knew I was fading out, and I didn’t have the energy to fight it. I was just going to have to hope I didn’t wake up somewhere too awful.

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