Disclaimer: Well, I actually made it to part two. Guess being home with a head cold is good for the creative juices....in any case, all the characters portrayed within (well, most of em) are copyright DC Comics, which means they don't belong to me. Ah well. Anyways, feedback is encouraged and welcome.
Archive: Tell me where, I'll say yes.
Yeah, yeah, rated R for language and stuff.
A TIME FOR WAR - A STORY OF THE BATMAN
January 12, 1947
German Expeditionary High Command
"God damn it to hell!"
General Heinz Gudieran slammed his fist into the situation map of the United States.
"What Brauchitsch was thinking, I'll never know, but an amphibious landing in a CITY with armored divisions is a goddamned bad idea. That cesspool-" his finger slammed down on Gotham, "has swallowed a fucking regiment of my Tigers. I want a fire lit under somebody's ass there, now!"
Lieutenant Gunter Ronald nodded meekly, and went to light the aforementioned fire, shuddering to think what would happen if the General lost even one more tank...
January 12, 1947
Gotham City, USA
Bruce rose slowly, not noticing or caring about the cold mud that clung to his hands and knees. Mechanically, he turned, his head bowed as he walked past the shattered oaken door into the manor.
"Nothing left here," he whispered to himself, quietly, as if not wanting to disturb a sleeping friend, "save one thing."
His steps took him again to the living room. He knelt, his head bowed as he paid his respects - and reaffirmed his vow.
He rose again and walked slowly and knelt, gently turning his father's body over, and shutting his eyelids for the final time.
He whispered a half- remembered childhood prayer as he stood. Walking to his mother's body, he covered her, and closed her eyes as well.
Standing, he walked to his father's desk and slid the wooden cover up. His hand clumsily pulled a the knob on the left, the drawer resisting, but finally relenting in a shower of papers. Bruce ignored them as he withdrew a silver key from the bottom, and slid it into his pocket. Leaving the living room, his feet took him upstairs, then to the attic, stretching out above the second story. He saw the corner of the faded black trunk, and walked to it, the cold metal of the key in his fingers. Opening the trunk, he pulled his father's old war uniform out, setting it reverently on the floor. This was not the garb he sought. There. His hands clutched at the black suit, jerking it out of the trunk. He stood with it, saw the cloak, the cowl, the silhouette on its' breast. Once the cloth of a wartime medic acting a demon in a battlefield theatre, it would now serve as the vestments of his son on his crusade of vengeance. The cloak of a demon, now the cloth of a Bat.
"I think father would approve."
February 7, 1947
Gotham City, Occupied Zone
The bar had been a place for policemen and private detectives to gather. Built sometime in the last century, it was far enough away from downtown to get the customers' minds off work, and close enough to the seedy side of the city to cater to their fleshly desires. It was small wonder then, that soldiers of the conquering armies gathered there as well.
The Batman dropped from the roof of the tenement across the street, rising slowly. Bomb and shell debris littered the streets and sidewalks, neither side taking the time to clean up the wreckage of war. Walking slowly, he paused before the entrance, and closed his eyes.
'It begins tonight Father, Mother.'
His eyes snapped open, and he stepped into the bar
"I'm looking for someone."
The patrons, engaged in either conversation, or solitary drunkenness, stopped. Ten pairs of eyes turned to face him.
"God in heaven."
Almost as one, rifles rose to meet the demonic intruder. Batman was faster. Across the bar he dove, sliding down the slick wood surface as rifle shots sank into the wood of the wall behind him. Balling a fist, he punched the first soldier in the chin, hard. A whoosh, and then nothing as he crumpled to the floor. Batman slid to the floor, crouched, and kicked, hearing the wet snap of a kneecap violently thrust the wrong way. A leg sweep brought three more of the soldiers to the floor. Pouncing, Batman slammed their faces into the unyielding wood, tossing them aside. The five other Nazis had clustered at the other end of the small bar, rifles pointed around the interior. Batman slid one of the custom shuriken into his hand, and rose, throwing in one smooth motion at the nearest rifle. It struck true and jerked the rifle up. The owner looked shocked, and tried to correct - but too late, as a bootheel to the face sent his unconscious form sprawling into his comrades.
"Son of a bitch!" one yelled, "fucking SHOOT him!"
Batman almost allowed a smile as he slid under one of the round bar tables. Rifle shots scored the wood, as Batman set both palms on the underside of the wood, and lifted the table up, slamming it into the three Nazis. Curses and groans were replaced by silence as Batman stomped on the back of the table. He turned, his eyes scanning for the last one - there. Slumped against the wall, his rifle on the floor.
"I know you." Batman said.
The soldier flinched, as if struck.
"I know you." Batman repeated.
"How - How do you know me?" the soldier whimpered.
Batman didn't answer, but he crossed the room in quick strides, jerking the soldier up against the wall, his hand like a vise around his neck. The popping of neck bones was audible in the suddenly quiet room.
"You were there."
"Where? Where? WHERE, DAMN YOU?"
Batman was silent as the night played through his mind. The door crashing, the rifle butt to his face. The murder of his father. The rape, and killing of his mother. Yes, this animal was THERE.
"Think hard, little man. Remember the first night of your war?"
The soldier's eyes widened, then shrank as he tried to pull away.
"You are - you are a demon! We killed you! We killed you! We fucking killed you! All of you!"
"Who was the SS officer?"
"WE KILLED YOU ALL! I SAW IT!"
"WHO WAS HE?!"
"He - he - he's - he's a Major...Major Schreiber. I - I don't know anymore than that - oh, God.."
His reserves collapsed then, as he sucked in great breaths, sobbing. He wet himself, sniveling, the Batman's hand still pressing him against the wall.
"That's all I wanted."
Batman flung the wretched soldier clear across the room, almost as an afterthought. The man flopped like a rag doll, before sliding to the ground. Major Schreiber. Well. Now he had a name.