Friday, April 29, 2005

157. Bruce Wayne/Object X

I am not a man.
I am not a Batman.
I am weak.
I am a failure.
I am Object X.
I am property.
I am broken.
I am Object X.
I am a failure.
I am weak.
I am not a man.
I am not a Batman.
I am Object X.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

156. Alfred

I confess I am deeply concerned about Master Bruce and Master Dick. Each of them has been confined to his private quarters for days now, since their unexpected return. Their doors are both shut tight, although there is evidence that each has left his room at various points, presumably sometime during the night. I assume they are obtaining food and using the washroom; beyond that, they appear to be incommunicado. From time to time when I walk past their rooms, I hear what sounds like sobbing or even wailing, but I dare not intrude.

I trust that when they are ready to communicate again, they shall.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

155. Alfred

I cannot possibly hope to convey the emotions I am feeling at this moment in mere words.

Every day for weeks I have been watching the calendar, dreading the passage of time. The longer Master Bruce was absent, the worse I assumed his predicament must be. I confess I had almost abandoned all hope of ever seeing him again, and I have lately begun preparing an announcement of his death in keeping with his longstanding instructions. The steady stream of phone calls and mail demanding his attention only compounded my intense anxiety. Each time I replied to an inquiry with the stock story about extended international travels, I winced. I did not know how much longer I could maintain this facade.

And then last night, unable to sleep, I made my way to the "Batcave" at approximately 3 a.m. I am not certain what I intended to do--routine maintenance on equipment which has not been used for months? Computer research? To be honest, I think I simply wanted to be able to grieve.

Entering the room, I knew immediately that something was amiss. Call it an instinct, but I sensed I was not alone. I looked up, and there they were: my employer and his companion!

My initial shock and joy were quickly supplemented with something akin to horror: each man was naked, bruised, and scarred. It was clear that they had been tortured; whatever else they had been subjected to was unclear, and I did not dare attempt to imagine it.

The situation only grew worse. "Master Bruce!" I exclaimed. "Master Richard! Thank god you're all right!" Neither man responded in any way; they simply stared silently into space. It was as if they did not recognize their own names. They were clearly in shock. I have no idea how they were able to make their way back to Wayne Manor from wherever they had escaped. In fact, I still know almost nothing whatsoever about what has befallen them.

I led Master Bruce to his master bedroom and Master Grayson to the guest room he often used in the past. It is morning now, and I have not heard from either of them yet. I intend to allow them to continue sleeping for as long as need be. Whatever they have endured, I suspect they have a long journey to recovery ahead of them, and they will require every bit of strength they can muster.

Sunday, April 17, 2005



By Thomas Drury
Staff Reporter

The man Gotham City has come to know only as "Batman" has apparently met his end. Early Saturday morning, police followed the so-called "Caped Crusader" as he made his way into a downtown office building moments before the structure burst into flame. While his body has not been found, investigators believe it was burned beyond recognition in the massive fire which destroyed the office of psychiatrist Gus Tanhoger and several other tenants between the hours of 4 and 6 a.m.

The "Batman" appeared to be seriously wounded when he disappeared into the building, according to eyewitness accounts. The colorful and controversial figure had not been seen for several weeks prior to the incident.

Dr. Tanhoger was unavailable for comment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

153. The omniscient narrator

"Robin," the naked man whispered as he fumbled with the crude lock on the second cage. "Dick." The names felt unfamiliar and somehow wrong, but they were the only ones that came to him.

Oh god, please wake up...

The man outside the cage stared at the man inside it. He was dishevelled, hairy, broken. And he was ... could it be? ... beautiful.

This man is my partner ... my friend, he thought to himself as he opened the little door and tried to slap the caged being back to consciousness. That man over there is neither.

Acting on instinct yet again, he leaned over and kissed the sleeping Object Y on the lips.

The second man opened his eyes. "Wha--"

"We ... have to get ... out of here," the first man said.

The second man was reluctant to move. Better to stay put, he thought. Safer that way. We'll be punished if we disobey... He glanced over and saw Strange, the man who had become the new Batman, lying prone and immobile on the floor. The image was mesmerizing. It was as if the bodies of the two men he loved, his two mentors--his psychiatrist and his crimefighting partner--had magically merged into one. But this Batman was in bad shape.

"Is ... he ..."

"Don't know," the first man answered. The smoke was growing thicker as the room grew hotter. "No ... time. Have to... go. NOW."

"Can't ... leave h...him...," the second man objected. He realized that he was speaking aloud now, a direct violation of the master's orders. Frightened beyond words, he began to move toward the fallen man with the same physical difficulty that his companion was facing. "Have to..."

"NO," the first man rasped as loudly as he could. Something about that knee-jerk response--the anger, the passion, the sheer force of it--triggered a reaction in both of them, as if a forgotten memory had suddenly reasserted itself for each man in a quick and fleeting flash. Old roles were being revisited, reinvested with meaning.

Still dazed, still barely able to think or move, the two men nonetheless began to make their way out of the smoky room in silence, leaving behind the body of the captor--the man they each now felt they loved--in the flames.

They travelled as if in a dream, the journey calling for immense reserves of strength they no longer thought they possessed.

At some point in the dream, they each heard a loud crash, then sirens, yelling, maybe a gunshot or two. If this was yet another hallucination, it was working on both of them at the same time.

152. The omniscient narrator

Hugo Strange turned to face the source of the sound. In so doing, his cape brushed against a row of candles, knocking them onto their sides. Each flame ignited the surface it met--stacks of Strange's papers, the carpet, piles of books, and so on.

In his pain and confusion, Strange did not notice the fire growing behind his back, but the caged man did. Acting purely on instinct, drawing on reflexes honed through years of training, "Object X" stopped masturbating and slipped two of his fingers through the relatively flimsy bars of his cage. In seconds he had jimmied the lock and flung open the door of his dog-sized prison.

His plan--if you can call it that--had been to spring to his feet, push his master safely out of the way, then extinguish the flames. But the combination of untold days or weeks of mind-altering substances and the numbness brought on by his recent confinement made escape from the cell a major struggle. It was all he could do to drag himself out of the cage using his barely functioning arms, then crawl slowly along the floor in the general direction of Strange.

By this point, the doctor had collapsed onto the ground himself, gasping and moaning and choking from the smoke that was beginning to build up in the room as his blood continued to empty out of his body.

Can't let this happen, X repeated as he made his way with great effort toward the fallen man. Can't let him die can't let him die can't...

The pounding continued. "We know you're in there, Batman," a cop yelled.

Batman, the naked man thought. They mean him, but ... that's ... me... He stopped crawling for a moment to try and sort things out. It was no use; his head was far too clouded to know what was going on. Pure adrenalin was the only thing keeping him going now. Gut feeling.

And his gut now told him to crawl the other way.

151. The omniscient narrator

The creature called "Object X" squatted in his inhumanly cramped cage and watched the doorknob turn. He felt like a dog awaiting the return of his master. He was eager for a reward, hungry for a treat, desperate to be allowed out of the cage for even a moment. How could the being next to him continue sleeping at such an auspicious time?

Object X tried to steady himself in his agitated state by grabbing onto the bars of his tiny prison. The door opened slowly... slowly... and soon he saw the form of his master, dressed as ... The Batman.

I knew it, Object X told himself, his mind ricocheting in a thousand directions, all of them equally crazed. This is no dream. This is reality. He has become what I once was. I didn't deserve that role. That's why he took it from me. It was destiny. It was fate. I am nothing. I am shit. He is everything. He stole my life. It's his now. I belong to him. He's in charge now. He's teaching me a lesson. I must learn well. I must serve him. Serve my master.

X felt his cock harden once more, and without even thinking he moved his right hand to his shaft and began jerking himself off yet again. Need to show him I'm a good puppy. Want him to be proud of me. Want him to reward me.

But the man in the batsuit did not seem to notice or care about the naked man in the cage. Hugo Strange stumbled around the room as if he were drunk, knocking books off a desk, overturning a chair, nearly falling and then grabbing onto a table for support.

It was only then that Object X noticed the huge gash in the costumed man's clothing, saw the blood, realized in a horrible flash that the man was dying.

This can't be happening, X thought. I can't let this happen. I can't let him die. I need him. I ... I love him. The words racing through his head stunned him, but there was no time--and no opportunity--to think them through.

There was a loud sound several rooms away. A steady thumping sound. Pounding. Front door of the building, most likely. Far away, yet somehow close. And then a voice:

"Police. Open up. We saw you enter the building. Come out with your hands up or we'll break down the door."

Monday, April 11, 2005

150. The omniscient narrator

From the confines of his undersized prison, the naked man now known only as Object X awakened with a start. He'd been dreaming--hallucinating, more likely--and was slow to remember where he was. The only light in the room was cast by dozens of candles, most of them either already extinguished or burnt down to nearly nothing.

The cage that held him was a vivid reminder of his whereabouts. He was stooped over, his large frame forced into a most unnatural position. His legs were numb from lack of use, and the nerve endings tingled as he attempted to move. He was dizzy and hungry and his head was pounding. And then it came to him:

Object X, he thought to himself. The phrase made no sense, and at the same time it told him everything he needed to know. Object... X...

He was nothing, he told himself. Less than human, yet still somehow alive. Cursed with enough consciousness to realize he was no longer free, was no longer anything he'd once been, but unable to do a thing about it.

And he was hard as a rock. The stench inside his cage, along with the traces of dried cum on his flesh and on the floor (where it gathered in small pools with sundry other bodily discharges), told him that he must have jerked himself off several times already, and he began to do it again.

This is all that's left, he thought as he brought his hand to his cock once more. The walls of the cage limited his movement, of course, but they did not prevent him from doing the one thing he had on his mind.

He looked up for a moment and noticed a second cage bearing another naked man who was still sleeping soundly. Object Y, he thought. I remember now... Seeing how pathetic his cellmate appeared only drove home the full horror of Object X's situation.

i am nothing i am nothing i am nothing i am nothing i am nothing, he repeated to himself as he stroked his shaft, until at last a fresh blast of jism erupted. Producing it made him feel even worse.

There was a loud crash just outside the door. It sounded like a man falling. Object X heard a series of labored grunts and groans, then watched in the candlelight as the doorknob slowly turned.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

149. The omniscient narrator

Time seemed to stand still as the two thugs watched their victim slowly bleed to death in the alley. The only thing that shook all three men out of their shared reverie was the sound of a police siren in the distance.

"Shit," Rob said. "That bitch musta called the cops. We gotta get out of here. NOW."

"What about him?" asked Tom, pointing to the costumed man who was writhing on the ground. "Are we just gonna leave 'im here?"

"Our little gift to the GCPD," Rob replied, laughing once more. "They've been tryin' to find this guy for years. Now, come ON." He was already beginning to run, and it was all Tom could do to keep up with him.

The siren had had its effect on Hugo Strange, too. It meant he was safe--for now. But he was also aware that if he did not act immediately, the police would surely find him, and then he'd be in even worse shape than he was right now. Once his attackers were gone, he felt a burst of sheer adrenaline. Grabbing hold of the side of the nearest object--a dumpster, as it turned out--he managed to bring himself to his feet and began walking--stumbling, really--away from the scene.

As he approached the end of the alley, he remembered something. Need this, he thought as he reached back for the cowl and replaced it on his head before he crossed the intersection.

His path back to the office was far less cautious; there was no thought of scaling fire escape ladders this time, no rooftop heroics. He was also far less self-aware than he'd been earlier; all that mattered was getting back to the office alive and, ideally, unseen.

There was much he did not notice or care about this time around: the scurrying of rats in the alley. The occasional passing vehicle. Or the trail of blood he was leaving behind, a trail that would lead anyone who cared to follow it straight to its source.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

148. The omniscient narrator

The man in the batsuit sucked and sucked and sucked on the dick that was now filling his mouth. He worried for a moment it was going to choke him, the deeper it went into his throat.

Hugo Strange was holding on to Rob's legs for support as he did what he'd been ordered to do. Time was moving oddly now, and with each passing second--or was it hour?--he felt himself becoming one with the role he had assumed. I understand, he said to himself. It's all so clear now...

The sudden tension he sensed in Rob's body was a telltale sign that release was near. Strange closed his eyes and accepted the warm, salty spunk that soon filled his mouth.

Rob pulled his cock out of "Batman"'s mouth in mid-blast, eager to use the remaining drops to drench the crimefighter's face and costume. He howled and grunted as he did so, gradually noticing that the man beneath him looked equally ecstatic.

"Holy shit," Tom said, pointing to their prisoner. "He's cumming RIGHT NOW. He's TOTALLY into it, man. Damn, this guy is one sick fuck."

The two thugs let go of "Batman" and watched as he slumped to the ground, a soiled mess. Strange lay there, exhausted and thoroughly soaked with jism, trying to catch his breath.

Rob squatted next to him and began tugging at the mask again.

"W-what are you doing?" Strange asked, gasping for air.

"What's it look like I'm doing, bitch? I wanna look at the dude who just gave me the best blow job of my life."

"B-but you promised!" Strange shrieked. He had long abandoned the original tone he'd adopted as Batman.

"I lied," Rob said, yanking the cowl off Strange's sweat-and-cum-soaked head.

"Hey, look," Tom said. "Batman's bald!"

"Maybe that's why he wears the mask," Rob suggested, laughing. "Homely-ass motherfucker, ain't he?"

"You can say that again." Tom looked straight at the cowering man and asked, "Is that why you dress up, Batbitch? Too ugly to get any pussy--uh, dick--if you don't?"

You have no idea, Strange thought to himself.

"Can you tell who he is?" Rob said.

"Not a fuckin' clue," Tom replied. There was a long, awkward silence, and then Tom asked, "Okay, now what?"

Rob pulled out his blade. "I dunno about you, but I say we kill him. Just for the hell of it."

"Cool, " Tom said. He thought for a moment and started laughing. "You mean like in the comic books, where the bad guys tie the good guy up and stick him in some kind of deathtrap?"

"Nah, I was thinkin' of just stabbing him right here and now. Let him bleed to death in a fuckin' alley." With that, he plunged the knife into "Batman"'s side.

Tom's laughter was contagious. Soon both men were doubled over, watching their victim scream in pain and terror as blood began to stain his borrowed costume.

147. The omniscient narrator

"Oh god oh god oh god, anything but that," Hugo Strange stammered. He was on the verge of hyperventilating. One thug held him in place while the other prepared to remove the cowl that was currently providing his last chance of survival. In this instant he grasped everything that the mask had meant to its previous wearer.

Years of professional training should have taught him this was merely transference, that he was identifying a bit too closely with the man who was currently locked up in a cage several blocks away, but in this particular moment that knowledge was no help at all. In his delirium, the mask suddenly meant more to him than life itself.

"Anything, huh?" Rob said, grinning. "Hey, Tom--Mister Macho here is gonna make a deal with me. Whattaya think of THAT?"

"I think he's fuckin' nuts," Tom replied. "But then everybody's been sayin' he musta gone crazy or somethin', the way he was acting the last time anybody saw him."

"Well, we know what he's crazy about now, don't we?" Rob cracked, unzipping his pants. He turned his attention to the trembling man. "Okay, Bats, here's the deal: you suck my dick, you keep the mask. Got it? Refuse, you lose. But I gotta warn you--that dick is pretty soft right now. If you don't make me hard in sixty seconds, not only does that thing come off, but my friend here is gonna CUT it off."

Tom had produced a knife by this point and pressed it loosely against "Batman"'s neck, indicating exactly where the blade would go.

Strange said nothing. He could practically hear the knife beginning to cut into the cowl as he leaned forward, took Rob's flaccid penis in his mouth, and began to tease it with his lips and tongue.

"Well, I'll be damned," Tom said. "Check it out: the Batman really is a pussy, after all."

It didn't take long for Rob's cock to stiffen. When it did, the thug pulled it out of "Batman"'s mouth and slapped him across the face with it several times.

"You like that, bitch?" Rob demanded to know. "ANSWER ME."

"Y-yessir," Strange replied softly. The truth was, he had never been as excited in his life as he was right now. Suddenly it occured to him that everything he'd done thus far--the years of stalking Wayne, the months laying the trap, the weeks breaking the victim down--were simply preparation for this particular instant. One wrong move and he'd be dead--a thought that thrilled him to no end. "Oh god," he said again, nearly swooning. He soon felt the cock being returned to his mouth.

"Finish me off," Rob said. "Or we'll finish YOU off."

Sunday, April 03, 2005

146. The omniscient narrator

"What a joke," Rob said.

"Let's beat the crap out of him," said the other thug, whose name was Tom.

"Great idea," his partner replied, and the two of them delivered a series of kicks and blows in such rapid succession that their costumed victim had no chance to think about how to react. Strange wanted to melt into the cement--and the way things were going, that looked like a distinct possibility. He'd assumed for some reason that the costume alone would magically protect him from anything and everything an attacker might attempt, but it wasn't turning out that way at all. In fact, the weight of the suit slowed him down; the outfit was more of an impediment than a salvation. He grunted and groaned as he tried to escape.

"P-pl-please..." he begged. "N-no more..."

"WHAT'S THIS???!!!" Rob shouted, genuinely surprised. "The Batman, pleading for mercy?!"

"I think he's really just into getting beaten up," Tom suggested. "Whatta they call that--a masskisst?"

"Sounds like an ass kiss!" his buddy answered, laughing and planting one of his high leather boots squarely on the center of his victim's chest as if to stamp out the bat insignia beneath the sole. "I think he likes this kinda treatment. That right, Batbitch? You enjoying this?"

"Batman" squirmed under the boot, trying in vain to push it away. His erection was more prominent than ever.

Tom watched the prone man wriggle for a while like a worm on a hook, then kicked him in the side of the cowl. "I'd stay STILL if I were you," the thug said.

"He wants to move so bad, let's move him," Rob said. The two thugs lifted Strange off the ground and planted him back down again so that he was kneeling before them, obviously terrified. Rob reached down and grabbed the bottom edge of "Batman's" cowl in his hand and began to lift it up.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

145. The omniscient narrator

Strange revelled in his newfound glory until a noise not far away brought back down to earth. There, on the ground, he saw two thugs in leather jackets threatening a young woman. They had taken her backpack and looked like they were about to attack her.

This is my chance, the new Batman told himself. My golden opportunity to know at last what it feels like to be the vigilante hero.

He stood on the edge of the roof and prepared to jump--then looked down and saw just how severe the drop was. He'd break every bone in his body! Better to play it safe...

He returned to the fire escape and made his descent. The utility belt was surely full of equipment he could use, but he had no idea how to operate most of it. Nonetheless, about fifteen feet from the ground, he decided to jump off the railing and take the men by surprise, his great cape swooping behind him...

He landed hard but tried to disguise his clumsiness. The thugs could not help but notice his arrival.

"What the hell was that?" one of them blurted out.

"Holy shit--it's that Batman guy!" said the other.

Strange was thrilled: the costume was working. Lowering his voice significantly to mimic Wayne's no-nonsense tone, he spoke. "Let her go," he barked.

"Fuck off," the first thug replied.

The man in the batsuit grabbed something that looked like a small explosive--a smoke bomb,he assumed--and hurled it at the ground near the other two men. It did nothing.

The robbers began to laugh. "Looks like you've got a dud there, Bats," one of them said.

"That ain't all he's got. Check that out," said the other, gesturing at the growing mound just below "Batman's" belt buckle, which was now impossible to miss. "Hero man's sproutin' wood!"

They were both cackling by now, and it seemed obvious that they were in no way intimidated by the masked man staring them down. Strange had been so caught up in the heat of the moment that he had been largely unaware of the erection. He told himself Wayne had probably done the same thing the first few times he donned the outfit; it was only natural.

Determined not to reveal his sudden self-consciousness, the new Batman ran straight toward the two attackers, landing a crude but effective blow to the closest one and sending the surprised thug to the ground.

"Motherfucker! I'll fucking kill you for that," the fallen creep yelled. "Help me take him down, Rob," he said to his partner. The man called Rob threw a punch, and "Batman" responded with one of his own.

"He fights like a girl," Rob said, barely containing his contempt for the legendary crimefighter. Every criminal in Gotham had heard about the mysterious Batman, but few had ever seen him face to face. Could this clown really be the dude they were all talking about?

Strange may not have been the equal of the last man to wear the costume, but he fought with as much force as he could. From the corner of his eye he noticed that the woman was gone now; he assumed she would be calling the cops any second, which meant he'd have to get the hell out of here before--

--he felt something tight around his neck, something choking him: the cape! The man on the ground was yanking it, hard. As he struggled to free himself, "Batman" failed to see Rob coming up behind him, wrapping a pair of long, wiry arms around him, squeezing the air out of his chest, and throwing him to the ground.