(This is my take on a Batman universe with the primary focus on the villain. Each chapter/segment is a different time period usually a few years between, and Mr Zsasz's spree's I based on real serial killer Ted Bundy.)
“Put your hands where I can see them!” yelled the officer drawing his gun. The driver of the yellow Volkswagen slowly released the wheel.
“Put your hands out of the window!”
The driver complied and the officer quickly cuffed the through the door handle. Pulling the door open the driver tumbled out and the officer saw the reason he’d stopped the car for in the first place; a young woman bound and gagged in the back seat.
“You okay Miss?” he asked gingerly. She stirred slightly but whatever was in her system wasn’t letting her wake up. “This is Gardner, send a bus to…”
“I suppose this is what they call a learning experience,” mused the driver.
Victor Zsasz took his position at the defence table as the Central City district attorney took theirs at the prosecution table. Victor held his cuffed hands up to the judge. “Excuse me your honour. To conduct my own defence are these necessary? There are one, two, three officers here along with two other police officers in the gallery.”
“Have Mr Zsasz’s restraints removed,” ordered Judge Breyfogle. “But any funny business…”
Victor crossed his heart.
“When you’re ready Mr Fox,”
“Thank you your honour,” said CCDA Henry Fox. “Could you remind Mr Zsasz about acting as his own consul?”
“I am well aware of the saying your honour,” Victor said with a smile as he looked through his notes on the desk. “Can I move for a mistrial?”
“On what grounds?” snapped Fox.
“Yes Mr Zsasz, please enlighten us since your trial is in its third week.”
Victor looked at the judge. “Sorry to be a nuisance your honour, but the arresting officer…” He paused as he brought up a page from the desk. “Officer Norman Gardner. He’s an officer of the Central City police department, yes?”
“Is this correct Mr Fox?”
“Your honour this is just another stalling tacti…”
Judge Breyfogle banged his gavel. “Yes or no Mr Fox?”
“Yes, yes he is.”
“Thank you your honour. Now Central City is in Missouri.”
“Your honour is this a court room or a geography class?” Fox complained.
“Get to your point Mr Zsasz,” Breyfogle warned. “The court has been lenient with you so far.”
“Yes your honour, sorry. Now I was stopped on the Kansas side of the WilsonBridge which is out of the jurisdiction of…”
“Overruled!” Judge Breyfogle banged his gavel. “We’ll have a ten minute recess to sort this mess out.”
The court rose as the judge left to his chambers closely followed by the DA. And in all the confusion Victor Zsasz simply walked out of court and boarded a bus to the airport.
Since his brush with the law Victor Zsasz had traversed the country laying low doing cash in hand jobs that didn’t ask questions. But a hunger grew inside him and now consumed his thoughts. Which is why he now stood outside of the women’s dormitory of GatewayCityUniversity. Like a shadow he slid along the wall to the rear of the building and up the stairs. He paused looking at the lock before taking the handle and jamming his knife into the door jam.
Victor Zsasz smiled as he wiped the handle clear of prints and entered into what he would later call a masterpiece and what would be dubbed by the press as The Gateway Bloodbath.
Detective James Gordon flashed his badge to the uniformed officer who held the police up for him to enter. He was greeted by a person in a white full body protective suit.
“Booties and gloves please,” said the muffled voice holding up a handful of blue plastic for James to wear. Gordon donned the apparel and took out his notebook.
“So, what can you tell me?”
“Nothing good,” said the technician. “We have three victims, all seemingly related but that’s your job not mine. Each stabbed multiple times. No sexual assault.”
“No. I’ll have a time of death soon enough.”
James nodded and stroked his moustache as he slowly walked around the crime scene. At the door there were yellow markers to indicate evidence and a trail of blood in the shag pile leading to the lounge room. In the lounge room they were busily putting body bags on the two victims.
“You said three victims?” Gordon looked around.
“Nothing gets past Chicago’s finest,” chuckled the technician. “There’s one in the bedroom. I hope you didn’t each lunch.”
“This is familiar,” said Detective James Gordon as he stood in the East End apartment watching two bodies being zipped up.
Detective Arnold Flass rolled his eyes and snorted. “It’s called a crime scene Jimmy, or didn’t they have them in Chicago?”
Gordon glared at his new partner whom he didn’t like. “I’ve seen this almost exact scene before. Serial kille…”
“Whoa whoa whoa!” Flass cried. “Don’t go throwing terms like that around because the press will get a hold of it and bam!”
“What, you’ll have to do some actual police work?” Gordon quipped as he recalled that earlier in the day Flass had stepped out of the car to beat up a suspect for no reason other than he wanted too. “Is there a third body in the bedroom?”
“Down the hall,” replied the police photographer. “It’s a mess.”
James Gordon pushed his glasses up, a wave of déjà vu washed over him. A bloody hand print on the wall; flecks of blood in the carpet. He forced his feet to go forward as he peered into the bedroom to again see what looked more like an abattoir than a bedroom.
Commissioner Loeb smiled. Gordon couldn’t stand it. Combined with those potent lollies he kept in almost permanently in his mouth made the fat useless man look even more ridiculous.
“I believe there’s a serial killer in Gotham,” Gordon said looking out the window into the heart of GothamCity. It was at that time of the day when she looked her most beautiful and her most dangerous; twilight. “I came across a…I’m sorry but did you not hear what I said?”
“Yes I heard you…” Loeb rasped shuffling some folders on his desk. “Found something that may interest you.”
He tossed a brown envelope across the desk. Gordon watched it land as if on cue several photos spilled out of him and Detective Sarah Essen engaged in activities that one, were private and two, something his wife wouldn’t like. James shook with rage and guilt but kept it from exploding outwards.
“Seems you’re not very discrete,” Loeb hummed popping another lolly into his mouth. “Now you were saying something about something?”
Gordon snatched up the folder and got to his feet, trying hard to keep his hand from pulling out his service revolver and ending this rotten man. “It doesn’t matter,” Gordon seethed.
“You can keep those, I have a spare.” Loeb chuckled as Detective Gordon left his office.
“What is this?” Batman growled from the shadows as he took the envelope.
“I’d say it’s a gift but it’s more a puzzle that I need help cracking,” Gordon replied. “It’s been going on for too long.”
Batman looked at the contents. “Victor Zsasz,”
“We know his name, what he looks like, we have his fingerprints, we just haven’t been able to catch him,” Gordon put a cigarette in his mouth. “And not just GCPD. FBI, a dozen other police departments across the country are after him. I need a fresh set of eyes to maybe come up with something.”
“Smoking won’t help you catch him Captain Gordon,” Batman sneered.
Gordon shrugged. “It’s either this or alcoholism. And you noticed I got a promotion, seems I’ve come to the…” James paused as he realised he was all alone on the roof. “How the hell does he do that?”
“Another night of America’s Most Wanted?” quipped Alfred as he set the tea tray beside Bruce Wayne who was busily staring at several monitors, sitting in his Batman costume.
“I’m studying up on serial killers,” Bruce replied.
“Perfectly sane response, I’m sure.”
“This man is a monster,” Bruce muttered. “Potentially a triple digit body account from Los Angeles to Gotham and everywhere in between.”
“Perhaps you could direct your caped acquaintance from Metropolis to find him,” Alfred suggested as he poured two cups of tea.
“Hmmm,” Bruce tapped on the keyboard. “Since Zsasz is a slave to his urges, maybe I could…what did you say Alfred?”
“Never mind Master Bruce,” Alfred sighed. “And do make yourself available tomorrow night, Ms Madison is taking you to the circus. You could take your leotard and join in.”
“Yes Alfred,” Bruce nodded but wasn’t really listening as he reviewed the life and crimes attributed to Victor Zsasz.
Victor Zsasz smiled to himself as he sipped his herbal tea. Gotham was proving to be an excellent playground but it was time to move on. Three years was potentially too long to stay but this pantomime of costumed players proved to be very entertaining along with the nightly light display of a Bat symbol from GCPD headquarters. Add that to the turmoil within the police after Commissioner Loeb was dismissed on corruption charges and his replacement Grogan ending up to be more corrupt than his predecessor.
“Ooo that looks nasty,” remarked the waitress looking at the cut on Victor’s forearm. He quickly pulled his shirt down and folded his arms under the table. She smiled and sauntered off. Victor stared at her intently, soaking her in.
“One more day,” he whispered as he wrote ‘Thank you’ on a hundred dollar bill placing it under the sugar dispenser.
Batman looked down at the woman who was more puddle than human and heard a slight gasping sound.
-Good lord! She’s still alive…barely-
He pressed a button on his utility belt that summoned the Batmobile to his location. “It’s okay,” he said in his Bruce Wayne tone, not the growly snarl to intimidate criminals. It felt almost wrong to him as he blurred the line but he pushed that thought from his head as he wrapped her up in his cape. “Stay with me. We’re going to the hospital.”
“…nd cowardly attack on this woman, who has survived the assault thanks to the dedicated team at Gotham General,” said James Gordon who less than an hour ago had been promoted to Commissioner and promptly thrown into the deep end. He looked not at the news reporters gathered in the lobby, but the bat silhouette across the street who had asked for this conference to be called in the hope of enticing out Victor Zsasz to finish the job.
Victor Zsasz looked at the freshly etched notch on his thigh with now horror. The late night news had just told him that the woman he butchered like a pig was alive. His skin crawled and felt wrong, his tally off, his life’s work potentially ruined by sheer human stubbornness to NOT die. He smashed a hand through the mirror, disgusted by his own visage. Victor quickly dressed and made his way to the hospital.
The knife didn’t go deep into the chest which surprised Victor, but not as much as the fact it was a resuss dummy when he threw back the bed sheets. He howled like an animal and then panicked as a humanoid bat figure filled up the doorway.
“It’s over Victor,” Batman stated. “You’re going away for a long time.”
“NEVER!” He leapt forward swinging the blade. Batman easily parried the blow and smashed him square in the teeth knocking him into the bed and onto the floor.
“I said it’s over.”
Victor stood up and ripped his shirt off like a professional wrestler. “Not for me.”
Batman’s eyes narrowed as he studied the scarred torso; deep scars in groups of fives, before dropping a smoke pellet and unleashing upon the creature called Victor Zsasz
“Are you ready to talk today Mr Zsasz?” asked Dr Jeremiah Arkham as he peered into the small cell that housed one of the worst killers in recent memory. Victor Zsasz sat shirtless against the wall, staring into oblivion. Dr Arkham shook his head and closed the slot.
“GAH!!” Arkham screamed at the sudden appearance of Batman beside him. “How did you get in here?”
“I have my ways,” Batman replied. “Has Zsasz talked?”
“I don’t discuss my patients with deluded individuals with no medical training,” snapped Dr Arkham. “This kind of popping in might work for Commissioner Gordon but I will not tolerate it in my facility. Kindly leave.”
Commissioner Gordon stood beside the Bat signal watching it sear into the clouds, the cold Gotham air known as The Razor whipping across the rooftops.
Gordon jumped a little. He was getting better at not being surprised by the vigilante.
“I know you’ve got a lot on your plate,” Gordon said pushing up his glasses. “But Victor Zsasz has escaped from Arkham again.”