I could barely open my eyes. A harsh orange-reddish light pierced my pupils like a needle. I could barely breathe, either. Oh God, the stench.
Rotting carcasses were strewn around, which meant either a dinosaur had just completed his lunch, or Jack the Ripper was back in business. I wanted to vomit.
Then I opened my eyes a little more. Strangely, the sunlight was coming through a window that was 10 feet above me.
I turned around – I was sitting inside some kind of jail. But this wasn’t the Major Crimes Unit. Nor was it Gotham’s central police station.
The last time I remember visiting this place, it was clean.
“No Bruce, this isn’t what you think it is. Even I have no idea.”
Commissioner Gordon stared me in the face.
“Those weren’t my men or my orders. That madman had my family at gunpoint…”
I shook my head. Gordon didn’t need to explain himself. Someone else had to do the explaining.
“Apparently, he plans to expose the Batman in 24 hours… no, wait, he told me that around 5 hours earlier, so we have less than a day to do something, Mr. Wayne.”
I liked how he referred to me and Batman as two separate people.
Fortunately, in my brief time as a petty thief in China, I had learnt to pick the hardest locks. This one didn’t seem too hard at all.
As I was about to crack it, there was a flash of lightning. The lights went off, and came on again.
After that, the corpses around us ‘woke up’.
“Open the lock NOW, Mr. Wayne.”
I obliged. But where do we go from here? The building seemed familiar, but was new to me all the same.
We ran for our lives.
In all this mayhem, I managed to take a peek behind us. They were actually not humans, just pieces of rotting flesh. Yet, they ran hard at us, their eyes betraying their intentions.
As the zombie mob descended upon us, I felt helpless. Gordon’s gun was taken away, so we couldn’t even fire.
Then it hit me like a tank. I AM BATMAN.
How could I forget that? I screamed as loud as I could and unleashed all those years of martial arts training on the zombies.
Every chop I landed, every bone I broke, didn’t seem to have an effect on them though. They got up again.
Gordon wasn’t 20, but he was a decent fighter. He saw me looking at him, “My Green Beret training. It’s been 20 years, but I can manage now and then.”
Although I was trained to a physical peak, I wasn’t trained to fight forever. I was getting tired…
“Mr. Wayne, here!”
A nice sharp blade came my way. What followed was bloodshed – I didn’t like it, but there wasn’t any other choice. Their heads went off, one by one.
At the end of it all, I kicked each and every one of them, just to make sure.
“Dead as a doornail. You’re quite the martial arts expert, Mr. Wayne.”
“Your grey hair belies your agility, Commissioner. I am impressed.”
We laughed. “That still doesn’t tell us where we are. Oh, there’s a door right ahead.”
It was locked. I broke it open.
In front of us was a large hallway, with sweeping staircases, gargoyles and a huge metal statue bang in the middle.
We ran towards the statue. It looked oddly familiar. There was a note attached to its foot.
WELCOME TO THE MADHOUSE, BRUCE WAYNE
Oh my God. The statue of Amadeus Arkham.
We were in Arkham Asylum.