How about a magic trick? I’m gonna make this pencil disappear. Ta-da!

Behind you, stands a symbol of oppression. Blackgate Prison, where a thousand men have languished under the name of this man: Harvey Dent.

Every year, I took a holiday. I went to Florence, this cafe on the banks of the Arno. Every fine evening, I would sit there and order a Fernet Branca. I had this fantasy, that I would look across the tables and I would see you there with a wife maybe a couple of kids. You wouldn’t say anything to me, nor me to you. But we would both know that you’ve made it, that you were happy. I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I always knew there was nothing here for you except pain and tragedy and I wanted something more for you than that. I still do.

Master Wayne, you’ve been gone a long time. You look very fashionable. Apart from the mud.

It will be extremely painful… for you.

Okay. Now… Hardened Kevlar plates over titanium-dipped, tri-weave fibers for flexibility. You’ll be lighter, faster, more agile.

If you can tell me the Russian for “apply your own bloody suntan lotion.”

You fight like a younger man, there’s nothing held back. It’s admirable, but mistaken.

Oh, hee-hee, aha. Ha, ooh, hee, ha-ha, ha-ha. And I thought my jokes were bad.

You must become more than just a man in the mind of you opponent.

Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands and your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck.

This conversation used to end with an unusual request. Well, let me show you some stuff, anyway. Just for old times’ sake.

Never underestimate Gotham City. People get mugged coming home from work every day of the week. Sometimes things just go bad.

Now, our operation is small but there is a lot of potential for aggressive expansion. So which of you fine gentlemen would like to join our team? Oh. There’s only one spot open right now, so we’re gonna have… tryouts.

Photo by Marcin Lukasik on Unsplash.

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