"Anarky, Part 1": It's Christmas Eve, and in the heights of Wayne Tower, Jeb Lester has been cornered by a masked man, who intends to seek justice on Gotham's behalf for Lester's role in a child trafficking ring. He sets Jeb on fire
- My point, sir, was that back then you had a choice. I accept that now you feel you don't. Despite everything that's happened... you still do. I'll always be here to remind you of that. Merry Christmas, Master Bruce.
Appearing in "Anarky, Part 1"
Synopsis for "Anarky, Part 1"
It's Christmas Eve, and in the heights of Wayne Tower, Jeb Lester has been cornered by a masked man, who intends to seek justice on Gotham's behalf for Lester's role in a child trafficking ring. He sets Jeb on fire and kicks him through the plate glass window to his death. Meanwhile, on the waterfront, the Mad Hatter torments the homeless in search of his Alice. He threatens one man with death, should he not hand her over, and fortunately, Batman arrives to intervene. He condemns the Hatter for bothering people who have been through enough - especially since Tetch killed the Alice he's looking for years ago. When he throws the Hatter through the frozen bay into the water, he is surprised to see several skulls float to the surface along wit him.
Batman worries that the adolescent remains - in excess of five victims - might have been the Hatter's. Alfred suggests that the bodies must have been dislodged during the explosion on the waterfront. He adds that the facial reconstruction program will take a while, and urges Bruce to take some time for himself as Bruce Wayne, rather than Batman. Reluctantly, Bruce accompanies him outdoors to witness the the lighting of the Manor's Christmas light display. Sighing, Alfred admits that he knows the importance of Batman's existence, but he still wonders what it might have been like if the Waynes hadn't been murdered. For the time being, though, he will remain to remind Bruce that he still has a choice, always.
At GCPD Headquarters, Harvey Bullock expresses his gladness to see the year coming to an end, given the six hundred and seventeen murders on the books. His friend Nancy Yip comments that she hates the end of the year because it signals that all of the open murder cases are declared unsolved. She reminds that if he were really as focused on the numbers as he claims, he wouldn't still be obsessing about the anarchy symbols he's been seeing around Gotham. Ever since the waterfront collapse, the symbol has been appearing as graffiti everywhere - unfortunately it's not like the anarchy symbol is a new thing. Anyone could use it for any kind of rebellion. Harvey responds that this is not a rebellion. It's about freedom from "publicly mandated government, and a person's right to govern themselves." He has at least determined that the white markings indicate things that have been torn down by the movement, and the red symbols indicate future targets.
Fortunately, Harvey has only spotted one red symbol, but he isn't eager to have Nancy tearing his case apart - especially if she has better to do on this holiday. She responds that she wants the case closed too, and even if they aren't partners officially, she is there to watch his back - even if he might be better off going home too. They are interrupted, unfortunately, with the news of a homicide at Wayne Tower. Grumpily, Harvey adds another death to the tally.
Together, Harvey and Nancy head to Wayne Tower, where they are shown to Jeb Lester's body, and Harvey recognizes him as a man he'd pinned for human trafficking - only to get out on bail. There is no evidence to indicate the killer, but Harvey hopes to discover the motive if he can discover whatever secret of Lester's that his killer discovered. In Lester's office, Nancy notes that there are a number of Wayne Enterprises employees still there, despite the holiday. Lucius Fox explains that they have been struggling with system wide crashes for a while, and Harvey wonders if the murder and the crashes are connected. Checking Lester's desk, Harvey notices that a piece of software on his computer seems to be counting down. From the hole in the window, Batman answers that the tower will blow up when the counter gets to zero.
He explains that the building's Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems have been hacked. He realizes suddenly that Harvey has pulled his gun on him, and he swats the weapon back, tossing a batarang into the fire-alarm, causing the sprinklers to go off. With Harvey calmed, he explains that this is a form of cyber arson. Because the whole building's devices are on a network, that network can be hacked to cause the majority of those appliances to self destruct. He had Harvey and Nancy evacuate the building while he works on disabling the software. Unfortunately, the doors are locked, and they are trapped. Batman searches for different options, but the explosions detonate, and Wayne Tower is lit up with with explosions that produce the pattern of a flaming anarchy symbol.
- This book was first published on December 3, 2014.
- This story takes place on Christmas Eve.
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