"Gouge Away": Somewhere in Gotham City, a beat cop catches what he thinks are normal thugs converging on a young woman. When he attempts to arrest them, they come quietly, and he brings them in to the station. Once there, they reveal that they are vampires, and begin laughing maniacally.
Appearing in "Gouge Away"
- Alfred Pennyworth (Behind the scenes)
- Gotham Courthouse
Synopsis for "Gouge Away"
Somewhere in Gotham City, a beat cop catches what he thinks are normal thugs converging on a young woman. When he attempts to arrest them, they come quietly, and he brings them in to the station. Once there, they reveal that they are vampires, and begin laughing maniacally.
Meanwhile, Tig writes in her journal about how she lost the ability to feel fear after her father became a vampire and tried to eat her. John Troughton catches her, and comments that he also had kept a journal until he realized that making a note of all he had done merely emphasized how little he had been able to accomplish. Things had only got worse. They are suddenly surprised when a significant number of police cruisers pass by them in the opposite direction. Andrew Bennett realizes that whatever the police have found is to do with Mary, Queen of Blood, and he pulls a U-turn.
The train that Andrew and company have tracked from Boston has made its arrival in Gotham, still filled with the remains of those ravaged by Mary's vampires. Leaving Tig and John behind the police cordon, Andrew disappears like a vapour and goes to investigate the train. After he leaves, Tig rejects John's attempts to explain that despite his vampirism, Andrew is a good man. She vows that when the time is right, she will kill him.
While taking a closer look at the train, Andrew is surprised by Batman. The dark knight has little patience for Andrew's attempts to explain himself, and his obvious supernatural powers do little to influence Batman to believe that he is not responsible for what happened. Andrew manages to swear as a man of honor that he didn't hurt anyone, and that he knows who did. He offers his help, but before Batman can turn it down, someone notices them, and they both escape stealthily.
Andrew returns to find his companions questioning the police about what happened. The officers explain that they can't speak about the events, but they mention that there were no bodies found; only blood. As Andrew leads his friends away, Batman watches from afar and has Alfred begin digging up information on them.
Andrew uses his psychic connection to Mary to determine that she is hiding somewhere within the Gotham Court House. The security guard attempts to send them away, but Andrew uses his glamour to have the guard let them in without any resistance. Inside, they find it completely empty, but it suddenly occurs to them that the cells - a holdover from a time when the courthouse would house criminals - would be an ideal place for all of the vampires to awaken.
Batman suddenly appears behind them armed with a sword, and he reveals that he knows Andrew seems to be some kind of immortal, and demands to know what he is. John tries to hold Batman back, but Tig goads him on, encouraging the vigilante to kill her companion. Batman claims that Professor Troughton is under Andrew's influence as a Hecubus. Troughton points out that if Andrew were a monster, he would already have killed Batman, as Andrew has managed to sneak up behind him and put a sword to his throat without his noticing. Andrew swears that he is not what he appears to be. Begrudgingly, Batman agrees that they can work together for the time being.
The four of them board the elevator, and wait as it descends down to the holding cells. Midway through the elevator car's progress, someone throws a switch that turns all of the lights out, and the group is surrounded by glowing red eyes in the darkness. Within moments, the elevator is swarmed by vampires. Just as the creatures pry the door open, a voice orders them to a stop.
The voice belongs to Mary. She introduces Andrew to her army, and then orders them to give him a warm welcome.
- This book was first published on January 25, 2012.
- Andrew notes that the change can be averted within the first forty-eight hours (two days) by killing the sire. However, rules established elsewhere in the series indicate that the cutoff is actually seventy-two hours (three days).
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