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"End of the Run": Calvin Rose has been poisoned with the Court of Owls' death serum, and for the first time since they transformed him into an undead Talon, he can feel pain again. It's a pain that reminds him of his childhood, when he was locked in a cage,
- I might die tonight, yes. You've made sure of that. But I'm going to make sure you hurt first, Sebastian.
- -- Calvin Rose
Appearing in "End of the Run"
Synopsis for "End of the Run"
Calvin Rose has been poisoned with the Court of Owls' death serum, and for the first time since they transformed him into an undead Talon, he can feel pain again. It's a pain that reminds him of his childhood, when he was locked in a cage, and felt he was going to die. The serum, though, wasn't enough to bring him down completely, and Calvin still intends to fight - but given the strength of Felix Harmon, it will probably be his last fight.
Fortunately, Calvin has allies ready to fight on his behalf, allowing him to turn his attention to the girl Sarah Washington. When he offers to save her, though, she responds that she doesn't need saving, and produces a knife, slitting his throat. As he chokes on his black blood, Calvin realizes that Sebastian Clark brainwashed her. From behind the grandmaster's mask, Sebastian responds that he didn't brainwash her, but he did design the death serum coursing through his veins. And while the dose wasn't enough to kill Calvin, it was enough to undo his healing factor - which means that the wound Sarah gave him may be fatal. Nonchalantly, Sebastian guides Sarah outside, leaving Calvin and his friends to die at the hands of the Gotham Butcher.
Harmon grabs Calvin by the neck, eager to indulge in the murder he had relished for some time. He was brought back from death solely to kill Calvin Rose. He is not cruel enough, however, to rob Calvin of his final moments with those he loves. Instead, Calvin will have to watch as he tears Casey, Anya, Edgar and Joey to pieces before his eyes.
Suddenly, Harmon's arm rips away from his body, courtesy of Casey's new bionic arm. Unfazed, he claims he can kill her just as easily with one arm. Raising her metal arm, she responds that so can she. With the laser built into the arm, she slices his body in half. Even then, he warns that she will never rid Gotham of the nightmare that he represents. Annoyed, she separates his head from his body, cutting him off mid-sentence. She quips that killing him felt better than she expected. Turning to Calvin, she uses her new hand to cauterize the wound in his neck. Even though she has staved off death for the time being, Calvin reminds that they did plant a bomb in the building, and they will probably both die tonight. In the meantime, though, Casey's first and only concern is retrieving her daughter from Sebastian Clark.
Unfortunately, they are soon surrounded by Talons, and Calvin orders Casey to set him on fire while she and the others seek out the bomb and shut it down. Once he has finished with the Talons, he will find Sarah. With Casey and the others out of the room, Calvin - in flames - reaches down to his belt and activates the cryobomb hidden within it. While it would normally have killed him since he became undead, he hopes that the fire will save him as it completely disables the Talons around him. Though he is burnt and scarred, Calvin survives to seek out Sarah.
Sebastian, meanwhile, grows annoyed with the Court of Owls for claiming that his plan is small-minded when it was he who brought them from a mere fairy tale to a multi-million dollar conglomerate. But they had rejected him as their leader, and now they would pay. His tirade is interrupted by Calvin, who comments that it seems all Sebastian knows is destruction. He destroyed Calvin's life by taking him from the circus and manipulating him into becoming something he hated so much that he'd wanted to die. Then, years later, he came back and manipulated him again into fighting a false war against the Court. But now, he's done listening to Sebastian's lies. He tranquilizes Sarah, and begins beating Sebastian into the ground. Mockingly, Sebastian wheezes that Calvin can punch him all he wants, but soon half the city will blow up in the explosion.
However, there is no more bomb. Batman has seen to that, having monitored Calvin's radio frequency all night. Shifting his attention to Sebastian, Batman reminds that it has been a long time since the Court trapped him in the Labyrinth, and it is high time that the two of them had a talk about the present whereabouts of Lincoln March - and it will not be a pleasant one.
In the meantime, Calvin's time is running out, and he will soon succumb to his many injuries. Rushing to his side, Casey warns him not to die after everything they had been through all these years. He responds that he doesn't need to go on. All he'd ever wanted for her was that she be safe, and in dying, he will finally be free. As he dies, Casey begs Batman to help her in counteracting the serum.
Three weeks later, Calvin wakes on Securitus Island, after Casey had spent that time regaining control of her father's company and building following Wayne Enterprises' purchase. She explains that he had been in dialysis for all that time, while she worked to get the death serum out of his system long enough for his healing factor to work. She and Lucius Fox had to get just the right levels of electrum in his blood to return him to relative normal. Unfortunately, they did not succeed in bringing him back to life - in the typical definition of the word. All that matters to Calvin, though, is that he is there, and he and Casey can begin their lives together.
Sebastian Clark, in the meantime, has been placed in Blackgate Penitentiary, while Felix Harmon is on ice at Securitus. Casey trusted no one else to keep him under control, and as long as she lives, he won't escape her. Sarah, meanwhile, is being treated by Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who is trying to overwrite the brainwashing - but it will take time, still. Batman has agreed to let Casey's group keep operating under one condition - they all must join Batman Incorporated, Calvin included.
- This book was first published on December 31, 2013.
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