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Talon Vol 1 8

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"Don't Be Afraid of the Dark": While waiting for the bus in Gotham City, Casey Washington and her daughter are surprised to be attacked by Felix Harmon, the Gotham Butcher. He warns Casey that he will crush [[Sarah Washington

Quote1 Why the hell would you obey? Why would you kill for us again? Hmmm... That's a toughie... But I think we might have a couple of good reasons. Quote2
-- Grandmaster John Wycliffe

Appearing in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark"

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Synopsis for "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark"

While waiting for the bus in Gotham City, Casey Washington and her daughter are surprised to be attacked by Felix Harmon, the Gotham Butcher. He warns Casey that he will crush Sarah's head if they don't take him to Calvin Rose. Casey has only just learned that Calvin is back in Gotham City, and leads Harmon to Sebastian Clark's penthouse, where they discover Calvin's corpse, having been murdered by Clark's unknown accomplice.

Despite his apparent death, Calvin did bring about the destruction of Securitus Island, where the Court of Owls had seized Casey's father's life's work. The Court's Grandmaster John Wycliffe is understandably angry that his predecessor had hurt the Court so much with only the help of a backwater escape artist such as Calvin. Sebastian Clark has, apparently, gone missing, without any known aliases - and he has taken the mask of the Grandmasters with him.

In the meantime, Harmon has brought Casey back to the Court's headquarters, where she is being tortured for information. She has been uncooperative, demanding over and over to know where her daughter has been taken. Wycliffe enters the room and demands to know whether there are any backups to the Securitus data that was destroyed. When Casey will not tell him, he asks who Clark's accomplice was. Coldly, Casey replies that only Calvin knows that - and he's pretty dead.

Annoyed, Wycliffe examines Calvin's body, commenting aloud that over the last few months, Calvin has caused more damage to the Court of Owls than any single person ever has - even the Batman. So, it brings him great pleasure to know that he now has the opportunity to break Calvin by bringing him back as a Talon.

As the Court's doctors do their work, Calvin dreams of his recruitment by Sebastian Clark, long ago, and his second recruitment, when he was tasked with wiping the Court from the face of the earth. He dreams of Casey's support and love, and it is with that on his mind that he wakes with some surprise, to find himself in the Court's lab. Gleefully, Wycliffe explains that they revived him after he died. He is now stronger than he's ever been, and he now has regenerative capabilities, weak only to the cold - like all revived Talons. Calvin is incredulous, complaining that he has no reason to ally with the Court again. Wycliffe responds that he will have to be loyal to them, because the lives of Casey and Sarah are now at the mercy of the Court. Harmon could easily snap Casey's neck, and Sarah is being psychologically conditioned with the Court's ideologies at a different facility.

When Wycliffe is assured that Calvin knows he has lost, he removes the man's restraints, and commands him to kneel before his masters. As Calvin drops to his knees, the assembled Court laughs at him, relishing their success. Finally, Wycliffe asks Calvin who killed him. He simply responds that it was Bane, and Wycliffe realizes that Sebastian Clark must be in Santa Prisca.

In Santa Prisca, Bane explains how he was born into a prison, and his strength of mind had so frightened his captors that they had placed him in solitary confinement at just eight years of age. When that failed to break him, they submitted him to the Venom program, hoping to poison him to death. Instead, it only served to make him stronger. Calvin Rose, however, was weak. He could not ever shape Gotham to his will, but Bane and his army certainly could. Neither the Court of Owls nor the Batman will be ready for them.

Before sending Calvin off to find Sebastian and Bane, the Court needs to break him again; to show him what happens to traitors. Instead, his first mission will be to seek out the traitor Mary Turner, and inject her with a serum that will dissolve her necrotic tissue, relieving her of her duties permanently.

As he prepares, Calvin tells himself that all of this will be for Casey and Sarah's sakes. He will become a tool for evil if it means they can live. Donning his armour, he searches Gotham City until he corners Strix and Batgirl on the roof of a building.



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