"Ghost Stories, Part 2": The Gobi Desert. Many years ago
Synopsis for "Ghost Stories, Part 2"
The Gobi Desert. Many years ago
Bruce is in the desert, meditating. The Ghost-Maker approaches, and challenges him to a fight: he knows the rules, if they encounter, they fight, until one wins. But Bruce does not want to fight. Not tonight. It's the anniversary of his parents' death, and he wants to have some times by himself. The Ghost-Maker puts down his swords, telling him he really finds Bruce boring. He was ready to experiment on him three new forms of martial arts he learned. He then tells Bruce he's sorry for him. Bruce is surprised: he tells him he thought he was not able to have that kind of emotions. But the Ghost-Maker tells him he's not sorry for his parents, but for him. He will fail, maybe years from now, but he will. Until he cares, he will never find the way to make things right.
Then Bruce stands up, and takes one of the Ghost-Maker's swords: he'll fight him, to show him that caring does not mean being weak.
Gotham City. Little Santa Prisca. The present
Once again, now adults, the Batman and the Ghost-Maker fight each other. One to protect the life of a young kid who took on a dark road, and one to demonstrate the failure of the Dark Knight in changing the city he swore to protect, taking the kid's life and make Bruce change his mind through trauma. As Clownhunter flees, the two fight while Oracle tries to help Batman: Bruce tells her she will never pin anything on Ghost-Maker, and she will never discover his identity. She only takes the risk to expose her system to his Ghostnet, which would eat Barbara's computer alive.
The two crime-fighters were rivals since their early training days around the world, learning the ways to fight crime. They have a complete different idea on how to do so, but Ghost-Maker is tired to see Batman's stupid way of doing things in Gotham, and he made a visit to teach him a lesson. While he was still on the plane, he was able to give to the Gazette proof about six crooked judges, he stopped a weapon shipping coming from Santa Prisca and he also captured a serial killer who was smart enough to use no gimmicks for his crimes. Batman was not even able to take out a kid going around killing people. Things must change. Meanwhile, Bao is still convinced about going on with his anti-clown crusade, and just stepped into Harley Quinn's apartment. Harley was discussing with a plant, metaphorically talking with Pamela. She told the plant she wants to try being good for some time: she discovered she could do it during the Joker War, and liked how things went. Maybe she can become a better person, and one day reconcile with Pamela as well.
Sensing the fact someone was trying to kill her, Harley ducks the Clownhunter's weapon, which he calls a Bat-Bat, and then easily defeats him: she has some experience about people aiming at her life after all. As she ties Bao up, Batman crushes through her window, with a sword in his back. Harley tries to signal the fact Batman is in danger through the detective's comm link, while the Ghost-Maker enters. As another costumed person in Gotham tells him his name sounds dumb, the Ghost-Maker remarks how much he hates his town, then shoots a tranquilizer at Harley's neck, catching her.
A struggling Batman picks himself up, and start talking to Ghost-Maker: the killer he stopped, his name was Denton Quill. One of his Family agents was following him, collecting all the trophies he had to pin all the homicides he made on him, giving to the families justice and not just some hearsay. The judges he discovered, they were all payed by a crime boss by the name of Tiger Shark: Batman was building a rico case to take out the boss and the judges together. And the shipment he stopped from Santa Prisca: there were no true weapons there. He substituted them with false ones to trigger a buyer-seller crisis and take out the market for good. Batman's not perfect, but Ghost-Maker does not know Gotham to know what the city needs.
But Ghost-Maker is not impressed: he still let a kid who killed 24 victims out. Three times the victims of the serial killer they were talking about. Bruce tells him that if he put Clownhunter in Blackgate, the guards would probably have helped him in his crusade. Ghost-Maker tells him that if he cannot be re-educated, he should be killed. Batman, in anger and agony, tells him that Bao's just a seventeen-years-old kid who five years before saw his parents killed by the Joker. He does not need to be killed, but to be helped. As always, Ghost-Maker makes Bruce notice that his caring will make him fail. But he doesn't need to worry: he'll proceed to put him out of commission for awhile, just to show him and Gotham how a city protected by the Ghost-Maker looks like.
Appearing in "Ghost Stories, Part 2"
- Batman (Flashback and main story)
- Denton Quill (Flashback only) (Single appearance)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (Flashback only)
- Gotham City Police Department (Flashback only)
- Orphan (Flashback only)
- Amanda Waller (Mentioned only)
- Batman Family (Mentioned only)
- Charlie (Mentioned only)
- Desert Kings (Mentioned only)
- Gotham Gazette (Mentioned only)
- The Joker (Mentioned only)
- Martha Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Poison Ivy (Mentioned only)
- Punchline (Mentioned only)
- Thomas Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Tiger Shark (Mentioned only)
- Gobi Desert (Flashback only)
- United States of America (Flashback and main story)
- Santa Prisca (Mentioned only)