Heirs of The Knight

It’s funny. The feeling you have when someone you relied on and looked up to so much, that you couldn’t possibly picture as a mere human, dies. Maybe it was not just that. Maybe it was because of his colleagues too. Gods, legends, immortals, among them, he shone the brightest, despite his mortality, seeming powerlessness and black armor. Maybe that led everyone to ignore the fact that he was just another man. And that he was mortal. But either way, he was dead.
Batman was no more.

As the outside world mourned the death of Bruce Wayne, Gotham’s biggest Billionaire, those who knew the truth was even more devastated. The members of the justice league, as much as they tried to hide it, had lost their leader. The invincible Aliens, Gods, Kings, and Metahumans felt lost without him. Even the Green Willpower of the Lantern Corps dimmed with grief. They relied on Batman so much for contingencies for unexpected situations that everyone else was fine being clueless, until now.
He was a hero. Not just to Gotham, but to the whole world. And he died a death befitting a hero while saving the whole of Gotham from mortal peril.
Along with grief, just as strong was the anger of his children. The Robins. Dick Grayson, the first Robin, now Nightwing, was fuming. Gone was the everlasting, playful, warm and seemingly cocky smile from his face. Now, he was terrifyingly angry. No one, not even his brothers dared approach him.
Tim, the 3rd Robin, was on his computer. Fighting back his angry tears, observing the bat’s Secret Surveillance System, Brother Eye. Combing through the Cyberspace for Batman’s Murderers. He was also upset and furious but even then, he had his superior intellect working. After all, he was the smartest of the Robins. Acknowledged by all.
Damian, the 4th and the youngest was helping Tim. The true son of Batman, his face spelled Serenity but his mind had murder in it. He was already recalling all the torture methods his grandfather taught him.

“Wonder where he is. I know he has a problem with dad, but you’d think he’d be here by now.” Damian said. They were all waiting for Jason. The 2nd Robin. The Red Hood. The wayward son. The thug. The runt of the litter.
“Do you think he already…..””No.” Dick’s response cut Damian off. “I know Jason. He wouldn’t do that. If there’s one thing he values, its brotherhood. He’d come see us.” Dick was certain. And sure enough, they heard a car pull up.

From the black Impala, exited Jason Todd. The wayward son of Batman. The one who had killed. Violated Batman’s code. He entered the Wayne Manor, his rough, street thug demeanor quite out of place with the Grandeur and Elegance of the place, even when mourning death. Jason Todd ironically enough was the calmest. The most peaceful of the lot. It was as if he was taking after Batman. Making up for the disappointment he had been during his life.

The 4 brothers went down to the gym. Where they had trained as Robins. Where they grew up under the Bat’s cape. Jason, who hadn’t been there in a long time, felt a warm rush sweep over him. A sense of belongingness. A sense of home. In a corner, he saw a few familiar things, stacked one over the other.
“He kept them, you know. He kept something that belonged to each of you. Trained with them often. He never showed it, but you were like sons to him.” And sure enough, there it was. Dick’s nunchucks, Jason’s punching bag and gloves, Tim’s Staff and his set of puzzles, and Damian’s sword. The Robins felt something inside them. The world had lost a billionaire hero, but the boys had lost their father. A fire was lit inside their hearts to avenge that loss. But something was off.
The ball sat down on the gym mat to discuss, but before anyone could say anything, there was Jason’s voice filling the gym.
“No.” said Jason. His brothers were dumbfounded. “No. We can’t kill those who killed him. That’s not what he would’ve wanted.”
The silence that later filled the room was so deafening, Damian felt that his head would explode. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO!??” Damian shouted. “I thought you’d be the most supportive of this. It’s not like it’s your first, Jason” said Dick.
“You’re right. But it is for the rest of you. I’ve been down this road. I know where this goes. It’s not exactly a scenic route. It’s ugly and hell. I’m already there. It’s too late for me. I’ll be damned if I lead my brothers down the same road. And it’s what he would want.”
“Like hell you know what he would want!!!! You left us. You left him!!! God, you’re such a disappointment” Damian stormed off. Tim spoke, ”I’ll go check on him. And you’re right Jason, though I’m not happy that you are.”
The first and the second were left alone in the gym. Dick finally broke the silence. “Why the sudden change of heart? Willingness to follow the code? I thought you’d be hunting them down by now.”
“It’s like I said, Dick. It’s a bloody road. I’m already halfway down it. I don’t plan on dragging my brothers down it.”
With that, Jason left, leaving Dick to contemplate what he just heard.

The Manor fell into darkness. The 3 Robins left in the Manor sat down again. Dick shared this with his brothers after Jason left. Damian was surprised. So was Tim. He went down to his room, resuming his surveillance duty. He felt something was off. The remote server for JL members had been accessed from an unusual location, the Manor itself. He immediately knew what was up. Jason. He went hunting the killers himself. Activating the tracker on his Impala, he saw it, parked, next to Arkham. And that could only mean one thing.
“Damn it, Jay”, Tim called Jason on his phone. “You better pick up.”
“Yo, Timmy. What’s up?”
“JASON, You stay down. We’re on our way.”
“No. Timmy, stay in the manor. I got this.”
“What do you mean? Thought you were against all this!!”
“I am, Tim. Killing is a dirty business. Don’t want you lot mixed up in that”
“And you killing is fine?”
“Well, I guess I gotta say it then.” Jason took a deep breath. “You 3 are it. Dick, he’s Nightwing. The Batman of Bludhaven. The big man’s favorite. He’s next in line. You’re a genius. Hell, you could give anyone a run for their money in terms of combat skills. You just choose not to show it off. And don’t get me started on Damian. He’s HIS SON. You 3 are the future, Tim. Not me.”
“You can’t do this, Jason. You’re one of us. You’re family. You’re also part of the future.”
“Me? Nah. I’m the unruly child, the bad boy. I’m Judas, kid. I’m the one who was always the disappointment. Maybe this is my shot at redemption.”
“And, I can’t do this? It’s already done, Tim. They’re dead. All of them.”
Tim sighed. He should’ve seen this coming. ”So what now?” he asked.
“Bye, Tim.”
The next morning, A pile of dead bodies littered Arkham. In front of the gate, holding a gun, was Red Hood. Dead.

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