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The Dark Knight I: Arrival in Anaheim

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Maybe a fresh start is all that’s necessary.

DC Comics Exhibition: Dawn Of Super Heroes Launches At The o2
Time to take down the Joker.
Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images

The wind rustled outside, sending a chill throughout the city, the only sign of winter in Southern California. Clouds covered the moon, and the night was dark.

Commissioner Trout sat at his desk, crossing his boots up on the veneer. He takes a sip of the whiskey he’s poured for himself. It’s been a long few years, what with the crime rates spiking and the gangs taking over the city. No one wants to help Anaheim anymore. It’s a lost cause. Trout thinks back at the sorry bunch of recruits that the city gave him to train last year. Lieutenant Kinsler, a long respected member of the Texas force, came to town, but he bounced long before the year was done. Sergeant Cozart brought with him the versatility of a new officer, yet he took fire in the shoulder early and was given leave to recover. The one bright spot in the Class of 2018 Recruits was Detective Ohtani, who brought with him a flair and style no one had seen in the force for nearly a century. The media covered Anaheim well, thinking maybe Det. Ohtani would help Commissioner Trout stem the wave of crime, but it hadn’t happened.

Even the mayor of the city, Mike Scioscia, finally stepped down after twenty long years at the helm. Privately, Trout thought his ways were too outdated to continue being effective in the 21st century, but he still missed the man dearly. In his place, the voters elected a former Detroit mayor, Brad Ausmus, who was a rather safe pick. He had vision, for sure, but Trout wasn’t sure if he would be accurately able to execute.

“Commissioner.” A voice startled Trout and brought him out of his memories. He turned and looked to find Chief Simmons enter the room. “The Red Stockings have successfully vanquished the Rats from Boston.”

The Rats were a group reeking havoc across the nation. Bound together by a group of draft dodgers, they self-identified as such when a newspaper article described them as “pesky little fellers, always striking fear in the hearts of citizens then scurrying away like rats.”

Trout found himself annoyed. The fickle media had started anointing Commissioner Betts of the Boston police force as the best commissioner in the land. His squad could be identified by their high red stockings that they wore as they patrolled their city. The difference between Trout’s crew and Betts’ was that Betts actually had competent officers throughout his force. They solved crime after crime, defeated gang after gang, and somehow at the end of it all, Betts took all the credit, earning a medal from the President.

“They didn’t find the air from the missing footballs though, did they?” muttered Trout under his breath, before realizing that Simmons was still waiting for an answer. “Chief, we’ll be ready to respond in the New Year.”

Simmons bowed and left the room. The thing is, Trout didn’t know what to expect in 2019. While Commissioner Betts had Deputy Chief Martinez, a big fella with whom nobody wanted to mess, Trout’s Deputy Chief was Albert Pujols, a man who bagged Most Valuable Officer three times in his heyday but was now a slow, sluggish cop who was frequently injured when he went out into the field. To compound the matter, Pujols commanded a salary so high it was nigh impossible to go out and poach other talented cops.

“Blast it all.” Trout finished the last of his drink. Thinking of the long year to come, he packed his things and prepared to go home. However, as he started to get up, he heard a rustling outside the office door, out on the balcony. “Damned wind, knocking over the potted plants again,” he thought.

And then it was there again, a whoosh sound. Trout turned towards the door and stepped out on the balcony. He heard cries in the background, the sounds of someone being mugged. Trout looked towards the sky. Why was it always him who was stuck carrying the police team? Trout grabbed his coat and holstered his gun, preparing to go find the perp. Then he heard it again. A third whoosh, combined with a stoppage of the mugged individual’s cries. He turned back towards the open balcony door.

The Dark Knight was standing on his balcony.

“Hello,” said Matt Harvey. “We need to talk.”

...to be continued...