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Father of the Night 32: Closing Night.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:42:09 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Applejack Anondad

  1. =Father of the Night 32=
  3. >You and Anonymous make your way further into the theatre, music beginning as you do as if some part of the show, an eerie and airy piece that speaks of someone utterly disconnected from what they're doing.
  4. >You pass through the theatre isles, the gas lamps on the walls dim and casting harsh shadows through the entire room.
  5. >From stage left, a stallion in a trashy purple suit clumsily dances out. His green hair sways and flows as he practically trips over his own hooves, his make-up caked face wincing ever so slightly each time he does.
  6. >He stops in the center of the stage and opens his eyes.
  7. >"Goooooood evening, gantlemen."
  8. >You and Anonymous tense up.
  9. >"Relax boys, you are at a theatre after all! Honestly, how can you be so tense and stressed at someplace like this?"
  10. >You find your patience growing thin.
  11. "Where's the bomb?"
  12. >This man, this Jokester's, face droops away from his constant smile.
  13. >He sighs. "Why are you always SO serious? You really could stand to lighten up a little, you'd be AMAZED what it can do for the soul...Bruce."
  15. >You and surely Anonymous choke on the very air you're breathing.
  16. >"WHAT." Anonymous says.
  17. >Jokester chuckles a long and wistful chuckle. "You don't have to be a detective to figure that one out, boy. People SAW you that night you came back to Goatham for your wittle cwy, and what OTHER child around your age with a connection to Goatham and the money to do this little pajama charade you've got going on is around?"
  18. >You stomp a hoof on the ground.
  19. "That changes NOTHING. Where is the bomb?"
  20. >Jokester shakes his head. "So dissapointing..." He reaches behind the curtain and you hear the sound of a switch being thrown. The curtains withdrawal to reveal the projection screen just as the projector behind you fires up.
  21. >And shows the image of a collection of water barrels and bags of sugar next to a single small device with a red blinking light.
  22. >"The roof, to answer your question. Buuut..."
  23. >Jokester pulls down the neck of his jacket to show a small crystal necklace around it.
  24. >"This little beauty is wired to the bomb. If my heart stops, the bomb goes off."
  25. >That hangs in the room for a moment as Jokester smiles.
  26. >"So what will it be, hero?"
  28. "I assure you that your heart stopping will not be an issue." you growl.
  29. >Jokester pulls his collar up and smiles at you. "Oh I can imagine..."
  30. >He steps down from the stage and trots along the front row.
  31. >"It makes sense when you look closely at it...a young boy who lost his parents and wanted revenge. And how -do- kiddies react to that kind of thing?"
  32. >His ever present smile grows wider. "Not the way adults do, that's for sure."
  33. >"You see, and ADULT who lost everything like that would react violently, he'd probably cover himself in skulls and start doing away with ponies left and right. POW! POW!" he throws punches in the air for effect.
  34. >Your scowl only deepens.
  35. >"But you...hehehe, oh YOU...Kids see the world so -black and rigidly defined, and holding so STRONGLY to those morals the pony's tales teach you. You can't kill anyone, that's what BAD PEOPLE do, isn't it?" he chuckles.
  36. >You're about to speak, but Anonymous gets ahead of you.
  37. >"Yeah? And what about you? Why -do- any of this, what purpose does it serve? I could understand if you were trying to dispose the Princesses or get revenge or SOMETHING so long as you had a point to you." Anonymous points at you. "Say it's naive all you want, but at least he's doing this for a reason, and better to be a naive fool than a cancerous mole."
  38. >The smile Jokester wore, previously a staple of his face, now fell into a deep frown. "Nobody asked you, monkey-man." 
  39. >Anonymous points to you with his board. "If you deal with him, you deal with me."
  40. >Jokester dashes over to a switch on the wall. "How about I deal with the both of you?"
  41. >He flips the switch and the lights along the wall grow brighter and brighter until with a staccato rapport, they burst in rhythm, plunging the entire theatre into darkness.
  43. >The minute the lights go out, you hear the sound of clopping hooves and someone kicks you back into a chair.
  44. "Gah!"
  45. >"Bru-DOOF!" Anonymous shouts before he gets smacked.
  46. >Over the speakers in the room comes familiar big band style jazz music, turned so loud that you could swear the rafters were shaking.
  47. >"Damn...where is he!?" Anonymous shouts.
  48. "I can't see him!"
  49. >...Oh hear for that matter.
  50. >The son of a bitch, he planned this.
  51. >Someone grabs your head and tosses you off into the darkness and onto the floor as their laughter barely breaks through the music.
  52. >"Oh don't TELL me the Bat can't see in the dark!"
  53. >You right yourself and throw some projectiles into where you thought the voice was coming from.
  54. >"OH! SO CLOSE! Tell me, were ya that close when your little purple friend got crippled!"
  55. >Oh no he didn't.
  56. "SHUT UP!"
  57. >"AHAHAHAHAHAHA! THERE'S SOME EMOTION! I'll let you in on a secret, she showed a -LOT- of emotion when I hit her with that fire extinguisher!"
  58. >HE WHAT.
  59. >"BASTARD!" you hear Anonymous yell.
  60. >The sounds of a struggle make it to you over the music.
  61. >"Oh don't sound so SHOCKED! Monkey-man! You know how it is! Those gangs, The Diggers and Razorclaw's! You should have HEARD the stories they told about you!"
  62. >How long had this pony been around!?
  63. >You get up and try to run to the sound of the fighting.
  64. "Anonymous!"
  65. >"But!-*grunt* One thing I learned!-"
  66. >"Gwah!" Anonymous shouts.
  67. >"If you want to end something fast-"
  68. >The emergency lights flick on and bathe the room in a Tartarian glow.
  69. >And reveal Jokester with a knife to Anonymous's neck over by the switches.
  70. >"You go for the THROAT."
  72. >Upon seeing that stallion with Anonymous in a headlock, you practically leap over all the theatre seats in between you two.
  73. >"AP AP AP!" Jokester shouts, inching the knife closer.
  74. >You stay still as a statue, but you can't say you like it.
  75. >"That's a good boy...stay RIGHT there..."
  76. >Anonymous glares out of the corner of his eye at the stallion. "I'm gonna pound you into goo..."
  77. >"Oh I doubt that, Mister Hero. Not with -him- here." he says gesturing to you.
  78. >"And you, little man. You have a choice to make."
  79. >You tilt your head.
  80. >"Haaahehehahaha...see, I'm going to give you an option. You can either use those little wonder-toys of yours there-" He points at your belt. "To act out one of, oh I'll guess 30 ways you know could kill me right here, right now."
  81. "It's thirty-seven."
  82. >"How, back to my point. You can kill me and save your "daddy" here..."
  83. "Or?"
  84. >He brandishes the knife again. "Or I open him up like a steak dinner and then surrender to you."
  85. >Your scowl deepens.
  86. "You want me to trade one life for another..."
  87. >"I want you to admit that even though you try to do the right thing, you STILL act for yourself first." he chides.
  88. "And be as ugly as you are?"
  89. >"Sticks and stoooones, Bruce."
  90. >You reach into your belt and pull out a curved projectile, one that beeps and has a red light on it.
  91. >Anonymous' eyes widen. "Bruce, no."
  92. >"Why what's that one do?"
  93. "Explode."
  94. >Jokester's eyes go as wide as his grin. "Theeeeere you go...Welcome to being a grown-up! You know it's about time you learned that lesson, you've been in denial for ages."
  95. >He locks eyes on you. "You may pretend that you want to be normal with your house and your friends and your school but we all know what gets you out of bed in the morning. The plans and the plots and the costumes and the fighting, that's the real you now, isn't it? THAT's where you feel at home, Bruce." He smiles again. "Or is Bruce dead? Maybe he died with his parents and "The Batmane" is who I'm talking to."
  97. >That...makes you hesitate. You think his words over hard as the world seems to slow down around you.
  98. >Everything had been different since your parents had died, that was traveled the world, learned to fight, and took on this new life.
  99. >BOTH lives.
  100. >Since you met Anonymous...things had gotten better, despite what you may have thought. You considered different ways of living that actually -worked- and made you less angry about things.
  101. "I may not be normal."
  102. >You look Jokester in the eye.
  103. "But that's the difference between me and you. What made me like this is something I've acknowledged, and I put my energy into helping people. Early on I stumbled, and I fell, but with the help of my friends and my new family, I. Got. Better. And that's something I can tell is long past you."
  104. >The clown glowers at you.
  105. "I learn my lessons well, Jokester, every one of them. Including an old one; That for every action comes an equal reaction."
  106. >You take aim at your target, set the timer, and throw the projectile.
  107. >It cuts through the air and goes wide around Jokester and Anonymous, the two of them following its trajectory with their eyes.
  108. >This was a almost literal coin toss.
  109. "DOWN!" you shout.
  110. >Anonymous reacts swiftly and elbows Jokester in the stomach, diving out of the way as the distraction you threw and the pain take his attention just for a moment.
  111. >The timer expires and the projectile explodes. Normally it wouldn't be that large, but you luckily factored one thing.
  112. >The gas lamps.
  113. >The gas had been pouring into the room since Jokester broke them, filling the room with the flammable vapor.
  114. >The same vapor that was now turning your little bang into a loud BOOM, the corce carrying the ignited gas towards Jokester's shocked face.
  116. >"GAH! DAMN!"
  117. >You bound over the chairs and tackle Jokester to the ground.
  118. "THAT'S IT! IT'S OVER!"
  119. >"AAHAHAHAAHEHEAHAHAHAHH..." he guffaws with the occasional cough.
  120. >The right side of Jokester's face has been charred by the explosion, looking now like burnt meat and smoking.
  121. >"AAAHHAHEHAHAHAHEHAH! HAHAEHEHAHEHAHA! OOOHHH THAT'S IT!" he shouts as he pounds his hoof on the ground. "That's smart...that's my boy..."
  122. >What?
  123. "What did you say?"
  124. >"Just like I taught smart..."
  125. >...Wait...
  126. >You lick your hoof and wipe it on the non-burnt half of his face, wiping away the caked on makeup, your eyes widening at the color of the fur underneath.
  127. >Blue, sky blue to be precise.
  128. >The same as yours.
  129. >It's only then that you look closer, at the blue tone of his eyes, the black roots of his dyed green hair, the tone of his voice and the position of his features.
  130. >The odds of that being coincidence are...well even -you- couldn't do the math.
  131. >You stand over him in absolute shock.
  132. "...Thomas Mane."
  134. >He sighs and looks up at you from his near burnt shut eye. "That the alley, Bruce...The police said two ponies died but...there was only one."
  135. "...Mom."
  136. >He focuses on you, a clear liquid leaking out of his burnt eye. "I-I thought you were dead..."
  137. >Your father was alive...your birth father...
  138. "Father what...happened to you!?"
  139. >He half chuckles but it ends as more of a cough. "Your thought you were both dead a-and...I tried to find help but I woke up in a hospital and saw the news and I-..."
  140. >The coughing becomes more sad and pathetic now...the tears flow more freely from his eyes. "I just wanted to smile again, Bruce..."
  141. "But...all this..."
  142. >"We all have bad days once in a while, Bruce."
  143. >"Yeah...we do." someone behind you says as you feel the sensation of someone going into your belt.
  144. >Anonymous walks around in front of you and takes your father's hoof, holding it near a radiator and cuffing him to it with your cuffs.
  145. >You don't even feel like can't.
  146. >This is...
  147. >Anonymous picks you up and cradles you.
  148. >"I don't know what you thought that turned you into...this, but you're under arrest and the police's problem now."
  149. >You nuzzle into his chest, it was safe here, it always had been.
  150. >"And we...need to go."
  151. >You feel yourself start to move towards the door.
  152. >"Anonymous..." your father says.
  153. >You stop.
  154. >"...Take care of him."
  155. >After a short pause, dad says "I always will."
  156. >And then you leave the scene.
  158. -Anon PoV-
  159. >You don't know how long you've been walking, a while.
  160. >The entire time Bruce hasn't moved from his place in your chest.
  161. >As you cross the bridge with the other Goatham citizens, you see Shining Armor and Nightwing.
  162. >"Anonymous!"
  163. >"Batmane!"
  164. >The both run up to you.
  165. "He's fine. Just...he's fine."
  166. >"What happened in there?" Armor asks.
  167. >You walk past them, still holding Bruce close.
  168. "The last bomb is in the theatre near the old part of the city, it's on the roof."
  169. "There's a stallion inside who has a bad wound to his face, he's incredibly dangerous but needs medical attention. He's also got a magic deadman's switch on his neck that will trigger the bomb if his heart stops."
  170. >"Where are you going...?" Nightwing asks.
  171. >You look back at them. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Somewhere quiet. This isn't the place for a young boy."
  172. >Shining Armor nods and looks to Nightwing. "Come on, we have a city to see to."
  173. >He turns and rounds up some guards before running down the bridge, Nightwing following him after casting a concerned look you way.
  174. >You head to a park nearby the train station you came in at and find a bench to sit on.
  175. >Bruce rests on your lap as you slowly pet his head through the cowl.
  176. "It's alright..."
  177. >Bruce jumps up from your lap and wraps his hooves around your neck in a hug.
  178. >You hesitate for just a moment and then return the gesture.
  179. >"Dad, I-"
  180. "It's alright, buddy..."
  181. >He chokes something back. "Just...thank much. For everything you've done."
  182. "-I- did?"
  183. >You pet him some more.
  184. "You save the city, Bruce...and I'm proud of you."
  185. >So, so proud of your boy.

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