Commissioner Mark Grayson in "Yesterday's Crimes"
Written by Jessie "Stormangel" Davis
Edited by Erik Burnham
Batman:DCF created by Erik Burnham

* The Private Journal of Mark Grayson, Commissioner of Gotham City Police Department: *

* Begin Entry *

February 23rd, 2112

It's been over a year since I've written in this blasted journal, and I'm still not comfortable with it. Ellen told me it would be a stress relief, and I'm hoping she's right. But I still don't like it. This is something psychiatrists have you do, and currently my opinion on them is quite low. Quite low indeed... but I digress. Call it procrastination if you like. This isn't something I like to think about. No one likes to think about the skeletons in &127;their closets. Unfortunately, life has made me have to do just that, and if I don't cope with it, it'll eat me alive till I die from a heart attack and a bleeding ulcer.

If there is anyone to blame for all of this, I am most assured it is the Batman. Not this new one, though I still haven't made up my mind on him. No, I am meaning the original Dark Knight. The one who watched over Gotham back in the twen cen. The man who killed my father, Dick Grayson, the vigilante hero known as Nightwing.

Why, after eighty-four years since his death, do the memories come back now? Could it be this new masked man who has taken up the cape, cowl and legacy? Perhaps. The whole business with Max and the Kangaroo Court? While a bit traumatic, I'm not sure I can blame that, though it has indebted me to this new Batman. The Jack O' Lantern killer, or the Joker as some are unfortunately calling him? I think that's were this all culminates. Only the second month of the year and Gotham is becoming home to bats and psychopaths. And then we have dealt with timelost twen cen heroes blowing holes in my office or falling into comas in my jail cells. Yes, things are getting a little more complicated by the day.

Hopefully, these writings will help. Again I find myself reiterating my distaste for recording my thoughts for anyone to happen upon, so I'm secreting these files away, buried beneath multiple private police logs. Yet still I find myself concerned, perhaps even paranoid, that someone will find these and use them against me. And I surely am not seeing a professional as I don't want another Dr. Wight situation. So it's either write these thoughts down or bottle them up inside.

I'm digressing again. Always did hate to dwell on these thoughts, so I'm constantly drifting off subject. So where do I start? Where did I learn to hate the Bat?

It was a cold March back in 2028. I was only four years old, yet I remember it clearly. Memories are fleeting at best, but first impressions stay with you forever. The first time you rode a bicycle, your first kiss, those moments that are the foundation of your life experiences. Despite my youthfulness thanks to the age-retardant Ambrosia, eighty-eight years is a long time to still remember your childhood memories. Yet I still can smell the snow from a winter that was slowly leaving.

I can picture my father from the eyes of a child full of nothing but admiration for him. Tall, majestic, full of confidence and liveliness. He was dashing and daring, intelligent and compassionate. He could do no wrong in my eyes. And perhaps he couldn't. Unfortunately that March, I became bereft of him, thanks to his former partner, the Batman.

I'm not sure what the cause of their argument was. My father came home upset that afternoon, fuming about something that I did not know for sure. But I was a precocious four-year old, intelligent and curious. The two ingredients for trouble. My mother was trying to calm him down, yet all he could cry out through tears of anger and sorrow was about being betrayed by a man he considered his father.

But being true to who he was, when the news report came on about the bank robbery, my father put aside his troubles and donned his mask and costume. My last image of my father was in the black and blue costume, his eyes hardened with a grim resolve and a somber demeanor.

For some strange reason, I ran to him crying for him not to go. Was it a premonition or just a child worried about his parent? I don't know, and I think I just don't want to. But my father just looked down, a brief smile on his face as he patted my head, and left into the night.

According to the news reports, my father encountered the gunmen in Lowtown after a little detective work. Seven in all, it would have been easy work for him if not for one man happening by, supposedly dead.

The Joker. The original Clown Prince of Crime, who murdered more people than Manson and his contemporaries combined. Father was outnumbered now, with the most dangerous lunatic ever out for blood. Yet, somehow he defied the odds, dodging bullets and delivering kicks. He trimmed seven men to four, knocking the gun away from another.

Then showed up the Batman, crashing into the disarmed man from above. A news crew had arrived about that time, so what I'm writing now is from the recorded media.

Father argued for the Batman to leave, his anger apparent to all. Yet the vigilante continued to assist, spin kicking another gunman. Between the two, they eliminated all but one gunman, but the Joker had disappeared.

"Where is he?" Father called out "Where'd he go?"

Batman punched the last man, turning to look in confusion. Spotting the Joker, his eyes narrowed and he lunged forward, pushing Father out of his way. My father, off balance, didn't see one of the gunmen had recovered. He noticed when the bullets riddled his back, through his internal organs. Fortunately, he died instantly. Oh yes, thank God for small miracles.

The Batman at this time was pounding into the Joker, who was weaponless. Upon hearing my father's deathcry, he threw one of his patented batarangs, removing my father's killer from the conscious world without even turning his back hardly. Focusing his attentions on the Joker, he continued his pummeling until the man was near dead.

Then he grabbed my father's body and disappeared before the authorities could do anything. The Joker, who was weaponless and had been found to be suffering from an advanced stage of AIDS, was returned to Arkham, weak from his injuries... Arkham, where he was kept alive until he found the strength to break his own neck a few years later. It seems his last wish was that he just wanted to talk to ol' Bats before he died. Whether he meant any harm, no one knows. But two men died that night thanks to the Batman.

He did a good job covering father's death up. Using his vast skills, he dummied up Father's death records so it didn't trace back that he was Nightwing, thus leading to the secret that took me years to find out...

My surrogate grandfather Bruce Wayne was the Batman.

He died a few years later, having watched over mother and I before that. I learned both father and Bruce sat me up with trust funds that I used to educate myself in criminology, determined to be as good as my father. Somewhere, in the little corner of my mind that my growing paranoia sits, I wonder if Bruce is still alive, and what other lives he's ruined.

I'm sick of this. If this is blasted therapy, I'm glad I'm not shelling out money for it.

* End Entry *


The man shuffled in his seat uneasily. The journal entry was deep and moving, no matter how plain and blunt Grayson thought it might be. He'd tell Grayson that, but the Commissioner might get angry at his peering into secret files.

There was so much more to the story that Grayson didn't know. The argument. The rage within the Batman. So many secrets.

But now wasn't the time for them to come out. No, these skeletons must remain in the closet for a while.

However... Perhaps with knowledge can come the capacity to forgive? No, the wounds would only reopen, returning great pain. Despite his countless sins and dark deeds, he couldn't do that to someone who had lost so much.

A moment later, a window closed from Commissioner Gordon's home, the only trace of his presence was a brief glow of green light before it faded away. 1