The Dark Knight Lives (TWENTY-FIVE)

The Penguin liked to steal the show. He also liked a dramatic entrance.

It’s why, as the crowd in Gotham Park chanted, “For Gotham!” his swarm of trenchcoat-wearing bodyguards surrounding him pushed people out of the way as he filed through the throng of rowdy individuals, tapping his cane to the rhythm of the chant with his every step.

And then, he finally found himself before the stage where the new Commissioner finally saw him. He smiled charmingly, moving over toward the steps of the stage. Police officers drew their guns, aiming them at his heart. The crowd died down as they beheld the spectacle.

“Please, my kind fellows, I mean no harm,” he said. “I am only here to speak some words of my own.”

The lieutenant looked at him with a suspicious glare. “And who are you supposed to be?”

The Penguin’s expression saddened deeply. “A very good friend of Mayor Barber Anistello and the Wayne family, Tom Goldman. I am…more than heartbroken after what has happened and I…I just want to assure the people of Gotham that not all hope is lost.”

The lieutenant’s glare softened. “Then you are welcome to speak.”

He smiled. “Thank you kindly, Commissioner. Your speech was truly moving.”

She dipped her head in thanks before moving away from the microphone. He stepped upon the stage, his eyes swimming over the confused expressions of those in the crowd. Everyone looking at him was trying to figure out who he was and he was more than happy to let them know.

“People of Gotham, I see your faces. You’re probably wondering to yourself, Who is this dapper fellow on the stage?”

There were a few chuckles in response.

“Well, I’d like to start by introducing myself,” he began. “My name is Tom Goldman. Like you, I believed in Batman. I was inspired by his heroism and his unwavering determination to keep this city safe. When he died I lost a bit of hope but then we had Robin, our new shining knight to protect us from the evil that had plagued our beautiful city.

“And for the past seven years, we have enjoyed a stretch of peace. But now, I wish I didn’t have to say this, I wish it wasn’t true, but the dark days are returning. They’re returning quicker than we can handle. The mayor was found dead yesterday morning, the Commissioner was murdered last night. What is this world coming to?”

He bowed his head, pretending to be overcome with emotion. After a second, he finally continued to speak.

“I’m sorry, fellow Gothamites. It’s just…it’s been a rough couple of days, but as our new Commissioner here just told us, we must not give up hope. We must stay strong and I am here to see this reality come to fruition.

“I was a great friend of the mayor and his family. I was even close to the Waynes when I was a younger man. They,” he patted his chest, “made me who I am today. From them, I learned what it meant to be a leader and I have come to this gathering here today to announce that I will be your new mayor.”

A gasp rippled through the crowd.

“Do not worry, fellow Gothamites. I will lead Gotham into a bright and beautiful future. A future where Gotham becomes its true self. A future which allows this city to be the greatest it can be and I can only hope that you can accept me as your mayor.”

He paused, waiting for a response. At first, there was silence. And then suddenly the crowd erupted with deafening approval. He couldn’t contain the smile on his face as he raised his cane in response to their joy. He suddenly felt a tap on his shoulder and when he looked Commissioner Lynx was staring harshly at him, her hands on her hips.

“What are you doing, Mr. Goldman? You know there has always been an election for a mayor, do you not?”

He smiled. “I know, Commissioner.”

“Then what are you talking about? You just can’t assume power like this.”

He tapped her shoulder with the cane. “Actually, I can. I already have the people’s approval. And watch this.”

He turned back to the microphone. “And for my first act as Mayor, I will give a hundred thousand Gothamites seven thousand dollars for their unwavering love for this city.”

The crowd’s cheers grew even louder at the sound of this news. He smirked at the Commissioner whose expression soured even more.

“So you’re going to buy your way into office?” she asked.

“It’s not buying my way,” he said, turning to leave off of the stage. “I’m giving the Gothamites joy and what better joy is there than a chance for free money?”

He stepped closer to her. “This city is already going through tough times. An election, having to see lying, cunning politicians fighting for the position of the leadership over this city will only make things worse. I’m doing the right thing, Commissioner. I implore you to understand the good behind my methods.”

With that, he left the stage, filing through the crowd who now loved him. Him, Mayor Tom Goldman of Gotham.

The thought was almost laughable.

Blake Lively couldn’t believe what had just happened. As Commissioner Lynx exited the stage with her fellow police officers he walked over to her, grabbing her wrist.

“What just happened and how have we never heard of this Goldman fella before?” he asked her.

Lynx shook her head. “We’re not rich, Mr. Lively. He runs in circles we’ll never be invited to.” She looked toward the crowd as the Goldman fellow was bombarded by excited Gothamites.

“There’s something very wrong about this picture. Very wrong.”

Blake agreed. “No man of true dignity would assume power like that. This is a power move and I don’t like it.” He looked at her again. “Not after what’s happened.”

“We have to stay vigilant. I have a feeling something terrible is about to happen.”

Blake nodded. But for some reason, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he had seen that Goldman fellow before. But where?

His jaw clenched. He would find out, in due time.

Katherine Kane wouldn’t trust the man named Goldman if he was going to give her family back to her. There was something about him, maybe it was his smile, or his perfectly tailored brown and blue suit and that top hat that hid his eyes, or maybe it was the beaklike nose that protruded from his face, whatever the case, there was something about Mr. Goldman that had Katherine on edge. She just couldn’t understand what exactly.

She turned, leaving the park. She needed to get back home. She had some criminal hunting to do.

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