I had a vision of a world without Batman.

I

Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the world is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands and your plan is to blackmail this person? Good luck.

Every man who has lotted here over the centuries, has looked up to the light and imagined climbing to freedom. So easy, so simple! And like shipwrecked men turning to seawater foregoing uncontrollable thirst, many have died trying. And then here there can be no true despair without hope. So as I terrorize Gotham, I will feed its people hope to poison their souls. I will let them believe that they can survive so that you can watch them climbing over each other to stay in the sun. You can watch me torture an entire city. And then when you’ve truly understood the depth of your failure, we will fulfill Ra’s Al Ghul’s destiny. We will destroy Gotham. And then, when that is done, and Gotham is… ashes Then you have my permission to die.

I had a vision of a world without Batman. The Mob ground out a little profit and the police tried to shut them down one block at a time. And it was so boring. I’ve had a change of heart. I don’t want Mr Reese spoiling everything but why should I have all the fun? Let’s give someone else a chance. If Coleman Reese isn’t dead in 60 minutes then I blow up a hospital.

Do you wanna know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can’t savor all the… little emotions. You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I knew your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?

But I know the rage that drives you. That impossible anger strangIing the grief until the memory of your loved one is just poison in your veins. And one day, you catch yourself wishing the person you loved had never existed so you’d be spared your pain.

Seven hundred twelve counts of extortion. Eight hundred and forty-nine counts of racketeering. Two hundred and forty-six counts of fraud. Eighty-seven counts of conspiracy murder.Five hundred and twenty-seven counts of obstruction of justice. How do the defendants plead?

But we’ve met before. That was a long time ago, I was a kid at St. Swithin’s, It used to be funded by the Wayne Foundation. It’s an orphanage. My mum died when I was small, it was a car accident. I don’t remember it. My dad got shot a couple of years later for a gambling debt. Oh I remember that one just fine. Not a lot of people know what it feels like to be angry in your bones. I mean they understand. The fosters parents. Everybody understands, for a while. Then they want the angry little kid to do something he knows he can’t do, move on. After a while they stop understanding. They send the angry kid to a boy’s home, I figured it out too late. Yeah I learned to hide the anger, and practice smiling in the mirror. It’s like putting on a mask. So you showed up this one day, in a cool car, pretty girl on your arm. We were so excited! Bruce Wayne, a billionaire orphan? We used to make up stories about you man, legends and you know with the other kids, that’s all it was, just stories, but right when I saw you, I knew who you really were. I’d seen that look on your face before. It’s the same one I taught myself. I don’t why you took the fault for Dent’s murder but I’m still a believer in the Batman. Even if you’re not…

My name is Merely Ducard but I speak for Ra’s al Ghul… a man greatly feared by the criminal underworld. A mon who can offer you a path. Someone like you is only here by choice. You have been exploring the criminal fraternity but whatever your original intentions you have to become truly lost. The path of a man who shares his hatred of evil and wishes to serve true justice. The path of the League of Shadows.

Breathe in your fears. Face them. To conquer fear, you must become fear. You must bask in the fear of other men. And men fear most what they cannot see. You have to become a terrible thought. A wraith. You have to become an idea! Feel terror cloud your senses. Feel its power to distort. To control. And know that this power can be yours. Embrace your worst fear. Become one with the darkness.

You wanna know how I got these scars? My father was… a drinker, and a fiend. And one night, he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn’t like that, not one bit. So, me watching he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me and he says: “Why so serious?”. He comes at me with the knife “Why so serious?”. He sticks the blade in my mouth. “Let’s put a smile on that face.” and… Why so serious?

No, no, no. A vigilante is just a man lost in scramble for his own gratification. He can be destroyed or locked up. But if you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an idel and if they can’t stop you then you become something else entirely. Legend, Mr Wayne.

Tomorrow, you will be released. If you are bored of brawling with thieves and want to achieve something there is a rare blue flower that grows on the eastern slopes. Pick one of these flowers. If you can carry it to the top of the mountain, you may find what you were looking for in the first place.

I’m here to ensure the League of Shadow fulfills its duty to restore balance to civilization. You yourself fought the decadence of Gotham for years with all your strength, all your resources, all your moral authority. And the only victory you achieved was a lie. Now, you understand? Gotham is beyond saving and must be allowed to die.

You wanna know how I got them? So I had a wife. She was beautiful, like you, who tells me I worry too much, who tells me I ought to smile more, who gambles and gets in deep with the sharks. Hey. One day they carve her face. And we have no money for surgeries. She can’t take it. I just wanna see her smile again. I just want her to know that I don’t care about the scars. So, I do this to myself. And you know what? She can’t stand the sight of me. She leaves. Now I see the funny side. Now I’m always smiling.

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