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Opening Moves of White Pawns and Black Queens

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This story is No. 2 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the First Part of our Heroine's Adventures in a Wicked Place

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR132214,264105426,84828 Dec 0929 Jan 10Yes

To Plumb the Depths.

I have spoken twice now of the heights of this city and those that wander them. Now I will descend to a place under the streets. There is a world here as well. This is where things that dare not move across the streets or ascend to the ramparts, scuttle and lurk.

I find myself here only when I must venture out from my nook during the unforgiving sun's glare. The residents down below are twisted and warped and some frighten even I.

There is the Fat Man with his birds and his guns and his fire; who brings in all manner of goods and services that those that travel the aeries would be most interested in stopping. The tunnels he travels are well scoured, so that his carts and his boats may travel to their destinations unimpeded.

There are the two great beasts that travel and dwell here. One faceless behind a mask of metal and leather, with pipes and tubes and clamps permeating his core, whose blood smells like acid and opium. The other scaled, and reeking of swamps and pain. Both are vastly strong, fearless and fiercely territorial. I avoid the areas they claim.

There are beings of muck and slime that can assume pleasing shapes. There is the cold man in his suit of ice, and there is the thing known as Grundy. Of that one I will not say anymore, save that even an un-life such as mine is vastly preferable to the one it suffers.

All these creatures I see and hear, plotting and scheming their conquests of the surface. All their plans are doomed to failure of course, for the Dark One knows all and when the moment is right...down he swoops from his pinnacle. Down to the realm of the rats. Then with crunching and screams, the deep creature that had the gall to stare up and try to clamber to Olympus, is taken away like so much scrap.

But the ones that are taken away...they always return.
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