Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Female of the Species, Part the Seventh

I know. I know. It's taking too long between updates on this. I have a perfectly (no pun intended) good reason for that.

I am lazy.

So before I have to nip out for a nap (catnap?), let's get the proverbial show on the proverbial road.

When last we left our intrepid hero and his faithful butler, they were musing over the Batcave and how exactly to keep it secret from the construction crew rebuilding Stately Wayne Manor. They peer down into the Cave's inky depths and ...

Mix through camera POV down into the cave past a number of flapping bats (a la the opening title dissolve). As the camera dives deeper and deeper a voice comes up on the soundtrack.

MAYOR GARCIA: ...make no mistake. This city was in a deep dark hole two years ago. It was a dangerous place, overrun by criminals and feared by the innocent and law abiding. But no more. There is still much to do, but we can all be proud of the progress we've made lifting our beloved Gotham back into the warm light of day. (Applause)

The camera descends on a political rally in a public square in the sunshine of a noon sky. Mayor Garcia is addressing a sizable crowd. Seated behind him on the dais are several Gotham dignitaries, including Commissioner Gordon. Next to Gordon is an attractive woman, bespectacled, late 30s to mid 40s.

MAYOR GARCIA: Now, I'd like to take full credit for cleaning up our town all by myself. (Laughter) But of course, it's been the efforts of a number of dedicated public servants and credit must always go first to the man who paid the ultimate price for his stand against lawlessness. We must never forget the sacrifice of Harvey Dent.

There is a moment of spontaneous silence. Camera finds several people in the gathering including Officer Ramirez, working security on the edge of the throng. Near her is another familiar face, a woman in hat and trench coat eyeing the crowd and the cops more than the speech: Catwoman. After a respectful silence, the Mayor begins clapping and the crowd follows suit.

MAYOR GARCIA: Our police force led by Commissioner James Gordon.

More applause. Gordon shifts uneasily in his seat.

MAYOR GARCIA: And it's my pleasure to introduce to you -- she's been doing the job for a year now -- it's high time she had the title as well. The full-fledged, no longer acting District Attorney, Julie Madison.

Applause. The woman next to Gordon rises. She steps up to the podium, congratulated by the Mayor.

MADISON: Thank you Mr. Mayor. Thank you. It's my honor to accept this appointment and to shoulder this great responsibility at such a crucial time for our city. Y'know, it wasn't all that long ago that the so-called experts in the media wrote off our city, saying it couldn't possibly defeat the criminal forces that held it in such a stranglehold. It was understandable. The situation was dire. But a man stepped up. A man I'm proud to call my mentor. Gotham's White Knight, Harvey Dent. (Applause) I took an unorthodox route to the District Attorney's office. After graduating law school, I would have told you that I would never work in the public sector. That ain't where the money is. (Laughter) But Harvey saw something in me, something I didn't see in myself at the time: a passion for justice and service. More importantly, I saw something in him. He inspired me with his bravery and his selflessness. He believed in me and, like you, I believed in Harvey Dent. (Applause) I STILL believe in Harvey Dent! (Applause and cheers) I will never stop believing in Harvey Dent!

The crowd voices its raucous approval. Ramirez prepares to hold back a surge. Catwoman smirks.

MADISON: Thank you! Thank you all! God bless you and God bless Gotham City!

The crowd is up for grabs now. Ramirez has her hands full keeping order. Catwoman rolls her eyes at the whole display, wheels and walks purposefully away. The Mayor, Gordon and the new D. A. make their way off the dais into a sea of cameras, microphones and notepads.

REPORTERS: (all at once) Mayor! Mayor! District Attorney! Julie!

The Mayor and Gordon seem eager to push their way through and past the crowd. The new District Attorney, however, basks in her spotlight, pausing in front of a camera, a half dozen microphones pushed towards her.

REPORTER: District Attorney Madison, how does it feel to be stepping into the shoes of a legend like Harvey Dent?

MADISON: It's an honor to take up his standard. I'm out to confirm his faith in me and do him proud.

REPORTER: Crime is at a ten year low in Gotham. Do we need another crusading D. A.?

MADISON: Crime has dropped because of the hard work we've done at the D. A.'s office in tandem with the Mayor and the police. This is no time for complacency.

REPORTER: But isn't the drop in crime due more to Batman and his efforts than anything you've done?

MADISON: (the question visibly riles her) While it's true that some ... segments of the GCPD have worked with the Batman in the past, The District Attorney's position remains plain: Batman is a vigilante and a law-breaker and he will be brought to justice, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. (Getting more worked up) Before you go making a hero of this ... masked thug, let me remind you that he is still suspected in several homicides and has failed to cooperate with authorities on the matter.

REPORTER: And what about Catwoman? She seems to be openly mocking you and the police in the latest Gazette. (the same front page we've seen with Bruce Wayne and Alfred is shown to the D. A.)

MADISON: This is exactly what I mean when I say there's no room for complacency. Crime may be down, but it isn't gone. Not yet.

Gordon returns for Madison and starts to coax her to leave the cameras and follow him.

MADISON: (As she's being led away) They can't hide behind those masks! Batman can't hide! Catwoman can't hide! Wherever they are, we will find them and we will incarcerate them!

She reluctantly follows Gordon out of the crowd.

In the next scene, we'll find out where Catwoman wandered off to. Later, a charity fund raiser at the grounds of Wayne Manor goes awry and the criminal element makes its presence known.

A note on casting: As I write this, I think about the actors from the movie speaking these lines like Nestor Carbonell as the Mayor, for example. In the case of a character who hasn't appeared in one of these recent films, like Julie Madison, I don't have that same template to use. So I make up dream casting in my head and imagine that. I've already said I'd like to see Catwoman played by Kate Beckinsale. It's twisted, but I'd love to see Maria Falcone played by Sharon Stone and Julie Madison played by Halle Berry.

Sure it's wrong. That's what makes it so very right.

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