26 Emotional Damage

(3rd Person POV)

"Riddle #1: I am a house without the head of head, knitted deep within the trees, a head that lies without its eyes, stitched silently to tease. What am I, Batman?"

"A louse.", Batman's deep voice is heard in the same second as Riddler finishes his sentence. The Riddler is surprised about that but doesn't worry. He continues.

"That is correct. Well then Riddle #2: I have a single choice, a thousand throats, I sell my tale for peanuts but then-"

"A bee.", Batman cuts the Riddler off before he can finish the riddle. This aggravates the Riddler but he tries to keep his cool.

"Impressive. Riddle #3: My greatest strength is that I know my worth. I hug myself so tightly at every birth. What am I?", the Riddler asks.

"Edward Tierney..."

"WHAT?!"

"You're Edward Tierney. Son of Dana Tierney, which is your father's name, and Elisabeth Tierney."

"How did you-"

"Your compulsion stems from parental abuse that you endured as a child. After you got high scores on some important tests in school, your father, unable to grasp the fact that his son was brilliant and believing you had cheated, beat you out of envy. This left you with a strong internal desire to tell the truth and prove your innocence. But you have long gone past what you wanted.

You are weak. Instead of fighting against your fate and proving your father wrong, you gave in. Your intelligence is unquestionable but for all your intelligence you are stupid and weak. You ended up mad and believing yourself to be the bringer of intellectual change. And look where that brought you? To me.

And in front of me, your intelligence amounts to nothing. Your little games and riddles are nothing to me. They are asking the wrong questions to answers you already have. And all of that only to cover up your insecurity. You try to hide it but I have seen through you, Edward. I know that you are struggling with the one question you could never answer."

"What are you-"

"Riddle me this: Where ... is Elisabeth Tierney?"

!!!

The Riddler's brain stopped functioning for a moment. He looked so perplexed that it was almost comical. He was pulled into these thoughts and memories. He began to see his life as a child under the harsh reality of his father. The physical and verbal abuse he suffered was harsh and he only wanted to please his father. He wanted to prove that he was smart and that he was worth something.

But it never worked. He wasn't strong or good-looking, he was just smart. But that amounted to nothing to his father. In all of this, there was only his mother who shone brightly in the darkness that was his past.

But one day, she just vanished. Edward asked his father where she went but only got a beating for an answer. He tried to find her for years but without luck. He was broken and it was that moment that pushed him over the edge into the insane man he had become. He was a loon and it would take a lot to change that, if it was even possible at this point.

"You miss her.", the voice of Batman was heard. Edward turned around and saw Batman standing there IN HIS DREAM!

"How are you here?"

"You miss her. I understand that. She looks like a good woman."

"Stop! Don't you dare talk about her! I- I- "

"It's alright. I don't judge."

"Just what ARE you?"

"I'm Batman."

"How can you know these things? Am I not smart enough?"

"Yes. But I am a bad measurement for you. You are a genius, Edward. Don't let your father win. Show me the test."

"What?"

"Show me the day of the test."

"How would I-"

"This is your mind. Just think about it."

"My mind? Then how are you here?"

"Again the wrong question Edward."

Edward thought about the day he wrote the test. They watched as young Edward wrote the test with a smile on his face. He was proud that he knew all the answers and would be able to show his father and finally get some praise. But that's not how it went.

"You didn't cheat."

"I know..."

"I knew as well."

"Haha, how could you possibly know all of that?", Edward laughed weakly.

"I'm a genius, Edward. Just like you."

"No. You're nothing like me. You know my real name, you know about my father and my mother, you know what I will do ... you're more than I am."

"Show me your mother."

"NO!"

"Why not? Are you afraid of the pain that will come with the memories? Do you fear pain? Why do you fear pain? Are you still the weak little boy from the past? Is there still a shadow of your father that blocks the sun for you?"

Edward tried to say something but couldn't.

"Everyone is afraid of pain, Edward. It is what you do when you experience the pain that defines you as a man. Don't disrespect your mother by trying to forget her, because it pains you!"

"Just ... what are you ..."

"I told you already. I'm Batman. Now show me your mother."

.

Edward thought about his mother. He saw the moments when she patched his wounds after his father beat him again. They saw the reassuring words his mother gave Edward in times of darkness. And then, they saw the moment when she disappeared.

Tears ran down Edwards's face. He was crying silently. Batman didn't say anything and just watched. He already knew all of this. He had seen all of Edwards's memories the first time they met. It was also then that he decided to let him go and let this play out. He wanted to achieve maximum emotional damage or potential redemption for the man.

"Do you know where she is?"

"Sometimes not asking the question is the better choice."

"What do you mean? Tell me! TELL MEE! I need to know! Please, I beg you."

"..."

"Please."

"No."

"Wha-"

"How stupid do you think I am? Didn't I tell you? Your intelligence means nothing in front of me. Just like your father, I don't give a f*ck about your accomplishments. You can't fool me. I said I know where your mother is and you thought you could trick me. Quite a good performance you pulled there."

"So you noticed. I thought I had you there. I thought-"

"I know what you thought. You thought I let you go because I felt bad for you. But that's not the case. I couldn't care less about you. I was thinking about your punishment. Maximum emotional damage needs time to be set in motion. And as much as you try to play the 'I played you' card right now, I know for a fact that these were your real memories."

"YOU DAMNED BASTARD!!!"

Edward began to scream and tried to use his mind to crush Batman. They were currently inside his mind and he would use this chance to crush Batman. When Batman used the dream inceptor, the first time they met, he knew that Edward was awake. The dream inceptor only worked if the man was asleep. He had his memories scanned before that and knew everything about him.

Batman planned to give Edward a chance at redemption if he chose to take it. But he was also ready to give him the most brutal of Emotional Damages possible. Edward was weak in everything concerning his mother. Edward decided to trick Batman with the emotional card but Batman had seen through him.

"You can't hide Edward. You might be smarter than the average. But in front of me, you might as well be a toddler.", Batman's voice was heard as he just stood there and took all the mental attacks from Edward.

"ARGH. Shut up, shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!!"

"Why are you afraid? You should be. I know you. I know the truth. I know what happened with your mother. I know and you don't. A toddler, Edward, remember. A toddler.", Batman continued to taunt and insult Edward.

"NOOO, tell mee!!"

"No."

"WHY?!"

"Because to me you aren't special. You are special to the average. It's me you should have impressed. And right now, I'm not impressed."

No matter the attack, Batman just took it like he wasn't feeling anything. His mind was just that much more powerful. He would never lose to the Riddler.

"Let me show you, just how out of your league you are, boy.", Batman said sinisterly. And in that moment the Riddler felt danger. He felt danger in his own mind. In the next moment, he lost all control of his mind and Batman took control. He still didn't move but let others do the work for him.

"I gave you a chance Edward. A chance to redeem yourself and repent. You were always going to an asylum of course, but there might have been a chance for you to use your talents. But you chose not to that the chance. Your loss. Now suffer.", Batman said.

In front of Edward darkness began to materialise and take on a shape that Edward knew very well. A tall man with hard facial features stood in front of him.

"F-Father. No, how are you here?!"

"Looks like you f*cked up again Edward. It's because of you that she's gone. You're the reason for her leaving. I must discipline you again.", the father of Edward said and grabbed Edward by the arm, and began to beat him like he used to when he was younger.

.

.

(Batman POV)

Back in the real world, I stood above an unconscious Riddler and looked down at him. I had hoped that he would take the helping hand I gave him. Some people can't be helped. So I decided to use the second method for dealing with the Riddler. To show him how much smarter I was and give him emotional damage at the same time. Not sure he will recover from that.

But this is Gotham, villains will always ... hmm. I should take care of Dr. Gotham and Doctor Karl Helfern as well. The curse can be lifted and I could gain a cool magical battery while I'm at it. Giovanni Zatara took away the last 'evil spirit containment box'. I could have used that as a magical battery but he took it away to 'keep it safe'. Like it would ever be safer anywhere else but with me.

But it didn't matter. I'll just take care of Dr. Gotham and then create a cool magical gun. I think Rick C-137 made something similar once. I should better send this one to Arkham Asylum. Better make the calls.

.

.

(3rd Person POV)

Nygma was deemed too dangerous for the usual Blackgate Penitentiary. So he was put in a straight jacket and detained at Arkham Asylum. Meanwhile, Batman was on his way to find Dr. Helfern to put him away as well. He found him in an abandoned apartment complex where he had imprisoned his former colleagues doctors Bill Kelver and Del Paji.

Batman entered the building and quietly made his way to where he saw the heat signatures coming from. He checked for any traps and then first checked on the prisoners. They were strapped to two tables respectively. Batman saw a lot of research equipment that Helfern used. He saw that it was for skeletal growth but it was bad.

The idea wasn't bad but the execution was abysmal. He arrived behind the doctor and made his presence known.

"Dr Karl Helfern.", he said with his deep voice.

The man turned around in shock. He had been deep in his thoughts a moment ago and was now violently pulled from it. When he saw who it was that stood in front of him, he got scared.

"You- Batman. How did you find this place? No, you can't stop me now, I have already-"

*Bang*

Batman knocked the doctor out with one punch to the head. Helfern fell to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

"MMMMHHHH", muffled voices were heard. Batman looked at the two prisoners on the tables. The doctors were still strapped there, so Batman went over and cut them loose.

"Call the police.", he said and then left the scene.

_______________________________________________________

I had to post this now. It shows you how our MC functions. He is not a psychopath. He was willing to give the Riddler a chance but he didn't take it. So he does the next best thing that isn't killing, EMOTIONAL DAMAGE.

Don't hate on the MC, hate Gotham.

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