107 Chapter 107: What He Planned

Back in Gotham, once the hostages were safely escorted out of the Arkham Asylum premises, the police proceeded to apprehend Cheetah and Killer Frost who put up no resistance.

This came as strange to Gordon who expected a bloody fight to break out as both individuals had a very bad reputation. Because of this, he felt that them so called "helping" the hostages was just a cover to ready an escape.

But with them caught again, he now remained confused. His confusion soon turned into shock once a team going through the facility looking to control the escaped prisoners found that many were immobile… their limbs held in solid blocks of ice.

It was immediately clear who was responsible, but again… Gordon wondered why? And what their angle was.

Before he could reach an answer, the surprises continued to come as one team soon discovered the Joker's lifeless body, laying in a small puddle of blood.

"Jesus…." Gordon muttered when he finally saw the body with his own two eyes. Even after seeing this, Gordon still couldn't believe the Joker was actually dead. So the first thing he did was turn to one of his men and give the an order. "Call in a forensics team and continue to sweep the building. I need answers."

As Gordon was racking his brains and searching for answers, Arias was grossing over the entire operation in silence back at his office.

He did so while looking out at the city with a smirk. Behind him stood Slade, who leaned against the wall near the door with his arms crossed and head slightly tilted.

With the mission a success, he had come to return to his post as a bodyguard. Now that Arias was there, Slade was curious about something and felt the need to ask so he spoke up.

"This plan could have gone wrong in so many ways. Were you that confident it would work or just willing to risk the consequences that came if we failed." Slade asked casually.

Arias turned his head slightly and looked at Slade in the corner of his eye before shaking his head and answering, "Neither."

Slade raised a brow in confusion but before he could ask anything else, Arias continued to speak and explain his meaning.

"The chances of success were already in my favor given the variables presented to us. My people in the police department, skilled allies like yourself and finally, two foolish criminals who could easily be bought."

Hearing this, Slade could see how one would expect to succeed. But that wasn't all as Arias's next words proved.

"Considering their past crimes, they won't be exempted even with this so called good deed. But it does leave an opening to for them to escape on their own don't you think?"

It took a moment for Slade to process what Arias meant but then it finally clicked.

"So then they escape looking like they had nothing to do with you, and return to the previous employer who hired them to attack the city before. With him being none the wiser that they've already been comprised."

Arias turned his head again and gave a subtle nod before smiling but said nothing else, keeping the rest of his thoughts to himself.

'As smart as Luthor is, his pride leaves him incredibly blind. With his focus now on me, he won't even give a second glance to individuals he considers henchmen or women. Yet it'll be those very fools that defeat the so called genius… now I only one more step.'

Just thinking this, Arias cracked a small smile. While Luthor was plotting how to go about his plan for him, Arias was already looking to bring things to an end.

Unlike Luthor, he didn't give leg room to factors he couldn't control. They needed to be delt with, using whatever means necessary.

The following morning, news broke of the Joker's death, which quickly turned into an international headline.

From a horrific hostage situation to a scene in which the citizens of Gotham were cheering and praising the police department, thinking it was them that killed the Joker, despite their denial.

All things considered, a proper investigation was of course launched but the two main individuals who could shed light on the matter, Cheetah and Killer Frost, had escaped during their transportation.

It quickly passed off as just a coincidence considering the police department's people were already stretched so thin, thus a proper escort couldn't be arranged.

No one could even suspect that it was due to a dirty cop under Arias. No one who didn't know him to well to some extent at least.

With such a buzz caused by the Joker's death, it didn't take long for the White House to hear about the events that lead up to that, including the sudden matter of the Gotham City Special Task Force.

The people of Gotham took to social media and let it be known that the government was restricting the possibility of a safer city. It didn't help that Vicki Vale also greatly criticized them in a popular broadcast.

Just like Arias thought, bad press wasn't something President Pete Ross could afford to risk with his term coming to a close.

By noon that same day, he publicly addressed the matter and of course some other official ended up becoming a scapegoat.

Because as much as Pete wanted to deal with Waller, she also had a very large presence within the government, especially in the area of national defense.

By making her an enemy so openly, he risked losing support from those who considered her an ally or were just afraid.

It wasn't what Arias would have liked but at least the restrictions were lifted, with many cities now also opting to adopt the method of having a special task force.

All in all, it worked out in Arias's favor even if not perfectly.

However all these happenings didn't elude those of a greater intellect.

While Gotham was buzzing over the news, Bruce Wayne was in the Bat cave going over evidence he gained by hacking into Gotham PD servers.

He was more surprised than anyone else when he heard the Joker was dead. It just seemed far too off. Was it Lex or Was it Arias behind it? This was what he wanted to know.

The way he saw it, Arias didn't gain any visible benefits from the matter unless one counts the restoration of the task force.

At the same time, Luthor also didn't have anything to gain by the Joker dying, if anything, Luthor would have wanted him alive to cause havoc and make Gotham need his help.

Although already impressive to have narrowed it down, Bruce just lacked too much information to know for sure who did it and why.

At that moment, Alfred, who was beside him, spoke up. "Master Bruce, have you considered that perhaps maybe, Arias Markovic does in fact carry good intentions for Gotham?"

Without turning his head away from the monitor, Bruce didn't disagree with Alfred… but he also didn't agree. "The means matter Alfred, there's a very thin line between what I and criminals do, one that mustn't be crossed."

Hearing this, Alfred could only let out a sigh. "Indeed. But, regardless of the intent, the Joker's death is a blessings in disguise. Rather than trying to find his killer, I'd advise you work on your image… lest the name Markovic becomes the only meaningful one in Gotham."

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