Gotham City, a godforsaken hellhole that was mostly known as the marked territory of the Bat. Surrounded by clowns, freaks of nature and the castaways that were done with the way that society had let them down. Housed by many a criminal, and the handful of vigilantes that tried to protect the city from its own rotten core. Trying to prevent the city from falling on its knees and giving in on the corruption that had covered the city ever since it had been founded all these years ago.
But none of that mattered for the Demon at this very moment. There were his own inner struggles that he had been dealing with for far too long, and this particular night he went out to find trouble. Not a hard thing to find in a city that’s known for its eternal doom and gloom.
The glamor was off, showing off his true nature to the world while he walked around the city streets looking for a few skulls that he could bash. Unarmed, and unprotected from the Nightstalker armor that he’d wear when out on patrol. But tonight wasn’t a patrol night, it wasn’t a night to protect the city, nor was it a night to simply enjoy the freedom of running around many a rooftop. Tonight was a night that he wanted to get rid of one thing, and one thing only. The burning rage that had been residing inside for far too long.
Leather jacket covering the most distinctive feature of his Demonic heritage, his right arm.
And a cloth red hood covering his head from the falling rain that gave this dark city a certain charm that even the Demon known as Payne couldn’t deny to be something that he loved.
But even the usually calming rain wasn’t enough for Payne to get out of this funk, this mood that has been shrouding his mind for the past couple of weeks that simply couldn’t be shaken off. The rage had been building up for far too long, and it turned the already struggling Demon in a rather unstable state which bordered the animalistic beast that he had been for a couple of centuries. It needed to get out, it wanted to escape and Payne wasn’t able to contain it any longer.
This was the downside of being a Demon, emotionally unstable creatures who, without practice. Only went down the only route that has been shown to them. Destruction. It didn’t matter to them if it was for world domination, pure chaos like the Clown Prince of Crime was known to cause, or if it was something else entirely. The foot soldiers that had covered the grounds of Earth many a times before did it all for one thing. To get rid of the rage that had been building up inside since the day they had been born.
Walking down an alleyway, Payne had finally found the trouble that he had been looking for. A gang that seemed to have a connection to the Penguin. Not that it mattered right now who they were connected to, or even if they were connected to any kind of the large crowd of villains that always tried to claim the territory of another. They were simply victims for what was about to happen next, and that very thought put a devilish smile on the Demon.
His eyes lit up in its usual crimson as he got closer. Lowering his hood, not wanting to be mistaken by that other anti-hero that ran around with the color red. Rolling up the sleeve of his right arm, Payne exposed his true nature to the gang who had slowly started to surround him. Not a word had been said, unusual for the usual quippy nature of the Demon when it came to fighting. But this wasn’t a fight that the Demon had to protect Gotham. This was a fight to ironically get rid of his own demons that were eating at him from the inside.
A devilish smirk formed on the Demon’s lips, showing off the vampiric looking canines that had been romanticized by many, despite them not being used for those who had a lingering blood fetish.
As the circle started to gain in closer and closer to the Demon, he simply let his eyes glide through the group, seeking eye contact with each and every one of the men and women that were in his direct eyesight. Taunting them to make the first move while he simply remained standing still. It took another three minutes of silence and idle staring before someone finally had decided to draw a knife and rush himself towards the Demon who had been taunting them. Payne quickly made action, stepping to the right to avoid the man but then grabbing him by the collar of his jacket with his right arm, pulling him back while using the momentum to land a punch in the man’s stomach with his left fist. His moves were solid, fluid but came off as mechanic. This wasn’t the Nightstalker that they were fighting. This was the Demon who was about to release Hell on Earth simply because he could. The punch with his left hand had sent the man flying up into a curve before landing on his back. “Hmpf.” Was the only noise that the Demon had made up until now. He looked around and noticed more people rushing towards him. Three of them in total. Why they weren’t coming at him as a solid group was beyond him. But he didn’t care much for it at this very moment. The inner struggles were more on his mind than anything else. Unsure why he felt so empty inside, and questioning every single thing about almost everyone that Payne had surrounded himself with. They cared, and he knew it. And he loved each and every single one of the people that called him his friend, or even family. They accepted him for who he was, flaws and all. But for some reason it wasn’t enough, it was never enough. He was just another Demon, just another piece of scum that the world needed to get rid of. Judged for actions that weren’t his own. Left behind for mistakes that he knew he couldn’t ever make right.
The negative thoughts had filled his mind, and they kept on repeating themselves in his head as he took care of the surrounding group of henchmen one by one. He was numb, not even caring if he had gotten hit with anything. He didn’t feel it, he didn’t feel anything other than the pain that resides inside. The pain that gave this Demon his very name. The pain that defined the very character that was taking his frustrations out on the somewhat innocent.
Ice cold to the consequences that might follow him up to what was happening at this very moment, and devoid of all exterior emotion while the Demon inside was screaming for help.
Screaming for answers that were never going to present themselves. Wanting to know why he had been left alone to die a few times too many. Looking for a way out of the suffering that he had been enduring just to be able to live his life in the way he wanted to.
Not knowing why he had been stuck in these feelings while he thought that he had everything that he could have wished for.
A loving father that acknowledged his work and allowed him to continue.
A musician who saw the Demon has an actual individual. And not the monster many others saw.
A girlfriend who wouldn’t want to trade him for anyone else.
Friends who loved him, and cared for his well being.
Family who he could rely on if he ever felt the need for it.
But yet, this struggle he needed to fight alone.
And as the Demon made work of the ever decreasing amount of people that he had been fighting, his mind slowly but surely became clearer, one victim at a time. Projecting the Demons in his mind on the people that attacked him.
And as the last victim had been taken care off. The rush of adrenaline slowly fading away and his mind clearing up. Payne eventually screamed. An emotional cry for help as he fell down on his knees beside the people he had so easily dropped. He looked around, and none of the bodies were breathing. Blood had covered his clothing and his hands, along with a streak of red that had covered the Demon’s face.
He had killed, a massacre that could’ve been prevented if he only had been able to deal with his emotional outburst. If only he had been able to keep himself under control and talked to the people he had cared for, instead of isolating himself completely from everyone that even remotely cared for him. Anger flowed through his tear ducts, forming tears as the Demon screamed once more, pain and frustration filling the air around the pile of bodies.
He had given up, he waited for his punishment. Waiting for the big bad Bat to finally arrive and give his final judgement. Ready to be taken away, put into Arkham and live his life in solitude. Accepting his fate, that he would never truly be accepted for the way he was.
Not to the outside world, which was what he desperately craved for.