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Hush stands on a ledge, on a cathedral, in deepest Gotham. Overlooking Crime Alley. "What a very fine place." He scans down the streets, filled with bums, would-be muggers, and scared, lost people. Probably tourists. Nobody from around Gotham comes to this area. Hush checks the ammunition in his pistols. Fine, of course. He'd checked them an hour or so before, and they were fine then too. Ah, the target.

Hush darts into the cathedral and runs down the staircase, checking his watch. This must be timed perfectly. Ten floors to go. He continues to take the steps two at a time. He has perfect balance and poise. He won't fall. He checks his watch again. Looking good. Five floors to go. He unloads and reloads his guns, smiling. "Almost there." The dash builds the adrenalin that's already rushing through his body. The door.

Bursting out, he is face-to-face, or mask-to-mask with Batman. "Come to pay your respects, Bruce?" Hush points both guns at the caped crusader and fires repeatedly, diving to the side in Chinese-action-film style as he does so, predicting the direction Batman will dive in. The bullets don't drop Batman, and with some manner of device he begins to shoot up the side of the cathedral. "Perfect."

Watching as Bruce flies into the air, Hush unloads another load of bullets in his direction, as he does so. "Some hero! Running from a friend?" Hush cackles and runs deeper into the alleyway, finding the concealed rifle. "You're going to die, Batman." Looking through the scope, Batman has disappeared. "Damn." But then Hush finds a hand on his shoulder. "No." He's hurled backward and into a wall, and held up by the throat before he can go for one of the other guns.

"You'll never stop me, Bruce. I am your dark reflection." Hush spits and laughs, and gets a punch to the stomach. "I'm not scared of you. i know what a weak little boy you are in there."

At that, Batman pulls a knife out, and stabs Hush in the chest. "Wh- what? You don't... You?" Hush slides down the wall, and into a puddle of his own blood, pouring from the wound as the knife is withdrawn.

---

And Tommy Elliot wakes up. "Bastard. Every dream. He beats me in every dream." He goes to his bathroom and washes up, before reapplying bandages. "When we meet, Bruce, it will be me with the knife."

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Thomas Elliot, M.D.

January 2013

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