• Published 17th Aug 2015
  • 1,460 Views, 146 Comments

Bruce Wayne, dark knight of Ponyville - ultronquake

Ponyville has changed greatly in fifteen years, most all of the landscape is unrecognizable. But one constant remains, the ponies. After years of training Bruce Wayne is ready to begin his crusade to save the city he calls home.

  • ...

By the Firefly's light: part three

Bruce was hard at work preparing the arena, an old steel foundry overgrown with vegetation. Little factories like this one had sprung up all around the city, worked at max capacity for years then died off once the high rises and homes had been built. Thankfully the only squatters Bruce had to evict was an angry family of raccoons hiding in the long dormant blast furnace, he would have hated to tell some poor homeless pony that their camp was likely going to go up in flames so get the heck out.

The plan was simple, lure the arsonist inside, subdue him and hand him over to the authorities. He'd already returned home briefly to restock his supply of flame retardant foam as well as a thermos full of piping hot coffee made by Silver. His opponent was aligned with fire so his plan was simple, draw him into a trap of the foam he'd set up inside one of the massive cauldrons used to carry the molten ore and once he was doused disarm him.

It was simple but he knew plans like that always had room to fall apart, which is why he requested Sunny bring the fire truck. The only problem was he was sans Sunny and sans fire truck at the moment. A tricky predicament but one he would have to deal with, if nothing else Bruce was great at improvising. As he was rigging the mechanism that would dump the foam a small device on his belt began chirping, somepony was approaching. Quickly he finished the wiring and took to the rafters to hide among the shadows.

He could hear the distinctive whine of the jetpack, and the thud of hooves hitting the ground running. Slowly the great metal door swung outward letting in glorious sun rays into the factory husk. At almost a light jog the pony responsible went inside, his hooves clip-clopping off the stone floors. It was him, Bruce was sure of it, he had the same height and build and the scent of jet fuel was for sure the same one.

"Mr. Lynns, I've been expecting you." Bruce said from his hiding place, his voice boomed and echoed off the decrepped walls.

"Sorry don't know anypony by that name, in actuality there is no such pony. But if you want you can call me the Firefly." He pulled out the flame thrower on his back and let loose a stream of napalm, burning a swath of vegetation overtaking the wall.

"I'm guessing you didn't get that name from bug collecting."

"Cheeky. So tell me Mr. Bat, how did you enjoy my work last night? Was it invigorating?"

Bruce decided to answer him honestly, "I found it cruel and destructive without purpose. An affront to the livelihood of the good ponies who call Hooflyn home. In a word, senseless."

Firefly reeled, "Please don't hold back, tell me how you really feel." The jet on his back flared to life and the sleek pony began flying about. "You know I was quite upset with you, ruining my fun, jeopardizing my contract. My blood was nearly at a boil, I'm much calmer now, I have my level head on straight you could say."

Bruce too was moving about, trying to keep out of sight yet keep a visual on the target. "So then you're rational enough to surrender yourself to the police? I hear the commissioner is a lot more lenient on informants with solid info." A fabrication of the highest degree, but anything to resolve the situation peacefully first.

"HA! AHA-HA-HA-" His manic laughing broke down into asthmatic weazing and into violent coughing. "You sir are off your rocker, are you sure I'm the crazy one? Me surrender?"

"Just thought I'd offer you the chance before I kick your flank."

"Ooh big talk from the Bat pussy who hasn't even shown his face yet."

"You'll get that pleasure soon enough." Lynns or Firefly was moving along nicely, if he could just lure him into the right spot then perhaps the fight could be over before it began. "So then, what motivated you to commit these evil acts? Madness, compulsion to destroy?"

"The money quite naturally."

"And how much money is in burning down poor houses in Hooflyn?"

"Why? Looking to encroach on my territory?" Firefly laughed heartily again, it was bravado and nothing else.

"If it's money alone then surely there are easier ways to get it for a pony with your skills. The explosives you created could easily rend the steel of a bank vault door." The evidence from how he set up the arson was clear, "You could have placed all your bombs on the central gas main and leveled the building without a fire. Instead you scattered them all throughout, exactly where the firefighters would travel. You weren't just trying to burn the apartment, you wanted to kill."

Firefly was silent for a time, his face was unreadable but his body was an open book. He'd been found out, "Hmm, you're smarter than you look. At least I assume so, still haven't seen your mug up close. Well I suppose this is the part where I reveal my tragic backstory then, isn't it?" Bruce would have replied, 'I don't particularly care.' But if it kept him talking and flying into his trap he would listen.

"Le me guess, you got burned in a chemical factory?"

"I was just a colt Batman, on a vacation with my p-pu-parents. We were laying over in Baltimare, going to fly out in the morning, that's when I learned what true evil was."

If it happened when he was a colt then logic led him to, "Tirek?"

"NO NOT B@#*ING TIREK! He at least had the decency to try and end my miserable existence quickly. No, true evil was my p-parents giving me false hope that they'd save me. But did they? NO! NO! NOnONoNO! They just stood there and laughed as I screamed as I burned as I boiled as I blistered as I died... I should have died, but they wouldn't let me! True evil was the wretched dogs that pulled me from my grave and threw me onto the cold steel table."

From his view above it was clear that this madman was quickly loosing what little control he once had. And still Bruce felt sadness, 'everypony lost something to Tirek,' that was what was said to him earlier. He lost his happy home town, Sunny lost his farm, this poor soul lost his sanity.

"True evil was the surgeons who grafted and cut, sewn and sutured until they left me like this!" The pony ripped the mask off his face exposing his nightmarish features. A face no longer recognizable as equine, flesh burnt till it resembled an old leather coat rather than the supple skin of a twenty something. "Instead of letting me die they made my life misery, I can't feel anything anymore, I'm numb to the world!"

"And you're numb to the suffering you've caused as well I can see." Bruce waited till just the moment before he would pass under the cauldron, "Why don't we bring back some of that feeling?" With a press of a button the several ton steel vessel turned over sending it's contents pouring down on Firefly. The instant it came into contact, the pilot light on his flame thrower went out and his jet pack extinguished sending him plummeting to the floor.

"What the?! Get this shite offa me!" He looked like a mewling baby writing around in a puddle of it's milky vomit. Despite the disgusting analogy Bruce didn't hesitate to dive from his hiding spot, laying a devastating haymaker punch as he fell. His face was slack and blood seeped from the tired lines, to be sure he pulled back his eye lids, they were lolling back into the sockets.

Quickly he began unstrapping his equipment and tossing it aside, but he wasn't prepared for what he found underneath the tank. A small ordinance with a piece of cable strapped to the fuel tank. By trying to pull it off he'd unintentionally set off a booby trap on Firefly's own body. As fast as possible he wheeled around and dove as far as his hind legs could throw him, which was surprisingly far thanks to the adrenaline coursing to his heart.

Thankfully Bruce didn't find himself vaporized, mutilated or rained upon by chunks of Firefly, instead it was a different kind of trap. The room was filling with a blinding smoke that stung the eyes, though vision was obscured his hearing was unimpaired. He could distinctly hear the sound of hooves scrambling about, no doubt collecting the liberated tools of destruction. Clearly Firefly had the advantage for the moment, rather than attack blindly and leave himself open for a counter he struck a defensive pose and tried to reach out with his senses.

"Had'ya fooled didn't I? Don't feel bad though, part of my profession entails me pulling the wool over doctor's eyes every day. You're just a sap like the rest of em'." Bruce realized almost too late that the voice was now behind him, "So why don't ya' burn like the rest of em'?" A stream of searing death shot forth, washing over and seeping through every small crack in the armor. "Don't even bother running away, with these thermal goggles I can track your every movement. So sit back and bake like a pie!"

Even through the fire and the flames Bruce kept a clear mind and carried on. His opponent really shouldn't have mentioned such a glaring weakness but them's the breaks. In his belt in an insulated capsule he carried a small portion of thermite, a wonderful substance that when mixed properly can burn at over four thousand degrees. Bruce almost felt sorry for the blindness this was about to cause, almost.

"That's right baby, burn burn burn! Hey wat're ya-" Instantaneously Bruce leaped from his stance and closed the distance between them, laying punch after punch on his face. All the while the flamethrower was still firing full throttle, catching more of the building on fire. He was sure it would be unsafe to continue the fight inside for much longer so he gave one more knockout blow before attaching a grapple to his frame to haul him outside.

As he towed the limp body behind him toward the door a very welcome sound could be heard rounding the street corners, the ever piercing blare of the fire engine siren. Once outside Bruce took a seat to examine his person, the fireproof armor he'd cobbled together had held up nicely. Unfortunately there were one or two gaps necessary for ease of movement which were singed, nothing a good mane cut wouldn't solve.

He kept on eyeing Firefly with suspicion if he'd fooled him once Bruce was sure not to let it happen again. Without even getting up from his seat he took aim and threw one of his sharpened batarangs, cutting the fuel line to the tank on his back, effectively neutering the threat.

He didn't have to wait much longer for the fire engines to arrive and begin putting out the infant blaze, among the operators were some familiar faces from the night before, the fire chief, Sunny Shine along with several police squad cars and ambulances. "Mmm, you hear that Firefly? Sounds like an awful lot of ponies who'd like to put you behind bars for a long time."

"Too bad I'll be flying away!" It was getting ridiculous at this point, how many times do you have to knock a pony down before they stop trying to get back up? The jet engine roared to life once more and he rocketed into the skies, though he quickly found out the hard way his body was tethered to the ground. "Why you sonofa- I'll roast your insides!"

He went to fire and to his credit Bruce tried to stop him but he couldn't be stopped, the now leaking flamethrower fuel was trickling full force to the exposed jet exhaust. Once it touched he went up like a miniature star burning in mid-day, the fire spread to the tank and it blew up both his jetpack and flamethrower sending him careening to the ground. He was running about like a chicken with it's head cut off if that chicken was also burning to death.

"You think we should put him out?" One of the fire fighters asked.

"Naw, this is too great. Plus he's fireproof so it could go on all day."

Since nopony else was eager to do the humane thing Sunny Shine stepped up and took the hose spaying down the self immolating arsonist till he was soaked to the bone. "Sorry I'm late Batman, this punk set fires in places all over Hooflyn before coming here. I bet he was expecting we'd be tied up so long he'd get away scott-free."

Bruce could finally take a breath, his part of the job was over and it was time to give Firefly over to the authorities. "He's all your's colts, I think it goes without saying at this point but don't underestimate this one."


"-And then he blew up the ambulance he was in and tried escaping ... again."

"You're kidding!"

"No, I wish I was Silver. Had to hunt him down and subdue him all over again."

"Hopefully the prison is up to holding him, I'd hate to find out a pony like that was walking free."

"Actually he's been committed to the Everfree asylum for mental evaluation. With how nutso he is I doubt he'll even get to trial." It was perturbing to Bruce but at the very least he was away from anypony he could harm. And who knew, maybe time with Fluttershy could heal his disturbed mind. Then true justice could be served for the ponies of Hooflyn.

Until that day Bruce would be content that he'd done his best. He carried that thought with him as he drifted off to sleep, laying his head near the pony he loved, watching the embers crackle and pop in the fireplace.

Author's Note:

Hope ya'll enjoyed this first ark in the new format, next up is a twist on the master of fear tactics, the psychiatrist more deranged than his patients. Scarecrow.

Again sorry for this chapter taking so long, this time it was taxes taking up my spare time. Taxes and a full time job.