Thursday, December 09, 2004

Knightfall 9: Falling Together, Coming Apart

Yesterday was a day of firsts in the bat/rat/monk saga--too many even to list here, but I'll try to touch on the major ones. (Before I do, I must confess how odd it is that my own personal semi-real-life "saga" is now moving so much faster, and is so much easier to write about, than my serial slash fiction, Beginnings. When I first began that story, there wasn't a whole lot of action on the home batfront, my solo adventures having hit a dead end. Now the situation is completely different--and the serial has suffered as a result. There is a major plot development going on over there, which requires daily updates, but I've been spending the majority of my limited writing/fantasy time over here instead. I'm sure the pendulum will swing back that way eventually, and I promise to any remaining readers of that story that the identity of "H.S." will soon be revealed. But I digress.)

There are many major developments on the bat/rat front, as I continue my slide toward the darkness. For the last few weeks--in a clear reversal of my old bat-tastes--I've been making myself available for IMs,usually when the Monk is not available but I want to stay/play in that world a while. And so I've been hearing from a few fresh heroes and villains, some of whom are regular readers of this blog and thus know the Monk and his role in my life, and they inquire about him. (It's always a bit unsettling when someone brings him up, because I feel partly like a biographer being grilled about his subject and partly like the author of a fiction whose life has begun to intersect with one of his main characters--but trust me, the Monk is no fiction!)

I recently mentioned this phenomenon--the Monk fan club, if you will--to the man himself, and he wanted names (mainly to find out if he'd encountered them under his, er, "real" pseudonym). I managed to put off divulging this information for a couple of days, but last night I succumbed. This was a major defeat on my part, because months ago, during a similiar situation when I still wore the cowl of the Bat, I insisted that a true hero never divulges such secrets. My acquiescence this time was one more sign of how far I've fallen.

By great coincidence (or, more likely, divine intervention), the primary individual in question sent me an IM at the onset of the Monk's interrogation. This one is a Superman, an old-school true-blue hero who insists my Bat-career can still be salvaged and that I'll always be the Bat, no matter what. (Naturally, a part of me responds, "Dream on!," while another part thrives on this injection of outside hope into my otherwise solitary despair.) What happened next was something I'd been fantasizing about for the last few days: I not only named his name, but brought the Superman and the Monk together into a three-way chat, where--after much of the usual hero-and-villain banter and bluster--the Monk proceeded to kick Supe's ass. (I, alas, could only participate in a portion of this showdown, since I had other plans for the evening. Holy disappointment!)

So I've done it: I've betrayed an ally, and even assisted in his (temporary) demise. (Though I truly hope I haven't seen the last of Superman--not only is he a valuable comrade, but the three-way interaction was unbelievably exciting to me.) Further signs of my descent into villainy: earlier the same day, I announced two potentially major decisions to the Monk. First, I said it was time I began referring to him, not myself, as Batman (oddly, since he'd been implying this was the direction things were heading ever since he started wearing a stolen cowl, he rejected the name in favor of "Bad Bat," refusing to be my "crutch" while I sort out my shifting identities). Second, I declared I would quit relying on a familiar habit of referring to my erotic impulses (okay, my cock) as a being separate from me--either "Robin" (when I was Batman) or "Mouse" (now that I'm Ratman)--and take responsibility for my entire self. Both of these strike me as important stages in my gradual re-emergence as a single unified being after months of the Monk playing on my split nature (Bat/Bruce/my real name) and pitting the various selves against each other.

There were other firsts last night, too, but these are the key ones. On one hand, I'm moving toward (re)unification, towards a wholeness as a single, as yet unknown, personality (or so it seems)--and at the same time, I suddenly find that the Monk and I have company in our little playroom.

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