In Promo by Aster Gray

The concept of cleanliness is a paradox all its own.

Imagine a stark, white linoleum floor in the middle of a seemingly pristine room. Upon it a pool of blood and a broken man lying within it. Obviously, this room must go back to its once perfect state.

So you wet your rag and take it to the floor, a combination of bleach and soap scrubbing away at the mess before you.

As you clean, however, you are not free of the mess.

All the crimson red that soaked the tiles does not disappear, no, it simply moves onto the rag turning it the same dark red as the blood in your veins. Even as you rinse it in your water bucket the crystal clear liquid soon shares the same bloody hue.

You cannot clean something without dirtying something else. Even as the water goes down the drain into the sewers do you merely stain the pipes and taint the water in your attempt to clean up the blood splatter and brain matter which has left its mark upon the floor.

Cleaning is a fruitless endeavor.

For no matter what you do, all that happens is the clean and the dirty change places.

Mr. Cleaner, you claim to specialize in making things go away, in leaving no trace of your actions whether it means a dead body on the floor or a mess upon the walls. It is your claim that with a flick of your wrist and the scrub of a cloth you can remove any signs of chaos and clutter for good.

But as I said, there will always be a bit of dirtiness in your cleanliness, a sign of what once was upon your equipment.

You can throw away your bloodied scrubs, bleach and shock your wine dark rags, but nothing will change the fact that all of that evidence will remain, simply moved to a different place in Arcadia. Whether it be the sewers or the trash heaps, nothing can truly remove the signs of what you’ve done.

Your hands stained red, your soul coated in a thick sticky grime that can never be cleansed.

Ironically, Mr. Cleaner, you yourself can never truly be clean, you’ve traded your body’s sanctity to keep the rest of Red Hood’s messes pristine.

And now you bare your filthy soul to me as you believe you can clean up the mess of one Aster Gray.

Spray me, scrub me, dunk me in water?

Nothing you do to me can wash away the gray.

I am lifeless, deathless.

Clean yet dirty.

Dirty yet clean.

Your cause is futile against me, Cleaner. I am something beyond your understanding, a walking paradox that you could never hope to comprehend.

So do what you must, fight for your life.

But you cannot clean me in any way that matters.

Nothing is black and white.

And when I lay you broken within the ring.

All the Deathrow will see is the gray that lies in-between.