Lost Soul

"Lost Soul" is the fourth episode of the second season of Batman Beyond. It depicts the trouble brought to Gotham when a rogue computer program sweeps Gotham's computer network. Not wanting his company to die with him, computer expert Robert Vance digitized his memory so that he can run the company even after death. Re-released forty years later, he enters into Gotham's computer networks and eventually downloads into Batman's suit. With a new body, he seeks to fulfill his true agenda. Now Terry must fight his own suit without any powers.

Plot Edit

A newscast by Summer Gleeson reports the death of Robert Vance, owner and president of Vance Enterprises, a powerful computer company. Knowing that he was dying from an incurable brain disorder, Vance took steps to safeguard his company's future by digitizing his mind into a computer program, to act as a helpful "advisor" to future owners.

Thirty-five years later, in the present, a young man enters Vance Enterprises and re-boots Vance's program. The young man identifies himself as Bobby Vance, the elder Vance's grandson. Bobby is now the owner of the company, the last member of the family after his father died of a heart attack. Bobby is still young and is not sure he can handle the responsibility. Robert reassures him and encourages Bobby to put his program online. Bobby complies.

Elsewhere, Dana and Terry share a romantic night up on the roof of a skyscraper. After they decide to leave, they board an elevator that suddenly starts to erratically drop and rise at a dangerous rate. Terry looks out and sees the entire city being affected in much the same manner. Terry manages to stop the elevator and heads off to see Bruce.

Bruce explains that the program has been hoarding information all over the city's network, causing random device malfunctions. He is sure that the program has a hidden agenda and sends Terry to stop it.

Batman makes it to the power plant where the program has taken over, and tries to shut off the power. Unfortunately, the program activates the automated defense systems, making it impossible for the power to be shut down except from the central control. Going into stealth mode, Batman manages to sneak in but a stray cat wanders in and alerts the defenses. Batman manages to shut off the power, but is too late to avoid being hit by a laser blast. Believing he is not seriously injured, Batman tells Bruce that the trouble is over, and Bruce orders him out on patrol.

Out in the city, a gang of thieves are attempting to steal from a powerless ATM and Batman manages to stop them. However, before he can continue, his suit starts to malfunction. Soon it refuses altogether to respond to his movement, and communications with Bruce are cut off. Instead, Terry hears the voice of Robert Vance, who's downloaded himself into the suit by way of the laser blast. Under Vance's control, the suit walks into the ocean, Vance telling Terry along the way that he intends to download himself into a new body.

Realizing something is wrong, Bruce hits the batsuit's kill switch, preventing Terry from drowning, but leaving him immobilized in the water as the tide comes in. Just before it covers his head, Bruce arrives personally in the Batmobile and rescues him.

Back in the Batcave, Bruce talks about reprogramming the suit, but he and Terry decide to leave the task until later. As soon as they leave, however, the suit gets up by itself and leaves.

Night falls and Bruce and Terry discover the suit missing. Terry is determined to stop it, but Bruce tries to dissuade him, saying he is not powerful enough to do it. Seeing that there is no stopping him, Bruce gives Terry his old utility belt and a mask that once belonged to Nightwing.

Acting through the suit, Robert finds Bobby in the Vance Enterprises building and injects him with a sedative. On the roof, Terry breaks into the air shafts and makes his way to Vance's lab. He watches as Robert wires Bobby to a machine, explaining that he plans to download his mind into a living body, Bobby's; the process will erase Bobby's mind, but that hardly matters.

While examining Bobby, Robert accidentally catches his arm in an electromagnetic field and temporarily loses control of it. Terry notices this and now has a plan of attack.

The transfer begins but Terry interrupts it. However, his melee attacks are ineffective against the suit and it activates its stealth mode, then attacks with an exploding batarang that triggers explosives in Terry's belt. Terry hurls the belt at Robert and manages to disable its stealth mode. Terry and Robert fight for a while but the suit is much stronger and nigh invulnerable to damage. However, Terry manages to get hold of a sharp steel rod torn from the wall and wraps a power cable around it. He then jams it into the suit and plugs it into a power outlet, overloading the suit and erasing the program.

Later, a newscast announces that Bobby Vance has sold his company to some outside investors. Asked whether he has reservations about giving up his family's company, he responds that he's decided to let his grandfather rest in peace.

While Bruce is reprogramming the suit, Terry asks hopefully whether this means he can have a few nights off. Bruce, who has upped his estimation of Terry's abilities, explains that while the suit is out of commission, Batman is not.




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