A boy plays on the floor. He acts as if he is one of the heroes of old, fighting for good against the clear and present evils before him. His mother watches with loving eyes while his father toils away at his book. All is well in the household and soon, calm afternoons like this will be but a distant memory.
A car is heard in the driveway and the mother jumps to her feet with glee and rushes to the door. The father follows in toe, calling for the boy to join him. The boy and his father come to the doorway to see the mother giving a stranglehold of a hug to a young man no older than twenty. The man is able to wiggle out the hold and approaches the father and the two shake hands along with the exchange of a joke that the two laugh at heartily. The young man then leans down to the eye level of the boy with a smile.
“Hi Brucey. I see you’ve kept our folks safe while I was away. Good man.”
With that, the man ruffles the boys hair and he giggles in admiration.
This young man is Thomas Wayne Jr., the 20 year old eldest of the Wayne children. The boy is the 10 year old Bruce Wayne and of course the youngest of the two boys. The parents are the immaculate entrepreneur Thomas Wayne and his stunning wife, Martha Wayne.
The Waynes were the closest thing to modern day royalty Gotham City has ever had. Their notoriety started back when it was just Thomas Wayne at the age of 25 years old. A young engineer fresh off an internship with world renowned industrialist and scientist Alexander Luthor arrived at his home of Gotham with a plan to revolutionize the city into a world of tomorrow. He started WayneTech on his own with some funding from his former mentor of Mr. Luthor and in a short time took Gotham a huge step away from the grimy and poverty stricken crimehole it was known to be. WayneTech achieved this with the design installation of a successful monorail around the city as well added security monitoring systems and updated law enforcement technologies creating a more effective and safe environment for the inhabitants of Gotham. Thomas wanted to ensure that he and his company left a positive impact on Gotham and he was doing just that. For a time he reveled in the success he achieved on his ownbut also found his life to be a lonely one with long nights and no one to have his back when hard decisions needed to be made. Lucky for him he wasn’t alone for very long.
Thomas met Martha (Martha Elliot back then) at the annual LexCorp Christmas gala. She was a rather notable actress of the time, known mainly for starring opposite Basil Karlo in “Mystery of the Clay Army”. Thomas was taken to her from the first moment they spoke, in awe of he beauty and sweetness of soul. Martha on the other hand was not so swept away but was definitely curious of the young entrepreneur. The two began to meet often as friends and with time Martha saw Thomas for the man he was, falling slowly as she saw his passion for making the world better however he could. Eventually Thomas and Martha’s relationship evolved to a romantic one and Thomas asked Martha to marry him at the very gala they first met at about two years later.
Thomas had found in Martha the partner he never knew he needed. While Thomas led the city forward in technology and industry, Martha became the philanthropic face of WayneTech, starting the charity “Gotham Lights” which worked heavily in the funding of things like libraries as well as the construction of institutions like orphanages and free clinics for the less fortunate. The two were amazing individuals on their own but as a pair, they did some of the best work of their lives. That is, until they became parents.
The Waynes’ sons were their true success stories starting with Thomas Jr. Their first born and a spitting image of his father. Top of his class every year and graduated early at a mere 16. A handsome man with a strong build and the wise eyes of his father. Bruce on the other hand was more like his mother. Though only ten, his kind heart was evident from the very start of his life. He too had the handsome features of Thomas Sr. and Jr. but had his mother’s eyes instead which were like windows into a soft blue ocean. Bruce was their hearts and Thomas was their minds. Though ten years apart the brothers still adored each other and Thomas worked to be the best big brother he could be up until he had to go off to school at MU (Metropolis University).
Thomas now only came home for holidays and was gone for the greater part of four years with his studies often taking him around the world. That was what made this homecoming on this day so special. For Thomas had finally finished his Masters in criminology and was coming home to enroll within the Gotham City Police Academy with the hope to help Gotham just as parents had done throughout their lives. Thomas was home for good and the family was together again.
With the greetings on the lawn having finally ended , the Waynes retreated back into the house. There they sat as Thomas shared stories from school as well as his plans for his future in Gotham. He wanted to carve his own path while still honoring the Wayne name. Thomas had his business and Martha had her charities so Thomas Jr. wanted the law to be his path, even stating how he hoped to one day become police commissioner so he can make some real changes for the better. Thomas Sr. was thrilled by these plans and shared his own news of how WayneTech had grown in Thomas’ time away.
“The company has gotten so successful that it basically runs itself, which means that my work in the world of business may be coming to an end,” Thomas Sr. exclaimed.
This brought a pause as well as a face of confusion to Thomas Jr. as he turned to his mother who barely contain her excited smile.
“What do you mean, dad?”
“Well son I’ve stepped down as CEO of WayneTech and have appointed my young CCO, Lucious Fox, to take my place following my departure”
“Why? What about all your work for the city?”
“I said my time with business is done but that does not mean I’m done with Gotham,” Thomas says followed by a long sip of his whiskey.
Thomas Jr. waits in quiet anticipation as his father finishes his drink.
“Ahh that’s good stuff.”
“Dad, come on! What’s going on?”
“Ok fine. As of last week I have officially thrown in my bid into the race for mayor of Gotham.”
“Dad that’s wonderful.”
“Thank you son, better me than that Carmine Falcone who I’ll be running against. He a shady fellow that one.”
“I think this is going to require some form of celebration, wouldn’t you all agree?” proposed Martha as she grabbed Thomas Jr.’s hand.
“What shall we do?” asked Thomas Sr. with a smile.
Upon this question, little Bruce finally enters the conversation with a bellow of “Zorrrrrooo!!!” at the top of his lungs. The whole families breaks into laughter and agree to the youngest Wayne’s request and set out to ready themselves for an unforgettable night.
The night is dark and the alley is darker. The Waynes find themselves here as a means to escape the paparazzi prowling the front of the theatre for the crowds and chaos often scare Bruce.
Thomas Sr. leads his family out into the darkness guiding them to the lone street light that lay before them. They laugh and cheer as Bruce acts out his favorite scenes from the movie.
During this merriment Thomas Sr. pulls out a cigar and strikes his lighter and to his surprise a large crack echoes out throughout the alley. He looks at his hand half expecting the lighter to have exploded but as the confusion passes, he looks down to see the true horror before him. Bruce Wayne, his boy, turns to face his father with a gaping hole starting in one cheek and ending with the other.
Before the boy has time to react he hits the floor convulsing in utter shock. Thomas Sr. is frozen in fear but forces himself to scan his surroundings and thats when he sees the smoking barrel of a pistol just barely visible in the shadows . Thomas also swears he can see the gunmans twisted smile beaming through the darkness. The smile evolves into a wicked laughter as another two shots leave the gun striking right through a screaming Martha as she cradles her wounded son. One bullet tears through her neck and the other strikes her directly through the heart. She is dead before she knows she is shot.
This ordeal has occurred over a matter of seconds and in that time the two Thomas’ have finally grasped the reality of what has happened. The two men look at each other and nod but just as they begin their rush on the gunman, another crack explodes into the air and Thomas Sr. looks down to find a bullet in his gut. He falls to his knees and looks up just in time to meet the bullet that strikes him right between the eyes.
Thomas Jr. then finds himself to be the only one of his family left standing as he watches his father crumble to the ground, he feels a rage build in him as rushes the gunman. He takes a slug in the shoulder but that does nothing to stop his resolve, as he finds himself within arms distance of the man in a matter of seconds.
Thomas’ fist meets the assassins face with a righteous justice, knocking him to the floor. Thomas then jumps on the man and begin to bludgeon the monster with all his might. To Thomas’ dismay, he was acting far too much on emotion and was too caught in the moment to notice the man had not let go of his gun. By the time Thomas felt the muszle at his side, the hitman simply whispered , “Boom!”
Thomas came to a bit later, having momentarily passed out from the pain. He couldn’t feel his legs but he could still use his arms. He looked around to find the gunman rifling through his parents possessions.
“You bastard! I’ll kill you for this!” Thomas exclaimed with his voice cracking as the pain of his wounds sent shocks through his body.
“Oh god, you’re still alive? Give it a rest buddy and just die because we both know that isn’t gonna happen anytime soon,” replied the gunman and with that he walked over to Thomas and aimed his gun downward, taking a final two shots into his back into his spine, sealing the deal. Thomas then falls back into silence and the gunman resume to his rummaging.
After a bit of time the man finds what he needs and he gets up to leave but not before he hears a small whimper. He turns to find the small boy he shot through the face is not only alive but conscious.
“Oh geez kid, you made it? You Waynes are tough, I’ll give you that. Well I think we both know what’s gonna happen next.”
Bruce squeezes his eyes shut as the man aims the gun at his head, just as he had done to his father earlier that night. The gun then clicks...then clicks again...and again.
“Would you look at that? Isn’t that funny. Honestly would have been nicer for you if I hadn’t of run out of bullets. Well I guess it’s your lucky day. Your parents were the job and I gotta get going so I’ll see you around,” and with that the man laughs maniacally and roughly the disfigured child’s hair, turning to disappear into the darkness from which he came.
Bruce then sits frozen in terror for what feels like hours before he finally begins to scream for help, which he can barely do with the state of his face. The theatre owner finally hears him after a while and almost faints at the sight of the mascare that lay before him. The GCPD follow soon after along with some paramedics who load Bruce and his brother up, taking them to get medical attention. Bruce’s last sight of his parents is that of their lifeless bodies staring coldly at him as the ambulance pulls away.
This was Bruce’s first night in the darkness.