Batman: A New World

Chapter 19: Post Mortem

Post Mortem

by Brian Mark

- We now go live to our City Center Studio, for a live interview with the woman, who was rescued by a bat, yes, you heard it here first folks. We join Naimh Ross, as she poses the questions, you 've been asking, to Mrs. Victoria Bross.

- So Mrs Bross ...

- Ah, ... Miss, ... I'm divorced.

- I do beg your pardon, Miss Bross. You were talking about your amazing rescuer last night. Can you describe him for us ? A member of the first fire crew to arrive thought he might have been using a hang-glider, and wearing some kind of a suit, that made him look like a bat ?

- Oh no. Oh no. This guy was amazing, absolutely amazing. He didn't just look like a bat, he was part bat ! Part bat and part man, .. yes a batman, .. yes, that's the only way to describe him. ... Tall, dark, ... and very sexy, ... if you like that sort of thing !

- Wow, that 's amazing, Miss Bross ! Is there anything else about this man, that you can tell our viewers this morning?

- Ah, ... no, I'm afraid not. I'm already under contract to Time Magazine, who want to do an article, so I'm afraid I can't at the moment. But you'll be able to read all about it in their next issue !

- ( Obviously a little awkward and embarrassed at such a shameless attempt at advertising ! ) Ah, thank you, Miss Bross. And so that is all for now, people. Well, ... you have heard it here first, folks. So who is this Batman ? Who is he and what is he ? And why should he appear now, at this moment in time ? This is Niamh Ross, your Society News Reporter for Gotham City News, reporting from the now temporary home of our new owner, Mr. Warner Bross.

- ( Switching off the TV with the remote. ) Hey, Alfred, this just gets better and better ! Money couldn't buy publicity like that. Boy does she spin quite a story. She is quite some woman.

- ( Rather taken by the woman, but trying to hide it ) Yes, quite so, Master Bruce, quite so. I rather suspect that Sir is not the only one looking for publicity out of last night 's episode. .. But enough of Miss Bross for now. How is Master Bruce 's wound this morning ?

- You know, Alfred, its not at all bad. It is beginning to feel more like a scratch, if anything. Why, you missed your true vocation in life, old friend. You should have been a doctor. Where did you learn to operate like that anyway ?

- Ah, Master Bruce, it is nothing. On active service, one was often designated medic in our squad. Anyway, the wound was not nearly as serious as it might have been, ... and was, if truth be told, more like ... a scratch, .. as you so eloquently put it, Sir.

- The only thing about her story that bothers me, though, is that she has painted Batman as some sort of a freak of nature.

- But, Master Bruce, one thought you would be of the opinion, that this woman has done you a great service. One thought you wanted to instill fear in your potential foes, play on their minds, use their minds against them, leave them feeling that they were defeated already, long before the final coup de force ( Alfred up to his usual tricks once more ).

- Why, yes, Alfred, of course ! ... A man who is half bat and half man, .. bitten repeatedly by bats, .. ( thinking ) when he accidentally fell into an abandoned mine, ... or a cave ! His body slowly mutated, creating batlike features in his anatomy. We could spread the rumours, anonymously, on Twitter !

- But you would seriously need to improve the look of your disguise, and greatly improve your equipment, so as to successfully sustain the illusion.

( Simultaneously )

- I need Lucius Fox

- You need Mr. Fox.

- Then there are other things about last night, that could have gone better.

- How so, Master Bruce, how so ?

- The length of time it took me to get to Wayne Tower, for instance.

- Ah, I also considered that as a problem, and took the liberty of investigating the intrinsic structural plans of the City, Sir. ... Standard regimental procedures and all that.

Bruce looks really interested in the plans.

- ( Alfred explains ) It would seem that, deep under the city, there is a continuous loop of disused railway tunnel, broad gauge, that was once used to provide service access to the City's drainage system. If Master Bruce had at his disposal a vehicle that could utilise that railway, he could reach most parts of the City at breakneck speed, and totally stealthily.

- Brilliant Alfred. So ...

(Simultaneously)

- I need Lucius Fox.

- You need Mr. Fox.

- Then, there's another thing. .. The elevators in our Towers are a bit on the slow side, getting to the roof tops. I was thinking we need a much more powerful and faster way to reach the tops in future, some sort of secret shute system, that would get me there in no time.

( Simultaneously)

- I need Lucius Fox.

- You need Mr. Fox.

- Then there's communications, Alfred.

- Ah, great minds do think alike, Master Bruce. My thoughts exactly.

- There were long periods of time, when we were out of touch with each other. A mobile phone isn't the answer, and, even with hands-free, we would still need a secure line.

- Yes, if Master Bruce had been more seriously hurt, there would have been no way to seek my help.

- I need something like what the C.I.A. has.

- Not just the C.I.A.

- ( Expecting Alfred to echo his words once again ) I need Lucius Fox.

- Ah, .. No, Sir, ... Begging the Master's pardon, but I think I can help you there ! After all, it is rather a speciality of mine.

- Among other things, ... like Cooking, .. Art, ... Antiques, .. Horticulture, .. Painting ... Martial Arts !

- There is, however, one tiny problem that remains. ...

- I'm going to have to find some way of telling Lucius that I am Batman.

- Precisely.

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