Batman: A New World

Chapter 2 Harvey Dent And Thomas Wayne

Chapter Two

Thomas Wayne and Harvey Dent: An Unbreakable Bond ?

Harvey Dent and Tom Wayne had got to know each other on a 'slowly but surely' basis through High School, with a few shared interests and school subjects, that would eventually come to unite them in a common bond, leading to one being prepared to sacrifice himself for the other.

To begin with, their lives had been as different as chalk from cheese. Tom was the product of a privileged background, the son of a rich tycoon, a multi-millionaire. He would go home, after school each day, to a vast mansion. He loved to keep a daily journal. Harvey, on the other hand, though not poor by any means, was the son of a Captain in the United States Rangers. His Mother had died, when he wasn't long out of diapers. He was brought up by his well-to-do Grandmother in Gotham, and , just when his friendship with Tom was beginning to blossom, his Father was wounded and horribly scarred in Vietnam, notably around the face. He was largely ignored by the community around him, and turned to alcohol, and would beat his son periodically. If there was one thing Harvey would fear the most, it was to be wounded, or scarred, about the face.

And yet, there were warmer exchanges between Father and Son, especially when talking about his Father's exploits and those of his comrades, in war. It was these exchanges that inexorably drew Harvey, like his Father before him, to seek to make a career in the military, and, for him, it would be the Green Berets ! He had a complicated relationship with his father, and, if truth be told, there were underlying complications with Tom too. Tom came from a reasonably happy and stable home. He had money and privilege behind him. Harvey did feel a little inferior. He did feel a little jealous, too.

But something of Harvey would rub off on Tom, as the future would soon prove, and in more ways than one. For Harvey would take a principled stand against the power and influence of privilege. For instance, he was one of only three true friends to the young Oswald Cobblepot, who had entered Gotham High on a scholarship, and had previously had no friends. He was more a figure of ridicule. It was Harvey, that introduced Oswald to Tom, soon to be one of those other true friends !

And Harvey's interest in, and awareness of, military tactics was for Tom infectious. They would buy and paint model soldiers, tanks and a whole range of military vehicles, making up rules for war games, and fighting each other on intricately constructed homemade battlefields, the Battles of Waterloo and Gettysburg among their favourites. Wayne Manor provided rooms with ideal space for all their military endeavors !

They both excelled academically, too. Their favourite shared subject was chemistry, not because of the subject in itself, rather the nature of the man, who was to tutor them for four years in that subject, Doctor Viktor Fries, an Austrian academic, who excited his students with an infectious love for the subject, and who was never afraid to think out of the box, and, what is more, to encourage his students to do the same. And already, the young Tom and Harvey were exploring interesting possibilities, such as devising explosive devices, that they dreamed of using on real battlefields some day !

But Viktor Fries seemed very much a pacifist, and was the first to discourage that particular application of all the valuable information and insights in the field of chemistry he imparted to them. I say seemed, because all sorts of stories about his background circulated around the area, where he lived, and Gotham High ! Had he been an arch Nazi Scientist during the War ? Was he secreted away by high-ranking American Officers, and enlisted to work for the Government ? Was he, in fact, really Jewish, and had he fled persecution by the Nazis ? One thing was for sure. Here was a man of mystery. And there is no one in any academic establishment, that students like to talk about more, than a man of mystery !

Probably the most significant day in their relationship came on the day, when they had to make their career choices, and to decide whether they would pursue the university route, vocational training or something else. Harvey, of course, was always going to pursue something else !

- Well Tom, the moment of truth, you know only too well, where I'm headed. First stop the United States Rangers, then the Green Berets ! So what about you then ? Don't tell me, as if I even have to ask ? Its out into the big bad world of Daddy' s Business and Wayne Enterprises, isn't it ?

For that is, indeed, what Tom's parents were expecting him to do, in fact, dreaming he would do !

- Well, Harvey, first stop the United States Rangers, then the Green Berets !

- You' re kidding me, you have got to be kidding me ! Why, the world is your oyster man. You could be a multi-millionaire business tycoon tomorrow ! Are you stark-raving mad, or what ?

- I haven't seen any of that world yet, apart from what you see on luxury vacations, that is. So some oyster ! No I've got to make my own way in the world first, prove to myself that I've got what it takes, then I might return to the ' Business ' some day.

- But you' re the only child man. I thought you said that, apart from you, there was only that dotty Aunt of yours, what's her name again ?

- Aunt Harriot, yeah, she lives with us in the Manor. I know they' ll be disappointed, but you are right, Harvey, you just can' t walk into money and success. You've got to earn it. You showed me that. Everyone should have to earn respect..., the hard way ! The world of big business and high finance is really stuffy and boring anyway. Let's sign up together, and see the world from a different angle. What do you say, Harvey ?

- Let's do it !

It came as a bitter disappointment to his family and high-ranking employees, but it had not come as too great a surprise.

And so it was. Both joined up together, and were admitted to Westpoint for training as Second Lieutenants, and, passing with flying colours, they then completed the required period of training with the Rangers. Their careers mirrored each other's perfectly, with both rising to the rank of Captain, each with their very own Company under their command. Subsequently, both applied to join the Green Berets. They were both accepted, and soon saw action in some of the more sensitive operations around the world, notably attempted hostage rescues, including the failed attempt to rescue the students in Tehran.

And it was indeed this latter set of circumstances, that was to lead to their fateful meeting with a certain Alfred Pennyworth, or rather, Captain Alfred Pennyworth of the British S.A.S !

The failed attempt to free the Tehran hostages had shown the Government, that they needed an integrated team of specialists set up, to be in a constant state of readiness, to take on such missions in the future. These were to be the Delta Teams of Delta Force. America looked to Britain, and a force that was already nearly forty years old !

Tom and Harvey were on the very first training course, having been specially selected to help found Delta, and attended the very first briefing. This was led by Pennyworth, though this was not his operational name. His colleagues in the Squadron knew him better as Captain Alfred ' Freddie ' Mc Leish, after his Scottish mother ( His Parents never married ), or simply as ' Mac ' for short !

- Gentlemen, the formation of specialist anti-terrorist teams is by no means an easy task. It involves extraordinary patience, perseverance, dedication and self-sacrifice. But it also demands a high degree of intelligence, and in more ways than one. You have to learn about your foe, everything about him, not just the latest information about his unit strength and his last confirmed location, but who he is, where he comes from, what he does, and when, ... and why, he does it. I know I don't need to lecture a group of Green Berets on the Japanese credo of martial arts, and how you use your enemy's strength against him. In the S.A.S., we have long experienced the benefits of knowing our enemy's mind, and using that against him !

Both Tom and Harvey got to know 'Mac' very well indeed, and they were to become very good friends. Pennyworth was placed on long term secondment with the embryonic Delta Teams, and was to be heavily involved in their training and development. He even accompanied them on their first tentative forays into action. And, for some time, the unit existed unofficially, with Tom and Harvey proving themselves admirably, often independent of Mac's involvement, or advice.

Well, finally the day came when the Team was to be formally acknowledged, in advance of its official launch. The list of promotions concerning leadership and command were posted on the notice board outside the mess hall. Both Harvey and Tom made their way to it together, for news about their possible elevation !

- Well would you believe it, Harvey, there is now a Major Dent in our country's armed forces !

- Wow, I don't believe it, let me see that ! And he looked at the list in absolute disbelief. Then, as he looked down the list, his face dropped a little, and looking to hide what were his true feelings, he went on to say;

- And I see that they've made you Colonel, to head up the whole outfit. Why, congratulations, partner !

Their's were to be the youngest promotions ever to such ranks in the entire history of American Special Forces, and both from that same Year in Gotham High !

Harvey's reaction to the news has got to be seen as complicated, though. As, after going through life together, even very sensitive undercover operations together, as equals, now they were to be separated, both by rank and command. Harvey couldn't but help feel that the money and influence of the Wayne Empire had been the decisive factor in Tom's promotion over and above him, and, from that moment on, a jealousy and resentment against Tom began steadily to grow. But, above all, and more importantly, a desire to begin to accrue money and influence for himself began to grow. For, as successful as he had already become, his career in the Army and Special Forces had fostered in him a hunger and ambition for more, for Harvey Dent seriously considered that he deserved more, and that this simply was not just Wayne's world !

They would both remain with Delta Force for a few more years, during which time Tom became a father for the first and only time, to a boy, ... called Bruce. Both would be formally accredited with having been founding members of Delta Force, something that would have been enough in itself, to set up both for a lifetime of success. The difference was, for Harvey, that whereas he had needed that great leg-up, as it were, his erstwhile best friend had not !

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