Batman: A New World

Chapter 20: The Quartermaster

The Quartermaster

- Right, ah, Lucius, ... Right, ... I guess you are probably, .. maybe wondering why I called you here today.

- ( Waving a copy of Time Magazine ) Why don't you just come out and admit that you are this Batman, Mr. Wayne ?

- Wow, boy, I didn't see that one coming. ... Boy, I am impressed. I was wondering, ... struggling, ... even terrified, ... about how I was going to tell you, ... How did you figure it out ?

- Let's just say I have always been good at reading between the lines. ... An adventurous daredevil rescue, involving a burning building, .. a gunman firing at point blank range and the bullets just bouncing off, ...

- Well actually, ( feeling his side ) that is more of an embellishment on the part of Miss Bross.

- Need I go on ?

- Ah, ... no.

- So, basically, it looks as if I have been, without knowing it, and never having given my permission, resoursing this, and what are likely to be more madcap adventures in the future. What are you trying to do, Mr. Wayne ? No, let me guess. You want to make this world a better place, maybe take on the bad guys in the process. You want to make a difference. Am I right, Mr. Wayne ?

-Well, ... actually, ...yup, that's just about the size of it.

- But you need my help, right ? Things maybe didn't go quite as well as you planned. ... Things could have been better. .. You are looking for extra, maybe better equipment, to help you engage in this great crusade of yours.

- Well, .. actually, ... Yup, that's just about the size of it.

- But a man got killed. I thought we had agreed, I wouldn't help produce anything that would result in anyone's death.

- That was nothing to do with me. The guy had started the fire. He was trying to escape, and Miss Bross and I got in the way. He tried to kill me !

- That's different. I'll grant you that. ... Look, I've got to say that I am not entirely unsympathetic to what it is you are trying to do. Why, if I was a little younger, I might well want to join you. ...

- But you can Lucius. You can ! Just supply me with the tools, and let me go out there and make a difference !

- Obviously, I'll have to think about this very seriously, Mr. Wayne.

- It means strict secrecy, you understand.

- That goes without saying. .. Look, tell me all the things you think you shall need, and I'll consider it.

- Well, something that makes me more like a batman, for a start, and a suit I can change into a lot more quickly than the one I was wearing that night.

- ( Writing everything down ) Anything else ?

- Yes, a vehicle that could utilise an underground railway line, that runs under the City. Alfred discovered it.

- Wait a minute. Hold on here. Your Butler, Alfred. .. He knows about all this ? ( Thinks a moment ) But of course he does.

- You can't keep anything a secret from Alfred ! Trust me, Lucius, there is a lot more to Alfred than meets the eye.

- Why, this is beginning to sound like fun.

- So, are you interested ?

- You know, I think I just might be, Mr. Wayne. I think I just might be. A railway line you say ?

- Yeah, but I'm afraid its broad gauge. Alfred was a little concerned about that.

- Why should he be ? Its the best kind. Why his fellow countryman designed and produced the fastest and most stable railway of his generation, using broad gauge, Isambard Kingdom Brunel !

- You're kidding me, right ?

- When it comes to science and engineering, Mr. Wayne, I never kid anyone ! ... Mmm, a railway, huh ?... I do like a challenge. I do like railways. But then of course, you'll need another vehicle.

- Another vehicle. .. How do you mean ?

- Why, ( giggling) you can't expect to do all your travelling underground, Mr. Wayne.

- ( Laughing ) I guess not. Yeah, sure, put me down for another vehicle, a car, yeah, a Bat Car !

- Then there's the Glider I made for you, how did that perform, exactly ?

- You know, Lucius, I was meaning to talk to you about that. .. That night, it was responding brilliantly, until I encountered lateral draft, ... from the fire. Is there a way to improve it a lot further, enabling it to compensate ?

- Just leave it all to me, Mr. Wayne, just leave it all to me.

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