Chapter 22: Special Delivery !
Lucius greets Bruce, at the entrance to his inner sanctum !
- Welcome to our new Technology Centre. I believe it is your first visit. … Now pay attention, Mr. Wayne. ... I have asked all other personnel to stay clear of this section, for the immediate duration of the project.
He directs Bruce to an area of the section with several large cloth-covered units.
- Now, Mr. Wayne, if you remember, you asked me to produce you a suit, that would make you look much more like this Batman. ( Removes first cover ) Voila !
Lucius reveals a Bruce Wayne size dummy, dressed in a black costume.
- But this looks just like a navy SEAL's wetsuit, only with a Bat Mask !
- To all intents and purposes, Mr. Wayne, that's exactly what it is. But do bear with me for a moment. ... First of all, the mask, ... a super - strengthened paper-silk-carbon nanotube composite, .. as is the suit. Please observe. ... It is now, that you will fully appreciate, why you had to spend so long in the moulding department ! ... It is split on both sides toward the bottom, allowing for the speediest use (placing it on Bruce ), and then secured around the face with disguised velcro-like bands, either side of the mouth, ... like so.
- ( Looking in a mirror ) Wow, that is simply incredible Lucius, ... but what about this suit, and what are these odd fittings for ?
- I was just coming to that, Mr. Wayne. ... You wear the suit under your normal clothes. .. Of course, you are going to have to create the impression, that you have been working out a whole lot more ! ( Giggling, then moving on to the next covered unit ) ... Voila ! ( Uncovers it, revealing a robotic metal frame, with six arms ! .. He places the dummy inside the unit.) ... You stand in this unit, and a whole variety of attachments … well, .. attach ! ( Very quickly the arms dress the dummy as Batman.) That's what the fittings are for, Mr. Wayne.
- Ouch ! That looks as if it hurts !
- You'll get used to it. … Batlike bullet deflector, arm and leg guards, chest-piece, ... and then, ... as you step out, ... conveniently hanging so, is .. a utility belt !
- You're joking !
- I thought I told you before, Mr. Wayne, when it comes to science and technology, I never joke about anything. (Demonstrating ) ... Now, contained within this belt, are all sorts of Special Forces equipment, I have, over the years, surreptitiously acquired, designed, improved upon, or all three ! But you can explore all these various little toys for yourself, at your own leisure, Mr. Wayne.
- ( Shooting a climber's line and spike across the room ) Wow !
- Please, be careful with that equipment, Mr. Wayne !
- Why, is it fragile in any way ?
- No. .. You've just made rather a mess of the paintwork. ... Ah yes, next, .. the problem of the wayward hang-glider. ... Voila ! ... As you can see, it looks little or no different from the original model, but, what is different this time, is that we use these ( Holds up two rather familiar-looking units.).
- ( Taking them from him ) Smoke detectors !
- No Mr. Wayne, no. .. ( Taking them back ) .. If you notice, they are painted like dirty stone. ... This is because they will be secreted, in great numbers, around central Gotham's high buildings. They are basically a form of sound-emitter, which, combined with an inbuilt computer-receiver in your glider, allows the machine to make all the fine adjustments necessary to go exactly where you want it to, Batman ( sniggering ), ... and at lightning quick speeds. ... I did consider using regular radar, but it interferes with too many people's TV's and Sat-Navs !
- ( Somewhat distracted, to say the least ) Right, .. right.
Bruce gravitates towards something, which could only possess the form of a rather sleek-looking vehicle.
- Please, O please, Lucius, ... allow me this time. ( Lucius gladly acquiesces, and Bruce removes the cover.) ... Wow, ... But it is just a regular sports car, Lucius, ... granted, a very nice sports car, ... a very nice black sports car, but a sports car nonetheless. ... Why so, if I may say so, Maestro ?
- Behold your brand new personal vehicle, Mr. Wayne ... It has all the comfort of a regular sports car, classy seats, great sound system, ... but, as before with the suit, there is another unit, and another process involved. ... Observe.
Lucius lifts up a small black remote. The car starts, purring with an engine-sound, the like of which, we lesser mortals will never ever have heard before ! He steers it towards another set of panels. All of a sudden, a robotic device, similar to that for the suit, and to robotic machinery used in modern-day car plants, starts to operate at lightning quick speed ! Suddenly, a variety of attachments ... attach ! Everything starts to change, and the Batmobile appears! Wing mirrors come off and are replaced, bolt holes are vacated, and utilised by a whole variety of devices and decoration ( As the Bat Panels attach ! ). ..
- (Lucius) There is no internal wiring involved. Each unit receives its commands through special internal metal pathways, all the special devices that one will require for one's work.
- Hah, you're beginning to sound like Alfred.
- Ah, why that would never do ( Giving a wry smile.).
- How fast can she go ?
- However fast you would want a car, that has the cubic capacity and performance of a Formula One car engine. … And you have really got to try out the sound system.
- Why, what does IT do ? ( Presses the Load button. ... it starts playing, " Bat Out Of Hell " ) .. Nice touch. I like it.
- I thought you might. ( Bruce looks suitably impressed as he circles the car.) ... But my favourite additional unit is this. ... ( Presses a button on the dashboard and a droning sound starts.)
- What is it ?
- It's a low-frequency microwave emitter. Dual purpose. It has a unique fire-suppressant quality, to aid either yourself or a third party in escaping from a fire at ground level, .. and it also acts as a debilitator, causing a distinct sudden feeling of nausea for anyone in its path. I'm sorry to say, that the Nazis were the first to think of that one. We can adapt it in the future, in such a way, that it might, shall we say, need to carry more of a punch ( Another wry smile ). I assumed, you would be suitably impressed. I have already arranged with Alfred, for work to start installing the special units at Wayne Manor tomorrow. My men think they have been working on state-of-the-art car washing facilities for your home. I knew, you wouldn't mind.
- I wasn't expecting anything like this, Lucius. You have more than excelled yourself ! I wasn't even dreaming of anything like this !
- I want you to save people, Mr. Wayne. I want you to get the bad guys.
- And a remote control for it, too. What's its range ?
- Anywhere in the world, Mr. Wayne. I've taken the liberty to 'upgrade' the programming on Waynetech's satellites. I knew, you wouldn't mind. … Then, of course, there is our railway engine.
- You're kidding me right ? You actually had time to work on that, as well ?
They begin to walk towards Fox's office.
- Not only work on it, Mr. Wayne.
- Ah, ... sorry, Lucius. This probably isn't the best time. ... In fact it is definitely not the best time, ... but the other week, I completely forgot to mention another problem, ... .concerning the elevators ? ... Why are we heading for your office ? Do you have video footage of this railway engine ?
- Not exactly. ( They enter the office, and Lucius operates another remote. Observe the food service elevator. ... ( It opens. ) ... Care to step inside.
- What on earth for ?
- Funny you should say that. Because it is designed to bring you down to earth, if not under it, very, very fast ! ... I always thought that these elevators could take someone the size of an average man, like ourselves. Well, just about !
Bruce squeezes in, and watches Fox key in a code. He types in the word ' MEATLOAF '! Down he hurtles at breakneck speed ! The elevator flies back up again, and within moments he is joined by Fox. They are in a short subterranean passageway.
- Follow me, Mr Wayne.
Just a short distance along a drain tunnel is the machine.
- ( Bruce ) Unbelievable ! ... Simply unbelievable !
- Very practical. Little or nothing in the way of frills. You lie flat on board. .. These are the throttle and the brakes. This is the remote that changes the points at the occasional junction along the way, and this, ... This is the rocket engine to take you there.
- ( Bruce looks quite incredulous.) Lucius I'm speechless.
- Here are the keys, 007. Do try to bring her back in one piece.
Bruce climbs aboard, all excited.
- ( Lucius ) But, setting all jocularity aside, Mr. Wayne, I wish you every success in your noble endeavours and ...( He flies off, disappearing down the track in his rocket engine.) ... Godspeed ! ( Just laughs to himself !)