Chapter 34: Cold Comfort ( Part One )
Cold Comfort ( Part One )
Bruce Wayne and Alfred are about to leave Wayne Manor, to take Bruce's private jet to Archangel in Alaska, to meet up with Hans Anders Christiansen for Arctic training. But first, Bruce goes to make a quick call on his mobile phone. Suddenly Aunt Harriot appears.
- Ah, there you are, Bruce, I've been hoping to have a word with you, all week now. Have you been avoiding me ?
- Sorry, Aunt Harriot, but I've got a plane to catch, and there's someone I have to call before I leave.
- Not another of those girls everyone is talking about, I hope. ... Honestly, Bruce, it's not like you. You always used to be such a nice boy, ever since you were little.
- Look, Aunt Harriot, I'm really sorry.( Looking at his watch ) I really have to make this call.
- All this razzmataz, the drinking, the girls, the flippant remarks to the Gentlemen of the Press. ... And yet, at home, you're the same sweet, kind-hearted, likeable young man that you have always been. What's the matter, Bruce, ... is it drugs ?
- No, Aunt Harriot, I can assure you, it is definitely not drugs. ... ( He holds up his mobile. ) My phone call ?
- Because, if anything was bothering you, you know that my room is only 250 yards away.
- Honestly, Aunt Harriot, there is nothing to worry about. You know, that you can't believe everything you read in the papers. … Hello, ... Lucius, it's Bruce Wayne.
- Well hello, Mr. Wayne, .. and to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure ?
- Some days ago now, someone tried to hack into my private files, ... my MOST PRIVATE files ? ... I used your computer, if you get my drift, to try and trace the connection. The automatic counter-trace just failed to identify the source by seconds. Alfred and I will be away for a week, .. You couldn't employ those remarkable resources of yours, and see if you can have better luck. Whoever it was, was using state-of-the-art equipment, to get as far as they did, and evade our tracing mechanism.
- THAT would be another pleasure. You can leave it with me. Enjoy your vacation, Mr. Wayne ( giggling ).
- Thank you, Lucius. I knew I could rely on my new Acting C.E.O. ! ( Hangs up )
- ( Aunt Harriot ) And, how many well-to-do young men take their Butlers with them, when they are on holiday ?
- ( Lucius to himself ) Mmm, ... State-of-the-art equipment, ay ? ... Well now, let me see, WE make state-of-the-art equipment. ... ( He goes to a digital data base, looking to see if anyone unusual has purchased any relevant equipment from Wayne Enterprises-controlled companies, that he supplies.) ... It couldn't be that simple, could it? ... Well, would you believe it ? ... Well, well, well, young lady ... Now, why would you be trying to find out so much about Mr. Bruce Wayne ? ... Now, let me see who else you might have been spying on. ... Well, bless my soul, bless my soul ( Clasping his hands around the back of his head, and swinging round in his chair ).
Later that day, Bruce and Alfred meet up with Christiansen, at the holiday resort Alfred had spoken of some days before.
- ( Speaking quietly into Christiansen's ear. ) The Arctic Fox, I presume.
- ( Doing likewise ) Batman, I presume.
- ( Alfred ) One can only imagine, what that was all about, ... but shall we make proper introduction, if one may be so bold, Sir ?
- Indeed one may, Alfred ( smiling wryly ).
- Hans Anders Christiansen. ... Bruce Wayne. ( They shake hands ).
- Oh please, you can call me Hans Anders.
- And you can call me Mr. Wayne. ... Na, ... just kidding, ... you can call me Bruce.
- I see you are quite the joker, Bruce. ... And this is my Butler, Jens. He goes everywhere with me.
- ( Bruce and Alfred ) Jens.
- ( Jens ) Pleased to make one's acquaintance, one is sure.
- ( Hans Anders ) So, Bruce, Mac tells me you want to do some serious Arctic Training.
- Mac ?
- ( Alfred ) It's what colleagues used to call me in the old days, Sir.
- Ah, right, ... yeah, I remember now. ... I always used to wonder why Dad called you that, when you were driving us around, as a kid.
- ( Hans Anders ) I don't know if you already know this, but Mac is a highly celebrated veteran of the Iranian Embassy Siege, Northern Ireland, South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and Sierra Leone. ... And highly decorated too.
- ( Alfred ) Oh, come now, Hans.
- (Bruce ) Actually, I didn't know that. But, knowing 'Mac' ( Alfred coughs in polite disapproval ), I mean Alfred, I can't say I am the least bit surprised. ... Wow, Alfred, wow !
- ( Hans Anders ) Well, let's get down to things straight away. ... How do you Americans like to put it ? ... There is no time like the present.
- ( Bruce ) I was afraid you were going to say that.
Meanwhile, in Kyle Manor, Salina is enjoying afternoon coffee, as served by her trusted Butler !
- Well, Lazlo, ... tonight's the night. I have it on good authority, that Brucie Wucie and his Butler are away this week, from his dotty Aunt. I know, that Wayne's security is likely to be quite tricky, but ... I have one or two tricks up my sleeve. Let's see what he is doing with my inheritance, and if his files can shed any light on who this H.D. is.
- Yes, Mistress Salina.
- Oh, Lazlo ?
- Yes, Mistress Salina ?
- I won't be requiring any of our bigger feline companions this evening, or, for that matter, YOUR services, Lazlo, only Cleopatra.
- Very well, Mistress Salina. ... Will that be all ?
- ( With a very self-satisfied look. ) Why yes, Lazlo. That most definitely is all I need tonight ! ( Clasping her hands together around the back of her head. ).
Back in Alaska, Bruce is in the middle of a crash-course in Arctic Training.
- ( Hans Anders ) Now, being Batman carries with it certain advantages, as does being the Arctic Fox. But, unlike me, you can't confront Fries and his team, with layers of warm clothing, so, let's see how you fare in the deep snow, with only your Batsuit on. Remember what I told you about perspiration. If you perspire, it starts to freeze, and then, its not only Fries and his men you have to worry about. It's Hypothermia.
- So what do I do ?
- As little as possible ! That's the secret, Bruce. Now, more than ever, it is important to use your wits, and your equipment to your best advantage. Let them do the work for you, ... and without perspiration ! ... It is absolutely imperative that you get accustomed to the extreme cold, but find ways to retreat to a warm hide. ( Bruce looks slightly dubious, and not a little hypothermic ! )
- ( Alfred, well wrapped up, and drinking a cup of hot coffee ! ) Trust your Butler, Master Bruce, that's exactly what he taught him. It works, ... You can rely on that.
Bruce falls over !
Later that evening, at Wayne Manor's boundary wall:
- ( Catwoman, following her cat over the wall. ) While the mice are away, the cat will play ! ( She very sleekly weaves her way through some trees, with her cat in her hands. Then she releases it towards the Manor.) ... Go Cleopatra ... If Wayne's security is in any way conventional, it will correct itself, to allow for small animals, ... and while it is doing that, I simply slip my way through, like so, and ... well, would you believe it, they have only gone and left a window open. What luck ! ... How stupid is that ? Guess, that's puerile playboy behavior for you. ... It makes you slack.
But, as she slips in through that open window, all of a sudden, the window closes shut, automatically ! An alarm sounds ! Lights flash ! Stunned, she runs toward an open door. It closes shut and locks ! She tries to open it, but can't. She heads for the second door, and it does the same ! Meanwhile, Aunt Harriot, sleeping in her room until now, hearing the alarm, heads out into the hallway, into her emergency lift, and, pressing several buttons, drops at lightning speed. The doors open, and she passes out !
Back in the room, now her cage:
- ( Catwoman ) Caught like a rat in a trap.
Then, out from the shadows in that room, steps none other than Lucius Fox !
- ( Lucius ) No, ( giggling ) more like a cat in a trap. ... Salina Kyle, I believe.
- ( Taking her mask off ) Well, who the hell are you ?
- Oh, I do beg your pardon. ... Lucius Fox. ... I work for Bruce Wayne.
- How the hell did you get here so quick, and how the hell do you know my name ?
- Most of our security systems are based outside the perimeter, on the understanding that any would-be intruder will leave their vehicle some distance away, and proceed on foot. I could see you as you stepped out of your car. As for knowing who you are, well, you made one simple, basic mistake. You bought all your most essential equipment from Wayne Enterprises. We own the company you used. I designed the equipment you procured.
- So what now ? Obviously Wayne knows about this, as will the Police.
- Actually he does not, … and, no, .. I'm not going to tell the police. ... You see, I've done a little digging of my own. ... And I've figured out, why you've been doing what you've been doing, and I want to help you, Miss Kyle. I want to help you. …