Batman: A New World

Chapter 52 The Cagey Old Bird

The Cagey Old Bird !

Oswald Cobblepot had been committed to the criminal wing of Arkham Asylum, after his arrest and conviction, way back in the days of the revenge campaign he had waged against those, who were to form the Property Cartel, based in the Old Cathedral.

It was a terrible experience, but it did have it's lighter moments. For instance, when the Asylum's computers went down, he not only repaired them, but radically improved some of their programs ! This was to earn him considerable remission in the Criminal Wing !

But the best lighter moments came, when he got visits from the two important women in his life, his mother, of course, and Molly Brown ! He had to wait a year, though, for Molly's visits to start. She had to serve that period of time behind bars, as did most of the 'Football Team'. His mother, with every visit, continually criticized him for having gone too far, Molly for not going far enough !

His mother's visits nearly always went along these lines:

- Oswald, you've been a real disappointment to me, breaking the law like that. You are so lucky that that nice Mr. Dent let you come here. ! would have died, Oswald, if you had gone to prison. I would be in my grave, Oswald, and you would be sending me flowers.

- I know Ma, I know. But you know I'll make it up to ya. You know I will. I promise ya, I will.

- Make sure you write to me, Oswald.

- I promise, Ma. I promise. ... Are you getting your regular check from my royalties ?

- Yes, thank you. I've been able to rent a better apartment. And I have twice as much spending money than before !

Oswald Cobblepot had been a shrewd enough businessman to patent everything unique about his business before the take-over, and set aside 50% for his mother ! Ain't that nice ?

But even I couldn't have foreseen the good fortune that was to come his way, when who happened to be appointed his personal psychiatrist, but someone he had trained as a boy in his coaching school !

It was his expert opinion, that Oswald himself had been subject to a criminal act, albeit one that couldn't be proven.

It wasn't too long before he was out of the Criminal wing altogether. Who says that kindness isn't its own reward ?

Becoming a regular patient in Arkham brought some definite advantages. he could receive more visits, and he stood more chance of proving that he was perfectly sane, which he was ! Granted, he may have had an anger management problem, but, then, it all depended on what was making him angry !

If truth be told, it was Molly's visits that stopped him going IN-sane !

- I'm tellin ya, honey. You didn't go far enough. Those guys deserved to lose a lot more than their dignity for what they did to you. They humiliated you at High School, they took away your Company, and you lost that Coaching School, that meant so much to you.

- But, that's just it, Sweetheart. They did lose more, a whole lot more. Before I left Humanitec, I left them a little present, a little hidden program, that has siphoned off hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions by now, MY MILLIONS. ... When I get out of here, I'm goin' to use the money to start up a new Company.

- Oh, you old dog !

- Why, Molly, don't you mean, you old bird ! ...

And so it was. The Senior Staffs of the State's hospitals and schools, together with the parents of wanta-be football players and netballers, all signed a petition requesting Oswald's early release. No one could put together a more effective computer program, and at such an acceptable price, as Oswald Cobblepot ! And some of the older boys and girls, he had coached, now had children of their own, who wanted coaching ! Oswald's philosophy was always to foster camaraderie, fellowship and fun in sport, something that school teachers and coaches didn't seem to espouse perhaps as much as they could have.

Kindness once again proved to be its own reward for Oswald, and he was discharged early, thanks to an early signed declaration by his Psychiatrist, that he was totally sane !

There was no doubt about it. Oswald Cobblepot was easily one of the most popular characters in the whole of Gotham ! When he was discharged from Arkham, the Press and TV crews were all waiting outside for an interview. But Oswald was never one to court publicity. All he wanted to say was:

- I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all those who campaigned for my earl release, and who have sent me messages of support throughout my stay here in Arkham. Above all, I'd like to thank my Mother, and molly, the woman I love.

After a few months, and with the support of a few banks not in the pockets of the Cartel, one of which Wayme Finances, I might add, Oswald was up and running again, with his own Company, Cobblepot Computing. The hospitals trusted him. The schools trusted him. The banks trusted him.

And, at the same time as he was starting his new business, he re-opened his coaching school for football and netball. And he made a point of employing many of the older members in his Company. As usual, there was a real mix of social, religious and racial groups, so often marginalized by Gotham Society.

Oswald could easily have become a multi-millionaire, had he not been one to give much of what he earned away. As long as he lived, he would remain true to the promise he made to his Father, that he would only use computing as a way to make the World a better place !

Again, Oswald was prepared to specialize in potentially life-saving computer equipment for hospitals and paramedics. It was always the greatest form of payment, to know that he was helping to save countless lives, with his ground-breaking digital monitors and scanners.

And for some twenty years Oswald lived a happy life. For some twenty years he was engaged to Molly Brown !

And it wasn't long before he cracked the true identity of Batman ! Was it his undeniable great intelligence, that led to him surmising that Bruce Wayne had to be the Caped Crusader ? No, it was the computerized wizardry he employed, together with robotics and other technological innovations. Everything had the fingerprints of his old friend, Lucius Fox, all over it. Only Bruce Wayne could have authorized the creation and use of such equipment, and he had, after all, been a fire, search and rescue specialist, before taking up his Father's position in Wayne Enterprises.

He followed Batman's fortunes with interest, and, once he had discussed Bruce's identity with Lucius, there was a significant exchange of ideas between the two geniuses, mutually beneficial to both parties, as well as to Batman !

Then he got the phone call. At first he thought it was a joke. It sounded like a joke ! But it was so menacing, so convincing, that Oswald seriously considered that this could be it. He might have to surrender his Company again.

It was strange how, no sooner had Gotham's big gangster been arrested and charged, than someone very sinister was ready to take his place.

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