“They’ll cast you out, like a leper.”
These words still ring in my head, like an irritating telephone.
I didn’t even feel like reading the papers anymore.
Madcap Billionaire unleashes assault on innocent journalists. Is he hiding Batman’s identity? What is his ulterior motive? IS HE THE BATMAN?
Of course, the fact that the Wayne Foundation donated over half a billion dollars to restore Gotham city was pushed back to the last page, in a little corner.
Not that I’m complaining. But sometimes it does go a little too far.
Alfred came in with breakfast. “I hope you know it’s 3 in the afternoon.”
I managed a weak smile. “You’re taking this too seriously on yourself, Master Bruce.”
Fox came in after a while. “I have news.”
“Bad… or good?” I was hopeful, even if only a little.
“It depends on how you look at it. Joker has disappeared from Gotham.”
Do you know what happens when a .45 hits you point blank in your guts? I do.
The newspaper article stating that he might come for that news conference was just a ruse. Apparently, he’d been missing ever since he was broken out by the League of Shadows.
The League of Shadows… oh my God. Was he being initiated? No, he was too insane for that. No way!
“I know what you’re thinking, Master Wayne. I don’t think the clown is one to fit in a team, though. He’s his own man. Don’t tell me you’re WORRIED about him?”
“No.” I was lying. I was worried about him. Not because he was Joker, because he was now in the hands of a man I feared most.
“Fox, I need to give a statement to the press.”
That’s when Gordon came charging in. “I’m afraid that won’t be possible, Mr. Wayne.” He was followed by a few more policemen.
“Hey Commissioner. Did I break another traffic light?” Trust me to come up with the worst jokes in a situation like this.
“I’m afraid it’s a lot more than that, Mr. Wayne. A journalist has slapped assault and battery charges on you.”
“Really? Who is that?”
“It is me, Bruce Wayne.”
From the back of the room a shadowy figure emerged. When he came into the light, I didn’t know whether to laugh or break something in anger.
Ra’s Al Ghul. Looked menacing even with his hand in a sling.
“And I intend to bring you and your reputation down even further. Gotham must know the true identity of its ‘son’. Disgrace.”
At that moment, I snapped and landed him a nice blow on the jaw. Alfred held me back from doing any more damage.
“I’m sure you’re aware, Bruce Wayne, that anything you do or say can be used against you in a court of law. And I have MANY witnesses here.”
Gordon, Fox and Alfred pulled me back and tried to calm me down.
As I left with the cops, Alfred put a hand on my shoulder.
“Your time will come. Now is not the time.”