Thursday, July 29, 2004

47. Batman

Dear lord, how can I have allowed this to happen? A young man's life is now in grave jeopardy--and it's all my fault. But this is no time for self-blame--I must gather my thoughts quickly and head out to try and save him if I possibly can.

The Tempest was ready for me. With no prior knowledge of his physical strength (average) or his arsenal (imposing), I was ill-equipped to confront him when I arrived at the agreed-upon location in the pouring rain late Monday night. Consequently, he overpowered me easily with the help of an electrified weapon he calls his "Lightning Rod." (I have Alfred working on an insulated version of the suit now, but there is no time to wait for it before I face the Tempest again.)

His goal appeared to be stun me; once he had rendered me unconscious, he moved me to a large metal scaffolding and affixed me to it with specially modified wires wrapped around my ankles, wrists, and chest. He removed my belt at some point, which in retrospect was the only thing that saved me.

First, the metal equipment contained within it would have proven irresistable to the lightning that the Tempest was hoping to attract. Equally important, though, it signalled Alfred in the Cave that something was wrong. What I did not intend, however, was that he would send Robin after me.

R arrived (with impressive speed for an absolute novice) and set about freeing me from the scaffolding. What he could not know--what I did not realize myself--was that my captor was observing us both by way of hidden surveillance cameras. R was occupied untying the last bits of wire when the Tempest returned, Lightning Rod at the ready. I watched, helpless, as he gave Robin a jolt which sent the youth to the ground. I was next.

When I came to, both Robin and the Tempest were gone. I quickly removed the remaining scraps of wire and scoured the premises in search of them. I located my belt nearby, but there was no sign of the others.

I have returned here to the Cave to quickly gather my thoughts and compare notes with Alfred. I do not yet know whether the temporary supplies he provided Robin included a tracking device. I fear the worst. R is in no condition to fend for himself; my only hope is that the Tempest will keep him alive as bait in a fresh trap for me.... a dire thought indeed.

R saved my life. But I must rethink the entire plan; he has become a liability now. I cannot believe I just phrased the matter that way, but I cannot deny it, either.