Wednesday, February 16, 2005

115. The omniscient narrator

Bruce stepped into the tight-fitting uniform he called a "batsuit." It felt painful against his skin, which was still recovering from the poison Dr. Strange had administered to him nearly two months earlier. The effects of Strange's treachery had been powerful enough that the crimefighter had essentially abandoned his career and descended into madness and physical pain. Plunging into a deep depression and prone to fits of wild hallucination, Wayne had not worked out for weeks.

It was risky, then, for him to suit up and head off into the night without proper preparations, but he felt he had no choice. Dick Grayson's life was at stake.

Pulling the cowl over his head as he had done so many times in the past, Bruce Wayne became Batman once more. Within half an hour he was standing at the door of Dr. Gus Tanhoger's downtown office, picking the lock and entering the pitch black lobby. Thoroughly unconcerned about secrecy, he flicked the lightswitch--

--and found himself standing face to face with a man who could almost have been his double. The Impostor, Batman had dubbed this masked menace in a stolen suit who had became quite a nuisance in recent weeks. But now everything was clear; the detective's hunch had been confirmed, and he called the Impostor by his true name.

"Hugo Strange," Batman snarled. "We meet again."