Friday, July 29, 2005

178. Alfred

Master Bruce has been gone for almost two weeks now and has given me no indication of how long it will be before he returns. (The usual safeguards, cover stories, and contingency plans apply, as always.) Naturally I worry about him, even though he has assured me his current mission is a safe one, intended to heal the wounds incurred at the hands of Dr. Strange. He has not told me much about his specific purpose or the man he says he has gone to meet. I convinced him to bring his batcommunicator.

He winced when I brought up the device, as if any reminder of his career as Batman was still too painful to acknowledge.

I very much hope this current rejection of that aspect of his life's work is a phase which shall pass. For my sake, and for the sake of Gotham City, I pray that we have not seen the last of the Batman.

Friday, July 22, 2005



By Thomas Drury
Staff Reporter

Police officials confirmed yesterday what Gotham City residents have known for months: that the metropolitan area is currently enduring a major spike in violent crime. Homicide, assault, armed robbery, and other major crimes are at their highest rates since 1974, according to Commissioner James Gordon.

Gordon and his associates refused to reply to the widely held belief that the spike is directly tied to the disappearance and presumed death of the masked vigilante known only as "the Batman," last seen over six months ago.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

176. Dick

Still trying to adjust to life post-Bruce, post-Tanhoger, which has been very, very hard. Sometimes I miss them (or their alter egos) so much I feel like I'm losing my mind--which may just mean admitting I already lost it and will never get it back.

I've gone nowhere, I've done nothing, I've seen no one. I go out for groceries or takeout and I'm convinced everyone recognizes me as Robin, the Failed Superhero. The fuckup who brought Batman's brilliant career to a crashing halt.

I'm still on the Wayne payroll for some reason--it just feels wrong. It's great that Alfred paid my bills and kept up the apartment while I was ... away, but now that I've turned in my mask I should really be looking after myself like a big boy.

I never thought of myself ashaving such a major Daddy thing, but I realize now how big a role that played in drawing me to both men. That's nice: their lives are destroyed, and Little Dickie gains valuable insight into his psyche.

I don't have a clue what I'm going to do from here. I haven't spoken to Janice in months, mainly because I haven't been able to come up with a believable story to explain my dropping off the face of the earth.

That's what I need: a big lie to make everything else make sense.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

175. Bruce

I have met with Gustavus three times now, during which we have begun to map out the specifics of my "condition," as he puts it, and to discuss the "treatment."

He is a most peculiar man--charismatic in almost repellent fashion. An absolute cypher. He demands, and seems to receive, the upper hand in every exchange. I cannot say how I might have reacted to him at an earlier point in my life; as Batman, I faced many villains who used intimidation as a weapon, but I always knew I could hold my own. Indeed, I was the one who projected the confident facade. Ever since my final encounters with Hugo Strange, however, I seem to lack such resources altogether. My will has been broken, my nerves shattered, and I ... I confess I am no longer any match for a man like Gustavus. And that is precisely the reason I want to work with him: because it is time for me to relinquish the barriers I have placed around myself from an early age, to bring to light some of the secrets I have kept even from myself.

We have discussed fees. His are steep--$360 an hour for conventional sessions, more as the situation demands. I am willing to pay the price, because something tells me this is my best and only option at the moment.

I have made clear to him that confidentiality is essential. Alfred has drawn up legal documents which spell out the consequences of any breach of trust.

For the moment, I have of course not told Gustavus the full story behind what has brought me to him. He does not know of my past as Batman, and for the moment I feel it would be wisest not to reveal that secret to him. However, it is difficult for me to concoct a believable cover to explain what it is I have gone through and why I am seeking his help. In time, if the situation calls for it, I may need to tell him more, but for now, I am simply Bruce Wayne, wrestling with dark impulses of a sort not uncommon to other men in my position.

He has given me a most unusual assignment: I am to report this Saturday morning to a remote location an hour south of Gotham and remain there in total solitude until he summons me. (He has warned me that several days, if not weeks, may pass before I hear from him.) I have been told to speak to no one, to conduct no business of any kind, to sever all ties to the outside world. I will not be allowed to write anything down, here or elsewhere, or read a word of any publication. Gustavus describes this as a "meditation retreat" to empty my mind of all distraction, so that we may begin the next phrase of treatment with a clean slate.

I am intrigued, to say the least. This should prove interesting.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

174. Bruce

"Batman" is, for now at least, a thing of the past.

It has been almost a week since my first contact with Gustavus. We meet tomorrow at Wayne Manor to discuss my "case"--not an easy task given that I can tell him virtually nothing of my history or my motivations for associating with him.

As for the latter, I am not entirely sure I can express even to myself what it is that has driven me to this step, beyond a need to explore who I am and what it is I want from this life. My feelings for Richard have led me to acknowledge the desires I hold for other men as well. For years now I have placed myself in dangerous situations, telling myself it was a quest to avenge injustice. An impossible mission, I now realize--and what if its very impossibility is what has kept me going? Batman was doomed to fail, and fail I did. So now what?