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 Arrival of the Bat

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Batman

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PostSubject: Arrival of the Bat   Sat May 05, 2012 11:25 pm

A deep groan left the mouth of the great detective, clock and mask hiding the man's face. Soon he began to shift, arising from his lying position as he listened about for another sound. Eyes opened, blurry at first from being opened after a long period of being closed. But after a few blinks they began to clear. Confusion filled the man at first until he took in his surroundings.

I'm in the Bat Cave? Bruce thought as he stood up, moving his shoulders to loosen stiff muscles. How did he end up here? Last he remembered, he was on patrol. I was scouting Gothem's streets as usual. Then I heard some sort of cry... he thought as he recalled his last thoughts. I investigated immediately. Only to feel something latch onto my neck... then nothing. Bruce frowned deeply as he pondered this, making his way to the super computer. The thought of his neck made him bring up gloved hands to feel around for any abnormalities.

The man's body stiffened as he felt something cold and hard on his neck. What is this!? he thought alarmed.
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sat May 05, 2012 11:39 pm

Alfred had received the alert, a new arrival. He shuffled down the stairs of the Bat Cave, blinking in surprise when he saw a cowled man that look suspiciously like Batman. His eyes widened when he did, in fact, see a collared Bruce Wayne in front of him.

"M..Master Bruce?" Alfred said, surprised beyond belief.
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 12:11 am

Bruce heard footsteps towards where the stairs was, but was not on high alert. It was most likely Alfred or Damien. Perhaps one of them could shed light on the situation?

"M..Master Bruce?"

It was indeed Alfred. But why did he sound so surprised. Turning around to see his old and faithful butler, the man froze. Something was a little off about the other. Alfred almost looked... older. Not in actual age per say, but... he couldn't place his finger on it. "Alfred." he said after a moment, removing his cowl to reveal the face of Bruce Wayne.

"You look surprised to see me. I suppose you don't know I got back to the Bat Cave do you?" he asked before turning back to the computer. He needed to try and figure out what the device around his neck was. What if it was a tracker? Or a mind control device? It wasn't safe to not know.
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 12:17 am

"I should be surprised to see you, Master Bruce... You're... Not supposed to be here. Uhm... Let me explain." Alfred took a breath, trying to find his words.

"You've been taken to an alternate Earth where... the heroes have all been killed. There are beings called Protectors that are taking heroes and villains from different worlds to fight in arena matches... that's what the collar is for, Master Bruce. It... It seems you were taken." Alfred bowed his head, looking at the ground. Trying to find words, his chest tightened, he didn't think it would be this hard to see the man. Of course, it wasn't his Bruce but by God they were near similar.
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 12:35 am

Bruce grew in confusion as Alfred began to speak. Not supposed to there? It was his home. Where was he supposed to be? He remained quiet though, not asking any questions for he knew the old man would explain himself. He always did.

However he was not expecting that kind of explanation. Bruce felt himself stiffen as he took in that he was on an alternate Earth. An Earth where there were no heroes. They had all been killed off. Then... The batman here... is... A small shudder ran through his body. It was odd, to think of another him being dead.

Looking upon the butler, who was apparently not his Alfred, who had his head bowed. Realization dawned on the detective. This man had witness the death of his employer and practically grandson. Seeing Bruce was like witnessing a ghost. "I'm... sorry Alfred. Seeing me must be difficult."
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 12:38 am

"It is not your fault, Master Bruce. I should have been over the shock when I saw Master Timothy and Master Dick a few days ago." Alfred lifted his head.

"I'm afraid, sir, you're... not going to thoroughly enjoy what I'm about to tell you either."

Alfred took a breath, shutting his eyes as he explained what happened in the arena matches. Some were killing ones, some were fought to knock out. He just explained everything he had left out earlier.

(( OOC: You know about the universe. I'm not explaining all over again xD ))
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 12:53 am

Bruce blinked in shock as he was told two of his wards were already in the alternate Earth. They were captured? Then that means... Damien is off by himself. No wait, he had his Alfred there to watch him. Hopefully the boy would stay out of trouble. Though he was raised by Talia, so who knew there.

"I'm afraid, sir, you're... not going to thoroughly enjoy what I'm about to tell you either."

Bruce frowned at those words, preparing himself for the worst. And what a worst it was. The Dark Knight felt his blood run cold as the arena matches were explained, how some ended in death. His hand went up to the collar as he was also informed of their shocking attributes if he tried anything beyond normal human functioning.

"And... and you're working for these protectors?" he asked, his face holding an indifferent look he had perfected as Batman. Inside though, he felt sightly betrayed.
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 1:00 am

"Yes, Master Bruce, I am a Protector. Though, I do not take my job like the others. I guess you could say... I did it for selfish reasons, I heard what they were planning. Bringing other heroes and villains. I do not mess with villains, though. That is meant for the other Watcher." Alfred took a breath, things were about to get complicated.

"I took this importunity so, you indirectly, would not make the same mistakes my Master Bruce did. I expect you not to die on me, Master Bruce." Alfred's words were hurting, he couldn't contain them all that much. He missed them, all of them. He had grown to like Bruce's Justice League friends and the main wards they kept.

"Also, sir, they do have areas in which collars are deactivated, though if you try to logic your way through taking them out they will self destruct. I'm very sorry, Master Bruce. Though, better it be me than someone else." He concluded, folding his arms behind his back. He kept himself civilly concerned like he normally did around his guests. This man was Bruce, but not his. The kid he made cookies for was Dick, but not his Dick. He needed to separate the two...

But he found it unbelievable hard.
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 2:35 pm

Bruce listened quietly to Alfred's words, his face remaining like a stone. Internally, the stoic man was at odds with himself. Part of him didn't wish to listen, was too hurt at hearing that the man he grew up with, that had raised him, were working with people who killed off heroes and villains alike in gladiator battles. But another part, the more rational and majority of him, knew he had to listen. Rationalized that this wasn't his Alfred, that the betrayal was towards the Batman that had fallen, and that the words this one spoke with were valuable for his survival.

Rational was winning, though the bitterness remained. However, looking upon the old man before him who's voice was filled with such hurt, it was hard for even that to keep a strong hold. This was not his Alfred, but it was still Alfred. Who took care of and raised a Bruce Wayne and all of the children that Bruce brought in later on in life.

"I expect you not to die on me, Master Bruce."

Blue eyes closed upon those words, a deep breath taken in. Do you know what you're asking of me Alfred? he thought to himself before he opened his eyes. Upon the next words, he gave a brisk nod of his head, body stiffening upon the warning of what would happen if he tried to remove the collar in anyway. With a deep sigh, he nodded his head before sitting down into the chair that was so much like his own. Though stiffer. As if no one had sat in it in a long while. "Since the day I put on this costume and became the Batman, I've always had just one rule." He spoke out loud, his voice deep and gruff. How could he possibly break that rule? become no different than the mad lunatics he chased down every night, no better than the man who killed his own parents before his eyes. How could they ever forgive me? he thought as his eyes starred into space. How could I forgive myself?

After a moment of silence, he looked back at the butler. Though his face remained blank, his eyes showed his internal battle. "Answer me this Alfred, were you loyal to the other Batma- the other Bruce until the end? Until his final breath?"
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 2:44 pm

Alfred listened to Bruce, bowing his head as he listened. He honestly had no right to even look at this Bruce.

"I was there when he died, I was there as he held, my, Master Dick in his arms that had been killed just moments before. You broke your rule for him, Master Bruce. You slaughtered the invaders that had taken down Superman and Wonder Woman... you were the last defense but in the end they took you down.

"In one day I had to bury my entire family. At first, when they asked me... I didn't want to say yes, until they told me what was to happen. I could not lose my entire... family once again, Master Bruce. I took the position to Protect.

"I'm here to Protect and to serve as your guide and loyal companion in the dark days. That, is my reason for being here. That, is why I am here. Never... Never once did I ever betray my family... betray you. I hope you understand the logic behind my reasoning Master Bruce." Alfred lifted his head, giving the man a look that explained every bit of emotion before he flushed it out of his eyes.

"I do not expect to be forgiven for my actions, Master Bruce. Never once will I expect it either."
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 4:23 pm

A chill ran though him that the Dark Knight had to suppress as the story was told. He- the other Bruce- broke his own rule because Dick had been killed. A throb of pain filled the man's heart and memories of Jason's death filled his mind. It had nearly drove him mad then when he had lost that ward, he had became more violent in crime fighting. But he had stopped himself form ever killing, never took revenge. But I did as soon as Dick died.

Perhaps it was the final straw of loosing yet another ward, to fail in saving their life? No. No, as logical as that was it was no more than an excuse to avoid what it really was. He had always, though not aware until now, favored Dick more than the others. He was his first ward, and even more than that he had seen himself in the other when he was but a boy. He raised him as Alfred had raised him after his own parents passed. It was horrid, for a parent to favor a child, but it occurred to Bruce that he did indeed.

A sigh left his mouth as he mentally shook his head to clear his thoughts. His attention continued onto Alfred's story, sorrow filling him at even imagining the old man burying everyone he ever cared about in one day. Bruce blood ran cold at that thought. One day. It took them one day to wipe us all out. Even Clark and Diana. He could only imagine the suffering the other Bruce went through as he was the last one standing, when he felt his life passing through him and realized he failed them all. The suffering Alfred went through to bury the man he raised. It was amazing the old man didn't go mad. I fear if I had been him I would have. he thought, taking a moment to be awed at the butler's mental strength. Though he shouldn't be surprised, Alfred was always the voice of reason that helped guide Bruce as he grew and even during many times later on as he was Batman.

And now he plays the role of the guide once again. To help me- to help us all survive another day. he thought as he stood up from the chair. Blue eyes locked onto Alfred's dark eyes, watching many emotions pass through them. Each made his heart clench. The tall stoic man made his way to the other in silent steps, not a sound being made as he approached the other. Without a word he placed his hands upon the man's shoulders and took a moment to pull his thoughts together. "What is their to forgive Alfred?" he asked at last, his mask no longer on his face and the vulnerability only Alfred, be it his Alfred or not, only ever truly saw took place. "You never betrayed us, and had to suffer through so much as each of us fell. The fact you haven't gone mad from it all is amazing feat I could never posses. And once again you're serving the Wayne family by helping all of us out and making sure we keep alive. I-"

Bruce felt his throat tighten for just a moment before he cleared his throat and dropped his hands. "Thank You Alfred."
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 4:49 pm

"I could never do anything else, Master Bruce. There is no need to thank me, but I'm relieved you understand my logic." Alfred moved forward and placed his hand On his faux-child.

"You know where your room is and you can find Master Dick, Master Tim, and Master Jason in their appropriate rooms. Though you'll find a few things different." Alfred nodded his head.

"Shall I leave you to your normal brooding session?"
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 5:10 pm

A small smile filled the normally broody man as he nodded his head. "I suppose I wouldn't be me if I didn't." he answered, feeling himself seeing the other no differently than his own Alfred. Well, perhaps somewhat differently. He could never forget the sorrow the one before him had gone through. No, that would always linger in his mind.

Upon hearing Jason's name, Bruce felt his body stiffen as he looked at Alfred. Jason's... here? The other already said that Dick and Tim had been in the universe, but Jason was captured too? Mixed emotions filled the Dark Knight, unsure how to take the news. His relationship with his ward was very strained. Bruce blamed himself after the other's death, suffered greatly mentally for it. But after the other came back, it was like he was living a nightmare, or was haunted by an angry ghost. Jason was alive, but he was more angry, more violent. He had always been the more harsher of Robins, but when he took the mantle of The Red Hood... well... Bruce didn't know how he was going to act around the other.

His stubbornness wanted to keep up guards. His rational self claimed he should keep his distance. But with the tale of how he killed because Dick had died, something he did not do for Jason, lingered in his mind and made him feel... well horrid. How can I even face him? he thought before Alfred brought him back to reality. With a small sigh, he nodded to the man and paused for a moment. Almost feeling like a child again, he was compelled with a need for closer contact. So he took the few steps needed before wrapping his arms around the butler and hugging him. "Thank you Alfred." he said again before backing away. He almost asked about Jason, even went so far to open his mouth. "..." But he couldn't do it. So he closed his mouth and rubbed the back of his neck.
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Alfred Pennyworth

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 5:18 pm

Alfred stiffened, feeling Bruce hug him. He let the man complete the gesture. Alfred took a step back nodding his head.

"You'll find that Mistress Kyle, is here as well... And let it be known that you didn't kill the invading Protectors just because Dick died. Master Dick took the shot they aimed at you. Dick made sure you lived, and you did quite a number on them. I was proud, for the most part." Alfred took another breath, trying to think of words to speak but found nothing.

"I made cookies, they're in the kitchen if you want them." Alfred gave a final bow before leaving the Bat Cave, to let Bruce have his privacy.
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Batman

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PostSubject: Re: Arrival of the Bat   Sun May 06, 2012 6:04 pm

Upon hearing Selina's name, Bruce almost groaned. Of course she was here. The vigilante could already picture that coy smirk of hers and felt tired from the no doubt cat and mouse game they always found themselves playing. Really, wasn't he getting a bit too old from such fleeting romances? No matter how old I get, I'll always find myself trying to catch the attention of a wild cat. he thought to himself, knowing that the woman was almost like a drug. He could quite cold turkey, stay away for even years at a time, but the moment she came tiptoeing back into his life, it was square one all over again. And if he was honest with himself, he'd probably would do it all happily.


What Alfred said next, made Bruce's heart throb as well as swell with a bit of pride. Though it hurt to image his ward loosing his life, for his sake no less, it felt good to know that the butler was proud of the other Bruce's deeds. That meant a lot. It really did. Alfred was like a grandfather to him. His opinion mattered just as much as what Bruce's late parents might have thought. "The other Bruce-" he started to say, taking in a small breath. "He would have been glad to hear that."

At the mention of cookies, he gave a soft smile. A different universe, same Alfred. The Dark knight watched the other leave, taking a moment in the quietness of the Bat Cave. But eventually, he made his way towards the stares, heading up into what both was and wasn't his home.
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