One day. That’s all it took. That’s all that was enough to change the life of one young boy. A young boy who never anticipated it., never expected it, never…..wanted it. After just being filled with happiness, all that emotion was just taken away by two bullets. The bullets that struck the boy’s parents, separating them from their offspring. Lives were taken, tears were shed, and vengeance was promised. But that wasn’t all. When came a death, also came a birth. The birth of The Bat.
But what if The Bat hadn’t been born on that night? What would have happened then? Would there be a Joker? A Robin? A Batgirl? All these questions will be answered soon enough. For now, let’s just focus on young Bruce.
Gotham City. June 26,1996.
A young Bruce Wayne grasps his mother, Martha, for comfort as he and his family are confronted by a mugger at gunpoint. In a hateful tone, the mugger points the gun at Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s father, and states “Money. Give it. Now.” Thomas then slowly reaches for his left pocket to grab his wallet, but hesitates at the last second. The mugger notices and states “I said NOW, old man.” Thomas then glares at his terrified wife and son through the corner of his eye, feeling nothing but hatred towards the mugger. Instead of reaching for the wallet, he charges for the mugger to attack him. However, the mugger reacts almost immediately and fatally shoots down Thomas. Martha, petrified, screams in terror, while Bruce is left frozen with fear. “Hey, woman. Looks like your man paid the price for playing hero. Why don’t you be the better side of the relationship, or whatever is left of it, and actually COMPLY with me. Give me the pearls.” “I….I…I won’t.”, replies Martha. “*sighs* And here I thought this was going to go without any bloodshed. Oh well, if I can’t get what I want, I’ll at least get you what YOU want. A trip to see your husband. I’m sure he’s dying to see you again.” The mugger then shoots down Martha, killing her on the spot. With no hesitation, the mugger snatches the pearls from Martha’s lifeless body and attempts to leave the scene. He then takes a quick glance at the traumatized Bruce before stating “Sorry, runt.” The mugger leaves the scene, leaving nothing but the boy and his lifeless parents.
Footsteps are then heard entering the alleyway. Enter Alfred, the butler of the Wayne family. He had been waiting by the family limo, parked near the theater, in order to drive them back to Wayne Manor. He enters the alley to find his young master Bruce and the corpses of his bosses.
“Ma….Master Bruce?”, said Alfred.
There was no reflex. No movement. No sound. There was nothing but a traumatized little boy who , at this point, was a shell of his former self. The butler then walked forward to his young master and slowly reached to tap his shoulder. He stopped, as he heard a soft chuckle came out of the boy.
“Master…Bruce?”, Alfred said with a but of worry.
Another chuckle was heard, following another. There was then a loud, consistent laughter coming from Bruce. The laughter went on for half a minute, before passing out from the shock. The boy then fell onto Alfred’s arms.
*One day after*
Curious for the boy’s mental state, Alfred takes the young master to Arkham Asylum to be checked on by a young Holly Quinzel. “How is he, Doctor? Is the young master alright?” asked Alfred. The doctor then replied, “It’s one hell of a thing for a boy of his young age to go through such an experience. It’s another thing to recover from it. However, regarding Bruce’s case, I don’t think he’ll recover in a while.”
“Oh dear.”, replied Alfred.
“The boy is mentally unfit to run Wayne Enterprises, and he has to remain here until he recovers.”, said Holly.
“And how long will that be?”
“Best case scenario…years.”
Alfred then gave it a moment to think. Holly then interrupted his train of thought. “Listen. While Bruce is in a terrible state, you have another thing to worry about. Who’ll be the new CEO for Wayne Enterprises?” Alfred realized it at that second. With Thomas and Martha dead, and Bruce locked up, who would be fit as the heir to the Wayne fortune? And who would rule Wayne Enterprises? After a long thought, Alfred said “I will. I will run Wayne Enterprises.”
“Are you sure? Is there not someone else who could-” Before she could finish her sentence, Alfred cuts her off mid sentence. “Master Wayne taught me well on how to run his business with a few tricks here and there.” “But will it be enough?” “Madame Quinzel, just leave all of the worries to me. It is my company now.”, said Alfred.
As Holly exits the room, Alfred stares through the glass window at his once sane master.
“Oh poor Master Bruce. What state you’ve been left in. Separated from your parents by fate, and fate can be a cruel mistress. I hope that you can be saved from your descent into madness. Until that day comes, Master Bruce, I must bid farewell to you.”
*Alfred leaves the room. END.*