Alfred took stock of his belongings. He had packed three suitcases and would come back for the rest later. As he walked out the front door to load the car, Gordon drove up the drive. He walked toward Alfred, holding a box.
“I couldn’t let you leave without giving you this. He would have wanted you to have it.”
Alfred looked inside. He saw the familiar suit with the bat symbol on it that he had sewn back together more times than he could count.
“Thank you, Commissioner.”
“Uh... this was in the pocket. I didn’t read it.” He handed Alfred a note.
‘You gonna be okay, Alfred?”
“I’ll carry on. Like all good men of service, I’ll find a way to get by.”
“I’m sure of that. Godspeed, Alfred.”
Alfred watched him drive off before opening the note.
By now you know the events of the last couple months and my part in them. I can only hope you’re not too disappointed. I have left my entire estate to you. My millions are yours to do with what you wish. I hope they bring you more luck than they did me. Thank you for always being there for me when I needed you. I’m sorry I can’t be there for you now. Lecter told me time never runs out. It just carries on in different ways. Maybe that was his way of preparing me for this. At any rate, may you find your way in peace. My respect always, Bruce.
Alfred took one last look at Wayne Manor before he left it alone with its ghosts.
Lecter was being led out of Arkham to be loaded up for the ride back to Chesapeake when Gordon arrived. Chilton fired a dirty look at him but said nothing.
Gordon walked up to the manacled, straitjacketed Lecter.
“I came to make sure you were really leaving.”
“Touched, I’m sure. I guess you’ll be cleaning up the cell when I’m gone.”
“Yes, funny thing about that. We went over the cell for clues before you were called in. I don’t recall seeing that picture of Vicki Vale in our sweep.”
“Probably because it wasn’t there. I drew it myself the night I was brought in. I remembered seeing her in a picture with Mr. Wayne in Entertainment Weekly.”
“Isn’t it obvious? He needed a catalyst to make the dots connect. Just as the Joker needed one to drive him over the edge, Batman needed one to bring him back from it. An attack on someone he loved seemed to fit the bill.”
“You got that girl killed, you bastard!”
“As records clearly show, I was in the cell the whole time.”
“You sick son of a bitch! You could have saved a lot of time if you had just told us who it was.”
“Really, Commissioner, would you have believed me?”
Gordon had to admit. He probably wouldn’t have. He could barely believe it now. The thought of Batman going rogue was as alien as the sun going cold. It could never happen in our lifetime.
Gordon scowled at the smiling prisoner before him.
“Get the hell out of my town.”
Gordon paused in midstep. For a second there Lecter had sounded like a complete mimicry of Bruce. He looked back over his shoulder as Lecter boarded the truck that would return him whence he came.
Lecter had already managed to loosen the object tied to his wrist enough so that it slid down to his hand. The slim handle of an exacto blade. It would cut the straitjacket like butter. A Batarang was not the only thing Lecter had managed to lift from Batman’s utility belt on that first meeting. The guard finished securing the manacles to the inside of the truck and sat down across from Lecter.
“Ready, Dr. Lecter?”
“Ready when you are, Mr. Gordon.”
Hannibal thought about Will Graham, the man who had captured him. He understood Will was living in seclusion now in the Florida Keys. Lecter smiled as he began to saw through the tough jacket. That suited him just fine. After all, he was a sucker for a sunny day.