Batman and Pegasus search for Dick and the mystery man arrives.

Son, Is That You?” Chapter 3b and 4
By Marcie Gore

All heads in the room turn as the door slams open and Batman stomps into the room in full costume. “I see you went through with it Superman! Flash, Arsenal, HOW could you be a party to this? Instead of searching for Dick, you’ve given up on him and burying him! He always told me how you were like a family; family DOESN’T give up on each other as easily as you seem to have. He’d be so ashamed of you all! If one of you were missing, he’d never stop searching for you until he found you! He’d bring you home no matter how long it took! Pegasus, have you given up on him; you were there when the head of the search told us they hadn’t found his body yet! I can see by your choice of music that you think he’s joined the honored dead too. Robin, I told you how I felt about this memorial service and you still came? I can see the boy shaking at the tone of his words. Nightwing is one of the bravest, most noble men I’ve ever known. He manages to balance his toughness with huge heart. I’ve always admired that about my son. He’s never let a friend in need down if he could help it. Now if anyone here wants to help me find him, instead of continuing this pity party, let me know,” Batman says bitterly.

With that he stalks out cape billowing in the breeze. After we end the service I decide to go to Bruce and see what I can do to help him. I haven’t given up on Dick in my heart either. I don’t know if he’ll accept my help though. Robin follows close behind.

First, I go to the clock tower to see Barbara. I open the door to find her crying at her computer console. I hug her and tell her we need each other right now.

“It’s so hard to believe he’s gone forever. The two of you had your whole future ahead of you,” Barbara says. “You know I listened to the service on my computer? I didn’t feel I could go, to protect Oracle’s secrets. Have you seen Bruce since he left the service? I think I know the answer but how is he taking Dick’s death?”

“No, I haven’t seen him since the towers. As you heard he hasn’t given up on Dick, but inside he’s devastated of course. Dick ISN’T DEAD!” I shout suddenly. “He can’t be!” I push my chair beside hers and hold her so tightly she begins to gag.

Both of our shoulders are soggy with the other’s tears.

“Melody do you really think Dick could still be alive? I saw pictures of the wreckage; logically it seems impossible anyone could’ve survived it. I guess we’re all holding on to a little bit of hope because his body wasn’t in the plane,” Barbara says.

“We both know Batman AND Bruce Wayne have enemies who would use Dick’s disappearance to get to him,” I remind her. “Many of them are powerful and intelligent enough to either have engineered the crash it’s self or to have at least have kidnapped him from the plane, maybe both. I need to see if Bruce needs my help, Babs. I love you; contact me if you need me.”

We hug again and I leave the tower.

Chapter 4

When I reach Wayne Manor, Alfred tells me Bruce is in the cave, and that I should come down there as soon I arrive.

Batman is staring intently at the computer screen with Robin behind him. “Pegasus, I’m going over the FAA report to see if they have found any signs of sabotage that I might’ve missed. After I check out the leads I have in the city. I intend to look up our old friend Ra's al Ghul to see what he knows about Dick’s fate.”

“Do you think he could have abducted Dick or have set up the crash, Batman? I know that he’s done it before. If he did though wouldn’t he have claimed responsibility by now? He would have sent a note saying had him to lure you into a trap? Just tell me when we are going; you need back up with a madman like him,” I say.

“Yes, I have considered all of your points, but I think I need to look into every theory, no matter how remote it might be. It’s our best chance to find Dick and bring him home to you and me and every one else who cares for him. As for you going with me, NO! It’s too dangerous.”

Alfred interrupts us, “Sirs, Madam, you are needed upstairs. There is something in the mail I think you all need to see, right away. I think it concerns Master Dick.”

We change back into our street cloths and head upstairs. I’m afraid of what may be waiting for us.

Alfred hands Bruce a Manila envelop with just the manor’s address, and Bruce’s name, no stamp, no return address. Inside is a brief typed note, “The reason you haven’t found your son, is WE have him. He was hurt badly in the crash. If you want him to get treatment in time to save him you will do as you are told. We will call with our demands at 5:30 pm.”

“Those monsters!" is all Bruce says as he folds the ransom note. He suddenly sees a small clear plastic bag, with a button and a bloody tattered piece of light blue cloth. It looks like a piece of the shirt he was wearing when he left a week ago. “This is hardly proof that Dick was abducted or that these people were the ones who did it, but I think this should be treated as a legitimate kidnapping until we know for sure that it isn’t,” Bruce says calmly but with tinge of fear that only those of us who know him best would notice. “I am going to run tests on this piece of cloth to determine if this redness is human blood, and if it is, a DNA test to see if the blood is Dick’s,” Bruce continues. "It shouldn’t take too long. I should be upstairs by 5:30, to take the phone call, but if I’m not, Alfred, you know to transfer it to the cave.”

“Yes sir,” says Alfred.

“Melody, I want you to act as my lab assistant, since Tim is with his father.”

He says it in the form of a command, but I think he wants me to because he knows I’ll go crazy waiting for the kidnappers to call, if I don’t have something constructive to do. I need to feel I’m doing SOMETHING to help Dick.

As Bruce predicted we are upstairs with the test results by 5:20 p.m. Bruce tells Alfred and I, that yes the red was human blood and Dick’s. We will have to till the men call to see if they can offer any proof that Dick is still alive or that they even are holding him captive. Bruce sets up a machine to trace the call when it comes. We don’t have to wait very long.

The phone rings twice before Bruce picks it up. "Wayne residence," he says in his most regal voice.

“Listen closely Wayne, your precious boy’s life is hanging by a thread, and we’ll cut it if you don’t do as we say.”

Bruce interrupts, saying “Let me speak to him. I want to KNOW he’s alive before I’ll even listen to your demands.”

The robotic sounding voice says, “I’m sorry, I’m afraid that’s impossible right now. You see, he took a bad blow to the head when the plane crashed, and he’s out of it right now. You’ll just have to take my word for it he’s still breathing,” the man then laughs sinisterly.

“Okay, I’m ready to listen ,”Bruce says.

The alleged, kidnapper continues, “Bring five million dollars to the first empty building to right on the first block of Park Row. You know where that is don’t you? Of course you do, that’s where your parents died isn’t it?”

His sick laughter sends chills down my spine.

“Come at midnight tomorrow. ALONE, or we won’t tell you where Dicky is and he will die a slow painful death alone!”

Bruce calls Com. Gordon and asks him to have some officers there ready to arrest the men after the drop, but to stay out the way otherwise Bruce goes to the drop at the required time, and is greeted by two gun toting men. After the money changes hands they admit they never had Dick. With that, Bullock and Montoya cuff the villains.

Later, the officers tell us they searched the men’s car and found a piece of rope and handcuffs, and a assortment of things that pointed to a failed kidnapping plot. Bullock some how gets them admit to planning to kidnap Dick. They were going to get him at the airport but I was there. When they saw the crashed jet, they though they could still do it but they just found the dead pilot. It was there they found their “proof,” that they used in the ransom note.

Next Batman finds and interrogates “Demon’s head.”

He says, “Detective I had nothing to do with either your ward’s airplane crash or his disappearance.”

A search of his current base of operations in South America seems to back up his story. Batman seems convinced so he says “another time,” and leaves to continue his search for Dick states side.

For the next few months Bruce busies himself checking out every report of a John Doe, alive or dead he hears about. He travels across the country 6 times in as many months. Sometimes I’m with him, some times Tim is, but always Alfred is by his side offering what comfort he can to Bruce. As the one-year anniversary of the crash nears, The Dark Knight becomes testier and Bruce starts spend more and more time alone.

One stormy night a man knocks at the manor door. Alfred opens it to see a man about 5 feet 11 with raven hair and piercing blue eyes. The first words out of the stranger’s mouth are “Hi Al, Hi Dad.”

Continue To Part Four

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