more_than_revenge: (Too much heat)
[personal profile] more_than_revenge
You know how to disappear. We can teach you to become truly invisible.

And the skills he needed to do just that were honed to perfection by intense training. It was that training that made him what he is today, inescapably so. He can't divorce himself of the League of Shadows' influence, and it would be foolish to try. That training was everything Bruce needed to find his true purpose. Right down to the moment when their ways irrevocably parted with the words Gotham must be destroyed. The words that reminded him where he truly belongs.

This is not that place, but it is one that can, perhaps, be of use to him in his mission to protect the people of Gotham. This place, too, has a problem with crime and corruption, a problem which, apparently, is as pervasive as Gotham's, if on a much smaller scale. And so Bruce has spent the day in the city, simply observing its residents. At times, he has made the utmost use of his skills to become, just as Ducard's words suggested, truly invisible, to melt into the background until it's as though there was nothing of him there in that way that seemed like magic when he first saw it.

For most of the afternoon, he has been ... not invisible, but unnoticed. That is easy enough to him; it was one of the first skills he learned when he ran from Gotham and disappeared. Bruce knows just how to select the right wardrobe, the right body language, the right attitude, so that people will simply ignore him. Even in Gotham, where he's a household name. Here, where no-one knows him, it's almost childishly easy to don jeans, hooded sweatshirt, and a slumped, subservient posture and simply disappear into the passers-by.

And his first day of intelligence-gathering in the city has been revealing, to say the least. He'd thought to learn something of the way the city works, of its soul, what drives it. Had thought that, were organised crime so pervasive a problem as Vincent suggested, he would learn more of it out in the city than from any number of news reports. He knows well enough the incompleteness of the picture one will obtain from the media. He expected the great amount of useless gossip he's heard, and the occasional interesting murmur. He's not surprised to occasionally glimpse a man in a suit whose attitude he recognises in an instant from his home sixty-six years in the past.

He even expected to hear the occasional muttering about the hotel. Vincent warned him that the hotel's residents are considered enemies by some. What he didn't expect was the whisper of the name Vincent Valentine and the fear in the voice that murmured it. Nor, when he paused to listen, did he expect the suggestion of a monster guarding the hotel, or of a red ghost or a tiger that came from nowhere.

In Bruce's experience, such rumours and legends are exaggerated. But as the source of a large number of the more superstitious and supernatural rumours in Gotham, he knows well enough that they often spring from a seed of truth. Just what the truth behind these is will, perhaps, reveal itself with careful investigation.
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Bruce Wayne

November 2010

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