Tales of Gotham City
A Bruce Wayne: Missing and Presumed Dead story
The death of Bruce Wayne affected more than those closest to him. See how Wayne’s death affects one young Gotham City woman.
Monica Chambers put down the newspaper and cried, not merely weeping, but actually crying real tears. She was completely oblivious to her makeup running, not caring how she must have looked to someone who hadn’t read the headlines or simply didn’t feel it like she did.
At twenty-three, Monica was a recent graduate of Gotham University, and she was a minor league secretarial services worker here at this branch of Bruce Wayne’s financial empire. Yet she had met the man on a few occasions, as a child, as a college student, and as one of his many employees.
The first time had been when he had visited her mother and father shortly after the Batman had foiled a drug-smuggling ring. He had come to offer the help of his Victims, Inc., a social organization he ran to help victims of crimes, and in this case Monica’s father had been an honest, hardworking cop who had been caught in some crossfire and was hospitalized and in critical condition. According to Wayne, his organization would do everything it could above what the GCPD could do. Officer Chambers had been instrumental in aiding Batman in stopping the bad guys, according to Wayne. Although sometime later when Monica’s father emerged from his coma, he couldn’t remember having had any real involvement in cracking the case, the last thing he remembered was stopping a car being driven haphazardly. His lack of memory was attributed to his injuries, and he had resigned himself to accepting that he had done more then he could remember.
A few years later, while attending college, Monica had met Wayne again. Interestingly, he remembered her, although she had grown up, filled out, and blossomed as a young woman. She had blushed crimson when he spotted her, called her by name, and inquired about her family. He sent his apologies that his business activities kept him from keeping up with everyone he wanted to and made her feel special. Certainly her classmates had been envious that such a wealthy and handsome man had been talking to her.
Then, last year, by the time she had come to work at a small factory, Bruce Wayne had bought it, then came for a factory tour. When he spotted her, he had personally stopped to visit. He had removed a few people from their jobs — people he felt were more interested in lining their pockets than in doing their job — and he had promoted a few worthwhile workers. She hadn’t been one of them, although indirectly she ended up being one of them by moving up a notch when a new opening came about as a result of the changes Wayne had instituted, but he was savvy enough not to promote a secretary out of the pool into the front lines before she was ready for such work.
On her desk was a birthday card from Mr. Wayne. She admitted to herself that his company probably sent out thousands of birthday cards to its employees, and the signature was probably as much a photocopy as not, but to her it felt personal and real.
She had to leave. She couldn’t stay at her desk today, not when the headlines read Bruce Wayne: Missing and Presumed Dead.