In the great cavern under Wayne Manor, Silver St. Cloud sat and waited. The man she loved was off in space, fighting to save the world from the alien invaders alongside the Justice League of America and their many allies. Batman’s current partners in his war on crime, Batwoman and Robin, carried on in his absence. Word had come to her of the destruction of the great star destroyer that had dominated the Gotham skyline for weeks, with a hint from Batwoman that they had some unusual allies in that mission. The communications system that dominated one end of the Batcave carried reports from around the world, of a mixture of super-heroes, military forces, and ordinary people fighting back against the unearthly creatures.
She had tried to act as a communications nexus for many of the heroes in the eastern United States, but frequent, random use of the aliens’ radio wave-jamming devices often left her in silence. It was during one of those quiet periods that she heard the elevator descending. She turned in time to see the doors slide open and a frail figure walking toward her with the aid of a cane. Clad in black pajamas, dark blue satin robe, and leather slippers, he nonetheless carried himself with an air of dignity.
“Alfred! You’re supposed to be in bed!” Silver rose from her chair and moved to assist the older man to a seat.
“Begging your pardon, Miss St. Cloud, but when you are as accustomed to the bustle of Master Bruce’s life as I am, confinement to one’s bed is something akin to torture. It has been three weeks now, and I simply must get up and about… for a short while, at least.” Alfred Pennyworth allowed his employer’s lover to help him into the reclining chair that Bruce Wayne often used for catching short naps in the cave. Remembering his reason for coming down, he reached into a pocket of his bathrobe. He withdrew an envelope and handed it to her. “This arrived for you, Miss St. Cloud.”
Taking it, she glanced at the return address. “Do you mind?” She asked, looking at Alfred. Seeing his nod, she opened the envelope and withdrew the single typewritten sheet of paper. She glanced through the contents, and her face grew pale. “Oh, my God!” she whispered, raising a hand to rub at eyes that were filling with tears. “I can’t believe it.”
“Believe what? Are you all right, Miss?” Alfred started to rise, but she waved a hand and bade him to stay where he was.
“I’m OK, Alfred, or I will be. I’ll just need some time to accept it.”
“It’s from my sister-in-law. My brother, he, well–” Silver stopped, a sob wracking her body. She held out the letter. Taking it, Alfred read it for himself.
I have tried for the last three days to call you, but with all that is happening, the phone service has been as reliable as the radio. When Meg Williams told me her son was coming up to Gotham, I thought it best to have him deliver this to Bruce’s home. I hope you are there, as I expect his home will be safer than your apartment in the city.
Nearly a month ago, one of the alien ships landed here in Scranton. Several of the local men have spent the time since then, trying to fight the aliens and drive them off. Five days ago, they finally succeeded, destroying the ship and killing most of the beasts that came with it. Andrew was among those in the final battle, and he led the group that went aboard the ship with several hundred pounds of explosives from the local mines. The plan was for them to set the explosives and get out, but that did not happen. Jim Perkins told me that Andrew’s group was spotted in the ship, and most of them were killed. Jim and some others were making their way in when Andrew saw them and yelled for them to turn around. Jim saw that Andrew had the detonator in his hands. Andrew begged Jim and the others to leave, until they did, indeed, turn around and get out of the ship. The last man wasn’t even out when the ship exploded.
Silver, your brother died as he lived, a hero and a good man. Everyone around here knows what he did for them, and they will never forget.
As soon as we are able, I will come to Gotham with David.
All my love,
Alfred got up and came to kneel before Silver, reaching for her hands. When he pulled them away from her face, her eyes were red and puffy, her lips trembled, and her cheeks were wet with tears of grief.
“It’s just not fair, Alfred. Andy survived Vietnam, and college riots before that. He and Rita moved to Scranton to avoid the noise and trouble of the cities.”
“Miss St. Cloud, this whole affair has been fair to nobody. We must do what we can to bring it to an end, mourn our dead, and celebrate the life that continues.” Rising to his feet, he continued. “Now, what say we get you upstairs for a bit of a rest?”
Nodding, Silver stood, and they helped each other to the elevator. Recovery, for themselves and for the world, would come with time.