A BOOK OF FIVE RINGS: INTRODUCTION
From my youth my heart has been inclined towards the Way of strategy. I went from province to province dueling with strategists of various schools, and not once failed to win even though I had as many as sixty encounters. I am a warrior of Harima province. I have been many years training in the Way of strategy and now I think I will explain it in writing for the first time.
—Miyamoto Musashi, Go Rin No Sho


It's not that I distrust Selina.

It's more than a year since I realized how completely I do trust her. There was a cat-crime. A frame-up. Talia throwing a tantrum. But long before I learned who was behind it, I knew—absolutely knew—that Catwoman was not.

I never made a decision to trust her. It simply happened. So many years, so many encounters, so much shared time… We fought each other, sometimes passionately, sometimes more… I don't know… 'playfully' she would say. But I am not playful.

But we fought each other. And at times we fought together. Shared time. Something grows between you. Whether good or bad, shared time creates an understanding. You come to know the essence of a person. The essence of Joker is madness. The essence of Superman is decency. The essence of Ra's al Ghul is pride. The essence of Catwoman is… impossible to put into a word. But it is warm and alive and it draws something rich and joyful from the act of living. There is nothing there to doubt, nothing to suspect, and nothing to question.

I don't distrust her. Catwoman was a criminal and an adversary, but I do not distrust her.

The dilemma is the woman, not the cat.

The first time Bruce Wayne was invited to the Knickerbocker Cotillion, Charles Ashton said he hoped I wouldn't bring some callgirl from that Mayflower Madame escort service, because it made Old Gotham Society into a tasteless joke. This year, Gladys Ashton-Larraby said she hoped Selina wouldn't wear those Manolo Blahnik shoes with a Judith Lieber bag, because that's all Hermoine would write about and the other ladies' outfits wouldn't get a mention.

So Catwoman really isn't the problem this time – unless you figure in that the evening bag is in the shape of a sleeping cat. I don't claim to be an expert on society columnists or women's fashions…

That's really not the point anyway. Whether Selina's celebrity from Cat Tales makes it more or less likely that a newspaper would write about her is NOT the point. The point is that it's a given that she'll be attending the party because Bruce Wayne is. The point is that her outfit is what Gladys is worrying about and not what vulgar bimbo Wayne might foist on them this time. The point is…

The point is I've lost control.

With Selina at my side, Bruce Wayne is not perceived as a womanizing playboy.

I have to regain control of how they see me.


...to be continued...