A Gauntlet Run and a Legend Born
He was eight when it happened. Back then there was no trouble, no hardship. The name Robin was just something his mother called him. Born on the first day of spring, Robin was…fitting. The only thing special about him was that he could fly. Not really of course. He was simply part of a high wire act with the rest of his family, 'The Flying Grayson's'. To a child there was no difference between what he did and what a bird could do. It was during one of these acts that his family had been murdered.
Tony Zucco was a two-bit extortionist who cut the wire during the Grayson's performance because the circus owner refused to pay protection money. Bruce Wayne had been in the audience at the time and hadfelt an instant connection to the boy and took him, first as his ward and later as his son.
It was through Bruce that he found a new calling in life. He learned Bruce's secret, hard to keep something so big from someone whose room was down the hall. He begged Batman to train him, teach him, and allow him to help, to be a force as powerful as him. Bruce reluctantly agreed to train him on a single condition. If he quit, he would take the secret of the Bat to the grave.
He trained with Batman everyday. He pushed the boy beyond his limits, wanting him to quit, pushing him to quit. But he never did. He was allowed to sleep for only three hours a night before his training re-continued. He lifted weights and ran for miles. Bruce worked on his strength, endurance and tremendous gymnastic abilities.
When the Bat was not training him, Alfred was teaching him. He learned about chemicals and physics and he remembered it all. Escapology, criminology, psychology, philosophy, forensics everything the Batman used he would learn and all the time his physical training continued.
After six months of anguish it finally came down to this. Batman had allowed him to sleep, to actually rest, in his own bed for an entire night. He would have a day to prepare. He could do with that day whatever he wished but when sun went down, Batman would hunt him down. He had to elude the greatest detective in the world from sunset to sunrise.
He awoke early, not an easy feet in itself when deprived of so much sleep. He left the manor through the front door walked to the nearest bus stop from there. He knew Batman had been on patrol the night before and would still be in bed. He wanted to put as much distance between the two of them as possible before he awoke.
He withdrew money from an ATM before going across the city to buy new clothes. He threw his old once into a charity bin before pulling out his cell phone. The numbers he wanted had already been saved, so he quickly called almost every hotel in Gotham and booked a room there. All on Bruce Wayne of course.
He pulled the small devise apart and scattered the pieces, keeping the SIM card tucked safely in his pocket. Walking into an old motel he booked a room for the day and night before falling asleep.
His well-trained eyes snapped open precisely when he had meant them two. It was too risky to stay here all night. Batman would be looking for him. He pulled himself from the bed and made his way to the subway. Buying a ticket he walked onto the platform and waited. The transport came and went but he didn't get on. Instead he jumped down onto the tracks and began walking down the tunnel away from the light.
The moment the sun went down Batman began tracking him down. From sunset to sunrise he was on the run. He had managed to elude the Bat for the entire night until twenty minutes before the deadline. Batman had finally caught up with him on the rooftops. The two then went through a game of cat and mouse across the skyline. He may have been the better acrobat, which gave him superior manoeuvrability, but Batman was faster and easily recovered any ground he lost.
He slid down the drainpipe someway before he heard the flapping of Batman's cape above him. He immediately let go of the pipe and kicked off from the wall as Batman made to grab him. Like the true acrobat he was he performed a perfect landing, bending his knees to absorb the impact and rolling backwards on the edge of the roof to spread out more of the energy.
Jumping to the side he crossed an alleyway and rolled onto the next rooftop. Breaking into a run he crossed a second and a third alleys. He could feel the Bat catching up to him; he needed to do something. Stopping suddenly he sidestepped the Bat and reached behind his cape for his grapple. Not having the time to waste he leaped to the side and handsprung over the buildings edge.
Firing the grapple as he fell, he swung over the rooftops across the street. At the top of his swing he released the devise and fell towards the roofs that came after the following street. He twisted before his landing so he could see the Bat perform a similar move. Landing on his feet and facing the direction he come from he ran forwards as the Bat flew overhead.
He vaulted over the roofs edge but grabbed it at he last second so that he swung into the wall and land on a windowsill. Batman leaped over after him but continued down to the street level. He must have seen him as he passed because he fired line back to the roof as he did. The boy lifted his legs back to the roof quickly followed by the rest of him.
Batman flew into the air and landed on the buildings edge in a crouch. The boy was standing there waiting for him. Batman stood up and cast his shadow over him, the sun rising behind him.
"Suns up." The boy said. "Careful, you'll burn."
Batman narrowed his eyes.
"Do you plan to keep telling bad jokes?" Batman asked.
"Everyday until I crack that that slab of rock you try to pass off as a face. Do I get the job?"
"Your uniform is in the cave…Dick."
- - -
The signal lit up the sky. The silhouette of a Bat patterned against the clouds. Commissioner Gordon stood next to the large spotlight that stood on the roof of the station.
"Commissioner." Batman growled from the shadows. The commissioner turned to see the familiar figure in the shadows.
"The Joker stole a number of canisters from Cemtech. Apparently it would be inadvisable for him to mix them together." Gordon said.
"Why's that?" A younger voice growled. The Commissioner turned to see a small man in a dark green, red and yellow uniform with spiked hair and a domino mask over his face sitting on the roof ledge.
"Who are you?" The Commissioner asked quickly.
"He's with me." The Bat stated simply.
- - -
I was eight when it happened. Back then there was no trouble, no hardship. The name Robin was just something my mother called me. Born on the first day of spring, Robin was…fitting. The only thing special about me was that I could fly. I was part of a high wire act with the rest of my family, 'The Flying Grayson's'. It was during our act that my family was murdered.
I was taken in by a Bat and reinvented myself into the Bird. Now I prowl the rooftops and alleyways of Gotham. I fly across the city as well as my namesake suggests. This is my city, my home, my playground. Dick Grayson is just a name that I use, a mask that I wear. I'm not him anymore, not really.
You can call me…
This story is part of the same universe as my Dakota Tales story but based a few years in advance. Since I don't remember what actually happened in the original Batman cartoons and the Robin from Teen Titans seems to be a montage of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake I decided that I would re-write history.
This story will highlightkey moments in Robin's career right up until the eventual birth of Nightwing. That is assuming I don't get bored of it.
A quick question that I need answering before I post the next chapter. What are those red boomerang things Robin has in Teen Titans called? So far I have Robarang or Birdarang and they both sound crap.