A/N: Well here it is. The final chapter. I hope you guys like it, and thanks to everyone who'se sent reviews and comments. Enjoy!
6 October 2044. 2227 hrs.
Oh why did Mary-Anne allow her grandson's begging to convince her to run the corner store for ice cream at ten at night? She knew that at her age she wouldn't present as tempting a target as she once might have, but there were still muggers and run of the mill psycho's out there. And now with Batman dead, who would protect her from these Jokerz?
"Pl-Please." She begged, "I don't have any money. I spent the last of it on ice cream for my grandson. He's- He's sick."
"Well then lady it looks like-"
"Police! Don't move!" there was someone walking towards them with a bright flash light; it was hard to make him out in the darkness. "I said freeze!" The Jokerz scattered.
"Oh thank you so much officer." Mary-Anne practically grovelled.
"Don't worry about it lady." The flash light made one last sweep of the alley and then clicked off.
"You look awfully young to be a cop." Mary-Anne said as her aging eyes adjusted to the darkness in the alley.
"I'm not really a cop. I just had to get those dregs out of here. C'mon, I'll walk you home."
7 October 2044. 0143 hrs.
"HELP!!!" She didn't know why she screamed. They've been saying for over forty years that you were supposed to yell 'fire' in a situation like this. There was a time when Batman might have heard her cry and come to help. But he was dead now.
Her attacker closed in. He seemed more interested in her jewellery or purse, be she knew how she looked. She was dressed for a night on the town, and every guy on campus couldn't keep their eyes off her on the best of days.
"Is there a problem here?" Footsteps and a sharp clacking sound. The mugger ran away.
"Are you alright little lady?" he saviour was an elderly man, probably no longer capable of winning a battle with an overstuffed pillow let alone the twenty-something mugger he'd just chased off.
"Umm, yeah. Thank you." She tried her best to dry her eyes and then preserve her modesty in front of the elder gentleman.
"It was no trouble miss." He replied, "I live just over there if you want to come and wait for a taxi."
10 October 2044. 1547 hrs.
"Daddy stop! Please daddy you're hurting me! I'm sorry. Please!" He pleaded, "Mommy?!" SMACK
THUMP THUMP THUMP. Hard banging on the front door, a man's voice yelling.
"James!"Mr. Wesly from next door, "You wanna hit something you come take a swing at me you son of a bitch!"
Daddy looks worried; Mr. Wesly is a big man. He's in the army.
Knock Knock Knock.
"James Gravens. This is the GCPD open the door !"
12 October 2044. 1533 hrs.
"Let go of me! MOMMY!"
The little girl's family was worth millions. All he had to do was get her into the car and then he could hide her away and ransom her location back to her parents. If things went smoothly the girl might even live to grow up and go to college.
Success! She was in the vehicle. He shifted gears and stepped on the gas. But he only traveled a few feet when another car crashed into the front drivers side, just hard enough to push in up on the curb and sandwich it between the vehicle and a light post. He tried backing up but the car wouldn't budge. His door was jerked open and he was hauled out of the vehicle.
18 October 2048. 1800 hrs.
"Gotham City PD are being nearly overwhelmed with phone calls over the last few weeks." The news anchor began, "Receiving calls to report crimes that were previously ignored. On that note, the Channel Four call center has been overloaded with calls from people wishing to both report and express gratitude for the good Samaritans who have intervened in everything from muggings to kidnappings."
"It seems that people are taking a more active role in protecting their communities in the wake of the passing of Terry McGinnis, better known as the late vigilante Batman. One can only hope that this trend continues. In other news..."
According to the information available Alfred had been hibernating for over two years. It was now July 2047, and he had been online for almost a six months.
His hibernation had originally been interrupted when one of his subroutines came across a news story about a masked figure with a black cape intervening in a mugging. So he brought himself fully online and began diligently scanning the internets from his new home in an abandoned section of the Gotham City subway tunnels, the auxiliary Batcave set up by Bruce Wayne over five decades ago in case the manor ever became compromised.
His searching had revealed that there were dozens of reports of a masked figure in black breaking up muggings and such. But only within a small radius around downtown, well, small compared to the area that Master Terry used to patrol, but that was easily rectified.
He ran the subroutine Oracle and her hack into the City's surveillance and kept look out for this figures next appearance. After pinning him down it had been easy enough to make contact. Ah speak of the devil...
The Bat-mobile roared into the cave and powered down. The canopy slid open and a Batman rose from the cockpit. At first glance he looked nearly identical to Master Terry, until you noticed that the crimson bat was smaller and the cape that flowed seamlessly from the cowl and draped around the shoulders, coloured black except for the crimson streaks that ran along the contours from shoulder to floor. A hand came up to the throat and then pulled the headpiece off, taking the cape with it, to reveal a boy of about 22 with blonde hair and green eyes.
"Good morning Master Gregory. I trust your evening went smoothly?"
"Yeah. How'd I do?" The large screen flickered to life and began showing a digitize simulation of what Gregory had done during the night, a sort of de-briefing.
"Man I still can't believe I get to do this. Why'd you contact me again?" he asked Alfred.
"Loading audio file." Alfred responded dutifully, Before Gregory could ask what he meant, Bruce Wayne's voice drifted through the cave.
"A very wise woman once told me that the world will always need Batman."