Bruce Wayne's First Adventure
Bruce Wayne's story was one that was well known. When he was eight years old, he watched as his parents were brutally gunned down in front of him. Being one of the most wealthy and influential families in Gotham, and probably the whole of the United States, the story was covered on every news broadcast around the country and many around the world. He spent the first five years after his parent's death being hounded by paparazzi and constant interview requests, but Bruce wasn't interested in what the public thought of him or what they wanted to see. He didn't care about getting his fifteen minutes of fame or about the money they were offering. Bruce Wayne cared about one thing and one thing only; fulfilling a promise.
By age fourteen, Bruce had gotten his high school degree, private tutors and his unwavering drive enabled him to finish far earlier than any of the kids he'd gone to school with before his parent's death, and he decided it was time to leave Gotham behind for awhile. After a few healthy donations, the University of Oxford agreed to allow Bruce to attend class despite his young age, so he made his way to England.
Oxford was more than simply a prestigious university; it also offered Bruce a chance to study in one of the best biochemistry and forensic science programs in the world. Some childish part of him also enjoyed the idea of being so close to the city where one of his childhood heroes, the illustrious Sherlock Holmes, was based. Holmes was a fictional character and his cases had little basis in the reality of today, but they had served to teach a young boy the value of logic and a keen mind.
His first two years of study were hard ones; not so much because of the studying itself, but being significantly younger than the other students made him somewhat of a standout. Lacking a social life didn't bother Bruce; he needed the time for the extra courses he'd taken as well as his... extra-curricular activities, but being a standout often got attention he didn't want. Girls who thought they could flash some cleavage at him and get him to do their projects for him, or guys who thought they could intimidate him into cheating for them.
He moved from school to school to find the best instructors in the courses he needed. He jumped from Oxford, to Cambridge, to Imperial College in London and even did a semester at the Sorbonne in Paris before transferring back to Oxford again. Many times his professors would pull him aside to tell him that he was bright and determined but needed to focus on one area. All he would do is nod and agree. They couldn't hope to understand. Fighting a war against injustice and organized crime meant he'd have to be an expert in dozens of fields. His studies ranged greatly but he focused mostly on criminology, chemistry, electrical engineering, computer sciences and forensics. Far too wide a focus to get a degree, but Bruce didn't need a piece of paper, he needed the knowledge.
What free time Bruce had, he spent in a small dojo he'd found about a two hours run from the campus. It was run by a man known only as O-Sensei. Despite his age (Bruce guessed the man to be in his eighties), O-Sensei was an incredibly skilled fighter and faster than anyone Bruce had ever seen in his life. Unlike most dojo's O-Sensei took in very few students and would quickly dismiss one if they didn't show the necessary effort. He didn't concentrate on any one discipline; his teachings incorporated hundreds of martial arts techniques ranging from Aikido to Yaw-Yan. A pair of the older students, Ben and Richard once told Bruce that he had trained most of the world's best martial artists in his time in China and was highly sought after.
After a particularly gruelling training class, Bruce had once asked O-Sensei why such a sought after master would come to a small town in England to run a dojo almost no one knew existed. His answer was as cryptic as always: "It is where I needed to be." Bruce simply shook his head. For the life in him he couldn't understand why people couldn't just give a straight answer!
About a week before his seventeenth birthday, Bruce got a chance to head to London to watch the world heavyweight boxing champion, Ted Grant, ply his craft. Ted Grant was more than just a boxer. Though he preferred to use his fists, Grant was a world class fighter who became somewhat of a folk hero when he took down a small time crime boss in Battery Park City, New York. He'd been framed for the murder of his mentor and ended up solving the crime while being a fugitive from the law at the same time. It was a story that was right out of a Hollywood action movie and brought fans in droves to watch the champ wherever he fought. Bruce, however, wasn't interested in an autograph.
Ted Grant was regarded by most everyone in the martial artist community as the world's best puncher, and Bruce wanted to learn why. It had cost him almost half a million dollars, but he'd managed to buy a day of training with Champ two days before the big fight.
Although Bruce wouldn't have access to the full fortune of the Wayne Empire until he turned eighteen, he still had access to much of the Wayne family personal fortune, with some restrictions. Half a million dollars was no small amount of money, but if he could learn how this beer drinking, uneducated, brutish... for lack of a better term, roughneck, had managed to become the most feared puncher in the world, it would be worth it.