He had been at the warehouse investigating the case because of the clues; the clues had led him there. They had prepared him for what he might find their but they had not prepared him for this. The man was huge. He reminded him Bane; he had the same height and build. It terrified him, although e would admit it, even the thought of Bane-of what he had done to him terrified him. That's why it happened because he couldn't think straight couldn't anticipate the next move and so it happened. The man took him down easily throwing him between one wall and the next like he was a ragdoll. Eventually when he was done with him he threw him straight through a wall. He tried to get up to stand but he couldn't move at all. It's alright he thought as long as I stay conscious all I have to do is stay conscious. However, the man had other plans. He came out of the building through the big hole in the wall and knocked the dark knight out.
When he regained consciousness the first thing he noticed was the pain. He was in excruciating pain which seemed to be emanating from his back. Oh my God my back… he thought. It must be broken I wouldn't be in this much pain if it wasn't. Even though he was in so much pain and felt extremely weak he still tried to stand but found that he could not. In fact he found that he had very little strength and could barely move. He decided he needed to call for help.
He felt around for his communicator but couldn't find it. In fact his entire utility belt was gone. How on earth was ever going to contact anybody now? He felt himself beginning to panic. How was he going to get out of here if he couldn't contact anybody for help? He couldn't get out of here himself he could barely move. Which meant he was completely at his mercy which meant- No don't think like that! He decided to push the panicky thoughts away and instead try to concentrate on figuring out where he was and how he could get out of here. He just didn't know how he would manage an escape in his current state.
Just then he heard some movement off to his right and saw the man approaching him. Batman was terrified he saw him and tried to move away but he could not move. The man approached him picked him up by the shirt and appeared to be studying him. Batman just stayed limp there was nothing he could do anyway he was too weak.
"You're awake." He said simply. "Good" he said and dropped Batman back to the ground and left the room.
I have got to get out of here! He thought but he didn't know how he couldn't even move or stand up and there was no way to contact anybody.
A little while passed and the man did not come back in. In fact no one had even bothered to come in and check on him.
Thank God for small favors. He thought.
Suddenly he heard a crash and the sound of glass breaking then all of a sudden there was someone in the room with him. He could tell there was even though it was pitch black in the room. The next thing he heard was music to his hears.
"Batman? Batman? can you hear me?" It was Nightwing's voice. He had never been happier to see him then he was right at that moment. How had he found him? How had he even known he was in trouble?
"Nightwing?" he queried he was surprised at how weak his voice sounded
"I'm here Batman everything's going to be alright."
"My back-I think my back is broken."
"It's alright we are going to get you back home and then we will check everything out. Can you stand?"
Batman shook his head no. Hell he could barely even move.
"Alright then hold on and I will get you out of here."
"The guy, the big guy, did you take care of him where is he?"
"Yah I took care of him don't worry."
Batman smiled. It was amazing how much Nightwing's confidence in his abilities had grown in the past few years.
"Let's get you up." Nightwing said and went to lift Batman up so that he had one of Batman's arms slung over his shoulder and was using Nightwing's other arm to support himself. It hurt like hell to stand up but he tried not to scream. After all Nightwing was doing his best. When they got outside Batman saw the Batmobile waiting for them. How had Nightwing found that?
"You found the Batmobile?" he asked
"Yah I just activated the GPS tracking system you had on it."
"Oh." He said surprised truthfully he hadn't even remembered where he parked the Batmobile.
"Alright easy there" Nightwing said as he eased Batman into the Batmobile.
"We will be home in no time and I will try to make it as smooth as possible."
Batman nodded. Normally he would be furious about anyone else driving the Batmobile but right now he was too relieved and in too much pain to care. He must have passed out because before he knew it they were home and Nightwing was lifting him out of the Batmobile gingerly.
"Alfred? Alfred? We are home and we need your help Bruce is hurt."
Nightwing lifted Bruce onto the medical table and Alfred came running down the stairs and saw Bruce lying very still on the medical table in obvious pain that was never a good sign.
Bruce grabbed Alfred's hand as he came over to the table to examine him.
"Alfred…" "My back-I think my back is broken, it hurts so much."
Bruce complaining about pain that was never a good sign. He hardly ever complained or even admitted he was in pain. "It's alright Master Bruce you are home now and we are going to take care of you."
"Let's give you some morphine to start." He said and pulled out a needle and injected it Into Bruce's arm. Bruce not refusing pain killers as he usually did another bad sign. He must really be in pain. Alfred thought maybe his back really is broken.
Bruce was thankful for the painkillers he had been in excruciating pain ever since he woke up.
Alfred tried to roll him over to examine his back and Bruce screamed. "Oh my God Alfred thought this is really really bad." Alfred noticed Dick standing next to the medical table completely still and silent ready to jump in and help at a moment's notice. Even he looked nervous.
All of a sudden Bruce felt Alfred inject something else in his arm then he began to feel drowsy and realized Alfred must have drugged him and then everything went black.
"This must be really bad Alfred." Dick said
"Yes sir it certainly is." "Let us examine him though in order to find out how bad." Dick nodded. "Would you help me roll him over so I can examine his back?" Dick nodded again. Alfred began to touch and probe Bruce's back. Even without an x-ray he could tell that at least 3 vertebrae were broken. Alfred shook his head and sighed. He was hoping that it would not be so that Bruce would be wrong but he wasn't wrong.
Alfred looked at Dick and noticed that he was looking at him as if he was waiting for an answer.
"There are at least 3 vertebrae broken. He will have to have an x-r ay or scan of some sort to see if there are anymore or if there is any spinal cord damage."
Dick looked shocked and horrified. He hadn't been expecting Bruce to be right.
"Alright well what do we do now?" he asked
"We must get him in for an X-ray."
"Alright well how are we going to do that?"
"Master Bruce recently purchased an X-ray machine." "All we need to do is get Ms. Thompkins over here to perform and read it."
"Wait-when did Bruce purchase an x-ray machine?"
"Recently, just last month."
"Oh" Dick nodded surprised. He really needed to come over more often.
"If I call Ms. Leslie will you be able to go and pick her up?"
"Yes of course."
Alfred called Leslie who insisted on driving herself even though it was late at night.
A half an hour later she arrived and was led down to the cave where Bruce was.
"Oh Bruce…" she said and looked as if she was about to cry.
"How did this happen?"
"We don't really know."
"He didn't radio in when he was supposed to so Tim called me and I went looking for him and I found him like this."
Leslie nodded." Alright Dick I will need you to lift him up and place him on the table for the x-ray but be very careful we do not want to injure his back further." Dick nodded and did as he was told. "Alfred is he out?" "I mean is he sedated?" "Yes miss quite heavily in fact." "That's good he is going to need to be for this."
Leslie read the x- rays and found that he did in fact have 3 fractured vertebrae but his spinal cord was not damaged. Dick and Alfred both breathed a sigh of relief." However" Leslie said. "He is going to have to keep these vertebrae still and stable for at least 6 weeks. That means no walking and he will need extensive physical therapy afterwards." Dick and Alfred nodded.
They both thanked Leslie and walked her out then they returned to the medical bay to check on Bruce. Alfred had sedated him heavily so he would be out for several more hours.
"Sir I was wondering if you would not mind, would you bring him up to his bedroom?" "I would rather he wake up there than in the cave."
"Of course Alfred"
When Bruce woke up he was extremely groggy. He noticed several things right away. One, he was in his own bedroom, two, it was daylight, three, he was hooked up to an IV which he assumed was feeding him morphine, and four, Dick was sitting next to him in a chair sleeping. How long did Alfred knock me out for? He thought
He tried to sit up but felt a surge of pain as he did so he decided to just lie back down and stay still.
"Bruce you are awake." He heard Dick say.
"Did I wake you?" he asked
"How are you feeling?" Dick asked
"Alright, a little groggy" "How long was I out for?"
"About 9 hours." "Are you in any pain?"
"No only when I try to sit up."
"Yah about that…" Dick trailed off "I think I should wait for Alfred to talk to you."
"Talk to me about what? What's going on?"
"I just think I should wait for Alfred." Was all Dick would say. "I think I hear him coming now." "Alfred!"
"Yes Master Dick?" "Oh Master Bruce you are awake."
"yes, what's going on?" "Dick won't tell me anything."
"Yes well…" "Alfred said hesitating.
"I'm afraid you were right sir your back is broken however there has been no damage to the spinal cord."
Bruce sighed and rolled his eyes. Not again. He thought although it had been a few years since the Bane incident. "How bad is it?"
"You have 3 fractured vertebrae."
Bruce nodded "and what does that mean?"
"Well, miss leslie said that we need to keep them still and stable for at least 6 weeks which means you will not be able to do any of your normal activities and that after that you will need physical therapy."
"6 weeks?" "I can't be out of commission for 6 weeks!"
"I am afraid you are going to be out of commission for much longer than that sir."
Bruce sighed and shook his head. How could this be happening again? It must be a dream some kind of really bad dream. Except that it was real. That was the worst part.
Dick put a hand on his shoulder. "it's alright Bruce it's going to be ok I am going to stay here and help out so you won't have to worry about anything."
"No Dick I can't let you do that-" but Dick put a hand up to silence him. "And this time I am not taking no for an answer." Bruce sighed he supposed there was no use fighting it. but more than six weeks how was he supposed to do nothing for more than 6 weeks? He didn't know what he would do he would go crazy.
"Bruce for right now all you can do is stay in bed and rest and don't even try and get up alright? Just lie still and let the morphine do its job."
Bruce nodded. After all what more could he do?