DC Alt Earth 11 Strength and Grace Chapter 1



Something strange was found at Wayne Manor.

Strength and Grace
Gotham City, 1966
Chapter 1

      Wayne Manor was the oldest remaining house that predated the founding of Gotham City in New Jersey.  It had been built by the Wayne family upon arriving in the new world from their old holdings in Essex, England.  Their ancestor the younger son of the main family saw much potential in the new world and a way to establish his own dynasty.  It was his leadership that allowed Gotham to grow.  During the Revolutionary war, the manor was captured by the British and used as a staging area for their forces in the region.  It was during this time that the legend of the bat originated, although few people remember the legend today outside scholars and historians of Gotham city.  During the Revolutionary war, British troops reported an armored knight in black armor with bat etchings attacking them, neither shot nor blade could penetrate his armor.  His hit and run tactics eventually lead to the British abandoning Gotham city marking the end of its involvement in the war itself, the Bat of Gotham was never heard from again.
      The manor itself had been added onto throughout the years while maintaining its more gothic feel with each new addition.  When Kimberly first saw the gates leading to the property she was certain that the gargoyles flanking the gates were following her with their eyes.  As her grandfather pulled onto the property the sky around them seemed a bit darker, one spark remained to brighten the area.  She could see the famous gardens Martha Wayne ordered built in recent years and she longed to run through the hedge maze, it was more inviting than the front door of the manor.  She knew her grandfather was upset about something and she couldn’t abandon him so she placed thoughts of the garden aside for now.  She could sense something was wrong and while she didn’t know how or why she knew it she knew roughly what he was thinking.  He was nervous for her and worried that his failing health would place her in jeopardy if something happened to him.
      As she thought about the last few days a spike of pain went through her head, it felt like one of her grandfather’s vinyl records skipping and scratching.  It seemed to happen quite a bit since the fireball incident above Gotham that had captured the nation’s interest.  Speculation was that a meteor burned up in orbit but something deep in Kimberly told her it was something much worse and tragic.   She found her thoughts splitting more and more as she studied the world around her since that day.  Those other thoughts came at random sometimes or when she felt the world was not quite right.  The voices in her head told her the stars were all wrong and she could imagine seeing them from a different viewpoint that she was certain was not Earth, but that was impossible.  Worse than the simple viewpoint was the fact that the other voices told her that the stars were in the wrong position, decades and centuries past where they should have been.  Her grandfather had so much to worry about that she didn’t bring up this to him and she was terrified of being brought to the old Arkham Asylum.  There was talk of the Asylum being closed in the near future but it still remained the boogeyman that people would avoid driving by unless they absolutely had to.  Fortunate for most people the asylum itself was on the edge of town, unfortunately, it was along the evacuation route for storms and hurricanes that often threatened the eastern coast of the United States.
      She could sense workers moving across the yard as the car came to a stop and she could pinpoint their locations without looking.  It must have taken a lot of workers to keep the manor going and despite the darker area, they seemed happy to work for the Waynes.  The current patriarch of the family, Thomas Wayne, was a famous surgeon and largest shareholder of Wayne Enterprises, although the company was still struggling in the last few years.  The passing of Laura Elizabeth Wayne had caused a shakeup in the company and a strain on Thomas as he sought to balance his time as a surgeon with the time required of a CEO.  As she walked to the door she didn’t get the feeling of concern over the business that she thought would be there, he was thinking of space, was that why her grandfather was invited?
    As she listened to her grandfather and Thomas Wayne talk about space and an interesting meteor he found they were joined by Martha Wayne.  Immediately Kimberly could sense another life within the woman and her attention was diverted by the new life developing.  The baby’s thoughts were not deep but she could sense them, contentment, peacefulness, and a feeling of safety filled her as she talked to Martha Wayne.  One thing did puzzle her, neither Martha nor Thomas knew anything about her and were surprised that she was with her grandfather, hadn’t she been with him for some time?   Their thoughts suggested different, I fact they had no knowledge of her since the incident a few days ago.  It was these thoughts that brought her back to the conversation between her grandfather and Thomas, it wasn’t just a meteor but a probe buried in it.  Thomas was certain the probe had somehow crashed into the meteor but wasn’t very knowledgeable about the technology behind it.  He had wondered if any of the technology on earth could have pulled off such a feat but her grandfather knew of no such device that could have moved a meteor.
      Kimberly knew she wasn’t trained in the strange powers she had but she thought maybe she could help her grandfather so mentally she began to seek out Thomas’ thoughts.  The world faded away for a moment and she could see what Thomas saw that night when the fireball exploded.  She could see the meteor streak from the sky crashing onto the large property of the Wayne estate.  She could see Thomas Wayne flanked by employees extract the probe in question out of the remains of the meteor which had cracked upon impact, the probe was not even scratched.  No metal or device was able to open it and there were several symbols on the probe itself that she somehow knew although she couldn’t place how or where she had seen them.  The voices in her mind kept saying, Krypton.  The probe is Kryptonian but far more advanced than the designs she saw in her own mind it seemed far more advanced.  The probe connected to Thomas and she knew without knowing how what it was for, the probe was sent to find something, a safe haven?  The Kryptonian language was hard to understand as if the language she knew was ancient and so much of it had changed.  She did, however, understand the gist of the exchange; Jor-El was searching for a place of safety for his people from a disaster that would wipe out all life on the planet.  After a few moments, the memory showed the probe powering down as if the answer had been found. The third planet in the sol system would suit them well.
      She kept her face neutral as her mind returned from exploring Thomas’ thoughts, it had only taken a second or two but felt so much longer.  Her mind told her several things about the Kryptonians that she wasn’t sure how or why she should know it; they were cold, dispassionate people of pure science.  Thomas was describing just that to her grandfather, detailing the exact imagines she saw in his mind.  Thomas Wayne wanted to hire her grandfather work for him on the technology he found, he was certain that it would bring renewal to Wayne Enterprises and promised more funding for her grandfather’s research if he would help Thomas’ people reverse engineer the technology in the probe.  Her grandfather agreed to them but also asked for a favor, her mind skipped again and she heard static as she tried to listen in on his mind as he asked for the favor.  He didn’t specify physically but she knew the favor was about her, but the static made it impossible to find out what he was thinking about for the favor, something about looking after her and needing documents.  Her grandfather said he would give details in private, she knew that he knew about her abilities and frowned as she wondered what he was hiding from her.  Was he sicker than she realized?  Concern filled her as her mind kept coming up with worse and worse scenarios with no facts to fill the voids.

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