St. Barbara's Abbey
Disclaimer: I do not own Batman or Christian Bale, or anything related to either them or DC comics! I am not making any money off of this! It's merely for my own entertainment, and hopefully to entertain others in the process! Thank you!
(a/n: I Reworked some of the chapters and chapter titles! Added a pretty major part that I can't believe I had left out! Spread the pieces out to make them fit more evenly! If you can't tell I'm kinda winging it here! I have the entire timeline written down but putting it together has proved challenging! So bear with me here as I think I now have a true bearing on where everything is heading! kThx! =^_^= )
...||December 5, 1973. Gotham City.||...
A wailing cry broke through the maelstrom of the night. Lightning and thunderclaps shook the earth as a lithe, hooded figure ran through the streets, trying to remain unnoticed as they made their way through the streets. A heeled boot was the only indication that the figure might be a woman. With her she carried a small blessing bundled tightly in her arms. This very bundle being the source of the wailing sobs. The woman's destination was clear only to her and her steps were determined and focused and she moved with a great haste. Despite her dedicated pace, she could not help form glancing behind her ever so often, as if she feared someone were following her.
It wasn't until the visage of St. Barbara's Cathedral of Light and Life loomed near that the tension lessened from her shoulders. As the cloaked woman reached the cover of the cathedral steps, she approached the door reverently as if about to greet some sort of royalty or saint. She opened her cloak slightly to peer down at the whimpering babe in her arms. Clearly a newborn child, yet its dark raven hair was so thick upon its head you'd think it was at least a couple weeks old. A drop of water fell into the babe's ebony hair that had nothing to do with the rain. The cloaked woman was crying, tears flowing from her cerulean eyes. The very same cerulean color that stared up at her from a precious and tiny face.
Tentatively, the woman leaned down and laid a soft kiss on the babe's forehead. She then turned her face upwards and closed her eyes, sending a silent prayer to whatever Gods would still listen to her. The woman turned her head sharply as if she had heard something. She then draped something around the child's neck before wrapping the weeping babe back up in a purple quilt. The woman stepped up to the door and placed the child gently on the bottom step. She lingered a moment where she placed another kiss upon the child's forehead. When she moved to stand, it took her a moment to pry the lock of her hair from the babe's small fist.
When the child began to cry again at the loss of touch, the woman stood and pulled the heavy rope that would signal the Cathedral's loud bell. She didn't wait for it to ring, however, before she turned fast on her heels and ran into the night. With the woman's flight, the child's lungs opened again, ushering forth another wail of sorrow and despair; the remarkable thing though was that with the child's cry several more lightning bolts blazed through the sky accompanied by the loudest cracks of thunder.
Moments that stretched for ages went by before the large cathedral doors creaked open. A hand carrying a lantern appeared through the crack. As the opening widened it revealed a man in black robes with a white collar, and sandy blonde hair. The gentleman stepped out into the night, peering into the darkness when he almost tripped over something at his feet. He stepped back in even more surprise when the bundle began to sob.
Looking down, he shouted aloud, "Oh, my lord!" The man who was clearly a bishop, peered his head back in the doorway, speaking adamantly to someone just inside.
Two women adorned in Habit appeared through the open door gasping as they saw the bundle on the ground. The younger of the two, with fair skin and kind eyes lifted the child up, shushing and bouncing it gently in her arms. The other woman, older with a sterner complexion and eyes that had seen much of life, stepped out further from the doorway. She stopped just before the roof cover ended, barely avoiding the rain. Then, with another lantern in hand, the older Sister gazed, squinting out into the night, desperately trying to spot who could have left the child... But there was nothing... No one.
Suddenly the younger woman called out, "Reverend Mother!"
The older woman abandoned her surveillance of the streets. Lifting her robes slightly as to not let them drag on the damp stairs, she returned to the younger Sister's side. The younger woman showed the Reverend Mother a necklace that had been draped around the child's neck. It was an amulet of the Saint Barbara. The older woman turned it over in her hand where she read the inscription written on the back;
Think with your mind,
but listen to your heart.
Follow your Instincts,
but use your head.
Trust your feelings,
but do not be lead by them.
Love with all your soul,
but do not let it swallow you.
Trust in yourself,
and you can light up the world!
The Reverend Mother recognized the medallion but not the inscription. Who was this child? and Who would have left her behind? Whoever they were and whatever prompted their actions, the Reverend Mother was only too grateful that they had found her. The streets of Gotham were no safe place for a baby. With a few more reverently uttered words, the bishop ushered both women inside, with the child. The abbey had a center for orphaned children. The babe would be a much-welcomed addition to their growing number....Six Years later...
...||December 16, 1979. St. Barbara's Abbey, Gotham City.||...
A large group gathered outside of the inferno which had engulfed St. Barbara's Abbey. A dozen of its Sisters were in a panic as they took number of the children around them. The fire department had responded quickly, thank the lord, but it had not been fast enough to save most of the abbey. Nor to save little Mary-Barbara who had still not been accounted for. According to one of the other children, Barbara had been sleeping off a bit of headache in her room. One of the first rooms that had been overtaken by the fire. Hours upon hours passed before the firefighters had put out enough of the flames, in order to be able to perform a thorough and careful search of the building.
The Reverend Mother and her fellow Sisters watched in trepidation as the brave men entered the building. The reverend mother could not stave off a sense of sorrow and dread for her star child and pupil. Barbara had been one of their most gifted children. She'd just celebrated her Sixth birthday this month, but was already learning at a 4th grade level. At that rate she'd probably have graduated finishing school by 14. A true testament to how their program was working to educate today's lost and abandoned youths. Barbara was gifted, special. Surely, she would have accomplished great things should she have been given the chance.
The few bishops their abbey had were occupying themselves with other tasks, helping the officials in any way they could; one helped with minding the frightened children, others assisted the authorities. After a long wait, a smoke stained fireman approached the group, mainly addressing the head Bishop, in black robes. He handed the bishop what appeared to be a cracked and charred glass bottle with an ashy rag sticking from the top. It was then they learned the fire had been no accident. All their heart's broke and sank even further with this new revelation. It appeared there was an arsonist on the loose. But who in their right mind would choose to strike an abbey? A Christian school for children and orphans no less! It was beyond any of them! What evil person would do such a thing?
Just as this news was being processed, another commotion began when several voices called out over the Fire Chief's radio. They all looked towards the building where two firemen appeared, walking slowly from the smoke and wreckage. One was carrying a prone, seemingly lifeless young girl in his arms; her raven black hair fell like a curtain over his arm.
A gentleman perhaps in his mid thirties approached the firefighters with a gurney in tow. The man holding her laid her down gently where the familiar doctor immediately began checking her over for injury. He placed an oxygen mask over her nose and mouth and checked her vitals. Apart from a few smudges, a fractured ankle where the floor had collapsed beneath her and some smoke stain transferred to her from the firefighters who'd rescued her, she was positively unscathed. No burns, or abrasions. No singed or scorched flesh or clothing. Her chest was rising and falling evenly, no coughing, or wheezing. Apart from her ankle and a bloody nose, she was perfectly fine.
Judging on where the fireman had said they'd found her, the girl should have been burnt to a crisp. Yet, here she was. The doctor returned his stethoscope to wrap back around his neck and he scratched his head looking puzzled.
The Reverend Mother stepped forward. "Dr. Wayne? What is it? Is she dead?"
The doctor didn't respond to her directly, instead he focused his attention on the firefighter who'd brought her free. "Are you sure you found her in the the dormitory?"
"Yes, sir. She was just lying there curled into a ball on the floor; like she were afraid of something."
By all reason and evidence, the girl should have been beyond dead. It made little sense to Dr. Wayne, but he was a man of faith as well as science. He knew first hand that not everything could be explained with statistics and logic. He knew he was seeing a miracle first hand. Thomas Wayne knew this girl was special.
One by one, those gathered all looked down at the unconscious girl. Over a dozen eyes, stared hard at her. Some looked on in awe, whispering words about miracles and divine providence, some of them were just down right confused. Behind almost every set of eyes staring at her, however, there also laid a tinge of fear; fear of what they didn't understand; fear of what they all knew, by everything the world, science, everything had taught them, was impossible; fear of the enigma they could never comprehend. Forget that she could have died in that inferno. Forget that she was just a little girl making her way in life. Forget the prodigy who would rise to do great things. All this girl would be to them now, was terribly wrong.
It seemed only the good doctor and the Reverend Mother could see the miracle and the gift that lay before them.A/N:|| Ok a little revision... I know it's unexpected and even though the changes are subtle they may prove to drastically effect the story line. But what do you think? Like the changes, hate them? Confused yet? Yeah me too! Anyhoo! Hope you like it! More coming soon! Thanks!