The Guilt of Mr. Freeze

Mr. Wayne? Mr. Wayne, are you awake?

There you go. I apologize. I know your need for secrets, but we are alone here. You needn’t worry.

In case you’re wondering, I did not remove your mask, even though I could have. Truth be told, I figured you were Batman the night of my attack on Wayne Enterprises’ Science Exhibit. I apologize for that as well. I needed that cryogenic module for my research. There isn’t another like it on this side of the planet.

Anyway, during the Exhibit, I had taken some of the footage from the security cameras, and ran it over and over again. And I realized that it was when Mr. Wayne seemed to disappear that Batman sprung out of nowhere. The height, the build. I could still be wrong even now. But I just… I just had that feeling. A notion, irrational as it sounds coming from a man of science like myself.

It’s dangerous for me to suppose that’s who you are, to be so illogical.

But I’m counting on it.

Because I respect you.

There is… no one, in this city, that I respect more than you. Perhaps no one still alive on this Earth, that I respect more. I know you remember me. Dr. Victor Fries. It was your backing that allowed me and my wife to make advances in our research. Your generous grants helped our research jump light years ahead. You never rushed us but never ignored us either. You were patient. You took the time to read and understand our papers, investing more than just money into it.

Even the day I told you that we were moving to Gothcorp, you understood and held no malice. You smiled that winning smile, shook my hand and promised that if we ever wanted to come back, just call. “I trust you to always do the right thing,” you told me.

I let you down and I’m… I’m so-s-sorry for that.

I know by now, you know what happened to Nora. My wife. And since then… since then it only made me respect you more.

We’ve both lost… or are losing, our families. And I understand you in a way few people ever will. I know that you fight crime so that no one suffers like you did. That no one loses their parents like you did yours.

So I know that you understand me. Maybe there’s a side of you that cannot help but classify me as yet another piece of filth like the mafia enforcers or thugs you thrash. And to lose the respect you had for me cuts in a way almost as bad as the thought of losing Nora.

I will not hurt you, Mr. Wayne. I will never kill you, nor will I ever speak of your secret. But I can’t let you stop me either. And if you were in my shoes, I know you’d do the same. You’d do anything to save your father and mother.

Nora is waiting. I trust you can get out on your own…

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