"Buried Deep": Still affected by Fear Toxin and compounded by the pain of being trapped beneath a piece of rubble, Alfred Pennyworth begins to hallucinate his old army lieutenant, who forces him to recite the pyramid of survival. Its
Appearing in "Buried Deep"
Synopsis for "Buried Deep"
Still affected by Fear Toxin and compounded by the pain of being trapped beneath a piece of rubble, Alfred Pennyworth begins to hallucinate his old army lieutenant, who forces him to recite the pyramid of survival. Its foundation is will to survive. Then on top of that is knowledge. Then, training. Despite his efforts, Alfred must admit that he is dying. As he loses consciousness, the chunk of debris shifts as Bane lifts it over his head and tosses it aside. Alfred will not die here if he can help it.
Meanwhile, emergency crews are trying to rescue survivors from the disaster site, but the inmates are no less criminally insane than before. Within the rubble below, though, Batman is occupied by Joker's Daughter and the threat that her explosive vest poses. Unfortunately for her, the detonator fails, and Batman tears the vest from her, only to discover that the dynamite is actually plasticine. Someone is playing games with him. Having dealt with the Joker's daughter, Batman learns from Julia Pennyworth that Arkham's more dangerous criminals are attempting to escape, and murdering emergency workers. As he climbs up to face them, Batman orders Julia to look into Alfred's whereabouts, find Hush, and The Riddler too. She finds the requests overwhelming, but manages to break them down.
Stumbling through the rubble, Alfred wonders why Bane rescued him. His saviour responds that he recognized Alfred as an ex-military by his gait, which could be helpful to him in this place. Alfred is skeptical, but takes initiative in leading Bane toward one of the sewer tunnels he recognizes thanks to his familiarity with the city's grid map. Bane insists on taking the lead, and also that Alfred keep quiet, but as they continue down the tunnel, Alfred is grabbed, and Bane soon follows. Julia, meanwhile, discovers with worry that her father was in Arkham when it collapsed.
Downtown, Vicki Vale is surprised by the news of Arkham when she gets a second surprise in The Spoiler's flying off of a nearby overpass on a motorcycle. Unfortunately, a GCPD sharpshooter damages her bike, and she skids around a corner, only to get clothes-lined by Hush, who is annoyed that he has to kill her himself, though it is lucky that he has the opportunity.
After subduing the Arkhamites, Batman finds the police have all got their guns trained on him, and with no immediate way out, he speaks a command to the nearby Batplane, which emits such a powerful sonic screech that it causes all of the officers to drop, writhing in pain. He hurries to the plane, where he hears from Julia that Hush is in an alley downtown - but her concern is for her father who is lost in Arkham. Bruce assures her that if anyone could survive what happened there, it was Alfred - though Julia wonders if he was trying to convince himself of that.
Together, both Alfred and Bane take down all of their attackers from Deacon Blackfire's cult, and Bane must recognize Alfred's combat prowess. Assured of Alfred's trustworthiness, Bane lets him lead the way to a blank wall, where Alfred speaks a code phrase that releases a gas to knock out Bane, and opens the way to a hidden satellite Batcave. At last, he reports that he has secured his location on all channels. Thankfully, Batwing hears the message and begs for help as Julia rejoices. Batman, meanwhile, confirms that with Alfred back in action, they can get back to work.
- This book was first published on November 5, 2014.
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