A searing right cross exploded into the young punk’s left orbital cavity, spraying punk parts liberally across the alley wall.
“Pleeth, man, pleeth,” the punk said through occasional teeth, right eye pleading, knees failing.
A jackhammer blow to the throat later, he collapsed. Done.
The shadowy punch thrower tapped the side of his cowl and a dial tone rang out, followed by a speed dial.
A voice picked up on the other end. “Bruce?”
“Dick, how are you? It’s been a while.”
“Too long,” Dick said, a sharp crack popping through the background noise.
Bruce cocked his head. Was that a bone breaking?
“How’s the car?” Bruce asked, hands on hips.
“Just – ” said Dick, letting out a quick groan of exertion, “- fine. How’s Gotham?” Another crack, followed by a scream that was quickly stifled.
“Oh, you know,” Bruce said, scratching at an imperfection on the brick wall. “Same ol’, same ol’.”
“Hold on a sec,” Dick said. A cacophony of indecipherable commotion erupted and lasted exactly three seconds. Dick’s voice came back on the line. “Hey listen, Bruce, it’s not exactly the best time right now.”
“I’m sorry, my bad, I should have known you were busy.”
“Well, then I guess –”
Dick cut him off. “It’s been sure nice talking to you, Bruce. We’ll get together soon. Promise.”
Click. The alley grew ever more black and silent.
“Sure,” Bruce said to no one in particular, looking up to the sky. He stood motionless for a moment. Then a smile creased the edge of his lips, spread into a genuine grin and he began a healthy, robust laugh.
“My boy is just like me!”