Despite Alfred's best efforts, the day following the murders was far from restful. Bruce ransacked the whole manor, it seemed, in pursuit of some nonexistent clue. He refused to eat, and interrogated the other servants to no end about Bernard Shipley's whereabouts. It was almost a relief to drive him to the precinct the next day.

They sat at the desk of Detective James Gordon. He had the rather grizzled appearance of an old sea captain, or perhaps a lion. Though middle-aged, he had gone grey, and his eyebrows were impressive, to say the least. He was also the detective in charge of the Wayne murders. Bruce was glad of this, since Gordon seemed to have more intelligence than the average employee of the Gotham Police Department.

Bruce's statement thus far, had been a painful reliving of his parent's deaths.

"The man's hands were shaking as he pointed the gun at me. He seemed scared. I'm guessing he was a novice at murder- either paid or blackmailed into it."

Gordon leaned forward, raptly paying attention- his partner was furiously writing down Bruce's words. "Did you say anything to him?"

Bruce shook his head. "No, I just looked at him. I thought he was going to kill me. He should have killed me."

Alfred cut in, "Master Bruce-"

Bruce shrugged his butler's hand off his shoulder. "That's not what I meant, Alfred. I simply meant, in the murder's words, he addressed my father and his family. That includes me. For some reason, he couldn't or wouldn't go through with it."

"Do you think it was Shipley?" Detective Gordon asked.

"No. Shipley has blue eyes, and he was shorter than the man. This man had pale brown eyes. He was tall, and broad shouldered, though his voice indicated he was either older or a smoker; possibly both. His hands were gloved, and his clothes were dark. He wore a hood. I couldn't see his hair. The mask covered his facial features."

Gordon leaned back, deep in thought. "We could try tracing the mask. Did you notice anything remarkable about it?"

Bruce shifted impatiently. The police's investigation was about a day behind his own. This was a waste of time. "No, it's a dead end. The mask was plain, bright red. It's like can be found at any costume store or theater. There are at least 7 stores in Gotham that sell it, and likely many others in the surrounding area."

He continued, "No, detective, what we need to do is determine who had the greatest motive. You are likely aware that my family has its fair share of enemies. Such is the nature of business. I have a meeting with the Wayne Tech board of directors next week. I'll see if there are any recent business ventures my father undertook that may have ruffled the wrong feathers."

Bruce stood, signaling the end of the interview. "In the meantime, have your men check the dumpsters around the alleyway, see if the mask was disposed of. Keep searching for the Rolls Royce and Mr. Shipley. Please call if you find anything."

Detective Gordon looked taken aback. "Mr. Wayne, as the only eyewitness to this crime, I think there's more we can learn from your testimony-"

Bruce cut him off. "I've told you everything I saw and heard that night. My parent's murderer is out there, we won't find him if we're sitting here talking."

Bruce walked away. Alfred started to follow.

"Mr. Pennyworth?" The detective asked, "might I have a word?"

Bruce called behind him without looking back. "I'll be in the car, Alfred."

Bruce knew his mother would scold him for the way he was treating Alfred. But she wasn't here, now was she? Bruce strode out of the precinct and down the stairs, wrenched open the car door, and slumped inside.

Alfred and Gordan appeared at the door, talking at the top of the stairs. Of course, Alfred wouldn't let Bruce out of his sight. It was a small comfort. After all, Bruce didn't know if a murderer would return to finish the extermination of the Wayne Family.

Bruce briefly considered using himself as bait to flush out the culprit, however, without knowing the Masked Man's motives, that seemed ill advised.

From the car, Bruce could see Alfred and Gordon talking. Alfred's face didn't betray any emotion, but Detective Gordan's face was easy to read. He was asking about Bruce's well being. He was likely telling Alfred about other overnight orphans he had encountered while on the police force. The detective passed Alfred a business card. Alfred thanked him with a bow, and made his way to the car.

After Alfred closed the door behind him Bruce said obstinately, "I don't need a psychoanalyst."

Bruce saw Alfred's mouth twitch in the mirror. "And what makes you think the detective suggested that?"

Bruce rolled his eyes. "Don't patronize me, Alfred. It's only logical a detective would be concerned about the family members of murder victims."

Alfred responded dryly as they pulled out of the parking lot. "I also believe he was unaccustomed to being told what to do by a 9-year-old."

Bruce folded his arms and leaned back. "What a useless age this is."

"Would you fire me if I suggested that a psychoanalyst might be prudent?"

Bruce snorted in disgust. "No, but I might dock your salary. My actions the last 24 hours are well within normal parameters of grief victims."

"I see." Alfred replied. He may have been thinking about what to say next, but Bruce cut him off.

"What did you know about Shipley?"

Alfred turned onto State Street. They were not far from the fateful alley way. "I hired him two years ago. I wasn't close to him, but I thought him honest and decent. I know the last month or so wasn't an indication of his work ethic, but I do not think he was in any way responsible for your parents murder."

Bruce responded rather childishly. "If he had been at his post, they'd still be alive."

"And they'd still be alive if they hadn't gone to the theater, or if they had taken a different path…"

"Or if I could have stopped him."

Alfred was silent for a moment. "There is no way you could have stopped him, Master Bruce."

Bruce looked out the window, refusing to meet Alfred's eyes in the mirror. "I saw he had a gun before my parents did. If I had rushed him, or surprised him, my parents could have gotten away."

Alfred sighed quietly. "They would never have left you, Bruce. There's no use dwelling on the past. There's nothing you can do to change it."

Bruce finally looked at Alfred, the dark look in his eyes almost making the butler shiver. "I can make sure it never happens to anyone else."