thebatbutler: (Default)
NAME: Knight
AGE: 26
JOURNAL: FreeFalling
IM / EMAIL: TuneinAnytime [AT] gmail [DOT] com
PLURK: FreeFalling
RETURNING: 1, Dean Winchester

CHARACTER NAME: Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth
CHARACTER AGE: Actual age: Older than time; Specific age: 65 - 70
SERIES: DC Comics [PreBoot]
CHRONOLOGY: Batman 863, After Batman has died, but before the funeral for him is held.


Alfred was born in England, where he spent most of his childhood. He and his older brother, Wilfred, were raised primarily by their mother, only seeing their father, Jarvis, during family vacations. Jarvis’ absence in his children’s life was due to his serving as a butler to the Wayne family, a tradition that he hoped Alfred would follow in. Despite his father’s wishes, Alfred had more of an interest in pursuing an acting career, following in Wilfred’s footsteps.

Alfred graduated third in his class, and shortly thereafter he joined the British Secret Service and the military. During this time, Alfred received medical training and expanded on his existing weaponry skills – during his childhood Alfred would often go hunting with his father and he learned how to handle a firearm. He also worked as a spy, when it was required, using some of his existing knowledge of other languages from his school days, and learning a few more along the way.

While Alfred was in the military and Secret Service, Wilfred was establishing his career as a stage actor, a career choice that the boys’ mother also pursued. Once Alfred was retired from the military, he also began a career as a stage actor. Soon after this, he met and fell in love with Joanna Clark, an actress, and the two of them planned to be married. However, the plans for the wedding fell through when Alfred discovered that Joanna had been cheating on him with a man named Jonny Forsythe. Alfred punched the man in the jaw and walked out on his own wedding, bringing his relationship with Joanna to a close.

Almost immediately after this, Jarvis fell ill and, as he was dying, asked Alfred to continue the family tradition by taking his place as manservant to the Wayne family. After Alfred’s father died, and the funeral was held, he made arrangements to travel to America in order to introduce himself to the Waynes. Angry at being asked to give up his career, and still not over Joanna, Alfred got drunk for the first time in his life the night before he boarded the plane to his new life.

Upon his arrival in America, Alfred introduced himself to Thomas Wayne, and was accepted as the family’s butler. However, a week later he resigned, unhappy with his new life. His decision was soon changed when Bruce, who was six at the time, came home with a black eye and several bruises. When Bruce offered no explanation for his injuries, he was sent to his room. Later, when Alfred brought Bruce his dinner, he talked with the young boy and was later asked to stay on and serve the Wayne family for him. Alfred agreed, canceling his plans of returning to Britain.

A few years after Alfred started working at Wayne Manor, Bruce’s parents, Thomas and Martha Wayne, were murdered on their way home from the theatre one night. Bruce, who was eight, was with them at the time, but remained unharmed. Following the deaths of his parents, Alfred took on the responsibility of raising the child on his own, the two of them living together at Wayne Manor.

After he became an adult, Bruce left Alfred in charge of the manor while he left to travel around the world. Once Bruce returned home, Alfred planned on retiring from his job with the Wayne family and resuming his acting career, assuming that he was no longer needed since Bruce was now old enough to look after himself. His plans were soon called to a halt, yet again, by the events that followed Bruce’s return. He found a trail of blood, which he followed to find an injured Bruce. His employer had attempted his first outing as the Batman, wounding himself in the process.

This new revelation caused Alfred to decide that he can’t leave Bruce in his current state, with no one to help him on his new path, and he chose to stay on as the Wayne family butler. He used his prior knowledge of acting and makeup to help Bruce refine the character of Batman, and ensure that the general public would not link Batman and Bruce Wayne to one another. Now, in addition to his other duties, Alfred would patch up Batman’s injuries whenever he got wounded on the job.

Several years after he’d been operating solo as Batman, Bruce took in the orphaned Dick Grayson as his ward, and began training him to be Batman’s partner, Robin. Alfred was glad that Bruce now had someone else in his life, especially somebody that was more carefree, lending some light to the darkness which Batman had shrouded himself in. Through the years, Alfred became something of a father figure to Dick, occasionally helping him to work alone, as Robin, when he didn’t feel he should involve Batman.

Dick had a falling out with Batman, after many years, and quit being Robin, leaving behind the Batcave and Wayne Manor. Alfred watched as Batman went back to working solo, once more returning to the darker character that he had been before the arrival of Robin.

A while after Robin had left, Batman caught Jason Todd trying to steal the hubcaps from the Batmobile. He admired the toughness that Jason exhibited and, deciding that the boy would be a suitable candidate for a new Robin, he brought Jason back to the Batcave with him. Alfred discovered the boy soon after, tied up in the cave in order to prevent him from running away. Initially, he thought that Jason was Dick, but a closer look revealed otherwise.

Although Alfred’s first encounter with Jason was undeniably bizarre, he quickly accepted him as the new Robin, glad that Batman had another partner. This new situation, however, did not last for very long. Jason was much more reckless as Robin than Dick had been and he ended up dead, at the hands of the Joker. Alfred mourned the boy’s death, concerned for Batman as well because he blamed Jason’s failure on himself.

Batman returned to working alone, spiraling downward, convinced that he didn’t need a partner, and leery of taking one on after Jason. It wasn’t long after this that Tim Drake showed up, insisting that Batman needed a Robin and trying to talk Dick into returning. Dick returned as Nightwing and, ultimately, Alfred helped Tim take on the guise of Robin so that he could save Batman and Nightwing from the predicament that they’d gotten themselves into. Alfred was delighted when Batman decided to train Tim to be his new Robin, believing that Robin helped to bring some balance to Batman’s life.

Shortly after Tim became Robin, Batman’s back was broken by a villain named Bane. Bruce was forced stepped down from being Batman and handed the cowl over to Jean-Paul Valley, who was also known as Azrael. It soon became apparent that Azrael was not well suited to the role of Batman, and Bruce decided to fight him in order to regain the title for himself. Alfred was unimpressed with this mindset, and forbid Bruce to do anything that might slow down his recovery. He told Bruce that he’d stood by him the entire time that he’d been Batman, but he wasn’t going to watch him injure or kill himself in this fashion when it could be avoided. Bruce, never one to listen to others’ orders, left to fight Azrael anyway and an angry Alfred turned in his resignation.

After resigning as the Wayne family butler, Alfred traveled a little before going back to his native England. Once there, he looked up his former fiancé, Joanna, and she expressed interest in him, telling him that Jonny had died a year after she’d married him. She introduced him to her son, Derek, telling Alfred that he was his son, and not Jonny’s. Alfred agreed to pay off the debt that Derek owed, but the gang that he’d been dealing with refused the money and threw Alfred out. Alfred explained what had happened to Joanna before returning to his hotel room, where Nightwing was waiting for him. Nightwing asked him to come back to America with him, but Alfred didn’t want to leave Derek and Joanna in whatever situation they’d gotten themselves into. With Nightwing helping him, the two of them uncovered a plot to blow up a section of an underground highway while millions of bank dollars were traveling along it. The men proposing this scheme owned a bank, which would then be able to help all the other banks get back on their feet, giving them financial control over England.

Derek, unknown to him, had helped these people carry out their plan. When Alfred and Nightwing caught up to him, they explained the situation. Nightwing left to disarm the truck with the bomb on it, and Alfred and Derek snuck inside the manor that the criminals had made into their stronghold. They were soon discovered and a fight broke out. Alfred was nearly killed, but Derek distracted the man and ended up dead instead.

Alfred returned to Joanna and told her that their son had died, and Joanna corrected him, saying that she’d only told him Derek was his son so that he would help them. Derek had always been Jonny’s child. Heartbroken, Alfred left the mourning Joanna alone and returned to his hotel room. He explained the situation to Nightwing, who had been waiting for him, before asking that his things be sent back to America so that he could resume his work at Wayne manor. There was nothing left in England for him.

Soon after Alfred returned to Gotham, the city was leveled in an earth quake. It was then declared to be a “no man’s land” and cut off from the rest of the United States. This status continued for another year, before Lex Luthor stepped in with plans to rebuild Gotham and made the city a part of the U.S. once more.

During the first three months of “No Man’s Land”, Batman was missing and nobody was sure where he’d gone to. This angered all of the people that he worked with, including Alfred. Alfred spent most of his time during this year out among the people who were remaining in Gotham City, gathering information and helping the injured.

Not long after Gotham City rejoined the United States, Commissioner Gordon was shot in the back and transported to the hospital, unconscious. The Bat Signal was turned on and Robin, Oracle, Batgirl, and Nightwing all responded. When Batman finally showed up he sent them off on their own to figure out who shot Gordon, while he remained at Gordon’s side. Alfred eventually came to the hospital, as well, and lectured Batman about how useless he was being while making everybody else do all the work. Batman told Alfred to get out, and Alfred picked up his bags and left, telling Batman that he was resigning.

Although Alfred told Batman that he was resigning, when Tim was sent to Brentwood, a boy’s boarding school, Alfred was already stationed there, as his butler. Alfred stayed with Tim for the duration of his time at Brentwood, providing backup if the boy needed it. He met Tim’s girlfriend, Stephanie, at this time and was unimpressed with her attitude towards him. When Tim returned to Gotham City a few months later, Alfred went back to work for Bruce at Wayne Manor, only to have Bruce disappear again when a murder was committed at the manor, with Bruce as the only suspect.

When Bruce returned six months later, he presented Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl, Oracle, and Alfred with the evidence that David Cain had committed the murder, to frame him. He also shocked them all by admitting that he’s not an easy person to know. The group made a plan, and set out to capture David Cain. Alfred joined them, disguising himself as Batman so that the real Batman would be able to take David Cain by surprise. They caught him, clearing Bruce’s name of the murder.

Some time after this, Tim’s father found out that he was Robin and confronted Bruce with the evidence. Bruce and Alfred took him down to the Batcave, where Tim was returning. Tim and his father argued while Alfred and Bruce, who had been joined by Nightwing, talked to each other. Alfred jokingly commented that he was going to have to feed Tim and his father poisoned food in order to keep Batman’s secrets from getting out. The end result of Tim’s conversation was that he agreed to quit being Robin, and his father wouldn’t say anything about Batman’s secret.

After Tim quits, Stephanie came to Bruce with a Robin costume that she’d made herself, and asked him to let her be Robin, since Tim could no longer do it. Bruce agreed, and started training her to be Robin. Alfred was disapproving of the entire situation, believing that Bruce had only agreed to let Stephanie be Robin so that Tim would come back once he realized what was going on. Stephanie’s career as Robin was short-lived, however, lasting only seventy-one days before Bruce fired her. She then initiated one of Batman’s “War Games”, hoping to gain his approval, but it only resulted in the deaths of many people, including her own.

Tim's father, Jack, was killed by Captain Boomerang in the same month as Stephanie. A few months later, Superboy (also a friend of Tim's) was killed by Superboy-Prime. In order to allow Bruce to rediscover who Batman was, Bruce, Dick, and Tim went on a cruise around the world for a year, leaving Alfred behind to look after Wayne Manor.

When the group returned, Bruce, with Alfred’s support, asked Tim if he would let Bruce adopt him, so that he could live in the manor as a part of the family. Tim agreed to Bruce’s proposal, but shortly after that their lives were thrown into turmoil once more. Bruce began to date Jezebel Jet, and Alfred expressed concern over the situation, but Bruce told him that everything was under control. Then a group known as the Black Glove broke into Wayne Manor, setting up booby traps and taking Alfred hostage, but failing to capture Tim. They locked Nightwing in Arkham Asylum and lured Batman there, using Jezebel as bait.

While Alfred was being held hostage, Dr. Hurt, the leader of the Black Glove, accused Alfred of being Bruce’s biological father. He claimed that he was Thomas Wayne, and that his death had been a fake. According to him, Martha had cheated on Thomas with Alfred, so Bruce wasn’t Thomas’ son. He told Alfred that this was the reason that Martha had been murdered, and that Bruce should have died on that night as well. Alfred refused to believe these lies, telling Dr. Hurt that he knew Thomas Wayne, and Dr. Hurt was definitely not him.

Alfred was rescued by Bruce’s alleged son, Damian, who commandeered a Batmobile and drove it to Arkham Asylum, where Tim and Commissioner Gordon were already waiting. Nightwing was able to escape, but the group was uncertain about what happened to Batman, though it was theorized that he was dead.

"I do believe you've splashed Sulfuric acid on the Chippendale table. Personally, I prefer to use Lemon Pledge. Ah, well, what's a priceless antique in the pursuit of science?"
Alfred’s most notable trait is how snarky he is. He always seems to have some type of witty comeback or retort to whatever has been said to him. In addition to this, he's also mastered the art of sarcasm (subtle or not) and that is a distinguishing facet in many of his conversations. The occasions on which Alfred has been rendered speechless are few and far between. Of these instances, the most notable ones are when friends that Alfred thought dead show back up. When Stephanie Brown revealed that she was still alive in the Bat Cave, Alfred nearly dropped the tea tray he'd been carrying in his surprise.

"You chose as your name "The Batman". I like to think you did so deliberately. As if you aspired to be both. Bat and man. Perhaps you can be."
He almost always has a very professional and distinguished air about him. The suit that is his usual attire undoubtedly lends to this presentation, but Alfred's attitude and how he carries himself also influence this image. He takes his role in Bruce's family very seriously and since Bruce often fails to uphold his public presence as well as Alfred believes he should, it falls to Alfred to maintain some semblance of normalcy. This often includes fielding any questions from media personnel such as Vicki Vale who might come around the manor in search of Bruce.

"Tell me Alfred, how does it feel to always be right?"
"I strain under the burden, sir."

It should also be noted that Alfred is always right. He is often able to see situations regarding the people in Bruce’s life from a more "enlightened" perspective. Alfred is the man who raised Bruce and knew him before he took on the mantle of the Batman. Any comments that he makes, regarding Bruce’s relations or other things, are often carefully phrased hopes that his listener will realize Alfred’s standpoint on the matter. This can produce the result that Alfred wishes for, unless the person that he’s speaking with is feeling particularly stubborn. This can often be the case with members of the Bat Family, but Alfred still soldiers on.

"Bruce…I have never questioned you before. Nor have I for one moment been disloyal. You have given me an extraordinary life--a life I have cherished and hope to continue cherishing. But I will not be part of your self-destruction. Anything but that. If you do not obey the doctor's orders, I shall resign my post."
Alfred is never hesitant to speak up when he believes that someone’s course of action could be a mistake. However, he avoids being openly rude in his speech or mannerisms, sarcasm aside. Occasionally Alfred will butt heads with Bruce, and this has caused him to quit on more than one occasion, but he has always come back in the end. These disagreements usually center around Bruce's refusal to look after his own wellbeing in the face of his mission and Alfred's unwillingness to stand by and allow this behavior. They have also been about the people that Bruce has chosen to associate with, either as Batman or Bruce Wayne.

"You're fallible and no longer immortal -- like a small part inside of the young boy that Talia didn't destroy still believes himself to be. As you unfortunately know better than most, Bruce, each of us has a day when we realize for the first time that nothing lasts forever."
Although Alfred often appears to be aloof, he cares a lot about the well-being of those whom he works for. He’s often worried about their safety when they’re off acting as costumed heroes. He has admitted this, in his own snarky fashion, but he generally conceals how he feels behind his distant expression. This façade has, no doubt, been perfected over the years by his career as a spy and then an actor, before he came to work at Wayne Manor. However, it has cracked when one of the members of his family has fallen gravely ill or become seriously injured. Alfred is certainly not without emotion, even if he isn't given to overly emotional displays.

"Forgive me, sir, but this is a conversational tone that I am unaccustomed to... pacifying a neurotic Batman."
Alfred is a very calm individual. Even if he’s agitated about a situation, he doesn’t yell, and seldom even raises his voice although he can be provoked into it. This usually occurs when one of his charges is recovering from an injury and refuses to stay in bed or allow time for proper healing. He’s extremely organized, and incredibly proficient at keeping Wayne Manor and the Batcave in top condition, while ensuring that the house’s occupants are well fed and cared for.

POWER: Canonically, Alfred has no powers.
Healing touch: Physical contact with an injury accelerates healing, and for minor wounds can heal them entirely. Prolonged contact will generate more healing, but depending on the extent of the injury and how much he heals, it can take a bit out of him.

Accelerated healing: Should he be hurt, his own injuries will heal at an accelerated rate. It won't be quickly enough to save him if he were fatally wounded and did not receive medical attention, but fast enough that minor wounds would heal completely within a day or two.

Empathy: The ability to read emotions/ascertain a person's current emotional state. This only works in person, not over the network. It's more effective if he focuses on a single person and can be overwhelming if he's around large groups of people. Over time, he will learn to control it better and more selectively.

COMMUNITY POST (VOICE) SAMPLE: [The elderly gentleman that the camera is focused on looks polished, wearing a crisp white shirt along with a suit jacket and a bow tie. When he speaks, his voice has a distinct London accent.]

If there is anyone that might be able to tell me anything about this world or our current location that would be most appreciated. I did receive a file upon my arrival here, but I do have some concerns that certain details might be… lacking.

[He glances down for just a moment, at something off screen, before returning his focus to the communicator.] Also, I understand there is something of a possibility that one or more of my colleagues could have found themselves here, as well.  If there is some way that I could go about finding their locations it would be most appreciated.  Thank you.

[There's a momentary pause and then the feed disconnects.]

LOGS POST (PROSE) SAMPLE: While the concept of other worlds wasn't something that Alfred was entirely unfamiliar with, it was still alarming to find himself supposedly transported into one. The prospect of being unable to return to where he belonged, however, was more disconcerting than the fact that he was actually here in the first place. He was needed back home. There were arrangements to be made and Bruce's remaining family to be taken care of.

Not that Alfred necessarily thought that they were incapable of taking care of themselves. For the most part none of them possessed the single-mindedness that Bruce had often exhibited when it came to Batman's cause. But, now, with Bruce's absence, they would perhaps require a different kind of guidance. Guidance that Alfred would have gladly provided if he were still in Gotham.

He frowns as he goes through the familiar steps of preparing tea in his borrowed living quarters. Perhaps there is some good that can be done here, since he certainly isn't given to sitting idly as the world passes him by. Even so, the thought that he can do nothing to help the rest of his family in their time of grief pains him. Here he is unable to even check up on their wellbeing, and it's worrisome.

Alfred finishes preparing the tea and takes a sip as he reflects upon what good he will be able to do here. His first priority will, of course, be to ascertain whether or not there is a method to return him to his own world. He finds it difficult to believe that this portal that had brought him here is incapable of reversing its effects.

For now, though, he will focus on helping those who have also found themselves in this world against their will. His file had indicated some manner of healing powers and even if that wasn't true Alfred still possessed useful medical knowledge. The heros of this world were bound to get themselves into scrapes, much like those he'd known in his own world.

But for the moment, Alfred allows himself to sink wearily back into a nearby chair with his cup of tea. At the very least, this should certainly be a bit of an adventure.

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Alfred Pennyworth

March 2015

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