I started out on this business to help people. Make them smile and laugh. I started my own little joint called the Tearoom of Despair. Everyone who was lost and lonely and suicidal got company and a cup of tea. On the house. If there was one thing I learned from my butler after my parents died, it was that a cup of tea does you no end of good.
But doing this on such a small scale felt futile. I dispatched my ward (later my adopted son) to take over the tearoom, and I bounced off onto the streets under the cover of night, in a cloak, to steal this mangy creature from the hearts of my people. I had the tea signal installed in a number of places around the city, and at a click, I would be there, armed with a kettle, to sit with you and have a nice chat. The commissioner and I had our problems, but after his wife left, I became his confidante in many a rooftop conversation, and helped him adjust to a life alone. He was grateful enough to let me continue my vigilantism.
It is a difficult but pertinent task. My butler insists I’d be better served if I set up a hotline with trained individuals – that it’d be a good use of my untold billions. But the sight of my parents dying in front of me, of my mother’s necklace of pearls splitting, scattering. It is seared in my brain. I can’t help but do this myself. “Alfred,” I tell him. “As the Thief, I can do things that my civilian identity can but dream of. It is my war, and I shall be chief, general, and soldier. Be a dear and make me a cup of tea?”