Bruce and Dick made a promise to one another on this very spot, a long time ago. He gave Dick the opportunity to leave his old life behind, a chance to make sure justice was served... Dick didn't take the easy way out. He didn't let his pain win -- I know you've already made that choice. This oath isn't about you... it's about me. I became Batgirl on my own. But the world is different now than it was then. And I'm in this chair as proof. "I pledge to you, Stephanie Brown -- my guidance. Support. For as long as you want it. When you go out at night, you won't be alone."
You know at the end of the day, when you close the door and you're all alone... And you strip off your armor and lower your guard and peel away the mask... When there's nobody watching and nothing to hide... And you no longer need to be strong or clever or pretty or brave... There's just you. That's it. That's the soul.
Wearing that bat on your chest might scare off smaller thugs... but you're literally asking, no, begging for attention from more dangerous criminals. You're a mark for anyone who wants to make theirs, Stephanie.
If I may have your attention, please? I'm Barbara Gordon, daughter of police commissioner James Gordon, and my stepmother is lieutenant Sarah Essen Gordon. I realize every one of you also has a parent, child or spouse... and I can't stop you from trying to make your way through the chaos to your loved ones' sides. I will point out, however, that leaving here would constitute dereliction of duty -- and, as my father would put it, a sheer waste of manpower. The most sensible, if not emotional, course of action demands the coordination of our efforts right here, starting right now... ensuring the highest overall survival rate, given our admittedly limited powers and resources. If we help whomever we can from here... then the welfare of our loved ones will be entrusted to fate and the efforts of strangers. But my final point is this... it was fate that created this situation, and we're all in it together. The moment the earthquake struck... is the moment we all ceased being strangers.
Look around you guys. This whole situation defies reason. But I'm not letting anyone run me out of my hometown. I didn't let the Joker do it and I'm damn sure not going to let a bunch of bureaucrats do it!
Human beings have that one bit of grace that sustains us all. We adapt. We adapt hard. We adapt to the unadaptable. We pitch tents in bombed-out craters. We turn parking lots into hydroponics labs. A dome comes down and seals off everything we've ever known beyond the city limits. What do we do? We adapt. And we adapted to the unadaptable.
For a long time I felt I had to cope with losing the use of my legs. I had to learn to get over it. And I beat myself up for the longest time. I couldn't "get over it!" I missed walking and running and turning on the bathtub faucet with my toes. It wasn't until I realized that I'd always miss my legs. It wasn't until I realized I'd never not miss them. That's when I could get on with my life. But I had to leave a lot behind. Dancing. Skating. Feeling carpet on bare feet. -- And you.