More on Waller

August 25, 2014: Vorpal visits the Daily Planet to try and get an investigative journalist on the case.

Daily Planet

One of the leading newspapers in the country.



  • None

Mood Music:

Going to the press had been a good idea- when a potential threat loomed on the horizon, it was important to get the public on your side. Of course, the crux of the matter rested on who exactly you confided in.

Not only did you need to find a journalist with integrity and the verve and nerve to take on the big issues and do the research, you also needed a newspaper with a good staff that would get behind said journalist- a good chief of copy. And a good editor. A good editor, for example, would have cleared that dangling preposition in the previous paragraph before it headed to print.

The Bugle was right out- although its piece on the destruction of the tower had been neutral, the constant tirade against Spider-Man indicated that its sentiments could turn against anyone, should the newspaper find it profitable. The Gotham Gazette, while a worthy newspaper on its own, had enough to deal with by virtue of being in Gotham. That only left the Planet- not a bad choice in the least. Lois Lane had won two Pulitzers while working at the newspaper, and it had a good overall reputation.

Keith O'Neil sits in the waiting room, flipping through a magazine and occasionally brushing his hair from his eyes. He was late for the appointment, but it couldn't be helped- his job had pulled him into a double shift and he had only managed to get out with enough time to shower and change into a pair of clean clothes. He hadn't even had a chance to transform into his Vorpal persona, which is why he introduced himself as a representative of the Titans.

~Here's hoping I don't get laughed out of the building. I don't have any hard proof, except hearsay…~

After a short wait, Keith is shown into the bullpen which isfor lack of a better worda complete madhouse. Women and men whir like bees and ants all on separate missions; trying to bring the truth to the free world.

Off in the corner is a quieter spot and a man in a brown coat and heavy coke bottle glasses approaches. "Hi Keith, my name is Clark Kent and I'm a reporter here at the planet. I understand you have information regarding the destruction of the Titans Tower. Is that correct?"

"Mister Kent," Keith offers his hand and a grin. He's good at grinning. "I do. Thank you so much for giving me some of your time. "You are correct…" he gets briefly distracted by the traffic. He had never really considered journalism an interesting profession, but now that he's here he feels a little curious about it. Part of his nature. Maybe someday he could get a tour— but business first, and Kent's on the clock. "I have information… though there is little right now that you can use for a 'scoop'. I only have leads… but the things I've found out, well…" he exhales.

Usualy when Clark is brought a story it's from an eyewitness or someone with some hard facts. Odd that this young gentlemen seems to have conducted his own investigation. "Well," Clark says in response. He sits on the desk across from where Vorpal sits and wraps one arm over to grip his elbow. "What have you found out?"

"Well, before I move into that, let me tell you exactly what happened that night in order to put this all into perspective." He briefly sketches the main movements of that encounter, but with a luxury of details that indicates more than research— it's almost an eye-witness account. "—and the woman who led this operation was Amanda Waller. Now, I assume that when the news broke out, you did your research on Waller and found very little except some public files, nothing that was terribly important."

Clark nods, "That's true, I have no idea who this Waller is. To be honest, I wasn't ever even able to find an address. How can you be certain she was the one who orchestrated the attack? And, assuming the Titans knew who she was, how does one find her?"

"You don't find her." The young man rubs his forehead and closes his eyes for a few seconds, and then breathes out. "… one of our members has… contacts with information brokers. Someone who is a very pominent sort of… underworld figure. Not a criminal per se, but someone who specializes in finding things out." He opens his eyes. "This is what was reported… She's ex-CIA, a spook with a lot of influence and access to a lot of black ops projects. There are two operations that were given to us by name- 'Stormwatch' and 'Checkmate' with which she is involved. She has no known haunts nor whereabouts, is supposedly legally untouchable."

Keith speaks quietly, so as not to be overheard. "… all of this is ghost-speak, of course. I have no actual way of proving it… but Amanda Waller identified herself during the fray and told us to 'remember her.' She also killed her own operatives with some sort of suicide switch when they failed her, and left several others to die in the ensuing explosion. Mister Kent…" he leans forward on the desk, resting his elbows there and his face in his hands. "… I can't give you concretes, but I'm coming to you in the hopes that maybe your abilities as an investigative journalist can do something. I can provide you ways to contact our contact to corroborate what they found out. But if this turns out to be right… and you take the missile strike into consideration… then the inevitable conclusion that you have to come to is that the government has some sort of secret agenda and they came after superhumans in this instance. I don't like the sound of that… and if this ever gets out to the Mutant community…" he trails off, frowning. "Well, you've seen how hard it has been to get any sort of tolerance established towards them, and any sort of trust from them to non-mutants. This is the sort of thing that could precipitate something terrible… and then, conveniently, it could be used as the 'solution'." he uses the air quotes, leaning back on his seat.

Clark leans back and looks upwards, gravely. He brings in a deep breath of air. So much information, so little he can go with on a story. He's going to have to dig. He's going to have to dig hard. "Sometimes the best way to do these sorts of things is to go right to the source. Do you have any idea how I would be able to contact Amanda Waller? Do you have any idea what she looks like? Anything?"

"Mister Kent…" Keith says carefully, and there is a very palpable fear in his eyes. "I advise you against this. This woman is dangerous. I nearly got ki—-" he trails off. "… I need to get better at this," he mutters, rubbing the bridge of his nose, "Secret identity shmentity."

"I'm sorry, I've put myself in danger more times than I can count. It's part of the job," Clark says, almost defiantly. "If this person is going and shooting missiles off with reckless abandon, and if those things about it being part of the government are true, then we have a huge, huge problem here. That story is more important than my safety."

"Fine. But there's going to be some conditions to this. But first…" he looks around, like someone who knows that what he says is about to sound seven shades of ridiculous. "We need to go to the restroom. Just the two of us."

"Uhm…okay?" Clark says with raised eyebrows. He's not…scared. But he is sort of wary. "Why?

"I'm going to give you what you want." Keith states. And then realizes what he says, and waves frantically "Not like that! not like that… just… trust me."

Clark's eyes trail off and he looks a bit incredulous for a second, but decides that it doesn't matter much. Even if this guy wanted to hurt him, Clark would likely be too fast. "Alright," he says leaning down off the desk and onto his feet. "After you."

Keith nods and stands up, and makes his way over to the restroom. His odd behavior continues. When he arrives, he checks every stall and every corner to make sure there's nobody there…

And locks the door behind Clark. "Sorry for the paranoia… but I slipped with you. I want to make sure it stays only with you," Keith says, and walks up to the mirror.

"I'm sorry. I'm very, very green at all of this," he says while looking into the mirror. It's not sure whether he's talking to Clark or to his reflection… which is a litte strange, as it seems to move ever so slightly slower than the real Keith.

"Right, then. We're All Mad Here."

There is a flash of light… and suddenly there is a Vorpal leaning on the sink, looking at his own reflection.

"… man, it never stops feeling weird."

Clark raises his eyebrows as the man in front of him poofs into a cheshire cat. "Oh…so, you /are/ Vorpal. Well, that makes sense, I suppose." Clark looks surprised, but also looks like he's getting over it quickly. "I'll try and investigate as much as I can, but without some way of contacting her we'll haec to rely on flushing her out. That's not always the most accurate way of doing things. Or efficient."

"I know, Mister Kent. Unfortunately, she's a spook- that means she's not going to be easily reachable by anyone. However, I can give you this." Vorpal waves a hand and Amanda Waller appears in front of Clark. It's a very good likeness, down to her wardrobe from that night. "Feel free to take pictures, they will appear on film." The luck of casting illusions that were real images instead of psychic deceptions.

The cheshire cat leans against the bathroom wall. "If you're going to put yourself in danger, though… since I feel responsible, we need to find a way to establish contact quickly, if you find yourself in a tight spot. Flash can get to you in the blink of an eye, Raven can appear… and usually scare the living shits out of anyone near, but that's what makes her endearing."

Clark takes a quick snapshot of the illusion by pulling out his smart phone. In reference to the other heroes, Clark gives a dismissive wave. "I work alone." That's only mostly true.

Vorpal frowns. "At least take my pho—-" he pauses. His phone had gone up in flames with the tower. "… do you have a card?" he asks, rather miserably.

Clark nods, "I absolutely have a card." Clark digs into his pocket and produces his card, handing it over towards Vorpal. "I'll give everything I've got, but without more information it's going to be hard to get her out of hiding. I'll do my best."

Vorpal nods and takes the card. "One more thing… I know Miss Lane has done some work interviewing members of the League… this is up to your discretion, but I'm a Nobody. Actually, Nobodies look at me and go 'Who is that?'- so I don't have any contacts. If you think this is something that might be passed along to the league as a matter to watch out for… go ahead. Our tower's been rebuilt, but I do not think Waller will come and tear it down a second time. That would require stupidity, and she's not stupid. Cocky, maybe, but not stupid."

He hated giving her a compliment. Now he knew how Katharyn Hepburn must have felt at the Oscars. "Thank you for giving me your time, Mr. Kent. I know you're busy. Don't worry… I can show myself out. I just need to walk through this mirror to change back…"

He pauses. "That sounded completely balls-to-the-wall crazy, didn't it?"

Clark tilts his head and pushes his glasses up his nose before he nods. "Yeah, kind of."

"Ah, well." Vorpal shrugs. He turns to the mirror and, welll, basically climbs up on the counter, mutters a few words and starts walking through the mirror, which gives way as if it were made of air. Coming out of the mirror is the familiar face of Keith O'Neil, followed by the rest of him. He hops down to the floor and brushes himself off.

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