The Smooth: "Gangland"

Summary:
September 27, 2014: A coordinated assault on three fronts against organizations involved in trafficking the smooth. The ultimate goal - to put a serious damper on the trafficking operations, and locate the source.

Location 1: Bistro La Galante — Gotham City

The Galante Crime Family is centralized in a an old, italian style restaurant, behind which one can find back room poker games, prostitution, drug abuse, and shady deals. It may not look like much from the outside, but rumor has it the Family has enough muscle in this neighborhood to push off almost any hostile takeover. History supports that.

Location 2: Rockdale Solutions — Gotham City

Rockdale Solutions is a regional tech company headquartered in Gotham City. This fifty-eight story high rise is composed of high-impact lightweight glass and steel, and houses a number of corporations. Rockdale occupies the 39th and 40th floor, with the CEO's office in a corporate suite on 57. The two levels devoted to Rockdale are compromised primarily of offices, cubicles, and three computer labs. President and CEO Vladimir Pietrovich affords a lavish suite upstairs, complete with almost everything a rich CEO can afford. Of course, the whole operation is a front for the Odessa Mob, but the general public doesn't know that.

Location 3: Lucky Hand Mansion — Gotham City

This is a deceptively large, Asian style compound hidden amidst the sprawl of Chinatown. A gated front yard separates the compound from the street, with armed security guards protecting it at all times. A half oval drive leads up to the front doors of what appears to be a modest mansion. However, once inside the compound, a much larger facility is revealed, including a multi-level, underground warehousing facility, a private helipad, and an underground access road leading directly into the Narrows. That tunnel is, understandably, heavily guarded.


Characters

NPCs

  • Richard Dackleman
  • Dr. Pablo Falzoni
  • Timo Galante
  • Vladimir Pietrovich
  • Amanda Waller's soldiers
  • Various thugs from the Lucky Hand Traid, the Odessa Mob, and the Galante Crime Family
  • Rant and Catwoman's spies: 'The Friendlies'
  • Special cameo appearances by 'the mysterious comm channel' - permission to powerpose given by Rant.

Mood Music:
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0rVRtXsiEo]


Monday, August 18th. 5:48 AM.

Alliance, Ohio

"I said… how many fucking pounds, you stupid cunt!?"

Richard Dackleman lifted the bat over his head, resting its bloodied shape upon his shoulder. Little droplets slid down the coarsely ground wood, threatening to drip onto his shoulder, while bits and pieces of God knows what are stuck in between the words 'Louisville' and 'Slugger'. He stood, looming, over a broken and beaten man who once was recognizable as Dr. Pablo Falzoni.

Falzoni, a chemist of Hispanic heritage, went missing 36 hours ago. It had been the worst 36 hours of his life, and now, having reverse engineered something terrible, he lie upon the ground at the feet of a madman. Beaten. Bloodied. Destroyed. Desperate to do whatever it took to stay alive. He craned his neck painfully, simply to pry his lips from the carpet so that he might speak. "S… Sixty… Sixty Eight."

Dackleman looked woefully upon his prisoner. He shook his head and released a deep sigh. "Not good enough, Doc. Sorry, but…" He sniffled his nose; there was some coke still stuck up there from last night. "…it's like I said, we gotta push at least 80. Per day."

"No," breathed Falzoni. "No, I… it can't be done, I swear! I just, it can't be—"

"WRONG ANSWER."

Flecks of blood flew from the bat, splattering upon the wall as it arced down toward the prisoner's face.


Saturday, September 27th. 11:35 PM

Otisburg, Gotham City

The Galante Crime Family is centralized in an old, italian style restaurant, behind which one can find back room poker games, prostitution, drug abuse, and shady deals. It may not look like much from the outside, but rumor has it the Family has enough muscle in this neighborhood to push off almost any hostile takeover.

History supports that.

Regardless, evidence has sprung that claims the Family has allied themselves with the Dackleman Syndicate, and serves as the arm that is importing 'smooth' into Gotham, where it's then redistributed. Locally, regionally… globally. The time has come to hit the Family where it counts, and hopefully discover just where the smooth is coming from, and who is making it.

As night creeps on, the shadows seem to deepen in the blocks surrounding Bistro La Galante. It is here where Timo Galante is rumored to be, this very evening, at the center of the turf he commands so brutally.


Saturday, September 27th. 11:35 PM

Old Gotham, Gotham City

Rockdale Solutions occupies the 39th and 40th floor of the Pierce Tower in Old Gotham. A regional technology company headquartered in Gotham City, it's known in the criminal underworld to be a front for the Odessa Mob, but the general public doesn't know that. GCPD turns a blind eye to it, and frankly, the GSRD could give two shits. They've got bigger problems.

President and CEO Vladimir Pietrovich calls this his home, in almost every sense of the world. His corporate suite up on the 57th floor is a mansion unto itself, and he rarely leaves. While the high rise may be home to other corporations, many of which operate wholly legal businesses, the place shuts down at night, its corridors lined with heavily armed security, and only the 'employees' of Rockdale Solutions are permitted to come and go.

Right.

Huntress has been in the trail, and that trail has led her here, to this very building. To Rockdale Solutions. Strong leads claim that this is where the Odessa Mob is trafficking 'the smooth' into regions outside of Gotham… Miami, Portland, Atlanta, Chicago, the list goes on. If the rumors are true, if this operation could be shut down, it might put a serious dent in the ever growing epidemic.


Let the games begin.


Bistro La Galante — Gotham City

Pressed pages, cigarette smoke, quick fingers tip-tapping away at the keyboard. Messages spanning out towards the two operatives that she's chosen for this mission. Something done off the books. Something equally fitting for the name of the drug that was hitting the streets and killing humans; leaving others orphaned. The Wall did her leg work, resorting back to times of old, since this was a side job and Waller had a vendetta against the drugs, this would be done off the books. Those paid and outfitted with her own money, two Cadmus boys who were usually at her side put to the field to assist.

To Vorpal: The address was sent in an unmarked package to the Gotham Arms. Titled simply The Weatherman. The debt was being called in piece by piece and the first one was to fit.

To Midnighter: Simple coordinates on the unknown IP address that was given to them by the Mysterious Shift. Midnighter probably wouldn't have to ask, The Weatherman knew that it was the place to be. No false leads, not this time.

Amanda herself? Flack jacket checked, pistols at the middle, check. Hair done, nice and fitted with a half updo and a ponytail at the back. Slick leather shoes with a thick heel, knee highs that wrap around tight denim and a brown leather jacket to match. Zipped up. Tied. Cigarette in mouth, lit and puffed.

Two of her boys at the back of her, standing stout, suited and booted, arms crossed in front of them. Black slacks, jacket, white shirt and tie. She likes her boys to look the part.

The rooftop is where she stood, waiting for a sign of Vorpal and Midnighter to gather and rally.

Being late, is -not- the new black. People have been killed for less.

-

It would be completely foolish to appear out of thin air in front of Amanda and her boys. Theatrics were for people who wouldn't kill you on sight, or allies who knew your signature entrance. It simply wasn't a good idea to tempt fate by showing off- so when Vorpal arrives, on the dot, it is by appearing out of the shadows and his invisibility—- several rooftops away so that both Waller and her companions could spot him, ID him, and file him as a 'do not perform splattery death' target.

He's also not flying his usual colors- the red and green are abandoned for a sensible black bodysuit, padded lightly for protection but not enough to actually be bullet-proof. Acrobats need to move freely, after all. The bodysuit extends all the way to his hands, so that the only hints of purple are Vorpal's face and his tail.

Landing on the ledge and crouching, he nods towards Waller, "I'm here." He speaks very quietly. Just in case.

-

Stormwatch wants him to do something he already decided he was going to do. They're off to a good start in the renewal of their working relationship. Far from being late, Midnighter's been watching the Bistro for the last two hours and making note of the coming and going of the customers. And, more importantly, those of the muscle. He watched Waller arrive but said nothing, waiting for the time to arrive while he continues to gather intelligence from watching. And then Vorpal arrives. "Who is the mutant?" he asks from behind them all. He doesn't worry about tempting fate. He is fate.

-

Tonight seems to be just another night at Bistro La Galante. Various people come and go, ne'er-do-wells of all sorts. Midnighter's time invested casing the joint has given him a spot-on idea of just who constitutes as 'muscle', and he's got a pattern down for their comings and goings. Getting in won't be very difficult.

Which is always the bad sign, isn't it?

Rumor has it Timo Galante's got all sorts of goons hiding out in the shadows, all throughout the neighborhood and beyond. This is his turf; odds are they can already smell that something fishy is going down. There's no sign of it, but a sense of paranoia lingers in the air. So far, the gathering team goes unnoticed.

And yet, the shadows continue to deepen, almost unnaturally so. It's almost as if some unseen force is descending upon the streets, blotting out the hazy moonlight that peeks through thin clouds above.

Those with electronic communication devices will suddenly get a message. Do not target those who hit the floor, hands over their heads. A graphic display depicting the outline of a man, lying prone with hands crossed over their heads appears. These are our allies. No kill. Imperative.

Seems like there's some outside help coming in.

-

She hadn't seen Vorpal, not at first. She was too busy focusing on the cigarette within her mouth. The problem with Newports is this: The 100's burn way too slow and the kings burn way too fast. So she settled on a pack of Kools, favoring the flavor and.. just the over all name of it. Old school, Kool.

Vorpals approach finally gets a nod, a slight smirk with a cig. butt pinched betwixt, a booted heel stepping forward to rest upon the line of the roof. A quick lean in, and scan.. and a turn around as Midnighter approaches.

"Vorpal." Is all Waller offers up, walking in between her boys who suddenly turns towards Midnighter. The boys did not know who Midnighter was, those departments were kept separate, but at her quick answering, they knew to stand down.

A slight static cracks in her ears, her hand held up to press against hear ears as the message comes through.

"You all get that?" Eyes cut towards Vorpal and Midnighter, it wasn't a question of if they 'actually' received the message, but that they understood.

"Vorpal. You will follow Midnighter's lead on this. My two men will cover any needs that you two have. I'll remain out here."

World War 3 will not be in effect tonight.

"Report to the voice over the comms, I will keep watch on the airwaves to make sure that -nothing- goes out of place. This person knows this. When the mission is done, I'll bring in the clean up crew and await further word from other contacts."

She walks back towards the edge again, but not too close.. keeping a stark distance, lest someone be ballsy to push.

"GCPD is not to be in the know. This is to be quick, it is to be quiet, and it is to be bloody. Are we understood?"

-

"Understood," Vorpal says quickly and looks towards Midnighter, nodding towards the man. Even the purple becomes black now, as the cheshire uses his powers of illusion to make himself harder to see. "I'll follow," he says to Midnighter, and checks his outfit to make sure everything is fastened, secure, and that there is nothing loose. Outside of his tail (and he couldn't do much about that), he wanted to present nothing for anyone to grab or hold onto during what was to come. He pushes his red hair out of his eyes and proceeds to report into the comm, ears twitching slightly as he receives feedback.

He's nervous, but trying not to show it. Even though his tail gives him away to people who can tell such things about cats. It's not that he hasn't seen violence- he grew up in a poor and dangerous neighborhood and he knew enough of his friends who were either in gangs or ended up getting killed in one. But it was important that he perform adequately on this assignment. Not only was carrying through with the favor (in installments) important…

There were some scumbags who needed to pay. These people were ruthless, and he had to be just as ruthless.

Up to a point. Unless he had no other choice.

"I'm ready when you are."

-

Yes, Midnighter broke out the old communicator for this. He hasn't used it in over a year or, for that matter, kept it on him. It was stored in a Metropolis safe deposit box so it couldn't be used to track him. But now he's one of the team again so. "Not a mutant." he corrects himself as he really looks at Vorpal. Interesting. Giving Waller a nod, he goes over the side, using the fire escape to provide enough handholds to get him to the ground quickly. The others can climb down it normally if they need to.


Rockdale Solutions — Gotham City

Huntress' involvement began when she saw the truck and all that involved that while getting coffee. It became a rabbit hole (not like Vorpal's, thank God) of seeking information and getting in touch with contact, the majority of which were useless. It wasn't until she got a message from a mysterious electrionic… source of some kind, telling her that if she's going to make a move on Odessa it better be tonight. Smirking upon disconnecting, she ponders her options just a moment before an archer she knows is texted. 'Hey, Arrow… want to go out on a date…'

Fastfoward by several hours and Huntress and Arrow are standing in an alleyway, not too far from the location they need to be in. "So… you have an idea on how we can get in and out without getting shot," she asks Oliver, her tone level.

-

Green Arrow finishes throwing a black tarp over the ostentatious green motorcycle that has become his main mode of transport recently. The Arrowbike is pretty fancy, but it's clearly not what he would have preferred to drive. Sore subject.

"What's this? The great Huntress is asking little old me for infiltration advice?" Now that his helmet has been removed, he pulls his hood up and over his head with a dramatic, audible 'whoosh' and begins doing a pre-op check of his bow, quiver, and assorted gear.

"Surely you can't expect me to believe that you brought me out here without a plan. Unless…" His stubble-framed mouth bends into a half smile as he adjusts the string on his bow. "I see what's going on here. You've gotten spoiled. I open the door for you a couple of times like a gentleman, and now you think it's part of the deal." He reaches behind his back, running his fingers along the fletchings of the arrows contained within. "I guess I can oblige, since you dressed up and all, but next time you're taking the elevator."

He nocks an arrow on his bow which is attached to a delicate-looking metal wire. Taking careful aim, he releases the shaft up, up, and away, anchoring on the target building's roof. Attaching this to his rappel device, he extends an arm toward the Huntress. "Hang on tight. This is going to be fun."

-

Splat has some advantages and disadvantages over the arrowed pair. He is able to run up the wall at full speed once he hits the edge of the building. No problem, armor and gun in tow. This disadvantage is weighs a lot and has to be really careful to run near an ibeam to make all kindsa noise as he moves up. Also? Not anywhere NEAR as experienced. He got a tip from a janitor that something bad is on the 57th floor and its hurting his people, but aside from that he has no idea. He hasn't spotted the other heroes yet.

-

Inside Pierce Tower, the floors occupied by Rockdale Solutions are dimly lit. only a handful of people visible working in their cubicles from the outside. These, of course, are dummies. Men armed with weapons hidden beneath their desks, their computers turned to face the outside so that the screens filled with solitaire, internet porn, Netflix and online gaming sessions can't be seen. As they fake their second shift jobs, their eyes remain watchful, occasionally looking over their computer screens to scan their surroundings for problems.

Armed security otherwise seems light, the guards patrolling floor by floor. Only, the thing is… they aren't armed with pistols and tazers, as one might expect of conventional security. No, these thugs come wielding assault rifles over their shoulders. Abnornmal? Sure. Legal? Absolutely.

Mere moments before they depart, Huntress and Queen will receive messages on whatever communication devices they carry. Do not target those who hit the floor, hands over their heads. A graphic display depicting the outline of a man, lying prone with hands crossed over their heads appears. These are our allies. No kill. Imperative. Splat will receive a similar message, should he be carrying any kind of electronic communications device with him.

Seems they've got some outside help.

-

"Try to act like a teammate and this is the thanks I get. Wow. Nice, Arrow…" The instruction comes up from the bluetooth device Helena's wearing and she nods, poking Oliver as she looks at that. "Right. No killing." Not that she kills innocents anyhow, but at least she now knows what those who are not involved in the wrong doing will be doing. Makes not shooting the wrong people a lot easier.

The offered 'ride' is accepted as Huntress snuggles herself in against Arrow's side, her body already tensing for whatever impact might they might find at the end. "Ready as I'll ever be, handsome." Her gaze is held straight forward but she does cock a grin her man's way, unable to keep herself behaved entirely.

-

As promised, the device yanks the pair up on a diagonal path toward the building's roof. Like a zipline, but the exact opposite of that. The wire is thin enough to avoid attracting any attention, though whether the purple and green pair will get spotted during their ascent is as up in the air as they currently are.

With one of his arms wrapped tightly against the Huntress' waist and the other hanging onto the zipline doohickey for dear life, Green Arrow looks forward resolutely and scans the projected landing site for signs of hostilities. The higher up the pair get, the more the wind makes his hood and hair blow all over the place. "I've got to save up my pennies for an Arrowjet. I didn't realize how heavy you are."

-

Splat walks around the corner when he reaches the 57th floor and is ready to open a window. He has quite a few electronic gizmos and is shocked to be getting messages. He looks around and goes,'buh….' for a few moments before giving a thumbs up to empty air. He's just about to go in when he spots Arrow and Huntress in their outfits. He's standing vertically on the wall about to smash into a window. "Er….hi."

He's seen blurry pictures of these guys. He thinks. Maybe. "Name's Splat. You guys here for the drug dealers?"

-

The purple and green pair are, in fact, noticed. Not by one of the security guards, but rather, by one of the thugs posing as a late night office worker. He leans forward, pausing the video mere moments before the money shot, and grunts in disappointment at having his porn interrupted. However, eyes squint for a moment, before alarm comes over him.

He reaches down to press a button under his desk, the same type of system used by bank tellers and loan officers to alert the police of a robbery. However, the alarm simply blats at him, shorting out. No alert sent.

"… the fuck!" The man grabs a pistol from beneath his desk, and begins a beeline through the cubicles toward an elevator. "Guys, heads up!" he hisses. "We got trouble comin' in from the goddamn air. Get someone upstairs and alert the boss."

Splat's run up the side of the building? Well, it does go noticed by one of the heavily armed security guards, but rather than sound an alarm, he walks over to the window, peers upward, and gets a good shot of nothing. Splat is already out of sight.

"Naaaah." The guard shakes his head and goes back to his patrol, his radio remaining silent.

-

Ah. This is much more pleasant than the trip home from Metropolis the other day. Yes, Huntress does have a bit of a weightless feeling in the pit of her stomach but there's no disorientation and motion sickness to go with it, making this more like a thrill ride than a nightmare. While making their ascent, her right hand is lowered and one of her pistols is unholstered, that weapon then aimed at the guy who noticed them. Shaking her head, she just smirks. "Ah…"

That's at the same time she notices Splat and, for a moment, she freezes. "The hell?" Yup. Whatever that… guy is, he has her totally baffled. "Let's hurry up and get on the roof. Think whatever that cat man did to us the other day has my mind still messed up." And that's not a pleasant thing to come to realize.

-

Green Arrow follows the zipline nearly all the way to its anchor point on one of the building's backup generators, and then drops gracefully onto the roof. He leaves the device attached to the line. Assuming it doesn't get compromised, it might have to double as an escape route.

"Ugh. Don't remind me. But I saw it too. Looks like the weirdos are starting to move to Gotham now."

He readies his bow letting an arrow rest loosely on the relaxed bowstring. "We've got to assume we were made, so we'll have to move fast. I'll take out the building's security after we download whatever nonsense we came here for." He positions himself off and to the side of the door leading to the building's top floor. Slowly, he begins a silent count. When he's reached the number that he feels is appropriate, he releases an arrow right into the door's lock. An explosion rocks the rooftop as the door blows inward.

"What'd I say? Like a gentleman. After you…"

-

Splat blinks as the other two heroes regard him as a hallucination. He sort of scratches his head. Then he laughs. That's just awesome. He is a figment of people's imagination! He goes in through a nearby window and decides this time its personal. He's going to clean some clock with his fist rather than the Griv Gun as he slides it around his back and mounts it in its holster. He looks for someone NOT raising their hands in the air he can punch, rather than flatten on the floor.


Bistro La Galante — Gotham City

Midnighter's approach goes unseen, and Vorpal's attempts to shield himself against the deepening shadow are beyond effective. The muscle observed by Midnighter remain no more aware that trouble is coming their way, in part due to the experienced man's movements. Regardless, the muscle keeps patrolling their spots, looking out for trouble.

Bistro La Galante has a front entrance, and a well guarded back entrance through an alley running parallel to the avenue. There are no side entrances; no alleys with which to sneak by. This, of course, was entirely on purpose.

-

Amanda turns on booted heel as Midnighter goes off, her gaze leveled on Vorpal now, hand lifting to circle around as the two Cadmus freaks dip off right after him.

"You're in the big leagues now son. Swallow the nerves and let that shit fly."

Cigarette was torn from her lip and flipped over the side, her hands stuffed within her jacket pockets as she makes towards the other end of the roof..

..If men were in the area? Silencer would go on and bodies dropped without notice or cause. Until then?

Go Teen Titan. Go.

-

Once everyone's on the ground, Midnighter looks over his 'troops'. "So four guards at the rear entrance and two cars full of reinforcements just sitting there. We could go in the front easily but not only are there all those civilians but we'll end up dealing with the ones in the back anyway." That's mostly for Vorpal's benefit. "Can you take out the ones in one of the cars?"

-

Right. Swallow.

Vorpal nods and sprints off. He could show off, again, and do a wonderful acrobatic descent. And that would be doggone stupid and noticeable. A Rabbit Hole, a humble little hole in reality, allows him to be at the top in one moment and then be at the bottom without the trouble of going through the middle. He stays behind Midnighter and the Cadmus boys. He narrows his eyes.

"Consider it done, on your word." This would be tricky… but he has an idea how to do this.

-

Meanwhile, inside the italian restaurant…

Timo Galante is seated in a large, leather chair in the back room. He's got the mouth of a hooker enclosed around his dick, and another is massaging his shoulders. He's clearly quite enjoying himself; that is, until one of his goons comes into the room and interrupts him.

"… the fuck do you want?" Timo grabs the girl by the hair, pulling her free and stuffing himself away, before turning around to glower at the guy. A pistol comes free, silenced, aimed directly at the goon's head. "Swear to God," he growls quietly, menacingly. "This better be good."

"Boss." The man looks from Timo, to the gun, to the whore, then back to Timo. He clears his throat. "It's a message. From the Preview."

Timo's eyes fall, and the angered look upon his face grows more paranoid. Eyes flash to and fro. "Front or back?" he hisses.

The goon smirks. "Back."

-

"You two get the second car. Use silencers." Midnighter tells Waller's agents. Would be easier to just blow them up but she said quiet. In this light, they should be able to get close enough to cover them. "I'll get the ones by the door. When they start getting out of the car, take them. "Vorpal, sixty seconds then do your thing." With that, he slips into the shadows.

-

While Gar could have bitten the three men inside the car as a Tze Tze fly, Vorpal had to get a little more creative with his powers for this. Invisibility? Check. A rabbit hole is all he needs to appear right next to the car, completely invisible.

He had to take care of these men quickly. So the fastest thing he can think about is to give them the same treatment he gave Green Arrow a few days ago. Since he can see inside the car, it's child's play to open up rabbit holes under the men's seat, one by one in fast succession, and dumping them from a height of about ten feet above.

"Give my regards to Alice, boys."

Granted. He at least provided Green Arrow something to land on and at a much shorter distance… but Green Arrow, infuriating as he was, wasn't a killer. Just a jerk.

-

Three men appear above the car, their screams delayed until they're mid-fall. Their bodies land upon the car with bone-crunching agony, and the shattering of the car's front windshield.

Three of the men guarding the door turn their weapons upon the car, then begin to shout to each other in alarm. They pan out a bit, weapons moving. The fourth, however, he hits the floor, hands over his head.

A friendly.

"Steve?" One thug turns toward the friendly. "What the hell are you doing!?"

-

From the roof of the building on the other side of the alley, Midnighter waits for Vorpal to start the ball rolling. Thugs appearing in mid air and falling to the sidewalk with muffled thuds is as good a signal as any. The ones in the second car start clambering out, guns drawn and ready and are shot down by the Cademus agents, chosen - among other things - for their marksmanship. At the same time, Midnighter leaps off the roof, throwing four shuriken at the ones guarding the door. Three jugulars are sliced cleanly; one guard, the one dropping to the ground unexpectedly, is saved as it passes over him. Not fully trusting the situation, Midnighter rolls as he lands and snaps the three pieces of his staff together, ready to use it.

-

Vorpal becomes visibile and snaps his fingers quickly, a Rabbit Hole opening up right in the middle of the gun held aloft by the immobilized thug-the end peeking out of the other side-before closing again, creating a perfect slice out of the gun, rendering it useless just in case the thug wanted to get a warning shot out to alert his colleagues elsewhere.

The Cheshire cat walks towards Midnighter, his appearance shifting through his illusion magic into that of the thug whose windpipe Midnighter crushed. He gives the other vigilante a look. "I could touch you up as one of the others, we could walk in there and have a few seconds worth of the element of surprise." Walking in the guise of two people who should be there, and then raining hell down on them. To Steve, he says "What's it looking like in there?"

-

Steve looks up, eyes fearful as they pan between Vorpal and Midnighter. He hesitantly rises to his feet, face ashen, before removing one of his hands from where it was behind his head. "Galante's just inside," he reports. "Hurry, he's gotta be spooked by now."

Before either of the vigilantes can rush in, however, another message comes from the comms. Galante's on the move. Car, front, SUV.

Indeed, Timo Galante has already made his way with an entire entourage to the front of the building, where a dark blue SUV has pulled up. Galante jumps in, followed by a handful of thugs, and reaches up toward the driver. "Pierce Tower. Move."


Rockdale Solutions — Gotham City

An explosion rocks the rooftop, blowing that door clean open. If the security guard below hadn't raised enough of an alarm, that certainly will have done it. Splat's entrance through the window does a number, as well, opening him up to find the 57th floor CEO's suite…

Empty.

Back down on the 39th floor, Vladimir Pietrovich is being rushed toward an express elevator by a handful of those heavily armed security guards. "Make sure you destroy ze data! All of it!" He's shouting to the workers rummaging about in an effort to clean up the operation; it's almost as if they had a heads up that trouble was coming. "Don't leave a single byte for them!" The elevator doors close behind him.

Goons begin to pour into the 57th floor CEO's suite, guns drawn. Splat is the first they lay eyes upon. However, the moment gunfire erupts, three of them dive to the floor, hands up over their heads in a crossed formation.

Friendlies.

So, the mysterious messenger wasn't kidding.

-

The first thing Huntress does is lean into give Arrow a kiss, not bothering to wait until a more appropriate setting and time to show the archer a bit of affection. "Hmm." Grinning, she pulls out a small flash drive and hands it over to him. "You're the techie out of us two. "You grab the info, I'll play bullet sponge."

She waits a second before ducking in, allowing for her partner to take the small device from her so she can then pull her other gun from its place upon her thigh. "Hello, boys! Been waiting for me?" Both 9mm errupt with gunfire as she runs in only to then stop when she sees the men assume the position they were warned about. "Looks like I'll be gathering the innocents and getting them out," she announces, her voice slightly tinny. Damn these high rises and how they mess with reception at times.

-

Own a company that makes smartphones long enough, and people start assuming you know how to use a computer. Fortunately for everyone involved, people are mostly right where Green Arrow is concerned. "Got it. Good luck in there."

He's not far behind Huntress, but he hangs back far enough to maximize his efficacy. He needs room to draw his bow, she seems to prefer getting into slugfests. It works pretty well.

"Let's see…. schematics have the mainframe located four floors below us…. looks like I'm going straight down." He pulls an arrow out of his quiver, but instead of nocking it on his bow he simply drops it in front of him and quickly gets out of the way. The arrowhead begins beeping and blinking, and then it emits a blinding white light as it begins burning through the floor. When he returns to the spot where he set the arrow, it's already burned down several floors. With a quick wave he jumps backward, falling down the hole and disappearing from view.

-

Splat never got his Q phone. His civilian ID only has crap but his gear has been made by his friends and fortunately, he is kind of bullet proof though not unlimtedly so but he runs into oncoming fire, touching the three innocents to make em weightless, hoping that helps Huntress get them out easier. He is a roaring elephant in the room and just tries to help take out thugs with his fist. Punching as many as he can, and trying to get shot in face or vulnerable parts of his body.

-

Leave the friendlies! They'll fight by your side! That mysterious, mechanical voice and message comes across the comm devices of all three.

Green Arrow will have no trouble making it down to the room carrying the mainframe. Inside, there are three guards, protecting two goons who are furiously trying to wipe the mainframe, only they seem to be running into firewall after firewall. It almost appears as if the machine is protecting itself, which is, well, impossible. Right?

Meanwhile, Vladimir Pietrovich is still inside of that express elevator, headed down. He's surrounded on all sides by armed security, their assault rifles armed and ready.

The mysterious messenger returns. Pietrovich is headed down. He's not stopping.

-

"Fine," is grunted at this mystery voice Helena keeps hearing. "But they better know what the hell it is they are doing otherwise it's their damn fault if they get killed." The three are looked at as Huntress sighs, both at them and then the news about Pietrovich. "Right. On it."

The Three Stooges with her are allowed to come with but she's not going to wait. They better be armed and ready to fight because there is no damn time to wait for them. "You three take the stairs." As for her? She's going to take that zip line back down and try to make sure all exit points are sealed off.

-

One of the goons turns suddenly when he hears a noise off to his right. His buddy is convulsing in the throes of electric shock from the Tazer Arrow sticking out of his back. He manages to figure out what's going on, too late, and turns around just in time to get punched in the face by an enormous green hand, attached to an arrow.

With the goons neutralized, it's a simple process for Green Arrow to slide a flashdrive into the mainframe and wait for it to do its thing. Speaking into the headset concealed somewhere in his costume, he let's his partner, and the unseen helper, know what's up.

"Drive is in place, should be good for remote uplink. Downloading the mainframe's contents…" He's interupted as a goon rushes into the room and aims an assault rifle. But unfortunately, the guard trips over a Tripwire Arrow that was conveniently left in front of the door.

-

Does a nine pins on the morons shooting at Huntress and himself. He didn't have to gravsplat any of them but putting his knuckles in their face on after the other as their bullets bounced off his armor, making him wince sometimes as they bruised him, was the most satisfying thing of the evening. He realized he'd completely fubar'd the plan when he made em weightless so after he kicked another guy into the wall, he ran by and touched the three stooges…wise men….goons? On the shoulder with another dose of griv to make their weight normal…But there was no such precautions himself.

With a grin on his face he smiled, "I love this part…" and crashed through the window at terminal velocity….only to halt 3 feet before splatting on the ground below.

-

"The stairs," asks one of the friendlies, as they rise to their feet. "You kidding?"

"Yeah," says another. "No way in hell I'm trottin' down fifty seven flights."

The third smirks. "Boys, let the lady do her thing." He turns to Huntress and Splat. "We'll go take care of the guys on 39 and 40." Besides, there are four more 'friendlies' down there, just waiting for their cue to turn sides.

The information is immediately downloaded onto Green Arrow's flashdrive, as if the mere act of inserting it suddenly bypassed all of those firewalls, giving him full and total access to whatever it was inside.

Meanwhile, inside the freight elevator…

"Ve must give our thanks to de Preview." Pietrovich smirks ruefully while clipping himself to a cable in the middle of the elevator. The guards protecting him do the same, before the Odessa Senior looks down at the floor. "Go."


Lucky Hand Mansion — Gotham City

Two men approach the Lucky Hand Mansion. Two lone men undoubtedly set to face off against dozens, many of them well trained fighters, some of them borderline ninjutsu masters. For his part, Shift travels lightly. His body is a weapon, and items tend to get lost when he fully embraces his powers. He casts a glance toward Aspect, having warned the man that there might be some help coming in. Then, he looks back toward the mansion, eyes narrowing as he pulls the mask up over his face.

"I'll take de roof," he murmurs, waiting to hear what Aspect's play will be, before the Ghanaian disappears into a plume of smoke.

-

"I'll go straight in and make a lot of noise. I assume you're not gonna mind if there's some collateral damage?" Aspect isn't just a hacker. He's also a soldier and he's wearing his signature Unreasonably Large Rifle (actually a chinese grenade launcher) and Unreasonably Oversized Knives (a mystery, those if you haven't seen him use them). He's traced out, blue circuit like marking glowing all over him as the Polymorpher enhances his strength to carry said Unreasonable weapons.

"Anything in particular I should be on the lookout for, or are we just sending a message?" Already Jericho is probing for computer networks and cell phones to be turned against their owners.

-

"Nope." Quick answer to the question about collateral damage; let it rip. "Keep yah eyes peeled for people hitting de floor. Dere our friendlies, we need dem alive when dis all shakes down."

The cloud soars up and into the sky, disappearing into the shadow of night.

-

A grenade launcher isn't a weapon of precision or subtlety. But Jericho's not planning on using it long. Knives and tech are his tools for things like this, so the rifle is only for making an impression and drawing eyes off Shift long enough for him to start making a mess of his own. The strength-enhanced cyborg kicks the front gate open (literally) ripping one of the gate-halves off it's hinges and without battlecry or preamble, procedes to light up the entire front of the building with frag munitions. There, that oughta do for ringing the bell.

-

All of the commotion is promptly drawn toward the front of the building, where Aspect is fragging the place to hell. This provides Shift with the cover he needs to re-form upon the rooftop between two men who stand guard beside a helicopter. They're taken by surprise by a man appearing out of smoke, which is all Shift needs. A few well aimed punches, and the men are on the ground. One of them is disarmed, and dispassionately, Shift puts silenced bullets right between each of their eyes. He has a feeling they're gonna need that helicopter, and corpses make terrible guards.

-

The blue glowing man reloads as he races toward the front door, wielding the grenadle launcher like it were a light rifle. As he approaches the building front and any visible targets get another round of 35mm hell before he slings the weapon. There's a bright flash and an instant later where there was a ordinary sized human there is now a seven and a half foot tall werewolf made of blue light. Wielding some… well in its huge hands, the knives look less unreasonably sized.

That is what hits the front door, shoulder first with a snarl. Anyone inside is going to wish in short order that they were not unless they're packing something very special.

-

The moment Jericho is through the front door, two thugs hit the floor, their hands over their heads. Friendlies! The message comes through via some borrowed nanites embedded into Aspect's circuitry. The ones hitting the floor. They will fight for you, they're ours.

Shift, of course, is already well aware of this development. As he makes his way into the building from above, he leaves those hitting the floor alone, instead opting to adopt his hardened phase. Knives, bullets, fits, heads, they bounce off his body as he mows through his opponents, one after the other. His lips are curled into a vicious snarl, teeth gnashing as his work leaves a trail of broken bodies and blood behind him.

The Triad is responsible for global operations. It's time to find someone, anyone, who seems to be in charge.


Bistro La Galante — Gotham City

Ignoring Steve, Midnighter turns to Vorpal. "Get us there." It's quicker and he doesn't want to have to chase a car. That's not quiet.

-

"On the double." Vorpal replies. There's a Rabbit Hole opening right in front of both of them with a view of the front of the Bistro. It's a little steep, but since Vorpal has to be able to see his destination, this is the closest they can get. It is a jump- but Midnighter seems to be a crazily skilled vigilante and Vorpal was… well, a cat. What was a bit steep for other people was a piece of cake to them. He snarls. "Son of a bitch is getting away… let's get this done!" He leaps through the Rabbit Hole- but not before placing a ten foot wall, glowing and purple, right in front of that SUV. Call it getaway deterrent. Then he leaps through the hole after Midnighter.

-

Ear to the comms..

A flurry of darkness and shadow…

One woman can leap a couple of buildings in a single bound..

With a good run and jump.. that is..

-

The SUV peels off, only to have a glowing, purple wall appear in front of them. "SHHHHII—!" the driver cries, before the SUV positively slams into the wall, rocking everyone inside of it.

The men inside, including Timo Galante, are momentarily disoriented.

-

Leaping through the hole, Midnighter curses as the car starts to take off. Or… maybe not since it runs into a wall. Pulling out two parts of his staff, one for each hand, he runs after the now stopped car and then leaps, a foot crashing through the rear window of the SUV shortly followd by the rest of him. The metal rods crush skulls and throats, only sparing Galante who escapes with a mere concussion once he wakes up.

-

Since his powers must stay focused on keeping the wall from vanishing, the Cheshire resorts to his Black Tiger Fist training as he lands, rolls and leaps to his feet to attack. His attacks are not lethal, but his muscular strength combined with the explosive style provide an effective combination when paired with his feline agility. Still, Midnighter takes care of most, with the Cheshire taking those who are not in the immediate disaster area that is Midnighter.

-

A sudden quiet falls upon the streets outside of Bistro La Galante. There could have been dozens upon dozens of reinforcements coming in… instead? Nothing. It would seem that our vigilantes have Timo Galante in their clutches. Except…

There, upon the dashboard, is a GPS device. It's keyed in to Pierce Tower, down in Old Gotham.

-

The Cadmus boys are quick. While Midnighter makes quick work of the goons, Seoul, pulls the door away with little fanfaire to reach in and grab Galante from the wreckage. A hand lifts from Seoul as the other joins, his hand phasing in and out, attempting to reach into the mans chest to snuff the life out of the man..

"Stop." Is heard from Waller in the distance, her voice echoing through the empty streets, the perfect accoustics for authority.

King joins the rest of the crew, looking around, a little bit restless.. he wanted more blood.

-

Climbing over a corpse, Midnighter gets out of the SUV then reaches in to drag the dead driver out of his seat and lets him drop to the ground. He gets in behind the wheel and looks over the GPS device. "They were headed to Pierce Tower. Do we drive or…" He looks to Vorpal.

-

"I have to see where I am going in order to open a rabbit hole… I can create a chain of them to take us there but it would be like riding a roller coaster… It made Green Arrow upchuck…" Vorpal looks at the man.

-

Seoul slides Galante into the back seat of the car, unharmed and unconscious.

There was no sign of Waller, just a voice in the backdrop.

"We're done here boys." She calls out. "Lets roll."

The boys relax, fixing their suit coats and walks off into the distance, idly chitter chattering of nothing.


Rockdale Solutions — Gotham City

"Now I just have to wait about seven minutes and I'll…. Oh. It's already done?" Green Arrow doublechecks to make sure that he has, in fact, gotten everything that he requires before removing the device. A backup copy has already been sent to the Arrowcave, obviously, and is already being combed through by the crack team of tech experts that he employs in his never-ending battle against injustice and crossbows.

With the device tucked safely away in one of his pockets, he hightails it back to the large hole that he made in multiple stories of the building. A quick arrow shot later, and he's rapidly ascending to the top floor, propelled by the grappleline. "Looks like I've got to do everything tonight…" Normally he'd complain quite a bit more, but as he's running as fast as his legs will take him back to his zipline, he doesn't quite have the lung capacity for more bitching.

On his way to the zipline, he meets up with Huntress, and together they make the descent, splitting up when they reach the ground.

-

Splat sets himself on the ground. He's not really experienced here and falls face first into the dirt. "Ow." He rubs his face and looks around. There's nobody down here. Where the hell is he supposed to go? He can't see Arrow or Huntress from here and looks to the heavens,"Well?"

-

Huntress and Arrow alight upon the ground, not far from Splat but at an angle where the building prevents them from seeing each other. Inside of that building, the freight elevator finally hits the Lobby level. A soft chime sounds, and the doors open.

GET DOWN.

The voice from the communicators comes a hair before a fiery eruption engulfs the elevator, blowing the doors free and mangling the car. Ancillary explosions rip through the building's lobby, blowing glass and steel all over the place. Huntress is struck in the forehead by a wayward chunk of mangled cement, knocking her out for a while.

-

Unfortunately, Huntress isn't the only one who takes a bit of building shrapnel. Green Arrow gets peppered with pieces of gravel as he gets down barely in time. A bit of blood trickles down the side of his face as he gets back up on his hands and knees. "Gah! My friggin' ears…." He sticks a gloved pinkie in one of his ears as if trying to unclog it "This is the last time I tag along on one of your jobs. It's all cat-puppets, robots, and now tinnitus. From now on we're… H?"

Green Arrow notices the unconscious body of the Huntress lying off to the side, and suddenly he's up on his feet. "Wake up, come on…" He checks for a pulse, and only when he finds one does he seem to leave panic mode.

As he carries her in his arms down the alley toward where he stashed the bike, he can't help but bemoan his luck. "Just when I thought I was going to get to nab the bad guy too. Hope they got whatever they need off this drive."

"God, you really are getting heavier."

-

Splat might be a walking tank but an explosion of that magnitude sends him flying into a nearby car where he makes a dent in the thing, totally crushing the hood and slagging the engine. A car alarm begins to complain. "Ship!" He begins to panic. "CRAP! CRAPcrapcrapcrap." He's about to soar up into the air and away from all this before he gets any more electronic messages.


Lucky Hand Mansion — Gotham City

Jericho blinks as Rant's nanites light up his HUD, projecting a map onto his display. That's handy. Good thing that tech's compatible. Probably helps that he's the one who reprogrammed them. The knife armed wear-wolf steps over the prone thugs and takes a rush from a blade wielding, very angry man. The sword bounces off the powerfield moments before a backhand sends him through a door about ten feet away. From the opposite side small arms fire begins to ping off his protection. Damn, these guys are good. Smart, well organized ambush. Too bad MP-5's just aint gonna cut it here. A table silences them rather quickly as the wolf lopes into what increasingly looks like a maze.

-

"Must be why dey call it de Triad," Kwabena murmurs. Every time he turns a corner, it seems as if there are three hallways, making it difficult for him to pick. He has no technological frontier, either, which means he's running blind. That is, of course, until he busts the face of a thug who carries with him a radio. Snatching up the radio, he raises it to his face and merely says, "Rant."

Suddenly, the radio is zeroed in on the channel shared between Rant and Aspect. "I'm getting lost in here," he reports. "Where de fuck—"

Suddenly, both men are interrupted by another mechanical voice. SHIT. Aspect, Shift. It's a bluff, Triad's a bluff. So is Galante. Head across town, to Pierce Tower.

Shift skids to a halt, ignoring the thugs who are converging upon him. He clutches that radio with hands made of super-solid, obsidian-like blackness and comms to Aspect, "You know how to fly a choppah?"

-

"As it happens…" Is the reply. Jericho does in fact know how to fly all kinds of choppers. Part of being in SOAR. He's in the middle of relieving a pair of very determined men of their very large guns. Someone got the memo that regular small arms weren't gonna work and these guys had busted out the anti material rifles. Well, they had been those. Now each one has been split in two by his knives shortly before their owners are flung bodily down the hallway to impact the opposite wall with the crunch of bones. The hacker snorts, his eyes gleaming. There's a part of him that wants to just stick around and make these idiots suffer. Surely, they deserve it. With some effort he yanks his mind out of that place. "On my way up. What are we dealing with?"

-

Shift finds himself in a similar state; too long of a period in his hardened phase and he tends to go into something of a bezerker rage. His fingers are twitching by the time the mutant flesh has softened to its normal nature, and he looks from side to side, tempted to go back at it. But, they had a job to do, and an overseer directing their actions. "Shit," he hisses, before spinning about and backtracking at full speed. "Rant," he quips into the radio. "What's de word? What's going on at Pierce?"

Pietrovich is making a clean getaway. Vladimir Pietrovich. He's one of Odessa's biggies. Galante was making a break for Pierce, and the Triad's a bluff. GET TO PIERCE TOWER.

Midtown. It's quite the distance, but they do have a helicopter…

-

"You don't have to tell me twice." Jericho mutters. Headed back out the front door he simply drops his werewolf field, sprouts wings and hurls himself up to the roof. Hopefully by the time Shift gets there he'll already have the bird spun up and ready to go.

"If you can give me a location we'll try to intercept him enroute." He calls into the radio frequency. It's odd. Looks like he's talking to thin air, since he doesn't have any visible gear.

"Otherwise we'll have to arrange a welcoming party at the tower itself. Assuming we can beat him there." Which… maybe not.

-

Shift emerges from the mansion upon the rooftop entryway, just as the helicopter's rotors wind up. Stand by, the comm is answering while the Ghanaian climbs in and buckles himself into the co-pilot's seat.

"I'm sahprised she didn't make some 'get to de choppah' refer—" Shift starts to murmur.

Shut it, smoke boy. says the comm.

Shift closes his mouth, frowning, sharing an annoyed look with Aspect, before sitting back. "Guess we know where de next stop is."

-

"Yep. Hang on to your mask there Shift." Jericho says as he lifts the chopper up and turns it in the direction of Pierce Tower. "I don't plan on following the FAA rules for this.

He's serious. The path he takes is direct but he never gets enough altitude to get over the truly big buildings. He's got to stay low enough that they can make the SUV if they see it. So the flight is full of juking and steering around this high rise and that skyscraper. It's bumpy, to say the least.

-

Smirking, Shift reaches up to grasp hold of a handlebar, preparing himself for the ride of his life.


Scene Merge: Rockdale Solutions — Gotham City

Vorpal and Midnighter, in possession of Timo Galante's SUV, have made haste for Pierce Tower in Old Gotham, where the Odessa Mob runs their trafficking operation out of the Rockdale Solutions space. However, as their SUV draws to a distance within a block of the tower, the unthinkable happens.

A series of fiery explosions, clearly a skilled demolitionist at work, cascades throughout the lobby of that building. Fire, shrapnel, and shattered glass flies everywhere, but interestingly enough, there is no structural damage. Just a lot of fire, a lot of bent steel, and a lot of screaming people.

Huntress took a nasty hit to the head, prompting Green Arrow to make for a quick escape with her in his arms.

As the explosion rips through, a helicopter comes screaming in from the skies above. Inside it are Aspect and Shift, the latter of which is holding on for dear life; the helicopter is clearly not following FAA rules.

"Wait." Shift leans forward, and points. "DERE!"

Below, coming from a tunnel into the sublevels of Pierce Tower, is an entourage of vehicles. SUVs, blacked out sedands, and a dozen or more motorcycles in escort. You see, Vladimir Pietrovich wasn't killed in the explosion… thanks to a trap door that had been installed in the express elevator's flooring.

-

"Hang on!" The angle the helicopter banks at as Jericho swings it around in pursuit of the motorcade is definitely not in the recommended flight tolerances for that aircraft and it's only the ex-commando's skill at such things that keeps it in the air at all.

"You got any ideas for stopping them other than me setting this thing down right in front of them, now would be the time to tell me." Because they're coming up on the point of no return reall fast.

-

The building Galante was going to explodes. Vehicles, some of which could be ane xact copy of the one they are in belonging to the mob boss, are fleeing like rats. It doesn't take a genius. Then again, he could be wrong. Being wrong never bothered him. "Take Galante out of here." Midnighter says and floors the gas pedal. Whoever is in those cars is not going to get away until he has a chance to find out who they are and ask some questions.

-

Vorpal nods, grabbing the unconscious man. "I'll keep radio contact, let me know what you need. " A rabbit hole opens, and the cat and the mafioso are gone, appearing at the other side of the street.

-

Splat is unsure how to proceed. He doesn't know these folks but he does know there are bad guys around. He unslings the Griv Gun and waits patiently for a target to present itself.

-

Shift is holding on for dear life, his fingers tightening, flesh hardening, leaving dents in the seat where G-Forces push him back, and dents where his fist is curled around that handlebar. But, he's certainly not out of ideas. "Tracker." His free hand goes out, snatching a tracking device that Jericho hands him. "Let 'em go," he growls against the G-Forces. "Dey'll lead us right to de source."

Then, with a fierce heave of boot against seat, Shift goes crashing right through the side door of that helicopter. He's got to trust that Aspect can put it down, gracefully or not, without killing himself or anyone else in the process. As for Shift, he's on a deadly beeline right towards that motorcade.

A few moments before striking, however, the Ghanaian's body transforms into a flying gathering of black, gaseous tendrils. Somewhere amidst the roiling cloud, a tracking device is held, its vector captured by the passage of the smoke itself. Aerodynamics demand that the cloud burst around the cars of the motorcade, updraft keeping it from going undertire. And there, amidst the confusion, a tracking device is left behind in the wheel well of a black sedan.

Vorpal manages to escape with Timo Galante in his clutches. Midnighter is hell bent on a course to intercept the motorcade, which serves to distract them from being bugged. And Splat, well. He may not be doing much of anything, but it's good that this haphazard group of vigilantes have someone looking out for them, even if Richard Dackleman's collective thuggery seems to have scattered to the winds.

-beep- -beep- -beep- -beep- -chiriririririrrrrppp!-

The mysterious voice comes over all of the comms. Positive Track. Disengage! Disengage!

-

The chopper tilts back the other way as Jericho suddenly has to compensate for the 'shift' of weight in the aircraft and the loss of one of the doors. He does manage to veer off though, aiming to set the stolen bird down near the flaming wreck of what had been the Pierce Tower.

Um. Is that a purple cat? Isn't there a poem about those?

No wait. That was a cow.

-

Disengage? Damn it. Slamming on the brake, Midnighter cuts the wheel and brings the SUV to a halt, watching as they drive away. He wasn't going to intercept; he was going to ram. "You better be able to follow them." He's constitutionally against letting criminals escape when he could have stopped them.

-

The Cheshire manifests binding ropes around his captive, and watches as a helicopter sets down nearby. He'd say something flippant … but he'd seen people killed. It wasn't something he was unfamiliar with- but it wasn't easy. It wasn't as hard as it otherwise could be: he reminds himself of what these people are guilty of.

The a Midnighter was exactly what they had coming to them. He gives a perfunctory wave to the pilot

-

Splat is…a bit whiplashed. Did he help? Did they stop the bad guys? He's almost tempted to ignore the talky talk voice and just smash but…he's new. And he doesn't want to look STUPID. God he hates that….so instead he just…walks off. After all, zooming out of here at gravitic speed would be..you know..visible. He decides to run though cause of the last time the building exploded and then runs along another one vertically, putting more distance between him and it.

-

The motorcade makes their escape, conveniently unimpeded by GCPD, thanks to the team's mysterious, electronic benefactor and her mastery over traffic signals and police radios. Shift is a tumbling ball of black smoke when he reforms, tumbling end over end in his human form before finally flattening out, sprawled out on his back, the uniform offering drag until he comes to an inglorious halt. There, he watches as their quarry gets away.

Hopefully, it will lead them to the source; the person, people, or machine responsible for manufacturing the smooth.


Saturday, September 27th. 6:49 AM

Alliance, Ohio

"Falzoni, Falzoni." Richard Dackleman approached the chemist, his face positively gleaming. "Five hundred pounds in one day." He shook his head, clearly impressed. "I gotta say, I didn't think you had it in you."

It's been little over a month, but Dr. Pablo Falzoni is barely recognizable to what he once was. Gaunt, scarred, beaten, missing clumps of hair, sickly. Driven. That's the one thing that stood out with a man who seemed inches from death; he was driven. Driven to perform, to succeed, and he nodded his head shakily to every word Dackleman spoke.

"If this concoction works, we will be in possession of the most guaranteed money making item in the world." Dackleman stood proudly, though his eyes were mad with goldlust. "The most potent. Capable of completely wiping out mutation side effects for six hours, with deadly withdrawal side effects." He laid a hand upon Dr. Falzoni's boney shoulder, drawing a nervous jump from the once Good Doctor.

As for Dackleman, he felt virtually dizzy with the prospect of his accomplishment. "With this drug… they'll be squaring up at the county line just to get a sniff on the wind."

A deep, dark wind blew across the small, old factory town of Alliance, Ohio that morning. Her breath sighed painfully through the trees, cooing in disgrace around the buildings, and cast a chill into the bones. But as for Richard Dackleman, he saw nothing more than gold.

With a vicious shove, he pushed Dr. Falzoni back into his pit; a hatch in th earth revealing a massive, underground laboratory.

"Get back to work!"

Epilogue

Gotham Gazette

Sunday, September 28th

Last night, a series of explosions rocked the lower levels of the Pierce Tower in Old Gotham. This 58-story building houses a number of corporations, including the Brigham-Young-Stanley Law Office, Rockdale Solutions, Avon Ley Health Alliance, and Fernley Construction.

The explosion took place shortly after 11:45pm last night. Gotham Police and Fire Divisions are still in the dark as to why police and fire alarms were non functional, as initial forensic reports show that no tampering was done to their systems, and there is no evidence that the Civil Networks were hacked. By the time the authorities were notified of the explosion, the ground floor and first tower level were ablaze. Gotham Fire Department was able to quell the blaze, but initial reports are clear; this was arson.

No suspects are currently named and the investigation will continue.

In other news, gang related violence took a spike last night at both the popular Otisberg restaurant, 'Bistro La Galante', and around a sizable mansion in Chinatown. The Gotham Gazette can't help but wonder; how much longer will the city withstand these wars between the Italian and Chinese mobs?


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