Midnighters Consideration

Summary:
October 15, 2014: Oracle and Midnighter discuss the Meta Human Trafficking

Battergate

Battergate. The very name conjures images of conflict. The area had been, back in the 80's, a fairly nice middle class neighborhood full of apartments, single family dwellings and parks. Lots of parks. A sharp downturn in the early 90's drove a lot of the families away and filled the area with… somewhat less desirable residents. These days, the parks are full of drug dealers, the single family homes have largely been replaced by project housing and gangs rule the streets virtually unchallenged by the overwhelmed GCPD. The place looks a lot like Detroit after a bad bender and a pounding hangover.


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music:


Midnighter has no agenda tonight. There's no crime bosses to kill, thugs to beat up for information, metahuman traffickers to track down. Well, there's actually plenty of them all but he's not actively hunting them down at the moment. Instead, he's across the street from the park, four gangbangers unconscious on the ground at his feet, all of whom have various broken bones and contusions but are still alive. Leaning against a building, he's having a smoke, looted from the jacket of one of the punks.

Oracle has been Midnighters movements since he turned up on her radar at Northpoint. She knows he's part of Stormwatch and she also knows that his method of 'crime fighting' doesn't necessiraly match those of the Bats.

Watching the video feeds from the Clocktower, Oracle is now observing Midnighter after his latest 'crime fighting' encounte, and considers. The flickering of the screens reflect in her glasses and she purses her lips. Nodding, she makes a decision, and entering a series of commands on her console, finally says "Good evening Midnighter, this Oracle." the communication sent directly to Midnighters comm unit.

"Of the Delphic variety or should I call you Cassandra?" Midnighter asks, not showing any visible surprise at the sudden voice in his communicator. "Though if it's the latter, I wouldn't believe you anyway." The benefits of a classical education. "I take it you're the one who was talking to the bat boy at the warehouse?" He could hear Tim's heartbeat; the conversation was even easier to listen to.

Oracles laugh filters through the comm unit "Neither. sorry to disappoint. Yes, I was the one talking to Robin at the warehouse. I thought perhaps, you and I might speak." In the Clocktower, Babs eyes have crinkled in amusement and she sits, relaxed in her chair.

"I can't stop you." Midnighter answers. Which isn't the truth, of course. He could always turn the communicator off or remove it entirely. "Though if you're going to express shock and horror or make threats over how I do my job, I'm going to get bored quickly."

"It's more Robins pace to express shock and horror and I don't make threats." Oracles voice is digitally modified but Midnighter should be able to hear an underlying level of humour. "So, you don't know how to turn your communicator off? Maybe you aren't someone I want to talk to….. However, if that was an attempt at sarcasm, I'll start. I wanted to discuss the meta-human trafficking and see if we might be of mutual assistance to each other. If that's not of interest, I will leave you alone." Oracle watches the man on the video screen, assessing.

"It's of interest." Midnighter says. He blows a cloud of smoke into the air as he watches the park across the street. "It's not something I'm going to let continue. There are few things more vile than slavery, whatever form it takes. What do you know about it?"

"Excellent." The voice across the comms is crisp, business like now and any sense of humour has dissipated. "Direct questions, I like that, for the most part. But if I'm to answer, I expect the same from you." Oracle pauses and let's the silence extend before continuing "I know some, but not as much as I would like. I suspect it is the same for you."

"And I suspect you know more, given how you choose to initiate contact. Have you managed to access the computer files of anything found at the crime scenes?" Midnighter asks. "Your best bet might be the boat."

"The scene was cleaned very well, not much left to analyse" The voice responds - noteably it doesn't say whether they had been able to analyse it BEFORE it was cleaned "The ship files are extensive and I'm still anlysing the information. Getting the data is one thing, making sense of it is entirely something else. More data, like not enough, can be problematic."

There's a slight pause and then "Information we have so far from the ship itself indicate there are three potential locations worldwide the 'product'" and even through the digital disguise the disgust in that word can be heard "is delivered. Personally, I would rather stop the kidnappings before we have to track the shipments."

"It's always preferable to stop things at the source instead of having to clean up after." Midnighter agrees. "If you can find out where that is, I'll go take care of it and then we won't have to worry about any more shipments being made." While Stormwatch can always get that info from the FBI, it's always nice to get independent confirmation.

"If you are offering your services, that will be appreciated. I would prefer that you employed a less lethal force in the pursuit of the activity if you are to work with us." In her tower, her face lit by the green hue from her screens, Oracle grimaces. Sighing, she straightens in her chair and continues "Now, what do you know that I might not?"

"Is that a requirement?" Midnighter asks, watching the glowing tip of his cigarette before flicking the ash off. "Because killing them makes sure they never ruin any more lives ever. And that's the only sure way of making certain that's the case. They decided, knowingly and deliberately, to kidnap people and use them as cattle for… whatever. That deserves death. And especially if they're outside the country, they might escape justice."

"I said prefer, not require" Oracles tone is sharp, even modified as it is. "I don't disagree with you in regards to their motives, but who are we to pass such judgments on an individual basis? However, I won't be drawn on a philosophical debate. You want philosophy, buy me coffee. I would prefer you curb the lethal force however." The tone becomes dry as Oracle continues.

"I will consider your request." One of the thugs starts to stir but Midnighter's boot to the back of his head puts an end to that. "Now, what do I know? Exactly what you just said and nothing more. Stormwatch isn't officially investigating this." Yet, anyway. "This is the FBI's jurisdiction at the moment and I call them in to clean up. There's too big a chance whoever this is has police connections and while there's always that possibility with the FBI too, they aren't the GCPD."

Nodding, Oracle responds "Thank you for your consideration. If you are willing to work together, I will be in touch when I know more. In the meantime, if you wish to get in touch with me, use this address," and a series of details are provided to Midnighter "it will work for you alone." Flicking her eyes to another feed, Oracle sits forward in her chair and frowns "I will assume that you've got those on the ground in hand. I must go. Oracle out."

Taking a last drag, Midnighter flicks the cherry off and steps on it. The butt he puts in his pocket. Littering, bad. "You could say that." he agrees. Minor thugs, all young, still able to make the right choices if given the proper incentive. Which he just provided. Hopefully, he won't need to give them another lesson. "I'll see what else I can find." Collecting the knives, the rams them into the wall point first then snaps off the blades before walking away. It always gives him a warm glow to steer youths toward the proper path.


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