Changing Cohn

Summary:
February 18, 2015: Batman calls members of the Bat Family together to discuss a body that was found in the early hours of the morning

Diamond District - Gotham

South of the Finger River and along the southern portions of Miller Harbor is the Diamond District, the Diamond District is also more commonly known as the Fashion District and to some extent the Financial District (Old Gotham splits this title with it).


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Following the events of February 14th Gotham's Diamond District is quiet. A deadly still has fallen upon the entire section of the city post-Valentine's Day Massacre. The KGBeast, Calendar Man and associated cohorts have all been apprehended, crisis over, right? No. Not quite. Batman insists someone else was behind this.

The 13th floor of One Glove Records a company owned by Wayne Entertainment. It's an empty floor, a floor that is permanently in a state of remodeling. Which means essentially it's a roost, a hideaway for those who work under the banner of the Bat-Family.

It's also the meeting point designated this night. The steady pulse of music is pounding throughout the walls above and below. Surprisingly One Glove Records is focused on rap, hip-hip and the like. Very out of place for the Batman and even Bruce Wayne. The companies headline recently is they signed the rap artist Chiller T and true enough to it he is within the building right now and recording.

Not on this, the 13th floor of course. He is the noise coming from above on the 14th.

***

The Fox arrives a bit more subtly than is his usual. Glowing animals are all well and good for flying high or near deserted city streets and rooftops but a bit less so for occupied and potentially busy buildings. Needless to say the ghostly hawk was kind of out.

He's been busy tonight. Something down by the bay turned a couple of hobos into salt statues. He's fairly sure that, given who they were - the kind who might trade what they saw for a burger - that he's dealing with a ritualist of some kind. He'll have to follow up on that later. The city's been in turmoil since the events of the 14th and he's already seen some pushback from the Aware elements in the underworld. Whatever the Bat wants, he wants to hear it. Especially if it means getting to the bottom of this.

Tonight the Fox his a blade over the shoulder and a weighted chain wrapped around his waist in addition to Logic and Reason. He flips up into the unoccupied floor and takes a look about in the dark.

***

Batgirl is here and waiting, having followed the bouncing ball on her HUD which tends to work better than static maps for the littlest Bat. She's standing in the open, cape draped about her so she looks more like a ghost than person, an amorphous shape with a head and little feet at the bottom. She's not trying to be sneaky, but the way she stands so still makes it easy to overlook her in the matte-black clothing with the bright yellow accents hidden away.

***

Night creatures every single one of them. The Batman takes small ironic amusement watching them all gather to the One Glove nest where inside he stands before a ground based holographic projector that is usually neatly hidden away from view by means of the floor. A special housing there.
This is an easy location to obscure activity inside of as it is constantly producing activity and energy also a lot of noise. It's almost perfect for gatherings like this. The computer being used tosses images in to the air in front of the Caped Crusader, illuminating his masked face, his hand waves in the air scrolling through different scenes, footage, Oracle at any point in time knows she can patch in to this and use it herself. The man expects her to most the time.

***

Ah, the B3, as Kane's come to think of him. The Big Boss Bat. And the little black bat too. She's been scarce though from what he understands that's a normal state of affairs for her. Indeed most of the Bats seem to be solo creatures. The masked woman gets a subtle nod from the Fox as he takes up a position to watch both she and Batman. His body language is easy to read. Aches from a recent fight, suppressed. Curiosity and a hint of nervousness at dealing once again with the mysterious Bat clan and their seemingly endless resources. A glance toward her and a slight tilt of the head in question: What's going on? Seems big.

"On site, Oracle." The Fox murmurs before speaking up. "Got your message. Sounded urgent."

***

Oracle, from her sanctuary in the Clocktower, watches. Watches the team arrive at the location and now, the footage the Dark Knight displays on that terminal. The Fox's update gets a wry smile "Thankyou, Fox, I've been watching."

There's no need for further communications, yet, so she settles back into her chair, tea in hand and waits.

***

Batgirl isn't one to press conversation. She watches the Batman. Watches the footage he scrolls through. The footage is of more interest to her than the static images though even that is better for her than words or writing. As the Fox enters, she tilts him a nod in return and lifts a shoulder. She's not sure of the details. Not that she'd be good at expression them if she did.

***

"Batgirl, Fox, Oracle." Batman greets each of the vigilantes in turn as they arrive. A moment is taken to wave the holographic display of what looked like security footage labeled Nightbird Security Associates Camera 34-D818 in to a lifesize projected body from the GCPD Morgue.
"Photogrammetic Scanner." The Dark Knight explains, "They're installed and hidden inside the Precinct. Saves a trip."
The 3D rendered image is nudged by the flick of two gloved fingers causing it to rotate in the air as if on slow display.

***

The Fox cants his head, slightly, watching the display. He's only ever seen this kind of thing in movies before. Or, well, using ritual and magic but that's the kind of thing that you either have to have a talent for or spend a lot of time setting up. He doesn't typically have either.

The druid's stance shifts slightly as Batman explains how he's pulling the image. Interesting. "So who's the stiff?" His mannerisms and speech do occasionally betray his lower class Gotham upbringing even if they are at odds with the body language of a man who became the Fist of his Circle.

***

Eyes flicking momentarily to another window on her screens, Oracle sends the details of another crime scene to one of her teams on the ground. She'll monitor that and despatch GCPD when it's dealt with.

Returning her attention to the meeting in progress, she smiles grimly. The tech is useful and she knows Batman prefers to run his own game. She remains silent.

***

No one can see the slow, blank blink Batgirl gives at 'Photogrammetic Scanner'. Her arms cross before her, causing the cape to part and bits of her yellow utility belt and the outline of the bat on her chest to peek out. Like Oracle, she says quiet as she waits to see what it is they're looking at. Or probably more correctly, why they're looking at it.

***

"The stiff is Edgar Cohn." Batman replies to Kane, "According to several eye witness accounts and video footage, Mr. Cohn this morning at around 5:38 AM walked out of the Finger River in below freezing weather proceeded to sit down at Big Belly Burger ordered a breakfast burrito, a coffee and then died of brain hypoxia. D.O.A. listed by the police. Now, not entirely impossible a thing to happen. Considering all of what Cohn went through death by those means seems like it should be on the short list… " A fingertap upon the air near the cadaver zooms inwards, enlarges, and enhances a spot of disturbance on the man's flesh. A patch on Edgar's considerably hairy shoulders is missing any hair at all and looks fresh, smooth, like a newborn's skin. Several more of these locations are visible now that one is aware of them, around each 'fresh patch' there is raked, pitted, torn or loose skin flaps.
"Familiar to anyone?" The Dark Knight inquires before stepping away from the image to walk over near the wall. It would appear Chiller T and the recording studio are feeling creative tonight by how much vibration is being produced.

***

Well it's not anything that Kane can think of off the top of his head. Most things that screw with your body on his end don't tend to choke you. And the new skin thing… looks like someone applied a small EKG patch and then ripped it off… and a few layers of skin with it. He shakes his head and glances at the other person present to see if she shows any signs of recognition before looking back to Batman.

***

Accessing the coroners report takes only minutes for Oracle and she quickly reviews it. "He was a snitch who worked for the Penguin. One of the Bat Family sent him to the GCPD over a month ago."

The red head in the Clocktower expression turns even grimmer "The report indicates he was tortured but…. with everything we know about the SRD…." she let's that thought trail. "The marks aren't familiar, but I can guess what they might indicate."

***

Batgirl tilts her head to the side a bit. She's not terribly good at the detective stuff. "Torture?" She says, making a guess. "Electric shock… could cause the hair loss." Though snitches don't usually require a lot of prodding to talk. That's why they're snitches.

***

"Those were my first thoughts as well, basic torture, electricity, a skin condition that could possibly be completely unrelated but I had time to consider outside of that, why would he still be moving around after being almost drowned in sub zero temperature waters like he was. I almost considered the man was an Atlantean even, almost, but we have past records on Cohn. Then I remembered the bizarre DNA markers in CC-CV1. CC-CV1 is a mutagen." Batman turns around and looks at the 3D corpse, "Edgar is moulting."
Moving back over near them he points at security footage: Nightbird Security Associates Office in Old Town Gotham. "Our next target. The Penguin."

***

The Fox raises an eyebrow. "Moulting. That toxin is altering him on that basic a level?" He winces. As a druid Kane is familair with radical physical alterations. He can do 'healings' using similar principles. They hurt. A lot. Depending on what was happening, they might kill.

***

Oracle nods to herself at the question "According to Batmans analysis the toxin, CC-CV1, contains a plant and reptilian DNA splice, it's entirely possibly that Mr Cohn was…. evolving or maybe devolving." It's not good news either way. "Further, the research shows that the toxin blocks the pain receptors. Given that, it's not surprising he survived the cold water." The Penguin certainly seems like the next most logical target and may give the lead necessary to tie Hugo Strange in and disband the whole SRD operation.

***

Batgirl's head cocks to the side a bit. "… Plant?" A lot of the strangeness of the world goes over her head. Plant-people is a bit beyond her experience. Something nags at her, and she pipes up again. "'Is?'"

***

"Pain resistance doesn't ward off hypothermia." The Fox murmurs. "Mutation perhaps but not feeling your death doesn't make you any less dead." He pauses. "The Penguin. Your Robin mentioned him." In an utterly superfluous fashion it's true but there you go.

"Criminal, yes?" Cass's question catches the Fox's attention. "Is?" He blinks, the slight movement of his cloak betraying another shift in stance, this one concerned. Then he catches on. "Wait. Is moulting?" As in, at this time?

He's suddenly reminded that lizards possess remarkable regeneration capabilities. Medical science can already bring people back from death (sometimes. Death having a rather particular medical definition). It doesn't stretch his credulity that fringe science might push harder. There's another shift in his stance that accompanies this. He's gone from 'concerned' to 'worried'.

***

"Yes, a forced sloughing, shedding his epidermis to reveal newer and younger, regenerated skin underneath. These torn and peeled strips are more than likely self inflicted. It's not a natural change so it's not going to be as seamless as one would hope. I imagine if the subject could feel the pain and discomfort he was in, it would be quite intense." Batman's hand comes up underneath his chin, finger curling underneath it as he hears Batgirl's question, "The plant aspect of the mutagen is salvia heliconiaeae or Votura."

"My guess is it acts as a sort of primer for this foreign DNA, the body actually is more accepting of it due to the very nature of Votura and the brain damage caused by side-effects of the plant are actually accelerating the need for the reptilian regenerative functions to operate. It 'wants' to help it's host. That coupled with the hallucinogens salvia heliconiaeae produces and Doctor Venom's mind scanner transmissions… this is a savage and vicious invention. We need to find a way to counter it immediately, an antidote, we'll need someone who knows genetics more than I do, someone familiar with mutant strains like this."

Bruce stops talking there as he looks from face to face pausing as if realizing he'd just talked an awful lot. He had but it is necessary, a blink and he nods, "Oswald Cobblepot, an information broker and all around scumbag, owns the Iceberg Lounge AND Nightbird Security Associates. Both companies Edgar Cohn was known to work for and of course the man himself, you will become quite familiar with him, Fox. Fair warning, don't underestimate the threat he poses. It is considerable but you need to become familiar with all of our… rogues gallery. I want you to approach Penguin and find out what you can. Batgirl will go with you for backup. I am going to try and study CC-CV1, see if I can't decode more of it's secrets." He doesn't include Oracle in that as he knows shes always just a shout away from just about anyone in Gotham or beyond.

***

The fox-masked man nods slowly. This is a bit outside his usual area of expertise but he can investigate. Comes part and parcel with the monster hunter gig. Not all of them just come out to be fought. A lot of them like to hide.

"Sure. I can talk to my Cassandra if you'd like." Greek mythology reference but an apt one. Audrey's epilepsy induced visions frequently aren't helpful and the ones that might be are frequently quite confusing, but she's right often enough that it's worth a shot. "If you think it'll help, that is." He's not sure. Most of the visions she gets are related to the occult, not the criminal. Except when the two overlap.

The Fox glances over to Batgirl. Backup. Right. He's fairly sure that the little black bat could take three of him with her hands tied behind her back. Might take her a while, Kane's no slouch, but still. He's seen first hand how good she is. So it's a bit of a question who is backing up who. She is fairly… quiet, though. There's a slight smile and a tilt of the head. Ready to hunt?

"I assume you'll be riding shotgun, as it were, Oracle?"

***

Batgirls comment has Oracle reviewing the coroners' report again… it says Cohn is quite dead, but still "I'll keep a monitor on that subject, Batman, make sure he stays dead." The redhead grimaces slightly. "Of course, Fox. Just keep that communicator on."

***

There's a slight start from Batgirl at the use of the name, head cocking to one side in an almost birdlike manner. She's mostly confused more than concerned. The only one that regularly calls her Cassandra is Oracle. Batgirl was her first name, really.

Backing up the Fox though, that's something she understands. She's done it for Batman before, giving him the time to talk, ask questions, look into things. The Batgirl gives Fox a single, firm nod. Good to go.

***

"Good plan, Oracle. You're patched in to the Photogrammetic Scanners from your location, you can monitor him from there. " Batman is moving away from Batgirl and Fox to head towards the balcony, "One more thing, it may be unrelated but truthfully doubt that this is just chance, where I see coincidence I see conspiracy and Oswald Cobblepot had the most to lose from a Santini-Inzerillo alliance."
With that said there is a final sound akin to giant wingbeats and the Dark Knight is gone.

***

"Who was that masked man?" The Fox says with dry humor as Batman makes his exit. He tilts his head to Cassandra. Lead on little black bat. He'll try to keep up.

"Oracle we're moving out."

***

"So I can see, Fox." The image of the scanner is moved to the side on Oracles screens, still visible, but no longer forefront. She'll keep an eye on it, as she monitors the rest of the city.


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