The Batman: Downfall Ch. 03byDriftWood75©
Rooftops of Gotham, Saturday 10pm
She had expected that there would be a thrill in what she was doing but not this much! Barbra Gordon swung through the air, landing in a tight role on a flat roof and unfurling with a little finesse that the suit allowed her. She could hear the police sirens behind her a few blocks away no doubt pulling up to the sight of two muggers unconscious and tied up. Barbara took a deep intake of breath holding it for three seconds then letting it out in a shuddering release as she tried to calm herself down. She moved to the edge of the roof and looked down at a busy Saturday night in Gotham she knew she should be down there living it up like the other young go getters as far as her dad knew that was exactly what she was doing right now.
Batman had not been seen for two weeks, well atleast the real Batman. The police were currently doing their best to deal with the shocking death of three wannabe Batman's, all gunned down by over eager cops. She had heard her dad on the phone telling whoever was on the other end how the cops were trying to bag a big reward by the Falcone family instead they all ended up losing their jobs and facing criminal charges. The crime families were running the town now that The Bat had disappeared.
Barbara stood up straight and adjusted the straps on her outfit. The Kevlar had bruised her all over the first night she was out, her breasts had been painful mounds to touch (she had a fleeting thought and blushed beneath her mask) she could barely walk when she had awoken the next day, but as the nights went on she had found her inner strength and now she hardly noticed the weight that surrounded her. By day Barbara Gordon ran the public library with shocking rigidity that had surprised all her employees with her young face but brutal mind. By night she became Batgirl, a name she loathed the moment she had heard it.
Channel five news had coined the term the second night they had caught a fleeting glimpse of her on camera, every other news agency pounced on it and the name quickly stuck. Barbara had not given the thought of name much breathing space, though she had atleast expected something along the line of Bat-woman, Night claw or something of equal magnificence. But she was not surprised that it had taken a man to take her down a few notches to that of simply being a 'girl'. It could have been worse she knew, one reporter had dared to call her 'The Bat-chick'.
Now Batgirl longed for a hot shower and some downtime, there was no work tomorrow but she needed to catch up on her sleep if she were to be back out on the evening. Her first night out had ended with an unexpected side effect, she had gotten home, thankfully her dad was working the evening so sneaking into the Police commissioners house dressed as batgirl was far easier. She was still buzzing from the high that came with the endangerment of her life on the streets of Gotham, in her room she had started to remove her outfit, swat suit cut up and patched together to form a tunic and miniskirt combination (she hated it but it gave her ample movement) the suit clunking on the ground around her feet. That was when she had caught herself in the full length mirror, Barbara had actually gasped at the masked spectre that had greeted her. A mask made of an old helmet and bits of cloth with pointed ears, and ending on the tip of her nose covered most of her face, though her red hair cascaded out from beneath it. Black leggings covered her from toe to waist and her top half was bare. Her first test run of the suit had brought her the result that a bra was more constricting than she could deal with and had consigned that part to the bin.
Bruises, faint for now were blooming on her torso and arms. The carjacker had gone for her without hesitating, his first few blows had sent her stumbling backwards before she had found her feet and her courage and knocked him out flat with a punch followed by a round house kick. It was this thought again that made Barbara feel odd. She reached up and cupped her pert breasts her breath cutting short as she felt the soreness in them, but that only added to the giddy feeling that was emanating from her. She had fled the scene even as the old man thanked her again and again for stopping the carjacker, she thought she was being chased by someone her breathing was that heavy in her ears. Now that breathing was coming from her again and it was unmistakable now as it was then, Barbara Gordon was turned on and desperate.
She had stood in front of the mirror, leggings about her knee's one hand plunged between her legs another playing with her hard nipples and sore breasts. It had not taken long, her hand had found her pussy wet and her labia swollen her finger slipping in easily within a minute of frantic working she orgasmed loudly, falling to her knees as her finger refused to slow its pace. The second time, she had gone slow and lasted five minutes before falling into an exhausted sleep.
Barbara shook the thought from her head, she was embarrassed by that first time but had she not continued every night since, even with her dad only a couple of rooms away she had bitten her pillow and let her fingers play with her charged body. She had expected that there would be a thrill in what she was doing but not this much!
Gotham General Hospital, 10:03pm
Jim had told the duty nurse who he was about two minutes after she had argued he could not go see the patient, "Visiting hours are over, you will have to come back tomorrow, sir." She had said in a stern and loud voice.
Jim Gordon had responded with a stern and louder voice "that's police commissioner to you, ma'am." Her face had paled even the horrendous boil on her chin had gone a different colour as the realisation of who was stood before her took hold. She had mumbled her apology and directed Gordon down the corridor towards a private room near the end.
A small handful of Nurses and tired doctors milled about at this hour of night, up here on this ward the chances of a sudden cardiac arrest or an internal bleed going super nova were rare, so no one needed to be on high alert, just there, just in case. As he made his way down the corridor he spotted another man walking in the opposite direction, Italian suit on a rake thin figure topped by a drawn face and a mess of black hair. The man smiled as they approached, he held out one hand to the Commissioner, "Commissioner Gordon it has been awhile."
Gordon saw the boy in the man in front of him, the thick glasses and greasy skin may have gone but that unsettling gleam in the eye was still there. Gordon refrained shaking the hand of Alberto Falcone it was something he did with all the crime families. "I thought you were off at University?" he responded gruffly.
Alberto looked down at his offered hand then slowly dropped it, his smile going with it, "I finished, full honours, no surprise there. I was up in Gotham visiting my Dad and an old friend here in the hospital." A half smile appeared for a fleeting second as he said the last bit his head nudging to the room at the end of the corridor.
'Ballsy bastard' Jim thought, he gritted his teeth then replied, "Is that so?"
Alberto winked and pushed past Gordon, "See you around Commissioner." He said over his shoulder. It had not taken the crime families long to start getting their guys back out on the streets in force, yet another headache for Jim Gordon, he was just thankfully the Joker had not shown his hand yet. Now seeing Alberto, Jim could only guess at when the family wars would spill out onto the streets.
Harvey Bullock was sat up in his bed when Gordon entered the room the heavy set man looked annoyed and mashed the buttons on a television remote in one hand. Bullock's skin was still an unhealthy colour with blisters spreading out across his forehead and cheeks, "Evening Harvey." Gordon said pulling up a chair next to the bed.
"I was wondering when you would be visiting me," Bullock dropped the remote control, happy for the time being for a soft drink commercial to run its course. "Had your hands full it seems."
"Just a little bit," Gordon chuckled, "They tell you I kept calling them every day?" From the moment Harvey Bullock had arrived at the hospital Gordon had called for progress reports, he may not like the man much but he was still an officer of the law, one that was sometimes damn good at his job. Harvey nodded in response, "I would have come sooner but you've seen the news." Harvey responded with a 'pfft' sound from his cracked and sore lips. Gordon bit back his anger, "How's Alberto Falcone doing?"
Harvey turned his head and finally faced Gordon. His eyes were yellow and sore looking and wept constantly, "How would I know?" He asked gruffly, almost like an insolent child would and Gordon smiled to himself at how easy Harvey Bullock was to read.
"I passed him in the hallway is all, said he had come to see an old friend." Harvey shrugged at this. As dumb as Harvey seemed to be, he had kept his involvement with the Falcone family tightly sealed. For the last ten years Gordon had dug and dug only to find nothing that could be used to implicate the man.
It was the next response that stunned Gordon. "I'm done with all that," Harvey said and absently wiped at his eyes. Gordon realised that the tears were not due to the state of his eyes, Harvey Bullock was actually crying, he had just done something that had taken more courage than Gordon had thought the man had. "Takes a near death experience to realise what sort of shit you have done in this world."
"Atleast you're still in this world and can try and clean it up." Gordon did not want to push the man, this was a damn near confession but one that could never be used in court or uttered again outside of this room Gordon had decided.
Bullock nodded, "What little time I have left." He gave a resigned sigh and began clicking through channels. The silence dragged out between them until he stopped on a news story, the volume was low but both men could make out what had happened to the two dazed and confused muggers on the screen, "Looks like Batman's lost his balls but grown a set of tits."
Gordon rubbed his forehead, the Batman situation had gotten out of hand fast, three civilians had died within the first five days, all dressed up as Batman. Seeing fellow officers being cuffed and charged had taken the eagerness out of the rest of them to shoot on sight. It had sent a hard message too, that Commissioner Gordon was still in charge. Now a new worry had hit the streets in the shape of a woman running about as Batman. They had named her Batgirl and she was becoming a hot news item as she filled the two week disappearance of Batman one of the more positive aspects for Jim Gordon was that the mayor had no idea how to handle her. "She's going to get herself killed," Gordon said.
"She will do if the Joker gets his hands on her, that guy is playing it cool letting the crime families free reign until they kill one another,"
"He's insane not stupid. He knows Batman is still alive and when he hits the streets he will deal a world of hurt on them and Joker will just ride in and make a killing." Jim would deal with that maniac at a later date.
"We need these vigilante freaks off the streets Gordon, let us good cops do our jobs." Gordon bit his tongue at the way Bullock spoke. "You need to sign me off the registrar and let me get back to my job."
Gordon shook his head, "Hold on Bullock, you almost died and don't forget if it wasn't for one of those vigilante freaks you would have been dead. You are on leave with full pay until the doctors give you an all clear."
Harvey folded his arms, swearing under his breath. He closed his eyes and Gordon could see his lips moving as he counted to ten. "Fine but Batman hasn't won himself any medals or a get out of jail card with me."
"If you say so Bullock, but you are going to have to try and find him like the rest of us. Batman has officially disappeared off the face of the earth."
Wayne Manor, Sunday 6:00pm
Bruce sat in his study behind his father's old desk. His laptop hummed to itself as he stared intently at a small black box that was open in the bottom right of the screen, a white cursor flashing off and on repeatedly inside the box. This little box was currently the world to Bruce Wayne and with it he could discover Poison Ivy's real intentions, but for now it refused to open no matter how much he stared at it.
Bruce had flown down to Porto Areta a few days after his little restaurant talk with Barbara Gordon, he had a meeting with Axis Chemicals head Honcho Carlos Cesar Constance. The Axis Chemicals Corporation building dominated the cities sky line much like Wayne Enterprises on headquarters. The air conditioning within the building brought blessed relief to the scorching heat of the Brazilian sun. Bruce was ushered through security with minimal fuss and was directed to a private lift that took him directly to Constance's office.
Bruce waited patiently in the lobby outside the office, no windows and no clocks which meant Bruce spent his time staring at the folder in his lap or at the dark haired secretary who sat behind a slick desk, one minute speaking English the next fluent Cantonese or Russian. Bruce was impressed by her grasp of the languages and also her stunning good looks.
After about forty minutes the secretary stood up from her desk and beckoned Bruce to follow her to the large oak double doors. She opened them and allowed Bruce to go through before closing them with him on the other side. Carlos Cesar Constance stood with his back to a large floor to ceiling tinted window that made up the rear wall of his office the sun was balanced perfectly behind his head creating a halo of golden light around him and his white suit. Bruce admired the theatrics of it all even if he had been made to wait forty minutes for the sun to be in just the right place!
Constance unfolded his arms and walked around the long desk extending one hand, "Mr Wayne it is an honour to finally meet you," He gripped Bruce's left hand squeezing firmly, Bruce squeezed back just a bit harder smiling inwardly as the man grimaced slightly, "Our paths were bound to meet up sooner or later. Broken arm?" The man's black hair was plastered to his skull his bronze skin almost blemish and wrinkle free.
"Polo accident, it's just dislocated, but doctors' orders." Bruce indicated the sling around his neck.
"I hardly have time for family, let alone recreation." Constance retorted and headed back around his desk, sitting down in a high backed leather chair, he motioned for Bruce to take the seat opposite the table, not surprising to Bruce it was shorter so that one had to look up to Constance. "I was surprised and intrigued by your request to see me, most people don't get this luxury but you, you require personal attention." The man knew how to berate an ego then stoke it back to life.
Bruce slid the manila folder he had carried onto the desk, "Wayne Enterprises is looking to expand this year and Axis got my attention with some of your recent research."
Constance flipped open the folder, he noticed the USB stick stuck inside a plastic pocket next to a long winded manifest, he closed the folder without looking at the rest of the pages. "Mr Wayne, Bruce we are men of business we can dance all afternoon without exchanging any real information. So let us be real men of business and speak openly, what research and what do you propose?"
"Over the last three years Axis has been expanding its research into nature and its possible biological agents in the use of toxic chemicals and agents and more importantly how these natural elements can combat the more deadly toxins to man and the world we live in." Bruce spoke openly, hell his opening statement in the folder was what he had just said almost word for word. "Wayne enterprises want to help fund further research."
Constance nodded slowly mulling over what he had just heard, with one hand he opened the folder again and lazily flipped through pages of facts and figures. Finally he spoke, "Twelve years ago you opposed the Chemical plant in Gotham City, you were quite vocal if I remember rightly," Bruce nodded, it would hardly help to lie at this moment. "You spoke openly about the evils of Axis and what it would do to the wildlife and human habitants of Gotham. The plant opened anyway," Constance grinned, his bleached teeth gleaming white as his lips parted. "Now here you are and wanting to give me money too."
"I still believe the Chemical plant was a bad idea, a lot of what Axis does is not good...but the research that's going on, that can make a difference." Bruce stood up and leaned on the desk, "This is about making things right, I could not stop the plant but if I could help research cleaner options."
Constance let out a laugh, "Change the company from the inside you mean." Bruce nodded. Constance stood up and turned to the window, "I grew up on those streets Bruce, that harbour you can see in the distance that was my home. You slept with one eye open I can tell you, I scratched a living selling what I could in between school and the daily beatings from my father. I put myself through college, then through University." He turned to look at Bruce, "This Company was not gifted to me, I had to fight tooth and nail to be where I am right now and I will not give this company up."
"I'm not asking for the company," Bruce interjected but Constance gave a loud single laugh.
"No? Only shares, perhaps a third maybe a little bit more? Yes? Then what a few phone calls or meetings with this shareholder or that shareholder and the next board meeting I have, you are sat there in your designer suit and smug, arrogant smile. How long then before private meetings are held and my job is discussed, perhaps profit margins discussed as well and maybe how under Wayne Enterprises Axis could become something else, something more."
The man was delusional all Bruce wanted was the virus on the USB stick to be downloaded into the server so he could get at the local files. It made Bruce sick to think that he would have to give Axis any sort of money, but in Constance's business money talked and opened doors. "You have me wrong by all accounts; I don't care about Axis only its research and a better world for all. You have my proposal and a copy on the USB stick. I would recommend reading it and sharing it with your board, this company could be a market leader in a few years with my backing."
Constance picked up the folder, shook it at Bruce then dropped it in small metal waste bin at the end of the desk. "Good day Mr Wayne," he turned his back and folded his arms behind him, the meeting was over.
If anything Bruce admired the man's honest truth if a little blunt at times but he had taken the direct line and simply put would not be looking for outside money to fund the company's upcoming research ventures it still stung to be rejected. Somehow he still held out hope that the USB stick would find its way into a hard drive within the building, but hours had become days and the chance of it happening was getting slim by the hour.
Bruce's right arm felt tight, his shoulder locked up every now and then or shot a bolt of pain through him as a little reminder as to what had happened. The gunshot wound was healing nicely, if Bullock had aimed a little lower the bullet would not have lodged in his ribcage but would have ripped through his lower intestines. With his now working right arm, he shut down the program and then closed the laptop itself. The news was running on the small television near the fireplace for the time being he watched the screen with the audio muted. An old professor was still missing, more and more felons linked to the city's crime families were being collared for crimes around the city. He raised his eyebrows when the bat sign appeared and the words 'fifteen days' printed in black beneath it. The next article caught Bruce's attention and he lifted the remote hiring the volume, "...more handy work of the vigilante now known as Batgirl," The newscaster said.