"Are you sure about this?
" Alfred says through my earpiece. I've altered it to also become a two way radio, as well as the police scanner that's already been built into it. I figure if I'm dead set on doing this, I should have a link to Alfred in case of the need of a quick getaway.
"As sure as I can be, Alfred,
" I respond.
I've known this would be necessary eventually. I had hoped to put it off for a while, but the recent discovery of a military grade hallucinogen being used in Gotham, it can't be put off.
It's time to butt heads with Oswald Cobblepot, Mayor of Gotham City.
"We all know where his money came from before he was mayor. We know why he's always been so well connected with the mob here,
" I say, as I perch myself on a ledge overlooking the Iceberg Lounge, patrons filing into the nightclub owned by the mayor below me. "A high class weapons dealer doesn't stop because he's mayor.
"But are you ready for this? Your equipment can't handle ballistic weapons. You only have a few smoke bombs and a grapple gun,
" Alfred pleads. "You're out of your league, Bruce.
"The equipment is nothing. The training is everything.
Firing the grapple gun to the other side of the street, I zip over to the lounge's roof, landing quietly above the entrance. From beside me, I hear the heavy footsteps of a guard patrolling the roof.
Cobblepot is nervous.
I kneel and press myself against and HVAC unit, hiding myself from view. As the guard comes by, I spring into him, slamming my palm into his chin, sweeping out the legs, and slam him into the roof, knocking him out.
Reaching into my belt, I remove a special smoke bomb I've created using some household items, and drop it into the same HVAC vent I just used as cover. It won't go off until I set off a detonator on my belt.
I just hope it works like it's supposed to.
The roof access door is open, propped that way by the guard I just incapacitated, I imagine. Gliding silently and carefully down the stairs, I make sure to listen in for any approaching guards, but from the sound of it, the last one was the lone sentry up here.
Slipping onto the darkened catwalks above the club's dance floor, I'm taken aback by the inside. Cobblepot sure knows how to put on a show. A huge, real chunk of ice sits in a makeshift ocean, with penguins swimming in the water. The dance floor surrounds it, and the bar is around that.
Enjoying their time below are Gotham's elite. Only the rich of the rich are able to get in here. A small part in the back of my mind wonders if I'd be down there right now if my parents had survive. What kind of path would I be on now?
Shaking my head and banishing these idle thoughts from my head, I reach for the detonator and press the signal, and a loud, booming thud echoes through the club.
The patrons below stop for a second, wondering whether that was the bass from the speakers, or something more troublesome. That is, until thick clouds of smoke begin pouring from the ceiling and the vents around them. They begin yelling and filing out of the building, leaving only the guards and me.
And the guards know this isn't a fire. Cobblepot doesn't hire idiots.
I've never been here before, but I have to assume Cobblepot's office is the cluster of windows located over the penguin enclosure. One entrance, one exit. And a guard standing pat outside the door as the smoke envelops him.
I fire my grapple at the rail next to him, and swing down, gaining speed as I pass under the platform entrance to the office. I garner enough speed to come completely around the platform, slamming into the guard from the other side, and sending him tumbling into the water below.
The other guards will now be on alert, so I need to be quick.
I go into the office, heading straight for the computer, plugging in a flash drive I worked on at work for the majority of this past week. It should locate Cobblepot's recent business transactions in, hopefully, only a minute or two.
Because that's about all I'll be able to handle with the guards on to me.
The smoke from outside begins to seep into the office, and I slip into it, waiting for the guards to enter. I can hear them coming too. Two of them from the sound of it.
The first one enters and I allow him the pass by me. But I step out behind the second, slamming my fist into his kidney, an area where his bullet-proof vest doesn't protect. His gun discharges, shattering the glass on the opposite side of the office. I kick the gun away, just as the second guard spins around.
Dropping into a roll to dodge his random fire, I throw myself into him, knocking him down and getting the gun out of his dangerous hands. But this guy is strong, and well trained. He throws me off of him, and we both quickly get to our feet.
Unfortunately he gets up quicker. A ham of a fist slams into my face, and then he grabs me in a judo throw and tosses me over his head, and my backs hits a bookcase, my head facing the ground.
I get up and shake the cobwebs out of my head, and get ready for the next barrage from the guard. He speeds towards me, and I realize he's using the smoke just as well as I am at this point.
He throws a well timed punch, but I dodge at the right time and respond with a quick combo that backs him up. As I do, I notice the program has finished running, and I snatch the flash drive and secure it.
But that gives my opponent an opening. A kick comes towards my head, which I manage to fight off, but it backs me up towards the ledge of the office. And the guard presses his advantage, and even begins taunting me, "You're the guy that has the boss so worried? Dunno why.
"Really? Because whoever trained you didn't teach you to account for every variable!
I spin the grapple gun up from my belt and fire it at a metal table past the guard, bringing it speeding towards the two of us. He dives out of the way, while I spring out of the office through the open window, while detaching the magnets from the table, and then fire the grapple back into the catwalks above, then proceed to make my escape.
Oswald Cobblepot tours his club, seething at the destruction the Batman has brought upon it. A guard is fished out of the penguin habitat, hurt but alive. Two others were found unconscious, one on the roof and one in Oswald's office.
But what happened to the office is what really has the mayor angry. The Batman hacked into his accounts. The vigilante now has the weapons deals he's made over the past year.
It's not a threat to his operation yet, as he can begin damage control now, and no one in Gotham would touch him. But if the tide continues in the current trend, it will be a problem sooner rather than later.
"Mister Masters," the mayor calls to the head of his private security. The man was the only one that stood toe-to-toe with the Batman. At least that's what he's said. If it's true, his services were not overblown by the ones that recommended him.
"Yes, sir?" he asks, shaken out of going over the encounter in his head.
"You said you think you could take on the Batman?"
"In a fair fight, yea," he nods. "But he's got some damned gadgets. He's not interested in a straight up fight. I've seen his type before. He works off fear and intimidation."
"Well then...I think we may have to look into leveling the playing field. You're dismissed," Cobblepot waves the guard out of the office before sitting at his desk.
Picking up the phone, he dials an old acquaintance, "Roman. It's Oswald. I think we need to schedule a meeting."