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Old 02-24-2011, 09:33 PM   #101
Byrd Man
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"Flass actually had the stones to chew out Morris Jones?"

I listen to Sarah's reply from the other side of the phone.

"Well, he and Grogan need to realize that beating on people won't make the crime down. You make people fear for their job, they get sloppy. That's when you get mistakes and crime might actually go up."

"Daddy," Barbara announces as she comes into the room. "Umm...somebody's here for you."

"Thanks, sweetie. I gotta go, Sarah."


I hang up and follow Barbara into the living room...where a familiar masked man waits outside the window.

"Spider-Man."

I could use his real name, but he probably wouldn't like me doing that while he's in his suit.

"What brings you down south to Gotham?"

It's not often a superhero from New York comes to town, and it's even more stranger when said superhero happens to show up at his ex-girlfriend's house.

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:05 PM   #102
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"Spider-Man."

I could use his real name, but he probably wouldn't like me doing that while he's in his suit.

"What brings you down south to Gotham?"

It's not often a superhero from New York comes to town, and it's even more stranger when said superhero happens to show up at his ex-girlfriend's house.
"Business," I respond, and then look around at a sudden noise behind me. It's just a cat, but still, "Mind if I come in?"

"Not at all," Gordon responds, and Babs opens the door.

I hop in, close the curtains again, and take off my mask, "Well, I'm here for business and a courtesy call all wrapped up into one. Commissioner, Babs," I start, and I notice Gordon flinch a little at the title. He's technically been stripped from being commissioner, but he's still it in my mind. He's a stand up guy, and someone who's needed to clean up a city like this. "I don't know if you've heard, but Eddie Brock...Venom...he woke up tonight. He's gone. And I came here to try and find him, and ended up helping Batman and Robin go after Killer Croc and Scarecrow. We got Croc, but Crane's gone."

"What about Venom, Pete? Where is he?" Babs asks seriously. It was her that Venom took the night he pushed things between us to confrontation. It's something I still kick myself for letting happen.

"I don't think you're in any danger, Babs," I shake my head. "If he was going that road again he'd already of been here. I think he's headed to New York. And I think he's working with Crane. But I just wanted to warn you just in case," I direct to the elder Gordon.

"Also, Commissioner," I say, realizing this is going to be the really hard part of the conversation. "I know you were good friends with Captain George Stacy. Well...I know you've been traveling...and well...Captain Stacy was murdered last week."

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:24 PM   #103
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"Also, Commissioner," I say, realizing this is going to be the really hard part of the conversation. "I know you were good friends with Captain George Stacy. Well...I know you've been traveling...and well...Captain Stacy was murdered last week."
The last bit of news hits me like a sucker punch.

George Stacy. One of my best friends, a damn good police, and the man who taught me what it was to be a cop....gone. I turn away from Peter and Barbara, trying to make sure they don't notice how wet my eyes are becoming.

"How," I say, before coughing and trying to push the lump in my throat down. "How did it happen?"

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:36 PM   #104
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The last bit of news hits me like a sucker punch.

George Stacy. One of my best friends, a damn good police, and the man who taught me what it was to be a cop....gone. I turn away from Peter and Barbara, trying to make sure they don't notice how wet my eyes are becoming.

"How," I say, before coughing and trying to push the lump in my throat down. "How did it happen?"
"It wasn't pretty," I say looking over at Babs. She had known Captain Stacy as well as Gwen, making my situation now even more awkward than it would normally be.

"It's okay," she nods. "I can take it."

"Someone...or something broke into his precinct office and tore the place apart. Bodies and blood were everywhere. The Captain...well...he was stabbed repeatedly with what seemed to be an ax. Gwen barely had a body to bury," I almost gag as I talk. Gwen didn't see the remnants of her father. But as Spider-man, I did. I showed up at the scene and saw everything.

I wish I hadn't.

"The worst part is, there was no evidence," I shake my head in disgust. "Nothing. No fingerprints, no footprints, nothing. Save for the word 'Carnage' written in blood on the walls. Since then there've been multiple murders a day in New York with the same MO. And I haven't come any closer in finding out who it was." The anguish, anger, and disappointment in myself shows through as I speak.

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:49 PM   #105
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"Someone...or something broke into his precinct office and tore the place apart. Bodies and blood were everywhere. The Captain...well...he was stabbed repeatedly with what seemed to be an ax. Gwen barely had a body to bury," I almost gag as I talk. Gwen didn't see the remnants of her father. But as Spider-man, I did. I showed up at the scene and saw everything.

I wish I hadn't.

"The worst part is, there was no evidence," I shake my head in disgust. "Nothing. No fingerprints, no footprints, nothing. Save for the word 'Carnage' written in blood on the walls. Since then there've been multiple murders a day in New York with the same MO. And I haven't come any closer in finding out who it was." The anguish, anger, and disappointment in myself shows through as I speak.
"No."

I shake my head, pacing through the living room. My imagination starts to play up the images of what it thinks George's death looked like.

"No! No! No!"

I slam against the wall repeatedly, letting out all my frustration. Everything over the past few years comes pouring out: Harvey's scarring, my ex-wife leaving me, Gilda's suicide, Joker's repeated attacks on me and my family, the mayor's corruption, being kicked off the force, and now George's death. I'm powerless, impotent to even attempt to get justice for my friend.

"It's not fair! None of it!"

I pound on the wall until I feel a firm hand pull me away. Peter's holding my bloody fist while Barbara stares at me with her eyes wide and her jaw slack. I pull away from Peter's hold and turn back to the wall, slumping against it and sliding to the floor.

"George didn't deserve that....nobody does."

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:00 PM   #106
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"You're right," I nod to him. He's completely right. And I feel everything he's feeling right now. There's more weighing on him than Captain Stacy's death, because that's how it is with men like him. Men like Batman and Superman. Men like me. We've all got the world on our soldiers. We're decent people in an indecent time, and it's not fair. "Nobody deserves that. And that's why people like us need to keep doing what we do best, Commissioner. It's why people like you and me need to keep protecting those that can't protect themselves. It's why we were given the abilities and the drive that we were. No decent person deserves to die like an animal, and we're the ones that need to make sure it doesn't happen. Whether we chose the path we're on, or whether it was dropped on us, we're the ones that need to stand up to the ones who try to exploit the weak, or break the bonds of justice."

Sure, it's a bit long winded and preachy, but I think it gets the point across. Not my usual banter, but Gordon needs someone to help prop him up. I can see that. And I doubt he'll get the same kind of caring pep talk from Batman.

I give him my hand, offering to help him off the floor, and add, "And I'm going to find the damn bastard that did that to Stacy. And I'm going to make sure it hurts before I send him off."

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:11 PM   #107
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"You're right," I nod to him. He's completely right. And I feel everything he's feeling right now. There's more weighing on him than Captain Stacy's death, because that's how it is with men like him. Men like Batman and Superman. Men like me. We've all got the world on our soldiers. We're decent people in an indecent time, and it's not fair. "Nobody deserves that. And that's why people like us need to keep doing what we do best, Commissioner. It's why people like you and me need to keep protecting those that can't protect themselves. It's why we were given the abilities and the drive that we were. No decent person deserves to die like an animal, and we're the ones that need to make sure it doesn't happen. Whether we chose the path we're on, or whether it was dropped on us, we're the ones that need to stand up to the ones who try to exploit the weak, or break the bonds of justice."

Sure, it's a bit long winded and preachy, but I think it gets the point across. Not my usual banter, but Gordon needs someone to help prop him up. I can see that. And I doubt he'll get the same kind of caring pep talk from Batman.

I give him my hand, offering to help him off the floor, and add, "And I'm going to find the damn bastard that did that to Stacy. And I'm going to make sure it hurts before I send him off."
"Thanks," I say, grabbing Peter's hand with my good hand and pulling myself up. "I'm sorry you two had to see that....I didn't mean for that to happen. I guess you really go off the deep end when a teenager is able to think straighter than a man in his late 40's."

I look over my bloody hand. It's cut, bruised, and will hurt even worse in the morning, but nothing appears to look or feel broken. That's a good sign.

"Do me a favor, Peter: Fix this. Find out who did this, and make them pay. Do it for George's little girl, do it for yourself, all the people that worked with him, and do it for me.

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Old 02-24-2011, 11:30 PM   #108
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"Thanks," I say, grabbing Peter's hand with my good hand and pulling myself up. "I'm sorry you two had to see that....I didn't mean for that to happen. I guess you really go off the deep end when a teenager is able to think straighter than a man in his late 40's."

I look over my bloody hand. It's cut, bruised, and will hurt even worse in the morning, but nothing appears to look or feel broken. That's a good sign.

"Do me a favor, Peter: Fix this. Find out who did this, and make them pay. Do it for George's little girl, do it for yourself, all the people that worked with him, and do it for me.
"You've got my word, Commissioner," I nod to him. "As long as you get back on these streets somehow and get back to doing what you do best. And don't worry about the show of emotion. Sometimes we all need to let it out somehow. Better this way than something destructive."

I turn to leave, and Babs said, "Pete, you want me to drive you to the train station?"

"Sure," I respond with a smile, and un-web my clothes from my back, slipping them over my costume and stuffing my mask into a pocket. I say my goodbyes to the Jim Gordon, and slide into the passenger seat of the car. "So...how've you been?"

"Surviving," she replies with a smile as we pull out of the driveway. "It's been rough with everything going on in the city."

"Have you gone out on patrol at all?" I ask Babs. When we were dating, she was a part-time crime fighter modeled after Batman.

"No," she laughs. "I thought about it before the whole deal with Luthor got really bad. Now I guess I'll have to wait till it blows over to be Batgirl again. How are things with Gwen?"

The inevitable question from the ex-girlfriend. I knew it was coming, but it's still weird. "Oh...good, good. We're both headed to ESU in the fall, so that'll be fun. Of course she's still in a bad state, but it's to be expected."

"Yea, I can't wait to go to college. This senior year is going to be so long. And Gwen...tell her she's in my prayers, okay?" Babs says with sincerity. "We were friends when we were really little and our dads saw a lot of each other. I can't even imagine what she's going through. She's lucky to have you."

"Yea...I guess," I say. I'm not sure she is lucky. Especially with Venom free. And the Carnage killer on the loose. And Crane possible after me as well. There's a lot on my plate, and I'm not sure I can handle it while also protecting a girlfriend.

As we pull up to the train station, Babs grabs my arm as I go to get out of the car, "Don't be a stranger, Pete. Just because we broke up doesn't mean we can't be friends."

"Yea...okay," I nod. "It has been good to see you. I'll keep you and your dad updated about Carnage. Be safe, Babs."

It's an odd thing, but saying "Be safe" is like a necessity to friends in our situations. There's no "good-bye", or "see you soon". "Be safe" is what needs to be said, because it's what needs to be done. We've got mobs, freaks, and aliens after us. All of us. All the time. Being safe is the very best we can hope for.

"You too."

She drives away, and I head for my train back to what is shaping up to be one hell of a summer in New York.

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Old 02-27-2011, 04:55 PM   #109
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CYCLOPS

Warren agrees to meet me in Washington D.C. at the end of the month when X-Force is officially unveiled. He's requested the codename Angel, and I think it fits. It'll be good to have someone with charisma and name recognition on the team to help get us off the ground. In the meantime, I still have recruiting to do. I take my private car back to the airport to get onto my jet.

I'm flying to Montana now. My next recruit's a teenage girl, Tara Markov. She landed on Emma Frost's radar when her mutant abilities began to manifest a few weeks ago when she was in school. Her parents have since pulled her out of school, but they've agreed to listen to my proposal and let me talk to Tara. As I fly, I think about how many of these kinds of "consultations" or "recruitments" I've done with the X-Men. Only now I'm doing it alone.

Again, there's a private car waiting for me on the tarmac. It still makes me a little uncomfortable - especially here, in the mountain air, surrounded by blue-collar Americans. The last thing I want to do is stick out. Well, stick out more than I already do. The car takes me to Tara's house. It looks like it might rain. I knock on the door.

A man, Mr. Markov I assume, answers the door. He gives a polite - if hesitant smile - and invites me inside. "Can I get you anything?"

"No, thank you." I move to the living room, where Mrs. Markov is waiting. She, too, gives me that uneasy smile. I recognize it all too well. Human parents trying to deal with having a mutant daughter. "May I sit?"

"Please." After I choose a spot to sit on one couch, Mrs. Markov sits down opposite me. Mr. Markov takes a seat beside her a second later with two cups of coffee.

"I'm sure you have a lot of questions." There's a tension in the air. This is the talk every human parent dreads.

Mrs. Markov looks away, sipping her coffee quietly. Mr. Markov rolls up his sleeves, clears his throat, and finally asks, "So...you're a...?"

"Mutant?" I say, relieving him of the pressure of actually having to say the word. I nod. "I was about your daughter's age when my abilities manifested. Adolescence is a common time for that."

"The other one, the woman, she mentioned something about a team."

"Well, that's actually why I'm here. You see, the Registration Act has changed the way things are done," I begin to explain. "Your daughter is going to have to register. After that, she has a choice. The President is starting a program wherein a select few mutants are chosen to be part of a new team."

"Like the X-Men?"

I pause. Seems I can't outrun my past. "Yes, like the X-Men, but sponsored by the government."

"You want my Tara to fight people like that Magneto fella?"

I turn my attention back to Mr. Markov. "Actually, the individual known as Magneto has reformed, but yes, there are others like him with similar agendas. And yes, this team will be the government's response to dangerous mutants. However, it's not all about combat." I lean forward. "The team will also be responsible for raising mutant awareness, as well as ensuring that all mutants comply with the new registration laws."

"Where does Tara fit in?"

I smile. The million dollar question. "As I said, I was your daughter's age when I discovered I was a mutant. I was scared and alone. And a man found me and taught me how to live with being mutant. He taught me how to control my powers. Without him, I don't know where I'd be today. I'd like to offer the same help to your daughter. If she's a part of this team, she'll be surrounded and supported by experienced mutants who can teach her how to be comfortable in her own skin."

The Markovs exchange uncertain glances. It's a daunting proposal, to be sure. I'm suggesting that their daughter should be uprooted from her home and trained as a mutant. And I can't guarantee her life won't be in danger at some point. On the other hand, what place is there for someone like her someplace like here?

"We'd like to know what Tara thinks," Mr. Markov finally proclaims.

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Old 02-28-2011, 11:38 PM   #110
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"KENT! Where's that article on the new water treatment plant?!"

Lois smirks, and I sheepishly reply, "Working on it, Chief!"

"Hard-hitting journalism, huh, Smallville?"

Adjusting my glasses, I don't look up from my computer screen. "Just doing what I'm told, Lois." I pull up the article on Word and pretend to continue working on it. In truth, I finished it almost a week ago, but part of being Clark Kent means being unreliable and missing deadlines. Fortunately, Perry trusts me enough that I never get into too much trouble for it.

"CK! Miss Lane! Didja hear?" Jimmy runs up to our desks, nearly out of breath. His camera hangs from his neck. "An armored car transporting almost two million dollars was just ambushed by some metahuman!"

Morris Bench.

Lois stands up, grabbing a notepad and a pen. She turns to me. "You coming, Smallville?"

I bite my bottom lip. "I should really work on this article for Perry..."

"Come on! This'll be more exciting than some purified water!"

Purified water. If you only knew, Lois. I glance at my computer screen and the blinking cursor. When Lois gets into this kind of mood, she's hard to argue with. Fortunately, I've had a lot of experience with giving her the slip. "Okay, just let me grab my pen--" I reach across my desk and knock a cup of coffee into my lap. "Shoot!"

Lois shakes her head, and Jimmy holds in his laughter.

Blushing, I announce, "I should probably clean up. You two go ahead." As Lois rolls her eyes and walks away, I pick up the cup and set it back on my desk. The things I have to do to protect my identity. Once Lois and Jimmy are out of sight, I superspeed out of the office and onto the roof, where I change into Superman.

Using my superhearing to pinpoint the location of the armored car, I speed across the skies like a red and blue blur. The armored car is skittering down the street, smashing into pedestrian traffic and screeching as the driver tries to apply the breaks. I race in front of it and swoop down, catching the front bumper. I lift the armored car into the air and land on my own two feet.

"Need help?"

The driver is thrown from the car by what looks like a fist made of water. Immediately upon landing in the street, the driver gets up and scrambles to safety. He's soaking from head to toe. The water, meanwhile, abandons the front cabin and disappears through a grate which leads to the cargo hold. I set the armored car down and walk to the back.

As I reach for the back doors, they're blown open by a sudden blast of water. The thick metal doors are blown off their hinges and bounce off of me, knocking me back. The water gathers in a small puddle in the middle of the street, and it slowly starts to take shape.



"Superman," the Hydro-Man says in a thick Brooklyn accent. I recognize him to be Bench from the photo from his file. "You gotta lot of nerve bustin' up this job."

I fold my arms, unthreatened. "And you've got a lot of nerve pulling this job in my town. Not to mention the bank heist a few weeks ago."

Hydro-Man smiles, clearly proud of himself. "Yeah, didn't see you there. What's-a-matter? Don't got time for a two-bit mook like me?" His body shifts into the shape of a giant fist and crashes against me. I'm surprised by the force, but that's about it. It's going to take a lot more than a little water to faze me.

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Old 03-04-2011, 01:55 PM   #111
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Last Time

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:


"Crime is up, gentlemen," Deputy Commissioner Arnold Flass said before quickly altering his statement. "Crime is up, gentlemen and lady," he said with a nod to Major Sarah Essen.

Flass, Commissioner Grogan, the commanders of Gotham's eight districts, and the commanders of all the different bureaus of the GCPD's Criminal Investigations District, were all packed together in the conference room on Gotham Central's sixth floor. Maps, charts, and data were all spread out before them.

"The mayor has indicated that he wants a ten percent decrease in crime," Grogan said. "And a cap on the murder rate. No more than 250 by the end of the year."

The collected commanders all held their groans and eye rolls inside. "What we want to see," Flass said, "is what the mayor wants to see. Let's be frank here, people, the ****er is getting banged on crime and he wants it going down. Preferably before the upcoming election. Speaking of that, how are things going with the red ball case, Major O'Hara?"

Clancy O'Hara, the commander of the homicide unit, stood and cleared his throat. "Detective Allen is the primary investigator and Sergeant Bullock is working as secondary," O'Hara said in his Irish brogue. "They're working it hard. Allen's out in the Eastern District as we speak, canvassing local dealers with the Eastern DEU. He's hoping the fact that the lady was a drug addict will lead to the answer. Occum's Razor, sir."

"Let's hope," Flass said neutrally. "For Allen's sake, and yours."

O'Hara nodded and sat back down. Flass swivled in his seat and pointed towards a man sitting a row in front of O'Hara. "Captain Jones. Care to tell me why our homicide boys didn't have any active intel on the drug dealers in the Eastern District?"

Morris Jones, the commander of the Eastern District, rose and stuttered slightly as he started. "W-well, sir...umm, I thought....umm, that is to say,
I was under the impression the m-murder occured in the Southeastern."

"Wrong," Flass said sharply. "The wife of Councilman David Kane was found in a field off Edmonson Avenue. That's a half block away from the Southeastern District."

"B-but the call wasn't handled by my people. I had no idea it was my duty."

"Stop with that horse****," Flass spat. "The call came in to the Southeastern, but it's the Eastern District's job to be up to date, regardless of who gets dropped in the area. As far as I've heard, you haven't told me why your people don't have a goddamn clue who's running your drug corners."

"I thought-"

"Whatever you thought was wrong. I better have some good intel in 48 hours, Captain. If not, just don't bother showing up for the next meeting."
Captain Jones swallowed heavily, nodded, and sat back down in his seat.

"All of you in this room are in your positions and ranks by appointment. You are all here because we say so, and you can all leave because we say so. The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away."

"Either the crime in Gotham goes down.....or you do," Flass said with a smirk. "Got that?"



**********



Hip-hop music was blaring out the black sports car as it came to a stop beside the street corner. The corner boys peddling drugs looked on in awe as the large black man stepped out. "Who's running this corner?" he asked once he was out the car. The young men stared at him with blank expressions.

"I ask because ya'll are smart enough to know I ain't police, but dumb enough not to know who the **** I really am."

"Step off," a skinny black boy in his late teens said. "You ****ing my people up. We got a job to do. Now, step off before something bad happens to you."

"Yeah, right," the man said with a chuckle. "Since you the boss man out here, I was wondering who exactly is your boss man. Y'know? Who you working for, or you an independent?"

"I'm my own boss n****," the boy said with a hard look. "Don't know where you been, but ain't be no big boss man running product up Westside since Two-Face got taken down."

"Just what I thought," the man said. "Now, I know ya'll got that weak **** you out here selling. It's working, but that's because the rest of the Narrows got the same weak ****. It's gonna change once someone gets some real raw up in here. Since you look like a reasonable man, I was gonna make you an offer."

"Giving you one last chance, mother****er," the boy said as he lifted his shirt to show a pistol tucked into his baggy pants. "Step the **** off."
The man nodded and turned to leave, before suddenly whipping a pistol from the small of his back and putting it to the boy's head. "What's up now, boy?"

The rest of the young man's crew was preparing to leap into action before the large man's eyes looked up. "Any of you n***** move, this mother****er gets one in the dome."

The crew suddenly stepped off, watching the scene before them fold out.

"Now," the large man said. "Let's talk business. You got nice territory out here, but with a weak ass product. Me? I got no territory, but I got some real killer ****. I was thinking we compromise."

"What you want?" The boy said hurriedly, his voice remained even but the gun to his head was unnerving him.

"I'm gonna hook you up with some real good ****. Straight off the boat raw I'm getting from up in NYC. I sell the **** to you and you grind for me. You get to keep your territory and sling, and I get to lay back in the cut and make my paper. Sound like a good deal."

"Yeah," the boy said. "Yeah, sure. Whatever you want."

"Alright. I'm rolling back through here tomorrow. I'll have some good re-up for you. Let you get a taste of the good ****, and then we'll see if you want to keep getting steady re-ups from me. That work?"

"Yeah, that'll work."

The man nodded and removed the pistol from the boy's head. "I'm coming back tomorrow with muscle, too," he said as he stepped back towards his car. "So don't try anything cute, or there will be some real consequences to face."

With his gun still trained on the boy and his workers, the man pulled a piece of paper out and handed it to the boy. "My cell. Hit me up tomorrow afternoon and we'll figure out a time and place to meet. Now, be advised that this isn't so much of an amicable thing. You gonna take my ****, or I'm gonna take your mother****ing life. Got that?"

"Yeah," the boy said with his eyes narrowed. "I got it."

"Good," the man said with a smile. "By the way, when you call, ask for Gambol."

Gambol slid into the driver's seat of his car and rolled the passenger window down. "You boys have a nice day now."

The music started back up and he drove off down the street.



**********



Maggie Sawyer was still dressed in her patrolman's outfit when she went to Gotham Central. With her hat in her hand, she walked into the fourth floor office that was marked CID Robbery.

"Hey, girl," she said with a smile as soon as she saw the woman sitting behind a desk in the room's far corner.

"Look who it is," Detective Renee Montoya said as she stood up. The two hugged quickly before breaking it off. "Heard they jettisoned you off into some district. Didn't know where."

"The Southeast isn't bad. It's just quiet. It's got me spinning my wheels right now. Major Essen, too. Looks like you made it out okay. You, Cris and Harvey, and Major Essen seem to be the ones who made it out the MCU smelling like roses."

"Don't be so sure," Montoya said. "I'm working in robbery, but I'm part of the Paperhanger Squad."

"Check Fraud?" Sawyer said with a slight scowl. "Didn't think that happened much."

"Happens enough. Me and two other cops run down all the bounced checks, forgeries, and stolen checks in this town. Spend half my time in Korean liquor stores, the other half at the Social Security Department."

"Well, at least you're learning Korean. With your English and Spanish, you might be GCPD's first trilingual cop."

"True," Montoya said with a laugh. "So, what's up, Maggie? What brings you down to Central?"

"I've been doing some thinking over the past few weeks. Guess it comes from my talks with Major Essen, but something about the way the MCU was broken up has been bugging me lately."

"You mean how we had to come down on it early? Yeah, that bugged me, too. Lieutenant Akins had us deep into the money. No telling where we could have gone."

"Yeah, but something else in that case has been bothering me as well. Remember how they all dumped their phones halfway through the investigation?"

"Yeah, that always struck me as odd. But good thing we were able to keep on them with surveillance."

"But why did they dump their phones? In the time we listened to them on the wire, all was going well. They didn't have a clue that anyone was listening in."

Sawyer held up a manila folder that was in her hands. "So I went down to records and looked through all the boxes we had."

"Christ, Maggie, that was about a half dozen boxes of stuff."

"Yeah, and I found a photo. It's a day before all the phones went dead.
Fields was on a rooftop overlooking the Cheetah Club, that strip club Two-Face used as headquarters. Charlie was just bored and taking shots of the parking lot. We overlooked it because there was nothing in it but cars. But look."

Sawyer opened the folder and pointed to a car in the parking lot. A dark colored sedan whose heavily tinted windows showed up even in the black and white photo. "That's-" Montoya started.

"Yeah," Sawyer finished. "That's an unmarked police car. Not one of ours, though. It's more like a town car that the brass get issued as take home cars."

Montoya looked up, her eyes widening. "You don't think..."

"I do," Sawyer said with a nod. "I think someone tipped Two-Face and his people off. Someone didn't want us investigating them, so they tried to kill the case."

"Wow...a corrupt cop in Gotham?" Montoya asked with a smile. "Say it ain't so."





Marcus Gambol leaned against his car in the vacant Westside lot. He stifled a yawn and perked up as a black SUV rolled into the lot beside him. A skinny teenager dressed in baggy jeans and a white t-shirt with a soldier's Sherpa hat on his head stepped out.

"Just you?" Gambol asked the young man.

"Yeah, just me," the teen said in a slow, deliberate drawl. "Champ dealing with that thing up on Edmonson."

"Right, Gambol said. "When he gets done on that, I want you two to head up to that corner on Kane. Remember the crew chief I talked to the other day? He ain't got in touch with me. You two tool up, and go a calling. See if that changes his mind."

"Right," the boy replied. "We on it."

Gambol slapped hands with the boy. "Alright, Hat. Get to it."

Ronald "Buddha Hat" Barnes nodded at his boss and turned to get back into his car.



**********



Detective Marcus Driver watched the nearby corner from inside the vacant rowhouse across the street, a camera in his hands. The corner across the street was busy, white teenagers were serving drug addicts with the drugs of their choice.

"Remind me again. why are we doing this?" Driver asked as he talked into his hand held radio.

"Captain wants it," Sergeant Kasper Cole replied from the other end. He was watching the corner from his unmarked car at the end of the block. "He wants quality intel on all mid-level and major players in the Eastern District. Someone must be beating on his head to get it done."

"That's fecal gravity for you,"
Detective Charlie Fields said. He was dressed as a drug addict and pushing an empty shopping cart towards the corner. He was listening to the conversation from an earpiece, and a small wireless mic was attached to his collar.

Driver held his camera up and watched Fields approach the corner and talk to one of the drug dealers. "Lemme get a one and one?" Fields asked with a twenty dollar bill in his hand. Driver snapped shots as the young man took Fields' money and sent him down the block where another boy handed him two vials, one of heroin and the other filled with cocaine.

"Photos look good?" Cole asked.

"Yeah," Driver replied. "We should be able to run these through the computer and try and get a sheet on any of these mopes."

A silver SUV came to a stop beside the corner and a tall black man got out.

"Whoa," Driver said. "We got a friendly face here."

Driver snapped photos as Peter "Skinny Pete" Tillman stepped up to the corner and slapped hands with the white boy running the show.

"Still wished we could have caught him dirty," Cole said. "Got almost everyone from Two-Face's gang except him. Charlie, see if you can get closer and get the mic to pick up on what they're saying."

Fields pushed his shopping car back down the street, slowing to an almost crawl as he passed the corner where Skinny Pete and the young drug dealer were talking.

"You good for today?" Pete's voice came on over the radio.

"We still got about fifty vials left,"
the white boy replied. "I think we'll be good for today. Check back tomorrow morning. You come back, get the re-up and I'll give you the take."

"A'ight,"
Pete said. "Just know that the count better be right. If the man gets short changed, then Mink and I will be back here to settle up...and we will be brief with all of you mother****ers. Got me, Bedrock?"

"I been slinging for ya'll for awhile now, I ain't shorted you since and I ain't gonna short you now."

They kept talking, but the sounds of Fields' shopping cart drowned them out as he pushed it down the street.

"You guys hear that? We got a name."

"Three, actually," Cole said. "The mope working the corner has a street name for Bedrock. Our buddy Pete is working with somebody named Mink."

"But who are they working for?"

"That's where we make out money, Marcus," Fields said. "Captain wants intel, we're gonna give him the whole damn Eastern District drug network."



**********



Detective Crispus Allen knocked on the front door of the large house. After several seconds passed without anyone answering, he rang the doorbell and waited.

The door swung open and Councilman David Kane gave the detective a polite smile. "Detective, come on in."

Allen followed Kane through the hallways of his house. "Sorry about the clutter," Kane said. "We've been dealing with a lot of stuff lately. My wife, the election, and my kids are getting ready to go back to school. Housekeeping is kinda low man on the totem pole right now."

"I understand about the kids," Allen said. "Never look forward to back to school shopping with my boys. They always want the most expensive clothes. If they don't get those, they're afraid they'll get laughed at."

"I'm not there, yet," Kane said. "First graders and kindergarteners don't seem to care if the clothes are named brand."

Kane led Allen into his living room and to his couch. "So," Kane said as he sat down on the far end of the couch while Allen sat down on the other end. "What can I help you with?"

"I was just wondering," Allen said as he pulled a notepad and pen from his coat pocket. "Where exactly were you during the time of your wife's murder?

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Old 03-05-2011, 06:32 PM   #112
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I pull up and stop the car on the side of the street. I had Alfred take the Lambo out for a spin before I left the mansion. It had the desired effect of pulling every reporter off the front of the property, as I had hoped. Ever since I announced my candidacy for mayor, the press have been all over Wayne Manor, hoping to get interviews and soundbites. Luckily, they haven't stumbled upon the entrance to the cave, although Dick and I made sure that wouldn't happen.

So, while Alfred plays decoy in a half-million dollar car, probably enjoying every second of it, I drove his nondescript sedan to my destination. Combine that with regular street clothes, big sunglasses, and a ballcap, and my disguise was complete.

All that work, just to pay a friend a visit. An important visit. Sometimes being a costumed vigilante is so much easier.

I just shake my head at the thought and knock on the door. And that's when something hits me...I never checked to see if Jim was at home.

World's greatest detective, I think, as I roll my eyes...

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:11 PM   #113
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I
I just shake my head at the thought and knock on the door. And that's when something hits me...I never checked to see if Jim was at home.

World's greatest detective, I think, as I roll my eyes...
"I have a secret to share with you, Hope..."

"Yes, Bo?"

"When I said that I loved you....it...."

"Yes?"

"It was all a lie!"

"Nooooooooooo!"

"Like sands in the our glass, so are the Days of Our Lives!"

I lean back on the couch and shake my head.

"No! Not Bo and Hope. If those two crazy kids can't make it, then what kind of chance do the rest of the people in Salem have?"

A knocking on the door pulls me away from the soaps. I pick myself off the couch and shuffle to the front door.

"Can I help-," I stop short as soon as I recognize the man behind the disguise. "Bruce Wayne. What brings you to my doorstep?"

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:27 PM   #114
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"I have a secret to share with you, Hope..."

"Yes, Bo?"

"When I said that I loved you....it...."

"Yes?"

"It was all a lie!"

"Nooooooooooo!"

"Like sands in the our glass, so are the Days of Our Lives!"

I lean back on the couch and shake my head.

"No! Not Bo and Hope. If those two crazy kids can't make it, then what kind of chance do the rest of the people in Salem have?"

A knocking on the door pulls me away from the soaps. I pick myself off the couch and shuffle to the front door.

"Can I help-," I stop short as soon as I recognize the man behind the disguise. "Bruce Wayne. What brings you to my doorstep?"

I take my sunglasses off. "Hope I'm not interrupting anything, but I just snuck away from a crowd of reporters, and I'd rather not waste the trip. Mind if I come inside?" I glance over my shoulder, only partly acting as if I'm concerned someone may recognize me.

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:33 PM   #115
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I take my sunglasses off. "Hope I'm not interrupting anything, but I just snuck away from a crowd of reporters, and I'd rather not waste the trip. Mind if I come inside?" I glance over my shoulder, only partly acting as if I'm concerned someone may recognize me.
"Sure, come on inside."

I hold the door open and let Wayne come into my living room before I realize I left the TV on.

"I was watching the noon newscast and I....must have dozed off," I say as I switch the television off. "They love to show the soaps after lunch."

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:46 PM   #116
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"Thanks."

I walk inside, taking the entire house in. "Nice place," I say, meaning it. "Looks like being Commissioner had some well deserved perks. How's retirement been treating you?"

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:54 PM   #117
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"Thanks."

I walk inside, taking the entire house in. "Nice place," I say, meaning it. "Looks like being Commissioner had some well deserved perks. How's retirement been treating you?"
"I'm doing, alright I suppose. My pension is a step down from what I was making, but I also get none of the headaches or worries. I'm lucky my daughter's so smart, I don't even want to think about paying for college if she didn't get those scholarships."

Sirens scream outside. Wayne and I turn and see a pair of radio cars speeding down the road, sirens wailing and lights blazing.

"Truth of the matter is that I miss it. I see crime going up in this city everyday, and I can't help but think I could do better."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:01 PM   #118
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"I'm doing, alright I suppose. My pension is a step down from what I was making, but I also get none of the headaches or worries. I'm lucky my daughter's so smart, I don't even want to think about paying for college if she didn't get those scholarships."

Sirens scream outside. Wayne and I turn and see a pair of radio cars speeding down the road, sirens wailing and lights blazing.

"Truth of the matter is that I miss it. I see crime going up in this city everyday, and I can't help but think I could do better."
At the mention of his daughter, I have to hide a smirk from Jim. If he only know how...capable she was.

"I understand completely. I mean, it seemed like the GCPD was finally getting a handle on things, then you retire, and it all starts going to hell again. And that Batman character doesn't seem to be any help, if he actually exists. And if he does, I wouldn't be surprised if he was behind it all for some reason." Hearing me say those words out loud makes me wonder how Parker puts up with working for Jonah's paper.

"Add to that all the corruption coming down on the council...it just kills me to see Gotham being treated this way."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:05 PM   #119
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After leaving the gravesite of the woman he loved, Eddie Brock wandered aimlessly throughout the city as he came up with a plan of action for resolving his "problem."

Then it came to him, and it is not all that different than his last plan to be perfectly honest. The last time, everything nearly worked to perfection. He had nearly killed Peter Parker, if it had not been for Parker's deceit...and the fact that Spiderman had allies to help him.

This time, Venom would be more careful. He would eliminate Parker's allies, and then he will kill Peter Parker...slowly.

As the plan comes together, Venom lets out a primal roar and adjusts his course...toward Queens.

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:06 PM   #120
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At the mention of his daughter, I have to hide a smirk from Jim. If he only know how...capable she was.

"I understand completely. I mean, it seemed like the GCPD was finally getting a handle on things, then you retire, and it all starts going to hell again. And that Batman character doesn't seem to be any help, if he actually exists. And if he does, I wouldn't be surprised if he was behind it all for some reason." Hearing me say those words out loud makes me wonder how Parker puts up with working for Jonah's paper.

"Add to that all the corruption coming down on the council...it just kills me to see Gotham being treated this way."
"Guess you're trying to change that from the top?" I ask with a raised eyebrow. "Last I saw, you were only a few points behind Councilman Kane. Lots of people don't seem to be against having Bruce Wayne as their mayor."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:10 PM   #121
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"Well, I'm glad so many people have faith in me. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I'm getting myself into. But I just couldn't sit by and do nothing when that story broke. Straw on the camel's back, I guess you could say."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:15 PM   #122
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"Well, I'm glad so many people have faith in me. To be honest, I'm not exactly sure what I'm getting myself into. But I just couldn't sit by and do nothing when that story broke. Straw on the camel's back, I guess you could say."
"Best of luck with that. Politicians say they want change, and that they want to make things for the better. All they really want to do is change things for themselves, make things better for themselves. Try to really change things, try to mix it up, then they see you as a threat. A threat that has to be dealt with."

I push past Wayne and sit down in my recliner.

"People say I lied about the crime rate, they said I manipulated the stats to make myself look better....I didn't. I just got too close to the truth."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:26 PM   #123
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I sit down on the sofa.

"I didn't know that." I did. "I mean, about what they said you did. I don't believe it for a second, Jim. This city was doing a lot better when you were keeping on eye on things. I may not run in the circles where crime is that bad, but the Wayne Foundation, because of all the charitable work it does, keeps track of it's own crime statistics. And they show it was down when you were in charge. In face, I should use that in my campaign. Why didn't I think of that before?" Seriously, why didn't I? It's a really good idea, and I've known about it for months.

Correction, Batman's known about it for months. Maybe Alfred's right, I need to spend a little more time out of the costume.

"You just gave me a great idea. That's sort of the reason I came over."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:32 PM   #124
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I sit down on the sofa.

"I didn't know that." I did. "I mean, about what they said you did. I don't believe it for a second, Jim. This city was doing a lot better when you were keeping on eye on things. I may not run in the circles where crime is that bad, but the Wayne Foundation, because of all the charitable work it does, keeps track of it's own crime statistics. And they show it was down when you were in charge. In face, I should use that in my campaign. Why didn't I think of that before?" Seriously, why didn't I? It's a really good idea, and I've known about it for months.

Correction, Batman's known about it for months. Maybe Alfred's right, I need to spend a little more time out of the costume.

"You just gave me a great idea. That's sort of the reason I came over."
"If you're looking for inside information on the GCPD and city hall, I'm not going to help. I told that to Kane, and I'm telling it to you. I'm not police anymore, but I don't want to get any of my former officers and commanders caught up in something they didn't ask for."

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Old 03-05-2011, 11:36 PM   #125
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"If you're looking for inside information on the GCPD and city hall, I'm not going to help. I told that to Kane, and I'm telling it to you. I'm not police anymore, but I don't want to get any of my former officers and commanders caught up in something they didn't ask for."

"Oh, don't get me wrong Jim. I wouldn't put you in that kind of position. I'm not a politician. I've had to deal with them too, and I think they're probably the last thing we need right now."

"No, what I'm looking for is someone with a lot of experience. Forgive my bluntness, but I need someone who's dealt with, and can cut through, all the ******** the job brings with it. I'm serious when I say I want to turn this city around. And I need good people around me to help me do that."

"I want you to by my Deputy Mayor."

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