[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / vm / vmg / vr / vrpg / vst / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k / s4s / vip / qa] [cm / hm / lgbt / y] [3 / aco / adv / an / bant / biz / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / gd / hc / his / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / news / out / po / pol / pw / qst / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / vt / wsg / wsr / x / xs] [Settings] [Search] [Mobile] [Home]
Board
Settings Mobile Home
/qst/ - Quests

Name
Spoiler?[]
Options
Comment
Verification
4chan Pass users can bypass this verification. [Learn More] [Login]
File[]
Draw Size ×
  • Please read the Rules and FAQ before posting.
  • Additional supported file types are: PDF
  • Roll dice with "dice+numberdfaces" in the options field (without quotes).
  • There are 102 posters in this thread.

08/21/20New boards added: /vrpg/, /vmg/, /vst/ and /vm/
05/04/17New trial board added: /bant/ - International/Random
10/04/16New board for 4chan Pass users: /vip/ - Very Important Posts
[Hide] [Show All]


[Advertise on 4chan]


File: GothamBeatCopFive (1).png (123 KB, 1000x1320)
123 KB
123 KB PNG
'This is fucked.'

That's all you can think as you slink back into the alley, careful to keep from making any unnecessary noise during your retreat, your best bet is to hide and hope that Hawthorne gets back with a car before someone rats you out or you get found by complete accident. You take a few moments as you crouch behind a dumpster to lick your fingertips and get to work rubbing the drying viscous blood from under your eye. Maybe you pushed yourself too far in the process of shifting your conscience through the city, before it's all come to you like trickles from a stream, the difference this time is that you stuck your head in the proverbial river. A few wet blinks clear away the feeling of a gunked up eye but you're positive it's still bright red and the people getting contacted probably have 'guy with a fucked up eye' as the main identifier.

The voice from earlier brings your attention right back to the goons standing in the road.

"Alright, Donnie. We got a few of our guys on it now."

"And the boss isn't gonna find out?"

"No, Donnie. Unless you go and tell him something he don't need to know."

A few moments of pregnant silence hang in the air.

"Donnie? I don't like it when you don't answer me. You ain't gonna say nothing to the boss right?"

"Of course not!" The voice replies with an echo of fear.

"Good. Because we both fucked up in that café earlier and you know what that means."

"It means we both get punished.."

"Exactly, and the last guy who pissed off Cobblepot ended up getting fed to uh.. to sea lions! You don't want that do you, Donnie?"

"N-no!"

"I won't let that happen, let's just find these two clowns and rough em up. Break their legs maybe, nothing crazy. Just to send a message."

"Okay, yeah good..."

"Donnie, what is it? I see you squirmin."

"Can I?"

"Oh for fuck sake. Yes, Donnie."

You close your eyes and fight back another wave of migraine pain. Cobblepot, The Penguin. His goons are watching the streets around the club, but why?

You have no time to mull it over as foot steps begin to click approaching your alley. You hold your breath and remain still as a photograph until another sound echoes off the old brick. A zipper, splashing liquid, and a contented sigh of relief. This has to be a joke.

>Hold your position, there is no reason to blow your hiding spot now. Not until you get word from Hawthorne.
>This is probably the only chance you're going to get if you want to squeeze answers out of one of these guys. Step out with your gun and catch him with his pants down.
>Getting some answers from this mook would be nice but you don't wanna pull the gun if you aren't going to use it. Make some light noises and see if you can draw him in and wrestle him down.
>Write-In
>>
File: Abilities.jpg (107 KB, 905x531)
107 KB
107 KB JPG
For anyone new who is joining us:

PREVIOUS THREADS:
https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=DetectQM

Current abilities in the picture attached.
>>
>>5920234
>Hold your position, there is no reason to blow your hiding spot now. Not until you get word from Hawthorne.
>>
>>5920234
>Hold your position, there is no reason to blow your hiding spot now. Not until you get word from Hawthorne.
We gotta get the FUCK outta here.
>>
>>5920234
>Hold your position, there is no reason to blow your hiding spot now. Not until you get word from Hawthorne.
Maintain stealth. Damn, is Penguin going to attempt a power play outside while in the meeting? That's gonna be chaos when GCPD arrives to bust them all
>>
>>5920234
>Hold your position, there is no reason to blow your hiding spot now. Not until you get word from Hawthorne.
>>
No.
>>
>>5920234
>This is probably the only chance you're going to get if you want to squeeze answers out of one of these guys. Step out with your gun and catch him with his pants down.
>>
>>5920234
Kinda wonder if we'll ever be able to leverage shivers into a physical capabilities.

I mean putting someone in a hold and telling them exactly why their mother never loved them is one thing. Letting the city guide our movements to not be noticed or predict an attack would be nice.
>>
>>5920234
>>This is probably the only chance you're going to get if you want to squeeze answers out of one of these guys. Step out with your gun and catch him with his pants down.
Just caught up on this, always a fan of anything that involves the use of Shivers.
>>
>>5920234
>>Hold your position, there is no reason to blow your hiding spot now. Not until you get word from Hawthorne.
>>
>>5920543
>>5920268
>>5920266
>>5920260
>>5920253

You let your legs slowly lower you to the ground as you control your breathing and just wait. Donnie wraps up his business and leaves the alley only letting you catch a few more parting words as he heads off with his partner.

"You ready to work now? Jesus Christ, Donnie you're like a child."

"Sorry.."

"Save it, apparently the old fuck who sucker-punched me got spotted. He's making a run for it."

"Well that's good isn't it?"

"Unless he goes and tells Matches who's gonna tell Cobblepot, who's gonna tell HIM, you moron!"

"Oh. Yeah that's not good."

You hear a groan of frustration.

"Christ help me. Donnie, go get the car. I'm gonna let that barista know to keep his trap shut."

You listen intently letting the whispers of the city fall into the background until the absence of all other sound leaves you no choice but to hear it. You let out a sigh of relief and let yourself lean your head back against the wall where the cool brick soothes your hot and aching brain. Something about their conversation plays in your mind. Matches. Cobblepot. Him. Could they be referring to Falcone? or maybe Mandragora? One thing you're sure of is that The Penguin doesn't take kindly to working for anyone, whoever HE is he must be backed by some real heavies to be able to push Cobblepot around.

Suddenly sound returns to the dead street. A sound that to you may as well be a chorus of angels, the sound of a roaring engine and vintage tires taking sharp turns. You peek around the filthy dumpster and see the main road clear of those two from earlier, you stumble to your feet and wander out in time to see Hawthorne's car speeding up to meet you. As he draws in he lays on the brakes and leans across to toss open the passenger.

"Get in, Rook." He yells. You don't have to be told twice, you dive in pulling the door behind you as you both speed off again. The last view you get before blowing past the club is the sight of Donnie who watches your escape with a sheet white face.
>>
>>5921041
>Matches
I see you.
>>
"So they work for Cobblepot?"

"Well yes but, it sounded like someone else was even above him." You groan, letting a pack of frozen peas rest over your eyes. You lay on the couch in the Detective's lounge with the lights off, the faded adrenaline from the drive back to the station revealing a hellish headache

Hawthorne sits in contemplative silence, his only sounds being that of breaking sunflower seeds and the occasional grunt of irritation.

"Well we aren't exactly flush with options." Grey chimes in. "Kimble is still out pressing his contacts but nothing we've heard implies anyone other than the old heads being involved."

"What about that other name I heard, Matches?"

"Matches Malone." Hawthorne replies. "Word on the street was that he relocated to Bludhaven, apparently his last run in with Batman had him a little nervous to be in Gotham."

"But he's back now?"

"Maybe someone has him scared worse." Grey quietly mumbles to himself. You hear the dulled impacts of his shorthand writing on the whiteboard. You can already see the big red question mark he has connecting to all the photos.

"Whoever their boss was they really didn't want to get on his bad side, which is good for us right?"

Grey and Hawthorne both grunt in response.
"We'll have to see." Hawthorne says

"No. WE are gonna have to see." Grey replies. You squeeze your eyes tight, the last thing you want to hear right now is an argument.

"Grey. There is no way I'm gonna sit on the sidelines for this whole thing."

"Mitch, I fucking told you when you got in that it was for admin tasks. Paperwork, research, that sort of thing. Not doing impromptu undercover work, are you fucking kidding me?"

"I figured it was more of a wink wink nudge nudge situation. Besides who's gonna help the rook out when he gets into trouble" Hawthorne replies mockingly.

"Mitch. You are the one who got him into that trouble in the first place, I know you're wanting to get Mandragora. But you know you fucked this."

"I was assaulted and defended myself, cry me a fucking river!" Hawthorne shouts.

You cringe at the explosion of noise.

>Take Hawthorne's side, he is needed on this case and he deserves to be able to go after Mandragora with you guys.
>Take Grey's side, this is the job. Hawthorne getting involved could jeopardize this entire case."
>Stay silent and pray this yelling ends soon
>Write-In
>>
>>5921056
>Stay silent and pray this yelling ends soon
Not our place.
>>
>>5921056
>Stay silent and pray this yelling ends soon
When, not if, we bag Mandragora for good, Hawthorne WILL get that killer blow in on his face.
>>
>>5921056
>>Stay silent and pray this yelling ends soon
>>
>>5921056
>>Write-In
get up and walk out
>>
>>5921056
>>Write-In
>Groan and crawl out of the room
>"Don't mind me guys"
That one anon is right, since Hawthorne is the man posessed, we gotta let him double-tap Mandragora. Or put him in jail whatever it is he wants. Wonder if he'll become chill after we pull it off.
>>
>>5921063
>>5921075
>>5921095
>>5921111
>>5921223

You keep your mouth shut, the only thing passing your lips being a groan of pain when the voices get raised on both sides. This isn't your place to get between these two, you slowly rise from the chair and slowly walk towards the door only keeping a single eye half peeking from the bag.

"Don't mind me." You whisper to yourself as you reach the door.

"Look at that, now the rookie is leaving."

"Maybe because you can't keep the volume down on your yapper!" Hawthorne replies

You sigh and let the glass door click quietly behind you, the sound of their yelling now muted, the nearest armchair becomes your new home. You give the Commander, Commissioner, or Head Detective a silent prayer of thanks. Whoever wanted to prioritize the comfort of people coming in for interviews did you an unintentional solid. It's only just as you tune the bickering out that a new voice pierces your ears.

"They going at it?"

"Kimble.." You grumble.

"You look like shit." He says casually. You chuckle, it sends a wave of ache over your head.

"Feel like shit. Like two spoons are wedged behind my eyeballs."

"Migraines?"

"Not usually. This might be my first."

You hear a puff of air being released from the cushioned seat next to you.
"I'll wait until they get done with that to head in, doesn't look like I got anything you don't know anyways."

"Meaning?"

"Matches Malone is in giant red letters and he has an arrow over him leading to a question mark. So my information is that out-of-Gotham muscle is being brought in and someone even higher than the old big bosses has everyone's nuts in a clamp. That about what you all worked out?"

"Yeah, except it isn't just the old heads. Penguin's in that same clamp with em."

"Son of a bitch." He whispers to himself. "We learn anything?"

"I used my shivers to map the sewers near the club. When I'm less messed up I can start working on mapping it out using Hawthorne's documents he found from City Hall."

"That's some good damn news, Boot. Now pop some painkillers and get to it. That's an order from your TO." You hear the smile creep into his voice as a hard clap on your shoulder rattles your everything. You let out another groan and you hear Kimble rise.

"You. Go get this guy something for his headache and make it strong. Don't forget a water too."

You lift the corner of your peas and see a nervous looking officer nodding in compliance. You let the bag fall back down as the door to the office opens again and you catch another snippet of the argument within. You sigh.
>>
Nearly an hour and more headache pills than directed on the bottle later you end up back in that office space. Hawthorne and Grey making an obvious effort to avoid speaking with one another. Kimble leers over your shoulder as you both try to parse the maps of the sewer network that Hawthorne managed to scrounge together. The large boardroom table is covered in a patchwork of photocopied plans from a time before you existed all held together with an invisible border of scotch tape between each overlapping sheet.

"There are way more missing sections than we thought.." You say out-loud, letting your thoughts spill as you work to sort, mark, and connect city block to city block.

"I would be shocked if most of this wasn't the fault of shithead City Hall gophers. Did you know half of em are interns from Gotham U, completely unpaid and being trusted with shit like this."

"You get what you pay for." You mumble as you drag a thick carpenter's pencil over blank sections of your makeshift map. Kimble offers a few pointers and unhelpful banter but you're lost in your thoughts. The paper, ink, pencil sketches, and Kimble's continuous interjections fade away as you begin to enter a flow state. Your hand just moves on it's own. You don't think, you don't call on the memory from the cafe bathroom, and you don't try to use the surrounding map for context clues or some sort of guide. You simply draw as if Gotham itself were guiding your hand, but was it really? You feel in control. It's only when a hand is waved before your eyes that you blink and rejoin reality.

"Rook." Hawthorne tells you, he and Grey now flanking your sides. "Did you hear me?"

"Uh. No, sir."

"I said you should have gone to art school when you had the chance. This is fantastic."

"With memory like that it makes sense why you're aiming for Detective." Grey says, almost to himself. You can't help but feel like that light in his eye isn't pride. It's suspicion.

You look down and let yourself be impressed by your own work that sense of pride faltering when you have to ask yourself if it really was your doing. Or perhaps you'd surrendered control to Shivers again, like with your 'sleep walking'

>"Thank you, Sir." (Keep this to yourself, you don't need to worry anyone when tension is already high.)
>"I can't really take credit for it, Sir. I think I may have had another blank out. But different."
>"This isn't the full map, just the tunnels themselves. My vision when we were out led me past gates, areas of rushing water, and some other hazards."
>Write-In

NEW ABILITY:

>Remote Viewing: Use your Shivers to attune to a specific location and gain deep insights into it's layout, for now. Though the exact limitations of this aren't fully known to you yet and neither do you fully understand the costs.

QM Note: Be warned, the cost of this ability appears to be incredible strain, even your meditation techniques from John, so use at your own risk.
>>
>>5920471
Appreciate it, anon. Thanks for reading!

>>5920303
Understandable, very sorry.

>>5921044
Whatever could you mean...
>>
>>5921279
>"This isn't the full map, just the tunnels themselves. My vision when we were out led me past gates, areas of rushing water, and some other hazards."
>>
>>5921279
>SewerMapThatReadersDoNotNeedToLookInto.jpg
kek
>"I can't really take credit for it, Sir. That was another shivers blank out. This one is more controlled at least."
Inform them it's a power thing, but don't be dramatic.
>There were other hazards too, will we be sending someone to scout the sewers out on foot before the meeting day?
Can't rely on visions alone after all.

The ability is absolutely busted though. I expect the swat team leader coming to us for a map before every important raid from now on if the word leaks out.

QM, how much detail have we drew? Did we mark all the new things the club owners installed: the escape hatch, etc?
>>
>>5921279
>>"This isn't the full map, just the tunnels themselves. My vision when we were out led me past gates, areas of rushing water, and some other hazards."
>>
>>5921335
Detail is next to nothing except the brief glimpses you got.

Imagine you had an autopilot car that took you through a pitch dark maze, but occasionally it would flash the high beams. But in the end, you get a top-down view of the maze with a yellow line tracking your trip start to finish, but ONLY in the spots you drove through. Alternate exits, where are the dead ends, etc are all unknown to you.

Power sperg below:

This is a very powerful ability, but I feel the drawbacks and limitations I have in mind for it will keep it from being a catch-all problem solver. Interested to hear your thoughts on it with that brief explanation/exposition.

It is also another dip down the Gotham rabbit hole. Keep in mind what Kimble told you about that.
>>
>>5921335
+1
I don't like Grey being so suspicious of us. We're on his side for fuck's sake. We have Disco Elysium Shivers, of course that's going to shove us to detective work by nature
>>
>>5921343
>But in the end, you get a top-down view of the maze with a yellow line tracking your trip start to finish, but ONLY in the spots you drove through. Alternate exits, where are the dead ends, etc are all unknown to you.
Well, not of the "top-down view of the maze" then? Just the top down view of the line itself, without the maze? Like picrelated, but we drew it on top of existing sewer map?
We really gotta send a guy to check, this is unreliable. I kind of fear they have 1 or 2 cameras duct taped to the random corners around the secret exit, to make sure no cops were sniffing around. What to do, what to do.

Also if I understood the ability correctly, we don't actually know what escape route THEY will take, only how to get to the hatch. Maybe there are more paths. There are probably more paths.
>>
Anons, I just wanted to point out that MAYBE we could bring our spandex wearing allies to this stuff. If Falcone doesn't want to leave with a minor slap wrist, maybe the Bat can give him a slap as a warning, and perhaps he can try and search for those other secret routes on the sewers. Nightwing could come to give Falcone the scare of his life and Batman could be fucking him over on other business he might be running, idk, but if you don't want Falcone to come out unpunished then that might be a way: Cripple him so he can't get an upper hand when the rest of the mobsters get out of jail and resume operations.
>>
>>5921279
this>>5921335
>>
>>5921271
I figure Bats is either investigating the same situation, trying to figure out who the new big player is... or Batman HIMSELF is running some scheme to round them up and impose some order. But with all that earlier talk of Father Boxes... Could it be someone extraplanetary? Most intergalactic powers wouldn't give two shits about the Gotham mobs, but Apokalips gets off on that sort of decadence and corruption, and Batman is a big enough deal to irk Darkseid personally.

>>5921436
Batman can't be there because Matches is, not that we know that. I like Q and Huntress more, anyway in the context of this quest, at least; give THEM the bust, if anyone.

>>5921279
+1 to >>5921335
>>
>>5921279
>>"This isn't the full map, just the tunnels themselves. My vision when we were out led me past gates, areas of rushing water, and some other hazards."
>>
>>5921279
>>"This isn't the full map, just the tunnels themselves. My vision when we were out led me past gates, areas of rushing water, and some other hazards."
>>Write-In
>"Downside, this vision makes me feel as though I have shoved this pencil through my eye repeatedly."
>>
>>5921373
Is he suspicious of us or just suspicious in general? He's been clashing with people lately and i feel like out of the entire 'secret taskforce' for SIM he's the one with the least skin in the game
>>
+1 >>5921335


>>5922653

yeah and isn't he the lead detective on this case?

though his suspicion is warranted DL just whiped up a full sewer map of the area in like what an hour or few, when he showed no sign of being able to do that.
>>
>>5923572
It took way more effort + bleeding eye + being at the right place
>>
>>5923575
your right, we know he is suspicion but what brought that on?
is he just jealous, or does he suspect us of something?
>>
>>5921335
>>5921373
>>5923572
>>5921694

"I can't really take credit for it, Sir. It was another shivers blank-out but not that serious, just kinda felt like when you really focus on something."

Hawthorne grunts and nods.
"You keep picking up nifty tricks, Rook." He says with a friendly tap on your back.

"Any other details?" Grey asks you, leaning in and letting his eyes scan the map. "No offense to you but it's a little sparse looking."

"Can't rely on visions alone, there were other hazards when I was 'feeling it out' but nothing too serious except for some rushing water and a couple of gates."

He frowns.
"I'll have to talk to the mayor about getting a copy of city custodial keys, in the meantime Kimble I want you to go pick your favorite footman and bring me a list for approval."

"The Commander greenlit a team?"

"He's with us on getting a search team together and diverting a few patrolman for the operation to hold perimeter."

"And SWAT?" Hawthorne asks.

"Still in the air but I'm working on it."

Hawthorne grunts.
"I could lend a hand I guess." He grumbles. "Few guys on the team still remember me."

"That would be a help." Grey replies. Hawthorne grunts. A few moments of pause Kimble lets out a sigh.

"I guess that means I'm back to walking and talking then." He stands with a groan and gives you a nod.

"What about me?" You ask nobody in particular.

Hawthorne and Grey both look to you then each other.
"Bleeding eyes are usually a reason to go home, if you wanna head out I won't blame ya. You did good work today." Grey tells you. Hawthorne nods in agreeance.

>"I could help you out if you need anything, Grey." This could be a good reason to see if he'll spill why he was looking at you like that earlier.
>"I could help Kimble out with finding some officers for perimeter and sewer duty, I know a couple guys."
>"Do you need any help with the SWAT guys, Sir? I already spoke to someone who said they were your old commander."
>"Thank you, Sir. It'll be nice to have some time off." (Contact Huntress and Q?"
>Write-In
>>
>>5923843
>"I could help you out if you need anything, Grey." This could be a good reason to see if he'll spill why he was looking at you like that earlier.
>Send a text to Q to have a meet-up and chat later, after work
>>
>>5923846
+1
>>
>>5923843
>"Thank you, Sir. It'll be nice to have some time off."
>Schedule a meetup with Huntress and Q. They could be invaluable in the upcoming sting operation.
>>
>Supporting >>5923860
>>
>>5923846
Supporting
>>
>>5923843
Wasn't bleeding what got us off duty before?

Best 'play it safe' and work on something else
>>
>>5923914

Previously you were put on mental health leave because you were wandering around a crime scene in a trance stepping on things.
>>
>MEANWHILE, INSIDE OFFICER DELUCIA'S NOTES...
>TO-DO LIST:
>look into weighted blanket for shivers
>get new locks and bars for the windows
>find out where those charms were placed
>stop fucking bleeding everywhere
>>
+1 >>5923846

>>5923860
I agree we should meet with Q and Huntress after work thy would be invaluable.
>>
>>5923860
+1

Let’s take a goddamn break.
Also we haven’t heard from the schizos in a hot minute, wonder what they’ve been up to?
>>
So is Huntress considered a "verified" vigilante like batman? Or she's a no-no woman because of all the killing she does?
>>
Talk to Grey:
>>5923846
>>5923847
>>5923869
>>5924000

Take Off Now:
>>5923860
>>5923863
>>5924097

Text Q and Huntress:
Unanimous.

Writing.
>>
"I could help you if you need anything, Grey." You offer. Grey doesn't reply immediately as he takes a few moments to gather some papers. You take the chance to slip your phone out and fire off a quick text message:

'Been a while, pizza tonight?'

As you pocket the phone a box filled with papers is pressed into your chest, you wrap your arm around it and shift it to your side to make room for the follow up box you know is coming.

"You taught him that rookies carry the paperwork?" Grey asks Hawthorne.

"He's a quick study." He replies, his eyes glued to his phone screen as he taps out a message of his own.

Grey grunts out a reply before nodding towards the door for you to follow. You end up in a room you've never seen before, rows of filing cabinets stretching wall to wall with barely enough space to squeeze through while stacks of paper sit loosely bound with a series of binder clips, rubber bands, and some just leaning precariously against a wall. You let your gaze wander over the bureaucratic ocean in front of you. You're led to a small clearing in the paperwork and cabinets.

"Set the boxes down here, I'm gonna be in late digging through all our personnel records." Grey sighs before pulling a seat out and gesturing to it. "Take a seat, Mark."

You furrow your brow and lower yourself into the cold metal chair. Grey leans against the edge of the table and his eyes wander the room.

"Sir?" You ask him after a few moments of uncomfortable silence. "Is everything okay?"

He takes a deep breath and finally faces you, his face cold and analytical.
"Mark, you're a solid cop from everything I've observed. A little naïve at times, a little too quick to get into it, but all in all. I think you have the fundamentals, the rest we can work on with your training."

"Thank you, sir?"

"I'm bringing this up because I want to know what you want."

"In what way, sir?"

"What you want from this department, from the case we have building concerning the old bosses of Gotham, and from your side activities." He says the final word with a flat tone hiding all inclination in his voice. You've read these techniques, he's soft grilling you.

"Well, Sir. I've wanted to start working towards detective, when I'm a little less green."

He nods.
"Are you sure?"

"I'd say so, sir." You reply flatly.

He grunts and lets his eyebrows pop for a moment in surprise.
"Do you know how Hawthorne and I became friends?"

"No, sir. I always assume you met on the force."

"Before that even." He mumbles pulling a small foil pack from his pocket and tossing a small piece of gum into his mouth. "We were academy rats together back when the police were the problem half the time. Most of my Senior Officers were on the take and half of my graduating class dropped the job or dropped dead within a couple of months."

He takes a moment of pause, his mind floating to a distant memory, you feel the hairs on your arm raise and a small twitch in the back of your throat.
>>
The smell of paper and ink in the room is replaced, only for an instant, by the scent of gunpowder and copper.

You clear your throat to scratch the itch and that seems to rattle Grey from his memory.

"What I'm saying. Is that back when I was where you are I only had one person to rely on and so it's kind of my second nature to look out for him."

"Look out for him? What does that mean?"

He looks to you again and holds your stare.
"I'm not sure you're the best influence for him, Mark. I think he might not be the best for you either."

"Excuse me." You state.

"You remind him of when he was young, of when he could do certain things that he can't do anymore, and it's undeniable. This side project, I'm in it to make sure he gets through, it's something he should have never gotten involved in and truth be told, I can't even blame you, it isn't your fault. Mitch has always been this way, he's the kind of man who matches his partner's energy. For better or worst."

"Grey, all respect intended but Hawthorne is his own person."

"I know. I am painfully aware of that fact." He takes a moment and sighs. "You want to be detective someday? This is it." He stands, arms outstretched.

"The file room?"

"The fucking file room." He says quietly. "Detective work is done in your head, on paper, and very rarely on the streets. Detective work is not doing some jump out boy shit that barely flew thirty years ago! It is not saving people. It is solving problems and puzzles and spending long nights alone with nothing but your mind and the facts. Hawthorne and I went different routes, he couldn't give up the rush of being on the street."

"What does that have to do with our 'influence' on each other?"

"Mark. If he keeps trying to keep up with someone like you he's gonna slip. I've been following your career and it's already impressive for such a green cop to have saving the mayor under his belt on top of everything else, you're a prodigy approaching your prime."

"What does that make Hawthorne?" You ask, insulted on his behalf.

"Same as me. A relic. A relic with not much left except the job and his friends. If he keeps following you around he's going to slip and I don't know if he get's back up from that kind of fall. Not anymore."

"He's tough."

"The toughest.." He says to himself. "But there comes a point that being tough isn't enough anymore, the things Hawthorne can teach you are gonna make you a good beat cop or door kicker. But he's teaching you the old way and you just go along with it because he's your superior, the lessons you are learning are from a different Gotham."

"So what does that mean? Someone else should be handing me these lessons? Like you? Or Kimble?"

He sighs.
"No, you're a different breed of cop, Mark. The droplet before the storm."

"Because I'm meta?"

He shrugs.
"Because you're the first in the new age of Super-Cops fighting Super-Criminals. I just want my friend to make it out without becoming a lesson for you."
>>
Your phone buzzes. You give it a quick glance and see a simple thumbs up emoji.

You look back up at Grey grasping for something to say but he holds up a hand.

"Just promise me when we finish this SIM project that you'll keep Kimble as your TO. I already know Hawthorne has been working behind your back with the commander to try and get himself reinstated. When the time comes and they ask you, I just want you to let the man finally get some rest." His eyes bore into you with a mixture of pleading and cold analytics as he tries to read your expression. Something about the way he accentuates the word rest and his overall demeanor has your mind turning. You feel a twitch in your forearm and a cold spreading beneath your skin.

>"Sorry Grey, Hawthorne is his own man. If he thinks he has more to show me and teach me then I'm obligated to take his lessons."
>"I'll think about it, I just gotta get out of here now."
>"I didn't realize he was pushing himself so hard to try and keep up with me. You might be right, it may be better to learn from someone who has some more modern experience."
>"No offense intended, Sir. But I didn't ask for this lecture or your advice. I appreciate your concern for Hawthorne but as long as I'm around nothing is gonna happen to him."
>Write-In (Encouraged)

I'd very much so like to hear your guys thoughts on this entire exchange.
>>
>>5924726
>"I'll think about it, I just gotta get out of here now."
He raises good points and, yeah, the longer he's in our orbit the more likely he'll get hurt. That's true practically (IC logic) and on a meta(heh)fictional level, since being in the story more during pivotal scenes means it's more likely he'll get 'fridged' or die a tragic side-character death. But this Mandragora case is his baby, too. For that reason:
>"But Grey? Let him finish this Mandragora business. He needs this."
>>
>>5924726
>"You expect me to just drop it on him like that? Look, I get where you're coming from. Hell, you aren't even the first to give me this lecture, but I'm gonna at least talk to him about it before push comes to shove."
>"It might be a pain for the both of us, but I promise I'm not just gonna roll with whatever he says off the bat. I owe you and him that much at least."
>>
>>5924727
supporting
>>
>>5924726
>>5924727
+1
>>
>>5924727
+1
>>
+1 >>5924727

he brings a valid point, but we should talk to our work father about it, not just throw him to the side, the best point to really talk to him about it and a way I see him accepting it is right after we bust Mandragora's balls.
>>
>>5924727
+1
>>
>>5924727
+1
This is bad anons. Fictional cops are in the most danger right before retirement.
>>
>>5924726
The exchange was very good.
The dialogue in this quest is second to none QM.
>>
>>5924877
imagine we lose him right before we are able to bust Mandragora...
>>
>>5924950
>Swear we do it by the book as he lays dying
Reminds me of this
https://youtube.com/watch?v=nXf7HC7iYEY
>>
>>5924952
origin story
>>
Just read through the archives. We ever bring up Will Church to Hawthorne? About how Will asked us to tell Hawthorne to come around sometimes and wouldn't get on his back about his age anymore?
>>
File: QuestionAndAnswer.jpg (25 KB, 292x586)
25 KB
25 KB JPG
>>5924727
>>5924746
>>5924770
>>5924775
>>5924797
>>5924859
>>5924877

"I'll think about it, I just. I gotta get out of here." You waggle your phone and Grey gives you a disappointed but understanding look.

"All good, DeLucia. Just think about it.

"I will." You tell him, your mind already turning over his words and finding a concerning amount you agree with. As you reach the door you turn the handle and pull only to leave it open as your mind continues to work.

"Grey?" You ask over your shoulder.

"Yeah."

"Let him finish this Mandragora business. He needs this."

Grey's eyes invoke a very specific brand of sorrow in you. Just from his face alone you can tell there's so much he'd like to say but he, instead, leaves it at:

"I know."

================================

Nearly an hour and a half later you find your old car pulling into a familiar back alley, your headlights cut off before you even entered, the quiet crackle of loose stones and old debris under your tire are all that betray your arrival. As you pull around something new in the front window catches your eye.

'HELP WANTED'

You frown and let out a sigh through your nose. Atop the dumpster is a familiar fedora, this time in a light cream color, sitting on a pile of greasy cardboard boxes is your favorite faceless vigilante. He holds a small notebook in his hand and scribbles on it with a long broken pencil.

"Officer." He says quietly as you step out. "Glad you reached out, I had some things to share with you."

He stands from the now indented box tower and tears a sheet handing it to you. A small address in neat font is scrawled across the striped paper.

"An address?"

"A meet place for Hatchet Men, Huntress got it out of a friend."

"A friend?"

"She met him at work." He remarks dryly.
>>
"I won't ask." You tell him. He only grunts.

"I was hoping to see you to pass this on but why call me out, do you have something, Officer?"

>"I was hoping you could help me out with a case actually regarding this meeting between the Crime Bosses."
>"I was hoping to help you and Huntress out with something, work a little more outside the office."
>"Honestly, you got time to just..hang out? Grab a beer or something, you wanted more time out of the mask right?"
>Write-In

Sorry for stilted posting. Work got weird.
>>
>>5925650
>"I was hoping we could help each other out regarding this meeting between the Crime Bosses."
Give a little, get a little. They watch our back and catch that sleaze Maroni on his way out, but some fear into him where we can't so he knows that even if the cops are giving him a 'slap on the wrist', that's not carte blanche.
>>
>>5925650
>"I was hoping you could help me out with a case actually regarding this meeting between the Crime Bosses."
>>
+1 >>5925659
I agree but we should be extra careful not link ourselves with his capture wouldn't want any future crime bosses not trust us to out their own guys to be the top.

>>5925622
I'm curious about the woman that shot herself, if we pursue that case we might get actual dirt on Mandragora to put him away for life, and we do it by the book, though we have to be extra carful not to tip any one that we are looking into it, not even our very creepy definitely not the SIM killer, rookie friend.
>>
>>5925650
>>"Honestly, you got time to just..hang out? Grab a beer or something, you wanted more time out of the mask right?"
>>
>>5925659
>>5925787
>>5925808

"I was hoping we could help each other out."

"You know me, Officer. Always willing to lend a hand. What's it regarding?"

"The Crime Bosses of Gotham are meeting."

"At the Tobacconist Club, correct?"

"That's right, guessing you got some of that from the goons you've been running through."

"Huntress is very persuasive."

"I don't want to hear it. The less I hear the better."

He shrugs and lets his featureless visage stare at you.
"All the same to me, Officer. What kind of help are you hoping not to hear about?"

"I made a sort of deal with Maroni, he gets me into the meeting under the pretense of me being dirty."

"A hard to believe concept for anyone who knows you." Question interrupts.

"Yeah well, they don't know me. The skinny is this: I go in pretending to be dirty and listen in on their meeting, Kimble and a small detachment of SWAT are gonna kick in the doors, and when they take their secret entrance to escape we have another group of patrolmen waiting in the sewers to scoop em up except for Maroni."

"Which is where you want Huntress and I to come in."

"And they call Batman an ace detective."

A single dry chuckle flits from behind his mask as he collects his hat and secures it.

"Underhanded move, Officer. I'm proud of you, you aren't the same greenhorn I held up with a spray bottle. Consider Huntress and I on board."

"Appreciated, Q."

"Could do you one better. It shouldn't be long now before the GCPD starts picking up rumors about myself and Huntress."

"Rumors regarding?"

"Things you don't want to hear about. A faceless man and a woman in purple looking for anyone connected to Mandragora."

You rub your forehead and sigh.
"You know this is gonna put him on edge right? What if he blows off the meeting over this?"

"From what we've been hearing it isn't exactly optional. More of a 'orders from on high' arrangement."

You furrow your brow.
"I heard something recently that lends some credibility to that idea. How exactly do you help then?"

"A set of crazed maniacs, frustrated their current hunt isn't bearing any fruit, end up broadening their search to Maroni, Falcone, and anyone else. One of their questions? Who are the dirty cops on Maroni's pay roll. It would set up a precedent for your reputation before you go into the club. But at the same time it will erode faith in the GCPD."

"Question, that's insane. That could get me investigated by IA."

"And convicted of what? Any accusation against someone with a stellar record like you will be disregarded as...conspiracy. Especially with your plan to infiltrate on the books officially." He let's his words linger, a gloved hand stroking his chin. "I just provide alternatives, Officer. If you want to go far then you'll get into the habit. 'In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.' they say."

"Who is they?"
>>
"A man who played both sides in an invisible war. A task not so dissimilar to our own."

He turns and faces you, sliding his small pizza box stool to the side as he leans down and picks up a small plastic bag.

"Don't commit to plans. Commit to planning. Think of everything that can go wrong along the way and then begin planning for if that happened. If you plan enough then you'll never need to commit to a plan, you can commit to multiple."

"Talking to you is a headache, Q."

"I've been told." He says dryly. "Should I tell Huntress to start asking about a rogue officer?"

>"Yes, tell Huntress to spread the word about a cop on Maroni's pay-roll but do not get specific about the precinct or anything else. Keep it vague."
>"Go for it, just leave my name out of it is all I ask."
>"Absolutely not, I'm not going to risk making more people distrust the police. A rumor about a dirty cop isn't going to just wash off when we pull off the sting."
>Write-In

Secondary Vote:
>Ask Question to hang out.
>Head home after this, you need a break.
>Do something else..(Write-In)
>>
>>5925873
>"Yes, tell Huntress to spread the word about a cop on Maroni's pay-roll but do not get specific about the precinct or anything else. Keep it vague."
>Ask Question to hang out.
The department's rep is secondary to getting shit done, much as it pains me to say.
>>
>>5925873
>"Absolutely not, I'm not going to risk making more people distrust the police. A rumor about a dirty cop isn't going to just wash off when we pull off the sting."
>Ask Question to hang out.
>>
Happy Valentines Day to all you guys! Wanted to let you know I may not be on later for an update as I have plans with the missus, so if you don't see a post around the normal time that means I decided to take the night off.


General Question for everyone to mull over until the next post:
>Who is your favorite character and why?

Just wanted to take the chance, as well to tell everyone thank you for playing. Even lurkers who just read and say nothing, just wanna let you guys know I really appreciate your participation in/reading the quest. Running this has reminded me why I loved QM'ing so much in high school a bunch of years ago. It's been a blast.
>>
+1 >>5925875

it's painful but I agree reputation can be earned back with this massive bust the GCPD is about to make, that piece of PR should cover some of the rumors about us being corrupt, and if we are being investigated who knows they might catch some actual corruption.
>>
>>5925962
Happy valentines day!

the SIM Killer his second murder of that woman and him killing the kid was chilling especially when we heard the kid's thoughts right at the end, he adds a picture of Gotham to me, which makes it seem to me like Jack the ripper case and us trying to catch him, it just adds to Gotham's atmosphere and really paints a brutal picture of what go's down in certain parts of the city.
>>
>>5925875
+1

>>5925962
Where are the silly comic book architecture like giant typewriters or some shit?
>>
>>5925873
>"Yes, tell Huntress to spread the word about a cop on Maroni's pay-roll but do not get specific about the precinct or anything else. Keep it vague."
>Ask Question to hang out.

Keeping it vague would help with what we wanted to do anyways, which is to get them spinning and snapping at their own heels.
>>
>>5925873
>"Yes, tell Huntress to spread the word about a cop on Maroni's pay-roll but do not get specific about the precinct or anything else. Keep it vague."
if crooks don't believe at least SOME cops are dirty, they'll never buy our 'dirty cop' infiltration routine to begin with. And, come on, it's Gotham. People don't trust cops, certainly not ALL cops. And... Shit, there SI a mole, isn't there? So people aren't WRONG.

>Ask Question to hang out.
We can check in on Bass Head.

>>5925962
>Who is your favorite character and why?
I think you're doing a really good job of the mystery of What Exactly Is Wrong With Rogers, but also Hawthorne is very good. I'd say Question and Huntress, too; you write them well, but since they aren't OCs I wasn't sure that praise would be as meaningful.
>>
>>5925873
>>Write-In
>>"Faith in the department is only just now recovering from the slime it used to be thanks to Gordon's work as commissioner. The only way I would accept this is if you make it seem that you and Huntress are running out of leads and are 'looking for something, anything' to crack it open."
>>Ask Question to hang out.

I feel that we have to at least attempt to preserve the little trust that the department has.

>>5925873

Honestly, my favorite character so far is a tie between Hawthorne, Kimbel, and Gotham herself. Thanks to you getting to use Shivers (the second best Disco power after Inland Empire) you have made Gotham a forthcoming character in its own right.
>>
>>5925873
>>"Yes, tell Huntress to spread the word about a cop on Maroni's pay-roll but do not get specific about the precinct or anything else. Keep it vague."
>Head home after this, you need a break.
>>
>>5925873
>>"Absolutely not, I'm not going to risk making more people distrust the police. A rumor about a dirty cop isn't going to just wash off when we pull off the sting."
I feel like the meeting is gonna go to shit VERY fast anyway.
>Head home after this, you need a break.
No idea what to talk to him about besides work, so let's just go.

Guys, question. Do we Red Button this meeting? Those are all the biggest gotham mob bosses in one place. Just a little bit of bat wouldn't hurt.

>>5925962
>>Who is your favorite character and why?
Hawthorne. He's sooo gonna die. But also Grey. The line about "new age of Super-Cops fighting Super-Criminals" is really cool. It's wrong, I don't think the amount of capeshit is increasing on DC's earth as time goes on, but more meta cops would be cool to see. Maybe more d-listers will see Mark being cool in uniform and decide to go legit. Problem is a lot of origin stories happen to people who are already adults. No 30 year old (who's now a d-lister meta) is gonna do a 180 and fuck off to police academy I think. Maybe we need a legal version of a suicide squiad. "Meta auxiliary forces" or something like this, idk. Too ambitious probably.
>>
>>5925873
>"Should I tell Huntress to start asking about a rogue officer?"
>>5926164
>>5926318
Some mix of these two. There are always gonna be dirty cops, and Huntress should suggest that she's looking for someone, possibly us and others, but also we don't want it to be a public thing - so long as it doesn't get to big word of mouth, yes.
Thugs and criminals will always assume that a cop maybe bribed, we just don't want the general public to think that.

As to Secondary Vote
>Ask Question to hang out.
>BUT...
>"If you want to lose the mask for a few hours, you want to just talk?"
>>
>>5926776
>I don't think the amount of capeshit is increasing on DC's earth as time goes on, but more meta cops would be cool to see.
Technically, most DC continuities do go that way, though whether it happens during the lifetime of Batman and Superman (as in Kingdom Come or Generations) or takes many centuries or millennia to reach that point (The Legion of Superheroes) varies.
>>
>>5926830
>Technically, most DC continuities do go that way
Huh. That feels oddly depressing but also cool. "The times are always changing" is a great theme/background for any story, but I thought stagnation was the name of the game for most superhero stuff. Batman especially since his "dark urban fairy tale" setting is so out of time it can be done over and over in different ways and people aren't getting tired of him. Or gotham for that matter.
>>
>>5925873
>"Absolutely not, I'm not going to risk making more people distrust the police. A rumor about a dirty cop isn't going to just wash off when we pull off the sting."
>Ask Question to hang out.
>>
>>5925875
>>5925967
>>5925972
>>5925984
>>5926164
>>5926318
>>5926548

Collected and Counted. Writing.
>>
"Question, faith in the department is only just now recovering from the slime it used to be thanks to Gordon."

Question nods.
"I agree, your commissioner is special, but what does his work have to do with ours?"

"Wrong way around Q, this is YOUR work intersecting with mine."

"I see."

"The only way I accept this is if you make it seem like you two are running out of options and are looking for anything to crack this case, even if it means chasing shadows."

"So instead of, 'Who is the crooked cop?' we should be asking 'Does Maroni have a cop under his thumb?' plausible deniability that way for you? Just two crazy criminals sharing rumors over a fist fight."

"Just spread the word, but be subtle about it. This works best for all of us and will get Huntress closer to Mandragora."

"I doubt she'd object to that logic." He strokes his chin, slowly walking over to his beater car he leans against the door, his head angled down as he stares into the ground.

"Q?"

"Just thinking, Officer. I agree that it would be better for your department's reputation for us to do things this way, Huntress and I don't have stellar ones ourselves so a few instances of clobbering goons over half baked rumor make sense for us, I suppose."

"I didn't mean it that way, Q."

He holds up a hand.
"I'm not offended, Officer. It's the logical play and I'll back it. Because I want to see her put this to bed, she needs to put this to bed." He repeats the final line with a quiet intensity. The kind that makes your neck hair stand up.

"I'm in the same boat as you in a way." You tell him, joining him at his vehicle. "I need to help Hawthorne end this too, he's been working his whole career nearly trying to get this guy."

"And avenge his wife.." Question whispers.

"Yeah."

You both sit in silence for a few moments before Question breaks it with a tentative question.

"Officer, say this sting goes perfectly and you end up alone with Mandragora. Just you and Hawthorne.."

"I know where this is going."

"I'm asking that if it came down to it, would you stop him, could you stop him?"

>"We are the police, not judges, and not executioners. Hawthorne feels the same way, it's not gonna happen."
>"Of course I would, we trust each other, I know if I asked him to stand down he would."
>"By any means, murder is a crime even when the one behind the gun has a badge. If he couldn't be reasoned with then I'd restrain him."
>"I'd follow the lead of my TO. I trust him to make the right call."
>"No. Mandragora is irredeemable, I've seen first hand how he operates from a vision."
>Write-In
>>
>>5927231
>"We are the police, not judges, and not executioners. Hawthorne feels the same way, it's not gonna happen.
>>
>>5927231
>"We are the police, not judges, and not executioners. Hawthorne feels the same way, it's not gonna happen.
We're no cape, no vigilante. As much as we'd want to put bullets in Mandragora and SIM, because we anons see it as the right thing to do, we are still bound by laws and other people. It's the modern society we live in, where you cannot even kill people that are this dangerous without suffering for it yourself. A shame, but I think being noblebright and lawful good to this extent fits Mark just fine.
>>
>>5927231
>>"We are the police, not judges, and not executioners. The city takes what it's owed."
Then, to ourselves not to convince ourselves but because it should be said. "Hawthorne feels the same way, it's not gonna happen."
>>
>>5927231
>"We are the police, not judges, and not executioners. Hawthorne feels the same way, it's not gonna happen."
The first part is the plain truth. The second part at least IMPLIES we might crack him over the head if he pulls a gun on Mandragora,
>>
>>5927231
>"I'd follow the lead of my TO. I trust him to make the right call."
>>
>>5927234
>>5927262
>>5927286
>>5927299

"We are the police, not judges, not executioners." You tell him firmly. "Hawthorne feels the same, it won't happen." You follow up quietly with conviction still strong in your words.

"I believe you." Question reassures.

"What about Huntress? If you two were alone with him.."

"I would hope I could talk her out of it. Though I'm not too sure."

"Oh?"

He remains silent a few moments.
"Mandragora killed her parents, in front of her."

You stare at him for a few moments in a shocked silence.

"Don't let on that you know that, perhaps I shouldn't have told you, but I feel like we shouldn't keep any secrets." His voice betrays no emotion, just a cold logical calculus.

"Well I appreciate the faith."

"Not faith, you've given me no reason to think you aren't exactly what you seem."

"And how do I seem?"

"Like a good person and a competent police officer. You remind me of some people from the league."

"Do you miss it?"

"I miss the access I had. But I left for good reason."

"I heard your leaving was less...voluntary."

He nods.
"I had already decided on leaving before they had. I had overstepped."

"Regarding Superman?"

His head turns towards you slightly.
"You know more than you let on, Officer."

"I have good sources."

"I offered you the courtesy of being open, you deserve that after trusting me to keep the files on the case. But if you want to play your connections to the league close to the vest then I won't press you. I know more than most the pressure of keeping some things secret."

>"Sorry, Question. My Ex Girlfriend was the one who mentioned it, with how our last chat went I doubt I have more insight."
>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
>"My source isn't that big a deal...just Batman."
>Write-In
>>
>>5927462
>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
>>
>>5927462
>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
>>
>>5927462
>>"My source isn't that big a deal...just Batman."
>>
>>5927462
>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
Do right by Q
>>
>>5927462
>>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
But we're in the back alley of a pizza place that isn't a 'uncommon' location for us. Maybe 'Not here'? or someplace more hidden?
>>
>>5927462
>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
>>
>>5927462
>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
>>
>>5927586 +1
Good thinking.

>>5927462
I'm >>5926830 on mobile.
>>
+1 >>5927586
>>
>>5927462
>>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
>>
>>5927462
>>move to another location first, then
>>"It's a bit of a long story, but I'll tell you all of it if you want." (This will disclose everything including your Road House Meeting with the Bat)
I'm probably too quick to trust people, but I see 0 scenarios where he betrays us. And he loooves info, gift him some.

Also I missed the "Kill Mandragora or not" vote, which is a damn shame. Come on, if we arrest him he'll just be back again. Or he'll run his operation from prison. I suppose Mark needs to see his enemies escape jail over and over, and only then he'll arrive at the "just fucking kill 'em" mentality.
>>
>>5928739
All we need is for him to WANT to be in prison more then, innit?

Make it impossible for him to leave.

Still a cop. Cut a head off, another takes its place; more ruthless to avoid the mistakes of the past. Gotta get systematic on the structures.
>>
"Bit of a long story, mind if I tell it somewhere more private?" You ask him

Question looks around cautiously.
"Perhaps you're right. How about we drive?"

He walks past you and heads for your car, pulling on the passenger door handle and then raising his featureless face to you.

"It's locked, officer." He tells you while continuing to test the handle every few second.

You sigh.

============

The lights of the parkway pass over top of you like pale grey strobe lights as you reach the end of your story, the silver case with the red button that Batman had left in your care.

"He was always one for contingency." Question muses as he lies almost completely flat in your passenger seat. "Can I sit up soon, Officer?"

"Are you going to take your mask off?"

"I'd rather not."

"I'd rather not be spotted with you, either."

"Fair enough." He replies as one of his leather dress shoes rise from the floorboard and cross over his slacks, his gloved hands end up comfortably behind his head.

"Are you gonna weigh in on any of this or are you going to take a nap in my passenger seat?"

"I think best when I'm comfortable and when I'm under pressure."

You ignore the contradiction and focus on the road, Gotham's darkened streets only dotted with red taillights at this time.

"I think your decision to turn down an invitation to meet with League Members was the catalyst for this."

"How so?"

"He always had an affinity for those who were more...grounded."

"Like you?"

"No. I'm fairly confident he hates me, our conversation ended in a brawl after all."

"You fought Batman?"

"Maybe it was more of a scuffle."

"You lost huh?"

"He has strong morals and values." Question continues, ignoring your question, his fingers drum on the brim of his fedora. "He more than likely saw your refusal to even hear the league out and rejoin your old flame as a sign that you were 'worthy' to join his side project."

"His side project? Like a Junior Justice League or something?" You joke.

"No, he's always been an outsider to the League despite being a founding member. His old protege, the boy in red, do you remember him?"

"Robin? Every kid who grew up when Batman was around knows who robin is Q."

"You never thought about why he ended up in Jump City instead of The Watchtower? When his time in the Titans ended and the tabloids stopped covering his career where do you think he went? That he retired at the ripe age of twenty? Batman keeps his most trusted assets free from League influence."

"Why?"

"Contingency. To keep allies close who will prioritize his mission over the mission of the League, to keep allies close who could help him stop them if they ever went rogue."

"He actually plans for the league going rogue? Superman going rogue?" You ask in disbelief.

"Apparently he's the only one above suspicion, but I've seen things."

"Like what?"

"Pull over, Officer."
>>
You pull the car off at the next exit and find the old dark parking lot of an abandoned department store. Question rises from his chair and pulls and peels the mask from the corners of his face.

"Q? When you do stuff like this without saying anything it comes off as really creepy."

He continues to silently peel the mask from his face, the piercing intensity of his eyes are all you notice, his face is a grim expression.

"Officer, what I'm about to tell you has gotten me labelled as crazy by everyone I've spoken it too." His eyes flicker for a moment and he amends. "Except for one. I need you to see me, to know I'm serious when I say this."

"I'm listening Q, you're freaking me out." Your thoughts race at what horrible secrets he could have found.

"You have to promise to hear what I say and consider it seriously." He pauses a few seconds before he nods to himself. "I'm trusting you."

"Okay, I'll hear you out. For real. Lay it on me Q." You tell him with anticipation in your bones, your stomach grips and loosens in anxiety of what you may hear next.

"Lex Luthor is going to become the president and Superman is going to kill him." He states confidently.

>Laugh in his face
>"Do you have any actual evidence? What do you mean you 'saw' it? Like my Shivers?"
>"I see why they revoked your membership. That's a weighty accusation to throw at Superman of all people."
>"I always knew he seemed too nice.." (joking)
>"I always knew he seemed too nice.." (serious)
>"I'm going home, where do I need to drop you off."
>Write-In
>>
>>5927469
>>5927478
>>5927522
>>5927586
>>5927611
>>5927625
>>5927638
>>5927778
>>5927889
>>5928739

Had to cut this to save size for the update but here are your tasty (YOU)'s for your votes. Thank you
>>
>>5929900
>Laugh in his face (but not because we doubt but in panic and nerves because it's fucking Superman and...honestly, it's fucking Lex becoming president. The guy shows up in a battlesuit, fights superman and no one seems to try and tank his stock.)
>"You can't prove it but what do you have on Lex, or Superman? What do you mean you 'saw' it? Like my Shivers?"
>>
>>5929900
>"That doesn't make sense. Luthor only stands to lose if he enters into politics like that. His life, if you're right. But even if you're not right, corporations benefit far more from installing compliant politicians into offices of power than they do entering their own CEOs into the race. The cost of a campaign for someone with Luthor's track record would outweigh most benefits he could get. Especially with Congress to block the majority of his moves if he succeeds. So why would he run?
>>
>>5929900
>"Do you have any actual evidence? What do you mean you 'saw' it? Like my Shivers?"
>>
>>5929900
>"Do you have any actual evidence? What do you mean you 'saw' it? Like my Shivers?"
as well as this >>5929907
>>
>>5929900
>"I see why they revoked your membership. That's a weighty accusation to throw at Superman of all people."

>I can totally see lex running for president though.
>>
>>5929900
>>"I always knew he seemed too nice.." (serious)
>>
>>5929907
>>5929918
+1
>>
>>5929900
With the extreme gravity Q is putting on this, baring his true face at Mark out of how deathly serious it is, the mere idea asserted to be truth... I bet Mark's going to be reeling real hard at this. Q has been our bro this entire quest from the moment he became an ally. Despite his very clinical and justified paranoia, this goes beyond "company X adds bad chemical Y to product Z, you should avoid it". In fact, what he's saying is far more plausible than (insert cracked sounding silly conspiracy here)
>>
>>5929900

>>5929922
>"I see why they revoked your membership. That's a weighty accusation to throw at Superman of all people."

>I can totally see lex running for president though.

>Don't know if he'd want to win though... he might get more out of losing.
>>
>>5929900
>"I always knew he seemed too nice.." (joking)
>"Do you have any actual evidence? What do you mean you 'saw' it? Like my Shivers?"
>>
>>5929900
>"Do you have any actual evidence? What do you mean you 'saw' it? Like my Shivers?"
And a bit of >>5929907
But otherwise I'm honestly more inclined to believe him than not.

Question is obviously being serious about this. I feel like laughing to his face might be a bit too disrespectful.
>>
>>5929907
>>5929918
>>5929934
>>5930044
>>5929906


Your first urge is to laugh, not out of finding it ridiculous, out of a sense of discomfort and rattled nerves. You scan his face and see the deathly serious nature of his expression as well as something else behind the eyes, a sense of desperation. A desire for someone to take him seriously.

"Alright.." You say quietly, letting your chin rest on the steering wheel. "I'm struggling to see it myself, Lex enters politics like that and I don't see what he has to gain. Corporations have their lobbyists to get political influence so putting himself from CEO into Head of State seems almost like a downgrade. His anti-superman rhetoric will alienate masses of voters, his money will be blackholed into a campaign, and the only possible benefit is if Congress allows him to make every move he wants. Which they wont."

Questions expression softens, a small smile playing on his lips.
"Your faith in the system is touching, Officer. Have you ever looked into the members of Congress?"

"No?"

"I have, and do you know what I see? Miles of receipts, Lexcorp team training seminars for staffers, Lexcorp resorts hosting political conventions, those very same lobbyists buying loyalty from the government for the equivalent of a yearly subscription to a magazine. The government are Lexcorp employees being loaned out to the highest seats of power. It's been that way for years."

"Then why even run for president."

"Because everyone KNOWS how powerful Superman is. If you hated him. Truly hated him. Wouldn't you want a title that stands up to 'Man of Steel'? Officer?"

You go silent for a few moments, this is more in line with the usual conspiracy rambling you get from Question.
"What do you mean you saw that Superman would kill Luthor then? Like a vision, like Shivers?"

His face gets sheepish.
"I saw it in a dream."

You can't hide your expression and he holds up a gloved hand.
"I infiltrated a facility owned and operated by government black ops group named Cadmus. When I was there I found something. Files."

"And what was in the files convinced you?"

"It did. Detailed reports. Simulations. The kind of math and logic you can't argue with. It all pointed to the same result."

"Luthor being killed by Superman." You finish.

"Not only that." He pauses, you can see the uncertainty in his eyes. "There was also a risk of the Justice League going rogue in the simulations."

"How big of a risk?"

"90% or higher on a post Luthor world becoming a totalitarian dictatorship under Superman with most of the league following."

"Yeah, I was wondering when that would come up."

He furrows a brow at you.

"Huntress told me part of your expulsion may have included words like 'Fascist' being thrown around."

His cheeks turn the slightest shade of red.
"I may have gotten caught up in the moment."

You lean back and stare at the dark Gotham sky.
"90% or higher." You whistle a low tone.
>>
Your mind races to connect the lines. Batman's absence and his desire to grow a more personal team lends credence to this, thought that could be the overcaution of paranoid men. You bite your inner cheek, then again caution is only paranoia when it turns out to be wrong.

Question watches you with intense interest, a flick over to him and you see his eyes scanning all over trying to get a read on how you feel. The more you think about it the more his reasoning makes some level of sense but something is missing...

"Where are the files you saw?" You ask him casually despite the hammering in your chest. "Any chance of me seeing them?"

"I have them hidden. Bringing them out would risk drawing multiple eyes, it would be impossible to get them without an issue."

"Why is that?"

"I hid them in the ventilation shaft of the women's bathroom on The Watchtower."

You blink a few times.
"Okay."

You both lay there with reclined seats staring at the sky.

"I won't put you into an awkward position by asking if you believe me. I realize this may be a bit much for a Rookie Officer to take in. I'm sorry about putting it on you."

"I asked." You state.

"You did." He says, thoughtfully. "You're one of the first people outside of Huntress to make me feel like I'm not crazy sometimes." He says quietly.

You turn to look at him and see he is already running his fingers over the seams of his mask, blending them perfectly with his skin once more.

"What's your endgame then?"

"Hm?"

"The Lex Luthor and Superman thing, you brought it up to him and got your membership revoked. Without the files you don't have a leg to stand on convincing anyone, so what's your move?"

"He has a LexCorp facility that was mentioned in the files, when I looked into it I noticed he had apparently made it a sort of home away from home. Whatever he's overseeing there I need to see inside of. Honestly I wasn't expecting it to be much trouble."

"Why?"

"It's in my home city. Before you ask, I can't go back there either."

"Well I gotta ask why."

"I'm not strong enough. I was intercepted on my way to the facility by a woman. One of the most dangerous hand to hand combatants I'd ever seen, it was only through dumb luck that I managed to survive. Dumb luck and Huntress, she found me floating sideways in the river and pulled me to shore. She nursed me back to health, helped put me back together when I woke up broken. The man I was had been killed and all I had left were Questions." He speaks gently, as if the memory is a bruise he doesn't want to apply pressure to.

>"When our business with SIM and Mandragora is wrapped up then you'll be going back?"
>"Huntress seems loyal, what'd you do to get so far on her good side?"
>"Tell me more about this Lady fighter, she sounds rough."
>"I have a suitcase with a big red button if you wanna make another run at getting Batman on your side."
>Write-In

Second Vote:
Does Mark Believe Question?
>Yes
>No
>Other (Elaborate)
>>
>>5930073
>"When our business with SIM and Mandragora is wrapped up then you'll be going back?"
>"Tell me more about this Lady fighter, she sounds rough."
>"I have a suitcase with a big red button if you wanna make another run at getting Batman on your side."
As for the second question
>Yes
I believe he saw what he saw, just not necessarily the conclusions he or Cadmus drew from those simulation. If Superman was gonna make a complete 180 like that, there has to be a reason. Something pivotal that completely upends his current worldview.
Who's the current Flash on the League right now? If it's spoilers feel free not to answer.
>>
>>5930088
supporting
>>
>>5930066
>"I saw it in a dream."

>>5930073
>>5930088
+1
>>
>>5930073
This >>5930088
>>
>>5930088
+1
>>
>>5930088
+1
>>
>>5930088
We probably can't ask about the Flash, but we could probably make a general speculation. "What could Lex do as President that he couldn't do as a CEO to get Superman to break his code?" with an attached "If that can be prevented, then that timeline wouldn't come to pass." Might help the Question concentrate his focus.
>>
>>5930073
>"When our business with SIM and Mandragora is wrapped up then you'll be going back?"
I'd ask about Huntress but, even without metatextuall knowledge, I think it's pretty obvious they've bonded over being outcasts from the League.

+1 to >>5930088's "Yes, but..." vote, too. As that anon says, I don't think Question's lying or making things up, but I don't know that Mark would support going all 'Minority Report' about it (or whatever in-universe equivalent exists). A prediction is just that: a prediction. The government's is based on their partial understanding of Superman and their preconceived notions of him. They can't know what's really in his heart.
Shit, they presumably don't even know hes' Clark Kent and if you don't know Clark, you don't really know Superman, you just know his holding-back 'officer friendly' persona
>>
>>5930207
>>5930267
That bit about the Fflash, as well as everything in my post that WASN'T greentexted wasn't in-character. Just thought I should clarify that bit.
>>
>>5930391
Whoops. Still, posing the idea to Batman of "Lex is likely to use the powers of the president that he can't access as CEO to push Superman to a breaking point where he will kill Lex and simulations have shown that Superman is very likely to turn into a dictator with his moral code having shattered from this, so planning contingencies to counter those moves ahead of time is a good idea" is a far easier to swallow concept than "Superman will kill Lex and become a dictator if Lex becomes president."

One is a concern with clear ways on how to stop it. The other comes across an an insult with no clear indications on how to mitigate things. Former also means that Lex becoming President is not an automatic fail state.
>>
>>5930073
>"When our business with SIM and Mandragora is wrapped up then you'll be going back?"
>"Tell me more about this Lady fighter, she sounds rough."
>"I have a suitcase with a big red button if you wanna make another run at getting Batman on your side."
>Yes
>>
>>5930391
Yeah I personally assumed that was the case but thank you for clarifying to the other two anons, this stuff can get confusing.

>>5930073
Just to be clear in my support to the
>Yes
answer is like the anon clarified, mostly just us believing Question's word, and not a "Yes, but..."
>>
>>5930103
>"I saw it in a dream."
Thanks to Shivers, we can actually pull this later and have it be true
>>
>>5930088
+1
>>
>>5930088
>>5930090
>>5930103
>>5930109
>>5930149
>>5930188
>>5930634
>>5930740

We believe in Question and want to know more? As you wish. Writing.
>>
You let the silence linger as you roll over the things Question shared with you. You believe him, his quirks and eccentricity aside, Question has always been a straight shooter with you. His refusal to hold back even the strangest theories about toothpaste ingredients or how roads are designed to cause accidents when wet he has never told you anything less than, what he believes is, the honest truth. It's in this moment you realize, perhaps by design, you don't know much about Question.

"Q?"

He grunts in reply.

"When our business with SIM and mandragora is wrapped up, are you going back to Hub City?"

"I'm going to that facility, I made my mind up the moment I read those documents. A year or a month it makes no difference to me."

"But you can't go back now because of that fighter woman, she sounds rough. What's her deal?"

"She introduced herself to me as Lady Shiva and apologized."

"Apologized?"

"For taking the contract to kill me." He says quietly.

"Well she didn't do a very good job."

"No, she achieved her mission. She didn't seek to kill The Question. She sought to kill Vic Sage, and in that, she succeeded. The man I was died that day face down in the river."

"Jesus, Q." You whisper. He waves a gloved hand.

"It's for the best. I thought I had made peace with my decision but speaking to your sergeant and feeling that fear to remove my mask." He goes silent for a few moments. "Maybe I'm not as at peace as I once thought. I can only hope that when I go back I can put it to bed."

"Well, I have a suitcase with a big red button if you wanna make another run at getting Batman to help you out."

He actually chuckles, it's dry.
"I think he wouldn't be very fond of seeing me again, we didn't part on good terms even by the standards of how I left everyone else."

"What do you mean?"

"I was in a bad place after my confrontation with Superman, while I was packing he attempted to speak to me."

"Didn't go well huh?"

"I recall asking him if his concern would be better placed not on me but on Gotham, since it seemed to be all he cared about."

"That isn't that bad."

"It wasn't until I called him a narcissistic terror who only served to make little children afraid of dark alleys."

"Man."

"I was frustrated that he clearly saw the same writing on the walls as I did, but wouldn't support me. He'd rather shore up his own defenses alone."

"That's when the fight happened? How was it if you don't mind my asking?"

"Terrifying. It felt like Lady Shiva again, only this time I got a shot in."

"You landed a hit on Batman?"

"Not that it mattered, he's never outside of his armor. All the training on the Watchtower paid off, I've been training more with Huntress since."

You both settle back into that silence again, a shiver runs down your neck.

Somewhere in Gotham a man clad in black crouches on the edge of a rooftop, his eyes scan the sky for any sign of a spotlight shining against the dark grey mass of clouds.
>>
File: MindOfGotham.jpg (26 KB, 280x392)
26 KB
26 KB JPG
After your talk with Question you drive him down to the Hotel Gotham where he leads you to the alley behind the tall building.

"Here?"

"This is perfect, Officer." He tells you, finally raising his seat to a normal position.

"You sure you don't want to go back to your car? I really don't mind."

"I've been out long enough." He tells you simply, popping the door and stepping out. He gives you a tip of his hat and wraps the plastic bag he had with him at Pizza Planet around his wrist before grasping a fire escape ladder and beginning to climb.

"Q..." you start before giving it up. "Have a good night, buddy.' You say to nobody in particular, sighing as you lean across your seats to pull the door shut.

The drive home is quiet, the only thing of note are the multitude of shivers you feel that leave the faintest traces of fear and adrenaline on the fringe of your mind. As you shift into park you shake it off, could be after-effects from the remote viewing you pulled off earlier, a useful ability to be sure but you worry about long term effects or damage.

The climb up the stairs is longer this evening, your legs feeling heavier and heavier with each step. Your mind swirls as you insert the new keys into the door and step into a wonderfully unmolested living space. Sleep begins to creep into the edges of your vision so a shower, a quick banana, and a cold glass of water become the top of your priorities. When you're clean and refreshed you crawl into the inviting sheets and spend a few minutes wriggling and trying to find a spot without a briefcase shaped lump. Perhaps you should think of a more permanent place to stick this thing. 'A problem for tomorrow' you think to yourself, as tonight you dream of...

>Gotham itself, the city is active tonight and is never adverse to seating a spectator.
>SIM, even in your most peaceful moments his unsettling words and the chilling visions you've seen intrude on your mind.
>Your childhood, hearing Question reflect on his life journey has you doing the same.
>Write-In?
>A building tremor beneath Gotham, once imperceptible, now letting out the quietest hum to those who would listen. (Requires 1d100 Roll, if you want to roll for it please pick a back up vote as well.)
>>
Rolled 8 (1d100)

>>5930793
>the spoiler
Gotta'. Back-up vote:
>Your childhood, hearing Question reflect on his life journey has you doing the same.
>>
>>5930793
>spoiler
I'll roll for it only if it gets chosen
Then
>Your childhood, hearing Question reflect on his life journey has you doing the same.
Ah... Nostalgia...
>>
>>5930793
>spoiler
back up vote
>Your childhood, hearing Question reflect on his life journey has you doing the same.
>>
Rolled 19 (1d100)

>>5930793
>spoiler
backup is
>Gotham itself, the city is active tonight and is never adverse to seating a spectator.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d100)

>>5930793
>spoiler
>>
>>5930796
>>5930826
>>5930828
>all those bad rolls
The sleeper rests... for now...
>>
>>5930833
zzz homie
>>
Rolled 76 (1d100)

>>5930649
And it will be beautiful.

>>5930793
>Your childhood, hearing Question reflect on his life journey has you doing the same.
>A building tremor beneath Gotham, once imperceptible, now letting out the quietest hum to those who would listen.
>>
File: gotham_study_180125_A+2.jpg (427 KB, 2500x1294)
427 KB
427 KB JPG
Rolled 86 (1d100)

>>5930793
>>the spoiler
Back up
>>Gotham itself, the city is active tonight and is never adverse to seating a spectator.
Gotham, my waifu

And here it is. A world-ending threat. God damn it.
Also Q admitting to shit talking batman was really funny. Have this cool picture of Gotham I found
>>
>>5930796
>>5930809
>>5930820

>>5930917:
Nice save anon.


Writing.
>>
File: NonnoDeLucia.jpg (47 KB, 564x758)
47 KB
47 KB JPG
You drift off into the familiar comfort of old memories as sleep takes you. Your time in the park earlier had an effect on your subconscious as you blink your eyes and find yourself sitting on a park bench watching an old man meander his way towards you, he holds a shaved ice in either hand, he extends the frozen treat in his hand and you take it with small hands.

"Thank you, Nonno." You tell him quietly. A slow throbbing pain starts to fade into the memory below your right eye.

"Mhmm." He says gently before sitting down beside you. "Is it good?"

You nod between small bites of cherry flavored snow.
"Molto bene." You try your best to pronounce.

He smiles and chuckles, his floral shirt standing out against the muted colors of the park bench and shade of the trees.
"Very good, Mark. But you know why I brought you out here." Hearing his accented voice again brings your a bittersweet feeling.

You nod and do not resist when his hand touches the bottom of your chin and turns your head left to right as he examines the forming bruise beneath your eye.
"Clever to give the school my number and not your father's. What happened here?"

"Tony Keller punched me.." You mumble.

"Why?"

"He lost his favorite pen and I found it." You state flatly.

"Hmm. Doesn't sound like much of a reason to hit somebody, you sure nothing else happened?"

"I listened to them."

"To the voice eh?"

"Yeah...But when I told Tony about it he just made fun of me! He said that his dad told him kids like me aren't natural, that I was born in a lab probably."

"I see." He replies, always measured in his words and never letting his emotion show. "How did you respond?"

You pause a few moments before guiltily muttering your reply.
"I broke it.."

"And why did you break it, Mark? After going through the trouble of getting it for him you just end up breaking it?"

"I was mad at him, Nonno. I helped him and he was mean to me."

"So that means you hurt him? Buon Dio, Mark. You're getting older now and this excuse about just being mad isn't going to cut it anymore." He shakes his head in disappointment but after a few seconds he smiles and pats the top of your head. "You have your father's temper, you remind me so much of him when he was young. But like he did you need to learn to let some things go, insults and petty lies are only words at the end of the day and a man is not judged by his words but by his actions."

"So I should have just given him his pen after that?"

"Why did you want to find it in the first place?"

"He seemed sad that he lost it, nobody else could find it so I asked the voice."

"You wanted to help him because you thought you were the only one who could, yeah?"

"I guess." You mumble

"People are strange, you can help them and be nothing but kind and respectful to them and still only get back insults or hate. That isn't something limited to people who are different either, it's been that way all through history going back to Jesus."
>>
"I'm like Jesus?" You ask him in a truly confused voice.

"Dio, No that's not what.." He answers quickly and sighs. Throwing the sign of the cross before putting a hand on your shoulder. "Mark, you might have the power to help people when you're older is what I'm saying. But that's a choice up to you, there's nothing wrong with living for yourself, but to live in service to others and to live helping others regardless if they appreciate you, or compliment you, or even acknowledge you. That is a life well lived, little soldato."

"I should apologize to Tony then?"

"Yes you should, maybe you and I can go pick out a new pen for him when we leave here."

"Okay." You let another batch of flavored crystals dissolve on your tongue. "Thank you, Nonno."

He looks at you with his deep brown eyes.
"Ti amo, Mark."

He proceeds to go into another topic, maybe how school is in general? Maybe your doctor's appointments? You can't really remember in fact you find it hard to think at all. As you stare at him speaking a sound begins to rise from the background, it reminds you of cicada's.

A chorus of hums.

The smell of pennies.

You blink and open your eyes in a near pitch black space, the only light comes from a bank of computers far away, glittering across the ceiling like a spilled barrel of marbles you see the reflective orbs of hundreds if not thousands of creatures. Your presence doesn't disturb their posture, wrapped in their wings like cloaks of shadow, and you realize this is a Shiver's vision. You were ejected out of your dream and dropped wherever this is, you try and turn but find your sight fixed on a small glowing cube, intricate patterns of light blip and shift. You begin to approach it, of your own will or not you can't even tell, the droning gets louder and louder as you approach until you get within arms reach.

The cube rests on a steel cylinder with some sort of beam of light surrounding it, you don't know what about it gives you this idea but the light surrounding the cube seems...solid? A click makes you jump but you don't move. You examine the face of the cube facing you glows and hums, two rows of six slits cover the side that faces you and of those slits 9 are currently illuminated, you watch with fascination as the 10th slit flickers and struggles to light only to realize it isn't struggling to light at all in fact it appears that the slit is only two-thirds of the way filled. The buzzing and deep bone rattling hum ceases as you see the bar jump barely an inch upwards.

Your hand reaches out slowly and you notice with some slight amounts of fear that your form ripples at the edges as it passes through the light barrier. Your fingertips feel radiating static energy but as you finally lay fingertip to strange metal you see...

Fire.

Brimstone.
>>
File: TheStrangeBox.jpg (53 KB, 736x736)
53 KB
53 KB JPG
The smell of Sulphur invades your lungs as you struggle to see through thick clouds of gas that sting your eyes, as the water clears you only notice one thing.


A rapidly approaching beam of red light.

You wake up gasping, covered in a frigid sweat, and hand outstretched in the same position as your dream. The air is cool and crisp, devoid of all the fumes and vapors you were embroiled in. You take a few breaths trying to bring your heartrate back down as your mind scrambles to understand what you saw, was it just a nightmare? Maybe a sideeffect of overdoing it with Shivers at the cafe? You close your eyes and try to let your shivers go to that place again when something tugs inside of you.

Don't.

You blink a few times, your body finally under your own control again, every time you dwell on the memory of what you saw after touching the cube something seems to try and insulate you but you make progress the longer you rest on it.

>Push through the warning, go back to what you saw and try to take it all in.
>Let sleeping dogs lie. You aren't sure if this is even a real thing you saw or just the consequences of pushing yourself too far.
>Write-In?


Another big update to make up for the early night I called yesterday, as always I'd love to know what you think of Gramp DeLucia and anything else included in this one. Break out your tinfoil hats because I'd love to hear your theories.
>>
>>5931646
>Let sleeping dogs lie. You aren't sure if this is even a real thing you saw or just the consequences of pushing yourself too far.

Gramps sees like a real cool dude.
Hopefully Jesus can protect us from Darkseid.
>>
>>5931646
>Let sleeping dogs lie. You aren't sure if this is even a real thing you saw or just the consequences of pushing yourself too far.
FUCK OFF DARKSEID
>>
>>5931646
>>Let sleeping dogs lie. You aren't sure if this is even a real thing you saw or just the consequences of pushing yourself too far.
If Shivers says no, it means no.

So far I like Grampa. It's always nice to have a principled but kind old timer.

Darkseid pls no bully we didn't touch your mommycube.
>>
>>5931646
>>Push through the warning, go back to what you saw and try to take it all in.
>>
>>5931646
>>Let sleeping dogs lie. You aren't sure if this is even a real thing you saw or just the consequences of pushing yourself too far.
best if we nope the fuck out
>>
Wait a second...if we got a vision of it...will SIM get a vision of it?

And the visions show us things that are in Gotham. Does SIM really hear Gotham, or does he instead hear the echoes of Apokolips from a fragment buried within Gotham?
>>
>>5931650
>>5931679
>>5931673
>>5931744

You settle back into your bed. Despite all the strife and trouble Shivers has brought you over your life you've formed a sort of trust with it, especially after learning to use your powers more effectively, if your Shivers warn you to let something go then it's probably best to do so. For now at least.

A few minutes of scrolling your phone bring your mind away from the strange nightmare and into a new more real nightmare. Politics.

'Mayor Dent to thank GCPD and GCFD this weekend with award ceremony.'

Banks is probably excited but you could go a while longer without having to see Dent but the more important thing is to show support for your friend. You sigh and lean your head back, it's times like this you wish you had more experience having friends growing up. The thought lingers and your mind drifts back to that dream, it'd been years since you'd even heard your Grandfather's voice, it felt so nice to relive a conversation with the old man. A buzzing in your hand brings your attention back to the phone as a text message appears across the screen, a message from Kimble.

"Rehearsal is today. Come in wearing civvies. Also pick up some breakfast."

You groan. In your early morning stupor you forgot about the undercover assignment you'll be on, the club and then the awards are going to be a killer on you. You sit up and swing your feet off the bed and start your routine, you're awake more than an hour early but it's only fair that if Kimble seemingly went in early that you do the same. A shower, a shave, and a cup of orange juice gets you back to full alertness.

"Come in wearing civvies..." You mumble to yourself as you open up a closet door and look at the chaotic piles of clothes below the few hung and ironed things you do own. Part of you wonders if this is part of the rehearsal or maybe you're being paranoid. Staring into the closet you decide to head in wearing...

>Your usual, GCPD Gym shirt and a pair of jeans.
>Something sleazy, an old button up with a wife beater underneath and a gold chain you got from your uncle for graduating.
>Something formal, A nice button up and some slacks.
>Something Roguish, a leather jacket, plain white tee, and lots of hair gel.
>Your grandfather's old Hawaiian shirt, you took it from your parent's place the last time you visited. Mom insisted.
>Write-In (as long as it isn't insane we can assume Mark has it)
>>
>>5931827
>>Something formal, A nice button up and some slacks.
>>
>>5931827
>>Your grandfather's old Hawaiian shirt, you took it from your parent's place the last time you visited. Mom insisted.
>>
>>5931827
>Something formal, A nice button up and some slacks.
We're rehearsing for a sitdown with Made Men. Formal attire is probably expected, lest we pull a fucking Tony Pro by accident.
>>
>>5931838
+1, get Italian /fa/
>>
>>5931827
>Something formal, A nice button up and some slacks.
ALSO
>Write-In: Pack your uniform and a spare change of civvies in a bag, and store them in the car. It might just be because of the time you've spent with Question, or because of the bad feeling you have, but it's better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.
I think that keeping a spare change of clothes in the car and our work locker would make a lot of sense... Maybe some wet wipes as well.
With the amount of things we're getting up to, having quick ways to clean off and get changed will be a godsend at some point in the near future.
>>
>>5931948
Anon if we’re going undercover then our police uniform shouldn’t even be in the same congressional district as us. That’s just asking to get caught.
>>
>>5931975
true, but aren't we going undercover AS a cop? albeit a dirty one.
>>
>>5931827
>Your grandfather's old Hawaiian shirt, you took it from your parent's place the last time you visited. Mom insisted.
>Add some hair gel and a gold chain
Greasermaxxing.

ALSO

>Write-In: Pack your uniform and a spare change of civvies in a bag, and store them in the car. It might just be because of the time you've spent with Question, or because of the bad feeling you have, but it's better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

>>5931948
Good thinking
>>
>>5931759
We should call SIM and ask him if he's seen 'it'.
>>
God damn it man, now that's not one, but TWO potential end of the world scenarios that might be unfolding right now. I miss when the worst thing we could encounter was a guy with a flamethrower or a psychic stabby guy. Oh well, back to our 9 to 5.

>>5931827
>it's times like this you wish you had more experience having friends growing up
Ouch, too real. Actually, on the topic of Mark being an outcast before, I found it super weird how in this version of DC metas are treated like "outcasts". If I was a teenager and the dude in my class could have actual working visions it would be the coolest thing ever.

>>Something formal, A nice button up and some slacks.
There is no fucking way Mark the boyscout could ever pull off anyhting sleasy or roguish. Sorry Mark.

>>5931759
Great thinking. Actually, we should call him about it. Funny enough this is one time we should be on the same page completely, evil genocidal aliens can unite anyone. Still gonna vote for killing SIM when the time comes though. Unless QM puts it on the mid day update, then I wopn't be able to make it.
>>
>>5932051
To be absolutely fair, I can understand somet hate for metas in this universe.
For every caped crusader, it feels like there's two or three supervillains making life hell for everybody with their powers. Granted, they aren't all metahumans, but most of them are. It really just gives the honest metas a bad rap.
>>
>>5932051
>>5931948
>>5931832
>>5931838
>>5931913
>>5932045

You pull a nice dark dress shirt from the closet and a pair of slacks, probably wouldn't be smart to walk into the station in your Soprano Sunday Best anyways, but your hanging uniform catches your eye and it doesn't take much internal debate before you grab it and get it settled into a cloth dry cleaning bag.

"Thanks, Ma." You mutter as you pull the zipper to it's resting place. As you step out of the apartment and lock up behind you Ms. Dover dawdles up and down the hall with a large streamer in her hands.

"Setting up decorations?" You ask casually.

"Oh, Marcus. You usually aren't out of here for another forty minutes, what's got you up so early." She looks you up and down and gives you a warm smile. "And dressed to the nines, are you maybe meeting someone special for breakfast?"

You huff a laugh.
"Something like that ma'am." You look up at the streamer she has half draped across the hallway, fringed with black and orange foil and some bats and witches hats. "Let me help you with that." You say stepping forward and holding a hand out. She gladly hands it over with a thankful nod. You lean over and press the thumbtack holding the streamer into the wall.

"Beautiful." She says. "Thank you, Marcus."

"Happy Halloween, ma'am."

"Not yet! Now don't let me keep you, go and enjoy your breakfast." she says playfully wagging a finger. You give her a nod and take your leave.

After stowing your uniform in your trunk you slide into the front seat and get ready to head off, only something stops you for a moment, you find yourself staring at the glovebox and thinking about that dream again. Against your better judgment you lean forward and pop it open pulling out the cold silver flip phone. Your fingers tap against the cold buttons:

"Did you see it too?"

You stare at the screen debating with yourself until you give in and hit send. You need to know. You toss the phone back into the glove box and slap it closed as if it could explode at any moment, whether or not that was a bad idea you'll have to wait to find out because now you need to pick up breakfast. A pass through a drive-through and a bag of bagels and various cream cheeses later and you're parking at the station as usual but what isn't usual are the looks you get walking through the station with more than a few people giving a passing compliment. You spot Bunko and he gives you a drawn out wolf whistle, you wave it off and laugh to yourself. First time for everything.
>>
"What's the occasion DeLucia? Popping the question to the nutjob we wrangled?" He asks jokingly.

You respond in the best way you know how.
"Ya Mother."

He shakes his head with a smile and starts heading off to the locker room, overnight shift in Gotham what a life that must be.

As you approach the detective's meeting room you see Commander Reiner walking away from the bullpen coffee machine, he gives you the briefest up and down with his eyes before nodding and heading to his office, you let out a small breath of relief that you didn't get a dressing down for not being in uniform.

"This fucking guy." Kimble comments the moment you enter. "Look at him, Rookies first day of UC training and he's all dressed up."

"It's also Rookies ONLY day of UC training, so let's not joke around too much when his ass is the one on the line" Grey says from his whiteboard, you swear you can see permanent indents in the carpet from the hours he's spent pacing in front of it. Hawthorne sips from a coffee mug slowly just enjoying the back and forth, he gives you a small raise of the mug.

"Rook can handle it, he's plucky like that." Hawthorne says.

"Let's give him the most important test first then." Kimble chimes in. "Rookie. Pass me a bagel."

You set the bag down and watch as he pulls a warm everything from the bag and takes a bite.

"Fanks." He mumbles before taking a hard swallow. "Now, when you go in there and all those goombas are looking at you what do you need to do?"

>"Look tough, like nobody should fuck with me."
>"Look disinterested, the less they think I care about the meet the more they'll speak openly."
>"Say hello?"
>"Shut up and do nothing, I'm just a hired goon basically right?"
>Write-In
>>
>>5932554
>>"Shut up and do nothing, I'm just a hired goon basically right?"
>>
>>5932554
>goombas
Goomba, fuck you!

>"Look disinterested, the less they think I care about the meet the more they'll speak openly."
Be small. If they forget we're there they'll talk like we aren't there. Simple.

Also I forget if someone posted it in thread before, but someone from the qtg did a silly thing in paint for DL a while ago. It was the guy from Mafia 2? I think. With a badge shooped onto his lapel or whatever. I thought it was funny.
>>
>>5932554
+1 to both
>"Goomba, fuck you!"
in, like, our best and most authentic mafiaso voice, but then laugh it off and say...
>"Look disinterested, the less they think I care about the meet the more they'll speak openly."
>>
>>5932568
+1
>>
>>5932554
Here OP, this is for you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYSemWsdqjM
>>
>>5932562
>>5932568
>>5932579

"Goomba?" You say in your best faux-mobster. "Fawk you."

Kimble chuckles.

"You two are gonna end up in sensitivity training." Grey says shaking his head, but you notice the twitch of a smile behind his hand.

"Don't be like that Grey, he and I are sensitive enough, I think we even got misty eyed together in the cruiser the other day. It was beautiful." He says holding his chest and looking upwards.

"Jesus Christ." Grey mutters before turning around fully.

"Anyways, Boot. Before we start making flower crowns and holding hands, answer my question. What do you do?"

"I act disinterested, the less they think I care about the meet the more they'll speak openly."

Kimble nods, taking another large bite of plain bagel, chewing thoughtfully as he lets your answer linger.
"Thoughts?" He asks everyone else, spewing crumbs.

"Leave the room, go with him Kimble. You be Maroni and Rook, be Rook."

Kimble sighs and sets his bagel down, dusting his hands as he stands up.
"C'mon." He tells you.

You both exit the room and he stands outside the door with you. He tugs at the base of your shirt and straightens it out.
"You look sharp. I see what you're going for here. When we get in there just follow my lead, you'll be alright."

"Yes, sir." You tell him. He replies with a clap on the shoulder and an opening of the door.

Hawthorne and Grey now sit across from each other at the table, they both look at you expectantly, Hawthorne is the one who speaks first.

"Maroni. Who's the muscle?"

"Mandragora. Falcone." Kimble replies looking from person to person as he collapses into a seat. "This man, is a cop."

"You brought a fucking cop?" Hawthorne yells slamming his hand on the table. He stands up sending his chair backwards and pulls a long barreled revolver from under the table, he levels the bright orange tip with your head and stares you down with ice cold eyes. Behind him Kimble smiles at you and leans forward to grab his bagel.

"What the fuck are you doing bringing a pig here, Maroni?"

Kimble shrugs exaggeratedly.

"What the fuck are you doing here?" Hawthorne growls, the plastic hammer of the revolver clicking into place.

Behind him Kimble beams at you with a stupid smile.

>"Getting a fucking check. Put the gun down and do your business."
>"Watching out for my boss, aim that at me if it keeps you comfy. But point it at him? Then we have problems."
>"Killing a cop is a serious crime, even a dirty one. Put a bullet in me and the GCPD is gonna hunt you down."
>[Quick Draw] Pull your fingers from your waistband and point them at Hawthorne. "Bang."
>"Sir, I don't think this is really helpful. What are the odds they just threaten me off the bat like this?"
>Follow Kimble's Lead.
>Write-In
>>
>>5932695
>"Watching out for my boss, aim that at me if it keeps you comfy. But point it at him? Then we have problems."
>>
>>5932698
+1, nice line
>>
>>5932041
Hmmmmm
Reverse psychology… you make a decent point.
>>
>>5932695
>"Getting a fucking check. Put the gun down and do your business."
>>
>>5932695
>>"Getting a check."
"watching out for my boss" feels like a lot of loyalty for a hired gun. If we could pull off the impression that Maroni is insecure and wants to show off his dirty cop to project strength that'd be great.

>>5932540
>BtwIWillPayMoneyForAHalfDecentDrawingOfMark
I could draw him, sure, but I think you wouldn't be able to pay me since I'm in fucking russia. What do you want anyway, a portrait?
>>
>>5932823
>pull off the impression that Maroni is insecure and wants to show off his dirty cop to project strength
I disagree. That puts the spot on Maroni and he'd hate looking or being hinted weak, and hate us in turn. The "watching out for my boss" has Italian allegiance flavor which meshes well
>>
>>5932823
That would be very cool of you anon. If you'd like to do a portrait for sure, I didn't really have anything particular in mind besides the earlier thread's descriptions as basically Tommy Angelo being how he looked.
>>
>>5932695
>>"Getting a fucking check. Put the gun down and do your business."
>>
>>5932695
>"Watching out for my boss, aim that at me if it keeps you comfy. But point it at him? Then we have problems."
>>
>>5932695
>Follow Kimble's Lead.
>>
>>5932051
>There is no fucking way Mark the boyscout could ever pull off anyhting sleasy or roguish. Sorry Mark.
The Cobra...disagrees!
>>
>>5932695
"Cobra's go where they want. They strike! Before you even seen! Put the iron down or...>[Quick Draw] Pull your fingers from your waistband and point them at Hawthorne. "Bang."
>>
Could hybridize >>5932698 and >>5932816. Maybe something to the effect of:
>"Watching out for my boss and getting a fucking check. Aim that at me if it keeps you comfy. But point it at him? Then we have problems."
It implies that Maroni's got loyalty from us because we're here to watch out for him and willing to have a gun on us to prove it, while also implying that he's undergoing some expansion because we're new enough that money is still a slight factor, placing us as an indication of Maroni having some successful expansions they weren't aware off.
In addition, it signals to Maroni about the deal. We're here for the planned sting (getting a fucking check), but it is a secondary priority to maintaining the deal of him getting off easy (Watching out for my boss). And as a bonus, he can be a smug asshole to them throughout the whole thing because he's getting one over on them twice (implying their intel on him is shit, and he's guaranteed to walk).
>>
>>5933298
Also could be one more layer that allows it to say it sincerely, if you consider our boss is Gotham City and we are straight up getting paid money to enact the justice that is coming.
>>
Watching out for the boss:
>>5932698
>>5932731
>>5932879

Chasing the bag:
>>5932816
>>5932823
>>5932877


Hybrid:
>>5933298


Well I guess since it's a tie we go with the hybrid option, writing.
>>
>>5933404
But not the Cobra?
>>
>>5933424
Declaring yourself with what sounds like a supervillain name at a meeting of Gotham mobsters is a good way to get a lot of very direct attention, I'd wager.
>>
"I'm watching out for my boss and getting my fuckin check. Aim that at me if it keeps you comfy, but point it at him? Then we have a problem." You say this with your chin slightly raised, you don't look away from Hawthorne's cold stare for even a moment, and you keep your breathing steady despite your pounding heart. After nearly ten seconds straight of silent staring Hawthorne sits down and drops the gun on the table.

"Well I think he's got a knack for it." He says casually.

"Cool as a cucumber." Kimble says through the final mouthful of his bagel.

"It was a bit, action movie-ish." Grey says.

"You know these types of guys, they love showboaty shit like this." Kimble says waving a hand. "Falcone walks around everywhere looking like Marlon Brando on his way to junior prom and do I even have to say anything to prove my point when it comes to Cobblepot?"

Grey nods in acceptance.
"Context matters I guess."

"So I did good?" You ask tentatively.

"Good enough, it's not like this is a deep cover op. You're there to listen and to usher them towards our guys in the sewers."

"If you're lucky you'll get spoken to maybe once or twice at most." Hawthorne brings up.

"And if I'm unlucky?"

"If you're unlucky then Maroni sold you out and you'll be walking into your own funeral." Kimble says before shrugging. "Can't see why he would do that though, he already agreed to work with us so it's not like he could get away with it. But people are stupid so, head on a swivel."

You simply nod, trying not to convey any sense of your panic.

"We have one more thing to handle before we get into a proper rehearsal. Your kit." Grey tells you, pulling up a cardboard box and putting it on the table. "What you walk in with can be a big factor on how well things go and how safe it's gonna be."

"It's a double edged sword, Rook. If you go in strapped up with everything then you aren't making it past a pat down or the questions that come with wearing a vest or having a heater. Of course they'll expect you to have a gun, but a back up piece is still valuable." Hawthorne tells you.

"I have to wear a wire too, don't I?"

"We won't make you, but it would lend a lot to the case." Grey says.

"But if they find it." Kimble warns quietly letting the sentence drift off.

You look over the items stuffed in the box and consider what you want to go in with.

>Head in with the works: Bulletproof Vest, Wire, all Back-up gun.
>Take an offensive kit: Back-up pistol and a Wire
>Take a Defensive kit: Vest and Wire
>Don't push it: Bring just the Wire.
>Don't risk it at all: Leave the wire behind, go in empty and rely on your memory.
>Write-In (Any combo you want/include items not listed here.)
>>
>>5933435
>>Take an offensive kit: Back-up pistol and a Wire
>>
>>5933435
>back-up gun, no wire, nothing else
There's no way a meet this big doesn't have CRAZY security. Maybe even super-science shit. A wire's asking for it.
>>
>>5933444
+1, I think Cobblepot might pull a power move here. As much as the wire for evidence rigor is good, we're dead if we get exposed. What's your reasoning not to include a vest?
>>
>>5933448
>If you go in strapped up with everything then you aren't making it past a pat down or the questions that come with wearing a vest or having a heater.
An extra gun is, I feel easier to hide than a vest, and easier to justify as well. When the busy happens, us wearing a vest makes us look like we knew it was going to happen, whereas having two guns is just the sort of show-offy, sort of paranoia thing a greasy cop might do at his very first mob meeting. Just my thinking, personally.
>>
>>5933451
Ok then I'm convinced. Here's hoping we don't get shot
>>
>>5933435
>Just go with a pistol and a back-up. The vest and the wire are too risky.
>"You think I can get away with faking an ass-dial to record some audio? Tell me now if that's a stupid idea."
>>
>>5933454
The best way to avoid getting shot is to stay out of the way of incoming bullets. This has been our weekly bullet-dodging PSA, thank you for tuning in.
>>
>>5933435
this >>5933444
now for my 'crazy' idea
>grab a voice recorder
>spend 20 minutes turning it on and off while recording a bunch of shitty crime drama/action movie script and book ideas
>do one last one before getting out of the car at the meeting
>'accidentally' leave it recording because you're in a rush to follow Maroni
If they notice it, then we can act embarrassed at our 'hobby' being exposed.
>>
>>5933435
>>Don't risk it at all: Leave the wire behind, go in empty and rely on your memory.
>>
Wildcard, but does the department have a Recorder that is built into a pistol attachment? Certainly, the audio quality may not be the best, but then it makes it look like the back-up gun was what we were trying to hide. But what is really hidden is hidden in plain sight on the visible, main gun.
>>
>>5933583
This tech question might get things interesting, but if a superscience bit detects the wire even then, we're still fucked
>>
>>5933435
>Head in with the works: Bulletproof Vest, Wire, all Back-up gun.

If we’re gonna be a mob boss’s protection then a full tactical kit would certainly make us look the part. A plate carrier would be a great place to hide a wire in as well, just stick it in the outside of the plate pocket.
>>
>>5933706
>If we’re gonna be a mob boss’s protection then a full tactical kit would certainly make us look the part
The problem with wearing that shit is that it screams cop. I know that sounds stupid, but stay with me here.
Yes, they're gonna know we're a "dirty cop". However, consider the fact that they only need to be told as much by Maroni to be filled in on that detail.
If we go in with the works, who is that for? Ostensibly, we shouldn't be worried about anything going down, so why would we bother to go in decked out?
Probably to make sure SOMEBODY knows we're a cop at a glance, right? But who would need to be able to tell cop from capo in an instant?
A team getting ready to bust in and raid the place perhaps?
That's what the other bosses are gonna ask themselves if we go in wearing anything tactical or otherwise blatantly cop.
The best we MIGHT be able to get away with is our duty piece and a backup. Glocks are common enough, and a holdout is a given for any criminal in Gotham.
>>
>>5933435
> Just bring a backup gun
>>
>>5933481
I don't think they'll buy it, but I'm willing to back it if others are.
>>
>>5933435
>>5933444
+1
God fucking damn it, no wire for this? Okay, fine. Whoever Cobblepot is working for gotta be crazy powerful.
We're gonna get shot and also miss out on recording some vital evidence now, I'm telling you.
>>
>>5933444
>>5933448
>>5936078
>>5933460
>>5934682

We are back, hope you guys had a good weekend.

Going in with your gun and your wits only. Writing.
>>
You let your hand linger on the edge of the cardboard box before pulling it back and patting your hip.

"Better the go with the essentials, a wire is good for our case but I don't think it makes or breaks it, plus Cobblepot has been on the wrong end of the Batman before hasn't he? I bet he has all sorts of tricks and friends who would pick up on anything I was carrying."

Hawthorne nods understandingly.

"But." You continue. "You think I can get away with faking an ass-dial to record some audio? Tell me now if that's a stupid idea."

Hawthorne and Grey stare blankly at you, their faces betraying no emotion, Kimble's face is easily read however and heard as he bursts into laughter. Hawthorne smirks and shakes his head.
"You almost sounded like you weren't entirely green there for a second, Rook." He says before joining in with Kimble. You feel your cheeks grow hot.

"It was just an idea." You toss out before also chuckling along with them.

You spot Grey with a small smile on his face watching you all, something in his eyes convey a bittersweet feeling. The hair on your arms raise and you feel again that cold spreading feeling from the crook of your elbow to your forearm.

"Let's not forget we're on the clock, we should go ahead and talk more details."

"Oh shit." Kimble replies, wiping his eyes, "Yeah that's probably a good idea. I'm not worried about recordings anyways since that meet is gonna have a lot of hired help. We catch a couple meatheads on the way out and spin it like someone else set up their Boss and they might just offer up all sorts of information."

"That easy?" You ask.

"Intelligence isn't high up on the list for something you look for in a kneecapper. Penguin's guys probably won't talk but the other three can't be picking the ripest fruit."

"There's a monopoly on good thugs?"

"Gotham's tourism industry could live off costumes being made for guys from Vladivostok, there's a constant flow in and out of new blood, most of the guys with Falcone or Maroni are old blood Gothamites or fresh off the corner punks. Mandragora absorbed the Bertinelli's and their stockpile of men. Penguin though, I remember one time we-"

The door opens and you see a Female Officer holding a note.
"Excuse me, DeLucia?"

You raise a hand and she hands you a small note.
"Someone called the front desk and said you left your lights on in the parking lot, they gave your plate number."

You rack your brain, did you forget?

"Uh thanks, who was it so I can say thanks."

She shrugs and turns to head off. You feel a ripple around your collar as your neck hair unfurls, somewhere in Gotham hot tears stream down a cheek and drop onto cold grey concrete. You blink and find yourself back in the moment.

"Well now my train of thought is all fucked up." Kimble says shaking his head and digging into the bag for another bagel.

"We should be focusing on work, not stories." Grey says slapping down a file.

"It's a good story." Kimble mumbles
>>
Hawthorne looks at you.
"Go turn off your lights, Rook. I'll get these two back on track."

"These two? I'm the one trying to direct this." Grey says with his hands out.

"I'm telling you the story will knock your socks off, it involves a guy with gold teeth." Kimble says to nobody in particular.

>"I'll be right back guys, Hawthorne do your thing."
>"I'll be right back, and when I do I want to heat about the man with Golden Teeth."
>"I just gotta handle my lights and we can get back to planning Grey."
>Write-In.
>>
>>5936376
>"I just gotta handle my lights and we can get back to planning Grey."
>>
>>5936376
>"I just gotta handle my lights and we can get back to planning Grey."
>>
>>5936376
>"I just gotta handle my lights and we can get back to planning Grey."
SIM bro? You OK there? Did the Darkseid box vision fuck you up?
>>
>>5936402
He probably saw it and decided to push the issue with his bizarro shivers.
>>
>>5936376
>>"I'll be right back guys, Hawthorne do your thing."
>>
File: IsItSIM.jpg (48 KB, 499x465)
48 KB
48 KB JPG
>>5936381
>>5936385
>>5936402

"I just gotta handle my lights and we can get back to planning, Grey." You tell the Detective giving him a nod.

"At least someone is listening to me." He mutters as he opens the file and begins plucking glossy headshots for the board.

Your trek outside the station is no different than usual except you now fight a small stream of people coming in rather than riding the flow out. You step into the open air of the apartment and notice your dome lights inside the car on, dimly shining in the early morning light, you must have forgotten to turn them off after all. As you open the door and lean in to flick the light off you feel a rock drop to the pit of your belly as a buzzing comes from your glove box. You flick the light and check your shoulders, none of the few meandering people in the parking lot give you much notice as you slip in and close your door behind you before leaning down to open the phone.

Four missed calls spread out over the last hour all from the same number. Your finger hits redial before you can even think about it.

Click.

"So you saw it too?" You ask quietly.

Silence is your response, the only noise you can hear is a faint series of exhales. Finally you hear a crackle as the phone is pulled away from where it was being held, the sound comes in clearly now and you can hear it for what it is.

Sobbing.

"Detective." It says quietly, the voice still modulated but in congruence with the shaky breathing it warbles and pitch shifts. "I did it again."

You close your eyes and control your breathing slowly. You feel a burning sting in the back of your throat as the orange juice from this morning gurgles at the edge of your esophagus.

"What did you do."

"I killed. I fucking killed someone." It says.

A spark of rage flares up in you.
"Why are you acting like this is anything new to you?"

A choked heave rings through the speaker into your ears. Your hands feel cold and tingle.
"It wasn't for my father, Detective. I killed for me. Because I couldn't help myself. It was just so loud, it was so fucking loud."

You swallow your disgust.
"Relax. Tell me what happened."

"My father had me scouting."

"Scouting for what?"

"No, no I can't." It whispers. "I was with a woman. She was actually nice to me, her car had a flat tire."

"Where was this?"

"When she handed me her iron I just couldn't help myself. It told me my time was up."

"Where did this happen?"

"It just felt so right."

"Shut the fuck up and tell me where she is."

"I did end up changing the tire anyways." It says, the voice far away in a distant memory. "She's gone, Detective. I packed her away in the trunk and got rid of the car."
>>
You pull the phone away from your ear and lean your head back, despair plucks at your heart like a world class harpist, you hear the murmurings from the phone but you find yourself struggling to care about anything he has to say. Maybe you will actually kill him when you both meet. Maybe it's what he deserves.

You blink. No, that's not right. That isn't who you are, is it? You look down at the cell phone still spilling indecipherable mutterings from it's speaker. Maybe he's just rubbing off on you.

You lift the phone back up.
"Detective?" It quietly asks, like a young boy waiting for the other shoe to drop after breaking mother's vase.

"Tell me where you sent her car and I'll talk to you. You wanted me to be your therapist? To put you on the right path? To curb the voice? Then you do as I say." You speak in a commanding tone. Top of your profile for SIM, a deferment to authority be it the city, his father, or now you.

"You'll find the car in an old garage in Coventry, near the sewage plant, I figured the smell would.." It drifts off.

"You said the city got loud, what do you mean? Was the voice you heard yelling?"

"It wasn't the voice that got loud. The last thing I heard was that my time was up and then after that it was the loudest noise I'd ever heard. If it wasn't coming from whatever fucked up genes I have then it would have made my ears bleed. It was like a scream mixed with old brakes but cranked up to a hundred. The woman, Sarah, she touched my arm and I.." It trails again.

"Yeah, I know." You say flatly. "Why kill her then?"

"It was the only way to make the noise stop." It says meekly. "I'm a bad person." It blurts out with another wave of stifled crying.

"You need to pull yourself together, you aren't the victim, you murdered an innocent fucking woman so save your crying."

Sniffles and snorts rattle through.
"You're right, Detective. But I am the one who has to live with this, she wasn't like the others. She wasn't a car thief or a pickpocket or a loan shark like the others, she was pure."

You clench your fist and take a slow steady breath. Let him talk, it's been your approach every time so far.

"She was nice, and I took that from Gotham. Makes me wonder if good people can even exist in this place. You were my reason for getting out of bed, Detective. I tried calling you and calling you when I got your text but you didn't answer so I had to make you answer."

Your eyes widen and you look to the door, the light switch, your seat. Your thought it cut off.
"I'm depressed not sloppy, Detective. If you're thinking I left forensics on your car you're wrong. Same with Sarah's car. I was raised a neat freak."

You frown but file away something for later. He has to live within less than an hour of the station to be able to turn these on, leave, and get to a quiet place to have his breakdown. Unless he lives like Question.

"You said you were depressed?" You ask, prodding.
>>
"I killed someone who didn't deserve it, wouldn't you be? The same thing that lets men in your shoes go to sleep is the same thing that lets me do it. Knowing that the person I killed had it coming."

"That isn't what police work is." You defend before an abrupt raise in his voice catches you off guard.

"There are bigger murderers than me in this city, Detective! Swine who play with and throw away lives like poker chips, people stealing the only means a mother has of feeding her child, and people who your organization will never touch because you're so deep in their pocket you should be collecting fucking lint!"

The voice now almost sounds frenzied, if there wasn't a phone between you it's likely you'd be coated in spittle and hot breath.

"The more I dwell on it the sadder it gets. What life is there for good people in Gotham? Are there good people in Gotham?" The voice gets tender, introspective, and oh so quiet.

"Of course there are.." You tell it, your voice soft against your own will.

"I don't know. We talked about redemption, absolution, and the recompense people have to pay. But is there even a price for men like me? I'm tired, Detective. Everything feels heavy."

"You can lighten some of that up by coming clean, turning yourself in." You ask, the back of your lizard brain still struggling to hold back the barrage of abuse you want to unload even if just verbally.

"I am coming clean, Detective. That's what our whole relationship is about, you're the only person I can tell that I'm tired. Everything is so hard, and I don't mean out of a sense of fatigue or exhaustion. The thought of doing something, anything, is just too much. The only time I've been able to muster up the power to do anything is when I don't think, when I just let instinct take over and drive me on. But at that point, am I not just an animal? How can someone live like that?"

You take a moment to let the silence linger, but it seems he got it out of his system. Whatever it was.
"Detective, how do I move past this?"

>"You don't, you sit with it. You deserve no forgiveness for what you did and when I find you, you won't get any from me."
>"You take it one day at a time, you slipped up but that doesn't have to be the end of everything, if you come into the station and let us take you in we can get you help. Psychiatric treatment is what you need, not a cell."
>I don't know. The only thing I do know is that this city does have good people in it and they need to be protected from people like you."
>Write-In

Another fat conversation with SIM, I very much so enjoy writing these back and forths using the baseline of Mark that you guys have built up with your decisions, I'll leave this up to let everyone get a chance to weigh in and sit on what you learned. I'll see you all at the usual time.
>>
>>5936522
>>"You don't, you sit with it. You deserve no forgiveness for what you did and when I find you, you won't get any from me."
>>
>>5936522
>You take it one day at a time, you slipped up but that doesn't have to be the end of everything, if you come into the station and let us take you in we can get you help. Psychiatric treatment is what you need, not a cell
>write in: But a cell in the beginning of the treatment may be needed. Relapse is a thing after all
>>
>>5936522
Damn. Shit's heavy.
>>
>>5936522
>"You don't, you sit with it. You deserve no forgiveness for what you did and when I find you, you won't get any from me."
+
>Write In: "But at the end of the day, how I feel about you doesn't matter. Whether it's me or some other cop that catches you, you'll be off the streets for good and nothing more than a bad memory. What you choose to do after that, whether you try redeem yourself or spend the rest of your life in a cell raging at the world like a feral animal, that's on you. I can only hope that you'll make best of the supports and mental treatments you'll get."

If this quest was more comedic, I'd even push more on his animal comments while making fun of super villains (in an attempt to sour the idea in his head). Something like pointing out that Batman already has a 'cat' burglar and a Penguin, so if he's going to embrace his inner furry then he could grab some spandex and call himself the Stupendous Sea Cucumber.
>>
>>5936536
Regarding tone, can I actually ask you guys how you feel about it? I am going for a more grounded darker approach for the story but I have seen a few people lamenting the absence of giant typewriters and other accouterments of Gotham.

Reply to this and tell me your thoughts.
>>
>>5936540
> I am going for a more grounded darker approach for the story but I have seen a few people lamenting the absence of giant typewriters and other accouterments of Gotham.
The quest itself has plenty going on already, so the relative absence of wacky shit wasn't really on my mind. But now that you ask, I just figured that stuff still existed in Gotham, but just wasn't present in this specific narrative (for now).
At the moment, Mark's just a beat cop struggling to learn the ropes of his job. All the trappings of classical Gotham have their place, but I feel we'll get there when we get there.
Do feel free to drop in a little bit of that Silver Age spice if you want though. I wouldn't mind that at all.
>>
>>5936540
We're a rookie beat cop, not a detective assigned to the wacky cases or a hero trying to fight super villains, so everything being more grounded and dark makes sense. If we ever have a stroke and try to capture a super villain, accidentally (on our end) get caught up in one of their big plans, or go on to more directly help out/work with super heroes, then seeing more traditional comic book things and tones pop up would be perfectly fine.
As for the lack of giant props out and about on random Gotham rooftops, just offhandedly mention the "Sprang Act" in a conversation.

If I can throw in a request, then I'd love it if at some point we investigate a break-in/assault at an old man's house, only for it to be Alan Scott.
The combination of him being a war hero, former/current Justice Society member (depending on how you want to do that and what drama exists between them and the JL), and his friends both old and young constantly checking up on him/'subtly' investigating the crime and us (as one of the officers assigned to the case) in their hero persona would make for some nice chaos. Hell, he's the safest hero we can interact with in Gotham aside from Wildcat.
>>
>>5936540
>I have seen a few people lamenting the absence of giant typewriters and other accouterments of Gotham.
That's ME, you faggot!
>tell me your thoughts
Love your quest, keep it up! And whatever >>5936562 and >>5936579 said. Don't forget the silly giant office supplies and other crazy architecture twists exist in Gotham, but save it for where appropriate. You got tone and everything fine as is right now. Who knows how later threads and story arcs will be? Provided you and your motivation and your quest live that long for it.

>>5936579
That break-in idea plus the old and new themes reminds me of the Owl Man stuff in Watchmen

>>5936522
Backing >>5936526
>>
>>5936616
Side note for YOU: I like your "That's ME you 'slur'" bit, it always makes me chuckle.
>>
>>5936619
Thank you. As you can clearly tell, I mean no harm by it. Personally I imagine it said the way people in movies say lines like "that's MISTER Anonymous to you!" or the way Vince McMahon does the iconic "IT'S ME AUSTIN!"
>>
File: F4u59VuaoAUP8Bn.jpg (516 KB, 1180x1587)
516 KB
516 KB JPG
>>5936515
>Maybe you will actually kill him when you both meet. Maybe it's what he deserves.
Glad to see that my repeated cries to kill the guy are being represented in the form of intrusive thoughts. Seems like Mark has some points in half light after all.
>>5936522
>I don't know. The only thing I do know is that this city does have good people in it and they need to be protected from people like you."
>>5936540
It's pretty ok. The "evil superman" and "darkseid invasion threat" are less grounded and more comic book, but those are not the actual things we deal with, just spooky vague threats, so it's fine. I like the SIM as our nemesis(meaning I hate him, good job), I like dealing with Dent and politics(meaning I hate it, good job) and I like the cop gang.
Gotham being a weird shitty surreal city made out of gothic urban legends is always cool, and my preferred take on the place, but you don't HAVE to include a gargoyle into every scene. I'd say just add some flavor/ambience when you write locations, and you're good.
>>
>>5936633
>and I like the cop gang.
You forgot your (meaning I like it, good job) there, buddy
>>
>>5936522
>>I don't know. The only thing I do know is that this city does have good people in it and they need to be protected from people like you."
>>
>>5936522
>write in
>Part of moving past it is confronting what you did. There's no sugar coating it this time, you're a sick fuck, sure, but normally you're not this sick. Let's talk about the noise, is this something new? Also that's what depression is called retard, it's like there's a weight between your shoulders that makes you hunch, all you feel is sadness and stress. As for the one who has to deal with this? Are you fucking dumb? I have to deal with this as well, I have to find the person who is murdering all these people, I have to comfort the fucker who just snapped and murdered some innocent woman and now I, once again, have to help him calm down. I might be an idiot, but I'm not fucking retarded, stop your dumb 'woe is me bullshit' because like it or not I'm involved now too. Listen, it has to stop, we can work together on this, I hear the whispers too, but Gotham wants me to help it, not hurt it.. So help me help you, since you're part of it.

I have returned with my schizo posts.
>>
>>5936540
When we see the batcave in a shivers vision while high on sewer gas if we don't see a gigantic penny or a t-rex skull or a humongous rotary telephone we riot.
>>
>>5936808
If Batman doesn't immediately stop and turn to look at the spot Mark is standing in as Mark views via Shivers vision, I will be baffled
>>
>>5936811
>getting eye of sauron'd by batman
Well, at least it wouldn't be Alfred.
>>
>>5936522
>"You take it one day at a time, you slipped up but that doesn't have to be the end of everything, if you come into the station and let us take you in we can get you help. Psychiatric treatment is what you need, not a cell."
>"By the way, I think there may be a connection between the noise you heard and...something I saw, last night. It feels like something terrible is coming to Gotham soon, or is going to happen to it...something along those lines. Something the likes of which we've never seen before. Just thought I should warn you, since we're the only ones who stand a chance of knowing what'll happen before it does."
>>
>>5936808

Oh but you've already been in the Batcave, Anon. (or have you?) Not only that but the giant penny has already been alluded to as well.
>>
You can't move on:
>>5936523
>>5936536

One Day At a Time:
>>5936526
>>5936616
>>5936536
>>5936903

We don't know:
>>5936633
>>5936669

Writing with some of that write-in fusion.
>>
You sigh. Despite all the anger and the repulsion you feel towards SIM you can't help but offer a silver lining, to try and help.

"You take it one day at a time, you slipped up but that doesn't mean it has to be the end of everything, if you come into the station and let us take you in we can get you help. You need psychiatric treatment, not a cell."

There's a few seconds of pause before the voice whispers.
"I could almost think you really cared about me, Detective. Would I really be getting a Doctor instead of a Warden?"

"Well a cell might be needed at the beginning of your treatment, relapse is a thing after all."

"And then I pop out on the other side, a normal member of society?" It laughs bitterly. "I doubt it."

"Listen. Just come in, end this."

"I'm trying to, Detective, but you won't HELP. ME. I am calling you because I am TRYING to end this, just not in the way you want. I am the one who has to deal with this intrusion in my head making me do things I don't want to, I want to end the voice and you want to end my actions, you think this all ends with iron bars or a needle? No, even if I'm behind foot thick padded walls in Arkham the voice isn't going to go away, you're asking me to turn myself in for a lifetime of torture. You want me to turn myself in and spend the rest of my life reflecting on the worst moment of my life?" It's voice picks up speed as it talks, anger building and sparking anger in you.

There's no sugar coating it this time. You feel something inside snap as you let loose your own torrent.

"You're a sick fuck, but usually you aren't this sick. Part of moving past the things you've done is confronting what you did, accepting the consequences of your actions, and showing remorse to more people than just yourself. As for the one who has to deal with this? Are you fucking stupid? I have to deal with this as well, I have to find the person who is murdering all these people, I have to comfort the fucker who just snapped and murdered some innocent woman and now I, once again, have to help him calm down. I might be a rookie but I'm far from dumb, stop your dumb 'woe is me' bullshit, because like it or not I'm involved now too." You spit out the final words and lean forward on your wheel, exhaustion rolling over you and it's not even 10AM.

"I see." It answers you, similar to the way a scolded child would answer their father.

You find yourself absent of energy to even raise your voice anymore, all you can do is make one last plea.
" Listen." You begin before stopping and taking an extra second to collect yourself fully. "This has to stop, we can work together on this, I hear the whispers too, but Gotham wants me to help it, not hurt it.. So help me help you, since you're part of it."

"Yin and Yang. Light and Dark." It replies to you quietly and contemplatively. "I do need to confront what I've done, don't I?"

"Yes, so just-"
>>
"I have to go, Detective." It cuts you off. "You've given me an idea, a way to atone maybe."

"No, no. Stay on the phone with me, what's your plan?"

"Don't worry, nobody innocent is going to get hurt."

"I don't want ANYONE getting hurt, I want you to do the right thing and come in with me."

There's a few moments of silence.

"The vehicle is a white sedan. Harlow Motors. I left the keys in the front seat."

"Do not hang up."

"It's almost time we should meet in person, Detective. If you meant what you said about helping Gotham then you'll want to hear me out, but I need time to think about it. I know you'll go there with the intent of arresting me but maybe once you hear what I have to say you'll reconsider."

"I'm not sure about that."

"Then we will just have to see. Will you meet me? No weapons or phones, just hear out my idea when I've finished thinking it through?"

>"I'll give you a chance to talk to me, unarmed and alone." (Lie or Truth?)
>"I'll hear you out but if you think I'm getting anywhere near you without a weapon you're mistaken."
>"Fine, I'll listen to you. In a public place."
>"No way in hell, if we meet it's ending in handcuffs or a body bag."
>Write-In
>>
>>5937183
>"Fine, I'll listen to you. In a public place."
Useful intel. Maybe even an ID. Worth the risk.
>>
>>5937183
>"Fine, I'll listen to you. In a public place."
>>
>>5937183
>"Fine, I'll listen to you. In a public place."
And here we go
>>
>>5937183
I won't lie, I'm tempted as fuck to go with the first option as a Lie and contact J'onn to pretend to be us. He's psychic, he can shapeshift, and he's guaranteed to be capable of overpowering this nigga.
>>
>>5937183
>>"Fine, I'll listen to you. In a public place."
>But there's going to be rules, do you understand? No more tricks, no more games, just us and talking. If you do something dumb like trying to kill your father which I REALLY hope you're not planning, then when we meet I am going to find the nearest fucking glass of liquid and throw it in your face. Also I kinda need to have my phone can we compromise on that?
>>
>>5937223
>Also I get ONE free slap, I earned it.
>>
>>5937183
>>"Fine, I'll listen to you. In a public place."
>Write-In
"But if you try anything funny I will arrest you."
>>
>>5937192
>>5937194
>>5937197
>>5937223
>>5937303

"Fine." You state, desperate to end this perverse discussion. "I'll meet you and hear you out but ONLY in a public space. Where there are rules, do you understand?"

"I do, Detective. I'll contact you with more details later." The voice is slightly uplifted, hopeful even.

"I just hope whatever you're planning isn't unbelievably stupid, like if you were plotting to kill your dear old dad I would classify that as unbelievably dumb. Just a heads up."

Silence responds.

"Hello? I swear to fucking Go-"

A beep disconnects your call, your gut churns and ties itself up as certainty settles on you that he is definitely planning something unbelievably stupid.

A short meditation session later and you toss the phone back into the glove box and start making your way back inside. By now everyone in the board room has descended on the bagels and settled their argument by keeping their mouths busy.

"Get lost, Rook?" Hawthorne asks you, swiping some cream cheese from his mouth with a thumb.

"Got a call, had to take it." You say giving Hawthorne a deep stare.

His chewing slows and he sets his food down on a folded napkin.
"Everything alright?"

"I'll be getting a call back sometime."

Grey and Hawthorne share a look and both nod slightly. Kimble's eyes drift between the pair and you.

"Anything going on that I should know about?" He asks, his eyes sharp and focused. Searching.

"Commander is on his ass." Hawthorne jumps in for you, his voice steady and calm like all other times. "Rook is embarrassed the Commander heard about his nickname."

Kimble's eyes bore into you but you maintain a sheepish expression, his gaze softens and he shakes his head.
"The Cobra strikes again." He quips. You make sure to not let out too large a breath of relief.

"We were finishing up and decided we don't really have much else to do, you'll get the debrief, ROE, and all that good stuff for the OP on the morning of. It's in two days so we figure you should spend your time making sure you go into this cool and confident." Grey tells you, cracking the seal to another plastic tub of cream cheese. "Those are the two greatest assets of a UC, DeLucia. Even if you get caught with your pants around your ankles staying calm and projecting confidence can get you out of some tough spots."

"So what's the plan for the rest of the day then? You guys had me come in just to point a plastic gun at me?"

"That's not all." Kimble says, standing and putting a hand on your shoulder. "We also wanted some breakfast."
>>
You give Kimble a disappointed glare as he steps past, you laughing to himself.

"Commander had strict orders, we aren't supposed to put you on any duty until the OP is over. Kimble agreed." Hawthorne says with his palms up.

"But I went out for my CI and Kimble and I hit the streets just the other day."

"Because those were his directives towards you as his TO, I'm sorry son, but Kimble is the one who decides your schedule at the moment and he finds it prudent that you stay on the bench this close to having to do UC."

"What do I do then?"

Hawthorne looks around.
"Well you're off official duty but so am I, we could put in some range time or more sparring. Would be a good break from the paperwork."

"Or." Grey cuts in. "He could get to work on the real fundamentals of policing which isn't shooting and fighting, you said you were interested in making Detective one day?"

"One day." You repeat.

"That's a leadership position, believe it or not, it isn't just the Head Detective giving out orders. You get to a crime scene full of uni's and this shield." He taps his badge which hangs from a thin black cord around his neck. "This gives you the right to lead your fellow officers, I can give you a taste of that."

"Like a deputy?"

"Vaguely. I have a few units working with the construction crews contracted by City Hall. They work the parallel streets of our OP and are the way we want to scout the sewer situation, subtly. Seeing as the job will be mainly underground how would you like to be the GCPD Liaison, help guide and lead that search."

You look to Hawthorne and he offers you nothing but a shrug.
"Do whatever you want, Rook, you know I'm not the sentimental type. I won't be offended."

"You could always go and harass Kimble to see if he'll take you on a ride along, if you don't think you can handle it." Those final words come with an eyebrow raise and a slight smirk. A challenge.

>"I can handle it, I'll help map out the sewers."
>"I'd rather work on my aim and my grappling than go wading through sewage if it's all the same, Grey."
>"Being on the street and answering calls is the entire reason I joined up, to help regular people with their problems. I'm gonna go talk to Kimble."
>"Could I just go home? I'm still pretty exhausted." (Actually Go Home)
>"Could I just go home? I'm still pretty exhausted." (Contact someone outside of work, like Question, Caesar, Banks, Etc.)
>Write-In
>>
>>5937386
>>"I can handle it, I'll help map out the sewers."
>>Write-In
"But first let me change into something different. If you don't mind Grey. "
>>
>>5937386
+1 this >>5937393
>>
>>5937386
>"I can handle it, I'll help map out the sewers."
We're kinda the expert on this one. Gotta go lend a hand.
>>
>>5937393
Oh yeah, supporting this bit. I'd rather not get our good threads all fucked up.
>>
>>5937393
+1
>>
>>5937381
Ah I fucking knew it, the little shit.
>I know how to fix this
>Have you tried not being retarded?
>hangs up on us
>"I can handle it, I'll help map out the sewers."
>>
>>5937393
+1
>>
>>5937393
>>5937396
>>5937399
>>5937412
>>5937588
>>5937436

"I can handle it." You tell him confidently. "But first things first I need to change out of these."

"Don't blame you, I keep extra sweats and a shirt in my locker if you need em, Rook."

"No need, I have an extra uniform in my trunk for situations like this." You call over your shoulder as you head for the glass door. "I'll be right back."

"Meet me in the motor bay, when you get changed." Grey calls after you.

As the door closes and you head back to your car, once again, Hawthorne looks to Grey.

"He's more of a boy scout than you were." He says quietly with a dry chuckle.

Grey shakes his head.
"Funny. I was just thinking he's almost as reckless than you."

"I never got a Serial Killer on my back before."

"Right, just a Mafia."

"Exactly." Hawthorne replies with a smug smile. "Just a Mafia."

=========

You finish tossing your War Bag into the back of the cruiser and close the lid as Grey approaches you. He holds out a small folder to you, inside are multiple pages coated in a thin layer of plastic.

"This is what Hawthorne and I have been working on, it isn't perfect but we took your drawings and some original blueprints and put together something that half makes sense. Between the crew and your ability I'm guessing it won't be too much trouble to find a path that works for us."

"Yes, sir. I'm hoping it doesn't prove too difficult."

"It's a simple job, but important, I want you to know I trust you to get it done. So don't let me down." He claps your shoulder and gives it a firm shake. "You're the face of the GCPD to these men and to City Hall who contracts them. So put your best foot forward. Understood?"

"Yes, sir. I'll do my best."

Grey smiles and pulls his arm back, gesturing towards your cruiser.
"Then get it done, Officer DeLucia."

You give him a curt nod and head for the driver seat like you'd done many times already but now a small tremor runs through your hand as you turn the key. Anxiety? Towards your assignment or towards what may be waiting for you with SIM, you shake the thoughts from your head and bring yourself back to focus on the task at hand.
>>
File: DouglasWatts.jpg (20 KB, 229x248)
20 KB
20 KB JPG
The drive over you find yourself in your own head, a habit you notice happening more and more recently, thinking mainly about what Grey had said: That you are a representative of the GCPD not just to these men but also City Hall. Your stomach tightens, Dent is sure to want a detailed report when he finds out you're involved, you just hope if you're forced to deal with Dent again that it's for as short a time as you can.

As you get closer you start to see more and more familiar landmarks from your excursion with Hawthorne, the gas station being your marker as you fly past it, Grey's plan of entering the sewer system from a parallel neighborhood is a good one that minimizes your exposure to anyone who may recognize you come day of the sting.

"He's clinical." Hawthorne told you about Grey after your first time meeting the man. "He's logical to a fault though, used to really struggle with people but I knocked that out of him."

You see what he means the more you interact with him. Your thoughts are interrupted by the crackling of gravel and other debris under your wheels as you turn into an open space between two buildings sectioned off by chain-link fence complete with blue tarp flapping in the intermittent gusts of wind. You pop the door and step out, you don't get three steps before a man with a white hard hat approaches you. He offers a heavy gloved hand which you shake and he gives you an up and down.

"Douglass Watts, I'm the head of this crew. I was expecting a Detective."

"I'm here on behalf of Detective Grey and the GCPD, I was the Officer who helped with recreating the sewer maps." You offer.

He sucks his teeth and checks his clipboard, taking a thick rectangular block and scribbling something down.
"Whatever, pal. Long as you got the badge you're all the same to me."

Before you can reply he turns around and peels off a thick glove with his teeth, sticks his fingers into his mouth and let's out a sharp piercing whistle.
"Everyone. Pack your shit, get your gear back on, and gather round. This here is the Detective who's gonna lead us on this hunt."

"I'm an Officer." You correct him quietly.

"I heard you the first time, bud." He replies without looking at you. "None of these guys, or me, know the difference so."

You sigh and watch as the half a dozen or so men begin ambling towards you, slowly you realize with a little fear that they are gathering as a crowd in front of you. They are looking to you to lay down orders.

"Everyone listen to him very closely, I'm sure the Detective likes repeating himself even less than I do." Douglas hollers at the men, he slowly turns and puts his clipboard down by his waist before giving you a nod. "Go ahead, Detective please."

You nod and take a step forward, the orders are simple enough but you decide to go about this..
>>
>"The job is simple. We get into these sewers and make sure what we have on paper lines up with what we see. If you listen to me, stay focused, and listen to my commands then I'll get you all out of here before sundown. This only takes as long as you make it."
>"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for agreeing to help out the GCPD today. Now what we have to do isn't life or death but it is important, so when we get down there make sure you're marking any anomalies or differences between the map and sewer. If we work together this won't take long at all."
>"Your supervisor is right, I don't like repeating myself so I'll say this once. Listen to my orders, this is a police operation and any slip up can result in bad men eluding justice. If you don't want that hanging over your head then you need to do what I say when I say it. Understood?"
>Write-In (Encouraged)

Writing Anons Rejoice, time to stretch your speech muscles [spoilers]
>>
>>5938279
>"Look, I can't give a lot of details, but this is a big deal. What we're looking for is thoroughness, not a rush job. But here's the thing: doing it once, properly the right way is waaay faster than retracing our steps because we did it wrong. I know none of us want to have to go back down once we already wrapped it up once, so let's do this right, alright?"
>>
>>5938279
>>"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for agreeing to help out the GCPD today. Now what we have to do isn't life or death but it is important, so when we get down there make sure you're marking any anomalies or differences between the map and sewer. If we work together this won't take long at all."
>>
>Write-In
>"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for agreeing to help out the GCPD today. The job is simple, but important. If we aren't thorough then they'll be sending us back down there, and I know none of us want to have to go back in once we already wrapped it up once. So, let's do this right the first time rather than hurrying up to get away from the smell. We're going to be making sure that what we have on paper lines up with what we see down there, and to report any anomalies or differences between this map and the sewer. Any questions while we're still in fresh air?"

Were these guys clued into why we're investigating the sewers, or just know that the GCPD wanted to investigate them? That would change whether or not someone would ask about why we are and whether we can evade with just a general "The full details belong to an active investigation I don't have authorization to reveal. Just that we need to especially pay attention to what would help or hinder moving people around." It's not really a full lie but it will probably make them assume its a human trafficking or drug smuggling investigation instead of a mob boss escape route.
>>
>>5938375
+1
>>
>>5938279
>>5938375
+1
>>
>>5938279
>"Hello everyone, I want to thank you all for agreeing to help out the GCPD today. Now what we have to do isn't life or death but it is important, so when we get down there make sure you're marking any anomalies or differences between the map and sewer. If we work together this won't take long at all."
>>
Apologies guys, something came up that's going to keep me occupied for today and possibly tomorrow (but I'm hoping not)

I'll work to get an update out quick as I can tomorrow if I am free.
>>
>>5939129
No rush, chief.
>>
>>5939129
Thanks for letting us know, and I hope all is well.
>>
>>5938279
>>"The job is simple. We get into these sewers and make sure what we have on paper lines up with what we see. If you listen to me, stay focused, and listen to my commands then I'll get you all out of here before sundown. This only takes as long as you make it."
A bit cold for Mark, but I'm not a write-in kind of guy.

Worst case scenario here would be us getting caught on a camera or getting snitched on by one of the workers. Because if anyone tells the mob that the same guy that's currently in the meeting was checking their escape route couple days back, we're fucked. But unless that happens, this job should be easy, if a bit trippy.
Also may want to not tell the workers we're a meta because there's only one known meta in the force. Fuck man, trying to have opsec while being a public figure sucks.
>>
>>5938375
>>5938437
>>5938491

"Hello everyone." You start off, smiling. "I want to thank you all for agreeing to help out the GCPD today. The job is simple, but important. If we aren't thorough then they'll be sending us back down there, and I know none of us want to have to go back in once we already wrapped it up once. So, let's do this right the first time rather than hurrying up to get away from the smell. We're going to be making sure that what we have on paper lines up with what we see down there, and to report any anomalies or differences between this map and the sewer. Any questions while we're still in fresh air?"

"Any idea how long this is supposed to take?" A voice from the back calls out.

"Hoping to have it done in dusted in under two hours, with the amount of men we have I don't think it's going to be very hard to pull off."

"Is this gonna get my parking tickets cleared for me?" Another man calls out, a ripple of chuckles come from the crowd and you smirk but the laughter quickly dies down when Douglas casts a stray eye over the crowd and then to you, nodding.

"Uh, no sir. Today from what I was told you're getting a full days pay from the city for a couple hours of your time. Maybe if I end up being the one to pull you over we can talk about it then." You give what you hope is a charming smile and then sit in silence for a few seconds looking expectantly for more questions. After about ten seconds of awkward silence you tap your clipboard and rock on your heels.

"Alright well if we're all clear then.."

A hand raises above the crowd, skinny at the wrist but the palms and fingers are darkened with calluses. Douglas points.

"Pete. This ain't grade school, say what you gotta."

The crowd shifts as Pete steps to the front, he can't be much older than 19 but he looks just as grizzled as most of the other crew here.

"I just wanted to ask..and I thought maybe I shouldn't..."

"Pete. If you're revving up to say something then sack up and say it. I wanna knock this out." A rougher voice from behind him calls out.

Pete looks at you directly.
"I was just wondering, what exactly is it we're looking for? Or doing? I know you said it's to map out the sewers but, why?"

"That ain't our place, Petey." Douglas says.

"I'm just saying, boss. We ain't like gonna run into Killer Croc or something down there are we? A full days pay for a couple hours sounds like Hazard."

You notice now a shifting in the crowd's faces, less bored and apathetic and more quizzical. A few more men quietly voice their own theories.

"...probably has to do with the construction a street over.."

"...Croc is in Blackgate ain't he...."

"...why send a cop if it ain't dangerous.."
>>
Douglas gives you a look and you recognize the cue. You step forward to address them.

>"City Hall had a break-in years ago, they lost a lot of old city planning documents including these sewers. We are doing this job to help complete the archives. Nothing more."
>"We've had complaints of noises coming from manholes in the area, city hall wants us to make sure no pipes are close to bursting and that no bums are down there camping, it's a routine patrol in a non-routine location so they figured it best to connect me with an experienced crew."
>"A street over from here is a strip joint, it's routinely used as a hangout for criminals, we think they have access to the sewers from their building and want to get a map of the tunnels so the next time they use em, we can grab em."
>"I know you guys have questions, but in the interest of security I can't answer them right now, what I can tell you is that this job is not dangerous aside from the usual slipping hazards and other stuff that comes with going down there."
>"I'm afraid that's the business of the GCPD, Pete. Anyone who isn't comfortable with heading down is free to leave but you'll be giving up your pay for the day as well."
>Write-In
>>
>>5939897
>>Write-In
>"We had a runner who slipped in through the storm drains on the streets. We went in after him but he gave us the run around. We picked him up later but some of the brass decided it couldn't hurt to get a handle on the ways around down there if some skinny thug can juke us like that. You know how bosses bosses can be. Shit flows downhill."
I have no idea. But everyone can get behind "My boss is a dick and giving me the shit job."
>>
>>5939912
Supporting, they might sympathize with us a little better if this is something we got saddled with rather than something we concocted.
>>
>>5939897
>"City Hall had a break-in years ago, they lost a lot of old city planning documents including these sewers. We are doing this job to help complete the archives. Nothing more."
>"We don't expect any hazards that you wouldn't see in any other city. But on the slim - and I do mean slim - chance that Gotham decides to pull a Gotham Special within this exact two hour window on today of all days, you have my full permission to do whatever it takes to get out of there alive and healthy. But seriously, it should be an extremely simple and routine job."
>>
>>5939912
+1
>>
>>5939912
supporting
>>
>>5939897
>"I know you guys have questions, but in the interest of security I can't answer them right now, what I can tell you is that this job is not dangerous aside from the usual slipping hazards and other stuff that comes with going down there."
>"I'm afraid that's the business of the GCPD, Pete. Anyone who isn't comfortable with heading down is free to leave but you'll be giving up your pay for the day as well."
I just don't like the idea of putting on a uniform and using that position of trust to lie to law-abiding civvies. Withholding info is fine, making up a fake story to trick them into staying isn't.
>>
>>5939954
I am suspicious of Pete, really. He's got city miles on him.
>>
>>5939959
That's just what big city construction does to a guy, especially in a burg like Gotham.
>>
>>5939975
Perhaps.
>>
>>5939912
>>5939914
>>5939927
>>5939942

You hold up a hand and quiet the murmuring crowd of blue collar men. They look to you as you take a breath and rub your neck.

"We had a runner who slipped in through the storm drains on the streets. We ended up looking for him but he gave us the run around."

"So we're helping you track a convict?" A voice calls. You reply with a curt shake of your head.

"No. We picked him up later on but the brass decided it won't hurt us to get a handle on how to get around down there. If a skinny thug can juke us like that well.." You let the sentence drift off and shrug. "You know how it is, shit flows downhill."

A few of the men mumble in agreement and Pete seems to lose some of the tension in his face. Douglas however watches you with a steady gaze, it isn't openly negative but you can read between the lines with just how long he's staring into you.

"If that's the last of the questions, get your headlamps, your shin boots, and your nose plugs if you got em. We're about to get into the shit, literally." He turns as the men begin to gather their things, once again he gives you a long measured stare before giving a grunt and nodding over your shoulder. You see a headlamp and pair of tall rubber boots.

"What about the nose plugs?" You ask half joking.

He holds up his hand and wiggles his cracked dirty fingers.
"You brought yours from home, it looks like."

=======

Sulfur, rotten eggs, human shit, and the funk of mold sit prominently on the heavy air of the sewers. You feel the air stick and grip to your skin, you may have to burn this uniform by the time you're done here, tears threaten to sting the corners of your eyes but you manage to hold them back. Douglas gives you a slap on the back.

"GCPD still makes em tough after all." He tells you, his voice echoing down the dank smooth stone curves.

"I like to think so." You reply, struggling to keep your voice steady.

"Alright!" He hollers. "Three of you will be coming with me while we walk to the eastern cistern. The other three will be in the possession of the GCPD with Detective DeLucia here."

The men almost race to end up with Douglas, if you were a more sensitive guy you'd probably be offended, the slowest or least caring of the group end up in your care. That includes Pete.

"Alright, Detective if you keep your radio local I'll send you pings. One Ping means to meet back here, Two Pings mean I have an issue on my end, and Three Pings mean my half of this is done and I'm going top-side." Douglas hollers from down the tunnel.
>>
"Copy, I'll see you on the top then." You call back, without further words you watch as they slowly fade into the darkness of the sewer system.

"How far to the Western Cistern, Pete?"

"About an hour, same time walking back."

"So two hours wasn't just lip service, Grey really did his research on this stuff." You say to yourself, dimming the headlamp so you don't reflect all the light off the paper into your eyes. It'll be mainly a straight line for the first half, nothing to do but get to it.

"Let's head out."

=====Twenty Minutes Later...=====

"Pete, mark this gap here." You say as you take a small hop over the gap in a four way intersection of burbling gray water.

There hadn't been much to note for the walk, Grey and Hawthorne bicker but the two of them are near immaculate in their work, now is when thing's begin to get interesting.

"Lamps up and eyes sharp from this point especially." You tell the men over your shoulder as you study the maps. "We're entering the parts of the sewer that got revamped by the City a couple years ago."

"Mayor Dent is one of our top customers, City Hall has all sorts of plans in the works." Pete comments idly as he hops the gap, this entire walk he hadn't strayed more than six feet from you.

"His campaign promises buy my little girl's birthday gifts, so I ain't complaining." A slightly accented voice jokes, it belongs to a moustachio'd man by the name of Diego.

"Well re-election time is coming next year, so hopefully whoever's in the Mayor's office by then is interested in finishing up all his plans." You say, marking down the location of a beam of light shining through a manhole. You're on the right path.

"You don't think he's getting re-elected?" Pete asks you.

"I keep an open mind and a closed mouth when it comes to politics. Especially in Gotham." You reply.

"Only way to do it." Diego chimes in.

You smirk, but it isn't long before the smirk falls away into a puzzled expression. Ahead of you in the dark you think you spot something, a small black box a little larger than a deck of cards.

"Officer, Sir?" Pete asks, his hand tapping your shoulder.

"Not now.." you mumble, trying to get a better look.

"Sir...I think something is in the water.." Pete says, his hand now urgently tapping your shoulder. You give it a quick glance and see nothing.

"Pete, he's doing something." Diego sighs. "Just give the man a second."

"I fucking saw something, D. It was right in the water, I swear."

You sigh and crouch, the small box gives you the tiniest glint of reflective light. Then you hear it, the plop of something entering water.

"There! There it is!" Pete yells.

"It's a log of shit, you fucking idiota." Diego sighs as he steps past you. "Stop dragging this out."
>>
You stand up straight, you feel a shiver run over your body, you feel exposed. Somewhere above a man sits in a cramped office, his shoes kicked off in a corner and a tall plastic cup of soda sitting on a desk. Behind him a series of dulled lights on a switchboard except for one which blinks yellow and red.

You blink again and re-enter the sewers, Pete yanking on your shirt and Diego stepping past you with a few other men.

"I really want to go back up now." Pete says quietly.

"Fucking go then." Diego replies. "You're a man now, Petey. Stop being such a Coño."

"Officer, PLEASE." Pete says again giving you a final yank.

>"Diego is right, Pete. I need you to get a hold of yourself. Diego I need you to stop moving, something is up ahead of us and I'm not sure what it is."
>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."
>"Pete, maybe it would be best if you did go back up. You can head back and I won't even mention it to Douglas. You can still get paid."
>"Pete, there are no crocodiles or super-villains in the sewers. If you keep pulling on my shirt then you'll be paying the GCPD for the replacement, stop worrying about the water and fall in line."
>"Enough! Everyone shut the hell up and get behind me. Now."
>Write-In
>>
>>5940073
>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."
>>
>>5940073
>>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."
>>
>>5940073
Luckily for Pete, we never leave home without our recreational stick of dynamite.
>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."
If we DON'T look then he's going to hoot and holler the whole way back. It's probably nothing.
>>
>>5940094
+1
Cop putting his life on the line for civvies. Is this really Gotham?
>>
>>5940098
>Cop putting his life on the line for civvies. Is this really Gotham?
It happens, once every few decades or so.
>>
>>5940073
>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."

Pete is going to be mocked relentlessly if this turns out to be someone’s fudge log.
>>
>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."

With the addendum.

>"And someone keep an eye on whatever this is as you do." Pointing to the Black Box. "They may be related, may not. I just want to know if anything changes with this as I check out whatever Pete saw."
>>
>Somewhere above a man sits in a cramped office, his shoes kicked off in a corner and a tall plastic cup of soda sitting on a desk. Behind him a series of dulled lights on a switchboard except for one which blinks yellow and red.
Well, this vision can be interpreted two ways
1) The man in an office is a mafia goon who's watcing the cameras/alarms that are placed around here and we're already tripped one. No Idea what it is plopping around in the water then.
2)The man in the office is some sort of maintenance worker who's monitoring valves or water pressure or something like that. And something is about to break/flood, hence the red blinking alarm light.

Any other ideas?
>>
>>5942600
Clearly it's just Leonard. And Richie is just fucking with him by manually flipping a breaker to make the warning system get mad.
>>
>>5940073
>"Diego, the rest of you, stop moving. Back up. If Pete saw something then I'm checking it out."



[Advertise on 4chan]

Delete Post: [File Only] Style:
[Disable Mobile View / Use Desktop Site]

[Enable Mobile View / Use Mobile Site]

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective parties. Images uploaded are the responsibility of the Poster. Comments are owned by the Poster.