Campaign of the Month: March 2014

Gotham Reborn

Vagabond's Journal - Episode 4: Ballistic

Counting Sheep

Things in Gotham tend toward entropy. The more we make strides toward a better tomorrow, the more the city resists us. Take my latest failed project, Waylon Jones for example. On several occasions I have tried to approach the infamous Killer Croc about helping him. The meetings tend to end with the crocodile man filled with sedatives and my personage covered in bruises and sewage. The last encounter, the one that cost Carmine his life, went a little differently. To be clear, I liked Carmine. I wanted him dead, but that is just business. He invited me into his home. He funded my organization. He had a code. And because one homicidal maniac with a skin condition got his hands on a galactic trinket Roman Sionis had enough time to put a bullet in Carmines head. I’m done helping Waylon. I’ve had in my possession for some time now the formula for a serum that could have saved Waylon from his condition. I sat it aside to produce Mr. Singletary’s antidote. I think it is time to return to it. Possibly create a counterpart to it. Perhaps something that would trigger atavistic regression. If the beast wants to be a monster, I see no reason not to facilitate him.

There are little silver lining in these rain cluds however. Early patents on new uses for protoplasm as well as patents on both the Joker Antivenom and a theoretical cure have netted me enough funds that I, and by extension the Foundation, are no longer in need of financial help. Orcale was also kind enough transfer the accounts that Carmine was funding the Foundation with into my name. Money problems: Solved. All the others: Mounting.

I finally found enough time to do the Wayne autopsy. His killer wasn’t Bane. Bane was just the bagman. Poor slob. Whoever wanted Wayne dead really wanted him dead. Minor scratches had opened all his major and minor arteries in multiple places. Residue in the wounds suggestion possible poison, but the decomp is too far along to tell. He was also suffering from microscopic puncture wounds on most of his body. Particular focus was paid all the major organs. The only one excluded, possibly because of Bruce’s own actions, was the heart. The assailant missed. I feel a strange mixture of emotions looking at Bruce’s shattered form. Sadness. Regret. Anger. Hatred. It is hard to analyze why the Batman would cause such feeling with Jape yammering in my ear. I’ve take to letting him into my lab when I am there. It makes it easier to provide his serum. It also lets me keep track of him more easily. If he is with me, I know he isn’t out mucking up my plans.

He is however only one of several that is not privy to the link between Maxwell and myself. It is strange to think of my old life as a cover, but there it is. Not long after I finished up with the Batman autopsy the alarm to my office triggered in my ear. Just the one to my office. Sleeper was waiting for me. He seemed almost smug, but at least he was there to talk, and talk to me, not Maxwell. Recording our tawdry little back in forth would be tiresome. Simply put, I promised him the truth. No more killing. I assured him no more manipulating, which is manipulation in itself. I also, as he guessed it, shared my doubts about my identity. His information was solid, but information is cheap for men like us. I purchased quite a large amount of information from a Mr. Lunicci on a regular basis. I suspect however, that Sleeper had a more reliable source.

Two things troubled me about the encounter. One, Sleeper believes us to have been too subtle. I think he may be correct. My visage may be terrifying, but I think I may have been under utilizing my new found impersonation abilities. If perhaps I could find a way to make a form of smart materials that could also change with me. . . a Payne DNA powered solid state protoplasm derivative perhaps. Worth looking into. Two, Sleeper only set off one alarm, and he did so intentionally. Sixth and Trident is a former Wayne R&D building. I further upgraded the security with toys purchased from LexCorp, and then had my security consultant Mr. Monroe run through them all. To my knowledge he is the only man who could have gotten into my office without triggering the alarms. Perhaps Mr. Monroe is a little closer to Sleeper than I guessed. Something to ponder on.

More problematic is Brimstone. In a not so subtle way, the Batvangelist informed that he recognized my car as I beat a Falcone thug’s face into it. Maxwell’s car. Brimstone is about at sharp as a sack of wet hammers most of the time, but that actually makes him more dangerous. I’ll need a tighter leash for him. Perhaps the Denny girl, I’ll have my staff check on her.

The final indignity done to my city, was the stupid and pointless shadow game that Carmine and Black Mask decide to play. Half my city on fire or rioting as the two take shots at each other. What in the world ever possessed Carmine to pump Bane full of Venom and set him again Mask? I guess I’ll never know. I don’t even know what happened to Bane. By the time I had handled Croc Brimstone had come and gone, Falcone was dead, and Black Mask has control of my city. On the upside it will be easier to take the reigns when Mask falls now that the Falcone family is out of the way.

So much to keep track of, what am I forgetting? Oh yes, the glowing aura around Mr. Lunicci when he showed up to help my against Croc. It wasn’t natural. It looked supernatural, but then again, Croc had a similar aura fist. Questions up questions. Time will tell all.

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