By HumanX 1 Comments
Against the chilled air of the night, Gotham's eternal guardian flies gracefully over building tops, searching for the crime which gives the alley's he calls his nightly home their name. But tonight he is guided by a different voice.
Alexander Arkham sits in front of several flashing monitors, watching each carefully as he deciphers each one and their uses. "Batcave to Batman." He speaks into a microphone headset. "The computer's picking up an alarm at Gotham Central Bank." "Metahuman?" "Common street thugs. Armed and a with a red getaway car. Must not be too smart. Red stands out too much." "Their route?" "Heading north, towards Crime Alley. Must be our lucky night." It hasn't been long since Arkham became Batman's watchful assistant, but in the short time he's worked for him he has mastered the Bat Computer and began work in helping to monitor Gotham City. "Looks like two robberies now." Arkham notices. "They're both going along the same route. Considering the robbers actions so far I'd say they might just be a coincidence but even so, they could be working together." He doesn't even need a second to think. "Move down route 34 and up alley 6. That should put them on a collision course with each other. I assume you can get everyone out without any fatalities."
Of course, the Batman achieves his goal flawlessly but there is an unfortunate surprise when he sees the cargo inside of the trunks. "Looks like these guys had a little help with their heist." batman crouches down so the camera in his cowl can get a good look at the glowing orange substance in the trunk. Arkham recognizes it. "It's a Xenothium steroid. It's supposed to give people superhuman abilities. It's rampant back home." "It seems someone is trying to expand their business territory." Batman scoops some of the drug into a baggy. He dodges to the side before a powerful fist comes down and smacks into the pavement. "I'm assuming these guys sample their own merchandise." "It should only enhance his regular human abilities. But it also enhances emotions. You should be able to take him down if he took a small dose but higher levels are much more dangerous." "How dangerous?" "It makes the Venom drug look like tylenol." "Sounds like a challenge."
Batman keeps up with the drugged thief and takes him down in mere seconds. "At some point you'll have to tell me where you get your information." Batman says into his communicator, pretending not to notice one of the thieves grabbing some cash and running off. "It's common knowledge back home." "How does something like that keep under ULA radar?" "Your guess is as good as mine." Batman takes time from the banter to fallow the retreating thief.
The thief leads him to a small port side warehouse owned by Jeffries Enterprises. "You said Red X was a part of Jeffries company before, right?" Arkham asks. "I don't know for sure but I was told that he took an assassination job for him. The younger one is my prime suspect." "That seems a little too perfect." "It's all I have at the moment." "Wouldn't that make me the next best guess? Since I'm the only other person from back home with an abnormally high IQ." "Yes." "Then having me at the Bat Computer is a risk." "Yes." "Cool. I'm like, doubleagenty." "On the other hand I think I might be safe."
The running thief finally gets inside, where three more people are waiting for him. He practically collapses when he makes it. "Where are the other guys?" One of the waiting men ask him. "The bat got em. I was the only one who got away." "You look bad. You need another shot?" "Yeah. I feel like my body's falling apart." They pick him up and put him on the table. "This all you got?" One of them tosses the money at him. "This isn't worth the stuff you take up. Leave him." They begin to walk away but Batman drops from the ceiling. "So much for camaraderie."
The frightened men waste no time in exorcising their violent natures and open fire on Batman, who tosses a smoke bomb and quickly dispatches two of them. In the confusion a bag of the Xenothium drugs spills out of the convulsing thief's table. "Dude! I will freaking blow your head off!" One of them gets lucky and happens to have the perfect position for a shot to Batman's skull. "I'm standing two feet away from you. I can't miss." He backs up against the table. "Now, just let me go and I wont put a nice lump of lead in between those little glass eyes." A hand reaches out from behind the man and closes on his neck. "You where gonna let me die." The hands close tighter and don't stop. "You where gonna let me die here." "Stop it!" The man chokes as his throat closes under the pressure of the other man's palms. "What's wrong bro? Can't breath?" He asks as he delivers the final squeeze and drops the body on the floor. "Some brother. You where gonna let me die. I could've been home right now. All I needed was one shot and I woulda got home safe. you got me into this S#!+, man. the fuck!?" "What's going on?" Arkham asks over the microphone. "One of them turned on the others, crushed his wind pipe and suffocated him." Batman responds. "He's ranting to himself now." "He must've overdosed at some point. Be careful. Xenothium drugs are unpredictable. If he had more than a certain amount he could end up with crazy" Batman dodge an attack from the overdosed thug. The impact with the ground causes a tremor and a loud bang, which resonates through the mouthpiece in Batman's cowl. "Crap baskets! What was that?" "I'd say he's overdosed." Batman tosses a few smoke bombs which are swatted out of the air by the pumped up monster. "Then he's dead when it burns out." Arkham says in a depressed voice. "From what i hear it sounds like he just has super strength." "No endurance?" "He makes a wincing sound every time he hits something. I'd say he's feeling pain about twice as hard as usual. It's probably more of a Xenothium powered adrenaline rush. Once it's finished, so is he." "How long?" "If you can get a transceiver on his chest I could tell you." No problem. Batman flips over the rioting creature and sticks a small, bat shaped, transceiver onto his chest, taking off before he gets hammered by brick crushing fists. "How long?" Batman asks. "His heartbeat's insane. I'd say about twelve seconds. If you have any way to save him then now's the time." "I don't" Wayne looks on through his cowl as the creature that was once a human boy beats at it's chest again and again, before screaming out in pain and falling down to the floor.
When Wayne returns to the Batcave he finds Arkham throwing up window after window on all of the Bat Computer monitors. "I've traced the car through several dealerships, owned by Jeffries and two by smaller companies. I still don't know how they got the drugs in the first place. There's no Xenothium deposits in Gotham but I'm tracing the nearest ones and if I need to I can hack into Jeffries records to see if there are any" Wayne puts his hand on Arkham's shoulder. "That's enough for now." Wayne tells him. "We can't bring the boy back." Arkham chokes back tears as he turns back to the screen. "It'll make me feel better to keep working, even if I'm not finding anything." Wayne smirks and takes a closer look at the monitors. "What did you say about hacking into Jeffries files?" "Did I mention that I'm a half decent computer hacker?" Arkham cracks his knuckles and focuses on his new objective.
Within minutes all of Jeffries computer systems are open to the Batcave. "This is all there is?" Wayne asks Arkham. "This is as far as I could find." "Maybe there's another…Bingo." Arkham pulls up a new mainframe on the computer. "An external mainframe?" Wayne says. "Someone's been taking all of the illegal files and putting them on a separate computer and operating under the guise of a separate business." "Ever seen that movie about that dude who was sent to jail…something redemption?" Arkham explains. "What they've done here is pretty much the same thing but with corporations. They have one identity to take the fall and one to get the benefits. A John Doe personality incase someone gets on their trail. Jeffries company seemingly has nothing to do with this one. The actions of one just happens to benefit the other." "And all of these names are faked." Batman points at the company heads. "Some of them may be real." Arkham looks them over. "Fall guys who have been paid to make the company look legit but make it seem as if there are shadowy figure heads who have somehow escaped the law and can therefore continue business if the deals get sour." "Then the question is, who's been organizing this?" "I don't know. He'd have to be incredibly smart to pull this off. And especially daring. This isn't something to take lightly. If found out both companies would suffer the consequences." "A genius at Jeffries company. It would have to be his son."
The Batman could not have been more right. At that very moment the younger Jeffries was checking up on their dummy company. He sits in the corner of his father's office with a laptop on his lap when he notices something off. "It seems we have a visitor." He smiles. "Let's see if he want to play."
The Bat Computer screens begin to shut down but Arkham is already fixing the problem with one of his own. "He's trying to hack us back." Arkham gets to work. "I'll right a virus and send it to him. It should send us all of his data."
Jeffries looks at his screen with honest interest when he sees Arkham's present. "A virus?" He taps at his keyboard. "A nasty one too. Well, aren't you fun."
Arkham gets hit with a counter virus which he contains and destroys before it can give up any information. "Let's see who you really are." Arkham hammers at the keyboard furiously as a big grin comes over his face.
Jeffries can't help but laugh. "Well. You are good, Mr.Hacker. But I'm afraid I'll just have to play with you some other time."
Arkham sits back in his chair and sighs. "Well, he didn't get anything from us." He tells Wayne. "But neither did we. He disengaged before I could send a new program." "Good job." Wayne tells him. "Now we know it has to be Jeffries son. No one else could keep up with what you pulled off. I'm impressed." "Yeah. That was something." "I mean with you." Wayne tells him with a smile. "I don't think I've seen anyone do something like that. Not anyone human." "Thanks." Arkham smiles before a light blinks on the screen. "Lookie here." He smirks. "Looks like I impressed myself today." One file was captured in the desperate struggle. The file marked 'Xenothium'.