|The Hunt Is On|
|What: Batman investigates the strange, masked man with the gun ...|
Leon Keel lies in the hospital bed, having seen better days. His noise is badly broken, his face swollen and black around the eyes and a bandage wrapped tightly about it. His eyes are red and bloodshot. His throat bruised and red-raw, as though he came close to being strangled to death. At present he’s asleep, one arm hanging out of the blankets and handcuffed by the wrist to the railing of the hospital bed.
Outside the door, seated on an uncomfortable plastic stool, sits a uniformed officer of the GCPD. The occasional night nurse walks up and down the hallway, though the lights have been dimmed so the patients can get some sleep.
It is not a good night to be on Batman's list.
The Dark Knight is never said to be in a particular good mood, but by comparison to this one, he'd easily be considered a girl scout. The window to Leon Keel's room is pushed open, a sliver pick used to release the latch from the outside, and before the wind can even pick up in the cramped space, he's moved off to a shadow.
The black contour of his cape mutes his silhouette as he drags a chair towards the door and jams it up beneath the handle, making a point of scraping the metal across the last few steps of the tiles to get the man in the bed good and awake.
Of the dark and the unknown.
Batman is that unknown. Even if he shouts, the man is up on that gerney, crouched over top of him with his face hovering inches above the handcuffed man's.
Leon takes a second to wake up, rousing just in time to let out a muffled gasp before Batman is atop him and making his demands. He is terrified, trying fruitlessly to sink back into the bed and get away from him as he lifts a free hand to try and shield his face. His heart rate rises to the point where it might burst forth from his chest were such a thing medically possible.
“Oh shit! Oh fuck! Man! Don’t kill me! I didn’t see nothing, man!”
"Give me a reason."
Batman growls the words, slamming his fist down on the pillow beside the man's head. His eyes are hidden behind the white lenses of his cowl, the black cape draped down around them like a shadow. The element of it as pointed as his armored chest and the sound of his voice.
"Who attacked you. Details."
The revelation is a mixture of terror and utter confusion, stammering over his words as he struggles to regain a mastery of the English language. He already knows that those words aren’t enough and so he elaborates.
“An-an’ some woman! Dressed up in black and red!”
He shakes his head, still shaking with terror, “I don’t know, man! I was half-awake the whole time.”
That part above all is growled back at the man, teeth grinding and bared at him like a lion ready to devour some kid who's gotten entirely too close to his cage. The points of his cowl are spikes, the intentionally furrowed graphite brow of his close enough to the man's face to that the heat of his words is as intense as the demand apparent in them.
“R-redhead,” Leon begins, trying to lean away from Batman only to discover that there is no more space left to sink into, “Looked kinda hot under the mask of hers. I-I-I dunno, man! Just some chick!”
He squeezes his eyes shut, as though trying to wish this horrible figure away like some nightmare.
“Had a bat symbol on her! Y-you got a better look at her than me, man!”
Some wishes, are granted.
The omenous presense of the Batman is gone almost as quickly as it appeared, the shadow recedes without so much as a sound as he pulls away from the man's face, back to the window, and out into the night.
Nothing else said as he perches like a gargoyle on the edge of Gotham General's roof top access, looking out over the parking lot as he considers what he was told.
'Black and red. Bat-symbol. Red head.' His eyes tick over evidence stored in a mental catalog, shifting it across the screen of his mental image like information on the batcomputer.
The cop will find, once the nurse tries to check on the patient, that the door is barred... and they'll hear that the bat was there.
Good. Maybe the listening device he left in the monitor will provide him with information if, whoever, actually did this comes to finish the job.
“It was the guy,” Leon screams at the GCPD officer when he finally manages to get the door open and rushes in to find the patient terrified in his bed, “The guy with the gun! He was here!”
The officer and a nurse try to soothe him, but Leon Keel won’t have it, “I don’t give a fuck! Lock me up in the fuckin’ joint or somethin’! Get me out of here! The guy killed Ant and now he’s gonna fuckin’ kill me!”
Batman lowers his head, presses his fingers in against the receiver fixed in the cowl. Recording every word that comes across the planted listening device. 'Guy with a gun.'
He's off on the current towards the batmobile parked a few blocks away in an abandoned loading warehouse. Carried by the memory fabric cape wings when the current is sent through them by the gauntlets grip on the sensor bar.
Hoisting up and over the open hatch of the sleek black vehicle, the top is already closing, turbine engine throwing off a plume of fire as it roars out of the loading bay onto the busy intersection between two civilian cars.
A looping right turn takes him in the direction of the original shooting. If there was a gun involved, perhaps the police missed a shell casing. If not... they'll have a shell casing.
Either way, so will Batman soon.
The GCPD have gotten all they wanted from the crime scene and have moved on, leaving only a handful of clues as to what happened there. Stubborn bloods stain where the victims head exploded and another, larger puddle from where the cop was shot. A chalk outline of where the victim fell. And another little spattering of blood further away from it all, a few scant drops. There is not a soul around, people unwilling to risk going out on the street given the gunman who is apparently killing drug addicts.
Batman pulls himself out of the vehicle with a fling of his legs up and over, shifting the lenses of his cowl to follow the various dried blood smears with a slow twist of his head.
Tragectories, angles. Range of fire from the pattern of spray of blood given the nature of the injury. It's been a day... that bothers him. That he wasn't already here and hadn't already gotten what he needed.
BEFORE the police tampered with it and contaminated his crime scene. But... he'll find something.
Scrapings from all of the blood samples, specifically those from the drops further away. An indication of number of victoms, possible missing individuals that have not yet been identified by the GCPD.
Nobody has tried all that hard to scrub the blood away, the cleaners hired by the city are due to come by next week sometime and the GCPD aren’t going to do that. Some of the blood is too tough for the scanner to read, but not all of it and a set of names are evident.
Hill, David. Blevin, Anton. Keel, Leon. Czermak, George.
Batman continues searching while the scanner reads over the samples collected. Specifically on the hunt for a shell casing.. Though in Gotham City, following a lead on discharged weapons is next to impossible, even for Batman... It could narrow the triangulation.
The names read off on the screen attached to his gauntlet, but the last has his eyes narrowing. "Alfred, check the Batcomputer database for a George Czermak."
"Of course, sir."
There is a shell, in fact. One that the police failed to find after they found the one from the bullet that hit Officer Hill. It is a ways up the alleyway, rolled under a dumpster and inside of a discarded pet food can but it is there. Belonging to a .44 magnum, likely from the same Desert Eagle that Hill described in his incident report.
“Czermak, George. Thirty four years old,” Alfred reports over the Cowl’s internal communications system, “Schizophrenic. Until recently a resident of Arkham. Hmm.”
A pensive noise escapes the Butler before he answers the unasked question, “It says that he was killed by another inmate two months ago. Poisoned.”
"Arkham." The bullet is put into an evidence container and slipped into a pocket on his utility belt. Batman glances around the surrounding street and clearing with a narrowed stare behind the whiteout lenses of his cowl.
"Upload the incident report from the poisoning to the batcomputer. As well as these sound-bit files and the blood sample scans off my wrist computer."
"Get the name of the doctor who pronounced Czermak and previous evaluations from Arkham's medical database."
"Contact Oracle if you have trouble getting them." Batman throws himselve over the edge of the batmobile and switches the car on. The hatch closes overtop of him as he pulls away from the crime scene,
"Of course, sir. Should I also contact the FBI and inform them you'll be making personal inquiries into the where abouts of Mr. Hoffa?"
"I'm not in a joking mood, Alfred."
"Sorry sir. See you shortly, I presume."