|What: In a previous scene (log TBD), Lois agreed to work with Vic on the story GBC CEO Alan Scott ordered to be done on crime, corruption, and costumed vigilantes in Gotham City. In this scene, Vic comes to the Daily Planet newsroom to see what's in the database about Gotham's caped crusaders and to show a picture of his own.|
Daily Planet - Newsroom
This open-floorplan room takes up the entire thirtieth floor, offering an effectively panoramic view of the city through the windows of its outer walls.
A wooden half-wall encloses the area where the public elevators connect to the floor. Here, a receptionist's desk and two padded benches make up a sort of waiting room, with recent editions of the paper available for visitors. The newsroom itself consists of numerous cubicles, divided among the reporters and design team who publish the Planet. The board room and editors' offices are enclosed by fairly soundproof wood-and-glass partitions, though when the editor is feeling vociferous he can be quite good at making himself heard.
At almost all hours of the day, this place is a hub of bustling activity and almost frenzied energy, which seems to have remained a staple of the news business since time immemorial.
8:23 PM - Evening at the Planet. While it's not the complete action packed nuthouse it typically is during business hours, the lights are on in the newsroom. The evening cleaning crew is here, taking out the trash, sweeping and mopping the tile floor, and windexing the windows. The late night copy editors are finalizing the last stories a few floors down to send everything to the massive presses housed further down. In the bullpen, Lois Lane is sitting at her desk, typing away. The cleaning crew just ignores her, having cleaned her work area when she stepped away for a cup of coffee. I<3Radio's 80s Rock Station plays from her computer, and Lois does the office chair dance as she works.
"Never did like that song much."
Vic, who has quietly walked up to stand about five feet behind Lois and to her right, must have checked in downstairs because he has both a 'Daily Planet Guest' badge and his GBC press badge with smiling picture clipped to pocket of his jacket. He's carrying a messenger bag and has a coffee cup in hand.
Lois squeaks at the voice behind her. She jumps in her office chair and bangs her knee on the underside of her desk while half turning toward Vic. She ends up half-turned, hand on her knees, one eyes closed.
"Jesus, Vic. Warn a girl, would ya," Lois asks in a quip, lips somewhere between a grin and a grimmace. Moving carefully, the paper reporter scoots her chair back so she can turn her office chair about fully to eye her 'competitor'/'counter-part'.
"I thought I *was*. Didn't mean to make you jump." Vic gives her a grin as he sets his cup down on the desk next to hers and then shrug-lifts the bag's strap over his head. As he pulls the chair out and sits, he asks, "Did you get a chance to look at the promo spot I sent over?"
[OOC: +bbread 13/13]
Lois rolls her eyes, the half-grimmace fading into a light smile as she moves her coffee cup to give his room. Hers has the Metropolis skyline printed on it, with the Daily Planet Globe very visible. Work mug. Gotta love it, right?
"Yeah, well, forgive me for not having heard the elevator ding," Lois retorts as she turns down her music.
"And what's wrong with Poison, anyway?" Rhetorical question. Lois moves right on with answering Vic's question by cueing it up on her computer.
"Yup. Can tell you're needing some meat for the dressing, but it's not half-bad," Lois comments as she eyes the freeze framed opening screen. If this were an article, she probably would have read it at least once by now. Hmph. TV Spots and not being readable!
Vic Sage says flatly, "Almost no meat all. I don't know just what material GBC's got to work from because their cataloging 'system' for footage seems to have been done by monkeys. I sure hope the Planet's archive is better." He's unpacking his laptop as he speaks, opening and powering it on.
Lois out right smiles a pride-filled smile as she gives Vic a wink. She turns to her computer and queues up the archive data base. She keys in her passcode.
"Best archives on the Planet," she quips, pun heavy in her voice.
"What are we looking for, exactly?"
Vic keeps his computer in his lap, though he's typing by touch as he looks at Lois's screen and gives an appreciative whistle. "Very nice. Well, how about you tell me this. Say that you're getting reports of some 'hero' in a fancy costume who has just started showing up, collaring robbers, stopping bullets, rescuing old ladies, that sort of thing. You've got some eyewitnesses, all of whom say something different of course--" He glances down at his screen for a moment, then resumes typing. "--a few snaps off a cell phone, and some criminals in custody. If you want to find out who this 'hero' is, where she's coming from, what she can do, and so on, how do you start?"
"Well, usually I just ask him," Lois retorts, grinning a bit wickedly now. Afterall, Lois Lane is known for getting into all sorts of shinanigans. "Some are more willing to talk than others. Laser, for example. New York based. In his thirties, divorcee, Aloke Suresh, art professor. Bugle ran a blurb on him, didn't really follow up. He jumped at the chance to talk to the press. Others, not so willing to talk to the media. One reason or another," Lois is saying as she pulls up her notes on Laser. There's not much, but everything he's done in the media so far she has, along with a half-ready article that's filed as unsubmitted so far.
Vic gives a slow nod, fingers still on his keyboard as he looks at Lois's screen. "I see.... I'm thinking that things must be a little different in Gotham. A lot less clearer, that's for sure." He lifts his laptop and sets it on the desk without really looking at it. On the screen is picture that appears to be lit by fire, blurred by night and cell-phone resolution. The figure, turning right as if moving out of frame, is wearing a dark cape and what appears to be a heavy belt with shapes hanging from it over tight clothing. The outfit may be a dark purple, and the figure herself (judging by the fender of the car just visible directly behind) is small and female.
"What if you're going by something like this?" he asks. He's watching Lois's face now rather than her or his screen.
Lois leans toward the laptop, eyes narrowing to get a better look. Not that she needs glasses, but when you look at computer screens for much of the day... Her lips press together, then part as her head tilts to one side. She reaches out, not quite touching the screen, as if taking measurements to confirm the figure's height herself.
"Damn. I wish Robin hadn't fragged the phone," Lois grumbles to herself as she turns to her computer to key in a few search options: female, approx five feet tall, purple, cape. She looks back to Vic's screen again, as if the quick multi-task refreshed the brain matter.
"Too short to be what's her face. Not that I got a picture of her, but maybe someone else has," Lois comments, still looking at the picture while the Planet Archives come up empty handed. Lois glances at her screen and frowns at it before turning back to Vic with a smirk.
"We do this the old-fashioned way. What do we know about her," Lois asks, reaching for a pen.
"Almost nothing," Vic replies as he retrieves his laptop from the desk and sets it back on his lap. "The person who sent this in claimed to have been near that housing project bombing in the Bowery on Saturday."
He resumes typing without looking as he asks, casually, "Who's Robin?"
"You'll have to hit the streets, compile all the information you can get and see what threads they all have in common and match that blurry pic. Drop the file on me, and I'll see if I can't get Jimmy can't get it cleaned up a bit more," Lois says with a faint grump in her voice about knowing very little about the girl in the pic. But the grump is hardly a sound of unwillingness. Instead, it's a grump of having a puzzle presented and having it almost completely out of her jurisdiction.
"A pain in my ass," Lois quips trying to sound annoyed but failing as her lips twitch up in a half-smirk.
Vic's lips form a silent "oh" as he types for a moment, and then he says. "Alright, it's sent - thanks." He looks back at Lois's screen again and asks, "So, what do you have on Gotham City right now? Anybody coming forward like your Laser guy in New York to claim credit? Anybody claiming to bankroll these heroes?"
"Not a damn thing," Lois says with a very annoyed frown, almost edging toward an angry glare. "I can't get anything from that place right now, and Rob's not making any ripples in any other town that I can pin point."
Vic almost doesn't blink as he stares at Lois. "Rob. Robin? One of the Gotham 'heroes'?" He's silent for a moment, then half-smiles. "I hate to ask another journalist for a source, but *I* shared first. Do you have a picture of this one?"
To that Lois sighs. She pulls out a hardcopy from her desk of the article she ran about a meta attack in New York several weeks ago. It has a slightly blurry picture of the Teen Wonder, black and white, pixelated from the printing press, and not at all good quality.
"Not a single digital copy. Not even in the archives. It's weird. It's like any photo that looks remotely like this guy is just gone from the Planet's systems," Lois says, turning to her computer to queue up that story on the Planet website. The article is there, but there's no photo for it.
"And yes, /that/ Robin. He's saved my bacon a few times, but still thinks it's funny to break into my office, futz with my computer, and fry the cell phone I had where I had a really nice picture of him," Lois grumps, turning from that article to peer at Vic.
Vic seems to be sunk into a pool of calm as he looks at the newspaper in his hand. After a long moment, he lays it carefully on the desk in front of Lois and shifts his attention to her screen. "Had you e-mailed me the first time before or after he broke into the Planet's network?" he asks.
"After. Why?" Lois is almost complete clueless innocence about this. Her screen seems normal, with all the usual mini icons of active programs one would expect to find on a networked career computer.
Vic stares at the screen for a moment longer, then shrugs and turns The Big Smile on Lois as he sits back. "Oh, I'm just being paranoid. I didn't want this guy to get hold of my password and sign me up on a bunch of Japanese animation Facebook apps, especially if he's the kind of joker you say he is. I take it he's not part of one these Homeland Security teams Abbott has been putting together?"
He sits back, rubbing his eyes with the fingers of both hands.
Lois quirks a brow at the Big Smile (TM). "Yeah. More than a little. I had IT check my system, and under my desk for extra.. thingies. They didn't find anything. And he's not a joker. He's actually really serious, so I don't think he'd sign you up for anything like that. I think he just hacked in, deleted his pics, and bolted. I caught him half way through. If he's Homeland Security, they really ought to rethink their uniforms."
Vic, still rubbing at the corners of his eyes, mutters from behind his hands, "If you're not for us, you're agin us." Then he drops his hands and suddenly gives a quick but capacious yawn and a shake of his head, finishing with a sheepish "Sorry! Been a long day, and you're not making it any it any shorter by telling me I've got to do legwork instead of finger work. Guess it's the only way I'm going to get to the bottom of girls in capes and cop-killing vigilantes, though, and figure out who's pulling their strings."
"Wait wait wait. Copkilling? Who's cop-killing," Lois asks, bringing her hands up in a stop-stop-stop motion at Vic before leaning forward toward him. The comment about leg work gets ignored because Lois is ALL about legwork. No comments from the Peanut Gallery, thank you.
Vic cocks a brow at Lois. "I guess you *don't* have much on Gotham in your database, do you? Two cops were murdered and third one was shot by some guy in a 'horned hood and a cape'. There was apparently some masked woman at the scene of the one who got shot and live, but I haven't been able to get anything out of the police about her yet. I'm thinking I may go to talk to that cop myself."
His fingers click on his laptop keyboard. "Want me to send you the links? I know the Gazette's a rag compared to the Planet, but a little bit more information never hurt anybody."
[OOC: +bbread 10/3 and 10/4]
Lois nods quickly to that, eyes wide and lips in a thin line. "Well, that's unfortunate," Lois retorts, arms folding over her chest. "Horned hood and cape plus a masked woman, I've run into. The caped guy I don't have much on. I got into a mob safehouse in Gotham, following a link from Metropolis. There was a meeting there, and cape-guy dropped them all before they could gun me down. Masked-chick got me out of there. Robin knows her well enough for her to lend him her bike for a bit. I'll see if I can't track her down also. In any case, I think the Gazette's full of it, given that if Robin's connected to Masked-Chick, and Horned-Guy is connected to Masked-Chick. Robin and Horns might be connected. If that's the case, there's no reason for Robin to take a bullet from some would-be rapists for me, then hand me said bullet along with a Gotham PD issue sidearm as the match. A gun, I'll note, came from a ganger's street race that I was part of."
Vic's eyes widen as he listens, and at the end he gives an exaggerated low whistle. "You don't do things half-way, do you, Miz Lane?" It's kind of an act, but he's make it clear it's both an act and an acknowledgement of the story. "Most I've ever done is to get beat up and wreck my car on a lamp post."
A couple of taps, then he rests his hands on his keyboard and gives her a more serious look. "Still, take a look at those stories. I think the Gazette's a pit, but mostly because all they do is pass on what they've been fed. If Horned-Guy isn't what they say, then somebody's seeing some benefit to making sure they say it." He half-turns to reach for his coffee cup and adds in what's almost an aside, "Looks like most of what they wrote came straight out of the Gotham City P.D. press office in this case."
Lois smirks at the low whistle, half shrugging through the pride of her legwork. "No story in half-way, Vic. If you're not willing to get dirty, you're not willing to get the truth," she adds, leaning back in her chair a bit to rest her elbow on her desk, likewise reaching for her coffee.
"I'll read them a-sap, but yeah. The Gazette's slightly worse than the Bugle, and I wouldn't be half surprised if GPD's got a 'staff writer' on the payroll," Lois adds. She sips her coffee, thoughtful a moment.
"Janet Von Dorn clammed up pretty hardcore at the Feline Foundation Charity a few months ago. She's a Gotham DA. You might want to see if she'll talk to you about anything. She knows my face, so unless I really work at it, she's probably not going to give me anything."
"Well--" Vic has tipped his head back and drained the cup, and he straightens in his chair as he sends it toward the trash can next to the desk across the aisle. "--I'm sure she won't know mine." The cup hits the side of the desk and bounces into the can. A cleaner in the next row over looks up, gives Vic a dirty look, then bends back over the whirr of her vacuum.
"I'll get in touch and see what she gives me. Have you thought more about going on-air, maybe to tell that mob safehouse story? If we clean it up a little, do a good music bed and a mix of stills and re-shot stuff, that could be pretty dynamic." He looks directly at Lois as he puts his hand on the lid of his laptop to close it.
Lois watches the cup sail, a few drops of coffee splatter on Cat's desk. There's a moment where Lois looks amused, but that's quickly replaced with mildly annoyed. Planet visitor getting Planet stuff dirty. Hmph!
"Just be sure she doesn't smell reporter on you first, or you might get a case of the clams," Lois warns, sipping her coffee to smooth out the ruffled demeanor of coffee splatter in /her/ newsroom. Half of what Vic says about music beds, and reshot stills and dynamic stuff, earns a few quick blinks from the paper reporter. She's a complete novice at TV reporting, obviously, but at least she doesn't balk instantly.
"You understand why I'm hesitant about it, don't you? Robin's already getting gun-shy around me. If I go public, on the air, with anything close to what they may or may not have done, it's completely possible they'll ten-foot-pole me."
The laptop's lid is half-way down, but Vic pauses as he looks at Lois without speaking for a few moments. His expression is that of a man deciding between two or three things he could say without necessarily liking any of his options. Finally, he gives the faintest shake of his head. "Well, somebody's already saying different things about what they have or haven't done, and some of it's the sort of thing that gets people dead. *If* what they're giving you is the truth, then you'd think they'd accept confirmation of that even if they don't like it. If it's not....."
There's another pause, and then gives a shrug. "Eh, it's way too soon to be deciding on truth. We haven't asked enough questions yet." The lid snaps shut.