|Get Back To Work!|
|What: Gotham's Precinct One Headquarters gets a surprise visit from a masked hero.|
Gotham City. The only thing more dangerous than Gotham in the day is Gotham at night. And now that it's almost winter, night comes early. What moon there is is hidden by clouds so only street lights and buildings keep the shadows at bay. And now the bright green energy platform floating up to the precinct. On is it a tall man in a green costume, an elderly woman holding onto a railing that's attached tothe platform and a cage containing two thugs who do not look happy. Even though they aren't cuffed, green gags cover their mouths and wrap around their heads. The platform comes to a gentle halt on the sidewalk and then disappears. Sentinel escorts the woman into the precinct, the cage floating behind him.
The arrival of one of the 'masks', as many of the cops are calling them these days, throws the second shifters at Precinct 1 into a panic. However, this wasn't one of Gotham's usual masked vigilantes or roving nutcases, and so, in spite of recent orders by Commissioner Gordon mandating that 'all masked vigilantes be arrested on sight'... nobody listens.
Instead, the police officers who are encountered peel back against the walls in fear, while others go running for their offices. However, there is one who gets on the phone, the dispatcher assigned to the front desk to cover second shift. She sits there with the phone pressed against her ear, eyes wide as they can be, until a voice sounds on the other end.
"Uh, yes, Commissioner? There's a... green person. Out here in the lobby. With a... with a green cage."
"Yes, yes, I suppose you could say that."
Another pause, then a gulp, before the woman hangs up the phone and nervously calls out, "Um, sir? In the green? Would you mind waiting here for the Commissioner?"
She doesn't even wait for a response before she goes diving under her desk in terror.
"Watch your step here." Sentinel says as he helps the woman over the threshhold. "You just have a seat and we'll..." Trailing off, he just kind of blinks at the reaction of all the cops. "Umm. Mrs. Sullivan would like to report a crime." he tells the room at large and continues to look around for a cop who doesn't seem to be cowering. "I'll be happy to wait for the Commissioner if someone would like to help Mrs. Sullivan here and maybe arrest these two?"
"Johnson! McCallister!" The voice comes from Jim Gordon, who steps out of a hallway and into the entirely weird situation that has just developed in the GCPD lobby. His eyes dart to the two cops he'd just called out, before turning to look at their visitor. "Go on, arrest those men."
The Commissioner's chest rises and falls with a quiet sigh. Lips are pressed into a thin line as he acknowledges Sentinel, before decidedly displaying his leadership in walking out to greet him. "Welcome to City of Gotham PD, District One. You mind identifying yourself?"
He's trying to be cordial, but... the -timing- of all this!
After a moment, Sentinel steps to the side to provide a more clear path toward the cage and its prisoners. Only once the cops get there do the green bars fade into nothing along with the gags. Immediately the men start loudly declaring their innocence. Once he's sure the police have it in hand, he turns back to the Jim. "Hello Commissioner. You can call me Sentinel. As I explained to your officers, Mrs. Sullivan would like to file a report."
While the officers seem hesitant, a simple and encouraging nod from Gordon is all they need to move in and take custody of the prisoners. Gordon turns and motions for a third officer to come along, and nods his head twice toward the older lady, before turning to acknowledge her with a warm smile. "Mrs. Sullivan, this is Officer Derrick Grimsley. He will take you to a private room and take a report."
Finally, the Commissioner turns to face the man in green, only then remembering to tighten up his tie to a professional level. He always disliked how the thing choked his neck. "Sentinel, then." He pauses, as if not sure quite how to proceed. "Ah, well. Um. You're not... really from around Gotham, right?"
Jubilation Lee usually has better timing. Last time she came to the Gotham City PD, she caught a slow hour. It doesn't look like she'll have that choice tonight. Not with a buff guy in a mask bringing in a cage full of goons to drop off! She pauses in the doorway, her pink winter coat, rainbow-colored scarf, and flared denims a stark contrast to all the police-issue grimness, and watches the chaos.
"Thank you, young man." Mrs. Sullivan tells the Commissioner and slowly moves off with the officer. She's not particularly spry and uses his arm to steady her after her ordeal. Sentinel watches her head off with a bit of a smile then turns back to the Commissioner. "Actually Commissioner, Gotham is my home. I was born and raised here."
Things suddenly appear to be not so easy. Gordon closes his eyes for a moment, then reaches up to run a hand through his hair. Clearly, something has him close to coming apart at the seams. "Okay, I think... I think we should hold any further conversation in privacy."
This is not good. He had just released an APB calling for the arrest of all masked vigilantes. And what kind of an example is he about to set? The Mayor could have his arse for this one. "Would that... would that be alright, Sentinel?"
The poor guy is so distracted by his conundrum that he nearly fails to notice the brightly clad youngster who has just entered. Then again, the bright colors. He blinks twice, squinting his eyes slightly. "Jubilation?"
Sentinel looks around at the police force not doing any work the nods to Jim. "That would be fine, Commissioner. I don't want to be a distraction for your officers. I'm sure they're very busy." As someone enters, he glances back over his shoulder.
That was quick! The teenager's opinion of the Commish goes up a couple notches immediately. "Hi, Commish!" Jubilation calls, smiling and saluting playfully. "Looks like you're having a busy day." The man called Sentinel gets a smile and a nod. Hey, she's an equal-opportunity friendly person. "Hi!"
Gordon, decisively then, turns away from the Sentinel. "Alright, guys, stop standing around. Get back to work!"
"You sure you don't want us to arrest the guy in green tights, boss?" calls out an officer.
Gordon points a warning hand back at the cop. "Cool it, Henson. Back to work."
The hustle and bustle of Precinct 1 is slow to resume, with many of the officers gauging Gordon as if he were some sort of hypocrite. Regardless, there was a level of respect for the Commissioner that was hard to break (or a level of fear for those on the force who were notably corrupt), so eventually, the hustle and bustle resumes. Gordon motions for Jubilation to hurry up and join him, before turning and beckoning both herself and Sentinel toward one of the nearby meeting rooms. Once inside, he closes the door behind them and sighs. "You have to forgive me, both of you. There have been some interesting developments in Gotham City recently."
Sentinel follows the Commissioner into his office then just shrugs at his comment. "No need to apologize. I'm not certain what you're referring to though beyond the usual for Gotham City. I've been out of city more than not recently. Is it something I can assist you with?" He does give the girl a curious look but assumes she was invited along for a reason.
Jubes does hurry up, picking up on the signal and following the older man. She does catch the question from the officer, and how fast Gordon squashes it. Plus, she's dealt with him before.
So once they're behind closed doors, she has a question ready. "Something's happened, hasn't it? Someone upstairs wants to clear out the vigilantes?"
Gordon makes the shape of a pistol with his fingers, points it at Jubilee, and makes a little 'pshew' sound with his mouth while fake shooting at her. "Bingo." He refuses to take a seat, instead choosing to pace about the room to let off some nervous steam. "At the behest of our wonderful Mayor, I just released an APB today, demanding the arrest on sight of all masked vigilantes in Gotham City." He turns back to face Sentinel, lips curling into a bit of a smirk. "Don't worry. You don't see me pointing a gun at you. It's pretty -easy- to tell the good guys from the bad these days, if you ask me."
The question poised by Sentinel, however... can he help? There are many ways, but what Gordon can't quite answer yet... is -how-.
Sentinel nods his understanding. "I see. That is a bit awkward. I'd offer to let you try to arrest me so you could honestly say you tried but then you'd be forced to file charges of resisting arrest and escaping police custody and that would mean I couldn't easily work with your department."
Jubes playfully clutches her chest and stumbles back with a squeak of mock-horror, then nods. "Thought so. Makes me glad I don't have a costume yet," she says quietly.
She turns her attention to Sentinel. "You can trust Commissioner Gordon, sir. It's the city government that's the problem, and probably some of the officers."
Yet? Gordon caught that. His eyebrow jerks up a bit at Jubilation's remark, but he lets it slide, instead bowing his head slightly to her in gratitude for her support. "Oh, I don't intend to even try arresting you," he says while turning back to Sentinel. "The Mayor's not a cop. He's a politician, and he's got people breathing down his neck about all sorts of things. Not just the lunatics locked up in Arkham, or the questionable methods of fellows like Batman. It's mutants. It's the supers. It's got some folks in an uproar. They just can't get past the idea that sometimes, exceptional people are really out to -help- them." He gestures with a free hand, saying, "Don't worry. You're going to walk right out of here, and I can handle any heat I get from upstairs. As far as how you can help..."
Gordon pauses, folding his arms over his chest. "I could sure use some ideas. Aside from advising that you either keep your distance, or run around doing your thing in normal clothes, I really have no idea." A bit of laughter comes from his chest. "Frankly, I'm -glad- fellows like you are around. My cops are overworked and underpaid, part of why so many of them go bad, I suppose."
Don't have a costume yet? Now that comment makes Sentinel give the girl a closer look. "Oh, I'm aware of the amount of corruption in Gotham." He doesn't outright suggest that there's an ulterior motive to wanting to lock up everyone who can lower the crime rate but the insinuation is there. "Well, I just happened to be nearby and heard Mrs. Sullivan. I don't normally fly around Gotham City looking for crime to be honest but I'm not going to turn my back when I see it either. I would normally just have given them a lesson and let them go but Mrs. Sullivan insisted on filing a report herself. So since there'd actually be a witness to testify, I brought them in."
"S'what I do," Jubilation pipes up. "Um, run around in normal clothes, I mean. Totally no super-suit under this outfit." She leans on the conference room table. "I guess I'll have to catch some friends of mine and warn them. Makes me wish I had more time in town."
Gordon nods his head slowly a couple of times while Sentinel explains his actions. "Believe me, I appreciate it. The more of those thugs we have off the street, the better." He looks toward Jubilation and nods his head again. "If you have friends of that sort, better pass the word along. I don't know for how long I can keep the floodgates closed."
Moving away, the Commissioner runs a hand through his hair again, clearly nervous. "I can't say too much, but... this could go bad, quickly. Privacy laws could be at serious risk. People's rights could be going out the door. It puts a bad feeling in my stomach." Finally, he turns back to look at Sentinel and Jubilation, leveling each of them with a most serious gaze, which eventually settles upon Sentinel. "Just be careful. If you see any of my cops around, I can't guarantee they won't try to take you in. If you can... -try- not to hurt any of them, I would appreciate it."
"May I ask what it is you can do?" Sentinel asks Jubilee. "Or is it in the nature of Batman and those he's trained? I don't think I could be completely inconspicuous even if I was wearing a suit and tie." The ring on his hand begins to glow and the energy spirals upward a moment before winking out. "And to not use all the tool I have available, means someone might get hurt. Though not your officers." he tells Jim. "They couldn't hurt me if they tried so I don't need to do anythign than ignore them if I need to."
"Long story, Sentinel... ooh, you have one of those, too?" Jubilation leans close to get a better look at that ring. "I know a guy with a ring like that. Lights up and everything!"
Gordon's eyebrows shoot up wide, both at the lightshow demonstrated by Sentinel's ring and the remarks he makes. "Well, that is comforting, but I know a few officers who won't like that. I'll have to hold a few briefings to teach them when to -back down-." His curiosity in the ring, while not entirely dissimilar from that of Jubilation's, goes unspoken.
"Green Lantern? Justice League?" Sentinel asks Jubilee but it's not really a question. "No relation." That he knows of anyway. He really needs to have a talk with the guy as well. He does nod to the Commissioner. "That would be a good idea. Not as much for those trying to stop crime but the criminals. If they get in over their head, they could get seriously hurt if they don't know when to stop trying."
"I dunno... I've never seen him really /do/ anything," Jubilee confesses. "But he wears a ring like that, and it lights up in green at weird times. I'd better ask him sometime," she adds, frowning thoughtfully.
She turns to Gordon, nodding. "I know it's copthink to call in backup again and again 'til you win, but somehow I think it'd be a bad idea, in this case. Even if it wasn't Sentinel here."
The mention of Green Lantern seems to go right over Gordon's head. The Justice League, however, does not. Regardless, he keeps his mouth shut about that topic, for in many cases, it is better to simply listen. "I can promise you both that I'll do my best. Some of them won't listen. They get in over their heads, though, and if they live, you'll be damned sure they'll start listening to me." His tone softens, and he offers both of them a warm and cordial smile. A natural one. "Thank you both for listening to me. Do me a favor though... keep quiet about this, all of this, unless you're giving a heads up to any masked friends of yours who -aren't- up to no good."
"Although..." Sentinel muses. "It would be one way to get rid of the cops you knew were dirty but couldn't prove anything against." That's the Commissioner's problem though. "Anyway, you're welcome Comissioner. And let me know if I can be of assistance in anything." He digs into a small pocket behind his belt and pulls out a business card. His name, a number. "It's a local number that forwards to the Cayman Islands, all arranged by attorneys paid in cash." So untraceable. "I check the messages several times a day but don't expect an instant response."
"Thanks for telling us, Commish, totally. Even if talking to the cops doesn't do any good, we'll know you tried. That's good enough in my book," Jubes says with a smile. "The only trouble is that I don't know of any way at all to warn the Batman."
Gordon gladly accepts the card provided by Sentinel, and his cordial smile turns just a bit more coy. "I'll give you as much advance notice as I can." He turns next to Jubilation while walking toward the door, and while he doesn't say anything about the Batman, he does pat her on the shoulder. "Don't worry, kiddo. He seems to have eyes everywhere."
And a signal on the roof, about twelve stories up, but we won't say anything about -that-.
"I really should meet him sometime." Sentinel says as he hwads to the door with the others. "More as a courtesy than anything. If you should happen to see him, Commissioner, feel free to pass along my number." He digs a second card out and offers it to Jubilee.
"Good luck with that, Sentinel! I only saw him once, for a couple seconds, and I didn't even have a chance to thank him," Jubilation confesses. "If you can get him to stand still long enough to talk, please tell him thanks from Jubilation Lee?" She gladly accepts the business card, making a great show of hugging it once and slipping it carefully into her hip pocket.
And, that done, she returns her attention to Commissioner Gordon. "Good luck with that squad talk, sir..." And of course she has to give him a hug. "Sorry you had such a rotten visit to New York."
"He's not much for casual conversation," offers Gordon, before making it a point -not- to talk about Batman much further. He was never that great of a poker player, after all, but he knew to hold his hand close and keep his tells to a minimum.
Taken aback by Jubilee's hug, he can't help but be reminded of Barbara... or at least, how Barbara might have acted were she not limited by her wheelchair. He chuckles just slightly, then makes it a point to mess up the girl's hair. "I'll make up for it next time, I'm just glad you and your friends are safe."
With that, he opens the door, and walks out proudly in front of them. There are officers outside who are most likely -dying- to see the hypocrisy of Jim Gordon, so he'd best give them a show and escort the 'mask' out of the building, pointedly not arresting him.
There will be heat for that one.
Sentinel observs the cops as he walks with Gordon back to the precinct entrance. "Thank you again, Commissioner." he says as they come to a stop and extends a hand. "You'll see to it that Mrs. Sullivan gets home safely I assume?"
Jubilation giggles as Gordon destroys her 'do. Moments like this, she's not sure she shouldn't just grow it out. It'd sure be easier to fix! "I'm just glad /you/ are. Say hi to the family for me?"
And with that, she fades into the background. Well, as well as any teenaged girl in a pink coat can in a police station! Hopefully she can make a quiet exit from the building.
"I'll do that," answers Gordon to Jubilation, before escorting Sentinel the rest of the way. If there's a show to be made, he'll certainly make a show. "No, thank you," he answers. "Those crooks will get to spend a bit of time behind bars, rethinking their life choices. You have my word, Mrs. Sullivan will be home before dinner goes cold." He smiles and reaches out to offer a handshake in farewell, but as he does, he seeks to meet the masked man's eyes, if only to offer the most subtle of winks.
Sentinel shakes the hand and smiles broadly. "Excellent. Be sure to contact me if you need to." He seems to want to make a show, Sentinel's happy to play his part. "Nice meeting you, Commissioner." Opening the door, he pauses to look around the precinct then nod a farewell. Without bothering to step outside, he just flies out and up into the sky.
Gordon's neck cranes up and into the sky as the man flies away. Then, he turns around to look at the cops inside who have, once again, stopped working.
"Get back to work!"