34 The Hunt for a Bat I

(Bruce POV)

- Inside the Batgarage -

I am currently typing away on the Batcomputer. There is something in the air that I don't like. I believe Carmine Falcone is behind this. There is a strange silence coming from the Falcone faction. And others seem to be preparing for something too. I am unsure what that might be, but there is a retaliation coming against me. I might have provoked him too much with the last stunt I pulled to find Cobblepot. He turned himself in though, that is good. If he turns himself in, he is less likely to break out any time soon.

Not only the Falcone Crime Family is silent, but the Sionis Family is also strangely passive at the moment. And that so soon after Black Mask started his vendetta against the Wayne Foundation and their leader me. I assume he is a better criminal than a businessman. He is either involved in whatever is going on, or he is smart enough to lay low until the explosion has happened and then take what is left. But I tend to believe the first option is more likely. The profile I made on Roman Sionis, gives me about ... 78% certainty that he is in some way involved in this.

The elevator opens and Sebas walks in. This time, without a tray of food and tea. How sad.

"Are you making progress, Master Bruce?", he asks me.

"I am narrowing it down. And if I use my logical thinking for a while, I believe that I have already cracked the case."

"Wonderful. Would you mind telling me what is going on then?"

"Carmine Falcone and Roman Sionis, as well as a few others are trying to have me killed."

"... I beg your pardon."

"ALFRED, show us the log of the Sneider Building, who went in and out there in the last two weeks. And then the Sionis Estate as well, please."

[Affirmative. Showing on the first and third screen.]


The surveillance video is shown from different angles of the Sneider Building as well as the Sionis Estate. All exits have a small camera of my own design and I watch them closely for something suspicious. Something that doesn't belong there.

"Speed it up please."

[How much?]

"Make it 7x faster."


The feeds speed up and I continue to watch them all at the same time. I only have a calculated hunch, you could say. There is no real proof. But that isn't something I need in this line of work. I trust my gut, mind and no one else. After about 14 minutes of watching the feed, I find what I need.

"Stop right there. What time is that?"

[Date: 14. February, Time: 22:35 or 10:35 PM]

"What did you see, Master Bruce?"

"I see the same man coming and going to not only the Falcone's Sneider Building but also the Sionis Estate. Not at the same dates, but at the same intervals. See ... this man right there.", I say and point at someone on the screen. He is an unassuming elderly man and if you'd met him on the streets, you wouldn't know that you met him 1 minute later. He wears a trench coat and a hat, that is supposed to protect him from rain.

"I don't see what makes you suspicious of him, Master Bruce. He seems to be as ordinary as they come."

"Exactly. ALFRED bring up his face on the big screen, please. And look for his information. I believe Naples, Italy should give us the most information.", I say.

"Naples, sir?"

"Yes, Naples. When I don't have anything to work on, I usually browse through reports from all over the world about unsolved crimes and the like. It has become my hobby, sort of. I remember seeing the mystery about a man who supposedly killed young men and women who were going to school. It made headlines and the police thought that it was the mafia for a time. ALFRED please bring up the newspapers of the day after the 'death'."

[Affirmative. Information found. Profile: The Crocodile. Status: Dead.]

The information of an elderly man was seen on the screen and all the information about him and the death of his daughter was written. He looked unassuming.

"But it says he killed himself. He shot himself in the head.", Sebas remarks.

"True, but he is very much alive. I am 100% sure that's him. ALFRED please make a facial check and see whether it's the same person."

[Affirmative. Facial recognition is initiated. ... ... 78% match.]

"78% isn't very much sir. Are you sure that this is the same person? He could just look similar or have the same face. For you to recognise this person, after just reading about him once, does seem a bit much."

"You serious?"

"Right, I guess that was a stupid comment. I apologise, Master Bruce."

"That's alright. Now the Crocodile is still alive and as it's his way, he does assassinations for money. He uses his unassuming and normal appearance to get by and make good money. I didn't bother with him, because he wasn't in Gotham. But now that he is, I'll have to remove him from the streets. He could create a lot of problems. Although that isn't the important topic right now."

"So why do you think he is here now?"

"He's acting as a courier. If you look at the time stamps of his visits between the Sneider Building and the Sionis Estate, you'll notice that it is always 28 hours. No hour more or less. He tries to throw off anyone that might be following him and make it appear, he is only there by chance. It is a good idea, but not good enough."

"So that's the reason you believe that the Falcones and the Sionis are planning to kill you?"

"No. This is just proof that they are planning something. I always suspect that someone is planning to kill me. It helps prepare for anything. I am going by feeling here. The Falcone Crime Family has reduced their activity by over 62% and the Sionis have stopped their idiotic vendetta against me since 2 weeks ago. That just screams danger and action. I should make sure ... just in case ..."

"Make sure of what, Master Bruce?"

"I have made profiles of famous and successful bounty hunters since I started my career. ALFRED show me the location of the bounty hunters I saved as troublesome."

[List of 'troublesome' people, is empty.]

"Oh right. I am me. I forget that sometimes. Then what about the nuisance list?"

[No bounty hunters on the 'nuisance' list either, sir.]

"Then where do we have bounty hunters?", I ask him.

[There are bounty hunters on the 'whatever' list, sir. Should I open it?]

"Yes please do that."

[Affirmative. Displaying now.]

|Whatever List of Bounty Hunters:

- Deathstroke

- Bane

- KGBeast

- Deadshot

- Sportsmaster|


"That is not a very long list. Eh, I guess that's enough. Show me the last locations they were at."

[Showing locations now.]

"They don't appear to be in Gotham sir.", Sebas tells me.

"That doesn't mean anything. All of them are last seen at locations that make it appear that way. But that's not the truth. Look at the last use of Slade Wilson's credit card.", I say and ALFRED brings up the last couple of things the credit card was used."

"It ... seems normal, sir."


"...That is a good thing?"

"Good? Good or Bad isn't important. It's data, that's all it is. We don't judge data. It tells me that there is something he is trying to hide. If he were to use his money normally, then he wouldn't create a credit card in his name and he also would never use a credit card. He is obviously having someone use it for him, to throw others off his track. He is using cash right now. This is all a red herring."

"I see. Well, that is indeed strange. But who would then use the credit card? A child of his?"

"Unlikely. It is more likely that he either coded the things to be bought beforehand or ... he has an accomplice. Then you might be right. A child of his would fit his profile better than a partner. But considering his age and the age of his later wife ... ALFRED how old is Slade Wilson's wife?"

[Slade Wilson's wife, Adeline Kane. Age: 30. Son: Grant Wilson. Age: 10]

"If we factor in the training his father must have been putting him through since he was small, then he could be the one doing it. But the chances are ... low. It is more likely his wife is doing it and even that is very unlikely, given their relationship."

"Then what sir?"

"Nothing. It doesn't matter in the end. What matters is that Slade Wilson might be coming to Gotham soon, if he isn't already here. But ALFRED would notify me if that were to happen. Now let us see the others. ALFRED show me the credit cards used by the others as well, please."

[Affirmative. Showing now.]

"I see. It is similar to a few of them, except Bane. He still seems to be in Santa Prisca. But not all care about being very secretive. So they just don't use credit cards for their real names. No matter. I'll take it as an affirmation of my suspicion. Hmm, what to do now?"

"Do you have something in mind?"

"I have a few things in mind, but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what they are planning. I was planning on destroying the crime families in Gotham slowly anyway. This just speeds it up a notch. ALFRED show me the location of the Baker Family."

[Affirmative. Showing the location of Ma Baker and her sons.]

"So they fled prison and are laying low right now. I didn't give them any orders yet. I wanted to create another player first. But that might not be possible in the short time I have. However much that might be."

"So what is your plan now, sir? Are you going to look for them?", Sebas asks me.

"I will, bu-"

[Emergency signal in the Gotham's crime alley. Criminal: Victor Zsasz recognised. He is causing a bloodbath and killing random passersby.]

"Get the Batmobile ready!", I scream and run towards the Batmobile. I press a button on my watch and the vault containing my Batsuit opens up. It then begins to fly towards me and attaches to me while I am running towards the Batmobile. In one fluid motion, it attaches itself to me and I am wearing the Batsuit, just in time to jump into the Batmobile.

The portal opens up as the motor roars to life. And I drive through.



(Unknown POV)

- Location: Gotham Airport -

I finally arrived in Gotham City. This is a dump. But the possibilities for a man with my skills are immense. When I was contacted by this 'mysterious' person and offered 100'000'000 $ to kill the new dress-up vigilante, the Batman, I was instantly suspicious. I was just about to turn the offer down, because of how shady it seemed. I did some research though and found out that this vigilante seemed to have some skills. He was eliminating the crime families of Gotham. I couldn't see a pattern though. It seemed random. And that just spoke of how good he was.

After that, I accepted. It was obvious that this Batman pissed the crime families off and they were out for some revenge. So offering me that much money seemed fair. I also got told that I wouldn't be the only one after the Batman though. So if I wanted a bonus, for killing the Bat, I would have to act quickly. That's fine by me. I like a little competition.

"Your passport."

I hand the man my passport.

"Mr. Heinrich Zimmerman. What's the reason for your visit? Business or vacation?"


"What kind?"

"I vork in logistics, ja. 'Sis big company kalled... ah, Wayne Enterprises ... ja they invited me to kome for a job interview.", I try to replicate the German accent as well as I can.

"I see.", the man checks my papers again and then stamps them, "All the best for your interview, Mr. Zimmerman."

"Sank you."


Next Arc has arrived. This one will introduce some new characters we haven't seen in this story yet.

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