Still Life with Pyg

April 30, 2016:

Harper, Dick and Bruce talk at Wayne Manor.

Gotham - Wayne Manor

Characters

NPCs: Cullen

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"This is soooo cool! You got invited to the Wayne Manor! Oh man, I'm going to take SO.. MANY.. PICTURES!"

Harper doesn't say a word as they arrive towards the front door, the black custom made Aston Martin pulling to a slow stop with a hitch and soon after the door was opened for them to exit. Harper wasn't one to dress up, but Cullen put on the moves with a nice looking sweater and a pair of slacks as if he were heading to a job interview. Maybe he was? Who knows!

The door was opened to them in which they enter into the foyer, Cullen already tight lipped as he stares with wide and glossy eyes at the decor. The only time he has seen anything like this was on the life and times of the rich and famous. And it was everything he had ever dreamed of.

Like a kid in a candy store he was nearly off, until Harper steps forward quick to grab him by the shoulder. "No no no no.." She says quietly. "This ain't a playground, you can't just run all around in anyone's house. Jeez Beans dude.."

He shrugs her hand off of his shoulder, a slight perturbed look upon his face, his hands planted and braced in front of him even though he wanted to jump out of his skin and touch everything in sight.


Alfred? No. The man has been confined to bed rest at one of Bruce's other Gotham homes, a place to stay out of sight, mind and in complete secluded safety. The one to answer the door is Bruce himself though maybe they don't realize this, most of the house staff has very specific duties and without Alfred around to keep them focused many are on temporary leave until the butler returns.
"Afternoon… " The gravely tired voice of Wayne is heard. The driver of the Aston Martin another 'this is your only duty' employee. If they try to go beyond their designated jobs they are usually abruptly released from service.


Dick Grayson had been working out 'downstairs' and comes up when he sees the car coming up the drive, the security feed down in the Cave showing the way. He towels off quickly and throws on a shirt, his grey yoga pants and sneakers letting him run silently up the stairs and slipping out through the secret entrance just as they reach the gate.

He misses the sound of Alfred's voice around the house. The place was always too silent anyway - Bruce isn't exactly a sparkling conversationalist when he isn't faking it at charity balls. Dick slides down a banister just like he used to do, landing in the third foyer just as Cullen and Harper make their way deeper within, "Well, fancy meeting you two here. Just in the neighborhood? Come to put in some bids on a Matisse?"


"Woah." Cullen just gave his very best impression of Keanu Reeves in the Matrix. There really wasn't anything else for the kid to say but that.

Harper on the other hand? Her teeth clenched and lips peeled back to give an 'eesh' sort of look. This was possibly the first time she's ever seen Bruce Wayne 'tired'. Though, thankfully, she really knew why. It really was sad that Alfred wasn't around, but things couldn't be helped. And, she was a little fearful of leaving Cullen at home for now, so he was her little carry on.

"Afternoon Mr. Wayne." Harper smiles, attempting to be all professional. "So, my boss sent me here with the latest schematics of the cities electrical grid. Said that you requested them?" All for show! She really has weaponry ideas that she thinks that he may like. "Is there any where my brother can hang so we can talk business?"

As Richard makes his way down the stairs with a slide and a land upon his feet, Harper gives him a rather alarmed look. "Uh…" Her hand reaches up, rubbing the back of her neck. "Alright dude, you got me. I have -no- clue what the heck a Matisse is. Like really no clue." She even swings her hand over her head. Cause if that's a joke, she totally missed it.


"Harper." Bruce responds then looks at Cullen, a light though forced smile appears. His weariness at these hours is usual, this is usually bedtime for the Bat. He does keep the hours of Dracula after all.
"Your brother? Uhm, Cullen right?" A hand extends to her sibling. "There is a gaming lounge. It has some old arcade systems and a billiards table. Alfred set it up for younger guests and I think possibly himself."
Dick long ago broke Alfred and Bruce in regards to the banisters. They're built sturdy and easy to clean.


Dick shakes his head, "Don't worry about it," he says, "Just me being dumb. Yeah, I actually managed to get some games not from the golden age installed in there. I'll hit you up for some Mortal Kombat X in a bit. My Xbox account should be logged in, but, if not, it's dicktasticdick and my password is circuspeople," he says.

Once Cullen is shuffled off, he moves along with the others into a more private room, where prying young ears won't be able to hear.


Cullen was awestruck; he slowly reaches out to take Bruce's hand and gives him a good ol' boy shake as if he practiced it one hundred times in the mirror. Bruce Wayne was an imposing figure in Gotham. Imposing in the sense that he knew business and had the wealth and the women, and a sharp mind with a can-do attitude to do good. Cullen's even studied up on the Knightwatch program, all because one of Gotham's own took a seat and had a hand in it. Cullen, well.. though it all was just damn great.

And he's meeting the man himself!

And then there was Dick! A cop! A rich cop who had X-Box?! His cheeks turned a shade of red as he stammers along, unable to keep a mum or form words of his own choosing. Harper just shakes her head and takes the bag from his shoulders, hanging onto the loop as.. surprisingly house staff arrives to show Cullen the rather impressive setup.

Once out of earshot, Harper shakes her head. "That kid is going to be kicking himself when we leave here. Anyways.." She hitches the bag upon her shoulder, bringing it in front of herself as she begins to pull out the papers. "Now, I didn't go off the handle and make any of this stuff yet, but.. just think. The theme? SHOCKA!" She even gives a jazz hands, cause, shocker! But then again.. "So, Maiteese, where is it and can I pet it?" She wasn't sure where to go, so she was going to follow the leader.


"You have a good strong grip, Cullen. My father once told me a story about how he hired a less qualified man off handshake alone. I imagine he would have hired you on the spot." The maid is one of two that are rotating on duty and trusted not that they know Bruce's secrets.
"Maiteese?" Bruce stares at Harper like she is speaking another language. "Ace or Titus?" Still confused he turns and walks towards the study.


Dick Grayson sighs, "The painter. I gotta be honest, I don't really know much about it either, I just know there's one on the third floor and Alfred said he'd skin my backside if I ever touched it," he shrugs. He goes to open up the drinks cabinet, making himself a small glass of whiskey, "Relax, Bruce, it's just a little. I won't impair myself," he says, anticipating any objections to having a little liquor. And not offering one to the obviously underage Harper, even if he might normally have done so to be polite.

One could only wonder how trained Bruce was, cause if he's heard the quiet little 'eeeee', that came from Cullen he'd be considered super-human. But all was well, the maid made sure to go through the ins and outs of the game room and if he needed anything to eat and drink, someone would be there to take care of him. It was a tight ship that was being ran, and Cullen had hoped to shake a little more hands so that his future could be set in stone.

Meanwhile, Harper shrugged her shoulders, but it was clear that there were two dogs running afoot! She happened to look every which way but seeing none? She passes it off as something she'd get to indulge in another time as they enter into the study.

Just as Harper would, she makes herself at home, taking up the seat as Dick goes to make a drink, one ankle resting on that spot just above her kneecap as the bookbag fills the space right along with the papers. "Well, at least I know what I'll be googling for hours upon hours when I get home." Matisse. And maybe the second floor design of the Wayne Manor. Not like she was going to steal it or anything!

"So I was thinking on a few upgrades of sorts. Putting in a system in our chest armor to monitor our vitals while we're out there in the field. Figure if we happen to go dark by screwing up our comms system we could at least let the person on the other end know that we're essentially alright. Annd.. maybe adding in a defib just in case we're not." Papers upon papers were produced, messy and crude drawings, but no one ever called her a pen and pencil artist. "And, I was watching Demolition Man the other night. We need shock rods. Like, oh my god do we need shock rods."


"Oh, the Henri Matisse, right, I had almost forgotten about that." Bruce is more in to Goya, Redon or even Boldini's styles. It was up there for the color he was told, more life and less macabre.
Not all things can be 'grimdark',
"It's fine, Dick. The better scotch is in the other cabinet anyways." A twitch at the lips, enough to form a grin and Bruce rakes fingers through his hair, smoothing it back in place. It's been a bit since he had a trim and he is feeling that small bit of shag.
"Those are already in the suits, Harper. Even the secondskins I allowed the DEO to purchase are equipped with those. A defibrillator though? I… hadn't considered that… nor had Lucius. Electroshock weaponry is also something we have."
"I have something else for you to focus your particular expertise on. Several locations in Gotham I want you to test and survey."


Dick Grayson grins as he gets the good Scotch, pouring a bit for Bruce as well. If he doesn't want it, just more for Dick. Wouldn't want it to go to waste. "The defib really does sound like a good idea. Maybe even something built in so Oracle could activate it remotely. Goodness knows I've been close enough a time or two," he says.

"Our little bluebird just likes shocking people with electricity. Again, I have personal experience in the matter - although it did bring me back to my senses," he says. "Speaking of which, I've got some new leads on the pig problem - I think I may be getting close at last."


Harper's eyes dart back and forth, watching the easy banter in between two men, one brow lowering and the other raising in high amusement with a slight lift of a shrug. "See.. it's really a very, very good thing that I didn't decide to take the bodysuit apart just to install it without… yeaaah.." See, no one said anything over the comms! Though, she hasn't been close to death in ages so that was a cool little factor to remember.

She points to the both of them now, reaffirming her stances on the defib. "Something powerful enough to get the job done but not enough to scramble our brains if it helps. But fine, no more elektroshock weaponry, but c'mon. Shock-rods. And I was trying to come up with a concept of little tasers that are the size of chiclets but the housing is just a touch too small to house that power."

Though, as he mentions areas, the bag was slowly put down as she draws out a notebook and a pencil, dragging her chair forward, pushing whatever little bauble carefully out of the way so that she could begin to write this information down. "Okay, hit me."

Dick gets a slight glance, and a lift of her brow. "Oh thank god, does that mean I can quit Arkham? Cause that facial putty I got on loan is making me break out. Plus, working three jobs really, really is killing me here. You guys get my instant respect." She shakes her head, she's been tired and then she's been -dead- tired. And that last one is a bit dangerous.


"I'm aware." Bruce responds to Dick while he gets in to the liquour, dark brow slowly arching "What is the occasion or is it because you found more leads on the pig situation?"
"Harper, take notes and I'll get them to Lucius when he is available. Maybe introduce the two of you at some point."
"If you need additional gear right now it is the time to request. We have too much disconnected irregularities going on in Gotham at the moment up-to and including Ra's being camped out somewhere in m…our city."
"With Oracle's attention divided between Gotham and Steel City I need even more surveillance work out the rest of us and if you need something to assist in this. So, yes, now is the time."


Dick Grayson takes a sip of the whiskey and sits on the corner of the desk, his uncanny balance letting him playfully dangle his feet without effort. He isn't even thinking about it, he just does it. He'd probably do acrobatics in his sleep. "I'm pretty geared up, I think, just short of being Inspector Gadget. That's a cartoon, Bruce," he says.

"We always have ten things going on. That's Gotham. Chaos is the norm," he says. "But we'll get a handle on it, we always do. Just a matter of picking which fire to put out first."


"I need a new bike." Harper immediately blurts out. "The one I fixed up still has a loud racket and I really can't afford the parts on the double salary I make. Plus.." She was already scribbling things down, what could possibly be added to the bike that she wants; grappling hooks, specialized tires, digital sensors, the entire nine yards. He asked, she was putting it all down. "…oh. Small cameras, connected to wifi. Few cables.." She was muttering then, which stops at the mention of Ra's. Something she'll ask about later, but the amount of baddies cropping up meant that she needed to spend more time training. All good for her. Training time is good time.

"Leg armor wouldn't hurt." She states quietly, jotting that down as well. "What about the Pig situation? And what else are we missing that we need to get coordinated on?" At least while she feels like writing it. "I mean, you both got me, just tell me where to go and it gets done. Though.." Fine! She was going to say it! "..wouldn't hurt to have a bit more training. Like amp it up." Her fingers curl into a fist, smacking it against the palm of her hand, effectively snapping the fragile pencil in half. With an 'augh' and a roll of her eyes, she reaches forward to snag a pen from the desk.


Bruce gives Dick a quiet studious stare as if he is about to speak but nothing comes out he instead turns around and moves the dials on the Study's grandfather clock to open the hidden doorway and staircase leading below, below to the depths of where Bruce really lives, "Lets go get you a new bike, Harper but beyond basics the leg armor will have to wait until you're trained to move properly in it."
"Keep talking about the Pig thing while we walk. Update me again… "


Dick Grayson nods to Harper, "I can certainly help out with a bit more training. And leg armor is good as long as it doesn't weight me down too much," he says. When Bruce asks for the update, he sighs.

"The pig cult that's been plaguing me and Harper - and Gotham itself - of late seems to be lead by a man calling himself…well, Professor Pyg. With a y. Cause…I dunno," he shrugs. "He's a maniac, of course - real name's Lazlo Valentin. He interned at Arkham as a med student years ago, which is how he got his claws in there in the first place, but was fired for unauthorized experimentation on patients. Has an obsession with surgeries, lobotomies, mind control - all the fun stuff. His followers have been using a combination of brainwashing drugs and hypnotism to get ordinary citizens to do their dirty work, but Harper and I pretty well put a stop to that. Her Arkham infiltration got us the info about her identity."

"Given his obsessions," he says, going to look out the window, "I started looking into anything that might appeal to him, in terms of property. And I think I found it," he says. "Just near the Gotham dump. A facility where, back in the 19th century, they experimented with keeping pigs underground. Figured they could feed them on the mushrooms and fungus that grew there and keep anyone from poaching them. Natural cavern system augmented with some old industrial work. Some of which caved in. Owner got eaten by his own hogs, though, and they closed the place in the 20s. It got buried under garbage…but I think Pyg and his cronies found a way back in…"


The papers were left on the desk as Harper immediately jumps out of her seat, crashing the bookbag to the floor and stumbling just a little as she looks back, then decides to leave it where it is. Harper watches keenly as the dial was turned, her brows furrowing, seeing him sink into the shadows with a look towards Dick, in which she marches right up towards him and begins to tug a little at his elbow.

All of this, she's heard before. So much so that she was nodding her head, recanting the information in her head, the stoic look she gives as she looks on ahead was a little bit of concentration at how all the pieces fit. But..

That last bit, she didn't know. She herself was a little bit out of the loop from attempting to maintain. And there was a frown and a shake of her head, a look up towards the ceiling of the walk as they continue to descend below. "…add GPS and a flash-light to the list.." Yeah, she just had a feeling that all of this? Pyg, Ra's, and the lack of surveillance included? She's going to be -one- very, very, busy girl.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License