Missing Children

November 06, 2016:

Batman and Nightwing investigate take a Bludhaven investigation out into Bristol County

Bristol County


NPCs: Alfred Pennyworth

Mentions: Alfred Pennyworth


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

* OOC Time: Sun Nov 06 14:52:28 2016 *

15:47 PM

A notification informs Bruce Wayne he has a text message waiting:

'Dick: I'll be in town tonight. Let me know if you have time to meet up.'

18:27 PM
"..twenty-one undocumented women," Dick explains over the secure line, "It's the largest single human trafficking bust we've ever had in Bludhaven. It's obviously a cartel and the victims have been too terrified of retribution back home to provide much — except that there were some kid's toys; but no kids." There's a pregnant pause, "I found a passenger van last night. Kids clothes. In the glove box there was an address, '347 Davenshire Rd', out in the county. The old Stafford place."

EXT. Bristol County - 347 Davenshire Rd

A ten-foot ledge stone wall surrounds a twenty-acre estate. Just beyond the wall a line of immaculately kept elm trees provide additional cover for the structures beyond.

Seven hundred feet above the property a tiny electric drone circles relaying a high-definition view of the manor house nestled at the end of a circular drive. Three vehicles are parked near the west entrance away from a closed garage. The sprawling Italian inspired manor house has a number of lit windows which, given the cars, seems to indicate that someone is at home.

Batman has been spending the last few weeks depriving Spoiler of the resources Nightwing brings to bear. The drone provides fantastic aerial coverage— FLIR, thermal, low microwave sensors— it can nearly see through some walls, and the additional intelligence is beyond useful.

The Dark Knight doesn't give the readout more than a glance. Crouched in a low tree at the edge of the property with Nightwing, he resembles nothing so much as a mass of vines dangling from the branches.

"Heavy tire tracks," Batman grunts, pointing at the asphalt leading up to the manor. Water and mud colludes to outline the wheels of a large van or moving vehicle, with a dual rear-axel. "Someone moved something heavy near here. What intel do you have on the house owner?" he rumbles, subvocally into the mission microphone.

Nightwing balances in the crook of one branch with one shoulder planted against the truck as he manipulates the drone's control scheme. Dick closes the hand-held transmitter as Batman denotes the vehicle imprints and subvocalizes a thoughtful sound for the sake of acknowledgement but doesn't take the time to inspect them for himself from his position.

Affixing the receiver back into a place near the rear of his utility belt he pushes away from the trunk with his elbow and without ever rustling the outer leaves shifts to a better position to evacuate his perch, "Warren Kirby, a transplant from Silicon Valley. Sold his startup to Google. Ex-Wife lives in San Diego with one kid. He's got a girlfriend from the area - must be a serious fling to wind up in this zip-code."

"A lot of money," Batman grunts. There's a world of implication with that kind of wealth— not wealth but WEALTH— capable of having significant impact on all of Gotham, subject to the whims of the man weilding that blunt hammer.

"Fenceline's motion triggered. Shorting it manually will take time," he advises Nightwing from his vantage. "Top of the line— looks like LexCorp." He pauses, and unseen, a grim smile curls the corner of his mouth. "But it's based on the 1100 Cathedral system. The fence is tamper proof, but the security systems at interlinked. How'd your hacking skills these days?"

"Good enough for free HBO Go," Dick remarks with a dry arrogance in his voice, "I'm surprised they don't make people change their passwords more often," gloved fingers unsnap something from just behind his left hip-bone.

With a twist he opens the remote hacking tool. To an onlooker nothing would seem to happen but the narrow projection of radio-waves are interpreted by the lenses in their masks to create a compact display, "Actually," thumbs begin working rapidly on the keypad.

There's a long pause as he seems focused, tongue pushing against the inside of his mouth, "there's a StarrWare security suite I have to bypass regularly and-" Pause, "Bingo. The fence is experiencing technical difficulties."

Closing the remote-hacking tool with one hand he moves out to the edge of the fence and does a standing leap overtop to break-fall on the manicured lawn beyond.

"I might borrow that hacking subroutine," Batman mutters conversationally, vaulting the fence with two quick kicks— one off the ground, another off a pillar. He lands in a low crouch, cloak spilling around him, and lingers in still silence while looking to see if anyone's noticed him.

Giving it a tense three-count he breaks into a silent trot, cloak flowing low behind him until he's close enough to break out the grapnel gun. There's a muffle *(thumpf* of the grapnel firing skywards and after a clink of metal on stone, he snaps up to the third floor balustrade.

"Third floor. Looks like an office area. Might have network access if you can't find the server room down there." He tests the door, checking it for alarms and traps, and then slips into the room on silent feet before moving to the idling computer. He doesn't bother with unlocking it— just plugs a proprietary keystroke logger between the board and the tower, and then adds a nearly invisible remote hacking dongle to an empty USB port.

"Hey, what can I say. I had a good teacher with an unhealthy obsession for a certain mega-corporation's security."

In his head he can hear Bruce Wayne's voice repeating a mantra of, 'If a sixteen year-old can break in then Lucious has failed. If you can't get past a corporate security routine then you have failed.' Ah. Those awkward teenage years.

Ground Level

Nightwing flits across the lawn using the shadows of the trees which line the drive to obscure his movement towards the ground floor of the house. Then he moves beyond the spill of light from the windows towards the West side of the house where the vehicles are parked.

There is a moment where he touches something on his belt, still-images of the vehicle plates preserved in a tiny memory card, before circling on around. Huh, that's funny.

Light footed, Dick kneels next to a Bentley and notes the wide heavy tire impression noted earlier going towards the garage.

Upper Level

The remote hacking dongle bypasses the computer's admittedly residential security routines within moments. As a standard sweep it performed certain key indicators are flagged. The household seems to utilize a Tor router and the user seems to frequently access e-mails through Sigaint — a "darknet" provider for those obsessed with anonymity.

Batman opens the throttle wide and patches it into the drone. The remote hacking unit has several terabytes of storage on board, airgapped to prevent it from compromising any other systems until it can get plugged into a diagnostic machine.

He's already on the move, sweeping through the upper levels as quietly as a shadow. At one point he leaps skywards, hearing voices, and perches in the rafters for a long thirty count as a man walks from one room down a hallway, then disappears into another room.

"Thermals aren't picking up any major body masses in the upper levels. They must be below the ground," Batman mutters to Dick, dropping silently to the carpeting below. "Any access from the garage?"


As Batman outmaneuvers the occupants of the home Dick Grayson moves amongst a half-dozen classic cars. He makes one complete circuit before starting again from the entry point. A few pea-sized pieces of gravel have been scattered underneath a nearby wheel. Forward a few more steps he kneels and pulls out a small universal scanning tool it cycles through several spectrums before displaying wide swatches of gray-green chemical residue - bleach.

The residue is intermittent and creates a trail to the wide mechanic's tool-shelves that occupy an entire space near the rear of the structure, "Yes but, I don't think this is going to be very quiet."

Upon closer observation, the entire fixture is on a concealed track which allows it to move in a very mechanically obtrusive manner.

INTERIOR - Upper Floor

In the distance a mechanical churning can be heard. To those familiar with the operation it should be quite clear what is occuring.

Batman grunts. "Understood. I'm headed your way." He glances at his location, comparing it mentally to his map of the area. "Forty seconds." He turns to a window and opens it, slipping out onto an impossibly narrow ledge. He scales to the roof and dashes along an awning that's barely as wide as his boots, cloak flowing behind him. The last ten paces he vaults in a leap, flinging his cape out to arrest his moment as he drops three stories with a *fwoosh* of displaced air. He lands on the grass heavily, taking a moment to balance himself, then heads for a side window into the garage, slipping in just as Nightwing gets the door open.

"We won't have long before someone comes to check on the passage," he rasps, slinking into the shadows leading into the basement. "A few minutes at most."

Well oiled as it may be the entire affair is quite a racket.

Nightwing winces visibly as the passage starts open and steps into the shadow of one of the vehicles to vanish from view as he keeps the blank stare of his mask focused on the garage's exterior door. When the Batman speaks he materializes from his hiding position and begins backwards down the narrow expanse with eyes to their rear.


Immediately the smell of human excrement and body odor is palatable.

What you enter is a dark but well-maintained cavernous area. Under infrared the cool blues of the climate controlled environment are interrupted approximately twenty meters back where three thin humanoid forms have been corralled into tiny steel cages.

Their bodies are massed towards the rear of their individual metal boxes where they huddled in response to the cacophony of sound that is no doubt one of many preludes to someone's arrival. Soft whimpering sounds are audible.

There's about three seconds between Bruce uncovering this scene and Nightwing joining him the younger man drawn forward by the shapes in the darkness. Amidst the whimpering you might be able to detect a sudden increase in Dick's breathing as emotion betrays his silent purpose, "Estas seguro." Nightwing whispers comfortingly to the darkness, "Estamos aqui para salvarte."

All at once, they begin to cry out for help.

"Caiate," Batman growls resonantly, his low rasp barely a few decibles louder than normal. It cuts through the pleas like a knife, and he moves to the cages, inspecting them for locks or alarms. "Don't let them run off," he warns Nightwing. "If they panic and scatter they'll get recaptured again."

He starts undoing the cage's latch, looking down at one haggard form. "Qual es tu nombre? Donde esta la otras?" he inquires in gruff but excellent Spanish, extracting lockpicks from his bracer gauntlet sleeve.

Nightwing steps to assist in the rescue but stops short at Bruce's direction to keep them in one location.

Concurrent with this a notification from the circling drone scrolls its way across the Bat-HUD and then a familiar voice breaks into the com-frequency, "You have a vehicle exiting the premises and moving quite hastily down the drive towards the front gate," Alfred Pennyworth's voice notes dryly adding, "I would surmise your activities have not gone unnoticed."

"I am not certain this drone will be swift enough to stay with them," he continues without excitement, "Might I suggest parking the Batmobile at the edge of the drive? Perhaps they will call the authorities to have it towed."

Batman touches his keypad, bringing the Batmobile— all 4500 pounds of it— to a dead halt right in front of the front gate, and hands the women off to Nightwing to manage. "Get them to the garden shed," he orders Nightwing. "I'll distract security and detain whomever's trying to escape. Once they're ready for GPD, I'll send the Batmobile to pick you four up. We'll rally at fallback point Bravo." He keys up the remote access for the Batmobile and tosses the access fob to Nightwing. "Be careful. There still might be some surprises out there," he advises his ward.

He pauses at the entrance to the garage. "Good job with this one, Nightwing," he rasps— and then vanishes with a flickering of his cloak, leaving Nightwing to get the prisoners to safety.

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