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dharman07

Gotham Nights: The Story

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Stormsurge: THe Convergance

 

 

Edward leans in "Sir, with Tayden following the girl.. do we bill this to a company project? Or to Executive Privilege?"

 

You turn and smile at his deadpan. "She intrigues me, and so its an Executive privilege to use company resources

as I see fit".

 

"Be that as it may, sir", the ever calm butler says. "Dinner will be starting at eight. That gives us ten minutes to make our way to the main stage. There will be many beautiful women there, perhaps a bit more towards your stature, than a zoo attendant?".

 

You both watch as the girl leads the lions away.

 

Edward looks at his watch. "Really sir... it is time".

 

**

You nod to Edward who disappears to gather you a drink. As you pull the chair out to sit down at the Platinum Circle Table, a talk, wiry, dark haired gentleman in a very well cut suit walks up. He hold out his hand.

 

 

"Hello", he smiles. "Dick Wayne. Gideion Keats, right? I think we met once before".

 

I smile warmly, still impressed that Bruce made the adoption of

his well-known ward a matter of record. I reach forward and take his hand with both of mine

in a reciprocal hand shake.

 

“Dick...it is my pleasure to see you again. Please...join me.”

 

I make light banter with Dick, keeping to "cursory" subjects such as his completion of his baccalaureate

studies at Gotham University, his role in Wayne Enterprises Exec. Management, and whether or not he was considering one of the ivy league schools for advanced studies. I am very careful not to inquire as to the whereabouts of his illustrious mentor and former guardian...not YET.

 

“Dick, I understand that your Eco-Initiative Project at Wayne Enterprises has some very interesting pursuits on the table. Perhaps there is an opportunity for us to synergize our efforts on those endeavors...especially in regards to the coastal water-way clean up.”

 

Richard’s expression is mingled with pleasant surprise as he observes my sincere interest in the city's eco-restoration. Before he can audibly respond, I notice his glance turning to the couple approaching the Platinum Circle table.

 

"Well, well, well...wonders never cease," he mutters almost imperceptibly. I pretend not to have heard the sidehand comment as I observe his countenance warm into a familiar smile as he locks eyes with the very attractive CEO of LexCorp. “Hello Lana”.

 

**************

 

“Hello Richard”, she smiles back.

 

 

Richard Grayson-Wayne motions over to the other person at the table. “Allow me to introduce to you Gideon Keets, the CEO of Mijak.”

 

As they shake hands, he extends his hand to you. “You look familiar. Are you one of Bruce’s old associates?”

 

**************

 

I can't help but raise an eyebrow at this supposed "colleague" of Bruce Wayne's. I do my best to act as if Ms. Lang has my full attention, put I am also paying attention to the responses going back and forth between Dick and this gentleman...and much to my pleasure, I consider the subject of Bruce Wayne FAIR GAME during subsequent conversation. I continue pleasantries with Lana, and use the opportunity to attempt to open conversation about the missing employees that was reported in the news.

 

“Ms. Lang, it is a pleasure to meet you. You look radiant this evening; I hope that is a bearing of better

tidings at LexCorp. I was very concerned to hear about the...incident...that occurred recently. I am very glad that your personal well being was not brought to threat.” I begin to turn away, but turn back to her as if my next statement was an afterthought. "Oh, yes...perhaps we will have an opportunity tonight to discuss the Nova Scotia Project...and when my Director of International Projects can expect to hear back from your team."

 

I smile warmly and release her hand as I pick up my drink and politely "salute her" with it. I continue visually panning the room as I wait for Dick to introduce me to this other gentleman, who is either the CEO pro tem of KORD Industries, or Malcom Patrickson of Claymore Industries. Not sure I like the sound of a firm called CLAYMORE; I have enough on my plate dealing with the "backdoors" of LexCorp. I’m almost hoping he is from KORD Industries...

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Turn III - THe Convergance

 

The evening has reached its prime. Now reaching eight o'clock, the traditional dinner time of the Gotham Party Set. Slowly the large crowds of socialites, the rich, the powerful, and those pretending began to file down to the tables set up in the middle main street of the "figure eight" that makes up the paths of the Gotham Zoo.

 

There a small army of waiters, caterers, bartenders and busboys began to deliver plates to the gleaming china laid tables. Black tuxedoed ushers segregated the crowd by level of importance. Those who mattered little sat on the fringe, far from the stage. Those who mattered the most were sat above the crowd, on the velvet roped stage. There among the spotlights and the flashing camera bulbs sat the real power of Gotham, those people who were on the verge of taking this earthquake leveled city and returning it to its place among the World Class cities. And they damn well were going to make a lot of money in the process.

 

Purr:

***************

You walk away from the oddly flattering gentleman working your thoughts over in your head. Before you could respond further, Dr. Macdonald walks up. "Catarina", he looks sharply around him. "I need your help. The new Pandas, the reason that we are holding the re-opening, wont come out of their cage... the guests are going to expect to see them. Can you try and help get them from their enclosure over to the mobile pen we have up behind the podium?"

 

You sigh. "Of course, Doctor", you smile. "Can you take these poor, tired, kitties back to the lion exhibit? Ill go right over to help with Pen-Pen and Ching-Ching." You offer the chain leashes to the zoo director. As he reaches out his hand Simba lets out a menacing rumble in his throat.

 

"Um... thats... ok", says Dr. Macdonald suddenly realizing he is two feet from an adult male lion. "You.. er... run them by, its not that far". He backs up slowly. "When you get the Pandas up on stage... we have made seating arrangements for you, next to the cages. Just in case there were issues."

 

At this point the Zoo Keeper's face became very pained, like he was having an internal argument with himself.

"Listen... er... Catarina, there are some very.. well... INFLUENTIAL.. sponsors that will be sitting around you. Please.. if you could make sure... to.. well..." He swallowed nervously. "Just try not to act to out of the ordinary.. you know.. just try and well.. fit in.. yes.. fit in and blend with the people around you. Do what they are doing...."

 

He steps in, as if he is going to say more, but Simba steps forward, straining against his lead. Probably influenced by your thoughts. Dr. Macdonald's words triggered some deep memories of a similar talk many years ago at the orphanage.

Jumba's ears flattened against his head, and knife like claws extended out against the pavement.

 

Shaking the dark thoughts out of your head, you mentally calm the two lions down.

 

"I fully understand", you say a bit in a huff. "Ill drop these boys off at their house and then pick up the happy panda couple. Its probably just morning sickness thats bothering Pen Pen. I bet if we found some ginger root that would entice her out. That always helps expectant mothers. Ill make sure to sit close and not play with my food to much." You ended probably a bit harsher than you should have but the good Doctor didnt hear your tone at all.

 

"What did you say? Expectant?", he says eyes wide.

 

You nod nonchalantly.

 

"Were going to have a Panda borne in captivity? Here? In my zoo?". Under his oiled hair a thousand marketing campaigns formed, many with his face on them. He looks at you sternly. "Please dont play with me..." he says in a harsh whisper. "Not with this... not with these people here... how.. how do you know?"

 

<"Because she told me you idiot"> you thought, but couldnt say. "She.. well.. its her.. mannerisms.. traditional to Bears. I delivered cubs to a Grizzly in.. an earlier job..”. That was half true. “She is about six weeks. Im surprised no one else has noticed."

 

Dr. Macdonald looked at you with a mix of fear and elation. "Please please, Catarina, are you sure? Are you sure enough for me to walk up there tonight and announce this in front of all those people... all those very.. very.. rich people?"

 

You smile your "Trust me" smile again. "If Im wrong, Ill walk out the front door and never come back.. But Im not wrong.. not with animals.. people often, but never with animals..."

 

On your left Jumba yaws a huge lion yawn and lays down, bored, on your feet. On your right Simba suddenly decides that you need grooming and begins to lick the outside your leg from knee to hip in long, slobbery, scratchy lion kisses.

 

The doctor turns red as the lions grooming keeps pushing your dress up to an uncomfortable height. Thankfully most of the crowd had moved down to the stage. Not that you really cared. You give Simba a little “quit it” kick.

 

"Yes.." he says backing up. "With animals... Er... Lions, Pandas, cage.. then have your dinner... and enjoy yourself".

 

He walks quickly back to the podium...

 

 

"Simba! Stop that! Let's go boys, you are getting the rest of the night off."

 

Catarina chuckles as listens to Jumba and Simbas comments about the activities going on around them and leads them back to their pen. After some ear scratching and ego soothing, Catarina heads to the Panda enclosure.

 

"Pen Pen, Ching Ching!" she calls sweetly. "Timed to come out and perform!"

 

Pen Pen & Ching Ching amble over and rub up against her legs. Catarina is almost overwhelmed by the emotional vibes emanating from the two pandas. After a few minutes she is able to piece out their concern and begin to sense the threat herself. Catarina was being followed. She sensed his aggressiveness and the barely contained violence. Human. Little intelligence.

 

"No worries darlings. He's not your problem. Let's go impress the crowds. I promise to make it worth it when you are done. I'm sorry you'll have to stay in the cage tonight. I won't let them keep you too long. Just think of the new birthing area you'll get for patience."

 

Catarina loaded the two pandas in their traveling cage and sought out some additonal attendants to help move them to the dining area. All the while Catarina sensing her follower shadowing their moves.

 

After seeing to the pandas, Catarina moves to a bar set up outside the dining area. Instead of ordering a drink, Catarina slips into the a natural area behind it used to for public lessons. Slipping her shoes off, she slips in to the bushes and waits. A short, stocky man with a thick brow and large but crooked nose steps into the clearing. This will not be an easy man to frighten, she thinks. As he looks around Catarina lets out a growl that would have made Simba cower. A look of panic crosses the man, but is quickly banked. He backs up slowly reaching for his weapon hiding under his coat. Meanwhile Catarina has slipped around behind the man.

 

"If you continue to follow me, you will find yourself fed to my lions."

 

The man whips around, hand still on his gun.

 

After a few moments of silence, the man releases his weapon, straightens his tux. He bows slightly and returns to the dining area. This time Catarina follows him and sees him returning to the side of Gideon Keets.

 

Catarina returns to her pandas, takes her seat and tries to act "normal".

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In the din, she took the time to read the other name tags at her table. They read:

 

Rev. Bishop Reid - Gotham Diociese

Chaylnn Jude - Gotham Diociese

Oliver Queen - Mayor, Star City

Anslin Marks - CEO Robotix

Catrina Feylin - Zoo Staff

Dr. Alistare MacDonald - Zoo Staff

 

"Well here I am with the big dogs", she things sitting down in her chair. Unfortunately her heel on her sandal catches on her chair and she sits down hard, rocking back into the table behind her. She bumps into one of the gentlemen at Lana Lang's table, spilling his drink. "I am so sorry", she smiles.

 

Chalyn is instantly intrigued by this gentleman and finds herself blushing as she makes her apology. “No problem” states the gentleman with a grin, as he wipes off his clothing. "Hi, I am Dr. Chalyn Jude, with the Gotham Diociese."

The gentleman looks up from his 'clean up process.' "It’s nice to meet you Dr. Jude, I am Gideon Keets, with Mijak Enterprises. “Good going girlfriend, what a way to make a first impression” she thinks as she smooths out her outfit and makes an attempt to sit back down and resume the evening as if this embarrassing fumble had not taken place. Chalyn takes note of Gideon’s presence...tall, dark, handsome and chiseled to perfection. “Quite impressive” she thinks...”I wonder what his story is?” However, not long after getting herself re-situated, Chalyns nerves are set on edge once again as she begins to sense an eerie presence. Intriguing or not, she is going to have to get herself together and prepare for the events that lie ahead.

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