“Yes, the Batman is still my first and foremost concern. He’s a menace to the law and provokes danger in the city. As DA, I will not stand for his kind of disregard for the law.”
“Mr. Reeves, do you believe the Batman had anything to do with Flagstone Bridge’s destruction?”
“I’m not ruling anything out.” The image on the television changed to Alexander Knox, the anchorman of Gotham Action News, adding his closing remark on the Counselor’s press conference. Harvey Bullock’s eyes drifted away from the screen set on a trolley in the middle of the detective’s office to the wide open door. After sitting planted behind his desk for so long, he needed to stretch his legs. Bullock picked away at his teeth with the toothpick, digging out the bits of ground beef from the cheese burger he’d just eaten. On his desk underneath the grease stained, wrapping paper of his fast-food meal, were the open files of information gathered from the recent bombings.
A new file had been created in the GCPD records, playing off of the press’ newest creation, the Calendar Killer. Before Flag Day, the attacks were random and unlinked but a third attack following a pattern, meant that the case pertained to a serial killer. Standing hunched over his desk, he glowered down at the files. Dealing with a serial killer meant there was no chance of getting reassigned to the case he truly wanted.
He stood up and moved to the doorframe of the Detective’s office set in the right hand wall of the bullpen. The floor of the bullpen was busily bustling about as officers weaved through the two columns of desks. At the head of the bullpen, beneath the shadow of the Commissioner’s loft office was the wall of filing cabinets.
“Bullock,” a voice called out. Harvey turned to find a uniformed officer approaching. Gerard Stevens stepped up from the left of the doorframe with a pen stuck on his ear beside the finely buzzed brown hair on the sides of his head. “You got a call on line three, an anonymous tip about another bombing,” he said with a seriously alert look in his eyes. Bullock stared back then sighed as he lazily turned around back to his desk.
From the door he spotted the phone on his desk and frowned. The red bulb on the dock was dormant, no call was awaiting him. He reached out for the phone as he came to his desk and brought the handset to his ear. The dial tone buzzed in his ear even after he toggled to line three.
“They hung up,” Bullock said as looked over at Stevens. The police officer’s eyebrows arched as he frowned.
“Hung up? Again?” he inquired in disbelief. Bullock returned his attention to his phone and pressed the callback function. On the LCD screen of the dock, the phone number appeared. Bullock waited a moment with the handset on his ear. Officer Stevens stood curiously in wait. An obnoxiously loud beep sounded in Bullock’s ear followed by the pre-recording of a woman’s voice.
“We’re sorry you have reached a number that has been disconnected-.” Bullock cut the scripted recording by pressing the button on the dock and waited for the dial tone again before pressing ‘call back’ for a second time. Once again the LCD glowed to life but a different ten digit phone number appeared.
“What the,” he mumbled with a baffled tone as the same pre-recording spoke in his ear. Bullock hung up the phone with a controlled slam of his hand.
“Disconnected, huh?” Stevens inquired. “That’s been happening a lot lately,” he scoffed.
“Did they say anything about the bombing?” Bullock asked slightly perturbed.
“Yeah, said it was tomorrow at some parole housing apartment in Park Row called Father Ferguson’s Halfway Housing,” the officer said. Bullock glanced back at the phone, still holding the handset in his palm.
“It’s unlike this city, someone giving anonymous tips,” he said. “Anyone with intel like that would be demanding a hand out for it.”
Taking a deep slow breath as he made his way down the floor of the bullpen, Jim Gordon suppressed his temper. On his heals a lean man in a fine blue suit chided away. Counselor Arthur Reeves seemed a new frequent visitor ever since he kicked off his public platform to prosecute the Batman. More and more his face seemed plastered on billboards and television as his campaign for District Attorney ran at full steam. Reeves was a man gambling all that he had on one play which made him a powerful annoyance to Captain Gordon and his officers.
“We are doing all that we can, Counselor,” Gordon recited futilely.
“Don’t give me that BS. If you were, you’d have had him by now,” Reeves snapped. Gordon paused in the center of the room and turned to face the snide politician.
“What do you want from me?” Gordon flared, pressing his glasses back on his nose and his other hand on his hip.
“To do your job, Captain,” Reeves accented with a jab of his finger into Gordon’s chest. Jim felt his blood boil within his veins as his mustache bristled. He opened his mouth to release the flood of profane indignance but the words lodged in his throat as he felt the buzzing vibration of his cell phone. Jim dug into his pocket and peeked down at the screen. His daughter’s picture filled the screen accompanied with her cell phone number. Jim pressed the red icon on the screen to reject the call, returning his furious attention on Reeves. Opening his mouth once again, Jim’s words stuck again as he heard his name called out from across the bullpen.
“Captain Gordon,” Bullock repeated as he approached the two men. In his large hands he grasped a file. His brow was sweaty with excitement. Gordon turned to the Detective with his hands rested on his waist.
“What is it, Detective?” he demanded impatiently.
“Half hour ago we got a call talking about another bombing tomorrow,” he said. Gordon’s brows lifted in astonishment.
“Where?” he asked anxiously.
“Father Fergusons Halfway House,” Bullock explained. Gordon’s sharp blue gaze drifted as he descended deep in thought.
“Father Fergusons on Father’s Day,” he muttered. “The Calendar Killer’s M.O.”
“There’s more,” Bullock said as he handed the file to Gordon. “The call was an anonymous tip that hung up once the information about the bombing was passed on. This has happened over two-hundred times in the last four months, I’ve highlighted each time a call into dispatch has followed this pattern,” Bullock explained with a nod towards the open file in Gordon’s hand. Sure enough, the thirteen page long list of dates, times, phone numbers and names was randomly highlighted on particular entries. Thumbing through the list, he found the first highlighted entry recorded on March fourteenth, the night Salvatore Maroni was arrested. Each matching entry thereafter was listed ‘ANON.’
“Each of these entries have a different phone number,” Gordon observed curiously.
“I can’t explain that,” Bullock said. Still looking on with darting eyes, Reeves scoffed.
“What does this have to do with anything?” he demanded.
“Each of those entries are tips for pickup of guys linked to the Batman,” Bullock explained curtly to Reeves directly. “I checked on the files to verify,” he said. “Which means the Batman knows about another attack and will probably be there.” The scowl on Reeves’ face vanished as a mask of delight took its place.
“Really? Well done Detective, Bullock, was it?” Reeves asked with his hand out. Bullock stared at him, glancing down at the hand with instant disgust.
“Let’s get something clear, I think you’re slime and I aint doing this for you or anyone else,” he said with a glower. Watching intently, Gordon realized his sudden impulse to smirk but suppressed it. Repulsed, Reeves lowered his hand and glared at the large detective then at Gordon.
“If you’ll excuse us, Counselor,” Gordon said casually as he pushed Reeves aside. “We have a job to do.” Reeves turned away with a cold snarl on his face. From behind he could hear the two police men think out loud to each other. “We know where they both are going to be, we can take care of them both at the same time.”
“Let’s just make sure we get them this time, I’m talking the whole deal.”
Storming up the stairs along the left wall of the bullpen, Reeves climbed to the second level within the room, approaching the door of the office and knocking furiously on the door.
“Come in,” the darkly toned voice of Commissioner Gillian Loeb called out. Reeves wrenched the door open and entered the office. “Counselor,” Loeb greeted with his fingers tented.
“It seems tomorrow your boys are making a move against the Batman,” Reeves said with frustration.
“So what’s the problem?” Loeb inquired with a grin.
“Gordon! Bullock! They’re not team players and they’re the ones heading this operation,” Reeves burst with panic. “I want them far away from this, put someone else on it,” he demanded. Loeb shook his head as he leaned back in his chair.
“Nothing I can do there,” he said. “Besides, you want Gordon leading this, he’ll get the job done.” Reeves snorted as he threw his hands from his waist up into the air.
“Great,” he grumbled.
“Now there is something I can do,” Loeb said. “I can add another player in the mix.”
“Who?” Reeves inquired. Loeb grinned as he pressed a button on the dock of his phone.
“Cheyanne, please have Officer Howard Brandon report to my office,” he spoke to the speaker grille on the dock then released the switch without waiting for a reply from his secretary. He grinned up at the Counselor confidently. Reeves stared back, puzzled yet anxious, wishing he could be as sure as the Commissioner was at that very moment.