15467/The Mud Pit

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The Mud Pit
Date of Scene: 13 August 2023
Location: West Side, Burnley
Synopsis: The attempted murder of a mob informant by Clayface draws all sorts of faces -- likely and otherwise -- to the oldest cemetery in Gotham CIty.
Cast of Characters: Batman, Red Hood, Elektra, Sinister, Superman

Batman has posed:
Gotham City by night, at least this night, is pretty much what one would expect. The summer heat lingers making everything humid and a little unpleasant. The evening sky is shrouded by a dark cover of clouds that blot out any trace of the moon and the stars, leaving only that man-made illumination to light up the city below. The scent of rain in the air is almost overwhelming and the distant rumble of thunder occasionally breaks the quiet.

But no storm has arrived yet to break the unrelenting wet heat gripping the city.

An older section of Gotham, the West Side was once at the very heart of the original colony that sprang up here, it's glory days long in the past now. But there are still plenty of mementos of those times. Few, ironically, are more central to life in this part of the city then the sprawling graveyard of the Rose Lawn Cemetery, the oldest of the graveyards still in operation in the city.

It was not the graveyard that brough Gotham's Dark Knight to this part of the city, at least not originally. Instead it was one Tommaso 'Tommy' Costa, a well known if relatively low level snitch who is usually pretty keyed in to the goings on with the Five Famlies of Gotham. Well known for lingering near the dockside dives in the area, it is the logical place to start the hunt

And the Dark Knight's interest? Aside from the obvious, of course.

HIs city is on fire, caught in the grip of a mob war precipitated by one Helena Bertinelli -- the Huntress -- and made all the more bloody by his sometime partner, sometimes bane, Jason Todd -- The Red Hood.

One way or another the Dark Knight means to bring a little order back to his city. Perhaps easier said then done.

The search has not gone well, to put it mildly. By the time Batman arrived on the scene a handful of witnesses were left confused and battered, claiming a literal wall of mod had simply swept through their little watering hole. And carried off Tommy Costa.

For his part, the Dark Knight has few doubts about just what that means.

Tracking the supposed wall of mud is not hard, and it is only moderately surprising when the trail leads straight to the Rose Lawn Cemetary, it's low walls topped by iron bar risers that surround the grounds not exactly a barrier to those like himself. But centuries of use have left the rolling grounds of the cemetary rahter large, and shadows lay heavy on the near deserted paths that wind in amongst the rows and rows of tombstones and far more elaborate memorials that populate the site.
Red Hood has posed:
It's the least he could do, declaring war on the Mob. As far as he was concerned, He and Helena were doing Batman a favor. At least someone was putting pressure on the Families. What was Batman doing? Giving Joker a Get Out Of Arkham Free card. Again. Again. .. again. It was nauseating the way he tolerated the worst criminals - none of whom ever show remorse or even a consideration for rehabilitation, just body count.

Jason had his own time in Arkham. Paid his debt to society. Was, uh, rehabilitated. Killing is wrong. Stay in school kids. Don't turn out like Jason Todd, stealer of wheels off the Batmobile (Snicker. Have to admit that was pretty epic. Go on. Admit it.)

Red Hood was here because he wanted information. Information that would actually get Batman to back the fu... dge off and let he and Huntress finish what the Mob started. Maybe he'd see, finally, there were other ways to do things beyond his own rigid, narrow minded... who was Red Hood kidding? That was never going to happen. It's Batman's way or the Highway. Thanks "dad".

Rolling up in his heavily modified crimson red '67 GTO, Red Hood had been wanting a word with Tommy. Just a few minutes behind Batman, he finds the man of the hour gone. And found muddy prints leading away. Maybe Bigfoot finally found Gotham.

Arriving at the cemetary, his position places him at the opposite side from Batman. Coincidence?
Elektra has posed:
It was only just before the Dark Knight came in search of his quarry that the assassin known as Elektra arrived at the cemetery, herself. And yet, there she was.

There were so many rumors about the woman at this point that it was hard to separate the truth from the fiction, and it became only muddier if you actually knew anything at all about her and her involvement with The Hand. Most didn't, of course. There were few that still drew breath that knew any hard facts about her at all. But there were some -- some that spoke of her death six years ago and her resurrection by the Hand as Black Sky. Perfect Death.

Elektra moves like a wraith through Rose Lawn Cemetery, the flutter of the red sash tied around her waist one of the few hints of her presence. Dressed in an all-black skin-tight outfit that accentuates her agile form, she embodies the very essence of the night. The red buff covering her face contrasts starkly against her skin, leaving only her intense eyes visible, eyes that scan her surroundings with calculated precision. Her dark hair has been tied back into a high ponytail, and on her calves, the hilts of her sais gleam faintly under the dim lampposts.

She pauses by an ancient gravestone, weathered by time, the inscription almost unreadable. The stone marks the resting place of a soldier from a war long past, the dates indicating a tragically short life. But Elektra isn't here to pay respects. She's looking for something, and the graves are her only clue.

She moves on to a family crypt, the ornate iron gates now rusted shut. The family name "Hargreaves" is etched in bold, surrounded by vines and angels in mid-flight. She studies it closely, touching the engravings, searching for any hidden signs or markings.

A series of smaller gravestones, each bearing the same last name "Caldwell," catches her attention. The markers are sequential, marking the passing of several generations. One stone, noticeably newer, stands apart. It's adorned with a beautifully carved shadowy figure with heart-like motifs. This could be it.

Drawing closer, Elektra kneels, her fingers tracing the grooves and symbols, trying to decipher their meaning. The scent of rain grows stronger, and the distant rumble of thunder warns of the storm approaching. Time is of the essence.

The shadowy figure on the gravestone seems to hold a secret, an enigma that she needs to unravel. But how? She glances around, ensuring she's still alone, and then, with a determined look, starts her deeper investigation of the Caldwell lineage markers, hoping they hold the key.
Sinister has posed:
Sinister's reason for being here in Gotham has absolutely nothing to do with the current troubles. After all, he usually has a great deal going on on his plate most of the time, which occupies a good deal of his focus. No, it's the old cemetaries themselves that litter the cities along the east coast that have been drawing him in of late. That Gotham is burning is incidental to anything - except that on the odd occasion, the informants of many a city, this one included, supply some tips and leads, on shipments and odd cargos. Mostly of the human kind.

This IS Sinister.

So, when whispers and sussurations of discontent and shock reached his senses, heightened, sixth or otherwise, he began to stalk the humid night. One could almost call it serendipity that the two activities he's engaged in, the one he came for and the one he stumbled across, have lead to the same area. Silent as the graves that surround the area, the man in a black leather trench coat, silvered heels and cuffs, lands on the grass near one of the largest tombs, pausing to glance at it. Then, a flash of coal flame red briefly illuminates his eyes, makeing his gaze seem infernal, before he's walking about two inches off the ground, coincidentally toward the sound of Jason's engine, muddy footprints and Gotham's vigilante heros.
Batman has posed:
Unsurprisingly the park is awash in shadows, the little pools of illumiantion that dot the winding paths well spread out and rather pale, weak things. It somehow only feels right that there would be no place for light in a place like this. Not in Gotham City.

While much of the rolling grounds are kept clear of any obstructions aside from the memorials -- from the most humble, little more then a small stone over a patch of sporatically maintained grass to the obscenely elaborate, with massive mausoleums complete with intricate architecture and elaborate statuary -- there are scattered trees hear and there as well. Tall and old, leaf-heavy branches sway in the breeze ever so slightly, filling the cemetary with the sound of rustling -- and adding even more shadows into play.

Dark as it is though, it is somewhat difficult to miss a ten foot high wave of mud as it makes it's way across the lawns. The dark probably does not even fully conceal the bulging shape of a man caught up in it, tendrils of mud holding him aloft by the arms, wrapped around his torso and, of course, covering his mouth so that he can't cry out. But there is no concealling those eyes, so very wide and filled with an unmistakable panic.

The Rose Lawn Cemetary is filled with a number of unlikely visitors tonight. Ones that would surely grab Gotham's Dark Knight;s attention. Ines that still might before the night is through. But for the moment the Caped Crusader flits silently over those tall, spiked iron bars that rise up over the low stone wall that encircles the ground, pausing only a moment to study the ground before sweeping into a loping-stride that carries him swiftly over the grounds, heading unerringly towards the oldest, most overrun part of the graveyard.

Perhaps he hears that revving engine. Perhaps it is something else that catches his attention, but a face begins to form in the midst of that mud, quickly becoming a sludgy like head. "Might have to make this quick," Clayface says, almost conversationally and presumably to the bound Tommy Costa. "Nothing personal, but someone's willing to pay to see you disappear. Figure ain't no one gonna look for you in a two hundred year old gfrave, right?"

Tommy Costa can offer no reply, but his eyes bulge and he tries to squirm in that fluid grasp. But each time he treatens to pull a limb free, the clay simply slides over him, capturing him once more.
Red Hood has posed:
Making his way into the cemetary, Red Hood isn't as often a user of heights in the way most of the Bat family does. But tonight? Tonight it made sense to get some height and get a better view of the cemetary. Too easy to miss things (people) behind grave stones and monuments.

Firing off a grapple, he rises atop a mausoleum rooftop and couches down like just another grotesque that Gotham is known form.

Unmoving, he is easy to miss. Unless the red optics in his mask are noticed. The glow is dim but not impossible to notice as the vigilante scans the grounds looking for a large, muddy, Big Foot. Or Clayface. Yeah, probably him.
Elektra has posed:
As Elektra moves stealthily amidst the shadows of Rose Lawn Cemetery, she feels every rustle, every footstep. A clue to the artifact she's searching for is said to be hidden here, and she's determined to find it before it falls into the wrong hands.

Every grave tells a story. Even in a city as chaotic as Gotham, the tales of those laid to rest here are unique. Elektra's fingertips gently graze the surface of the gravestones as she checks for clues, the cool touch of the stone a stark contrast to the summer's lingering humidity. But her mission takes a backseat as a peculiar sight grabs her attention: a massive wave of mud carrying a man, Tommy Costa, like a prize.

Elektra is no stranger to unusual events, but this? This is a new brand of weird even for her. A face forms from the sludge, speaking with a tone that's almost casual despite its sinister message. Poor Tommy, bound and petrified, can only stare as his fate is discussed as though he were no more than an object.

She knows she should keep a low profile, continue or even abandon her search for another night. But there's a compulsion to intervene, to free this man from whatever macabre fate awaits him. Then again, in this city, a new threat lurks around every corner. She hesitates, but even as she contemplates her next move, another figure catches her attention and her eyes ever-so-slightly widen... the Batman. She hadn't expected to see him out lurking in the cemetery.

Then again, she hadn't expected to see whatever was happening to poor Tommy Costa, either. For the moment, she lingers deep in the shadow of a monument like a ghost, watching and waiting.
Sinister has posed:
All these minds leave their own traces; whether it's wide open abject terror, or the subtle slippery /presences/ that aren't easy to read at all. It nevertheless tells Sinister he isn't alone. "Well, that's vexxing. But that appears to be where -you- went at least," murmured to himself as he watches the wall of mud slide on by. "Iiiiiinteresting," and so he floats along silently, black in the dark and also hard to keep your eye on. With little effort he floats to the top of a crypt in the line of passage of the big talking mudslide and stands at a neat parade rest, with his hands in the small of his back, watching.

And whilst he's at it, much in the same vein as Jason, he scans the crypts from on high, narrowing eyes at a couple of them whilst more heroic types line their ducks up. It could be that all he needs to do is watch.

That -would- be nice.
Batman has posed:
The first hints of the imminent arrival of rain finally make their appearance in a handful of fat droplets of water that fall from that dark sky above, and the humidity if anything seems to escalate a little more, the air practically so think that it could be physically cut.

The mountain of clay countinues to ripple across the grounds, moving with startling speed. There's no sluggishness there -- something that many of those who have come up against Clayface have found out to their detriment. As the first hints of that rain begin to fall, that oddly shaped head with its muddy features turns heavenward to take in that sky, a brief look of distaste crossing over his inhuman features. "Ugh, rain. Looks like I better make this quick. 'Fraid you're not likely to enjoy your last moments in life," that mass of clay mutters to his captive, coming to a stop amongst some of the oldest graves in the cemetary, marked by nothing more then a small stone that is all but illegible by this point.

Another muddy tendril springs from Clayface, forming itself into a crude-looking scoop. Then it simply attacks the ground underfoot, beginning to dig down into the earth to create Tommy Costa's final resting place. If anything the low-level gangster squirms and flails even more, but it does little good.

Of course there is one big flaw with Clayface's choice of burial sites. The open lawn leaves it exposed, and every good vantage point in the park has a very clear line of sight on it, with only the shadows to offer any cover.

Shadows are no hinderance to the Dark Knight of course. The night is his ally. And it admittedly helps that the starlite lense inserts in his cowl light up the world in a greenish glow, not much short of full daylight.

The Gotham set always has some of the best toys available afterall, and while it might not be quite so sleek as the car, it probably comes at least as handy.

Little gets past Batman as he sprints amongst the headstones, never breaking his stride. His gaze may dart aside now and then as he races past, always searching, always taking note. But there is not really time to do anything more then just that -- take note.

Not if a life is going to be saved.

So when he sees that wall of mud up ahead he doesn't hesitate to dip a hand down to his side, pulling out a batarang from one of his pouches and hurl it all in one smooth motion. It flies, right on target, striking Clayface in the middle of his forehead.

"What gives?" that mass of mud manages -- right before the batarang explodes... and CLayface's head along with it!

Batman, murderer?

More like he knows his foes well. Sure enough, another head simply forms out of the mass of clay, a glare thrown towards the Dark Knight. "Fine! Play it that way. I guess we'll just do things the messy way!" the monster says.

And the tendrils holding Tommy Costa simply begin to pull him back into Clayface's chest until he is completely immersed inside that body, disappearing from view.
Superman has posed:
Word about a large mound of mud does travel. It travels faster when different rumors start to slip into the details. That word travels by quickly. Even if it's by a few stray details here, there, but it does wind up on someone's radar.

And there is another vantage point that has a clear shot with plenty of cover. It takes a few moments to wait. Red beams lash out downward from the clouds aiming for Clayface. Their intent is simple, try to make part of Clayface feel like it's in a Kiln.

The energy lasts for mere moments before something floats downward from the sky. A familiar figure in red and blue, very far from their usual stomping grounds. Yet, they'll float down until they're in the graveyard.

"I was in the neighborhood," Superman declares. And yes, the man sticks out like a sore thumb. However, his presence may do one thing, create a distraction. The Kryptonian wants eyes on him to give everyone else a chance to conceal themselves again, if needed. Superman tries to be the distraction they may need.
Red Hood has posed:
Red Hood spots Clayface and the terrified form of Tommy in the hulking pile of muck's grasp. Does he really have hands anyway? Then he spots the movement of Batman and he frowns. Of course.

As the batarang lands on its mark and explodes what appears to be Clayface's "Head", Red Hood smirks. Still not trying to go for the 'kill'. Is that even going to slow Clayface down? Maybe for a moment.

He pulls his custom pistols and flips two switches that allow them to be interconnected to form a carbine-sized rifle. Longer barrel, better range and accuracy.

Taking aim, he fires one shot that strikes the mass of clay right in the 'stomach' as it were.

A tracking dye marker so that even if the trail somehow goes cold, he can still be followed. Tommy has questions to answer and there is no way Clayface is going to prevent that. Or Batman.
Elektra has posed:
The subtle tension in the air, the escalating humidity that thickens each breath Elektra takes, alerts her to the impending rain. The air is charged, filled with anticipation. She feels the first few droplets, cold against her skin, and she knows the downpour will soon come.

From her vantage point, hidden amidst the tall shadows of ornate grave monuments, she watches the mountainous figure of Clayface sweep across the graveyard. Her eyes narrow when she spots the small, nearly forgotten grave he approaches. A tendril forms into a crude scoop, plunging into the ground. The captive's desperation is palpable from where she crouches.

The shadows are Elektra's allies, just as they are Batman's. She notices him, moving fluidly among the gravestones, but she remains focused on the task at hand. Batman hurls something straight at Clayface. The subsequent explosion surprises her, momentarily causing her to flinch. She knows Batman doesn't kill, but the sight is still unexpected. A new head forms on Clayface, and she tenses as she watches him engulf his captive.

Was this her moment?

Suddenly, a burst of red light pierces the darkness, darting toward Clayface. The cemetery lights up momentarily, the stones and mausoleums taking on an eerie glow. And then, as quickly as they appeared, the beams dissipate, leaving only a soft haze in their wake.

Her eyes dart skyward as an iconic figure descends. Red cape billowing, the emblematic 'S' on his chest is unmistakable even in the dim light. Superman. Elektra's lips quirk upward in a bemused smirk behind her mask. She didn't expect to see the Man of Steel in a place as gloomy as Gotham. While he might be a beacon of hope in his own city, in Gotham, his bright colors and upright posture are stark contrasts to the brooding figures she's more accustomed to.

Elektra's breathing was very nearly silent, and she lacked anything like a heartbeat that could be heard even by the most sensitive ears. The former leader of The Hand, the very embodiment of death, could be patient for as long as was required until she was certain it was her moment to act.
Sinister has posed:
The action is observed with a keen interest, by Doctor Essex. He untucks his hands from the small of his back to check his smartwatch, observing holo images that project from its surface for a moment. Then, with some ceremony and a smoothing of his coat-tails he sits down in mid air, as if settling on a high-backed invisible throne. Legs cross and he rests his hands in his lap, watching batman race forth, the explosion of the ablative batarang with a keen narrowing of eyes. "Protean in nature," he murmurs, lips thinning as Tommy is sucked into the mass of living clay. "Well, that isn't going to work. Human beings have a distinct need for oxygen..." those eyes flare red, just as above the lasers of Superman's eyebeams shoot down, because timing -is- everything.

And inside Clayface, the suffocating snitch gets at least a little reprieve in the form of a pinkish crimson bubble surrounding him.

His watch is checked again, a small smile is given and from his coat pocket, a small pair of opera-glass style binoculars are produced and held to his gaze. From another pocket, a humbug is selected and popped into his mouth.
Batman has posed:
While Clayface was clearly ready to cope with the Dark Knight, it is doubtfully that he anticipated being the focus of quite so much attention. Under other circumstances, his gambit with Tommy Costa would likely be a good one -- it is no easy thing to make the mud man surrender anything he doesn't want to, that terrible and unique physiology a hurdle for just about anyone to overcome.

Though each do seem to have their own way to do so.

Clayface starts towards the approaching Bat when his torso bulges ever so slightly, a ripple going through that maleable form as he stops suddenly, al ook of confusion forming on his features. "What the --" he starts to say, new arms popping out of the clay to run down his body to try and figure out just why he can no longer feel the hapless Tommy Costa inside of him.

In all that confusion it is no wonder that he never even notices the shot that Red-Hood takes, the projectile sinking into that soft clay with a little *splat*, the tracking dye starting to spread.

Of course there is that grand entrance as well. Dropping from the heavens with that cape billowing around him, the gathering winds of the approaching storm only making the whole thing that much more impressive, those beams of heat pierce down into Clayface -- and rather quickly that maleable form isn't quite so maleable, beginning to harden, beginning to set. His motions get sluggish and even when those brilliant red beams cease, Clayface continues to slow until he remains frozen in place, no longer a rippling mass of moving mud, but looking more like a pottery statue.

That's one way to deal with him.

While Clayface might have ceased moving, the Dark Knight never ceases his headlong dash, running straight toward the frozen monster. He doesn't even hesitate, rearing back, smashing a gauntleted fist directly into the torso of his old adversary and easily knocking a hole in that hardened shell, peeling away some of those clay layers -- to reveal the untouched form of Tommy Costa beneath, apparently sealed away.

Eyes widen ever so slightly and shoots a look up towards the Man of Steel -- who he has most definitely not thanked -- finally giving him a nod of acknowledgement. "Timely arrival," he notes quietly.

It's not a thank you, but it's probably about as much as Clark is likely to get from him. "Seems we might have another problem though," he comments, peering into the darkness around them.

And in that darkness, eyes are no doubt watching them -- to their own, inscrutable ends...
Red Hood has posed:
And of course Batman's BFF had to show up. Talk about boy scout. Laser beams and all. It was going to be next to impossible to get in and question with two of the so-called Big Three from the League here. He half figures Wonder Woman will show up next. Maybe she'd tie these two up and keep them out of the way if Red Hood explained things to her nicely, he muses darkly. But then what would the media say about that? Some headlines write themselves.

Looking through the rifle scope he watches the two heroes talk. All while Tommy is still mostly trapped inside the form of Clayface. Now he has to wonder when they'll let the guy go. For the moment, however, he watches from some distance. He couldn't get away from Superman anyway. So maybe there will be a chance to question Tommy yet.
Superman has posed:
Superman doesn't really notice Elektra. Sky blue eyes do note her, the position and how she moves. In his mind, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Or she is an ally to people out here that Superman trusts. Either way, Elektra is trusted for now.

Red Hood fires off a few rounds and doesn't acknowledge Superman. It's nothng he doesn't expect. Also, it's not like people can socialize at the moment.

Doctor Essex is noted as Superman floats down. They've met before. So, Superman takes it as a bad sign. Nathan has an eye for trouble. Knows when to rally the troops and when people are needed. If Nathan is here, then people are needed

"It's about time the shoe was on the other foot," ususally Batman has the perfect timing. It's nice to see someone -else- can have Batman's sense of timing. "How many?" Superman asks thinking Batman already has some kind of headcount. "If we get out of this, we need to talk to Diana. The three of us," Superman thinks they will get out of this. Something surprising could linger around here.
Elektra has posed:
Ensconced within the darkness, Elektra observes the rapid turn of events with a calculating eye. Her original mission -- to find evidence of the lost heart of shadows -- was momentarily sidelined as the world around her descended into chaos. Clayface's antics had already interrupted her quest, but the sudden appearance of Superman? That was a variable she hadn't anticipated.

Clayface's form, previously malleable and slippery, begins to solidify under the assault of Superman's heat vision. Fascinating. His strength and agility might be unparalleled, but to see the Man of Steel employ a tactical approach speaks to his intelligence.

Batman's straightforward approach is unsurprising to her. No words, just action. His fist shatters the hardened clay, revealing the poor, trapped gangster within. She has to admit, she's impressed. Batman's relentless determination is admirable, even if their methods differ.

The silent exchange between Batman and Superman is evident even from her distance. Their relationship, complex and layered, was always a topic of intrigue in the superhero community. Batman's acknowledgement, subtle as it was, spoke volumes.

But the night is far from over, and Elektra senses it too. Batman's words confirm her suspicions; there are others lurking in the shadows. As adept as she is at blending into the dark, there are those even more skilled. A chill runs down her spine as she realizes her mission might be far more complicated than she originally thought.
Sinister has posed:
Tommy's encased self shakes left, shakes right, jerks about in the bubble he's encased in until bits of clay are shaken free and the man, in the bubble, is set to the ground. Only then does the forcefield dissipate with a shimmer.

Sinister hand, which had gestured left and right in a vigorous little back and forth, settles on his lap again.

The spectacles watch Superman for a long, long moment, then home in one by one on the other player's in the field. The humbug travels from one cheek to the other. The watch finishes whatever algorhythm it was doing and blips a single blue light in the corner. It's enough to have him standing tall again and walking on the air down to the ground, floating silently off toward one of the crypts, silent and peripheral to the heros of the peace. He was never there, never helped at all. And don't look over here Man of Steel. Just keep not seeing me.
Batman has posed:
In time Clayface will soften, will return to his more malleable state and no doubt be a nightmare to deal with once more. But for the moment he is well and truly taken care. With luck there will be time to gather up the pieces and haul him off to Arkham before that happens.

But the respite from the storm finally breaks and there is an audible crack as the sky briefly fills with ripples of light, the clouds above outlined as that lightning races through it. And then, in true Gotham fashion, the heavens open up and unload their deluge, rain pouring down in thick, obscuring waves.

Welcome to Gotham. Hopefully you brought a towel.

That might make transporting Clayface a little trickier, though as the seemingly encased Tommy Costa begins to shake free of his confinement, little chunks of Clayface scattered to the wind, landing in dispersed piles, the Dark Knight's eyes narrow, sweeping over the nearby graveyard even as he moves forward, that long, shroud-like cape at least offering some cover to the hardened clay, preserving it's fired state at least a little longer.

His gaze seeks through the dark night, landing on the mausoleum where Red Hood perches, perhaps lingering a moment there. They even filters over Elketra, watching from those encompassing shadows but Essix, at least, seems to escape his notice entirely and he instead turns his attention back to the caped man standing with him.

"More than two," Bruce says quietly, motioning ever so slightly with his head. "One's Red Hood. Unless a lot has changed while I've been out of town this wasn't him. The other's a woman. Dangerous," he adds lowly. That much is apparent. "But also not responsible for this I think. As for any others..." he lets his words trail off with a shrug.

It isn't easy to go unnoticed by the Dark Knight. Especially not in his own stomping grounds. But that seems to be the case here.

The mention of the need to talk draws a steady stare from Batman though he finally tips his head ever so slightly. "Fine. As sooon as we can arrange," he says. Whatever else, SUperman wouldn't ask if it wasn't important and while he desperately wants to restore a certain semblance of order to his city, he does have other responsibilities.

With that apparently decided, he looms over the figure of Tommy Costa who sputters on the increasingly wet ground, trying to scuttle away. "Going somewhere Tommy?" he asks, his voice dropping, becoming more menacing. "I think not. Not until we have a little discussion about what you know. Everything you know."

The evening might have taken a detour, but it looks like the Dark Knight will get what he wanted in the end.
Superman has posed:
Superman listens to the words that come from Batman. A look goes to Elektra and he gives her an assessment. "She reminds me of a friend of yours," that may be a compliment. It may be a downgrade, if Elektra knows -which- friend he's referring to. A look goes off toward Red Hood's direction. "He hasn't opened fired on us. Always a good sign," Superman admits.

A nod is tossed to Nathaniel Essex. "I worked with him in New York," thinking on it. "Take it like meeting Swamp Thing. Not necessarily a threat, probably an ally, and it's usually a bad situation when they say help is needed." Superman just tries his best to quickly explain his thoughts on Nathaniel. Their run in was pleasant and it was necessary. So, not an enemy, but they didn't exactly socialize after.

A nod comes from Superman about when they can get together. "It's overdue," he says firmly on that one. Not blaming anyone, just saying it's been too long.
Red Hood has posed:
It was time to to move. It was a risk, but Red Hood needed information and this was the closest, best chance, to get his hands on Tommy. If he somehow gets let go, the little snitch is going to rabbit and go to ground. It'll be far more difficult to find him again. And time wasted is a matter of life or death right now.

"Car." It's all he says into his mask's mic. Not far away, the '67 GTO rumbles to life and begins driving - through the cemetary fence, but plotting a course that avoids standing headstones and monuments. It isn't an uncivilized car after all. Batman should be so proud.

Firing off three shots, Red Hood reveals that he too has contingency plans for his contingency plans. Two smoke bombs and a magnesium flare erupt near Clayface, Batman and Superman. The smoke bombs erupt with a cloud of slowly fluttering lead-coated chaffe. Between the flare and the chaffe, he intends to slow the Leaguers down. It obviously won't stop them. But distract?

That's the plan.

And then he is in motion. Firing a grapple, he launches into the air just after firing the distractions. His timing should have him landing near Tommy just as his car arrives beside both of them.

It's a great plan. In his head anyway.
Elektra has posed:
The heavens broke, spilling rain over the concrete slabs and withered grass of the Gotham graveyard. Elektra stood hidden in the shadows, watching as the rain further softened the already muddied ground. The downpour was just another element, another piece on the board of this unexpected game she found herself in.

Rain in New York was one thing, but here, it felt different, more oppressive. But it had its advantages. The rain veiled movements and muffled sounds, creating a symphony of pattering droplets that could easily cloak a silent assassin's steps.

She saw the exchange between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. Their interaction was palpable, each move loaded with unsaid history and understanding. She couldn't hear what they were saying through the downpour, but suddenly Superman's eyes are directly on her, picking her out of the darkness and the pouring rain as if she'd been standing in an open field in the middle of the day. It was absolutely unnerving.

There may have been some benefit to the two men knowing who she was. There may even have been some benefit in them knowing why she was there. But not now. Not in the middle of a rain storm with Clayface surely on his way to reconstituting as soon as whatever passed as his skin softened enough. Not in the middle of their interrogation. This was not the time.

If she needed them, she knew how to find them.

Both of them.

And so, without further ado, Elektra simply stood up from her hiding place, turned her back to the gathering, and walked towards the section of fence she'd originally scaled. She was in no hurry. She made no move to run or hide from them, but she was done for tonight. She might not have found what she'd come for, but she was still leaving with information she hadn't had when she arrived.
Sinister has posed:

The kryptonian's eyesight and hearing is far too good. "I'm not here, you know. I never -was- here. I have a reputation to uphold as a nefarious, ne'er do well type and you're not helping that credibility any..." It's said quietly enough, but Superman's hearing is what it is. He turns slightly from his path toward the crypts, observes the car with a frown at the damage to the cemetary gates. "This is not my business. It is -not- my business..." -- and then there's that.

It is very hard to keep track of a shielded telepath with the ability to fade to the foreground, or the background. He isn't gone, he has business to attend and now that Tommy is nominally safe and sound, if about to be copiously questioned, Sinister has crypts to investigate. He's hunting for something and absolutely nobody here wants to find out what.

That would lead to all kinds of problems that nobody likely wants at this precise moment in time.
Batman has posed:
When Superman manages to identify the third party out there, the one likely responsible for the fact that Tommy Costa is in such good shape, so ready to talk, the Dark Knight's eyes narrow ever so slightly and he follows the other man's gaze in the direction of Nathaniel Essex.

Something to look into, perhaps. But another time. He has other matters to address this evening.

"Perhaps," Bruce agrees, not conceeding anything of course. But he has agreed, he will make the time. He owes the both of them that much and he is past the days of pretending that Gotham can somehow be an island onto itself, detatched and uninvolved with the rest of the world.

With the matter apparently settled, the Man of Steel is off, back into the night sky and away from the gloom of Gotham no doubt. And he is not the only one it would seem, the presences of Essex and Electra melting away as well.

But not Red Hood. He clearly still has a play to make.

Is it a surprise when it comes? Anything's possible, though it is difficult indeed to take the Dark Knight but surprise. When the smoke bombs suddenly burst around him, when the flare reflects off that discharge the Dark Knight hardly panics, stooping low for a moment, grasping at Tommy Costa for a moment, long enough to slip a tracking and listening device on him.

Then it is perhaps curiousity more then anything that stays his hand. Conflict between himself and Jason seems all but inevitable. But it can at least be put off for a time. Time enough to perhaps find a different way forward. A better way.

So when that car comes roaring up, seeking to snatch the mob informant away, Batman doesn't move to intervene, letting the panicked man be grabbed and squirreled away.

Whether he follows close on the heels of that car, or gets what he needs from the listening device, he will be no further behind then if he escalates the situation. That seems to be enough for Gotham's Dark Knight. This night at least.