According To Plan

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According To Plan
Date of Cutscene: 21 July 2019
Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
Synopsis: A hunted figure tries to sneak past pursuers
Cast of Characters: Talia al Ghul
Tinyplot: Hunted Demon

Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul, Afghanistan was extremely busy. Business travelers and tourists vied for space, all taking advantage of the weekend for travel. A pair of businessmen sitting together reviewing an upcoming presentation contended with a screaming child. The babe, part of a family of eight from three generations nearby. The wrinkled face of the family matriarch was doing her best to calm the child while the mother looked on, clearly wanting to take over the task but not daring.

Vendors offered a variety of food from local staples to Western franchises seemingly intent on colonizing. A skewer of roasted vegetables could be obtained next to the line for a Big Mac, and both were in high demand.

Arnin sat cross-legged on the floor, just another student with his phone plugged into the wall. But the program he was accessing was nothing one would find in the App Store. Arnin took another curly French fry out and dipped it in Arby's sauce before consuming it, savoring what for him was a rare treat.

His phone beeped softly, interfacing with Arnin's eyewear. The WayneTech Source glasses had already taken a market share lead over Google Glass, in part for looking like a stylish pair of glasses even when their display was active. That display now came alive, adding information to the real-life view of the airport around him.

A small pop up in the corner of Arnin's vision communicated, "Target DNA 98% match. Trace airborne contact." Arnin resisted the urge to look everywhere at once. With a calmness that came from practice, he checked his phone as if confirming the charge, and then scarfed down a last few fries. He licked Arby's sauce from his fingers, knowing the action would tend to cause mild disgust, just enough to cause people to turn away and disregard him.

Crossing the concourse, Arnin glanced at the destinations above the nearby gates amidst scanning the crowd for the source of the DNA match. His quarry could have merely been walking past, or could be waiting at one of the gates here. Taking a chance, Arnin wandered over to sit next to the entrance to a particular jetway, leaning back against the glass windows. Outside, a Worthington Aviation 718 Airbus was beginning to take on passengers.

Each traveler had their ticket checked and then their face scanned to confirm their identity. Arnin rested his head back against the window, trying to seem like he was idly watching the line of passengers. The eyes, they would be what gave the target away.

Only they didn't. The old wrinkled woman with the baby was already cleared and moving towards the ramp to the plane when his Source glasses rimmed her with a red outline. "DNA Match 99.99%." Arnin's training wasn't enough to suppress the smile that resulted as he used his phone to fire off a quick contact report.

Everything was going according to plan.


No one noticed the stooped and wrinkled old woman enter the plane's bathroom and the younger, more vivacious Eurasian woman depart it. Or more likely, her exiting appearance was noted, but not in the context of the startling transformation.

Talia al Ghul moved up into first class rather than back to sit with the family she had boarded with. It had been a decade and more since she'd had to try to stop a baby from crying. Though the memory did send her thoughts drifting towards her destination.

A comely flight attendant took her drink order and brought her a glass of wine. Talia reclined in her leather chair and looked out the window as the plane began to back away from the jetway. The captain's voice came over the intercom to say, "We will be taking off in a few minutes. With current weather conditions our touchdown in Gotham should be right around 9:15pm local time. Please sit back and enjoy the long flight." Talia took a sip of her wine and smiled.

Everything was going according to plan.