Title: Underground

Author: Silver Queen

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Not all stories have happy endings. A story from Gotham's underground.

Disclaimer: I don't own the DC universe, nor the rights to any type of drug used in this story. MDT, as far as I'm aware, is not an actual drug. Apologies if it is.


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A few nights later the Chem-lab was all set up and in use. The Batcave Chem-lab was high quality, just like everything else. S.T.A.R. lab employees would have died to get their hands on some of its components.

The pills that Nightwing had dropped off had been tested, broken down and identified. Or partially identified.

"Computer," Batman ordered gruffly, "display all information on Miralco."

Processing

Miralco was the drug that Hourman, and subsequently his son, had used to gain their superpowers. The original drug had been safe to use, as it wore off after an hour, even though it had been a bit addictive.

This however, wasn't quite Miralco.

Displaying data

He scanned the files, discarding irrelevant information. It was laborious work but he continued steadily, noting names and interesting data.

"Computer, run search on all companies ordering these bulk ingredients." He paused a moment before listing off all the chemicals he had found in the pills.

Processing

Displaying data

At the top of the list is CarpCorp. While Batman hadn't actively suspected this it didn't come as a surprise. CarpCorp had only recently recovered from a scandal in which two of its scientists had been 'embezzling' the drugs they were creating.

"Computer. Run search on 'CarpCorp', cross referenced with 'Hourman', subsection 'Bannerman Chemicals'."

Processing

Displaying data

Had he been a man of words or loud expressions, Batman would have called 'Bingo' or 'Eureka' at the goldmine of information his computer had pulled up. He wasn't though, so he didn't.

However, it seemed that one of the scientists involved in the scandal had been creating something called, Miralco Dopamine Thiothixene, MDT for short.

It also seemed that the very same scientist had been working for Bannerman Chemicals along with Hourman, which explained how the Miralco recipe - or at least part of it – had come to be in his hands.

MDT had been designed as a cure-all, it appeared. Apparently, the scientists involved believed that by sending false chemical signals through the brain that they could send in into a sort of 'healing frenzy' which would even enable limbs to be regrown.

During the animal tests it had shown a remarkable 73 success rate but 58 of the animals had died.

The company had ruled that they should redesign the drug for a higher survival rate. The scientists on the other hand had been pushing to release the drug. When Dr. Dilworth had been fired it seemed that his friends inside had supplied him with enough MDT to test it on the street.

How they had managed to market it so well, on the other hand, meant that they weren't working alone.

Batman shut down the computer and began to suit up. It was going to be a long night.


.

Fear of being dropped from the top of a building, Batman had found, was a sure-fire method of getting someone to talk. Coupled with the fear ingrained into the criminal society about the Batclan, it made gaining information quite easy.

Usually.

"I can't say! He'll kill me!" the dealer squealed as he scrabbled at the hand holding him over the edge.

"Who?"

"No way! He knows! It's the drug, man, it makes him like a Meta, he'll know if I tell you anything!"

Which was disconcerting at the least. Batman didn't like metas and that extended to wannabe metas as well. Added to the fact that he knew what the drug could do was leaving him with a very bleak picture.

"Lemme go, man. Please!"

A few minutes later the dealer was zip-stripped and waiting for the police and Batman was on his way across town.


.

At night the entirety of Gotham was shady but there were parts of it that were worse than others. Places where the criminal element didn't just 'hang out' but owned.

That was where The Bull lived. He hadn't always lived there, before he had begun taking MDT he had lived in a tidy middle class apartment where you would expect to see a banker or accountant. Which had made sense, because that was what he had been.

When he had been young he had been hit by a car and been left with a broken back which meant he hadn't been able to walk again. MDT though, had not only given him back the use of his legs but had improved his weak and sickly body.

He stood at six foot three, now, and was thick with muscle. Along with his reddish skin, visible lack of neck, short stubbly hair and nose ring he did indeed look like a bull.

Which, to Rhys Matador, was irony in and of itself.

"So Dr. Dilworth." His voice was loud and harsh even when he was pretending to be genial. "When will the next batch be ready?"

"Tomorrow, sir," Dr Dilworth quavered. He was a thin reedy man and his intelligence had more to do with chemicals than street smarts, but he knew he was in trouble. He also knew he couldn't get out.

"Tomorrow. Hmmm." The Bull pasted a look of intrigue on his face. "That's exactly what you said yesterday."

"There was a … a problem, sir." Dilworth wrung his hands together. "With the transporting. Karl said…"

"I don't care what your puerile little scientist friends said!" Bull roared. The furniture in the room shook with the force of his anger. Another side effect of the drug. "You told me it would be here today!"

"I did. I did." Dilworth snivelled.

"Go," The Bull said after a minute and Dilworth scampered for the door. Before he reached Matador added, "oh, and Dilworth? It had better be here tomorrow."


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