THE BATMAN - "A Wing & A Slayer : Part 1"

by Stephen R. Sobotka Jr. / 2005

DISCLAIMER : The Batman is the creation of Bill Kane / D.C. Comics; all characters of this story -- with the exception of the original ones I created -- are the property of said licenses, and WB Television Animation, and are used here without knowledge or permission of same.

This story is an original prose based on situations and themes from the original "The Batman" animated series. This story is the rightful property of the author; all original characters and the plot depicted within are protected by copyright law.

This story was produced to entertain fans of the original show, and is in no way, shape or form intended to be published for monetary gain. Please do not sue.

AUTHOR'S NOTES : I was really disappointed with the way they dealt with Yin at the end of Season 2... I mean, come on! She could have been a great new Batwoman, or better! So, this little story developed... hope everyone likes it! Comments are most welcome, so please DO comment! - SRS Jr


Gotham P. D. HQ, Office of Police Chief Rojas, Late Afternoon...

The wood and glass door banged open, allowing the slim, young woman with Asian features to enter the boxy office. "Rojas!" Detective Ellen Yin snapped.

The noise and her outburst startled both the portly Chief Angel Rojas -- who dropped his cup of hot coffee -- and Commissioner James Gordon. "Blast it, Yin!" Rojas growled, his pudgy, mustached face shaking with irritation as he bent down to drop some loose napkins onto the spill. "What's the big idea?"

Gordon turned and gave her an arched look. "Is there a reason why you're charging in here like a mad rhino, Detective Yin?"

"Something that I've got to... talk with Chief Rojas about," Yin said coolly.

Looking back up, Rojas glared at her as he regained his seat. "What in the world do we have to-?" His words dropped off, as he spied something in Yin's hands. "Just what are you doing, Yin?"

Yin didn't answer as her hand shot forward and slapped a folder -- containing several loose papers -- down hard onto Rojas' desk. "I'm voicing a formal complaint. These are my papers," Ellen Yin said tersely. "I'm getting tired of being shifted to menial duties... paperwork, crowd control and worse! I'm a detective, not some beat-cop, fresh out of the academy!"

"So, is that all?" Giving Yin a hard look, Chief Rojas said, "Well, I'm sorry you feel about that, Yin, but my hands are tied. We've got a shortage of cops after that last fiasco with Joker put thirty good men in the hospital!" He flicked his gaze towards the stoic figure of Commissioner Gordon, then added with a grin, "Besides... I'd have thought you'd welcome a slight change of pace."

"A 'change' that keeps me from doing my job, isn't something I agreed to take," Yin shot back.

Rojas scowled at her. "Your job, Detective, is to follow my orders! You work for me, Commissioner Gordon and the city of Gotham... or have your past 'associations' made you forget that little fact?"

Yin felt her cheeks go hot, as she glared at Rojas. "I never forget the oath I swore, when I became a cop!"

Rojas rose and planted both fists on the flat surface of his desk. "Yet, you knowingly worked with that winged vigilante, behind my back! I swear, Yin, if I didn't need every pair of legs on the streets, I'd have you-!"

"Rojas!" Gordon said, his eyes flashing as he rounded on the fat man. "That's enough!"

With a growl, Rojas dropped slowly back into his seat.

"Detective, it's a sorry state of affairs," Gordon said at length, after he was certain Rojas had been cowed. Brushing his hand back through his short, red hair, he added, "The truth of it... it's just as Chief Rojas said. We're sorely short on manpower, and until we get replacements to fill the gaps, all of our officers and detectives will have to make do with doing tasks they might not like."

"Sir, I can understand that, in the short run," Yin said to Gordon, "but, for nearly weeks on end, on nearly every assignment and crime scene?"

"Detective, I'm sorry," Gordon said with a frown. "Rojas is still your superior in charge, and... it's up to him to set who takes command of a crime scene, and to dole out tasks to get the job done."

Yin said sharply. "Even though I'm the ranking detective on the spot-."

"That can be arranged differently, Detective," Rojas barked.

"Oh, you'd like that, and you know it-!

"Detective, do I have to remind you...?" Gordon let his words drift off.

""But, he's doing so out of a personal bias! Just because I helped the Batman in the past-!"

"You make a strong accusation, Detective. Do you have any proof contrawise to this situation?"

Yin stared at both men mutely, then she ducked her head as she replied, "No... I don't."

"I'd suggest you rethink your position and feelings on this overall," Gordon prompted. "The last thing we need now is bad blood between one of our best detectives and Chief of Police."

Rojas smirked softly. "After all, Yin," he said archly. "Think of how the papers would roast you alive, for openly challenging your peers." Shaking his head, Rojas added with an undertone, "It won't be pretty. You could lose your badge!"

Yin's head snapped up; eyes filled with fury. "You'd love that, wouldn't you?" she said bitterly.

"Detective, don't make me warn you, again!" Gordon snapped. "As it stands, you could be on thin ice at this moment!"

Yin seemed to fall back, yet she still had a dark look on her face.

In a less harsh tone, Gordon said, "The best thing for you to do is to think of what's best for Gotham. Like Chief Rojas said, we don't need bad blood in the department."

Yin slowly lifted her head, gazing first at Gordon, then at Rojas -- who had a smug, triumphant look on his kisser -- before she sighed deeply. "I've been thinking about it, Commissioner..." She reached into her red jacket, and pulled out her service piece, and before the shocked look on both Gordon's and Rojas' face was fully formed she tossed it onto the desk with a clatter. "I think what's best for the department... for Gotham," she said; fishing out her badge and flipping it towards Gordon, who caught it neatly.

"What's best for us all, is for me not to be here." With that, she turned around and exited the office.

A short time later, Yin walked down the steps of the G.P.D. building and headed for the sidewalk; a black duffel bag slung over her shoulder, and another box tucked under one arm that contained what personal items she salvaged from her office. She'd been forced to deal with walking out during the middle of a shift -- with all her fellow officers looking at her -- as she made her way across the squad bay, but she bore it with quiet dignity. Now, outside and out of range of their stares, she sighed and shook her head.

Now, reaching the curb where her car sat, Yin quickly stuffed her duffel and the box into the trunk, before making her way to the driver-side door. Pausing there, she glanced back at the tall, brownstone building beside her... looking up to where her former office, and her former job, now sat as an empty office.

"Well, you've made your bed now, Yin," she muttered to herself. Opening the door, she ducked inside and slid behind the steering wheel before fumbling for her keys. She cranked the wheel around as she started the car, shifting into reverse as she backed it out of the parking space. Leaning back to look out into traffic, she pulled the nose of the car into the fast-moving lane and gunned the engine, pulling away from the station in a gloomy cloud of exhaust...

Ellen Yin's Apartment, Old Brownstone in East Gotham, Later...

The rattle of her key's echoing in the darkened apartment as she tossed them onto a nearby table, Yin sighed as she dropped her duffel and box on the floor. She slipped off her red jacket, draping it over the back of her couch as she walked slowly towards the tiny kitchen just beyond the living room.

Flipping on the light, she opened the door to the refrigerator and stooped over to grab a cold drink can, then rising, she leaned back against the door to close it. "Blah," she muttered, peering at the aluminum can. "I've got to get a better brand of soda."

Nevertheless, she pulled the tab open and raised the can to her lips, tipping it back to take a swallow of the fizzy liquid. Grimacing, she shoved back against the 'fridge door and stalked back towards the living room, her eyes going to the winking, blinking light on her answering machine, laying idle next to her phone.

"Swell, wonder who's heard the bad news first?" she asked herself, walking past the compact machine and idly dropping one hand down to thumb the replay-key, before she dropped herself down onto the couch in a sprawl.

There was a brief pause, then the machine's tinny voice chirped, "you have... two, new, messages."

A soft beep followed, then the voice of Commissioner Gordon issued from the machine's speaker: "Detective Yin... this is Commissioner Gordon. I can understand your motivation for your resignation from the force... yet, I'm asking you to reconsider. Gotham P.D. has so few 'good' detectives, and, I'd hate to see your career cut so short because of... internal politics. If you change your mind, please contact my office. You have my number."

"Thanks for the voice of support, sir," Yin muttered, taking another drink as she tried to ignore the machine as it cycled towards the next message. I'll bet it's Rojas! she thought sourly. It would be par for the course, if Gordon made that slob of a-!

"Detective," a low, baritone voice growled.

Yin sat upright with a start; her eyes going wide with shock. "Batman!" she hissed, turning to stare at the answering machine in surprise.

"I heard from a reliable source that you voluntarily quit the force," the voice of the Dark Knight said pointedly. "As much as I'd like to say you'd be better off sticking it without them, I understand how much being a police officer meant to you.

"I've called because, I've got a proposition for you."

Yin arched her eyebrows. "A proposition?"

"If you're interested, I'll be in your neck of the woods around 8-o'clock. Be on your rooftop." With that, there was a click as the line went dead.

Staring at the answering machine for several moments, Yin shook herself and blinked. "What... what in the world does Batman think he has to offer me?" she asked herself. Getting to her feet, she frowned as she mulled the thought over. "I mean... Can I trust him? Oh, knock that off!" She shook herself mentally. "He's been pretty much a man of his word, looking after me since Nathan-." She cut herself off as she looked towards the digital clock that sat on top of her small T.V. set.

"It's nearly six... well, I never was one to let a question go unanswered," she said, crossing her arms as she frowned deeply...

Glancing down at her watch -- which read five minutes to eight -- Yin sighed and jammed her hands back into the pockets of her jacket. "Quit worrying," she muttered. "He's punctual, if nothing else!"

Standing next to the edge of the roof of her apartment building, Yin turned this way and that, scanning the adjacent rooftops of the buildings around her. The night had quickly descended on Gotham; throwing dark shadows around the dots of light, forming a glittering backdrop against the cloudless sky above.

Shivering a bit against a breeze, Yin frowned and turned away from the vista. "Okay, Batman... wherever you are, I sure hope you're not playing games with me. Not at this late stage in the-."

"That's Joker's MO... not mine."

Whipping around, Yin gasped as one of the shadows over a rooftop vent slipped away to stand in a patch of light; forming the familiar sight of the cowl-and-caped crusader. "Don't you ever get tired of doing that?" Yin snapped.

Stepping closer, Batman said, "I'd think you'd be used to my... habits, by now, Detective."

Letting go of her brief spate of anger, Yin sighed and muttered, "It's just 'Ellen' now... I don't carry a badge anymore."

"So I heard," Batman said pointedly. "I assume Rojas has been leaning on you, over the past weeks."

"Every chance he had," Yin said bitterly, before she looked at Batman and shrugged with an apology in her eyes. "I know you're not to blame-."

"If it hadn't been for my getting you involved in helping me," Batman stated, cutting her off. "Rojas wouldn't have had a reason to make your life miserable."

"You don't have to rub it in, you know!"

"I'm not." Batman peered at her, like a hawk regarding a small prey animal.

"Well... what did you want to propose to me?" Yin asked at length, slightly unnerved by his staring.

"A chance to keep fighting crime," Batman said simply.

"What?" Yin gaped at him, unsure if he was serious or not. "Just what are you saying? I become a vigilante... like you?"

"Not exactly like me... face it, Ellen," Batman said, moving forward to stand next to her, "with criminals like Joker and Riddler making life for the average Gothamite risky at best, the G.P.D. isn't going to be able to handle every situation that comes around... not where those nut bags are concerned!"

"You're right about that," Yin said in agreement.

Batman nodded slightly. "Despite what Gordon says about what I do, I... I can't do this alone, either." He looked at her, his masked face pinched with worry. "I'm good... but, as situations proved in the past, I've benefited from your help." He cocked his head. "We make... a pretty good team."

Yin blinked in surprise -- both at his admission, and his praise -- before she said, "Yeah... we have done okay, so far."

Batman nodded. "The main thing that needs to be answered though... is wether I can trust you, if we're going to work on a more 'personal' level?"

That took Yin back a bit. "Trust me?" She squared her shoulders and shot back, "I thought I proved myself long ago? Back when Clayface had you dead-to-rights!" She jabbed a finger at his broad chest accusingly. "I could have turned you in or exposed you then, but I didn't!"

Holding up his hands, Batman back-pedaled and said, "Okay, okay... you made your point," he said archly, though his mouth was twisted into a slight smile. "I guess I shouldn't question your loyalty or integrity... it's..."

"What? It's what?" Yin asked.

With a sigh, Batman replied, "It's just the fact that... what I have to ask you to do will be beyond anything I've asked you to do before."

Yin waited expectantly. "What do you want me to do?" She blinked when Batman extended one hand; a folded piece of paper pinched between two fingers.

"Take this." he offered.

Accepting the paper, Yin arched one eyebrow. "What is this... you're acting like the Riddler now!"

"Humor me, Ellen... and trust me. You go where that tells you to go," he said as he stepped back from her, "and everything will be made clear."

Shaking her head, Yin looked down as she unfolded the paper. Reading the written script, her eyes went wide once more as she gasped. "Are you serious? You... you want me to go-?" Her question was cut short, as she looked up to see that the Dark Knight had disappeared. Giving a disgusted snort, she turned around quickly, but there was no sign of his departure; just the dark of the night surrounding her building.

"Great," she muttered. "Why am I not surprised?" Blowing out her cheeks in frustration, she looked back down at the paper in her hand and scowled. For a moment, she nearly crumpled the paper into a wad... instead, she folded it back up and sighed. "Well, he hasn't led me astray so far... technically." Stuffing it into her jacket pocket, she stepped away from the edge and headed for the roof's exit.

Wayne's Private Manor-house, Outside Gotham City, The Following Day...

Stepping out of her car, Yin looked up at the large, very well-kept building before her. Taking all of the immaculate greenery decorating the classic brown-brick construction, and stately, wide glass windows facing the circular drive, she had to allow herself a private smirk. "Still have to admit it, Bruce does have some impressive digs," she said, closing her car's door as she turned to walk up the wide, marble steps leading to the front doors.

Dressed in her usual red jacket and jeans, she wasn't sure what to expect from this... 'visit'? Just why am I here? she asked herself. Batman said I could continue to fight crime, but... how do I do that here?

She came to a stop in front of the wide doors, taking a moment to look for the doorbell. "Well, whatever opportunity is here, I guess I'll know soon enough." She pulled her hand from her pocket, reaching out to press the doorbell...

The door swung back, and a tall, middle-aged gentleman in a dapper outfit emerged to take a step onto the doormat. "Oh!" he said, pausing as he glanced at her. "Detective Yin?"

"Hello... Alfred?" Yin said, recovering from her brief surprise at having the door opened suddenly. "It's just Ellen, now. I'm no longer with Gotham P.D. anymore."

Alfred Pennyworth nodded. "Ah. I am so sorry to hear that, Miss," he said. "You were one of Gotham's best protectors." He then cleared his throat and stepped aside. "Oh, where are my manners? Please, do come in," he offered, motioning for Yin to enter.

"Thanks," she replied, stepping past him with a nod. Inside, the foyer beyond the doorway was nothing short of elegant: marble and rich wood flooring from wall to wall, with accents that probably cost more that double the amount -- perhaps even quadruple -- her apartment was worth.

Closing the door behind them, Alfred stepped back and stared at Yin expectantly. "You'll have to forgive me, Miss, but... Master Bruce was told to expect you, I presume?"

"Ah, yes," Yin said with a meek chuckle. "I was told to come here, actually... by, a... mutual 'friend'?" She removed the paper from her other pocket and held it out to the man.

Alfred plucked the paper from her fingers and opened it, glancing briefly before he said, "Ah, yes... well, then. Let me show you to the living room. Master Bruce is... somewhat tied up at the moment, but I shall summon him to meet you." Putting the paper neatly into the pocket of his black jacket, Alfred motioned for Yin to follow him.

Together, the two walked out of the foyer and into one of the larger rooms of the mansion; not one for sheer decoration, this room was comfortably decorated in elegant-yet-personable furniture and flooring. Walls paneled in rich, dark wood had several old-style portraits hung on them; the largest of which was placed above a large stone fireplace.

Alfred nodded towards one of the couches. "Please, do make yourself at home, Miss Yin. I shall return with Master Bruce, shortly," he offered, before he gave her a short bow and briskly stepped out of the room.

With a sigh, Yin removed her jacket and draped it over the arm of a nearby chair. "Wonder what someone like Bruce Wayne could be doing that counts as being 'tied-up'?" she mused, plopping herself down on the nearest end of the couch. Looking up, she sighed and waited, idly leaning back with her head resting against the top of the couch. "Wonder also what Bruce has to do with Batman and this whole ball of wax?"

The sound of footsteps made Yin look up, seeing the rugged, tall figure of Gotham's premier millionaire-bachelor appeared in the frame of the doorway. He was dressed rather domestically: sneakers, a pair of gray sweat pants with a black tank-shirt and a long towel draped over his shoulders.

"Detective! Oh, excuse me," Bruce Wayne said with an apologetic smile. "Miss Yin... I didn't mean-."

Shaking her head, Yin said with a shrug, "No need to be sorry, Bruce. It's just something I'll have to get used to... well, not being a cop, that is."

"Ah, I see," Bruce replied, taking one end of his towel to mop it over his black locks. "Yeah, I guess the change will take some getting used to." He gave her a searching look; his dark-yet-boyish looking face slightly pinched. "Are you okay?"

"Well, considering I lost my job, due to the biggest jerk on the Gotham P.D. task force," Yin stated with a sigh, "I haven't gone 'postal' yet." She looked at him with an apology of her own in on her face. "Sorry, I'd hate to sound bitter about it."

"Hey, not to worry... I'd probably feel the same, were I in your shoes." He let the towel drop back to his shoulder, and said at length, "Alfred just got me from an deep workout, telling me you were here, so forgive me for not changing." He paused and arched one eyebrow. "I... presume you got the message our 'friend' was to deliver?"

Rising, Yin nodded. "Yeah... I did. He told me to come here." She shot Bruce a frank look. "To be honest, I can't see how I can fight criminals here. Unless you've had a burglar visit recently, hm?"

With a chuckle, Bruce stepped further into the room, walking towards the decorative table near the couch. "Well... Alfred did complain about some rodent trouble in the pantry..."

At that, Yin had to laugh as well. "Bruce!"

"Okay, okay, that was bad of me," he said with good humor. "Truth is, I actually do have a way for you to continue serving as a law enforcer, Miss Yin."

"Well, are you going to tell me, or just stand there sweating all over your Chippendale?" she quipped.

With a smirk, Bruce snapped the towel off his shoulders and said pointedly, "I want you to come work for me."

That caught Yin off-guard. "Excuse me?"

"Wayne Industries is expanding its operations, and because of that, we need to also expand our staff," Bruce explained. "We need top-notch individuals to come in and help us run things in all sectors of our business: development, research, shipping... even security." He gave her a searching look. "I think you'd be perfect for my security team, don't you-?"

"Woah, wait!" Yin said, breaking in with a shocked tone. "You want me to work for you, as some security hound?"

"Actually, you'd be the top security hound. My Chief Security Liasion; a corporate officer position," Bruce stated simply. "You'll work with our security group directly, help coordinate keeping things running smoothly and, ultimately, report back to me and advise me on what steps to take to keep out the... unsavory elements. At times, you'd also act as head of my personal team of bodyguards."

Yin crossed her arms and frowned. "That sounds like fun... but, what makes you think I'm the girl for the job?"

Bruce just gave her an enigmatic smile. "Call it 'word of mouth', Ellen. A mutual friend of ours gives you a... high recommendation."

At that Yin blinked, then lifted the corners of her mouth a bit. "Well, it's nice to know he thinks so highly of me."

Bruce nodded. "Will you consider my offer, then?"

"How much time do I have to think?"

"How much time do you need?"

Yin gave Bruce a pointed look. "Are you telling me this is a limited-time offer?"

Shaking his head, Bruce replied, "No, not really... but, I shouldn't wonder if Gordon or Mayor Grange isn't trying to scramble to get you back into their good graces again?" He took her silence as an admission of proof. "Ellen, ultimately, you have to decide what's best for you. Whether you return to Gotham P.D., come to work for me or go anywhere else... it's your choice." He held one hand up towards her, as if he would offer something better. "All I care about, is that you make the choice that's best for you."

Yin blinked, then nodded slowly. "Thanks, Bruce. I appreciate that. I really do." She turned away and crossed her arms again, dropping her chin to her chest as she stood there in deep thought.

Bruce watched her for several moments, before he broke the silence covering the room with a light cough. "Ellen?"

Lifting her head, Yin asked softly, "Tell me one thing, Mr. Wayne..."

"Anything," he replied.

Turning to face him, she asked, "Can you be a better boss, than Rojas?" As the last word left her lips, they curved upwards in a positive grin.

The Grand Foyer, WaynTech Towers, Gotham City, Three-Days Later...

"If I had known this was going to be part of the deal, I swear-!"

"Ah, ah, manners, Miss Yin," Alfred said, standing just behind her as he made a few, quick swipes to clear some lint off of the shoulders of her dress jacket. Standing to the side of the raised podium in the center of the wide foyer, Ellen Yin looked somewhat uncomfortable in the dark business suit she wore. "We don't want the other members of the staff to think you're a crude barbarian," he added with a touch of dry humor.

Tugging at the collar of her blouse, she muttered under her breath, "Sorry, I just... don't do well in this type of blue suit." Glancing to her left, she watched while one of the Wayne Industries executives spoke to a gathered group of local press and company staff.Nearby, Bruce Wayne stood with a smile, listening as the executive went on and on about 'a new era for the company'.

"Considering the 'other' type of blue-suit you were used to wearing, I shouldn't worry about staying in this one for much longer," Alfred said, seeing the look on her face. "Most of the Security people work in more or less... business casual, than the usual soup-and-fish."

Yin looked over her shoulder at Bruce's butler, and couldn't stop the smile that spread over her face. "Thanks for the inside info, Alfred."

Nodding, he canted his head in a pointed look towards the podium. "Just making sure your prepared... just as you should be now," he said, "since I think Master Bruce is about to introduce you to the company, I believe."

At that point, Bruce had approached the podium and started speaking. "Ladies and Gentlemen..."

Yin looked somewhat unnerved, but she quickly got herself back under control. "Well, there's no turning back now, is there?"

"You're not getting cold feet now, are you, Miss?" Alfred asked, a touch of mild surprise in his voice.

Shaking her head, Yin said, "Not on your life. I just hope this job lives up to his expectations."

With a guarded smile, Alfred replied, "I believe that... he, will make certain you will do smashingly, Miss Yin." At that point, Bruce made his closing comment, before he motioned towards her and announced her name to the rising, polite applause from the assembled group. "Well, it's time... best not keep your peers waiting, now."

Taking a deep breath, Yin gave Alfred one last smile, before she composed herself and started walking towards the podium. With her flats clicking against the tiles, she briskly ascended the short steps and moved to take the offered handshake Bruce held out to her.

As the applause continued, Bruce leaned in and said with a chuckle, "Glad you decided to join us."

Yin said in an aside, "So long as you get me out of this outfit later, I'll be much happier."

Taking a moment to guide her to the podium, Bruce added with a grin, "What, and be denied a glance at your fantastic legs?" When she glanced at him in mild shock, he added with a wink, "Just keeping up appearances, Ellen. Now, go and meet the rest of the staff!"

Somewhere Abroad...

Amid the glare of a old, television screen, a pair of hands worked over a piece of machinery. Clicking components into place, the owner of the hands peered up from their work as the voice of the newscaster rose in pitch:

"...on the Home Front in Gotham Business world, corporate-mogul and millionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne welcomed the newest member of the latest expansion of his Wayne Industries empire, former Gotham Police officer Ellen Yin, who was hired this past week as Wayne's personal Security Liaison. The former Detective with Gotham's top anti-crime task force, Yin will be settling in to start a full shake-down of Wayne Industries's internal and external security teams and protocols."

Somewhere behind the worker, a voice spoke up. "Will you still be able to pull off the job? After all, Wayne's been getting pretty edgy, if he's decided to hire some outside help to beef up his-."

"It matters not." the owner of the grim-set eyes peered at the image on the television screen; flicking briefly down at the device they were working on.

"Look, it better matter to you," the other speaker snapped. "I'm paying through the nose for your services, and I want assurance on positive results!"

There was a loud snap, followed by a low hum as the owner of the eyes lifted the device to give it a critical once-over look. "Be assured, when you hire me... results are nothing short of, positive."

"I would still like to know what I'm paying for!"

The tinker snorted softly. "Where I am concerned, you are better off not knowing, until after the job is finished." With that, he started fiddling with the device again, before a change in the newscaster's voice prompted them to turn their eyes to the broadcast.

"In other security news, Arkham Asylum has been cracking down on its own security. Recent developments have forced the institution to beef up some of its special containment cells," the newscaster stated. "Word is that one particular inmate, Dr. Langstrom, is being transferred to a maximum security wing in an out-of-town facility, until construction of the newer, more secure holding cell to contain the 'Man-Bat' can be finished..."

The tinker's mouth spread into a thin-lipped grin. "Just have the payment prepared in three month's time. I will be in position to finish what we agreed on. Meanwhile, I must make preparations... for, I must make an 'appointment'."

"An 'appointment'?"

"To discuss a... condition, with a certain doctor. A specialist, as it were," the tinker growled softly, before reaching over to flip the switch on the T.V. set, casting the room into darkness...