Just the name described the city it was given to. With its cold, desolate alleyways, crumbling buildings skirting the edge of the city, creating a maze of rubble and garbage before slowly transforming into a gothic version of New York, it was a black-doused beacon attracting dark Victorian-esque people and criminals. Painting an image in those minds that had never seen it, 'average' people normally avoided it. Most of the 'average-goers' of the city thought it might be exciting, or went by 'not judging things by their cover',and despite its dark appearance and myths, were there by choice. A good part of the population was born and raised in the crumbling cathedrals, and worked regular jobs. Then there were the ones that created the myths, like strange alien plants that ate men alive, or the giant walking crocodile that lived in Gotham's old pipelines; that there were mysterious and deranged murderers that slaughtered certain people, in a certain way on a certain date. They happened so often it became natural to see red on alley wall's, with police sirens on almost every other hour of the day.
Despite all the myths, murders, mayhem, crime lords and general dark nature of the city, Gotham continued to attract people from all over. A large part was because of Bruce Wayne, the well known bachelor billionaire with hundreds of charities under his belt, holding various balls and outings around Gotham to keep the spirit alive. The other part, the legend. Even the denizens of the city were unsure if it was an experiment gone wrong, a man in tights, an alien doing the city a favor for unknown reasons, or something completely different. But the Batman was well known for the reason there was declining criminal activity and why the nights became so much safer then the daytime. Sightings were reported every other news cast, following news stories on the criminal lords and statistics on the decline of criminal activity and few interviews with those who had either glimpsed or swore to have glimpsed the Bat. It was very common for the news to be on at various restaurants for all to see, and if it wasn't on the news (rare if it wasn't), it was on whatever current event the known billionaire had planned. Having the stations switched back and forth was fine and all, but for one of the average goers who lived there, it was… almost depressing, with the constant reminders of being just an average person.
The bustling noises of the small coffee café were, over all, pleasant. Some chatter here, some chatter there, the small building sat perfectly on the corner of 'Faust rd' and '53rd Ave', in the district of other new, small businesses. Large trees had been planted under the side walk years earlier, and now they provided a good deal of shade for the quaint little store. Being farther into the city, its building was new, with a large sectioned off area under the shade for tables, and an enormous pane window let the sunlight inside for those who'd rather stay indoors. A constant tingling of nails on ceramic was easily drowned out at one of these small indoor tables, unable to be heard unless someone was sitting right beside the mug, perhaps leaning on one arm, half-heartedly listening to the animated woman who kept clicking her fake nails on her barely-touched coffee.
"…and I couldn't believe he said that! I was like, are you serious?"
The ginger-haired woman waited for the other woman to mutter an 'mmhm' rather than looking for a reaction in her opposite before she continued her exciting story of lies and deceit, oblivious to the fading attention of her co-worker. No doubt an interesting sight for the regular customers; an animated woman, dressed brightly, nearly bouncing in her seat with fair skin and dark eyes, speaking endlessly to a slouching black covered girl who's short dark hair appeared nearly black, looked white compared to the woman's skin, and eyes a mix of bits of colour they looked murky.
It was warm in the small shop. Cozy. It made it hard for the dozing lady to pay attention to whatever it was that was seemingly important, especially under her favourite lengthy autumn coat she wore. The autumn wind had been picking up the cooler breezes from the east of the slums, and was perfect for the weather, even inside the chilly shop. Then again, sitting where she was, the setting sun was starting to get to her, and the black clothes were making her a bit uncomfortably warm.
"...I mean right? ...Right?"
"Sorry, Emily, I haven't got a lot of sleep the past 24 hours,"
She gave a sort of a half hearted smile as the woman waved away the apology, giving an exasperated sigh.
"I know what you mean. I haven't been getting that much either; paranoid about those break-ins that have been happening around my street. I mean my husband's usually home by the time the sun goes down, but still."
And then Emily was off again, orange curls bouncing with her chatting head, this time talking about her husband or…something. It took mere seconds before the black clad woman began wearily slumping further onto her hand, focus drifting away. What was she thinking about before? Her eyes moved to the outside, behind the chattering woman, where the trees were blowing gently. There weren't too many people wandering around, and most of the view was made up of falling leaves and black clad business men. Quite a few of them were lingering outside, really. She watched them turn and walk out from sight, people falling suit. Not just walking anymore though…but running? Frowning in confusion, it took a minute before she realized she was watching people run, stumble backwards, shout, scream, and all of them were staring behind them at something.
"…And that had happened before anything else, right? …Hey? What're you staring at?"
The woman whipped around, looking for the reason her one-man audience was no longer paying attention. At first she had a scandalous look, but it faded into concern as well. Both of them attempted to lean to look out the window further, but they couldn't see anything, only people, that had slowed to a stop and watched something they couldn't see.
The ground shook, and flames billowed down the street, and the explosion sounded off.