Family Ties Chapter 59 What Happens in Gotham

Red Hood stood still as a statue. He could hear the gently padding footsteps behind him, and knew their owner had scented prey.

"Hey, handsome," a soft, feminine voice purred. Red Hood turned and sighed.

"Catwoman, stop playing," he said grumpily.

The cat thief grinned and slid into a less provocative posture. "Sorry, couldn't resist. So, what's up, bad-bird?"

"Got a proposition," Red Hood grunted. "Have a look at this." He passed a sheet of paper over.

"Addresses?" Catwoman asked.

"Yup," he smirked beneath his helmet. "How'd you fancy going into them all and robbing them blind?"

"Sounds fun," she perked up. "But I'm trying to be a good kitty now."

"They're drug bosses."

"I'm in."

"I can't help but think you've not told me the whole plan," Catwoman said, dropping down next to Red Hood's borrowed Batmobile and carrying a bulging bag of loot.

"Nah," Red Hood said, hiding the fact he'd started at her arrival. "See, it's all about the cash flow. If the boss loses the money, he can't buy drugs. He can't buy guns, or ammo. He can't pay wages. This is the first step."

"What's the next step?" Catwoman asked curiously.

"Go down some bars, pretend to be drunk, start some fights, win, gloat," Red Hood shrugged.

"What will that achieve?" she frowned.

"It'll erode confidence and make the gang guys look like a bunch of wusses. Then I'll start stockpiling their weaponry, do a bit more to shatter reputations, might ask you to do a few more heists, arrange a few arrests, break a few bones, whatever." He leaned back against the Batmobile in satisfaction. "Basically, make life very difficult and keep 'em off balance. It'll take months to get it done properly, but it's the kind of thing you pick up when you're not busy."

"Have you had B sign off this operation?" Catwoman asked idly.

"It involves larceny and bar fights. Why do you think I waited 'til he was out of town before starting?"

"Good point."

Red Hood skidded the Batmobile to a halt mid-handbrake turn. Snapping the belt off and springing the door open, he darted out. He drew his handguns, flicked the safeties off, aimed and fired on one smooth, mirrored movement. A pair of would-be car-jackers dropped as the sedative in his tranq bullets worked its way into their systems. Grumbling to himself, he cuffed them to a railing, scrawled 'car thief' on each of their foreheads, and checked the car was undamaged before returning to his own vehicle.

The Batmobile eased off, and swam through the gloom of Gotham's backstreets before reaching its destination. Catwoman was already waiting, looking slightly concerned.

"You're late," she announced. "What kept you?"

"Damn street criminals made me stop five times," Red Hood grunted as he got out of the car again. "What you got this time?"

Catwoman picked up a sack, and emptied it onto the Batmobile's hood. A mess of white powder in little bags fell out. "Got this," she answered.

"This cocaine or heroin?" has asked, picking up and examining one of the packets.

"Not sure," Catwoman shrugged. "What do you want done with it?"

"B told me to stop throwing the drugs in the river, so…not sure." Red Hood stared at the pile for a moment, before shrugging himself. "I'll call it in."

"Right. Now, I think I saw some rather nice jewels."

Catwoman disappeared. Red Hood waited a moment before activating his comm.

"Red Robin; what's your situation?" the weary voice on the other end opened.

"Hey, Li'l Bird," Red Hood smirked. "How's tricks?"

"Hood, either tell me what's up, or get back to work," Red Robin sighed.

"I…may have come into possession of a quantity of heroin. Or cocaine. Or maybe speed. It's drugs, and I'm not allowed to just dump it. So what do I do with it?" Red Hood asked.

"How did you get hold of that?!" Batgirl asked, alarmed.

"Me and Catwoman found it lying around," Red Hood answered evasively.

"Please don't tell me you found it by a dead body," Red Robin groaned.

"Who d'you take me for?" Red Hood protested.

"A vigilante with homicidal tendencies," Red Robin sighed. "Okay. Take it down to the GCPD HQ. The Commissioner's probably gone home, but there'll most likely be someone around who'll talk to you. Tell 'em Wayne Pharmaceutics will do the disposal for free. And don't do anything stupid."

"I know how to handle myself," he retorted. "Red Hood out."

Catwoman dropped down again, carrying her refilled sack. "Nice haul," she commented. "He must have a rather high maintenance girl or two. Found a whole load of expensive costume jewellery stashed in a closet."

"Odd, I'd heard rumours about that one…" Red Hood frowned.

"What kind of rumours?" Catwoman asked.

"That he likes little boys," Red Hood answered grimly. "Never heard more than 'I heard from so-and-so, who said that someone heard that', so I couldn't really do anything, but I've been keeping an eye out."

"So if he doesn't like girls, why'd he have so much jewellery?" Catwoman asked rhetorically.

"All I can think of is that he's got a competitor of yours," Red Hood shrugged. "Mind if I keep that lot?"

"I can always nick more," she said lightly. "Meet you at the next place?"

"Yeah, but I gotta swing by the cops, lose the drugs."

"Fair enough. This guy's got a reputation as an art buff, but I heard he's got a forger."

"Heh. I wonder if he's any good?"

"Alfred, I desire to go on patrol," Damian declared haughtily stomping into the kitchen and limping slightly.

"You were told to stay off your feet tonight and stay in tomorrow," Alfred reminded him.

"I am perfectly capable-" Damian protested.

"If you are going to chase your brothers around the Manor and sprain your ankle, Master Bruce will make you keep to Dr Thompkins' instruction. Injure yourself needlessly as Damian Wayne, and heal like Damian Wayne."

"It's only a minor tear to a ligament! I can still walk on it; it hardly hurts at all."

"That's why you only have one night and day of non-activity, and one further night benched. Now go sit down."