It's not something he would ever readily admit to, but I know there is a part of him that is jealous and somewhat resentful with regards to what I can do. I also know that right next to that part of him is another part that strongly believes I could be doing more than I do do. Right next to that, though, is another part of him that is…comforted by the fact that I do limit myself.
Right now, though, he would be jealous.
Not of the fact that I'm standing in a room with blood splattered on the walls and riddled bodies strewn all over the place, no. This room would grieve him, just as it grieves me. It would anger him, just as it angers me. This room, with the bodies of fourteen children, shouldn't exist.
No, he would be jealous of the fact that I'm able to be in this room without leaving a trace of myself.
He would be jealous of the fact that, despite the bodies looking like they had all been shot at close-range, I cannot detect any scent of gunpowder in the air.
He would be jealous of the fact that, without touching anything, I know that there are no bullets in the room, let alone any shell casings.
He would be jealous of the fact that, within seconds, let alone moments, I know that not a single bullet was fired in this room. That, despite the burns, not a single bullet is in any of the bodies, and that each wound on each body contains skin and genetic traces that are foreign to that body.
It's a positive jealousy, though, and that's an important distinction to make.
One of the advantages of being friends with someone like him is that his very existence inspires me to reach further, become better, and push past the limits of being human. I know he knows this, and I know he knows that I would never come out and say it to him, but there are moments when I see him do something and there's a twinge of 'if only I could'. The thing about him, though, is that, without saying a word, he basically says 'sure, I can do this with ease, but you can do something similar if you want to', so that twinge starts a domino effect and the 'if only I could' becomes something like 'I can'.
There's an aspect about him, though, that almost no one ever considers and, initially, I was among those who didn't consider it. I arrogantly believed that he was over-reliant on his powers and abilities; that taking them away would render him…less than human. As much as I rib him I will never, ever, underestimate him.
Right now, I wish he was here.
Right now, the readings I have from equipment I've made or had made to crudely simulate some of the things he can do…they don't make sense.
Right now, in a room in the basement of a brownstone just off Crime Alley, five kids are lying dead. To the eyes of everyone here, they were shot. Repeatedly.
To my eyes, they were shot. Repeatedly.
According to my HUD, they weren't…
He can see things I can't, and it's because of the things he can do that I, and others, have spent millions developing technology that would enable us to do something similar. He could cut down the investigation time dramatically.
I hate him sometimes…but it's not hate.
I've got work to do.
I'm a pretty good detective overall - he's even told me so and, frankly, that's praise I'm more than willing to accept – but as quickly as I'm able to filter and dissect information, as good as I am at finding the links and chains and connecting the dots, he's better.
The only thing these kids had in common is that they had all been smuggled in to the US over the past year. That's it. No two were from the same country; no two were taken from the same city; and none had been living in Metropolis.
Reviewing the data from each body, I've found some disturbing things:
In two of the kids, there was 0.01 grams of Silicon – the norm is around 0.001.
One girl had 0.026 grams of Vanadium – the norm is 0.000026.
Each of the fourteen had higher levels of at least one element than they should ordinarily have.
This doesn't make sense, and, going by the genetic traces inside their wounds, there were at least three attackers.
Steve's keeping himself to himself, thankfully. As much as he enjoys playing pranks on Clark Kent, I've come to realise that he actually does respect Clark's work.
Selenium plays a role in the functioning of a human's thyroid gland and it has been used to treat Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but there's no indication in the body of this boy from the Ivory Coast that there was any disruption in his growth.
Vanadium supplements are used for increasing insulin sensitivity and, by some, for body-building, but this girl from Venezuela, although having slightly denser musculature for her age, has no signs of undergoing advanced physical training and her pancreas looks fine.
One hundred and fifteen children, from across the country.
Each one smuggled in.
Each one missing but none are being looked for.
None of the five murdered were from Gotham.
Alfred's getting on with the bio-chem analysis but I can see how angry he is. He's heavily involved in the Wayne Foundation's work in providing support for children in Gotham and the Tri-State area, but rolling the programs out across the country have been slow going.
Dr Woodley and I have a good working relationship and she has provided me with a direct feed as she conducts the autopsies, but both of us are stumped. Everything indicates that the kids were shot at close range: a greenish hue of gunpowder, soot on the body, hemothoraces…
And there seem to have been at least two different guns used.
Reviewing the recording I made of the scene, I can't find any recoil markers, the blood splatters indicate that two of the victims were shot at the same time…but the curiosity are the specks of blood on the floor. Preliminary analysis is that the blood of each of the victims is on the floor and the mapping of the blood splatters…there is blood where there 'shouldn't' be…