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Date of Scene: 12 March 2021
Location: 5560 Stately Falcone Manor
Synopsis: Cobblepot and Falcone decide to work together to bring a little bit of Mob Justice to the streets of Gotham, by taking down The Mad Hatter.
Cast of Characters: Carmine Falcone, Oswald Cobblepot

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Stately Falcone Manor is a place that was built in the 60's starting with a single room and building out, and one can tell just by looking at it that the place is a labor of love that's been built one room at a time.

     Over the decades whenever a new room was needed the thing was added on with hand crafted care little care for as much of how it might look to the outside world as how it might function in the day to day life.

     The place is a labor of love that is the life's work of an entire family working for decades. Though from the street it's got that distinctive feel of Gothamite Italian grandeur that one can only find in this particular building at the center of a wide swath of what was once farmland on the edge of Gotham city.

     A large fence locks it off from the outside world patrolled by men in suit and tie leading around attack dogs, Italian Mastiffs. A well cared for hedge maze weaves and winds its way through a corner of the yard at the center a tall gazebo looming over with a statue of Paul the apostle looming overhead.

     Catholic iconography is present in every inch of the building; every stone, and each window. A large driveway spans the front of the building with an overhang to keep the cars drive covered in faux marble depicting yet more biblical iconography of all kinds etched into its surface.

     The place is on high alert, and with recent events still firm in memory it's not difficult for one to imagine why.

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot is impressed with the estate, not an easy thing to do, Penguin is certainly used to grandeur. Having never been here before the impression is all the more imprinted. The crime lord is in his limo before the fence entrance. The driver requests entry, stating that Oswald Cobblepot is here to see Carmine Falcone.

Penguin waits quietly for the gate to open, lighting a cigar and sipping his glass of expensive scotch.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Mr.Falcone is expecting you." The voice speaks up in reply with a firm yet friendly respectfulness, a clear tone of italian accent that's yet to leave the man's voice. The gates slide open smoothly, the man's head at the top of the wrought iron gate splitting down the middle to reveal two falcons either side looming high overhead as the interlocking sections slide away allowing the limousine to wheel its way in.

     As the limousine rolls its way a pair of guards move over to check the vehicle for explosives only for a call to come through over their headsets. It causes the men with their wands and dogs to take pause respectfully backing away from the car itself and standing to the side. One look at them would give away two things: They're all Italian, and most of them are very clearly ex-military, from the way that they hold themselves.

     Coming into the light of the overhang Penguin would be able to hear the soft chime of classical music echoing through the area, speakers implanted through the pillars that hold it up welcoming him in with their soft melodic tunes.

     Security here is as tight as it is on the rest of the estate leaning well to the fact that recent events have him at the least a tad spooked. The figure that comes to greet Penguin is none other than Mario Falcone heir apparent to the Falcone crime family and eldest unimprisoned falcone son. His pencil thin mustache holding a warm smile as he leans on the doorway with his midsection clearly bandaged beneath his thick black trench-coat and fedora.

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot walks with an ornate cane made of carbon steel and coated with pure silver. It matches his usual black outfit. He clasps Mario Falcone's hand firmly and then removes his top hat once he is inside of the estate.

He is of course alone, "The pleasure is mine, it's an honor to meet Carmine Falcone's heir. Such a generous welcome indeed." He looks around for a moment, adjusting his monocle, "Your family has a splendid estate. Strong, secure, a fortress fit for a king. I could certainly learn a few things I am sure."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Mario speaks up with his thick Gotham accent a light smile across his face. "Some call it a castle, I call it home, you know?" He gives a firm grasp of a handshake speaking with a determination to his voice as he sizes the man up. Mario's athletic, handsome, tall, and has that glint in his eye of a man who's willing to get his hands dirty. "Though you want a nice place that bar of yours is more my speed." He lets out a light chuckle and a flash of pearly whites as he spins around on the ball of his heels to show Oswald around.

     The main room is a fairly respectable parlour of sorts with a chandelier which looks to have been handmade by one of the members of the family, and hung from a simple steel chain. Most of the furniture likewise looks less like what one would buy in a store and more simple labours of love by one of the many Falcone children.

     Various statues stand in the corners and one long hallway to the side holds dozens of paintings of members of the Falcone family dating back all the way to the Roman Empire

     "Spent my fair share of time down at that club." He offers with a light chuckle as he begins to walk down the side pathway past a few cabinets and into the hall with the paintings. "Good drinks and great 'entertainment' I can get behind." His smile falls to more of a smirk

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot grins, "Yes I try to make the Iceberg Lounge a place where business is king and I am merely a keeper of the peace. There aren't many neutral zones in Gotham and if that fact allows me to bankroll underworld politics then that is a bonus.."

He glances at the parolour, "I've brought a bottle of fifty year old scotch, well preserved, and kept for just this sort of occasion. I regret that I missed your father's birthday celebration but there were.. unfortunate circumstances that I will need to discuss with him. I do not mind including you in this report if your father allows it. Your family as a whole is trusted in my eyes."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Trust me anywhere I can rest my head for a bit without the Jade Leopards trying to bust my head in is welcome by me." Mario offers as a bit of a lighthearted joke as he walks by the rows upon rows of paintings. His trench-coat billows behind him as he walks along leading down the hall towards a door near the back of it all.

     He pushes open the door at the back of the room and leads into a larging swimming pool area with hanging greenery abounding. At the center of the pool is a statue of the virgin mary crying tears in a constantly flowing waterfall to replenish the waters. "Well, I'm sure he'll have a fair bit more to say about that whole situation than I will, but the scotch is a welcome addition." Mario offers with another friendly smile.

     The water sparkles with a light almost glow to it, filling the entire room with a faint crisp smell that makes it all the more inviting, not that of chlorine as one would expect.

     "Your trust is well placed Mr.Cobblepot, we've kept enough secrets to last a lifetime." Mario offers as he walks further into the room.

     Setting by the crying statue is a woman with long almost ragged curly red hair and bright green eyes sat in a wheelchair. She looks off into the distance towards the water rippling in silence. Sophia Falcone. She doesn't speak a word. Mario offers in a bit of a more quiet tone to Oswald. "Joker." As the only explanation of the middle aged woman's condition as she looks off into the distance almost catatonic. "Barely spoke a word since."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot grimaces, "That lunatic has been a thorn in my side more than once. You have my sympathies." He doesn't address the matter further, it's likely a sensative topic. His mutation is apparent as his cane leads his stride, his limp an equally irritating thorn as well it would seem, "Your family is a blessing to this city. I can only hope that Gotham's vigilantes will learn that one day.

"Gotham is held together by people like us. It is a city filled with anarchists and monsters who only want to see the world burn, starting with Gotham City. Maybe one day we'll all have statues in front of city hall. I won't count on it though." He grins bitterly.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "When you lose the game for long enough you just need to change how it's played Mr.Cobblebot." Mario offers with another flash of a smile that twinkle in his eye as he makes his way across the room. "We'll get those statues yet, we just need to change the rules a little along the way."

     At the far side of the room is a simple looking wooden door with two guards stood either side. Mutants by the looks, still Italian mutants, but mutants. One has more muscle then you would expect from most folks in Gotham and scales running down his body, the other one has bright red skin like a devil and is inhumanly thin with a devil's tail sticking out the back of his finely pressed suit and tie.

     <Tell father, I have brought Mister Cobblepot> Mario offers in Italian. Causing one of the guards to lean to the door and open it speaking to the other side.

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot nods at Mario's words, "Indeed." Penguin waits as Mario speaks to one of the guards. He leans on his cane, "It is my hope that with the help of your family we can create a city that can stand on its' own without the likes of our.. common enemies." Batman implied but certainly more.

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "We're not just going to stand Mr.Cobblepot" He gets that light glint in his eye of a man on a mission and something tinging in the back of his mind, as he works through something. "We're going to soar with the falcons, soon as we get rid of these capes."

     The door swings open revealing a reasonably sized study. The walls are lined with bookshelves, and a cabinet for booze to be kept at that perfect temperature. At the center of the room rests a large mahogany desk.

     The burgundy carpeting that covers most of the floor sticks over a lovingly handcrafted hardwood floor, and the whole place is lit with a warm lighting that makes the place feel that extra little bit like home.

     "Oswald." Carmine offers as he stands in the doorway, dressed much the same as he was the last time Penguin had seen him save for a red undershirt beneath that suit jacket. "I must say it is a pleasure to see you are safe and sound, I had worried when I did not see you at the festivities.." He trails off for a moment still friendly and inviting as he steps to one side."And I see that you have brought libations along with you, this day only finds itself improving." His eye looking for the briefest moment towards his Son Mario. "Please do unto me that is the honor of entering my study that we may conduct our business uninterrupted."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot bows his head a bit in respect, "Yes an unsavory business that night. Three of my trucks transporting unmarked gold bars were attacked. Only one of the robbery attempts succeeded but it was still quite a loss. No matter how well trained your men are, there are always setbacks, and I have been investigating the incident for weeks. I did not want to trouble you until I had a lead."

Penguin reaches into his jacket and takes out a black folder, "Contained within are surveillance reports, interviews with contacts, and interrogation results. I've narrowed down the list of possible culprits to three: Joker, Bane, and Mad Hatter. A series of corresponding events on Gotham's outskirts all match operating patterns that are suspiciously similar to those three. Whoever it is, they've been targetting trucks carrying money, and other valuables. I don't believe that I was targetted personally but it was still a breach of our city's well established law. The law of business that we adhere to night by night."

Penguin also sets the bottle of scotch onto Falcone's desk beside the folder, which is opened, and various papers set neatly in a spread, "I won't point fingers publicly until we can be certain. I say we because although you have yet to be attacked, I fear that it is only a matter of time. They are brazen whoever they are. The either believe themselves to be of greater wit than us or they do not care. It isn't hard to draw more than a few suspects with that in mind but the data and information gleemed thus far points at those three I mentioned. No one I have interrogated yet knew enough to draw a name but I am confident that we are nearing the endgame so to speak."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Oswald." Carmine offers walking around to the back of his desk. He sets himself down in his chair with a slow motion. His hands fold as he looks over the evidence set before him. His expression is somewhat flat as he goes it over.

     "A few weeks ago someone replaced the ballistics plating in Mario's vest with pot metal" He pauses for a long moment. "Not long after the same individuals which were responsible for the first attack made an attempt on the life of my daughter Sophia in our own home while we slept." He cracks open the bottle and pours first a glass for Penguin and then for himself.

     "On the day of my birthday these same individuals murdered Luisa, and my unborn son in cold blood in front of my friends, co-workers and family, and the GCPD has as of yet still refused to release her body for proper burial as they run their own investigation."

     "I will accept your evidence that you were indisposed at the time of the murder" He nods his head firmly as Mario sets not far away watching the confirsation.

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot doesn't take it personally that he was a suspect, it's the world they live in, "You have my condolences Falcone. It seems that there is someone.. or more than one person who does not respect the power structure in this city. I will assist you in any way that I can, it is even possible that these events are connected somehow."

Penguin lowers his head again in respect, "I know what it is to lose someone you love.. more than one in fact."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "It was so once, that we all played by a set of rules in this city." Carmine offers as he takes a sip of the glass enjoying it for a moment before continuing. "Do not kill an officer of the law, do not go to the police for anything, respect your wife, respect the wives of others, do not speak to the police about anything, a man's debt dies with him, do not go after a man's family, simple rules that made the game easy to play." He moves his hand from one side to the other slowly bobbing his hand as he holds two fingers together.

     "In those earliest days when I got my start" He grabs a very expensive cigar off of the table and chops off one end offering one to penguin. "if you violated the code you were put to death" He strikes up the cigar with a match. "and that was the end of the matter, no discussion, and no bullshit excuses or investigation getting in the way of things."

     "There's no respect for the rules anymore Oswald" He takes a long drag from his cigar watching the match burn in his fingers. "No respect for the game." It burns down to his fingers but he keeps holding onto it. "No respect for the players." The flame snuffs itself out in his grasp. "I will take it upon myself as godfather to help you find your missing gold, as a favor one friend unto another, and I place this business of suspecting you behind me in hopes of a brighter future between us."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot nods grimly, "Every one of those rules are broken on a nightly basis. Then others react in kind, underhanded tactics becoming mere means for survival. You know that I haven't followed that code to the letter, it's common knowledge on the streets, but I would like nothing more than for that code to become absolute law once again. I am not a sadist, I don't enjoy inflicting pain for the sake of it, but it's the city I grew up in. But I agree with you entirely, war should not involve those who are not involved in this business. Batman has dirt on me, which cannot be helped, and he has no qualms about squeezing me. But as anyone knows there are lines I do not cross, and betraying allies is one of those bright red lines."

He leans on his cane, "I am searching for a means to remove Batman's ability to blackmail me. I want to help bring this city back to its' golden age, when the power brokers were untouchable, and the self righteous 'do gooders' had nothing to hold against them. I wasn't in business then sadly, indeed I was just getting started when civility was thrown out the window. But I've been in the game long enough to know that those days were better for everyone. Lunatics like the Joker and Mad Hatter would have been strung up or shot. Batman would have ended up in Arkham. I do grow tired of stooping down to the dirt just to keep business alive."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     Carmine leans back and takes a long drag from his cigar as he drops that burnt out match down into his ashtray. His eyes follow the smoke from his fingertips as it rises to the ceiling. "Even when I was getting my start the old ways were on the way out the door." He pulls the cigar from his mouth blowing smoke rings out and watching them rise high into the sky. He lets out a low sigh as he shakes his head. "I did my part to bring it back, and people called me a tyrant, called me inhuman, but it worked for a time, a second golden age for that smallest of times."

     "Folks don't realize how good they had it." He chomps down on that cigar for a nice long puff. "You're right on the money." He motions with his hands holding an invisible thompson in his grasp as he waves it from one side to the other swirling a bit of his drinking glass in the process. "Would have saved a lot of lives and kept us in business."

     He shakes his head again. "I still stick to the old rules where I can, keep my boys to them when I can but when you are the only game in town that plays by the old rules you fall behind fast." He looks towards Mario with a knowing glance. "Just ask any of my children and they will readily tell you without hesitation the moment that they believe my ears no longer have reach." He blows smoke into the air. "You and I Oswald see eye to eye on matters for different reasons, your condition and mine may have been reached by different means but we both are required to make certain moral sacrifices to survive."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot nods in agreement, "It's true. But as long as madmen are free to roam the streets and scream the loudest the up and comers will continue to rise from the ashes of anarchy. The way this city is and has been for some time shapes the minds of those born in the chaos. I was simply learned enough, clever enough, to know that there were better days before these. I make it a point to have a reputation of 'just desserts.' It's the best I've been able to accomplish given the atmosphere of this city. The price for transgression is harsh, innocents suffer, loved ones. It's not how I want it to be but it's the only language many of these degenerates know. Fortunately it's rare that I ever have to act on my threats. I cannot say the same for businessmen who are less established. For many of them butchery is their first resort and that is why there is a Batman at all. Batman is a reactionary force of the natural order I believe. He and those like him exist only because there aren't enough of us to keep order."

Penguin looks down at the papers on the desk, "Solving this mystery is one step in the right direction, not just for the sake of my business, but for the sake of Gotham's business as a whole. If I was the only one being attacked it could be kept 'in house.' But this is a perfect example of what we have been talking about, everything that is wrong about Gotham right now."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "A reactionary force" Carmine steeples his hands together in thought the cigar smouldering in the corner of his mouth as his glass is sat down before him. He listens to cobblepot with great interest.. "If we solve this little problem ourselves and deal with it in the old ways." Carmine pulls his hands apart once more smoke rolling between them. "It might just show Bats that they weren't all that bad."

     "I gave up a long time ago trying to get him on the take, or well trying to kill him, these days I just consider the batman a force of nature, like an earthquake or a tornado that rolls through every now and then to ruin everything, best that can be done is to prepare for it and try to avoid it when you can, but this might just be a way to redirect that hurricane."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot nods again, "My point exactly. Batman is smart enough not to take me off the board. Men like the Joker served as a distraction once upon a time, simply a means to divert attention away from us, but he's gone too far, they all have. Bane is one personal loss away from becoming just like that. Brilliant mind.. but broken. You and I..? We never needed powers, or enhanced abilities to get where we are. In this day and age it's not hard to find a way to become some.. metahuman as it were. I made it a point to rely on my mind and it's served me well. I chose to remain human and I chose not to find a cure for my deformity."

He looks down at the papers again and leans on his cane, "There is one thing that might help us narrow this down more. A green fedora was found at the site of the other successful attacks on trucks and vans carrying valuable cargo. It could be a frame job but.."

He reaches down to finally open the bottle of scotch, "That's the Mad Hatter's calling card. Joker isn't normally one to devise a frame job but he's unpredictable. I wouldn't put it past him if he had some.. reason or another. Bane has plenty of reasons to quickly increase his wealth from time to time. That venom of his isn't cheap. But the tactics, motive, and the calling card point to Mad Hatter. What do you think?"

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Bane's not a likely candidate" Carmine looks down over the evidence once more scanning from one page to the next. "I've had him on the take for a little bit of time now as a reserve" He looks back up towards Penguin with a bit of a smirk. "While normally I would not spend much time on an addict" His eyes fall down towards Mario for a brief moment before turning back towards Penguin. "I find his services of execution to be with little other pier."

     He takes a long drag from his cigar, "I pay my executioners well." Finally he tips the end of his cigar into the ashtray looking across the table to the penguin. "Well enough that he shouldn't have need to go robbing an entire convoy if he's in need of more of his drug of choice."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot doesn't rebuttal, "Then we can remove Bane from our list of suspects. That leaves Joker and the Mad Hatter. I don't know enough about Joker's current operations to make a judgement. Having him watched would be an option if not for the fact that the clown doesn't have a routine. It would take weeks to even get our sights on him if he doesn't want to be found. Right now security is increased, every transport has escorts following at a distance to avoid police attention to them. But in the event of an attack there will be more manpower to deal with it."

Penguin stares at Mad Hatter's profile sheet, "My gut says that it's him. Joker usually has demands or some rant playing all over the local cable stations by now. But we'll see."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "That is fortunately I find the one thing that you can rely on the joker to keep consistent at least." Carmine takes the cigar back for another long drag, looking over the profile for the first time having had very little dealings with the mad hatter in the past himself. He looks down visually flicking through the contents of the sheet. "Anything else unfortunately is the luck of the dice rigged in the jokers favor." He blows out a puff of smoke into the air allowing it to rise up into the air.

     He leans forward looking over the paperwork closer.

     "Even if it does not turn out to be the mad hatter we should put eyes on him, worst case, it's a frame up by Bane" He takes another long drag. "Then we redirect as appropriate."

     He reaches into the desk pulling out a pair of flip phones from inside and places them on top of the desk. He slides one over to penguin and keeps one by himself. "These two phones are synched up to one another, they're a secure line, when we're done destroy your phone and I'll destroy mine."

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot glances at Bane's profile sheet next, "If it's Bane then it might explain why you haven't been attacked yet. The frame job could be a way to keep himself from appearing fickle in his intentions as a whole. Still Hatter is the primary suspect and I will begin to search for him. He isn't in my employ, and as much as I want revenge, I won't be brutal if he ends up being our man."

He adjusts his monocle, "Getting him shipped to Arkham would be the best way to dispose of a man like him. We should wage this war in a way that also casts us in a positive light in the eyes of those who would believe us to be brutes. I am feeling inspired to make this political as we remove this threat... whoever it is."

Carmine Falcone has posed:
     "Ah, yes sometimes the best message that one can send is that we are capable of doing the job of the police as well if not better than they are I find." He smiles from one ear to the next. "It'll be like the days of my grandfather," Carmine reminisces to himself about a time he wasn't even born yet for as he chuckles to himself. "Let's show these capes and cops how it's done shall we Oswald?"

Oswald Cobblepot has posed:
Oswald Cobblepot agrees, "It will show them that we are capable of restraining ourselves and shift their focus to the actual monsters terrorizing the city's streets. It will also be a step in the right direction in showing the police that our city does not need Batman or his kind." He pours two drinks from the bottle of scotch and lifts his glass, "Our future is looking brighter with every sentence wouldn't you say?" He grins.