Charles Putton was conducting his shady business, making deals in the black market, intimidating his enemies who sought to destroy him but clearly couldn’t.
Business was booming, people would say if they were in his position. He, however, thought differently.
With the arrival of The Flock, a growing gang of masked criminals who apparently worked for some fella named The Penguin, the crime rate was growing, but not for him. Others were getting a piece of the pie, corrupting Gotham for their own gains. Yeah, he was a hand in stirring the pot but he wanted more.
He wanted to one day walk up to that pretty boy mayor and show him who was the real top-hat wearing boss right before shooting him dead in the face. It would be glorious. But that would come in time. Right now, he would do what he had always done; sit back and let the money pile up.
He sat on the top floor of a five-story building located on the outskirts of Gotham. It wasn’t a fancy building like the Wayne Enterprises building. It was just a plain brick office building that was secretly home to his operations. The bottom floor housed a bakery, a good front for a secret crime lord’s lair.
His office, however, was not as modest-looking as the building’s exterior. He was a fancy guy who liked fancy clothes and fancy women. His office, a massive space that encompassed half of the top floor, was bedazzled with the priceless paintings from China and Japan that sat on pristine white walls. The finest white leather couches were sprawled about in between dazzling vases from Africa and stunning bronze sculptures created by the most renown American sculptors.
Models of all races sat upon these couches in tight dresses, long and short, awaiting their “counsel” with Mr. Putton. He regarded them as sculptures, only they did his bidding as he pleased. The thought almost brought a smile to his face.
His gaze stopped on a particularly pretty blond model that winked at him from afar. His heart pounded in response. She would be his guest of honor in his chambers later that evening for sure.
As he was beginning to fantasize about the rest of the night with her there was a call at his desk. Grumbling, he turned his gaze away, picking up the phone.
“Who is this and what do you want?” he snapped, expecting to hear one of his security guards. Instead, he heard another voice.
A deep one that was unrecognizable between a woman and a man.
“Just wanted to know if you were home,” the voice said before the call ended.
He was visibly shaken as he placed the phone down. His pale skin began to perspire. With a fat quivering hand, he grabbed his blue handkerchief and dabbled his forehead.
He stood on his stubby legs, hurrying through the office, completely oblivious to the leering gazes the models were giving him as he walked past. His only objective was to speak with his bodyguards.
He reached the door of his office and yanked it open, startling the guard he had hired to stand watch.
“Sir, is something wrong?” the guard asked.
“I think I’m maybe under attack. Contact the rest of the security personnel. Tell them to keep an eye out for anything suspi-”
Before he could finish the guard’s communicator beeped, revealing the voice of what appeared to be a very frightened man.
“Jockey 15 requesting backup! There’s someone attacking. It looks like a shadow. I don’t know what it i-ahh!”
The guard’s eyes widened. Charles Putton practically began to tremble.
“Jockey 15, please respond! Jockey 15, please respond!”
There was no response. The guard made a sound of frustration.
“Let me see what the hell is going on?”
Before Putton could stop him he had already run off.
“Guard, come back here!” he yelled in pitiful earnest.
With his heart hammering in his chest, he slammed the door shut and locked it before backing away. He then turned to find all of the models staring at him with wide eyes.
He tried to look confident. “Everything’s going to be fine.”
As soon as he said that, all of the lights went out. In response, all he heard were the shrill screeches of the models as they tried to find their way out of the office in the pitch-blackness. He stumbled forward, hoping his sense of direction and knowledge of the office would allow him to get to his desk unimpeded.
It wasn’t long before he plowed into a model, knocking her off of her feet and nearly falling over in the process. He managed to keep moving forward, weaving and grasping for anything that could help him determine where he was in the darkness. He eventually reached his desk where he fumbled for the drawers. Opening one of them, his hand grazed his loaded shotgun.
He quickly grabbed it with trembling fingers, cocking it as he prepared to face whatever was causing this ruckus. He raised the gun, aiming it at what he hoped was the direction of the door. A second later, he heard a voice in his ear.
“Wrong way,” the voice whispered before he was disarmed with a single kick to the hands.
He screamed as the person grabbed the back of his jacket and dragged him through the pitch-black room. He kicked and wriggled but to no avail. And then within seconds, he found himself being knocked through his office window, shattering the glass with the force of his attacker.
Hanging halfway out of the top floor window, tears leaked from his eyes as he waved his arms in the air for dear life. His assailant remained in the shadows. The only thing he could see was their gloved hands.
“What-what do you want?” he squealed.
“Who’s The Penguin?” the person asked. Their voice was even deeper and raspier in person.
“I don’t know, and that’s the honest truth! I hate him just as much as you do, apparently.”
“I don’t have time for jokes,” the person said, shaking him.
“What, you think I’m joking?!” he cried out. “I’m freaking hanging out of a window. There’s nothing to joke about.”
“Who are The Penguin’s allies?” the person asked again.
“Hell if I know! He’s real secretive. I only know about his stupid followers who call themselves The Flock. If you want more information you’re gonna have to find it somewhere else.”
The person leaned forward, coming out of the shadows. He nearly had a heart attack as he noted the iconic mask that he thought he would never see again.
“It’s you. The Batman,” he whispered.
The person pulled him forward and he noticed the smirk on their dark lips.
“No. I’m Batwoman.”
The next second, she let him go and he was forced to tumble screaming to his death five floors below.