Bullock took a big bite out of his cheeseburger. He grabbed a napkin to wipe some of the grease from his mouth as he chewed it up. Sitting in his favorite midnight diner, sitting at the counter with Daphne, his favorite waitress, Bullock couldn’t be happier. The burger was good, but spending a little time with Daphne was better.
“Are you going to choke that entire thing down in one bite?” she asked him with a playful smirk.
“Well, you know,” Bullock replied bashfully, “you never know when I’ll have to leap out of my seat and go save a kitten in a tree.”
“I thought firemen did that.”
Bullock shrugged. “I can climb,” he said.
Daphne laughed and shook her head. She leaned over the lunch counter and rested on her forearms and elbows. “Why don’t you quit this police racket and get yourself an honest job? Maybe then, a woman would actually want to marry you.”
“Not me, baby. I’m murder police. It’s all I know. Honestly, I don’t know if I can do anything else without screwing it all up. Besides, I got this thing about women. You see, for me to marry a woman, I would prefer it if she actually liked me.”
“I can see how that would be a major problem.”
“Yeah,” Bullock said. “I ain’t the lover type. Bums like me don’t get to be happy, Daphne.”
“You are such a ray of sunshine, Harvey,” Daphne replied with a chuckle. She stood back up when the bell on the front door chimed. “Uh oh, here comes ‘Official Business.'”
Jim Gordon entered the diner through the front door holding a file. He walked over and sat next to Bullock. Daphne brought Gordon a cup of coffee with cream.
“You want anything to eat?” she asked him.
“No, thank you,” Gordon answered. “I’m here on official business.”
Bullock and Daphne shared a glance and grin. “I’ll leave you to it,” she said before walking off.
Gordon noticed Harvey grinning at him. “What?”
“Nothing,” Bullock chuckled as he gulped down some water. “What have you got on the warehouse?”
“You know how we said we’d probably be told to ignore the contents of the warehouse?”
“I was told to ignore this,” Gordon said as he slid a report over to Bullock. “The place was robbed, but one barrel was left behind. This is the report from the lab about what was in the barrel. It was empty, but there were trace amounts of what the lab coats called a nerve toxin.”
“What is Carmine Falcone doing with a nerve toxin?” Bullock asked as he picked up the report.
“This wasn’t the first time they had seen this either,” Gordon continued. “I had to go deep for this one, Bullock. I bribed a lab coat fifty bucks to spill the beans. Then I had to break into the records vault to dig up a file. This was supposed to be a paralyzing agent developed by the army.”
“Supposed to be?”
“Well, it was supposed to be used for urban pacification. They gave a bunch of it to the City of Gotham for testing. Only it didn’t just paralyze the test subjects. It froze every nerve in their bodies and killed them, stone dead. The Gotham Police Department was told to dump it quickly and quietly. That’s where the report ends. Now, we find it in one of Falcone’s warehouses with three dead gangsters inside. Bullock, we’re talking at least fifty barrels of this stuff missing.”
Bullock handed the report back to Gordon and leaned back a little on his stool. His stomach was starting to turn and he suddenly wasn’t hungry anymore. “Let’s just focus on finding the killer,” he said after a deep breath. “Did they find any prints on the playing card?”
“No,” Gordon answered. “It’s a dead end. Ballistics reports a single shooter being the most likely scenario.”
“But there had to be a crew with them to steal all of those barrels,” Bullock argued. “There is no way one guy could have pulled that off. Which means…”
“Which means this is the start of a mob war,” Gordon said.”This is most likely an insurrection from inside his own syndicate. Remember how that turned out, ten years ago? Falcone is going to drown the streets of Gotham in blood. We have to keep a lid on this thing.”
Bullock pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a pack of matches. “We have to talk to Falcone.”
“Tonight, right now.” Bullock lit up a cigarette and leaned forward against the lunch counter. “We have to go over to his house and try and convince him to let us handle this.”
Gordon scoffed. “Are you serious?”
“Falcone is crazy, Gordon. He’ll start shooting up the streets and then who knows how this thing will go? No, we got to get over there. Right now.”
“I’m not comfortable with this,” Gordon said.
“You think I am? The guy hates my guts.”
“Everyone in Gotham hates your guts, Bullock.”
Bullock sighed. “Yeah, maybe. But I walk into that house, there is a good chance that I don’t walk out alive. That don’t matter, though. What matters is that Falcone’s men don’t start raining bullets all over the place. You pay Daphne, I’m going to go have a smoke outside.”
Bullock got up and left. Gordon took a drink of his coffee and then left some money on the lunch counter. Bullock was wrong about one thing though. There was a good chance that neither of them would walk away from Falcone’s house alive.