Fanfic Friday – “Detective Work”

29 Jun

Console LEDs glowed bright blue, shining light on the bat’s face. It shrieked in annoyance and lighted from its perch, flapping away.

Readouts flashed across panoramic displays, tossed aside, categorized, analyzed, and demarcated. All salient information was collected neatly in a central window, which announced any significant recognizable patterns. A bead of sweat, hot with concentration, ran down the inside of a tightly flexed bicep.

Servos whirred and components clicked, and a terminal appeared from within the damp rocky floor. A port opened, and a jack signalled its readiness with a soft electronic ping. The jack’s outline glowed, awaiting insertion of the glass vial being scanned via laser array nearby.

There was barely any sound as feet lightly tapped the wooden beam and launched their owner into a tumbling midair roll, landing crouched and cat-like in front of the dummy post. Then the cavern echoed with the slap of flesh on solid wood, as kata after kata was unleashed in precise, flawless, lightning-fast blows. A final roar and splintering as a flat palm shot out and snapped a wooden arm clear off the dummy, sending it clattering.

The console pinged again, and the shining half-naked warrior strode calmly over to the vial, plucked it from its magnetic suspension, and inserted it into the waiting jack. It disappeared and the port swung shut, and the overhead screens were immediately dominated by a rush of scrolling code. Seconds passed as the warrior’s eyes, reflecting blue, followed each and every line, while his body stayed taut and still.

The screen’s movement abruptly stopped, and a single display appeared in the central window. It was a tourist’s photo, showing a smiling father wrestling playfully with his infant daughter on a sandy beach. A mass of other civilians occupied the background.

The warrior’s voice was sonorous and shadowed. “Enhance twenty percent.”

The photo zoomed in, the father’s shoulders and side filling most of the frame. Behind him, even through the smudging pixelation, it was possible to see the painted face of the man holding the magnum revolver.

The warrior’s eyes narrowed. Then he extended an arm and grabbed a hanging control pad. His thumb pressed a large button, and the cavern shook as the floor beneath him began to rotate and divide.

A minute later, an elderly man appeared from the shadows, dressed neatly and carrying a tray of tea.

“Master Bruce?”

But the warrior was gone.

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