"Perception": Gabriel Rossetti's enforcers Holthaus, Ruiz and Santos find their men strung throughout Rossetti's warehouse. Their weapons shipment from Miami has been taken. Holthaus think the vigilante that hit them must be the same one who got Eddie Melcher's chop shop. Santos thinks Melcher m
Appearing in "Perception"
- Gabriel Rossetti Crime Family
- Gabriel Rossetti
- Ruiz (Dies)
- Luke Santos
- Bertis "Sharky" Delgado (Flashback only)
- Clement Wellman (Flashback only)
- Cesare Rossetti
- Arturo Zamora
- Wayne Enterprise Management
- Delilah Wagner
- Lucius Fox
- Tiffany Fox
- Roger Sloane (Dies)
- Martha Kane (Flashback only)
- Stanford Whittaker (Flashback only)
- Denholm Sinclair (Flashback only)
- Gotham City Mayor
- Luke Santos' wife
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Perception"
Gabriel Rossetti's enforcers Holthaus, Ruiz and Santos find their men strung throughout Rossetti's warehouse. Their weapons shipment from Miami has been taken. Holthaus think the vigilante that hit them must be the same one who got Eddie Melcher's chop shop. Santos thinks Melcher made up the story to save his skin from botching up his pickup. Santos speculates the Russians or the Crown mob maybe responsible for this. All of a sudden, the lights go out and Ruiz is separated from the other two. Three minutes go by when Batman arrives and switches the lights back on in the warehouse. He finds seven men unconscious due to an electrical shock that was administered by hand. Holthaus comes from behind and tries to shoot Batman but he disarms Holthaus. Santos stands down and tells Batman that he doesn't have anything to tell him. At the Zephyr Building (which bares owl emblems), the vigilante unmasks and undergoes another round of injected supplements by Dr. Excess. The vigilante is Nicholas Kazantkakis
Bruce Wayne heads to Wayne Enterprises and is bombarded by news reporters that inquire about the major restructure of Wayne Enterprises, pending lay offs and a possible merger with Transcom International. One bystander by the name of Roger Sloane was very adamant to talk to Bruce but he was brushed off by his bodyguards. When Bruce arrives at the board meeting, Delilah Wagner presents Bruce with a letter to resign as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises. Celia Kazantkakis interjects on Bruce's behalf by stating that the board's ultimatum of Bruce being a liability to the company is premature. Bruce thanks Celia for the vote of confidence and reiterates to the board that he was proven innocent in regards to the Vesper Fairchild murder. Delilah ignores Bruce by stating he was an international fugitive for six months while the case was still open. Delilah states that her loyalty is to the stock holders and the company's business partners who still feel uncomfortable even though Bruce was cleared of all charges. If Bruce refuses, Delilah will put a vote of no confidence before the shareholders. Mr. Harmon tells Bruce that Lucius Fox has done a fine job of running the day to day functions in Bruce's constant absence but this letter is simply a formality with a severance package that will more than compensate Bruce. Bruce leaves the board room and informs them that they will hear from his lawyers.
Bruce tells Tim Drake that he is contemplating on accepting the terms of Delilah's ultimatum because with Lucius recovering from a stroke, he has no other options. Bruce won't allow the company to be vulnerable for another takeover which is what Luthor was counting on when he hired David Cain to frame Bruce for Vesper's murder. Bruce believes Delilah is aggressive and fearless enough to uphold his ideals for the continued success of Wayne Enterprises. Bruce then turns his attention to the vigilante that his the Rossetti warehouse. The Cauldron gangs have come to know the vigilante as the Tracker. He has been targeting the Rossetti mob for the last two months. The Tracker managed to capture and return Rossetti's accountant Bertis "Sharky" Delgado to Gotham when he skipped out on his bail. He put hitman Clement Wellman into a dog kennel and left him surrounded by ravenous dogs in Little Moscow. He also set a meth lab ablaze and the surviving perpetrators stated that the vigilante looked like a demon. Bruce tells Tim to find Roger Sloane and find out exactly what he wanted to say to Bruce when he was heading to Wayne Enterprises. As for the Batman, Bruce will continue his investigation on the Tracker.
Tim arrives at Sloane's apartment and notices a lot of beer bottles, outdated press credentials and newspaper clippings posted on a wall like its all connected to some conspiracy. Tim learned that Sloane was an award winning news reporter from Boston until his editor fired him for fabricating his sources. As Tim examined Sloane's apartment, a twisted operative named Mr. Fun who works for the Network, disposes of Sloane's body in a nearby dumpster.
On the other side of town, Rossetti and his enforcers discuss how to handle the Tracker situation. As Rossetti make his way to his car, Ruiz is dropped onto the roof of the car. Tracker grabs Holthaus and throws him into Santos. Rossetti tries to get a shot off but Tracker slugs him and takes his briefcase. Tracker heads to a nearby rooftop and is about to examine the contents of the briefcase until the Batman arrives. Dr. Excess and his surveillance expert Bugg observe from afar. Excess tells the Tracker to stand down and make his exit. Tracker throws Rossetti's briefcase at Batman which breaks open with a whole bunch of forged credit cards while Tracker makes his escape. Tracker disappears and Batman is left without a lead. Tracker then runs into Freeway who tells Nicholas to focus his efforts on Rossetti and the Network will deal with the Batman later.
Holthaus takes Rossetti to the Technician who comes highly recommended by the Penguin. The Technician's base of operations is filled with remnants of Gotham's 1941 World Fair. Rossetti wants the Technician to design something that will take down the Tracker but the Technician tells Rossetti that what he wants is something the Technician can't provide. Instead, the Technician gives Rossetti a calling card for a bodyguard/ assassin called the Suicide King. Rossetti heads to his family estate where checks in with his grandfather who is in a catatonic state. The Suicide Kign appears before Rossetti and makes quick work of Rossetti's bodyguards thus proving his capability to handle the Tracker. Suicide King tells Rossetti that his fee for taking out the Tracker will be 20% of Rossetti's future dealings. Rossetti agrees to Suicide King's terms and sets up a meeting with the Zamora mob in order to draw out the Tracker.
Bruce goes to the Dumont Hotel Benefit gala which is being hosted by Delilah Wagner. He notices Delilah bullying the mayor into giving Wayne Enterprises greater incentives to remain in Gotham. Celia comes across Bruce and asks for a moment of his time. Celia tells Bruce to tread with caution when dealing with Delilah and reminisces about her friendship with Martha Wayne. 40 years ago, Celia was working as a secretary at the Copper Street Orphanage. Celia was raised at the orphanage by her mother but when her mother passed the deed to the orphanage was passed onto her. A land developer named Stanford Whittaker was intimidating all residents within her neighborhood in order to put up high end apartment buildings. Whittaker threatened the present owner of the orphanage that he will have the deed to the orphanage one way or another.
Fortunately, Martha Wayne was a social crusader and her legal team made the Copper Street Orphanage an historical landmark thereby by putting an end to Whittaker's aggressive push. Unfortunately, the victory was short lived. The orphanage was burnt down but the children all made it out. Whittaker was eventually arrested for arson. Martha helped Celia place the children with good homes among Gotham's elite. Celia ends her story by telling him that the friendship she shared with Martha Wayne ended when Martha started dating Denholm Sinclair who ran the Chat Noir Club for Cesare Rossetti on Avenue B. Celia eventually went to Greece where she met her estranged father but came back to Gotham when her husband Porter Endicott passed away and his seat on the board of directors for Wayne Enterprises was awarded to her.
After talking to Celia, Bruce pays Lucius a visit. Lucius apologizes to Bruce for appointing Delilah in taking over his responsibilities at Wayne Enterprises. Bruce then asks about Celia's history. Lucius knows that she made her wealth in textiles and real estate when she went to Europe. Lucius was impressed with Celia's savvy after her appointment to the board of directors. Bruce runs an idea by Lucius that might ensure Bruce's continued presence at Wayne Enterprises. Later that night, the Batman has a talk with Rossetti's enforcer Santos. Santos who is actually an undercover cop, wants to know why the Batman is allowing the Tracker to interfere with Rossetti's operations. Batman explains that the Tracker isn't affiliated with him. Santos tells the Batman that the Tracker knows all of Rossetti's movements and is crippling him by destroying his most profitable operations. Santos also informs the Batman that Rossetti has hired the Suicide King to take out the Tracker by setting up a fake money drop with the Zamora mob.
As Batman makes his way to the supposed money drop, Oracle pages him via radio. The circumstantial evidence that implicated Delilah Wagner in past dealings of fraud and insider trading has just been verified by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Batman arrives and notices Tracker observing the deal between Arturo Zamora and Rossetti. Batman tells Tracker not to engage because the money drop is a set up. Tracker reacts by stunning Batman with his electrical gauntlets. The Suicide King makes his presence known by putting on a show with the Tracker. Tracker and Suicide King fight in hand to hand combat while Rossetti and Zamora make their exit.
Suicide King causes Tracker to fall to his supposed death in order to solidify his standing with the Rossetti mob. Batman takes on Suicide King. Batman notices that Suicide King's fighting technique is similar to Asano Nitobe. Batman gains the upper hand on Suicide King but he is knocked out by the Tracker from behind. Suicide King tells Tracker that he needs to leave before he ruins their cover. Tracker ignores Suicide King's orders and wants to finish off the Batman. Suicide King leaves Batman at the mercy of the Tracker. Batman realizes that the Tracker and Suicide King are working a shakedown operation on the Rossetti mob. Tracker and Batman fight until Tracker pushes Batman off a rooftop. Batman reaches for his grappling hook and swings to safety but Tracker collides with a steel rafter before falling to his death. Batman descends to the pavement and removes Tracker's mask. Batman is shocked that Celia's son Nicholas is the Tracker.
The next day, Bruce watches as Delilah is escorted by SEC authorities and her lawyer. Celia congratulates Bruce on keeping Wayne Enterprises. Bruce expresses his sincerest condolences for the loss of her son and informs her that he isn't totally capable of running the company so he appoints Celia to be his right hand woman just like Lucius was for Bruce before the Vesper Fairchild incident. Celia does a press conference in front the shareholders in order to restore their confidence in the company then makes her exit. Bruce notices Celia leaving so abruptly then gets a call from Oracle. Oracle says that the Tracker's body has been reported missing from the city morgue. Freeway apologizes to Celia for not accompanying her son during the fake money drop. Celia tells Freeway that she will mourn her son but his death will not deter her from tearing Wayne Enterprises and Gotham apart.
- This book was first published on October 30, 2002.
- The dates and times are established by Wayne Enterprise surveillance video and comments made by characters.
- Batman states that the Tracker has been targeting mob activity for the last two months. A caption references Detective Comics 773 through 775.
- The Suicide King's telephone number is (888) 555-1700.
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