Red and blue lights flicker through the stained curtained window of the studio apartment. The Gotham forensic team dressed in white cover-alls, clear goggles and white mouth covering masks photograph and itemise the scene, making sure they don’t disturb the evidence. One captures the small two seater dining table in a corner of the kitchenette. One chair sits undisturbed, while agent Ramos sits slouched. The right side of his head rests unnaturally on his right shoulder as trail of partially dried drool and blood runs down his arm to a pool on the floor. Cuts in his Gotham U shirt around his armpits and torso flanked with blood. A forensic analyst places a small numbered tag next to a thin, triangular hole in the table that’s filled with a pool of blood.
Gordon walks in the apartment, surveying the grim scene. A stoic appearance hides anger and remorse for his fallen detectives. “Looks like Joey’s not making that trial in the morning Comish” Bullock calls as he examines the body spread out on the blood soaked, white linen sheets of the double bed. “Joseph Gains was Falcone’s accountant. He was going to turn on Falcone and reveal his laundering operations” Gordon replies, massaging his eyebrow in a hollow attempt to relieve the stress. “What was the cause of death?”
“It’s either the knife wound in the back which punctured both ventricles of his heart, or this..” Peter Westaway, head of the forensic team picks up the head of Joseph Gains. Gains face is covered in blood, like a red plaster mould. A large chunk of gains neck is missing, as flaps of blood soaked skin petal the wound. “His neck was ripped out. The wound suggests it was ripped out by a large, sharp claw”. Westaway returns the head to the pool of blood on the bed. “What about Davis? Where is he?” Gordon asks. “He’s here. Same knife and claw wounds as the other two” a forensic analyst calls out from the bathroom. “Make sure you guys check for everything. Fingerprints, hair and tissue samples, foot print analysis everything. Don’t miss anything” Bullocks frustration heightens his voice.
“They won’t find anything” Batman appears in room by the window, making his way to Gains body. “Get out of here, this is Gotham PD’s job not some vigilante in a motorcycle outfit.” Bullock blocks Batman’s approach to the body. “This is the third murder with the same MO. The killer or killers are bound to leave something behind eventually.”
“I’ve already analysed the apartment, there’s nothing. The killer doesn’t leave tracks. I tried to find a trail around this block” Batman advises. ”What about the knife in Gains back, that’s new. It could have fingerprints on it” Bullock retorts with a smug satisfaction. “It’s clean of fingerprints and residue. So was this feather that was tied to the end of it” Batman holds up a feather to Gordon. “Hey! Give me that! You can’t just…”. “Bullock, stand down.” Gordon stops Bullock who reaches for the feather like a child snatching a toy. “But Jim, that’s evidence. We can’t let some punk take evidence from our crime scene!” “I said stand down Bullock. We need all the help we can get at this point. So far you’ve turned up nothing on the killer”. ”Come on Jim, scratch my back, don’t be the itch. That feathers the first thing I’ve had to go on.” Gordon ignores Bullocks quip “Do you think it’s linked to Penguin, Batman?”
“No. It’s from Tyto Aurantia. The golden masked owl commonly found on Papua New Guinea. It appears to be very old but preserved.”. “So the Court of Owls are back? But why would they want Gains dead?”