Phantom Kid in the World of American Comics - Chapter 2
”I don’t want to be bothered with some stupid teaser letter circulating on the internet. Aaron, take your men and dismiss this crowd, now!”
Gordon felt a headache.
What the hell was this Phantom Kid up to?
Sending a provocative letter to the police station could be understood as an act of confidence, a signal that he was a supremely confident criminal who gave an advance notice to the police just to show off his high IQ.
It has been eight years since an incident as bad as this one happened.
But inviting the general public to witness him in the course of stealing?
That’s something even someone as crazy as the Joker wouldn’t do!
Gordon had a hunch that this thief might be one of the toughest opponents of his career, or, even maybe, the toughest so far.
Based on Gordon’s past experience, whatever this bandit’s purpose behind spreading this news, he must not be allowed to achieve it. And since he wants the hall crowded, Gordon better empty it out.
”Hey! Commissioner Gordon, you have no right to kick us out, Gotham’s Exhibition Hall is a public place, and we’re here for the show!”
Seeing that Aaron had called hundreds of Gotham police officers behind him and was about to evict these reporters out, the duck-topped reporter immediately shouted.
”Well, well… what newspaper are you reporting for, and why have I never seen you before?” Gordon immediately sealed the duck-topped man’s mouth with a sharp gaze that startled him.
”I’m sorry, sir, you have good knowledge about the current situation. I have to suspect you… not to mention the fact that your face has been hidden under the brim of your hat from the start. You don’t want anyone to see your face, do you?”
”Hey! Commissioner Gordon, are you suspecting that I’m that thief who’s not right in the head?”
After a moment of shock, the duck-topped hat guy snapped back to reality and immediately raised his head, revealing the face of a disheveled young man with stubble.
”My name is Eddie Brock, I’m not a reporter from Gotham, but from the New York Daily Bugle, and here’s my work ID.”
Eddie pulled out his own credentials and handed them to Gordon and said quickly, “I know it doesn’t make sense for a New York reporter to show up here, but the truth is I was just here on holiday and happened to learn about this.”
The Daily Bugle is considered a relatively famous newspaper in the United States, and Gordon took the work permit and saw that it was indeed true, but he still did not rule out the possibility of it being forged.
There was also the coincidental holiday that made Gordon even more suspicious of Eddie.
Gordon winked at Aaron, who instantly complied and called the Daily Bugle to confirm Eddie’s story.
Soon after, Aaron hung up and nodded to Gordon that what Eddie had said was true.
It always felt wrong, but apparently, Eddie’s suspicion has been cleared and Gordon had to apologise.
”Now that the misunderstanding is cleared up, there are a few things I have to say.”
Eddie was open-minded enough not to countenance what had happened before, but instead showed a keen interest in the incident.
”Look, officers, I know that the peace of Gotham has depended on you over the years, and at the same time you would hate nothing more than to see a return to the chaos that existed here eight years ago.”
”So this strange thief, Kid, who has come out of nowhere has stirred up some of your memories and made you so anxious that you have to drive these innocent civilians in front of you out of the Exhibition Hall ……”
”Believe me, gentlemen, this decision is not only illegal, but it’s even a bit stupid!”
”What do you mean?” At that, the grumpy Aaron immediately roared.
”I don’t know for what reason Phantom Kid announced his plans to the public, but I do know one thing: stealing always happens when no one is around, otherwise, it becomes robbery.” Gordon got his point across.
”You mean he did it on purpose, to mislead us?”
”Or else what? Oh yes, It’s also possible that the so-called Phantom Kid is just a cover. Such a person might not even exist. It’s just a joke, otherwise there’s no way to explain something as ridiculous as a thief calling for an audience to watch him stealing.”
”More importantly, the teaser letters have gone viral in Gotham and there will be a steady stream of people coming here, you can’t chase everyone away, after all, this fair is accessible to all Gotham citizens, not a specific group of people per se.”
Gordon nodded, Eddie was right, it was true that he couldn’t stop the people from attending the fair, it was just that he still felt that something wasn’t right.
It was a bizarre instinct and Gordon really was unable to think of anyone who could steal Adam’s Star from the gazing eyes of countless people in front of him.
Even if Kid manages to blend in with the crowd, the amount of people in the hall would block all his possible escape routes, and get captured as a result.
The police would simply have to guard all the exits tightly, so even a top thief like Catwoman would never be able to escape…
There is another possibility!
This letter Kid sent may be a plan he faked, he’s not stealing anything, his real intention is to gather people in the exhibition hall and carry out a demolition attack on them!
That’s the kind of crime that fits the people of Gotham!
Eddie’s heart tightened as he saw that Gordon had been deep in thought.
”I guess it’s true that Jim Gordon… is still hesitant to stop people from gathering here when he knows that the exhibition hall will never be closed because of Kid’s warning letter… “
Yes, this “Eddie” is not Eddie, but Mathison in disguise!
Of course, Eddie Brock is a real person, and it’s also true that he came to Gotham on holiday and found out about the teaser letter by chance.
But the real Eddie is probably still asleep in his own car…
A reporter is the perfect identity to be able to ask the police all sorts of questions, including some of their set-ups, and not be suspected even if they don’t get answers.
As for why Mathison is spreading his teasing letter, ease of invasion is one reason, but more importantly…
Wouldn’t Phantom Kid’s debut be a failure if there was no audience??
”You’re right.”, Gordon sighed as he watched the number of civilians grow.
”Aaron, you lead the team and guard the main entrance for me, there is still a long time before the show starts, don’t allow anyone to enter the hall during this time!”
”The only remaining exit from the exhibition hall, besides the main entrance, is a narrow back door, which can be guarded by just two officers.”
Gordon instructed an experienced veteran officer before shouting at a young officer in the back of the group, “Rookie, you follow too!”
Mathison glanced at the young officer. The rookie was probably a newcomer to the GCPD.
A rookie at this time of year would most likely be John Blake, the future Robin.
”That’s right, including these reporters, no one is allowed to get in!”
Gordon gave “Eddie” a deep look, and Mathison saw a bit of doubt in his eyes.
Even with the office’s confirmation, Gordon was still unsure.
”I thought journalists had a lot of power in a free country, but as expected, the police arrangements can’t be made public.”
Mathison wasn’t flustered, that was to be expected, after all, being a journalist had allowed him to observe many police officers up close…
Gordon ignored the barking journalists and took hundreds of his men into the exhibition hall.
Aaron remained at the main entrance with a team of police officers, in addition to the first dozen of security guards, a total of nearly 30 men.
All with loaded guns, standing in a line blocking the entrance, no one dared to come forward.
At this point, no one noticed that “Eddie”, the journalist from New York, was missing…
Once the entrances and exits had been secured, Gordon led a large force into the exhibition hall and set up a full defense line.
John Blake followed his colleague to guard the back door, a dark alleyway as usual, which is ‘very Gotham-like,’ one must say.
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