Jul. 4th, 2007

gotham_knocking: (At work)
Knox was rousted from a sound sleep at the (okay, not terribly early) hour of 8 am by an insistent phone. He checked to see that Rapunzel hadn't been disturbed - she wasn't - and took the call in the living room.

"Whozat?"

"Knox, it's Marty." Behind her was a whole lot of background noise.

"Any reason you had to wake me?"

"It's not that early, so I thought you'd be up."

"Life of a columnist, Marty. So, what's the story."

"I'm at police headquarters. Things are hopping here. Dent started a round-up overnight."

Marty couldn't see Knox' eyebrow jump up. "A mob round-up? Who's he going after? Batman or the Joker took care of everybody."

"No offense, Knox, but you know better than that. And he's chasing Maroni's men."

Knox whistled. "You're kidding. No one touches him. He's connected to the mobs in Philly and Metro. Even Chicago. And the guy's laid low."

"You're not keeping up, boss." Of late, Marty was sarcastically calling Knox "boss" but he didn't mind. "That big a power vaccum was too tempting. He's been consolidating things. I did a story on it last month, remember?"

"You did a story about police speculation. Which, you will recall, I had you shift the focus to the cops and Dent's office from the rumors."

"Well, the rumors were true. Must be thirty guys under arrest here. It's a mob lawyer convention right now."

"Maroni?"

"Nope. Nothing about him yet, but Harvey Lee is addressing the press in ninety. Thought you'd want to know."

"You thought I'd want to be there. And you're right." Even with his crime reporting days behind him, Knox was fascinated by the story. Harvey Lee Dent's rather brusque style was unusual for a DA, a drastic change from the level-headed Harvey D. Dent and from the well-groomed but plastic faces at the US Atorney's OFfice. "Any word of the Feds being in on this?"

"Not yet. I think Dent took the lead on it, and will tell us everything."

"Yup. I'll meet you there." Knox hung up the phone, and went to get dressed, and to let a groggy Raps know why he was rushing out.

-----

"I think you all know why you're here. And I'm pretty busy today, so I'll get to the point: we have delcared war on the Mob in Gotham City once and for all. And this time we are making it absoutely clear than the Mob is done for and that we will not tolerate men like Sal Maroni in this city anymore!" Harvey Lee Dent stood at the microphone at the top of the stairs of Gotham's aging police headquarters. He could have run the news conference from the press room inside the building, but he preferred the more dramatic backdrop, though Knox would have added that the air conditioning inside was probably on the fritz. "As of now we have arrested 34 suspected lieutentants and soldiers of the Maroni crime family, and that's just the start. Soon we are confident that the evidence will be place to make sure that Maroni himself knows his place."

Flashbulbs popped and forty hands went up to ask questions, but for a minute Dent stood there and took it in. Knox didn't doubt that the man cared about his job and his adopted home, but was he too eager to impress, or too quck to revel in the attention?

"I'm sure you have a lot of questions, but I'll have to leave them to my press officers. However, I can anticipate a few. Yes, we are working with the Feds on this. Most of the arrests are RICO-related. But US Attorney Foley has agreed that the lead on this should come from the city. We know the cases. We know the turf. We know how Maroni avoided this for years.

"And I say this now. Sal Maroni's time as a free man is over!" A few reporters, caught up in the moment, applauded. Knox didn't and Marty scowled. The DA repeated a few ideas, and then left the rest of the press conference to his press officers.

-----

"Arrogant cuss, isn't he?" Marty addressed Knox as they were walking back to the office, him with an iced coffee and her with a bottled water.

"By Gotham standards, he's not bad. I interviewed him when he first made it clear he wanted the job. I think he really does care about the city, and really is tired of one generation of mobsters after another showing up and making things difficult." In fact, he agreed with her, but wanted to see where she was headed.

"Making a proclamation like that, though...he'd just tempting Maroni to try something. DAs have been killed over less."

"You said it yourself. Maroni's laid low. I think that Dent's game is to flush him out into the open by saying stuff like that. Most mobsters can't leave well enough alone when DAs talk that way." Knox slupred the last of his iced coffee.

"I hope he doesn't regret it," Marty emphasized. "Still, it's a good story. Front page?"

"Should be. Dent's photogenic. And that drawl makes for good sound bites, so we have to keep up with the TV types. You ready for a front page byline?"

Marty smiled, perhaps pleased that he has paid attention to her development, or maybe just happy that they let her cover this story. "I had one in Chicago. I shared it, but my name was there. Mom ordered thirty copies of it."

"Fair enough, but this is Gotham. This is the big show."

"If you say so." Knox wondered how long it would be before Marty convinced her fiance to request a transfer out of the city. Some people just don't seem right for Gotham.

The office building that was home to PM loomed before them. "You better get to work. Evening edition's due soon."

"No need to remind me, boss. I know my job."

"Good. I'll catch you later. Ned to do some research." Marty entered the building, seemingly even forgetting she was talking to Knox. He didn't mind that. She was much closer to being ready to go it alone than Casey was. He'd tell her editor this soon.

He turned and caught a bus towards the main library. He had the idea for the next column: a reminder of the history of Gotham's mobs (whihc would require digging through old newspapers for a while). It was, he would admit, a step back to being a crime reporter, but he had the idea that if Dent was dead serious, people needed to know why.

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