The phone rings loudly, echoing through the tiny apartment.
"Cheeks, can you get that?" comes the shouted response from the green-suited figure in the kitchen, busily folding dishtowels into the shapes of various superhero insignias.
Dawn broke over the horizon. The sounds of the city bellow mingled together in the crisp chilled air.
Sitting on the building's ledge Connor sipped hot chocolate and watched the horizon. He looked back to the open letter in his hand and he shook his head in smiling disbelief.
Open crates containing plastic wrapped components and pallets bearing specialized and custom made equipment formed a semi circle around the main terminal station and over sized High Density monitor. The overhead lights punctuated a stark contrast of light in the immediate area when compared to the deep shadows around. Now and then the flash of light from an arc-welder would flare up and the distinct smell of welded metal would cut sharply into the air.
Tim's legs stuck out from an exposed panel in the wall behind the steel and chrome workstation. The sounds of diligent labor partially muffled by the paneling testified to his connection to the evidence of the welder's activity.
Gotham's winters are bitter and merciless. The bite in the air right now could do real damage to exposed anatomy if left unprotected for more than a few minutes. Tim pulled the hood of his cape over his head to give his ears a reprieve.
Moving like a ghost, he flitted silently between shadows making no sound at all as he bounded to the neighboring rooftop. Carefully he came to the edge and peered down into the alleyway.
Gold light lit up the dirty and garbage strewn snow, the illumination spilling from an open loading dock where men hurriedly moved crates into a waiting van. The vehicle's motor was running and it's driver looked up and down the alley with nervous impatience.
Drake sized up his targets and pulled a few tools from his belt.
The 'crunch crunch' of the snow accompanies Connor's stride through the dirty snow of the Gotham sidewalk. The top of his head and shoulders are already dusted in white as the weather continues to deposit a smattering of snowfall on the city. The sun is still creeping above the horizon as he makes his way through the bleak and decaying neighborhood of tenements and warehouses. The streets are more deserted than one might expect, but not entirely empty either. Many of the buildings here were abandoned and half of those that weren't were occupied by squatters seeking to escape the cold. It bothered him, but Tim had given him some perspective on the matter. They couldn't save everybody, not immediately, but they were doing good work.
Even so, deep inside he felt that there should be something more they could do for the 'right now'.
Reaching, his destination he balanced the cardboard drink caddie and the small brown paper sack in one hand as he pressed the door buzzer with the other. The responding tone sounded off shortly after, it's buzz an inconsistent drone similar to a dying insect.
Kicking the snow off his boots, he entered and made short work of the three story climb of stairs. Not that the cold bothered him at all, but the warmth being maintained in the large open space of the third floor was a welcome sensation. His Smallville High jacket got tossed on the second hand couch they had salvaged. The hot chocolates and the bag with breakfast burritos got deposited in the kitchenette. Connor looked around.
"Hey Bat-Mite, you here?"
This neighborhood in the East End was riddled with decrepit infrastructure, from crumbling roads to questionable sewer lines this part of Gotham rarely received the kind of attention to it's decaying bones that the more 'acceptable' areas of the city did from civic coffers. Grants from the Wayne foundation had served as a vital lifeline for years now, but even the generous donations from that philanthropic arm made only a few dents in the general state of disrepair. Recent event hadn't improved the situation.
In the last year, the city had been sieged by the extra terrestrial forces of Apokalips. During the conflict, considerable damage had been done to several neighborhoods and this one had been no exception. The city had survived other disasters, some frighteningly enough had been worse. Stoic in it's fortitude Gotham was once again slowly plodding it's way back to health again, but progress had been practically glacial so far.
Even so, a city road crew had been working daily on the street below. The crater like pothole, clogged sewer drains, and faulty street lights were all being attended to. Despite the noise, no one was complaining, least of all the newest tenants.
The place looked like a dump from the outside. The inside however...ok it looked like a dump too. The location was perfect however. Crime heavy neighborhood, poor lighting, and a number of city service tunnels ran underneath the property. It was the ideal spot for what he had in mind.
Tim poked one of the beams. The rotten wood practically gave like a crumbling sponge at his finger pressure.
"How are you with a hammer?"