2019-07-14 - Masques and Photos


Betty is invited to dinner to discuss an opportunity

Log Info:

Storyteller: Bruce Wayne
Date: Sun Jul 14 00:17:47 2019
Location: Del Posto Italian Restaurant

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When the invitation came for Betty, it was in a perfect little envelope, engraved - neatly written with nearly perfect penmanship. Delivered by courier, along with a dozen gold and white roses. When it arrived at the Daily Bugle, it raised brows and wagged tongues. Did Betty have a new beau?

An invitation to meet with a mystery benefactor at Del Posto restaurant, an Italian eatery known for its outlandish prices and celebrity visitors. It's the type of place that calls for a dress code. The invitation states that the reservation is for 7 PM, under the name Brant. Cute, reserved for her.

Betty Brant sighs as she looks over the envelope. Her brain was in a million places these days and endulging the rich wasn't really her cup of tea. The roses were nice, though. Her head cants and she studies the card. A glance behind herself, she sees the questioning stare from Jonah, one she can only answer with a shrug of her shoulders. He wiggles his cup and she stands, going back to her normal duties.

Always a curious sort, maybe it would be distracting, Brant later makes her way to the meeting place specified by the fancy little note. Dressed to code in a sleek red gown, she poses by the Host station and gives her name to claim her reservation.

"Buonasera, Signorina Brant." the hostess greets with a smile as she looks over the invitation. "Please, this way." With that, Betty is led towards the back of the restaurant, to a secluded little alcove where the VIPs are usually seated. She'd know from her reviews of the place, just getting a table here nearly costs one thousand dollars. Much more for the exclusive invitation. "The rest of your party will be here shortly. Please, have a seat. May I have you a wine ordered? Or start you an order. The house appetizer is a roasted fig salad with goat cheese, prosciutto, and arugula."

Once Betty has placed her order and been seated, she will find herself alone for the next few minutes. The quiet playing of the string quartet fills the atmosphere of the place - it would be almost romantic is Betty knew this was a date.

Betty Brant offers a smile and is kind enough. She follows after, her gaze keen and looking about the building and everyone attending. She doesn't order wine, however, but does ask for scotch. She doesn't ask for food yet either, but thanks the woman for her time. Seated, she taked in a deep breath and exhales with a flaring of her nostrils. Shifting, stiff, she blinks and continues observing in silence.

The smell of the Italian cuisine is rich and warm. It's a solid place to be. Finally, there's an arrival. Her dark hair is done in an elegant updo, and she's dressed in a black mesh dress with a soft pink shell beneath that hints at the body beneath, warm and lush. The patterns on the dress are intricate whirls and geometric shapes that countour and accenuate her.

But it's her face that draws the eye. Her lips are a light blush in color, and it's all that's readily visible beneath the intricate mask that she wears. It's clear immediately that it's an /expensive/ mask, made of gold, yellow and white, that is moulded to mute yet show off the woman's features. Betty will not even be able to tell the color of her eyes. "I am sorry I am late. I had business to attend to. I hope I did not keep you waiting, Miss Brant?"

There had been rumors on the crime beat - of a new player in Staten Island. A woman that wore a mask. One that had brought some of the Bats to a standstill. A member of the powerful Nefaria family.

She settles across from Betty and sets her hands on the table. "I hope you did not mind the secrecy? As you can tell, I am quite shy.. about such things." She says with a smile that suggests to the flirt that it is.


Betty Brant moves to stand once her company has arrived. She offers a smile, as kindly as she can, before brushing the back of her gown up and under herself as she reclaims her seat. A skip over her mask and attire, Betty continues to be pleasant, at least civil, in the woman's company.

"Not at all. I only just arrived myself." Reaching out, she claims her glass of rich amber and takes a smooth drink. "I suppose not. Though, it seems amiss that you know my name and I don't exactly know yours. Is that going to be kept a secret, too?"

"I deal in secrets and information, Miss Brant. You deal in spreading information. It makes us interesting bedfellows, but that is not something I give away easily. You may call me Masque." she offers as she takes her own wine to sip from as she orders the appetizer salad. "I know of your past. Of the things that your famly has gone through. The Maggia tend to keep an eye on such things. And I see you, trying to find your own way."

"It's something to be admired, that." She says as she swirls the wine in her glass, sniff at it lightly before taking another sip. "But is writing an advice column and answering the lovelorn what you really want to do with your life while you bring Jameson his coffee?" comes the question.

"What if someone could offer you a story. One that would change your entire career." she offers. "Would such an offer interest you?"

"Masque," she repeats gently, giving her glass a gentle lift in silent salute. Another sip down, leaving a mark of her lower lip on its brim, she sets the cup aside and returns her hand to her lap. Her legs fold smoothly, one atop the other, and she relaxes back. The comment about her family causes her to twitch visibly, but she settles shortly after. The comment about the column, however, causes her to scoff and smile. "I love that stupid thing. It's a good way of helping people who don't know how to turn to anyone else. Were it just for the lovelorn, it'd be a little boring, but the issues I deal with there are deeper than that." A pause, "I'll continue helping Jonah until I can't anymore. If that's coffee, I'm glad to do it. That man has done so much for me. More than I can ever repay him for."

Pausing, she nods. "I've covered a few things lately. Killers, heroes - big scoops and all under my name instead of my old one. I don't hide anymore." She states. "However, I'm not against writing something else. Tell me what the story is and I'll tell you if I can help you out."

"They say that a picture can tell a story of a thousand words. I have a picture that could bring down an empire." Masque responds. Smoothly, she reaches into her purse, taking out a small folded manilla envelope, and sets it on the table.

"For now, this is only a glimpse of what I can offer. A taste. You see, sometimes - things need to be exposed for what they are."

She pauses for a moment as the salads arrive. And after the waiter is gone, she starts on her own, a sigh of bliss at the taste. "You really should try some."

Inside the envelope, when she opens it, is a photo. A photo of Batman - everyone has those. But this one? This one is of Batman with a woman in his embrace. It's a passionate, hot-blooded one - and the woman in the picture - the lucky lass?

Is Catwoman. A criminal. A thief. Someone that Batman had pledged to fight and bring in to justice. And he's doing anything /but/ in this photo.

"It's amazing that she was never caught." Masque muses. "I had always wondered why. Perhaps letting her off the hook isn't the only thing he offered her, hmm?"

Betty Brant cants her head, glancing from envelope toward the salad suggested to her. She refuses the food once more, instead reaching for the object in question. Opening it, pulling it out, she ceases any shock that might be in her system, keeping her expression placid. "Guess we can't really choose who we love, even if you wear a cape and a mask." She smiles softly, slipping the photo back into its holder.

"Are you asking me to use this and help take him down?" She questions bluntly, pushing the photo back across toward Masque.

"The time has come for a change, Miss Brant." Masque responds. "Staten Island has long been.. lawless, under the thumb and control of those that hide in shadows and will not step out. I am offering you a chance to shine a light on that corner, and see what the truth really is."

And if it brings down the House of Bat, all the better. That's left unsaid, though.

"I'm offering you a chance to make your career. To make your own path. If you want this, this could be your first step towards making a /real/ change in our world."

"Or you can let things continue as they are. My way? It will save a lot of lives." And make things much easier for her.

She takes the manilla folder, and slips it back into her purse. "Or you can write his obituary. And possibly hers."

"I'm sorry. So this has quickly changed to 'help me save this section of the city' to 'expose someone for who they love or I'll kill them.'?" Shaking her head, she sighs softly. "I'm afraid you may know about my past, but not who I've become because of it. I support him, his family. He and his helped save my life and I will not forget that. If anything, I wish to repay it."

A shift in her seat, she licks her lips smoothly. "My career isn't worth taking him down. I don't want that blood on my hands. Yours, however…" Blinking, she stares forward. "If you plan on taking him out, I'm afraid I can't allow this. I'll be taking you out first. You're being honest with me, so I'll be honest with you. I have a gun on you, now. So…shall we continue this talk or call it there?"

As Betty makes her threat, the woman raises her brow, and then she chuckles. "Loyalty that stems from him saving your life, I suppose." she offers with an amusement to her light laugh. She gives a little shake of her head. "You can try to pull the trigger." comes Masque's comment to the reporter as she takes another bite of her salad. "You may get lucky and wound me. Might even kill me."

"But I will guarantee that you will not leave this room alive either way." she points out as she gestures to her plate. "But alas, it's so hard to make connections in this city. I had hoped that you would be willing to open the eyes of Staten Island to a real threat. I suppose not." She gestures. "You can leave, if you want. And I will not bother you again."

"But remember. Never meet your heroes, Miss Brant.. Betty." She offers that softly, intimately, "..you never know when they'll fail you."

"He's done so much for this city. If you want to talk about why you feel the way you do, I'll listen. I'm good at that." There's a shift, a shuffle, possibly due to Brant putting her weapon away. "I want to help clean up the city as best I can, but that isn't the way to go about it. Getting rid of him just opens the door for someone else, then someone else."

Finishing off her drink, she sets the glass down and gives it a tap. "This was nice. If you need to talk, Masque, I'm open to it. I love this city, but I love him, too. Have a good evening, ma'am. Thank you for the opportunity." Turning, she brushes down her gown and makes her way toward the exit.

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