"Keeper of the Castle": Black Mask has cornered one of the Calabrese Family messengers in an alley when Catwoman comes to his rescue. Though Black Mask has her at gunpoint, the messenger escapes, and when the police sirens come, Black Mask thinks better of kill
- Sometimes, to hold power, you have to sow a little poison. You can't show weakness. You have to remember you have no one.
- -- Selina Kyle
Appearing in "Keeper of the Castle"
- Gotham Organized Crime
Synopsis for "Keeper of the Castle"
Black Mask has cornered one of the Calabrese Family messengers in an alley when Catwoman comes to his rescue. Though Black Mask has her at gunpoint, the messenger escapes, and when the police sirens come, Black Mask thinks better of killing her and makes a run for it.
From a rooftop, the Catwoman watches as Selina Kyle makes the rounds, visiting the crime families of Gotham City. Detective Alvarez was watching too, and he returns to his partner, Tammy Keyes in their office with evidence of Selina's eight visits in two hours. Tammy is annoyed that he claimed he had a doctor's appointment to do this, despite having been warned off of the case already. Still, she explains that the families Selina visited are all in construction - and they're helping the city, so far. Regardless of Alvarez' assertions that the Calabreses are planning a huge deal, Tammy points out that Selina obviously knows about his following her, pointing to a photo he took where she clearly looks straight at him.
Back at the mansion, Selina and Antonia report back to Nick and Ward about how their obeisance went - which was all around, well. However, Nick warns that despite their success in convincing the head of the Hasigawa Family to let them use the docks for their gun running operation, it is conditional upon their agreement to distribute a shipment of heroin. Selina is completely against drug running, but hides it from her lieutenants, requesting a moment alone with Ward. He reminds that some families still feel she's overstepping her bounds. Hasigawa must know that it is a dangerous time to be asking for obedience from the whole network. If Selina takes the drug deal, she will corner the market and it will place all blame on her. She will become a target for the police. Selina responds that she will do what is safest for Gotham.
Elsewhere, Aiden Mason of Ascolat Incorporated announces the renewal of his company's exclusive construction contract for Gotham City's restoration. Behind the scenes, though, he runs a backward company that coerces and threatens people into getting that contract. This news troubles Selina, because she and her families were the ones who were destined to rebuild Gotham, until Ascolat showed up out of nowhere. Concerned, she has her lieutenants take steps to find out all they can about the company and Aiden Mason, while having Alice Tesla bug their offices. Antonia wonders if Selina will be needing Nick's help for this, and Selina asks if there is any reason not to trust him. Antonia covers for him, drawing Selina's suspicions, but she leaves it up to Antonia to decide.
Later, Selina holds a meeting with Eiko Hasigawa, who comes in her father's stead. Though she herself disapproves, Eiko correctly assumes that Selina is going to accept her father's terms and distribute the heroin. She admits that she had expected better of Selina, and Selina comments that she had expected better negotiating on Eiko's part.
Meanwhile, Alvarez continues his investigation and spots Tammy talking with their Captain. When she returns, she admits that he hasn't yet begun asking about all of the extended "smoke breaks" in pursuit of a mob queen above their pay grade. Grumpily, she warns him to get of the office before she's tempted to tell Tanner about it. As he leaves the station, he is watched by a well-dressed man.
At the meeting of the families, the Falcone Family complain of having lost their construction deals, and Selina wonders if they had anything to do with Ascolat's takeover. They respond that they did not, and Selina affirms that she still had faith in them, explaining that she has since found the judge who signed the exclusivity clause, and he will be handled. In the meantime, the weapons sale will conclude, and profits will be shared with those who assist. Any of the assembled may volunteer men.
After the meeting is adjourned, Ward explains that Aiden Mason is using unknown muscle, which means he's working for a family who's off the Calabreses' radar. He passes her a newspaper which she can tell from the red marker all over it came straight from Carlos Alvarez' desk. She says nothing about it, suggesting Ward continue his investigations.
Elsewhere in the mansion, Nick warns Antonia that he doesn't want her to be a part of the deal at the docks. He refuses to tell her why. Selina, meanwhile, knows that Nick is in the cops' pockets. He must be the one feeding Alvarez information. She is happy enough to see a drug deal fall victim to a police sting - but nobody can know about it if it happens.
That night, Nick meets with Alvarez to report on the plan for the docks deal. He makes Alvarez promise not to let any harm come to Antonia, but Alvarez reminds that he can't watch Nick's back in the meantime. As they part ways, Nick is grabbed by someone.
Getting some air on her roof, Selina is interrupted by the Catwoman, and comments that thwarting robberies is going to give her a bad reputation. They fight, and Selina notes that this woman is not a bad fighter, for an imposter. The Catwoman pulls a knife, and in the tussle, her costume is slashed, and Selina recognizes the tattoo beneath it as belonging to Eiko. Annoyed, Selina presses the girl up against the edge of her balcony and demands to know why she is posing as her. Eiko responds that it is because Selina isn't. Catwoman should be stopping the crimes that Selina has started committing. Selina warns that Eiko should not confuse the plans she knows about, and the plans that Selina is actually making. Catwoman is a thief first and foremost, and she has nobody. If Eiko wants to do her civic duty, she should pose as Robin. Selina insists that from where she is right now, she can do more for Gotham than she could as Catwoman.
Nick, meanwhile, regains consciousness in a darkened room, tied to a chair. From behind him, Black Mask appears, warning that he's heard the reports of what Nick's been doing.
- This book was first published on November 26, 2014.
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