There was a dazzling smile on Matt Hagen's face.
It was big and therefore warming, but not so big that it came off as an affectation. It reached his eyes and made his fans and well-wishers glad that they had a chance to meet him.
"Thank you, everyone, thank you so much, I'm so glad you liked the show. But after this last one," he said, autographing a fan's Dream's Year
theatrical soundtrack, "I really need to, you know, get some sleep!" It was a corny pun, since the musical's catchiest - if most banal - number was "Can't Get No Sleep," but it got everyone tittering, and after a small chorus of laughter and compliments, the backstagers drifted from his door and over to Gottfried Stanglers', who puffed with theatrical frustration at their appearance.
"Plague me no more," came Gotty's plea of mock frustration as Hagen shut his changing room door. Better that he field the fans tonight; he deserved it. He was at the top of his game tonight, whereas Hagen had things other than theater on his mind.
Finally, he was alone. His smile faded, as easily and naturally as he had originally put it up. He locked the door.
The headlines had bothered him, planted a seed of suspicion in his mind that demanded his attention, but the damn show had to go on. Hagen hated being interrupted from his work, his real work, but he knew part of it was keeping up appearances, and so the show went on, even as his mind clanked away at the new turn of events. But now he was free, free to drop the facade.
His face fell away, leaving a featureless, wet clay expanse that rippled from small air bubbles working their way to the surface. It was like his earthen face was gently simmering, his purpose burning away at his core.
Time to work.
The Signal. A raid. Three cops hurt. Who at Gotham PD would even care, and why would Falcone let that ever grace the interwebs? And Wayne Enterprises... he trusted them as much as he trusted Falcone. So who was this R'as Al-Ghul fellow? Sounded foreign, and Hagen had learned not to trust foreigners.
Hagen needed to learn more.
The rest of his stage costume turned to pale clay and sucked gently back into his body as he strolled over to his laptop computer. He brought up his contacts database, picked up his phone. There were a lot of people he needed to talk to, a lot of rats that needed stirring, but the night was young.
He dialed the first number.