by Squee | Mar 19, 2018 | Chronicles
She had gained some clarification over the last few days. She wasn’t a prisoner, but she also wasn’t free either. Those that claimed to be protectors of this planet, that kept potential extraterrestrial threats from harming the citizens of this planet seemed to have some difficulty allowing the princess to have autonomy to explore.
She had some time to learn, to absorb the knowledge, the etiquette and the basics of interacting with humans. She tried to keep such things in mind as she grasped for a moment of freedom. Even a few hours away from the watchful eye of her ‘keepers’ was enough to soothe her nerves. She certainly didn’t want to go from one prison and into another. If that were the case she would attempt to give these Earth warriors as much hell as she gave her previous captors. Except, there was nowhere else to go. She had no ship. She was absolutely and completely stranded and grounded on this odd planet.
Her curiosity had still gotten the better of her. Gotham had interesting people and there was one of particular interest. She had heard one side of the story from Dr. Light but she was curious to learn what the stranger in the red cowl may have to say for himself and the ‘crimes’ he was said to have committed.
Though, even at night, that was like searching for a needle in a haystack. It was a large city, there were many rooftops. An hour went by…then another half hour before she settled on a building near where her ship had crashed. There wasn’t even a sign of anything having happened. It was so neatly cleaned up, back to normal.
Part of her wondered how long before they had noticed she had gone missing and how long it would take to find her. She hadn’t even brought any of their technology with her. She found it difficult to find a location to tuck the ‘phone’ away in her clothing. With a heavy sigh she stretched her fingertips towards the evening sky. Stars that she had seen from so many different angles, systems that were unfamiliar and alien to her. She had wondered which one was Tamaran, it was surely lost in the sea of sparkling light that was reflected at this planet so many years ago.
Damien Wayne/Red Hood
It was hard not to notice the flying orange woman in the Gotham sky, and then when she landed on top of a building near Gotham Bay. Landing on the rooftop behind her, Damien’s quiet. Even his landing doesn’t even make a sound. Years of brutal training taught him those lessons. Damien was curious as to why the woman was here. Keeping to a shadow near the edge of the building, he scans the area for Conner. Wondering if Super<i>boy</i> was going to make an appearance along with Wonder Blondie.
When a half hour passed, he felt confident enough to step forward. Though, his foot falls were still silent.
“You came back.”
Damien said, curious about the visitor from another world. He figured that NOWHERE would have kept her locked up nice and tight somewhere, trying to gleam whatever information they could. They even came and got her ship with little to no fuss. Like if the whole incident didn’t happen. He would have been more curious if other events weren’t taking his attention away from what transpired.
After a minute, Damien would pull his helmet off to show Kori that it was him.
“I am surprised you are here. I had assumed Superman had taken you somewhere very far away.” explaining as he stood a distance away from her. But kept his stance neutral as not to attract any hostile attention from him. Though, he had a feeling that she was not here for hostile reasons.
“Are you safe?” asking, curiously.
It seemed far too easy, for a moment her fists were clenched but her fingers loosened and she allowed her arms to drape at her sides. He was a stealthy one and she wasn’t fond of being snuck up on. Her reaction to surprises like that was generally not friendly but she had learned that reacting with violence would only attract more unwanted attention to her.
She calmed once she heard his voice, but she still appeared stiff and guarded.
“Not far enough. I imagine I was taken where I could be observed and questioned. I answered all of their questions, perhaps they do not perceive me to be a threat. I am not sure.”
It didn’t matter in the larger picture of things, she was at the mercy of the kindness and what little trust they extended to her. Even now she knew it may only be a matter of time until they caught up to her.
“They said you are a criminal, that you are a killer. Is this true, Warrior?”
“I am glad that you were not taken far away. But, I imagine they will always perceive you as a threat as you are not of this world. I do not, though. I believe you are lost, that you did not intend on landing here.” gesturing to the bay. “Though, I am assuming you are trapped. As no other alien vessels have come to claim you.” assuming with a shrug.
Damien Wayne/Red Hood
Damien listened when she asked her questions about being a criminal and a killer, his expression didn’t change in the very least, his voice level and calm as he answered her question. “Yes. To both accounts.” Not mixing his words, or trying to lead her astray. “I have broken many laws, and have killed many times.” telling her, his eyes level with hers. Damien wasn’t in the habit of lying. “I am trained to be a killer. I … know nothing else.” giving a half shrug, it was the truth. Though, he wasn’t sure what else to tell her. His past wasn’t a secret, who he was wasn’t a secret. But finding the truth about who he was would be difficult.
But telling her on top of a roof near Gotham Bay was not the place. Maybe once she’s truly free. Slipping his jacket off, he steps towards her. His arm outstretched to her. Showing some kindness that may not have been given to her yet. “It is getting cold. They are expecting it to snow tonight.” explaining as he looked around as dark storm clouds started covering the sky.
“Why are you here?” asking, curiosity getting the better of him. It wasn’t that he was ungrateful to see her. But, he honestly hadn’t expected to see her again. Though, he vowed to find her after he found Joker. Unfortunately, there were priorities.
One thing she hadn’t quite mastered in the form of etiquette was when to respect someone’s boundaries, to keep a comfortable amount of space. It wasn’t something she understood and how she communicated to others was a little more complex than just words. She took several slow steps towards him. His admission causing no reaction of fear or horror or disgust. There were things she did not tell the others that have spoken to her. She was familiar with death, as many perished by her own hands.
She reached out to touch his face with her fingertips, paying no mind to the offering of the jacket. They took the last one, they still haven’t returned it to her. If he allowed the touch he would feel that she was not phased by the cold building in the air. Some exposure to the sun had done wonders for her strength and her health. It also protected her from the elements and kept her warm.
“Any mindless fool can follow training. Why do you do it?”
Her brow quirked with his question. She wasn’t sure she had a clear answer. She could have steered clear, she could have moved on from that fateful evening when she fell from the sky.
“I’m not…trapped. I have nowhere else to go. I am not a prisoner or a slave, if I wish to find a kind stranger, I will.”
Damien Wayne/Red Hood
“I… have been asking myself the same question for some time now.” answering her question, at first Damien started to slightly turn his head away from touch, then stopped to let her fingers touch his face. It was strange to feel that they were warm. Honestly, he was surprised to feel how warm she was. It was unexpected, but then again. She was an alien. “I had been trained from the time I was a mere infant. Along with the Order I was raised into. I … knew nothing else.” a shrug as he glanced down. It wasn’t something he spoke about much, leading by ignorance seemed easier than leading by thought.
Lifting his hand to take hers, he squeezes it gently.
“I fear the organization that has captured you, will attempt to. Though, I ultimately have no proof of this. Just rumors and hearsay.” Damien was being honest. Looking up as the storm gathered, little white flakes flitted through the sky. “You are quite the interesting being.” pausing, then taking a long look at her. “I just realized, I do not know your name. They may have told you who I am. But, Let me tell you my name. I am called Damien. What is your name?” asking, curiosity getting the better of him.
Damien’s voice was even and his breathing calm. He wasn’t fearful of her, and he had no reason to be, even if she wasn’t of this world. “May I ask why you came here? To … Earth.”
Some of the alterations that had been made to her genetic structure had brought about some interesting effects. One of those was being able to have a sense of the emotions of others. It took skin contact, it took a touch as did some of her other abilities. It was something she had grown used to, a tool she added to her arsenal to sense what others were feeling, to see how honest they were. The only deception the warrior caused was by omitting information, information he withheld within reason.
She squinted when she felt that rage, the heat of the anger that coursed through him. It took a lot to bring that out in someone, human or otherwise. He was so very calm on the surface but in the depths of his emotions it was much darker.
“I’m not sure of their intentions with me…I came here to escape that. I was imprisoned for a very long time. I endured a lot that tested my resilience, my mind, my body. I was made to be a warrior, a killer. If I did not kill, I did not live. If I disobeyed, I was punished harshly. I came out of desperation for freedom, even if it meant I died trying.”
The woman from Tamaran obviously hadn’t died but she worried she was going from one prison to another.
“Koriand’r is my name, Damien.”
Damien Wayne/Red Hood
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Koriand’r.” giving a slight bow of his head to her. “I see we are more alike, than not.” Damien had a lot of anger, and a lot of rage as a result of his upbringing. It took his father days, and months to curb that anger…that rage that boiled just beneath his skin. “People on this planet too, have died desperate for freedom. This country we are in were founded by others fleeing from a monarchy that did not allow them to practice their own religion.” he wouldn’t really go into specifics, but the cliff notes should be enough.
“I would not trust this organization that currently has you. They may say their intentions are true, but, do not always believe them.” turning his attention back to the bay. “You have come far for freedom, into a country that idolizes that same freedom. I am sincere when I say that you will have that freedom, Koriand’r.” offering as he looked at her. His breath steady. “But, It will be sometime before this may be able to happen.” telling her honestly. Damien wasn’t sure what she had planned, if she had something planned. But, at the moment. There were more pressing matters.
Taking a deep breath through his nose, he lets it out slowly.
“You are most interesting, and I wish to get to know you better.” Damien would offer just the barest hint of a smile at her. Which, really was rare for him to break his stoic, level gaze. Looking into her eyes, it was fascinating. He honestly wanted to know more, but knew time was not on their side.
“But, I fear that if you are gone much longer. The organization that currently has you will come looking. At the moment, that is not something this city needs.” An influx from NOWHERE was definitely not needed in the city. It’s paranoia was high enough as it is with the mass of ninjas jumping around.
She exhaled sharply, it was nearly a snort. She had gotten a bit of a history lesson already but it had all seemed to tiny compared to where she came from. This was a speck of a civilization, a species that couldn’t even get along with each other. A planet that could not become united no matter how many wished for it. She also feared that no one could truly promise her freedom. The species that had her could easily overcome this planet if given the urge to strike at full force. It would be a waste of resources with perhaps little to gain other than some interesting samples and more odd genetic code to add to their collection.
She lowered her head, pushing her forehead against his with a soft sigh. She couldn’t make him see the true expanse of horrors that spread deep across these skies.
“Human or alien….all warriors fight with purpose, with passion, with some desire and hope for something else. Be it for unleashing the chaos of war and the thirst for blood or fighting because others cannot. When you can tell me your purpose…perhaps we may be able to do that.”
A grin picked at her lips as she quickly moved in to press her soft lips against his. It was a brief moment of tenderness, she hoped that maybe it was something he needed at the moment.
When her lips parted from his she whispered very softly as her fingers traced along his jaw.
“…or they will come for you. Move swiftly, Damien.”
Damien Wayne/Red Hood
The kiss was unexpected, but welcomed and ended far too soon. “I agree. I will see you again soon, Koriand’r.” telling her as he stepped away. Scooping his helmet on in one fell swoop as he turned to the edge of the building and dropped off it without so much a sound. If Kori tried to look for him, she’d see that if was as if he vanished into thin air. No trace left behind, not even a single piece of the few pebbles on the roof weren’t disturbed. Damien won’t forget her. The moment of tenderness shared between them would not be forgotten. But, for now, he had other priorities to attend to.
by Squee | Nov 20, 2017 | Chronicles
Damien had been practicing with a pair of escrima sticks on the wooden dummy. The strikes were fast, hard and brutal looking. Before Tim left, he offered to teach Stephanie some maneuvers via sparring, but was quickly shot down as Tim left the building. So, while he practiced, he’d attempt to make small conversation with the newbie vigilante. Such as.
“Hello. How are you?”
Though, it didn’t go much beyond that as he kept practicing, his silence enveloping the room once again. Enough to even make young Stephanie maybe a bit uncomfortable. It wasn’t that he was being intimidating, or anything of the sort. It was just his natural demeanor. It wasn’t great to begin with, and wasn’t any better. Conversations with his brothers were different, they talked about the city, what was going on and what they had been doing in the city. Also, they discussed scars and their father from time to time.
When the main computer monitor came up, Damien came to a stop to see what it was all about. But as he watched the live feed by the Joker, the color would drain from his face.His knuckles would grow white as he gripped the sticks even tighter in his hands. Once it was done and over, he would go back to striking the dummy. This time, though, he wasn’t holding back. The escrima sticks would start to splinter with each impact on the wooden dummy. Then soon even the dummy was succumbing to the damages of the sticks.
Cracks would start forming on the dummy, they were shallow at first. But after a couple of minutes both the dummy and the sticks seemed to explode with force. Splinters and chunks of wood going out in all directions. Even some sticking into Damien, though it seemed that it didn’t bother him. Sweat was dripping off his body as he walked over to where his outfit was and pulled it on.
Walking over to one of the motorcycles, he disables communications on it, and then on the inside of his helmet. Turning to look at Stephanie, even though she may not know him… it’d be clear that whatever it was that just happened on that screen, Was intensely personal with Damien.
“As I am sure you will notify my compatriots of what has just transpired. Give them a message from me.” putting the helmet on, he fixes the strap and then adjusts his gloves. “Tell them not to attempt to follow me, or stop me. I do not wish to harm them. And prepare, girl. Hell is about to ascend onto Gotham.” telling her now through the helmet, his voice becoming digitized. Turning the motorcycle on, he throttles it for a moment as he presses a button for the exit and drives out, wheels screeching the whole way.
Tim may not like he now has skid marks all over his floor, but Damien didn’t care. There was going to be no stone left unturned in Gotham. Whatever hole Joker was hiding out in was not going to protect him. Joker just committed the ultimate sin. There was very little that got to Damien, and the fact that Joker found a way to get to him? Well, Damien was going to have to kill him. There was no way around it, The Joker, Harley Quinn, his whole posse. They were going to die.
And nobody was going to stop him.
Even if that meant crippling his own brothers, and sisters, in arms.
Nothing was going to stop him from completing his mission.
In the last few hours, the police would have been receiving reports about a vigilante just absolutely tearing up gang and mafia hot spots. Leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. And this was just the start. Damien would know that the League of Shadow agents would be coming to raze this city to the ground in order to find Talia. While Damien didn’t necessarily care what happened to the city, but it didn’t mean he wanted to see it razed. With all communications cutoff from his family, Damien acted accordingly. Going deeper and darker than he ever had before.
Was he going to recover from this?
Only time would tell.
Right now, his only concern was finding his mother. In the distance, he could see other figures running the rooftops. Altering his own course, Damien moves to intercept a small group. Pulling his helmet off, he holds his free hand up to stop them.
<”Halt. I am Damien Al-Ghoul. You are to come with me.”> telling them in perfect Tibetan, they stop and kneel before him. Pledging their allegiance to him. When another group comes in, Damien gestures to them. <”You are to go to the harbor. I have reason to believe the signal may be coming from there.”> with a curt nod, they vanish, just as quick as they arrived. Pulling his helmet back on, he looks at the group in front of him. Nods, turns and heads towards a large abandoned building.
Damien doesn’t stop when he reaches the building across from it, instead he leaps and dives head in through one of the many windows. Windows around him also shatter as men clad in dark robes drive through and land without a sound. Almost as if they were weightless. The warehouse was home to the small time villain named Firefly. To Damien, this man was hardly worth his time. But the thing about these kinds of villains, and the bigger ones, they all talk and communicate.
Since the kidnaping of his mother, there were answers he needed first. Like, where she was kidnapped from. Firefly may or may not have this information. Currently, Firefly was attempting to gather a small army to take over Gotham. His only problem was timing, as the ninjas descended upon the building, the small army is now an army of corpses. They didn’t stand a chance to the ninjas, most of them no more skilled than being muscle. Firefly had ran and hid in a corner to stay away from the stabby stabby ninjas.
<”Halt. I will take care of him. Dispose of any others in this building.”> Damien commanded, and just like that, they were gone. Turning his attention to the second floor he was on, he would look around slowly, pulling out a sword from behind him. Joker made this personal, so Damien was going to deal with this in his own unique personal way. Tim made his suit fireproof thankfully. But it didn’t mean he was going to just stand there and take the flames. Firefly might be a low level criminal… didn’t mean he was dangerous and should not be taken lightly.
Lately, though, Damien hasn’t taken anything lightly.
Scanning the floor with the visor built into his helmet, he spots the heat signature of Firefly. The man had heard about the new Red Hood and didn’t want to deal with him in the slightest. Rumors went around the villain world that he worked much like Batman did. But, the other rumors suggested he was teaming up with Joker…
So, which was it?
Firefly was in no mood to find out.
Before the C-List villain could escape down a fire escape, a pair of batarangs would fly past him, wedging into the door. There was only one way out, and it was through the Red Hood. Firefly would growl as he’s trapped. “Nobody backs Firefly into a corner!” yelling as he unleashed his high grade military flamethrower. Flames sprouted, turning everything into ash or catching it on fire. Damien would run from it, but keep up with the seemingly chaotic pattern. The two danced for what seemed like full hours before Damien’s able to get in close and slice the hose that ran from the tank on Firefly’s back to his gun.
Not taking a minute to slow down, it only takes a second. Firefly goes to pull his plasma sword out, only to have his hand sliced cleanly off, leaving the sword to scatter onto the floor. The hand still attached to it. Damien would grab Firefly and push him up against the wall.
“I NEED INFORMATION!” Damien shouted, Firefly was in no real condition to talk as blood seemed out of his now stubbed arm. “WHY WAS TALIA IN GOTHAM AND WHERE WAS SHE?” he growled, but Firefly didn’t respond. Dropping him, Damien turned and picked up the sword that Firefly dropped. Pulling the hand off it, he tosses it into growing blaze behind him and comes back to Firefly. “Maybe you are in need of medical treatment…” trailing off as he leans down grabbing the stump of an arm that was bleeding, he puts the broadside of the plasma like blade against the raw meat of the amputated arm. Firefly screams in absolute pain as his stub becomes cauterized.
The pain is just too much for the villain to deal with as he passes out. Damien grabs him and takes him up to the roof as the floor under him starts to buckle and collapse. Flames spread fast and quick. Now they were breaking out the other windows. After a few moments, Damien slaps Firefly awake.
“Tell me what you know, and I may consider that you live.” Explaining to the injured villain. With the fear of god put into him, the Villain confesses. “Look, Man! I don’t know nothin’! It ain’t my thing. But I..I…I oh god.” using his other hand, Firefly holds the stump where his hand used to be. “I heard some of t’guys talkin’ bout this chick at the Iceberg Lounge. I swear ta God. That’s all I know!” Damien nodded, but dragged Firefly towards the edge anyway. “Your information will not be used in vain.” explaining as turned the man around at the edge of the building, doing some quick rewiring on Firefly’s harness. The villain is too out of it to realize what’s about to happen.
“You have been a menace to this city for far too long. You will no longer be bothering the citizens or law enforcement of this city.” pushing him off the edge of the building, the jetpack kicks in and spirals him high into the air with a blood curdling scream. Turning, Damien crosses the building as an explosion in the sky takes place behind him. Firefly wasn’t going to be a menace anymore, Damien saw to it.
Now, it was time to see what Penguin has been up to.
by Squee | Sep 27, 2017 | Chronicles
Nothing says sane like arguing with yourself while you’re on the literal edge. At least I’m not suicidal, right? Not technically. I’m fairly sure my Mom and any number of other people would argue the opposite. I’m not trying to die out here. And going out at night in Gotham is the kind of thing you do if you’re going to accept a certain amount of risk in your life. Do it in a costume, and set out with a plan to make things go wrong for some really bad people who are going to be really, really angry with you if they catch you? Yeah, I guess maybe that’s where it tips over into the ‘suicidal’ and ‘of questionable thoughts and minds’ category. It’s not like I’m the only one, though.
And it’s not like I don’t have a good reason. Even if that reason has the silver lining of revenge painted on it.
Tugging the hood a little further up over my hair and down over my forehead is more of an anxious gesture than out of any real desire to hide. It’s not what covers my face, and hunkering down that centimeter further isn’t really going to keep anyone from seeing me that wasn’t supposed to. They’re not even looking up here. Idiots. I guess they’ve gotten slack and lazy since Batman’s been gone. That or they think that this is way too small a bag of peanuts for anyone to care. Gotham’s been weird lately. Something I might not have picked up on before, but now that I’m out here, and I’m looking? It’s like one big dark game of whack-a-mole. No one wants to poke their head up because they know what might happen. At least, no one that seems to have any bigger of a plan than knock over a bank, or some electronics place.
To be fair it’s kind of what it looks like they’re doing down here. Jewelry store, getting ready for some window smashing. They just have the benefit of getting to skip the smashing, and bypassing the alarm. Tilting my head, I look from propped door, to the surveillance camera over the door that’s missing the warning light of being on, to their sedan and then back. Two inside, one more out…I just need to get the lookout/driver out of the car and out of the way. Or inside. Inside would be better.
Roy, or, Arsenal as he likes to call himself doesn’t really have a set route. More along the lines of waiting to see what happens. Targeting specific neighborhoods and areas that could be of interest. He wasn’t in this for personal revenge, or tragedy. Believing that he could make the world better for him and his toddler daughter. To which, he needed to find a better baby sitter. But for now, Rebecca could handle Lian for a few hours. Even if it’s causing the girl some grey hairs early.
Right now, he needed to clear his mind and tackle this jewelry heist. Most thieves were smash and grab. Especially at a store like this. But they’re able to waltz in through the front door. Inside job? Probably. Using the local alley way, he kneels down and fires two arrows. One into the back tire, the other into the front steering tire. Which then prompts the hoodlum in the van to slip out and wonder for a moment why there were two arrows in his wheels.
Just as he turns, there’s another arrow. Though, this one doesn’t have an arrowhead, more of a capsule. It separates in just a matter of seconds launching a lightweight cargo net with small electro magnets at the fringes of the net. ‘ClunkClunkClunkClunk!’ as the man, and the magnets connect to the van. But, since it was a kind of a niceish day in Gotham, the hoodlum’s window was down and he was able to reach in with his free arm to start pressing on the horn.
This wasn’t how things were supposed to go.
Maybe next time he’ll just taze them…
Well, now he was on his way to stop the other hoodlums in the jewelry store.
Inside job would be the assumption, but I know that’s not the case. Not directly anyway, in that one of the jewelry store’s employees was in on this and trying to get a little richer, or out for some revenge. Which would be stupid, honestly, that’s who they’re going to look at first. Anyone who had direct and legal access to the place in such a way that the alarms wouldn’t be set off. Not that some of the low-lifes in Gotham are the smartest, they’re just also not the ones you have to be looking out for. They’ve been the most active of all of them the last little bit, but still. Not why I’m here. Feeling along the lip of the roof behind me, gloved fingers find the rough, solid edge of the brick that I’d scavenged up on my way here.
It’s the twin sounds of something shooting through the air that whips my covered head around. Not a gun, not loud enough, even silencers are more noisy than that. A moment of squinting to the street below makes my fingers tighten on the brick, while the other slaps softly against my forehead.
“Oh, come on!”
Muttered under my breath it’s no less an angry sound than if I’d shouted it. And just as drowned out by the car horn that starts to sound in what passes for quiet in this part of town. If that wasn’t going to get attention, I don’t know what was. Which would be fine except it’s also gotten the attention of the men inside the jewelry shop that I can clearly see shifting the contents of still intact cases into bags they’d carried in with them. At least. They were doing that until the horn started, and masked heads jerked up in unison. I don’t need to be able to read lips (which I can’t see any way from here) to understand the gestures. Or to know they went in there armed. One of them emerging from the door, gun in hand to figure out what on earth has possessed their companion.
It’s pretty clear from the net I think. And the cursing is pretty clear between the horn honks as he starts to hunt for the one responsible. Me? Well. I’m half inclined to leave him be. This is the second time he’s ruined a perfectly good, perfectly safe trap of mine. I mean. I have to assume its the same guy. Bow and arrow isn’t exactly the big ticket item for vigilantes around here. But I know I shouldn’t do that. Doesn’t really make me better than the reason that I’m here in the first place. Besides. Maybe I can still make this work. Slipping back off the edge of the roof, I get a couple steps of a running start before I’m catapulting into the air. Ready with my already placed line this time, to vault down the side of the building.
“I’m the Spoiler, stop stealing my shtick!”
The man on the sidewalk was starting to turn towards where I think the Red Arrow or whatever his name was has hidden. I guess I get to be a distraction. I’ve got my eyes more on the progress of the one still inside.
“Can we fight about this later, honey? I don’t want the criminals to know we’re fighting. It sets a bad precedence!” the man whips his gun out and starts shooting at Roy who scrambles around the gun fire before pulling just a regular arrow out and firing it mid stride at the would be gunslinger. The arrow doesn’t miss its target as it strikes the gun with a loud klanging sound as it’s knocked out of the thief’s hand. Luckily for Roy, the man had been taking karate lessons most of his life and was going to fight back against this latest cape. Now, Roy had some self-defense training, but not much of it, just enough to get himself out of trouble, not so much IN and OUT of situations like this. But, he knew some boxing and a few other moves. Mostly, though, he relied on his right hook to get him OUT of these situations. Even if the bad guy was starting to use Roy like a punching bag. Seeing an opening, Roy steps to the side, hooks the man’s arm into his bow and throws him hard against the side of the van, followed by a quick knee to the face, knocking him out easily enough.
Kneeling down, he ties the man up “Shouldn’t have done this. Now you got a broken nose and separated shoulder. Tsk tsk.” scolding the man for a moment before looking off to see where Spoiler went. Probably to hunt down the last assailant in this whole thing. Roy hadn’t intentionally spoiled her trap, he just saw the goons and figured they needed to be stopped before they could run off with whatever they could get their grubby little hands on. Circling around to the other side of the van, the man that was stuck to the van looked very unhappy with Roy.
Searching the man’s pockets, he pulls out a singular business card with the store name, alarm code and safe code. “Huh.” saying as he pocketed the card for now, Roy circles to the front of the van to watch Spoiler do what she does best. This wasn’t right, why did this guy have the code to the alarm to a small jewelry store? Was it something that was ‘bought?’. Things were becoming strange since Batman started showing up, there was a rumbling in the underworld that someone was tearing through them like a Great White Shark on a feeding frenzy.
Was this a trap for capes?
“Honey? Oh, I’ll show you fighting…”
The end of that isn’t quite as audible as the rest, since I’ve descended into unintelligent muttering, partially in time with the realization that…yup, Steph. That was your out loud voice, and everyone can probably hear you! I probably shouldn’t be fighting the other good guy, at least I think he’s supposed to be one. So far, he’s mostly just stumbled into the setups I had for bad guys but I’m going to keep giving him a little credit and leeway and assume that’s just really unfortunate coincidence and not because he’s been following me around and doing it on purpose.
Where has Spoiler gotten off to? In the direction that the man’s pistol had skittered, I hit the ground from ten feet up, springing up in a much more controlled show than what he was privy to the last time we’d met, and bolting after the weapon. Once I’ve snatched it up, it’s not to train it on Arsenal, or even on the guy trapped against the van… or on the now downed second man which I hadn’t helped him with in the least. A side sweeping angle of my arm sends it skittering through the open store door, inside and back towards the other one left. No. I’m not arming the bad guys. He’s already got one anyway. What I’m doing? Is getting it off the street. And making sure it stays there.
“But really. Are you doing this to me on purpose or am I just super unlucky?”
Advancing on the red uniformed archer, I pause in my purposeful tromping to face the window, and the third man who looks like he’s getting ready to act. I should probably be kind of worried about the way I’ve got a semi-automatic rifle aimed at my head, but either I’m incredibly ballsy, stupid, or… well. I know something. In this case, the most important part is the latter. I know he’s not going to shoot through that glass. For the same reason that I hitch my step just long enough to chuck the brick I’d been carrying since the roof through that big, fancy glass window.
I’m not sure which is louder. The tinkling of the broken showpiece that seems kind of silly to have around here, or the sound of metal that slams down over the window. Over the door. Tchoom, tchoom, tchoom. Some fainter, as it clearly takes place over every window, door and other opening there was to be found on the building. As they shutter, I continue my trek to him, jabbing a finger into his chest and then holding out a hand for what he had taken from the man he’d just fought.
“Unlucky? Really? I stopped the dude in the van. Took out Karate Man here” gesturing to the bleeding and somewhat broken man behind them. “I’d say it was more than luck, than unlucky.” Unluckly. “We should probably do this away from coming sirens and street thugs.” nodding to them, then giving her a grin. Pointing up to the roof top. “Want a lift up? Could be like told times… what’s your name again? Sport? Purple? Oooh, right!” snapping his fingers as if he just realized what it was. “Spoiler.” reaching back, he pulls an arrow out and launches it to the top of the jewelry building a line releasing from the back of the arrow.
Walking over, he gives it a tug, letting it catch onto the roofs edge. Attaching it to his bow, he extends his arm out to her, the sirens coming even closer. “You know I don’t bite.” smirking. If she comes over, he puts his arm around her waist and clicks the button his bow that pulls them up to the top of the roof. Once ontop of the roof, he reaches into his pocket and produces the business card for her. It was hand written and very neat.
“You could have just said please, you know.”
He fully knew well he was poking buttons that probably shouldn’t be poking. “I’ve been scouting this bar near Crown Point. Something fishy, well, more than normal fishy is going on there. How do you feel about beating up drunk criminals and seeing if they know something?” asking as he checks the time. He promised Rebecca he’d be home by Midnight, so far, he had two hours left.
“Yes, really! I had it! And I would have had it with a lot less fighting and all of them inside the store.”
And also without having to hustle back up the side of the building again. I’d hoped to have some time to poke and prod around in the van. Last time, all he’d done was walk into a trap I was ready to spring. This time, I’m somehow even more frustrated over having things not go quite as I’d wanted. I don’t even know if it’s because it keeps happening, and not even just with him, or because it’s an ego issue. There’s no attempt at holding back the frustrated huff at him, but at least I manage to not stomp my foot like a child at him.
I really want to though. I also really don’t actually want to take his help but… it’s going to be a hell of a lot faster than I’m going to scrabble back up to the roof on my own. Ugh. Brown eyes roll over the edge of the lower face mask, and I sidle in like him biting isn’t actually what I’m most concerned about. I do accept the help up though. Just definitely without a please. For either thing. Snatching the card, I take a pace away as I turn it over.
“That would mean I thought I should use manners with you. Which I don’t think I should.”
He totally remembered my name. He’s just being a jerk about it. I don’t parrot the same little bit of joking back at him though I probably could come up with a half dozen plays on the bow, or the color, or I don’t know. Him being a spoilsport. I’m still looking over the card, more than at him but it doesn’t actually give me anything to go off of. Nothing that I didn’t already know, anyway. That they had the code for the security system to get in the door. The rest shouldn’t have been a threat for them, so long as they hadn’t tripped any of the overrides. They hadn’t. I did that for them with the shattered window. I should have acted faster, gotten one of their phones or something so that I could try and figure out the next destination. If it was that warehouse, like my hunch.
His smirk is met with a scowl, as I shove the card into a pouch at my waist. How do I feel about his plan? Like it’s a dumb plan and I should just go home, since this particular well is tapped. But I’m still… amped. The abrupt ending of my little personal mission has left me feeling a bit unfulfilled, and as if the whole thing were super anti-climatic. Smart Steph would say no, and go home. Dumb Steph is already puzzling through how long going to Crown Point would take and whether she could still be home in bed before her Mother gets home from her late shift and notices that she’s gone.
All hail Dumb Steph. Queen of Poor Choices.
“…yeah okay. Feel like I want to smash someone.”
“Oh, what, you keep the card? Tch. Alright.” winking he turns and starts off towards where the bar was. It wasn’t quite across town, but it wasn’t near either. Catching the top of a train cut that trip down by twenty minutes. “So, what’s your deal?” asking as he turned to look at her, curious. “And I didn’t mean to trip you up. I saw some goons, I didn’t see you.” shrugging, giving a little bit of a gesture towards her outfit. “Kinda hard see you.” grinning, he kneels down once the train starts slowly picking up speed.
The train was mostly empty anyway, and was on its way back to the station. Nobody seemed to mind that there were people ontop. But, not that it mattered. They weren’t going anywhere and it wasn’t like taking the train inside was the best of ideas. “The bar is about three blocks from here. Should be able to run from building to building easily enough.” jumping from the train, he lands easily enough through a series of rolls and flips to discharge the momentum. Once she’s on his side again, he runs towards the edge of the building jumping the distance easily enough.
The bar was your typical seedy bar. An army of motorcycles outside. All kinds of nefarious looking people standing outside smoking or generally talking. “There’s a guy inside who’s an information broker. He gets the information, then sells it. Bet you that’s where that card came from. If we go in guns blazing, we won’t make it out. There’s a side entrance we can use.” saying as if he’d been here before. Moving downwind from the building, they cross the street easily enough before traipsing through more roofs until they can drop into the allyway…where some unfortunate man decided this was the best place to use the restroom.
“…I’ll get it. Wouldn’t want you to get your cloak too dirty.” he whispers to her with a smirk. Pulling an arrow out, he sneaks up on the man and touches his shoulder with the arrow at which point sends a current of electricity through the man before he drops in a heap. Moving towards the door, he opens it enough to look inside before gesturing Steph to join him. Pointing out to a pair of men near the bar, it was the best place to start. They’d have the bar and high ground to work with. And if they’re good enough, they could knock out the bar tender while at it.
“You weren’t supposed to.”
If I wanted to be seen I would have probably gone with something more along the lines of chartreuse, instead of eggplant. Obviously I could have used black to blend in with the night and the darkness and that sort of thing, but my creative (…or lack thereof…) choices were limited by what was in mostly one piece and liftable from my school. Besides. I like this color. Now, riding on top of a train seems both pretty great, and pretty stupid, and I’m wondering why I haven’t actually tried it up until now. It’s the kind of things people do in movies all the time. It’s also the kind of thing that gets people (..usually the bad guys but not always..) turned into bugs on a windshield. At least this one isn’t moving when we get up on top of it.
“My deal? What, like…my schtick? Kind of all in the name. I’m the Spoiler. I spoil the best laid plans of assholes and ne’er-do-wells.”
Whooo boy. It’s kind of exhilarating. This whole thing is, the coming out at night. The anxiety and action and suspense. But raising my voice to be heard over the wind of the train’s speed, and it’s inner workings, I’m definitely feeling the rush. Especially right before we go to get off. I’m not really too worried about it, though. I’ve made higher jumps, and survived longer falls, and when you don’t have much extra-curricular fun except what you make up and your neighborhood is full of crappy old derelict buildings? I was into parkour before it was the kind of thing people made gyms for. Those Ninja Warrior guys wish they could be as awesome as me. (…yeah okay it might be more the reverse but… I’m still pretty good…)
Now. I actually have a really good idea of where he actually got that card, and the passcodes that it contained. The same guy that told them where and how to bypass the security, when they should go and all the rest. I also know he’s not going to be in this bar. Or at least I really doubt it, and if he were? I could pick him out on sight. Unless he’d gone through a few middle men. Possible.
“Uh, well. Yeah. I don’t have a gun.”
Sarcasm, mostly. I don’t think he does either. Otherwise why use the bow and arrow? But it’s his plan. I’m pretending to have some professional courtesy and going along with it, but that doesn’t exempt him from some brown eyes rolling at his whisper and gentlemanly behavior. I’m actually kind of wishing I still had my brick at least. Whatever. I can grab a pool cue. Or a bottle. Or a stool…so many options. Nodding, I indicate my understanding before I actually move. Slipping in through the door, and diving to the side. If nothing else maybe they’ll be gawking at the masked and cloaked intruder and he can make with that zappy taser arrow again.
So. The thing with bar fights is they never go the way you want them to.
See example one.
1) Roy getting grabbed and ran against the bar top before being thrown off from the top of it.
And example two.
2) Roy resorting to have to use the Three Stooges method of fighting. Eye Pokes, Slaps and Hard Head Pats
But, not to say for the least. Roy was still up and fighting, somehow. Dinah… well, she wouldn’t be happy that he didn’t remember any of his training and is probably shaking her head wondering if she can disown him for such lack of skill. Roy eventually gets the upperhand with a few well placed palm strikes, like Dinah showed him. Hey! Look, It worked. But, the big oaf he placed the palm strike on didn’t seem to enjoy that and decided to throw Roy across the bar.
“Okay. Enough of this.” Time to use the one thing he’s good at.
Crawling onto a pool table, he’s quick with his draw and execution, an arrow flying between several people and striking the man in the hand, the arrow going through and pinning him to the bar. “Spoiler! Duck!” if she listened, a half second later, she’d hear an arrow whiz just above her head followed by something releasing then a fall as a man tried to get something off his face. Some kind of glue. But the more he fought against it, the harder it became.
After twenty minutes or so, the heard started thinning out. The bartender was currently knocked out and the rest of the men in the bar were either leaving looking somewhat broken or they were knocked out on the floor. There’d be a couple ladies mixed in there too.
“So, next time I come up with an idea. You should talk me out of it.” gesturing to the chaos they just went through.
There’s a problem with getting the high ground to fight from if you weren’t the first person there to hold it. You have to dethrone whoever is King of the Junk Heap in order to take over their spot. Great tactical sense and know-how from the Fabulous Stephanie Brown. Not because I know what I’m doing in a bar fight, just experience with poor kid playground games. Arsenal here seems to think he knows what he’s doing, so I let him do his thing, and pretty quickly catch on to the fact that… yeah. Maybe he’s a bit over his head and this wasn’t the smartest idea. I find myself kind of occupied in fighting my own skirmishes once they’ve spotted me.
“Oh, yeah no I’m not with him, I’m just… not buying it? Okay.”
With no weapon of my own, I have to find one. There’s lots of stuff to use in here though, I’ll give them that. Pool balls, and sticks that don’t require a whole lot of accuracy. Chairs to swing and shove with. I’m not judging for his slapstick fighting because one, I’m not actually watching and two, my go to technique is mostly a one two combo of knee to the balls, and a pretty damn quick sucker punch. But I do listen enough to duck when someone says duck, dropping to the floor to avoid a thrown chair, and whatever else. From the sound of it, I’m guessing an arrow, but I don’t exactly hang out to watch. Especially when a foot catches me mid back and sends me sprawling in an awkward heap.
“Yikes, kicking a girl while she’s down and from behind? That’s low…”
It’s a scramble, an ongoing one, that takes me from rolling under tables, taking out people at the knees, more improvised weapons and eventually to standing in the middle of the floor with a pair of broken pool cues and panting like I’ve run a marathon when I realize there’s not actually anyone left to hit. Except Arsenal, and the way I squint at him between hood and face mask says I might be considering it. Jesus. I’m in pretty good shape. Not good enough, though apparently.
“Next time you come up with an idea… I’m knocking you upside the head….with a brick… which…. one’s the…guy?”
“Er, Without a brick would be great.” commenting as he started searching the men, looking for the one they needed. “But, didn’t you have fun?” asking with a grin before quickly making sure he was at least a few steps away from her, or any potential hits from a thrown object… or two.
“Bet this is the guy.” saying as he hauls his unconscious body onto a barstool. Searching his pockets, Roy finds several business like cards with information to several other businesses around the city. Alarm codes, when it’s the best day to break in, so on and so forth. Handing it over to Spoiler, he fishes for the man’s phone and scrolling through recent calls. Pressing his lips together, he hands it over to Spoiler before tossing the man off to the side. “All the calls come from one number. So, he’s just a middle man.” stating as he looks around when his phone starts buzzing.
Pulling his own phone out from an armored section of his costume, he checks the message.
“Crap. I gotta go. My baby sitter has to go. I didn’t realize what time it was.” ugh! Responsibilities.
“Look. I know this wasn’t the most ideal situation. But maybe we need to find a way to keep in contact. Could get a couple burner phones. Ones that aren’t linked to who we are outside of this.” gesturing around. “I’ll get a couple, and I’ll leave one as a present for you on top of 5th and Madison.” grinning as he started to dash out.
“Sorry for the awkward goodbye. I promise this won’t happen again.”
Because he was going to throttle his baby sitter.
“Lets go start….a bar fight…he said. It’ll be… fun… he said.”
Dropping my broken ‘weapons,’ I brace my hands on my thighs for a second and catch my breath. Though I’m obviously not so winded that I can’t gripe at him. There’s never too little oxygen for something like that. I just happen to be using it for that instead of the energy required to lob something at the red vigilante’s head. At least if I want to do it with enough force and speed to make sure I have a good chance of hitting. Picking my way around broken furniture and unconscious bodies, I make my way over to him and the most important of the unconscious bodies. Skimming through the phone calls shows me not only that he’s right, but I also don’t recognize any of the numbers listed. More dots to connect I guess.
The buzzing makes me juggle the phone he’d given me, for a moment thinking it’s going off or. You know. Maybe there’s a bomb somewhere, but I get a better grasp on it, and raise an eyebrow at the other man. Phone calls on the job? Can you even do that? That just seems like it’s asking for the kind of scenario where you are eavesdropping on some goons and all the sudden… happy chirpy cartoony music starts piping in from your phone! Cover spoiled! Everyone dies!
Cripes, how old is this guy? I guess it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s super, super old but. Still. It’s about the last thing I expected to come out of his mouth. Pocketing the phone, the business cards, though they didn’t really tell me what I wanted to find out. The problem is, I already know who we’re looking for. Who’s pulling the strings and giving the roundabout orders. I just need the proof. It’s more difficult than I would have thought to find, but I won’t lie. Mean time? I’m enjoying the hell out of spoiling everything anyway.
“Don’t make a promise you can’t keep, Red.”
Because I’m not a big fan of promises. They always seem to get broken, and that just makes one side mad and the other side an epic grade A asshole. Case in point, the man I’m out to ruin with my nighttime shenanigans. But I’m mostly teasing. Semi. Sorta. There’s a sloppy, raised hand in a salute before I go back to rifling a few more pockets. Guess I’m taking the train home solo.
by Squee | Sep 25, 2017 | Chronicles
Gotham City is unlike anywhere else in the world. People use catch phrases for their cities, but they’re mostly cute little nicknames that sell post cards. Gotham is the City that Lives. Not because it’s some bright, vibrant crowning point of Humanity. It lives in the sense that it has many working parts. Burroughs. Districts. Each with it’s own little brand of Good and Evil. That happens to be both the best and worst of Gotham all at once. You’re never going to find a dull moment, but you’re as likely to be raped in the high end of town as you are to be mugged in the low end.
For so long now, as long as I can remember and contrary to the psyche reports I remember everything (don’t believe everything you read!), one man has protected all of it. Every square inch of Gotham. Oh. He didn’t always do it alone. He didn’t necessary have the speed of a bullet to get anywhere, at any time. It was more the Spectre of the Batman that loomed over, stretched across the landscape that protected it. You had to gamble, if you wanted to profit from a life of crime. Roll the bones, if you wanted a taste of the sweet life, or sweeter wife next door maybe. Every time you did. Each and every new little trip across the white line of the law, you ran the risk of one day meeting up with the Batman. On that day, he made you pay. He took his pound of flesh and left you beaten. Battered. Bruised. Lucky to be alive.
Just that though. Alive. Very, very much alive.
Some might think that the Batman was a man of truth, justice and the American way. Some symbol of virtue. I know better. He wasn’t unwilling to cross the line. Oh, no. He’d cross that line when he needed too. When he deemed it necessary. Just because he did so rarely and under the veil of necessity doesn’t obscure the simple fact that the Batman was willing to do anything he had to do for this City. That’s why I’m here. You know? That connection. The knowledge that, if he felt that he had no other choice, Batman could have ended me time and time again. He just never did. Some people might think that is because he was proving himself the better man. I say to those people, ‘Hah!’
He needed me! I’m everything about him that he needs to be reminded of. To rebel again. Without me he would have been lost. Alone. A Hero without a foil to measure himself against. Adrift in the Sea of Sloth and Villainy that is Gotham City. I’m alive, because I was his life preserver. Without me he would have drown. The Batman needed me and… now I can’t help the completely foreign, yet inescapable, feeling that… I failed him. He was alone. Left to die without a friend in the world. ….. — “The soul akin to my own. Gone. Snuffed out like….Oh. Sorry. Was that all out loud?! Heehee.”
Who am I talking to? Well that would be the Irish Mob. More or less all of them. They like to get together to eat and drink in a little place called o’Malley’s. About thirty minutes ago, give or take ten minutes of aimless rambling, I walked in with a two heavy set men in gimp-suits and a girl. You don’t need to know where the girl went, I’m sure she’s up to no good. It’s what she does. Once we stepped inside though, I’d ordered a margatia. The kind with the fancy little umbrellas. Only to be told that they don’t serve that swill here. The Bartender is still choking on his own blood, but that got their attention!
“So. You see fellas. My problem here? Is that …. he was mine! MINE. My Batman. Mine. Not your’s. That means. If I didn’t kill’em.. then someone else did. And if someone else did then, I’ve got to have a few words with that person. Now, I’m going to save you a few moments of begging and pleading. Because I know you’re all going to say, ‘I didn’t kill the Batman, Mistah Jokah sir.’ Which might be true or it might not be true. You see the problem. The problem? Is that you’re all lying, cheating, filthy scumbags. Dear to my heart, but liars to the bitter end.”
Now. You can say a lot about the Irish Mob, but generally speaking you can’t call them stupid. They’re not Italian after all. So I’m sure by this point that the writing is on the wall by this point. And if it isn’t, it will be by the time I finish using the barkeeps blood to scribble out the words ‘You’re all dead.’ With a smiley face for posterity. On the bar’s large mirror.
Red Hood (Damien)
Damien had been blazing a trail through the underworld. At first, not even bothering to put on a mask. Using his speed and stealth to conceal his identity. Also, you know that saying, Dead Men Don’t Talk? It’s true. Or, you know, a broken jaw. But, after a run in with the Italians and them beating him near to death, it took him coming to Helena to heal. Anybody else would have given him the third degree. Especially Dinah. She didn’t understand the pure rage that laid at the bed of his heart. Someone killed his father. Murdered. And Damien was going to find out who, by all means necessary. After getting into contact with Tim after the funeral, he had supplied Damien with some.. items to help him. While Tim and Damien weren’t exactly brothers. It was evident that Tim was at a loss of what to do, and decided to help Damien do <i>something</i>.
So, now, Damien equipped with a high tech suit and helmet. He could go on his true terror, make men cry their mothers names in hope that it would save their souls. Nobody in this city was safe. If you so much lifted a candy bar, Damien was going to make sure your fingers would be broken in several places. There was a large shadow to fill, Gotham was going to descend into chaotic mess. Not that his father ever had true control over the city. But he had it organized in a way that the city wouldn’t explode like a powder keg. But Damien felt that while his … ‘family’ … did nothing, something had to be done, and that was Damien.
Today, he was getting in over his head when he targeted the Irish Mob. There was a price on his head when Damien took Duncan O’Brien, one of the Captains of the O’Brien Syndicate, and threw him over the side of a thirteen story building. Busting through the door of a bar called O’Malley’s, Damien was quick to take out one men who was playing pool. The man’s head colliding with Damien’s armored knee with enough force to drive the bridge of his nose into his brain. He hadn’t time to see Joker as of yet, since right behind Damien there was an entire mob of very angry Irish Mob soldiers pouring through the door chasing after Damien.
There was all manner of weapons. From handguns, to bats, broken whiskey bottles, chains, brass knuckles… well, you get it. Jumping behind the pool table to put some distance between him and the mob, because Damien had a half formed plan. Get them all into a space that they can’t move in. But, as he took out a few more of these angry soldiers, Damien jumps onto the table as he looks over to where the bar tender was, only to see the pale face of a man in the mirror writing something on the wall in blood.
“You.” The Joker.
His father’s greatest adversary and just as psychotic as a man can get. The complete opposite of his father. Joker was smarter than anybody would give credit to. After all, he’s outsmarted even Batman on occasion. Right now, Damien didn’t have time to deal with him as men continued trying to swat at him with baseball bats, knives, what have you.
“I’ll deal with you later.” Damien said, pointing at the Joker.
Now there’s really only one way this is going to go at this point. Bloody. Capital B. We all know it. These idiots are just taking the time allotted for my mindless rambling to determine which of them has the best chance of getting out of here, while the rest die. More than one of them? Probably thinks they like the odds of a stray bullet doing me or my boys in. Of course, I’m crazy enough to not care what they think. Or really. What they do. Because I didn’t come here intending to dodge bullets and fight like some sort of man with Honor and Integrity. Nope.
You see the snarl on my face is the first real sign to these delightfully pale-skinned yokels of just what trouble they’re in for. Or it would be, if not for the distraction afforded them. This is as good a time as any for a couple of them to make their break for the back door. Tut-tut… my little Harley is all aflutter and very likely waiting for the stragglers. Me? I’m pulling off my coat, pulling tight my gloves and getting my suspenders in order for a donnybrook. That’s what these idiots call it, right?
“Ooooh… look at that! I loooooooove the fashion statement. A little bit of old, a little bit of new…”
Armed to the teeth that one. I’d have to be even crazier than I am though, not to instantly recognize… the Red Hood. Equally delightful and appalling, I’ll work out whether I’m aroused by the nostalgia or the way he’s cutting people apart like a buzzsaw. Which reminds me. I was about to kill someone, someones in fact.
It might even be a touch on the surprising side to everyone involved when I’m not immediately drawn to attacking someone stealing my schtick. But. He did promise to deal with me later. I can ponder the significant pontification of that while I’m gutting -my- Irish little friends. Playmates. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are here for support. Much like my little Girl, they’ve all got strict orders. Regardless of what happens to me. None of the Irish leave. Little Red Hood did me a bit of a favor, he brought even more to the fight. While the Irish might be known as honorable fighters? I make no such claims. One man who turned his head to the arrival of the Red Hood is the first to have his throat cut. I’m a jealous murderer. Sharing the attentions with another is… Rude!
“Red Hood. Smug. Fights dirty. If you’re here about Mommy’s alimony, keep it quiet!”
Red Hood (Damien)
Right now, Joker was helping thin the herd out, if you will. “I am not here to banter with you, Joker. Focus on the task at hand, then I shall deal with you.” commenting as Damien did a short baseball slide underneath a lead pipe, his foot connecting with another man’s face. Twirling around on his back, he flips up as a man with a machete tries to sever Damien’s head from his body. Landing on the blade, Damien reaches under his coat, producing a tactical dagger and slams the blade down onto the man’s head, then pulls it out and throws it with supreme accuracy to a man who was attempting to sneak up on Joker. The blade singing between Joker’s swinging arm, and his ear before finding its mark in a thunking sound as the man collapses with the blade between his eyes.
“What are you doing here, Joker? I was unaware you had a vendetta against the Irish Mob. Did they attempt to steal a red nose from you?” asking, trying his attempt at humor. “I am unsure what you mean about my mother’s alimony. But, I can assure you that I am not here for that.” Humor escapes Damien most of the time, and especially the Joker’s brand of macabre humor. “I believe as of now, we should concentrate on the task at hand.” offering as Damien jumped off the pool table in time to jump off the pool table, landing in a somewhat open spot. The men were starting to thin down thanks to their efforts.
Who would have ever thought that The Joker and Son of Batman would have ever teamed up? Damien in a way, admired how the Joker moved carelessly in a sort of murderous chaotic dance. It was clear he wasn’t using any kind of martial style, other than unnerving his opponents by using unconventional tactics. For now, the two men complimented each other as they fought to keep themselves above board, if you will. How could Joker fight with such carelessness? How did Batman simply <b>not</b> kill him? Surely the lunatic was responsible for his fair amount of misery within Batman’s life. Both, in and out of the cowl.
Damien was getting lost within his thoughts as he kept an eye on the psychotic clown, listening as he nearly squealed with glee as his blade became more bloodied.
There comes a point when I have to stop disemboweling one guy, while choking a particularly old man with his own Celtic cross to ask myself: Did he just tell me to focus? No one else gets the joke, I’m sure. But they do get the next few minutes of hysterical laughter that no doubt cements in their mind that I’m exactly batshit crazy as all the stories say I am. They’re right. Of course, but they shoulda known that before I walked in the front door.
Ironically for the little Batspurt, I’m just about as focused as I’ve ever been. Even my Shrink thinks I’ve hit a level of focused that bordered on obsessive. Who would have thunk it? All I needed was a little motivation to get my life in order. Put my ducks in a row. The criminal underworld has always taken notice of me. Feared me. They kept out of my way and mostly profited from the insanity that came of my frequent frolics through Gotham. Now though? It seems that the new Red Hood and I have made some of the same rounds. Since the Italians got to listen to the Black Mask howl for nights as he was slowly treated to a cosmetic acid bath. A few drops at a time. Until he was begging to tell me he killed the Batman. The problem is. He was lying. Naughty. He’s been a very good source of information ever since though.
This Red Hood is especially chatty. Once again I’ve gotta stop what I’m doing to answer him. Who chat-boxes like this while sodomizing a guy with his own shillelagh?! The nerve of this guy. “Hunting. Killing. What’s it matter t’ you Hoodsy? All you needa know is one of these nighean na galla killed him! Or they know who did.”
“Or. They stood by while someone else did it.
“Or. They slowly wore him down, until he lost a step.
“Or. They played diddly winks with the guy, who knows a guy, who fucked a girl, that was with the guy who did it.
By this point, I’ve moved on to doing other, even more wretched things with the old leprechaun’s club. At least it’s with someone new. You might be wondering why I’m not overly worried about being shot? Well, that’s where Tweedle Dee comes in. He’s setup in one of the boothes. Letting the Red Hood and I take all the attention. While he snipes anyone who points a gun in my direction. Tweedle Dee? Well. He’s actually the reason Harley was told not to come in, unless called. Let’s just say. He’s the explosives expert and that fat little transgender midget has gas. Or. Maybe he loves Gas. Whatever the case may be, I sent him to the Kitchen so that we can cook up some Irish fritters in a little bit.
In the moments when Red Hood isn’t babbling like a mad man, he might actually take notice that I’m not shooting anyone. No fancy gadgets. No Joker-venom. No gags. Gift Boxes. Trick poker cards. This is as hands on as I get. The only weapon I use, is the club I’ve stolen for sake of irony and the dagger. Mostly… I beat, bash and/or choke every one I can get my hands upon. Until finally…
“…oh they stole from me, they stole. All of them stole Him from me. Someone did. Someone took him from me and when I find the sunuva…” the next few moments are censored, while I do little more than ramble. “…he was Mine. Don’t you get it? Mine. Until I find out who took him from me? Everyone. Everything. Burns.”
Red Hood (Damien)
It was like Joker was speaking the same language as Damien. There wasn’t any minced words, no double entendres. Damien understood everything the lunatic said. And it made sense, he could identify with that. Damien felt the same exact way. He wanted to watch the underworld burn for taking the one person who mattered most to him. “Then it seems, We are on a similar course and direction.” moving to the side of a fist, Damien grabs the arm and twists it in a way that he first pops it out of its socket, then as the man goes down to the floor crying in pain.
There were just a few misfits left by now. Most dead, dying, howling in pain, or simply decided it was in their best interest by running away. Standing around a mess of dead bodies, Damien turns his sights on Joker. Studying him for a long moment. The HUD providing information that he already knew. Staying quiet, Damien inspects a few of the men who were still alive. Grabbing one, he hauls him over his shoulder and throws him onto one pool tables. The HUD would pull up facial recognition and display the information for Damien.
“I need information.” Starting off, Damien did not have compassion for the man. “Every time you answer incorrectly. I break a finger. From there…” trailing off as he looks down at his feet. “We will work something out.” smiling from beneath his helmet, Damien moves to one side of the man’s body and grabbed his hand. “Do you know any information about the murder of Batman?” asking, his voice cold and electronic.
“Nonono. I swear ta god, I don’t know-” snap, one finger down, a howl of pain, nine more to go.
Well. The new Red Hood and I have a couple more things in common. Like the intent to question these guys when the fight was beaten out of them. As it was, the Hood brought a couple extras to the party. So there was more than a few left to go around in the end. I’m not interested in the young ones. That isn’t how the Irish mob works. Nor do I want the oldest, again that just isn’t how it works with these guys. While the young are ridden like prime horses and the older generation is revered, even followed when they put their foots down? It’s always the smart ones that really run things. The Irish figured that out in the Wars with England. You don’t gotta be the biggest, baddest, in the world. All you gotta do to win, is be smarter than the rest of the chuckleheads you’re fighting.
That’s why I pick one the ones that had been trying to make their escape. In a twist of gleeful irony, I take pleasure in dumping the ‘smart one’ down across the Bar. Like I’m mimicing the Red Hood. Hah! I’m mimicing the Red Hood. How am I the only one who gets that joke? The chuckling, for only I know what, is likely only making the demented approach of blood scored clown-face all the more terrifying. Much less the way gore dripping gloved fingers gesture to the Hood.
“He’s playing nice. Don’t lie to me. None of you know who killed the Bat. I know that. You know that. Even the wicked little red riding Hood knows that. What you do know, is who stood to benefit most from his … absence…” Do Irish Gangsters lose control of their bladders when having their cheeks licked by insane men drenched in blood? This one seems to have. “…you either get to die quickly for telling me or slowly. Over the course of Days. While the Tweedles use you in a variety of defiling ways. Each of which Harley video tapes. For me to show your family. Friends. And all the children at your Church, during Sunday School.”
Now the question. Really. Isn’t whether the Hood or I get answers. It’s really about what happens to be more important. Broken bones. Or an Irishman’s entire sense of self-worth, family and religion. Because I’m very clearly willing to piss all over all of it. They know me. They know that there’s not one ounce of anything I said that is even unlikely.
A few moments later, when I’m finally stripping off the gloves? “My… assistant… is rigging this place to blow. Call it professional courtesy. Call it nostalgia for seeing someone wearing the Hood. But. Understand me, Hoodsy. The Batman was mine. So whoever took him from me. Is now. Mine. Mine. Minemine mine. Miiiiiiiiine.”
Red Hood (Damien)
The man offered little to no information. Nothing they didn’t already know. Everyone, honestly, benefitted from the Bat being gone. Damien doesn’t even bother to kill the now mostly broken man on the table as he cuts a look over at Joker. “Today. Our paths aligned. I believe they will align in the future. I do not care what you say, about what you claim is yours. Just know that while we are on this path, together, we will find who killed him.” saying as he started towards the door, then comes to a stop, putting his hand on the door frame.
“But, Once this is over, and our paths no longer align. I will kill you. Make no doubt, I will do what he would never have done, and make sure you will die, then make sure you can never come back.” saying, his voice low with warnings and threats. Today was a good day, at the very least. The Irish Mob has been gutted, the O’Brien Syndicate has been nearly wiped out. Today marked one more day in making sure Batman’s legacy is no longer shrouded. Looking over his shoulder at Joker one more time, he steps out of the bar and it’s like he just vanishes.
Damien, in some way knowing that donning the Red Hood would be ironic, considering whom his father is. But, maybe this is how it all ends. It started with the Red Hood and would end with the Red Hood. There’s a part of him that feels guilty for allying with the Joker. Though, if Gotham was at stake, wouldn’t Batman do the same?
You know what? I believe the guy. Or at least, I believe that he believes that he’ll do those things. In the future. When we find the person responsible. ‘We’ being the operative word. Even in insanity, I’ve never been accused of being stupid. This is what the big boys call a potential lead. Given that so many others haven’t panned out, I’ve got to take what I can get. Which means that for now? The new Hood is right. Our paths are aligned. Perhaps momentarily, as he says.
“Not to be passe, but… you just reminded me of a joke. You see. There’s this man and as he grows old, he wants to pass along something to his son. Except his son is into all the wrong things in life. Try as he might the old codger just can’t get his son on the right path.” Did I forget that I’m choking an Irish mobster to death? Why yes, I did. But the joke is more important. “So. Hee. Hee. Years pass and he’s done all he can to bring his son in the fold. There he is. On his death bed. He says to his wife…”
“I did everything I could! I beat him when he was bad boy. I treated him when he was a good boy. I taught him to drive. How to get the girls. How to get by in life. Where did I go wrong? By golly, the old hag looks back at him and says… well Mr. Capone, I think you taught him everything you knew.”
“Haa. Hah! Everything he knew. What a hoot!” Besides the outburst of giggling, there’s a sort of meandering that brings me closer and closer to the Red Hood, before turning just in time to pick up my suit-coat. “Ya see, Hoodsy. You can’t kill me. The Bat couldn’t kill me either. Not without becoming me. Hee hahaa. You’re already a step in the right direction, Fruit-of-my-loins.”
“C’mon boys. We got work t’ do before the Red Hood kills me. Again. What a maroon.”
by Squee | Sep 19, 2017 | Chronicles
Three years ago..
It was raining the day they buried my uncle, Barry, in an empty casket. Nobody knows what happened to him, but I do. I know he was facing a new villain, and in order to live, or trap him. Barry had to run into the speed force. Barry left so he could save the world, and well. He’s gone. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. I stayed behind as the grave diggers started throwing dirt over casket. It was a strange secret to have. Barry was my hero, he was the father that I never had.
Why did he have to do this?
Why did he have to go away?
“Wallace West. It is time for you to become my herald”
The voice was all around me, but nowhere in front of me. By now, even the grave diggers had left to go bury another. In the distance, I can hear the thunder rolling through the clouds. Slowly getting louder and louder. Soon, the sound is thundering in my ears and brings me down onto my knees. My knees sinking into the damp Earth under me. Covering my ears, I can feel my eardrums pop. The sound is so loud that I can’t even hear my own thoughts.
Then… then the impossible happened.
The rain around me just stopped. The clouds in the sky stopped, the thundering in my ears is now just a dull roar. I have no idea what’s going on? Coming to a stand, I poke at one of the raindrops as my curiosity gets the best of me…Seeing a reflection of light, I look up in time to see a bolt of light race across the sky in a jagged formation before stopping above me, then coming down and striking me where I stand.
The flash was so bright. It was so hot, I can feel it melting my skin. I feel the light blinding me. But… then the most incredible thing happened. It was like… every single fiber of my being just ignited. Infused with a new kind of energy. I’ve never felt this way before in my life. Never been so alive. It’s then I realize that this bolt of lightning is the same that struck my Uncle all those years ago.
I feel so alive.
I’ve never felt so alive.
When I was struck, it’s like… a spark opened in my mind. So many things made so much more sense, I had an understanding and channeled the Speed Force in another way than my Uncle did. He was always afraid of running too fast…
My Uncle used the Speed Force as a tool. As a way to save people and the city.
Me? I tend to use it as a weapon. As a force that this world has never seen.
And now it’s time to run.