Roy: Living in Gotham meant you lived with the threat of super villains and crooks at every level. It was just one of those things that you had to live with. Just like how Seattle deals with rain or Atlanta has terrible humidity and heat. Gotham was like that, but with super villains and crooks. Most of the time, Batman dealt with the supers and the cops dealt with the crooks. Though, it was rumored that Batman got his hands dirty and dealt with the normies. But lately, another rumor was going around that Batman wasn’t around, and that while the Bat-Kids did what they could… it was obvious things were getting worse.

Tonight was no exception.

There was a bank robbery downtown. Only, these guys were pros and didn’t trip the alarm to get in, using an unsecured vent at the top that they used to get into the bank. Things were going well until a silent alarm they didn’t know about was triggered. Using a cheap police band radio, Roy was able to hear the call into the local police station. While the police poke around outside, Roy was already in costume running along the roof tops towards the bank.

Roy wasn’t Batman, but it was obvious that nobody else was going to come and stop these goons from robbing a bank. Sure, it was something easy to stop. But, nothing was ever easy. Scouring the roof top, Roy finds the way the would be robbers got in and slipped inside himself. Moving down the vent shaft, he’s as quiet as a mouse as he lands on the marble flooring.

Unfortunately, this brought him face to face with one of the robbers. They were in full tactical gear and fully armed with assault rifles. Thankfully, Roy had a split second surprise on the man. From his landing squat, Roy comes up quick with a hammer swing, cupping both of his hands together and using his upwards momentum to connect his fists with the mans chin, it’s enough to bring the man up off his feet and land backwards, completely knocked out.

Well, one down and probably four or five to go…

Steph: When the cat’s away, the mice will play. A who knows how old kind of saying, but I guess it’s stuck around for one really great reason: it’s totally true. Sure, it might take a little bit for the vermin to creep out of the woodwork. They’ll stick their whiskers out, take a cautious twitchy little sniff because they’re not totally sure that it’s safe, and they’re not just being gamed. But eventually? Someone will get brave. Or stupid.

Gotham has a whole lot of stupid, shady, and mean. It didn’t take too long for the small stuff to slip through those cracks. It always did to a degree. It’s Gotham and the GCPD only has so much time and manpower. Only so many places to be at once. Bigger stuff? There was always the hope of a vigilante. That’s how it went before anyway. Things have been….weird lately.

Maybe I’m more aware of it, from a different point of view than most people. It starts with the phone calls. The going out at weird hours, and a certain sort of ‘friend’ dropping by. Also maybe a few emails and messages I wasn’t supposed to see that I may or may not have done a little electronic larceny to get a look at. He’s at it again. The asshole. And here’s the thing about mice.

The cat, or bat in this case, even when he is around? Tends to get drawn to the big juicy fat ones. When you’re a little skinny mouse you get missed. You sneak and creep out of the focus, and get away with little crumbs. Eventually they add up, those crumbs. The bank robbers went in alright. And once they had? I’d started my work. It’s a rush. No one ever really tells you that part. How the adrenaline feels as I make my way around the exterior of the bank, bolting off their backup exit. Scaling around to another side to get the next that wasn’t on the ‘plans’ but I’d spotted.

Last, but not least? The way they’d come in. Only as I get there? Someone else has gone in.


My marble plated mouse trap now has something else in it. And while for a brief second I want to say ‘not my problem?’ I would like to say I was raised better than that, and it’s half true. It’s the better half that sends me down the ventilation shaft, too. Grumbling and hissing under my breath and into the bank. He’s handling himself it looks like. Mostly. And once again I’m tempted to just bail. He knows to get out before the cops get in. Right?

There’s almost no thought before I drop like a rock out of the vent, and onto the masked man creeping below me, gun lifting to be trained on the one that I’m hoping is a good guy. I think I knock the wind almost as much out of me as I do him but…he’s not wriggling after.

“Hey! Red! Probably time to go..”

Roy: Roy’s quick to turn around, pull an arrow out and notch it with the string drawn as he points it at the hooded blonde girl who was now sitting ontop of a gunman who seemed now to be knocked out. Taking a moment to observe, he hears the others in the vault ask if they heard something. “Yeah. Starting to get that feeling too..” trailing off as three men exit the vault, guns drawn and they walk like a trained squad. Probably a clue, but clues only matter if you life.

They spot him and the girl easily. Probably night vision, or something of its kind. Maybe even thermal. While the costume provides him with the coolness that he doesn’t just sweat like a bandit when running around… it also leaves him slightly exposed. If they can see him, that means they can see her. Before Roy could react, they shout.

“We got capes!”

“Light ’em up!”

And just like that, a hail of gun fire goes off. They aren’t being terribly accurate, then again, when you can fire that many bullets in seconds and start spraying…it’s pretty hard to miss. Running towards her, he grabs whatever he can of her costume and hauls her back behind one of those check writing stations. Thankfully, the bank is old enough that the stands were also made of marble. While marble isn’t exactly bullet -proof-. It’s more like bullet -resistant-. Each bullet the strikes the marble knocks off a chunk, especially off the corner.

“You okay?” asking, waiting for a pause in the gunfire.

Once there was, he’d pull an arrow out and fire it off. His aim was true as it struck one of the men. Then came a cry as electricity started arcing out of his body.

“Don’t suppose you know how many goons we have, do you?”

Steph: “No, really. I blocked all the other exits, it’s up or out in cuffs or a bag.”

This is why I didn’t want to come down here. The whole spray of gunfire thing, and once you get them feeling like they’re backed into a corner, or a vault, they’re going to start using them more than any other time. Unless you’re wearing kevlar or something super sturdy you’re in trouble, and my getup is a lot more about hiding who I am than it is about saving my guts from anything more than a little road rash.

“Cape, sheesh. He’s not even wearing one….augh!”

Muttered more for my own benefit than for their hearing, until it’s used as a pulley to yank me back and around a pillar. Once we’re in cover, I give it a rather undignified yank to reclaim it from his hand.

“A little strangled but yes. Fine. I mean, for now.”

My hooded head cocks to the side as I watch him fire, and the clear pulse of an electric shock is visible in the dark. A fairly nasty one from the looks of it. Huh. Neat.

“Six in here. Well. Three now. And then van driver is a block over and back. I suspect he’ll be on foot pretty quickly when he realizes all his tires are slashed though.”

A double thumbs up, turns into my pointing at our entrance/exit again.

“But. Really. We need to go. It’s that or nothing.”

Roy: “Well. Kind of hard to get out when they’re wanting to use you as target practice.” offering as he quickly launches another arrow just in time before the guy can go shooting at them again. Another electric shock and the guy is down for the count. There were questions, but her plan was solid, just seemed Roy got caught into her trap. “Alright. You go up, I’ll distract these guys and follow you shortly.” Kevlar was nice, but it only did so much. Before she could argue, Roy was already going towards another column and unleashing a hail of arrows to keep the men pinned back inside the vault and draw any fire towards him.

Once she was up and out, Roy would fire off several smoke arrows. Letting the vault entrance and area be completely shrouded with smoke. It doesn’t last long, a few seconds, if that. When she gets clear, he gets under the shaft, fires the arrow up. As it goes up, it starts veering just enough that it lands on the side of the shaft and latches itself onto the roof. Putting the wire on his bow, he presses a button and lets it haul him up. Just in time for the smoke to clear and the men to slowly come out of the vault.

Pulling himself out of the shaft, he quickly replaces the cover and glances over at the woman in purple.

“You know. I bet Batman never had to deal with tripping over other people.” saying as he pulls the hood back. His eyes protected by a domino mask. “

“So, who’re you?”

Steph: “Uh. Yeah. That’s why I wasn’t going to come in at all.”

I could have just left him in here. Really. I could have. But since he seemed to be trying to do something good, if slightly on the wrong side of the rules, I just couldn’t. It isn’t as if I’m exactly on the up and up here either, but all I had been guilty of before coming down that vent shaft was a little vandalism and maybe some trespassing. Does falling on someone count as assault? Probably when you intentionally land all elbows and knees.

Not the point. The smoke’s a nice touch, but when they’re already spraying bullets in a general direction with a pretty good assurance of not hitting anyone on their side? It only can do so much. We need to move. It takes me a little longer than I’d like it to, because I’m…not totally prepared. For my first plan? Yup, sure. For getting back out of a sealed up box of a bank? Nope. I have to fumble for my rope and hook, and then haul my purple ass up it once I’ve gotten the hook set.


Panting for breath in the moment I’m alone, I’m thanking someone and anyone up above that they made us climb ropes that go nowhere in gym class. Guess you never know when things are going to come in handy. I go from sitting on my ass collecting myself, to crouched on the balls of my feet as the red vigilante pops out and joins me.

“Oh, c’mon. Have you seen how many Bat-themed people there are? I bet he does. Maybe only once though.”

I leave my hood where it is, the mask pulled up over my mouth and nose as well. I wasn’t expecting to have to talk to anyone tonight, let alone to have to do the whole ‘who are you? what do you go by?’ thing. I mean, I weighed some options before now, but the name was kind of least of my concerns.

“Uh. I’m. The Spoiler. And you? You don’t have any obvious flying critter motif going on.”

Roy: “You’re probably right. Once is enough. I heard he had the ability to make criminals wet themselves with just a look.” glancing towards the edge, Roy can see the lights of the GCPD. Well, this changes things. Case closed, maybe? “Flying critter motif? No, I’m Red Arrow. Not to be confused with Green Arrow. And no, I’m not related to him, and no we’re not the same guy.” saying as if he’s had to explain this already a few dozen times.

“Spoiler? What, you like to spoil the bad guys’ good times?” asking curiously as he pulls the hood back up a moment later now that he’s not feeling like he’s going to die. “And no flying critter name either, huh? Now that you mention it. This city does have a certain critter themed vigilante’s…” it was true, Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, Black Canary… it was pretty much all there was, it seemed. Turning his attention back to her, he stands there for a moment.

So, does he just go now?

“Uh. So, I guess…. I’ll be going?”

This was awkward.

“Oh. Actually. There’s a hot dog cart vendor down the street. Maybe we can get a pair of dogs and compare notes? Make sure we don’t trip over each other…?”

Steph: “I bet they were already predisposed to wetting, but I’d imagine he’s got a pretty mean scowl.”

Whether it was the ‘look’ or a severe beating, the end results were basically the same. Even the bigger names knew to be wary, if not afraid, of the Bat. The smart ones skated below the radar, or brought in bigger rats, so that they didn’t have to worry about him and his ilk. Maybe they weren’t hurting as many people that way, but it didn’t change what they were doing.

“Nice schpeal. Get that a lot, huh? Red Arrow. Pretty self-explanatory.”

Reeling up my grapple rope, I pause for a second like I’m considering his question and how I want to answer it. The truth is a little more ‘inside joke’ than that, but his version of the explanation works pretty well in the interest of not giving anything away. I spoil something a lot more specific than that, but there’s no reason anyone else needs to know that. Not yet, and maybe not ever.

“Yeah, something like that. I’m not with them. I mean. I assume they’re a them, otherwise it’s kind of weird to work in one place and all be named Bob, Joe Bob, Billy Bob and… I mean. If it were me, I’d change my name to Jeff just so that I don’t get confused…”

I’m babbling. It’s the adrenaline and the nerves, which feels a lot more like excitement than the fear I probably should be feeling. Especially now that the cops are arriving in full force to collect the mostly neat little package I’ve…we’ve… left them. Shut up Stephanie. With my gear stowed, there’s a moment standing hands on hips, rocking back onto my heels where I’m not sure what I’m meant to do now. I didn’t prep for other vigilantes.

“…what, like a date? A…vigilante date? Can’t really eat with…this.”

Pointing a finger at my face mask, before shrugging.

“Thanks for the offer though.”

Roy: “You’d be surprised how often I get it.” giving her a smile as he glances over the city. “I was just thinking of it more of an exchange of information so we don’t trip over ourselves. Unless there’s a website I don’t know about.” saying as he collapses his bow when she starts reeling up her grappling hook rope. There is a moment of silence between them. Roy wasn’t prepared to face other vigilante’s. But he wasn’t surprised there were some out there.

He wasn’t going to tell her to get off the streets, to stay home, all that. It wasn’t his place, and if she was anything like him. She did the opposite of what was told anyway. Truth be told, he’s heard about vigilante’s first meetings don’t often mesh well like him and Spoiler did. Twisting his wrist slightly, he looks at the time and starts towards the end of the building. His time was up, he needed to get home. Having other things to take care of.

“Anyway. I need to get running. It was nice meeting you, hopefully we can work together soon.” there wasn’t a lot of questions he could ask without prying. She wore a hood and mask for a reason, same for him. They may not recognize each other under the masks, but that wasn’t the point.

“Be safe.” offering as he turns to jump off the building to hit another one, and so on and so forth.

Steph: “I’ll try to make sure I remember. I don’t think it’ll be too hard. A website? God, wouldn’t that be convenient? …or maybe disastrous when someone starts sending out hits… probably good thing there’s not a website.”

Because I have to imagine there’s techyguru thugs out there, who probably have hacking skills to outstrip your average wannabe do-gooder’s ability to hide their tracks on the internet, and then that person is dead in their sleep. Or worse. And with the way things have been in Gotham’s underbelly lately? I wouldn’t want that getting out about me, or anyone else for that matter. It’s a weird lull. For here anyway. Like the eye of a storm that’s waiting to roll over the rest of the way.

“Hopefully next time before one of us is already inside a trap the other one laid out, huh? You too, Red.”

I’ve already been out longer than I really meant to anyway. I have to get back before I’ve been missed. Plus. School night. Ugh.