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.