Ronin: Ronin has extended her protection of the city. The way she saw things, she made a promise to herself and the deal she made with the Prince of the League of Shadows was only secondary. It was, in a sense, permission to extend beyond the neighborhood she had been guardian of. She wasn’t sure if that meant there would be no interference. There was always the possibility the clan of Bat would become territorial and attempt to chase her off. That would be a poor decision on their part but Cass also didn’t want to burn any bridges. A few broken noses was always on the menu but how she learned her lessons was much different than how others learned their lessons.

It was funny that her usual quarry was also found beyond the borders of China Town. Perhaps they had been flooded out by her stomping their activities and they had to spread further out. It also put them in risk of crossing over into other territories claimed by other organized crime families.

Just such a situation had just occurred, one of the Italian families crossing paths with a small branch of the Triad and a fight broke out. Ronin took it as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. In the chaos of blades, bullets and chains, she struck with her fists and her kicks. They should have thanked her, at least it stopped them from killing each other. Instead they needed medical attention as they lay strewn across the street groaning and crying as the police began to swarm across, some stopping to scratch their heads to figure out what had even happened.

From above, Ronin watched from the safety of the shadows. She wanted to see how many would get arrested, apparently some had some records of previous crime. Others were carted into ambulances, their careers of crime may be over or at least they will be out of the game for a while to recover.

Otherwise, the night had been quiet, even in the absence of some of the guardians. The weather was beginning to warm, the days grew longer. Maybe everyone was appreciating the welcome change of brighter and warmer days for just a bit. The little ninja knew there were bigger things brewing, bigger than the threat of this city, bigger than what she could handle. She couldn’t get many answers from the Son of the Bat though.

Steph: There’s no end to the number of things that could be done when you’re an aspiring vigilante in one Gotham City. We have more than our share of problems per capita, and while most of them aren’t of the violent and strictly illegal variety (y’know, those old tales like poverty, polution, I’m sure I could come up with another P if I really tried) there’s still a lot that most definitely are. I’m sure at some point, somewhere right now even, there’s someone railing about how if they fixed the Ps, the other stuff would resolve itself but it’s Gotham. Where you’ve either got Stockholm Syndrome, or are profiting off the people that do, so it’s a great swirling toilet bowl of gross. Why haven’t I gotten out? Unlike a lot of my classmates I do want to do exactly that. I’m only sixteen, and my parents wouldn’t be down with it.

One of them I’m actually trying to rebuild some semblance of a healthy relationship with. While lying and sneaking out every night behind her back. The other I’m trying to bust in a spectacular, go to jail forever and ever sort of fashion. Even though if I were to be pragmatic, I’d know that’s only a revolving door until someone worse than Arthur Brown needs the cell. This? Isn’t something I’m pragmatic about though, so much as consumed. He’s so D-List that it’s really unlikely for him to be up to anything really dangerous, but that’s not the point.

The violence that’s exploded on this particular block tonight? I don’t think I can actually blame on him, and that’s one of the reasons I’m definitely not interfering. The first being that I don’t want to get dead. I’m getting better, I know I am, and the suit that Tim Drake made for me makes up for a lot of the skills that I lack. But not enough to go wading into that particular foray with no real reason to do so. Especially once a… ninja (?? Oh great. More of those.. ) has gotten involved. The Batcrew liked to lecture me on doing things that were going to get me killed because I’m too inexperienced, but the truth of the matter is before I met them I rarely actually engaged in any fighting. I laid traps. I tipped plans to people who could mess them up if I couldn’t. I’m the Spoiler, not Lady McAssKicker.

And tonight? I don’t even have to do the hard work, because something’s got these guys riled, someone else is handling them, and in the chaos of the cops showing up with a crime scene like that to process? No one’s paying attention to the caped figure that’s gone in the back of the adjacent warehouse. Breaking in windows was my jam long before I had sophisticated lockpicks built into the fingertips of my gloves, and if anything now I’m even more cocky about the long drop to the concrete floor. Shock absorbers. Who knew, right? The Italians should have been in here. Probably playing Mother Hen and sitting on a shipment, that was bound for… who knows where. Which is why I’m here at the moment.

“Well, maybe if you’d invented better long range scanners sheesh…”

Talking to oneself is a sign of the crazies. At least, if that’s what you’re doing and you don’t have a little bird in your ear. It’s actually weird being out without him. But resources are spread a little thin this week, apparently.

Ronin: A noise caught her attention. Despite the chaos going on down below, the situation was under control and she began crawling like a spider along the edge of the warehouse roof. The more contact she had, the less likely she was to press enough weight on the metal to make too much noise. Then again, she was small, petite, quite capable of making it across without her lightweight frame making too much of a disturbance.

The signs of what happened to the window below here were quite evident. All it took was gripping the edge of the roofing material and pushing herself over, a slight twist as she made it past the broken barrier and then the drop to the floor below. She landed in a crouch, the blackened mask looking to the other figure with her head cocked to the side. Friend or foe? Costumed types could have been either. Anyone ballsy enough to wear a costume was also potentially dangerous.

She seemed to be yammering to herself. Words that the Ronin did not understand but she knew there wasn’t anyone else in the building to be holding a conversation with.

She wasn’t trying terribly hard to be stealthy but perhaps the sound of the young woman’s words masked the sound of the small ninja landing nearby. Either way, the purple-costumed girl just gained a shadow. Ronin just wanted to see what she was after, why she was here, if she would need to stop her too.

Spoiler: There’s a few rules when it comes to illegal activity, I assume that goes for anywhere in the world, but I definitely know it’s true here in Gotham. Any kind of activity that you should most definitely not have proof of happening? Has proof of it happening somewhere on both sides of a transaction, even if one, or both, agreed and/or insisted that it shouldn’t. Leverage. Bribery. Proof that no, you didn’t back out of your end of the deal. That’s what I’m after now. I already pegged the shipment I’m interested in, but I also already knew that it arrived in the first place. As I move past one unremarkable crate, in a row of other equally unexciting wooden boxes, I pause to run a finger under the lip and reclaim the tracer that I’d placed on it last night.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn’t forget…”

I’d totes forgotten. He knows it,too. I’d like to claim it’s more that he’s got a bajillion more tracers, so what does it matter if I don’t reclaim this one, but if I’m being honest? I’m just a little too jazzed about chasing down this particular lead. Red Robin and I have been working this case, my case, for what is starting to feel like forever. And its branched, and spider-webbed, and doubled and tripled back on itself until I’m not sure if we’re inept, my Dad is, or if it’s actually that good. More than once I’d been tempted to just confront him, try to provoke the patriarchal jerk into doing some villain monologue-ing and then be done with it. Only slightly tempted though. Because I don’t want him to know that the person that ruined everything he was working for was me until it’s already way too late to do anything about it.

When I start moving again, there’s a strange sort of pattern to my gait. It makes a lot more sense if you could hear the beat of the music that I’ve got going into one ear, and realize I’m dancing as I move deeper into the place, towards the cubicle that serves as an office. Canary would tell me I’m being careless, and punch me in the back of the something painful. Head maybe. Kidney possibly. All about the physical demonstrations, that one. But I counted how many were in here before. I counted how many were sprawled out there, and I’ve got an eye on the entrances.

Just. Not on the one that I used, and the music and the sporadic conversation has basically eliminated any chance I might have heard someone drop in that soon after me. Ducking under the desk, I push the hood back off my head which exposes blonde hair though the lower face mask is still in place, so that I can look up at the underside of it. Classic place to hide things. These guys aren’t exactly brilliant, or original.

Ronin: Another head tilt. All that the small ninja could assume was that the other costumed one was talking to themselves or somebody else through one of those strange ear things. She had paid attention to those details but didn’t really care much about it after that point. There was no sense or reason behind those conversations, behind those words. What was more interesting was the young woman’s steps.

Being the shadow she was, following behind a distance enough to be prepared for an attack, she couldn’t help but follow in the same movement. It was rythmic, light on the toes, following an unheard beat that wasn’t the own beating of her pulse. It wasn’t the beat of the steps of death and war that Cassandra was so much more familiar and intimate with.

They weren’t calculated movements either, instinctual, reactive. It was terribly foolish because there were points where the body’s center of balance and gravity was thrown off. All the tiny details of those movements that the ninja could read like a book. Details that told her this young woman wasn’t very professional or well-trained. There was a lack of discipline in her movements that allowed the Ronin to get too close.

The Thump on the top of the desk as Spoiler was under it, the gloved fingers peeking over the edge soon followed by the black mask, upside down and peering at Spoiler. The only expression that could be read was the narrowing of her eyebrows. What was she doing?

Spoiler: Thump. A noise, and vibration of the surface that is immediately followed by an answering thunk! This one caused by the back of my head meeting the side of the piece of furniture as I jerk back in surprise and alarm. A small flurry of action as I yank the single earbud I’d allowed myself out of my ear, and trip myself up on the edge of my cloak as I go in a direction other than the one I’d been intending to. Sloppy, stupid and soooooo embarrassing. Thank God Red Robin isn’t here to have seen that or… well, actually no. Maybe not. Because if I did actually allow myself to get cornered just now, worse than cornered since I can’t even go up, without backup? I could be in super-serious trouble.


Bracing myself on my elbows in some attempt to look a whole lot more laid back about this than I’m feeling probably doesn’t really work all that well. I don’t know who this is. I’m assuming semi-hostile to not because I could have been yanked out from under here. Or attacked. If that’s what she wanted. Cocking my head slighting to one side, my fingers keep on feeling under the edge of the drawers as I fail at nonchalant.

“Been here long? Dumb question, right? I mean. You weren’t in here when I got in here. Unless you’re really good at hiding which is totes possible. I guess.”

Please don’t be working with these jerks…

Ronin: Ronin could tell she was obviously caught by surprise. That was good, it meant she had been quiet enough, stealthy enough to not have been noticed. It was that or the young woman was simply too distracted by whatever she was after that she wasn’t paying much attention to her surroundings.

There was no response, nothing verbal to the greeting or the question. Again, it was coming off as rambling and the only thing she could really read from her body language was that she was embarrassed and rushed to get at whatever she was looking for.

The black-clad figure let out a soft sigh and merely gave her a little wave and watched. Was she doing something that was going to get her a quick palm upside her skull? Not yet.

Spoiler: “I’m good. I think. I mean. You’ll probably hear the gurgling and shrieking if I’m not…”

The lilt of my voice says I’m trying to make a joke, or light of the situation as I speak to the someone else in my ear, but the nervous giggle at the end of it says I’m really not fooling myself. Christ. Hopefully he’s not already on his way. I don’t need bailed out (yet) and I’m not exactly reading ‘hostile encounter’ right now. If anything, it’s a little like my first meeting with Red Robin. Only he’d actually been more aggressive. She’s just. Watching. Why is she just watching… it’s a little weird. And it makes me feel like this is some kind of trigger trap where I just have to make a singular wrong move and…

“Oh. Um. Carry. On? Was that you out there, then? With the ass kicking? I thought all the ninjas had cleared out of town.”

My fingers have actually found what I was looking for. A little catch, on the underside of the drawer portion of the desk. My dad has one juuuuust like this. Then it’s a matter of hooking my fingers under it, tongue poking out the side of my mouth though that’s covered by my mask, the brows knitting in concentration probably isn’t, and giving it a good yank. This thump is a lot softer, because it’s just a stack of paper hitting the floor to be gathered up in my arms.

“I’m gonna come on out if… that’s cool? Yes? Maybe?”

Ronin: She backed up, stretching one leg out to meet the floor with her toes before pushing herself off of the surface of the desk. It was better to be on the same level, and she was already moving to the side of the desk to avoid having the desk become an obstacle. More words. These costumed types were too talkative it seemed.

she brought her fingers to her forehead, bringing the hand down while pulling her two middle fingers in. She had been lucky in finding that the Son of Bat had known the language she had learned in her time away from the League. She didn’t know if the blonde would understand the ‘Why?’ she just signed.

The smell of blood would confirm who exactly did the ass kicking out there, at least it wasn’t her blood.

SPoiler: This is not me at my most graceful, even if I am moving slow in my glorified crab walk out from under the desk. It’s no small feat that I don’t tangle myself on my cloak yet again. Once I’ve got my feet under me so that I can rise somewhat warily, one arm’s got a manilla folder and the other is tugging the hood of my cloak back up over blonde hair. Mostly so that I can allow the heads up display to properly come up from the face mask. I don’t like having it on all the time, even if it does have helpful Stephanie, you noob, that’ll kill you! warnings from time to time. The hooded head cocks to the side at the signals she’s making, before I shrug my shoulders.

“Is that… sign language? Hrr. Sorry, I don’t understand. I mean, I feel like I barely understand English some days. American Education System. Whatchagonnado.”

My chatter is accompanied by my quickly spreading out the papers from the folder across the desk’s surface. Cargo manifests, with no rhyme or reason that I can tell as to where and when they originated. Almost none for this actual building, and there’s a momentary pause over one before I double tap the corner of it with one finger. This one isn’t what I thought I was looking for, but I don’t buy coincidence at this point either. Also… ninja girl still kinda creeping me out here even if she’s not attacking me yet.

Squinting down at another paper, I find what I was actually looking for. Record of the boxes I’d followed here in the first place, and I narrow my eyes with a grumble.

“Oh I’m going to kill him…”

Ronin: The masked figure stood silent, watching the young woman. There was certainly some barriers to communication. Ronin watched the girl’s hands flail about but it meant nothing. The only thing she could convey from her body language was some confusion quickly followed by some nervous babbling. Cassandra certainly didn’t expect everyone to understand. The fact she at least had one tiny outlet to communicate was a small miracle. It was how she got by after she had left her mother and the clutches of the League. It was how she connected with someone else besides the isolated few that had any interactions with her. Few spoke the language that was native to Cassandra. The subtleties of how the body communicated, a raised brow, a lip twitch, the way someone held their hands together or crossed their arms to self-soothe.

Something else caught her attention. Someone not quite as stealthy as the trained warrior. The sound of metal sliding against metal could be heard as a weapon was loaded, a round chambered.

Ronin brought a finger up to the mask around where her mouth is and then pointed to the ground. If the purple caped bandit was smart she would be quiet, she would stay.

The silence was broken again when Ronin swiftly gripped the edge of the desk to topple it over, sounds of gunfire followed along with the flashes of gunpowder being ignited in the darkness.

Darkness was the ally to the Ronin in this case. It allowed her to get out of harm’s way quickly, to maneuver around the obstacles of the warehouse to get closer to the gunman. Where there was one brave man with a gun, there were sure to be others to follow. To Ronin, it was just another target to leave in a broken and painful heap for someone else to clean up.

Spoiler: “Anyone know ASL?”

If my face weren’t covered, it’d probably be a lot more clear that I’m not talking to the dark clad girl (I’m assuming girl…) that’s here with me, because I’m talking out of the side of my mouth in a low mutter that’s mostly meant to only be picked up by those on my communications frequency, but if this girl can’t speak, or hear me, then I guess it wouldn’t much matter if I shouted or whispered. I’m only really side-eyeing her because while I’ve assessed ‘threat’ she’s also got a little smiley face mental note of ‘not to me atm :)? ‘ Plus I’m a whole lot more focused, now that I’m not feeling in immediate danger, on the paperwork in front of me. I found what I was originally looking for. Only then as I briefly glanced at the rest so that no one (coughTimcough) can accuse me of not being thorough, I started to notice other things. Familiar names. The export corporation we’d followed an unrelated van to. An importer who had a break-in that they didn’t ever actually report to the police. Now I’m shifting papers around on the desk’s grubby surface. Making invisible connector lines like I might on a wall with string or pen (or that the RedRobinPuter would do automatically but hey. Old school!), in my head.


There’s a nose of dismay as she flips over the desk and sends the papers I’d just started to order flying, but I’d imagine it’s probably lost to the immediate sounds of gunfire, which leaves me tugging my hood back up over blonde hair as I drop to the concrete floor of the warehouse, taking cover behind the toppled surface and scrabbling to recollect the manifests and logs. Ugh. I’m never going to be able to get all this back the way it was before I got here, now. And it’s not even my fault! Maybe if I wreck the furniture, I can make it look like the paper’s discovery was just happenstance, but for the moment? I’m a little more worried about the action going on around me. Or in front of me. One hand comes up to find the tiny switch which sends the heads up display into my vision, easily showing me what’s going on, even in this lighting.

The way this ninja girl moves, and fights, and it takes me all of half a second to know that I better hope she stays in the smiley face threat listing because I am pretty sure that I’d fare as well as I might hope against Dinah if she were actually trying to hurt me. There’s other problems anyway.

“On your left!”

Because I assume she sees the other one. She is facing that way, after all. Pulling up my knees, and with a soft grunt for Extra Power! I kick off one of the legs of the desk, flinging it end over end tomahawk style in the general direction of the figure to the left. General direction because it sails past to clatter against the crates behind him. I didn’t miss! That was on purpose.

Ronin: Everyone else, well, every other person that seemed to be in existence around Cassandra, seemed to talk a lot. It was the major mode of communication for everyone else that seemed to live outside of the world she grew up in. She grew up around silence. Few words were spoken to her and those few that were, she barely understood. She was raised to understand the non-verbal communication, the subtle movements. It was the only way she knew that the other young woman was just talking to talk and wasting oxygen in the moment of critical need of action.

It wasn’t the group of men that bothered Cassandra so much as the rounds of bullets that went flying through the air. The other woman was protected by the heavy old desk but Ronin was out in the open, dancing, using the shadow for cover inbetween t he muzzle flashes. Speed was her weapon, unpredictability her tool. Methodically she started to pick at them, one by one. She waited for those crucial seconds they were trying to get on a target or reload their rounds. It was those precious moments her fists and palm brought sickening blows to them. She was done playing nice. Blood was spit out, bones cracked. The groans of pain mixed with the gunfire until there was a crash to the side of her.

She knew there was a target to her left, she had already grabbed the man she was already on to pull him in front of her to shield him. It was the boxes that went tumbling. The contents strewn across the floor. Packing peanuts, bits of wood, stuffed animals. In the chaos, a few had ‘lost their heads’. The true contents resting within the guts of the stuffed friends. Bags of carefully wrapped drugs.

Ronin sneered beneath the mask, tossing the man to the side as she began circling the area, gathering the firearms and unloading them and disassembling them to the point where they were useless. An effortless dance of methodical destruction of the tools that could have killed them…and may have killed others.

She dropped the last bits of metal and plastic and pointed at Spoiler. The other motion was her bringing out her pinky and then holding it beside her face. She wanted her to call it in. To call the real authorities. The evidence was everywhere. It wouldn’t stop this particular group from importing the poison but it would at least shut down this location. It would get them moving and swarming like a hive of ants.

Steph: See. There’s not much action going on for me right now. It’s not that I’m not capable. I’m totally capable of a lot of things. I just also know that it’d be really, really stupid to get out from behind this solid desk, with the reinforced compartment in the middle used to hide the documents that are now scattered all around me. Not unless I want to get shot, because I’m more or less a sitting duck.

Also because this ninja’s totally got this, and far be it from me to like. Interfere. Spoiling is only my thing for the bad guys. Which, who knows. Maybe she is but she’s beating the living snot out of these guys that I know are bad guys. The sounds of the fight are a little strange to listen to when I’m removed from it though. I realize I’d started to get used to being right in the middle of it. I think I also know exactly how far I have to go. But that’s not new. Watching Dinah, or Tim or any of the reset and I know I’m better, but I’m also very aware I’m not best.

It’s over fast. Very fast. Like, I’m not exactly done using the built in digital scanner of my suit to scan the papers I want, fast. I could take them with me, but I don’t want anyone to know I was here. Know that I’m onto them though. That is probably out the window now. She’s pointing at me. And for a moment, my hooded, masked head swings one way, and then the other in a comical ‘who, me?!’ look around. Since now there’s no visible face to pick up any of my expressions from. Then my shoulders rise and fall in a resigned sigh.

“Uh, yup. Definitely Sure thing, Lady Ninja. Whatever you say. Don’t say. I… you know what I mean. I think. Soooo… I’m just gonna. Finish… with this… yup, yup okay. All done. Consider them called and … great job! You kicked ass! Took names! Maybe not that last part…”

Jabbering away, I’m nudging papers one way and then the other to finish the scan before I rise. I guess at this point I could take them with me. The police will probably scoop them up anyway. I just don’t think it’s wise to give this girl any reason to think that maybe I’m stealing…

Ronin: Ronin could easily tell the woman was distracted getting something else. Something to do with the papers that she had been gathering when the former League member had dropped in. For a moment she lingered, she wasn’t quite sure why but perhaps she hoped it would give the other a window of safety before the call was finally made.

It the loner an opportunity to survey the scene. No dead, the opponents were down but most were harmless in their currently pained and broken state.

The congratulatory gesture wasn’t missed. Her head tilted. This was hardly a large scale rescue or anything terribly heroic but it was a job done and a job she didn’t need a pat on the back for. She had been asked to expand her skills outside of her neighborhood and she was doing her best to keep up with the endless strings of crime and problems this city had to offer. With one of the guardians away, another had to take their place.

Ronin shrugged and turned her attention to the windows higher above. Not another moment passed before she was springing to climb the various surfaces and use the machinery like a pro parkour to get to the exit. Anything that was away from the main entrance, away from the sight of the authorities.

She was planning to take a different vantage point to observe. Perhaps someone was helping this group, someone within the ranks of the police. Or, with any luck, they’ll send someone long after the police had taken everything into custody.

Steph: Boy. Usually the only time I get an internal ‘shut up shut up shut up’ monologue going in my head is when I’m embarrassing myself in a conversation. Not having someone answering me verbally just makes it that much more clear exactly how much I’m babbling. Maybe because it feels like I’m just talking to myself, instead of to someone else. Except I am. And boy. I’m imagining so much silent judgement right now.

Or maybe I’m not imagining it! That’s also possible. So I’m not exactly going to stick around. GCPD has been notified. I don’t have to actually make a phone call for that, there’s a whole system and… yeah. Fancy suit, with dudes behind the curtain and all that.

“It’ll probably take them a few. This part of town is def not high priority so…”

I’m pleased to say there’s no fumbling for my grapple. Not that I’ve done that in a few weeks. Practice and all that. The paff of air is softer than it ought to be, were the gear not made by a supergenius with too much time on his hands, as the hook upwards, hooking on the edge of the window I’d dropped in from in the first place and hauling me up as I wave a free hand in the direction the ninjagirl and sprung off into.

I’d stay and chat buuuut… no chatting. Also police. Also a lot of likely to be grumpy criminals laying around on the ground down there. The fact that I have a pile of names I want to run down, now, also helps with my speed at getting to the roof and running my way back into the alleys and roofs of a deeper part of Gotham.