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Old 08-04-2012, 07:28 AM   #476
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III

"And in other news, District Attorney Harvey Dent has released a statement to the press regarding the alleged crimes of one of his own staff, receptionist Angela Marsters. Following her arrest late last night, the 48-year-old mother and suspect in the murder of 16-year-old Alicia Marsters was indeibted this morning on the charge of first degree homicide, after a subsequent confession to authorities led to protests outside of Dent's office. The District Attorney himself was said to be 'in shock' over the crime, stating that 'words cannot express my grief for the family suffering from this appauling---'"

"Oh, goddammit! Come on!"

You can do this, Jason. Just breathe.

Breathe and give it hell.

After several attempts in vain, and a few of those aforementioned deep breaths, I place my hands on the side of the damned cowl and pull, finally beginning to feel the back of my skull slip out from the locked grip of it. The material releases the skin of my face from a tight suction, and a mountain of sweat pours down over my eyes, stinging a bit as I stumble back into the chair beneath me. I'm so winded by the struggle of getting it off that I don't even give a second's thought to just letting the thing fall to my feet. I'd kick it if I weren't so frustrated, knowing that it's not going to get any easier from here. If removing the mask was a sign of things to come, I've still got a long way to go in getting the entire suit off. Though, I guess the real priority is the cape, which feels like it weighs at least good several hundred pounds. Bad enough it weighed me down out in the field, slowing down any natural agility I've ever gained. I never thought I'd make it back here.

How the hell did Bruce do this every night? Me, all I needed was a jacket and something under my shirt to stop a few bullets and the occasional knife wound. He practically donned on a suit of armor to do the exact same thing. I guess I just never realized how much of a nightmare it was to actually wear, nevertheless work with. Didn't even feel like turning my head was a possibility. And all it would have taken was some lucky idiot with a shotgun to take me down...

Seriously, though. It's my fault. This is what I get for picking the prototype, because I knew that this was the first suit Bruce ever designed for himself. I should've put more of an effort into making it wearable before ever taking it out on the streets. It doesn't even really fit me, given I had to remove the lifts from the boots just to stand at a proper height and tear out some of the padding over the armor plates to ease up on the joint restriction. He put a hell of alot of effort into making himself seem more physically imposing. And to his credit, he did a good job of that.

Hell, he even designed a failsafe method for the voice. I never knew that there was some sort of device embedded into the neckpiece to allow him to talk like that. Figured he just wanted to sound like he had broken glass in his throat.

"Alright. Hhh. Okay. Now's the time on Sprockets... where we take five."

Relaxing into the chair, I stare up at nothing in particular and allow the weight of what I just did to hit me. Bottom line, of course, is I shouldn't have done it in the first place. That was more than apparent the moment that I stepped out of the cave. I don't know what came over me, but the minute that I saw this suit sitting in the glass case, I just... I knew I had to put it on. Get a feel for what it was like for him, even if it was just for one night. I know that he technically gave me everything down here, but he didn't exactly say "go out and be me now". Because I'm not him. I'm not Batman.

So why'd it feel so good to be Batman?

I mean, I'm no stranger to being out on the town and roughing a few people up, but this was different. The look that each and every one of them gave me was unreal. The three thugs trying to mug that security guard. That doofus that tried to bang up an ATM machine and steal everything inside. The would-be rapist that tried to grab a woman in the back alleys. Even a few of the cops, whenever they caught the slightest glimpse of me. It felt so strange. Even a little empowering, in a weird way. I definitely see what would make Bruce want to do it as often as he did - being Batman is like stepping into an entirely different world. No one treats you the way you expect to be treated. Every one of them looks at you like you're either the devil himself or something worse.

It felt great. I didn't even have to try to put the fear into them. The suit did all the work.

Which is why I can't wear it again. I also felt like I was on autopilot the entire time, like it was too easy. Like I had been given the ultimate pass when I should have worked for it. Hell, to wear the thing at all should've taken more effort. I just spent the night essentially wearing my best friend's skin. That's not something that I'm gonna be able to get over right away. I felt like a fraud trying to be someone that I wasn't.

Who am I kidding? I was a fraud. I can't replace the real Batman.

Unbuckling the belt and unfastening the godforsaken cape, I give into the relief of losing all of that weight at once, lean in and place my hands together to think. Bruce gave me everything down here. Okay, that I understand. I can use the tools, I can use the gimmicks to create a better Red Hood, maybe even build myself a few vehicles. And having a place to go back to that isn't some cheap apartment or a warehouse is gonna be a nice change of pace. But as far as any of the Batsuits are concerned, I'm better off just putting them all into storage. Let people forget about 'The Dark Knight' for awhile, just long enough for me to make my own name. And if Bruce wakes up, well...

If he wakes up? God, listen to me. I'm not really that cynical, am I? Of course he's gonna wake up. He's Batman - and I'm not. Which is exactly what this night proved to me. I can go to sleep tonight definitively knowing that the cape and cowl routine isn't how I operate. Just gotta focus on what I can do to help with my own methods, and borrow what little I have to from the vault in here.

...

Okay, so maybe I'll borrow more than just a little. I can't help it, some of this stuff is too cool for words. I used to be pretty adamant against the idea using any sort of tech, but after trying some of it out firsthand, I can't imagine why. It's seriously levelled the playing field in ways that I could have never could've imagined. Those guys in Waynetech's R&D department aren't making nearly enough.

Deciding to let my frustrations go, I get up and walk over to the computer and manually turn up the speaker volume. Had it tuned to a live broadcast of the morning news, just to see if I was mentioned. Which I undoubtedly will, given that I got way too careless out there tonight. I need to work on that whenever I go out tomorrow, I mean - the giant red helmet's still not gonna be much in the way of stealth, but that doesn't mean I couldn't use a bit of practice.

Heh. Now that I think about, I guess alot of things got to my head tonight.

Like I said, Bruce, I don't know how you did it...

"---stunned local residents, after police made the arrest early this afternoon. Authorities confirmed that 35-year-old Robert Hannigan was found in his home with a bloodstained belt, standing over his savagely beaten 5-year-old son. The boy was immediately rushed to Gotham General and is now in critical condition, leaving Hannigan to face a court hearing for the assault in the coming weeks."

I look up and sneer, seeing the onscreen picture of the piece of human filth. Makes me want to punch out the monitor. Part of me wishes I were still out there, just to break into whatever holding cell he's at and snap his neck over my knee. There's nothing that could make me more sick than knowing that someone who beat his own child is still being allowed to breathe air. If I had my way, it'd be perfectly legal to take a blowtorch to the man's limbs and watch him scream in agony. Then repeat the process every day, until he dies from the shock.

There was a reason that I didn't adhere to my newfound philosophy tonight. It may be the only logical way to get rid of the scum that've polluted this city, especially after we spent so much time being such damn cowards about it, but I couldn't bring myself to do it wearing that suit. Bruce was naive for never allowing himself to go that far, but I'd be worse for ever doing that to his legacy. I'll happily tarnish mine if it means getting rid of people like Hannigan once and for all, but I'll leave Batman out of it. At least until Bruce sees that my way is the way we should've done it all along.

But if I'd have known this happened sooner, I wouldn't have held back. Hope he and that woman that murdered her daughter get what's coming to them.

Nearly drifting away in my own thoughts as I sit down, I begin listening to the next report. Maybe that'll mention my little escapade. Gotta be something out there about it. No way they'd pass up a chance to tell the city that Batman's back on the streets, and when they do, I can rest easily. That'll be enough to convince a few would-be sadists to stay indoors at night.

"Truly a horrible set of circumstances. Thanks for that report, Vicky, and on behalf of all of us at Gotham Tonight, I'd like to extend our condolences to the family during this difficult time."

Engel composes himself a little too easily as he moves onto the next topic of discussion, shattering the illusion that he really gives a damn at all. Figures. I always knew he was a prick.

"And in other news, police are still searching for the missing 11-year-old Katie Robinson, who was said to be abducted from her home last night. Both parents have filed seperate reports, stating that they found the window to her bedroom open, leading investigators to believe that she was taken sometime in the middle of the night. If you have any information that will lead to the discovery of Katie, please call the number on the bottom of your screen, or contact your local authorities immediately."

Wait.

Three children. One murdered, one beaten to near death, and another kidnapped. All on the exact same night, and going off of the footage of the news reports, all victims were in the Narrows. I know it's longshot to think anything of it, given that the girl was killed by her mother and the boy was beaten by her father with no distinguishable connection, but the kidnapping just puts it way too over the top for me to believe for a second that it's just coincidence. This type of stuff happens in Gotham all the time, but never three times in a row. And never to just children.

Something's not right. Closing the window to the broadcast, I type in a command on the computer that brings up that program Bruce always made a habit of using. The, what was it. Oracle.

"Uh... Oracle, right?"

Voice Recognition In Progress...
Vocal Patterns Recognized. Confirmed.
Welcome To Oracle, Jason Todd.


So it recognizes me. Swell.

Guess the glorified butler must've made that adjustment before he left to wherever he was heading...

"Right, so you can tell who I am. Can you cross reference a list of names, too?"

Cross-Referencial Software Initiated.
Query?


Well, what do you know.

"Find me a connection between Angela Marsters, Robert Hannigan, and the parents of Katie Robinson."

Searching...

It takes a few minutes, but pretty soon, I'm given all available information on my three points of interest. And looking over it all, I soon discover that I was right to be worried. There is a connection between them. The addresses of all three indicate that each family lives in The Narrows, just a few miles apart from eachother. Rural neighborhoods, not alot of potential witnesses. I dig a little deeper into it, and what I find isn't particularly encouraging.

For one, Angela Marsters has no history of mental illness, child abuse, or a previous criminal record. And like the news report said, she worked as a receptionist for Dent. Hardly stressful, and nothing indicative of senselessly murdering her own child. Robert Hannigan's story is the same. He was a factory worker and a model employee. Up for a promotion, infact. And a part-time member of the Gotham City Youth Group, specializing in giving under-priveleged children a chance for education. My guess is that contrary to what he did last night, he held a soft spot for kids. He even has more of them, though they're not doubt going to be taken away after this insanity.

I lean back in the chair, stunned by my findings. None of this makes any sense. Two perfectly well-adjusted people that snap overnight. People don't just do that, and it's a common misconception that they do. Every single patient that I've treated at Arkham is the result of years of torment - if not physically, then emotionally. These two are hardly tormented. They just seemingly decided to allow themselves one moment of psychotic tendencies.

Dammit all. I have this nagging feeling, like there's more to this than meets the eye. Something changed these people overnight, and the odds are that an outside force - well, scatch that. An outside person led to something happening. Maybe a meta, or some psychotropic narcotic tampering. And while Red Hood would be enough for me to go and look for answers tommorrow night, he wouldn't be enough to put the fear into someone responsible for whatever the hell's going on.

And I want to put the fear into them.

With a heavy sigh, I take a glance back at the cowl laying on the floor. I hate to do it, but...



"Guess you and I are sticking together a little while longer."

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Old 08-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #477
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Running into Maven brings back a flood of memories. Graduating from the academy, bright-eyed and gung-ho on saving the world. Well, maybe not saving the world, but at least cleaning the streets of a few worthless dirtbags. Being met with opposition from my own "peers" - prejudice, sexism, harassment. Receiving my assignment to Vice. At the time, I thought I was being given an opportunity. Turns out, I just looked the part of a prostitute. *******s. Still, I approached the assignment with high hopes and an idealistic tenacity. These weren't bad girls, they were just troubled. They needed someone to believe in them, to help them get off the street. I tried to be that person.

Maven was one of my success stories. Manyother girls weren't so lucky. I tried to keep perspective - to remind myself it was just an assignment - but I couldn't help but get attach to those girls. Some got out, some sank deeper. Much to my despair, some were beaten and killed. It wasn't a pretty life, but it showed me what rock bottom really looked like. I vowed that I would never let myself sink so low, and look at me now. Living in a penthouse, rubbing elbows with Gotham's elite. I'd trade it all to save the girls I failed. But that's not how the world works. No one mourns the death of a hooker. No one but me.

After a brief, but enthusiastic, phone conversation, Maven and I set a time to meet for coffee. I can't help but get excited for it. I mean, it's my first real interaction with another human being in a long time. In my scramble to the top, I haven't left much time for friends. It's lamentable, but I've never been the type to get close to people easily. Other than Arizona, who do I really have in my life? Gwen? She's nice, and we get along well, but we're more coworkers than friends. After her, then who? Bruce Wayne?

Bruce Wayne. There's a laugh. When we first met, I despised him. He was just another carefree, careless playboy spending all his parents' money. Oh, sure, we're all supposed to feel sorry for what happened to him, but he certainly didn't seem to be losing sleep over it. Or so it seemed. As I got closer to Bruce, I realized he was hiding something. I thought he was tied in with the mob. I was ready to "expose" him and make a name for myself as an amateur detective. The truth, as always, was much stranger than I ever imagined. Now, he's the only person who knows the truth about me. He sees behind my mask, just as I saw behind his.

Why am I thinking about Bruce so much recently? I want to tell myself that it's only because I like having someone who knows the real me. Because, frankly, I sometimes lose sight of her myself. I want to believe that my fear of losing Bruce is only the fear of losing a confidant. God knows it'll be a long time before I trust someone else to get that close. And yet, as Bruce enters my thoughts, I know it's something deeper than the secret we share. Do I... miss him?

Shaking these ridiculous thoughts from my mind, I head down to the coffee shop where Maven and I agreed to meet. It's a cute little place just on the edge of The Narrows - where the despair of poverty meets the promise of middle-class living. Maven has yet to arrive when I get there, so I order myself a latte and pick a well-lit seat by the window. I try my best to come up with something other than Bruce Wayne to think about, which leads me to begin thinking of what I'm going to do about Arizona. As an equally uncomfortable topic of thought, I decide to clear my mind altogether and simply wait for Maven.

Twenty minutes later, I've finished my drink, and Maven still hasn't shown. I'm sure I had the right time and place, but I decide to give Maven the benefit of the doubt. Something could have come up for all I know, or maybe she's simply running late. Twenty minutes more pass, and I begin to wonder what's going on. I check my phone. No messages. Once I've been waiting a full hour, I decide to call.

"Hey, this is Maven! Leave a message if you know me."

I frown discontentedly and hang up the phone. You said it yourself, Selina, I reason, Something might have come up. That's why she can't answer her phone. That answer is unsatisfactory to me, however. If something happened that's so serious that she isn't answering her phone, isn't that all the more reason to worry? Then, I decide that maybe she just didn't hear the phone ring. So I dial again.

"Hey, this is Maven! Leave a message if you know me."

Whether I should or shouldn't, I've officially begun to worry. Something doesn't feel right about this. I can feel it in my bones. A realization hits me, so I go digging in my purse. Moments later, I've found what I was looking for: the scrap paper with Maven's phone number and address. I know I'm probably being jumpy, but I've got the feeling something's wrong. I'll just run down to Maven's apartment and see if she's there.

As I walk to the address Maven gave me, I try her phone a third time. Still no response. This time, I elect to leave a message. "Maven, it's Selina," I begin, surprising myself with the worry in my voice. "You didn't show at the coffee shop, so I'm seeing if everything's okay. I'm on my way to your apartment now. If you get this message before I get there, please call me back." I hang up, finding that even leaving a message didn't satisfy my unease.

When I arrive at Maven's apartment building, I discover that the metal gate out front doesn't lock. That seems unnecessarily risky, especially in The Narrows. At the door, I use the time-honored trick of pushing all the buttons until someone buzzes me in. Again, it's a little worrisome. What if I were here for malicious intent? Maven still hasn't called me back. I go inside and climb to the second floor.

Maven lives in apartment 215. It's just off to the right of the center stairwell. I knock on her door, praying that she'll be there to answer it. After a few moments of silence, my hopes diminish. "Maven?" I call out, though I don't know why I'd expect her to hear that if she didn't hear the knocking. Instinctually, my hand wraps around the doorknob. I'm surprised to feel it turn in my grasp. Her door's unlocked.

Almost in full panic mode now, I open the door slowly and call out again, "Maven?" The apartment is dark. She must not be home. Seeing a light switch next to the door, I flick it. "Maven, it's Selina. Are you in here?" I take my first step into the apartment, closing the door behind me. That's when I notice that the chain on her door is broken. Oh no.

No longer tentative, I stride into the apartment in search of some sign to assuage my fears. Instead, I have them confirmed. The coffee table in Maven's living room is overturned, and one her lamps has been broken. There's no blood, but I know the signs of a struggle when I see them. Hurriedly, I search the other rooms in the apartment. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom look untouched. Maven's nowhere to be found.

I take out my phone and begin dialing 911. Then, I stop myself. This wasn't a break-in or a robbery. The apartment is still intact, and nothing appears to be stolen. Nor was it a murder scene, as there's no blood nor a body. This was a kidnapping. From the looks of it, Maven answered the door. Whoever knocked cut the chain and pursued her into the living room. Maven put up a brief fight, but she was taken. And all I can think is: what if someone from her old life did this to her?

Pimps aren't happy when you liberate their charges. I used all my resources with the GCPD to ensure that Maven was safe, but there's very little to stop her former pimp - or one of his buddies - from hunting her down. A second, even worse, thought enters my mind: what if Maven got involved in that lifestyle again? I've certainly seen things like this happen to girls before. You miss a payment, you cross the wrong guy, and they'll get you.

I throw my phone back into my purse. Maven was doing so well. If she's been dragged back into that life - or if someone from that life hunted her down - I don't want to complicate it further by getting the police involved. They'll only do more harm than good. It may have been a few years, but I still know this scene, and I know how this crowd works. If anyone should find Maven, it should be me. Unfortunately, a lot of unsavory people might remember my face. If they didn't know already, they surely figured out that I was an undercover cop. Looking for Maven as Selina Kyle might get me in just as much trouble as Maven is in.

Catwoman, on the other hand, doesn't suffer from any of those problems...

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Old 08-05-2012, 02:19 AM   #478
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Previously


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"Everybody settled in?" Waller asked from the head of the conference room. After hearing no response for a few seconds, she looked down at her notes. "Alright, we got a hot one."

"Oh really?" Deadshot asked with a cocked eyebrow. "No goddamn Frankensteins or zombies for us to kill?"

"Actually," Fiddler said. "Uhh the monster in Frankenstein was just 'the Creature' Frankenstein was the name of the doctor."

"I don't give a damn if the monster was named John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt--."

"That's my name, too," Bronze Tiger said.

"Alright," Waller said pulling a snubnose revolver from her jacket. "Next one that opens their mouth gets two in the head. Test me. Please."

"Moving on,"
she said, putting her gun back in its shoulder holster. "Last year, Task Force X stopped the terrorist organization Jundallah, aslo known as Jihad, from assassinating an Egyptian presidential candidate. Although it was a win for us, the Jihad members got away. They've been quiet since, but now they're coming out their snake hole."

Waller passed around copies of a surveillance photo. The grainy black and white photo was of a man in a jacket, his head down low and a baseball cap obscuring his face. He was standing outside a shoddy looking building.

"A Company asset took this photo a week ago in Jakarta, capital city of Indonesia. We believe he's Peter Blaine, former Delta Force Operator and now operating as a member of Jihad's primary cell."

Waller glanced slightly up at Flag, as did a few other members of the team. Before Blaine followed Jihad's orders, he followed Flag's He was with Flag in Syria a year and a half ago when their mission went bad. It was Flag who had left him for dead back then.

"The NSA got as many bugs as humanly possible into that building. It's a hotel and the room Blaine was visiting belonged to a man named Salim Husan, a Saudi Nation with a rap sheet the size of my waistline. He flew into the US three days ago and is currently in Sacramento. In 48 hours, the Commander in Chief is visiting Sacramento. FBI and CIA arrested Husan. He confessed right away to being a Jihad suicide bomber that was going to blow the President up. He also gave us a number that he was supposed to call in case something went wrong. That number traced back to a safehouse in Abu Dhabi. That's where we're headed. They tried to kill our leader, we're going to one up them. Our mission is to wipe Jihad off the face of the Earth."

Waller looked down at her watch and then back up at the group.

"Every minute we waste is a minute they can get away. We're wheels up in ten minutes. Dismissed."



Abu Dhabi

The two story home wasn't much to look at. It was slanted, its paint dull and chipped. It was in the middle of Abu Dhabi's singular slum. While the rich and middle class thrived in the city, Abu Dhabi still had poor and destitute. The thousands that were less fortunate called this slum home. The building in question housed many on them every night. Right now, though, the building seemed empty and abandoned.

Out in front, a woman in a full body burqa walked by while a tourist couple, two middle-aged white men, walked a good ways away with cameras around their neck. The two men talked and bickered with each other in German. They had a map in their hands and appeared to be lost. The woman in the burqa stopped and lingered beside the house just briefly and kept walking.

"Good job, Eve," a voice said in the woman's ear. "Signal Vertigo and Fiddler to follow you. The three of you can head back now."

Six blocks away, inside an office building that had been rented out, Amanda Waller watched the live feed coming from the camera in Nightshade's burqa. She stood in front of a row of monitors, some with the footage from the camera, the others filled with various other pieces of intel.

"Sarge, Flag," she said, turning to the two men behind her. "What can you tell me?"

"If it's a Jihad safehouse," Sarge Steel started. "It's a pretty good one. Lots of potential entrances and exits. Don't know what's inside, but I expect the rendezvous point to be somewhere in the basement. Probably behind some locked doors."

"The entrances and exits also mean it's a tactical nightmare,"
Flag said with his arms crossed. "Lots exits means lots of escape opportunities. Also means lots of chances for potential ambushers to move in and out."

"We're getting backup on this one, though," Waller said, checking her watch. "I called in some favors I have over at State. Abu Dhabi military is giving us support. I'm expecting one of their officers to be here soon. While we wait, go over the final plans."

"Well, It's going to be a simple raid. Team 1 is me, Fiddler, and Vertigo. We go in the front and work our way through the rooms towards the middle. Team 2 is Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, and Deadshot. They come in the back and clear rooms until we meet in the middle. From there, we go up or down until we find the Jihad safehouse."

"And my team will be outside," a voice said behind them. The three of them turned and saw a tall, slim man in his 40's. His hair was jet black and cut short, a goatee on his face. "I am Major Darzi. Abu Dhabi military. You are the Americans I am supposed to liaise with?"

"Major," Waller said with a nod. "I'm Special Agent Wilson and these are just two of my men. It would for your benefit that I don't say their names."

"Oh, I understand," Darzi said with a smirk. "Black operations are all about secrets. Who is to say Darzi is even my name, yes?"

"Fair point," Waller said. "We were just going over final plans for the raid. We're ready, how about your men?"

"They are on the way now."

"Good." With a look towards Flag, Waller nodded. "Get your people and start suiting up. I want us in that house within the hour."

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Old 08-05-2012, 07:02 AM   #479
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Nearly 24 hours pass since I made it a point to discover the connection between the three families. And despite my trepidation about coming out here - dressed like this again - I start to lose any sense of doubt whenever I hit the open skies overlooking The Narrows. If I've gotta be honest, the weight of the cape still annoys the living hell out of me. I'm just not used to that kind of hindrance slowing me down, making me less agile than I usually am. But whenever I manage to start hopping between rooftops, catching velocity that only seems to increase with every building that I have to dare myself to scale, I start to see why Bruce felt the nessecity for it. By itself on the ground, it's a pain, but feeling it catch the air and slow down your descent gives me a thrill that I'd never even imagined existed before. It's the closest thing that I think I'll ever come to flying. For a moment, it's exhilerating. Even start to feel like a kid again. Then reality quickly sets in, and I realize that I'm cutting it close, relying too much on the glide to keep me into a straight ascension. Without any time to react to the oncoming path, I brace myself just as my body collides with the ledge of a roof, slamming my stomach hard on the pavement.

#&@$!

Y'know. If it weren't for the fact that I manage to grab hold of the ledge and pull myself up, shaking off the pain of having the wind knocked out of me? I think I might have nearly ended my career with that one. Taking a moment to climb over the edge, gather myself and walk it off, I grit my teeth and kneel over, uttering a few obscenities along the way. That's gonna bruise. Guess I should just consider myself lucky that The Narrows consists mainly of lower level architecture. Hardly any skyscrapers like the rest of Gotham, mostly just a few residential areas even in the main part of the island. If they were any taller, I'd have either hit them head-on and risked a fall of several hundred feet. Or I'd have simply been rendered into paste, gliding into solid steel and concrete at a hundred miles an hour.

Okay. So I'm back to hating the cape. But once I take a glance over and get a bird's eye view of the next few blocks, any sense of optimism makes a bit of a comeback - I've nearly reached my destination. Just have to play it carefully, and use the grapple line rather than give into the temptation to glide. I don't want to go down in history as the only Batman to die on his second night out. With a bit of regret, my instincts get the better of me and cause a moment of pause, leaning on the edge of the roof.

You're not a Batman, Jason. Might aswell get that kind of crap outta your head right now. This is the last time. Once I find the monsters that kidnapped Katie Robinson and make them pay for whatever they're really doing, I'm hanging this up for good and leaving it for the man who really belongs in this suit. Which I've definitely got no problem with doing. Red's more of my color than black anyway.

Finally managing to compose myself after the near-brush with a ridiculously absurd demise, I vault over the ledge and leap onto the next rooftop, pacing myself out into a sprint. The Robinson family home was the first real place that sprung to mind whenever I had to decide where to start looking for leads. Both the news report and the report filed with the GCPD two nights ago indicate that the girl was taken from her bedroom in the middle of the night. Entry through the window, broken lock. No trace of fingerprints on the glass or anything else that could be considered incriminating. Forgive me for possessing a lack of faith in their forensics department - aswell as every other branch, for that matter - but I'd like to take a look at the crime scene myself. With Bruce's resources at my disposal, I seriously doubt I'll turn up empty.

Least, I hope not. I'm ready to start cracking heads.

Fifteen minutes later, and I find myself exiting the bushes behind the home. Microphone in the cowl didn't pick up any sounds coming from the inside. Place has gotta be deserted, especially so soon after the incident. Parents are probably out staying with some relatives, grieving, or out trying to put up some missing persons flyers across town. I try and tell myself that whatever they're doing is worth doing this, but even I've got my issues with breaking and entering. This isn't me sneaking in to assault some hapless drug addict to interrogate. I'm violating the sancity of an innocent family's home, because I suddenly got the flight of fancy of being a detective about this.

Still, it doesn't take much self-convincing before I rip away the crime scene tape outside of the window, open it up, and climb my way inside. The house is pitch black inside, save for the light reflecting from the windows. I tap the cowl a few times to play around with the settings in the lenses. I'm pretty sure that's how you do it. I only read the full diagnostics for some of this suit's features earlier this evening.

"C'mon, c'mon, give me nightvision..."

Finally, it gives me the setting I wanted, and I look around the room. Fairly typical decor. A few plush toys lying on the floor, some posters of some cartoon animals. Everything you'd expect to find in the cliche 'little girl's room' is sitting in here. What doesn't come as nearly an immediate observation is the fact that aside from the smell of leftover musk from some cop's cologne, when the police were searching the room earlier, I can't really see anything that jumps out as suspicious. The window didn't look to have any fingerprint smudges, so they were at least right about that. Wondering if I'm just looking at it from the wrong angle, I tap the side of the cowl again and switch modes. And suddenly everything in my point of view comes up a bright orange, as opposed to a faint green.

Infared too, huh? You really knew where to spend your money, Bruce...

Taking another look at the window and how it was broken, I notice that there aren't any prints on the lock either. The culprit had to have been using gloves to do this. Which means that if I don't find something besides a print to lead me on, I might end more stuck than I thought I'd be. Walking over to the dresser, sitting right next to the bed, I run my fingers along the wood and see if I can find anything there. The girl must've struggled, at the very least. Unless the perpetrator made sure to be gentle about it, carrying her out of the window while she was still asleep. The more I start to think about it, the more it makes me angry. Some human piece of excrement was in this room, in this family's home, and stole their child. Makes me want to break something.

Actually, I begin to realize that I nearly have, seeing that I'm clutching way too tightly to a toy on the dresser as I let the scenerio run through my mind, keeping me distracted. Placing the toy back, I begin to walk towards the other side of the room and retrace my steps leading from the window. At first, nothing really stands out. The walls are clean, no foreign residue. Then I take a look at the carpet...

And I begin to see something that forensics overlooked. I can hardly believe it at first, but the image only enhances itself as I lean in closer, getting down on one knee to examine the carpet. It's some kind of a dirt residue. Faint enough to be overlooked by forensics, but just barely visible to infared lenses. Reaching into one of the pouches of the belt, I dig around to see if I can find something to cut out a section of the carpet with. Eventually I produce one of Bruce's projectile weapons - similar to the one I snuck from the cave and gave to Barbara, a few months ago - and trim out a small square section covered in dirt. The family'll hardly miss this.

Especially when I use it to find the bastards that took their daughter.

"Uh, Oracle. You still there?"

Returning back to the main part of the island after realizing that I'd found everything I needed, I had scanned the carpet section with a forensics tool in the belt and linked it back to cave. Oracle was more than happy to start analyzing it. And by that, I mean it was a complete pain in the ass to get it to do what I wanted. I have no idea how to use the damn thing properly, and any attempts to try so far have left me either annoyed or confused.

Standby Mode Deactivated.
Awaiting Further Commands.


Well, isn't that a relief...

"Give me the results of the particle analysis."

Trace Elements Found: 2.
Soil. Silver Nitrate.


Silver? The soil I fully expected, but the silver nitrate is enough to give me pause. Not just because it's incredibly irregular to find in dirt particles lying on the carpet of a bedroom, but because I've heard of that before. Somewhere in biology class, back when I was taking a few studies at Gotham High before the Boarding School days eventully happened. But for the life of me, I can't remember exactly what the base compound is used for.

"Alright, new query. If you're willing to give it me..."

Awaiting Query.

Furrowing my brow, I decide to push aside any frustrations. Starting to hate having to rely on the tech this much. And here I was, beginning to warm up to all of this.

"I need a full list of possible uses for silver nitrate."

Searching...
Search Complete. Internet Results Compiled For: Silver Nitrate, Uses
"For use in organic synthesis, antiseptic disinfectants, the production of stain-glass windows, aswell as..."


"Stop."

'The production of stain-glass windows'. Gee, I wonder why my mind is immediately going to the one building in The Narrows - one recently refurbished - that'd need stain-glass windows applied to any part of it at all. The same establishment that's gathered a considerable amount of attention in the last few weeks, some would even say suspiciously so...

Good thing I've never been terribly religious.

PTHF!



Guess I'm churchbound.

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Old 08-06-2012, 12:27 PM   #480
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The Atom makes her way to her office at Met-Tech and transforms back into Rhiannon Palmer.

So much paperwork to get caught up! Got my reserves list to finish up, final prep for classes, and of course interviewing perspective TAs.

Rhiannon works through the rest of the evening and most of the morning.

I am exhausted but on the bright side the only thing left is interviewing the TAs and that'll start next week.


She sips her latte and her mind begins to drift.

It's been quiet on the Legion of Doom front. Stopped three crimes last night. Kent is supposed to get back tonight and mom gets back from meeting with her publishers in two days. She's taking the whole Kent & I thing pretty well. Dare I even think it...life is actually going pretty good for me.

Rhiannon takes the glove off of her left hand and sees the marriage seal from her time as Queen Rhiannon. Her thoughts drift back to there as well.

She is startled back into reality by a phone call from Pete Ross. There's a report of a major disturbance downtown. A hostage situation downtown involving a couple of his agents. He needs someone to check it out and give him and his people on-sight intel.

Rhiannon agrees to help out and transforms into The Atom and makes her way to the scene of the hostage crisis.

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:22 AM   #481
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I'm itching to get out there and start looking for Maven, but it's not like I can just run out and leave Arizona. She doesn't ask questions about where I go at night or why I come back battered and bruised, but I can see in her eyes that she worries about me. She's seen more horrific things than any nine year-old should have, and I can only imagine what she thinks I'm doing with my spare time. So, to save her some grief, I try and keep my illicit activities secret. I suppose lying to her is just as bad as worrying her, but I don't know what else to do.

Nevertheless, once she's asleep, I can get to work.



The trip from my penthouse to The Narrows is a long one, especially on foot. Still, I welcome the exercise - and the chance to gather my thoughts before I throw myself into the fire. My first suspect is the most obvious one: Jesse Alvarez, a cold-blooded scumbag and Maven's former pimp. Maven was a big earner, and I'm sure Jesse was none too thrilled to lose her. Maven was always afraid that Jesse would hunt her down if she tried to leave, and I promised her that I wouldn't let that happen. God, I hope that promise didn't turn into a lie. When I got Maven out, Jesse was serving time on a possession bust - orchestrated on my suggestion. If Jesse was off the streets, it gave Vice time to relocate Maven. But if Jesse went looking for her when he got out, there's every chance...

No, I reprimand myself, Don't assume the worst just yet.

I only hope that I can find Jesse with enough ease. Usually, these blockheads stick to the same area, which makes them finding them a simple job. If he's relocated, though, I might need to crack some heads. Someone will talk. Eventually. As The Narrows looms, I prepare myself mentally. This could be a long night. But Maven wouldn't rest until I was safe, so I owe her the same dedication.

I arrive at Jesse's usual corner, a little convenience shop run by a Middle Eastern immigrant. There are two girls standing outside: one tall and black, the other shorter with red hair. Jesse's new meat. I don't recognize either of them. As I watch them pace on the corner, part of me wants to jump down and help them. But I remind myself that that's not my job anymore. And if this Maven situation has taught me anything, it's that I wouldn't really make a difference anyway. Girls this lost, there's not much you can do to help them. I would know because I'm one of them.

I remain perched for a while, watching the two prostitutes wait around for potential clients. As cars stop by the corner, the girls will go and talk to the driver. However, it must be a slow night because fifteen minutes pass without either girl entering a car. After a few minutes more, a man approaches from the far street. I know right away that he must be one of the girls' handlers, a pimp working for Jesse. He speaks to the girls briefly, collects their earnings, and then takes off in the other direction. I decide to follow him and see if he can't lead me to Jesse.

When the pimp turns down an abandoned alleyway, I make my move. Flipping gracefully off the rooftop, I land on my feet in a pile of discarded newspapers. The landing is near silent, but it's still loud enough to catch the pimp's attention. As he turns and faces me, a stupid grin creeps across his face. "Wow, sugar. Nice outfit."

"Maybe you'd like to get a closer look?"

Grinning like an idiot, the pimp takes his hands out of his pockets and strides towards me. Unsheathing the glass-cutter claws from my gloves, I pounce on him.



"Jesse Alvarez!" I growl, pressing the heel of my boot against the dirtbag's throat. I see the flash of terror and confusion in his eyes. I increase the pressure with my foot while also holding up my claws for him to see. They're meant, as I said, to cut cleanly through glass - which means they can do a real number on skin. Judging from the look on his face, I don't need to explain that. "Jesse Alvarez!" I repeat. "Tell me how to find him!"

Choking, the pimp sputters, "Alvarez?" His hands fumble meekly at my boot, but he knows he can't squirm out of this one. I make sure to keep the pressure light enough that he doesn't go unconscious. At least, not yet. "He was shot weeks ago," the pimp says with a grunt. "I took over his turf."

I frown. Jesse was shot? As in, shot and killed? Without even really meaning to, I press my heel down harder on the pimp's neck. As his face begins to turn red, I sneer and ask, "Maven Lewis. Have you heard of her?" I lessen the pressure enough to let him answer.

"No. Should I?"

I bend low, allowing my face to get close to his. "She's one of Alvarez's old girls. She went missing a few days ago," I explain.

"Lots of girls go missing these days," the pimp answers. "One of my girls went missing last week!"

"Who did it?"

He scowls at me. "You think I know that?" He scoffs. "If I knew who took my girl, he'd be floating in the East River, and I'd have her back already."

I narrow my eyes. I suppose that's true. Still, this adds another wrinkle to my investigation. There's a serial kidnapper in The Narrows? Sounds like this is a lot bigger than just Maven. Yet knowing that this wasn't a personal attack on her doesn't make me feel any better. In fact, it only makes me feel worse. If this person wasn't targeting Maven alone, that means that more girls are at risk. I have to find this person - not just for Maven but for the safety of all the girls in The Narrows.

"You will let the rest of your girls go, and nobody else will turn tricks for you," I say to the still-suppressed pimp. "If I come back to The Narrows and find some girl on the corner working for you, I will hunt you down, cut off that pathetic thing between your legs that you call a 'manhood,' and throw it down a storm drain. Am I clear?"

The pimp nods. When I take my heel off his neck, he races off into the darkness. With any luck, he'll spread the word about the psycho cat-lady who threatened to castrate him if he didn't liberate his whores. Maybe that will be enough to get some of these girls off the street. And if not, at least I've scared him for the night. Either way, I've got a bigger problem on my hands: I still haven't found Maven, and I have no leads. Moreover, I might be looking at a serial kidnapper, which makes the situation that much worse.

I look up at the full moon. There's still a lot of night left, but I don't even know where to begin. All I know is that I'll cut my way through anyone and everyone to get to Maven. Something tells me that - before the night is done? - I'll have to do exactly that.

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Old 08-08-2012, 02:32 AM   #482
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Previously


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:





Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrd Man View Post
Abu Dhabi

The two story home wasn't much to look at. It was slanted, its paint dull and chipped. It was in the middle of Abu Dhabi's singular slum. While the rich and middle class thrived in the city, Abu Dhabi still had poor and destitute. The thousands that were less fortunate called this slum home. The building in question housed many on them every night. Right now, though, the building seemed empty and abandoned.

Out in front, a woman in a full body burqa walked by while a tourist couple, two middle-aged white men, walked a good ways away with cameras around their neck. The two men talked and bickered with each other in German. They had a map in their hands and appeared to be lost. The woman in the burqa stopped and lingered beside the house just briefly and kept walking.

"Good job, Eve," a voice said in the woman's ear. "Signal Vertigo and Fiddler to follow you. The three of you can head back now."

Six blocks away, inside an office building that had been rented out, Amanda Waller watched the live feed coming from the camera in Nightshade's burqa. She stood in front of a row of monitors, some with the footage from the camera, the others filled with various other pieces of intel.

"Sarge, Flag," she said, turning to the two men behind her. "What can you tell me?"

"If it's a Jihad safehouse," Sarge Steel started. "It's a pretty good one. Lots of potential entrances and exits. Don't know what's inside, but I expect the rendezvous point to be somewhere in the basement. Probably behind some locked doors."

"The entrances and exits also mean it's a tactical nightmare,"
Flag said with his arms crossed. "Lots exits means lots of escape opportunities. Also means lots of chances for potential ambushers to move in and out."

"We're getting backup on this one, though," Waller said, checking her watch. "I called in some favors I have over at State. Abu Dhabi military is giving us support. I'm expecting one of their officers to be here soon. While we wait, go over the final plans."

"Well, It's going to be a simple raid. Team 1 is me, Fiddler, and Vertigo. We go in the front and work our way through the rooms towards the middle. Team 2 is Bronze Tiger, Nightshade, and Deadshot. They come in the back and clear rooms until we meet in the middle. From there, we go up or down until we find the Jihad safehouse."

"And my team will be outside," a voice said behind them. The three of them turned and saw a tall, slim man in his 40's. His hair was jet black and cut short, a goatee on his face. "I am Major Darzi. Abu Dhabi military. You are the Americans I am supposed to liaise with?"

"Major," Waller said with a nod. "I'm Special Agent Wilson and these are just two of my men. It would for your benefit that I don't say their names."

"Oh, I understand," Darzi said with a smirk. "Black operations are all about secrets. Who is to say Darzi is even my name, yes?"

"Fair point," Waller said. "We were just going over final plans for the raid. We're ready, how about your men?"

"They are on the way now."

"Good." With a look towards Flag, Waller nodded. "Get your people and start suiting up. I want us in that house within the hour."



Abu Dhabi
23:21 Local Time

The door was knocked open by the heavy boot. Flag raced in with Vertigo behind him and Fiddler bringing up the rear. Flag had an M4 in his hands, Vertigo had a Luger pistol in one, while all Fiddler carried was his violin. Both him and Vertigo were in full costume.

Flag came to a stop at a corner and flicked on the flashlight mounted on to his gun barrel. "Team 1 to base, we have breached."

"Excellent," Waller's voice said into his ear. "Team 2 is breaching now."

"10-4. We're going on our sweep. Fiddler starting up his music. We're going radio silent."

"Roger that. I'll send word for team 2 to put in their earplugs. Waller out."

Flag cut the connection with Waller and turned to the two men behind him. Vertigo was putting earplugs in. Flag did the same and turned to Fiddler, nodding.

The nervous man licked his lips and put the bow against the string. Taking a deep breath, he began to play.




The soft and easy music filled the air. Flag and Vertigo couldn't hear it and while Bowin could, he was immune to its effects. Flag turned around and motioned for them to follow him. With Fiddler playing, the two men entered the rooms of the apartment complex, kicking in doors and clearing rooms. All the people in the rooms they found were fast and soundly asleep, the music from Bowin's violin.

A few minutes later, Flag's team met in the middle of the complex with team 2. Bronze Tiger led the way while Nightshade and Deadshot brought up the rear. Flag motioned downwards and Turner nodded. With Bronze Tiger's team taking point, the six members of the Suicide Squad found a stairwell and went down into the complex's basement.

Deadshot walked point as they entered the big room. Both Flag and Turner saw the trip wire, they both screamed for Lawton to stop. But the music drowned them out.


BOOOOOOOOM!

The blast knocked Flag back into the wall. He felt the air rush out of his lungs and he gasped for air. As bad as he felt, he was still conscious. At least, until he felt the butt of a gun smash into his face...


*****


Flag came to suddenly, unaware of where he was. It was mostly dark. The only light from the room was a naked lightbulb that was suspended ten feet above him. He looked up and then looked down. He found that he wasn't alone. Strapped to chairs and unconscious were Turner and Nightshade. Flag tried to move, but found himself unable to. That was when he realized he was strapped to a chair as well.

"Struggling only makes it worse," a voice said in the darkness.

Flag squinted his eyes to see who the voice's owner was. He heard footsteps and the figure appeared in the light.




"Hey, Rick... Oops, I mean Colonel Flag. Long time no see... sir."

"Blaine," Flag said weakly. He looked down at his bonds and then back at his former squad sergeant. "It was a trap."

"You think Jihad is that bold to kill the president? Well, we are. Or we will be. First, we had to do a little scouting. Size up the competition. Mainly, your boss. Mrs. Waller."

Blaine stepped back into the shadows and walked away from Flag.

"While they do that," Blaine called back. Flag could hear him rustling with something in the dark. "We're going to play a game."

He came back into the light. Two square objects were in each hand. He placed one in Turner's lap, another one in Eve's lap. Even in the dim light Flag could make out the shape of C4.

"It's called 'Who will Rick Flag sacrifice this time?'"

Blaine held up his hands. He had two detonators in each fist.

"And the game starts.... Now!"

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:19 AM   #483
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St. Abel's Cathedral. Place has been sitting here longer than I've even been alive. It's not one of the city's oldest buildings, but it's certainly planted itself firmly into the dirt it's standing on, so to speak. It's ingrained itself into the fabric. I don't need a textbook or a website to help run the history of it through my head - all I really need to remember is the obscene amount of controversies that've plagued the location since the better part of the 1970's. Used to be a Mormon church when I was a kid, turned over after the majority of the Catholic congregation as a whole packed up and moved, following the rise of the Falcone family. They left in the midst of their own protests, deeming Gotham as "unholy ground" because of the corruption. To this day, that's still used as a primary example of why the city's haunted by some of the more superstitious residents. Admittedly, the Mormons treated it slightly better whenever they inherited the deed to the grounds. That is, if you don't count the fact that nine months later, the GCPD cracked down their doors and discovered occultists in the basement trying to sacrifice three families to something they called "Trigon", which I always just assumed was another word for Satan. Once they were put to a stop and the Mormons had to flee to better avoid the scandal, the place went up for sale again.

Shortly thereafter, they were bought out by some nutjob named Deacon Blackfire. Televangelists wish they could have been that guy. He didn't so much have an allegiance to any mainstream religion as he had developed his own, a faith revolving around alot of his insane theories. To everyone's surprise, he actually gained somewhat of a following that people theorized stemmed out of the publicity he had garnered under his own funding. Makes sense, given the Blackfire family used to rival the Waynes in terms of money, but nevertheless he had drawn a congregation of a little over a thousand people with his extremist beliefs. What resulted were the Gotham Plaza riots of 1993, where Blackfire was shot and killed in the midst of assaulting SWAT units. Aside from one of the maniac's sons, who's actually still a prominent member of high society, the Blackfire family was never heard from again and St. Abel's was left to rot because of it. Remained abandoned for damn near 20 years, and Gotham never let any of us forget why.

That is, until this new guy came along, deciding to reopen it's doors. I don't really know much about Sexton, but I know that I was drawn here for a reason that doesn't particularly shed him in a good light. To be perfectly fair, I'm hoping I was just taking a shot in the dark. Faint traces of silver nitrate found at the scene of a kidnapping could mean anything. Oracle did say it had a number of uses. But for some reason, whenever stained-glass windows came up, all I could think of was this. Probably because I drive by the church every time I want to cross into Gotham from Blackgate Island. Architectually, it's got something very striking about it, making it not your typical cathedral. Almost something more sinister.

Hell, even I'll admit it. There's something eerie about the place. But that doesn't do much to slow me down when I advance through the trees surrounding the courtyard, focusing on as many of the entrances at once that I can. I'm waiting for something to happen. If nothing does, I can go back home and rest easily. But then, as I lower myself into the bushes and reactivate nightvision, I start to remember all the stories. The controversies and the way that they made an impact on Gotham.

And then I start to worry that I won't sleep at all.

VR-VROOOOOM

At first, I think nothing of the distant noise of a van's engine. My eyes are focused entirely on the church. Then I start to notice everything getting brighter, and I turn around, realizing that the headlights are shining right ontop of the bushes. Thinking I'll be spotted if I don't move, I dive down and back away as the van turns onto the driveway leading around the grounds. Morbidly curious, I check the plate as it passes. Unmarked. Not a good sign.

With nothing and no one else looking to be around, I pull myself out from behind the trees and quietly run through, following the van as it darts down a back alley. Only one entrance back there, and I knew it I wouldn't be able to be accessed without a drive around. This is starting to look worse and worse by the minute. Once the van's out of sight, I reach into the belt and produce the grapple-gun again, firing out a line and using it to quickly scale up the scaffolding of the roof, in order to give me a better view of what's happening.

Still surprised I managed to find it earlier. Bruce stockpiled everything short of the kitchen sink in these pouches. Even with the blueprints and digital inventory at my disposal, it's hard to keep track of what all I'm carrying. Who knows what I'll still find tonight. I mean, if I end up stuck out on the Harbor, I may even uncover some sort of repellent for...

My thoughts are rattled as I begin to hear faint voices, muffled, in the far distance. The doors to the back of the van just opened and I can hear footsteps. Sounds like a struggle's going on with the cargo. Hoping to Christ that I just heard something that wasn't there, I make it to the edge of the roof and kneel down, observing what the men that were driving the van are currently doing. And to my absolute horror and disgust, I find exactly what I was looking for. Though I certainly can't say I'm surprised.

Girls. Three blondes, varying ages, tied up and gagged, being forcefully carried out by men in ski-masks and tactical gear. None of the three captives look a day over 18. The men carrying them don't even say a word to eachother, probably too transfixed on their task at hand. My grip on the roof tightens, and I realize that I've acquired all of the evidence that I need in order to know that Sexton's successfully carried on St. Abel's twisted legacy into the present. After tonight, though, that's a legacy that's coming to an end. The police were probably paid off to go and look the other way, but they're not me.

They're not Batman.

"I'm only going to tell you this once,"

All of them pause simultaneously and look into the skies above, only to find me descending directly ontop of them. I land hard just in the middle of the group of them, and the cape collapses around me, draping onto the street. I rise just as they all turn, not particularly intimidated. I probably could've done that a little stealthier, like Bruce would have, but I've gotta be honest. The whole theatricality and deception thing was never my speed. And when it comes to these sick bastards, I'm more than happy to just skip to the part where I get to put them into traction. It'd be merciful compared to what I've got in mind for their boss.

"Release the girls and walk away. Before I start to feel like hurting you."

None of them seem to comply. Infact, they don't really seem to react at all. They're just all staring at me with visibly dilluted pupils and equally as blank expressions. For a moment, I consider approaching them, wondering if something's up. Probably doped up on a considerable amount of whatever it took to offer payment to kidnap kids.

Then all three of them share the exact same expression of rage, dropping the girls onto the ground and standing directly to face me, producing handhelds and semi-automatics. For a moment, I catch a smirk crossing over my lips, just as I crack the knuckles under my gloves.

"Whoops,"



"Too late."


I take charge at them and they open fire, promising that the night is about to become a hell of alot livelier.

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Old 08-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #484
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Word on the street is that someone is kidnapping young girls. My friend Maven was one of the ones taken. I don't know who's doing this or why, but it stops tonight. If it takes me all night, I'm gonna hunt down this sick bastard. And wherever he is, he better not have touched a hair on any of those girls' heads. Because if he has, he'll answer to me. Unfortunately, all my leads have gone cold. But I know just the place to look for my next clue...

The Gotham City Police Department precinct house.

It was always a running joke among Gotham City cops that being assigned to The Narrows was the force's worst punishment - worse than suspension, worse than having your badge revoked, worse even than being fired. We joked, but we also knew it took a certain kind of police officer to cut it in The Narrows. Down here, a badge might as well be a bulls-eye. Most dirty cops are just greedy, corrupt bastards. But in The Narrows? Going bent might just save your skin.

Frankly, it's a miracle the precinct house has never been burnt to the ground. Come to think of it, I think there was an occasion where a couple of gangbangers threw Molotov cocktails at the windows. The building's probably triple-reinforced, just to play it safe. That being said, none of its security systems were built with me in mind.

As I'm scaling the roof of the brick building, I think to myself that I should've held onto my old GCPD uniform. I could've walked in the front door. Nevertheless, my time on the force will prove invaluable to this little "operation." Layouts change station to station, but pretty much every precinct house is the same. Once I'm inside, it shouldn't be too much of a challenge to get to the file room. Of course, getting inside is the trick.

At this hour of night, at least, I have the cover of darkness on my side. And the building should be nearly empty - save for the night crew and anyone unlucky enough to be spending the night in the holding cells. So, I approach a window from the side of the building facing away from the street. The glass-cutter claws in my glove slice into the window like a warm knife in butter. I trace a circle large enough to squeeze through, and then I gently lift the piece of glass up and away from the window.

I dive through the hole, tucking and rolling as I hit the ground. Looking around, I see that I've entered into one of the offices. Probably some lieutenant who made his rank by accepting bribes from the right people. The room is dark, so I switch my goggles to infrared vision. No alarms yet. That's a good sign. Unless I tripped a silent one. Either way, I should move fast. Don't want any unnecessary confrontation.

Breaking into a police station. This is new.

I make my way to the hallway, closing the office door gently behind me. I lift up my goggles for better visibility. The fluorescent lights in the hallway are partially illuminated - no doubt on a timer, set to shut off after close-of-business. Unfortunately, there's a security camera built into the ceiling. No problem. I have an answer for that. I press a concealed button underneath the fabric of my left sleeve. Short-range EMP burst. It scrambles the camera long enough for me to dart past.

Turning the corner quickly, I press my back against the wall and regain my bearings. There's a directory on the far wall. File room, down the hall and to the left. A double-door separates me and the next portion of the hallway in that direction. Staying low, I move nimbly to the door and peer through the rectangular window. No sign of movement. I advance.

The file room is just down the hall. It's locked, of course, but that's no problem for someone of my talents. Using the lockpick tucked under my belt, I unlock the door with ease. You know, the GCPD should really look into better security. I know I'm hardly what they were anticipating, but still. As the door swings open, I lower my infrared goggles back down.

Time to go to work.

Moments later, I'm ruffling through all the papers and files. If there's a suspected serial kidnapper, the GCPD will have started a file on him. And that file should contain all the leads I'll need to find this son of a b*tch. I find the file cabinet on active cases and begin searching frantically. After a minute or two, I find what I'm looking for.

God love good police work. There's no way to know if these documented missing persons were all kidnapped by the same person, but it doesn't hurt to consider the possibility. I flip through the files. All I can say is that if these girls were taken by the same scumbag, then he's all over the place. The youngest missing girl was a "Katie Robinson," aged eleven. The oldest girls on file look to be about Maven's age, around eighteen or nineteen. That's when I notice the pattern.

Blonde. Blonde. Blonde. Blonde.

So that's why the GCPD is looking at this particular collection of girls. They're all young blondes, most with blue eyes. Just like Maven. Sounds like someone's got a fetish. Okay, now I know who he's targeting. I just need to figure out a little something about him. I scour the files, looking for any clue the GCPD might have missed.

What am I missing? Come on, Selina.

Just as the frustration starts to set in, I come across a map of the missing girls' last known addresses. Seemingly random at first, a realization strikes me as I consider the locations. These aren't randomly located at all. All the addresses are centered around a single point. A fairly significant point, actually. Some even say it's the "heart" of The Narrows.

Saint Abel's cathedral. Home of the Saints of Gotham.

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Old 08-12-2012, 12:56 AM   #485
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"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
1 Peter 5:8


Tranquility was one of the few things Oberon Sexton truly treasured. It was the quiet moments, the still moments, where he could clear his mind and reflect on the day. Too often, the world was noisome and distracting. One could barely hear their own thoughts; how could they ever hope to hear the Lord? The world had come to value speaking over listening, preferring the sound of their own voice over the counsel and wisdom of their God. Luckily for Oberon, he could always find tranquility in his home. Or, at least, that had been the case. Before he had gotten in bed, so to speak, with the Jack of All Crimes.

KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK

These nightly interruptions were becoming far too common. With a heavy sigh, Oberon closed his copy of the Holy Bible and set it down on the nightstand. He had taken to keeping his face-mask next to the armchair, for just such an occasion. Tugging the fabric over his scarred face, Oberon lumbered out of his chair and went to the door.

Standing on the other side was an all-too-familiar face: the brickhouse of a man that the Mad Jester called "Chuckles." The man's brutish physique filled the door frame. Contrary to his nickname, he cracked not a smile. "There's a problem," he grunted.

Unamused, Oberon offered, "It can wait until morning."

As he moved to close the door, a sickeningly sweet voice replied, "On the contrary, Father..." Chuckles stepped aside, revealing The Joker - clean-faced and makeup-free - standing in the hallway. No less disturbing in appearance, even out of his clown visage, the madmen continued, "This must be dealt with now." He blinked innocuously. "May we come in?"

Oberon realized he had no choice. The Clown Prince was nothing if not insistent. Furthermore, it wouldn't trouble the psychopath a lick to strangle the good Reverend if provoked. Wanting to avoid unnecessary trouble - above and beyond the usual doses where the clown was concerned - Oberon stepped aside to let his "employer" and the brute inside.

"Chuckles, be a dear and see if our man of God has drinks to offer his guests," The Joker instructed with an airy wave of his hand. He half-danced into Oberon's living room, taking in the surroundings as one might take in an art gallery. As he came across Oberon's nightstand, he picked up the Good Book. "A little light reading?" he snickered.

Oberon did not appreciate having the sanctity of his home violated by the likes of this murderer. It was all he could do not to reach out and strike the madmen for so much as touching Oberon's Bible. That book was not for the blood-stained hands of a nonbeliever. Containing his anger, Oberon asked, "What is so important, clown?"

The Joker spun and considered Oberon with a glance. Smiling sweetly, he said, "We have bats in our belfry."

Oberon narrowed his eyes. The psychopath always spoke in riddles, but the Reverend was in no mood for it. "Bats?" he repeated. "You come here and disturb me over bats?"

The Joker rolled his head. "Perhaps 'bats' was an imprecise term," he admitted. Finding a seat to his liking, the Mad Jester plopped down and crossed his legs. Chuckles came to his side, offering a glass of water. The Joker accepted it with a nod. "It's more like a bat. Singular."

Oberon remained standing. "Is this some kind of game? Another of your pranks?"

The Joker's smile faltered. "Oh, I'm afraid not, Reverend," he responded softly. "The time for funny business has ended." Chuckling, the clown took a long sip of water. He motioned for Oberon to have a seat, but the Reverend declined him. Ignoring the slight, The Joker said, "Chuckles will show you."

The mountain of a man approached Oberon, and for a moment the Reverend began to worry. Had he upset The Joker? Failed him in some way? Had the clown brought his "bodyguard" to intimidate Oberon? Instead, the henchman produced a phone from his pocket. Pressing a button, Chuckles handed the phone to the Reverend.

It took Oberon a moment to realize what he was looking at. The phone was playing a video of Saint Abel's cathedral. It was a view from the second story, facing the alleyway behind the church. An unmarked van filled most of the shot, but that wasn't what was so troubling. It was hard to make out at first, but Oberon quickly realized the clown's cryptic message. Moving amongst the group of men in view of the camera was a figure long-thought dead and banished by the people of Gotham.

The Batman.

"When was this?" was the only thing Oberon could think to say. He prayed his eyes were deceiving him.

"It's a live feed, Father," The Joker answered, "It's happening now."

For a moment, Oberon focused only on breathing - for he knew attempting anything more would end in disaster. The idea was so startling that he didn't even consider the violation of privacy posed by The Joker's camera. That was a conversation he would have later. The Batman was back, and he was at the cathedral?

"It seems," The Joker began, saving Oberon the trouble of formulating a response, "that our mutual friend, Mr. Tetch, has been bringing his work home with him." Steepling his fingers, he continued, "He's drawn the Bat to our humble abode."

The Clown Prince had previously alluded to Tetch's "extracurricular activities," but Oberon neither wanted to know nor cared enough to inquire any further. He had theories, of course, but it was always better not to know. Tetch's behavior had become increasingly erratic over the past few months - a fact that Oberon knew was somehow related to The Joker's mind-meddling. The clown had violated Oberon's mind only a few times, yet it was almost enough to drive the preacher to insanity. He could only imagine what might happen to a rational mind under constant barrage. It was sad, in a way. Tetch had once been a respectable scientist.

"What do we do?" Oberon asked, suddenly feeling powerless.

The Joker clicked his tongue. "We do nothing," he answered. "I will handle Tetch, make sure that nothing he does can be linked back to us or the church. The device is complete, so we require his services no longer. You will continue as always. This... incident will draw attention to the church, but you will handle it, won't you?"

Oberon nodded. "Yes. Yes, of course."

The Joker smiled. "Good man." With a clap of his hands, he stood up. Chuckles towered behind him. The Joker straightened his suit and finished his glass of water. "Thought you'd like to know." On his way out, the Mad Jester clapped Oberon reassuringly on the back.

"So he's back?"

The Joker grinned widely. "So it seems."

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Old 08-15-2012, 12:21 PM   #486
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"It'd be helpful if I had one of you banter with..."

Somehow, I doubt Bruce has ever said that in the field. Or anything remotely like it. But if I'm to get through this without tripping over the damn cape, I have to stow the act and keep myself amused, because I can't assess the situation too much. Doubt's gonna eventually start to creep in and I'll freeze long enough for one of these sorry idiots to tag me with an uzi. So I decide to push ahead, giving no further thought to the costume or having to fight through it's restraint. None of that matters. Just gotta concentrate on survival. Gunfire sprays across the brick of the church as I dive in between the van and a vacant space, going into a roll and launching myself with heels held high into the nearest one's chest. He lands hard on his back, complete with a mandatory thump, but he simply stares off into space on the ground. Doesn't even audiably groan at the pain, which is enough of an oddity to give me pause. Either something's up that I'm not aware of, or whoever hired these clowns cut out their tongues for good measure. Nobody can resist that kind of force without some sort of reaction. I start to move and grab him for an interrogation, to see if he'd be willing to react to that, but the others silently advance on me and I remember that I have to keep moving.

Nice one. At this rate, you're only gonna be the second Batman to get his ass thoroughly handed to him this year.

Giving little thought to stealth - which isn't to say I gave it much thought to begin with - I directly engage them and work to disarm the first to try and shoot. He struggles, but right as I manage to bend his arm in the direction of the others, it suddenly dawns upon me that I'm in perfect firing range to the next one's knee. Taking a little more satisfaction than I should at what comes next, I twist the arm, spin around, and jam the helpless gunman's trigger-finger back.

BLAM!

An explosion of blood rips out of the other side of the guy's knee, and he immediately collapses hard onto the ground. But once again, to my immediate surprise, there's no visible reaction on the face. I just had him kneecapped and he didn't even squirm. Hell, he doesn't even address the pain as he tries to weakly crawl towards me. These guys have gotta be hopped up on something heavy. There's such a thing as a high level of tolerance, and then there's just flat-out impossible. This would qualify as the latter. Striking the man in my grip hard with an elbow to the neck, I toss him aside and leap into the air, targeting the farthest one away for an immediate takedown. The rest of his buddies seem to react, but not in a way I really expected. More of a delayed pause than any sort of actual shock at what's about to happen.



"We can do this all night, gentlemen. Or you can tell me who hired you."

I tackle my intended victim and smash the back of his head against the pavement. Not with enough force to spill out his brains, but enough to give him a serious concussion. I turn back to the rest of them and let out a growl that'd make my successor proud.

"Choice is your's."

As if they each only just realized I was here, they suddenly all give me the exact same angry expression. Who lit the fire under their asses? It's a question left unanswered as they pull their guns and begin firing once again, forcing me to sprint into a retreat. But not so much of one that I actually leave, because the moment that I spot a crate in the alley, I jump and kick off of it, bouncing from it to the wall and twisting in midair, grabbing the first available item in the belt and hurling it at them. I expected to be tossing batarangs or smoke bombs, or even a few electrical projectiles. Tear gas at the worst. But no, it actually gets worse than that. Because it's only after I've made the toss that I realize that I just threw antiseptic vials and half-used rolls of bandages at them.

Oh.

So that's the first-aid pouch.

Thought it was on the right.

"Waste 'im!"

"Kill the Bat!"

"Kill 'em! Shoot him dead!"

My eyes widen as they open fire, very nearly catching me in the chest. It isn't until I hurriedly throw the cape over my body and allow the shock-absorbancy of the material to catch each bullet that I realize just how close I really came to becoming a fresh corpse. Of course, unable to really time it correctly, I fall onto the crate and feel the wood collapse underneath my body. I scramble fight through and get up as they approach, hoping that nobody that needs to be intimidated is seeing me make a raging ass of myself. Then I begin to remember that just before they fired on me, whatever sort of trance they were under had apparently worn off. What, now they feel like talking?!

This is insanity. Why the hell would a bunch of child kidnapping guns-for-hire be so whacked out of their minds that one doesn't even react to being crippled? If I'm still right and Sexton is the man behind this, he had to have given them something. Which means that ontop of kidnapping innocent girls to do god knows what with, he's a drug pusher aswell. Probably even set up his own cartel on the other side of town, using his influence to make sure this all avoided anyone's notice. I make a promise to myself, silently, to see the sick bastard go down before the night's over. That is, if I can pull myself together long enough to make at least a somewhat competent Batman.

Seriously, Jason. Bandages?

"Ngh,"

Snapping the excess wood panelling under my palm, I grab the broken pieces and immediately improvise my way into the five or six men that remain. Stabbing the first one hard with a sharp end, I spin around and smash the next one across the face. Then I grab the third from behind the neck, pull him hard, and force him over my shoulder into a manuever that flips him over onto the floor. My knee connects with his throat and he writhes in pain, telling me that they're at least staying focused aswell. I even hear the one that was kneecapped scream out in pain, which causes me to flash a small smile. Nothing really ever beats hearing a scumbag suffer.

Then I get hit in the back of the head, and the smile fades.

Starting to see nothing but red now.

"I'm only getting bored of this! So I'll ask one more time,"



"WHO HIRED YOU?!"

In what may be my first genuinely Batman moment of the night, I start to lose any sense of focus, fighting them back before they even have a chance to move. My body doesn't so much command me to as I feel myself leap into the air and perform a split-kick that sends two flying. Then make a hard landing and slam both sets of gauntlet blades into the next one's eyes, making sure that I dig in deep before I rip them out. Spin and grab one that nearly shot me from behind, kneeing him in the chest, grabbing the weapon, and slamming it into the side of his jaw. Even manage to catch another one as he gets up by backhanding him hard across the face to stun, seizing him from beneath both arms, raising him into the air, and landing a hard kick to his spine that sends him straight into a brick wall.

In the rush of the adrenaline, I guess it doesn't really register that I've taken them all down, because I scream out at the skies themselves, ready to take on at least a dozen more.

"WHO?! ANYBODY WANNA TELL ME THAT?!"

Of course, I'm given no reply. Just a few broken and unconscious bodies at my feet, some even having suffered damage that I don't remember inflicting. Letting the realization of the moment hit me, I react by dropping the wooden planks still clutched hard in my hands and backing away, resting myself against the wall. Beginning to catch my breath, forcing myself to calm down so that I can let it pass. I nearly went over the edge there. Started to even feel myself begin to black out, as if I were letting nothing but blind fury guide me.

But it's over now. Nothing left in the alley except me and a panicked cripple, clutching desperately at a severely bleeding wound. Managing to get back into my own head for a moment, I casually walk over as he sobs and mutters something under his breath, completely unaware of what's coming to him. By the time he does, I'm already ontop of him, grabbing him by the front of the tactical vest and lifting him off of the ground.

"Your friends got off easy, didn't they?"

He's shaking, pale. Blood completely drained from his face.

"W-Where... where am I? What's happening?! What happened to my leg?!?!"

Playing the fool? That's a bit of a new one. Nevertheless, it doesn't leave me amused, and I show him that by slamming his body against the bullet-ridden brick from before. If he wasn't in immense pain when the bullet hit him, he sure as hell is now, because it's agonizing to him for me to do that.

I wish I could say I didn't like that.

"You've got bigger problems right now! Who hired you?!"

"Ahh! Don't kill me! I... I don't..."

I grab down at his wounded knee and squeeze, causing him to cry out.

"Answer me!"

"I don't know what you're talking about! I swear I don't! God, I don't even know what I'm doing here!"

He's consistent, at least. But this is getting us nowhere. I apply more pressure to the wound, and his eyes begin to roll back in his head. I half-heartedly slam him into the brick to keep him alert conscious. He looks down at me with pleading eyes.

"If you value anything you hold dear..."

"I'M TELLING THE TRUTH! I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING!"

Tears stream down his face. He's genuinely bought into his own lie.

"Please! Please don't kill me, I swear that the last thing I remember was being in the church! I was with my family! Oh, god, just let me see them again..."

I simply stare back at him as he breaks down, pitifully allowing me to do anything I can to get the information. But at this point, I feel like I'm not going to get any from him, because all he can do is mutter the names of what I assume to be his wife and children. Frustrated, I finally just growl and drop him onto the ground, where he falls unconscious from the excruciating pain.

That was a complete waste of time. Did he honestly expect me to believe that crap, that he just woke up in the middle of nowhere, strapped in a tactical vest, a ski-mask, and wielding a semi-automatic? It doesn't make sense. Which is exactly why I'm worried - nothing about tonight has made the slightest bit of sense thus far.

Damn it. I need to figure out what's going on inside. They were only delivering the girls here, which means the piece of filth that's responsible for the kidnappings has to be somewhere on the other side of that back entrance. Guess I'll sneak a peek.

As I approach the door, a shadow looms over the area. At first, I spin and raise fists, ready to immediately engage whatever's come out to play. But the moment I see who it is, relief encapsulates me and I drop my guard, allowing her to catch sight of me as she scans the area.

"Don't bother, they're already taken care of. What are you doing here?"

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Old 08-15-2012, 08:38 PM   #487
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III


Oswald is going over the details of tomorrow night's reopening of The Iceberg Lounge with his assistant Brenda.

She says, "The last thing you need to do is approve the guest list. I need to tell you there are some heavy hitters that really want in on this."

Oswald takes the list and says, "Well it's nice to be wanted." He begins reviewing the list as there is a knock at the door.

Oswald is marking names off and checking names as he says, "Please get that Brenda."

She leaves as Oswald continues checking the names saying under his breath, "yes...no...yes...why not...hasn't had a hit in years not a chance...is she still around? No!...Not even if humanity was hanging in the balance...interesting to see them here...oh absolutely....ahhh he's finally out of rehab, but no...yes....yes...sure..."

Brenda says, "Sir your Stock Broker Mr. Fuget is here to see you."

Oswald says, "I trust your judgement my dear." He writes "Tempus and Elaine Fuget V-I-P Section-O.C. #1" at the top and then hands her the list and says, "Have fun and no interuptions please."

Brenda smiles and says, "Oh wow! Thank you Sir."

She leaves and ushers in Fuget. Brenda leaves and Oswald approaches Fuget they shake hands and Oswald says, "Tempus my good man care for a drink?"

Fuget replies, "Sure why not. Scotch double and on the rocks."

Oswald makes the drink and says, "I trust you're not here just for a free drink."

Fuget replies taking the drink, "No sir. I came here to tell you the public sale is now over. All the outstanding shares are gone."

Oswald asks, "How many are mine?"

Fuget waves his hand and says, "All. You're going to have to meet with the board and all of that jazz, but that's more of a formality and the usual paperwork. Bottom line is this though; You've taken over Wayne Enterprises."

Oswald fights with nerve alive to keep from squeeling with delight as Tempus begins to take some drinks.

He composes himself and says, "Keep this out of the media for now. Mr. William Earle is the acting C-E-O he will be in touch please ask him to keep it quiet for now as well. Tell them it is an anonymous buyer who will meet with the board tomorrow morning at 9am sharp."

Fuget replies finishing his drink, "Of course sir."

They shake hands and Fuget says, "Congratulations Oswald."

Oswald replies, "Thank you my friend. Don't worry your name and your wife's name was written in on the guest list for tomorrow night. I'll see you at 9am tomorrow at Wayne Enterprises."

Fuget leaves and Oswald stares out at the City Landscape.

I've done it. I've done it Father I am now that ruler of Gotham City, and now nothing can stop me.

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Old 08-17-2012, 09:11 PM   #488
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Originally Posted by Batman View Post
Damn it. I need to figure out what's going on inside. They were only delivering the girls here, which means the piece of filth that's responsible for the kidnappings has to be somewhere on the other side of that back entrance. Guess I'll sneak a peek.

As I approach the door, a shadow looms over the area. At first, I spin and raise fists, ready to immediately engage whatever's come out to play. But the moment I see who it is, relief encapsulates me and I drop my guard, allowing her to catch sight of me as she scans the area.

"Don't bother, they're already taken care of. What are you doing here?"
"Interesting question," I reply from my perch on the second-floor balcony, "coming from a dead man."

I flip forward, loosening the whip from my waist. As I approach the ground, I snap the whip overhead, and it catches on the balcony railing. My momentum is slowed just enough that I can land on feet, just in front of "Batman."

But, of course, he isn't Batman. I've known that from the moment he walked in. The costume looks real enough, and he's no slouch judging from the commotion I heard outside. But he carries himself all wrong, without any of the confidence or quiet self-assurance of the real deal. He let me get the jump on him, something the true Dark Knight certainly wouldn't allow happen. Even the voice, though convincing, is... off. Unfortunately, all of these observations only tell me who this person isn't. I'm much more interested in who he is.

"It's a nice outfit," I concede, "but it doesn't belong to you."

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Old 08-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #489
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Previously

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

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Abu Dhabi
23:21 Local Time

The door was knocked open by the heavy boot. Flag raced in with Vertigo behind him and Fiddler bringing up the rear. Flag had an M4 in his hands, Vertigo had a Luger pistol in one, while all Fiddler carried was his violin. Both him and Vertigo were in full costume.

Flag came to a stop at a corner and flicked on the flashlight mounted on to his gun barrel. "Team 1 to base, we have breached."

"Excellent," Waller's voice said into his ear. "Team 2 is breaching now."

"10-4. We're going on our sweep. Fiddler starting up his music. We're going radio silent."

"Roger that. I'll send word for team 2 to put in their earplugs. Waller out."

Flag cut the connection with Waller and turned to the two men behind him. Vertigo was putting earplugs in. Flag did the same and turned to Fiddler, nodding.

The nervous man licked his lips and put the bow against the string. Taking a deep breath, he began to play.




The soft and easy music filled the air. Flag and Vertigo couldn't hear it and while Bowin could, he was immune to its effects. Flag turned around and motioned for them to follow him. With Fiddler playing, the two men entered the rooms of the apartment complex, kicking in doors and clearing rooms. All the people in the rooms they found were fast and soundly asleep, the music from Bowin's violin.

A few minutes later, Flag's team met in the middle of the complex with team 2. Bronze Tiger led the way while Nightshade and Deadshot brought up the rear. Flag motioned downwards and Turner nodded. With Bronze Tiger's team taking point, the six members of the Suicide Squad found a stairwell and went down into the complex's basement.

Deadshot walked point as they entered the big room. Both Flag and Turner saw the trip wire, they both screamed for Lawton to stop. But the music drowned them out.


BOOOOOOOOM!

The blast knocked Flag back into the wall. He felt the air rush out of his lungs and he gasped for air. As bad as he felt, he was still conscious. At least, until he felt the butt of a gun smash into his face...


*****


Flag came to suddenly, unaware of where he was. It was mostly dark. The only light from the room was a naked lightbulb that was suspended ten feet above him. He looked up and then looked down. He found that he wasn't alone. Strapped to chairs and unconscious were Turner and Nightshade. Flag tried to move, but found himself unable to. That was when he realized he was strapped to a chair as well.

"Struggling only makes it worse," a voice said in the darkness.

Flag squinted his eyes to see who the voice's owner was. He heard footsteps and the figure appeared in the light.




"Hey, Rick... Oops, I mean Colonel Flag. Long time no see... sir."

"Blaine," Flag said weakly. He looked down at his bonds and then back at his former squad sergeant. "It was a trap."

"You think Jihad is that bold to kill the president? Well, we are. Or we will be. First, we had to do a little scouting. Size up the competition. Mainly, your boss. Mrs. Waller."

Blaine stepped back into the shadows and walked away from Flag.

"While they do that," Blaine called back. Flag could hear him rustling with something in the dark. "We're going to play a game."

He came back into the light. Two square objects were in each hand. He placed one in Turner's lap, another one in Eve's lap. Even in the dim light Flag could make out the shape of C4.

"It's called 'Who will Rick Flag sacrifice this time?'"

Blaine held up his hands. He had two detonators in each fist.

"And the game starts.... Now!"



Abu Dhabi
01:12 Local Time



"Alright," Amanda Waller said with a sigh. "Can someone give me a damn sit-rep?"

She was inside the office building Task Force X had turned into their operational HQ. Gathered around here were Sarge Steel, Deadshot, and Major Darzi of the Abu Dhabi army.

"It's the same as it was a half hour ago," Steel said. "We got caught with our pants down by the Jihad and now three of the field team are MIA."

"Thank you for reminding me of that," Waller said, grinding her teeth. "Did Fiddler ever wake up?"

"Finally, but he's still loopy. A concussion for sure."

"You," Waller said, pointing to Lawton. "Mister Deadshot. Supposed to be world's deadliest assassin, but you can't see a goddamn trip wire two feet in front of your face?"

"I saw it. Flag saw it, too. Tried to tell everyone, but Fiddler playing music and earplugs kinda drowned us out."

"Whatever," she said with a shake of her head. "Major Darzi, what'd your team find after we pulled out?"

"A hidden passage," the major said as he led the group to Calculator's computer monitor. "Just a few feet away from where the trip wire was installed. My scouts went through and it leads into the sewers."

"Why the hell haven't you sent any more men in?"

"Because," he said, nodding at Calculator. The computer expert activated his screen. On the monitor in front of them was a map filled with passages. "This is the sewer system here beneath Abu Dhabi. The infrastructure was first built, rather poorly I might add, back in the 40's. It was never renovated, just built on and on and on. The whole thing is a twisting and confusing maze. Take a wrong turn, you could be lost for days."

"That's a chance we'll have to take." With her hands on her hips, she turned to the two men part of her team."Jihad set a trap for us," Sarge said. "We go down there, there's bound to be more traps. We're playing into their hands."

"Well, let's show them why you don't play with us. Sarge, go round up Vertigo. Lawton? Get me a gun."

"Yes, ma'am," Deadshot said, pulling a glock from a side holster while Steel walked away. "Just as long as you promise not to shoot me."

"Can't make no promises," she said, taking the gun in her hands. "Major, tell your men to meet with us at the entrance into the sewers. You're staying behind with Calculator, gonna talk us through the map."

"And you're leading?" Darzi asked, his eyebrow arched.

"Damn right I am. I got three missing people down in those sewers. So, you got any snide comments you keep 'em to yourselves."

Just then, Sarge came back with Vertigo at his side. Waller nodded at them and pulled back the slide on her pistol.

"We're going down there to get our people from Jihad. Let's mount up and move out."

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:21 PM   #490
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Central City, MS


KRAKOOM!


The ringing in my ears was massive as the brilliant flash of white light began to fade away. When I gathered my surroundings, I was slowly jogging on the treadmill in the middle of the afternoon in Waid Park.

"Am I back?"
I asked out loud. I stepped off the treadmill and looked around. It seemed like my Central City, but there was only one way to be sure. I took off, racing around the globe in a few seconds.

I came to a stop beside the treadmill and dropped to my knees, kissing the ground frantically. "Thank God! Yes!"

I stopped short as I realized that Waid Park was in fact a dog park. I sat upright, spitting. Once I was satisfied the bad taste was out of my mouth, I leaned against the treadmill and took a deep breath.

"There's no place like home..."

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Old 08-24-2012, 04:54 AM   #491
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"Interesting question," I reply from my perch on the second-floor balcony, "coming from a dead man."

I flip forward, loosening the whip from my waist. As I approach the ground, I snap the whip overhead, and it catches on the balcony railing. My momentum is slowed just enough that I can land on feet, just in front of "Batman."

But, of course, he isn't Batman. I've known that from the moment he walked in. The costume looks real enough, and he's no slouch judging from the commotion I heard outside. But he carries himself all wrong, without any of the confidence or quiet self-assurance of the real deal. He let me get the jump on him, something the true Dark Knight certainly wouldn't allow happen. Even the voice, though convincing, is... off. Unfortunately, all of these observations only tell me who this person isn't. I'm much more interested in who he is.

"It's a nice outfit," I concede, "but it doesn't belong to you."
"..."

I've got to admit, despite all of my attempts to be on key tonight, it takes me a moment to actually realize what she's talking about. I had been so used to our encounter from before - so fresh off of when she and I were desperately trying to fight off the Falcones, finding her as she was being choked by vines, clinging to what little life she had left - that the idea of time having passed since and the gap having brought a considerable wardrobe change seemed easy to forget. But once I catch a glimpse of myself in the reflection of those mirrored lenses she's wearing on the goggles, reality comes crashing in. She doesn't have a clue who she's talking to.

And right now, that can only mean that I'm the enemy. If it were me, and I found some one trying to fill Bruce's shoes and doing as poor of a job that I have tonight, I might get a little peeved aswell. She's just full-on tense at this point. Every instinct tells me to keep quiet, to make sure that I stick with the mentality of "the less she knows, the better". But I think the time to try and convince her that I'm really him has already went and passed.

Still. Might aswell have a little fun with it while I can.

"Well that's funny,", I begin, casually strolling even closer. "Because I don't see the previous occupant around to stop me."

I can see it in her body language. Another false move and she might actually want to engage me.

We don't have time for this. Sexton and his men inside are likely already aware of my prescence. Which is entirely my fault, because I wasn't exactly subtle. Whatever he's planning has to be stopped and I can't risk giving them leeway by wasting the time to start fighting someone I could use in there.

So just as she places another firm hand on that whip, I decide to break the tension by taking a step back and holding both hands up in mock surrender. As the confusion registers on her face, I can't help but chuckle.

"Just a little joke. Take it easy. Believe me, I know how this looks, but we've done this dance before..."

Turning back towards the rear entrance, I begin to walk towards it and motion for her to come along. If she doesn't get the message by now, then what I'm about to say will definitely start to put the pieces together for her brain to comprehend.

"Glad to see you're doing well after Irving got ahold of you."

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Old 08-25-2012, 12:51 PM   #492
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St. Louis
Eight Months Earlier


Edward Thawne stepped out of his car and surveyed the area with a worried glance. This was one of St. Louis' most rundown neighborhoods. It had taken him a week and a drive across Missouri to find it, but he had found what he was looking for.

Thawne climbed the steps of the former catholic church that had been converted into a homeless shelter and entered. He talked to the people in charge, and they pointed him to the boy.

He was resting on a cot when Thawne walked up, his long blonde hair was tangled and dirty. He was wearing old clothes that had been worn out years before. The young man shifted and looked up as he felt someone hovering over him.

"Thad Jones?"

"Who the hell are you?" The boy asked with a scowl.

The light caught the boy's face and Thawne had to stop himself from laughing out loud in delight. Despite his mangy blonde hair and facial hair stubble, his face was the spitting image of Bart Allen.

"My name's Ed," Thawne said with a kind smile. "I want to talk to you about your family..."


*****



"Does he look familiar?" Thawne asked Thad. They were outside the homless shelter. Thawne eyed the young man carefully while he ate a sandwich with one hand and looked at a picture in the other hand.

"Who is he?" Thad asked, holing up the picture to get a better look. The man in photo had short red hair and, save for the slight differences in their face, he looked exactly like Thad.

"His name is Bart Allen... He's your brother. Your twin brother."

"Bull****,"
Jones said, taking a bite of his sandwich. "I was an only child."

"Were you now?"
Thawne asked with a playful grin. "Is that the story they told you, Thad? Well, allow me spin you another tale."

Many years ago, there was a married couple who lived in Central City. The wife was a newspaper reporter, the husband was a rookie police officer. They didn't have much money, but they had each other. And they had their new family. You see, the wife was pregnant. They were excited for the future... until their first doctor's visit. She was pregnant with twins. There was no way they could afford two children. So, when their babies were born they made a choice. One they kept, the other they put up for adoption. That child, Thad, was you..."

"No..."

"Yes," Thawne hissed. "Think about it. You never looked anything like your parents or any of their family members. Your parents never had any children. That's because they couldn't. You were adopted, torn away from your family by cruel circumstance."

"But--"

"But nothing,"
Thawne said, handing Thad more photographs. "Look at these pictures! Pictures of Bart Allen with his parents, pictures of him and his littler brother, pictures of him in college. He had the life you were meant to have. While you were being beaten and abused, Bart was being spoiled rotten by his family. While you are homeless and wandering the streets, it's Bart who has a nice job, a beautiful girlfriend, and more..."

Smirking, Thawne pulled out another photo. This one a blurry shot of the hero known as the Flash.

'He's a bona fide superhero. That's your life, Thad. Your life, and it was stolen from you by Bart. He ruined it all. Just like he ruined my life. That's what Bart Allen does, Thad. He'll rip apart someone's life just for his own happiness."

Thad gripped the photos tightly as he looked at them. So many people laughing, so many people smiling and hugging and loving each other. So many happy memories he would never have. All because of Bart Allen.

"What...," he started before clearing his throat. "What do you want me to do?"

"Come with me, my son,"
Thawne said, placing his arms around Thad's shoulder. "Together, the two of us are going to destroy him."


*****


Central City
Now


Thawne walked through his garage. What had once been filled with old storage boxes and junk had been swept aside for lab equipment. Beakers and test tubes filled the shelves. Thawne walked over to where a round-bottom flask was simmering on a bunsen burner. Turning down the heat, Thawne removed the flask and pulled out a syringe. He stuck the syringe in the liquid and sucked up a portion of the concoction.

"Now, are we ready?" He asked as he turned to Thad.

The young man was strapped down to a table, a nervous look on his face.

"Are you sure this will work?"

"Now, now, Thad, what have we learned in the time you've been in my care? C'mon, son. Say it..."

"We... We don't question Dr. Thawne."

"Excellent,"
he said, preparing the syringe for injection. "Now, to put your fears at ease, I will tell you what I'm about to inject into you. It's a genetic booster. Based on what I saw in your brother's DNA, this formula should stimulate and grow your muscles and body to his level. In simple terms, I'm giving you super speed. Here we go."

Thawne stuck the needle into Thad's arm and injected the formula into his skin.

"Know that whatever happens now, that I consider you my son, Thad. You are not Thad Jones, you are not Thad Allen. You are Thad Thawne. And I am proud of you."

"Thank you,"
Thad said. "That's all I ever wanted-- AHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

He screamed out in pain, bucking against the leather straps holding him down. Thawne stepped back and watched as the young man's body wriggled and spasmed. Hie muscles grew, then shrunk, and his body began to twist and contort as the formula took hold of him.

"Fantastic," Thawne said under his breath.

With a roar, Thad broke his straps and disappeared from sight. Even though he couldn't see him, Thawne could see something moving through the room at high speeds and could heard Thad's voice through the lab.

"Tiiimmmeee for BartAllen todie!"

With a loud boom, Thad disappeared from the lab and raced across the city.

"DiediedieFlashdie! Zoom, zoom, zoom."


__________________
"These are the times that try men's souls... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
-- Thomas Paine


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
-- Otto von Bismarck


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Old 08-26-2012, 04:09 PM   #493
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III


A sizable set of double doors open and Mr. Earle ushers in Oswald and says, "Ladies and Gentlemen it gives me great pleasure to introduce our new owner Mr. Oswald Cobblepot."

There are several looks of shock and awe as Oswald enters the room relying on his cane to walk as he says, "Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen as Mr. Earle informed you I am Oswald Cobblepot and bought up all the outstanding public shares of Wayne Enterprises. Thus at this time making me the provisional owner."

He continues to walk around and says, "If you all don't mind I prefer to wlak around for two reasons. One with the weather the way it is I need ot move around otherwise my leg stiffens up and it's a pain in the neck to get it moving. Secondly I don't believe in doing the whole sit down and everyone stare at one another routine. If you all want to get up stretch your legs, use the restroom, get a beverage feel free I try to keep things very low keyed and easy going as much as I can."

Oswald opens a bottle of water and says, "Now first off thank you all for seeing me at this time. Secondly I am not taking this company over just to tack onto my resume of holdings and so forth no my friends."

Oswald takes a drink and continues, "I am doing this so Wayne Enterprises stays in Gotham. There are several within the business commnunity who were ready to write off this grand lady of Gotham and move it elsewhere. Thus costing us a serious economic resource, but more importantly costing thousands of Gothamites their jobs and signaling the death knell to this city."

Oswald stops and takes another drink and says, "If you have any questions at any point feel free to ask I don't stand on ceremony too often. I am certain that there is pay package and so forth to be negotiated and here is my number."

Oswald limps to a dry erase board and writes a large 0 on it. He turns to the board and says, "I've got more than enough money from various holdings and The Iceberg Lounge as well so money is not the issue. I would ask that my pay be put back into the company. The workers here have had a very uncertain future hanging over their heads for sometime. It's time for them to have some reassurance that this board has their back. I will not be here too often. Mr. Earle and you all have done a remarkable job in some very trying and uncertain circumstances and it's those uncertain circumstances that has brought this company to the brink off freefall. My buying the shares gives the company some stability and leadership at this time. That's all anyone can ask for I feel. If anyone has any objections to my being here or can find a reason that I am liability to the company say so at anytime, and I'll walk away."

Oswald limps back over to the table and says, "In terms of Mr. Wayne we will not be taking his name off of the door. I am merely a caretaker for the time being, and I share the same hopes and prayers that he will come out of his coma and resume his rightful role has the head of this company. This company will continue to devote the resources in place for his continued medical care that wiil not change. When he has recovered and if he wishes to buy my shares of the company I will gladly sell them to him at the fair-market value, and if he can buy them back I will not fight it. His family founded this company he should be here in charge of it."

He takes another swig of water and asks, "Any questions?"

Everyone looks at one another and then at him. Oswald reads the room and is trying not to smile.

Oh yeah. I got these saps right in my cross-hairs. Phase one is all but done. Soon Phase two and then once Phase Three is over...so is Bruce Wayne.

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Old 08-26-2012, 05:15 PM   #494
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So just as she places another firm hand on that whip, I decide to break the tension by taking a step back and holding both hands up in mock surrender. As the confusion registers on her face, I can't help but chuckle.

"Just a little joke. Take it easy. Believe me, I know how this looks, but we've done this dance before..."

Turning back towards the rear entrance, I begin to walk towards it and motion for her to come along. If she doesn't get the message by now, then what I'm about to say will definitely start to put the pieces together for her brain to comprehend.

"Glad to see you're doing well after Irving got ahold of you."
My eyes narrow and then go wide. "Hood?" In some ways, I'm relieved. Better to have someone who actually knew Bruce than some stranger, some pretender to the legacy. On the other hand, I wonder how, exactly, this came to pass. Was this Bruce's wish? I find it hard to believe he'd pass off the burden of the cowl, even if he were incapacitated. What's the alternative, then? That Red Hood is acting on his own? To what end? To prove himself? To honor Bruce? Too many questions and not enough answers.

I follow Hood warily - not because I don't trust him, but rather out of confusion and uncertainty. It's amazing how much the cape has changed him. The way he carries himself, the way he acts. It's a blend between his usual demeanor and the way Bruce handled himself. He's certainly not the Batman, but who could be?

"To answer your previous question," I begin, trying to ignore how loudly our footsteps and voices are echoing throughout the empty church, "I have an interest in the kidnappings related to this church." Best to leave it at that. I don't need to tell Hood anything about Maven, and I certainly won't tell him that I broke into a police station.

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Old 08-27-2012, 05:36 AM   #495
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Batgirl
3.10

Arkham Asylum

The limber, masked man grabs my arms tightly as he begins to drag me away. My eyes flicker as I struggle to stay conscious, still dazed and disoriented from the drugs and the abuse. Through the slit of my eyelids I see the scarecrow turn around and remove the potato sack from his head. Underneath, I catch a glimpse of his face; defined features, jet black hair, and a thin build. On his ears I see the legs of his glasses resting by his temple.

As the Ragdoll carries me through the door, I hear the Scarecrow speak one final time. His words are hard to make out, his speech nearly a whisper, but before the door shuts in front of me, I make out the end of his sentence:

"-ove the fear toxin into the next stage of-" the door closes, and his words are lost.

As my body is dragged across the tiled floor, I feel myself fall back into unconsciousness.

****


A cool breeze whips past my face. The air dries the sweat on my skin, and a shiver runs through my spine. With a gasp I awaken, jerking violently to life.

"Ahhhh," the Ragdoll hisses, turning around to look at me. "You're awake. Wonderful."

As I try to move my arms to throw a punch I feel resistance about my wrist. Plastic cuffs; a typical, yet effective implement of restrainment in enforcement settings.

"Where are we?" I ask, a scowl forming over my face.
"Look around!" He says, a twisted smile seen through his broken mask. The red hair dances behind his face as another gust of wind passes by. "We're a top the asylum! Six stories high above the edge."
"Edge of what?"



"The island."

With lightning like reflexes, he lunges toward me and grips my torso by my shoulders. He lifts, raising me from the rooftop, and holds me above his head. "Now, little bat," he says as he approaches the roof's side. "Let's see if you can fly."

Still weak from my beating, I decide to hold still as he dangles me over the dramatic drop. "Goodbye, my redhaired siren. Parting is such sweet sorrow ... but, I doubt I shall shed a tear."

He throws me into the air, and in a split second decision, I chose my fate.

"Haven't you heard, stitch-face?" I ask as my hands grab the stray shred of cloth from his shirt. "The seeds of doubt can lead to fear!" I tug on the strand and jerk tightly, dragging him off the edge as I pull myself through the air back toward the rooftop. In an act of true acrobatics, I land nimbly on the ledge as his body begins to drop.

Still holding onto the clothing, I stand my ground and brace myself. As the strand becomes taut, ragdoll slams into the side of the building, dangling freely like a fish at the end of a line. "W-Well ... played," he struggles to say, blood dripping from his lips. "But you can't escape ..."

I jump into the air, letting go of his sleeve as I flip in the air, moving my legs through my arms so they are bound at my front. I touch down in the same spot as I had before, grabbing the Ragdoll's costume just before it falls out of reach. "I have the high ground. And I seem to have you at the edge of your rope, so to speak. So, please, explain to me how you could possibly still believe you're in control."

He grins, "You'll learn ... in time." Confused by his words, I fail to anticipate his next move. His legs push off the building side, sending him outward into the air. Just before I am pulled off the edge, the frayed clothing tears, sending the Ragdoll into the openness. I reach out to grab him but I am too late. His twisted figure falls quickly through the foggy air, disappearing into the darkness just above the waves.

I hang my head in shame; despite all they did to me, I still feel guilt for letting him fall. But, my guilt is soon soothed by the biting feeling that he's not dead yet. "No body, no proof." I tell myself in a brooding manner akin to my mentor.

Suddenly, the vibration my phone pulls me out of my thoughts. I reach into the slip of my uniform to pull out the cellphone tucked carefully away. A new message appears on the screen:

"On the Arkham premises by the east gate. Are you okay? - Burke."

"Of course ... NOW he gets here." I send him a quick message back.

"Fine. Stay there. - BG"

Tucking the phone away, I turn and make my way for the stairwell. Burke may be late, but he can still help me explain my absence from the tour group from my school.

"Well, Barbara, you went missing for forty-five minutes, got kidnapped by a crime boss, tortured and drugged, nearly killed, ANNND you lost your mask. All in all, a pretty bang up job."

I swing open the door and rush down the stairs toward Tommy's location.

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Old 08-27-2012, 09:41 PM   #496
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Attacking Bane outright didn't do me any good last time, and that was even when I had what I would call, for lack of a better term, luck on my side in the fact that he preferred to engage me alone instead of combining his efforts with those of however many enforcers he has on hand as Gotham's newest mob boss.

Sure, I've been working out and increasing my training regimen since that night all those months ago, but I'm still not going to take any chances when I finally meet him again face to face. I need to wear him and his operations down, or else some new gangster will just step in to claim his throne when I bust him. Still, with that basic backbone of a plan in place, I have to pause and wonder at how effective it may ultimately end up being when all is said and done. With all of the heavy mob activity in Gotham lately, Bane has been surprisingly laid back and apparently unwilling to make a move in response to any of the actions of his underworld rivals. It's almost as if he's just... lost interest? Even with his inactivity, he still holds the largest numbers at his disposal. And, not even counting the manpower he has, the lethal skill that he alone showed at the Maroni Wedding is still talked about to this day, not to mention his cutting a swath through everyone who even tried to touch him back when he was active. A reputation goes a long way in these circles, and no one wants to get on the wrong side of big bad Bane.

Except for me.

I barely made an impression on him at all last time, but things will be different, starting tonight. Which is why I'm here: The Zombie's Den. If I want to make an impact on Bane's operations and get his attention, this is where I need to make my start. The dirtiest of dirty nightclubs, but with an "anything goes" policy and the fact that cops tend to steer clear of the vicinity, it's incredibly popular with the right crowds. Of course, the reason for my interest in it is that it's owner and operator is one of Bane's highest lieutenants: Ulysses Stewart, otherwise known around Gotham as Zombie. I've been scoping him out over the past couple nights and learning his nocturnal habits. He's a skinny guy with really sunken features, so I think I can put two and two together to figure how he got his nickname. Doesn't seem overly fond of bodyguards, although he has a couple. Carries one gun in a shoulder holster, and seems to be a crack shot from what I've overheard people say about him. And he keeps a collection of cylindrical objects attached to his belt. I can only conclude that they're containers for syringes full of God knows what, although I haven't yet seen him partake.

Should be an interesting night.

The glowing fire of my blades signals my approach long before I make my official greeting, and I see the regular bouncer stick his head inside the nightclub, no doubt to call for some help to persuade the costumed weirdo with flaming bladed gauntlets to call it a night. Now, you can do this, Valley. You've made all the right moves so far, now's the time to finally make your impression. "Good evening, fellas" The bouncer steps aside to let his reinforcements come out with assault rifles trained on me.



"I saw your boss stopped by the office tonight, and was wondering if I could make an appointment while he's here."

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Old 08-28-2012, 08:28 PM   #497
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My eyes narrow and then go wide. "Hood?" In some ways, I'm relieved. Better to have someone who actually knew Bruce than some stranger, some pretender to the legacy. On the other hand, I wonder how, exactly, this came to pass. Was this Bruce's wish? I find it hard to believe he'd pass off the burden of the cowl, even if he were incapacitated. What's the alternative, then? That Red Hood is acting on his own? To what end? To prove himself? To honor Bruce? Too many questions and not enough answers.

I follow Hood warily - not because I don't trust him, but rather out of confusion and uncertainty. It's amazing how much the cape has changed him. The way he carries himself, the way he acts. It's a blend between his usual demeanor and the way Bruce handled himself. He's certainly not the Batman, but who could be?

"To answer your previous question," I begin, trying to ignore how loudly our footsteps and voices are echoing throughout the empty church, "I have an interest in the kidnappings related to this church." Best to leave it at that. I don't need to tell Hood anything about Maven, and I certainly won't tell him that I broke into a police station.
"That makes two of us."

The further that we venture inside, the more that I find myself sticking to the shadows. I don't know why, but it feels - and this is the part that intrigues me - wrong to be walking out in the light while wearing what I am. Like I'd be doing it a disservice to wear it outside of it's natural state. Blended seamlessly into the dark. Nightvision in the cowl isn't picking up any signs of movement, but I know that those clowns outside didn't come running to someone who isn't here. There had to be an individual set to ensure that the delivery of the kidnapped girls went off smoothly, otherwise this operation wouldn't have lasted a day without some kind of police interference. Cops in Gotham may be bent, but they know better than to let things ride out longer than nessecary. They don't want questions asked if the media begins to pry.

I'm just being given all sorts of new reasons to hate this city.

We finally make it into the main chapel, deserted and left with virtually nothing but empty rows of polished wooden seats and a platform for Sexton's nightly sermons. Candles are still lit, however, which only further proves my theory. Someone's still here. They're just as not willing to be gracious to new guests as they are to the ones out back. Finally, I turn back to Catwoman, still unable to look at me the same way she did weeks ago. I don't know what exactly the extent of her interactions with Bruce were, but it's kind of making me wonder. She's looking at me like a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Why is she doing this, anyway? Thought she left the vigilante stuff behind. Now she's willing to risk her life investigating a series of kidnappings, based off of an "interest"? Somehow, it's hard to believe. But after what we went through the last time we met, I'm more willing to give her the benefit of the doubt than I would have before. She didn't have to help solve the murder of Falcone's son, but she did anyway. There could be something to that. Some kind of potential.

"Nobody out in the open. We need to cover more ground,"

Or at least, something I can use.

"Help me out, and I'll explain the costume later. Let's split up and see if we can find anyone lurking nearby."

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Old 08-31-2012, 02:49 AM   #498
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III

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We finally make it into the main chapel, deserted and left with virtually nothing but empty rows of polished wooden seats and a platform for Sexton's nightly sermons. Candles are still lit, however, which only further proves my theory. Someone's still here. They're just as not willing to be gracious to new guests as they are to the ones out back. Finally, I turn back to Catwoman, still unable to look at me the same way she did weeks ago. I don't know what exactly the extent of her interactions with Bruce were, but it's kind of making me wonder. She's looking at me like a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Why is she doing this, anyway? Thought she left the vigilante stuff behind. Now she's willing to risk her life investigating a series of kidnappings, based off of an "interest"? Somehow, it's hard to believe. But after what we went through the last time we met, I'm more willing to give her the benefit of the doubt than I would have before. She didn't have to help solve the murder of Falcone's son, but she did anyway. There could be something to that. Some kind of potential.

"Nobody out in the open. We need to cover more ground,"

Or at least, something I can use.

"Help me out, and I'll explain the costume later. Let's split up and see if we can find anyone lurking nearby."
I nod. It's as good a plan as any. And as uncomfortable as I may be seeing someone else wearing Bruce's suit, I know Hood's intentions are pure. He's always been fighting to help Bruce clean up the streets, even if their methodologies weren't always identical. And it's hard to forget that he did help save my life from Poison Ivy's wrath. Besides, this kind of thing is his area of expertise - not mine.

As Hood - or Batman, I suppose - approaches the altar, I break off to explore the western transept. It's a recessed seating area which forms the cross shape of the chapel. Against the far wall, there are statues of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. At their feet, a few dwindling flames dance on top of sagging candles. Somehow, I doubt the kidnappers came inside to say a quick prayer to the Mother of God. Someone else has been inside the chapel recently. The famous - or infamous, depending on who's asking - Reverend Oberon Sexton, perhaps?

When my cursory search of the western transept turns up nothing, I cross the length of the church to the opposing transept. Hood, meanwhile, has concluded his search of the altar and is circling the rotunda which encircles the tabernacle. The eastern transept - the other half of the cross - has confessional booths in place of statues. When I look at them, I can't help but think of all the things I'd need to confess. Not that I'm saying I regret any of it. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right?

To my surprise, though, I begin to hear the sounds of a faint whisper being carried along through the air. I pause a moment, listening close in the silence of the chapel. It's definitely not my imagination. Someone is here. I turn my attention to the confessionals. As I draw nearer, the whisper becomes clearer - even though I can't make out the words. It's definitely coming from inside one of these booths. I hold my tongue, not wanting to lose the element of surprise.

In a sudden motion, I throw open the door to the confessional. I'm confronted with a short, plump man in a gaudy suit. In his hands, he holds a dingy pocket watch. When he sees me, his eyes widen in terror. "Oh dear!" he exclaims.

"Who are you?" I demand angrily.

As the man stares at me, I notice how glazed-over and vacant his eyes look. In fact, he looks pretty strung-out in general. His hair - what's left of it - is disheveled. His suit, on top of being ugly, is patchy and frayed. For a moment, I consider the possibility that this man is a vagrant. Just some junkie who's using the chapel as a place to stay.

"Why are you here?" I ask, not letting any of the urgency or seriousness escape from my voice.

"Oh dear!" the man repeats. "Too late! Much too late!" With a surprising spring in his step, the man bursts out of the confessional and knocks me down. He takes off running between the pews, frantically consulting his pocket watch and muttering, "Oh dear! Oh dear!"

By the time I'm on my feet, Hood has already responded to the ruckus. I reach for the whip on my belt, hoping I can chase down this lunatic, but Hood merely takes the grappling hook from his belt and fires a single shot. It catches the strange man on the ankle, dragging him back down the center aisle towards us.

"Too late! Much too late! Oh dear..."

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:16 AM   #499
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III

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To my surprise, though, I begin to hear the sounds of a faint whisper being carried along through the air. I pause a moment, listening close in the silence of the chapel. It's definitely not my imagination. Someone is here. I turn my attention to the confessionals. As I draw nearer, the whisper becomes clearer - even though I can't make out the words. It's definitely coming from inside one of these booths. I hold my tongue, not wanting to lose the element of surprise.

In a sudden motion, I throw open the door to the confessional. I'm confronted with a short, plump man in a gaudy suit. In his hands, he holds a dingy pocket watch. When he sees me, his eyes widen in terror. "Oh dear!" he exclaims.

"Who are you?" I demand angrily.

As the man stares at me, I notice how glazed-over and vacant his eyes look. In fact, he looks pretty strung-out in general. His hair - what's left of it - is disheveled. His suit, on top of being ugly, is patchy and frayed. For a moment, I consider the possibility that this man is a vagrant. Just some junkie who's using the chapel as a place to stay.

"Why are you here?" I ask, not letting any of the urgency or seriousness escape from my voice.

"Oh dear!" the man repeats. "Too late! Much too late!" With a surprising spring in his step, the man bursts out of the confessional and knocks me down. He takes off running between the pews, frantically consulting his pocket watch and muttering, "Oh dear! Oh dear!"

By the time I'm on my feet, Hood has already responded to the ruckus. I reach for the whip on my belt, hoping I can chase down this lunatic, but Hood merely takes the grappling hook from his belt and fires a single shot. It catches the strange man on the ankle, dragging him back down the center aisle towards us.

"Too late! Much too late! Oh dear..."


Seems we've cornered one of the riffraff. I can't help but smile at the way he lands whenever the grapple gun helps sweep his legs out from under him. A sickening crack, followed by sprinkles of blood. I guess what they say is true, when it comes to the little things in life. However, what gets my attention is how virtually unaffected he remains as I reel him in. Even with the bloodied nose, after my hand snatches the collar of his jacket and I pull him up to his feet, he's still more fixated on the ticking clock in his palm. His eyes following the circular movement of the hands. I shake him hard to snap him out of his trance-like state, but he doesn't seem to react. Then he simply looks up at me with vacant eyes, indicating the watch.

"I'm late! Oh dear. Can't you tell I'm late?"

Having already lost what remained of my patience with the men on the backlot, I grab his throat with one hand and forcibly drag him towards the altar while he chokes. Then toss him hard against the wooden panelling, just enough to leave him too winded to go running away from us again. This man could easily be Oberon Sexton himself, the Reverend does spend his days hiding behind a mask. I've suspected it to be a ruse even before this case. Catwoman approaches me from behind as I stare him down, growling under my breath as I speak.

"I don't care. Tell us who was just here, and why they were kidnapping the girls. Was it you?"

He crawls backwards in fright and hits the altar. Our prescence is definitely affecting him somehow, just not in the way that really means anything.

"Much too late... much too..."

I take a step forward and clench both fists, making it clear that I'm not in the mood for games. He could still very well be the culprit behind the kidnappings, he's just seemingly too far gone to be able to properly communicate. Generally, in my line of work, such a level of psychosis can be broken through and the individual can be reached. It just requires a little force, and with that... I'm more to willing to provide.

"I heard you the first time, now snap out of it! Who's behind this?!"

"Oh dear. Oh dear..."

I'm about to lose it on this guy and go straight to into the interrogation method of "thrashing into cooperation", but then he does something unexpected. He mentions something that immediately gets me to pause, my mind setting off a spark of immediate realization.

"Much too late. Very late. I'm late for a very important date..."

It's almost absurdly simple, and yet I didn't piece it together until now. I turn back to Catwoman, who seems to get it just as easily. I nod back to her and acknowledge what we're both thinking.

"Alice in Wonderland. This idiot's quoting..."

A sudden outside noise causes us both to turn in the direction of the front entrance. One of the massive twin doors swings open, and we're greeted by a group of at least a dozen suited thugs. Definitely not the traditional churchgoing crowd, and I sincerely doubt that they're here to make it to confession. Still chatting amongst themselves, sharing a few laughs, they seem almost completely oblivious to the prescence of the three intruders until they make it to the aisle. It all happens too fast for either of us to attempt to hide - by the time one spots me and nearly does a spittake of his coffee, the rest catch on and turn towards what's caught his attention.

"What the hell?!"

One produces a semi-automatic pistol, prompting the rest to do the same. I immediately grab the fairytale-prone schitzophrenic we were interrogating and toss him safely out of range, before spinning around and grabbing Catwoman by the shoulders, forcibly turning her around just as they start to pull triggers.

Dammit.



"MOVE!"

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Old 09-01-2012, 12:59 AM   #500
Byrd Man
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Default Re: The Ultimate DC RPG - Season III






Allen Home

Central City, Missouri


"Bart?"

I looked up from my roasted chicken. Mom was starting at me with a puzzled expression on her face. "Sweetie, are you alright?"

"Huh? Yeah, I'm fine."

For the third night in a row, it was just me, mom, and Wally eating dinner. Dad was out in the streets, manning the Anti-Flash Taskforce with Jay. Apparently, the incident with Cold and his buddies lead to a rise in anti-Flash sentiment. While I was off having fun with the Fantastic Four, Iron Heights had a massive breakout with all of the people I had fought. Calling themselves the Rogues, they've started a crime spree around the twin cities.

"Are you sure? You've been real quiet the past few days. Is anything wrong?"

"I'm fine."

She leaned back in her chair, her arms crossed and a steely look on her face. "No, something is wrong. What is it?"

She's right. Ever since Denny's death, my secret life as the Flash has been eating at me. My dad hates the Flash. He's out there right now looking for him while he's been right under his nose all along. There's no way I could come out to him and he wouldn't hate me. Even if I am his son, he's said time and time again how Flash mocks the police of both cities. That was bad enough, but now with Denny's death... I don't know what he'd do to me...

"It's just... Have you ever had a secret you were scared to death to tell anyone about?"

"Of course," she said, reaching across the table and taking my hand. "We all have."

"Ha!" Wally laughed. "Bart's gay! I knew it all along!"

"Yeah, well you were adopted!"

"Be quiet, Wally. Bart... you can tell me whatever it is. I'll love you no matter what. You should know that by now."

"But... what... what if it's something bad?"

"Bad? Bad in what way? What's wrong, honey? You can tell me. Are you in trouble? What is it?"

"I...,"
I started, taking a deep breath. "Mom... I'm the F--"


BOOOOOOOM!

The sonic boom tore into the house, ripping the door and half the wall off the house. Mom, Wally, and I were all knocked back. I landed hard on the floor, the air rushing out of my lungs and my ears ringing. My eyes began to focus on the figure standing walking through the hole where the wall had been just seconds earlier.

"Mom, mommie, motherofmine..."


*Photo courtesy of Supergirl

"I'm hoommmeee!"

__________________
"These are the times that try men's souls... Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
-- Thomas Paine


"People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
-- Otto von Bismarck


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Last edited by Byrd Man; 09-01-2012 at 01:03 AM.
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