|The Bait and the Bat|
|What: Catwoman acts as a distraction while Batman deals with business.|
Summer is in full swing and the rain has started to drop in sheets to match the blistering heat. Darting down an alleyway is the pattering of feet slapping against concrete and splashing in the puddles from the constant downpour.
The nervous man in a soaked and dirty white tank top continuously glances over his shoulder. A gun clutched in his right hand trembles as he leans back against a wall to try and catch his breath.
Up above the alley, a shadow perches on the edge of a building with a forearm laid across his bent knee. Penetrating eyes following the rabbit as it leads him through the garbage covered streets back to the lair.
Toss a small fish back to catch the sharks, the Batman glares at the labored breath starting to calm. The man finally starting to think he'd lost the shadow that had been chancing him for several blocks.
Batman has been followed tonight, most likely known by him, the shadow tailed by the Cat who had been dashing between buildings and even climbing them so she could leap from roof to roof, this being a bit of a turn of the table Selina relishes. It's not often that she's the hunter out of the two of them, the thief often the one caught off guard and she finds herself loving this way more than she probably should.
By the time Batman stops Sel's already found a perch herself, one not too far from him on a nearby ledge. The subject of his attention is watched curiously and then she looks up, just in time to have a drop of water hit her in the face after a fall from an arial atenna. Oh yes. The rain. Why can't Gotham be somewhere where rain's an exception to the rule, not the goddamned norm?
Batman is well aware that someone's trailing him because Batman is usually aware of most things that go on around him. For the time it seemed easier to just to let Selina go unacknowledged, though it is doubtful she genuinely believes she's got the jump on the Dark Knight. Both of them have definitely got the criminal down in the alleyway dead to rights.
Seeing no shadows leaping out to grab him, his pistol slips away in the waist band of his soaked jeans and he pushes away towards the street. A warehouse across from them, situated on the docks seems to be the intended destination.
Batman never moves save to lift his head and follow the distant figure as he raps knuckles against the metal door and is allowed entrance within.
"Tag seventy two oh one two Belmont." Said into his link to the batcave.
"As you wish, Master Bruce."
Now there's a cat to deal with. The lightening flashes and the shadow vanishes from his perch in the suddenly burst of light.
A miserable little sneeze sounds from the rooftop Selina is on; she fought it, trying very hard not to do it, but the need wins out against the desire not to let it happen and it eventually just gets the better of her. Thankfully she's not the kind to sneeze loudly but she still cringes when she hears the sound. And of course she just /had/ to close her eyes when she did so, meaning she loses track of Batman by the time she recovers and thinks to look around.
"Why do I do this to myself," she asks herself rhetorically. "I could stay home. Be a kept woman on the arm of someone rich and handsome. But /noooooo/. Catwoman has to go out and be all sneaky. And wet. And cold. Damnit."
Batman doesn't keep himself disappeared for long. Though when he finally does step out of the shadow in which he'd slid, it's a bit behind the burgler, and on her side of the alleyway. The rain rolls down in rivlets across the furrowed brow of his mask, dripping from the pointed nose as he steps easily, practically gliding with the cape draped off his shoulders, towards her perch.
"Because that would be too easy."
Quiet, watching her through the little hollow slots in his cowl. Dark eyes penetrating and intense. They're always that way. "Why are you following me?" He already knows the answer, so it /could/ be considered rhetorical, but isn't that part of the game?
She looks up and smiles, the expression partially hidden as she wipes a second bead of water from her nose. This time she doesn't sneeze, thankfully, but it is still chilled. "I thought it was time to get... even with you," she whispers softly to the black-clad figure as she watches him. She doesn't move, content to stay where she has been sitting, the ledge making for a comfortable seat despite the lack of protection from the elements.
The Cat casts her gaze down towards the street then, the smile disappearing as she regards the memory of the fleeing subject. "And just who was the fortunate subject of your attention tonight? Oh... I know. A swimsuit model... no, some airheaded Gotham socialite who got on your wrong side. What did she do? Spill wine on your favorite Bat-suit?"
Batman doesn't look away from Selina when she gazes down into the alley where the man he'd been following disappeared. "No." Said quietly, narrowing his eyes at her in a way that most people would probably find dangerous. Especially with his arms hidden beneath the water resistant cape hanging down in a V his cowl.
Once he's within distance to speak to her without raising his voice above a whisper, he stops and assumes a position that's almost statuesque in it's rigidity. "He works for CarMichael Santuria." That's as much information as he's likely to be forthright with regarding 'who' he's after.. but it's more than he's likely to give on a usual night. Maybe it's the rain?
Santuria. It's a name that Catwoman's familiar with. Heck, she's probably done a job or two for the man at some point in her career. The short answer gets her to look back up at him, the gleam of recognition at the name hidden by the dark red lenses she peers up at him through. "One of the big time players, in other words."
Selina rises with a feline-like grace, not needing anything for support, her balance kept even though she's dangerously close to the roof's edge. "Do you have anyone on the inside?" The way that's asked and the smile on her face might give away the fact that she just might be planning something.
Batman is quiet enough that when he looks down over the ledge beside Catwoman, it might seem like he just appeared there, "Yes." Loud enough to be heard over the pattering of rain as he splashes on his armor and the gravel beneath their feet. His head turns just enough to look ver at the woman beside him.
"Whatever you're planning. Don't."
Which is basically like telling her to go ahead and do it. So it /might/ be reverse psychology. Just the sort of thing Batman would do, let her go in there and distract them and go in quietly to interrogate the higher up on Santuria's location. Everything, even his allies, can be made into a weapon.
One might think he'd know better than to do that by now. Hell, Selina's having to fight the urge to put palm to face at the fact that Batman doesn't seem to learn not to encourage her. Nodding slowly, she looks at Batman, her expression blank, nothing to give away what she might be thinking.
"I can't promise I won't but I know you won't be happy if I say I will. Let's just leave it as I can't make any promises and drop the subject." Is she being manipulated? Probably. But it is fine, really. She would walk to the ends of the earth and throw herself over the edge if he asked her to.
The Bat is watching her out of the corner of his eyes, standing stalk still for several moments as if waiting for her to come out with her whip and swing in towards the warehouse the moment he looks away. In truth, he half expected her too.. he half was hoping for it. He'd never put her into harms way out of malice, not if he didn't think she'd get herself out of it.
"Good." It's bland, everything he says is bland. Besides the gravel in his voice.
"I don't want them to know I'm coming." Finally looking fully back to the warehouse.
"What do you know about Santuria?" Because he is pretty sure Catwoman, of all people, will know something. Besides him, she's one of the most well informed individuals in Gotham.
For someone who professes his wish for her to stay uninvolved he sure is quick to ask for information which is only going to root the desire to help more deeply into her head. "Small time player," she provides, "into drug trafficking and at one time he tried to push some of the larger families out of Gotham. Had hired me to help with... information gathering." Not exactly what she's known for but the money was good, all of which went into her foundation.
"I can get into the building no problem. Get some of them cleared out for you if you need me to." As if to make her point she unclasps the long whip she wears coiled at her hip, looking like she is itching for a fight now.
Batman's head remains angled slightly down so the rain splashes against the back of his neck, rolling down over his shoulders, and out of his field of view on the warehouse. "Drug trafficking." No more disgust for 'that' than anything the families are known to do in his city. Beneath the cape both hands ball into to tightly coiled fists.
"What did he have you find out?" It's not that he's ignoring her request to assist in taking out the men inside the building, but it might seem that way. Quietly proding for more information. The cape moves as his arm come saway from his side. It's a small motion, likely the retrieval of a grapnel launcher from his utility belt.
"He was wanting to try and pit a couple of the bigger hitters against each other. I'm not sure if he were hoping they'd off each other and therefore do the dirty work for him or was trying to just oust them from Gotham. Whatever it was..." Selina shakes her head. "I didn't read more than enough to make sure I was grabbing the right information before leaving." Not exactly the 'neat' way to do her work but it's far from being sloppy at the same time.
Looking at Batman a bit longer, Selina eventually shrugs and sends her whip forward, the last couple of feet of which curls around a rain spout. "I will meet you down there." And off she goes, swinging to the next roof.
Batman files it all away in mental compartments, to be added to the database after the nights patrol. For now, he nods. A simple motion of his cowl that might go unnoticed if one weren't paying particular attention to the dark clad vigilante.
Then Selina is off. And he's unsurprised.
Nor does he say anything as she makes to swing out of the alley towards the street and beyond to the warehouse. He turns away from the ledge and stalks towards the far end of the roof with the grapnel coming out from his cape. A line fires behind him with a barely (even less so with the rain) audible hiss and another forward to the warehouse's rooftop. The launcher itself doubling as a zip to propel him across the street with only the fluttering of his cape to even remotely give away his presence.
The bat lands in a quiet roll on the roof, immediately stalking forward from it towards the furthest end of the building to begin a decent down the wall, and a window that will give him a better vantage point of what's going on within.
If Selina wants to be a distraction, he certainly wont stop her.
While Batman goes up Selina goes towards the street, searching for a way to enter the building without being too overly-concerned with stealth or anything like that. She is supposed to be get the bad guys' attention, after all. Once her feet she crosses the street and does the first thing that comes to mind, that being kicking at the door the man Bats was following, her way of 'knocking'. "Hey! Let me in!" She waits until the shouting begins before darting off to the side, this time breaking a window.
Needless to say, all of this is causing quite the ruckus within the building proper but it remains to be seen if they'll come out to see what is going on or if Catwoman will have to go in to make sure things get good and stirred up.
Batman grabs the edge of the roof and swings down over the side, dangling a few inches to the left of a giant second floor window into the converted warehouse. The other hand presses to test the lock, finds it unhitched, and pushes it upwards with the tip of his fingers. Just enough to slide into the dark corridor, silent even if there weren't a ruckus going on downstairs to provide him that little extra distraction security.
These aren't exactly small timers, but they're not the big leagues either. Several of the goons inside have leadpipes, chains, but there's a few knives being opened amongst them.. and one guy with a pistol. Nothing heavier than a glock, at least not on the first floor. But they are taking an interest into who would be so ballsy as to come disturbing the peace at their sanctuary.
Had it just been a knock, the reaction might have been a little less pointed, but with the broken window? A pair of leadpipe armed goons step out through the double doors, searching up and down the front of the warehouse for the transgresser. "Whoevah' you arh, ya bettah not let us fin' yuh." A second pair joins the first, heading off in opposite directions in groups of two.
What the men see when they get outside is Catwoman standing there, whip in right hand while the left settles on her hip, looking for the life of like she was not expecting that at all. Feigned shock sometimes is a good distraction as well as about breaking in the door.
"Now, now, boys, you don't need to get violent," Catwoman purrs playfully. "There's more than enough of me to go around."
After the words flow from her she goes on the attack, the lengthy weapon used to try and lash those pipes out of the mooks' grasp. Hopefully that will be successful otherwise she might wind up a wee bit battered.
"It's Catwoman!" One of the quartet shouts back into the open warehouse door, sending up an alarm within. The leathery cord wraps around the wrist of one mook's leadpipe and yanks it clear free of his hand, not to mention stumbling him forward in an embarassing attempt to regain his footing as well. His partner swings the chain over his head in a fashion that suggest he may not be completely compotent in its usage in a fighting situation... but it doesn't have to be perfect, to be painful. The metal links whip out towards Selina in a wild over head twirl.
The other two run forward from the direction they were headed to try and get in on the Cat house action as well. A leadpipe here a set of brassknuckles there. It means getting inclose and personal with the thief, which probably wont end well.
Batman presses himself against the wall beside the sole door, presumably to the office, when movement from within draws his attention. As the alarm being screamed downstairs draws the attentions of those within. The wooden portal bursts open and a gorilla of a man comes out carrying a shotgun cradled up against his chest. Another voice inside telling him to "go check it out..."
Checking it out brings him right past the shadowy hidden Dark Knight. Who waits for him to get just out of view of the doorway before wrapping a gauntlet hand pinches the man's throat with the thumb and knuckle of his index finger and stomping down with his left leg right into the back of the man's knee, literally folding him over his armored thigh using the man's own wait against him. Quiet, gurgling, bringing him down onto the dirty carpet without raising the first hint of suspicion.
"Is this an audition for West Side Story? I thought only greasers used chains..." Sel raises her hand, letting it get snared by the length of metal links, the way it does not hurting as much as it could thanks to the way her costume's made but while there will be no broken bones she still might have some bruises. Grumbling, she rushes forward, going to kick the guy she just disarmed and then the now-slack chain is used to clip another guy in the temple when she flails about.
"I think you need a lesson in playing fair. Sadly I don't know how to but I'm sure someone will be more than willing to do so instead!"
Clearly, their idea of fairplay probably isn't the sort anyone would ever want to teach a kids football league. The chain goes slack around Selina's arm, then whips across one of the two men's face as he rushes in towards her, doubling the effect with his momentum. His head snaps around and blood sprays out across the bricks, dropping him like a sack of potatoes.
His partner, with brassknuckles, swings a looping haymaker towards Selina's exposed flank, going for a body shot rather than attempting to target her quick moving head as she uses superior mobility to her advantage. The fourth... screams, "We need some more backup!"
Thus, not really playing fair.
Once he's certain the man is unconscious, Batman raises up from his crouch with a handful of black pellets clutched against his palm. A flick of his wrist sends them rattling off the walls into the office and immediately begins filling it with a noxious grey smoke that almost completely distorts vision and sends the man behind the desk into a heavy fit of coughs...
Coughs that are cut off abruptly when the black clad Vigilante mounts the desk in a crouch and slams the flat palm of his hand into the man's chest, pushing him down into the swiveling roller chair with enough force to shove it back against the wall.
"Santuria." More of a growl, than a voice... but definitely a demand. Followed by a flat axe hand chop to the man's sola rplexus that buckles the chair over and sends him sprawling on his back to the floor... with a heavy armored boot pressing into his chest and a vicious stare lowering down out of the shadows to scowl menancingly for his troubles. "Now."
What information does the man give? All the information.. He's got a strip club in the Bowery, he runs his business from the back room... etc.. The boot rises, the boot falls, stomping the man square in the chest to put him down.
The black cape swishes through the smoke as he turns, darts forward, and mounts the railing down to the second floor to see the damage down below.
The sight of blood is nothing new to Selina but even if it were to bother her she'd have no time to be bothered. She's having to move and fast but the man with the knuckleduster is able to clip her in the side even if she was quick on her feet. A startled yelp sounds but she doesn't stop from getting back into the game, as the saying goes.A well-placed kick is put between that guy's legs, putting him out and then the fourth is advanced upon. "You will regret the day you decided to turn to crime," she snarls, putting on her best Batman voice.
The guy has no chance to say anything in reply as he swiftly has a fist put between his eyes. "Good night, beautiful."
All in a night's work. The Dark Knight clings to the railing only long enough to take a visual stock of the numbers down below him, then he descends into that chaos on cloth 'wings'. A group was headed towards the double doors to join the fray and one of them is the catalyst for Batman's soft landing... Soft for Batman, it crumples the goon down beneath the vigilante's weight.
The others, about five of them, turn towards the yelp and the rising black clad 'monster' with shock in their eyes... Shock that gives way to desperation when they all come at him as one.
The man's leg gives way at the knee with a resounding crunch that leaves him falling down onto the other trying to relieve some of the pressure. A cry echoes out, but it's quickly subverted by Selina's back hand knocks knuckles between his eyes and sends him down onto the concrete with a final, lasting, grunt.
One goon remains, with another two spilling out from the warehouse to join in... they're not really sure what's going on at this point, but they know they're quickly having the tables turned on them. A lead pipe swings down like an axe towards The Cats shoulder while another punches towards her, which usually isn't a sound tactic, given proximity to metal weapons, but they're desperate.
Batman brings his hands up to rest forearms against his cowl as the men come in against him, turning his body to absorb more of the blow when a lead pipe brushes easily over his shoulder.. His hand pushes up and around to wrap the man's arms beneath his, using his leverage to twist him into one of his companions over his out stretched foot to send him in a end over end tumble that knocks both of them to the ground.
The black cape sweeps out across anothers when the vigilante spins, temporarily mussing the location of his attack, which comes far lower than another expected when his foot smashes against his ankle, followed by the shift of Bats weight forward to slip past the man as he falls, catching him across his shoulders and heaving him at a fourth..
His foot comes straight out into the fifths chest, stopping his forward progress with a sudden stop that knocks him off his feet, into the air, and down on the back of his neck with a clattering of their weapons hitting concrete.
Stalking... Batman stalks towards the doors with a batarang hurled back over his shoulder to shatter the hologen light hanging up in the rafters, bathing the first floor, and himself, in darkness.
It's like an ultra-violent Three Stooges. Or the Keystone Cops. Complete with bumbling and ineptitude on most involved's part. The pipe's taken to the shoulder but she moves so that it glances off and then she grabs the puncher by his forarm and uses him to take out the pipe-wielding jerkwad, the guys' heads colliding as they trip and fall over each other. "This is ridiculous. Seriously... can't you guys do anything right?"
Great care is taken afterward, there being a bit of time to make sure the mob goons are unconscious or, at the very least, bound up so they can't get inside to try and add more numbers to whatever is going on. That is when the ache starts to settle in. Maybe it's time to get a little extra padding put into the catsuit.
The goons are, for the most part, groaning or in various states of disrepair. Those inside aren't even sure what happened to them, much less in any condition to figure it out or try to make some good attempt at a comeback. Not against the Batman.. and certainly not against the Catwoman and Batman. As he steps out of the darkness into what light is available outside, his eyes settle on Selina... then the goons laying around her.
But he doesn't say anything, neither to chastise her for not listening to him, which he knew she wouldn't, or for not taking better care to do so quietly, since that wasn't the point.
"Notify the GCPD that Tommy Aldonus and his crew have a drug transportation hub on the docks. Anonymous tip."
"Anonymous tip, of course Master Bruce."
Glancing purposefully up at Selina. "Next time, listen."
"We're a good team, Batman," Catwoman says with a smile. "But don't think that this will get me to change my mind." She doesn't say more than that, not wanting to risk the wrong ears hearing. A small phone-like device is pulled from her belt and the call is made, that taking all of a couple minutes. "We should go," she whispers once the call's ended. "Because I don't know about you but I sure as hell do not need the cops up my ass tonight."
Her whip is coiled but not clipped to her hip yet, it kept close by in case it is needed. "Coming or are you going to stand there and brood while the thugs lay there and moan?" Sel doesn't look over her shoulder, trusting he'll leave when she does. He doesn't tend to stick around for long after the fighting's done.
Batman rarely sticks around long enough for the conversation to be done. This case is no different. As soon as he's spoken his simple admonishment of her impatient approach, he pulls a grapnel from his belt to aim up at a taller building across the street. The near silent hiss of escaped gas and he's pulled away from the scene, just as the blue and white lights of the GCPD cruisers are coming into view further down it.
Crouched on the edge of a building over looking the carnage left behind.... It isn't exactly how he'd have done it. But it doesn't bother him either. None of them were worth feeling guilty about and certainly he felt none regardless. Not for the scum laying there on the sidewalk in front of that drug house. Without another word, he turns and stalks across the roof with the cape settling back down over his shoulders to again mask his body beneath. "Careful what you say, Selina." No smile, but he knows he's making a dent.
"I am always careful, Batman. You know that. Now, excuse me but I have a date with an icepack and a bottle of pain meds." She won't be taking to the roofs on her way home, making Catwoman glad she had the foresight to stash her bike not that far from here. "Nights like this... makes me wish I had ready access to a massage therapist." A hand lifts and she gives the vigilante a quick wave before she turns a corner into an alley.
He won't be able to follow her easily tonight. Not once she is on her motorcycle.
Batman watches Selina round that corner with a typical mask of indifference, but there's more at work beneath the surface. So much more. At first he considers calling the batcycle up on the remote access inlaid in his cowl, but.. he doesn't. Decides against it for reasons that he's not entirely sure on. Instead he stands in the darkness of one alley as the Catwoman vanishes down another, just about to step forward after her when a message comes across his communicator:
"Shots fired in Downtown Gotham, two gunmen with hostages. Officer injured, requesting EMTs and Backup."
It'll have to wait. The Batman turns and stalks in the opposite direction, lifting his arm to plug in coordinates to the wrist mounted computer beneath an armored cover on his gauntlet.
"It's going to be a late night..."
"Ofcourse, Master Bruce. I'll keep the kettle on."