|Another Night in Gotham|
|What: Supergirl shows up in Gotham to fight the good fight, and Robin has to break the bad news about Batman's rules concerning meta-battles in his city.|
Normally, Kara would be smiling as she flew through the night. She'd be happily enjoying the freedom. But tonight...she's got a scowl on her face. It's just after Midnight, and she's still not totally sure what to do after the argument she and Kal had. All she knows is that she wants to help, to make a difference. But she's probably not going to be able to do that in Metropolis now. So, she's set her sights on Gotham. Robin said that it was a challenging city, and it sounds to Kara like they could use a little super help. Like with the getaway car screeching down the street, shooting automatic weapons at the police cars chasing them. SUpergirl's senses hear the gunfire and she angles downward to intervene.
The near-silent hum of the Batcycle is the only initial warning that another is involved in the chase. The sleek black motorcycle swoops up on the far side of the lead police cruiser, accelerating gradually to close the gap between it and the getaway car. Crouched on the back of the bike is Robin, his black cape fluttering wildly in the wind.
Flying down from behind the chase, Supergirl fires off a few quick blasts of heat vision, prompting the crooks to drop their guns as they get too hot. The getaway driver swerves to try and loose all three pursuers, tires squeeling as he takes a corner too fast....
And sends the car flipping towards a building.
Supergirl puts on a burst of speed and manages to get ahead of the car, catching it before a serious collision. But she's trapped between the car and the brick wall as the dazed crooks pile out and start firing handguns wildly.
A quick tap of a control, and the Batcycle enters auto-pilot mode. Robin hops up onto the seat, firing off his grappler, and then swinglines out over the road, headed toward the crooks from one side. As he moves, his free hand palms a few shuriken Batrangs and flings them toward the crooks, hoping to make them take cover and minimize the wild shooting.
Two of the crooks howl in pain as the shuriken hit them in the hands, making them drop their pistols. The remaining two scatter, running towards some late-night pedestrians.
Supergirl gently set the car down, disentangling herself from it. The police cruiser screeches to a halt, turning to block the street and preven the free crooks from doubling back. The patrolment come out with weapons drawn and shout for the injured thugs to surrender, which they do.
Seeing things are in good hands, Supergirl flies ahead, appearing right before one of the crooks in the blink of an eye. He bounces off the Girl of Steel and starts shooting at her in a panic. The bullets bounce off her harmlessly, and another blast of heat vision to disarm the crook and convince him to surrender.
Another projectile snaps from Robin's hand as he turns a somersault and lands in a run. The sphere he threw splits open, reshaping into a bola that spins and whirls its way towards the escaping crook's legs, aiming to trip him up and put him down before he can injure someone with his wild flight.
The last crook goes sprawling as the bolas trip him up. He's easy prey for SUpergirl to pick up along with the other one she took down; effortly lifting one in each hand. She smiles as she floats over to Robin and drops the crooks on the ground for him and the cops to arrest. "Not bad. We make a pretty good team." She's smiling from ear to ear.
Robin can't quite help the little smirk that plays upon his lips at the way Supergirl is so enthusiastic about all this. "Being bullet-proof must come in handy," he observes, then packs away his grappler and taps a belt control to bring back the Batcycle. His expression turns more serious as he notes, "I should warn you, though. Batman doesn't like overt displays of meta-powers in Gotham."
The smile on SUpergirl's face disappears and is replaced with one of confusion. "But...I thought I was helping? If I wasn't here, that car would have crashed into the building. People could have gotten hurt." Another mistake? One that she'll probably get yelled at over, as well.
Robin gives a faintly sympathetic smile. "You did help, but the problem is consequences. Batman calls it 'escalation.' If we use high-tech gadgets and weaponry, the bad guys do the same thing. If we start policing the city with metas, the bad guys will start bringing in metahuman crooks to do their dirty work. In the end, the people of Gotham would end up suffering. So, if you're going to be doing what you do in Gotham, you'll probably have to do it undercover."
Okay, now Kara's *really* confused. "But Metropolis doesn't have that problem. Sure there are metahuman criminals, but Superman keeps the city safe." Kare looks crestfallen. "I just wanted to help. I thought I could make a diffence here."
"But Metropolis is Superman's city," Robin explains, "And Superman's a meta, so the people there have protection from that. Batman doesn't want to turn Gotham into another Metropolis." He gives a smalls shrug. "So there are rules. You just have to learn 'em. They're not so bad."
Supergirl sighs and her shoulders slump. "I get it. No-one wants me anywhere." She truns away and starts to float up into the sky.
Robin reaches out to try to catch Supergirl by the wrist -- lightly, of course. "Hey! I didn't say that. *I* had to learn the rules before I was allowed to patrol here. Same rules for everybody."
Supergirl looks down at RObin when he stops her. She's not crying but her eyes are fairly puffy and a bit red; like someone who had been crying lot before but had stopped for a while. "I know. It jsut seems....no matter where I go, I want to try and help. And I just make mistakes and get people angry with me." She shakes her head in defeat. "Maybe my cousin's right. I don't deserve to be a hero."
Robin shakes his head a little, offering what he hopes is a reassuring smile. "Not angry, Supergirl--just wanted you to know. And maybe it's not about what you deserve. Maybe it's just about going through the process of learning the ropes. I had to train for a whole year before Batman even let me put on the uniform."
Supergirl smiles back a bit. "I didn't mean you. I meant that Batman's probably going to be angry with me for breaking the rules. Even if I don't totally understand them." SHes landed and standing next to Robin. "And it's not the training. I was learning that with my cousin. No, I made a mistake. A bad mistake. And I'm sorry for what I did. But it doesn't matter to Superman. He doesn't care why I did what I did. He says I'm not fit to be a hero." She looks down at the street. "He said I'm not fit to be a part of his family."
Robin looks pretty startled by that, and he tries to gently lead Supergirl away from where the police are gathering up the crooks. "Er, he really said all that? That's... pretty intense. But, well, maybe he's trying to protect you from making another mistake? Or, maybe he was just mad and said something he'll regret. Either way, you should decide what YOU want and try to make it happen. Maybe you can prove yourself to Superman?"
The Girl of Steel looks up at RObin, looking anything but capable of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. "That's what I was trying to do here. To prove that I am a hero. But batman doesn't want me here." Supergirl sighs, shrugging a bit. "Maybe I should try one of the other cities. New York, Chicago, San Francisco...The has to be some place that I can fit in. Where I can make a home."
Robin tilts his head a little. "Well, New York might work, and it's close and all, but -- well, I mean, if Superman's not sure he can trust you to control your powers, what better way could you do that than by proving to BATMAN that you can do it?" He shakes his head, then, "But I'm probably making it too complicated. I guess all I'm really saying is, if you want to move on, then you should. But, if you want to learn to fit in somewhere, you have to keep trying, even when people don't accept you right away."
Supergirl smiles, sniffling a little, and wipes her hand under her nose. "Yeah, well...it's kind of hard to fit in when it's the only family you have left that's not accepting you." She lets out a bitter laugh, but then takes a deep breath and calms some. "But thank you, Robin. I really appreciate what you've said. It's nice to know that at least I have a couple of friends." She digs out a device from a pouch inside her belt buckle and hands it to Robin. "Here. I better give you this back. I'd love to partner up with you again anytime, but somehow I don't think I'll be getting a cell phone anytime soon to be able to use this."
Robin shakes his head a little, a bit of crooked smile returning. "Hey, keep it. You can still page me if you push the button, and you never know when you might need a little backup. You'll get a cell phone sooner or later." He turns partly away, toward where the Batcycle sits idling nearby. "Lots of us don't really have families, Supergirl. It sucks, but it happens. So, when you're alone, you just find good friends to help you get through. That's the only way I know how."
Supergirl smiles and puts the pager back in her belt pouch. "Thanks," she says as she starts to lift off again. "And I'll try not to page you too often to hang out when I'm feeling alone. You've got your work cut out for you here." She looks out over the city, her ears catching a nosie. "Like a bank robbery 2 miles west. Alarm just went off."
Robin hops onto the bike at this information, checking the system and noting the silent alarm. "Yeah, looks like you're right. I better get over there." He looks back at Supergirl, offering a smile. "Hey, it'll be okay. You'll see. Sometimes, things are seriously darkest just before -- well, y'know. They get brighter."
Supergirl nods as she waves and starts flying off. "I know. With everything I've been through, I've got nowhere to go but up. I hope. Stay safe, Robin." And she flies off into the night, feeling a bit more positive about her life and what to do.
Below, Robin zips off on the Batcycle, taking the usual back-alley route to turn around and head back toward the bank and see about heading off the burglary before the crooks can get away.
Just another night in Gotham....