|Cracking an Egg|
|What: A conversation between rivals is interrupted by Robin and a new player in town, while Oracle provides backup.|
It's never a quiet night, when it concerns crime in Gotham. Major or minor, there is always something occurring under the assumed protection of the evening, as if the setting of the sun also lowered inhibitions. Ever since he had tried to arrange for Mr. Carr's release from imprisonment, Bane had given strict orders that those remaining in his current crew were to stay out of trouble. Not in those exact words, but close enough as to make no difference to the intent.
Tonight, though, he had finally lifted that restriction, giving different orders to different people. It's one of those directives that leads to the altercation tonight: one connected 'employee' of a mob boss being sought out to be drained of information by one of the crew. The thug in question had waited until night, of course, as most people were asleep and it was harder to be seen when accosting an individual while in shadows. He had simply waited for his target to pass by the alley in question before a casual question of: "Hey, buddy, you got a light?" commenced. The question itself was deliberate: he'd seen the other man smoking earlier in the day. "Mine's busted I think." A fact he demonstrates by futilely clicking his in-actuality devoid-of-fluid lighter. And that was enough to get the other man close enough to slam him against the wall.
"Just kidding. I don't smoke. My boss probably wants to smoke yours, though."
Another night, another patrol. Batman is really running us ragged. Someone has been playing fast and loose in his city, and boy does the B-man take that personal. Moving across the rooftops, its simple chance that places Robin leaping over the gap of the alley above right when one man slams the other agianst the wall. The Teen Wonder rolls to a stop, and slinks back to the edge to take a closer look.
'What have we here?' the Robin thinks to himself, shifting his mask to low light enhancement mode and pointing a small mic pic up at them.
"What the h--" that thought is stopped when the mob's crony is slammed, hard, against the wall. It isn't really a fight, a fist slammed to pull the wind out of the other and reduce resistance. The talking is going to be one-sided, mostly.
"We want a meeting with your boss. That's what the hell is going on." Said with a sneer in his voice, Bane's crewman has a good grip on the other's throat. "You tell him, mine wants a nice little chat with yours. Somewhere nice and private. You even think about cops, a hit, or anything just as cute, I've been told to break you more than a bottle of wine at a christening. I'll make sure to take my time, too. I got some good pointers on how to do that from the boss. You should have /seen/ what he did to Jimmy. Never seen anyone die from a broken bone before.
"So. Yeah. Your boss. Mine. Two weeks from now, or we get to have another nice little talk. We'll be in touch."
It's there the henchman for the mob is released, allowed to fall on the ground, and that includes a hard kick to the ribs just before Bane's crewman is scribbling something on a piece of paper. "You give that to your boss for where, or else."
Never one to pass on such a perfect attack of opportunity, Robin takes a few steps back, and then leaps off the building. His cape billowing behind him he pulls a pair of weighted bolos from his belt, and sends them hurling towards the feet of the meeting maker. About halfway to the ground, the teens cape goes rigid, and arrests the momentum of his fall, letting Robin land soft and silent in the alley, with only the slight whisper of the cape relaxing into a pool about him.
Robin moves forward, batarang palmed in his back hand, just in case there is some unseen backup.
No backup, tonight, but not defenseless all the same. While you gain the element of surprise, thereby tripping the crewmember arranging for a meeting with a mob boss, he did pack a bit of heat with him all the same.
"Shi- agh," sprays out of his mouth, as he goes down, while the man he assailed is trying to do the opposite: get to his feet to run. He's not going to stick around while Robin is distracted, that little scribble on paper in his pocket falling out and forgotten about in his attempt to escape. The instigator of this whole mess isn't trying to disarm your trip; instead, there's an ample opportunity to use that batarang as a standard firearm is brought out from being tucked in his belt. His aim is you, of course, not the mob thug. "If you have unexpected company," Bane had told him, "/deal with it/. Try not to leave a body."
'Gun!' is the immediate thought as the Thug goes for his sidearm. The razor sharp batarang is thrown and the offending wrist lighting quick even as Robin ducks low and jumps left, hoping the gunman over sweeps with the barrel and misses. The running man is ignored for the moment.
Accuracy is a problem when one is lying on the ground and trying to react swiftly. He's no government agent or expert marksman, this one, so the first shot will hit the wall, missing you completely. On the other hand, you're trained by one of the world's finest, and have the upper hand. It's therefore almost absurdly predictable that the gun won't last long in the downed man's hand.
And through all this, the runner keeps running, /especially/ when a shot is fired. He's not going to stay, and if anything runs faster on account of the bullets, even if it didn't hit him.
"Gah!" comes the cry as the batarang strikes the man still tangled up in the legs, struggling against the instrument that dropped him in the first place. "What the hell are you?" he demands, a bit disconcerted now.
An approaching, cloaked black shadow, with gleaming white eyes. Robin learned the lesson well of letting your opponents imagination work for you. From underneath the cloak, Robin silents extends one half of his collapseable bo staff and locks it into place. Genius here is gonna try for the gun again, or another weapon stashed. Be ready. "Simple question. Are you going to tell me what I wanna know, or do we get to discover is you're half as tough as you think you are." The teen growls at the downed man.
"Screw you!" the thug on the ground says. He might be afraid, especially since he's not quite to the point of realizing you're not who he was warned about. "You can't do anything to me! They'll catch you and lock you up you freak!" The bravado has its origins; this man just needs to think back to what happened to 'poor Jimmy', and the 'lesson' that was taught there, to shiver. It'll take a bit of effort to break him into squealing, in other words. Those eyes aren't wider just from the sight of you.
And during this start of interrogation, the mobster hauls ass out of here. He's going straight for his transportation out of here, not wasting any time at removing himself from the situation.
With a sudden burst of motion forward, Robin gets close. Real close. Bringing his face within inches of the downed man, half is cloak draping over his entrangled legs. "Oh good. We've got a tough guy. Tell me tough guy..." the boy says, clipping a d-ring to the bolos wrapped around the man's legs. Just as fast as the boy was in his face, Robin steps back and fires his grapple gun into the air. "Do you fly?"
The bolos are hooked by a length of steel cable..to the grapple that was just fired. The human pinata, Robin once heard Nightwing call this. Ole!
Fzzzzzzzzzzz, and up he goes! "Aaaaaaaaah!" comes the expected response, as he's suddenly hauled vertically by his feet. "Put me down!" A futile effort, to say that, but he'll try that, struggle, the usual reactions one would get. He's scared now; of the things he was told to expect by 'interruptions', being held off the edge of a building top was not part of his imagination. Guns, knives, things like that. This? No way in hell.
"Screw you, kid! Screw you!" Even now, there's a bit of defiance, despite the sudden trip skybound. It's all he can muster, though; let's be honest, this sort of thing would give most people the jitters for a /week/. And maybe a fear of heights too.
||"I read you, Teen Wonder. What's the status. Do you need backup?"|| The androgynous voice of Oracle comes loud and clear over his earpiece. She must be back from Sunday dinner with her dad.
Robin takes a moment to carefully pick up the dropped note and slide it into a plastic evidence bag, before sealing it and placing it into his belt. He pulls his secondary grapple and fires, pulling himself up to the roof so these two gentlemen can have a nice chat. ***Negative. It's contained. He was meeting with another goon." Robin responds into his comm, before tapping a few buttons on his wrist computer. ***Sending their mug shots now.***
Robin leans over the railing a moment and points a small camera at the hanging goon. "Smile." he quips, before sending the image off to Oracle. Okay, procedure followed, the Teen turns his attentions back to the goon. "It's a simple question, really. I wanna know who you work for. And trust me...if you think you're boss is scary. Just stay stubborn, and I'll introduce you to mine. Now here is how this is gonna work. Those bolos....not the most secure. I'm sure you can already feel them slipping, right? I'm going to stand here, until you talk, and then I pull you up. Otherwise...." the boy trails off and looks over the edge, making a huge display of 'looking down'. He whistles before continuing. "That's a long drop."
Oracle runs the photos against facial recognition for the GCPD and FBI first before dipping into her own database. Babs sips a cup of coffee, safe and sound in comfy PJs in the clock tower. ||"Running their faces now, Robin."||
Click. That picture would pull up a dossier when cross-referenced with databases. This one strung up by his heels was uncaught by GCPD, but the other is tagged as having done a little time for assault, with a notation for possible mob involvement -- as if that wasn't obvious to the Boy Wonder at this point, based on the prior conversation between the two men.
"Fuck your boss," the hanging man says. Were it not for the blood rushing the wrong way - towards his head - he'd likely be a bit whiter. "You know nothing about mine." Clearly he thinks nothing is worse than his boss, not even the risk of a broken neck, especially when he says things like this: "I'll take my chances with your fucking fall you fucking freak!"
Robin taps the release button just for a heartbeat. Just so that the defiant man falls...two or three feet and then stops again. "Whoops." the boy quips. "Sorry. Itchy button finger."
He places on foot up on the lip of the roof and takes a moment to look around, making sure this little game isn't attracting any attention. Not likely at this time of night, but like the boyscouts, always be prepared. "You're absolutly right!" he calls down to the goon. "I don't know anything about your boss. Tell me about him." Button press, another short drop. This is kinda fun....
Batwoman wasn't far away, speeding through the streets on patrol, when she saw a car speeding past her, going almost as fast as she was. Curious, she decided to see what the driver was running from, and changed her course.
It doesn't take her long to find the location she was looking for, or to find a quiet way in the back. Using the shadows to get closer, she frowns up at the interesting scene on the roof, then turns her attention to what is happening on the ground, slipping a hand to an ear of her mask and murmuring, "Got an interesting situation here, Colonel. And it looks like I'm about to crash a party already in progress."
||"Contestant number one has no priors, Robin. Contestant number two has been in for assault, possible mob connections. Are you sure the clean one isn't an undercover cop?"|| Oracle asks. A clean record on a Gotham baddie is a rarity. She taps the keys to bring her satellites overhead and into range. ||"I'll get a top down view for you shortly. If there is a bust happening and you just stepped in it, there will be squad cars nearby."||
Elsewhere in Gotham, this conversation is being listened to. A simple bug that each of his ... messengers is carrying, just in case, with a listener to each of those conversations should those messengers be out delivering the word to their respective targets...
One was shot to death, his bug having been discovered, while the second and third were unscathed, and now this one... "Place a tip to the police," Bane is saying, at the moment Robin 'slips' with the grapnel. "Tell them you heard gunfire at Jonas's location and think you saw the felon escape." That should possibly allow for a diversion to get the man back home into the fold, as it were. "Go there after and report," he also instructs the man who had alerted him to the 'situation'. "If asked, you're there to pick up Jonas after he called you to pick him up over the shots fired. Go. I want to listen to this."
"Waaah! Aah!" and equivalent sounds are what come across the device on him, as the man drops a foot or two. "You -- don't know -- what he'll do to me. I'm -- saying nothing!" It's a gamble, admittedly, letting out weaker minded fools to do his dirty work, but the object lesson of 'poor Jimmy' will hopefully stay fresh in the man's mind. So far, so good, even if the strung-up goon is weakening a little if only by giving hints now. Pity.
The Teen actually hesistates a moment, stepping back away from the ledge. ***You've got a close up on his face. You tell me if he's a cop. If he is though, this guy deserves an oscar for keeping his cover story.*** Robin says over the comm. ***Not to mention he's scared as hell of his boss, whoever he is.***
The teen looks over the ledge again, hitting the rewind button on the remote grapple line, making poor 'Jonas' fall another inch or two before being pulled back up to the roof.
"I want a name." Robin growls, waiting a heart beat. If he doesn't answer in a heartbeat, Robin flicks the release button again, dropping him several stories this time before pulling him back up.
Batwoman makes a decision, and steps out of the shadows. Positioning herself under Robin's 'hanged man' she tilts her head back and smiles up at the pair. "I'd tell him what he wants to know, if I were you." She calls up, "Because if he lets you go, you just might have to deal with me. And I don't usually play nice."
Babs zooms her satellite cameras in on the location after hearing the strange voice. ||"You have more company, Robin?"|| she asks, even as she tries to get a clear picture of the woman.
This is no undercover cop hanging here, just a man who somehow has been very lucky at dodging the cops, if not caped crusaders and other vigilante figures that go thump in the night. Robin will have to resort to dropping the man several stories, earning a prolonged shriek of terror rather than a name, the goon's form falling those stories before stopping and, slowly starting to rise again.
"Wha --?" There's /two/ now? "Ohhh shiiii--" is what comes out of his mouth as the grapnel brings him back up. He might be close to gibbering out everything, but there's still that simple little matter on his mind of being a dead man if he talks. He knows who's listening on the other end, all but breathing over his shoulder.
And during all these few moments, the 911 call is being placed, from a cell phone that's clearly on the move, the man on the end keeping the report brief until dispatch clears him from the call. There'll be a log, sure, but if there's one thing that's easily arranged, it's replacing a cell after having to use it for emergency contact such as tonight.
Robin blinks a moment, then shakes his head and blinks again as he looks down at a woman in a bat costume. ***You are not going to belive this. Target number two on the list just turned up. Our unknown Bat-wannabe.*** Robin comms, to Oracle. The teen reaches into the belt and slaps one of the microcameras down so Oracle can have closer eyes on the scene. ***Are you seeing this?***
Jonas he leaves for the moment, letting the poor man catch his breath and the blood to pool a little more on the wrong end of his body.
"Well." Batwoman tilts her head a little, "There's two that you see. But as for those you don't? You'll just have to guess. So I suggest that you start talking." She turns her attention then to Robin, smiling at him (and for the camera she hasn't noticed yet), "And as for you, we'll talk later."
Babs toggles over to Robin's camera so she can snaps some shots of this alleged Batwoman. ||"Nice duds. Is she on our side?"|| she asks. ||"We may need to arrange a meeting to chat with her. Do you have one of my burner phones to give her?"|| Oracle begins running facial rec on the woman too, but her costume covers so much of her it's not likely she'll get any hits.
The man hanging is perfectly fine with not being interrogated. Being ignored actually is a /good/ thing, for once. It helps him compose himself - to be sure, it's infinitesimal an improvement - but the more he avoids questioning, the better. That's why, despite the blood still rushing to his face - that's not good for you over time, remember - he's going to keep his mouth shut...
And try not to whimper too much at the thought that Batwoman planted in his head at the possibility of /more/ super friends coming along.
All this, of course, continues to pass time so that the police, and the pickup for poor Jonas, can arrive. The strung-up man himself is most certainly not going to try to call attention to himself.
All right...different tatic time. Robin plants, and graps both of Jonas' feet, pulling up to the roof top. 'That should buy me a minute before she gets up here.' the boy thinks before he steps over poor Jonas, and just starts slapping the shit out of him, working his way down the man's body. Heavy weighted gloves, upper hand, blood rushing back into the poor goons legs....that's gotta hurt. All of it is just a cover however, with a deft sublte motion one slap hits the man in the bottom of the boot, embedding a tiny tracker into the rubber sole.
"Give me a name!" slap slap slap slap tracker slap slap slap.
"***I've got a burner.***" he comms to Oracle. ***Let me know when she's almost up here.***
Batwoman watches the boy pull the goon up, her face betraying little. She does, however, murmur a small "My, my." to herself before moving back into the shadows to find a way to join the pair. A fire escape around the corner provides what she needs, and with the quick grace due to her training she makes her way silently up.
Babs watches the woman's progress and counts it down for Tim. ||"Bat-stranger's ETA to your position is 5... 4... 3... 2..."||
If the violent sounds bother the man listening on the other end of Jonas's bug, he gives no sign to anyone. Of course, anyone who is able to see Bane right now wouldn't notice any change to his features. Complete equanimity to the violence, and therefore yelps and more transmitting over the bug planted on the man. "Jonas will need a doctor's visit," Bane remarks on his end. "Contact Orion and update him on where to take Jonas. Have him stay there until /I/ see him."
That visit will be memorable, for the man involved. He's squealing in pain. "I -- can't!" he manages around blows. "He's -- just -- the boss!"
As Oracle counts down Robin shifts quickly and turns to keep an eye on the new Bat when she reaches the roof. He pulls a batarang and keeps it palmed, trying to look nonchalant about all this. No...I wasn't just slapping the shit out of this guy...you saw nothing....
"You're new." he says to the woman, sounding almost like his mentor as he keeps the comm channel open for Oracle to hear her voice. Jonas gets another break for a moment. Lucky man.
Batwoman slips out onto the roof right in time with Oracle's countdown, looking in the direction of the Boy Wonder and his prey. Again, there isn't enough of her face visible to show any surprise that he seems to know exactly when she will appear. There is a pause, though, after he makes his announcement. Then a shrug. "New to you, yes. New to Gotham too, in a way." She turns to Jonas with a sympathetic smile, and adds, "You should start talking soon, before you start loosing teeth."
Oracle watches and listens, typing notes in as she does so. Her coffee is getting cold while she observes the new Bat female. As the former Batgirl, she is invested in this.
'Interesting,' is the thought on the other end of the bugged Jonas. That interaction is filed away for later. First, though, is the matter of Jonas being reacquired to be... debriefed. "Orion," Bane is told where he is standing, and he removes one of the earpieces so that the cell can be heard as well as the chatter from the other electronic device.
"Can you hear the police yet?" he asks the man he sent to retrieve Jonas, as well as tip off the police.
"Barely. They'll be a few more minutes." Those sirens might be faintly perceptible in the background now, but 'a few minutes' may be enough time.
"Not in sight yet."
"Stay on the line until the police arrive. Destroy the phone and the card if you think the two of them see you. Do /not/ be caught."
And as this goes on, Jonas himself is trying to crawl away, to inch himself across the rooftop towards the edge. He just wants to get some distance, even if he won't have any hope of actual escape.
Still keeping the batarang palmed in his right hand, Robin slowly pulls one of Oracle's burner phones and tosses it in a high arc towards Batwoman. "A friend of mine wants to talk to you." he says, before turning back to poor Jonas on the roof, sliding the palmed batarang back into its hidden wrist sheath.
"Hear those sirens?" he asks the man, moving forward to him before he can crawl too far. Robin places one hand on the bolos still wrapped around the man's legs and one more on the back of the man's belt. "That mean's I'm gonna give you one last chance to answer my question, or one last chance to fly. Your call."
Batwoman pulls a hand from under her cape and plucks the phone from the air. She glances at the piece, turning it over quickly and looking over all sides, before lifting it to her ear. The interaction between Robin and Jonas is watched carefully while she listens, though for now she stays out of their conversation.
||"Hello there. My name is Oracle,"|| says the androgynous voice on the phone. It sounds computerized. ||"You may have heard of me. I think we should probably have a chat soon. You're operating in the Bat's territory, and he gets a bit testy about that sometimes. You can use this phone for 24 hours to contact me and set up a meeting place and time of your choice and I can give you Batman's usual spiel about being in Gotham and his rules. Or you can come work for me."||
Despite himself, Jonas starts to laugh. It's not a mocking laugh, it's not an amused laugh. It's almost pure hysteria, what makes him shake in that apparent and sudden bout of mirth. That, plus the small bubble of hope on why he's hearing the sounds of police in the distance, are the factors that make him start to nearly sob. Some of that is even relief.
"Those cops aren't coming for /me/," Jonas gets out around the noises emerging from his throat. "Go fuck yourself!" He'll settle for flying, apparently. "HELP! HELP HE'S CRAZY! HE'S GOING TO FUCKING KILL ME!" Might as well give the police a show for when they arrive.
Flight it is. Robin sends the poor man back over the edge with a grunt and lets the poor guy fall. A line catches and slows his fall just enough so that nothing breaks when the poor bastard comes to a stop a whole eight inches from the ground. Leaving him dangling for just a moment, Robin then cuts the line, and drops him to the alley below.
Turning back to Batwoman, he studies her a moment he he reloads a fresh line into his grapple gun and then retrieves his micro-camera. ***Need anything else from me here?*** he comms to Oracle.
"I'd certainly like to hear about Batman's rules. I will call you in the morning." Batwoman replies, an irony in her tone when she says the word 'rules'. She snaps the phone shut when she's done talking, slips it phone into her belt, and looks to Robin. "Looks like its time to be scarce. And like I'll be talking to you again soon." She nods to the boy, then turns and drops back down the way she came up, heading for her bike and out of the Bowery for tonight.
||"We're five-by-five Teen Wonder. Check in with the big guy. He'll want to know what you learned here ASAP. I'll update him on the redhead once I have a meet set up. Oracle out."|| His comm goes quiet in standby mode.
Never one to stick around for Gotham's 'finest', Robin too makes his exit, after one last peek over the edge of the building to make sure Jonas survived the short fall.
With one out of the way, and a loud "waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaoof", it won't be long before Mr. Jonas is collected. Robin and Batwoman /might/ notice the pickup vehicle arrive, but it will also come with the cops.
"Oh my God, what the hell happened to you?" One picks people for their ability to lie, and Orion has that gift for faking behavior. Which is why it won't take him very long to get Jonas away from the police - neither one have a history, another reason for this specific choice - and stating that he was 'assaulted by costumed freaks' doesn't help. It also helps that Orion gets a hold of the gun in question before police notice it, too. There's still a deposition to be made, though, a lie that both men manage to cook up on the spot - he was minding his own business, heard the shots, and Orion was coming to get him because he sure as hell wasn't /walking/ after that. Especially after being mugged by those 'caped freaks'.