News: 
Paragraphite

Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs Read 2213 times

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« on: January 17, 2016, 10:34:08 pm »
There were uproars everywhere. Riots in Buldhaven, that usually favored a seething, slow decay. In Metropolis, more inclined to crisp explosions and shining destruction, there was a wave of robberies. And here in Gotham, that had always been bustling with desperation and clawing darkness, there was every conceivable transgression from one person to another. Everything on a higher volume, like trying on your older sibling's headphones.

There was a blue symbol on a chest in a broken window. He usually liked the rooftop, but colleagues of his would agree that being in the open when observing wasn't always the best approach. He had seen this before. Three guys, magic number, cleaning out an apartment close to the street. It wouldn't get them enough to appease their greed, not from this neighborhood. They were doing this out of impulse, out of opportunity, or they had a system. Every little bit helps. Last time he'd fought a crew like this they'd had a big guy, a tank. These people seemed even in gait. That told him enough to make a plan to neutralize them.

The window, what was left of it, shattered and his body flew out, boots hitting the opposite wall hard enough to offer friction for his stomp. He proceeded to shoot toward the wall he'd come from, and from there he repeated the maneuver. He landed on their van, wide impact, to minimize the dent, maybe it was a rental. They looked up. How many times had he looked down on a pair with shaded eyes holding a tv, like that? The man carrying the box, five steps ahead of them, almost to the back doors of the vehicle, underlined with some swear words that this vigilante was not The Bat.

Grayson shrugged, grinning, teeth glowing light in the one bulb above. "I'm not." Bruce was hard to come by these days. Bigger missions. He wasn't visiting for Bruce, and they weren't stealing to meet the Batman, but somehow the Gotham Knight was still here, legacy alive. "But I know some tricks, too." he said as he stepped to the edge of the metal roof. He showcased a simple dive onto his feet, inches from the one with the box. Another riot, with the blue wings in the center. They'd been careful to set the tv down before, so none of the wares were hurt. When he'd cuffed them, he'd taken the time to put everything back in the apartment. When he left the two-colored lights were already approaching.

Nightwing watched them, finally from the rooftop. He wasn't Batman, so he smiled.

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2016, 01:15:00 pm »
He had been a piece of paper to her before he was a man. Alright, a stack of papers wedged between the arms of a manila folder, but those pages had not been lacking in description. Remy LeBeau was a person of interest to many and she had found him sleeping off a hangover above a club in some shithole in Louisiana. He'd gone home. But for all the reasons he was sought after, for all the bounties on his head and offenses he had given the world, she wanted him for nothing more than the woman that loved him.

It had taken work, to flush him out, to get him in a bigger city working a job that paid almost too well. She needed their conflict to be public. She needed the news to see it. She needed her to see it.

A week after she found him the trap had snapped. Twenty minutes of fists and heels felt like an hour. Cassandra Cain rolled off the hood of a car, its alarm singing loud for them. Gloved hands brushed the glass from her shoulders, her head dropping back to look down the street at him. It had started raining but that didn’t stop the various camera phones from streaming their shots of a brawl in the street. He gave a good show, this one. She’d tried to convince her buyer that he was the one they wanted but they wouldn’t be dissuaded.

Her hood was still drawn high, a black mask inside hiding the shape of her brow and the bridge of her nose even if the light got past. She felt a stream of blood rolling down the side of her face from where the heel of his boot had cut her brow. Cassandra looked up toward one of those cameras. The man holding it from his balcony flinched but didn’t dare move. A part of her wondered, before she could resist, if he would be watching. He would know it was her, wouldn’t he? Faceless did not mean nameless to them.

She turned back to LeBeau, wondering if he would get up this time or not. He didn’t need to. “You’re doing well.” She complimented. “I think it’ll be over soon.” The rain grew heavier and she started toward him, narrow body, slender. Beneath those dark clothes she was muscles and scars all over. Her voice was even, no great joy but no mercy either. “You only have to keep moving until she comes for you.” Cassandra consoled in those last few yards, pulling a dark knife from its hiding place against her thigh. “But I will have to keep you moving. You understand.” She hated talking this much, but he had brought it out in her. Chatty bastard. Infectious maybe.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 06:44:59 am »
He was with one woman, and thought of another. An old sickness. One that the thieving, innocent Cherie had cured. This wandering thought wasn't personal, not in the personal sense. Yellow coat then, cold skin now. A lively post-human turning posthumous. Careful with the play on words, Pink-eye, it's not your charm. He was on the ground, sprawled out after the fall. His fingers were spread in chunky, dusty remains of brick. He knew this substance, it had awoken his nostalgia for a friend. Yellow coat, sunglasses. Crush on Logan. He grabbed a handful of that dust and opened his deathly, pretty eyes to look up at her before she made her way down.

"Jubilee." he said to honor the image in his head before he threw the charged sand and pebbles at the shadow girl. With a little less magnesium flare and a lot more capability to hurt than Jubilee was known for, the dust would exploded close to  his opponent. He would be up, taking advantage of whatever time this bought him. He would jump, hand out toward the lowest step on a high hanging latter. Escape, she'd think, maybe. But when he swung up, he would kick himself back down and let go, sending him with his foot first toward the lady.

"Your gents have all wrong, fille noir." he'd say, voice calm even as he was flying through the air. "It is ok to hit a lady, the courtesy lies in giving her your best shot." Whether the boot connected or not, he'd still follow this attack with a swift strike from a part of his baton, other hand flipping the box open for a new deck inside his chest pocket. "you don' like no thieves, eh? Thief stole your color, fille noir?"

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2016, 01:25:06 pm »
She didn't know his reference but she understood the explosion of powder. Not exactly something to be dodged. She brought her arms up, fists curled, forearms for shields and eyes closed. The material of her sleeves singed and burned through, tearing small holes at her flesh, a few lighting up the shadows inside her hood and leaving marks on her cheeks and neck.

When her eyes opened her body was already leaning forward, pushing through the remains of that firework to follow him. Knife still hungry, like the last tooth of a great beast. He was going skyward and she followed. She would have jumped to chase but he was already coming back down at her. Cain slid to one side, ever forward to catch his leg against her side, hooking one arm around it and pulling. Turning, aiming to throw him back into the street. She would never admit it, but she liked the little nickname he gave her. She didn't have many names that didn't come with bad tastes. Cain was the name of a murderer. Batgirl the name of a pet. BlackBat the name of a solider.

He swung that baton and she made a choice. She could dodge but then she'd have to let go. She'd have to give up that nearness. Instead, she let him have the swing and focused all her speed, all her intent, on her one free hand and that hungry tooth. He needed to bleed, she'd decided. It was nothing against him. But she needed the Rogue. Others had been skeptical that he could draw her out but Cassandra was certain. She was certain that his pain and his peril would flush out that angry titan because she could imagine, easily, being flushed out by similar means. Weakness wore faces.

That tooth sought his chest. She would let it go if it found a home. His baton struck hard, clipping her shoulder, threatening bones with fractures and then connecting with her cheek. She spun away from him and too the wet pavement. Leather gloved fingers clawed at the ground to get her back to her feet--even with her ears ringing and her cheek split, she could find her legs. Cassandra Cain could sleep on her feet if she had to. She imagined, one day she would die on them. But not today.

She turned to face him again, crouched in a stance, vision blurred but dark eyes already looking to assess. "I like thieves fine. I have known many."

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2016, 03:59:02 pm »
He was happy to have the anchor of her hooked arm, that he could swing his weapon. Around the time he could feel the resistance of her face at the end of the blunt stick, he also notice a spreading, clear pain on his chest. He twisted out of the path of the knife the best he could, with momentum already wringing him, other heel adding the weight he needed, but the knife still opened his suit up. She was an unphazed combatatant.

Gambit stood up, his red pouring out to covered the pink breast of his suit. "Right for the heart." he said and snickered, legs bent, ready to pounce as he swallowed a hiss while pulling out a few cards for her. An seven, a three and a jack was sticking out of his fist, and they were glowing. "But I don't fall inlove on impact anymore, cherie." he assured her as he reached toward her and flicked his wrist, spreading his fingers to release the little eplosions that would start low and drive her high, hopefully.

In that same motion, he'd thrown the baton to the side, that it could jump off the ground and against the brick to shoot upward, roughly where she would be if she jumped out of the way of the cards the as he intended. Less options to dodge when you're airborn. It hurt to sling the cars, of course, and probably widened the gash she'd created further. He would have to end this quickly if he wanted to survive. This girl was on a mission. And he was it.

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 01:28:33 am »
The little earpiece nestled against her eardrum hummed before a familiar and hated voice hissed. "No sign of the prize." She flipped back when those cards came at her, launching herself up, away from them. "Kill him and see if that does the job." The baton came whirling at her. No where to go. She reached for it rather than flinching away, catching it in one hand and feeling the force of it reverberate through her arm, through fingers and joints and long bones right up to that already damaged shoulder. Pain was nothing she shied away from. Pain she could take. Killing was something else though.

They wanted to leave a trail of bodies to bring out the Rogue. They wanted to make things fast and bloody. Anything for the result. Anything for that special blood. Cassandra had convinced them she could do it simpler. Less trail, less news, less heroes on their asses when the job was done. She twisted in the air and landed, looking up at the red eyed mutant and holding his baton in front of her. He was a thief, a trouble maker for certain, but not a murderer. It made him better than her didn't it? His life worth a little more? Even if he was doing nothing but taking and enjoying while she toiled, lied and fought for the cause. "But you fell in love once." Cain said quietly. "Once was enough."

The earpiece sang. "We have a shot." That rough voice, demanding and annoyed. "Give the order, Cain."

She rushed him again, ducking low at the last moment, dragging that baton across the wet concrete like a match that just wouldn't light. Her goal was to come up behind him and take a swing at his leg. If she missed or he blocked she would kick at the other. She had to get him on his knees. This had to work.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 06:11:36 pm »
Nightwing hadn't been looking for her, but that didn't mean the most basic of scans didn't find her anyway. The ruckus was reported, streamed for the public, and so the batwave caught it. At first it was a small alert, but there was no real need to listen in on the police radio when he'd been in the middle of their mission, so he'd checked the smaller pings. He'd recognize her frame anywhere. Because of what he did, he always made note of someone dressed in black, fighting.

It had only been by coincidence that his shortest way to the scene had been this rooftop. The shooter was concealed between two outlets of the ac. Nightwing had seen the soles of his shoes as he waited, rifle pointed the other way. With the streamed video playing on the inside of his mask, Dick realized what was going to happen, and hurried as fast as the grapplinghook could pull. The other combatant on the video was identified by the Batwave as Gambit, a mutant with ambivalent allegiances.

Gambit read her motions. No waste there. It seemed effective, but not minimalist. He admired someone with a flavor. Gambit himself was a lot of flare, and he let was always playing, because his situation was always serious. The mutant waited for her to come up behind him before he bent his leg and leaped forward to get away from his own baton, a wide flip of his body, legs straight up and wounded chest out. The compression of his vest was still somewhat intact, the seams plentiful for an occasion just like this.

The thief didn't have the time to land in his metal boots and twist around so that his coat flailed and he could say something irresistible and clever. Instead the tension in his muscles that were ready to catch him relented, the burst that reached his torso finding its way through him and out on the other side, tossing his body back. He collided with the wall behind him.

Dick Grayson had thrown his escrima stick, but the shot had already found its target. With his teeth clenched he'd rushed the last of the distance between himself and the shooter, while the shooter cooed over the leg Nightwing had probably broken. With a swift jump, Grayson had vaulted over the sniper and landed on the barrel, bending it before he'd jumped again, cutting a wound over the sniper's eye with the heel of his boot. After having planted a tracker on the unconscious sniper, Dick hurried to the edge of the roof to see Gambit struggle on the ground.

It was a loosing struggle, Remy knew as he slid up the wall with his back to it. Blood down his chin as he gurgled a laugh. He looked at her. "You bring a rifle to a dance battle, eh?" he said with blood on his teeth as he grinned before he collapsed.

"Cassandra." Nightwing said as he deployed the hook again.

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 09:06:43 pm »
Her movements jerked to a stop when that sound rang out. She hadn't given the command. She wouldn't have. Her fingers uncurled, dropping the baton on the ground. Her shoulders pressed back, one more than the other, and she looked at the thief. It was a lot of blood. More than she'd planned to take from him today. Her heart felt tight but her mouth didn't betray her, always a stiff line and those dark eyes. She took a step toward him when he fell back against the wall. What now? Her first thought was to take him to put pressure on the wound. To take him to a hospital. To do something other than stand there and stare. But she couldn't. Or rather, she wouldn't.

He laughed and it was morbid to see. Her head turned down to watch his collapse, listening to his erratic heartbeat, jarred only by the sound of her own name spoken by the last voice she wanted to hear. She suddenly took assessment of her own body. Dressed in black, singed and burned and bleeding. Shoulder fractured. Cheek split. Could she escape a fight with Nightwing? She looked up first, above Gambit, as though she might take that leap and somehow scale the wall to flee. She couldn't outrun him like this. She'd have a better chance of fighting. Most of all, she wanted to disappear. She wanted to do anything but turn and look at him and see whatever damnable reply was in his eyes.

Cassandra Cain let out a breath and turned. Dark eyes looked up at him and she hoped they would be full of nothing in reply to everything that he was. She hoped they would not betray her, not show any regret or remorse or longing. Her lips parted and not even she was sure what would have come with her breath into the air between them.

It sounded like wind, like the turbine of a plane fighting gravity. It sounded fast. She never even had a chance to turn her head and look before it hit her, a body like a truck slammed into her and didn't stop. A smear of green and yellow  to cut down that rainy street, stealing Cassandra Cain away. Even the cameras would struggle to find more in their footage than a streak of color.

Together they crashed through walls, rose up into the sky and came back down through the ceiling of a grand old greenhouse. Cassandra Cain landed hard on soil and ruined greenery. Her vision swirled but she still climbed to her feet. Her leg was gashed and she had cracked a few ribs. The mutant in front of her looked perfectly untouched by the damage. Untouched by the bricks and glass but shaking with pain that had nothing to do with skin and bones. Supers were weak too. Bodies could be made invulnerable but hearts could still shatter.

"A'll kill you if he dies!" Rogue shouted, that southern accent thick in her rage.

Cassandra nodded. Feeling tired and sore. "He's dead." She said it even if she hoped it wasn't true and watched that titan march toward her, unstoppable and furious. Rogue reached out and those yellow clad fingers snatched up the smaller woman by the neck, lifting her off her feet. It was a strange sort of mercy, Cassandra thought, because her leg was so very sore. Her own gloved fingers rolled against her palm, sliding the tip of one under a pocket in her glove to gather up a small, clear tablet. She reached out and just barely reached, smearing that clear gell against the other woman's jaw.

Rogue squeezed and Cassandra stopped breathing. A second slid by and Cassandra watched those large green eyes widen before the grip on her neck grew weak. She landed on her feet and the titan landed in the lush foliage of false nature.

Mercenaries had descended on the greenhouse. They gave the titan a second dose before scooping her up and hurrying away to the truck. Two stayed close and looked at Cain anxiously. They were trying to decide whether to offer help or not. She walked past them and toward the cars outside, leaving a trail of blood in the form of one small left boot print.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2016, 08:17:47 pm »
Dick watched her, tried to read the muscles on her back through her new disguise. His mask told him about her injuries, and suggested a few advantageous pressure points based on that. Batman’s database was well acquainted with this body signature. A though turned the information off, so he could simply be there, with Cass, and the thief, and learn from that. He wondered if it was his hope and trust that had him read some kind of distress in her posture before she turned. Either way, he wouldn’t rely on it.

She looked like Batman turning around. Batman was all cause, and Nightwing didn’t know hers. All you could ever know was that she was dedicated. And so was the force that pulled Cassandra away from the scene. Nightwing turned to look at the mayhem the flash wreaked, carrying Cassandra. He was about to grapple after them, the short gun already raised, when he heard Gambit hiss out a breath. The blood was coming down heavily. Nasty bullet. Dick leaned down to put compression on. Easier when it wasn't on yourself. This man was done for, but that didn’t mean he was going to die, not in their world.

“Night Nurse.” He said into a mic on his collar. She answered with her breath mostly. After explaining how she could not make it this time, what with the raise in superhuman villainy and the accompanying traumas, she agreed to take the thief in. She lived five blocks from here. Nightwing was already commandeering a cab and pulling out a wad of cash.

“Non l’ospital.” Gambit said through curdled blood on his lips. Nightwing with his eyes aimed toward the holes in the building marking Rouge’s and Cassandra’s way nodded. They were part of a group that couldn’t very well check in to a normal ER, although this particular thief didn’t protect his identity very well. The mutants were prosecuted for more than their loved ones, with every crime boss worth his salt looking to build warriors, hospitals were probably a hotbed of DNA hunters. Thing with DNA is that you can get it off a dead body.

“Non l’ospital.” He agreed and closed the door. She would come down and meet the car when it arrived.

When he came to the scene of broken trunks and fallen leaves and glass, there was nothing for him. Not even Oracle could tell him where the car was headed. He was left analyzing the tracks. Rogue had been the target all along. As he squatted and gathered samples of a blue compound in the dirt, he wondered if Bruce would have figured out more from the same amount of clues. Dick wasn’t the kind to throw his fist into the table in a fit of rage. So he stood up and pulled extra hard on the line, the strain giving a satisfying punishment to his ribs when he made his way off the scene just as the cops arrived. Nurse affirmed the pick-up as he hurried toward the bike he’d parked by the bridge, and then he’d probably have to head for Wayne Manor and the cave he grew up in.

"Ou long ago, you say, Steady Hands?" he said, blinking through her window and the meds fogging his eyes. She'd removed his clothes, replaced them with bandages, and given him a cigarette.

"Four hours. Not enough time to heal your gunshot wound."

He smiled as smoke puffed out his nose and filtered through his teeth. "Nuff to stick me up real pretty, tho." he said and waved the cigarette at his chest. "You know, some people have the heart on the right side." he pointed out as he looked for his clothes. She rolled her eyes.

"Nice try. You're not my type. And even if you were, you would have to stay here." she watched him grimace as he pulled the vest back on. So much like Matt, all of them.

Gambit winked. "Now you go and break the real heart, too." he kissed the cigarette one more time and held it up to her, she took it. "Window ok or should I use the real door?"

"Why?" she asked, tongue crowded with smoke.

"Ever smelt white hair when you're waking up from a bullet, but then she's not there?" he asked. She shook her head and took another drag.

"Window's fine."

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 07:49:57 pm »
She broke his other leg. He howled and fell off the bed. They'd only just finished resetting the one Nightwing broke earlier that afternoon. Cassandra opened her mouth, about to berate the sniper for shooting without her order but what was the point? Her mouth closed and she gave him one last disgusted look before walking away. There was no point in trying to teach him anything. He worked for the Crown above her, a cloak and dagger style syndicate bent on destroying the supers and mutants of the world. Some of the soldiers were bought and paid for mercenaries, like herself, while others were xenophobes like the idiot in the infirmary. The fact that he hadn't been arrested at the crime scene meant that Nightwing had put a tracker on him. Bats loved to track. This whole safe-house was probably going to be flushed out by vigilantes or cops by nightfall.

"Get the cargo." Cain ordered on her way down the hall, the slightest limp in her step from the gash only recently stapled shut on her thigh and wrapped. Her left arm was in a black sling, an attempt to keep her from moving while those fractured bones in her shoulder healed. The doctors fussed but she knew from experience that it would heal eventually. She always healed eventually. She was wearing fresh clothes and not interested in waiting for another show. She had other plans.

The truck was humming when she came out of the building. The armed and masked soldiers beat at the heavily bolted door to have it opening from inside. She told the guard inside to join the driver and then closed and locked the doors. It started moving almost as soon as she was on board. The sterile, brightly lit innards reminded of a hospital room-- only more sinister. The doctor was humming cheerfully to himself and shuffling around the table near the back. Rogue was still unconscious. They'd stripped her down, dressed her in a hospital gown and strapped her to that table. Bags of her blood hung on the wall, swaying when the truck took a hard right toward the side of town and the airstrip there.

Cain leaned against the wall and looked at the table. Rogue looked human. She might even feel human when she woke up after all the drugs this lunatic had been pumping into her. They had plans for her but they couldn't use her until they got her to a secure location and no transport could be safe if Rogue was her usual self. This doctor, disgraced from his homeland and driven underground after some of his more twisted experiments were uncovered, had been itching to get his hands on Rogue.

The woman on the table stirred when the truck bounced on a bump. She mumbled something. Cassandra was sure she'd heard the name 'Remy' and then she woke. Eyes snapped open but the flare of fury wasn't there anymore. Just confusion and then panic. They welled with tears as she tried to look around.

"Oh. You are awake." The doctor said with a smile and came closer to her. Cassandra came closer as well. "I was hoping to get some answers out of you before we arrive." He admitted with too much glee. Cassandra sighed and then punched him hard in the side. She felt two of his ribs crack and watched from the side as his face turned violent shades of red, eyes bulging before he lost consciousness.

She looked back at Rogue and watched the woman fall back into unconsciousness before setting about her work. She took the IV from Rogue's arm and then unstrapped her, rolling her off the table and letting her fall heavy onto the floor. She was tough, she could take it, Cain decided. She dragged the woman by her ankles to the end of the truck, closest to the doors and then unlocked the storage lockers along the side of the room to pull out the body bags. She had set this up the night before. Corpses from a morgue no one kept tabs on. A woman in a hospital gown she put on the table and strapped in where rogue had been and another woman she drug to the spot beside the table. She put her things in her pockets, her knives and her gadgets. A waste, she thought, but it might do the trick for a little while.

Rogue was starting to wake up again, mumbling and looking back at her groggily. Cassandra came closer, taking out the last item from her pocket, a small detonator. "Try not to remember this." Cain implored before opening the back door of the truck. Air rushed in. The street behind them was empty, they were on the skirts of Bludhaven. "He'll save you." She said more to herself than the Rogue and then kicked her out of the truck to have her rolling on the street.

She would wait another turn before leaping out herself and blowing up the back of the truck. It would be a fiery explosion, setting off car alarms for blocks in either direction.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 07:03:24 am »
"Find anything, Master Grayson?" a familiar voice asked behind him. Dick looked up at the big screen mounted on the rock wall. Alfred didn't always ask for facts, not like his true master. Alfred asked for you.

"Compound in gel form. High-tech."

"Dangerous?" Alfred continued. Dick shook his head.

"No. Effective but not dangerous. It's actually on par with Br-- Batman's pellets, but more precise." he said. It felt as though he was back in school, and Alfred was checking that he'd done his homework.

"So, Cassandra isn't doing this to hurt people?" Alfred said. Always the mother.

"Or she needed something from Rogue." Dick said before the chemical mixer beeped and produced three vials. He walked passed the butler to pick them up and put them into compartments in his right glove. "A mutant known as Gambit was shot while fighting her, Alfred. Not sure we can trust her this time." It left a bad taste to say things he knew Alfred didn't want to hear. The older man held out the silver tray and Dick took a cookie. It wasn't as sweet as he preferred. Protein boost and caffeine in the chocolate chips. He took another in his other hand and nodded at Alfred. "Any sign of Bruce?" he asked, eating, spraying crumbs.

"Less I know, he says."

"Yeah." Dick agreed. Alfred had Bruce's trust, but that didn't mean Batman wouldn't try to protect him. The alert from the tracker sounded and Dick had to make short work of the second cookie before getting seated on his bike.

"I'm sure you could take the car." Alfred insisted. Dick looked over at the one with a ram and grinned.



The ram had not found its use during this pursuit. His eyes were narrowed, not unlike the trademark expression of the man who had trained him. She was close to Bludhaven. It was hard not to take offense. With power over speed in this vehicle, it had been hard to pick up velocity and make the turns. Most batmobiles, though, performed better in these categories than any old van. Dick flipped the cover open from the switch. It was just going to be a love tap. One that would demolish most of the back of the van.

This plan changed when the backdoors opened and Cassandra showed herself. He was sure she would know to get out of the way if he released oxygen into the combustion, but almost killing someone wasn't really his style. He gasped when she produced the mutant that had come for her, tossing her onto the road. Nightwing had no choice but to veer. With added help of the oxygen, he was able to force the batmobile further out of its original path, crumbling brick and concrete.

He found his way out of the rubble soon, sprinting toward the yellow and green parcel Cassandra had left for him on the road behind the now destroyed van. He looked around while his mask scanned Rogue for injuries. Nothing mayor, the stats said. And nothing on the rooftops that he could find either. Of course there wouldn't be. Deducing that it was safe, he sat down to lifter her, rest her in his lap.

"Anna Marie?" he asked. Batman made sure to know birth names. Like Gambit though, Rogue didn't seem to have an emotional attachment to what her parents had named her. He put some tenderness in his smile, letting go momentarily of the suspicion and anger he felt toward Cassandra, which was a courtesy you got when the former boy wonder saved you, instead of the dark knight. "You're going to be fine."

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 01:03:45 pm »
So much for a clean exit, Cassandra thought when the boy wonder showed up a few minutes too early.

She stood from where she'd landed to look at the now burning truck on its side. The rims were still spinning though the tires were mostly eaten by flames. She watched the two men in the front cab pull themselves out, one staggering off to the side while the other hurried around the back to fight the flames. It was almost valiant.

From the shadows she watched the driver make a run for it when he heard the approaching sirens.

The brave soldier managed to pull the mad doctor from the wreckage. Cassandra might have been proud of her explosives and placing him in just the right corner to survive if a part of her wasn't so disappointed that the man was still alive and that any of it could be credited to her. He was badly burned and wailing pathetically when he crawled on the sidewalk. The soldier tried to carry him but he was a tall man now hysterical. The police would catch them and the doctor turned murderer turned scientist for hire would have a file large enough to buy him a nice spot in Black Gate, but not before he told the investigators that the burned bodies in the truck had been two women in his company. He wouldn't have names for them. Nothing more than Rogue and Cain.

Cassandra could predict how it would go just as she knew how easily it could all be unraveled by Nightwing. Her head hurt and it wasn't alone. She limped away from the scene in search of a bed and a new plan. This might buy her and Rogue a couple more weeks--maybe only a few hours if the mutant was found alive by the wrong people.




She coughed and sat up, her arm throbbing and her cheek scratched from the tumble. "That bitch pushed me out." She mumbled, not realizing it was aloud. She took a few more deep breaths and then looked around at the dark street and then up at the stranger. Her whole body tensed when she saw his mask. What the hell was this? Halloween? Her head throbbed so violently that she cringed, pushing at her temple with her fingers. When she opened her eyes her vision was moving, lights slithering from side to side. "What's wrong with me?" She asked, voice small. "Where am I?" Her voice started to pitch with panic, breathing coming in irregular. Who was the woman in the truck? Why did she push her out?

She looked up suddenly when his words caught up with her, staring back at him. "Who's Anna Marie?"

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2016, 07:02:56 am »
He saw the changes in Rogue. At first she was cerebral, angry, offended. That worked for her. She wasn’t too hurt. Nothing lethal. This was starting to smell like something Bruce had concocted in the past. A lot of close calls, but without fatalities. Not really Cassandra’s MO, and enough to leave the dark apprentice doubting her ill will. Still. If blowing things up and shooting people wasn’t questionable behavior at least, he didn’t know what was.

Rogue continued to deteriorate in his arms and his grip on her shoulder tightened slightly to give her some comfort. “You’ll be alright.” He assured her again. “This is Bludhaven.” Some pride leaked into his voice at that. His place. The city that was his own ward. The edges of his white eyes sharpened when she asked about her own name. “Rogue.” He answered to see if she preferred it. His head tilted slightly to receive no such recognition. “You’re Rogue.” He pressed. “And I’m Nightwing.” The ram was growling somewhere inside the belly of the house it had ruined. The large car started to find its way out again, slow and angry, like a beast, indeed. It came over the rubble, the coat intact somehow, to wait by his side. Well done, Fox.

 

 

“Yes. Ah-hu.” Gambit said. It hadn’t taken too long to learn about this group. Low risk, wrong criminals though, but the middlemen served as a kind of filter where everything could get stuck. Remy didn’t mind wading through the sludge. They had been playing cards, gambling away money they’d earned doing exactly what Gambit needed them for. He’d come in hot, left two unconscious and two others in the corners, nursing broken limbs. The last one was bent over the table, head upside down off the edge while he was trying to explain through his swelling lips they didn’t know anything.

“m all for games, men.” Gambit said, staff resting on the trader’s chin and pushing against his throat. He could flip the long weapon and crush his throat, but he was sure the more pressing threat was that of the pain the pressure caused. “I like ‘ards. I like theadre. But ain’t got no time, evening like this.” His other hand was holding three cards, stolen off the table. Glowing magenta. “So show yours before I show mine.” He looked around. “Who got the list of snipers in town? You seen the video. Who done that?”

They wouldn’t have the answer, but they’d give him enough to keep going. He’d thank them and leave.

The names were crossed off rather quickly. Everyone wanted short conversations in these times, bustling with crime and new superpowers. Everyone had their own agenda, pressure point. He was making his way through the ranks of contractors quickly, asking about Fille Noir and referring to the video of his almost death. If nothing else, he’d be shaking up enough ruckus to attract them to him. He’d get Rogue back, and then thank Fille Noir for taking care of her.

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2016, 02:49:27 pm »
She shook her head, brown hair and that white streak swaying, already a mess from her long day. She tried to stand, spurred on by the car rumbling and dragging itself from the building. Was someone else in it? Her legs crumbled when her vision swayed, head lulling back and eyes almost closing before going wide, as though she'd lost consciousness for only a split second. "No. No." She mumbled breathily, shaking her head. She looked down at herself, struggling to focus her vision against the faint blue and purple lines cutting the shabbiest of designs across the thin cotton hospital gown she was wearing. Her arms and legs stuck out--pale and fleshy. "What happened to me?" She asked, voice pitched in confusion. "I don't know any Rogue and I don't know you." She sounded firm on that, as though it was the only fact she had to stand on.



Cassandra Cain cut a slow but steady path to one of her safe-houses deep in the slums of Gotham where there were just too many people of interest to be noticed at all. Sometimes the zoo was the best hiding place a predator could ask for. She didn't bother turning on the lights when she unlocked the apartment, kicking the door shut behind her and hearing all of those bolts slide into place, the door suctioning to the wall when it was sealed. There were plenty of other entrances and exits for an acrobat or a thrill seeker, but she found doors were where the least desired intruders usually came barreling in.

She stripped on her way to the shower, the bathroom light soon the only glow in that small loft of darkness. She was speckled in bruises as though someone had splashed paint on her. Her shoulder was entirely purple and black and her face and neck welted around those little burns from his explosions. She nodded once at her reflection--about what she had expected, and then got into the shower. She would make quick use of it before turning on the tvs to take in the news and possibly getting a couple of hours of rest before dawn. She closed her eyes under the water and remember a quote she'd heard bad men mutter, "No rest for the wicked.".

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2016, 07:28:51 pm »
The Rambat seemed to scare her. Understandable. The way it was carrying on, it seemed almost alive. Alive and angry. He raised his hand at it when she managed a halfway standing position. The patterns stitched into the Kevlar glove were recognized by sensors in the car and it powered down, but not before the door had slid open. That hand came out to catch her once her attempt at standing came to an end. He stood, one arm around her. Rogue was a behemoth with her strength, but she didn’t weigh much compared to other hard hitters he’d fought. Bane came to mind. He started leading her toward the passenger seat of the car. “You’ve lost your memories. We’ll get you help.” He said as he held her up toward the seat he’d now designated for her. He’d seen this kind of thing before. “What would you like me to call you, then?” he offered. The smile was soft, but the nod insistent that she get seated.



Gambit looked at the door and sighed. He was feeling the effects of the wound. Nurse had been good, but she couldn’t turn him into Wolverine. He popped the lid off a yellow plastic can and poured a few pills into his mouth before placing the container back into his coat. The man at the door didn’t like the look of the mutant, but this was not a well-dressed club. A few charming words, and Gambit was in. He borrowed a cigarette from an unknowing passer-by and lit it with an equally borrowed lighter. A few discrete questions later and he came upon a booth with three muscle and their paycheck.

“Looking to have someone shot.” He said. The man in the off-middle nodded.

“So I hear. Fifty. Half now, half after.” He was unkempt and smelled like every poison this place offered. Remy liked him already.

“Kinda much, fifty.” He prodded. “Not looking for anything fancy here. Just a guy on a roof with a long gun.”

“Yeah? Well I want Miranda over there.” A hairy finger pointed at the pretty lady in a green dress. “But we can’t get what we want without money. One of my guys came back to me in pretty bad shape.” Red eyes hosted dilated pupils. “Mutant assassination gone wrong. Good thing mob owns this precinct.”

Gambit was sure to hide further in his hanging hair. “Give you some time to get another man. I get the money, too, so you can get Miranda, there.” He said before leaving.

He slumped in the alley between the building he’d been in and another run-down house. He knew his breathing was atrocious. Better rest now while he waited to stalk them. They’d lead him someplace worth while. He opened the yellow can again. “Guess you’re dinner.”

Ara

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 905
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2016, 02:13:36 pm »
She let him help her up, pushing her unruly hair behind one ear, that streak of white always trying to get free. He urged her toward the car and she was surprised to find it empty. "Ah guess, Anna Marie is fine." She relented, not feeling right about making up a name for herself. "You're sure it's mine?" She sounded skeptical. It didn't sound like her, but what did she know?

She climbed into the car and felt, with surprising certainty, that it wasn't the first time she'd gotten into a stranger's car. "Do Ah know you?" She asked, rubbing her arms and realizing that she was wearing a hospital gown and nothing else. "And who was that in the truck? Why did she throw me out?" She sulked in her newly appointed seat. Already she had asked too many questions and she still had at least a hundred more. Nightwing. She recognized the name. Gotham. No. Bludhaven. At least he wasn't a criminal. Was she a criminal? She shook off the thought. This didn't seem like arrest treatment.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Belfry Bayou Bullets Bangs
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2016, 07:46:45 pm »
He had answered her questions, agreeing to that Anna Marie was indeed her name, and that they did not know each other. He'd given Cassandra's alter ego for Rogue to ponder, and that honestly, he didn't know himself why she did what she did. He could offer very little solace, but was grateful he wasn't bringing down Clark-like vengeance on himself. She seemed more grounded than most amnesiacs he'd encountered.

He considered driving her to one of his apartments right here, in Bludhaven, but realized he wouldn't have the gear to properly examine her. Somehow dealing with Cassandra fallout made this a family problem, and he didn't feel as opposed to using Bruce's equipment to sort it out. The Rambat wasn't the most technological of the cars, but it had autosteering, and could well finds its way to the mansion. With a quick flip of a switch, he made sure Rogue couldn't see out the windows. "I've got a secret hide-away. I prefer you don't see it." he explained. "The seat turns into a gurney if you'd like to lay down." he offered and pointed to an unmarked button on her side of the control panel. An earlier version of that function had kept the little Robin occupied for a few minutes in the early days.

The platform spun them. Home. It had been a quiet ride, he’d given her a printout file of the mutant known as Rogue. None of the intimate secrets, just well documented abilities and a few relationships described. He wasn’t sure she’d open it. He offered his arm to lead her out of the car. She should be just fine. Dick smiled when he saw the little table with steaming food on it. Alfred couldn’t very well greet them and give away exactly under which mansion this cave was. “Food.” He said with a gesture toward the pheasant and croquettes. Can’t take the butter out of the butler. Two plates. Dick smirked and shook his head. “If you want to leave you’ll have to tell me. You’re not a prisoner here, Anna Marie, but I don’t want you to know where we are. I’ll drive you out. If you want to stay I can possibly help you get your memories back.” He pointed toward a hole in the wall, not far from the cylinders holding the old suits. “There are living quarters in there.”

A new bulletin crowded the screen of the base unit of the cave. Dick turned his masked face thereward and watched as downtown Gotham was torn up by its inhabitants. His fist clenched when a seemingly average citizen pulled a street sign out of the ground.