Testing the boundaries

Summary:
June 28 2014: Batman decides to test the Clocktower's defenses.

Gotham Clocktower
The clocktower.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:

  • None

The clockface is glowing in the dark of the tower, and Oracle's monitors add to the glow, her seated figure outlined against the lights as she leans forward, studying the screen. A nod and a quiet word into her microphone before she cuts that contact, and leans back in her seat, stretching her arms up, the long night emphasised by the slow movement. She drops her hands, turning the chair slightly, an adjustment of position. The lights catch on her red hair, reflecting from her glasses as she returns to the study of the screens, watching over Gotham, and the world from her perch so high up.

The Clocktower, Oracle's command center and a location Batman is quite familiar with, familiar with enough he is helping himself inside, though recently he has been rather absent where concerns of the 'family' lie. This is not unusual, this is almost ritual, it being the month of June. Just about every year since any of the younger generation of vigilante's should be able to recall the Dark Knight becomes a machine that requires no sleep and ceases any signs of humanity, a solitary creature of the night bent only on justice and cleaning up the streets of Gotham. Allies just get in his way. This month of course being the same month Martha and Thomas Wayne were killed all those years ago in Crime Alley.

To re-approach this, Batman is helping himself inside but not at all dressed as Batman, he is wearing a sleek formfitting black outfit that camoflages with the surroundings, he looks nothing like Batman right now. And one by one he is physically disarming security systems throughout the tower. This is an unannounced arrival, possibly an unexpected one. No one really knows much of the outfit Bruce is wearing aside from himself Lucius Fox and of course Alfred. From all outside appearances it looks like someone is breaking in to the Clocktower, disabling traps and cameras - it all depends of course on how up to date Oracle's sytems are and how keyed in to her surroundings she is at present time on if she is noticing this intrusion or not.

Oracle's awareness of her systems is nudged, a beep somewhere drawing her eyes to the screen and she straightens, reaching for the keyboard, a swift response to the intrusion. Her hand strays for a moment, drawing certain items into her chair, a preparation for dealing with an intruder on a more personal level. Her lips tighten, the rumours of the Joker's escape having reached her eyes within moments of it happening. The security systems before him are boosted, those behind him rearmed, and a silent alert is sent to the batcave itself, and by extension, to Cassandra and the others.

Two small throwing diskettes are hurled at the armed systems behind him, small controlled EMPs charge through the both two temporarily knock them out before a rather acrobatic leap is executed to put him over the next obstacle and in a run towards the elevator shaft that ultimately leads to Oracle. Here and there small devices are tossed spotting the hallways with crisscrossing laserwork to cover his back (or at least give the appearance) the man looks like a professional, as he should, he's the Goddamn Batman.

An electronically distorted voice can be heard, "I'm coming up. I hope you're prepared, Oracle." then static as another of those charges is released in an attempt to disable the sensors in that cover that grid. A little bit of theatrics works wonders.

Oracle's headshake is disbelief but it doesn't stop her acting and the electricity that runs across the surface of the shaft is freed to arc across, awaiting the careless or foolish in the walls. The elevator itself is disabled, parked at the top, prepared to be dropped if necessary. She seeks a visual, her eyes narrowing at the figure, her face thoughtful, "I'm always prepared." The reply is to herself, and she repeats the signal to those on her list. The sensors are bought back up, her fingers flying over the keyboard and she reaches down to flick open a hidden compartment in her chair. Her expression turns grim, the logic overriding the memories of a few nights.

"I'm counting on it." Batman's voice this time, to himself. A thrown explosive is launched in to the top of the elevator blowing a hole through the upwards entryhatch following that another bladed throwing object that pulls on the electrical arc, almost grabbing it and tugging it like someone would a net and then the intruder is ziplining his way up, a high-tensil-spiked hook shot skyward and hitting a beam, the reel already pulling the man's weight upwards. It looks a lot like their own tools just a little smaller, more compact, more advanced. The intruder is well-equipped, expensively so. Perhaps he is giving away a bit much now. Perhaps. Top of the shaft and another remote charge is tossed on the doorway as the man suspends there, a short timed fuse and it'll erupt, exploding inwards.

Babs' expression is not pleased, her gaze tracking his advancement and she narrows her eyes, the weapons examined, the screen zooming in on them. "Fuck." The murmur is perhaps not ladylike, certainly not librarianlike but she flicks a switch, letting the elevator drop, just as the explosion hits, and she ducks, the instinctive reaction unhelpful as the doorway turns into broken metal. She turns the chair to face the doorway, her face pale, anger written in every line of her body. The eskrima sticks are drawn into her lap and she rests her hands on the arms of her chair, facing whatever might come through that doorway.

"Game on." The electronic voice taunts through the smokebank created by the explosives. The obscurement doesn't even have time to clear and the man is right in Barbara Gordon's immediate melee range, a fist dropping at her jaw and torso in an up to down swing as a foot lashes out in a side-kick at her wheelchair.

As fast as expected and strong, stronger than his build lets on. The intruder is built for smooth explosive strength, like any good martial arts master and he is showing that off in the initial flurry.

The sticks move, flying from her lap into her hands, a replying attack on the author of the fist hitting her jaw, aimed at vulnerable areas. His actions see the chair flip, and she rolls instinctively, one arm reaching down to tuck her useless legs into place. The movement is designed to avoid the explosion, from the chair that flings circles of metal flying in all directions, one embedding itself into one of her beloved monitors, another into the concrete of the walls. She sits, the sticks emerging, twisted in practiced movements to cause harm to him in reach, practiced, smooth, and deathly calm.

A Jeet Kune Do like dance follows up that initial assault and the attacker stands there, hopping from foot to foot in a showy fashion. "I got in here far too easy." The man informs her, though, too easy being a bit of an overstatement. He expended a lot of tools to get this far and still isn't at the computer systems, anyone at this point would have to fight Babs and possibly another one or two members of the Birds of Prey. If it was Batgirl which would be the most likely they'd be in a world of hurt. Batman himself disguised as he is was taking a gamble pitting himself against the odds here. Could easily result in broken limbs or worse. Not something a man with his particular occupation can warrant.

"Where are your allies? I know there are more of you." Another lunge that has his leg sweeping out kicking at her torso in a heavy arc. She can block that but it'll have force enough to lift and toss her. Expect the unexpected, however.

"You assume too much." The words are soft and the leg is not blocked but reached for, her upper body strength showing itself as she aims to use his momentum to gain her own movement, a flip of her position that takes her closer to a bench, and she replies, "Unnecessary for you. If you were a threat, I'd call them." No way is she revealing that they haven't yet replied. The computers spin, silently answering a command given, and the net that drop towards him is light metal mesh, containing the possibility of electricity to flood his body, and a number of lasers fire, in answer to a subroutine she wrote.

While the firing happens, the chair rights itself, and Babs reassumes her position, the mesh's issues noted for the future. The firing gives her cover to flip open the chair's arms, her expression sober as she fires tazers through the air towards the dancing figure, aiming to immobilise, to capture, but the weapon on the other side of the chair isn't so gentle, another weapon awaiting him. The sticks rest in her lap, a waiting pattern to see the results of each weapon she uses, a test for her systems.

The heavy flap of leather rides the night wind as the slight figure of Batgirl comes in hot and fast. Barbara put out a distress call and so sneaky? Isn't really on the radar right now. The Clocktower is higher than the surrounding buildings, which means she needs to scale at least a bit of it and she blows through the first tripwire without pause. Her reactions save her, that lack of need-to-process. For most people by the time they hit the tripwire, it's too late. Batgirl reacts fast enough it looks like she noticed it at the last moment. Her body jacknifes away from where she'd have set a trap to go off.

The dance ceases and a forearm coated in plating deflects a taser wire. The other is ducked and the intruder lunges in with the same motion intent on driving a balled up fist in to the solar plexus of the handicapped woman. Which will be promptly followed up by an elbow to the shoulderblades. He's not pulling punches. You can't, this is war. They need to always be prepared, they're soldiers and he as their patriarch of sorts needs to make sure they're always up to snuff. It's his responsibility to keep them honed, trained, ready so he never loses any of them. "Too slow." The electro-inflected voice taunts again. He feels almost cruel with as much force as he put behind his attacks. Almost. He knows deep down Babs misses the streets and will savor her wounds later - like any good warrior. Someone else should be responding soon, he knows the protocol, he wrote most of them.

The weapons come up as he attacks and she ceases to aim to capture at this point, her face hardening, her strikes aimed neatly, precisely, at neural pathways, to cause pain, to harm. His taunt receives no reply this time and she aims a strike at his throat, clearly tired of the game, as the chair retreats, firing bullets as it does, Babs catching her breath from that solar plexus strike. Handicapped but not disabled, her environment a weapon, as subroutines kick into play, the floor becoming a danger to anyone that stands on it, electricity flowing invisibly, harmless to the woman in the chair.

Now that Batgirl knows that someone's laid traps, she's a bit more careful. She still makes her way up the building at a fast clip, the HUD in her mask helping her pick out some of the traps. Her journey upwards ends up being less than straight-line but she makes it to the top and into the Clocktower just in time for Oracle to try to fry her visitor.

Electrical currents are not something one just outruns but with the proper gear you can withstand it and that is what he manages before leaping upwards, a snapshot has a grapple line attaching to a beam near the ceiling and he is clinging to the wall like a spider… or a bat. A smoke pellet dropped to hit a small outcropping piece of the structure exploding, coating the ceiling above the floor in absolute fog. So his legs are on the side of numb, tingling, he's tasting that bit of metallic also. It'd take a real gifted SoB to withstand everything Oracle has already put out and one who doesn't know the woman? Unlikely. Batgirl has entered, he isn't exactly aware of her yet but as he is using obscurement to regain sensation again he is waiting. That momentary pause where everyone catches their breath before round two.

Oracle is working through the subroutines now, her face intent, her own tower invaded by an unknown person who taunted her. The beam begins to hum, the next subroutine hitting the walls, the ceilings, with the same electrical current. Her chair reverses, moving slowly towards the computers, the keyboards there. A new program is booted up and Batgirl - and the others on that network - receive a warning of the dangers in entering, preventing accidental electrocution of allies.

Luckily Babs is a bright cookie, and the warning to Batgirl comes up as a little flashing icon off to the side. She doesn't have the time to try to concentrate on words and their meaning right now. Like the intruder, Batgirl makes for the rafters, knowing that the floor is dangerous but she can't see the intruder because of the fog. She drops, hanging by one arm and her feet against the framing, knees flexed as she waits. And listens. And watches for their visitor to make his appearance so she can pounce.

More? An inward groan mixed with a sigh and the infiltrator drops landing in the center of the floor in a crouch, his hands lashing out quickly in various directions launching more of those spikes that 'pull' electricty towards them. Immediately they flare up and begin to crackle with excess intake. Not fully aware of Batgirl v2. He thought he seen movement but that has yet to be seen if it was just distortion through combat and activity. Can't /always/ trust ones senses. Not when tired and having recently been fried. Several times now.

More frying for the intruder, Babs not finding any sympathy in her heart at this moment, a fan blowing his smoke cover from the Clocktower as gunfire flares into life, Babs holding a steady pattern to aim at legs, feet, aiming to incapacity at first, working her way upwards. The rafters are made safe, the subroutine recognising Batgirl, accepting her entrance. Babs' fingers fly over the keyboard now, the chair facing the centre of the room, her face intent, anger in her eyes at the intrusion..

Another of the Bats might make sure to call out to Barbara to make sure they don't get shot. Batgirl just pushes off from the rafter she's been hanging from to fire small body like a missle at the intruder, either trusting the Oracle to know she's there and stop firing or… well, the girl aways *did* seem a little brash.

"Unf!"
The back up and it's knocking him across the shoulder like a ton of bricks all wrapped up in to a form the size of a teenager. Something so light shouldn't hit so hard. Batman / the Intruder was mid lunge behind cover only to get taken in a sprawl across the ground, one leg flipping up over the other in a rounding kick while on his back to try and lash out, fend away his attacker so he can get up to his feet and place his back to the wall. It's what he has now. Buy time, create an opening and renew. Not so easy to in a room full of sailing bullets, flying kicks and high voltage.

The gunfire stops, another subroutine recognising the pattern of behaviour, and Babs tightens her lips. No time provided for the intruder now, as another mesh drops, aimed carefully at the prone figure, aiming to trap him effectively before he can get up. Babs' network of subroutines and programs are in action, and the woman herself sits still in that chair, fighting first with her mind, with the collective mind of the computers.

Batgirl doesn't stop and pause, doesn't take a moment to assess the situation. She did that before her feet left the beam high above. She rolls away after hitting their guest, getting her feet under her and then she bends like a reed in the wind, sliding under that kick. He's saved from another attack as Oracle's mesh drops and that lean turns into a backwards roll to get out of the way.

A look up towards Batgirl and another at Babs has the man stopping and lifting his hands, shoulders dropping from a combative ready as feet slide together. A second later he is peeling the mask up to reveal chin, nose and then the face of Bruce Wayne. A bit on the scruffy side right now and he is obviously lacking in sleep but a hint of a smile exists across those familiar features, "Enough." By now Oracle probably knew it was him. Batgirl might have known heartbeats before that as soon as he moved. Can't hide much from these two.

The light returns, the electricity ceasing, and the tightness in Babs' lips is anger. The mesh falls harmlessly and silence falls. "You could have been killed. I suppose this is your idea of checking that we are ready for him." There can be no other him in that tone of voice, with The Joker on the loose, and Babs bends, adjusting her position in the chair, the hatches closed, the sticks concealed once more, and her gaze moves over her tower, a frown appearing at the sight of the doors.

Batgirl's roll finishes with her rising to her feet in one continuous spill of movement. Arms down, her cape slides forward to drape her in shadow as Bruce calls an end to things. While Barbara has her firery retort for the Dark Knight she stands here as still as the gargoyles outside. Only when Barbara turns her attention to the doors does Cassandra move forward towards the other two, reaching up to pull her own mask free. She's got a healing split lip and some bruising on her jaw, neither from this little tete-a-tete with Bruce. She looks over at her mentor and gives him a brief nod. Where Oracle's upset, Cassandra doesn't seem to think anything's wrong. Of course, Cain liked to keep her on her toes as well so really, nothing new there. Well. Less bullets on his part.

"You expected otherwise? If so you're slacking." Bruce closes the distance between himself and Oracle's computers, in passing his hand rests casually and very briefly on Cassandra's shoulder. A simple pat like one would give their kid after a football pass well done. In this instance a nicely placed almost dislocating flying kick well done - if Bruce didn't know how to take a fall he would have been in a lot of discomfort right now. More so than he is currently.

"I can say I am pleased at least. I spent a lot more time getting up here than I anticipated. Also you have made some modifications?" He glances around once before looking back at Barbara. "I've been preoccupied. I apologize for being out of touch but it was not unproductive." His hand lifts up and he extends the grapnel launcher he had used to get up the elevator shaft. "For Cass. Lighter, easier to conceal, collapses and has an extended range. A few more new toys I'll have Alfred deliver later."

Babs herself has some dramatic bruising building on her jaws, and the stiffness in her movements suggests more under her clothing, "I modified the subroutines to take into account that some people know the old ones, and to include potential responses from the known allies. There are others, of course…" That she isn't mentioning right now, and she glances over Batgirl, an almost motherly check on her, her eyes narrowing, "New toys?" He interest is there, and she nods, giving Batman himself a look that is assessing, thoughtful, checking on him, even as the memories of her own first access to those toys softens her face slightly. "There is some other data that you may need to know. Both of you." With that, she turns to the computer, ignoring the smoking broken doors to her elevator, the damage to her apartment, and the blank screen with a hole in it.

Batgirl gives Bruce an easy smile, looking up at him as he passes by and then trails after on quiet feet. Her brows arch upwards a bit in interest, giving a nod when he says Alfred will be by later. It's a small nod, but it's something. It's taken Babs a while to get the quiet young woman to be more expressive in her body language. For Batgirl it's kind of like shouting because everyone is deaf. Quiet, she waits for Oracle to fill them in, peering over the older woman's shoulder. Just because she *can* talk doesn't mean she does much.

"Improvements on older models mainly." Batman informs them while his arms fold up over his chest. No mind or thought given to the damages or the injuries, after he leaves here he'll go tan, shower then hit (on) a massuese and pretend Bruce Wayne got in to some stupid accident playing Lacrosse with the other rich kids. Meanwhile the bill will be footed for repairs on the Clocktower and things will be patched up within the week. Better even. Oracle having the mind she does will pinpoint all the weaknesses the intruder exploited tonight and do away with them. It's a routine. A painful one but a necessary one.

"About what? That lunatic clown or…?"

The nod gets a smile, a faint reward, from Babs as she brings up pictures, images, data, showing them as she speaks. "Something more important." More important than the lunatic that changed her life, took her legs from her and is now escaped and free. "Abbot Laboratories. We have been exploring their data recently. Aspect has been certain they are connected to Hydra, but I remain unconvinced. However, there are hints of an anti mutant bio weapon called Fulcrum." She turns back to them, adding quietly, "There will be a raid, I prefer it to go unnoticed." With that, the planning begins.

"Aspect? Twice now his name has been mentioned to me. I want all the information you can give me on him. HYDRA has also been a re-occurring name with this individual as well… keep me up to date if you can. I can't slow on the other leads I am following right now but assemble who you can and check Abbot Laboratories out. If they find this bio-weapon it needs dealt with, you know all of this. I don't have to tell you this but keep me informed. If it becomes something you cannot handle or that starts to spill beyond your teams ability to contain contact me, ASAP." A fingertip rises up and rubs a spot along Bruce's jawline, scratching across stubble there. "Fulcrum and the Joker should be your priorities. You find Joker before me I want you to let me know, also Deathstroke is in town - keep your teams away from him, I also want you to keep your eyes on Trutina Enterprises. Find out what you can about them. The League of Shadows may be involved. I have a few other things I'll be sending your way tonight. We're going to be getting very busy soon." More so than usual. Turning around Bruce pulls his mask back up over his face dim lights flare up along the optics.
"I'll be in touch."


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