Speaking Karate

August 14 2014: Cassandra Cain and Richard Dragon talk about lunch… to the confusion and alarm of everyone else.

Gotham City Street

A crowded street in one of the not-horrible parts of Gotham



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The afternoon in Gotham is an entirely different creature than when the sun sets and night takes it. After the hour of noon, the city is hectic with people rushing hither and yon. The sidewalks are filled with crowds, the streets have the steady rumble of traffic punctuated with the occasional soundings of car horns and loud voices. It's the time of day when the day is almost over for those in business, but for other folks who make their living in the night… this is almost their morning… or perhaps… lunch time.

A few blocks from the Brickskeller building, Dragon has taken this time to move about the neighborhood and tend to some matters that required his attention. The purchase of a building is no easy thing as well as just tending to moving various belongings from one place to another. Luckily, kind of, he has the air of a young woman walking beside him.

It's to this young woman that he murmurs sidelong, even as people walk by, "Just the hardware store left to go." As he looks at her sidelong he rubs an elbow with one hand, frowning to himself as he thinks also that it'd be a darned good time to get something to eat. And if _he's__ thinking of food chances are that Batgal is way ahead of him.


Not only that, almost as if she were telepathic, Cassandra can tell that Richard is thinking about food. There's an almost frustrated sigh, as if to say 'finally'. "Store… after." She says in that slightly broken, monotone manner of speaking she has. She glances around, having to think about it a moment to know where they are with the sun up and from ground-level. As they're near Chinatown…

Cassandra moves lightning-quick, no heads-up or anything like that. There's the slight turn of her body, weight shifting as she reaches out to try to catch Richard's wrist in an Eagle Claw-style joint lock. Northern Chinese?

Cassandra is wearing a black tanktop and kahki cargo pants with combat boots. Her hair hasn't really been cut so much as hacked at, leaving it at different lengths. It has at least been combed but tends to stick up a bit at times in odd angles. When the sunlight hits at just the right angle, some of the old, faded scars can be seen along her arms and shoulders that her tanktop leaves exposed.


Gotham again. Thomas isn't a huge fan but he can think of worse places to be. He's here as a favor now to the GCPD (who are big fans after that mess in Battergate. Oy). Not on the clock, per se, but helping them look into a few things that have dead ended. Helping them kick up a few cases to the federal level. Trying to not help them with this Neck Twister business and failing miserably because they really want his help and unless he can convince he's boss he's too busy (he's very busy, maybe not too busy) then there's a decent chance that's gonna get dropped into his lap too. Well, a guy can hope. Right now it's lunch time. And here that means…

Mmm. He's actually not sure what that should mean here. Usually in Gotham he's actively pursuing a collar, not walking a beat. The marshal looks down at the big black dog walking beside him. "Find us something good to eat, Virgil." Chow hound can find anything. Before Virgil has a chance to properly get to work, though, rapid movement out of the corner of his eye catches his attention. It's a cop thing.


That small commotion grows all the more as suddenly those two people down the sidewalk are clashing with abrupt and precise movements that seem almost staged in their elegance. As people walk past they suddenly hurry all the faster, breaking into jogs lest they catch an errant foot or fist, though having no idea they're perfectly safe.

That lock is broken with a twist, turning away from her thumb, countering with a shor flattened fist, blocking. A low kick is fended off, then he turns and adopts an sudden change of stance that has his fists up near his eyes and one foot up balanced on the ball of one foot. A series of short sharp kicks lash at her shins, though somehow they're not moving too far afield, just standing within five feet of each other and moving together.

For the knowledgeable they'd see the first stance of savate, the series of movements almost from a textbook. To Cass, however, it seems to mention that there's that French place a few blocks down.


The grimace that Cassandra gives at the suggestion of French could be taken for dismay at being 'attacked'. The dark-haired girl twists, turns, steps, and finally blocks the series of kicks aimed her way and seems to mimic them back to him. Except each strike falls noticeably short. He doesn't even need to move to avoid them. Not enough. French restaurants never want to give you enough food.

In the turning, it's put her near some trash stacked up on the side of the sidewalk. Cass grabs the old broom, putting the head down and stomping to turn it into a makeshift jo staff. She spins it about behind her and about in a dizzying sort of display before swinging it towards Dragon in a very opening-move attack as she takes the proper stance for it. Japanese?

Luckily people have backed away by now, but even those accidentally too close are easily avoided by Cassandra, stepping over just so, so that the end of the staff won't connect with anyone. It's certainly an odd occurrance, and Dragon tops Cassandra by nearly a foot in height and more than a decade in years.


Sadly, Thomas doesn't speak martial arts. "This…" He mutters to Virgil as though the dog could carry a conversation with him. "This is why I dislike Gotham. Come on, buddy. Looks like lunch will have to wait."

He starts to cross the street, the dogs claws making 'pat-pat-pat-pat' noises at his side.

"Hey! Break it up!" He calls over in a chiding voice. When that doesn't produce results he lays a hand on his service pistol - though he doesn't unclip it from the holster yet. He's got enough of a hand to hand background to see that both 'combatants' are very, very skilled.

"Ugh. Virgil. Get 'em." The dog bolts from Thomas' side as he calls out loudly enough to make the crowd part. "US MARSHALS. BREAK IT UP!"


As Cassandra's technique lacks 'oomph', Dragon laughs faintly, shaking his head. Then as she steps back to seize the jo staff he observes her twirl it around and strike that first stance. His nose crinkles slightly as that wooden stave swirls over him as he ducks, then beside him with a /clack/ as he slips to the side.

Dragon only has a moment to counter with the first movements of kalaripayattu as he is able to slam the edge of one foot down to trap the staff for a moment, then to shatter the haft with one hand abruptly splitting it in two. He whirls the long broken rod around even as he matches stance with Cassandra as if to remind her of 'The Fishtail Kitchen' which is further away but worth it with their delicious Indian cuisine.

Yet the match is suddenly drawn to a halt as they both hold their positions, squared off and ready at the shout. Dragon looks over his shoulder, cocking an eyebrow as he looks at the man and the dog, then looks back at Cass.

Perhaps sheepishly he asks, "Yeees?"


Cassandra Cain brightens a bit at that suggestion, flowing from the Japanese stick-fighting to match Richard's style and moving in closer to him even though he's got the 'weapon'. Punch, kick, step. They slide around each other without actually making any serious contact, despite moving at full speed and coming so close it sure as hell looks like someone should be coughing up blood.

As they freeze in eerie synchronicty at Thomas' shout, Cassandra leeeeeans ever so slightly to the side to peek around Richard's larger body at the closing Marshall. Dark eyes blink at him and the dog. Her head tilts slightly towards the street, a subtle movement meant for Richard. Should they run?


The man who shouted at them turns out to be a young choctaw man with an unamused expression on his face and his hand on a holstered gun. The dog… at least isn't growling. It's sniffing, glancing back at Thomas as if to say something's not quite as expected here. Y'think?

"Okay break it up people." That's addressed to the crowd now that the fighting has stopped. He turns back to Cassandra and Richard with a sigh, displaying his badge.

"So just what the hell is going on here?" This close he can see now that neither of the two are hurt and the mannerisms aren't those of people who are upset with one another. Plus Justice isn't telling him what the criminal mind is thinking next which is usually a good sign that no criminals are involved.

"Impromptu martial arts matches on the streets are not something I remember about Gotham. This'd better not be a new flash mob craze."


The older man turns around to face the Marshall, just a moment after he gives a faint shake of his head towards Cassandra as if to tell her that they don't need to run, Not yet, at least. Dragon smiles openly to the other man as he says simply, "Oh, terribly sorry." He straightens up, all hint of a defensive stance shifts to one of a conciliatory look. He holds the broken stick in his hand and then frowns as if thinking to himseld, 'How'd this get here?'. The stick is tossed to the side underhand into a nearby public waste bin next to a bus stop.

Smiling easily enough, Dragon tells the fellow, "We didn't mean any harm. We're… street performers. Some of the time." He smiles openly.


Cassandra Cain easily slides into Richard's shadow, and more than just putting her mostly out of sight she has a manner about her that seems to say 'don't mind me. I'm not that interesting'. Despite peeking out juuuust enough to watch the Marshall around Dragon. Realy. Next to him she's kind of tiny. Her gaze slides down then back up, taking in so much more than Thomas is wearing before glancing over to the dog. Her head tilts to the side a bit at it, curious as she lets Richard talk. Her shoulders hitch up a bit, and lips press together to keep from silent laughter. Liar, she teases him.


The dog is less easily fooled than the marshal about such hiding. It approaches closer. Police dog mode: off. Pettin' fiend and chow hound mode, re-engaged.

"I see." Thomas clearly doesn't quiiiiiiite buy that. However no one has broken any laws, and even if they had, he's not GCPD. Just on loan, which makes him inclined to be a bit philosophical about the whole thing.

"Well… maybe warn folks first? Heck I'll bet you could get tips if you set a jar out." People will watch anything. Just look at TV.

Thomas hand slides off his gun and he sticks his badge back on his belt. "Virgil!" The dog looks over at him as if to say 'what'?


"We try to start slow and then near the end after the crescendo… well, you probably understand." Richard spreads his hands. "It's a sort of art piece in a way, how fear can turn to marvel, then to celebration. Though you're right, we should perhaps say something at the start. But the surprise… well." A small shrug of his shoulders are given and then casually he glances over towards Cass and eyes her, as if to say silently, 'quiddit.'

Turning back to the man and his dog, Dragon gestures to the side. "We'll just head on and see what we can find for dinner. Sorry again for such a disturbance." And who knew that Dragon had such a talent for talking so much nonsense?


Cassandra Cain goes down onto one knee right on the sidewalk, still standing behind Dragon mostly because she hasn't bothered to move. She pats her knees for Virgil to come over so she can offer her palm and pet the dog if he allows her. She doesn't seem be paying too much attention to Dragon's conversation with the cop, but the slight glances she gives that way makes it clear at least to the former she's paying attention. There's a quiet snort at the gibberish he's weaving. Virgil's fur is ruffled and then she looks over to Richard. smacking the back of his knee to get his attention and hugs the dog around the neck so Virgil's looking at Dragon with her. Can they bring the dog?


"It's fine." Thomas waves Richard's apology away. "It wasn't what it looked like and clearly you weren't trying to hurt eachother. Just be careful, hrm? PD and SRD are a lot less nice about that kind of thing these days." He looks over to see his 'partner' getting petted. "So Virg. Where to for lunch?"

The dog grins at Cassie, then looks over to Thomas and glances down the street.

"That way, huh? Lead on, chow hound."

Virgil licks Cassandra's hands and wags his tail happily, then gets up and takes a few steps down the block, making sure Thomas at least is following. He smells indian food.

Thomas has no idea where he's going.


"We'd just decided on Indian food," Richard says as he falls into step beside Thomas even as Cassandra starts to run and dash around, playing with the puppy and chasing each other. "There's a decent one five blocks down or so and one over." The tall man slides his hands into his pockets, and Cass can read the silent words in Dragon's body language as he tries to project an image of harmless normalcy.

"It's called the Fishtail Kitchen, they have a lunch buffet." His eyes drift over towards Cass and though she might not hear his words she can read in that crooked smile of his and the hitch in his step that he's teasing her from afar. "All you can eat, which some people prefer. A lot."


Virgil barks at Thomas before going back to playing with Cassandra. "Mmmm. Been a while since I had good indian." He watches the silent woman play with his dog.

"What's that Virg?" Cause it really sounded like an agreement with Richard vis a vis indian food. "Might head that way myself." He looks between Richard and Cass. "Though I wouldn't want to interrupt anything."


"It's a big city, can't hardly fault you for taking up advice I just gave you." And as he says that he offers his hand to the side as the two men walk down the street, "Richard Drakonovski." He gives his real name curiously enough, but perhaps simply feeling safe enough that there's little enough to dig up save at the higher levels of the intelligence community.

"That's Cass. She's my partner, we kind of try to make Gotham a better place with the occasional display of art." He nods and looks across the way, "It's not much but it's a living."


"Well at least someone is." Thomas smiles. "Thomas Nashoba, US Marshal's service. I'm normally out of New York but I'm down here in Gotham… quite a bit." Thomas isn't worried at 'all' about people digging up what he can do. If they do, then they'll know. It's not like the Marshal's service makes a secret of it.

"Pleasure to meet you Cass." He nods to the smaller woman. "Quiet, ain't she."


A nod is given as he walks, "She takes her time and chooses her words," Dragon admits quietly as he walks, looking off in the distance. He pauses at the crosswalk while the red hand forbids their advance so he turns to face the man as they speak, "So what brings you to Gotham? Not that this city has too many law enforcement officers, quite the opposite actually." The red hand changes over to a walking green man. "Always seems like something is going down in the city."


"I'm on loan to the GCPD, is the best way to explain it," the Marshal shrugs as he keeps pace with Dragon. "I have a specific area of expertise and it's not a common one, so it actually happens to me fairly frequently. I've got a lot of work to do here in Gotham anyway, so generally it just ends up that I pursue both at the same time."


"It seems a lot of roads end up leading to Gotham," The older man scratches at the stubble on the side of his cheek as he walks, giving a token jog so a car turning right can go earlier than it might. Once they're on the sidewalk again he continues wandering towards the restaurant. "Well if you like we can share a table and continue this conversation. They also have tables outside so your pup should be welcome." Then he lifts his grey eyes upwards, "So long as the weather holds."

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