A Batgirl Misfit

November 28, 2014: Oracle tracks down the Batgirl lookalike out on the streets and talks with her.

Clocktower - Gotham

A locally famous landmark, the Gotham Clock Tower is located in the Central Business District. Tours haven't run in years, though, since the building was bought out by a group of bird-lovers known as the Nightingale Society. Still, it's a well-known part of the Downtown skyline. From the outside it looks unused, but the clock is clearly maintained as it still runs on time, and now and again people can be seen coming and going. The bottom floor looks mostly disused, with a long hallway ending in a bookshelf full of coffee table books about birds. To either side of the hall are sparsely furnished rooms. The walls show illustrations of local Gotham feathery sorts, and charts on bird migrations. Cabinets store various bits of bird-watching equipment.

The doors to the stairs require a key card to access, probably to deter vandalism. The upper floors are only accessible by a secret elevator. The doorways to access it them the stairs have been bricked over and drywalled. On the living quarters floor, each door requires a keycard and voice recognition, except for the door to the training facility at the end of the hall, which requires palm, optical, and voice recognition. The top floor, however, is the most secure of all.

The pale glow of the four massive translucent clock-faces dominate the four compass points of the lair, casting everything in a warm light by night, and cool light by day. the natural brick walls of the buildings exterior are left visible on one wall while the others are painted a pristine white. The ceilings have recessed and track lighting, and the floors are smooth pale wood. There is a lounge area and even a kitchen, as well as other facilities here. The insulation around the top floor is meant to keep scanners and eavesdropping equipment from being able to image what's inside.

Mainframes and back-up generators line most of the walls in rooms of clear glass kept from overheating with with high-tech coolant systems. In front of one clock face is an enormous computer system laid out on a long, custom desk, lower than average, just the right height for Oracle's wheelchair. There is a command chair for use when needed, which slides on rails along the length of the desk. A huge bank of monitors are arrayed in a horseshoe shape around the desk, with the ability to form one large picture or individual smaller ones.



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Mood Music:

Gotham. To picture it is to picture Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November. Dangerous and chock full of crime, despite the bat family policing it. Some ambitious scholarly sort has probably done socialology papers on why Gotham never seems to get a lot better.

Misfit is out on the prowl as she has been since she made her debut about a week ago. She has on her very best, and only, Batgirl costume. Sure she knows there is a batgirl out there in Gotham. Still she is all dark and not at all like the original batgirl. No inded, Mistfit idolizes the original batgirl and her knock-off homemade costume is definitely original batgirl homage.

Oh look, mugging in progress! Misfit 'bounces' onto a closer rooftop and then hooks a batgrapple and line. It is a good question as to where she got a bat grapple. After bracing she swings down hard feet first into the mugger, launching him into a street pole and preventing a nice lady from getting her purse, or worse stolen. BAM.

There she is again… the original Batgirl knock off. Oracle watches her monitors as the look alike stops the mugging. Enough! Time to speak to this young lady. Oracle's prepared, she's been watching this one for a few days now, she hits a button on her console, enters some information, hits the send button and sits back - watching and waiting.

From a nearby courier depot, not one block from where this Batgirl lookout stands, a bike courier heads out… they are taking the most direct route to where this ''Batgirl'' is.

Misfit watches the lady she just saved run off in an utter panic and sighs "Geeze not even a Wow your so awesome Batgirl! or .. You are my hero.. or heck even a Thank You!" she pauses and looks as the mugger gets up and tries to stagger away the other direction, oh right, mugger. She pulls out .. what looks to be a bat-a-rang and launches it .. complete with the pink tip of her tongue out of the corner of her mouth with concentration on getting this right. She has been litterally practicing with stolen bat-a-rangs for weeks now to get this right. Success is it clonking the guy on the back of the head and knocking him out.

"Yes!!" she jumps up and down a couple of times with her fists pumping in the air now and then trots over to get her bat-a-rang back.

Oracle watches all this with bemusment back in the Clocktower and then smiles slowly as the bike courier comes into view.

*ding* *ding* The courier rings his bell at the strange looking woman in a homemade costume. "Ah, I have a delivery for you." the young woman on a bike says "Well, you match the description I was given anyway. Do you go by the name of Batgirl?" The bike courier hands over her clipboard and pen "Sign here… I didn't know there was a convention in town today."

Misfit totally brandishes her bat-a-rang at the Courier for a minute there. "Oh hey…. um…" she is totally off her game there lowering the bat-a-rang for a moment. "For me?" she raises the bat-a-rang once more menacingly there "Is this some trick of the Joker! Or the Riddler!" then the guy is calling her batgirl, or well goes by Batgirl. She softens some "Yup that is me!" she signs the clipboard /Batgirl/ then puzzles handing it back "Convention?"

Taking the clipboard back, the bike courier passes over a small package. On the outside it says

With a ring-a-ding-ling, the bike courier is on their way again.

Misfit checks it out, turning it over. She tucks it in her pocket and then races along to snag the grapple line and at the end of the long run she launches using the planted line to swing herself up and make her way back up to the rooftop.

Once on the rooftop she goes back to studying the package "The hell." she mutters and then carefully opens it, ready to 'bounce' if it starts to blow up or spray Joker Gas or something NeFaRious.

It takes less than a second for Oracle to track where there interesting young woman has gone. The video feeds centre on her… the red head in the clock tower, narrows her eyes.

When the Batgirl look alike opens the package, she'll find a simple mobile phone with a label "Press Send"

The costume is, well pretty much an homage to Bab's batgirl. The cowl is probably the best part of it, and gloves. She is actually wearing blue jeans outside that and it looks like a t-shirt. Misfit turns the phone over in her hands now, studying it. "Okay… man this better not blow up or something or I'm going to need to get some vengeance…" She carefully presses send, ready again to 'bounce' which hasn't been caught on camera yet. When it doesn't blow up she lifts it to her ear.

In the Clocktower, a single dialogue box appears on the screens … == Incoming Call == and a number. Oracle smiles whilst watching the young woman crouched on the roof tops. Tapping her comms unit, the woman replies "Hello Batgirl Mark 1, I am Oracle."

Misfit nearly drops the phone there, she does in fact fumble it for a moment. Oh gosh, The Oracle, there are rumors on the street. "Uhm" she articulates perfectly for a moment when she gets the phone back up to her ear now. "Oh my god! That is amazing I mean … hi there! Right… hi" she has this goofy grin on her face while she talks into the phone "This is really The Oracle not someone trolling me?"

"Well" the redhead in the Clocktower begins… "I don't live under a bridge…" the line will go strangely dead for a long moments. "I've checked, there are no trolls here. I'm really Oracle." Oracle now shifts forward in her chair, the lights from the monitors casting a strange glow against her glasses "Who are you… I know you're not Batgirl… I know them personally you see."

Misfit doesn't miss the, them, "Wait a second.. that new batgirl.. the goth doomy black one with the dark costume… " she wrinkles her nose "I dont know why she couldn't do the original look.. the original batgirl is so much better…" she pauses a beat "you said you know them.. which them… batman and robin too… and.. I could be batgirl.. Im doing a really good job and I at least look more like batgirl." she does seem to even be a redhead, wonder if it is bottle or natural.

Oracle smiles at the younger womans engagement "In truth, I meant Bat Girl Mark I. The ''them'' is a recognition that gender is insignificant and our language incomplete." Oracle pauses "We have a batgirl, so you can't be them… but tell me about yourself… maybe there's something I can do to help."

Misfit frowns at that "But.." she trails off and gets up from her crouch now and starts to pace as she holds the phone up talking into it. "Well.. I'm not really sure. I mean you might be Oracle. You might not be. This could be a plot by the Riddler, he is totes nefarious you know. Though you aren't speaking in riddles and you do sound like a woman.. so I guess probably not." she looks around slowly "What did you want to know and can you prove you are The Oracle?"

If a digitally altered signal can sound feminine … o.k but Oracle doesn't believe it. "I can send you image after image, but how about; I can give detail after detail about your background. But really, any self respecting hacker will have that information and more. Simple fact, I can't prove I'm Oracle anymore than you can prove your Batgirl Mark I" No snark, nothing… the voice is emotionless

Misfit tries to puzzle through that "This .. well okay sure I mean I am not the original batgirl.. she was awesome… way more awesome then this new batgirl and I was just trying to be the best batgirl now." she pauses "Gods I am totally babbling… hold on this is too hard…" she disappears with a flash of pink and purple smoke on the camera.

"Woah…" okay that woah totally came from right behind you "This.. is amazing!" the girl you had previously on your cameras is right behind you, still holding the phone up to her ear as she gapes at your monitor and computer setup.

Babs DOES NOT swear… but she might with the young woman appearing behind her. Taking a long deep, centering breath, the red head says "Welcome, who are you?"

Misfit is still looking around "Well Batgirl hopefully.. I still think I can do it." she takes it all in "I'm super good with computers. Well mostly video games." she steps up to check out one of the monitors now. "You really are the Oracle.. that is amazing… this is all amazing." she touches a keyboard then looks to you tilting her head "So … I guess since your in that chair it means we aren't going to fight it out like superheroes do when they meet for the first time…"

== Give me patience ==

Oracle kills all the screens and the go black. When the other woman touches the keyboard, Oracle almost growls.

"You are not Batgirl … " the older red head states firmly. The chair, her disablity, is not mentioned. "We have a Batgirl, it is not you… and I wasn't auditioning for new recruits. The fact you've seen my face… " there's not threatening tone "is a major security risk."

Misfit makes a little noise of disappointment then steps back now. "But… " her shoulders slump there. "I'm no security risk. I wouldn't tell anyone who you are…. I mean whoever you are other than Oracle." she squints at you not recognizing you clearly by her expression. She deflects and displaces for the moment the anxiety of this not going like it was supposed to in her head the first time she ran into a batfamily sort. "Wow this place is great though. I have a great place too, my mom is a movie star and we live in a mansion." she pauses a beat then looks back to you "Well I need to be somebody if not batgirl. You guys need me! I got TONS of Dark Vengeance!"

== Everything needs a label ==

"Yes, this place is great and it's not somewhere people are normally allowed." the Redhead known as Oracle allows before she smiles very faintly "You are Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe… I know your background, please don't try that sort of thing again."

Oracle tilts her head, "I'm not sure we need you… but I'm willing to be convinced."

Charlotte looks, alarmed is about the only thing one could surmise from her expression even with the cowl, her eyes wide there. "What… you… " she steps back putting some distance between her and you. Her eyes look hurt there. "I don't know what you think you knw" she is really afraid of what you know, she doesn't like even thinking about her background at all. "Or who you think I am, but .. I might not be batgirl but Im somebody .. I am a superhero." she clearly wasn't ready to be confronted with the truth about who she is for some reason. She says it so fiercely desperately proud. "Maybe I don't need you… you ever think of that.. I don't need anyones permission… I dont!"

If Babs is getting a dump on Charlotte, things that pop are school records (dropped out in her senior year), she is 18, her ispace.com and other social media profiles, which went pretty dead about six months ago, a much more recent link to an ispace.com for a Batgirl, age: 18, profession: awesomeness, and some quick blog posts about super heroing. Police records, take a bit more time to crunch but not much for Oracle, no juvie record but…. her family (mom and sister) died six months ago in a horrible fire in the slums of Metropolis. No movie star mom, no mansion, no other relatives except an unknown father. Eighteen so no foster system, no anything really or clue from those records what became of the young lady. The landlord got time served despite being a slumlord and responsible for seventeen deaths that night. Hard to say how long it will take to crunch through and actually see the background you claim to have on her this moment, but oh you will. You are The Oracle after all.

Oracles explained this to Midnighter previously, the more data to crunch the more wetware required. Numbers can only tell you so much, it's the intellect required to interpret those numbers that matters in the long run. The fact Oracles's got so much so quickly from the youngster, is telling.

"No, you don't need us, that's clearly the case. But understand if you keep this sort of thing up in Gotham, you will mean Batman and he's….." Oracle smiles slightly before her tone flattens "Not as nice as me."

Blowing out a breath, the green eyed woman sighs deeply. "Why don't you tell me your story, why you chose this verson of Batgirl and what you hope to achieve…"

Charlotte takes a deep breath and puffs it out looking around the room now, not making eye contact for sure. Deep breath, don't panic, don't cry, can always run away. This is simply not going how it went in her head. In her head she was going to be beating up the Joker, Batman and Superman both wanting her around. Joining the JLA because the ywanted her awesomeness.

Charlie steps and picks up a small batgirl figurine off near one of your computers. "Because she was awesome. Because she was my age and totally beat up criminals and made them pay for what they did to people." she holds the figurine out at you "you think she was awesome too." irony oh irony. "I've got .. abilities.. dunno why, always had them, and with them I can help.. I can dish out dark vengeance on the bad guys." she finally looks to you "We can be friends… I have lots of friends. I'm the most popular girl in school you know." totally not the truth based on her old social media accounts or the fact she isn't even in school anymore.

The older woman sits back in her chair and folds her arms whilst the younger woman places with figurine. "Well… yes, she was pretty awesome, but she really was one of a kind" Oracle cocks her head "I've seen one of your talents, tell me about the others…" it's said encouragingly, her tone low and soothing…

Charlie worries her lower lip a bit and sets the batgirl action figure back down reluctantly, she totally had one of those before the fire. She shrugs a little "I bounce." must be what she calls her teleporting. "Im in really good shape.. I mean not like superman strong or flash fast but I am really strong and fast." hard to say what might be exagerations or not, the momentum could explain the swingline and mugger, and the bat-a-rang could have been lucky. "Ive been practicing a ton with the swinglines and the batarangs." why swinglines when she teleports, she must really be a bat-fan. Also she isn't tripping your motion detectors in the Watch Tower… somehow. Probably doesn't even know she isn't tripping it. "Is Batman really not nice… I figure he would be nice to his friends since he has so many people helping him around town."

Oracle just sighs… "Batman is…. Batman and he doesn't like people who encroach on his territory…." it's a warning and the Oracle pauses "Bouncing… and you got in here with it…" Oracle does not look impressed… Pursing her lips she considers before asking "Where did you get the Batarangs from?" On her lap is a tablet… she flips it over, takes a quick look at the screen and puts it back in her lap facedown.

Charlie looks around again and touches the figurine before stepping back away again. "Oh… well the bats tend to leave them behind sometimes when crime fighting.. collectors have some… cops have a pile at the station…" she can't afford it from a collector, and she is being evasive. Impound may be missing some batarangs and other gear they found in the course of crime scene collections. "Im not encroaching I'm helping." maybe she doesn't know what encroaching means. "Lots of people help… Robin.. Nightwing.. Batgirl…. lots more too."

A very small smile appears on Oracles face at the young womans /not/ admission. "Ah I see… " she says quietly before adding in a slightly more formal tone "encroach is like 'muscling in' and really, Robin, Nightwing and Batgirl… they've all been picked by Batman to help. The others who 'offer' help and just start helping… " Oracle sighs at the thought "are shown alternatives." Oracle gives the young woman a very curious look "You want to help by … fighting?"

Charlotte gives you a look that has a lot of teenage well duh in her eyes at that. "I'm really good at this." okay not really good at all, she has obviouly had no training in fighting based on the camera feeds you saw, but she did manage to take out several criminals despite just swinging at them fast and hard now. She puffs up some. "I need to help Oracle.. I need to help stop the criminals.. they cant be allowed to get away with hurting people." … hurting families and getting away with it is unsaid. "I belong here… batgirl was my here and metropolis.. doesn't need someone like me with Superman and those guys there. You guys need me…" god she hopes you guys need her by the tone involved.

"You mant want to help, Charlotte but you are untrained. People who are untrained in the field normally end up critically wounded or dead." Oracles words are direct and slightly sharp before she relents "I know what they're doing to our city, I really do… but I will not put someone in harms way to stop it." Tapping her fingers against her arms, which are still crossed, Oracle looks at the young woman very critically.

Charlotte shifts and puts her hands on her hips "I .. am training though and I have my bouncing. I totally hit that mugger dead on with the bat-a-rang tonight. I've been practicing every day for weeks and I am really good with it now." she snags it out of her pocket and holds it up, she is holding it right for throwing. "I.. don't have the other gadgets but I am sure I can learn how to use all of them."

Oracle nods… "Training is good, but training without someone show knows what to isn't all that effective. Do you know how to use the Bat-a-rang to not kill someone?" the red heads arms are still crossed and she has a serious look in her eyes.

Charlie starts to open her mouth to rebutt then closes it, then tries again "I didn't kill the mugger" well she hopes. "I hit him with the um…" gestures to the bat-a-rang "This blunt part here… I've been practicing tons.. I figure this is how they totes manage to not kill people… though the wings are really sharp.. I totally cut the hell out of my hands at first." she shrugs sheepishly. "I also figured out that you don't throw a punch with your thumb in the fist.. I think you break your thumb that way.. hurt a lot but I learned…" she sort of rambles hyperactively there.

"And this is the type of thing I mean about training. How much do you want to go fight crime in Gotham?" Oracle asks in low clear voice… not taking her eyes from the younger woman.

Charlotte frowns "I'm not sure your getting it, I dont want to… I have to fight crime here." she is very earnest and serious when she says that, she may be flippant and deflecting about a lot of things but she seems dead serious about this one. Why Gotham, well probably because this is where the hero she idolized did it. She totally has an embarrassing number of fangirl posts about Batgirl on her inactive ispace account.

Oracle nods at the younger woman… "I see… a Batgirl fan, who's been practicing on her own and thinks she knows how to use a bat-a-rang that she's got from somewhere…. " letting the silence grow between them Oracle then adds "What if you were to have a mentor to work with? Someone to show you the ropes etc? BUT… you would have to listen to and do everything they tell you in relation to your training."

Charlie's eyes widen a little bit at that, because wow that would be amazingly awesome. "That would be awesome!" she gives voice to the thoughts she is having then she looks less sure. "Oh.. um…" she looks a little sketchy there "Um.. probably not all of them.. I mean.. Im not very good at following instructions all the time. I can try?" hey that may be the most honest thing the young woman said all night. Maybe that is a start.

A small amused smile appears on Oracles lips at Charlies little admission "None of us really were either when we started, but we learned. I'll see if I can find you a mentor to work with… but understand, if they give me an adverse report… the training will stop." Oracle tilts her head as she thinks "and when your mentor thinks you're ready, I may have some small tasks for you to as well."

Charlie totally bounces at that "That… you.. really?" she grins a really goofy grin there "okay that is amazing.. I totally can kick butt at training like I kick butt at muggers.. wait.. I meant kick mugger butt…" she is still grinning though and she throws some shadow punches, okay her form really sucks.

"Stop, stop, please…" Oracle laughs at the energetic young woman… "Give some thought to the name you want to use… not Batgirl, we have one of those." Turning to a compartment in the desk, Oracle pulls out a small device. "This is given to you with great trust, Charlotte, it's your way to get in touch with me and me with you. It also has a video feed on it, so I can see what you're seeing." Oracle demonstrates the use of the device. "Use this please and don't bounce into the Tower uninvited… it could cause me big, big, problems. You can also keep the phone." The green eyed, red haired woman, looks serious.

Charlotte accepts the device and turns it over in her hands, peering at it curiously now. "How do I even …" she watches the demonstration and manages to clip it onto her makeshift uniform without dropping it "like this?" then the other stuff you said "I.. okay.. um what if it is an emergency?" she is so thrilled about the communication device and this plan you have for her, she isn't even thinking about the fact you can probably track the device. "Oh.. do you have the charger for the phone.. that would be awesome." she grins again, yeah she is totally thrilled.

Reaching back into the desk drawer, Oracle pulls out a phone charger and hands it over. "In an emergency, use the device, I monitor the channels all the time."

Charlotte takes the charger now too and tucks it away with the phone "Okay.. I can do that." lets totally hope she can do that, following instructions and all right. She just beams at you and then looks at all the screens "Dang… tonight went great!" she pauses "Oh holy cow did you record me inflicting dark vengeance on that mugger?"

The young womans smile is infectious and Oracle can't but return it but a the mention of the recording, she sobers "Even if I did, I wouldn't give it out. Next time you come to visit, maybe I can have some footage we can review and see where there are rooms for employment." An alarm sounds from her console and Oracle looks at Charlotte "You need to go now, I'll be in touch soon… remember, no bouncing in." And she's turning away, pulling the tablet from her lap before she's finished the words.

Charlotte looks painfully curious at the alarm going off, but she listens and 'bounces' out one moment there, the next gone in a flash of pink and purple smoke. One moment in the Clocktower, the next in Metropolis without any pauses between. Specifically when checked the address that matches up with the police report, the burned down, condemned apartment building.

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