Zinda is Bounced

December 5, 2014: Oracle gets Zinda and Misfit in the Clocktower. The inevitable happens.

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:

It's midday and Oracle isn't ''officially'' on duty at this time of day, so she's decided it would be a good time to catch up with an old aquaintance and a new one who is in desperate need of some mentoring. The message was sent a few days ago, and Babs is expecting the first of her guests to arrive any time soon.

The message to her first guest, Lady Blackhawk, asked her to arrive about 30 minutes before the 2nd guest… she sure hopes that this works.

Lady Blackhawk is on time! In uniform (wool trousers variation- it's COLD out), carriying several heavy bags with her. She parked a few blocks away, and slipped past the security checks with the swipe card, or her fingerprints, or whatever Babs gave her to get up to the secure level of the Clocktower. "Skipper! Was wonderin' when I'd hear from ya next!" Zinda greets her boss cheerfully, carrying the bags into the room. "Now, where can I put the food? I've got about three weeks worth here, dependin' on how y'heat it up and portion it out. Two if ya have company. Lots of potatoes an' starchy things, since it's cold out. Lots of soups an' stews…"

So she's also decided she's Barbara's personal chef on top of personal pilot and sometimes chauffer and… whatever it is she does with the guns.

Babs laughs as Zinda comes in. "The kitchen, Zinda.. there's a fridge in there and thank you, it really does help." That people worry about what or how she eats is no surprise, Babs is known to let her work take precedence. "You're a hard woman to catch up with Zinda, don't be growling at me about the time it's taken." The gibe is good natured. "I really do want to catch up with you, but I have someone I want you meet, they need some help and I think you, and I, can help her. Sorry to jump right in, but knowing the young woman, I'm kind of expecting her anytime now."

Zinda begins to stack what she can into the freezer compartment, and what doesn't fit, goes into the fridge half. "You been takin' in strays an' misfits again, Skipper?" Zinda asks with a grin. "Doesn't seem like it was all that long ago it was me you were takin' in an' givin somethin' to do besides drive myself half-crazy." She closes the fridge door and comes back in to face Barbara. "A younger one this time, hm? And you think I might actually be of help?" She looks a little dubious about /that/ part of the equation.

"Strays and misfits… mmmmhmmm" Babs looks up at Zinda "And it's why I think you'll be able to help." The redhead grins up at her old friend "She's had a hard time of it and yet, her heart seems to be in the right place… Young, very, very young" she nods and looks thoughtful. "Want something to drink? I'm making myself tea" Without touching the chair, she starts moving towards the kitchen.

Charlotte acts a lot younger than she is, I mean hell she can even vote. The problem is probably somehow related to the trauma and displacement avoidance. Probably needs a counselor and a lot of therapy, but then what Gotham vigilante doesn't need bus loads of therapy.

She is sitting in her 'room' watching the phone Oracle gave her, antsy as heck about the time ticking down to when Oracle said she could visit. Tick Tock Tick Tock "Awwrrgh" she mutters then starts to pace checking her phone again.

"Just tea, if we'll be entertainin' a youngin'" Zinda says, perhaps surprisingly. Or maybe not so surprisingly? She does have those fleeting moments of responsibility every now and then. "You said she'd be droppin' by tonight? You've already let her into the Clocktower?" She's a trustworthy stray then, Zinda notes. That's interesting. Or, at least, a stray with the brains to get past her Skipper's security systems… equally interesting. Zinda's curiosity is piqued.

"There's soda in the fridge… when she gets here… I want tea." Babs is implaccable, tea solves everything. "''Let'' might be a bit strong, Zinda. She has a ummmm ''unique'' ability… " Babs notes the interest on Zindas face and just smiles as she puts the kettle on to boil. "I'm expecting her anytime now…."

Charlotte bloody well gives up, she has no idea why Oracle is inviting her over, not really especially in the middle of the day. Maybe it is an exciting mission though. So she makes sure her mask is situated and her outfit perfect. Shirt replaced after the unfortunate Ripper incident. "And awaaa" she bounces over to the clocktower.
"aay we go." Charlie seems proud of herself looking around. Again there is no disturbance to all of the alarm systems despite her sudden arrival, puzzling, damn that sorcery. One moment nothing, the next moment she is by the monitoring equipment and screens and such.

Zinda drops the soda she's about to open. At least she didn't open it, no spilling. "Well, kiddo, you certainly know how to make a first impression," says the pilot, eyes widened in suprise. "Hi." Blink blink. At least she's not reaching for her gun.

Even Babs jumps. Thank goodness the kettle hadn't boiled and she wasn't making tea! "Charlie!" she admonishes "You're early!" Taking a few minutes to compose herself, Babs sends a speaking look to Zinda "I told you she had a unique talent. Lady Blackhawk, this is Charlie…. Charlie, Lady Blackhawk"

Charlie squints at the cape who dropped the soda for a long moment, puzzled. Not Oracle… looks familiar…. then Oracle speaks and she looks both sheepish and like a lightbulb "Oooh your the lady pilot that fought the like Nazis!" then the sheepish comes back "Are you sure… I thought you said now." okay she may be bending the truth, she totally couldn't wait any longer. "man… I need a codename bad…. how about Raptor… or Griffin.. or Strix.. Pheonix…." she gets in a groove there.

"I didn't get my callsign til I finished my trainin'" Lady B says. "And it was my CO who picked it out for me," she points out. "So you may not wanna get too enthusiastic there, before our Skipper decides on something you don't like," she says, in a teasing, friendly voice. "But you're right, that was me, the pilot lady."

Compsure returned, kettle boiled, Babs continues to make her tea. It's the last of the Lavendar, and she makes a mental note to get more. "Pick up the Soda for Lady Blackhawk please Charlie, there's more in the fridge for you…." She smiles to herself as Zinda addresses the callsign "I would prefer to see you stay alive, then know what name to put on the headstone." she sobers at that thought.

"Charlie, would you please share your story with Lady Blackhawk…." taking her tea, Oracle turns to face the younger woman, "And remember who I am and what I know…." she says quietly.

Charlie scrunches her nose up a bit at the talk about training and COs and callsigns. Cause well, that sounds awfully hard for a crime fighting name. She does duck down and offer up the soda before heading to the fridge in search of sugary liquid caffiene! "The PsychoDoc fight the other day?" she assumes "The guy is like totes crazy serial killer type who I almost captured but he stabbed himself to create an opening and get the better of me.. I mean like ..squelch through the stomach just go buy himself time to not get cuffed.. real screwloose who thinks he is killing badguys to make the city better."

Zinda tries to look like she's keeping up with the conversation, setting the now-shaken can of pop down. She's… gonna wait for that tea. And… yeah she's taking her hip flask out, and she's gonna splash a bit of /that/ into her tea. And she offers some to Babs. So much for not drinking in the presence of minors.

Babs watches Zinda's response and makes her a standard black tea. Moving her chair across the room, balancing both cups, she hands Zinda hers and just smirks as she shakes her head to the hip flask. "Meet Charlie… she's currently living in a burnt out building, which from what I can piece together was where she lived with her family before it burnt down." she says softly to Zinda. Turn her sharp green gaze on the teen she says "I'm Oracle, I see everything. So drop the pretence, you want my help… I need your honesty."

Okay, now it is Charlie's turn to drop a soda, though this one is open and goes spilling out everywhere, like a shaken soda would on it's side on the floor "I… crap…" she says shaken and flustered. She dives over and grabs papertowels and gets down and starts mopping it up "sorry.. sorry…" is she sorry she lied, sorry Oracle just spilled all that to Lady Blackhawk, sorry Oracle knows, or sorry about the Soda. Hell another good question is if Charlie is going to cry or teleport away, but for the moment she frantically cleans up soda and tries to not hyperventilate.

Zinda frowns, but not unsympathetically. "S'alright, hon," she puts down her own tea to help the girl, joining her on all fours to clean up the spill. "She plays tough like this sometimes, but it's from a good place. She /does/ want to help you," she says, softly. "Like she helped me. I was in a rough place too, when she found me. Bar fights, blackouts, that sorta thing. I had… no direction in my life, and a hell of a lot of bad memories. And everyone I loved was… gone."

Babs sips her tea and remains totally and utterly silent. She's quite happy to let the other two women work this out.

Babs is a bit blunt yup. Meanwhile Charlie stops scrubbing and pushes her mask up to rub her eyes. "I .. really don't want to talk about it." talk about it, hell she really doesn't want to even think about it or acknowledge it out loud. She pulls her mask back down fiercely and just hunches with her sugary soggy papertowels now. Really trying to figure out what she is supposed to say or do now. "I.. I..guess you're made at me?"

"Me?" Zinda asks, and shakes her head. "I ain't got any reason to be mad at'cha. "You've been through things no girl your age ought'a been through, by the sounds of it, whether you wanna talk about it by not." She offers her hand. "I ain't got a right to be anything at'cha. But I can at least offer you somewhere warm to lay down, and some real meals three times a day, if that interests ya," she says. "My place is a bit outside the city, little farmhouse. "But I got a spare bedroom, or if y'like, we can turn the attic into your room."

"I'm not mad either Charlie… I care about you, that's why I wanted you to meet Lady B. here" Oracles green eyes are compassionate "I've had my fill of seeing you youngsters in pain… What happened to you, should never, ever, have happened and you don't have to speak about it, but please don't lie." She smiles as she watches the two women in front of her.

Charlie rubs her eyes again, mask on once more "You guys are really not mad?" she peeks over at Oracle. She hasn't really lied to Lady Blackhawk so it isn't too surprising she isn't mad. She looks down "I.. try to not lie." she exagerates mostly, but man she doesn't want to talk about that night no sir. "I .. " she just peers at Lady Blackhawk "why would you do that… you don't even know me…" okay mayeb she is going to cry, she may teleport out first though.

Zinda nods, and puts a hand on Charlie's shoulder. "It's the right thing t'do," she says. "If you got anything you wanna pack up, you can go ahead and do that. The room's ready for someone to go ahead an' crash. And we can work on decoratin' it over the holidays to suit you a bit better. It's probably a bit old an' boring as far as you're concerned right now."

"You didn't know me, Charlie. Bending the truth is understandable…" Oracle grins at the two women "Leave the cleaning, I have someone I'll call in… come sit up here with me and we'll talk about how to proceed." Zinda gets a knowing and grateful nod.

Is it a burnt out husk of an apartment building filled with charred and water damaged childhood memories, no, then it is probably quite the step up from her current digs you know. Charlie sniffles a little bit and gets up to her feet and tosses the paper towels. Then gets herself a papertowel to clean up a bit. "I need another soda…" she says kinda sheepishly and then steps over to dig into the fridge, oh look food. Lots of food. She just kinda stares at it distracted.

"I cook a lot," says Zinda, sheepishly, scratching the back of her neck. "There's more back at my place." She forces a bit of a laugh. "If you're hungry now though, help yourself."

Babs nods as well "Help yourself, I'm used to feeding the teen Bats…" She sips her tea quietly and smiles "Lady B. can always bring me more" Oracle is teasing…

Charlie isn't sure where to start. So much food. She grabs something stew like and pulls it out and eases over to the microwave then she takes a bowl and starts to ladle out an enourmous amount of food into the bowl. "Wow you cooked all this?" she well didn't have a ton to eat before the fire really, let alone after the fire.

"Side effect of growin' up in the Depression, I think. Got to the future with enough money to actually buy… a lot of food, to be able to cook for friends an' folks," says Zinda. "I always end up makin' a lot. Luckily I have a lot of friends who /forget to eat/ a lot, so it works out well."

Zinda gives Barbara a knowing look here.

Babs has the grace to look embarrased. "I eat" she mumbles into her tea. Watching the teen heat the stew she just smiles, looking relaxed and happy in the company.

Misfit looks at Zinda "Who would forget to eat…" like it is a high crime and misdemeanor. She eyes the clock on the microwave, maybe it doesn't need to be fully warmed. "So.. um… right.. proceedings…"

"Our Skipper here can get a little hyperfocused on the job sometimes," Zinda says, looking a little amused. "Part of why she keeps me around, I reckon," she says, getting a spoon out for the girl, as well as a plate to put the hot bowl onto, and a nice big chunk of bread that may even be home-baked. Or, at least, bakery-bought. "Here. Dig on in. We'll fret the details later. Tonight, let's just get you fed, and make sure we've got everything we need you to have, alright?"
And tomorrow she'll start locking up all her guns and liquor cabinets.

Babs job in finding Misfit a mentor is done. Now comes the hard work, but for today, she sits back in her chair and smiles. "Eat up Charlie… I'll leave you in the hands of Lady B. Tomorrow, we can discuss the finer points." Babs looks entirely self satisfied at todays efforts… "Zinda, don't be a stranger mmmmm. I've several trips to New York to do in the coming weeks, it would be good to have you with me."

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