Rise, Damian al Ghul

December 18, 2014: Damian returns from the dead at his grandfather's side.

Location Undisclosed




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Mood Music:

Death, for most people, is an unknown. 'The last great adventure,' where what happens afterwards is a mystery. Some believe in an afterlife, some believe in nothing, but no one truly /knows/ the truth.

Very few, if any, in fact, would claim that you promptly wake up in a small, sparsely furnished room, lit by a single dying candle. Yet…

In a room exactly like this, lies the body of Damian Wayne. The architectural style is an interesting blend of old school islamic elements with a touch of the sleekly modern. Whatever possessions Damian had on him when his body was recovered lie in a neat little pile on a small wicker chest at the foot of the bed he rests in. Curiously enough, despite the fact that Damian was quite clearly dead at one point, an aging man sits quietly by his side, casually leafing through a book by the light of the candle as he apparently waits for the 'corpse' to awaken.

The body reacts in so many ways to the treatment post death. This particular time, with this particular specimen, it seems as simple as waking up from a bad dream.

Dark eyes open from behind the mop of black curly hair that is strewn about his pillow. "Kate?" he calls out disoriented, but eventually he's able to focus. He tries to sit up, but it's not a good idea, yet.

"Grandfather," he calls out quietly. His mind rolls back to the moments just before his death. He presumes he knows where he is. How he got here is another question entirely.

"Damian. Finally, you return to us," comes the smooth, quiet, and lightly accented reply from Ra's al Ghul as he slowly closes the book with a light snap. "I wouldn't recommend moving, dear boy," he continues, reaching over to settle the book on the end table before folding his hands in his lap, eyes fixed on Damian, "You've no wounds to re-open, but the experience of coming back from the dead is hardly pleasant, even for one such as myself."

For a silent moment, he watches Damian, the corners of his mouth turned upwards in the smallest of smiles. "That girl you were with when you died — Kate, I'm assuming — was quite worried about you. I'm told she tried to stop the bleeding despite the fact that you had very obviously suffered a fatal wound. Several, if the reports are to be believed. What /did/ you do to her to win such loyalty? I must admit, I'm surprised. You were never very good with… people."

"To be honest, grandfather, I'm not quite sure," Damian says quietly. Though he could be so scornful for those he considered to be beneath him, it's telling that it's all 'yes sir' 'no sir' with Ra's. "She seemed to understand me better than most. In my time there, she was the only one I came to call a friend."

And that sort of nods off towards the next question.

Would Ra's bring Damian back from the dead just to kill him as revenge for having fled after Ra's apparent death?

Would he consider Ra's a coward for going to live with Bruce? Or is that what he always wanted anyhow? Damian isn't sure, but he hopes the long hand of retribution steers clear of him. At least until he can move a bit easier.

The chair creaks softly as Ra's leans forward ever so slightly, eyes still fixed on Damian. "Do you mean to tell me you actually cared for this girl, Damian?" There's a slight edge in his voice, barely perceptable, but all too obvious to anyone who knew him like Damian does. "I know what you've been up to, boy, just as I know what your mother has been doing since you both believed me dead. I should not have to say how disappointed I am. I was content to remain in the shadows and watch, to give your mother a chance to prove her capability — her ability to lead in my stead." Whatever hint of a smile was lingering around his lips before has long since fled, his mouth now set in a hard line, "To say I disapprove of the path she's taken 'Leviathan' is an understatement in the extreme. To my surprise, it was you who gave me the most hope. Obtaining the Detective's trust, worming your way into their little family. Truthfully, I had high hopes for you. Then — you went and got yourself killed."

With a sigh, he settles back in the chair again and waves a hand lazily through the air, his voice losing its edge all at once. "Naturally, I couldn't allow /that/. Your mother may be lost, but you still hold potential, Damian. It matters little now, but what was your plan, exactly? When were you going to strike?"

"I was free, Grandfather. Free from my mother. Free from my father. I travelled to Gotham to find out more about who I am. I found an absent man with rules I didn't understand and allies who I felt were inferior to both him and myself. I left after my father and I … after it seemed clear we would not see eye to eye."

"And I was free. And it was the best time in my life, Grandfather. I am sorry that I have disappointed you, but not sorry that I have seen the world as you did and have done so many years ago. You mock me, but you too knew love once. Whether this is that or not is immaterial."

It's clear that while it's been only about a year since they have seen each other, Damian is quite different.

Ra's' smile comes back stronger than ever and he even lets out a quiet chuckle while shaking his head, "No, dear boy, you misunderstand. Your mother is a disappointment, but with you? I was only disappointed that you allowed yourself to be killed. Up until that point, you were the sole, shining hope for our family. You can still be that hope with my help, but that depends entirely on you, Damian."

Calmly, he pulls himself to his feet and begins to walk down towards the foot of the bed, stopping to bend down and idly straigthen Damian's pile of possessions. "You have a choice to make. Your mother believes a majority of the League has joined her and Leviathan, but she is sadly mistaken. For one, she never knew just how extensive the League is, and the vast majority still remain loyal to me, albeit through fairly roundabout channels. Secondly, I would be remiss if I didn't have a few loyal men and women planted throughout her organization." Satisfied, Ra's straightens and clasps his hands behind his back as he turns back towards Damian. "Aid me in reclaiming the rest of the League from your mother, and I'll see to it that you are returned to whatever you are doing with this girl and your 'friends.' Refuse me, and I will take back what I have given you."

Damian pulls himself up wearily, "Of course, Grandfather." He could be defiant with his mother and father, but refrained from that sort of behavior in front of Ra's. The idea that he would be able to be with his friends again was a light at the end of the tunnel, of course. And he was vaguely sure that the only kindness his mother showed him was to gain power of the league.

"I would very much like to hunt down this woman who put me here. If it is your will, I wish to take operatives with me."

With a wince, Damian sits up upon the bed and then tries to get to his feet.

Ra's looks pleased, but hardly surprised when Damian replies — refusal, after all, is not something Ra's al Ghul is entirely familiar with. "Yes, I quite hoped you would. If she was left alive and came after you again once you return, I may very well have had to step in myself, and I would rather not risk Talia learning of my continued existence so soon. As well, you should always have revenge on those who try to kill you. If nothing else, it can be… cathartic, and I daresay a bit of self-confidence would do you good after that incident." Ra's moves to place a hand on Damian's should, attempting to keep him from rising from the bed and appearing almost fatherly at the same time, "How many do you need?"

"I'm not sure I want to kill her. I'm thinking, if it is your wish, she may be a proper recruit for you, Grandfather. She's undeniably powerful," he responds. Damian now pulls himself out of the bed, stark naked, and moves towards the edge of the room to where a set of robes lays.

"Perhaps as many as you would be willing to give. She has some sort of power-power of glass. Reflection, teleportation, and creation of her own army. She makes constructs and it is difficult to discern which one is truly her."

"Oh," Ra's inquires, one eyebrow raised as he places his hand behind his back again, considering a spot on the wall carefully as he thinks through Damian's explanation. Finally, with a faint, single-shoulder shrug, he turns back around to face the now clothed Damian and nods once, "Very well. Bring her to me. I'll judge her abilities and make a decision then. At the very least, if she's unfit to join the League, I can turn her loose on Leviathan." After a pause, he reaches for his book and moves towards the door giving it a light rap with his knuckles, at which point Ubu, Ra's' massive manservant and bodyguard, opens the door with a slight creak and a questioning expression. In reply, Ra's hold up a forestalling finger and turns back to Damian, "That said, you haven't answered my question. How many do you need?"

"88 should suffice," Damian says calmly as he straightens out the roads. "I'll need to begin training immediately. She won't likely stay in one place for very long. I believe her to be from Russia."

Damian turns and looks at his belongings. The first, of course, is his sword, which he holds in front of him and unsheathes it halfway as if to confirm that the blade is, indeed, still in there.

The Robin costume he leaves upon the floor.

"Eighty-eight?" Ra's asks, almost incredulously, as he regards his grandson, "This woman must be fearsome indeed if you need eighty-eight trained assassins to help you capture her." All the same, he turns back to Ubu and gives him a slight nod, "Muster them in the courtyard, Ubu. As well, have someone from the armory come up and fit Damian for a new suit." With little more than an affirmative grunt and a bow, Ubu turns about and starts heading down a set of spiral steps — it seems the room they are in is attached to a tower. With that seen to, Ra's turns back around to regard Damian with an appraising eye, considering the boy in silence for a moment before he remarks, "I trust you won't let this woman get the best of you again, Damian. I will not be digging up your corpse for a second time, so I'd make /this/ life count. Find her. Bring her to me. If you do this, we can begin work on bringing down your mother and then you can return to your life as you were living it." Finished, he turns and steps out from the room onto the small landing just outside, but again, he pauses, one step away from beginning his descent.

"It is good to have you back in the family, Damian," he claims with a faint smile.

And then he's gone.

"It's good to be back, Grandfather," Damian says. Ra's is gone, but Damian has a feeling that he's always listening.

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