While I Pondered

January 19, 2015: Catwoman, Green Arrow, and Rant share an experience in the anarchy that has become Gotham.


The streets of Gotham City



Mood Music:

An hour ago, there was a reported break in at a jewellers shop.

Oddly enough, nothing was taken, broken, stolen. Only a few knocked over boxes that the shop owner, Gustav, didn't touch for the police, and a broken pane glass with nothing missing. Just a tiny bit of strangeness that goes on through Gotham, nothing to shake a stick at or make anyone worry.

Save for Catwoman. She would be worried since Melody has been gone since dawn. Being escorted out of East End and into New York had its perks. But ditching the gang and coming back INTO Gotham from the other way around was way cooler. And since Fantomex was slow at getting her the diamond necklace, and she had a means and a way? She tried it, didn't like it, might as well stick to fencing.

Plus it was way cool, she got to meet Oliver Queen! And he offered her a job! How many people can say that they turned down Oliver Queen? She could have been rolling in the big bucks! Woo!

But… Midtown. It was the shortest way for her to get to East End on foot. The night was quiet, not a gang banger or drive by-er… in sight. Plus, she's got a burger in hand, a burger so big and sloppy that she had to turn her cap to the back just to eat it without messing herself or the hat. And while she didn't exactly feel tip-top, the night was going alright.

Catwoman is keeping rather tight tabs on things, on the people that mean quite a bit to her and when the day went on and Melody did not return Catwoman made it her own personal…

Exiting her office of the Club that has now sat empty for two days that suit is tugged back up upon hips, over the curvature and onto arms as she scaled the stairs….

On the streets of east end it is like an urban western, tumbleweeds of litter roll while boots of the Alley cats patrol, the women of the night now armed and making this a literal Sin City…

Arms sliding into the suit and hands lowering goggles the projection is easily fed, a tracer blipping to life across the holographic screen before Catwoman's eyes as the zipper grinds and seals its way up to her neck, her finger releasing its hook in the loop to grab her whip and crack it outward, yanking her body across rooftops from east End to Midtown.

The one shadow unquestioned here is that of a cat.

Calories. She often needed it lately since her nanites have been on overload. She's been working the camera feeds double time, only taking a recent break to head to New York to get a change of clothes, clean the dust off the floors and everything else in her Brownstone, making it as if it appears that it's been lived in and paying rent where needed. Unstocking the fridge, such as.. throwing out old canisters of milk and mayonnaise, things of that nature. Filling the bottom drawers with bottles of water just in case she wanted to stop and clean again, and stacking the drawers in the kitchen to the tip with crystal light.

Cause Melody loves Crystal Light.

Back here in Gotham, she really doesn't have to do much but keep her own loft clean. Keep up with security, which is doubled now of course, only taking a break to eat, sleep, and probably converse with the girls to get security updates that she could make notes of. So far, East End is dead. Cops won't touch it. Neither would that guy that Catwoman often times bitch about. Whoever that is.

But everything just bothered her. Had her questioning. Had her sitting right there on the corner of Midtowns favoured bench, finishing off her sandwich, wrapper tossed into the bag, bag crumpled and soon tossed into the can. Did she even want to go back? Building infrastructures was her thing. She's got the logical mind for it but… she wondered… she wondered… she wondered…

While he had hoped that Gustav would not get the police involved, Melody had inadvertently triggered an automatic switch when she abruptly closed the security doors. The signal was delayed, and so the cops didn't arrive in time, but once the system resumed, they were alerted to a possible break in.

Still, Ollie had managed to borrow the necklace and got a copy of the security tapes, what was left of them. They're in the process of being analyzed back at the Arrowcave, but things would run a lot smoother if he had an expert on his team who could deal with that kind of thing.

And in the meantime, Ollie felt like beating up some people. Gotham was still in trouble. It was always in trouble. No matter how many heroes she had, there were always more criminals ready to break out of Arkham or spring up from the ground, like the woman he had spoken to earlier.[%R][%R]As he rode on his arrowcycle through the deserted streets, a curfew in effect to help protect the citizens, he thought about her, and wonder how long it might be before their paths crossed again.

East End is a safe zone for few, but once East End is left, that familiar and renown silhouette is known to have silently proclaimed war, and how better to get at her then start with those seen /close/.

There is a rumble behind Green Arrow, the street sign to his right only bringing a pause to the bikers that travelled in a pack with their lead at the front and their assimilating patches strewn across their backs. A typical sight in most places, nothing too abnormal…

Rooftop to rooftop, the acrobatic silhouette leaves East End and breaches Midtown, sweeping forward in a rapid press as Melody's tracking blip has remained in one spot far too long.

Mel is far too absorbed in that meaty mass of calories, enough so that the new Thunderbird rolling by and slowing down might get missed. What won't is the fact that the front window is rolling down and a man swings free of the back seat, lowering the automatic rifle to open fire at that bench and Mel.

That is when Catwoman snaps down, her whip encircling a lamp post light and aiding in a sweeping fight of snatching the smaller woman up and slinging out into the streets opposite the car.

There were times when it was actually safe in Gotham, Melody left the confines of her loft and the security room of Tin Roof to wander at night. Sometimes she would be alone, sometimes the girls would dress her hair up all nice and pretty while trying just a little pinch of makeup at a time on her person. Foundation here. Edging into eye-liner. A little bit of colourless lip-gloss there… And they would go grab drinks and get something to eat while Melody sat back and just hung out.

They always believed, and she did too, that fresh air was good for the soul. But not tonight.

For on the bench that she sat, she leans forward just a little, unhooking the bookbag from her back to set aside upon the bench. She really didn't mind nor give care to the fact that a car rolled up, and rolled it's windows down…

It was a little too fast for her to react, even if she had a chance to? She wouldn't have made it. The bullets were quick, ripping right into her middle as she's lifted and heave ho'ed across the way. She did feel her feet touch the ground for only a brief second, the catch and release sent her rolling through a copse of bushes and left behind out of sight.

In Gotham, biker gangs are almost greeted with relief. Compared to the usual gangs, they're fairly decent, upstanding citizens. Sure, they're rough around the edges, they might knock over a convenience store here or there, but they don't cause too much trouble, and they usually try not to kill anyone.

It's the crackpots that cause the real trouble, them and the mobsters. Green Arrow's not sure who's behind the wheel of that T-bird, but he's betting it's something serious. That was a hit, an assassination attempt, and the victim, nix that, the subject, was only saved through the timely intervention of Catwoman.

So he's left with a choice, does he follow the girl and see if she's all right, or does he go after the person behind it? With Catwoman already helping her own, he elects for the heroic response, and speeds off on his arrowcycle, chasing the Thunderbird.

While driving, he'll carefully aim the built in arrow launchers, hitting the left rear wheel with one arrow, and making a dent in the trunk with the other.

Mel is discarded carefully, despite her roll into the brush and away from this. Her splayed crouch in the middle of the road leaving her in the open with one hand pressed to the concrete road beneath her, the other still extended in the direction she had cast Melody to get her free of this, though that slick and familiar feeling of blood was known upon gloved hand, her fingers curling into it with an expression passing across unveiled lips.

That Thunderbird's tire is blown, but they already had intent and were popping a 'U' turn to go back and finish the job despite the ante being upped with the appearances of both Catwoman and now Green Arrow upon his cycle. There is no stopping, the driver now guns it after that forced turn, peeling across the roadway with one flat tire, heading dead at Arrow and Catwoman while the gunman once more extends from the window and opens fire on Arrow.

Catwoman does not hesitate now, she is on foot and heading right for the car of gangsters, otherwise known as the Sprang Bridge Soldiers, though behind her and Arrow those bikers fan out and block the street, a resounding sound of clicks and chambering weapons heralds the air of chaos already erupting.

Melody was /not/ okay. Catwoman saved her by getting her from getting her head blown off, but the rest of it was subjective. She was riddled with bullet holes, three to the chest, each narrowly missing her heart but tearing her lungs to shreds. The lift gave her a few bullets to the gut which… sad to say, makes her almost immediately regret eating the sandwich that she just ate. Bacon and bullets, never really a great combination to begin with.

Perhaps it was adrenaline that made her think it was okay. Her chest was tight, but she could breathe fine. The heat that radiates through her body sung of the blood that was pouring out. But she crawled, that familiar clawed grip had her worried. Was The Woman, as Melody so loves to call her because she's an avid fan of Sherlock and thinks Ms. Adler and her had a ton in common, hurt? Did her laptop make it out okay? Time to find out!

A shaky, bloody hand reaches the concrete as she begins to wheeze heavily, blood pouring upon her lips as she tries to drag a leg in front of her to stand. She even forces herself upright to try to make a bit of progress but there was the innate heaviness that took hold and had her dropping to the ground.

Chicken is a sucker's game. The best you can expect is an adrenaline boost from a near miss. At worst, a head on collision, or maybe veering to the side into something just as dangerous. Green Arrow plays a mean game of chicken, but that's because he cheats.

The Arrowcycle roars to life as it approaches the three wheeled Thunderbird. The guy behind the wheel swerves, but he doesn't veer off. He's coming at Arrow head on, fully expecting the Thunderbird to make short work of the sporty motorcycle.

But the Arrowcycle is no ordinary bike. It's full of nifty gadgets, like the jumping feature. Before the collision, Oliver keys in the right buttons to make the Arrowcycle leap up thanks to some superheated engines, giving it just enough lift to leap onto the hood of the Thunderbird, drive into the window, smashing it, and crushing part of the roof as the weight from the bike, Green Arrow, and his gear proves too much for the roof to handle.

He'll ride right through, cutting a hole through the top part of the Thunderbird, and bounce down onto the ground afterwards. He comes skidding to a halt, turning around to watch his handiwork. Except he can't bask in the glow for long as there's a motorcycle gang hot on his trail. "So, it's going to be one of those nights," and he'll rev the engine of his cycle, before heading into the fray again.

Arrow cuts a path, unknowingly the exact path that Catwoman was intent upon. But now the Thunderbird swerves as a motorcycle cuts a path through the middle of it, the gunner sweeping his aim upward for Arrow as he passes through, the driver releasing a slew of curses. just before his control on an already loose vehicle is gone and the wheel is jerked, spinning the vehicle to have it suddenly spin again but this time slam into a parked car along the road, the gunner… A patty between two metal buns, his weapon clattering to the street, the driver…

"Motha' fucka', what's dis gotta do wit yew…" He is cursing as he is peeling his way out of the vehicle. "…we only wanted dat bit—-" And Catwoman's whip lashes around his face, forming a leather bit between his lips and a twining hold around his face before she jerks him back and down to the ground, sapphire greens only meeting Arrow for a moment while she winds in her catch around her fist. One twist of leather at a time.

The head biker dismounts his metal steed and is standing over Melody, his handgun cocked and now aimed for her head. "I hate to interrupt this lovely little moment amongst ya'll, but you have something we want… And I have something you do."

From her view upon her back on the sidewalk. It seemed that Catwoman was okay. And if she had the mind to squeal it, she would say that to Arrow? He was one cool dude. She'd even cheer, dance, and wiggle, but instead, she struggling to breathe, coughing up a little bit of blood and closing her eyes to force her nanites into quicker play. It does take a while for them to get set on high alert. And her skin was ready to start glowing until…


A shrill breath of air is given as she stares down the barrel of the gun, her hands pressing against the ground with the need to move but she doesn't. She couldn't focus enough to upload and download whatever it was that she needed to get out of a situation like that. Jericho was hard to decode and internet searches would require her to metaphorically leave herself behind just to find the right tactic. She was in a right pickle.

The thing about Mexican standoffs, the popular interpretation anyway, is that it only works when both parties feel as though they have something to lose. This could have been one, but Green Arrow doesn't play that way. He fights to win, no matter what it takes. And so, instead of being worried about the gun, he knocks his bow and fires, while the head biker is still speaking!

It is shot at the gunman's hand, hoping to sever the nerve. If he aimed it right, that man may never be able to hold a gun in that hand again, or write his name. Green Arrow fights dirty, but at least he's improving. There once was a time when he's aim for the heart. So in that, he's being kind.

Immediately after the arrow is fired, he continues to ride towards the man and the girl, "back off," is shouted as the bike tears up the grass to the left of them, sending divots flying through the cool Gotham air.

Behind them now, more bikers pull up. Blocking that street in, but their advancement is steady and with purpose…

Catwoman has that whip reeled in, the 'fish' caught on the end muttering against the bit that has his tongue pinned to his lower jaw, his head shaking as Catwoman pulls him up close, palming his face like a basketball, and stopping.

'Dante', the lead man is no fool, his scarred and pock marked face from burn scarring is unflinching, the bow seen being drawn and he has enough time to grab the bleeding Mel and hold her up like a pinata, that arrow that had been aimed… Well, where would it go?

"What do you want?" Catwoman's voice is levelled, though if those goggles did not hide her eyes they would show the rage burning there, and somewhere the desperation. A near cornered animal as the ones close in behind.

But the other bikers have no interest in them, they go for that Thunderbird, popping the trunk and loading duffels full of large baggies of white powder.

Dante now speaks up. "Him." And points to the man twined in Catwoman's whip.

Now Catwoman looks at Arrow. /Don't stop me./

Right into her belly which juts out at the other end.

Unlucky Betty. But this Betty could take a beating and keep on ticking, while crying. But there was no crying in Gotham, not yet, that's something that needed to be done behind closed doors.

She dangled there helplessly, her breathing ragged, her eyes pressed upon the two as vision becomes hazy, fogged. The more she delays the healing in herself, the more she delays hiding just how valuable she could be, makes things a lot harder for herself and Catwoman all together.

Hell, it would have been for Oliver if she decided to take the job on the spot. But the thought was then… would she have been a lot safer? Probably not. She still had to go home and still would have taken that route. "J… just go!" She weakly calls out to the two of them. Take that man and do what you will but don't submit! Her words were stumbled and hacked, blood bubbling from her lips as she coughs, gaze falling down to…

… is that a fucking arrow?!


"I… I'll be fine…" She was okay. She was okay. She was okay. Sort of.

No matter how much he dedicates himself, how long he trains, or how he becomes, there is always the possibility of a miss. He might have made that shot 14,999 times out of 15,000, but it's the one time he misses that counts. And he'll have to deal with the ramifications of that later.

With his neck arrow, he takes no chances. He reaches into his quiver and pulls out another arrow, this one seemingly having a mechanical device built into the shaft. With a twang, it is fired, landing in the grass before the biker and Melody.

Immediately, a thick, pervasive gas emits from the device, covering it in a haze-like plume of smoke that begins to fill the area. It does not affect breathing, safe to inhale, but it does mask the area in a heavy fog, a fog that Green Arrow will use to advance on the biker. If he can't get Melody to safety, hopefully Catwoman will. But either way, he's not about to negotiate with someone who pulls a gun.

At least, not this time. An hour ago, he did just that, but that was Oliver, and the gun was fake. This time, it's different, because now he is the Green Arrow, and this time, it's deadly serious.

Catwoman will negotiate if they are holding her friend in their grips like a ragdoll, letting her insides seep out like sand. Those claws flash and the man wrapped in a whip is marked when she discards of him, clawing across his face with one hand that pushes him towards the bikers while the other /rips/ her whip back and off with a resounding…


Up, it tethers and Catwoman is somersaulting into the air, her lithe figure twisting to land within the fog as her goggles shift in lens colour, allowing her a bit clearer sight based on heat signals.

"You have him." All the words she says while Dante stands in that fog, despite the confusion, the other members of the gang now firing out towards where Green Arrow had been before advancement.

As Arrow speeds in, Catwoman frees her whip and wraps an arm around Melody, reaching out with her other hand to capture the motorcycle in passing if he will take on an additional two passengers!

There was nothing Melody could do to prevent the shutdown of her brain that the nanites inevitably caused. She was forcing them back, not allowing them to do their work as they were supposed to, so extreme measures were taken where everyone else would simply flat-line.

And it would seem that she does just that. A little trick, safety, something to beat back the bear away from dead and rotted meat. Her body went limp in apparent death just in time for her to be snatched from the man and whisked away upon a bike as such.

Using the fog to his advantage, Green Arrow seems to avoid the bullets being fired at his previous location, and Catwoman rescued the girl. He'll keep the bikers busy, hoping to give them the time to get to safety, and for Melody's sake, get her to a hospital.

He immediately focuses in on the apparent leader of the gang, doing a somersault of his own that ends with him on the ground, his legs going up for the neck of the biker, only to bring it, and the rest of him, into the ground. And Ollie does this sharply. He'll get in a few more kicks, and alive or not, Ollie is on the move again, aiming to return to his own motorcycle.

Doubling back could be risky, depending on how dumb and how violent the bikers are, or it might be the safety place if they're sure he's not there.

Green Arrow can deliver all the justice he wants, to his heart content, but the longer he takes…

When he makes his way back to the Arrowcycle, he finds Catwoman having snapped and dislodged his arrow from Mel's middle, and she is deftly honing down that tip to wedge into the ignition and steal control of the motorcycle and leave.

When he walks back up, that gaze can now be seen, narrowed, determined in its daggered flick towards him while her hand presses down over one of the wounds.

"Get us the fuck out of here."

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