The Tides of Blood: Blackmailing the Bats

Summary:
January 31, 2015: In order to get Batman's attention, Tula begins to wreck Gotham. Bats do respond.

Midtown Gotham


Characters

NPCs

  • Tula

Mood Music: Tula is not the soul of discretion, but then that's not her job. She is the leader of The Drift, the Atlantean elite soldiers. Stealth incertion, ninja like tactics, sure, she can do those. Vanguard front line charges into the teeth of certain death? Ayup, also totally in her perview. Tracking down an illusive surface worlder without much to go on and no access to her usually unlimited resources? Yeah. Not so much. So it's time to make a spectacle. With only minimal effort she reaches down and grips the bumper of a fancy town car and lifts suddenly at an angle. The vehicle becomes airborne as it rolls sideways through a store front, ending with it's trunk end sticking out into the sidewalk at a 'jaunty' angle.

The news has been here for ten minutes, tracking the progress of the Atlantean who has been slowly walking down one of the main drags in Midtown Gotham's shopping district. At first she just walked, and as recent news footage of her exploding a park with ice had been running regularly on TV, people gave her a wide berth. She stood in the middle of the road, ignoring odd looks and the occasional heckle from motorists… But this is Gotham and eventually someone honked at her and told her to move her sweet ass. He and his SUV can currently be found on the second floor of an upscale athletic supply store. Whatever it was she was waiting for clearly took to long. Since then she's been making her way almost lazily down the street, occasionally flipping unoccupied cars as she goes. The first cops on the scene popped off a few shots, to no avail, and now the whumpwhumpwhump of the incoming GCPD military loadout choppers can be heard. Which means it's likely the combined firepower of the SRD and a pissed off Atlantean spec ops soldier are about to be unleashed in downtown Gotham. That… likely won't end well.

Batman keeps very detailed notes and he even shares them, occasionally. Nightwing has read up on Atlanteans before, so he knows quite well that firing guns or almost anything at one isn't going to do much good. However, he's not going to start an interrogation in the middle of town. That said, the destruction has to stop. So, something -is- fired at Tula, but it isn't anything meant to harm. It's more of a line. And a hook. Someone's gone fishing.

He needs to get the woman out of the street and if he can catch her by surprise long enough to pull her to a rooftop, it's at least a start.

She is…. HEAVY. The line catches her and she stares at it for a split second. The same split second that the graple gun in Dick's hand simply yoinks it's way out of his grip and zips down at her to bonk her atop the head. She blinks and bends to lift the graple machine and eyes it curiously. Then she looks up. She gathers herself and leaps upward. The single jump carries her up several stories where she digs her feet into brick of the side of the building and leaps again, the second carrying her to the rooftop. When she lands said rooftop shudders slightly. Atlanteans are WAY more dence then humans, they have to be to withstand the preassures of the depths. It was like grapeling a marble Tula sized statue and trying to yank it upwards. She's gotta be pushing six hundred pounds. She looks around on the rooftop curiously, "I seek the Man of Bats!" her accent is weird, her speech cadence is off timed, but she's understandable. "If you are not he, then seek him out. I grow weary of trying to summon him since your internet and communications listings do not seem to include his information." she looks around the rooftop again. Her eyes can peirce any night, her ears pick up sonar… It's how she knows she's not alone up here. She can hear a heartbeat… but she can't seem to find anyone. Annoying. Also respectable. Good trade craft is appreciated even in ones enemies.

Nightwing knows Atlanteans have amazing hearing. He knows they're dense of body. He knows they can see in the depths of the deepest oceans. But he's a Bat and he learned from the best. "Batman isn't in the phone book, I'm sorry, nor can you reach him on Gmail. Why do you need him? Because seriously, that little stunt you pulled down there…that's really not going to put him on your good side." He's not stepping out of the shadows, however.

Tula eyes the device in her hand again curiously, "These markings are not unlike those our files state belong to the Ma-" she corrects her self quickly, "Batman. But they are not the same. Are you an ally of his or merely one who seeks his approval through similarities?" answering questions with questions, old interrigators trick.

Nightwing rolls his eyes under his mask. Really? "I'm an ally. What do you want from him and how are you going to make reparations for the damages you've done to Gotham?" He's not terribly happy about that at all. "I'm not the one demanding to see someone. You are. Now, I can help you, or I can let the cops take you in. I know that you're not entirely invulnerable."

Tula stands on a rooftop in Gotham, stories above the street with it's half dozen overturned cars, two or three of which are currently sticking out of store fronts. The SRD choppers are inbound, and for the moment the News Crews have lost sight of the armored Atlantean. Nightwing hides as he was trained, amid the shadows, well enough that while Tula knows she is not alone, she seems to be unable to locate him, occasionally turning different directions to speak. "He is going to help me stop a war that will end your world." she says this with an air of absolute certainty, like she was informing him of the color of the sky. "Damages?" his eyes narrow, "TO GOTHAM!?" Nightwing's graple gun just crumples in her fist, the loud POP of the gas canister used for propelling the hook causes a puff of dust around her fist though she doesn't seem to notice. "Your people have killed my King while he was here on a mission of peace! You think I should care about your tiny stores and their ridiculous wares?" The small protrusion atop the roof of the building that holds pumps for some of the upper floor plumbing, begin to tremble and rattle.

"And just what makes you think he's going to help you when you've come here and attacked -his- city?" Nightwing counters from the shadows. "Batman had nothing to do with the attack on Aquaman and if you're going to lump all of the human race in with those who -did- the attack, well, you're in for a very rude awakening, lady." Nightwing's temper flares briefly but he then takes a deep breath in and lets it out slowly. He's keeping to the shadows, especially since the grapple-gun has just sacrificed itself for this conversation.

"How are the stitches, sir?" Alfred's voice bleeds through the Batwing's audio.
"They're fine. This is important."
A sigh that turns to static and the man continues, "I have Nightwing's signal. I assume that is where you will find our… guest."
"You would be correct."
"Please be careful, Master Bruce. You're being held together with little more than glue and string right now."
"Penny One you know protocol. We're closing channel now, out." A gauntlet rises and a finger tip flips a switch, the shadowy vehicle screaming low over rooftops, putting out SRD cameras and probes in it's passage. A static bump that daisy chains outward in it' s jamming. It doesn't allow them to easily find the source as it will spider-web outwards and spread. It's ugly for their tech department, unfortunate for them - the Batman is much better funded.
"Nightwing, what is the sitrep?" That gruff voice of the mentor breaking through the former Robin's own com-systems.

Tula snorts, "His city can be repaired with gold, for now. He will help me because the man he once called friend is dead. Because if he does not thousands more just like me, armed, armored, and filled with righteous rage will acend upon this city and level it to it's foundations. Your kind have polluted my home, destroyed your own, and generally done your absolute best to make the only world you know unlivable. You squabble amongst yourself like crabs in a hole, dragging down any who would seek to ellivate themselves to something greater. You /murder/ one another. Murder! Do you know how many centuries it has been since an Atlantean has murdered another?? You steal and lie and allow pettiness to tear you apart. I am here because I have been commanded to be, but do not think for a moment I would not be willing to go to war. I am far better suited to be a soldier then a-" she pauses as if seeking the correct word, the first time she's come across something that doesn't have a decent Atlantean equivilent, "De. Tec. Tive." she has to break it down, though it sounds a bit like a question, as if she wasn't possitive the word was correct. In good news, the seeking of the word seems to have caused the pipe to no longer shudder and tremble. "We waste time I do not have. Do you know of the Batman, or must I return to my pleasently recreational if somewhat destructive means of summoning him? He really should get a communication devile. It would make this sort of thing much simpler and I wouldn't have to toss around the smelly transporation boxes." she seems to have calmed while she talked though, as if having reminding herself of her mission has given her pupose again.

Nightwing opens the comm unit so that Batman can hear Tula's reply to his question. "You weren't listed in the Yellow Pages and your website had no way to contact you," is added at the end. Really, that should be enough of a sitrep and a better synopsis than he could give.

There's a long pause before he points out, "Aquaman wouldn't have allowed needless destruction in his name."

What Batman has told Dick of Arthur - the man is correct. Arthur wouldn't condone this, the King of Atlantis isn't really in the condition to speak for himself right now though.

The Batwing screams by overhead and the Dark Knight descends landing near the Atlantean and the other Gotham champion. "He is right. Arthur wouldn't look too highly upon this but your message was received."

Tula's eyes narrow again and she stresses the words, "His Majesty The King is dead. His are no longer the orders I follow. You should take that up with my Queen. His grieving. Irate. Powerful. Widow. I could arrainge a meeting between you two if you would like to discuss what her husband would have wanted with her." She winces slightly at the Jet's passing, unlike Aquaman she's not grown used to the volume of the surface world and sudden noises still hurt. She looks Batman up and down curiously. There's a sudden dancing of lights that comes from the crest of her helm and washes over Batman, "You are the Batman." she says as if something had just been confirmed. "You will assist me in identifying and locating my Kings murderer. If you do not, then a war will come the likes of which your people are not prepared for. You have fought beside my King in the past, he says you are one of the surfaces greatest threats and one of his few trusted allies. According to our files you have some small understanding, in theory, of our military capabilities. As we speak it is being mobilized. All of it. Everywhere. It will take time and my Queen is seeing that it takes longer then it should, but she cannot hold back the tide that comes and if she is forced she will choose her people of your own. Come with me. You must do this De. Tec. Tive… thing. I am not skilled in such things. We do not have crime in Atlantis." she sounds proud and ashamed and apologetic all at the same time. Proud they don't have time, shamed she can't do something, and apologetic that she's intruding on Batman's time. Maybe for tossing the cars? Prolly not for that though.

This is no longer his discussion now that Batman is here and is being directly addressed. He is, however, sending, as silently as he can, a video and audio feed to Oracle so that she is able to catch the information that there may be a war with the Atlanteans on the horizon. This is something that really can't stay too quiet.

"This is blackmail, you realize. I doubt Aquaman would condone that as well," is offered quietly.

(Nightwing is sends an audio and video feed of himself and Batman having a conversation with an Atlantean, Tula, who is threatening a war against the surface if Batman doesn't drop everything and help them to Oracle.)

"I am and I assume you are the Commander of the Drift?" Batman confirms before he looks past Tula then back at her again. "It sounds like we're beyond what Aquaman would allow or not. How much time do we have?" A question to the woman. "And if we are to get started right away I want to see Arthur's body first."

A glance is given to Nightwing, a subtle gesture that was a light roll of the eyes. A lot can be communicated between two who have worked together for as long as Bruce and Dick have, it's a simple, Hold down the fort. It appears the Caped Crusader is about to make himself busy trying to avert a war on Gotham. Not the usual source this time, this time it comes from the outside instead of within. Never a dull day for the Bat-Family.

Tula turns to look in Nightwing's direction, "You fail to understand. Aquaman is dead. Do not consern yourself with his wishes, instead think more of the wishes of his widow. His newly minted widow. Who's husband was just killed by one of your people. Tell me," there's another flash of the lights, "Night… wing…, interesting, have you ever lost someone you loved? And if you had possessed a military of immense strength and power in the days after their demise, would you have unleashed them upon the world to find those responcible? Or would you have hidden away in your home, alone, worrying about what they would have wanted for you instead? Would you have spent the rest of your life trying to live out their dreams for your future, or seeking justice?" she asks, her voice hardening. "Do not speak of my King's wishes again. You do dishonor to you both." she then looks down at her hand and winces slightly, opening her fingers with a crunkle sound and offering Nightwing his graple gun back, "This is yours."

She then turns to Batman and seems to straighten slightly at his offering of her title, "I am." she confirms before continueing, "Within the day Atlantis will begin a campaign of distractionary tactics that will be nonviolent, endanger none of our people, but will criple the surface world in ways they never thought themselves vulnerable. Most of this will be easily repaired if our mission is a success, if it is not then then surface world will have greater things to worry about. As for when the invasion proper could begin? It would begin an hour ago if my Queen wished it, mustering merely our active military. However she is activating the military in it's entirety, which will take time, stalling. She keeps her people happy with the show of warplans and by telling them all that with the heroes of hte surface running free we will need all of our might. Ten days at most, four if things run smoothly. My people are seeing that they do not run to smoothly but there is only so much we can do." sure, only a handful of days to solve a political assassination that must have taken months if not years of planning. Why not? When it comes to seeing Arthur's body Tula stiffens, "That… that may not be possible. You cannot survive where he is being held and I know of no way to sneak you in past the guards. Usually I would employ a distractionary method, but any distraction in this climate could be seen as a surface world trick and trigger the invasion prematurely. I will contact my people, see if a plan can be formulated, but there are countless variables."

Nightwing merely offers a nod to Batman, understanding the request and agreeing to it. He then looks to Tula as she brings up dead loved ones, "Yes. I have lost people that I loved and no, I didn't declare war on all of humanity to try and find who did it." It was eventually discovered, but she doesn't need to know that. "I did't blame everyone on this planet nor did I hold them responsible for their death."

He doesn't take the offered, crushed grapple gun. Instead he asks, "You're giving him less than a day and you can't even get him the body?"

"Then we go to where your King was shot." Batman states, "And I want an audience with Mera so I can see his body." Perhaps even talk some sense in to the no doubt grieving woman.

Not interrupting Nightwing's dialogue with the Commander the Dark Knight has simply turned his back on them and is walking several feet away, an object in hand with a dim infra-lit glow. Not visible to anyone without the proper optics on, a simple portable tablet. He is already looking at reports and camera footage. Not that he hasn't already went over them a thousand times since the announcement of the assassination. This allows him something of a focal point for the pain he is in (he us nursing a bullet wound) and anger. Arthur was a friend and he has very few of those. Also Dick is a passionate man with a large heart and a way with words, a charisma Bruce himself never managed to develop - maybe he'll manage to put a dent in the thick skull of an Atlantean warrior enough to sway her to their side in even some small measure. Though, her presence alone says she isn't completely without hope… just… an alien culture.

Tula eyes Nightwing again, "That's because they were your people. They are not mine." she says simply. The graple gun, not accepted, is then offered to Batman with a curious expression. "What is coming next no one can stop, it must be done. The people of Atlantis demand blood and if the Queen will not give them something then they will depose her and put a more volitile ruler in her place. It is either this," she eyes Nightwing, "or the complete annihilation of random costal cities on your continent. This will hurt, but the loss of life will be almost nonexsistent." almost. She eyes Batman next, "That is easily enough done. I thought perhaps being there may teach you something, so before we left I froze the dais in ice while making a rather… violent statement. I believe it will hold what might help you there solidly so that none may flee with it." she froze the crime scene hoping it would stop people from messing with it. Helpful and not all at the same time. Still, it was quick if not great thinking. "I can set up a comminication with the Queen if you like, but an actual audience could be difficult. Again, you are a surfacer champion, your presense in Atlantis could be… problematic."

"Look," Nightwing offers after another slow breath. "You're grieving. I'm sorry for the loss of your King. It was a terrible, terrible thing and I am certain that whomever did this will pay dearly. But you need to think about what you are saying to us. What if, in retaliation for the loss of a ship and many lives, humankind blamed Atlantis and chose to destroy it even though it was the act of only one or a few? All I ask is that you think about what you are doing. Bring this to your Queen."

There's another brief pause before, "If you had merely asked, without destroying property and harming others, I'm sure that would have been more than happy to help. What you're doing now is pure bullying and blackmail. I know you want answers and we do too. But this was completely the wrong way to go about it."

Not like it will help. "Can I trust you to return without any more damage to our city?"

The bent grapnel is taken and placed on the Batman's belt. Wasteful in the eyes of Atlanteans just makes them lose respect for surfacers. Normally the Dark Knight loses lines, batarangs, pelles and all manner of objects around Gotham that eventually end up on iBay sold for stupid amounts of money to #battracker enthusiasts.

"We have little other choice than problematic solutions. The pretense of war will force all of our hands." Batman takes his cape and hands it to Nightwing, "Fly us to Metropolis and then Tula will deliver me as a hostage to Queen Mera. " The Batwing is already swinging back around for them, Bruce pauses long enough to look over his shoulder at the two, "Lets go."

Tula spins on Nightwing, "YOU PEOPLE SUNK MY CONTINANT TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN!" the water pump atop the building that rattled before simply explodes now, lifting the whole aparatus nearly twenty feet up before it comes crashing back down, the water gyser that tore it free writhes like a thing alive, "You surface worlders destroyed a nation, you killed countless thousands of my people, and only the fast thinking of my King, of the man who was tasked with protecting your entire world from magical threats, saved us from extinction. Then, as if this genocide was not enough, you drop every peice of filth you possess into my home, you build entire islands of garbage that grow daily in my waters, polluting the water I breath with your toxins. You daily send people out into the waters to destroy the last of great species sacred to my people so you can strip them of oil and fat and then throw their rotting carcases back into the waters that gave them to you as if your acts were not deplorable enough and you required one last desicration to complete the horror. You think we are over reacting? You think war is not the answer? You have been commiting atrocities and waging war on us for MILLENIA! We have done /nothing/ in responce, wishing only to live in peace." the water seems to sharpen into needles and points and it stills, calming which is somehow far more worrisome then it's writhing. "The more you speak Nightwing, the more I hope the Batman fails. You wish to know a fraction of the suffering my people have dealt on a daily basis? Imagine when we poison your air with chemical weapons that cause your babes to be born deformed and mutated. Imagine when we melt your ice caps and flood your world, drowning your people so that your streets are filled with the bloated corpses of those you held dear. And when that is done, imagine Atlanteans picking among the sacred holy places of your people, ripping them apart, poking at your dead bodies, and then pretending innocense by claiming it is all for 'science'." there are tears in her eyes, which are now glowing brightly, "And when you have lived through all of that, suffered that, I will find the one man who brings you hope, I will find the beacon who shows you a path to some place better. And I will kill him. Rip him apart in public. Spray your face with his blood. I will tear him apart." she's silent for a moment, "If I return to damage your city it will be at the head of an army thousands strong and I will not damage your city. I will erase it." the last words are hissed through clenched teeth. Her eyes don't leave Nightwing as she answers Batman, "Yes. Lets. If he speaks again we will see how well he lives up to his name." which is to say she may try to throw him out of the plane.



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