Welcome Back Robin

Summary:
1 February, 2014: Robin returns to active duty

Clocktower - Gotham

Oracles fortress..


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


Late afternoon, just late enough for Dick Grayson to be finishing a shift at the GCPD but just early enough that his evening patrol won't start just yet. Oracles received news… good news for a change… and she's asked Dick to meet at the Clocktower so she can share it.

The news? Robin, aka Tim Drake, has been in touch to say he is returning from his prolonged vacation and it's possible that he may just be returning to duty. For Oracle, this means a lessening of the burden on the already stretched thin Batclan.

The redhead is currently making tea in the kitchenette on the top floor of the Clocktower. Her screens flicker with the feeds from cameras around Gotham and on her lap, is her tablet that gives her remote access to the Oracle network, when she's not actually at her command desk.

***

It wasn't exactly a vacation. More a refocusing of his activity. Tim's busy. He's in college, pushing himself hard and taking too many classes. He's still taking too many classes this semester — but he's got some experience with it now, and he can resume his nightly efforts behind the mask. Having gotten in touch with Oracle to let her know that he's once more on call he has now made his way to the Clocktower. He memorized his code long ago, and lets himself into the building as normal, a normal kid dressed for cold winter weather and carrying a backpack stuffed with business and criminology and computer science textbooks. By the time he's reached Oracle's domain at the top of the tower he's Robin once more, red and black and gold and ready to catch up on the family's business.

***

Sleep? Dick is fairly certain he won't be getting any of that for a good long time — not after the events of last night. He passed on the informaton to the others of the BatClan and they're now stretched even thinner than they were before. He's already downed a good deal of coffee earlier in the day in the hopes that the caffeine will help carry him through until he can get a couple hour's sleep.

He punches in the code, not soon after Drake, still in his GCPD uniform as he makes his way up. There's a knock at the door before he calls out, "Anyone home?"

He knows that he's expected, but he also wants to be warned in case others, who don't know his unmasked face, might be about.

***

Oracle knows the two are on their way up and having finished making her tea she makes her way to the table to wait. Robins entrance is met with a smile "Welcome back. Soda's in the fridge or help yourself to tea or coffee, waters already boiled." As Dick calls out, the redhead responds "You're safe, come on in, Dick. No one here but us Bats today."

***

Tim nods to Oracle. "Thanks," he says, removing his mask once he's certain there's nobody about who knows his unmasked face — sort of the inverse of Dick's method. The mask is tucked into a pouch at his hip, and he retrieves a drink for himself. Just ice water. No big deal. "Dick, you want anything?" he asks, since he's over there. "Sorry about last semester," he adds to the pair of them. "What'd I miss?"

***

"Coffee, if you don't mind, Tim," is offered as Dick collapses into one of the seats. "Don't apologize, Tim. You needed the time. You can take as much as you need, you know, but we -are- glad you're back." He looks to Oracle, "Did you get my message last night? And this morning?" He hasn't seem any evidence of the Atlantean threat yet but it hasn't been all that long since it was made and Batman was 'borrowed'.

"Well, we've got gang trouble again…some new faces working with Oracle," and that's all he'll say about that, "And Batman's with the Atlanteans for, who knows how long."

***

Oracle has been busy extending the Oracle Network and for good reason too. The smile she gives Dick is indicates she knows his thoughts on the matter.

"You needed the time, Tim and we managed." Even if she missed him "But, yes, we are very glad to have you back in action."

"Yes, updates received and filed and I'm monitoring the Atlantean threat. Thank you for that." the redhead turns her attention to Robin "There's a fair bit happening but the two that bother me most are that SRD seem to be taking criminals that the capes drop off and redirecting them and HYDRA are getting at least a toe hold in Gotham. We're not sure if the two are related yet, seems unlikely, but…" she shrugs "I'm not ruling out anything."

Chewing her bottom lip then taking a sip of her tea she considers "And Birdwatcher … a hacker who seems to have taken an interest in me. Batmans told me to sort that out."

***

By now Tim knows perfectly well how Dick takes his coffee, so he fixes it up properly and bring it over to the man, setting it down before he takes a seat nearby and sips his water, nodding. "It's Gotham," he observes. "We always have gang trouble." If it's not young hoods, it's Two-Face or the Joker or Scarface gathering goons to take over the streets. Or some combination of all of the above. "And I'm not surprised that Batman's in Atlantis now, given what happened with Aquaman the other day."

But his head jerks up at the mention of SRD taking criminals. "I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that we don't know where SRD's taking the criminals," he says. "As for HYDRA…" He grimaces. HYDRA, KOBRA, so many of these organizations dedicated to world domination for one reason or another. "Clearly both situations need watching. What HYDRA activity have we got? And what do you know about this Birdwatcher?"

***

"Well, to be honest," Dick admits, "Arkham is apparently notoriously easy to break out of. The Joker does it every other month, doesn't he? Is it such a bad thing that the SRD are finding other places for the criminals? Maybe they can hold them better…and longer." Yes, it's an issue that they don't know where they're going, but, "Let me work some PD contacts. I might be able to at least get some leads from there." Go the 'legit' route. "You have enough on your plate to deal with all of this, Babs. How can Tim and I help? Aside from tracking down HYDRA. Can they be any worse than some of these mafia groups?"

***

"SRD are rotten through the GCPD, Dick. I mean it. I thought The Joker was trolling me when he told me." Oracle shakes her head sadly "He wasn't joking though… the criminals don't even seem to make it to processing. Really, I think you shouldn't pry internally it might tip our hand, so to speak. And no we don't know where they're taking the criminals."

"HYDRA are far more dangerous than the mafia groups. They have more resources and they are using magic users as well. Rumour has it" and it's rumour because no one has told Oracle directly, she's just got good intel in general "that S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters might have been breached by HYDRA. That, in itself, is big." she shrugs "One of my contacts is tracking HYRDA and watching their activity here, he's kicked over several nests already." Tim gets a shake of her head "HYDRA haven't done anything overt yet, but that's the M.O. Lots of small operations with connections to each other. Just be on the lookout and when I feed information, get on it."

***

"We could see about dropping a tracer on Joker — or whoever — the next time we take them down," Tim suggests. "Maybe something in capsule form, make them swallow it. Something they won't lose with a change of clothes or a casual frisking." He doesn't know enough about SRD to have an opinion on the group, but if they're taking people where they can't be found — even killers like Joker — it's probably not a good thing for anybody.

"HYDRA was founded by Nazis," he notes. "And they stick to those principles. Mafia types, at least, generally want to maintain the status quo, since it works for them. HYDRA wants to reinvent the world in their own image. With advanced weaponry." He reads too much, really.

"And this Birdwatcher guy?" he asks again.

***

"Half of the GCPD is rotten, Babs," Dick explains before he cups his hands around the mug and sips at the coffee. "We're at the ready whenever you need us, Babs." He shifts some in his seat before he offers, "And I need, per Batman's instructions, for us to continue. Keep the communication going. I'm not going to preach to the choir here, but we know our jobs and we need to do them the right way. Nothing messy. Nothing careless. We need to be alert and careful at all times."

And now there are Nazis in Gotham. As if they didn't have enough to deal with in the city. "I like that idea, Tim…track thoose given to the SRD. We should check with Alfred and see if there's anything in the Batcave that can be altered."

***

Tims suggestion gets a thoughtful look. "That is a good idea and if Alfred doesn't have something, we can create something." She sighs "Birdwatcher, pinged on my radar when I was helping Batman recently. He's, I'm assuming it's a he, is a hacker of some type and 'spoke' to me whilst I was providing remote support."

She flushes a little "He was a bit crude… made some off suggestions. Seemed quite taken with Oracle, in fact. Whatever… they tried to hack the Batcomputer and they're blocking my communications to The Fox" Babs looks to Tim "One of the newest team members." she explains before continuing "I don't know much more than that except, I have to set up a meet with them." And she's not quite sure how that's going to happen "I will take them down though."

***

"It's possible we could get one of our… less offensive enemies to work with us on this," Tim notes. "If Joker's confiding to you that SRD's that bad, none of them are going to want to go in without some guarantee that we'll do our best to get them out." He pauses a moment for thought. "Or maybe one of the Flash's Rogues. From what I know, he tends to be on fairly good terms with them." But he waves a hand vaguely to sideline this line of thought until later. Because there are still more concerns. "You'll make sure you've got back-up when you meet this guy, right? Not that you can't take care of yourself, but…" ALWAYS take back-up when you don't know who you're dealing with. That's Tim's motto.

***

Nightwing looks to Tim and clarifies, "Orbital team members…" Not one of the ones who can have a discussion like they are now. He then looks at Babs, "A meet? With the Hacker? In person? Seriously, Babs, have you lost your mind?" Maybe he wasn't as diplomatic as Tim right then. He looks back to his coffee and takes a long swig of it.

"I like that, Tim. Maybe promise some lenience in helping us out. We'd have to find someone who wouldn't double-cross us…or, at least, there would be a low instance of that."

***

"Team member." The Fox is on the team and that's all there is to it Babs rolls her eyes "Obviously I have lost my mind and I will do what I need to do. Batman said sort it, and I will." Shaking her head slowly, the redhead continues "I don't know how I'm going to arrange it yet, the details of the meet are still be agreed. It might well be digitally and if it is in person, it doesn't have to be /me/ that turns up, does it?"

Taking some time to sip her tea, Babs nods slowly to Tim "Of course there will be backup. It's why I was concerned about The Fox's communications being blocked. If his are, then who or what is next?"

***

Tim nods to Dick. "Which is another reason we might do better to go outside of Gotham for somebody to work with. There aren't many here we can trust that much. Maybe Catwoman," he adds. "But I'm not sure Batman would want her involved anyway. If we work with the Flashes…"

Oracle's explanation of the situation with Birdwatcher makes the young man rub his face, tugging on his lower jaw slightly as he considers this. "If he can cut off our communications," he says, "he's certainly dangerous. Why this Fox? Why not Dick or Bruce? Why not me?" Not that he's been in communication lots of late. "This might be less about the family than about the Fox."

***

Nightwing shakes his head, "Not Catwoman. She might be involved with some of this extra-bad gang business. Maybe leave her out. Find someone else. Think we could trust Ivy with something like this?" As long as she's not trying to kill someone, she's not the worst of the worse. "I haven't talked to Wally in a while. I know he was with the Titans for a while, but last I heard, he left."

Tim gets another glance at the mention of the issue being more about the Fox. "It's not like we're necessarily always on different frequencies. Maybe he followed the Fox's communication device to you and not the other way around?"

***

Babs looks at the two. "I may have someone we can use… maybe. Let me liaise with Batman and my contact, see whether we can put that together. They clean up crime, but they use lethal methods to do so, so not someone I or we can work with."

Drinking her tea, Babs watches the liquid in the cup for a little while before commenting "He was there at the scene, assisting Batman and Wonder Woman, when the Birdwatcher contacted me. So Birdwatcher knows there's a connection to me." She doesn't want to say it, but she will "The common denominator is Oracle. The hack on the Batcomputer was trying to get in touch with me. I just need to be careful with the rest of the team, so it doesn't happen to all of you."

***

"Leave it to you, then," Tim replies with a soft chuckle. "I'm not even sure who's behind bars these days." He nods at her explanation of the situation with Fox and the Birdwatcher, and leans forward, drinking from his water glass again as he considers this. "Keep us posted. If you get anything we can follow up on…" Well, she'll tell them. Of course she will.

***

Nightwing sighs, "Batman's off the grid for the time being. He's basically been abducted by the Atlanteans and we most likely won't get him back until they're done with him. If we're lucky, I think, we'll get him back alive." Although he's fairly sure Batman can get out of almost any trouble, even with them. "He told me to look after things so let me know what I can do to help." He may not be wearing the cowl but he's been given that responsibility.

"Has he contacted anyone else on your team? Misfit?" There's a pause, "Let us know what we can do to help. Tim's a good hacker on his own and I'm not totally clueless with computers."

***

Batman being off the grid with his last update to Oracle gets a grim look "I will let you know Dick" but she's sure he's not across everything and this might be problematic for the redhead. "Reach out to David Ironside, Dick. He's on the right side of the equation and may be interested in working on the SRD thing with us. Or not" she shrugs again with a sigh.

"And as far as I know he's made no contact with the rest of my team. I have sent out a general update and I'll see what comes back from there. At least with Misfit, she can find me if she can't use a communicator…. And I will pass on information to you, when I know it. Stop worrying, you two."

***

"Babs, I know you can take care of yourself," says Tim, "but you are our lifeline when we're out there. If we need back-up and this guy's blocking our contact with you, we're in trouble. We want this solved as much as you do, and as quickly." He slowly leans back and sighs. "Have you heard from Fox lately? In any capacity? Can one of us get in touch with… him? Make sure everything's okay on his end, maybe get him on another frequency so he's got some way of contacting you?"

***

Nightwing nods at the mention of David Ironside, "I'll talk to him." At least she gave him that and didn't totally write him off because he's not Batman. He then falls quiet and works on the coffee while Tim tries to talk to Babs. Maybe he can talk some sense where Dick has failed in the past.

***

Babs frowns at Tim and then nods "Yes, I've been in touch with him and got an Oracle message through. I expect he will reach out through one of the team, it's what Oracle asked him to do," The two men get a considering look "If you see him on the streets, reach out to him by all means." With the comms channels blocked, there's not much else she can offer "If his communicator shows up on my system, I'll pass the information on so you can. That's the best I can give you right now."

***

"Good enough," says Tim. "I'll keep my eyes peeled for the guy." Or, you know, some guy who looks vaguely like he could be a Fox. He'll research that later.

***

"I'll also keep an eye out." Daytime and night. Dick nods and then gets back up and goes to refill his coffee. "Anyone want anything while I'm up?" He's going to let Tim do the talking for a bit.

***

Babs laughs as she realises that Tim doesn't know who the Fox is. Picking up her tablet, she pulls up the file she has on The Fox and displays it on the screens "There you go. That's what you're looking for, possibly riding a glowing elk or doing parkour to get around." Looking back to Tim "Just remember his main focus is magic, ghosts and the like." Dick gets a shake of her head, she's still got her tea to finish.

***

"A glowing elk," says Tim, regarding the images on the screens. "A glowing elk. In Gotham." Subtle, he thinks, but does not say. Guy might as well be wearing a sign that says 'I'm a Hero! Kick Me!' He finishes his water. "Thanks, Dick. I'm set for now," he says. "What is this guy doing in Gotham?" he asks.

***

Nightwing returns with his own, refreshed mug then, "No idea. Maybe with New York and Metropolis overrun by supers, they're bleeding into Gotham? Maybe he's allied with Jason Blood? I have no idea. Although if HYDRA's working with magic and he's an ally, couldn't we be using him to sniff them out?"

***

"Firstly, he's a Druid. Which isn't exactly a magic based discipline. Secondly, he grew up here, this is his home town." she shrugs "He and I were probably at school together, just separated by a few years." Looking down at her cup, then back up, the redhead continues "His druidic circle was here before … they all died" Oracles done her homework and it seems spoken to him a bit "Apparently Gotham isn't such a magical hotspot, but it gets it share of minor stuff and he tries to keep it clean. Has been fulltime for the last year and frankly, I'm surprised he didn't ping on my screens before now." She nods slowly as she goes through the list Dick and Tim had just enumerated "He may be of use against HYDRA and no, he and Blood only met recently."

***

"Still," Tim says. "A glowing elk." Then again, he puts on red spandex and calls himself 'Robin', so he only has so much room to talk. "I guess I did read something about magic in Gotham awhile back. Aside from Jason Blood, of course. Some kind of demon living under the city. Probably just colonial folklore."

***

Nightwing shrugs, "Don't look at me. I have no idea when it comes to magic." That's what Blood is for. "I'm just thinking out loud about how to best use our connections to work on all these projects so that we're not stuck on them all ourselves." The Bats are good, but it's about time they should be delegating, when possible.

***

"At least this glowing elk disappears when he wants it to." Babs smiles slightly and shrugs. "I've only seen it through the video feeds on the comms and suits. Dicks seen it for real." Babs sips her tea again and looks at Tim "When I speak to Blood or The Fox again, I'll be sure to ask him about the creature under the city. I mean, The Fox did just clear out a real, live Hydra… not of the nazi kind, maybe that's what you read."

***

Tim shakes his head. "It was a book I read ages ago," he says. "I don't remember the details. One of those 'Let's all talk about how great our town is' things from elementary school." He smirks faintly. "No better training field for home-team boosters than an elementary school. I don't think any of my teachers expected me to find THAT book. Anyway, to sum up, we have growing gang activity, an incursion by HYDRA forces, a wannabe Oracle who's challenging the real one, our enemies getting handed off to a group of people who may be killing them, and a member of the family without a means of communication. And Batman's on vacation. Welcome to Gotham City."

***

Dick reaches over to clap Tim on the shoulder, "Welcome back! And Batman's more…being held hostage than being on vacation. We know who has him and basically doing anything to get him back might incite a war between Atlantis and the rest of the world so I think we're rather stymied on that one."

***

Babs just smiles as she drinks her tea "Isn't it exciting?" Her tea finished, the redhead moves to the kitchenette to clean her cup and put it away. As she returns she nods to the two men "Anyway you two, the night draws near and you should be out and about." Tim gets a warm smile "It's good to have you back on active duty, it really is."

***

"He's Batman," Tim points out. "I don't care if he's being held hostage on the moon of a planet orbiting Betelgeuse. He could make his way home to punch the Riddler in the nose and be back before the guards checked on him." An exaggeration, to be sure, but really, Bruce pulls off some pretty serious miracles for somebody who has no actual powers.

He smiles at Oracle as he rises. "I'm going to grab some caffeine for the road," he says, rising to his feet and moving toward the fridge. "Thanks, Babs. It's good to be back — and thanks for the hospitality."

***

His coffee is quickly finished off before Dick stands and brings his mug to the kitchenette as well. "Thanks for having us, Babs. We'll be in contact tonight…I'll try to be sparing in case this Birdwatcher guy is listening in." They have some gangers to clear out. "I'll also see about that Ironside guy. Thanks…and seriously. Let us know what's going on."


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