Getting a Clue

February 06, 2015

RETCONNED: Robin encounters a new vigilante in Gotham.

Outside the Cluemaster's House



  • Cluemaster

Mood Music:

Night and Cluemaster is out of prison. The night is young and he has gathered his people around a table at his place. Stephanie, his daughter, had turned up unexpectedly. The resulting mess is terrible, the girl running, the gunshots flying around her. A few days later, a few classes skipped, and the butterfly emerges an eggplant dressed superhero, called Spoiler. Now, she is peering down at the house from the rooftop opposite, her gaze resting on the shadows moving around in the room. Her face is covered by that hood, pulled tightly down, and her shoulders are tense as she watches that conversation in that house. A few moments later and she is moving, swinging down to the shadows in the alleyway beside the house.

Robin is where he needs to be when he needs to be there. He's heard that the Cluemaster was released from Blackgate, and while Cluemaster is, far as he's concerned, a watered down and less useful version of the Riddler, he's still a criminal and he still bears watching. As a result he's on hand when the Spoiler takes her place on the rooftop overlooking her own house, watching from a higher building some distance away through a pair of binoculars. And she is as interesting as the Cluemaster, as far as he's concerned. Ally? Enemy? People in costumes he does not recognize are worth following up on. When she swings into the shadows between the buildings, he follows suit, descending to the rooftop she abandoned and watching from there to see what she does.

She is focussed, her gaze on the window around the back of the house. Clearly she knows the layout, her fingers working to open a laundry room window, just big enough for her to slide through. Oblivious to Robin, she climbs up on the windowledge, balancing carefully there, the eggplant cape falling around her. Then she is wiggling through the window, trying to do it silently, a task challenging to anyone. That noise though, that attracts attention. Cluemaster picks up his gun, giving a nod to the others.

A trio of honed golden Rs appear in each of Robin's hands, fitting between his knuckles as if they belong there — which they do, of course, that's how he made them. He waits silently as the girl slips into the house, Cluemaster's house, then drops into the alley, his cloak fluttering briefly before it settles again, masking him as part of the shadows as he observes his surroundings, then peeks through the window after Spoiler.

Spoiler is perched on a dryer, her hand balancing on its edge. Oblivious to Robin still, oblivious perhaps even to the approaching Cluemaster, she jumps down, landing with athletic grace, the cape swirling. But apparently she heard him coming, and as Cluemaster opens the door, she hits him, with a mop. Splat! A wet, dirty mop to the face, followed up by a martial arts move, a twist, a kick, and he is disarmed.

Not bad, Robin concedes internally. Not bad. But Cluemaster isn't alone in there, and disarming one opponent won't disarm the rest. Robin pauses a moment in consideration, but just a moment, and then one of his shuriken is winging away at an angle that will carry it through a window a little further down the way, a distraction that may give the girl the advantage she needs.

The shuriken does precisely that, slamming through the window, and Cluemaster's minion turns away, leaving Spoiler with one down and one to deal with. She runs at the other, running up him, pushing off his groin and, taking his arm, slamming him over her head, onto the Cluemaster. There is something personal in that moment.

Yes, Robin can see that there's a personal motivation in this attack. He is, for the moment, giving Spoiler the benefit of the doubt — she's fighting the bad guys, certainly, so for the moment that puts her on the side of the angels. But revenge is not the best predictor of heroic behavior, so she definitely bears watching. And speaking to. However, with no evidence against Cluemaster at the moment (defending your home is not illegal, certainly), he can't do much but watch until she seems to need a hand. Or until she comes out.

Spoiler takes advantage of the momentarily lull in the fight, vanishing into one of the back rooms, emerging with a bag, obviously hastily stuffed. The stirring minion gets a boot to the face, a hard one, and all of their weapons are collected, shoved into a school bag, before she opens the door, turning her head to look behind her for an instant. The gesture is personal, the look strangely wistful, almost a goodbye.

Things are rapidly falling into place. Robin hasn't even seen the girl's face, but it's not like the Bats don't have extensive files on their enemies. Like the fact that Cluemaster has a teenaged daughter. Why else would she so hastily beat the pair of men into a stupor, and then look so sad about it — in posture, if not in features, anyway. Concluding that she'll be leaving the building soon, he retreats to the roof nearby to wait for her to leave.

She leaves, putting the bag over her shoulder, the other in her hand. She turns to walk up the street, keeping to the shadows, her face hidden by the hood. Then she steps into an alleyway, kneeling to tug a hoodie out of the bag, removing the cape, a quick change into jeans, hoodie, and a teenaged girl is walking out, her hair tied back into a ponytail, just like any other.

Truthfully, he was hoping to face her in her costume — a matter of professional courtesy, more than anything. But he averts his eyes as she changes clothes, and then, when she's dressed, drops into the alley once more, light as a cat. His voice comes from just a yard away, a whisper that carries little further than her ears. "You should keep an eye on the rooftops. You watch people from there, and others could be watching you."

She spins, lifting her gaze to the roof, and then to him, her eyes widening, startled blue. "I've got pepper spray." A threat, mild compared to her obvious ability to kick arse. "I don't know what you mean." The quiet reply is almost a good lie, her gaze steady, her eyes giving nothing away. Practiced, but the swallow is the tell, and she covers it with a snark, "Guess there are more lycra covered pervs in this town than I thought. Gee, nice outfit."

"I didn't watch that," Robin replies. "Though changing in the alley's not entirely subtle. But I was watching you before that." He jerks his head toward the broken window that distracted her second opponent. "Leaving home?"

The blue eyes narrow and, dropping the bag, she folds her arms, resting her weight through one leg, giving him a look. "So you aren't a perv but you were watching me change. Gee, batfink." Sarcasm, snark, and she shakes her head, "Picking up something I wanted. That isn't home." There is a definite note on that, closing that door.

"I was not watching you change," says Robin, rolling his eyes behind the mask. "I would've approached you when you were still in costume, but you started to undress before I had a chance… and I looked away. I am -not- that kind of jerk." Other kinds of jerk, maybe. Certainly there are people in Gotham who would say so. But not THAT kind of jerk. "We got off on the wrong foot. I'm Robin. I saw you fight off your father and that thug in there. Nice work."

Steph's back straightens and she tilts her head, the look distinctly… sarcastic. "If you were, I bet you totally would admit to it." She bends to grab that bag, swinging it over her shoulder. "I don't know what you mean, I just picked up some things from a place." She turns, apparently leaving him behind, if he lets her.

Robin utters a sigh. "Believe me or don't," he says as she turns to walk away. "If you need a hand, get in touch, Lady Aubergine." He doesn't follow — streets are not the highways of the Bat family. Alleys, rooftops, these make far better ways of travelling for him. Rather, he ascends to the rooftop again, but does so in such a way that he's not simply pulling your typical Bat vanishing act. She'll know where he is, at least.

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