2019-05-26 - A Bloody End


Zsasz calls for the unmasking on live TV as he holds Channel 11 hostage, and threatens the first live murders syndicated television as well. It's going to be a Bloody Knight in Gotham.

Log Info:

Storyteller: Cessily Kincaid
Date: Sun May 26 03:09:32 2019
Location: RP Room 1

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Theme Song



The last week and a half had - well, been slown down from the recent murderfest. The police, of course, had still been on the hunt for the Batman and the effort exhausted hadn't expired in the least - but, at least with no new murders there wasn't further rallying cries to bring in SHIELD, Avengers … or the Thunderbolts.

Tonight started out … quiet. Just the usual crime, the occasional muggings, bullying, beatdowns, illegal weapons deals, and mafia hits. A typical night in Staten Island for those associated with the Bats.

At least until …

"Master Bruce." Alfred's voice cuts through the dead commlink. "I think you should turn on your television to Channel 11. Immediately." There's a slight urgency to Alfred's voice that suggests it's a definite matter for Batman.

But before Batman can do that, suddenly there's police chatter on the monitored comm. "Batman sighted at — urk!" the comm on the other end goes dead, briefly. And then Batman's voice comes over it. "None of you can take me down. Stop trying. Go ahead. Send Nightwing after me. Send Robin. Whoever you want. I've got a job to do. And I'm going to do it. Stop. Or more police will get hurt." The channel is - curiously left open. Yeah. That's not a trap, right? But no location is given, and the police start scrambling on the radio to try and find out who that was, and where the car is located.

As the message comes across from Alfred, Batman sends the message out to the others. In the meantime, the Bat himself is watching the movements and actions of Betty Brant. He's deduced that she will be the next victim of Zsasz, and that the attack by Clayface is the distraction. When he's warned to turn the television on, he brings up a small side display in his HUD to tune to the channel as he brings up the footage.

He remains in place. As much as he may want to go after Clayface himself - there's more to this than just the copycat. There's other targets. Other angles. And this is the one he's decided upon.

And Robin knows his place and that place is with Batman. He knows Bruce would go it alone if allowed, regardless of how much support he had at hand. For all that he'd assembled a team, Batman still had a lone wolf's instinct on the hunt. Robin, of course, served as the angel on the shoulder, a reminder to share the burden, a willing hand to lend and a body to sacrifice if it came to that.

They all hoped it wouldn't come to that, but this was Zsasz and there were no guarantees.

He crouches near Batman, keeping still and monitoring police chatter and internet traffic on a small pad. Batman doesn't need help watching things. He's Batman. He won't miss anything.

Likely unbeknownst to Batman, Batwoman herself has also been on the prowl. She's had a lot of time to think since she last saw Betty Brant and at some point she resolved to keep an eye on the woman herself. As a result, when the call goes out for Catwoman to take the other members of the team with her the Red Knight is quietly tailing Betty. Something that certainly isn't changing when Bruce makes his call about the stakeout.

Not for the first time tonight Batwoman is checking out her equipment. Launchers, smoke bombs… She's sure Batman's noticed she's following by now. How could she not? It doesn't really need to be said aloud.

Over the comm system there are several replies:

Blackbird is first: "Okay, call and response. Call is G7H2K. Response is P3N5. Batman's not the only one he can copy. Location acquired."

Catwoman next: "You heard the man. I'm following the signal from the last broadcast. Everyone else with working limbs follow the Batmobile's signal. And for god's sake be careful. Clayface is an actual literal monster. And his imitation of Batman is nearly perfect. If you see the boss on the field, take his head off. Literally. Over."

And then Batwoman's reply: "…Copy. And if you see /me/ out there expect trouble."

Curiously enough, Betty Brant had not too long ago gone into the Channel 11 building. Why, was anyone's guess. But, she at least seemed to have business there. That was well over an hour ago, and she still hadn't come out.

Perhaps she was going to be on the news? It was 11:00pm, after all.

But as Batman turns on the news, it's a very different newscast.

Maxine Evans' face is on the news, certainly. But it's wrought with terror. Behind her, several people are tied to chairs. Their mouths gagged. And Betty Brant appears to have been 'forced' or maybe she was just sitting in as co-anchor - hard to say, but she's sitting with Maxine Evans in the hosting chair. And behind them? Victor Zsasz. His shirt off. The wounds, the scars on his chest, and arms, visible. A bright shiney knife in his hand.

"Go on," he prompts waving the knife at Betty. "Say it."

Maxine looks terrified. She looks to Betty. Then, to Zsasz. Then, swallowing to the camera. "This is Maxine Evans. You're watching the 11 on 11. And - tonight we have a … breaking story. Unmasking of Batman. Because if Batman doesn't come on the show, and unmask himself, we're all going to die."

Betty Brant had her reasons for being where she was. Granted, it wasn't exactly going as she had originally planned. Sitting there behind the chair, it was amusing to her that for all her years in journalism, she never wanted to be a news jockey. "Max, don't." She murmurs toward Maxine, a connection and sometimes friend of the Bugle girl. But with knife gleaming and Victor close, Brant understands the woman's desire to do as she's told.

A glance behind to all the thugs about the station, she drinks in a breath and glares in Zsasz direction. "This farce is over. Leave everyone here alone." She demands before eyeing the cameras. "Don't do it, Batman. Now they can see that all this mess wasn't you, but because of this man here and a monster known as Clayface. The witchhunt is over, don't give into him!"

"I'm going into Channel 11." Batman responds over the comms. Apparently, the story has his attention. When he hears Batwoman's reply, his lips pull into a thin line.

He turns to Robin, and considers him for a moment. "Batwoman will be here shortly." How does he know that? It's intuition. He's turning his own attention back to the situation. "I'm going into the studio. Alone."

The suggestion that he may unmask himself and expose the whole family? That's a dangerous prospect. However, he's gesturing to the roof. "I don't want them to cut the feeds, Robin. Make sure they stay online. Get yourself backstage, be ready to free the hostages." With that, he takes out a grapple gun and fires it. As he descends to the ground level, he steps into the lobby, where Channel 11 is on all the feeds. Looking to the security guard, he steps past him, heading directly towards the elevator bank to press the button to head up to the 11th floor, where the news studios are.

Robin grits his teeth a little bit, but this is as close to non-solo as Batman's going to get at the moment. He had to admit that he had things to do. He follows into the building shortly thereafter, rappling down the side of the building and cutting out a window on the upper floors. Batman would go up and he would go down. He ducks down a set of stairs and prepping a few Robin-rangs in one hand, even as he brings a schematic of the building up on the HUD in his domino mask. He pauses and breaks open a security panel, trying to tap his pad into the feed so he can get a look on the security cameras in the building and map out a route.

"…?" Batwoman is apparently a little behind Bruce himself because she hadn't swapped to the Channel 11 News until after it was mentioned on the radio. Just in time to hear, "-Don't do it, Batman. Now they canse…"

The marine curses to herself under her breath but she isn't wasting any time on approaching the building. She follows Batman inside, but instead of taking the elevators she stalks the stairs. She leans out and fires a grappler up, using it to launch herself upward along the stairwall to a higher floor to the soft, mechanical whir of the line being drawn.

Tim is headed to the roof. Batman to Floor 11, and the studio. Batwoman… Stops on Floor 10. She looks upward as she tucks her tools away, and shifts the vision mode to infrared as she makes her way into the offices and cubicles. Like she's searching for something… Tracking the people above.

Within Channel 11 as Batman passes the security guard and moves to go up the elevator, something clicks in the back of Batman's mind. The security guard wasn't a security guard, was he? Said security guard is already drawing his pistol, and firing several rounds at Batman. It would appear that Victor hasn't made this easy, and has spent the last week or so gathering the worst of the worst, to take over the news studio for this particular stunt. Murders on live TV. It's very much like Zsasz. And revenge on Batman.

As Robin begins to hack into the security panel and get access to the floorplans and see the cameras - he'll recognize the same thing that Batman is discovering. There are quite a few repeat offenders here an no 'real' security guards, or even people. The entire building has been taken hostage. Then, there's a door opening from the hallway below, and several voices. "You think he'll do it?" says the first voice.

"Murder them all on live TV? Probably. Guys a nutjob. That's why I said we could check upstairs. Besides, best crack at the Bat this way."

They round the corner, and see Robin. "It's Robin! Get him!"

One of the men charges Robin, weilding a metal baseball bat. The other pulls out an automatic rifle, and starts to aim quickly.

Inside, and on the television Zsasz's voice comes with the measure of a man who only lives for the next kill; a man bereft of cause, save to kill, whose only enjoyment is to kill. It's cold. Inhuman. "Yes, Ms. Brant. It's a trap. He will come, though. Won't he? Because he knows I /will/ kill you. And her." He points the knife at Maxine. "If he doesn't. He has ten minutes. Then I slit your throat."

As Batwoman makes her way into the offices, she'll come across a different scenario. Several office people tied up, and gagged, and left to their own devices. There's the sound of a flushing toilet, in the unisex bathroom just at the end of this office space.

"You're such a coward." Betty growls, her gaze tired and fierce. When alone, it's easier to be afraid for yourself, but this was different. This was one monster with goons trying to take down a bundle of bystandards. It wasn't about her anymore. Reaching out, Brant snags a mug. Cracking it across the desk, she slips from her seat and stands infront of Maxine, turning to face Zsasz. "You're not hurting anyone here, and threatening me won't do you any good, either. You're just one man. You think your goons will help you once the cards are down? Live and on display where they'd have no chance in hell of getting anytime of reduced sentence or jail time? Think about it, boys. Conspiracy to committ mass murder? Good fucking luck." Broken mug in hand, she grips its handle tightly. "You think I'm another sheep, Zsasz? Jokes on you, asshole. I'm a goddamn wolf." With a rush forward, Brant moves to take on scarred killer.

Passing by the secruity guard, Batman notices that the guard's shoes are not the polished shoes of a desk security guard. No, they were boots. Scuffed and dirty. Pressing the button to the elevator, he hears the chambering of a round in a pistol. Moving suddenly just as the guard fires the first shots, Batman jerks to the side as the rounds slam into the door.

Grabbing a pair of batarangs, he twists around and flings them at the security guard, looking to take him down before the elevator arrives. With the guard hit in the pistol and disarmed, Batman leaps forward, the flat of his palm driven into the man's face to knock him down and take him out effectively and quickly.

When the elevator arrives at the first floor, if there's no other distractions, he moves within and presses 11.

When the elevator arrives at the 11th floor, the doors open… and the elevator is empty. Instead, a small camera is twisted down from the vent above the elevator so that Batman can get a look to see what's waiting on the other side of the doors, a pair of smoke bombs ready to toss into the lobby.

Robin dives low, trying to take out the knees of the man with the baseball bat. His free hand cuts loose with the Robin-rangs, razor-sharp darts in the shapes of Rs that will pierce the flesh of the hand trying to fire that weapon and hopefully disarm the skell of his machine gun.

"Security force is all hostiles, repeat, all hostiles," he says into the comm.

If he tangles the legs of the bat-wielder effectively, he'll rise and flip, using a judo hiptoss to throw that thug into the chest of his fire-arm wielding compatriot.

Batwoman sees the people bound and gagged in the hallway and among the cubicles and she pauses, scanning the faces of those surrounding her. She moves toward one of the people on the ground, a young woman with wide eyes, and lifts a finger to suggest she stay silent. She starts to kneel down to reach for the ropes when the sound of a toilet flushing echoes through the room. Kate turns toward the bathroom - and then disappears behind a nearby desk, crouching low. She's reaching toward her belt for one of her rather distinctive batarangs, watching to see who will emerge. Prepared to leap to the attack. With her goggles set to track heat signatures she's still got eyes on the various hostages in the room. She holds her breath, waiting for something to go wrong.

On TV, Zsasz only grins at Betty as she speaks. A she smashes the coffee mug, and charges after him. It's the mad grin of someone about to /really/ enjoy themselves. A whole lot. Betty rushes forward and Zsasz /lets/ her hit him wth the coffee mug, bloodying his face. Then, like a snake he's moving swiftly, slippery, and he's got her twisted around, with the knife poking into the skin of her neck. Drawing just a little bit of blood. So close to him, pressed that tightly against him by the whipcord and taut muscles of his arms she can feel him shiver.

"You blood," he whispers in her ear, but loud enough for the TV microphones to pick it up, "Is going to look so pretty, when it covers the floor, Ms. Brant. Tell me. How many heartbeats do you think you have left?"

On the upper levels, Batman will see two armed thugs waiting for an arrival from the Bat - or someone on his crew at the elevators. Though, the broadcasting room is shown to be further down the hall. And it's likely there that the 'nest' is. And, Zsasz.

Further up, Robin's attack seems effective in taking out the psychotic bat-weilder, who goes down in agony. Several bullets go off, errantly, but Robin's judo-toss is effective on the second thug too, sending him down without much fight left in him, leaving the way of progression open for him.

A whistling thug walks out of the restroom, zipping up his fly and says casually to the group of hostages, "Don't worry, This'll be over soon. Then, we can have some real fun." His look of 'fun' is, curiously enough, at the guys, rather than the ladies. He does not appear to have good intentions.

The slash is made, dragging jagged shards of glass across his body. It wasn't the neat markings he made across his flesh to tally up the number of people he sent to the grave, this scar would be different. With as shuffle and turn, she feels her back pressing against the man's lean torso. Blade to her throat, she hisses as the initial burn of split flesh hit by oxygen begins.

"I have enough." She answers, eyeing toward Maxine. "Get under the desk, Max." Brant advises before moving her leg up and ramming its heel down toward the bridge of Zsasz's foot.

Once he has visual on the two 'guards', a single pellet rolls out from the vent, and hisses, a thick layer of smoke coming out of the pellet as it interacts with the air.

The vent drops to the ground, and the Batman comes swinging out, slamming into the first guard with a shoulder. Driving him to the ground, Batman plants his foot into the first guard and then lunges at the second man, sweeping his legs out from under him. As the man falls towards the ground, the Bat turns and twists, bringing his body down in a massive elbow drop as he drives it into security guard.

Rolling over and getting back to his feet, he hears the commotion and the scream from the studio. There's no more time to waste. A heavy boot slams into the door, and it swings open. While the studio is bathed in the harsh light of the overhead and television lights, there comes a loud growl. "Zsasz!" comes the commanding voice, as Brant makes her move. "That's enough! You wanted me."

Here he is.

Tim Drake moves past his fallen foes to head for his original target: the broadcast feeds and dishes. Zsasz wants to be seen, first and foremost, so denying him what he wants is pretty high on the list. Anything to disrupt his plan and put him off-guard.

Tim's not deeply knowledgeable in electrical/broadcast engineering, but he IS adept at rapid-fire research and happens to be sort of a genius in certain ways. He'll flip open a panel leading up to the broadcast and try to find a way to disconnect and shut down the show from going to the outside world.

"Cancelling the Mr. Zsasz Fun Hour," he says into com.

Tim Drake sighs at his com, "Okay. Uncancelling the Mr. Zsasz Fun Hour." he says, stopping what he's doing and taking to monitoring the cameras to see Batman's situation.

Batwoman watches as the leering man advances on one of the interns, a brow arching as she observes. The Intern's gaze shifts to Batwoman's hiding spot, but he doesn't speak. Then he's staring at his captor, panic in his eyes. She counts the beats as the distance between them closes.

Then Batwoman leans from her hiding spot. Those green eyes are intense as she studies her target for a second, his form in the glowing orange and yellow of thermal optics. She lobs the 'claw', her specialized batarang, at the thug's throat before leaping from cover and lunging at him. Given a half second's space Batwoman will bear him bodily to floor with a grunt of exertion and begin delivering a thorough pounding with her red gauntleted fists.

As Betty attemps some self-defense, Zsasz shifts, just slightly. Her foot comes down, but Zsasz is pushing her away from him, "Brave little Ms. Brant."

He clucks his tongue, then he moves to grab Maxine instead, who shrieks as she feels the blade against her neck. He cuts a thick cut of hair off her, near her flesh, "Maxine. Tell Ms. Brant you'd like her to sit down now. There's no need to be fussy. You're all going to die, of course. Batman will see to that. But you should die with dignity. Shouldn't you, Maxine?"

The news anchor does not, clearly, have Betty's courage. She just sits in her booth and reads off a teleprompter. She does it /well/. But, fearful eyes look to Betty, pleadingly.

Zsasz looks beyond the cameras. "Batman. You're wasting time. But, I don't mind. My time will be quite - occupied, when you don't arrive."

A pause. And Zsasz's smile doesn't lessen. A drop of red can be seen at Maxine's neck. "Remove the mask, Batman. Let everyone see who has been killing everyone. Who is behind the mask, Batman? The world wants to know. So does Maxine, and Ms. Brant. They want to know, very much. Don't you?"

Batman can see a lot going on here. There are four armed thugs in the room keeping weapons trained on the camera-men, another thug in the booth making sure the feed remains live and that the engineers don't do anything tricky. And, of course, there is Zsasz.

Robin's ability to hack proves true again, allowing him access into the feed, and the ability to alter it as he pleases, to either shut it down, or to let it stay live.

Batwoman's beatdown gives the room full of victims a much needed stress reliever, and knowing that they're going to be okay. Mumbling and twisting begin to rapidly occur as each seems to be vying for freedom, and to tell her some information? Maybe?

Pushed back and away, she watches after Max and drags in a deep breath. Exhaling, nostrils flaring, she keeps her fingers around the handle of her broken, make-shift mug shank. The sound of Max screaming causes her to twitch and the mark of irritation left on her throat is noticable. Max sits, begs in silence and does her job.

A kick in through the door is the only thing causing Betty to look away from the scene. "Don't," she whispers and faces Zsasz once more. "It's not Batman! It's you and your crony, Clayface, you sick fuck! I have proof!" She calls out, something that was probably known to the lunatic already.

Jaw tight, she moves to sit, inching closer and closer to Zsasz and his recent victim of choice. "Let her go. Let everyone here go." Forcing a calm into her voice, she lifts the mug and sets it down on the counter top. "If you knew a thing about the Bat, you'd know that not holding people hostage would get you want you want faster. All you're doing right now is giving him a reason to take you out. You're giving a lot of people a reason to take you out. Let everyone here go…I'll stay." She offers. "I'll stay and help you take down Batman." A glance in the Bat's direction, she then faces Victor again. "I'll help you take off his mask."

Batwoman quickly finishes with her thorough pounding of the thug, turning to face the young man beside her. She's reaching out to remove his gag, her lips lightly pursed as she does so. She's breathing a little heavily, adrenaline coursing through her system after the brief scuffle. Still, the woman's melodic, slightly rough voice is clear "You're okay now. What's that you wanted to tell me…?"Herss she speaks Batwoman is also watchng her HUD update. She's clearly distracted as the hostage is being allowed to speak. "Batman, your HUD is dark… Repeat, you've gone dark. Status?"

After sharing his feed of the HUD with what he has on file, Batman remains in the shadows. The information is uploaded and deciminated. "If I'm going to step into the light, Zsasz, why don't we step out together? The deaths of Kyle Denver and his family. That was the first link in the chain - a fellow patient of Doctor Adams, he was part of his private practice, while you were in his Ravencroft group. But you shared the same passion - to discover who I am." he says. "The first murders were to draw attention to me, to make it look as though I was responsible for the murders."

"Then there was Doctor Adams. His murder was to further solidify that it was a man desperate to hide his identity from the world. One that had avoided registration - something that was forced on you the first time you were arrested for your crimes." he points out, the detective looking around the room, even as Betty is trying to speak up, he holds out a hand to stay her. She can scream his innocence from the rooftops - but that doesn't matter in the court of law - or public opinion.

"The death of your landlord was a red herring - but it was the very thing that led to you. You wanted it to be known that you were the one that unmasked me - that's why we're here tonight. You used Basil Karlo to immitate me, but even as he carried out the attacks, you realized, he wasn't doing what you wanted. He didn't want to kill those that you told him to. That's why the police officers survived his attack. He wouldn't do what you wanted him to do. He wanted to discredit me - you wanted a murderer. He didn't want to do that, so you carried it out yourself."

He waits for Zsasz to respond, but in the meantime?

The lenses on the mask go dark. The cowl and cape come fluttering out of the shadows, and land on the desk. The mask is off - all he has to do is step out into the shadows. But he's waiting. It's a trade. Zsasz's response, and he'll step out, perhaps?

Tim Drake tenses up, watching things on the security monitor. He trusts Batman, trusts him enough to know what he's doing, to do what needs to be done. He trusts that Batman has a plan because that's who he is and that's who Tim signed up to work with.

But he's nervous. Just a little. Just a trickle of sweat on his forehead. And he keeps his hand steady and ready to cut off the feed if he thinks he needs…

"They've got orders to shoot all the captives if Batman tries to take him out," the man whom Batwoman saved from a nefarious fate replies, quickly. "You have to help them! Please!" He looks even more worried when Batwoman says that his HUD had gone dark. What did that mean?!

Zsasz shivers again, and licks his lips. His breathing becomes erratic, in the sort of way that those in the throes of sexual release start to recieve maximum pleasure before orgasm. He's getting close.

"Basil was /very/ good though," admits Zsasz, his mouth widening. "And he did kill that first boy. Very nicely done, too. But he wasn't as good as me," he admits. "If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself. That's why you're here, now. And that's why your precious Catwoman is dying to Basil right now."

Batman is right about one thing. Zsasz likes to take credit for his own work. "But those others. They were sublime, weren't they?" He shivers again. "I know you wanted to watch, too, Batman. See their life end. To watch their eyes. To feel their last heartbeat. To know what it is like, to live. Truly live."

He 'pets' Maxine's hair, who is absolutely terror-striken. "You can only do that, as you watch death. No more games, Batman. Let everyone see who. You. Are." His knife hand tightens against Maxine's throat.

"You have five seconds."

"Stop…stop…" Betty whispers out, hands up and fingers twitching. "Let her go. Just take me, ok? Let her go." She all but begs of Victor, taking a step closer and closer, calm and collected. "You're not the type of man to start a piece of work and leave it, are you?" She inquires, reaching her fingers up and pulling the collar of her jacket down enough to show the red mark left behind. "Com'on, Zsasz, finish what you start before taking on another project, hmm? Let her go…"


The confession is heard over the airwaves - everyone watching Channel 11 hears Zsasz take credit for the deaths. All but one. That one is on Basil. Batman's lips pull into a thin line as he hopes that Batwoman's aim is as good as she claims that it is. That she can take them down before they take down the camera crew. A single click on the comm - to Batwoman's own comm is a signal - move.


A second click. Robin. "Let it play out." he orders his ward. But there's more to it than that. He told Robin to make sure he made it backstage. Batman kept the crew and cameras - and Zsasz's attention on him - Robin's the ace in the hole behind the scene. A second click sends the same order to him that he sent to Batwoman. Move. He's to take down the backstage attack and any gunmen that Batwoman misses.


"No. That's where you're wrong, Zsasz. There needs to be no more blood drawn tonight. Theirs. Yours. Or mine." he responds, as he takes that first step forward to expose his boots, and leggings - there's no cape. It's off. The lights rise to his hips and the utility belt - this is the genuine article - the faint outline of a face can be seen.


With his hands out to the side, the Batsymbol becomes obvious on Batman's chest - and the light moves up, over that well-known symbol, to the shoulders, to that jawline and chin that people know of the Batman already. The light touches under his nose.


Batman steps out - but he's wearing a bandana around his eyes, covering the top and sides of his head, and over his nose. The identity is still as muddled as ever. And there's a click.

From within the mask - both of the lenses suddenly glow extremely bright and then /explode/ in a brilliance of light and sound, the loud /pop/ of a flashbang embeded in the cowl going off - a defensive mechanism.

And something he learned from Jason Todd when he first faced down the Red Hood. Who says Batman can't learn from others. Once the flash-bang goes off, he snaps, "Now!" And he's rushing to knock Zsasz down as he slides over the desk, foot looking to knock him away from Maxine and drive the villian backwards.

As Batman's ploy played out, Tim left a remote disconnect on the feed in case he needed it…and, in the meantime, he went down and backstage as Batman had requested to begin with. Plus, between he and Batwoman, they'd taken out a lot of the resistance anyway.

So when Batman strikes, Robin emerges to try and get the hostages, going for Betty first so as not to spoil Batman's play. If he can, he'll drag her and then Maxine back and out of range, beyond the curtain and out of harm's way - to leave Batman to deal with Zsasz.

"Copy, Batman." There's utter chaos. When Robin emerges to go for Betty the floor erupts beneath the gunmen, sending splinters of support beams and shredded carpet. There's dust in the air and shouting, and then a couple stray shots are fired as flailing, bewildered thugs suddenly drop downward and into the room below. with a cacophonous thud. Batwoman can be seen just beside the hole through the dust, holding the trigger for the detonator for the breaching charges she'd been digging out of her belt. Her expression is stark, countenance as the carnage above and in front of her, crimson splashed on midnight. And now that she's got a clear view of those men and the floor above she steps into action. The nearest of them is going to get a heavy, steel-toed kick- whether he's moving or not.

The feed is cut off immediately, replaced by the default error signal the station will send in such an event. And by now? By now police lights are surrounding the building, no doubt. But the latest revelation, so broadcast means that those standing outside aren't calling for the Batman's head any longer.

The flash-bang does what it's intended to do - it stuns Zsasz long enough for Batman to do just that, to ram into him and send Zsasz flying backwards, blindly slashing the knife in front of himself and scoring a hard slash across the batsymbol on Batman's chest - a killing blow had he not been wearing his armor tonight. Zsasz flails like a wildman, screaming in outrage as he tries to slash and kill anyone - anything, his plans going to ruin in moments, "No! NO!"

The men behind the scenes move to train their guns on the victims and execute them all - until the breach happens, with perfect timing. There is confusion. There is chaos. There is uncertainty. There is a bit of ducking, and shirking. And then, after the first gunmen is down, there is gunfire at Batwoman, coming from two automatic rifles trained on her. Well — at least the innocents haven't died. Yet.

Tim Drake makes sure Betty and Maxine are secured, loosening their bonds a bit when he finds some of the men behind the scenes trying to finish their boss's job on them. He reacts swiftly and judiciously, an elbow to the throat, a somersault over another, a kick that dislocates a kneecap and sends one thug howling to the ground. He strips guns as he goes, popping clips and emptying chambers.

The training shows through, he and Batwoman finding themselves taking the henchman from both sides and winnowing them away.

Automatic fire opens up on Batwoman and she moves parallel to the shooter. Bullets thump against the floor behind her as she leads the weapons fire away from the hostages. Tim leaps into the group of men meanwhile, taking down a few while they've been distracted. And when they whirl on Tim? The red haired revenant of the Bat Clan doesn't waste a second in lunging, cape flowing out behind her as she tackles one of them to the ground.

Batwoman continues throwing out brutal kicks and jabs as she works through the men. A shot is fired and bounces off of her armoured shoulder. The shooter regrets this a second later. Batwoman finds herself standing above one of the fallen, shaking slightly as she takes in slow, deep breaths. She's just fighting adrenaline. "Surrender," she'll growl. "Reach for a weapon and I'll break your hand." HE goes for his gun, and then yelps loudly when his fingers are smashed beneath a steel-toed boot.

"Bad choice."

Slamming into Zsasz, the pair of them go tumbling. The murder's blade slams into Batman's shoulder time and again, drawing blood, before Batman shoves him backwards into the bank on monitors. On the screens, the video is playing of 'Please Stand By' or video of Zsasz's plan going down in flames as Robin and Batwoman are taking out the others. As for Batman? He's in a crouch for a moment, but when he's come back up, he's recovered his cape and cowl, and the narrowed lenses lock on the mad murderer.

Zsasz screams and rushes at the Dark Knight, just before Batman grabs him and throws him backwards. Shoving away from Zsasz, Batman slams several punches into his side, before he's having to yank back from a knife slash that comes close to his face. "Die!" Zsasz's screaming at him incoherently, as Batman keeps up the attack.

The pair of them push through the backstage part, trading blows, punches, and Zsasz's blade catches Batman in the side. The murderer grins. "It doesn't matter. I'll unmask you after I kill you!" he crows out as he rushes at Batman.

Catching Zsasz in the middle of his rush, the pair of them slam into the window of the 11th floor, which creaks and cracks, as Batman gives a grunt. "This ends tonight." he responds, voice cold and flat, though that tone of undercurrent anger is present.

"It ends when you're dead, or I'm dead!" Zsasz promises. And he rushes towards the Bat again, slamming into him, and they both crash through the window, tumbling towards the streets below. As they twist and fight in midair, Batman rips off his cape, throwing it around Zsasz and bundling him. They're both going to slam into the ground from the looks of it - until Batman manages to use his free hand to grab the grapple gun and fires. It slams into a desk on the edge of the broken window, and the pair of them slam into the side of the building, a good four floors up. "Give up, Zsasz, it's over!" he calls out, his hand gripping the cape tightly, his arm straining against the force of the murderer as he struggles to break free. The desk creaks dangerously, the catch mechanism tearing into the oaken desk and ripping into the wood. "The grapple's not going to hold if you keep struggling! Let me—"

"It's never over!" Zsasz proclaims, the knife coming out of the cape and slams into Batman's bicep, drawing in deep and causing him to drop the load. As the cape flutters free - Zsasz plumments the final four stories, and hits the concrete plaza below.

Left hanging on the side of the building, Batman stares in horror that Zsasz would presumably chose death over capture - the spotlights of the police cars rise, focused on Batman as he hangs limply from the side of the building for several seconds as police approach where Zsasz has fallen, their guns drawn.

Knowing there is nothing he can do, and that it's in the hands of Staten Island's bravest and boldest, Batman pulls his line to start to pull him back to the 11th floor, so that he and the others can regroup.

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