2019-05-26 - We've All Got Scars


Barbara meets Cassandra, and Helena teaches her a bit of acrobatics.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun May 26 23:23:58 2019
Location: Wayne Manor - Batcave

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Theme Song



News got around the 'Bat Family' quickly, of course. Especially when something 'big' had happened. And while Batman had taken more than a fair share of wards or 'strays' in, he was, at least, very selective of who. And why. So when it came through the usual channels and chatter that Batman had picked up a homeless girl, and who didn't seem to be able to speak, well - that was at least a little new.

Her name, they had found out was Cassandra Cain. And while a rather intensive search had been done for her on numerous fronts of who she was, or where she came from, any history - nothing could be found. Not even a birth record.

Still, the girl had been accepted in, and had spent one night in the Batcave, and now had been given a room in Wayne Manor. Next to Helena's.

It was the first 'real' bed Cassandra had slept in - probably a good few years, if not even more. She had showered, and - well, hopefully nobody had gone out of their rooms because it doesn't seem Cassandra understood the need for a towel to take back with you to your room. She had changed, wearing more of Helena's or STephanie's borrowed clothes for now.

And then she had come back, after eating, to the Batcave, where she presently seems to be doing a series of complex, and master-level skilled techniques in the training/combat area of the cave. No music. No interest in the technological wonders of the cave. She, it seems, would rather exercise. Practice.

While Bruce brought in Cassandra - it seems that he doesn't quite understand the care and feeding of teenage girls - despite having one himself. It's true - Selina handled most of what makes Helena well, Helena. Bruce pitched in where he could - but there's a reason he usually took in Robins and stuck to guys.

So he's called in the cavalry - while he's sitting at a computer, currently working on reports from last night. His left shoulder and arm are covered in a bevy of bandages as he works, his arm set in a sling as he works on the reports from the night before, and getting news feeds. He is reltively sure that Zsasz did /not/ die last night and he wants to make sure the murderer is indeed in custody.

Barbara Gordon had been otherwise obligated and so was not a part of the fight with Zsasz and, for her part, had not yet heard much about the incident the night before. The sound of a cafe racer engine echoed from the maw of the cave's tunnel as a bike entered and drew closer to the command center. The bike's engine dropped to an idle purr as it rolled easily into the vehicle area and stopped. No cape nor cowl this time. Not even a helmet. Her father would have a fit.

Barbara shut the bike off and swung her leg over it, turning to walk toward the heart of the cave - the Batcomputer. She wore leather riding pants and boots, a gray tank top and a dark brown leather riding jacket unzipped. She looked to the exercising teen then to Bruce. "That bad a night?"

"I mean, nobody got shot, so that's progress." Helena heard Cass get up and, as is her habit with the newest members of the family, kept an eye on the girl. So when she came downstairs, so did Helena. Except where Cass started to train and exercise, Helena settled in at one of the work tables, flipping through some sort of design sketches that don't actually look like anything the bats use. But she's got a box of spare parts on one side of her and an empty box on the other, sorting through and picking things out.

Tipping the chair back so she can see Babs, she flashes a grin. "Heya. Good news, no the cops have reduced Batman hunting to its former hobby sport levels."

A new face. One Cassandra hadn't seen before. After a series of finishing moves, the girl stops her exertion to study Barbara further, intensely. She already seems to have the thin, expressionless Bat-gloom stare ofi intense focus down. And she hasn't even taken a real lesson from anyone, yet.

Yet, as Batman does a bit of searching, it would appear that Zsasz has been, indeed, taken to Ravencroft and is being medically attended to - while Clayface is being shipped to The Raft.

Barbara Gordon looks over to Helena curiously. "Not getting shot is preferred, yes. I'm sure by your parents if not the rest of us.." She smirks a little and looks over to Cassandra, "Cassandra, right?" Some word does travel fast. She walks toward the teen and offers her hand, "I'm Barbara. Tho usually they just call me Babs. Also, Batgirl. When it's time to patrol the city."

Helena rummages through the box, picking something out to drop into the other box with a rueful smile. "Hey, sometimes things happen," she quips back to Babs, keeping a sidelong eye on the meeting between the pair. Her whole life, everyone brought in has been older than she is, or her own age, or somehow considered more capable. They've all been…role models or competition. But she seems to be taking a slightly more protective interest in Cass.

Cassandra looks to Barbara as she is approached, looking the other woman up and down before reading her body language a little and she takes her hand and shakes it firmly.

Then she glances to Helena, signaling to Barbara. To Batman at the computer. To Helena, herself. Then to all around herself, and gives Helena a quizzical look; it's not too hard to interpret: Just how many people are doing this?

Helena's smile turns rueful at the question from Cass. "Yeah, there are a lot of us," she agrees. "It started with Mom and Dad." She gestures to Batman, then makes cat ears and a kissy face to indicate her mother. "When Dick, from last night," she gestures up to the catwalk, making a flipping motion that signifies the acrobatics, and a backwards motion with her hand for last night, "Lost his family, we brought him in." She pulls her hands toward herself in a circle motion. "He was the first Robin. Barbara," she gestures toward the other woman, "Joined us after that. When Dick-" flippy fingers, "Decided to go on his own," walking off fingers, "Dad found Jason."

There's a pause at that, a frown flickering across her features as she tries to come up with a motion for her lost brother. She settles on a motion like drawing a hood over her features. "Jason was killed in the field," she draws a finger across her throat, "And not long after that, Dad," pointing at Batman, "Got hurt." She hunches over. "Kate," she continues, making a motion like flowing locks of hair, "And Mom," cat ears, "Took over the work. And right around then is when Tim," typing fingers, "Found us and joined the crew as well. Stephanie," she pauses, then points out Babs before making a hand gesture downward as if to say smaller Babs, "Came in around the same time."

"So, uh…eight?" she counts, holding up her fingers with a wry smile. "Nine, counting you," she points to the girl. "Ten," she laughs. "Including me."

Cassandra intently watches Helean's hand gestures, listens to her wordsounds. She has, in otherwords, Cassandra's absolute full attention. The 'hand-signs' are a mixed bag with her, but the pointing, and other references do help those along. Every now and then Cassandra will nod, as with the example of Nightwing, easily deduced, to a thin press of her lips making her look more severe - as in the case with Kate, whom she hasn't met and thus only understands it's someone she hasn't met yet.

Still, she gets the point. There are a lot of them. She gives a final nod to Helena, then offers, briefly, Helena a rare smile from the usually impassive and always silent girl.

Helena is full of the wordsounds. Probably more than anyone else Cass will meet in the cave. She meets the smile with one of her own, dipping her head in a nod. "I'll spar with you soon," she promises, gesturing between herself and Cass, then making a motion of a fighting stance before a short forward hand gesture. "I'm kind of hurt right now, though."

She lifts her shirt enough to show the sea of bruises across her torso, only just starting to fade from painful red and purple to more shades of blue and green. Not that it stopped her from going out after Clayface.

Cassandra tilts her head at Helena, nods. And, she lifts her shirt up. Not all the way, at least, but rather near-mimicking Helena's own gesture to show her own midriff.

There is the clear definition of whipcord muscle there. But there is something else too. Scars. A number of them. Two at least are identifible as bullet wounds, two or three others might be arrows. And there's a handful of knife, or sword scars as well. All have long-since healed.

She lowers her shirt, lifts her chin to Helena as if to say, 'it's okay. You'll heal. I did.'

Helena grimaces faintly at the collection of scars, though less so than others might. After all, she just listed the half a dozen teenage sidekicks she grew up with. Young people with scars are not all that new to her.

"Yeah, someone," she leans over toward Batman's back, "Was kind of protective when I was growing up." She winks, showing no hard feelings. Now that she's allowed in the field, at least.

Cassandra shakes her head, and gestures to herself. She shrugs.

But that begs the question, if nobody was there to protect her, how did she learn martial arts?

The girl looks over to Batman, studying him for a few moments while he works on - whatever it is Batmen work on while his daughter and his newest ward talk. She points to Helena, and then to the poles that Nightwing had descended on. Curious.

Helena follows Cassandra's gestures upwards, nodding with a wry smile. "Yeah, I can do that too," she answers, gesturing to herself and the bars with a nod. "I kind of learned from everyone." A gesture to herself, then one hand following the other as she repeats her gestures for the rest of the family. "I'm not as good as most of them are at any one thing," a humble gesture and a shrug, "But I can keep up with everyone."

She pauses, then quirks a brow, gesturing between Cass and the bars. "You want to try?"

Cassandra considers the offer, one easily understood. She considers - while there certainly was some athletics training, she was most definitely not trained to NIghtwing's proficency in such. Still, it's a new obstacle to overcome, and she nods once, shrugging her shoulders as if to say, 'why the hell not?'.

Helena stands up, abandoning her boxes to come over to the training area. She's still stiff - after all, she already showed off her collection of bruises - but she seems to be moving a little bit better now. Once she's in the pit, she takes a short running start, using the wall to parkour herself up enough to get a hand on the lowest bar. That part seems almost like second nature, as if she count find those spots on the wall blindfolded.

Once she has a hold, she walks her hands over enough to hang, then starts to swing, working up her momentum until it's high enough for her to raise up on her arms above the bar. Bending, folding, swinging. Each move picks up more momemtum, until she has enough going to swing herself up to the next bar.

Cassandra watches, intently, the movements. She is no kinesthetic, but she has enough training to recognize motion and movement, and her skills in ready body language will help her here, as well as her superior physical condition.

She exhales out of her nose once, changes her stance and position to further watch Helena until the end of the demonstration, so she has the best chance to replicate it. Watching Helena with that same intensity she'd watched Barbara with earlier, focused, and unwavering so she doesn't miss a single thing.

Reaching the top bar, Helena swings herself up high enough to turn a somersault in the air and land lightly on the top bar, crouching for balance. She grins down at Cass, then drops, catching the bar with her hands long enough to swing to the lower bar, then hop back down along the side of the wall.

"Momentum is the real trick," she tries to explain, making a swinging motion with her hand that grows. "That and strength," she flexes a bicep, "But I think you've got that part covered."

Cassandra flexes a bicep in return, nods once. She excls at running to the wall, pushing off, and grabbing the first bar. No problem there at all. She uses that momentum and the expert knowledge of her own body to swing a bit further, until she is able to reach the next bar up, just like Helena did.

She reaches that top bar, and tries to simulate the air summersault to reach peak height and land on top of the bar like Helena did, but that's where her ability to mimic ends - that, it seems, was something she was never taught and it's certainly not something someone's going to get their first try. She misses, falls, and lands, hard, on the floor below.

At least she learned how to fall. More by experience, than actual instruction, she manages to tuck and roll on impact, making the first sound anyone's heard from her probably - the rush of breath and the anguish of failure and impact; that uncomfortable grunt.

She moves to stand, slowly, frowning. But she seems okay.

Barbara Gordon had stepped back after greeting Cassandra to talk quietly with Bruce at the computer. Always nosy about computer work after all. While Cassandra and Helena talk about how many lunatics are in this Cavernous Asylum for Justice, they spoke a bit. Then the redhead drifted away from Bruce and the computer, and toward the two teens as they begin to work their way across the bars.

She's impressed with the skill Cassandra shows on the bars. Until she misses and tumbles to the matts. At least the Batcave has the best quality matts to reduce the risk of injuries.

"Doing okay, Cassandra?" she asks just to be certain.

Helena winces when Cass hits the floor, but she lets the girl get up on her own. It seems like what she's used to, at least. "Good start," she offers with a small smile, encouraging. "That part's tricky."

She pauses, lips twitsting as she tries to work through a way to explain it without words. "Okay, um. Let's try…" She holds up a finger, then balances herself on the mat before bouncing once and making a front flip back to her feet. "Can you do that?"

Cassandra tilts her head some, watches Helena again. Her barefeet settle into the mat as she prepares to follow Helena's example again. She, too, bounces once, and tries the front flip. She has the physique for it. And the knowledge, the intimate knowledge of balance. It's just understanding the body movement. She falls on her back, slamming back onto the mat. But, if there's anything beyond fighting that Cassandra is good at, it's getting back up and continuing.

She rolls up onto her side, and immediately tries again. And, again. And, again. She's a persistant thing.

It's on the fifth attempt she succeeds. Not as cleanly, or as experienced as Helena, and certainly no Nightwing. But, she's done it.

Oddly, she doesn't even look proud of herself. Or happy. She just nods, once. Another skill learned. To be honed, and practiced.

Barbara Gordon watches with interest as Cassandra starts working on the next move Helena demonstrates. She can't help but be impressed by Cass's determination and, really, the speed with which she catches on. "That's good, Cassandra. You've got a natural talent, clearly. Dick better watch out or there may be a new Batcave Gymnastics champ.." she jokes.

Helena nods almost in time with Cass when she gets it, though there's at least a smile from her. "It's basically that," she motions to the mat, "Up there," she motions to the bar. "Same muscles, similar motion." Although she's feeling it a little bit herself. That might have been pushing things.

Cassandra looks at Barbara, nodding once, and does similiar to Helena, seeming to understand them well enough, each. And there is no hesitation, despite her fall to try again. She had learned a long time ago to hesitate was to invite further pain. Even if those old ghosts are long since gone, the lessons are never unlearned.

Again, she vaults cleanly off the wall onto the first bar, and moves to distribute weight, apply muscle groups and ascend to the next bar up.

This time, on that same bar she failed at she goes for a higher motion, and then applies what she learned. It's not 'clean' by any strech of the imagination, but she does land - the landing seems to be easy enough for her. Again, she awards herself with a nod of satisfaction, a feeling of competence, before jumping down.

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