2019-06-14 - Star Light, Star Bright


Batgirl helps Quasar run down a gunrunner.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Jun 14 00:00:00 2019
Location: The Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



A few blocks from the edge of the Disaster Zone, just off what used to be Brighton Beach, a glowing-golden woman darts back and forth in the sky, just above the rubble and the ruined buildings that were once a thriving part of the greatest city on Earth.

It's a chilly, rainy evening, with the stars obscured by thick clouds overhead and even the moon's glow just barely showing through as a faint silvery brightness. Most people would be looking to find excuses to be elsewhere tonight, but then again, most people wouldn't spend much time in the Zone no matter what the weather might be.

The golden comet banks past the crumbling wall of what was once an apartment building and descends to wreckage of an old playground, a twisted and bent merry-go-round lying in the smashed-up concrete to one side. Whoever or whatever she was in pursuit of, it's at least momentarily eluded her.

Batgirl has spent quite a bit of time in the disaster zone herself. Having encountered Poison Ivy and her efforts to bring nature back, she has been providing some assistance here and there when possible. It's strange to be helping a former villain but the redheaded plant mistress certainly seems to have, as they say, turned over a new leaf.

Tonight, however, Batgirl has chosen to patrol the zone to help keep it a safe place to work on the recovery. The city had enough problem areas and trouble spots, it didn't need the disaster zone turning into a living version of post apocalyptic movie or video game.

Standing near the top of a damaged church spire, the cowled vigilante scanned the area slowly. That glow? that certainly was difficult to miss.

With a frown of curiosity, Batgirl fired off her grapple gun, its thin cable spiralling out behind. Once the claw found solid purchase, she stepped off the spire and proceeded to swing out across the open space in a slowly arcing path toward that light source.

The rain makes everything seem somehow softer and dimmer and hazier, even while it provides a soundtrack to replace the Zone's usual quiet. Distant traffic is virtually inaudible, rather than the usual faint undertone to anything going on near the destroyed area's edges.
The golden glow lingers around the young woman on the ruined playground as she turns this way and that, looking in every direction but without much hope. She's bright enough to illuminate the area she can see — more or less, at any rate — and the raindrops seem to strike the glow itself rather than the woman it surrounds, since her brown hair is still dry and neat.

There! Something moving in the darkness just beyond where she can see — and Avril pivots toward the oncoming Batgirl, her hands raised slightly. But … this someone is coming /toward/ her, not away, and too slowly to be an attacker; so she lowers her hands again and waits for the interloper's arrival.

Closing in on the light source did not take Batgirl long; it was only a few blocks away. Dropping down atop a crumbling limestone wall, the dark clad vigilante settled into a crouch as she studied the - well it wasn't a light in and of itself - source. Curiously, Batgirl rose up as she saw she'd been noticed. She wasn't trying very hard to avoid beind seen anyway. Most light sources in the Zone aren't nefarious by nature. It's too easy to attract attention.

With a half smile, the red haired Bat dropped easily off the wall to the ground as her cape flared out around her. Walking toward the glowing woman she speaks up,

"It's hard to avoid attention glowing that brightly. For a moment I almost believed fairies were real…" A cautious smile is offered toward the other woman.

The brunette smiles a little in turn, although hers is more than a bit self-conscious, slightly embarrassed, like she's been caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar. "It is," she agrees, "but I'm afraid they're not. Or at least, if they are, I wouldn't be able to prove it one way or another."

The light dims momentarily and then brightens up again. Raising her hand, the woman creates a canopy of golden light overhead, keeping the rain off the redhaired Batgirl as well her herself. "I wasn't really trying to avoid it," she explains. "I was trying to see if I could spook someone into moving. You know what they say about criminals being superstitious and cowardly?"

Her manner is a little on the deferential side, as if she half-expects to get a stern talking-to for her decision-making. But at least she appears to be good-natured about the prospect, rather than resentful.

Batgirl listens with interest. She steps closer, pausing just a moment as the glow seems to have stopped the rain. That's a new one. "Nice talent, that." No matter how one tries, water always manages to find a way inside armor unless one is somehow super-powered as it were.

A tilt of her cowled head and Batgirl asks, "Trying to spook someone?" her voice is quiet and low; possibly modulated even. "So you're here… trying to find criminals or trespassers by flying around like a glowing apparition?" She can't quite glower at that. It's kind of cute. Certainly creative. If it had been the Batman, he'd have lectured this woman seven ways to Sunday, as it were.

"I'm going to deduce from your talent, here, that you've got the means to handle the sort of trouble you might scare up. But announcing your presence to criminals? It's like crashing through the forest hoping to find a bear. Unless it's sick, starving or cornered, most bears are going to slip away without revelaing they were ever nearby."

A pause, then she offers, "I'm Batgirl, by the way."

"It was a little bit of a desperation move," Avril admits, her embarrassment growing somewhat more obvious. "Someone stole an energy weapon from SHIELD, and I volunteered to go and look for him because I'm — well, good at sensing that kind of thing." She huffs a breath. "To make a long story short, I found him, but he — he set the weapon to overload and it almost collapsed a building, and I got held up making sure no one was hurt."

With one hand, she gestures at the ruins surrounding them; the golden wristband glows with its own light when she does so. "Without the weapon I couldn't track him very effectively, but I got a report that he'd been spotted entering the zone. The problem is, I'm not all that good at finding people who don't want to be found."

She's actually blushing faintly when she in turn introduces herself. "I'm pleased to meet you. I'm called, um, Quasar." Her expression says she half expects this to get a laugh.

Batgirl listens and frowns. None of that sounds good. "I haven't run into many from SHIELD out this way even if it was to track down a weapon thief.." She looks around. "So the suspect is still potentially in this area? do you know when he was last seen and where?"

Reaching her right hand up to tap her armored cowl at the temple, opaque lenses settle into place, obscuring what were green eyes only a moment before. "Quasar. It's nice to meet you." No laugh. The city has all manner of heroes.

While she waits for the hopefully forthcoming details of when and where the suspect was last spotted, Batgirl is scanning the ground with those activated optics. Searching already.

"He was last sighted at Monroe and 9th Avenue," Avril says crisply, "heading directly west into the Zone." That intersection is only about three blocks off, so at least they're in the right area. "From the report, he'd been moving almost straight to get there, not changing direction or speed. I'm no expert, but from what I saw of him, especially after the weapon exploded — he was spooked. He just wanted to get away, he wasn't thinking too much about how to elude pursuit effectively."

They're faint, but on infrared a set of fading footprints are just barely visible. The distance between each print indicates that whoever it is was running at just about full tilt — but that distance is lessening; he's also getting tired out. Whoever it was ran straight through the ruined square and then cut a sharp right into what appears to be a wrecked school.

Batgirl nods almost absently. She's listening but she's focused on scanning the area. "Thank you for the detail. It helps more than you may realize." She turns and scans through the ruined park from the direction the suspect came from, then slowly in a line toward the opposite direction. "There's a faint heat signature still. It heads through the park.." she begins following, ".. and into the school." She turns to look at Quasar, "You can take care of yourself?" she asks intently. This isn't an insult or a joke. She is looking for assurance that if she leaves the other woman and they split up, it isn't going to end up placing Quasar at risk. Perhaps ironic in that Batgirl is the unpowered woman asking a powered one. But it's the way the Bats work, not leaving details to assumptions.

As soon as she hears the words 'heat signature' Avril's complexion returns to Blush Mode. She's simultaneously appalled and embarrassed. "Oh, for goodness' sake," she says, apparently not even willing to curse more strongly than that, even though disgust is evident in her voice. "I am /such/ a — well, there's no putting milk back in the bottle."

She follows after Batgirl, keeping a few steps back and a few steps off to one side, giving the redhead plenty of space. "The school? All right. Oh, yes, I can take care of myself — it's good of you to ask, though. Unless Thor is hiding in the basement and angry at the two of us, I'll be all right." This might be bravado, or Thor might just be the first "really powerful guy she can't handle" who sprang to mind. Either way, she lets the golden canopy dissolve and the rain is falling on the two again.

Batgirl smiles. "Don't worry about it." Feeling sheepish. It's hard to remember everything. A nod. "can you take the upper floor? I'll go in and follow the signature." She pauses, reaching to her belt, opening a small compartment. "Here.. this will let us stay in touch. It's linked to my comms. Once you put it in your ear, it'll activate. It can pick up the softest whisper. No need to speak up and give your position away." A smile at that. The little earbud held in her palm and offered over to Quasar.

Trusting soul that she is, Avril takes the earbud with a murmured, "Thank you," and, though she gives it a curious look, puts it in straight away rather than checking for traps or contact poison or anything of that sort. "Testing," she says, in just about as low a voice as she can manage, and, once reassured that all is going to plan, agrees: "Of course, I'll be happy to take the upstairs. Just let me know if I can do anything for you." Having said it, she rises off the ground, slowly, and, absent any other instructions from Barbara, will trace a slow half-circle around the building before picking out a likely entry spot on the second row of windowframes.

Trusting perhaps, but thus far the Bat folk are not known to be dangerous to anyone but criminals. Batman's framing for murder not withstanding and all.

Batgirl nods, "Good copy, Quasar. Whoever sees him first can try to herd him toward the other. You also might want to turn your glow off, or down if possible." Just a helpful thought. With that, Batgirl moves silently toward the building. Seeing where the quickly cooling footprints enter the building, she slips past and makes her entry through a broken window into a first floor classroom. Dropping inside, she scans the room quickly before moving. To be sure the suspect isn't there, but also to make sure she doesn't walk into a table, chair or knock over something and announce her location.

Well, she tries, but the best Avril can achieve is toning the golden glow down to a sort of faint moonglow sort of effect. It'll still end up being pretty visible in the dark, but a little more tolerable. With that done, she arrows into the building via the window, coming down lightly on her feet once she's inside.

Some people are nervous talkers, but she isn't one of them. Her eyes flick from point to point in the ruins of the classroom she's found herself in, searching for a target and finding nothing. The floor here, as well as below, is littered with debris, broken and smashed desks and chairs, fragments of drywall and ceiling tile — it would take an Olympic athlete to get through this mess silently. Or someone who doesn't need to walk. Luckily, one of each is on offer tonight.

Batgirl moves through the classroom, avoiding the still functional and the non-functional bits of furnature and such. At the doorway, she scans the floor for any more indications of foot prints before slipping into the hallway and approaching the intersection with the entrance the suspect seemed to have used.

Murmuring softly, she commets into her comms, "… nothing so far.."

The old school is only dimly lit by the skyline glow of New York all around, but it's easy enough for someone with image-enhancement technology to make out the details. There are the footprints, following the same path they came in on, going into one room, coming out again, making a circle through the main hall and then heading up a half-collapsed flight of stairs.

On the second floor, Avril has lifted gently off the ground again, and floated her way over debris to the classroom's exit. Out in the hallway, she halts again to search for her target — this time she's remembered to check the infrared spectrum herself, and so she sees the footprints come up the stairs, duck into one room, then another, and not come out. Nodding quietly to herself, she moves toward that room's entrance.

She's forgotten that infrared doesn't see through solid objects well. So, where she sees cold, cold, cold, cold — well, that doesn't mean that what's behind the wall, or, for that matter, the door, is equally cold. But she's likely to get a reminder in a moment or two.

Batgirl has picked up on the path though it is fading more quickly now. She moves swiftly toward the stairs, ".. he went to the 2nd floor. I'm coming to you." The voice is calm and quiet. As if she weren't rattled in the least while engaged in a literal man hunt. But then this probably isn't far off from what the Bats do regularly around Staten Island.

Rising up to the second floor, she scans, but sees the steps rounded a corner to a bisecting hallway before leading to where Quasar found and followed them. The shadowy crouched Bat moved toward the corner.

"Roger," Avril murmurs, just loud enough to be heard via earpiece — which is to say, not loud enough to be heard at all otherwise. She moves toward the doorway, confident that her target is somewhere inside, and pauses a moment just outside …

Which is when the other door to the room bursts open and a man in dark clothes sprints out, braining Avril with a piece of two-by-four as he dashes past. He's done it! He's managed to lure her over to a spot where he's between her and the stairs! Another moment and his escape will be — oh crap.

There's a Batgirl. So much for the perfect escape plan

He's got a knife and he's not afraid to use it. It will do him no good whatsoever, but he'll give it his best shot.

Batgirl rounded the corner just in time to see the suspect emerge but not with enough chance to warn Quasar that she should prepare for a sudden headache. Gritting her teeth, Batgirl readied herself, watching the man run toward her. A knife. That's adorable, really. If it were a gun, Batgirl might have at least felt the need for a hint of caution. A lucky shot can be no less deadly. But with a knife? She trusts her armor implicitly.

As he closed with her, he began to slash with the blade in an effort to get her to back off and leave him an opening to slip past and try to reach the stairs. But she doesn't flinch. Focused on his moves, her forearms fend off the slashes, the armor bearing the brunt with only some minor lacerations to the surface.

During a brief pause in the attackes, Batgirl addresses Quasar, "Quasar? Are you okay." it's as much a question of concern as it is a question of effectiveness. A regular human taking a 2x4 to the skull would at least have a concussion if not a fracture. She doesn't know about a super powered or mutant, or whatever-powered sort and what they can endure safely.

Being thwarted in his escape attempt only makes the man more desperate, and with desperation comes overreach, overreaction, and all those other mistakes that a truly skilled fighter will instantly know how to exploit. His mind isn't even on the fight, really, it's on running. It would be a little bit unfair if it weren't for his complete and utter willingness to stab someone to achieve his end.

Avril, meanwhile, has remained still for the second or three it's taken for all this to develop. She has a hand up, touching the back of her skull like she isn't quite sure it should still all be in one piece. Once she realizes it /is/, she turns toward the stairway and combat. "Fine," is her answer, "just … really, really embarrassed." But — give her a bit of credit! — she doesn't react with anger or otherwise insist on a showy display of power to erase some of that embarrassment. All she does — and someone not watching closely might well miss it — is create a pair of golden light pliers directly in the path of one of the knifeman's wild swings; clamp them down onto the blade at the right moment; and then twist sharply to one side with a metallic snap, leaving him holding … a handle.

Batgirl has little trouble blocking his attacks, even in the dimly illuminated hallway. When those glowing manifested pliers appear and then remove the blade from the handle, Batgirl can only chortle briefly. "Oops. Looks like you're running out of weapons." And with that, the female Bat borrows a move from the Batman's repertoire.

With a flourish, her thick cape is swept up and over, blinding the suspect briefly. In that moment, she fires her grapple gun at his ankles, wrapping them up tightly before she fires it again - up and over a cross beam visible where the ceiling has been torn down. Tugging roughly, the man is thusly yoinked (it is, in fact a technical term) off his feet and left to dangle where his head is at head height with Batgirl and Quasar. The line is secured to leave him literally hanging. He's not going anywhere now.

Moving around him she crosses over to Quasar. "You're sure you're okay? That was a nice move there. With the blade. Thanks." She smiles.

The man gives vent to a strangled shriek when he gets yoinked, and then swings back and forth, trying in vain to reach for something with his hands. No luck. It's not that easy.

Avril shoots Batgirl a rueful look. "You're nice to say so," she says, "but it was sort of the least I could do. Oh, I'm fine, honestly, it didn't hurt at all, it just — have you ever had one of those moments when things go completely sideways and all you can do is just stand there and marvel at how it got that off tracK?" She can smile, at least. "Actually maybe you haven't. But that was all. Honest. Pinky swear."

Batgirl nods to the assurance Quasar is okay. "Good." Then to the rest, she smiles wryly, "We all have those days. I'm far from perfect. I've just been doing this a long time, now. And honestly. You did good tonight. Mistakes teach us more than successes. We just hope not to experience costly mistakes because they're often more deadly.." With a pause, she glances to the writhing wriggling guy and holds up a hand to signal she needs a moment. Walking back over, she wickedly spins the suspect around a few times to disorient him. Then she grabs his wrists and quickly tie wraps them behind his back to keep grabby hands from grabbing.

"He's all yours, now. Are you good with getting him back to a nice cell to await charges?"

"I can manage it, yes," Avril says, apparently confident in her ability to handle this part, if not the more active portion. "But you ought to get the credit, really. I can just call it in and keep an eye on things until someone shows up," she suggests. "If you don't want to deal with the authorities, I mean."

Batgirl shakes her head, "He was your perp, Quasar. I wasn't here for him, but I'm happy to have helped." She taps her temple. "Hang on to that comm. As long as you don't wear it 24/7 the battery will last close to a year." A smile. "If you ever need a hand and you think a Bat could help, you know how to reach me."

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