2019-09-01 - Rooftop Conference


Batgirl meets up with Phobos to discuss the threat Fenris bought to them.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Sep 1 19:37:57 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



Its taken a day or so but the message finally came for Alex. A time, a day and the top of a building in Staten Island. The message had come through the Oracle App on his phone.

Given the Bats penchant for secrecy, that shouldn't surprise him. At least the redhead has made sure there's roof access by way of fire stairs but the youth might be forgiven for thinking she's testing him.

She is. Of course. A bit.

On that rooftop, the black clad Batgirl peers out over the city, the only splashes of colour to her silhouette are the yellow lining of her cape, the bat symbol on her chest and the shock of red hair that's braided down her back.

Alex shouldn't make the mistake to think she's not watching the approaches.

It had surprised him at first, when the cellphone he rarely actually /uses/ gives that faint vibration and at its activation gives a slight trill. With the brush of a thumb he brings it to life and he'll peruse the message. For a moment he considered the best options to get there, and that time… it left him only a little bit of wiggle room. But he could make it if he left right now from his home.
So it was with a quick rush of movement that he changed. Donning the black garb he had worn the other night complete with torn knee and the dab of blood, he rushes out and off into the night.
And then, perhaps five minutes before the deadline, the Batgirl perched high above might well spot him. Dressed in black though nothing approaching the utilitarian gear that the Bat Family uses, he rushes from the station, backpack slung over his shoulder. And the address he reaches, checking his watch once he's there… he looks up… up up. And realizes he needs to ascend.
Only a moment of consideration is taken, however. The cleanest way up is that fire escape. But it's not the fastest. It'll serve as an initial point of entry, closest to leap and strongest grip. But then he ascends with a smooth precision of movement taking leaps without fear and drawing himself upwards inexorably. Until he flips over the lip of the rooftop and lands silently in a crouch.

It's not Batgirl that spots him, it's Oracle. The all seeing eye of Staten Island. You've got incoming. The video feed on Batgirls hud activates displaying the youths ascent.

By the time Alex crouches on the rooftop, the redhead is facing him, arms crossed over her chest as she watches. "Impressive." Her modulated voice makes it difficult to tell her age or identify her in any way.

She doesn't sound surprised though.

"Thank you for coming. Oracle has looped the camera feeds up here, we can talk uninterrupted for a little while. They've been doing some research on the… news… Fenris gave us the other night."

More personable than daddy Bat, there's still a focus and intensity to Batgirl.

The blond youth gains his feet fully and offers a nod returned for her gift of thanks. Then he steps forward and moves to a suitable six feet apart so he can listen to her openly.
It's the rare and the few that get the utter full attention of Alexander Aaron, snapped to and brought to the fore by the respect he grants to an elder or someone that through whatever woven strategy has gained his efforts and his loyalty. His bright blue eyes are wide and focused and the way he pays attention to every word and commits it to memory… might be disconcerting to some.
On his climb up he had already gauged the lay of the land, then upon the top he'd made a sweep of their surroundings. Possibilities were measured, approaches, and he composed several ways to assault their meeting if he had been tasked to do so.
Then when she finishes speaking, mentioning the event that passed his head bobs once and he replies simply with the word, "Yes'm."

Alex's attention is met with mild amusement. The bratlings, errr batlings, are attentive but they're rarely still.

"Oracle, share the information you've gathered."

The speaker, cleverly hidden in the redheads suit sounds, this time it's a digitised voice that's neither male or female. "There's always crime in Staten Island, generally at a higher rate than in the rest of the city. Analysis shows though that in the last few months that's been slowly rising - not quickly enough to raise suspicions but enough to show when statistics are run. We would normally expect peaks and troughs in the results but those are visibly absent"

"More concerning is the shift in power base of some of the street gangs. At least two gangs, while they still exist, appear to have been… subsumed by a larger one."

"The Nighthawks have been moving slowly in that time and our information indicates ties to a company known as Labyrinth Incorporated. A company with wide and varied business dealings overseas mostly centred in Europe, Greece being a significant trading partner. "

Which is interesting because Greece, as a country is bankrupt. As a trading partner it's utility is limited. Question is, what are they trading?

As the computerized voice speaks Alexander lowers his head slightly, focusing on the sound of it and the words free of telling inflection or accent. His head tilts slightly to the side when the mention of Greece is made, but little more than that. It's only once the machine stops that he nods and looks once again towards Batgirl.
"I am not familiar with the area. I could extend of myself and make myself seem vulnerable or the predations and efforts of the Nighthawks and see what information that draws, then with a reasonable amount of intel strike at what assets we uncover."
His blue eyes distance as he looks past her and he frowns somewhat, "Or if you wish to attempt to resolve the issue of the Nighthawks in as few moves as possible, I could attempt an infiltration. My father has connections to Greece and through him I do as well. It is possible pressure could be exerted from that end."
Suggestions, brought forth as if he were planning this campaign entirely on his own. But then authority relinquished to his elder as he adds, "Whatever course you decide I shall embark on, ma'am."

"Ma'am? I suppose that's better than you meddlesome Bat but Batgirl would be better all round." the redhead laughs, the sound almost harsh through the modulator. When she gets home in the wee hours of the morning, she'll be checking for grey hairs, for certain.

"We need to learn more of the gangs here but it looks like something is trying to consolidate them. I don't particularly want to resolve the Nighthawks - we know of them and sometimes it's better the devil you know. Nature abhors a vacuum and if we take them out, who knows what will grow to fill it?"

"Infiltration? That's dangerous, you know that right? If you're caught, and the probability of that is high with these groups, they won't just kill you. They'll make an example of you first and how long that takes? That's variable. From what Oracle could find of you, you've not exhibited any unusual… abilities… and I'm not inclined to send a youth into danger no matter how acrobatic they appear."

The redhead may well be testing Alex, it's hard to tell. She seems in earnest though.

"Do your father, or yourself, have business dealings in Greece? Or are the connections more… divine?"

His head bobs again once and he clarifies, "Batgirl. Call me Alex." Since, no real codename yet. Or rather one he identifies with too strongly. And then he's listening to her points of view on the task at hand. The vacuum line has him looking thoughtful and he hrms slightly, though the solution he has to that problem of handling it… would most likely be more harsh than she'd prefer to go.
"Yes m…Batgirl. I'm aware of the danger." His lip lifts slightly, "I'm not largely affected by fear. But that doesn't mean I'm naive." About this at least. He then nods to her, for knowing the assets of your people is important, he elaborates. "I'm a passingly decent combatant. I am fairly durable, and strong when needs be."
Though at that point he says quietly, "As the God of Fear I have… aspects of myself that I have yet to fully understand. So it is best not to count on them. But I will be a good operative for you and you can trust I am likely to survive most any situation you place me in."
Then the topic shifts towards Greece, he lifts his chin. "My father has holdings, and I can use my position as his son to gain some leverage. Also… yes. A path to our family is there, though I would urge you not to seek any such entanglements."

"You're at the university, correct? History major, if Oracle's information is any good." And Oracle's information is usually very, very good. "We understand the Nighthawks have a presence on your campus, we understand the main point of contact is Pesha Kalliope."

Alex recognises that name. That's a TA who works with a literature professor.

"Perhaps you could start there and find out what you can about the gang. I'm still not inclined to send you undercover particularly as you've admitted you don't know what your gifts are."

It might not be avoidable though. Batgirl is aware of that.

"Oracle is digging into Labyrinth Incorporated but that's going to take time. If you want to help, I'm going to … visit… their offices here in a night or two and see what information they have that they're keeping secret. Are you up for a outing?"

Alex can be assured that is not legal and stealth will be of the upmost importance. He might also find it interesting that she's asking. Then again, she probably wants to test him further.

"Yes, Batgirl." Alexander answers her first question while watching her and then his brow knits when she brings up the individual known as Pesha Kalliope. The small hesitation might signal that trepidation, as if he couldn't imagine her being part of some gang. But then that piece of intel will be easy enough to clear up with an interview.
But then she says he doesn't know what his gifts are and he breaks eye contact, looking down and faintly away. Then his eyes return to her mask as he says, "That is not exactly true. I know… what they are. It is more that they are strong. And indiscriminate." But perhaps that will help her in her planning.
When she mentions an outing he gives a nod to his head. "Yes, Batgirl. I am ready to face whatever is before us." He takes a deep breath. "Is there anything you would know of me that you feel would help our efforts?"

"Indiscriminate or unknown, I'm disinclined to put you untried in the field. If you don't get yourself hurt you could hurt others unintentionally and that is not our way." Batgirl answers. 'Our way' - the way of the Bat that's caused her a long and lengthy discussion recently.

Two of them, actually.

"You know this Pesha Kailliope? Do you think you might be able to do something with that?"

The last question has her mask turning to her his face - or at least that's how it seems - and she's quiet for a very long time. "I would ask to know of the heart of the man before me but you are more than a man and I'm not sure that question is appropriate or even answerable. But what drives you, Alexander Aaron, to help others and stand here before me so meekly? There are few who are so … deferential."

"I know that Orphan must think highly of you, to spend her time with you." Oh yes. She knows about that. Of course she does, she has Oracle and Oracle knows all.

"That is wise, ma'… Batgirl." Acknowledging that an unknown operative in the field can have unforeseen consequences. But his responsibility in the role he has assumed has been to provide her with as much information as he can so she can make the best most well-informed decision.
The topic returns to Pesha Kalliope and he spends an instant looking past her, gauging their prior interactions, reflecting on the possibilities of what could come. He smiles a little and then tells her, "I believe she and I could become friends. She was an acquaintance of my roommate and we've been social before." There's a small furrow to his brow. "But I don't like deceiving people, Batgirl. If you'd have me speak with her perhaps we can turn her away from her path." His overly formal speech shifts a little as the ends of his worlds overlap a touch.
Then she questions him directly at his behest and he watches her. She can see the ready easy answer that he so often uses already summoned to his lips ready and prepared to give…
But then she speaks the name of Orphan and his words stop where they are. And gone in that instant is that operative in total control, and replaced with a small smile as he asks her, "You know Orphan?"
He doesn't answer her questions, not yet, she may have to put them to him again.

"Sound her out, Alex. If you think she can be turned, then we will but I'm not sure, these gangs come with ties that run deep." It's possible but Oracle, and therefore Batgirl, are working off data - not real live information, a personal touch is often wise.

"And if you have ideas on that, I want to hear them. I'm not the sole authority here." Alex might think he can hear the laugh in her voice.

There is a chuckle at his surprise and the redhead pauses. "I know Orphan, yes. I watch over her. Perhaps you might ask her in one of your outings. Preferably one where she is not injured."

Nodding in reply, Alexander smiles to her and then tries to regain his focus. Thinking back to the questions she asked and what his answers should be. The knowledge of her knowing Orphan only changes them a little as he takes a breath and then says simply, quietly. "I gained the mantle as the God of Fear when I was thirteen. Before that I was…" His lip curves a little. "Relatively normal, though I was raised by my father, Ares."
He looks to the side, then back to her. "Certainly I may be Phobos. But I have e'er been the Son of War. I owe my father my loyalty. And he has seen fit for us to maintain good relations with the Asgardians. Fenris seeks aid, I would be remiss to refuse him. And he has confidence in your efforts…"
The blond youth smiles to her and for a moment seems so terribly young as he says simply, "So that means that you have my loyalty. I will fight and if needs be die on your word. Though do not be worried. I will not die easily."
He lifts an upturned hand towards her and says quietly, "But that is only part of the reason I would do this. Orphan…" Alex looks away and then back, "Because of my time imprisoned, because of some of the things I've endured in the past. It is hard sometimes for me to… connect with people and things."
A breath is taken then he says, "And since then the only person I felt that could possibly understand me is her." He straightens and says simply, "And so. I wish to be better. For her."

"I get the feeling one does not deny Fenris with impunity." Batgirl mutters, remembering the huge, hulking wolf and the aura he projected. That is something she'd rather avoid, thankyouverymuch.

"Time imprisone? Oracle noted some missing time in your background, that's not unusual though … " Again her mask turns to the man as she quiets "… you don't have to speak on it. I'm just curious."

"And I will not ask people to die for me, Alex. That is the exact opposite of what I wish to achieve. I just ask, if you're going to work beside me, you accept our ways. No killing." It's an immutable rule within the Batfamily.

Alex won't see the frown that creases Babs forehead but he will see the ears on her cowl move as her head cants a little. "She is special to me. Don't hurt her, Alex or break her heart. God of Fear or not, I will hunt you." Is she joking? Hard to tell.

"Is there anything you want to know of me, or mine?"

"No. Batgirl." He says in regards to Fenris. That 'Ma'am' just hovering there so unspoken that it might gain enough mystical energy to manifest as some verbally solidified creature. He smiles though for some reason finding it harder to stop that habit with her and the role she's in.
Then he nods and he tells her about the time he was imprisoned, unwilling to deny her questions. "My family was at war. I was kidnapped and my will was taken from me. I was made to wage battle against my father. It…" He stops and his bright blue eyes unfocus to somewhere beyond her. Then he finishes, "It was a trying time."
His eyes lift back to hers, gaze flitting between her irises as he accepts the rule placed before him. "I understand. No killing."
But then like a momma bear, Batgirl bristles about Orphan and Alexander's attention shifts fully to her. "She is special to me too, Batgirl. But I cannot make those promises. I can only promise that I will do my best to do right by her. And I will not harm her through malice nor intent. I would…"
he youth turns his head away and seems to be struggling to find the proper words in response only to look back to her and says, "I would sooner fall on my blade than see her frown." Which seems such a rich and romantic statement, but there is a weight of sincerity behind his words.
At the last, she asks if he has questions and he nods. "Yes, Batgirl. How can I… make myself understood to her?"

"I see. Thank you for telling me, you didn't have to. I can imagine how trying it must be to be at odds with your Family." Noone knows for certain the depth of connection between the Bat Family - though Alex may well learn, in time.

"Than see her frown?" That gets a laugh. It's not like Cass smiles a lot, ever. "See that you don't and we will be well." But yes Momma Bear is most certainly there, lurking just beneath the surface.

"Be patient, learn her signals and let her learn yours. She has a unique ability for communication that few do. It's not verbal and that's a challenge for most of us. In time, you will work it out." Giving the youth much more than that, would be like giving a key to Cass herself.

"If there's nothing else, Alex, I must be off. My patrol needs finishing. See to Pesha and Oracle will be in touch about Labyrinths offices."

Slowly the black clad Batgirl moves back into the shadows.

Nodding to her chosen shadow, Alexander steps back and seems to only then slip out of his overly rigid focused manner, taking a deep breath and steadying himself. He steps back the way he came, looking over the side of the building and frowning to himself. "Hopefully sometime soon we can just… call each other. Or something."
And with that he plants a hand on the small wall bordering the rooftop and vaults over it, slipping out of view.

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