2019-09-09 - The Man With The Sword


On a training patrol, Zeal and Batgirl encounter a Samurai. Or is it a Ronin.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Sep 9 04:09:41 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song




"So what happened…" The modulated voice of Batgirl sounds in the dark of the night as she moves across a rooftop with a … protegee. The yellow bat on her chest, the yellow lining of the cape, catches the light as she moves as stealthily as possible.

The ears on her hood exaggerate the movement of her head in her companions direction. "Oracle, anything on the video surveillance?" Batgirl asks that aloud even though she could subvocalise it.

It seems quiet, but is it?

Zeal is running along with Batgirl, being the protege in question. She's dressed in a hoodie, her hair braided close to her head, sturdy pants, running shoes and a cheap domino mask. Not exactly a likely looking pairing! One more thing…her left arm is in a sling. "Oh, well…my friend was going to get shot, we were dealing with some ne'erdowells in Central Park that sought to accost me. After we'd trounced them, one recovered and drew a pistol that fired rapidly."

As they run, every so often Zeal will silently vanish and return at a different point in the time of an indrawn breath. "Well, he was shooting at my friend's back, what could I do? I slapped two of the bullets from the air, alas, there was no time, so I blocked the last with my shoulder."

Hey! It seemed reasonable to her! Honestly, what else COULD she do?

"Affirmative, Batgirl." The digitized voice of the Oracle says over the comms. "An unknown figure has entered the site. His intentions are unclear however-"

The sounds of shouting are audible even from here and they're REALLY audible to Batgirl who has the equipment to hear more keenly than she could with just her ears. Shouting. Fighting. The clang of metal on metal.

"Batgirl. Several known criminals are making an exit out the back bottom door of the target locations. The unknown figure is not among them. Shall I track them on your map?"

That would have been one against something like eleven or twelve. What the HELL just happened?

"You … stood in the way of the bullets?" Batgirls mask looks into Avery's face. The younger woman might not be able to see her eyes, but the sense of reproach is there. "We will do some training and … eventually we will see to getting you some armour or the like."

Kids. This is why the redhead had decided to take the younger woman under her wing.

Oracles announcement though, has the redhead stopping and turning in the direction of that sound. "Come along, Zeal. Oracle, display the video on my holoprojector." The image appears just in front of her, so Avery can see it as well. "And yes, track them please and get me a feed from the inside of that site."

"Zeal, stick close and try not to get hurt …"

"Well…no…" Zeal admits. "…first I Walked between to interpose myself between my friend and the bullets, THEN I stood in the way." Oh, well, that's SO MUCH WORSE. "Oh, I miss my armor." She says, her tone wistful. "Twas most fetching, and cunningly wrought, enchanted too o'course." Oh, of course. A soft laugh. "I even seemed to be…mm…more feminine, in it." She says with just a hint of wist again.

Zeal nods her understanding, all business when orders are issued and she gets to see the Sorceress Batgirl use her familiar seer, the Oracle to project vivid illusions into the air itself. "Of course, m'lady." She says. "And many thanks, Oracle. Thine magics be most puissant." After all, Seers are rare! Pissing them off is bad, so…be polite.

She sticks close to Batgirl as instructed. "I do hope there's some left for us."

The video comes up, monochromatic blue in the hologram. There's the expected thugs. The unknown man enters by the front door. He's wearing a leather jacket and has a pair of curved asian swords. Katana. He's wearing a demon-shaped menpo. There's no audio that goes with any of this, of course. Security cameras usually don't capture it, recording and storing it would be a pain. But there's words exchanged. Heated words. Then all of a sudden weapons come out. The figure pulls one of his blades and takes up the scabbard too. There's flickers of something that might be video artifact but it seems that something severs a couple of gun barrels. The fight lasts all of fifteen seconds before any who are not down flee the swordsman.

That'd be the runners. Batgirl will have to watch that again but… that guy can MOVE.

He's still there by the time they arrive. With no more thugs in the building he's not in any hurry and Batgirl can see on the feeds that the sword has been sheathed again.

"Second floor, Batgirl. He's still there. I cannot see anyone else in the area." Oracle says. "I will continue tracking the fleeing thugs as long as they remain on grid. At least one of them is using a phone. I shall attempt to capture the call data for later examination."

Well, that's them taken care of. So who is the mystery swordsman?

"Any armour I give you won't be enchanted and as to looking feminine? Functionality first." Ever practical the redhead resists rolling her eyes at the admission that Zeal had to work to put herself in harms way. It might remind her of a younger redhead and a youth who wore pixie boots.

"You're most welcome, Zeal." Oracle adds, giving the two women more information to work with.

"Second floor, Zeal and be careful. This guy knows how to fight and I suspect he doesn't subscribe to the Bats Code." Those swords are meant for business, after all. "Got your grappling gun? We're going in through the window…"

If only Avery could see the redheads face. She's grinning and her eyes are shining.

Her grappling gun is released and she sails over the edge of the building, using it to abseil down and then slip through a window - which might get …. broken … to achieve that.

"Now … where is he…"

"Oh, aye…function first." Zeal actually DOES agree with that philosophy, but…pretty is nice too. She's allowed to like pretty! She beams to the older and (mostly) wiser heroine as Oracle's voice comes to her. Such awesome magic! Not enchanted? Yeah, right. She knows better, it will totally be enchanted! "M'lady, if I can /see/ inside, can I not just walk us both between?" She's got the gun of course, holds it up in fact. Close on her mentor's heels, Zeal fires her own gun, /barely/ restraining the urge to whoop and holler! Barely, and only because recalled this was a stealthy sort of thing.

Stronger than she looks, Zeal rides the line down one handed, and cheat a bit at the lost moment when the window is breached - she simply vanishes, and rolls on her non-injured shoulder to take up a position with back to a wall, and facing out so she can cover Batgirl's back in turn.


He is right there. He had been standing nearer to the staircase than the windows but when Barbara and Avery make their entrance he turns and thumbs the guard of his blade, pushing the ricasso free of the scabbard but no more. It's a maneuver meant to make drawing a fraction of a second faster if that's required.

The menpo is that of tusked, snarling demon face and painted with red lacquer.

"Well now. How unusual. Most people would have used the door." The voice isn't modulated, and the English is accented. Japanese, possibly. Quite good English though. The figure is otherwise 'armored' in a leather jacket over which is slung a second katana.

The symbol of the Bat on Barbara's chest gets the most immediate interest. "Vigilantes." He says with a mixture of resignation and interest.

"Who exactly are you?"

Pretty is nice - and Batgirls outfit hopefully fits both criteria for Avery. "Oh right, yes you can. I forget that you have ability. Still, this is a good lesson, don't you think?" beat "Thank you for following the instruction though."

This is one reason why Batgirl had wanted this run tonight, and more to follow of course. To learn the young womans abilities and work out how to work together - and not get each other killed.

At least the newcomers tone is one of ridicule, Batgirl would hate to have to fix that impression. "Bats, actually." She answers, modulation stripping all emotion for her voice. "I'm Batgirl…" Zeal gets a sign to introduce herself.

"Who are you? I rather like your iconography."

Oh so polite. Oracle, run scans and tell me what you find. Cut the video feed, too, he doesn't need to know all our capabilities.

"Well, at least he b…IS not a Ninja." Zeal says, it is almost comical watching her try so hard to talk more like a normal person. "I am Zeal." She provides with a grin that certainly, along with the fact that just just grapple lined through a window with one of her arms IN A SLING. Now, Batgirl, she looks like a pro. Zeal? Like a hoodlum, mostly.

She clips the grapple gun to her decidedly non-utility belt, but hey, lots of steel rings on the leather, so there's that. Her hand moves behind her, her body between the masked man with the sword, and when it returns there's a bo stave in that hand, which…okay, no, where it was does not bear mentioning!

"Samurai." The rather laconic reply comes. "Bats… I have heard of you. They say that you are all mad. Some say you do not exist at all. I suppose that probably isn't true given that you are here." Beat. "They also say the Bat is a man, but then then perhaps they are embarrassed by who beat them up?"

Samurai is clearly not from around here.

:Zeal. Batgirl." He says the names as if committing them to memory. Then he glances around. There, er, are a couple of corpses in the room. Some people clearly did not survive the fight.

"And what may I ask brings both of you here tonight at the same time that I happen to be here?"

Running scan. Matches uncertain. Technique corresponds to several known swordsmen but key iconographical elements are absent. Highest probability match: Silver Samurai at sixty eight percent certainty. Note. Silver Samurai operated in Tokyo and is known to be retired.

Innnnteresting, possibly.

"Is it bring your daughter to work day?"

"Maybe the Bat is a man. Or maybe the Bat is a myth. I am a Bat, Samurai with no name. Shall I call you … Ronin?" Ouch, Babs goes for a verbal slice. "And do you think there's any dishonour in having one like me beat you?"

That's leaving herself open for a counter swipe.

There's a look to Zeal, the ears on her hood emphasising the move again. "What were doing out, Zeal?" The answer is patrolling. That's what they were doing, but Batgirl was also training.

"You killed all these people. That is not the way of the Bat and will definitely get Daddy Bat's attention." So there is a Daddy Bat.

Compare the footage of his fighting style here with anything we have of Silver Samurai and cross match. Sixty eight percent, Babs thinks on that. "Perhaps I should call you Silver Samurai instead."

She's watching those eyes and the exposed part of his face for a response.

Zeal's eyes narrow at the obviously disrespectful tone, he dismissive tone. "Daughter?" She asks in a low voice. Yup, direct hit. Avery knows she's the oddball in the room, she's keenly aware of how much she has to learn yet. "Well, Batgirl, that would be 'Patroling'." Avery answers with a lot more of her usual tone, and verve. She follows Batgirl's gaze. "Definitely not a murder spree." She adds sweetly.

She doesn't /actually/ approve of killing, it is just the best way to get the job done a times. BUT - Batgirl says no killing, then there's no killing. She makes the rules.

"They drew weapons on me in an open fight. Their skill was lacking. Forgive me, I did not realize that the Bat clan prizes the lives of criminals so highly." Possibly a response to the 'Ronin' crack. There's a narrowing of the eyes but no accompanying tensing of the body. He seems to be relaxed though there is still about an inch of steel showing from the blade that his hand is still near.

"Two deaths in battle is hardly a spree in any case." There's a pause. "Why would you call me that?"

His eyes also narrowed at that. That might have been a hit.

"If you are not her daughter then… sidekick? Protege? Orphan that she took in and taught the martial arts?" Someone thinks he's funny.

There is a ninety two percent match at fighting styles. Probability high of at minimum a common teacher. Probability of the same practitioner, also very high. Oracle informs the two wired up vigilantes.

"So you've met Orphan? Did she kick backside when you did?" Batgirl asks. Oh, she knows this man didn't mean that but she'll take it. Anything to give her a verbal edge here. "She's one of mine too. Protege to be sidekick fits nicely for Zeal.

"The Bats prize justice … Silver Samurai." Batgirl makes a decision on the name. Ronin he might get if he tweaks her nose again. But if he's not Silver Samurai, he'll try to correct that sooner or later. "Criminals should be stopped, the police are often not enough to stop the type we get on the street but we are. Then the justice system can deal with them."

"How long have you been out of Japan, then? And what's your purpose here?" She asks.

Very good Zeal. Not a murder spree. Zeal might imagine she can hear Oracle chuckle.

"Life is life, sir." Zeal says. "Killing should be the last choice, not the first." Of course, once you get there, well, sorry — you do what you gotta! She's smart enough not to articulate that bit though. "Protege, sir…though…" Zeal falls silent when Babs confirms sidekick. "…Sidekick is apparently a work in progress." She doesn't even know what a Sidekick /is/! She thought it was a martial strike with the leg to one side or the other.

"Aye, the Justice System, flawed though it b…/is/…cannot work if not given a chance."

Still getting used to the comm, she grins, and does NOT trust herself to subvocalize. Nope. She's still learning!

The real question here though - does Sidekick come with medical?

"Justice is balance. Reciprocity. What you're talking about is a system, not a concept." The man with the sword says, and he turns to look at something on the floor. Something that looks… vaguely Greek. A carving. A seal perhaps. One that looks like a head with snakes instead of hair.

"Orphan? Do you have a literal Orphan?" Kicked his backside? That gets a snort. "My purpose here is to address a rot that has flowed from here to my home. This is not something your justice system - or any justice system - is equipped to deal with."

"Life is not life. You will learn that, Zeal, when yours is endangered. My life is more valuable than theirs. At least it is to me. If you do not think I will kill to preserve it, then think again."

Sometimes Babs wonders how she attracts them. The mercs and vigilantes with a bloodthirsty streak. It's a testimony to her willpower that she raise a gloved hand to her forehead to massage it. "Be that as it may, Samurai, stay your hand from killing in our territory or you'll yourself at odds with the Bats."

It won't scare him. It never scares any of them. And it's partially where the 'bats be crazy' stories come from.

"I do, yes. Codename Orphan. Martial arts are her thing."

"Zeal, what's that seal on the floor. Use the camera I gave to image it, let Oracle take a look at it." There's something about the way the redhead is standing that says she's something like it before.

Zeal's gaze tracks to the symbol as both Silver Samurai and Batgirl look at it. "Oh, that looks like a Gorgon." And then at the Orphan comment, she nods. "Aye, I am." An orphan. She smiles then, expression taut. "Of course you fight to live, but think truly, consider - did you not have other means than slaying them that would have worked? I…confess, I am used to taking the direct path, but I am trying to grow and learn, and to honor my mentor's wishes."

It might be that they have Bat Shark Repellent too! There's a chance.

When asked to image the image, she does so. After one -minor- correction — she turns the camera over. "Here you go, Oracle." She makes sure she does the steps right, then uploads the pic.

Maybe it IS bring your…whatever…to work day!

"Why should I bother? They would not have done the same for me. If they did not wish to die they should have fought harder, or chosen a less dangerous line of work." The Samurai snorts. "That seems like a lot of effort to go to for people who have sold their souls for power or wealth."

That's a metaphor, right?

The swordsman turns and walks back a few paces like he is preparing to depart. Then there's a ring of steel on wood as his sword is drawn and a flicker of light about the blade as he pulls it through a cinder brick and rebar wall for the length of the swing. When he sheaths it again there is one continuous clean through the wall.

"Would you make me stay my hand? Even when my hand strikes down your enemies? And if you would, Batgirl… how do you propose to stop me?"

It's not a question he ACTUALLY expects an answer to because if she had one she certainly wouldn't tell HIM. She'd hang on to that plan until it was time to execute.

"Heed the words of your teacher, Zeal. Honor demands no less. Be a good student. Learn all that you can. But always remember that in the end, when you face the field of battle, it is your hand that must find a way to make their wisdom reality."

That's… an interesting instruction considering that he'd just been arguing with Batgirl.

"As I said, the Bats will try and stop you as they try and stop all others who do the same." Batgirl answers, she's a little preoccupied by that symbol on the ground "Why were you in here?"

Oh, wow. That sword. Her eyes track its path through the wall. "Impressive."

She really doesn't think though that selling their souls for power or wealth is a metaphor.

Over the speaker in her suit, so everyone can hear, Oracle provides "Thank you, Zeal. Batgirl, that's the same symbol that Phobos and Orphan found the other night." Phobos - the god of fear - do either of these two recognise that name? "That's the sixth such symbol we've identified in the area."

"Is like a tennis match…" Zeal says, back and forth, back and forth. She /absolutely/ pays attention when he cleaves the wall! "Oh. My." Yeah, top of tonight's list - AVOID Silver Samurai sword strikes. Like…a lot. No, a LOTlot.

And then he has to go all proper and respectful, exhorting her to do the right and proper thing - honor her teacher! Darn it, now she can't just say 'SS? Yeah, he was a jerk!', because jerks don't get honor, and he does.

The jerk.

Sadly…nope…no clue about the god of fear, apparently the Hidden World's pantheon was wholly fictional. Figures.

"That, Batigirl, seems like a good way to make unnecessary enemies." The Samurai observes from behind that menpo of his.

"I was in here looking for answers. I told you. I came across the sea following a rot that had made itself felt in the affairs of my family. My path led me here, to these people, this night."

He looks down at the seal. "I have seen such things before. The snake-headed woman. Writings in Greek. I have seen more than mere symbolism. What you have found tonight is a glimpse into something beyond the simply criminal and into the monstrous. If I were you, I would give it no further mind. But you won't will you?"

Of course they won't. He knows that. Vigilantes never do. He supposes that includes him now.

"Given that you have seen these symbols before, I take it that you too have felt the presence of this rot. We have common enemies, then."

That has Batgirl looking more closely as the symbol and then at Avery before she answers the Samaurai. "Of course I won't. I was tasked by Fenris, bringer of Ragnarok, to look into this." That sounds important, doesn't it? "Something is causing the gangs of Staten Island to band together. Whatever it is, will cause a war on our streets. This is the thing the Bats do. Stop them."

"Whatever this is, Samurai, we will keep looking and investigating and we stop it."

Batgirl looks to Avery then and gestures to the room. "Go through their pockets, search them, find what they're carrying. We'll need it." The redhead moves, her path taking her directly towards the Samuruai, brushing him she passes. A tiny transmitter, embeds itself on his clothing as she does.

Avery will find that the two downed men have silver discs as pendants with a moon motif engraved on them. In their wallets are cards for a local dive, they're probably locals and that might be a place to check out.


"Are there such things as Necessary Enemies, Silver Samurai?" It just slipped out, honest! Zeal so bites her lip in consternation. The funniest bit? It was asked in earnest, she's /not/ snarking, merely curious.

And no, not going to leave things alone, there's a lot of folks not listening to other folks when they give (their version) of good advice.

Still a little rosy cheeked, Zeal nods. "MMmm." And gets to work looting the corpses of valuables (disappointing), papers (cryptic) and oooh…silver moon disc pendants! Those have promise!

"You will not stop this by turning people over to the police." Samurai notes again for Batgirl and gives Zeal a look.

"Yes. That's what you call it when people pull guns and try to kill you." He gives the corpses in the room a meaningful look before letting it go.

"Fenris. Phobos. You seem to be awash in interesting names." And curiously she seems to be serious about at least one of them. "If you continue to investigate we may well cross paths again. Try not to get yourself killed, or turned into stone, before that point."

That… is sadly ALSO probably not a metaphor.

"Don't go killing people and our next meeting will be far more pleasant." Batgirl is quick on the uptake, gesturing to Zeal to join her on the rooftop. This time she doesn't mandate how the young woman should get there.

For the redhead there's only one way, out the window.

The grappling gun fires as she climbs onto the frame. "Just remember that I am awash in interesting names when things go south for you. Look for Oracle and you will her, should you need help. She knows how to find me."

And then she's gone.

Zeal does have the grace to flush a little at the look from Silver Samurai, she ducks her head in acknowledgement of the rebuke, and then smiles a little when the boss goes out the window in pure Batgirl style. "Bye!" She says to the man. And then she glances out the window, the loot piled in her sling, she offers a wave with her good hand right next to her shoulder and literally vanishes. Not with a bang, nor a whimper, hell…not even a faint sigh. Literally she draws in a single breath and is gone between eye blinks.

The man in the menpo mutters what certainly sound to be unflattering things in Japanese as he turns to head down the stairs and back out to the street. "What is so very wrong with doors?" He asks himself as he leaves the room.

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