2019-09-17 - Dishonour on You


A hot tip brings Batgirl, Phobos and The Silver Samurai to an underground fight club. Maybe the Fates decreed it.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Sep 17 05:09:21 2019
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



Oracle is nothing if not resourceful. Whatever it is, it has found a place in Staten Island that seems to be central to a lot of the unusual criminal activity going on in the area. There's just two small complications. First is that there was a 90% calculated probability that the swordsman calling himself the Silver Samurai ALSO knows about the place. Second, and more pressingly, there is an 87.2% chance that the Oracle was deliberately allowed to discover this place. It could be a trap.

Fortunately the solution to both was simple. Bring backup. Batgirl knows a godling, does she not?

The place in question is called 'The Pit'. It's an illegal fighting pit below a dive bar in Staten Island. Getting INTO it is not hard. One simply has to know where to look for the entrance and then navigate about a quarter mile of sewer tunnel. It's getting OUT of it that's the trick. But one thing at a time.

Tonight the Pit is busy. The lighting is rather poor, but several concentric concrete circles rise above a central circular depression that's caged off. Inside, people fight. Mostly normal people. Ordinary people. Gang types. Sometimes dogs or more exotic entertainment is involved. The 'stands' if one can call them that, are half full and the place is noisy. Right now there's a grudge match going on between the Russians and the Italians. It's… messy. The whole place smells like rot and booze and blood and the deep shadows in the 'stands' conceal exactly who is here. Faces are lit only by the occasional phone or the flick of a cigarette lighter and then only briefly.

Oracle had sent word to Kitty to meet Batgirl near the entrance to the Pit. There'd been briefing notes attached to the OracleApp, whether Phobos has read them or not is a good question. When he'd arrived, the black clad woman had gestured and entered the sewers.

It hadn't taken long to bring them close to the place and for the Bat to find somwhere to 'perch' and not be noticed. "What do you see, Kitty?" She asks through the communicator she'd given him. Subvocalisation is a thing.

The app is actually rather helpful. Alexander had been giving it more info than it likely needs and occasionally even querying it like something akin to Ciri now and again. Though it didn't always respond. But when he received the information and the itinerary he had moved and made himself available as an asset.
They made it through the sewers. She had taken her perch to secure a possible location for observation, and Phobos had taken the other way around, trying to find a perch of his own. Though he wasn't quite as good at it as Batgirl what with her time and experience at the task.
Across the shared comms his voice was heard, "Just the crowd. The fighters. Some of the… bet-takers? Is that the right word? Bettors?" He doesn't ask further, "Want me to go in amongst them and see what I can find?" Ever eager.

At the far end of the concentric rings there's another entrance. Actually there's several of those scattered around. Lots of ways in and out. Juuust in case the place gets raided in a big way. At any rate, at the far end a man in a leather jacket with a pair of swords over his shoulder steps in. Samurai. The Oracle was right.

But that development is perhaps not QUITE as interesting as the other thing that Phobos and Batgirl can see. There's a particularly dark patch of 'stands' near the three o'clock edge of the Pit. Shadows so deep that it's impossible to tell anything other than people - or something roughly people sized - are moving around in it.

And then a pair of eyes gleam and look vaguely in Phobos' direction. A pair of orange ish eyes and for a moment there's the silhouette of a woman with writhing cords of hair. Writhing like… snakes.

Then it's gone. Lost in those shadows.

"Bookmakers…" Batgirl answers absently, looking over the crowd as she perches. "Samurai is sighted. I'll try to make contact. At least he might not skewer us by accident." She subvocalises as she moves with practiced ease, staying in the shadows, the only hint anyone may get that she's there is the way her silhouette breaks the darkness.

She doesn't make contact immediately, stopping as near to the man in the leather jacket as she can get. When she's sure it's clear, a single batarang will land near the man. For his eyes and his eyes only.

"If you can. Check out those stands, I want to know what's in them."

"Maybe I could knock someone out and take their…" Phobos' voice comes across the comms with that little bit of excitedness to it. But then he blinks and frowns from his position of observation. A tilt of his head is given as his gaze tracks towards that part of the arena area where the shadows hang heavy.
"Wait a sec, ten o'clock yeah, I saw that, I'll go take a look." Though as to the 'that' he doesn't elaborate. Instead he drops from his perch and starts to make his way in that direction as subtly as possible and moving to avoid the gaze of those that should hopefully be paying rapt attention to the fight itself.
Darting from cover to cover, he'll smile to himself for a moment as he slips behind two patrons watching the fight, then behind a column some small distance away. Back on the comms he murmurs quietly, "Tell him hi for me."

The tink of the batarang has Samurai looking down. And then all of the lights dim a LOT. They don't go out but it is suddenly really, really hard to see if you don't have optics.

"Cute." Samuarai says, assuming it was Batgirl playing with the lights.

Do you like stories? The voice seems to echo from all around. It's hard to hear the crowd and the fighting. They're still there but they sound distant and muted.

I can tell you one. When the nights were long and the days were deep, there lived a boy who was very, very special in the eyes of fate. One day, fate led him to a girl who knew only the language of motion, and her friend who watched over a whole city. Does this story sound familiar to you?

It's a woman's voice. Distorted but clear.

"What is this?" Ken says sharply in the darkness.

Patience, swordsman. The part of the story where you atone for great sins has not yet come.

"I might do that … What is what, Kitty?" Batgirl rolls her eyes as Phobos doesn't give her the information she very much craves. "Kitty…"

When the lights go out, her optics come on automatically, the black caped woman descending from the balcony, to land in a crouch beside Ken. "This isn't my doing." She knew who he was talking. "It was hers …"

"I like stories very much. How about the one where three strangers combine to kick your collective ass?" Maybe she's been taking lessons from Nightwing.

« The woman with the hair. » Helpful. « Gorgon? » Alex's voice comes across the comms with a tinge of annoyance to it, which for those familiar with him might well know is the emotion that slips to the fore for him when he imagines someone is trying to intimidate him. Or scare him. Harumph. « The voice sounds weird. You guys hearing it reverb? » Perhaps imagining that Ken might be on the comms as well for some reason.
He finishes his approach and frowns, then tilts his head to the side. « Batgirl, going to toss one of the presents you gave me. » Which one might not be apparent until there's a flick of his wrist and he'll toss one of those flash bangs in the direction of where he saw that figure after averting his eyes…
Since if he's having a hard time seeing everyone should be under the same handicap.

The flashbang goes off but the noise of that too is muted somehow. Alex can SEE the flash it makes. And can HEAR people reacting to it. He can see figures stumbling back, shocked, falling over, moving away from the source of sudden light and noise.

The voice around them laughs, a low feminine chuckle. "Oh Fear. Why do you resort to such tricks to sew panic? Surely there are better ways. Haven't you ever wanted to find out what it was you can truly do? Or do you even remember? Do you recall what it's like to cut loose?"

There's a swirling, something moving very quickly by Phobos and shortly thereafter, rushing by Samurai and Batgirl.

The Samurai lays a hand on one of his swords and pulls just a little. The ricasso of the blade clears the scabbard but no more. Is it Batgirl's imagination or is the blade pure black?

"And you, collector of Orphans and Kittens? Do you really think you can harness one of our own to your purposes. I assure you that Fear is far, far more than he seems. And he is well named. He will tear your beloved city apart in time. On the other hand, I could take him. Teach him. Everyone would benefit."

"Enough!" The samurai pulls that blade fully and yes. It is black. Black as night and a sense of utter wrongness radiates from it.

The voice hisses. "That tool is not for you to use, swordsman."

"And nevertheless, I am it's master." The Samurai retorts.

"Which one!" Which 'gift' that Batgirl had given Phobos. The flashbang going off momentarily blinds Batgirl because of the nightvision. She growls but doesn't swear or chide. That will come later. For a red head she's remarkably … collected.

"Den Mother, that's what they call me. And we're all more than seem. Left to our devices I'm sure we'd all tear the city apart. And, yet, we don't. Who are you?" beat "Kitty, did you want to go with the nice lady? Learn what you can from her? I'm not keeping you, am I?" The blade when it's drawn, does catch her eye. "Interesting toy, you have there."

The shadows rush by, and Alexander reacts. Curious in some ways how he moves in sync with the stress level that Ken seems to manifest as the young Olympian's left hand clenches a little, then releases. He breaks into a darting dash, hugging cover and moving silently as he pursues the shadow if only to try and vector its possible course or origin. His voice lifts as he addresses the disembodied one.
"The name. Is Kitty." As if that should quell the smugness from whatever is addressing them. And then on the comms his voice will be heard as well as to their tormentor, "But let's not be too quick. I'm sure if she showed up and asked me herself I'd give it a nice long think about whether or not I want to go."
And, of course, there might be a bit of ruckus afterwards. But that's a given.

The shadows seem to congeal and the light levels come up. On the far end of the circle - opposite where Phobos, Batgirl and Samurai are, the outline of a woman with snakes for hair can be seen. She smiles and her eyes gleam a baleful sodium orange. It may take a moment to realize that she's not concealed in the shadows. She IS the shadows.

"Is this better, Kitty? Your proper name is so much better, you know. And you didn't think I'd be so daft as to be here in person. Not with your stabby friends here."

They can see around them now. See that the world is moving in slow motion. They can still interact with it. As indeed Samurai experimentally does, pushing someone over. But no one can seem to see them and they can only hear what's going on outside whatever this effect is with great difficulty.

"Which one, Batgirl? Oh yes I know who you are. I mean Fear. You may call him Kitty. You may indulge his romance with your Orphan. But that does not change his fate. It does not change who he is. And it does not change the fact that if you let your sweet mute girl persist, he will be the death of her, in spirit if not in body."

Her orange eyes cut to that black blade and does she look a touch worried?

"And you swordsman. Those stains will not come out, no matter how much blood you wash them in."

"I will judge that myself." The Samurai is moving slowly around one of the circles, toward the shadowy figure. Well. The figure made of shadow. "It is not a toy, Batgirl. It is more deadly serious than any other blade you have ever witnessed."

"We're out of phase with both worlds? Oracle, what readings are you getting from my suit and comms?" It would be no surprise to the Batlings that Batgirl asks this. To Ken and Phobos though? They may well roll their eyes.

"So do we call you, Medusa or will snake headed bitch, do?" Definitely taking lessons from Nightwing.

Ken can't see the flat look he's getting behind Batgirls mask but he can see the occulars as they train on him. "You'll have to show me how it works." Is all she says, focussing back on the medusa "I indulge nothing. They have set their own paths and own their own Fates. If they wish to change them, the power is within their grasp."

Still. That's hit home. Not that anyone but Oracle will know it.

Jaws clenching and tendons bunching, Alexander seems displeased as he advances into the light now that the world seems to be adjusted to the terms of their host. He's just dressed in the black uniform that was granted him, and with the black rustler's mask over his features. He addresses the shadowy image of the mythical creature.
"I would ask you to refrain from speaking so ill of us, for it would preclude a peaceful resolution. If you feel that such could be attained. I am willing to entertain that option. If you are one of ours," Not us, ours. A small hint of the arrogance of the pantheon. "Then you know our word holds strength to it. And if you are immortal as well then the scale of our efforts has a dimension that most we interact with cannot operate on."
He looks over his shoulder for a moment, as if seeking some voice to stop him, and when he does not hear it he continues. "We want your influence withdrawn and the aid given to the mortals in these environs taken away. The alliance with the fae dissolved. If you are willing to do this in this theater, then you will know I would be in your debt. And that is no small thing. Withdraw and adhere to the spirit of our agreement and I will grant a boon in time, adhering to the spirit as well. In perhaps… a hundred years?"

"It is a sword." Samurai glances back at Batgirl as she speaks of the black blade in his hand. No, he really doesn't want to show her, or anyone else, how it works. And he's surprised that she asked. The wrongness radiating from it, the sense of… evil… is quite strong.

"Ill." The woman, or perhaps gorgon, laughs again. "Oh Fear. I like that about you. I speak nothing of ill. You are what you are. Your fate was written in the stars long before your birth. Your threads are measured and known. I have seen them. And if your father taught you anything at all, you know this."

Her eyes cut to the Samurai and then to Batgirl and she smiles.

"Call me Euryale." If Batgirl knows anything she will know that's one of the names of the three mythical gorgons.

"You readings are distorted and your vitals are most perplexing." Oracle replies. "I am having some difficulty fixing your location. Are you in need of aid?"

"An interesting thing, Bat, that you would consult an Oracle." The shadow-woman observes before looking back at Phobos.

"You bargain well and properly. It is a good offer you make. Let me counter. What we seek is for the good of US. Those who live in the shadows of humanity. We seek our own good place. We seek to return the world to a better time. Aid us, and you will be welcome there. You belong in the world that we seek to build. You could rule such a world. Consider that. You would not have to tear apart the city Orphan seeks to protect. Yes. I know. I've been watching you. Ever since you came to this place. What wonders could you show her if things were different?"

Samurai is getting close enough that he might risk a rush.

"And I'm a Bat. I can feel it, Samurai and you're prepared to draw it." She can tell, perhaps, that he doesn't want to use it, not that she blames him but … she doesn't say *don't*. Needs must. "We will talk, you and I." Now isn't the time to be asking about stains.

Not with the Gorgon standing there and that sword partially drawn.

"I am not Oracle, but save the readings. I'll want to analyse them." the redhead answers. "Sometimes, Euryale one should consult a seer. My apologies for mistaking for your sister." Oh yes, she knows at least some of that tale.

Behind her hood, green eyes narrow at the rest of the words "Whatever you're planning, we will stand between you and its success."

"The Fates can be defied Euryale, though they tend to get annoyed when you try." Alexander offers a small half-smile, though behind the mask it's hard to tell save for one corner of it shifting upward. He looks to the side towards Ken and Barbara, his bright blue eyes pained as he knows that it wasn't likely but he felt he had to make the offer.
"I am afraid prior oaths I have granted prevents me from aiding you, Lady Gorgon. Even if I were inclined to do so. The only wonder I seek is to be a part of Orphan's world. And so you understand I could not act against her interests nor those interests of those she holds dear."
The matter-of-fact way he deals with the shadow creature might be disconcerting. And the way he seems to not be phased by this at all. As if it were a simple transaction as easy as walking through the self checkout line. When it works.
Barbara lifts her voice and makes the declaration for them, and he supports her with a nod. Back to Euryale he'll lend his voice, "There may be a way for this to be handled. If you would withdraw from this place as an act of good faith perhaps some time in the near future we can negotiate? It may be possible for us to reach a shared goal."
Alexander's father would likely be rather cheesed off at this particular tactic, though the youth has taken some lessons from other members of the family.

"I simply seek to give Fear his due, and a chance for a place in the sun. But I knew he would refuse. It was fated." That may or may not be true, of course. But she turns to look at Phobos all the same. "Ask Achilles, or Hector about defying the fates. Ask Hercules' wife." Greek tales are rife with fates, and those who tried to avoid them, often to an unpleasant end.

"We will meet again, you and I. You and I and your allies. And when we do, remember that whatever sorrow results, you chose this. I do not know that there is any more for us to discuss. If you wish to learn more about the world we will build, just wait and see. All will be made clear. And when it is… you will know where to find me if you wish to talk about shared goals."

Eurayle turns to look at Batgirl. "As for you, Knight, your Orphan's doom stalks her now. That too is written in the sta-"

The Samurai lunges and that black blade flashes. It cuts the shadow and the being lets out a scream as she pulls back.

"Feckless child! When I get my hands on your, Muramasa's cunning will NOT save you!" Then the shadows swirl and scatter. The light returns all the way and the world goes back to normal. Which is to say suddenly a bunch of people are scattering out the doors, running away from the place where Alex threw a flashbang a little bit ago.

At least no one is attacking them?

"Fate can be changed. For every Greek tragedy you share, there's a tale that tells of heroes who changed the course of history." Babs knows that's not quite true but she also has a solid belief in humankind and it's gift of free will.

When Euryale begins to speak about Cass, the redhead tenses and is about to cut her off when The Samurai lunges. The oil feel of the evil spills from the blade causing Batgirl to draw in a breath.

Muramasa. She'll remember that name.

With the shadows drawing back, it leaves the black clad Bat standing amongst the people. "Meet me on the roof of Wayne Tech." She tells them both, as she makes for the shadows and the door. She doesn't want to be seen amongst these people.

Standing there now in real time with the crowd reacting rather poorly, Alexander steps back and turns to the two others even while the screams sound and the fear slithers wickedly through the crowd. He seems somehow… slightly larger, more vibrant and his features defined as he murmurs to them. "We need to find what she meant by her doom stalking her." Orphan's of course.
For a moment it might seem like he's about to say something else. But he doesn't. Though Ken, he likely can feel the roil of killing intent that has settled on the youthful Olympian, one artist aware of another. Despite his pleasant words, he has every intention of destroying Euryale.
But then Batgirl is departing and he does likewise, though he spares a small wave for Ken. He'll break into a run and moves off to keep pace with Barbara, though a little behind.

Samurai at least has the courtesy not to say 'I think she was talking about you.' Instead he just stares at Batgirl as she departs and then waves to Phobos. Which leaves him in a mostly empty room.

"Nandayo…" He says in an irritated way as he sheathes that black blade and begins to stalk out, pausing only to appropriate some abandoned booze.

What a night. Meet her on the top of the Wayne Tech building indeed. What does he look like? Batman?!

"That's it. Dishonor. Dishonor on you. Dishonor on your Kitty…" He mutters to himself as he slips out one of the doorways and leaves the room completely empty.

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