2019-10-04 - What Did He Get Into


Batgirl takes Zeal to explore some of her past.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Oct 4 00:18:23 2019
Location: Avery's House

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Theme Song



Bats are nocturnal creatures and Avery Aaronson, or Zeal as she otherwise known, is learning this the hard way. Oracle had contacted her and said to meet Batgirl at 9pm. When the black clad redheaded Bat had shown up, she was on a motorcycle and given a helmet to the young woman.

"Put that on and climb on, we're going for a ride." That's all Avery had been told.

The ride hadn't taken too long - not the way Batgirl rides anyway - before they pulled up in front of a house. A house that might be familiar to Avery. "I thought we might take a look around and see what we can find about your background." the redhead is saying as she guides the pair to the front of the house.

"How are you, by the way?"

Avery doesn't even think to question the request, if her Liege-Lady calls, well then, Avery Aaronson aka Zeal needs must answer that call whether day or night. Period.

Avery is dressed in sturdy jeans and is wearing a jacket over a plain indigo colored t-shirt. She smiles. "Hello." And then she nods. "As you wish." And dons the helmet and climbs up behind her mentor on the bike, despite never having ridden one before she seems to have little trouble finding her balance, arms wrapped about Babs as they ride.

Once stopped, she hops off so Babs can too. "Honestly, I do not remember this place…well, not really." Brow furrowed, she pauses at the sight of an apple tree. "I remember that." She chin points to the tree. "Father was making a house there…" She shakes her head to get back on track, then answers the question. "I am well, thank you. Much better." She's all healed and everything!

"Good. I'm glad to hear it. We'll do some more training soon and …" Batgirl gives the young woman a critical look "… consider getting you some gear." She's said this before and seems to be serious about it. "Oracle has been going over the records we could find of your discovery, what was in the house and what the police and others decided at the time. Things … don't add up."

Handing Avery a flashlight - they're going to need those when they get inside, Batgirl considers. "You were found in the basement, if I'm not mistaken… we'll head down there. Oracle miiiight have been able to restore power to the house, but they won't activate that till we're in."

"Come on then … a house, in the tree? Or near the tree?"

"I am just happy to not hurt." As much. "Though -proper- armor, that would be most welcome. I miss my old armor and weapons." She admits, and then sighs faintly. "If it e'en be…um…if it even is or was real." Poor kid, she's trying so hard to speak like a normal person! Awkward for her. "A tree house, he called it." Her brow furrows, and she winces a bit. "I…my memories of here are…difficult."

Into the house they go, and Avery looks about. It has been a while, and there's still some crime scene tape up inside!

"Aye, the basement, that seems a good place to begin."

Down they go and they will find a furnished basement…with a two meter wide hole in the floor! Looking down, they can see the nearly perfect sphere of the area Avery was found in, and signs of people having been inside. A smile to Babs, and an offered hand. Should she take it, they vanish between one breath and the next, re-appearing at ground level down there. There's signs of old water damage, and the conduits and such have been very cleanly severed. Off to one side is the severed remains of…a pod? A medical bed? Sheared with smooth edges about half way through.

Avery's eyes are -haunted-, and there's tightness, as she /tries/ to remember.

Avery doesn't need to offer a hand to Batgirl, the black clad woman is already reaching to take the younger womans and give it a reassuring squeeze. "I'm sure it is, but I'm right here beside you and if you want to leave, we absolutely can." Batgirl will come back on her own.

As they reappear in the basement, the redhead shivers a little - teleporting like that will take some getting used to. "We're in Oracle. Can you give us some juice?"

While they wait, her flashlight plays over the area. The remaining light flickers on casting a pale, haunting, glow to the scene.

"This is where you were found. In this …" she gestures to the pod and goes to examine it. Noting the shape, the sheared edges and the general rubble that's been created. "Oracle, share the reports that found from when Zeal was found."

"No, it is well, Lady. I /need/ this." Avery is a little fierce about it, then again she's 'Zeal', not 'Apathy', for a reason!

"I…sort of remember…there was another…I was in two places for a time." She actually winces, shoulders a hunching a bit. And then her lips thin, and she straightens on sheer determination.

She relaxes a little when power comes back on, and some of the lights still work! "The other me was…ill…weak, fragile."

Oracle's data mining would have been able to get very little hard data, though it does find some footage of Avery's father tending to Avery, only…a sickly version, badly scarred. In a tube like the partial one found now. And there's a second pod, but Oracle couldn't get any views of what was inside, it /did/ have a LOT of leads going to it though, the VI can identify numerous very high powered data feeds - the kind of trunk lines used to wire a /building/, some sort of fluid exchange system, EM shielding, and what appears to be cryogenics…all that on top of medical monitoring and some very advanced EEG rigs.

"Batgirl…" The redhead reminds gently as they look around. "Yes, you said. Let's look at what Oracle found of this place. There's a some video… it might not be comfortable." A holographic projection appears with the patchy feeds "There's the 'other' you … and another pod. According to this …" The redhead turns around "That pod was right here. Judging by this, this was the centre of what happened here. It looks like … an explosion. Oracle what were the other items we're looking at."

"From what I can determine, Batgirl and Zeal, this was some form of cryogenic system with a data system to augment it. I can't determine what it was for… yet."

"Batgirl, of course, La—- Batgirl." Avery nods then, hazel eyes almost utterly devoid of gold at the moment. She looks up when mention of more of Oracle's artifice-magic is going to be happening, excited even as she is concerned at the warning. "I shall strive to be brave." Avery promises. Of course the girl is -absurdly- selfless, she's not even in the queue when it comes to prioritizing people's needs. Others first, second, third…and so on…always.

She moves to where the other pod is, and extends her hand…and there's a /spark/, and Avery yelps, hand cradled to her chest as the small of…bacon, more or less can be scented. Burnt bacon.

"I…could not reach Between…" She manages, hand cradled protectively against her abdomen, hidden. Avery's very pale, but her eyes? PURE gold.

"As I said, we absolutely don't have to do this…" Batgirl frowns as there's a spark. "What the … are you hurt, Zeal?" She reaches out herself to reach her gloved hand into that space.

"Oracle, can you trace the datafeeds this building was getting, trace their origins if you can."

"From what we know of your history, Zeal, you were injured. It seems your father put you in here but … I can't see what happened after that … " She has her suspicions though and if that's the case, that's some programming.

"Aye, I am a bit." Avery admits. She doesn't un-cradle the hand, though.

Batgirl's hand can move through the space where Avery's failed to reach the space between breathes. As her hand moves though however, there's some definite EM interference, and her systems go offline — thankfully, they come back up, but Oracle actually got rebooted by that!

When the VI reboots, it can find that the data feeds were primarily going to a server farm hosted over some VERY shady characters indeed. In Russia. Which ties back to the two Bratva goons that were already on Oracle's radar.

The connection to Oracle is lost as Batgirls suit glitches and reboots, causing Batgirl to start and curse quietly. "What the …"

"Zeal, let me see your arm …" That's odd. Batgirl doesn't like the conclusion her mind has jumped too. "Oracle, are you there?"

"I'm here Batgirl. I lost connection to your suit. What happened?" The VI doesn't sound concerned of course, it can't. "I've located the datafeed, hosted in Russia with connections to the Bratva and those men we're already investigating."

Well, what's a girl to do? When your Liege gives you an order, you obey. Avery shows her the hand, two of the fingers and much of hand in general have what looks to be electrical burns. The middle finger in particular is bad, the flesh blackened, which is a bad thing indeed. "It does not hurt as badly as I would expect, that is a bad thing, is it not?" Avery seems fairly detached about, and it is clear that there is pain.

Avery is actually more alarmed that whatever happened had powerful enough magic to disrupt the connection between the Oracle and the artifice-magic in Batgirl's suit.

"The Bratva…they are Russian criminals, I have been reading up on them, a little. The library has some fascinating books and SO many!"

Avery won't see the frown under Batgirls mask as she examines the younger womans hand. "We need to get this seen too, and quickly. What do you mean 'not as badly as you would expect', there is pain, I can see that. On a scale of 1 being not bad and 10 being I can't stand it, how bad?"

Taking a first aid kit from her utility belt, the redhead performs some triage - there's not much she can do but it's something.

"This area reacted to the tech in my suit … " she says absently as she works. When she's done she gestures to the younger woman to stand back. "I'm going to try that again."

And indeed she says.

At the mention of books and library, there's a soft snort. "We'll have to get you come computer lessons but books are amazing, aren't they?"

"About…a six. I have felt far worse pain. Trying to push through to my memories is worse." Avery admits. "Makes me fear I will be ill on the floor." She holds up the hand. "This? This is something I understand." Avery sighs when the topical anesthetic is applied, and the hand bandaged. Softly. "Perhaps a seven." She amends, sheepishly.

As Batgirl repeats her experiment it would provide similar results, but lesser, this time, little more than static and glitches - signal degradation, not a drop. Which is interesting…it would seem to support that whatever Avery does generated the effect, and that it was short lived. Still, dangerous. She'd need to be insulted or grounded better. One good thing - the sensors do pick up a few readings that with analysis might be helpful!

"I do need to learn about computers." She smiles then. "I do love books, yes. Always have."

"How does that compare to the bullet wound you took?" Batgirl asks, giving the young woman a critical look. When her suit barely glitches, the redhead pauses. "This responds to you, not me or my tech. I'm not going to get you to retry that, you were injured badly that first time."

"Batgirl, I'm picking up several interesting readings. I'm going to analyse them." Oracle says on the suit speaker. "That might give us something to work with."

"So what we know from here, is that you were in that pod for a while, Zeal." Batgirl gestures working through the information they've collected. "There was a datafeed from servers in Russia that was feeding a lot of data into here. And you seemed to have grown up in some form of simulation…."

"Oracle, see if you can find out what that data was." Batgirl could guess, but guessing leaves space for errors.

"And Avery, what did you learn about the Bratva from your readings?"

"My shoulder wound? Oh, that was an eight." Avery says firmly. "Nigh unto a nine, in sooth…" She frowns then. "…I mean…nearly a nine, in /truth/." Avery sighs. "I felt…something…it was like…" She ponders, chewing on her lower lip. "It was like when I lock down another who wishes to step between, only harsher." Wait, what? Avery can lock down another teleporter? That might be useful.

Avery goes very still when Batgirl confirms that her past life was a simulation. "So…until I came to /this/ world, nothing was real? My whole prior existence…the Hidden World, the Paladins Templar, all of it was a lie…"

Oracle will have to do some fairly deep diving, but eventually the VI is stopped. Stopped, but not before finding a location that tracks back to a small, privately held ISP in the city of Kazan, in southwest Russia.

Avery focuses on Batgirl. "Mm? They are a brotherhood of criminals, they give up all other family, and they are very brutal. Typically males. Into all manner of crime, yes?"

Batgirl nods as she gets an idea of Avery's pain thresholds. The burn must be bad indeed if she's not registering it. "We need to get you to a Doctor, Zeal, get this burn seen to. I know a place in Staten Island with a doctor that I trust, we will go there."

Lesley Thompkins has a clinic that the Martha Wayne foundation funds.

Wrapping an arm about the young womans shoulder, Batgirl draws her in for a reassuring hug "I'm not sure, Zeal, and I won't answer that until I am. But possibly not. What I don't know is why you look so ill in that footage and so well now."

"Shall we head out of here? Is there anything else you wanted to look at before we do?" beat "And yes, exactly about the Bratva. Whatever your father was into, I'm not sure it was all good…."

"It will be as you say, Batgirl." Avery says, and yes, the girl's pain thresholds are pretty high, she's not invulnerable or anything but she's very scrappy.

Avery leans into that arm about her shoulders, she really does need the reassurance at the moment. "Surely…my father was at least real, but…how did he come into the simulation?" And of course Babs already knows that her Eskrima and Tai Chi instructors were real too, but…it is very possible, probable even, that nobody else was.

Which is all kinds of horrific, if so.

"Yes." Avery says. "Let us go…I…do not wish to stay here. There be…there IS nothing for me here, now." She pauses then, looking to Batgirl. "Though…I wonder now what is blocking me, or how it is doing so." Before they go, she does try to commit the site to her Unseen List, as she thinks of it, and…can't. Not down here, anyway. Down here she's strictly line of sight, and there's significant resistance too. "I cannot say what my father was into, but he was always very loving in the Hidden World, and I remember him fighting for me…but I can't remember more than that. A man can love his daughter and not be a good person, can he not?"

"Or course it will be. I'm used to get my way." Just ask Nightwing. "I'm sure your father was very real but I don't know the answer to the second question. Maybe that second pod had something to do with it. Let Oracle work their magic and we'll find out more, I promise."

"If you could do the honours, we'll be back on my bike soon and I can get you to someone who can look after you. And yes, a man can absolutely love his daughter so much that he might do anything to save her."

The redheads mind is already putting threads together.

"As you say, Batgirl." Avery says with an inclined head when Babs is so matter of fact about getting things her way. She takes a measure of encouragement that her father, at least, was real. A nod then, even a faint smile when Batgirl promises.

Avery smiles brighter then, and teleports them out of the hole. And it is a /rough/ transit, once again, Batgirl's suit reboots, and some of the systems burn out, though she can reroute to get back into touch with Oracle at least. Avery is frowning. "Between is…difficult." A flicker as she jumps a few yards. "But only down there."

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