2020-02-29 - Compounded Interest


Silver Samurai, and Batgirl battle the Geist in defense of a badly beat up Avery Aaronson.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Feb 29 09:30:33 2020
Location: Safehouse

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Theme Song



Avery is not doing terribly well at the moment, she's rather beat up in fact, and bleeding from a number of cuts, and oh yeah…probably has some fairly unpleasant bone bruises. Presently leaning against Silver Samurai's back as they ride on his bike, the girl sighs very softly. "Silver Samurai-San, do…did you know those men?" To be fair she spent most of the fight in a daze, probably missing most of the details, if one is minded to be fair.

She might also be a little shocky. Still, she holds on to the best of her rather diminished ability.

Of course the Daisho, yeah, they got the heck out of Dodge when granted their request to depart in peace.

"Thank you again, Silver Samurai-San for your timely assistance…"

Silver Samurai had contacted Batgirl enroute and gotten a meeting point. It is, of course, empty. It's in one of the parts of the Island closer to the Dome and thus one of the parts of the island that people are more reluctant to be in after dark.

"Thank me when you are safe. And no, I did not know those men. Despite my somewhat checkered past, I do not make a habit of being around professional assassins."

Which those were. Now. Where's batgirl?

There's the roar a motorcycle engine as a sleek pocket rocket pulls up beside the Samurai. It's Batgirl, yellow lined cape fluttering behind her. The black face turns towards the pair on the bike before she guns the engine again and pulls in front of Ken, leading him into the parking structure, then into an elevator and straight into an apartment.

"What happened." Is all that she says as she gets the first aid supplies from the bathroom. "How bad is she?" That's to Ken.

It's hard to tell if she's angry or concerned, the modulator doesn't allow for much emotion.

The apartment is very nice. Sparsly furnished with darkened windows. One of her safe houses that she'll have to burn.

"I will be fine, Lady. I just need to rest." A faint frown. "Two men tried to kill me, disrupted my powers and chased me, then Silver Samurai-San fought them." A nod. "They left, we came here."

NOT the best sit rep ever, but it does cover a lot of the salient points though not all of them.

"I am sorry, sins of the father." Oh, yeah, like that makes any sense.

Avery will /barely/ manage to dismount the bike, but she'll need the Samurai's help, and she's more than a little wobbly as she does so. Scrappy. The girl does /not/ give up.

Maybe a little foolish too. "Why were assassins sent after me? I cannot pay a debt if I'm dead…

Miles away, the Daisho return their fee to the man who hired them. That man, yes, not even a little bit happy. He rises, turning his back, a large man indeed. "You may go." Implicit…is 'do not return'. They go.

"So, little girl lost, how do you manage to avoid my trap?" His voice is thick with a Russian accent. A sigh, and then he takes out his phone. "Yuri…send for Geist."

"Some debts are only paid in blood." The man with the swords says. "She was beaten to unconsciousness. It is likely that she needs medical attention." Samurai helps the stubborn woman off the bike and to the apartment, then hands her off to Batgirl. There. Her problem now.

"The bigger question, I think, is how did they find her." Because that's the one that needs serious answering.

"There is food and drink in the fridge." Batgirl gestures to Ken. There's tea, of course, sake, beer and soda. "And I'll need help to bind her wounds." Avery certainly is Batgirls problem and she doesn't shy from it.

"Why did you not call for help?" She admonishes the girl as she starts the strip of the layers of clothing from her. "We will get her to the Martha Wayne Clinic presently. First, I want to know what you do."

"Sins of the father. Debt?" The redheads mind is working. "This was about your father, Zeal?" As an aside to the Samurai, Batgirl summarises "Zeal was injured as a young child and as far as Oracle and I can tell, her father went deeply into debt with the wrong people to … heal her." beat "Were they russian, the ones that you found her with?"

"I bled, did I pay enough?" Avery sighs then, knowing that the joke probably fell flat. Definitely Batgirl's problem. "Am I fired?" She asks in a small voice.

At the direct question, she sighs. "The shorter blade one stabbed my phone, the longer cut my ear, destroyed my comm unit…" And /that/ makes her think, focuses her will. "How did he know to do that?"

And then she shifts her attention back to the Samurai. "And how did they find me, yes."

She's in a pretty bad state, definitely been through a wringer. The worst looking wound though? On her back, a bruise almost the whole width of her below the shoulder-blades.

"They did not sound Russian." Avery answers. And then nods. "My father…they…said /I/ was to be collected. To pay off the debt…"

"No, but I would not expect them to be. Contract killers are not usually picky about whom they work for, nor are criminal syndicates picky about whom they hire so long as they are effective."

"Given that they knew how to disable her power I think it is safe to assume that they know more about the young lady than we do." Which might be slightly galling but they didn't meet her all THAT long ago.

"It might help to know who your father was, Zeal."

Batgirl frowns as she tends to the woman, cleaning cuts and grazes, probing the bruising gently. "I can't be sure you've not cracked anything, Zeal but I don't think so. I'll clean these up and give you something for the pain - but I want the clinic to tend you, ok?"

"Oracle, give the Samurai what we know already of Zeals father and the fire in her house."

On the wall, the screen comes on and Oracle starts to play some video footage. It's what they could glean from the house security system before it burned.

"Are you injured at all, Samurai? Do you need someone to tend you?" She's teasing him?

The call to Geist is placed, another super assassin, German this time. Many believe he's just an urban legend, he likes it that way. He makes his way to the large Russian man's office, and is given…a compass. The device is of exotic design, about the same size as a flip phone, made of brass and leather, but inside the face is blank, and the needle points…not north. "Follow it, bring me the girl. Double your standard fee." The burly Russian states. "Collateral damage?" Geist asks, and the Russkie shrugs. "As you wish." Which draws a small smile from the assassin. "Done." Geist simply walks through the wall and out onto the empty air before he starts flying where the compass points.

Avery nods. "Doctor Adam Aaronson, my dad." And then Batgirl asks about the clinic. "Oh, if you think it wise, aye Lady."

Oracle speaks up. "Of course, Batgirl. Doctor Adam Aaronson, born seven June, nineteen seventy five. PhDs in Biochemistry and Biophysics, MD by twenty-two, widely considered a genius. There was a home invasion, his wife Alice perished, and his daughter…" Avery interjects. "Me." And then Oracle continues. "…Avery, was paralyzed. He did some fringe science in the basement of their family home, cut deals with many people of less than sterling character in a bid to repair the damage to her. We posit he attempted some sort of radical cloning process, using dubious materials, and kept his daughter's mind alive in a VR simulation called The Hidden World. Apparently something went awry, there was an accident that left Avery in a mathematically perfect sphere of destruction in which her father and two Bratva enforcers perished, we have tracked the VR source code to a small company overseas, but have not managed to penetrate their security. And there is an anomaly that interacts violently with Avery's powers in the remains of their family home, in the spehere.

"I am not injured no, thank you." Ken folds his arms and listens. Genius, accidents. Interesting that such a man should have had to turn to the mob for help. He should have been rather well off. Perhaps the injuries were very unusual. Whatever the case Oracle has more information but frankly…

… it doesn't mean a whole lot to Ken. Fascinating but not especially germain to why someone wants her dead or what to do about it, unless Batgirl can extract more.

"Show the footage of the fire, please Oracle." Batgirl glances at Ken, as she helps Avery get her shirt back on. "And yes, Zeal, I do. The clinic is used to dealing with heroes …" Because it was setup by Batman about a year ago.

The footage comes up, it shows the room with the capsule that held the injured Avery. She's clearly visible through the cover - injured and wasted - not the whole woman they see here right now. It shows another capsule - the contents not so clear. Then the Bratva are there, a fire starts, there's a bright flash … the second capsule is gone and in the original … a whole and complete Avery.

"I don't know what was going on, Samurai, but if they're looking for Zeal for payment, I would think it's because they think she's a clone that they can use the research from." Batgirl could very much be wrong.

Avery frowns at the mention of her father's death, the trauma to her head perhaps or maybe the trips under the Dome, either way…she shakes her head. "Dad isn't dead." She murmurs, eyes out of focus. "Don't know if the others, but I see him sometimes, in my dreams?" She seems unsure.

"Mmm…I am a fake girl, but it does not matter, because I am still me."

Oracle adds. "He bankrupted himself trying to cure his daughter, radical and expensive methods employed, Silver Saumurai. Doctor Aaronson labored for years, and had to cut corners."

Avery looks to Batgirl. "The clinic then." She looks to the Silver Samurai. "They said more would come, didn't they?" The assassins.

Indeed, at the very moment another closes in, flying at great speed and landing near by.
"Gotcha." Geist murmurs as he starts toward the safe house.

Sensors don't seem to detect him, neither motion, nor thermal, but he is visible, so video surveillance, or just looking out the window will see a man in a wide brimmed black hat, and a frock coat that buttons up both sides approaching.

"They did. This is not uncommon with criminal contracts. So long as there is money on the line people will keep trying until someone gets it right. Well. Unless…"

There are ways to deter this kind of thing and Batgirl knows what Ken is driving at. Kill enough of them and no one will want to take the job because it's a death sentence. You have to wade through a lot of blood to get there though.

"It's not unusual that they will try again." Batgirl answers. "But for now, we're going to see about getting you healed. We're also going to see about improving your armour." And getting some training but she'll address that later.

Oracle can't detect the approaching figure - the artifact on the video doesn't register to her. The camera feeds for the apartment are showing in windows on the side of the screen - which catches Batgirls attention. "Samurai. Why would someone be out in this area?" She nods to the screen. It is, after all, very close to the barrier and the streets are basically empty.

"I miss having armor, I was a Kni…oh, no I wasn't. Nevermind. I didn't have armor either." She nods then. "Yes, I'd like to get healed, please. I hurt." And yes, she'd actually mentioned training to the Samurai before. She agrees about the training!

The man continues to approach, the compass in his hand glittering in the light of the full moon. He walks up to to the door, and then steps through it. He takes in the Batgirl, th Silver Samurai, and…"Ah, my target." His voice is sepulchral, echoing. He looks between the two heroes. "So…I need that girl. You need not perish." And then he smiles, a bit too wide, a bit too many teeth. "But I hope you'll try to stop the Geist."

This time Samurai doesn't hesitate about reaching for his most effective tool. He turns to see the figure step through the door and draws the black blade. The sense of evil floods through the room and the determination and bloodlust that come with it fill his eyes.

"Once this blade is drawn it cannot be sheathed again until it draws blood. Unfortunate for you if you cannot bleed, I shall have to keep cutting you until I get something that satisfies."

That is an intensely magical, intensely evil, intensely bloodthirsty sword. And Samurai intends to use ALL of that.

As to Babs question, he doesn't know. They can figure it out later.

There's no need to work it out later, they know for certain. He just came through the door.

Batgirl stares for a moment, putting herself between Avery and the newcomer and palming a batarang forged with cold iron.

The drawing of the Black Blade has her looking to Ken and shuddering. That thing feels wrong but she also knows it takes a toll on the man. "I'd listen to him, if I were you. You won't get the young woman and we're both very well trained."

The Geist blinks at the sheer power and evil of that blade, pasty flesh almost clammy looking, dead black eyes studying the thing. "Almost we could be kin." The sword, or the wielder? And then he shakes his head. "Most unfortunate…for indeed, I cannot bleed." He cant's his head to the side. "And now that it is drawn, if I were to simply flee, then what would happen?" He looks to the Batgirl. "Actually, I know that you are. You and your colony of Bats are quite well trained." A faint frown at the cold iron weapon, and then he sighs faintly. "Well…I take it you're both resolved to protect the construct child then? She's not even human, what difference would it make to let me have her?"

"Then I will have to find something else to bleed but that will no longer be your problem." That is a lie of course, he doesn't need to draw blood when he draws that thing but the intruder doesn't know that and Ken is very good at delivering it deadpan.

"You are not human but I have not begun chopping you up yet." It's a guess that he isn't human but not a difficult one. "Would you like to explore that to it's logical conclusion? I do not think you will very much enjoy it."

"If I have to explain that to you, then I'm wasting my breath." Batgirl says cooly, flipping the cold iron batarang in her fingers. "And I have more of these, plus other little tricks I've collected since that barrier went up."

"And to protect Zeal, if he needs to draw blood, he can cut me." She's deadly serious. Though she might differently as well.

"Now, are you done talking? Are we going to dance or are you going to walk?"

No, the Geist does /not/ in fact know that the bleeding part is sheer prevarication, and Ken's practiced delivery is a polished thing. He buys it. "So." The follow up threat, yeah, that actually draws a twitch from one ebon eye, the greyish skin jerking a moment. "Being cut up is quite irritating." Geist admits. "I have been contrcted to bring her back, alas, I cannot break faith once a bargain is struck."

Yeah, definitely not human, probably a creature of Faerie, maybe even a demon or spirit.

He looks to Batgirl. "Your loyalty to a made thing is impressive. Though…" The Geist looks mildly surprised. "…it…-she- has a living soul inside her."

That news draws Avery's gaze, she'd been sort of hunching in on herself as the Geist spoke, she has almost no fight left in her. But then he called her out, stated she /has/ a soul. "Truly?"

He frowns then, and leaps to the attack - his hands growing glossy black talons at least six inches long. He figures he has one chance, he has to take out both the Silver Samurai, AND Batgirl at once. Each of the heroes is attacked, the claws emanating the chill of the grave and vile corruption that is akin to, but far weaker than the Black Blade.

Ken spins his blade in a particular fashion described in old Japanese texts as 'like a water wheel'. It worked to deflect arrows a thousand years ago and it will hopefully do for claws today. He gives ground but only to force the being to choose between facing him and attacking his target.

Once the angle is correct he attacks with superhuman force. One of the 'blessings' of this blade is that he is more than human when he holds it. An unpleasant surprise to many.

The batarang that Batgirl was holding spins out and clips the claws nearest her. It should sting the beast and perhaps break some of the talons.

Then she drops to the ground, pulling her escrima sticks from her back - this time the sticks are covered in sigils and coated in holy oil. Anything is fair in a fight, right.

Where normally she would sweep the feet of her attacker, she doesn't this time - it's the sticks that snake out - trying to catch his ankles and knock him down. Or at least provide distraction for The Samurai to follow his attack through.

The twirl of the black sword does a number on those close, severing all four which immediately discorporate, turning to…foul smelling goo on the floor, some sort of vile ectoplasm. Geist bares his teeth, ebon of course, in a rictus of pain. And then the Black Blade bites deep into Geist's shoulder, the arm nearly severed. The Geist keens, low and atonal, a blend of screech and minor chord fused. He's badly hurt.

Two more claws are severed by the cold iron Batarang, and then he finds himself struck in the ankle by holy oil slicked staves graven with runes. The holy oil easts into pale flesh, bone exposed in seconds, and then the thing slumps, jerked free of the black blade as Geist falls…and then sinks into the floor.

Well, that's probably not a very good thing!

Rather than remove the blade for another strike the Samurai pulls it sharply down and toward him, a slicing, sawing motion that made the wielders of these blades so very deadly in times past. There's no blood to draw of course but he simply re-angles the blade and lunges, trying to pin the bulk of the annoying creature to the wall. It can phase, clearly, so that's not likely to - ahem - stick, but every moment of delay helps.

This is of course when it decides to vanish into the floor. Samurai falls back again, watching around him. It could emerge out of any surface.

"We need to get outside. Open up the fight."

Batgirl is rising as Ken slices that thing, gesturing for Avery to move close to her. "Zeal, with me. Stay close. Outside. Oracle, I want every light in this neighbourhood turned on. As bright as you can make them. I take it you can't see him?"

"See who, Batgirl? I could hear you talking …"

With a frustrated hiss, the redhead considers as she gestures to the balcony. "With me. My rappel gun will hold the three of us for a short drop. "

And she's off, ushering the other two with her as street and shopfront lights come on and start to brighten. "Oracle. On my mark, I want those lights as bright as you can get them." It will blow all the globes in the street and potentially the substations but in her experience, that often works against 'shadows'.

Getting outside proves to be a very wise thing as Geist swipes at Batgirl from behind, her movements just barely fast enough to prevent God knows what evil. Avery, eyes bright nods firmly, and moves as best she can. The trio land on the round, Avery stumbling, but recovering if not gracefully, at least she does so quickly.

Moments later Geist emerges, the creature having discarded any pretense of being human…it is like some sort of vile and twisted manta ray, but the face is humanoid, the same eyes, the same pasty flesh, and U shaped mouth not unlike a shark's.

It streaks forward, clearly seeking to end the Silver Samurai…

Once on the ground the best thing to do is to spread out again and Ken motions to that effect. When their opponent appears again, Samurai reacts purely on instinct. He brings his sword in close and with a loud 'kiai' he rushes at the creature rushing at him. Only at the last moment does he drop to the ground, bring his blade straight up and sheathe it in his power.

He doesn't need to hit it hard. All he needs is for it's own momentum to carry it over the blade.

Batgirl grunts as the swipe hits the suit, knocking her forward as she twists to throw herself down the cable. No one will hear the strain in her voice thanks to the modulator as she says to Avery "With me."

The escrima sticks held in one hand as she circles behind the creature. With Ken rushing from the front, she doesn't dare rush the thing at all …. instead, she draws a bola-rang from the utility belt and tosses it tangle the lower half of the creatures body up.

"Aye, Lady." Avery states as they go down the line, as they land and she stumbles.

The three scatter, and then the Geist flows out in a made dash of an attack, and the tachyon field and sheer physical power imparted by the Black Blade gash the thing, what would be viscera instead falling as fetid exctoplasmic 'rain'.

The Bolo-Rang tangles the lower half of the monstrous 'shadow' or 'ghost', slowing it, perhaps only momentarily, but the moment is there presently to be exploited.

The wound left by the tachyon field augmented Black Blade /smokes/, especially where the light hits it.

Ken rolls and lashes out again. Babs and Avery can feel the blade's aura lash out even as the physical object swings. It senses blood, metaphorically speaking. The Samurai makes no sound now. He just swings that blade again. And again. And again.

Heedless of what flies at him. Heedless of the mess. Heedless of people watching. His sole thought right now is to strike and destroy. To spill 'blood' until there is nothing left to spill.

That's all that Batgirl needed, was for Ken to do his thing.

"Now, Oracle."

The lights flare, drowning the area in brilliance before globe and globe starts to pop.

Hopefully that will be enough.

A single jarring wail, and then the spirt the Samurai butchered in a frenzy of blood lust is consumed by the lightstorm that Batgirl invoked and Oracle provided.

Sudden silence…and then several lights burst, showering sparks to the ground as final testament to the passing of the light.

Silence and darkness both prevail.

The Geist is no more.

Though…there is one thing left behind, that anachronistic compass with no markings lies on the ground, and the needle inside points to Avery firmly.

Ken pulls himself up to his feet and very slowly, very carefully, very deliberately sheathes his weapon. He doesn't say anything. Just breathes hard for a few long minutes. Then, finally…

"Is anyone hurt?"

There's glass everywhere and the substation is arcing. The 'City' isn't going to be happy with this.

She's still though as she watches the Samurai, waiting for him to sheathe that sword. Gesturing for Avery to follow, she walks over to the man, putting her hand on his shoulder reassuringly. "I am not. Are you?" She doesn't mean physically - he might take it like that but he knows better.

Picking the compass up, she presses it into Avery's hand. "This belongs to you I think. And when we have sorted this barrier out, we'll look into this further…."

Hopefully, they'll have time.

Avery takes her cue from Batgirl, she waits quietly until the Samurai sheathes that horror in blade form. She just looks a them both, her Liege Lady, and the stoic and pragmatic swordsman. She blinks at the compass, leaning against Batgirl before looking at the Samurai.

"I think I can thank you, now."

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