2020-03-16 - Creating Mayhem


Backdated Scene: The Samurai and Batgirl amp up pressure inside the Barrier

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Mar 16 20:10:21 2020
Location: Clocktower

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It was a quiet Batgirl who road back to the barrier with the Samurai. She'd been casting sideways glances at the man all the time. She'd seen him with that sword, saw the effect on him. And it wasn't the first time she'd seen it, either.

She'd not spoken about the arrow she'd put through that guards throat either. Her green eyes are troubled though - in a way that may be familiar to the Samurai, though he might not know why. What is clear is the hours she's spending inside the barrier, are affecting her and she's got more coming up soon.

The barrier is still a good hour away. She reaches into her saddle bag and draws out a bota - taking a long drink before handing it to the Samurai. It's not water.

Samurai accepts the bota, takes a drink and hands it back. He makes an 'ah' sound and takes in a breath. "You have been quiet."

He means quieter than usual. These rides are often quite quiet, they don't want to give themselves away after all, but there are usually words. Plans. This time? This time there has been nothing. Just the sound of hooves on dirt.

Quiet words. Words between … friends. They are friends, really, for all that Batgirl keeps her secrets. But now, there is nothing and she's not sure what to say.

"So have you." She says, taking another drink and putting the bota away. "I thought, back there, I would need to force you to put the sword away. It wasn't a prospect I relished." beat "How are your wounds?"

They are probably burning about now. Batgirl had stitched what she could when they found safety.

Her voice shakes a little though and if Ken looks, he'll see her eyes close as she centres herself.

"Not serious. Painful but I have had worse." They do indeed burn and there's naught to be done about it until they get back to the real world but for now they aren't going to impair him.

"I have always mastered this blade. It has never yet mastered me." And yet that is something that Kennuichio needs to constantly be careful of. For the blade COULD master him. And it's whisper is always there when he uses it. The lure of its power is always there.

"And yet I see you, Samurai, each time you wield it. When you attacked Geist, I saw it. Today …" She shrugs and brushes back a piece of hair that has fallen from her braid. "The wounds are serious, do not undersell them. That they aren't impairing is what I wanted to know."

She falls silent again, staring at the ears of her horse.

Finally she says what he knows has to be coming "I killed that man, Samurai."

"You did. And you have already highly valued human life." Samurai says, looking ahead. He thinks, perhaps, that to look at her right now might have her thinking that he's judging her.

"Why did you?" He could tell her that he doesn't blame her. He could tell her that she was justified. But his justification doesn't matter. She has to justify it to herself.

"Life Samurai. When these creatures came to Staten Island, I didn't discriminate. You know that." Batgirl says quietly, glancing over at the man who is refusing to look at her. They had argued about that.

"I could say I didn't mean to. That I had been trying to warn him off. But I think I would be lying if I did. He was coming at me, with death in his eyes. I didn't want to die and I thought …."

She shakes her head and sighs. "I wanted to help you …"

"You did. If you had not killed him, at best I would have had to but more likely he would have hurt me worse. I am a very good swordsman, Batgirl, but I am not invincible and I had a lot to deal with just then."

The Samurai finally does look at her. "Does your conscience demand that you die to avoid killing? Because those were your only options."

"Maybe he would have seen differently with the woman … out of action." Batgirl knows that Ken killed her and as much as she hates it, she knows she can't condemn him for it.

Why then, does she condemn herself, she wonders.

"My conscience demands I do everything I can to avoid killing. I could have lowered my shot and maimed him, Samurai-san. But I wanted him dead … I really did."

"That is what worries me, Samurai-san. That it was so … easy."

"Do you honestly believe that sudden mercy would have intervened?" Samurai shakes his head. "You could have maimed him, maybe. Maybe he would still be alive. But maybe not, and maybe you would be dead, and I would be dead, and Gordon would be dead. You cannot know, except that if you had not acted, he was going to win and that win would have cost lives."

Killing is always difficult… at first. But it gets easier. He knows that. "Surviving should be easy. It should be the default choice."

There's a frustrated sound from Batgirl as Samurai talks. "And how do I reconcile that, Samurai-san?" She's being quite formal, maybe it helps. "How do I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that it's ok I'm alive and someone is not?"

"I have lived my life trying preserve others lives. And I do not know, neither do you, that he would have won if I had pulled my shot. It is easy to say that is the case, though isn't it?"

The redhead considers her words and sighs again. "How do you do it, Samurai-san?"

"Do you think the world would be a better place if you were not alive and that person were? Do you think that the world would be a safer place if you had decided that it was not worth fighting for your own survival?" It is an almost farcically incoherent position to be distressed that you killed someone who was going to kill you but it is a thing that many people go through. Police. Soldiers. All of them know this quandry. But most of them believe that in the end they have a right to kill in order to live.

"You were not going to get another, and you are not armored well enough to take a hit." Samurai points out. "So yes we do not know that he would have won, but the odds of him doing so were very high and yours were very low."

Samurai quirks a brow. "It is not difficult. I remind myself that their life or death is not my choice alone. A series of choices have led us both to the battlefield. I am no more in control of those choices than I am of the tides. If they chose to die, then the only question I have to ask is 'Do I regret my choices'?"

Batgirl sighs, dropping her eyes to between the ears of her horse again. "I have that creatures blood on my hands, Samurai. He was doing his job, just as I was doing mine." It's a moot argument though, she knows that. "I will learn to live with what I've done …." It will likely affect her though. Will it make her less effective as she double guesses herself?

Quite possibly.

"Batman will … have something to say when he finds out."

"And what blood does that creature have on his?" The Samurai turns in his saddle again. "Tell me, Batgirl. Do you view the soldiers of your nation as morally compromised for having killed?"

There is a point to this chain of logic and he doesn't really know the answer but he suspects that the answer is 'no'. And of course… there is a reason for that.

"Does that matter? Who am I to take his life, no matter what? What stops someone deciding that because I have killed they can kill me?" It was argument she used with Zeal.

The Samurais question has her green eyes rising to his. The confusion and pain, evident. "No. Why would I? They act under a different set of rules to me. And I know damn well that many still have the same dilemma. Are you going to say that I am a soldier?"

"I am saying that you are not fighting criminals anymore. This is beyond crime. They have declared war not only on your people and your way of life, but the very reality you live in." Samurai says as they ride, prodding his horse to keep the pace up. They can't be slowing right now.

"If you wish to fight crime, if you wish to deal with things that can end with a day in court, then you will not find it here. Do you honestly think that when this is over there will be any 'justice'? No, SHIELD and the military will restore order and kill any who decide to stay and fight. This is not the place for reservations about making decisions. They have made theirs already. They decided to take land, to take lives, and to take the memories and identities of any that got in their way. Do you think for a moment that you would not have been killed had they the opportunity? There is blood on the ground already, Batgirl. This is not Staten Island. This is war."

Batgirl thinks on this and is quiet for a long time, urging her horse to keep with Kens. "What you say has merit, I suppose." It's said quietly when she finally does speak.

"Just because they do something, doesn't mean I should in turn, Samurai-san. Where is the honor in that? I haven't spoken against you doing what you must - I had …"

She shakes her head and sighs again. "I had hoped, foolishly I think, that I would not have to take someones life."

"Your commitment to your ideals is admirable." Samurai nods. "But there is no honor to be gained in hamstringing yourself before the enemy. They will not hesitate to kill you. They will not hesitate to do what is necessary for them to triumph. If you do, then you win only if they make a mistake. And that is always a bad thing to bet on in my experience, Batgirl."

There's little to be said to Kens comments. Batgirl nods with a "Thank you, Samurai." He should get the idea that she's going to wrestle with this for a long while.

"In the coming days, we will coming in again. We have a lead on where the central crystal may be." She pauses, knowing she's changing the subject but it seems to have run its course. "The trip will require us to stay overnight. The WAND mages are working on improving the enchantments on our amulets so that we might. It's still a risk but it's all we can do."

"It may be worth the risk if we can bring it down with a small team." Four or five or even eight lives against the entire group of people held here? It's a risk that is worth it. Samurai doesn't say more on the matter of killing people. It is inconsistent. He knows, fundamentally, it is vanity. Or insanity. But people are very rarely argued out of such things.

So he will not argue.

"It is to be a scouting mission. If we can take it out, we will, of course. I rather suspect that we will need an assault team - and need to know the lay of the land."

What that means though, is that Batgirl will be gone for a day or more and that Ken might not be able to accompany them. It all depends on his schedule, doesn't it?

"Do you think our little operation caused enough mayhem for now?"

"I think that it more than did the job. The smoke and noise will attract attention and if they do not the fact that she is missing will. When they find it they are going to go a bit… crazy, I suspect. Berserk even. But they'll know that we came from the woods and headed away from the city, so they'll search in that direction. They may even know that we came from outside."

Which is something the local humans don't seem to comprehend.

"When is the scouting to take place?"

"During the coming week." Batgirl answers. Ken will definitely get the feeling that she appreciates the distraction. The ability to put her mind to work and put her … actions behind her. At least until she looks in the mirror.

"Lady Amara gave us the information we need to find the area the crystal is in. Now, we just need to find the crystal."

"Then let us put our minds to that. The barrier should be coming up soon and after we get through we will be safer." He is constantly a bit on edge while they're here. And naturally so. After all… this is very much hostile territory.

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