2020-03-16 - Suited Out


Backdated Scene: Batgirl surprises Zeal and they discuss her history.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Mar 16 20:14:00 2020
Location: Staten Island

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Theme Song



Backdated Scene: 11 March 2020.

It's been a busy few weeks since Avery was injured by … the Bratva? Or Bratva operatives. Batgirl and Samurai have hardly been around, spending many hours inside the Barrier trying to work out just what is going on.

Batgirl is training at the moment. In one of her safe house locations. When this is all done, she's going to have to setup new places - but for today, she's got Zeal to come in and train with her. There's something a little more intense about the woman than there usually is. "I know you can 'port, Zeal but as you discovered even that has it limits and all someone needs to do is wait for you to exhaust yourself. You need to be able to fight hand to hand and learn how to use body to keep away from things. The Samurai can teach the hand to hand stuff. My strength is knowing how to stay out of the fight."

And she's proving it - tumbling and using the makeshift 'scaffolding' she's got in the space to keep moving and tricking the younger woman.

Avery has been helping with the Barrier missions when she could, but yeah, severe injuries are not really something wants to go into dangerous situations with. She'd chafe at the need, patience not really her strongest suit, but she -does- have some discipline. And the metabolism of a hummingbird on crack.

"M'lady is quite right, truly, the Daisho proved quite fiendish in their efforts." And in truth they both fought well against the Samurai, neither alone was a threat, but together even he had to take heed.

Avery /is/ quite good at Parkour but has perhaps slipped a bit, focusing on her powers, and that is never a good thing. She is actually delighted at every trick used, and she's a good student, willing to take her lumps, able to accept correction with not only grace, but appreciation, and a quick learner generally.

There's a fire inside her, a surety that was lacking ever since they found out she was most likely a clone and that her entire life, or nearly so, a complex fabrication. Her morale is greatly improved, and it shows. "Ha! Thought you had me there…" She crows after having almost fallen for a trick…only to get outsmarted again my many years of experience. Still…she's all smiles, sweat and bruises and all!

As Zeal avoids the flash bang she's exploded, Batgirl tumbles from the plank she's on to a lower one behind the young woman. There's a touch of her escrima stick to Zeals left shoulder and a modulated chuckle. "I wasn't trying to get you there, I was trying to get you here…"

"Situational awareness, Zeal. You need to be thinking three steps ahead." It's way easier said than done.

"Come on, lets get you a drink and let you recover a bit. You're still healing and there's something I want to talk to you about."

"So I see." Zeal says with a laugh. "I am…flexible, but…I am also far less experienced in fighting like this." A thoughtful frown. "I wonder if it is because the simulations were good, but not /expert/, so I have to unlearn my experience and train my skills for a real world?"

She listens, very serious and intent on what Batgirl is saying. "I will strive my utmost, Lady, not to disappoint or embarrass you further." And she does feel a bit that she's a disappointment!

A smile at the offer of a drink. "Thank you, Lady, something to drink would be good." She cants her head to one side, moving to grab a towel and tossing a second to the Batgirl as she dries the worst of her sweat. Babs will surely see the flare of concern, swiftly masked, and then Avery smiles. "A talk, of course."

"I'm spent many years training, Zeal, with several partners. Batman, Red Robin and Nightwing being some of them. Now there's the Samurai to test me further. Not withstanding that, I've fought against real people and real people are never predictable."

"You aren't a disappointment, Zeal. Don't ever think that. I push you, because I want you to be safe." There's no reassuring smiles or looks from the redhead. There can't be because of the hood she wears. The bats ears cant slightly as the woman turns her head and wraps an arm around the younger ones shoulders.

"Yes… a talk." A bottle of water is handed over as the black clad figure takes a seat. "Oracle, display that design we've been working please …"

The camera in her suit activates and an image of a slim, smaller, black clad figure appears. There's no hood at the moment and the face that peers back is … Avery. "Oracle and I have been doing some designing. I thought you might want some input yourself…"

"It is strange, Lady. In the Hidden World I was an apex fighter, but here…merely a good one. At least my fighting training was real." Avery seems much more okay about things, which is something that shines through. She really does seem so very much more herself again. "I worry, milady. In many of our missions I have been either of little use, or a handicap, and that is not acceptable to me. I worried that mayhaps you might want a more able vassal." Avery admits. "I cannot begin to tell you how relieved…" She goes very quiet when she sees that image, and her eyes silver.

A grant of /armour/ is a non-trivial thing. It proves the words uttered.

The bottle is taken absently, and then she drinks about half. A sudden hug to Babs, the girl clearly deeply moved by the design, before she leans forward and studies it closely. "It needs must be lightweight, flexible…I am not made for strength, but speed." She ponders. "I do not think a cape…a Z over the heart, the heraldic bat you wear in gold in the center of the chest, lines of black separating the wings from bands of matching yellow gold covering the shoulders…gloves reinforced with sturdy bracers, armoured so I can deflect attacks, e'en bullets, boots, and a belt…must have one of those belts if I may?" She looks to Batgirl, and yes, it seems like she might have been fiddling with designs in her head for a while. Like…daydreams, wishes.

Batgirl is silent as she watches Zeals response. "I told you, Oracle, she would like it."

"That you did, Batgirl." The VI responds.

The hug is returned with vigour. "I can't give you the 3D view but Oracle has aspects from all sides." And indeed, the image changes to show the different views.

"It will be made from the same construct as my suit. I figured you would want something like that. My suit, like Nightwings, is a lighter construction than Batmans and the others, designed to allow us to be more mobile." She confirms.

"It will reinforced with armour plating that will deflect small calibre bullets. They'll still hurt if they hit, but they won't penetrate. Nothing more than that though - you need to be agile to avoid getting hit."

At the mention of the cape… she pauses. "Oh. You'll want a cape. You haven't seen mine in full action." The woman stands, letting her own cap hang to just above her knees, the yellow lining catching the light. "See, it's detachable to start with …" Zeal can see the points on the shoulder where it can be removed "But more importantly… " The woman flicks the cape out and the edges stiffen, forming a wing that she can use to glide. "… I can fly."

As Zeal talks colours and emblems, Oracle makes the changes to the design - there'll be tweaks that the young woman wants to make.

"How's that, Zeal?" Oracle asks from the speaker in Batgirls suit.

"A belt yes. And a built comms system. No more cutting the communicator from your ear."

"Nay, I do not." Avery corrects, voice rough. "I /love/ it." To Avery the utility of it is important, crucial even, but what has her so clearly emotional and moved is what it stands for - acceptance, belonging.

Avery squeezes fit to make ribs creak, and is delighted to be hugged back. And then she manages by dint of /epic/ effort not to squee, but only -just-. It was a near thing!

"They are much stronger, of course they would favor greater protection, they cannot truly move as we do, but they can absorb punishment that would kill or cripple us."

At the mention of the reinforcements, she smiles. "I can actually -see- bullets, if they be fired from more than a few yards, I can deflect them." A thoughtful look. "Could we get strong batons? Strong enow to deflect gunfire?"

And then once again she goes very still as she sees the wings. "Oh. Oh! Ohhh! That…aye, a cape…needs must I have a cape!" She declares in a rush.

Avery suggests a few more tweaks in the coloration, watching the image form. "Thank you, Lady…thank you, Oracle. I am…most moved." She says at the final design.

The hug barely makes an impression on the suit that Batgirl is wearing but the redhead gets the intent all the same. "Well now…" is all she says. It's unusual for her to have such obvious affection shown - there was only one other Bat who was nearly as demonstrative.

"They are and they aren't trained to move as we are." She agrees.

"Do you want batons, escrima sticks or a bo-staff?" Batgirl asks. "You have seen that I use escrima and have storage in the back. Perhaps you should work with the Samurai some more before you decide and when you do, we'll ensure you have some arcane protection as well."

As the design progresses, Batgirl watches. "You don't have to have black as your base colour, either." If the young woman wants to change that, she can, but Batgirl will allow the use of the 'bat' symbol.

"Now, this will take a couple of days to produce."

Avery is a very passionate young lady, which is in part why she was so crushed when she feared she was not real. Zeal is more than her codename…it is her world view.

"Oh, I have not met the Batman, but I have seen some of the others, they move very well, but they cannot be as 'bendy' as we, or am I mistaken?"

Avery is willing and not at all ashamed to be wrong, but, they are so much stronger and bigger, she can't figure on them being as limber or fast.

"Mmm…I have trained with swords, more with daggers, and mostly with Eskrima sticks. I have a little stave, but it is my worst weapon, Lady." A hopeful smile. "Thinkest thou he might train me then? I seem to vex him greatly at times."

Avery laughs very softly. "Oh lady, how can I not? You're my sworn Liege, e'en if my order be fiction, my heart be true - I will wear /your/ colors, if I am allowed. As symbol of my faith, as pledge of my troth."

She nods with eyes still silvered, and bright. "Aye, a couple days. Of course, and thank you, I am deeply honoured."

Ya think? She hardly seems enthusiastic at /all/.

"It's Batgirl, remember." The redhead chides Zeal gently. "Oh, one other is more acrobatic than I - he taught me much of what I do now." What she doesn't say to Zeal, is that they knew she had the brains but not the brawn - and decided to capitalise on that early.

Telling the young woman that would be giving away too much about herself.

"Then you may, of course, use the colours. But Zeal, I don't want you to think you have to. You're your own person and it's important that you maintain that."

"Did you want to talk about what happened the other week? With … Geist?"

"Batgirl, yes." Avery says with a hint of flush. That any big, buff male could possibly be more acrobatic than Batgirl is a surprise, but…she files it away for future reference. That Batgirl is keeping secrets is pretty obvious, but, they're HER secrets and Avery is not going to make a fuss about them.

"Lady…I mean…/Batgirl/…I wish to, and I like them. Truly." A pause and then her smile turns impish as she quotes a movie she saw with a friend. "So…more flare?"

Office Space…Jennifer Aniston to her boss at the restaurant.

Avery finishes her water, and then shifts to sit Indian style facing Batgirl. "Aye, perhaps I should. I…wonder if I was a bit mad." She sighs softly, gathering her thoughts. "We needs must find why they want me so badly, and how they made this." She takes out the faceless compass. "I…/have/ been dreaming about my father as well, he /lives/." She grips one of Batgirl's armor clad arms. "And he needs me." A sigh. "It must sound mad, I know."

Batgirl takes a seat and smiles. "I'm not *missing* work." She says. Another quote from the same movie. It's one of her favourites. "But not too much flare. We Bats like to be mysterious."

The image of the suit fades as Oracle cuts the camera and Batgirl turns her face towards Zeal. "Why … mad?" There's a pause and then "Ah. You mentioned that you had dreaming of your father, the night we fought Geist. I didn't have time to ask you about that."

She looks at the compass. "If your father is alive, Zeal, I don't know how to find him. Oracle hasn't got any trace of him. Something happened in your house and … merged you with the clone body. Of that I'm sure …"

"Do you want to go back and investigate the house? Oracle, what more do you have the Bratva?" There's been time to do some deep diving on the data - and Oracle is careful.

Avery's smile couldn't be brighter when Batgirl returns the Movie reference. "I am learning this 'banter', though I have been told my delivery of a joke leaves much to be desired." A grin then. "I will wear sufficient flare to express mine self, and no more." She promises in a solemn tone quite out of keeping with that grin.

'We Bats', Zeal /really/ likes the sound of that.

"Aye, it started after our first visit under the Dome. I thought perhaps I was just…reacting to the events, but…it came more and more frequently, L—/Batgirl/." Avery nods. "The dream be nearly always the same…in it he is trying to push through tangled skeins of light, white and silver and black, all the colors of the rainbow and many that have no names…he presses forward and each dream he seems to move a bit closer…but finally, the last several have been of him hanging in the strands." She grips one of Babs' hands. "I know that sommat bad be coming soon, but I know not -how- I know."

A firm nod, jerky even. "Aye, the house, it began there, certes an there is more to be learned."

The VI answers immediately. "Some interesting facts, Batgirl." A pause, and then it speaks on, and will display to her HUD, she can decide what to share. "There is only a four point three percent chance of error, the one holding the debts incurred by Doctor Aaronson has changed, a concerted effort by one small cartel here in New York has bought up all the markers, they are presently held by Anatoly Pabchenko, a relative newcomer based near the Disaster Zone. His primary interests appear to be super-tech, and he seems to have very deep pockets though I have had little success in tracking the source. I suspect he is the one who hired the recent trio of assassins. I have had some difficulty tracking him, his digital footprint is nearly zero, further, he has never been photographed. It seems likely his name is a fabrication. As to the Russian company with the backups of the Hidden World, I have managed to download a full copy of the game files and can, with your authorization, destroy their servers and backups. I found some very sophisticated code embedded, it seems to be aimed at using optical programming to alter a person. I am still working on detailed analysis."

"Then we shall return to the house with some … equipment. I don't know what but there was something at the focus point." Batgirl ponders. "You should also seek some … supernatural assistance. Someone who can commune with spirits and those in other dimensions. I really can't believe that I'm saying that…"

Not the practical, logical, Batgirl.

As Oracle recites what she's found, Batgirls head cants again - the movement exaggerated by the ears on her hood. "No digital footprint. Can you find any birth certificates for him, Oracle? Any proof of identity at all? If he has not been photographed, I wonder if it is a person at all." What is she thinking, the redhead?

"Firewall the code, run it in a air gapped instance, Oracle. We don't want your systems being compromised by the unexpected. And no, don't destroy their servers. Work on some tracking code and embed in their systems, we want to know where that code is distributed and used."

Where as Avery very much believes in magic, she's coming to terms with Oracle not being an ACTUAL seer, and that the gear Batgirl uses is not in any way 'magic' but gosh darn it, that sword of the Silver Samurai's, the 'Black Blade' -is- clearly mystical. Add to that their experiences leading up to and under the Dome…yeah, she's sure magic is a thing.

"Do you think that Lady Zatanna might be willing? Know you anyone else we might approach if not?" Avery sure doesn't.

"Yes Batgirl, there are several, and all of them show a death certificate precisely every 30 years." A pause, programmed 'drama sense' activated. "An unbroken chain of Anatoly Pabchenkos goes back to the early thirteenth century. That is too regular for it to be coincidence and many of the records are of dubious authenticity, the 'paper trail' may go back even further." The VI continues after another short pause. "Inserting the tracking code now, the copied files are being downloaded to a server now, but will need human intervention to air gap and launch it."

"Batgirl?" Avery asks. "You seem to suspect something…"

"It's also too sloppy, Oracle." Batgirl mutters. "Either we're being led down a path or whoever we're dealing is, isn't particularly clever. And I'm not going to underestimate an adversary."

"I don't know Zeal. I'm aware of the mage but not in great way. There's always the WAND section of SHIELD, if you wanted to speak to them. There's Agent Grey who might be willing to speak with you."

It's not a world that Batgirl really works with.

"Hmmm, Zeal? Suspect something? Because I'm reminding Oracle to air gap the code? No, that's a precaution we take with everything - you never know what nasties can be embedded. As to tracking it? Don't you want to know what they're doing with it?"

"Camouflage by false trail, yes, that seems highly likely." Oracle agrees. "Or a dunce, that seems less likely. I concur with your assessment, Batgirl." Avery nods slowly, and then smiles. "Very well, I will seek out this Agent Grey with WAND." A pause. "I am aware that SHIELD is an 'acronym', each letter in it representing a word, is WAND one too?"

Avery never worked with many magi in the Hidden World, they tended to be *at best* unstable. In the real world she's only worked with Zatanna, really, and then only peripherally.

"Nay, not that…it was thine statement about wondering if the adversary was a person at all."

"It is. I really don't know what it stands for. I always think of it as Weird Ass Nasty Division." It's a shame Zeal can't see Batgirls eyes - they'd be shining with mirth. "Perhaps that something you can ask Agent Grey if you speak."

"Oh. Maybe. It seems strange there's little on them. In this day and age, everyone has a digital footprint. Oracle and I have seen cases where someone had an idea to create a Virtual Intelligence that … became … um… sentient? Or decided to try and code themselves into immortality. I'm probably just jumping at shadows, though."

"I wonder if the technology used to keep my mind alive, and aye, did it not transfer my 'essence' into a new body…I wonder could it not be used in just such a bid for immortality?" Actually…that tech, perfected could very well be used to let a person move from body to body, which is a scary thought indeed.

"Weird Ass Nas—" Avery giggles. "You do NOT think that." She declares archly, and then nods. "I will be certain to ask Agent Grey, if he will see me."

"Why don't we finish up here. You can do with shower. So could I, thinking on it. We need to get some rest, we've that big operation inside the Barrier coming up."

When that's all done, they can track down Avery's background and work out what might have happened.

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