2020-04-05 - Those Nosy Bat-People!


All Ambrose wants to do is get away with his goods! Avery's arrival almost negates this entirely.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 5 18:05:38 2020
Location: Brooklyn Rooftops

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Theme Song



Late evening in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The nights are still cold and merit layers against the wind from the north funneling along the seaboard. Open are the rooftops and atop one particular crown of the building stands a figure. Tall, lithe, built for this very task it appears, his eyes scan the roads below for signs of —

There they go, a pair of cruisers, lights on and sirens wailing, right past the building and headed for the Brooklyn Museum. Behind the wrapping of his black fringed scarf, his smile is self-satisfactory. Very good indeed. The bumbling security guard won't be able to explain a thing and the cameras inexplicably fritzed for a short period of time.

Slipping a hand beneath the flap of his cross-body satchel, he feels at the small artifact safely wrapped and wrapped again against buffeting and breakage. The twelve reliefs on display from Assyria were beautiful but unwieldy. The small wine jug? Not so much.

"Very good then," he purrs to himself, pupils flashing nightshine-red as he turns to walk away from the roof's edge, intent on heading to one of his many boltholes to prep the antique for shipping.

As for Zeal, she's in the area initially just getting used to her new costume, though she gets the alarm at the museum over OracleNet. Over the comms. «Oracle, I am— I mean, Zeal is in the area and will investigate.» The VI's response comes immediately. «Understood Zeal, I have your telemetry, and note that black and whites are en route, eta three point seven minutes, approximately.» A nod. «Thank you, Oracle. I will report my findings if any.»

Avery looks to the rooftop of a nearby building, and draws in a breath — vanishing instantly and without fanfare, reappearing on that ledge. A few moments to key in her optics for this bat's eye view, and she sees a heat signature on one rooftop not too far away.

A slow smile. "Lets see if I can do this 'flight' thing." She says, scampering back and then running for the edge of the building. A graceful leap, arms at her side and then she snaps them both out in a very particular way…her cape stiffens, forming a wing…this would be much better had it formed two, alas, one did not form, and the girl finds herself tumbling. Heart racing she reorients, the solitary wing collapsing, and then draws in a breath, vanishing once more to reappear on exhale in a lateral tumble across the roof that Ambrose smugs on.

After a few moments she fetches up against the far side of the roof, *THUD*, and oomphs softly, before standing with a very feline air of 'I meant to do that', as she kips to her feet. Voice distorter active, she speaks as her cowled visage turns to the Master Thief. "Good evening, sir. Nice night for some air, mm?"

The faintest sounds make Ambrose pause on the rooftop, chin tucked and head tilted in a canine-like manner. His eyes, the only thing visible through the head-wrapping, obliquely frown over his shoulder: it sounded like a…falling flag? A rippling of fabric — and a breath. Then comes the landing off to his side and he immediately turns in a fluid riffle of his long coat, one revolver in-hand like a magic trick. Ambient light catches on its clean metal lines as he peers at the bundling of human being making its way upright. His dead-on aim drops to one side in a slow, somehow polite aversion to immediate trouble.

Her way upright, even if her voice is modulated different. Ambrose lifts his brows unseen as he replies in his crisp if rounded British accent, "Absolutely, there is something to be said for the night breeze above the streets. It draws away the taste of the smog, I think. Did young Miss Oracle set you my way? I send my regards to her, it has been some time," he says of the red-headed Bat-folk he's already familiar with. One can almost hear his wry smirk.

Even through the modulation, this girl's voice has a bit of British accent…or something similar, in fact it has more in common with the sort of vague attempt at a British accent on American television, just a hint off. The voice distorter helps with that, but doesn't quite fully mask the odd tones. A brief glance at the gun, and then her gaze tracks back to the carnelian glare of the Bane. Subvocalized, though depending on how keen the Master Thief's hearing is he might hear it. «Identify this man, an it please thee, Oracle.» The reply would not likely be audible, however. «Scanning…no visual records match, Zeal…I will continue my efforts.»

The Master Thief would see the girl shift her stance very slightly - she's about 3-4 yards away. Her stance is not overtly martial, it seems softer, perhaps Tai Chi? "Oh, I could not agree more. The air be brisk, the sky mostly clear, the sound of sirens in the distance…a perfect night it be for a rooftop meeting." A shake of her head. "The Oracle did not send me, nay, but…should she have?"

A sweet smile. "I am called Zeal, how might I address you, sir?"

Spreading like frost on a windowpane, his smile behind the scarf's wrapping, to hear her murmuring to herself. He can't quite make it out, no, but memory serves him well enough in reminders of the red-headed Bat-girl seeming to speak to herself.

"I doubt she did, which is for the better. I might have had recourse to become quite annoyed with her." Ambrose has picked up the intonations now and on a whim, affects a more courtly bow with forearm and gun-less fist pressed to his chest. "Miss Zeal. You may address me as the Jackal," he continues as he straightens, revolver still idly held at his side and aimed towards the graveled rooftop. "Sirens, you say?"

He seems to cock an ear. The cruisers are now reaching their destination and the distant wailing abruptly cuts off.

"Hmm. Some travesty has befallen someone, it seems. I presume your affairs include dealing with this? It sounded as if your task is some ways more yet," the man notes in friendly sympathy, as if a dart had been thrown and missed bulls-eye by JUST that much.

"Indeed? Many are those whom the Batgirl has perhaps vexed, sir." A sage nod, the girl's hands clasping behind her as she circles widdershins about the Jackal but draws no closer.

The shift to courtly manner and speech has an immediate response, the young woman dips a very proper curtsey, the half-cape flared out by hands in lieu of her skirts, actually a very graceful display, and an interestingly fitting modification for her attire. "Jackal then, a pleasure good sir. Still, I cannot help but wonder…why should you be vexed with the Batgirl had she sent me? Could it be, nay, say it be not so — but /could/ it be that you might be up to something that the law might not approve?"

Oracle reports back to Avery, quietly of course. «No visual records found, however, the voiceprint matches one 'Ambrose Atherton', address on your HUD. He encountered Batgirl and the Silver Samurai during a robbery in Gotham, in that case an artifact was stolen.» Zeal replies subvocally, more self muttering. «Thank you, Oracle.»

"Indeed…I might, were I the suspicious sort, think that the robbery below and your presence above might be related events, Jackal."

Ambrose's free hand spreads against his chest. Again, the impression of eyebrows rising in innocence offended is given.

"Myself?" He chuckles, the sound catching up behind his teeth, full and curt. Zeal will find her walking marked by those eerie red gleams of pupils. "Nonsense, I was just waxing fond of appreciating the night wind above the streets below," he proclaims, gesturing broadly with aforementioned hand. "Robberies are not my particular vein of interest. You do, however, sound intrigued with the proposition of dealing with it, so by all means, the police might welcome your input."

He thumbs off over his shoulder even as he rotates to fully face the slowly-circling Zeal. "The Batgirl would approve of your meddling, at least. Go along then, tout-suite — the authorities await you." A shooing gesture towards Zeal is then followed by a turn of his back as if he meant now to depart. This, in itself, is a daring display of self-confidence in matters.

"Yourself, Mister Atherton, indeed." Okay, that might be a tad off putting for the Master Thief, which is of course as Zeal intends, curious to see how he replies. His dismissal and manner drawing a faint laugh from the girl. He's a smooth one, and arrogant, this Jackal. No question of that. Eye slits in her cowl narrow as she focuses on the man, her optics sampling, recording, storing his image and movements as she continues he circling. UNfortunately she cannot /prove/ anything, has no evidence that's not extremely circumstantial, so she's not really certain how to proceed.

Another mutter. «What exactly was stolen, Oracle? Do yo know?»

"Oh, I am sure they will be fine without me for the nonce, sir. And it is not as if I cannot get there swiftly needs be I must."

She has to give him credit, he has the art of gallantly being dodgy /down/.

The fact that this young Zeal continues to circle him finally manages to fracture his debonair poise — that, and dropping his name with such familiarity. He pauses, the Jackal, nearer to the edge of the rooftop, and glances over his shoulder at Zeal once more. Where is the revolver? Apparently, he's holstered it away for now, deeming her less of a threat than originally assessed. Again, hubris, one of his oldest friends.

"Then by all means, needs must you go." No lilt of question, more a terse comment. Still, she can hear him inhale and then pause. Her cowl's eye-slits narrow and his own lashes do the same. For a moment, that supernatural crimson gleam intensifies, like the flash of a distant star. Does it feel as if something unseen were scrutinizing her now?

The Bane. Ancient, dusty as an adder's shed skin in the shadows of a lost tomb, vivid as the spill of blood from a wound — without morality, existing to take and to survive in the process, it perks to a slice of soul not entirely human. More deliberately now, Ambrose turns to face the young woman. "Go on then," he repeats, a hollow rasp beneath his words.

A frisson as that gaze intensifies on her, and then Zeal stills, hands slowly closing to form fists. She's not sure /what/ she felt, but that was a distinctly uncomfortable feeling, and that is for sure and certain. "But I like it up here, the air is so refreshing, sirrah…and the company so convivial and diverting." Zeal keeps that ten to twelve foot separation, but faces the Master Thief directly.

Oracle reports back to her. «Negative, Zeal…the police and museum staff are still assessing things, I cannot tell what is missing, if anything, at this time.»

Zeal sighs, faintly. "Though it seems perhaps you do not find my company quite as diverting." And drat, she has nothing more than suspicion to work with, and that's just not good enough, not for Batgirl's vassal…much to Batgirl's chagrin at times.

"Perhaps then, I should hie me hence, and see what aid I might offer the authorities." That sweet smile again, young, this girl is young…and entirely human, just /more/ than human as well. "I am sure we will meet again, sir." Another elegant curtsey. "I bid you farewell." Pivoting in a circle, she flings herself off the roof, and plummets from sight. Once down, a ways, she inhales…vanishing on that indrawn breath, slipping in the space between breaths, and then emerging from the shadows near the museum.

Ambrose waits until he's absolutely certain the young woman has vanished entirely. This means waiting for the Bane to lose interest in the slightly inhuman aura about her person and distance achieves this soon enough. Sullenly, the curse slips back into his bones. He lets out a slow sigh ending in a hiss.

"Nosy little chit," he grumbles he turns and then fusses with his satchel's buckles, both across his chest and the exterior flaps. "Those bedamned Bat-clan — nosy parkers, the lot of them." A last squint in the direction of her absence and then the Jackal swiftly begins his Bane-boosted leaping across the rooftops, headed for his lair tucked by the river's flat silvery gleam. The wine jug must be prepped!

And then home for tea, like any other evening.

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