2020-04-10 - Looking For The Prophet


Sometimes actions have consequences

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Fri Apr 10 06:22:34 2020
Location: Clocktower

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Ken had gone for sushi the night after helping Batgirl. The 'sushi' in question, Jirou Kazama, has ties to the Yakuza. The man in question wasn't overly forthcoming, All he would say, is that there was an arm of the Yakuza that had interest in something in Staten Island.

Ken might have been a little frustrated by that.

Tonight, he's got word from a contact - there's a group of Yakuza descending on downtown Staten Island. A priority target, Kens contact tells him.

By the time Ken gets there, the street is blacked out - no lights but the moon … they have to be around here somewhere don't they?

Ken knows how the Yakuza likes to operate. It's certainly possible that there's just a power outage - there's been more than enough of that kind of thing since the dome came down - but if anyone has the resources to cut the power to a few city blocks it is the Yakuza. So yes. They are likely around here somewhere.

Ken shuts off his motorcycle at the edge of the area. No need to let its engine give him away. He slides off the bike and considers. Priority target could mean a variety of things. But in a group, it suggests the need for coordination and numbers. It'll probably be hard for all of them to hide so he's going to the rooftops to see if he can get a better view of things.

He could really use a grapple gun, if he thinks about it. But he doesn't. He just climbs the fire escape.

The street is quiet as well. Which might make sense - it's late enough that anyone who is out will be in the part of the Island where the nightclubs are. It's all business here - office buildings, cafes and deli's and the old Clocktower that has been converted to a museum.

As Ken climbs, and yes he could really use a grapple gun, he can see four or five shadows moving in the alley below. The alley is bounded by the old Clocktower and a drycleaners. Across the street is a office building.

Above him, he can hear the slight scuff of a foot on the tiles. At least one person is there.

The Clocktower casts a long shadow but Ken really isn't thinking that it's the target. It's a museum and while it's various displays are of interest to locals, it holds nothing of real monetary value, nor anything that he's aware of that is esoteric or otherwise powerful. Then again, it's not like the dry cleaner does either.

He should probably get over there but first things first. Someone is above him. He doesn't dare risk drawing his sword, lest it gleam in the moonlight. He does, however, unsling one of them from its back. Still sheathed, it will make a decent club all the same. And if need be he can use it to cut anyway.

Now, to peer and see who is there.

Kens peering allows him to see over the edge of the roof. There are two people there, cloaked in suits similar to the ones he and Batgirl had seen previously. The figure turns their hand palm up and gazes at it - something glows in the dark of the night. This is our target They speak in Japanese to their companion. We are to disable the system and find the prophet.

It might be a surprise to Ken when the figure starts to cut a hole in the roof of the clocktower.

It's about then, that Oracle pings his communicator. "Are you the cause of the outage in downtown?" It's not accusatory and given that Oracle couldn't see the last group, they probably aren't aware of what's going on here.

"Mmmmmm. No. But I know who is. Hold that thought." Ken says sotto. He peers at the two again and then quietly slips over the lip. Rather than charge in yelling he moves quickly but silently as he can until the last moment. And then he brings down the sheathed blade right on someone's head. In the past these hadn't seemed to be too armored so hopefully that will be the case here.

Who breaks into an old museum, by the way? Just… that's strange.

"I feared as much." Oracle says, going silent as Ken gives that direction. What did they fear? That Ken knows who it is or that he isn't responsible?

Ken is stealthy. He's got years of training and experience - there are few who can best him in his art. As the sword comes down, it's intercepted by another blade - the companion has heard the Samurai approach and interceded. "This is no business of yours, Samurai." The black masked figures say in Japanese again.

The second figure turns as they rise and draws their blade too - Ken is facing two master swordmen who - unlike Kung Fu movies - won't take turns at fighting them. They both attack.

It might strike Ken as even stranger that there's a faint glow from behind the face of the clock. If he even thinks of it at this moment.

Samurai flickers his power briefly to cut through the intercepting sword as they briefly lock, leaving his enemy at least momentarily without a weapon. He turns to follow up with a side kick thrown from the hip. "I think I shall decide that."

Now that battle is joined he whips the sword free from the scabbard and its steel gleams bright in the moonlight. He turns to strike his original target agian though by this point he probably is better armed. Though that won't last long. Ken has a strong sense of honor but he does not play in fights. He'll disarm them and if they don't run, then they'll die.

Ken would be better armed with a pool noodle and this pair has to know that. As the sword falls in two, the fighter draws another sword, taking the kick on his hip and grunting. "You have no honour, Samurai."

No honour indeed. While Ken is dealing with the first, the second drops low and brings their blade round at Kens knee. He's aiming for the area above where the boots the Samurai wears end - he's fairly certain the man isn't wearing armour. When the sword slashes, the figure rolls past the Samurai, trying to draw the mans attention to him.

It means that Kens back is exposed as the pair seperate and will be no matter what he chooses.

The blade does gleam in the moonlight and also with a slight greenish tinge.

"I do not think I will be lectured on honor by someone who is currently breaking into a museum." The Samurai retorts. "Nor someone who is currently enjoying the advantage of having a friend in the fight. If you wish for an honorable duel, face me alone."

Which he might shortly anyway. There's risk either way but Samurai chooses to prioritize the sword because he is indeed not wearing armor. He slaps it away, sliding his own blade up it only to flicker his power again and cut through the guard at the top of the hilt… and keep going. A rising slash that follows the line of the shoulder across the throat if one is foolish enough to stand in it's way.

As to his back, er… he'll get to that.

"A museum…" The words are a barked laugh from the one who has just rolled to his feet - the one that Ken has just turned to face. "It is more that. It is the place of the pr——" The swordsman cuts off as his sword is … cut off.

Kens gleaming blade slashes his shoulder but he turns away before it catches his throat. It's going to mangle that shoulder though. This swordsman, fumbles as he stumbles in the turn - letting the momentum carry him 360 degress so he's facing the Samurai again. His hand comes up with a gun, as his partner launches an attack at Kens back.

No honour indeed.

It's then that the sounds of fighting below him, reaches Kens ears.

Ken is already moving. He knows there's someone behind him and remaining in that position is stupid. As the man spins Ken is moving in the same direction, twisting as he does to slap away any attack that gets too close. It is in some ways fortunate that the second attacker is lunging because that means that all Ken has to do is drop and leave the one in the other's line of fire.

Well, assuming he doesn't get shot. Ken doesn't wait to find out though. He scissors his legs to knock one of the two over and get himself standing again in the same motion.

That training and experience shows as Ken twists and slaps the blade away. The gun fires just as the Samurai drops - it's a fraction of a second he has and he does it. The second swordsman jerks as he's hit by the bullet. It's not a fatal shot, but he's down - though perhaps not out.

The Samurai has a limited time in which to completely disable these two and the sounds of the fighting below is growing louder.

Ken comes up blade first and this time he brings it down overhead on the one with the gun. He doesn't use his power. He doesn't think he needs to. Parrying with the gun is possible, but stupid since Ken will just smack him in the face with the pommel and then lay his throat open anyway. No. Ken slices. Twice. Once across the shoulder and the second time across the legs. If that kills the man in a few minutes from bleeding out, so be it. If not, well, he's going to be too busy not dying to do anything else.

And then Ken, without much hesitation, hops down the hole and toward the sounds of fighting.

There's a grunt of pain as Ken brings his sword down. There's a half hearted attempt to parry but he's very injured.

The hole drops Ken into the Clocktower. The sound of fighting coming from a little further in. There's the dull thud as something is hit - the Samurai might recognise that as batons hitting leather.

Around the corner, the elevator door is open but there's no car there and Batgirl is engaged two on one. Her preference to keep mobile and use her gadgets to tie them up, only relying on her escrima sticks when they get to close.

Ken might note a couple of things as he makes his towards her. The first is there is lighting here. The second, this seems to be a residence.

This is not a museum, nor is it the dusty upper areas of a neglected clock tower. That is noted but not important until talking can be done. Ken lets out a battle cry now. A loud kiai. He lunges forward trying to draw attention and the eye. There's a slashing of bright steel down toward one of the combatants.

Fighting in houses is just the worst. There's always something to get in the way. And he wonders whose house it is… and how badly its about to be trashed.

There's already things knocked askew and broken. A teapot smashed on the floor, a bookcase knocked over and books strewn everywhere and a couch upturned as well.

When Ken kiai's the combatants turn to him, prepared to engage with the man with the sword. Up comes a sword to block his, as another slashes around in what might be a fatal strike - given his stance.

The strike lands clumsily because the fighter stumbles - his feet tangled in a bata-bola as Batgirls escrima stick falls on his head.

Ken very quickly SHOVES the other mans first blade down, making the strike even harder to land and putting him off balance. Then he opens opens up the man's arm and shoulder with a swipe of the blade. That is followed fairly shortly by the Samurai stabbing the man THROUGH the left shoulder and burying the blade into the wall. Like, deep into the wall. Assisted by his power.

Then he turns because there's a second fighter here. He pulls his second sword but does not draw it. Not yet. That sword is… special.

There's going to be blood to clean up, whoever lives here, not to mention the repairs to the plasterboard. The blood forms a pool of red on the floor by the elevator.

The second swordsman eyes the black blade and then Samurai, trying to position himself to see both of them. With kiai, he launches himself at Batgril, blade flashing viciously. She manages to parry it with her escrima stick but she has to fall back.

Samurai lets out his own cry and sweeps his sheathed blade down at the man's knees. It's a simple thing generally to take someone out at the knees. Especially from behind. They buckle so naturally. And Batgirl might grump at him if he just cut the man's head off.

Though that did occur to him.

Strike landed the next thing he does is, well… proceed to beat the man with the hardwood sheath…

"Enough Samurai…" Batgirl says as Ken beats the living daylights out of the fighter. She leans against the wall, taking her time to move. Ken might know why. "Oracle. Status on the others."

"My sensors weren't detecting them to begin with, remember. I can only assume that dropping the elevator car and the anti intrusion measures deterred them from ascending. I believe Samurai was engaged a number before getting to you. He would be best to advise on that status."

"Right. Yes. Samurai, are you hurt?" She'll start there.

"Less than they are." Some of them might be dead. Samurai stops beating the unconscious target of his rage and turns toward the one he pinned to the wall. He walks back and strikes the man across the face with his scabbard, then grips his sword and twists. Slowly.

"Tell me why you were here."

Implied - or I am going to make this unbearably, horrifically painful for you.

"Samurai…" Batgirls voice sounds as he goes on his murderous way. She's still leaning against the wall, not yet moving.

The smack of the scabbard echoes across the apartment and the suited figure groans. "We came for the prophet…" beat "… the prophet of Staten Island." That's not the first time tonight he's heard that term. "Put them out of action…"

"And you thought you would find the prophet here becauuuuuse?" He put that one together easily enough. Oracle. An Oracle is a kind of prophet so if they're talking about a prophet that's likely it. The question is why at the Clocktower specifically.

Although it DOES look like someone lives here so…

So he ignores Batgirl for the moment and twists the blade more. "Answer me."

"We were directed here. We just go where we're told." The Yakuza warrior grunts in pain. "Intel says they would be found in this area. The Clocktower was deemed an appropriate point of entry." It sounds like they didn't expect to find anything here … perhaps?

"I know your reputation, Samurai. Kill me and be done with it, I can tell you no more."

"Samurai…" Batgirl tries again, this time closer. He won't hear the pain in her voice thanks to the modulator, but he will feel her gloved hand on his shoulder.

Samurai looks over his shoulder at Batgirl and then quickly pulls his blade from the man's shoulder, spinning smoothly to smash the pommel down on his head. He'll crumple. Not dead, well, not yet but he might later wish he were.

"Batgirl." He can feel the pain from her yes. He turns around, eyes full of questions but not yet asking any of them. "You seem injured."

The attacker crumples to the floor and Batgirl lets out a sigh. She can see the questions in the Silver Samurai's eyes and hasn't yet resolved how to answer them. "Thank you. For your help." Is what she says to begin with.

"An ill timed kick. Yes. It is a little bit painful." Ken knows that can't be true.

"I need to move these out of here so the police can collect them." It's clear she doesn't want the police in here. "Will you help me, further?" The other shoe is going to drop, she knows that. "Then … I will make you tea."

"Very well, I will help you with this." If she will make him tea either she is comfortable taking liberties with other people's kitchens or this is her place. It COULD be Oracle's place and Oracle isn't here but that seems slightly too convenient. Someone lives here. Regularly.

Either way Ken helps drag the bloodied criminals out. Many of them are in a bad way. The Samurai lays them out like so much cordwood and when he's done comes back in through the slightly damaged elevator. It did get dropped after all.

Batgirl assists, of course, making sure the bodies are dumped in an alley a few buildings down. It will raise some questions but it won't raise questions about the Clocktower.

The elevator needs to be repaired, certainly, but they make it back to the apartment. Where Batgirl puts the kettle on and starts to sweep up. She's not removed her hood but does take her gloves off.

As Ken looks around he'll see the snowglobe he gave Babs for Christmas. It avoided being smashed in the scuffle.

Batgirl is silent as she does the cleaning, waiting for the tea to steep. When it's done, she hands a cup to Ken. "I suppose you … have questions."

"Some. Such as… how is your back?" That is probably as pointed as it's going to get but he already knows where she is hurt and it's a decent guess that he suspects why as well. He had caught it previously in the way she moved and now she's moving that way all over again.

It could be a coincidence sure. But it's probably not and they both know what the odds are.

Batgirl pauses, her fingers wrapped about her mug. "It is … sore. Nothing I am not used to." She says quietly. An admission of sorts that she has ducked and dodged for a while.

He had caught it. He'd asked as well. She'd not lied, but she hadn't answered him directly either.

"Now … you know. I hope I can trust you, Samurai." The words are quiet, her mask still on. "This is going to cause me a lot of trouble."

"I didn't tell anyone when I started to suspect, did I?" The Samurai says, sitting down with a mug of tea. He takes a sip of it after lifting his own menpo off and then shifts to loosen the leather jacket he's wearing for protection. It's a little warm now that he's indoors. And not fighting.

"So, you live here, then."

"Suspecting and knowing aren't the same thing, are they?" Batgirl answers, watching the Samurai as he gets comfortable. "And knowing an identity is a bit different to knowing their lair." She sighs, shifting slightly as she stands there.

"I … do. Yes." It's very well set up here. She's been here a while by the looks of it. "It became my refuge when I was injured."

She's still suited, still wearing her mask - the only thing missing are her gloves. After the longest of moments, her fingers loosen the hood and pull it over her head, her long red hair falling down her back in that braid.

"That look suits you." Samurai says, watching her. "How long have you been doing this? You were crippled, I know that much. You were not faking it when it first happened." There's too much footage of her, too much for her to have been conveniently faking it. Too many medical experts involved.

"Perhaps they are different yes. But you know both my identity and where I live." So they are, in a way, even. And she hadn't really let his secrets slip. Such as they are.

"What look? The straight home from a fight chic?" Those bright green eyes take the Samurai in as she lowers herself into a chair carefully. "I was yes. The only real lie I told you was how injured Barbara still was. You picked that and didn't push. How long? Since I was seventeen. When I was injured …. I … did something else to help the family."

The question is why had she elected to come back?

"It's not like you hid your identity, Kennuicho-san. And you aren't the custodian of others secrets either." She means the Family. Perhaps, in a way, they are even. She's not certain that the Family will see it that way.

"Fresh from the battlefield, possibly, but I meant more the costume." She wears it well. Quite well, really. And that's actually more obvious when she pulls her suit off. "Something that you could do without needing to be out and about."

Ah. Ken puts two and two together. "Oracle. You're the 'prophet' they were here for. It wasn't an accident. They invaded your home." Which means her home might not be safe. Then again they failed, so there is that.

"And what made you decide to start doing this? Or… even possible to start doing this." Secrets? Oooh it's possible he has other secrets. After all he serves a family as well. They're just far, far away.

Barbara actually flushes at the comment Ken makes, she was already loosening the jacket. Underneath, she wears moisture wicking undershirt - all incredibly practical and without a thought to how attractive it doesn't look.

"They were here for Oracle. They would have found them as well, if it wasn't for your help. I was Oracle, for a long time. When I decided to get back on the streets, it was a resource that was too valuable to give up. I made a VI and programmed it myself. Much of the leg work though, that's all me. It just helps for people to believe that Oracle and Batgirl are different people."

Now she's sharing, she's really … sharing.

Maybe her home isn't safe but Ken might have some trouble getting her to admit that.

"My Dads a cop. I saw the injustices of what was happening out there, saw the criminals he couldn't stop. And there was Batman and Robin, out there doing *something*. It just made sense to me to it." At seventeen. "Or did you mean, again?"

"I meant again, but that's good as well." It's not terribly unusual to what he's heard from Japanese masked heroes in the broad strokes. They saw injustices that the government couldn't deal with and since they had the power they felt that they had to do SOMETHING.

"What do you intend to do now. These ones won't come back but your opponents in the Yakuza will realize soon enough that they have failed. They must have some idea where you are or they wouldn't have been here to begin with."

Which means that if she does not take action, they will surely act again.

"Ahhhh." Barbara looks at her tea cup and takes a sip, wrapping her hands around it and considering the answer. "We … were short feet on the street. Stretched. There's more and more crime and … we needed the younger blood on the street. I was given the opportunity to undergo some experimental surgery to restore my ability to walk - if Batgirl would return to the streets. How could I say 'no'?"

"We agreed that Barbara would walk again, but it had to be later." The redhead shrugs, still slightly flushed and not looking at Ken.

"Send them a message they can't ignore. I'll work with Oracle to improve our monitoring - use seismic detection rather than light and movement."

She'll take action and they'll regret this.

"Your patron must have quite a great many connections to have access to that kind of treatment." Of course he has heard of Batman. Who in Staten Island hasn't. But actual facts on the man? Well no, very few and he won't ask Barbara. Ken takes another sip.

"Why did you come to study with me, Barbara-san? You have to have known that it would have dramatically increased your risk of exposure."

Barbara starts at the word 'patron' and finally looks up at Kennuchio. "I don't think Patron is appropriate. I've paid my dues." It seems to matter to Barbara that she's done this on her own. Admittedly, having a friend like she has, gave her access to something many wouldn't have.

There's an indrawn breath at the last question. She hadn't expected that. "Initially, I was curious about you. You were on the streets here and we track everyone - Bats are territorial, didn't you know." She shakes her head and closes her eyes for a long, long moment. "The man I found, I rather liked. Barbara … I … don't have many friends and you … didn't judge me. You just wanted to help."

That cost her to admit.

"I see." Ken thinks on that for a long moment and then sips his tea again. He's considering. Weighing. He's a rather deliberate man, she knows that. Though she also knows from research that he was a very rash man in his, er, youth. Not that he's really that old but, you know. He WAS younger at one point.

"Will you be coming back to lessons then? I would rather like that I think."

Barbara rather doubts that Ken does see but she wonders what he's thinking as he says that. She knows he's careful, but there's more to it than that.

His next statement manages to shock her and she blinks. "I … uh… you would?" Is all she can say.

"Yes, I would. I enjoy our lessons, and our taking tea and the opportunity to talk to you. I wish to continue doing that if you are amenable to it." He seems quiet serious and actually smiles a little at her being so shocked by him saying that.

"I do not think it really changes anything other than I know who you are when I see you in costume." Well it may change a few things. Babs is someone he is growing rather… fond of.

It's uncharacteristic of Barbara to be so flabbergasted. She's normally well in control of herself, no matter the situation.

She flushes again. "I … would like that. And I … would like to keep working together. It's been a long time since I had a partner who could equal me." There's almost an impish grin that accompanies that.

"People can not know that Barbara Gordon is fitter than she is, Kennuchio-san. If you think you can help me maintain that lie, then I would very much like to see you again."

She had lied to him. Done the dishonourable thing. She doesn't deserve this second chance.

"I can help you maintain that fiction. It would be simple with you as my student. And yes. I should like to continue working together as well." She had lied to him and yes, that is dishonorable. But it could be that Ken knows a thing or two about dishonor. It could be that Ken has managed to recover his honor by being given second chances.

And it could be he knows how much those second chances mean. After all, no one is more grateful for a meal than someone who remembers the pangs of hunger.

"Thank you." It's said with grace and gratitude. That's all Barbara says for the longest of times.

"Would you like more tea, Kennuchio-san?" She wouldn't mind he stayed a little longer. She still has to finish cleaning and get some heat on her back but that can wait - just a little while longer.

"I would." There's a short pause and then Ken adds with a small smile. "Would you like help fixing the hole in your roof?" Because that's sure to get some attention when someone spots it and besides, it'll let rain and birds in and neither are really ideal for someone's house. Particularly not the birds.

"Were you planning on patrolling more tonight?"

"I … would. I have materials to patch it and will organise our maintenance guy tomorrow. The elevator will need repairing as well." Barbara smiles, rising slowly and reaching over to take Kens cup. She'll make the tea and then get the tools.

"I was just getting in when they decided to hit here. I was earlier than usual by about fifteen minutes. I … need to see to my back before I do anything else."

They can talk some more, maybe, as they work.

"Is there… possibly something you would like help with, in that?" She probably has ways of dealing with this herself. She's been doing it presumably alone for a while. But she might like help.

And yes they can talk some more. He's going to need a ladder. This might take a while.

They're going to need more tea.

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