Let There Be Darkness: We Will Not Kneel

May 14, 2015:

A discussion about the Obelisks in South Hook …. between the Gotham Champions

Clocktower - Gotham


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

With the obelisks now in place at South Hook, Oracles been investigating. Her searches so far have found the 'Russia Incident' and she's reached out to Wonder Woman to get more information with an invite to join her in the Clocktower. The invite has been extended to Batman, he can join if he likes.

The added complication of her father staying has been addressed by arranging a lunch out with some of his friends from his days on the force. They'll have a few hours before Oracle needs to be concerned about him.

Oracles' on the top floor of the Clocktower, the monitoring room, her command centre. And she's awaiting the arrival of her guest now. When Wonder Woman arrives, she'll be allowed entrance through the door at the bottom and directed to the elevator that exits directly into top floor.

Wonder woman knew, by the time the readouts reached even the Watchtowers radars it was too late… Way too late. Though putting two and two together had yet to be done as the images had yet to fully clear and reach the media. Handled preciously despite the outrage.

Hovering above South Hook Wonder Woman's long black hair lashes around her face, a sheer veil of it fanning out to cast a wary shadow over cerulean gaze while lips part and her exhale brings her to slowly lower….

When Wonder Woman sets foot on Gotham's ground though it is not zero placement, it is before the Clocktower that rings the hour, ushered within and heading to Oracle. When the door opens she closes the distance between them, eyes searching the profile of the red head or what reflects off the gglasses from the constant scrolling stream of data. Watched or not.

Did you find your right balance the other night?" Oh poor Di, still clueless.

Batman is already in the Clocktower. The Dark Knight arrived moments ago in his usual fashion which is from one of the alternate entrances accessible from above.
"Juggling your father tiresome yet?" A small bit of humor in Batman's voice that only those close to him would pick up on. Beyond that it just sounds flat, monotone, empty.

A shift of polynomex, leather and armor indicates movement as he turns, head canted to gaze behind them at the entryway, "Princess." A simple greeting. A familiar one.

"A little, but he's safe and that's all that matters." Oracle gives Batman a rueful smile "He's going to pick up soon on the fact that his friends keep inviting him out." She turns at Wonder Womans words "Yes, I did. Miss Potts was quite insistent. Thank you for coming, would you like something to drink?" At least Oracle has tea and coffee, even if the fridge is constantly empty.

Pulling up her feeds from South Hook, the redhead lets the Obelisks fill the screens. "You might want something as we discuss these."

A paused statuesque stance, Diana's head is the only turn and indication of acknowledgeement to Batman, giving him a light nod. "Knight." But with that accent, one long lost to ages and wrought on calm tones it can be taken as a title, a station, or a simple time of day, but none the less it is familiar in response as a small tic curls one corner of her lips - remaining as she looks to Oracle in regards to her father.

"At least he is safe. At least you all managed to save more.." The way that final word hangs tells what words avoid and yet point out.

"Water is fine." Diana states as the feed scrolls up and she heads closer to the monitors, leaning over to scale fingers over the screen like she would zoom. But this is not her tech, nor her place to do so, so she waits, her hand falling to her side.

"Jim is one of the toughest men I've ever met. It will take a lot more than some rocks being dropped on his garden? "A pause and a brow quirk that isn't exactly visible. "Knight? That is a new one."

"Miss Potts. Stark Industries, Potts? Intriguing woman - wonderful mind for business." Random observation and statement. Words to toss out while his mind processes and he recalls the woman's features along with any encounter he may have had with or about her. The Batmind at work.

"Darjeeling if you have it."

"We didn't save enough. The anomalies stand above Gotham like the sneer of an ugly god. It's a challenge. One we're not prepared for." Not in the least, the Caped Crusader spent a better portion of his night trying to penetrate the alien metal encasing the extraterrestrial pillars to no avail.

There's been a recent uptick in what Kane calls 'Classics'. Creatures and adversaries out of storybook and myth rather than from the darker corners of the occult world. He's not sure what to make of that yet, but he's positive that it's significant.

That's probably not the topic of today's invite which has the Fox in costume a bit earlier than is his habit. The masked neo-druid arrives much like the Bat, via rooftop and lets himself in. He's a bit late and wiping off his sword as he comes on down. What's coming off it is black. Don't ask what exactly it is, he's not sure. Hexspawn are a varied lot of creatures.

The man who comes into the main room is dressed in a leather and linen outfit which leaves him entirely covered but for his lower face. His features are obscured by a fox themed masquerade mask that can best be described as 'leather filigree'. Artful work. The rest is functional from the dark hooded cloak which he's pushing back to the boots and all mostly hand made. "Most gods are ugly. That's part of the reason people stopped worshiping them. Of course it's also the reason most people started. Funny like that. No Little Black Bat or troublemaking redhead tonight?"

The Fox's eyes finally light on Diana and widen slightly. Oh he knows who that is. What she's doing here though… "Uh… so… you guys called?"

"Stark Industries, Pepper Potts" Oracle confirms for the Caped Crusader "Babs and she have become quite good friends." The distinction between Babs and Oracle… "And she does. She's also got some interesting connections." To Wonder Woman, Oracle explains "He's residing here for a few days, in my apartments on the floor below until we can make other arrangements." Problematic given how wiley and suspicious the man is.

The Fox's arrival and commentary gets a look of amusement "I called, yes. You can make tea… while we talk." She doesn't mind delegating those types of tasks in the least. At least The Fox can prepare tea well. "We're discussing the incident over the weekend."

Indicating that Diana can proceed, Oracle displays the information she's found from Russia and nods to it "You were there for this one, I believe the two incidents are connected."

"Apparently Potts and Oracle were searching for better support and they had success. Did you have a night to welcome those who support you now in your endeavors?" Diana was called back to the Watchtower andleft clueless, but she thought she had a clue. Every girl needs supporters, like she had Xanthippe and Thrasso, O had to have her own, right? "Pepper is a very strong woman, as is Oracle. I see why they remain so close in their hunts."

To Batman those eyes wander, a single brow rising. "Yes, Knight." And that was that, though from the leaning peer she is just as swiftly turned to lean against the console with her back to it as Kane enters with his diatribe, a few words that get a single brow to arch even higher.

"I will have to hear from you sometime on which half of my family you consideer ugly. Their women will be in tormentuous throes of dismay as the veil gets lifted." A touch of a smile as it is left open on humor or petulance when Diana turns bck to the screens at Oracles indication nodding.

"Yes, I was there in Russia. Like here, the technology, the things they used. we did not have time to try and run scans, let alone anything remaining."

"Fox." Batman greets in his usual delivery. He won't mention Alfred has taken to calling Reynard 'Flying Fox and Foxbat' much to Bruce's chagrin. A dig at Wayne himself as for a brief period Flying Fox was a moniker he used. Briefly.

"Mineral analysis on the obelisks has been impossible with what is currently available. I may speak to Superman or even our friends in Atlantis for assistance if Themyscira is likewise incapable of producing a sufficient method. The military, STAR, Cadmus, Wayne Enterprises and Horizon Labs have technicians and experts working around the clock trying to decipher what they can from the monoliths. What hasn't been evacuated has become temporary outposts. South Hook looks as alien as the disturbances."

A creak of a gauntleted fist opening and closing and the weighted cape around Batman's shoulders is drawn tighter, "I'm still cross-referencing what data Oracle was able to get to me before the chrysalis stage was enacted. As limited as at is. It will take some time for the Batcomputer to complete its scans." Yes, that is the first time Fox has probably heard Batman call something a Batanything aside from himself.
"Unless one of you knows something I do know?"

The Fox coughs. Ooops. Well, he could expound upon that buuuuuuut this may be one of those times when the better part of wisdom is not belaboring the point. Not with Wonder Woman in the room anyway. He goes to put the tea on, familiar seemingly with where everything is there. That'll keep him out of - heh - hot water for another minute or two.

"Bat." The Fox replies, unaware of the butler-ly byplay. "Nothing other than what was in the news. Whatever it is chased out all the spooks from the area though. South Hook has been dead since that night. Nothing but nothing wants to get anywhere near those."

As Fox prepares the tea, Oracle assumes he knows what she prefers by now and heard what Batman asked for, and water for Diana, she lets the discussion of support and supporters go. She'll explain it to Diana… later… much later… when it's just the two of them.

Oracle shakes her head at Batmans question "My systems are working overtime on the analysis too." The images of the Parademons are bought to the forefront of the screen "But this seems to be the same one, present at both locations. I'm trying to find out what I can about him… it. Information is sketchy so far."

Diana hands Oracle a thumb drive, and once inserted it will pull up images and readouts, data she has collected from the Russian assault as well as research. Mainly research, nothing was left behind and over half of that village was left a black mark save what Shayera absorbed from the blast from the Crimson monolith.
The Large red bot is brought up in the image from a shakey cell phone capture. Wonder WOman spent weeks there with the villagers, helping them rebuild and bury their dead, while they gave her information for the Justice League's use. Pictures, some small filming.. That last thing that would ever be on her own mind to do during a situation like that.

But it helps. Sometimes.

In other images and captures there are the parademons and the soldiers, though zooming on each of them the profile difference beneath the helms varies. None are the same, and they definitely do not operate of a sound mind like the one that hovered above South Hook.

"Similar, but only in armor…" A single finger taps upon the image displays between a month ago and a few nights ago. "Unlike the incident in Russia we have casualties of this battle? The children?"

In asking as much she looks between Oracle and Batman, while some of Oracles data shows footage of them. "Anything there?"

"Facial recognition places the man spotted in Gotham different from those in Russia. Mannerisms and body language largely differs as well. The creatures possessed a sort of modeled almost predictable movement the Gotham antagonist possesses a more erratic, irregular, range of motion. More human. Meaning this was a man and those things you encountered beforehand were not. If that hasn't been determined yet."

"I suggest you retrace, Crimson Dynamo, Whisper A'Daire and Intergang should be targets. Find them and find out what there is to know about the technology behind the obelisks. Intergang has already been confirmed to traffic in high-tech they don't produce themselves. I imagine this stems from their source. There is a level of arrogance to all of this that I find disconcerting. It's as I stated earlier, a challenge, perhaps a test. Possibly even zeroing in or just laying some ground work. " Batman glances from Oracle to Diana, meeting her gaze. "This is all too incomplete. It is almost sloppy. Our planet… our lives… are being toyed with."

The Fox doesn't often deal with threats on that scale, but he's familiar with the general attitude. It's common of the more inhuman opponents he generally faces. Humans are food or entertainment or resources. Spent or squandered at the whim of whomever or whatever happens to be in control.

"Tech's a bit beyond me and I suspect you have other resources in that manner. Demons though… that might be in my wheelhouse. I can ask around unless you already have leads. In which case…" In which case just point him in the right direction.

"Any commonalities between the attacks in Russia and Gotham, your Highness?" At least he's polite. Ish. "Villiage in nowhere Russia and Gotham are about as spread apart as you get… oh. Tea…" The druid comes in with a few cups of tea, including the one he heard the Bat request.

Acknowledging Batmans directive with a small nod, Oracles' searches are reconfigured.

Now the discussion is going, the wheelchair bound redhead plays the recording that was captured when something or someone took control of her displays. "This may give insight into that question, this was displayed to me during the attack." as she accepts the tea from The Fox.

// "Hello. What is it they call you? Oracle, right? There is no need to respond. But I do hope this message will be received loud and clear. Sometimes new fruits must be flowered to make a wine less bitter in taste. Allow me."

The calm aristocratic voice seeks control of her screens and her search, and if it is had over them the displays begin to show explosions, war, marching troops, emulative training practices, war. And as the scroll of what all would come up in a simple Google run begins to speed up like a horrific slide show. Bombings, trenches, poverty… In between images of known heroes in this world come and go. X-Men. Missiles. Bats and Birds. War stricken faces of impoverished citizens. Justice League:Avengers. A mushroom cloud. Society. A Berlin Wall with warplanes overhead. Over and Over, faces known ad shown in the heat of battle, the current political races and news articles of hate.

"It's time to end this. Don't you say. I say it's time for something less bitter." //

"We saved the children" Oracle responds to Wonder Womans question "The Canary's call seemed to break the programming, allowing the team to evacuate them. They're in care and counselling."

Stepping to the side Diana gestures to the screens. Russia on one, still images zoomed and panned while videos relay in smaller corners, replaying what was managed to be captured on backdated phones.

"The Russian village was impoverished, in the middle of nowhere. Old wars started by taking smaller villages, testing th waters so to speak, building resources and moving on with higher morale, bolstered stores…" Pausing though, Wonder Woman's brows furrowed and one of the relays that came at the end of the Russian attack is brought to the front, the sound on it staticy, but cleared through technological advance in the Watchtower. Just enough to run beside Oracle's.

"You may live to witness my triumph. Live - to witness the darkness transcendant? and your ultimate, undying doom."

The voices are not the same, one sounds filtered despite the break down the phones recording had gone through, the other is clear. Localized, untransmuted completely.

"Before, we interrupted something. I do not think that village was expected to be missed while they used what they gained from reaping it to be better, faster, stronger. Now," As Diana pauses she brings up Gotham's similarities, though they do not seem all that close.

"Now, they are displaying their power. We interrupted but they are not stopping. This is tactical, not sloppy. In war you show force, you show your power and you either get them to kneel, or -make- them kneel."

"Thanks." Batman replies to Fox as the tea is accepted. "Canary's cry? Metahuman gifts. Possibly an unanticipated factor that lies heavily in our favor." The back and forth from the others gets a light grunt from Gotham's bogeyman while he takes a couple sips.

" Pontificating and arrogance in the extreme. This is another weakness we may be able to exploit, our enemy thinks very little of us yet, just enough that it feels it has to soften us up with psychological warfare before attempting something more? drastic or that necessitates actual effort. Underestimating Earth's champions is a mistake and attacking my city is an even bigger mistake."

Batman lifts up his wrist to flip it over and glance at a small open slit that reveals scroll flying across it. "I am required elsewhere, we've got enough leads to find a source and get some solid answers. An army marches on its stomach. " A quote fired out before the tea is set aside and the Caped Crusader strides towards the exit. "Oracle, Fox, we'll be in contact. Princess come see me before you leave Gotham." Final words and man is actually exiting by means of the elevator for once. The Batmobile is waiting.

The Fox frowns. "Tell me that's not your Birdwatcher friend. He was annoying." To say the least. Real, real annoying.

"Could be you've got something there, your Highness. Shows of strength. Could also be bald faced arrogance. Lots of inhuman creatures - if that's what we're dealing with - enjoy displaying their superiority. There's no real logic to it. They've just got complexes…" He glances over to O. He'll stay behind. Work out where he can do the most good.

"I'd say see you out there Bat but… I get the feeling its best if I don't. Probably would mean something's wrong."

Fox's question gets a small snort "Not this time." Oracle thinks this one might be a touch more annoying.

Nodding to Batman, she agrees "Fear is a driving force too." The redhead is well aquainted with that "If they instill enough fear and mistrust in the general population, they might turn on their champions, seek assistance elsewhere." It's a thought. "I've been trying to track the source of the transmissions, I'll review my data again." Batmans departure by the lift, noted with amusement, the wheel chair bound woman looks to Diana "I'm sure there are more children out there, there are more that have gone missing than we collected. I'll get the teams to look for them, perhaps there's a lead in there too."

"They have a reason to have complexes. Napoleon." Diana states, watching Batman go, but not his usual exits. Lips parted, and as the lifts doors closed so did her lips, sealing off the inquiry she held on her tongue's tip for later.

"They are leaving nothing behind fr us, only hints in words untraceable by our own path. A mousemaze of networks that dead end by any route the Watchtower even has. But you," Diana then looks to Oracle. "You have the hidden paths, you have networks that the UN authorities may miss, or may not even have right at this moment. Use them." Pausing in that thought now Kane gets Diana's direct attention, there is a weight in her gaze. She is not tired or wary anymore, there is not time for the exhaustion to catch up or for losses to be mourned they have lost too much.

"You say gods are ugly, they are such because they /have/ to be. It's our masks." Diana says as she reaches forward and brushes fingertips along Kane's masque in emphasis. "But this," The release of the mask gestures to the screen. "Is the ugly truth. Not even our most tecnically advanced have penetrated those obelisks. Effigies of what an ancient race erected and created for their gods, to welcome them to usher Ra to their place amongst the people. Ra was a god of the sun, and this one heralds darkness but his people erect /stele/ as a mockery to our ancient foundings while they usher in a new one."

Standing back now Wonder woman flicks her eyes from screen to screen, her hand coming to place a curled finger beneath her chin. "We cut them off where we can, like Batman said. Stop the human trafficing, infiltrate their weapons suppliers. Intergang. Do we have any of these children still in thrall?" Diana looks to Oracle then.

"The children… I wonder…" The Fox murmurs as Diana turns his attention toward these 'new gods' activities. "If that's just a way to make money or something more sinister. Control the children, control the future. A generation is nothing to a being of sufficient life. Maybe they thought to get what they wanted without fighting…" On the other hand, they did just practically throw down the guantlet in Gotham.

"Yeah… these guys need to be stopped."

"I will" Oracle acknowledges Wonder woman "use everything I have available to me. We will stop them." Shaking her head to the next question "We don't… but" The Fox gets a look from the redhead " There are likely more out there, we can find them." In Gotham, it might be tricky but Oracle has many eyes on the streets. "Why do you ask?"

The Fox's observations is met with a sigh "A nearly bloodless coup… " comforting thought that.

Kane made a very valid point, one she had yet to touch on and in response her hand twitched at hr side, fingers curling into a fist just above the lasso that hung omnipresent at her hip. "I do not think they do not want to fight. They want to, why else would they toy with us and use such tactics and shows? They know, they have /known/. We won't kneel. In forgotten and impoverished Russia. In depressed and darkened Gotham - people have risen to do just the opposite. To resist."

"The children are our future. The children are our weakness. Any creatures weakness. Canary's Cry broke the spell. Don't break it. Follow them back. Let them lead you, hear what they say. Most of the time we also spend too much time not listening.." A small frown with a tic at one corner of Diana's eye and then she straightens, leaving the thumb drive for Oracle and Kane.

"Relay any and all information to the Watchtower on that secured line, I will do the same. Until then I have a stubborn bat to try and shake from his cave and back into a tower." Once more. Have to give her an A for effort.

"Good luck." The Fox says dryly. "Never met a man more focused. Take that how you will." He looks over to the princess. "I'll work with Oracle to follow this back here in Gotham. If we get anything I'm sure she'll pass it along." He glances out the door. "Hope you can talk sense into him." Or maybe lasso sense into him.

"O, where do you need me to go next?"

"Just as long as it's not my Tower." Oracles quips wryly to Wonder Woman. The thumbdrive is copied and stored away. "Finish your tea with me, Fox. We'll get a plan of action together."

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