The Thread, Part 1: Para

June 22, 2015:

Gang warfare in Metropolis, Nightwing goes to investigate, mayhem ensues

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Para, by Calexico


Fade In…

The Thread, Part 1: Para

Washington D.C.

"Sit the hell down," Senator Ballard of Delaware says to Congresswoman Sarah Traverstein as she enters his office sometime deep into the evening. The blonde haired woman with avian looks can't help but smirk. She loves it when Ballard gets something stuck in his craw. Which is any time there isn't a live camera on him.

But Ballard is on the phone, and carries on the conversation for a few minutes, making the Congresswoman wait. Finally he slams the phone down.

"God damnit, Sarah. It's too early to push the JL:A legislation. We're not ready yet."

Traverstein scratches the back of her head and makes a face while shaking her head. "Then don't vote for it Henry."

Ballard responds by putting a finger towards her face, "We agreed that I would be calling the shots on this, and ever since the hearings you've gone and gotten all high and mighty. What the hell gives?"

METROPOLIS

Nightwing is cruising along the streets on his motorcycle, having crossed the bridge from Gotham in a hurry. He wanted to investigate last night's crime scene in a bit more detail now that the MPD had their grubby paws off it. Who is he to critique, though? He works for the Gotham City Police Department afterall. The boys from Metro probably did a good job with it.

His mind wandering comes to a halt, however, as the police band begins to go apeshit over a gang violence breakout down by the bridge.

The former Boy Wonder pulls the bike into a slide and accelerates back from where he came, heading to the docking area underneath the bridge that faces northward. Gang wars don't tend to happen in Metropolis, from what he understands. They're going to need all the help they can get.


Oracle monitors… a lot of things… and as the police band in Metropolis goes off, her green gaze snaps to her screens…. hands moving over her console to pull up the feeds of the city. Even as the video feeds zoom in to the area detailed, she's speaking to her teams - all of them, including JL:A.

"This is Oracle, there's a major disturbance in Metropolis. Transmitting co-ordinates now, any who can attend, please do and advise me ASAP."


Metropolis has seen the return of a familiar costumed figure to the skies today, after keeping to herself mostly since the Orleans Incident and the following inquiry; Kara had decided to stretch her wings and go on patrol.

Most of the baddies she had taken down had been minor ones and she had found herself, /bored/ on her day off.

As Nightwing pulls under the bridge, Supergirl was just flying down that way to check out what was going on.

Flying up beside Nightwing so she can go in with him, she waves, "Hello Nightwing!" She hadn't ever really met him, but she had seen the former Robin in action before.

Then Oracle is transmitting to her and she replies, "Got it Oracle, Supergirl on the scene!"

Grinning at Nightwing she asks, "Down for a teamup?"


"I'm close enough to respond." Huntress replies to the Oracle-signal, she too begins riding her motorcycle with a purpose towards the coordinates given, "I'll be there soon, I'm just hitting the bridge now. Do you have any intel on what's going on?" she asks, revving her bike a little more and driving rather recklessly, zig-zagging in and out of traffick!


A well dressed Man points over the rooftops and says, "Look, up in the sky…"
A Woman beside him replies, "It's a Bird" Another Man shakes his head and counters with, "No, It's a plane"
A little girl shouts, "No, It's a Frog"
In Unison the two men and the woman incredulously respond with, "A Frog."
The Little Girl smiles, "See, it is Green and jumping big leaps, not flying."

Were Jennifer Walters to hear the odd argument she might break the forth wall by referencing Underdog, but since she doesn't have superhearing, she continues on her bounding from building to building in massive leaps, somehow barely creating minor burst of dust at each landing, as if she has some practice in slowing her descent enough to not land hard at the end of each leap. She'd heard that some superheroes and superheroines actually run and leap from rooftop to rooftop while patrolling, and today she has decided to try it herself, after all, she can leap tall buildings in a single bound, is more powerful then many locomotives, and while she isn't faster then a speeding bullet, she can sure as heck shrug them off, and is still darn fast. It is on one of her descents she sees the odd motorcycle racing by with a colorfully attired (and arguably world famous emblem and color scheme) blonde flying close by… not being yet acquainted with Oracle (at least not as Oracle) and not in the loop, she doesn't hear the call, but she can keep up with mot motorcylces, running and bounding along side, "Anything special going on, or you two just out on a Super date or something? I'm up for helping… if you need any." obviously not recognizing Nightwing for the cute and chivalrous, albeit unlucky, prodigy detective who got knocked out by a Joker goon at a recent charity event… though alos because of it, he probably didn't see her transform from the mousy wallflower into the Jade Giantess she is now… and may not even know she cradled him and carried him to the ambulance that took him away.


WASHINGTON D.C

Congresswoman Traverstein chuckles. "Henry, I'm merely pushing the legislation the people in my district are calling for. Supergirl, Captain America, and Wonder Woman all need to go, and that has become abundantly clear to everyone. I'm not sure why you'd want to wait."

"Because I don't think it can pa—"

"It'll pass," Traverstein says coldly. "It'll pass.

METROPOLIS

"I'm in Metropolis, Oracle," Nightwing says as he gives the motorcyle some gas. He flips a switch in his helmet, giving Oracle access to a first person view as he tears down the street.

Nightwing nearly flinches as Supergirl flies up aside him. They don't tend to see that sort of thing where he comes from. "More the merrier, Supergirl."

"All looks quiet from above, Huntress," says Nightwing promptly, not meaning to cut in as he pulls the motorcycle down the sidebridge towards the docks below. "Someone take the road on the other side of the bridge, we can get them in a crossfire."

Back over his shoulder now, as She-Hulk is miraculously running alongside him. "Uh…this isn't a date," he responds. "I'm not dating her," he says in his communicator, clearly meant for Oracle.

Everyone makes their way down to the docks underneath that spill out into the bay. But where there was supposed to be violence and gunfire, there's nothing.

Nightwing's bike rumbles to a stop and looks around at those along with him. "Hunh," he says, but he can't shake that inward sense of dread.

-creeeeak- - creeaaaak-

Something is moving, something above. Nightwing removes his light from his utility belt and flashes it upwards to reveal something…no, someone, hanging by a noose frome a lightpost. A gangbanger, by his clothes, it looks like they may have gotten here too late. He shines the light farther down. Another body hanging from another noose on another lampost.


"Acknowledged Supergirl, Huntress." She's not sure Nightwing has met either of the women, but now seems as good time as any. The green skinned woman pacing alongside the bike is noted… she'll follow her up later.

Rolling her eyes at the last from Nightwing, Oracles's not concerened about who he's dating this week, even as the video feed from his helmet is bought to the forefront.

Ensuring all the communicators are conferenced, she gets to work on helping the team. "Let me see if I can get you some light and work out where people are located." Thank goodness for her 'borrowed' Satellite connections.

Oh yes…. she's looking for some comms signal from She-Hulk… if the woman is carrying a phone, Oracle will find that in a moment and it should begin to ring.


"Pulling up now." Huntress relays, she doesn't bother going all the way around, just parking her bike up on the top of the bridge, and hooking a grapple up to the railing before sliding herself down to where the others are more or less gathering up at.


When the JLA alarm goes off, he is sitting at his desk as he tries to decipher this puzzle box he found while recalling the different times he thought he could his curse, and lives life as a scholar. He lets out a frustrated sigh and rises from his chair. He puts his pen back in the inkwell, and begin to put on his armor. "Blessed by the Prophetess once again."

After he finishes donning his gear, Ozymandias peers over at his own monitoring systems that he turned off for the night and allows a quick smirk to show on his face before he dons his mask, "No rest for the wicked." He opens the window of his penthouse and fires off his grappling hook and goes swinging and running towards the direction of the scene. Upon arriving on the scene, he signals Oracle, "Prophetess, Ozymandias is on the scene. Behind his mask a deep frown appears on his lips, "Lynching, I have never been a fan of this sort of punishment."


Kara grew very silent as the revelation of what happened to the gangbangers is revealed, her blue eyes stare up towards the hanging men in terror and she involuntarily shivers, "Who would have done something like this?"

She resists the urge to cut the men down and show them some respect, despite their professions; like she almost had to tie her hands behind her back it felt so disrespectful to her.

That was a lot coming from a girl who seemingly ended thousands of Hydra lives in the blink of an eye.

Trying to be useful, she begins to scan the area with her enhanced vision searching for anyone else around or clues. Kara Holmes to the rescue.


Pulling out her bluetooth, Jennifer Walters slips it into her, "Jennifer Walters speaking? Is this an emergency, or can I just schedule to call you back later, as I'm having to deal with a bit of a situation hanging over my head at the moment?" She is talking while she leaps up to free the men, after all, if any of them are alive or as long as their necks weren't snapped, they still might be able to survive… maybe. She isn't a doctor, but she knows enough to check pulses and cradle necks… and hope.


WASHINGTON D.C.

"It'd better well pass. He's not going to be very happy if there's not a registration act by the time he gets into office. Don't forget that. If we screw this up, it's both of our heads," Ballard says, finger never moving from pointing at her.

"I assure you, Henry, Lex has kept me very up to date and has been very clear about what he wants."

"You still think he's going to give you the VP, don't you, you stupid bitch?" Ballard says, his historic level anger beginning to show. Traverstein, however, remains cool and snide, "He's certainly not going to give it to you. That's for sure."

METROPOLIS

Gravel crunches under Nightwing's feet as he goes immediately into investigation mode. "It looks as tho—" but his voice stops immediately. "Shh. Listen." Out there, far on the water, a handful of motorboats can be heard. "They're on the water." He knows he'll be no good on a water chase but Supergirl and She-Hulk might be.


"Ms Walters, this Oracle, I know how busy you are. I'm going to conference this call in with the team you're running with" The redhead doesn't wait time on the pleasantries "The teamlead is Nightwing, the gentleman on the motorbike." beat "Greetings to you Ozymandias, you're looped in with the group."

Finding boats on the water might be a little tricky, but Oracle is already hacking… looking for GPS's that she can track through her systems. It doesn't take long… and she feeds the information to Nightwings HUD and… where possible to the others communicators.

"Looking to see if I can disable the boats, Nightwing." Another screen appears as she talks "Give me a moment and I'll have an answer for you…." She knows that the others will give chase.


Kara focuses in on the boats for a few seconds, explaining to the others, "There's six boats. The people in them.. they're armed to the teeth No clue who they are but it's clear what they did!" Was that a classification for criminals? Now it was!

Running for a moment towards the water she leaps into the air and a gust of wind slams against everyone behind her as she speeds towards the enemies as fast as she can.

Bullets weren't a problem for her.

Instead of catching the criminals from behind she flies higher into the air, higher and higher until she's a speck.

Suddenly, she's flying down towards the center of the formation of the boats.

She's not aiming for any boat.

She's aiming for the water and she screams, "CANNONBALL!" Right before she impacts.

Hopefully a mini-tidal wave would capsize a few boats.


Huntress arrives near the others, taking a moment to check out the Nightwing fellow and offering a wry little grin, of course then she notices Kara and sort of pauses for a moment, "Ah.. we probably need to get out to the boats." She says, "Are there any around? Maybe we can get dropped out on one instead?" she suggests.


Nodding to the others, Jenn lays the retrieved bodies on the ground, checking for any signs of life and any chances of saving them, "Any chance these guys can be rescucitated? Any way to scan them or something, body heat, bone condition, or whatever?" she cringes a bit as she realizes Supergirl's plan… not cause it is a bad one, but waves don't stop at capsizing speedboats, so those waves will be going somewhere else… even possibly onto the docks where everyone else is… "I can run fast enough and carry a few people, but the trick with running on water is less of doing it and more of slowing and stopping out there and the lack of room to get back up to speed to run back. And if that bike can go about 90mph or faster, it technically can go on the water too… learned that on Mythbusters, awesome episode, almost makes me want to ride a motorcycle on water myself."


Ozymandias walks over to the gang members and recognizes them by their colors and tattoos that their local street gang from Metropolis. Ozymandias taps his left foot a few times, "These guys belong to a local street gang here, but this seems like a lot of work to do for a simple turf war." Ozymandias walks over to the bodies and checks the bodies to see if any of them are alive after She-Hulk departs, "And it also doesn't explain why a bunch of gang members are on their way here with lots of guns, unless they are these guy's allies.


WASHINGTON D.C.

"Let's talk about something else, Henry."

"I can't, I need to get home to my wife," Ballard responds.

"Your wife or your mistress?"

"Go to hell, Traverstein. Once this is all over, you and I are done. You know that? How the hell you managed to swindle your way in this is nothing short of amazing."

"And a good night to you, Henry." Sarah Traverstein stands, smiles curtly, and exits.

Oracle gets a bead on the GPS of the gangbangers cell phones, but doesn't, unfortunately, find a way to shut down the boats. These are sort of old school, so the heroes are going to have to do it. But that doesn't mean she can't think outside the box and try something else.

SPLASH! Kara slams down into the water, creating a gigantic, deafening thunder clap. Indeed, 3 of the boats capsize immediately, sending their men sprawling into the water.

"I don't think so," Nightwing says with a shake of his head toward Huntress. He's already got his materials out from his mobile crime unit. "No one touch anything," he says, trusting Supergirl, and perhaps She-Hulk to do the business on the boats.

BLAMBLAMBLAMLAMBLAMAMLAM

Machine gun fire comes from the opposite side of the bridge, the light from the ends of their guns showing up from above some tankers and from behind other pieces of cover.

A stray bullet hits Nightwing in the shoulder as he dives behind his motorcycle. Looks like the gangbangers aren't all gone yet.


"I haven't notified MPD yet, Nightwing" Oracle speaks on a private channel "Tell me when you're done there and I'll send in Emergency Services." She realises he wants to check the scene himself first.

Finding nothing to disable the boats she resorts to another method, calling the Harbour Authority to get the coastguard out and lock down the harbour.


Since Supergirl has half the boats already in the drink, and probably will have the other half sunk, beached, dry docked, fubared, waylayed, or whatever the appropriate term for scuttling a ship is that I couldn't for the life of me think of ("It is scuttle for those who are curious, just so you know, and yes I did finally remember. Now where was I? Oh, right.")… Jenn takes advantage of her harder then reinforced steel muscles and shields the squishier heroes and heroine from the bullets, "Hey, is that anyway to welcome a trio of lovely ladies in tight fitting clothing to a party? Guess I just gunna have to crash it and bust it all up." glancing around for a chain or something heavy to use to 'play catch' with the gun toting goons.

A small geyser of water erupts as Supergirl comes back up towards the surface, sending ocean spray all over the guys still in boats.

She points and laughs at the gunmen who now likely have ruined guns from having to swim and calls out, "Crime doesn't pay." Then she makes a time-out symbol, "Ok, time out one sec." A few bullets hit her, "I SAID TIMEOUT!"

She flies back towards Huntress and grins a little, "You're up! I saved you a few boats and some guys."

Kara Zor-El had not forgotten some of the rules Robin taught her about operating with Gotham Vigilantes; like rule #1 save them some baddies to fight.

Grabbing Huntress by the shoulder, she zig-zags in, giving the other woman a good approach with her bow before dropping her onto the first boat in the middle of some enemies.

Crossing her arms over her chest, she asked Huntress, "You got these three boats and I'll round up the swimmers?"


Huntress is no doubt about to offer some snarky comments about not touching stuff, when guns start firing off at them and she slips behind some cover.. then is flying through the air with a Kara hanging onto her, "Just like old times." She murmurs a little, probably confusing the heck out of the Kara in the process before getting deposited onto the boat, "Yeah, go get 'em." She says.

Huntress then procedes into butt kicking mode on the boat, not being all that gentle with the thugs, though not trying to kill anyone either thankfully!


"Okay, Detective, I won't touch anything." Ozymandias stands up from leaning over the bodies just as the bullets begin to fire. He quickly switches his thermal vision lens on, Ozymandias curses himself for not checking the area when he got there. "That was sloppy, old man!" Ozymandias uses his superspeed to quickly close the distance between him and some of the bad guys on one of the tankers.

His armor and healing power allowing him to make contact without slowing down. Once he reaches, the trio of men he is trapped, his enhances reflexes aid him in the battle. He grabs the first gangster up in a double leg take down, lifts his in the air, and slams his down to the ground hard down knocking him out. He quickly takes down another opponent with a right cross than also allows him to connect with a right elbow.

He quickly pulls his sickle sword and presses against the neck of the last one standing in his little group. "Time to surrender. The night is done."


Nightwing disappears somewhere into the shadows as bullets continue to ring out. The bullet had buried itself in his kevlar, which saved him quite a bit of pain. As he moves silently through the darkness, he considers how much time it'll cost to repair and whether or not he's going to just need one pad or the whole upper half. Damn him for being distracted.

There's a slight pause in the gunfire as most of the heroes who were in the open have now made their move. From far away their voices, speaking Spanish, can be heard but it's difficult to make out what they're saying.

But soon, they're not saying much. Nightwing falls from the sky, driving double feet into one assailant's throat. In a split second he is up, escrima stick in each hand, as he glides through. The night rings out with the sickening thud of metal on skull.

There are some fractures.

Finally, as things look to be wrapping up by sea and by land, Nightwing radios back to Oracle. "Yeah, I think calling for roundup will be pretty good right about now." Behind him, a dozen men moan as they hold various parts of their body in anguish.

COLORADO

President Upton walks along the catwalk with Secretary of Defense, Dom Chestnutt. The Commander in Chief leans forward, palming the railings as he looks downward. "You think it's going to be enough to liberate Bahrain?"

Bahrain, of course, had recently come under invasion by superpowered mercenaries from Qurac. The rogue nation had set up a proxy government while the international community decided how to respond.

"I'll give it to you, Ups," Chestnutt says as he smiles down at what Trask Industries has made for the government. "You sure know how to go balls to the wall. These things will work."

Below, several stories high are large, purple and silver monstrosities. Clearly robots, they look out upon the world with dead yellow eyes.

Inside now, the machine begins to scan the two politicians high above.

*SCANNING: IDENTIFIED. FREDERICK UPTON**

*RUNNING SENTINEL PROTOCOL: NEGATIVE. NOT A TARGET*

"We're lookin' at the future, Chestnutt. Come on, let's go get a drink and get back on the plane. I gotta be back in Washington by morning."

THE THREAD. ALL THIS SUMMER!!! TO BE CONTINUED!!!!

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