Hunting Parties

April 05, 2015:

Midnighter runs into yet another al'Ghul.

Gotham CIty

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*None None.]


Fade In…

There is always crime in Gotham. Sometimes, finding a spot where someone isn't being held up is more trouble than finding somewhere it's happening. Nyssa has been in town for about a week, which is hardly enough time to take in the details of a criminal ecosystem as deep and complex as the one in Gotham. Which is why she's currently observing a group running opiates out of the projects. Nominally, they're allies of the League, but it never hurts to confirm expectations.

She's claimed a spot on the roof of the building, watching the courtyard below as a few routine deals go down. In the darkness, she's merely a darker spot of shadow. One that is beginning to grow bored.

Midnighter is having a bad night. He was just getting a couple slices of pizza when some strung out, stick figure of a young man decided to rob an old lady right outside the window. By the time he got back, his pizza was cold. He did get the name of the dealer though. And the dealer gave him the name of the one he buys it from. Who, in turn, sent him here. It only took four dislocated fingers and a broken arm. Their first warning is when the one guarding the courtyard entrance falls to the ground, neck at an unnatural angle. Cause unknown. On the other side of the courtyard, a second man screams as the hands on his shoulders dislocate both arms in one quick motion. "You." he tells them, "Owe me for two slices of pizza. If you run now, I'll take everything here and we'll call it even. If not, tell me who your next of kin is and I'll pass along any final messages."

Well that's much more interesting. Nyssa doesn't interfere at first, though by the time he has the second dealer…disarmed…she's sliding down a gutter to the ground. "I had heard that Americans were very particular about their pizza," she says, her cultured British accent out of place in the slums of Gotham. "But I was under the impression this level of reaction was more of a New York tendency." On the one hand, with her hood up and a veil across her features, she doesn't look like a casual bystander. On the other, she makes no move to interfere either.

"Cold pizza is only good for breakfast." Midnighter states, idly grabbing the thug by the back of the neck with one hand and moving him back and forth to be a shield for the bullets some of his former business associates were firing. His other hand digs out some shuriken and throws them one at a time. Each of the three take a thug in the throat, severing the jugular. Wisely, the rest start to run. "So what brings Nyssa al'Ghul to see me? Not that I'm not flattered by the attention your family is paying me."

Nyssa arches a brow, but simply raises her hand to the men firing bullets. The fire stops, though it takes a few panicked shouts from the more knowledgeable members of the gang before a lone holdout gets the message. "As a matter of fact, I was here already," she notes, amusement in her voice. "It behooves us to be aware of our associates' actions and business practices. Though I would appreciate it if you would cease manhandling the help. I'm certain your pizza can be replaced."

"Of course it can. That's not the point." Midnighter glances at the ones that decided to stick around and listen to Nyssa. The body in his grasp falls to the ground as he releases it. "They're selling their junk to people and destroying their lives. Which is why I'm going to confiscate it all and kill anyone who's still here once we stop talking."

"Well, that's disappointing." Nyssa looks from Midnighter to the gangsters. "To be entirely fair, it isn't as though they're walking up to these people in the streets and injecting it into their veins. If people choose to hide from their lives in a haze of drugs, who are you to deny them their choice of vice and weakness?" Though the words suggest some disagreement, there's something almost academic about the question. Testing.

"They're welcome to do as many drugs as they want till they OD." Midnighter tells Nyssa. "But it's the ones they steal from or attack who pay the price first. These…" he motions in their general direction, "Are no different from plague carriers and prey on the weak and stupid. There are a lot of weak and stupid people, more than drug dealers. Killing them is the quicker and more effective solution."

"And you believe the addicts will not find new dealers?" Nyssa asks, a hint of amusement in her voice. "How very optimistic of you." She stalks closer, watching him speculatively. "Society is the problem, my friend, not these parasites who feed off of it. But killing them will not solve the problems. The problems…" She trails off, then shrugs. "They are much larger than this small place."

"Kill enough dealers and the supply will go down." Midnighter points out. "I don't even need to kill them all myself. Once the risk outweighs the reward, they'll run. Besides, everyone needs a hobby." He glances over to where the dealers still are and asks "Are you still here?" It's rhetorical.

"They aren't very bright," Nyssa sighs as the dealers belatedly break and run. "But unfortunately, they do serve a purpose. I would prefer if you did not kill them. But I would also not be disappointed to try my skill," she admits, a smile ghosting behind her veil. "So. How shall we proceed?"

"They are running and we are not done talking." Midnighter points out. "Has the League of Assassins now become the League of Drug Dealers?" Standing, he starts looking over what was left behind and stacking the occasional odd packet more neatly. "I'll be taking these for disposal. If you want to try your skill, you can try to stop me."

"Hardly," Nyssa replies. "Though they have a use as well." Like scapegoats, for when a kill needs to be blamed on someone else. Or setting someone up in a series of events to be herded into the final kill. "I have no use for drugs," she says with a wave of her and as he starts to gather up the goods. "But there is always something to be learned from a testing of skills. Still. It might be unnecessarily self-indulgent."

"If you want to, I'll try not to hurt you." Midnighter assures Nyssa as he steps over to one of the dead men and rifles through his pockets. "So which one of you is better, you or your sister?" It's a loaded question of course but he's curious what her response will be.

Nyssa chuckles softly at the question, making no move to interfere. "I am my father's true heir," she replies obliquely. "Talia dabbles in the world here, in playing at business and disguise. The League is my life. If you seek stock advice, then it is my sister you should approach. If you seek League business, then you would wish to deal with me."

"Then tell me of the League." Midnighter tells Nyssa, turning to face her. "Your sister said I'd find it profitable to join but I don't give a shit about money. Then she said something about justice and left. How does justice concern the League?"

Nyssa snorts, rolling her eyes. "Talia is a fool," she replies, squaring herself as he turns back to her automatically, a reflex of lifelong habit. "Justice is no concern of the League's, except that we are who people turn to when they feel as though justice has nothing left for them. You are known as a fighter with few peers, of course," she concedes. "You would be an asset to the League. But to claim you could seek your own justice there is a lie."

"More likely they don't want justice and wants you to eliminate competition." Midnighter says with a snort. "I was pretty sure it was just a line. Or her own rationalization. The League isn't known for working to right wrongs but for the higest bidder."

"Perhaps," Nyssa shrugs dismissively. "Though to say that justice is some universal principle is foolishness as well. It is a cultural construct. Something used to maintain order. If you fight for nothing more than that, then you are still half blind." She tilts her head, considering him closely.

"Justice is a result." Midnighter points out. "It's what you deliver after a wrong has been done. An attempt at balancing the scales. I prefer to cut the head off the snake before it bites someone and then there's no need for justice." Packets of drugs collected and neatly stacked, he turns back to look at Nyssa. "And what do you fight for, Nyssa al'Ghul of the League of Shadows? Money? Give me a day and I'll make you an offer. Or something else?"

Nyssa smiles faintly behind her veil. "I fight because the fight is the truth," she replies. "Because to face one's fears, to claim one's victories, is the true measure of skill. I fight because it is who I am. Payment is part of the contract," she laughs when he speaks of an offer. "It is…part of the ritual. But the kill is the point. Is it justice you seek, then?"

"Justice? No. I'm out to make the world better. Without a crime, there's no need for justice." Midnighter motions to where the parasites ran. "I'm the exterminator, the garbage man. I clean up the trash so Joe Average doesn't have to drown in it and kill the vermin that spreads disease."

"And you do not think yourself to be bailing out a tanker with a thimble?" Nyssa doesn't follow his gesture. The men are of little concern anyhow, and looking away from Midnighter would open her to attack. It's oddly enough less a gesture of mistrust than one of respect for the man.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Midnighter says seriously. "To do nothing is to be complicit. And maybe alone I can't save the world but I can damn well save a few people." He cranes his neck so it cracks and then grins at Nyssa. "Besides, it's fun."

"Good, evil. It has always seemed to me that these are not such simple terms as most would prefer. But fun." Nyssa's smile quirks again, and she laughs. "Yes. Well. When one is gifted in some aspect, there should be enjoyment in exercising that skill." She takes a step back, making room for him. "Perhaps another time we will test ourselves."

"Or we can go hunting together." Midnighter suggests, starting to tuck packets into his coat. "Assassination is your job. Taking out criminals can be a good hobby that also keeps you fit."

"You would as a tiger to hunt mice," Nyssa observes, amused. "I'm not certain if I'm insulted, or grateful for something to take my mind off the mind-numbing incompetence of those who call themselves the protectors of this city, that such criminals are free to roam the streets again and again."

"Preach it, sister." Midnighter says with a snort. "I tried to tell your nephew as much but he was still under the influence of the bat. And then, of course, once he throws his temper tantrum and ragequits, he runs to the opposite extreme as if to teachis his father a lesson." Kids these days.

For the first time, Nyssa's features shift to something more serious. The mention of her nephew brings a grimace, a flash of frustration in her eyes. "My nephew is…still a child in many ways. I've not spoken with him since he left home to embark on this foolish journey in the first place. I should speak with him again. If my father truly intends to make an heir of him, he is going to need considerably more seasoning. And possibly fewer balls," she adds with a roll of her eyes. "I have yet to meet a man over thirty-five capable of thinking with anything else."

Now that's news to Midnighter. Damian as the heir to the throne? "Child kings have regents." he points out. "But why is he the heir? Don't tell me it's because he's the only male descendant and your father is stuck in the Middle Ages."

"Mmmm," Nyssa hums, dry. "I'm certain he will come to his senses eventually. In the meantime, I am going to make certain that my nephew does not accidentally embroil us in something- Well. What is the saying here? Let his mouth write any checks that his ass can't cash?"

"Something like that." Midnighter agrees, grinning at the phrase. Or maybe he's grinning at the thought of anyone trying to control Damian. He didn't know the boy long but he suspects that will be… interesting. Confusion to the enemy! Not that they're exactly enemies. "Good luck with that." is all he says.

"Luck is for fools," Nyssa sighs. "I will have to settle for skill. Although perhaps if I were to remove some of the so-called villains who populate this city, he would grow bored with this place and move on to something slightly more responsible." She pauses, and again a smile curves behind her mask. "At the least, it would remind people where true skill lies. Not with these…bats."

And good luck with that too. But it's just a thought. Midnighter merely nods. "Maybe. Or maybe he just needs to get laid. At that age, it's usually one of the most important issues to a boy." Forunately, it's not his problem. Drugs packed away, he rifles through the other corpse's pockets and takes whatever money is there.

"Men," Nyssa rolls her eyes, taking a step back. "Call me if you find interesting prey," she says with a small smile. "Otherwise, I imagine my stay here will grow very boring, very quickly."

"Should I shout your name from a rooftop?" Midnighter asks dryly. "Or was that an offer to give me your number since the last time I checked, the League was unlisted. And before you get any ideas, I'm not interested."

"Consider it a challenge," Nyssa laughs over her shoulder as she turns to depart down the street. "A man like you strikes me as the sort of person who can find an unlisted number. Or track someone."

Midnighter isn't going to argue. He just gives her a nod and leaves in the other direction.

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