Its A Start

September 07, 2015:

Nightwing tracks down Bluebird to talk about the case.

The Narrows

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Dick Grayson finds Harper while she's doing a little staking out, landing lightly on the rooftop next to her on the balls of his feet, "How're the gunshots?" he says. He doesn't do the full Batvoice, but he does pitch himself slightly differently, making a differentiation between Dick Grayson and Nightwing. He feels silly doing this kind of shit with their own allies, but Bruce got uptight about that shit and, until he let her in, Dick would probably get in trouble if he did.

He still probably would, if they got to be friends and allies, but he wanted to get to know her better before he risked the wrath of Bat about it.

"Thanks for the help with those pigs," he adds.


Harper wasn't doing much really. Since the word of the pigs had gotten out, most people in the Narrows were wise to not come outside. This made her relieved, though.. she still looked like hammered goat shit which was roasted at least fifteen times, burned and then left out in the sun. Her purple hair hangs like a veil over her face, a slight snooze was put on until she heard the soft thump of a body next to her.

"Hmm?" She slowly rises, wincing just a touch, then soon takes a step back to bring Nightwing into full view. "They're fine." They really weren't, but the morphine helped a lot. "And you're welcome." She was still shaken up about it, she really didn't want to talk about it but she knew that she had to.

"That was.. kind of wild back there."


Dick Grayson folds his legs underneath him, just sitting down casually on the edge of the roof, as if there wasn't a four story drop just off to his right. And, so what if there was? He'd fallen farther. He lived life without a net.

"Wild. That's one way to put it. The scary thing is that they weren't wild. Someone made them that way, bred them that way. That was intended. That was on purpose. That's the part the frightens me," he says, shaking his head.

"I'm not sure what kind of mind we're dealing with, but it's not normal. Not even by Gotham standards."


Harper listens and watches him, he seemed so cool and casual about it, not unlike her. Just hearing and thinking of those pigs again, those people, made her tremble. She had known fear that day, and it was something that she didn't want to revisit. But for Cullen..

"No." She finally admits, moving towards the edge of the roof to look down, then takes a seat next to Dick, her legs not swinging from the edge but firmly planted upon the roof.

"I've seen drug deals gone bad, you know? People shot. -I- was shot." She places a hand over her wound, bandaged like shit, but she shuffles just a touch. "But I've never seen anything like that." There was a slight waver in her voice, but if Nightwing could handle it. She could too. "I'm Bluebird, by the way. I already know you're Nightwing. Fan. I am." She was without her usual quips tonight.


Dick Grayson allows a slight smirk, "Well, I appreciate that. I know I lost some fans when I sold out and started playing the big stadiums, but I appreciate the loyalty," he says with a wink. "But yes, what you saw on that dock is very, very different than the street crime we so normally deal with. The Joker, Two Face, Poison Ivy…there's a special kind of madness that seems to bloom here. Some people blame it on Batman, but it's always been here, in the bones of this place. I know some people who do magick and they told me this city is cursed. I believe it," he says.

"That was a very, very…wrong soul that did what we encountered there. Whoever it was is likely responsible for the people going on these shooting rampages. Whatever the connection is between those may only exist in his or her very sick mind," he sighs.


"Hah. At least you're funny. Unlike your boss. Though his humor is a bit dry." She's met him at least three times now, and have still yet to make a breakthrough.

She leans forward, elbows upon her knees, fingers down in between her legs to toy with her digits, her face beneath the mask rigid, but her brown eyes shift to the left to watch Nightwing .. briefly.

"You're born here, you die here. That's what my dad always used to tell me. The creed of those born within the Narrows, the concrete jungle."

As he brings up the shooting rampages, Harper frowns just a touch. "So you know about the shootings then? Does Batman?" She stops. "Did you find anything out? Any connection with the pigs.. the.. the four men who shot up the club the other night?" Wait a minute. "You're not following me are you? I was sure that no one knew…" Unless it was the Fox.. that dude blabs.


Dick Grayson shakes his head, "Not following you. Just good at what I do. Everyone trained by him is. He makes sure of it," he says simply.

"I don't know if that creed is true - I think people get out, more than people imagine. It's just that the ones who stay…either they've lost hope or they've become the ones who take it," he says.

"I've been to interview both the shooters and the…Pig People. The nurses. The shooters don't seem to understand anything that happened to them. It was only through credit cards and cell phone signatures that I was able to correlate their connection to the blood drive, "he sighs. "As for the…people in the masks, they won't talk. Fanatically loyal, to whom they won't say. They just repeat the same stock phrases over and over. Like soldiers. Like a cult."

"Feed the pigs. Man is Meat. Meat is Murder."


"Never said I believed in the creed of the Narrows as he put it. Never really believe anything my dad says. It was just said." She smirks, then shakes her head, glancing out towards the concrete jungle with a slight shrug of her shoulders. "Sure, people do get out every day, make lives for themselves, some people stay because they're afraid they won't make it or have another place to go. To most, this is all that there is."

She quiets as he speaks about the case, her jaw clenching just a touch. She wasn't an ace when it came to investigating, but.. fear. She needed to conquer this. She's not going to give it up until she's beaten it back. But she could still feel her heart waver once she hears those last words, her head shaking as she tries to force it out of her system, walking towards her bag to kneel down and retrieve the bottle of pills and water from her pack.

"Maybe they were brainwashed too."


Dick Grayson nods, 'No doubt. But they aren't angels to begin with. They've all got histories. Drug abuse, violence. The man's a rapist god knows how many times - six on his record, which you can quintuple usually. The head nurse once tortured an old man for five months in his house to get him to sign over his will. Cut off his toes one by one, put out cigarettes on him. They only caught her cause she tried to burn him alive in his bed, once she got the final signature, only he threw himself out the window. Neighbors spotted it, called 911."

"She got two years, 'cause Blackgate's chock full and Arkham's even fuller. You gotta do a lot worse than cut off a few senior citizen toes to get locked up for long in this town," he sighs. "These degenerates are getting gathered together by someone with an eye for talent, sick talent. Talent that likes to hurt people and doesn't have anything resembling a conscience. Two-Face, Penguin, they just get gangbangers and muggers and pimps, the usual criminal class. This guy's picky - sickos only. The sane need not apply."


Harper shakes at least three pills free, listening to him speak, her eyes upon the ground as she uncaps the bottle of water, popping them into her mouth to take a few swallows .. no, not a few. She sucks back the water with a tilt high into the sky, her back nearly arching as she crushes the plastic in between her fingers, then tosses it off of the roof behind her.

"And there you have it." Harper murmurs, fingers curling into her hair to brush it away from her face, "Sick talent." She snaps her fingers, "I'm going to go find the Joker. I bet you million to one he'd know who it is and if not he possibly had a hand in it."


Dick Grayson smirks, "Well you're ambitious, I'll give you that. But I wouldn't suggest approaching the Joker. Not if you likes staying in the habit of breathing. At the very least…you shouldn't approach him alone," he says.

The idea of looking for evidence, for help, for something, among the Arkham class wasn't entirely impossible to believe. But he wasn't sure that Bluebird should be playing Starling to Joker's Lecter. It was a good way for the girl to end up with her face chewed off.

"I'm going to check the parole system, from Arkham, from Blackgate. Look for a pattern, see if there are any other…potential recruits out there, unaccounted for. They're the ones who will slip up. And we need to check other slaughterhouses, other…places. The Meat Packing District, for certain. There's no way that was the only herd . This guy's been practicing."


"I don't think you realize just exactly who I am." She was getting her groove back, really. With the pain lessening, she was starting to get back to her usual self. "And naturally, I'm not going to approach him until I see Zatara. Get a nice little boost of healing from her.. or maybe that Creep with the mask she's always around. Then I'll be at one hundred percent."

It was obvious that Harper wasn't a girl for the wetwork, but.. she still had to try something. "In the meanwhile, you let me do all of the hacking. Unless you can ring up Johnny Five and have her email it to me. Us.. whatever.." She just waves her hands frustrated, she wanted to be -in-, but she knew that it would take times. "I'll.. figure out something to do. I hate being idle."


Dick Grayson nods, "I know who you are, Bluebird," he says simply, leaving it at that.

"I can have Oracle get in touch, for certain. But I'll repeat my warning, regardless - don't go near any of those psychos, not without backup. But if you find any promising suspects, you and I can ride together and do some interrogation. See what we can see," he says.

"Yeah, my mother always told me that one. Idle hands are the devil's playground. It's an old one," he says softly. He stands up, right there on the edge, looking out into the abyss of the night, the hard concrete below. No net.

"Then someone killed her. And I found out you never know what the Devil's hands are like until they're at your throat," he says softly. "I'll be seeing you, Birdie," he says.

And with that, he just drops, falling casually off the side of the building. He tastes the wind and lets gravity do its thing and, just before he hits, his grappling line strikes the next building over and he swings, cheating death one more time…

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