Who is David Cain?

October 14, 2015:

In the aftermath of Cains attack on Catwoman, the Bat Family (and allies) catch up



NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Lights are on upon every floor of the East End Free Clinic except for the top two floors. The third floor empty and kept that way. All the medical supplies are stored there and no one ever goes to the top floor, noo one except Leslie Thompson's very special nocturnal friends. Leslie Thompson is a well known ally of the Batman and his brood and the East End itself. She doesn't turn anyone away criminal, victim or vigilante.

Dick Grayson is more than familiar with the woman as is Selina Kyle both in their own ways. Assistance required was a distress call sent out by Batman almost two hours ago when two buildings in the East End were toppled at the center. Dropped on himself and the Catwoman. The extra hands were required in digging the body of the Catwoman free of the rubble where she was promptly delivered here and immediately seen to by Doctor Thompson.

Catwoman's bandage covered body lie on a hospital bed just behind the sheet opposite the room's small lounge set up. The Dark Knight sits with cowl still on slumped in one of the hard backed chairs, cape in ruins spilled around him and knuckles peeled back and raw. Armor plating gone from each hand - yet to see medical attention. Not the typical black and dark grey clad warrior right now he is coated in ashe, smatterings of soot, blood and blast residue. A ghost of October.

It has been just over an hour since they have been here. A very silent just past an hour. Not a word has escaped the Bat. Leslie and a nurse have been busy with the fallen woman and sirens blare throughout the East End as the building has been closed off and secured by the Gotham City Fire Department.

Oracle had received Batmans call for help immediately after an explosion in the East End, an explosion that seemed to have two building collapse. Sending a message to the Batfamily members to attend and provide aid, Gothams redheaded Information Goddess now waits for an update from the team.

Sometimes it's hard to be the all seeing eye.

Harper was out there, not ground zero, but just barely on the edge pulling folks out willy nilly and making sure the others had gotten to safety. She was designated to do light work, still suffering a gunshot wound to her leg but that did not stop her from lifting the heaviest dog she has ever met out of the rubble for a little crying boy. Who.. cried again because he was so happy. Oy vey.

Dick Grayson arrives via rooftop, the usual method of arrival. He lands ninja-silent and grim enough. He's spent the last two days picking through half-sewn remains, mingling things that are human, pig and some horrifying amalgam in between. Forensics was never exactly fun, but lately, he's kind of wishing he knew less than he did.

He makes his way down through a top-floor window, staying in full Nightwing costume. You never know who's going to get the invitation to these sorts of things and Bruce can be irritable about identity. From what little that had been relayed, the Batman was probably going to be in a bad enough mood as it is.

The Fox isn't present. His coordination with the larger Bat Family usually extends to when their respective areas of expertise spill over into one another and at the moment he's doing his best to contain a very quiet, but very bloody supernatural gang war, on top of his usual hunting the things that go bump in the night.

He is listening though. The news of the explosion spread far and wide and it was kind of impossible to miss all the sirens. He just hasn't had a spare moment until now, wiping… something black and goopy off his sword as he crouches in an alley. "Oracle, the hell's going on?"

Monitors beeped, and with every pulsed arch and fall it seems like East end set into further motion….

Months ago the place was walled off and at war for what was being done so eaily to the people inside and when Catwoman had to deliver a final blow herself to end misery she did it all out. Wars filled streets and alleys with bullet holes, blood ran cold but alliances formed from it, and when the walls came down Catwoman made more promises to more people and since she kept her word to them, the streets of East End did not -move- without knowledge.

Until tonight.

The Bats were not welcome in East end but even now the sighting of any of them from the explosion to the Clinic had the Alley Cats giving a silent nod and lending a hand or moving on. There was a silence before another explosion waiting to be had here, all they wanted was a word that had yet to be spoken.

For now there is nothing from Catwoman, but what looks the worst is the fact that the lower half of her face is more wrapped then that of her eyes, left fully revealed although there is a ring of soot and red encircling to show where costume and goggles were evident.

Leslie Thompson has a strict 'No Violence' policy in her clinic. The presence of the thugs and the Batfamily would usually incite such things but this is a neutral zone. If the goons were to hunt the floors below they wouldn't find Catwoman or the gathered vigilantes anyways, not unless they muscled their way upstairs. Which, very unlikely. It was an odd yet human moment to see the gangs of East End helping clear the rubble and aid people to say thevery least.

Lifting his head up Batman looks at everyone gathered and releases a low sigh, "Thanks for showing." Dick Grayson can count on one hand how many times he has heard the word 'Thanks' escape Bruce while wearing the cowl.
"I was unsure how severe the damage really was."
Leslie clears her throat, "Catwoman will be fine. You need to get your hands checked and the rest of you, all of you in one piece? If so I am needed downstairs we have more wounded coming in and I need to give some sort of excuse to the… helpers that showed up as to where all of you went."
Batman's hand closes and opens testing it as if he just realized they were as injured as they appear to be.

"No idea, as yet, Fox" Oracle responds to the man as she conferences the comms of the team. "Batman, this is Oracle, I've patched the team in." She'd been watching to see who was congregating. "What happened." Seems she's going to cut to the chase.

A text shoots off on her phone from Nightwing, a slight twist draws upon her features as he gives the directions of where to meet. She looks back to see that at least most of the cleanup is being done by some street gang, and one gives her an upnod and she returns the same, even two fingers up in a 'deuces' manner to show that she's heading on out.

'On my way.'

Then, the call from Oracle, which has her taking out her bluetooth apparatus to press against her ear, listening but not speaking. This is serious. She wasn't going to call Oracle her special nickname, or fangirl over the comms, but she did break off into a jog, thankfully the place wasn't far. "I'm on my way there." Is the only thing she offers up.

Dick Grayson crosses his arms over his chest as he nods to Batman. At least Catwoman's alive - criminal or not, Nightwing had seen enough death in his life and she didn't deserve to die. Hurt maybe and probably rot in jail but not die.

"I take it we're sure the place is secured?" he says. He generally presumes Bruce has already thought of everything, but it doesn't hurt to check. They'll get filled in when they get filled in - pestering him about it won't help. He keeps an eye out for Bluebird, having alerted the new vigilante to the meeting. She was a good resource, he'd found, and she was already a great deal of help with the cult case he was working - even if she did have a bad habit of getting shot.

The Fox just keeps listening for the moment as he makes for higher ground. The Batman isn't the only one with a penchant for staring out into the night from atop high rises though Gotham's druid tends to be less… broody when he does it.

For the moment he'll settle for knowing what's going on in East End. Even from where he is in the Narrows, he can see the smoke from what's left of the fires and the helicopters circling and the winking lights of the GFD engine companies watching out for rekindles or doing rescue work. Something went wrong tonight. Badly wrong.

Breathing did not change, not at all, nothing to clue them in that she was waking but when she did that whole bed jolted and tubing started flying like a bunch of streamers at a very sad party. No wonder why, but taped fingers wrapped around the wires that went to the monitoring machine and flung them off just before she sat up…

That's when the good shit they had pumping through the IV no longer held and Catwoman let out nothing short of a shriek that only got worse and more paniced when she felt wraps over her face, clawing them down to revela a few second to third degree burns, the gauze only for the salves and antibiotic ointments as well as local numbing agents.

"Fuck. Fuck… Fuck!" Slinging herlegs over the edge of the bed was a no-go, she was rather numb where the flame retardent suit failed and where impact broke a few things inside her, but adrenaline has its own mind and Carwoiman's drug addled one did not even register she half got off the gurney in a very unflattering gown and just floundered back upon it in a steady stream of stroke-victimesque curses.

"Not cuffed…… You missed asshole."

"David Cain happened, Oracle." This was said loud enough everyone present would hear it. "He baited Catwoman in to a trap and it worked. His body count in Gotham is growing."
Idly Batman's fingers begin to peel back his gloves off of melted and ruined flesh and he begins cleaning his own wounds, "Thank you Leslie, you and your staff can leave us. I won't keep you from the injured below."

"Hrmph, leave it to you to try and dismiss me in my own hospital." Striding to Batman she slaps his hands away and quickly begins to swab then gauze his hands then disappears out the door just behind the nurse who had been trusted enough to be up here.

"It is as secure as we need it to be for now. It's not likely we'll see a follow up attack. Was that Bluebird over the coms?"

The instant the door shut behind Leslie the patient is awake and thrashing amidst profanities. "Lie still and you won't need cuffed, Catwoman." Batman growls.

"You've Bluebird and Fox listening in, Batman." Oracle affirms. "David Cain? Again?" the redhead frowns. Fox knows about the last run in Oracle had there… but doesn't know the mans relationship to the Batfamily, or … a member of the Batfamily. Falling silent as she waits for the rest of the information to be delivered… well nearly "Status on Catwoman, Batman?"

"Ye.. yeah.. that's.." Harper wasn't out of breath.. and they'll hear why she was cut off in that moment.

'Ey, ey lil mama, need some help?'
'Dude, I will so tase you if you come near me!'
'Dang lil mama, was just askin.. shiet..'

And then a loud bang of the door of Harper Row busting into the clinic doors. One nurse jumps up and prepares to protest, but another just waves her on in. Even though Harper didn't have her own bat-emblem or sigil that shows she's one of the crew, being a masked vigilante and.. a previous tenant of the hospital, they know that she was alright.

Which was strange. She -was- here before. Nmh. Two and two will come together eventually, her main concern was the grainy voice over the comms.

After being directed into the room, Harper bends, hands pressing upon her knees to catch her breath. "S.. S.. sorry.." She huffs out.. "..long nights of hot cheetoes and sour cream messes with the cardio.." And then a glance up towards the bitching Catwoman.. who looks crispy fried and all damn tired..

"Who's David Cain?"

Dick Grayson glances over at Bluebird with a wry half-smile as she busts in with her usual aplomb, "An assassin. A damn good one, although, if this is his work, he seems to have missed the mark for once. Provided Catwoman was actually his target and not collateral damage. Any way to confirm that? Did anyone die that he might have been targeting instead?" he asks. Cain wouldn't be the first assassin to use misdirection to try to get them looking in the wrong direction.

Catwoman meat to lift her hand and very childishly flip Batman a bird of sorts but her fingers were taped together in a manner that had her looking like she was in a Mork and Mindy show. Nanoo nanoo.

Slowly, so very tenderly she draws a leg back up in the bed while tentatively touches rent fingertips to her face and the chapped lips where burn has them peeling already to shed the damaged layer of skin and reveak raw… Catwoman hiccuped in a breath that was about to turn into a sob, but instead it was dead silence because she finally registered it all. "How many? How many died?"

"David Caine? Same guy who targeted Batgirl a few weeks back?" The Fox had a very frank discussion with Oracle after that incident. He'd said, quite simply, that they should think very seriously about killing the man. He'd been ignored, of course. As he expected to be.

What does he want with Catwoman? The Fox has no idea at all. But that question is already being asked so…

"She will recover, Oracle." Batman responds. Bluebird's arrival and diet run down only gets a half-hearted scowl from the Dark Knight. "Directed charges. He was after Catwoman no one else. I think he overestimated the structural integrity of those two buildings. If this is misdirection he is being very covert about it."
"Reports on deaths are not in yet. The buildings were both condemned and supposed to be abandoned. Squatters would be the only casualities if there is any." Hearing Fox he doesn't respond taking a moment to look again at Bluebird before he speaks, "Yes, same man who killed the dirty cops in August."
"I don't believe he is after anyone but us. At least those of us he knows are associated in some form to Batgirl. "A pause, "Her replacement family." That will likely bring more questions. It isn't exactly known David Cain is Batgirl's father.

"My information shows eleven others injured, in addition to Catwoman." Oracle provides a little more depth to Batmans report. "Only one of those is in critical condition. I'm trying to get more information on that." Whether or not the incident was directed solely at Catwoman, Oracle thrives on information and the more she can get, the better.

Oracle also remembers the discussion she had with the Fox. She wouldn't be drawn on his recommendation. Killing wasn't the way of the Bats. Even after the man had breached her sanctuary and held a gun to her head.

Harper slowly stands, rolling her shoulders a touch as she gives a nod to Nightwing. "Greaaat. Pig-people, people turning into pigs, now assassins. Greaaat." She says, dripping with sarcasm. Anyone could know that she wasn't happy about this in the slightest. As it stands, she considered herself a moving target, one that was already filled with a bunch of bullet holes. "I admittedly saw one." Harper chimes in quietly towards Catwoman, but it was as Batman said, a vagrant.

But even as the swirl of conversations continue, Harper slowly limps towards Catwoman's bedside, one hand reaching up to steady herself upon the top railing of the hospital bed so that she could carefully lean forward and whisper into the womans ear. I mean shit, her hands were bandaged, it wasn't as if she was going to reach up and scratch at Harper as she had done before.. so she was confident she could do this and get away with it. Which is why she hovers above her for a moment to wait for a reply.

Dick Grayson shrugs slightly at Harper's complaint, "It's Gotham," he says simply enough. The weird shit happens here, always has and always will. Curse or something in the water, madness accretes here like leaves in a gutter. Nightwing also doesn't consider Catwoman to be a part of the 'family', so to speak, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion. He does raise an eyebrow as Harper whispers something to the criminal.

"So, we think it's just the persona vendetta, then? Not an assignment? Nobody pulling his strings?"

The Fox is on the move again, whatever his errand though it's not at present relevant to the rest of the Bat Family. "Replacement family mmm?" It's the tone of 'someone's not telling imporant things.' "I see seven ravens." He'll leave it at that though. He's not expecting it to be told, after all. The rest is good info, so he makes note of it.

Catwoman may be bandaged, but if she truly wanted to feel every bit of damage done and get the hell out of here she will and can, even if it meant worse for the long run. What she did not want, however was her people to know how bad it was. No exploits in East End against her - that was not her fear here. Elsewhere yes. She would rather be thought dead then momentarily crippled, so when Harper asks Catwoman shakes her head solemnly, though she is more taking in the fact that Harper has confirmed /another/ died under her watch and those decrepit taped fingers tried to curl into a very awkward looking fist. Not very threatening, but when fingers closed they did so around a bit of blanket and jerked it to cover her fully once more despite how the pain killers kept her nice and warm. Too exposed.

"Thank you though." She whispers on smoke singed vocals and then looks towards Nightwing and Batman.

"He knew… too much." Though as she says it she looks down at the orange jello cup left for her with cracker packets. Harper gets offered the jello, street kids like jello. She'll get it.

Finally the lopsided perch on the bed is brought upright when she finds the bed lift, and though she does not speak or make another sound aside from the initial the wavering is in her eyes. Pain, anger, sorrow…. percocet.

Now she whispers back to Harper.

"There is a high probability it is both, Nightwing. Every action he has taken so far screams of personal but it doesn't explain the now. That question alone puts forth more to consider than this just being a simple vendetta. Cain is a professional and it's bad business to act out on emotion alone even if in the past we've taken a few pegs out of his street cred."
Batman's mouth opens and then closes. The man isn't about to divulge Batgirl's secret. Not yet at least. Leave it to Reynard to be one for quoting the Brothers Grimm. Fitting.
"That is what Cain does. He is a master of logistics, preparation and strategy. Just assume that if and when you encounter him he's already got three plans prepared for the first ten that didn't work."
A sidelong glance at Catwoman and Bluebird, "He is however out of touch with the times. Catwoman stopped working with us over a year ago. We can use that to our advantage."

In a sidechannel to The Fox, Oracle chides gently "I did offer to bring her in and share the information." His reference was to an old, obscure nursery rhyme about magpies (or ravens) - Seven for a secret never to be told - "But it's not my information to share, Fox. I… safeguard it. Just like I safeguard yours." As she safeguards everyones really.

"How so, Batman" Oracle speaks on the conferenced channels. She really doesn't want to relive her last experience, thankyouverymuch.

"Personal vendetta? Replacement family?" Harper leans away from Catwoman from that moment, her face.. which was mostly hidden by the mask, but the show of her eyes tells that she was going to say something -totally- off the cuff. "Awwwwkwaaard…" Honestly, with the way Batman collects people, one would liken him and Bruce Wayne to be brothers.

"I fail to see how blowing up a lady has its.." She pauses to take the jell-o. "..advantages. Quite frankly, that's bullcrap." She listens to the comms, tearing away the top of the jello to snag a spoon from the tray, even grabbing the packet of crackers to tear open with a pinch of her fingers, mushed, and dumped into the jello. Nahm.

"Seven.." She rolls her eyes faintly. "..leave it to Creepy McBeaver to be weird." She jams her spoon into the wiggly-crackered bits, leaning in to listen to the whisper, her features gone soft yet stern and a nod is given. How in the world she could give a stern look to Catwoman is anyones guess. "Anyways. This dude needs to get got." She climbs upon the bed then flops, indian-styled sitting and all with no regard to Catwoman's personal space. Then spoons out a scoop, eats, crunches..

"Cauth I fler tuh gawd.. youf jefth dun brow shlif uf an' geh awi wiff it."

Remember. Don't speak with your mouth full kids.

Dick Grayson sighs and runs a hand back through his hair, "Which leaves us trying to lay fingers on a man who's spent most of his life learning how to be a ghost. Any chance you can find traces of his financials in the dark web, Oracle? If he's working for hire, he's getting paid. Maybe we can get some trace elements on the explosive? A lot of that stuff gets tagged at the manufacturer. If we can find out where he bought it, that's at least a start," he says.

He glances over at Harper as she mumbles. "I'll have what she's having."

"How many people have died for your secrets?" The Fox shoots back through the side channel. Harper's… Jello-ese has him scratching his head. You just don't… ah. Right. David Cain, whomever he is, is likely to be beyond the purview of his own contacts. It does make him wonder though if the man knows of his own involvement with this… slightly messed up family here.

"I'll keep an ear out. Not that I'm likely to hear anything."

" Almost two years." Catwoman corrects Batman in his estimate of time. "Anything in between doesn't count. My weakness for men in masks is a flaw I am working on." Pausing Catwoman hits the button on the IV, her body goes a bit rigid just before and slowly relaxes after seconds tick by. Head flopping back against the pillows her eyes though glazed catch Harper's nod and a small attempt at a split-lip smile is given, enough to open that corner to bleed.

"He heard what I was putting out there. I cannot be the decoy now. But I am now going to be the ghost of his very doomed future." Does he think her dead? She sure hopes so, because she intended to haunt him right into his own grave.

Batman doesn't tell them why he believes Catwoman was a target for now the basics is what they will run with. "We start with what we do know and what he is aware of. That is myself, Nightwing, Batgirl and Oracle." Standing up from his chair he lets out a light groan that ends up muffled by the creak of his suit, "Oracle, I need you to spread word that the Catwoman is dead. I trust you can lay low for a while? Fox and Bluebird as well. I need you all to go dark and await instructions on hunting down Cain before he strikes again. Disrupt his little game and take the ball out of his court and back in to ours. Gotham isn't someplace Cain can hide easily not without someone in this room finding him."
A light grin appears on the man's features beneath the cowl. Barely a tilt of the lips. "The rest of us will look in to the explosives, track him, below the surface where he expects us to but still enough that it doesn't look conspicuous. We need to find out if this is more than personal and if so who might have hired him."

"Stop moving you lips up like that. It's scary." The percocet is obviously kicking in as catwoman waves a 'flipper' taped hand in the air in Batman's direction, looking from Nightwing to Bats to Harper.

"Now get out of my room before I mistake this for the past." Although when she was a part of the family Harper was not a factor, but it still rang a familiar and close enough cord that has Catwoman swallowing and looking out the window, then closing her eyes.

"Dead people need sleep."

"And how many people have lived?" Oracle shoots back to Fox on the side channel. Seems these two have this discussion a bit… It's her life, keeping secrets, obfuscating information and The Fox has taken advantage of that herself.

"Yes, Bluebird, that's correct, you just don't blow stuff up and get away with it." She can speak Jello-ese it seems, must come with the Batbrat wrangling.

"I'll lie as low as I can, Batman… " that's a tall order given who she is but she's things she can do. "and consider the rumours regarding Catwoman already spread." She'll just add that to the rumours she's spreading about Cass.

A hand was jerked out towards Nightwing in offering of cracker and jiggily jello, a pause, and then a shrug of her shoulders. He didn't want none of this. Cause this was Harper's and it was all hers. She continues to munch and eat, eyes upon Catwoman then.. then towards Nightwing.. and finally Bats. His marching orders gain a slight scowl but.. that smile?

"…I think I just saw the world end." She murmurs quietly, the little cup of jello that was nearly demolished set aside as she keeps her eyes upon the Dark Knight. "Batman.." She starts, wanting to tell him about the horrors she's seen and.. how could she lay low while there were -two- of them roaming the streets? At least Oracle was on her side about the blowing and the..

She slides from the bed, Catwoman made her declarations for folks to leave, but there was a little trip that Harper had to make for the woman first. "Seriously, Batman." Harper was all shook up.

"You're like my twentieth favorite person in the world so I'm going to say this just this once.." Her hand lifts and waffles. "You and smiling don't work. I mean, you're not ugly or nothin' but it does something weird to your face." Beat. "Juss sayin.'" And then she skedaddles. No one wants to catch a batarang to the back of the head or have one of those.. bat-bomb thingies half sticking out of their necks.

She's seen that guy once.

Totes nasty.

Dick Grayson doesn't need to respond verbally. He's got his instructions, he'll do his part, as always. He nods curtly and makes his way towards the exits, half torn between thinking about the underground explosives dealers he can think of…and trying not to think about the other evidence he has to sort through on his other case. In some ways, Cain is almost a welcome distraction, if it weren't for all the chaos and death.

"Noted, Bluebird." Batman's smiles don't last long anyways. As soon as they appear they're gone until next winter.
"Everyone go get some rest. Carry on and await further orders… Nightwing when you get a chance update me on what you're working on."
"I'll come and check on you tomorrow… " That final bit directed towards Catwoman.
And on that the Dark Knight is gone.

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