Stay Dead For A While

December 09, 2015:

(Backdated scene to November 26th) Following Cain's attack on the Batcave Alfred and Bruce receive medical treatment from Doctor Leslie Thompkins and Gotham's vigilante network discusses options.

Wayne Manor

Characters

NPCs: Alfred Pennyworth, Leslie Thompkins

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Several hours after David Cain's attack on the Batcave the smoke and fires have been dowsed and ventilated. Much of the medical gear was crushed by falling debris and what remains of it has been taken upstairs to be used as a temporary emergency room for Alfred.

Bruce got away relatively lucky compared to what the elderly butler is suffering through right now, the combination of burns, blunt trauma and smoke inhalation is taking its toll.

Doctor Leslie Thompkins arrived as quickly as she could and is doing all that she can for Mr. Pennyworth. Her expertise is the only thing keeping the man alive right now.

A very angry and more brooding than usual Batman sits on a gurney of his own flexing his fist. Open. Close. Open. Close. The pain is present but ignored, a background noise that only spikes when he tries to stand or move too quickly. A floating rib, torn muscle tendons and half a dozen other wounds that individually he could deal with, more armor is usually the answer in field scenarios for him but right now, the combination of them all together is too much and he has refused painkillers.
Clarity is required.

Diana descends the stairs, a part of that white Grecian dress snaring into gladiatorial-esque stilettos snagging up in the heel only to bring her to pause and trist the fabric within a fist and tear it free with a forlorn sound of sateen fabric rending from seam to leave a further gap within fabric attire. Wadding it up further around her fist she hits the main level where everyone else had been taken and checked up on with a clip-clop in her step that reveals the broken heel upon one of her sandal heels as well.

Cerulean gaze sweeps over the to and fro as well as the silence and stoicism of the 'family'. Approaching Bruce she claims a seat beside him and crosses one leg over the other, taking to undoing the harnessing straps of footwear to cast the broken aside and make her pace more even… Comfortable. "He is strong, Alfred. He will make it through, just like the rest of yours." Diana states rather matter-of-factually.
Huh? (Type "help" for help.)

It's ironic really. Kane knows several methods for ritual healing, most of which very quickly knit flesh and bone. However in Alfred's condition the shock and pain - for they are all very painful - might send him into arrest. So yes. A healing might kill him. He'd offer if it were in extremis but things are not quite yet that desperate. He hasn't even asked about Bruce. There is so much scar tissue on the exposed flesh that Kane isn't even sure a healing would work. The man looks like he's lived in a permanent state of injury for the last several years.

Himself? Kane isn't hurt too badly. A bit burnt, a bit bruised but nothing worse. He's not pleased though. Not only has someone tried to kill him but this is about someone's daughter. The Fox hasn't forgotten that. It's a mess and it needs cleaning. Right at the moment he's leaning on a wall a short distance from Bruce and Diana, watching the pair of them and keeping an ear out for news of Alfred (whom he's really only met a couple of times but seems well liked) and Barbara.

Babs had been taken to 'safety', her chair lost in the mess below. It hadn't taken long to obtain another - she's spares, of course and the redhead follows not long behind Diana. Green eyes settle on Bruce, then Diana before she stops beside Kane - she knows he's not happy and they'll have words at some point.

"What news?" she asks quietly.

Bruce's jaw tightens and pulls as he clenches his teeth with a contained rage only to release and speak quietly, "Doctor Thompkins is close to Alfred, I have the utmost faith in her abilities… " Wobbling upright again he reaches out to the Amazon and places a hand upon her shoulder using it to hoist himself upright so he is standing.
"And thanks for bringing the equipment upstairs. It would have taken us considerably longer." By us he means Dick and Kane. The only two who are not currently handicapped in some manner. Dick having departed already. Handling his grief and anger in his own style as the young vigilante always does.

"This wasn't just an attack. This was a warning and something else. David Cain has access to bigger guns than just napalm." A glance is given to Barbara who had been delivered a wheelchair on Leslie's arrival. Ease of access on that number.

"When you return to the Clocktower track down Cassandra and don't let her out of your sight. This is all wrong, this isn't the David Cain I am more than familiar with. His actions are… inordinate."

"It sounded like he's got a long term plan. 'Stay dead for a little bit. Let me take over.'" The druid quotes Cain's rant. Not that he's going to listen for a whole host of reasons. "Almost sounded sentimental the way he was going on about his 'daughter'." Bruce gets a look here, searching and hard. He doesn't ask, not yet. But it can't be that long in coming.

Now of course, whether or not this is about that 'daughter' is a possibility Kane is weighing. He's seen plenty of monsters feign emotion for the sake of obfuscation. Certain kinds of predator tend to be very good at that. But this attack? "If he knew where the Batcave was he could have struck to kill. This? Strikes me as either obfuscation, intimidation or pure pique. I don't know the man well enough to say which."

Diana's gaze had fallen momentarily upon Kane and Oracle, though when Bruce placed his hand on her shoulder and stood those lips thinned in a manner that set her eyes into a narrow. Word unbidden remain back and unsaid - best that way among a room of warriors, but to his thanks she nods, the muss of precariously placed coif and curl having fallen to the true disarray of past trials and present.

"It sounds like he is making sacrifices, necessary sacrifices to him because you have been in the way and will be in the way because of who you all are." Diana states as much, rising herself now as the final strapped sandal falls away, the flutter of stained and ashen white fabric fluttering over top. Dismissed.

"Gods and Kings wage war for daughters only when it suits them. It is a good excuse but he knows better. Gods and Kings do not have weak offspring nor would he have /allowed/ your transgression for as long as he has known, Bruce. There is more reason, more tactic." A tap from temple to point to Kane but then stop as she goes from speaking to them all to just Kane.

"You know him, Kane. You know him intimately on the level of the rage that rests in your eyes. I do hope you have a bridle for it… Things get messy, otherwise." Hands that had clasped before her with vambraces parallel now spread into an all-encompassing gesture. "And you hurt the wrong people." A glance to Bruce then as well before returning to Oracle. "And you? Gotham's Network? Justice Leagues Voice? Your thoughts?"

Watching Bruce rise, Babs wisely keeps silent. Had it been one of her charges, they'd be told to /sit right back down/ but … not Bruce.

"I'm watching her already." The only thing she chooses to say. Her tablet, the only thing she recovered from her chair before being taken out of there, is patched into the Clocktower systems. Currently it's laying in her lap. It's not often she's far from her tech.

Folding her arms over her chest, she nods as Kane repeats the words. "He's got a plan and we're all in the way." A considering look is given to Kane "He wanted to send us a message, for sure. 'keep her safer than me? You're wrong and I'm proving it'" beat "First he tests her, threatens me and now … 'proving' something."

Babs has her suspicions and now looks to Diana "Gods and Kings wage wars for their daughters when they /need/ them for something, when their empires and dominion are at stake." How many women had been used to ensure that property and divinity was maintained? Is that what Cain wants?

"He left her with us for this long … why … test and come to get her now?" shaking her head "It doesn't make sense yet, Diana… but I will find out."

She's concerned though, that Cain will hurt Cass…

"Mrhm." An odd grunted response given to commentary about the daughter but Batman doesn't say a word in regards to Cassandra's parentage. It's not his secret tell even under the circumstances and no doubt they'll figure it out soon if they haven't already.

"Exactly, there in lies our biggest clue, 'stay dead while I take over'."
"While It is unlikely that Cain wants to replace us as the protectors of Gotham it is obvious there is much more going on than just him wanting to show us up." Bruce's fingers clench down on Diana's shoulder as he uses her to maneuver over towards the desk and away from the gurney Dr. Thompkins had tried to confine him to.

"There might be something to him proving himself but I believe it's largely a facade. And that kind of nails it Oracle, why now?" A slow shake of his head and Batman stumbles knocking a Miagani tribal mask off the desktop only for it to hit the ground and clatter, breaking in to pieces. One of many collected he owns. Old and sacred, not just to it's original owners or creators but also the Dark Knight… by now Kane has noticed most of the artwork around Bruce's mansion can be coined psychotic or tribal in theme to style.

A hand will life up to wave anyone off who tries to help him, "Cain's old contacts in Gotham are where we should start, League of Shadows, Penguin… " Penguin always pops up. The man is after all 'the man' when it comes to information in and out of the Dark City of Yesteryear. "If he hasn't already gotten to them also… " He did after all target Catwoman. Though there was no follow through which struck Batman as a simple ruse or ploy another episode of the posturing.

"Rage is a weapon. I dont blunt mine, I simply hold onto it until I know where to point it." The Fox murmurs to Diana as he listens to Bruce talk.

"Do you think he'll enlist them or target them? I remember the Penguin vaguely but the League is rumors to me." Oracle may know that one of ther number is in town if any of the Bats know at all but thats not something Kane will be in on.

"And it doesnt answer the question of what to do about Cain himself or what he wants. Which… seems to me should be something rather… urgent." And Final.

Diana is the same as Oracle in one fashion, but in another - she knows how to cater to the driven warriors after a one sided battle leaving one in shambles. Diana pauses and picks up the pieces of the fallen mask, slowly and precariously placing them on the desk like a puzzle and fitting it back together without adhesion while speaking.

"His daughter is a reason, nothing more. A tether to logic where there is none. He thinks by winning a battle he…" A pause and brows furrow as she remembers a phrase heard. "Won the war." Pausing as her finger delicately slides in the final piece of the mask she leaves it unfitted beside Bruce's own resting palm. For him to do.

"But he knows what he has done." Moving behind the desk she grabs the high backed leather chair and spins it to face seat towards Bruce and then /shoves/ it his way. "Let me handle him, Bruce." Diana casts that cerulean gaze upon him, then to Oracle, Kane. Not asking permission in one hand, but in the other…

The fabric of that Grecian dress is gathered at the front and in one solid motion she pops seams, beads and decolletage scatter across the floor like broken glass shards to roll into the dark recesses of the room. Beneath the attire is her black on silver, red and gold regalia of Wonder Woman.

"Let Leslie see to Alfred, to you. You can heed his warning but I do not have to. Let him think you are laying low, perhaps even dead. I have an unsettled score with those who seek to bring me and mine to our knees." Her words are calm, even her masque(rade) is placid, but there is a rage there much akin to Kane's, Oracles, even Bruce's.

"Why now … and why…" Babs isn't convinced that Cass is just a reason, but there's little be gained by continuing to discuss it at this point. They need data and information and they need it fast. A currency that Oracle deals in. "I'll look into the Penguin and the League." An aside to Kane at that "I'll need your assistance, as well as the others." Never has she felt the loss of the use of her legs so keenly.

Kanes question gets a thoughtful look "Both, I suspect. If they don't fall in with him, he'll target them. If you aren't with him, you're against him. A simple mentality, really, and I don't see Cain leaving anything that might stand in his way." beat "We can monitor that situation and try to get ahead of him."

Diana revealing her regalia gets a small, grim, smile from the redhead. "We can be seen to go to ground. I can make that happen." As to whether they will? It's not something that sits well with her at this time.

"The League of Shadows is a collection of the most elite killers in the world, snipers, assassins, weapon masters, martial artists. Men and women who have pledged themselves to Ra's al Ghul, the Demon's Head. A man dedicated to restoring natural balance to the world by eradication of humanity. David Cain was once one of their greatest assassins and one of the many who trained me. He ceded from the League of Shadows shortly before Ra's was killed last time."

Bruce takes the chair and presses something underneath the desk. A projection display of the Batcomputer monitors appears overlapping the study's own screen.
"Also this wasn't an attack to kill. He knows it would take more and from the reports he struck allover the city meaning he simply targeted my bats and followed them. I imagine he has more drones out there… drones we can trace." Bruce's fingers click across the surface of the keyboard, "This location was masked as well, I'm sure he didn't know it beforehand. He might now if he attempts to triangulate but unlikely." Faith in his technology and the natural obscurity of the Batcaves networks.

"Oracle, I want you to go after the drones with Kane first. I'll deal with the Penguin and you, Wonder Woman… " A pause, "If you insist on helping I have David Cain's last known location before coming back to the States. You can find out what he was up to and route it back to us. I otherwise would like you to stay out of this, this is internal and frankly, I am not sure where you are at mentally right now. I don't know what all you went through on Apokolips but… " A hand lifts up and Bruce taps himself just under the neck. A spot that on Diana has a recently open wound that laces up through the hair, healing of course but present. One of the worms was there. One of the very instruments used to torture the woman.
"There is no point in going after the League of Assassins, they won't speak. They're too disciplined. They would kill themselves before giving us any information."

"And all of you will kill yourselves by means of exhaustion before you ever encounter any of these maniacs you speak of." The doctor's irritated voice as the door from the study opens and closes admitting her in with the rest of them, "Alfred is stable and there is nothing more I or anyone else can do for him, we simply have to wait and see if he recovers."
The elderly woman though frowning remains an attractive lady, grey and all. Her frown for Bruce is one full of chiding, concern and surprisingly perhaps affection. He is like a son to the good doctor.
"I'm done here. I still have other patients to attend… Barbara, tell your father I said hello. The rest of you… please rest, I have your systems online with Alfred's monitor should anything happen… " A warm squeeze of Bruce's bicep is given and the Leslie makes her way for the door. A pause at it and she looks at Wonder Woman with a frown and her mouth opens as if to speak but nothing comes out and she simply exits.

Bruce studies the woman's quick departure then glances at the others, "I have a suit I want you to have Fox, it will give you some added protection where your charms can't. Oracle, retrieval units will find the drone and I will patch you in so you can track down the others… "

"Diana, we need to talk. Alone."

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