Live Steel

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fox batgirl the_cavalry zatanna _2015 _February

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February 03, 2015:

Batigrl, Melinda May, Zatanna and The Fox meet in Chinatown

Chinatown

A deserted construction site with a wide concrete pad and a lot of building materials.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Chinatown is quiet…

Okay, that's not entirely accurate. Chinatown is quiet now. About an hour ago Kane finished his third 'bust' of the night, a mischevious water goblin who had taken to drowning dogs and whom the Fox wanted to stop before he graduated to something more serious. Before that it had been ghouls. Again. These Chinatown ghouls are getting to be a real pain. And before that it'd been a turf skirmish between the Syndicate and the Ton Ton Macoute. Now he's found himself a nice, empty construction site and… well he's never been one for perching on the rooftops and watching unless he's looking for something specific or passing through. So he's training. With his smaller sword in one hand and a kama in the other. Live steel. Well, there's no one else here, and he won't cut himself so no point in breaking out the wasters.

No matter where Batgirl might end up each night, she usually passes through Chinatown at the beginning at the end. Also a lot of the middle, given that the big Bat likes to send her into the Narrows often enough. Maybe because she's the only one that doesn't complain. Not that anyone hears about, anyhow.

The swingline-and-rooftop roads she takes through the city gives Batgirl a good vantage point to spot the Fox as he works through his routine. It draws her attention and a twist of her wrist has her changing direction and coming down to a light perch. A few minutes more and she makes a graceful dive off of the building, a few grabs here and there on the building letting her land soft and silent.

Almost by habit, the little Bat sneaks closer. She passes by the weapons that Kane has laid out and her head pops up a bit higher to inspect them. One gloved hand closes around the hilt of a long, straight-bladed sword and she slips it free as she moves in towards Kane.

Cassandra doesn't need to watch him for any length of time to know the flow of his routine. To know its rythm. She moves behind him a few moments, matching his pace and timing while still managing to keep out of his sight and then she steps in, the blade in her hands coming up to meet his in the kiss of steel-on-steel.

Agent May is on her way out of Gotham — having earlier today been told by Fury that she's been reinstated — driving and honestly horrid old pickup truck. She arrived in town with Jericho Trent, but he had to leave rather abruptly via the K'Nert Express, so she's stuck driving this piece of crap back to NYC in this annoying as hell wintry weather. Alone.

It's late enough that she was driving more slowly than would be considered normal out of deference to this truck's seriously lacking traction, so the glint of something metallic and moving quickly catches her eye. She stops the truck carefully and watches the construction site area… there it is again. She recognizes the movement and glint of metal that time — a sword being swung. She's NOT accustomed to people practicing with live steal, so seeing that means real combat to her. Cutting the truck's engine, she gets out of the truck and hastily pulls something out from under the heavy duffel already sporting a layer of snow. Then she's rushing into the construction site, carrying what look like a matched pair of dulled swords in her hands. They're metal and shaped to resemble Wakizashi (Japanese short swords), but they were clearly never meant to hold a sharpened edge.

As soon as she's close enough, May recognizes Kane, but with the live steel in his hands her eyes promptly scan the rest of the open area in an attempt to find who he was attacking just a moment or two ago.

Zee is in Gotham again. Paritally to check on the magical activity there and partially to make sure Kane isn't getting into too much trouble - like he was the other night when she found him. Tracking The Fox down isn't that hard for the magician and so it is, that she arrives in the construction with soft 'POP' sound appearing out of thin air. Wearing her standard street wear: sweater dress, leggings, knee length high heel boots and the diamond encrusted collar at her throat, Zee pauses as she watches the strange young woman step in to attack him, the raven haired young woman knows better than to rush into anything. So intent she is on the pair, she doesn't see May arrive on the scene.

Kane's blade work in particular is a peculiar mix of modified kendo techniques and German longpoint. The German is important here because unlike many other styles the German one works from 'the bind', meaning that much of his sworld play involves controlling the other blade without his ever leaving contact with it. For this the Kama is a uniquely well suited instrument as well despite it being from half a world away.

The ring of steel on steel surprises the Fox. He hasn't seen the other two yet. The druid blinks once at the Batgirl and then smiles a little, taking one step back, inclining his head slightly and then launching into an attack, spinngin first with the Kama, then with the blade.

Batgirl took only the single blade. Not because she couldn't keep track of both but because it gives Kane an edge. To go with his height. His reach. His weight.

The Fox might catch the smile behind the cowl, the light playing over the dark fabric of her faceless mask in hilight and shadow. Then they move away and Kane leads the dance. Despite the choice of a Japanese sword, pinning down the Batgirl's style in swordplay is as hard as her unarmed combat. She didn't learn several different schools and then integrated them, she was taught all of the moves independant of the style. It's something that seems like it should be awkward and clumsy, but as she defly turns the sickle aside and twists out of the way of the blade, nothing about it is anything but fluid.

Batgirl drops down low, sliding to the side before leading with an upward slash.

May's eyes snap back over to the Fox and the Bat when the pick up sparring, and she realizes that the idiots — the both of them — are actually practicing with live steel. Lowering her own non-blades, she huffs audibly in annoyance. Which likely will draw attention to the fact that she's already turning to leave again.

The magician isn't as familiar with weapons play and doesn't get why Agent May, who's huff drew her attention, looks so unimpressed. Really… that's pretty impressive moves from the two and given Mays staying still, Zee won't interfere. Skirting the two sparring partners, the young woman moves to stand next to May, watching and looking impressed.

he Fox isn't on Batgirl's level. Few are. He is however a genuinely world class fighter. Perhaps not world champion but he's up there. There are probably only a couple hundred people on the planet (normal people, that is) who are as good or better. And he's good enough not to get taken out by one blow. And apparently confident enough not to be worried about live steel. He slides out of the way of the upward stroke - barely - and places his blade right against Batgirl's, twisting down and to the left as the Kama comes in from above.

Not far from May an apparition of a man appears. The ghostly image doens't appear to see May. It just watches the fighting pair.

Batgirl's blade is pulled downwards as the Fox controls the momentum, but she's already stepping in and turning the blade out of it. One would think she missed the kama until her free hand comes up to block Kane at the wrist. Her small hand closes about that much thicker wrist and she pivots on a foot as her blade comes free, pushing his arm out and up as she slides under and behind it with her own blade ringing along Kane's as it keeps that deadly edge at bay.

Melinda May looks at Zatara as she steps closer and stops. She'd bee about to leave to return to NYC, but the spellcaster approached her. Presumably it's for a reason. She looks from Zee to the sparring pair again, then does a double take when the apparition appears in her peripheral vision. Her non-blade weapons immediately come up, but when she realizes the ghost-like figure is just watching the sparring match also…

Zee was only being polite when she'd approached May, nothing more. The apparation is blocked from her view by May and it's Mays double take that causes her to look. "If things could get weirder" the young magician murmurs as she positions herself to watch the ghost and the sparring pair. Constantine would be so disappointed she hadn't tried to banish the ghost straight away, but that's not Zees way.

Kane rolls with the tug of Batgirl's hand. It's either that or dislocate his shoulder. Fortunately there's an iBeam not far, which is good because he's going to lose control of her blade in a second. As he does he takes a step with her momentem, kicks off the beam and launches himself into a flip above her and then behind her, trying to use his weight to force her to release him or pull her off balance. It's risky, but he's doubling down with a pommel strike at the small of the back.

Near Zee and May the hooded figure turns to look at them. "Not many can be the Fist of a Circle when the Circle is gone."

There's no thought. No hesitation. Batgirl doesn't have to weigh odds or maneuvers. For her, this is a conversation and she appreciates the Fox's eloquence.

Cassandra lets Kane's wrist go, steps back even as he's comitting to his strike. It forces the hit higher and as her blade rings free of his her own comes around in a block made blind with the flat of the blade that takes enough of the strike before stepping back away and bringing the sword up.

Really, it's the ghostly apparition that is really what caught her attention, though the audience was noted. Her gaze is fixed past Kane now, and she nods towards the odd trio.

Melinda May still has her metal bokken (yes, she knows that that is a misnomer now) ready in case this ghostly hooded figure tries anything. "Explain what you mean," she tells the apparition. Which is probably pointless, but this what her life has become.

"Circle…" Zee moves towards the apparation, no sense sometimes…. "You mean his druids circle… " she cants her head and narrows her eyes as she thinks "What is the 'Fist of a Circle' and why does that matter?" the 'to you' is left unstated and the point must matter, because well… ghost!

The ghost catches Cassandra's look and the Fox's as he too stops to look. Batgirl may hear him breathe out a word. A name actually. "Abel…" The figure arches an eyebrow and then, in a manner perhaps slightly reminiscent of the Dark Knight, lifts a hand in a gesture to continue. Before turning back to May and Zee. Kane blinks and looks over to the masked girl in question.

"An enforcer. The one who meets power with power when a circle must go to war. That is what he once did. And what he still does, though the Circle he served has long since passed."

Batgirl cants her head over to the side a bit, the peaked ears accenting the movement. She's gotten a little more used to seeing ghostly type things from tagging after Kane but still. Odd. Clearly he knows the ghost, and he doesn't seem worried about their two watchers either.

At the Fox looks back her way she slides the blade back up into a ready position, letting him start the dance again. Nice of her to let the guy lead, right?

Melinda May looks over toward Kane and Cassandra, then back at the ghost. "And you're here … supervising?" Okay, this is the last straw. She is getting the HECK out of this nutbar of a city and she is NOT coming back unless Oracle asks her to. And ONLY if Oracle asks her to. She looks at Zatanna and nods. "I have to get going."

"Do you recognise him, Fox?" Zee hasn't turned to look at the sparring pair, her attention focussed on the ghost. She's just heard the sword play stop and seen the Ghost look at and even address them, not that she caught what it said.

Mays comment, though, gets a glance from the raven haired teen and she cocks her head as she looks back to the Ghost. "Supervising…. or finding support for him?" Mays next comment gets another look "OK, sure… it's just about to get interesting though, sure you won't stick around?"

Interesting… only a magi would think conversing with a ghost while a druid and a bat played with swords was interesting.

The Fox chuckles, gives Batgirl a one shouldered shrug and immediately launches into a series of aggressive attacks alternating high and low in a rhythm, before sidestepping to the right and sweeping the kama low. Whether or not it connects Kane follows through the momentem to spin and bring the blade high from the other side.

"Neither. Watching." The bearded man says. "Are you going to watch yourself? Or perchance participate? And do you know what it is you see?"

The blades sing out as the Batgirl meets the Fox's attacks, the tone and tenor of these voices one that she understands unlike when people speak. Kane might start to notice that her reaction time is impossible. He can swear she starts to block even as he's just comitting to the thought of where to strike.

Batgirl turns even as Kane does, the sword in her hand like a shell, not a wall, of steel that she uses as though she has eyes in the back of her head. Knowing where he'll strike. The sweep of the kama has her tumbling back, and again as he moves forward with the blade. At the end of her roll, her foot finds purchase against one of the columns and she launches herself into high leap, taking her over his head in a graceful tumble with the flash of moonlight on steel.

Melinda May considers the ghost's words. "I would, but I have my own … Circle to return to." Her eyes flick over toward the sparring one last time. "I see many things. I need time to really understand them." She then nods to Zee and takes her leave, stepping carefully around the apparition so she doesn't block his line of sight to Kane.

Shaking her head, Zee turns to watch the combatants "I'll watch but weapons play isn't my thing." The sword play is artful and the magician is interested. His last question registers obviously "I see a rather cute Druid and a pocket sized Bat fighting… what is it you think I should be seeing and why do you watch?"

Melinda May heads to the Quiet Room.

Kane spins to parry but he's not quite fast enough. Cassandra is undoubtly better than he. His blade comes up to deflect hers and finds the tip right at the hollow of his throat. He stills and inclines his head slightly, acknowledging the 'kill'.

"I watch because I cannot do otherwise. And I see patterns of force. His I know well. Hers not at all. I merely wondered. It's different, when you must watch through dead eyes."

Batgirl stops the blade just shy of flesh, her manner still calm and composed. She holds the pose for a moment and then the sword flicks back and away and the little Bat steps in with her fist offered up to him as she did once before. Looks like someone approves.

"And she beat him" Zee speaks to the Ghost like it's nothing unusual. "Wondered what, Mr Ghost?" If the ghost wants he can give her a name. Batgirls offered fist bump gets a rise of an eyebrow and Zee applauds the combatants "Is there where I ask for an encore?" ever the showwoman, our Zee.

This time it's without hesitation that the Fox offers his own fist out and touches Batgirl's a skilled combatant if ever he met one. He knew that, but not just how skilled before now. "Perhaps another night, Zee. Though…"

The fox-masked man cants his head slightly in question and flips his kama, offering it pommel first. An offer and an invitation to perhaps try this again. Hell, he'd not mind it regularly but, other than her approving of his skill who can say what she thinks?

Again there's that slight tilt of her head, and then the black-gloved hand closes over the kama's handle. There's that brief flash of a smile, all shadows and hilights and then the Batgirl is leaping away and into the shadows. They can follow the flare of her cape until it too melts away into the shadows.

Zee waits for the ghost to respond, maybe it's gone by now. She wouldn't know, she's too busy smirking at Batgirls 'theft' of The Fox's sword. "Is that two she has from you now, Fox? Better be careful, that might mean something to the Bats."

The Fox blinks and then shakes his head. "I am down a sword now, aren't I?" He gathers up his gear wondering what on earth she does with them? Dump them somewhere? toss them in a corner? Take them to a workshop and carve little bats on them so that they're bat approved? Who knows. He's never seen her use the first one she took… not that he sees her a lot to begin with. "Well if it is I suppose I'll find out. Were you looking for me or checking the area out?" Or patroling?

"Yes" Zee watches as he gathers his equipment up and will help as she can. "Both. Checking the area out and looking for you. I thought we could hang out or something." Looking around she frowns "So who was the ghost?"

"Abel. He taught me… And I was going to keep going through Chinatown after my warm up. That was a bit more of an exercise than I thought and I get the feeling I'll get it again at some point." The Fox nods to Zee. "And company would be nice. Come on. Let's go."

"Abel" Zee tries out the name "He was part of your circle then… what was he doing here tonight then?" Pacing beside The Fox, Zee chatters "Where are we headed?"

"Center of town. There's a few nexuses to check before I'm done." Kane's often in Chinatown too. It's one of the most magically active parts of Gotham. "You may want to look at them even if there's nothing there…"

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fox batgirl the_cavalry zatanna _2015 _February

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