Bone Shrapnel

May 06, 2016:

Detective Winnifred Rathbourne, is investigating another death by drowning - in the middle of Gotham, when targetted by Hannah Moreau. Can Red Robin save her?

Old Gotham - Gotham


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

"Well Doctor? What's do you make as the cause of death?" Detective Winnifred Rathbourne, a woman in her mid 30's with a mop of short curly hair and a rather stern mien, folds her arms as she watches the ME examine another dead body on the streets of the Gotham. This time not too far from GCPD building.

"Death by drowning, Doctor." the ME, a man in his early 40's, respond.

"Another one? That's five in the last two weeks alone. Eye witnesses insist that there was a woman who did it…" No, Winnifred is not putting too much creedence on the appearance of La Llorona. "… there has to be a good reason for this."

A go-getter detective, as admiral as their attention to work might be, can be something of an easy prey to track. Miss Moreau put out a few ears, called in a few favors, and set the smaller of her buzzing little friends to work. The news of multiple deaths in the area has made things even easier.

Sitting on a nearby rooftop, her Grimoire in hand, a tiny bee comes buzzing back to her. A quick telepathic relay, and Hannah knows she's found her target. Content up above, leaning against a water-tower, she flips her book to another page. Walking quietly to the edge, she holds out her hand. The bee dissappears. In a shimmer of magic that causes the area to drop a good three degrees, small, white bugs not unlike a strange cross between termites and maggots fall to the ground next to the drowned corpse. They then begin to burrow into the body that the ME and Winnifred have been working on.

Miss Moreau smiles. A moment later, that corpse begins to rise, arms reaching out for Winnifred as the Corpse Bugs burrow into brain and take over nerves.

"Kill." Is the command Hannah issues, dead, clammy hands try to simply strangle the detective.

Following easy prey works well for those wanting to enact villainy, but it also works well for those wishing to enact justice. Red Robin, having recently returned to Gotham, lingers in the shadows above the detective and ME. He squats along one of the fire escapes and squints behind the cowl covering his head, relying on the night vision built into the suit to see details of the world below. His black cape sweeps in the slight breeze softly behind him as he bends down further and stare at the dead body. "No lacerations," he reports softly to the presumed voices in his head. "Like the others." His lips twitch. "No obvious signs of struggle from here."

After talking to the Fox, Tim has been digging.

Which lead him to this detective, and ultimately this body. "Did you hear the ME?" he mutters in hushed tones into his earpiece. "Another drowning." He leans in closer, "Ew decomposit — " but his words are eaten by his momentary disbelief. The movements of the corpse warrants one response and one response only, even from the most polite of heroes, "Shit!" It might be a surprise to madam information, particularly coming from Tim Drake, but now there is only time to react. Not explain.

Quick thinking has Red Robin jumping from his perch to attack the body. For better or worse, he's about to fight a corpse. Or a live person parading as a corpse. Either way, this is registering high on the weird meter.

The ME is knocked backwards as the corpse rises, sprawling on the ground and gasping in horror. "Whu—-" as a ME he's not carrying any weapons and isn't quite sure what's going on.

Winnifred stumbles back a pace as the cold clammy hands close around her neck, her own hands latching onto them trying to prise them away. She's strong and fit and is putting up a good fight, but still, she's slowly being starved for air.

"Security footage shows La Llorona again… " the digitally disguised voice sounds in Red Robins ear "… I'm not surprised. Is tha—-" the redhead sighs as the body animates and Red Robin launches into action. For now, all she can do is watch.

Oracles worked with Bluebird and whilst Tims imprecation might cause a brow to lift because of who it came from, it certainly is the most mild she's heard.

The poor dead woman might not have been any sort of athlete, but the stiffness of death and a pure lack of self preservation /or/ natural human restraint makes the battle between Detective and Victim a pitched one.

But she isn't alone. Down falls the Robin, and down goes the corpse; knocked off of her feet by the aerial strike. But she still has those hands wrapped around the other woman's throat, and continues to squeeze. Already, the thing is trying to wrap legs around the detective to get a better grip.

There's a massive bruise where Robin hit the reanimate creature, but it's working without any care for itself. One will have to either cut off those limbs, or get those hands from around the woman's throat!

Meanwhile, book in one hand, Miss Moreau listens to the struggle and sound of another joining them. Slowly, she smiles, trying to pick out the sound of the detective's heartbeat. Her free hand takes a knife, large and straight, from her coat. Holding it lightly by the hilt, she waits, not yet making a throw.

"Well that's reassuring," Robin's tone drips with sarcasm as he bounds back. His hand instinctively goes to his utility belt. Tim lacks true weapons on his utility belt, but quick thinking has him repurposing a Batarang as he lunges back at the corpse. His fingers clasp a single bat-a-rang and he hacks as hard as he can at the hand. "Improvising! Advice needed!"

Unfortunately true cutting objects have been left behind. No matter. "Eye in the sky, I need something sharper!" He uses the sharpest edge of the throwing weapon to strike with all of his might.

Winnifred is starting to turn blue, eyes starting to bulge a little, as she is dragged to the ground and the legs start to wrap around her. Her heart which was beating rather fast is starting to slow as her body struggles for the necessary oxygen.

"Wasn't meant to be reassuring. It was a statement of fact." the digital voice quips to Red Robins sarcastic comment. "The ME's field kit. Surely there's something with an edge in there." And indeed there is, for whatever reason there's a bonesaw. Maybe this ME has seen one to many things in Gotham.

Miss Moreau can respect someone so determined. Whack whack whack! Robin's strength is put to good use, as the wet, drowned flesh of the woman is soon torn, long-cooled blood splattering, until the poor man is hammering through tissue and bone alike. That bone is the problem, though, but thankfully Oracle is there to give advice!

There's definitely a nice, sharp bonesaw peeking out of that bag.

Still, Moreau isn't just going to let things lay. She waits, listening to that slowly slackening heartbeat, and flings the knife from her perch. It's a good solid throw, aimed for the Detective's forehead.

That's not to say there's a chance it won't miss, or fail to kill her. Moreau wants the deal sealed. Her hand touches the braille of her spellbook, and once more the chill of Power fills the air. This time around the corpse itself.

It begins to bloat like a balloon from the inside as she uses her magic to manipulate the bugs, fingers on the corpse becoming meaty sausages. Too much longer, and the corpse will pop!

"On it!" The batarang is promptly abandoned, and Red Robin dive-bombs the bag. He nabs the saw, and quick-spins back towards the corpse. With a loud clang the saw comes against bone. With all of the strength Tim can muster, he comes against the corpse's hand. Horror fills Tim's expression beneath the mask. The disgusting bloat of the dead, signalling an eruption of decomposition which Robin would rather not be exposed bubbles and boils beneath the surface of skin. But it doesn't break the former Boy Wonder's resolve.

In one second he peeks out and his night vision picks up something sailing towards the detective. There's no time for anything but simple reaction, and in one, high risk, nearly blind move, he jumps to get between the detective and the object. Whether he's fast enough is anyone's guess.

The poor detective is still struggling, abandoning one hand to try and punch the corpse away from her. Of course, there's little strength to the blow and strikes the now bloated and bubbling flesh, quite likely causing it to rupture.

The blow lands and the same time the bonesaw connects and slices through the corrupted flesh and biting deep into the bone, catching. It's going to require a lot of Red Robins strength to keep moving.

Robin is just a millimeter too slow. The hilt of the knife brushes past his arm as he moves to intercept, changing trajectory to slide right into the poor detective's nose. There's a wet sound on the impact. It's in there deep. But is it fatal?

Moreau doesn't want to take chances. The punching, and that powerful bonesaw rips into that arm, and it's starting to sag. Hands loosen just an inch. One hand slips into Moreau's pocket as she observes from on high. A delicate finger runs across her book, and then, she closes it.

The bugs within make their final expansion, attempting to rip through the corpse and turn it into a human bomb, the force of the increased bloating tearing bones and cartilage into shrapnel.

Quick instruction is uttered towards the ME, "Get behind the car!" as Red Robin dives towards the now stabbed detective. If there's any way he's getting out of this, Tim is going to make it happen. His cape, an important component of his armour, is tugged around the pair of them and Tim waits for the impending flesh mess that will become the Red Robin cape. Hopefully he has a spare.

The ME has been watching in horror for the time it has taken this to play out. When Red Robin calls out to him, he scrambles, knocking his field kit over and sending its contents flying across pavement, making the safety of the car.

Winnifred gives out a strangled cry as the knife connects with her face, spasming violently. The fight is nearly gone from her but somehow, the woman seems to be still alive. For how much longer, who can say?

Seeing the knife flying, Oracle has been scanning the security camera's looking for where it had come. "One individual on the roof top. I recognise her. Pulled at heist at the museum not too long ago." and from Oracle could work out, the woman might be blind.

Both brows rise, as the woman seems vaguely alive, and that cape manages to take the force out of her corpse bomb. Miss Moreau smiles, and can't help but laugh. A shake of her head as Robin tries to make off with her prey.

"Not bad."

Then, she's leaping from one rooftop to another, listening and following. Putting on a burst of speed, lungs burning from use of magic and the effort of keeping up, she'll try to cut off the pair by leaping down from on high. She pulls out her sword, and very simply tries to fall on the pair and stab down through Robin and into the detective.

"Apologies for the interruption. But I am not done with that one just yet."

Tim has been tagging alongside Batman since he was in his early teens. Training extends into pure instinct. While not powered, Robin can virtually feel someone above him — a lesson learned through literal blood, sweat, and even tears. A single hand, clasps the bo staff condensed at Robin's hip, and with a quick spin, Robin aims to move the sword from its current target. While condensed, the weapon is strong. But the distinctive rip of fabric is evidence of the sword's deadliness as it slices the Boy Wonder's cape.

Once no longer shielding the detective, Robin gives the staff a solid shake, bringing it to its full length. He holds it out, ready to further defend as needed. "Yes, you are," answers in a steely very-not-Tim tone.

The signs of life the detective displayed might have just the final ones … the body not quite knowing that it was … game over. Whatever. After the meaty and boney shrapnel explodes, coating Red Robins cape - is there a drycleaner that can take of that? - Winnifred breathes her last, just before the sword punctures her sternum. Hannah really is keen to be done with this woman!

Oracles eyebrows rise at Tims tone. It's been several months since she's seen him fight and the steely tone, was one he'd been developing but hadn't quite then. Now though, the Boy Wonder is gone and Red Robin is here.

Gothams Information Goddess starts her systems searching. State of the art, facial recognition software mapping Moreaus face and checking Government databases as well as spidering out to check social network feeds …

There's a surprised look on Moreau's face as cape shreds, but there's no puncture of flesh. She can't help but whistle.

"Admittedly, I never was that good at stealth. But still, I should have at least hit your torso. Impressive! Not the first time someone has tried to stab you that way?" She asks almost conversationally, a smile coming easily despite the circumstances.

Her head tilts, and she takes a step back, leveling that blade with the bo staff.

"No can do. I have a job to finish. I would just lay the detective down. You can go. I will not hurt you if you do. Promise!"

Then she laughs. "Oh, who am I kidding? I have a good feeling about you. You would die for this silly detective that you do not even know, right?" Taunts the woman. She tenses her arms, every muscle ready to strike after her sword was hit away by the bo staff.

All of the tension goes out of her body, however. She hears that last of that heartbeat slow, the breathing stop.

"…Well look at that. Poor thing. Oh well, better than being strangled. A good try, but you were simply too late! A shame, I wanted to dance with you, too. You are a very interesting person."

It wouldn't be hard to match Moreau's face. Miss Moreau, a.k.a. Hannah Sharpe, career criminal, killer, thief, amongst dozens of other crimes, and leader of the White Rose Gang. Small time compared to some of Gotham's other villains, but she's certainly been busy as of late.

That blade slides neatly back into it's cane portion, and she leaps back several steps, not once turning her back on Robin.

Out comes her Grimoire in her free hand. "Rise, Aguila." Reality shimmers, and an eagle large enough to carry at least two people fades into existence. She'll try to hop on, and unless Robin stops her, the bird will flap into a take off!

"I hope we meet again! This was fun!" The cheeky woman even /waves/!

The cowl of Robin's outfit filters the skeptical look Robin casts towards Moreau. His eyes narrow and his jaw tightens, but choosing to be more like his mentor, he assumes a measure of silence. When she leaps backwards, Tim moves forward in an effort to almost chase her away. The eagle apparition, and the woman's exit, prompt Tim back towards the target he was defending, even though it seems he's likely too late.

Basic First Aid is certainly something Robin has been trained in from a young age. But, as everyone knows: dead is dead.

This fact doesn't matter. Within seconds, Tim is hovering overtop the officer, attempting to do chest compressions. "Come on, come on," he whispers quietly. But it's futile. And part of him already knows that.

Tim Drake would just really like a win. For once.

It is, unfortunately, futile. Winnifred Rathbourne is quite dead. Tims research had been spot on, just his timing was a little off - or Moreau too … dedicated.

The ME stands as the eagle takes off, staring in disbelief and shock before hurrying over and bending down to examine the detective, shaking his head at Red Robins "She's gone, son." Is all the man says.

"And so should you be." the digitally disguised voice sounds again in Tims ear. "I'm sorry, Red Robin. But you need to move. I've got who this woman is, so we can find her again."

One thing is clear though. Hannahs' achieved the first part of the tasks set for her.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License