D.T.F (pt 1)

May 14, 2016:

In the very heart of Gotham; two members of the Bat-Family and a thief find a missing ally.

UNKNOWN

Characters

NPCs: Sayth Slade, guards and Kid Skull

Mentions: Batman and Oracle

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

ONE MONTH AGO:

Tires squeal across the bricked road as it fishtails into oncoming traffic, knocking against a parked car which bounces it back right into its proper lane, the side of the black van smashed and a window half broken out. Two men are in the back, rustling with something in a large body bag, whomever it was put up a damn good fight and that's possibly why they were chosen.

'We gotta get there fast man, I can't handle this shit no more!'
'Shut the fuck up and put it down!'
'Man these fuckin metas!'

The van rips around the corner, yet the only thing consistent with this chase were the SRD drones that flew ahead and the one, the only.. BLUEBIRD! Dun dun dun!

"C'moon.. mooooove!" Harper urges her beatdown bike, one foot pressed to the ground as the back wheel swivels, the pick up was slow but once she goes she -flies-.

'We got a tail!'
'Lose the bitch!'

The back doors of the van flies open as shots begin to ring out, Harper's head immediately ducking from the blowbacks of the fire-fight, swiveling and angling her bike until it creates an unhealthy lean which soon slides.

The bike itself was flipped, tossed, turned and rolled into another car, fire immediately breaking out, a mini-explosion left in it's wake and Harper? Down for the count.

The men begin to laugh, even as they wrestle the doors closed, the thing in the body bag kicking and pushing away until there was nothing left to give.

NOW:

The underground was a buzz, Saturday fight nights were a thing around the tri-city area. The who's who were invited to witness the death match of those they've managed to snatch up off the streets with promises of fame and glory, food and a warm place to eat. Or debts that needed to be paid off in full. Many of those evils were in attendance, some of them with rotund figures and stout noses, others that have masks that.. as soon as they're removed?

You're done.

A person with cut-marks along his skin, freshly grazed across four lines still bleed as he remains a silent effigy of what's to come. And that laugh? A swing of the vine.. maybe a swear word or two would show who's in attendance.

But fingers snap on the tune to a beat as a cherry red ember lights up the shadows of where he stands, crisp and clean suit, black hair slicked back, ice grey eyes lingering through the crowd to give a slight nod towards the conductor who rings the bell to bring the mingling bunch to a quiet. The song plays in his head as he walks. What do you know?

A lot, really.

He made his money by putting assholes toe to toe and business was booming.

The music starts up as he takes the walk along the red carpet that angles up towards the edge of the pit, eyes all on him as he releases a brilliant smile that shows white teeth, slightly imperfected but it still makes him perfection. Finger points into the air to circle around quickly, rounding up the guards to join him in the walk as he reaches out with cigarette pressed in between two fingers to lean forward to address the crowd.

"Ooooh you sons of bitches.." He calls out, proud of the turn out and the money he stands to make.

"You've followed me city to city, from when I got my start in the backroom of Shane's barroom, strip club to strip club to underground sewages and pitches." A few people laugh, and he does as well, merrily of course. "Abandoned buildings and now this.." He gestures around. "And you've followed them, those wriggling snatches, these foul bitches that we put up against another but one of them rings as champion in the dirtiest, nastiest fucking brawl that I could ever give you." The crowd rises and roars, clapping and slapping sticks against the metals presented in front of them.

"That's right folks. Catwoman.. in the championship match that'll make your fuckin' toes curl and and skirts hike. Against the one.. the only.. KID SKULL!"

Kid Skull was nothing to fuck with. He's cracked more skulls than normal and was treated like a god in and out of the arena. His signature move was the one-two punch that actually cracked skulls because of his mutation. Everyone knows it, and everyone knows that this fight was doomed from the start.


There was a reason Selina went missing. Actually several. Her cousin deserved the family and could do the Calbrese name justice. Selina did what she did best, and swindled every other family at the table that would so much as breathe against her long lost kin and disappeared with a hefty account. But she could not hide forever…

One month Ago:

The night she woke to the stink of cigar in her hotel room, the red ember burning just above her bed… "You fucked with the wrong man." A voice from a man behind a Black skull Mask states just before…

Now:

The mans voice hurt her ears, the yelling of the crowd made her head throb, and behind the curtain that cloaks her cage she slides into a far more rique and less protected version of her suit, pulling it up to conceal her back, riddled in scars of a cigar staunched on skin. Zipping the front, it stopped midway up her bust where the teeth did still showing the riddle of sickly purple and blue with a backdrop of aged yellow bruises. No one would know just how Selina felt about all of this, because before she could snap on her last glove and flex her fingers into a curl that reacted claws, the curtain was pulling up and with that, her spine straightened.

Caged? Yes. It was the only thing that had managed to keep her longer then a night - the chains wrapping and holding the locked door to double up the security grinding a metallic weight in their withdrawal.


Grayson was here at Harper's request, incognito. He'd played the part tonight of your average sick voyeuristic scumbag, a thin mustache and his hair slicked back. The suit on him is cheap as the box it came in, the shape of the hangar still in the shoulders. He reeks of overspiced cologne and talcum powder, like a freshly changed baby who came straight from a whorehouse.

He's laid a few bets, waiting to see exactly what pans out. When he hears the Catwoman announced, though, he moves through the crowd a bit, getting as close to the fight as he can.

"You seeing what I'm seeing?" he mutters sotto voce into his com, knowing Harper has a matching bit in her ear, wherever she is.


Fantomex didn't follow closely the Calabrese bid for power in Gotham because those are not the kind of thieves he fancies. Thievery should be an adventure, not a business and organized crime is about as fun as the bubonic plague.

That is why he broke up his partnership with Selina just when it could have become something more than a partnership. Getting attacked by Weapon Plus gave him a good way out. But that was the excuse, not the real reason why he left.

Still, he keeps some lines of communication open, and he knows Catwoman went missing about a month ago. Not unusual in the business of thievery and crime-lording. He only investigated last week, and the rumors and clues finally brought him here tonight. Cloaked by illusion, he looks like a thin, old businessman with vaguely oriental features, a trophy wife thirty years younger, very blonde and two inches taller than himself at his side. Said woman manages to look rather uncomfortable even though the illusion. "I will never get used to a crowd this size, Jean-Philippe," she mutters, still a touch of mechanical in E.V.A.'s voice. Fantomex just snickers.


Kid Skull is ushered out into the middle of the floor, and what people see is not really a kid at all. He's nearly the size of Bane on a good day, but much more slender. The mask was a throwback on the good days of Bane, without the injections and super strength, but he was still Kid Skull, hands that were large enough obviously broken in against the many few that crossed his path. He didn't even realize the way he was until they put him to the test.

'Kid! Kid! Kid! Kid!'
The crowd begins to chant..

"Not right now." Harper quietly replies to Grayson. She was attempting to be quiet, decked out in bat-gear, on the upper levels of the warehouse that was teeming with people. She was stealthy, her skills growing once she entered into training with Nightwing and Batman, but now, she needed to be quiet. So very quiet. "Almost to command post."

ARENA:

There were a few boos that echoed through the crowd. Catwoman has become a quick and fast fan favorite. And some were even attempting to throw tomatoes and whatever else they could get their hands on until the man flicks his cigarette into the open arena with both of his hands raised.

"Now now now, people!" He calls out, smiling, proud. "I know, I know. You all love her! She's your favorite! And really.." He laughs, placing a hand over his heart. "She's my favorite too! But what did you people think this was? A little pussy match? No no no.." He gestures out. "Bang for your buck, it's a game of chance!"

The crowd roars yet again, and the man nods, bringing his hands together in a series of claps as a womans voice echoes over the speakers. 'Please place your bets with the nearest custodian. Betting will end once the first drop of blood is spilled. Please show a round of applause to your host as he exits the stage.'

The crowd claps as the man joins his hands together, bringing them over one ear, and then the other, the guards forming around him as he takes a quick jog towards the exit. Militant.

UPSTAIRS:

"Going radio silent. I can hear you but you can't hear me, Wing-dings. Keep me updated."


Being in a cage beat Catwoman down enough, but at least when they had let her out they let her be Catwoman - despite the circumstances and the collar locked around her throat, bearing a loop in heavy leather. Put on show like a large, captive, predator. And like any predator in a cage, those once sharp eyes now seemed to bear a haze, an emptiness no sedative could place. An edge.

But Catwoman is no superhuman, and this fight was pitted on purpose, just like Black Masks money. Against her. "You'll make this up to me in blood."

Stilletto heeled feet step out of the cage, allowing her to straighten even more fully, goggles perched atop crown giving the false silhouette of the feline affinity she holds near and dear. Stopping then the chain attached to the collar reaches it's end, hands reach up and pull the goggles down. A whip is tossed from a stand to the left, shrouded in darkness safe for the faint red glow of cherry. Worn and badly chewed leather slithers over the floor at her feet to stop just between the two combatants and lay there in its taunt - just as the chain from the collar is loosed and clatters against the cage bars behind her, accenting the caucophany of jeers and cheers intermingled from the crowd.

There is a moment of pause, but more like slow motion as a tomato hits the floor and splatters insides and seeds coated in pinkish red…

Catwoman is moving, a blurring fast motion from zero to one hundred as she digs those very unrealistic heels into the ground and lunges for the whip.


Dick Grayson actually takes radio silence seriously and doesn't respond to Harper, letting her get into position. He makes it to the front, watching closely and keeping himself from being jostled too much. If things get out of hand, he'll have to intervene, which would, of course, suck. Because he's fairly sure if he breaks cover and jumps in to help, the whole place will go straight to hell. He has confidence in Catwoman's capabilities, however, enough so that he isn't too nervous.

Kid Skull can't possibly match Selina's speed, but he doesn't even try. Massive and violent in the extreme, he's virtually immune to pain and more than ready to take a few stripes along the way from the feline felon. The mask makes his breathing husky and loud, his eyes bulging through the slits as he waits like a massive spider at the center of a web, dim-witted but implacable.


Fantomex is better two hundred for Catwoman, because he wants an excuse to see who is in charge. If he can see where the money is kept, that is good too, although not the priority tonight.

His 'blonde' partner is far less blase about it. She needs to stick close because misdirecting so many people is too difficult at distance, but her eyes dart in every direction, looking for ways out and means to get Catwoman out. That is why is E.V.A., who scans in the infrared too, the one that spots Harper.

What E.V.A. sees, Fantomex knows too. That means, for him, there is another ongoing rescue attempt. Funny that. Maybe he will have time to grab the cash, after all.


If Harper has a WWBD necklace, she'd be kissing it right now. Her hiding spots were practically genius. Crawling on the floor to hide beneath a table, waiting until footsteps pass her mark as she looks at the schematics on her dimmed phone. Without Oracle, this was not a cake walk, but they've managed just fi—

*CRACK!*

That was one hard punch that went right to Harper's chin, flattening her out upon the ground, effectively ringing her bell but.. well, she's been punched by Batman. If you can survive that? You can survive anything. Especially getting tossed into a rack of wooden weapons by Nightwing. Yeah. She was put through the motions.

'Well, well. What do we have here?'
'Aw man, she looks.. wait.. is this a fuckin' kid?'
'I'unno man, she dressed like she's one of them bat folk.'
'No shit? Call the boss. He's always wanted a bat-folk around..'
'LINDA! CALL THE BOSS! WE GOT A BATFOLK!'

Down in the ring, right when the man was about to head to the door, one of the goons stop to hand him a phone.

"Slade." He frowns just a little, then takes a step forward, snapping his fingers towards the guard to his left and right, gesturing in front of him to get the door and lead the way, while the other retrieves his pistol. This was soon handed over as the man crunches the phone in between his ear and his shoulder, a sardonic grin appearing upon his face. "Reaaallly now? String the bitch up and put her in the room. I gotta see this shit for myself."

Around the arena, monies were flagged and women in too skimpy outfits reach out to snag the cash, while the men next to them write down names and the counts. It was a bustling business, all in all, close to a million were traded in these fights and they had more than enough money to spare.

'Betting ends in one minute.' The woman over the speakers call out.

Meanwhile, Harper.. still radio silent, was being hoisted up upon a larger mans shoulder.. her one eye slowly opening to spy the direction in which they lead.

Not the best plan.. but so far so good.


Catwoman's hand coils around the end of the worn whip, one she had met the ends of like a circus tiger that did not keep back far enough from the legs of an uplifted chair. But now she held it and it was a creature comfort despite the recent past.

Rolling to the side her crouch is one that regains her balance, the moment taken to guage her opponent. There was not much to tell, though. This is doomed and all she can do is bring in the inevitable and put up a good fight trying. Anything is better then going back in a cage, that thought alone sending her towards Kid Skull with another burst of speed, a quick zig-zagged run with that whip cracking at his right just before she pushes forward into a hand spring, one that attempts to lock thighs around his neck and use momentum to bring him down upon his back, never mind the fact that a heel of one of those boots has already broken off…

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