Hawkman is judging you

June 01, 2016:

Falcon thinks Mr. Met's angrier cousin should upgrade his tactics. Red Hood thinks Hawkman should mind his own business. Snark ensues.

An alleyway just off the Avenue of Tomorrow


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Superman (as Flying Space Jesus)

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Sam Wilson may have prevented an assassination the other day, but all he got on the augmented perpetrator was the make of his motorbike. He knows a few computer wizards, but if he's going to get anything useful from a lead that thin, he'd better start with the best he knows: his frequent JLA handler, the Oracle.

Of course, Sam's no fool: he's almost certain that Oracle is some kind of malignant AI cooked up by Batman in defiance of all legal and moral sense. So he's going to come to JLA headquarters and ask a favor from him? her? it? in the politest way possible. No sense ending up on the wrong side of the robot uprising. So he's coasting fairly low over the Avenue of Tomorrow on his way in, enjoying some pleasant thermals and trying not to think about his damaged foot.

Red Hood doesn't do the Thug thing. He did once upon a time…it's actually how he got noticed by Batman, and vice versa. But now…now he's either much more subtle or much more overt. Nothing in-between for him!

With Gotham being…Gotham, and with New York fairly firmly in hand, he's included Metropolis in his sights for his 'franchise' expansion. It meant, of course, doing research. Research means stakeouts and shaking certain low-lifes down for information. It's not time for killing them. Yet. Nope, now is the time to get his name out and about where it needs to be.

Shiny Metropolis doesn't seem to have as many seedy characters or dark alleys as its sister cities so close by, but it isn't hard to find the less-gentrified parts of town. There are gangs and mafia everywhere. They just may wear suits instead of old wifebeaters. That's just a costume change.

Initial research has been done and a target has been chosen.

There's always something dark hiding in the shadows, even of the most glamorous hotels. It's a good place to shake a snitch down for more information about some higher-ups in this Game he's decided to play.

Shadowy areas near hotels are also a great place to find pigeons. Scraps of unwanted food service, not too much foot traffic, and those fancy facades make for lots of little nesting nooks. Unfortunately, as of a couple of minutes ago, the avian property values in this alleyway have plummeted due to the sudden influx of oversized, scuffling mammals, and the overfed inhabitants are now flocking to anywhere without such an undesirable element.

Ever sensitive to the comings and goings of the winged class (and, let's face it, preoccupied by hidden assassins at the moment), Falcon immediately notices the migration, even from several stories above. It's too much of a coincidence to be believed, but he still has to check it out. Superhero obligé.

Mere moments later, he's touched down on the hotel roof and is leaning over the edge, staring down into the alley for a sense of the situation before he dives right in.

The birds are ignored. They usually are. Occasionally they can be useful, but right now Red Hood is unconcerned about their disturbed fight. He is currently holding said snitch by the ankles, about four stories up on a fire escape on the other side of that alleyway. The snitch isn't looking terribly happy as Red Hood's grip seems to loosen ever so slightly with each refusal to answetr his questions. The longer he refuses, the better chance he has of becoming a sidewalk pancake.

It's all part of the game. Just some are more willing to reveal the consequences of taking a certain play.

Doesn't look like the same guy. But then, Red Hood doesn't look like a member in good standing of the neighborhood watch, either. Falcon uses his headset HUD to run a quick search on the mask, checking his various team databases for an identity. In the meantime, he crouches on the edge of the hotel, taking aim at the pair with one of his suit gauntlets, wings outstretched behind him to add stability (or maybe just cast a dramatic profile).

"Hey, guy, not to interrupt your chiropractic session, but you may want to move that indoors," he calls out loudly. "Accidents happen! Imagine how embarrassed you'd be if you dropped your yoga buddy there." He flashes a broad grin, still sighting down his forearm. "Maybe start by pulling him back and setting him down real gently on the fire escape with you," he suggests. "Then we can discuss safer exercise practices."

The Snitch pauses in his squirming and looks over at the silhouette of the winged man, "Are you sh!tting me? Now we've got f&^$ing Hawkman involved?" He resumes his squirming and trying to reach for the fire escape.

Red Hood on the other hand, gives a heavy sigh. "Really? Are we -really- going to do this? Sometimes I really -hate- these cities." The snitch's wishes are granted as he's pulled back to the fire escape. However, right when he's about to take a swing at Red Hood, he gets pistol-whipped and falls, unconscious, to the nearby landing.

"Seriously, this is nothing to concern you. Go help a little old lady across the street or something. That's your job, right?"

"Hawkman? Are you—? Ugh." For a second, superheroic boy scout or not, Falcon looks tempted to fly away and leave the snitch to the Hood's tender mercies. "That hurts, man. It really hurts," he chides instead. Before the man can reply, he's unconscious, and Sam adds, "Well, maybe not as much as that hurt. But still."

He refocuses on the Red Hood, frowning when the database search turns up nothing on this costumed identity. A new player, which means he has no idea what to expect. "You should have more respect for little old ladies. I'd help one if she needed it, but any old lady I know would just smack me with her purse for trying to get fresh," he answers Jason.

He hasn't lowered his gauntlet, but whatever weapon he's prepped to use, he hasn't seen a need for it yet. "Besides, you're one to talk. Dressing up in a Mexican wrestler mask and beating guys up on fire escapes for fun? Get a better hobby."

"The little old ladies I knew would mug you for cash," Red Hood quips right back. The raised gauntlet is noted and he gestures with his gun, "I suggest you put whatever that is away. I'm not going to shoot you unless you give me reason. I don't need information from -you-." Just the schlub who's knocked out on the landing there.

"Do you really want to talk costumes? At least I'm not dressed like some Manga Cosplay."

"So, you only shoot people you need information from?" Falcon asks with a half-smile. "Seems like a weird way to do research. Also: not exactly convincing me it's a bad idea to bolo your ass and let the cops deal with you." The gauntlet doesn't fully come down, but as the Hood seems willing to talk, Falcon does lower it slightly. "Maybe holster that instead of waving it around so much," he suggests, pointing with his chin at the pistol. "Be a shame if you accidentally researched your own foot."

The cosplay line, Falcon lets slide. He's heard worse about the costume, and screw it: he knows he looks cool. He doesn't need Alley Boy's approval. Instead: "So, are you actually trying to accomplish something here? Because you kind of look like a generic crazy dude with a gun. I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, though. That guy seemed like a jerk."

"Generally. Or people who try to shoot me first. Or people who are really, really awful." Red Hood shrugs but doesn't holder his pistol until Falcon completely lowers his gauntlet. "Yeah, you could try that bolo thing. I've been tied up worse and gotten out of it." Maybe. Bat-Training can be a good thing at times. "I won't shoot myself. I'm pretty good with this thing," he indicates the gun in his hand.

Since the winged guy isn't actively trying to apprehend him, he'll continue with the banter. After all, Sleeping Beauty is out cold. "Yeah, I'm actually trying to get something done…was pretty close, too. This guy's an ass, but he was about to spill what I needed in order to move past the schmucks at his level onto the bigger boys. Thanks so much for your help. Now I have to wait for him to wake up."

"Oh man, what's this mysterious feeling?" Sam ponders, squinting into the distance. "Does it have a name? I think I'm going to call it: 'sorry, not sorry.'"

He grins, does another quick nod, this time indicating the guy Hood was pushing for information, and elaborates bluntly, "Your approach is crap. You're some guy he's never heard of, trying to make yourself scarier than the boss he's spent years being terrified of. You've only got a short time to do that, without doing anything that'll hurt him so bad that he can't answer questions, so he knows the gun is a bluff. Meanwhile, you're making a big damn racket, and in the time it takes you to make your point, literally anyone could come along." With his off hand, Falcon makes a grand gesture indicating himself.

"You want to find the guys he works for?" he asks, raising his eyebrows. "Follow him. Quietly." He mimes this with finger legs. "A little patience, a little restraint, way better results."

Is he actually being told how to stalk the bad guys by a so-called 'hero'? Oh, this is awesome! It's a shame no one would believe him if he actually repeated it. "While I appreciate your advice, might I point out that you don't know what the hell you're talking about?" His mask doesn't grin, but he's smiling underneath! Honest! "This guy? He's nothing on the totem pole. He won't get to the guy I'm after. But that's not the point. You see, he's going to spread rumors for me. He's going to let them know I'm here and I'm hungry."

There's a brief glance to the snitch befor ehe looks back, "I'm not an assassin. I'm not going to sneak up on someone and kill them without them knowing that I'm there."

"Well, this guy who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about managed to get the drop on your sorry ass," Falcon points out amiably. "Something to think about." He doesn't bother mentioning that his squeaky-clean public image (or Hawkman's, possibly — his rep in Metropolis isn't what it is in New York) doesn't include all of the clandestine work he did in the Red Zone. Frankly, he'd like to keep it that way.

Instead, he waggles one hand. "And if you're just punching guys to be scary, maybe you're starting a little too low on the ladder. If your big boss has never even heard of this guy, why should they care that he got roughed up by Mr. Met's angry cousin?" He shrugs. "I mean, I guess I'm practical. Some guys make the 'woo scary' thing work for them — I just like to do efficient work."

Finally, Hood's assurance that he's not going to run off and assassinate anybody gets a skeptical look from the Avenger. "No offense, but if I really thought you were enough of a player to stroll up and shoot anybody you didn't like, we wouldn't be having this friendly conversation. I just wouldn't want your early efforts to start some paranoid gang war and drop the city into chaos." He lifts one finger and waggles it chidingly. "And if I do hear that you've gone and done that, man, I am going to be so pissed."

"Frankly, if I cared about flying vigilantes, do you think I would have done this out and about in Metropolis, of all places?" Red Hood fires back. He inclines his head as if to say something else before he just waves the thought away. "You know what? I'm going to go ahead and let you think I'm clueless. You go on and continue to lecture me, Hawkman. I'm -all- ears." Even the voice modulator can't hide the sarcasm in his voice.

"No lie: it does seem like kind of a weird place to try to intimidate criminals with a Beretta and a bad attitude," Falcon agrees, his tone thoughtful. He might be picking up on the sarcasm and the insults, but he certainly doesn't seem to be reacting to it. "But that's on you, not on me. I'm just saying that if you really want to take down gangs, you should work on your technique. This hardboiled tough-guy stuff isn't going to work on guys who live next door to flying space Jesus." He gives a grand shrug. "You can listen or not. But that's on you, too."

Red Hood's smile might even be heard through his mask and the voice modulator, "Who said I'm trying to take down the gangs?" He certainly let the other have that assumption, but it's most definitely not his M.O. "That's cute that you think that. And Flying Space Jesus? He has bigger things to deal with than white collar crimes and a couple of guys with switchblades."

"Oh, so that's the plan? You're gonna rule this town? Be the Scarface of the City of Tomorrow?" Falcon asks, laughing and shaking his head. "I mean, we can fight right now, if you want a little preview of how that's gonna work out. I'm not even remotely close to JLA top tier. Could be interesting." He doesn't move from his perch, in spite of the implied challenge. "And maybe you've got a point about not every bad guy being worth our time to fight. But, fair warning: no victim isn't worth our time to save."

With a pneumatic pop and the snick of metal on metal, Falcon simultaneously fires a grapple from his gauntlet, cables wrapping around Hood's unconscious victim, and configures his wings into a protective shield. A second later, his flight suit's main thruster cuts in as he initiates takeoff.

Red Hood taps the chin of his mask with his gun, "The Scarface of the City of Tomorrow. It has a nice ring to it…" is offered but once the grapple hooks are released from the gauntlet, his gun is back pointing at Falcon. However, the grapple doesn't go to him, but rather to Snitchy McSnitchface. He doesn't stop the other from taking off with his 'victim'…in fact, he calls off, "Thanks for the help, Hawkman!" before leaping off the fire escape to the shadows of the alley. "Damn, these Metropolis guys are gullible…"

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