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July 31, 2016:

Darcy meets both sides of the BatCoin


NPCs: Bulgarian criminals



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Some days, Darcy is fullfilling requests for office supplies. Other days, she's learning how to handle small fire arms and herself in a fist fight. Still others, she's reliving her glory days on skates and kicking troll-butt in Steel City. Today? Today Darcy is playing delivery girl. SHIELD needs to procure something above her pay grade from Wayne Enterprises for some reason above her pay grade. Darcy doesn't ask. She'd peek, but her clearance won't let her.

Oh well.

The one thing Darcy was grateful for was the 'company car' she was allowed to borrow for the trip. Her P-o-S won't have survived it. After parking, Darcy Lewis, dressed in all black with a white satin tank under the blazer and just shy on too-high high heels on her feets, shows her ID at the front desk: SHIELD Agent Lewis, Darcy.

"Hello Agent Lewis," the receptionist says, smiling at the woman. Neatly trimmed and wearing a suit that probably cost as much as Darcy's company car, he probably gets paid more in a month than Darcy makes in six. The entire reception area of the upper levels of Wayne Tower, where the executive offices are, look less like a place of business and more like a very posh home office. Lots of mahogany and dark leather abounds.

"Mr. Wayne? Agent Lewis of SHIELD is here," the receptionist says into the phone. "She has some paperwork that's marked 'eyes only' for you. Is this a good time?"

The door behind the receptionist's desk opens, and Bruce Wayne steps out, trim and smartly accoutered in a three-piece double-breasted suit. He's a tall, strapping fellow, and he flashes a smile at Darcy. "Oh, Agent Lewis. Glad you're here. This is fine, thanks, Terry. C'mon in," he invites her, speaking in a merry baritone. He invites her into an office that's easily large enough to play catch in, with lots of comfortable furniture and many neat personal touches and antiques scattered around. Instead of the giant desk, he gestures towards a set of four chairs around a small coffee table. "Have a seat. Thirsty? Coffee, water, some juice?" he offers.

As Darcy waits, her eyes scan about hte office. The mental note is made to stay on her best behavior. At least, as long as she can. Her Sass sometimes gets the best of her. When Mr. Wayne enters, Darcy looks up and smiles.

"THank you, Mr. Wayne. Coffee would be amazing," she says. Her voice is not high but not low, a littel raspy in the way of someone who went to lots of rock concerts and sporting events and screamed more than is right for someone to scream; and likely she screamed fairly recently. Her knees are bruised. Easily seen because Darcy doesn't use nylons. She tucks the lower hem of her pencil skirt under herself and she seats a directed, and Darcy crosses her ankles as she rests her black messenger bag.. er… SHIELD's messenger bag… on her lap to retrieve teh papers from when Mr. Wayne requests them.

"Terry? Coffee for two," Bruce calls into the other room, and moves to sit at the chair angled adjacent to Darcy. It's a subtle touch— it puts the two of them to a point where they can face each other, but without the overt staredown of the two chairs being parallel to one another.

"Thanks, Agent Lewis," Bruce says. He accepts the folder and reaches for a cell phone, taking a quick photo of the unbroken Official Business tape, and then slits it neatly with a silver letter opener. He pulls a few of them out, glancing at the headlines, then purses his lips and nods.

"I'll need a few minutes to review these, and then I'll send you back with my response," he tells Darcy. At that moment, Terry walks in with not just coffee, but a full coffee service— frothy steamed milk in one little porcelain boat, cream in another, sugar, and two fair sized cups with a steaming pot of coffee in the middle.

"How do you take your tea, miss?" Terry asks Darcy politely, pouring a drink for Bruce Wayne without needing to ask.

Wayne's positioning isn't lost on the polisci major. It has her smiling as she hands over the documents.

"You're welcome. Take all the time you need, Mr. Wayne. I won't be missed for at least 36 hours," Darcy quips. She reaches up to press the hipster glasses higher on her nose as Terry walks in and when he asks her she takes it, she smiles hugely.

"Very pale, very sweet; thank you Terry," is the reply with a touch of innuendo. Darcy just can't help herself. Her brows lift, causing her glasses to slip back to where they were. They are comfortable there.

Terry must have been trained by the Brits, because he just smiles at Darcy's saucy innuendo and pours her coffee to specification. Lots of cream, plenty of sugar, six quick stirs and he sets the spoon on the plate under the teacup.

He leaves as quietly as he'd entered, shutting the door behind him, and leaving Bruce reading the documentation. He seems to be quite thoroughly examining the contents, which if it's anything like the normally dry information Darcy usually transports, is a feat in and of itself.

"How long have you been with SHIELD, Agent Lewis?" Bruce inquires politely, glancing up from his paperwork. "I don't think I recognize you. I thought they had Agent Kasperov doing the milk runs to drop off paperwork downtown," he says with a flashing smile.

"About a year? Maybe? I generally don't keep track," Darcy replies, taking a sip and not quite catching the moan of enjoyment that comes with her sinking into the chair slightly.

"This coffee is fu-… umm. really damn good." Okay, she tried. "I recently got a promotion, so I guess that what I was doing was less cool than running paperwork? Though, if you ask me, making sure everyone has staples adn white out is very important to the well oiled machine that is SHIELD."

Bruce chuckles. "Some of the best advice I ever got was from a friend," he tells Darcy. "'Hire or fire anyone you like, but don't upset the secretary, the cook, or the garbageman,'" he quotes, the memory making him smile a little.

"I took that to heart. Terry's been with me about a year. Good PAs are really hard to keep," he confides in Darcy, paging through the sheaf of data. "They're very much in demand. Not a lot of people are willing to work seventy hour weeks and be on call at all hours of the day or night— or jet off overseas at a moment's notice," he says, wryly.

Darcy nods to this. "Same could be said of interning. Great training for what I'm doing now. Cause holy fu-..hell are my hours crazy cakes right now. Does your jetting off come with jetting off so people might shot at you?" More coffee gets sipped at.

"Mercifully no," Bruce says with an easy laugh. "The Board of Directors would have a fit if I flew into an active combat zone. I got an earful from them last time I flew into the Middle East— I was a hundred kilometers from the nearest active warzone and they still were more than a little irked."

"It's more trips to factories and distribution centers. We're a global conglomerate so I have to do ribbon cuttings all over the world, and with distribution centers in Europe and Asia, I'll be in Madrid one weekend and then on my way to Thailand six hours later." He rises and moves to his desk, picking up a clipboard from a drawer and attaching the documents to it. He reaches for an ink pen and starts writing on the paperwork, stooping a little.

"How do you like your internship?" Bruce inquires of Darcy. "It seems like a good way to get ahead in SHIELD, if that's a career choice you want to pursue."

"Pssht. you live the easy life," Darcy quips to Bruce's lack of active combat zones. But by the grin and teh wink, she's teasing lightly. Another sip of coffee.

"It's over now. I didn't intern at SHIELD. I interned with Dr. Foster ou tin New Mexico chasing Einstein-Rosenburg Bridges in space to get us across the galaxy. There was a lot of hurry up and wait, reading through mass amounts of data, and dealing with very disorganized scientific geniuses who'd forget to brush their hair and take a shower because they were talking about high end quasars and pulsars and supernova radiation. SHIELD picked me up after a fiaso in Puerte Antingua. I agreed because they took my iPOD and it seemed like a good way to get it back. And.. because they were offering to you know pay me? Student loans suck ass in the not fun way."

"Ah, I see," Bruce says, apologizing. He chuckles at Darcy's words, listening to her story with surprising attentiveness. "I've known a few scientists in my day. It's a habit they slip in to," he agrees.

"I think I know Dr. Foster, though. Or I've heard of her," Bruce says, making a note on a scrap of paper at his elbow. "The research she's proposing is pretty radical, if I remember right. Did she ever isolate that asynchronous waveform she'd identified? I was going to talk to her at a conference a few months ago, but timing just didn't work out."

"You know, we've got a few scholarships we offer through my philanthropical endowment, Wayne Charities," Bruce suggests to the woman in the chair. "I think one of them applies to people who go into civic service, and SHIELD certainly counts."

"Really? Jane's awesome," Darcy says of her 'boss' of several years. "You know. I'm not exactly sure. Her research took her one way. Needing to finance the rest of my degree took me the other. I miss her. I'll have to try to track her down, stalk her, see if I can get some time off and enough money to go say hi or something." She's in teh middle of a sip of coffe when Bruce offers the scholarships.

"Well, that's only help if I can apply even though I've finished my degree and just have heaps of loans to pay back. Most scholarships are paid out to universities, not alumn," she notes, sounding rationale about it and not at all bitter that she'll have debt for a good while. She takes another sip of her coffee. "Im making my payments, just means things are tighter than… umm.. things are tight."

"That's kind of the point of the scholarship," Bruce tells Darcy with a patient smile. "It's not just for people who 'intend' to go into service— it's for service people or veterans needing some help getting back on their feet, that sort of thing. Re-training. Anyway, it might be worth looking into."

He finishes signing the documents and blows on the ink to dry it, then slips it into a manila folder. He applies a layer of tape and then stamps it twice with a large red blotter— 'Desk of Bruce Wayne' encircling a crest of Wayne Enterprises. It'd make tampering with the folder quite difficult to do discreetly.

"Thanks for bringing these by, Agent Lewis," Bruce says, passing her the folder and smiling. His tone's quite respectful, as if she were an agency Director and not a gopher for a day. "Is there anything else SHIELD needs? Always happy to help serve my country."

Darcy's head tilts to one side at his words. She gets her phone and writes a note for herself; "Wayne Charity Scholarships - Civic Service. I'll look into it Mr. Wayne. Thank you." Taking the folder, Darcy slips it into her messenger bag without so much as a glance. Not her deal.

"Any time, Mr. Wayne. The coffee was excellent, the decor amazing, and the drive was wonderful uneventful. And I caught a Staryu in your lobby. Bonus. If there was anything more, they certainly didn't tell me about it. But, if you like, I can ask around? Starting with my SO, and see where that goes." Chain of command. Darcy's learned it.

"Well, don't go volunteering me for anything serious," Bruce says, making a jest of it. He offers Darcy a handshake, then walks her to the door and opens it for her. "It was good to meet you, Agent. Be safe out there," he says, bidding the Agent of SHIELD a proper farewell.

The meeting with Mr. Wayne went well. So well, that it left Darcy with a few hours more than she had expected. Which is fine by her. She needs lunch. And a date. Lunch date. Not date-date. So, she sent a quick text to the only person in Gotham she knows: Tim Drake.

But he didn't answer. WEll… He was probably in class. College boys. Oh well. She'll eat alone. With ehr Pokemon. Parking, Darcy shoulders the messenger bag across ehr chest, locks up the car, and heads for an eatery. One of those sidewalk food cart places. Of crouse, helps that there's a stop near by. It has her slowing, eyes on her phone.

Darcy isn't alone. In fact, she's been followed since the minute she left Wayne Enterprises corporate offices. A black Totoya 4-runner— cheap, relatively powerful, discreet— rumbles along after her. She might have noticed it at Parkway Blvd, where it stops in her passenger view window. Or, at the intersection of James and 3rd, where it stopped just two cars back from her in a sudden crush of traffic.

Don't text and drive, folks.

So when she gets out of her car and starts hunting a stealthy Onix, she doesn't quite catch the three enormously burly fellows who exit the 4-runner and start walking after her. Dark suits, no necks, scowling features. Professional rent-a-thugs. They stay about twenty yards back until Darcy ducks into the narrow walk between the car garage and the eatery, and they split up. One takes a jogging shortcut to get to the eatery ahead of her by a side route, while the others start walking more quickly to try and catch her. Their shoes echo heavily with each sluggish stride.

ooh! Onix! Darcy almost tip-toes as she tracks it down, turning into that alley and stopping a yard in to toss red and white virtual balls at the creature. Slightly absorbed, Darcy doesn't notice the foot falls until yellow stars blink onto her screen, and she fist pumps, "Gotcha!"

She straightens up, smile fading as she looks over her shoulder.

"Shit," she whispers, turning her phone off and tucking it into the side pocket of her bag. The tazer's in there. Once she completes her fire arms training, it's possible she'll get licensed. Until then, her tazer is her best friend. She turns to face the thugs with a hopefully winning smile.

"Ohmygosh, guys. Just caught an Onix. You can probably get him too since he's probably still here." Maybe it'll work? Darcy takes a half step back anyway, just in case.

"Bag." The lead fellow, a Slavic-looking man, doesn't seem to be speaking to Darcy. He's talking to his confederate. The two of them don't slow down when Darcy greets them, their faces set as stone.

The third one makes it around the other side of the walkway and starts moving towards Darcy too, his footsteps fast and heavy. They're not just fat guys— these dudes are /professional/ knuckledraggers. Lots of muscle under those ill-fitted suits. Hard to pin down their ethnicity, though. Baltic? Maybe southern Russia? One looks as if he might be of Indo-Siberian descent.

Darcy should have just done drive through.

"I'm not sure it's right for you. Doesn't go with your eyes at all," she quips, pulling the tazer free. A quickl glance behind her, and Darcy sighs to herself. Three, and surrounded. She brings the tazer up and squeezes the trigger without hestiating this time. Not like last time, when she tried to talk down a ghost.

The tazer hits the fellow in the chest and does… nothing. He just plods on, the tazer making ineffectual crackling sounds. It seems that at least some of the bulk under that vest is a bulletproof jacket or the like, something thick enough that the tazer prongs can't hit skin.

"Vzemi chantata si. Burzo i tikho," one of them says. Definitely Eastern European or the like. The big one coming up from behind holds his hands out to stop Darcy from dodging around him, while the smallest of the three (meaning only 250 pounds or so) grabs at Darcy's bag.

When teh tazer does nothing, Darcy's eyes widen. She tosses the spent cartiage away and wraps her arms about the bag. MINE! She retreats from Tiny, backing right into Titanic Reenactor. Must curl into ball. Must try to spin under guy's arm. Must not trip on stupid shoes. Darcy vows to get a meeting with R&D to make her Go-Go as soon as she suvives.

There's a whirring, whipping sound that's almost silent against the background of the city noises, and the largest of the three— presumably the leader— abruptly collapses like a sack of flour, eyes rolling up into his head. Something hard, metallic and dense skitters across the ground, landing near Darcy's feet.

It's shaped like a bat.

The fellow grabbing Darcy's bag is assisted by his friend holding her in a schoolyard bully's grip, arms behind the back, and he turns in sluggish surprise when the leader drops.

That's when something slithers from the sky behind the fellow holding Darcy's arms, and four lead-padded knuckles slam into the back of the man's skull. His head snaps forward and he drops with a grunt of pain, instantly unconscious.

The man in the process of mugging Darcy blinks, then backs up warily a pace, staring at what's behind her in slowly mounting horror.

The figure in the heavy, floor-length cloak and pointed cowl needs no introduction. Empty, soulless white eyelenses focus on the man.

"Tryabva da se predadat," Batman says, in a low, gravelling voice.

Grabbed, Darcy does the best she can, ignoring bodily harm to keep her arms and hands clutched tight around her cargo. Shoes left to fall, she kicks and struggles and is about to yell FIRE in hopes of getting someone's attention when Leader drops followed quickly by Titanic. Darcy regains her feet and grunts to shrug the guy off her. Her eyes land on the metal bat thing for a moment before she looks up at Tiny.

And then there's the voice. It sets a chill of dread down her spine. A chill that has her straightening up and turning to face it. Darcy doesn't shrink at her fears. She headbutts them until they go away. Bt despite teh bravado, the Batman is intimidating, and Darcy focres a swallow past a suddenly tight throat. Her hands readjust on teh sachetel as if to say: MINE, pry from cold dead fingers.

"N-ne. Ne nepriyatnosti s vas," Tiny says, swallowing visibly. "Prosto iskam chanta— ne ev Gothum," he gets out, stammering. His voice is a harsh, sibilant hiss, but Batman's harsh tonals make the stones themselves crawl.

"Saw you leaving Gotham," Batman says, switching to English. He steps forward two paces, boots barely visibly under his long cloak. He almost seems to glide, his movements are so smooth. "Following her. Three man team, government vehicle registered to the Department of Defense. I take that personally."

He moves closer, and closer to the hulking fellow, until he's between the man and Darcy. His hands are still at his side, his chin up, as if /daring/ Tiny to take a swing.

Tiny gulps. Then does.

The result is predictably short and violent, and concludes with Tiny getting slammed facefirst into the wall. Batman turns to glower at Darcy, and the lack of visible features on his mask makes him look even more otherworldly and alien.

"You're a courier," he says. "SHIELD. Saw the transport tags on your car. Why are you here?"

As Batman moves closer to her Darcy tenses, but holds her ground.

And then Batman is stepping past her, puttnig himself between her adn Tiny. She pivots, tension fading for a moment as she watches him defend her. That he switches to English so she can understand the last part, that he watches them follow her, did not go unnoticed. The short violent end to the 'meeting' only has Darcy flinching once. More because she saw that coming. Darcy can imagine May drooling over the moves.. if she were here… and would drool over anything. The return of Batman's full attention has Darcy straightening her back again, like she used to the first week or so of working with May.

"Being an idiot before getting some lunch," is the bluntly honest reply. "Thanks for knocking out Dick, Tom, and Harry. …You…aren't planning on taking the parcel they were after, are you? Cause… while I'm sure you could take it from me… it'd put me inna pickle."

"Not my job to deliver SHIELD parcels," Batman gravels. "But I don't like seeing national security secrets get stolen by Bulgarian mobsters." Bulgarians, that explains it.

He examines Darcy head to toe, his cloak drifting over his shoulders to conceal all but his mouth from view. "I'll take care of these three. Get back to your office and report in. Get your parcel where it needs to be."

He eyes her again, and even through the mask, he seems to be glowering. The edge of his mouth downturns disapprovingly.

"Stop playing Pokemon while on government business," he adds, belatedly.

"Lunch break," Darcy retorts, even as she's stepping back into her shoes to go. "But I'm going." She adds, stepping away. Yeah. She'll leave the game off during work hours. At least, for a few days. and definitely NOT while in the Triskelion. Having a GPS based game running whilein that building just SOUNDS like a bad idea.

Titanic starts stirring near Batman's feet and he rather casually kicks the massive Bulgarian in the jaw, once, knocking him down with a heavy boot toe. Batman doesn't bid her good luck or farewell or anything of the like— he just stares at her with those empty, white on white eyes, until Darcy scampers off.

He squats down and grabs Titanic by the front of his shirt, hauling the fellow up with one arm until the man's dangling by his shirtfront and tie. Titanic chokes and his eyes snap open, and he struggles helplessly while completely in Batman's power.

"Zapochnem da govorim," Batman rasps.

The Bulgarian's more than willing to spill hits guts.

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