Tangled Up

July 10, 2016:

Batman tries to stymie Poison Ivy

Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

There are certain things that people tend to learn when they live in an area for a while. Neighbours, locations, wildlife…and a little common sense. Unfortunately, not everyone takes to the last quite so readily. People who payed attention would know enough about Gotham's larger criminals that they tended to be able to avoid drifting into their path a majority of the time. You didn't go to the old fun-park if you were trying to stay away from the Joker's flunkies and you didn't go to the Iceberg lounge if you owed the Penguin money.

Such good sense however seemed to have abandoned the drunken party that was slipping through the bowery tonight. 10 men, all somewhere in their twenties and reeking of booze…but beneath that? Gasoline. Several jerry cans spread between them and one jovally following with his cell-phone camera, the group were quite simply out to cause trouble. The homeless that managed to last in Gotham city? They knew when to get the hell out of the way, the few that had crossed the group's path had fled hell-for-leather to avoid the possibility of a firey death. Frustrated, the group's goals had shifted to a more traditional arsonist's approach as they had come upon a small building tucked away at the edge of the district. Long closed, yet still somehow the plants within the window were growing strong. The window is shattered by the swing of a tire iron to erase the lettering that hinted at a one-attempted rehabilitation: Isley's florist.

Arson's a serious crime. One of the worst, because there's so much of the emotion of arson that's tied up in control, in wanton destruction— in wanting to watch something real and solid be destroyed. There's small wonder serial arsonists rarely are contented to stop with that crime.

Which is why Batman is following this small gang. He's been tracking their larger movements for a few weeks, now, watching them progressively grow bolder and their attacks do more damage. First it was a port-a-potty. Then an abandoned playground. Now, though, they're out to hurt someone, as these sort of vandals do, and while Batman is prepared to swing in to get a vagrant, he's delaying and analyzing his tactics while they decide on their next spot.

Behind his cowl, his eyes widen when he sees the decrepit old sign on the wall as the door opens— realizing where he is.

Realizing who is near by.

Batman swings off the third floor rooftop and launches towards the building as the men file into it. But he's probably too late.

In truth, Ivy wasn't always one to simply lurk in the same place. Her 'hideout' wasn't so static as other criminals and was often contented as long as there was adequete plant-life around her. Sometimes she'd simply lurked in the Gotham gardens and greenhouses because it was both comforting and a deterence. Only a fool really choses to mess with Poison Ivy in a place full of plants.

Seems tonight the fools were out in force and their luck was failing. It had taken Ivy a moment to actually be stired by the sound of the glass shattering, unlike the Dark Knight some of his rogues actually slept whe the sun went down. Having been resting in the long-overgrown area that had once been office it was the sound of the men's chatter and that sharp smell of gasoline being poured out catching her nostrils that had truely alerted her. She'd been about to step through the door, ferns and plantlife already wrapping around her slim form to clothe her when the sudden sting in her mind make her whince as one of the men took his bat to a row of potted plants, shattering them in a single swing. With it? The last little bit of mercy in Pamela Isley shatters too.

Batman would land just as it began, the sound of the door getting ripped off its hinges is a stark contrast before the pained noise of one man who'd been hit with the wooden projectile announces the begining of her wrath. As one the plantlife remain in the storefront seems to come to life, growing and tristing, vines snare and catch as thorns begin to emerge on their length, willed into being by the angry villainess.

Batman hits the last man into the building at the back of the knees and rips him out from the abandoned florist's shop. He stops only for one moment, to glare down at him.

"Run."

The Dark Knight leaps skywards towards a second story window and creeps around, trying to find his angles as the men spread out through the abandoned building. Now, he's not just trying to prevent them from committing a crime— he's trying to save their lives. He starts picking them off one at a time, hoisting them off of the building floor with quick motions from his grapnel. Some of them by necessity get knocked out.

Price of security.

He works at the edge of the floral awakening, trying to stay away from the more active growths that seem to accompany Pamela's mere presence as they respond to her growing ire.

The man deepest into the back of the store isn't quite so lucky as the first, already thorns dig into his skin and purple necrosis begins to spread from the sightof the wound. He might survive, but only if he gets to a hospital in under an hour and even then it's dicey. It's almost a contest really, how many can be saved before they're tangled, but in the end precision and drive works smoother then Pamela's angry wrath and only two remain snared and tangled while the third man whom she'd already posioned writhes on the floor. It's almost certain the only reason he wasn't dead already was because she wanted them to suffer.

Even as he was, Batman can't avoid Ivy's attention forever in a room where every plant was eyes and ears for her. Green pigment already seeping into her skin the chlorokinetic turns her eyes towards the vigilante. "Batman…come to apprehend these tresspassers? Thoughtfull…but I have things under control."

As if to punctuate her words one of the men gives a strangled gasp while a vine tightens around his neck. "My babies could use the fertilizer."

Batman flicks a batarang from under his cloak and sends the razor-edged tool flying at the fellow being throttled to death, the blade snapping through the sturdy greenery of the vine.

He's met Pamela before— he makes for higher ground, leaping up to the crawlspace over the first floor. Dry enough that plant life hasn't taken root there. Moving silently he crawls out of the showroom into a spare prep area where the plants were once prepared for transfer and shipment. He casts around the small room, throwing his voice expertly through the vent system.

"They'll be arrested and charged with trespassing and attempted arson, Pamela," Batman says, his voice coming from everywhere as he starts fiddling with the leftover chemicals in a storage shed. "If you let them go, right now, you'll save yourself a charge of murder. It's not worth killing them over this."

"Murder?" Ivy scoffs, plantlife swelling beneath her to form a thicker vine she sits upon, it's length growing and shifting to carry her into her own slight elevated position. She's not attacking, not truely, but the vines keep tight grip on their victims bodies even if the suffocation had been halted. "If I were another person and these men had crept into my home, intent on murdering my children and burning my house down I could have shot them all dead with a gun and been praised for it…"

She tightens her fingers into a fist and the plantlife continues to warp and twist, long thorns as long as knives and equally sharp begining to grow on the larger plants closest to her. "Why should be be any different just because Mother Nature arms me instead?"

Batman doesn't respond. Which is perhaps the scariest of all things he could have done, right then. He finishes whatever it was he was doing in the prep room and departs through a window that's probably too small to fit an armored man of his bulk. It's a nimble bit of trickery, and it allows him to scale the rooftop, where he creeps around near-silently. Exactly eighteen inch strides, staying precisely atop the rooftop joists.

He finds an air intake vent and starts feeding the contents of the container under his arm into it, as fast as he dares— quiet and controlled, letting the heavy, dense herbicidal fog pour into the steel.

Then he finds the air fan controllers, makes sure the impellers are facing the right way, and shorts the system. The fans cough and rattle, creating a lot of noise, and start spraying dense home-made herbicidals into the florist's shop.

Painful for the prisoners. But lethal for plant life.

In a way she'd been right…but that didn't really matter. In another way, the vandals themselves had won. Their mere presense had pushed Batman into inflicting almost as much damage as they intended to…at least as far as Ivy was concerned. The florist shop was old, small and tucked into other buildings. Even if Pamela hadn't intended to keep herbicides nearby, she couldn't control the attached buildings completely and it had been her undoing. Being above on the rooftop, the Dark Knight wouldn't be able to see inside the shop anymore…but he wouldn't have to.

He could probably hear Poison Ivy screaming from outside.

The sound of the back door being slammed open by the last desperate motions of agonized plantlife, Pamela comes staggering out the rear of the shop, the two men left forgotten inside as she desperately clutches one of the rarer flowers she'd been protecting in it's small pot, the woman collapsing to her knees as she gives long ragged breaths and the green pigment begins to fade, replaced by more human tones.

Batman would love to put Pamela into custody… but there are at least two men inside who'll die if they don't get immediate medical aid. And others who're going to die if they don't get treated for violent anaphylaxis.

He shoves a pair of microfilters into his nostrils and runs into the building, smashing through a skylight. With fast, powerful slashes of the blades in his gauntlets, he cuts the men loose and runs them out the front door, until all the men are safe— if laid out like trussed Christmas hams. He plucks a medical syringe from his pocket and picks the fellow who's closest to choking out, and hits him with the concentrated epi-pen, jamming it into his neck. He makes sure the others aren't in danger of choking to death immediately (improvising an airway tube with a short, cut piece of rubber hose in one case).

Then finally, he turns to give chase to Pamela Isley as the woman staggers away. But precious minutes are lost in his first aid.

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