Who Is Kang?

September 18, 2016:

Batman gets intel from Spoiler that someone in power armor is on his turf.

Batcave

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Bluebird, Kang

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Spoiler had gone out on patrol. Just a small section of Gotham. But hers to patrol alone. Everything was fine until a tweet went out.

@SpoiledBat: (pic url) #SpoilerAlert 2 dumb thugs #CrimeDoesn'tPay.

The picture was of a handful of thugs, lightly beaten, zipped tied and waiting in the light for the police. Nearly a quarter hour later, another tweet.

@SpoiledBat: @GothamPD Your response time still sucks guys! #SpoilerAlert : Do I need to turn on a GPDSignal or what?

If tracked by Batman, Spoiler was in South Point near Sheldon Park. Clearly, she stopped someone getting mugged, and then waited around for the cops to be close enough to pick up the trash. It's a few hours later that Spoiler makes her way back into the cave, yanking down her hood and pulling off the purple mask in slight annoyance. Annoyance? Anxiety? Soemthing other than the utter peppy happy squee she'd left with. She sweeps her blue-green gaze about the cave, looking for the Bat.

Batman gives Stephanie plenty of time to find him. He's on the jungle-gym, in his full attire, and still as a rock. It's funny— everyone thinks the trick to concealment is camoflague, but Batman simply makes himself look like something other than a human shape, cloak drawn close, and holds himself so still he barely seems to be breathing.

She does spot him, and in good time— but he doesn't move until she hails him, and his only acknowledgement is to brush away the cloak guarding him from view. "Report in," he rasps at Spoiler.

There was a moment, a few seconds after she starting looking, that Spoiler wanted to act out the frazzledness. But taking a breath to center herself, as she would before going on stage at a cheer competition, Stephanie keeps at it until at last she spots him. She sighs lightly, the anxiety of possible failure having forced her breath still, and calls up to him. His acknowledgement further eases her tension.

"One mugging. Everything else was secure. I'm concerned about the muggee," Stephanie starts, turning to tug off her gloves. Turning away slightly gives her a bit of distance so she doesn't give into the want to gush at him.

"He knows Bluebird. Called her by name. Batgirl too. Which by itself, not terribly worrisome. But he said he wasn't worried about being mugged, after I'd already cleared the muggers, because he had power armor and could call for retrieval. I emphasized he shouldn't be in Gotham, that the last thing we need is some super-powered idiot in town sneezing and leveling city-blocks. His comeback was that it was, quote, just a machine, end quote."

Stephanie's quiet a moment. None of that is the source of her annoyance. No. It's this:

"My eyes need to be covered. He hinted that his suit makes it posible for him to recognize people by eye-color. Iris matching, possibly? I don't know," she says. There's that flicker of …she's letting someone important down… as she looks at her little plastic purple painted face mask. She sighs, shoving it aside to make room for her cape, which she unclips now and sweeps from her shoulders.

"Hrm," Batman grunts, and he leaps off the gym and lands almost soundlessly. A remarkable feat for the 30 foot drop. He steps past Spoiler, removing his mask, and moves to the command center, standing behind his chair.

"System. Bring up Gotham CCTV," he instructs. The computer starts flickering cameras on dozens of monitors. "And pull data on EM spikes in the area from the last 24 hours."

The computer complies. "Eliminate all cameras that do not have angles on the EM spikes." A half a dozen monitors flicker off. "Elimate all cameras more than 100 yards away from EM spikes." Two more flicker off. "Review footage and give me playback on cameras four, thirty, 212, and 96," Batman says, "plus or minus thirty seconds on EM spike timeframe."

The recordings digitize and scatter, then three cameras play back. Two of them have inconvenient angles with bad shadows and distance, but the central one gets a good up-close of the individual.

"Monitor six, display all known vigilantes operating power armor." It starts rapidly scrolling through the list.

"Stop. There." Batman's computer brings up a much clearer image of the individual. "Hmm. Interesting. This is from a composite database," he rasps. "'Iron Guard'. Looks a lot like another vigilante— Iron Lad. There's a cross-note in the file," he grunts, nodding at the second line. "It's conflicted though. Might be an inheritor or a copycat. We don't have much information on him yet." Batman narrows his eyes and makes a note in the file to flag it for more investigation. He'll know what this man eats for breakfast before the week is out.

"You'll need to debrief the computer. Everything you've got— height, apparent build, all physical descriptors," he tells Spoiler. "Intelligence is key to victory. I don't like strangers in my town."

"Then this next bit is going to grind your gears," Stephanie says from his side from where she had stepped up in order to watch the feeds and wht he was doing. "He can teleport. Star Trek style." Silence. "I didn't get video." And the utter self-disappointment in her voice rings clear as if she had taken a Harley-mallet to the Liberty Bell. She's trying so hard not to let the upset at self leak out that anyone astute enough would pick it out easily.

"I'll update everything I can remember before I grab a nap. I have a midterm at 7:45."

Batman grunts at Stephanie's admission, and doesn't give her any excuses for her failure. "Inconvenient, but not useless," Batman corrects Stephanie. "Teleportation tends to create a lot of side effects. Zeta waves, air pressure differentials, electromag spikes. All trackable," he tells Stephanie. "And if you can hear footsteps, you can't be surprised. Come back here after you've managed your cover ID," Batman tells Stephanie. "You have homework— dealing with teleporters. If you have to fight him I don't want you taken unawares."

Inconvenient. Stephanie half shrugs one shoulder in a telltale sign of refusing to give in to the want to have hugged herself. Not useless slides her eyes from the screen and toward Batman. That telelportation is trackable is a completely new concept for her, and the wonder of it plays across her features.

"Yes, sir," is her reply to the order. Take test, finish her classes and study time, then get back here for Teleporters 101. There's a faint head nod before she starts to turn away. She stops a moment later and turns her head to peer over her shoulder.

"Did you get my location then? To see if you can locate that last teleportation?"

"Already on it." Batman points at the screen, bringing up an image of Spoiler texting on her phone before swinging away. "You need to memorize where these cameras are and neutralize the feed before going into action. Oracle can help with bypassing them," he grunts at her. "You don't need your combat style on record anywhere— there are plenty of enemies who'll happily spend a few weeks watching how you fight in order to exploit a weakness."

With Batman pointing at the screen, and the image of her on it, Stephanie presses her lips tightly together. A single nod, and she turns away.

"I'll see you this evening then," she says, grabbing her Stephanie back pack to take into the locker room for a shower and to change.

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