The Step-ford Pt.2

September 20, 2016:

The Stepford poisoning becomes suspect, bringing Batgirl (former Oracle) back into the fold(?) with Batman and Spoiler.

Then there is Jason Todd…

Gotham Suburbia


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Hood, Red Robin, Nightwing


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Jason's gone, and Bruce exhales through his nose. It's as close as he ever gets to a sigh, watching the young man storm out— again— and it's clearly evoking some emotions.

He turns his blue eyes back to the girls clad as Scouts, and his expression is cold, and hard, and much more familiar than the plastic semblance of Judge Wyatt.

"We're possibly pushing him too hard," he rasps at the girls. "The extent of his conditioning is still an unknown. It's not impossible that confronting him with the entire truth could cause a massive psychotic episode— we might never get him back if his entire worldview shatters in one go."

"So… we back off. Give him some space? But whomever is doing this is likely onto something amiss by now. You pegged a camera and we've disable their bugs here. We can't push too hard, but we can't leave him here," Stephanie says, finally breaking the silence. She'd been watching the other three closely during the exchange, the outside observer, having no real closeness to the situations that they are all dealing with.

"I thin we split up. Some of us find the source and gut it, the other sticks with Jason and guides him clear."

Batgirl listens to the two, but she follows Jason's exit, all the while fingers bite into her clutched cowl. There is a long span of silence from her even after Spoiler and Batman speak, lips going thin while eyes narrow.

"He needs to remember and know…. He has to know." The cowl is shoved over her head finally, the deep red hair piling out in waves from beneath.

"I will be gentle," Beat. "Promise."

"He does need to remember," Batman agrees. "But in his own time. We're on a crunch," he acknowledges, nodding at the two women. "I still don't have a handle on the situation. It seems linked to the killer app problem, but this is so much worse. The food is full of psychoactive compounds and the water's being laden with more of them same. It's definitely not fluoride," he grunts, lifting a chin at the direction of the water treatment plant. "This still feels like a dry run. If it can be applied at a larger scale— say, Gotham… the consequences could be disastrous."

"But the combination of drugs /and/ the application. That's bothersome."

Is anyone else bothered by Barbara suiting up? Stephanie blinks, lips pursing.

"Do we have a read on the compound? Are we able to find a counter or does it have to run its course? Would detoxing work?" she asks, looking between the two elder Bats with worry in her eyes.

Barbara has always been headstrong, and will not even listen to James Gordon, the Commish… Her father. Once Batman supplied the means and she trained as well as opened her eyes, her suit needed to be donned. She also had to apologize, although it won't come verbatim.

The reason the suit laid beneath the button up? It supported and armored her spine in physicality, but mentally, Batgirl is ready.

"Allow me to gather samples. The water can be done with ease, but what resides in the blood," Another pass and her eyes of blue return to the other two Bats. "I need time."

Bottom line meaning? Barbara is willing to get close to Jason again, and try.

"Let me help you." Not a question. Bottom line. Permission or not, Babs wants in.

"It's gonna take all of us," Batman agrees, not even bothering to try and wave Batgirl or Spoiler off— not that it'd work if he did.

"Barbara. Get on the treatment plant, then hit the food distro center. Get intelligence, but if you see an angle for stopping or even better, neutralizing the chemicals unobtrusively— take it. That's probably key to the hypnotherapy."

"Stephanie. Stick with Jason. You might approach through his 'wife'," he suggests. "Find a workable disguise or approach angle. I'll keep trying to get into the City Hall and get a face to face with whomever this 'mayor' is. He's supposed to be back in town this week."

Stephanie nods to Bruce about her assignment. "Yes, sir," she states crispy, mind already working how to get close to the woman to give her reasons to be in the house almost all the time. "How are we getting out without being noticed?" she asks now, because escape routes? Still not Spoiler's forte. Well, at least she asked this time instead of just walking out the front door.

Batgirl listens, the blouse finally shed once Jason left and the reminder is no longer a threat. The sigil loud and clear against a reinforced, armored, and plated covering. Golden, the Bat Symbol, against shadows. Just like her red hair against the dark… A history of Gotham and he life in and of itself.

Spoilers question has Babs smiling. "Just because I am standing, does not mean that everything I once gave is obsolete."

Her bare hand fishes withing pleats of beige skirt and small droids rise, hovering… And placing themselves near Steph, to zip back and forth and then disperse.

"We will map it all." A glance to Batman and she smiles lightly.

"I will be in touch."

"Stay incognito. We've got another week at the most— then I'm pulling the plug," Batman advises the girls, getting his gameface back on— that plastic semblance of paternal tolerance that Judge Wyatt wears. "With or without Jason intact. We can solve that problem back in Gotham."

He waits for Babs' drones to do their thing, then bangs open the storm cellar door and peeks out, and then with a ninja's surefooted ease, heads back to his 'home', leaving Stephanie and Batgirl to do their Bat Thing and help free the hold not just on Jason, but on this entire, improbable town.

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