Boundary Issues

September 28, 2016:

Batman treads on Nightwing's turf.

Bludhaven

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

"Mistah Gholem, he be brindle wit' de babylon commin' uppa heah," the old fellow wheezes. His dreadlocks, gone grey with age, mark against one eye that's filming over with a cataract. He's heavily adorned with jewlery, some of it made of bone or crude metal, some gaudy and ostentatious. Despite his advanced years, however, his wheezing tone carries immense respect for 'Mister Golem', whoever that is.

The lean, hawk-nosed fellow with slicked back hair and the neat pinstripe suit stares at the speaker, then looks askance at the old fellow's ally. "What'd he just say?" he demands of the other man, in a nasal Midtown Gotham accent.

"Pap says, Mister Golem's pissed off, yo," the younger fellow says, with the smug self assurance of youth. The .357 tucked in his loose waistband lends him some bravado, too, though the ten men in the room— six Jamaicans, four of the old Gotham family— are squared off and each fellow is visibly armed.

"He says, too many cops and stuff."

"Cops ain't the problem," Slick snarls, cutting a hand through the air. "We can deal with cops. It's the Bat we gotta worry about in Gotham. How are you gonna sneak it past him?"

"Inna de shadows we hide from de Bat," the old man wheezes. "But in the shadows a man can still fly in the night, silent as de wind."

"Man, fuck your riddles! How're you gonna get your drugs across town to the Gotham overpass without Batman intercepting them?" Slick demands.

"Same way we keep dat fool Nightwing from gettin' 'em, yo!" the younger man snaps.

Atop the meeting, peeing through a skylight, is a horned cowl and a pair of unreadable opaque eyelenses. Batman is crouched in his cloak as he surveills the drug deal, counting the duffels full of money and the containers stacked on a trolley. He'd snared one before, to inspect the contents. Drugs— heroin, most likely. Bad news if the Jamaican gangs known as the Patois Lords are working /with/ the Midtown families to move drugs from Bludhaven to Gotham.

Then again, a meeting like this, with made members of the Midtown families /and/ the second-in-command of the elusive Mister Golem, himself? Batman couldn't pass up the chance— hence sneaking across the border into Nightwing's territory.

EXT. ALLEYWAY - DEPOT STREET — BLUDHAVEN
Minutes ago..

A pair of abandoned mid-rises crowd a narrow alleyway. A bit past midnight the position of the moon is such that the narrow expanse is a void of shadow because of an odd structural addition upon the westernmost building. The area is completely blind from the roadway and the sort of place which was once populated by those who perpetuated quick exchanges late night mischief in complete obfuscation.

That sort of mischief suddenly ceased a year ago when people began turning up cuffed to an exterior pipe at daybreak.

Seated atop a motorcycle that appears more like a narrow two-wheeled armored vehicle Nightwing reaches to adjust a setting upon its control scheme. One of the silent alarms he wired earlier alerts him to activity. Settling upon the Nightcycle its electric engine flips on and the vehicle accelerates out onto Depot street.

Now..
A few buildings over there is the soft impact of metal biting masonry and then the quiet fricative sound metal cable winding quickly.

Seconds later Nightwing moves across the rooftop in quick furtive gait. At the edge of the neighboring building he springs across the expanse and break-falls soundlessly only to shift seamlessly to his feet and head towards the area of most concealment..except now he can see that area is occupied..

Adapting Dick takes up a nearby position and seems to glare at Bruce through the white lenses of his mask quite clearly wanting to say something but instead he raises his hands, "Lost?" he signs in ASL, smirking, and then splits his attention to the meeting below.

Batman doesn't look up for several seconds, and it might be a moment's wonder if he's even aware of Dick's presence. Then, without looking away from the view below— a hand rises from his cloak, flickering.

'No'.

He stills himself again, watching, then finally turns away from the skylight as the discussion below turns into the sort of chest-thumping bickering that career criminals tend to use as a prelude to actually discussing terms and conditions.

He walks a few paces from the skylight, staying to the shadows, and faces Nightwing. A hand slips from his cloak. 'Jamaicans and Carlini family. Heroin. Shipment to Gotham tonight. Twenty kilos. Golem,'

he adds, fingers flickering. The mysterious Mister Golem, newcomer to Bludhaven's crime scene and a rising star. 'Ready to intercept?'

Nightwing's face breaks into a wry grin at the simplicity of the response without ever appearing to actually look up and see it. When the Batman moves he keeps an eye on the skylight until the Dark Knight manifests in a single location to explain the scene below.

Dick does watch then, and nods, 'I unlocked the side window earlier. On my mark,' then he shifts away from the window and moves in graceful leaping strides to the west side of the building before turning to face the rooftop and then stepping backward over the ledge.

INT. Drug Warehouse - Bludhaven

The criminals talk, and talk, and posture and..

A sharp very human whistle interrupts the note low and then high as if calling for attention.

The conversation stops and there is that moment of confusion, a sense of distrust turned into betrayal, a desire to search out the sound. The first of them, an obvious soldier, is closest to sound and the first to turn.

An object flies in from the darkness.

CRACK

The steel baton shatters his nose and orbital but before he can begin choking upon his tears and blood a figure is upon them. A lithe figure leaps from what seems to be a completely different location, somehow at their backs, and is atop another soldier armed with an AK rifle.

ZAPPOPZAP

Blue sparks flash at the back of his neck as a surge of voltage resets his central nervous system. Nightwing then pulls in close, a free hand pulling the weapon from the man's grasp, and the weapon's receiver falls to the ground in two pieces.

Baton in one hand, steel rifle barrel in another as a makeshift cudgel he begins to set upon them all.

The reaction of a cornered animal is to retreat to the back of the den. Shoulder to shoulder, bristling, ready to form a wall to deal with any intruder. Works for wolves— worked for the Legionnaires under Caesar. A phalanx is one of the mightiest and most invulnerable of formations.

Except from above.

Glass shatters and Batman descends from the rafters, cloak flung out wide and his face invisible save for the glow of his all-white eyelenses. Someone screams and points, but it's too late for them to do anything but scatter into a number of different directions all at once.

Someone should have taught them the testudo.

Batman falls on his prey, his cloak dropping around him. Smoke grenades, first, *pop-popping* like camera flashes in the low light of the room. There's a metallic *clang* and both of the flourescents overhead go out with a crackle of broken glass, leaving the criminals in the dark save for the indirect lights of Gotham's city streets. Someone's gun goes *BLAMBLAMBLAM*, illuminating Batman and Nightwing in staccato bursts as the two men reap a whirlwind of pain on the criminals.

Panicked screams punctuated by gunfire. The flurried rustle of panic and calm. The frenzy of activity seems momentarily rhythmic before steadily dwindling to nothingness.

There is a beat where the only sound is a cacophony of wheezing and the gasping sobs of grown men terrified they are going to die.

POP POP POP

The blue sigil on NIghtwing's chest is illuminated, Golem's arm locked behind his back, the steady arcing of electric current perilously close to the side of the man's head, "Relax," he wrenches the man's arm painfully, "Relax," he repeats in a comforting whisper, "Shh. I'm the good cop," he assures, over the staticy pops of arcing electrons, "Your career in Bludhaven is on hold. A job well done," he sounds as if the encounter is over, "but before I cuff you and call the police," dramatic pause, "there's someone here who wants to talk with you about what's going on in Gotham."

The light from the electric sparks suddenly stop, leaving silence and darkness.

Golem is immediately shoved forward, blindly through the darkness, towards the Batman.

Batman catches the ancient man by the front of the shirt, and lifts him effortlessly off the ground until his ragged Keds scrape the concrete floor. The old man twists and gasps in shock, that rheumy old eye rolling around— but the other eye focuses on Batman, and he starts laughing with that wheezy, weak old sound.

He babbles at Batman in Creole— the language a strange pidgin of English, French, and colloqualisms. He doesn't fight back— he doesn't even struggle. Just talking to Batman in that singsong voice, and ending in a broken, wheezing laugh. The corner of Bat's mouth downturns in a disapproving frown. Whatever he'd just heard, he didn't like it.

He punches the fellow in a nerve cluster at the side of his neck, knocking him out with a single blow, and turns those lenses towards Nightwing. The dark holds no secrets for Batman— he can see injured, beaten bodies scattered on the ground despite the lack of anything more than ambient light.

"He's not Golem," he rasps at Nightwing, sounding irritated. "Which doesn't track. He's wearing a crosslet pin," he tells Nightwing, turning the fellow onto his back with a booted toe. "Senior leader for a gang— but he says we'll never catch his boss." He looks to Nightwing, expression grim. "He wasn't lying, either."

Batman canvasses the bodies quickly, binding hands and wrists with a length of long nylon cord and then casually disabling a few weapons by crushing sensitive springs and firing mechanisms. It takes just a few minutes for the two of them to permanently ruin the drugs, break the firearms, and leave the giftwrapped presents for Gotham PD.

"Whoever this Golem is… he's just getting started," Batman surmises, examining the wads of neatly wrapped cash stored in duffel bags. "Be on the lookout. I have a feeling things are only just starting." He raises a fist in the air and a grapnel flies up to the skylight's edge, *clinking* against a niche.

With a sussurance of steel winding around a pulley, Batman flies up and out of sight.

Nightwing works patiently to bind others as Batman explains thoroughly explains what has just been stated. At the end of the explination he pauses just long enough to look directly at the Dark Knight with a familiar expression that reads, 'I know. /You/ had me sit through French lessons,' to someone who is an expert in both Dick Grayson and his body language.

However, such banter is best removed to an environment where there are not so many ears who would be interested to hear any tidbits which might somehow reveal such sensitive information on the pair and so other than the expression in the darkness he says nothing. Letting it stew.

When Bruce exits, Dick is not far behind.

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