Who Summons the Bat?

November 04, 2016:

Sofia Strange demands some answers from the Batman… but she ends up giving more than she gets.

Gotham Roofs


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Terry


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

As sassy and 'wild' as the budding Sorceress may be, she tends not to go looking for trouble. She doesn't, particularly, work hard to hide but…

Recent events in her life, however, have put her in a bit of a mood as of late. Granted, she isn't trying to pick a fight but she is trying to get attention. It was easy to figure out how to do it. Whose attention is she trying to get? Well, the giant flaming bat that's flying over Gotham may be a bit of an indication.

Sofia stands atop the highest building in the neighborhood, guiding her illusion through the air while tapping her foot impatiently. She knows she needs to behave for this meeting, frayed nerves are making it difficult. Hopefully, he won't force her into setting off building alarms to get his attention… She really has no desire to spend a night in jail or pay the fines associated with breaking a window.

It's eerie, even by magical standards, how silently Batman makes an arrival. He's not there— then he is. Almost between eyeblinks, it seems, lurking in the blind spot in Sofia's vision while she casts an impatient eye around the city.

Cowl up, cloak drawn forward, he looms like a gargoyle on the edge of the rooftop. It's only a stray beam of light from a reflected window, a tugging breeze, that reveals him as something more than inanimate matter.

Hands, even boots invisible behind that cape, only the hard point of his chin and the angry sidelong slash of a disapproving scowl are visible under milky colored eyelenses on his mask.

"Gotham PD has one on their rooftop," he rasps at Sofia, to get her attention. "There's a reason they're the only ones I let use a signal to get my attention," he says, his voice cold as the chill autumn wind crossing the roofs.

There's a small jump from Sofia at the suddenness of his appearance and speech. To her credit, she doesn't squeal or scream though. She does, however, inhale sharply in annoyance and exhale a huff. "Yes, well, I didn't feel like getting arrested for use of police property without their permission."

The coldness and the gruff would likely be off putting to most, Sofia doesn't seem phased. Which isn't to say he isn't quite the imposing figure but she's just… not afraid. "Sorry. Maybe you should consider getting a situational handbook published… An official number that's for important but not in case of emergency type situations…" Yes, she's got a bit of snark to her.

"Thanks… For coming…" Heartfelt. Hesitant, but heartfelt.

The Dark Knight just stares at Sofia.

At least, it feels like he's staring at her. The eyelenses make it impossible to see where his gaze is going, and his body language reveals nothing at all. It'd be unnervingly robotic were it not for the subtle flare of his nostrils as he breaths in and out. Somehow, it's even more unnerving to see that lack of mobility in a human being; the control of muscle and nerve for that level of immobility is almost incomprehensible.

So he waits, staring at Sofia and clearly waiting for her to expand on her statement, and doing her no courtesy of asking questions.

Sofia rolls her eyes. "Wow. You two are as different as night and day… Fine. What do you know about the new Bat in town?" It asked… Almost protectively as her arms cross over her chest and she takes a step back from the edge and towards him. "Have you met with him yet?"

She manages three heartbeats before she starts to pace. The way he just sits there like a statue makes her uneasy and Sofia being uneasy isn't necessarily a good thing. Especially when she's still learning to control some aspects of her powers.

Batman lets that stare linger. Just a little while longer— reminding Sofia that she is /not/ in control of this situation despite her having 'summoned' him. If he's aware of her powers, or the potential upset brewing as he goads her, it doesn't show on his expressionless face.

"Why should I tell you?" he asks, bluntly.

Sofia's eyes snap over to Batman, fire flaring in them. "Because I asked. I happen to know he's got questions only you can answer and he has a right to those answers." Nerve struck. "And because you don't strike me as the type to simply give up a piece of himself for those purposes."

The pacing stops and she stares right back at him.

"What purposes?" Batman rasps, keeping that too-intense focus firmly on Sofia. Whatever ire flares in her eyes doesn't so much as ruffle the points on his cowl as the predatory figure continues to loom over her. Which is a trick, as far away as he is— and though he's definitely man height, if a bit tall for a man, he's /definitely/ looming. Somehow.

Maybe it's a secret superpower, the ability to loom at will. It's certainly making it very difficult to tell if she's getting through to him at all.

Sofia smirks, arms once more crossing over her chest. "Then you haven't met with him. I wouldn't need to explain that if you had."

The looming is impressive, certainly! She was in a bar with demons yesterday though so she's kinda getting used too the unnaturally natural. "Look…" Her arms unfold and she sighs. "Everyone deserves to know their past… To know…" Her eyes drop, left hand coming around to grip her right elbow. "To know their history and find their place in the world… He knows, technically, where he is from and the why's of it but…" Her head shakes. "There's still questions… It's important, I think, for him to know where he stands with you, all things considered."

"You seem to know quite a bit about him," Batman rasps at Sofie after she's said her piece. He drifts a little closer to her, though the motion's so smooth it looks like he's rolling around on casters, not walking on heavy boots— and silently, despite the asphalt roof.

"I didn't think he'd been around long enough to make such a close friend. Why are you so involved with him?" Batman asks, his voice a low rasp that sounds more like the asphalt underfoot should.

Sofia's eyes and head both lift as Batman draws closer to her. She straightens, refusing to let it look as if she's shrinking from him. "I know enough," is replied before she lifts her chin, almost defiantly, at his next question.

"I fail to see why me being so involved with him is any of your business… He's been around long enough for me to be a close friend and that's reason enough." There's that protective streak again.

"So he'd be pleased to know you approached me. On your own. Without asking permission from him," Batman concludes. "Or invitation. Because you're his 'friend'."

The words are cutting but somehow his lack of intonation makes it so much worse— he neither raises his voice nor even inflects sarcasm or rebuke. Just a statement… but it still cuts like a winter wind.

And, despite a complete lack of body language, there's a sure knowledge floating from him: that he /knows/ Sofia's putting her backbone in order despite her instincts screaming otherwise.

"Probably not. But he'll get it. Because he'd do it for me if he could." Sofia's beyond sure of that. The words do cut, it's easy to tell in the way her jaw clenches. She knows he likely won't be pleased with her doing this…

"You know everything that goes on in this city… I find it hard to believe yo haven't heard he's looking for you… Would ten or fifteen minutes really be such a big deal? Maybe you'll /both/ learn something from it." Yes, her instincts have her wanting to back down, to take a step away… It's likely why she narrows her eyes and leans towards him. "Because if you don't already know about him… It means someone took something very personal from you."

Batman doesn't react any more to her leaning in than he did to her retreating. He just continues to… exist. Looming like a henge, displaced and monolithic, some abandoned monument to something ancient and forgotten that tugs at deep genetic memories. Something that lurks in every shadow at the edges of the bonfire since the age of stone tools.

"Maybe we'll learn nothing from it," Batman rasps. "Or he'll learn more than he wanted. Or find out even I don't have the answers he wants."

"It sounds like you already know more about this situation than any other party involved. Makes me wonder why you haven't just told him what he wants to hear and send him on his way. I'm by far the crueler option," he assures her, grimly.

And that does it. Sophie snaps. She reaches out to shove the Bat away from, body instantly shaking with anger. "I know more than you! I know what it's like to feel like you don't belong! To feel like there's no one who gets or who you can trust!"

Her eyes narrow. "I'd happily answer him if I could. I can't tell him why they made him. Or how they got your DNA. Or if you even know he exists outside of being some guy who has shown up in your city in a better suit! Maybe you are the crueler option… Maybe he'll meet you and decide he hates everything about you and you'll become the very epitome of everything he never wants to be. Or maybe, just maybe, he'll find someone he can look up to… Someone who can help him find balance and a purpose outside of 'this is what I was made for'."

And then, all of a sudden, her mouth clamps shut and she glares. She gets the distinct feeling she was just played.

Batman doesn't dodge. He just sort of twists— or the cloak twists? Something goes from being lined up to not being lined up, and abruptly Sofia's charging into empty air and something tugs at her heel in passing. He could have tripped her just as easily. The gentle flick of a booted toe against her shoe serves merely to check her from easily regaining her balance.

When she rounds on him, he's still as a statue, still looming, still… opaque.

"So you know more about him than just being a 'friend'," Batman deduces, those inscrutable lenses fixed on Sofia's face. "Not here to make nice. You're trying to make up for something," he tells her. "Trying to undo some damage you did. You don't care about him— not as much as you do about avoiding blame."

It's only by the grace of the Gods that Sofia doesn't end up on her hands and knees from his movement.

"Screw you," is hissed as she's accused of not caring about him. "I haven't done a damn thing to him. I didn't even know him until I moved here. Yeah, I know more about him than just as a friend but my relationship with him isn't your business."

Her fists clench, the loose gravel on the rooftop starting to bounce and rattle as her emotions start to get the better of her. "He's important to me. He's a good man who wants to help people. I have no idea what questions he has for you… Only that he's certain you're the only one who can answer them…"

"You've been in Gotham less than two months," Batman rasps, with a tone of absolute certainty. "In that time, you've found true love in the arms of a clone who you know next to nothing about. And that gives you the right to meddle in his business, to 'fix' things for him."

The rattling doesn't go un-noticed, but Batman keeps his features aimed squarely at Sofia, keeping her emotionally on her heels as surely as a boxer would force his opponent off balance. "But he trusts you. Which is why you're here, now, demanding answers from me on his behalf."

"Don't you dare presume to know how I feel. And do not refer to him like that. I'm not trying to fix anything, I'm just trying to help him find the answers that seem to mean so much to him."

Her jaw clenches as she works to get herself under control. "Did you know?" She takes a deep breath. And then another. And the rocks start to calm. "All I came to do is ask you to please meet with him… I came because I'm better ar getting attention… But you just pushed and pushed and I stupidly let you goad into giving out information that wasn't mine to give and…"

"And it may have cost me my best friend… And he may never trust me again when he finds out but… If he gets his answers… If it helps him find whatever it is he's searching for… If it gelps him find peace then even if he never speaks to me again… Maybe it was worth it."

Not that it wouldn't hurt her like hell but she genuinely just wants to help.

"You should hope so."

No malice. No sarcasm. Just… a statement. But like everything else Batman has said— the few things he's said— it's the lack of any emphasis at all that allows Sofie to fill in the blanks as painfully as possible.

And then, in between her eyeblinks— in the flickering between staring at him full on and averting her gaze from that recrimination, even for a moment— Batman vanishes. Without a sound or a trace, or more than a stray flicker of wind against Sofie's cheek.

Leaving her alone, on the rooftop, full of no more answers than she had beforehand, and with a fistful more questions.

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