Moneyball

August 13, 2014:

A brief respite in the life of the Bat Family. Babs hosts a mini watch party for a baseball game at the clock tower. Bruce, Dick, and Cassandra are the guests.

Clocktower - Gotham City

A locally famous landmark, the Gotham Clock Tower is located in the Central Business District. Tours haven't run in years, though, since the building was bought out by a group of bird-lovers known as the Nightingale Society. Still, it's a well-known part of the Downtown skyline. From the outside it looks unused, but the clock is clearly maintained as it still runs on time, and now and again people can be seen coming and going. The bottom floor looks mostly disused, with a long hallway ending in a bookshelf full of coffee table books about birds. To either side of the hall are sparsely furnished rooms. The walls show illustrations of local Gotham feathery sorts, and charts on bird migrations. Cabinets store various bits of bird-watching equipment.

The doors to the stairs require a key card to access, probably to deter vandalism. The upper floors are only accessible by a secret elevator. The doorways to access it them the stairs have been bricked over and drywalled. On the living quarters floor, each door requires a keycard and voice recognition, except for the door to the training facility at the end of the hall, which requires palm, optical, and voice recognition. The top floor, however, is the most secure of all.

The pale glow of the four massive translucent clock-faces dominate the four compass points of the lair, casting everything in a warm light by night, and cool light by day. the natural brick walls of the buildings exterior are left visible on one wall while the others are painted a pristine white. The ceilings have recessed and track lighting, and the floors are smooth pale wood. There is a lounge area and even a kitchen, as well as other facilities here. The insulation around the top floor is meant to keep scanners and eavesdropping equipment from being able to image what's inside.

Mainframes and back-up generators line most of the walls in rooms of clear glass kept from overheating with with high-tech coolant systems. In front of one clock face is an enormous computer system laid out on a long, custom desk, lower than average, just the right height for Oracle's wheelchair. There is a command chair for use when needed, which slides on rails along the length of the desk. A huge bank of monitors are arrayed in a horseshoe shape around the desk, with the ability to form one large picture or individual smaller ones.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

The Clocktower is quiet as usual, with the simple sounds of humming cooling units and the low level buzz of computer systems tracking everything going on in Gotham. Babs is seated in her command chair in front of the bank of monitors that are her eyes to the outside world, but her attention isn't on them at the moment. It's on the bowl of fruity pebbles she's currently shoveling into her mouth as she watches the Gotham Knights play the Metropolis Monarchs. "Oh come on ump! That was clearly a ball!" she shouts at the monitor showing the baseball game. She's in sweat pants and a wonder woman t-shirt, with her hair back in a messy bun.

Batman isn't generally one to make social calls but after being run ragged the past few nights between SRD drones, tracking the Joker and hunting down leads on the Triad's neckbreaker down time, even if it's light and brief is a welcoming concept.

Unlike last time he isn't trying to infiltrate the Clocktower. This time around he is making his presence known even going so far as to take off the cowl once he's in side the structure itself and knows no outside eyes or ears are upon him. Several card swipes and voice activations later he's able to find his way to the section of the tower Oracle is currently holed up in watching a ball game. As far as he knew today was the Gotham City Griffins against the Star City Rockets.

It is only moments after Batman enters the are of the tower when Dick rushes in, still in his Academy uniform, bearing bags of take-out and juggling drinks, "Did the game already start? What's happening? What's the score?" but he then pauses upon seeing the Fruity Pebbles and an un-cowled Batman. There's a pause as blue eyes look between the two but then he grins and holds up one of the bags, "I brought Thai…"

The Clocktower's systems alert Oracle immediately to the use of the security being bypassed via legitimate methods. Over the speaker systems comes a cheery, "I hope someone brought popcorn. I'm out." Babs tends to forget to do things like get groceries. Much like Bruce, she's a workaholic. Unlike Bruce, she doesn't have the world's greatest butler to take care of the small things.

When the two men reach her nest, she lets them in and sets the cereal aside. "Thai sounds way better than anything Fred and Barney are shilling," Barbara quips with a grin. "And no score yet. It just started. Gotham is up. The ump sucks." She taps a few keys and the feed switches to display across all the monitors like one giant TV screen.

"I didn't know that you wanted popcorn…I hope this is a suitable replacement," Dick sets the Thai iced teas (and a coffee for him) down before he starts doling out the containers of delicious, delicious Thai food. Chopsticks are also set out before he takes his thai coffee and container of Pad See Yew and looks for a chair. "Don't they always suck? I think it's a requirement." He pushes one chair over towards Bruce before he sinks into another, "You don't mind if I just happen to nap, right? I mean, it'll only be for a few minutes…"

Babs sniffs around the bags until she locates the Pad Thai with chicken. She digs it out and unwraps her chopsticks, holding them expertly before pointing them at Dick. "If you're tired enough to fall asleep in your noodles, you should use the sofa, Man Wonder." She flits a glance between Nightwing and Batman. "When was the last time either of you slept?" she asks accusingly. As if she has a leg to stand on, no pun intended.

Moving over to the couch at the suggestion, Dick sinks into that one with a sigh. "I got about an hour in this morning…" because that helps so much. "And I know. Lack of sleep can kill you. Pot. Kettle." He waves his chopsticks around as if that helps to illustrate that he's heard it all before. They are then jabbed into the pad see yew. "The coffee should help a bit."

Bruce lowers himself in to the offered over seat with the creak and groan of his armored outfit. "Most often." The man says in regards to the umps a gloved hand rests upon his knee and he allows himself a moment to sink in to the cushions. "Sleep? Yesterday three and a half hours until Alfred woke me." Maybe it was before that. No move for any food or drink just yet. He's enjoying not being on his feet even if it will be brief.

"The difference being, if I fall asleep on the job, I get waffle face from snoozing on my keyboard. You can fall off a building, get shot, get stabbed, wake up with a skanky hooker, etcetera etcetera and so forth," Babs retorts at Dick with a grin. Bruce gets eyed. "If I call Alfred and find out that he woke you up Sunday, not yesterday, will you at least promise to get a couple hours before you hit the rooftops tonight?"

Dick Grayson thinks a moment before offering the thai coffee to Bruce instead. "I should be able to get a little more sleep in today…" and he then grins back at Babs, "I don't get -that- tired, thank you. Besides, you'd save us if any of that happened, right?"

"I can't make that promise. I'd also rather you not call Alfred I've had him on radio silence for almost six hours now." Weariness aside there is an underlying bit of stern in his voice. Bruce really really doesn't feel like putting up with his butler (again) on top of having to handle Leslie Thompson earlier; the guilt has been laid on thick this day.

No food but the coffee is too much to pass up; " Thanks."

A casual look towards the monitor, "Not sure why they have Lynch acting pinch this game. Sweeney's been favoring his shoulder for the past three games."

Barbara smirks at Dick. "Of course, but still, I can only do so much boys." She scoops some noodles into her mouth as she ponders the game for a moment. "You could have been a great baseball statistics analysis guru, Bruce," she notes. "Totally Moneyball." Like he's had time to see that movie. "If you're drinking that coffee at least eat some spring rolls. All that caffeine on an empty stomach will wreck your kidneys."

Dick Grayson gets up to retrieve one of the thai teas now that he's offered the coffee over. "I did get spring rolls and she's right. You either get us harping on you or Alfred…" although again, it's the pot calling the kettle but he's at least eating. "If you don't like Thai, Babs has some Fruity Pebbles I'm sure she'd be happy to share."

"My father would have been happy with that. Coffee won't put me above my UL." Bruce pauses before dropping in to over explanation and resolves himself to picking up a springroll. "Still warm, you get these from Liu Huang's on 34th?" A headshake at the Fruity Pebbles and the man reclines again chewing silently at the roll.

"Next inning Sweeney is going to be out. They just wrecked a good player for the season; Dick do you remember the Griffins game against Metropolis where we had to chase that pimp out in to the stadium? They were still called the Mammoths then." This was back when Dick was Robin.

"He can have the Captain Crunch. The pebbles are for ME," Babs mock-growls at Dick. "There's a blanket in the basket next to the sofa," she informs him, since he seems to be getting comfy. Satisfied that Bruce at least is putting something food-like into his system, she grunts softly at his assessment of the game. "They don't care about the welfare of their players, just what they can get out of them until they're all used up."

Dick Grayson nearly chokes on a noodle when Bruce brings up that game, "Oh, man…I kind of forgot until you just mentioned it. I remember now, sure…and now I know why you had me climb all those stairs in training." Babs gets another grin, "I see you dine in style. No Count Chocula? Or is that reserved for Halloween?" Nevertheless, he does grab one of the blankets from the basket…just in case.

"Also a pass. Your Pebbles are safe, Barbara." Bruce comments. "I preferred the Mammoth name over Griffins. I'm half tempted to buy the team just to change it back."

"If you do that, Bruce, can I have a free jersey?" Barbara asks with an incredulous look. "Also, if you're throwing money around today, I could really use a preorder of the deluxe edition of Dragon Age Inquisition," she quips. She rolls over to where Dick is lounging on her sofa and works at settling the blanket over him. "How is the academy training going?" she asks quietly.

"Do it. Just so that I can say that I know the owner of the Gotham Mammoths. Although the name does have less alliteration, it's a pretty cool mascot." Dick will happily settle onto the couch if Babs is going to tuck him in. "The training's fine…it's actually kind of frustrating — I know the stuff…I could beat every single guy in my class and barely break a sweat…but I have to tone it back. I mean…not everyone gets the training we did…" and even fewer enter the Police Academy. "I still don't like the guns, but a few more weeks and I'll potentially have a badge."

"I couldn't honestly justify that venture." Bruce says quietly. He wasn't serious about the Griffins but it was a thought. No matter a fleeting one. No comment on the Academy and Dick's involvement, it's one Bruce doesn't have energy to discuss. "Dragon Age Inquisition?" A curious note. He doesn't often have the time to pay mind to video games or pop culture.

While most people are getting ready to go home from work, Cassandra's only recently woken up. Her shortish hair with its uneven ends sticks up at odd angles in a far-from-artful disarray and she's dressed in cargo pants, combat boots and a tank top which is her usual choice of 'civvie' attire. The tank top means some of her scars are visible across her shoulders and down her arms but they're old enough that they only tend to be visible when the light catches them at just the right angle without close inspection. The elevator opens to let out the diminuative young woman with her to-go cup of coffee in one hand and a still-sleepy look.

"It's a video game," Babs informs Bruce with an exasperated look. "You know, you spend your free time pretending to be a manwhoring boozehound. I pretend to be a bored librarian. I need something to do at my day job. She smiles gently at Dick though. "Well you'll still be top of your class in my mind. Maybe let one of them think they sprained something or other next time you spar. Then they won't hate you as being unbeatable." When Cassandra comes in, Barbara smiles at the girl. "There's Thai food, kiddo, or cereal in the kitchen," she calls to her.

"Ask Tim," is mentioned in regards to the video games, and Dick is in the middle of a bite of his food when a strange girl steps in from the elevator. He darts a glance to Babs and then to Bruce as if waiting for some sort of explanation even as his mind works quickly to figure out some sort of explanation as to exactly -why- he is here…in the Clocktower…with an un-cowled Batman. Yeah.

Batgirl lifts her chin a bit and sniffs, catching the scent of Thai food even as Barbara says it. While she's goten much better at understanding words and speaking over the years it's still effort for her so Barbara gets only a nod of acknowlegement and a quick smile as thanks as she heads over to help herself. And one thing Cassandra isn't, is shy about being hungry. She doesn't seem to really acknowledge the other two in the room, no 'hello' or nods even as she drops down into a chair and peers at the screen. She looks over at Bruce then and cocks her head slightly with furrowed brow.

Since Cassandra doesn't ask, Babs doesn't offer an explanation of the Academy uniformed officer's presence. She leaves Dick to scramble for an excuse if he wants to make one. "Baseball game," she notes to the girl. She's lived with Oracle long enough to know the hacker wiz is a fan of the game, and the home team. "Sleep all right?" she asks. She gives Dick's shoulder a gentle squeeze as if to tell him Cass is all right, before rolling back into a position to see the screens.

Bruce is looks to be unaware as he dusts crumbs off his suit and pulls out a small canister. Spraying it in to his mouth. Upon looking up he gives a light smile to Cass. No explantion from him either. He's just detached enough and of the mind, they'll sort it. They're a team and both Cass and Dick are family.

Dick Grayson looks sharply to Babs even at the shoulder squeeze…they will have words about this, but obviously not right now. He does, however, murmur, "A little warning next time," before he goes back to his food and looks up at the screen(s). "If they keep playing like this, the game will go on all day."

Cassandra is… not a terribly neat eater. At least she doesn't need a drop cloth but there's probably a reason that Barbara orders in insead of taking the girl out to eat. Well, aside from that whole 'Oracle' business. Barbara's answer to the unasked question gets a nod, both acknowledgement and thanks. The question her way gets a simple nod and then the scruffy looking girl peers at the screen for a long, quiet moment. "Miss." She says, even as the pitcher is releasing the ball. The batter strikes. She stuffs more noodles in her mouth.

Babs murmurs back to Dick, "She lives here, you don't," with a wink. Like him living there was an option if he'd just take it. Jerkface. "And both of you could be making me a fortune if you analyzed the teams and I bet on the winners," she sighs at Bruce and Cass.

"I'm already worth a fortune." Batman teases before he comes to a stand; the cowl being drawn on. "I should be going. Thanks for the coffee and spring roll. I'll be sending you all some additional data and points to hit soon." Head back in the game, even his voice alters to fit his change in posture and re-newed look of alertness. He really isn't but he has a few stops to make before he sleeps.

"And gambling like that is illegal," the Cop-in-training points out. He finishes a little more than half of his food before he sets the container and chopsticks aside and sort of nestles down onto the sofa. "Wake me up if there's a run or anything…"

Cassandra gives Barbara a brief grin around her Thai food before glancing over at Bruce as he puts the cowl back on. Her expression slips back to something neutral and it looks like she's just staring at the Dark Knight for a moment. Barbara's seen the two together often enough to know they don't use words very often, and Cassandra 'sees' more than most. Even when the Bat is hiding them.

Well, at least they got a spring roll in Batman before he left. Babs will let Alfred know he ate something, as little as it was, before heading out. One man to protect the whole city, and a fleet of people to keep him going. If he knew how much they worry, he'd…ok so he wouldn't change anything. She finishes her pad thai. "I'm going to go grab a shower and get dressed for the night. Don't blow up anything while I'm gone." With that she rolls to her personal rooms.

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