Batman's Robot

September 10, 2014:

Green Arrow meets Batman's Robot. Or does he?

Gotham City

A terrible city, with abysmal property values. Inexplicably popular.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: Clock King's Robot Soldiers


Fade In…

"No. Still haven't found anything. But we knew this was probably a dead end. Clock King doesn't really leave evidence behind." All around Green Arrow's feet, the remnants of some of Clock King's robot soldiers lie in horrible disrepair. Several minutes ago they were all in perfect working order, but the plethora of arrows that have pierced their metal hides seem to have rendered the robots inoperable. "… well yeah, I guess the robots ARE technically evidence, but I'm not about to try and open them up and look for clues. I didn't go to space camp."

"Hm? Archery camp, actually. A lot of those skills are universal."

Much of Oliver's face is illuminated by the screen of his next-gen qPhone. The one that the public won't get to preorder until the 12th. The one that's very similar to the last one, but with a larger screen and with a bigger chip. He holds the phone in front of him with the conversation broadcast on speaker. Apparently he isn't very worried about people listening in on his very secure line. After all, who from Queen would listen to his conversation? He's the friggin' CEO.

At his feet, one of the robots begins to squawk and shower sparks from its mouth. This rude interruption of Green Arrow's very private conversation with a member of Team Arrow is punished most severely, as GA sends an arrow right through the box that functions as the thing's brain.

~

The mysterious Oracle is something of legend in the superhero and vigilante communities. No one knows if the hacker is male or female, old or young, in the US or on the Moon for that matter. Well, a few select individuals know, and those keep the secret close to the vest.

Tonight, Barbara Gordon, the woman behind the ghost in the machine, is seated behind her Clocktower console in Gotham, perusing a wealth of data on a vigilante that has cropped up the radar outside of their normal stomping ground. The Green Arrow has become worrisome, not only because he seems to have expanded his operations outside of Star City, but because some of his marks have wound up dead. Add that to the fact that the government and SHIELD both seem to have some kind of interest in him, and combine it with some of her cameras around Gotham picking up someone matching his description tonight? That's a recipe for all kinds of bad.

Oliver's qPhone cuts off from his call suddenly, and the screen image is replace with that of an androgynous, glowing green computerized head. "Hello Green Arrow. This is your friendly neighborhood Oracle, here to advise you on a few matters regarding Gotham City."

~

"What the what?" As if he suddenly discovered that he was holding a live hand grenade, Green Arrow reflexively throws his qPhone across the room. Barely midway through it's flight arc, two arrows have already perforated the poor device which ultimately results in the thing being pinned to the wall more than ten meters away from him. One might think this would be enough distance for even the most suspicious and reactionary of minds.

One would be wrong. After firing the arrows, Our Hero did a dramatic sideways Action Roll and landed behind the closest cover he could find. Laying flat with his eyes shut tight and his hands over his ears, he looks like someone who is expecting an explosion far more powerful than one that could reasonably be produced by the type of payload one could fit inside a cellular phone. Apparently explosions are a frequent hazard in his line of work. As are hostile smartphones.

A second passes. Two. Three. The Emerald Archer opens an eye. Then two. "What the cuss?" Slowly he stands up, looking cautiously in the direction of his now useless phone.

"Whoever programmed that creepy-looking web assistant is fired. Period. I didn't even touch the 'home' button."

He taps the interface of the green watch on his wrist. "Take a note. Fire somebody. Fix the new phone's home button. Come up with a new name for the web assistant. Pretty sure some other company owns the rights to the name 'Oracle.'"

~

The voice is as androgynous as the computer head on the screen, but back in the Clocktower, Barbara Gordon is not nearly as calm and collected as her cyberspace counterpart. She sighs at the destruction of the phone as she begins bringing up screen after screen of police reports and security footage from Green Arrow "crime" scenes. Humorously, she also does a search on any stolen Queen qPhone prototypes as she doesn't recognize the model yet.

Behind Oliver, a bank of wi-fi capable tv-screens in a store front flicker to life and the green face is on them all. "If I assume correctly, that you realize you're in Gotham City right now, I also have to assume you understand who this city's protector is. Are you aware of Batman's rules for vigilantism in the Gotham City Limits?" Oracle asks, her humorous sarcasm lost with the voice modifications.

~

For a second, it looks like Green Arrow is about to do another Action Roll away from danger. But by the time he's processed that impulse, it's already pretty obvious that he's not in danger yet. So he simply pulls his hood down further over his eyes and activates his voice modulator. Sure, it's probably too late, but it's better to exercise caution now rather than later. Who knows who might be on the other end of the line?

"Uh…"

As he scratches the back of his hooded head, it looks like that might be all that Green Arrow has to add to the conversation. Fortunately, he manages to lose his confusion as quickly as he lost his dignity. "City limits are arbitrary, man-made distinctions. What matters to me isn't the lines on a map, it's the suffering of people that I care about. I might be a bit behind on the news, but I don't remember any suffering people signing a petition to secede from the Union and elect Batman as their king."

~

"Cute. You're quite a character, Arrow. But whether you like it or not, Gotham belongs to the Bat, and believe me, you don't want to piss off tall, dark, and spooky. He doesn't like upstart vigilantes on his turf making things messy. So I'm here to do you a favor by giving you a heads up on the rules of behavior when you're visiting our not-so-fair city," Oracle intones.

A large #1 appears on the screens. "Rule number one, no killing. Good or bad guys. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Rules number two, see rule number one. Rules 3 through 100, ditto." NO KILLING" is spread out across the bank of tv screens in big white letters. "Any questions?"

~

Green Arrow's hand starts to slowly come back down from behind his head. Turns out he wasn't scratching his head after all, but he's apparently decided that he doesn't need to fire an EMP Arrow at the entire lot of televisions. "Pfft. If Batman was the hero people seem to think he is, he'd have signed up to help me out by now. But if it makes you feel better, Oz, I didn't come here to kill anyone. Unless you're one of those robot rights activists."

Suddenly his tone grows a lot less self-confident. "Which… now that I think about it… would explain a lot about your whole… face… and stuff…"

"Hold on. Are you telling me that Batman has a robot?"

~

The message vanishes from the screens, to be replaced with grainy, dark footage, of some people getting a first hand (or fist) look at what happens when you piss off Batman in his city. It doesn't look like a fun ride. "Not a robot but, like you, my life would be infinitely less enjoyable if people knew who I actually am. Just stick to the rules and you shouldn't have any issues with Batman. As for him joining you, he has his hands full. Cleaning up Gotham isn't as easy as cleaning up Star City, Green Arrow." Babs settles back in her seat, shaking her head a bit at the guy. She debates giving Bruce a heads up, but better to let him find the guy on his own.

"Were you aware that SHIELD is looking for you? And that someone in the government has been cleaning up some of your messes?" Oracle asks curiously.

~

"Someone in SHIELD? Someone in government? Gee, that's helpful in a so cryptic it's not actually helpful way." Green Arrow's posture relaxes, but even though the only portion of his face that's fully visible is his mouth, it's clear that he's more frustrated by the robot's attempts to enlighten him than anything else. He also doesn't look even remotely jealous of Batman's karate skills. Not at all.

"Let me answer the question just as concretely: I may or may not have possibly known that."

~

"If Gotham starts getting flooded by SHIELD agents and Government squints hunting you down, Arrow, the Bat is really going to be unhappy. I'm just giving you a heads up. Take care of your business here and move on. The sooner the better. But if you need more information, I'm always available. You'll find a prepaid phone in the alley two blocks south, third brick from the X in the graffiti is loose, it's behind it. You can contact me on that if you want. Or you can ignore it. I'm an information broker of sorts." Oracle focuses in on a camera pointed at the alley to see if he picks up the phone. She has then secured all over the city, with a database of frequencies and chip numbers to activate them.

~

"Jesus, Batman's Robot. We've only known each other a few minutes and you're already trying to get me to call you. It's the hood, right? I thought about going with kind of a retro look with an archer's cap. But reactions like this definitely make me think the whole 'mysterious hooded rogue' look was the right call." With a stubble-framed smile, the mysterious hooded rogue turns to leave. He's taking things pretty well in stride, for a man who has encountered so many robots in the last half hour.

At first, he goes the opposite way, as if he has no intention whatsoever of doing anything so crude as doing what he was told. But about a half block away from the tv screens he suddenly changes his mind. "Screw it. I should probably ask him how he hacked into my qPhone so easily anyway… what's the worst that can happen?"

Which is why for several minutes, a mysterious hooded rogue stands in a dark alley, pushing on random bricks as he tries to remember which one holds the magic link to Batman's Robot.

He eventually figures it out.

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