Worse Alternatives

February 10, 2017:

Batman isn't the only figure criminals have to worry about in Gotham. Sometimes there are worse alternatives. Two of them show up.



NPCs: Very unlucky criminals



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

A break in the winter's cold has drifted through Gotham's cracked and battered streets in the form of a warm front, dragging behind it damp spring air. It's enough to take the sting out of the night weather and, with an umbrella, isn't too bad for February. As the sliver of a crescent moon disappears from the sky behind heavy clouds, the corner of Gotham's broad dockyards falls into shadow just in time for the arrival of a black, unmarked Bentley to pull up out front. A dark-dressed man steps out with a suitcase handcuffed to his wrist and is lead inside by a set of guards all in matching suits and ties. On the rooftop, more men peer down with rainwater spilling off the brims of their fedoras, keeping watch.

Juno doesn't much mind cold weather - at least, not until it gets down closer to freezing. That doesn't mean she's going to stop wearing hoodies until the average temperature hits 'seasonably warm' though. Jeans and sneakers will do to keep her legs warm in the meantime. Crouching on a different roof, phased and hidden in the shadow of a place far too small to fit an entire girl, she watches through a monocular as the man with the briefcase is led inside.

Counting down the seconds, she disappears silently into the wall behind her and emerges on the other side, circling around the long way to creep along in the darkness at the edges of the roofs. She wants in behind those guys while they're still concentrating on their task.

Five, four, three, two, one…

The door closes. Juno bursts into motion, a small black blade in her right hand, darting in close to stab the tip of it very, very precisely in between two of the vertebrae in his neck. She waits for him to go limp and phases his body into the roof where nobody will find it without demolishing the place. She'll keep his gun, though, because she doesn't have one of these yet and she likes it.

Down below, bodies mill around a central table lit by aging yellow lights overhead. A mumble of words are exchanged as the suitcase is presented and another man provides the key to unlock it. Inside? Cold, hard case.

The dead thug passes soundlessly into the floor as his body becomes one with the roof, leaving only his weapon behind. A truncated gasp is the only sound, lost within the rain.

Get Equipped With: Tommy Gun

Suddenly, the lights of the building go dark and the men inside turn frantic as they pull out flashlights and look around. An unlucky tree branch might have just taken out the power but Gotham's criminals are a superstitious bunch and rightly so. "Bad luck" tends to be followed by Batman.

Juno receives one (1) Tommy Gun. Yessss.

She looks around and considers the others. They're bad men too, or they wouldn't be here. But she's really curious now about what's in that suitcase. Maybe a /treasure/. She can always come back in just a minute and finish up here…!

She straps the gun to her back with a length of cord from a pocket, and leaps down to the street below. Landing on silent feet, she watches the lights go out inside with polite interest. Hmm. That wasn't something she expected. If she wants to see what's in the case, she'd better hurry up before something bad happens!

She ghosts through the corner of the building, following the walls until she thinks she's found— ah, yes, there it is! It's harder to see in the dark, of course, but Juno always makes do.

Wait, is that money?

Booooriiiiing. :C

Money yes, but under new ownership by the time the ghost slips through the interior wall. Frozen for an instant, a pair of orange cat-eyes gleam in the flashlights from beneath the inky black hood of a shadow - a ninja's shadow with her hands on the suitcase and the trusty handcuff popped open beside it. She looks about an average height but anything about her behind her shining eyes is covered by coal-black canvas or oil-black face paint. For just a moment, their animalistic gaze find Juno's.

Time unfreezes and the ninja dives out of the the flashlight's cone as she slams the suitcase shut and shoves it under her jacket. Then the gunfire begins.

Juno doesn't much care who it belongs to, though she supposes it's pretty nice that it doesn't belong to those men anymore! They didn't deserve it.

The ninja's eyes meet Juno's, and the smaller girl just smiles. Like they made eye contact across an ice cream shop or something! She doesn't seem inclined to try to steal Nerina's hard-stolen loot.

She does, however, sling her new toy off of her back and spin in place, returning fire in short bursts as bullets pass through her like smoke.

Her aim is very, very good.

Is… is she /humming/?

In the pandemonium of the gunfight, whipping flashlights and roaring gun barrels illuminate the dark room in flashes as bullets cut through the air. The noise is deafening as it echoes across the walls, drowning out screams and shouts. The manmade torchlight glow like beacons before Juno and each still-living gunman as the walls are speckled with blood and the space behind the ghost riddled with bulletholes. The sudden panic only lasts a couple deadly seconds and just like that, before the echoes have even stopped or the gun smoke cleared, there's a new pile of bodies for Gotham General Hospital or the city morgue.

An eerie silence replaces the noise, punctuated by the pained groan of one survivor. A sliver of light dares to peek down through the skylight as the moon finds a gap in the storm and the ninja comes back into view, climbing out from underneath the table she'd dove underneath. She stands most of a head taller than the diminuitive spectre and her cat-eyes peer around, surveying the dead and wounded before landing on Juno's still standing form, tommy gun and all. The suitcase-shaped bulge in her jacket is rather hard to miss.

It's over fairly soon. Juno is happy; she likes it when things go well. She hasn't been wounded, and all her enemies (save one) are dead, so this is going very well indeed! Even the strange silent ninja girl seems to be fine!

A quiet, agonized groan breaks the silence. Ah, there he is. Juno beams at the girl with the briefcase, and turns away. The last survivor dies, his braincase obliterated by close-range semi-automatic fire. Juno nods in satisfaction and turns back to watch the thief with curious eyes.

"…How does it fit underneath your jacket?" she asks cheerfully, pointing her gun at the floor.

The ninja takes a moment to adjust her jacket, making the bulge look at least slightly more natural. She regards Juno in silence, peering down at her with a sharp gaze. There's no katana strapped to her back or assault rifle slung across her shoulders, there aren't even any knives poking out. But then again, calling the ninja unarmed might be jumping to conclusions.

Sliding her sandals backwards across the floor, she slips soundlessly to one of the fallen bodies and begins rifling through his pockets. Abruptly, she flings his gun into the air, shattering the skylight overhead and raining broken glass down on the room. The ninja doesn't flinch as shards, or rain, fall against her hood.

The ninja is wearing all black, has black facepaint on, and was more than confident in waltzing right in to take this from the hands of several armed men.

Juno is fairly confident that she is armed somehow, but that doesn't worry her very much. Few things do.

She tilts her head to the side, almost birdlike, as the silent woman adjusts the briefcase a bit. Hmmm… While Nerina rummages through pockets, Juno instead slides the magazine out of the machine gun to check it. She assumes that the men would go in with their ammunition full, but you can't be too careful. She'd hate to run out in the middle of something, just because she didn't check first!

Aw, only four rounds left. Pretty soon this new toy is going to become just another blunt instrument unless she can find more… Her head whips around at the sudden peripheral motion of a gun being… thrown? CRASH! There went the skylight. Rain pours into the room along with glass and a rush of cold winter air, and Juno does that headtilt thing again, like she doesn't understand why the ninja girl did that. "You're gonna get wet."

"So will evidence," the ninja replies, finally speaking with a pronounced Slavic accent, lumbering slowly over the words not in her tongue. She moves from body to body, stuffing most of the valuables she can find in around the suitcase. A handgun, bills from a wallet, even a watch. The ghost's presence is mostly ignored.

This is a good point. Every little bit helps, right?

Juno is a dirty cheater who doesn't have to touch things if she doesn't want to. She's spoiled.

But the ninja girl finally speaks, and Juno knows that accent - or certainly, ones like it. "<Would you rather speak like this?>" she asks in Russian. Of course, if Nerina actually speaks Ukrainian or Czech or something Juno is going to feel a little silly.

She doesn't interfere with the other girl's work. Just watches her curiously, as if she's never seen anybody rob dead bodies before.

The ninja pauses. "<You speak Russian?>" Self-evident perhaps, but also rare. Finishing her work, she stands and walks in a smooth, unhurried gate towards the exit - and right past Juno. Off in the distance, police sirens reverberate through the stone facades of Gotham's skyline. Somebody heard all those gunshots, but it will be a short while yet before the patrol cars reach their destination.

"<You do too,>" Juno notes cheerfully. She does almost everything that way, it seem. She doesn't reach out to touch or stop the ninja, head turning to watch as she leaves. This was pretty exciting after all, for a suitcase that only held money. "<There are still two on the roofs outside,>" she remembers to warn the other girl. "<I'll take care of them.>" She doesn't have long left - better get back to work!

In a blink, Juno is speeding up the stairs, the machine gun discarded, and a small pistol held easily in her gloved hand.

Outside, there is a shout. A smattering of gunfire, and two single pistol shots that interrupt it. "<Okay! It's safe!>" Juno calls back, stowing her weapon away somewhere. "<I have to go now though, see you later!>"

And she just… sort of runs through the wall of another building, vanishing.

How rude!

The ninja stares after her as Juno passes comfortably back and forth through solid stone. She raises an eyebrow as the ghost just as quickly departs and her eyes scan the floor when she ran. Reaching into her sleeve, she pulls out a flashlight and checks the ground for a trail - loose hairs or bits of fabric. As the sirens become audible to normal human hearing the ninja glances at her wristwatch. She'll only have a few moments before she too has to leave.

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