Black Friday Gotham

November 24, 2017:

It is Black Friday and Harley, Steph and Cole were foolish enough to go shopping. The Royal Flush Gang was also… just foolish enough.

Sheldon Park Mall

It is a mall in Gotham, it was probably built over a cemetery as part of an evil conspiracy to destroy America. They only sell black trench coats.


NPCs: The Royal Flush Gang: King, Queen, Jack, the Ten of Clubs and the robot Ace (KIA).



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

It is Black Friday! The Mall is packed full with insane people. Even for Gotham standards. No one should go through this, seriously. Along the afternoon… three heart attacks, five tramplings, nine stabbings, four of them caused by a desperate store clerk that had to be dragged directly to Arkham Asylum.

It is a really bad day to get a new coat after the last one ended up full of bullet holes (like every coat he has owned). But after several years out of the US, Cole Cash had no idea of what he was getting into. Or maybe he was drunk. Whatever the case, he came here and… he is honestly looking for a way out. He wasn't drunk enough.

Wait… he just saw a shop with good sales of dark coats and trench coats (of course all coats and trench coats sold in Gotham are dark). Now, he probably needs to kill someone to get a clerk to pay attention to him. On the other hand if things get too bad, he will just steal it. Yep, he has a plan. Maybe he -was- drunk enough.

Why? Why be out during Black Friday? Because the crazies are out and some times GCPD needs a hand to try to contain them? No, because Stephanie's life is an insane mess and she hadn't realized what day it was until AFTER she got into the store, had found what she wanted, and then fist-fights. The blonde slips away from that mess, ducking into the coat store as she retreats from the fray. She keeps her hands on her purse, tucking it against her midsection as she watches the Mall Cops pulling people away from each other. A relieved sigh escaped her pink glossed lips.

Black Friday is best Friday because it is kind on a recoveri— er, good-natu— er.

It's kind on Harley, okay?! It's kind on her pocketbook in particular because she is actually buying things. With unstolen cash. And if this doesn't get her on Santa's fat chump Good list, she's calling shenanigans.

…okay, FINE. The silver bracelet with the little jester charm on it from the little cart in the middle of the mall's hall might have just been "liberated" without monetary exchange. But if they didn't want it stolen, then they probably should have actually watched the blonde when she was standing right next to it. But they're paid minimum wage to try to gouge her first. It was steal or be stolen from! Legitimate problems, here. And they definitely should have been looking with the chick in the black jeans, tank, and leather jacket went skipping away.

THE IMPORTANT THING is that said bracelet is now glittering happily around the blonde's wrist to be admired as she enters the self-same store where Grifter is. And she doesn't intend to kill someone to get attention. Instead, she spies a clerk and puts both of her hands around her mouth. "HEY YOU," she calls into the store with absolutely zero acknowledgment that there might be such a thing as 'inside voice'. "WHERE'S THE LADIES' STUFF?" Because she can't be bothered to look for herself, apparently.

The shop assistant, nerves frayed after a whole day of crazy, jumps a few inches when Harley shouts. A dozen customers direct evil glares to the blonde, failing to recognize her. They only see another Enemy here.

Cole calmly applies a little degauss device to the magnetic tag of the coat he fancies. Yes. Not dealing with murderous Gothamites. He has fought in every hellhole in Earth in the last 20 years. He knows when to avoid battles.

Unfortunately fate has other ideas.

There is a loud crash outside as the mall's stylish skylight shatters. Then the speaker system of the mall is hijacked.


A bunch of colorful subjects float down on flying cards the size of magic carpets. Yes, they have that kind of technology and they are going to rob a mall. Then again, it is Black Friday, there might be millions involved here.

Mall security tries to break through the crowd to do something, but the King of Spades and the Ten of Clubs starts shooting with weird-looking guns that shoot razor sharp metal cards.

In their defense they have great aim; they hit the rent-a-cops without injuring anyone else.

But seriously? They open fire, of course there is a lot of screaming, of course there is a stampede out as thousands of customers decide not to be there all at once.

Of course it are going to be more tramplings. Do the care? Not really, they just want the cash from the shops. And maybe the stuff from the jewel stores.

By the door of the same coat shop as Cole and Harley, Stephanie takes a moment to reconsider her life choices about shopping today when Harley yells for attention. The batling out of uniform turns to look, as everyone else does, and her cheeks pale faintly. And then the skylight crashes in, and Stephanie turns her attention outside the store, pressing herself against the doorframe as the stampede begins.

Next time, she's setting an alert to go on patrol instead of shopping on the third Friday of November. Her eyes flit to the hallway exit where there are some bathrooms. She could maybe summon her skycycle with her phone, set it to.. yeah. yeah! That's the ticket. Get her skycycle to try to draw some of their attention up so as to clear the way for the civilians down here and… then… she'll figure out a way to get to her bike. She's got a spare uniform and cowl in the saddlebags.

Her phone is drawn out, the black phone not the bedazzled Hello Kitty phone that's in her right butt pocket, and ducking back behind the stand of folded leather jackets by the entrance, Stephanie keys in the remote command for her bike to get here ASAP.

"Really?" Harley looks in the direction of the new arrivals and then her eyes grow wide at the card guns. "Oooooooh," she remarks with dark intention rising in her pale eyes. "Those are fun." After not even a moment's consideration, she says brightly. "I need one of those." She looks around the store quickly, and then finds one of the long hooks for hanging up the clothes up on the wall. With a few skipping steps, she goes to pick up the thing and she tests it in her hand. "I love it when the shopping comes to you!" she merrily explains to a cowering customer in the store before taking the hook with her, settling it against her, and heading for the front door.

Harley would find the halls of the mall pretty hard to navigate with so many people running like headless chickens. Four card-based villains stare to the chaos with amused grins. Or maybe greedy grins. "The cops will never get here on time," states the Queen of Spades."

Then the Skycycle floats down through the skylight. "It is Batman!" Yells the Jack of Clubs. "What?… there is no one in that thing," points out the King. "It is the Invisible Batman!" Insists Jack. "There is no invisible Batman, you moron," insists the King. "How do you know? No one can see him!"

Ten is the first to open fire against the Skycycle, but there razor-sharp cards only scratch the paint. King tries too. Queen has to move her card out of the way of the flying machine to avoid being run over. The skycycle is heading to Steph, of course.

Meanwhile Cole has put on his red mask on, and walks out of the shop in his new dark green coat. No bullet holes on it yet. "Sometimes I hate Gotham," he comments to no one. He has a black-plated Desert Eagle semi-automatic in his hand.

Hunkering down, Steph shifts her phone landscape so she can remote control her bike. Several options flit by her thoughts as she taps commands on her phone. There's always the kill the lights and drop some smoke screen option. Then Steph could grab what she needed, change and be fighting before anyone else know what was going on. With the sheer amount of people still panicking, however, everything but the lights sounded like a good idea. She instead, Steph keys in for the bike to turn to face the Flush Gang and buy her some time by having it back through the display, fire a net at one of the attackers while dropping a tiny payload of Steph's quick-change gear amid the manequins.

As she nears the store's front doors, Quinn casts her gaze in Grifter's direction with her store hook cast up over her shoulder like a shepherd's crook. "Aw! Do you want one of those fun little card guns, too? If we take everyone out together, I'll be sure to leave you one…"

But then her pale eyes lift upwards towards the cycle and all of the chaos that it's causing with the new guests, and her lips purse and twist to one side. "Huh. That could be a problem with my wonderful plan."

She looks back in the masked gentleman's direction, then shrugs. "Ah, well. I could still use an outlet for the very bad month I'm having." All of this said with a bright smile and a nod, as though there wasn't screaming and violence, and as though Grifter actually cared. "See ya' out there, handsome!" And then she looks for a place to get above the crowd so she can move upstream, as it were.

She sees a platform just a little down the current of people, where plants have been potted decoratively. It matches one that's far closer to where she wants to go. The be-pigtailed blonde moves towards it, using her hook to push people back without really doing so much to hurt them, intending to climb up and start using the line of walls to racing towards the villains.

As the Skycycle turns back for another round at the card-riding villains, the Queen just jumps to the second floor balustrade to get out of the way, close to Steph, but the villain keeps her eyes on the Skycycle. King shots several razor-sharp cards to the flying machine, shattering the bullet-proof windshield and shredding the seat, but failing to cause any damage to the engine or the turbines, which are well-shielded.

Jack fires a couple times to the place where an 'invisible rider' would be, which means the cards miss wildly. Then he spots Harley and squint eyes. "Hey, I know you, don't I? Don't move?" He points with the card-gun to the pale blonde.

Then the man screams in pain as Grifter shots him on the kneecap. He falls from the card and makes a big splash on the fountain two floors down. "I just wanted a new coat, seriously," he comments to Harely. Then louder. "All right, you morons! I have a real gun, so drop you dumbass toy guns and fly down to the floor!"

Of course it doesn't work. King shots him a couple cards. Cole blows them up halfway win the air with two quick shots, then he shoots at King. But the gang leader is already diving out of the way. And the burly Ten is charging Cole from the side.

Queen on the banister. Near where Steph needs the skybike. Thanks for the opening. Two taps, and Steph waits for the bike to rev up, and slam backwards toward the glass over her head, headed directly on a path that would catch the queen with the back bumper.. unless she cleared out. Steph's already pulling her shirt off to hold over her head like a glass-shard umbrella.

Soon as bike-butt is in the shop, and in the chaos of faling glass, Steph's care-package gets dropped wehre she can grab for it. She's already plotted out the camera angles. She's pretty well hidden for a wardrobe change.

Don't move? Harley strikes a 'who, me?' sort of expression, and holds her hands up after tucking the shop hook behind her neck. "Y'mean, you don't recognize me? I'm hurt! Bleedin'! Cut to the qui—" Grifter's shot strikes true, and then there's a downright cruel smile. "Oh, no. You're bleeding. My bad."

There's a joyous squeal as Harley catches sight of Jack's drop, and she goes racing up the narrow wall containing the greenery. As her bright blue eyes catch sight of the gun that goes clattering towards the floor as Jack falls forward, she moves with greater purpose. Okay, sure, it would have been more awesome if she'd taken him out herself, but she's not about to get choosy. Still holding onto her shop hook, the woman then plunges into the crowd for the gun. "FINDERS KEEPERS! OUTTA MY WAY. IT'S MINE."

And unless someone stops her, she's grabbing that thing and aiming it up in the Queen's direction. "Now, to see how my new toy works…" she says, teeth bared in a grin.

"It is after me!" Yells the Queen as the Skycycle reverses and comes for her. She dodges left when she should have dodged right and gets slammed through the glass showcase of Hot Topic. Hey, it probably saves her from being card-cut by Harley. That gun is pretty simple to use, although getting more ammo is going to be difficult. They are weird razor sharp metallic cards.

Meanwhile Ten tackles Cole, but the blonde masked man just judo-throws him down to the fountain below. "Amateurs," he mutters.

This makes King pretty upset. He is the last man (card?) standing. "Oh yeah. But we have an ace in the hole. Ace! Ace!" Ace drops from the broken skylight. He is seven foot tall, and when he lands on the floor of the mall's lower floor, he dents the polished floor with his feet. "I am Ace!" He announces, his voice obviously synthetic. He is the Ace of Spades. All white and shiny but for the black 'spade' in his chest.

Cole shots him on the head.

The bullet shatters a chunk of his 'skin', revealing metal underneath. "Shit, a robot," mentions Grifter. A second later Ace jumps, crashing through the first floor balustrade floor and sending the masked man flying into a candy store.

Batling quick changes make runway models jealous. They also don't leave all the time for zipping up completely, and Steph's suit reveals just a bit of collarbone above the line of her purple sportsbra. No time for the compression underarmor that helps absorb some impact, no time for compression socks, but soon enough Steph's dressed and ready and

CRASH!!! I am Ace!

Everyone looks over at the very tall robot-man doing his best Chinashop Bull impersonation. Spoiler uses the cover to pull herself up onto her bike and zip back out into the fray. Right for Ace. She has a small bit of shooty things available to her and more control over some pre-programmed manuveurs she can set up. This she turns on Ace, while pulling a small but intense EMP pulse grenage from her bike's side by her knee.

She's just got to buzz Ace with the bike so she can drop down behind the tall guy, get in close and personal, and set the pulse off against the small of his back. Knowing that the pulse is going to black out her HUD, she's already having the cowl flick her lenses up so she won't end up blind as a bat.

Here's to hoping the bike flying back into the area keeps the King's attention long enough for Spoiler to neutralize their Ace into a hole.

"Well, that's a little bit of a letdown," Harley sighs, with regards to the gun. "Ah, well. Not everythin' can be a home run." Shooting with gleeful abandon, Harley keeps shooting until there's nothing left. Although, partway through she changes her direction to whichever of the crew happens to have the biggest opening. (Except for Ace. If she hits him and finds the card ammo doesn't do anything, she's not wasting her firearm's juice).

The Batling gives her pause for a minute, but… yeah. Not worth worrying about just yet. Or… The clown-out-of-costume looks to the crowd, briefly, and then begins pointing towards the way they're fleeing anyway with her shop hook. "Yes, yes! Run that way, Law Abiding Citizenry! Get out of the way!" Then, she bellows up to Spoiler: "YOU SEE ME BEING HELPFUL DOWN HERE, RIGHT?"

Gloating. It is gloating time for King. "Hahaha. Destroy them, Ace. This will show you to mess with the Royal Flush Gang." Queen is stumbling out of Hot Topic, looking a little dazed. Ten is helping Jack to limp out of the fountain. Those three are not much for gloating.

Then Harley starts shooting. And King starts screaming as the razor-cards slice his left leg and then his shoulder. His outfit is somewhat armored, but those cards -hurt-.

Ace to the rescue! The robot runs and jumps towards Harley. But it gets hit by Spoiler EMP grenade, so he lands face first on the floor, crashing messily. "Re-boot, re-boot," he chirps. Cheap robot, bad shielding.

The other villains are definitely trying to escape now.

Ace drops and Spoiler's flinging a set of bolos at Jack and Ten with one hand while using her other to grapple herself back up to her bike.

"Yes, Quinn! I see you being 'helpful'," Spoiler retorts, most of her focus on ending this insanity of cards as quickly as she can. After all, we've got a royal flush and a packing Harlequin. There's no way Spoiler's ready for a Joker to pop up.

"Please don't make anyone bleed out," she asks of the other blonde, having heard the gunshot, but not seeing Grifter, she assumes it was Harley. Thus: "Or shoot anyone any more!"

Spoiler's aiming to get back up to her bike so she can swing around for a clear leaping tackle at Queen. As in chess, the King is always the last to fall. Likely, he'll topple himself.

At Spoiler's disapproval, Harley whines and pouts theatrically. "Awwwwwwww, but the bleedin' is how you know yer doin' a good job! AND THEY SHOT FIRST, IN CASE YOU DIDN'T NOTICE." She sniffs and watches as Ace hits the ground. She runs over there, and then gently leaps down from the wall to see if it has any of the fun card guns. That way she can share with her new friend, the masked man.

The bolos take care of Ten and Jack, which end very much entangled to each other. Then Spoiler jumps on Queen. Queen is a decent martial artist, but after being run through the window by the Skycycle, she is not able to present much resistance.

Cole also limps out of the candy store. His new coat visibly shredded and stained. They usually end up like that after a few weeks. This one got ruined in record time.

Ace has no gun, but it is slowly recovering from the EMP. Which makes Cole willing to let King go to jump down to join Harley. "We need to disable it permanently this thing… uh, you are Harley Quinn, aren't you?"

Spoiler drops the Queen, leaving her unconscious and zip-tied, before leaping back up to the railing. It hasn't escaped the batling's notice that the two others are no longer helping detain the Royal Flush gang. Spoiler just sighs over it as she launches herself at the King to give him teh same treatment as she gave his Queen.

"I noticed they shot first!" Spoiler retorts back, not believing that she's having this argument with Harlequinn while fighting off badguys. Her life is surreal some days. And getting more so since the bat family usually isn't active during the day and certainly NOT in Gotham. Of course, this batling's been spotted with Avengers and has been a lot more daytime than the others.

"I JUST WANTED TO BE SURE." Because now it's on record, right? Harley probably doesn't have to be quite so loud to be heard, but she is. Because yelling feels good. Stooping down, the blonde looks for some kinda door or seam to tear open on Ace at Grifter's help to refocus. She has no problem standing up and shoving it over with her foot if she needs to. All of Spoiler's work goes largely unnoticed and wholly unappreciated by Quinn.

At her name she looks up. "I suppose that depends on who's askin'," she tells him before continuing the search for an access point.

"Yeah, good answer," replies Cole. This close Harley can see a few possible sliding panels on Ace's back. But the robot is trying to stand up, hard to go for them.

"Grifter," says the blonde man as introduction. Then he moves away a few yards kicks the fire cabinet open, grabbing the fireman axe. Whack-clang-clang. He is going for Ace's head, shattering metal plates. "I hope… there is something… important… in the head!" Looks like the robot is slowing down, so maybe there is.

King is fleeing in his flying card. But it is no match for the Skycyle, so Spoiler catches up with him before he reaches the skylight and the (now) night outside. He is injured by Harley cards, so his ability to fight back is limited. He is also the least athletic of the villain team.

Clang! Clang! Clang.

Oh what now? When the King's down and zip tied, Spoiler pauses to look over as the pair of blonde are traying to axe chop into Ace, and she pinches the bridge of her nose. She sets her bike of hover at athe skylight, leaping down to make her approach turning their duo into a trio of blondes.

"You know, if you gave me a moment, I could find the OFF switch…" she comments as she slows near them. The lenses of her cowl slip shut again, her HUD back online. She looks Harley over, mentally going over if the clown-girl did anything to warrant Spoiler needing to act.

There's the stolen shop hook that Harley is (not-so-)helpfully using to take turns swinging at Ace with, but mostly just hooting encouragingly at Grifter as he whacks at the robot with 'get 'im's and 'good one!'s.

Because she's very moralizing. Ask any— Okay, don't ask anyone.

And there's the shoplifted bracelet around her wrist. But Quinn is decidedly light on the accessories today.

As Spoiler approaches, though, the gal criminal shifts uncomfortably. And giggles nervously. "Hi?" she greets with an uncertain smile, her fingers wiggling in greeting as she chews on a fingernail. She doesn't have to worry about the robot, right? The manly man has it under control.

"Yeah, well…" grunts Grifter. "I don't carry plasma grenades or laser guns when I am trying to buy a coat, y'know?" Not that he can afford plasma grenades at the moment. But he might have one or two stored somewhere. "Off switch? You think they put a red self-destruct button somewhere too?" He glances to the tied up pair of Ten and Jack. "For fuck sake. Yeah, maybe they did."

Pause. "But hitting a robot on the head with an axe is much more satisfactory. After this. Fucking. Friday." Clang-clang-clang. Crack. Ace stops moving. Grifter tosses the axe away. "You are too purple to be Robin," he says to Spoiler. "Love the flying bike, though. I'm Grifter. Just passing by."

"Hi," Spoiler greets in reply to Harley, finding nothing amiss on the woman. She doesn't have her suit set up to auto-access security feeds, thus the stolen bracelet fails to register. Add to that the fact that as Stephanie, Spoiler had noted that Harley had walked into the coat store she and Grifter were in when this mess started to seemingly PURCHASE a coat, and the batling was not ready to try to subdue Harley long enough to arrest her. Besides, for the moment, Harley's file had her 'out on probation' or something similar. Joker had been quiet since the cocoons and mists issue, and Harley had been missing since before that.

People are defined by the second chances they are given.

Spoiler watches Grifter take out his frustrations on the poor robot without seeming much emotion.

"Spoiler," offers the batling to Grifter. Harley knows who she is, or should. After all, all the batlings know Harley.

"I was helping," Harley repeats, defensive. And then, she points to the man who is presently destroying some technology. "And, uh… Um." The card gun she had in hand is quickly dropped to the ground and kicked behind her as she lifts a foot coquettishly. "And I ain' doin' nothin'. So, uh…" She turns her hand upside down to make some Yellow Pages style walking fingers. "I'll just skedaddle, yeah? Because I'm sure you and Mistah Brawn here got lots of introductions to do. What with ya' both bein' heroes today on this, the Blackest of Black Fridays. I mean, ya don't need a third wheel, right? Right. So, I'm just gonna go now."

And with that, the woman starts backing away slowly. Because Batfamily is Crazy Family. And that's a crazy that the woman in black really, REALLY doesn't need right now. "Arrivey Dershi!"

Grifter looks around and nods to Spoiler. "You actually got them all, nice." Then Harley, "see you around, or whatever." Hopefully not. Probably yes. But Harley wasn't nearly as bad as he had been told. "Cops should be about to arrive. I guess I better go too. I am trying to keep a low profile." No objections? Then he runs towards the emergency stairs. Heading up. It is the rooftops highway for him.

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