Resurgence: Chinatown War, Part 1

January 24, 2018:

A night of rooftop scouting for Batman and Spoiler detours into stopping a public street war of retaliation from the Penguin. Cassandra is found. Grifter is a good Samaritan

A Chinatown Street -- Gotham City - Gotham

A number of commercial street business tapers off into a warehouse district across the way.

Characters

NPCs: Penguin and Two-Face enforcers, numerous bystanders

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Chinatown. This region of Gotham city has been home to turf wars for months, now.

Just about all the major players want a piece of this pie; Two-Face has traditionally been the major turf holder, but with the man himself being kept in Arkham Asylum, his Underbosses have been in control, and they're being a lot more aggressive than their boss was.

But then, when you put all your decisions down to a coin toss, anyone else has to be saner than him. Right?

Right.

While Whale and Black Mask fight up in the northern parts of the city, Two-Face and Penguin have been duking it out down south… with others in the center of the city, pushing in various directions.

Chinatown… Chinatown is it's own barrel of fun. It's almost an entirely different world, compared to Gotham, even with the connections to the other sections of the City.

A different world that Cobblepot is /very/ interested in wrecking.

Penguin is understandable peeved at Two-Faces bosses after that well publicized Cove explosion. Everybody in the know knew the place was a lucrative smuggling channel, and that the Boss' attempt at taking control drew the Bat down. It's all a jumble right now, and no one knows who to blame yet, since most of the enforcers that were there are still in State custody, with the rest in hiding for fear of retaliation.

This particular section of Chinatown is known as one of the quieter parts of Chinatown, with commercial business on one end, and a row of warehouses on the other. Everybody in the know knows the Two-Face bosses use one of those warehouses as a safehouse.

A fact that has drawn four cars of armed Cobblepot thugs down on it, the high speed drive-by from sub-machineguns heard from blocks away as the shooting starts.

Batman has been keeping a low profile since the Cove incident, his fully white winter suit now being used full time, with the unrelenting winter storm still going. He's been following the cars to their destination via grapnel for five minutes now… and when the cars stop at the end of the block, he perches on a nearby rooftop, watching with a set of hi-powered binoculars.

Stephanie is allowed along, but is relegated to the stealth Batmobile, and kept a few blocks back.

Batman neurally clicks the transceiver, "Spoiler, they're hitting the warehouse, you can come up to the end of the block."

*

Cole has been in the area for a couple days. For once there is nothing even slightly illegal in which he is doing. He has a legit work, designing and setting up security in a storage area for what seems to be a legal corporate operation. Then again one never knows when big corporations are involved.

Not a lot of cash. But it should take just a couple weeks and he is, as usual, pretty much penniless.

Gunshots, of course, draw his attention. Just as he had sent the working crew home and was himself on the way out. It takes him just a minute to dig for his mask and pull two heavy handguns and hip holsters from his 'work' briefcase.

Then he does the stupid thing: he goes to investigate.

*

Come up to the end of the block.

"Acknowledged, Batman," Spoiler replies from the warmth and comfort and safety of the Stealthmobile. It take about two seconds for her to formulate a plan to do that and NOT seems like she's being needlessly reckless (that gets saved for New York, apparently). Unbuckling, Spoiler crawls into the driver's seat, readjusts a few things, then disengages the autopilot and brings the car around to the end of the block.

YES! This is SO COOL! Almost as coold as the time he led me into the vehicle bay and was almost like pick one. I had one so I said no, beause that would have been greedy, to have more than the two I have, btu still. It was so fun to look!!!

Ahem. Focus, Batfan.

Behind the wheel, Spoiler mans the sensors, reporting in anything the car's sensor package detects from this far out. Maybe nothing to help him in there, but at least nothing from THIS angle will surprise Batman. #WeHope

*

A young man is trying to explain what is happening to Cassandra Cain. He's speaking in a hurried tone that she can tell means he's agitated, even in trouble, but the gesturing and noises are not entirely clear to her. She gets the impression someone is coming, that they're dangerous, and that they are going to hurt someone important to him unless he can find help. She can also tell that he thinks that the help will come from Cassandra.

Cassie rises slowly to her feet. They're in a small, rundown apartment just off the street in one of the more ramshackle parts of Chinatown. Cassandra's been offered a futon here, having helped out the owner a few times with some problems. Sometimes people take his food or try to take his money, and Cassandra helps return those things to their owner. The family is kind. The owner is softspoken. Or he was. Now he's shouting. That is when the shooting begins.

Cassandra dives from her positionat hte foot of the futon and into the young man's torso, knocking him to the floor as bullets stitch the apartment acrossthe wall at about chest height. There are screams echoing form outside. Following her instincts, Cassie makes her way on her abdomen, crawling all the way to the door and then peering out into the street.

Cassie looked to the young man whose futon she was occupying and tilted her head toward the street. If he wanted her to help him find someone he'd have to lead the way. More gun shots echoed in the distance.

*

Then, both sides come out of their respective holes, and start getting into cover as the skirmish of the mob war starts. Bystanders every which way are ducking into cover, or getting out of dodge.

From Spoilers point of view, some of Two-Faces thugs are coming out a side door in the warehouse, and seem to be getting into position to flank the thugs.

When Grifter heads over, he's going south, along the other end of the warehouse from the thugs Spoiler just saw… so he gets a front row seat to about ten enforcers shooting at people just inside the warehouse to his left. There's enough cover around in the form of cars and assorted refuse around… but it isn't much.

It's around this time though, that things really get interesting.

Batman is known for preferring physical skills over technology for anyone who keeps a profile on him, and he has good reason for that. But even he is updating his arsenal, and it shows when he brings up his right forearm, neurally activates the pellet launcher, and smoke pellets are launched at great speed at both the warehouse defenders, and the Penguins thugs… putting half the block under a gigantic smokescreen.

"Fuck, it's him!" "I thought he was up north!" And other assorted shouts come from the chaos as Batman neurally activates his cape into a rigid glider as he divebombs into the Penguin group first… his helmets thermal vision making the thugs clear as day to him, while his opponents fire wildly into the smoke.

Then, the sound of cracking bones starts to fill the air as Batman goes to work, agonized screams and "THE BAT!" fill the air. Grifter can swear he sees shapes in that 'fog', but the smoke is too thick for him without visual aid.

For Cassandra, all she can really tell is that something very odd just happened.

*

Batman is updating his kit, and his support. In the car, sensors catching Two-Face's goons, Spoiler makes sure the information is relayed to Batman. When smoke encampuses the area, SPoiler is ready, using the sensor package to continue keeping a lookout and it's computers to update the minimap pings on Batman's HUD.

Hmm… people there. Spoiler adds a ping dot to Batman's HUD for each Cassandra and Mr. Liu. The color is a visble indicator of 'unknown, possible civilian'. Spoiler is setting to work on that cell signal she's picking up on that location. Not the hacker her counterparts are, SPoiler does know how to get the computer to do someof the automated things for her. She's hoping the computer can hack that signal and maybe let her turn the microphone on and listen in.

*

Hmm, gangwar. Grifter is used to those. Yes, there are cities (a few!) more violent than Gotham in the world. Just not in America.

No cover, no clue of what is going on. It looks like a bad idea to get involved. Until Someone drops the smoke and then he has great cover. He didn't see Batman, but he activates the filters in his mask and switches to night vision. Then dives in, kicking the closest gunman into a wall and running into the warehouse proper.

*

In a move that might surprise anyone who could see the look of utter terror on the man's face Cassandra's landlord nods when Cassandra gestures for him to lead the way. He quielty emergews from his apartment to look around and then tilts his head slightly in the direction that the gunmen had driven. Cassandra nods once. She moves nimbly from the doorway to the cover of an old truck parked nearby and then starts down the edge of the road.

Thugs have already unloaded and are making their way along the streets, from building to building. The man with Cassandra says something to her but she doesn't quite follow what he's trying to do. Then he does something quite foolish.

The man stands up. One of the clustered gunmen greets him as 'Mr. Liu', but he's also checking the magazine on his submachine gun. Mr. Liu shouts something angrily about his wife. The thug lifts his gun boredly.

Then Cassandra hits him. There are three men standing here, more heading down the street toward the big disturbance and the smokescreens. Then there are still three men, but only two are standing. She kicks the feet out from beneath the first of them and then ducks down low, using the resulting momentum to send him careening into a second. The third lifts his gun to fire at Cass but she pivots out of line with the weapon and lunges to take it from him.

Bullet fire is incredibly, impossibly loud in a confined place like an alley, or a narrow street. In light of that and the sheer terror it isn't surprising that Mr. Liu shouts. But then he slumps against the nearby wall, and a moment later crimson is running down his shirt.

It was a heroic sentiment, but Mr. Liu isn't going anywhere else tonight.

*

When Grifter kicks the gunman, there's a satisfying thud as he hits the warehouse wall and a shout of pain, before the gun clatters to the ground.

The warehouse itself opens up into a bunkhouse with about ten beds to each side; probably as much a barracks as a safehouse… and there shouts from further inside, through the far door.

Outside, chaos reigns.

Taking the split second to look at the update, Batman is still hard at work dodging and weaving, trowing people around and disarming people. A thug is kicked out of the smokescreen in Spoilers direction, visibly half flying as he is thrown into the front of a car and instantly goes down… and at the same time, the gunfire from Cassandras' fight goes flying around the alleyway, before the bullets start to point off the Stealthmobiles armored glass. As Batman continues, her thermal sensors also detect the defenders moving around to link up with the reinforcements from the eastern side of the warehouse, moving out of the smokescreen before getting into position to aim right into the fog where the assaulters are.

This is notes on Batmans end, however, and his left hand goes to his utility belt grapnel, the longer cord needed to reach that far as he accelerates over to the next fight, now visibly to Spoiler, Cassandra, and Grifter through the warehouse windows.

Yeah, that grapple gun is /fast/.

*

Grifter is not terribly interested in stopping gagsters from killing other gangsters. They had it coming. No, he is looking for civilians in trouble like…

Like this girl that just saw an older man die. Maybe her father. Yes, Cole missed Cass kicking the two of the trio of gangsters. He arrives just in time to shoot at the remaining one, thinking he is about to kill the girl. Blam-blam. Both shots to the head.

"Hey kid. Are you hurt?" He glances at Cass and rushes to see if Mr. Liu can be saved. His handgun still smoking.

*

Grifter moves into the warehouse, and Spoiler spots him.

"Ah. What are YOU doing here?" she says to herself even as she updates his location on Batman's HUD. It's a yellow dot, neutral but active in the combat and for the moment not acting against Batfam.

All pings updated adns et to monitor and refrech in real time, Spoiler notes how some move for a flanking position. Spoiler darkedns the glass from the outside, leaving her with visibility still.

She doesn't check in. She just moves, bringing hte Stealhmobile around toward that easternfront where some 'defenders' are amassing. She knows the vechile has some smoke screens itself and so as she drives past them, she coats them in smoke.

"Defenders on east flank are under smoke," she checks in now. Because smoke screen doen't show up on HUD minimaps.

*

Cassandra is squaring off wit hthe third thug when the shots ring out and then suddenly he isn't looking at her any longer. Or anything, actually. For a second the man stands there despite the holes through his skull. Thenn his knees buckle and he falls to the ground before sprawling outward.

Cassandra straightens then, whirling as Grifter speaks. Wide brown eyes stare up at thhe man as he asks his question but the young woman doesn't respond. Her eyes dart to Liu and he coughs loudly, groaning as he shifts where he's sprawled on the ground.

Liu is speaking, presumably to Cassandra. "Find… Mei. Please? I can't keep looking." Cassie ends up kneeling beside him, checking his wounds with gentle movements. He shoves her hands away and is met with a blank stare. "No. Find Mei. I'll… Be fine." That might be true. A gut shot like that might have missed the most important organs. Could be survivable. "Mei. M-e-i. I know you don't understand me but- you're the only one I can ask. Find her!"

The shout seems to get through to Cassandra, who straightens and looks over at Grifter before taking a deep breath. She stares for a long moment while Liu presses something into her hand. A wallet photo of a pretty girl, a bit older than Cassie.

Cassandra glances at it and then starts down the road at a run. Toward the shooting.

*

The yellow dot gets a split second attention, and Batman sparing a glance in that direction as he beats down the group he's in.

Spotting Grifter and Cassandra as she goes to a run, he notes a couple of the thugs turn guns in their direction away from him, before Batman launches a forearm pellet in Cassandras' direction, releasing another smoke screen to throw off their aim and hopefully get the girl running /towards/ the gunfire out of the line of fire. He doesn't have time for crowd control.

The second that's done, he turns back to the thugs around him, his forearm turned into a Batclaw as he pulls another enforcer over to him that was aiming in his direction… releasing the hook just in time to toss him into a group right behind himself, before he goes to town on the boss of the group, the sound of bones crunching as Batman dances around him… and the man plays his painful music.

"Make sure that runner isn't being attacked. I don't have time to get the civilians." Batman barks over the comms to Spoiler.

*

"On it," Spoiler replies, locking in on that runner, 'paitingin' it puple in their shared HUDs to indicate that she's in pursuit, and off she goes, gunning the otherwise near silent engines to give chase.

*

Grifter knows enough first aid to know the old man might either been very lucky or living on borrowed time. He makes sure he is relatively comfortable and turns to Cassandra. "Don't listen to him, press your hand against his… wait!"

"For fuck sake!" Kids nowadays. The mute girl is running straight into the firefight. He tosses an angry glance to Mr. Liu. But with the mask on there is no way the old man can see his anger. Then the blonde man runs after Cassandra.

*

A smoke screen explodes into being around Cassandra just as the nearest group of mobsters turns their weapons toward her. She drops to the ground on reflex, with jacketed lead screaming past with its approval of her decision to do so. They soon stop shooting, the smoke doing its job and making it impossible to aim.

At this point the girl rolls, coming into the relative safety of a building'sstoop as she evaluates her surroundings. Brown eyes widen as she tries to make sense of the smoke cloud, but even that relative calm doesn't keep Cassandra from starting to cough loudly as smoke envelopes her.

Grifter might be forgiven for having hoped that the smoke and bullets would have convinced Cassandra to stop. However, she doesn't. She's on her hands and knees, keeping low where the smoke has yet to fully permeate the air, and manages to make her way around the stoop and up against a nearby truck. Men with guns have been reduced to shadows. Grifter would hear them:

"Where'd that girl go?"

"What the fuck is going on?"

"Someone said Batman was here!"

"You think this was him?"

"You never kn-agh!"

The last voice was a man whose back was to the little Honda parked beside him, right to the moment when his gun was taken from him, his left arm shattered, and a blow to his throat ensures he doesn't warn the man beside him.

*

Some people just have no sense of priority.

Batmans right forearm shoots out once more as his grapnel hook into the wall just above Cassandra, and the white suited Batman /brutally/ starts to tear down the assailts around Cassandra. Batman can't be everywhere at once, but he can keep the rest of the enforcers in this war busy trying to find their guns after being disarmed in the smoke.

Cassandra watches as Batman works his way through the people around her… himself an obvious Grandmaster of the martial arts from the sheer grace of his movements. The man has been keeping the worst of Gotham in check for two decades, and his experience shows as he freeflows from one man to the next, knocking them down like dominos in all but name.

Grifter? He gets a front row seat to the beatdown as the smoke dissipates after a few seconds.

*

Grifter actually stops the chase when he sees through his lenses how Cassandra disables the first gunman with brutal efficiency. The hell? Batman arrival is almost anticlimactic. He -knows- Batman's reputation. But teenage girls are not supposed to do that.

Speaking of Batman. Someone he should avoid. Only thing he maybe should try is to find that 'Mei' person the old man was talking about. But it is not realistic to expect him to find anyone in a building he doesn't know, so instead he sneaks away. Although not even a block away he does call the closest hospital to tell where Mr. Liu is exactly and what injuries he has.

*

[Stephanie Brown teleports to the Quiet Room.]

*

[Grifter returns to OOC Land.]

*

Soon enough Batman and Cassandra are fighting together. She dismantles the next of the men almost effortlessly before stridign fearlessly into the cloud of smoke. On instinct she orients herself so that her back is to Batman, and soon enough they are fighting side by side. The young woman has a split second to be impressed by Batman's mastery of unarmed combat before she is being assailed on all sides. He might actually be better than she is. It's not something she can adequately evaluate in the middle of a cloud of smoke, surrounded by mooks. For her part, Cassandra's entire life has bee nbattle. She is no more afraid of fighting three, four, or five men by herself than she would be of getting a drink of water. With Batman there to help ensure she doesn't get surrounded… She snarlsas she drops another of the men to the pavement.

*

With Spoiler keeping watch on the rest of the enforcers, Batman has been working to keep control of the situation.

Then, Cassandra visibly starts to take down her assailants herself. making it clear she's no ordinary civilians.

Batman, however, has time to breath, as the assault group that was supposed to be wrecking the warehouse have all gotten to their cars and started to drive off, taking most of their injured with them. Some are left behind for GCPD to pick up… and the warehouse defenders start to find their guns.

Or they did, before Batman turns his pellet launcher in his forearm on them, neurally switching to sleep gas as he knocks out the last of the defenders.

With the majority of the gunmen down or broken, Batman turns to regard Cassandra… those red lenses that cover his eyes giving away nothing of his face, but his body language is clear; informed curiosity. The Dark Knight gives an intimidating aura… but he's not a thug.

"You're an impressive fighter." Batman notes to her, his white cape fluttering in the winter storms wind, "Where'd you train?"

*

Unfortunately for Batman Cassandra doesn't respond verbally. She can't. The noises are ignored, as she usually does. Batman is an incredibly perceptive prson, so he'd notice the change in body language as the girl stops to catch her breath. She studies Batman from head to toe as he speaks, her chest rising and falling gently as she does so. Cassandra's body language is one of wariness but also careful thought and curiosity. She cants her head slightly as gaze finally comes to the cape, and straightens to better present herself to Batman. she's offering him the chance to look her over and sate some of that curiosity, even if that isn't quite what he seems to be asking for.

Then Cassandra begins to shiver faintly because even a master martial artist is susceptible to the wind. Her hair flutters behind her as the winter gale picks up whilst sweeping across the city. Even so she has yet to drop her guard.

*

As Cassandra shivers, the microexpression built into his eye cowl area mimic the subtle squint, before he brings up his left forearm and presses a button on his wrist-comp.

"Spoiler, I'm sending the Batmobile back to the Batcave, we're done here. I have a thing to do." Then, Batman presses another button… and waits.

It takes all of thirty seconds for the Batwing to fly over and hover above the two, transport lines droppings from the bottom opened cockpit, and Batman steps onto one of them.

Then, he extends a hand to Cassandra, in invitation.

*

Cassandra hesitates. She processes information on a level few people could mimic. One of those few people is, in fact, the man in front of her. Those wide eyes study batman for a moment as he offers his hand. She nods just once before stepping forward and then reaches out to take the offered hand as her gaze shifts from Batman to studying the batmobile itself. The wide-eyed wonder that replaces her careful consideration of the Dark Knight is unmistakable.

*

Once taken, Batman guides Cassandra onto the passenger line for the Batwing, and they both automatically retract, bringing Batman and Cassandra into the heated cockpit of the Batwing.

No more freezing temperatures for Cassandra.

It takes a moment to take the Batwing off autopilot… but once he does Batman starts to head back to the Batcave, battle averted… and a potential trainee in tow.

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