The Wayward Son Returns

March 04, 2018:

Jason has issues with Bruce. LOTS of issues. Like any good father, he wants to talk… and it turns into a gunfight.

Only in Gotham.

Syndicate Warehouse

One of the Syndicates safehouses

Characters

NPCs: Syndicate guards

Mentions: The Joker, Talia Al Ghul

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It had been a quiet night, despite the violence that usually happens in Gotham.

With new crazies and metahumans coming out of the crazy factory that Gotham seems to be, Batman has been busy with handling damage control lately from behind the scenes. Tonight, Batman is doing yet more behind the scenes work of an entirely different sort; He's going after the Syndicate on their home turf.

There was no initial alarm; Batman had disabled those with his own technology coming in, and then called in Spoiler to help him deal with the posted shift. One by one, those along the warehouse roof are taken by Batman and Spoiler, the Batmobile keeping watch for reinforcements or activity on nearby hacked security and keeping Batmans VR lenses up to date.

With the stealthy nature of this work, the two are silent, but take their time… taking a good five minutes to be sure they do their work properly. Screams are muffled, and boots are silent as a graveyard as Spoiler and Batman coordinate.

Then, the glass cutter is used, and sleep pellets scattered along the inside of the main section of the warehouse… a gas masks already being popped into place on his cowl from Batmans utility belt, and one given to Spoiler before this was done.

Then, the signal jammer is turned on and Batman signals Spoiler to drop down with him… those not taken down by the sleep gas are promptly knocked out by the twos silent take-downs. Grapples. Punches, and shoulder knockdowns making it quick work

All but the boss.

Batmans voice mask is on at this point as he stalks up to the man, cape around him as he steps up to the man in the office. "Call your boss in. Tell him Batman wants a word." Batman gives in a tone that gives no room for debate. His wrist-comp turning off that signal jammer to allow the man to work.

*

Spoiler had been called to play perimeter guard. And so there she was, hovering out of sight on her newly repaired skycycle, using her phone and her HUD and her bike's sensors to help her monitor the perimeter.

*

….and here Red thought it'd take another week for the Bat to actually raid his turf. Either way, the boss of that particular sect practically speed dials Red, who picks up the phone but doesn't speak, only allowing him to tell him what he needed to know before he hung up the phone….leaving his man to deal with Bats on his own.

What a bro.

But in truth, Red Hood was on his way…didn't bring backup or the entire force that was behind the Syndicate. He didn't need the whole gang, just him. The Bat was -his- problem…and -he- was the remedy. It doesn't take long for Red to be perched on one of the higher buildings around, cracking his neck as he lept off and landed on the warehouses, quieter than even a mouse.

He starts heading to the department room for the forerunner of this particular warehouse, or rather….the 'boss' that Batman found. Of course he noticed Spoiler, but thanks to Batman's training and his tenure as Robin, he knew how to get around those sensor scanners.

He was in his full regalia. Red Helmet, full kevlar body armor with titanium alloy additions all over his body. Stylized red bat symbol on his chest and a leather jacket over his shoulders. It's new. With an actual red hood.

"Come on out Batman! Or did you call me out for nothing?"

*

Batman had knocked out the boss to keep him out of the way after the call was made… and shut off all the lights inside so night vision wouldn't have any problems inside. Being called out like that might get the attention of others… but Jasons time would Bruce should tell him that Batman dictates his own events, not the 'enemy'. So, Batmans voice rings out, seemingly everywhere at once. "We have business to discuss."

Then one of the lights turns on, Batman directly in the center, not moving. His red eye lenses are taking in his surroundings as his particle vision works on triangulating Red Hoods position.

*

It was just plain visual that has Spoiler spotting Red, a heartbeat before he slips into the building. she can't help but frown as he slips back her sensors. Oh well. The batling turns to making sure no one ELSE interrupts the family reunion.

*

Jason looks around a moment when he hears those speakers, eyes narrowed as his helmet's technical acuity helps him to see where they were located….

But then he sees Batman.

the two now staring eye to eye at each other. "That's one way to put it." he says then, the staredown between Batman and the Red Hood is intense. Alas, Jason pulls out two shuriken that seem to fall from his jacket's arm, and he throws them at one of the speakers that he had located…of course, the others would have taken time but he keeps his eyes on the Bat.

"So then…here to kick me out of your city? deliver the justice of the Batman? What a joke." he says then as he keeps facing the Batman…clearly Jason was as armed to the teeth as Batman was. He learned from the best there was after all.

"Well? Don't waste time Batsy…you dragged me all the way out here after all." He was ready to fight the Batman. He -needed- to fight Batman and win.

*

"I just want to know one thing; why didn't you come back and let me help you?" Batman asks, the speakers turned off now as Batman speaks to a wayward son, with a bit of sad affection and concern. He doesn't move from his place. "I checked the grave. It's a fake…. and there's only so many people with your mannerisms and that voice." His tone makes it obvious he's figured out who Red Hood is.

*

Red Hood looked Batman in the eyes through the blue glowing slits of his mechanical masterpiece of a helmet. Though he's silent. A sigh then. "….took you damn long enough." he says then as he clicks a single button on his helmet and it visibly unlocks, with him pulling it off to reveal the face of Jason Todd.

Truthfully…he looked like he never died in that explosion, looked like the Dark Knight didn't carry the fallen Boy Wonder to the grave. a crack of his neck then as those ocean blue eyes locked onto Bruce's…the boy had become a full grown man. Though the weirdest thing? He had a single white forelock at the front of his head.

"Why….Why indeed." he says simply then in that voice of his. It was calm…but it held a ferocity in it. Jason was the one with the 'mean streak'. "How about I answer a question with a question: Why didn't you avenge my death?" he lets that sink in.

"You knew what the Joker did to me…how he kept me there for -months- filled with torture day in and day out, beating me with crowbars over my skull and bullets to my chest! The psychological torture was worse because I believed the whole time that the Batman would come and save my life. The Batman! The Dark Knight! My mentor and the only piece of walking flesh that I could -ever- consider a father figure! Fuck that, I considered you my Father! and you left me to die." he stares at him then.

"and when you found that out, what did you do? What. Did. You. Do." a look of seething rage. "You let that clown rot in a cell only for him to get out…-AGAIN-! so he can do what he did to me to someone else….-AGAIN-! See a pattern here?!" yes, his voice was raised. The lost son has returned to the father.

"So, you want to know why I didn't come back to you? To ask for your help? Well, it's simple: You. Abandoned. Me. and let my Killer go off Scott Fucking Free without any kind of revenge." He was filled with so much rage….so much -pain-.

Was there anything left of the Jason Bruce knew?

*

"I never abandoned you, Jason." Batman gives in reply, "I searched for you for -months- and never found any sort of clue. The Joker covered his tracks well." Batman gives in reply. Then, the expressive cowl gives his lenses a squint as Batman squints his own eyes, "You know this mission has never been about revenge, Jason. The second this turns into revenge and killing is the moment we become like one of /them/." Batman jabs a finger to the exit, signifying 'Gotham'. "We do this because no one else will. If we sink to their level, how are we any better than them?" Then, Batman jabs that finger at Jason, "I thought I taught you better than that."

That finger goes back to his side as he sighs, "I even buried you in the family crypt." Then, "Was it the pit?" Not accusatory… but Batman has had his feelings clear on using the Lazarus Pits in the past.

*

Jason seems to scoff when the Batman declares that the Joker covered his tracks well after Jason's capture. Shaking his head. "World's Greatest Detective.." he shakes his head then. Given, Batman -did- find him…it was just too late. But Jason follows his finger as it pointed to the outside to signify Gotham City. "Maybe that's what we -need-! You knock them down and they get their asses up but -I- knock them down and they Stay the Fuck down!"

He paces a moment then, before he looks at Batman. "You did…and I respected you for it..but how long is that gonna work? How long?! You only just let them have the opportunity to get out and do it again. All the crazies at Arkham? how many times have they gotten out, Bats? How many times?! Someone's gotta do it, even if you won't."

Then he's told he was buried in the family crypt and Jason seems touched by it, only to turn his head when asked if it was the pit. "Yeah. The Lazarus Pit. You can blame Talia and the League of Assassins for that one…another one of their revenge schemes gone bad." He shakes his head. "Perfect resurrection if you can believe it." A silence then.

*

"If we start doing that, we lose any support we might have right now, and we break the principles this entire crusade was founded on. GCPD turns on us along with Gordon. The Justice League, SHIELD, and all the rest come into a situation that they don't understand. Why do you think I work so hard to keep people out of Gotham?" Batman shoots right back, "The problem has /never/ been about keeping them locked away. The problem is destroying their support infrastructure, and keeping it gone. There's a lot of investment in the underworld here, and plenty of people who's livelihoods depend on the black market. The problem… is the culture of this city. Always has been. We're the dam that keeps the filth from destroying the city. If we kill them? Others just like them will move in and take over. It's already happening with Whale and his people. I'm sure you've seen their work up north with Penguin being so weak after the explosion."

Then, Batman starts to pace around Jason, as if examining him from all angles, "You're better than Ra's, but not by much. I don't remember you nearly this bloodthirsty even during your time with me." Then, he's back in front of Jason, "The pit changed you, it's the only explanation. It wasn't perfect." Batman concludes.

*

Red Hood takes the time to listen to Batman's words before he just shakes his head and starts to pace back and forth, eyes on him. "Really? Really? Destroy their support infrastructure? They'll just bring more and more and more and more! When will it be enough!?" He shakes his head then, apparently against Batman's degree of doing things.

Then? Batman compares him to Ra's…and while he's better, the Lazarus has corrupted him. "I. Am. Not. Insane." he looks then to the Dark Knight. "Maybe it was a change for the better." he starts to draw his pistols then. "But I think we've talked enough."

*

"Could have fooled me." Batman concludes as Red Hood draws his guns, "If you were sane, you wouldn't be drawing those guns over a disagreement." Batman notes, before he tosses a smoke bomb to the ground, itself neurally activated from his gauntlet launcher. Then, that forearm mounted grapnel is aimed at the catwalks above, and he's zipping over, out of Red Hoods line of sight.

The speakers are turned back on, "This doesn't have to end in a fight, son." From anyone else, it'd almost sound like pleading.

From Batman… it sounds like a warning.

*

Jason watches Batman mock him slightly before he sips off into the night with Jason there alone. "After everything that's happened, it's not gonna end with talking. Not after all this." He says then before Batman's words…then? Instinctively, Jason smokebombs as well, leaping into the shadows…but leaving the helmet behind.

His guns primed….he waits.

*

That forearm grapple is aimed at the skylights, and Batman launches the grapnel through it…. and immediately retracts it so fast that in the darkness it probably looks like Batman just grapnel lined his way out of the warehouse.

Then, he pulls out his batarangs, starting to search the warehouse from the catwalks with thermal vision, waiting for a chance to disarm Jason. If Jason wants a war, he'll get a shadow war.

*

Jason is at a disadvantage without his helmet, but this is also a proving ground. He needs to prove he can hang with the Dark Knight…this is his retribution. Sitting against a wall, he puts one of his pistols away and pulls out a handful of shuriken, throwing them into the night randomly as if to gauge the Bat's location.

If that doesn't work? Then this will be a very intense game of hide and seek. A shadow war indeed.

*

Thermal vision doesn't account for shuriken per say, but they can read the temperature variations that objecting thrown through the air create, so Batman has a second to turn off thermal, and to dodge out of the way.

"Fine. I never wanted this for you, son… but if you're dead set on it…" The speakers reply, before Batman grapnels his way over to the other side of the warehouse, trying to bait Red Hood into revealing his location. Luckily, Batmans armor can take shuriken well enough.

*

Jason was waiting for the sound of Batman to start to move, and once those speakers finally hush up, Red Hood is on the move as well, catching Batman moving through the air as he goes after him, gunshots being fired, though aimed at the hardest part of the Caped Crusader's armor: The Bat symbol.

Yes, he was showing off.

Either way, he wanted to make this close and personal.

*

There it goes, those /guns/. Batmans been using them more for rubber rounds… but the utter finality to what Jason uses isn't lost on Batman.

Nor is the fact that he's aiming right for the most heavily armored plate on his armor matrix.

Instead of giving Jason what he wants, though… he releases his grapnel, and fires it off at the skylights, disappearing over the rooftop. "I've got no interest in turning this block into a warzone, son. If you want to work this out, come by the cave." Batmans voice sounds over the speaker as the Dark Knight himself heads for the Batmobile… a neural command opening the cockpit as he drops inside, "Spoiler, get out of here. I don't want you being targeted over this." With that, Batman is starting to speed down the streets, off into Gotham.

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