March 19, 2018:

Huntress comes upon Red Sparrow taking down a gang - only the last man standing isn't quite so normal.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…



For many this city is perpetually circling the abyss, a nihilistic cesspool of human entropy, turning inward on itself to feast on those few souls who seek to eek out an existence here among the ever further dawn. Criminals fester and thrive, even when those who might wear cape and cowl and mask promise them broken bones and pain a corrupt police force never could.

Many might find it depressing. Dejecting. How many nights can someone struggle against the dark, trudging through a dour mood where hopelessness forever gnaws at purpose? Scowling and seething against something that will never, ever end?


A face hits brick with a jaw-breaking crunch.


An arm wrenches and a knife clatters to the ground before the snap of a bone and a howl of pain accentuates the chorus of that sing-song voice doing her very best Whitney Houston impression!


A vicious headbutt sends a man sprawling, tumbling from the rooftop and into a dumpster.


Arnavi Mehta.

Known only to a few as the Red Sparrow.

Nihilistic cesspool? Hopeless endeavor? What? Nobody told her, and maybe it's just because she hasn't met the Bat or the Bird or some of the others, though Raven does come close to conveying a certain darkness, Sparrow is certain she was just having a bad night and that she can cheer her up!

A bouncing parkour between buildings will take Arnavi to the alley below, where she suddenly finds the remaining member of these, the Skullduggers, a gang resurgent in the area that Oracle has given her as a little side project. Yes, she was singing while she was fighting. Dancing too, because for her, these boys aren't much more than canon fodder. An observant eye will notice her strength, her speed, her reactions all above human norm, letting her pick apart men with baseball bats and chains as if they were kids trying to tackle an adult.

But this last one, he stands his ground. To this, the Sparrow turns off her earbud, with a tap, hands on her hips as the man takes a long hit from an inhaler.

"Bro. Dude. Bro. If you have asthma, maybe trying to break into the local bakery and steal YEAST of all things isn't a great idea. Cooooooomon. What's the yeast for? Tell me pretty please? I don't want to have to backtrack all over your buddies."

For his part, the man just snarls. His bald, gleaming white head seems to ripple, his leather jacket bulges.


Arnavi stares, and then looks around for where she might imagine a camera might be, as if this were the Superhero episode of the Office, slowly shaking her head.

The night is supposed to be silent. Dark. Something that clings to the people and places around Gotham City, so that most fear to speak, fear to make a noise.

It's somethinng that allows the vigilantes of this City to work their particular brand of magic.

And it typically works very well, especially for the Huntress. Her brand of brutality this night was being met head-on (literally) by several Mafia based underlings as she 'politely' 'asked' them some questions. A pity their answers weren't the ones she was looking for. Two unconscious forms later and the woman known as the Huntress is back to traversing across rooftops. It's between one rooftop and the next that the echoes of a song snags her attention and it causes her to pause. "What in the hell." She mutters, her head turning in the generalized direction of that echoing of singing. "Damn drunk kids." Mutters the black-haired woman, and then with a sound of disgust, Huntress changes trajectory and leaps for another rooftop. Then it's a hodgepodge of jumps to get her closer to Red Sparrow and the gang she's dealing with.

Her arrival, this moment, is understated as she arrives at the edge of a rooftop just in time to see the last man standing taking a hit from that inhaler. Then her gaze flicks to Red Sparrow, and a frown tugs at the woman's lips, but that frown doesn't last long, not as the man's form begins to change. Her eyes narrow now and while other vigilantes might *wait* to see what's /really/ going on, Huntress doesn't.

With a leap the woman drops downward to the ground, specifically at the man. Even as she drops, the Huntress frees two throwing knives and with a flick of her wrists, she flings both knives at the skinhead - specifically at his broad back.


The knives sail in, slamming into ripping leather and what is now a very tough hide beneath. They shift with the bulging muscle, blood oozing from around the wounds but not human blood. This is a black ichor that belongs to a creature from beyond.

And like a creature, he roars!

One hand lashes out at the incoming Huntress, intent on batting her away with an arm that could knock a steel door from it's hinges. The other grabs hold of the dumpster nearby, turning it with the motion he had used to attack Huntress to fling it in the direction of The Red Sparrow.

"Wait wha-"

It's all Arnavi can say when she sees THE HUNTRESS leap down and engage this monstrosity, her antics known well to this, a girl who had followed Gotham's heroes and chronicled their activities in a blog that put them on a pedestal. Okay so maybe Huntress wasn't exactly on a pedestal, she was kindof on a barstool, which was resting on some mafioso's neck.

A slave to her fangirling, it is nearly her end. The Sparrow turns rather than leaping like she should have, and takes the dumpster hit to the arm and shoulder, bowled over as it keeps on flying to smash into a Bakery Delivery truck some fifty feet away or more.

There's the idle thought of 'oh great he refers to himself in third person', but that thought is quickly wiped away as the man-thing seems to shake off the majority of her knives. It also doesn't help when he whirls around and reaches for her.

While her downward momentum can't be stopped, not at this point, that doesn't mean she's at gravity's complete mercy. With a twist and a fold, the woman turns /into/ the hit and her feet finds purchases upon the man's arm briefly, and from that she uses him much like a springboard.

That spring of hers, however, is a little wild thanks to all the excessive energy the man lashed out with. It causes Huntress to flip through the air twice, before she finally lands back upon solid ground, her hood falling away from her face as she straightens from her ten-point landing. Even with cushioned boots her feet sting from the force, but that doesn't stop her from quickly assessing the situation at hand.

Her eyes flick over to the man and then Red Sparrow, and when she sees the young woman seems to stand transfixed as the dumpster is thrown at her, Huntress yells, "MOVE!"

And whether Red Sparrow hears that command or not, Huntress is likewise doing much the same thing. From a pouch small pellets are retrieved and with another flick of her wrist she tosses those pellets at the monster's feet. As soon as they hit the ground they break open, releasing a cloud of white smoke.

With a light leap, Huntress brings strives to bring both her fists downward upon the man's head. She's hoping to connect and connect hard under that cover of smoke.

It is beyond disorienting, to have someone use your arm as a springboard. A clap splits the air as his other hand comes down, trying to catch Huntress where she had impacted his arm, but he only slaps his own grotesquely bulging flesh. He's easily seven feet tall now, hulking, deformed, with tiny legs, a barrel chest, and arms that pulse with a gross, rippling power.


It's cry turns to another roar as it's world is filled with white smoke, and it flails wildly, a sea of meaty thrashing that the Huntress navigates to deliver a two-fisted blow to the top of that bald dome.


It's the sound of her hands rebounding off of a skull thickened and hardened by whatever it was that guy inhaled before turning into flesh-colored-beard-Hulk. Hands jab inward mere moments later, mitts big enough to entirely encircle and crush a basketball instead go for The Huntress' sides, intent on squeezing her from the middle like only a savage would squeeze a tube of toothpaste!

Arnavi went down with that fling of the dumpster, knocked clean over, and if not for her physiology, best described at more or less 'Super Soldier', she'd be down for good. Instead she's looks up through the smoke, with eyes that can see beyond every particulate to see the outline of friend and foe. It grates on her, how she got so distracted (again!), and breaks into a full-throttled run to dive for his legs. He's skipped leg day, or the serum he took didn't make it that far, and so he wobbles, flails, and Arnavi squeezes, grunting somewhere below the Huntress as she tries to pick them BOTH up so she might slam this monstrosity to the ground.

Instead she can't quite make it, his weight too-awkward, and she throws a headbutt into his mid-section that will briefly loosen his grip on the Huntress.

Several choice words float through Huntress' head as her double-fisted blow does nothing; absolutely nothing. Not even a damn flinch from the man.

And while she was just starting to zig and zag away, the man's meaty pause reach out and grab her. There's a grunt as she's lifted upward into the air, and another grunt as he begins to apply pressure. Her ribs protest and creak and while none snap it's only a matter of time.

Time that doesn't come. Not when Red Sparrow comes in and tries valiantly to lift the man (and her) up. And while it doesn't necessarily work the way she wants it to, with that headbutt the grip upon Huntress' ribcage lessens. With a growl laced gasp, Huntress brings both her booted feet upward and slams them into the man's chest. That movement is what allows her free herself and with a twist, Huntress breaks free of the man's hold, and while she lands upright her it isn't quite as neat as before.

She staggers a few paces and even as she moves that doesn't seem to stop her from continuing to fight. From a pouch a compact device is pulled free. There's a pop and hiss and from the stun gun two small prongs are fired at the man -

"Let's see how you like *this*." Spats the woman.

As the smoke begins to clear, the Huntress can see what her double fisted blow did to the top of his head: Blood streams down his face where skin split against a skull that now bulges with a dangerous ridge, a crest of pure bone rising there as his transformation continues. He barely moves when those feet hit his chest, but it does slip her neatly from his grasp to land not all that far away.

Two fists slam downward now that he has nothing else to grab after, powering Arnavi to the pavement before he picks her up and flings her like a ragdoll into the brick alley wall. There's still one more dumpster left, and he manages to raise it up, aiming it at Arnavi, the one foe he has on the ropes!


The rapid repeat of electricity streaming into his chest does more than just seize muscle or prove to be a distraction, his pain a deeper, more complete thing as electricity interacts with his serum to make his skin shift and his muscle weaken and falter, nearly deflating, and yet…

…He still has that dumpster above his head. It comes crashing down on that bone wedge he was growing, rolling his eyes back before the great metal can tumbles backwards, and moments after, he crashes into a heap against it.

Bloodied, defeated, but alive, he begins to shrink.

Meanwhile, Sparrow staggers up, brick dust shaken from her costume as she stumbles and shifts, blood streaming from the corner of her mouth as she ALSO reaches for her stungun.

It fires off harmlessly into the place the big dude was before he crashed, and then she aimlessly looks around before tripping over another unconscious gang member, her legs flailing into the air as she falls down.

"H..holy shit. I need a minute."

The dust effectively settles and the Huntress watches the man's fallen form shrink. It's enough to bring a bend to her lips as she frowns down at the man. That ridge of bone upon his head is also noted and while note remarked upon it, Huntress can't quite stop the side-eye it earns.

Still, her attention doesn't stay there long, not when Sparrow staggers upright. Immediately Helena's gaze turns to the young woman and it follows her as she literally trips and falls back to the ground.

Idly, Huntress' eyes rise upward in perhaps a silent prayer, before she stifles a sigh.

"Who are you?" The Huntress finally asks, her voice low and harsh, and while there is that note of derision heard within her voice, that doesn't seem to stop her from extending a hand to the Sparrow to help the other woman up.

And if she takes that offered hand she'll find Huntress' grip strong and firm.

"I am a meat popsicle."

The vacant stare that meets Huntress through that domino mask of Arnavi's, so very much like Nightwing's, actually, is really just out of focus because her Inhuman eyes are trying to process every little detailed of the costumed hunter, here, right here. Right there, looming over her. Not on some news broadcast or, you know, some half-taken picture.

Sparrow smiles, big and full of all the worship in the world as she reaches up to take that hand and the assist and rising to her feet. Despite being thrown around into brick walls, she seems to be doing alright, wincing a little and reaching for her ribs briefly, before that bloody smile turns into a right grin.

"I'm Red Sparrow. And…"

Sirens blare, but Arnavi hears them well before they become audible for anyone else in the alley. Her head tilts in an alien tilt, and then she reaches down to scoop up that inhaler, the same arm looping around the small of Helena's back as her other arm extends to the sky.


That is definately a Bat-Grapple, and it yanks them skyward for Arnavi to give a kick off the wall and send them into a loop that will, almost gently, deposit them on the nearby roof. "…this is the best night of my life! Holy shit!"

On the roof she'll let go, gesticulating wildly to give an up and down indication of OH MY GOD YOU ARE YOU AND YOU ARE HERE.

"You're.. You're THE HUNTRESS!! I've been watching you shitbeat Falcone's goons on the East side for the last two years!! I mean, not literally, but following your work! And uh.. sorry about that, cops will be here in a minute and I really have no idea how to deal with those guys. They just, you know. So many questions." Her head tilts back and forth with a roll of her eyes. "Anyway. Hey."

Big Grin.

She will hate herself for fangirling later, but right now?! This is her life.

Red Sparrow.

That name brings a flash of recognition to the Huntress' features. It might also bring a vague twist to her lips, but whatever else she might have said stops when the other woman's head tilts to the side.

That listening pose catches Huntress' attention and while she herself doesn't have super senses, she likewise pauses to listen. While she can't say she hears those sirens just yet, Helena has enough common sense to know they're coming. The cops always show. The words 'let's move' are on the tip of her tongue, but before she can say them Red Sparrow is taking matters into her own hands.

Being hauled up to the rooftop by Red Sparrow and her grapnel causes the woman in purple to go stiff. It's a combination of not particularly liking being the passenger, and also having her personal space invaded.

Her agitation is enough to bring her around with a snap of her overcoat, once the two are safely upon the rooftop. "A little /warning/ next time." Which might be ironic in that she's typically the one that gets that said to her, and while that irony isn't lost on her, it doesn't stop her from saying it.

And while more could be said that moment is lost as Red Sparrow fangirls. Yes, that's right, fangirls.

Her eyes narrow slightly and that initial burst of fangirling is allowed to go full range, up until Huntress' raises a hand upward. "Stop." She says, and while she could remark upon just about /everything/ Red Sparrow has said there, all Huntress does answer is, "You leave before the cops come. Always. Otherwise they just get in your way or shoot at you. Neither option is good."

It's that moment when.

Arnavi's eyes go wide behind her mask when that hand goes up, and she's already wincing from the admonishment at the whole, you know, scooping her up and flying away with her thing.

"I mean, I used to yell 'up, up and away! But then, uh.. someone said it was.." Her gaze shifts downward and she kicks at a loose stone on the rooftop to send it skittering. Now the sirens are very much so easy to hear, and flashing lights flood the alley below.

A fingers gets pointed in The Huntress' direction. "Right! That's what I was doing! I.. but you're right." A hand goes to the back of her neck, and she just gives the most lame shrug ever invested by a human being. "Got excited. I keep..it's happened before. Won't happen again. I should have been better backup." That's right, she considers herself the backup. If Huntress is on the scene, no WAY is it her shindig. "I got distracted by you being so awesome and just going right at that dude, I mean.. holy hell. What is even in this thing?" She holds up the inhaler then, and then produces two more, unused, that she swiped from some other gang members.

And then, without warning, or explanation, she cackles. It's a belly laugh that can't rightly be contained, and if not for police sirens near by, it might alert everyone to their presence. As if to explain herself, she holds out one of the inhalers, and there, on the side, is the name of the drug:

Le Buff.


Sparrow's face hits her palm and it's only then that she seems to notice her blood. "Oh god. I need to up my Monster Hunter game, for real. Been on that street hooligan only diet for to long."

Up, up and away? That earns a stare from the woman, a silent, almost Batman-like stare.

There might have been more staring from Huntress with the rest of what Red Sparrow says, but something instead pulls an amused snort from the woman. Somewhere between excited and back-up, something there causes the woman to give that amused snort of hers. Along with that snort comes a shake of her head as well, even as her gaze flicks to the ground below. Then it's back to Red Sparrow as she brings out the inhalers and that causes the Huntress to step closer.

"What -" She begins to ask, but that cackle causes the woman to break off with a sharp look, but soon that expression turns into a look of understanding when the young woman shows the name of the inhaler.

"Ironic." Mutters Helena, even as she reaches out for one of those inhalers. "Question is where's it coming from? And how much more of it is on the streets?" Those questions she can't answer, but that doesn't stop her from adding, "We need to get whatever this is analyzed."

And here is where Huntress looks back at the young woman. While her expression stays relatively flat, she does add, "You should go home. Get cleaned up. Can't say I know a lot of people who can get hit by a dumpster and survive." Which is a question in of itself, but not quite formalized.

There's a bob of her head. It stops. Then starts again. Hanging on Helena's every word when she assesses what they need to do to get this investigation rolling. She doesn't interject, just listening to this, an idol in flesh and blood right in front of her lay out all the ins and outs of what they need to go.

Then there's that concern from her, and an unanswered question, about the nature of Arnavi herself. "Well…"

Red Sparrow backs away, and bloodied and battered as she is, you simply can't erase that smile from her face, infectious and full of positive energy that simply refuses to stop. Even in this, a city poised on the edge of self-annihilation. Even in this, a profession that pushes on the soul with a dark knife that tries to twist the humanity away.

For all her gifts, Arnavi will continue to be the best part of being human. A second chance brightens the world in whole new ways.

"Now you know one more!"


That's right. Fingerguns!

Almost as an afterthought before she steps off the roof she stops to very seriously impress upon the Huntress this important point. "Butnoseriouslyitwasgreattomeetyoupleasekeepthatinhalerandwe'llfigurethisalloutsoon."


Somewhere below she shorts her grapple cable a little and bounces off a police car to some yelling, a 'sorry!' splits the air before she's bounding away with her Inhuman agility and speed, disappearing into the night.


That's enough to cause Huntress to shake her head.

Then the purple-masked woman mutters, "Kids these days." And while her words might sound irritated (which there is a modicum of that there) a smirk lifts a corner of Huntress' mouth upward.

Then she pivots upon heel and kicks off the rooftop and lands upon the next. It continues that way for almost a mile, before the woman finally disappears within another building.

A rundown place that the Mafia supposedly has ties to.

After all, the night is still quite young. There's enough time to get in a few more licks against her family.

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