Fra Gi Le

March 31, 2018:

Priceless antiques, stolen or otherwise, should be handled with care. Unfortunately, that doesn't happen. At all.

Characters

NPCs: crooks

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

GOTHAM.

SOMETIME. IT'S LATE. WHO'S COUNTING.

Certainly, Red Sparrow isn't counting. With an enthusiasm that seemed unlikely to slow down, much less be stopped, the Red Sparrow has been up for almost twenty hours now. Just another side effect of her incredibly biology, enhanced by some.. Terrigen stuff. Look, she doesn't know the full science behind it. Only that she is now capable of great, great things. And with great power, comes great responsibility.

"Ooh, baby, do you know what that's worth? Ooh, heaven is a place on earth!"

Clearly, Arnavi feels responsibility to sing Belinda Carlisle songs at the top of her lungs while traversing the alleyways of Gotham, fingergunning at Raven while she says the word 'Baby', her exaggerated backwards walk half a dance, half a stroll, facilitated by supernatural senses that let her know where just about everything is. Of course her singing voice is fantastic, and though Raven won't be able to hear the original song piped into Sparrow's ear, she sure does give a more than passable output of the up beat, absolutely BRIGHT AND SHINY 80's song, her enthusiasm alone must be stopping crime cold for blocks around.

Or at least scaring off the skittish, they haven't seen anything for BLOCKS.

It only gets worse when she starts juggling her Batarangs in tune to the song, tilting her head left and right with squints of her eyes while letting her ears and even sense of smell serve as her primary alert system while her gaze is otherwise engaged.

At least one homeless person peeks at them from the shadows behind a dumpster, convinced the whole thing is some sort of delusion.

Like a shadow drifting across the ambiently lit venue, Raven finds herself traveling alongside the Red Sparrow as she sings her chosen playlist for the night. A straight-faced look is timed perfectly with that fingergun point, the natural line of her mouth firming up so that it doesn't turn so easily into a frown.

She doesn't exactly remember how this situation came to be; it must have been something she actively buried after being contacted in the first place once she was given the assignment. And she didn't protest. She was used to working on her own for a while now, but this? This was one way of getting her back into the swing of teamups.

And what a teamup it is.

Raven looks on ahead, managing her own methods of wariness about the streets below, trying her best to ignore Red Sparrow's juggling. "Do you do this often when you're on patrol," she asks dryly, breaking her own silence, "or does it change depending on who you're partnered with?"

All in all, tonight is a quiet evening. But it's Gotham, so really, like those ever last?

Somewhere further in the city, the sounds of sirens, emergencies already alerted and in progress of being tended to, distant and fading. In this area? Save for the enthusiastically belted out song from one of two shadowy patrollers, there isn't anything out of the ordinary.

That all changes in the next second, a lone voice shouting something to the likes of "Hey, stop!" although it's quickly swallowed up by the rumble of a revved engine and the peel of tires. The poor fellow that had bravely made the attempt to halt the escape stumbles uneasily in the vehicle's wake, coughing at the exhaust. He's in some kind of uniform, his hair disheveled and appearing to be missing a hat. Security guard, by the looks, still slightly dazed from the encounter.

The vehicle in question isn't one that's made for fast getaways, but it's certainly trying. It's a step-up from a moving truck, probably just recently given a fresh repaint in glossy black, silver lettering proclaiming 'Gotham LateNiters' on the sides.

That question from Raven stops Arnavi in her tracks, the Red Sparrow staring at her with an almost lost expression that makes it seem like she's never considered NOT doing it on patrol! "Well… I don't know. I mean, I always listen to music. It helps me focus on everything else, you know, like a rhythm to things? It might sound counter-intuitive, but this this, a song, I can build a pace to things, you know? I just… I hadn't thought about changing it up if someone was on patrol with me…"

Her gaze drops behind her mask, fingers toying with one another as one shoulder creeps up in a lame shrug. Raven can see her teeth as her lips pull back, awkward, in admission. "No one's ever come on patrol with me before."

Sure she's had team ups. Huntress seemed about as much of a fan of her singing as the people she was beating up at the time, but that didn't count! They parted ways soon after. But never before has anyone answered the call to come along, to kick some ass, to make Gotham a little safer!

"I can.. uh… I can…"

A cry in the distance stops her mouth mid-word.

There is a single breath, and her pupils flux as she processes sensory information.

Then her chin tilts up, and her eyes go a little wide. "Someone's … they're getting away! If you don't have a way to keep up, grab on!"

A turn and she fires her grapple gun, latching the edge of a building, not intent on climbing but ratcheting that impressive Bat-gear to send her towards the edge - one she intends on vaulting, on adding momentum too, until she's high enough, flying aimlessly through the air, to get a bead on the get-away vehicle.

The abrupt stop lets Raven fly a some feet further than Red Sparrow before backing up, hovering as she recovers. Somewhere underneath the hood, a brow arches. "No one?" she repeats, her low tone hinting at surprise.

She can understand concentration. Everyone has their own way of getting focused to be on task. While it's believable that Red Sparrow can do patrols on her own, it's just seems…off to her. So much energy, forward in her actions, but from what she's seen, the results are pretty good. More or less?

As she searches for a way to make the conversation less awkward, Raven also lifts her head at the noise. She's prepared to go on her own, but is caught off-guard by the ride offer.

"What- " There really isn't much time if they dawdle. "…Right. Let's go."

Drawing in a sharp breath, Raven hangs on, her cloak flying up behind them as she keeps her eyes on their target. It's hard to sense where the vehicle may be heading, but she murmurs, conjuring up a shadowy, tangible barriers somewhere along its chosen route.

"You were supposed to knock him out! I told you just shoot him!"

"Eh, like he's in any condition to come after us! We took his truck!"

"Right, well so far at least that part's going as planned, now let's just hope the Bat or his brats don't show up—"

"OH SH— LOOK OUT!"

Two men dressed in dark colors, the one in the passenger seat of the cab pointing as some dark…things begin to appear just in front of them. The driver curses and applies the break just as he hauls the steering wheel about to try and avoid the barriers, but momentum lurches the heavy vehicle into an awkward fishtail. Tires screech as it bumps the shadowy barriers, tilting almost entirely off its left side before resettling on all four.

"Aw hell, if anything's damaged in the back-"

"Worry about that later and just get this thing moving again!" shouts the other, and the vehicle is thrown in reverse, gears shifted as the driver attempts to turn it down another road.

"So."

Two men. The conversation is clear as day to her, even from here. Just takes some focus. Honing in. For sure, she shut off her music. "I kindof forgot I can't fly. I am SO sorry."

Because she begins to drop. Like a stone. An Arnavi shaped stone. Raven is of course not obligated to hang on, but for the sake of her passenger, the Red Sparrow does her best to fire another gun at a lamp post, which bends with the sudden lurch of her weight as she snaps around, a horrible creak splitting the air as she swings at the end of a pendulum, one that will, without a doubt, plant her on the front of that truck with a sudden SLAM of feet and hands.

It may just plant Raven there too if she's very very brave and hangs on to the Arnavicoaster.

It's moments like these, really, that she lives for. A vehicle in reverse, hanging on for dear life, she should be terrified. Worried. These guys have guns from what she's heard! Instead…

There's a big, big smile. A big, big wave.

"HEY GUYS DID YOU KNOW THAT BEFORE YOU STOLE IT THIS TRUCK USED TO BELONG TO THE JOKER?! REALLY I'M NOT EVEN HERE TO ARREST YOU I JUST WANTED TO SEE YOUR FACES WHEN YOU FOUND OUT."

Really she just wanted to see their faces when she told that little white lie.

There's a pause. Maybe more of an unheard sigh of resignation.

"Oh no."

On Raven's part, her ability to fly comes too late. She does her best to counteract the weight of force Red Sparrow spends on property damage, almost swinging around too much when the jump begins to go from the lamp post to the hood of the truck. She lets go at the last minute, swooping upward and above the vehicle to get a better vantage point.

Less so to recompose herself. Honest.

*Thud* Both men stare out the windshield at the young woman who's landed on the hood of the truck. "Crudcakes- shake 'er off!"

"This is a friggin' moving van not an import racer!" the driver sputters, even as he pulls the truck back and tries to gun it forward. "And I told you Robin was a girl!!"

There's a moment's hesitation when Red Sparrow shouts at them, smiling even, like this is how you greet friends and not stop vehicle thieves. The driver pales slightly. The guy sitting next to him frowns. "What? No, the hell's the Joker doin' running a moving service from the museum?"

"MAYBE HE'S INTO HISTORICAL LAUGHTER DON'T JUDGE HIM OH MY GOD!"

This, a precursor to the lift, shoving up and off until her feet can swing into the windshield with enough force to send her barreling, feet first, into the man who's driving, feet twisting to push him sidelong and into his buddy. If he isn't wearing his seatbelt, he's going for a ride, and Arnavi will try to land behind the wheel. If he is? Well.

"Hey Raven! Can you help these guys find their darker sides?"

Push. SHOVE! She's trying to shove them out one door with her feet, banking on Raven both helping with the extraction AND to soften their landing. She does not want smeared criminal all over the streets!

Raven blinks, then squints at the course of action Red Sparrow takes while keeping pace with the truck. "What is she- " Then she sees movement heading toward the passenger side door. "-Oh."

Without replying, the cloaked teen raises her hands. The darkness shifts, forming up in bulk in approximation to where the two men are supposed to go. There's a cushion, and that cushion has some tendrils for further apprehension.

They hadn't. With thievery stamped on their card, what's driving without safety belts? But then they'd been in a bit of a hurry. Do they regret it now? Depends on what they end up getting broken by the end of this.

"YOU'RE INSANE LADY—" Which seems to be further proven as the girl slams through their windshield. The driver hurks as Sparrow's feet finds him uncomfortably in the chest, and he's certain she's left the soles of her boots pressed into his skin as his hands slip from the wheel and the rest of him collides with his partner-in-crime. Both are screaming as the crazy masked lady continues to shove them out the opposite door.

Only to land with *thuft* on something much more softer than asphalt. The two men groan, one opening his eyes only to see the shadowy form of the cloaked young woman. "-B-Bat—!!"

As for the truck… Congratulations! Red Sparrow now sits in the driver's seat of the vehicle. Also, it's still moving above the suggested speedlimit, and all the thief-jostling has put it right into position of a quickly closing street corner.

"YES! That's RED SPARROW BY THE WAY NOT ROBIN! ROBIN IS A DUDE! A BIG.. mmmnnph. God he's such a dude."

Yes, she's thinking of her Red Robin poster. No, she hasn't processed there could be another Robin out there. Arnavi sinks in behind the steering wheel, her gaze shifting around as she presses buttons on the dash. Her comm will crackle in Raven's ear with something most absurd.

"You know, I never learned to drive? Haha. Ha. h..a."

OH RIGHT PEDALS.

SLAM!!!

It was the wrong pedal. The truck lurches even harder into reverse, Sparrow's eyes widening as the men she threw to the shadows rapidly shrink into the distance and every bit of her senses tell her this is about to end badly. She swerves once. Twice. Then SLAMS on the other pedal, this time the brake, intent on bringing the truck to a screeching, unsteady halt.

Uh.. hopefully whatever is in the back is tied down REALLY well or it might go flying.

And oops, was Raven still on top of this thing? SO MUCH OOPS.

Raven sighs at the men now in her grasp, dropping her head slightly as she pointedly looks at them. "No, not exactly. But close enough." Now what to do? She can't just drop them on the street. That's counterproductive. Holding onto them is the only other option.

And then she hears Red Sparrow over the comm bud.

"You what."

Good golly, this night.

Quick thinking allows her to summon up some more shadows to keep the vehicle from going all over the place while her partner for the night finds the right pedal, the whole thing a performance in itself until it all immediately stops. And misjudging her distance from said vehicle's roof, Raven practically SLAMS against it knees-first with the rest of her body following the motion.

Grimacing, the cloak lets the crooks unceremoniously drop down from her darkness grip. "…A little warning would be nice in advance," she says into Red Sparrow's earpiece, sounding like she's half-whispering through grit teeth.

The two thieves just stare after the retreating form of the moving truck they'd stolen. They haven't even realized they're floating above ground until they fall to it with Raven's release of the shadows. "Augh, my spleen!"

"Shut up, Keith."

Finally the awful screeching ceases, metal squeaking as the vehicle rocks in place until settling. The scent of burnt rubber hangs in the air. But it seems that the two heroines have managed to halt the thing before any further damage could occur. Although in the back of the truck, there's the sound of something clattering rather noisily. Gee. Hope that wasn't expensive.

And just when the silence seems to settle once again, a voice speaks, coming from all directions and none, following the preamble of a disappointed sigh.

"'tis so hard to find good help these days…"

"Oh god. Oh GOD! Sorry!!"

This is Arnavi's earnest reply to Raven, wincing as she hears the clatter of Roth-bone against the top of the truck, and then hears her drop down. The Sparrow is already on the way out, reaching for her belt to throw a pair of stun bolas at the guys already rolling on the ground, each wrapping around them… and then promptly spraying sleep gas into their immediate area.

See, dropping them off back there was CALCULATED!

Without thinking, she responds to the disembodied voice, laughing once with a shake of her head. "Right? It took me FOREVER to find someone who would walk my goldfish. No really, he likes to be taken for walks, and It was such a chore just explaining this, and trying to find someone I could pay to do this, way more complicated than it sounds…" Her hands gesticulate the whole time, shaping a goldfish bowl and then flying into the air with total exasperation before they land on her hips.

Casual superhero pose.

"Wait, what?"

Her brows furrow and she looks around, reaching up to scratch her head as she turns about.

Now the bruises that will later form on her knees will be as dark as her soul. Or not. Either way, she's relieved there is no more driving and no more keeping track of the other two since Red Sparrow goes a little overboard in making sure of it.

As she rubs at the material of her leggings, she feels the hairs on the back of her neck stand. But before Raven can ask who just spoke, she is met with Arnavi's off-hand reply. And she stares, long and hard at the young woman. Very hard. Because what. "…What was the saying, 'you learn something new every day'…?"

There's just the briefest exclamation and twitch from the two thieves, who until just a second or two ago had thought that maybe they could sneak away. They now lie slumped in a pile, the sleep gas hanging in the air about them like an unnatural fog, slowly wavering into dissipation.

Spring hasn't been enough to drive off cold nights completely, but there's something unnatural about the chill that settles in the area around Red Sparrow and Raven, enough to trace wisps from each breath and word expelled.

There's a creaking sound from behind the truck, the sound of the rear doors being thrown open and a click of tongue against teeth in disapproval. "Now, one could blame the museum for improper securing'o antiques for transportation, but I don't quite think that's th' problem here…"

Should the girls come around the back they would see a figure dressed in white as though just come from some Victorian-themed ball, a white cloak fastened about him, a white cane tucked under an arm as he sorts through the pieces within reach from hwere he stands. A tophat sits- or rather floats where one might expect a head to be, only further confirmed for the monocle that equally defies gravity.

A gloved hand picks up the slender, curved piece of what might have been a chair leg, hat and monocle twitching in a head-shake. "Such a loss…"

The creeping begins, slipping slowly towards the rear of the truck, eyes wide behind that domino mask that keeps her identity hidden. Stricken by what she sees, white on white on white on.. nothing? It crawls up Arnavi's spine and she actually takes a step back, gasping at the sight of this, clothing floating against the form of a no doubt regal and handsome invisible person. Her mind races. Sweat beads at her brows. Her senses take it all in, registering him in minute detail, and where Raven might be.

Raven, who commands shadows, who can float… PSH, she has this. Totally.

"Oh my god, it's The Floating Monocle!!!"

Arnavi points with one hand, then wings a batarang out with the other, a distraction aimed for his midsection as she cartwheels sidelong. But of course, that is not the most forceful of her attacks. That belongs to the absurd villain name she just gave this guy.

The cold is familiar - subtle, yet sharp enough in its element to distinguish. It doesn't bother her, but it does clearly register as a warning.

Raven hoists herself down from the vehicle's roof, and, with the help of her abilities, lands lightly onto the ground, her cloak falling about around her slim form. She almost blends in behind Arnavi, stepping out to the side to get a better view of the…invisible man holding up a broken chair leg.

Again, she's interrupted by the sudden title her vigilante friend gives the ghost fellow, frowning for all of a split second. "Red Sparrow, wait," she says, withholding a sigh since she knows darn well she's late in doing so.

She does, however, begins to raise her hands up halfway as she looks at The Floating Monocle. "No, not quite. Stealing in general is usually frowned upon."

The well-dressed Ghost straightens and turns to look at the two then, letting the chair leg drop. "That's the Gentleman Ghost to ye, child," corrects. The batarang goes through him and clatters somewhere in the back of the truck.

"Oh, but ye're an unusual one…" He seems to turn his attention towards Raven then. "Aren't most items in museums already stolen t'one degree or another? An' what good would these be? E'en less good now!" Turning again, something seems to catch an unseen eye as he reaches within the truck again and pulls out what looks like a porcelain dish. "Well, perhaps not all's a loss."

SMASH.

The next Batarang goes right through the dish.

Okay well. That wasn't on purpose. Really. There's a slow tick of her eyes sidelong until they run into Raven, then a slow tick back until they form a wince at The Gentleman Ghost. Carefully Arnavi slips forward, awkwardly kneeling down to begin gathering up the pieces. "Gosh I'm sorry. Maybe, look, this same thing happened when I was about four? I was at my Grandmama's house, and - well look I don't feel so bad now knowing how racist she was, but back then I was mortified, let me tell you - and so, we just kindof gathered everything up, and glued it together."

She holds her hands out right in front of that monocle, offering the broken pieces, teeth pulled into a wincing grimace. "You couldn't even tell unless you got really, really, really close kindof like this hey RavenYouWannablastThisGuyAlready?"

Despite her air of calm, Raven exerts half of her energy refraining from facepalming at Red Sparrow's antics. She never once looks over to see what her patrol partner is doing, but she hears every word of a childhood story no one has asked for. The corner of her mouth does a telltale quirk, but it gets back under control.

"I could say the same of you. And technically, you're right," she answers, canting her head slightly at the ghost, "but I think the people who run the museum will try to say otherwise."

At Red Sparrow's harried suggestion, her fingers flex, letting the darkness encircle the Gentleman Ghost in order to trap him. "I would suggest we do this the easy way, though."

"You—"

The Gentleman Ghost gasps as the delicate dish abruptly shatters in his hand, and despite the lack of any visible facial features, Red Sparrow might swear that she can feel the glare he's directing at her.

"I think," he says as he lets the rest of the pieces fall from his hand, turning to properly face the two, "-that the museum would be more upset for th' obvious mistreatment of its historical artifacts." His hat tilts just a touch, the darkness swirling around him as he tenses.

"M'dears, there's no such thing as an easy way, now is there?" He tips his hat, vanishing from sight as the shadows close. The cold lingers, however, and indeed, he's only reappeared atop the truck, looking down at them. "I can see this evening's been a wasted effort. Ye're welcome t'explain about th' damaged property. Perhaps I'll 've better luck with the rest."

Buh-Link.

Arnavi can only watch as her hopes of capturing this THING seems to dissipate as he VANISHES INTO THIN AIR!

Wait, what?! That is beyond cool. If only he weren't such a DICK. And what's with the cold? To someone who has her sense of touch turned up to eleven it's makes her frosties frosty. Brrrrr. After a shiver, she looks up and up, frowning at his assertion that they'll have to explain things to the museum.

CLICK.

Just like that, her HUD goes for the kill, snapping a picture of Mr. Floaty Whites, which she marvels at for half a minute before getting her serious face back. "This isn't over Gentle Geist! Gentle.. gosh I am so sorry. Gentleman Ghost! Wait. Wait a second.. are you.. are you stealing this stuff because you're stuck here, unable to connect with the lost love of your life, even through the creation of pottery? Is that.. is that what the dish is for?" Her expression falters, emotion seeping in as she steps forward, filled with a sudden sense of sadness.

"Dude, you don't have to steal shit to reconnect with her. We'll help you. It's not to late to become a good ghost. Like. Like Casper…"

Really, her only weapon here is her vocabulary, since she doesn't seem to have anything that can harm his ghostly ghost form. It is entirely lost on her that her references may be lost on him.

Well, Ghost has a point. They do get mad if priceless artifacts are stolen and broken. Accidental vandalism at its finest.

But the darkness swells, closing up on…nothing, really. The phantom figure moves as ghosts do, disappearing and reappearing at will. Raven clicks her tongue, allowing the shadows to dissipate from where they gather. "I figured as much," she says quietly. Not many people, dead or alive, like choosing the easier option. Always have to be difficult.

She hears the click. Raven barely turns to look at Red Sparrow, but the firm line forming upon her lips is evident. It seems to increase the longer she goes on about lost love and every other supernatural ghost trope available.

Just after Raven looks at her, Arnavi's eyes shift slightly, triggering a song to play. Not just in her ear. But over the truck speakers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwmVjzxDsos

After a few moments, Raven's brow also creases.

The silence draws out after Red Sparrow's noble (?) attempt to reason with the Ghost. "Ye've quite the imagination, Red, I'll give ye that. Ah, but how far off ye be." He shifts where he stands, looking to make a leap or at the very least turn away, but the music that suddenly comes up on the truck's speakers has the monocle and hat tilt downwards at the truck itself before the unseen look tracks towards the two once again.

The driest of undead looks. The cold might be nearly solidifying.

"I see we've nothing more t'discuss. Bess!"

At his call a piercing whinny cuts across the street, echoing off the surrounding buildings. A ghostly steed surges past them from no visible point of origin, and the Gentleman Ghost leaps down to land upon its saddled back, reins grasped in gloved hand.

"Wait!! I didn't… aw man. I wasn't trying to hurt your one feeling! GHOSTIE COME BA- holy shit. YOU HAVE A GHOST HORSE?!"

The Red Sparrow leaps back, teeth grinding together in a sudden surge or adrenaline because she loves horses, always wants to see them up close. Except, you know. Not this one. NOT THIS ONE!!

A hand reaches out, to Raven's shoulder. Steadying, even if Sparrow isn't so steady herself. "You got this Raven. Reach deep down inside. Deep, deep down. Not.. not that deep. Right there, right where the power is? It's the power of positivity friendo. The power of friendship. You got this! Just.. just channel your inner ghostbuster. Reach for that proton pack of the soul. YOU. GOT. THIS."

She has no idea if Raven has got this.

Arnavi can only hope.

Oh, she can feel that unseen look. She can feel it hit like the intangible figurative block of ice it is. She sort of wishes it falls more toward Red Sparrow's way, but there's nothing to be done about it now.

The ghost horse both surprises and doesn't surprise her at the same time. "Of course he'd have a backup," Raven mutters, ready to throw down just as Arnavi grabs her by the shoulder. Had she not been aware of her stance, she would have fallen over.

These words. Seemingly out of nowhere, they're encouraging. If anything, there's always been an optimistic take on things. And as strange as she thinks the young woman is, Raven does give her a half-smile.

Hands thrusting foward, she calls forth the black. From nothing, a birdlike form writhes and flaps its way up and over the street. It sets its sight upon the Gentleman Ghost and his horse, diving down the moment it hones in on them.

Ethereal flames lick off the horse's hooves, blue-white to match the flickering mane and tail that trails as the Ghost hunches low against the galloping apparition. There's nothing to salvage of this, but there will always be other opportunities.

It seems however that the young ones aren't quite done trying to get in his way. Rude, he thinks, considering he's coming away from the endeavor empty-handed. That's the trouble with these children. Persistent to a fault.

He can feel it before he sees it as he casts a look behind and then up, the shadowy form. He's not quite sure what it is, nor how well it might hold him, but the girl's power smells of old, and it's not a chance he wants to take. Swinging his arm and cane back, he sends a sickly green bolt of flames towards the shadowy avian form, and he doesn't plan on waiting to see the resulting as he spurs his horse on and out of sight, slipping between the thin gauze of realities that separate the living from the not.

The things the Red Sparrow can see. Determination, and a small smile, etched on Raven's features, highlighted in the sickly cold of the air, there is beauty in her concentration, heroics in her gaze. It draws her own towards the sky. There, above them all, a swooping form born from Raven herself and carrying that old power.

In slow motion green flame erupts into the sky, powering over black wings and sizzling shadowy feathers. This, churning into the back of her brain with detail no other would likely ever know. It transfixes her in it's beauty, in her own horror, lips forming a perfect O as the display lights the sky for moments that stretch on.
"W-wow."

All to soon, realization snaps back, and she blinks away the glaze in her eyes. "We should call Oracle. She'll know what to do."

That's right. They need an adult.

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