Rainswept Reconnaissance

July 28, 2018:

Frank follows some of the Cartel out of NYC and meets a Bat instead.

East End, Gotham


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Batman

Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Somehow, it rains more in Gotham, even in the middle of summer. Really, it's a pain in the ass. But it does make Frank Castle stand out a little less in his trenchcoat and plain black baseball cap. Here in Gotham, lurking on rooftops is the purview of the Bat-family, but Frank doesn't know that, so he's standing in the shadow of a water tower. He doesn't have any major hardware on him, although he does have a spotting scope, taking the occasional glance down at an apparent meeting taking place in the tenement on the other side of the street. He'd kill for a shotgun mic, but he hasn't found one on any of his targets yet, so he just does his best watching the interaction between a couple of members of the Mexican Cartel.

Quiet rain suits Gotham well, playing well with the gothic and art deco architecture that is a signature of the city. To frequent the rooftops of Gotham, rain just becomes a companion, and Batgirl appreciates its near-constance. She's perched on one of the finials of a gothic-styled hotel that neighbors the rooftops where the Punisher lurks. Her long, scalloped cape hangs heavily around her shoulders, drawn around her torso and squatting form to match the characteristic fold of bat wings. Her eared helmet is turned toward the apartment across the street, having tracked Frank's same Cartel boys.

While Frank is hurting for a shotgun mic, Batgirl is well geared. Her blue eyes are masked behind iridescent infrared lenses that track the various body heats in the apartment complex while data from her HUD scrolls just at her left peripheral. The tall ears at the top of her smooth, well-molded helmet are active, but the directional microphones can barely detect the speech from the Cartel members. Too far away. She looks toward the roof next door, tapping her temple to retract the lenses a second too late to see the blob of body heat that is Frank Castle. She starts to move across the architecture of the building until she can leap, somersaulting onto the rooftop before she steadies herself into a squat. She starts to rise, standing just shy of the water tower, and only then does she realize she's not the only one on the roof.

Even over the rain, even with a stealth-trained leaper, a roll across a roof makes some noise, and Frank is on his game. The scope is gathered up in his left hand, his right dropping down to his hip with impressive speed for someone who isn't a metahuman. It comes back up filled with a rather large pistol, an old-school 1911. Water trickles off the sides of his hat's brim, casting his face into deep shadows. "Who are…" the gravelly voice starts, then stops, a hint of surprise filtering into it when he continues, "There really is a Batman?" A second glance, and then confusion washes over his next question, "The Batman is a girl?"

The sudden move from the other lurker on the roof has Batgirl dropping into a sudden, defensive squat. One side of her cape has been flicked back, revealing the black armor of her costume, the dull yellow lining of her cape, and her mustard-yellow laced-up boots. Her hand rests on the releases of her looped bola, though there is a tiny grenade also within easy reach of her fingertips. She narrows her eyes slightly at his surprised words, though the confused question earns him a smirk. "What? You thought he was an urban myth?" Like most of the Bat Family, Barbara lowers her voice when donning her cowl. She doesn't refute being called Batman or the accusation that Batman might be a girl. She's too busy looking the Punisher over from head to toe.

Frank needs to get back to meeting people who care if you point a gun at them. When she sinks into the defensive stance and doesn't counter, he tilts his head slightly to one side,keeping the pistol leveled but doing nothing more. "Figured the cops got smart and started scaring criminals straight." That being said, he doesn't seem too scared himself. Maybe he doesn't consider himself a criminal, despite at the very least lurking with intent. Either he's lowering his own voice, or he has a voice like he smoked a pack a day since age six — and chased them with whiskey. "You up here for a smoke too?" Not that he would have much luck lighting a cigarette in the rain, but it's a little bit of sardonic humor from the vigilante.

That amuses the Batgirl, and she shrugs one shoulder with a slight ripple of her cape while her smirk turns more toward a casual smile. "You don't know much about the cops of Gotham City…" Then she slowly begins to rise out of her squat, the left-side of her cape is still thrown back to reveal that half of her slender frame. She advances a step, turning her head slightly toward the apartment building across the street. Then she stops before she can cross too close to the gun-toting man. "I'd never get into anything that bad for your health." She looks between him and the building, and then nods toward it. "Mexican Cartel members from New York City… come to Gotham City. We have enough trouble here without taking in New York's criminal refugees."

At the advance by the caped vigilante, Frank shakes his head, hesitating a moment and then holstering his pistol under the trenchcoat again. "Staring down pistols isn't bad for your health?" He studies the masked woman a moment longer, then turns back across the street, although he keeps the spotting scope at his side. He's silent for a long moment, and then growls, "Someone blew up their territory. Had to find new prey." Anger ripples under the second sentence. No comment about how a dozen of them ended up on meathooks before the bombs even went off.

"Shooting a Bat would be bad for yours." The Batgirl sets the grooved sole of her boot into the rain-soaked barrier that rims the rooftops. The rain threads down her armor and cape, the latter weighed down too much to actually flow. It does keep the rain off her though, and the grooves in her helmet guides the rain from trickling into her eyes. His shared information turns her head toward him with those serious blue eyes. "Hell's Kitchen bombings?" She looks back at the apartment. Then she reaches up to her temple, and taps at the space just below her tall ear. She narrows her eyes slightly as she still cannot hear much beyond mumbles, broken with the occasional word. It's the rain. "And what are you here to do about it?"

Frank snorts faintly, but doesn't respond to her semi-threat from the Bat. His hat does the job of a cowl — at least as far as keeping the rain out of his eyes — and his coat the job of a cape — at least as far as keeping the rain running off his back. All the fancy vision and hearing and ballistic protection, not so much. "Yeah. Sent them scuttling off like cockroaches." The question that follows causes him to shake his head, "Nothing. I'm just here to watch the shitbags. Until they've all scuttled together."

"Sent them scuttling here." The Batgirl narrows her eyes slightly at the window where she can almost clearly see one of the silhouettes of the Cartel. There is some comment she could make about Gotham always cleaning up after New York's criminal overspill, as if they didn't have their own to deal with. She holds her tongue though. Just. Frank's until causes her eyes to just tick to the side toward him. "And once they've scuttled together?"

"Deal with them." Frank is probably side-eying Batgirl, but his head doesn't turn, just looking from beneath the brim of his cap. "You want them setting up a nest here?" He shifts a little as he mentions his plans euphemistically, clearing his right hand in case he has to go for the pistol at his hip again.

Despite her brilliance, Barbara has not put two-and-two together — not entirely. New York City is overridden with vigilantes — about as much as Gotham City. She's here because she heard that the Hell's Kitchen's bombings had displaced some of its criminals, and Gotham's acutely inviting to those looking for a new nest. By her assumptions, Frank is here to make sure that Gotham doesn't become home to these lawless refugees. She's still not taken her sights off the apartment unit, though his shifting does spark her instincts; her own stance shifts slightly. "No. I do not want them to set themselves up here."

When she doesn't make the initial connection, Frank raises the spotting scope and… yes, they've got the dominoes out and they're just playing and drinking across the street. "Bastards." The scope is down again, and tucked away. "Better send 'em back where they came from then." He grunts, "Looks like that's it for tonight." Someone less focused would probably have a polite goodbye for his fellow vigilante. Castle, on the other hand, just turns aside, heading toward the top of the nearest fire escape.

The Batgirl narrows her eyes after Frank, her own mouth tightening. "I'll leave you to it then," she says in a low, bemused voice. She ticks her gaze back to the apartment before she follows the departure of the New Yorker. She hauls herself up onto the rim of the roof, looking back to the apartment. Fire escapes are so beneath the Bats of Gotham, and so Barbara just unfastens her petite grappler, aims for the taller architecture of a different building across the street, and fires the grappler. Once it's secured, she steps off the roof's edge, swinging out across the street through the rain, soaked cape and hair both streaming behind her as she disappears into the shadows of the building.

As Frank goes over the side of the roof to his utterly pedestrian building-dismount method, he glances back across the rain-swept roof, snorting under his breath and noting disdainfully, "A cape. Fucking amateurs." He's partway down the fire escape by the time her grappler goes off, so he misses out on the cool toy.

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