Hunting or Fishing- for information?

September 10, 2018:

Gotham

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Two in the afternoon. It's a grey and overcast day; but Gotham is frequently grey and overcast. It's rarely bright and pleasant weather. It's rarely truly dark at night. But the criminals have learned that there are costumes who rule the night, both madmen and vigilante alike. During the day is when the street trash ply their trade, more willing to risk crooked cops than costumed interlopers.

Helena Bertinelli (aka Huntress) and Dinah Lance (aka Black Canary) are two interlopers who don't mind the day. And the sound of their twin bikes roaring down Gotham's city streets is usually enough to remind people of their attention, even if it's nothing more than a blur of haystack hair and purple leathers flying down the street.

Dinah downshifts her bike to pull a corner, sticking to the 'one way' streets to avoid having to slow down. She comes to a red light and brakes, coming to a stop, and braces her boot on the ground for stability. Dinah looks over at Helena behind the tinted visor of her helmet, hair laying against her leather jacket. "<Okay, I'm still not following,>" she admits, over their private communication line. "<You've got enough money to live in the Heights, if you want. Your house is right there near Crest Hill. Why did you take a job as a teacher? You could be tutoring Gotham's trust fund babies for ten times as much money.>"

*

The rebellious Helena Bertinelli (aka Huntress) stares out of her shadowy visor into the brightly lit day sky. She sits there at the red light idly popping the engine, twisting her leather-clad fingers around the throttle tightly, as if around the neck of a criminal, around the men who kill others and torture the innocent. Scum! Vrm vroom vrooooom! Sickos. I know…I'll…She loses track of what she was thinking as Dinah interuppts but glances at her and says, "Huh?" she wonders, her cute purple helmet concealing her confusion and frown, "Oh…I didn't know I had to be a damn priss miss if I had a little cash," she says, her cute purple helmet concealing her smirk but her response drips with sarcasm. "Besides, I don't think I'd like a cushy house with a thousand pillows and a damn butler and a stupid ass robotic vacuum. That's not my style. What's the matter? Are you feeling poor or something?" she asks.

*

Dinah's lips twist into a grimace. Busted. "Rent's going up on the dojo," she says. "<The association is fighting it but the new owners are pulling some shady move to try and get everyone to sign new contracts. New contracts mean our lease isn't rent-controlled anymore, and if it's not rent-controlled…>" she trails off, shaking her head.

"<Sorry. I shouldn't be a shit about it,>" she apologizes. The light turns green and she cranks the throttle, sending her Honda hurtling forward. She glances at the HUD in her helmet, a costly but well-worth-it upgrade. "<Someone called in a bar fight over on Wacker and Lake. Salty Bill's place,>" she remarks. William 'Salty' McGinty owned a popular biker bar called the Hub, and was a low-level leader of the Breaker gang. "<Can I make it up to you with an Appletini, Miss Prissy Pants?>" Dinah says, laughing merrily over the link.

*

The biker rebel Huntress stares at the red light and contemplates running it, but then smirks, "That's right, don't be a shit about it. I'll give you a damn loan," she laughs merrily, enjoying reveling in teasing Dinah. "Besides, it's not my money, it's my family's money. The mafia's money and I hate—" she begins to explain herself and then purses her lips as the motor of her over-suped bike takes over and she takes off after Dinah's silly Honda. "I'm so gonna kill you," she lets out and edges around the corner at a higher speed than necessary, dangerously leaning to one side on her bike. She catches up faster with the stupid Honda though and cruises with her to Salty Bill's.

The call of enforcing makes Huntress eager but she slows down helpfully as she enters the small parking lot of the rundown bar, which isn't much more than a truck stop for passers by. "I don't know why people are piss drunk already. It's afternoon not midnight," she wonders as she ponders double-parking, "Don't you know the local Breaker Bums? I thought you told them to lay off the booze," she says annoyedly.

*

Dinah rolls her bike up next to Helena's and parks it, then engages the security system. Anyone trying to steal her bike is in for a real bad day. She removes her helmet and clips it into a dedicated spot, pulling her blonde hair back and making sure it's gathered in a tight ponytail where it won't be a convenient grabbing point for anyone. "It's Gotham and it's two in the afternoon on a Saturday?" she suggests, lightly. "Heck, if I wasn't working, /I'd/ be drinking. And don't you dare give me a loan," she tells Helena. "I'm a big girl, I can pay my own way. I'll… figure something out," she tells Huntress. "Besides, I've been looking for a reason to bust Bill's chops over something for a while. We walk in there, I guarantee you we can beat something out of him after busting his bar up."

Dinah's dressed for a fight, too. All high-end racing gear, including a skintight skid-resistant jumpsuit worn under a formfitting black romper. Ass-kicking boots, reinforced leather gloves, and the only anachronism is an old-fashoned, well-worn biker jacket she wears unzipped as she walks up to the door and readies to head inside.

*

The biker Huntress doesn't have a biker jacket or a hat, "Forgot my whips and chains," she mutters as she glances at Dinah's biker jacket again. She plants her cute purple helmet on her cute purple bike as she listens to Dinah whine about money, turning on the transmitter so she can rush out and kick the ass of anyone who dares touch the cute purple paint. "Okay fine, you figure something out and then come get a loan later. What, bad cop, bad cop routine? I like it," she tells her. She lets her cute purple cape flutter down her own costume as she walks toward the bar. Unfortunately, the bar fight spills out of the front door and at her feet, "Oh great," she mutters. The angry bikers push at each other as they start filing out of the door, "Yeah, fight outside assholes!" Salty Bill yells.

*

They bump into Dinah.

They bump /off/ of Dinah. She's a petite little thing, sure, but she knows how to plant her feet hard enough that anyone bumping into her is going to trip like they hit a low park bench. "Hey asshole, do you mind?" Dinah inquires, sweetly, as she casually trips the first two guys to stumble out the door. "My friend and I are going for a drink inside, and you guys are in my way." She wrinkles the small upturn of her nose. "And, uh, wow, one of you needs a dunk in the harbor. It might actually /improve/ your smell," she remarks.

One of the thugs (with a few scars and missing teeth) eyes Dinah and Helena, and discreetly beats feet the opposite directions. Two of the bikers are obliviously shoving and punching one another— looks like the Breakers and the Wildcats are having a little turf tussle.

The other four look askance at Dinah and Huntress. "Costumed freaks," one of them spits. One of the bigger ones, with a greying goatee and shaved head, reaches out to push at Huntress' shoulder. "Outta my way, kid," he grunts at her.

*

The annoyed Huntress watches idly the bikers shove each other, then looks down at her cute purple boot with brown spittle on it and smirks, "Bill's right, you're a big fat asshole," she says and then looks back up. She narrows her eyes as the biker reaches out for her shoulder, she reaches out for his arm and brings her spittle boot up, delivering it into his stomach. As he bounds backwards, Huntress doesn't release his arm, instead twists it and tries to force him to the ground, like the mafia might do when they're enforcing their will. She inadvertently remembers her Uncle, her cousins, her relatives, all doing the same moves, or at least similiar moves, enforcing their will, planting their knee into your back while you're on the ground so you know who's in charge, who you're gonna pay. "Are you causing trouble?" she wonders.

*

"I think they're causing trouble," Dinah agrees.

She's proven right by Big Ugly hauling back a punch to throw at her face. Dinah falls straight backwards, body tense— and kicks him right in the nardledangers with those steel-toed boots, keeping one foot fixed on the ground the whole time. Her knee flexes, she pushes off the ground with her hands, and comes back up to a self-assured standing position while the biker rolls around, clutching his thighs and squealing in pain.

He vomits, and Dinah side-steps with a grimace. "I heard the Breakers didn't have any balls. Guess I was wrong. They were a pretty small target though," she says. "How about the rest of ya?" she taunts, making a 'come-here' gesture with her hand.

The one that Helena has armbarred screams and hollers, alternately trying to push off the ground to fight and then going limp when she puts the screws to his joints. One of the Wildcats, seeing an opening, swings his boot at the guy's chin while Helena has him in a submission hold.

*

The wily Huntress eyes the taker advantager and flips his foot up and away from the man in pain from her cute armbar, "Only a jackass tries to hit somebody out of the fight," she says, flipping him onto his back by using the momentum of his hugeass biker boot coming at the guy on the ground, stopping the kick and throwing it up in another direction.

"Okay that's enough of this garbage. Somebody else act like an idiot. Please," she says, as she flips her wrist crossbow out and aims at the fallen man's crotch. She turns her chin and glances at those still standing. "Hey I installed my wrist crossbow today. Convenient, huh?" she idly chats to Black Canary, as she sidesteps toward the heroine.

*

"Too much blood," Dinah says, wrinkling her nose. One of the Wildcats surges at her with his hands outstreched. She grabs his fingers, rolls his wrist inwards, applies pressure. He falls to his knees in front of her, screaming, and his joints go snap, crackle, pop as she folds his wrists back enough for his index fingers to reach his elbows.

"Bill! I want a word with you, buster!" she calls into the bar. "How many more of these weak assholes are you gonna send out here?"

The door swings open and one, two… five … eight bikes file out of the bar, forming ranks in front of Helena and Dinah. They're armed: pool cues, padlock lashes, and even a couple of handguns.

"You hear that? She called you boys pussies!" someone shouts from inside the bar.

"What were you saying about the crossbow?" Dinah murmurs to Helena, fists coming up in a ready position.

*

The annoyed Huntress smirks her pattened smirk and sighs, cursing something under her breath as the situation gets worse, even after the helpful Dinah clears the area. "Yeah, we're gonna need a bigger…crossbow," she adds, trying to quote one of her favorite movies.

Huntress sidesteps next to Dinah and flips out her opposite wrist crossbow, though it's not enough against an army of bikers, "Okay, so plan B…Canary…" she mutters to Dinah, "Flashbang!" she yells, throwing it into the bikers. She dives in with suicidal intent, grabbing and kicking at the guys with the guns first.

*

Dinah covers her ears, closes her eyes, and opens her mouth, tumbling away all in one graceful motion. KABOOM! The bar's window blow inwards, a few car alarms start whooping, and every one of the thugs starts screaming in deafened panic. One of them rolls around with his ankle on fire, too near the grenade.

It disorients Dinah, too, but she's ready for it and recovers in less than a second. She's up and moving and goes for the other gun-toting biker, who is aiming wildly and firing into the air around him. He hits two of his buddies with his badly aimed fire and a bullet whips through Dinah's hair. She vaults off of one and uses the momentum to kick him squarely in the jaw, dropping the guy in his tracks. She lands, grabs the gun, and quickly strips it apart and throws part of it across the street into a gutter.

*

The disoriented Huntress doesn't care or even enjoys gritting her teeth through the pain, as she kicks a gun out of a short man's hand and dropkicks him back through the door into the bar. Then they start ganging up on her, and she doubles over after a punch to her stomach, "Screw these guys…" she says, aiming her crossbow up at the man's face, readying herself to kill him, plant the bolt in his eye. She pictures the face of Batman in place of the thug idiot, "Huntress! What are you doing?! Are you crazy?! Don't!" Batman yells at her like her father. As he reaches for her, Huntress doesn't kill the man, ducking under his punch and hip throwing him against the bar wall. She turns just as another lurches at her.

*

Dinah attacks the back of the swarm. She never stops moving, dancing around the crowd like a gymnast working a balance horse. She's not going for the win on any single blow, never pressing past her advantage. Low risk, high percentage moves. The back of one guy's knee gets kicked by a bootheel. She rounds another one and rabbit punches him in the kidneys, twice, with those heavy reinforced knuckles.

A third swinging blindly at Huntress gets his lead foot twisted, and the blow whips around and hits the fourth square in the mouth hard enough to break teeth. Both men roar in anger. Dinah's doing pretty good, until one of the men swings at her with a poolcue and catches her across the back. The leather and armor under it absorb a lot of the blow, but it's enough to stagger Dinah for a moment and send her rolling through the fight to get away from him.

*

The flexible Huntress bounds over the thug like she's horse jumping a gate, and lets his momentum ram him into the wall with a thump. "Canary!" she lets out. She aims at the thug coming after Dinah like an obsessed stalker, clipping his ankle with her crossbow bolt.

"Not a headshot," she reminds the scorekeeper, as if justifying her actions in lieu of Batman. She takes steps towards Dinah, "Watch out!" she says, as one more jumps at Dinah.

*

Dinah spins away and turns it into a pirouette, both feet off the ground and one leg tucking in close. Her boot whips around and she smashes the guy's jaw in mid-leap, deflecting his path and sending him crashing to the ground at Huntress' feet, unconscious and with missing teeth. She grabs another grasping hand, breaks his wrist with an absent twist of her hands, and swings him in an arc towards Helena. "Batter up!" she says, the thug's face wide open.

*

The grinning Huntress kicks her purple boot into the side of the thug's face, timing the side kick just at the right time because of her impressive kick acumen. The thug flops onto the ground rolls away from the kicking champion, flopping against one of his buddies who is also laying there. Huntress dusts her hands off and walks over to Dinah slowly, "Yeah, gold star Canary,

*

The grinning Huntress kicks her purple boot into the side of the thug's face, timing the side kick just at the right time because of her impressive kick acumen. The thug flops onto the ground rolls away from the kicking champion, flopping against one of his buddies who is also laying there. Huntress dusts her hands off and walks over to Dinah slowly, "Yeah, gold star Canary," she reports.

*

Dinah grins at Huntress, fixing her blonde hair quickly where it escaped her ponytail, and meets her halfway. "A+ job, Huntress." She glances at the door, then tilts her head that direction and walks inside.

The remaining bar patrons immediately clear a path, sticking to the walls and doing a statue impression. Bill, at the bar, swallows and holds his hands up. "Ladies, please, I told ya I ain't into any shit no more. I'm just slinging drinks here, promise," he pleads. "I don't know nothin' about nothin'."

Dinah glances at Huntress. "I don't believe him," she says, in a theatrically loud whisper. "More 'bad cop, bad cop'?"

*

The bad cop Huntress shakes her head and puts her hand out, "Oh no, we don't need to beat him up," she says, dragging Bill out from behind the bar. She holds him by the shirt like it's Batman 1989 and she grits her teeth, "Right asshole?" she asks. She puts him in a headlock for Canary to see his bald head, "These assholes aren't causing trouble anymore, Bill's not gonna call us, and this place isn't getting shut down because it's a shit hole, right?" she asks, "Canary, what are your sage words of advice for Bill and The Gang <tm>?"

*

Dinah pats Bill on the head, and squats down so he can see her face from his position. "Listen, Bill," she says, sympathetically. She eyes her fingers, and wipes them on his shirt with a grimace. "Look, you know and I know that you're not 'doing' anything." She makes finger quotes with her hands. "But then again, I've seen Consolidated Freight trucks leaving your bar at nine AM like clockwork, every other day. Now, sure, they might just be delivering booze. But then again, there's no way a shithole like this is going through a freight truck a week of liquor, let alone three."

Her eyes narrow. "Now, we can do one of two things. My friend here can go in the back and look around, but fair warning: she tends to smash her way through stuff looking for evidence. Or, I can sing a little song in your office and see what shakes loose. This place needs a demolition job, anyway."

She smiles sweetly at Bill. "Or option three, you give us the keys to the back and you keep your trap shut," she says, in a low voice. "And we promise we'll tell anyone who asks that we threatened to break your back if you didn't comply. What'll it be?"

"God, goddamnit, god, fine," Bill mumbles. He (carefully) reaches into his pockets and hands the keys up to Huntress. "Back office. Behind the rusty fridge. Used t' be a speakeasy. Just … please don't bust up the antiques, they was my granddad's, y'know?"

*

The good cop Huntress takes the keys pleasantly, "Radio silence Bill. No more," she tells the guy, releasing him and letting down onto the floor. She puts her hands on her hips like a threatening teacher, nodding her head with the affirimitive. She thumbs the Canary toward the back, "We got the white gloves, don't worry," she promises Bill as she walks toward the Secret Fridge. She activates the imitation bat-fridge by pressing the button underneath the bust of Beethoven and the fridge slides open, "Yeah, he's calling us for help and he's got a speakeasy getting these guys piss drunk the whole time. No wonder," she mutters as she walks into the speakeasy. She drags her finger along the small box of vodka, inspecting it.

*

*

Dinah stands in the center of the room, hands on her hips, and frowns. There's a whole lot of … nothing spectacular. Dust on the furniture. Lots of boxes, all brand-name liquor. It looks like there's a little station for watering down drinks, but that seems the only place that is relatively 'new'.

"Okay, admittedly the trucks thing took me a couple weeks to pin down," Dinah confesses. "I'm not as good at the detective angle here. Tell me what we're looking for."

To Helena, there'd be a few clues: the various boxes are separated into stacks, suggesting 'recieved' and 'to send' piles. It looks like there's enough boxes for a small truck, so they'd timed that right. Scissors and packing tape are nearby one pile and there's some dark spots on the boxes that suggest the contents inside are leaking.

*

The detective-ing Huntress walks around the boxes of liquor, "These are goin out, and that pile over there is coming in," she says, peeling back one of the leaking boxes to look inside, "Sloppy ass freight guys," she mutters, "Which could mean the contents are a front for something," she suggests, motioning Detective Canary over to look into the box with her. She looks over at the scissors, the packing tape and the other pile of boxes.

*

"Damn, good eye," Dinah mutters. She moves to the box and peers inside, frowning. Dinah hefts one of the bottles and examines it, then nudges Huntress with her elbow. "Hey, look here," she says. "These have all been reopened and re-sealed." She nods at the station in the corner. "They cut off the original packaging and pull the cork. Then they water it down and re-sell it to vendors and crooked barkeeps. It's a way to make a few bucks." She starts to uncork the bottle to take a whiff, but something suggests to Helena that doing so would be a bad idea. The box is not merely stained, it's actually slightly corroded. Which would explain why they're using /glass/ instead of plastic, and smuggling it as liquor. Whatever it is, it's very likely volatile.

*

The sniffing Huntress doesn't get too close, "Geez, are you sure these guys aren't mafia or what?" she asks, "Smells like ethanol or acetone or some shit," she adds. She nudges Dinah and takes one of the bottles from her, "These guys are obviously the middle men, Detective. Let's go, this isn't case closed yet," she tells Canary.

*

"Wooargh," Dinah expresses. She leans back from the bottle with a sour wince, glad that Helena kept her from sticking her nose in it— or drinking it! "God, I should have paid more attention in Chemistry," she mutters.

She reseals the bottle and follows Huntress out— then pauses and picks up a bottle of bourbon from an untouched countertop, where it's been collecting dust for decades. "Corsair bourbon, ten years old…" Her eyes widen a bit. "And with a Prohibition tax stamp on it." She glances left and right, then tucks it under her jacket in a hidden pocket. "He won't miss it, right? It's too rich for Bill's blood anyway, apparently."

*

The clever Huntress has palmed a tiny lil bottle of Beluga Vodka and shows it to Dinah as she stands with her at the motorcycles, "Better than me," she suggests, "Who dumps Vodka or waters it down or whatever? Who does that?" she wonders. She shrugs and nudges Dinah, "Hey I know where you live, better hide it," she suggests and climbs onto her bike.

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