15154/It's a Trap, Probably

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It's a Trap, Probably
Date of Scene: 28 May 2023
Location: Cobble Hill, Old Gotham
Synopsis: Helena is taking a meeting that is probably a trap -- so she asks the Red Hood to watch her back. He manages to pull a reverse trap and get Helena out safely.
Cast of Characters: Huntress, Red Hood

Huntress has posed:
'Feel like hanging out on a rooftop to watch me wait around for some guy I need to talk to? It could be fun.'

Helena sends the most interesting texts to Jason. Never memes. But random opportunities for violence or maybe utter boredom, certainly.

'It's probably a trap.'
'Almost certainly.'

She does have an interesting idea of the word /fun/.

'I'll buy you a drink afterward, if it is.'

Definitely a trap.
Red Hood has posed:
Sure. What's the worst that can happen?

"Sounds like fun. Traps make it easier to know where the bad guys are."

Meeting up at the indicated time and place, Red Hood came prepared. Extra ammo and gadgets. And a bandolier of what look like grenades of various sorts.

As he settles in, he looks toward Huntress with a grin in his voice. "So what's the plan from here? That drink is calling my name."
Huntress has posed:
'I knew you'd understand.' Who else would willingly walk into a trap?

The location is a bit away from the far more crime-ridden areas of East Park Side, the wealth ensuring the GCPD do regular enough patrols that while crime still happens, it's nowhere near as blatant. It's a place the wealthy should feel safe... as safe as one can be, in Gotham, anyway.

But in places like this, there's still dark alleys -- still places one shouldn't go alone at night. Especially as a rich woman on her own. It's like Helena's baiting trouble. Her designer clothing makes her fit the area, but she's at least chosen not to dangle the glittering jewelry she usually wears as she waits in the mouth of an alley that's sandwiched between a bakery and a movie theater, both closed.

Helena wears her hair loose and pulled forward. It lets her wear an earpiece, murmuring back to Jason quietly, though not so quietly that her amusement isn't conveyed. "I should've negotiated with something cheaper," she murmurs, and while she's aware he's probably watching from some kind of rooftop nearby, she doesn't look for him. Just trusts he's somewhere where he can see her.

"I figure I talk to the guy until he reveals what he intends, then you scare him a little, and then we go find whoever sent him my way and have a /real/ nice talk about why he sent me a letter in the first place." Seems a pretty straightforward plan, right?
Red Hood has posed:
Jason Todd could list off some others crazy enough to walk into a trap. But at the moment the rest don't matter because they're not here.

"Not my fault you opened with your best offer first" he shoots back glibly. "In position" he confirms after a moment. "I've got clear line of sight on all approaches to your position."

"Copy. It's your plan. I'll keep eyes on. You need more you know how to reach me."
Huntress has posed:
There's an amused note from the Huntress. "That just tells me to lowball you next time." A faint hum acknowledges his note that he's in position, and she settles in to wait. It's late enough that things are pretty quiet, but there are still people out and about. Cars passing through. A drunken couple stumbling home from a bar. A pair of residents yelling at each other over noise. The old looking guy nervously tugging down a hat and looking around? He kind of stands out a bit. Especially as he's making a beeline for the alley Helena is loitering in.

The man -- maybe in his sixties, hair starting to gray -- hesitates in the entrance. He doesn't in any way appear threatening. "Good, you made it." He glances over his shoulder, and reaches out to tug at Helena's arm, looking kind of vexed when she pulls free. "Let's get further in, I don't want to be overheard."

"Out with it, old man," Helena sounds annoyed. She probably isn't acting. "You said you knew who sent me the letter that brought me back to Gotham."

"Yeah, well-" the man hesitates. And as he does, Jason can see it from his perch.

Movement, on adjoining rooftops near to the alley. It won't take him long with his night vision and infrared to identify them all. Three -- no, four men, dressed in dark clothing, approaching with haste. They have weapons drawn -- they look like modified rifles. Tranquilizer guns.
Red Hood has posed:
Watching from the shadows like just another gargoyle he banters back, "That's a huge assumption. You're figuring I have high expections to start with."

Seeing the man approach, Red Hood confirms it. "Looks like your mark is arriving."

As he scans the area, he listens in on the conversation from afar with his mask's audio filters. But then there is movement.

"Huntress. Four targets up high moving in. Make this fast."

Pulling his pistols, he flips switches on each to change their firing mode. The gun in his right hand is aligned with the back of the left and locks into place as the two pistols form a rifle that smarklinks to his mask's optics.

Taking aim, Red Hood fires off a shot toward the figure farthest from the alley. Drop the trailing target and the ones in front are less likely to notice.
Huntress has posed:
"-I don't know him personally," the old man's saying. "I've never met him. But he wants me to act as a go-between. Bring you to meet him. Safe and sound, he said. He was pretty specific about that." The old man's nodding.

Jason's warning earns a sharp release of breath by way of acknowledgement. The dark-haired woman turns, just slightly, putting her back to the wall as her voice sharpens. "And I should trust you, why?"

"The cost of doing business."

Above, one of the figures drops soundlessly as Red Hood's shot flies true. There's not even a pause from the three in front of the dropped figure, oblivious to their team mates fate. They spread out, the first taking a knee to aim down into the alley.

"I have little care for the normal ways of doing business," Helena's growling. There's a surprised yell from the old man as she shoves him against the wall, a panic of breath as she presses something sharp against his skin. "You aren't bringing me to him. Tell me how to reach this man, and maybe I won't slit your throat open."

"I- I- I just call a number, okay? That's what he said, call the number on the cell, I'll get told where to go!" The old man's gaze darts upwards, clearly looking for help.

On the rooftop, the second and third figures settle into position -- a lower profile but easy enough for the Hood to target with his gear. They're aiming down, sighting a beat, and preparing to fire.
Red Hood has posed:
"Three left. Taking positions. Moving in."

It's all the status he can afford to give her before trying to stop them from firing on her.

Rising up to have a better angle for the shot, he fires twice, trying to drop one more with the custom rounds from his weapon, a form of electrified pellets or spheres that stun them on contact.

After the shots, he has to change tactics, firing off a grapple line to launch himself across the distance to reach the same rooftop as the gunmen.
Huntress has posed:
The second figure doesn't have time to even draw breath before Jason's rounds hit him, fingers flexing and jerking, shot going wide as he slumps back, unconscious, almost immediately. The man next to him yells, "Shit! Close contact! Daniels-?" But Daniels must be the fourth guy because there's no response. The man immediately switches his attention from the alley to their surroundings, sweeping the area.

He doesn't see Jason -- doesn't notice him flying in as he scans for targets.

Meanwhile, his companion fires downwards into the alley.

Helena's already moving thanks to Jason's update, reaching out a hand for the old man's arm to jerk him in front of her. He takes one of the darts to the chest, and is starting to slump forward with a surprised /oh/, when a third catches Helena's arm. She flicks it away, sucks in a deep breath, then breathes out slow, trying to calm her racing heart, slow down her pulse rate and whatever was in that dart. She lurches forward, reaches to start patting down the old man, pulls out a cell phone.

"Old man's down. Moving," Helena reports, and she sounds fine, just... her enunciation is a little slow.
Red Hood has posed:
Landing on the rooftop, Red Hood doesn't waste time. He'll take a round if it means he can close in. Given he isn't aware they're darts, it is far less of a risk with his armor. The needle will just embed or break off without penetrating the composite layers he wears.

His weapon has been reverted to pistol form again and he dives toward the gunman that is actively looking for him.

"Huntress. Status." He almost sounds like a certain other vigilante he has ties to. But in the moment maybe he can be forgiven.
Huntress has posed:
The surprised yell from the gunman suggests the man only catches sight of Jason last minute. He fires off two shots, close range -- but they're wholly ineffective at penetrating Jason's armor. And then they're closed. The man drops his weapon and goes to snap a fist towards Jason's kidney, trying to stun the other man. Meanwhile, the final gunman, who has lost sight of Helena, spins to walk towards them. The man trying to punch Jason grunts, "Forget it. Get the girl, get her out of here," as he's growling that out, he'll try and get Jason in grapple, clearly intent on delaying him as his companion runs for the edge of the rooftop.

The Red Hood and Huntress worked together very closely three years ago. Watched each other's backs. Patched each other up when needed. But back then, they were more concerned about whatever job they were taking -- that their mark would go down -- than checking in with each other in the midst of battle. It was just how things were. It's telling of the time apart and the kind of influence Jason's been under that that sentiment has shifted -- not that this is necessarily a bad thing. It just catches Helena off guard.

There's a longer pause than the question merits. "I took a hit, but it's just... a sedative. Trying to slow it down. I'll put myself somewhere safe." Another slow breath. "I have the cell." A lead, maybe. She sounds kind of drunk.
Red Hood has posed:
Red Hood doesn't even flinch at the shots aimed his way. Probably not because he expects they're darts. Which makes his fearlessness more frightening to those who know him, probably.

Taking the blow, he twists to deflect some of the impact before he tackles the man to the ground, kneeing the gunman in the groin and drawing up one gun to fire into the man's ribs point blank. He'll try to use momentum to carry him past the gunman, tucking into a flip and roll so that he can close in on the last gunman who has now been directed to go after Helena.
Huntress has posed:
There's a kind of moment when one's opponent realizes they're outclassed. It happens, somewhere between the gunman recognizing the fearlessness in his masked opponent's approach and fighting style, the way he takes blows without a care, such that, by the time he's knocked down, coiling around himself in pain, he lifts a hand as if to breathlessly plead, though he can't get the words out before Jason fires. The man goes still.

Down in the alley, Jason will see the old man, slumped over. The rest of the alley is dark.

Out on the street beyond, sparsely lit but clear to his night sight, he sees the gunman ahead, maybe half a block. He's pausing, leaning between cars, and then he jerks back abruptly with a sharp yell, a knife visibly sticking out of his collarbone. He reaches up, pulls it out with a pained cry, then goes to kick at the Huntress -- the woman slumped against the front fender of a car, eyes unfocused, no longer trying to defend herself.
Red Hood has posed:
Popping up from the roll, Red Hood scans the alley. Old man. No Huntress. No lone gunman.

Looking to the street he radios, "Huntress?" The fact there doesn't seem to be a clear response, if any, is not a reassurance. Even as the gunman gets a blade to the shoulder, Red Hood sees him go to kick at what must be Huntress.

Three shots are snapped off. They're not expected to hit. They're meant to distract the gunman while Red Hood makes his eay down to the street. There's no time to play with grapple lines so he dives over the edge and grabs at a fire escape railing to slow and redirect his descent. Except he misses the first one. The second one, a floor lower, has the down side of more momentum to his plunge.

Grabbing the railing, he grunts in pain as something strains and pops in his shoulder.

Cursing under his breath, he drops to the alley's entrance in a run. Left arm hanging limp, he raises his right pistol and unloads it on the gunman as he closes.
Huntress has posed:
There's no response over comms.

Two of Jason's hasty, distraction shots go wide, hitting pavement, one hits the car -- it's that one that aborts the gunman's second kick, spinning and snapping his own weapon upwards. He's ditched the tranquilizer, and has a pistol that he fires at Jason as he descends. Chances are good that most of the shots will miss given the rapid descent.

The difference being that Jason is wearing protective armor. The gunman? Not so much. They clearly weren't anticipating an ambush, just a lone, unarmed rich woman. The gunman stumbles a step back as Jason's first shot slams into his shoulder, the second into his chest, dropping him backwards onto the pavement seconds later as he convulses from the impact of the stun, falling still shortly afterward.

A few paces away, almost under the shadow of the car, Helena lies slumped on her side. Her eyes are closed, but her breathing is deep and even. This is the kind of area where people do call the GCPD, and there's a decent chance of them responding -- eventually. Certainly when there's multiple gunshots in succession.
Red Hood has posed:
Closing in on the two, Red Hood is wincing behind his mask. That dislocated shoulder isn't exactly comfortable but he's focused on getting to Helena while he can.

Pausing over the twitching gunman, he looks down and fires three more shots into the man's chest. The crackling of electricity can be heard as the unlucky man gets some extra incapacitation.

Looking to Helena he frowns. She appears to be knocked out from the dart. And here he is with a dislocated shoulder - with the sirens of GCPD coming in the distance.


Of course no one else is nearby to talk to. If there were, they'd be likely to assume he was just talking to himself.

To his credit, Red Hood is not actually going crazy.

The rumble of the engine of one dark crimson colored '67 GTO announces its arrival before it comes into view. The car stops in the street a few meters away. Waiting.

With a slow breath, he exhales and slams his arm into the side of the parked car. It takes a second attempt but the popping sound of pulling his shoulder back into place follows.

Gritting his teeth, he groans and hisses but refuses to scream. He really wants to scream but there just isn't time. Moving to Helena he carefully picks her up, using his right arm more than the injured left, he carries her to his car. Once the door opens (on its own), Red Hood eases Helena into the passenger seat. Forgoing seatbelts, he walks around and gets in to drive. There's no wild racing or risk taking. Just a faster than normal drive to get out of the area before the police make their "Better late than never" arrival.