15427/A Hidden Invitation

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A Hidden Invitation
Date of Scene: 04 August 2023
Location: China Basin, Old Gotham
Synopsis: A human trafficking enterprise is broken up by Bat people, and Barbara comes away with a clue.
Cast of Characters: Nightwing, Batgirl (Cain), Oracle

Nightwing has posed:
    "Are these Tong from Yangtze, or Ying-Tse? There's a difference."
    Nightwing's voice is heard on the comms, though loud enough for some of the goons nearby to hear him as well, the question making their brows knit silghtly as they slowly circled him, bodies locked into fighting stances as they surrounded the former acrobat. The former Robin slowly turned as well, back and forth as he tried to keep at least two of the three in front of him at all times, the shattered glass under his boot crinkling with each slight step.
    It had been a quick response to an illicit dock access alarm. Usually that was nothing, an errant bit of cabling or a false alarm from an animal. But tonight when Dick Grayson found the alarm it had been a veritable cornucopia of criminality.
    For a ship had come up along side at the docks, the warehouse which was supposedly closed for business was alive with lights flashing in the parking lot and inside. Several shipping containers had been off-loaded and when the realization was that they were shipping containers with people... and that there was a bevy of medical equipment for what could only have been a dark purpose...
    He was quick to sound the alarm on the batfamily comms.
    And moments later he was engaging.
    It was a running battle to keep them focused on him, to break up their efforts to deal with their human cargo. He cut across the warehouse with grapple line, dropping smoke bombs. Then at one point he dropped low and darted amongst them, fighting one or another for five seconds, then disappearing into the smoke. It was a holding action, he knew that. And he wasn't able to go onto the offensive until others showed up.
    "The Yangtze made a deal with some low level devil, so we might need to worry about magical stuff." He said on the comms as the thugs started their attack.
Batgirl (Cain) has posed:
There was a triple click on the line. A signal they all knew well. For this version of Batgirl didn't really like to talk. She could now, thanks to a lot of help from her adoptive family group, but the reality was it was inefficient when everything could be parsed without all the blah blah blah.

It was kind of sad that the others couldn't learn her way. Though, she wouldn't have wished that on anyone. Now that she knew what a 'normal' upbringing was. She still wore a mask that had a piece of material awkwardly sewn where the usual Bat-cowls would leave the lower portion of the face open. It was awkward because it was more disturbing and that really was the point of dressing like flying mammals which many people had a phobia about. Chirotophobia for the win! Personally, she thought they were cute. Especially when swaddled and having a paci in their mouths.

The triple click had let them know she was on her way and it was less than four minutes when Cassandra arrived. She clicked on her nightvision with a tap of a finger and watched the mayhem going on in the smoke. A flick of her wrist and there were more small pops as more smoke was added to the area, since being this close to the water there was generally a breeze and the smoke might be cleared out faster than normal. No need to chance it.

A double click and they knew she was there. An instant later, she flung herself off the rooftop toward a trio of gangsters huddled together in the smoke, trying to protect one another. The idea of that made her smile behind her mask even as she impacted with them in a violent clash that lasted only seconds.
Oracle has posed:

It always starts with an 'Actually' when Oracle is about to go into a long-winded explanation about something, "You can tell whether they are Yang-tze or Ying-Tze from the cut on their clothes. Are they wearing dark scarlet jackets and prefer small hatchets as their weapon of choice? Then there you have the Yang-Tse." the metallic voice of Oracle heard. And okay, mabe perhaps not a very long-winded explanation because BATGIRL was actually busy getting to the place after Dick had engaged all on his own.

And now they had to go help his sweet ass. So, a rather normal evening.

The batmobile swerves as it gets close and Barbara steps out, clad in the Batgirl suit she had been modding extensively to apply her own technology to it. She clicks on a few buttons on her wrist and a pair of drones go airborne to give them a bird's view, "Eyes on the sky are a go." she says on comms, now without the metallic voice. Just the redhead really.

A moment later and a batarang is flying across the battlefield, clapping over a couple of tong thugs that are stepping out of the smoke.
Nightwing has posed:
    "BG on the scene." Then remembering who else was on the comms, Dick fixes it even as he ducks beneath an errant punch. "Or rather, Quiet Bat? Silent Wing?"
    There's a flurry of motion in the smoke as the figures all seem to decide at once to attack Nightwing, those around him moving together. They were quick and good, and there was a grace to their movements, but not quite supernatural grace as the interplay of their limbs and strikes left swirls of smoke in their trailing rush of motion. And Nightwing was up to the challenge.
    He blocked, countered, the whirl of a baton snapping against a forearm was perhaps the loudest sound between them. Then as he slipped to the side he isolated one of his attacker's legs, twisted it with the metal stick, then there was a sharp snap as he took the man down in one smooth roll, rising up while the other did not.
    Around the warehouse area Cass had her hands full with targets. And when Babs got on scene she saw the situation from above as those drones took wing. There were footmen on the grounds seeking to fight back against... whatever was attacking them. Inside the warehouse were a core group of soldiers that were all standing around one individual. The three shipping containers still had their human cargo, while the doctors and medical staff were all huddled together trying to not inhale too much of the smoke as they hugged the floor.
Batgirl (Cain) has posed:
Barbara did like her toys. Cassandra paused, crouched amongst the three men she had taken down. Then she saw more approaching, drawn to the noise of combat. Though it was louder over where Nightwing was quite busy with his own entire crew that seemed intent on taking him out.

Cassandra ignored him. He could take care of himself. There were two approaching her position and she did a diving roll to close distance. Not that it was more efficient. It really wasn't. But it did keep her low to the ground so when she moved past them, their seeking arms didn't impact with her.

Then she rose up behind them as they sought blindly in the darkness. Using that silhouette that was so feared in Gotham as she reached out to tap each man on the shoulder. When they spun in a panic, they would get a momentary view of that bat-man shaped figure before each got a kick to the head. Quick kicks, leg chambering in between as she remained balanced on one leg. They hit the ground hard and she slid over to take out the feet from under a third what had approached, taking him down to the ground. A strike to the side of his neck with her blade hand cut off his bloodflow and stole any mental faculties he'd had in his favor after hitting the pier with his head.
Oracle has posed:
The batarang returns to Barbara's hand before the two men hit the ground, unconscious. The magnetic batarang hooks itself to her wrist, ready to be thrown again even as the green-eyed vigilante checks on a small screen. "I have eyes on the leader. Inside the warehouse. They are waiting for us." a beat, "Let's not leave them waiting."

Barbara had certainly grown to love her toys, specially after Oracle had become a reality. She knew she didn't have the natural aptitude to martial arts that Cass did, bless that girl, so she made it work in other ways. There was no fairness in the streets of Gotham after all.

Or in it's skies.

Batgirl throws herself from her vantage point, cape extending to help her glide towards the scene, "Oracle, engage nightvision." the visor turning green and those night, dark colors coming to life.

She lands with a knee atop a Yang-Tse, followed by an elbow to another that breaks a couple of teeth, she now close to where the other vigilante are at.
Nightwing has posed:
    There was an errant 'AIIEE!' as one of the Tong leapt across the distance throwing a kick at where he thought Nightwing was, only to get slammed hard in the back of the neck by two batons landing firmly. With the last one being caught as he charged in and brought hard into a rear naked choke, Dick tightened his arms around the man's neck and squeezed while dropping down partially to the ground to secure the choke. Giving him a half-second to speak on the comms.
    << Roger that. Mostly clear on the exterior, should move in to find the leadership if they're still here. >>
    Once the man in his arms passes out, Nightwing quickly loops a zip tie around his arms and legs, then gets up and starts to rush toward the warehouse proper, some of the smoke around him breaking up into wisps as he doesn't even break stride, grapple line coming out and firing...
    The SNAP-HISS! of the line firing is heard and it pulls him up into the air as he rises up toward the roof of that warehouse, he lands on the lip of the building's roof and flips over onto it with a smooth scissor of his long legs.
    << In position? >> Yet they are so in sync as a team he doesn't have to wait too long for verification. Once they're ready he then calls, << Go on three. One. Two... >>
    And that is the moment they make their simultaneous entry.
Batgirl (Cain) has posed:
It took but a moment to throw the heavy duty zipties onto the men she had felled. Then Cass scanned the smoky area once more. It seemed they each had handled or were finishing off their foes. A pfft of displaced air marked her firing her own grapple line toward the roof, rising out of the smoke and onto the exterior of the building with her cape fanning out behind her.

Then she was moving to the side of the building. Not near where Nightwing was already stationed. She'd gotten a glance at the building on the way in and had noted the high windows along the sides. That would be her point of entry.

As Nightwing started to count down, she flipped herself over the side of the building, hands holding onto the edge of the roof as she positioned herself beside a window, so her silhouette wouldn't be seen on the window itself. By the count of two, she was pushing off the side of the building, to get herself a little bit of air and momentum.


She slammed feet first into the window, sending glass showering into the warehouse itself and allowing her to get a lay of the land as she fired her grapple to allow her to arc toward the soldiers guarding the boss below. She was the big target, going in loud as she was. Thus she didn't throw smoke for the moment. That way she could draw fire away from the other two.
Oracle has posed:
A hatchet flies right close to Babs as the woman dodges a lucky throw through the smoke. It's followed by a roundhouse kick that sends that last remnant of resistance to the ground, silence abating on the outside of the warehouse. "Outside is secure." she tells the rest of the team even as she begins closing in with the warehouse proper.

Drones catch sight of the point of entry they chose. The roof. A window. High points. So for Babs? She will go right through the front entrance. For whoever expects a Bat to walk in through the front door?

It's why that when that 'Three' comes she is walking out of the smoke, wisps trailing over her midnight black suit with the symbol of the Bat proudly depicted over the chest, long cloak like a mantle of fear around her shoulders, the posture and figure that has sent chills through the criminal world of Gotham for years now. Batarang appears on her hand and a moment later she is tossing it across the distance, the technologically-enhanced device spinning towards their adversaries.
Nightwing has posed:
    On the opposite side the window breaks apart, but less prominently as Nightwing flips through and leaps onto the rafters in the superstructure of that warehouse. Just like back home in the circus, he flips from one position to the other, catching a low-hanging length of metal and dangling from it, aiming for the gathering of armed gun men who were drawing a bead on Cassandra.
    He calls onto the comms, << Flash bang, auto-adjust. >> Letting their visors and ear pieces to self-mute in the same moment he slashes his hand around, sending a whirling disc that slices across the distance... embeds into the wall.
    Many sets of eyes turn as they realize something just landed near them. Pistols come up as they take aim at the bat family's intrusion...
    Which is when the flash bang goes off and suddenly that crowd of gunmen, around the severely immaculately dressed VIP standing behind what must have been his large oak desk, scream out in pain as their world is reduced to high pitched tinnitus squeals and a brilliant bright light.
    A perfect set up for the other two to take them down. Especially as Babs' Batarang comes flashing in right in the next moment to capitalize on their vulnerability.
Batgirl (Cain) has posed:
As the voice of Nightwing comes over the comms, the systems shift and she finds the world is silent for a moment. Even as it gets darker. The nightvision shifts to a darker version, more like what one would see in a welder's helmet. It would protect against the brilliant flash, which was good since it allowed for her to keep her eyes opened and focused on those guns. Because she wasn't trying to get shot.

Not that she had any fear she would. She knew her teammates. One moment there had been all heads turned to Cassandra, weapons raised. Then next, there was the flashbang and they were all aiming blindly now, allowing her to change her trajectory by cutting that grappling line. And while she was still in the air, there came the batarang from Batgirl.

The concussion weapon exploded, sending already disoriented soldiers staggering or sprawling. And it was that instant after the concussive wave had hit the space that her boots hit the floor on the top of that wooden desk. A quick leap, legs extended to either side, and of the soldiers were taken down by kicks to the head. She landed between their falling bodies and spun, cape snapping around her as she performed a spinning kick for another even as she brought up an arm to /slam/ the arm of the fourth man into the air so the weapon was pointed in a direction that was not dangerous to her or her allies.
Oracle has posed:

A click on a wrist button partially obscuring her vision and throwing the world to silence just as she *feels* those concussive waves expanding and throwing the poor guards into disarray. And from there? It's time to mop up the ones still standing.

Not that their adversaries are weak. Far from it. Yet they do not have the kind of sync these three have. Their sense of justice. Molded by this city of Gotham that made them become something else. What it needed.

Batgirl walks closer to the fray, a straggler stumbling over in her direction as he tries to gain some distance from the devilish hellion of destruction that Cassandra can be, already some of those elite guards unconscious. The man cocks his weapon, starting to raise it... a kick from Batgirl throws the weapon away, she then blocking a punch to her midsection, smoothly transitioning to capturing his arm and twist. The man cries in pain and she finishes him with a high kick to the head, long leg fully extended.
Nightwing has posed:
    Then there was the man who was standing tall behind the bodyguards. He had shielded his head as the disc had impacted, bringing an arm up. Which meant as Nightwing landed that he was ready. Suddenly the boss lashed out with a loud, "SIEI!" As he thrust a killing palm-heel strike right toward Nightwing's face.
    Which did seem to surprise the vigilante as he landed, but his training was nigh unto perfect considering his mentor. The strike was slipped around, shoulders turning to the side as he leaned back. Then the follow up kick was pushed off and out of the way. But Nightwing didn't have time for this as he says, "Really bugs me when they don't know when they're supposed to fall down."
    As he says this he engages the man quickly, a flurry of blows that ends in an abrupt. ZORCH! as kung fu versus tazer... often suffers.
    That man falls and suddenly...
    The fight is over, all that is left is to secure the fallen as distantly the sound of sirends can be heard rapidly approaching.
    Dick starts to move around, securing the zip ties over the fallen. Around them the fight had kicked up a flurry of paperwork, files and data drives were strewn across the floor. A filing cabinet suffered poorly from the concussion batarang, though the desk itself was relatively intact though it was protected by the heavy glut of bodies at the start.
Batgirl (Cain) has posed:
And like that, it was over.

For a moment, there was a flash of a frown on the face of Cassandra behind that mask. Then it was gone, back to being the silent sentinal and giving nothing away outwardly.

She followed Dick's example and was securing the hands of the bad guys. Any that might be awake enough to get too squirmy would find themselves hogtied because she was not in the mood to play with these people. Not when they were shipping human cargo.

Which is when she turned her attention to the medical staff. And began to secure them as well. If any of them were stupid enough to try to fight, the would find that they were sorely outmatched and soon were added to the collection.
Oracle has posed:
Another night, another victory where they all came home alive and unhurt. Barbara could certainly live with that and a soft exhale of relief escapes her once silence abates and the danger is gone. Not that she lowers her guard, the drones still zipping about silently, keeping a look out for signs of movement, it's tracking sensors on.

Terrifying what technology can do these days. Hopefully Babs will never go villain. And as they start securing both the medical staff and the unconscious guards and boss she instead goes to the table where the various papers and flash drives are. Those would come in handy.

A lotus flower on a glass container calls her attention though and she cocks her head to the side before reaching to take it. She squints her eyes as something else seems to be inside too. A small scroll. Interesting.

"We should move soon." Before the police arrived, that is. She didn't want to have a face to face with Commissioner Gordon.
Nightwing has posed:
    "Alright," Nightwing said as he started to gather up some of their used gear. The flash bang could be recharged and reused, and not good having their tech fall into others' hands. He made sure to count off the prisoners, then told the people that had been imprisoned that they were safe. Though it did take him a few moments to determine that they only understood him when he spoke Ukrainian.
    After a time he turned and gave the signal. << Alright cops are 30 seconds out, let's make ourselves scarce. Good work tonight. >>
    Then as they were each swinging away, they'd hear, << What was that thing you picked up, Oracle? Anything interesting? >>
Batgirl (Cain) has posed:
They were a well oiled machine. She and Dick scanned for anything that might be left behind of theirs. Certainly, the Gotham City Police would know this was Bat related by the way the badguys were trussed up but they still tried not to leave the good stuff where others could find it.

Even as they did that, Barbara was focusing on the papers and drives that might lead to more details that they could work from to prevent any such attempts at human trafficking or experimentation again.

There was no security cameras, no feeds of any sort. The Tongs had used this area for just that reason. And then she was gone, off into the night with two spoken words. <<Well done.>>

Then there was silence again as she made her way across the rooftops though she was curious what Nightwing was asking about as she hadn't noticed the lotus herself.
Oracle has posed:
No evidence was left behind. None of theirs at least. Batarangs collected, along with the rest of their weapons and technology. The two drones returned to Batgirl's batmobile as well once they made themselves scarce of that warehouse, Barbara gliding across the night sky before landing close to where her vehicle was.

The lotus container was still in her hand and she was looking at it with a .., curious expression. She doesn't answer right back at Dick, as if in a rare moment neither her or Oracle knew what to answer.

<< I ..., am not sure. >> which is quite a big thing for the redhead. Yet she had already gotten the results from Oracle. The lotus didn't register in the databases, nor did the scroll's seal.

<< Something to dive into when we are back. >> And knowing Babs? She wouldn't stop until she got right to the bottom of this mystery.