Difference between revisions of "8290/Friday Night Beneath Stately Wayne Manor"

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Latest revision as of 07:15, 13 July 2019

__NOCACHE__ 
Friday Night Beneath Stately Wayne Manor
Date of Scene: 12 July 2019
Location: Batcave - Wayne Manor
Synopsis: Bruce, Carrie, Helena, Tim, Dick and Stephanie gather in the Batcave. Training happens and equipment upgrades are discussed. Bruce and Dick's relationship strains and rebounds.
Cast of Characters: Spoiler, Carrie Kelley, Huntress, Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing


Spoiler has posed:
Friday night finds some people active in the Batcave. Stephanie Brown is there training hard. Today's training is criminology. She has a trio of books open nearby for reference, and a mock crime scene which she has been going over painstakingly gathering evidence from. She pops open a small plastic container, using tweezers to pick up a fiber of some sort, dropping it in and closing it up. The container gets slid into her utility belt as she gets down on her knees, face down near the ground to peer across it looking for anything unusual. Face practically smooshed to the floor, she murmurs, "Ah, the exciting and glamorous life of a crime-fighter."

Over at the Batcomputer, a window pops open as some of the software that monitors 911 calls and police channels picks up something. A woman's voice, saying, "Yes, three dead bodies at the subway station, 5th and Elm, Brooklyn. And there's, make that four, someone's burning on the tracks," the voice says. "Shoot, they see us." The 911 operator says, "5th and Elm, four bodies. Ma'am? Ma'am, we're sending units, get out of there ma'am. Ma'am?" The call is disconnected though. The Batcomputer files the information where it can be easily retrieved.

Carrie Kelley has posed:
Carrie Kelley sits on the steps leading up to the batcomputer with her back leaning against the railing. Her focus was on a newspaper folded over on itself she held in hand currently skimming over with a pen twirling between the fingers of her free hand. She wasn't in her costume and had opted instead for jogging sweats and a light t-shirt so she could get some training in herself should she feel like a change of pace. "Mm? It's not so bad. I mean I'm not exactly great at it either, but..." She trails off when the computer queues up glancing over with a frown. "That doesn't sound like usual gang violence."

Huntress has posed:
The sound of motorcycles was not uncommon reverbing amongst the Batcave's walls. They seem to be a popular choice amongst some of the other crimefighters. Like the dark purple one that cruises in, bearing one of the other of Gotham's nocturnal vigilantes. It rumbles to a stop, purring like the finely tuned and upkept machine it was as Huntress heeled down the kickstand and let it idle down a moment before finally stopping the engine. As she dismounted she gave her head a shake and flicked a hand back through her hair to brush some out of her face.

She's been in and out of Gotham enough lately due to other... investigations she's gotten caught up in that she's decided it was high time to check in with the rest of the city's defenders. It was little secret Huntress and Batman didn't always see eye to eye on certain matters. But they shared the desire to clean the filth and corruption out of the city, and as long as she was willing to abide by certain 'rules' she was usually allowed to participate in the group. Yeah, you know which rules I'm talking about.

She's just making her way up from the vehicle housing section when the police radio bit plays from the computers, giving her a moment's pause. And then a soft snort. "Sounds like a typical night out in Gotham," the woman remarks sourly. But not like anything the cops shouldn't be able to handle. Yet, at least.

Batman has posed:
Upon setting up the training exercise for Steph, Bruce excused himself to the gym where he's been for the last hour and a half. The Batcave may function just fine as a hub of activity for the family, but even with a growing number of men and women coming and going he manages to keep himself isolated. The only indication that he is still there at all are the occasional sounds of a fist driving into cushioned leather as he gives a punching bag what sounds like the beating of its life.

The 911 stops all the noise immediately and Bruce emerges from the cordoned of section of the Cave reserved for physical training. He wears only loose fitting pants, a white towel draped around his neck as he dabs the sweat from his face with it. As he glides past Stephanie at the makeshift crime scene his eyes alight on the set-up for a split second, prompting him to say "You missed something." in a flat monotone. Teaching.

The Huntress' arrival draws his attention and he watches her in stoic, motionless silence for an instant before nodding brusquely. He practically steps over Carrie on his way to the Batcomputer, leaning over one of the backlit keyboards and beginning to type while keeping his eyes fixated on the screen.

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie Brown sits upright on her knees. "Missed something?" she says, looking over the scene where there was obviously a fight. A bit of blood, some broken things here and there. "Missed something. My non-existent sweet sixteen party, homecoming, junior prom, senior prom," she says to herself, running down a mental list she didn't even know she was keeping. It makes her frown. "Wow that sounded pathetic," she muses to herself before crouching down to look over the scene again.

"Glass broken there... caught in the tread of his shoes and made the scratches on the floor as he crossed," she says, recounting what she'd already spotted. Stephanie sits up again as Helena comes roaring in. The 911 call gets a brief glance, but if she doesn't see anyone gearing up to go check out the call over in Brooklyn, she gives Helena a wave, then tells Carrie, "Well, you're welcome to be a second set of eyes," she says of the scene she's working. Stephanie rises and steps carefully over to a window set in a wall, examining it at close range. She runs a finger over the painted window frame and tastes the fingertip. "Ew. Ok I don't know what I was thinking that might reveal anyway," she admits.

Carrie Kelley has posed:
Carrie Kelley pulls her legs back in as close as she can when Bruce moves up the stairs stepping over-around her at the same time. She really hadn't meant to be in the way. It was just giving Stephanie plenty of room to do her exercise while he was off doing his own, and she was focused on reading the personal ads in the paper.

"I don't know that I'd be any better than you on that," she points out with a shrug in response to Stephanie. "Does it taste like salt, or asphalt or something? If it's salt, might be a dock worker with salt water on the boots. Asphalt, might have been on rooftops or somewhere the road was being worked on? Otherwise I haven't paid much attention." Her pen taps to the newspaper she was perusing.

"I'm trying to see if there might be any odd events or messages being passed through the paper. It's a bit low-tech compared to what people can do these days, but not everyone can work through super computers." A glance is cast back toward Bruce as she asks, "Anything we should look in on? I can suit up."

Carrie Kelley has posed:
Carrie Kelley offers Helena a wan grin at the remark of Gotham being Gotham. "I'd say it's not always this bad, but I'm beginning to see that it sometimes is."

Huntress has posed:
Helena Bertinelli returns Bruce's curt greeting with a brief nod of her own, and steps back out of the way. "All that may be true," she replies to Carrie with a hint of her own grin faintly, "But that doesn't make it any less worth the effort to check. Especially with the... shall we say unorthadox nature of some of Gotham's notable villainy. Never know what one of them might take interest in."

Not wanting to disrupt the man of the house/cave while he's checking out the computer's message Helena instead walks over to the faux crime scene. She stays just on the edge, out of Steph's way and observing with the manner of careful consideration that comes with being a teacher. "But what would you of possibly missed if you hadn't tried?", she remarks calmly. "Sleuthing is as much eliminating what's wrong as it is finding the clues that are correct."

Batman has posed:
"Brooklyn," Bruce says to Carrie, as though the single word should convey complex meaning. After a moment, though, he makes concessions to the occasional benefits of being loquacious, "Wouldn't cover the distance in time. Besides, it's a hub for several other operators. They can handle it."

Even as he says he doesn't plan to attend the 911 call, he continues to investigate it. The keys rattle obligingly under his fingers as he taps into surveillance feeds: the street, a nearby crosswalk, the stairs leading down into the subway. His mouth forms a grim, serious line as he pulls together what information he can.

"We are Gotham," he says to the gathering at large, "we can't police the world." The unspoken 'yet' hanging noticably in the air.

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie peers at the crime scene after listening to Carrie and Helena. Helena's comment causes the blonde to frown and look around again. "Eliminating what's wrong," she repeats to herself as she looks around the room. It's pretty clear the fight lasted a bit, with how broken the items in the room are. Stephanie looks at the smashed glass, a flattened cardboard box, and other debris, around a tall thin ceramic vase that is standing upright despite having such a high center of gravity.

"Ok, how did you smash like, everything in here and miss the most tipsy item in the room?" she asks herself, moving over near to it and peering at the vase closely. She double checks the rubber gloves she's donned and then carefully picks it up. Underneath is a tiny hole, which causes Stephanie to let out a cry of success. She pulls out lock picks and begins picking the tiny lock in the floorboards, the vase seeming to have been placed back over it to help conceal it again.

While Stephanie is working on that, the Batcomputer hacks into the New York City Transit Authority's camera system. There is a smear of blood across the floor, and a brown-haired man just rising to his feet, his clothes a mess, plus two women. They seem to be facing off with a large man with fangs, and a woman. One of the two women is reporter April O'Neil and she is armed with a machete. She was Bruce Wayne's date at the charity ball that Selina Kyle threw a few months ago. The other is not familiar, a tall girl in her mid twenties with dark hair, and a pistol. She unloads it into the one woman, who falls over. But after a few moments she sits up and begins poking at the half-dozen holes in her chest. The man with the sharp teeth rushes the two women, but gets a knife thrown into his backside by the brown-haired fellow.

Carrie Kelley has posed:
Carrie Kelley glances back to Bruce with a solemn nod at mention of where it was. "We do know people out that way," she puts forth without outright suggesting who they might call about it. She had no idea if they were even nearby, and from what she sees on the screen she wasn't entirely sure she'd want to put them in that situation to begin with. When the woman fires the gun at the other, she turns her head away rather than watch what was happening.

Instead she finds herself staring at Helena, only to look guilty for looking away. Her eyes dart instead to Stephanie's discovery.

"Nice catch."

Huntress has posed:
Helena Bertinelli nods approvingly as Stephanie puts the various pieces of advice given to use. The teacher is pleased.

Dark hair sways slightly behind her as she turns to look towards the Batcomputer when Brooklyn is mentioned, and the rest of Bruce's statement. She'd echo that 'yet' if it had been spoken. "Now if only the rest of the 'world' would be as polite about respecting Gotham's borders," she remarks dryly. Then shakes her head again. "I've been to New York recently. It's just as much of a mess in the seedy underbelly of crime and corruption department."

Followed by a bit of a frown at the gun. Or more so the way it's being used. "Blantant. Sloppy."

Batman has posed:
Bruce disregards Stephanie's eureka moment entirely. Experience is its own reward, and praise better suited when likened to water for a man lost in the desert. However he does glance up from what he is doing on the Batcomputer to look at her and the crime scene, even if his expression is neutral and he quickly turns back to the CTA feed. He expands it quickly to take up one of the three massive screens that comprise the Batcomputer's monitor, making it clear for all.

The way he stands and watches the feed, it's easy to tell he's dissecting it. The combatants. Both sides. Something he sees causes his jaw to clench, displeased or disconcerted. He says nothing about it. Although there is an obvious tension. As the bullets are fired he turns his attention to Carrie, his neutral frown giving way to a stern look.

"Don't flinch."

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie opens up the secret compartment in the floor, only to find, nothing. "Great, another space to examine," she says of the cleaned out cubbyhole. She grabs a magnifying glass and a flashlight, but flashes a grateful smile to Helena for the tip. Not really giving her the answer, but enough to make her think, and the lesson is one she'll likely remember out in the street now.

Meanwhile on the camera, April O'Neil impales the male creature of the night through the chest with the machete. But that doesn't seem to do more than slow him. Finally the brown-haired man throws the vampire onto the tracks where sparks result as he hits the live rail.

The dark-haired woman in tight leggings upends a trash can over the head of the female monster as she is getting up, pinning her arms in place momentarily, though the metal can starts to be twisted and rended. Obviously the little woman is immensely strong. The brown-haired man picks up a sawed-off shotgun from the ground near the bloody area, and tosses it to the woman who had the pistol. She points the gun at the trash can where the vampire's head should be. But anyone who knows anything about shotguns will wince seeing she hasn't set the stock against her shoulder.

The gun goes off, punching her in the shoulder and knocking her onto her ass. The can and everything inside is just obliterated however.

Huntress has posed:
Helena Bertinelli walks over to watch more closely as Bruce brings the feed up on the larger monitors. It just makes her frown more. Especially when the woman gets the job done, but uses the shotgun in the most sloppy manner possible and knocks herself for an almost literal loop.

"That is why I use crossbows," she murmurs to no one in particular.

She doesn't see anyone she actually met in New York showing up though. No turtle ninjas, no sword wielding fox, no rediculously strong dog woman.

Mutants are strange. She probably wouldn't believe it if she hadn't actually personally met some during her time in the Big Apple.

Carrie Kelley has posed:
Carrie Kelley clears her throat lightly when Bruce scowls at her. She flashes a frown of her own though she gives a stiff nod. "I'm still getting used to it," she retorts as she pushes up to her feet with a little dusting motion to clean any debris off her side. "I'm going to get some studying done." Even though she already did quite a bit, and had asked Damian to look over her work. It was a good excuse as she was just a bit unsettled. "Good luck with the rest, Stephanie," she offers and then nods toward Helena in passing. "Still use a slingshot myself."

Batman has posed:
Bruce simply shakes his head at the inexpertly-handled shotgun. He has no love for firearms, but he understands well enough when one isn't being used properly. He's already weighing the events up in his head, determining how they might be avoided in the future or at least mitigated. Outside, it simply looks like he is staring impassively at the action on the screen. He turns to Helena after a moment, saying only "Monitor this" with a gesture to the screen. No formalities. No pleases or thank yous. Just the brusque, no-nonsense demeanor for which he is well known.

He makes his way over to Stephanie and her artificial crime scene. He says nothing for the moment, simply crossing his arms over his broad chest and watching her. He occasionally moves through the scene to observe from different angles, practiced steps never disturbing even a shred of potential evidence. Walking around the shattered glass with bare feet as though it could never hurt him.

Spoiler has posed:
The man picks up the sawed off shotgun and adds a coup de grace to make sure the female is down. The others gather their things and it appears they don't plan to stick around for the police. The woman not-April looks at her phone for a moment before turning it off and putting it in her purse, retrieved from the pool of blood on the ground. That will need to be replaced. In fact she dumps her things into April's backpack as they women start to depart. The man? He gathers the heads from three other bodies elsewhere on the platform, and tosses them onto the live rail where they catch fire, before he departs as well. Leaving only the camera feed that Bruce and Helena are watching as evidence of their involvement.

Stephanie is peering in the box, shaking her head after examining the space closely. "I can't tell what was in there, if anything," she says. "I don't have any UV light capability to check, that was one of the things to check in the Simpson book," she says of one of the criminology books Bruce had gotten for her. She glances over towards Helena. "You use a crossbow?" she asks. Under her breath, but loud enough to be heard, Stephanie says, "God that's so cool." She looks back to Bruce then to get his critique on her performance with the crime scene.

Huntress has posed:
Helena Bertinelli just hmmhmms softly and nods to Bruce as he turns to walk away. She may not be the master detective he is, but her skills are enough to scrutinize the scene playing out before her. Her own dislike for firearms was over how noisy and messy they were.... As well as personal, emotional reasons she rarely brings up. Not to the point she won't use a gun in a pinch, but.. yeah. It was still enough to make her frown, thinking of how many ways that could of gone bad if te shotgun fire had missed its mark. She'd rather stick to her assassin's weapons of choice.

Speaking of, "Both standard and handheld sizes," she replies to Stephanie without taking her eyes off the screens. If she heard the mutter she's not responding to it. Let the girl have her moment of 'oh cool!'.

Batman has posed:
"Helena," Bruce calls out from over by the training area, interrupting the talk of crossbows, "Take that security footage and delete it from the Central Transit Authority servers. Keep our copy and store it under 'To Be Filed'."

The Batcomputer itself is user friendly when it wants to be, and the steps required to remotely delete the footage and store it don't require a degree in computer science to figure out. Satisfied that he's done his part - whatever part he imagined that to be - he now turns his attention fully back to Stephanie.

"Adequate," he judges, crouching down alongside her and looking at the box, "In the field you always need to be prepared. You won't always have what you need, but you'll learn what comes up often and what can be saved for emergencies. Sounds to me like you need to add the UV light to your kit."

Then, he moves the conversation on and speaks up so Helena can hear also: "Speaking of crossbows, Helena ... how well-placed are you to give marksmanship training?"

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie gives a soft, rueful chuckle. "There's a lot I need to add to the kit," she says, the words meant for herself more than for Bruce. She looks around the crime scene one last time and then closes the secret spot in the floorboard, and sets the vase back atop it. Because that was a nice touch.

She rises, peeling off her gloves and then walks over a little bit, wanting to see what Helena does to delete the footage. Stephanie hasn't really used the Batcomputer at all, just looked over people's shoulders as they did. Her computer skills have the basics you'd expect of any 20 year old in 2027. Comfortable with devices. But from a household that struggled to get by, computer time was a luxury for the girl who grew up to become Spoiler.

"How did you come by learning to use them in the first place?" Stephanie asks Helena. The blue-eyed blond follows up the question with, "I mean if that's not prying. Or, ok I know it's prying. If that's not prying an unwelcome amount?"

Huntress has posed:
It takes a few moments of looking over the controls, but Helena finds what she needs to find to do what Bruce wants done and her fingers flick over the consoles to put in the commands. Save the local copy aside to be filed later, remove the recordings from the original servers. Really the Batcomputer was doing most of the work, she was just telling it what needed to be done.

"Would need an appropriate location for it," she answers as she does so. "And not be easily disrupted."

Once that's finished she turns back to the others. It is kind of prying, but the girl's curiousity is hard for the teacher in her to ignore. "Professionally trained."

She omits the 'as an assassin' from the answer. She didn't want to have to get into a lengthy discussion over how the term doesn't mean everything has to be about killing. Bruce probably wouldn't approve the topic coming up with his charges, either.

Batman has posed:
"The Cave is fine," Bruce answers in terms of space for marksmanship training, "The lower hangar. It isn't currently occupied. Plenty of space and you won't be disturbed. I want to make sure Stephanie can hit the mark if need to."

Bruce gives Steph a pointed look, "Don't expect you to incorporate a crossbow into your kit, but it's a useful skill to have. When you learn to aim with your eye instead of your hand, you'll find you need to spend a lot less time lining up the shot."

He once again gives Stephanie a critical look, as though evaluating her when she's just standing there and listening or asking questions, "You need a new kit."

Spoiler has posed:
The twenty year old Gotham U student listens quietly as Bruce and Helena discuss target practice. The comment from Helena about the source of her skill brings a thoughtful look from the younger girl, but no further questions this time, as Bruce gives her something else to think about.

She doesn't have on her full Spoiler outfit at the moment, though she has been wearing it during much of her physical training. However she has on her homemade utility belt, and the similarly styled garter for her leg that increases what she can carry. Stephanie bites her lower lip, chewing on it before giving a little nod of her head. "I've tried to make use of what I could make," she says, her gear literally made from things purchased at the hardware store, and crafted with the kind of tools one finds were left behind in their father's old toolbox. After having sent said father to prison. That's another story though.

Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake comes walking into the cave from upstairs. He has one of the smaller masks on, as is his habit till he finds out who is in the cave, but is in his civis. He is pulling out a small notebook, and a sharpie. The sharpie is in a plastic bag, and he seems to be walking towards the finger print area.

Huntress has posed:
"Sounds good. Accuracy will help with any weapon you use," Helena adds with a nod. "And that's not bad, my dear girl. Learn to use what you have at hand and you'll learn what you need, and how to better utilize more advanced things when they become available."

Batman has posed:
"You shouldn't be making it."

It's almost hurtful, what Bruce says. As though he does not rank Stephanie's ability to piece together a utility belt from whatever she can find or assemble. But when one has billions of dollars and a conglomerate worth several times that at their command, it may be difficult to blame him for dismissing it all.

"Come with me," he practically demands of Stephanie, stepping past her brusquely and heading for the Armory, "You've made some additions to your uniform. Adequate. Not ideal. None of it was fitted for you, so that leaves a margin for error. That's fine while you're still in training but needs to be addressed."

Nightwing has posed:
    It's at precisely that time that Grayson makes his presence known. Garbed in the regalia of his vigilante persona, Nightwing's form just seems to bleed forth from the shadows near the secret entrance of the cave, as if he were being born of the shadows themselves. Inky and black and sleek, with the blue chevron across a proud chest only seeming to flare vibrantly as it emerges from the darkness and into the light.

    "So, are we finally giving her some good tools," he calls out, his voice still modulated with an eerie metallic flange, before he clears his throat with a bemused look. Turning off the modulator, he continues, "It's about time. We're going to get a reputation if we keep leaving the girls underequipped in the field."

    The smile on Grayson's domino-masked face secures the comment as purely tongue in cheek, and he draws closer to the Armory, leaning against a railing and folding his arms across his chest. White lensed eyes turn first to Tim and then to Helena, and the young crimefighter gives an upnod with a lopsided, but cheerful grin. "Sup?"

Huntress has posed:
Helena Bertinelli bites her lip softly for a moment. She thinks its good for one to know how to improvise, but Stephanie is one of Bruce's charges and he will handle her being equipped and trained as he sees fit. Better she just focuses on the part she was given to handle. "I'll start planning a training regiment to work on accuracy and speed."

Followed by a soft snort at NIghtwing's arriving quip, and smirking in his direction. "As long as the girl has her wits she's never truly unarmed... Though a few high quality gadgets never hurts to pad out the odds."

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie smiles to Helena and nods, saying, "I'd appreciate the training. I just have a few throwing weapons at present. I'm happy to pick up anything that would help me contribute."

After Bruce's comment, if Stephanie feels any hurt there isn't much sign of it. She'd actually been walking pretty small around Bruce since her gaffe doing the interview with April O'Neil. Who Stephanie defiitely missed seeing on the video, as she'd have made a curt remark if she had.

Though Stephanie has trained very hard since, and must feel she's regained a little trust,as her normal personality is starting to re-emerge around Bruce now. Just a little of her humor at least. But Stephanie is serious now as she follows Bruce over. "Barbara pulled some armor out of her original outfit for me, after I got cut during that drug buy takedown we did together," Stephanie confirms.

The arrival of Nightwing causes Stephanie to stop for a moment and shine a smile towards him. Just for a second as she realizes she's falling behind Bruce. She turns away from Nightwing to hurry her to step to catch up with the elder Wayne to see what he has in mind.

Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake will look up as Bruce takes Stephanie towards the armory. He will call out "Spoiler A-4 access Draper 215" And as the two head over that way a cabinet door will open and inside is a utility belt done up in Stephanie's colors along with a staff somewhat like his own, but with a point it can be broken in two to be used akin to Nightwing's batons. He will set the fumes to working on his fingerprinting, and turn, nodding to Dick and looks over towards the armor, as he realizes he had not really told Bruce he had been working on a loadout for Steph.

Batman has posed:
"A few stolen plates aren't sufficient," Bruce chides Stephanie, and even if he can appreciate both the sentiment and well-meaning behind the act he cannot show it, "We need to fix that, too. In time. For now, focus on training your mind and your body. Helena's a good source. Barbara, too."

When Tim calls out and the drawer opens, Bruce steps forward to peer at the contents. He lifts the belt out of the cut foam it rests on, holding it up and examining it with an artisan's eye. He opens some of the plated pouches, investigating the contents. The expression on his face is unreadable, a grim line and eyes so intense they threaten to bore a hole straight through the carbon fiber material. He fishes something out of one of the compartments, a small matte black cylinder.

He places the rest of the belt in the drawer before turning the cylinder to her, flicking a button and flashing a wide purple-white square of light in her face. He turns it off just as quickly before tossing it through the air for her to catch: "UV light."

Nightwing has posed:
    Helena's comment about wits has Grayson giving a half shrug of a shoulder, his smile growing brighter, "Well, the best tool any of us have is our mind."

    A beat.

    "Except maybe Jason."

    He cocks his head with a nod in Stephanie's direction, though, and remarks, "She's been running around in a homemade suit, with Walmart gadgets, and she's been keeping up, so I think she's off to a good start. She needs better armor, though. I don't want to see her hurt."

    When Steph flashes Grayson that smile, Grayson lowers his face towards the floor, his own face lighting up with an unrestrained, beaming smile. He thumbs at his nose, but says nothing. Instead, he just kicks one foot up against the cavern wall he's resting against, and watches as Tim unveils his project for Steph, and then Bruce gives it an examination.

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie Brown's own smile grows for just a moment, though the blond girl forces a more serious expression to her face. She's helped as Tim calls out the command to the Batcomputer, drawing a curious look from Stephanie. It's not unlike Tim to surprise her like that though, and he gets a soft smile from her before Stephanie quite knows what he's done.

She follows Bruce over, her mouth dropping open a bit as she sees what is inside. A bit of emotion stirs in her, visible in the micro-expressions that everyone else on the team is more skilled at reading than Stephanie is. Bruce tosses her the cylinder and she catches it, giving a soft grin as he explains what it is. "Right," she tells him, and gives the man a smile back.

It's pretty obvious how much this means to her, and she's trying to keep her reaction restrained. But it's still obvious enough to give out to everyone those bennies that people feel from helping others.

Huntress has posed:
Even without the cowl obscuring his face Bruce was ni impossible to read. It was one hell of a poker face.. Though he probably wasn't the sort to play poker in the first place. Helena gave up bothering to try some time ago, Bruce's experience in keeping his emotions unseen was too good most of the time.

"Throwing weapons. I shouldn't be surprised," Helena quips with a shake of her head. "I've got experience with throwing knives and such too, though." Thoughtfully she cusps a hand to her chin. "We'll set aside some time to do a few drills, see where your technique is, and figure out what we need to work on from there."

Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake will move over to his chair at one of the computers and says "I made sure, things are set up so should be a bit lighter than your used to, but got most of the generics in there with a few things I whipped up for you, knowing how you fight." He will look to Bruce, and says "I have been running with her the longest, and have trusted with my back for quite some time. Built most of it myself, with a few modifications here and there. " He will look over to Steph and says "If you want a spoiler cycle, you have to talk him into it." He jokes a bit.

Batman has posed:
Bruce watches Stephanie carefully, and even if his own expression is unreadable there is always the overwhelming feeling that he can read everyone else's just fine. He turns his head slowly to look at Nightwing, watching his eldest son in infuriating silence. The gears are turning in his head, that's the only obvious thing about it. But whatever conclusion is drawn, he neither announces it nor expresses it physically. For all intents and purposes it is just filed away in the vault of his mind.

"Good," he tells Tim, the equivalent of soaring praise, "Solid choices."

A glance back to Stephanie: "I expect you to modify it over time. Don't use what Tim gave you just because he gave it to you. Pick and choose your tools."

Take that, sentimentality.

The talk of a 'Spoiler-Cycle' prompts him to add: "You don't need a vehicle. Yet."

Then he's moving again, striding over to another area of the armory where the batsuit - or tonight's one, at least - is kept. It opens with a hiss, mounted in it's frame and underlit.

"Helena, make the most of the Batcave's facilities for training. Field exercises aren't out of the question but use your better judgement." Did he just emphasize the word better?

Nightwing has posed:
    "I can practice throwing weapons with her," Dick offers. "And take her out to the range to practice with firearms. The perks of being a cop in your daytime life, right?"

    When Bruce looks at Grayson, Dick turns his white eyed stare back on him. While Grayson is nearly as proficient as Bruce with the poker face, it seems that he feels no real need to hide anything in his expression. Not among family. Despite the blue domino mask that covers his face, the look he gives is easily readable to the father he had known since he was just a boy on the cusp of adolescence.

    "And when it comes to the idea of a cycle, I can take care of teaching her that, too," Grayson offers up with a shrug. He is, after all, a bit of a grease monkey, with his own self built vehicles, and possibly the most aptitude in just straight riding.

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie Brown grins towards Helena. "Was a lot easier to make those than something that shoots. Plus, less chance of it, you know, really hurting someone badly," she says, giving a little shrug of her shoulders and the smile that is pleasant when coaxed out of her.

Stephanie looks over towards Tim. "Thank you, Tim. It's just, wow, I can't wait to try it all out," she says, clicking the UV light his direction with a grin. She turns back to Bruce, nodding her head at his pronouncement about a vehicle. She does have an old Honda, one that barely qualifies as being a motorcycle rather than a scooter. But it gets her about town.

Stephanie moves over to begin looking through the utility belt. There are things she has no clue yet what they do, which she is smart enough not to touch yet. Ok, /barely/ smart enough not to touch yet.

She smiles over to Nightwing at his offers. "Thanks Dick," she tells him warmly. "Ok, you all are wracking up a big debt I'm going to have to pay off come your birthdays or Christmas or something," she says with a warm-hearted chuckle.

Huntress has posed:
"Not out of the question, but not a good starting point either." Though the 'better judgement' insistance is probably a good one to make. Just knowing how tempermental and reckless the Huntress can get on occasion.

Fortunately it's tempered by her other concerns. Helena isn't about to put a youth in harms way needlessly. Even if Stephanie is likely capable of handling it, as she wouldn't be here otherwise. "Some light training to gauge her existing capablity, and get accustomed to working together, is the best place to begin." She nods to Nightwing. "Someone else to practice with when I'm not present is also good."

Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake smirks a bit and and says "Hey it is protecting our rears too, the more bad assery you can pull off." he says to Steph. At the look between the other two he will sigh and go a bit stone face himself, and turn towards the computer. "Had a werewolf kill a vampire in town tonight. I tracked him, talked to him in civies. Played the hero groupie got his name and finger prints." He motions towards the pen. "Vamps popping up a lot lately, had two run ins with them over in bloodhaven recently.

Batman has posed:
"This isn't how we do it," Bruce says flatly to Nightwing, maybe a little more curt than usual, "Don't need an exact duplicate of you. Don't need an exact duplicate of anybody. Stephanie learns from our strengths, disregards our weaknesses. Helena's the superior marksman. Barabara's the superior analyst. Not going to risk anyone's life because they were emulating your bad habits, or mine." Because they both know that when Grayson went through this particular gauntlet, there was nowhere else to pull strength or weakness from than the Batman himself.

His words are clipped and to the point. Even pronouns and articles are dropped. He doesn't so much as look at the others as he begins to don his uniform. The batsuit is like a medieval suit of armor in the many complex interlocking parts that need to be donned in a certain order. But by now it has become rote, and he can speak as he goes.

"Vampires and werewolves," he repeats, "Potentially similar situation in Brooklyn. Fangs. Difficult to kill except by beheading."

Huntress has posed:
"Sounds like a reason to stock up on silver tipped bolts." Helena shakes her head a bit. "Is it wrong that werewolves and vampires aren't even the top of my 'weird things I've had to deal with' list anymore?"

As Bruce starts suiting up she nods, and turns to head back towards the vehicle bay where she parked her own motorcycle, retrieving her own mask from her belt as she does. "I should get back on the streets myself. Patrols won't do themselves. I'll drop back in later and we can start working on your stuff, Steph."

Nightwing has posed:
    "Who said anything about an exact duplicate of me?" Nightwing retorts, lifting one eyebrow under his mask, as his face immediately shifts into stuff of solid stone. "Helena might be superior with a crossbow, but when it comes to throwing weapons, I'd argue that I've got the upper hand. Barbara is a better data analyst, sure. Script kiddy? Absolutely. But not necessarily a better detective. After all, it is what I do. Day and night. I'd be hard pressed to see anyone in this room surpass me on a bike, for that matter. But hey, whatever. Bad habits. Like reminding people why they left this place to begin with."

    With that, Grayson, rolling his eyes, lifts himself up from where he was resting, and starts to head back towards the stairs. "I'll just see myself out, and off to somewhere where I'm appreciated. Don't bother calling me until you can do the same."

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie tells Helena, "I've been doing patrols for awhile, including some lately with Barbara. Though, well, I'm not saying to not use your judgment. Sorry, your better judgment," she says, giving a warm-hearted grin at that. She's often the one on the receiving end of such accentuated words.

The blond girl's attention goes over to Tim, missing some of his expressions, drawn by the mention of the werewolf. She doesn't make any comment, just frowns a bit at the talk of there being more of them lately and as Bruce discusses the situation in Brooklyn.

Stephanie nods to Helena. "I'll get in touch with you soon, then," she says. Stephanie smiles over to the other woman, expression grateful. The tension that ensues then between Dick and Bruce causes her to fall quiet, her arms shifting to go about herself as she leans back against a console.

Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake looks over to Bruce, and Dick, he does not bring up where he thinks he beats Dick at, now is not t he time. He will sigh a moment, and just shake his head. This is not unheard of with these two. He will instead change gears a bit and looks over to Batman "One night soon, going to bring a friend of mine and Blackbat's in on patrol through Gotham. Aint bringing him to the cave or anything but need to show him a few things. If it is ok, would like to have him see how you hand some people." He looks to Nightwing "You as well actually. He is a good guy and friend, but since he hangs around with people with physical powers, he thinks of himself as not able to compare with a mental power. Want to show him what some folks with no powers can do."

Batman has posed:
When Nightwing responds, Bruce continues to act out the complex ritual of donning the batsuit. He does his utmost to seem as though he is listening without hearing, or that the discussion is at an end. He has the layered undersuit on when he hears the closing remarks and only then is he given pause. He clutches the wrist of one of his gauntlets, eyes fixating on some incongruous point before him. He doesn't call out after the departing vigilante, although he does turn to look at Stephanie. His voice low enough so as to not carry too far through the cave.

"He's right," he says plainly, "and so far as ... choices made? This isn't a bad one. There are ... fewer teachers as fine. Learn everything you can."

Choices made. Joining the Family? Something else? He doesn't elaborate. The words aren't so much spoken as pulled from him, as though some crack in the great edifice has momentarily appeared and they rush forth unbidden.

"My point is you need to learn from everything and everyone. Go far and wide. There are a lot of answers in this cave, but not all of them."

He clears his throat, raising his voice to the more commanding Batman tone and addressing Tim: "Agreed. Secrecy protocols in full effect, though. No slip ups."

Spoiler has posed:
Stephanie nods over towards Bruce, something in the gesture suggesting she found meanings in his words. "Good luck tonight," she says of the impending patrol that is about to take place. "I think I'm going to... it's been a long night," she says, though it has nothing to do with the five hours of training she's done straight without a break. "Thank you Bruce," she tells him. "Tim," she adds, smiling over to him with gratitude in her eyes.

She waits a heartbeat and then turns to head towards the stairs, taking them two at a time as she goes to catch up to the person who so recently used them as well.

Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake looks to Bruce finishing up and ready to head out. Stephanie heading out the stairs. He sighs a bit looking at his reflection in the computer screen for a moment, and softly says "Tim Drake you are the damn dumbest smart kid, I have ever met." quoting a movie, and shakes his head. He will start working up looking up info on this Oz fellow putting info in about him being a werewolf, and part of a musical band. He will key up some of their songs to see how they sound while he works.

Nightwing has posed:
    At the top of the stairs, in the den where, once upon a time, a bat came crashing through a window and changed the fates of so many lives forevermore, Dick Grayson now stands. There, with the light pouring in from that same window casting him in a dark silhouette, the young crimefighter stands. In the palm of his hand, he holds the vaguely bat-shaped domino mask that he dons with his costume. His brows are brooding, swallowing the oceanic depths of his eyes in pools of shadow. His jaw is rigid at the corners, muscle visibly strained, and the soft sound of grinding teeth giving further evidence to his frustration.

    "It's really not worth it," he says to himself, his voice barely more than a whisper, spoken in the dark, a rustle amidst a sigh. His chest heaves as he draws in another breath, and looks up, turning his gaze from the mask to the ceiling overhead, while still murmuring to himself under his breath, "This is exactly why you left in the first place, Dick Grayson. To be your own person, not just some child soldier in his war. So why do I keep coming back?"

    He lowers his face, staring deadpan out the window, over the stately Wayne grounds. Leaning forward, he raises one arm against the glass, resting his forehead against it as he muses, "Right. Alfred's cooking..."

Spoiler has posed:
A second silhouette joins the first in the window. Where the first is large and solid, the second is more delicate and slight. Yet when the second draws near, the two silhouettes merge to a single one. "And because deep inside you know he loves you," Stephanie Brown's voice adds as she leans against Dick from behind.

"After you left," Stephanie continues, "he told me there were few finer teachers, Dick." She lets her words trail off there for the longest time, giving time for the father's words of praise to be absorbed as fully as the son will allow them.

But she isn't done speaking, it seems. "Of the choices made? He said this wasn't a bad one," Stephanie tells Dick quietly. Her head rests against his shoulder so her whispered words will be caught fully. "I don't think he was talking about choice in teachers." She lets those words linger and sink in too, as they both quietly gaze out at the grounds of the manor that Dick called home.

Nightwing has posed:
    Stephanie will feel the sudden tension of the lean, muscular form of Grayson under the thin, skin tight suit, thanks to how little armor he wears. Grayson prefers to live without safety nets, after all. His eyes fall closed, and he sucks in a breath to argue with her, but he doesn't. He falls silent. Because on some level, he knows that. She's right.

    His eyes open, and that tension bleeds out of him as she continues speaking, telling him of what was said after he had left. He hears what she's saying, and receives the sentiment of them, but the anger still resides there, nestled and bundled up with a tangle of turbulent and conflicting emotions like a Rat King, knotted at the tails and gnashing at one another in some wild, rabid state of abandon. His upper lip curls, in spite of himself. Though he doesn't speak it, he can't help but wonder why, of all of the people within this circle, it seems that he takes the brunt of Bruce's... whatever it is. Why does he suffer the disrespect?

    In the end, though, his shoulders and jaw relax, and he leans back against Steph, twisting sinuously to the side just enough so that he can loop one of his arms around her shoulders and draw her in against his side. While Steph gazes out the window into the darkness of night, Grayson just presses his face in against the blonde hair at her crown, closing his eyes and breathing in deep.

    The tangled, thorny briar patch that surrounds his heart suddenly doesn't seem so keen and biting anymore.