9169/Gotham Politics

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Gotham Politics
Date of Scene: 12 September 2019
Location: Gotham University, South Point
Synopsis: Oracle and Batgirl surveil the rally of a hated politician, and spoil an assassination attempt
Cast of Characters: Batgirl (Brown), Oracle


Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
The political rally taking place on Gotham U's campus was featuring a local candidate whose views and particularly insensitive statements had made him very polarizing. Worse, his views were fairly tone-deaf to the views of the majority of the student body, making the rally's choice of location probably mostly about polarizing people by putting himself where others would oppose him, rather than about using substance to convince anyone he'd be a good leader.

It also meant the chance of violence breaking out. Stephanie had been studying under Barbara, and there were aspects to reading the emotions of a crowd that Barbara had emphasized which are just difficult to pick up from video. And so the pair decided to meet up on a rooftop overlooking the rally so Barbara could point out things to the new Batgirl first hand.

Stephanie changed and slipped out of her apartment, just across the street from the University. The dark of night concealed her form as she stealthily made sure no students were up on the roof, before going over to shoot a grapple across to a spire on a school building, and swing her way across to the Library's roof. Once there she strolled over towards the edge that would afford the good look.

<On the Library roof now, Oracle. How's the leg holding up? We could put this off to another time if it's a problem.>

Oracle has posed:
You can take the woman out of the costume, but inside she'll always be Batgirl.

Babs still loves running rooftops, leaping over obstacles, using her body as an instrument. There's a thrill to it, it was always her favorite part of being a vigilante: Flying. Dressed now in padded black athletics pants and a black hoodie, her like colored fingerless gloves clear vents easily, and running shoes make the soft crunch of her foot falls on gravel a little easier.

<<It's tight.>> She says over comms, stopping near the edge of a building not far from Stephanie, over looking the crowd, to rub either side of her right knee experimentally. She's built up a nice sweat, but doesn't sound winded, <<Alright, I've got eyes on.>>

Remote access to the university camera systems is a hack she could do from her phone, squating down with the prototype Promethius cellular held between her knees establishing a direct feed view of the gathering with casual glances down over the edge. Fiery red hair hanging out from beneath the draw string tight hood up over her head.

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
Stephanie adjusts her vision, flipping to night vision but finding the lights below lighting the stage are too bright. Then she switches to infrared, the cowl emitting an invisible infrared light, but that isn't as good for a large area. Finally she switches to thermal vision.

Which just looks cool.

<Oh that's so cool.>

See?

Batgirl switches back to normal vision, allowing her to better pick up on details. <I can't believe anyone would actually vote for this guy. He might as well just have 'Huge Racist' as his campaign slogan.>

The candidate hasn't come out yet, there being another speaker who is trying to build up some excitement. There is the group gathered before the stage, but an equally large group gathered a distance away behind a cordoned off line set up by campus security and Gotham PD to help keep the matter orderly.

<I don't suppose you could hack his teleprompter and change his speech to something more honest? Or strike that. If people can't tell from what he says already they won't care how blatant he is I bet.>

Oracle has posed:
Babs grins, despite the gravity of their mission, at Stephanie still enjoying the little details of the new tech she's been given. Still kneeling down, she shares the camera feeds with Batgirl and slips her phone into her backpocket in exchange for a pair of what looks like sunglasses sliding in over her jade green eyes. A hands free system, partially designed by Babs herself.

<<I could do that, yeah, but it wouldn't make him less of a jackass.>> Said almost amusedly, but nothing about this guys platform amuses her at all. <<It's just like the situation a decade ago.. enough discontent breeds a willingness to overlook the absurdity of what's being said.. I don't agree with it, it's a base failing of human nature, but it's psychology.>> Babs is definitively pro-civil rights of any begrudged peoples.

Almost as a general rule.

<<Unfortunately freedom of speech extends to this asshole too..>> The line can get a little fuzzy when the speech is all hate speak..

<<Alright, focus up. Check your sight lines on the platform, tell me how many vantage points you find on a fifteen second count. Go.>>

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
Batgirl's head swings about, looking for different locations that give advantageous views of the area, but especially of the stage festively decorated with red, white and blue of all sorts. "Let's see," she says to herself, eyes scanning the area quickly before she thumbs her comms back on.

<The two buildings we're on. Top of the athletic center. All of the windows in the Administration Building. The clocktower above the... I don't know what that building even is. Or why it has a clocktower that looks like a tiny Big Ben. Bitty Ben is what I always called it. Ok, anyway... buildings across the street, only that one parking garage has a line of sight I'd say, the other buildings block it.>

Stephanie Brown swings her gaze back to the platform again. <I wonder how much they pay the person who comes out to energize the crowd. Or is that just a volunteer job. I bet it sparkles on a resume.>

Oracle has posed:
Babs makes the same count, clipped motions of her head going instinctively to the locations as Stephanie calls them out. The glasses doing sophisticated equations of angles, elevation, to make a fairly indepth assessment of the best location for any potential shooters. <<Good eye. It's the library.>> Grinning slightly at 'Tiny Ben'.

<<The Hype man? Probably volunteer.. A junior associate or one of the speech writers. He probably gets paid in partisan prestige... Hell, you might be looking at the racist candidate for twenty thirty eight.>> She jokes, gazing down at the stage under the magnification of her glasses.

<<Alright, big guy is starting to make his way on stage.. watch the temperature of the crowd. Anyone who seems out of place or trying not to look like they're paying too much attention. Pay attention to responses when they call for applause.>>

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
Stephanie looks at the feed from Babs. She totally doesn't say she didn't know her Batgirl suit could do the angles calculation thing too. Which she finds out it can as she goes through the menus and finds the option.

<Oh rad! I mean yep, keeping an eye on them.>

Stephanie turns the option back off so she can focus down on the crowd. Zooming in her vision instead, and turning up the long-range microphone on the cowl to listen to conversations in the crowd. <So if you were planning something nefarious, from amidst the crowd, would you want to be closer but in the middle of his supporters? Or farther away but in the opposition crowd? Or... I think I'd either choose close, or if not close than as far away as I could still do what I wanted.>

Oracle has posed:
Babs turns her head to the side and fixes a bud into her right ear so she can listen in on Batgirl's directional mic, not having something on her to duplicate that with her limited gadgetry. She can do a whole lot with her phone, though..

<<Depends entirely on what my agenda is... up close is definitely more dangerous, but it means a more fanatical group willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause.. which seems possibly given this guys rhetoric, but unlikely since most of the crowd are opposition. It would be counter intuitive to hit him with a bomb or direct line fire from the crowd when the response would certainly endanger dozens of people... you see that more at party rallies where the majority is in support, rather than against.>>

Babs glances over the crowd, frowning a little. One knee rests on the edge of the building, hand out to support herself as well, the other tugs at her bottom lip thoughtfully. <<Pay attention to attire.. glasses, hats pulled low, unusual weather garments. Anything someone might wear to hide a weapon.>>

She glances over to the other crowd further back.

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
Stephanie zooms in on one face after another, looking through the crowd that is close up first. Tough to see faces under some of the hats, and those people sign themselves up for extra levels of scrutiny.

One person in particular draws Stephanie's gaze in the crowd of supporters. <Jordanna. I should have known you'd be out there to support... gah. What the hell does Francisco see in you anyway? I mean besides the tight butt and perky brea- Oh hey, there's one of my professors in the opposition crowd. Good for you, Dr. Spellington.>

Stephanie looks over the opposition one by one. <I see a few people worth keeping an eye on, but nothing scary. Most of the opposition seem pretty upset. Most of the supporters are... how do you spell deliriously giddy?>

Stephanie moves her gaze back to the buildings that have a line of sight to the stage, about the time that the candidate himself is coming out on stage, to the sound of applause, and loud music piped through speakers. And applause piped through speakers to help drown out the boos of the protestors who start waving signs calling for equal rights and the like.

Oracle has posed:
Babs chuckles to herself at Stephanie's interjections about her classmates, "Jesus." Grinning, eyes rolling behind the dark lenses of her glasses as she too shifts her gaze from face to face, leaning upon a knee to take the pressure off her calves.

<<See anything?>>

It's obvious that Babs is not in agreement with whatever the speaker is going to say, so she drowns that part out. It's a distraction that could, in an ultimate spot of irony, cost the man his life if she got distracted by disagreeing with his nonsensical beliefs.

"What are the chances Gotham doesn't disappointment tonight and we get a peaceful rally?" Asking herself, with a smirk, knowing full well there's a petter chance the potential elect changing his mind onstage.

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
Stephanie gives a soft chuckle at the question. Her mind is scrolling through the list of funny things with low probabilities of happening that she could respond with, when there's a little flash of light that catches her peripheral vision.

<Did you see that? Flash of light from... either the top floor of the garage across the street, or maybe the one below it?>

Stephanie turns her gaze over that way and zooms in her vision. She switches to thermal but it's too far to pick up the heat. She switches back to night vision then, wincing as one light nearby tries to blind her, using a hand to block it so she can see past it.

<That could be a guy with a rifle. Moving.>

Batgirl is already and up and running towards that side of the Library, and picking out where she'll grapple to be able to get across the street.

Oracle has posed:
Babs saw it, but she's facing a little too far away to fully grasp exactly where it had come from. A bloom of light just out of the corner of her eye, but her attention snaps onto it like a cat tracking movement, glasses zeroing in... but the distance is a little too great.

<<Alright, so now you're a hundred yards from your destination with a few dozen civilians between you and the target.. You have to get across the field without being seen, but move quickly enough that nobody down there is in danger. If you alert the gunman, he might start shooting prematurely. What are your options. Keep moving, talk as you advance.>>

The training never stops, even the parts Stephanie knows well enough can be rehashed. That's how it becomes muscle memory.

Likewise, Babs is moving, bounding off to the side along the wall in a burst of speed. She has the benifit of civilian attire, so all she has to do to close the distance is go straight across the open courtyard... She makes her way down the fire escape quickly, swinging around ladders, over railing and landing in a crouch to make her way out.

Just a late night student headed to the gym!

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
A bat-shaped grapple and line fly off into the night, aimed for a bank building with gargoyle shapes on the corners. Such is the architectural aesthetic in Old Gotham.

<Staying up high on the roof, swing across out of his line of sight. If he's using his scope that caught the stage lights he won't have a big field of view.>

Batgirl is leaping out into the night, a combination of swinging and reeling in the line so she shoots both upwards and to the side, reaching the building beside the garage, and a few stories above the upper level.

<He is on the roof, and it does look like a rifle. Swinging down to the roof on the far side and working my way behind him. Can you do anything to delay his shot while I move in? Mess with the speech somehow or...>

Oracle has posed:
Babs follows the line of Stephanie's direction with a glance upwards casually just like any person stretching would. Her right foot comes up to tug upwards to loosen her quads, <<I don't have eyes, but I do have ideas.>> She murmurs into her throat mic. Smiling at a passing pair of students.

Her phone dips out of her waistband into her hands as she begins to jog in place, bringing up an embedded remote hacking program, searching for the signal on the lights. Gaining access to them isn't terribly difficult for her, even without her more powerful computer.

<<Distraction in two. Turn your eyes from the stage.>>

The warning coming just a half count before the stage lights flash brighter, creating a white glare across anyone looking down upon it through a scope. It wont last long, but it should be enough for a quickly moving Bat.

<<I'm scanning the crowd for secondary assailants.>>

There's always at least one, right?

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
Most of the people in the pro-candidate crowd are momentarily surprised by the flaring lights, but then the candidate announces into his mike, "That's just my personality. It's so bright even the lights notice." The people begin cheering, while boos are drawn from the protesting group.

One man in the crowd near the stage turns instead, looking back away from the stage with a concerned look as he gazes off across the street seemingly, before turning back. One of the cheering people jostles him a little, getting a frown from the young man, who has his hoodie up.

Batgirl meanwhile, ran a curving path that would let the lip of the garage roof block the lights from the stage over on campus. The flare does catch the eyes of the man leaning over what looks like a hunting rifle with a decent-sized scope on it. He pulls his face back from the scope, wincing and rubbing at one of his eyes.

There is only the faintest whirring sound caught by the man, but not recognized. Enough to make him start to turn about the time the batarang hits his rifle near the hammer. Freeze fluid, courtesy of their recent run in with Victor Fries, releases and the hammer and trigger of the gun are soon encased in an inch-thick sheath of ice.

"This is not how you're supposed to exercise your preference in our electoral system," Batgirl says as she slides over the hood of a car to throw a kick at the would-be sniper, only to have him block it with the gun.

Oracle has posed:
Babs spies the turn and makes her way into the crowd like a homing missile. Turning a shoulder forward with a hand come up to brush people aside with varying degrees of both success and disdain cast her way as people are jostled about by her passage. "Sorry, I'm with the paper.." Smiling sheepishly to someone who looks a little more fiesty. It doesn't sooth them completely, but it satisfies their urge to cause a scene with the speach about to begin.

Her intent is fairly clear, to the trained observer, make her way towards the young man who turned nervously and quickly neutralize him. He's again molested by someone, shoved a little during a second round of cheering, and he glares dangerously at the supporter. The glance up catches him sight of Babs' hand moving out to grab his shoulder.

There's no particular reason for him to run, nothing overtly startling about her demeanor... but he does.

Maybe assuming she's some kind of undercover security?

Either way, he bolts, shoving people aside as he makes his way out of the crowd. It is not easy going, since that crowd has pressed forward with the elect up on stage ready to deliver his hate speak.

Babs follows a little more quickly, but moves out around to the side, cutting a path diagnally that will ultimately deposit her ahead of him.

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
The man on the garage roof swings the rifle down like a club at Batgirl. Rather than try to block it, she swings her armored elbow up into the flash-frozen gun. The spine-like protrusions along her arms are pretty wicked looking, and some might think that looks is all they are there for. But the hardened alloy surface has a small enough edge the impact of his swing and Stephanie's causes the frozen wood and metal to shatter, ruining any chance the gun will be used to assassinate Bambi's mother or Gotham racists, in the future.

"Seriously, can't you just go add a Like to his opponent over on MyFace.com?" Batgirl quips as she throws another kick, this one landing in the pit of the man's stomach and knocking him back, half-falling until the side of a car stops his plunge. He staggers back to his feet and pulls a revolver out of his coat pocket.

Batgirl tosses something to the ground and smoke billows up to obscure her, giving her an extra second to pull her baton halves and join them to form a staff. She cracks it down on his wrist, knocking the gun free, and then another blow to the side of the head.

<This one is down for the count. He's going to have send in his ballot absentee from prison. Or, wait, they don't let them vote anymore do they?>

Civics. Never her best subject.

Oracle has posed:
<<They passed a motion to allow convicts to vote in two thousand twenty.>>

Babs has no problem conversing while tailing the easily followed rabbit bumbling through the crowd. She's already ahead of him by the time he's anywhere near escape and steps casually into his path letting him collid with her. A hand slides into his jacket, retrieves his wallet in deft hands, and pulls back with a little frown. "Hey, are you alright?" Grabbing hold of his shoulders to steady him.

The fact she's ahead of him basically making her an innocent in his eyes. No 'way' could someone move that quickly through this crowd. "You look like you've seen a ghost, do you need a medic?" The blow connects like a piston. Nobody watching either of them would have seen it. Just a woman trying to assist someone to stand by grabbing his side, when she's actually flat palmed his solar plexus right beneath the xyphoid process. He gasps for air, going guppy mouth holding a hand to his breast. "Help! We need some help over here!" Shouting as she assist him down onto the ground.

"You're going to be okay! Helps on the way..." As help arrives, Babs departs like a phantom, several steps back into the crowd with a little turn to go through his wallet.

<<Target two down. He had a pistol in his waistband... guess he was backup incase the shot missed.>>

Batgirl (Brown) has posed:
<I've got this one trussed up like a roast. Sending for GCPD now. If on your way out of the crowd, you get a chance to step on the toes of a brunette with a blue "Vote For Values" shirt, a store-bought nose and... other similarly bought parts... you won't hear me complaining.>

What the hell does Francisco see in her anyway. He's got to realize how shallow she is.

Stephanie checks the man is secure, glancing up as she can hear the rhetoric blasting from the speakers all the way over here, the men being taken down without the rally even being disrupted. She looks back to the man. "Ok, I get why you want to. But really, killing people you don't agree with... even that guy? Nuh-uh."

She backs up from him, stepping backwards up onto the edge of the garage and then just stepping off into space. Dramatic exits. Love them.

<Ok, what do you say to a stop at Big Belly Burger on the way home? We can talk about what we're going to wear to Themyscira. Do we need to take togas? Can you buy those still or do we need to just bring sheets and...?>

Oracle has posed:
Babs laughs quietly and looks around for the quickest exit out of the square. She's taken the mans ID and anything she can use to establish a trace for other people who might mean harm for the elect, but largely feels these guys weren't organized enough to be more than a singular threat.

<<Isn't a toga just a sheet with a belt?>>

Hands in her pocket, wallet tossed in a passing trashcan with the money still inside. She disappears down the street in the direction of Big Belly Burgers.

<<Five by Five, Batgirl. I'll see you at BBB. Bring your appetite, momma's hungry.>>