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World's Finest Writer's Corner Batman Beyond: A New Beginning (C)

Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by SilentBat18, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    ***So, here we are again.... 5 years after i first posted this fic, i've decided to change parts of it... a lot of parts; half of it has been scrapped in fact. So this is take 2. Due to an added chapter, this has been temporarily bumped, but I've already cleared it with the mod, so don't be afraid to review. Hope you like it. :)***
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 1


    It’s a crisp night in Gotham. All seems peaceful when looking out at the city skyline. In spite of the flickering TV lights faintly visible from the windows, a tourist would likely say most of this infamous city is sound asleep; but Gotham residents know all too well there are two kinds of man still stirring past the hour: the criminals and the crime fighter. Peace is suddenly broken when the legendary Batman is slammed against a wall on the roof of an apartment building and falls to the floor feeling slightly disoriented. Could this be the one time Mad Stan is too much for the young Bat? Most people wouldn’t believe so. The spirit has been alive for over forty years and will not be taken down by some extremist who believes no world is left uncorrupted.

    Mad Stan stands before him with the familiar grin upon his face, pleased with how easily he has taken down a legend of the night. With a boom in his voice, he gives his usual speech.

    “This whole system is corrupt, man! I don’t know why you think there’s and ounce of justice in it, but you’re going down with it!”

    Laughing to himself like the maniac he is, he grabs a couple of grenades off his belt, removes the pin using his teeth, and happily chucks them at Batman. In an attempt to get away, Batman rolls and leaps to his feet before sprinting to the edge of the roof. Just as the second grenade reaches him, it explodes with a ferocious energy that throws him through the window of an apartment across from them.

    It’s hard to believe that this timeless legend is a silent stalker when he unexpectedly crashes through a window at two in the morning. The commotion startles the couple awake making them jump up in surprise. Shaking off the hard landing, Batman looks over to the bed and finds the couple staring back at him with frightened and confused eyes.

    “Out!” He orders in his usual way when bystanders are caught in the crosshairs.

    However before the couple has a chance to scramble to safety, fear cripples them motionless when Stan bursts through the window and grabs Batman roughly by the head. They watch him throw Batman into a wall and, with head still in his grasp, pins him against it.

    “When are you gonna get it, man? The damn elections are rigged; the whole voting system is rigged!” He yells into Batman’s ear, who is trying to pry the back of his head out of Stan’s grip. “There’s no such thing as a democracy; it’s all a farce, a way to control the masses, man.” He slams Batman’s head against the wall again before turning to the two frozen spectators. “You two registered to vote?” He asks with a raised brow as he picks a small explosive off his belt.

    Despite their fear, the two nod their heads in unison bringing a satisfied smile to Stan’s lips.

    “Damn it,” Batman grumbles with the side of his face still plastered to the wall.

    Before he could free himself from the hold, the bedroom door flies open revealing a woman glaring in. However, her furious face quickly turns to shock after she discovers the root of all the commotion.

    “Are you a voter too?” Stan asks nodding her way.

    “Gotta be kidding me,” Batman groans before he drives his elbow into Stan’s face forcing him to step back.

    Although the action frees his head from Stan’s grip, it also causes Stan to drop the explosive setting the timer for five seconds. Realizing the mistake, Stan doesn’t waste time escaping out the window. Batman, meanwhile, barely has enough time to leap forward and push the couple out the door just before the explosive goes off.

    The hero’s body manages to protect the couple from the flames, while the last woman takes cover behind the wall just before the flames engulf the room. Raising her head from the arm shielding it, she turns to look at Batman lying on the floor checking on her roommates’ conditions.

    “Are they okay?” She asks kneeling beside him.

    Batman doesn’t respond when he realizes the man had passed out after his head collided on the floor. He turns to the room to discover the blaze inside is getting worse, and the smoke is beginning to suffocate the other occupants.

    He turns to the brunette who had first questioned him. “You okay? Can you walk?”

    “I’m fine,” she replies as she helps her friend, a red head, to her feet. “Can you put the fire out?”

    “Gotta get you out of here first,” Batman replies as he slings the unconscious man’s arm over his shoulder lifting him up.

    “I’ll lead them out,” the girl counters, and takes him by surprise when she tries to take her roommate off his shoulder. “You take care of the fire before you have a building’s worth of people to save.”

    Batman doesn’t have time to argue with her when he hears unwelcoming pops originating from the inferno. Realizing the urgency of the matter, he allows the two women to drag the unconscious man out before he steps into the room to try and control the fire using extinguisher pills from his belt. Meanwhile, the two women manage to drag their friend out of the apartment and into the fire escape down the hall.

    “Holy crap, Kate!” The brunette exclaims as they lay their friend on the ground. “Was that Batman?”

    “Who else could it be, Jazz?” She replies as she leans over he boyfriend. “God, Tim?! Tim, honey, wake up!” She tries gently shaking him before she looks up at Jazz. “Is he okay?”

    Jazz pushes her back a little and puts an ear close to Tim’s mouth searching for signs of breathing. When she feels him exhale on her cheek, she nods to her friend before getting up.

    “Hey, where are you going?” Kate calls when Jazz rushes out of the staircase in search for the hero in black.

    The suffocating smoke she’s greeted with alarms her forcing her back into the staircase. Ignoring her friend’s calls, she sprints down to the floor below and burst out the doors. She starts banging on the apartment doors warning of the fire above before she pulls the fire alarm. As people shuffle out, she leads them to the fire escape.

    She returns to her friend’s side. “Hey, is he up?”

    “Yeah, he’s coming round,” Kate replies with relief when Tim opens his eyes.

    “Good, take him down quick,” Jazz orders before racing back up the stairs.

    “Jazz! It’s too dangerous!”

    “Just go!” Jazz yells before heading back to her apartment.

    The smoke has turned considerably thicker since she was last there setting off a coughing fit that overtakes her. Crouching down to the floor where the smoke isn’t as thick, she squints through it looking for the familiar dark shadow.

    “Batman!” She calls out as she crawls back into the bedroom finding the room still burning.

    Growing wheezy, she gives a last look around the room, but when she finds no sign of him, she figures he probably flew out the window. Still coughing, she turns around to leave, but stops short of the door when she notices a foot sticking out from behind the bed.

    Crawling over, she finds the Dark Knight lying face down and passed out from smoke inhalation. Cursing under her breath, she turns him over and tries shaking him awake but to no avail. Figuring she’ll have to pull him out, she grabs his ankles and drags him all the way to the hallways where the air isn’t as thick with smoke.

    “Hey, hello? Come on, wake up,” she begs as she tries reviving him again. Just when she thought she would have to perform CPR, his eyes suddenly widen as he takes in a sharp breath filling his lungs with air.

    “You okay?” Jazz asks as he scans the room.

    “Yeah,” he coughs getting up. “Couldn’t put out the fire, so you need to get out.”

    But before anything could be said or done, they hear desperate cries for help coming from a neighboring apartment. Without hesitation, Batman leaps back into action rushing towards the voices and leaving Jazz behind. Jazz looks back at the exit but doesn’t move towards it; she has the urge to help, or at least make sure the situation is handled. Coughing again, Jazz braves the smoke and follows Batman to the apartment to find his hands full with three women, two of which are passed out and one raving with fear.

    As he tries to throw one woman over his shoulder, Jazz rushes over and pick up the other one, slinging her arm around her neck.

    “Hey!” She calls out to the screaming woman, “hey! Calm down and take my hand!” She orders holding out a free hand to grab the woman’s arm.

    “My dog!” She screams instead and shakes away Jazz’s grip.

    “I got it! Just go!” Batman calls out when he finds the border collie whimpering behind the couch.

    Taking the woman’s arm again, Jazz drags her and her unconscious roommate out of the suffocating room and down the stairs to the sidewalk. Taking deep gulps of fresh air, Jazz lays the unconscious woman on the floor and flags down a firefighter to help. Free of her obligations, she turns her attention back to the building wondering where Batman was.

    Worry begins churning within her when she realizes he’s taking too long. However, just before she makes the decision to jump back in, he walks out of the main doors holding the dog under one arm and the unconscious woman slung over his other shoulder. She lets out a sigh of relief as she watches him hand the woman to a paramedic.

    He catches Jazz’s gaze as he sets the dog down, and holds it when he realizes this is the first time he’s getting a good look at his rescuer. Although covered in soot and a sheen of sweat glistens in the streetlight, he can still make out the fair skin and ruby red lips turned up in a reassured smile.

    What’s most captivating about her though are her eyes, not because of their unnaturally pink color, but because of the respect and gratitude they convey. The strength resonating from them steals his attention from the rest of the world for a few seconds softening the hard gaze he usually wears.

    Jazz on the other hand seems to be physically held down by those white discs staring at her. Somehow, she doesn’t feel afraid of him. She understands that the slight nod he gives her is one of acknowledgement, before his wings flip open and he takes to the air, his dark silhouette dissolving into the night sky reminding her that he is made for the night.

    -----*****-----​

    After the fire was put out and the go ahead announced, Jazz manages to rummage through the debris to find that the few salvageable items left are a few pieces of clothing and her back pack full of books and her laptop. With a curse and a groan, she lugs as much as she can carry down to the sidewalk and looks through her bag hoping she has enough fare for a cab and a motel room for the night. Unfortunately, her stomach sinks when she realizes her wallet burned into an unrecognizable crisp leaving her with change that won’t even be enough to buy her a value meal at McDonald’s.

    “Of course,” she tiredly sighs irritated by the rotten luck.

    She starts down the sidewalk with no destination in mind, but she’s not worried about her homeless situation considering she’s been worse off before. With the streets empty and quiet, she takes her time as she tries to figure out her next move. She wonders where Kate and Tim, her roommates, might be staying before remembering Tim is being treated for smoke inhalation and will probably spend the night in the hospital.

    As she tries to think of another alternative, unusual shuffling noises coming from an alleyway she passes makes her stop and turn. Curious, she takes a step into the alley squinting in the darkness as she looks for the source of the noise.

    She doesn’t expect Batman to suddenly step out of the shadows and into the streetlights making her eyes go wide. It’s her first chance to get a good look at him, and she’s surprised to learn just how tall and built he is even though he moves with the grace and ease of a snow leopard. She estimates him to be six foot three, and the way his muscles fill out the suit makes him look formidable. No wonder Jokers flee at the sight of him.

    “Hey,” he starts, his voice not exactly as harsh as she had imagined, but she struggles to find her own.

    “Uh, hi,” she manages still surprised to be in his presence. “Can I, er, help you?”

    “Don’t think you did enough already?” He replies with confidence she doesn’t mirror.

    “I’m sorry if I stepped on your toes back there; just though I could help,” she apologetically mumbles taking a step back. His sheer size coupled with that confidence is starting to intimidate her.

    “Relax; I just wanted to thank you.”

    “Oh?” she replies frowning with curiosity.

    “Yeah,” he nods before falling into a silence only Jazz finds awkward.

    “Okay, uh, so you’re welcome, but I’m gonna go now,” she finally states tightening her grip on her bag and getting ready to leave.

    “Need a ride?”

    “More like a destination,” she quips rolling her eyes.

    Learning of her homelessness causes a wave of guilt to hit him. It’s not like him to get involved with victims, but he can’t just leave her to wander the city on her own.

    “Come with me,” he suddenly blurts out surprising both of them.

    “You’re not taking me downtown to spend the night in a cell, are you?” She hesitantly asks.

    “Should I?”

    “I don’t have to answer that.”

    Batman narrows his eyes at the unusual answer; it’s the type criminals usually give to avoid prosecution, but since he doesn’t pick up anything sinister about her, he shakes his head.

    “No. Just trust me,” he replies as the Batmobile parks itself on the street behind them.

    “Just so you know,” Jazz starts as she follows him to the car, “I will kick your ass if I have to.”

    He doesn’t try to hide an amused grin.

    --continued--

     
    #1 SilentBat18, Jun 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  2. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 2

    Trust works in funny ways; you can trust a stranger’s directions when lost, but will second-guess whether to follow your mother’s advice. It’s said people have to know each other for trust to work. It’s why the familiar faces of a mayor, governor, or even president are plastered everywhere during elections so that voters would feel comfortable with them. Yet during disasters, those same voters would rather put their lives in the hands of one man, whose true face is hidden from the world, instead of the politicians’ whom they rely on to take care of their city, state, or country.

    However, the question hanging in Jazz’s mind is one that not many think of. We all know that citizens gladly trust this masked hero, but does Batman trust the people he saves as easily? She thought the obvious answer is no. Then why is she seated right behind the vigilante in his car on their way to some strange location?

    “So,” Jazz starts when the uncomfortable silence becomes unbearable, “where exactly are we going?”

    “Friend’s place,” is the curt reply.

    “You’re not one of those guys who kidnap people and bring them to some secluded slaughter house in the woods, are you?”

    “You watch too many horror flicks.”

    “Actually, last night’s news report is to blame this time,” she quips looking out the window. She realizes they’ve reached the other side of town. “So who’s this friend?”

    “Her name’s Max; that’s all you need to know.”

    “Hard to keep things a mystery when you’re taking me to the source, Bats.”

    “Don’t call me that, and it doesn’t mean the source is going to spill, sweet cheeks.”

    “Don’t call me that,” she replies with a scowl as the car comes to a stop in front of an apartment building. “Hey, hang on a sec,” Jazz starts when the canopy slides open. Batman turns his head to look at her. “Why are you doing this in the first place? I could have managed on my own.”

    The question confounds him since he doesn’t have an answer to give. It takes him aback, but he expertly hides his confusion. The blank stare he gives her makes her feel awkward and shift in place stopping her from pursuing an explanation. Leaving her question unanswered, he turns to the window and knocks.

    It takes a few moments for the curtains to pull back revealing a very irritated Max behind the window. “Why do bats have to be nocturnal?!” She asks before noticing Jazz squished behind him with her head tilted in confusion. “Uh… I mean, Batman, what a surprise,” she corrects herself with a horrible performance of acting shocked.

    Batman shakes his head at her. “Relax, it’s fine. She needs a place to stay for the night.”

    “Uh, okay…” Max hesitantly replies, confused by the unusual request.

    “I’ll explain later.”

    With a sigh Max steps aside to let Jazz in. “Make yourself at home.” Jazz tosses her bag in first and, refusing Batman’s help, climbs through.

    “I owe you one,” Batman calls out as he sits back in his seat strapping himself in.

    “Yeah, Max to the rescue as always,” she comments rolling her eyes before the canopy closes and the car flies off. She turns her attention to Jazz, who is standing in the middle of the room taking in her new environment.

    “Sorry,” Max starts after closing the window, “I didn’t catch your name.”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Jazz replies picking up her bag and slinging it over her shoulders. “I’m not staying. I was just humoring the Bat.”

    “Okay, here’s the thing,” Max starts with a raised brow. “That Bat happens to be a friend of mine, and if he’s trusting me with you, then I’m not going to let you or anyone else break my promise to him. So how ‘bout you take that lone wolf attitude of yours, shove it in your bag with the rest of your stuff, and save it for another day, ‘cause under my roof, you’ll graciously take the help and like it. Got that?”

    Jazz’s brows rise with surprise before a smile stretches her lips revealing amusement. She didn’t expect Max to be so head strong, but rather to be happy to get rid of an overnight stranger.

    “Okay,” she gives in raising her arms in surrender. “I’ll stay the night.”

    “Glad to hear it,” Max replies with satisfaction. “The bathroom’s through there if you want to wash up; feel free to use the towels. I’ll get you some sheets so you can crash on the couch.”

    “Thanks,” Jazz says as she moves to the bathroom. “The name’s Jazz by the way.”

    “Pleasure,” she sighs looking out the window at where the Batmobile hovered, wondering why her best friend did something this irresponsible.

    Jazz, meanwhile, finally has a chance to look at herself in the mirror. She cringes at her reflection covered in sweat and soot, so she takes a quick shower and changes into the spare clothes she saved from the inhabitable apartment.

    “Hey,” Max greets when she steps out of the bathroom. “You can raid the kitchen if you’re hungry,” she offers as she sets the sheets and pillow on the couch.

    “Thanks,” Jazz replies. “By the way, do you happen to know if there are any apartments leasing for cheap around here?”

    “No, but I have a guide you can have. It’s how I found this place.”

    “I appreciate it, thanks. Anyway, I’ll be out of your hair early tomorrow morning.”

    “What happened?” Max asks, ignoring her last statement.

    “Sorry?”

    “What did he do to leave you homeless?”

    “Uh, well, he didn’t do anything. It was an accident. I wake up when I hear banging coming from my roommate’s bedroom, and when I checked it out, there’s Mad Stan and Batman having a fun tussle before Stan drops a timed bomb. Next thing I know, the place turns into an inferno that couldn’t be saved. It took a few hours for the fire department to put it out.”

    “Hang on, you waited until the fire went out?”

    “Yeah, I needed to get my stuff since I had nowhere else to go.”

    “When did Batman pick you up?”

    “After I saved whatever I could carry. We met a few blocks away from the building.”

    “Hm,” Max makes the curious sound when she realizes Terry must have waited the entire time until he could meet Jazz.

    He’s never done anything like this especially since Terry takes his identity very seriously. He would never risk it for anyone, not after what happened with the Kobras five years ago. She’ll definitely need his side of the story.

    “What?” Jazz asks when Max stays silent while looking at her feet in thought.

    “Nothing,” she replies snapping back to awareness. “Listen, you can stay here until you find a new place.”

    “That won’t be necessary.”

    “You want me to give you the speech again?”

    “Fine, but it’ll only be a few days.”

    “Whatever. I’ll leave you to get you beauty sleep. ‘Night.”

    “Night,” Jazz nods.

    After Max disappears into her room, Jazz makes herself comfortable on the couch as she plays back the events of the night, one in particular stands out since she can’t find a logical explanation. Why would Batman stop to pick her up hours after the fire? She flips to her side as she remembers the way he looked at her.

    For that split second, she felt like they knew each other, like they were old friends who used to trade secrets when they were kids. The only reason it’s hard to believe they might be friends is the fact that she never had a best friend growing up; she never shared her secrets with anyone. So who is Batman and why did she feel so attached to him? The thoughts continue to turn in her head robbing her from sleeping through whatever is left of the night.
    -----*****-----​

    “So, any idea where Stan went to this time?” Batman asks Bruce over the com-link in the Batmobile.

    “Let’s just call it a night; you’ve charged the city enough collateral damage.”

    “Oh hey! That wasn’t my fault!” Batman retorts.

    “I’m sure,” Bruce sarcastically answers. Batman scowls at the comment as he speeds off into the night.

    --continued--

     
    #2 SilentBat18, Jun 25, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  3. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 3

    A hand gently shakes Terry’s shoulder in an attempt to wake him from his slumber. Sleeping on his stomach with the comforter barely covering his shirtless torso, he looks over at the clock by his bed to read 7:32 AM, meaning he arrived at his apartment only a few hours ago. The gentle shake is then paired with a whisper belonging to Mary McGinnis.

    “Terry? Terry, wake up or you’re going to be late.”

    “Huh? My class isn’t till 10:30, mom,” he mumbles. However, when the drowsiness lifts away, he remembers he no longer lives with his mother. “Wait, what are you doing here?”

    “Did you forget? You promised you would drive Matt to school. I’ll be late to the airport if I take him. Come on, get up.” She grabs a hold of his sheets and rips them off him.

    She frowns with worry when she finds dark bruises covering his back. Instead of listening to another strange explanation though, she simply sighs and walks out of his room to let him change. She has had enough arguments with him over the mysterious injuries he constantly collects.

    She faces Matt, seated on a couch waiting for Terry to finish getting ready. “You’re staying with your brother for a week so I expect you to behave. He’s busy enough with his job and school, so no distractions; understood?”

    “But why do I have to stay with him; he’s such a dork,” Matt whines.

    “Would you rather stay with your Grandma Macy?”

    Grimacing at the thought of staying with an old fashioned relative who pinches his cheeks at every given opportunity for a week, he simply shakes his head. “No.”

    “Good.” She leans in to kiss his forehead just as Terry appears behind her dressed and running his fingers through his silky black hair trying to tame it. Turning, she hugs Terry. “Call me if you need anything.”

    “Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine,” Terry reassures her as she gives him a kiss on the cheek.

    “I’ll be dead before I even get to school,” Matt grumbles as he crosses his arms.

    “Matt, Grandma Macy,” Mary warns. “And for heaven’s sake, Terry, clean this place up and buy some food. You hardly have anything to eat.”

    “Ma!” Terry irritably retorts rolling his eyes.

    “Love you too, sweetheart.”

    “Have a god trip, mom,” Matt wishes as Mary picks up her bag and walks over to the door.

    “Bye, and behave; both of you,” she says leaving and closing the door behind her.

    Terry looks down at his brother. “Ready to go?”

    “I guess,” Matt replies sluggishly getting up and swinging his bag onto his shoulder.
    -----*****-----​

    Terry pulls up in front of Matt’s school. “I’ll pick you up at four.”

    “Don’t you mean three?”

    “Uh, right. Three. Just a warning, don’t be surprised if I’m a half hour late.”

    “I’d be surprised if you were a half hour early,” Matt jokes with a grin on his face.

    “Out, twip,” Terry snaps as Matt opens the door and steps out.

    Speeding off after making sure his brother disappeared into the building, Terry then picks up his phone and dials Max’s number. Her eyes snap open when she hears her phone ringing beneath her pillow. Fishing it out, she looks over at the digital clock on her nightstand before pressing the green button.

    “You do realize others have to sleep,” she greets.

    “How is she?”

    “Fine. She also happens to be sleeping; there’s someone you haven’t bothered yet.”

    “What’s with you?”

    “It’s my first day off in two weeks!”

    “Sorry about waking you up then.”

    “Yeah, right,” she sighs not believing him.

    “What did you find out about her?”

    “Nothing much. Why do you care so much?”

    “Her apartment was destroyed. I have a right to worry.”

    “Liar. You’ve destroyed buildings before with barely a reaction. Besides, you never gave the homeless victims a place to stay before. There’s more isn’t there.”

    Another call beeps on Terry’s phone interrupting their conversation. “Gotta go, another call.” He hangs up on Max before she could come back with a smart remark. “Yeah?”

    Predictably, Bruce is the caller. “Terry, you’re needed.”

    “Do you ever sleep?” He rhetorically asks. “Who is it this time?”

    “Inque.”

    “Great,” he sarcastically sighs before continuing, “Where is she?”
    -----*****-----​

    Inque was never an easy character to handle and Terry knows it. He always dreaded a confrontation with her, but he never dared complain; he is still learning from his mistakes and is thankful Bruce is patient during every encounter. Inque’s mission today is to steal rocket specifications from Roqueteer Laboratories, and since she isn’t expecting a vigilante to drop by this early in the morning, she takes her time. Batman appears on the roof’s window and enters quietly landing on the ceiling’s support beam.

    “Little out of your league this time,” Batman calls out making his presence known.

    Inque looks up and spots the red mark across Batman’s chest. “No such thing, Batman,” she replies.

    “The hard way it is then.”

    With that said, Batman starts his attack with an electric batarang that hits Inque in the stomach shocking her for a few seconds. She lunges at him stretching her body all the way towards the ceiling knocking him into a wall. She morphs her arm into a hammer and aims to strike him.

    However, she misses when he jumps out of the way and lands onto a large tank of liquid nitrogen. He uses a batarang to slice a large hole in the tank causing the contents to spill over her. Inque lets out a horrified shriek as she freezes up and shatters into hundreds of pieces.

    “And still enough time to get to class; there’s a first.” He quips to himself while ignoring the feeling that her defeat came a little too easy. Pressing two fingers to his left temple, he contacts Bruce. “Did you call Barbara?”

    “She’ll be there in a few minutes. That hardly seemed like a challenge.”

    “Those late night training sessions are working, I guess. I’m off to class.” He terminates the link and flies out of the window he came through.
    -----*****-----​

    A tablet holds her most recent hobby that she has been obsessing over. It started a few months ago when she met a friend who at the time was a designer starving for her art. That friend had taught her everything she knew before she moved to New York City to start her career at a fashion magazine.

    Sitting on a bench under a large oak tree in the middle of the campus’ courtyard, Jazz busily draws away with the pen designed for the tablet. Looking up now and again, she spots Max walking towards her. Not wanting anyone to discover her new hobby, she immediately shuts the tablet off and stuffs it into her bag just as Max arrives to her side.

    “Hey, didn’t know you go here.” Max starts, joining her on the bench.

    “Didn’t exactly come up in conversation.”

    “Good point; by the way, here’s the spare key,” she says handing her the apartment key card. “So what were you working on?”

    “Homework. You mind if I ask you something?”

    “What’s up?” She asks taking out a stick of gum. She offers some to Jazz but she declines it.

    “This may seem strange but does Batman usually do what he did last night?”

    “Batman?” She asks raising a brow at the odd question. “Why are you asking?”

    “Considering his reputation, I thought what he did was weird.”

    “You have no idea,” Max mumbles to herself.

    “What?” Jazz asks.

    “Nothing; uh, no he doesn’t do stuff like that. And before you ask, I don’t know why he would. We’re not exactly best friends.” Jazz frowns with confusion, but Max reads the question on her mind before she can ask it. “I’m just a go-to person on some occasions; I do him a lot of favors, and that’s pretty much it. We don’t talk much.”

    Jazz nods once feeling disheartened from the lack of information. She was hoping Max would provide some answers. “Do you contact him?”

    “No; he always finds me.”

    “I see.”

    Picking up on her concerns, Max suggests an offer. “Look, how about the next time he calls, I’ll ask him about this.”

    “You don’t have to.”

    “Please,” Max scoffs. “I’m just as curious as you.”

    Jazz gives her a small, but grateful smile. “I appreciate it.”

    Before any other words could be exchanged, Max spots Terry heading their way.

    “Max, I’ve been looking for you,” he starts before giving Jazz a small smile as way of greeting.

    Max introduces them, playing her part well this time. “Terry, this is Jazz.”

    “Pleasure,” Terry answers with a never fading smile.

    Jazz returns the smile before her eyes widen with realization. “Damn it, I’m late for my study group again.” She gets up and turns to Max, “I’ll see you later.”

    “Yeah, sure.”

    Once Jazz is out of earshot, Terry turns to Max. “So?”

    “Our dear friend, whose apartment you annihilated,” Terry rolls his eyes with irritation, “has a few questions about my mysterious friend Batman.”

    “What?” Terry asks a little surprised.

    “Well,” she starts, getting up so they could make their way to the next class, “apparently she’s smarter than you give her credit for. She’s asking questions about what you did. And guess what? I get to ask those questions. So what’s going on?”

    “Uh, I gotta go do this… thing,” he stammers in an attempt to avoid the conversation. He turns to leave, but Max grabs a firm hold of his elbow forcing him to stay.

    “Oh no, you’re not leaving until I get some answers.”

    He sighs and puts a hand on the back of his neck. “I don’t really have a logical answer.”

    “Let’s try the crazy one then.”

    He shrugs. “This sounds stupid, but I got the feeling she’s different.”

    “How?”

    “She, uh, helped me out.”

    “Helped?”

    “Jeez, Max, are you majoring in interrogations now?”

    “There’s an idea,” she jokes. “Anyway, you were saying.”

    “I didn’t put my oxygen mask on when the place started smoking, so I passed out; but the next thing I know, I’m waking up in the hallway looking up at this chick, Jazz, who looked ready to start pumping my chest. Anyway, after I came to, she stayed to help me pull out survivors.”

    “So, the million dollar question: why are you risking your identity over her?”

    Terry smiles as he nervously kneads the back of his neck. “I have no freaking clue.”

    “Ter,” Max scolds with uncharacteristic seriousness. “You’re putting everything on the line with her, including my safety. You can’t guarantee she’ll keep this a secret, so please don’t tell me you’re going nuts.”

    “Relax, you know I’m not that irresponsible.”

    “That was before you knocked on my bedroom window at four in the morning with a guest in tow. What makes you think she won’t sell the info to the highest bidder?

    “I don’t know; something about her. I get this vibe that I can trust her, like I know her; it’s weird.”

    “Do you?”

    “Never seen he before in my life.”

    “You sure?”

    “I don’t forget pink eyes.”

    “Maybe you should get to know her and see where that goes.”

    “Maybe,” Terry hesitantly replies.

    “What’s the issue?”

    “The fact that this has never happened before. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to get close.”

    “A second ago you were telling me she’s the best friend you never met, and now you think she’s untrustworthy?”

    “Hey, I’m confused, okay? Don’t expect much from me.”

    “At least stop flip-flopping around.”

    “What do you think I should do then?”

    “Check her out, and not in that way,” Max adds with a raised brow when Terry grins at her. “Come by my place tonight and see what happens.”

    “I’ll see if I can,” Terry sighs with defeat.

    “Does Bruce know?”

    “Of course not; you think I’m suicidal?”

    “Just checking to see you didn’t lose all your marbles.”

    “Ha, ha,” Terry sarcastically replies playfully shoving her aside making her giggle.

    --continued--

     
    #3 SilentBat18, Jun 26, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  4. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 4

    Jazz had always wondered what happens to people after collateral damage claims their homes and properties, but after the day she’s been through, she unfortunately has a pretty good idea now. It started with insurance investigators interrogating her for a good hour before making her sign the final statement, breaking her lease and arguing to get her security deposit back, and rummaging through charred items retrieving everything and anything that survived. It finally ended with a fruitless search for an apartment renting for cheap in the city.

    Feeling discouraged and claustrophobic in Max’s tiny apartment, she decides to head to the roof for some fresh air. At forty stories high, the building isn’t the highest in Gotham, but the view from the top is magnificent nonetheless. Leaning against the edge, she takes in the familiar city smells she’s grown to love. The lung full of emissions and air heavy with rain eases her tensions while the view of jutting sky scrapers set against a starless, indigo sky fills her with hope.

    Gotham may be an over crowded and intimidating city, but it’s beautiful in its own way. It has flaws that give it a unique character, a smell that’s distinctly its own; even the sounds coming from cars, people, and pigeons are Gotham. But if a tourist still disputes the originality, there is one very unique piece of the city they can’t deny is Gotham: Batman.

    Seeing the vigilante do what he does best is a regular here, especially in the east side; but meeting him, or even getting a close up is reserved for the criminals and their victims. Jazz thinks back to the other night remembering the rare opportunity she had to meet the man who has recently begun inspiring her to do more for this magnificent city and those who inhabit it. She has taken an interest in him ever since she moved back to the city three years ago. His influence had rejuvenated the citizens in an unexpected way, and his presence brought back hope, a precious piece of mind that many thought was lost forever.

    Jazz admires him for that as well as his courage and perseverance, and her admiration has only grown since she had met him. It was clear that he was willing to risk his life to even save someone’s beloved pet. She can’t believe that she had the chance to help him. When their eyes locked after the fact, she felt gratitude emanating from the masked face that’s usually difficult to read. It was an intimate moment between them that brings a smile to her face.

    A shadow suddenly flies out in the distance catching her attention. Following it with her eyes, she recognizes it to be none other than the hero she was thinking of. He looks to be pursuing a sprinter across rooftops evading Batman’s reach. She realizes that the commotion is taking place only a mile away and moving in her direction fast. Closely watching the runner’s swift and graceful moves, she figures he must be a trained city runner, which is why Batman is having a hard time of catching up to him even on wing.

    She takes her eyes off the pursuit to predict where the runner might be headed. A couple of miles away is Gotham’s city park bordered by trees that would allow perfect coverage. Looking back, she finds him dodging Batman yet again as he zigzags around buildings and leaping from one fire escape to the next.

    Deciding to lend a much-needed hand, Jazz runs to the opposite edge of the roof, leaps off, and lands in a roll on the next rooftop. Taking in an exhilarated breath, she continues leaping across rooftops until she reaches the arboreal border circling the five-acre park. Stopping in the predicted route of the runner, she takes cover behind the rooftop’s access area just as the runner leaps onto the same building. Distracted by the proximity of freedom, he never expects to suddenly be tackled and pinned to the ground by Jazz.

    Both the runner and his pursuer are surprised by the woman’s interference. Batman comes to a skidding halt in front of her and, when Jazz moves aside, grabs the runner by the collar pulling him to his feet. When the runner turns swinging a fist, Batman effortlessly intercepts it and returns powerful blows to his gut and face knocking him out cold. After binding his wrists together with flexi-cuffs, he turns to Jazz, who is busy dusting herself off.

    “We meet again,” Batman starts, getting her attention.

    “You remember me,” she replies checking on a little scrape she received on her wrist.

    “I don’t forget pink eyes,” he finds himself repeating. “You shouldn’t have interfered. He could have seriously hurt you.”

    “Doubt it.”

    “Look,” he warns, his tone turning more serious. “If you’re a thrill seeking junkie thinking what I do is fun, I suggest you stop before you get yourself killed.”

    “No offense Bats, but you’re underestimating me.”

    “Again, don’t call me that, and it’s not about estimating what you can do. The last thing I need is some wanna-be heroine getting herself killed for the sake of excitement.”

    Jazz rolls her eyes at him. “A normal person would thank me for helping.”

    Batman narrows his eyes into a glare, not appreciating her carefree demeanor. “Let this be the last time you help,” he warns as he picks up the runner and throws him over his shoulder. “Now, if you don’t mind, my friend here has a date with a cellmate that he can’t miss.”

    “Hang on,” Jazz says when he moves past her. He stops and turns to stare at her. “What you did for me last night,” she nervously starts, stuffing her hands in her pockets and looking at her feet unsure of what to say.

    “Yeah?” He prompts when she doesn’t continue.

    “I don’t think I thanked you for that.”

    Batman looks her over, curious as to why she is bringing this up now. “Didn’t have to; it’s part of my job description.”

    “You didn’t have to compromise yourself,” she replies, looking up at him. He remains silent. “So why did you?”

    He was hoping she wasn’t going to fish for that explanation again. Choosing not to reply, he turns away from her; but she takes him by surprise when she grabs his arm, stopping him from flying off. He looks down at the hand before lifting his eyes to glare at her.

    “That’s not recommended,” he warns making her quickly snatch her arm back and mumble an apology. But the effect of the action keeps him planted. “Why do you want to know?”

    “It’s not something I would do if I was in your place. For all you know, I could be a serial killer or a Kobra in disguise or something.”

    “Are you?”

    “No.”

    “Then I have nothing to worry about.”

    “Batman,” Jazz starts, this time with a firmer tone that reveals the importance of her inquiry. “I have to know why me.”

    “Why? What difference does it make?” He challenges taking a step towards her. “Will it massage your ego? Show you how special you are? Sorry, to disappoint, but you’re reading too much into this. You helped me out, and I just returned the favor. End of story. Satisfied?” He’s hoping the harshness of his tone will deter any further questioning.

    “You’re lying,” she replies with courage he doesn’t expect. He never thought she would try to confront the Batman. She was right; he definitely underestimated her.

    “Last time I’m saying this: you’re reading too much into a good deed. Drop it and move on.” This time when he turns away, he doesn’t stop when she calls after him.

    Jazz has no choice but to watch him fly off into the air doubting she’ll ever see him again.
    -----*****-----​

    “Turkey sub, please,” Jazz orders at the deli station of Gotham University’s cafeteria.

    She watches the sandwich maker slowly pile the ingredients before a tap on the shoulder steals her eyes away from the mountain of lettuce. Looking up, she finds herself staring at a six-foot three hunk smiling down at her.

    “Hey,” he greets. “It’s Jazz, right?”

    “Uhm,” she utters losing her words under the gaze of cobalt blue eyes.

    “We kinda met yesterday.”

    “Uhm,” she repeats as she tries to drag herself out of the idiotic stupor Terry’s handsome features put her in. Being in a hurry the other day made her overlook him, keeping her from turning into an illiterate goof.

    “You’re sandwich, miss,” the maker behind the counter announces breaking the spell and setting Jazz free.

    “Thanks,” she mumbles taking the food and placing it on her tray before turning back to Terry.

    “You mind if I join you?” He asks making her realize for the first time that he’s carrying his own tray of food.

    “Uh, sure, yeah, okay,” she rambles moving to an available table.

    “You do remember me, don’t you?” He asks noticing her apprehension.

    “Yeah, of course, Terry, right? You’re Max’s friend.”

    He nods with a smile as he takes a seat beside her. “I thought since we didn’t have a chance to really get to know each other yesterday…”

    “Oh, right, no, yeah, I get it,” she stumbles for words inwardly cringing for sounding like an inarticulate buffoon.

    Terry can’t help but relish how nervous he makes her. It’s not often he has that effect on someone, especially when it’s unintentional. “So how do you know Max?”

    “Uh, we’re lab partners, chemistry.”

    The fact that she’s lying to protect his alter ego relieves Terry’s concerns regarding his decision to help her two nights ago. Keeping that information a secret when most people would take every opportunity to brag about it speaks volumes about her. This is part of the reason he decided to approach her today; getting to know her will give him a perspective into who he’s dealing with and maybe even a clearer reason as to why he helped her.

    “You must be getting straight A’s then.”

    “Only on lab reports,” she quips making his grin grow wider.

    “So what’s your major?”

    “Psych; it’s my junior year. You?”

    “Buisness, third senior semester.”

    “What’s that about? You like paying tuition or being a student?”

    “Neither. My job kind of makes it hard to take a full load of classes.”

    “What do you do?”

    “Personal assistant to a very demanding old man.”

    “Pay must be good.”

    “It’s why I don’t mind paying tuition. So, why psych?”

    She shrugs as she takes a sip of her drink. “Interested me the most and I didn’t want to start my junior year with ‘undecided’ being my major. You?”

    “Mom’s idea. She has plans for me.” Jazz nods while intently studying his face. “I don’t want to makes you feel awkward, but why are you staring at me like that?” Terry asks noting the concentrating eyes.

    “Oh, sorry,” she apologizes looking away. “You just seem really familiar. Have we met before yesterday?” She asks lifting her eyes again.

    “I would remember if we did.”

    “Why?” She asks when last night’s events suddenly flash in her head.

    “I’m good with faces,” he replies squashing Jazz’s suspicion that he might repeat what Batman had said. “Did you go to Hamilton High?”

    “No.”

    “Around campus?”

    “Don’t think so.”

    “You sure I look familiar?”

    “Yeah, I just can’t place you,” she says narrowing her eyes with thought.

    Terry shrugs with indifference. “It’ll come to you when you least expect it.”

    “Maybe. So where you from?”

    “Here. You?”

    “Uh, well, I was born here, but I moved around a lot.”

    “Army brat?”

    “No.”

    When she doesn’t elaborate, Terry tries prompting. “So you moved because…”

    “Family stuff.”

    The lack of detail suggests she’s hiding something she’s not willing to trust a stranger with. Admiring her attempt, he drops the subject. When the two finish their lunch, they drop their trays off in the designated area and walk out into the sunny but cool autumn day.

    “Where’s your next class?” He asks.

    “Science wing. You, uh, want to walk with me?” She nervously asks hoping he would accept the offer.

    The vibe that she had picked up from him during lunch was one that she found comforting, something that doesn’t happen often despite the initial anxiety. So when he smiles and nods, she’s overcome with a euphoria she hates to admit to.

    “So besides being overworked, what do you do for fun?” Jazz asks as they make their way across campus.

    “Uh, not much. I lead a boring life for a college student.”

    “You’re not the only one,” Jazz shrugs. “I have to work two jobs to keep up with bills, but the independence is worth it.”

    “Yeah, the independence we wanted so much when we lived with our parents so we could party half the night away six days a week,” Terry jokes making her laugh at the irony. “So what are your ‘party’ days filled with?”

    “Bathroom accessory expert by day, bartender by night.”

    “Bartender?” He asks quirking a brow. “So what kind of drink would you take me for?”

    Giving him a once over, she replies, “either a rum and coke, or vodka and sprite.”

    “Close; spiced rum and coke. You’re good.”

    “It’s what I do,” she shrugs.

    “Where do you bartend?”

    “Easy Times on Brushwood street; know it?”

    “Of course; college hang out spot on Thursday nights.”

    “Oh, so you do have a social life at times,” Jazz teases as they reach the science building.

    “When do you work?”

    “Thursdays through Sundays.”

    “Including this Saturday?”

    “Yeah,” she nods.

    “Good; I’ll be there at eight. See you then,” he says before walking away never giving Jazz a chance to decline.

    But despite the arrogance, Jazz can’t help but smile with excitement. The prospect of seeing this charming hunk in three days reduces her into a giddy teenager who receives curious looks from passersby.
    -----*****-----​

    As he makes his way to the car, Terry receives a call from Bruce requesting his presence at the cave. Without argument, he heads to the manor where he meets Bruce predictably sitting in front of the console.

    “Inque was hired to get those specs for a rival company, but I’m not sure which,” Bruce explains without greeting.

    “Only strange thing about this is that she didn’t put up much of a fight.”

    “So you noticed.” Bruce turns to face him.

    “How could I not? I was clean after our short encounter and had time for class. Something’s up.”

    “But we don’t know what. This could be dangerous, you know.”

    “Isn’t it always?

    “You’ll have to stay away from her for a while.”

    “You really expect me to?”

    “No, just thought you would humor me for once.”

    “You should know better by now,” Terry grins. “Where am I going and what am I doing?”

    “For now there’s not much of a lead or motive, so you’ll need to get friendly with Roqueteer employees and find out any behind-the-scenes information.”

    “I’ll set up a meeting with the project developer on behalf of Bruce Wayne.”

    “Why him?”

    “Close enough to the CEO but low enough on the corporate ladder making him more willing to give up juicy gossip.”

    Bruce smirks, impressed with his protégé’s growth. “Set it up and we’ll take it from there.”

    -continued-

     
    #4 SilentBat18, Jun 27, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  5. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 5

    Silently praying his phone will stay quiet for the night, Terry steps into the Easy Times bar taking a look around. It’s been a while since he’s been here, the last time being his sophomore year. Not much has changed since then; it’s still dark and smoky with music blaring from speakers, and college students of every age gathered around tables and booths, talking and laughing the night away.

    He squeezes through the crowd and takes a seat at an available stool at the bar. He finds Jazz on the other end, her long hair tied up in a pony tail but bangs still swept over her eyes; she’s wearing dark, tight clothes that don’t seem to fit her laidback style, but he figures it’s to help fill her tip jar.

    He watches her pour a finished drink into a martini glass and slide it towards the customer before collecting payment. As she rings up the order, she looks over in Terry’s direction and smiles when he waves a hand. Finishing the transaction and stuffing her tip in the appropriate jar, she walks over to meet him.

    “What can I get you?” She asks leaning on the counter.

    “Thought you knew my drink.”

    “Nu-uh. You’re experimenting tonight,” she replies with confidence that surprises him. After her nervous display earlier that week, he didn’t expect her to be so loose tonight, but he isn’t disappointed.

    “I am?” he asks with a smile.

    “You’re in my bar now, so yeah, you are.”

    “Then I’ll give you the chance to pick.”

    Nodding with satisfaction, she bends over to grab a bottle of tequila and a shot glass from under the bar. “Ever done a shot?”

    “Yeah,” he replies watching her poor the liquor into the tiny glass. She sets a lime wedge beside it and asks for Terry’s hand to sprinkle some salt on the side of his fist. “You’re not having one?”

    “I’m not a tequila kind of girl.”

    “Weren’t you the one making a big deal about experimenting?” Terry challenges making her smile.

    “Fine,” she gives in, pouring herself a shot and raising it. “To experimenting.”

    Smiling, Tarry raises his glass before they both lick the salt off their hands, down the shot, and bite into the lime wedge.

    “Wow,” Terry coughs making her giggle. “Forgot how strong those were.”

    Bending over again, she pulls out two frosty coronas from a cooler setting them in front of him. Using the bottle opener tucked in her arm band, she quickly pulls the caps off, shoves a lime wedge in each, and hands one to Terry.

    “Gimme a sec,” she says as she walks away to meet the other bartender who just walked behind the bar.

    Taking a swig of his drink, Terry takes the opportunity to really study Jazz’s frame wondering how she became so built. He remembers the other night and the strength she had used when she pinned that runner down. He wasn’t an easy opponent to take down, yet she did it almost effortlessly. He’s hoping that getting to know her better will shed light on her extracurricular activities. Finishing her discussion with her coworker, Jazz comes around the bar and takes a seat beside him.

    “So,” she smiles at him taking her bottle in hand. “How’s your night so far?”

    “Unexpected,” he starts, causing her brow to raise. “In a good way.”

    “What I want to hear,” she praises as she pulls off the armband that holds the necessary bar tools and sets it behind the counter.

    “What about you?”

    “Me?” She nods to her full tip jar. “My night’s fantastic,” she grins.

    “Saving up for something?”

    “Yeah; a new place to live,” she replies taking a long swig of her beer.

    “Lease up or something?”

    “Big something. My old place was scorched during what Gothamites like to call collateral damage.”

    “Batman?” Terry asks feigning surprise. “Like the Batman?”

    “Partially his doing, yes, but I didn’t know that till after the fact. I never saw him on the scene.”

    “Pity.”

    “Yeah, pity,” she absently repeats before changing the subject; but Terry notes her choice to protect what she knows even when he tries fishing for the information. She’s loyal. “So who exactly do you assist?”

    “Bruce Wayne,” is the short reply making her eyes widen with realization.

    “You’re the guy from the news last month, Terry McGinnis. I knew I saw you somewhere. Why didn’t you say so?”

    Terry shrugs. “Not my place to advertise that.”

    “So what’s he like?”

    “I’d rather not talk about him,” he replies before finishing his bottle.

    “Oh, yeah sure, I get it,” she says backing off. “No problem. You want another beer?”

    “Uh, no, I’m good for now. When do you get off?”

    “I’ve been off the last twenty minutes, why?”

    “Feel like getting out of here?”

    She eyes him suspiciously before laughing and shaking her head. “Oh, no, I don’t know what kind of girl you think I am, but I’m not another floozy idiot.”

    “Woah, hey, what are we talking about here?” Terry asks surprised by her reaction. “I just thought it’s a little too crowded in here, so I wanted to go on an innocent walk.”
    Jazz looks away blushing with embarrassment. “Wow, talk about awkward moments.”

    Terry smiles at her. “Don’t worry about it; goes to show how careful you are. It’s a good thing.”

    “Still, you’re obviously a nice guy; I shouldn’t have made the assumption.”

    He shrugs. “It happens. So what do you say?”

    “Let me get my stuff,” she replies getting up. “Hey,” she suddenly calls out when Terry pulls out his wallet. “Tonight’s on me,” she smiles.

    “You sure?”

    “Tip jar speaks for itself.”

    After collecting her share of the night’s profits as well as her jacket and bag, she lets Terry lead the way out and down the busy streets heading to the park close by.

    “So I know where you work and what you’re studying,” Terry starts as they leisurely stroll side-by-side along the pond’s shoreline, “but not much else.”

    “What else is there to know?” She asks, letting her wavy hair down while fluffing her bangs.

    “Likes, dislikes, hobbies, things that make people normal.”

    “I’m sensing you’re fishing for something specific,” she says eyeing him suspiciously.

    Noting her sharp insights, he goes along with the charade. “Just trying to get to know you better.”

    “Sorry, don’t buy it,” she says stopping to face him. “Spill.”

    Sheepishly grinning, Terry rubs the back of his neck. “I noticed you’re in pretty good shape. I was just wondering if you were a runner; we could partner up sometime tomorrow and do a couple laps around the track.”

    “Yeah I run, among other things,” Jazz replies still studying his face. “Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?”

    “Trying to be subtle.”

    “You want to know something about me? I don’t like subtle. It makes people unnecessarily complicated.”

    “And I take it you’ve dealt with a lot of complicated people before?”

    “You’re pretty nosy for a guy,” she jokes falling back into step beside him. “Yeah, I know a list of people, but who doesn’t?”

    “Most people don’t get irked to the point of avoidance.”

    “I don’t avoid anyone. I just don’t get the whole idea of pussy-footing around the truth. You want to know something, ask it; been asked something, answer it. Simple and straightforward.”

    Terry eyes her curiously; her outspoken and individualistic mind causes a sense of familiarity to resonate through him. She reminds him of someone he hasn’t seen in a very long time, but he quickly pushes the thought away convincing himself that Jazz and Melanie are nothing alike.

    “That’s kind of ignorant to say,” he says looking ahead.

    “Cause it’s simplistic? And what’s wrong with that?”

    “Nothing if the world’s population just included you. So what happened?”

    “What’d you mean?” She asks raising a brow at him. She didn’t expect him to be so insightful.

    “Something must have happened to make you think that, something significant I’m guessing. So what is it?” She narrows her eyes at him while remaining quiet, so Terry takes the liberty to fill in the blank. “Maybe you were forced to live a life of secrecy? One you didn’t like?” He asks, suddenly thinking of Melanie again. Her eyes suddenly harden into a glare he didn’t think she could muster. “Did I hit a nerve?”

    “No,” she lies faking a smile. “You’re pretty gutsy, McGinnis. Not a lot of people confront me like that.”

    “What can I say, I’m a rebel,” Terry shrugs. “So?”

    “Since you’re trying to be so clever, I’ll let you figure it out on your own,” she replies lightening up again.

    “You might regret that.”

    “Only if you hit the nail on the head.”

    “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Terry replies before his phone suddenly goes off. Looking at the screen, he finds Bruce to be the caller. Cursing under his breath, he turns his attention back to Jazz. “Listen, I have to go, but about tomorrow…?”

    “Tell you what,” she replies taking a pen out of the bag. “Give me a call,” she continues, writing her number on the palm of his hand, “and I’ll see you when I see you.”

    “Don’t like setting plans?”

    “No, ‘cause you can’t break plans if you don’t make them.”

    “You hate letting people down,” he guesses.

    “Keep it up, McGinnis, and you might figure me out by the end of the week.”

    He grins at her. “I can walk you home if you like,” he offers when his phone goes off again.

    “Doesn’t sound like you have the time,” she replies nodding at the phone.

    “You sure?”

    “Don’t waste chivalry on me. It’s not the first time I’ve been out in Gotham at night.”

    Although still hesitant, he nods once before heading to the nearest subway stop, turning once to check on Jazz one last time before disappearing into the station. With a sigh, she starts making her way back to her apartment as she reminisces about the night.

    Terry seems like such an inquisitive man, asking questions that were beginning to hit close to home. Although she had placed his face to the nightly news, it isn’t why she sensed familiarity around him. It was his eyes that got her; something about the way he looked at her made her feel like they were already friends.

    Before she could dissect the issue further, the faint sounds of footsteps following her grab her attention. She stops and turns around checking her surroundings but finds her self alone surrounded by silence. She can feel a presence watching her from somewhere in the shadows. Keeping her guard up, she continues walking down the sidewalk. When she turns the corner though, she finds herself staring at the barrel of a gun held by a grinning Joker dressed in a white and red clown suit.

    “Evening, sweet cheeks,” he leers making her scowl. “You know the drill.”

    “Screw off,” she snaps refusing to budge.

    “That’s the plan, honey. In there, now,” he orders as he reaches a hand out grabbing her by the neck.

    What he doesn’t see coming, though, is the speed with which she disarms him. She grabs his gun-wielding wrist and painfully bends it until he drops the weapon. She then knees him in the gut making him release his hold on her neck before a powerful punch lands on his jaw leaving him sprawled on the ground writhing in pain. Straightening her jacket, she steps over him, picks up the gun and expertly dismantles it before returning to her walk unaffected by the incident she’s leaving behind.

    --continued--

     
    #5 SilentBat18, Jun 28, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  6. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 6

    Jazz had finally found a place to live a few blocks away from campus. It’s a one-bedroom apartment sized for a mouse with a beautiful view of the neighboring building. Despite her new, cramped surroundings, tonight her thoughts are focused on finishing the designs scribbled in her tablet.

    Her experiences with Batman have motivated her to take more action especially after their last meeting. She felt such a surge of excitement not from the chase, but from knowing she had helped stop a criminal. It’s why she has spent the past four hours creating the suit she has been sketching in her notebook for weeks. Despite her limited knowledge, she manages to pull together a rather decent suit, whose simple circuitry accomplishes what she wants by the end of the fifth and final hour.

    The suit itself is a solid grey color except for a black sign stitched on the front. Jazz puts in a few more stitches so that the insignia is securely attached to the rest of the suit. She holds it up and smiles pleased with her work.

    ‘Batgirl would be proud,’ she thinks to herself as she lays out the suit on the couch.

    She picks up the cowl and tinkers with a few wires before making sure they were hidden under the fabric. The cowl, just like Batman’s, is designed to cover her entire face once worn. The few wires and special lenses she carefully inserted are meant to give her night-vision. In an attempt to test it, she puts it on, makes sure the pointed ears are symmetric, and turns off the lights in her apartment. By pressing two fingers to her temple, the lenses activate and almost instantly she makes out every detail in the room as though it were flooded with light.

    With a satisfied smile, she removes her cowl and turns the lights back on to finish working on her belt. It’s bronze in color and has several pockets magnetically secured to it. Although she spent a lot of her saved money on the belt itself, most of it went to its contents.

    She bought her weapons from several stores scattered around the city. Visiting self-defense shops, martial arts studios, and finally the internet, she managed to collect all the goods needed. She has been saving money and collecting these items over the past six months, well before her apartment was destroyed. But it’s only recently that everything has fallen together perfectly. She is both physically and mentally ready for the challenge that lies ahead.

    After quickly filling the empty compartments with the necessary equipment, she holds up the belt admiring its elegance and buckle-less design. Gently laying it down beside the thick black gloves, she picks up the suit and walks to her room to try it on. She stands before the full-length mirror with a grin on her face as she appreciates how the suit hugs her curves. She pulls on the cowl and buckles the belt around her waist before staring at her figure again, turning now and then to get a better look.

    Walking back to the living room, she removes her cowl and sets to work on sewing a thigh holster for her grapple gun. The gun is too bulky to fit in any of the small compartments along her belt; so as a solution, she bought a black thigh holster designed for small handguns. A few snips here and there and she customizes it so that the grapple gun could fit and stay in place. She slips on the holster and adjusts it until it’s high enough on her thigh to allow easy access to the gun.

    Next, she pulls on the thin-soled, black boots zipping it securely onto her legs. Slipping on the black gloves over her hands, she flexes her fingers a few times to make sure they fit right. It took her quite some time to customize the gloves perfectly so that the claws come out and retract cleanly; when she tests out her new claws by drawing them out and admiring the razor sharp point, she is highly satisfied with the job she did. By relaxing her fingers, the points draw back into the glove leaving not a single tear on any of the fingers.

    Pulling her black hair up into a ponytail, she slips the cowl on and makes sure not a single strand is visible. Reentering her room, she stands in front of the mirror for one final adjustment: the lips. Picking up a tube of black lipstick, she applies a layer of the glossy tint onto her originally cherry lips finishing her makeover. She stares back at her reflection and takes note of every detail.

    The almond-shaped, white eye-discs, the black lips, the defined apples of her cheeks, the low pointed ears, and finally the small black bat on her chest, resembling that of Batman’s old costume, creates her new alter ego: Batgirl. Taking a deep breath, and slowly letting it out, she feels ready to face the night and Gotham’s low lives.

    Walking to the window, she opens it, takes a quick look around and fires her grapple at the nearest building before swinging out of her room. First, she practices swinging from building to building until she is comfortable with the height and speed of each swing. With adrenaline coursing through her body, she lands atop a roof and crouches low on a ledge that overlooks a dark alley. With her night vision working perfectly, she quickly spots four Jokers cornering a young girl at the end of the narrow passageway.

    Two of them are female seated on motorbikes threateningly swinging their deadly rubber chickens in the air as they watch the other two male Jokers approach the petrified girl, with one pointing a gun at her. Batgirl has seen enough. Without warning, she swoops down and lands between the Jokers and the girl.

    Surprised at her sudden appearance, the leader of the gang, dressed in a purple suit, jumps back. “What the…?” A grin spreads across his face once he takes a good look at Batgirl. “Did Batman get himself a girl to do his work for him?”

    “No,” she replies, her black lips pulling back into a sly grin, “but he’ll wish he did.”

    She punches him in the gut followed by an uppercut into his jaw sending him flying back into trashcans lined against a wall. After watching the assault, the second Joker starts shooting at her. The first shot misses but leaves her startled. She flips back landing crouched on top of a closed dumpster and flings a batarang at him. It hits him square on the wrist causing him to drop his weapon and yelp in pain. She then lunges forward, grabs him by the shoulders and rolls him and herself into a forward somersault finishing it with a kick in the gut. The Joker flies into a pile of trash behind him.

    The last two Jokers rev their bikes and drive straight towards her, swinging their weapons in the air ready to strike. Unfortunately for Batgirl, the oncoming threat can’t be avoided resulting in simultaneous blows to the face and gut. She falls to her knees winded and in pain as the two girls skid to turn their bikes around preparing for another attack. Batgirl rises to her feet as the two quickly close the short distance between them. This time, however, Batgirl is ready for them.

    When they are close enough, she jumps into the air and, using both legs, kicks the Joker on her left in the chest. The unlucky girl falls off her bike, and lands hard on the ground while Batgirl gracefully lands on her feet in front of her. The uncontrollable bike, now behind her, crashes into the other Joker’s bike pushing it against the wall. The weight of the two bikes keeps her pinned in place. Batgirl turns to make sure she couldn’t get away, but while her attention is diverted, the Joker lying on the floor in front of her scrambles to her feet and tries to make a run for it.

    Batgirl turns around just in time to see the escaping criminal. “I don’t think so.”

    She takes out a bola and throws it aiming at her ankles. It snags her legs causing her to fall forward and land hard on her chin. Batgirl proudly smiles at her first victory against crime before taking notice of the speechless girl she just saved hiding behind a dumpster bin on the side of the alley.

    “You’re safe now,” she reassures the nervous citizen before hearing the sirens in the distance.

    Momentarily taking her eyes off her heroine, she turns her attention to the approaching police vehicles, but when she turns back to thank Batgirl, she discovers she has disappeared without a trace. Without further hesitation, the girl runs out to grab the attention of the officers. Once the car comes to a halt at the mouth of the alley, they step out to meet the frightened girl. Almost immediately, they take notice of the incapacitated Jokers lying on the grimy floor.

    “Well looky here, someone left us a present to wrap up,” one of the officers jokes. Their gaze then switches to the roof of the building where they spot Batgirl’s pointed ears.

    “Batman?” the other officer asks.

    “No,” the first replies taking note of the feminine figure. “Batgirl!” The two officers switch amazed gazes.

    “You think we should tell the commish?”

    “Why not. It’ll give her a laugh.” They turn back to stare at the mysterious figure only to find that it has receded into the shadows and disappeared.
    -----*****-----​

    “Yeah, we got ‘em,” the cop informs Commissioner Gordon as she files some paper work strewn on her desk. “But we weren’t the ones who stopped them.”

    “Then put down Batman as the unit that stopped them,” she replies without taking her eyes off her work.

    “Uh, it wasn’t Batman either,” the second responds.

    Now grabbing her attention, she stares up at the two officers. “Then who was it?”

    The two exchange wary glances before turning back to face Barbara. “It was Batgirl.”

    “Batgirl? Are you sure?”

    “Unless Batman got himself a sex change, we’re pretty sure.”

    She nods in response and instructs them to leave her office immediately. When the two close the door behind them, she picks up the phone and dials Bruce’s number. Picking up after two short rings, she sees his familiar face appear on the screen. “Bruce, what is the meaning of this?”

    “Of what?” He asks confused. Just then, the Batmobile arrives on the landing pad and Batman jumps out, takes his cowl off, and walks over to Bruce’s side.

    “Two of my men just saw Batgirl rough up some Jokers in an alley tonight.”

    Surprised, both Bruce and Terry simultaneously ask, “Batgirl?”

    Noting their stunned looks, she eases her tone. “I see; well someone dressed in a suit is fighting crime. Any clue as to who it might be?”

    “No,” Bruce answers. “But if she’s on our side, I don’t see a reason to stop her; unless of course, you’re jealous.” A small grin appears on his lips at the last comment

    Barbara, on the other hand, doesn’t find the joke entertaining and scowls in response. “I’ll be keeping an eye on her. I advise you do the same.”

    “Don’t we always?” He hangs up on Barbara and turns to face Terry with a questioning look on his face.

    “I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not Max.”

    “What makes you so sure?”

    “Because after her incident with Curare a few years back, she doesn’t want anything to do with this kind of business besides the detective work.” Still wearing the same look on his face, the statement doesn’t seem to convince Bruce. “Not to mention I’ve been talking to her all night tonight. She hasn’t left home. Besides, I think I know where the newbie might be,” Terry states pulling his cowl back on.

    “I don’t want you wasting too much of your time on her; we have better things to do tonight.”

    “Looking forward to it,” he sarcastically comments to himself as he hops back into his car and takes off.
    -----*****-----​

    It’s a Thursday night, otherwise known as college night. All college students come out of their dorms and apartments on this particular night to socialize and enjoy themselves in Gotham’s hottest spots. The girls all sparkle and the guys enjoy the view. Of course, no other place beats the clubs that Underground has to offer in downtown Gotham. With specials, such as lady’s night or open bar, it is a sure way to attract all kinds of partygoers, even the Jokerz and T’s. Except those two kinds of people don’t go there for the music or the drinks, but to take advantage of the drunk strays and lost individuals that unfortunately find themselves in their territory.

    However, tonight the students unknowingly have a protector. Batgirl arrives on the roof of a building that offers a perfect view of the dark allies between the clubs that line the sidewalk. She leans on the ledge hidden within the shadows and attentively watches the young adults waiting in the long lines that lead into dance clubs. As she waits for a foolish mugger to make a move, she uses the time to contemplate on whether she has made the right decision of establishing herself as a new defender for the innocent.

    Weighing her options, she realizes there is a lot she has to sacrifice, including her freedom, just to make this city a bit more bearable to live in. But would the bruises, cuts, or broken bones be worth it? Could she really make a difference on her own? Even though Batman plays his part in making the city safer, he’s still one man. He can’t get to everyone in one night, so victims are left to suffer, to lose hope Batman had once instilled.

    The thought makes her cringe; he needs help and that’s what she’s here for. She can step up to the plate and hold her own, help those being terrorized and protect the reputation the heroes before her built. Ultimately though, it’s the city that called out to her, asking her to don the mask of a hero.

    Gotham is a large city with all sorts of problems and she is fed up with seeing people struggle to make a living just to be brought down by some jerk threatening their lives, the innocent seen as guilty because of a corrupt system involving bribes, or even a child being convicted for existing and sent to abusive homes. Gotham is her home no matter how many times she has moved in the past, and she’ll be damned if she has to see one more citizen suffer and break because of ignorant fools who have no mercy or sympathy to give.

    “Figured you might be here,” a voice interrupts her rolling thoughts.

    Batgirl defensively takes out a batarang and turns to throw it, except Batman grabs her wrist before she has a chance to release her weapon. “You,” she says when she looks up at the face. She pulls her wrist away from his grasp and replaces the batarang into her belt’s many compartments.

    “Mind telling me what you’re doing?”

    “The same thing you do.”

    “As Batgirl?” He asks as he examines her suit with a raised brow.

    “I thought you might need some help since you seem a little overwhelmed at times,” she remarks as she folds her arms in front of her.

    “I don’t think so, especially not in that suit.”

    “I don’t see a copyright mark on yours.”

    His eyes narrow into a glare. “Go home,” he coldly commands. “You’re not fit for this job.”

    “Says who? I’m tougher than I look. Besides, I work alone. You’re welcome to help, but if not, then I advise you to stay out of my way,” she audaciously retorts before turning her attention back to the alleys.

    Although irritated by her stubbornness, he lets her be. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

    When she turns around to respond to his last remark, empty space replaces where he stood. If the red bat across his chest wasn’t his trademark, his silent entrances and disappearances would have been.

    --continued--

     
    #6 SilentBat18, Jun 30, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  7. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 7

    Terry prepares himself for the meeting with Roqueteer’s project developer as he rides the elevator up. Since Roqueteer is a private company working exclusively with space programs, Terry has arranged a proposition for an absorption, albeit a fake one, but it should be enough to allow him to get the information he and Bruce need to figure out Inque’s plan. The elevator doors open and Terry steps out as he straightens his navy blue suit jacket.

    “Hi,” he greets the receptionist, “Terry McGinnis here to see Mr. Cooper.”

    “I’ll let him know you’re here,” she replies with a small smile before returning to her calls.

    It only takes a few minutes for an assistant to appear and lead him to Cooper’s office.

    “Mr. McGinnis,” Cooper, a chubby man, greets standing from his desk and reaching out a hand.

    “Mr. Cooper,” Terry replies shaking it. “I appreciate you meeting with me.”

    “Of course, and please call me Jason. Would you like something to drink?”

    “No, I’m fine, thanks.”

    Jason nods to his assistant giving her permission to leave before turning his attention back to Terry. “Please, sit,” he invites.

    After unbuttoning his jacket like his mother had told him to do before sitting, Terry lowers himself into a comfortable chair. “I take it you received Mr. Wayne’s proposal for a buy out.”

    “Yes, and I found a few things unusual,” he starts running a hand over his balding head.

    “Oh?” Terry asks raising a brow.

    “First, the company is a private one and not exactly up for sale.”

    “Doesn’t have to be.”

    “Right, so why is Wayne-Corps suddenly interested in a company that isn’t on the map?”

    “Easy. Mr. Wayne is very good at observing company progresses, and he’s recently become interested in working with space programs. He’s the type of man who likes to be a part of everything.”

    “I admire his eye for prosperity, but I’m not sure our CEO is willing to sell, even to a thriving company like Wayne-Corps.”

    “Well, we can’t be sure of that; he can be very persuasive,” Terry replies with a smile. “Anyway, what’s the other issue?”

    “Not so much an issue as it is a question.” Terry nods prompting Jason to continue. “Why are you coming to me and not the CEO?”

    “I heard Mr. Kreigan is a very busy man.”

    Jason smiles. “Yes, but I’m sure he would make time for someone of your position.”

    “Alright, you got me, Jason,” Terry replies holding his hands up in mock surrender. “I was sent to talk to you specifically. I’ve heard rumors that you’re really the one who keeps this place running.”

    “Rumors?”

    “You know, water cooler kind of talk. It sounded true enough, so I convinced Mr. Wayne to let me meet with you instead. As project developer, you must be the one who supervises and even designs most if not all of Roqueteer’s plans.” Terry tries charming, hoping to win the man’s trust.

    “I’m flattered, Mr. McGinnis. Off the record?” Terry nods as he clasps his hands together. “Mr. Kreigan is as good as his right hand. His main job is to sign financial reports after we poor bastards do all the work.”

    “Sounds like there’s some resentment within the company.”

    “If it wasn’t for the paycheck, I would have left this place a long time ago; damn alimony,” he mutters to himself. “Anyway, I’m not sure how much I can help you out with the company sale since that’s not part of my job description.”

    “It sounds like you’re a very valuable employee, though.”

    “Ah,” he shrugs. “I just do my part well.”

    “Well enough to be part of Wayne’s team?”

    Jason narrows his eyes suspiciously. “I’m confused. Am I promoting the company or myself?”

    “Off the record?” Jason nods. “Mostly you; we know you’re the one behind the company’s success and, given your reputation, we want you to help start our space program.”

    “Interesting.”

    “There’s a little hitch though. We got word about Inque infiltrating your premises; this has us worried.”

    “How’d you know about that? I thought we kept this under tight wraps.”

    “Let’s just say the wind carried word through our open window.”

    “I see,” he mutters looking away in calculating thought.

    “We figured whatever reason she was here for, it must have been for something good, something worth stealing… something we would want on our team.”
    Jason brings his eyes back to Terry. “I can’t reveal much under the circumstances, Mr. McGinnis.”

    “I admire your loyalty, Jason. Tell you what, I’ll convince Mr. Wayne to guarantee you a position in our company,” he offers, hoping it will coax Jason to open up more.

    “You can do that?”

    “I’m here, aren’t I?” Terry smiles putting Jason at ease.

    “I really appreciate it, Mr. McGinnis,” Jason replies, suddenly filled with optimism. His dream for working with such a prestigious company is coming true thanks to this very young assistant. Hoping to set the deal, he decides to give up some of the information Terry is looking for. “Keeping this between us, Inque was after some of our confidential specs – specifically blueprints for a Rover tough enough to survive missions to Venus.”

    “Impressive.”

    “At this stage, the prototype is ready and in the testing phases. We expect to be finished in a few years.”

    “Now, the question, Mr. Cooper, is what can you offer us if we add you to the team?”

    “Those blueprints.”

    “We aren’t interested in stolen property,” Terry warns.

    “Well, then it’s a good thing they’re patented in my name,” Jason grins. “Like I said, Mr. Krieger is only a right hand in this company.”

    “One last question; any idea who else might want to get their hands on that plan?”

    “Why?”

    “Cover our backs when word gets out about the move.”

    “Yes, of course,” Jason nods believing his lie. “Our strongest competitor at the moment is Astrolink, run by Bradley Lynx, but I’ve heard rumors they’re going under because investors are pulling out.”

    Terry gives him a satisfied smile as he rises to a stand. “This has been a very productive meeting, Jason. Thank you for your time, and I will be seeing you soon,” he reassures making Jason smile with him.

    “Looking forward to it, Mr. McGinnis.”

    After shaking hands, Terry buttons his jacket and steps out of the office heading to the elevator. Once in his car, he pulls out his phone and relays the information to Bruce.

    “So Inque must have been hired by Brad,” Bruce thinks aloud.

    “Any truth to the company going under?”

    “Yes; stocks have been plummeting, and investors are fed up with Brad’s talk and nothing to show for.”

    “So he gets Inque to sabotage the rival companies and steal specs so he can save face.”

    “Did she get a chance to finish the job?”

    “Not sure; by the time I got there, who knows what she got her – uh – hands on. But then why was she easy to take down last time?”

    “I don’t know; she must have something planned. We’ll know more once you have a chance to talk to her current employer.”

    “Sounds like I have a date tonight. By the way, think you can add Cooper to your team?”

    “I didn’t send you there to lie, you know. You’ll be in charge of putting that department together.”

    “Uh, what?” Terry asks taken aback by the offer.

    “If you expect to take over the company, you’ll need to do the work. Time to put your degree to work.”

    “I haven’t earned it yet.”

    “Close enough.”

    “Guess that means I’ll need to buy more suits. Can I write that off as an expense?”

    “No,” he grunts before hanging up and sending Terry’s eyes into a roll.

    -----*****-----

    Beads of sweat start forming on Bradley Lynx’s brow as something resembling crude oil begins to leak in through his closed office door. He watches the black puddle grow and approach him; although his insides are shaking with fear, he stays seated in his black leather chair. Slowly, the figure rises once it reaches the desk and takes the form of a feminine figure with a covered face.

    “Who would have thought getting out of liquid nitrogen was so easy,” she comments as she exposes her true face and takes a seat on the edge of the desk. “Did you get what I asked for?” Bradley points to a stack of discs at one corner of the table as he wipes his forehead with a handkerchief.

    “What do you need them for anyway?” He asks trying to keep his voice from shaking.

    “The discount I gave you doesn’t include questioning privileges.”

    “Uh, right. I appreciate the flexibility,” he mumbles running a pudgy hand over his balding head. “D-do you have the specs?”

    “No,” Inque replies going through the discs. “Batman paid me a visit. But that won’t be an issue next time.”

    “Why not?”

    Inque lifts cold eyes to stare into Brad’s petrified face before delivering the simple answer. “Because I plan on killing him.”
    -----*****-----​

    Inque has spent most of her night groaning with boredom after each disc turns up fruitless. Brad had managed to gather surveillance tapes with Batman in every shot including the last encounter at Roqueteer’s lab. It was Inque’s condition in order to give Brad a discount on her usual rates considering he’s going broke. But now she’s starting to doubt if that was a good idea.

    The tapes star the main Bat, but they are either grainy, choppy, or don’t reveal enough about the hero for Inque to use. She puts in the second to last disc and presses play before retaking her seat with a sigh. This security take is set in the mall, and after a few minutes of nothing, a perpetrator is suddenly thrown into the shot before Batman looms over him. Although the recording is choppy, she can clearly make out the two bodies.

    The criminal is definitely trying to put up a fight as he pulls out a knife from his jacket. Batman dodges the first attempt at a stab, but loses his footing as he tries to block the second swipe. The mistake causes the blade to slice into him and Inque to perk up as she watches blood pour out of the gash before he covers it with a hand. She rewinds the video and replays the incident while closely watching the knife tear into his suit cutting Batman across the waist. She pauses just as the blood starts trickling down and smiles when she realizes what the suit’s fatal weakness is.

    “Excellent,” she praises as her arm solidifies into a long blade.

    --continued--

     
    #7 SilentBat18, Jul 4, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  8. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 8

    Back at the cave, Terry picks up a warning signal coming from Roqueteer’s lab again. He turns to Bruce, who is looking up at the screen.

    “It could be a trap,” he starts, turning his attention to his protégé.

    “But I can’t ignore it.”

    It’s not like either man’s style to back away from a threat even if their lives would be put on the line, but Bruce doesn’t want to be responsible for Terry getting hurt. Looking at Terry’s confidant face though gives Bruce the feeling that he won’t be able to stop the young man even if he wanted to. After all, Terry is hardheaded and fearless.

    With some hesitation, Bruce gives in. “Be careful. I’ll monitor you from here.” With permission granted, Terry gets up and heads to an alcove to change.
    -----*****-----​

    The Batmobile arrives on the lab’s rooftop before a dark shadow silently jumps out of the car. Batman peers through the skylight looking for a blob of ink making herself too comfortable, but he finds it strange when everything appears intact.

    “Seems pretty quiet,” he whispers to Bruce over the com-link. “I’m going in.”

    “Keep a sharp eye,” Bruce replies. “This doesn’t feel right.”

    Batman opens the window and slips in. He drops to the floor landing crouched and straightens up when nothing stirs. Taking a step forward, his foot falls into a dark shadow without realizing that it’s Inque in disguise. Taking advantage of Batman’s faulty move, she grabs hold of his ankle and throws him against a wall.

    “What took you so long?” She asks as she reforms her body into the familiar figure that is Inque.

    Still grabbing onto his ankle, she throws him against the opposite wall before letting go of him. She morphs her arms into sharp daggers and aims to stab him. Before she could strike, Batman rolls out of the way and grabs a hold of Inque’s extended arm. He uses the suit’s electric feature to stun her. However, its effect isn’t as dramatic as he expected since she barely flinches. Still hanging on to her, Inque whips her arm trying to free it from Batman’s grip by throwing him against the wall he slammed into earlier.

    He needs to gain distance between them if he wants to win this battle; spotting the catwalk close to the ceiling, Batman flips his wings out and fires his rockets helping him take flight. But just before he reaches the walkway, Inque stops him in mid-air by once again wrapping a tentacle around his legs.

    “Oh no, you don’t,” she smiles.

    With some effort, she manages to pull him down and break off both of his wings. She then slams him onto one of the conveyor belts, morphs her free arm into a hammer and pounds him. The first blow leaves him disoriented, but not broken. Before the second swing hits him, he flips back and off the belt. Looking up, he notices a large contraption hanging over Inque. To distract her, he fires two electric batarangs that momentarily stun her giving him enough time to fire another batarang cutting the cables suspending the machine.

    Ducking behind another piece of equipment for cover, the machine shatters on top of Inque causing debris to fly in every direction. After the dust settles, Batman comes out of hiding ready for another attack. For an agonizing moment, silence is all that surrounds him. He slowly approaches the mess only to be surprised by an arm shooting out of the debris and grabbing hold of his neck.

    She climbs out of the rubble, obviously irritated. “You shouldn’t have done that.”

    Her grip tightens around his throat slowly choking him as she throws him over and over again into several other pieces of machinery before finally slamming him onto the ground. She then grabs a forklift from her left and drops it on the unsuspecting Batman. When a few moments pass without movement, Inque approaches the mess ready to deliver the final blow. Suddenly, Batman pushes the vehicle off him and puts a hand to his throbbing head.

    “McGinnis? Are you alright?” Bruce asks, his tone showing some concern.

    “If you consider seeing double and a splitting headache alright, then yeah, I’m peachy,” Batman replies as blood trickles down his chin dripping onto the floor.

    “Then I suggest you get out of there.”

    He tries to stand but excruciating pain shoots from both sides of his chest making it difficult to move. In an attempt to escape Inque, he fires a grapple hook at the skylight and begins to ascend. Before he could reach the safety of the roof, Inque extends her body to meet his battered frame, wraps her hand around his wrist and squeezes until she hears a sickening crack.

    Batman cries out in pain but is too weak to get himself free. In a blink of an eye, she turns her free hand into a large blade, and cuts the wire hooked on the skylight before finally stabbing Batman deep in his side until the blade sticks out the other side. Another pained cry escapes his lungs before darkness engulfs his mind. He hangs limp and unconscious in Inque’s vice grip before she finally lets him fall fifteen feet and land hard on the ground.

    “Terry!” Bruce’s frightened cry calls into the com-link but goes unanswered.

    “Night, Batman; hope you burn in hell.” With a satisfied grin on her face, she disappears out the window.

    Lying unconscious in a growing pool of his own blood, Batman’s breathing begins to falter sending warning signals to the computer. It’s no secret that Terry is in deep trouble. Bruce can’t wait for him to regain consciousness, because he knows in this state, it’s impossible.

    Although terrified, he is still able to maneuver the Batmobile to enter the building and pick up Batman to drive him back to the cave. As he anxiously waits, Bruce monitors the feedback on Terry’s heart and breathing rates he receives from the suit. His breathing is getting worse, but his heart rate is still more or less regular.

    It takes the car twelve agonizing minutes to finally reach the cave where it lands in its designated spot. Bruce quickly hobbles over as the canopy slides open, but no one jumps out. Dropping his cane once he reaches the car, he peers in to find Terry still unconscious and blood covering the car’s floor.

    His face pale with fear, he removes the mask. “Terry! Wake up! Can you hear me?” Nothing; not even a twitch. Terry’s bruised and bleeding face remains still. Bruce needs to get him to a hospital, but he can’t do it alone.

    ‘It’s my fault,’ he quietly blames himself as he fumbles with the phone to call Barbara. ‘It always is.’

    --continued--

     
    #8 SilentBat18, Jul 6, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  9. SilverKnight

    SilverKnight Sigh.

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    At some point, you switch between past ('she made') and present ('she makes') tense. It gets distracting and makes reading confusing. Also, generally it's prudent to write out numbers in verbal form instead of numerical (i.e. four instead of 4) in prose, though I was told usually three digit or more numbers are acceptably written as numerical. There are also a couple of minor spelling mistakes ('Barbra' instead of Barbara, 'quit' instead of quite), but a beta reader could easily catch all of those.

    Despite having dedicated most of this post to critiquing, it's actually a very good start. I like it. Please continue. :)
     
  10. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    yeah i always tend to confuse tenses unconciously... sorry bout that i'll try not to make the same mistake in future postings. thanx a bunches for the feedback though i'm glad to know you like it :D by the way i read "Graduation", i swear i couldnt stop laughing, very well done indeed.
     
    #10 SilentBat18, Jul 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2006
  11. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 9

    Gotham General, room 210 is where they took him after five hours in surgery. During that unbearable time, Bruce never stepped foot outside the hospital. He didn’t dare think about it, especially when he was washing Terry’s blood off his hands. It’s never happened before; the sight of so much blood, Terry’s blood, covering his hands kindled a flame of anger dowsed by guilt. That ate every ounce of energy Bruce had leaving him numb and depressed.

    Once the wait was over, they rolled the still unconscious man into a private room hooking him to machinery that monitor his finally stable condition. Bruce quietly sits beside his protégé hoping his watchful eyes will bring him back to life. But what makes it difficult to believe that Terry will pull through is the sight before him.

    The boy lay there pale and bruised. A large bloodstained bandage covers a cut above his right eyebrow. His left wrist is set in a thick cast and lies above the blue comforter. Bruises cover larger areas of his body, partially hidden by the thin hospital garment he’s wearing. Thankfully, it also hides the painful sight of a thick layer of blood soaked bandages wrapping around his chest and reaching down to his hips. Bruce has never seen Terry with so many bruises before. Inque really did it this time.

    ‘It’s my fault he got hurt,’ he quietly criticizes himself, a thought that has been repeating in his head since they arrived at the hospital.

    He always sulked like this whenever any of his previous partners were injured, and they all knew he did. No matter how hard they tried to hide their wounds, he would eventually find out and blame himself. The reason he became Batman is a personal one, and why he agreed to let anyone else share his burden is still a mystery. They didn’t deserve to live such painful experiences, injuries, or struggle with double lives. There was no reason for them to join no matter how hard they tried to prove otherwise. Yet one by one, they managed to persuade him into letting them face danger every night.

    Even when he promised himself not to put another person in such danger after Tim’s tragic experience with the Joker, he still had the nerve to go to Terry’s home and ask him to don the cowl. The sickening thought causes him to clench a fist into a tight ball before forcing himself to control his emotions and tiredly ease back into his chair. Now another one is putting her life in danger to try and prove something that he’s sure isn’t there. Whatever her reason for carrying that name, it isn’t worth the sight before him. She will eventually end up like this, unless he stops her.

    He knows what he has to do, but his train of thought is interrupted when Barbara quietly slips into the room. She approaches the foot of the bed staring half-heartedly at Terry, not quite sure what to say to Bruce. To relieve the awkwardness of having to stand in silence, she grabs his medical chart and reads the list of injuries the young man managed to receive during his short encounter with Inque.


    ‘Compound wrist fracture requiring four pins to correct. Stab wound on the left side of abdomen resulting in minor damage to the liver and small intestine; thirty stitches across abdomen, fifteen across left side of his back. Shallow laceration above right eyebrow; four stitches required. Seven fractured ribs. Left shoulder sprained. Contusions neck, back, and face. Ouch.’

    “It was Inque,” Bruce’s tired voice breaks the silence. Barbara looks up from the chart to give him a quizzical look, but he doesn’t return the gaze. “She did this to him.”

    “But this isn’t her style,” she replies.

    “It would be if she was determined to kill him. That was her plan, to find his weakness and attack it. She’s unstoppable now that she can target it every time,” he explains, his voice grim and just above a whisper.

    “Is she under the impression that Batman is dead?”

    “It seems so; she left after stabbing him.”

    “Then let her think so, and let everyone think that Batman has once again disappeared, for good. It’s best for all of us, especially him,” she harshly suggests. Although sympathetic to Bruce’s brooding nature, she knows he has to face the truth sooner or later.

    Bruce’s eyes remain fixed on Terry’s pale face. “I know.”

    She could see the worry in his eyes. It may not be the first time Terry has lost a battle to Inque, but it is the first time that it has landed him in the hospital with such serious injuries. It’s why she doesn’t want him going out again as Batman. It isn’t about the law or interference with police work; it’s about the young man’s wellbeing. Although her eyes seem to be as cold as ice at the moment, her heart really goes out to him; it hurts to see him laying there unconscious and in a hospital no less.

    The look on Bruce’s face is the same one she saw years ago when Tim recovered. It’s a look of concern, debating whether or not it be a good idea to let him continue his life as a masked vigilante. Putting his life in constant risk because of an identity Bruce created decades ago. She knew what he’s thinking, but no words that she would utter will matter at this point.

    ‘If the kid swiped the suit the first time, he sure as hell will do it again. He’s just as stubborn as Bruce,’ Barbara thinks to herself as her gaze switches from Terry to Bruce and back.

    With a tired sigh, she heads to the door but stops to face Bruce one last time. “It’s not your fault Bruce; it never was,” she tries consoling him with a tone much softer and sympathetic than before. “In the end, it was our choice that led us to what we became. We weren’t hurt because of you. It’s the opposite; you’re the reason we’re still here.”

    All Bruce can do is stare at her wondering how she managed to read his most private thoughts. After a short moment of silence, she turns, opens the door and leaves. Bruce returns his vigilant gaze back to the boy’s discolored face hoping Terry doesn’t share the same thought as Barbara.

    Just as Bruce was getting used to the silence, Mary McGinnis comes bursting into the room. A shaky hand covers her mouth when she finds her oldest son lying on the bed. Managing to stay on her feet, she walks to his side in disbelief.

    “Oh my God!” She gasps as she gets closer. “Is he ok?”

    Bruce hates dealing with mothers; it never is easy. “It’s not as bad as it looks,” he replies in an attempt to reassure her. She gives him a disapproving look, suggesting that she doesn’t buy it. “He’s fine now. He lost a lot of blood so it might be a while until he wakes up.”

    “Is this your fault?” She unexpectedly turns on him, eyes burning with anger. “Did you send him out on another one of your stupid errands that constantly gets him hurt?”

    The accusation feels like a bottle of acid pouring over a bleeding wound. Bruce stares at her, not sure which lie to use.

    “Look, I’m grateful for what you did for Terry five years ago, but if you don’t fire him the second he wakes up, I’ll sue the hell out of you, Mr. Wayne.”

    Bruce knows the threat is just a knee jerk reaction, an understandable course of action when a part of your family’s life is in danger.

    “This didn’t happen on my watch, Mrs. McGinnis,” Bruce lies, suppressing the sickened cringe it caused. “He was walking back from class when a gang of Jokers outnumbered him.”

    “Is that true?” She asks suddenly looking apologetic.

    “I would never risk your son’s life needlessly.”

    Believing him, she begins calming down before asking, “where’s Matt?”

    “Max is looking after him; they’re still in Terry’s apartment.” After a short, uncomfortable silence, Bruce speaks again. “You should get some rest. I’m sure you’ve had a trying day. I will call again when he wakes up.”

    “I’d rather stay,” she states, reminding Bruce that she’s still Terry’s mother.

    “Staying won’t do much,” he tries convincing her. “Besides, Matt could be worried.”

    After giving it some thought, she decides logic wins over emotion. “I suppose you’re right, but please call me if anything changed. Good night Mr. Wayne.”

    She strokes Terry’s hair lovingly and plants a kiss on his forehead before straightening up and heading out to tend to her other worried son.
    -----*****-----​

    Twenty-seven hours have passed, but Terry hasn’t woken up yet. Bruce leaves for a few moments returning with a cup of coffee only to find Max standing over Terry with a look of hope on her face. He may not like her because of her irrational, impulsive behavior and annoying mouth, but he understands how important she is to the young man. She is his Alfred, a loyal friend who always brings hope when it seems lost. She comes through for him and that’s all that matters.

    ‘Any minute now he’ll wake up; any minute,’ she tries comforting herself as she squeezes his hand. Bruce, now standing at the foot of the bed, stares at her for a few minutes before speaking.

    “He’ll wake up eventually.”

    “I know; he’s a fighter, no doubt about that.”

    “He’s going to have to take it easy, though.”

    “For how long?” She looks up at him with questioning eyes. When his gaze shifts downwards to avoid her eyes, she asks, “you’re not thinking of forcing him to step down, are you?” The silence answers her question. “He’s not going to let you take away what he’s earned.”

    “He knows it’s best for him.”

    “He knows, but won’t care.” She gives him the best glare she could muster knowing that’s exactly what Terry would do in her place. “He may lose the suit, but he won’t give up the title; you of all people should know that,” she firmly states.

    “That’s not your concern,” Bruce defensively snaps, ending in another tense moment of silence. Max gives in with a sigh and turns to look at Terry.

    “Do what you want, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Anyway, I have to go. I’ll be back tomorrow.” She lets go of his hand, grabs her bag and walks out the door.

    Although he hates to admit it, he knows Max is right. He can’t stop Terry from putting his life in danger no matter how hard he tries. ‘Why are they always so stubborn?’ He sighs to himself as he tiredly rubs the bridge of his nose.
    -----*****-----​

    A tough night leads Jazz to a late wake up. Although a few hours late for breakfast, she manages to reach the kitchen and prepare herself a bowl of cereal with cold milk. She turns on the mini TV in her kitchen, switches the channels to the news, and begins eating while leaning against the counter.

    “Now for some local news,” the announcer’s voice fills the tiny room. “A large pool of blood was found this morning in Roqueteer’s Research and Development building…”

    “Murder?” Jazz thinks aloud as she eats another spoonful of cereal.

    “…Speculation leads investigators to believe the blood belongs to none other than the legendary Batman…”

    Jazz’s eyes widen at the name mentioned.

    “According to a security guard on patrol last night, he spotted the infamous Inque battle with the vigilante before ending the feud with a possibly fatal stab. His whereabouts and current state are unknown. However, investigators refuse to sample the blood and reveal his identity.” The digitalized announcer’s face disappears as they cut to a clip of Barbara at a press conference.

    “We don’t know what happened to Batman, but we will keep his identity a secret,” she comments. “We owe him that much for constantly risking his life for this city every night.” The announcer reappears on the screen.

    “For one, I’ll give Batman the peace he deserves. In other news--” he is suddenly cutoff when Jazz turns off the TV.

    Her first instinct is to call Max before she remembers Max doesn’t stay in constant contact with him, making her as helpful as an English dictionary in China. She wishes she could have helped him even though she’s ever faced anyone from the known rogue gallery. She grows restless from feeling so out of control; if only she could help in some way, find Inque and put her behind icy bars. She tries to shake the impulse away knowing that she’ll only get herself killed if she acts on it. A distraction is what she needs, and Terry suddenly comes to mind. She tries calling him, but when voicemail picks up, discouragement brings the jitters back.

    Sick of feeling so useless, she decides to figure out a way to help Batman regardless of what happened to him. She may not personally owe him anything, but she does have an obligation to the mantle and the city. The best way to honor the vigilante is by showing the city how fearless they are, that they can’t be scared away by some overly ambitious blob. The vow refreshes her determination and brings back some much-needed hope.

    --continued--

     
    #11 SilentBat18, Jul 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  12. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 10

    Bruce checks his wristwatch for the fifth time now. 12:04 AM. It’s been thirty-one hours since the incident, but Terry hasn’t come around yet. He sighs and rubs the bridge of his nose with a thumb and middle finger, an action he’s been doing too much. He’s not looking forward to firing Terry, again, mainly because he doesn’t have the energy to argue with him. No matter how injured the boy gets, he always has enough energy to disagree about something.

    Suddenly, a slight movement catches the corner of his eye. He lifts his head to find Terry beginning to wake up. After a few seconds of twitching, Terry’s eyes slowly slide open. He turns his head to the right and sees Bruce staring back at him with bloodshot eyes.

    “How long have I been out?” He croaks

    “Thirty-one hours. How are you feeling?”

    “I could use a little more of that morphine,” Terry replies as he nods to the IV drip to his left. “So what happened?”

    “Inque turned you into a pin cushion.”

    “Does she think I’m dead?”

    Bruce nods as he takes in a steady breath. “Terry, you’re going to have to step down.”

    “Obviously; I can’t exactly fight in this condition,” Terry replies groaning as he tries to sit up.

    Although the pain from his sides don’t allow him to move much, he still manages to get into a somewhat comfortable position as Bruce places another pillow behind his head.

    “I meant permanently.”

    “Jeez, Bruce; not this again!” Terry snaps growing frustrated.

    “I won’t allow something like this to happen again. You almost bled to death. You go after Inque, and she won’t hesitate to shred you.”

    Terry stares him down before sternly stating, “I’m not stepping down. Just because things get a little tougher than usual doesn’t mean I can’t handle it. We’ve been through this once before, Bruce; you have to start trusting me.”

    However, Bruce casts his gaze downwards avoiding Terry hard eyes. It’s a sign of lost hope, something of a rarity in Bruce’s case. “There’s no way of stopping her now. She’s getting stronger after each attack.”

    Seeing the unusual sign of distress on his mentor’s face, Terry eases the tone of his voice and tries to reassure him. “There’s always another way.”

    Surprised, Bruce looks into Terry’s bloodshot eyes, never expecting to be reminded of a lesson he taught Terry years ago. The determination etched into the young man’s face reminds Bruce of why he chose him to carry the legacy.

    “There’s always another way,” Bruce quietly repeats. After a short moment of reprimanding himself, his confident voice fills the room. “Stay off your feet for the next few weeks; I want you to recover quickly, understood?”

    “Yes, sir,” Terry replies with a smile. “But there is one matter of business I would like to discuss with you.”

    “What is it?”

    “Batgirl,” he whispers. Bruce instantly frowns and opens his mouth to argue, but before a word comes out, Terry beats him to the punch. “Before you say anything, hear me out.” He stares at the young man before easing back into his seat waiting for him to explain. “I hate to admit this, but we need her help if we want to stop Inque.” But the look on Bruce’s face suggests that he isn’t convinced. Frowning, he tries again. “Look, the only way to bring Inque down is with an unexpected surprise. I’ll need Batgirl for backup.”

    “She’s nowhere near your level of training. What makes you think she can handle Inque?”

    “I have a feeling she’s up to the challenge. We’ll train her till I get my strength back; that should be enough time.”

    “She could get you killed if she messes up.”

    “Just trust me, Bruce. This girl, she’s tough, fearless, and I trust her.”

    “You figured all that from a single encounter?”

    “No, from a few.”

    Bruce frowns before understanding. “You know who she is.” Terry nods in reply. Considering his suggestion, Bruce gets up and walks to the door. Just as he reaches for the doorknob, he turns to face Terry, “I’ll see what she can do first, then we’ll talk.” He leaves the room allowing Terry to breathe a sigh of relief.

    ‘You almost had me there, old man,’
    he thinks to himself as another smile spreads on his tired face.

    --continued--

     
    #12 SilentBat18, Jul 12, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  13. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 11

    Two weeks. That’s how long Batman has been missing. It’s also the same amount of time Batgirl has been out trying to keep the peace as Batman recovers. It seems this single man can make a big difference in this city. All sorts of criminals have come out of their hiding places after hearing the news about Batman, and since his disappearance, they have all come to the conclusion that he is dead. However, not many of them know about the presence of Batgirl… yet.

    Every kind of scum that makes its way to the street is brought down by her interference. A few muggers here, some rapists there, and Jokers and Ts everywhere makes up tonight’s work. She returns home bruised and exhausted, but feeling accomplished. Making her entrance through her window, she flops down on the couch removing her mask and throwing it on an armrest.

    A fatigued and painful grunt escapes her lungs. “How does he do it? I’m worn out.”

    With an effort, she manages to get to her feet and shuffles to her bathroom. Touching the faucet’s buttons, she sets her desired water temperature looking forward to the warm water that will soothe her aching muscles. She takes off the rest of her suit and catches a reflection of herself in the mirror. Thankfully no major damage was done tonight. Only one fresh bruise in an interesting shade of purple covers her upper right arm.

    She then shifts her gaze downwards to get a look at the old bruise covering her left side all the way down to her outer thigh. ‘Those seem to be getting better,’ she judges from the fading yellow discoloration.

    She twirls to reveal her back, which seems to have received the most damaged. The explosion that took place a few nights ago caused her to slam into a nearby car resulting in the black and blue bruise paired with minor cuts that have scabbed up nicely. The injury stretches from the middle all the way down to the curve of her back. Although it’s still healing, the patch of discoloration is still very much noticeable. However, thanks to Gotham’s chilly fall weather, her injuries can easily be covered with a jacket.

    She vividly remembers the night she received the bruise since the pain from moving only recently improved. But despite that fact, she continued on with her nightly routines as though the unrelenting pain never existed, proving her determination to returning the sense of security to her city.

    With a sigh, she turns away from the mirror, strips of any remaining clothing, and steps into the shower closing the fogged glass door to keep the comforting steam from escaping. At first, the water seems to burn her bruises as it flows down her tense body, giving her an idea of how cows feel when branded with hot iron.

    Although she winces in pain, she continues to stand under the showerhead waiting for the therapeutic sensation to take its course. She closes her eyes and lets the water run over her head until the sound of it flowing over her ears drowns out all the city noises. Finally, comfort takes over.

    Her tense frame relaxes; the pain from her aching and overworked muscles no longer bother her; the stinging from her cuts and bruises turn numb; and her mind is finally set free from worry. Not wanting to disturb the silence in her head, she stays in that position for what seems like an eternity, but is in fact five minutes. Growing sensitive to the pressured water hitting her head, she lifts her head and awakens from her momentary trance before reaching for the bottle of fragrant shampoo.

    By the time she enjoys the stress-relieving aroma emitted by her body wash, Batman manages to reach her apartment and quietly slip in from the living room window. As he rises from the crouched position, he quickly grabs his side and groans in pain. He’s thankful that Bruce won’t allow him to work tonight, mainly because he could barely move without pain shooting from different parts of his body. Although he isn’t wearing the removable cast for his wrist, he holds his arm close to his chest as though it’s still in a sling.

    The trip to the apartment obviously wore him out, so instead of waiting patiently in the shadows like he normally does, he flops down on her couch and lets out a tired sigh. He stretches his arms out on the couch’s back and tilts his head back to stare at the ceiling. Ignoring the throbbing coming from the back of his head, he begins wondering what to tell Jazz after she’s done with her shower.

    ‘Let’s just hope she doesn’t drop her towel when she sees me,’ he thinks to himself as a sly grin crosses his lips when he imagines the awkward scene.

    The sound of shuffling coming from her room makes him turn his head towards the door just in time to see it swing open. Standing in the doorway, Jazz hasn’t noticed the intruder seated so comfortably on her couch yet mainly because her head is bent over as she dries her long hair with a towel. Terry, however, is somewhat disappointed to see her dressed in a pale yellow t-shirt and purple-lined pajama pants. Once she flips her hair back, she lets out a startled curse when she notices the shadow sitting in her living room bearing the bright red mark on his chest.

    “You’re alive,” she starts, approaching him.

    “For the most part,” he replies watching her take a seat beside him.

    “How are you feeling?”

    He lifts his head to get a better look at her before answering, “ribs are still broken, so moving is tons of fun let alone breathing. But I’m here is to talk to you.”

    “Me? About?”

    He brings his left arm down tiredly resting it on his stomach. “Inque was never easy to deal with, but I think with a little help she could be stopped.”

    “Oh, hey look, pulling you out of a burning room is way more different than stopping a rogue who almost killed you,” she protests with surprise.

    “Here’s the thing,” Batman sighs, “I’m in a lot of pain, so as much as I would love to share an entertaining back and forth, just admit to you’re extracurricular activities so we can get on with this.”

    Jazz blinks with bafflement. “Uh, sorry?”

    “I know you’re Batgirl,” he states without blinking. “Before you go on a whole spiel of denial,” he quickly interrupts when she opens her mouth to argue, “I suggest you find a better hiding spot for your mask,” he says, holding up the mask she tossed on her couch earlier.

    She rolls her eyes at her own carelessness as she slumps deeper into the couch. “I’m guessing you knew before you found that.” He nods once. “How?”

    “We tend to keep tabs on anyone suspicious in Gotham,” he explains setting the mask aside.

    “Who’s ‘we’?”

    “That info is reserved for members of our team.”

    “So, am I the only invitee?” He nods again.

    She remains silent as she ruminates over the opportunity. Working with the Batman is an honor she didn’t expect to be given considering their last encounter.

    “Last time we chatted, it didn’t exactly go well. So what’s changed?”

    Batman rubs his chin with his good hand as he tries to put together a decent explanation. “You’ve held your own the last two weeks; that changed my mind about you.”

    “That’s it?”

    “I’m not a complicated guy,” he replies with a grin, but she frowns at the statement when she’s suddenly reminded of her conversation with Terry.

    “What did you say?”

    “No offense, but I’m on a tight schedule here,” he replies ignoring her question. “You in or out, Douglas?”

    “You kidding? Of course I’m in.”

    “Well then,” he replies removing his mask to reveal the familiar face behind it.

    “Holy s***,” she gasps.

    Smiling, Terry repeats the same words his mentor had told him that fateful night years ago. “Welcome to my world.”

    “I should have known. No wonder you never called.”

    “We can catch up later. Grab your suit and come with me.”

    “Why? Where are we going?”

    Pulling his mask back on, he slowly stands before calmly responding, “the cave, where else?”

    --continued--

     
    #13 SilentBat18, Jul 14, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  14. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    I really am liking this story.

    I thought that Bruce and Terry let the newbe into the 'family' alittle easy.

    She prob. should have had the 'interview' process upstairs and not brought right intot he cave at the first moment.

    But it is your story.

    And it is a very good one.

    Post more soon. :D

    TheKing
     
  15. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 12

    Another hero dubs the name Batgirl. Her story so far seems similar to that of Barbara’s; at least that’s what Bruce thinks. It probably goes something like this: she wasn’t too happy with the city’s security; and so thinking she could take matters into her own hands, she made herself a suit, used her skills in hand-to-hand combat paired with gymnastics and chose to be known as Batgirl on the streets of Gotham, looking out for the helpless victims that Batman nowadays has no time to fully acknowledge. It would be insulting to Bruce if it wasn’t true.

    Although Terry has grown to become an exceptionally incredible fighter whose skills only grew stronger over the past five years, he still can’t be everywhere at once. Gotham’s notorious villains in this day of age are far more persistent than they used to be, especially with technology on their side. Even though Bruce has state of the art equipment on hand, it is always up to Terry to physically stop them, meaning he has to endure their advanced weaponry and security systems before he could actually get to the villain. It’s time consuming and drains a lot of energy from both men.

    But it’s not like Bruce never had help in the past. Batgirl, Robin, Alfred, Jim Gordon Nightwing, and even the Justice League proved to be valuable in their own ways. Batman was never perfect no matter how much others thought he was; there were just some things even he couldn’t handle on his own. So tonight, he awaits the hopeful arrival of a new student to lend a hand not only in the detective work or physical combats, but as protection. After all, four eyes are always better than two.

    As Bruce waits by the landing pad with Ace loyally by his side, he mentally goes over the plan he has prepared for Jazz. Still being fresh meat, he will restrict her field time, especially in the case of meeting difficult foes, Inque in particular; at least until she’s ready. He doesn’t expect her to follow all his rules right away, but he will make sure she doesn’t get herself into too much trouble. She will be intensely trained over the next few weeks just so she is at least halfway to Terry’s level.

    A smile taunts his lips at the thought; it reminds him of his days with Tim when he first started out. Even though he knew he loved the job at heart, Tim was hellish when it came to the complaints of late nights and early mornings. Barbara somehow gave Bruce a break, mainly because she didn’t live with him during her first year on the job, so he never knew what her mornings were like. By the time they had married, she was already used to the cape and cowl and rarely complained.

    And then there was Dick. Just the memory of him pains Bruce’s heart. He will never forget the night he left. Their relationship was never the same after that. They were bitter towards each other and Bruce hated it; still does, too. He tried to mend the bond between them on several occasions, but they were too stubborn to admit certain mistakes.

    ‘How did it go? Like father like son?’

    But now he would give anything to bring him back and repair the damage done over the years. Yet at this point, it seems impossible. He won’t admit it to anyone, but he misses Dick, his former partner, friend, and son.

    Soon, one by one, they all eventually left him. He grew even more secluded, bitterly turning down any hopes of bringing back his family. That fateful day twenty-five years ago was a sign that ended it all: the end of Batman because of a gun. It was a gun that was responsible for both his birth and death as the masked Knight. A gun took his parent’s life making him vow revenge and giving rise to his alter ego, and it was a gun he was forced to turn to when his life was in danger. That night he became the helpless 8 year-old boy again. After Batman’s last night, Bruce slipped into a never-ending state of depression. He lost power to his company, lost his friends and family, and in the end, lost himself.

    Then Terry came along. Single handedly, he pulled Bruce out of his depression and showed him what was important again. He owes the boy his life, and he will never let Terry or anyone know this, but he was very grateful when Terry agreed to put on the mask. With time, their relationship grew and he couldn’t help but notice how similar he is to Tim and Dick. He is just as stubborn and determined as Dick, but as lighthearted and smart mouthed as Tim. Their relationship is unlike any he has ever had with his sons, and just like his sons, he is exceptional. He rarely shows how much he appreciates the young man, but when he does, it means the world to Terry.

    The recognizable sound of an approaching Batmobile fills the silent cave and interrupts Bruce’s wandering thoughts. It gracefully lands on the pad and the engine’s familiar hum dies. The canopy slides open and Batman slowly slips out taking special care not to make any sudden movements that can shoot pain through his chest.

    “Well?” Bruce questions with a raised brow, somewhat anxious to know if the new recruit complied. Batman turns away and begins walking towards an alcove without answering.

    Just then, an unfamiliar head pops up from the car wearing an expression of irritation. “Next time, you mind slowing down on the corners?” She complains making Batman stop and face her.

    Finally noticing Bruce staring at with a questioning brow, she jumps out of the car and approaches him with an extended hand ready to shake that of Gotham’s most elite aristocrat.

    “Mr. Wayne, I’m--”

    “Jasmine Douglas,” Bruce interrupts. “I take it you want to join, but I have to warn you, I’m tough and training is even tougher. Follow my rules and we won’t have any problems; understood?”

    “I didn’t realize I signed up for military camp,” she quips. Terry, meanwhile, has already vanished into an alcove; he isn’t going to stick around to listen to the rules, again.

    “First rule: no smart remarks,” Bruce scolds; just like the old days.

    “Sorry.”

    “Did you bring the suit?”

    “It’s right here.” She opens the bag that hangs on her shoulder and takes out the grey costume handing it over to Bruce. He closely examines it before looking up at her.

    “And you’ve been going out in this?”

    “It isn’t that bad for my first time you know,” she replies offended by the comment.

    “I meant it as a compliment.” Terry hears Bruce say, returning to his side as he fastens his arm brace. He takes the suit from his hands and examines it himself. “You’re tougher that you look, but you’ll still need training.”

    The thought of Bruce training her brings a smile to Terry’s face; he knows from experience it isn’t going to be easy. “Hope you’re ready for some serious ass whooping.”

    And there it is; Bruce’s familiar glare aimed at Terry. No matter how unique each boy he trained was, they all have one thing in common: they hate that glare.

    --continued--

     
    #15 SilentBat18, Jul 17, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  16. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    Oh was a horrible place to stop the post. ;)

    You are still tripping me up with your switching between past and present tense. Other than that I am enjoying your story bunches.

    TheKing
     
  17. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 13

    It’s amazing what can occur in the course of three brutal weeks. Terry’s wounds have healed up nicely, while new ones seem to form on Jazz. Despite the rigorous training, her senses have become more tuned to her surroundings; her aim has also improved, not to mention her reflexes and agility. She’s been coming in and out of training daily, and at night she goes out to patrol the rundown streets of Gotham.

    However, since the first day she started training, Jazz could tell there’s a remarkable difference between Bruce and her new partner; the most obvious being Bruce has not shown any signs of trusting her. Prior to her arrival, Bruce had taken the liberty of going over her records more than once.

    He didn’t trust her profile then, and he doesn’t now even though it’s the cleanest he’s ever seen. It’s too good to be true; every one of his previous partners had some sort of flaw, so what’s Jazz’s?

    Because of this, he keeps an unwavering eye on her including limited access to the manor. There were only three destinations she is allowed to go to: home, class, and the cave. She reluctantly quit her jobs after Bruce assured to pay her a suitable income so she could spend more time training and unknowingly be monitored more closely by Bruce. He even went as far as inconspicuously plant a tracer on her bag so he knows where she is at all times.

    Unfortunately Terry has grown uncomfortable because of Bruce’s suspicions. His reaction is like that of a meerkat in its group; if Bruce raises an alarm, Terry listens to it. So he too has been keeping an eye on Jazz when he can, while trying to put together the puzzle he met almost two months ago.

    However, what the two men haven’t realized is that Jazz has already picked up on what is going on around her, which is why she has been on her best behavior, coming and going with no complaints. Even when she was robbed of her freedom and put through rigorous and unforgiving training week after week, she still didn’t complain. She figured that way they won’t ask too many questions. They’ll think she really is as perfect as her record shows; maybe it would even lead them into a different direction, away from the truth; and it was working until the last night of the third week.

    Tonight is especially different since Terry finally got permission to train with her, but that isn’t why she’s having trouble. She knows that she is more than capable of seriously injuring him, and the realization makes her to tense up every time she has an opportunity to strike him. She doesn’t want to hurt him for fear of getting into trouble with the boss and her victim.

    “Jazz, fight back,” Terry orders as he intentionally leaves his right side open for her to strike.

    He has seen her fight and knows what she is capable of, but when she declines the opportunity to deliver the blow, Terry grows more irritated. “Stop worrying, don’t hold back, and fight!”

    A knee makes its way past her arms and right into her gut. She lands hard on her knees as she grabs her stomach. With a sigh, Terry offers a hand to help her up. However, she bitterly slaps it away and gets up on her own. For the first time since her arrival, she doesn’t make any kind of attempt to hide her naturally flaring temper; telling from her furious expression, she has just had enough.

    “You want to try that again?” Terry asks with a raised brow, clearly not intimidated by her fuming appearance.

    “Why? So you can have the pleasure of kicking my ass again?! I don’t think so!” She yells before storming out of the training area. Before she could reach the base of the staircase, Bruce steps in front of her, blocking her path.

    “Where do you think you’re going?” He calmly asks.

    “Out! Is that a problem or do I actually have to kill Terry to prove I can fight?” She snaps.

    Terry doesn’t move as he quietly stares with wide eyes taking in what has just happened. He’s never seen anyone besides himself yell at the old man that way; and frankly, he’s curious to see how Bruce will handle the confrontation. He has never seen Jazz glare at anyone like that; it almost seems natural for her to look that terrifying. Bruce on the other hand doesn’t return the scowl; in fact, he barely even frowns at the young woman. Instead, his only reaction is a smirk, a creepy smirk.

    “I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner; I was beginning to think I was wrong.”

    “What are you talking about?”

    “You. I knew you were faking the minute you came here. So what are you hiding?” Jazz makes no attempt to answer his question, but she doesn’t ease her glare. “Have you killed anyone?” He asks imagining the worst-case scenario.

    “No,” she replies. Her eyes show no sign of deception.

    “Uh, Bruce,” Terry finally manages to cut in, “you mind if I talk to her?” He asks placing a hand on her shoulder; she tenses under his light touch.

    Bruce eyes him for a moment wondering if Terry might have a better chance at coaxing her to talk since it seems she trusts him more. Nodding once, he gives Jazz a last look before turning on his heel and walking towards the staircase.

    Once he is within his private quarters away from earshot, Jazz spins around to face Terry with rage still very much expressed on her face. “What do you want? Still trying to figure me out, McGinnis? Cause if it hasn’t occurred to you yet, here it is: there’s nothing there. Plain and simple,” she replies, eyes hard on Terry.

    “Here’s the thing,” Terry starts, his voice calm and well in control. “Keeping secrets isn’t how it works around here, so its highly recommended you spill or you’ll be the one I’ll come after if you put that mask on.

    “Are you threatening me?” She asks suddenly feeling like she’s walking across a tight rope.

    “I take our business very seriously, and if you want to stay a part of it, you’ll need to give up something of your own.”

    She looks away as she contemplates the ultimatum. There’s a reason people keep secrets and protect them with their lives. Asking Jazz to give up something she’s been guarding most of her life is like asking for a limb. But what Terry and Bruce have done for her, she owes them more than a single leg.

    She looks up at Terry. “Would it be enough to just talk to Bruce?”

    Terry narrows his eyes at the bargain. “Why?”

    “Cause I think he’s the one who has a bigger issue with me.”

    He thinks the request over and finds that although he’s curious, he has no reason not to trust her; after all, he was the first to do that. Ultimately if Bruce doesn’t find her a danger, then he has no reason to either.

    He nods once. “Before you do that, care to tell me why I shouldn’t know?”

    “Not the right time,” she replies without further information.

    Holding her pink eyes in a gaze, he looks for some sign that would suggest dishonesty, but what he finds is unexpected: pain; what’s more, it’s a familiar kind of pain. Before he has a chance to explore his discovery, she looks away and clears her throat.

    “So, where is he?” She asks, eyes focusing n the staircase behind him.

    Turning, he quietly leads her up the stairs and into the study where they find Bruce calmly waiting for their arrival. Terry then leaves the two alone closing the door behind him as he wonders what Jazz could be hiding.
    -----*****-----​

    “Wake up,” Bruce grunts, shoving Terry hard enough to make his eyes open.

    He lifts his head to find Bruce staring down at him with indifference. Terry had made himself too comfortable in the family room eventually falling asleep as he waited for Jazz to finish.

    “Well?” He asks rubbing his eyes as he sits up straighter.

    “She’s staying,” Bruce replies before moving away, giving Terry a chance to see Jazz staring at him with a strange face before leaving the room.

    “What’d she talk about?” Terry asks looking back up to Bruce.

    “It doesn’t concern you,” he replies telling Terry more than the answer offers.

    She must have asked Bruce to keep the information private, meaning it’s personal. The fact that Bruce decided to keep her on after the fact suggests Terry has nothing to worry about. Satisfied with that, he lets out a yawn as he gets up.

    “So what’s next?”

    “Training,” Bruce says leading the way to the cave.

    “Right,” Terry sighs rolling his eyes and following his mentor.

    --continued--
     
    #17 SilentBat18, Jul 18, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011
  18. Theking

    Theking Very cute Lego Babe.

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    I liked this post. A little short but you got in a good scene here.

    I am courious how her first 'real' villian encounter will go. Will she help, will she be in the way, will she just take over?

    Awaiting your next post.

    TheKing

    P.s. I would love to see an artist draw her up in her Bat suit.
     
  19. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Well i'm very close to the end now but there is more to come. I managed to draw her both as a person and in both Bat suits except i'm not that much of an artist when it came to drawing her face :sweat: but i did manage to do a good job with the suits. I'll probably be posting them soon once i fix them up a little and find a scanner :p
     
  20. SilentBat18

    SilentBat18 Hmm, so, yeah

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    Chapter 14

    The night when she can prove her four weeks of training are worth every ounce of energy Bruce and Terry put into her is finally here. Bruce believes she is ready to face her first real opponents: the Royal Flush Gang.

    She finds herself standing in the middle of a dimly lit warehouse with the five members surrounding her. Dressed in her custom grey and black suit, with black lips pulled back into a grin, she stares down her opponents, intently studying each one, mentally calculating the moves she will execute on each individual playing card, before starting with Ace.

    Running towards Ace, she leaps into the air and draws her claws as she lands on his huge chest. Using her sharp weapons, she slashes his chest open and shoves an electric batarang into the sparking gash. Pushing herself off him, she sends him falling back into a wall as he short circuits from the batarang.

    She quickly spins around to find both King and Queen charging at her from either side. Once Queen is close enough, Batgirl jumps up and over landing behind her, and, with a kick to the back, Queen falls onto King accidentally electrocuting him with her baton. He falls back disoriented and half conscious. Angry at the unintentional assault on her husband, Queen once again faces the smiling Batgirl and aims to zap her.

    Batgirl jumps out of the way and runs to take cover behind a concrete support beam at one end of the room. Bolts shoot at either side of the beam, and Batgirl flinches as each one hits the wall only a few inches away from her head.

    “Sure, piss off the woman in the gang, why don’t I?” She mutters to herself.

    “Focus, Jasmine,” Bruce’s voice speaks into her cowl.

    “Was I talkin’ to you?” She sarcastically asks with a smile returning to her lips. “Besides, I know what I’m doing.”

    Between shots, Batgirl manages to come out unharmed and flings a batarang at Queen’s hand causing her to release the deadly weapon she holds. She quickly closes the distance between them and executes a powerful kick to Queen’s face just as a blade comes cutting through the air almost slitting Batgirl’s throat.

    Taking a quick glance to her right, she spots Jack drawing another dagger before she turns her attention back to Queen. She knows she has to put Queen out before she can deal with both Jack and Ten, whom she notices are trying to sneak an attack behind her. A few punches and a final kick to the gut knocks her onto King before Batgirl crouches under another dagger that would have cut right through her arm.

    Without hesitation, she quickly flips back a few times as more knives lodge themselves into the wall beside her. Her constant movement is making it hard for Jack to aim and for Ten to attack simultaneously. So instead, Ten calls for her flying card and hops on it waiting for her chance to attack. Meanwhile, Batgirl finally stands her ground at the opposite end of the room facing Jack wondering if her next attack might stop him.

    However, out of the blue, a child comes walking into the warehouse from a nearby open door. The child runs into the room stopping between Jack and Batgirl as he plays with a Flash action figure. Batgirl straightens from her fighter’s stance and questioningly stares at the kid with a raised brow.

    “What the hell? Where did--” she mumbles before a sharp blade cutting through the air interrupts her. “Slag it!” She curses flinching.

    The kid is in danger and she has to get him away safely. Running straight towards him, she scoops him up into her arms and rolls into a single forward somersault. Stopping in a crouch, she quickly takes out a bola and throws it at Jack pinning his arms to his sides. The weights on the bola spin around him and eventually hit him directly in the face knocking him unconscious.

    She releases the child from her grip and straightens to face her last opponent: Ten. Riding her card, Ten flies directly at Batgirl aiming to knock her down. Batgirl sees the attack just in time, pushes the kid to the floor and ducks as the card passes over them. She then turns, takes out the grapple gun from the holster strapped to her thigh, and fires the hook at the card’s tail snagging it. She pulls back with all her might stopping the card in mid-flight. The sudden halt causes Ten to flip off hitting the ground face down. Batgirl heads toward the slowly rising girl and begins her assault with a few punches to the face.

    Her third punch, however, is blocked followed by an upper cut punch right into the gut courtesy of Ten. She then spin-kicks, hitting Batgirl in the face. The strength of the kick is powerful enough to force Batgirl back a step. Another punch to the face pushes her another step back. But before she could deliver another blow, Batgirl sidesteps, grabs Ten’s extended arm by the wrist and takes another step until Ten’s back is facing her. The move securely pins her arm behind her back before Batgirl manages to kick the back of her knees forcing Ten to the ground. She grabs her other wrist and, using cable, binds her arms together.

    When Batgirl releases her grip, Ten takes advantage of the freedom and turns over jumping to her feet. But before she could even think of another move, Batgirl returns the earlier blow she received in the gut by kicking her in the chest knocking her to the ground winded and disoriented.

    “One more step and he’s dead,” King’s voice booms in the room. Batgirl spins to face him discovering the child in his arms and his sword threatening to slice the child’s throat. With eyes still locked on Batgirl, he calls out orders to his slowly waking wife. “Get Jack and Ten free so we can get out of here.”

    But before anyone could even twitch, Batgirl drops three smoke bombs filling the entire room with a blinding and choking fog. Startled, King releases the child from his grip and starts coughing uncontrollably. Silently, Batgirl goes around the room taking down and restraining whoever is free. With watery eyes, King tries to make out the shadows in the smoke as he waves his sword in every direction.

    Unfortunately for him, Batgirl silently creeps up from behind and taps him on the shoulder. He quickly spins coming face to face with the masked fighter before her foot makes its way to his jaw sending him sprawled on the ground. To make sure he doesn’t pull another stunt like that, she binds his wrists together and kicks away his sword. The smoke finally clears allowing a full view of a victorious Batgirl standing over her defeated foes and the child safely hidden behind her.

    “How was that?” She asks the air.

    Suddenly, the background behind her dissipates revealing the rocky, uneven walls of the cave and the foot-high platform where Batgirl proudly stands. Bruce is seated behind a control desk with different switches, buttons and keyboards used to control the simulated fight.

    Standing next to him is Terry with hands shoved in his pants pockets and a smile on his face. “I like what you did to Ace,” he points out nodding to where the short-circuited cynthoid lay. “Bruce?”

    “Practice makes perfect.”

    “Where did the kid come from?” Batgirl asks removing her cowl and using a thumb to point to the child-sized cynthoid.

    “I felt like assigning a distraction,” Bruce replies, hiding a sly grin.

    “Of course. So?” Her brow rises, anticipating Bruce’s final decision.

    “‘So’ what?”

    “Will I be going on important calls now?”

    Giving it a moment’s thought, Bruce replies, “Wait here.”

    Although frowning at the answer, she does as told and watches Bruce disappear into the shadows of the cave. She takes a seat on the platform dangling her legs over the edge and switches her gaze to Terry, who returns the look.

    “So, how are you feeling today?”

    “Good enough to go out on call.”

    “What about your wrist?”

    “What about it?” He replies with some bitterness mixed into his tone.

    Pointing out his weaknesses instead of believing in his strengths is the worst thing anyone can do to Terry; it’s something Jazz managed to do when they were practicing together the other night. After that incident, their relationship spiraled downward and the two turned sour towards each other.

    It isn’t odd to hear their voices bouncing off the cave walls in a heated disagreement about anything they could possibly think of from time to time. If the argument became uncontrollable, Bruce will step in and stop the two from strangling each other; otherwise, he usually stays out of their way and rolls his eyes at the two. However, this time the two remain silent under the heavy blanket of tension before Bruce returns holding another suit in his arms. He gestures for Jazz to approach.

    She gets up and heads towards him. “Try this on,” he says holding out the suit. She obediently takes it and disappears into an alcove, returning moments later dressed in the new suit.

    It almost mirrors Terry’s; it’s black from ear tip to toe except for the red bat on her chest, a red band around her right thigh, and her ruby red lips showing through. The belt hangs on her hips rather than the waist and her white lenses are in the shape of large almonds.

    “Well?” Bruce asks eyeing the young woman standing before him.

    “It’s perfect,” she replies with a grin spread across her face.

    “It has the same features as Terry’s except for the red band on your thigh, which can remotely run main tasks on the cave’s computer and holds a mini first aid kit. Think of it as an extra belt.”

    “Shway,” she responds as she opens it discovering the small pouches sewed on the inside.

    It holds rolls of gauze, a small spray bottle of antiseptic, and band-aids neatly inserted in the pockets. More towards the outer thigh is a small dial resembling a click-wheel with inscriptions on it.

    “Does this mean I’ll be going out on missions soon?” She asks looking up.

    “I’ll be calling you tomorrow. Tonight, I want you to get used to the suit before going out. Terry can help you with the flight feature.” He nods to Terry before heading to the staircase and retiring into his manor for the night.

    Terry removes his hands from his pockets. “Well, we better get started.”
    As she begins to walk towards another part of the cave, she calls out, “Oh, by the way, I tried not to rough up your girlfriend too much.”

    Surprised by the comment, he asks, “how’d you find out about Melanie?”

    “I have my ways,” she smirks

    He scowls at the answer while he follows her to the obstacle course knowing full well in the next few minutes an argument will ensue and might even be heard in the farthest reaches of the cave.

    --continued--

     
    #20 SilentBat18, Jul 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2011

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