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Discussion in 'The Story Board' started by SilentBat18, Jun 24, 2006.
I just knew she wouldn't stay in the cave.
Can't wait to see how this turns out.
With the tight restrictions finally lifted, Jazz takes the liberty to explore the mansion, confident that she won’t be reprimanded if she gets caught. She’s heard rumors about Wayne Manor; when she was younger, she mentally drew pictures of what it would look like. Now though it seems her imagination was too colorful. Most of the mansion is shrouded in tarps covering much of its glamour.
But she is about to find a few pieces of evidence that proves why this manor was once the envy of most if not all of Gotham. The painted portraits hanging off the walls in the hallways are like nothing she’s ever seen. The titles identifying the people smiling or staring down are missing, but she gets the sense they belong to the Wayne bloodline. She slowly walks down the hallway, pausing to study each picture with a tilted head. Reaching the last one, she stops and stares at the couple standing behind a young boy. Her eyes narrow when she finds the boy’s bright, blue eyes familiar but can’t place him.
Something strange happens the longer she stares at his beaming face: a small seed of jealousy digs itself into the pit of her stomach. The happy faces, the affectionate hands on the boy’s shoulders, the woman’s kind eyes all make the seed grow, burrowing it’s roots deeper into her and bring a scowl to her face. A voice interrupts the envy consuming her.
“Looking for something?” Terry asks, suddenly appearing behind her.
As she spins to face him, she can’t help but feel like a guilty child caught with a hand in the cookie jar. “Uh, no,” she stutters. “Just wandering; didn’t have anything better to do.”
He stares into her unnaturally pink eyes, somehow picking up on the tree of jealousy dwelling within her. Although curious, he decides not to pursue it. He turns and starts down the hallway without sharing another word.
“Hey, hold up a sec,” Jazz suddenly calls out making him face her. “You know who these people are?” She asks pointing at the portrait.
“Ever heard of Google?” Terry replies, stuffing hands in his pockets.
She scowls at the reply. “You don’t have to be nasty,” she replies, turning back to the happy family.
Reprimanding himself for the unnecessary hostility, Terry sighs as he approaches her. “Thomas and Martha Wayne,” he explains nodding at them.
Being a Gotham citizen, Jazz knows exactly who they are and worse yet, what happened to them. “Woah,” she quietly gasps looking at Bruce’s face in a different way now. The envy dissipates as condolence and respect replace it; she scolds herself for making a naïve assumption about this once happy family.
“You know the story, right?” Terry asks when she doesn’t say anything further.
“Yeah, I just never knew what they looked like. They’re the real heroes of Gotham.”
Terry finds himself surprised by her statement. He has never met someone who shares the same view of the Wayne family. Gotham respects the memory of Thomas and Martha, talking about them as innovators and generous philanthropists, but never heroes. Batman is supposed to be Gotham’s hero and no one else.
“So how come a lot of the furniture is covered up?” Jazz suddenly asks bringing Terry’s attention back.
“You tell me, Miss Psych Major,” he replies before walking down the hall again.
Scowling, she follows suit falling into step beside him. “I’ll rephrase then; how come some of the furniture is uncovered?” She asks making him grin.
“I’m a snooper,” Terry shrugs.
Although she knows that quip for a reply is a tip of the iceberg, she senses that the answers she is seeking can’t be worded. There’s a dynamic between Terry and Bruce that she will have to work to understand, but she’s glad she has a chance to do it. The only problem though is the fact that she’s still keeping secrets from Terry, something that has been infecting their friendship.
After realizing she was keeping something from him, Terry closed off and became more distant. He isn’t the same man she had gotten to know the last time they met before his incident, and Jazz couldn’t help but notice this. However, she isn’t ready to disclose her deepest secrets yet, and so she is willing to sacrifice the friendship. As long as their partnership works, she doesn’t care what happens to anything else.
They make their way to the kitchen where they find Bruce waiting for them. After explaining how business matters have required his presence in Italy, Terry offers to drive him to the airport.
“You two seemed civil earlier,” Bruce starts as Terry drives down the winding road before exiting the gates. Given the fact the two argue more often than anything else, Bruce has reason to be skeptical of the few times they get along.
“Temporary moment of sanity,” he quips as he gets on the main road. “I wouldn’t get used to it if I were you. Anyway, you want me to send her out on any calls while you’re gone?”
“Only if you need her to control minor disturbances; otherwise, I expect you to do most of the work. Red light.”
The car comes to a sharp stop a foot before running the light. “I saw that, you know,” he mutters.
“Uhm. Have you heard anything about Inque yet?”
“Not since she completed the job a week after the… you know,” he replies. “But if your hunch is right, she should be targeting another company soon, within days really.”
“I don’t expect you to go out alone if and when she shows up, understood?”
“I know,” he replies taking off after the light turns green. “I’ll brief Jazz about her.”
“Good. I expect her to know Inque like the back of her hand.”
“Of course. What about Barbara?”
“What about her? Car,” Bruce quickly but calmly warns.
Slowing down to let the car in front merge into his lane, Terry continues, “I know how to drive, Bruce. Anyway, aren’t we going to tell her about Jazz?”
“She’ll find out soon enough.”
“Oh, by the way, mom invited you to dinner next Sunday night.” Bruce half-turns his head and raises a brow. “You paid the med bills; it’s her way of showing gratitude and apologize for going off on you.”
“Is there a way I could get out of it?”
“Of course there is. But I won’t let it happen.” His grin stretches so wide one would think the Joker just gassed him.
Bruce shoots a glare his way, but it doesn’t seem to have an effect on him. He turns his attention back towards the road. “You’re getting back at me for making you pull weeds all day yesterday.”
“That and so many other things. What can I say? I hold grudges.”
“Six-thirty, and I believe I’ll be out on patrol by then,” he reminds him, still smiling.
However, this time Bruce smirks in reply. “I guess bringing Batgirl in was a good idea after all.”
Terry’s grin quickly disappears as he turns to look at Bruce with wide eyes. “Oh no, I’m not going.”
“Eyes on the road, McGinnis.”
He does as told. “Here I thought I could actually get back at you.”
The car finally arrives at Gotham International Airport and pulls up into Bruce’s private airstrip. Terry gets out of the car to help unload a single piece of rolling luggage while Bruce checks in with the personnel.
“This is the hotel’s information. Call if you need anything,” Bruce says handing him the card after Terry hands the bag to the attendant. “Keep up with the physical therapy and ice that wrist.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Terry replies, rolling his eyes the way he always does when Bruce plays mother hen. “I’ll see you in a few days.”
Nodding his farewell, he turns and heads to the waiting plane. Once Bruce is out of sight, Terry returns to the car and drives off. On his way back, his phone rings with Jazz on the other line.
“Yeah?” He answers.
“Hey, I got an alarm coming from Gotham Tech Institute. It looks like the intruder is some sort of black shape shifter.”
“That’s Inque. Stay at the cave till I get there, got it?” He orders, surprised by Inque’s unexpected appearance.
“Don’t argue with me. I’ll be there in ten minutes.” He hangs up on her before she has the chance to protest and speeds off toward the manor.
Back at the cave, Jazz lets out an irritated groan after the line disconnects. ‘She’ll be done by the time we get there,’ she thinks to herself while studying the floor plan of the building that set off the alarm.
Red dots blink in different areas indicating damage to some parts of the lab, while the police radio spouts off details about the attack.
‘I could at least make sure she stays there till Terry arrives; no harm done there, right?’ She tries rationalizing.
A low whimper makes her look down and find Ace’s big, brown eyes staring up at her. They are pleading her not to go, to wait for Terry. Batman. The experienced and almighty fighter. The tough guy who could stop such a foe. Frowning at the dog before her, she sighs.
“Sorry, pup, but I gotta do this,” she says as she gets up, grabs her suit and runs to an alcove to change.
Just as he said, Terry runs down the steps of the cave ten minutes later and stops in front of the large monitor. He finds the seat empty with a floor map displayed on the screen.
“Jazz?” he calls out, but the name bounces off the walls of the cave going unanswered. He takes a look around and finds the newly designed Batcycle missing. “Slag it!” He curses before hurrying to get ready.
This was a great story. I will be looking for more of them from you.
You do have the dialog down pretty good.
You still need to work on your tenses (past and present) but other than that I liked the story very much.
Keep up the good work.
just finished reading the story and its really good, espically for a first timer . I do have to agree with the king though, tenses got jumbled a bit, but don't worry. First person is increadibly hard to write (i think) and its only going to get better the more you practice.
Looking in through the building’s skylight, Batgirl quietly watches Inque go about her business. She doesn’t plan to stop her, but she will do what’s necessary to keep her from getting away. She realizes this could result with a backlash from Terry, but she’s willing to take the risk. After all, it’s part of her job now.
“Uh-oh,” she suddenly mutters when a presence interrupts her vigilance. She doesn’t have to turn around to see the glare Batman is giving her, but when she does, she can’t help but wince under the reprimanding gaze.
“I told you to wait for me,” he scolds, his voice barely above a whisper.
“I was just making sure she doesn’t get away.”
“I don’t care if she does. It’s better than getting yourself killed,” he replies, crossing his arms.
“Ok, fine, I get it. Now that we’re here, you mind briefing me about her? There’s something about water, right?”
“You didn’t even check her file before you left?!” Batman exclaims while managing to keep his voice down.
“Well I didn’t exactly have time to!”
“You would have if you waited!”
“If I waited, she’d be gone!”
“Except she’s still in there!” Batman hisses before Inque suddenly crashes out of the skylight startling them both into silence.
Landing in between the two, Inque switches her gaze from a surprised Batgirl to a furious Batman.
“Well I can’t say I’m not surprised,” she starts, tightening her grip on her shoulder bag before turning to Batman. “Particularly by you.”
“I don’t make anything easy for you; you should know that by now,” he replies as he takes out a batarang.
Before he could throw it, Inque stretches at her trunk as she lunges at him. Batgirl, however, leaps forward tackling Inque and pulling her back down the skylight while still securely latched on her waist. Inque manages to shape shift and cling to the rail of a catwalk they fall past leaving Batgirl to continue her descent alone. She gracefully lands on the lab’s floor and looks up at her opponent. Batman, meanwhile, leaps down joining Inque on the catwalk.
“Met your pet,” Inque teases. “Not what I would call impressive.”
Her arm shoots forward, but before it touches Batman, a grapple hook originating from Batgirl’s arm suddenly lodges itself in her midsection. Batgirl then gives the line a hard tug pulling Inque off balance and falling over the rail; she lands in a sickening splatter a few feet away from the heroine before Batman joins them, landing on the opposite side of her. While Inque tries to reorganize herself, Batman locks eyes with his partner communicating a message only she could decipher. Before they could act, Inque’s arms shoot out grabbing each hero by the neck and lifting them up in the air while the rest of her body returns to its familiar shape.
Her white face glances at Batgirl before she throws her across the room. She hits the wall hard and falls to the floor with plaster sprinkling on top of her. Inque then turns her attention to Batman as she tightens the grip around his throat.
“Déjà vu much?” He manages to utter as he tries to loosen her grip.
“This time, though, I’ll break every bone,” she threatens.
The white circle that is her face recedes to expose her wide grin. The memory of their last encounter flashes through his mind rekindling the hatred and anger he has towards her. He draws out his claws and swipes it against her face leaving four long marks causing Inque to retract in pain letting go of his neck. He then draws two long and sharp batarangs, and uses them to slice her midsection into three parts.
He flips back to gain distance between them as she reconstitutes herself. When she lunges toward him, he dodges her attempt by rolling forward and sprinting across the room. As he runs, he continues his assault with batarangs that either slice through her or electrocute her. This seems to aggravate her, making her more adamant on finishing him off. Her arms, now hard and sharp as blades, continuously stab in his direction; but with him constantly ducking and dodging, she’s never able to land a killing blow.
Batman races across the room and hides behind an elusive alcove as he tries to catch his breath. However, before he could think of his next move, Inque suddenly closes off the alcove’s entrance leaving him trapped and defenseless. He backs up as far as he can, but after a few small steps, his back hits the wall.
“You really are a pain in the ass,” she growls as her sharpened arm gleams in the light.
“Takes one to know one, *****,” Batgirl suddenly replies making Inque look up.
She finds her crouched on top of a tank lining the alcove wall. Before Inque could finish what she started, Batgirl uses a batarang to slice a hole in the tank sending distilled water to pour over the hydro-phobe dissolving a large chunk of her. Unfortunately, the other half manages to break away and leap out of the water’s range. She stretched out to Batgirl and wraps herself around her, pinning arms to her sides.
When Inque squeezes, Batgirl lets out a cry of pain and loses balance toppling over the edge. However, with the ground covered in water, Inque lets her victim go just before she hits the wet floor and propels herself across the room away from the liquid. Realizing she’s about to escape, Batman fires his rockets launching himself forward aiming straight for the ameba-shaped villain. Before he could tackle her though, she opens a hole in her midsection causing him to fly straight through without so much as touching her. He rolls into a landing and faces her, ready for anything she’s about to throw.
With Batman standing in front of her, Batgirl, now on her feet, behind her and water everywhere, Inque suddenly finds herself cornered. As she desperately seeks for an escape, both Bats sprint towards her. Realizing the attempt in time, Inque leaps straight up the moment they are mere feet away. She is hoping her move will result in them colliding into each other, distracting them long enough for her to escape through the skylight.
The pair, however, are completely in tune with each other, as though they have practiced this dance countless times. Instead of slamming into each other, Batgirl drops to the floor sliding knees first while Batman leaps over her. The coordinated and fluid movement looks like it belongs on Cirque du Solei’s stage and not a battle ground. Batman rolls into his landing before he faces Inque with arms extended.
Although she has managed to reach the catwalk overhead, Batman fires grapple hooks that lodge into her just before she can get away. Without giving her time to react, Batgirl suddenly appears by her partner’s side, pulls the lines out of his arms and shoves them into an electric outlet a few feet behind them. The surge of electric currents that run up the lines and into Inque are much stronger than what the suit can generate. It doesn’t take long for the bolts to boil her skin making her scream in agony. Going limp, her body creates an oily waterfall that splashes to the ground. Too weak to even twitch, Inque lies motionless, signaling her surrender.
“She’s done,” Batman pants as he gets to his feet.
“You sure?” Batgirl asks.
“Yeah,” he replies, making her against the wall.
“Holy mackerel, Batman,” she sighs with relief. The statement, however, makes him raise a brow at her.
“What’d you say?”
“Nothing,” she quickly replies, straightening up. “Now what?”
Giving her a coy grin, he pulls out a biohazard bag from his belt and hands it to her. “You clean up.”
“You’re the one who was so eager to get here.” Groaning with annoyance, she walks away as she searches the room for something. “What are you looking for?” He asks while rubbing his sore wrist.
“Mop and bucket,” she replies without looking at him.
“A wet-vac is easier.”
“If you want me to do it, then I’ll do it my way,” she counters rolling out the mop bucket from a closet.
“Except that’s not how you clean her up,” he says, launching a new and seemingly endless argument of the best way to bag and store Inque.
“Hey,” Jazz greets Terry as she moves down the cave’s staircase.
Terry, lying on a garage creeper, rolls out from under the Batmobile he is repairing. “Hey,” he replies, watching her approach him.
She leans against the car and picks up an adjustable wrench to toy with. The nervous look on her face tells him something is up, but it doesn’t seem like she’s going to be the first to talk. Rolling back under the car, he continues tinkering with the panels of the undercarriage, replacing bent and scraped parts damaged during a recent mission.
“Hand me the socket wrench with the half inch bit,” he requests, holding a hand out.
She sifts through the toolbox before handing the tool over. A few moments filled with the sound of clicking metal pass before he speaks up again. “Something on your mind?”
“No,” she unconvincingly replies.
“You know better than to lie to me, Douglas. Screw driver, please.” She hands it over as she takes a seat on the floor, leaning against the car. “So what is it?”
“It’s not important,” she lies again looking at the torso next to her. Because of the way he’s working, she inadvertently catches a glimpse of the scar marring his tight abs when his shirt rides up too far. It’s the first time she has seen it, and she can’t believe she helped stop the villain that caused it.
“Last chance to talk about it,” Terry offers as he tries to loosen a particularly tight bolt. “Ow! S***!” He suddenly exclaims before she could reply.
“Yeah; just pinched a finger,” he says as he rolls out to get a better look at his hand. She curiously tilts her head forward to check on the finger. “It’s fine,” he says turning his head to face her. “As I was saying,” he reminds her, his blue eyes looking deep into hers as they try to find the lock that needs picking.
“I’m fine,” she lies again, her pink eyes never reassuring him.
Deciding to let the matter drop, he lies back on the creeper and rolls under the car to finish what he started. Even though his head is buried under the car again, Jazz can’t get those blue eyes out of her head. Something keeps them firmly fastened on the wall of her mind.
She can’t figure out if it is their haunting color or the slicing sharpness that compel her to fetch another garage creeper; either way, she now finds herself laying beside him and staring up at the black and grey undercarriage of the Batmobile. Terry acknowledges her with a side-glance before continuing to unscrew the last bolt holding the bent transmission pan.
“Watch out,” he warns as he carefully sets it between them.
“What are you doing?” Jazz asks, eyes firmly fixed on the car.
“Replacing the panels I damaged last night.” He points at the black casing overhead. “Last one’s the transmission’s.”
“How many gears does it have?”
“Eight; we’re upgrading to a nine speed in a few months once the engine in prepped.”
“Engine?” She asks looking over at him.
“We’re installing a new one; seven and a half liter W-16. Should produce over twelve hundred brake-horsepower at nine thousand RPMs.”
“What’s this one?”
“Twin turbo six liter W-12.”
“And it does Mach 3?”
“How? It’s got the same specs as a McLaren F1, but that hardly gets to the first Mach let alone 3.”
Terry raises a brow at her. “You know cars?”
“No, just the fast ones. It’s enough to intimidate a car salesman.”
He smiles at her. “The engine designs are different, creating different performance specs. It’s how a 1.8 liter Lotus Exige engine can pump out 260 horsepower, whereas a 2.5 liter VW Golf can barely sputter 170.”
“I get it; size doesn’t matter.”
“Hey now, it still makes a difference,” Terry quips making her roll her eyes and smirk. “But yeah, ultimately the engine design is the deciding factor.”
He begins unfastening the transmission filter while Jazz watches his now greasy fingers move with precision. He tosses the old filter in the pan between them and picks up the new one.
“You want to install it?” He asks while holding it out to Jazz.
“You’ll need to learn this stuff too, you know.” She takes the filter and shimmies over so she could get a better angle. “It’s easy, just line those holes to the transmission case. Yeah, like that,” he encourages as she does as told. “Here,” he hands her the screws that keep the filter in place. “Tighten by hand first.”
“Got it,” she says when the screws are in. She then takes the screwdriver and tightens them properly. “What’s next?”
“Replace the pan,” he says, handing her the new one. “Line the gasket first, then stick it on there.”
Doing as instructed, she carefully lines everything up before Terry hands her the bolts and torque wrench.
“Done,” she announces when all the screws have been tightened.
“Good,” Terry praises as he pushes himself out from under the car.
Jazz follows him out and gets up when he opens the engine’s hood. He gestures for her to approach. Once by his side, he points at a spout near the massive engine block. “Transmission fluid goes in there. Radiator fluid in there,” he says pointing elsewhere. “Oil, and washer fluid.”
He picks up a container of transmission fluid, and after removing the dipstick, he pours the red contents down the spout.
“Don’t overfill it; seven quarts will do for a change, twenty for a flush,” he explains. When ready, he replaces the stick and tightens it. “Start it up,” he says nodding at the cockpit.
Jumping in, Jazz fires up the engine and waits for it to warm up before switching it off again. Terry takes out the stick, wipes it, dips it in again, then pulls it out to check fluid levels. Nodding his satisfaction, he replaces it and the closes the hood.
“You must save a fortune with do-it-yourself jobs,” Jazz starts, still seated in the cockpit.
“Not really. Too lazy to work on my own car,” he replies leaning against the Batmobile and crossing his legs at the ankles while he wipes his hands on an oil rag.
A short moment of silence passes before Jazz suddenly blurts out, “I don’t like you, McGinnis.”
He lifts his eyes to meet hers. “Cause I pay a mechanic?” He asks with a raised brow. “It’s my way of stimulating the economy.”
“No, not that,” she replies. “You as in you; I don’t like you, that’s what’s bothering me.”
“Okay,” he carefully says, narrowing his eyes with confusion.
“It’s why I can’t tell you what I told Bruce,” Jazz explains suddenly making him understand what she’s referring to.
“Oh, that. Did I do something to offend you?”
“No, I just don’t like you.”
“So you said, for the third time,” he replies, starting to get frustrated.
“It’s a gut feeling that’s all.”
“Guts are known to be wrong, you know.”
“I do,” she says jumping out of the car. “Mine is just waiting to be proven otherwise.”
“You’re looking for honesty,” Terry figures, straightening up.
She smiles at him. “More like a kink in that perfect armor of yours.”
“I’m hardly perfect.”
She takes a step towards him. “Prove it.”
“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours,” he replies looking into her pink eyes.
“Sorry, not how I do things,” she says, turning away from him.
As she makes her way towards the staircase, Terry tries to understand what exactly she’s asking from him. He’s the one who trusted her first, brought her to the cave, gave her a chance. She owes him, right?
Terry groans inwardly when he realizes he’s wrong; she owes him nothing. She’s shown her loyalty in a different way and more than once. So if she’s that dedicated to him, someone she hardly knows, then she must be even more to herself and her secrets.
“My dad was killed,” he calls out just as her foot lands on the first step. Curious, she turns to face him. “Powers ordered a hit on him because he discovered something he shouldn’t have,” he explains as he approaches her.
“I’m doing this because of him,” Terry continues without acknowledging her condolence. “I’ve been a disappointment to him half my life. I’ve gotten into fights, bad grades, and spent three months in Juvi. I was angry all the time, blew off curfew and hung out with the wrong crowd. My mom didn’t want me around my younger brother; hell, she didn’t even want to deal with me anymore.
“The night dad died, we had a fight. I yelled at him and stormed out, but if I had stayed, either he’d be alive or we’d both be dead. I can’t tell you which one is truer, but there are days when I wish it was the latter. But even so, I’m here because of him, to do right by him, to make him proud.” He stops a foot away from her, his eyes still hard on her face. “So why are you here?”
If she’s feeling intimidated by his looming gaze, she doesn’t show it. She stands solid and unwavering, her pink eyes darting back and forth, staring down each blue eye on its own.
“Not yet,” she finally responds before turning and heading up the stairs. “But, I’ll tell you what,” she adds without stopping to face him, “I don’t like you a little less now.”
After disappearing out the door, Terry can’t help but smirk at her brashness. He’s recently perfected the art of glaring, and it’s not easy for people to stare him down let alone refuse to answer his inquiries; but that’s exactly what she did. She piques his interest in a good way; so for now, he’ll allow her to mystify him. She’ll come around soon enough. Before he could figure out more about her, the computer lights up with alarms signaling a problem in Gotham’s political district, giving him a job to do.
The silence of the night is broken when Batman slams against a wall on the roof of the archives building. He falls to the floor slightly disoriented as bricks topple over him. He manages to get to his feet and turn to face his offender: Mad Stan. He really hates repeat offenders.
The encounter might seem similar to his last one with Stan, except this time he’s not fighting the maniac alone. Mad Stan stands before him with a grin on his face as he reaches for a grenade on his belt. Before he could give his speech on how the government is using Gothamites as guinea pigs and release the pin, Batgirl lightly taps him on the shoulder. Turning to face her, a kick to the jaw sends him falling to the floor disoriented from the force of the blow.
Looking up, she grins at Batman. “Let’s keep collateral damage to a minimal this time.”
Hope you enjoyed the new and much improved version of this new beginning. The sequel is up and ready for those who don't know (titled BB: Untold Story). Anyway, thanks for stopping by!