3895/A Girl's Best Friend

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A Girl's Best Friend
Date of Scene: 22 October 2020
Location: Gotham Diamond Exchange
Synopsis: Crooks try to rob the Gotham Diamond Exchange and are stopped by Orphan and Spoiler, with the Talon Strix helping them out and taking bullets for Cass. Bart zooms through and helps them so fast no one could see him. Meanwhile Felicia Hardy helps but uses it as a diversion for her own theft.
Cast of Characters: Stephanie Brown, Felicia Hardy, Cassandra Cain, Strix, Bart Allen

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The Gotham Diamond Exchange is a dubious place at best. Dealing in wholesale diamonds, they supply jewelry stores and jewel makers well up the coast of New Jersey into the areas that start to contend with the brokers in New York. There are also ongoing rumors about underworld ties, but that isn't enough to stop Gotham's set of villains from robbing a place with such a lucrative and easy-to-move score.

Tonight had been a quiet night before the alarms were tripped at the location. The bad guys had managed to infiltrate the building and get into the vault before a mistake set off the alarm. Gotham police begin responding, lights visible in the distance as they race towards the scene from all directions.

Someone else is closer though. Spoiler had noticed the quartet of heavy black vans parked in the vicinity, riding low on their suspension as if carrying a lot of weight. Or perhaps armor. And though the men who didn't go inside and stayed on watch tried to stay low key, their night vision goggles and futuristic looking weapons with them in the van that she could spot from her rooftop vantage said something was going on.

<< This is Spoiler. Looks like the Gotham Diamond Exchange is getting hit... ah, and there's the alarm. Gotham's finest are on the way. Looks like a big crew, more than Commissioner Gordon's boys are going to be able to handle. Could use some backup. >>

Spoiler shoots her grapple over to a tall building as the doors of the Diamond Exchange open and men start start rushing out. They are carrying weapons and some have bags over their shoulders as they rush for the four vehicles, parked at different spots around the area. She swings down to the van nearest to the doors and lands on the roof. "Aw, let me guess, you want to propose but are having trouble picking out a ring, so figured you'd take them all-" she says, but the man nearest to her doesn't wait to let her finish. He shoots what turns out to be some kind of sonic weapon at her, knocking her off the van to land hard in the street behind it.

"Ow! Really? In mid-quip!?" she argues as she gets back up, hand going to her back as if pained. "Don't you know how this works?" she says, pulling out a batarang and whipping it at him.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
The Black Cat slinks not far away, balancing easily along the ledge of a nearby building. She'd been thinking about doing the Diamond Exchange herself. She's targeted the New York branch, but Spider-Man already caught her scoping that out so it was just a little too hot to handle at the moment. Much like Felicia herself.

She doesn't normally swing by Gotham for obvious flappy mammal reasons, but she's feeling adventurous tonight - aka bored. She slides her binoculars down as she suddenly sees Spoiler getting into it with the vans downstairs.

"Ugh, so many superheroes, are they getting assigned block by block now? Aw, I like her outfit, she's like a cute little kung fu plum!"

Cassandra Cain has posed:
A soft tap of the comlink in mid-air tells Spoiler that Cassandra is on the way. The sound of another motorcycle in the distance is another hot tip, as the Girl from Hot Topic revs it up to full and tears down the road toward the ongoing problem. The sound of a motorcycle redlining in top gear is hard to miss, as Cassandra ducks past an oncoming vehicle without looking, and flies down the road toward Stephanie's location.

She's only moments out, but she can see down the street what seems like Steph being put in a bit of trouble. So she hauls herself lower on the bike and punches out the windscreen to cut the drag even more, and hits a new record speed.

And she aims the bike at one of the vehicles, grinning as the adrenaline hits her system.

Then she hooks her toes into the side rail, and leaps upward, letting the two-wheeled missile go on ahead, as she flips in the air at 200 mph, line coursing out to grab something, anything!

Because landing at that speed means splat. And the motorcycle hitting the van at that speed means boom.

Strix has posed:
Ever since the fall of the Court of Owls, which Strix had managed to escape from, she's been left her own devices. Directionless, she's spent her time wandering about Gotham like so much flotsam, ruminating on the sage advice that Deadpool (of all people) had given her. She /had/ been poking through the garbage can in one of the alleys that the black vans had parked in, but when they had pulled up, she had faded into the dark to observe.

It's only a spot of bad luck that one of the henchmen that stayed outside to guard the van happened to look at her hideyhole and see her. She would have been near invisible if it wasn't for those night vision goggles.

"HEY!" he shouts, lowering a weapon towards her. "GET LOST!" He double-takes though, seeing Strix in her Talon outfit. "What the.." He never gets a chance to finish, because that pause has given Strix enough time to strike.

She leaps out of the shadows with inhuman speed, and rushes the lookout, the steel of her swords flashing in the night. It only takes a moment to disarm him. Literally. His right arm neatly detaches from his body in a spray of blood, and he starts screaming in pain.

Bart Allen has posed:
Bart Allen was heading home from his job, when the call came into one of the squad cars. It just happened to be going next to Bart as he was heading home. He ponders going in to help, he knows The Big Bat does not like supers working in his city. He is undecisive for a moment, but then he sees one of his friends heading in. He looks down an alley and steps in, maybe if he runs fast enough he can Help and not be seen. So the red blur takes off passing, the motorcycle offering Cass a wave even if she can't really see it. A few car trunks are popped open and then Bart with a tire iron in each hand, moves to the first van to put a Nascar pit crew to shame.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The batarang hits the guy in the forehead. It's blunted, so delivers a knock to the head that puts him on his but, his gun firing once, the sonic wave going harmlessly up into the air.

The next thing Stephanie knows, a motorcycle roars in and impacts the van. Though it's armored, the high speed ramming does a number on the van, caving in the side partway and completely knocking off the tire nearest to where it hit. That van won't be going anywhere!

Alerted by the sounds of the collision, the screams of Strix's opponent, and the sound of the sonic gun firing, the other would-be robbers react. Some are sprinting for the other vehicles to make a getaway. The ones nearest to the disabled van open fire with an assortment of weapons. An automatic rifle rips fire at Spoiler, who tosses down smoke pellets and dives behind the men's on van for cover. A laser beam shoots past, scorching the pavement where she'd been.

Others are alerted to the sound of Strix's fight, turning towards her. "Let her have it!" one yells, opening fire as well. Bart, and Felicia for the moment, go unnoticed by the bad guys.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy taps her clawed gauntlets along the edge of the building. On the one hand, the young lady below seems outgunned and overwhelmed and, even if others seem to be intervening now, there's literal LASER BEAMS being shot now and that seems completely uncool.

On the other hand, during all this hubbub, it may be that nobody's actually paying attention to the Diamond Exchange, so it might not be a bad idea to take advantage of the chaos and load up on loot.

Felicia bites her plump bottom lip and looks back and forth between melee and mark and finally sighs. "Aw, dammit," as she tries to backtrace that laser, making a few capering darts over the rooftops, all pussycat parkour until she can find someone to rip with those claws of hers.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra's eyes take in Bart as she hooks a light post, using the spiral of centrifugal force to bleed off some of her speed. She comes in at the end of the arc, releasing the line, and rolls as many times as it takes to get things under control. She performs a cartwheel, a handspring, and lands on top of the busted-ass van where she can get a better look at what's going on.

Then she narrows her eyes, spotting the way that Strix fights, and seems to consider how exactly to handle all of...this.

Then she simply stands up and steps off the van, right into the midst of two heavies. She taps them on the shoulders to get their attention, then stands there while they try to shoot her, up close and personal.

The clicking noise from their weapons is hilarious, as she stands there, bemusedly smiling, and then holds out the clips she removed when she landed.

They fall down a second later, her boot prints on their faces. Gotta love the classics.

Bart Allen has posed:
Bart Allen starts going to all the vans, removing the tires and doors, and once he finds a toolbox in one, Bart is playing chopshop grand theft auto. He moves the part s a bit away from the van, piled up where the girls can use them for cover if they need to. He pauses for just a moment, his outline saw in the smoke, and he is off away from the fight and comes back with a powerful flashlight and an action figure?" Bart finds a spot where the girls are not coming from and sets the light up on this side so in the smoke a shadow of it is highlighted. The action figure who else, but Batman.

Strix has posed:
The sound of the gun that's firing at Strix is like if somebody plucked a rubber band, lowered the pitch a few octaves and added some reverb in there. *BWOWM* Strix has experience with more conventional firearms so she isn't quite able to get out of the sonic sonic gun's way. It catches her in the shoulder, dislocating it and crushing her clavicle, as well as leaving a small crater in the wall behind her.

The two robbers who had come to see what all the commotion was about high five each other. "Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about," he says. "Shoulda minded your own business." His high spirits slowly fade as Strix gets back on her feet, her arm popping back into it's socket all by itself and the broken bone visibly mending all on it's own. "Aw, you gotta be kidding me!"

He raises the gun to his shoulder and fires a couple of shots while his partner, unarmed but holding the bag starts to book it towards the van shouting at the driver, "Start the van! START THE VAN!!" The driver, who had /just started/ to enjoy his footlong sub looks up just in time to see Strix leap over the lethal shots like a graceful acrobat, to kick the gun out of and impale his partner with a sword. "Oh shit, oh shit!" he yells and starts the van.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
More smoke pellets are tossed over towards the gunmen and the moment they obstruct vision in the already dark night is when Spoiler strikes. Her metallic bo staff whirls, knocking a gun out of one man's hand and then sweeping the legs of the man with the laser. A third has a shotgun he points her way and fires as she cartwheels, the buckshot hitting her cape but failing to do more than make it whip about as the fabric is a bullet-resistant weave, courtesy of upgrades from Batgirl.

Spoiler whips an electric batarang at the man, sending him into convulsions as it hits and shocks him. She kicks the shotgun out of his hand and then again to kick it away from him as he falls to the ground. She turns then to see what else is transpiring.

The men at two of the other vans find their vehicles coming apart around them, Bart moving too fast for them to follow what's going on. "Shoot, how are they doing that!?" one says. And then they see the shadow of Batman in the smoke. "Crap, it's the Bat!" one yells, and a number of people start firing into that smoke.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy arrives just in time to find that Laserbreath has already been nullified, making the voluptuous vixen pout a bit as she somersaults over Stephanie to land on one of the fleeing mooks.

"It's not my fault I can't be good when it's just so darn crowded. A girl likes to be special, after all," she says.

She stomps the thug's fingers with a heeled boot and cocks her head at one of the vehicles as she lets a bit of bad luck mojo bleed out in its direction. She can't be sure exactly what's going to happen to them but, uh, it won't be good.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra ducks into a van, avoiding a shot from something she barely saw. She emerges out the other door, footlong sub in hand, and comes out right in the midst of Strix's impalation of the random mook. She sighs, she glances at the sub, and she drops it as she moves in to save the bad guys, from her own rookie in training.

As that lethal blade approaches yet another victim, it suddenly stops, an inch from his jugular. Cassandra's hands grip Strix's own, holding the blade from him, and she looks at Strix in the eyes firmly, struggling. She is strong, there's no question. And determined to stop this.

The goon, suddenly aware that he's been given a reprieve, looks like he's just shat himself. He struggles to raise his weapon again while the ladies have their silent argument, and his motion gets a glance. Only a glance, from the one who saved him.

His weapon arm gets hooked in her raised leg, his weapon taken away, and then her heel slams into his jaw sending him across the concrete in a slide. No happy for you, apparently.

And Cassandra didn't even have to release her grip to do it.

She gave up a sub sandwich for this?

Bart Allen has posed:
Bart Allen sees the sandwich heading to the ground, and Bart can't let that happen, I mean it looks like it maybe a steak and cheese after all, or maybe a meatball sub, but either way food is food, Bart grabs it in one hand and then sighs and sets it on a pile of car doors, as he notices the bleeding men. He grabs each and any parts that have been cut off, hopefully the right combinations of goon and goon parts, and runs them to the hospital ziptieing them to beds, with a note pinned on their chest. "I am a bad guy but would like to keep breathing, please help me and call the police, thank you." He does put tourniquets on the severed parts. Luckily Bart knows not to use tourniquet for head wounds.

Strix has posed:
Cass gets a curious tilt of the head from Strix, not really fighting her once she realizes that Cass isn't trying to disarm her, merely stopping her from decapitating her next victim. She watches, passively as Cass easily disarms and knocks out one bad guy.

The gun he was holding comes skittering towards the pair, which Strix ducks her foot under and flips it up into the air. She uses where Cassandra has a hold of her as a pivot, and backkicks the weapon straight towards the head of another goon, sending him sprawling and senseless.

She finally manages to struggle her way out of Cassandra's grip and leaps up, using her opponent as a step to get onto the back of the van, which she rushes over, does a front flip and /impales/ the sub with her sword, claiming it as hers.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Spoiler turns, the blond's purple cloak swirling about her as she does, having heard Felicia's arrival before seeing her taking out one of the men who was getting ready to shoot at her. "Thank you for the help," she says, taking a quick moment to take stock of the flow of the fight.

Cass and Strix have the occupants of one van pretty much taken care of, while Felicia and Spoiler have dealt with the other. The men from the other two vans no longer have running vehicles to use. They spread out in a line across the street, likely realizing their best bet is to take down the heroes, else what happened to their vans is going to happen to any vehicle they try commandeer.

There's a moment where they stand there, each with a gun of some sort in hand, from conventional, to laser or sonic weapon or... what IS that thing the guy in the middle is holding anyway? The smoke from Spoiler's pellets drift by like it was a battlefield. Or maybe a standoff in some old Western. All it's waiting for is a tumbleweed to roll through.

Then, just like a Western gunfight, there's a moment the standing around stops and the shooting begins!

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy sees the guns getting raised their way and backflips up and over the hood of a nearby car, landing on the other side and ducking for cover. Helping out a hero with a bit of thuggery was one thing, getting her carcass shot just to protect strange girls in capes is NOT one of her life goals, nuh uh, nope.

"I HOPE YOU DON'T DIE!" she says and then, on impulse, she runs up and slips into the side door of the building. Everyone really is distracted now. Time to get some diamonds.

Strix has posed:
Now that her sandwich is secured, Strix looks up to see a firing line set up to shoot right at them. She does a couple of backflips and a twist right as they start shooting, leaving the sandwich impaled on the hood of the van, and lands right in front of Cassie.

She grabs the girl in her arms, and turns her back to the guns when they open fire, riddling her body with bullets, lasers, and what have you. Soon, it's Cassie that's holding up Strix as the damage starts to take it's toll, with rivulets of black blood slowly oozing down the back of her uniform.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra doesn't freak out at the sacrifice move. She looks Strix in the eyes, absolute silence, as she watches it happen. She holds the woman up, still in silence, out of respect. And she is ready to move when the opportunity comes, because that is her role in this.

She nods, the plan having been conveyed to her the moment Strix landed. Then she lets her fall when the moment comes, her eyes showing a glistening of tears.

And Cassandra Cain bears down on the gunmen, her face a mask of anger. She rarely shows this side of herself, and for reason. This is not how it was supposed to be.

Bart Allen has posed:
Bart Allen comes back to the scene, just microseconds to late. He will move in and removes the clips, power cells, hamsters running on wheels, what ever is powering the guns. He sees Cassandra coming towards them and feels bad for the bad guys for a moment, moving towards Strix not knowing her healing he plans on taking her to the hospital.. wait no... he pauses saw on the field again, as he speaks softly into his com "Beacon, are you here, and if not where do I take a hurt hero?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
As Felicia flips one way, Spoiler is a not-quote mirror image flipping the other. She ends up behind a poor compact that just gets shredded, a few of the shots making it through the vehicle to hit her, though thankfully where costume has body armor. There will be some painful bruising, but none make it through the kevlar fabric.

Spoiler looks over and sees Strix's body getting peppered by shots, and Cass there as well, unable to tell if her friend is being hit too. "NO!" she screams at the sight. Stephanie watches as Strix is dropped to the ground, and then Cass?

Cass goes and is Cass.

Spoiler joins her, self-preservation set aside in her anger. While not the fluid machine of combat that Cass is, a half year of tutelage under Barbara and others shows. The exuberant punches of Spoiler's past have given way to practiced form and measured strikes. Her anger fuels those strikes as she starts landing kicks and bo staff blows as she closes on the gunmen and moves among them, making it difficult for them to shoot. One after another start to go down.

Strix has posed:
Strix is down, but not out. Not yet at least. She's still breathing and after a moment, she manages to get to her hands and knees. Even with her healing factor she's taken a lot of damage, and it's going to take some time to repair. Fortunately for her, the other heroes are more than enough to take care of the rest of the robbers.

Felicia Hardy has posed:
Felicia Hardy races up the stairs at a rather breakneck pace, for which she blames those thieves, because she was definitely not in the mood to run tonight and they've already made her run twice. She leaps forward and drives her knees through the glass of the exchange, since the alarm is already going off, summoning police. No need to be delicate, she quickly goes to work on some cases, clawed gauntlets slicing circles of glass and gathering up gems to drop in her pockets. Not as good as some of the stuff in the hard safe, but she doesn't have time to crack it, focusing instead on the usual hideyholes and secret stashes most of these places have just in case of crooks like her.

"Jackpot. Well, at least I got paid for my good deed," she purrs, leaping to run out the window and somersault below.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Are they? Oh yes, yes they are. Cassandra spots Spoiler incoming and wishes the other woman wasn't there, wishes she could do what she so wants to do, as she lets her elbows and knees do the jobs that her fingers wish they could be doing. She sacrifices the attacks from the assassin school for the gentler paths of Muay Thai and others.

Like this.

From Bagua Zhang, she sidesteps a circle around her first opponent, ending up behind him. The kicks she slams out, back and front, she pulls from Dambe and Capoeira, sending herself in a spin at the end. She lands sideways, an Eagle Kung Fu snap of the wrist combining with an Iaido move to pull the man's own weapon, slamming it into his jaw.

The interception of the next man's attack, armoured arm caught be the heel of her foot, she pulls from Jeet Kune Do. She punches the man's elbow with a Goju-Ryu strike, then headbutts with the power stolen from Lerdrit, a thai form of royalty.

From Hawaii she takes a Lua arm break, teaching a man the error of his ways in a firm manner. She climbs him with a Muay Thai move, then grabs his falling body and slams him in a circle, sending him into the men that Spoiler has just toppled. Pure Judo. Then she stands, breathing heavily, and looks about for oppoents.

Time elapsed? Not very damn much. And, done.

Bart Allen has posed:
Bart Allen stops and looks to Strix "Ummm, your getting up, you may want to see a doctor, I mean, you got like holes, like everywhere." He tells her, trying to figure out what he should do. Then he says "Oh wait, do you heal, yea thats gotta be it, I know this girl who grew her hands back, you may want to sit down." He gets one of the van seats and builds her a tower of van parts beside it so she can sit down and not get shot more.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
With that blur that moves too fast to be spotted disarming weapons, they men stand little chance against just Orphan. Let alone Orphan and a well-trained companion. Blows from Spoiler's bo staff, kicks and punches abound alongside the fluid martial arts of Cassandra Cain. Soon the threat posed by the men has been removed, and Spoiler is moving from one to another, cuffing htem.

The wail of the police sirens portend their arrival as they pull up to the scene, but too slow to catch the Black Cat retreating with her ill-gotten gains. The diamonds taken by the other thieves are recovered, and like the ones eventually determined to be missing might be thought lost in their attempted flight, perhaps taken by one who ran off rather than fight.

Spoiler looks over to Strix as soon as the men are neutralized. "We need to be careful," she tells Cass, knowing this could be a setup. But not willing to not help, even as she's remembering how near she came to death at the hands of a Talon, and how Batgirl took that near-fatal stab in her place.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra, now Orphan, pulls up her hood when the cops show up. She nods, they need to be careful, it's true. But her eyes turn to Strix. And she walks the few steps closer, letting her have that much. Trust; it is earned. And for all that there's liars in the world, fighting alongside someone is a measure of its own.

She is not ready to invite her to the Batcave yet, but hey. Maybe tomorrow.

Strix has posed:
Strix gratefully sits herself in the chair that Bart built around her to catch her breath as her back and insides heals to the point to where she can be mobile again.

At the sound of the police, Strix stumbles to her feet and makes her way to her sword and her hard-earned sub. She gives Cassandra a knowing nod as they pass each other and pulls her sword out with one hand, and the sandwich with the other. And with that she disappears into the night before the police can show up and ask questions.