From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Date of Scene: 06 November 2020
Location: Tricorner Docks
Synopsis: An arm's deal was prevented but the clean-up remains. As do questions, questions about the Shadow, questions about the Beast and of course, was that really a giant mutant turtle?
Cast of Characters: Bruce Wayne, Stephanie Brown, Natasha Cranston, Eddie Brock, Raphael, Damian Wayne

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Word has filtered out over the past few days to all those dirty little corners of the city that it tends to. There is a new group looking to establish their bonafides in Gotham. They know the city's reputation, but they're not concerned. If those Bat-freaks show up they'll see how well they do against some real firepower. They have one hell of a deal arranged to go down and no costumed freaks, no pathetic police force is going to get in their way.

Famous last words.

Bluster and bravado. There are times that the criminal mind make it almost easy to be one step ahead. In their efforts to look tough, this new crew has mainly ensured that word of their deal has spread throughout the criminal underground. Every informant, every low-level enforcer, every street dealer has heard details. Which makes it extremely easy for the local hero set -- and maybe even those beyond -- to get the pertinent details.

Midnight at Gotham Harbor. Pier Twenty-Two. Those are the whispers that have spread. Word is that the cache of weapons being moved is big. Not just small arms. Military grade stuff. The word is also that there are a number of parties beyond just the local vigilante set that might be interested in such a haul. Especially if they don't have to pay for it.

The warm day has given over to the increasing chill of the evening, a cold front sweeping in off the ocean. And in typical Gotahm fashion that means fog. Quite a lot of it. Mist swirls in amongst the huge cargo containers that wait to be unloaded, or filled back up and lifted onto waiting cargo ships. Footsteps, muted conversations all echo oddly or are muffled and the lights of several dark vans refract wildly off the moisture in the air, a scattered glow spread far and wide. This is not a stealthy bunch.

In the center of all that a dozen or so men are gathered around a quartet of large shipping containers. All are armed. All lock tense. Hushed speech is muffled by the mist. Briefcases filled with bills are open, exchanged, and those large cargo containers are pulled open with a metallic clang that rings out across the docks. Crates and crates of all manner of armaments can be seen within when patches of that foggy mess part. This is definitely the place.

On his chosen overlook a hundred or so feet away, atop of warehouse that all but blends into the darkness of the night, a familiar figure lowers a pair of infrared binoculars, glancing towards the pair he has brought with him tonight. "You know what to do," the Dark Knight says to his two protegees.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The dark purple and black of Spoiler's costume helps it blend into the night, her cape pulled about her to help break up the human-shape of a silhouette should anyone spot her. Her own binoculars are at her eyes as she studies the disposition of the men.

She swings her field of view away from the containers then to look around the surrounding area. "As widespread as word of this was, won't be surprised if they have backup nearby too," she comments. The binoculars move to check different positions that would be suitable for snipers. Finally the finely-crafted instrument is secured back in a pouch in her utility belt.

Spoiler hoists her grapple gun and looks over towards Robin. "Try not to be TOO stabby," she reminds him in a joking tone. She takes aim at the arm of a crane used for moving containers between shore and ships, and then swings out into the night to get into position.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
        Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

    The Beast's Paw's plans for a major arms deal were not as secure as they'd hoped. The Shadow knew of the plan for some time already, but the exact time and location of the deal had still been a secret -- until two of their underlings had discussed 'a big job' just a little too incautiously over a few beers, unaware of the significance of the blue girasol ring on the finger of a waitress... And now, The Shadow Knows.

    Some heroes can fly or swing between buildings; some vigilantes commission their own special vehicles... But if you want to truly go unnoticed, there are few things as unremarkable in the city, day or night, than a humble taxi cab plying its trade. Behind the wheel, Benny glances up into the rearview mirror to look at his employer as she does a final check of her pistols. "Ya sure you're going to use those, Boss? This is Gotham, and word is the Bat has /opinions/ on those."

    "I'm aware, Benny. And this /is/ his territory first and foremost. I'll try not to use them unless I have to. But I don't intend to be without them if it turns out I do need them."

    Benny nods, acknowledging the point as he slows down near the corner -- and the passenger door opens and closes, seemingly on its own, and the next time he looks back the seat is empty. "Ain't ever gettin'used to that," he mutters to himself as he drives down the street and makes his way back to the main thoroughfares.

    Shrouded from view save for her shadow, Natasha makes her way to a convenient spot to overlook the meeting place from...

Eddie Brock has posed:
Two hours ago Eddie Brock was tense.. really tense. The whole train ride to Gotham was spent with his fists nearly clenched, gripping the sides of his seat. The term "white knuckling it" certainly applied. The symbiote wanted to eat a birthday party. Eddie begged a more "heroic" method of sating the hunger building up inside them..

<<<It's time Eddie. Accept it.. we are One.. and we hunger..>>>

Eddie got off the train quickly, trying to ignore the voice long enough to get some privacy. He ducked into an empty alley, "I told you.. the harbor warehouse that I got that tip about from my contacts! It's a good tip! We'll eat them all! They're low level, easy prey!" His hushed shouting doesn't cause a scene luckily enough.

<<<We? You accept US then? We will rip them apart tonight. Next time it WILL be the innocent. We WILL be fully satiated on OUR terms. We are one Eddie..>>>

Presently Venom is fully transformed, Eddie has stopped struggling. He knew he was just delaying the inevitable but at least tomorrow he won't wake up with that conflicted mix of guilt and ecstacy. Venom however has no doubt, feels no hesitation, their movements above Gotham's streets are a twisted mirror of Spider-Man's heroic cavalry charge towards a crime in progress.

Landing on top of a nearby building, Venom watches silently, waiting for the prey to be most vulnerable. That moment will scream.. loudly.. and the hunger will drive Venom into action..

Raphael has posed:
It doesn't take a genius to know when a deal is going down.

Raphael moves through the waters of Gotham Harbor, intending to find..what, really? All they had to go on was that the Rat King was somewhere in Gotham City. Ignore the fact the news report got the name wrong. It wasn't the Rat King, but rather the Ratcatcher. No matter. Raphael, along with his friends and extended 'family,' heard what they heard. The Rat King was the one who forced them from their home, the one who made Splinter fight Raphael and Leonardo.

The one who would soon pay for everything.

First, he had to be located. That meant a foray into Gotham City, Batman's city, for some recon. Though Raph was hardly in favor of stealth all the time, it had its benefits.

Serendipity put him in the area of the big deal about to go down, whether he knew about it in advance or not. Word /can/ travel quickly through the underground, but in this case it's coincidental. Maybe one of them would be able to give him a lead. If not, he could still take out some of his aggression on somebody.

The top of his head pokes above the water long enough for the mutant turtle to peer through the hanging mist. Lots of cargo, lots of people. More than enough opportunity to do what he does best. That doesn't mean he has to be obvious about it right away.

This is how a gunman standing by the edge of the pier suddenly disappears from view, yanked into the waters below with little more than a yelp and a muted splash.

Probably wasn't paying attention. Probably just slipped.

Yeah, right. Not in this city.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Robin's eyes roll back in his head. "Try not to be..." He gestures to the whole of Stephanie. "that." He comments before taking off to get into position.

  Even though he was in a more colorful outfit than Spoiler, he still managed to find shadows easily, manipulating his cape was easy enough to cover the golds and crimson of Robin from the periphery of others. Finding a container high up, Damian manipulated his mask with two fingers, doing recon on his area, opposite Stephanie, enough to make it a mostly flanked approach.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The docks are definitely crowded tonight -- not that those engaged in their illicit business seem to take much notice of that fact, seemingly missing all the little clues that are out there. All the little noises that are out of place. The shadows that move about in ways that they just should not do.

But they are not as careless as they might appear at first glance. That sweep over some of the surrounding positions does indeed reveal that the crew has taken some precautions. On stacks of cargo containers to the east and west of where the deal is going down a pair of additional gunmen with rifles keep watch -- as much for possible treachery from their business associates as for outside interference. A lone gunmen also appears to be perched high above the docks on one of the huge cargo cranes that load and unload the arriving and departing ships.

But wait, that's not all. A rumble can be heard, a rumble that grows louder as it gets closer. It is the sound that reverberates across the docs before the lights this time, but those too appear out of the mist -- a dozen or more motorcycle headlights coming up on that eastern approach. The fog makes it difficult to make out, but judging by their colors it would appear that the LoBoys have arrived. As they leap off their bikes, the first, scattered sounds of gunfire can be heard echoing across the misty docks. Just another night in Gotham.

A few gunmen walk the edge of the dock, doing their best to stay alert in the cold and dark, the swirling fog making the eyes play tricks. One minute you can see your buddy fifteen feet away, the next instant the shifting mist makes it seem like he's no longer there. Certainly that seems to be the case as one of those thugs squints, looking towards the edge of the pier where another of the gang was standing moments earlier. "Tyrone? Hey, where you at? This ain't funny," he growls, starting over to the other edge of the dock.

This was always going to be messy. The carelessness of the opposition made that inevitable. Still, as the Dark Knight sees the approaching headlights to the east his mouth settles in a hard line. "New players," he says quietly over that subvocal mic in his cowl. "There's going to be crossfire. Be quick, start on the fringes and work your way in," he adds, his gaze flickering over the docks. Where the sentries might miss those tell tale clues that they are not alone, not much gets past Batman. Not in his city. "And keep your eyes open. I don't think we're alone."

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom's head darts in the direction of the LoBoys as they approach. There they are. They are the targets. When they are close enough, black tendrils shoot out from Venom, and attach themselves somewhere above and away, allowing them to swing with enough momentum, aided by a mid-air flip, to start their descent above the motorcycle gang.

Why attack the bikers and not the mercs? Probably because the symbiote wants to do both what Eddie begged them to do, and not do it, at the same time. Spite? An assertion of dominance so that their union remains more concrete on the symbiote's terms? Eddie will probably agonize over the "whys" tomorrow.

For now whatever passed for the silence of tonight's opening moves is shattered. Venom shrieks and roars as tendril, claw, and tooth begin to rip apart the first biker ganger. His screams will alert everyone else if Venom's initial attack did not.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Spoiler's mask hides her grin at Robin's retort as she swings through the night sky around the crane, in a wide arc that takes her away from the site of the arms deal. The winch on her grapple gun quickly reels her in towards the metal structure that looms out of the night like a giant arm extending ever upwards.

She shows a deft touch earned in recent months of training, slowing the winch in the last moments so she is nearly stopped in the moment she grabs hold of the crane's vertical arm, making a silent transfer from grappling to climbing. Spoiler makes her way up, climbing the old fashioned way to avoid any sounds of the winch or the grapple being set betraying her stealthy approach.

The rifleman is just there above her, gun extending over the edge as he lays flat, attention drawn by the sound of the motorcycles and gunfire. Spoiler swings her legs forward and back like she were on the uneven bars, and then jumps across to the other side of the structure, so when she climbs up to the man's level she's behind him.

A gloved hand reaches past and clicks the safety on the rifle on, a moment before the taser shocks him into unconsciousness. Spoiler does a quick check of him.

<< Sniper on the crane is down. They have hand radios for communications. Patching their frequency into our comms for monitoring. >>

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    Mercenaries. A bit better armed and disciplined than your common thug. But this time of night, and these surroundings, favour the Shadow entirely too much. A ripple in the fog, a moment's distraction, a muffled noise -- and another mercenary is on the ground and swiftly being relieved of his consciousness and his radio, in that order.

    Natasha makes sure the body is stashed /almost/ out of sight, then makes her way around to the next ambush spot, listening for traffic as she moves. That second gang moving in will /complicate/ matters, and it'll probably be best to take out at least some more of the sentries before they arrive.

    Tyrone's friend is conveniently looking away and toward the water; he doesn't even have time to notice the shadows rippling behind him before a pair of strikes to the throat and knee take him down. The noise is audible -- but just then the screaming starts and suddenly there's something way more important to worry about...

Raphael has posed:
Whoever was responsible for Tyrone having a swim is nowhere to be found. The guy who notices soon has someone else on his hands to deal with in the form of the Shadow. Further along, the fog allows the figure in the water to select another target. "Look at you mooks out here."

The voice comes from a few feet away and there isn't a whole lot of room from there to the edge of the dock. The man has just enough visibility to see a figure moving toward him, dripping water on the pier. He's not especially tall, coming in around five and a half feet, but it looks like he's got something oversized at his back. Bald, some sort of wrap around part of his head, tinted red, and..a very green body.

Gunfire erupts somewhere in the area, only acknowledged by a brief shift of the eyes toward the commotion. "Sounds like we got a party here. Can I be your plus-one?" Hands, only two thick fingers to go with an equally thick thumb, move almost faster than the guy can see as the figure comes fully into his view: a humanoid turtle, of all things, and there's a pair of sai tucked into a belt at the waist. "On second thought, I ain't gonna meet the dress code. How's about we just dance right here?"

Raphael's hands, by now, are striking at the man's midsection and gun, having counted on his appearance surprising the thug long enough to take advantage of it. Before the guy even knows what hit him, the ninja drops low and sweeps a roundhouse kick at the backs of his legs to take him off his feet, then aims a chop at the side of the neck to incapacitate him.

"You can't dance for shit," he scoffs, kicking the gun into the harbor before diving back in silently. A loud scream is heard right before, good for him to use as cover. He still has to actually ask someone about the Rat King if he's going to learn anything tonight.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian quickly made his way up to a point where he could take down someone...inverted.

  Making his cape rigid, and using a grapple to secure himself, Robin inverts, looking up to gauge his descent. One of the goons walks forward, not even seeing him, and calling in on the handhelds. "Yeah, I'm lookin' out but nothin' here." The guy comments.

  Robin drops down, enveloping the man in his cape, and knocking him unconscious. He ties the thug's ankle in the grapple, and lets him dangle off the crossmemeber before he dropped down to the ground. He continues to stick to the shadows, sneaking around to grab at the easiest prey before anything big starts.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
As the first sounds of gunfire break the relative calm of the docks the tension down at the heart of the deal ramps up to eleven in a big hurry. The coversation is lost in the increasing noise that fills the air. Clearly accusations or exchanged, fingers are pointed and finally, inevitably, guns are drawn. It is over in seconds, the apparent buyers in this arms deal gone wrong laying on the cold ground, bleeding out. Angry shounts continue to go out however and a half dozen of the survivors hastily begin to drag crates out of the shipping containers, loading them up into the black panelled vans.

The two sentries on the eastern shipping container pile have just started to shift, to bring their weapons to bear on the dozen or so LoBoys who have decided to make a play for the arms coming into the city tonight and put an end to the competition. Small arms fire clinks off those metal containers, adding to the noise and confusion, muzzle flashes lighting up the eastern edge of the confrontation. They storm towards the gap in the cargo containers, their numbers looking to be more then enough to slip past the sentries up above.

Which is about the time that the monster suddenly descends out of the night, the advance of the gang brought to an abrupt, screeching halt as those midnight rip apart the lead LoBoy. "What the fuc--!" scream the small horde that follows, their attention quickly drawn away from the gunmen up on the containers above to instead begin peppering Eddie and his symbiote with bursts of small arms fire.

The men on the outer perimeter seem capable enough. No raw recruits here. All are clearly mercenaries, ex-armed forces. They have probably operated in any number of the 'garden spots' around the world. None of them have been to Gotham though. The first of them never has the chance to do much more then gurgle as someone comes up behind him, putting him down -- fortunately for him, just unconscious -- before he's dragged out of sight. Nor does Tyrone's body fare any better as the numbers begin to whittle away, slowly but surely. But those screams in the night definitely do not suggest that things are improving for the better. Then again, that trouble has never met the Shadow.

If Raphael was counting on surprise, it is surprise that he gets, the patrolling merc not even having time to raise his weapon as the mutant turtle is suddenly on him. "What the hell are you supposed to be?" he gasps out as the sharp strikes disarm him, leaving him trying to hastily backpeddle -- and not having a whole heck of a lot of luck. He tries to reach for the knife hostered at his side but before his hands can wrap around that hilt he is knocked off his feet. "Wait --" he tries to speak, right as those chops put him out for good.

The mists are definitely their friend. Another tool in their arsenal and Robin makes good use of them. Another sentry is hauled out into the night, never getting a call out before he's knocked senseless and left strung up. More wander in amongst that maze of containers, but as the screams start guns come out, are leveled, men swinging around wildly. "Hey, wasn't Pete with us?" "Yeah, told you this was a mistake. This city's the worst, I don't care how good the pay is." "I can't see anything in this fog."

<< Good job Spoiler >> comes the quiet reply over the comm as the Dark Knight's shadowy flight brings him down atop the western container pile. Right between the two gunmen positioned there. Some of those making short work of Gotham's underworld fight in a way that is practically a dance. It is possible that Batman could do the same. But there are guns involved -- lots of guns -- and while he might hate them, he definitely knows their power. All too well. So his approach is swift and brutal, lashing out at joints and weak points without mercy, all designed to incapacity his foes as swiftly -- and somewhat brutally -- as he can imagine. As one of the men tries to bring his weapon to bear he finds his knee kicked hard, leg giving out beneath him. Which

Bruce Wayne has posed:
As one of the men tries to bring his weapon to bear he finds his knee kicked hard, leg giving out beneath him. Which makes it that much easier to bring his knee straight up into the thugs face as he collapses atop the container. One smooth motion brings the batarang in his other hand around, hurled towards the second man, jarring the rifle upwards, sending that spray of bullets into the dark evening sky ineffectively. << Give me a report on what you're seeing. The outer sentries are being taken out down by the water. Whoever's doing it is both quiet and effective >> the Dark Knight requests. Even in the middle of a fight he does not lose sight of the big picture.

The Beast's Paw radio signal flickers to life for those that Spoiler has tapped in. And almost immediately it is filled with a whole lot of swearing and obvious panic. "--ripping them to fu*crackle* shreads! I've never seen anything like it! You didn't pay us to fight some f*zzzzzt* monster!"

To the west now comes additional noise, a half dozen pick-up trucks rolling to a stop. More of Gotham's best and brightest. Street Demonz, natural enemies of the LoBoys. And... is that a machine gun mounted in the bed of one of the pick-up trucks?

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom's shrieks turn into a shrill cackle as they begin to feed both from the LoBoys' flesh and their fear. Indeed the terror is the dessert. Those gangers who have already been killed leave a grizzly scene. The torso of one there, the legs and waist of another there, blood and gore everywhere. It's not a sight for the squeamish.

Venom soaks the vast majority of the gun fire but they are not invulnerable. It's stinging now. Time to be less reckless..

Their tendrils shoot out again, this time directly above, grappling a crane arm which allows Venom to all but fly to the top of the machine and perch. They will regenerate the meager damage and rest briefly. Best not to take too much of a beating at once since there's more coming..

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Spoiler has a great vantage point up there on the crane that is one of the highest spots on this area of the docks. She pulls out her binoculars to quickly scan the area. << LoBoys are fighting some kind of monster, black-skinned and it's tearing them apart. Looks like the Street Demons and they have a heavy machine gun on one of their trucks. Meanwhile the Santa Paws are going for the weapons in their shipment. Going to focus on stopping the Paws. >>

Spoiler stows the binoculars and glances around, taking only a second or two to formulate a plan of action. She moves over to the crane's vertical arm, which is only slightly angled, and steps out, dropping onto her back on the metal and sliding down it at a terrific rate of speed! She gets near to the bottom and uses her grapple to arrest her slide. She looses the line and stows the grapple gun as she heads over to the crane's control booth, pulling out a pair of picks and undoing the lock on it with a speed that would have gotten a grin from Batgirl in their training sessions.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
That's just too perfect a line to ignore.

    "<<Then you should never have come to Gotham,>>" comes a reply over the radio, an already distorted voice made even worse by the poor audio quality -- but the dark amusement behind it is made clear enough by the sinister laughter that follows it for a few moments.

    Another merc thinks he hears the end of that chuckle emanate from somewhere to his left and spins around to scan the area -- only to find his rifle blocked by a hand that wasn't there a moment before.

    He has just enough time to note the shadow his rifle light casts on the far wall despite the apparent lack of obstruction before another fist blurs into view headed right for his face -- and then he has no more time for anything...

Raphael has posed:
Raphael can't do the entire fight by dipping in and out of the water. It's just not his style. Getting up close and personal is his way. It just gets the adrenaline going when he can see the shock in the eyes of someone he's fighting, when he can practically smell the fear.

Trouble is, there's a lot going on. Whatever caused that scream, it sounded like someone dying. With the fog around, patches of it are thicker in some places than others, and his trained eye leads him to believe he's hardly the only one here to deal with the trouble, though some are also here in hopes of making off with their own score instead of just putting a stop to it.

It sucks to have to be careful, to have to think like Leonardo. There's only so long Raphael can be that way, and his patience is running thin.

Suddenly, one of the gunmen finds his weapon yanked out of his hands, thanks to the tip of a sai digging into the muzzle to twist it away. "Knock knock," he growls, his free hand, still dripping wet, clamping around the man's neck. "Where's the Rat King? Tell me!"

Only one way to find out if someone here knows anything, and the man can feel his feet leaving the ground as he's hoisted up.

The mist begins to thin out from around them, at least in that area. The attacker certainly does have a shell at his back, a red eye mask that has twin tails hanging from the knot in back.

That's when he catches sight of movement in the form of Venom on the way to higher ground. "The hell..?" even he asks under his breath.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Robin catches the fight with the monster, and for a moment, the eyelets of his mask go wide. <<Woah...>> He'd seen gore, he'd seen blood, it was nothing quite new for him, but it was unexpected. Robin stays a moment, watching almost entranced in nostalgia.

  Moving off, Damian approaches one of the two that had been talking about Pete. He tosses a set of bolas to one set of legs, and quickly from there, a swift kick down, three punches, left right left. <<Apart from the monster, they're on to us.>> He comments, moving the unconscious men to the shadows before moving forward, towards the trucks that just arrived.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The situation is increasingly in danger of getting out of control fast. Some might think that Batman is just a little paranoid, but making this deal so public, so blatant, it almost feels like the whole point was to sow a little chaos. And if so, hey, misison successful. Of course more chaos is about the last thing that Gotham needs.

Those screams are impossible to miss and even as he deals with the last of the sentries up on the western containers, the Dark Knight's gaze darts back to the other side of all the shipping containers, those starlite lense inserts lighting up the night with a green glow, picking out the 'monster' in question. As much as he might want to investigate that, the arrival of the Street Demonz is an imminent threat as well. And it's closer. <<Copy that Spoiler. Do what you can to slow them down if you can't take them out.>> he agrees. <<Understood Robin. We have to clean this up fast. This is getting bloody>> comes that grim tone over the comms

While a group -- perhaps ten or more -- of the gangers pile out of those pick-ups, the truck with the machine gun mounted in the back begins to roll through the stacks, one of the Demonz in the back swinging the gun around with a grin, looking for targets. But not paying anywhere near attention that he should to the air above where that dark shadow moves swiftly, silently in the fog, positioning himself in a crouch, ready to drop down amongst them and deal with the threat.

Spoiler will find the door to the crane's controls easy to pick fortunately, swiftly opening to give her access. Even more conveniently, someone left a pair of keys inside making the prospect of bringing that crane to life a whole lot easier then it might be otherwise.

Down below in the clearing amidst the shipping containers, more and more of those wooden crates are piled into the backs of those vans, quickly filling them. "Hurrry, hurry," the one apparently in charge shouts. "Get 'em loaded and we're getting out of here," he screams, any bluster about not being frightened of Gotham superstitions apparently long forgotten.

As the black shape of Venom rapidly ascends to a crane overhead the screams, the fear, and yes, the gunfire still follow in it's wake. It would seem that Eddie has put an end to any fighting on the eastern side of the pier, if only because all the attention is now on killing the 'monster'. The small arms fire is likely of increasingly little concern, the LoBoys emptying clips at him, but even those that come anywhere near him at this distance only clink with little metallic thuds as they hit the crane in his vicinity. The automatic gunfire from the assault rifles in the hands of the sentries on the eastern stack might be of greater concern however.

"Who the hell is this? They're on our radio channels!" comes the panicked cry over the arms dealer's comms as the Shadow taunts the increasingly unsettled mercenaries. And increasingly those mercenaries begin to pull back, to draw in a tightening circle around the van's that are increasingly loaded up. As another of their number goes down, disappearing in the night with a thump more and more panic fire is sprayed out into the darkness in the direction of that shape that flits unseen amongst them.

Not all of the mercenaries even make it that far. One of them finds himself hauled out of position, eyes widening as he looks of the mutant turtle grappling him. "What... what are you?" he asks, words choked off by Raphael's grip. He tries to kick out, to twist away rather feebly, tries to call out for help as the mist thins, as he catches sight of his retreating partners in crime. "Rat... King... what the *gurgle* what are you talking about..."

Of course, while the mercaneries begin their retreat from where Raphael and the Shadow have been picking them off one by one, they are backing slowly through that maze of containers, right towards where Robin has been doing the same in that maze...

Stephanie Brown has posed:
For the Beast's Paw gang that are loading up the crates into their vans, things seem to be going well. Other people are taking fire instead of them, and maybe these two other gangs will fight it out with each other as they get away. Not just with their guns, but with the money that their now-dead buyers had brought.

Another crate is loaded into a van, the sound of gunfire and even flashes of muzzles noticed now and then through the mist. "Come on, hurry up before they-" one of the gang members says, but his words cut off as his eyes open wide.

A shipping container swings out of the fog right towards them! The man dives out of the way as the box of metal weighing in the tons passes overtop of him to smash into the van. The roof is ripped off and the van rolled over onto its side. The shipping container's momentum is hardly slowed as it swings through a second of the vehicles, sliding it sideways for a good twenty feet before it's flipped over on its side as well.

The container disappears off into the night again, leaving gang members groaning as they get back to their feet from where they've darted out of the way. At the crane's controls, Spoiler cackles and moves the container back for a pass at the remaining van.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom is certainly aware of the fact that the mercs will not hesitate to fire at them with their much more powerful weapons. They won't be able to tank those at close range for as long a period of time as they could the more 'civilian' firearms.

Venom watch in silence as the bikers quickly lose all semblence of organization. They will be easy prety for the Demonz. Venom considers their next target carefully, because without the element of surprise, they won't be able to hack and slash so boldly anymore. Attacking the mercs so soon will simply draw all of those assault rifles towards Venom. Not a good idea.

Instead they watch these Demonz, who seem to be more skilled, more prepared than the bikers. The hunger does not gnaw as it did before now that their stomach is filling with meat. Patience is now an affordable luxury.

But Venom realizes that they are a bit exposed and they quickly crouch down, belly pressed against the top of the crane, tendrils holding them in place, wrapped around the crane arm so that Venom can lay completely flat, and difficult to hit.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    You can retreat quickly, or you can retreat carefully. You can't do both. The remaining mercenaries outside the innermost circle face a dilemma. Travis chooses caution over haste - and has just enough time to realize he'd chosen poorly as an arm bar impacts his throat just before a leg sweep knocks him off his feet, a blurry hand grabbing his rifle and yanking it out of his grasp before he hits the ground.

    The voice on the radio laughs once again. "<<Did you really think this was going to work out well for you, Henry? That you and your bunch of amateurs and rent-a-goons could pull this off without me finding out? That I wouldn't KNOW?>>"

    Another chuckle, sinister and cruel, and the muffled sound of someone starting to yell and getting choked off in the middle. "<<And that's not even the stupidest thing you did tonight, Henry. /GOTHAM/, Henry. Anyone you talked to could have told you what a bad idea that was. Not that you would have listened...>>"

    The Shadow's laughter is briefly drowned out by the container wrecking their getaway vans.

    "<<Here's your offer, Henry, and it's not going to stay on the table very long so think fast. Tell what's left of your mercs and goons to lay down their guns and lie down with your hands on your heads, and when this is over you get to decide whether to surrender to me or to the Bat.>>"

     A guess, but an educated one, as Natasha looks at the batarang near the stunned merc she's standing over.

    "<<Or don't... And take your chances with that thing that's here to /eat you/...>>"

Raphael has posed:
"I'm a turtle. What, are your eyes not workin' so good?" Raphael answers the guy, turning himself enough that even if he does take a kick, it'll just glance off a thigh or side. When the answer isn't what he's looking for where the Rat King is concerned, his own eyes narrow. "Nah, you don't know a damn thing," he decides, and as someone else starts to train a gun on him it's spotted out of the corner of an eye. "Here, catch."

The man is flung in the direction of the other one, then the mutant turtle dips back into a thicker part of the fog. With bullets flying, with it still being difficult to pinpoint where everything and everyone is, a ninja still must be careful. The sound of metal scraping and tearing, glass breaking as well, leads to him taking a lower profile closer to the ground as he moves. As he nears a couple of the cargo trucks, he comes up with enough shuriken to throw at and flatten the tires on one side of two of them. Both sai slide into his hands, occasionally reflecting whatever light they happen to cross.

Should he have had his brothers here for backup? Maybe. Does he need them for this? Not in his opinion.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian keeps the fight going, as the mercs approach the maze of containers. There was a predator amongst them.

  He made his way closer to the trucks, on top of the containers, enough to see the machine gun planted. Damian kept to the tops of the containers, trying to work his way around to get the trucks. They can't move, if they have their fuel lines cut.

  Robin takes out a sharp batarang and holds it like a knife, his small frame making it easier to get underneath the trucks and slice through the lines.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Indeed, in the center of all the chaos, those that bear the ultimate responsibility for all the violence here on the docks seem to be sitting pretty, all things considered. There are not enough vans to haul all the weaponry away, but the ones present are increasingly full of all that illicit firepower. At least until that shipping container is swung in their midst. The vans might be solidly made and capable of hauling that hefty cargo, but they're little more then toys next to that crane. Vans crumple and roll, crates shatter and spread their loads across the docks as men scream and throw themselves aside, or else run for cover. Assault rifles, grenandes and -- are those missle launchers? -- scatter across the ground along with enough ammunition to stage the invasion of a small South American nation.

Spoiled indeed.

Situational awareness. It's something that the Dark Knight has worked hard at. It's key in any fight, not to be so zeroed in on a single opponent that you lose sight of other potential threats or even just the environment around you. Batman's good at maintaining that. But there's a whole heck of a lot going on and he is only human. Despite the reputation he might have gleaned over the years. His gaze flickers across the docks, lingering for a moment on the strange shape that appears to be questioning one of the fallen mercs. He listens to that unfamiliar voice break in over the gun runners radio, taunting them, seeking out the source. He even tries to keep track of the monster that so terrorized the LoBoys -- more and more of whom are racing back to their waiting motorcycles, seeking escape now. The night was scary enough with just the Bat to worry about. But the Bat doesn't tear them apart and eat them.

But it's the Street Demonz he is focused on right now, watching that small procession roll in through the maze of shipping containers, their path likely to bring them up on the retreating mercs. And then there will be more bloodshed in his city. Unacceptable.

A handful of soft, geletin capsules are hurled from his perch atop one of those containers, landing in amongst the Street Demonz, bursting open as clouds of sickly greenish-yellow mist begins to expand. No mere smoke capsules -- which given the fog and mist are not needed -- the intent of these become clear quickly as the gangers begin to choke and cough, eyes watering under the assualt of the tear gas. There's not even a smile from up above those as the Dark Knight simply slips a rebreather in his mouth. And then he is dropping down in amongst them, moving like a shadow as his opponent try to get a clean breath of air.

That circle of retreating hired guns tightens and tightens, backpeddling hastily through those tall, narrow quarters of stacked shipping containers all around them. They still hear those occasional screams, they grimace at the sound of that taunting voice coming through their ear pieces, on their radio frequency. Practiced as they are some of them still nearly shoot one another as they bump into each other during their retreat, every stray sound, every odd shadow that crosses their line of sight making them twitch. Even when their boss' voice sounds out over the comms it is not at all reassuring as 'Henry' pants, clearly panicked and out of breath. "I don't know who you are, but you're dead. Dead!" he practically screams over the radio. "You messed with the wrong Beast! When he's done with you... would one of you idiots shoot whoever is operating that crane!" he shouts before the comm goes silent on that end.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
In the mercenaries defense he probably has never seen a five and a half foot tall turtle walking upright with a headband like mask wrapped around it's head. Under the best of circumstances that would probably startle most people. And these are not the best of circumstances. Either way, he doesn't have a chance to respond before he finds himself flung into one of his fellows, both men going down into a heap. The Street Demonz's pick-ups fair no better and the pair of men left behind to keep watch on them gape openly at the sight of Raphael moving amongst them leaving flat tires and enough damage that pretty much insures that there is no quick retreat waiting for them. They do finally bring their gruns up, a spattering of gunfire clinking off the trucks and ground near the mutant turtle.

The mercs might not know how to move silently through a Gotham night, but Robin doesn't have that problem, not when there is so much mist and fog and confusion about. As he sneaks up on the trucks, slicing their fuel lines it will be hard to miss the fact that the two remaining Demonz have not noticed him at all. But they certainly do seem intent on shooting *someone*.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The shipping container swings back from out of the foggy night, smashing into the remaining van from the front. It tears away the roof right over the driver's seat just as a man was gunning the engine to try to get away. He bails from the vehicle as the van, but not the man, is decapitated.

At the crane controls, Spoiler is cackling softly. "This could so be a video game," she says as she maneuvers the shipping crate back over the weapons that have spilled out on the dock. She drops the crate there on top of them to help discourage anyone from trying to get at them, and then bails from the crane.

Spoiler slides down the ladder from the control pod to the ground, and then darts through the fog towards the site of the weapon's deal, planning to clean up the men there.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom hisses as the Demonz are attacked by a toxic cloud and a dark figure leaping into the fray. Their chance to feast on them has passed as there is no telling how that gas would affect Venom. Best not to chance it.

Their attention drifts back to the mercs, not much more meat is needed before tonight's meal will be over, and so perhaps one, or two of them is all that would be needed. Venom singles out one of the more isolated remaining mercs. Not that it matters much as they are all on high alert and those assault rifles will be aiming at them soon enough.

Venom's tendrils unravel, allowing them to leap into the air, and latch onto another crane, and silently swing towards the targetted merc.

A free tendril grabs him, another tendril carrying Venom past the container that the merc was standing on. His scream will draw attention but Venom's maw is already closing on the top half of the man's body.

The merc's bottom half is grabbed by a third tendril as it starts to fall, and is hurled towards another remaining merc.

Venom is sailing upwards until they release the crane in mid air, using the momentum to carry them through the air, and then behind cover on the ground as they land behind another cargo container.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    "Another question you probably should have asked," that voice replies with another sinister chuckle... And it takes Henry a moment longer than it should have to realize that it didn't come over the radio -- but from just behind him over his shoulder. As he spins around he has just a moment to see a pair of inhumanly blue eyes over a shock of red before he's unceremoniously grabbed and flung bodily into the merc to his right.

    The noise causes everyone else to turn inward, and they see just a glimpse of a tall, dark clad figure before it appears to evaporate into mist -- and a moment later, another merc doubles over around a blurry kick to the gut before he's laid out by a leg sweep.

    Sinister laughter echoes around the containers, and the mad dance of the light sources as the mercs try desperately to get a bead on the source make it all but impossible to effectively count the shadows.

    The fight was unfair to begin with, and when some of the Bats join the fray it only gets worse...

Raphael has posed:
Has Raphael bitten off more than he can chew? True or not, good luck getting him to admit it.

"Come on, then!" he challenges the pair before they start taking shots at him. The smell of gasoline begins to permeate the immediate area, and he adds, "Go ahead! Make everything blow up! That'll get you far!" Meanwhile, he dives under one of the trucks, flipping over to slide on the back of his shell before righting himself.

In that moment, he might just brush up against Robin, leading to him spinning in the youth's direction with one sai held in an offensive stance, one defensive. Raph holds his ground, waiting to see if he needs to make a move. He doesn't attack, but his position says he's ready to. Then there's another scream from what seems to be way too close. "What the hell is causing that?" is what he finally asks.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian's mask went wide again, while a spinning turtle shell came at him, before his scowl returned. He obviously wasn't a gang member, but he was also in a ready position, holding that batarang knife.

  "Guessing that is the monster they are talking about?" He retorts. "So...let's kick some ass?" Not that he's automatically super trusting, but at least the turtle isn't trying to kill him.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
With a quiet clunk, the Dark Knight lands in the flatbed of that pickup, one hand shooting up to thrust the machine gun mounted there straight up into the air as the staccato fire begins to tear through the night. He is none too gentle with the operator, the kick delivered to his chest sending him sprawling back, tumbling down onto the pier. He does not linger though, leaping from the back of the vehicle into the Street Demonz who cough and try to clear their eyes, most of them blindly trying to get out of the cloud. More then one simply plows headlong into one of the shipping containers, knocking themselves out as those watering eyes combined with the mist steals away practically their entire sight.

One of the mercenaries that is busy trying to retreat away from the Shadow and back to what he hopes is the safety of the waiting getaway vans never even sees the dark shape that suddenly scoops him up, those tendrils, snapping him up, pulling him skyward as he gives a sharp, short scream. Cut off in the most gruesome of fashions. But there look to be fewer and fewer targets of opportunity left for the black symbiote and its host.

Only 'Henry' and a pair of his hirelings remain upright in the center of it all -- or at least mobile, given how they crouch, looking fearfully skyward towards for another sweep of that flying cargo container. They do indeed try to deal with Spoiler, gunshots ringing out towards the crane. But if any of them come anywhere close to her there is no sign. Small arms fire at that distance is iffy under any circumstances. "You hold them off," Henry bellows at them, trying to be heard over the gun fire, even as he begins to back away. The captain has no intention of going down with the ship on this one.

But he's not being given a choice. As he whirls to run he manages to do so... right into the Shadow's grasp. He gasps, tries to reach out to push away, to push himself free.. and instead finds himself hurled into one of the pair he left to cover his escape, his breath rushing out of him loudly as they collide and collapse in groaning heaps. Then the last of the mercs in that now devestated clearing -- the debris of smashed vans everywhere -- goes down from that kick and leg sweep.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The pair advancing on Raphael try to get clever, splitting up, trying to circle the vehicle to surround him. The occasional shot rings out , pinging off the hood of one of the trucks, or the back bumper and both men look a little confused as the mutant turtle calls them out for that risky gunfire. But as the smell of gasoline reaches them a moment later even these two dimbulbs seem to have a flash of common sense, the gunfire ceasing. "I don't know what you are, but we're gonna see if you bleed. Ain't no one that messes with the Street Demonz," the ganger circling the back of the truck says, jumping out, gun levelled on where he expects Raphael to be...

...and instead of one target finding two. The two thugs might not recognize the mutant turtle, but Robin they know. "Look, it's the junior Bat. Ice him and his freak friend!"

It's probably the last mistake that those two will make for a good, long while.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown arrives at the spot of the weapon's deal just in time to see the final men taken down. Spoiler searches about for signs of anyone still putting up a fight, saying to the men, "Don't you know you need permits to conduct crime in Gotham? Forms submitted in advance. Signed in triplicate. So we know whose sorry butts it is we're kicking when you get here," she tells Henry.

Her eyes go to The Shadow as she becomes visible. "Thanks for the assist," she offers. Spoiler doesn't know how Batman will take there being others here in Gotham, but she'll offer that now while she can.

A man tries to stifle his groan as he reaches for one of the few rocket launchers that doesn't have a shipping container on top of it. Spoiler's staff is suddenly in her hand, telescoping to full size as she thunks him in the head. "Rocket launchers require a completely separate form," she says as she begins applying plastic cuffs to the downed men before they can recover.

<< The Beast's Paws have been put permanently on pause. Need any help with the rest? >>

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    No cowl, but between that slouch hat and the scarf there's not much visible of the face, but Stephanie can see the eyes narrow for a moment as she's looked over, then the figure nods. "The pleasure was all mine," they reply, perfectly courteous despite the voice before withdrawing a number of zip-ties from a pocket.

    "From the sound of things it seems the rest of the fight is well under control. Do you happen to have an estimate for how long it will take for the authorities to arrive and clean this up?"

Raphael has posed:
The colorfully-dressed Robin doesn't have guns like the rest, definitely isn't geared up like them even if he's got things of his own that are different. "Must be," comes Raphael's answer to whatever the monster being referred to is.

"And you don't have to ask me twice." Yes, this one does like to fight. He motions behind Robin with a flick of the sai in his right hand. "Trying to flank," is all he says before leaping forward, striking at the man's weapon with the sai held to attack, keeping the other one at an angle to assist in dealing with any possible strikes. Disarm, then drop.

He moves like he's been trained by someone with considerable skill, but there is a brawling style he shows as well. "You losers picked the wrong day. I don't know who the hell the Street Demonz are, and I don't care. You ain't street. You're fuckin' with Raphael, and I run this shit! Go back and tell someone after I get done beatin' your ass!"

If nothing else he's confident, even with a mysterious monster in the vicinity, helping himself to a punk picnic.

Eddie Brock has posed:
Venom laughs mercilessly as they finish consuming that last bit of meat. They are full now but Venom enjoys causing terror, and death for the sake of it, and the after dinner entertainment, as brief as it will be, commences now.

Venom quietly stalks the container maze until one of last two or three mercs remaining is detected. Their maw widens into a smile as a tendril shoots forward in the shape of a spear, impaling the man, and launching him into the air. Another tendril slices the man in half and the force sends both pieces careening in opposite directions.

Venom won't risk doing battle with the unknown heroes who they have been inadvertently aiding tonight. Their skill levels are unknown and there is nothing to be gained. Venom's stomach is full and they have the satisfaction of causing horror and atrocity. Their work here is done.

Venom's laughter is heard one more time, this time a gutteral, slimy sound, tendrils shooting into the air, and carrying Venom over the containers again. The tendrils continue to propel them forward until they have left the docks. No after battle interviews will be had with them.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian used Raphael's bravado to his advantage, he could be less stealthy now, and have more fun with distracted foes.

  One Demon is turned around, and with an elbow strike, disarmed. And after, a jump up, and a green armored boot to the face drops him.

  Wash, rinse, repeat. Robin moved with practiced ease, and it's obvious he was also highly trained, each of his strikes are deliberate and swift, hardly a mistake when it comes to Robin's combat. His face never softened, if anything, he started to smile after he started to gain his stride. He may not have his sword at this fight, but that doesn't make him any less effective.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
In the distance the sound of police sirens echoes oddly through the foggy night. But there is no doubt that those sirens are growing closer and closer. And no surprise either. Even down here on the docks there are probably a few people about to call the police at the sound of all the gunfire. The screams probably contributed to that too. Either way, the GCPD will likely be onsite in the near future to clear up the mess. And what a mess.

Not every one of the gun runners might be unconscious, and a few moan and groan as they crawl out of the wreckage of the smashed vans. One or two might try to go for occasional, scattered weapon that Spoiler has not managed to crush under the cargo container. But most appear to be very demoralized. If they are even still conscious. With the purple-clad heroine's display, any remaining resistance seems to go right out of those mercenaries who might still be contemplating trouble.

Those last few screams echo amongst the container maze as the last couple of mercenaries do not manage to find a way out until the monster of the evening finds them. It might be best that no one has the vantage point to see just what happens to them right at the moment. Some things are better left unseen, even for hardened vigilantes.

The pair rush the unlikely duo of Robin and Raphael, apparently having the sense to not risk firing their guns when a growing pool of gasoline spreads out beneath their now crippled vehicles. But that doesn't stop them from trying to pistol-whip the pair. One rushes Raphael, trying to use his hand gun like a club -- and finds himself schooled. He grunts in pain as the gun flies from his hand, pulling that wounded limb in and clutching it to his body as he eyes the mutant turtle with wide eyes. Then he just turns and runs.

Robin's foe doesn't even get that chance. There is no banter, just that quick efficency that he seems to share with his father. The thug's gun goes flying as it meet's Damien's elbow and even as he scrambles to put some distance between them he only finds a very unwelcome boot to the face the last thing he sees for sometime.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
In the container maze, the Dark Knight methodically hunts down the few Street Demonz that manage to flee the cloud of yellowish tear gas. Even as they try to clear their eyes and nostrils of the gas they find themselves slammed into nearby containers or brought low by swift strikes, their limbs swiftly bound before Gotham's Protector moves on. As that laughter fills the night air he grimly takes to the top of the containers once more, seeking out the source and watching Venom sling itself away from the scene. For just a moment he considers following... but reality sets in. He's not catching up to the monster. But he's not likely to forget anytime soon. Those screams are definitely going to linger in his memory. More dead on his watch, even if they aren't the innocent.

Stalking away, he murmurs over the comm <<Robin, report. Status?>> he says briskly even as he drops down into the center of the now quiet storm, surveying the scene. His gaze flickers towards Spoiler, giving her a nod before turning to the more unfamiliar figure, studying the shadow for a moment. "We should talk. Soon," he says.

That's about as warm as he gets with strangers when the cape and cowl are on. Or really, with anyone in truth.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The last bad guy's hands are secured behind him, Spoiler straightening as the large form of Batman drops into the vicinity. At his comment about they should talk later, she gives him a quick nod of agreement. A half year ago, there would have been concern and worry in those blue eyes that peer out from above the mask that covers her from the nose to her chin. Worry about what he'd want to talk to her about. Now? There's just the nod, and returning her focus to the business at hand.

Spoiler moves a few of the worse weapons that are still exposed, gathering them in an area for the police to guard more easily. The cases of money are opened and a soft whistle given. She holds the case up so the bound bad guys can see it before she slams the lid shut on it again. "See, the saying is true. Crime doesn't pay. But it does result in some nice police seizures and forfeitures," she tells them. "The City of Gotham thanks you for your donation."

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    The Shadow finishes lashing their current subject's wrists together with zip ties, then rises to face the Batman - one Dark Knight taking another's measure. The standoff lasts for a moment longer, then the Shadow nods. "If you wish," they reply, then glance around pointedly in the direction of the approaching sirens. "But this is neither the time or the place for it. I shall be in touch..."

    A slight bow, a touch to the hat, and they turn to walk away, fog and shadows coiling around their feet as if they have a will of their own - and between one moment and the next, the figure is gone from view entirely...

Raphael has posed:
"Yeah, that's right! Run away! Is Wayne Brady gonna have to..oh, damn."

Raphael was just starting to approach Robin for a customary fist bump when he cuts himself off, motion drawing his attention amid the fog that thickens and lessens in spots. Now, he begins to see more of those who gathered both expectedly and not in order to handle business. Is that /the/ Batman? If one of the Robins is here...gotta be.

Another glimpse or two, and there is a moment where he isn't sure whether to disappear or linger. Maybe just a couple minutes longer, and he shifts his attention toward Robin. "Is that who I think it is?" he stage-whispers. The sai end up back in his belt, tucked there safely. The question and the look carries a note of acknowledgement to the skill Robin showed.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     <<Trucks are incapacitated, they won't be going anywhere.>> He comes back to Batman on comms, before he turns and nods to Raph. "Yes." Is all he really has to say before he stows his batarangs back into his belt.

  <<Got an assist by a giant turtle.>> Not that it would sound any less insane over comms.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The sound of those sirens grows closer and closer, filling the air with that particular music that Gotham residents are all too accustomed to. Increasingly the flashing red and blue lights also begin to reflect of all the fog, the light diffusing, spreading farther and farther across the docks and over the nearby water. That's always a pretty good indicator for the vigilante set to make itself scarce. They might be on relatively good terms with the GCPD these days, but there is also no reason to rub the noses of the police in their presence.

Well well, so that's what it feels like. With the Shadow's abrupt departure one wonders if the Dark Knight can now relate how Jim Gordon probably feels? Maybe he'll finally stop vanishing between one sentance the next, without so much as a goodbye?

Yeah, probably not.

<<We'll debrief back at the cave,>> he says over their comms for the benefit of Robin. With another nod for Spoiler he draws out his grappler, aimming it towards the warehouse complexes that loom beyond the docks. There is a flickerof motion and suddenly he is soaring away, cape flapping behind him until he disappears into the shadows, little more then a flicker of motion against the night sky.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Spoiler makes good her departure in much the same fashion, grapple gun shooting a bat-shaped head out into the night, being drawn up the line to pull her into a swinging arc as she departs off into the night. The path of her swing giving her a view of the docks as she shoot past overhead.

<< I swear I just saw a giant turtle. Glad I withheld asking if you were on something, Robin. >>

Raphael has posed:
Raphael huhs, not really a scoff, but there's an exhale of breath. The adrenaline did get moving, no doubt about it. "I guess it's true, then. He really is everywhere around here."

He considers Robin, only to add, "Good shit," regarding the fighting, but the sirens are getting too close and Batman already seems to be ushering his crew out of here. Fortunately the fog spared Raphael from seeing the messiest bits of this fight, but he got a little something out of it even if he didn't find out what he was hoping to.

Silently, he moves around the side of the closest van, putting him on a path for an equally quiet departure back into the waters of the harbor.

There will have to be another time to dig into the mystery of the Rat King.

And yes you did, Spoiler. Yes, you did.

Natasha Cranston has posed:
    The police cars race full tilt toward the crime scene, barely taking notice of the various oncoming cars that quickly pull to one side of the street or another to get out of their way. They certainly have no reason to think there's anything out of the ordinary about a taxi plying its trade at this hour.

    As the final cop car dwindles in the distance, Benny sighs and pulls back into traffic again, not even bothering to look up as he hears the passenger door close.

    "Busy night, Boss?" he asks as the cab picks up speed again. "You could say that," Natasha replies, removing the hat and scarf. "Productive, however, and well spent. We'll be back here soon, but for now -- home, if you will."

    With that, she leans back into the passenger seat, closing her eyes to rest. There'll be questions. And possibly answers, although that's never a given.

        For who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man?

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Another night in Gotham City.

In minutes dozens of uniformed officers are all over the docks, picking their way in amongst the cargo containers, finding ways past the destroyed vans and crippled pick-up trucks. It will take time to gather up the thirty or forty down mercenaries and gang-members that have been left tied up, unconscious or otherwise incapacitated across the sprawling pier.

And while thisarm's deal might have been prevented, there is still the question of just who the Beast in question might be. And just what he hoped to accomplish here in Gotham...