5458/The Beast: Out of the Shadows

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The Beast: Out of the Shadows
Date of Scene: 06 March 2021
Location: Gotham Royal Hotel
Synopsis: The leader of the Beast's Paw is revealed with explosive results. With their true target finally established the bat Family and their allies will need to put an end to the Beast's activities before he plunges all of Gotham into an underworld war.
Cast of Characters: Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Stephanie Brown, Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe, Cassandra Cain, Jim Gordon

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It is certainly no revelatio, at least not to those in the know; The Gotham Underground has been in considerable flux lately with old alliances and old boundaries falling by the wayside what with the intrusion of the new fact -- the Beast's Paw -- into the mix. Thus far the new criminal organization has shown little interest in carving out it's own piece of the criminal action in Gotham City and more has seemingly done its utmost to bring about a general gang war with attacks against and traps laid for a half dozen different factions. It has brought a great deal of violence and chaos to the city streets. And it doesn't appear as if it is going to end any time soon.

The Gotham Royal is an... unusal spot for a criminal gathering. The high-end hotel is popular with the social elite of the city to be certain, but the fact that one of it's smaller but equally luxurious private dinning rooms has been set aside for a meeting of representatives for a half dozen gangs and criminals organizations suggests that they might not be all that picky about their clientel. Or that the hotel ownership group might have one or more less then reputable silent partners. Tucked away into their little corner in surroundings opulent enough to make a few attendees definitely stand out in stark contrast two dozen or so representatives of the Ghost Dragons, the LoBoys, Street Demonz, the Burnley Town Massive, the Escabedo Cartel and the Sionis Crime Family have gathered to discuss their response to this incurison into their territories. It has been sometime since so many criminals from so many different factions have been in one place here in Gotham. A tempting target, for anyone who might have been able to ferret out news of such a meeting.

Someone like the very individuals who have been intruding into these criminal factions territories for the last several months? As the chaff has been cut away from the wheat, the Beast Paw's core has been revealled to be more then a little competent and apparently made up by a large number of international mercenaries. The very sorts of men that might be able to dig up intel on a secret meeting like this and plan an appropriate response. While they might not have had much luck when coming up against the Bat Family, well, they are hardly the only criminals in Gotham that would have to admit to that. So it probably doesn't bode well that a trio of dark vans come to a stop in the underground parking garage beneath the hotel, right by the service entrance, the rear of the vehicle swinging open as a host of heavily armed men in black ski-masks and urban camoflauge begin to pour out of those vehicles, a few spreading out to keep watch of the garage. And one very large figure swathed in shadows joining their ranks for the first time.

Of coursem such a gathering is unlikely to go unnoticed by another particular group in Gotham City. They are every bit as likely to be interested in such a collection of criminals all gathered in one place. And while they might not be inclined to rain down the hail of bullets that seems to be approaching from anotehr quarter it is doubtful that the assemblage in the dinning hall will be any more happy to see them...

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing is on the outside of the building, about three floors above the dining room in question. He's got cameras stuck at every entrance feeding to the HUD in his mask, so will have warning of that collection of vans showing up and disgorging a small army of mercs.

<<We have company coming. Multiple heavily armed opponents>>

He's glad he wore his new outfit today, it's a bit more bulletproof than his normal skintight suit. A press of buttons on one bracer highlights the entrance the mercs are coming through for any of the other Bats on the network.

<<Batgirl, any signs of activity inside?>>

He knows her well enough to know that by now she'd have bugs planted and be in a good position on the inside of the dining room, or at least hanging out very near it.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The drink orders took forever to fill in the hotel kitchen. Stephanie Brown had avoided tapping her foot or otherwise appearing antsy. She'd not been able to plant any bugs yet, knowing the hoods would sweep the place before they began. So being able to roll in there with their fresh beverages was the best time to plant the listening device.

Finally the last drink is made and she wheels the cart through the hotel, up a ramp and then over to the private dining room. The guard on the door looks her over in a way that seems more like oggling and less like making sure she isn't carrying any concealed weapons. He finally looks back to her face. "We'll take the cart in," he says.

Stephanie shows a surprised expression. "Are you sure, I can-"

He looms over her. "I said, we'll take the cart in."

The blond smiles back to him. "Great then I can go take my break early," she says, turning to move away, looking back over her shoulder to give a little finger wave.

She walks down the hallway and makes the corner, then quickens her step into a utility room. Once inside she goes over to a case hidden behind some boxes. She opens it up, revealing a little television screen and joysticks.

The screen comes to life, showing a view from the bottom of the cart as it is being wheeled in by security. As it gets near to the large table, Stephanie hits a button and the little tiny drone drops free of the bottom of the cart. She flies it under the table and then upwards, until a light comes on telling her the bug extending out of the top above the blades has made contact with the table.

She flies the drone back beneath the cart and docks it again. << I have audio coming in now. Dang, the Beast's Paws? Not even going to get to listen in on them before it gets loud. >>

She stows the controls for the drone and then begins removing her clothing, revealing the Batgirl costume beneath. She adds her utility belt from where it was hidden, and pulls on her cowl.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie basically modified her extra outfit to actually fit the pint sized demonic frame she is currently stuck in. (https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/marvel_dc/images/1/12/Demons_Three_004.jpg).

Yeah she could go all big bad demon, she figured that part out, but it is super strange and definitely causes some cognetitive dissonance so she has been staying smallish and doing what she can to keep her mind off the whole thing.

Soon Raven should be back from Paradise Island or Zatanna from space. That or maybe that Doctor Strange guy.

In the meantime though she is still doing what she can to help, which right now is sitting on top of a nearby building with a tablet in her lap watching through the various feeds and bugs while she waits for something less subtle being needed.

<<Want me to drop in on the gunmen?>>

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra isn't responding to the messages, not even a tap on her earbud. Which would make sense since she's not able to move her arms. Deep inside, with other captives the organization took earlier in the day, the little asian lady is zip-tied to a wall with a bunch of others. Mostly girls, each one of them beaten and given a drug to keep them docile.

She said that she could handle it, as far as anyone was able to tell. She walked into the trap on purpose, and hasn't drawn attention to herself. Let's hope that she's actually doing as well as she made the team believe she woudld be.

But the smile on her face as she hangs there, waiting, is subtle. And she has tested her bonds. The guards are no longer really paying attention to -them-. Soon.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
While the meeting might ostensibly be to discuss the matter of the Beast's Paw and perhaps come to an arrangement on a tentative alliance to drive them out of Gotham, or even better, wipe them out entirely that doesn't mean that it isn't also an opportunity to do a little business of the side. VIP clients get the VIP treatment, and if that means they require a couple of extra rooms set aside, ones that are strictly off limits to all staff, well that's what they get. It almost doesn't matter which group happens to be engaged in the human trafficking -- though the Sionis Family is a pretty safe bet. Just one more item on their checklist this evening.

<< Do what you can to keep the Beast's Paw away. We don't need a full scale gang war to break out here. There's no other events scheduled for tonight, but a gun battle will almost guarantee stray casualties too. >> the Dark Knight's grim voice comes in over the comms. << And the longer we can keep the little conference unaware of the imminent threat, the longer they might say something useful >> he notes. The Dark Knight doesn't tell them to keep an eye out for Orphan. They all know she hasn't been in contact for awhile. Not that it is necessarily a huge surprise.

In the opulent dinning hall there is a great deal of chatter and more then a few pairing as the biking leather clad Street Demonz chat with Sionis' representatives in their masks and other such contrasts. Clearly the dress code that might apply to some guests have been waived here. So far they largely seem to be socializing, though more then a few angry words are offered up for the latest interlopers in Gotham's underground and more then a little speculation who might be behind the gambit.

A full dozen armed mercenaries crowd into service elevator, the quiet ding as the door closes and the lift begins to rise up to the main floor echoing through the quiet parking lot. The other dozen or so, including the shadowed figure of their leader enter the darkened stairwell.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing drops to a lower level of the roof and forces the door to the shed holding the machinery for the service elevator. Splitting forces seems like a good idea just about now, and the more mercs trapped in an elevator, the less causing trouble. He moves over to the machinery and, with a grand lack of drama, simply turns it off. Hopefully between floors, to make it that much more difficult for them to get out and join their friends. At the least, it will screw with their timing.

<<Got some trapped in the elevator for now, more on the stairs.>>

Between Steph planting bugs and cameras on the inside of the hotel and him doing the same on the outside, they have pretty good coverage of the building. After all, they're working ahead of the criminals for a change instead of catching up. It's nice to have prep time.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Batgirl checks on the progress and hears Nightwing's update. << Ok I can delay those on the stairs for a bit. Misfit I need you here where I'm at. >>

The female caped crusader is already slipping out into the hallway, thankfully still around the corner from the room where the men are at. She heads down to the door to the stairs, but goes just past it as she spots what she's looking for.

By the time Misfit has teleported to her, Batgirl already has the glass case over a firehose open and is pulling the nozzle out. "When I say the word, crank this on," she says, adding a soft laugh in anticipation.

The firehose gets dragged behind her to the stairwell door and she gets just enough slack in there she can move it around effectively. She waits then until she can see the first of the armed man, a full landing below.

<< Ok hit it! >>

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
The way Misfit seems to work, is she zeros in on teleporting to people or places she is familiar enough with. The whole demon thing has changed the rules a bit. Sure the demon can teleport but it isn't quite the way she did it before for the time being.

She misses her body.

She does leap to her feet and then teleports but it isn't the cheerful red and purple smoke it is more like a pop as the air displaces and the demon Misfit is by Stephanie. "Ugn... that just doesn't feel right." she notes bitterly now.

She waits for the call to crank it tough with a snicker. <<Okay.. this oughta be surprising.. don't get shot.>>

When Stephanie says all clear, she cranks the wheel letting loose a whole lot of water through the hose for Steph.

<<Heading to deal with the elevator crew...>>

Cassandra Cain has posed:
While many people may miss Charlie's body, it's usually in a different fashion than the way she is now. Cassandra still feels bad for letting the change happen. She feels responsible. But at the moment, she feels other things that take priority.

At the moment, she's feeling angry. A guard, bored with his lot, wanders into the room. The captives, many underage, are slumped against walls. Arms above their heads, they are tied there. The miniature earbud tells her that the team is active and on site, so when the guard manhandles one or two of the captives, she cracks open one eye.

A moment later the space on the wall where she was is empty. The door is open, the guard lays on the floor, quiet. And she sends a picture of the group to Oracle, along with a location.

Then she's out the door, her shoulders cracking as she puts them back into place. Looking left and right, she looks into the shadows. Then she spots a vent she can duck into.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
Inside the private dinning hall the little conference of some of Gotham City's absolute worst continues, entirely unaware that the Bat Family works to actually protect them for a change. Only so that they can take them down later, admittedly. Still it beats what the Beast's Paw has planned for them, so there's that. The crowd continues to circulate, chatting in small groups -- occasionally posturing or bringing up old grudges by the sounds of it while they pick food from platters since no wait staff have been allowed inside. It's about what one would expect from this gathering of mobsters, gang members and drug dealers.

That service elevator comes to an abrupt stop, and indeed it is between floors though it doesn't catch them entirely. There is room to crawl out, right at the top when the doors are wedged open but the gap is narrow and difficult to reach. It will take time for the dozen or so mercenaries to escape the neat little trap that Nightwing has arranged to welcome them. But while there is some muttered cursing they seem to take it rather well. Calm and cool. Professional.

The climb up the stairwell is a little more difficult then the nice easy ride up the elevator. But on the bright side it can't really be interrupted, so there is that. Or at least one would imagine that would be the case. But the lead merc glances towards the door that suddenly opens just ahead and the figure wielding the end of what looks to be a hose. While he doesn't break his stride, he hastens to try and bring that automatic rifle to bear on Batgirl before she can unleash that blast of high pressure water. Now it's a race.

So often they put the darkness of the city that they patrol once the sun goes down to work for them. Or they utilize surprise. Or superior intel. More often then not they get to combine all of that together when they're making their move. And just as often it is about cutting off the other side's options. So while Nightwing has kept surveillance outside and put that to good use in slowing and separating the Paw, and while Batgirl, Misfit and Orphan work from the inside, the Dark Knight comes up from beneath. The parking was always the most likely entry and egress for anyone looking to make trouble. So that's where he is, stalking through the concrete paths lit in that orange glow, flitting in amongst parked vehicles until he nears the service elevator entrance and the three vans waiting there. << Taking out their exit strategy now. >>

Dick Grayson has posed:
Once the elevator is stopped, Nightwing heads for the inside of the hotel. There's nothing really to be accomplished out here, and with the numbers he saw going in, they'll need all the help they can get. His closest entrance is the roof access of a stairwell, though if it's the same one the mercs are using that is only by coincidence, it's simply the one closest to him. He takes the stairs in leaps, heading for the floor Batgirl and Misfit are on, since it sounds like that's where the party is about to start.

<<I'm coming in, try not to get shot>>

He checks the floor map on his HUD and rushes out a door onto the floor above where Batgirl is, cutting through hallways towards the stairs the mercs are using.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Batgirl points the hose at the men, trying to show as little of herself as possible as she thinks, "I should really try not to get shot." Dick's voice squawks through her comms a moment later as she grins.

She sees the man bringing up the rifle, and opens up the nozzle all the way, hoping the water gets there before the bullets do. Suddenly water erupts from the end of the hose, hitting the man just as he was bringing the gun to bear on her.

The kick from the hose is nearly enough to knock Batgirl off her feet even as she was trying to brace herself, expecting something like that. The hard stream of water that hits the man has an equal force, blowing him off his feet and back into the men behind him, his gun going off.

Batgirl leans forward, muscle the hose to spray the men while they are surprised and bodies are tumbling over each other from the stream of water. << Got them delayed but this won't last for too long. >> She keeps directing the hose about, trying to hit anyone who looks like he's getting his bearings back enough to shoot at her, but she knows she's going to have to bail soon.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie meant it when she said she was heading to the elevator. She dashes along ... or is it scampers.. scuttles... in this form hard to say.

Still she skids around a corner and then bounds the rest of the way to where the elevator is stuck with them trying to pry the doors open and crawl out.

"So much cursing." she notes, in that scratchy demonic voice though.

Still she reaches down, even as she lets the form she is in grow to full demon size and grabs the first mercenary around his upper body to help him out of that narrow gap, drawing him up eye to eye.

"You have no idea how much part of me just wants to bite your head off, so you're welcome." she notes very matter of fact before simply tossing him like a ragdoll into the wall now.

Nothing to see here.

Then the demon crouches to glance briefly into the elevator. "Who is next?" with a grating rumbly voice.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Orphan having gone in ahead of time seems a little odd, but there was a purpose to it. She finds it in the vents, where her pack was hidden for this moment. The person who reappears a moment later is much better equipped than the raggedy bum she appeared to be, and carries some neat little tricks.

Like the water she gives each captive, from a small canteen. She shushes them; this isn't their escape time, but the trackers in the refreshing drink will let the Bats find them later, allowing them to keep them in the (relative) safety of this cage. None will be lost.

It takes time out of the assault, but time well spent. And by the time Nightwing is in place, Orphan will be as well. And in her armoured hoodie and pants, instead of trying to do this nearly naked.

Sure, she loves a challenge, but that'd just be dumb.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It might be a fairly quiet evening on this floor of the hotel -- the illicit gathering apparently the only even booked this evening. The shops too are locked up for the evening for the most part so only a few stray guests looking around, or hotel staff passing through are about. But that's enough to get a start, to recoil back as Misfit barrels on through, their brains already working to convince them that what they saw is impossible and therefore is just a trick. They might have that luxury. The men trapped in the elevator? Not so much. As one of them gets assaulted by the demonic beast, the hardened mercenaries are recoiling in terror, more then a few shouting, screaming even. Stray, panic fire is directed towards that narrow gap at the top of the elevator and the floor they can see there, though the tight quarters make that verging on the pointless.

In this case, water is indeed faster then bullets and that powerful spray catches the lead mercenary square in the chest as he tries to bring his rifle to bere, sending him flying back into the man behind him, knocking them sprawling down several steps. That chain reaction is immediately cut off though at the midpoint of the formation, a hulking man in body armor and a blue hood braced against both his men and a spray. He doesn't carry a rifle and instead a strange and wicked looking metal contraption envelops his right arm. Even as some of his men stagger back into him levels that arm, pointed in the vague vicinity of Batgirl. The blast that follows echoes through the stairwell with almost deafening loudness and the shells all but explode just off to the side and little above the caped heroine, large holes ripped in the wall revealling the hall beyond. A second blast quickly follows and the door behind Batgirl is all but blown off it's hinges.

In the dim light and general confusion it isn't easy to get a clear glimpse, but then between the costume and the unique weapon one probably isn't needed. The KGBeast has taken the field.

That lack of awareness of the trouble they might be in, locked away in their opulent private dinning chamber might be coming to and end. With the closed doors and chattering conversation those blasts are muted, but not entirely suppressed. Tensions are running a little high, high enough that more then a few eyes turn towards the door by the sound of that second blast, suspicious looks tossed back and forth throughout the room.

Down in the Parking Garage the Dark Knight doesn't waste a great deal of time. As the cover of the parked cars is exhausted, he simply charges the remaining distance, a tossed pellet proceeding him, smooshing against the concrete pavement amongst the trio of guards left to watch over the vans, billowing clouds of fog unleashed, almost immediately expanding to engulf the three vehicles and their guardians. Without even a seconds hesitation Batman plunges into the mist.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie remarks out loud and on the comms <<You would think they have never seen a demon before.>>

She whips her tail around the guy she slammed into the wall like a ragdoll and gives him another tail slam to the wall while she studies that gap there in they are trying to shoot out of.

There is a thoughtful growl grumble as she fishes in the very small utility belt and plucks out a metal sphere between two claws. Carefully giving it a twist to the right then a double twist to the left she flings it into the open gap to the cramped panicky elevator full of mercs. "You should probably close your mouths and not swallow any of this stuff!" growls the demon.

She totally dropped a bat grenade in there, nonlethal, one of the glue/goop ones that is good for general nonlethal takedowns.

She is sort of curious what it will do in an enclosed space like this.

For science.

Jim Gordon has posed:
Jim Gordon pulls up near the hotel, along with a small cadre of plainclothes officers. The tip they got was vague enough that he didn't want to come in sirens blaring. Could easily be nothing at all. Captain Todd behind him barked a bit about the commissioner coming along, it not being safe, a bunch of nonsense that adds up to 'Jim Gordon is too old' until the commish finally shut him down.

"Enough. I'm here. We're here. Let's get down to business. We're going in the front. You boys fan out and see if you can find anything suspicious," he says, marching towards the building with five men alongside him. Anybody from around here will recognize Jim's face pretty quickly, he's on the new all the time. Maybe he should've put out the signal for this, but dammit, some things are still police business.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Barreling through the halls, Nightwing gets to the correct set of stairs, kicking the door open as he hears the blasts coming from the floor below. He slides down the stairs until he has an angle on the mercs and their leader, then raises his arm and with a *phut-phut* of compressed gas lauches two pellets into their midst. When it hits, the first emits a piercing tone at a frequency and level meant to incapacitate normal humans. The second is a knockout gas pellet that bursts into an unhealthy looking green cloud that fills that part of the stairwell.

<<Might want to mask up if you don't want to nap>> comes over the comms as he covers the lower part of his face with a black filter mask. He peeks down, trying to spot the heavy weapon he heard firing and probably spotting KGBeast in the middle of the gas cloud.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The massive shells leave Batgirl's ears ringing as she finds herself lying on the stairwell landing. Her grip on the hose is gone, and it is writhing around like a snake in a mosh pit, slamming into walls and shooting water wildly.

"I really need to avoid avoid getting shot," she mumbles to herself as she gets up enough to throw herself over to the stairwell door. A hand goes to her utility belt and a few flash pellets are tossed onto the stairs below. Just buying herself time as she pulls herself out into the hall and staggers to her feet.

<< Ah. Right. Got a big one here. Size of Bane. Body armor. Some kind of arm canon. IT'S REALLY LOUD. >>

Batgirl stumbles across the hall until her back hits the wall there, using it to steady herself and get fully upright. She pulls the filtered rebreather from her utility belt that she used to go after Rat Catcher with Barbara, snapping it onto her cowl and activating the airtight seal.

She pulls out her grapple gun, crouching and moving nearer to the door. Waiting for the right moment.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Keep them from shooting at each other. Don't let this become a bloody war. That seems to be getting closer and closer, as Orphan watches the events going on. Well, she can't see everything going on, but she can read body language and the body language of the guys in the main room is starting to look closer and closer to Bad Ending.

So she walks into the room.

How far are you willing to go, in order to keep things from becoming a bloodbath? Orphan, in full gear, walks into the room filled with anxious Maggia hitmen, and stands there, drawing their attention away from the sounds outside the door. She lets their eyes turn to see her, heads turning, bodies rising from tables.

She is, as far as they're aware, alone. And with a bat symbol on her shirt, she slapped on a moment before.

The Maggia will be delayed in joining the rest for a bit longer.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It is pretty rare that the bad guys all cluster together in a tight pack in an enclosed space during their standard melees. But in all fairness most of those don't involve them menacing the bad guys in demon form. These are rather unique circumstances and result is pretty much like one would imagine. With nowhere to go, and nowhere for the blast to spread beyond the confines of the service elevator the explosion of goop is loud and very messy, leaving the dozen for so mercenaries covered practically head to toe, struggling to move at all as the goop begins to harden. Neither the hotel nor the GCPD might thank her for the mess, but Misfit certainly has taken out half the strike force. Not a bad evening's work.

The stairwell was already a mass of confusion, but with that high pressured water hose spraying everywhere and with Nightwing adding both sonics and choking gas to the mix it would seem that the crew of mercs in the stairwell are not going to be in much better shape then those in the elevator.

But appearances can be deceiving. Certainly the mercs go down readily enough to all appearances, the sound of hacking coughs echoing up the chimney like stairwell. But an instant later a grapnel shoots out of that incapacitating cloud and the KGBeast begins his rapid ascent up the stairwell. Apparently he has a few new tricks. As his rapid ascent brings him close to Nightwing a sharp blade snaps out of the mechanized hand cannon on his arm and he slices first at the vigilante himself, then at the de-cel jumpline that lets him descend. "Thank you for being so predictable," he says on his way up, pressing at a button on that elaborate weapon, a small red light beginning to blink.

Well, that's one way to make sure that everyone stays put, right? If Orphan was looking to get the room's attention there probably wasn't a better way. "What the f..." the pair of thugs closest to the door begins to say -- LoBoys by the looks of them -- before a half dozen shouts file the chamber accusing others around them of betrayal and threatening vengeance. Weapons begin to appear in hand, most pointed at one another, but more then a few are directed towards Cassandra, in particular those two LoBoys and a trio of masked men who are clearly a part of the Sionis contingent.

It's a lot to take in. And while it is a subtle detail it might be the most significant one to Orphan. Beneath a half dozen tables within the room there is just a hint of red flashing lights.

Down in the parking garage there is the sound of thumps, of groans as a trio of large men are tossed into their vans heavily, as they are struck with blows meant to incapacitate. And as the fog begins to dissipate, the Dark Knight is revealled to be standing there amongst the fallen, grim faced as ever. <<Report.>> he orders simply.

Out front of the hotel, a dubious looking valet approaches Gordon and his assembled plain clothes officers. "Can I park your cars for you gentlemen and ladies?" he asks, looking them over with a slightly dismissive expression. Criminals are just fine as guests. Cops would appear to not quite measure up.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing drops to the stairs and rolls backwards and down a few stairs to avoid the blade, coming to his feet on the landing below. Closing with this guy in an enclosed space is probably a bad idea, but then, so is being the Nightwing shaped target in a shooting gallery. He takes one shot at a quick advantage, raising his arm and firing an acid pellet directly at the weapon arm in an attempt to damage it.

<<Big guy, arm gun. Looks like mercs are mostly out>>

His batons come out and he moves to engage, trusting to his fighting abilities, and preferring to be close in where he's not just dodging rounds flying downrange. Given the guy's size and enhancement, he presses the switches that electrify said batons, hoping his opponent isn't fully insulated.

<<Engaging, feel free to join the fun>>

Jim Gordon has posed:
Jim Gordon throws up his badge, "No, but you can direct me to your chief of security, if he's still conscious. Judging by the noises I'm hearing coming from your stairwell, you've already got a serious situation on your hands. You're going to let my men go and do their jobs unhindered and then, once all the smoke has cleared and the perpetrators are nicely comfortable in their new bracelets, your manager and I are going to review your guest list and see who you're renting out to that's causing such a damnable ruckus in the first place."

"Carter, Blake, see what's going on in those stairs. The rest of you, check the other exits and the parking lot. I'll stay here in the lobby for now, just to make sure none of the staff starts to get too squirrely and thinking about skipping out on tonight's interrogation. Tell the kitchen staff to put on a pot of coffee, we're in for a long night."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Seeing KGBeast cut Nightwing's line signals to Batgirl the likely futility of her planned attack to snare him and winch him into a railing. She lets the grapple gun fall to where it hangs from her belt and she rises fully as her hands seek out other payload, this time from her utility garter belt.

She steps just inside the stairwell door to give her a better bead on their foe, who she just drenched with a firehose. Even if it didn't really slow him, it left him soaking wet.

The two electric batarangs are whipped towards KGBeast, both of them aimed at his arm-mounted weapon. She saves the quips for now, only gives Nightwing a quick warning, << Zappers coming in >> so he can be avoiding touching KGBeast should they deliver their payload.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie scritches the side of her face with her claws. <<Elevator handled...>> even as she shrinks back down to normal choas-muppet-demon size and zipties the guy she bashed against the wall.

The news about the guy with the big arm canon and technology though has her a bit concerned <<Headed back to the stairwell>> she notes and starts to scamper towards the stairwell once more to backup Dick and Steph.

Fair odds she is giving random hotel staff, maybe cops depending on their progress, a new heart attack.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Orphan is faced with a quandary. Fight them all, wastes time and they all blow up. Don't fight them all and she doesn't get to have ANY fun tonight, but the bad guys get to live. Might get caught in the explosions...the captives might die...

Cassandra sighs, then lifts her hands. Slowly, empty, surrendering. She pulls back her hood, exposing her face. Something no Bat has ever done, and stands there while thugs cluster around. She's guiding things, as well as she can, but she's certain that this is going to hurt. Her.

But before they do, before the first one raises his rifle butt to strike her in the face, she points to the two tables closest to her, her hands empty.

And for once, she thanks Stephanie and her INFERNAL language lessons. Because they've recently gotten to the letter 'B'.

"Bombs," she says, clearly enough. She hopes so, just before the rifle hits her in between the eyes.

Damn you and your morality sometimes, Batman.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
"Uh... of course sir. Right this way," the suddenly overhwelmed and nervous valet sputters to the Police Commissioner, hastily starting to backpeddle and turn for the doors leading into the hotel at the same time and almost ending up sprawled on his ass. He catches himself just in time, stumbling several steps and turning beet red before motioning for Gordon and his men to follow. "The security office is just around the corner from the front desk," he offers up. Yeah, he's a whole lot more courteous now.

The beast in blue continues to fly up that stairwell, twisting sharply to avoid Nightwing's tossed pelt, proving to be surprisingly agile for such a large man. He starts to level that formidable weapon again, intent on taking out the frustrating vigilante -- or maybe just collapsing the whole stairs given the blast that hand cannon packs -- but before he can get off a shot those batarangs come flying up the stairwell, forcing him to twist once more. He takes both of them right in the chest, but surprisingly seems unaffected. It would seem that his body armor is insulated. Perhaps he has had problems before. Or maybe he's done his research. Either way, reaching the top of the stairwell he grabs hold of the rail and pulls himself over, disappearing from sight for a moment. But a moment later the sound of a heavy door opening and then slamming shut again suggests that he's out on the roof.

Ahhh yes, the troublesome burden of not only avoiding killing the criminal element, but actively trying to save them, no matter what sort of questionable lives they lead. In fairness, the Dark Knight asks for no more then he gives, tempting as it might be to look away from time to time, to make exceptions for the worst of the worst. The fact that Cassandra surrenders, that she tugs off her mask and reveals her features coupled with the fact that she probably doesn't look very much like most of them would have expected a big bad Bat to look like makes them hesitate -- or at least not summarily blow out her brains. One the masked Sionis family members looks like he doesn't much care what she has to say, but that one, simple spoken word changes all of that. Eyes dart to the tables all around, to those subtle but clear flashing red lights. And the room errupts into a mad scramble towards the door. That samed masked man grabs Orphan roughly by the shoulder and thrusts her towards one of the tables, that bomb perhaps coming into view for just a moment as it counts down. 10... 8... and then that masked thug levels that gun towards Cassandra. "Bomb or not, Black Mask will give me a king's ransom for putting a bullet in you..."

Of course it's hard to get paid if you blown up.

With Nightwing's report, the Dark Knight starts stalking to the exit of the parking garage, those swift, long strides eating up the ground underfoot, carrying him towards the outside of the building. << On my way. >> he offers up, short and to the point.

The sound is faint at first, seemingly distant. And then it becomes unmistakable, especially when that helicopter appears out of the dark sky, swooping down towards the roof of the hotel. That then would be why the Beast headed up and not back towards the vans...

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing doesn't hesitate, but also snaps his arm up, launching his own grappel up the stairs and ascending smoothly, clicking over to low light to make sure he's not going to hit any trigger lines or traps left behind. Reaching the top, he glances out the door and if he doesn't see KGBeast, launches himself through the doorway in an acrobatic roll, making himself as difficult a target as possible.

<<He's on the roof, think we've got bombs>>

He doesn't stop moving... He heard those blasts, and he doesn't want to be on the receiving end of one, but as he rolls he scans the area looking for the big man with the arm cannon. If he can distract him, delay him, maybe Batman can get here and they can take the guy down.

Jim Gordon has posed:
Jim Gordon smiles thinly at the security head, "I'm going to need your security feeds, specifically currently and with data for the last two hours, at a minimum. I can get warrants if you need, but you're not going to like it if you dig in your heels and argue with me about things. The new roads of Gotham's improvement are paved with people who tried to keep me from getting my way," he says.

"I'm going to guess you have at least three fights going on at different parts of this facility, involving the Batman or cohorts with whom he associates. I need you to get me clear pictures of everyone they're fighting so they can be identified if they aren't captured today. And I'll want it all digitally dumped in a thumb drive that I can put into evidence before dawn. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The feed for the bugs is still there on comms, just the volume reduced so it won't drown out the team communicating with each other.

Stephanie once heard that the Air Force used to record the voices of a pilot's child saying important things like "Eject". Because that familiar voice would cut through everything else going on around the pilot, supposedly. She never really believed that though.

The sound of Cassandra Cain saying, <<Bombs>> cuts through everything for Stephanie, especially as she hears what comes next. << Going after Orphan! >>

Batgirl scrambles out of the stairwell, sprinting for the corner around which is the entrance to the meeting room on one side, and a large railing along the other side that forms a balcony looking over the spacious lobby.

The fleeing hoods actually help Batgirl as she collides with one but it helps her make the corner rather than slide. She reaches the doorway and sees inside.

Black Masks' man aiming a gun. Cassandra. Red blinking lights under the tables.

Batgirl's hand moves like an old Western gunslinger, drawing and shooting her grapple gun from her hip. The grapple shoots between the Sionis family member's legs to snag Orphan. Batgirl is already turning and running for that railing, jumping over it and getting her body on the far side to brace herself as she hits max power on the winch. Which is fast. Freaky fast.

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
Charlie pauses in a hallway cocking her head then digging out her tablet to check the locations of everything on the feeds now. "mmmm"

She isn't really sure where she should be and who needs more help. The bit about bombs is worrisome but more people in the bomb room could just be a distraction.

Ah there we go.

She glances at the roof cameras and the approaching helicopter.

She tucks the tablet away smoothly in the satchel she is wearing then leaps up, spreads her little demon wings, totes adorbs, and teleports up to... well above the roof and below the helicopter.


Cassandra Cain has posed:
Blood in the eyes and head spinning, Cassandra barely can tell which way is up let alone where her opponent is. She wipes her face for a moment, trying to see something, anything. Anything.


Not that. She's been learning numbers. And she's fairly certain that the number '1' is not good in this situation, in red, in front of her eyes, as she feels something yank on her leg. She impacts with someone, grabbing at him, and Black Mask's legs go out from under him as he's entagled with Orphan, almost by accident, and the two of them add to the weight Batgirl has to pull.

The armor platings slide easily on the floor, built to do exactly that so Orpha can pull off some of her more spectacular slides. But the group of them reach the balcony just as that '1' becomes something slightly lower, but much more significant.

Heroes never look at explosions. They do, however, tend to throw blondes and goons rather without discrimination. And the lobby is so invitingly close below, where the police are gathering.

Charlie will have an AWESOME view of it all, if she's not caught in the boom.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
The Head of Security for the Gotham Royal might be even more pompous then the valet who escorted Jim Gordon through the lobby of the hotel to the scurity office but anything that he might have to say to the man wilts in the face of the Commissioner's verbal onslaught about all the reasons he is not going to give him a hard time or do anything to impede his work. It's almost possible to see the security head shrink in on himself, the burgeoning fight snuffed out before it ever begins. "The security feeds are just in here," he says, stepping aside to motion back towards the door behind him and the dark room beyond. Just a little sullenly. He didn't even get to assert how important he was. "We will of course cooperate fully," he mumbles, just a little.

As it turns out Nightwing's caution is very appropriate indeed. He is no sooner rolling through that half open door to the rooftop that that eardrum shattering blast rips just over his head, tearing a hole about a foot wide through that door. No one wants to take one of those to the chest. The night might be dark, but that's no real bar to the Batfolk and it's not hard to pick up the sight of the huge man sprinting towards the west side of the building, occasionally glancing back along that arm he has extended, firing off another blast of that shockingly powerful hand cannon. There, waiting for him just ahead is that helicopter, hovering over the edge of the building with a rope ladder dangling down. The KGBeast doesn't even slow as the chopper begins to veer away, grabbing hold of one of those rungs as he is lifted up into the air.

Time is literally of the essence. Never has it been more apparent just how much seconds count given how few of them there really are. And aside from the Beast and Orphan, it is possible, maybe even likely that no one else realizes just how few of them remain. The hallway outside the private dinning lounge is absolute chaos of course, fleeing criminals tearing off in all sorts of directions in a mad scramble. Still, the doorway is crowded, even more trying to flood out so it takes quite the shot from Batgirl to pull off what she has in mind. But the timing is perfect and as Orphan is dragged out of the room she even manages to grab the man who was going to kill her, even as his feet are swept out from beneath him.

Misfit's appearance was shocking, both to the mercenaries in the elevator and the few staff and guests that caught a look at her. But it would seem that the KGBeast is made of sterner stuff because as she suddenly appears he only levels that weapon towards her, that powerful 'BOOM' sounding an instant later as he fires off one of those shells her way.

Down on the ground, the Dark Knight peers up as he emerges from the parking garage, gaze turned skyward towards the waiting helicopter. He too makes use of his grapnel, aimming it for the rooftop and beginning his rapid ascent even as it begins to pull away. He practically flies up the side of the building, but with the copter and the ladder out of his reach he does at least toss a batarang, the weapon embedding itself in the bottom of the craft. And a moment later that tracking signal begins to bling quietly.

Down below, in the heart of the hotel the countdown finally comes to an end. 1... 0... and an explosion rips through the room. The pressure wave proceeds it, blowing the walls outward, practically collapsing the hallway outside. The burst of fire comes an instant later, rolling over the rumble thrown out ahead, over fleeing people knocked to the ground. And then the sheer noise as windows shatter and the glassed railings that line the levels above blow out sending a rain fo glass down on those below. Of course, that might not be the only thing that's falling...

Jim Gordon has posed:
Jim Gordon nods firmly, "Yes, you will," he says to the Head of Security before the explosion rips through the building. Jim grabs a hold of the doorway, holding himself steady even as the pompous security man tumbles and covers his head in shock, the reverbrations going through the whole building as the commissioner shakes his head.

"Dammit. Call 911, get the fire department and ambulances running in case of casualties. And don't forget the damn security footage," he says, even as he starts to run in his own right, leaving behind the security area and heading for the stairs. Most of the people in the lobby are running away from danger, but there's Jim Gordon, forty years on the job and still running straight into it...

Dick Grayson has posed:
As he doesn't keep any anti-aircraft weaponry tucked away in his utility belt, Nightwing has very little to do as the chopper begins to pull away. With everything happening so fast, his thoughts follow the same pattern as Batman's, and he raises his arm, firing a tracking dart towards the helicopter as well. Misfit is spotted a second later, and if it looks like she's in trouble from the shot taken at her, a grapple will fly out to snag her.

A couple seconds later the bombs go off, shaking the entire building. He staggers back and forth to keep his footing, then snaps out

<<Everybody sound off! Are you ok?>>

Charlotte Gage-Radcliffe has posed:
This totally didn't go like Misfit planned it out in her head.

She was going to pop in, take out the helicopter, be a hero.

The adoration and wooo of the crowds impressed with her accomplishments.

Instead she pops in and the big angry guy the size of Bane levels that cannon arm at her and fires one of those huge shells right into her.


The demon gets tossed across the sky and into the nearby building she was perched on waiting for the go sign earlier. Not ... honestly all that hurt.. but it is enough to mean no stopping that escape by her at least.

<<That... is a very big cannon arm....>> she notes on comms as she pulls herself out of a windowand shakes off excess plate glass.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown has a brief memory of being crushed against the railing as her body is made the anchor point for the winch.

A second later she's blown off the balcony, along with the railing. The purple and black clad body does an uncontrolled somersault in the air before she smashes down on the front desk at an angle. Batgirl bounces off of it to the floor, rolling and sliding across it uncontrollably until her body ends up nearly at Jim Gordon's feet.

The young woman's body lies there motionless on the ground amidst glass and debris. Her hair flowing from beneath her cowl is blond, as he saw on the roof of GCPD One when she responded to his bat signal a few weeks ago. She doesn't move for several seconds. Then a hand moves slightly. Arm trembling she reaches to her face, hitting something which pops her rebreather off, the device smashed in the explosion. It comes free and she begins coughing, hoarse but soft, as if just breathing in hurts.

Despite the sound of pain even in her breathing, she puts a hand on the ground, starting to push herself upwards and start to look around.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
And then there's Orphan. Orphan, who has all the reflexes she was trained with, taught to keep herself alive first. Instinctive, beyond consciousness even, which is good because she's barely aware at this point. She only knows that she's been hit, hit hard, and is falling.

And she's holding someone else's body. So she does what her training tells her to do, pivoting her body weight in midair, and puts him between her and the ground.

She lands on top of Black Mask's hoodlum in a superman landing, her hood settling around her head, and just tries to hold her balance and keep from passing out.

But it looks effing awesome, from the view of anyone watching. And she looks out through blood-covered eyes at Stephanie, as she rolls in her vision. Stephanie.

She reaches for her hand.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
And just like that, he was gone.

There really isn't the opportunity to stand around and glare at the fleeing helicopter, to muse over just what it means, that the apparent mastermind behind the Beast's Paw is finally revealled. Both the Dark Knight and Nightwing have done what they can to insure that at least they can swiftly track down this latest threat to the city. But with the earth literally shaking beneath their feet, with Misfit rather bodily thrown across the sky to land in a heap -- though otherwise seemingly unhurt in her current demon form -- and with questions around the safety of the rest of the team, now is just not the time to brood.

He waits, for just a few seconds, waiting for any chatter on the comm line. And when it's not forthcoming he glances towards Dick. "Check on Batgirl and Orphan. If they're hurt get them back to the Batcave. Or the clinic if it's more then we can readily deal with," he adds. For them, there is only one clinic -- Leslie Thompkin's place. "I'm going to check out the blast site to see if there is anything I can pick up there," he adds quietly. The GCPD has come a long way in the past decade, but he still prefers to look over the scene before their CSI teams whenever possible. "Then we go after him," he adds flatly. There's no real doubt about who that is.

Nor does he stand on ceremony, turning for the stairwell and that shattered door. At least he doesn't just vanish when his oldest protegee glances away.

Down below the hotel is a mass of chaos and confusion, panicked people feeling the building, crowding halls and the main lobby, flooding out to the front of the hotel. Only a few so much as glance towards the fallen costumed vigilantes who practically lay at the feet of Gotham's Police Commissioner. Right now, most people only want to get as far away from this place as they can.

Jim Gordon has posed:
Jim Gordon drops down quickly before Stephanie, "My god," he cries, concern etched into his features, the years of woe and wear showing his age for once as he tries to help the girl up, "Can you move? How badly are you hurt? WILL SOMEONE GET THE GOD DAMN AMBULANCE HERE ALREADY?" he shouts back over his shoulder. He knows they're doing their best, coming as fast as they can, but he couldn't help but see visions of his Barbara here. He'll look over at Cassandra as well, "I'm so tired of getting here too damn late." he sighs.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing takes the direct route.. the edge of the building is right there, and he jumps directly off of it. A grapple shoots out to grab the building, and he swings down to the entrance, zipping inside right past any cops who try to stop him, looking around the lobby.

Spotting Orphan and Batgirl, he runs over, sliding to a stop and dropping to one knee to look her over. A couple presses of buttons on the bracer connect to the system in her suit, which should at least give him a few basic readouts like pulse and such.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Batgirl's vitals look ok as Nightwing pulls them up. One thing about Oracle making your suit, you get wired with everything she wants to know, down to what you had for lunch if she desires it.

The hand closes over Stephanie's, and she looks over and squeezes Orphan's hand back. The young woman rises slowly, letting Jim Gordon and anyone else who offers her a hand help her up. "I'm ok. Maybe a blown eardrum," she says, talking a little loudly. Her voice goes out on comms, Bruce able to hear she's ok.

She removes her cape as quickly as she can. Which is slow, because she's hurting. Batgirl has trouble bending over, but she drapes the cape over Cassandra like a shawl, guiding Cass's hand to it so she can use it to cover the lower half of her face.

Batgirl rests a hand on Nightwing's arm, glad he's there as she looks to Commissioner Gordon. "You're the only one... who can put these guys away," she says to him. "Not too late to do that. The elevator has a bunch. And the stairwell. Passed out some, maybe, and tear gassed."

She gives Commissioner Gordon the nearest to a smile that she can manage, and maybe something in that expression tells the observant cop she's a fairly young woman. One who turns then to help Orphan to her feet if Nightwing hadn't already.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Orphan rises. Things change, she seems able to move. One can never tell with her, until you count the broken ribs on an x-ray. She steps back, her ability with medicine not nearly as good as those standing so close. But she looks at Jim, and something sparks in her.

She puts a hand on him, crouched there, and just touches him. His shoulder, a light touch. Reassurance, but it's all she has to give. As she stands over him, an image of a man kneeling, almost as if in benediction.

And a woman over him for a moment, granting it. Darkness on darkness, with fire in the background, and a helicopter swirling away. Red and blue lights.

It cannot be enough. But maybe it'll come close.

Jim Gordon has posed:
Jim Gordon nods grimly to both Batgirl and to Orphan, "True enough. Thank you. Both of you. All of you. Him, too, although I know he never stays long enough to hear it," Jim mutters to himself. A few officers appear at the entry way.

"What're you two staring out? Start cuffing those men in the stairwell, get the medics and the fire department in here. You think my old tuckus should be doing all the work? Get to it!"