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Rose Wilson: The Ravager #22
Int. Underground Facility – Night
Ravager glances to each side of her, eying the two big guards escorting her with contempt. She knows what they're there for, to watch her, make sure she doesn't do anything unfavorable, as if threatening Holly and Rebecca isn't enough to keep her in line. Being in this place again gives her the creeps, though; the last time she was here, she was strapped naked to an operating table about to undergo some insane doctor's twisted experiments.
The guards bring her down the long corridor to a set of double doors and stop outside, gesturing for her to enter. She gives them another scowling look, then walks forward. The doors open automatically, allowing her to enter inside what appears to be a laboratory with some heavy duty equipment. What the equipment is for or what any of it does, she has no idea, but it sure looks expensive.
Near the center of the laboratory, Jerry stands with his arms crossed. He looks strangely different without his long coat and fedora, now in just a plain black business suit. When she approaches, he gives a small smile, his eyes gleaming from behind his glasses.
Jerry: Ah, Rose, there you are. I was beginning to wonder when you would arrive.
Ravager: The traffic on the way here was killer... here's your whatever.
Raising a hand, she tosses over the metal cylinder. Jerry catches it with a single hand, holding it up to his eyes and examining it carefully.
Jerry: Excellent, this will do nicely.
Ravager: Doesn't look so special to me. Actually, looks more like something you'd find in your standard adult toy store... were you that embarrassed to go buy one yourself?
Jerry ignores her, instead heading towards the back of the lab and placing the cylinder in a small glass container, then sealing it tightly shut. Ravager narrows her gaze at him, folding her arms.
Ravager: So am I done here or what?
Jerry: Oh yes, for now. I'll be calling you again tomorrow night for your next assignment.
Ravager: Good, then I'm leaving.
Turning away from him, she heads back towards the doors. However, they slide open before she gets there, revealing another man entering into the lab. He's bald, with a bushy grey beard and reflective, yellow-tinted round glasses, and wears a white lab coat over a clean pressed suit. The man gives Ravager a curious look, then switches his attention over to Jeremiah.
Man: I take it the sample is ready.
Jerry: Ah, yes, you're just in time. Rose, before you go, I'd like to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Professor Hugo Strange.
Strange: Miss Wilson, I presume? Jeremiah here has told me a great deal about you.
The introduction causes Ravager to emit a loud guffaw, holding a hand to her mouth and smirking.
Ravager: No way, seriously? Your name is Strange? Real subtle for a villain. Why not go with something like Dr. Evil?
Strange merely lifts an eyebrow, holding his hands behind his back and gazing at her intently.
Ravager: Or if that is your real name, then wow, you never had a chance, did you? Man, that's good, though, I needed a laugh today.
Strange: Hmm, sarcasm. If you're trying to get a rise out of me, then I am afraid I must disappoint you.
Ravager: Well shoot, now you've gone and ruined my day.
Strange: I should mention that such passive aggressive behavior suggests a mask of your own insecurities, requiring the use of put downs in order to make yourself look or feel better.
Ravager: Who the hell you calling insecure?
Strange: Sarcasm is common in individuals with poor self esteem. By bringing down others, you attempt to make yourself appear more intelligent than you actually are, try to raise your social standing, so to speak. You think it makes you sound clever, but in truth it is the lowest form of wit, and only succeeds in making you appear a fool.
Glaring at the man, Ravager brings her hand to one of her swords and begins to draw it.
Ravager: You want to run that by me again, chrome dome?
Strange: I believe I made my point the first time.
Ravager: That's what I thought.
Strange: However, I would like to take this opportunity to comment on your choice in wardrobe.
Ravager narrows her gaze at him, frowning. This guy doesn't know how to quit when he's ahead.
Strange: In spite of distancing yourself from your father and making it a point to let others know just how much you hate the man, you continue to dress in his style, and his colors.
Ravager: What business is it of yours how I dress? It's just a costume.
Strange: Perhaps. However, it could also indicate a subconscious desire to live up to daddy's expectations, in turn suggesting a deep-seated love for the man, regardless of how he has treated you in the past.
The comment makes her flinch, but only briefly. She takes an immediate step forward and reaches out a hand, grabbing him by the shirt collar.
Ravager: You don't know what the hell you're talking about!
Strange: Ah, did I strike a nerve? Yes, I see. Possible Electra complex.
Ravager: You little-
Jerry: Rose, that's quite enough. Release Professor Strange at once.
Ravager glances back at him for a moment, scowling with her teeth clenched. Eventually, she lets go of Strange's shirt and shoves him back a few steps. She then pushes past him and heads out the door.
Ravager: I'm out of here.
Jerry: Just remember-
Ravager: I know, I got the phone.
After she leaves, Strange takes a moment to straighten his tie and clear his throat.
Strange: And a short temper, too, I see.
Jerry: Don't worry about her, she's just having a little difficulty... adjusting.
Strange: Not worried at all. In fact, I look forward to analyzing her in the coming days.
Jerry: I can imagine. You've spent so much of your time obsessing over Batman, it must be good to get a breath of fresh air.
Strange: Quite. I suppose it was inevitable, though. The Batman currently in Gotham is not the original, the one I... obsessed over, as you put it. It's just not the same.
Jerry: Always glad to help an old friend. Now, shall I show you to the samples?
Strange: Yes, please.
Moving back over to the research table, Jerry removes the metal cylinder from the glass container he put it in earlier, then twists the thing open by its near invisible seam. Inside are a dozen vials inserted into separate storage compartments, each one containing a small glob of what looks like putty. Strange leans in close, examining them.
Jerry: Will this be enough to work with?
Strange: Oh yes, it should plenty. However, I will need a few more materials to make this work.
Jerry: I know just the person to get them.
Strange: In the meantime, I'll study these samples and run a few tests.
A small smile curls its way onto Jeremiah's face.
Jerry: Good. I'll leave you to your work, then.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Day
Rose walks through her kitchen, carrying her mug of coffee over to the table. She's up a little earlier than usual, mostly due to the fact that she just couldn't sleep. There's too much on her mind. Right now, though, she plans on sitting down and enjoying her coffee. Letting out a small sigh, she sinks into her chair and grabs the remote for the small television nearby. Clicking it on, she changes the channel to the news.
Almost instantly, she spits out a mouthful of coffee, coughing in surprise. A breaking news story is currently in progress, detailing the break in at S.T.A.R. Labs last night. She stands up from her seat a little, staring at the screen and watching as the reporter begins describing what happened.
Reporter/Television: According to the lab's security staff on duty last night, the person who broke in was in fact 'The Blade', the mysterious vigilante that's been lurking Silverstone's streets for the past seven months. There also appears to be video footage to back up this claim. Witnesses describe the woman as fast, faster than a normal person should be. So fast, in fact, that she was able to fight her way through their entire team, enter the lab's private storage vault, and then escape the building without being hit once. The men on duty did everything they could to subdue the intruder, following all standard protocol, but were still unable to do so. This break in also raises quite a few questions. Though acting outside of the law, The Blade has been known for stopping criminal activity, not for committing it. So, why has she suddenly turned into a common thief? And what exactly did she take? I asked the staff that latter question earlier, though they would not release any details on the matter.
Rose sinks back into her seat and holds a hand to her head. At first, she's caught in utter disbelief, but it doesn't take her long to work through that.
Well sh*t, what did you think was gonna happen, huh? You only broke into a facility of the most widely known research company in the world.
Still, this greatly complicates things. The police had always been on the lookout for her before, sure, but they'd never been actively seeking her out. With this, though, it's only a matter of time before they'll be on her tail every single night. A few more of these jobs Jerry has her doing, and what little reputation she had up until this point as 'The Blade' will be long gone.
Int. Silverstone City Central Police Station – Day
The station is abuzz with the recent news story. It's all anyone can talk about, how The Blade broke into S.T.A.R. Labs and stole some secretive item. A lot of the officers have their theories over why their local vigilante would go and do something like this, but of course they're all wrong. That's not what concerns Rose, though. Her concerns lie with the increased efforts in locating The Blade.
They'd all had their fair share of differing opinions around the station about her, some not minding so much to have their very own 'Batman', so to speak, and others wanting to bring her in for going about things outside the law. Now, however, it's a different story. Now, The Blade has officially committed a blatant crime that they need to track her down for.
Rose keeps her head down, trying to ignore all the passing conversation on her way out to her cruiser, but she doesn't go unnoticed. A blonde haired officer with one of those fluffy, 90's porn mustaches, looks up and sees her. This is Officer Stevens, a somewhat grating kind of guy who has a tendency to get on her nerves.
Stevens: Hey, Sarah! You hear?
Rose: Oh, The Blade thing, right? Yeah, uh... heard it on the news this morning.
Stevens: Crazy stuff, right? I mean, I always thought she was one of the good guys, like Batman or something.
Rose: What if she still is?
Stevens: What do you mean? She stole from S.T.A.R. Labs for crying out loud. Doesn't seem too heroic to me.
Rose: Well, no, right, I just... I mean what if there's a good reason for her to be doing what she's doing?
Stevens: Oh come on, what reason could someone have to go from fighting crime to committing it, just like that? Doesn't make sense. Ask me, I'd say she's just been putting on an act, trying to get over with the city, and then bam! She takes it for everything it's worth.
Yeah, well I didn't ask you.
Rose: Right... well, I have to be getting on patrol, so...
Stevens: Oh, of course, yeah. Hey, you going to visit Becky again today?
Stevens: If she's awake, tell her I said I hope she gets well soon, alright? All the guys at the station are really pulling for her. I've been meaning to get out there myself, but the job keeps me busy, haven't had a chance. Been working extra shifts lately.
Rose: I'll tell her, sure.
Stevens: Thanks, Well, I'll catch you later.
As Stevens leaves, Rose lets out a long breath and brushes a hand through her hair, composing herself. If she's awake. The word runs through her head multiple times.
Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Day
When Rose arrives at Becky's hospital room later that afternoon, a doctor is already there, checking up on the patient and making notes on his clipboard. He glances up as she enters and gives a small nod of recognition.
Doctor: Miss Walker.
Rose: How is she?
Doctor: Same as before, I'm afraid, which is both good and bad. Her condition hasn't much improved, but at least it hasn't gotten any worse. She's stable, though.
Rose: Has she woken up at all yet?
Doctor: For now, we're keeping her on heavy painkillers. It's better if she's sedated right now. Not only does it help with her physical recovery, but I don't want to put her through the excruciating pain she'd be in from simple acts such as breathing. Once her condition begins to improve, though, we'll wake her up and go from there.
Letting out a small breath, Rose looks back at Becky for a moment and nods.
Rose: Alright, thanks. I think I'll just sit with her a while.
Doctor: I'll be right outside if you need anything.
Once the doctor leaves, Rose walks forward and lowers herself into the seat next to the bed. Giving Becky another long look, she reaches forward and takes the woman's hand into her own. She stays like this for the next hour, just sitting, just hoping.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suit – Night
It's late, really late. Rose put Holly to bed nearly three hours ago, and has since been sitting quietly at the kitchen table, staring at Jerry's cell phone. He never told her exactly when he'd be calling, only that it would be sometime tonight. By now, however, she is starting to grow more than a little impatient, tapping her fingers incessantly against the table. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, the phone rings.
Rose: About time.
Jerry/Phone: Yes, terribly sorry about that. I got a bit held up.
Rose: Of course you did.
Jerry/Phone: In any case, I do hope you're ready to get to work. You'll be heading over to the Sapphire Industries building in Midtown tonight.
Rose: What do you need this time?
Jerry/Phone: Sapphire Industries is a well regarded R&D firm, focusing in the development of very advanced technology to improve the scientific world. I'll need you to take one of their latest prototypes for me. It's currently in cold storage in a laboratory on the twentieth floor.
Rose: And let me guess, they have tight security.
Jerry/Phone: Naturally. However, considering the little hiccup you had last night with security, we're going to do things a little differently this time. I've arranged for a chopper to pick you up on the roof of your building in approximately thirty minutes, so be ready. We'll drop you off on the roof of the Sapphire Industries building, from where you will be entering. I'll also be giving you a wireless comm link. With it, I can track your position and guide you along the best path to your objective. Hopefully, things will go a little bit more smoothly this time.
A small groan escapes her lips. Great, now he's keeping tabs on her during her jobs, too. This situation just keeps getting better and better.
Rose: Can't wait.
Ext. Sapphire Industries – Night
The chopper moves in low over the building. Ravager hangs out the side on a rope ladder, which slowly lowers closer to the roof. When she's safely within range, she jumps off and lands flat on her feet, taking a brief moment to look around. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a flat roof with various equipment; some air conditioning units, a large satellite dish, etc. A few moments later, that annoyingly familiar voice echoes in her ears.
Jerry/Comm: No time to waste, the night is already getting old. Proceed straight forward and enter through the door. This will take you down into the main stairwell.
Moving up to the door, Ravager notices old rusty chains barring it shut.
Ravager: Oh look at that, it's padlocked. Guess we're gonna have to abort.
Ravager: Fine, fine.
Letting out a small sigh, she spins quickly and delivers a hard kick directly at the lock and chains, snapping them in half and sending the door flying open. She glances back over her shoulder briefly at the chopper disappearing in the distance, and then proceeds down the stairs.
Int. Sapphire Industries – Night
Jerry/Comm: You're currently on the twenty-fifth floor, so you'll want to head down five levels to the twentieth.
Ravager: I can count, thanks.
Moving swiftly down the stairs, she keeps an eye on the numbering of each floor, passing the twenty-fourth, the twenty-third, and so on.
Jerry/Comm: I've already taken the liberty of having one of my associates disable the building's alarms and security cameras, so you'll only need to deal with physical guards. I trust that shouldn't be a problem.
Ravager: Please, who do you think you're talking to?
Jerry/Comm: Just checking. Now, once you've reached the twentieth floor, you'll come out to a small lobby. There should be three security guards stationed there, one behind a desk and the other two somewhere in the general vicinity. You'll want to disable them all before they can radio for backup.
Ravager: They won't know what hit them.
When Ravager reaches the twentieth floor, she pauses for a moment outside the door, taking in a small breath to prepare herself. She then shoves the door open and sprints out into the lobby area, processing the layout of the room and the location of the three men in fractions of a second. In an instant, she turns straight at the nearest one and leaps forward with a flying kick to the head. He's out cold before he even realizes he's under attack. The other two guards begin to react now, going for their clubs.
Yeah, that'll work. Morons.
She smirks slightly to herself, as she moves in with her superior agility and throws a few deft blows at the next nearest man, disarming and in turn disabling him in seconds. By the time he's on his way to the floor, she's already moving onto the last one. He takes a swing at her, but she dodges easily and counters with a brutal chop to the back of the head, rending him unconscious just like the others.
Ravager: They're down.
Jerry/Comm: Excellent, now-
Guard: I need backup on the twentieth now! We have an intruder! It's her, it's The Blade!
Whirling around, Ravager catches sight of a fourth guard standing behind her near the other end of the room. She sprints at him, leaping and bringing down a crippling strike with her elbow that knocks him out cold.
Ravager: I thought you said there were three!
Jerry/Comm: Did I? Oops, how clumsy of me.
Ravager: You son of a b*tch, you did that on purpose!
Though she can't see it, an amused smirk comes to Jerry's face.
Jerry/Comm: I hope you're good at improvising.
Chapter #23 Preview: In the next issue, Ravager continues her forced crime spree, earning a spot as one of the city's most wanted criminals. With the police hot on her trail, her nightly ventures become increasingly difficult, as she attempts to continue following Jerry's orders to keep Becky alive. Meanwhile, her activities do not go unnoticed elsewhere. Batman learns of her actions and grows concerned, sending in someone on his behalf to investigate just what's going on with her. Tune in next time for a special guest appearance!