Posted by Ravager4 (1627 posts) - - Show Bio

Disclaimer: I do not own any DC characters or locations. All rights belong to DC Comics.

Rating: T+

Note: The fourth story arc sees Rose Wilson forced into a crime spree when those closest to her are threatened by a familiar villain. Towards the end of this experience, Rose must make a difficult decision about her life and her future as Ravager.

All Chapters: http://www.comicvine.com/forums/fan-fic/8/ravager4s-fan-fic-archives/660884/#1

Rose Wilson: The Ravager

Chapter #20

Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Day

Standing in her kitchen, Rose busily works to cook up a large breakfast, even going so far as to include foods she normally destroys on a stove. It's mostly to keep herself occupied, while her mind is a total whirlwind of questions. She is, of course, thinking about the previous night. What had begun as a rather enjoyable birthday outing with Becky had taken a very bizarre turn in the way it had ended. Could she really have been that oblivious to what her friend had been doing, not just that night but in the days before, as well?

Rose had always been a master flirt, or at least an incessant one. Even if her actual relationship experience amounted to zilch, she liked to think she was good at flirting, and telling when someone was flirting with her. But she had never once taken into consideration that Becky, of all people, could be attracted to her, and so it had all gone straight over her head. Now she just feels dumb for missing it. A lot of embarrassment could have been saved last night, if she hadn't been that incredibly ignorant.

So what do you do about this, Rose? she asks herself, while flipping over a few pancakes. Turns out your partner on the force is a lesbian and has the hots for you, so to speak. But of course you're not, so that leaves you... where?

Letting out a sigh, Rose brings a hand to her head and closes her eye. How the hell is she supposed to face Becky today? They're still partners, they'll still be sitting in the same car together all day, they'll still have to coexist, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable it is. Sooner or later, she supposes that she and Becky will just have to talk about what happened, and try to clear things up in a calmer manner than the stammering confusion of last night

Yeah, that'll go over well, I'm sure.

Int. Silverstone City Central Police Station – Day

There's no sign of Becky when Rose arrives first thing in the morning, but then she did get there a little early. It gives her a chance to get changed into her uniform and think about what exactly she's going to say to the woman. While walking down the main hallway toward the lobby, however, she catches sight her partner sitting at a desk in one of the adjoining offices, filling out a form. Apparently, Becky had arrived even earlier than she did.

Pausing for a moment, Rose takes in a deep breath and heads to the office. She announces her presence with a small knock on the open door, causing Becky to look up and freeze, then shift awkwardly in her seat.

Rose: Hey.

Becky: Uh... hi.

Rose: You came in pretty early, huh?

Becky: Yeah, I... wanted to take care of a few things.

An uncomfortable silence descends over the pair for a moment, both women just staring at each other.

Rose: So... are we going to talk about what happened last night or what? You kind of ran out in a hurry.

Becky: Well hell, can you blame me? I've never been more embarrassed in my life! I mean, I... I kissed you, for Christ’s sake.

Rose: Yeah, that... was a bit of a shock.

Becky: So you'll excuse me if I wanted to get as far away as possible at that moment.

Rose: Guess I really can't blame you for that, huh?

Another awkward pause, as Becky fidgets in her seat and goes back to filling out her form.

Rose: What exactly are you working on there, anyway?

Becky: Oh, this... it's a transfer request. I mean, I figure I'd probably be better off at a new precinct, you know?

Rose: Whoa, hey, wait a minute. Why the hell are you doing that?

Becky: You're joking right? I can't stay here now, not after what happened last night. I mean, with me... and with you...

Rose: Look, I get that you're a bit embarrassed and uncomfortable right now; hell, you think I'm not? But you can't just go and leave.

Becky: And why not? You really want to be stuck in the same car eight hours a day with another woman who... well, who likes you?

Rose: Believe it or not, I actually like being your partner, Becky. And I like you. Just... well, in a different way, I guess? What I mean is... okay, look. Friends aren't exactly something I have a lot of. Actually, I barely have any, if I'm being honest. I don't want to lose the best one I have over something this stupid.

Becky: You're... being serious?

Rose: Why wouldn't I be?

Becky: So, even after what happened last night, even after I... you'd still want to be my partner?

Rose: I wouldn't want anyone else.

Becky: Then, you don't care about, well, that I'm...

Rose: What, a lesbian? Not what I expected, I'll admit, but I'm the last person to be judging someone else, trust me on that. I'm pretty sure I'll get over it.

Leaning back in her seat, Becky blinks a couple times and holds her hands up to her head. She takes a deep breath, then slowly lets it out, a bewildered expression on her face.

Becky: Wow, uh... I mean, not what I was expecting to hear you say, I'll be honest. I thought I went and destroyed our friendship last night.

Rose: You really think I'm that shallow?

Becky: Wha- no, of course not. I just... sorry. I guess I was just a little mortified, is all. I mean... I haven't exactly 'come out' yet, not completely. My sister is the only one who knows, and she's cool with it, but my parents... well, they're pretty religious, you know? Really... really not a big supporter of that kind of lifestyle. It makes it difficult trying to find a relationship, especially when my family lives just ten minutes outside the city, always coming to visit, always checking up on me, wanting to know what's going on in my life... But, I was so sure that you were, too, and... then you weren't. I just sort of panicked, I guess.

Lowering her gaze, a heavy sigh escapes Becky's lips.

Becky: I really misjudged that one, huh?

Rose: Hey, everyone makes mistakes, right? Even me. Well, especially me. I mean, let's be honest, I don't know how I missed all that flirting.

Becky: Well... it was pretty heavy, wasn't it? I thought I was coming on a little too strong, actually, but you kept right up with it. Thought you were just flirting back.

Rose: See, I'm just as guilty as you are.

Becky smiles a little, folding her arms across her chest and taking in another deep breath. She purses her lips slightly, giving her partner a long look.

Becky: Suppose that makes it a bit better, ah? But you're really okay with this? I mean, you're not just saying it to make me feel better, right?

Rose: Yeah, it's fine, don't worry about it. Besides, so what if my partner has a crush on me, right? It's actually a little flattering... means I have options.

The comment elicits an amused laugh from Becky, who casually averts her gaze and reaches a hand up to her head, curling her fingers in her hair. She tries not to smile too much, but she isn't doing a great job of hiding it.

Becky: Ay caramba... you are a very strange person, Rose.

Rose: You don't know the half of it. Now, come on, we should be getting out on patrol soon.

Glancing back down at the transfer request form, Becky taps her fingers a couple of times and then stands up out of her seat. She crumples the paper up into a ball, then tosses it into the nearby trash can.

Becky: Si, let's go.

Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Day

As Becky drives the cruiser around the busy city streets, Rose leans back in her seat with her elbow resting outside the window, enjoying the passing breeze. She watches the people walking by on their way to work for a few moments, then glances back over to her partner when they stop at a red light.

Rose: So, just out of curiosity, how long have you known that you... uh, didn't like boys?

Becky: Honestly? I think I've always known, in a way. I mean, I didn't know exactly, but I always felt kind of different. Had a few boyfriends in high school, but nothing ever happened, and I never felt quite right with them, if that makes sense.

Rose: I suppose, sort of.

Becky: But if you're asking when I first really discovered I liked girls, was about a month after I graduated. Got a job working at one of the local gyms, nothing special. One of the other girls working there, though, she took a quick liking to me, started flirting. Didn't realize it at first, but I ended up flirting back. Was just having fun, being nice, you know?

Rose: Now that I get.

Becky: Anyway, one day she makes a move on me in the locker room. Kinda panicked at first, I mean so many things going through my head at the time. But...

Rose: But you didn't stop her?

Becky: Yeah. I think something clicked in my head when she kissed me the first time. I realized just why I'd always felt so different, and... well, the rest is history.

Rose: So, whatever happened to her?

Becky: Oh, we were a thing for a little while, but it didn't last. Just like any other couple, you have your differences, your arguments... the relationship just didn't work out.

Rose: Right...

Of course, Rose doesn't really know anything about that. She might enjoy flirting, but she's a real loser when it comes to relationships. She's never had a boyfriend, or even been on a date for that matter. Considering her track record, she has her doubts that she ever will. Letting out a small sigh, she goes back to looking out her window. The rest of the morning is rather uneventful and goes by quickly. When lunch time rolls around, Becky changes course and drives over to one of the local food vendors.

Becky: You want the usual?

Rose: Yeah, but no onions this time.

Becky: Coming right up.

After parking the car, Becky gets out and heads over to the vendor, waiting patiently in line. Rose, meanwhile, occupies herself with the newspaper. She never thought that she'd ever take enjoyment out of doing word jumbles, but it does help pass the time. Holding her pen to lips, she stares at the page for a few moments of contemplation, then begins filling in her answers. With her attention drawn, she doesn't notice a black car with tinted windows turning the corner of the street and quickly increasing its speed. In fact, she doesn't know anything is out of the ordinary.

Until her precog goes off. Snapping her gaze up from the paper, a momentary jolt of panic goes through her chest. Hurriedly, she pushes her door open and sprints around the side of the car.

Rose: Rebecca! Get down!

The warning only causes confusion, however. Turning from her place in line, Becky gives an odd look, having no idea why her partner is suddenly out of the car and running straight at her. Before she can respond and ask Rose what's going on, the black car rolls by, one of the windows drawn down. Rose runs faster, but she knows she won't make it time; she's too far away. The gunshot goes off, and then the car is gone, speeding through a red light and turning the corner.

Rose: NO!

She makes it to Becky a second later, dropping to her knees at the woman's side. The rest of the crowd is in a panic, screaming and running. It isn't everyday that they witness someone getting shot.

Rose: Becky! Becky can you hear me? Come on, stay with me!

Becky's eyes are wide, her breathing rapid. Her gaze darts around wildly, finally coming to focus on her partner. She tries to say something, but nothing comes out, only frantic, raspy breaths. Rose presses her hand firmly against the gunshot wound, dead center in Becky's chest, trying to get the bleeding to stop. With her other hand, she reaches up to her shoulder radio and brings it close to her mouth.

Rose: Dispatch, we have an officer down! I repeat, officer down! I need an ambulance at 1756 Timber Street! Now!

Lowering her hand from the radio, she holds one of Becky's hands now, giving it a firm squeeze. Becky barely manages to tighten her fingers in response, her strength fading quickly. A few moments later, her eyes roll into the back of her head, closing. Rose's heart skips a beat as she sees this

Rose: Rebecca!

Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Night

Twelve hours. That's how long Rose has been at the hospital now, with the brief exception of picking up Holly from school. After Rose explained the situation, Holly insisted on going back to the hospital with her; she likes Becky, too, after all. Since then, they've just been waiting. Becky's been in surgery for a long time now, and the doctors won't give any information on the progress. Still, she hasn't left this spot, not even to go change out of her uniform.

Sitting in her seat in the hallway, Rose leans forward, elbows on her knees and gaze pointed at the floor. Holly is next to her, curled up in the adjoining seats and fast asleep. It is past midnight now, though the young girl stayed up as long as she could. They're both worried, especially Rose. Normally, she'd be out patrolling the city by now, dressed up in her Ravager gear and taking out street thugs, breaking up drug deals, or busting weapon smugglers. But right now there isn't anything more important than being there in the hospital, waiting for news on Becky's condition.

She's never felt like this before about anything, never had something so important to her that nothing else mattered. Then again, she's never had a friend like this before, either, nor has she ever had to go through having such a good friend get shot right in front of her and carted off to the hospital barely alive. This kind of worry, this kind of... torment, it's new to her, a different type than she's accustomed to. She honestly can't imagine losing Becky, not like this.

I'll find who shot her... she thinks, coldly. I'll find him, and I'll kill him. Doesn't matter who, he's a dead man.

Doctor: Miss Walker?

Glancing up from her seat, Rose notices a doctor now standing in front of her. She'd been so enveloped in her thoughts, she hadn't even heard him approach.

Rose: Yes, that's me. What is it? How's Becky?

Doctor: She just came out of surgery now.

Rose: Is she alright?

Doctor: She's stable right now, but her condition is still critical. The bullet that hit her missed her heart by less than inch, nicked the aorta, and very nearly hit her spine on the way through. It's quite honestly a miracle that she was still alive when she got to us.

Rose: But she'll recover, right? You'll keep her alive?

Doctor: We've repaired the damage as best we can, but the rest is up to her, I'm afraid. The next forty-eight hours will be crucial in telling us how well she will recover, if at all.

Rose: Can I see her?

Doctor: She's still under sedation at the moment, but you can go in briefly, if you like. Her room is just there, second one on the left from where we're standing.

Rose: Thanks.

Getting up from her seat, she checks one more time to make sure Holly's still sound asleep, then quickly heads to Becky's recovery room. The first thing that greets her is the steady, rhythmic beeping of the heart monitor, the glowing lights of which offer the only illumination in the otherwise dark room. Taking in a deep breath, Rose walks to the edge of the bed and looks down at the unconscious Becky. If not for all the IV's, tubes, and other wires attached to her, she might actually look pretty peaceful.. Instead, the sight makes Rose almost sick.

This... is how she felt when I was the one in the bed, isn't it? Think I'm starting to understand...

Swallowing a lump in her throat, Rose sits down next to the bed and exhales, bowing her head. Reaching forward, she takes Becky's hand in both of hers.

Rose: I'm sorry, Beck... I shouldn't have... I mean, I-

She stops mid sentence, bringing one of her hands to her forehead and closing her eye.

Goddamn it, I can't even talk straight.

Rose: I saw it happen... should have stopped it, but I was too slow... F**k, I should been there, I'm sorry.

Swallowing again, she leans back in the chair and holds both hands to her head, brushing her fingers through her hair. Taking in another deep breath, she stands up, staring down at Becky one last time.

Rose: Just... get better, alright? Please? You're not the only one who doesn't want to lose a partner... and a friend.

Clenching her jaw, she finally turns and exits the hospital room, then heads back down the hallway to get Holly. They can probably head home now, and at least try to get some real sleep. Halfway there, however, Rose glances up and freezes, her heart suddenly going numb and cold. Holly isn't alone; someone is there, sitting next to her with his legs crossed. He's a familiar man, with a dark fedora hat and long coat, round glasses, and a smug grin that's just begging to be slapped off his face.

Rose: You!

The man merely tilts his head, holding a finger to his lips and bringing his other hand down to gently stroke Holly's hair.

Jerry: Shhh, keep your voice down, Rose. We wouldn't want to wake her, would we?

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter #21 Preview: The mysterious Jeremiah Belmont has returned, and this time he's holding all the cards. What is he planning now, and why has he begun to attack the people closest to Rose? Fine out next time, when he makes an offer that she can't refuse!

Chapter #21

Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Night

Rose reacts instantly. Still in her cop uniform, her hand flies to her gun. Before she can even draw it from her holster, however, Jerry flicks a small knife from his sleeve into his hand and holds it dangerously close to Holly's neck. With his other hand, he wags his finger at her, tauntingly.

Jerry: Ah, ah, ah. You really don't want to be doing that.

Clenching her jaw, Rose's fingers slowly leave her gun. She glances around the hallway for anyone else, but the wing is deserted. It's after midnight, most of the staff has gone home by now.

Rose: Hiding behind a child? Classy.

Jerry: Simple insurance.

Rose: What the hell are you doing here?

Jerry: I wanted to chat, that's all.

Rose: Take the knife away from Holly's neck and maybe we'll talk.

Jerry: Ah, but you see, if I do that, then you go for your gun and try to shoot me. Not much of an incentive, is there?

Was worth a shot.

Rose: Just talk.

Jerry: Now you're getting it. See, your nightly adventures as the vigilante Ravager–or rather, The Blade, as they're calling you nowadays–make it very difficult to get any kind of hold on this city. Before you came along, oh it was easy, you saw yourself what I had going. But now... well, I'm afraid it just isn't the same.

Rose: Well gee, sorry to ruin your fun. Do you want me to buy you an ice cream cone, make you feel better?

Jerry: Ah, sarcasm, it really is unbecoming of a lady.

Rose: You're breaking my heart.

Jerry: Are you quite finished?

Rose: Oh please, continue.

Jerry: Anyway, as you can no doubt assume, allowing you to continue running around at night unchecked and causing trouble is unacceptable.

Rose: So this is your big plan to stop me? Threaten Holly and tell me to back off? The moment you leave and she's safe, I put a bullet in you.

Jerry: Yes, that would be problematic, wouldn't it? I suppose I could take her with me, but then kidnapping isn't really my forte. I'm not Pavoni, after all, I have standards. But there are other ways to get you to do what I want, other... people to go after. As you've seen.

A cold sensation begins to spread throughout Rose's body. She tenses up, flinching at the indication.

Rose: You... you're the one who put her in here, aren't you?

Jerry: Well, not me specifically, but I did give the order. Was supposed to be shot in the stomach, though... much greater chance of survival. Oh well, can't go back and do it over now.

Tightening her hands into closed fists, Rose grits her teeth and glares a hole through the man. The cold numbness from before is gone, now replaced by seething hot anger.

Rose: You son a b*ch... you're a dead man, I swear.

Jerry: Rose, there is something you need to understand. The people that work for me, well, they're everywhere. There isn't a place you've been where my eyes aren't watching. Take this hospital, for instance; it's no exception. I have people working here for me, as well, and they do what I tell them. For example, should anything happen to me, they have very specific orders to 'pull the plug' on your poor friend. Would be a real shame, wouldn't it?

Rose flinches, her eye twitching slightly at the declaration. She takes in a deep breath, arms shaking at her side now, she's clenching her fists so hard.

Rose: So what? You want me stop? Fine, I'm done.

Jerry: My, that was quick. One would think such a decision would at least take some time to think over... how much do you care for that woman, I wonder?

Rose doesn't answer, merely swallowing a hard lump in her throat.

Jerry: But no, I'm afraid that isn't what I want, either. You see, I wouldn't have you simply give up doing what you do; you are quite good at it. I would merely see your actions... overseen.

Rose: What are you talking about?

Jerry: You'll be working for me now, that's what I mean. If you even think otherwise, your girlfriend dies. Then, I move on to Holly here. Everyone you hold dear, gone.

The numbness is back. Rose swallows, her gaze slowly moving towards the floor.

Jerry: Thinking things through, are you? Please, take your time, I don't have anywhere to be tonight. A tough decision, though, isn't it? On the one hand, you could just shoot me now. Of course, the aftermath would lead to that cop, and this girl, both dying. You'd stop me, yes, but lose everything in the process. Or, you simply listen to what I tell you, and everyone lives. Your move.

Slowly, Rose's hand moves back to her gun. She fingers the side of it with her thumb, contemplating whether or not she really should just shoot the b**tard.

Maybe he's bluffing. Maybe he doesn't have sh*t against me, maybe Holly and Becky aren't in any danger... As soon as the thought goes through her head, she drops her hand back down by her side again, closing her eye. No, I'm not making that mistake again. No one else is dying because of me.

Rose: Fine...

Jerry: What's that now? Speak up a little, I couldn't quite hear you.

Rose: I said fine, a**hole. I'll work for you.

Jerry: Really now, that is no way to talk to your employer. I suppose we'll have to work on that.

Rose: Just tell me what I have to do.

Jerry: For now, take dear Holly here back home, get some sleep, go to work in the morning, all that good stuff. Tomorrow night, nine o'clock, come to the old toy factor in the East District. Be sure to dress for the occasion.

On that note, Jerry removes the knife away from the sleeping Holly and stands up, slipping his hands into his coat pockets. He gives her a small nod, then turns to leave.

Jerry: Have yourself a goodnight, Rose.

Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Night

Rose kicks the door open lightly with her foot, as her arms are mostly occupied by carrying Holly. The poor girl was able to wake up long enough to make it back to the car, but then she fell fast asleep again. Rose didn't have the heart to wake her up again, instead carrying the girl into the building and up through the elevator. Letting out a long breath, she brings Holly into her bedroom and tucks her in. Then, she heads back into the living room and just stands there, staring out the window.

There's nothing she can do, that's what she keeps telling herself. If she wants the only people in this world who matter to her to stay alive, then she has to do whatever Jeremiah Belmont tells her to do. There isn't any way around it, the b**tard has her on a leash.

Still, she won't let Jerry get away with this. Somehow, someway, she'll find a way around it. She'll find a way to make him pay without putting Holly or Becky in danger. She just... needs to think on it, that's all Surely, she can come up with a plan. For now, though, all she can do is go to sleep and prepare herself for the next day.

Halfway to her bedroom, though, she stops, letting out a sigh. Turning back around, she heads into the kitchen and reaches up to one of the top shelves. She pulls out a bottle of vodka and pours herself a couple of shots, downing them both in quick succession. A small cough escapes her lips, as the liquid burns on the way down. Briefly, she contemplates a few more shots, but knows she won't be able to get out of bed in the morning if she does. Putting the bottle back up on the shelf, she walks back into her bedroom to get some sleep.

Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Day

Sitting at the edge of the bed again, Rose leans forward, elbows on her knees. She brought her lunch with her, but she doesn't eat. The nausea in her gut is too strong, brought on by the sight of Becky sleeping and hooked up to all those machines, barely hanging on to life. Instead, she just watches, hoping to herself that Becky will pull through.

Rose: You know, the day, uh... it's been pretty boring without you. I mean, I finally got to drive the cruiser, but... there's no one to talk to. The day just... kind of drags when you're not there. Everyone's pulling for you down at the station, you know. They, uh... they already bought your cake; it's vanilla, your favorite. Because you'll pull through, right? Of course you will...

A long moment of silence passes over the room, as Rose bows her head and closes her eye.

Rose: I, uh, I just want to say, I... might have to do some things... things you probably wouldn't be happy about. I don't know what, yet, but I will... eventually. But, I'm doing it to protect you, I want you to know that. You and Holly... as long as I keep you guys safe, then I'm still doing good, right? Yeah...

Swallowing, Rose takes in another deep breath and then slowly stands up, running her fingers back through her hair.

Rose: Well, I should probably get back out on patrol... already been here a little too long as it is. I'll be back tomorrow, Beck... just keep fighting, you hear me?

Looking down at Becky for another few moments, she finally lets out her breath and turns to leave. Her day is still far from over.

Ext. Slaton Toy Factor – Night

Ravager drives up to the front gates of the old abandoned factory, giving the place a long look as she kills the engine. It strikes her as an odd place for a meet up, but then villains are never ordinary. Removing her helmet, she hops off her bike and walks up to the chained iron fence, wondering just where the hell Jerry is. She got here on time, with a minute to spare, actually. So where is the b**tard?

As soon as the thought goes through her head, a phone begins to ring. It's a high, shrill sound that grates the insides of her ears. Scowling, she glances around, searching for the source. Her gaze falls on a small, pink cell phone taped to the gate in front of her. Staring at it for a few moments, she walks over and picks it up. According to the caller ID, the person on the other end is someone called “J”.

Ravager: Cute...

Flipping the phone open she holds it up to her ear and listens as the familiar, smug voice speaks to her.

Jerry/Phone: Ah, you're on time, I see. Good. I do love it when my workers are punctual.

Ravager: Just get on with it. What do you want me to do?

Jerry/Phone: Have you heard of S.T.A.R. Labs?

Ravager: The research company?

Jerry/Phone: That's the one.

Ravager: What about it?

Jerry/Phone: Well, it just so happens that they have a facility located right here in Silverstone City. As luck would have it, this particular facility also contains something of great value to me, something I need you to get for me.

Ravager: So you want me to steal you something from S.T.A.R. Labs?

Jerry/Phone: Will that be a problem?

Ravager: Just tell me what it is.

Jerry/Phone: Good. Now, what I'm looking for is contained in their storage vault, under the file name C-67. The code to open the vault is 83934.

Ravager: And you know this how?

Jerry/Phone: Eyes everywhere, remember? I just need someone like you to go and get it for me. But do be careful, security is pretty tight around S.T.A.R. Labs these days.

Ravager: Why am I not surprised?

Jerry/Phone: I’ve uploaded the building's blueprints to this phone, do study them carefully before running in without a plan. When you've retrieved the objective, give me a call; it's the only number on speed dial.

Rose: I'll try to remember.

Jerry/Phone: And keep in mind, Rose, if for any reason you should fail, Rebecca dies.

The call ends a moment later. Staring down at the phone, Ravager frowns and flips it closed, then places it in one of the reinforced compartments on her belt. She takes a brief moment to herself, breathing in deeply, and then returns to her bike to get on with her job.

Int. S.T.A.R. Labs Facility – Night

It's times like these that Ravager wishes she had a little bit more training in the art of stealth. Sure, she's good, but she's no Batman. That fact made itself evident when she tripped the alarm that alerted the entire facility of her presence, coming with a blaring horn, flashing red lights, swarms of security, the whole nine yards. A few teams of goons have already tried their luck in stopping her, but they didn't last long. Ravager isn't screwing around right now; she has a mission to accomplish, and failure means... well, failure isn't an option.

Turning the corner of the wide, open corridor, she comes face to face with another group of five or so security officers. One of them holds a large, bazooka-like weapon, pointing it at her and firing. She sees it coming before he even pulls the trigger, in turn jumping up and over the incoming projectile, a glowing red energy net. She lands on the guy's shoulders, kicks off of him, and moves through the other attacking guards in a matter of seconds. She throws punches, kicks, elbows, all strikes meant to cripple but not kill. Stealing from these people is bad enough, she doesn't need to murder anyone.

Storage vault, storage vault... come on, where are you?

She comes to a fork in the path, stopping only a moment as she tries to remember which way to go. Eventually, she heads left, sprinting down the corridor. Turning another corner, she halts at a large metal door blocking her path, a door with the word 'storage' written across it in big yellow letters.

Jackpot!

Standing in front of the access panel, she pauses a moment, trying to think of what the code was that Jerry gave her. With her heart beating so fast and adrenaline pumping through her, she's having trouble thinking straight. Within a few seconds, however, she remembers, typing it in and taking a step back as the security panel emits a loud whirring noise.

Computer Voice: Override recognized, security disabled.

The heavy door then slides open, revealing a long chamber beyond. Ravager sprints inside, looking around for her target. She sees several rows of storage containers, each one marked with a different label. Finding row C, she runs down the room until coming across the sixty-seventh container and quickly pulls it open. Inside the container is a small metal cylinder, no bigger than a ruler. Though she would like to know what exactly it is, there's no time to sit there wondering about it. She has to get out of here, now.

Guard: She's in the vault! Spread out and find her!

Ravager looks up, peering over the row of containers towards the entrance to the vault. Another team of security goons have moved in, these ones wielding what look like some kind of electric energy weapon, a gun with metal prongs that crackles with sparks.

Mental note: don't get hit by that.

Moving towards the back of the room, Ravager goes around the side of an empty row of containers. She hides herself behind what looks like a large drilling device, equipped with lasers and computer screens. Not even worth thinking about what something like that is used for. Waiting for one of the security guards to wander into range, Ravager jumps out and attacks with a sweeping kick to the head, dropping the guy instantly.

The other men in the room all begin to converge on her location, but she's already on the move, sprinting towards the door. As she nears the end of the room, one of the guards pokes around the edge of a container and fires his weapon, emitting an explosive wave of electricity at her. Unfortunately for him, she saw it happen before he even fired, allowing her to lunge away to the side, roll forward, and kick the weapon out of his hands, then put him down with a chop to the back of the skull. Reaching down, she picks up his fallen weapon with her free hand.

Ravager: You don't mind if I borrow this, do? Didn't think so.

Racing forward, she fires off a couple of potshots at the morons who get in her way. She saw the effects of the weapon in her precog, nothing more than a high caliber stun. The two men go down hard, but they're still breathing. Wasting no time, she continues out of the room and back down the corridor. Triggering the alarm had messed her up before, but now that she's calmed down and has a handle of things, she determines exactly where she is, according to the floor plans she studied earlier.

Turning a corner, she passes by a large set of doors and stops outside a small hatch on the wall. She glances quickly both ways to make sure no one is closing in on her, then opens the hatch and climbs inside, taking hold of the ladder and scaling upwards. It's a small maintenance shaft used to get to some of the more hard to reach areas of the building, and leads straight to the ceiling. It would have made a great entry point, had the rooftop hatch opened from the outside. For now, though, it acts as her escape.

When she reaches the top of the ladder, Ravager opens the hatch from the inside and pushes it open, allowing her to jump out onto the roof. She lowers a hand to her belt for a moment and clicks a small button on it, the one that initiates her bike's autopilot and homing beacon, bringing it right to her. Sprinting to the far side of the roof, she jumps onto the exterior ladder and slides down to the ground.

The moment that she reaches the ground, a team of guards on the outside open fire with non-lethal weapons. Of course, getting hit with them will still hurt, and likely leave her a drooling wreck for a few hours. Best not to get hit. Diving behind a nearby dumpster, she takes cover and waits. The loud hum of her motorcycle's engine beings to approach, drawing the attention of some of the guards. They turn to look behind them, giving them just enough time to get the hell out of the way before being run over.

The bike drives straight up to the dumpster and stops roughly ten yards from Ravager's position. Without hesitation, she leaps out from cover and mounts the vehicle instantly, gunning the engine and exploding forward with astonishing acceleration. She hits a hundred and fifty in mere seconds, disappearing away from the S.T.A.R. Labs facility before the security team can even aim another shot.

Ext. Silverstone City Slums – Night

Ravager stops her bike in a back alley, away from prying eyes. She stares down at the small metal cylinder for a few moments, pondering what the contents could be. Unfortunately, she doesn't really see a way to open it, and so her curiosity will go unsated for now. Instead, she pulls out the pink cell phone from earlier and dials the number.

Jerry/Phone: Ah, Rose, good to hear from you. And sooner than I expected, too.

Ravager: I got your... whatever it is.

Jerry/Phone: Of course you did, I never had any doubts.

Ravager: Now what?

Jerry/Phone: Now, we meet up so you can deliver the item to me. I'll see you shortly.

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Chapter #22 Preview: Now under Jeremiah's employ, Ravager begins to descend further and further down the criminal path, earning to attention of the local authorities, authorities that she is a part of during the day. But if she tries to stop, those closest to her will pay the price, forcing her to continue on her fall from grace.

Chapter #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.

Strange: Interesting.

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?

Rose: Yeah.

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.

If.

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.

Jerry/Comm: Rose...

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!

Chapter #23

Int. Sapphire Industries – Night

Ravager runs around the corner of a hallway, following Jerry's directions. It isn't exactly quick going, though, with security guards constantly showing up in front of her after Jerry went and purposefully allowed them to get out the alert to the rest of the building. A test, he said, to see just how capable she is. Of course, the same rules still apply; if she fails, Becky dies.

Jerry/Comm: Take your next left.

Sprinting faster, Ravager moves towards her next left, not slowing down and practically sliding across the floor as she turns. She can't afford to take her time; right now, speed is everything. From the next corridor in front of her, several guards come around the corner in a hurry. When they notice the woman in costume heading straight at them, however, they instantly skid to a sudden halt and raise their weapons, basic stun guns.

Idiots.

Ravager ducks out of the way of one of the incoming shock projectiles, then spins away from another one, and leaps over the third. Before they even realize that they missed, she's in the middle of them and attacking. She assaults pressure points, breaks bones, knocks them out, but doesn't kill. That's the last thing she needs, for the media to spin that she's not just a thief, but a murderer, too. When all three men go down, she looks up and pauses a moment, then keeps going.

Jerry/Comm: The lab is in the next hallway, second door on the right. It's marked with white and black stripes.

In a short few moments, she makes it to the specially marked door and kicks it open. The temperature instantly drops about twenty degrees, the lab for some reason kept rather chilled. She lets out a deep breath, emitting a visible, wispy cloud.

Ravager: Alright, where is this thing?

Jerry/Comm: Near the back, there's a hatch on the wall, opens to a small freezer. It's inside.

Moving towards the back, she locates the hatch and spins the handle several times before it finally opens, a small hiss of air surging forth. The compartment within is coated with ice, and empty except for a fist sized, heavy duty metal canister, with a buttons on one side of it. Reaching forward, she lifts it into her grasp, feeling the intense chill even through her gloves.

Ravager: Geez, it's heavy, even for me. What the hell is in this thing?

Jerry/Comm: I assure you, most of the weight is the container. What's inside weighs very little.

Ravager: Uh huh, great, now I still have to get out of this place while carrying-

Guard: Freeze!

Turning to look behind her, she notices a security guard standing in the doorway. Another couple men are standing behind him, all wielding pistols and pointing them at her. Looks like they finally brought out the serious weapons, though a lot of good it will do them.

Guard: Put the container down, and step away with your hands up!

Ravager: Hey, is this thing fragile at all?

Jerry/Comm: Well, no... why?

Ravager: Just checking.

Guard: Do it now! Put it down!

Ravager: What, this?

She glances at the canister for a second, tightening her grip on it with her right hand. She then turns to the side, brings her arm back, and launches the thing as though throwing a baseball. Her enhanced strength sends it through the air like a rocket, drilling the first guard in the chest and knocking him violently backwards. His gun goes off, the bullet impacting somewhere in the ceiling. The other guards catch the man before he hits the floor, but quickly work to get into a better position to stop their intruder.

By the time they manage to push past the other man into the doorway, Ravager is there to greet them with a flying kick, drilling the first one in the head. The other man fires his gun, striking her shoulder. She grits her teeth slightly, as her armor absorbs the bullet, then spins low and sweeps her leg beneath the man's feet, causing him to flip onto his backside. She strikes quickly again with a hard palms strike, knocking him out cold. With the area clear, she picks up the canister again and heads back down the hallway.

Jerry/Comm: You threw it, didn't you?

Ravager: It got the job done, didn't it?

A small sigh comes through the other end of the comm.

Jerry/Comm: Proceed back to the stairs and head to the roof. The chopper is on its way back now to pick you up.

Ravager: Working on it!

Jumping low into a baseball slide, she zips across the floor and through the legs of another approaching security guard to avoid his gunshot. By the time he notices she's gone and turns around to face her, she's already bringing her elbow into the side of his head. He drops like a brick. She then continues sprinting back the way she came.

Ravager reaches the stairwell a moment later, bursting through the door and running up to the roof. Another gun goes off, the bullet ricocheting off the railing. Glancing down briefly, she sees several more guards in close pursuit. Pushing herself faster, she puts as much distance between them as she can, until she finally emerges out onto the roof.

Ext. Sapphire Industries – Night

Ravager: Where the hell is the chopper?

Jerry/Comm: Almost there, hold tight.

Glancing back over her shoulder, she notices the first of the security guards come out to join her on the roof. She keeps moving towards the opposite end, taking cover behind a grouping of air conditioning units. A few moments later, the hum of the chopper's rotors reaches her ears. Turning, she sees it coming in from the east side of the building, its rope ladder already hanging out.

Jerry/Comm: Better get moving, you're only going to get one chance at this.

Well this is gonna be a blast.

Sprinting out from cover, Ravager heads straight for the edge of the rooftop. The security guards open fire, some shots missing, others requiring careful use of her precog to avoid without slowing down. Finally, she reaches the ledge at near full speed, kicks off, and lunges through the air. For a brief moment, she's hanging over twenty-five stories of empty space, nothing but the city streets below.

Holding out her left arm, she clamps her grasp around the bottom rung of the rope ladder, just as the chopper flies by. She uses every ounce of her strength to hang on without having her arm ripped from its socket, and all while maintaining her grip on the canister without dropping it. Within several seconds, the chopper is out of range of the security guards, flying back to a drop off point.

Jerry/Comm: Very well done, Rose, you've proven your value yet again.

Ravager: Screw off, a**hole. You alerted security on purpose just to make me sweat.

Jerry/Comm: And you still came through, just as I knew you would. I'll see you shortly.

Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Day

Four days later...

Rose stands quietly at the kitchen table, leaning forward against it with her hands pressed on either side of the newspaper. She's staring at the front page headline, which reads: 'The Blade Strikes Again, Hits Keifer Chemicals.' Tapping her fingers incessantly against the table, she moves on to the article itself, reading carefully for a few moments before pushing the paper away in disgust. Finally, she drops herself into her seat and stares up at the ceiling.

I'm a criminal now, plain and simple, she thinks, shaking her head slightly. I might be doing it for a good cause, but that doesn't matter to the cops, or the media, or anyone else.

Not to mention, she's also helping Jeremiah accomplish whatever it is he's working towards. She highly doubts that he's just sending her out to steal this stuff for kicks, he has a purpose behind it, a plan. If she doesn't figure out a way to stop him fast, without putting Becky's life in danger, then there's no telling what kind of ramifications it could have.

As Rose sits there, her cell phone begins to ring. It's not the one that Jerry gave to her, but rather her actual, personal phone. She glances at it for a moment, as it vibrates across the table, contemplating whether or not to answer. The caller ID says 'Grayson'. She wants to answer it, she really does, but she knows she can't. He's calling about what she's been doing lately, no doubt about that. With his resources, there's no way he doesn't know about it.

She can't talk to him, though, not yet, not while Jerry still holds Becky's life in his hands. If she talks to Dick, he'll want to know what the hell she's doing. If she tells him, he'll want to help her. If he helps, then Jerry pulls the trigger on Becky. She doesn't know exactly the extent of the man's 'watchful eyes', but she doesn't want to test it. Instead, she lets the phone continue ringing until her voicemail picks up, then stuffs it in her pocket.

A few moments later, she looks up to see Holly entering the kitchen and sitting herself down at the table. The girl holds her hands up to her chin, kicking her legs back and forth in her seat and just staring at Rose for a few moments.

Rose: Oh, Holly... I'm sorry, just cereal this morning. I... didn't get a chance to make anything.

Holly purses her lips in thought for a moment, then brings her hands up and makes a few motions. Rose has been teaching her sign language now, finally, and the girl's vocabulary with it is actually coming along pretty quickly.

Holly: What's wrong?

Rose: It's... nothing, don't worry about it. I've just had a lot on my mind lately.

Holly: Are you worried about Becky?

Rose: Yeah... I am.

Holly: I'm sorry.

Rose smiles gently and lets out a small breath, shaking her head.

Rose: It's alright, really... everything will be okay, Becky's healing well. The doctors are even considering taking her off the painkillers today, so she might be awake when we go see her later.

Holly smiles at this.

Holly: That's really good!

Rose: Yeah, it is...

Though Rose still tries to smile, the sad, depressed look on her face is still pretty clear. Seeing this, Holly gets up from her seat and walks over, giving a big, friendly hug. Rose swallows a knot in her throat and returns the hug, breathing in deeply.

Rose: Thanks, Holly.

Int. Silverstone City General Hospital – Day

Rose knocks very gently on the hospital room door as she opens it, slowly peering inside and hoping for a response. Holly stands behind her, rocking back and forth on her toes, hands held behind her back and waiting patiently. A short distance away, the figure lying down in bed moves a little, turning her head to look at them.

Becky: Hey... you guys came.

Her voice is raspy and weak, but she's alive; that's good enough for all of them. As Rose sees Becky awake, she can't hide a pleased smile. After days of watching Becky lie motionless and asleep, condition barely improving, it gives her a newfound wave of relief to see her friend actually talking and moving again.

Rose: Of course we came... we've been here everyday, you know.

Becky: Yeah, the doctor told me you have. Thanks, I mean it.

Rose: Hey, you did the same for me, right? That's what friends do.

A weak smile comes across Becky's face; she's still in pain, but she wanted to be awake long enough for this visit.

Becky: The very best, right?

Rose: Nothing less.

Holly comes forward, all smiles, and starts rifling through a series of hand signs.

Becky: Ha, slow down there. Afraid I don't know sign language.

Rose: She says she's glad you're better.

Becky: Aha, gracias, Holly, I'm glad too. Though, I still got a long way to go, ah? Hurts just to breathe.

Sitting down next to the bed, Rose leans forward and takes one of Becky's hands into her own.

Rose: She, uh, she's not the only one who's glad, you know. I... I was really worried there for a while.

Becky: Easy there, girl, you're gonna make me blush.

Rose blinks a moment, then looks down and quickly pulls her hand back, embarrassed.

Rose: Oh, right, sorry. I was... just a reflex. I, uh... held your hand a lot when I was here before, guess I thought it would help or something. Stupid, right?

Becky: Nah, it's sweet. Thanks.

Clearing her throat, Rose looks away slightly, fidgeting in her seat. Now she doesn't know whether to feel embarrassed or flattered. Maybe a little of both.

Rose: So, uh... I don't suppose you've seen the news yet?

Becky: Si, watched it this morning. Didn't I tell you that Blade person was bad news?

Well, guess that was a bit too much to hope for.

Rose: Uh... yeah. I guess you did.

Becky: I mean, I can't say I expected something like this to happen, but I knew she'd be trouble. Looks like we got a lot of work to do once I get back to work, ah? That is, of course, unless you guys catch her before then.

Rose: I wouldn't count on that...

A small, somewhat amused sigh escapes Becky's lips.

Becky: Ha, yeah, she's a tough one, I hear. Probably one of those metas or something. Boy do we have our hands full.

A brief silence passes between them. Rose shifts her position slightly, bringing a hand to her head and gently runs her fingers through her hair. Holly, meanwhile, walks over to the other seat and hops into it, then grabs the remote and turns on the television hanging from the wall.

Becky: So, what do you two have planned for today, anyway? It's Sunday, right?

Rose: Yeah, Sunday. But we don't really have much going on today, didn't make much of a schedule. We'll probably stay here a while, unless you need your rest?

Becky: Please, I'm good for as long as you're here.

The two women smile back at each other, a brief moment passing.

Rose: Then... yeah. We'll stay here.

Int. Rose's Penthouse Suit – Night

Later that night, Rose stands in her bedroom and looks down at her mask, taking in a small breath. The more she does for Jerry, the more she hates putting it on, and yet she doesn't have a choice. It takes her a while to finally pull it over her head and continue getting dressed, but eventually she's fully geared up and ready to go. According to her phone conversation a short while ago, this is her last job, at least for now. That means she's running out of time. Whatever Jerry is trying to accomplish with the things that she's been stealing for him, he's almost done. She needs to find a way to stop him, soon.

But I can't do that as long as Becky's in danger. So what the hell do I do?

Letting out a frustrated breath, she holds a hand against the wall, while bringing the other up to her forehead. She stays like that for a few moments, just trying to think of something, anything. Nothing comes to mind. Eventually, she pushes herself away from the wall and heads back through the penthouse to leave. When she gets to the living room, however, she's stopped by the sound of her cell phone going off, her real one.

Glancing back at the coffee table, she stares at the phone for a moment, watching it glow and vibrate. Then, she walks over to it and lifts it up, reading the name. 'Grayson'. Breathing outwardly again, she places the phone back on the table and continues on her way.

Sorry, Dick, can't come to the phone right now.

Ext. GenTech Enterprises – Night

Ravager leaps through the window, blowing apart the glass in a shower of tiny shards. Having been on the third floor, she's now plummeting through thirty feet of empty air. She braces herself for impact, tucking and rolling when she hits the ground. Her above normal durability prevents any broken bones, though she can still feel more than a few bruises already springing up, and her ankle feels a bit funny, like it's partially asleep.

As she sprints across the grass outside, she glances over her shoulder to see the building's security staring at her from the broken, third story window. None of them are about to make an attempt in following her. Looking straight ahead again, she continues towards where she left her bike and hops on, placing the strange electronic device she stole into the back compartment and then gunning the engine. In seconds, she's racing down the street.

Ext. Silverstone Outskirts – Night

Ravager: It's done.

Jerry/Comm: Very good. I'm sending someone to meet up with you back at the toy factory. Go slow and stick to the back roads, we don't want you catching the attention of the authorities, after all. That would be most problematic.

Ravager narrows her gaze, as she slows up a little, returning to a normal speed. Veering left at a fork, she stays on the lesser traveled roads, the ones that will snake their way back into the less busy areas of the city. Getting noticed by the police and then caught up in a high speed pursuit right now would not be desirable.

About ten minutes into her ride, she begins to become acutely aware that she's being followed. Glancing down into one of her mirrors, she watches the vehicle behind her, another motorcycle, maintaining a decent distance; he's just far enough to be less noticeable, while still close enough to keep an eye on her. When she speeds up, so does her pursuer. When she slows down, he does the same.

Ravager: You know, I'm really getting tired of you having your goons follow me around.

Jerry/Comm: What are you talking about?

Ravager: The guy behind me is one of yours, right?

Jerry/Comm: I assure you, he is not.

This time, Ravager turns her head and looks behind her, giving her follower a long look. Now that he knows he's been discovered, the vehicle speeds up and begins to close the gap.

Ravager: Someone's tailing me. Not a cop, though.

Jerry/Comm: Deal with it, then, and be quick.

Squeezing the breaks, Ravager spins her bike around with a screech of the tires. In a brief second, she's now facing towards her pursuer, just sitting there and waiting for him. Whoever this guy is, she intends on putting a stop to him quickly. She really doesn't like being followed. When the vehicle comes closer, however, and she realizes who is riding towards her, she tenses up, sitting straighter and glaring with a mix of confusion, surprise, and frustration. A few moments later, he comes to a stop and sits up, staring at her from behind the familiar cowl.

Ravager: What the hell are you doing here?

Red Robin: Rose, we need to talk.

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Chapter #24 Preview: Red Robin attempts to find out what's going with Ravager and stop her current crime spree, but when she refuses to talk, the two come into conflict. Next time, it's Rose Wilson vs. Tim Drake in a battle of former teammates!

Chapter #24

Ext. Silverstone Outskirts – Night

Ravager continues glaring, her grip tightening around the handlebars to her cycle. Sitting across from her on his own bike is Red Robin, aka Tim Drake, one of her former teammates of the Teen Titans. She hasn't seen him now in almost a year, not since she left after stupidly screwing up one of their alerts and getting Bart Allen killed, along with a bunch of cops. She knew they'd end up kicking her out after that, she she simply saved them the trouble.

But what is he doing here now?

Ravager: I don't have time to talk right now, Tim.

Red Robin: Then make time.

Ravager: Quite a ways from San Francisco, aren't you?

Red Robin: I was already in Gotham when Batman asked me to check up on you. You've been stealing, hurting innocent people, haven't been answering your phone. That's not like you.

Ravager: Maybe you just don't know me as well as you think you do.

Red Robin: I know you better than you think.

Ravager: Somehow, I doubt that. How did you even find me?

Red Robin: There's a tracer built into your ride. Batman put it there in case of emergencies.

Ravager: Of course he did. Guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Red Robin: Tell me what's going on with you, Rose. If you're in trouble with something, I can help. You might have left the team on bad terms, but you're still one of us. You're still a friend.

Ravager: Is that you talking, or is that Dick?

Silence follows. He turns his gaze slightly, not able to bring himself to answer her question.

Ravager: Yeah, that's what I thought. You guys still haven't forgiven me for what happened, and you probably never will. That's fine, I don't care. I know what I did and I've paid for it. But I have my own life now, I don't need to go running back to your team, begging for forgiveness.

Red Robin: I know, and I'm glad you're finding your own way, Rose, really. But something is going on right now with you. Something is wrong. You need to let me help you before it gets out of control.

Ravager's comm finally activates in her ear, emitting Jerry's annoying, scolding tone. He's been listening to the whole conversation, after all.

Jerry/Comm: Not a word, Rose. You know what will happen.

Ravager: I know... But I can't, Tim, I can't.

Red Robin: Don't suppose there's any way I can change your mind?

Ravager: Not a chance.

A small sigh leaves his lips.

Red Robin: Then, I'm sorry, but I have to stop you.

Ravager: You even try, and I'll snap your arm.

But he's already hopping off his bike and reaching into his utility belt. She scowls at him, clenching her jaw. She isn't about to let him stop her, there's too much at stake. Best to put him down quickly so she can get on with her job. Jumping off her ride, she evades his incoming throwing disks, without even trying.

Ravager: You'll have to do a lot better than that!

Red Robin says nothing, instead tossing down a few smoke pellets and enveloping them both in a thick haze. She frowns, straightening herself a little and glancing around carefully.

Ravager: Smoke? You're kidding, right?

Red Robin: Just tell me what's going on and we don't have to do this.

Her precog goes off, showing an attack from the left. She turns instantly and pushes the incoming kick away, then counters with one of her own. The smoke throws her aim off, and she hits only air. Red Robin's shadow disappears a moment later.

Ravager: You say that like I'm afraid to.

Another flash of precog. More disks this time. She turns her body and evades them with ease, then jumps back to avoid a swinging strike from his bo staff. He comes in again, thrusting and swinging his weapon. She ducks, weaves, then jumps forward with a flying elbow. She gets a good hit in, striking his jaw and sending him rolling back into the smoke, which is already beginning to dissipate. She can see him more clearly now, and this time charges at him.

She takes only a few steps before suddenly freezing up, shouting with pain as a strong electrical surge courses through her body. A few seconds later, the electricity disappears, leaving her body fried and numb. With her heart racing, she stumbles back a little bit, but maintains her balance. Looking down at her feet, she notices a round, flat device on the ground, some kind of stun mine; he used the smoke as a cover to place it, then lured right into the trap.

Ravager: Okay... that really hurt.

Red Robin: Please, Rose, tell me what's wrong. I don't want to hurt you.

Ravager: That's the last time you do.

She runs forward at him, intent on bringing him down as quickly as possible. But her actions are sluggish, body still tingling. She throws a punch, but he dodges, then twirls his staff around and catches the bottom of her jaw, forcing her backwards.

Jerry/Comm: You may want to hurry things up a little bit, Rose, and maybe try harder. Would be a shame if he stopped you, so close to finishing your last job. Just think of Rebecca...

Holding a hand to her jaw, she glowers and comes forward again. This time, she toughs it up, ignores the uncomfortable results of the electrical charge. Her adrenaline is pumping now, and she's not screwing around. Red Robin readies his staff, prepared to defend against her attack, but she draws one of her swords. Pulling such a lethal weapon seems to catch him off guard slightly, causing him to flinch with surprise. That one flinch is all she needs to capitalize.

She swings her blade viciously, while he raises his staff to block. Unfortunately for him, her weapons are a lot sharper than he's familiar with. It slices cleanly through the metal pole, throwing his balance off as his arms go apart, each hand holding one half of his weapon. This time, when Ravager brings her fist up, she catches him squarely on the side of the face. He tries to bring his arms up to block, but her attack goes straight through his guard.

Ravager doesn't stop there, throwing a high kick to his side, causing him to double over, and then punching with her other hand, the one holding her sword. The hard hilt catches his jaw, causing him to stumble. She finishes things with a leaping kick that drills him flat against his chest, sending him tumbling backwards to the ground. He tries to get back up, turning over and pushing himself up, but she kicks him back down.

Red Robin: Rose, you don't have to do this.

Ravager: Stay down, Tim.

Bringing her boot down, she forces it against the side of his head, keeping him pinned against the ground.

Ravager: You can't beat me in a straight fight.

Red Robin: I know.

His hand inches down towards his belt, clicking a small button.

Red Robin: That's why I brought help, in case I needed it.

Ravager's eyebrow lifts a little, as the sound of an incoming aircraft begins to reach her ears. It's quiet, at first, then grows louder as it approaches. Glancing upward, she watches as the Bat-Jet comes into view, slowing down above them and hovering.

Ravager: You have got to be kidding me.

Suddenly, a large metal net flies out of one of the jet's many on board launchers. She jumps to the side, evading it easily enough. The jet turns, following her, and fires a couple more times, but never hits its target. With her attention occupied, however, Ravager isn't paying attention to Red Robin, who's back up to his knees now. As she flips back to avoid another incoming net, he pulls out another couple of round disks and throws them at her in mid dodge.

Though her precog goes off, Ravager is in a poor position to suddenly change her direction. She tries to turn and spin away, twisting her body in an awkward position. She only succeeds in tumbling clumsily to the ground. Before she can get back up, a large weighted net wraps around her and forces her against the ground. She shouts angrily, trying to push up against the metal cables, but she can barely get up to her knees.

Ravager: Let me out of this!

Red Robin: Sorry, Rose.

Meanwhile, the Bat-Jet lowers itself from the air and comes to a stop when it reaches the ground. The cockpit opens up, revealing another member of the Bat Family inside, a blonde girl in a black and purple batsuit.

Batgirl: Awesome! We got her!

Red Robin: Yeah, thanks for the hand, Steph.

Batgirl: Always happy to help.

Ravager: You don't know what you're doing!

Her comm link then hisses in her ear.

Jerry/Phone: Things not going well? That's a shame. I'm not going to have to make a call, am I?

Ravager flinches, a bolt of panic surging through her. She grips two sections of the net with her hands, then starts tugging on the metal cables with every ounce of might she can muster in her body.

Batgirl: Wow, she really got you good, huh?

Leaning close, Batgirl inspects Red Robin's bleeding nose, and bruised cheek. Pushing past her, he heads for the jet.

Red Robin: I'll be fine. Just keep an eye on her while I make a call to Dick.

Batgirl: You got it.

Giving him a firm, over-emphasized salute, Batgirl then folds her arms and turns towards Ravager, watching closely. After a couple seconds, though, she raises her eyebrows and drops her arms in surprise.

Batgirl: Hey, uh, should she be able to to that?

Red Robin looks back over from the jet to see Ravager yanking apart the metal cables on the net, her arms shaking and muscles straining. She's almost made a hole large enough to fit through. Reacting quickly, he digs around the cockpit and pulls out a stun gun. He doesn't want to use it, but he has to put her down long enough to at least get her properly tied up.

Red Robin: Don't do it, Rose!

He runs forward, taking aim with it and stopping when he comes to within ten paces of her.

Red Robin: Don't make me use it!

Ravager doesn't listen to him. She continues pulling, harder now. Her arms have gone practically numb, they're struggling so much. Groaning, she tightens her grip and puts everything she has into it. She can feel the net beginning to strain, almost ready to give way. That's when the stun gun's nodes hit her square in the chest, sending a powerful electrical current through her. She works through it, feeling her entire body tingling and crying out with sharp pains. Not once does she stop pulling, though she is screaming now. Red Robin actually looks surprised that it isn't putting her down, growing concerned over how long he has to keep the charge going.

Red Robin: Rose, just stop!

Ravager: NO!!!

With one final tug, the metal netting snaps and rips open. Ravager instantly throws it around her, stepping out of the newly created hole, then grabs the cables running from the node to the stun gun and pulls them off her chest. Though her entire body is almost entirely numb, tingling like pins and needles, she doesn't let it stop her. Taking in deep, heavy breaths, she slowly brings her gaze up, glaring at him. Both he and Batgirl stare at her for a moment in genuine shock over her feat.

Batgirl: Holy crap. How did she do that?

Red Robin: Never mind that, just stop her!

But before they can converge on her, Ravager reaches a shaky hand to her belt and pulls out a small round device, cracking it down the center. Then, she throws it straight at the ground, in the process covering her eye. A bright, blinding flash goes off, temporarily stunning them.

Ravager: You're not the only one with toys.

With those words, she turns around and picks up her sword, sheathing it, then stumbles towards her bike. Her legs feel like jelly, threatening to give out at any second, but she maintains her balance. Sliding back onto her ride, she revs the engine back up and bursts forward with incredible acceleration. She can't stay here, can't try to keep fighting them like this. She has a delivery to make

As their vision begins to return, Red Robin squints forward and blinks a few times, noticing the fleeing Ravager. He curses under his breath and starts running back to his R-cycle.

Batgirl: Ow, damn it! My eyes! What the hell was that thing, some kind of super flash grenade?

Red Robin: I don't know, but we need to stay in pursuit, Batgirl. In her condition, she'll end up getting herself killed, if not someone else. I'll follow on the ground, you take to the air. We have to stop her!

Batgirl: Right, right, yeah, just give me a second here.

Blinking a few more times, Batgirl rubs her eyes and squints, trying to get rid of the bright spots in front of her eyes. When she's finally able to see again, she heads back to the Bat-Jet.

Batgirl: Alright, I'm on her!

Red Robin zooms down the street, trying to make up for the head start that Ravager has on them. Bagirl closes the cockpit behind her on the jet, presses a few buttons, and then takes off into the air, flying after them.

Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night

Ravager's control is shaky. She swerves, struggling to keep straight on the road, breath heavy and eye quivering, as her arm muscles begin to spasm randomly. Taking extended electric shocks capable of turning an ordinary grown man into a twitching mass on the ground will do that. But she can't stop to take a breather or recover; she's still being pursued. Batgirl passed overhead of her a couple times already, and she can't seem to lose Red Robin on the ground, no matter what streets she takes. Even though she knows the city a lot better than he does, he's still good, and she's in poor condition.

Jerry/Comm: You'd better lose them quickly.

Ravager: I can't!

Jerry/Comm: Well I can't have them following you right to me, now can I? Figure it out.

Letting out an annoyed breath, Ravager turns onto a busier street. Now she has to make her way around other cars, weaving through traffic in order to keep her distance from her pursuers. Glancing upward, she notices the jet coming back overhead, this time managing to stick right above her as she goes. Red Robin is catching up, too, she knows it.

Sh*t. Time to take some chances.

Taking a sharper turn, she picks up the speed and races toward an on ramp, leading up to the highway overpass that runs through the west side of the city. In seconds, she's gunning it down three lane traffic, darting her bike in between numerous vehicles. Red Robin keeps up with her, though, regardless of how much faster she goes.

Ravager: Can you get your guys to come to me? Could use some backup here!

Jerry/Comm: I suppose I could. But you're supposed to be doing this on your own, you know.

Ravager: Save the lecture. They're tracking me through my ride, so even if I manage to lose visual contact, they'll still find me, and I'm in no condition to keep this up much longer. You want this device of yours or not?

A small sigh comes over the comm.

Jerry/Comm: Very well. Head east along the overpass and take the next exit. You can work your way around to the factory and I'll have my men meet you halfway.

Ravager: The tunnel would be faster, it's a straight shot to the East District.

Jerry/Comm: No, I'll lose your comm signal through the tunnel. I won't be able to keep in contact or guide you.

Ravager goes quiet, a rapid series of thoughts flickering through her head. She suddenly has a plan.

Ravager: I'm taking the tunnel.

Another sigh.

Jerry/Comm: Your decision, I suppose. Just remember the consequences, should something go wrong.

Ravager: I haven't forgotten. See you on the other side.

Int. East Silverstone Tunnel – Night

The tunnel is a long stretch that goes underneath most of the city, dark except for the lines of florescent lights along the walls for illumination. Ravager pushes her bike faster, moving around the traffic of other cars. It isn't heavy traffic, but still thick enough that one mistake, one wrong jerk of the handlebars, and the results could be catastrophic. She's lost one of her pursuers, though; no way Batgirl is going to fly her jet inside the tunnel.

Glancing back into one of her mirrors, she notices Red Robin still hot on her tail. Good, she wants him to follow now. Speeding up, she heads to a side tunnel, one meant for maintenance personnel. Her bike barely fits through the narrow passage, the walls close on either side of her. Eventually, though, it widens out into a work area, allowing her to slow down and spin herself around to face the way she came. She quickly jumps off and waits, already able to hear Red Robin coming down the tunnel after her.

Ravager: So, can you hear me?

The only thing she gets back from her comm is static.

Good.

A few moments later, Red Robin appears and slows down to a halt, sliding off his vehicle.

Red Robin: Rose, what the hell are you doing? You know how many people you could have hurt driving like that? And in your condition?

Ravager: In my condition? Please, I'm just fine.

Though her body is still a little numb and tingly, she's quickly starting to regain most sensations, and her heart isn't beating as fast anymore.

Ravager: So, just you and me now. Batgirl won't be joining us down here.

Red Robin: Don't do this again, we don't have to fight. Just talk to me, tell me what's wrong.

Ravager: Oh, you want to talk?

She cracks her knuckles, glaring at him intently.

Ravager: Then let's talk.

Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night

A short while later, Ravager rides out of the tunnel and into the East District. She's on Red Robin's bike now, after taking it from him. Batgirl won't be tracking this one, after all. Turning onto a side alley, she parks and waits; her other transportation should be here soon. As she waits, however, the radio on the vehicle's dash suddenly clicks on

Batgirl/Radio: Tim, are you alright? What's going on? I couldn't reach you while you were in the tunnel.

Reaching forward, Ravager clicks the button to respond.

Ravager: Sorry, Tim isn't available at the moment.

There's a slight pause before a response comes.

Batgirl/Radio: Ravager? What did you do to Tim?!

Ravager: If you want to find him, you should probably head back down the tunnel. That's where I left him.

She then turns the engine off and stands up, taking her stolen item out of the side compartment of the bike. She stares at the strange device for a few moments curiously, then walks down to the end of the alley. Another hiss of static comes in over her comm, followed by a familiar voice.

Jerry/Comm: You took a little longer than you should have getting through that tunnel. Have a little trouble?

Ravager: No, just taking care of a little business.

Jerry/Comm: Then I trust those two that were following you won't be a problem anymore?

Stepping out of the mouth of the alley, a sleek black car with heavily tinted windows pulls up in front of her. One of the rear doors opens up, allowing her to get inside.

Ravager: Trust me, they're taken care of.

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Chapter #25 Preview: Jeremiah Belmont has been making Ravager's life miserable for the past week, forcing her to steal for him under threats of killing her hospitalized partner. But what has he been doing with these items that she's been stealing for him? What is his plan? And how can Ravager stop him without putting Becky or Holly's life in danger? The answers to these questions are coming in the next chapter!

Chapter #25

Int. Underground Facility – Night

Ravager walks into the laboratory, trying to keep her stride steady. The numbing effects of being shocked earlier, though not nearly as bad as before, still linger. Her muscles are sore, and the tips of her fingers tingle incessantly, but it isn't anything she can't work through. She still has plenty of juice left in her system. Taking in a small breath, she glances around the room to see two people: Jerry, sitting down in a padded, leather seat, and Hugo Strange, standing next to him and working on something at a nearby table.

Jerry: Welcome, Rose, glad you could join us. I have to admit, you had me worried there for a while.

Ravager: Yeah, well I got the job done. Here's your... what is this, anyway?

She holds up the strange device that she stole earlier that night, flipping it around in her grasp. Strange moves over to her, taking the object and returning to his workstation.

Strange: This would be a genetic material splicer. Very advanced and hard to come by, usually only owned and used by genetic research companies, such as GenTech, where you got this one.

Ravager: Uh... huh. And what exactly does it do?

Strange pauses a moment, glancing back at Jerry, who gives him a small nod of confirmation.

Strange: It joins together two separate DNA sequences. So long as the two genetic samples are compatible, one can use this to create something entirely different, such as new animal species, or giving a person animal-like characteristics, or-

Ravager: Manufacturing superpowers?

Strange: Yes... even that, if you know what you're doing.

Her gaze moves over to Jerry.

Ravager: You're kidding, right? This is the reason you tried to ruin my life, had me steal for you? So you could turn yourself into some kind of supe?

Jerry: My dear Rose, as always your thinking is entirely too simplistic.

Ravager: So enlighten me.

Jerry: I think you've been told quite enough already, actually. Hugo, how is the process coming along?

Strange: Should only take a few more minutes.

Jerry: Good, this has taken long enough already.

Ravager glares intently at him, hands twitching as if about to make a move. But she doesn't, not yet. She's waiting for confirmation.

Jerry: You're free to go now, by the way. I'm sure there are other places you'd rather be right now.

Ravager: If you think I'm just going to walk away and let you go through with... whatever you have planned, then you're delusional.

Jerry: Oh, am I? And what exactly are you going to do about it? Remember, if anything happens to me-

Ravager: Then Becky dies, I know. But only if your goons at the hospital can get to her.

The man's eyes narrow at her, a curious expression on his face.

Jerry: You think they can't?

Ravager: I know they can't.

Come on... come on...

And then the signal comes in, a hiss of static and a verbal confirmation coming in over her comm. It's faint and weak, having to make it down to her underground, but it's just enough to let her know that now is the time to act. She immediately draws her swords and starts towards Jerry.

Ravager: You're finished, b**tard.

She doesn't waste anymore time. She lunges at him, blades pulled back and ready to strike true. In mid leap, however, her precog goes off. Though she sees the attack coming, she can't do anything about it while in mid jump. In the air, there isn't anywhere to go, no way to change her trajectory or dodge. The energy blast hits her in the side, sending her spinning back to the floor with a smoking, charred spot on her armor, and her swords scattering away from her. Lying there for a few moments, she coughs and tries to get her breath back. The whole room is spinning around her.

Jerry: Thank you, Hugo. Your timing is excellent, as always.

Putting the small energy gun back down on the table next to him, Strange goes back to his work.

Strange: Anything to help.

Groaning, Ravager rolls over slowly and starts to push herself back up to her hands and knees, her entire body shaking.

Ravager: Pretty quick on the draw there, professor. I'll hand you that one.

Standing up from his seat, Jerry walks over to her and drives his foot down onto her back, knocking her to the floor again.

Jerry: And I had such high hopes for you.

Ravager: I'd be... a little bit more concerned if I were you, buddy.

Jerry: Concerned? No. Disappointed. Now I have to go and make a point.

Pulling out a wireless radio, he brings it up to his lips.

Jerry: Go ahead and make a call to Mira, tell her to pull the plug on the cop.

When he brings the radio back down, he folds his arms and stares at Ravager.

Jerry: I was rather hoping I didn't have to do that, but then you had to go and be rebellious. Pity.

At this comment, Ravager can only curl her lips into a knowing smirk, while a small, amused laugh leaves her throat. Jerry lifts an eyebrow at her, digging the heel of his shoe harder into her shoulder blade.

Jerry: What's so funny?

Ravager: I just feel bad for Mira.

Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Night

Becky's hospital room is dark and quiet, save for the soft glow and steady beeping of her heart monitor. She's sleeping now, under painkillers to help get her through the night. Though the doctors and nurses on this floor should have no reason to come into her room this late at night, with no emergency to attend to, the door slowly opens. A blonde haired woman with round glasses enters, dressed in a nurse's uniform. She caries a clipboard in one arm, and a syringe in her other hand. For a moment, she stands there and stares at the sleeping patient, then walks into the room and stands at the side of the bed.

Mira: Sorry about this, really, but orders are orders.

Holding up the syringe, she brings the needle up towards Becky's IV bag. The death will look like natural causes, nothing to trace it back to her or Jeremiah. Before she can deliver the contents into the bag, however, she feels a hand on her shoulder, and suddenly she's being forcefully spun around. Letting out a gasp of surprise, she sees someone else standing there, a man in some kind of costume with a cape and cowl over his head.

Red Robin: I really wouldn't do that if I were you.

Mira: Who-

She never gets a chance to finish her question, as a sudden blow to her neck causes consciousness to leave her in a matter of seconds. As the world goes black, she slumps to the floor in a motionless heap; she'll be out for hours. Red Robin looks down at the unconscious woman for a moment, then brings a hand up to his ear.

Red Robin: Ravager, don't know if you're getting this even with the signal amplified, but if you are, Rebecca is safe.

Int. Underground Facility – Night

Jerry glares at Ravager for a few moments, putting together the pieces in his head. He figures it out pretty quickly.

Jerry: That's why it took so long to get through the tunnel, isn't it? You told your friend about your situation while I couldn't hear you... I assume he's at the hospital right now?

Ravager: Oh yeah.

Jerry: And the other one...

Ravager: Covering Holly. Sorry, but you got nothing on me now.

Jerry: Clever girl...

Ravager: Oh and one more thing-

Jerry's eyes narrow, as Ravager's smirk grows wider.

Ravager: -that energy blast just now? Didn't really hurt that much.

Rolling hard against the floor, she slips out from beneath Jerry's foot, causing him to stumble suddenly. With a sweep of her legs, she trips him up and sends him falling backwards to the floor, allowing her a moment flip herself back up to her feet. Jerry's already getting standing up again, but her boot greets his chin when he does, forcing him tumbling over a nearby table.

Ravager: Oh I am going to enjoy this.

Jerry: Hugo!

Strange is already acting, though, reaching for the weapon from before and taking aim. This time, however, Ravager is more than capable of dodging the incoming shots. She sprints at the man, bringing her leg up and knocking the gun from his hands, then follows up with another kick aimed at his head. Before her boot connects, though, Strange jumps back, flipping away in an impressive display of acrobatics.

Ravager: Fancy moves, professor.

Strange: I've spent years going up against the Batman, what did you expect?

Ravager: Too bad it won't help you.

Moving in quickly, Ravager attacks again. This time, Strange defends himself, trying to go hand to hand; biggest mistake he could have made. In seconds, she breaks through his guard and delivers a hard shot to his head that puts him on the floor, dazed. That's good enough for her, for the moment.

Ravager: Now, where was I?

She turns, looking for Jerry. He's running across the lab now, heading for a small red button on the wall. With too much distance between them, she can't stop him from hitting it, triggering a loud, blaring alarm. Frowning, she chases after him, grabbing her swords on the way by. He tries to get out the lab, but she beats him to the doors, bringing one of her blades up in front of his neck.

Ravager: Going somewhere?

He glares at her, taking a step back. There's nowhere for him to go now.

Jerry: You won't kill me, Rose.

Ravager: Oh, and what makes you say that?

Swinging one of her weapons, she cuts open a long gash across his arm, causing him to recoil and hold the bleeding wound. His sudden cry of pain is so very satisfying.

Ravager: You used me, made me steal for you, made me hurt people who didn't deserve it. You threatened the people I love. You nearly killed Rebecca! What makes you even think that I'll let you off this time?

Jerry: Because, Rose... I'm not out of tricks yet.

On cue, the wall behind her bursts open in a shower of debris. Stepping through the newly created hole is a large, hulking monstrosity of pure muscle.

Jerry: I believe you remember Blockbuster?

Ravager stares back at the beast, their gazes meeting. A brief moment passes before Blockbuster growls and then charges at her.

Ravager: Crap.

As Blockbuster comes in with a swinging, overhead strike, Ravager jumps backwards out of the way. This could get problematic. She still hasn't forgotten her last fight with this guy, which she just barely won. Fortunately, she's in better condition this time around... slightly.

Ravager: I could have sworn I killed this ugly b**tard the last time.

She ducks under another attack, then jumps backwards again. Staying close to him for extended periods is suicide; she needs to pick her strikes and make them count.

Jerry: I had more than one. Now, you two play nice.

On that note, Jerry runs back to Strange's workstation and grabs the gene splicer, which is emitting a soft hum. He quickly takes out a glass vial from the center compartment and slips it into a medical injector, then starts sprinting out of the lab as fast as he can, leaving behind a trail of blood spots from his injured arm.

Ravager: No you don't!

Blockbuster comes in at her again, bringing both fists down at her. She steps to the side, then runs straight up one of his massive arms and jumps off his shoulder to the ground behind him. With one swift motion, she swings one of her swords across the back of his ankles, slicing through both achilles tendons. Blockbuster howls, falling to his knees and struggling to get back up. It's useless, though; he can't stand anymore. Taking a step back, Ravager briefly glances down at her bloodied sword and smirks. Last time, her swords could barely even leave a scratch on him.

Ravager: Thanks for the upgrade, Dick.

She then turns and runs out of the laboratory, following the blood trail. Jerry can't have gone very far, and there's no way she'll let him escape this time.

Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night

Jerry pushes out the entrance of the abandoned building that covers his underground facility. He takes in a few deep breaths, gripping his slashed arm tightly. The pain stings, but it isn't unbearable. Swallowing, he starts running across the street towards his car. Though Blockbuster is a formidable bodyguard, Ravager already proved once that she can defeat him. He likely won't keep her occupied for very long.

He had just hoped that she would be occupied a little bit longer than this. Before he makes it halfway across the street, the door to the building bursts open, revealing Ravager standing with both swords drawn and a scowl on her face. He glances at her for just a moment, then quickens his pace. But she is far faster.

Ravager: Get back here!

Sprinting forward, she reaches him in seconds and pounces, knocking him to the ground. He lets out a small grunt as he hits the pavement, her knee drilling into the back of his neck and both blades coming down on either side of his head.

Jerry: Well played, Rose, well played. I suppose this is the part where you kill me, yes?

Ravager: It should be... but death is too good for you.

Jerry: Oh really? It wasn't too good for Pavoni.

Ravager: Pavoni was scum! You're just... not even worth it. I think you'll enjoy prison, though. I hear Blackgate is lovely this time of year.

Jerry: Blackgate? I'm afraid that's in Gotham, my dear. A bit outside your jurisdiction.

Ravager: Trust me, I'll make it happen.

Jerry: And what are you going to put me there for, hmm? You don't have anything on me, at least nothing you can use without revealing your secret.

Ravager: No? I'm sure the police will find something when they get an anonymous tip to check out your hidden facility.

At this comment, Jerry frowns for a moment. That frown then quickly turns into a pleased smile, a chuckle leaving his lips.

Jerry: Once again, Rose, well played, indeed. I was right, you are a worthy opponent. In spite of everything against you, still you managed to find a way out of it and stop me.

Ravager: Yeah, I'm good like that.

Jerry: Do you remember the last time, when I let you live after your victory over Blockbuster?

Ravager: I haven't forgotten.

Jerry: I told you to consider it a reward, because your efforts were deserving of it. I think the same applies now, don't you?

Furrowing her brow in confusion, Ravager eases her knee up slightly, not pressing down on his neck quite as hard.

Ravager: What are you talking about?

Jerry: I mean, you deserve another reward. For stopping me here tonight, I'll call off the orders against Rebecca and Holly. They won't be bothered again, you have my word.

Ravager: And why the hell should I trust your word?

Jerry: Because, Rose, I enjoy this. You make life very difficult for me and my plans, but that doesn't upset me, no. You provide a very entertaining challenge, and I wouldn't change it for anything. Call it keeping the status quo.

Ravager: That is the dumbest logic I've ever heard.

Jerry: And yet it is the truth. If you're looking for a more logical answer, however, I can say that I have no real desire to die just yet. If I go and kill your loved ones, well... you're not exactly a saint like Batman, are you?

Ravager: Okay, fair point. This doesn't change anything, though. I'm still sending you to Blackgate.

A small smirk crosses his face.

Jerry: I'm looking forward to it.

Ravager: I'm sure you are... Now come on, I have other places I'd rather be.

Removing her knee from the back of his neck, she lifts him up from the ground and maintains a firm hold on him, walking him away. She'll have to meet up with Tim and decide just how to go about getting an investigation sent to the facility so this b**tard can be arrested, but it'll be well worth it. As she leads him away, however, she doesn't notice him dropping something behind on the side of the street. It's the medical injector he took when he fled, and the vial he loaded it with earlier is now empty.

Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Day

Rose stands out in the hallway, just outside of Becky's room. She's waiting for her partner to wake up, as Becky is still resting from the night before. It doesn't matter how long she has to wait, though, she took the day off from work so she has all day. Letting out a long yawn, she brings up her cup of coffee to her lips to take a sip, but her arm is shaking rapidly, making it difficult.

Tim: Sorry about that.

Glancing up, she notices Tim approaching, his hands stuffed into his pants pockets. He's referring to her shaking arm, a lingering result of the massive electrical shocks she took the previous night at his hands. She simply shrugs her shoulders and lowers her coffee cup back down, trying to keep her arm steady.

Rose: Likewise.

And of course she is referring to his black eye, bruised jaw, and split lip. She hadn't been holding back when hitting him last night, so her blows left behind quite the noticeable after effects.

Tim: Don't worry about it, I've had worse.

Rose: So where's Stephanie?

Tim: Already back in Gotham, had to return the Bat-Jet.

Rose: Right, right... not really a whole lot of places to park that thing here, is there?

Tim: Not without attracting a lot of attention.

Rose utters a small laugh, smiling slightly and bowing her head. She takes in a deep breath, then slowly lets it out a second later.

Rose: Tim, I... thanks, really. If you guys didn't come here...

Tim: Look, don't worry about it. You were in a rough spot and you needed help. That's what we do, we help our own.

Rose: Doesn't mean I can't thank you for it.

A small pause passes between them. Lifting up her shaking arm again, she takes another sip of her coffee, finishing the last of it and then throwing the cup away in the nearby trash can. Folding her arms around her chest, she leans back against the wall.

Rose: So, uh... how are things back at the tower?

Tim: Pretty normal, I suppose, at least now. It took a while after Bart's death before things finally calmed down again... but we've worked through it. Got a couple new members now.

Rose: Oh yeah?

Tim: Yeah, we managed to contact Bombshell and Static, and both decided to rejoin the team.

Rose: Hmph, keep your eyes on that Bombshell, she's trouble.

Tim: She'd say the same about you.

A small smirk comes to her.

Rose: Yeah, I know.

Another brief pause, the only sound being the tick of the wall clock behind them, and a few faint voices coming from farther down the hall.

Rose: Listen, Tim... I don't think I ever got a chance to say this before I left last time, but... I'm sorry. For what happened to Bart, I... I made a mistake. A bad one, and it got people hurt. I should have listened to you.

Tim doesn't say anything at first, instead letting her continue to talk and finish her thoughts. He crosses his arms and lets out a small breath, just looking at her as she averts her gaze.

Rose: It's just... he was my friend, too, and I didn't want him to die anymore than you guys did. But I'm responsible for it, and I have to live with that fact. I'm sorry for everything, for screwing up the mission, for getting Bart killed, for... well, I'm just sorry, alright?

Tim: I know you are, Rose. But you didn't have to leave the tower like that, we could have worked things out.

Rose: Please, I heard you guys talking. No way Wonder Bi... uh, Cassie, was going to let me stay. Even if you didn't kick me out, she probably would thrown me out the window herself. I just saved you the trouble of having to deal with that.

Tim: Things have calmed down since then, believe it or not.

Rose: Right, so she doesn't still want to punt my head off?

Silence.

Rose: Yeah, thought so.

Tim: You could still come back, you know.

Rose: And deal with all that drama? No thanks. Besides, I have my own life now, and it's one I intend to keep living.

Taking in another breath, Tim nods to her.

Tim: I understand, and I'm glad you're building your own life. I think it's good for you.

Rose: Yeah, right, still got a lot of things to work on though... but thanks.

Tim: I'll see you around, Rose. Don't be afraid to call if you ever need anything alright?

Rose: I'll try to keep that in mind. But yeah, see you around.

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Chapter #26 Preview: A bit of downtime comes for Rose in the next chapter, as she tries to decide whether or not she should continue her exploits as Ravager, after what happened to her at the hands of Jeremiah Belmont. Meanwhile, Becky's recovery begins to come along, while Jerry is transported to Gotham to await trial.

Chapter #26

Int. Silverstone General Hospital – Day

Becky lets out a long groan as she awakens, the pain in her chest becoming severely evident as sleep leaves her. Yawning, she brings a hand up to rub her eyes, quietly wishing she could just fall back asleep again. She might be healing, but the pain sucks something awful. Her woes are forgotten, however, when she realizes that she isn't alone in the room. Blinking a couple of times, she notices Rose sitting there in the chair next to her.

Becky: Hey... shouldn't you be at work?

Rose: Took the day off, thought I'd spend it here.

Sitting up straighter, Becky lets out another yawn, wincing a little at a sudden flare of pain.

Becky: Didn't have to go and do that.

Rose: I wanted to. Besides, I wasn't gonna let you be alone on your birthday.

Confused, Becky blinks a couple of times and narrows her eyes.

Becky: Say what?

Rose: March third, right? That's your birthday.

Becky: Oh Dios, is that today? Oy, I've lost all track of time since I've been in here.

Rose: Well that's why you have me here, right? To remember these things for you.

Becky laughs, holding her arms up to her chest and crossing them. Smiling, she gives a nod.

Becky: Couldn't imagine where I'd be without you. So, guess I'm twenty-four now, ah? Funny, don't feel any different.

Rose: Probably because you've been high on painkillers for the past week.

Becky laughs again, smirking widely.

Becky: Si, could have something to do with it.

Rose: So, I got you a little something here.

Leaning over to the side, she reaches for a small white box and brings it up into her lap.

Becky: Oh come on, you didn't need to do that.

Rose: Actually, this I did. You'll see when you open it.

Becky takes the box from Rose and sets it in her own lap now, giving it a curious look before gently lifting it apart. Inside is a small vanilla cake with 'Happy Birthday' written in icing. When she sees it, Becky's mouth goes into a wide smile, eyebrows lifting up.

Rose: I figured you'd probably prefer a birthday cake over a 'glad you're not dead' cake. It's not much, but-

Becky: No, it's great. Really, this is... thank you.

Rose: Also got to better than the crap they're feeding you here, right?

Becky: Ha, very true. Not sure I could stomach anymore cleverly disguised TV dinners.

Rose reaches down to pull out a couple of plates and some plastic utensils, then hands them over to her partner to go ahead and cut the cake. Becky does so gladly, more than eager to dig in to something that isn't hospital food.

Rose: Oh, and more good news. We caught the guy who shot you.

Becky: Seriously?

Rose: Yeah, he should be on his way to Gotham now to await his trial.

Becky lifts an eyebrow.

Becky: Why Gotham?

Rose: Because that's where Blackgate is, and I didn't want that b**tard going any place else.

Becky: And how'd you pull that one off?

Rose: I pulled some strings.

Becky: You pulled strings?

Smirking, Rose takes a bite out of the piece of cake that Becky had given her.

Rose: I have a few connections up in Gotham.

Becky: Ha, I had no idea.

The two continue eating their cake quietly, enjoying each other's company as the time goes by. Rose stays there for the better part of the day, as they talk about recent events, mostly how things are going down at the station. The place hasn't really been the same since Becky got put up in the hospital, and everyone is looking forward to when she gets back. When their conversation eventually falls on The Blade, though, Rose shifts uneasily in her seat.

Becky: You guys any closer to catching her yet?

Rose: Can't say we are. She's uh... she's a slippery one.

Becky: Guess that's alright, we'll work on it when I get back, ah? Maybe we can bring her down together.

Rose: I don't know if we'll even have to worry much about her anymore.

Becky: And why do you say that?

Rose: Just a feeling, I guess. The only reason we caught the guy who put you here was because of an anonymous tip that led us to him.

Becky: You think she's the one that tipped you?

Rose: Maybe. I mean, it's possible, right?

Becky: And I suppose her little crime spree helped her to 'tip' you? Doesn't make sense if you ask me.

Rose: I know, was just a theory. Just wondering if maybe she isn't as bad as we think she is.

Becky: Only way to find out is to catch her, then, right? Find out who she is, have her answer some questions.

Rose: And then lock her up for her crimes?

Becky: Maybe.

A soft sigh leaves Rose's lips, as she leans back in her chair again.

Rose: Guess we'll find out if we ever catch her... anyway, I gotta get going. I have to be at the school in thirty minutes to pick up Holly.

Becky: Tell the kid I said hi, ah?

Rose: I'll bring her back here and you can tell her yourself, how's that sound? I'm sure she'll want to wish you a happy birthday, too.

Becky smiles, nodding.

Becky: Works for me.

Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Night

Rose sits on the edge of her bed later that night, arms crossed and just staring at the back wall, where all her Ravager gear is displayed. She takes in deep breaths, thinking. Though she's been here before, contemplating the same thing, this time it feels like a much more important decision, much more real. Should she continue trying to help this city outside the law? Should she keep donning her costume and going out at night?

Sighing, she glances down at the floor, gaze narrowing. It will certainly be a hell of a lot more difficult now with the police actively on the lookout for her. Sure, she stops much more crime than she could just acting a a police officer, but is that really worth it? There is a lot wrong in Silverstone, and a lot that needs to be cleaned up, but maybe she should concentrate on doing it within the confines of the law...

But if I do that, then people like Jerry won't ever be caught, she reasons. Acting as Ravager lets me do the things I can't as a cop.

Still, though, every time she goes out as Ravager, she's putting the people she cares about in danger. If someone learns who she is, they could go for Holly, or Becky, just like Jerry did. And next time, they might not be as lucky. Next time, someone might end up dying. But at the same time, the more crime she stops overall, the safer a place Silverstone becomes for all of them, right?

Letting out a frustrated groan, Rose falls back onto the mattress, staring up at the ceiling now. Why does this sort of decision have to be so damn difficult to make? There are pros and cons no matter which way she goes, none seemingly outweighing the other. So what exactly does she do about it?

A break, she decides. That's what I need, a break. The Blade needs to disappear for a while. Then... well, we'll see.

Perhaps after an extended period away from her mask, she'll have a clearer head on the matter. Then, she can make a real decision.

Ext. Somewhere Between Silverstone and Gotham – Day

Jeremiah Belmont sits in the back of the police transport vehicle as it travels down the highway, his wrists and ankles cuffed together. He had his doubts, but Rose pulled through on her threat to send him to Blackgate, with his trial now taking place in Gotham. With the amount of evidence they turned up at his laboratory, there's no doubt that he'll be getting quite a hefty sentence. That is, of course, only if he ever makes it there, which he won't.

He holds his hands up, glaring at them while he attempts to gain control over his newfound 'gift'. He had just enough time to inject himself with Hugo's finished sample before being assaulted by Rose and brought in. However, getting it to work is a different can of worms altogether. All he needs to do is concentrate, will it to happen... and it should happen. So far, though, nothing. Letting out a small breath, he looks up to the small, barred window between the prisoner's section and the driver's section of the vehicle.

Jerry: How much longer until we reach Gotham?

The officer in the passenger seat glances back and narrows his eyes at him.

Officer: What's it to you?

Jerry: Merely curious, is all.

Officer: Couple hours. Think you can shut up for that long?

Jerry: Of course, officer.

He goes back to staring at his hands. Still a decent amount of time left to figure this out. He just needs to concentrate. A few more uneventful moments go by, and then it happens. His fingers begin to quiver and change shape to how he pictured. Caught off guard by the sudden transformation, he loses focus and his fingers return to normal. That's good, though, he's finally starting to get the hang of it.

For the next solid hour, he continues practicing, going completely unnoticed by the two officers in the front of the vehicle. After he grasped the initial hook, advancement comes quickly. Every minute that goes by, he gains astoundingly more control over his ability, until he's certain that he has it nearly mastered. Now it's time to act. Turning in his seat, he brings one hand up to the dividing wall between him and the front, and points his finger against it.

Instantly, his finger elongates, hardens, and sharpens into a blade-like structure, puncturing through the wall and piercing the officer in the passenger side through the throat with the sudden, sickening sound of flesh being ripped open. The officer in the driver's seat screams out in surprise, jerking the steering wheel harshly and trying to pull over on the side of the street. Jerry pulls his finger back and returns it to normal, as the fatally wounded officer twitches and gurgles on his own blood.

After coming to a complete stop on the side of the highway, the other officer pushes his door open and rolls out of the truck. He stumbles briefly, hand going to his gun as he runs around the back to open the doors to the prisoner's section. When he does, he points his gun forward at Jerry, who is sitting calmly at the back with his hands folded.

Officer: What did you, huh? The hell did you do?!

Jerry: Me? What could I have possibly done from back here? I'm cuffed, unarmed, and have no way of defending myself, let alone attacking a man through solid steel. What makes you think it was me?

Officer: Don't f*ck with me! I know it was you! What are you, some kind of meta freak?

Jerry: Would you like to find out?

Officer: What are you-

The man never gets a chance to finish his sentence. Jerry points his arm forward, the entire limb extending the distance between them in an instant, while forming into the shape of a spear and piercing the officer through the chest. He then alters the shape slightly, wrapping it around the man's body and pulling him inside the vehicle. When Jerry's arm returns to normal, the officer crumples to the ground, already dead. Jerry takes a moment to examine himself, impressed at his newfound gift.

Jerry: Fascinating. Now, let's see what else I can do.

Altering the shape of his arms and legs, he easily slips out of the cuffs and then stands up, walking over to the dead cop. Kneeling down, he places a hand against the man's face, closes his eyes, and concentrates. The top layer of his skin begins to liquify, dripping over the the cop with the texture of liquid metal, and then slowly reconfiguring the man's facial structure. In moments, the officer has a new face, a very familiar face; he has Jerry's face.

Standing up again, Jerry's own face begins to morph, obtaining the consistency of liquid for a moment until finally settling on something new, a face of his own creation. Now with his new appearance, he quickly works to exchange clothing with the man. He gives the officer his own suit, then reapplies the same injury to match the clothes with the wound. Then, he dresses himself in the officer's bloodied uniform; he'll have to do something about finding cleaner clothes later, but for now this will do. As far as anyone coming across the scene will be concerned, Jeremiah Belmont is dead.

Hopping out of the back of the truck now, Jerry glances both ways down the highway, watching the traffic go by. He receives a few stunned expressions from the drivers that happen to look over at him to see the big red stain on the front of his uniform, but there isn't anything they can do about it. Turning from the highway, he begins to head down the nearby embankment, into the surrounding woods. He isn't returning to Silverstone, though, no. He'll meet Rose again, he's sure, but in the meantime, he has some work to do.

Int. Silverstone City Central Police Station – Day

Six weeks later...

Becky takes in a deep breath, wincing only slightly at a small twinge in her chest. The pain is mostly gone, but every so often it's enough to make her flinch. Still, now that she's back near a hundred percent, she can finally return to not just work, but her life. It feels good to be out of that stuffy hospital. As she walks down the hallway, whole groups of her fellow officers stop to greet her, some clapping, some calling out to her, and all of them telling her how glad they are that she's back and that she made a full recovery.

It takes her about twenty minutes to get down to the women's locker room because of this, but she doesn't mind. She's glad to be back, just as much as they are to have her back. When she does eventually reach the locker room, she opens the door to find a few other female officers getting ready for the day. They take a few minutes to greet her the same as everyone else did, then continue changing into their uniforms.

Becky heads over to her locker, glancing around a little. It's strange for Rose not to be hear yet; she's usually early. She must have got held up in traffic after dropping Holly off at school, or something. When Becky sits down on the bench in front of her locker, however, an arm comes around her shoulders. Looking up, she sees Rose standing there next to her and smiling.

Rose: Welcome back.

A broad smile of her own forms on Becky's face.

Becky: Good to be back, believe me. I couldn't stand another second of that hospital.

Rose: I know the feeling.

Taking her arm off Becky's shoulder, Rose goes over to her own locker and starts taking out her uniform to change.

Rose: So listen, I was thinking, since you were stuck up in the hospital on your birthday, maybe you want to go out and do something later on? You know, as an official birthday... thing.

Becky: You're suggesting we go out?

Rose: Yeah, we could, I don't know, go bowling again or something. Whatever you want.

Becky: Okay, who are you and what have you done with Rose?

Rose: Very funny. So what do you say?

Becky: Please, girl, you had me at bowling.

Rose smiles a very small, but pleased smile.

Rose: Meet you around eight?

Becky: Sounds perfect. Now come on, I want to get out on patrol already. I can't imagine what you've done to our poor cruiser.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter #27 Preview: As a way to try and clear her head over recent events, Rose has given up being Ravager for a couple of months, also allowing the recent media storm and police watch over her recent crime spree to calm down, as the city's mysterious Blade disappears from the public eye. During that period, however, a new force has gained a foothold in Silverstone, and threatens to take over crime on a large scale, forcing Rose back into costume to put a stop to them.

#1 Posted by batkevin74 (10793 posts) - - Show Bio

From Chapter #24 best quote from this AWESOME ongoing Ravager fan fic by to answer the potential question that why you haven't had time to read this yet...well take it away:Red Robin: Then make time.

Very good job, seriously this should be the basis for a Ravager series, you write well, often and its so damn interesting at times, leaving me wondering who is going to pop up next! Keep up the great work sorry I am SO far behind

#2 Posted by Ravager4 (1627 posts) - - Show Bio

@batkevin74: Thanks a ton, I'm glad you're still enjoying it :) Hopefully the following chapters will continue to entertain!

#3 Posted by batkevin74 (10793 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ravager4: Chapter 25 was good!

Rose: Right, so she doesn't still want to punt my head off?

Silence.

Rose: Yeah, thought so.

Best bit. really good, only 40 more chapters to go to get up to current :)

#4 Posted by batkevin74 (10793 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ravager4 said:

Officer: Couple hours. Think you can shut up for that long?

Jerry: Of course, officer.

He goes back to staring at his hands. Still a decent amount of time left to figure this out. He just needs to concentrate. A few more uneventful moments go by, and then it happens. His fingers begin to quiver and change shape to how he pictured. Caught off guard by the sudden transformation, he loses focus and his fingers return to normal. That's good, though, he's finally starting to get the hang of it.

For the next solid hour, he continues practicing, going completely unnoticed by the two officers in the front of the vehicle. After he grasped the initial hook, advancement comes quickly. Every minute that goes by, he gains astoundingly more control over his ability, until he's certain that he has it nearly mastered. Now it's time to act. Turning in his seat, he brings one hand up to the dividing wall between him and the front, and points his finger against it.

Instantly, his finger elongates, hardens, and sharpens into a blade-like structure, puncturing through the wall and piercing the officer in the passenger side through the throat with the sudden, sickening sound of flesh being ripped open. The officer in the driver's seat screams out in surprise, jerking the steering wheel harshly and trying to pull over on the side of the street. Jerry pulls his finger back and returns it to normal, as the fatally wounded officer twitches and gurgles on his own blood.

After coming to a complete stop on the side of the highway, the other officer pushes his door open and rolls out of the truck. He stumbles briefly, hand going to his gun as he runs around the back to open the doors to the prisoner's section. When he does, he points his gun forward at Jerry, who is sitting calmly at the back with his hands folded.

Officer: What did you, huh? The hell did you do?!

Jerry: Me? What could I have possibly done from back here? I'm cuffed, unarmed, and have no way of defending myself, let alone attacking a man through solid steel. What makes you think it was me?

Officer: Don't f*ck with me! I know it was you! What are you, some kind of meta freak?

Jerry: Would you like to find out?

Officer: What are you-

The man never gets a chance to finish his sentence. Jerry points his arm forward, the entire limb extending the distance between them in an instant, while forming into the shape of a spear and piercing the officer through the chest. He then alters the shape slightly, wrapping it around the man's body and pulling him inside the vehicle. When Jerry's arm returns to normal, the officer crumples to the ground, already dead. Jerry takes a moment to examine himself, impressed at his newfound gift.

Jerry: Fascinating. Now, let's see what else I can do.

He's like the Terminator! Great writing. Now onto next chapters 27-infinity :)

#5 Posted by Ravager4 (1627 posts) - - Show Bio

@batkevin74: You're so close to-! wait a minute, weren't you almost done with the next arc? o.O What are you doing back on this one? xD

#6 Posted by batkevin74 (10793 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ravager4: I think I'm in the right place...anyways next story arc AHOY!

#7 Posted by Ravager4 (1627 posts) - - Show Bio

@batkevin74: lol, according to your last comments on the next story arc, you were at least up through chapter 30 already