Disclaimer: I do not own any DC characters or locations. All rights belong to DC Comics. I do, however, retain the rights to all characters and locations of my own creation, which include: Rebecca Chavez, Holly Sanders, Jeremiah Belmont, Michael Kubrick, Zaria (as well as her Celarian race), Shao Shen, Chief Gerald Palmer, Officer Stevens, Emilia Marconi, Francis Baldoni, Arnold Pavoni, as well as Silverstone City and all its interior locations of my own creation.
Rating: T+ (Or M maybe? For some implied sexual content... I don't know, but you've been warned either way)
Note: The sixth story arc involves Rose Wilson's return to Silverstone and her efforts to uncover a new force that has taken hold of the city in her absence. Along the way, she discovers monstrous enemies, works with an unexpected ally, and attempts to make her Ravager persona the official vigilante hero of Silverstone City once again.
Rose Wilson: The Ravager
Int. Becky's Apartment – Night
The bedroom is dark and mostly quiet, save for the soft glow of the digital clock on the bedside table, and the steady patter of rain against the window. Clothing litters the floor; a jacket here, a pair of jeans there, a bra slung over a chair, a shirt tossed across the room, underwear near the hamper. Rose lies calmly on her side in the bed, above the sheets. She takes in a deep breath, feeling Becky's chest heave against her backside in a steady rhythm.
Rose: Alright, so that was...
A small chuckle finds its way out of Becky's mouth, as one of her arms latches firmly around Rose's waist.
Rose: Yeah, fantástico... that sounds about right.
Becky: It's been quite some time since I've had a night like that.
Rose: Though, I would like to apologize a little for my, uh... inexperience.
Becky laughs again, then moves in closer and kisses her lips gently along Rose's neck.
Becky: S'alright. Just means I have a lot to teach you.
Rose: And something tells me you'll be more than happy to.
Becky: Oh yes, very much.
Rose inhales another deep breath, her neck curling a little against Becky's light kisses. Bringing one of her hands up, she grabs Becky's and interlocks their fingers.
Rose: So, about me coming back now... and about you knowing who I am... I suppose we're going to have to figure out what to do about it, right? How to handle things.
Becky: I suppose we are. What did you have in mind?
Rose: Well, you know I'm Ravager. Or The Blade, whatever. And you know why I am... I do it to help people. If I'm back here, I'm going to keep helping people, and in the best way I know how.
Becky: Somehow, I figured you would. It's in your blood at this point, ah?
Rose: Pretty much. I know that what I do isn't within the confines of the law, but it works. Most of the time. I'm just letting you know right now that I will be putting that costume back on, and I will be trying to help this city again. I'll understand if you don't want to be a part of it.
Becky: Please, I'm already a part of it, just by keeping the secret. Not to mention, actually sleeping with the person behind that mask generally compounds my involvement.
A small smirk comes to Rose's lips.
Rose: So you're okay with it, then?
Becky: As long as you keep helping people and doing good, and tell me all about your nightly adventures... then yeah, I'm okay with it. I can even help you.
Rose: Help me how? Becky, I'm not going to take you along and put you in that kind of danger every night, no way.
Becky: Ha, no. I meant I'll keep the police off your back, at least until you build up your reputation again. They still haven't forgotten about you.
Rose: Oh, right... thanks.
Becky: Speaking of which, you plan on coming back to the station? I have to say, I miss having you in the car with me.
Releasing a long breath, Rose slowly shakes her head.
Rose: Nah... It just wouldn't feel right. I thought about it, but I don't think I can really be a cop again and still do what I do. Plus, I already resigned from the place, and trying to get back on the force again would just be a real pain in the ass.
Becky: Well, I suppose... but then what are you going to do as a day job now?
Rose: I'm sure I'll think of something eventually. Right now, though, I'd rather concentrate on cleaning up some of the messes I left behind. It's time for Ravager to make her comeback.
Becky: Oh, speaking of which, there is something I should mention.
Turning slightly, Rose looks over her shoulder at Becky, gaze narrowing.
Rose: What is it?
Becky: Well, lately... a lot of strange things have been going on around the city, and the station in particular. The corpses of mob bosses have been showing up all over the place, the investigations are being handled poorly, case files are blank, and then I've had a ninja and a fellow cop try to kill me in the past few weeks.
Rose's eyebrows raise in surprise. She's leaning up now, supporting herself with her elbow against the mattress. For a brief moment, she thinks about the vision she had, the one with Becky being tortured for knowing too much about... something.
Rose: Are you alright? Who tried to kill you?
Becky: Ah, yeah, I'm fine. Nothing I couldn't handle. Some chica dressed up as a ninja broke into my apartment and tried to stab me, but I got to my gun first... she didn't have much of a chance. And then there was Stevens, he tried to shoot me right in the middle of the station.
Rose: The middle of the station? Seriously?
Becky: Si, and that's not even the strangest part about it. Right before he drew his gun on me, he said something about me getting too close, and that 'they've' been watching me... kinda freaked me out a little.
Rose: Well I don't blame you. Did they interrogate him, find out anything?
Becky: Oh they tried, yeah. But he insisted that he couldn't remember anything. Don't really know where they took it from there, but you can bet he doesn't have a badge anymore.
Rose: Wow... I mean, I knew Stevens was an odd one, but that... I don't know what to make of it.
Becky: All I know is that something is very wrong about this whole situation, something that isn't getting resolved the regular way.
Rose lifts and eyebrow at her.
Rose: Why Becky, are you asking for my expertise?
Becky: Well... maybe.
Rose: Don't worry, we'll figure it out. In the meantime, you're staying in my penthouse.
Becky: Hey now, we just got together. Taking things a little fast, aren't we?
Rose: Very funny. I'm talking about your protection. My place is a lot safer than here.
Becky: Hmm, how much safer?
Rose: Well, considering Batman built my security system...
Becky: Ha, alright, point made. In that case, you can help me move my things there tomorrow... on one condition.
Rose: And what's that?
Rising up from the mattress, Becky rolls over on top of Rose, who shifts slightly onto her back. Hands coming down to Rose's wrists, Becky leans forward and gives a long, gentle kiss, before pulling away and smirking.
Becky: Just that you don't plan on going to sleep yet.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Day
Rose and Becky sit at the kitchen table, pouring over the notes that Becky made during the past month, regarding the recent strange happenings. They had moved over some of Becky's things earlier, mostly clothes and a few personal belongings. As long as this is going on, with people having already tried to kill her twice, Rose doesn't want Becky going back to her regular old apartment, where she's vulnerable.
Rose: These notes are pretty extensive. You've done a lot of work.
Becky: Yeah, it kept me pretty busy. Plenty of strange crap going on, and I'd bet my life that it's all connected.
Rose: Most likely... so you said that the first person who attacked you was someone dressed up like a ninja?
Becky: That's right.
Rose: Just like that guy we found in the warehouse, the last time we went on duty together. Definitely not a coincidence.
Becky: He wasn't the only one we saw that day, remember. A couple of his buddies went and took him away.
Rose: Right, and the man I fought later that night, Shao I think his name was, mentioned something about that guy being one of their ' lesser members'. Question is, members of what?
Becky: A super secret underground ninja society of assassins?
Blinking, Rose looks up at Becky, who gives an amused grin.
Rose: I wouldn't joke about that... there actually is one of those, and it's nowhere near as humorous at you'd think.
Becky: Oh... well, maybe that's what we're dealing with?
Rose: I suppose it's possible... though, the last I heard, the League of Assassins was basically at war with itself. Still, I'll add it to the list of possibilities.
Becky: Don't forget that freaky looking metal device you pulled out of the guy's head. Jueputa, I wouldn't want one of those things drilled into my brain.
Rose: I haven't forgotten that, but I really don't have any idea what it was. I've seen some scary kinds of tech in my day, so it could be anything as far as I'm concerned. What I'm curious about is those two detectives you mentioned, Kubrick and Riggs. They're the ones handling the cases with the dead mob bosses, right?
Becky: Yeah, and they give off mucho creepy vibes. That, and they haven't been handling their investigations the way I'm used to, when dealing with detectives on crime scenes. Add the fact that all their case files I checked were mostly padded with blank forms, and I'd say they're definitely involved somehow.
Rose: About those blank files, did you mention them to anyone?
Becky: Just Chief Palmer. He said he'd look into it, but I haven't heard anything back from him yet.
Bringing a hand to her chin, Rose thinks for a moment, staring down at the notes in front of her.
Rose: Alright, I think I know where to start.
Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night
Ravager leans over the edge of the rooftop, gazing down at the East District street below. Her target walks casually down the sidewalk, hands stuffed in his pockets and a cigarette smoking between his lips. As he begins to distance himself from her, Ravager continues moving, jumping over to the next rooftop and following him.
Ravager: He's heading to the shadier part of town. I'm in pursuit now.
A brief hiss of static comes in over her ear piece communicator, followed by a familiar voice.
Becky/Comm: Okay, yeah, copy. This set up is really cool, by the way.
Ravager: Everything working?
Becky/Comm: Si, everything looks good. I'm following you on the map everywhere you go. You are the blinking dot, right?
Ravager: That's me.
Becky/Comm: Then yeah, it's good. Thanks again for letting me help.
Ravager: I know it' not much, but at I wasn't taking you out with me.
Becky/Comm: Too dangerous, I know.
Ravager: But at least if anything happens to me, you'll know right where I am.
Becky/Comm: I'd personally rather it not come to that.
Ravager: I wouldn't worry; I'm good at what I do.
Becky/Comm: One of these days, though, you're going to teach me some of those moves. No way am I going to date someone who can beat up a ninja and not learn a thing or two.
A small smirk comes to Ravager's face, as she descends into a nearby alley.
Ravager: We'll see.
Peering out of the alleyway, she watches as her target heads across the street and enters a building. Glancing up at the glowing neon sign of said building, her gaze narrows slightly.
Ravager: Huh, interesting.
Becky/Comm: What is it?
Ravager: He just went into The Fuego Lounge.
Becky/Comm: Oh, the strip club?
Ravager: You... know it?
A brief pause comes over the line.
Becky/Comm: I, uh... might have been a few times.
Ravager: Didn't take you as the type.
Becky/Comm: The type to enjoy naked women? No, definitely wouldn't make sense for me.
Ravager: I meant the type to want to hang around a male dominated environment, while watching a bunch of emotionless pin up dancers prance around on stage and cater to the drunken pigs.
Becky/Comm: Um, that really isn't a problem at The Fuego Lounge.
Ravager: Why's that?
Becky/Comm: Because it's a lesbian strip club. It caters specifically to gay and bisexual women. The atmosphere is completely different.
Ravager: Oh. Well then that raises a pretty big question.
Becky/Comm: Yeah... why the hell did Detective Kubrick go in there?
Ravager: I'll just have to find out. Though, I find myself with a bit of a problem.
Becky/Comm: What problem?
Ravager: I can't just go walking in the front door dressed like this, now can I?
Becky/Comm: That... might get some odd looks, yeah.
Ravager: I usually keep a change of clothes with me in my ride for when I have to go into public settings... but I lost that thing when I crashed it.
Becky/Comm: Ah, right... I was there when they cleaned up the wreck. You completely totaled it.
Ravager: Well, until I can get another one, I'm on foot. And I still don't have a change of clothes.
Becky/Comm: What are you wearing underneath your armor?
Ravager: A T-shirt and underwear.
Becky/Comm: Okay, well that's not going to work. Hold on, let me check something.
Several moments of silence go by before Becky's voice comes in again.
Becky/Comm: Okay, you see the alley on the left side of the building?
Ravager: Yeah, what about it?
Becky/Comm: According to the map, it goes all the way around to the back. Maybe there's a rear entrance or something? Though I'm not sure what you'll do when you're actually inside.
Ravager: Worth a shot, I'll check it out.
Int. The Fuego Lounge – Night
Ravager pushes the door open slowly, glancing inside. It looks like she's in some kind of back hallway behind the dressing rooms. She hears voices coming from farther down the hall, probably the workers getting ready to perform, or whatever they do. Easing herself inside silently, she closes the door behind her and moves cautiously. She can't afford to be discovered just yet.
Ravager: Good call, I'm in.
Becky/Comm: Any sign of Kubrick yet?
Ravager: No sign of anyone yet. I'm still in the back of the building, nothing much here except a few boxes and a coat rack.
Becky/Comm: Well, be careful in there. And don't go spooking any of the girls; I know a couple of them, they're good people.
Ravager: Only been here a few times and yet you know some of the workers, huh?
Becky/Comm: Wha- uh, n-no.
Ravager: Smooth recovery.
Becky/Comm: Okay, I used to be a regular! It was just a phase! Qué mierda, what do you want from me?
Ravager: To hear you flustered.
Becky/Comm: You're smiling right now, aren't you?
Stopping near the end of the hallway, Ravager peers around the corner. She sees a couple women in various states of undress walking to and from a couple of the side rooms. Still mostly in the shadows, Ravager goes unnoticed by them, as they're currently too busy working. The only problem is that the only way to get to the rest of the club is walk straight through this area, which she can't do in her current costume. Moving back behind the corner of the hall, she thinks for a moment, her eye scanning the surrounding area. Her gaze falls on the previously mentioned coat rack, an idea suddenly coming to her.
Ravager: Think I found a way in.
Reaching forward, she takes one of the long coats off the rack, then tugs her mask and swords off. After hiding her blades off to the side, she pulls the coat tightly around her and stuffs the mask in one of the pockets, effectively concealing her armored costume. This should at least keep some attention off her. Moving around the corner again, she walks straight through the women's area, keeping her head down. She receives a couple passing glances, but most of the women don't even notice her. Soon after, she pushes past a small curtain and enters into the main area of the club.
Glancing around, she takes a brief moment to soak in the atmosphere. It really is different than a normal strip club... the music isn't as mind numbingly annoying, the patrons aren't as rowdy, and everything seems a lot... calmer. Yet, there are still three separate stages, each occupied with a stripper, and quite a number of customers enjoying the performances.
Ravager: Not yet... I'm only seeing strippers and the women watching them.
Becky/Comm: Well it isn't a big place, he has to be around there somewhere.
Ravager: Wait, hold on.
Her gaze falls on a table in one of the corners of the room, way in the back and away from most of the other. At that table, she spots Kubrick sitting and speaking with someone, a woman in a red blouse and black skirt, with small, narrow glasses and her blonde hair tied back in a braid. They seem to be in a deep discussion about something, though about what she has no way of knowing.
Ravager: Alright, I have eyes on him. He's talking to some woman.
Becky/Comm: Any way to hear what they're saying?
Ravager: Not without getting right up next to them.
A few seconds later, though, Kubrick and the woman get up from the table and start walking towards the other side of the building. Ravager's gaze follows them carefully, watching as they head through a door labeled 'employees only' next to the bar area. Casually, she makes her way after them, waiting for the bartender to be distracted with a customer before sneaking through the door herself. On the other side, she finds a long staircase heading down into the basement levels. As she heads down those stairs, she pulls out her mask again and slips it back over her head. She then shrugs the coat off and keeps going.
Probably safe to go in costume now. With or without it, I'm not supposed to be down here either way.
Ravager slows to a stop when she hears voices. Holding a finger to her ear piece, she whispers through her comm.
Ravager: Going silent.
Becky/Comm: Copy, be careful.
Coming to the bottom of the stairs, Ravager leans forward and peers around a wall that leads to a long hallway. A door at the very end of it is slightly ajar, from where the voices are coming from. She presses on until she reaches the door, then listens carefully.
Kubrick: And exactly how long after implantation did this occur?
Woman: About seventy-two hours, give or take a few. It works fine before that, but then she just dropped dead.
Kubrick: I see... looks like we keep running into problems. First I've heard about this particular one, though.
Woman: You know I want to be involved, but I can't subjcet my girls to it if they're going to keep keeling over like this.
Kubrick: Believe me, we'll work on a fix. Faulty stems aren't good for the plans, anyway. Having puppets to control only works as long as the puppets can be used... dying seriously complicates that.
Woman: You come back with ones that work, and my girls are yours. Until then, I'm not going to keep exposing them to... this.
Kubrick: Of course. I'll report back the Shen immediately and give him the update.
Ravager's eye narrows slightly at the mention of the name.
Shao Shen... So he's the one in charge? Good... I still owe that guy a serious beating.
Woman: You do that. I have to get back to work, in the meantime, then figure out how I'm going to clean up this mess...
Ravager moves quickly back through another one of the partially open doors, hiding in the shadows of what looks like a storage closet. The figures of Kubrick and the mystery woman appear in the hallway a moment later, walking back towards the stairs. Within a couple minutes, they're gone, leaving Ravager alone in the basement.
Ravager: Did you get all that?
Becky/Comm: Yeah, any idea what they were talking about?
Ravager: Not a clue, but I get the feeling I'll have a better idea when I check out what's in that room.
Moving from the closet, she turns into the other room, flicking on the light. It doesn't take her long to see what the two were talking about, her gaze falling on it instantly. Her eye goes wide instantly in shock, as she just stares, barely able to utter a word.
Becky/Comm: What is it? Do you see anything?
But all she can do is keep staring.
My god... this is sick.
Chapter #35 Preview: Rose and Becky continue their investigation, trying to figure out just what is going on in Silverstone. While they uncover more information about their enemies, Becky ends up having a close call with Detective Riggs, which could spell problems for her later on.
Int. The Fuego Lounge – Night
Ravager swallows, taking a step forward and kneeling down closely to inspect the scene. Her stomach is still churning a bit, but she forces the nausea down. She's seen bad before, but this is right up there at the top.
Becky/Comm: Rose? Hey, you there?
Ravager: Yeah, sorry. Was just... thinking.
Becky/Comm: Well what is it? What do you see?
Ravager: It's... a body. I'll spare you the details.
Becky/Comm: It's that bad?
The body belongs to a young woman, probably one of the strip club's dancers, judging from the conversation she just overheard. The only problem is, the back of her skull is split wide open, like an overripe melon. There is no brain matter anywhere, though, at least not in a solid state. Anything inside her skull appears to have been liquified, draining out all over the floor in a bloody, sticky pool. More fluid exited her body through her nose, eyes, ears, and mouth. It's as though the contents of her head just... melted. And then exploded.
Moving forward, Ravager examines the body closer, taking close observation of the woman's head. Aside from the gaping hole in the back of her skull, nothing else appears out of the ordinary... until she sees something rather familiar. Pulling back the woman's ear, her gaze narrows.
Ravager: Well that's interesting.
Becky/Comm: You find something?
Ravager: There's a small hole just behind her ear. Same spot as that needle device I pulled out of the other guy's head.
Becky/Comm: So you think whatever happened to her has something to do with those devices?
Ravager: Looks that way. My only concern is the purpose, though. They mentioned using people as 'puppets'.
Becky/Comm: Wait... you don't mean, like, mind control or something, do you? Is that even a real thing?
Ravager: We live in a world where people can fly, shoot lasers out of their eyes, and lift a jet-liner over their heads, and you're seriously asking that question?
Becky/Comm: Well, mierda, I don't know! I'm still new to this whole... superhero thing, and the kinds of stuff you deal with.
Ravager: I know, I know. Sorry, I just... this whole situation is bizarre.
Becky/Comm: Now that I already figured out.
Ravager: To answer your question, though, yes, it could be some form of mind control. Only, it doesn't look like they've perfected it, yet, judging from... this.
Becky/Comm: Dios Mio... it would certainly explain why Stevens suddenly went loco on me.
Ravager: And why a family man living on Levitt Street was moonlighting–or daylightning, rather–as a ninja. But the question is why? What are they trying to accomplish?
Reaching into one of the compartments on her belt, Ravager pulls out a miniature camera and begins taking pictures of the scene. Any evidence is good evidence at this point, especially a dead body. She can add it to their notes and go from there. As she stands there clicking the camera, however, a voice suddenly cuts her off.
Woman: Who the hell are you?
Blinking, Ravager slowly turns her head to see the same woman from before standing there in the doorway.
Ravager: Oh... well hi there.
Woman: What are you doing down here?!
Ravager: Shouldn't I be the one asking you that question? You really should learn to clean up after your messes.
Perfect, now I can take this b*tch down and squeeze some answers from her.
Woman: Great, now I have to hide two bodies.
With an angry growl, the woman rushes in forward to attack her intruder. Ravager merely smirks, ready to put the hurt on... but what she sees in her precog makes her suddenly duck and flip out of the way. As the woman swings her arm, it opens up, revealing it to be a cybernetic prosthesis. A long, razor sharp blade suddenly extends from the woman's wrist and swipes forward, just missing Ravager's neck.
Becky/Comm: Jueputa, what's going on?!
Ravager: Just a minute, little busy right now!
Ducking beneath another slashing strike, Ravager dances off to the side and reaches back for her own blades. That's when she remembers that she took her swords off earlier so she could disguise herself in the coat.
The woman charges again, this time thrusting the arm blade forward. Fortunately, her actions are wild and undisciplined, making it easy to evade. Turning her body out of the way of the attack, Ravager then lunges forward and tackles the woman. They land on the ground hard, causing the woman's breath to rush suddenly from her lungs.
Another wild swing comes in. Ravager ducks below it, then reaches her hands out and grabs the woman's arm, the one with the blade. In one hard, twisting motion, she bends it the wrong way, causing it to snap. The woman doesn't cry out with pain, considering the arm is robotic and likely doesn't contain any pain receptors, but at least her main weapon is neutralized.
The woman raise her other arm this time in a furious punch, but Ravager catches her fist, followed by a vicious headbutt to her face. Now, the woman feels pain, nose crooked and nostrils spewing crimson down her face. For good measure, Ravager delivers a hard knee to her gut, then lifts her up and pushes her against the wall, cracking the plaster.
Ravager: So, you want to try that again?
Woman: Who the... f*ck do you think... you are?! You goddamn c-
A hard elbow to the jaw silences her.
Ravager: I'm The Ravager; remember it.
Woman: What do you... what do you want from me?
Ravager: I want answers, and you're going to tell me what I want, or that broken nose of yours will be the least of your worries.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Night
Letting out a long breath, Rose pushes open the door to her penthouse and tugs her mask off. It's been a long night, and she's just about ready to turn in. She utters a small yawn, then walks into the kitchen to find herself a drink. Before she can even make it to the refrigerator, she feels a gentle pair of arms coming around her from behind, and an even gentler kiss on her neck.
Becky: Welcome back.
Breathing inwardly, Rose pauses a moment to turn back and give Becky a proper kiss, then returns her attention to the fridge to grab a beer.
Becky: So, here's a question, how the heck to you make it all the way up to the top floor of this building without anyone noticing you in that costume?
Rose: Easy, I take the elevator from the parking garage, brings me right up to this floor. Not too many people wandering around there at three in the morning, and even if there are, I'm good at keeping out of sight.
Becky: Hmm, still sounds risky to me.
Rose: I've managed this far, haven't I?
Becky: Ah, so you have. Anyway, what are we going to do about this? What the woman said...
The woman that Rose had interrogated, who goes by the name of Madelyn Stravos, had revealed some rather unsettling information. Though Madelyn didn't know many specifics, Rose got her to mention that she had been recently contacted by Kubrick, an old friend of hers now working for a man called Shao Shen. He offered her future position and power in exchange for a few favors, one of them being to offer up her workers as subjects to his new neural devices.
Those devices, the ones that drill into a person's brain, not only allow control of the victim, but also increases biological functions, everything from cognitive functions to physical ability. As for what Shao is trying to accomplish through such means, Madelyn had not been informed of.
Rose: We keep digging, that's what we do. Whatever Shao is up to, I'm going to find out, and I’m going to stop him. Kubrick is still our best lead at the moment, so I'll keep following him, see what I can find.
Becky: Hey, you're not the only one who can do something here, you know. You're forgetting, I work at the same station as Kubrick. I can look in on him there.
Rose: No way, I'm not letting you get anymore involved in this than necessary.
Becky: Then what would you have me do, huh? Just be useless and sit here at night, talking to you over the radio? Come on, Rose, let me help you.
Rose: They've already tried to kill you twice. I'm not going to keep putting you at risk like that!
Becky: Rose, my life is already at risk everyday, just by being a cop. Every time I put on that uniform, I know it might be the last. This isn't any different. Not to mention, you can't be Ravager during the day. That's a whole sixteen hours that you aren't investigating. Please, let me do what you can't.
Releasing a long breath, Rose leans forward against the counter and holds a hand up to her head. She closes her eye for a moment, then shrugs her shoulders and brushes her fingers through her long white hair. No way Becky is going to let this go, she's too stubborn for that.
Rose: Alright, fine. Just... please, be careful, alright?
A small smile comes over Becky's face. She moves in and gives a light kiss, then rubs her hand on Rose's back.
Becky: I'll be careful, promise. Now, come to bed. It's been a long night.
Returning the smile, Rose takes Becky's hand and walks with her into the bedroom.
Rose: Yeah... it really has.
Int. Silverstone City Central Police Station – Day
Becky works quickly, rifling through all the papers in each desk drawer, hoping to find anything useful, anything out of the ordinary. She doesn't know how long she has, so she can't afford to waste any time. Kubrick might be out on a case right now, but if he comes back to find her in his office, things definitely won't end well. Hearing someone walking down the hall, she glances up over the desk for a moment and freezes up. Fortunately, whoever it is keeps on walking. Breathing a sigh of relief, she goes back to her searching.
Nothing written down in his desk... maybe his computer?
Moving up into the desk chair, she wiggles the computer mouse to disperse the screen saver, surprised to find that the computer isn't password protected. Digging through the computer’s files, however, she doesn't actually find anything very suspicious. Just the standard documents she'd expect a detective to keep on his computer... except for one thing. Buried deep in the folder containing his personal case notes, Becky comes across another file, named only “X”. Giving it a curious look, she brings the cursor up to it and double clicks it.
More documents, most of these untitled. She opens one of them and quickly scans through, then another. Her heart starts beating faster with every word that she reads. This is the kind of information she's been looking for. Only problem is, she can't go and sit here reading it all; she'll have to bring it back to Rose's place, then they can sort through it all there. Reaching into her pocket, she pulls out a flash drive and sticks it into the computer's usb port, then quickly copies the files over. A short few moments later, she pulls the flash drive back out, closes out of the folder, and then heads for the door.
Halfway across the office, the door opens. Becky freezes, heart skipping a beat, as Detective Riggs appears. For a moment, he stops and just stares at her, then moves forward.
Riggs: What are you doing in here?
Becky: Oh, I, uh, was just... looking for Detective Kubrick. Was, uh... going to see if he wanted to grab dinner some time, yeah.
Riggs: I don't think he'd be interested...
Becky: Oh, no, sure he would, I mean we totally have a connection and-
Riggs: He's married.
Smooth, Becky, real smooth! How did you not notice a wedding ring?
Becky: Oh, uh, ha, imagine that... guess I don't need to worry about it, then, I'll just be going...
Without taking another look back, she quickly heads out of the room and back down the hallway. As she leaves, Riggs gives her a very long look, before walking around behind the desk. When he sees that the screen saver is off, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone to make a call.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Night
Hovering over the computer, Rose and Becky examine the files closely that were pulled from Kubrick's office. The room is dark, the only light coming from the glow of the screen, which flickers every now and then, as Rose scrolls down or opens a new file.
Rose: So you grabbed these off his computer, huh?
Becky: Uh, yeah... was pretty surprised he had no password, to be honest.
Rose: No use worrying about it now, we have the files.
And boy are these files ever revealing. Though they don't give all the answers, there's plenty of new information to be had. Kubrick isn't really a member of the Silverstone City police force. Well, he is, but he's not just that. He's a sleeper agent of sorts, for an organization referred to as the Fist of Shadows. The files don't go into detail on the organization itself, though it does describe some of their plans.
Becky: They're killing off all the mob bosses to take control of organized crime in the city... weeding out the competition.
Rose: And then using those neural stems to sink their fangs even deeper, gain control. Only the devices aren't ready yet, which is why they've been testing them on nobodies. Until they can make stems that don't fail, malfunction, or otherwise kill their victims, they're not going to be attempting to advance their plans.
Becky: Do I even want to ask what that is?
Rose: I can make a few guesses... Hold on, I have to make a call.
Closing out of the folders, she opens her video conferencing software, once again putting out a call to Gotham. It isn't too late yet, so hopefully he'll be there... Fortunately, he is. Though they have to wait about five minutes for a response, soon enough a familiar face pops up on the screen. Well, half a face, as Dick Grayson answered the call from the Bat Bunker, dressed in the batsuit.
Rose: Good, you're still there.
Batman/Computer: Caught me just as I was heading out, Rose. What is it?
Becky: Whoa... I still can't believe you're friends with Batman. That's actually really cool.
Batman/Computer: Who's that?
Becky: Oh! Lo siento, forgot to introduce myself. Rebecca Chavez. It's a real, uh, honor to meet you... um, sir.
Batman/Computer: Just Batman, is fine. I've heard about you, though, Rebecca. Glad to see you two worked things out.
Becky: Oh, we more than worked it out.
Grinning a bit, Becky holds an arm around Rose's shoulder and gives her a brief kiss on the corner of the mouth. Rose clears her throat and averts her gaze momentarily, a bit embarrassed; she hadn't really been intending to mention that to Dick just yet... but oh well. In response to this, even the mighty Batman shifts slightly in his seat, as he clears his throat.
Batman/Computer: I see... so, what is this about?
Rose: Just a question. What can you tell me about a group called the Fist of Shadows.
A small pause passes between them. Batman narrows his eyes, thinking.
Batman/Computer: Fist of Shadows... sounds familiar. Let me check.
In an instant, his fingers are flying across the keyboard, using that super powerful batcomputer to its fullest. Within minutes, he pulls up some useful information. Bringing a hand to his chin, he uttes a cool breath and stares at the screen.
Rose: What is it?
Batman/Computer: According to my records, the Fist of Shadows is a sub-sect of the League of Assassins. When the main group began warring with itself for control of leadership, a smaller collection of members broke off for good and began their own organization, the Fist of Shadows. I don't have much more information on them, since I've never come across them myself. I can, however, add that they still hold similar beliefs as their former allies, but go about it in much different ways.
Rose: Don't suppose the name Shao Shen is familiar?
Batman/Computer: Afraid not.
Rose: Well, add it to your records, because I'm pretty sure he's the leader of this Fist of Shadows. Crossed him once before... it didn't go well.
Batman/Computer: I'll add the name. But before I go, do you want any help dealing with this? I can have someone on the way tonight.
Rose: Not yet. So far, things are pretty under control. If I do need help, I'll call again.
Batman/Computer: Alright, then I'll leave you to it. I have to get going.
Rose: Wait, hold on.
Rose: How... how's Holly doing?
At this, Batman gives a very small smile.
Batman/Computer: She's doing well. Looking forward to you coming back.
Rose: Yeah... I'll be there soon as I finish up this case. Tell her I said hi.
Batman/Computer: Will do. Anything else?
Rose: Just one more thing.
Rose: Stop picturing me and Becky in your head.
Batman/Computer: ...goodbye, Rose.
The screen goes blank a second later. Becky purses her lips, shifting her weight and putting a hand to her hip.
Becky: Well, interesting guy... not as scary as I would have thought.
Rose: Should have seen the first one... Anyway, time for me to get a move on. I get the feeling it's going to be another long night.
Chapter #36 Preview: Just who is Michael Kubrick? As Ravager is about to find out, there is a lot more to that question than one would think. In fact, it's more a question of: what is Michael Kubrick? She'll discover firsthand what kind of secret he's hiding, but that's not all; he's not alone.
Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night
Releasing a long breath, Kubrick steps out of the dry cleaner's and heads down the sidewalk. Another malfunctioning stem, fantastic. Not what he needs to deal with right now. Shao is already getting impatient at the slow development. He wants better results, something he can use without running the risk of killing half the people they implant. The technicians are working as fast as they can, though; shockingly, fine tuning a way to control and enhance brain functions isn't as easy as Shao believes.
In the meantime, Kubrick has to keep other people's noses out of their business; Rebecca Chavez, for example, a woman who just doesn't seem to know when to quit. After the previous two attempts on her life, one would think that she would learn to stay away, but she just keeps coming back. Unfortunate as it may be, now she has to be dealt with.
As he stops at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change, his phone begins to ring. He pulls it out of his pocket, briefly looks at the name, then answers, keeping his voice in a low whisper.
Kubrick: What is it?
The voice that comes over on the other end is calm, yet eerily sinister at the same time. He thought he'd be used to it by now, but each time is like the first.
Kubrick: No... things are coming along fine. It's just-
The voice cuts him off in mid sentence, the words cutting like knives in spite of how relaxed they are.
Kubrick: I don't know when they'll be ready. We keep coming across more problems than we anticipated... yes, we're working on solving them... no, he doesn't know. I've been careful.
And there it is, the subtle, yet very noticeable threat. A combination of insult and menace that chills even someone like Kubrick to the core, and that's saying something.
Kubrick: I assure you, sir, Shao doesn't suspect a thing. The stems will be completed eventually, and as long as he believes I'm working for him, you'll get what you want.
The voice seems pleased, or as pleased as a voice like that possibly can be. Kubrick's nerves settle down slightly. He's still not used to that; usually he's the one doing the intimidating... not the other way around.
Kubrick: Of course. I'll call you when I have more information. Goodbye.
Turning his phone off, he stuffs it back into his pocket and turns down an alley. Suddenly, he's really hungry; feels like he can eat a horse. After this next meeting, he'll have to stop somewhere and grab a bite. Taking in a deep breath, he glances back over his shoulder briefly, then stops outside a small door. Tucked away here in a back alley right in the middle of the slums, it goes unnoticed to the general public. But not to him. No, to him, this is a very familiar location.
He raises his hand and taps his knuckles against the old wood. Two knocks. No more, no less. The small eye slot on the front of the door slides open a second later, a blue pair of eyes looking back at him.
Kubrick: The sound of winter is cold.
The phrase is completely nonsensical, but it gets the door to open. He gives the man within a simple nod, then pushes past him farther within the dwelling.
Int. Zaria's Pool Hall – Night
A brief walk through a narrow hallway, followed by a descent down a small set of stairs, and Kubrick reaches one of the least known places in the city. It's no different from a normal pool hall, except that it also acts as a safe house for some of the lowest scum in Silverstone. Thieves, mobsters, murderers, rapists, and so much more, they've all been known to frequent this place. Of course, that's only if you're lucky enough to find it, let alone be allowed inside. You want in? You'd better make sure the Silverstone underworld knows your name.
Kubrick moves past a couple of men playing pool and heads straight up to the bar. The woman behind the counter gives him an amused look, mouth twisting into a half smirk, and hands going to her hips. She's dressed in torn, low cut jeans, and a half-shirt that seems one size too small.
Woman: Well, well, look who's back. Just couldn't stay way, now could you?
Kubrick: You know me, Zaria. Once I get a taste...
He loves the way she shifts her posture, hips popping out to one side and body leaning gently. If looks could kill, she'd have offed him a long time ago. Everything about her, from the toned body, to her short, silky black hair, red lipstick, near perfectly shaped breasts, it all drives his senses wild. That body of hers is a canvas, too, tattoos in all the right places. Most of the ink runs along her arms and up her neck, but the rest of her skin isn't perfectly clean. A small red star sits just above her right breast, while a skeletal tail curls across her abdomen around to her back, where it attaches to a dragon of bones.
She's not a twig, either, she's built well, works out, throws a mean left hook. Not to mention, she's like him. She's special. He once saw her lay waste to an entire room full of guys just because she was bored. Bored. Normally, he'll only do something like that when he's hungry, but she's something else entirely. Zaria is his kind of woman.
Zaria: Oh I know, you always come back for seconds.
Kubrick: A little beyond seconds, aren't we?
Zaria: Hmm, so we are. Best not less the missus hear that, though.
Snorting out an amused laugh, Kubrick sits down in one of the seats in front of the bar. He leans forward, folding his arms and hiding the wedding ring on his finger, as though it'll suddenly disappear.
Kubrick: All part of the cover, you know that. Only thing Stacy is good for is keeping the house clean, and even then not so much. Your beautiful ass is the only one I need.
A wide grin comes to Zaria's lips.
Zaria: Keep talking like that, and I might let you have it later. Now, did you come down hear just to ogle me, or do you have something important to discuss?
Kubrick: You know why I'm here, Zee. Just letting you know the offer is still on the table. What I'm working on right now... it's big. Life changing big. I want you there with me when sh*t hits the fan.
Zaria: Ah, right, the big plan. I told you I'd think about it.
Kubrick: And you've been thinking for quite a while.
Zaria: That's 'cuz I haven't made up my mind yet.
Kubrick: I'm offering you something more out of life, Zee. We won't have to hide anymore when this is done. We can be who we are. We can be what we are. And no one will be able to stop us.
Zaria: You know I'm perfectly content with what I have now.
Kubrick: And what do you have, really? An underground hangout infested by these fodder, these cattle. That's all they are: food. Yet we're forced to hide from them.
Zaria: Yes, well those cattle also pay my bills. When I feel like paying them, anyway.
Kubrick: Work with me, and you'll never have to worry about paying bills again.
Zaria: Like I said, I'll think on it. Now, you want a drink or not?
Releasing a slow breath, Kubrick leans forward and taps his fingers on the counter a couple times.
Kubrick: Just a beer. You know my brand.
Zaria: Coming right up.
Turning around, Zaria moves towards the back of the bar. She leans forward, bending over to reach one of the ice boxes below the shelves. Kubrick sits back, watching and enjoying the view until she finally stands straight again and slides the bottle to him with a wink.
Zaria: There you go.
Kubrick smirks briefly, before taking the bottle and raising it to his lips. Before he even gets a chance to take a sip, however, a commotion draws his attention. He looks over at the sounds of shouting coming from the entrance, up the stairs. Suddenly, the man who works the door comes tumbling down the steps, landing hard and rolling across the floor. With a groan, the man starts to crawl away. A figure begins to descend the stairs, at first hidden in shadows, and then finally coming into the light of the pool hall.
Ravager: Evening, everyone. I hope I'm not interrupting anything.
The two men nearest her abruptly charge. Whoever she is, she isn't supposed to be here, and that's enough to attack her. Knowing the tendencies of some of the people in this place, they'll do a lot more than just attack, too, if given the chance. But they don't get that chance. Ravager moves around their attacks with minimal effort, countering with a few hard blows that knock them out cold. Three more men from the other side of the room come in, two wielding pool sticks and the third with a switchblade.
Ravager catches one of the pool sticks and breaks it half with one hand, then kicks the man in the face, sending him rolling backwards. The second man swings his pool stick, but he isn't anymore successful. Yanking the stick from his hands, she spins it around like a bo staff and pummels the guy, dropping him to the floor unconscious. The third man, the one with the knife, somehow thinks he'll fare better than the last four guys she beat up, and lunges at her. Ravager turns to the side, swings the pool stick around, and bashes him in the back of the head. He falls unconscious instantly.
Ravager: So, anyone else want to try?
The few other remaining patrons decide they want no part of this woman, running around the sides of the room towards the stairs to get out. Ravager lets them go; they're not the ones she's after.
Zaria: What the hell do you think you're doing?! What gives you the right to barge in here and attack my customers?!
Ravager: Technically, I only attacked the guy at the door. The rest of them attacked me.
Jumping up over the counter, Zaria lands on the other side in a crouch, a scowl on her face. She has that look in her eye, the one she gets when she wants blood.
Zaria: I'll bleed you like a pig!
Kubrick: Zee, calm yourself.
Glaring back at him, Zaria stands straight and curls her hands into fists.
Zaria: But she-
Kubrick: I'll handle it, relax.
Though keeping a hot stare on him, she backs down, taking a couple of steps back and allowing Kubrick to deal with the b*tch.
Ravager: Kubrick, right? Good, you're the one I want to talk to.
Kubrick: Oh, you wanna talk? Sure, we can talk... but first, I'm gonna grab a bite to eat, if you don't mind.
Ravager: Wasn't really planning on waiting around for you to order a meal.
Kubrick: Don't worry about that, you won't have to wait long.
Ravager stands there, waiting for Kubrick to make a move. After all, he's just a normal guy, right? This really shouldn't take very long. A few well placed punches, maybe a broken kneecap, and she can start interrogating him for more information on Shao Shen and the Fist of Shadows. Unfortunately, things don't quite go according to how she expected them to. Holding his arms out, Kubrick grits his teeth and starts crying out, as if in pain. Lifting an eyebrow behind her mask, Ravager watches curiously, wondering what the hell is the matter of him.
Kubrick's body begins to change. Muscles spasm and start to grow, splitting his clothes apart. Thick hair, or rather fur, begins to spontaneously grow everywhere, covering him from head to toe. His face elongates, narrows, with his jaws coming together and forming a snout with razor sharp teeth, while his fingers extend and form equally sharp claws. Within a short few moments, the man Kubrick was is no longer standing there. In his place is a beast, a monster, a... a...
Ravager: Hey, Becky?
Ravager: How's your knowledge on werewolves?
Beck/Comm: Uh... pretty limited? ...why?
Ravager: Because there's one standing right in front of me.
Becky/Comm: Uh... wait, what?
The speed at which Kubrick blitzes her is astounding. Granted, it's nowhere near speedster fast, but it's still far greater than a normal man. Guess that makes sense, considering he's a giant wolf monster now. On the bright side, Ravager's own speed and reflexes are at a new level, ever since her training in Nanda Parbat. She reacts instantly, ducking below a sweeping claw strike and flipping herself backwards over a second attack.
Ravager: Yeah, about your detective buddy, Kubrick? He's a werewolf. Or a shapeshifter. Or... or something!
Silence comes in over the comm. Presumably, Becky is just too stunned to answer, and Rose doesn't blame her. Women with robotic blade arms? Werewolves? Just what the hell are these people? The Fist of Shadows is apparently full of some really diverse people. Kubrick moves forward again, snarling. Spittle drips from his fangs, lips curled back. When he speaks, his voice is much deeper, and scratchier.
Kubrick: I will rip the heart from your chest!
Ravager: Yeah, I don't think so.
Ravager darts around another claw strike, and this time delivers a hard kick to the werewolf's face... which does just about nothing except make him angry. Kubrick lashes his hand–or paw?–out to grab her ankle, before she can retract her leg. With an effortless motion, he swings his arm around and tosses her through the air. She manages to twist her body around in midair, controlling her flight enough to land against the wall and push off without sustaining any injuries, though that doesn't solve her wolf problem.
Ravager: So, does that transformation come with or without fleas?
Kubrick growls again, charging in on all fours this time. He leaps at her, but Rose rolls beneath his grasp. In the same motion, she draws her blades and slices upwards with them, feeling steel ripping open flesh. The werewolf lands awkwardly, hitting the floor and colliding with the wall. He isn't down for long, though, returning to his feet a moment later. Though he's clearly bleeding, this doesn't seem to slow him down much, as he runs forward again.
Ravager twirls around his outstretched claws and cuts downward with her blades, slicing through the tendons at one of his elbows. This time, he howls with pain, clutching the wound. He might be resilient, but a severed tendon is a severed tendon; he won't be able to use that arm anymore.
Ravager: Alright, so are you ready to talk, or do I have to go all 'Van Helsing' on you?
She really should have remembered to pay more attention to her surroundings. She's so concentrated on the menacing werewolf trying to bite her face off, that she doesn't notice the next attack until her precog goes off, and even then it's almost too late to get out of the way. Jumping back suddenly, she feels razor claws slicing straight through her armor and tearing open several long wounds across her midsection. Had she not moved at all, her intestines would be on the floor right now.
Zaria: You never should have come here!
Dropping one of her swords, Ravager holds a hand to her wounds and looks back at the woman from before... or at least, the person that used to be a woman. While still feminine in appearance, most of her features have changed. Zaria's skin has changed shades to bright blue, and seems to be covered in scales, while her mouth has widened and grown multiple rows of sharp teeth, like a shark. With her body also growing slightly and becoming more muscular, her clothes have torn off almost completely, while spiky ridges developed along her backside. Add to that a long, whip-like tail growing out from the back of her waist, and Ravager has no bloody clue what the hell to make of it.
Ravager: The f*ck are you supposed to be?
The only answer she receives is an angry growl, as the she-beast lunges in again and swings wildly with her claws. Ravager dodges a few times, then counters with another vicious sword slash. Only problem, she hits air. Apparently, Zaria is quite agile, having no issue moving out of the way of the attacks. No only that, but she's strong, too, a lot stronger than Ravager anticipates. Zaria dives forward landing on top of Ravager and pinning her against the floor.
Not good, not good!
Zaria opens her mouth wide, exposing the multiple layers of of razor sharp teeth, then dives in, with every intent to tear open the woman's jugular. Unfortunately for her, Ravager manages to twist her blade around at the right angle to place the sharp edge between herself and her attacker. Zaria bites down right on the blade, instead, and although her jaw strength shatters the sword, she recoils with a howl of pain, as the insides of her mouth are cut open.
With the grip on her shoulders loosening, Ravager slips out from beneath her attacker, rolls backwards, and pops back up to her feet again... just in time for Kubrick to body-check her into the nearby wall, causing her to smash straight through it into the next room. Slightly dazed, Ravager looks up from her backside to see the werewolf standing over her and lunging in again. She just manages to get her arm up in time, feeling Kubrick's jaws clamping around her forearm. At the same time, his claws sink into her side, puncturing straight through her armor and into flesh. Suppressing a sharp scream of pain, Ravager reaches for her fallen sword, the one that Zaria shattered.
With a deft motion, she thrusts the short, broken point forward and stabs the side of Kubrick's neck. The werewolf instantly releases her and howls, staggering backwards through the broken hole in the wall. He kneels there for several moments, then yanks the blade out of his neck and coughs blood. Slowly, his body begins to revert to his normal, human self. Zaria, now also having reverted to her human form, hurries to his side. She spits out a large mouthful of blood, then helps him to his feet.
Zaria: Michael! We have to get you to a hospital, now!
Kubrick: I'll be fine!
Zaria: You will not be fine. You're bleeding too much, and you don't heal as fast in this form. I am not going to let you die.
Growling slightly, Kubrick holds a hand to his bleeding neck. She's right, of course. Even with what he is, he won't last long like this without medical attention.
Kubrick: Fine. Still keep a change of clothes in the back?
Zaria: Of course.
Kubrick: Good, grab them. I'm going to finish taking care of our problem.
Hobbling to his feet, Kubrick walks over to the remains of his pants and pulls out his gun, then stalks forward towards the giant hole in the wall, to take care of the woman that attacked them. When he makes it into the next room, however, he doesn't find her. The woman is gone, with only her broken sword remaining. Angrily, he beats his fist against the wall.
Kubrick: Damn it!
Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night
Making it up to a nearby rooftop, Ravager collapses against the parapet and lets out a grunt. She's losing blood, but not too much. Her armor, though it was cut through like paper, did offer some protection, and the wounds aren't too severe. But it hurts. A lot. These aren't normal wounds. She's had cuts and gashes like this before, and she knows how they feel. But these... they burn. Like fire.
F*cking werewolf, and... whatever that other one was. Was not prepared to deal with that.
As she takes in a few sharp breaths, the radio hisses against her ear.
Becky/Comm: Rose! Are you there? What the hell happened?
Ravager: I got torn up by a couple of monsters, that's what happened.
Becky/Comm: So, you're serious, then? A... werewolf?
Ravager: Yeah, and some kind of demonic shark/lizard/alien thing. I swear, if I run into a sparkly vampire next, I'm gonna be really pissed.
Becky/Comm: Dios mio... are you alright?
Ravager: I'll live. Might need to get patched up quick, though.
Becky/Comm: I'll have the first aid kit ready. Just- what?
Silence suddenly comes in. Ravager blinks, eye narrowing.
Becky/Comm: Rose, uh, the power just went out.
Becky/Comm: I got nothing, I'm stumblingly around in the dark here.
Ravager: If something happened to the power, the building's back up generator should have come on.
Becky/Comm: Well there's -ow! Hijo de puta! I do not remember that chair being there!
Ravager: Alright, just hold on, I'm not far. Be there in five.
Becky/Comm: Do you have any candles or anything? I could really use-
Her words cut out again, stopping in mid sentence. At first, Ravager thinks it's just a glitchy signal, but she soon realizes that Becky went silent on purpose. A second later, she hears the sound of a gun being cocked.
Ravager: What the hell is going on, Becky?
Becky/Comm: I don't know, I thought I heard something.
Ravager: What are you-
Becky/Comm: Sh*t, there's someone in here. I can hear him.
Her voice is in a low whisper, remaining hushed and trying not to be heard. Ravager flinches at the declaration, though. No power means no security. No security means that anyone can waltz right inside. But who is it? Did they come for Becky? How did they even know where to find her? Ravager's heart starts beating faster, going into full on panic mode. Ignoring the pain from her wounds, she starts sprinting across rooftops.
Ravager: You see anyone and you shoot them, got it? I'm on my way now, I'll-
Two gunshots go off. Then she hears the sound of crashing furniture. A dazed grunt, followed by glass shattering. And then static, as the communicator dies. A numb sensation bubbles up in Ravager's throat. She moves faster now.
Hold on, Becky, I'm coming!
Chapter #37 Preview: Less than a week ago, Rose had a vision in Nanda Parbat, a vision that depicted the person closest to her being brutally beaten for information. She came back in order to stop that vision from happening, but now it looks like she may not be able to stop it after all.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Night
Ravager crashes through the front door and forces it open, not even slowing down to open it properly. By now, the building's power has returned, allowing her to get a good look at just what condition her penthouse is in. The entire place is in shambles, ransacked to the fullest degree. Moving past the overturned furniture and scattered belongings, she heads into the bedroom, flicking the light on. She finds much the same in here, as well.
Becky's gun is on the ground, two shell casings lying nearby. Ravager kneels down for a moment to examine it, then looks behind her, towards the door. Two bullet holes in the wall. That means Becky missed whoever she was aiming at. But she didn't go down without a fight, either, judging from the scene. The bedroom is an even bigger mess, the entire place torn apart. Regardless of how well she fought back, though, Becky is still gone.
Ravager is suddenly reminded of the vision he had in Nanda Parbat, the one of Becky being beaten and tortured by someone for information. She'd come back in order to make sure that didn't happen, but now it looks like coming back didn't change anything at all.
No, no, no. I came back to prevent that, I'm not going to fail. I am not losing her!
Whatever it takes, she's going to find Becky, and she's going to help her. But she can't do that in her current condition. Fighting through her worry and panic, Ravager stumbles into the bathroom and pulls out a first aid kit, while stripping off her armor. She works quickly, trying not to waste any time as she patches herself up. She does a crude job at it, but it's passable for now. The worst of it is her mangled forearm; though she can still move it and use it fairly well, her effectiveness with that arm is nowhere near top form, and it hurts like hell.
And why does it burn so much? Sh*t, feels like it's on fire.
She doesn't dwell on it, though, heading back out into the bedroom and putting her armor back on. The biggest problem she has right now is that she doesn't know where to even start looking. She doesn't know who took Becky, or where they could have gone. With no power in the building at the time, it means there won't be any security footage, either. No leads. No way to find her. Unless...
Alright, please work.
Sitting down cross-legged on the floor, Ravager closes her eye and inhales a deep breath, trying to calm and clear her mind. The vision she had before, it occurred during meditation. She doesn't know how it happened, but it's clear that it was a form of her precog. So long ago, Dick had guessed that her power was evolving, and so it has. First to extend to those around her, and now to full on being able to see the future. But... was it a one time thing? Or can she figure out a way to make these visions happen? And can she control what she sees?
Taking in another deep breath, Ravager feels the outside world beginning to disappear. She's retreating into herself, her mind delving deep into her subconscious. Slowly, but surely, the world begins to change. At first, it's only subtle, just a few odd sounds. Several seconds go by, and then the sounds become clearer. She opens her eye, sees a fuzzy image coming into focus. Just like before, everything is washed out and colorless, a bit blurry even, but it's definitely a vision.
Standing up, Ravager moves forward, taking a careful look at her surroundings. Something is wrong, this place isn't the same as it was before. In the first vision, she'd been in some kind of large tool shed, or something of that nature. Now it looks like she's in a restaurant kitchen. Her heart skips a beat. Did something go wrong? Is she seeing a different vision entirely, unrelated to Becky?
Damn it! Come on, this can't be wrong!
A sharp sound stings the air. Ravager's gaze snaps in its direction, teeth clenching. Sounded like... a pained yelp. Straining her ears, she listens closer. This time, she hears a loud thwack, followed by another yell. And then shouting; a man, angry. Swallowing a lump in her throat, she follows the sounds through the kitchen, coming out on the other side of large, swinging doors. The back area of the kitchen, now, that's what it looks like. Extra supplies, a sink, and a partially open door to a large, walk-in freezer.
Ravager hurries to the freezer, throwing the door open wide. What she sees makes her stomach twist in a knot. It's Becky, tied to the chair just as in her previous vision, only this time she's in worse condition. Knocked to the floor, several long cuts are open across her forehead, and her nose is twisted at an odd angle, clearly broken. Blood is already starting to pool around her face, some from her nose and some from the large crack on the back of her skull.
The man administering this punishment slowly circles his victim, a steel pipe in hand. One end of his weapon is dripping with fresh droplets of crimson. Ravager recognizes this man now, though. She's seen him before... Riggs, she thinks. Detective Riggs, Kubrick's partner.
Riggs: One last chance to tell me who you're working with. If you cooperate, I'll make it quick. Painless. Refuse... and I get to have a little fun.
With a twisted smile, he takes the end of the pipe and jabs it between Becky's legs, letting out an amused laugh as he does so. Becky grunts, closing her eyes and trying to crawl away, but it's no use. There's nowhere to go.
Son of a b*tch...
Ravager clenches her fists tightly, wanting more than anything to rip that man apart. But she can't do anything right now. This isn't real, it's a vision. She has to find out where she is, has to get there before this happens. Sprinting out of the freezer and kitchen, she heads through the main part of the restaurant until finally pushing outside. The city streets are blank, nothing more than a black, quivering abyss. She isn't here for the sights, though.
Turning around, she stares up at the restaurant's sign. It's blurry, too blurry to read. Taking in a deep breath, she focuses, concentrates... things slowly begin to come into focus. Just a little more...
In the next instant, the entire world fades away, as Ravager comes out of her vision back to the real world. Snapping her eye open, she lurches upright. A sudden stab of pain in her sides causes her to flinch, stumble, but she keeps going. She can't let a few scratches slow her down now.
Int. Marchini's Italian Restaurant – Night
Rebecca Chavez breathes outwardly, trying to come to her senses. Everything is in a haze, after that shot to the head. She can't even remember coming here... one minute, she was fighting tooth and nail against an intruder trying to kidnap her, and the next minute she's waking up here, in some kind of walk-in freezer. Where the hell is she?
Riggs: Rise and shine.
Suddenly, something hard is poking the side of her head. She blinks, glancing to her right to see Detective Riggs stand there, holding a long metal pipe. A few more seconds, and things finally come back into complete focus.
Becky: Pendejo... keep that thing away from me.
Riggs: What, this?
Crack! The pipe smacks into her shoulder, eliciting a sharp cry of pain from her throat. She swallows, gritting her teeth and glaring back at him, shoulder throbbing.
Riggs: Should have just left well enough alone. You'd think after the first couple of times we tried to stop you, you'd get the message. But no, you just had to keep digging.
Becky: Well, I am a curious one. Didn't really think your sloppy work was going to go unnoticed, did you?
Riggs: Just needed it to go unnoticed long enough. Once you're out of the way, that won't be a problem.
Becky: How'd you even find me? I wasn't at my apartment.
Riggs: Those files you stole from Kubrick's computer? They contained a very special virus. As soon as you uploaded them elsewhere, the virus infected your computer. As long as you were connected to the internet, we could track exactly where the virus spread to. Led us right to you.
Becky: Must think you're pretty clever.
Riggs: I do my part. Now tell me, who are you working with?
Becky: You ask that like you expect me to tell you.
Riggs: We know she's come back; 'The Blade'.
Becky: Actually, she prefers Ravager. Just an FYI.
Riggs: Who is she?!
Becky: Go to Hell.
Frowning, Riggs takes a few steps to the side, then suddenly swings his weapon at her. Hard. The pipe caroms off the side of her head, knocking her straight to the floor. She hits with a thud, too dazed to even utter a word of pain. Instead, she just lies there, gazing up at the now spinning room. A cold trickle of blood begins to spread through her hair, dripping onto the floor.
Riggs: Wrong answer. Care to try again?
He holds the tip of the pipe against her chin, eyes narrowing at her. She doesn't say anything, mostly because she's still in a daze from that last blow. He's patient, though, he can wait for her senses to come back to her. He never gets that long, though, as suddenly he's under attack. Without warning, the freezer door flies open and a figure lunges at him, knocking him to the floor. Fists pummel his face, hard and without mercy.
Ravager: Touch another hair on her head and I'll kill you!
For several moments, Ravager remains bloodlusted. Her fists don't stop, driving down against the man's face viciously, beating him to a bloody pulp. She feels bones cracking, blood spurting, but still she doesn't stop. Not until she hears Becky's voice.
Becky: Rose, stop!
Her fist freezes in mid swing, still raised high above her. She breathes in deeply several times, staring down at the man. Riggs' face is a crimson mess, already swelling up. The only sounds he utters are a few, agonized groans, followed by a short, hoarse cough. Swallowing, she moves back off of him and sits on the floor, leaning against her hands.
Ravager: Right... right, we still need him.
Becky: Si... now how about giving me a hand here?
Looking back at her, Ravager scoots forward and quickly unties the bonds holding Becky to the chair. Becky pushes herself up into a sitting position, teetering slightly, as a bubble of nausea finds its way into her gut. Holding a hand to her head, she closes her eyes and inhales.
Ravager: You alright? You're bleeding.
Becky: I'll be okay... just dazed. No big.
Ravager: I'm sorry... I shouldn't have gotten you into this.
Becky: I was already in it before you even got here, remember? Besides, I'm the one that insisted I help.
Ravager: And I let you.
A small smirk comes across Becky's face.
Becky: Like you had a choice. I'm just glad you found me... how did you find me?
Ravager: I'll tell you later. Right now, I need to squeeze a few answers out of mush face over there.
Becky: And then?
Ravager: And then we're going home. I've had enough excitement for one night, and I could use a hot bath.
Becky: Mmm, you and me both.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Night
Rose lies calmly on the bed, trying not to pay attention to how much of a mess her penthouse is. There will be plenty of time to clean it tomorrow, and right now all she wants to do is get some rest. The night had been far more eventful and painful than she wanted. As she sucks in a deep breath of air, she feels Becky's arm come around her, and a light kiss against her neck.
Becky: Does it hurt?
She's referring to the wounds marring Rose's body. They're now at least properly wrapped up, but Becky is still concerned. How can she not be? Her hand gently drifts across Rose's naked midsection, very gently brushing against the bandages. Rose instinctively flinches, her stomach coming inward slightly. Even the slightest touch causes a strong burning pain to ripple through her.
Rose: Nah, it's fine, really... just stings a little. I heal fast, though, so don't worry.
Becky inhales a deep breath, cuddling closer and resting her chin on Rose's shoulder.
Becky: Think I'll take tomorrow off, help you clean up here. Don't really feel like going in with this headache, either.
Rose: Or with Kubrick still on the loose. I messed him up pretty good, but with what he is... for all we know he could be perfectly fine again by tomorrow. I don't think Riggs will be a problem, though.
Becky: Yeah... you really did a number on him.
Rose: He wouldn't talk... and we needed that information. Plus, he hurt you. He was going to kill you. I wasn't letting him get off for that.
Becky: I know, but still... it was hard to watch.
Rose: It's nothing he won't recover from in a month or so. The hospital will take care of him.
Becky: So what's the plan, anyway?
Rose: Tomorrow, we go after their source. We know where they're building those stems now, so we're going to shut them down. And when I say we, I mean me.
Becky: But, Rose-
Rose: No buts, Becky. Even I'm starting to get in over my head here, I'm not putting you in that kind of danger again.
Leaning up on her elbow, Becky frowns at her.
Becky: So what, you're just going to keep me locked up in a protective cage until all this is over? I'm not some helpless kitten that needs to be sheltered.
Rose: I almost lost you today. And that was just to Riggs! What if Kubrick finds you? Or that monster friend of his? What if I'm not there to... I don't want you getting hurt anymore because of me.
Becky: So then teach me.
Becky: You heard me. If I'm not capable of handling myself, then teach me how. Teach me what you do, everything you know.
Becky: You listen to me, Rose Wilson. I like you. I really like you. And I want to be with you, no matter the risk, got that? I'm not going to have you feeling sorry for yourself because you can't protect me, because guess what? You're not always going to be able to. If you really want to make sure that your work doesn't get me hurt, then you teach me how to deal with it.
For several moments, silence comes between the two. Rose is still lying on her back, with Becky poised over her, staring. Rose knows that look, knows when Becky isn't going to let something go. Holding a hand to her forehead, she breathes out a long sigh and closes her eye.
Don't do it. You'll regret it. But she argues with herself. It would be for her own protection. It's not like you'd be taking her out with you every night.
Rose: Alright, fine. Eventually. Something like that isn't going to happen over night, it takes time... a lot of time. Hell, I've had a whole lifetime. But I have to move on those stems tomorrow, and I'm not leaving you alone again while this is going on. If I promise to train you, can you please agree to stay safe until this is over?
Inhaling deeply, Becky purses her lips, thinking. Her eyes continue to stare into Rose's, until finally she sighs and nods.
Becky: Si, I can do that.
Rose: Good... I know just how to do it, too. But we can deal with that tomorrow. For now... I just want to get some sleep.
Int. Silverstone City General Hospital – Night
The hospital room is dark and quiet, the only sounds being the steady beeping from the heart monitor. Riggs takes in a deep breath and slowly lets it out, barely awake. The drugs they put him on really took him for a loop, but they didn't quite knock him out. The whole room is swirling, rippling... but at least there's no pain. His thoughts are still clear, though. He still remembers the b*tch that put him here. When he gets out, one way or another he's going to make her pay. First, he'll carve up Rebecca, maybe leave a few remains behind for The Blade to find. Then, when he gets his hands on her... oh he'll have some fun alright.
As he lies there, lost in his thoughts, he doesn't notice the door opening. He doesn't even notice that anyone else has entered the room until a figure appears in his vision, standing over him.
Kubrick: I heard you were here. What happened?
Riggs: That b*tch... one with the swords... did this.
Kubrick: I see... yes, I can certainly believe that. But you did at least take care of Chavez, correct?
Riggs: I... couldn't... she stopped me...
Kubrick utters a small sigh, slowly shaking his head.
Kubrick: Couldn't even complete the one job I assigned to you... and she probably got the location of our base out of you, didn't she?
Riggs: She... I could help it... had to...
Kubrick: Now look at you, lying in a hospital bed, useless. Very unfortunate. Looks like we don't have need for you anymore.
Riggs: What... what are you...?
Kubrick: Although, there is one thing you might be good for... I am still rather hungry.
And then it happens. The man standing in front of him, the man known as Kubrick, transforms into a monster. That's the only way to describe it. A hulking mass of fur and claws, some kind of wolf beast. If he could scream, he would, but his voice catches in his throat. The last thing he sees is Kubrick's snarling jaws snapping down at him.
Chapter #38 Preview: With people, or rather, monsters, like Kubrick in the Fist of Shadows, Ravager needs help in taking them down. She manages to acquire some assistance from Gotham, but she won't like who it is! Read the next chapter to find out who, as Ravager and her unexpected new ally go after the enemy's base.
Int. Rose's Penthouse Suite – Day
Rose holds the phone to her ear, as she works her way around the living room, picking up overturned furniture, sweeping up broken glass, vacuuming, and pretty much cleaning every corner of the place. Riggs really tore the place apart when he came to get Becky. Whether it was a product of their fight, or whether he was looking for something, she doesn't know. Either way, she has several hours of cleaning ahead of her at least.
Rose: So, you're okay with it?
The response on the other line is calm, yet caring.
Dick/Phone: Of course, whatever you need. Send her out this afternoon, and I'll keep her safe until you're done with whatever it is you're dealing with.
Rose: Yeah, whatever, is right... Thanks, though. I don't think any place in this city is safe for her right now, not after the lengths they've gone to trying to kill her already.
Dick/Phone: And do you still not need any help?
Rose: I'm... not sure. I thought I was fine, but after last night...
Dick/Phone: What happened?
Rose: What do you know about werewolves?
Rose: I know it's a stupid question, just answer it.
Dick/Phone: Actually, it's not as dumb as you might think... I've encountered one before.
Rose: You have?
Dick/Phone: Yes, or rather I worked with one; long time ago. His name was Kyle Abbot... though I'm not certain if he was a werewolf in the sense most people think. Why do you ask?
Rose: Because I fought one last night, goes by the name of Michael Kubrick. One minute he was just a man, and the next he transformed at will, not exactly your full moon type.
Dick/Phone: I see...
Rose: And then there was that friend of his, some kind of shark alien chick. I don't know what the hell she was, but same deal. Perfectly human one minute, and then freak monster the next.
Dick/Phone: Well, I can't help you on the “shark alien”, but if this Kubrick is in fact infected with some form of lycanthropy, and isn't just a shapeshifter, I'd try silver. From what I've heard, it's like poison to them.
Rose: Silver, huh? Pretty sure I can round up some of that.
Dick/Phone: Oh, and try not to let him bite you. That's how some strains of the lycanthropy virus are spread, through the host's saliva.
Rose freezes, her back suddenly stiffening. She swallows, glancing down at her forearm, the one bitten by Kubrick last night. The noticeable physical damage is already beginning to heal, pretty normal for her, and the regular pain is dull. But it still burns. Somewhere deeper in the wound, it's like fire.
No, can't be... just being paranoid.
Rose: Uh, yeah, right, I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
Dick/Phone: You're welcome. Now, I'll be sending someone out to assist you later on. She'll be there tonight.
Rose: I'll keep a lookout. Becky will be by later, too, I've already given her the address.
Dick/Phone: Sounds good. Later, Rose.
With that, he hangs up and the connection clicks off. Taking in a deep breath, she gives another cursory glance to her bandaged arm, then stuffs her phone in her pocket and continues cleaning. A short while later, Becky exits out of the bedroom, hair wet and dressed in nothing but a towel, having just finished up a shower.
Becky: So, what's the dark and mysterious Batman say?
Rose: It's all taken care of, you're good to go as soon as you're ready.
Becky: And you're sure you'll be fine?
Rose: No worries here. If all goes according to plan, this will end tonight. I just need to stop Shao... Kubrick, too. Once the head's been cut off, the snake dies.
Becky: Yet the head can still bite, so be careful.
Rose: I will be.
Moving across the room, Becky approaches casually and wraps her arms around Rose, pulling her in and smiling.
Leaning closer, she plants her lips firmly against Rose's, pushing them both back against the couch. In the process, Becky's towel falls to the floor.
Becky: Then before I go, let's have a little fun, ah?
Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night
Leaning back against the rooftop parapet, Ravager looks up towards the sky. Any minute now, that's when Dick said that his 'help' would arrive. Of course, he hadn't exactly been specific on just who that person is. All she knows is that it's a 'she'. Probably Batgirl, which doesn't exactly lift Ravager's spirits. That's just what she needs when battling a master martial artist, a werewolf, and a shark alien; an excitable, overeager spaz.
A short moment later, it appears on the horizon. At first, it's just a small glow of light, but soon the aircraft approaches into full view. It's the Bat-Jet, alright. Definitely Batgirl, then. Taking in a deep breath, Ravager tries to mentally prepare herself on how to deal with this woman, while she watches the jet hover momentarily and then descend to park itself on the rooftop. When the cockpit begins to open, she pushes herself away from the parapet and walks towards it... only to freeze in mid stride when she sees the person getting out of the jet.
Ravager: You have got to be kidding me.
Not Batgirl, no. A different member of the Bat Family, and one that is unfortunately very familiar. Her outfit is modified since they last met, but the stylish domino mask around her eyes does little to conceal her actual identity. The rest of the costume is almost the same, all black with a gold bat symbol and utility belt, though the cape is pretty torn and shredded. Whether by design or from normal wear and tear, she can't tell.
Ravager: What the hell are you doing here?
Cassandra: I was sent here.
Ravager: No, I get that, but why you?
It's not exactly a secret that these two women don't get along well, so why on earth had Dick decided to send her?
Cassandra: Because Batman thought I would best be able to help you. If you have a problem with that, take it up with him. In the meantime, we have a job to do.
Grumbling slightly under her breath, Ravager turns away and begins walking across the rooftop towards the other side.
Ravager: Fine, just try to keep up.
Cassandra: I can do more than keep up; you know that.
Leaping down into an alley, Ravager makes her way between the line of buildings, stepping around garbage and climbing over a chain-link fence. Naturally, Cassandra keeps pace with her the entire way, with little effort.
Ravager: So what am I supposed to call you, anyway? Or are there two Batgirls now?
Cassandra: I go by Black Bat now.
Stopping, Ravager slowly turns her head to stare at the woman.
Ravager: Uh uh, no way, I'm not calling you that.
Cassandra: And why not?
Ravager: Seriously? Black Bat? Were you that short on ideas that you just took a color and threw it in front of the word “bat”? It's almost as bad as Red Robin.
Cassandra: I don't see the problem with it. Call me by it or don't, it doesn't matter.
Ravager: If you were that desperate for a codename, I could have come up with a few... like Batb*tch. Yeah, I think that suits you.
Folding her arms, Ravager sneers slightly, trying to get a read on the woman. Cassandra's expression doesn't change, though. Indifferent, stolid.
Cassandra: Black Bat is fine.
Ravager: Whatever, it's still lame, and I'm still not calling you by it.
Cassandra: And Ravager is a better name?
Ravager: Of course it's a- what the hell's wrong with Ravager?
Without saying anything, Cassandra simply turns away and continues making her way down the alley. Ravager blinks a couple times, then chases after her.
Ext. S.T.A.R. Labs Storage Warehouse – Night
It all made sense, after she'd found out where the stems were being manufactured. The day she and Becky had searched this place and encountered that controlled guy dressed as a ninja. He hadn't been breaking in to steal anything, he'd just been running home to his puppeteers. Had it been a test run? Maybe. Or just another malfunction that made him go running around the city in broad daylight dressed like that. Either way, those two that had taken him that day hadn't been his backup, they had just already been there.
And how Shao had 'known' that Ravager would come back. He hadn't known at all. He'd just stopped by to check on progress, and they happened to cross paths. At least, that's how Ravager put it together now in her head. Either way, it's pretty straightforward. Get in, break up the operation, and get out. If Shao is there, then it's a bonus; means she doesn't have to go hunting him down later. She's ready for him this time.
The two women keep low, moving through the shadows and making their way to the side of the building.
Cassandra: So, the woman you sent to Batman for protection... a friend?
Cassandra: Ah, right. He told me that you were a cop now.
Ravager: Uh, not anymore actually. I meant the other kind of partner.
Blinking, Cassandra gives her a brief, but curious, look.
Cassandra: Oh... I see. Didn't take you as the type, what with your tendency to-
Rose: Flirt with guys? Yeah, I know, I came on strong sometimes. But a little while ago, I realized something... why should I let something stupid like gender get in the way of someone I like?
Cassandra: Yes, well... I was going to say: your tendency to throw yourself naked at men in their beds. But whatever works for you.
Slowly turning her head, Ravager glares hotly.
Ravager: That was one time. And I was drunk. And he kicked me out anyway!
Cassandra continues to stare back at her.
Ravager: Okay, it was several times. But I was only naked that once! Ugh, come on, we're wasting time.
Int. S.T.A.R. Labs Storage Warehouse – Night
It's dark inside, as expected. Ravager clicks a button on her belt, causing the lens on her mask to switch over to night vision and allowing her to see just fine. How Cassandra manages to keep pace without stumbling over herself is a mystery, but whatever. After a quick descent down the stairs, they find themselves in the main storage area. This isn't their destination, however. According to Riggs, their actual base is located in an underground cave system below the building, the entrance to which is across the room and down another set of stairs.
As Ravager and Cassandra make their way in that direction, however, they are suddenly interrupted. Ravager freezes, as her precog goes off, a hand flying out to Cassandra's shoulder, who stops as well. Kneeling down, Ravager carefully inspects seemingly thin air. However, she sees it clearly now that she's paying attention to it: an almost invisibly thin line of wire running across the aisle in front of them.
Ravager: Trip wire. Probably rigged with explosives.
Standing straight again, Ravager goes to step over the wire, only to feel Cassandra's hand come to her shoulder this time and pull her back.
Cassandra: There's a second one right behind it. There.
Ravager stares down and sees the second trip wire, right in the path of where her foot had been coming down. Narrowing her eyes, she turns and gives Cassandra a small glare, then carefully steps over that one as well. Keeping her gaze pointed forward, she continues down the aisle of crates and pallets. It should be around here somewhere... they're looking for a small grate in the floor, one covering up the secret entrance to the caves.
And that's when she realizes that they aren't alone. Cassandra notices it, too, suddenly tensing up and going on guard. It wasn't her precog that gave it away, though, no. Just... a feeling, a feeling that suddenly, something was different. Glancing upward, she sees them. A lot of them, standing atop the surrounding shelves and stacks of pallets. She assumes that they're all controlled, just like the others, but either way she counts at least fifty ninjas. Yeah, ninjas. For a brief moment, she feels as though she's in a badly written comic book.
Ravager: You take the ones on the left, I'll take the ones on the right?
Cassandra: I can deal with that. And remember, try not to kill them.
Ravager: Hmph, I'll do more than try.
And then they attack. The ninjas all jump down, coming at the two in swarms. A shame, really, Ravager had half been hoping that they'd do the whole 'one a time' thing. No such luck. Still, it isn't anything she can't handle. She finds that they all move incredibly slow, relatively speaking. When they come in to attack, she barely even has to move to avoid them, countering with staggering blows. She doesn't pay attention to how Cassandra fairs; she doesn't have to. She can sense it, rather, that Cassandra is tearing through her opponents with similar ease.
The two allies move around each other, as the enemy group closes in on them. They cover each other's backs, assist when needed, and keep the other alive. In spite of their overall distaste for each other, they work surprisingly well together. Within several minutes, every last ninja is on the ground, either unconscious or rolling around in pain, unable to stand.
Ravager: Not bad... for a Batb*ch.
Cassandra: Likewise... for, well, you.
Ravager glares again, hands coming to her hips. She can't decide if that comment brings Cassandra up a notch in her book, or down. After a short few seconds, she turns to continue through the warehouse.
Ravager: Come on, we have to- Look out!
In a sudden flash of precog, Ravager moves back towards Cassandra and tackles her, knocking them both out of the way of an incoming attack. The large brown fur ball descends upon them, missing his target and instead colliding with the floor. Unfazed by it, the figure recovers and moves in again for an attack, but Ravager is ready, swinging up one of her blades. She misses, though, as the attacker dodging backwards.
Kubrick: Not that time. I know your moves now, girl. This time, I tear you apart!
A second later, another form leaps down from above them, this one going for Cassandra. With little effort, Cassandra avoids the incoming claws and prepares to defend herself against the new attacker. It's that Zaria woman, Kubrick's friend. And just like Kubrick, she's already transformed, in all her blue skinned, scaly, razor toothed glory.
Cassandra: Werewolves and shark monsters. That's new.
Ravager: Tell me about it.
Zaria shrieks and lunges in again for an attack.
Zaria: I am a Celarian, you ignorant sow!
Cassandra ducks around the incoming strikes easily enough, though she's working for it this time. Zaria's motions are fast, vicious, and unpredictable. Well, unpredictable to anyone other than Cassandra and Ravager, both of whom have their own ways of figuring out attacks before they happen. Ravager isn't dealing with Zaria, though. Kubrick is the one she gets to contend with, lucky her. Kubrick pounces forward, claws outstretched, but Ravager rolls beneath him. He lands on two feet, turns and slices at her again. Ravager ducks below it, then flicks her sword out, cutting the underside of his arm. Recoiling, Kubrick, takes a few moments to circle her, studying her.
Ravager: I guess you heal pretty fast, I could have sworn I crippled your ass last night.
Kubrick: One of the benefits to what I am.
Ravager: And just what are you, huh? Shape shifter, right? Thought the whole wolf motif was cool?
If a wolf could sneer, Kubrick would be doing so right now.
Kubrick: I think you already know. By the way, how's your arm?
Ravager flinches, glancing down briefly at her forearm. Beneath her armor, it's still bandaged tightly. Most of the pain is gone, sure, and she regained most of its functionality by that night, but that deep, dull burning still lingers, and it's not going away. Bringing her gaze back up to Kubrick again, she charges him. She isn't going to wait for him to attack again, no. This time, she's the one on the offensive.
Kubrick is fast and agile, sure, but so is Ravager. He might have her beat on pure strength, but she has a lot of something he doesn't have: skill. His actions are wild, unfocused. Hers are graceful, precise. She also has a secret weapon that she just happened to bring with her for this occasion. Ducking below another one of his attacks, she thrusts one of her blades forward, piercing him through the shoulder. Kubrick emits a howl of pain, but at the same time digs his claws into her backside, pulling her towards him.
That's what she's waiting for. Reaching into her belt, she pulls out a small round pellet, something she cooked up earlier. Hitting him square in the face, the pellet explodes in a shiny mist, the cloud engulfing his head. Theoretically, it should take him down...
So long as it works... please work.
Instantly, Kubrick releases her, reeling backwards and clawing at his face in agony. Low, scratchy growls of pain erupt from his throat, as the furry beast collapses to the floor, twitching and slowly transforming back to his human form. He begins to cough, spraying the floor with blood droplets.
Kubrick: Wha- What did you do to me?! What is this?!
Ravager lets out a small groan, feeling the burn of the fresh claw marks across her back. But she's still smirking, arms folding across her chest.
Ravager: Ionized colloidal silver. Heard it was like poison to you guys... looks like it is.
With Kubrick currently incapacitated, Ravager turns to where Cassandra had been fighting Zaria. She catches sight of them just in time to see Cassandra move underneath one of the monster's incoming claw strike, and then deliver a crippling blow to the back of the neck. Zaria goes down hard, landing flat on her face and rapidly changing back to her tattooed, human form. Uttering a small, annoyed breath, Cassandra stands straight and brings her hands to her hips, refraining from so much as grimacing, in spite of the several long claw marks slashing across her torso and tearing her costume open.
Ravager: So what took you so long?
Cassandra: Yours didn't have a tail with barbs on it.
Ravager: Fair enough.
After taking a short respite to get their breath back, the two women continue through the warehouse, to the entrance into the underground tunnels.
Chapter #39 Preview: Ravager and Cassandra finally catch up to Shao's operation, but will they be able to stop it? Next time, it's Ravager vs. Shao Shen - round two!
Int. Underground Cave System – Night
It's dark, dank, and quiet, about what anyone would expect from a series of underground tunnels below the city. Where they came from or who built them is a mystery, but Shao Shen and his Fist of Shadows have been using it as their hideout. One would think that they'd string up a line of lights or something so they could see where they were going, but apparently ninjas can see in pitch darkness. Not even Ravager's night vision lens is helping, considering there has to at least be some amount of light, no matter how dim, for it to work. Here, there's just blackness. Instead, she and Cassandra glide their hands along the tunnel wall, using it as a marker to figure out where they're going.
Eventually, however, the darkness is broken. At first, it's just a tiny glow in the distance, but the illumination gradually grows as they approach. Soon, they are able to see clearly, as the tunnel empties out into what looks like a man-made hallway, like what one would find in a building, complete with florescent lights on the ceiling to light the way. The corridor is completely flat and empty, though, no doors or windows, no furniture, nothing. Just long white walls.
Ravager: And I thought a hospital was about as depressing as it got... they could at least throw up some pictures, or something, to spruce this place up...
Cassandra: Are you really contemplating how to best decorate the enemy base?
Ravager: Wha- no, I'm just thinking out loud. Shut up.
Continuing down the corridor, they keep their eyes peeled for... well, anything, really. Not that there's much to see. The hallway has no turns, no bends, no markings, no nothing. All they can do is follow it straight to wherever it leads. That turns out to be some kind of laboratory, or engineering station. Ravager doesn't really know how to describe it, but eventually the tunnel empties out into a large room with all kinds of mechanical and medical equipment, tools, devices, and the like. As for the workers, they're nowhere to be found.
Ravager: Looks like this is where they made those stems...
Cassandra: But they're not here, nor are the 'stems' that you keep referring to. Batman told me that they can control minds?
Ravager: Yeah, something like that, though there's a lot more to it. All you need to know, though, is that we can't let Shao finish working out the kinks and proceeding with whatever his plan is. If it involves mind control, it can't be good.
Cassandra: Looks like we may be a little late, in that case. If the workers are not here, it probably means they don't need to be. Unless the villains are now in the practice of giving their subordinates time off.
Ravager: Doubtful. Let's keep looking.
Int. Vehicle Storage Building – Night
Danny looks back and forth frantically, as the workers hurry to load the massive semi-trailer truck full of their work. He so did not sign up for this when that weird guy with the ponytail hired them. He's a simple sort of guy. He does the work he's paid for, doesn't ask any questions. But being invaded by a couple of psycho-b*tches who want to beat the crap out of them was not in the job description! And now they have to relocate as many of the completed stems as possible before those two women get to them.
After all, said psycho-b*tches have already torn through most of Shao's personal guard back in the warehouse. The security cameras had shown them as much. A few scientists and technicians are hardly qualified to go up against that kind of crazy.
Danny: Come on people, move! Faster! We have to get this stuff loaded and out of here before they show up!
Ravager: A little late for that.
Poor Danny utters a loud yelp, turning around to see both crazy women standing right behind him, having come up through the rear access tunnel that leads into the underground work station. He tries to run, but a swift kick to the head by Cassandra knocks him out cold. He never had a chance. Walking forward, Ravager cracks her knuckles.
Ravager: Alright, we can do this the easy way, or we can do it the fun way. What's it gonna be?
Answering her question, the workers start running around in a panic, grabbing a few supplies on the way by and disappearing. A few of them load up what they can in the back of the truck before taking off. Placing her hands on her hips, Ravager lets out a disappointed sigh.
Ravager: Man, I was really hoping for the fun way.
Cassandra: I wouldn't complain. We got what we came for.
Ravager: True... but my job isn't over, not yet. Doesn't look like Shao is here, so I still have a lot of weeding out to do.
A voice from above, however, gives her other ideas.
Shao: Are you so sure, Miss Blade?
Looking up, they spot the man himself, Shao Shen, standing atop the back of the semi-trailer. At his side are two other ninja-esque goons, only these couple are garbed in red, instead of the traditional black.
So, either they're a step above the others, or they're red shirt fodder... Somehow I don't think it's the latter.
Ravager: It's Ravager, actually.
Shao: Ah, my mistake. Miss Ravager, then.
Cassandra: So, this is the guy who humbled you?
Ravager: He's a lot tougher than he looks... But this time, I'm ready for him.
Shao: I'm afraid your preparedness will have to be for naught. I've already defeated you, and have no interest in fighting again. You, however...
He's looking at Cassandra now. Jumping down from the back of the truck, he lands softly on the balls of his feet, maintaining perfect balance.
Shao: I see something when I look at you, something great. Perhaps you can challenge me.
Cassandra: I guess we'll find out.
Shao: So we shall. In the meantime, dispose of Ravager, please.
On command, the two red cloaked ninjas leap down as well, landing in front of Ravager and attacking. Ravager moves back, defending from both sides as they move in. Yeah, they're definitely a step above the others. The way they move, the way they coordinate their attacks... she hasn't seen anything like it before. From what she can gather, they might only be a small improvement over Shao's other forces on their own, but together, they're quite amazing.
It's a good thing, then, that Ravager is no slouch herself. A couple months ago, this combo probably would have had her playing cautiously, defensively. Might have even beaten her. But now, it just makes for a good work out. She doesn't play it safe, doesn't back away. Instead, she goes straight in. They come in hard, she comes back harder, right at them. Her knuckles batter jaws, boots crash into chests, elbows break noses. It takes two minutes tops to put them on the floor.
Brushing her hands off, she takes in a deep breath and turns back to where Cassandra had been fighting... and instantly lets out a small sigh. Somehow, she had been hoping for a different outcome. Standing there with one hand clasped behind his back, Shao holds up a dazed Cassandra, his grip on the front of her cape.
Shao: I see you have improved, Ravager. A pity, though, that it comes too late. Your friend here put up more of a challenge than you did when we fought, though not much more, granted.
Ravager: Put her down, and I'll show you a real challenge this time.
Shao: I am afraid that won't be required. I have no further need to waste my time with you. Consider this one last chance to walk away; continue to pursue me, and I will show no such mercy again.
On those words, he tosses Cassandra back over in front of Ravager, then begins to move back towards the truck, closing the rear doors of it. Frowning, Ravager begins moving towards him, ready to tear him a new one.
Ravager: Like hell.
Before she can get to him, however, she finds herself under attack again. Precog flickering through her head, she jumps to the side, spinning out of the way of an incoming sword that would have taken her arm off. Or her head. The red ninjas are on their feet again, having recovered astoundingly quickly for how hard she hit them, and they don't show any signs of lingering injuries. Uttering an annoyed shout, she attacks the nearest one and beats on him repeatedly, this time making sure that he won't wake up. By the time she's finished with him, though, the large garage door to the building is opened, and the truck is rumbling out into the street.
The second red ninja didn't even try to attack her, instead completely bypassing her and hopping into the driver's seat, while Shao hangs onto the passenger door, just watching her momentarily before finally entering the vehicle. Springing forward, Ravager takes off in a dead sprint towards the truck. She just needs to reach the back end of it before it gets too far, then she can jump on and find a way to stop it. Just a little more...
On a good day, her top speed on foot is somewhere around thirty-five miles per hour. But that's only when she's in perfect condition. With nagging injuries from the past two days combined, she isn't in perfect condition. She hits maybe two thirds of her top speed, managing to gain on the truck for a short while, even comes to within two arms length away from it. But then the truck finally begins to go faster, putting distance between them. In a desperate attempt, she leaps forward, fingers outstretched in attempts to grab on... all she grasps is air, falling flat against the ground. Just a couple more inches and she would have had it.
Ravager: Damn it!
With an angry shout, she beats her fist against the ground, slowly pushing herself up to her hands and knees. She doesn't even realize that Cassandra managed to stumble outside with her at first.
Cassandra: Okay, you were right... he was a lot tougher than he looked.
Ravager: Yeah, and now he's getting away!
Cassandra: Not if I have anything to say about it.
Reaching to her utility belt, Cassandra pulls out a small device and pushes the button, causing it to start blinking with a red light.
Ravager: What's that?
Cassandra: A tracking beacon. I have a jet, remember?
Ext. Silverstone City Streets – Night
The Bat-Jet zips through through the night air at astounding speed, racing off in the direction that Shao's truck of supplies went. They should be able to catch up to him shortly, though Ravager isn't too thrilled about the current seating conditions. Practically squashed behind the pilot's seat, she is forced to contort her body awkwardly in order to fit inside the cockpit. Needless to saw, she has an uncomfortable frown on her face the entire way.
Ravager: You know, with more money than he knows what to do with, I would think that Dick could install a passenger's seat in his vehicles.
Cassandra: If I had known I'd be carrying a passenger, I would have taken the larger model.
Ravager: And why do you get the big comfy seat, huh?
Cassandra: Because I'm the only one of us who knows how to fly the jet.
Ravager: ...alright, dumb question, admittedly. Just hurry up already, I'm not losing this b**tard again.
Cassandra: You think you can beat him?
Ravager: Please, I know I can beat his sorry ass.
Cassandra: I see...
Ravager: Gee, try not to sound so convinced.
Cassandra: Well, he has already defeated you once before. He even defeated me... and I've beaten you before, too.
Ravager: That was one time. Back when I was, like, sixteen. I would have beaten you the second time if we hadn't been interrupted!
Cassandra: I guess we'll never know.
Ravager: Hey, you want to settle things? Any time, any place. I'd be quite happy to smack you around a little.
Cassandra: Perhaps later; the truck is coming into view now.
Ravager: Good, get into position.
They're flying low over the highway now, up on the overpass that runs through the center of the city. Fortunately, a large semi-trailer truck isn't exactly the easiest thing to lose. Compared to the Bat-Jet, it moves along at a snail's pace. Cassandra moves the aircraft in over the truck, matching speeds and then flipping the jet over. Flying upside down now, Cassandra hits a button on the dash, causing the cockpit to slide open.
While the seat straps keep Cassandra firmly in place, Ravager falls out immediately, twisting her body around and drawing her swords in mid air. Hitting the top of the trailer, she stabs both blades into it, using them to stabilize herself and keep from tumbling off the side onto the highway. A few moments of adjustment, and she is able to stand up and begin walking across the top of the truck towards the front. Cassandra, meanwhile, flips the jet back around the right way, closes the cockpit, and follows from above.
Ravager moves forward cautiously, careful of her steps and swaying with each jerk that the rig makes. What she is not expecting, however, is for Shao to suddenly crawl out the passenger side window and flip himself up onto the top of the truck himself. His actions are almost inhuman, the way he launches himself through the air, maintains perfect aerial balance, and lands on top of the truck without so much as a stumble.
Shao: Should have walked away, Ravager. I did warn you.
Ravager: Yeah, yeah, so you told me. You know, I'm really starting to get annoyed with the sound of your voice. I think it's time I shut you up.
Shao: By all means, you are welcome to try. Just remember, this time I fight to kill.
Battling atop a semi-trailer truck speeding down a busy highway. Not quite what Ravager had in mind for her final showdown with Shao Shen, but there's no use complaining about it now. She watches as he takes a defensive stance, readying himself for her attack. While she would love to wait and have him come at her first, she knows that isn't going to happen. She has to make the first move, just like last time. Only difference is, this time, she has a lot more at her disposal.
Keeping her balance, Ravager runs across the surface of the trailer and lunges forward, starting to bring her hand back as if to punch, but suddenly twisting her body instead to deliver a spinning kick. Shao tries to remain calm, uninterested, but she sees it in his eyes: surprise. He hadn't been expecting such an unorthodox approach. One thing that Rose realizes, though, is that when attacking him, unorthodox is the only way to go.
She doesn't know if it's pure skill or some kind of enhanced ability, but Shao's combat speed is off the charts. If she just comes straight at him with attacks, he'll likely block or dodge them all, just as he did before. In order to hit him, in order to beat him, she has to mix it up, and it looks like it's starting to work. Her attacks have him actually working to defend himself this time. She can tell by the harshness of his blocks, the wide look in his eyes... but in the end, he still does block everything she throws at him.
Now it's time for Ravager to go on the defensive. When they fought before, Shao's counterattack had been so viciously fast that not even her precog could keep up with it or give her a chance of dodging. It forced her to rely on pure skill and muscle memory, neither of which had helped her keep up. This time, though, she sees the whole fight better than before. Her precog still can't keep up, so she ignores it. Instead, she fights through sheer instinct and reflexes. The fact that her natural attributes are already enhanced beyond normal levels only serves to help her cause.
Ravager's mind is barely even able to process all the actions they both make, but her body reacts just the same. He makes an attack, she dodges. She makes an attack, he blocks. So many actions, all in mere seconds, and neither combatant lands a blow. During one particularly wild exchange, Ravager pushes herself back a little, sliding across the top of the truck and very nearly falling over. She remains standing, however, and takes a moment to herself before pressing another attack.
Shao: I see you really have improved, and by much more than you could have accomplished in a mere month and a half... tell me, just where did you learn all that in such a short amount of time?
Ravager: Sorry, it's a secret.
Shao: Very well. In that case...
Darting forward again, Shao leaps through the air, a risky maneuver on the back of a moving semi. And yet his precision is astounding, delivering a perfect flying kick straight at his foe. Ravager brings her hands up to block, but the impact pushes her back a step. This step happens to come at the same time the truck takes a sudden turn, causing her feet to stumble a little to the side. In order to catch her balance, she falls to one knee, a hand coming down to stabilize herself. That's all Shao needs, spinning around with another whipping kick that smacks directly into her jaw and sends her rolling across the back of the trailer.
Suddenly, Ravager is falling. She just plain ran out of truck, sliding all the way off and plummeting towards the highway below. In a reflexive motion, her hand darts out for something to grab on to, fingers just barely managing to grip the handle on the rear doors. In the same motion, the latch unhooks, causing the doors to swing open. Ravager quickly struggles to get a better grip on the door handle, so she doesn't slip into a probably very painful landing. Briefly, she brings a finger up to her ear and presses down on her comm link.
Ravager: Hey, Batb*tch! A little help here!
Cassandra/Comm: Well, since you asked so nicely...
The Bat-Jet flying above gradually swoops down lower, over to where Ravager is hanging. The passing cars swerve out of the way, honking their horns, while their drivers yell profanity out their windows. Frowning, Ravager glances down at some of said passing cars. One driver in particular throws up a middle finger on his way by.
Ravager: Hey, screw you, buddy!
When the jet is in proper position, Ravager pushes herself off and grabs onto the aircraft. She very nearly slides right off, before finding a suitable place to get a grip. Cassandra then flies the jet higher, back up over the truck, where Ravager jumps off again and lands with a thud. Shao is still there, waiting for her with his hands clasped behind his back.
Shao: Welcome back.
Ravager: Bite me.
Raising her hands again, Ravager takes a fighting stance and inches herself towards him. Going against him in straight hand to hand hasn't been working so far, so she needs to improvise. If she can get him on the ground, maybe... With a sudden idea, she charges him. Shao brings his guard up, preparing to block her attacks again. Unfortunately for him, she isn't planning on throwing a kick or a punch, or anything like that, no. She figures he won't be prepared to block her entire body.
Leaping forward, she lowers her shoulder and lets the momentum take her. Shao's hands move up to guard himself, but he figures out too late that she isn't attacking normally. Instead, he takes a few quick steps back and pushes his arms forward to try and throw her away, but she adapts. Upon impact, she grabs hold of his arms, disabling him from diverting her direction, and dragging him off his feet with her. They both fall to the top of the truck hard, rolling a few times near the edge.
Ravager rights herself first, sliding into place over Shao, as he flips himself back to his feet. On the way up, her boot catches his gut in midair and sends him straight back down. She mounts him now, trying to give him nowhere to go, and delivers several strong punches to his face. She feels his nose break, lips split... and then his legs suddenly come up and wrap around her neck from behind, pulling her off of him.
This time, he makes it back to his feet and leaps at her again, fists raised to deliver a crushing blow to her skull. But she's ready for him. Falling purposefully backwards, she grabs onto his shoulders, plants her boot against his chest, and then flips him up through the air over her. Shao lets out a desperate cry, as he falls over the edge of the truck, just barely grabbing hold with his fingertips. Taking a few moments to gather himself, he kicks off against the side of the trailer and hoists himself back up top...
Right into Ravager's awaiting fist. She doesn't hold back, either, throwing everything she has into it. Her knuckles smash against the side of his face, knocking him straight to his backside and out cold. Taking a few steps forward, Ravager reaches down and lifts the man up by his collar.
Ravager: I told you, didn't I?
Cassandra: So you did. Impressive.
Ravager: Alright, come back in and pick this a**hole up. I have a truck to stop.
Chapter #40 Preview: For quite a while, Ravager has been on Silverstone City's police watch list, wanted for various crimes tied to her vigilante career. But with her recent return and capture of an underground secret criminal organization's leader, can she shade herself in a new light in the police eye? And just who is Michael Kubrick really working for? Find out in the next chapter!
Ext. Silverstone City Park – Night
Police Chief Gerald Palmer stands calmly beneath the lamp post, checking his watch. It isn't often that he's called up in the middle of the night to come meet secretly with someone who claims to have information about an underground criminal organization. He also can't fathom why this supposed informant would call his home number, instead of the police station, but the voice on the other line sounded urgent. That being said, just where the hell is she?
That's when he sees the silhouette appear at the edge of the lamp light. The figure stands there for a moment in the shadows, watching. Raising an arm up, Chief Palmer tries to block some of the light from his eyes and get a better look.
Chief Palmer: You the one I spoke to on the phone?
Woman: That's me, yeah.
Chief Palmer: So why don't you step into the light, where I can see you?
Woman: I plan to, in a minute. I just need you to not overreact when I do.
Chief Palmer: The hell you talking about?
On that note, the woman slowly walks forward, stopping only for a brief moment at the edge of the light and then stepping into it. She stops about five paces away from the man. Chief Palmer's eyes go wide, instantly recognizing who it is.
Chief Palmer: You! You're The Blade!
Ravager: It's Ravager, actually... people really need to start getting that right.
Hand flying to his hip, Chief Palmer draws his gun, something he brought as insurance, just in case this little meeting was a setup, as it now appears to be.
Chief Palmer: Hands on your head, now! On your knees!
Ravager: See, now that's overreacting.
With a motion far too quick for the chief to react, Ravager snatches the gun out of his hand, empties the clip, and then pops the chambered round out. She then hands him back the empty shell of a weapon.
Ravager: Wanna try that again?
Chief Palmer: What...
Ravager: I came here to talk, not to get arrested.
Chief Palmer: You expect me to let you go after what you've done around here? Just because you disappeared for a while doesn't mean your crimes went with you!
Ravager: I can explain all of that, if you'll just listen. Are you going to listen?
Pausing briefly, Chief Palmer glances down at the useless gun in his hand.
Chief Palmer: Suppose I don't have a choice, do I?
And so she tells him everything, about how she had been forced to commit those crimes in order to save the life of a friend, about how she was the one that tipped them off about Jerry and his operations, and all about the Fist of Shadows, Shao Shen, Kubrick and Riggs' part in everything, and the mind control stems that they'd been creating. She of course leaves out key details, though, like her identity, Becky's involvement, and the fact that Kubrick is a werewolf.
When she finishes, Chief Palmer looks about as confused and amazed as a man can possibly be, blinking back at her and running his fingers through his hair.
Chief Palmer: That is... quite the story, Miss...
Chief Palmer: Right, Ravager. So, you're telling me that some secret ninja society has been working under our very noses to come up with a way to mind control innocent people to further their objectives?
Ravager: That's the gist of it, yeah.
Chief Palmer: And Stevens...
Ravager: Was likely being manipulated by one of the stems. He's a complete dunce... but an innocent one.
Chief Palmer: You say that like you know him.
Ravager: I, uh... have my ways.
Chief Palmer: And you're telling me now that you want my approval to continue running around this city as a masked vigilante?
Ravager: Not really your approval, no. I'm going to be doing it either way. I'm just trying to get on good terms with you before I do. Believe me when I tell you that I only want to help this city.
Chief Palmer: And why should I believe you?
Ravager: Because I stopped Jeremiah Belmont and his operations. Because I stopped the Fist of Shadows. Because I exposed two dirty detectives in your station. Because I have helped countless other people during my time here in Silverstone, and saved God knows how many lives.
Chief Palmer: So you say.
Ravager: Listen, I may not act within the strictest confines of the law, but that's what you need around here. If I've done anything, it's at least show you that there are some things that go on in Silverstone that the police can't always stop. I can do the things that you can't. Let me help you.
For a long moment, Chief Palmer stares at her, studying her. Every instinct he has as a cop tells him in his gut not to listen to her, to just throw the cuffs on her now and take her in. Yet, another part of him not only argues that he wouldn't be able to if he tried, but that she might be right. If she truly does wish to help the city, and work with the police, rather than against them... well, she might just come in handy.
Chief Palmer: Before I make a decision on this, you said something about capturing the leader of this... Fist of Shadows, or whatever? Where is he now?
Lifting a hand to her ear, Ravager speaks over her comm.
Ravager: That's your cue.
A short few moments later, the sound of an incoming aircraft reaches their ears. Chief Palmer looks up to the sky, as suddenly a bat shaped jet appears overhead, hovering in place.
Chief Palmer: What in the Sam Hill?
The Bat-Jet then descends slowly, parking itself on the cement walkway. Once the cockpit slides open, Cassandra exits through the top and pulls out an unconscious and bound Shao Shen out of the vehicle. Without so much as shift in expression, she tosses the man to Chief Palmer's feet.
Chief Palmer: Wait just a darned minute. You work with the Gotham bats?
Ravager: I know them, yeah. Work together from time to time, when I need the assistance.
Cassandra: If it makes a difference, Batman personally vouches for her.
Chief Palmer: I, uh... I see...
Ravager: Once you take in Shao, here, there's a semi truck parked off exit 29 full of those stems and other equipment. I can also give you the location of their base; you can probably find some more evidence down there.
Chief Palmer just stares down at the unconscious man for a few moments, then slowly turns his gaze back to Ravager.
Chief Palmer: I have to say... this isn't... I mean you're... not what I expected.
Ravager: I get that a lot. So, do we have an agreement?
Chief Palmer: An agreement? Right... I'm probably going to regret this, but yes, we have an agreement. For now. If you ever give me reason to, though, I will slap a pair of cuffs you faster than you can say 'sorry'.
A small smirk comes to Ravager's face.
Ravager: You're certainly welcome to try.
Int. Wayne Tower's Penthouse Suite – Day
Taking in a deep breath, Rose stands in front of the door for a brief moment, making sure that she looks presentable. She doesn't want to go worrying Becky by looking too roughed up after the past couple days. Eventually, she reaches forward and pushes the door open. At first, she doesn't see anyone in the immediate vicinity. It isn't until she makes her way into the living room that she finds them. Sitting at the coffee table, Holly toils away at a coloring book, while Rebecca lounges on the couch, watching television with Damian. On the other side of the room, Alfred is busy dusting the furniture.
Rose: Well, isn't this a sorry sight?
All eyes immediately turn in her direction. Holly is the first to react, running over and partially lunging at Rose with a tight hug. Mute as she is, her greeting is wordless, but then again, words aren't really needed.
Rose: Hey there, Holly... told you I'd be back, didn't I?
Looking over from his spot on the couch, Damian sits up and folds his arms across his chest.
Damian: Heard you were fighting werewolves and ninjas... some people get all the fun.
Rose: Not as exciting as it sounds, believe me.
Placing her hands on her hips, Becky shifts her weight to one side and smiles.
Becky: So, safe to come back yet?
Rose: Yeah, everything is taken care of. Shao's in custody, Kubrick and Riggs are nowhere to be found, and the cops raided their underground base.
Becky: Good, because I really did miss having you next to me the past couple nights.
Coming forward, Becky leans in and gives Rose a firm kiss, hands wrapping around her waist. At this sight, Damian's eyes go wide, eyebrows lifting up.
Alfred, on the other hand, barely changes his expression, going from overall indifference to slightly less indifferent.
Alfred: Oh my.
Holly glances back and forth up at the two women, as their kiss ends. Confused, she begins to sign her question.
Holly: You two are... together?
Rose: Uh... yes, yes we are. Is that... alright?
Holly merely smiles.
Holly: Of course! I like Becky, so I'm happy you're together.
Becky: Ah, gracias. I like you you too, girl.
Rose: Wait, you understand sign language now?
Becky: Sort of. Holly was teaching me the basics the past couple days. Can't really hold a whole conversation, though.
From across the room, another figure enters the room, coming from the kitchen. He just stands there for a few moments, sipping the water from his glass, then finally approaches. Rose turns her attention and gives him a small smile.
Dick: Finally made it.
Rose: Yeah, had to stick around for a couple days to make sure everything was taken care of. Wanted to be sure that the Fist was out for good.
Dick: Cassandra tells me you did good work.
Rose: Yeah, well... so did she. As much as I'm loath to admit it, she makes for a decent fighting partner. But don't tell her I said that.
Dick: Not a word.
Rose: And... thanks again for looking after Holly. And Becky, too. Really... I mean it.
Dick: It was no trouble. You're a friend, remember? Friends help each other out.
Rose: Yeah... thanks.
Dick: And by the way, what have you been teaching that girl?
He briefly glances down at Holly, who just sort of shifts her weight and tilts her head.
Dick: She's got some real talent. Even worked as Damian's sparring partner for a while.
Damian: Ha, she still has a long way to go, though. Can't even touch me.
Rose: I just want her to be able to defend herself. It's a crapsack world out there, after all.
Dick: So it is.
Rose: You didn't dress her up as some kind of winged animal and take her out with you, did you...?
Lifting an eyebrow, Dick folds his arms across his chest.
Dick: Of course not.
Rose: Sorry, had to ask... never know with you bat people sometimes.
Becky: Speaking of which-
Reaching an arm out, Becky holds it around Rose's shoulders and gives her a long look.
Becky: -you haven't forgotten your promise, have you?
Rose: No, I haven't forgotten. We'll start soon as we're back in Silverstone, alright?
Becky: Good, because from the sound of it, I'm already behind.
Holly holds her hands behind her back and smiles innocently, as Becky gives the girl a look.
Rose: Just one more thing before we head out-
Moving her gaze to Dick again, she gives him a hard look.
Rose: -we need to talk about some upgrades.
Ext. Secure Government Facility – Night
The large black van rolls up outside the plain white building, coming to a halt. Kubrick turns the key, shutting the engine off, then glances up at his reflection in the rear view mirror. Most of his face is burnt, cracked. It's actually a pretty sickening sight. Sure, it will heal in time... but slowly. Silver tends to have that effect on him. Next to him, Zaria sits with her legs crossed and arms folded. She's staring out the window, frowning.
Kubrick: Glad you decided to come with me, Zee.
Zaria: Yeah, well, it'll probably do me some good to get out of Silverstone for a while. Plus, I want a little payback after what that b*tch did to us.
Kubrick: Don't worry, with what we have planned here... everything will be better soon.
Zaria: I hope you're right. This little meeting isn't going to take long, by the way, is it?
Kubrick: Should only be a few minutes.
Zaria: Good, because after this we're hitting up a hotel. I need a good lay right now.
Kubrick: Hmph, no arguments here.
Int. Secure Government Facility – Night
Kubrick glances at the men in suits surrounding him. He doesn't know why these guys bother to show up when he visits. It's not like they could really stop him if he decided to attack. Not that he would, of course. He knows his place, when it comes to this. If the world is going to change, he certainly isn't going to be doing it alone. No, this guy is the one who's going to do that. The one he came to meet with face to face today. The one whose words give him that nagging sense of intimidation.
Zaria still can't quite believe what she's looking at. After all, when Kubrick said that they were meeting a powerful man, she had no idea that he meant this. He doesn't hold power in the traditional sense; as a matter of fact, she could transform into her more monstrous form and tear him limb from limb if she wanted to. But she doesn't. At that moment, she actually does believe Kubrick's statement that this man can make things happen, especially when going to these sorts of lengths... just working with Kubrick behind the government's back is a sign of something. Of what, she's not sure, but it's definitely nothing she could expect.
Kubrick: Good to see you, sir.
Man: Yes, it has been a while, hasn't it?
Kubrick: Been busy. But, I do have what you wanted.
Kubrick lifts the box he's carrying a bit higher, allowing the man to remove the lid and reach inside to pull out one of the long metal devices, one of Shao's stems. The entire box if filled with them, plenty for what they need.
Man: And these ones work, correct?
Kubrick: They should. This is the latest batch that the technicians created, after correcting the problems from the earlier design flaws. They'll give you total control over the people they're implanted to.
Man: And if they do still malfunction...
Kubrick: Then the host will die, naturally.
Man: Works either way, I suppose. I'll have your payment transferred to your account, as per our arrangement.
Kubrick: Much appreciated, sir. I'd like to continue working for you, too, if that's alright.
Man: Of course, not a problem. I could have further use for someone with your... talents. But what about your friend here?
Zaria: Who, me? Oh, right. I'll work for you, too, if you'll have me.
Kubrick: Zee's cool. She's like me; special.
Man: In that case, welcome aboard. I trust the two of you will do your jobs well.
Zaria: Yes, sir.
Kubrick: I guarantee it.
Man: Good. In that case, you two are dismissed. I'll be in touch.
Kubrick: Of course. In the meantime, I have a little business to take care of.
Reaching his arm out, he grabs hold of Zaria's waist and pulls her in close to him. As they turn to walk away, his hand comes down to firmly squeeze her rear end, at which she grins.
Zaria: Damn straight, you do.
When the two leave, the man looks down at the box now in his grasp and then passes it off to one of the surrounding men in suits.
Man: Load this on the truck, and have it delivered the lab immediately.
S.S. Agent: Right away, Mr. President.
Chapter #41 Preview: With her life finally beginning to settle down and take shape, Rose is feeling better than she has in ages. She's in an amazing relationship with Becky, she's looking after Holly once again, she's working on setting up a new job for herself, and her moonlighting as Ravager couldn't be better, now that the police are on her side. There is one problem, however. The bite she received from Kubrick isn't healing, not completely. It burns. It hurts. And it's changing her. Before long, the biggest question on her mind is: can she find a cure?