Disclaimer: I do not own any DC characters or locations. All rights belong to DC Comics.
Rating: T+ for this particular one. Future writings may elevate to M.
Note: Since my previous topic for the prelude chapter is undergoing some kind of implosion and giving a 500 Error every time someone tries to access it, I'm also going to include that chapter here for those who want to read it. So, this is really #0 and #1.
The Ravager #0: A Prelude
Int. Bank – Day
Bank Teller: Next
The line of customers shuffle forward, boredom plastering their faces. It's a bank, no one wants to be there longer than they have to. They just want to get in, do their business, and get out. One young woman in particular, with long white hair and an equally colored eye patch over her left eye, steps forward to the counter and lets out a disinterested sigh.
Bank Teller: How can I help you today?
Rose: I'm here to close an account.
Bank Teller: Oh? Well, we're terribly sorry to be losing your business.
Rose: Trust me, you're not losing much.
Bank Teller: Well, anyway, I'll need your account number and your identification, and we can take care of it right away.
Rose digs into the pocket of her leather jacket and pulls out a wallet, searching for her driver's license. Behind her, the bank doors open; three men in ski masks hurry inside. One of them pulls out a shotgun, cocks it, and fires a round up at the ceiling. People scream and duck for cover, terrified.
Robber #1: Everyone on the ground, now!
Rose slowly looks up from her wallet, annoyed.
Rose: You must be joking.
While everyone else in the bank scrambles to find the floor as instructed, Rose merely stands there, unmoving. She is really not in the mood for this right now. Like every customer in here, she just wanted to do her business and get out. As she stands there, simmering in her annoyance, one of the bank robbers walks up to her, pointing a gun at the back of her head.
Robber #2: Hey, did you hear me? On the ground! Are you stupid or something? You want to get shot?
Rose: I really just wanted to close my account today.
Robber #2: Well tough $&#%! Now, get on the ground before I redecorate the counter with your brain!
The man never gets a chance, as Rose suddenly moves from the path of his gun. He fires once out of panic, the bullet striking the wall behind the counter. The last thing he remembers before blacking out cold is the white haired woman's hand chopping into the back of his neck. As he goes down, the other two bank robbers look up from their work behind the counter. One of them goes for his shotgun.
Robber #3: $&#%, don't just stand there, man, shoot her!
The robber reaches his shotgun and aims it to where Rose had been just a second before. But she isn't there anymore; instead, she's launched herself over the counter through the air straight at him. He tries to lift his aim in time, but he's too late. She's on him in an instant, moving faster than a normal person should be able to move. With two well placed shots to the neck, he, too, drops like a bag of lead bricks. The only remaining robber is in a near panic after seeing this woman take out his buddies so quickly; he fumbles for his pistol.
Robber #1: Goddamn psycho!
He manages to get a shot off, but Rose has already rolled away behind a sturdy desk for cover. What the robber doesn't realize is that she took his friend's shotgun with her. Before he gets a chance to aim another shot, buckshot rips into his left thigh, eliciting a scream of pain as he collapses. Rose leaps over the desk and silences him with a firm jab to the head with the butt of the shotgun.
With the gunmen subdued, she returns to her spot in line at the counter, while the other customers and employees quickly work to get things back to normal. The bank teller behind the counter looks over at the unconscious robbers in shock, already scrambling to dial 911.
Rose: After you're done calling the cops, I'd really just like to close my account.
Ext. City Street – Day
Rose sits on her motorcycle, staring down at the small amount of cash in her hand.
Three-hundred twenty-five dollars and thirty-two cents? I could have sworn I had more... I really need to budget better. Maybe I should stop spending so much on booze.
With a disappointed sigh, she stuffs the money into her wallet and reaches for her helmet, slipping it over head. Revving the engine, she takes off down the street, heading for the on ramp to the highway.
So, Rose, you got a full tank of gas and a few hundred dollars to your name. Where should you go now?
She works her way onto the highway, guns the engine and speeds past several cars; they're all going too slow for her taste. Several minutes into her travel, she glances over at a sign as she passes it. It reads: Gotham, 200 miles.
The Ravager #1
Ext. Gotham City Streets – Night
You shouldn't be here, Rose. This is their territory. They don't need you here. They don't even like you, not really... Then again, who does, after what happened? The little guy might be happy to see you, but he'd be the only one.
Rose stops her motorcycle outside a tall building, looking up near the top. She's been driving around for most of the night, even hit up a bar for a while, just trying to contemplate what to do next. She knows she can't stay in Gotham, not for long anyway. Then again, she still doesn't know where she's going, and she can't just keep driving around aimlessly until she runs out of gas. Plus, she only has a few hundred dollars; she isn't going to spend any of it on some crappy motel if she doesn't have to.
She takes another long look up at the building, then drives around the corner to find a relatively safe place to leave her vehicle for the night. Knowing her luck, though, it'll be gone and stripped by morning. Taking her helmet and duffel bag with her, she doubles back in the direction she came from.
Shouldn't be a problem getting into, either... I mean, if the Riddler once broke in, I'm sure I can manage just fine.
Int. Wayne Tower's Penthouse Suite – Night
A small sound in the night calls Dick Grayson from his sleep. His eyes flicker open, and he's up in an instant. He listens carefully; maybe he imagined it, maybe it was a dream. But no, there it is again: the clink of a glass, the shuffle of feet, the sound of a microwave humming.
Dick: The hell?
Quickly and silently, Dick moves through his penthouse, keeping to the shadows and searching for the intruder. He sees a light on in the kitchen, makes his way over. The refrigerator door is open; someone is on the other side, rummaging through it. He waits for the culprit to pull back from the door, then strikes hard and precise, a sure-fire knockout blow.
Dick's attack hits air, as Rose turns her body and entangles her arms in his, pulling him towards her. He stares at her in surprise for a few moments.
He pushes her back, freeing up his arms. She simply walks back to the counter, taking the glass she'd set down earlier and filling it with water from the faucet. He glares at her the entire way.
Rose: Really, is that any way to greet a guest?
Dick: Rose, what are you doing here?
She shrugs, taking a sip of water and then reaching for the microwave, as the timer beeps.
Rose: Just passing through. Needed a place to crash for the night and I figured you wouldn't mind. I mean, hell, this place is plenty big enough.
Rose: So, you always have Chinese takeout for dinner? Because your fridge is stocked full of it.
Dick folds his arms, continuing to glare at her. He's not pleased at her presence in his home.
Dick: You know, they've been looking for you ever since you disappeared. This makes it, what, the tenth time you've left the team?
Rose: Something like that... hey, you want an egg roll? I'm not going to eat both.
Dick: They're worried about you.
Ignoring him, Rose take a bite of the fried shrimp on her plate. She holds a piece up to him.
Rose: Sure you don't want anything?
Dick: Stop evading the subject.
Finally, she stares back at him, a distant look in her eye. She sighs, turning away and throwing the piece of shrimp back onto her plate.
Rose: Oh yeah, they're real worried alright. They made that perfectly clear when they chewed me out. I've never seen them that furious, you know. Wonder Wench wants my head on a pike, and Tim won't even look at me.
Dick: They're your family, Rose. Family gets angry at each other every once in a while, but that doesn't mean you should run away every time it happens.
Rose: Tell them that. I seriously doubt they were very sad to see me go; couldn't have taken any of them by surprise, anyway.
Moving forward, Dick places his hands on her shoulders, looks her square in the eye.
Dick: They're still your family. I know you hate to admit it, but that's the truth deep down, right? They will forgive you, in time.
Rose shrugs his grip away, takes a few steps back and leans against the counter, staring into her glass of water.
Rose: You think it's their forgiveness I'm worried about? I took off because of what I did. Not them, me. It was my decision, my call, and look how it turned out. I'm just saving them the trouble of having to put up with me anymore.
She reaches down to her plate and lifts up one of the egg rolls, taking an angry bite out of it. She swallows, washing it down with a gulp of water.
Rose: So, can I stay here or are you gonna kick me out, too?
He gives her a long look, then eventually releases a defeated sigh and drops his hands to his side.
Dick: Fine, you can crash here. But just for a few days, until you figure out what you're going to do. Understand?
She takes another bite, this time smiling.
Rose: Sure thing.
Rose: So, what are you doing here, anyway? Shouldn't you be, I don't know, patrolling the city and looking for some bad guys to beat up?
Dick: You caught me on my night off.
Folding her arms over her chest, she raises an amused eyebrow at him.
Rose: Didn't realize Batman had nights off.
Dick: The original one didn't, but he was obsessed, worked himself near death half the time. I'm not like that; I know the importance of keeping your body and mind fresh.
Rose: Well, aren't you worried about criminals running rampant, while you're up here snoozing?
Dick: I'm not the only bat in Gotham, or have you forgotten?
Rose: Right, right... you got Batgirls, Batwomen... a real infestation.
Dick: And Oracle runs her Birds of Prey on the other side of the city. We have things covered.
Rose: And yet you still can't stop street crime. Amazing.
He slowly narrows his eyes at her
Dick: I'm going back to bed.
Rose: So, where do I get to sleep? I'm sure your bed is plenty big for the both of us, right?
She lifts an eyebrow, smirking playfully at him. He simply stares, pointing across the penthouse to the living room.
Dick: You get the couch.
Rose's expression instantly slackens, a frown forming.
Rose: You're no fun, you know that?
Dick: Goodnight, Rose.
She lets out a sigh, watching him leave the kitchen and finally disappearing into his bedroom. When the door slams shut, she goes back to eating her dinner in silence.
Int. Wayne Tower's Penthouse Suite – Morning
Dick walks out into the kitchen, dressed in fine clothes and drying his hair with a towel. Rose is already up, busy helping herself to his food by cooking up breakfast, and dressed in nothing but a long towel wrapped around her body.
Dick: So, judging from the underwear you left hanging up, I take it you found the shower.
Rose: Oh, yeah, don't mind that. I'll get to washing my clothes after I eat.
Dick: Could have at least picked up the towels you left everywhere...
Rose: Yeah, yeah, all in good time.
Dick: Do you really plan on eating all this?
He points out the fact that Rose is cooking up a rather lot of food, surely more than one person could, or at least should, eat.
Rose: Noticed you had a home gym over there, so I figured I'd get a workout in this morning. I'm stocking up on energy. Besides, some of it's for you; that is if you even want to eat together.
Dick: That's... nice and all, but I really have to get going. I'll grab something later.
Rose: Right, right... gotta play up the whole rich boy persona to the media.
Dick: It's... not quite like that. It's complicated.
Rose: Complicated. Obviously.
She turns from him, starts flipping the pancakes over on the griddle.
Dick: And what exactly do you plan on doing today?
Rose: Dunno. I'm sure I'll figure something out.
Dick: Well, are you staying or leaving?
Rose: Not sure on that either. Might hang around for a couple days.
Dick: In that case, you're coming out with me tonight.
She glances back at him, raising her eyebrow.
Rose: Out, out? Like-
Dick: Like on patrol.
Rose: Oh... Gee, Grayson, you sure know how to get a girl's hopes up. Sorry to disappoint, though, but I don't really do the whole 'rooftop-to-rooftop crime fighting' thing.
Dick: You'll do it as long as you're staying here. Or did you think I was going to let you mooch off me without pulling your own weight?
Rose releases an annoyed breath, slouching forward as she removes the griddle from the stove and dishes the pancakes out onto her plate.
Rose: Sure, fine. See you tonight.
Dick: You do have your equipment, right?
Rose: Of course I have my equipment. I don't go anywhere without it.
Dick: Alright, then, I'll be back. I expect you ready to head out no later than ten.
Int. Bar – Day
The bar is quiet this early in the afternoon, only three people present. The bartender, busily hand washing glasses, stands behind the counter, while an old gentleman sits near the back, quietly enjoying his drink. Rose sits at the counter, lazily holding her glass and taking small sips every now and then. She's technically not old enough to even be in a bar yet, but the man behind the counter didn't examine her fake ID very closely.
Brilliant, Rose, she thinks to herself. You're strapped for cash and supposed to be budgeting your money, yet here you are wasting away in a bar at three in the afternoon. Couldn't even wait for happy hour.
The door to the bar opens a few moments later, activating the jingle of the small bell hanging above the frame. Two men walk in, both dressed in fine business suits, not the normal kind of attire one would think to wear to a bar. It makes Rose, in her black leather jacket and blue jeans, look sorely out of place.
Man #1: Marty, you got everything ready for us?
The bartender looks up from his work, immediately puts the glass and dishcloth down.
Marty: Sure thing, Danny, come on around back.
Danny: Go with him, Gavin. I'll stay up front and watch things.
The bartender and the second man disappear through a side door, heading into the back of the bar. Rose glances up from her glass, watching the door swing closed behind them. Her gaze then slowly moves toward the one remaining man. She eyes him for a moment, before finally turning back to her drink and taking another sip. Danny walks calmly up to the counter and turns around, leaning back on his elbows.
Danny: Bit early to be hitting the bar, isn't it?
Rose: I could say the same to you.
Danny: Nah, I'm here on business. Not looking to get plastered.
Rose: Me neither. Just... keeping myself occupied.
Danny: That so?
She doesn't answer, simply taking another sip.
Danny: You look like you got a few problems on your plate.
Rose: Hmph. More than a few. Nothing you'd be interested in, I'm sure.
Danny: Well, I wouldn't say that. So, what's wrong? Family? Guys? Money?
At the mention of money, Rose moves her gaze, turning her head slightly to look at him. The action lasts only a second, before returning her attention back to her drink, but it doesn't go unnoticed.
Danny: Aha, so it's money, is it?
Rose: Maybe. Why do you care?
Danny: Oh, no reason. Just... my boss is always on the lookout for some potential new, uh, employees, and you're just the kind of person he's looking for.
Rose: What kind of person? Female, or just desperate?
Danny: Ha, maybe a bit of both, yeah? Seriously, though, if you're interested... I could put in a word.
Rose: You're not some kind of pimp, are you?
Her comment elicits an amused laugh from the man. He smiles, shakes his head.
Danny: No, no, course not. Look, here, I'll give you my card. You feel like making a little cash... you give me a call, alright?
He digs into his suit pocket and pulls out a small business card. Deftly, he passes it over to her between two fingers. Rose stares at it for a few moments, then gingerly takes it from him, looks it over. In large lettering, the front reads: Daggett Industries. She flips it over, noticing the name 'Daniel Costello', and then a phone number beneath.
Rose: Sure... we'll see.
A few moments later, Marty, the bartender, and Gavin, the other man in a business suit, return from the back. Gavin is carrying a large box that makes repeated clanking sounds inside, as he carries it; probably some bottles of alcohol or something.
Danny: Well, see you around.
He gives her a little wave, then heads outside with his buddy. Rose glances down at the card again and frowns at it. She's not stupid; everything about that man, from the way he spoke to the way he acted, just felt wrong. Call it a gut reaction. Whatever kind of quick cash he had been referring to, it can't be anything legal, and she doesn't have any desire to get involved. Still, there's never any telling when something like this can come in handy. So, for now, she tucks the card away into her pocket and finishes up the last of her drink.
Ext. Gotham, East End – Night
Dick Grayson, in the cape and cowl of Batman, and Rose Wilson, in her Ravager gear, both wait silently atop one of the many flat rooftops in Gotham's East End. Batman watches the front of a particular building carefully, watching for any signs of activity. Ravager, on the other hand, leans back on her elbows against the rooftop's parapet, bored.
Ravager: So, where's the brat, anyway? I was actually somewhat looking forward to seeing him.
Batman: Damien had prior obligations to take care of. He won't be joining us tonight.
Ravager: I see... shame.
Another few quiet moments pass between them. They've been sitting here now for close to thirty minutes, just watching the same building, as if something were supposed to happen. Running out of patience, Rose releases a long breath.
Ravager: So, let's see... you have Batman, Batgirl, Batwoman... and then Robin. I don't know, seems a little out of place, if you ask me. Why not something like... Batboy?
Batman shoots her an annoyed glare, one telling her to be quiet. Ravager frowns, folding her arms firmly across her chest.
Ravager: Well, sorry. Just trying to make conversation. What are we doing here, anyway? Shouldn't we be roaming the whole city instead of just sitting in one spot?
Batman: There have been reports lately about suspicious activity in this area.
Ravager: Uh, this is Gotham's East End. Isn't, like... the entire place full of suspicious activity?
Batman: More suspicious than usual.
Ravager: Uh huh... Well, you are the expert, so whatever you say.
Needing a way to pass the time, Ravager reaches over her shoulder and unsheathes one of the swords crossed over her back. She holds the blade up, carefully inspecting it. Within a few seconds of examination, she notices a small smudge and carefully scrubs it clean.
Batman: I really wish you used less lethal weapons.
Ravager: Right, because bat-shaped shuriken are any safer. All it takes is one misplaced shot to strike some poor guy's artery and whoops, you've gone and killed him.
Batman: Theoretically. But I don't miss.
Ravager: Yeah, and neither do I. Trust me, I've had enough practice to know where to cut someone without killing them.
The pair continue surveying the building. Within the next ten minutes, a white, windowless van rolls up out front and backs up towards the small garage off to the side. Several men in hooded jackets jump out and get to work, a couple heading inside, while a couple more remain behind and open the van's rear doors. The door to the building opens, with another few men there to greet them.
Ravager: Kind of reminds me when we were working together in Blüdhaven, remember? Back when you were going by 'Renegade'. Gotta say, that costume looked a lot better than this one... the cape is blocking my view.
Batman: I remember. That's back when you were still brainwashed by daddy.
She glares at him, frowning.
Ravager: Uck, don't remind me.
Batman: Get ready, we're going to act shortly.
Narrowing her eyes, Ravager follows his watchful gaze over to the front of the building he's been watching. The men are busily bringing out large boxes from the garage and loading them into the back of the van.
Ravager: What's so suspicious about a bunch of guys loading their van with boxes?
Batman: Because it's sixty degrees out, and they're all wearing heavy jackets with the hoods up.
Ravager: To conceal their identities... right, but still-
Batman: And the one standing watch at the front door is carrying a mini uzi.
Batman: Attention to detail, Rose, one of the first things I taught you. Or did you forget that already?
Ravager: Oh, shut up. Let's just get this over with.
Batman prepares their attack; he reaches into his utility belt and pulls out three small smoke pellets, tossing them directly into the middle of the group. A small hiss hits the air, as they release the thick blanket of choking haze over the surrounding area. As the men begin running around and coughing, trying to gain their bearings, Batman points his grappling hook across the street to the opposite rooftop, then glides down into the group, landing feet first into the man with the uzi.
Ravager is right behind, though she doesn't have any fancy gadgets to make as cool an entrance. Still, she isn't one to be outdone, moving through the smoke and picking the men apart with strong, precise blows. She might have attacked a bit harder than she needed to in order to subdue them, but she isn't too concerned. As long as they go down and stay down, she's satisfied.
When the smoke clears, Batman and Ravager are standing above six unconscious men. The whole attack took barely more than a minute, plenty of time for them to do what they do best. Ravager lets out a bored yawn.
Ravager: Is this all you do here? Hardly a challenge.
Batman ignores her, instead moving around to the van's rear doors. Reaching forward, he begins to undo the latch so he can open them.
Batman: Let's find out what they were trying to move.
At that moment, a sudden flash runs through Ravager's head. She sees the van, and Batman opening the doors. There's a gunshot; a man waiting inside with a shotgun. Batman goes down, he's bleeding... and then the brief flicker ends. Her mind is in the real world now. In a near panic, she snaps her head in Batman's direction, just as he begins to pull the doors open.
Ravager: Get down!
Throwing herself at him, she pushes Batman aside, just as the shotgun fires. Instead of hitting him, like in the vision that ran through her head, she feels the buckshot ripping through her armor and tearing into the meat of her left shoulder. As they tumble to the ground, Batman whips out a batarang and still manages to throw it with perfect accuracy, striking the gunman's hand inside the van.
Rather than attempt to recover and get another shot off, the man closes the rear doors again and moves up to the front. The van starts up in a hurry, and within moments, it's taking off down the street. As it turns the corner, Ravager gets a good look at the side; in large letters, it reads: Daggett Industries. Grunting in pain, she rolls off Batman and holds a hand to her bleeding shoulder.
Ravager: Goddamn it!
Batman: Hold still, let's see it.
He takes a few moments to examine the damage. The armor reduced most of the impact, but her wound is still leaking bright crimson down her backside.
Batman: It's not that bad, but we'll still have to get you back so I can remove the buckshot and properly clean it. Come on, put your arm around my shoulders.
Ravager: $&#%! Watch it, that frickin' hurts!
Batman finally gets her to her feet, supporting her weight against him. Reaching to his belt, he clicks a small button and starts moving them into a nearby alley. The batmobile would be on its way now.
Batman: How did you know there was another gunman inside the van?
Ravager: Precog, remember? I saw it before it happened.
He turns his gaze, looking at her curiously.
Batman: I didn't realize your precog activated for anyone other than yourself.
Ravager: Yeah... neither did I.