Adventures of Cassandra Cain, Ch 7

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JamieWolfe7

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Since there's no issues with my continuing in serial fashion, here's Chapter 7. Picks up at the Lighthouse Bunker, Babs and company are in a post operation briefing and deciding how to go forward against Petrov. I think, with that said, I'll combine it with what I meant to be Ch 8. It'll be a bit of a plot twist there >.>

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JamieWolfe7

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#2  Edited By JamieWolfe7
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Back at the Lighthouse Bunker, Oracle reviews the footage gathered by Black Bat as they are on their way. She's both impressed and alarmed by the amount of heroin they were gearing up to put out. Impressed that they'd busted it, and alarmed by what it suggests about how much more was staged to hit the streets.

Batwoman finally spoke up to Black Bat when they were near the bunker, speaking in the quiet conversational tone that isn't likely to carry far,"Look...I saw you were upset by something when I first saw you earlier. I know it's none of my business, you don't have to say anything, but if you need someone to talk to..." Black Bat sat perched in vulture like fashion on the edge of the roof facing the Lighthouse, her hesitation showing her attention. Batwoman finished a moment later,"If you need someone to talk to, I'm always around." If Batwoman's quiet tones were meant to not carry over Black Bat's comms, it didn't matter as Barbara was focused on the night's footage still. Her comms were only for Cassandra and the other two, in any event.

Black Bat only delayed a moment longer, glancing down in a gesture of consideration that told the redhead what she wanted to know before jumping off to grapple-swing down to their entrance on the private rear facing side of the establishment. This time, it was their turn to be last. Tim Drake and Dick Grayson, Robin and Nightwing respectively, had gotten there just a moment ahead of them.

No Caption Provided

Once they were all in together, Barbara as Oracle started off their post-op meeting,"This really is big. It won't be long, Commissioner Gordon said this is their biggest drug seizure in a long time. What I saw, I hope we set them back but they'll definitely be missing it."

Tim piped up at that,"Any idea how much we cost them?"

Barbara shrugged a little at the question,"No idea, but I think we should sit on it for a few days. See how they respond while keeping an eye on that scrapyard and the response on the street. Thoughts?"

Dick nods his agreement with the reasoning, as does Tim who spoke up,"Sounds like a solid to me. Should we jump them coming back or just sit tight and watch?"

Batwoman is a little less patient though,"I don't see why we don't cut the head off now. We know what's gone down."

Babs pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose as she explained,"Because this is where we find out the real scope we are dealing with, his response to a blow like this will show us what kind of operation he has. If it's as consolidated as it seems from this haul, taking him down might make it worse in the longrun rather than shutting it down."

Dick nodded once again, picking up where she left hanging,"If this operation is what it seems, taking him down may splinter the operation. We'll end up with an epidemic as his middle men and lieutenants consolidate, then we'll end up with a war on the streets. Exactly what we don't need with..." He stops himself there. They know what he left unsaid, what they don't need with the Batman behind bars.

After a long moment of uncomfortable silence, Batwoman crosses her arms and exhales before Barbara breaks it constructively,"All we need to do is keep an eye on it for now. The players will show themselves, and we pick them off. Bleed him first. We know Penguin has been smarting over letting them move in, we bleed him enough and Penguin will fix his mistake for us."

This was the sort of big picture thinking that Nightwing liked having her around for. This was why she was regarded by some in Gotham as being more dangerous as the Oracle than as the Batgirl. He nods with a grin at her thinking, adding,"If that doesn't happen quick enough, we know where he lives."

They all agree with that, and Barbara says with finality,"Then that's how we're going forward with this. Monitor, report, and we'll work together to dissect his operation. If you hear anything new about the Fairchild murder, it takes priority however." She directed that at Batwoman, suspecting she isn't yet fully in the know. Indeed, that addition surprises her for a moment and she nods curtly.

Nightwing cleared his throat then,"Let's get back out there." He jabbed Tim in the shoulder as he said that, and Tim look over to Cassandra,"Hey, if you need someone to talk to, look me up ok? Don't beat yourself up."

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Cass replied curtly to that,"You're not funny."

Tim winced visibly and turns to leave with Nightwing,"Sorry..." He should have known his joke over the intercoms would bite him, her armor had its chinks and he'd found one.

Batwoman just looked between them all quietly, her gaze lingering on Cass for a moment longer before she herself departs close behind them. Babs looks at Cass then once they're alone, inquiring,"You sure you're ok?"

Cassie replied,"Ok," before drawing in a breath,"Would like sleep,"she exhaled then.

Babs rose to her feet,"That new Bat person isn't terrible. I don't care for her though."

Cassie just shrugged at that, replying,"She's trained well. Not experienced, though." Turning to leave, she adds,"She's rigid, no rhythm."

Babs raised her brows as she follows, thinking to herself that that wasn't at all what she disliked.

One week later

The gym was basically finished. A few finishing touches were being worked on, but it was open. The Queen's Heart Kickboxing and Gymnastics School. Oliver didn't hate the name.

Cassandra had decided to start with discounts for members of the Gotham PD to drum up business, her schedule being Muay Thai three times a week with beginner's courses Mondays and Wednesdays and full contact training Fridays from five to seven. Her gymnastics would be Tuesdays and Thursdays with Saturdays being her day for formal defense training.

Barbara had to do a little wrangling to get her dad to recommend it. She'd told him all about who she was basically being sponsored by, save of course the part about him being a greenclad vigilante archer. Ultimately he'd agreed to come with her to see a demonstration. He informed her that if he was going to promote a school to the Gotham Metro, he wanted someone better than he had at the PD. At the very least as good. This wasn't unreasonable, she conceded.

Commissioner James Gordon, father of Barbara Gordon, arrived that afternoon with his own salaried defense instructor for the Metro PD. Jacob Symms was an amateur boxer, certified black belt in kenpo, and a practitioner of brazilian jiu jitsu. As he explained this to Sensei Cain, she didn't seem impressed.

"Spar?" she asked, gesturing to the ring. He would nod, scratching the back of his head. He was uncomfortable with the idea of getting in the ring with someone so small. Especially a lady. He noted her hands though, and the build of her forearms and legs. He knew she could handle herself just by that, though the oddly distant air of her expression he didn't know what to make of. He wouldn't hurt her, just take her measure for Jim and this would be wrapped up. No charge for the commissioner, this was a favor.

James steps over to his daughter, noting the curious look of his instructor of choice as he gets in the ring with the strange little girl she was trying to sell him on. He half thought she was putting on airs for him, he'd seen fighters before. He knew the Batman, had met Nightwing and a number of other wouldbe heroes. He had to admit, her friend looked tough and did carry herself well but she was...small.

"Are you sure about this? Not too late to call it off, I don't care if you run a gym with your friend. I think it's wonderful, if the guys want to work out here I really don't mind," Jim casually explains this to her. It'd been a deal, but she was his daughter. He thought it was merciful of him, until she herself went to get the freshly arrived sparring gear for the two combatants.

Cassandra initially declines it as the other guy straps on his gloves and helmet. Barbara insists though. She also insists the other guy put in his mouth guard, don't want Cassie knocking any teeth loose. No telling what sort of show she has in mind for the Commissioner. She sets up her digital camcorder for the free advertising material she's about to have.

"A deal's a deal, dad. Cassie's the best there is," She folds her arms, nodding to her friend in the ring. As the man gets into a defensive stance, Jim folds his own arms then. Her confidence had persuaded him for the moment.

Cassie wastes no time with the man, he's prepared yet unprepared as she darts up to him and exploits the lack of seriousness he radiates. One foot finds purchase on his forward knee, she rises up then all of a sudden he's floored as her other leg swings round and demonstrates the importance of head protection and mouth guards.

Jacob lays there on the floor, shaking the stars from his gaze as Cassie steps back to her corner. She stood there with her arms loosely hanging at her sides. Looking up at the Commissioner from his spot on the mat he sighs and pushes to his feet. "Best of three, right?"

James is the picture of professional neutrality as he nods with his arms folded. Jacob shakes his head once more, the spinning coming to a stop in his head as he comes at her this time with considerably more respect.

Cassandra lets him come to her this time, raising her arms into a defensive posture as she enters her focus. She would let him swing away a few times this round, her and Babs had already worked out how this would go. Jim would get a show at this man's expense.

Jacob throws one quick jab, then another, then a third. Each time, she simply isn't where he'd aimed. He knows he isn't slow, nor is this his first round in a ring. What's especially frustrating to him is that she's more than a head smaller than him and she's staying inside his reach.

After the third jab, she gives a response with a solid hip kick. It wasn't her hardest, but she didn't want him to feel disrespected. He takes it solidly in his own hip, her shin connecting with the barely present love handle and rocking him slightly on his feet.

He responds with a downward arcing overhead strike, hoping to catch the quick kickboxing girl but once again she darts out of his line of fire. He follows through with a kick of his own swinging out with a leg kick attempting to catch her in stride, yet this time she only manages to dodge in a more artistic manner.

Seeing the shift in his hips, Cassie recognized them as more than the response to her attack. When his foot shifted slightly and braced, she paused slightly in midstride from the overhead punch and braced herself for the incoming kick just long enough to see how he delivered it. Seeing his foot arc low, she hops backwards in a nohanded backflip then delivers another straightlegged hip kick of her own, this time to his midriff catching him in his side.

Jacob grunts as the kick drives home, he felt it in his kidneys that time. This girl didn't look to be in her twenties and she's taking him apart. What made him more nervous than not landing a blow was he could tell she was holding back. Who taught her and how did Barbara meet someone like this? He swings around with a spinning backfist, his other fist following behind it as he tries to force some distance between them.

Unfortunately for the man, she sees him coming yet again. This time it was just because he's slow. She ducks his first attack, then when he follows through she rises and grabs him by the arm to hook him over leg and hip toss him bodily to the ground with the force of his own inertia.

"I think that's two out of three, dad," Barbara looks up at him, noting the furrow of his brow. She wondered if this had been a bit more of a display than necessary.

No Caption Provided

"Yeah. It is. A deal's a deal," He concedes this amiably enough as he watches Cassie help her bigger opponent to his feet.

"Mind telling me where you picked up moves like those? I served with the Rangers and never saw anything like that," He rubs the growing bruise on his side, feeling a discomfort that extends beyond his pride as he notices that her expression had not changed at all this entire time. She smiles modestly up at him, a belated response to the question but it was something.

Gordon asks, not seeming to Barbara like he missed a thing,"That was the, erm, moo-wee thai that you advertised, I take it?"

"Well, a bit of Judo too for flavor at the end," Babs smiles, the tension in the air not escaping her.

"I'd like to know more about her, got any credentials? Did she serve?" Gordon asks the obvious questions now,the ones she still wasn't sure how to answer.

"She's Bruce Wayne's girl. The one he adopted a couple years ago," Barbara replies, hoping that smooths it over a bit.

"I'd heard he'd spent a lot learning that mixed martial arts stuff, didn't think he taught anyone." That seemed to settle it for him as he rubs the back of his head, still uneasy as he watches Cassie hop over the bounds of the ring and casually land to step up to them without missing a beat. He looks her over now, deciding he'd grill her himself now just to satisfy his curiosity.

"So, Cassandra Cain is it? I remember that name, it took me a minute but you were a real handful. I'm glad to see you doing something for yourself," as James talks, Barbara's mouth goes slack as Cassandra smiles once more, this time genuinely.

"You know..." Barbara starts to ask, but James interjects,"Not personally. She was at the orphanage for a while, you know that part." James' expression gets a little distant then as he remembers the little details,"We had to send units to the orphanage about a rather violent guest there. No identification, no records of any sort. We get those from time to time, sometimes kids picked up wandering out of the sewers and other times handed over when the tent city folks wander by. This one though, she never spoke. Never made a sound when they tried to give her her shots and she took the needle and stabbed the nurse in the neck with it. Then when our officer went in to restrain her so they could try again, she broke both of his collar bones as soon as he picked her up."

Barbara's brow furrows deeply at that recollection. She'd heard Bruce talk about her, but hearing her dad talk about it was different. She just listens quietly, as do Cassie and Jacob.

He draws a breath, continuing after a moment to collect himself. Stories about children were the hardest for him,"We found out her name when the social workers got her sedated. It was all she ever said, other than who we figured must be her father. David. We never found any record of him either. Anyone who would teach a little girl to fight like you has a special place in hell waiting, and I know for a fact it wasn't Bruce." He eyes his daughter with that, then finished his piece with,"With that said, yes this school will have my recommendation." He didn't say what else was on his mind. That he wasn't sure that the blankness in her stare wasn't a sign of death lingering about her. He hoped Barbara wasn't in over her head trying to help this one.

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ImpurestCheese

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@jamiewolfe7: Hmm can't wait to see some actual bat foes appear. Also congratulations at breaking 25 posts, you now can put up as much as you want every day

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@impurestcheese Thank yas :) I'm building up to it, won't be long. Haven't decided who I want to drag in yet, though I've a good idea who I want for a main villain. Little spoiler, it won't be Penguin. <BEG>

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JamieWolfe7

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@impurestcheese Releasing my first teaser in my chapter tonight >.> KGBeast was a real piece of work, I used to have the comic where he captured Huntress.

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