ARC ONE - THE RETURN
PART 2 - Run the Night
Suddenly a purple arrow zips past Black Mask and shoots into the riflemen’s hand
“GAAH!!!” he cries out.
Black Mask watches the sniper drop to the snowy ground in pain, clutching his bleeding hand and angrily turns around, spotting a woman decked in purple with black armor, a purple mask that lift in two find bat-like points over her face. Crouched on the ledge of a window, Huntress dark coated lips part with a smirk. Aiming still her cross-bow at Black Mask.
“Huntress….” Black Mask growls, narrowing his eyes at her, “...didn’t think that minx was still around.” he growls.
Pointing up at her through the falling flakes of snow, Black Mask looks at the 5 Snipers behind him, “YOU DEAL WITH HER!” he orders, waving on the five men decked with guns and swords on his left. Turning his attention back to Commissioner Gordon Black Mask points to another Sniper, "CALL DEADSHOT!"
Ducking behind a concrete Gargoyle, Commissioner huddles behind it as bullets graze the statue. Taking a deep cold breath, Gordon pulls out his pistol and leans out from the Gargoyle, shooting at the men below but ducks back behind the gargoyle as more bullets graze the rooftop edge and gargoyle.
“THERE’S TOO MANY OF THEM, THEY’LL SURROUND US!” Gordon exclaims to Nightwing as he emerges through the shattered skylight, grinding his teeth in great strain as he pulls Lieutenant Bullock, who holds onto his back, through the skylight and to the rooftop.
Gordon peeks out and ducks back as bullet just misses him, “And one of yours is in trouble.”
“Yea, dis one’s gonna get a hernia!” Bullock interjects, nodding to Nightwing who finally pulls them both onto the icy roof as another grappling hook shoots out from behind Nightwing and anchors into the tall smokestack. Rolling Bullock onto the roof, Nightwing tiredly take a deep breath as Robin zips up to the rooftop with Renee’ Montoya holding onto the grappling hook with him.
“Robin check it.” Nightwing asks, pointing to the roof edge with this thumb.
Robin promptly slides across the icy dome rooftop slope to the edge and peeks over the edge. Touching the side of his eye-mask, Robins white lenses over his eyes zooms in and spots three men running across the snowy street and down the left and right alleyways of the bank while Huntress crashes out the 3rd story building floor window with four men falling out with her. Swinging around the light pole, Huntress kicks another man to the ground and promptly shoots another with her arrow-launcher while engaging other two other men.
“We got assailants trying to surround the building and Huntress starting a war she can’t finish.” Robin exclaims to Nightwing.
“That lil idiot.”grumbles Nightwing as Robin crawls back to him.
”But that Black Mask guy, he’s gone.”Robin states.
Nightwing shakes his head, “He’s not gone he’s waiting for us, question is where.” Nightwing says as Robin snaps his finger and immediately looks at his computer gauntlet on his forearm.
“I’m bringing up a digital map of the area and all Cell Phone Towers, Radio signals are cut off in a clean seven block radius. They even re-routed traffic. It’s empty streets for seven blocks and its winter, no one is out there.”
“Except us. And we are conveniently seven blocks away from the Precinct.” Commissioner Gordon says..
“He’s making sure we can’t go back to the Precinct or call for backup!” Bullock exclaims, “They planned this! Even you two bein’ here!”
“Possibly, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work.” Nightwing counters and points to Robin, “They’re blocking communications so ‘we’ waste time to restore it. They wanted pinned down here, to get to the Commissioner.”
“You think all of this is for me?” Commissioner Gordon asks.
“You went after the Mobs money.” Nightwing states, “They want you dead, one way or another this is them and they don’t want you getting back to the Precinct to rally the troops, which is what we need to do.”
“What? Wit’dem wackos’ down there?” Bullock exclaims.
“They just killed 15 hostages and a loads more of officers, there is no staying here.” Robin says.
“He’s right.” Nightwing exclaims, sliding two black Escrima sticks, “Robin, get over them to the Precinct, they’ll be better off there than here. Each Precinct is a fortress of its own, I’ll hold them off.”
“Are you crazy!?” Montoya exclaims, watching Nightwing twirl his escrima sticks in his black gloved hands, “You’re going to spring the trap even more?!
“Exactly.” Nightwing exclaims with a slight smirk, “That masked guy has this all planned but what he doesn’t have planned out is Huntress and I giving his men such a fight that they’ll need to draw in their man-power while you all slip away to the Precinct and let them know what happened, you’ll be safer there.”
“That’s a risk you don’t wanna take, son.” Gordon says, “I can’t have your dea..”
“I’m not asking Commissioner.” Nightwing repeats, slicking his thick hair back, “I’m telling you!” Nightwing states firmly and points to Robin,” Get them out of here, alive.”
“No debates Robin!” Nightwing snaps, jumping down the icy rooftop slope to edge, “NOW GO!” he shouts, leaping off the building and diving down to the snow street-brawl.
Robin grits his teeth, watching Nightwing dive through snowy air and into the white snowy street, “I’m so telling Bruce on you when he gets back.” He mumbles.
“WE can’t just leave him down there!” Officer Montoya protests to Bullock and Gordon, “He’ll…”
“Be fine!” Robin interjects, glaring at them over his shoulder, his blue eye sharp and determined as he collapses his bo-staff.
Montoya, Bullock and Gordon watch Robin look at them both with his hollow white eye lenses, “Nightwing knows what he’s doing and so do we. The more we stall, the more we waste his efforts, so let’s go!” he says, ready to run ahead of them he stops in his tracks.
“Well i dunno if you ain’t noticed, but life’s lil gift here…” Harvey exclaims, patting his large bloated stomach, “…don’t allow any roof skippin’ if you get what I’m sayin.”
“I’ll find us another route.” replies Robin, kneeling down in front of Montoya to look at computerized gauntlet.
The echoing hollow sounding gunshot over Robin’s fills his ears and immediately causes him and Harvey Bullock and Commissioner to turn around and look Renee’ Montoya staggering away from Robin, clutching her bloodied chest.
"Bah...Boss." Renee gasps, looking at her bloodied hand.
“Oh gawd…” Robin gasps.
“HIYAA!” Huntress shouts, kicking a sniper across the jaw, throwing him into a car before spinning around and driving her armored elbow into anothers face behind her.
Thrusting up her purple cape up in a man’s face, Huntress disconnects the cape, grabs the capes edges, wraps it around the man’s head before swinging him headfirst into a light pole! Hearing the rapid footsteps behind her Huntress turns around, ready for the next fight but to her surprise a jet black blur drops down from above onto the men at great speed..
Astonished, Huntress watches Nightwing bring both attackers down to the snowy pavement like a lion brings down prey. Quickly driving both his escrima sticks crackling blue edge into theirs backs, electro-shocking them.
Huntress couldn’t help but be impressed at how polished his skills were.
Nightwing springs off his feet like a jack-rabbit, spinning in the air towards Huntress, “DROP!” he shouts as Huntress drops to the snowy ground just as Nightwings flings his escrima stick over her head and into another snipers behind her, electroshocking him in the face and causing him to fall back to the snowy ground unconscious.
ROOFTOP OF GOTHAM TIME BANK
“Renee…RENEE!!!” Harvey shouts, bolting over to Renee Montoya who staggers back and falls back onto one knee in a daze, clutching her bloodied chest as Harvey grabs hold of her.
"Bah-boss..." Renee' gasps, her eyes rolling about, "I-I got...shot."
"Take it easy Renee' don't talk!" Harvey says in a panic, pressing his hand over her wound.
“WHERE DID THAT SHOT COME FROM!” Commissioner Gordon shouts..
“JUST STAY STAY DOWN!” Robin shouts to them.
"She's fading Jim!"
“RENEE!” Commissioner Gordon shouts, snapping himself out of his initial shock as he unties his scarf and presses it down on her gunshot wound as Harvey holds her.
“DANGIT ROBIN WHERE DID THAT SHOT COME…”
“I SAID SUST STAY DOWN!” Robin shouts to them, turning away from Harvey and Gordon and touches the side of his thick eye mask.
Using the powerful telescopic filters embedded in the lenses of his eye mask , Robin peers through the snowy gusty wind and into the distance in search of the shooter through an Infra-red filter.
‘Where did the shot come from? C’mon Tim think - THINK!. The time between the sound of the shot and the impact to Montoya was no more than 2seconds. The average bullet travels at 2,500 feet per second. 2,500 feet, multiplied by two seconds, comes out to 5000 feet… which is one mile and the only place high enough to hit us from here that far is…”
Suddenly Robin remains still, spotting in the red tint of his lenses, exactly one mile away the Gotham Lutheran Church’s triangular Bell Tower’s housing on its snowy white floor beneath the church bell, the infamous sniper cocking back his rifle – as his glowing left eye twinkles in the darkness.
“Deadshot…” grumbles Robin, seeing the glowing red left eyed sniper gingerly wave at him before leaning behind his rifle lens, readying himself to take another shot.
Retracting the lens, Robin quickly tosses up three black pellets that shine a blinding white light behind him, "WE GOTTA MOVE!"
“AARrrgg…what’d ya doing kid!” Harvey exclaims, holding onto Renee's limp body in his arm, “We can’t just LEAVE HER LIKE…”
Robin backflips between Bullock and Gordon as a bullet shoots into icy ceiling floor beneath him and lands on his knees between Bullock and Harvey, grabs them both and forcibly pulls them down the icy sloped rooftop as another bullet strikes the metal roof behind them.
“WHO’S SHOOTING!” Gordon shouts.
“”YOU CAN’T LEAVE MONTOYA!” Harvey shouts as they all quickly slide down the icy metal rooftop!
Milliseconds from sliding off the roof, Robin, on his back, grabs hold of both grappling hooks and extends them over his head another bullet just misses his hand.
“GRAB MY BELT!” he shouts as they all soar off the icy rooftop!
Feeling Harvey and Commissioner Gordon’s tight grip onto his utility-belt, Robin blindly shoots both grappling hooks overhead as bullets zips past the titanium kevlar grappling line. Swinging farther and faster because of their overall weight, they swiftly swing through the air.
“DON’T LET GO!” shouts Robin, hooking both grappling hooks onto his utility belt as the line goes taut.
POW again goes the distant rifle.
Deadshot wasn't going to miss this much and Robin could knew it as much as he knew he was about to be shot.
Instinctively Robin flips the 'quick release' from his Utility belt and drops out the air like a stone.
“ROOOBIN!” Commissioner Gordon shouts as Robin plummets three stories into a pile of black garbage bags in the alleyway.
Landing on all fours, Nightwing agilely turns onto his backside and thrusts both legs up, driving both heels firmly into a man’s chin, launching him off his feet. As he crashes onto a car windshield, throws his legs up before landing on the balls of his feet, immediately spotting another shooter racing to him with an outstretched gun.
With quick sweeping gesture of his arm, Nightwing hurls out his wing shape discs, ‘wingdings’, to the shooters hand and runs left. Swiftly the sharp metal wingdings strike the shooters, knocking the gun out his hand as Nighting comes at him from his right side, driving his shoulder into his gut.
All at once, Nightwing grabs the gunman’s hand as he reaches for his second gun, forcibly brings his arm over his head and breaks his arm over his shoulder before swinging him around and throwing him headlong through a storefront window.
Crouched low to the snowy pavement, Huntress looks at Nightwing casually wipe his hands as the cold gusts of snowy wind blow his thick hair back as his glossed over white eyes that turn towards her.
He was tall. Handsome. And a fierce fighter. The black costume with the blue "wing" across his shoulders that extends to his hands, coloring his two middle fingers, over a black torso and legs weren’t bad on the eyes either.
“Nightwing.Year One, not bad.” Huntress quips.
Touching the side of his eye mask, his white lens retract, exposing his deep brown eyes, Nightwing clenches his square jaw in annoyance and folds his arms.
“GUH!” Robin gasps, his eyes opening wide as snow gently falls on top of him.
Grinding his teeth, Robin rolls off the garbage heap falls to the icy snowy cement ground. Sore and his head throbbing, Robin looks down the snowy dark alley, seeing Gordon and Harvey suspended in the air. Rolling onto his back, Robin weakly presses down on a button on his wrist gauntlet, causing the grappling hooks to lower Harvey and Gordon down further along the alley.
Clenching his jaw in pain, Robin slowly sits up on his armored knees, looking up at the dark night sky overhead and the white snow falling on his face. Taking a deep cool breath, Robin refocuses his attention on Gordon and Harvey far down the alley waiting for him. However, as soon as he goes to move, Robin’s eyes immediately catch sight of several footprints in the snow around him.
Hearing a door squeak open behind him, Robin immediately looks to Gordon and Harvey further away, "RUUUUUUUN !” he shouts, his echoing voice filling the alleyway as three men stalk out an alley door in front of him.
Decked in black armor with goggles over their eyes, Robin grinds teeth as he looks over his shoulder, seeing three more with bats and chains in their hands, standing behind him arrogantly.
“I don’t know what you all want with Commissioner Gordon...” Robin snarls, glaring at them from over his shoulder as two more men emerging from the shadows with spiked knuckles.
“…and I don’t know how you’re connected with Deadshot…” he snarls to the men in front of him as more four other men hop out the dumpster with clubs and bats.
“…but Batman or no Batman…” Robin states, slowly sliding out his two concealed red and black bo-staffs from under his black and yellow cape while keeping his eyes keen on Commissioner Gordon and Harvey running to a distant Residential Building, “…alright, who wants to see the hospital first!"
“I can’t believe you! I deliberately told you to stay out of this.” Nightwing growls to Huntress but keeps his eyes fixed on the rest of the men running away in fear.
“And here I thought…” Huntress sighs, standing up to face him, “…Nightwing won’t be so chauvinistic like some other dark brooding man I know.”
Nightwing rolls his eyes and brushes past her, “You could’ve gotten yourself killed.” He says.
Huntress looks over her shoulder at Nightwing grab his second escrima stick, “I bought you time and last I checked, you can die just as easily as me..”
“That’s wrong.” Nightwing counters.
“Is this your odd way of keeping yourself distant after getting in my sheets… again?”
Nightwings brown eyes cut her a serious glare. Silence settles between them as he twirls his Escrima sticks in hand and returns them to the sheath on his back.
“ooh now that is a batman look right there.” quips Huntress.
“Stay out my way.” Nightwing warns, pointing his escrima stick at her, “I don’t have time to watch your back or train you.”
“You have to watch ROBINS back, not mine and last I checked, my stamina was better than yours.” counters Huntress, her tone agitated by his implication of her lesser skill set.
Nightwing looks up the lonely snowy street as gusts of sleet howl in his ears. No one left, nothing but parked snow cars and dead officers beside abandoned police cars.
This wasn’t right. If this was as simple as it was, these goons should have been all over him, yet, without realizing, he did have to fight harder than usual. Lifting up his arm, Nightwing looks at his forearm and sees a cut across his arm.
“Cat got your tongue?” asks Huntress.
Nightwing clenches his jaw at the sight of the cut. His new suit was fashioned from the old bat-suits less armored material. It was flexible, relatively bulletproof and absolutely knife-proof. The only blades able to cut through their material were from….
“Oh no no no...” Nightwing groans, covering his face before balling up tight fist in frustration.
“What-what is it?” asks Huntress.
“Snipers on the ground? Really? These were the distractions; the SKILLED fighters are after them now! C’mon Robin’s in trouble!” Nightwing exclaims, bolting across the street in a swift sprint.
“OH NOW you want me!!” shouts Huntress, trailing after him as they run through the snow and into the dark alleyway next to the bank.
However, as soon as Nightwing sprints into alleyway, he stops at the sight of five men sprawled out on the ground. Seeing their tattoos on their chests, Nightwing clenches his jaw as sprinkles of blood trail away to the far distant residential building garage where the door remains open.
Meanwhile, Riding inside a black SUV, black shiny mask wearing individual known as Black Mask in his white suit, black shirt and black necktie, looks at his driver keeping the speed of their black Hummer under 30 mph as the snow picks up in the street.
Glancing at the dashboard, it had been an hour so far since he began. Picking up his phone, Black Mask presses the speed dial, “Hey…everything smooth?”
~*~*~ Four blocks away.
Standing underneath a traffic light, a tall bald Chinese man wearing a GCPD Traffic Cop uniform, waves his flare light at the passing cars, waving them to go down to the next block as he holds a cellphone to his ear, “AVENUE’S CLOSE! THE ALL FIVE BLOCK PERIMETER! MOVIE SHOOT!” he shouts to a driver who backs away and continues down the flow of traffic.
Watching the car drive off, the impersonating officer peers down the avenue, seeing the other officer do the same and turns back to his phone, “Yes Sir, ten blocks are secure, its an open playground.”
Black Mask nods and smiles under his mask, “Good work.” he says, hanging up his phone and taps the driver on his shoulder, pull over.” He says.
Pulling the SUV over Black Mask steps out the SUV to the snowy sidewalk and looks down the long avenue of 9 blocks with buildings on both sides of the street leading straight down to the police Precinct under the night sky.
Black Mask turns around and looks at his driver stepping outside the SUV, “Sir, Deadshot said you paid for the hour and that's it, he's leaving, hasn't spotted sighting of Batgirl anywhere, should we pay or go after him sir?”
Nodding Black Mask folds his arms as he sees another black SUV, the only one on the avenue, slowly crawling through the snow towards him, “No. He's been paid, let'em go. He'll stay close in case I need to pay him again. Besides, we have eight blocks for Nightwing and Robin and Commissioner Gordon to get killed in and it'll get done! Now call Shiva, and tell her the Five Hundred thousand will be sent in five minutes, for this to be wrapped up by 4 am, sun rise to her.” He mumbles as the SUV comes to a stop in front of him.
“Don’t you think she’ll want to hear from you directly?”
“Actually I think the next time you don’t do what I tell you, I’ll shove a pencil in your eye and feed it to my daughters hamster! How about that?” Black Mask snaps to him.
The driver nods and quickly gets into the car and opens his cell phone.
Pulling out a small touch-screen tablet Black Mask looks at the blue screen with outlining buildings and alleyways. Seeing a small ‘robin’ emblem on the screen, Black Mask looks up at the SUV parked before him. Black Mask watches a women decked in a green uniform with smiling cat mask on her face hop out the car.
She was shorter than him, her black hair curly and wild.
“Don’t you assassin types get cold?” Black Mask asks as a snowy wind gusts past them both.
“For those in the League of Assassins…” the woman says, “…the cold is an ally.”
“Yeah it numbs fists so ya can’t feel ya knuckles when ya hit a guy eh? I get ya.” Black Mask quips.
Hearing a ‘dink-dink’ from a concealed device, the woman with a cat smiling mask extends her hand, “Payment has been accepted.” She says, “Hand over the device.”
“Geez don’t even have to check the phone call uh?” Black Mask comments, “How you know she said everything was okay? What ‘if that was my man textin’ ya?”
“Roman Sionis, you of all people should know the terror of crossing the League of Assassins…” she snaps.
“Hey hey HEY! How you know my name?” Black Mask barks, reaching for his gun.
Grabbing his hand and pulling out a black matte curved blade that she presses against his throat, Cheshire leans in close, “…you of all people should know the terror of crossing Chesire! Don’t overestimate your alliance with the League of Assassins Roman, we do not tolerate many of your sort for long.”
“Mhmm” Black Mask groans before quickly pulling out his gun and shooting the men before him, "Yea well..." he says, waving his gun at the two dead men, "...next time you rat out my identity, have back up personnel."
Cheshire rolls her eyes before strutting away, "Stay by your phone."
"HAY!" Black Mask yells, pointing his gun in the distance, "Don't get cocky, those Bird boy and Batman Lite ain't push overs. I made the set up and everything worked out to plan, stick to it."
“Let's make something clear.” sighs Chesire, snapping her fingers.
Black Mask sees the doors of the SUV behind her open at once as various ninjas in black body suits step out the car, “My plans, are always better than yours."
to be continued...